FOX NEWS SPINS HISTORY (AGAIN)
By David Sirota, Daily Kos
The New Deal was responsible for extending the Great depression, according to the “fair and balanced” propaganda channel.
From Global Crisis to “Global Government” – US Intelligence: A Review of Global Trends 2025
by Andrew G. Marshall
Global Research, December 19, 2008
The United States’ National Intelligence Council has released a report, entitled “Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World”. This declassified document is the fourth report of the Global Trends 2025: The National Intelligence Council’s 2025 Project, The report outlines the paths that current geopolitical and economic trends may reach by the year 2025, in order to guide strategic thinking over the next few decades. The National Intelligence Council describes itself as the US Intelligence Community’s “center for midterm and long-term strategic thinking,” with the tasks of supporting the Director of National Intelligence, reaching out to non-governmental experts in academia and the private sector and it leads in the effort of providing National Intelligence Estimates.
The report was written with the active participation of not only the US intelligence community, but also numerous think tanks, consulting firms, academic institutions and hundreds of other experts. Among the participating organizations were the Atlantic Council of the United States, the Wilson Center, RAND Corporation, the Brookings Institution, American Enterprise Institute, Texas A&M University, the Council on Foreign Relations and Chatham House in London, which is the British equivalent of the CFR.
Among the many things envisioned in this report to either be completed or under way by 2025 are the formation of a global multipolar international system, the possibility of a return of mercantilism by great powers in which they go to war over dwindling resources, the growth of China as a great world power, the position of India as a strong pole in the new multipolar system, a decline of capitalism in the form of more state-capitalism, exponential population growth in the developing world, continuing instability in Africa, a decline in food availability, partly due to climate change, continued terrorism, the possibility of nuclear war, the emergence of regionalism in the form of strong regional blocks in North America, Europe, and Asia, and the decline of US power and with that, the superiority of the dollar.
The Economics of Change
The discussion of global economics begins with analyzing the potential repercussions of the current global financial crisis. It states that the crisis “is accelerating the global economic rebalancing. Developing countries have been hurt; several, such as Pakistan with its large current account deficit, are at considerable risk. Even those with cash reserves—such as South Korea and Russia—have been severely buffeted; steep rises in unemployment and inflation could trigger widespread political instability and throw emerging powers off course.” However, it states, “if China, Russia, and Mideast oil exporters can avoid internal crises,” they may be able to buy foreign assets, provide financial assistance to struggling countries and “seed new regional initiatives.” It says that the biggest change for the West will be “the increase in state power. Western governments now own large swaths of their financial sectors and must manage them, potentially politicizing markets.” It continues in saying that there is a prospect for a new “Bretton Woods,” to “regulate the global economy,” however, “Failure to construct a new all-embracing architecture could lead countries to seek security through competitive monetary policies and new investment barriers, increasing the potential for market segmentation.”
The report states that as a result of the major financial disruptions under-way and those still to come, there is a need to rebalance the global economy. However, “this rebalancing will require long-term efforts to establish a new international system.” It states that major problem to overcome will be a possible backlash against foreign trade and investment by corporations, particularly in “emerging economies,” with the potential of fueling “protectionist forces” in the US; an increasing competition for resources between emerging economies such as Russia, China, India and even Gulf states; a decline in democratization, as the China-model for development becomes attractive to other emerging economies, authoritarian regimes and even “weak democracies frustrated by years of economic underperformance”; the role of Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) in providing more financial assistance to developing countries than the World Bank and IMF, which could lead to “diplomatic realignments and new relationships” between China, Russia, India and Gulf states with the developing world; the loss of the dollar as the “global reserve currency,” as “foreign policy actions might bring exposure to currency shock and higher interest rates for Americans,” and a “move away from the dollar” which would be precipitated by “uncertainties and instabilities in the international financial system.”
The dollar’s decline as a “global reserve currency” will be relegated to “something of a first among equals in a basket of currencies by 2025. This could occur suddenly in the wake of a crisis, or gradually with global rebalancing.”
It states that for the first time in history, the financial landscape will be “genuinely global and multipolar,” and that, “redirection toward regional financial centers could soon spill over into other areas of power.” It states that there is potential for a divide within the West between the US and EU, so long as they continue divergent economic policies, where Europe is more state-centric and with the US as more market-based. However, “the enhanced role of the state in Western economies may also lessen the contrast between the two models.” This enhanced role of the state in economic matters is largely due to the current financial crisis.
In outlining Latin America’s path for the next two decades, the report states that many countries will have become middle income powers, however, “those that have embraced populist policies, will lag behind—and some, such as Haiti, will have become even poorer and still less governable.” It says Brazil will become the major power of the region, but that, “efforts to promote South American integration will be realized only in part. Venezuela and Cuba will have some form of vestigial influence in the region in 2025, but their economic problems will limit their appeal.” However, it said that many parts of Latin America will remain among “the world’s most violent areas,” and that, “US influence in the region will diminish somewhat, in part because of Latin America’s broadening economic and commercial relations with Asia, Europe, and other blocs.”
In discussing the issue of Muslim immigration into the European Union, the report states that, “Countries with growing numbers of Muslims will experience a rapid shift in ethnic composition, particularly around urban areas, potentially complicating efforts to facilitate assimilation and integration.” Further, “the increasing concentration could lead to more tense and unstable situations, such as occurred with the 2005 Paris suburban riots.” This mass immigration and reactions of Europeans, among other factors, “are likely to confine many Muslims to low-status, low-wage jobs, deepening ethnic cleavages. Despite a sizeable stratum of integrated Muslims, a growing number—driven by a sense of alienation, grievance, and injustice—are increasingly likely to value separation in areas with Muslim-specific cultural and religious practices.”
The report also states that by 2025, Europe “will have made slow progress toward achieving the vision of current leaders and elites: a cohesive, integrated, and influential global actor able to employ independently a full spectrum of political, economic, and military tools in support of European and Western interests and universal ideals. The European Union would need to resolve a perceived democracy gap dividing Brussels from European voters and move past protracted debate about its institutional structures.” In other words, the move toward a European superstate will revolve around convincing the public that it is not a threat to democracy or sovereignty.
It further states that Europe should and likely will take in “new members in the Balkans, and perhaps Ukraine and Turkey. However, continued failure to convince skeptical publics of the benefits of deeper economic, political, and social integration and to grasp the nettle of a shrinking and aging population by enacting painful reforms could leave the EU a hobbled giant.”
Russia: Boom or Bust?
The report’s focus on Russia stresses two possible scenarios. One in which Russia triumphs as an international player in the new international system, with the “potential to be richer, more powerful, and more self-assured in 2025 if it invests in human capital, expands and diversifies its economy, and integrates with global markets. [Emphasis added]” However, Russia could also take another path, where “multiple constraints could limit Russia’s ability to achieve its full economic potential,” such as a shortfall in energy investment, an underdeveloped banking sector, and crime and corruption. It also points out that a “sustained plunge in global energy prices before Russia has the chance to develop a more diversified economy probably would constrain economic growth.” Could this be a veiled threat to Russia to either join into and merge with the international system, which is directed by Western elites, or face a possible economic backlash, perhaps in the form of manipulating oil prices? This strategy has not by any means been unheard of, as a look at the 1973 oil crisis and the lead up to the first Gulf War in 1991 have proven.
In contemplating Russia’s likely future, the report states that with a more “proactive and influential foreign policy” Russia could become an “important partner for Western, Asian, and Middle East capitals; and a leading force in opposition to US global dominance.” However, it states that, “shared perceptions regarding threats from terrorism and Islamic radicalism could align Russian and Western security policies more tightly.” In other words, perhaps increased incidents of terrorist activity in or near Russian territory can force it to align more closely with the West, if only at first in security integration. It also elaborates on the other potentiality for Russia, saying that it is “impossible to exclude alternative futures such as a nationalistic, authoritarian petro-state or even a full dictatorship.”
The report states that there are alternatives with Iran. In one instance, “political and economic reform in addition to a stable investment climate could fundamentally redraw both the way the world perceives the country and also the way in which Iranians view themselves.” This could move Iran away from “decades of being mired in the Arab conflicts of the Middle East.” Or the other option is Iran starts a nuclear arms race, continues to become the object of Western alienation, and may even become unstable and mired in conflict.
Complete article at:
Andrew Marshall is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization
The latest economic updates from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas…
Regional Economic Update
As we end 2008, mounting economic evidence suggests that the Texas economy has begun to falter.
New Chicago Fed Letter Posted – December 2009 (Number 258a)
Thursday, December 18, 2008
January 2009 Chicago Fed Letter (Number 258a) “Agricultural Markets and Food Price Inflation – A conference summary” by David B. Oppedahl
On October 2, 2008, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago held a conference that focused on the economic impacts of volatile agricultural prices and food policy, especially their intersection with the macroeconomy through food price inflation.
Simply click on the following link to review the Fed Letter:
CBO: Factors Underlying the Decline in Manufacturing Employment Since 2000
Factors Underlying the Decline in Manufacturing Employment Since 2000 – December 23, 2008, Economic and Budget Issue Brief
“The manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy has experienced substantial job losses since 2000. During the recession of 2001 and its immediate aftermath, employment in the manufacturing sector fell by about 2.9 million jobs, or 17 percent. Even after overall employment began to improve in 2004, the decline in manufacturing employment persisted. By the end of 2007, with the slowing of economic growth, employment in the sector had edged down further, by half a million jobs. And, as of November 2008, employment in manufacturing had fallen yet again, by slightly more than 600,000 jobs. A significant number of additional losses is likely given the current weakness in the economy.”
Third Quarter GDP
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Our chart comparing official and SGS Alternate U.S. GDP growth rates has been updated to reflect the Bureau of Economic Analysis’s (BEA) “final” estimate revision (it gets revised again in July 2009).
The chart can be viewed here:
(fourth chart from the top).
The data behind the chart can also be viewed and downloaded by SGS Subscribers.
John Williams also discussed the details of today’s GDP report and the implications for 4th quarter GDP in a Flash Update today (available only to SGS Subscribers.)
The ShadowStats Team
Fortune’s Easton misrepresented debate over Employee Free Choice Act
Fortune magazine Washington editor Nina Easton asserted: “The union-backed Employee Free Choice Act eliminates secret ballots, and declares the union the winner if a majority of employees openly sign a petition.” In fact, the EFCA does not eliminate employees’ rights to a secret ballot; as The New York Times reported, “Business groups have attacked the legislation because it would take away employers’ right to insist on holding a secret-ballot election to determine whether workers favored unionization” [emphasis added].
REPUBLICANS ON WHY THEY HATE UNIONS
By Emptywheel, Firedoglake
As if you needed any more proof that the Republican attempt to break the UAW a week ago Thursday was really just a political stunt.
December 2008 Southwest Climate Outlook
Monday, December 22, 2008
Due to The University of Arizona holiday closure, the full version of the Southwest Climate Outlook will not be produced this month. Please select the PDF file on the SWCO webpage (link below) for updated reservoir information and maps and a December 2008 climate summary. The November 2008 information is available, and we will be back with a complete version of the SWCO in January 2009.
To access the December climate summary and reservoir maps in html format or the printer-friendly PDF file visit:
To access the full November SWCO visit:
Happy Holidays from the Southwest Climate Outlook staff!
Kristen E. Nelson
Associate EditorInstitute of Environment and Society
715 N. Park Ave., 2nd Floor
Tucson, AZ 85721
And now for the important news ….
By Argus Hamilton
President Ronald Reagan’s favorite White House egg nog recipe turned up on the Internet this week. It’s one part egg nog and three parts bourbon. The Gipper always believed in peace through strength.
three thousand words
Tom Tomorrow: 2008 year in review: Part 2, The end of an error.
Bruce Plante: … priceless!!
Tony Auth: how the grinch stole the constitution