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Index July 2011

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2011-07-01: A World Overwhelmed By Western Hypocrisy;
2011-07-02: To the Limit;
2011-07-03: Kleptocratic capitalism: Challenges of the green economy for sustainable Africa;
2011-07-04: Neocons Want War and More War;
2011-07-05: French divided on DSK comeback;
2011-07-06: The potential balkanisation of Sudan and the role of meddlers;
2011-07-07: Annan Cites Africa as Answer to Global Food Crisis?
2011-07-08: World Bank told to stop lending to land grabbers – like Calyx Agro;
2011-07-09: Islam, Culture and Women;
2011-07-10: Who knows where this will all end for politics, the press and the police;
2011-07-11: Why QE2 Failed: The Money All Went Offshore;
2011-07-12: No Wonder Europe is Crashing;
2011-07-13: Voters to decide on cabinet election reform;
2011-07-14: China’s mountain of debt;
2011-07-15: Wall Street demands action on debt ceiling, deficit;
2011-07-16: Imperial Decline: Multi-Billion-Dollar Terrorists and the Disappearing Middle Class;
2011-07-17: The debt ceiling debate as viewed from Europe;
2011-07-18: Why Banks Aren’t Lending: The Silent Liquidity Squeeze;
2011-07-19: Ron Paul asks Ben Bernanke – Is Gold Money?
2011-07-20: The Deficit Battle;
2011-07-21: Why banks aren’t lending: The silent liquidity squeeze;
2011-07-22: From how could to how should: The possibility of trilateral cooperation;
2011-07-23: Costs of U.S. war on terror up to 4.4 trillion U.S. dollars, report;
2011-07-24: World in Transition;
2011-07-25: Somalia: the Real Causes of Famine;
2011-07-26: The world of dirty money;
2011-07-27: Why all the wrangling over the debt ceiling?
2011-07-28: A new wave of factory closures threatened in China;
2011-07-29: Fairer deals needed to ensure opportunity for locals;
2011-07-30: This Is What A Collapsing Ponzi Scheme Looks Like;
2011-07-31: It’s not a Debt Crisis. It’s Economic Genocide.

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It’s not a Debt Crisis. It’s Economic Genocide

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Linked on our blogs with Michael C. Ruppert, USA, and with Paul Craig Roberts, USA. – Published on Global Research.ca, by Larry Chin, July 29, 2011.

The grotesque political carnival gripping Washington is being referred to as a “ebt crisis. But the debt and the looming default of the United States are merely symptoms of the wider calamity that remains deliberately unaddressed.

This is a global collapse: the death and controlled demolition of a global capital system built on petroleum, political corruption, institutionalized fraud, the manufactured “war on terrorism”, the wholesale looting of taxpayer funds, and the imminent destruction of state social programs and civil society.  Continue Reading…

This Is What A Collapsing Ponzi Scheme Looks Like

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Housing Market Headed Off A Cliff. 10.8 Million Mortgages At Risk – Published on Global Research.ca, by David DeGraw, July 27, 2011.

You might want to sit down for this one. As bad as the housing crisis has been over the past three years, it has only been a warm up to what we have headed our way. Laurie Goodman, from Amherst Securities, has been tracking the housing market as well as anyone. She just presented her latest findings at the American Enterprise Institute and it is a horrific forecast, to say the least. As she puts it, “10.81 million homes are at risk of default over the next 6 years. Even if we try to be extremely conservative we can’t get the number below 8.7 million units”  … //    Continue Reading…

Fairer deals needed to ensure opportunity for locals

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Land grabs in agriculture: Fairer deals needed to ensure opportunity for locals

Linked on our blogs with Nourishing the Planet Agricultural Innovation Tour in Vietnam. – Published on Nourishing the Planet /Worldwatch Institute, July 26, 2011.

The trend of international land grabbing – when governments and private firms invest in or purchase large tracts of land in other countries for the purpose of agricultural production and export—can have serious environmental and social consequences, according to researchers at the Worldwatch Institute. Deals that focus solely on financial profit can leave rural populations more vulnerable and without land, employment opportunities, or food security. Continue Reading…

A new wave of factory closures threatened in China

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Published on WSWS, by John Chan, July 26, 2011.

The closure of two major plants in Dongguan—one of the key manufacturing hubs in southern China—is a sign that the government’s credit tightening policy to curb rampant real estate speculation is unexpectedly threatening a new round of factory closures.

The shutdown of the South Korean-owned Dongguan Soyea Toys in mid-July, one of the oldest toy factories in Dongguan, was a shock for Beijing. Soyea had been operating since 1992 and was a supplier to major American retailers. It went bankrupt, however, as export orders fell amid rising costs for inputs.  Continue Reading…

Why all the wrangling over the debt ceiling?

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A lesson for Obama fans – Published on Intrepid Report, by Ismael Hossein-zadeh, July 25, 2011.

In light of the fact that in the ongoing budget negotiations President Obama and the Republican leaders share the common objective of drastically cutting non-military social spending, all the bickering between the two sides seems somewhat puzzling. Considering that their targeted cuts in social spending are almost identical, why do they squabble so much?

In the days when the Democrats and Republicans had marginally different positions regarding fiscal policy, the debate between the two parties over budgetary issues was easy to understand. The Democrats would start from the center left, the Republicans from the center right, and they would usually end up at the center. It was a very subtle division of labor as the two sides provided political cover for each other’s positions or posturing. Continue Reading…

The world of dirty money

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Charles Abugre, July 21, 2011.

Charles Abugre introduces ‘the web of secrecy, collusions and the players that drive and sustain the world of illicit money flows’, with reference to the ongoing case of Kenyan public officials Chris Okemo and Samuel Gichuru and multinational corporation Alcatel-CIT.

… THE WORLD OF ILLICIT CAPITAL FLOWS – THE PERMISSIBLE CONDITIONS

I intend to draw out in greater detail the role of the key players that drive, sustain and thrive on illicit capital flows. In the concluding part I merely want to draw out briefly, some of the dynamics underpinning the world of dirty money flows.

1) POLITICIANS, BUNGA BUNGA PARTIES AND THE PEOPLE   Continue Reading…

Somalia: the Real Causes of Famine

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Published on Global Research.ca, by Michel Chossudovsky, July 21, 2011.

For the last twenty years, Somalia has been entangled in a “civil war” amidst the destruction of both its rural and urban economies. The country is now facing widespread famine.  According to reports, tens of thousands of people have died from malnutrition in the last few months. The lives of  several million people are threatened. The mainstream media casually attributes the famine to a severe drought without examining the broader causes.

An atmosphere of lawlessness, gang warfare and anarchy is also upheld as one of the major causes behind the famine. But who is behind the lawlessness and armed gangs? Somalia is categorized as a failed state, a country without a government. But how did it become a “failed state”? There is ample evidence of foreign intervention as well as covert support of armed militia groups. Triggering failed states is an integral part of US foreign policy. It is part of a military-intelligence agenda …//   Continue Reading…

World in Transition

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The strong have become weak, the weak have turned strongSpeech by Viktor Ofrban, Prime Minister of Hungary, at the China – Central and Eastern European Countries Economic and Trade Forum in Budapest, 27 June 2011 – Published on Current Concerns no. 10, July 19, 2011.

… The western financial-economic crisis and the ensuing economic lapse and stagnation have brought about a new world. The strong have become weak, the weak have turned strong. Transformation is happening in front of our eyes with astonishing speed. Within a short period of time it will be decided who will be on the winning and who will find themselves on the looser side of the transformation. Continue Reading…

Costs of U.S. war on terror up to 4.4 trillion U.S. dollars: report

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Published on Xinhuanet.com /english, June 29, 2011.

WASHINGTON, June 29 (Xinhua) — The United States could end up spending as much as 4.4 trillion dollars on wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, a new research report estimates.

Nearly 10 years after a U.S. declaration of a war on terror, wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan have cost the U.S. between 2.3 trillion dollars to 2.7 trillion dollars, according to the report from Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies.  Continue Reading…

From how could to how should: The possibility of trilateral cooperation

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Li Anshan, July 13, 2011.

Through reference to the history of Chinese medical assistance across the African continent, Li Anshan considers the differences in approaches and understandings behind Western and Chinese ‘aid’ and the scope for potential trilateral (West–China–Africa) cooperation.

Recently, there has been an increasing call from the West for a so-called ‘trilateral cooperation’, e.g., West–China–Africa cooperation. I was invited to several conferences, seminars or workshops on the issue, especially on aid, such as ‘China’s emerging global health and foreign aid engagement’, held in Beijing (25 May), the international symposium ‘Styles of foreign assistance’ in Seoul (26–28 May) and China–DAC policy symposium on ‘Economic transformation and poverty reduction: How it happened in China, helping it happen in Africa’ in Beijing (8–9 June).   Continue Reading…

Why banks aren’t lending: The silent liquidity squeeze

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Published on Intrepid Report, by Ellen Brown, July 20, 2011.

Where did all the jobs go? Small and medium-sized businesses are the major source of new job creation, and they are not hiring. Startup businesses, which contribute a fifth of the nation’s new jobs, often can’t even get off the ground. Why?

In a June 30 article in the Wall Street Journal, titled Smaller Businesses Seeking Loans Still Come Up Empty, Emily Maltby reported that business owners rank access to capital as the most important issue facing them today; and only 17 percent of smaller businesses said they were able to land needed bank financing. Businesses have to pay for workers and materials before they can get paid for the products they produce, and for that they need bank credit; but they are reporting that their credit lines are being cut.  Continue Reading…

The Deficit Battle

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A battle between two sides, neither of which truly represents the interests of working people – Published on Global Research.ca, by Prof. Martin Hart-Landsberg, July 18, 2011.

… Deficit Reduction: Through Spending Cuts or Tax Increases:

Most of those who demand deficit reduction primarily through spending cuts have as their real goal a further weakening of the public sector and our social programs even though they claim that their only motivation is to do what is best for job creation. If we agree that drastic action must be taken to reduce the deficit (to be discussed more below), we face a basic choice: maintain taxes and cut government spending or maintain spending and raise taxes. Cutting public spending pulls money out of the economy, costing jobs. So does raising taxes. The question is whether we lose more jobs cutting spending or raising taxes.   Continue Reading…

Ron Paul asks Ben Bernanke – Is Gold Money?

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Watch this video published on YouTube: Congressman Ron Paul questions Fed Chair Ben Bernanke in the U.S. House Financial Services Committee meeting, 5.31 min, July 13, 2011: The FED is considering another round of money printing; QE3;

Same in german: Ron Paul gegen Ben Bernanke: Ist Gold Geld, 5.33 min, 16. Juli 2011:
Der texanische Kongressabgeordnete Ron Paul befragte Ben Bernanke am 13. Juli im Rahmen einer Anhörung des Finanzausschusses, kurz nachdem bekannt geworden war, dass sich die Federal Reserve auf eine dritte Runde der »Quantitativen Lockerung« (QE) vorbereite.  Continue Reading…

Why Banks Aren’t Lending: The Silent Liquidity Squeeze

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Published on Global Research.ca, by Elen Brown, July 15, 2011.

Where did all the jobs go?  Small and medium-sized businesses are the major source of new job creation, and they are not hiring.  Startup businesses, which contribute a fifth of the nation’s new jobs, often can’t even get off the ground.  Why?

In a June 30 article in the Wall Street Journal titled “Smaller Businesses Seeking Loans Still Come Up Empty,” Emily Maltby reported that business owners rank access to capital as the most important issue facing them today; and only 17% of smaller businesses said they were able to land needed bank financing.  Businesses have to pay for workers and materials before they can get paid for the products they produce, and for that they need bank credit; but they are reporting that their credit lines are being cut.  Continue Reading…

The debt ceiling debate as viewed from Europe

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Published on naked capitalism, July 15, 2011.

Here’s what Germany’s largest daily newspaper Bild Zeitung has to say about the politics in the US around the debt ceiling:

“Playing poker is part of politics, as is theatrical posturing. That’s fair enough. But what America is currently exhibiting is the worst kind of absurd theatrics. And the whole world is being held hostage … //

… The conservative daily Die Welt writes disparagingly:  Continue Reading…

Imperial Decline: Multi-Billion-Dollar Terrorists and the Disappearing Middle Class

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Linked on our blogs with James Petras, USA. – Published on Global Research.ca, by Prof. James Petras, July 10, 2011.

The US government (White House and Congress) spends $10 billion dollars a month, or $120 billion a year, to fight an estimated “50 -75 ‘Al Qaeda types’ in Afghanistan ”, according to the CIA and quoted in the Financial Times of London (6/25 -26/11, p. 5). During the past 30 months of the Obama presidency, Washington has spent $300 billion dollars in Afghanistan, which adds up to $4 billion dollars for each alleged ‘Al Queda type’. If we multiply this by the two dozen or so sites and countries where the White House claims ‘Al Qaeda’ terrorists have been spotted, we begin to understand why the US budget deficit has grown astronomically to over $1.6 trillion for the current fiscal year.  Continue Reading…

Wall Street demands action on debt ceiling, deficit

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Published on World Socialist Web Site WSWS, by Patrick Martin, July 14, 2011.

Representatives of the Wall Street financial oligarchy are laying down the law to the Obama administration and Congress, demanding speedy action to raise the federal debt ceiling before an August 2 deadline, and massive cuts in spending on social programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, to slash the federal deficit.

Moody’s Investor Service put the Aaa bond rating of the US government on review for a possible downgrade Wednesday, the first time such a step has been taken by any of the bond rating agencies. A statement from Moody’s—which has spearheaded demands for austerity and budget cuts in Europe as well—warned of a “rising possibility that the statutory debt limit will not be raised on a timely basis, leading to a default on US Treasury debt obligations” … //  Continue Reading…

China’s mountain of debt

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Published on WSWS, by John Chan, July 12, 2011.

For nearly three years, China with its rapid growth rates has appeared to avoid the worst global economic crisis since the 1930s. However, the very means used by Beijing to stave off a slump—cheap credit and huge stimulus packages—have generated bad debts that threaten to create new financial and economic instability in China and internationally.

The debt is centred in local governments that have borrowed heavily to invest in property and infrastructure. The first-ever statistics on local government debt released by the National Audit Office (NAO) at the end of June found staggering liabilities of 10.7 trillion yuan or $US1.65 trillion—equivalent to around 27 percent of the country’s GDP in 2010.  Continue Reading…

Voters to decide on cabinet election reform

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Published on SwissInfo.ch, by Urs Geiser, July 7, 2011.

An initiative aimed at limiting parliament’s powers and letting citizens select members of the Swiss cabinet has collected enough signatures to force a nationwide vote.

The proposal, launched by members of the rightwing Swiss People’s Party, also has its supporters among the centre-left. Opinions among political scientists are divided.   Continue Reading…

No Wonder Europe is Crashing

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Published on Washington’s Blog, by blog owner, July 10, 2011.

I’m reposting this essay from last year in light of the Italian, Greek, Portuguese and other European debt crises. For background on the Italian economic crisis which is front-page news today, see this, this and this. In addition, … keep in mind that failure to prosecute fraud is another major reason that Europe is crashing … And economics professor Michael Hudson says … (watch the video … and continue listening the other videos coming automatically, if you remain on the page)  … (full long article with many more links).

(My only comment about this huge mess: … what here is running is the elimination of the stupids, otherwise called natural selection).

Why QE2 Failed: The Money All Went Offshore

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  • (Quantitative easing QE.
  • QE2:  The expression ‘QE2′ has become a “ubiquitous nickname” in 2010, usually used to refer to a second round of quantitative easing by central banks.[42] It was first used,[citation needed] however, by Richard Werner live on CNBC on 22 September 2009. He argued that ‘true quantitative easing’ was needed, namely an expansion in productive credit creation. This required a second attempt by central banks, “a kind of QE2″.[43] Meanwhile, the expression is today mainly used to refer to a second round of what Prof. Werner would consider the ‘wrong type’ of QE).

Published on Global Research.ca, by Ellen Brown, July 9, 2011.

On June 30, QE2 ended with a whimper.  The Fed’s second round of “quantitative easing” involved $600 billion created with a computer keystroke for the purchase of long-term government bonds.  But the government never actually got the money, which went straight into the reserve accounts of banks, where it still sits today.  Worse, it went into the reserve accounts of FOREIGN banks, on which the Federal Reserve is now paying 0.25% interest … //  Continue Reading…

Who knows where this will all end for politics, the press and the police

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Published on Coffee House /the spectator blog, by JAMES FORSYTH, July 9, 2011.

Rarely has that old adage that week is a long time in politics seemed more appropriate. Seven days ago, few of us would have predicted that we would be in the middle of a crisis that could dramatically effect how politics is run, the press are regulated and the standing of the police.

This morning is probably one of those days when, to borrow his joke from yesterday, David Cameron wants to shut down all the newspapers. The Mail and The Telegraph lay into him for his call to end self-regulation of the press. Indeed, their editorials on the matter speak to a broader anger in both papers that despite them having supported the Tories through the thin years of opposition, it is—or was—News International who gets the red carpet treatment from the Tory leadership … //  Continue Reading…

Islam, Culture and Women

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Linked on our blogs with IslamForToday.com. -  Published on IslamForToday.com, by Ruqaiyyah Waris Maqsood, not dated.

How can anyone justify Islam’s treatment of women, when it imprisons Afghans under blue shuttlecock burqas and makes Pakistani girls marry strangers against their will?

How can you respect a religion that forces women into polygamous marriages, mutilates their genitals, forbids them to drive cars and subjects them to the humiliation of “instant” divorce? In fact, none of these practices are Islamic at all.

Anyone wishing to understand Islam must first separate the religion from the cultural norms and style of a society. Female genital mutilation is still practised in certain pockets of Africa and Egypt, but viewed as an inconceivable horror by the vast majority of Muslims. Forced marriages may still take place in certain Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities, but would be anathema to Muslim women from other backgrounds.  Continue Reading…

World Bank told to stop lending to land grabbers – like Calyx Agro

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Published on Food Crisis and the Global Land Grab, June 30, 2011.

Civil society organisations* from Latin America, Europe and around the world have issued an open letter calling on the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation to reject a proposal to finance Calyx Agro, a company that acquires farmland in Latin America on behalf of wealthy foreign investors. Calyx Agro is a subsidiary of Louis Dreyfus, one of the world’s biggest commodity traders. The World Bank is considering a loan of up US$30 million to help Calyx Agro expand its operations in Latin America.

The letter also denounces the Bank for its on-going support to other leading investors involved in land grabbing around the world. Continue Reading…

Annan Cites Africa as Answer to Global Food Crisis‎

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Published on Wall Street Journal /Blog, by Caroline Henshaw, June 27, 2011.

The number of hungry people in the world is set to top one billion again this year as rising food prices push millions more into poverty, the former secretary general of the United Nations warned Saturday.

Speaking at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, Kofi Annan said the increasing gap between population and food production growth may turn this year’s food security crisis into a permanent disaster.

“Delivering global food and nutrition security is the challenge of our time,” Mr. Annan said, echoing much of the rhetoric that surrounded the meeting of the Group of 20 agriculture ministers last week.  Continue Reading…

The potential balkanisation of Sudan and the role of meddlers

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Yohannes Woldemariam, June 30, 2011.

There’s clear consensus that defining and demarcating the border between North and South Sudan is a necessary precondition for peace. But deploying Ethiopian peace-keepers to Abyei is simply a ‘band-aid’ that ‘would not help peace and may even make things worse by intensifying regional rivalry,’ writes Yohannes Woldemariam, given the Ethiopian government’s lack of neutrality in Sudan.

In this article, I want to address two issues: The potential balkanisation of the Sudan and the proposed Ethiopian Peacekeeping role in Abyei.   Continue Reading…

French divided on DSK comeback

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Linked on our blogs with Quo Vadis, les PS de l’Europe de l’Ouest … en Suisse … en France … .

Published on 9&10 news, July 3, 2011.

… PARIS (AP) — A new poll suggests France is divided over whether Dominique Strauss-Kahn should re-enter French politics. The former International Monetary Fund chief was freed from house arrest last week after prosecutors acknowledged problems in the sexual assault case against him. Forty-nine percent of those surveyed in a poll for the French newspaper Le Parisien responded ‘yes’ when asked if they wanted to see a Strauss-Kahn comeback, while 45 percent said ‘no’ … (full text).   Continue Reading…

Neocons Want War and More War

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Published on Consortiumnews.com, by Robert Parry, July 2, 2011.

… Crumbling Wall:

Despite the supposed “wall” between news and opinions, the Times news columns also have taken on a decidedly neocon bent under the eight-year reign of executive editor Bill Keller, who got the Times’s top news job in 2003 after getting the Iraq WMD issue totally wrong.

In the heady days after Colin Powell’s UN speech, Keller penned an article for the Times magazine entitled “The I-Can’t-Believe-I’m-a-Hawk Club” embracing nearly every major lie told by the Bush administration to justify war. But Keller not only escaped any accountability, he was awarded the executive editor’s slot, arguably the most prestigious job in U.S. journalism.  Continue Reading…

Kleptocratic capitalism: Challenges of the green economy for sustainable Africa

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Yash Tandon, June 30, 2011.

Africa remains at the mercy of a self-interested international ruling class interested purely in maximising profit at all costs and consolidating its position, writes Yash Tandon. As the continent faces up to the enormous challenge of climate change and the creation of a sustainable ‘green economy’, it must look inwards and draw upon its own expertise and resources and resist the temptation to rely on compromised external ‘experts’, Tandon stresses … //

… AFRICA UNDERMINED:

Africa has been one of the major resource providers of global kleptocratic capitalism. By means of the so-called ‘development aid’ and FDIs, Africa’s resources are exploited to sustain ‘the system’. In real terms the investments and ‘aid’ are a gigantic credit system that creates a mountain of debt which Africa has been paying in the form of transfer of real values – coffee, cocoa, cotton, cobalt, platinum, gold, chromium, manganese, uranium and titanium, to name but a few. (Africa holds 90 per cent of the world’s deposits of cobalt, 90 per cent of its platinum, 50 per cent of its gold, 98 per cent of its chromium, 64 per cent of its manganese, 33 per cent of its uranium and 80 per cent of its columbite-tantalite).   Continue Reading…

To the Limit

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Published on The New York Times, by PAUL KRUGMAN, June 30, 2011.

In about a month, if nothing is done, the federal government will hit its legal debt limit. There will be dire consequences if this limit isn’t raised. At best, we’ll suffer an economic slowdown; at worst we’ll plunge back into the depths of the 2008-9 financial crisis.

So is a failure to raise the debt ceiling unthinkable? Not at all … //

… Last December, after Mr. Obama agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts — a move that many people, myself included, viewed as in effect a concession to Republican blackmail — Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic asked why the deal hadn’t included a rise in the debt limit, so as to forestall another hostage situation (my words, not Mr. Ambinder’s). Continue Reading…

A World Overwhelmed By Western Hypocrisy

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Published on Global Rexsearch.ca, by Paul Craig Roberts, June 29, 2011.

Western institutions have become caricatures of hypocrisy.

The International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank are violating their charters in order to bail out French, German, and Dutch private banks. The IMF is only empowered to make balance of payments loans, but is lending to the Greek government for prohibited budgetary reasons in order that the Greek government can pay the banks. The ECB is prohibited from bailing out member country governments, but is doing so anyway in order that the banks can be paid.  The German parliament approved the bailout, which violates provisions of the European Treaty and Germany’s own Basic Law. The case is in the German Constitutional Court, a fact unreported in the US media … //  Continue Reading…