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Occupy the SEC Discusses Volcker Rule on RT

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It’s always a pleasant surprise to see a TV program have a long form discussion on a fairly technical topic. Readers should enjoy the RT interview of Caitlin Kline and Alexis Goldstein of Occupy the SEC on its Volcker Rule comments. They discussed the major areas they were concerned with and some loopholes in the draft regulations.

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24 comments

  1. CM

    Her RT presentation is sort of over-the-top, but I have to say, it sad to compare current US media to Pravda of the late 80′s.

    I don’t see whole lot of difference between Pravda & current US media.

    1. Murky

      CM said,

      “I don’t see whole lot of difference between Pravda & current US media.”

      Sir, I doubt you have ever read Pravda. I’ve read it on many occasions in the original Russian. Here what you got when you read Pravda. It short summary, it was an instruction sheet for managers and communist party members, extolling the worker’s paradise on every frigging page. After digesting Pravda, you could recite all the politically correct opinions without ever having to think. The ideological warp of this early Soviet era publication was in fact so thick, and so unpalatable, that even the Soviets gagged on it and had to modernize other of their media apparatus in the early 60′s. So they created the Novosti news agency and modeled it on western style reporting. Novosti dropped the kill-em-with-slogans approach to news reporting. The RT (Russia Today) network, which featured this Occupy SEC clip, is an offshoot of Novosti. Some of their reporting nowadays is entirely tolerable. As for the Occupy SEC interview itself, I rather liked how the two young women identified specific loopholes in the Banker’s edition of the Volcker rule. You, on the other hand discredit the interview, entirely because it was carried on a Russian news network. And your likening the US media to Pravda is quite ludicrous; even the clearly slanted political spin of US news networks can never hope to rise to the gross and systematic distortions perpetrated by Stalin’s murderous regime. Read Czesław Miłosz’s The Captive Mind, you will never complain of propaganda from US news media ever again.

  2. temp

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-23/banks-lobbied-to-widen-volcker-rule-before-inciting-foreigners-against-law.html

    “U.S. banks pushed regulators to widen proposed restrictions on trading and hedge-fund ownership by foreign firms, then encouraged governments around the world to complain about the rule’s reach.

    (…)

    The agencies (the Fed, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Securities and Exchange Commission), which are sifting through more than 300 comments on the proposal, face a July 20 deadline when the Volcker rule is scheduled to go into effect.

    The rule, designed to keep banks from taking excessive risks, attempts to prevent them from using their own money to make short-term bets while allowing them to buy and hold securities temporarily in anticipation of future customer demand for the trade.

    Foreign banks, like their U.S. rivals, will have to prove that their buying and selling amounts to market-making for clients, not proprietary trading.

    They also can’t own more than a 3 percent stake in any hedge funds or private-equity funds that do business with U.S. residents, which would rule out most such investments, bankers and lobbyists say. (…)

    A study (…) showed that increasing liquidity in financial markets over the past 140 years has made it costlier for companies to borrow or raise capital: more trading activity results in a transfer of economic resources to the financial industry.

    The international outcry, while it may help U.S. banks make their case for revising the Volcker rule, won’t undermine its basic premise, said (…) a former bank supervisor.

    A similar global campaign against capital rules proposed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision in 2010 didn’t deter regulators from going ahead.”

    English translation, please. :)

    1. diptherio

      The banks don’t want the Volcker rule, period. One way of fighting the regulation is by having it altered in such a way as to give it more enemies. With enough resistancee, the regulators may make concessions across the board and allow enforcement of the rule to be lax. If the reg is not changed to apply to foreign banks then the domestic banks can argue that they are being unfairly restrained from profitable activities that are allowed to foreigners. If the reg is changed to apply to all, then our banks’ foreign competitors will have been harmed to some extent, which is a benefit for the domestics. So, first you lobby for the change that harms your competitors and then you lobby your competitors to complain. Clever strategy (but not that clever).

      Whatever happens, the rule is already eviscerated. As the two Occupiers said, the claim of market-making will be difficult to falsify, allowing prop-trading to continue under a new name. And we shouldn’t be surprised that the price of financial services has been inflating wildly. Isn’t that what we expect when a market is flooded with easy money? Isn’t that what drives bubbles?

      1. EH

        And we shouldn’t be surprised that the price of financial services has been inflating wildly. Isn’t that what we expect when a market is flooded with easy money?

        Could be extinction behavior, which commonly results in an increase in the problematic behavior just before they have to quit. That is, it could be anticipatory, getting theirs while the getting is still good.

    2. Lauren

      Temp – regarding that Bloomberg article on the banks pushing regulators to widen the regulations and then lobbying foreign governments to oppose them – I did a segment on our show about this so this may help you and offer an example of what’s going on…

      http://www.youtube.com/capitalaccount#p/a/u/1/cfI9IqybLME

      Also – regarding the MSM and these Occupy SEC activists, I do have to give props to Up with Chris on MSNBC – he had Alexis Goldstein on his show on Sunday. It was a great interview:
      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/46446446#46446446

    3. craazyman

      yes it seems the epicenter of this entire mental disorder is the deification of liquidity.

      That deification provides the moral energy, the requisite ethical foundation, that powers the psychic camouflage needed to hide the mental illness evident in turning 20 pages of common sense into 500 pages of evasive, predatory and cannibalistic obfuscation

      I wish I had my Albert Camus Droid app handy right now so I could point my phone at this thread, push the GO button and pull up some apposite quote from THE REBEL where the Master lays it all out for us.

      This truly is a form of the “crimes of logic” that he articulates in his prologue, I believe. The nihilistic denial of present reality in favor of some transcendent and a-historical absolute of perfection — where liquidity will permit trading in any volume at any time night or day, and everything will be as efficient on earth as it is in heaven, and mankind will walk among the gods. But first we have to do the dirty work to make straight the way of the Liquidity Lord of Lord, even if it takes 500 pages of insanity. hahaha. ecce homo said Fred.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        “THE REBEL” by Albert Camus, translated from the Frenche (L’Homme Revolte) by Anthony Bower (New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1954. Printed in Great Britain in 12 on 13 point Bembo type by Unwin Brothers Limited, Woking and London), Introduction:

        “There are crimes of passion and crimes of logic. The line that divides them is not clear. But the Penal Code distinguishes between them by the useful concept of premeditation. We are living in the era of premeditation and perfect crimes. Our criminals are no longer those helpless children who pleaded love as their excuse. On the contrary, they are adults, and they have a perfect alibi: philosophy, which can be used for anything, even for transforming murderers into judges.

        “…The purpose of this essay is once more to accept the reality of to-day, which is logical crime, and to examine meticulously the arguments b whcih it is sustained. it is an attempt to understand the time I live in. One might think that a period which, within fifty years, uproots, enslaves or kills seventy million human beings, should only, forthwith, be condemned. But also its guild must be understood. In more ingenuous times, when the tyrant razed cities for his own greater glory, when the slave chained to the conqueror’s chariot was dragged through the rejoicing streets, when enemies were thrown to wild animals in front of the assembled people, before such naked crimes consciousness could be steady and judgment unclouded. But slave camps under the flag of freedom, massacre justified by philanthropy or the taste for the superhuman, cripple judgment. On the day when crime puts on the apparel of innocence, through a curious reversal peculiar to our age, it is innocence that is called on to justify itself….

        “Thirty years ago, before making the decision to kill, it was the custom to repudiate many things to the point of repudiating oneself by suicide. God is a cheat; the whole world (including myself) is a cheat; therefore I choose to die; suicide was the question then. But Ideology, a contemporary phenomenon, limits itself to repudiating other people; they alone are the cheats This leads to murder….

        The absurdist method, like that of systematic doubt, has wiped the slate clean. It leaves us in a blind alley. But, like the method of doubt, it can, by returning upon itself, disclose a new field of investigation….The first, and only, datum that is furnished me, within absurdist experience, is rebellion….REBELLION arises from the spectacle of the irrational coupled with an unjust and incomprehensible condition. But its blind impetus clamours for order in the midst of chaos, and for unity in the very heart of the ephemeral. It protests, it demands, it insists the outrage come to an end, that there be built upon rock what until now was written unceasingly upon waters. Its aim is to transform. But to transform is to act, and to act, nowadays, is to kill while it still does not know if murder is legitimate. Hence it is absolutely necessary that rebellion derive its justifications from itself, since it has nothing else to derive them from. It must consent to study itself in order to learn how to act.

        “Two centuries of rebellion, metaphysical and historical, present themselves for our consideration. Only a historian could undertake to set forth in detail the doctrines and movements that followed one another during these centuries. But at least it ought to be possible to find a guiding thread…” (pp. 11-16).

        The LAST paragraph, the ultimate summary, of this book follows as a Reply.

        “In any case we

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          CONTINUED from: Albert Camus: “THE REBEL” – tr. Anthony Bower – (New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1954); final summary: last paragraph of Part V: “THOUGHT AT THE MERIDIAN: Beyond Nihilism”:

          “In this noon of thought, the rebel thus disclaims divinity in order to share in the struggles and destiny of all men. We shall choose Ithaca, the faithful land, frugal and audacious thought, lucid action, the generosity of the man who understands. In the light, the earth remains our first and our last love. Our brothers are breathing under the same sky; justice is a living think. Now is born that strange joy which helps one live and die, and which we shall never agin renounce to a later time. On the sorrowing earth it is the unresting thorn, the bitter food, the harsh wind off the sea, the ancient dawn forever renewed. With this joy, through long struggle, we shall remake the soul of our time, and a Europe which will exclude nothing Not even the phantom Nietzsche who, for twelve years after his downfall, was continually invoked by the West as the ruined image of its loftiest knowledge and its nihilism; nor the prophet of justice without mercy who rests, by mistake, in the unbelievers’ plot at Highgate Cemetery; nor the deified mummy of the man of action in his glass coffin; nor any part of what the intelligence and energy of Europe have ceaselessly furnished to the pride of a contemptible period. All may indeed live again, side by side the the martyrs of 1905, but on condition that they shall understand how they correct one another, and that a limit, under the sun, shall curb them all. Each tells the other THAT HE IS NOT GOD; this is the END of ROMANTICISM. At this moment, when each of us must fit an arrow to his bow and enter the lists anew, to reconquer, within history and in spite of it, that which he owns already, the thin yield of his fields, the brief love of this earth, at this moment when at last a man is born, IT IS TIME TO FORSAKE OUR AGE and its ADOLESCENT RAGES. The bow bends; the wood complains. At the moment of supreme tension, there will leap into flight an unswerving arrow, a shaft that is inflexible and free.” (caps mine, p. 273)

          Other works by ALBERT CAMUS are recommended–esp. “The Fall”/”La Chute” for its recognition of common guilt in the formation of such as Holy Roman Reich III (Hitler’s “Third Reich”).

          NC REBELS–supporters of fellow rebels against tyranny today in the *Occupy Movement*–why don’t we look to CAMUS for inspiration, instead of being PUSHED into unknowns by the EXCESSIVELY AMBITIOUS MR. GRAEBER, who continually seeks to position himself as the *Author* of this Movement? Did Graeber invent Rebellion, which defines the *Occupy Movement*?

          Must We the People the Rebels bow to such self-annointed grasping *Authorities* and not assert our own Authority, our own Agency, as Rebels against the dead hand of Tyranny in our time, of the eternal .01% Global Reich and its trickle-down .99% Agency in new clothes?

          May the *Occupy Movement* develop its own Rebellion against Old Guard Authority, no matter what our age, gender, creed, or *color*. Do we really need self-appointed *Official Captains* of the Movement who are personally ambitious to *take credit* and be *heroes*? Are they credible as our leaders? Let’s reject their vanity, and endorse the *humble servants” of the Cause of Truth/Reality and Justice for We the People:

          BILL BLACK/YVES SMITH 2012: WE THE PEOPLE: JUSTICE NOW

          If not now, when?

  3. diptherio

    As a soviet man said to his western friend when his friend asked him how he kept up on current events, given that all he had to read was that propaganda-filled rag Pravda, “You just have to know *how* to read it.”

    A shame that here in the US most are still taking the mainstream media’s pronouncements and coverage at face-value.

    A very good showing for the Occupy movement. I wonder why these two (or other Occupy the SEC members) haven’t been making the rounds of all the big financial news shows. Why is this only on RT? Perhaps CNN et al think the image of occupiers as dirty hippies/masked nihilists is more useful than that of intelligent, educated, well-dressed finance professionals. Or am I waxing too conspiritorial?

    1. Neo-Realist

      “Why is this only on RT? Perhaps CNN et al think the image of occupiers as dirty hippies/masked nihilists is more useful than that of intelligent, educated, well-dressed finance professionals.”

      Bingo

  4. Susan the other

    I like Lauren Lyster. She asks good questions. And she can pronounce Schauble. 500 pp of regulations is outrageous. We should ask Congress for the “20 pp or Less Rule.” I thought Goldstein and Kline were very professional. And their explanations were clear. When they referred to the bigs’ anti competitive practices they really touched a nerve. That is the big banks’ Achilles heel. Why we can’t get the Banking Committee to favor small banks is a true puzzle because that is where the solution lies. I watched to the end of the video and the talk about the technocrats taking over Greece becoming a possible trend. And then my brain went all conspiracy. This is exactly how capitalism replaces democratic government.

  5. LeonovaBalletRusse

    NC readers, is it time to refresh our memories?

    “Volcker’s shock medicine was imposed on a desperate and ignorant President Carter, who in March 1980 willingly signed an extraordinary piece of legislation, the ‘Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980. This law empowered Volcker’s Federal Reserve to impose reserve requirements on banks, even if not in the Federal Reserve system, INCLUDING Savings & Loan banks, ensuring Volcker’s credit choke succeeded in cutting the flow of credit sufficiently. In addition, the new law phased out all legal ceilings on interest rates which banks could charge customers under what the Federal Reserve called ‘Regulation Q,’ as well as repealing all state laws which had set interest rate limits, the so-called anti-usury laws.

    “The sky was to be the interest rate limit under the religious dogma of the new Anglo-American monetarism; Money was to be King, and the world its dutiful servant. Or at least, the dutiful payer of usurious interest rates to the banks of London and New York.

    “Devastated by this Thatcher-Volcker policy offensive in the early 1980s, was long-term government-funded infrastructure and capital investment such as railroad, highway, bridge, sewer, electricity plant construction….The world production of steel, shipping ton-miles and other indicators of REAL physical economic flows, reflected the catastrophic Anglo-American monetary shock policy….

    “The new ‘conservative’ Republican president, a former Hollywood movie actor named Ronald Reagan, had little difficulty backing the Volcker SHOCK treatment. Reagan had been tutored while Governor or California, by the guru of monetarism, Mont Pelerin economist, Milton Friedman….

    “One of Reagan’s first acts as President in early 1981 was to use his powers of office to dissolve the trade union of the airline traffic controllers, PATCO. This served to signal other unions not to attempt to seek relief from the soaring interest rates. Reagan was mesmerized by the same ideological zeal to ‘sqeeze inflation out as was his conservative British counterpart, Thatcher….

    “This entire radical monetarist construct advanced in the early 1980′s, first by the British Regime of Thatcher and soon after by the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Reagan Administration, was one of the most cruel economic frauds ever perpetrated. But its aim was other than what its ideological ‘supply-side’ economics advocates claimed.

    “The powerful liberal establishment [under *ultraconservative* Thatcher and Reagan] circles of the City of London and New York were determined to use the same radical measures earlier imposed by Friedman to break the economy of CHILE under Pinochet’s military dictatorship, this time, in order to inflict a devastating second blow against long-term industrial and infrastructure investment in the entire world economy. The relative power of Anglo-American finance was thus to become again hegemonic, they reasoned.

    “What was to follow in the decade of the 1980′s would appear inconceivable to a world which had not already been STUNNED and disoriented by the SHOCKS of the 1970′s.” (caps mine, pp. 219-221)

    Chapter 11: “Imposing the New World Order” — “A CENTURY OF WAR: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order” – New Edition -by F. William Engdahl (2011: edition.engdahl, Wiesbaden; 1992, 2004)

    Engdahl’s words on the Volcker-Kissinger SHOCK DOCTRINE” to be continued.

    “It would not exaggerate to say there would not have been a Third World debt crisis during the past decade, had there not been Margaret Thatcher’s and Paul Volcker’s radical monetary shock policies.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      *Engdahl* continued, from p. 221:

      “It would not exaggerate to say there would not have been a Third World debt crisis, during the past decade, had there not been Margaret Thatcher’s and Paul Volcker’s radical monetary shock policies. …

      “As noted earlier, as early as 1973 the Anglo-American financial insiders of the Bilderberg group had discussed using the major private commercial banks of New York and London, in the London-centered EURODOLLAR market, to recycle what Henry Kissinger and others referred t as the new OPEC petro-dollar SURPLUSES. The sudden glut of new OPEC oil funds, which was steered into the London Eurodollar banks during the oil shocks of the 1970s, was to be the source of the greatest unregulated lending spree since the 1920′s.

      “LONDON had evolved as the geographical CENTER for this EURODOLLAR ‘offshore’ market, because the Bank of England over a period since the 1960′s, had made it clear it would NOT attempt to REGULATE or control the flows of foreign currencies in the London Eurodollar banking market. It was part of the STRATEGY of reconstructing the City of London as the CENTER of world finance. This meant .. .that the billions of dollars flowing OUT of London-based EURODOLLAR banks TO the accounts of DEVELOPING country borrowers during the 1970′s, had NO ‘LENDER OF LAST RESORT’ IN EVENT OF A DEFAULT. NO single SOVEREIGN GOVERNMENT was LEGALLY BOUND to MAKE GOOD the losses in event of a major default on the BANK LOANS.

      “A crucial feature of these PRIVATE EURODOLLAR LOANS to developing countries was ignored in the aftermath of the first oil shock. Manufacturers HANOVER Trust of New York, a major EURODOLLAR bank, had pioneered the PETRODOLLAR recycling of huge sums to DEVELOPING countries such as Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, even Poland and Yugoslavia…. the Anglo-American bank syndicates EXTRACTED a little-noticed concession….All EURODOLLAR LOANS to these countries were FIXED at a specific premium over whatever the given London Inter-bank Offered Rate (LIBOR was. Before the summer of 1979, this seemed an innocuous precondition to borrow needed funds to finance oil deficits.

      “But with the application of the Thatcher government’s interest rate monetary SHOCK beginning June 1979, followed that October by the same policy from Paul Volcker’s Federal Reserve, the interest rate burdens of Third World debt compounded OVERNIGHT, as London interest rates climbed from an average of 7% in early 1978, to almost 20% on the London Eurodollar market by early 1980.

      “With this one factor alone, Third World debtor countries would have collapsed into DEFAULT as the altered debt service conditions imposed on them by the CREDITOR BANKS added an UNPAYABLE new amount to their previous ONEROUS debt burden. But what was most unsettling were the UNCANY PARALLELS of policy then imposed by the leading London and New York bankers, virtually letter-by-letter a RERUN of the SAME BANKS’ VERSAILLES WAR REPARATIONS DEBT recycling FOLLY of the 1920′s, which collapsed into chaos in October 1929, with the crash of the New York Stock Market.

      “Third World debtor countries began to get squeezed in teh blades of a vicious scissors ["pincer movement?"] of deteriorating terms of trade for their commodity exports, falling export earnings, and a soaring debt service ratio. This in short, was what Washington and London preferred to call the ‘Third World debt crisis.’ But the crisis had been MADE IN LONDON, NEW YORK and in WASHINGTON, not in Mexico City, Brasilia, Buenos Aires, Lagos, or Warsaw.

      “Events came to a PREDICTABLE head during the summer of 1982.” (caps mine, apart from OPEC and LIBOR, pp. 222-224)

      Chapter 11: “Imposing the New World Order” – “A CENTURY OF WAR: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order” – New Edition – by F. William Engdahl (2011: editions.engdahl, Wiesbaden; 1992, 2004).

      DOES ANYONE see a PATTERN repeating here with the PIIGS v. the POWER? Might this history connect with recent LIBOR scandal? What role have Paul Volcker and Henry Kissinger played with the British *Crown* since 2008?

      In Chapters 11 and 12, Engdahl continues to demonstrate how this PATTERN presents itself time and time again–theme et variation–through the destruction of the threatening REAL economies of Mexico, the USSR including the prosperous Ukraine, and beyond, FORCING them to become *dollar States*.

      PLEASE INVESTIGATE THIS ENGDAHL BOOK ON YOUR OWN, profiting the writer who has so much hard-earned light to shed on the CURRENT catastrophe unfolding in *Euroland*.

      Don’t these *tailor-made* PATTERNS–from set-up to *unintended consequences*–indicate the playing out of the same CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY from country to country over time? Bring RICO. Cry TREASON.

      HOW might the address of Lord James of Blackheath in the House of Lords on 16 February 2012 be connected with the *tailor-made* PATTERNS that have evolved from the UR-PATTERN–of Imperial looting, grand larceny, currency manipulation, embezzlement, deceit, conspiracy, and other complex crimes–SET by the British East India Company/Victorian British Empire/the Crown?

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        NC readers, is it possible that the European bankers became co-conspirators with London and New York in the latest *tailor-made* PATTERN of looting (by CDS and other complex compound derivates and HFT) PROVIDED THAT INFLATION WOULD NEVER OCCUR IN EUROPE? Might there have been a written contract to that effect, so that European Bankers would be spared, if they set up the PIIGS for slaughter?

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          NB: Dr. John Coleman speaks with authority about the INTENTIONAL destruction of American manufacturing, and he names names:

          http://www.youtube.com –”Dr. John Coleman: The Club of Rome, Chatham House And The Committee of 300″ — worth hearing in entirety. See also:

          http://www.youtube.com
          “Three Cities Rule the World” (xlucifer on Dec 30, 2008);

          See also: “WHO SUNK THE TITANIC?” b Doug Yurchey: LINK:
          http://www.world-mysteries.com/doug-titanic1.htm

          The recent re-interpretation of events in light of the obvious conspiracy of the .01% Global Reich and their 99% Agency for imposing SHOCKS on populations for their 1% sole profit unto today, presents continuity and clarity. Now the *conspiracy theories*, re-framed by our experience, makes perfect sense.

          The LIGHT unto the nations has been a long time coming. Now it’s here.

          BILL BLACK/YVES SMITH 2012: JUSTICE NOW OR NEVER

          *Uppity* Agents Unite! We have nothing to lose but our shame.

  6. Glen

    I like Bill Black’s solution – just put Glass Steagall back in as the law. It’s like two pages of rules, then pass one more rule for the finance markets – you can only do what is explicitly allowed, anything else is illegal.

    The “it’s too complicated” defense is BS.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Glenn, Bill Black’s solution is simple and just. So why is it dis-allowed? Can anyone guess?

  7. WorldisMorphing

    I finally get it.
    I thought RT was really a grotesquely lousy cheap-propaganda machine,… with their cast of ignorant bimbos (male and female alike), stupid questions and all…even if they somehow managed to get interesting guests from time to time…

    But I get it now…the satirical imitation of the comedy that is America’s network news, with the prerequisite pleasant looking nylon&and high heels wearing female anchors and the painfully generic, uninteresting, ball-less male counterpart:
    –it’s humorous cynicism on the part of RT’s owners. It IS propaganda, but the surreal amateurishness of it is actually because the producers know how ignorant and dumbed down the masses already are…so they spell it out in this American network parody form.

    Bottom line is in my opinion, they’re doing themselves and their guest a huge disservice…

    1. WorldisMorphing

      …On another note, it’s a relief to see knowledgeable people, and what’s more, knowledgeable insiders, help the cause of the common good and lend their unique expertise in what seems to be a hopelessly uneven fight.

      They did look like a pair of jaded iconoclast….but so am I.
      Still, we’re going to need more heroes like this if we are to solve the ongoing crisis and carve up a system that is consistent with present day knowledge and values.

  8. pelham

    Murky, your point is well taken. But I think you’re being a little harsh with CM. The point I believe he’s trying to make is a much more general one, to the effect that American mainstream media are — for the most part — merely messenger boys for the people in power.

    Pravda was a particularly transparent and ludicrous form of this; American media are more polished, less obvious in their true mission (though the unearned credibility they have is wearing off) and what is often termed their “stenographic” function is seasoned at times with work of real worth. Nonetheless, CM’s central point holds, as I can attest as a 30-year veteran of the mainstream media and current refugee.

    RT, however, is a fascinating phenomenon that I have trouble understanding. What or who is behind it? Is it profitable? What’s the motivation? Is it Russia trying to poke holes in American hegemony (and, incidentally, doing a fairly good job on substance, though the message isn’t carrying very far)? Can it be trusted?

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