Who In Ukraine Will Benefit From An IMF Bailout?

This is an important, nitty-gritty discussion of the grim prospects for Ukraine under the tender ministrations of the IMF from economists Jeffrey Sommers and Michael Hudson. Unlike many TV segments on social and economic issues, this one packs a lot of information into a short time frame. If you are time pressed, you can read the transcript here. A key section:

HUDSON: The objective of IMF loans is to deindustrialize the economy. It is to force the economy–meaning the government when you say the economy–the government has to pay the IMF loan by privatizing whatever remains in the public domain. The Westerners want to buy the Ukrainian farmland. They want to buy the public utilities. They want to buy the roads. They want to buy the ports. And all of this is going to be sold at a very low price to the Westerners, and the price that the Westerners pay will be turned over to the Ukrainian government, that then will turn it back to the Ukraine. So whatever the West gives Ukraine will immediately be taken back.

Be sure to listen to this illuminating case study of what an IMF bailout really means.

More at The Real News

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  1. The Dork of Cork

    If you read IEA energy publications you can clearly get a feel for their ambition in this area of US LNG & indeed oil exports to Europe.
    Obviously from a energy input output perspective these proposals are a bit of a laugh.

    But if you begin to understand that the IEAs role is not to promote logical energy use but to sustain scarcity and thus maintain the centralization of power it makes perfect sense.

    Before the Irish dash for gas phase in the 80s & 90s coal was the primary means of domestic heating – the coal was simply unloaded on the Cork docks and trucked to local destinations in the city.
    It was a simple means of using a lower quality fuel to heat homes – the complexity of operations was much less then pipeline systems of today which need a much greater and deeper web of debt between banking vassals known as Nations.

    Europe has become a pointless entrepot of useless added value – a predictable outcome of the dark will to power which resides in the European council and its worship of the evil eye.
    When the banking power which uses the US & UK as a isolated geo political entity has enough of Europe it will once again pull the plug on the Germans.
    Their super efficient machines will collapse into a great big heap of useless toys.

    What we are seeing in this world is pretty simple to characterize.


      1. Trevor bacon

        Yes, it does, So often these days when I read something and suddenly realize a new truth I feel like Steve Martin in planes trains and automobiles, the ‘Your Going The Wrong Way’ scene, just at the point when Steve looks round and sees the devil laughing. http://youtu.be/_akwHYMdbsM

    1. R Foreman

      So then DC is mount doom, and Brussels is the tower of Saruman the white? Characterize is right!

      1. The Dork of Cork

        Something like that.

        What we now know for a fact is this rush to become more modern (to consume higher quality fuels in a Germanic super efficient manner) leads to a reduction in the standard of living as more and more Shires are scoured so as to maintain the expanding value added production process / chain.

        The IEA is pretty clear in this PDF publication on Ukraine.

        It needs to reduce the standard of living for the Ukranians so that they can consume more imported machines.
        The logic of this is in your face.
        Shirefolk will be forced to work for the machines !!!
        We were once told that machines should work for us………………

        All efficiency savings / sacrifices will be wasted on credit conduit products leaving less real end use for (basic) consumption.

        Just to repeat these Orcish folks who run this planet are not hiding their objectives – its in the official documents.

        1. R Foreman

          Oh no, shire-folk working for the machines? That’s harsh. Next you’ll be talking about Morlocks enslaving the slender fair-haired stupid humans. Haha! Just kidding Cork.. I like the literary metaphors.

  2. Michael Hudson

    A bad typo in Yves’ quote from their site. What I said was that the money paid for privatization would be paid to the government, that then will turn it back to the IMF. Its own loans to the Ukrainian government would sustain capital flight by the kleptocrats who rule the country, and the population as a whole would pay — and what they could not pay would be made up of selloffs.
    So this is a replay of what happened throughout the Soviet Union in 1991. There’s still a lot to be grabbed.
    Get ready for a wave of “Ukrainian plumbers” into Western Europe.

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      Thanks for the correction but we caught it anyway. Yves wants an alert readership to keep the comments section sharp and so she or Lambert use these little typos -no doubt- to keep us on our toes.

      And thanks for your tireless work keeping people aware of these shameless rip-offs and making them so clear to us all.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      The typo is in the RNN transcript. I copied and pasted it from their site, so you need to talk to them.

      1. Michael Hudson

        Yes, the typo was from the TRNN transcript. They may have used a computerized voice translation, which often produces humorous misstatements. They’re operating on a very low budget, which is why I had to be on the telephone, as their only computer link was to Jeff Sommers in Milwaukee.

    3. susan the other

      So is this analogous to what happens within an individual nation: the money paid by private equity for social infrastructure goes to the “government” and is transferred to the public kitty (in this case the global kitty) and so goes back into the national “reserve” – so eventually the global economy. And after it has reached its limit and has no new national treasure to loot – just as each national economy has reached its limit, then it can only transfer all the synthetic debt to people and the planet by accounting tricks and it can only do so so far and no farther. When it is taken to its absurd limits there will be no customers to sell on to, no supra globalists unless they come from alien planets, (MKUltra is working overtime on this one) and the world we are left with will be disconnected from the people who could actually save it and make it work – but because of the globalists’ greed they will also have already eaten that too. Yes.

  3. The Dork of Cork

    Europe force feeds poor people complex added value goods or gas monopoly systems where the true costs of such systems is socialized on the nation.

    Ireland once had some redundancy with its albeit poor quality energy production and distribution system – now after a burst of euro modernity we have been raped.

    Modernity = impoverishment
    As modern industries goal in Europe is to simply to further the centralization of claims on the capital base.
    The goods they force feed on us are becoming unusable.

    Irish fuel mix in the residential sector :
    Peat : 32.1%
    coal : 27.7%
    oil : 17.2%
    gas : 5.2%
    elec : 15.2%

    Peat : 8.5 %
    coal :8.2%
    oil :36.5 %
    gas ;20.1 %
    elec : 25.1%

    The goal of capitalism is to simply increase the concentration of capital claims.
    It has got nothing to do with the supply of goods which can be somehow usable.
    Irish people now have sunk costs into a credit hyperinflated landscape which cannot provide for them or indeed the vast amount of eastern euro roboten that have replaced lost Irish young people.

  4. John

    I live in Northern Europe. I had a lot of remodeling on my house. Did any locals do any of the work? No, it was done entirely by Poles. What happen is you hire a local and they in turn subcontract Poles for the work. My guess is the Ukrainians will replace the Poles.

    1. digi_owl

      And the subcontractor likely bill all their expenses via Luxembourg, meaning that little to taxes will be paid locally.

  5. Jim Haygood

    ‘Western Europe is drying up. So of course Russia’s going to turn towards an economy that’s not destroying itself. It’s going to turn towards China and other Asian economies.’ — Michael Hudson

    Yes. It is precisely the NATO countries which have a dim future, as they maintain a permanent military mobilization to defend a division of Europe that occurred 70 years ago. As if that weren’t bad enough, now NATO has gone rogue, glibly adventuring into ‘out of area’ operations (such as the Afghan quagmire) that are nowhere authorized by treaty.

    Too bad closing down NATO and bringing the troops home for good isn’t even on the Depublicrat agenda. NATO is our Warsaw Pact, to keep the satellites in line while our National Endowment for Democracy grooms their compliant leaders. Brilliant, just brilliant.

    1. Vatch

      In the transcript, Michael Hudson said (I hope this is an accurate transcription):

      But as soon as the IMF gives the loan to the Ukraine–Russia announced on Monday–and you can read this on the Johnson’s Russia List that has a summary of all of the Russian official reports–Russia says that Ukraine owes $20 billion, dating back to the Soviet Union era in exchange for, in addition, to about $5 billion or $6 billion for the oil subsidies that it’s been given. Russia said it is going to charge Ukraine the normal oil price, not the subsidized price. So all the money that the IMF and the U.S. gives Russia says is immediately owed to it itself.

      Yes, whenever the IMF gets involved in a country, it is very bad news for the inhabitants of that country. What should happen is that the Russians will pay billions to the Ukrainians in reparations for the genocide that the Russian dominated Soviet Union committed against Ukraine in the 1930s. But I am fantasizing, of course. Something like this will never happen. For more information, please see Holodomor and Holodomor genocide question.

      That Ukraine even owes anything to their former slave masters is reminiscent of what the French did to Haiti after the Haitians won their “independence”. From the Wikipedia Article on the Haitian Revolution:

      . . . the nascent state’s future was compromised in 1825 when it was forced to pay 150 million gold francs in reparations to French slaveholders, in order to receive French recognition and end the nation’s political and economic isolation. Though the amount of the reparations was reduced in 1838, Haiti was unable to finish paying off its debt until 1947, and the payments left the country’s government deeply impoverished.

      1. OIFVet

        Reparations? I suppose you are also tirelessly lobbying Congress for reparations for descendants of the victims of the slavery genocide and that of the Native Americans, Erdogan for reparations for the Armenian genocide and those of other Balkan peoples, Scandinavians for the genocide of Laplanders, Abe for the atrocities in Nanking and the slaughter of POWs, Britain for the opium genocide in China, etc ad infinitum. Reparations solve exactly nothing (even Israel said so), and in the case of Ukraine they would only go into the deep pockets of the newly installed batch of corrupt politicians, their neo-nazi street muscle, and their oligarch patrons and IMF handlers. But don’t let me stop you from cheapening the legacy of slavery by comparing the “plight” of the Ukrainian SSR under Soviets, two of whose leaders (Chernenko and Khruschev) just happened to be Ukrainian. Slavery and genocide are morally repugnant whenever and wherever they occur, but you equating the two is simply wrong. Perhaps the source of reparations should be sought closer to home, as the process of dekulakization was eagerly carried out by legions of local collaborators.

        1. Vatch

          I’m not tirelessly lobbying Congress for anything — are you? Sometimes I send letters to Congress, and I’m not naive enough to believe that my letters have more than a trivial effect. I’m not cheapening the legacy of slavery. Genocide is worse than slavery, but there are similarities between the phenomena.

          It’s ironic that you refer to the Ukrainian neo-nazi street muscle, since it is quite clear that Putin’s Russia is a fascist regime, as was clearly explained by mf yesterday:


          There is bad behavior on all sides in the current situation.

          1. OIFVet

            Of course, because of all the comments out there the one by mf is the most unbiased – toward your own biased views. As a native of Eastern Europe I can assure you that if you want an unbiased opinion on Russia you are not going to get it from a Pollack and vice versa. Besides, Poland does seem to have a national commitment to antisemitism so mf talking about Russian neo-nazism is a lot like a burglar yelling out “Catch the burglar!” Puh-leeze, this comment is nothing more than a vehicle for masturbatory self-affirmation of one’s preexisting (and irrational) Russophobia.

            I see you completely missed or ignored my point about comparing slavery to the artificial Ukrainian famine so no need to discuss that further. Keep enabling the neocon madness Vatch, you are doing a bang-up job of it.

              1. Jackrabbit

                mf’s bias is clear. It is surprising (“wow”) that you don’t see that.

                For more, go back to his comment and have a look at my reply.

                1. OIFVet

                  Pointing out basic truths has become the equivalent of yelling an obscenity in public here in the US, particularly when these truths happen to blatantly contradict the narrative being sold by our officialdom and the corporate Pravdas. Hence Vatch’s “wow”; the sources of his knowledge seem to be Wiki and the Pravdas, and anything that contradicts the official narrative is bound to elicit a shocked and disapproving “wow.” Neo-nazis are unfortunately a fact of life everywhere in Europe, Russia and Poland (in particular) included. Jobbik in Hungary and Golden Dawn in Greece come to mind immediately, and now Svoboda (Freedom? Yeah right) and Pravy Sector in Ukraine. I know it, I expect it, and I am still struck by it every time I go to Eastern Europe. Neoliberal austerity has unleashed some very potent dark forces and it will be very hard to deal with them.

                  Murky et al. take great deal of offence and are shocked, shocked when the truth about our implicit involvement with neo-nazis in Ukraine is pointed out. It is the height of indecency apparently to call out the neo-nazi scum for what it is. To those of us whose predecessors were victims of the original nazis US involvement with this scum, however indirect, is both insulting and invitation to dangerous conflicts in the not so distant future. Nuland may think these forces can be her very own ‘useful idiots’ and then discarded once they have served their purpose in her grand scheme , but she is incredibly wrong. These neo-nazis might be allies of convenience right now but that will not last for long, they have their own agenda and it is different from that of the EU/IMF/NATO/neocon-neolib alliance. Seeing how the Pravy Sector has been handed the controls of the Ukrainian National Guard, I question the sanity of anyone who thinks that giving them their own organized armed force is a good idea for anyone concerned.

                  1. Vatch

                    I said “wow” because I was surprised that you used an ethnic slur.

                    As for neo-liberalism (neo-con or whatever), perhaps you missed this sentence that I wrote:

                    Yes, whenever the IMF gets involved in a country, it is very bad news for the inhabitants of that country.

                    I am not a neo-con or neo-lib.

                    If you really want to engage in constructive dialogue with people, you need to cut down on the personal attacks. If you just want a cathartic experience, well, enjoy yourself, but don’t expect to persuade many people of your point of view.

                    1. OIFVet

                      Polack is what they call themselves in Poland (polish Polak) but I did mean it as a slur. I have my reasons, some of which you can read about below.

                      I am sorry you feel personally attacked. I do get heated, but it is rarely personal. In your case it is not. I simply can not comprehend your inability to see just how much of a threat the neocons’ Ukrainian move is to Russia and how dangerous it can be for all of us. You proceed from what I perceive to be an insincere attempt to appear fair and balanced (Both the US and Russia do bad things) to lay the blame entirely on Russia, in the process repeating many of the false talking points one hears in the US Pravdas. Hence my use of the word ‘enabler’. I find this rhetorical tactic very grating indeed, as I usually encounter it coming from false centrists who are anything but. I may be wrong about your intent, but this is how it comes across, and I doubt that I am not the only one who sees it this way. Your cite of mf’s comment in particular was an epic fail. Anyone you ask in Europe will tell you to take Polish and Russian claims about the other with a few kilos of salt.

                      Finally, our exchanges have convinced me that you are beyond persuasion on the issue of Ukraine. You have made up your mind and it shows. I am convinced you opinion is shaded by preexisting anti-Russian bias even though you may not realize it. If I were to guess I would say that you are past your mid-50’s and grew up in a time when they scared kids with the big bad Russian bear. This sort of thing is easily internalized even by otherwise open minded people like yourself. Good night Vatch.

                    2. Vatch

                      Here’s one of my comments from this weekend that is favorable to Putin and Russia:


                      As for the neo-cons, they are always dangerous, and Ukraine is no exception. But they aren’t the only dangers in the world.

                      Your perception is that I am not open minded about this issue. Well, I have a similar perception about you. Perhaps we’re both wrong. By the way, here’s an English definition for you:


            1. Murky

              So all Polacks are biased in their opinions about Russia? And Polacks are also anti-Semetic? Such bad generalizations leave me almost speechless! Double wow!

              It’s interesting, OIFVet, that you claim to be from Eastern Europe. Bulgaria, right? So prove it. Write a few sentences in Bulgarian. I can read Bulgarian, so I’ll know whether you are legit or a phony.

              Vam sleduet bolee prilichno obschchat’sia.

              1. OIFVet

                Приятно ми е да Ви докажа че наистина съм роден в България. Ако имате допълнителни въпроси не се стеснявайте да ги зададете, ще отговоря според възможностите си. И моля обяснете ми какво неприлично или невъзпитано съм казал в своя коментар? Да не би да живеем в свят и в ера в които да кажеш истината е невъзпитано и неприлично? Май да, поне тук в САЩ истината е като холерата, всеки бяга далеко от нея.

                Any other questions or should I type an entire article? While I agree that generalizations can often be badly off mark, I challenge you to take hour long cab rides from O’Hare to my home at least once a week like I do. It is a rare occasion to happen upon a Polish driver who upon learning of my BG heritage would not share his deeply held belief in the Jewish conspiracy being responsible for everything from the global financial crises to Poland’s inability to repel any invading army. And never get them started on Russia, though they are strangely quiet on Germany. And do yourself a favor and read up on neo-nazi resurgence in Poland. Xenophobia truly is a widespread attitude in Poland and that’s a fact no matter how offensive and indecent you find airing this truth in public to be. Do svidania gospodin Mutni!

                1. Murky

                  True that. 100% verified Bulgarian. Sure I’ve got more questions, but several are tangental to Ukraine. At what age did you come to the United States? I’m guessing before 18. Otherwise it’s unusual to acquire native fluency in a second language. And whether we like it or not, it’s bad style nowadays to make negative characterizations about any ethnic group. Are Poles anti-Semetic? Well, your experience with Polish cab drivers in Chicago verifies that prejudice. But that’s not a good truth test. Too anecdotal. I’ll believe sociological data and public opinion research about Poles. And if that indicates a broad swipe of anti-Semitism among Poles, then we are in agreement. About ‘truth’ in any hot-topic political discussion, I think it’s illusory. There are always two or more sides, and we are often swayed by one-sided journalism that fits our ‘tribe’. Occasionally journalism on hot-topic issues has good neutrality, but that’s the exception. One good example is in today’s links. There’s an article by a Mr. Meek about Ukraine in the London Review of Books. I think it’s well balanced. But even historians are in a fracas about the Ukrainian revolution. The disagreement is broad and sometimes openly hostile. Timothy Snyder believes Ukrainians have finally won true independence from Russia through popular uprising. Stephan Cohen believes the narrative is about fascists taking control over Ukraine. My own opinions about Ukraine are not particularly consequential, so I generally only blab when I think people have got their facts wrong. Sometimes it’s me that needs to get educated on an issue. About neo-nazis in Poland, I’ll google it and try to get educated. Please also provide a link or two, so I know which sources you trust.

                  1. OIFVet

                    If you want sociological data and opinion research from Poland to back my own observations of Polish antisemitism, google Center for Research on Prejudice at Warsaw University. A good friend of mine who got his training at NORC is involved with the project, and it is run by Poles. They recently released their newest opinion survey results. My other sources include the European ADL and the European Jewish Congress. If you delve into it you will find plenty of reports to back my assertions about the resurgence of neo-nazis in Poland and elsewhere in Europe.

                    About Meek’s article, I am not about to concede the title of “balanced” to an article that describes Bandera as an “Ukrainian nationalist who used the German nazis to fight for Ukraine’s independence.” What a revisionist crock! Bandera was a nazi. Timothy Snyder in an article in NYRB falsely claimed that most Soviet casualties in WW2 were Ukrainian, which is a conscious lie by the learned perfessor. Any which way the data is parsed, 14 million Russians were killed compared to 7 million Ukrainians. Even if he meant civilian casualties, he was still wrong as more Russian civilians were killed than Ukrainian civilians. This is only one example of a Snyder inaccuracy/lie. I did not want to engage you on your many earlier cites of Snyder’s propaganda but if you insist I am happy to oblige.

                    Finally I need to make a disclosure I should have made from the very beginning. I am biased against Poles. It does not stem only from their widely held antisemitism, it is also because of a very personal and painful experience I am reluctant to talk about much less remember all these years later. It occurred during my deployment to Iraq and a soldier was killed because of our Polish allies’ cowardice under enemy fire. April 23rd will mark the 10th anniversary of his death. RIP Sergeant D.

                    1. Vatch

                      I’m very sorry about your friend’s tragedy.

                      About Timothy Snyder, here’s what he said in NYRB, and he does not say that most casualties were Ukrainian, although it’s easy to misinterpret it that way if you read it quickly:

                      Five percent of Russia was occupied by the Germans; all of Ukraine was occupied by the Germans. Apart from the Jews, whose suffering was by far the worst, the main victims of Nazi policies were not Russians but Ukrainians and Belarusians. [Vatch: the victims of the policies include far more people than the casualties.] There was no Russian army fighting in World War II, but rather a Soviet Red Army. Its soldiers were disproportionately Ukrainian, since it took so many losses in Ukraine and recruited from the local population. The army group that liberated Auschwitz was called the First Ukrainian Front.

                      Regarding Bandera: my impression is that he was a fanatic, and that he did some terrible things on behalf of his cause. But to say that he was a Nazi ignores that he was imprisoned by the Nazis for more than 3 years. Instead of calling him a Nazi, it might be better to call him a fascist or a fanatic nationalist.

              2. OIFVet

                Reply posted in the language requested but it is awaiting moderator review apparently (must be the Cyrillic). Keep checking and it will be posted eventually. Until then dovizhdane gospodin Mutni

              3. Yves Smith Post author

                Pollacks are indeed seen pretty much universally by Jews in the US as anti-Semitic. I have a good friend who is Polish who was distressed by how she was assumed by Jews to be anti-Semitic when her family had harbored Jews, at considerable risk, during WWII. The flip side is the overwhelming majority of her countrymen sat pat during the Warsaw Ghetto.

          2. John Durham

            Apparently you don’t know the meaning of Naziism developed around discovered acts of the Third Reich.

            Totalitarianism is one of these. By no means is Russia such a nation. Nazism subscribed to theories of racial hierarch.
            Russia is far less racist than any Western nation. Under Schacht the economic concepts were essentially “corporatist”, ie Fascist.
            Russia, only under Yeltsin was Fascist, dominated by an out of control financial oligarchy, like in the U.S. today. Putin brought Russia from Fascism into a capitalistic-socialist Republic (very European and similar to the economic thinking of Lincoln-FDR-Kennedy, ie: AMERICAN).

  6. Jim Haygood

    NATO helpfully ratchets up the tensions:

    U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove said the buildup of Russian troops on the country’s border with Ukraine means NATO forces need to reposition themselves and increase their readiness.

    Russian troops massing at the border are “very, very sizable and very, very credible,” Breedlove, the top NATO commander, said today at the German Marshall Fund conference in Brussels. “We need to think about our allies, the positioning of our forces in the alliance and our readiness of our forces in the alliance, such that we can be there to defend against them if required, especially in the Baltics and other places.”



    Is he seriously suggesting that after biting off a chunk of the Ukraine, the Russian bear will now take a run at Latvia? And that the U.S. should be propelled into a European war if it does?

    General Breedlove, meet Dr. Strangelove.

    1. Jim Haygood

      … echoed by this Repugnican freak, who’s happy to send other peoples’ kids to serve in the eurotrenches:

      Representative Mike Rogers (R., Mich.), chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said that the United States needs to offer military aid to Ukraine in conjunction with sanctions on Russia.

      He told David Gregory on Meet the Press Sunday morning that doing so would send a message to Russian president Vladimir Putin: “Mr. Putin we’re done with you expanding into other countries. He goes to bed at night thinking of Peter the Great, he wakes up thinking of Stalin. We need to understand who he is and what he wants.”

      “We need to be a little bit tougher with Putin,” he added, “or he is going to continue to take the territory.”


        1. susan the other

          This dust up might all be resolved by global warming in an ironic twist because Russia does indeed now have an eastern passage to Asia. Eastern Europe (of no relevance to the melting of the arctic) is just a nasty family fight. Russia and China are going forward with their own agenda. I’m wondering what will replace the ruthless IMF. China and Russia along with Mongolia (with its vast uranium reserves), and India as their giant vacuum, will be able to ignore it (IMF) completely and eventually replace it. But prolly only ruthless if you once benefited “exorbitantly” from the IMF. You mean… they weren’t fair??

  7. allcoppedout

    Dork is clearly working for the Irish Tourist Board. I mean, who wouldn’t want to visit a ‘credit hyperinflated landscape’? Typical of such propagandists, he fails to mention the cost of beer and how the price has gone up so much now it is served by serf labour. Models of the young Irish and scattered about the landscape, mostly Romanians doing those tedious jigs and protest songs about British atrocities so beloved by foreign tourists essential to the new economy. England will soon follow with hordes of (Ukrainian) Morris Dancers following the IMF model. After all, King George Osbourne is a member of the Irish Ascendancy.

    It is now 35 years since I first wondered how banks could make dud loans and not only survive but thrive. Like Michael I think we need to get history into our data. The financial rules are very simple. Fill ship with free guano using slave labour from nearby island. Employ tame accountants to write story of the death of the slaves through their stupid monoculture. Put a sheep monoculture in place to boost profits. Draw a line and move on leaving the ecocide as someone else’s problem. Repeat elsewhere.

    The model is essentially criminal – we don’t seem to get a proper handle on this. It’s the whole of the professional class, including ‘us’. Some of us may complain, but the hypocrisy is plain. We still take sinecure (even if from niche markets) paid for by student debt and frankly much worse. Michael and Dork are right. What would the consequences of a whole world that had a grok of this be?

    The first is a world not “policed by America” – and this is the key right-wing and popular fear dirty-hands philosophy plays on. Even the right knows what we say on Dork’s “evil” is true. And they are quite happy to let us say it in a dialogue of the deaf situation. We are silently received as utter clowns who just don’t get “dirty-hands”. Of course, we do get it, but in the silence it is enough to think we are stupid enough not to.

    In short, we can’t go on holding hands with Jurgen Habermas in the fairy-circle of an ideal free speech situation. It only earns niche sinecure (have the T-shirt). The honesty of Reason only lines us up to rip-off by the next slaving Crimean Tartars, imperial empire or better-armed bandits. Management’s biggest strategy is to keep you talking about what doesn’t matter.

    What comes after economies and finance run by a couple of honest adding machines?

    1. The Dork of Cork

      All coppedout.

      I usually take a long walk up & around the Kerry Reeks in March to clear me little head
      This was Kerry 1985.

      This is a typical scene today

      There was a point to building those little fields however hard it was to make them.
      The empty houses which reside in a linear fashion along the roads of sub rural Killarney lack a purpose – they just are.
      As if beamed down from space by some sick alien mind.

      The irony today is that there was more disposable income to buy a few pints in depression era 1985 (the first euro depression designed to integrate ourselves with Mordor) then there is today.
      The housing assets are not primary producers of anything – they are conduit artifacts – aarchaeological record of past capital goods dumping.
      The only thing the oligarchy can give us is products we cannot consume very much , this alien presence is a simple result of the gross concentration of capital claims in the financial capitals.
      This is what they have planned for the Ukraine I guess.
      More BMWs and trophy houses that are not lived in while people freeze on the streets,

      What remains of the Gaelic mind must try to retreat to metaphysical Mingulay & Blasket islands of sanity.
      Those places had the advantage of strong tides which divorced themselves from the Cromwellian satanic world of money until the Edwardian and first world war Keynesian experiment overpowered these. islands of humanity.

      The lesson for our time is never build a pier – keep those fuckers out of your island home through a policy of enforced isolation.
      The goods and words of the bankers are poison designed to shackle you to their yoke of despair.

  8. Jackrabbit

    Whether the West sees any real gain from the Ukraine debacle is unclear. The neo-nazi ultra-nationalists are a wildcard that might well spoil the neolib/IMF feast.

    The more that Ukrainians suffer under IMF austerity and increased energy costs the greater the risk that ultra-nationalist/neo-nazis exploit their discontent (something they are historically good at that). In fact, ultra-nationalists are already consolidating and extending their power via intimidation and calls for ‘lustration’ (removing all pro-Russian’s from government – but are they being replaced by moderates or nationalists?). And we also know that Ukraines armed forces are also being reshaped according to nationalist wishes.

    If the ultra-nationalists were to take over, there is at least a strong possibility that they reject IMF austerity for political benefit and nationalize key industries – choking off any commercial benefit to the West.

    We should not forget how neocons ‘sold’ the misadventure in Iraqi by telling neolibs that Iraqi oil would pay for reconstruction (and reconstruction would be a boondoggle for US companies). For the most part, promised commercial benefits were a mirage.

    1. cwaltz

      I wouldn’t be surprised. Although I’m sure the people who hatched the brilliant plot to destabilize the region will be utterly astounded. Cue the “who could have imagined” chorus.

      You’d think they’d learn. I mean it isn’t like most of the times when they support extreme groups that the price isn’t a continual bag of neverending cash for their cooperation or third parties get cut out of the picture because the people they supported had an agenda to begin with(that wasn’t supporting the interests of Western governments, big shocker!)

    2. M Quinlan

      The fact that “Yats” will be the man to (enthusiastically) introduce the austerity will also, I fear, play right into there hands. A ready made “International Jewish conspiracy” that they’ll have to save the Fatherland from.
      Why would a Jew put himself in that position? He must know what will be said.

  9. Jackrabbit

    The neocons want to create a new cold war that isolates a recalcitrant Russia and unites European allies for action against Syria and Iran. I’d like to see economists discuss the price that we all pay as greedy neolibs like Obama allow neocons to set the agenda. For example:

    a) improved relations between Russia and China: creating a greater geopolitical challenge and a loss of commercial opportunities;

    b) distrust of the US/West and Russian/Chinese exploitation of such: exacerbating the concerns expressed in (a);

    c) instability in Europe via emboldened neo-nazis, economic support for Ukraine (a moneypit), and higher prices for Russian energy;

    d) increased security costs due to ‘cold war’;

    e) the potential for further loss of civil liberties;

    f) cost to fight, or prepare for, a cyberwar;

    g) other costs such as less global cooperation in the fight against climate change, etc.;

  10. Jackrabbit

    This whole notion of selling US LNG to Europe seems like a strawman to whet the appetite of small US gas producers thereby garnering their political support.

    In seems more likely that there would be a renewed push to topple Assad in Syria, paving the way for the Qatar gas pipeline to Europe. Isn’t that the _real_ value of Ukraine to the neocons: to dismiss Russian objections and unite allies?

    Afterall, if we US LNG could be exported to Europe at commercially reasonable prices, why would we have been seeking to overthrow Assad? (Not to mention that the prospect for a commercial windfall AND taking out Assad assures Sunni arab support against Iran.)

  11. Paul Tioxon


    How the Crimea Crisis Will Breed Nuclear Bombs
    By Taras Kuzio

    “Ukraine’s dismemberment by Russia dangerously weakens global security by inadvertently encouraging Iran, North Korea and other governments to stay determined in their efforts or dreams of building nuclear weapons. In any nuclear disarmament negotiation now, international assurances of protection for a de-nuclearizing state will ring hollow when measured against those given to Ukraine two decades ago. Ukraine gave up what then was the world’s third-largest nuclear arsenal, inherited from the collapsed Soviet Union, in return for a solemn guarantee of its borders and security by the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia.

    Russia’s successful seizure of Crimea delivers two powerful reasons for states to build and hold nuclear arms: First, Ukraine’s plight will lead them to equate disarmament with defenselessness, even for a country with a sworn commitment of protection from the United States. Second, a nuclear arsenal is any dictator’s best armor against being held to account even for bold aggression, a point underscored by Vladimir Putin’s dismissal of cautions from the West against moving on Crimea.”

    The rest of the article is from the link above.


    Michael Hudson highlights the accord with the Ukraine by the USA, the UK and Russia, all signing on to secure Ukrainian national defense in exchange for nuclear disarmament. Additionally, it sold off an aging air craft carrier to China and brought Russian military bases onto its territory by treaty, the Crimea. The game played by the US Government breaks its word on non-interference with Urkainian politics and opens up Russian fears of isolation and further absolute and relative diminishing power in the global economy and among the military powers of the world. If the US does not protect the Ukraine, why should Iran believe anything they negotiate with them. Iran becoming a nuclear power is the only reprieve from being dominated by Russia, India, Pakistan, Israel etc. The USA can not ask the Iranians to stop building weapons of mass destruction while selling arms to everyone in the world and expecting Iran to feel secure. Certainly, Russia is proving no more faithful than the US with their national security assurances. Will Russia offer to place Iran under its nuclear Aegis? Would Iran believe them if everyone agreed to this, including the US, Israel and NATO?


    Excerpts of the Budapest Memorandum, signed by Pres Bill Clinton, states 5 points. You can read them by clicking the above link.

    Point # 3. “The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, TO REFRAIN FROM ECONOMIC COERCION designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind;”

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