Friday, December 19, 2014

Today's Links

"You know, at the Valdai [International Discussion] Club I gave an example of our most recognisable symbol. It is a bear protecting his taiga. You see, if we continue the analogy, sometimes I think that maybe it would be best if our bear just sat still. Maybe he should stop chasing pigs and boars around the taiga but start picking berries and eating honey. Maybe then he will be left alone. But no, he won’t be! Because someone will always try to chain him up. As soon as he’s chained they will tear out his teeth and claws. In this analogy, I am referring to the power of nuclear deterrence. As soon as – God forbid – it happens and they no longer need the bear, the taiga will be taken over (...) And then, when all the teeth and claws are torn out, the bear will be of no use at all. Perhaps they’ll stuff it and that’s all.  So, it is not about Crimea but about us protecting our independence, our sovereignty and our right to exist. That is what we should all realize." Russian President Vladimir Putin

1--The Great Wealth Meltdown: Middle-Class Families Are Worth Less Today Than in 1969, PEW

2--Surveys suddenly weakening, Mosler

3--Defiant Vladimir Putin digs in for two-year slump, dismisses talk of palace coup, Pritchard

This is a full-blown currency crisis. People are lining up at night to convert their roubles into dollars and they are buying anything they can that keeps its value. Putin is trying every trick, but the only trick left is capital controls. They won’t announce it: they will just starting doing it quietly by forcing companies to convert dollars into roubles. It won’t work and will just lead to a vicious circle,” he said.

Per Hammarlund, from the Nordic bank SEB, said the latest stopgap measures will not support the rouble for long. “The central bank will either have to hike rates massively, potentially to between 50pc and 100pc, or impose capital controls. We think it will reluctantly opt for the latter,” he said....

Mr Hammarlund said the Kremlin will force companies to repatriate earnings, impose foreign exchange limits on citizens, freeze dividend payments and restrict purchases of hard currency by firms unless strictly needed for trade.
SEB said there is a “political tug of war” between nationalists in the finance ministry, who want to cut reliance on the outside world, and central bank officials, who see capital controls as a last resort that may only make matters worse...

Denmark’s foreign minister, Martin Lidegaard, said the West may have gone too far. “There’s a risk sanctions will destabilise Russia too much. The objective was never to collapse the Russian economy,” he said.

4---Single payer, anyone? NC

I wrote:
The key point to remember in all discussions of ObamaCare is that neither it, nor indeed the entire private health insurance “industry,” should exist. They are rent-seeking parasites, economic tapeworms. One does not improve a tapeworm; one removes it.
To understand this simple point, all we need to do is look north to Canada, where we see a single payer system — they call it “Medicare” — delivering equal or better health outcomes at dramatically lower cost, without a health insurance industry, and without ObamaCare’s bizarre, mystifying, and above all unfair Rube Goldberg-esque complexity. In fact, if we’d passed HR 676 in 2009, we would have saved hundreds of billions of dollars by now (more than enough to cover everyone) and thousands of lives, though ObamaCare apologists don’t like to talk much about the excess deaths that ObamaCare’s achingly slow rollout caused and is still causing.
To put this another way, since the mid-70s, when Canada adopted its single payer system, we’ve conducted the largest controlled experiment in the history of the world. We’ve had two political systems spanning the same continent, both nations of immigrants and once part of the British empire, both mainly English-speaking but multicultural, both with Federal systems, and both with a free market system backed by social insurance. And the results of the experiment? The “evidence”? Canadian-style single payer wins hands-down.

5--Turkey issues arrest warrant for top Erdogan rival Fethullah Gulen – state media

"We are not just faced with a simple network, but one which is a pawn of evil forces at home and abroad," the president declared last Friday.

6--Putin praises Erdoğan as ‘tough man’ for defying EU over pipeline decision, Hurriyet

Russian President Vladimir Putin has described Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as a “tough man,” praising him for not being intimidated by a potential Western reaction against Russia’s decision to scrap the South Stream gas pipeline in favor of replacing it with a route through Turkey.

Putin surprised European countries during a visit to the Turkish capital Ankara on Dec. 1, when he announced that Moscow was scrapping the South Stream gas pipeline that was set to pass through Bulgaria, citing EU objections as the reason. He said Russia would instead build a gas hub at the border between Turkey and Greece to pump gas to southern Europe.

Speaking at his annual end-of-the year news conference on Dec. 18, the Russian president said he was aware that Europe would be infuriated by the decision and claimed to have asked Erdoğan to keep the deal confidential “for now.”

However, he said, the Turkish president refused to keep the decision under wraps, in defiance of any potential criticism.

“I had no doubt [about Europe’s reaction]. I told Erdoğan, ‘Maybe we shall keep the deal we reached a secret for now, not disclose it. Let’s not anger the Europeans. But Erdoğan is tough guy and he explained to me that we had not stolen anyone’s possession and hiding it was unnecessary,” Putin said....

“To a large extent, this depends on our European counterparts. Would they like to have stable, absolutely guaranteed, risk-free energy supplies from Russia, which they need? If so, we shall be working, and via Greece we may reach Macedonia, and further Serbia, and then to go again to Baumgartner in Austria. If they are not interested, we shall not do so,” he said.

7---Talks on Russian-Turkey gas pipeline project to start this month — energy minister, itar tass

Turkey’s Erdogan moves against perceived enemies, arresting dozens of media figures

Read more here:

Throughout it all Erdogan has accused Gulen, who lives in self-exile in the Pocono mountains, of creating a “parallel structure,” infiltrating his followers into the police and the judiciary, wiretapping the prime minister’s phones and then revealing the content.
Last Friday, he again denounced Gulen’s Hizmet or “service” organization as a “parallel structure, which was talking about education, service and benevolence” and said it was involved in “dirty murders.”

“The parallel structure has never acted alone,” he said. “Occasionally even terrorist organizations and their political parties have been carrying out work with this network of treason. But this nation will set its course by its own accord.”

Read more here:

Erdogan, who’s led Turkey for 12 years, first as prime minister, and since this past summer as president, is regarded as Turkey’s most powerful leader since the Mustafa Kemal Ataturk founded modern Turkey in 1923.

Read more here:

Two days after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged to “overthrow” what he called a “network of treason,” Turkey’s counter-terrorism police on Sunday arrested more than two dozen prominent media and government figures, including the editor of the country’s largest newspaper and the general manager of a major broadcasting group.
The Istanbul prosecutor said all were detained on suspicion of establishing, heading or joining an armed terrorist organization, as well as forgery and slander.
In 1999, Gülen emigrated to the United States, claiming the trip for medical treatment,[26] although arguably it was in anticipation of being tried over remarks (aired after his emigration to U.S.) which seemed to favor an Islamic state.[27] In June 1999, after Gülen had left Turkey, videotapes were sent to some Turkish television stations with recordings of Gülen saying,
"The existing system is still in power. Our friends who have positions in legislative and administrative bodies should learn its details and be vigilant all the time so that they can transform it and be more fruitful on behalf of Islam in order to carry out a nationwide restoration. However, they should wait until the conditions become more favorable. In other words, they should not come out too early."
Gaza flotilla[edit]
Gülen criticized the Turkish-led Gaza flotilla for trying to deliver aid without Israel's consent. He spoke of watching the news coverage of the deadly confrontation between Israeli commandos and multinational aid group members as its flotilla approached Israel's sea blockade of Gaza. He said, "What I saw was not pretty, it was ugly." He has since continued his criticism, saying later that the organizers' failure to seek accord with Israel before attempting to deliver aid was "a sign of defying authority, and will not lead to fruitful matters ...

it is believed that many Gülenists hold positions of power in Turkey's police forces and judiciary.[52][53] Turkish and foreign analysts believe Gülen also has sympathizers in the Turkish parliament and that his movement controls the widely-read Islamic conservative Zaman newspaper, the private Bank Asya bank, the Samanyolu TV television station, and many other media and business organizations, including the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON).[54] In March 2011, the Turkish government arrested the investigative journalist Ahmet Şık and seized and banned his book The Imam's Army, the culmination of Şık's investigation into Gülen and the Gülen movement....

Despite Gülen's and his followers' claims that the organization is non-political in nature, analysts believe that a number of corruption-related arrests made against allies of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reflect a growing political power struggle between Gülen and the prime minister.[52][56] These arrests led to the 2013 corruption scandal in Turkey, which the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)'s supporters (along with Erdoğan himself) and the opposition parties alike have said was choreographed by Gülen after Erdoğan's government came to the decision early in December 2013 to shut down many of his movement's private Islamic schools in Turkey.

The Erdoğan government has said that the corruption investigation and comments by Gülen are the long term political agenda of Gülen's movement to infiltrate security, intelligence, and justice institutions of the Turkish state, a charge almost identical to the charges against Gülen by the Chief Prosecutor of the Republic of Turkey in his trial in 2000 before Erdoğan's party had come into power.[54] Gülen had previously been tried in absentia in 2000, and acquitted in 2008 under Erdoğan's AKP government from these charges

10--Turkish Leader Disowns Trials That Helped Him Tame Military, NYT

Jared Genser, a human rights lawyer in Washington who has taken on the military defendants’ case pro bono, and whose filing to the United Nations resulted in a determination that the officers were being detained in violation of international law, said: “In the case of Sledgehammer, both the Gulenists and the A.K.P. were on the same page. Of course, Erdogan knew about it and was complicit.”
Moreover, the trials came to define Mr. Erdogan’s power, and what many critics regard as his recent authoritarian turn.
Many of the prosecutors and investigators in both cases — the corruption inquiry and the old military trials — are followers of Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic preacher who lives in exile in Pennsylvania. The adherents in his network were once partners in Mr. Erdogan’s governing coalition, but the government now considers them a “parallel state” to be rooted out through purges of the police and the judiciary.....

“They managed to get the military out of politics,” but “that was not the right way to do it.”
The reassessment of the evidence that supported the military trials is putting new light on what has been hailed, here and abroad, as Mr. Erdogan’s most important achievement: securing civilian control over the military. The way it was done, however, is now increasingly viewed as an act of revenge by Turkey’s Islamists against their former oppressors in the military, once the guardians of the secular tradition laid down by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey.

After rising to power in 2002, the Islamists were always on guard for conspiracies against them, and for good reason: The military carried out three coups in the previous century.
With that history in mind, the Islamists were determined to diminish the military’s role in Turkish politics.
In 2005, years before the trials, a man affiliated with the Gulen movement approached Eric S. Edelman, then the American ambassador, at a party in Istanbul and handed him an envelope containing a handwritten document that supposedly laid out a plan for an imminent coup. But as Mr. Edelman recounted, he gave the documents to his colleagues and they were determined to be forgeries.

11---Teaching as CIA Cover–Gülen Charter Schools, Dan Burton, and State Secrets, Firedog

Sibel Edmonds an Iranian raised in Turkey before becoming a U.S. citizen—alleges a 1990s U.S./ Gülen al-Qaeda operation in Central Asian and a bribery scheme involving Indiana’s own U.S. House member Dan Burton.
Edmonds testified in candidate David Krikorian’s defense case before the Ohio Election Commission when Rep. Jean Schmidt, an Ohio Republican, filed charges against him for claiming, during a 2008 campaign bid, that she accepted money illegally from people with Turkey interests.
Edmonds’ deposition held many bombshells, since she had been translating wiretap conversations between those associated with the Turkish lobby.
It seems Gülen and the U.S. State Department, from 1997 to 2001,

had been training al-Qaeda in Central Asian, with the help of the Turkish military, Pakistani ISI, and Azerbaijan officials (96), Edmonds says in response to questions from Krikorian’s attorney, Dan Marino. In a subsequent interview with retired CIA-counter-terrorism specialist Phil Giraldi (who believes her story),  Edmonds details Gülen /U.S training missions and Turkish drug-smuggling into Chicago and Paterson, New Jersey, two hot-beds of the Gülen Movement, each containing Fethullah’s followers’ charter schools...

Edmonds, before this interview took place, had been fired from the FBI in 2002 for revealing to higher ups security breaches and Turkish espionage at the bureau’s language division. This Turkish-American conspiracy included, as well, paying off U.S. officials to leak secrets and allow nuclear weapons technology to be sold on the Pakistani, Iranian, and North Korean black markets...

Edmonds details Gülen /U.S training missions and Turkish drug-smuggling into Chicago and Paterson, New Jersey, two hot-beds of the Gülen Movement, each containing Fethullah’s followers’ charter schools:
GIRALDI: You also have information on al-Qaeda, specifically al-Qaeda in Central Asia and Bosnia. You were privy to conversations that suggested the CIA was supporting al-Qaeda in central Asia and the Balkans, training people to get money, get weapons, and this contact continued until 9/11…
EDMONDS: I don’t know if it was CIA. There were certain forces in the U.S. government who worked with the Turkish paramilitary groups, including Abdullah Çatli’s group, Fethullah Gülen.
GIRALDI: Well, that could be either Joint Special Operations Command or CIA.
EDMONDS: Maybe in a lot of cases when they said State Department, they meant CIA?
GIRALDI: When they said State Department, they probably meant CIA.
EDMONDS: Okay. So these conversations, between 1997 and 2001, had to do with a Central Asia operation that involved bin Laden. Not once did anybody use the word “al-Qaeda.” It was always “mujahideen,” always “bin Laden” and, in fact, not “bin Laden” but “bin Ladens” plural. There were several bin Ladens who were going on private jets to Azerbaijan and Tajikistan. The Turkish ambassador in Azerbaijan worked with them.
There were bin Ladens, with the help of Pakistanis or Saudis, under our management. Marc Grossman [Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs at the time and former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey] was leading it, 100 percent, bringing people from East Turkestan into Kyrgyzstan, from Kyrgyzstan to Azerbaijan, from Azerbaijan some of them were being channeled to Chechnya, some of them were being channeled to Bosnia. From Turkey, they were putting all these bin Ladens on NATO planes. People and weapons went one way, drugs came back.
GIRALDI: Was the U.S. government aware of this circular deal?
EDMONDS: 100 percent. A lot of the drugs were going to Belgium on NATO planes. After that, they went to the UK, and a lot came to the U.S. via military planes to distribution centers in Chicago and Paterson, New Jersey. Turkish diplomats who would never be searched were coming with suitcases of heroin.
Edmonds, before this interview took place, had been fired from the FBI in 2002 for revealing to higher ups security breaches and Turkish espionage at the bureau’s language division. This Turkish-American conspiracy included, as well, paying off U.S. officials to leak secrets and allow nuclear weapons technology to be sold on the Pakistani, Iranian, and North Korean black markets. Besides Dan Burton, others she implements include Illinois Republican Dennis Hastert, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, and Marc Grossman, Bush’s Deputy Undersecretary of State

12--Interview 809 – Sibel Edmonds Explains Erdogan’s Fall From Grace, Corbett report audio
In this exclusive interview for the Boiling Frogs Post Eyeopener report, FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds discusses her recent article, “Turkish PM Erdogan: The Speedy Transformation of an Imperial Puppet.” We talk about Erdogan’s falling out with Fethullah Gülen and the CIA, and how serviceable puppets are discarded by their shadow government masters when they reach their “expiration date.”

13--Physicians’ group details psychologists’ role in CIA’s “extensive system of torture”, wsws

14--US-Cuban rapprochement: The lessons of history, wsws

Thrown overboard was the fundamental thesis adopted by the First International under Marx that “The liberation of the workers shall be the task of the workers themselves.” The revisionist trend claimed that, on the contrary, Castro’s coming to power proved that the socialist revolution could be achieved by means of “blunted instruments”—that is, without a Marxist revolutionary party and without the active and conscious participation of the working class at all. Armed bands of peasant-based nationalist guerrillas would suffice, with their leaders emerging in the process as “natural Marxists.” The workers and the oppressed masses were relegated to the role of passive bystanders.

Long before the Cuban Revolution, Trotsky had explicitly rejected the facile identification of nationalizations undertaken by petty-bourgeois forces with the socialist revolution. In response to the expropriations carried out by the Kremlin regime in the course of its invasion of Poland (in alliance with Hitler) in 1939, Trotsky wrote: “The primary political criterion for us is not the transformation of property in this or another area, however important these may be in themselves, but rather the change in the consciousness and organization of the world proletariat, the raising of their capacity for defending former conquests and accomplishing new ones.”

The essence of the Pabloite position, the International Committee warned, was 1) the rejection of the central and leading role of the working class in the socialist revolution; and 2) the denial of the necessity for the building of a Trotskyist party to develop within the working class the consciousness required for the conquest of political power.

15--Russian president downplays economic crisis, wsws

When asked by one reporter, “What’s happening now with our economy—is this payback for Crimea?” Putin responded, “No, this is not payback for Crimea. This is payback, or rather, this is payment for our natural desire to preserve ourselves as a nation, as a civilization, as a state ... After the fall of the Berlin wall, after the collapse of the Soviet Union ... we completely opened ourselves up to our partners. And what did we see? Direct, full-scale support for terrorism in the north Caucuses.”....

The contradictory character of Putin’s positions are rooted in the fact that his regime, borne out of the reintegration of the Soviet Union into the world capitalist economy and its subordination to global finance capital, cannot find a way out of the intensifying conflict with the US. The oligarchic elite, on whose behalf Putin works, is seeking to preserve its wealth first and foremost by finding a compromise with the West.
Immense social anger exists over the ill-gotten riches of this layer, and Putin’s ability to manage the internal and external pressures facing his regime is increasingly being called into question.
On several occasions reporters inquired about Putin’s use of the term a “fifth column,” referring to forces working inside Russia to undermine the government on behalf of foreign powers.

16--The Crazy US "Group Think" on Russia, Robert Parry

On Sept. 26, 2013, Gershman took to the op-ed page of the Washington Post and pronounced Ukraine “the biggest prize” and an important interim step toward toppling Putin and putting down the resurgent and willful Russia that he represents.

Gershman, whose NED is financed by the U.S. Congress to the tune of about $100 million a year, wrote: “Ukraine’s choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents. … Russians, too, face a choice, and Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.”

In other words, from the start, Putin was the target of the Ukraine initiative, not the instigator. Beyond Gershman’s rhetoric was the fact that NED was funding scores of projects inside Ukraine, training activists, supporting “journalists,” funding business groups.
Then, in November 2013, Ukraine’s elected President Viktor Yanukovych balked at an association agreement with the European Union after learning that it would cost Ukraine some $160 billion to separate from Russia. Plus, the International Monetary Fund was demanding economic “reforms” that would hurt average Ukrainians.

Yanukovych’s decision touched off mass demonstrations from western Ukrainians who favored closer ties to Europe. That, in turn, opened the way for the machinations by neocons inside the U.S. government, particularly the scheming of Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, the wife of arch-neocon Robert Kagan.
Before long, Nuland was handpicking the new leadership for Ukraine that would be in charge once Yanukovych was out of the way, a process that was ultimately executed by tightly organized 100-man units of neo-Nazi storm troopers bused in from the western city of Lviv. [See’s “NYT Discovers Ukraine’s Neo-Nazis at War.”]...

17--Dumping the dollar, Crosstalk (video)

18--Turkey, crosstalk

19--Libya all about oil, or central banking?   Ellen Brown, Asia Times 

Several writers have noted the odd fact that the Libyan rebels took time out from their rebellion in March to create their own central bank - this before they even had a government. Robert Wenzel wrote in the Economic Policy Journal:
I have never before heard of a central bank being created in just a matter of weeks out of a popular uprising. This suggests we have a bit more than a rag tag bunch of rebels running around and that there are some pretty sophisticated influences.
Alex Newman wrote in the New American:
In a statement released last week, the rebels reported on the results of a meeting held on March 19. Among other things, the supposed rag-tag revolutionaries announced the "[d]esignation of the Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya and appointment of a Governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a temporary headquarters in Benghazi...

And that brings us back to the puzzle of the Libyan central bank. In an article posted on the Market Oracle, Eric Encina observed:
One seldom mentioned fact by western politicians and media pundits: the Central Bank of Libya is 100% State Owned ... Currently, the Libyan government creates its own money, the Libyan Dinar, through the facilities of its own central bank. Few can argue that Libya is a sovereign nation with its own great resources, able to sustain its own economic destiny. One major problem for globalist banking cartels is that in order to do business with Libya, they must go through the Libyan Central Bank and its national currency, a place where they have absolutely zero dominion or power-broking ability. Hence, taking down the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) may not appear in the speeches of Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy but this is certainly at the top of the globalist agenda for absorbing Libya into its hive of compliant nations.
Libya not only has oil. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), its central bank has nearly 144 tonnes of gold in its vaults. With that sort of asset base, who needs the BIS, the IMF and their rules...

In a 2002 article in Asia Times Online titled "The BIS vs national banks" Henry Liu maintained:
BIS regulations serve only the single purpose of strengthening the international private banking system, even at the peril of national economies. The BIS does to national banking systems what the IMF has done to national monetary regimes. National economies under financial globalization no longer serve national interests.

... FDI [foreign direct investment] denominated in foreign currencies, mostly dollars, has condemned many national economies into unbalanced development toward export, merely to make dollar-denominated interest payments to FDI, with little net benefit to the domestic economies.
He added, "Applying the State Theory of Money, any government can fund with its own currency all its domestic developmental needs to maintain full employment without inflation." The "state theory of money" refers to money created by governments rather than private banks.                 
So is this new war all about oil or all about banking? Maybe both - and water as well. With energy, water, and ample credit to develop the infrastructure to access them, a nation can be free of the grip of foreign creditors. And that may be the real threat of Libya: it could show the world what is possible.

20--NATO’s Destruction of Libya, SC

21--Russia's central Bank---The Bank of Greatest Russia was founded on July 13, 1990....
According to the constitution, the Bank of Russia is an independent entity, with the primary responsibility of protecting the stability of the national currency, the ruble. ...

The Bank of Russia owns a 57.58% stake in Sberbank,[5] which creates potential conflicts of interest both in the competitive landscape as well as in the regulatory policy of the Russian banking sector.

The Central Bank of the Russian Federation is the principal shareholder and founder of Sberbank of Russia, holding 50% of the share capital plus one voting share. Both international and Russian investors feature among the shareholders of Sberbank of Russia.
Sberbank today is the circulatory system of the Russian economy, accounting for one third of its banking system. The Bank provides employment and a source of income for every 150th Russian family.
The leader of Russian banking industry accounts for 29.7% of aggregate banking assets (as of August 1, 2014).
The Bank is the key lender to the Russian economy and the biggest receiver of deposits in Russia: 46.4% of retail deposits, 34.7% of retail loans and 33.9% of loans to corporate customers account for Sberbank as of August 1, 2014.
Sberbank today is 16 territorial banks and over 17 thousand branches throughout the country in all 83 constituent entities of the Russian Federation located across 11 time zones.

22--Sergei Glazyev vs CBR, Larouche

Academician Sergei Glazyev, an adviser to President Vladimir Putin, keynoted the meeting with a scathing follow-on to his recent, sensational article, "U.S. Sanctions and the Bank of Russia: a Double Blow against the National Economy."

Glazyev argues that the Central Bank, with its declared battle against inflation, is strangling the already credit-starved Russian economy. He calls for capital controls and the denomination of foreign trade in rubles, as well as earmarked Central Bank lending for productive investment an idea repeated by Putin in his Dec. 4 annual Message to the Federal Assembly. But, reports, Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank Xenia Yudayeva (an MIT PhD in mathematical economics) does not agree with Glazyev’s recommended measures, which she objects "would bring isolation from the Western world." And major banks, according to Moscow sources, continue to funnel the funds they borrow from the Central Bank not into productive investment, but onto the currency markets....

Dec. 16 began with an after-midnight announcement by the Central Bank of a drastic increase of the key rate, to 17%, a jump of 6.5 percentage points! "In effect, this means a ban on lending," one observer in Moscow put it.

23--Putin advisor calls for anti dollar alliance, zero hedge

24-Glazyev: Russia needs to establish a system of domestic credit, sputnik-

Russia needs to establish a system of domestic credit and improve the efficiency of public administration, so that the economy could successfully develop amid Western sanctions, Russian Presidential Aide Sergei Glazyev said Tuesday.

MOSCOW, October 7 (RIA Novosti) - Russia needs to establish a system of domestic credit and improve the efficiency of public administration, so that the economy could successfully develop amid Western sanctions, Russian Presidential Aide Sergei Glazyev said Tuesday.
"If we want to survive the war that is being waged against Russia, we need to create an internal system of credit, which is aimed at modernizing economic growth. To do this, we need to dramatically increase the quality, competence and efficiency of public administration," Glazyev said at the IX National Congress "Modernization of Russian Industry: Development Priorities" in Moscow.

"With the sanctions, the European countries and the United States are clearly telling us that we can no longer rely on foreign investment, so the state is the only source, which can give the necessary amount of credit to the economy. Today, the government only uses fiscal policy, and even then to the detriment, withdrawing more money from the economy than it gives," the presidential aide said.
"If we are going to lend money to the Western economy, as we did before (Russia is the donor of the world economic system, having lent more than a trillion dollars abroad), then we will not be able to solve the problems of modernization. We will not even be able to solve the problem of maintaining the current standard of living and the country's defense. It is necessary to create a domestic credit system, and we need to do it quickly," Glazyev said.
Additionally, he reiterated the need to introduce restrictions on the export of capital from Russia.

25---CBR assists speculation against the ruble? Larouche

Glazyev, in an interview to yesterday, repeated his charge that the plunge of the ruble was caused by speculative operations of Russian banks; and called for imposing foreign currency regulations.
Glazyev stated,

"Naturally, that's what the bankers are doing. The Central Bank has given the commercial banks 6 trillion rubles [this is $171 billion, at a rate of 35 rubles to the dollar; note, the rate was 69 rubles to the dollar at close of Dec. 15]. Practically two-thirds of this money was diverted onto the currency market, using this essentially government money against the ruble...The Central Bank has a simple tool for stopping this speculation: impose regulations on foreign-currency positions. This was done in 1998. The banks were simply forbidden to have more foreign currency in their accounts at the end of the day, than at the start. It's simple and effective."

In a related development, State Duma deputy Yevgeny Fyodorov has called for the Russian Prosecutor General to launch a criminal investigation into recent actions by the Russian Central Bank, on the grounds they violated the constitutional mandate for the bank to "defend and insure the stability of the ruble." Fyodorov charged that by floating the ruble and allowing the markets to set the rates, the bank acted illegally.

26--Three Members of Congress Just Reignited the Cold War While No One Was Looking, Truthdig

27--Obama Authorizes Sanctions Against Venezuelan Socialists, truthdig


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