Late on Rent,
Professor Michael Hudson clarifies the "interests" which are being served, interests which need more rent going forward, as everybody is crushed by excessive rent burdens already.
America Defeats Germany for the Third Time in a Century: The MIC, OGAM and FIRE Sectors Conquer NATO (excerpted)
The recent prodding of Russia by expanding Ukrainian anti-Russian ethnic violence by Ukraine’s neo-Nazi post-2014 Maiden regime was aimed at (and has succeeded in forcing a showdown in response the fear by U.S. interests that they are losing their economic and political hold on their NATO allies and other Dollar Area satellites as these countries have seen their major opportunities for gain to lie in increasing trade and investment with China and Russia.
To understand just what U.S. aims and interests are threatened, it is necessary to understand U.S. politics and “the blob,” that is, the government central planning that cannot be explained by looking at ostensibly democratic politics. This is not the politics of U.S. senators and representatives representing their congressional voting districts or states.
America’s three oligarchies in control of U.S. foreign policy
It is more realistic to view U.S. economic and foreign policy in terms of the military-industrial complex, the oil and gas (and mining) complex, and the banking and real estate complex than in terms of the political policy of Republicans and Democrats. The key senators and congressional representatives do not represent their states and districts as much as the economic and financial interests of their major political campaign contributors. A Venn diagram would show that in today’s post-Citizens United world, U.S. politicians represent their campaign contributors, not voters. And these contributors fall basically into three main blocs.
Three main oligarchic groups that have bought control of the Senate and Congress to put their own policy makers in the State Department and Defense Department. First is the Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) – arms manufacturers such as Raytheon, Boeing and Lockheed-Martin, have broadly diversified their factories and employment in nearly every state, and especially in the Congressional districts where key Congressional committee heads are elected. Their economic base is monopoly rent, obtained above all from their arms sales to NATO, to Near Eastern oil exporters and to other countries with a balance-of-payments surplus. Stocks for these companies soared immediately upon news of the Russian attack, leading a two-day stock-market surge as investors recognized that war in a world of cost-plus “Pentagon capitalism” (as Seymour Melman described it) will provide a guaranteed national-security umbrella for monopoly profits for war industries. Senators and Congressional representatives from California and Washington traditionally have represented the MIC, along with the solid pro-military South. The past week’s military escalation promises soaring arms sales to NATO and other U.S. allies, enriching the actual constituents of these politicians. Germany quickly agreed to raise is arms spending to over 2% of GDP.
The second major oligarchic bloc is the rent-extracting oil and gas sector, joined by mining (OGAM), riding America’s special tax favoritism granted to companies emptying natural resources out of the ground and putting them mostly into the atmosphere, oceans and water supply. Like the banking and real estate sector seeking to maximize economic rent and maximizing capital gains for housing and other assets,, the aim of this OGAM sector is to maximize the price of its energy and raw materials so as to maximize its natural-resource rent. Monopolizing the Dollar Area’s oil market and isolating it from Russian oil and gas has been a major U.S. priority for over a year now, as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline threatened to link the Western European and Russian economies more tightly together...
The third major oligarchic group is the symbiotic Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (FIRE) sector, which is the modern finance-capitalist successor to Europe’s old post-feudal landed aristocracy living by land rents. With most housing in today’s world having become owner-occupied (although with sharply rising rates of absentee landlordship since the post-2008 wave of Obama Evictions), land rent is paid largely to the banking sector in the form of mortgage interest and debt amortization (on rising debt/equity ratios as bank lending inflates housing prices). About 80 percent of U.S. and British bank loans are to the real estate sector, inflating land prices to create capital gains – which are effectively tax-exempt for absentee owners...
Tom Luongo likened the EU going along with sanctions to exclude cheap Russian energy products to "suicide by cop" late last week. The EU will be able to blame Putin, but suicide is still suicide. Are EU "owners" actually ready for suicide (Germany)?
US liquified gas is just too expensive and there is nowhere near enough of it.
Germany Goes For Full Energy Policy Overhaul Amid Ukraine Crisis
Europe’s largest economy is heavily dependent on Russian gas and has now realized it must change its energy policy to ensure national security.
As Germany aims to reduce its reliance on Russian natural gas, it is considering all energy sources and wants to build two new LNG terminals.
Germany had planned to phase out both nuclear power and coal in the coming years, but those plans could now be put on hold.
This will be painful for everybody, and will take a long time, but is already well underway. (I've decided that "world wars" are the instrument to change global financial regimes, so this qualifies, no matter how much or little murder and destruction it may entail in time.)
Fiat Currency Zero Hour: Russia And China Might Collectively Challenge The Dollar's Reserve Status
Doug Casey presents: The Next Empire , the nascent competitor to the Western Imperial Finance empire.
Positions in the Ukraine ground war are not moving much at this point, at least as far as information is available to assess. A lot of preparations for the next phase are being made inside and outside of cities. In this "brotherly war", it remains undecided how the cities will be negotiated. It will likely be on a case by case basis, as it has been so far.
The west wants Russia to be caught in a quagmire in Ukraine. Russia wants to arrest nazis, agree on a friendly government, trade pieces of Ukraine to appease Poland, declare the coastlines to be independent countries, and get out.
That's a lot. The first 2 will do for the moment, I suspect,
DPR FORCES VOW TO FULLY ENCIRCLE MARIUPOL TODAY. BATTLE FOR KHARKOV CONTINUES
Ugo Bardi repeats what I keep repeating. It's resource wars. Essential resources are in terminal decline.
We should have known what to expect. It was all written already in 1972 in the study titled "The Limits to Growth." To be sure, the authors never mentioned wars for resources in their discussion. But just by taking a look at the curves for the most likely scenarios, it wasn't difficult to imagine that the global collapse was not going to be a friendly party.
With the world's economic system expected to crash at some moment during the first decades of the 21st century, we should have expected the race to grab what was left would get uglier and uglier. It is happening.
Is it the story of a failure? Maybe, but in a strangely twisted way. Thinking about what's happening right now in the world, I have a strong impression that our leaders didn't ignore our message. Not at all. Already in 2001, it was said that George Bush Jr. had decided to invade Iraq because he had read some material produced by ASPO and was worried about peak oil. It is probably just a legend, but the so-called "Carter Doctrine" of 1980 already recognized that the US couldn't survive without the oil resources of the Middle East. Our leaders are not smarter than us, but not stupid, either.
So, it may well be that the PTBs perfectly understand the situation and that they are maneuvering to place themselves in a position to gain from the coming (actually ongoing) collapse. After all, the game that the elites know best is putting the commoners one against the other. It is the game being played right now. Like the Russian Roulette, it is one of those games you won't necessarily survive.
Spartacus, the group of experts speaking out on COVID-19 lies and manipulation by global governments and elites is back, now with a Substack page (I subscribed), and copied today at The Automatic Earth, which helped get the word out last September. I would like you to scroll 80% of the way down to the new information under the header: What do DARPA want with our brains?
Yes, it is about injectable self-organizing microcircuit mind-control technologies, cutting edge stuff. Yes, it relates to those funny things they see on microscope slides of Pfizer and Moderna "vaccines".
Re: giving Russia or anyone a "bloody nose": the popular vernacular expression -- that those two words so often are used to convey -- is quite misleading if one has any experiences with bloody noses: a *real* bloody nose stops the fight, right there, right then: one's opponent is blinded, bleeding, in exquisitely debilitating pain... unless the opponent is way cranked on coke or meth or heroin, and even then, another bloody nose ends that 2nd round of adrenalized persistence: it's very hard to breathe and conduct physical violence's when you're turned suddenly into an obligate mouth-breather choking back blood through a blinding wall of tears.
The fight is, imo*, already over; Russia got in the first punch and we're flat on our back seeing stars and calling them victory fireworks; and the narrative war is simply a gambling pool wherein the majority of nations prove themselves to be major suckers and, in the end, Russia proves to be the master angler.
But yes, for now, Russia is officially the new Global Pariah. But not for long.
*"imo" redeemable at qualified outlets for a Get Thrown in Jail for Free voucher.