Desperate Central Bankers Grab for More Power – Global Research

desperate-central-bankers-grab-for-more-power-–-global-research

19-09-19 02:04:00,

Conceding that their grip on the economy is slipping, central bankers are proposing a radical economic reset that would shift yet more power from government to themselves.

Central bankers are acknowledging that they are out of ammunition. Mark Carney, the soon-to-be-retiring head of the Bank of England, said in a speech at the annual meeting of central bankers in August in Jackson Hole, Wyoming,

“In the longer-term, we need to change the game.”

The same point was made by Philipp Hildebrand, former head of the Swiss National Bank, in an August 2019 interview with Bloomberg.

“Really there is little if any ammunition left,” he said. “More of the same in terms of monetary policy is unlikely to be an appropriate response if we get into a recession or sharp downturn.”

“More of the same” meant further lowering interest rates, the central bankers’ stock tool for maintaining their targeted inflation rate in a downturn. Bargain-basement interest rates are supposed to stimulate the economy by encouraging borrowers to borrow (since rates are so low) and savers to spend (since they aren’t making any interest on their deposits and may have to pay to store them). But over $15 trillion in bonds are now trading globally at negative interest rates, yet this radical maneuver has not been shown to measurably improve economic performance. In fact  new research shows that negative interest rates from central banks, rather than increasing spending, stopping deflation, and stimulating the economy as they were expected to do, may be having the opposite effects. They are being blamed for squeezing banks, punishing savers, keeping dying companies on life support, and fueling a potentially unsustainable surge in asset prices.

So what is a central banker to do? Hildebrand’s proposed solution was presented in a paper he wrote with three of his colleagues at BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, where he is now vice chairman. Released in August to coincide with the annual Jackson Hole meeting of central bankers, the paper was co-authored by Stanley Fischer, former governor of the Bank of Israel and former vice chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve; Jean Boivin, former deputy governor of the Bank of Canada;

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US Desperate to Pin Blame for INF Death on Russia Because It Will Be Europe That Pays the Price

us-desperate-to-pin-blame-for-inf-death-on-russia-because-it-will-be-europe-that-pays-the-price

07-12-18 02:48:00,

“Arguably, it may suit Moscow to enhance its own deterrent capability by targeting Western Europe with nuclear missiles at a juncture when NATO continues to expand menacingly to the east and encircle Russia”

The statement issued by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on December 4 regarding the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty following the meeting of the foreign ministers of the alliance in Brussels puts the seal on the US decision to withdraw from the pact.

Washington has successfully rallied its European allies. Armed with NATO solidarity, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave Russia a 60-day ultimatum to return to compliance with the Treaty. Pompeo hopes to make Russia the culpable party.

However, quite some time ago, the US had already made up it mind to scrap the treaty. The Congress even made provision in the Pentagon budget for R&D relating to intermediate missiles. But an alibi was needed. In 2002, the US unilaterally withdrew from the ABM Treaty and dealt a body blow to international security without bothering to explain. On the contrary, INF Treaty is vital to European security and an alibi is necessary.

In some ways, the INF Treaty has become an anachronism, since it stipulated that the US and Russia should not produce intermediate range missiles. Whereas, many other countries make such weapons today. Washington decided that it too must have such weapons. Pompeo actually admitted this in his remarks on December 4 in Brussels. He said,

“Secondly, while Russia is responsible for the demise of the treaty, many other states – including China, North Korea, and Iran – are not parties to the INF Treaty. This leaves them free to build all the intermediate range missiles that they would like. There is no reason the United States should continue to cede this crucial military advantage to revisionist powers like China, in particular when these weapons are being used to threaten and coerce the United States and its allies in Asia.”

“If you ask the question why the treaty wasn’t enlarged to include more nations, including China, keep in mind that it has been tried three times without any success already, and it has failed each time.”

Moscow has calmly reacted.

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Desperate for Reason to Exist, NATO Installs Itself in Latin America

Desperate for Reason to Exist, NATO Installs Itself in Latin America

12-06-18 08:03:00,

Colombia’s formal partnership with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) marks the first time that a Latin American country has joined the European group, and signals a new shift toward the Global South by the Cold War-era alliance.

Colombia’s entry into NATO as a “global partner” signals that the U.S. military top brass are likely to call the shots for the South American country both in terms of its security policies and its geopolitical orientation, which becomes all the more crucial as the North Atlantic alliance increasingly strives to become a power in the South Pacific amid rising friction between the U.S. and China.

NATO began its partnership agreement with the South American nation in May 2017, immediately following the peace deal between Bogota and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP), yet the country still continues to be plagued by right-wing paramilitary activity, security forces who act with impunity, and the dire inequality that originally birthed groups such as FARC-EP.

So-called “global partners” of NATO are largely those countries that lie firmly in the Anglo-American imperialist sphere of influence or were directly occupied by the U.S., including Afghanistan, Australia, Iraq, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mongolia, New Zealand and Pakistan.

The 29-nation alliance was formed in 1949 at the dawn of the Cold War for the purpose of consolidating a strategic bulwark against the spread of communism and Soviet hegemony in the Euro-Atlantic region.

Speaking in a televised address, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and outgoing Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos addressed his country’s membership in the military alliance:

Colombia benefits a lot from being an active part of the international community, many of the problems we face are increasingly global and need the support and collaboration of other countries for their solution.”

According to NATO, the new partnership will focus on cybersecurity, maritime security, and anti-terror and organized crime operations. The partnership will also include programs relating to the standardization of military practices, joint training and military exercises, and the modernization of the Colombian Armed Forces along NATO lines.

Colombia’s Integration Into U.S.-ruled Security Architecture Long in the Making

While the news came as a surprise to some, Colombia and the North Atlantic alliance have long collaborated in these fields.

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