Also, if the US is braking the international law by illegal wars, spying illegally on billions foreigners and even on it’s own citizens, can the international community start printing the main world reserve currency – the US Dollar – to enable it self to finance the defense from the US actions?
After all, the unique ability of the US government to print the main world reserve currency practically without limitations enables it in first place to support the huge military and the very same spying agencies.
Just a thought, since after all, arm twisting was not invented in USA, though it is being used by it quite efficiently. Mr.Reason
Global economy is likely to gain momentum in 2014 as headwinds abate, though the pictures may vary in different countries. The Voice of Russia talked to Peter Koenig, Swiss financial expert, former World Bank economist, author of “Implosion: Implosion: An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed”.
It has been a longtime dogma of the neoliberal western economics that the emerging economies, i.e. BRICS, MINT (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey), countries from South-East Asia etc can’t form a viable economic circuit and ensure sustainable growth without the capital and ‘innovations’ of the developed countries and the world’s financial institutions like the IMF or transnational banks like Goldman Sachs. Do you believe that this dogma is right or this dogma is wrong?
This dogma is a myth and neoliberal wishful thinking. Let’s take the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) – they have already created their own development bank during the 5th BRICS summit in Durban last March with an initial reserve fund of $100 billion equivalent.
This reserve will serve several purposes. First of all, to leverage funding for development projects, mainly I believe in infrastructure and productive sectors.
Secondly, also to help forestall short-term liquidity pressures and strengthen the financial stability of the respective countries thereby complementing the so-called international financial safety nets generously, I must say, offered by the Bretton Woods institutions – IMF and World Bank.
In other words, the reserve is like a fund to buy the BRICS independence from the fangs of the money sharks. And then, the third reason or the third purpose of this fund – the BRICS development bank and its initial reserve funds will be a corner stone for a future BRICS central bank.
The central bank, much like the European Central Bank, should act as a central bank, not as a watchdog and implementer of the Fed- and Wall Street-drive neoliberal financial agenda, which is ruining member countries’ economies.
I’m thinking of Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Italy and others may follow soon. But there was also Cyprus, which has already entered a new phase of destruction by these money sharks, money kings, maybe.
When the time comes for the BRICS central bank to be established and I can only hope that it will be soon, the BRICS central bank will be one of solidarity working under charter that is supportive of its member countries rather than destroying them.
But to some back to your question as far as sustainable growth is concerned, I do believe that the BRICS have a vital interest in turning the Western growth fetish around into protecting the natural resources, rather than destroying them. I believe they have a different philosophy, a real sense of what sustainable growth may be, not just using the term as a slogan, as we by now do in the West.
Obviously, this may not be easy, this is like turning a heavy steamship off a given course. It may take time but, first and foremost, it will need political will. And I believe the BRICS have that political will.
Finally, they have already given proof that they are departing from a given track – a Western system, a US-driven track. Namely, that so far the international contracts must be concluded in the world only in the currency of reference – the US dollar. No longer!
The BRICS and associated countries have already started trading in their own local currencies thereby shunning the dollar and its false prestige and pretenses. That’s a good sign for the future.
Looking back at the last two decades of interactions between the emerging economies (in Asia, Eastern Europe, South America, Africa) and the international financial institutions like the IMF or private banks like Goldman Sachs, do you think that the western financial institutions brought more harm or more good in this interaction?
For me, there is no doubt. And I think even reputed Western economists would agree, though, perhaps, not openly and not in the newspapers, but with their conscience, which I believe even neoliberals have, that the neoliberal order – some call it the new world order – has brought only harm to the people and their countries in which they have intervened or, actually, unlawfully interfered.
Unlawfully, because the leaders of this nefarious system – the IMF, the European Commission and the ECB (called an infamous Troika) plus the Wall Street banksters led by the like of Goldman Sachs had to first undemocratically remove the democratically elected leaders of the countries of interference, so that they would encounter least resistance to their despotic moves.
Take Greece. In 2008 Greece had the national debt of less than 120% of the GDP. This would have been totally manageable for such a country like Greece, especially in the light of what the Greek economy and, thereby, their debt represents in the whole of the European monetary union – actually, no more than 2% of the Euro GDP. It has absolutely no influence whatsoever on Europe’s economy, economic viability and trading potential.
That of course was never really analyzed in the media and it was never written about, and people had no idea, they were just told that Greece was a danger for the Euro.
At the end of October 2010 the French President Sarkozi and German Chancellor Merkel called the then Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou to a crisis meeting in Cannes. The reason was that Papandreou initiated a referendum – the only decent democratic step – for the Greek people to decide whether they wanted to continue accepting rescue packages from the Troika, in other words, indebting Greece – their country – further at abusive interest rate of 7%+.
It was very likely that the Greek would have voted for no longer wanting the Troika’s money, which would have also meant the exit from the Euro. This of course was unacceptable for the leaders of the Troika, and for the French and the German strong men and strong women. Other countries might have followed soon, which could have meant the end of the Euro as we know it.
And as we also know, the Euro has become a tool for the rich to impoverish the poor, to sucking empty their hard-earned social systems, privatizing them, in short – depraving and destroying their social safety nets. The Merkozi tandem threatened Papandreou to withdraw the referendum-or-else. Papandreou went home, withdrew the referendum and resigned the following day.
He was almost immediately replaced by Lucas Papademos who of course accepted further rescue packages at the Troika’s draconian terms. Papademos, guess where he is coming from? Like Mario Monti, the former Italy’s Prime Minister and Mario Draghi, the ECB’s Chairman, Papademos is the former Goldman Sachs Executive. Isn’t that amazing? It is not written about in the new and the media.
Under this scenario with Sarkozi and Merkel – the leaders of the largest Euro countries – plus many more neoliberal European leaders (or better called Washington puppets), it was obvious that Europe and Europe’s economy was led and manipulated by the US Federal Reserve and the Wall Street-imposed financial system. It still is, every day more.
Little Greece was a test case, the rest is history. Next fell Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Italy, then came Cyprus. Cyprus is already is a new league of neoliberal destruction – the formula that may soon be followed throughout Europe. Unemployment rate is approaching or exceeding 30% and youth unemployment exceeding 50%.
Well, the crisis is long from finished. This is literal quote from the financial political elite of the World Economic Forum in Davos. They warned before, this infamous conference of these world rulers and shakers that started a few days ago, not to have hope that there will be soon improvements.
This is a tactical move, of course, to prepared people not to look for a better future, but be prepared for harsher times to come. The more people are intimidated, the better they are manipulated. This is an old doctrine of dictators that has been applied many times before. But of course, history also knows that people have short memories.
Today the people are confronted with three wars of aggression. Three wars of aggression: the conventional bulldozing US-NATO killing machine, the economic war led by the usual relends – the Troika (mentioned before) and maybe the worst – the steady bombardment of propaganda of lies about the wellbeing of our Western system of consumerism. It addresses the most vulnerable Achilles heels of mankind – greed and egoism. And it works, at least so far.
The BRICS countries have been heavily criticized for trying to establish their own BRCIS development bank, thus circumventing the IMF and creating the cornerstone of a global alternative financial system. The criticisms centered on two aspects: allegedly, the BRICS don’t have the money and expertise to create a “proper alternative system” and allegedly, the BRICS are acting in a selfish manner by choosing to create their own bank instead of reforming and integrating into the existing IMF system. What would you answer to those criticisms?
This critique is nothing else than a negative propaganda from the West of the BRICS. Those who manipulate the Western monetary and financial systems – the US Federal Reserve, the IMF, through the US Treasury which controls the Monetary Fund (don’t fool yourself, everybody should know that the Monetary Fund is just an extended arm of the US Treasury), then the Bank for International Settlement and the old profiteering Wall Street banksters and their European allies – they all have good reasons to fear the BRICS.
Why? The BRICS controls today about 30% of the world’s GDP and accounts for almost 50% of the world’s population. Furthermore, the BRICS GDP is based on solid production, as compared to inflated banking and legal services, and consumption of largely cheap consumer goods produced in low-wage countries and mostly under the most horrendous human rights abusing labour conditions.
Also, today there are a number of countries which are already allied with the BRICS or would like to associate with them, such as Argentina, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and hydrocarbon producers such as Iran, Venezuela, the Central Asian oil producers, which are also occasionally called the Caspian Oil Belt. The Western world currently absorbs the oil producers, as their greed economies and urgent needs far exceed their own production. And that is with the falling currency – the US dollar.
Imagine, they all decide in solidarity to join together and create an oil exchange of their own and let everybody trade hydrocarbons in their own currencies, as opposed to the US-OPEC imposed dollar, or, perhaps, soon in the BRICS issued currency. Trillions of dollars worth being traded and other money stand the US dollar – that would come close to the collapse of the green buck.
And in fact, the world is almost there. That last October’s World Energy Congress in South Korea, Mr. Sechin – the Chairman of Russia’s hydrocarbon conglomerate Rosneft – suggested that “it was advisable to create an international stock exchange for the participating countries where transactions could be registered with the use of regional currencies.” Of course, this got little coverage by the Western media.
But to come back to your question, reforming the IMF, the Bank for International Settlement, the World Bank system instead of creating a parallel one – this is under the current power structure is almost impossible. The BRICS know it. It has been attempted in many ways before, even by other countries than the BRICS.
The BRICS individually, or as a group, would like to have more say in the system. They have not and will not get it. This would mean a new IMF, World Bank, Bank for International Settlement constitution, which the US will never allow. Washington has currently the veto over any major decisions of these institutions.
Fighting on that front would be a losing battle, especially since the BRICS don’t need to fight. They are economically, financially and politically strong enough to create their own independent financial and monetary system. In fact, despite the recently launched propaganda with the help of Nobel laureates, the BRICS don’t need the Western economic system, nor the Western capital, which is anyway mostly made out of feat money without any backing.
The BRICS economies, plus the economies of those countries that are associated contenders, are solidly backed by the GDPs and, ultimately, by their hydrocarbon reserves in the ground.
We’re seeing a gradual shift away from the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. There is a widely circulated plan of creating an alternative reserve currency, the BRICS SDR or BRICSO which would be managed by the BRICS development bank and would be backed by the BRICS currencies and hydrocarbons like oil and gas. Do you believe that the time for such radical change has come? Is the world ready to embrace and alternative to the dollar?
Most definitely! The US economy is highly indebted currently at about the rate of their inflated GDP around $15-16 trillion. But what is more striking are what is called the long-term unmet obligations of about 7 times their GDP.
The US General Accounting Office used to publish these figures regularly on the Internet. For the last few years they have ceased to appear on the Internet. I know, I’ve said this before and it is sad to listen to it, but the dollar is not worth the paper it is printed on.
In fact, the only reason the world hasn’t dropped the dollar yet as the currency of reference or as the main reserve currency is because most countries hold huge amounts of dollars, Treasury bills in their reserve coffers. If the dollar collapses, a big portion of their reserve portfolio would also disappear.
Last November about 47% of US debt was held abroad. China alone is said to have had about 1.6 trillion in November. By now they may have reduced the Treasury bill holdings to about 1.3 trillion. The Vice Chairman of the Chinese Central Bank declared that China would no longer purchase the US Treasury bills or US debt. So, this is likely to continue falling – the proportion of Treasury bills in the Chinese reserves.
This step by the Chinese, which would also lead to a gradual reevaluation of the Yuan, makes example around the world, other countries may follow soon. Once the crumbling starts, it will be like a dome and the Western system may disintegrate very quickly.
At the rate of financial and economic abuse we are currently witnessing, the Western greed economy, that also causes he unrecoverable destruction of the world’s unrenewable resources, the system is utterly unsustainable and its end is written on the wall in very big letters.
It is more, the current Western economic and financial system is only surviving thanks to wars. As this tied to the US dollar, it is tied to the US military security complex which drives the American economy producing about 60% of the US GDP and it is consuming close to the same proportion of the US budget – the figure you will of course never find in the official publications.
The US currency is printed or produced electronically as a function of needs for wars and aggressions around the globe, while the bulk of American population is slipping deeper and deeper into poverty. It is the Roman Empire repeated over and over again, this time with much broader and much more devastating results threatening the destruction of our civilization and of the full depletion of the planet’s resources.
It is time to stop this madness now. It should be therefore be more than welcome that an alternative economic and monetary system is ready before the complete disintegration of the current one, so that the transition, which will not be without collateral damage – mind you! – would be made smoother, or at least a population better prepared.
Yes, undoubtedly, a new currency like the BRICS or the SDR type – the Special Drawing Rights that are used by the IMF (which is a basket of currencies) – virtual or real should be very welcome by the world.
Voice of Russia