hasn't ceased to be my country. And all the more infuriating are the cries of
'democrats from afar,' who for some reason consider themselves entitled to rant
from above about what happens in Russia. We have many things wrong here. But
you excited monkeys who have gotten your mirrors dirty better wipe them clean
and take a look at yourselves."
I doubt that the “United
Russia” Party got 46.5 percent of the vote in Moscow. I think that is about
twice the actual total. These Duma elections have left an unpleasant
But my country hasn't ceased
to be my country. And all the more infuriating are the cries of “democrats from
afar,” who for some reason consider themselves entitled to rant from above
about what happens in Russia. We have many things wrong here. But you excited
monkeys who have gotten your mirrors dirty better wipe them clean and take a
look at yourselves. Just see what's happening in the European Union.
I do not know if you've
noticed, readers, that the recently-installed leaders of Greece and Italy were
not elected by the people. Former head of the Bank of Greece and senior
economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Lucas Papademos, was
appointed prime minister of Greece. He was made head of government right after
his predecessor Geogrios
Papandereu lost his nerve and decided to hold a referendum on the need for
even harsher austerity measures. Essentially, he got too cocky about conforming
to the “people’s will.” Papademos, however, knows first hand how some ten years
ago, his country - with the help of one of the largest global investment banks
- “Goldman Sachs” - hid its huge debts from other eurozone countries. He knows
and keeps quiet. So he has prospered.
I am sure that the other new
European Prime Minister - Italian Mario Monti, is of like
mind to Papademos. Unlike his stately predecessor Silvio Berlusconi, this
former member of the International Advisory Board of Goldman Sachs was not
elected by the people either: the new leader was sent down to the masses “from
above.” There isn't a single person in Monti’s government that has stood for an
election. Yet look how smartly “Super Mario” is tightening the screws: he has
already raised the retirement age of women from 60 to 62, and for men from 65
to 66, without waiting parliamentary approval for the measures that will
dramatically drain the resources of local governments.
The notion that is supposed to occur to us
mere mortals is this: Papademos and Monti are, as they say,
“technocrat-saviors” who are courageously pulling their governments out of
debt. But as the monthly Le
Monde Diplomatique puts it, neither one nor the other seem to be an
“apolitical technician.” Both are "men of the right.”
By the way, Europe’s new
central bank chief Mario
Draghi was a former vice-chairman and managing director of Goldman Sachs
International during the period that coincides with the Greek swindle.
In a real sense, Goldman
Sachs has begun to govern Europe.
Among business circles, the company has the nickname
the "Firm," and the "Firm" doesn’t do any fooling around.
Everywhere one looks it has people “inside.”
Before being appointed U.S.
Treasury Secretary in 2006, Henry “Hank” Paulson was head of Goldman Sachs. In
2008, not long before the launch of the so-called “Paulson Plan” - the
appropriation of $700 billion to rescue U.S. financial institutions - he
conducted a meeting with the entire leadership of his former company during a
visit to Moscow at a major hotel so as not to attract attention. It is said
that he appeared remarkably well-prepared for the unfolding crisis and that
sometimes he seemed to now of what was coming just a little before everyone
But to attribute such a
concentration of financial capital influence to the intrigues of one, even to
an enterprise as immense as Goldman Sachs, would be an oversimplification.
In late October, the
University of Zurich published an interesting study. Researchers analyzed
nearly all transnational corporations - 43,060 - on the subject of who owns
them and how. As a result, they created a “map” of 1318 companies comprising
the heart of the global economy. But even on this “select” list, researchers
found a core of only 147 companies that control 40 percent of the wealth of the
others. Each of these 147 firms is either partially or fully owned by another.
Generally, the actual owners are banks or other financial organizations. The
close ties among these 147 companies may raise concerns: if a fire begins, all
of them may collapse.
This could have happened
three years ago. But the presses worked tirelessly to print U.S. dollars backed
by nothing, delaying the inevitable. And they managed to do it.
Now comes the next critical
stage. According to a report by the Bank of
International Settlements, derivatives
worth over $707 trillion are flying around the world (re-sold debts and
insurance that are also backed by nothing). Another financial bubble of
unprecedented proportions. The entire aggregate global GDP, by the way, is $63
trillion. When this bubble bursts - the entire speculative global economy will
be finished, along with the whole of “democracy.”
So Goldman Sachs' has rushed
its people into power. And people like Putin, Berlusconi (and generally all
somewhat independent politicians - the smart as well as the ridiculous
self-aggrandizing), are in their way.
Even economically powerful
Germany hasn't been “passed over” by these guys: In late November, when Berlin
tried to place its long-term securities with a maturity of 10 years, 35 percent
of them couldn't be sold. Yet just two days, after Italy, burdened with
immeasurable debt but by now lead by the "right person" Mario Monti,
had a successful sale of its securities. The Germans were unambiguously given
to understand that "international financial capital" will not allow
them to call the shots in Europe.
And this gave rise to other
unpredictable developments, in spite of the results of European summits like
the one that ended last Friday. German chancellor Angela Merkel, in contrast to
Monti and Papademos, and unlike the E.U. President Herman Van Rompuy and
the E.U. foreign minister, understands that she is an elected and not an
appointed politician. And whoever replaces Merkel in Germany will also be
elected. Among Germans, who have ridden themselves of the “eternal guilty”
imposed on them after World War II, other scenarios won’t fly. They themselves
don't live on credit and will not long pay for the debt of others, regardless
of how urgently they are pushed in that direction. And that means that pretty
soon, we will soon see a new round in the European drama.
And I truly hope that even if December 2011 has shaken German-speaking Vladimir Putin, Russia will be watching the events unfold in Europe with him as our head of state. Russia may be a state riddled with corruption, a bloated
bureaucracy, and electoral fraud, but it is one that retains its independence
and the capacity to cleanse itself, which should necessarily begin in 2012.
Otherwise, the future of our country will be dim. To be precise, it will be
promising only for Goldman Sachs.
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