Category Archives: Economy/Monetary Reform

Anglo-Saxon “Eyes” are Fixed on Countering China

10.12.2018 Author: Jean Perier

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In spite in a number of signals that the Trump administration has made over the months to indicate that it is prepared to try to take China down alone, the better part of American policymakers have been hard at work behind the scenes, trying to put together a slapdash coalition against Beijing. It’s rather curious that certain American media sources are not even trying to conceal this fact from the general public.

That’s where the largest Anglo-Saxon intelligence coalition in existence, comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States comes into play. The anti-Chinese efforts of this coalition known as the Five Eyes (FVEY) has recently been joined by Germany, Japan and France that want to oppose Chinese investments into various regions of the world.

American politicians would typically describe activities of this coalition as consultations with like-minded partners, aimed, for the time being, at countering the rapid rise of Beijing and its two major infrastructure initiatives: the One Belt One Road (OBOR) and Made in China 2025. However, Beijing is not the only one to suffer from the activities of FVEY, as this body has reportedly developed a number of anti-Russian operations as well.

This trend seems particularly disturbing, especially if one is to get acquainted with the statement issued after the recent Five Eyes meeting on the Gold Coast of Australia, learning that FVEY would use “global partnerships” to accelerate the sharing of information to secure its goals.

The Five Eyes played a pivotal role in the adoption of a number of anti-Chinese legislative initiatives, including the one known as FIRRMA, which gives Washington new powers to block certain types of foreign investments. The text of that legislation mandates Donald Trump to conduct a “more robust international outreach effort” to convince allies to adopt similar protections.

Lately, London in order to secure its favorable relations with Washington has become a primary actor in the deployment of the international anti-China campaign, since it has no friends to turn to, especially after the loss of all of its authority and influence within the European Union. This becomes evident if we take a look at the role the UK plays in a series of attacks on the Chinese high-tech giant – Huawei.

It was MI6 that reminded its close intelligence partners, namely the US, New Zealand and Australia that Huawei started to play too prominent a role on the Western markets, which resulted in this Chinese company getting banned from providing technology for their 5G super-fast networks.

Then, under the supervision of MI6, Canadian authorities have arrested Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, fulfilling a formal request of Washington, that suspects her of alleged violations of anti-Iran sanctions. The funniest part here is that the Commonwealth hasn’t put its own sanctions against Iran in place, so this move against the Chinese cellular-technology giant was completely illegal even from the point of view of Canadian law, let alone the international one. What’s even worse is that the detained Chinese financial officer happens to be the daughter of Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, as she also serves as the company’s deputy chairwoman.

As for London’s role in the fulfillment of various dirty tasks on the part of Washington, those seem to be already well-known to NEO’s readers. Suffice it to recall that back in 2017, the former judge of the New Jersey State Superior Court, Andrew Napolitano told the media that the Obama administration made an informal request to British intelligence agencies to wiretap Donald Trump so that no American fingerprints was left behind.

The state of cooperation between American and British intelligence agencies doesn’t end up with developing all sorts of cunning plans, but it also involves the establishment of total surveillance over the citizens of the US-aligned states, which has long been on the agenda of the Five Eyes. It won’t take you much time to find traces of this cooperation in the American and British media, that are kin on discussing how FVEY has been taking full advantage of such well-known spyware as PRISM, Xkeyscore, Tempora, MUSCULAR and STATEROOM.

Moreover, London doesn’t even seem to be embarrassed over the fact that ever since 2007, the NSA has been allowed to collect all sorts of personal information of British citizens and store it in its own databases. Prior to that, Britain would typically oppose any attempts made by the NSA to collect any sensitive information on its citizens, only allowing the latter to store the UK phone number database in its systems.

Its also curious that back in 2005, the NSA started consultations on the possibility of collecting personal data of every citizen of the Five Eyes member states without notifying its allies.

Further still, it turned out that Canadian intelligence agencies were spying on the Thatcher cabinet at the request of Margaret Thatcher herself back in 1983. And it now becomes clear that ever since the 1980s, American intelligence agencies have been spying on all of the Five Eyes members in one form or another. These operations of the NSA were described in much detail by Nicky Hager in his article “The price of the Five Eyes club: Mass spying on friendly nations.”

It should also be noted that the whole notion of the supranational intelligence alliance was brought into existence by Anglo-Saxons with the sole goal of bypassing domestic legislation of the Five Eyes members states that prohibits mass-surveillance in one form or another.

We should not forget that, in addition to the Five Eyes, there’s also an alliance known as the Nine Eyes that comprises the five above mentioned countries plus Norway, Denmark, Holland, and France. There’s also reports on the Fourteen Eyes and Forty-one Eyes alliances, but they don’t seem to enjoy the same level of cooperation as the initial group.

Once the dubious activities of the Five Eyes became known to the public, numerous human rights activists across the Commonwealth started attacking the group, accusing it of forcing governments to “do dirty work” on Washington’s part. For example, in Canada, judges were outraged that local intelligence agencies handed over surveillance over Canadian citizens to other states within the framework of the alliance. The European Union has also expressed its concern that members of the Five Eyes are collecting and sharing information on EU citizens in the interests of the United States, paying no heed to European laws that prohibit such activities.

In this regard, the total lack of any public criticism of anti-Huawei campaign of FVEY is really surprising. After all, if the general public doesn’t put its foot in the door of such dubious practices, then there’s no telling what the Five Eyes can come up with tomorrow, jeopardizing both civil and human rights of their own citizens in whatever way they see fit.

Jean Périer is an independent researcher and analyst and a renowned expert on the Near and Middle East, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook“. 
https://journal-neo.org/2018/12/10/anglo-saxon-eyes-are-fixed-on-countering-china/

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Drowning in Debt Forever: “China not among Africa’s top Creditors”

23.10.2018 Author: Phil Butler

Drowning in Debt Forever:The Fate of Africa Seems Irreversible

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Headlines this week from western mainstream media paint an Africa-China financial crisis brewing. On the contrary, Chinese and African news reveals a “win-win” financial atmosphere mostly. These conflicting “truths” prompted me to report about Africa debt, and just what the imperialist wolves are up to on the world’s most abused continent. My revelations may surprise you.

Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post reports, “African countries have started to push back against Chinese development aid,” and then writer Richard Aidoo goes on to tell us why. Over at The East African Allan Olingo assures us that “China’s not among Africa’s top creditors.” There are dozens of examples of misinformation like this, but the reality of China-Africa relations is a lot more straightforward than any of the writers, and experts care to reveal. Yes, China trade with Africa is doubling on account of the U.S. versus China trade war. It’s true, China investment in Africa is huge. But, media propaganda from Washington and London never reveals the global economic war being waged. We’re never clued in on the 21st-century imperialism I’ve preached about lately.

The western “imperialists” try and portray China as the big bad wolf about to ravage Africans, but the real opportunists there are familiar ones. Recent research by the Jubilee Debt Campaign revealed that Africa’s repayments grew to 11.9 percent in 2017, and that figure was up from 5.9 percent of total revenue in 2015. This uptick was caused by an increase in external loans to African countries from various lenders, China being one. Yes, money has been pouring into Africa the last couple of years, but China is not the biggest lending winner. While China has invested the most in Africa, $72 billion of a total of $130 billion (World Bank), the Paris Club and private lenders are taking the lion’s share of profit in interest payments. But China’s lending is altogether different from private and other investors. Here’s where the truth of the world economic conflict in Africa is revealed.

The composition of debt payments African countries make shows China’s investing in potential and for long-term financial gain, while private and institutional investment is more “high risk” by comparison. The figures from the Jubilee Debt Campaign are telling in this regard. This can be seen in the debt interest and payments. For instance, China’s interest on loans is much lower than creditors the Jubilee Debt Campaign’s Tim Jones says are “opaque deals.” According to the economist, China only owns 17% of Africa’s interest payments, while private sector interest on loans amounts to a whopping 55%. The economic expert goes on to do minute analysis, but it’s easy to see somebody is fleecing African borrowers. These “opaque” lenders are in the game as privateers, and this is the reason most of the debt being paid is from countries in crisis. The report tells us:

“Of the 16 African countries rated by the IMF as in debt distress or at high risk of being so, on average 15% of their debt is owed to China. China is therefore on average a less significant lender in debt crisis countries than across the whole continent.”

The statistics raise the question, “Why are private investors buying into crisis debt? If we refocus for a moment on Greece and other nations being sold off wholesale in privatization schemes for debt relief – we find our answer. The bigger mission for western players is to break these countries like profiteers always do. We can see from the full report here, that the private sector lending to Africa far exceeds China’s or any multinationals if all things are factored. So, our next question should be, “Who are these private lenders?”

When I pondered the structure of African debt to answer this question for you readers, it took me exactly 30 seconds to isolate the nation of Chad by looking for the biggest ratio of China and Paris Club debt versus private and institutional debt. This story from Oil Price from 2017 shows that half of Chad’s oil revenues are soaked up by none other than Glencore, the Anglo-Swiss multinational commodity trading and mining company. Next, I discovered that my previous targets here on NEO, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has invested heavily in Glencore and other fossil fuels concerns dealing in Africa. This Guardian story made me totally disgusted to find what I thought I would, so I moved on to another example.

Next, I scrolled the list of individual countries for big ratios of FDI from private investment versus China and bilateral investing. Ghana came up with nearly $5 billion in private investment to just over $2 billion by Chinese growth investment. And guess what I found in the news? Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo just launched Ghana’s first-ever oil and gas licensing rounds bid evaluation and negotiation (LRBEN) at a UK-Ghana Investment Summit 2018 in Accra. As it turns out, Ghana’s debt expenditures have risen “mysteriously” to equal almost 70% of the country’s GDP in the last few months. Added to this, the fact the country’s new borrowings are being used to finance past debt that is maturing, it shows us the country is being drained by debt investors. The list goes on, but now let me make some of you really furious in my conclusion.

Is it fair to say that the promises western financiers have made to Africans have been lies these last seven decades? I think so, and if you read the bullshit that investment banks like Goldman Sachs spit out, you’ll want to give “the finger” to every privateer wringing the life out of an entire continent. Read what Colin Coleman, head of investment banking for sub-Saharan Africa at Goldman Sachs has to say about the bright economic future of the continent:

“This is going to be a continent moving from a low base into a much higher form of consumer services, much better banking, technology, and telecommunications infrastructure. And the billion people that occupy Africa are going to see tremendous improvements in their lives.”

How long have we heard this doublespeak? Let me remind Mr. Coleman of that Goldman Sachs, the World Bank, the IMF, and all the rest of the bloodsuckers have been predicting Africa’s final emergence for decades. Let me quote now from the year 2000 IMF report, “Promoting Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: Learning What Works:”

“Africa is the world’s poorest continent. But for the first time in a generation—amid all the bad news—there is hope for change. An increasing number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa are showing signs of economic progress, reflecting the implementation of better economic policies and structural reforms. These countries have successfully cut domestic and external financial imbalances, enhancing economic efficiency.”

Maybe the Goldman Sachs geniuses of the world were misled by Washington think tanks like the Brookings Institute, which commissioned this scholarly study by Harvard’s David E. Bloom and Jeffrey D. Sachs? Their scholarly efforts ended up in a section “Evidence on African Growth from Cross-Country Growth Regressions,” it pinned Sub-Saharan Africa’s growth potential on a brilliant premise. Brilliant, I tell you. Their genius lightbulb was illuminated by how public health might affect potential:

“We are especially interested in the coefficient on life expectancy at birth (our proxy for health status), which has a strong connection with both geography and demography in Africa. Although it is not an ideal measure of health, it is widely available and often used in this context. We interpret it as capturing possible effects of health on economic growth that may operate through lower morbidity, that is, a more productive labor force; higher returns to investments in human capital, directly due to increased longevity; and increased saving at all ages for a longer period of retirement.”

In other words, “Dying Africans cannot dig those diamonds out of the ground for DeBeers.” Clearly, in Washington, London, Amsterdam, and Paris the need to feed the slaves was as apparent as the need to keep them poor. How’s that for brutal, truth analysis? Nina Munk, author of the 2013 book The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty, called the famous economist out by saying that years in the future his ideas “left people even worse off than before.” Given Sachs and many of these other economic soothsayers run colleges, advise presidents, and tell the United Nations what to think, maybe the goals of Goldman Sachs and Jeffrey (no apparent relation) are coming to fruition. Maybe this was the mission after all?

Finally, the IMF, World Bank, the UN, investors, governments, and other operators within the western imperialist mechanism have been telling us since World War I that Africa would return to Eden economically. I can find 10,000 proofs that connect these prospectives to profiteering. But when we consider what has been taken out of Africa in the last hundred years, and when we factor in how poor the people there are still, the truth in these matters is blinding. As for Chinese investment, it looks to me like the Chinese have a better idea for the future than the Paris Group, the IMF, or Bill Gates.

Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”
https://journal-neo.org/2018/10/23/drowning-in-debt-forever-the-fate-of-africa-seems-irreversible/

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Bank of England Refusing Venezuelan Request to Return $550 Mln in Gold – Report

 Mike Groll,

Earlier, Caracas indicated that it was looking to repatriate some 14 tons of gold bars back from the UK out of concern that the bullion may be affected by harsh US sanctions against the Latin American country.

 

The Bank of England is refusing to release Venezuela’s gold bars, worth about $550 million or £420 million, back to Caracas, with British officials understood to have referred to “standard” anti-money laundering measures, The Times reports, citing unnamed sources.

“There are concerns that Mr. [Nicolas] Maduro may seize the gold, which is owned by the state, and sell it for personal gain,” the newspaper explains.

On Tuesday, two informed sources told Reuters that the Venezuelan government has been trying to move its gold from Bank of England vaults back to Venezuela for nearly two months, with the shipment thought to be held up over difficulties in obtaining insurance.

Washington imposed new restrictions against Venezuela last week targeting the country’s gold exports, accusing the Maduro government of “looting” Venezuela’s stocks of the precious metals amid the country’s economic crisis. The sanctions, which target US individuals and companies trading in Venezuelan gold, was announced by US National Security Advisor John Bolton last week, with Bolton also branding Caracas a member of a “troika of tyranny” along with Cuba and Nicaragua.

Venezuela has made a concerted effort to become a major gold exporter, and is engaged in certifying some 32 gold fields, and building 54 processing plants in a bid to become what Maduro said would be “the second largest gold reserve on Earth.”

The Venezuelan government has made an effort to reduce dependence on US-led or controlled financial institutions and instruments, including the dollar, and committed last month to trading in euros, yuan and “other convertible currencies” amid US restrictions.

In recent years, Venezuela has faced an acute economic crisis accompanied by hyperinflation, the devaluation of its currency, the bolivar, and goods shortages in shops, with the crisis caused by crippling US restrictions as well as mismanagement on the part of state oil company PDSVA. Winning a second term in office in May 2018, Maduro promised to make economic recovery one of the government’s top priorities. Amid the difficult situation facing his country, Maduro has repeatedly accused the US and Colombia of plotting to overthrow the Venezuelan government in an invasion or coup.

https://sputniknews.com/world/201811071069596712-uk-refuses-return-of-venezuelan-gold/

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