Ebola Clinical Illness in Well-Described Patients: The US healthcare system can only successfully handle a little Ebola

Further Explorations Into Ebola Healthcare In the U.S.

By Meryl Nass, M.D. Dr. Nass is a board-certified internist and a biological warfare epidemiologist and expert in anthrax. Nass publishes Anthrax Vaccine.

Let me start this piece with the bottom line: I want to be clear that patients with Ebola virus disease are sicker, in general, than patients with any other medical condition, in the US or anywhere else. They are subject to many more serious complications than other patients. They require more care, more lab tests, more procedures, more medical staff than patients with any other disease. (That is, if you are serious about trying to keep them alive.) The US healthcare system will not collapse like Africa’s, but it will be sorely tested by an Ebola outbreak: cracks in an already-overstretched system will become readily apparent, and future patients will not receive the million-dollar care that a carefully controlled handful of patients have gotten, so far.

This was part of what I tried to indicate in my September 30 post, in which I pointed out that US community hospitals could not care for Ebola patients. They will never be able to. They lack the containment to do it safely. Only large hospitals can assign enough staff away from other duties. They have no ability to get most labs and X-rays for Ebola patients.  Finally, who will pay for such high-end care in our profit-driven system? Will your insurance cover Ebola, when insurers have great latitude to reject claims?

I have now read detailed accounts of the clinical course of the first two US Ebola patients (Dr. Brantly and Nancy Writebol) and two African patients treated in Frankfurt and Hamburg (one a physician and one an epidemiologist).  At first, the patient in Frankfurt had eight doctors working on his case.

The two African patients, from Uganda and Senegal, respectively, were much, much sicker than Brantly and Writebol. A third African patient, treated in Leipzig, died. It is rather amazing that the other two lived.  The bill for the patient treated in Hamburg came to 2 million euros. (And the cost of medical care in Germany is half that in the US.)

Today Dr. Salia has arrived in Nebraska for treatment, and he is said to be extremely ill, possibly sicker than any previous patients treated in the US.  He has been sick for 9 days, but that is approximately the amount of time it took before Writebol and Brantly arrived in the US.

Brantly and Writebol received ZMapp, and Brantly received 3 units of blood (one from a recovered patient) while still in Africa.  Salia did not receive ZMapp, as there is none available now.

It is possible that Caucasians have a less severe illness.  It is possible that early treatments with blood or ZMapp lessened the severity of illness.  With only a handful of cases to extrapolate from, neither may be true; but these hypotheses should be explored.

Five doctors from Sierra Leone previously contracted Ebola, and all died.  The Ebola case fatality rate for healthcare workers in Africa is said to be 56%-80%, and the overall case fatality rate seems to be 60%71%74%, depending on the group studied.

I, for one, believe that the more people treated in our bio-containment units, the better for everybody. Doctors here have much to learn about treating Ebola, and we need to speed up the learning curve. MSF and other medical providers in Africa need to learn more about the illness from the first world’s ability to monitor patients closely, and this will help refine and improve the treatments available in Africa and elsewhere.

Speaking of learning curve, I was surprised that even at Emory, next door to CDC, in the bio-containment unit there was no ability to get X-rays or more than a few standard laboratory tests for Ebola patients.  (Recall that I have discussed this major problem in earlier posts.) Somehow, in Hamburg, there seems to have been more advanced care available.  So the learning curve in the US could benefit from knowledge of what Europe is able to do.

Posted in Science / Technology | 1 Comment

The Rubber Band Is Stretched–Will It Break?

A rubber band can remain stretched for some time, but it takes some force to keep it stretched.

The consensus is anticipating a smooth sleigh ride for Santa’s traditional stock market rally from November to year-end. But the rubber band of the current rally is looking quite stretched, and there’s a distinct possibility the rubber band snaps and Santa’s rally hits a rough patch and overturns, distributing lumps of coal rather than additional equity gains.

Exhibit 1: The Russell 2000 index (RUT). It’s hard not to notice that MACD is about to cross in a bearish signal, and that the stochastic has already crossed and is heading south.

Then there’s the open gaps below, which tend to get filled despite endless claims that “this rally is different.” Yes, of course it is.

At the previous top, the RUT noodled around in a trading range for a couple of weeks, reaching for a breakout that quickly failed.

The RUT has repeated the pattern rather neatly: two weeks of going nowhere (a.k.a. distribution), and a breakout that quickly reversed.

It’s also interesting that the RUT’s runs seem to last around 20 days or so. The downturn in October lasted about 22 days, and the current run-up is stretched tight at 24 days.

Exhibit 2: the volatility index (VIX). As Zero Hedge has noted, the VIX exhibits a peculiarity at the close of each trading session: it drops precipitously in the waning minutes of trading, and equally magically, stocks pop up to close positive for the day.

Confidence Guaranteed By A 3:58PM VIX-Slam.

That this sudden slam at the close has happened every day this past week must be coincidence–right?

Meanwhile, we see the stochastic has turned up and the MACD is poised to cross as well. The huge gap yawning around 24 is meaningless to complacent kiddies awaiting more equity-gain goodies from Santa. What’s the basis of this confidence that volatility has been eradicated? This rally is different. Yes, of course it is.

Mr. VIX keeps getting slammed at day’s end, but he still managed to notch an uptrend:

A rubber band can remain stretched for some time, but it takes some force to keep it stretched. In this case, the force is the daily VIX body-slam and the resulting pop up in equities. This has worked to keep RUT and its cousins aloft for several weeks of going nowhere, but the chart suggests all the kiddies who are supremely confident that Santa will deliver more equity gains might find their complacency is not rewarded. 

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Why Is Europe Staying with the Leading Fascist Power, That’s Now Turned Nazi?

Eric Zuesse

The United States is a gung-ho supporter of a genocide that it created. (Click on those links, for the verification of these shocking facts — shocking only because they’re covered up by our ‘press.’) Why does Europe tolerate this, and even participate in it? But, they do.

On November 14th, France missed the second deadline for them to supply to Russia the Mistral helicopter-carrier ship that Russia had already paid for in full, and which had been built to Russian specifications, not suitable for use by NATO.

Back on 14 May 2014, Michael R. Gordon — one of the New York Times ‘reporters’ (more-realistically: stenographers for the U.S. Administration) who had ‘reported’ back in 2002 about how horrific were the WMD or Weapons of Mass Destruction that Saddam Hussein was building up, but which actually didn’t exist except in the Administration’s disinformation-agencies — headlined in that propaganda-outlet for the U.S. Government (propagandistically calling itself a ‘news’paper), “France’s Sale of 2 Ships to Russians Is Ill-Advised, U.S. Warns,” and he lambasted the dastardly purveyor of what U.S. nationalists had contemptuously called “freedom fries”; he opened his ‘news report’ as the stenographer to power that he and his newspaper are, with: “In a closed-door meeting in February 2010, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates urged his French counterpart not to proceed with the sale of two amphibious assault ships to Russia because it ‘would send the wrong message to Russia and to our allies in Central and East Europe.’” In other words: Russia is the enemy; don’t deal with them in any other way.

Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post, headlined the next day disdainfully, “Europe goes its own way,” and she opened, “France’s attempt to sell warships to Russia is both a ‘sell the rope to hang themselves’ moment and a comment on U.S. stature these days.” She lied: Russia isn’t France’s enemy; the U.S. has become that. And France wasn’t in any “attempt to sell warships to Russia”; those warships had already been sold and built and paid for, but Washington was turning the screws on their ‘friend’ France, to induce them not to deliver what had already been sold and manufactured.

For America’s fascists, and even for our racist-fascists or “nazis,” the Cold War has never ended, not even when the Soviet Union did and when Marxist economics became rejected everywhere but in Cuba and North Korea. Apparently, the Cold War was never really about communism, if one believes these fascists; it was about destroying Russia. For them, it has actually been just a marketing plan for U.S.-made weapons. Now that Russia is a democracy — perhaps more so than the U.S. now is — the old hatred still burns like hot coals in the black hearts of Barack Obama, Republicans, and all other far-rightist, pro-oligarchic, U.S. politicians, who serve the people at Raytheon Corporation and Lockheed-Martin, and other producers for NATO, the Western arms-buying club.

Gutless France isn’t telling Uncle Sam to shove off about that, but is instead setting itself up to pay a very heavy price for today’s peddler of genocide, the U.S. You don’t see this fact — or this, or even this — reported in the New York Times, or the Washington Post, or the Wall Street Journal. Those facts come from ‘the enemy.’

I am a European-American who is outraged that my country has taken up what had been one of Hitler’s big objectives, of destroying and subjugating Russians, and that Europe is participating in this moral degradation of America, all for the benefit of an all-too-powerful group of U.S. and a few cooperating European oligarchs, who think that their blood is not on the line if this produces a nuclear war against Russia. But their gated communities and frost-windowed limousines won’t protect even them from the viciousness of the hatreds and psychopathies that they harbor, if they succeed at prostituting ‘democracy’ in this way.

America needs a real press, not an aristocratically controlled ‘news-media,’ that are constantly for sale to the highest bidder, whomever can put up the advertising bucks to buy the ‘news reporting’ and ‘editorial opinions,’ that shape ‘democracy.’

———-

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,  and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Posted in Business / Economics, Energy / Environment, General, Politics / World News, Science / Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Why Stocks Are Soaring … Even though the Fed Stopped Quantitative Easing

The Answers Might Surprise You

Why are stocks still soaring, even though the Fed stopped QE?

Initially, QE arguably hasn’t totally stopped been stopped. And – of course – Japan’s massive QE is helping the Dow and S&P as well.

Additionally, several central banks are directly buying stocks.   They include the central banks of Switzerland, Japan, Israel, the Czech Republic, and a total of 23 percent of all nations worldwide.  (And it has long been rumored that the Fed buys stocks through proxies.)

Companies have also been buying back their own shares in record numbers.

Paul Buchheit notes:

In 1981, major corporations were spending less than 3 percent of their combined net income on buybacks, but in recent years they’ve been spending up to 95 percent of their profits on buybacks and dividends.

Business Insider points out:

Ever since the financial crisis, S&P 500 companies have spent about $2 trillion buying back shares of their own stock.

***

Goldman Sachs’ David Kostin believes a temporary pullback may explain why the S&P 500 has tumbled from its all-time high of 2,019 on Sept. 19.

“Most companies are precluded from engaging in open-market stock repurchases during the five weeks before releasing earnings,” Kostin notes. “For many firms, the beginning of the blackout period coincided with the S&P 500 peak on September 18. So the sell-off occurred during a time when the single largest source of equity demand was absent.

In other words, when companies stop buying so much of their own stock, the stock market goes down.

Business Insider continues:

“We expect companies will actively repurchase shares in November and December,” he writes. “Since 2007, an average of 25% of annual buybacks has occurred during the last two months of the year.”

Kostin believes the comeback in buybacks will drive the S&P to 2,050 by year-end.

cotd buybacks volatility

Why November and December?

Yves Smith explains:

Notice how the bulk of buybacks are concentrated in the fourth quarter, with the obvious intent of goosing prices at year end so as to lead to higher executive pay for “increasing shareholder value”? [Yup ... it's all about bigger bonuses.] In fact, these companies are being gradually liquidated. Issuing debt, which public companies have done in copious volumes since the crash, and using it to buy shares is dissipating corporate assets.

In addition, the vast majority of stock trades are done by high frequency trading computer programs.  It’s childs play for big players to manipulate the price of stocks (and every other market).

The Fed has admitted that one of its main policy objectives is to boost stock prices.  Many well-known financial analysts – such as Jeremy Grantham, Charles Biderman and Scott Nations – say that the feds manipulate the stock market. And see this, this and this.

And the government facilitates fraudulent acts and fraudulent accounting by big corporations, and always settles prosecutions for pennies on the dollar (a form of stealth bailout) … which allows the companies to avoid losses and to falsely inflate their valuations.

Posted in Business / Economics, Politics / World News | 28 Comments

Can vaccines cause autism, cancer, other deadly diseases? What does that mean about Ebola vaccine?

I’ve reviewed two of Ken’s books:

  • Cancer Vortex provides similar powerful history of the medical oligarchs who block medically and legally proven cancer cures in order to protect industry profits in the annual billions (here, here, here, here).

Ken’s following article on vaccines is reprinted with his permission. I’ve also reprinted Medical industry profits pre-empt healthcare.

If the US .01% will engage in actions that war and poverty-murder millions every year, harm billions every year, and bankster-loot trillions every year, year-after-year, the following information is important to thoughtfully consider. Ken’s article:

“I have no hesitation in stating that in my judgment the most frequent disposing condition for cancerous development is infused into the blood by vaccination and re-vaccination.” - Dennis Turnbull, MD, cancer researcher.

“Vaccines have to be considered the bargain basement technology for the 20th Century.” – Dr Maurice Hilleman, Leading Vaccine Developer  

“The only safe vaccine is a vaccine that is never used.” - James R. Shannon of the National Institutes of Health

The US healthcare industry is run by a Medical Cartel encompassing Federal regulators and giant Pharmaceutical companies posting sales in excess of half a trillion dollars. Vaccines comprise a major portion of this cash flow as does Cancer Therapy. Both are vital to the gross profitability and expansion of the Cartel regardless of how many people are actually cured.

Recent warnings about the resurgence of Ebola in West Africa suggest it may become a worldwide pandemic, possibly leading to mandatory vaccinations. Already, new vaccines are being rushed into production to deal with this new strain. Although Ebola has been studied since its origin in the Congo in 1976, it appears this new strain is more virulent and deadly. Already, quarantines are planned in the US despite only one death so far. And the media is amping up the fear factor with accounts of massive orders for Bio-hazard suits and body bags.

Healthy skepticism is required here: Why did the CDC patent this virus? Could Ebola be a Bio-weapon engineered by the NIH and CDC (see video on  Weaponized Ebola)? If an Ebola epidemic strikes the US, what are the personal risks in taking an Ebola vaccine? Will FEMA camps be used to quarantine large numbers of Ebola victims? Will an Ebola epidemic be a pretext for martial law?

History shows a number of diseases treated with vaccines:

Cowpox vaccine was developed and used in England in the 19th century against the scourge of Smallpox. But as the use of the vaccine spread, smallpox epidemics worsened with over 44,000 dying in 1872. Eventually, after many years of compulsory vaccination, the vaccine was banned in England in 1948.

After Japan initiated compulsory smallpox vaccination in 1892, there were over 165,000 cases of smallpox resulting in almost 30,000 deaths.

The Spanish Flu epidemic, ravaging the US and Europe towards the end of World War I was attributed to compulsory vaccination of US servicemen. As the flu spread, an estimated 20 million people died. Whereas, most of those who survived, had refused to take the vaccine.

The Polio Virus has been around for centuries. Yet the virus seldom caused paralysis until the late 1800’s. In fact, 95 percent of polio cases occur without symptoms, just a mild fever. But in less than one percent of the victims, the virus penetrates the blood-brain barrier to cause paralysis and death. As the fear of a polio epidemic in the US spread in the 1950’s, polio vaccines were rushed to market and vaccination became compulsory.

Dr Maurice Hilleman, one of the most renowned vaccine developers in the world with over three dozen vaccines to his credit headed Merck’s vaccine program. On examining the injectable Salk polio vaccine and the oral Sabine vaccine, he isolated the SV40 Simian Live Virus from both and discovered that most polio vaccines given to the public were contaminated with cancer causing viruses.

As expected, the government kept these revelations secret, warning neither doctors nor the public while the vaccines continued to be administered for decades. SV40 was so virulent that it became a popular tool for cancer researchers to rapidly transform healthy animal cells into tumor cells. In fact, from 1955 to 1963 up to 98 million children and adults in the United States were exposed to SV40 Simian Live virus, a known carcinogen, due to contaminated polio vaccines.

In the March 1977 issue of Science, Jonas and Darrell Salk made the startling revelation that, “Live virus vaccines against influenza or poliomyelitis may in each instance produce the disease it is intended to prevent….” This should make every thinking person pause and consider whether vaccines do more harm than good.

On January 26, 1988, the Washington Post featured a story about polio from a national conference that concluded that all new cases of polio have come from the vaccine itself. None of the original ‘wild type’ polio virus has caused a single case of polio in the United States since 1979.  The program should have been discontinued long before but it wasn’t, due to collusion between Big Pharma and government regulators, known as the Medical Cartel as exposed  in the book ‘Cancer Vortex’.

Another stark example of promoting a new vaccine, occurred during the hypothetical Swine Flu epidemic during Gerald Ford’s presidency. Even though there was not a single case of this type of flu in the country, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) sponsored a national vaccination campaign to prevent the spread of this new potentially dangerous variation of the flu.

Soon after the campaign was underway, many people started feeling the toxic effects of the vaccine. As claims of paralysis multiplied, the total damages against the drug companies amounted to $1.3 billion.  To divert attention from the real cause, the drug producers renamed the new epidemic ‘Guillain Barre Syndrome’.

Bird flu predominately found in Asia is a viral infection from birds which has so far infrequently infected humans. The human strains are designated H5N1 and H7N9 and the greatest risk factor is close contact with sick birds and chickens. The symptoms are typical of the flu, except that as many as 60% of humans infected may die from serious complications.

Children especially at risk: Vaccines harm millions of children every year in terms of autism, mental retardation, learning disabilities, suppressed immune function and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Especially affected are babies under 12 months, which haven’t had a chance to fully develop an immune system and yet are exposed to a sequence of vaccinations their bodies are not prepared for.

The Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR) states that vaccinations may contain mercury, aluminum, formaldehyde, SV40 virus, bovine serums, latex, neomycin and other known carcinogens and allergens. Many of these toxins are injected into the bloodstream of babies as young as one day old. In fact, no long term testing for efficacy or safety for any vaccination has ever been done. Essentially, Big Pharma is using our babies as their own guinea pigs.

New Jersey mandates that by 6 months of age a child will receive 45 shots, by 19 months 64 shots and by 6 years a total of 74 shots. Anyone who thinks that the accumulation of toxic elements within these vaccines will not do serious damage to the nascent immune systems of these babies and young children is criminally negligent.

It is now recognized that vaccines cause autism and other forms of neurological damage in 1 out of 150 children and occasionally death. Claims are settled thru an Injury Compensation Program and not in Federal courts to prevent shocking the nation.

Other unnecessary vaccines such as HPV Gardasil and Hepatitus B are now proposed to be given to children on a routine basis, yet no government studies have been done to prove they are safe or even necessary.

Various toxic elements within vaccines such as the SV40 virus, formaldehyde (formalin), mercury (thimerosal) and aluminum can become time bombs remaining dormant in the body for years until they suddenly activate, causing life threatening diseases.

In the US, vaccines are promoted as the solution for all infectious diseases by such Federal agencies as the CDC, the US Public Health Service and the FDA. Under the strong influence of the Medical Cartel, they act together to promote compulsory vaccination. Americans need to be aware of the ‘revolving door’ among federal agents rotating from government regulatory positions to Big Pharma management and vice versa. Hopefully, as public awareness grows, citizens will demand an end to this collusion on compulsory vaccination as they realize health is an individual responsibility, not a government mandate.

The fact that vaccines have been proven to do more harm than good, explains why Big Pharma and their regulatory lackeys continue to promote them. After all, the Medical Cartel is determined to maintain its level of grotesque profitability for the foreseeable future as the level of degenerative disease in America grows. And they will continue with orthodox cancer therapy (slash, burn, poison) to ensure greater profitability for another century; that is, until people realize they have better options for non-toxic natural cures.

Putting all this into perspective, it becomes evident that one of the primary causes for the rapid rise in cancer affecting our generation is due to excessive and unnecessary vaccinations given in our youth. And now with the dramatic increase in risky vaccines given to babies and young children, future generations will likely endure even greater suffering from cancer and other degenerative diseases.

**

“Cancer Vortex” by Kenneth Anton is currently available as a Kindle eBook and Paperback at Amazon.com. The Paperback is also available thru Ingram worldwide distribution.

Please send comments or questions to support@cancervortex.com

Posted in General | 3 Comments

The World Gets the Wars Americans Deserve

Having been on the road, I have two brilliant insights to report.

1. No matter what sort of fascist state were ever established in this part of the world, Amtrak would never get the trains to run on time.

2. Respecting people and giving them credit for being smarter than the television depicts them is vastly easier when you stay home.

The well-known line is that people get the governments they deserve.  Of course nobody should be abused the way the U.S. and many other governments abuse them, no matter what their intellectual deficiencies.  If anything, stupid people should have better, kinder governments. But my common response to that well-known line is to point out the bribery and gerrymandering and limited choices and relentless propaganda. Surely the clown show in Washington is not the people’s fault. Some of my best friends are people and they often display signs of intelligence.

But the primary thing the U.S. government does is wage wars, and it wages them against other people who had no say in the matter. Of course I don’t want wars waged against Americans either, but the general impression one gets from traveling around and speaking and answering questions at public events in the United States is not so much that people are indifferent to the destruction of the globe as long as they don’t miss their favorite television show, as that people are unclear on what destruction means and can’t identify a globe when it’s placed in a lineup with six watermelons.

War and peace are concepts people have heard of, but ask them which they favor and you’ll get blank stares. “Do you support all wars, some wars, or no wars?” I ask to get a sense of the crowd, but a fourth answer takes the majority: “Uhhh, I dunno.”

A few people want to end war by having a bunch of anti-war wars, but they all work in the State Department and I haven’t been invited to speak there.

A few elderly people believe we simply must have wars, and every last one of them has the identical reason: Pearl Harbor. You can explain to them the stupid vindictive conclusion of World War I, the decades of militarization, of antagonization of Japan (protested for many years by U.S. peace activists), of Wall Street funding the Nazis. You can point out the madness of a rogue nation waging hundreds of disastrous wars all over the world for 70 years and getting people to support this project by finding a single example of a supposedly justifiable war 70 years ago. You can challenge them to find any other major public project that has to go back that far to justify itself. You can quote them the wisdom of peace activists from the 1920s and 1930s and 1940s. They’ll simply say that Pearl Harbor justified saving the Jews. You can show them how Pearl Harbor was intentionally provoked, how actions that might have saved the Jews were avoided, how the Jews became a justification for the war only long after it was over, and they’ll just grunt at you. You can recount successful nonviolent resistance to the Nazis and the growth and development of nonviolent resistance in the decades since, and they’ll drool, scratch their heads, or ask if you’re going to vote for Hillary.

A few young people believe we simply must have wars, and every last one of them has the identical reason: ISIS. Because ISIS is something evil, there must be war. “Should we attack ISIS or do nothing?” they all ask.

I imagine I’d laugh if I weren’t trembling for our future. Iraq III: The Return of the Decider is becoming the worst parody of a humanitarian war in history. First George W. Obama gave himself a waiver from his own dumb rules against killing unlimited civilians. Then he asked for a special waiver in order to arm lots of really good people who happen to torture some folks and murder some folks and rape some folks and genocide some folks. This after he asked the CIA if arming rebels has ever worked out, and the CIA said “No, but we do it as a matter of principle,” and he said “Let’s roll!”

Just as nobody supposes World War II the Just and Noble could have arisen without World War I the Futile and Pointless, no serious analysis of ISIS can explain its birth without Iraq II: The Liberation. ISIS is made up of people tortured in U.S. prison camps and thrown out of the Iraqi Army by U.S. occupiers and driven into desperation by the hell the U.S. and its allies created. ISIS brutally murders just like, but on a smaller scale than, the U.S. and its new allies in fighting ISIS. The helpless-people-on-a-mountaintop story remains permanently present outside of time for Americans, even though the U.S. is now killing so many civilians that it needs laws changed (or simply ignored; anyone remember the UN Charter?), even though the story was a gross distortion at the time, and even though the bombing protected the oil contractors in Erbil, not the mountain.

People nod their heads and ask, “So, should we attack ISIS or do nothing?”

You can explain to them that ISIS explicitly said it wanted to be attacked. You can show them how ISIS is growing as a result. You can explain to them how hated the United States is now in that region. You can read them a RAND Corporation report showing that most terrorist organizations are ended through negotiations, virtually none through war. You can fill them in on how 80 percent of the weapons shipped into the Middle-East, not counting U.S. weapons or weapons the U.S. gives to groups like ISIS and its allies, come from the United States. You can describe how the region could be demilitarized rather than further armed. You can discuss diplomatic possibilities, local cease-fires, aid and restitution. You can graphically make clear how a fraction of what’s spent on bombing Iraq to fix the disaster created by bombing Iraq could pay for transforming the whole region into a healthier happier place to live with food, water, agriculture, clean energy, etc. You can detail emergency measures that are available, including peaceworkers, aid workers, doctors, journalists — measures that risk fewer lives than war.

And they’ll blink their eyes and ask “So, should we attack ISIS or do nothing?”

Do you recall, you can say, that last year the White House wanted you to support attacking Syria, and wanted to attack the opposite side in that war? And people said no, remember? And now they want to attack the opposite side, while arming it, and this makes sense to you? They have no goal in mind, no plan, no estimated end-date or price-tag or body-count, and this makes sense to you?

Well, they’ll say, it’s that or do nothing.

But do you recall the year 2006 in which everybody said they’d elected Democrats in order to end the war, and the Democrats said they’d keep it going in order to run against it again in 2008? At that time, in 2006, as the big marches were just ending, having begun with the biggest marches ever on February 15, 2003, if you’d told anyone that in 2014 the war would be over and a new president would propose starting it up again, and nobody would protest, you’d have been laughed at. The America of 2006 would never have stood for this for a minute, at least not if the President were a Republican.

“Oh,” they’ll say, “I’ve heard of Republicans. They’re the ones who like war, right? Do you think the military is letting women participate enough?”

It happened that while I was touring and talking, NATO claimed for something like the 89th time this year that Russia had invaded Ukraine. If it were ever true, I asked, would anyone believe it? The answer I got: Nobody cares.

Nobody with the easy ability to do something about it cares. The people under the bombs care. The world gets the wars Americans deserve.

Posted in General | 5 Comments

Inequality Now at Lord and Serf Level

You Know Inequality Is Bad … But You Don’t Know HOW Bad

You know inequality is bad … but you don’t know how bad.

We’ve gotten to the overlord and serf level.

Gini Graham Scott writes:

Today, as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, it seems we are approach[ing] a new Middle Ages in America, as inequality increasingly spreads through the land. It is as if the super-rich are like the new royalty and the top 1 percent are living in mansions like the old castles of kings in the kingdoms that eventually melded into Europe and the U.K.

***

This situation is much like what existed in the Middle Ages, with today’s poor underclass much in the position of the peasants, and the super-rich like the nobility ….

The 85 richest people have as much money as the 3.5 billion poorest people (that’s half of the entire world population).

Indeed:

The global 1 percent has increased their wealth from $100 trillion to $127 trillion in just three years.

***

[Each year since the 2008 recession], the 1 percent took in anywhere from $2.3 trillion to $5.7 trillion per year. (All numeric analysis is detailed here.)

***

[T]he middle class is disappearing at the global level. An incredible one of every ten dollars of global wealth was transferred to the elite 1 percent in just three years. A level of inequality deemed unsustainable three years ago has gotten even worse.

America posts staggering figures as well:

It was recently reported that just 47 individuals in the U.S. own more than all 160 million Americans (about 60 million households) below the median wealth level of about $53,000.

But Forbes keeps building up the numbers. As of November 8, 2014 just 43 individuals own as much as the bottom half of America, based on the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook (GWD).

Indeed:

Just one rich family, the six heirs of the brothers Sam and James Walton, founders of Walmart, are worth more than the bottom 40 per cent of the American population combined ($115 billion in 2012).

Moreover:

A recent posting detailed how upper middle class Americans are rapidly losing ground to the one-percenters who averaged $5 million in wealth gains over just three years.

***

The information came from the Credit Suisse 2014 Global Wealth Databook (GWD), which goes on to reveal much more about the disappearing middle class.

***

The Upper Middle Class of America Owns a Smaller Percentage of Wealth Than the Corresponding Groups in All Major Nations Except Russia and Indonesia

The upper middle class in the US, defined as everyone in the top half below the richest 20 percent, owns 11.9 percent of the wealth. Indonesia at 10.5 percent and Russia at 7.5 percent are worse off, but in all other nations the corresponding upper middle classes own 12 to 27 percent of the wealth.

America’s bottom half compares even less favorably to the world: dead last, with just 1.3 percent of national wealth. Only Russia comes close to that dismal share, at 1.9 percent. The bottom half in all other nations own 2.6 to 10.2 percent of the wealth.

And the top .01% of Americans now owns as much as the bottom 90%. Indeed, the 1% have gotten chump change compared to the .01% (you’ve got to see the charts to believe it).

And the above figures are underestimates … because the very wealthy hide much of their wealth in offshore accounts which are hard to account for.

The head of the Federal Reserve said last month that inequality levels are rising, and are near 100-year levels.

Inequality levels are truly stunning … and inequality levels in America today may actually be the highest anywhere in the world ever.

And studies confirm that America is now an oligarchy, not a democracy.

Indeed – while fighting it for decades – mainstream economists now finally admit that runaway inequality destroys our economy.

The lords are truly trying to make us all into serfs.   History may be repeating.

Posted in Business / Economics, Politics / World News | 7 Comments

Senator Udall May Pull a “Pentagon Papers” … Read Censored Torture Report on Senate Floor

Making History?

The only reason that the Pentagon Papers were published is because Senator Mike Gravel read them on the Senate Floor.

Specifically, after Daniel Ellsberg leaked the papers, no newspaper had the guts to publish them.

But – because Congress members and Senators are immune from prosecution if they read classified documents on the floor of Congress – Gravel got them out by reading them in full on the floor of the Senate. As soon as he did, the newspapers published them, since they were already “in the public record”.

Senator Gravel has now urged Senator Udall to read the Senate torture report on the floor of the Senate.

Senator Udall says he’s thinking about it

Posted in Politics / World News | Tagged | 3 Comments

The View that Putin’s Advisor Has on Obama’s Ukrainian War

Eric Zuesse

U.S. President Barack Obama’s operation (click on this for the documentation) to exterminate pro-Russian voters in Ukraine, was discussed back in July by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s chief foreign affairs advisor, Sergei Glazyev, in an interview by Alyona Berezovskaya, of this website

http://en.ukraina.ru/editor/20140717/1010844100.html

U.S. news-media have not been reporting about the U.S.’s hiring nazi (otherwise known as racist-fascist) Ukrainian politicians, and nazi mercenaries, in order to eliminate the residents in Ukraine’s southeast, where the people had in 2010 voted at around 90% for the very same man whom the Obama Administration overthrew in a violent Kiev coup on February 22nd of this year.

So, let’s now see whether U.S. news-media will report (even this belatedly — it’s already four months) on the Russian Government’s view about this important matter.

Here is the key portion of Glazyev’s interview, in which the Russian Government, essentially, presents its view of Obama’s ethnic-cleansing program in Ukraine, to get rid of Moscow-friendly voters in Ukraine:

—-

A.B. The war between the United States and Novorossiya is getting more intense. The Pentagon has announced weapons deliveries to the Ukrainian punishers, while accusing Russia of delivering weapons to the self-defense forces. Does this mean that the US has a right to officially deliver weapons and finance the punitive forces and ulra-nationalists? How should Russia react to this?

S. G. The main task that the American puppet masters have set for the junta is to draw Russia into a full-scale war with Ukraine. It is for this purpose that all of these heinous crimes are committed – to force Russia to send troops to Ukraine to protect the civilian population, which has been fleeing to Russia in the hundreds of thousands and begging for help. Naturally, Russia can’t remain indifferent. Therefore, the American supervisors of the Ukrainian Nazis call far escalation of violence and more victims. Heavy artillery is used against women and children. People are trapped in blockaded cities without water and food. Some cities are facing a real famine. In other words, genocide is being committed on orders from America to force Russia to interfere and protect the civilian population, the same ethnic Russians and Ukrainians, living on the other side of the border. And I should say that the public pressure provoked by these tragic events is very high.

A.B. Many politicians and experts believe that America needs this war to cleanse the territory for shale gas production in the future. It’s a well known fact that major shale gas deposits are located in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Today, we are witnessing the cleansing of Donbas. Those who refused to leave for Russia will be killed or put in filtration camps.

S.G. The war has been provoked to destroy the Russian World, to draw Europe into it, and to surround Russia with hostile countries. Unleashing this world war, America is trying to deal with its own internal problems, which are much more serious than shale gas or a Ukrainian gas pipeline.

A. B. A war for the sake of war? Shouldn’t there be a financial interest?

S. G. The bankruptcy of the US financial system, which is unable to service its foreign debt, the lack of investments to finance a breakthrough to a new technological order and to maintain America’s competitiveness, and the potential defeat in the geopolitical competition with China. To resolve these problems, Americans need a new world war. Using Ukrainian ultra-nationalists as a tool to unleash this war, they are not facing any risk, since they are killing Ukrainians with the hands of the Ukrainians. Pushing the two largest countries of the Russian world against each other, they are trying to destroy and weaken Russia, causing it to fragment, as they need this territory and want to establish control over this entire space. We have offered cooperation from Lisbon to Vladivostok, whereas they need control to maintain their geopolitical leadership in a competition with China. Nazis are their main instrument. They have been training them for decades. It’s a well known fact that following the liberation of Ukraine from the fascists, hundreds of thousands of Banderites and their families fled to America and Canada. They served as a basis for cultivating an aggressive Ukrainian Nazism. It was then exported to Ukraine and today we see American agents in power, who are using ultra-nationalists to foment a new world war against Russia.

A. B. If it is so obvious, and Russian authorities understand that the current leaders in Ukraine are US agents, being used to destabilized the situation around Russia and undermine Russian statehood, should Moscow engage in a dialogue with Kyiv?

S.G. The fact is that not everyone in Moscow understands the essence of the tragic events in Ukraine. People always try to avoid complications, but unfortunately, it doesn’t work. Despite the willingness to hold peaceful negotiations and to stop the killings, it’s not working, as you can see. This has to do with the fact that the real president of Ukraine is not Petro Poroshenko, but the US ambassador in Kyiv.

—-

Closing note: He is referring there to Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. Ambassador in Ukraine, taking instruction from Victoria Nuland of President Obama’s State Department (who takes instruction from John Kerry who takes instruction from Barack Obama), regarding whom he must choose to lead the post-coup Ukrainian Government. A detailed transcript and explanation of that 4 February 2014 conversation between Pyatt and Nuland can be seen here. Of course, the fact that the man who would be appointed 18 days later to run Ukraine was being selected during this momentous phone-conversation was ignored there. U.S. ‘news’ media could not deny that this phone-conversation took place, because even the White House now essentially acknowledged that it was authentic. So, instead, U.S. ‘news’ media just ignored the import of what was being said in this history-making conversation — the conversation that led to the ethnic-cleansing campaign that’s now going on (which U.S. ‘news’ media likewise are ignoring). How much longer will this cover-up by America’s press continue?

———-

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010.

Posted in Business / Economics, Energy / Environment, General, Politics / World News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Inequality Is Cyclical, Skyrocketing Until – Periodically – Revolution Forces Concessions from Those Who Have Grabbed All the Wealth

Cycles of Wealth

Preface:  Sometimes breakthrough insights come from smart, accomplished people in one expertise who look at a different field with fresh eyes … unencumbered by the dogmas and politics of that field.

Peter Turchin is a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and an adjunct professor in the departments of Anthropology and Mathematics at the University of Connecticut.

Turchin’s new research interest is inequality.  Specifically, Turchin is now applying the mathematical rigor used in population biology to inequality.

We currently have what is arguably the worst inequality in history.  (We’re not talking about the 1% … we’re talking about the real powers-that-be.)

Most Democrats and most Republicans think we have too much inequality. Even the mainstream economists who fought the concept for decades now admit that runaway inequality is destroying our economy.

But we can’t take the current situation in a vacuum …

Peter Turchin notes that inequality is cyclical:

In his book Wealth and Democracy (2002), Kevin Phillips came up with a useful way of thinking about the changing patterns of wealth inequality in the US. He looked at the net wealth of the nation’s median household and compared it with the size of the largest fortune in the US. The ratio of the two figures provided a rough measure of wealth inequality, and that’s what he tracked, touching down every decade or so from the turn of the 19th century all the way to the present. In doing so, he found a striking pattern.

From 1800 to the 1920s, inequality increased more than a hundredfold. Then came the reversal: from the 1920s to 1980, it shrank back to levels not seen since the mid-19th century. Over that time, the top fortunes hardly grew (from one to two billion dollars; a decline in real terms). Yet the wealth of a typical family increased by a multiple of 40. From 1980 to the present, the wealth gap has been on another steep, if erratic, rise. Commentators have called the period from 1920s to 1970s the ‘great compression’. The past 30 years are known as the ‘great divergence’. Bring the 19th century into the picture, however, and one sees not isolated movements so much as a rhythm. In other words, when looked at over a long period, the development of wealth inequality in the US appears to be cyclical. And if it’s cyclical, we can predict what happens next.

***

In our book Secular Cycles (2009), Sergey Nefedov and I applied the Phillips approach to England, France and Russia throughout both the medieval and early modern periods, and also to ancient Rome. All of these societies (and others for which information was patchier) went through recurring ‘secular’ cycles, which is to say, very long ones. Over periods of two to three centuries, we found repeated back-and-forth swings in demographic, economic, social, and political structures. And the cycles of inequality were an integral part of the overall motion.

***

Our historical research on Rome, England, France, Russia and now the US shows that these complex interactions add up to a general rhythm.

***

It looks like the pattern that we see in the US is real. Ours is, of course, a very different society from ancient Rome or medieval England. It is cut off from them by the Industrial Revolution and by innumerable advances in technology since then. Even so, a historically based model might shed light on what has been happening in the US over the past three decades.

So what accounts for the periods of rising equality?  Turchin gives a number of factors.

One is revolution, when inequality became too extreme.  Turchin writes:

History provides another clue. Unequal societies generally turn a corner once they have passed through a long spell of political instability. Governing elites tire of incessant violence and disorder. They realise that they need to suppress their internal rivalries, and switch to a more co-operative way of governing, if they are to have any hope of preserving the social order. We see this shift in the social mood repeatedly throughout history — towards the end of the Roman civil wars (first century BC), following the English Wars of the Roses (1455-85), and after the Fronde (1648-53), the final great outbreak of violence that had been convulsing France since the Wars of Religion began in the late 16th century. Put simply, it is fear of revolution that restores equality. And my analysis of US history in a forthcoming book suggests that this is precisely what happened in the US around 1920.

Indeed, it is well-documented that runaway inequality leads to unrest and revolution.   And as Turchin notes,  – unrest and revolution in turn leads the powers-that-be to stop hogging all of the wealth.

The journal Nature writes:

Perhaps revolution is the best, if not the only, remedy for severe social stresses. [Herbert Gintis, a retired economist who is still actively researching the evolution of social complexity at the University of Massachusetts Amherst] points out that he is old enough to have taken part in the most recent period of turbulence in the United States, which helped to secure civil rights for women and black people. Elites have been known to give power back to the majority, he says, but only under duress, to help restore order after a period of turmoil. “I’m not afraid of uprisings,” he says. “That’s why we are where we are.”

We have repeatedly noted that we are opposed to violent revolution.  Activists like David DeGraw point out that things are going to dramatically change one way or the other … through a huge change for the better, or a descent into violence and chaos.

John F. Kennedy said:

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

Sadly, the government is doing everything it can to crush peaceful change, treating peaceful protesterswhistleblowers and investigative reporters as terrorists.  And the big banks are joining in the effort to make peaceful revolution impossible.

Postscript:  Turchin notes that another factor which at times reduces inequality is a pandemic.   For example, the survivors of the Black Plague could demand higher wages, since labor was scarce.

Posted in Business / Economics, Politics / World News, Science / Technology | 5 Comments

It’s Not Just Japan That’s Failed; The “Asian Miracle” Model Has Also Failed

The inevitable result of the centrally planned Asian Miracle Model is credit bubbles and the crippling misallocation of capital in Building Bridges to Nowhere.

Japan’s extraordinary rise from the ashes of World War II created an “Asian Miracle” template that other Asian nations have followed, and continue to follow.The outlines of the model are straightforward.

The growth engine is export-dependent mercantilism: organize the economy to prioritize exports at the expense of domestic income and consumption. The central government manages the mercantilist project in conjunction with favored cartels or state-owned enterprises (SOEs). In other words, The Asian Miracle Model is central planning plus credit expansion plus export-based cartel-capitalism.

The Asian Miracle form of centrally planned capitalism depends on these four pillars:

1. Integration of government ministries and private-sector cartels,

2. Heavy reliance on export sectors for growth and profits,

3. Domestic savers provide the capital for export expansion,

4. Defaults and write-offs of bad debt cause loss of face and are thus hidden from public view or rescued with government bailouts or zombie loans.

This combination of central planning, credit expansion and export-based capitalism ignites a rocket booster of rapid growth. Since the Asian nations pursuing this model are starting from relative poverty, the rapid expansion of credit, exports and employment in the export sector are all the more miraculous.

But the model runs off the rails when central planning and credit expansion reach diminishing returns. Central planning is very effective at allocating scarce capital in the boost phase, because the capital is invested in building an efficient export machine and in essential infrastructure that enables exports: ports, railways, highways, etc.

But once all this basic infrastructure is built out and exports reach their zenith, central planning slips from miraculous to disastrous. The state bureaucracies that guided the Miracle boost phase have no other plan other than more credit expansion and more investment in infrastructure.

The inevitable result of the centrally planned Asian Miracle Model is credit bubbles and the crippling misallocation of capital in Building Bridges to Nowhere. China has already burned through the booster phase and has reached the credit bubble/building ghost cities stage.

The hubris of central planning knows no limits. Though the only possible endgame of the central planning plus credit expansion plus export-based cartel-capitalism model is stagnation and implosion, central planners in Japan and China remain supremely confident in their ability to re-ignite a rocket with no fuel.

Following Japan’s Failed Economic Model with Gordon T. Long:

watch on YouTube


How to forge a career in a lousy economy:
Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy
,
a mere $9.95 for the Kindle ebook edition and $15.47 for the print edition.

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Why Hasn’t the Government Tested Ebola Against the Usual/Available Disinfectants?

Disinfecting Ebola: New Questions

By Meryl Nass, M.D.  Dr. Nass is  a board-certified internist and a biological warfare epidemiologist and expert in anthrax. Nass publishes Anthrax Vaccine.

I previously recommended alcohol hand rub (usually 70% ethyl or isopropyl alcohol) to kill Ebola on hands and gloves, which CDC recommends, along with soap and water.

From more reading, I no longer feel this is adequate, as it appears alcohol has not been tested on Ebola, and because other environmental tests have found Ebola to be hardier than one would have guessed (see Canadian discussion below). 

According to the manufacturer of a popular brand of alcohol hand sanitizer, Purell:

Are PURELL® products effective against Ebola?

Ebola viruses are high risk pathogens that must be contained and are not readily available for laboratory testing. As of today, we are not aware of any hand sanitizers that have been tested against Ebola viruses, including PURELL® Hand Sanitizer. However, it is important to note that the Ebola virus is an enveloped virus. Enveloped viruses in general are easily killed or inactivated by alcohol. World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are recommending handwashing and the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer as a preventive measure during this outbreak.

As we have already noted, CDC speaks with forked tongue on Ebola, presumably because of the imperative to appear fully prepared, when it isn’t. The following CDC document, which discusses how to decontaminate surfaces (not skin), admits that although Ebola is an enveloped virus, it may require stronger measures for decontamination than the enveloped viruses we are used to dealing with in hospitals.  Instead, CDC recommends we treat Ebola like we would treat Norovirus, which is not killed with alcohol rub.  

  • Use a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered hospital disinfectant with a label claim for a non-enveloped virus (e.g., norovirus, rotavirus, adenovirus, poliovirus) to disinfect environmental surfaces in rooms of patients with suspected or confirmed Ebola virus infection. Although there are no products with specific label claims against the Ebola virus, enveloped viruses such as Ebola are susceptible to a broad range of hospital disinfectants used to disinfect hard, non-porous surfaces. In contrast, non-enveloped viruses are more resistant to disinfectants. As a precaution, selection of a disinfectant product with a higher potency than what is normally required for an enveloped virus is being recommended at this time. EPA-registered hospital disinfectants with label claims against non-enveloped viruses (e.g., norovirus, rotavirus, adenovirus, poliovirus) are broadly antiviral and capable of inactivating both enveloped and non-enveloped viruses…
  •  For large spills, a chemical disinfectant with sufficient potency is needed to overcome the tendency of proteins in blood and other body substances to neutralize the disinfectant’s active ingredient. An EPA-registered hospital disinfectant with label claims for non-enveloped viruses (e.g., norovirus, rotavirus, adenovirus, poliovirus) and instructions for cleaning and decontaminating surfaces or objects soiled with blood or body fluids should be used according to those instructions.

CDC also recommends sodium hypochlorite “wipes” for cleaning collections of infectious fluids. This may not be adequate either.“Wipes” are convenient because they usually do not drip, or splash, which could spread viral  contamination.  However, virus is killed as a function of the amount and concentration of the active ingredient, the concentration of virus, and the amount of time the two are in contact, as well as  interfering substances that may be present.  Simply wiping a surface will not necessarily inactivate all virus on the surface. Nor will a quick spraying when the active ingredient evaporates rapidly.

The Canadian public health agency emphasizes that time is needed to kill the virus, not simply contact with a disinfectant that rapidly evaporates, like alcohol. Their guidance says the following:

“SUSCEPTIBILITY TO DISINFECTANTS: Ebolavirus is susceptible to 3% acetic acid, 1% glutaraldehyde, alcohol-based products, and dilutions (1:10-1:100 for ≥10 minutes) of 5.25% household bleach (sodium hypochlorite), and calcium hypochlorite (bleach powder)

Footnote48 Footnote49 Footnote50 Footnote62 Footnote63. The WHO recommendations for cleaning up spills of blood or body fluids suggest flooding the area with a 1:10 dilutions of 5.25% household bleach for 10 minutes for surfaces that can tolerate stronger bleach solutions (e.g., cement, metal) Footnote62.
For surfaces that may corrode or discolour, they recommend careful
cleaning to remove visible stains followed by contact with a 1:100
dilution of 5.25% household bleach for more than 10 minutes.
PHYSICAL INACTIVATION: Ebola are moderately thermolabile and can be inactivated by heating for 30 minutes to 60 minutes at 60°C, boiling for 5 minutes, or gamma irradiation (1.2 x106 rads to 1.27 x106 rads) combined with 1% glutaraldehyde Footnote10 Footnote48 Footnote50. Ebolavirus has also been determined to be moderately sensitive to UVC radiation Footnote51.
SURVIVAL OUTSIDE HOST:
Filoviruses have been reported capable to survive for weeks in blood
and can also survive on contaminated surfaces, particularly at low
temperatures (4°C)Footnote52 Footnote61.
One study could not recover any Ebolavirus from experimentally
contaminated surfaces (plastic, metal or glass) at room temperature Footnote61.
In another study, Ebolavirus dried onto glass, polymeric silicone
rubber, or painted aluminum alloy is able to survive in the dark for
several hours under ambient conditions (between 20°C and 25°C and 30–40%
relative humidity) (amount of virus reduced to 37% after 15.4 hours),
but is less stable than some other viral hemorrhagic fevers (Lassa) Footnote53. When dried in tissue culture media onto glass and stored at 4 °C, Zaire ebolavirus survived for over 50 days Footnote61.
This information is based on experimental findings only and not based
on observations in nature. This information is intended to be used to
support local risk assessments in a laboratory setting.
A study on transmission of ebolavirus from fomites in an isolation ward
concludes that the risk of transmission is low when recommended
infection control guidelines for viral hemorrhagic fevers are followed Footnote64.
Infection control protocols included decontamination of floors with
0.5% bleach daily and decontamination of visibly contaminated surfaces
with 0.05% bleach as necessary…
SPILLS:
Allow aerosols to settle and, wearing protective clothing, gently cover
spill with paper towels and apply suitable disinfectant, starting at
the perimeter and working towards the centre. Allow sufficient contact
time before clean-up.
DISPOSAL:
Decontaminate all materials for disposal from the containment
laboratory by steam sterilisation, chemical disinfection, incineration
or by gaseous methods. Contaminated materials include both liquid and
solid wastes.
STORAGE: In sealed, leak-proof containers that are appropriately labelled and locked in a Containment Level 4 laboratory.”

Of course, the obvious question is why hasn’t CDC or EPA or OSHA or DOD tested Ebola against all usual/available disinfectants so we do not have
to guess.  Can Sanjay or another TV doc find out for us?

Posted in Politics / World News, Science / Technology | Leave a comment

Media Blackout as U.S. Sponsors Genocide in Southeastern Ukraine

Eric Zuesse

Here’s a typical example of what’s being blacked-out:

This is a photo of a Ukrainian soldier guiding a truck-full of prisoners toward a ditch, to which the prisoners are then dragged one-by-one, and thrown in, and shot — then covered over with dirt after all the corpses (and perhaps some living bleeding survivors) are piled in it. (Of course, any survivors then quickly choke to death, from the dirt):

http://rinf.com/alt-news/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Screen-Shot-2014-11-10-at-1.21.09-PM.png

And here’s an explanation of how this extraordinary video of a genocide being carried out, came to be found by the resistance-fighters against Ukraine’s war to exterminate the residents in Ukraine’s southeast, Ukraine’s region where the vast majority of the people are ethnic Russians, or commonly called “Moskals” by many people in northwestern Ukraine, which term employed by them is equivalent to the terms “nigger,” and “kike” that are used in some other countries: all psychological terms of de-humanization.

Though this video of a genocide-in-action is rare, the event itself is routinely happening in southeastern Ukraine, so that the Ukrainian Government can reduce the population in the area of Ukraine that had voted over 80% for the Ukrainian President whom the Obama Administration overthrew in a violent CIA-paid, U.S.-State-Department planned-and-run, coup, that climaxed on 22 February 2014. The new Government is trying to eliminate enough of the people who had voted for him so that the coup-imposed regime will be able to stay in power ‘democratically,’ with those Russia-friendly voters gone — enough of those voters gone so that America’s coup-regime can continue even as a democracy.

This is the video from which that still-photo is taken — you can see this entire event (except the burial), here: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=3f9_1413978229. The victims who are shoved into, then shot in the ditch, are all dressed in civilian clothes. They’re not soldiers.

As is evident from that video, the troops who are executing these people don’t care whether any one of the bodies down in that ditch are still alive; the next victim just gets thrown promptly on top, and shot. These troops are interested only in speed, without concern for victims.

Their only “concern” for the victims is to rape the ones they want, and to kill as many of the residents who live there as possible. The objective is officially called “punishment.” That’s the Ukrainian Government’s term. The aim is to make them suffer.

Here is how deeply immersed in hatred of “Moscals” these people are. The Ukrainians who fought on Hitler’s side in WWII are heroes to them. An American friend who happens to live in the conflict-zone, the southeast, where the “Moskals” are predominant, wrote me today about the city of “Mariupol. The hospital there is being inundated with rape victims. A lot of girls are just going missing. People are disappearing constantly. The photo enclosed is from Artemosk yesterday. The Ukraine army ran over the car killing two people. It got stuck on top of the car.” Kill them however you can, is their assignment. Soldiers in the Ukrainian Army are taught that everyone who lives in these areas is the enemy. Killing the residents there is considered to be ‘patriotic.’

There is also plenty of bombing, and firing missiles at, the cities and villages there, to destroy people and buildings, so that many of the surviving residents will flee over the border into neighboring Russia, from whence they’ll never again be allowed to vote in a Ukrainian election — thereby further reducing the number of those voters in Ukrainian national elections. Such bombing and shelling seem to be the Government’s main methods of eliminating residents in the southeast. Also, white phosphorous and other illegal weapons of terror are used, in order to especially induce the residents to evacuate into Russia.

This is a “genocide” against ethnic Russians whose families have lived inside Ukraine, in many cases, for centuries. It is also, and in the very same sense, an “ethnic cleansing,” to lock-in the anti-Russian regime that Obama installed earlier this year.

Here are some of the people who have been fleeing into Russia. Every one of those busloads of refugees exiting Ukraine is further success for Obama’s plan, because it means fewer pro-Eastern, anti-Western, voters.

So, as you can see, the new Ukrainian Government is having considerable success in its efforts to murder and terrorize enough of the residents there, for Ukraine’s electoral map to be no longer as favorable as it formerly was toward political candidates who prefer Russia over the United States. This is a way to gain a new ally against Russia, right next door to Russia. It’s conquest of Ukraine’s southeast, by Ukraine’s northwest.

Here is a Gallup poll that had been taken throughout Ukraine in April 2014, just after the coup. As you can see, the northwest liked the U.S., the European Union, and NATO, while the southeast liked Russia and didn’t want to join either the EU or NATO. Furthermore, Crimeans, the residents in what had been the far-southernmost part of Ukraine, loathed Ukraine, and were relieved to be restored again to Russia. Sectional differences in Ukraine are extreme. Obama forced the Russia-haters into power, and wants to keep them in power.

Moreover, Gallup had polled 500 Crimeans during May 16-30 in 2013, and found that only 15% considered themselves “Ukrainian” at all. This was when Crimea was still part of Ukraine. 24% considered themselves simply “Crimean,” which nonetheless was a renunciation of any Ukrainian identity for themselves; so, that’s 24% who didn’t think of themselves as being Ukrainian. And additionally, 40% — a number virtually matching the totality of the other two, and nearly three times larger than the percentage who called themselves “Ukrainian” — considered themselves already to be “Russian,” even before the coup. The people there overwhelmingly wanted to secede from Ukraine, and they preferred to be part of Russia, just as Crimea had been prior to 1954.

Immediately after the coup, Russia sent troops into Crimea to preserve its Black Sea Fleet which has always been stationed there; and this military presence protected Crimeans, too, against the ethnic cleansing that was quickly started by the new Ukrainian regime to eliminate the residents in other areas of Ukraine’s southeast than Crimea. You’ll see those areas in purple on Ukraine’s 2010 electoral map, with the purple areas being the ones where the election’s pro-Russian winner, Viktor Yanukovych, had received over 80% of the vote. Here is the map of that 2010 vote, with the purple areas being the same areas that are now being ethnically cleansed. This map shows the exact voting-percentages: the three districts that voted more than 80% for the man whom Obama overthrew are now the ones that either broke away from Ukraine or are trying to. This is where the genocide is being concentrated. The people who live there aren’t wanted by Kiev’s new Government; only their land is.

Back when the U.S-engineered “Maidan” demonstrations had first placed into power a pro-U.S. Ukrainian President, Yanukovych’s opponent in 2004, here is the election map, which showed just the same areas that were strongly pro-Russian then as now.

Obviously, the U.S. CIA, and State Department, and President Barack Obama, can read electoral maps; and, as long as those voters in Ukraine’s far-east stayed alive where they were, inside Ukraine, no anti-Russian regime in Ukraine would be able to remain securely in power.

However, a pretext needed to be established in order to ‘justify’ this ethnic cleansing; and that pretext was that they were separatists who threatened the presumed (but always fictional) unity of the Ukrainian culture and State.

In order to scare the residents in the pro-Russian areas and get them to become separatists — to become terrified enough for them to want to become part of Russia or else flee into safety inside Russia rather than to be attacked, bombed, and shot, by this new regime in Kiev — the Government, or actually one of its officials who happens to be one of Ukraine’s oligarchs, with a fortune over five billion dollars, held a massacre of peaceful pro-Russian demonstrators they trapped inside the Odessa Trade Unions Building on 2 May 2014, and then the army itself invaded other cities in the southeast on May 9th. By this time, many residents throughout the southeast, basically in the areas where Yanukovych had received over 80% of the vote, formed themselves into militias and moved to secede from Ukraine (to protect themselves and their families from the new regime), which this new Ukrainian Government promptly called ‘terrorism,’ and the Government announced an “Anti-Terrorist Operation,” or “ATO,” in order to exterminate them. Also, many people in Ukraine’s northwest openly mocked the people who had been burnt and clubbed to death at the Trade Unions Building massacre. The victims of that massacre were blamed for the massacre, because they had been ‘terrorists.’

Here is how Ukraine’s Defense Minister described his plan:

“There will be a thorough filtration of people. There will be special filtration measures put in place. We will filter out people, including women, who are linked to separatism, who were committing crimes on Ukrainian territory, crimes related to terrorist activities. We have a lot of information regarding this, and we have a formidable framework to combat this, and respective power structures will carry out this operation. Besides, this is a serious issue, related to the fact that people will be resettled to other regions.”

The new Government is also training Ukraine’s children to view extermination of Russians as being a patriotic necessity for Ukrainians. There are summer camps to which children are sent to be taught Ukrainian nazi ideology, where they march under both the Ukrainian flag and also various nazi flags, sometimes including the swastika. Both at such camps, and inside the parliament, the German nazi salute of the stiff right arm raised upward, with the hand and fingers positioned stiffly forward, is commonly given, as a sign of the individual’s loyalty to the country. Also, Ukraine’s military is increasingly filled with men who are tattooed with the swastika and other German nazi insignia. The common heritage back to Adolf Hitler (whom America’s WWII veterans went to war to defeat, of course) is being honored, not merely more overtly, but also more privately, by right-wing Ukrainians, as having been the leading edge of the new Ukraine, which U.S. President Barack Obama — the United States Government — installed on February 22nd, and which perpetrated the Odessa massacre on May 2nd, as well as the civil war that followed. These are America’s new  allies.

But it’s all being blacked-out, in countries that claim to represent democracy. This black-out adds insult to the injury that the present regime is causing, and not only to Ukraine, but to US. It’s complicity in this Administration’s criminality. And it is dangerous.

This is no mere game. The public needs to know that this is happening, and why it’s happening. Otherwise, there is no democracy, because what’s at stake here is not only the character of today’s America, but is America’s future, and the world’s. If the American people are manipulated about this, then they are no free people, and American democracy is then itself fake, no longer real, in any significant sense. Just a sham. And a shame — not of the public, but of the people who hide the truth from the public.

Due to the Internet, this is the first genocide that is being documented in real time, as it occurs. Historians will note this genocide, and will also note where it was reported, and where it was not reported.

———-

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,  and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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How Is a Prison Like a War?

The similarities between mass incarceration and mass murder have been haunting me for a while, and I now find myself inspired by Maya Schenwar’s excellent new book Locked Down, Locked Out: Why Prison Doesn’t Work and How We Can Do Better. This is one of three books everyone should read right away. The others are The New Jim Crow and Burning Down the House, the former with a focus on racism in incarceration, the latter with a focus on the incarceration of youth. Schenwar’s is an overview of incarceration in all its absurd and unfathomable evil — as well as being a spotlight leading away from this brutal institution.

Locked Down, Locked Out is both an incomparably put together report incorporating statistics and studies with individual quotations and anecdotes, and a personal story of how incarceration has impacted the author’s own family and how the author has thought through the complex issues.

Yes, I did recently write an article specifically criticizing the widespread habit of calling everything a “war,” and I do still want to see that practice ended — but not because the linguistic quirk offends me, rather because we make so many things, to one degree or another, actually be like wars. As far as I have seen, no other practice bears remotely as much similarity to war as does prison. How so? Let me count the ways.

1. Both are distinctly American. No other nation spends as much on its military or its prisons, engages in as many wars or locks up as many people.

2. Both are seemingly simple and easy solutions that don’t solve anything, but seek to hide it away at a distance. Wars are waged thousands of miles from home. Prisoners are stored out-of-sight hundreds or thousands of miles from home.

3. Both are fundamentally violent and dependent upon the notion that a state “monopoly” on violence prevents violence by others, even while the evidence suggests that it actually encourages violence by others.

4. Both rely on the same process of dehumanizing and demonizing people, either enemies in a war or criminals in a prison. Never mind that most of the people killed by bombs had nothing to do with the squabble used as motivation for the war. Never mind that most of the prisoners had nothing to do with the sort of behavior used to demonize them. Both populations must be labeled as non-human or both institutions collapse.

5. Both are hugely profitable and promoted by the profiteers, who constitute a small clique, the broader society actually being drained economically by both enterprises. Weapons factories and prisons produce jobs, but they produce fewer and lower-paying jobs than other investments, and they do so with less economic benefit and more destructive side-effects.

6. Both are driven by fear. Without the fear-induced irrational urge to lash out at the source of our troubles, we’d be able to think through, calmly and clearly, far superior answers to foreign and domestic relations.

7. Both peculiar institutions are themselves worse than anything they claim to address. War is a leading cause of death, injury, trauma, loss of home, environmental destruction, instability, and lasting cycles of violence. It’s not a solution to genocide, but its wellspring and its big brother. U.S. prisons lock up over 2 million, control and monitor some 7 million, and ruin the lives of many millions more in the form of family members impacted. From there the damage spreads and the numbers skyrocket as communities are weakened. No damage that incarcerated people could have done if left alone, much less handled with a more humane system, could rival the damage done by the prison industry itself.

8. Both are default practices despite being demonstrably counter-productive by anybody’s measure, including on their own terms. Wars are not won, do not build nations, do not halt cruelty, do not spread democracy, do not benefit humanity, do not protect or expand freedom. Rather, freedoms are consistently stripped away in the name of wars that predictably endanger those in whose name they are waged. The nation waging the most wars generates the most enemies, thus requiring more wars, just as the nation with the most prisoners also has the most recidivists. Almost all prisoners are eventually released, and over 40% of them return to prison. Kids who commit crimes and are left alone are — as many studies have clearly and uncontroversially documented — less likely to commit more crimes than kids who are put in juvenile prison.

9. Both are classist and racist enterprises. A poverty draft has replaced ordinary conscription, while wars are waged only on poor nations rich in natural resources and darkish in skin tone. Meanwhile African Americans are, for reasons of racism and accounting for all other factors, far more likely than whites to be reported to the police, charged by the police, charged with higher offenses, sentenced to longer imprisonment, refused parole, and held to be violating probation. The poor are at the mercy of the police and the courts. The wealthy have lawyers.

10. The majority of the casualties, in both cases, are not those directly and most severely harmed. Injuries outnumber deaths in war, refugees outnumber the injured, and traumatized and orphaned children outnumber the refugees. Prisoners’ lives are ruined, but so are the greater number of lives from which theirs have been viciously removed. A humane person might imagine some leniency for the convict who has children. On the contrary, the majority of U.S. prisoners have children.

11. Both institutions seem logical until one imagines alternatives. Both seem inevitable and are upheld by well-meaning people who haven’t imagined their way around them. Both appear justifiable as defensive measures against inscrutable evil until one thinks through how much of that evil is generated by optional policies and how extremely rare to nonexistent is the sort of evil dominating the thinking behind massive industries designed for a whole different scale of combat.

12. Both war and prisons begin with shock and awe. A SWAT team invades a home to arrest a suspect, leaving an entire family afraid to go to sleep for years afterward. An air force flattens whole sections of a city, leaving huge numbers of people traumatized for life. Another word for these practices is terrorism.

13. Both institutions include extreme measures that are as counterproductive as the whole. Suicidal prisoners put into solitary confinement as punishment for being suicidal are rendered more suicidal, not less. Burning villages or murdering households with gunfire exacerbate the process of making the aggressor more hated, more resented, and less likely to know peace.

14. Both institutions hurt the aggressor. An attacking nation suffers morally, economically, civilly, environmentally; and its soldiers and their families suffer very much as prisoners and prison guards suffer. Even crime victims suffer the lack of apology or restitution or reconciliation that comes with an adversarial justice system that treats the courtroom as a civilized war.

15. Both horrors create alternative realities to which people sometimes long to return. Prisoners unable to find work or support or friendship or family sometimes return to prison on purpose. Soldiers unable to adapt to life back home have been known to choose a return to war despite suffering horrifically from a previous combat experience. The top killer of U.S. soldiers is suicide. Suicide is not uncommon among prisoners who have recently been released. Neither members of the military nor prisoners are provided serious preparation for reintegrating into a society in which everything that has been helping them survive will tend to harm them.

16. Both war and prisons generate vicious cycles. Crime victims are more likely to become criminals. Those imprisoned are more likely to commit crimes. Children effectively orphaned by incarceration are more likely to become criminals and be incarcerated. Nations that have been at war are more likely to be at war again. Solving Libya’s problems three years ago by bombing it predictably created violent chaos that even spilled into other nations. Launching wars on Iraq to address the violence created by previous wars on Iraq has become routine.

17. Both institutions are sometimes supported by their victims. An endangered family can prefer incarceration of a violent or drug-addicted loved one to nothing, in the absence of alternatives. Members of the military and their families can believe it is their duty to support wars and proposals for new wars. Prisoners themselves can see prison as preferable to starving under a bridge.

18. Both institutions are disproportionately male in terms of guards and soldiers. But the victims of war are not. And, when families are considered, as Schenwar’s book considers them so well, the victims of incarceration are not.

19. Both institutions have buried within them rare stories of success, soldiers who matured and grew wise and heroic, prisoners who reformed and learned their lessons. No doubt the same is true of slavery or the holocaust or teaching math by the method of applying a stick to a child’s hands.

20. Both institutions are often partially questioned without the possibility of questioning the whole ever arising. When Maya Schenwar’s sister gives birth in prison and then remains in prison, separated from her baby, people ask Schenwar “What’s the point? How is Kayla being in prison helping anyone?” But Schenwar thinks to herself: “How isanyone being in prison helping anyone?” Candidate Barack Obama opposed dumb wars, while supporting massive war preparations, eventually finding himself in several wars, all of them dumb, and one of them the very same war (or at least a new war in the very same nation) he had earlier described in those terms.

21. Both institutions churn along with the help of thousands of well-meaning people who try to mitigate the damage but who are incapable of redeeming fundamentally flawed systems. Reforms that strengthen the system as a whole tend not to help, while actions that shrink, limit, or weaken support for the whole machinery of injustice deserve encouragement.

22. Both are 19th century inventions.  Some form of war and of slavery may go back 10,000 years, but only in the 19th century did it begin to resemble current war and incarceration. Changes through the 20th and early 21st centuries expanded on the damage without fundamentally altering the thinking involved.

23. Both include state-approved murder (the death penalty and the killing in war) and both include state-sanctioned torture. In fact much of the torture that has made the news in war prisons began in domestic prisons. A current war enemy, ISIS, had its leadership developed in the cauldron of brutal U.S. war prisons. Again, the aggressors, the torturers, and their whole society are not unharmed.

24. Crime victims are used to justify an institution that results in more people being victimized by crime. Victims of warlike abuse by others are used to justify wars likely to harm them and others further.

25. Prisoners and veterans often leave those worlds without the sort of education valued in the other world, the “free world” the prisoners dream of and soldiers fantasize that they are defending. A criminal record is usually a bar to employment. A military record can be an advantage but in other cases is a disadvantage as well in seeking employment.

26. Beyond all the damage done by war and prisons, by far the greatest damage is done through the trade-off in resources. The money invested in war could pay for the elimination of poverty and various diseases worldwide. A war-making nation could make itself loved for far less expense than what it takes to make itself hated. It could hang onto a much smaller, more legitimately defensive military like those of other nations while attempting such an experiment. The money spent on prisons could pay for drug treatment, childcare, education, and restorative justice programs. A nation could go on locking up violent recidivists while attempting such a change.

27. Restorative justice is the essence of the solution to both war and prison. Diplomacy and moderated reconciliation are answers to the common problem of writing an enemy off as unreachable through words.

I might go on, but I imagine you get the idea. Huge numbers of Americans are being made seriously worse citizens, and almost all of them will be back out of prison trying to survive. And, if that doesn’t do it for you, consider this: when incarceration is this widespread, there’s every possibility that it will someday include you. What if you’re falsely accused of a crime? What if somebody puts a link on a website to illegal pornography and you — or someone using your computer — clicks it? Or you urinate in public? Or you use marijuana in a state that legalized it, but the feds disagree? Or you blow the whistle on some abuse in some branch of the government that you work for? Or you witness something and don’t report it? Or you work so hard that you fall asleep driving your car? An injustice to one is an injustice to all, and injustice on this scale is potentially injustice to every one.

What to do?

Californians just voted on their ballots to reduce prison sentences. Get that on your ballot.  For the first time ever, this week, a prosecutor was sent to prison for falsely convicting an innocent person. We need a whole reworking of the rewards and incentives for prosecutors who have long believed that locking people up was the path to success. We need activist resistance to prison expansion, divestment from for-profit prison companies, and educational efforts to begin changing our culture as well as our laws. Locked Down, Locked Out provides a terrific list of organizations to support, including those that can help you become a prisoner’s pen-pal. Schenwar explains that there is nothing prisoners need more, as long as they are locked up. Those not receiving mail are seen as the easiest targets for abuse by guards and other prisoners. And our receiving their letters may be the best way for us to learn about the hidden world in our midst.

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The Consequences of a Strengthening US Dollar

In early September, I made the case for a rising U.S. dollar, based on the basic supply and demand for dollars stemming from four dynamics:

  1. Demand for dollars as reserves
  2. Other nations devaluing their own currencies to increase exports
  3. “Flight to safety” from periphery currencies to the reserve currencies
  4. Reduced issuance of dollars due to declining U.S. fiscal deficits and the end of QE (quantitative easing)

Since then the dollar has continued its advance, and is now breaking out of a downtrend stretching back to 2005—and by some accounts, to 1985:

(Source)

Technically, the Dollar Index has broken out of a multi-year wedge:

So what does this mean for the global economy?

Since currencies are intertwined with virtually every aspect of the global economy—trade, credit, inflation/deflation, commodities and capital flows, even political and soft power—there is no one consequence, but a multitude of interactive consequences.

For U.S. households, the rising dollar will have gradual, generally marginal effects: our dollars will buy more euros and yen when we visit Europe and Japan as tourists, imports from countries with weakening currencies will be slightly cheaper (if the importers don’t palm the difference as extra profit) and we may be competing with more foreigners for dollar-based assets such as American homes, oil wells and Treasury bonds.

In sum, a rising dollar will only affect households on the margins. Since roughly 85% of the U.S. economy is domestic, imports and exports have relatively limited influence on the entire economy.

In other words, the direct consequences of a stronger dollar on U.S. households are generally positive, with the exception of those working in price-sensitive export industries, where the rising dollar will make goods sold in countries with weakening currencies more costly.

But the secondary effects could end up being far more consequential for Americans and everyone else on the planet, for this reason: the centrality of the dollar in the global economy means that the effects of a stronger dollar can create potentially destabilizing dynamics.

Central Banks Are Responsible for the Heightened Risk

One primary reason for this expansion of risk is the unprecedented actions of the world’s central banks since the 2008 Global Financial Meltdown. In effect, the central banks doubled down on debt and leverage as the politically expedient “solution” to the implosion of credit and leverage (what we call de-leveraging) as the collateral underlying highly leveraged loans (think subprime mortgages on overpriced McMansions) evaporated like mist in Death Valley.

Any solution that forced the write-down or write-off of the mountain of bad debt would have collapsed the over-leveraged banks which had become linchpins in the global financial system.

So the only way to maintain the status quo and avoid handing massive losses of wealth to financial elites was to issue trillions of dollars in new credit-money, lower interest rates to near zero and start buying assets from private-sector owners, turning their assets into cash that could then be used to invest overseas or in domestic stocks and bonds.

Each major central bank injected unprecedented sums of new money into their economies to ease the refinancing of debt at lower interest rates and enable expansion of credit for new loans.

If each economy (or in the case of the European Union, currency region) was moated by strict capital-control regulations, this massive goosing of credit might have been contained within each economy.

But in today’s world of digital finance, capital, credit, risk and interest rates all flow wherever the risk is perceived to be controllable and the return is greatest.

Let’s pause for a moment to recall that risk in 2008 was perceived to be controllable right up until the day that Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy and the global financial system erupted in a fireball of panic and liquidation.

Why was risk considered controllable right up to the implosion? Derivatives and hedges were widely assumed to be solid protection against any spot of bother in global credit markets. But this confidence was misplaced, as it ultimately relied on multiple counterparties retaining their solvency.  If a position was hedged by a derivative that was to be paid by a counterparty if things went south, and the counterparty blew up before the hedge could be paid off, there was no hedge.

It turned out that liquidity—a market of buyers and sellers that allows any security to be sold more or less whenever the seller decides to sell—dried up, and markets for risky securities went bidless, i.e. there were no buyers at any price.

If there are no buyers, the value of the security drops to zero, and everybody down the line who counted on that security fetching the anticipated price so their hedge could be paid off also implodes.

Central banks countered this implosion by buying bonds and mortgages and lowering interest rates so old debt could be refinanced at much lower costs.

But in doing so, they created a vast market for global carry trades—the borrowing and buying of assets in various currencies to take advantage of yield and interest-rate differences.   In the old pre-digital days, it was difficult to arbitrage these variations in national currencies and interest rates. But in today’s world, it’s easy for financiers and financial institutions to borrow money in dollars or yen at low interest rates and re-invest the money in higher-yield securities issued in other countries.

The Problem with Carry Trades and Cross-National Debt

The central bank’s massive issuance of new money put trillions of dollars in the carry trade, and this vast expansion of global currency/interest-rate arbitrage has put currency values front and center.

The carry trade simply means cheap-to-borrow money in the US and Japan flows to emerging markets where rates are higher.  If you can borrow $1 billion at a 0.25% rate in the U.S. or Japan and then buy emerging-market bonds that pay much higher yields, why not?  The profit is free money.

The sums of money being gambled in carry trades are enormous. It is estimated that $7 trillion of emerging market debt is denominated in another currency. According to the Telegraph newspaper (U.K.), roughly two thirds of the $11 trillion in cross-national loans are denominated in U.S. dollars.

$11 trillion may not seem like much when compared to America’s $16 trillion gross domestic product (GDP), but the emerging markets which have been the happy recipients of this vast river of capital have much smaller economies and credit markets.

They also have fewer options to refinance debt, as they lack heavyweight central banks like the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve.

As a result, these capital flows are extremely consequential and thus potentially disruptive.

Here’s the risk in carry trades: if the currency you borrowed the money in strengthens and the currency you’re receiving the interest payments in weakens, the deal sours. The rise and fall in currencies can erase the profits of the carry trade.

If the currencies weaken/strengthen beyond break-even, a once-profitable trade turns into a losing trade.

And how do you extricate yourself from the carry trade? You sell the emerging-market assets and repatriate the money back into the currency you borrowed the money in: for example, the U.S. dollar.

This has immediate supply-demand effects on currencies. The emerging-market currency that’s being sold drops in value while the currency that’s in demand (U.S. dollars) strengthens.

We might imagine that the Federal Reserve ending its vast money-issuance program of quantitative easing would lessen the global risk posed by the carry trade, as it reduces the flood of dollars seeking higher-yield homes outside the U.S.

But this tightening has actually increased the risk of carry trades blowing up and bringing down emerging-market economies, for it reduces the flow of fresh capital into emerging markets.  As the supply of dollars dries up, demand for dollars rises as carry trades are unwound.  Emerging-market currencies then weaken significantly, causing profitable carry trades to reverse into losing trades, which then causes those holding debt in dollars and assets in other currencies to dump the assets and pay off the dollar-denominated debts before the trade goes even more against them.

There is a positive feedback in play: the more the dollar rises, the greater the losses in carry trades denominated in the dollar, and the greater the incentive for those still in the trade to sell emerging market assets and currencies.

In response to these massive outflows of capital, emerging nations must raise interest rates quickly to offer incentives for capital to stay put, which then causes the cost of new loans (and doing business in general) to quickly rise to painful levels.

As the currencies suffering outflows decline against the dollar, imports become more expensive and exports lose value when traded for dollars. It’s a triple-whammy for emerging nations: their borrowing costs are soaring, the capital leaving to pay off dollar-denominate debt leaves them starved for investment capital, and their imports rise in cost as their exports earn less.

So here is the net result of central banks pursuing quantitative easing and zero-interest rates: a massive increase in global risks resulting from the carry trades the money expansion and cheap rates fueled.

The central banks’ “solution” has blown another global bubble of risk that now threatens to destabilize not just the carry trades but the economies and credit systems that have become intertwined with the carry trade.

In effect, the failure to address the structural problems revealed in the Global Financial Meltdown of 2008-2009 have been transferred to the larger foreign-exchange (FX) market, which is connected to virtually everything in the global economy.

In Part 2: Why The Strengthening Dollar Is A Sign Of The Next Global Crisis, we examine these risks to the global economy. Not only is a rising dollar a sign of weakness elsewhere in the world, but the higher it rises, the more destabilizing global currency imbalances become. If it rises too high, it then becomes a cause of further destabilization — one that could trigger the next global crisis.

Click here to access Part 2 of this report (free executive summary; enrollment required for full access)

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