Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.
The tag 'European Central Bank' is associated with 15 posts.

The New World Ordoliberalism, Part 7: To QE, or Not to QE, That is the Ominous Question

As the European Central Bank (ECB) continues to wrestle with the decision of when and how quickly to wind down its quantitative easing (QE) program while inflation remains stubbornly below the 2 percent target and likely to stay well below 2 percent for the foreseeable future, it’s worth noting that there’s a new nightmare to add to the equation: The euro has surged in value this year, a move that not only depresses exports in recovery economies like Spain and Portugal but also depresses inflation. And one of the things holding down the value of the euro is the ECB’s QE program. So if the ECB tapers off the QE too early and quickly it’s going to make an overly-strong euro even stronger while dragging inflation even lower, potentially derailing fragile recoveries in the austerity-inflicted member states. And that means not sending the wrong signals is a key goal of the ECB is things are going to go smoothly. Guess which signals are being sent.


The New World Ordoliberalism Part 6: The QE Taper Caper and the Portuguese Squeeze

In this chapter of our exploration of what’s wrong with the eurozone we’re going to take a look at the evolving nature of the European Central Bank’s (ECB’s) quantitative easing (QE) program. Specifically, how the QE program was facing a set of obstacles that was going to require some tweaking to the program and how the solution to the obstacle was to basically choose the tweaks that harmed the weak, in particular Portugal. In favor of Germany, of course. Keep in mind that Portugal recently formed a left-wing anti-austerity government and has done relatively economically well since coming into power . Also keep in mind that Portugal is one of the few eurozone nations not facing a rising far-right “populist” movement as a response to its harsh austerity program. So you might say the timing is “right” for some preferential treatment of Portugal. Preferentially bad treatment.


FTR #928 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 7: Locker Room Eclipse, Part 2

Continuing analysis of aspects of Donald Trump’s candidacy that have been eclipsed by his boorish attitude and behavior toward women, we note Trump’s use of thinly-veiled anti-Semitic rhetoric intimating that Hillary Clinton is in bed with an international Jewish cabal. ” . . . . The speech was hinged to the original purpose of his campaign: to trade on the resentments of a restive remnant of white America—angry white men and the women who love them—and set the stage for mayhem in the wake of his likely electoral defeat. This was not your standard, off-the-cuff Trump rant. This was a scripted speech, delivered with a teleprompter. It was crafted. It featured the key words of right-wing complaints: “sovereign,” “global bankers” and “slander.” Really, it came right out of a Nazi propaganda playbook. And when one considers the themes common between Nazi propaganda films and the films made by top Trump campaign staffers Stephen K. Bannon and David Bossie (as analyzed by AlterNet), we should hardly be surprised. . . . The agenda of the “media establishment,” Trump said, was to elect “crooked” Hillary Clinton, in the service of “special global interests rigging the system.” There are a lot of ways in the land of Wingnuttia to telegraph that your target is Jews, and these are two of them. Remember them: You’ll be hearing a lot in coming days about the “media establishment,” “global special interests,” oh, and “bankers.” . . . .”

Trump is also rhetorically invoking the prospect of turning to violence to right the wrongs of the “rigged” election he has bruited about. “ . . . . I watched his speech Thursday, and if I closed my eyes, I could smell the campfire smoke at the Malheur refuge and feel the Oregon winter wind on my face. Here were the conspiracies, the references to the shadowy international cabals, the whispers about the illegitimacy of the Department of Justice and the Trilateralist coopting of the FBI. It was like listening to an immodest Ammon Bundy. We have to protect ourselves from not just the government (because it is only a pawn) but from the people who really run it. We should be watchful, resilient, ready—and though he is reluctant, he will sacrifice himself, for he is the only one who can save us from the terror. Donald Trump shouted out every fevered dystopian fantasy I heard on the refuge . . . . I was outraged by Trump before. But now I am worried. . . . Thursday, Donald Trump traveled a step further down the path of militant right-wing revolution. It wasn’t a call to arms, exactly. But it was far past the point of comfort. . . .”

A major point of discussion concerns Trump’s deputy campaign manager, David Bossie. Even as Trump accuses Hillary of being a tool of the “elites,” Trump is utilizing Bossie, who is the head of Citizens United. It was a lawsuit by Bossie’s organization that opened the floodgates to virtually unlimited campaign funding by the ultra rich, when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Citizens United. Bossie and Steven K. Bannon, Trump’s campaign manager, have utilized propaganda techniques pioneered by Hitler, Goebbels and company. ” . . . . The late Andrew Breitbart, founder of the website Bannon went on to lead, called Bannon the “Leni Riefenstahl of the Tea Party movement”—a reference to the infamous creator of Nazi propaganda films. While insisting to a Wall Street Journal reporter in 2011 that his work isn’t propaganda, Bannon went on to cite Riefenstahl among his main influences. . . . Ivana Trump, the candidate’s first wife, told Vanity Fair in 1990 that her husband kept a copy of Adolf Hitler’s My New Order, a collection of speeches that display the Nazi dictator’s exceptional ability to manipulate reality, in a cabinet near his bed. . . . . The Nazi regime produced a massive amount of propaganda; it had an entire Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, headed by Joseph Goebbels. A central technique of Nazi propagandists, according to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, was to cast Jews as outsiders and dangerous enemies of the Reich, ‘‘subhuman’ creatures infiltrating Aryan society.’ . . . In her analysis of Riefenstahl’s ‘Triumph of the Will,’ Price noted that ‘perhaps most critically, Germany’s comeback is portrayed as well underway; the viewer need only jump aboard. What is being said implicitly is that there is no alternative.’ In ‘Battle for America,’ Bannon and Bossie follow the same formula, positing the Tea Party movement as the bandwagon to jump on. But the formula isn’t the only thing about the film that carries echoes of Goebbels: a researcher and counsel for the film was white nationalist Robert Vandervoort. . . .”

Program Highlights Include: The arrest of militia members in Kansas for plotting an attack on Somali refugees, scheduled for the day after Election Day; discussion of UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage’s support for Trump; the support Trump has received from Russian fascist Vladimir Zhirinovsky; Zhirinovsky’s funding by German Nazi Gerhard Frey; Frey’s dissemination of the disinformation that Lee Harvey Oswald fired at General Edwin Walker; Frey’s close association with Reinhard Gehlen; Trump’s close relationship with the Steuben Society.


FTR #927 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 6: Locker Room Eclipse

With Donald Trump’s sexual habits and speech dominating the headlines at the moment, we are seeing what Trump termed “locker room” banter eclipse far more important aspects of the Trump phenomenon. The GOP candidate continues to manifest Nazi-style beliefs, trumpeting the importance of heredity, breeding and genes to success, with his own German heritage having much to do with his own largesse. In that context, we note that his “genes,” in the form of Donald, Jr., may well be on the scene for some time.

Although Donald, Sr. would appear poised to lose the election in November, the Trumpenkampfverbande–the movement that has coalesced around him–is poised to continue, being (in our opinion) the transformation of the Underground Reich into a broad-based mass movement. Donald, Jr. appears to be a bird of the same political plumage as his father, with a penchant for racism and “Alt-right” tweeting. As one blogger put it: ” . . . And in the last couple of weeks Junior has let his alt-right freak flag fly. . . .” Junior also has political aspirations: ” . . . The oldest son of the Republican presidential nominee said that while he still has ‘a lot to do in my own career,’ he would seriously consider following in his father’s footsteps out of real estate and into political life. . . .” Donald, Jr. does not appear on the surface to share his father’s destructive sexual practices, and might become a standard-bearer for an Underground Reich in plain view for some time to come.

Another critical aspect of Trump’s political connections that has been overshadowed by the “locker room eclipse” concerns Trump’s profound, longstanding connections to Deutsche Bank, his go-to lender for his myriad real estate practices. Currently destabilizing equities markets around the world, Deutsche Bank holds the potential to collapse the global financial landscape. Having benefitted from a “rigged” ECB stress test, having benefitted from predatory lending practices during the sub-prime crisis, having benefitted from a Federal Reserve bailout following the collapse of 2008 and facing a potential $14 billion fine from the U.S. Department of Justice, Deutsche Bank holds 42 trillion euros worth of derivatives on its books, an amount 11 times the economy of Germany! Trump’s being in hoc to Deutsche Bank for upwards of $100 million raises interesting questions about his potential position as head of the U.S. government.

Another, related aspect of Trump’s candidacy concerns his threat to fire Federal Reserve head Janet Yellen and his advisers ranging from “Alt-right” ideologues to champions of a return to the gold standard–a move that would collapse the American and global economies. [This is against the background of the possibility that the Fed may have to extend another lifeline to Deutsche Bank to prevent another international financial meltdown] ” . . . In the first [group of Trump economic advisors] are Larry Kudlow and Judy Shelton, the intellectuals of the bunch, and both advocates of a return to the gold standard. While it has become popular among some Republicans in the past few years, returning to the gold standard is dismissed as a discredited, fringe idea by nearly all economists and market participants. And, for their part, gold-standard supporters typically reject the very idea of a Federal Reserve, so if Trump were to appoint Kudlow, Shelton, or another gold-standard supporter to the Fed, it would be the most radical and potentially damaging economic move since the dawn of our modern economic system, after the Great Depression. . . .”

Program Highlights Include: Review of “The Donald’s” affinity for the speeches of Adolf Hitler; review of Trump’s father’s possible membership in the Ku Klux Klan; Trump’s exhortations to his followers to disregard “the rigged” election and the possibility (probability?) that this will lead to “lone wolf,” leaderless resistance terrorism and murder; Donald Trump’s links to the Steuben Society.


Growth of Slovakian Fascism Illustrates the Dynamic Underlying Brexit and the Trumpenkampfverbande

Portrayed by the mainstream media as –of course–“populists,” the L’SNS led by Marian Kotleba (right) manifested their agenda upon joining the Slovakian parliament: ” . . . But one of the first acts of the new members of L’SNS in Slovakia’s parliament was to demand a minute of silence to mark the day Jozef Tiso was hanged in 1947 for treason–Tiso was the head of Slovakia’s pro-Nazi, totalitarian government when 70,000 Slovaks were deported to their deaths during World War II. . . .”


Krugmenistan vs the Permahawks

Lift Off! That was the announcement by the Federal Reserve this week when the world’s biggest and most influential central bank started the long awaited raising of its benchmark short-term rate a quarter point from near-zero levels, marking the first time the Fed has raised rates since 2006. It was big news, except this rate hike was telegraphed for quite a while now and virtually everyone was expecting the Fed to do exactly what it did, so it’s not as big as it could have been. If the Fed had decided not to raise rates, despite all the telegraphing, that probably would have been a bigger story. But would it have been a bad story if the Fed decided to keep rates at their current near-zero levels? There’s a big debate in the economic community over that. And it’s a debate that pits prudent economists with excellent track-records like Paul Krugman, someone who opposed the Fed’s December “lift off” decision, against the broad array of “permahawks”. But it’s not just the question with respect to Fed. The European Central Bank made a policy announcement this month too regarding its stimulus measure and it was indeed rather surprising. And as we’re also going to see in this post, it was surprising in the way that just might have done serious damage to not just the credibility of ECB President Mario Draghi but the ECB itself. Or at least credibility in the ECB’s commitment to its single mandate of keeping inflation hovering around 2 percent.

To placate permahawks (to maintain credibility) or not placate the permahawks (to maintain credibility)? That is the question. Or at least one of the questions central banks face. Unfortunately.


Germany, Greece and Franco’s Blue Division

Wolfgang Schauble (Germany’s Finance Minister) has stated that Germany needn’t repay the billions it stole from Greece during World War II, because a government is not obligated to fulfill the pledges of previous regimes. The fact that Germany continues to pay pensions to veterans of Spain’s Blue Division (which fought on the Eastern Front during World War II) suggests that the German government’s judgments are self-servingly selective. All of the contents of this website as of 12/19/2014–Dave Emory’s 35+ years of research and broadcasting–as well as hours of videotaped lectures are available on a 32GB flash drive. Dave offers his programs and articles for free–your support is very much appreciated.


Analyzing “Clausewitzian Economics”: Greek Politician Compares German Economic Hegemony to WWII

In past programs, we examined the Greek and Eurozone debt crises in the context of the theories of Friedrich List and Carl von Clausewitz, as well as the realization of those theories through successful manipulation of the transnational corporate landscape through both world wars and the “postwars” that followed them. Recently, a the Greek mayor of Corfu encapsulated that development rather succinctly: “What they didn’t manage in World War II they are managing now,” Kostas Nikolouzos, the left-wing mayor of Corfu, said of Germany, voicing a common sentiment. “It may sound extreme, but it’s true.” All of the contents of this website as of 12/19/2014–Dave Emory’s 35+ years of research and broadcasting–as well as hours of videotaped lectures are available on a 32GB flash drive. Dave offers his programs and articles for free–your support is very much appreciated.


FTR #861 Greek Tragedy, Part 4

Continuing our analysis of the Greek economic and political crisis, we begin with review of Greece and the late stages of World War II. The occupying British turned on the partisans who had played a large part in the defeat of Axis occupation forces, setting the stage for a brutal civil war. Much of the program centers on the fire-sale of major Greek infrastructure, including the takeover of 14 regional airports by a German corporation. Much of Greek infrastructure is now up for sale, including infrastructure that is essential for the reconstruction of the economy of Greece. Having figured significantly in the development of Greek debt, a number of German businessmen are now fugitives from Greek justice, seeking to avoid prosecution for corruption charges. After noting that Greek debt is actually LOWER than German debt when calculated using a standard accounting scale, the program notes the proposal to have Greek youth work for free, in order to relieve the massive youth unemployment plaguing that country. Recorded on Labor Day weekend of 2015, the program concludes with rumination concerning the past and future of slavery, scrutinized against the background of recent and future events.


German Company Buys Greek Airports

“. . . In the early 1980s, as Chair of the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR), [German Finance Minister Wolfgang] Schäuble had organized the first economic initiatives [and not just] toward France. Theodor Veiter, a former Nazi specialist for border subversion, was one of Schäuble’s advisors as chair of the AEBR. . . .” It is against this background that we examine the purchase of Greek regional airports by a German company. All of the contents of this website as of 12/19/2014–Dave Emory’s 35+ years of research and broadcasting–as well as hours of videotaped lectures are available on a 32GB flash drive. Dave offers his programs and articles for free–your support is very much appreciated.