There exists today a geopolitical continuum in which energy, credit, fiat currency collapse, sovereign debt and banking derivative exposures blur one into another. Saudi power, ISIS fury and Western duplicity have all rendered what used to be thought wild conspiracy theories into everyday geopolitics. Something is being planned in Berlin, but what is it?
In the Berlin Chancellery today, Angela Merkel and several of her closest confidantes are trying to decide what comes next for Germany. They do so on a canvas where, writ large, are the failures of post-Gold Standard paper money, the eurozone debt crisis, the threat of Draghi’s control over the European Central Bank, the will o’ the wisp that was once 120 tonnes of German gold, a global neolib crisis, and a massive shift in the fulcrum of monied power.
It is still about the munneeee.
To give one obvious example (having devoted four articles to the question of ISIS ‘beheadings’ and all the theory options there) the old Woodward/Bernstein Deep Throat command still applies: follow the money. There seems to me no question that ISIS is bankrolled in part by the Saudis. The Saudi oil-wealth (and its relevance to the petrodollar’s survival) is equally certain. For all this gibberish about “the war on terror” there is only one massive geopolitical game in play at the minute: for the Americans to keep the Saudis sweet, and ensure they don’t one day dump the petrodollar.
I don’t have any inside track on that one, but only common sense is required to interpret the race. I doubt if the hand-chopping wife decapitators of Saudi Arabia are enjoying the current US action against ISIS. But then, I doubt if the action is any more than window-dressing. While almost every Western news title this week has talked robotically about the “enormous scope” of the American attack, this is a line they’re being fed in order to give it the shock-and-awe factor. Iraq and Syria are, as Noel Coward might have said, “very very big”: the Obama action is, to be blunt, an egg timer in a desert.
As so often (if not always) it comes back to fossil energy – with the obsession of the US to retain access to it, and the Russian need to retain maximum control of its supply. With the global slump now clearly taking shape, Moscow is far more concerned about the fall-off in oil/gas demand than it is about a Federated Ukraine. And ISIS could behead every other American as far as the US Establishment is concerned…just so long as their paymasters don’t dump the petrodollar.
The petrodollar is chiefly important in that the “system” is a currency closed-shop: even if not a single US finger ever went anywhere near the deal, if Australia wants to buy Saudi oil, it must pay in $US. This acts as America’s main collateral against which to borrow: without it, default wouldn’t be far round the next corner but one.
So then, what’s going on here? Is ISIS a Saudi-US plot-cum-distraction? Was ISIS formed with the specific intention of angering the US and thus causing the Saudis to retaliate against military action? Are the Saudis bankrolling ISIS in order to evoke US retaliation, giving them an excuse to dump the Buck…thus hastening the global triumph of Islam? Or are the beheadings a US/McCain/CIA setup designed to persuade the Saudis that the White House had no choice but to deal with the threat?
They’re not mutually exclusive, but they are all possibilities. And if you think that context alone is Cohen Brothers movie meets the Maltese Falcon, there are further dimensions: Russo-Chinese deals already avoid the Dollar, and at least three of Putin’s senior advisers are hawkish about introducing the Petroruble.
A brief aside if I may, given that context. We are talking here about two bottom-line motives behind geopolitics: fossil energy and American debt. The dependence on the first is the direct result of US oilcos lobbying Congress to block any and all funds being applied to transport and heating research to look beyond fossil. That our reliance upon the same internal combustion engine has endured 125 years of history is anti-achievement greater than any scientific advance blocked by the mediaeval Church of Rome.
Reliance upon the second is the ultimate outcome of neoliberal economics, whereby growth must be maintained whatever the cost….and the medium chosen for achieving this has been instantly available and appallingly controlled credit. The latter, of course, was what brought on 2008. And the factors that caused 2008 remain firmly in place…thanks to the lobbying of Western governments by the Bourses and Banks.
That is a sobering conclusion, is it not? Crack the solution to fossil fuel independence – while eschewing neoliberal economics – and we would overnight solve almost every dangerous territorial and religious crisis on the planet.
But that isn’t going to happen, is it? Well…it will eventually – but not until it’s in everyone’s interests. It’s already in the interests of 97% of us to do that: but its the brain-in-penis 3% minority who count – not We the People.
My hunch is that the debate surrounding which way to jump is what the Berlin ‘something big brewing’ rumour-mill is all about. Nobody should underestimate the power of Germany today: it is the biggest exporter by value in the world, period. It’s influence over the EU is beyond paramount: it is near-dictatorial. If it turned nasty over the German Gold that no longer exists issue, the US would face a crisis of confidence. And the AfD Party is once more gaining ground.
I think that very soon, German voters will awake from their wet dream about Würst mit Kartoffelnsalat, and spot that the MerkeSchäuble two-headed Monster lied to them during the General Election. As I have predicted all along, it will be Italy with a dash of France that forces the awakening, not Greece. If she doesn’t move fast, Geli the Osti Fridge Magnet will find herself saddled with the bill for the euro’s grisly demise. At which point, I suspect, Weidmann’s Bundesbank Tendency is going to roast her alive in public.
There is no other thinker on Earth with the same genius for geopolitics and ruthless career advancement as that enjoyed by Frau Doktor Merkel. She has a declining America to the West whose actions irritate her more and more, an Islam to the south towards whom she feels a well-expressed antipathy, and a Russia to the East whom she observes forging a future with the long-term coming power, China.
Chancellor Merkel’s entire career has been about jumping unexpectedly at the right moment, while screwing both those who had aided her progress, and those who had crossed her. Could this be what the Big Debate in Berlin is about?