US Courts Defend Rights of Vulture Funds Over Argentina


Michael Hudson and James Henry discuss an approaching July 30 deadline that could see Argentina put in a partial default by American banks and courts -   July 23, 14

PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to review a case in which vulture funds sued to make the Argentinian government pay them 100 percent of the value of bonds, which they purchased for a fraction of the face value, let stand a lower court ruling requiring the bonds be paid in full. Reuters reports that Aurelius Capital Management, one of the lead holdout creditors seeking to settle with Argentina over sovereign debt payments from its 2002 default, said on Monday the government faces a new crisis on July 30 unless it engages in serious negotiations. Argentine officials and the holdout investors met separately, with a court-appointed mediator on Friday emerging from his offices after five hours of discussions with no resolution and no further talks scheduled. Both sides have ramped up the rhetoric to explain why they are, on one level, equal to eager to negotiate and, on another, at pains to show why the other side is not engaging. Quote:

“‘Absent a deal, Argentina’s next sovereign debt crisis will start on July 30. There is still time to avoid that outcome, but only if the Argentine government commences serious discussions with us immediately,’ Aurelius said in a statement.

“The firm said that together with other holdout creditors, it has offered to meet with the government anytime, anywhere, but has been rebuffed.

‘Argentine officials refuse to meet with us or even negotiate with us directly. Sadly, this approach gambles with the livelihoods and futures of the Argentine people.’

“In 2012, U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa in New York awarded the holdouts $1.33 billion plus accrued interest in a case based upon the pari passu, or equal treatment, clause used to sell the bonds originally in 1994.

“Without a deal, Latin America’s No. 3 economy risks tumbling into a new default on July 30″.

Now joining us to talk about all of this first of all in Buenos Aires in Argentina is James Henry. James is a leading economist, attorney, investigative journalist. He’s written extensively about global issues. He served as chief economist at the international consultancy firm McKinsey & Company.

And also joining us from New York is Michael Hudson. He is a distinguished research professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. His upcoming book is titled Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy.

Thank you both for joining us.



JAY: So, Michael, don’t you feel better about the whole debt crisis, knowing that Aurelius is so concerned about the fate of the Argentine people?

HUDSON: Well, this has really divided the world into two halves. The ruling that’s under judge Griesa’s judgment today basically prevents not only Argentina but any country that’s issued bonds in the New York market from ever writing down or renegotiating the debt. Seventy percent of the sovereign bonds of governments throughout the world are issued in New York (about 22 percent are in London). And for those 70 percent, you’re going to have countries like Greece and others, Latin America in the 1980s, that have to write down the debts. If you don’t write down the debts to something that can reasonably be paid, they’re going to have to end up looking like Ireland or Greece. They’re going to be imposing a decade of austerity on themselves. And no country is going to commit financial suicide. So Judge Griesa has apparently told the Argentines, come to New York to negotiate under the rules that I’ve said, which are different from all the other countries’ rules. And there is no possible way that Argentina can obey his orders without essentially committing suicide for the economy.

JAY: Right. Okay. James, let me see if I just have the basic fact base correct. On July 30, Argentina was supposed to pay interest payments to the 90 percent of bondholders that agreed to the restructured debt, which I think was something like about $0.30 on the dollar. But about 10 percent of the bondholders refused to restructure. These vulture funds then bought these bonds at a fraction of the face value, but then sued to get paid the entire amount. And the judge has actually said they should get the entire amount. Now, on July 30, the judge says they can’t make their payments to the restructured bondholders until they pay off this $1.8 billion or something to the vulture funds. Is that–do I have it right?

HENRY: Yeah. Essentially, the vulture funds like Elliott, which is a Cayman Island-based fund, in 2008 they bought whatever Argentine bonds, restructured bonds they own or $48 million. And today they’re claiming not only the $1.3 billion that Griesa awarded them, but, beyond that, interest that’s accumulated since then. So the total for Elliott and the immediate parties, holdouts, is something like $1.65 billion–quite a profit compared with the $48 million they invested five years ago.

In addition to that, Argentina has another $15 billion of holdouts that it believes would come in if this kind of behavior holds up. And those people are already beginning to file suit.

On the other hand, since they have on the order of $140 billion of debt that they have restructured, including $80 billion that was restructured 2005 and 2010 at a 40 percent discount, if they have to now go back and put themselves back in essentially deeply in debt to pay these vultures, it just stands on the head.

Basically, we have no mechanism for handling country debt the way we do for private sector bankruptcy. And the IMF tried to suggest a system back in the early 2000s. The world just didn’t go for it. As a result, we have this cockamamie system where a New York judge is making rulings based on sort of 19th century concepts of contract law. And he only has jurisdiction in this case because Argentina is one of four Latin American countries–unlike Brazil–that has decided to choose the Southern District of New York, one of the Wall Street safe havens in terms of the federal judiciary, as the location for ruling on all of these cases with respect to Argentine foreign debt.

It has a history of ruling against debtor countries. It’s totally repealed the doctrine of champerty, which is a doctrine of the law that says that you can’t go out and buy somebody’s debts up and then just take them to court and sue just because you’ve become a creditor. But the judges in the Southern District of New York tossed that out in the late ’90s. And this is one of a series of vulture cases where companies like Elliott have been going around the world, countries like Panama and Nicaragua and Peru, and basically leveraging the fact that they have friendly judges in the Southern District of New York like Judge Griesa.

JAY: James, do we know how much interest these bonds–in ’94 when they were first issued, how much interest they were paying?

HENRY: Well, the bonds have paid variable interest depending on the time of the year. In 2001 they got up to 15 percent interest.

But if you go back to the sordid history of the Argentine debt, that’s the other thing that’s really quite disturbing here. As of 1976, Argentina had a total foreign debt of $18 million, 17 percent of GDP. The military came in in ’76 with U.S. government support, established a junta. By 1983, the debt had soared to $48 billion–by a factor of seven. And no one has ever audited that debt. There’s–and, interestingly, there’s a U.S. legal doctrine called odious debt which says that if you have a debt that’s contracted by a military dictatorship, it doesn’t necessarily have to be honored. We invoked it with respect to Cuba in 1898. It had acquired a lot of loans from Spain, and nobody could account for where they were. But this odious debt doctrine had never been applied to Argentina.

Interestingly, the other thing is that this choice of jurisdiction was originally chosen by this military junta back in 1976. Martínez de Hoz, the finance minister at that point in time, a very conservative guy, decided that Argentina would waive its sovereign immunity for purposes of all this debt that it was beginning to accumulate and allow the United States and the Southern District of New York to be the [siphus (?)] for all of these cases. So those two very fundamental changes made by, essentially, a military government, first of all blowing up the debt out of proportion, and then relocating the judiciary outside of Argentina, is very important for what we’re seeing all the way forward to 2014.

JAY: Right. Michael, it seems to me a little ironic or something. You know, you pay, you earn 10, 12, 15 percent. I mean, the reason you’re earning those kinds of money on government bonds is ’cause you’re acknowledging risk. If there’s no, ever, a risk of default, then why should you be paying? You could /ˈpeɪbi/ inflation, but not any more. So, I mean, the judge is saying there should be bonds that can pay high rates of interest, but there should be no risk.

HUDSON: That’s–there should not be any suffering as a result of risk. In other words, anybody can buy a discounted bond, and you have Third World countries always paying a premium over what the United States government has to pay, just like you have companies paying high for junk bonds. Essentially, Argentina was like a junk-bond country.

The history that was just said is very important. You had the U.S.-backed military dictatorship that ran the debt up into 1983, but then, in 1989, you had another neoliberal takeover with the Washington Consensus, and they adopted the U.S. dollar as their basic monetary reserves and tied their money supply to the dollar. That essentially drove the country into debt because it brought on an economic collapse by 2002. That’s why the government was voted out and why the Kirchners came in. So you have a destructive neoliberal government coming in, driving the country into debt, ’cause that’s what neoliberals do.

And then, 2002 (and it was just mentioned), the IMF said, look, we’re going to need something like the Bank for International Settlements was set out to do in 1929, to settle German reparations (obviously, Germany couldn’t pay the reparations that it had to). We have to have some international forum to decide how much a country can pay without imposing austerity and depression on its population, ’cause every country’s sovereign. That’s why they call it sovereign debt.

Well, the United States at that time, in 2002, blocked this and said, wait a minute, other countries want an international forum, but we’re going to block the IMF from doing that, because if they do that, they’ll write down the debt, and most of the bondholders are Wall Street, and we want to get every penny these guys want, and we don’t want.

Well, ironically, after Judge Griesa’s ruling threatened to throw the whole international bond issue into anarchy, the U.S. Treasury and the government and the French government and the IMF all filed amicus brief cases with the Supreme Court, saying, if you follow Judge Griesa’s ruling, it’s so wrong it treats Argentina as if it’s a family restaurant that’s just gone broke, and now let’s carve up all the little pieces and pay off. If you treat countries like you’d treat a family restaurant, then no country is going to ever again say, we’re going to agree, if there is a dispute, to settle the rules under the laws of New York, because if you settle the laws under New York bankruptcy, you’re going to have a nutcase like Judge Griesa saying, I don’t like Argentina, Argentina doesn’t pay its debts, I’m going to make it pay all the 100 percent money it owes as if there were no risk, and all of the interest, the 15 percent, you said, compounded year after year, and all of the legal fees that–the hedge fund has gone after 900 attempts to grab Argentine property, including their Naval training vessel, ARA Libertad, and now it’s trying to grab the shale oil in Argentina, and I’m going to give you a penalties because I don’t like Argentina. So when the judge says, Argentina, send up your people to negotiate on my terms or I’ll find you in contempt of court, Argentina says, no country could possibly negotiate on your terms. We overthrew the military dictatorship. You are not going to do to us what the military dictatorship did, Judge Griesa.

JAY: Right. Right. James, why doesn’t Argentina raise the concept of odious debt? Didn’t Correa in Ecuador do that in 2008 and actually use that to restructure some of the debt there?

HENRY: Yes, they did. I mean, Raúl Alfonsín, who came to power in 1984, raised the issue of odious debt for 21 days, and then, at the end of that 21 day period, he reversed himself. That’s the last time we ever had a serious discussion of auditing the Argentine debt. So President Alfonsín must have gotten the message from international banks, who have long treated Argentina as a huge source not only of lousy lending but also capital flight, something like $300 billion of offshore private capital outside of the country.

The irony is, as Michael just said: I think this has actually been one of the most successful examples of debt restructuring that we’ve ever seen. Argentine economy performed extremely well from 2005 until 2009 after it restructured the debt, growing at 5 to 7 percent a year. It’s had some difficulties in the last three years, but nothing like what was it going through in 2000 and 2001, when you had 40 percent of the people below the poverty line, you had 18 percent unemployment, you had the neoliberal, my classmate, Domingo Cavallo, running the economy, and he blew the debt up from about $90 billion in 1999 to $144 billion by the time he left office.

JAY: James, it should also be added that it’s not just the dictators. It was the dictatorship, you could say, of the IMF and the whole restructuring that took place that preceded this default, was it not?

HENRY: Well, I think it was kind of that plus the militant neoliberal [crosstalk]

JAY: Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. Yeah.

HENRY: –was really, you know, convertibility. Convertibility of the dollar into the peso became an iron law. If you basically say that you can’t devalue your exchange rate in order to grow the economy and you’re running budget deficits and you can’t borrow, you’ve taken away all of the levers except cutting spending, and there just wasn’t that much spending to cut.

JAY: James, just quickly (we’re getting near the end of this), July 30 is just a few days away. What do you think’s actually going to happen?

HENRY: Well, Argentina doesn’t really have a plan B. My guess is that–this is quite a complicated story. Default doesn’t automatically occur. It takes 25 percent of the creditors, in this case those who would be entitled to the $140 billion, to actually declare Argentina in default. Furthermore, many of the payments that Argentina’s making are to bondholders who are in Europe or have peso debt. About 60 percent of these bonds are actually owned by Argentinians, and they’re accepting pesos, and those have been cleared through the custodial banks that are handling those payments. It’s basically the 29 percent of the bonds that are owned by U.S. that are being paid in dollars–they’re dollar denominated–that are really the subject of a possible sort of partial default here.

I think Argentina actually has quite a bit of–it can try this notion that’s been bandied about of inviting bondholders to come in and accept payment outside of the United States in other currencies, or even in dollars in Argentina. And if it did that carefully, the value of those bonds would of course plummet, but Argentina could do what Ecuador did, which is to buy up some of the bonds at a discounted value. Maybe that would cost them less than they would have to pay to these holdouts, who have maybe $15 billion in debt.

So I think there’s not going to be a cliff here. It’s going to be a messy process, but I doubt that you’re going to see these vultures at the end of the day able to get Argentina to pay them. Now, they may well have sold–the smart money says that these guys have already essentially insured themselves, they bought credit default swaps, CDSs. And so whether or not those CDSs come due at the date of July 30 is an interesting legal question. But it may be that these vultures are really mainly interested in collecting on those credit default swaps. We’ll just have to see.

But the big picture is that Argentina is not about to go back into $140 billion in debt in order to simply satisfy people who bought their bonds for $48 million in 2000.

JAY: Michael, just a quick final word. What message does this all send to other countries around the world about how they might deal with vulture funds?

HUDSON: Well, the ruling of Judge Griesa now is a precedent for any country that tries to renegotiate its debt like Greece negotiated its debt downward. And the problem is that, as the United States argued against Greece’s ruling, saying, wait a minute, this means that no country that issues bonds in New York or has a new bank as a paying agent–and if they pay in dollars, it has to go through some New York bank–no country can write down the debt anywhere in the world.

So this goes way beyond Argentina. This is only–you have a case of the tail wagging the dog. And that’s why everybody from the U.S. government to Europe was insisting that the Supreme Court overruled Judge Griesa’s ruling. And the Supreme Court said, wait a minute, since the ruling is only local New York State bankruptcy contract law, it’s not a national law and a constitutional law, so we don’t have any ground to review it. And the other people said, wait a minute. It may be, of course, it’s local law, but we’re dealing with an entire country and international relations, and the international relations means that other countries will now shun the New York and the dollar market for bonds, and there goes Wall Street.

And the other aspect of Wall Street, as you just mentioned: many people have been speculating over how much credit default swaps have Singer’s vulture funds bought? And the idea is, okay, this is like John Paulson buying junk mortgage default swaps and making $1 billion off–believing that the junk mortgages would go bust. Well, the problem with these credit default swaps and Argentina is who’s on the other side. And the belief is that–. Who is on the other side of credit default swaps? It’s the ten largest New York banks. So Citibank, Chase Manhattan, Bank of America, they’re on the other side of these credit default swaps, and they’ll take a huge loss if indeed there is a default. So everything is just up into a potentially explosive situation.

HENRY: Paul, let me just make one more content.

JAY: Yeah, go ahead, James.

HENRY: I could say, just to end a positive note, last week not only did Argentina almost win the World Cup, but the Chinese premier came to Argentina with 200 business executives, and he is setting up a $7.5 billion project lending facility plus at $11 million currency swap facility. Chinese companies are looking seriously at investing in farms, farmland, grain production, and in the shale oil deposits that Argentina has, which are larger than the United States’, potentially.

So this country has great future, and I think it’s disappointing for the United States not to be able to behave in a more professional way toward Argentina, one that values this long-term relationship.

Pepe Escobar: “It was Putin’s missile!”


It was Putin’s missile!
By Pepe Escobar 

And here’s the spin war verdict: the current Malaysia Airlines tragedy – the second in four months – is “terrorism” perpetrated by “pro-Russian separatists”, armed by Russia, and Vladimir Putin is the main culprit. End of story. Anyone who believes otherwise, shut up. 

Why? Because the CIA said so. Because Hillary “We came, we saw, he died” Clinton said so. Because batshit crazy Samantha “R2P” Power said so – thundering at the UN, everything duly printed by the neo-con infested Washington Post. [1] 

Because Anglo-American corporate media – from CNN to Fox (who tried to buy Time Warner, which owns CNN) – said so. Because the President of the United States (POTUS) said so. And mostly because Kiev had vociferously said so in the first place. 

Right off the bat they were all lined up – the invariably hysterical reams of “experts” of the “US intelligence community” literally foaming at their palatial mouths at “evil” Russia and “evil” Putin; intel “experts” who could not identify a convoy of gleaming white Toyotas crossing the Iraqi desert to take Mosul. And yet they have already sentenced they don’t need to look any further, instantly solving the MH17 riddle. 

It doesn’t matter that President Putin has stressed the MH17 tragedy must be investigated objectively. And “objectively” certainly does not mean that fictional “international community” notion construed by Washington – the usual congregation of pliable vassals/patsies. 

And what about Carlos? 
simple search at reveals that MH17 was in fact diverted 200 kilometers north from the usual flight path taken by Malaysia Airlines in the previous days – and plunged right in the middle of a war zone. Why? What sort of communication MH17 received from Kiev air control tower? 

Kiev has been mute about it. Yet the answer would be simple, had Kiev released the Air Traffic Control recording of the tower talking to flight MH17; Malaysia did it after flight MH370 disappeared forever. 

It won’t happen; SBU security confiscated it. So much for getting an undoctored explanation on why MH17 was off its path, and what the pilots saw and said before the explosion. 

The Russian Defense Ministry, for its part, has confirmed that a Kiev-controlled Buk anti-aircraft missile battery was operational near the MH17’s crash. Kiev has deployed several batteries of Buk surface-to-air missile systems with at least 27 launchers; these are all perfectly capable of bringing down jets flying at 33,000 ft. 

Radiation from a battery’s Kupol radar, deployed as part of a Buk-M1 battery near Styla (a village some 30km south of Donetsk) was detected by the Russian military. According to the ministry, the radar could be providing tracking information to another battery which was at a firing distance from MH17’s flight path. The tracking radar range on the Buk system is a maximum of 50 miles. MH17 was flying at 500 mph. So assuming the “rebels” had an operational Buk and did it, they would have had not more than five minutes to scan all the skies above, all possible altitudes, and then lock on. By then they would have known that a cargo plane could not possibly be flying that high. For evidence supporting the possibility of a false flag, check here

And then there’s the curiouser and curiouser story of Carlos, the Spanish air traffic controller working at Kiev’s tower, who was following MH17 in real time. For some Carlos is legit – not a cipher; for others, he’s never even worked in Ukraine. Anyway he tweeted like mad. His account – not accidentally – has been shut down, and he has disappeared; his friends are now desperately looking for him. I managed to read all his tweets in Spanish when the account was still online – and now copies and an English translation are available. 

These are some of his crucial tweets: 

  • The B777 was escorted by 2 Ukrainian fighter jets minutes before disappearing from radar (5.48 pm)”
  • “If the Kiev authorities want to admit the truth 2 fighter jets were flying very close a few minutes before the incident but did not shoot down the airliner (5.54)”
  • “As soon as the Malaysia Airlines B777 disappeared the Kiev military authority informed us of the shooting down. How did they know? (6.00)”
  • “Everything has been recorded on radar. For those that don’t believe it, it was taken down by Kiev; we know that here (in traffic control) and the military air traffic control know it too (7.14)”
  • “The Ministry of the Interior did know that there were fighter aircraft in the area, but the Ministry of Defense didn’t. (7.15)”
  • “The military confirm that it was Ukraine, but it is not known where the order came from. (7.31)” 

    Carlos’s assessment (a partial compilation of his tweets is collected here ): the missile was fired by the Ukraine military under orders of the Ministry of Interior – NOT the Ministry of Defense. Security matters at the Ministry of the Interior happen to be under Andriy Parubiy, who was closely working alongside US neo-cons and Banderastan neo-nazis on Maidan. 

    Assuming Carlos is legit, the assessment makes sense. The Ukrainian military are divided between Chocolate king President Petro Poroshenko – who would like a d?tente with Russia essentially to advance his shady business interests – and Saint Yulia Timoshenko, who’s on the record advocating genocide of ethnic Russians in Eastern Ukraine. US neo-cons and US “military advisers” on the ground are proverbially hedging their bets, supporting both the Poroshenko and Timoshenko factions. 

    So who profits? 
    The key question remains, of course, cui bono? Only the terminally brain dead believe shooting a passenger jet benefits the federalists in Eastern Ukraine, not to mention the Kremlin. 

    As for Kiev, they’d have the means, the motive and the window of opportunity to pull it off – especially after Kiev’s militias have been effectively routed, and were in retreat, in the Donbass; and this after Kiev remained dead set on attacking and bombing the population of Eastern Ukraine even from above. No wonder the federalists had to defend themselves. 

    And then there’s the suspicious timing. The MH17 tragedy happened two days after the BRICS announced an antidote to the IMF and the World Bank, bypassing the US dollar. And just as Israel “cautiously” advances its new invasion/slow motion ethnic cleansing of Gaza. Malaysia, by the way, is the seat of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission, which has found Israel guilty of crimes against humanity. 

    Washington, of course, does profit. What the Empire of Chaos gets in this case is a ceasefire (so the disorganized, battered Kiev militias may be resupplied); the branding of Eastern Ukrainians as de facto “terrorists” (as Kiev, Dick Cheney-style, always wanted); and unlimited mud thrown over Russia and Putin in particular until Kingdom Come. Not bad for a few minutes’ work. As for NATO, that’s Christmas in July. 

    From now on, it all depends on Russian intelligence. They have been surveying/tracking everything that happens in Ukraine 24/7. In the next 72 hours, after poring over a lot of tracking data, using telemetry, radar and satellite tracking, they will know which type of missile was launched, where from, and even produce communications from the battery that launched it. And they will have access to forensic evidence. 

    Unlike Washington – who already knows everything, with no evidence whatsoever (remember 9/11?) – Moscow will take its time to know the basic journalistic facts of what, where, and who, and engage on proving the truth and/or disproving Washington’s spin. 

    The historical record shows Washington simply won’t release data if it points to a missile coming from its Kiev vassals. The data may even point to a bomb planted on MH17, or mechanical failure – although that’s unlikely. If this was a terrible mistake by the Novorossiya rebels, Moscow will have to reluctantly admit it. If Kiev did it, the revelation will be instantaneous. Anyway we already know the hysterical Western response, no matter what; Russia is to blame. 

    Putin is more than correct when he stressed this tragedy would not have happened if Poroshenko had agreed to extend a cease-fire, as Merkel, Hollande and Putin tried to convince him in late June. At a minimum, Kiev is already guilty because they are responsible for safe passage of flights in the airspace they – theoretically – control. 

    But all that is already forgotten in the fog of war, tragedy and hype. As for Washington’s hysterical claims of credibility, I leave you with just one number: Iran Air 655. 

    1. Missile Downs Malaysia Airlines Plane Over Ukraine Killing 298, Kiew Blames Rebels, Washington Post, July 18, 2014. 

    Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009). 

    He may be reached at 

    (Copyright 2014 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.) 

  • Fonte: Asia Times


Uncut Chronicles: D-Day 1944. Archive footage of invasion forces & defences


Publicado em 05/06/2014
The Normandy landings were the landing operations on 6 June 1944 (D-Day) of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during WWII.

Archive footage consists of the following fragments:

General Eisenhower and his aides look at wall map as they plan the invasion of Normandy France, Operation Overlord in 1944.

Slave labors building the German “West Wall” defense system of fortifications along the coast of Europe. Various scenes of large gun emplacements.

The hugh stockpile of tanks, trucks, artillery guns, bombs, aircraft, and other supplies amassed in England to support the Allied invasion of European Continent.

The naval armada assembled to transport the troops, war equipment, and supplies across the English Channel.

Unloading of landing barges from decks of ships. Troops practice loading operations. The armada of ships underway across the English Channel for the invasion of Normandy France.

On June 6, 1944 planes loaded with paratroopers of the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions spearheaded the Normandy invasion by jumping behind the German lines and coastal defenses.

Paratroopers jumping from C-47 aircraft. Landing craft underway to beachhead firing artillery guns.

Rocket ship firing barrage of rockets. Allied troops landing on beachheads on D-Day. Soldiers using flame throwers and charges to destroy gun fortifications. Troops wade ashore from landing craft under cover of barrage balloons.


 19 DE MAIO DE 2014

 Semana que vem, o mundo talvez já seja TOTALMENTE OUTRO!

18/5/2014, [*] Jeffrey BerwickThe Daily Bell

Are Russia and China About to Announce the End of the US Dollar Era?

Tradução mberublue


A queda do poder de compra (inflação) do US$ (dólar americano) ao longo do tempo

Por todo o mundo estão acontecendo reuniões de países, com uma meta comum que tem muito a ver com você, seja você ou não cidadão dos EUA: abandonar o dólar americano. Desde o início da crise da Ucrânia, o fim do dólar americano está cada vez mais perto. Movimento após movimento, Rússia e China estreitaram relações e tornaram-se aliadas mais próximas. Exemplos abundam. Para encurtar, aí vão dois exemplos recentes que chamam a atenção.


A Gazprom (maior empresa russa, décima maior do mundo e a maior exportadora mundial de gás natural – controlada pelo Estado, embora tenha ações no mercado [NT]) acaba de lançar títulos na moeda chinesa, o Yuan. Rússia e China assinaram um acordo para a venda de gás. 40 bancos centrais começam a apostar que no futuro, a moeda de reserva será o Yuan.


Yuan chinês deverá ser a próxima moeda de reserva

Até o início de 2014, as histórias sobre o colapso do dólar soavam ainda como maluquices conspiratórias, e pouco efeito tinham sobre a geopolítica. Este ano, tudo mudou. Parece que as nações-estados pelo mundo afora estão se movendo na direção de um mundo pós-dólar americano. Já não é uma questão de “se”, mas de “quando”. E se você não é capaz de entender o passo-a-passo do que virá, há alto risco de acabar chocado e… assombrado.

Já não cabe dúvida de que, tão logo a Rússia, juntamente com seus numerosos aliados, faça o movimento fatal, será seguida por muitas outras nações (várias delas já estão, mesmo, tentando). Por quê?

Porque os EUA são a força mais destrutiva do planeta; e seu calcanhar de Aquiles é o “privilégio exorbitante”, que a maioria conhece como “dólar americano”; e que o Federal Reserve Note [1] chama de só contaram p’rá mim”.

O significado será hiperinflação, caos social, guerra civil, dentre outras desarticulações. Parece-lhes que exagero? Pois, não, não há exagero algum. Para que se tenha ideia de o quanto tudo isso pode ser ruim, péssimo, pense no que já se vê acontecendo em qualquer república socialista “de bananas”; em seguida imagine que piore muito, muito! Por que pioraria “muito-muito”? Porque essas repúblicas “de bananas” não emitem a moeda usada como moeda planetária de reserva.

Os Estados Unidos nada produzem, a não ser o dólar americano – coisa facílima, aliás, de produzir, como se comprovou no Canadá, com o suor de um único canadense. Operação muito, muito simples: o tal canadense emitiu milhões de dólares americanos e os colocou em circulação. Mais: o Canadá preferiu não extraditá-lo; o sujeito vive lá, como homem livre.

Agora, grandes nações-estados pretendem sair juntas do sistema do dólar americano. Um mundo “desdolarizado” – como a Rússia já diz com frequência – pode vir a afetar a vida de milhões de norte americanos.


A Ascensão da Rússia & China

De acordo com A Voz da Rússia, o Ministro russo das Finanças pretende um aumento significativo do papel do rublo russo nas operações de exportação, reduzindo dessa forma as transações fechadas em dólar, no comércio exterior da Rússia. Acredita-se na Rússia que o setor bancário do país está “pronto para lidar com um maior número de transações assinadas em rublo”.

A agência Prime News relata que em abril de 2014 o governo realizou uma reunião que foi integralmente dedicada a encontrar soluções para tirar o dólar das operações russas de exportação. Especialistas de ponta de bancos, governo e setor energético elaboraram nestas reuniões uma série de propostas, perfeitamente efetivas, para responder às tais sanções aplicadas pelos Estados Unidos contra a Rússia.

reunião de “desdolarização” foi presidida pelo Vice-Primeiro-Ministro da Federação Russa, Igor Shuvalov: é sinal de que o movimento russo para descartar o dólar é, sim senhor, coisa séria. Depois houve outra reunião, quando se discutiram procedimentos para elevar o número de operações recebíveis em rublo, dessa vez presidida pelo Vice-Ministro das Finanças, Alexey Moiseev. Segundo Moiseev, nenhum dos especialistas e representantes de bancos viu qualquer problema nos planos governamentais para incrementar o comércio com pagamento em rublos. Afinal… o dólar já vem em queda livre desde a invocação do Federal Reserve e a lei relativa ao imposto sobre a renda, em 1913.

Agora, parece que até o pouco que ainda sobra já está por um fio.


A Rússia não está só.

Se não tivesse apoio, a Rússia não estaria tão audaciosa. Outras nações pelo mundo também têm interesse em aderir a um movimento de desdolarização. China e Irã, por exemplo, têm manifestado crescente interesse em levar avante esse plano. Líderes de outros países também já se manifestaram nesse sentido; em todos os casos, bateram de cara contra as conhecidas sanções-“mísseis” dos EUA.

Hoje, a especulação que corre o planeta fala da próxima visita de Putin à China, amanhã, dia 20/5: serão assinados contratos gigantes de petróleo e gás… e talvez sejam assinados com pagamentos previstos em Rublos e Yuans, não mais em dólares americanos. Implica dizer que dentro de uma semana, talvez já estejamos vivendo em mundo muito, muito, muito diferente do que temos hoje [mesmo que o “jornalismo”, os “jornais” e os “jornalistas” OCIDENTAIS absolutamente naaaaaaaaada noticiem dessas notícias radicalmente importantes (NTs)].

Com russófobos controlando a políticaexterna dos Estados Unidos, o ocidente está sem qualquer controle, andando a passos largos em direção ao buraco. Consequência disso é que os EUA prosseguirão, hostilizando cada vez mais a Rússia e outras nações. Com mais hostilidade, mais se fortalecerá a tendência de Rússia, China e inúmeros outros países, pelo mundo, a se separarem do dólar.

O mundo já trabalha hoje para criar uma nova infraestrutura econômica e financeira a qual, simplesmente, ignorará os Estados Unidos.


Cesta de moedas poderá substituir o US$ (dólar americano) nas transações internacionais

E, em reação e resposta, o que fazem os EUA? Bombardeiam mais civis. Matam mais gente. Provocam mais guerras.

Verdade é que já não tenho muita certeza de que os EUA consigam manter esse “padrão” hoje, com o mesmo “sucesso” com que o mantiveram há, apenas, uma década.

Bem ou mal, a humanidade começa a despertar para esse estado de coisas. Já aconteceu até de a opinião pública no mundo conseguir impedir que os EUA fizessem mais uma guerra – e a Síria foi salva. A oposição popular certamente impedirá que os EUA façam mais guerras.

Há evidência que todos já veem com clareza e que comprometem hoje terrivelmente as posições que os EUA têm adotado: Rússia e a China jogam xadrez e pensam no bem do mundo. Obama joga damas, bolinha de gude, sabe-se lá o que joga; e não pensa no bem do mundo.

A China já queria nova moeda de reserva, desde 2013

Japão e Índia já têm um acordo para moeda de reserva própria, desde 2011.

No Golfo Pérsico os árabes, junto com China, Japão, Rússia e França, já planejam pôr fim aos negócios de petróleo feitos pelo dólar americano; e trabalham para pôr no lugar desse dólar uma cesta de moedas que pode incluir o Iene japonês, o Yuan chinês, ouro, Euros e uma nova moeda unificada especialmente pensada para uso das nações do Conselho de Cooperação do Golfo (o que incluiria nessa negociação/nova cesta de moedas, também Arábia Saudita, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait e Qatar).


O fim do sistema monetário como o conhecemos

Estamos na iminência de uma mudança massiva nos parâmetros do sistema monetário mundial… todos os especialistas sabem disso (é absolutamente claro que sabem!), mas o “noticiário” prossegue como se nada estivesse já acontecendo. Empresários norte-americanos ou gastam ou mentem que gastam como se os EUA estivéssemos em plena recuperação econômica. Cidadãos dos Estados Unidos continuam gastando dinheiro ou mentindo que gastam e em todos os casos continuam poupando pouco, talvez com a mesma expectativa que os empresários. Os investidores continuam a investir ou a mentir que continuam a investir como se tudo estivesse às mil maravilhas.


Os EUA devem tanto, mas tanto que já não há mais meios de salvar o US $ (dólar americano)

Parece que todos esses atores têm dificuldade para contextualizar e apreender a verdade sobre a economia dos EUA. E essa verdade é a seguinte: os EUA devem tanto, tanto, tanto, que a mente humana não tem meios para compreender a sua real extensão desse endividamento. E a imprensa-empresa comercial, que existe para desinformar, desinforma o mais que pode e completa o serviço de ensinar a des-compreender (seja o que for).

O capital exposto ao risco de ser queimado, virar fumaça, é da ordem de trilhões de dólares. O mundo ocidental corre o risco de entrar numa era sombria, que o futuro conhecerá, durante séculos, como o “Grande Colapso”. Bem contados, não chega a 1% dos cidadãos o número dos norte-americanos e norte-americanas que se pode acreditar que saibam disso e compreendam com clareza o movimento.

Essa minoria, sim, entende o que está acontecendo; mas tem ativos em bens tangíveis e internacionalizados [metais preciosos fora do sistema financeiro] e terão boa chance de sobreviver bem às mudanças que certamente virão.

Nunca foi mais importante, necessário, prioritário, vitalmente decisivo, desligar a televisão e não tomar conhecimento do que a imprensa-empresa comercial “informe” ou “noticie”. Cada um terá de fazer as próprias contas e assumir o controle da própria situação financeira.

[*] Jeffrey Berwick define-se como anarcocapitalista libertarista. Lutador [de luta-livre] contr

Fonte traduzida: RedeCastorphoto

Review: Chinese Engagement in Africa Drivers, Reactions, and Implications for U.S. Policy


Barbara Lopes, Potências Médias,


Chinese Engagement in Africa Drivers, Reactions, and Implications for U.S. Policy by Larry Hanauer, Lyle J. Morris

Resenha de Bárbara Lopes (*)

O relatório Chinese Engagement in Africa: drivers, reactions, and implications for U.S policy corresponde a uma série de pesquisas da RAND Corporation, divulgada no início de 2014. No intuito de caracterizar a natureza dinâmica das relações entre a República Popular da China (RPC) e a África, os pesquisadores Larry Hanauer e Lyle Morris analisam os objetivos chineses e africanos no âmbito político-econômico e os meios que ambas as partes utilizam para que tais objetivos sejam alcançados.

Neste sentido, é examinado de que maneira o governo chinês têm ajustado as suas políticas de ação diante de reações hostis de alguns governos e populações na África. Em conjunto, parte da pesquisa volta-se ao questionamento se os Estados Unidos da América (EUA) estão competindo por influência, acesso e recursos naturais no continente africano e, ainda, se pode existir oportunidades de cooperação que promovam os interesses mútuos EUA-RPC, bem como os interesses dos seus parceiros africanos. O relatório encontra-se dividido em sete capítulos.

No primeiro capítulo, apresentado como Introdução, os autores enaltecem que a pesquisa considera a relação da RPC com todos os 54 países do continente africano – incluindo os três que reconhecem Taiwan e não mantêm relações diplomáticas com Pequim. Ao longo do segundo capítulo evidenciam-se as diversas áreas de interação que fomentam o interesse mútuo sino-africano. De modo geral, a RPC possui quatro interesses estratégicos globais na África: i) acesso aos recursos naturais, particularmente petróleo e gás natural; ii) mercado para os produtos/exportações chineses; iii) legitimidade política nos fóruns internacionais e apoio aos princípios de igualdade, não interferência em assuntos domésticos e “solidariedade Sul-Sul” entre os países em desenvolvimento; iv) garantir a segurança, prosperidade e estabilidade do continente, tanto para o bem-estar da população africana, quanto para a proteção aos investimentos chineses e à manutenção das atividades comerciais com a África.

Os governos africanos, por sua vez, buscam por meio da parceria com a RPC: i) reconhecimento e legitimidade política; ii) atrair e diversificar os setores de investimentos, principalmente para infraestrutura; iii) expandir o comércio bilateral com os chineses; iv) assistência à segurança, por meio de envio de equipamentos militares, armas e treinamento; v) extração de recursos naturais, já que grande parte dos países africanas são dependentes dos recursos naturais para gerar as receitas necessárias para a manutenção dos seus governos.

O terceiro capítulo volta-se a apresentação de um breve histórico das relações sino-africanas. O relatório evidencia, assim, que o engajamento da RPC no continente africano pauta-se pelos princípios de respeito mútuo e igualdade, incluindo a não intervenção em assuntos domésticos e reconhecimento pelos países africanos da política “uma só China”. Grande ênfase é dada à análise dos aspectos econômicos sino-africanos. A demanda chinesa por recursos energéticos, aliada à necessidade por investimentos e infraestrutura dos países africanos permitiu a crescente elevação comercial China-África ao longo da última década. No entanto, quanto aos valores dos Investimentos Externos Diretos (IED’s) chineses para a África, os autores argumentam a dificuldade em analisá-los, devido à inconsistência dos dados e as diferentes definições divulgadas sobre IED em estatísticas da RPC. Outra problemática levantada diz respeito às práticas de ajuda ao oficial ao desenvolvimento no continente africano, principalmente porque a China não define “ajuda” do mesmo modo que a Organização para a Cooperação e Desenvolvimento Econômico (OCDE). Além disso, o governo da RPC coloca-se primeiramente como parceiro econômico, já que o termo doador invoca conotações elitistas que a China procura se distanciar.

A análise quanto aos impactos da inserção chinesa na África é relatada ao longo do capítulo quatro. Por um lado, os investimentos da RPC foram responsáveis pela criação de postos de trabalho, obras de infraestrutura e pelo crescimento econômico, particularmente em setores e áreas geográficas em que as Instituições Financeiras, os governos e as empresas ocidentais foram relutantes em se envolver. Os gastos com educação e a participação de Pequim nas missões de paz da Organização das Nações Unidas (ONU) igualmente trouxeram resultados positivos ao continente africano. Por outro lado, estes investimentos contribuíram para a manutenção de regimes não-democráticos em certos países da África, sendo que a natureza dos acordos firmados elevaram os níveis de dívida e a adoção de decisões sem viabilidade econômica. Critica-se que a preocupação da RPC com os recursos naturais reforçou a dependência dos países africanos em matérias-primas. Ressalta-se ainda a perda de empregos nas indústrias locais, uma vez que não conseguem competir com as importações chinesas mais baratas.

Neste contexto, o capítulo cinco apresenta as principais reações tanto dos governos quanto das populações locais africanas acerca das relações estabelecidas com a RPC. A maior parte dos líderes africanos retratam o envolvimento chinês como positiva, principalmente pela política no strings attached, apesar dos comentários sobre a criação de uma nova dinâmica colonial na África. De acordo com o relatório, os africanos também assumem opiniões geralmente positivas, determinada e influenciada pela exposição dos dados sobre atividades econômicas-comerciais entre China e África. No entanto, esta mesma opinião pública reage negativamente, sobretudo, pela percepção de que poucos são os investimentos chineses voltados à infraestrutura social (habitação, escolas e clínicas) e pelos relatos das más condições de trabalho em minas e fábricas, em que os trabalhadores africanos são explorados, mal pagos e impedidos de assumir cargos gerenciais.

Frente às reações de oposição ao envolvimento com a RPC, o penúltimo capítulo retrata as mudanças nas ações do governo chinês para a África. Tais mudanças partem do pressuposto de que somente a estratégia econômica de complementaridade no comércio e nas negociações é insuficiente para a promoção de uma relação sustentável de longo-prazo que ambas as partes desejam. Assim, grande atenção passou a ser dada às questões de soft power, no qual a RPC dissemina uma narrativa positiva aos africanos por meio da mídia, programas de intercâmbio cultural, iniciativas educacionais e treinamentos. Foco nos assuntos de segurança, ajuda à saúde e sustentabilidade igualmente ocuparão espaço na nova agenda política chinesa para o continente africano.

Por fim, no último capítulo são analisadas as implicações da influência chinesa na África para os interesses dos EUA. Com exceção da política de “uma só China”, o governo estadunidense compartilha os mesmos objetivos que a RPC no continente africano. Há, de fato, uma preocupação maior com as questões de segurança, em que os EUA estendem as suas iniciativas para a redução de combate ao terrorismo, tráfico de drogas e crime internacional. Porém, os países têm buscado diferentes políticas e prioridades na África. Os EUA enfatizam a boa governança, a ajuda externa voltada ao desenvolvimento humano e investimentos liderados pelo setor privado, enquanto a China sublinha a independência política, os investimentos em infraestruturas apoiados pelo Estado e a extração dos recursos naturais. Para os autores, devido as abordagens diferentes colocada por cada país, Washington e Pequim não estão competindo diretamente um contra o outro por acesso estratégico ou influência na África. Deste modo, poucas são as oportunidades existentes para a parceria EUA-RPC na busca por interesses regionais africanos comuns.

O relatório desenvolvido pela RAND Corporation buscou minimizar a dificuldade que analistas e policymakers ocidentais enfrentam para compreender a crescente e forte presença da RPC no continente africano. Além de recomendações à estudos futuros, ao final, os autores apresentam algumas sugestões ao governo estadunidense, no intuito de encorajar a população africana a exigir uma melhor conduta política chinesa para a África.

(*) Bárbara Lopes é mestranda em Relações Internacionais do Programa de Pós-Graduação em RI da PUC Minas

Fonte: Grupo de Pesquisa sobre Potências Médias

US ‘pivots’, China reaps dividends


US ‘pivots’, China reaps dividends
By Pepe Escobar 

Let’s start with a flashback to February 1992 – only two months after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. First draft of the US government’s Defense Planning Guidance. It was later toned down, but it still formed the basis for the exceptionalist dementia incarnated by the Project for the New American Century; and also reappeared in full glory in Dr Zbig “Let’s Rule Eurasia” Brzezinski’s 1997 magnum opus The Grand Chessboard

It’s all there, raw, rough and ready:

Our first objective is to prevent the reemergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed by the Soviet Union. This … requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power. These regions include Western Europe, East Asia, the territory of the former Soviet Union, and Southwest Asia.

That’s all one needs to know about the Obama administration’s “pivoting to Asia”, as well as the pivoting to Iran (“if we’re not going to war”, as US Secretary of State John Kerry let it slip) and the pivoting to Cold War 2.0, as in using Ukraine as a “new Vietnam” remix next door to Russia. And that’s also the crucial context for Obama’s Pax Americana Spring collection currently unrolling in selected Asian catwalks (Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Philippines). 

Obama’s Asia tour started this week in full regalia at the famed Jiro restaurant in Ginza, Tokyo, ingesting hopefully non-Fukushima radiated nigiri sushi (disclosure: I was there way back in 1998, when sushi master Jiro Ono was far from a celebrity and the sushi was far from atomic). Obama’s host, hardcore nationalist/militarist Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, obviously picked up the bill. But the real bill comes later, as in Japan bowing to strict US demands – on trade, investment, corporate law and intellectual property rights – embedded in the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is code for American Big Business finally cracking open the heavily protected Japanese market. 

Abe is a tough customer. His rhetoric is heavy on “escaping the post-war regime”, as in re-weaponizing Japan and not playing second fiddle militarily to Washington in Asia anymore. The Pentagon obviously has other ideas. Post-sushi at Jiro, what matters for Obama is to force Tokyo to bend over not only on TPP but also on keeping the weaponizing subordinated to the larger US agenda. 

Beijing, predictably, sees all that for what it really is, as expressed in this Xinhua op-ed; the actions of an “anachronistic”, “sclerotic” and “myopic” superpower that needs to “shake off its historical and philosophical shackles”. 

The Southeast Asia leg of the Spring collection tour is all about making sure to Malaysia and Philippines, not as strong militarily as Vietnam, that the US Navy will never be replaced as the hegemon in the South China Sea – or even allow China to reach parity with it. It’s at the heart of the “pivoting to Asia” as containment of China, whose aim is preventing China from becoming a naval power simultaneously in the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific. 

The Pentagon is predictably paranoid, accusing China of waging not only one but “three warfares” against the US. The fact is Beijing is developing a state-of-the-art underground base for 20 nuclear submarines in Hainan island just as Malaysia boosts its own submarine base in Borneo and the Philippines keeps imploring Washington for more planes, ships, airstrips and cyber capabilities as protection for what it regards as its absolute priority: explore for oil and gas in the West Philippine Sea to boost the economy. 

Radiate me with trade deals, baby
The Spring collection is far from derailing other pivoting – whose latest offering is the current “anti-terrorist” campaign in eastern Ukraine by the Kiev regime changers, which follows a most curious calendar. CIA’s John Brennan hits Kiev, and the regime changers launch their first war on terra. Dismal failure ensues. Vice President Joe Biden visits Kiev and the regime changers, right on cue, relaunch their war on terra. 

Thus the pivoting to Cold War 2.0 proceeds unabated, as in Washington working hard to build an iron curtain between Berlin and Moscow – preventing further trade integration across Eurasia – via instigation of a civil war in Ukraine. German Chancellor Angela Merkel remains on the spot: it’s either Atlantic high-fidelity or her Ostpolitik – and that’s exactly where Washington wants her. 

As for the batshit crazy factions fully deployed across the Beltway revolving door, everything goes, from “warning” China not to pull a Crimea to advocating war in Syria and even the North Atlantic Treaty Organization entering a nuclear war, as shown here by the appropriately denominated Anne Marie Slaughter. This is what she’s teaching her exceptionalist students at Princeton. 

How’s Beijing reacting to all this hysteria? Simple: by reaping dividends. Beijing wins with the US offensive trying to alienate Moscow from Western markets by getting a better pricing deal on the supply of Eastern Siberian gas. Beijing wins from the European Union’s fear of losing trade with Russia by negotiating a free-trade agreement with its largest trading partner, which happens to the be the EU. 

And then, the sterling example. Just compare Obama’s Spring collection tour, as a pivoting appendix, to the current tour of Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. It’s a business bonanza, focused on bilateral financing and, what else, trade deals. 

It’s all in the mix: Peruvian and Chilean copper; Brazilian iron and soybeans; support for Venezuelan social programs and energy development; support for Cuba in its interest for greater Chinese involvement in Venezuela, which supplies Cuba with subsidized energy. 

And all this against the background of a Beltway so excited that the Chinese economy is in deep trouble. It’s not – it grew at 7.4% year-on-year for the first quarter of 2014. Demand for iron and copper won’t significantly slow down – as the Beijing-driven urbanization drive has not even reached full speed. Same for soybeans – as millions of Chinese increasingly start eating meat on a regular basis (soybean products are a crucial feedstock). And, of course, Chinese companies will not losee their appetite for diversifying all across South America. 

For the large, upcoming Chinese middle class – on their way to becoming full-fledged members of the number one economic power in the world by 2018 – this Spring collection is a non-starter. He or she would rather hit Hong Kong and queue up in Canton Road to buy loads of Hermes and Prada – and then strategically celebrate with Jiro quality, non-Fukushima-radiated, sushi. 

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: A snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009). He may be reached at 

Front-page picture credit: AFP PHOTO/JAPAN POOL/Cabinet Public Relations Office 

(Copyright 2014 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.)  Fonte: Asia Times

Keiser Report: China Kicks US Buck (E596)


Publicado em 03/05/2014
In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss the $1 trillion humanitarian budget in America and the Roman precedent for it. They also discuss the new World Bank purchasing power parity estimates which see China’s economy surpassing America’s later this year, knocking the US economy off the top where it has been since 1872. In the second half, Max interviews Nafeez Ahmed about Tony ‘Blood for Oil’ Blair and the real reason for the American ‘humanitarian’ military missions to Europe, Asia and beyond