Wednesday 20th of February 2019

the G7 is dead, isn't it?...


A viral photo of Angela Merkel and other world leaders standing over a seated Donald Trump at Friday’s G7 summit has been given the meme treatment on social media, with Twitter users quick to liken the image to everything from renaissance art to a scene from the Apprentice.

The G7 summit, which brought together world leaders from Germany, Japan, Canada, the US, Italy, France and the UK, was held in Charlevoix, Quebec, in Canada, over the weekend. This year’s summit had a particular focus on trade.

However, the enduring image from the summit was one in which divisions between the group were clear. The German chancellor’s office posted the striking picture to Instagram on Saturday with the caption: “Day two of the G7 summit in Canada: spontaneous meeting between two working sessions.”

The photograph, which was taken by the German cabinet’s official photographer Jesco Denze, was quickly singled out for its uncanny resemblance to a classical painting.


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Picture at top, Gus Rembrandt's version...

trump a petulant bully who has lost his toys...

The United States and Canada have swung sharply towards a diplomatic and trade crisis as top White House advisers lashed out at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a day after US President Donald Trump called him "very dishonest and weak".

Key points:
  • Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he was backing out of the joint communique
  • Mr Trump said he might double down on import tariffs by hitting the sensitive auto industry
  • Larry Kudlow accused Justin Trudeau of betraying Mr Trump with "polarising" statements on trade policy


The spat drew in Germany and France, who sharply criticised Mr Trump's decision to abruptly withdraw his support for a Group of Seven communique hammered out at a Canadian summit on Saturday (local time), accusing him of destroying trust and acting inconsistently.


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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has lambasted the US President Donald Trump’s decision to renege on the G7 joint statement. She also said that Europe will not let itself be "deceived" again.

Merkel described Trump’s decision to withdraw his approval of the joint communique following the G7 summit in Canada as a “sobering experience.” She also praised the joint statement itself as a “laboriously negotiated” document. “The withdrawal by tweet is, of course, sobering and a bit depressing as well,” she told Germany's Anne Will talk show on Sunday evening.

“I don’t think that inflammatory language makes things better. Sometimes it seems that the American president thinks that only one side wins and everyone else loses,” Merkel said, apparently speaking about Trump’s verbal attacks against Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. She also praised Trudeau by saying that she is glad that he is “on the EU’s side.”


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same shit as before, minus the nice wrapping...

The demise of the West. The end of the postwar world order. The beginning of a new era. There are lots of dramatic claims making the rounds to describe what exactly U.S. President Donald Trump is currently up to. And all of them are both correct and incorrect at the same time.

The debacle at the G-7 clearly shows that the real problem with Donald Trump's policies is Donald Trump himself. There is no rhyme or reason to his actions aside from the desire -- the need -- to be the best, the most important, the biggest. The collapse of the West and the destruction of alliances that have held up for decades are merely the side effects of this unprecedented ego trip.

At the G-7 summit, Trump treated America's oldest friends as though they were enemies. At the same time, he fawns over Russian President Vladimir Putin and calls dictators such as North Korea's Kim Jong Un "very honorable." He sees the reflection of himself in such men. He does what he wants. Agreements with partners, the rules of the international order: None of that holds water with Trump.

Trump wants complete control and can't stand being contradicted. He always has to have the first word and the last. Indeed, it was far from surprising that he sought to impose his own agenda (the trade conflict and Russia) on the summit. The tweet he sent from his plane out of Canada, in which he revoked his support for the summit statement, was merely a logical result of his egomania. It's always just me, me, me.

Trump's crude view of the world, his image of an America that has allegedly been exploited and fleeced for years, follows from this conceit. Because Trump thinks he is the greatest and relies only on his gut feelings, he is immune to rational arguments. He only considers his own instincts and thoughts to the exclusion of all else, even though they are based on a lack of knowledge and prejudice.


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When will the Europeans wake up to the fact the USA has been playing them for fools since after WWII?...


What Trump is serving for dinner, is the same shit as before, minus the nice wrapping... It's quite interesting to see the story of Roland Garros and his meeting with de Gaulle... De Gaulle rejected the Yanks because he knew they were duplicitous and ill-intended. Nothing has changed except for many years, the smelly picture was hidden in gift-wrapped tinsel that contained shit. Remember the subprime event that led to the GFC? If this was not planned to ruin Europe deliberately, it did the job anyway. Remember the bombing of some countries like Libya and Syria? All these have led to a "refugee" crisis in Europe. If this was not planned to ruin Europe or make it divide and sweat, it did the job very well nonetheless of belittling Europe.

The wrapping then with the previous tenants of the White Shit House, was the "democracy", "freedom", fight evil mantras.

But all this was bully shit, including the wrapping... 


the death of capitalism?

From our former professor of economics at Sydney University:


Donald Trump’s early departure, and his subsequent refusal to endorse the G7 communique, has thrown the mainstream press into an apoplexy reflecting a deeper incomprehension of our unfolding global reality.

In a bid to mix toughness with humour, Emmanuel Macron had quipped that the G7 might become the … G6. That’s absurd, not least because without the United States, capitalism as we know it (let alone the pitiful G7 gatherings) would disappear from the planet’s face.

There is, of course, little doubt that with Trump in the White House there is an awful lot we should be angst-ridden about. However, the establishment’s reaction to the president’s shenanigans, in the United States and in Europe, is perhaps an even greater worry for progressives, replete as it is with dangerous wishful thinking and copious miscalculation. 

Some put their faith in the Mueller investigation, assuming that Mike Pence would be kinder to them as president. Others are holding their breath until 2020, refusing to consider the possibility of a second term. What they all fail to grasp is the very real tectonic shifts underpinning Trump’s uncouth antics.

The Trump administration is building up a substantial economic momentum domestically. First, he passed income and corporate tax cuts that the establishment Republicans could not have imagined even in their wildest dreams a few years ago. But this was not all. Behind the scenes, Trump astonished Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat’s leader in the House of Representatives, by approving every single social program that she asked of him. As a result, the federal government is running the largest budget deficit in America’s history when the rate of unemployment is less than 4%. 

Whatever one thinks of this president, he is giving money away not only to the richest, who of course get the most, but also to many poor people. With demonstrably strong employment, especially among African American workers, inflation under control and the stock market still buoyant, Donald Trump has his home front covered as he travels to foreign lands to confront friends and foes.

The US anti-Trump establishment prays that markets will punish his profligacy. This is precisely what would have happened if America were any other country. With a fiscal deficit expected to reach $804bn 2018 and $981bn in 2019, and with the government expected to borrow $2.34tn in the next 18 months, the exchange rate would be crashing and interest rates would be going through the roof. Except that the US is not any other country. 

As its central bank, the Fed, winds down its quantitative easing program by selling off its stock of accumulated assets to the private sector, investors need dollars to buy them. This causes the number of dollars available to investors to shrink by up to $50bn a month. Add to this the dollars German and Chinese capitalists need to buy US government bonds (in a bid to park their profits somewhere safe) and you begin to see why Trump believes he will not be punished by a run either on the dollar or on government bonds. 

Armed with the exorbitant privilege that owning the dollar presses affords him, Trump then takes a look at the trade flows with the rest of the G7 and comes to an inescapable conclusion: he cannot possibly lose a trade war against countries that have such high surpluses with the US (eg Germany, Italy, China), or which (like Canada) will catch pneumonia the moment the American economy catches the common cold.

None of this is new. Richard Nixon also confronted Europe’s establishment in 1971 while Ronald Reagan brutally squeezed the Japanese in 1985. Even the language was not less uncivilised – recall the summary of the Nixon administration’s attitude in the inimitable words of John Connally: “My philosophy is that all foreigners are out to screw us, and it’s our job to screw them first.” Today’s US aggression toward its allies is distinguished from those episodes in two ways.

First, since the 2008 collapse of Wall Street, and despite the subsequent re-floating of the financial sector, Wall Street and the US domestic economy can no longer do what they were doing before 2008: that is, absorb the net exports of European and Asian factories through a trade surplus financed by an equivalent influx of US-bound foreign profits. This failure is the underlying cause of the current global economic and political instability. 

Second, unlike in the 1970s, Europe’s decade of mishandling the euro crisis has seen to it that the Franco-German establishment is now disunited and on the run – with xenophobic, anti-European nationalists taking over governments.

Trump takes one look at all this and concludes that, if the US can no longer stabilise global capitalism, he might as well blow up existing multilateral conventions and build from scratch a new global order resembling a wheel, with America its hub and all other powers its spokes – an arrangement of bilateral deals that ensures the US will always be the largest partner in each, and thus be able to exact a pound of flesh through divide and rule tactics.

Can the EU create a “Europe First” anti-Trump alliance, perhaps involving China? The answer has been given already, following Trump’s annulment of the Iran nuclear deal. Within minutes of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s statement that European companies would stay in Iran, every single German corporation announced it was pulling out, prioritising the fat tax cuts Trump was offering them within the United States.

In conclusion, we have good reason to be appalled by Trump: he is winning against a European establishment that wallows in perfect ignorance of the forces undermining it and paving the ground for appalling developments. The onus falls on progressives in continental Europe, in the UK, and in the United States, to put on the agenda an Internationalist New Deal – and to win elections campaigning on it.

In my rare optimistic moments, I imagine an alliance of Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn and our Democracy in Europe Movement, DiEM25, giving the Nationalist International led by Trump a run for its money. A few years ago, a Trump triumph in the US, Europe and beyond sounded even more farfetched than this. It is worth a try.



If Trump wants to blow up the world order, who will stop him?

Varoufakis was born in Athens in 1961 and attended Moraitis School before moving to the United Kingdom, where he studied mathematics at the University of Essex before attaining a postgraduate degree in mathematical statistics at University of Birmingham and a PhD in economics at Essex. He began a career in academic economics, teaching at the universities of Essex, East Anglia and Cambridge between 1982 and 1988. Following Margaret Thatcher's third election victory in 1987, Varoufakis left the UK and moved to Australia, where he taught at the University of Sydney until 2000. He returned to Greece that year to teach at the University of Athens, where he led a doctoral program and was promoted to full professor in 2005. Following this, Varoufakis had periods of advising George Papandreou and working as the economist-in-residence for Valve Corporation before moving to the United States to teach at the University of Texas at Austin. Varoufakis has published a number of texts on economics and game theory, such as The Global Minotaur.


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if you did not understand Yanis Varoufakis above...



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Michael Hudson, born March 14, 1939, is an American economist, professor of economics at the University of Missouri in Kansas City and a researcher at the Levy Economics Institute at Bard College, former Wall Street analyst, political consultant, commentator and journalist. He is a contributor to The Hudson Report, a weekly economic and financial news podcast produced by Left Out.

Hudson graduated from the University of Chicago (B.A., 1959) and New York University (MA, 1965, PhD, 1968) and worked as a balance of payment economist in Chase Manhattan Bank (1964-1968). He was assistant professor of economics at the New School for Social Research1969-1972, and 1980-90s worked for various governmental and non-governmental organizations as an economic consultant.

Hudson devoted his entire scientific career to the study of debt: both domestic (loans, mortgages, interest payments) and external. In his works he consistently advocates the idea that loans and exponentially growing debts that outstrip profits from the economy of the "real" sphere are disastrous for both the government and the people of the borrowing state: they wash money (going to payments to usurers and rentiers) from turnover, not leaving them to buy goods and services, and thus lead to "debt deflation" of the economy. Hudson notes that the existing economic theory (in particular, the Chicago School of economics) is in the service of rentiers and financiers and has developed a special language designed to create the impression that the current status quo has no alternative. In a false theory, the parasitic encumbrances of a real economy, instead of being deducted in accounting, add up as an "addition to GDP" (Gross Domestic Product), and are presented as "productive." Hudson sees consumer protection, state support of infrastructure projects and taxation of parasitic rentier sectors of the economy instead of taxing workers as a continuation of the line of classical economists today.


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meanwhile, on the other side of the geopolitical world...

This year’s G7 summit in Canada took place almost simultaneously with the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization leaders in China’s Qingdao. But while the heads of the Group of Seven found themselves in a series of economic and political disputes, the SCO states managed to strengthen their bond.

The streets of Qingdao are not as busy as usual: most businesses in the Eastern Chinese coastal city are closed and residents have received paid vacations. Those who chose to stay in town during this year's two-day SCO leaders' meeting had the chance to go to large shopping malls, which remained open or spend time with their families in Qingdao's parks and squares.

READ MORE: SCO States Rule Out Warfare in Resolving Syrian Crisis — Summit Declaration

Right in front of the local administration building, there is a huge logo of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and slogans written in three languages — Chinese, Russian and English. The sign quickly became a popular spot for family photo-ops.



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no more exorbitant free lunches with chopsticks?...



Anticipating the usual sneering response from the Atlanticist financial crowd, i.e., China cannot and will not dump the dollar since that would mean a big hit on those dollars and Treasuries that China already holds; they would do well to note MacLeod’s observation that ‘China’s priorities are changing, and the outlook for the dollar has become a less urgent priority.’ Quite so.

History moves on, with new political and economic cleavages and fusions emerging together with an increasing momentum in the decline of the post-1945 World Order. How long will the rest of the world put up with the free lunch of the global dollar or the protection racket that is NATO is a matter of conjecture. Unquestionably, however, these two pillars of the Anglo-Zionist empire look to be increasingly unstable  and frankly parasitic.

We shall wait, and we shall see.


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the european kicked an own goal...

Guy Maurice Marie Louise Verhofstadt is a former Belgian PM, now politician who has served as the Leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Belgium since 2009. He is the leader of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe(ALDE) and is the European Parliament's representative in the Brexit negotiations. He advocates a federal Europe.

He writes simplistically about the European problems:

The postwar liberal world order risks being torn up before our very eyes. Confronted with Donald Trump and his stupidities, a Russia which is successfully injecting chaos into the west and a China seemingly happy to sit back and await its turn at the top table, the people of Europe have some fundamental decisions to make.

Do we want to inhabit a continent founded on a respect for liberal democracy, the rule of law and a humane approach to migration? Or do we cede to the populists promoting fear over hope and division over unity? Brexit aside, the people of Britain will face these great challenges and their consequences, too.

Take migration, the primary issue EU leaders are tackling at their summit this week. Europeans may reel in horror at the consequences of Trump’s immigration policy, epitomised by children fleeing violence in Guatemala being separated from their parents, perhaps never to be reunited. We are right to be horrified, because it is a disgrace. But are Europeans handling the challenge of migration any more effectively?

Here, Mr Guy Maurice Marie Louise Verhofstadt, you have a problem which has been induced by other dudes than Trump and Putin. It’s easy facile and wrong to say: “confronted with Donald Trump and his stupidities, a Russia which is successfully injecting chaos into the west” but totally inaccurate.

What you are confronted with is the stupid policies and wars started long ago, but to talk of modern times, more precisely by Bush senior, continued by Clinton, Bush Junior, Obama himself with the help of Sarkozy. Sarkozy did far more damage to Europe than the supposed influence of Trump and Putin. 

Yes, 34,361 migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe since 1993. 

But let’s not forget that most of these drowned since the destruction of Libya in 2011 by NATO and by the Western push of the “Arab Spring” in Syria since 2009 — a spring which of course was inspired by the Sunni Saudis to eliminate their “enemies” the Shias in the whole Middle East.

Europe at this level has to BLAME ITSELF for having let the problem being created by their BLIND alliance with the USA

So all in all in order to solve this migration problem in Europe, the Europeans need to do more for peace in the Middle East and stop bombing anything that “they don’t like”… They don’t even have to “love” Assad, but recognise that he is the legitimate leader of a legitimate country.

The European, should Guy Maurice Marie Louise Verhofstadt view be the prevalent one, are stupid and they should put a "sock in it”.

Gus lesson for today is "start some serious relationship with Russia and work your own way without the USA. Trump is giving you the push, like an adult bird is pushing a young one to learn how to fly. It’s nature 101… take the opportunity and don’t threaten anyone — especially Russia. Recognising Crimea as Russian and recognising the independence of East Ukraine would be a good start. 

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