The dissolution of the European societies Read more >>>
Acte 14: France revolt: Several demonstrators seriously wounded in Rouen (Updated 18:30) Read more >>>
The single most important event in Europe: the revolt of the French people continues. (Update 16:15 ) Read more >>>
Convictions create modern religions and do away with science Read more >>>
Act XII, the revolution in France continues. (Update 20:30) Read more >>>
American dreams about energy independence may never come true. After a continuing decrease in the shale oil production, also the shale gas output has reached its peak and started to fall. As shale oil and gas make up half of the total United States oil and gas production and the rig count remains historically low, the American energy independence is shrinking and hopes for American LNG supply to Europe are disappearing into thin air. The US continues to be a net importer of energy resources and this is not going to change.
Dreams about the American energy autonomy are far from being abandoned, though. The shale revolution enthusiasm was shared even by top politicians, like Hillary Clinton, who claimed that the US had achieved energy independence, even if it was obviously not true. Gas autonomy seemed to be more achievable that of oil and 2016 was slated to be the first year when the US would export more gas than import.
On the morning of 19 December Ukrainians got up to learn about a momentous economic decision: the biggest Ukrainian bank, PrivatBank, had just been nationalised after its two owners used depositors’ money to build a business empire and distributed the money among Jewish organisations in Europe. Why did it have to happen?
A look into the past. PrivatBank used to be Ukraine’s largest bank with 20% of the banking sector and $53bn assets.Its history is quite unusual for the country’s realities because it:
was one of the first private banks (formed in 1992);
was the first bank to introduce plastic cards and ATMs;
was the first Ukrainian financial institution to receive an international rating (Thomson BankWatch International Rating Agency, Fitch IBCA);
was the first Ukrainian bank to have opened its International Banking Unit in Cyprus in 1999;
introduced electronic banking in 2001;
received STP Excellence Award from Deutsche Bank in 2003.
In 1992, at the end of the Cold War, an American political scientist infamously proclaimed “the end of history:” liberal democracy and the capitalist system has won, the rest of the world will eventually embrace western ideas as superior to theirs because only they are able to provide peace and prosperity.
This line of reasoning has since become the West’s dogma in international relations, and so under the pretext of spreading human rights and parliamentary democracy all over the world the West perceives itself to be on a mission. For a while, it worked. Most of Eastern Europe readily embraced Western democracy and capitalism and even Russia seemed to follow.
The turmoil in the financial market was far from good news to President-Elect Donald Trump.
The 10-year Treasury yield was on pace for the largest 2-week rise since 2009. The crash in the bond market happened alongside a 10% devaluation of the Japanese yen.
The mainstream media presented the dumping of Treasury bonds as good news. Investors miraculously expected the US economy to boom and inflation to rise now that Donald Trump will be their president. The same media analysts that predicted two weeks ago that the financial world would collapse if Trump were elected are now convinced that Trump’s plan to increase spending and lower taxes will finance itself.
61% of the Dutch voters rejected the Ukraine association treaty in a referendum this year. 31% of the population showed up, which is a far larger number than of those who turned up at Maidan to protest. For the second time the Dutch population cast its vote in a referendum, for the second time the outcome will be nullified in the name of European Democracy.
European leaders have celebrated the Maidan revolution as the attempt of Ukrainian people to join the family of liberal democracies of Western Europe. It couldn’t be further from the truth. In the official version presented in the West, Maidan protests were spontaneously sparked off when the pro-Russian Yanukovich government renounced to ratify an association agreement with the European Union.
Yet in November 2013, before the Maidan movement even started, Oleg Tsarov, member of the Ukrainian parliament, had reported in a parliamentary session on the recruitment of activists organized by the US embassy in Kiev for unknown purposes.
The US embassy in Kiev, via its representative Victoria Nuland, would later become a primary actor in pressuring for a regime change and the formation of a pro-West government in the first months of 2014. For clarity, Victoria Nuland is the third in charge of the US foreign policy, second only President Obama and John Kerry, who had been busy negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran.
The overwhelming majority of polls gave her a strong lead in the electoral colleges count, but the outcome proved to be the exact opposite. America has asked for a change, just like in 2008 with Obama, and the repetition also means the latter did not deliver.
Donald Trump has won. Against the odds, against the polls, against the massive attacks from the media that have gone to great lengths during the past several months to depict him as a monster, a cannibal, a flaw in the pattern, a Putin-fan, a war-monger, a racist, an abomination, the worst candidate in all of history. Every article, well, every paragraph in an article contained a disparaging word like ‘populist’ or ‘populism’ in reference to Trump.
It may well be so or else he wouldn’t have opened an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s careless handling of classified information. If the FBI director knew Hillary was going to become president in a few weeks’ time and still pursed the agenda of investigating her case, he would certainly run the risk of having his career broken once and for all.
Populism. If you open a newspapers or look up the news online, you are likely to find declarations from the President of the European Commission Juncker, or the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, or the French President François Hollande, just to name a few, that ‘’European people should not fall for populism’’.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of ‘’The Black Swan’’, best-selling book on the verge of the 2007 financial crisis, offers a different interpretation in one of his latest commentaries in a harsh criticism of intellectuals: ‘’ What we generally call participation in the political process, he (The Intellectual) calls by two distinct designations: “democracy” when it fits the Intellectual-Yet-Idiot, and “populism” when the plebeians dare voting in a way that contradicts his preferences.’’
The United States of America is deemed a benchmark of democracy. One of the pillars of democracy is free and independent press. And an objective one. Without objective press, the freedom of speech is replaced by propaganda, exactly the same as that one in Russia or other “autocracies”. Can we speak about democracy in the US if two major titles openly support one of the presidential candidates? Is it still democracy, if the press have already chosen who should be the commander-in-chief instead of leaving this decision to the voters?
Apple’s $14 billion EU tax fine, and the suspension of the TTIP negotiations cannot come as a surprise; they are a clear retaliation for the totally unjustified penalties the US authorities imposed on European banks during the period between 2009 and 2014.
These fines were based on a change in U.S. regulations made in the second half of the 2010’s, i.e. that all operations done in dollars need to conform to American regulations. As the Dollar happens to be the world’s reserve currency, the US unilaterally expanded its jurisdiction on all other nations. The U.S. has the power to subjugate their partners to their authority and hand over some of their sovereignty to the ruling elites in Washington. BNP Paribas was forced to pay $8.9 billion to Washington regulators. The extraordinary high penalty on the French bank was for all intents and purposes a humiliation of France.
The US alternative media rightly like to point out how the big banks buy their influence in Washington, but they purposely fail to mention another more powerful interest group, with much more influence. For every dollar a lobby group donates, it wants something in return. According to our analyses, the big banks are not the principal contributors who pull strings in Washington. The money trail shows another influential group that have put their wealth and money behind both candidates.
Presidential candidates have always had their political action committees (PACs). These collected money from donors and used it for the campaign. Traditional PACs must abide by strict limits: the money can only be accepted from individual contributors (corporations and labor unions excluded) and its amount is strictly limited.Super PACs differ from traditional PACs in that they are allowed to collect money in all amounts, from individuals as well as corporations and labor unions on condition that (i) this money will not be given directly to the candidate nor (ii) will the expenditure of the money be consulted with the candidate.This has opened up quite new possibilities to the presidential candidates.