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FBI News Review: Crime and Criminology from Michael_Novakhov (8 sites): Bing: political criminology: “political criminology” – Google News: Muchos beneficios …

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April 14, 2019
Crime and Criminology from Michael_Novakhov (8 sites): Bing: political criminology: “political criminology” – Google News: Muchos beneficios …
Crime and Criminology from Michael_Novakhov (8 sites): “political crimes” – Google News: Julian Assange, Who Exposed War Crimes, Exposed Riding Skateboard In Embassy – Pedestrian TV
Crime and Criminology from Michael_Novakhov (8 sites): “political criminology” – Google News: Keeping up with cybercrimes – Bangkok Post
Crime and Criminology from Michael_Novakhov (8 sites): “political crimes” – Google News: Keeping up with cybercrimes – Bangkok Post

Crime and Criminology from Michael_Novakhov (8 sites): Bing: political criminology: “political criminology” – Google News: Muchos beneficios …

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (26 sites)
“The RIDER &The WOLF” offers a large variety of bikes for all your riding and wolfing needs; for the high roads, and for the low roads also. Get in touch with Mike, he will help you to choose the right bike for you. 
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Crime and Criminology from Michael_Novakhov (8 sites): “political crimes” – Google News: Julian Assange, Who Exposed War Crimes, Exposed Riding Skateboard In Embassy – Pedestrian TV

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (26 sites)
Security footage has surfaced from inside the Ecuadorian embassy Julian Assange spent seven years, showing the Wikileaks founder skateboarding through a room in bare feet. The footage, obtained by Spanish paper El Pais, shows Assange skateboarding in a small timber-floored room while a woman watches.
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Crime and Criminology from Michael_Novakhov (8 sites): “political criminology” – Google News: Keeping up with cybercrimes – Bangkok Post

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (26 sites)
Pol Col Siriwat Deephor says there is a lack of tech-savvy police officers who are adequately trained to deal with high-tech crimes. One of the country’s top cybercrime busters, Pol Col Siriwat Deephor, said that while there are enough laws in place to deal with crime and other nefarious activities on the internet, there is a lack of tech-savvy police officers who are adequately trained to deal with high-tech crimes.
Read More

Crime and Criminology from Michael_Novakhov (8 sites): “political crimes” – Google News: Keeping up with cybercrimes – Bangkok Post

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (26 sites)
Pol Col Siriwat Deephor says there is a lack of tech-savvy police officers who are adequately trained to deal with high-tech crimes. One of the country’s top cybercrime busters, Pol Col Siriwat Deephor, said that while there are enough laws in place to deal with crime and other nefarious activities on the internet, there is a lack of tech-savvy police officers who are adequately trained to deal with high-tech crimes.
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April 14, 2019
Crime and Criminology from Michael_Novakhov (8 sites): Bing: political criminology: “political criminology” – Google News: Muchos beneficios …
Crime and Criminology from Michael_Novakhov (8 sites): “political crimes” – Google News: Julian Assange, Who Exposed War Crimes, Exposed Riding Skateboard In Embassy – Pedestrian TV
Crime and Criminology from Michael_Novakhov (8 sites): “political criminology” – Google News: Keeping up with cybercrimes – Bangkok Post
Crime and Criminology from Michael_Novakhov (8 sites): “political crimes” – Google News: Keeping up with cybercrimes – Bangkok Post

Crime and Criminology from Michael_Novakhov (8 sites): Bing: political criminology: “political criminology” – Google News: Muchos beneficios …

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (26 sites)
“The RIDER &The WOLF” offers a large variety of bikes for all your riding and wolfing needs; for the high roads, and for the low roads also. Get in touch with Mike, he will help you to choose the right bike for you. 
Read More

Crime and Criminology from Michael_Novakhov (8 sites): “political crimes” – Google News: Julian Assange, Who Exposed War Crimes, Exposed Riding Skateboard In Embassy – Pedestrian TV

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (26 sites)
Security footage has surfaced from inside the Ecuadorian embassy Julian Assange spent seven years, showing the Wikileaks founder skateboarding through a room in bare feet. The footage, obtained by Spanish paper El Pais, shows Assange skateboarding in a small timber-floored room while a woman watches.
Read More

Crime and Criminology from Michael_Novakhov (8 sites): “political criminology” – Google News: Keeping up with cybercrimes – Bangkok Post

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (26 sites)
Pol Col Siriwat Deephor says there is a lack of tech-savvy police officers who are adequately trained to deal with high-tech crimes. One of the country’s top cybercrime busters, Pol Col Siriwat Deephor, said that while there are enough laws in place to deal with crime and other nefarious activities on the internet, there is a lack of tech-savvy police officers who are adequately trained to deal with high-tech crimes.
Read More

Crime and Criminology from Michael_Novakhov (8 sites): “political crimes” – Google News: Keeping up with cybercrimes – Bangkok Post

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (26 sites)
Pol Col Siriwat Deephor says there is a lack of tech-savvy police officers who are adequately trained to deal with high-tech crimes. One of the country’s top cybercrime busters, Pol Col Siriwat Deephor, said that while there are enough laws in place to deal with crime and other nefarious activities on the internet, there is a lack of tech-savvy police officers who are adequately trained to deal with high-tech crimes.
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Russia News: Взгляд: Катание Ассанжа на скейте и ссоры в посольстве Эквадора попали на видео

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В интернете опубликована видеозапись поведения основателя WikiLeaks Джулиана Ассанжа в посольстве Эквадора в Лондоне.

Видео опубликовало испанское издание El Pais, которое рассказало о жизни Ассанжа в посольстве, передает RT.

Видео появилось благодаря тому, что охранная компания, базирующая в испанском Кадисе и предоставляющая услуги эквадорским дипломатам, установила в помещении скрытые камеры, передает Пятый канал.

На записи Ассанж катается по комнате на скейтборде. 

El Pais пишет, что у него не раз были конфликты с сотрудниками посольства, чаще всего он ссорился с охраной дипмиссии. Так, Ассанж использовал посольство для встреч со своими соратниками даже по выходным. На видео Ассанж спорит с охранником, который запретил ему встречу с посетителями.

Охранник подчеркивает, что на улице – британская полиция, которая мечтает арестовать основателя WikiLeaks. Ассанж пытается сфотографировать конфликт. В результате для урегулирования ситуации потребовалось вмешательство посла Эквадора.

Также издание сообщает, что в 2016 году в квартире, где проживал Ассанж, сломался душ. За ремонт пришлось заплатить 4 тыс. долларов, а в качестве сантехника охранная компания пригласила своего бывшего коллегу, опасаясь вмешательства британских спецслужб.

Напомним, западные СМИ предполагали, что Ассанж «просто всех достал своим неуважением к нормам жизни в учреждении: то ему требовался кот, то он отключал самовольно кондиционеры, то катался в помещении на скейтборде».

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Russia News: “russia and the west” – Google News: Russia Considers Penalizing Companies For Complying With Western Sanctions – Independent Newspapers Limited

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Russia Considers Penalizing Companies For Complying With Western Sanctions  Independent Newspapers Limited

Vladislav Reznik, a member of the United Russia party, has proposed amendments to legislation that would effectively force out of the Russian market all of the …

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mikenov on Twitter: The Trump Investigations Report – Review Of News And Opinions: mikenov on Twitter: The Trump Investigations Report – Review Of News And Opinions: “trump under federal investigation” – Google News: Pete Buttigieg says he can beat Donald Trump in 2020 – The dlvr.it/R2q6qt pic.twitter.com/jxJf851O36

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on Monday, April 15th, 2019 2:13am

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mikenov on Twitter: The Trump Investigations Report – Review Of News And Opinions: mikenov on Twitter: The Trump Investigations Report – Review Of News And Opinions: “trump under federal investigation” – Google News: Pete Buttigieg says he can beat Donald Trump in 2020 – The dlvr.it/R2q6qY pic.twitter.com/iMFptvzYPH

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FBI News Review: “mueller” – Google News: Mueller Week: Washington braces for release of redacted report – MSNBC

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Mueller Week: Washington braces for release of redacted report  MSNBC

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report is expected to be released this week, as House Democrats ratchet up their efforts to get a hold of more …

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Russia News: Газета.Ru – Новости часа: На “Фукусиме” приступили к извлечению топливных стержней из третьего реактора

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В Японии начали работы по извлечению неиспользованных топливных стержней из третьего реактора АЭС “Фукусима-1”. Об этом сообщает ТАСС со ссылкой на компанию оператора станции Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO).

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Russia News: Газета.Ru – Новости дня: На “Фукусиме” приступили к извлечению топливных стержней из третьего реактора

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В Японии начали работы по извлечению неиспользованных топливных стержней из третьего реактора АЭС “Фукусима-1”. Об этом сообщает ТАСС со ссылкой на компанию оператора станции Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO).

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Russia News: Вести.Ru: Вратарь “Коламбуса” Бобровский стал одним из героев игры с “Тампой”

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В Коламбусе завершилась третий матч серии плей-офф Кубка Стэнли между “Блю Джекетс” и “Тампа-Бэй Лайтнинг”. Российский вратарь хозяев льда Сергей Бобровский отразил в этой встрече 30 из 31 броска и помог своей команде обыграть “молний” со счетом 3:1.

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Russia News: Вести.Ru: Российские специалисты представили эффективное средство против рака

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На 47-м Международном салоне изобретений, который проходил с 10 по 14 апреля в Женеве, Казанский федеральный университет совместно с фармацевтической компанией представил добавку, повышающую эффективность терапии против большинства видов рака.

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Russia News: “sergey ivanov” – Google News: The Referendum on North Macedonia’s Name Was Legal – Polygraph.info

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The Referendum on North Macedonia’s Name Was Legal  Polygraph.info

The referendum on North Macedonia’s name was called according to the country’s constitution. Candidates for NATO membership must apply to join the Alliance …

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mikenov on Twitter: The FBI News Review: “james b. comey” – Google News: Jennifer Rubin: Democrats need to say why Trump’s praise of WikiLeaks matters – Winston-Salem Journal dlvr.it/R2q3sf

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The FBI News Review: “james b. comey” – Google News: Jennifer Rubin: Democrats need to say why Trump’s praise of WikiLeaks matters – Winston-Salem Journal dlvr.it/R2q3sf


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Eurasia Review: The Neutral Interest Rate: The Fed’s Impossible Goal – OpEd

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By Frank Shostak*

It is widely accepted that by
means of suitable monetary policies the US central bank can navigate the
economy towards a growth path of economic stability and prosperity. The
key ingredient in achieving this is price stability. Most experts are
of the view that what prevents the attainment of price stability are the
fluctuations of the federal funds rate around the neutral interest
rate.

The neutral interest rate, it is held, is one that is consistent with
stable prices and a balanced economy. What is required is for Fed
policy makers to successfully target the federal funds rate towards the
neutral interest rate.

This framework of thinking, which has its origins in the 18th century writings of British economist Henry Thornton, was articulated in late 19th century by the Swedish economist Knut Wicksell.1

The Neutral Interest Rate Framework

According to Wicksell, there is a certain interest rate on loans,
which is neutral in respect to commodity prices, and tend neither to
raise nor to lower them. According to this view, the main source of
economic instability is the variability in the gap between the money
market interest rate and the neutral interest rate.

Note that in this framework of thinking, the neutral interest rate is
established at the intersection of the supply and the demand curves.

If the market interest rate falls below the neutral interest rate,
investment will exceed saving, implying that aggregate demand will be
greater than aggregate supply. Assuming that the excess demand is
financed by the expansion in bank loans this leads to the creation of
new money, which in turn pushes the general level of prices up.

Conversely, if the market interest rate rises above the neutral
interest rate, savings will exceed investment, aggregate supply will
exceed aggregate demand, bank loans and the stock of money will
contract, and prices will fall. Hence whenever the market interest rate
is in line with the neutral interest rate, the economy is in a state of
equilibrium and there are neither upward nor downward pressures on the
price level.

Again, this theory posits that it is deviations in the money market
interest rate from the neutral interest rate, which sets in motion
changes in the money supply, which in turn disturbs the general price
level. Consequently, it is the role of the central authority to bring
the money market interest rates in line with the level of the neutral
interest rate.

According to this view, to establish whether monetary policy is tight
or loose, it is not enough to only focus on the level of money market
interest rates; rather one also needs to compare money market interest
rates with the neutral interest rate. If the market interest rate is
above the neutral interest rate then the policy stance is tight.
Conversely, if the market interest rate is below the neutral interest
rate then the policy stance is loose.

Can We Know What the Neutral Interest Rate Is?

The main problem here is that the neutral interest rate cannot be
observed. How can one tell whether the market interest rate is above or
below the neutral interest rate? The law of supply and demand as
presented by mainstream economics does not originate from the facts of
reality but rather from the imaginary construction of economists. None
of the figures that underpin the supply and demand curves originates
from the real world; they are purely imaginary.

According to Mises,

“It is important to realize that we do not have any knowledge or experience concerning the shape of such curves.”2

Yet, economists heatedly debate the various properties of these
unseen curves and their implications regarding government and central
bank policies.

Given that such curves do not exist and are, just useful for
illustration purposes this implies that it is not possible to establish
from non-existent curves the neutral interest rate.

Now, if the neutral interest rate cannot be observed how one can tell
whether the market interest rate is above or below the neutral rate?

Wicksell suggested that policy makers pay close attention to changes in the price level. A rising price level would call for an upward adjustment in the money market interest rate, while a falling price level would signal that the money market interest rate should be lowered.3

Banks should adjust the money market interest rate in the same
direction as movements in the price level. Note that this procedure is
followed today by all central banks.

An increase in the price indexes above a figure believed to be
associated with price stability causes Fed policy makers to raise the
Federal Funds interest rate target. Conversely, when price indexes are
growing at a pace considered as too low the Fed lowers the target.

According to the Wicksellian framework, in order to maintain price
and economic stability, once a gap between the money market interest
rate and the neutral interest rate is closed the central bank must at
all times ensure that the gap does not emerge; a monetary policy that
maintains the equality between the two rates becomes a factor of
stability.

Most experts hold that once the Fed has managed to bring the federal
funds interest rate target to the neutral interest rate level then this
must mean that the economy has reached a state of equilibrium.

Despite the fact that the neutral interest rate cannot be observed,
economists are of the view that it could be estimated by various
indirect means. For instance, one method to establish the neutral rate
has been suggested by averaging the value of the real fed funds rate
(fed funds rate minus price inflation) over a long period of time.

Some other economists hold that the neutral rate fluctuates over time and reject the notion that the neutral rate could be approximated by an average figure. In order to extract the unobservable moving neutral interest rate economists now employ sophisticated mathematical methods such as the Kalman filter.4 However, does all of this make much sense?5

Why the Fed Is Unlikely To Reach the Neutral Interest Rate Target

The whole idea of the neutral interest rate is unrealistic. What the
Fed is trying to establish is a level of interest rate that corresponds
to the conditions of the free market. Note that in order to establish
the neutral interest rate, which corresponds to the free market interest
rate, the Fed continuously tampers with interest rates and money
supply.

Obviously, this is in contradiction to the free market. Observe that a
free market interest rate implies that it originated in an unhampered
market. Also, note that the central bank tampering to establish the
neutral interest rate is a key factor behind the boom-bust cycles.

In a free market in the absence of central bank monetary policies,
the interest rates that emerge would be truly neutral. In a free market,
no one would be required to establish whether the interest rate is
above or below some kind of imaginary equilibrium.

Furthermore, equilibrium in the context of a conscious and purposeful
behavior has nothing to do with the imaginary equilibrium as depicted
by popular economics.

Equilibrium is established when individuals’ ends are met. When a
supplier is successful in selling his supply at a price that yields
profit he is said to have reached equilibrium. Similarly, consumers who
bought this supply have done so in order to meet their goals.

In a free market, in the absence of money creation, there is no need for a policy to restrain increases in the price level.

Given the impossible goal that the Fed tries to achieve, we do not expect Fed policy makers to become wise and all-knowing with regard to the correct interest rate.

*About the author: Frank Shostak‘s consulting firm, Applied Austrian School Economics, provides in-depth assessments of financial markets and global economies. Contact: email.

Source: This article was published by the MISES Institute

  • 1. Robert L. Hetzel, “Henry Thornton: seminal monetary theorist and father of modern central bank.” Economic Review, July/August 1987, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Also, see Murray N. Rothbard, Classical Economics, An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought volume 2, Edward Elgar, p 177.
  • 2. Ludwig von Mises, Human Action chapter 16(2), Valuation and Appraisement, p 333.
  • 3. Knut Wicksell, “Interest and Prices” A study of the causes regulating the value of money. Reprints of economic classics, Augustus M. Kelley, Bookseller, New York 1965 p189.
  • 4. Thomas Laubach and John C Williams, “Measuring the Natural Rate of Interest”. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, November 2001.
  • 5. John C. Williams, “The Natural Rate of Interest”, FRBSF Economic Letter October 31,2003.

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Eurasia Review: Why Venezuela Has Not Been Defeated – OpEd

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Over the past half decade, a small army of US analysts, politicians, academics and
media pundits have been predicting the imminent fall, overthrow, defeat and replacement
of the Venezuelan government. They have been wrong on all counts, in each and every
attempt to foist a US client regime.

In fact, most of the US induced ‘regime changes’ has strengthened the support for
the Chavez – Maduro government.

When the US promoted a military-business coup in 2002, a million poor people
surrounded the presidential palace, allied with the military loyalists, defeated the coup.
The US lost their assets among their business and military clients, strengthened President
Chavez, and radicalized his social program. Likewise, in 2002-03 when state oil
company executives launched a lock-out.They were defeated, and hundreds of hardcore
US supporters were fired and Washington lost a strategic ally.

A more recent example is the overbearing role of President Trump’s bellicose
proclamation that the US is prepared to invade Venezuela. His threat aroused massive
popular resistance in defense of national independence ,even among discontented sectors
of the population.

Venezuela is in the vortex of a global struggle which pits the imperial aspirations
of Washington against an embattled Venezuela intent on defending its own, and like
countries, in support of national and social justice.

We will proceed by discussing the multi-sided means and methods adopted by
Washington to overthrow Venezuela’s government and replace it by a client regime.

We will then analyze and describe the reasons why Washington has failed,
focusing on the positive strengths of the Venezuelan government.

We will conclude by discussing the lessons and weaknesses of the Venezuelan
experience for other aspiring nationalist, popular and socialist governments.

US Opposition: What Venezuela Faces

The US assault on Venezuela’s state and society includes:

  • (a)  A military coup in 2002
  • (b)  A lockout by the executives of the Venezuelan oil company
  • (c)  The exercise of global US power – organized political pressure via clients and allies in Europe, South and North America
  • (d)  Escalating economic sanctions between 2013 – 2019
  • (e)  Street violence between 2013 – 2019
  • (f)  Sabotage of the entire electrical system between 2017 -2019
  • (g)  Hoarding of goods via corporations and distributors from 2014 – 2019
  • (h)  Subversion of military and civilian institutions 2002 – 2019
  • (i)  Regional alliances to expel Venezuelan membership from regional organizations
  • (j)  Economic sanctions accompanied by the seizure of over $10 billion dollars of assets
  • (k)  Sanctions on the banking system

The US direct intervention includes the selection and appointment of opposition
leaders and ‘dummy’ representatives overseas.

In brief the US has engaged in a sustained, two decades struggle designed to bring
down the Venezuelan government. It combines economic, military, social and media
warfare. The US strategy has reduced living standards, undermined economic activity,
increased poverty, forced immigration and increaser criminality. Despite the exercise of
US global power, it has failed to dislodge the government and impose a client regime.

Why Venezuela has Succeeded?

Despite the two decades of pressure by the world’s biggest imperial power, which bears responsibility for the world’s highest rate of inflation, and despite the illegal seizure of billions of dollars of Venezuelan assets, the people remain loyal , in defense of their government. The reasons are clear and forthright.

The Venezuelan majority has a history of poverty, marginalization and repression,
including the bloody massacre of thousands of protestors in 1989. Millions lived in
shanty towns, excluded from higher education and health facilities. The US provided
arms and advisers to buttress the politicians who now form the greater part of the US
opposition to President Maduro. The US- oligarch alliance extracted billions of dollars
from contracts from the oil industry.

Remembrance of this reactionary legacy is one powerful reason why the vast
majority of Venezuelans oppose US intervention in support of the puppet opposition.

The second reason for the defeat of the US is the long-term large-scale military
support of the Chavez-Maduro governments .Former President Chavez instilled a
powerful sense of nationalist loyalty among the military which resists and opposes US
efforts to subvert the soldiers.

The popular roots of Presidents Chavez and Maduro resonates with the masses
who hate the opposition elites which despise the so-called ‘deplorables’. Chavez and
Maduro installed dignity and respect among the poor.

The Venezuelans government defeated the US-backed coups and lockouts, these
victories encouraged the belief that the popular government could resist and defeat the
US-oligarch opposition. Victories strengthened confidence in the will of the people.

Under Chavez over two million modern houses were built for the shanty town
dwellers; over two dozen universities and educational centers were built for the poor, all
free of charge . Public hospitals and clinics were built in poor neighborhoods as well as
public supermarkets which supplied low-cost food and other necessities which sustain
living standards despite subsequent shortages.

Chavez led the formation of the Socialist Party which mobilized and gave voice to
the mass of the poor and facilitated representation. Local collectives organized to
confront corruption, bureaucracy and criminality. Together with popular militias, the
community councils ensured security against CIA fomented terror and destruction.

Land reform and the nationalization of some mines and factories secured peasant
and workers support – even if they were divided by sectarian leaders.

Conclusion

The cumulative socio-economic benefits consolidate support for the Venezuelan
leadership despite the hardships the US induces in recent times. The mass of the people
have gained a new life and have a lot to lose if the US- oligarchy return to power. A
successful US coup will likely massacre tens of thousands of popular supporters of the
government. The bourgeoisie will take its revenge for those many who have ruled and
benefited at the expense of the rich.

There are important lessons to be learned from the long-term large-scale
successful resistance of the Venezuelan government’s experience but also its limitations.

Venezuela , early on, secured the loyalty of the army. That’s why the Chavista
government has endured over 30 years while the Chilean governments of Salvador
Allende was overthrown in three years.

The Venezuelan government retained mass electoral support because of the deep
socio-economic changes that entrenched mass support in contrast to the center-left
regimes in Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador which won three elections but were defeated by
their right-wing opponents, including electoral partners, with a downturn in the
economy, and the flight of middle-class voters and parties.

Venezuelas linkages with allies in Russia, China and Cuba provided ‘life jackets’
of economic and military support in the face of US interventions, something the center-
left governments failed to pursue.

Venezuela built regional alliances with nearly half of South America, weakening
US attempts to form a regional or US invasion force.

Despite their strategic successes the Venezuelan government has committed several costly mistakes which increased vulnerability.

  • (1)  Failure to diversify their exports, markets and banking system. The US sanctions exploited these weaknesses.
  • (2)  Failure to carry out monetary reforms to reverse or contain hyperinflation.
  • (3)  Failure to maintain the hydro-electoral system and secure it from sabotage.
  • (4)  Failure to invest in and recruit new technical professional to upgrade the operation of the financial system and prosecute financial corruption in the banking system. Venezuela worked with high officials who engaged in financial and real estate transactions of a dubious nature.
  • (5)  The failure to recruit and train working class and professional political cadres capable of oversight over management.

Venezuela has taken steps to rectify these errors but the question is whether they
have time and place to realize radical reforms?

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Eurasia Review: Branding IRGC Terrorist Is Game Changer Escalating US-Iran Showdown – Analysis

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By Riad Kahwaji*

The U.S. Administration decision to
brand the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a terrorist
organization appears to be a pre-determined step in line with the
ongoing escalatory policy of the White House aimed as subjecting Tehran
to unprecedented pressure that would prompt it to either concede to
Washington’s demands or to react in a violent manner that would ignite a
war sought by hardliners on both sides. Tehran’s reaction by regarding
U.S. troops as terrorists indicates that Tehran is keeping all options
on the table, including a military option of targeting American forces
in the region either directly or via its proxy groups operating in Iraq,
Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

Although the timing of the U.S. action
might have been to give a push to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu in Israel’s general elections on April 9, nevertheless it
seemed in sync with President Donald Trump’s policy towards Iran, which
has been marked by steady escalation for the past year. Secretary of
State Mike Pompeo heightened his rhetoric against Iran and its Lebanese
ally Hezbollah in his visit to Beirut in late March 2019. He repeated
his threats to Hezbollah and the IRGC in his press conference April 8
announcing the latest actions by his administration against Iran.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
criticized the U.S. decision and warned Washington that Iran has managed
in the past year to build “weapons and missiles that they could not
imagine.” He also threatened that if U.S. maintains its current pressure
on his country, Tehran would resume uranium enrichment at much higher
paste using more advanced centrifuges. Iran certainly has many cards up
its sleeves, but many of them might lead to adverse consequences.
However, Tehran has for many years mastered the policy of walking the
edge of the cliff. As Secretary Pompeo indicated in his April 8
statement, Tehran did not hesitate over the past years to use its proxy
forces to attack and kill hundreds of American troops in Lebanon, Iraq
and Saudi Arabia. Hence, many observers and U.S. defense officials fear
that the IRGC could get its proxy militias in the region to target U.S.
troops and interests in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Iran’s Houthi
militiamen in Yemen had targeted last year U.S. warships off Bab
al-Mandeb strait with surface-to-surface missiles.

Now that the U.S. regards the IRGC as a
terrorist organization, how far will Washington go in enforcing the
economic and financial sanctions on entities affiliated with the IRGC or
on countries dealing with them? What will be the new rules of
engagement with respect to IRGC assets and their proxy militias in the
region? IRGC gunboats have frequently harassed U.S. warships in the
Arabian Gulf waters, and on one occasion even captured American sailors
for a day. In the past the American warships either ignored the
harassments or fired warning shots. Now they are branded as terrorists
how will the U.S. Navy react to any provocations by IRGC Navy? What
about the possibility of attacks by Iran’s proxy militias against U.S.
troops in Iraq or Syria? Before U.S. military pullout from Iraq in 2011,
American troops there retaliated against Iranian proxy militias
directly when they came under attack. Now American forces are back in
Iraq and their bases are within reach of thousands of Iraqi militias
trained and armed by IRGC, how will Washington react to an attack on
them by Iranian proxies? Will rules of engagement be as they were before
2011, or the U.S. will retaliate against IRGC directly in Iran?

The logic of realpolitik dictates that
Washington has done its calculations well and would be willing to go all
the way in implementing its Iran policies and not count on simple
verbal threats and posturing. Bluffing policies do not work with an
adversary like Iran that has always shown readiness to push things to
the edge. Unless Washington has the readiness and willingness to
retaliate forcefully and directly against any military actions or
provocations by Iran, its current policies will not yield any results
and will likely backfire against the U.S. Tehran perceives itself as a
global power and a peer to the United States, and has for long tried to
sell its people and the region that it is an equal military power to the
U.S. Thus, the IRGC will likely provoke the U.S. directly or through
its proxy militias to promote itself as a powerful player equal to the
U.S. The only way for Washington to avoid falling hostage to its current
anti-Iran policies is for it to impose its own rules of engagement
vis-a-vis the IRGC and gain the momentum from the very first day and not
allow American troops and interests in the region to become easy
targets to Iran and its allies.

The IRGC has been getting ready for a
possible showdown with the U.S. for many years, and it has improved its
positioning in the region considerably. It has many ballistic missiles
based throughout the Levant – in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon – placing U.S.
targets as far as Eastern Europe within range. It even has surface to
surface anti-ship missiles based in Lebanon and possibly Syria
threatening U.S. warships in the eastern Mediterranean. It already has
anti-ship cruise missiles and big arsenal of ballistic missiles locked
on targets around Iran, especially the Arabian Gulf waters. Hence, the
IRGC has the ability to wage massive surprise attacks against U.S. bases
and forces in the Arabian Gulf and the Levant and as far as
Afghanistan, inflicting sever losses. Although the military balance of
power is by far in U.S. favor, Washington would still find itself in a
difficult war that the American public might not be eager to enter or
sustain. Tehran will likely be betting on the vulnerability of the U.S.
home front in withstanding big losses in a possible lengthy war with
Iran.

Therefore, escalation against Iran must
be well calculated and prepared for politically and militarily because
any misstep could lead to a disastrous long regional war that might
empower the IRGC and its proxies rather than weaken them. It is widely
hoped by U.S. allies in the region that current American policies
towards Iran do not turn out to be political stunts to serve limited
political gains by Israel or serve U.S. electoral ambitions. America’s
allies also hope that Washington is taking solid steps with robust
preparations and good calculations to ensure swift success with minimal
losses, and hopefully short of a regional war.

*Riad Kahwaji, is the founder and director of INEGMA with a 30 years of experience as a journalist and a Middle East security analyst.

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mikenov on Twitter: The Trump Investigations Report – Review Of News And Opinions: “trump under federal investigation” – Google News: Pete Buttigieg says he can beat Donald Trump in 2020 – The Washington Post dlvr.it/R2q05t

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The Trump Investigations Report – Review Of News And Opinions: “trump under federal investigation” – Google News: Pete Buttigieg says he can beat Donald Trump in 2020 – The Washington Post dlvr.it/R2q05t


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mikenov on Twitter: Trumpistan Today: “trump under federal investigation” – Google News: Pete Buttigieg says he can beat Donald Trump in 2020 – The Washington Post dlvr.it/R2q05r pic.twitter.com/XfrhVhzyOr

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Trumpistan Today: “trump under federal investigation” – Google News: Pete Buttigieg says he can beat Donald Trump in 2020 – The Washington Post dlvr.it/R2q05r pic.twitter.com/XfrhVhzyOr



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mikenov on Twitter: The Trump Investigations Report – Review Of News And Opinions: “trump under federal investigation” – Google News: Pete Buttigieg says he can beat Donald Trump in 2020 – The Washington Post dlvr.it/R2q05n pic.twitter.com/kSiDNBHC1T

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The Trump Investigations Report – Review Of News And Opinions: “trump under federal investigation” – Google News: Pete Buttigieg says he can beat Donald Trump in 2020 – The Washington Post dlvr.it/R2q05n pic.twitter.com/kSiDNBHC1T



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