Yves here. Hope you’ll enjoy hearing Michael Hudson discuss how the war in Ukraine is really a great power confrontation, as Biden made clear, and why some of the moving forces in the US might not be unhappy with disruption.
And please don’f forget Michael Hudson’s Paetron page!
Originally published at Global Research
GR (Michael Welch): Great privilege to speak with you again Mr. Hudson. Welcome!
Michael Hudson: Thanks for having me on!
GR: Now, We’re seeing NATO unifying together behind the US call to sanction Russia, including removal from the SWIFT system. They’re being hit with sanctions to hurt, sanctions from hell as President Biden would say, and it doesn’t look as if it’s working. But the sanctions are boomeranging, and hitting the EU and the US pretty hard with soaring rates for food, fertilizer, oil and gas. They seem to provoke Russian aggression. He’s kind of compelled them to do that. We know it wasn’t the response, I mean it’s something they have been working on all along. But what really was the strategic goal of provoking Russia to go to sanctions war with Ukraine? Do they foresee Russia begging for mercy or is there more going on here?
MH: I think it’s just the opposite of what you said. The war isn’t against Russia. The war isn’t against Ukraine. The war is against Europe and Germany. The purpose of the sanctions is to prevent Europe and other allies from increasing their trade and investment with Russia and China, because the United States saw that the centre of world growth is not in America now that it’s deindustrializing. Following neoliberal policies since the 1980s has ended up hollowing out the US economy. And how on earth can the United States maintain prosperity if it’s lost the ability to do wealth creation?
The only way of maintaining prosperity if you can’t create it at home is to get it from abroad. And the attempt, beginning a year ago, by President Biden and by the US neocons, was to block Nord Stream 2, and failing that, to block all energy trade and other trade with Russia. So that the United States could monopolize it itself. One of the main tools for the last hundred years of US control of the world economy has been by the oil industry. Controlling world energy trade. Energy is the key to the GDP, the productivity of every country, and the thought of energy trade passing out of US control into that of other countries threatened the United States’ ability to turn off other countries.
So the provocation of war in Ukraine and the provocation of a US response has enabled the US to say, ‘look at how awful Russia is doing, it’s defending itself’. Defending itself against the United States is a declaration of war. Because it means that you are breaking away from the dollarized system, and so by the thought that other countries have the potential of becoming independent was viewed by the United States as a challenge to the United States’ ability to dictate their policies and to use dollar diplomacy to take control of their commanding heights.
The fear of the United States of course is that the environmental movement would be able to move to stop global warming by slowing the carbon fuels, oil and gas, and so by creating this crisis in Europe, the United States has greatly…it bases its foreign policy on accelerating global warming. Accelerating coal and oil as the fuels of the future. I think President Biden in Poland today is promising Polish coal to replace Russian oil. And American coal. That’s why President Biden has Senator Manchin from the coal industry lobby, as head of the environmental and energy agency.
So what you’re seeing is not the US backfiring and shooting itself in the foot by creating a world crisis. That’s the idea! Because it realizes that in the world crisis, energy prices are going to go way up, benefiting the US balance of payments. The oil companies that control the world oil trade, once they exclude Russia from it, agricultural crop prices will go way up, benefiting the United States as an agricultural exporter, especially if they prevent Ukrainian and Russian wheat exports. This is going to create a debt crisis for third world countries whose debts are coming due. And the United States can use this debt crisis to force them, or attempt to force them, if they go along with it, to continue privatizing and selling off their public domain to US buyers so they can sell off their patrimony in order to get the money to pay the debts to pay for the higher oil and food imports.
The US strategy is to create exactly the world crisis that you are presented as being accidental. You can be sure that these people read the newspapers enough to know that this is the obvious result of what they’re doing. Look at what they’re doing as deliberate. Don’t assume they’re dumb. They’re smart, they’re evil, but they’re not dumb.
GR: You know it’s quite a bit there, but I want to point out that in one of your articles you talked about basically three areas, economic areas, that seemed to be dominating things in the US right now. There’s the oil and gas sector, there’s the military-industrial complex, and then there’s the FIRE sector, finance, industry, and real estate. And I think all three of those areas are benefiting from the current situation. You can see this clearly. The levels, the rates of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin going up…
MH: Well, I’m not sure about the banks. Where did the banks’ interest end up in all this? Banks, since the 13th century, have made the bulk of their money on trade financing. Receivables, if you’re an importer of oil, you get a letter of credit so that the bank promises to pay when the delivery is made. Trade financing is a huge banking activity, and now, the US banks are locked out of this trade financing as long as it concerns Russia, China and probably the Belt and Road Initiative countries. So it’s hard to see how the banks are benefiting. Especially if the third world countries, the global south countries, say we are not going to sacrifice our economies and impose austerity just to pay for bondholders. The loans have gone bad, they’re odious loans, we’re repudiating. We’re not paying them.
That is not going to help banks and investors. So the banks seem to have taken a… They’re a beat behind in all of this. The war doesn’t seem to be economic as much as neoliberal, a visceral hatred of Russia, and a hatred of Germany also, among the neocons. And I think that’s, it’s not understood, but there’s this non-economic, almost a racist hatred at work here when it extends to China for instance.
If there’s a financial war, and, the world is splitting into two economic blocs, it’s very much like a military war. You really don’t know what’s going to happen in anarchy. It’s a grab-bag. The United States thinks that it has enough power by bribery, by force, by assassination, if need be, as some of the senators have called for, to get its way, but I’m not sure that that’s going to be met with simple passivity on the part of everybody who the United States declares to be an enemy.
GR: Well, Saudi Arabia recently announced it would be pricing oil in the yuan. That means that the dollar now has a competitor, I guess, when it comes to buying oil.
MH: Oil trade with China. Other countries are not going to do their trade in dollars because the United States can simply grab whatever dollar assets they have. If a country does something independent, as when Chile became, wanted to take control of the copper trade, under Allende, the United States can simply grab its money. When Venezuela thought to undertake land reform in the popular policy, the United States simply seized its money, and the Bank of England seized Venezuela’s gold. The United States simply seized Afghanistan’s foreign reserves before it seized Russia’s foreign reserves.
So all of a sudden, countries or afraid to keep, are afraid to use US banks, afraid to use any connection with the dollar, or to have anything available for the United States to grab, because that’s its policy now. That is what’s really driving other countries away. Even America’s allies must be frightened, because Germany is asking for its gold supply to be sent back to it from the New York Federal Reserve Bank in airplane loads.
GR: Yeah, so you are seeing sort of like a domino effect, I mean is the American dollar, it was already in some difficulty, but now, you can see that really accelerating as we continue, and in all of those other global south countries and other places that you mentioned, they’re going to ditch that and go with the other currency?
MH: The crisis is political. It’s not going with another currency. President Putin, in his speeches, said this war is not about Ukraine. This war is about restructuring the international order. And what that means is an alternative to the IMF. An alternative set of institutions to the World Bank. An alternative to the World Court. And an alternative to the US rules-based order, based on the United Nations rules for instance, but that can’t be done as long as the United States is a member of that group.
So it means that there’s going to be a new grouping of international organizations, of which the United States will not join because it won’t join any organization that it does not have veto power in. So you’re going to have two parallel paths. You’ll have a neoliberal financialized, debt-financed path in Europe and North America, and you’ll have an industrial capitalism evolving into a socialist path in China and the Belt and Road Initiative, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Block.
GR: I think that resolving Ukraine is sort of like a short-term deal, but the longer term is going to be in fact shaking Europe away from NATO and the United States’ degree of influence.
MH: United States is thoroughly in control of European politicians. The only opposition to NATO and the US in Europe is the right wing. The nationalist wing. The left wing is fully behind the United States and has been ever since, really the National Endowment for Democracy and other US Agencies really took control of the left-wing parties throughout Europe. They’ve Tony Blairized the European left, the Social Democratic parties in Germany and the rest of Europe, the labour parties in England, these are not labour and not socialist, they’re basically pro-American neoliberal parties.
GR: I know that Russia is very rich in mineral deposits, its rich in oil and gas as well. Russia and Ukraine form part of the breadbasket of the world. And as they control the important minerals like lithium and palladium and so forth, so they’re dealing with Ukraine, part of that plan, as a result you’re going to see, as I mentioned, a lot of impacts worldwide including food, and we’re probably going to start to see even food shortages pretty soon.
MH That is the intention. You have to realize that this was anticipated. Without gas, already German fertilizer companies are going out of business because fertilizer is made out of gas, and if they can’t get their Russian gas, they can’t make the fertilizer, and if you don’t have the fertilizer, the crops are not going to be as prevalent and abundant as they were before. So all of this, you have to assume that, it’s so obvious, they knew this would happen, and they expect the United States to benefit from the cost squeeze that it’s imposing on food importers to the US benefit.
GR: I just want to get a sense of what the United States has to fight back with. I mean, they had the prestige of the dollar in their ability to make up things, but they also have control, through using, confiscating, for example, the gold and the deposits of the Russian government, the Russian Central Bank. Are these efforts going to be, is that the sort of thing that they have, I mean we could also talk later on about the actual military, but could you talk about those sorts of tools that the United States has to fight back against Russia?
MH: Well, the obvious tool is that’s used for the last 75 years has been bribery. European politicians especially are very easy to bribe. And most countries, just simply paying them money, and backing their political campaigns, meddling in other countries by huge financial support of pro-US politicians is the obvious way. Targeted assassination ever since World War II when the British and Americans moved into Greece and began shooting all of the anti-Nazis because they were largely socialists, and England and America wanted to restore the Greek monarchy. You have Operation Gladio in Italy, you have the targeted assassinations from Chile all the way through the rest of Latin America and its wake. So, if you can’t buy them, kill them.
Then there are various military forces. And the main tool that the US has tried to use is sanctions. If they can’t get their oil, or finance it in gas or food from Russia, then America can simply turn off their food supply. And turn off critical raw materials and interrupt their economic processes because there are so many different components that you need for almost any kind of economic activity…
The United States was looking for pressure points. And it is going to try to work on the pressure points, sabotage certainly, is another tool that’s being used, as you see in Ukraine. So the question is whether this attempt on pressure points is going to force other countries to, certainly it’s going to cause suffering. In the short term for these countries.
Over the longer-term, we’re going to have to become self-sufficient in the main pressure points. We’re going to have to produce our own food. Not import our wheat. We’re going to have to shift away from growing export plantation crops and have our own grain, maybe return to family size farming to do all this. We’re going to have to produce our own arms, we’re going to have to have our own fuel sources, and that would include solar energy and renewable energy to become independent of the American-dominated oil and gas and coal trade. So the longer-term, even medium-term effect of all of this is going to make other countries self-sufficient and independent.
There will be a lot of interruptions, even starvation, a lot of property transfers and disruption, but over the long term, the United States is destroying the idea of a single interconnected globalized order because it’s separated Europe and North America from the whole rest of the world.
GR: How is… When it comes to dealing with the oligarchs in Russia, and what they’re facing with these sanctions, do they want the sanctions to be ended so they can get involved with the United States, or are they taking to Putin and a “let’s do it on our own approach?”
MH: In the past, the oligarchs were very western oriented because when they transferred Russia’s oil and gas and nickel and real estate into their own hands, how did they cash out? There wasn’t any money in Russia because it was all destroyed after 1991, in the shock therapy. The only way they could cash out was by selling some of their stocks to the west. And that’s what Khodorkovsky wanted to do when he wanted to sell Yukos to, I think, the Standard Oil Group. And now that they realize that the United States can simply grab their yachts, grab their British real estate, grab their sports teams, grab the assets they hold in the west, they’re realizing their only safety is to hold it within Russia and its allied economies, not US-based economies where whatever they have in the west can be grabbed.
So yesterday, Chubais left Russia for good and went to the west, and you’re having the oligarchs choose. Either they remain in Russia and look at their wealth by creating Russian means of production or they leave Russia, they take their money and they run and hope that the west will let them keep some of what they stole.
GR: Among the countries that are not going to be supporting the sanctions against Russia or China, India, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kurdistan, I mean all those countries in the Central Asian region. And that seems to be benefiting the Belt and Road Initiative, I think.
MH You’d think so. The big question mark is India. Because it’s so large. And India has already positioned itself to be the intermediary for a lot of trade financing with Russia. India is also prone to be pro-American. And Modi in the past politically has been very pro-American. But the fact is if you’re looking at India’s implicit national economic interests, its economic interests lies with the region it’s in. With Eurasia, not with the United States.
So the question is, I think within the Pentagon and the state department, their big worry is, how do we keep control of India in the US hands? That’s going to be the big crisis area for the next few years.
GR: Maybe I’ll, maybe get you to put on your glasses to sort of looking ahead into the future. Maybe a couple of years from now. Given the prevailing trends, how is this going to play out? Is this, is it going to have one side advanced more than the other or is it going to be a nuclear husk? What is your thinking?
MH: I don’t think it’ll be nuclear, although it could, given the crazy neocons with the Christian fundamentalists in Washington, people like Pompeo thinking that Jesus will come if you blow up the world. I mean, these people are literally crazy.
I worked with National Security people 50 years ago at the Hudson Institute, and I couldn’t believe that human brains were as twisted as they were, wanting to blow up much of the world for religious reasons. And for ethnic reasons, and for personal psychology reasons. And these are the people that have somehow risen to a policy-making position in the United States, and they’re threatening not only the rest of the world, but of course the US economy as well.
But I don’t think atomic war is likely. I think that the United States is going to try to convince other countries that neoliberalism is the way that they can get rich. And of course, it’s not.
Neoliberalism impoverishes. Neoliberalism is a class war against labour by finance, primarily, and a class war against industry. A class war against governments. It’s the financial class really against the whole rest of society seeking to use debt leverage to control companies, countries, families and individuals by debt. And the question is, are they really going to be able to convince people that the way to get rich is to go into debt? Or are other countries going to say, this is a blind alley. And it’s been a blind alley really since Rome that bequeathed all the pro creditor debt laws to western civilization that were utterly different from those of the near east, where civilization took off.
GR: And just maybe a final thought, I mean, I’m based in Canada, and it seems when I’m hearing about de-dollarization as the sinking of the US economy and how things are going to go for ordinary individuals, and I’m wondering if Canada can somehow escape that trajectory next to me or are we kind of manacles at the wrists, where the United States goes, we’re going there too?
MH: Canada is controlled by the banking sector. I wrote an article for the government’s think-tank, Canada and the New Monetary Order, in 1978, detailing how Canada was dependant. It’s very debt-financed, financially controlled, and its government is utterly corrupt. The neoliberal party, the liberal party there is fairly corrupt, and so are most of the other parties, and they look at the United States as protecting the corruption and economic gangsterism that enables them to control Canada.
GR: Well, Michael Hudson, I guess we’ve got to go now, but thanks for that very large and interesting discussion on our survival, how we survive this war, and what the consequences will be. Thank you very much for being my guest on Global Research.
MH: It’s good to be here.
Another sledge-hammer post by MH.
This is such a thorough, simple, accurate delivery. I can’t think of anyone else that could produce that quality of exposition.
Thank you Dr. Hudson, for this:
A followup question: “how can we create wealth while fixing the planet?”
As the locus of economic development shifts to Asia, a great deal of new industrial capacity is going to get built in short order.
Will the design of these new economies be just the next edition of out-dated, destructive designs, or will these new economies implement new designs that actually address fundamental deficiencies in Western economy infrastructure?
How will these new economies produce energy, do transport, agriculture, HVAC, and materials cycling?
Those are the main processes which do such great damage to our planet. Those operational processes need _major_ overhauls, or we’re all going to hit the wall very hard.
This is an ideal moment – on so many counts – to lay out a new path forward.
Germany and the E.U. in general could play a very large role in this new design activity. It’s not like they don’t have sufficient motivation. They’re being strangled.
Tom — you are so right “This is an ideal moment – on so many counts – to lay out a new path forward.” but you need to look to the East not the West.
I’ll start with Sir Halford John Mackinder’s The Geographical Pivot of History
Then David Goldman’s China marches on towards Fourth Industrial Revolution Pundit predictions of China’s demise are the latest self-consoling illusions of a lazy elite who can’t see the AI writing on the wall and How America Can Lose the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Russia with half the US population has the same number of STEM graduates (about 250K) yearly. China recognized and acted on this intellectual resource almost two decades ago A new Sino-Russian high-tech partnership
And ever since the 2014 Revolution of Dignity (Maidan Revolution) these activities have accelerated.
And now China is reaching out to India.
Here’s the unrealistic US perspective Opinion | The Chinese Threat No One Is Talking About — And How to Counter It Washington’s big bet on New Delhi as its ideal military partner in Asia seems to be faltering. Luckily, there are ways to get the relationship back on track.
I was first made aware of this a few years ago. How long can it take to ship several hundred (thousands?) of tons of metal? Is there any way the public can verify any request or actual shipment? Does Germany have a FOIA system? Is the German public aware? Does anybody really care?
This is really strange this story about Germany’s gold. There were stories about five years ago where the Germans were demanding their gold back from the US. Google absolutely refuses to bring back any stories about Germany wanting their gold back but using Brave, found a story from 2017 that said ‘Frankfurt now holds just over half of Germany’s total 3,378 tons of gold reserves, with 36.6 percent left in New York and 12.8 percent in London.’ So what happened? Did they stop asking? Did they start returning gold to the US and the UK? You would think that after what happened with Venezuela, that they would keep none in the UK-
Just now found a chart labelled ‘Germany Gold Reserves’ and it, to my eyes, is telling a very strange story-
That exaggerated bar chart makes it appear that there have been some big draw-downs or sales of Germany’s gold, but if you look at the numbers it’s just a very small fraction.
Thanks for the research Rev. I too remember that Germany had asked for it’s gold being stored in the US a number of years ago. If I remember correctly; there was a kerfuffle about it because the US was so reluctant to give them their gold that suspicion arose that perhaps they didn’t have it. After looking at the Trading Economics chart, it looks like Germany hasn’t received any of their gold. I mean a 300 ton deposit should make a blip in the chart, no? One would think that at some point in the last five or ten years there would be an increase in Germany’s gold deposits and not a continual decline. This isn’t even accounting for the additional 374 tons Germany should have received from Paris. It begs the question, did Germany ever receive the gold they asked for back in 2013? If so; where did it go? China? lol.
Perhaps this is another reason for the US and the UK confiscating all of Russia’s gold reserves. They need it to pay back Germany and the other countries who want their gold back… which seems to have disappeared. It makes one wonder how many Western countries are actually bankrupt if one were to do a proper accounting of their gold reserves.
But we have all the gold from Iraq and Libya, don’t we?
Maybe they know that the dollar is gonna crash, so they’re trying to hoard as much as possible?
The night after the Maidan in the Ukraine, all of Ukraine’s gold was loaded aboard an airplane, destination unknown.
Thanks to the censorship loving CEO of my former search engine, I went in search of something better.
May I suggest checking out Presearch.com. It is now my default search engine.
The German public is aware — I believe it was a German politician that originally called for repatriating their gold, and I’m sure it was in the news there.
The German political figure was Peter Boehringer, who in 2011 started a citizens’ action group to “Bring Our Gold Home” (Holt unser Gold heim).
As a member of the right-wing AfD with a seat in the Bundestag, it’s not so easy to get truly neutral info on what he or the gold repatriation issue represents. Most writers in Germany, believing they have a moral obligation to take a position gegen Rechts (“against the Right”), either ignore right-wing populist politicians and causes entirely or virtue-signal by going out of their way to treat them with disdain and portray them in a bad light.
FIRE = “Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate”, no?
Yes, Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate
But I believe “FIRED” is more descriptive of the US economy with D = Defense
Many in the USA can identify with the FIRED economy.
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Energy, Defense.
FIREED where Energy = Oil and Gas Companies
Finance, Real Estate, Insurance, Energy, Defense . . . FRIED. the FRIED economy.
Work it harder to get to FREIER /s
Except it’s war, not defense…. So FWIRE? FIRWE?
This seems like pretty much the trajectory that the British empire was following.
I am skeptical that the Washington hive mind of 21st century is clever enough to come up with this scheme as the initial stimulus for backing Russia into a corner that left them no option other than their special military operation … but I don’t think our neoliberal rulers will miss the resulting opportunity to apply the shock doctrine to the EU good and hard.
What amazes me is that rather than instantly recognizing this for the trap it is, the EU has (for the first time in its brief history?) become a pack of lemmings. It looks like West’s mass media unison propaganda surge as multiplied by Tweeting/TikTok/YouTubing/etc. has completely erased Europeans’ formerly firm grasp of history and the value of distinct national cultures.
i am not. free trade requires war. this was stated by the nutcase that got us entangled in free trade.
under free trade whats mine is mine, whats yours is mine. any country that was foolish enough to believe they were special and not subject to smash and grab, were fools.
nafta billy clinton made this quite clear.
clearly this is fascism,
“bill clinton did this,
NATO bombed Yugoslavia for 78 days following accusations that Milošević was ethnically cleansing Albanians in Kosovo.
The late Milošević was quietly and de facto cleared of all charges by the Hague Tribunal in 2016, but by the time the truth came out, Yugoslavia was long gone, broken into seven, more manageable and exploitable, countries. One of those profiteers, Albright’s financial management company, was involved in the privatization of Kosovo’s telecommunications company. From Wikipedia, one can learn that she too likely profits well from her war mongering, along with other untouchables”
bill clinton did this to the mexicans,
“There’s no other option for us. It’s either certain death in our villages where we can’t survive, largely due to NAFTA, or maybe dying on the road.”
“a bill clinton mouth piece,
In a March 28 New York Times article, Thomas Friedman wrote:
“For globalization to work, America can’t be afraid to act like the almighty superpower that it is… The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist. McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley’s technologies is called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.”
As NATO troops entered Kosovo, the same newspaper announced Kosovo’s new currency will be the U.S. dollar or German mark, currencies of the two countries most responsible for Yugoslavia’s break-up. And after months of being told that Slobodan Milosevic was the problem, we heard Washington Balkans expert, Daniel Serwer, explain:
“It’s not a single person that’s at issue, there’s a regime in place in Belgrade that is incompatible with the kind of economy that the World Bank… has to insist on…”
” Bill Clinton elaborated:
“If we’re going to have a strong economic relationship that includes our ability to sell around the world Europe has got to be the key; that’s what this Kosovo thing is all about… It’s globalism versus tribalism.”
“Tribalism” was the word used by 19th century free trade liberals to describe nationalism. And this war was all about threatening any nation which might have ideas of independence.”
“Globalization undermines both democracy and national sovereignty, the only guarantors of human rights. Unfortunately for Messrs. Clinton, Chretien et al, that message was not lost on millions around the world watching NATO bombs pulverize Yugoslavia.”
“Globalism is the creation of a set of property rights that, precisely because they span multiple sovereignties, cannot be touched by one government without inviting conflict with another.
Organizing property and production across borders—whether through free trade, protections for foreign investment, currency unions or other devices—does more than limit the power of governments. It also serves, “to dissolve the small, discrete collective of mutual identification—which means a country.”
offshore tax havens are a direct result of free trade: the pathology of free trade is being exposed
Today’s global rich are increasingly stateless, detaching their money from nation states and conventional representations of ownership to hide and preserve it. A global oligarchy is growing — and it does not bode well for everyone else and the planet.
free trade enables the plundering of the wealth of nations, especially hurting the world’s most poor and vulnerable populations. It allows wealthy individuals and corporations to dodge and evade their tax responsibilities, shifting obligations onto those with fewer resources. It empowers criminals, deadbeats, and kleptocrats
in 1983 there were only 15 billionaires in the u.s.a., under nafta billy clintons free trade, billionaires have ballooned into more than 615, and under free trade, this is happening globally
While I totally agree, I’m a bit more cynical.
Given the “vast collective intelligence” of our leaders, why didn’t anyone do the math regarding how much gas Europe gets from Russia vs what the West can supply? Given the ease of this math problem, I’m thinking this entire outrage inducing affair in addition to increasing war profits, faking out the Europeans is also a psyop to unite Americans in their increasing poverty, and give another reason to hate the Russkies in preparation for the next battle.
As a side note, the guerrilla group, M23, which is funded by French mining concerns, is taking over the DRC/Uganda border, causing another refugee crisis, but the media is mum. I only know this because I know some people working at the camps, which are being inundated.
I ran out of outrage after the 7 million killed in the DRC the “victory” for cell phones.
I’m really worrying about the battle for the last cookie, seriously.
I suspect that the European Nations are still thankful for getting bailed out in WWII by the US and therefore implicitly trust the US.
Except that, for all intents and purposes, they got bailed out by the USSR, Mighty Wurlitzer notsithstanding.
The USSR beat the Nazis, but without the US there would probably have been no D-Day and the Red Army may have reached the Atlantic, an even less appealing prospect to European elites than Nazi occupation.
Are they dumb?
Sounds dumb to me. I think we have to come to terms with the fact that the people in charge of our country are, to an increasing degree, mentally unbalanced and disconnected from reality. It’s not about “evil” but about mental health. Hope that’s not true, despite all the evidence.
I have never heard Michael Hudson lay it out quite so bluntly as he did in this interview. If more people could hear this, they might change their mind about what is actually happening with Russia/USA/Ukraine.
Tend to agree with you Steven, but I am reminded by the old Upton Sinclair quote about how do you get a person to understand, when he/she are getting paid not to.
But as you say, Dr. Hudson is a breath of fresh air and an important voice for us!
How can you believe all of what Mr. Hudson says, but also believe what the people he rails against say? He tells you the people who run your country are essentially criminals, but you do whatever the criminals tell you? And in the comment sections you cheer, “Dr. Hudson is a god who walks the earth” and then tune into CNN and believe whatever they say?
Speaking personally mind, when an intelligent, articulate person speaks the truth in long, highly detailed sentences and what they says rings true based on your own experiences and what you can see with your own eyes, then I am going to listen to him or her.
And when I compare what the good Dr says compared with what the people he rails against say with things that the Pandemic is over, torture is only enhanced interrogation, illegal wars are OK when we do it, Russia threw the election to Trump, our billionaires are not the same as their oligarchs, etc. then there is no competition.
I would hazard a guess too that most readers here have little trust in CNN or MSNBC or whatever their local propaganda outlet says which is why people gravitate to here. And why go to the Washington Post and the New York Times either when you can download White House briefings for free?
Most of the people that are getting their news on the web are not watching the propaganda that is on cable TV.
…and then tune into CNN and believe whatever they say?
You must me new here. I’d have to agree with The Rev Kev that anyone who’s been here for any length of time has long since given up on getting any news from CNN, MSNBC, FOX or any mainstream media (stereotypical left or right). They might check in from time to time to see what’s new on the propaganda agenda to avoid, but that’s not their normal approach to being informed.
Why do you think anyone here believes what CNN says? Or even tunes-in to CNN?
You know he’s believable when he’s not given a chance to speak nor is quoted in the MSM, who are busy fanning the flames of war. BTW, I know that we have no choice in the foreign or domestic policy – we don’t do whatever the criminals tell us. I don’t believe most of the commentariat here watch CNN or any of MSM except to get a few laughs.
And who else have they done that to in the recent past? Do you believe them when they say the unjabbed are out to get you? Everything is a white nationalist conspiracy and they’re the greatest threat to the country? Can anyone here explain to me how the Financial system was not blowing up again in late 2019 and just happened to go away once the Fed upped its balance sheet to about 9 trillion smackers in a super short time?
Do you guys honestly blame anyone for not believing the authorities since 2020 or even since 2016? I’ve seen plenty of posters here wax about how the unjabbed do no deserve jobs and so forth. Isn’t it strange how much it which shall not be named and the Ukraine rhythm? The jabbed say all unjabbed will die, the unjabbed say all jabbed will die. Ukraine says Russians selling people into slavery and murdering blah blah blah, then Russia says the same?
Honestly i haven’t believe anything they’ve said since 2008.
I have not believed most authorities since 1948, when I reached the age of 5, and first went to kindergarten.
I get the aggravation with vaccine-as-answer attitudes, but NC is filled with clean air freaks, not Fauci fanatics. So try to relax.
The challenge is to keep tabs on alternate anti-authoritarian points of view lest this become another echo chamber.
FWIW, that’s not my impression of the commentariat here at all. If anything, the discussion has been quite critical of the overblown claims being made for the vaccines, and very open to and respectful of those who decided against getting jabbed for whatever reason. I have at times seen comments from people here expressing the garden variety of liberal aghastitude w.r.t. the unjabbed, but not as any general bias of commenters here.
Do you have any facts and figures regarding the percent of NaCap contributors and also reader-commenters tune in to CNN and believe whatever CNN says?
Whereas I’ve been following along with both MH’s excellent historical and prescient reviews, I found Patrick Bond’s, China’s neoliberal exploitative policy, take, (from Johannesburg) to be compelling and seemingly forthright.
Maybe the commentariat can parse the debate dialogue.
The above link is a debate with Patrick Bond
and Michael Hudson at the analysis.com with Paul Jay moderating.
I read that and Bond’s comments are disturbing. I did wonder if the Chinese government is really interested in Zimbabwe’s diamonds or if it is some private Chinese company. Industrial diamonds are mostly synthesized these days I believe.
Thanks to someone for the reference in comments to a Naked Capitalism post to the articles in Consortium News, particularly Biden Confirms Why the US Needed This War (https://consortiumnews.com/2022/03/27/can-russia-escape-the-us-trap) Also take a look at Pentagon Drops Truth Bombs to Stave Off War With Russia What I find particularly frightening is the degree to which the mass media – and that includes PBS’s Frontline – has instilled a view of world affairs so utterly out of touch with reality the people who understand the consequences of what this country’s leadership is proposing have felt compelled to step in and provide at least a little glimpse.
There is one point on which I might take issue with Dr. Hudson:
Even if the oil companies are permitted to continuing poisoning the acquifers so they can drain the last dregs of fracked oil and gas from US reserves, as has been made clear for years in the pages of Naked Capitalism that game is about over. Then, of course, there is cooking the planet. But the PTB seem incapable of looking more than 18 months out.
Questions for the scenario: Most of the world is not participating in sanctions, and India and China are making efforts to promote exchanges in roubles for petroleum. Its not clear that Europe can function without Russian LNG, and its not clear that the US has sufficient supply to replace the Russian supply. It does not appear Russia has sufficient infrastructure to divert petroleum to India/China at this time to replace lost sales to Europe.
On the issue of supply, a decrease in supply will lead to pricing spikes and world-wide recession. It would create temporary high profit for US petro companies, but tank economies in the US and Europe, as well as probably destroy Germany as an export economy. Long-term, it would probably just result in a re-routing of supply from Russia to Eurasia and US to Europe.
I am missing how this is going to particularly help America. If you break Germany as an export economy, where are the dollars going to come from to pay for American petro? [Aren’t they going to go to China and get exchanged for roubles?] If you can’t stop Russian production long-term, and only divert it, isn’t it only a temporary benefit? Also, if you have food shortages and gas price shocks domestically, isn’t that going to wreck incumbent politicians in Europe and America.
I am having a hard time connecting the dots as to who benefits, other than defense contractors, who always benefit from escalating tension, unless we are talking about the short-term profits of oil and gas companies. If we are, does it make sense to threaten your long-term geopolitical interests so that oil and gas can make a quick buck. It just seems crazy from the standpoint of a Western politician who presumably wants to get re-elected to office, and so I have to assume that the politicians are stupid and/or ignorant and/or blind.
we’re not smoking the same shit as the Masters of the Universe(tm).
here’s a taste of the “thinking”:
see if you can identify the numerous unexamined assumptions shot through the foundations of such thinking.
“…For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.”_Blake
these people appear to really believe that the USA is still the Essential Empire, and that we really do spread Democracy(tm) and goodness and light throughout the endarkened earth…as well as that we still have the wherewithal to bribe and/or force everyone else to bow down and just do what we want. They also appear to really believe that it is USAEmpire’s Right to rule the world…that it’s incomprehensible that anyone could reasonably conclude otherwise…and that both Ukraine, Iraq and the South China Sea are rightly to be considered Ours, and well within our “Sphere of Influence”: A Global Monroe Doctrine, unilateral, and not to be questioned.
it looks to me like what Russia did in the last month, is break the stalemate.
i’ve long thought that most of the rest of the world would rather USA Empire just go away…but it was too dangerous for any one of them to make the move.
now, Russia seems to have determined that now is as good a time as any to cut the cord, say to hell with the West, in general, and the USA in particular…and break the impasse.
China appears to be very carefully following suit…and much of the rest of the world, sans Europe and Australia and Japan, are watching…and staying neutral for the time being, to see what shakes out.
If one takes a hard look at the USAEmpire’s behaviour over the last 80-100 years…well…Uncle Sam is kind of a dick.
a multipolar world led by China and Russia might look pretty good to what we used to call the Third World by comparison…and, i’d venture, it will look pretty good to Lapdog Europe sooner rather than later.
USA will become a pariah…a well earned condition, in my opinion….and be isolated and cordoned off from the world.
…at least until the USA is ready to Do the Work…i.e.:”4. Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”…(and i’d recommend steps 5 through 10, as well…)
The USA seems to have broken both your rules: It’s doing stupid things and being a dick.
“. . . a multipolar world led by China and Russia might look pretty good to what we used to call the Third World by comparison . . . ” Seems like happy nonsense to me. If history is any guide the managers of empire and wanabe empire builders have always been pretty much the same to the folks on the receiving end. The business of empire is extraction, weather it be led by Rome, Spain, England, the US, or some sort of China Russia foolishness. For most of the world I’d guess the reaction to any “new” world power structure would actually be more like “. . . meet the new boss, same as the old boss”.
kwark–I hope you are wrong, but I fear you’re right. There is some hope for a new style, in that Russia seems to be putting determined politicians ahead of oligarchs, and China seems to be de-oligarching some of its former VIP’s.
we used to hear , incessantly, how “Change is Good!”.
in fact, that was the mantra from Clinton onwards, as they were shipping the physical plant elsewhere.
“Creative Destruction”, in the words and deeds of some of the perpetrators.
Now, it looks like it’s time for thems that said it’s…indeed, made this all possible, re: China and Russia…turn to reap their reward(Nemesis forever stalks Hubris)
until all men are angels, and actual Anarchy is possible(once we’re down to a manageable level, of a few hundred individuals, perhaps?), government is necessary…but government/power arrangements that go on too long, become ossified and clunky, and end up serving only those at the tippy top.
we’ve been growing into that place for most of my 53 years.
an elite class, resting on their laurels, even as they burn…and catch fire to all the hovels surrounding their marble palaces.
it’s past time to burn the field we’ve been living in.
Russia may have merely struck the match.
It is in the nature of things that something eventually would.
I doubt the neoliberal world order will continue in its current form. The US is pushing in all its chips, and going for broke to make a new world of its own. The attempts to establish a new institution for exchange of digital dollars is one such new mechanism, the UN’s “Sustainable Development Goals” are another, but the idea of global market based regulation of resources is the most substantial. The washington concensus is dead, and the western financial elite needs some way to sell the idea of increased obligations to the world with development off the table. I think they may have found it in financializing humanitarianism, even applying it within the US as in Obamacare.
There’s a well-known phenomenon called apophenia, which is much studied by psychologists, and is essentially the need to impose patterns on unrelated data, to avoid succumbing to the despair of living in a world where nothing makes any sense. It’s often applied to historical events or current crises in an attempt to force them into some kind of coherent pattern, and to avoid the conclusion that national leaders are actually as stupid and incompetent as recent history has actually shown them to be. So in the case of something like the Ukraine crisis, there are enough genuine moving parts, not to mention allegations, accusations and conspiracy theories, that an almost infinite number of interpretations can be put forward, depending on the preconceptions you start from.
I’m sure that there are individual figures in Washington who think some of these things, and would no doubt like to see them come about. But wishes don’t make a strategy, and in any case, the fragmented and chaotic nature of what is politely called “policy-making” in Washington pretty much rules out any effective long-term strategy being carried out. It’s clear, in fact, that both the US and Europe are completely adrift at the moment, floundering around without any clear idea what to do beyond the next news cycle. It’s an entirely fair criticism to say that they should have anticipated this turn of events, but it’s very clear they didn’t, or they would have reacted differently.
I’ve noticed over the years a tendency for USians of all political persuasions to massively overestimate the amount of practical influence the US has on the politics of other countries. In reality, beyond ritual expressions of solidarity and very high-level strategic orientations, most day-to-day politics in Europe, for example, isn’t greatly influenced by the US. In particular the idea of the US dominating European politics by assassinating and bribing European political leaders would come as a surprise to those who have actually worked in European politics. My impression was that kind of thing only happens in the United States.
As one obvious point, if the US had a veto over European decision making, there would be no natural gas connections between western Europe and Russia/Soviet Union. Washington has been vocally opposing them since the 1980’s. The Germans simply ignored the US and had them built anyway.
LOL! Well that’s because the Europeans till seem to have at least one foot in the real world, 1+1 still = 2. Here in America we have reality fairies where we just assume can can always create our own. Damn wish I knew what Chaney smokes ;)
Great typo! Now I’ll always see Dick Cheney as Lon Chaney.
Oh, Cheney is just high on life! Literally. He smokes the bodies of his victims. Much bigger rush, and way more addictive than crack.
The Germans built natural gas connections between western Europe and Russia/Soviet Union in opposition to u.s. stated objections. I suspect those gas lines will eventually carry gas in opposition to u.s. stated objections. But I doubt this will constitute defiance of the considered u.s. intent. U.s. Big Oil will not lose a market they have sufficient product to exploit for the present and they have driven a wedge in the middle of what appeared to be moves toward greater Russian and German cooperation.
I think there is a little more coherence to what is going on than you see, and Michael Hudson’s explanation of the actions and events makes more sense than attributing them entirely to the stupidity and incompetence of national leaders, or an incomprehensible chaos of allegations, accusations and conspiracy theories which might fit almost any “explanation”. While the idea of u.s. operatives assassinating and bribing European leaders may seem a little far-fetched — take a second look at the long history of u.s. political assassinations and bribery world-wide. I am not privy to the surprise those who have actually worked in European politics might express … but I doubt European leaders are immune to the suasions of money, power, and blackmail.
Easily foreseeable events arising from the Ukraine situation are not in the national interests of the u.s although they are in the parochial interests of a dominant cluster of factions of the u.s. Elites, the MIC and Big Oil. And those events are clearly and definitely not in the interests of European nations not excluding the former Soviet satellite countries — regardless how they may loathe Russia based on its past trespasses. Though not examined in Dr. Hudson’s discussion, I do not believe it would be a reach to look for patterns of parochial interests of a dominant cluster of factions of the European Elites moving events behind the stupidity, incompetence, chaos, and madness Dr. Hudson described. I believe the European Elites contain factions of MIC and Big Oil … indeed they are also present among Russia’s Elites.
Two examples of relatively recent assassinations of key political leaders in Europe, reminiscent of similar U.S. events:
Olof Palme (prime minister of Sweden; 1986).
Pim Fortuyn (candidate well positioned to become PM of the Netherlands; 2002)
I read the following article before MH.
Then I read the first para of MH.
Then my head exploded.
I have believed that the entire financial world is bound together so tightly at the molecular level that major change was impossible as the losses couldn’t be pinned on anyone in great enough size to matter.
Way past kick the can. More like snowball rolling down an infinite hill.
RU was supposed to be the Bear of 2022!?!? Right?
Gold – Built in economic austerity that won’t have to be legislated.
I read Luongo’s article yesterday too. Very bold claims. I wish I could evaluate them.
POTUS Biden: ““I know eliminating Russian gas will have _costs for Europe_, but it’s the right thing to do [for the USA], and it will put us on a stronger strategic footing [the USA makes more money].“ :)))
Correction: Some in the USA will make more money while most of us will just pay more money.
We could label this The Albright Doctrine.
While the DC hive mind is incapable of strategic planning, meaning something that extends over (say) a 5 year time horizon, the MIC+FF complex certainly is capable of it.
So, the Ukraine plan is 8 plus years old and still going. The payoff to the MIC/FF is obvious. The rest of us can go screw ourselves.
There is the wee problem that the renewable energy complex is also demonstrating long term strategic planning chops. Koch has noticed and moved in with a large investment in battery storage, but renewables are a better financing option than FF as they get to revenue in a year. Nuclear’s big problem is how long it takes to execute (speaking just about finance).
In a rational world, the EU would swing strongly to renewables + storage + nuclear and reap generational wealth from their investment (not to mention the whole “don’t kill the planet thing”). In the neoliberal world, the MIC/FF complex would lose, so…(you can fill the blank here depending on your own crystal ball).
The MIC and Big Oil do indeed seem capable of planning over longer time domains. However, I am not sure they are able to plan beyond one longer goal, and anticipate how attaining that goal might change things. Looking back at Big Tobacco, they were able to plan and act over a long term to protect their interests also. Maybe longer term planning and actions is possible for firms as long as it does little to impact short-term profits, and short-term profits may leave the necessary slack if they need not be optimized but sufficient to the moment.
Great interview. Thank you.
Chubais leaving is a big deal. He was there from the days of perestroika. He was photographed withdrawing cash from an ATM in Istanbul, collar up, furtive expression, like a fugitive.
So Russia truly may have a chance to stand things on their head and try MMT. Will they?
As to Europe, some day it will wake up, but probably not before it’s incurred a lot of pain, a generational drop in the living standards and maybe destruction of their social state.
The Wolfowitz Doctrine was, in a nutshell, “Kill them while we still can.” But even when he first iterated this thought, it was too late for neoliberalism; it was already terminal. Progress and technology were probably the stealth destroyers. I’m wondering now if our demise wasn’t set in stone when we decided to go to war in Vietnam. It put us clearly on a neoliberal trajectory for the rest of the century. And when it was only too clear that things were never going to go our way because neoliberalism was an impossible expectation, we dragged our heels. If we had not gone full neoliberal in 1965, we would have had to go gradually socialist. One or the other. Socialism would have been the right path. Less destructive. Much better progress. Control over environmental protections. Human equality and cooperation. One thing in our way still is the idiotic barrage of interpretations of our constitutional rights. So we need to talk. Let’s talk.
Wow Susan a Three-Fer and a Home Run:
— The Wolfowitz Doctrine was, in a nutshell, “Kill them while we still can.”
— I’m wondering now if our demise wasn’t set in stone when we decided to go to war in Vietnam.
— One thing in our way still is the idiotic barrage of interpretations of our constitutional rights. So we need to talk.
— Let’s talk.
That begs the question of why US companies and US-developed technologies are still so influential and highly sought out, though.
If we’ve been in ‘terminal decline’ since 1965, why are countries all over the world buying iphones, watching streaming services developed in the West, using Google servers and Amazon Web Services, etc.? Why hasn’t the US lost the capability to create these competitive technologies?
If whatever you’re labeling ‘socialism’ is so superior to what the US has, why hasn’t it ‘won’? Why do new technologies continue to be developed in the US? Why is the US not a ward of the CCP or Russia? It’s been almost sixty years since 1965.
I agree. The US empire is doing OK. It’s their republic that’s dying.
For myself and others like me, the issue is what side am I on? I live in the US. I want to found another new nation of airports, but I only have an armed citizenship in the US, of the US.
Russia is ruled by “Baby Stalin”. China is ruled by Xi, another dictator. Warren Mosler says the US gives China paper and China gives the US real things, what’s the problem? There is the issue of strategic materials and strategic systems. Whatever it is that Russia gives anybody beyond fossil fuels and a hard time, I don’t know. Baby Stalin either poisons or jails or murders any political competition he has.
That the economic warfare wasn’t even attempted to be brought to a resolution fast of course meant what Michael McFaul would call a Hot War. The West has had so much money that is respected it could send plenty to Russian entrepreneurs, seducing them into a western way of thinking. As rents go up it is they can pay. The labor no matter in what city in the US can’t keep up. Rentiers are coddled. The Rentiers read in the papers that people of the working classes have gotten some money, either from work and wages, or the government, and the rents go up and up, never to come down.
Trump and his supporters believe lies and jump the gun as he wants to be as much an American Dictator as could ever be. It is in a picture, a Dos Passos Camera Eye insane. If I am on my side then and must fight, and fight to win, I go to the flanks and haul Louis DeJoy out of his office.
Ed Snowden is right that when you are surveilled all the time you are not free. I can say anything I want, but will be paid in ignore. It has been that or run out of town for me.
There is no where for an American to go, so how and where to fight domestically is the whole of the question.
I suggest that you make an effort to expand your sources of information relating to Russia.
Link up with the Marxists, Libertarians, and Paleoconservatives. Unite the rural and urban proletariat. Love your neighbor. Never give up. Never surrender. Reject Identity Politics. Decentralize Power in the US. Stop bitching and start a revolution. How about we gladwrap some Neolibs/Neocons for war crimes?
Oh, and BTW I see you praise Snowden (correctly) which kind of contradicts your characterization of Putin as Baby Stalin. What does it say that an American Patriot needs to refuge in Russia, which historically has been a great ally to America from the Civil War to WWII.
Let us not forget that Americans are more united than we think! The thin veil of MSM is slipping allowing for the possibility of a Great Populist Narrative Reset!
Let us not forget that Americans are more united than we think!
I’ve always agreed with Adolph Reed Jr’s concept that we can work better together with our common interests that are greater than some minor issues we can put aside for the group effort. We saw that about fifteen years ago when Occupy Wall Street issues started overlapping with some Tea Party issues (which probably points at a shared CLASS interest.)
Similar to what Adolph Reed Jr has said elsewhere, it seems the US is indeed at a very dangerous crossroads, with one path leading to Trumpian ultranationalist authoritarianism, and the other towards … what? A true social democracy — the path we could have taken in ‘65, as Susan mentioned above? The latter path is the only sane one, and is of course my weak hope, but it’s hard to be optimistic. The country might rally around a true champion of the people — if there is one who would say ‘enough with the effing performative cheerleading!’ and describe in hard terms what has gone wrong, how f*cked up things are for most Americans, but it seems the ‘third way’ Clinton-Biden-Pelosi PMC neoliberals first need to suffer losses so profoundly humiliating that their only choice is an exit.
Different groups of Americans will pursue different answers to the question of how and where to fight domestically, so hopefully Americans of all the different domestic fighting groups will be respectful or at least tolerant of eachother and eachothers’ groups. That way they won’t waste time and energy trying to raid eachothers’ groups for recruits into their own group. That will allow the fighting groups and the members of the fighting groups to put their energy into doing their best work in pursuing their different theories of how and what to fight, and in what battlespace.
And the different fighting groups can compare notes from time to time as to who is making what progress towards what.
The West has had so much money that is respected it could send plenty to Russian entrepreneurs, seducing them into a western way of thinking.
I’m pretty sure we tried that and we ended up facilitating the fleecing (if you’re not clear on this point, that is what our government does. Make fleecing easier for already wealthy people) of the former soviet union creating their oligarchs, while enriching our own oligarchs further in the process.
There’s no need to fight, just sit back and enjoy collapse.
I never trust post-hoc explainations. Working backwards from the ends is rarely fruitful except that it can often illuminate the many forces that were at work to create a disaster. Have you ever noticed that national sucesses are almost never explained as the work of conspiracies, only national failures?
Based on conspiracy logic,a good explaination for the Ukraine war is that China secretly infiltrated the Biden administration and engineered the war to push Russia into the waiting arms of the Chinese.
Occum’s Razor; never assume a conspiracy when simple incompetence will surfice.
“The war doesn’t seem to be economic as much as neoliberal, a visceral hatred of Russia, and a hatred of Germany also, among the neocons. And I think that’s, it’s not understood, but there’s this non-economic, almost a racist hatred at work here when it extends to China for instance.”
Which is more like the little man with moustache in Germany during WWII than Putin.
Didn’t he prioritize his hatreds of particular groups over good strategy? Among other things….
As an American, I consider two political events the black curse: Barry Goldwater getting slaughtered in 1964 and the Powell Memo blueprint of 1971. That’s when Big Biz and their Big Money Parasitic pals like The Bushes, Mellons, Scaifes, etc. decided they had to get serious about destroying the New Deal. The U.S. was going in a Democratic Socialist direction. Big No-No in their greedy minds. They teamed up with their natural allies in the Religious Right. They were very patient. They schemed, bribed, assassinated, stayed patient and stuck to the long term plan. Then came Reagan getting elected in 1980. Both the neocons and neoliberals knew they hit the jackpot. It’s been a slow slide down ever since. And now climate catastrophe is facing us. I have watched and despised these malignant yahoos for decades. They don’t represent me and a lot of Americans. I’m working my 4th campaign as a political volunteer. I have met plenty of my fellow citizens, all colors, ages, sexes. They know and they are angry. I’m talking regular Americans, not QAnon nuts, Prosperity Fundie idiots and PMC centrists. Believe me, we are not them. Thanks for the read.
MH: Banks, since the 13th century, have made the bulk of their money on trade financing. Receivables, if you’re an importer of oil, you get a letter of credit so that the bank promises to pay when the delivery is made. Trade financing is a huge banking activity, and now, the US banks are locked out of this trade…
This trade. But what about arms/weapons sales? USA is the #1 dealer in the world, with business doing gangbusters right now, how are these international sales financed?
I’m asking because I can’t find squat on this subject on the interwebs, although maybe I haven’t found the right question. Is it primarily government guarantees and financing? Who’s squeezing juice out of these loans or sucking at the tit? USA has 1M+ employed in this industry, but aside from shareholders and the hourly or salary rent-boys, who’s really making a buck by lubing the wheels of commerce and taking their percentage?
I am not positive — I believe the u.s. government finances many of the sales to poorer nations. The Saudis and their kind can provide their own financing. The arms trade is also a means of control — not unlike sales of food — in addition to being a simple export . The u.s. may sell you jets, but they might sell only your enemy the same jets with better countermeasures or better missiles, and will if you get out of line.
I am not positive — I believe the u.s. government finances many of the sales to poorer nations.
Thanks for that, I dug around a bit more:
DEFENSE SECURITY COOPERATION AGENCY
An interesting running list of major arms sales— Tomahawks to UK, MLRS to Bahrain, Ballistic Missile Defense Radar to UK, MH-60 helicopters to Spain… ….a pretty good month.
And more from their website:
DSCA proactively identified opportunities to help many allies and partners balance FMS financial obligations with current financial realities… For example, DSCA identified opportunities such as offering eligible allies and partners the opportunity to delay planned payments to future years on current procurements, established unique payment plans on procurements currently in development and returned excess funds currently on deposit with the United States.
These opportunities along with several recent reforms such as reduced administrative fees associated with FMS and offering competitive financing, lowered the cost of doing business with the United States…
The ability of the u.s. to control other countries through arms sales extends through time through sales of parts and support. The decline in the quality, effectiveness, and cost effectiveness of the MIC’s less-than-the-best weapons of today, like so many other impacts of short-sight reaching their maturity, join other demerits to further undermine the u.s. as global hegemon.
Not so very long ago, the u.s. found ways to finance supplying arms and training to far-right armies in Latin America through exerting some control over and sponsoring sales in the drug trade for cocaine in u.s. cities. These were ways the Elite avoided having to deal with Congress. The really cute part of these deals was the sale of missiles to Iran to scrounge up funds. The upshot of this was the almost forgotten Iran Contra Affair, whose trials entertained the u.s. masses during the reign of Saint Reagan.
Thank you very much for printing this interview. Many links at Naked Capitalism are behind paywalls or have other requirements for reading that block my access. In those cases I wait for comments or perhaps the whole thing reprinted a day later.
Many people at NC do not have the time I enjoy since I retired and cannot spend a lot of time reading, although YewTube and podcasts have changed the ways individuals can access information. NC has introduced me to many influential persons, Professor Hudson being one such person. I want to let the commentariat know that Prof. Hudson has a 3 part YewTube series put out about a year ago titled Global Financial Empire – The Political Economy of Globalization. Part One has two lectures and for those who are busy I would recommend they take some time to watch/listen to the last twelve minutes of this. The whole part one, which is composed of two lectures, is 1:48, but watching from the 1:35 point is highly illuminating. It covers a little of his experiences and deals more with what he calls ‘externality’ or matters external to economic models. I will not attempt to summarize it. Those who want to understand more about Michael Hudson will enjoy this. LINKY
At one point in this lecture series he makes the remark that if he had done the series as a comedy show it would have generated more viewers. That reminds me of what Gonzalo Lira said last Saturday when he remarked about the number of live viewers he had at that time and said these people must have no lives. It was a spring Saturday and the sun was out. They should be out enjoying themselves and living life to it’s fullest instead of being cooped up inside staring at a computer screen. I hope he survives this war.