The theory of "free trade", appearing in the 18th century, was initially formulated to prevent the Dutch from closing their colonial empire to English commerce. It served as the political rationale for British colonial expansion, imposing an international division of labor that revealed itself to be much more effective for pillaging resources than the colonial system itself.
In 1941, the Anglo-Saxons devised, as an aim of the war, a shift from the prevailing mode of colonial exploitation to that of unequal exchange in the aftermath of victory over Nazi tyranny. The Atlantic Charter promoted decolonization, free trade and freedom of the seas. This model was formalized in 1947 with the GATT Agreements. This was reinforced during the Reagan-Thatcher era by a vast movement of privatization and deregulation.
In 1991, President Bush announced his vision of a new world order: globalization. The objective was to fill and profit from the void created by the disappearance of the USSR and extend Anglo-Saxon domination in a manner that closely twinned economic and military expansion.
The new model encompassed not only the free trade of goods but also of services and capital, to be regulated by an arbitrating tribunal that would constrain the sovereignty of individual states, which is today embodied in the World Trade Organization.
In the 21st century, this on-going process has led to the dematerialization of the world economy. Favoring the expansion of military-related industries while manufacturers of domestic consumer goods shut down, the Anglo-Saxons created an economy based on "financial products’ (meaning speculation) and the profits derived from "intellectual property" (so called "fair use"). They extended their control over the free trade of goods and services in air space using the "war on terror" as a pretext and over the seas under cover of a "war on piracy". In the meantime, however, the exorbitant costs of the neocolonial occupation of Iraq in 2003 nearly brought about the complete financial collapse of the empire.
At this point, President Obama and Prime Minister Brown attempted to save the system by eliminating foreign financial positions thus compelling capital to migrate in the direction of an Anglo-Saxon fiscal paradise. Additionally, Western governments have in a concerted way placed their means of public finance entirely in the hands of a small number of private banks. As a result, these are now in a position not only to avert collapse but also to acquire firms as they spiral into failure, accelerating the already gigantic concentration of riches.
All bets are off between the IMF and the conservative Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. What’s bitten the former golden boy of the Atlanticists for him to suddenly want to introduce taxes on financial profits when it would be easy to raise additional taxes on work? And what if Mr Orban is right, asks Jérome Duval.
Far from being the effect of the ‘invisible hand of the market’, the crisis of the euro is the product of a strategy carefully designed by Christina Rohmer and the White House Council of Economic Advisers. It is a matter of saving the American economy by forcing the European capitals to take refuge behind the US, and ultimately placing the Euro Zone economies under US control via the IMF and the European Union. Jean-Claude Paye analyses the first stage of the process underway.
Below is an overview of the international financial institutions reform plan which has been released by the UN Department of Social and Economic Affairs. The document, drafted by Group of Experts, mirrors exactly the wishes of the world ruling class. Its driving principle is the creation of a new world reserve currency under IMF surveillance and a system of global economic governance that would supervise the economic policies of individual nation-states.
Profoundly affected by the financial crisis, the Spanish economy has moved into recession. Madrid has been compelled, or has deemed it necessary, to genuflect before the International Monetary Fund which has saddled it with a harsh austerity plan. The Zapatero government caved in even before the Spaniards had been given an opportunity to discuss other options.
Syrian President Bashar el-Assad is on a trip to Latin American that has taken him first to Caracas.
His host, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, has hailed Syria’s efforts in its fight against Yankee imperialism and free-market capitalism, calling for the establishment of a Syrio-Venezuelan Axis.
Syria - still at war with Israel which continues to occupy part of its territory and unflinchingly supportive of the Palestinian and Lebanese people - is the target of a stiff unilateral blockade (...)
1. In Toronto, we held our first Summit of the G-20 in its new capacity as the premier forum for our international economic cooperation.
2. Building on our achievements in addressing the global economic crisis, we have agreed on the next steps we should take to ensure a full return to growth with quality jobs, to reform and strengthen financial systems, and to create strong, sustainable and balanced global growth.
3. Our efforts to date have borne good results. Unprecedented and (...)
Dear G-20 Colleagues:
When we met in London in April of 2009, we were facing the worst worldwide economic financial crisis since the 1930s. We acted with unprecedented speed and aggressive action to boost demand and repair our financial systems. It worked.
In Pittsburgh, with recovery beginning to take hold, we agreed to work together to achieve a more balanced pattem of global growth and financial reforms to strengthen our financial system and protect our economies from instability.
The Greek budgetary crisis, which has become a crisis of the euro, is not the inevitable result of market self-regulation, but rather the consequence of a deliberate attack. According to Jean-Michel Vernochet, the crisis was provoked by an economic offensive directed from Washington and London that followed similar principles to those of contemporary military warfare, employing game theory and a strategy of ‘constructive chaos’. The ultimate aim is to oblige the Europeans to enter into an Atlantic bloc, i.e. an empire where Anglo-American budgetary deficits would be automatically financed through the expedient of a dollarised euro. The agreement concluded between the European Union and the IMF, giving the Fund partial oversight of Union economic policies, is a first step in this (...)
Much of the Right’s rhetoric about the economic recession in the United States scapegoats immigrants for domestic economic ills. Nothing could be further from the truth. Constrained to do jobs that most U.S. citizens would never accept and bound to a single employer, "guest workers" are trapped from the very outset in a labyrinth of blackmail, exploitation and virtual servitude. Work visas are manipulated to control labour costs in the industry, raking in fabulous profits. Whether the expected immigration reform, which Barack Obama keeps putting off, will aim to reduce the exploitation of this immigrant work force remains to be seen.
This sobering overview of post-neo-liberal Latin America raises the question as to whether the policies pursued by populist and social democratic governments in the region have actually been designed to favour their electoral base. Recent strikes and demonstrations in several of these countries, fueled by the absence of substantive structural changes, are definite signs that their credibility and “progressive” identity is beginning to wear thin. James Petras wonders whether we have fallen prey to the ‘theater’ of a self-described “new left” and its “anti-neo-liberal” rhetoric.
There are disconcerting parallels between Argentina’s catastrophic decade, 1991-2001, which ended in massive default, and Greece’s recent and impending difficulties. In both cases, international credit organisations were to blame and both countries were beset by widespread protests and riots over austerity measures imposed by the IMF. Argentinian economist Adrián Salbuchi offers a hard-hitting analysis of this engineered crisis which knows no boundaries.
Introduction: The End of the Third World?
For decades, students of security and international politics have debated the emergence of a multipolar system. It’s time we recognize the new economic parallel.
If 1989 saw the end of the “Second World” with Communism’s demise, then 2009 saw the end of what was known as the “Third World”: We are now in a new, fast-evolving multipolar world economy – in which some developing countries are emerging as economic powers; others are moving towards (...)
The effects of the economic crisis on the developed countries are much deeper than political pundits would have us believe. Accordingly, in 2011, the United States will have a public debt comparable to its GNP. Due to population ageing in most Western countries, forecasts say that deficits will rise sharply, making it impossible to reimburse the current debts. The fatal day will arrive when creditors will want to recover their dues and states will be plunged into bankruptcy. Such are the conclusions of a report released by the Bank for International Settlements, which have been reproduced in full below. Only those countries which will have extended working life in their societies can hope to absorb the shock.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyane, the younger brother of the president of the United Arab Emirates and director of the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund (ADIA) was reported missing on 27 March 2010, at the age of 42.
He was in a glider which came down in a lake near Rabat (Morocco). Only the pilot was recovered alive.
With more than $800 billion in assets, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) is the world’s largest investment (...)
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