The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – March 6, 2022

by Tony Wikrent

Strategic Political Economy

[Twitter, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 3-1-2022]


[Twitter, via Avedon’s Sideshow 4-6-2022]


Putin the Apostate. We thought he would be our bastard. Then, he became his own bastard.

Matt Taibbi, February 28, 2022

I would like to point out that we already tried regime change in Russia. I remember, because I was there. And, thanks to a lot of lurid history that’s being scrubbed now with furious intensity, it ended with Vladimir Putin in power. Not as an accident, or as the face of a populist revolt against Western influence — that came later — but precisely because we made a long series of intentional decisions to help put him there…. I’ve been bitter in commentary about Putin in recent years because I never forgot the way the West smoothed his rise, and pretends now that it didn’t. It’s infuriating also that many of us who were critical of him from the start are denounced now as Putin apologists, I think in part because we have inconvenient memories about who said what at the start of his story. The effort to wipe that history clean is reaching a fever pitch this week. Before they finish the job, it seemed worth getting it all down….


The oligarch class was formalized in a stroke via a deal brokered at Davos in 1996…. The “relatively fair” privatization auctions were historic events. As my friends and former Moscow Times reporters Matt Bivens and Jonas Bernstein reported, “financiers” like Vladimir Potanin and Mikhail Khodorkovsky were loaned the capital to become controllers of, respectively, a third of the world’s nickel and a fourth of its cobalt, and 2% of the world’s oil reserves. Meanwhile murderous gangsters like Boris Berezovsky were gifted controlling stakes in companies like Aeroflot (from which he siphoned to a Swiss shell company roughly a third of its annual $400 million in revenues) and Russia’s seventh-largest oil concern, Sidanko.

Chartbook #91: What if Putin’s war regime turns to MMT? 

Adam Tooze, Chartbook

Russia’s Looming Economic Collapse

[The Atlantic, via The Big Picture 3-3-2022]

This is terra incognita for economic policy. No country has ever faced this kind of global freeze-out.

How Vladimir Putin Miscalculated the Economic Cost of Invading Ukraine 

[New Yorker, via The Big Picture 3-2-2022]

The Russian leader apparently failed to anticipate the unprecedented targeting of the Central Bank of Russia, a step that has battered the ruble and shaken the country’s financial system.

The West Weaponizes Russia’s Central Bank Against Putin

[Bloomberg, via The Big Picture 2-28-2022]

The sanctions have the potential to devastate the country’s economy and sow the seeds of Putin’s downfall.

Weaponizing Finance: To Punish Putin, the World Turned Finance Into a Weapon of War 

[Businessweek, via The Big Picture 3-4-2022]

Russia’s central bank became the main target on a front that could crater the country’s economy.

War in Ukraine threatens the global financial system 

Gillian Tett [Financial Times, via Naked Capitalism 3-5-2022]

Yves Smith’s contrary note is important: “The Great War ended the gold standard. Peter Temin argued persuasively that the effort to restore it is what caused the Great Depression.”

Wall Street Is Already Pouncing on Russia’s Cheap Corporate Debt

[Bloomberg, via Naked Capitalism 3-4-2022]

Five vile things Trump did to Zelensky and Ukraine that you forgot about

[Washington Post, via The Big Picture 3-3-2022]

“Trump acted against U.S. interests with the consequence of aiding Russian interests,” said Alexander Vindman, the former lieutenant colonel who testified dramatically against Trump.

Chart — Global Oil Supply, by Country

[via The Big Picture 3-3-2022]

“Wheat Prices Shoot to 14-Year High on Concerns over Conflict Between Russia and Ukraine”

[Farm Journal, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 3-3-2022]

“So, why are wheat prices seeing such momentum? Both Ukraine and Russia account for nearly 30% of the world’s wheat exports. It’s not just uncertainty about the crisis causing wheat prices to climb, but there’s also worries about infrastructure damage in Ukraine and whether it will hinder the country’s ability to export in the near future.”

It’s an Ill War That Blows No Good. Could this one have some positive outcomes (assuming we all don’t get incinerated)?

Robert Kuttner, March 4, 2022 [The American Prospect]

Globalization. The supply chain fiasco was one nail in the coffin of naïve globalization. The need to extricate Western banks and corporations from the Russian orbit is a second. National self-reliance is looking better and better again.

National Economic Planning. The flipside of ending corporate-led globalization. The U.S. needs to decide what we have to make domestically.

Patriotic Corporations. Before this war, banks and multinationals were telling national governments that extricating themselves from foreign commitments based on unacceptable behavior by the trading partner was either an impossibility or would take years. Now, everyone from Apple to Boeing is doing it in a matter of days.

More Transparent Capitalism. To isolate Russia’s economy, the Treasury found powers it wasn’t sure it had and was reluctant to use. There are plenty of kleptocrats right here in the USA. Having set this precedent, democratic governments can go after corrupt capitalists everywhere.

Smoking Out Oligarchs. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, of all people, has introduced legislation that will require all property owners to be identified as people, no longer hiding their identity behind trusts or straws. That could become the international norm.

Controlling Crypto. One worry is that Putin will be able to evade financial controls by using cryptocurrencies. This strengthens the hands of the regulatory hawks and weakens the crypto enthusiasts in the administration.

Energy Transition. The spike in oil prices, the shortage of crude oil, the realization that OPEC won’t come to our rescue must accelerate the transition to renewable energy. It’s no longer just a contentious matter of addressing climate change, but of energy security.

The Elephant in the Courtroom 

[The New Yorker, via The Big Picture 3-5-2022]

 A curious legal crusade to redefine personhood is raising profound questions about the interdependence of the animal and human kingdoms.

Nature as a Mode of Accumulation: Capitalism and the Financialization of the Earth

[Monthly Review, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 3-4-2022]

Lambert Strether: Stylistically leaden, analytically well worth a read. “The project is a mad endeavor to create the institutional certainties of a smoothly-trading market where no such certainty is to be had.”

Professional management class clowns

“On cusp of Biden speech, a state of disunity, funk and peril”

[Associated Press, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 3-1-2022]

As Lambert Strether points out, the AP article itself is typical PMC pablum; Strether’s pointed remarks are what’s important. 

“Biden will step up to the House speaker’s rostrum to address a nation in conflict with itself. The country is litigating how to keep kids safe and what to teach them, weary over orders to wear masks, bruised over an ignominious end to one war, in Afghanistan, and suddenly plenty worried about Russian expansionism. A speech designed to discuss the commonwealth will be delivered to a nation that is having increasing difficulty finding much of anything in common.”

Lambert Strether: “Come on. 56% of the country supports mask mandates; it’s the PMC that’s “weary,” because they disproportionately don’t suffer Covid’s harms. Ditto Afghanistan. The press is “bruised” over Afghanistan because every Afghan in their collective Rolodex called them to get out when we finally admitted we lost the war, and they felt bad because they couldn’t do anything. And if the heartland cares about Ukraine, they sure aren’t willing to send their bodies over their to deal with the matter. This story isn’t really about the nation at all. It’s about AP’s right to prescribe the nation’s mood, by describing it (as Bourdieu would urge). There’s plenty of disunity to be had, not always along the lines AP draws, and some disunity is good anyhow. Is it good for their to be “unity” between Starbucks workers and management? How about between health care “consumers” and health insurance company executives? But AP never bleats about that….”

[Twitter, via Naked Capitalism 3-4-2022]

“Why Has Biden’s Approval Rating Crashed?”

Peter Daou, Direct Left, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 3-1-2022]

“Biden promised rich donors that ‘nothing would fundamentally change.’ He’s paying the price at the polls. And leftists predicted every bit of this…. Perhaps worst of all, Biden and Democratic leaders have been abject failures on the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for a negligent vaccine-only strategy and presiding over more deaths than Trump.”

Climate activists deflate tyres of SUVs in rich London neighbourhoods 

[London Economic, via Naked Capitalism 3-5-2022]

Neoliberalism requires a police state

Human Rights Lawyer Who Took on Chevron Put Under House Arrest: Steven Donziger Tells His Story

[Georgetown Law, via Naked Capitalism 3-4-2022]


The carnage of mainstream neoliberal economics

“Walmart Supercenters and Monopsony Power: How a Large, Low-Wage Employer Impacts Local Labor Markets” (PDF) 

Justin C. Wiltshire [Washington Center for Equitable Growth, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 3-1-2022]

“Crucially, I construct the pools of synthetic control donor counties from novel observations of counties where Walmart tried to open a Supercenter but was blocked by local efforts. I find Supercenter entry caused significant reductions in local aggregate employment and earnings. Retail employment concentration grew, as retail employment initially jumped up before reverting to pre-entry levels. In counties with a Supercenter, subsequent exogenous minimum wage increases led to significant growth in aggregate and retail employment. These results run counter to predictions for competitive labor markets, and indicate Walmart Supercenters gradually accumulated and exercised monopsony power in their local markets for labor, with negative consequences for workers.”


This paper is the first to demonstrate the extent and impact of monopsony power exercised by WalmartSupercenters. I do this first by exploiting the rollout of Walmart Supercenters across the U.S., showing thatSupercenter entry into counties had effects on local labor markets that cannot justifiably be described as‘competitive’. I find that entry caused large and significant declines in overall local employment, earnings,and labor force participation, while the positive shock to retail employment was not long-sustained. I thenshow that an exogenous minimum wage increase yielded large employment gains where Supercenters werealready present, again inconsistent with competitive labor markets. These results admit negative spillovereffects on local labor markets that extend well beyond a Supercenter’s walls. My results also suggest thatminimum wage increases could actually yield employment gains if targeted at labor markets characterizedby low-wage monopsony power, in line with Azar et al. (2019).Throughout, I broadly retain the term ‘monopsony’ to ref

Why America Has Been So Stingy In Fighting Child Poverty

[NPR, via The Big Picture 2-27-2022]

For decades, many American economists were pretty much obsessed with trying to document the ways in which welfare programs discouraged work, or broke up families, or encouraged pregnancy, while ignoring all the benefits that society gets from having kids grow up in a more financially secure environment. Aizer, Hoynes, and Lleras-Muney analyze research papers in America’s top academic journals since the 1960s, and they find that prior to 2010, fewer than 27 percent of all articles about welfare programs even bothered to try and document their benefits.

The Real Reason the Pandemic Killed Small Restaurants 

[Slate, via Naked Capitalism 2-27-2022]

Predatory Finance

[Twitter, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 3-4-2022]

Do Stock Buybacks Really Shrink Capital Spending?

[Chief Investment Officer, via The Big Picture 3-1-2022]

Thanks to soaring corporate cash, capex has improved lately, but share repurchases still overshadow it.

The Real Reason Republicans Are Blocking Biden’s Fed Nominees. It has to do with Sen. Cynthia Lummis and special Wyoming-chartered depository institutions that take cryptocurrencies.

David Dayen, March 3, 2022 [The American Prospect]

…Lummis has an ulterior motive for raising the master account issue, one that she hasn’t been particularly shy about stating. For months, Lummis has been publicly lobbying for two crypto companies in Wyoming to get their own master accounts. Specifically, these firms are state-chartered non-banks intended to allow their customers to convert crypto assets into cash—but they need a master account in order to do that.

Effectively, these firms would become very similar to a bank, with full access to the Fed’s payment system, but without having to submit to federal regulation or even FDIC deposit insurance.

They’re not capitalists – they’re a criminal predatory class

Corporate Lawyers Fight Anti-Money Laundering Efforts

[DailyPoster March 4, 2022]

Last month, nearly 40,000 corporate lawyers representing the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Business Law Section wrote a comment to the U.S. Treasury Department, expressing their concerns about the department’s proposal to implement the Corporate Transparency Act — a measure designed “to help prevent and combat money laundering, terrorist financing, tax fraud, and other illicit activity.”

Restoring balance to the economy

New York Begins Rulemaking to Stop Corporate Profiteering 

David Dayen, March 4, 2022 [The American Prospect]

New York Attorney General Letitia James has announced that her office will write new rules under the state’s General Business Law aimed at preventing opportunistic price-gouging during a time of high inflation.

The effort builds on a growing body of evidence from corporate earnings calls that companies are using inflation as an excuse to raise prices well above input cost increases caused by supply chain disruptions. The announcement highlights these opportunistic price increases for beef, diapers, toothpaste, coffee, and other staples, as well as soaring profits from global ocean shipping and energy companies.

The Biden Transition and the Fight for Real Hope and Change This Time

If Congress Can’t Boost Workers’ Rights, the Administration Will Go It Alone.
A new report lays out ways that federal agencies can increase worker power.

[The American Prospect, March 3, 2022]

Earlier this month, the Biden administration delivered a road map for advancing American workers’ rights in its Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment report. Headed by Vice President Harris and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, and composed of officials from 20 federal agencies, the task force recommended dozens of actions the federal government should take to promote union organizing and collective-bargaining rights through executive action rather than legislation. The report signals how the administration intends to make good on its commitment to increase worker power to reduce inequality and grow the middle class.

To Unify the Country, Biden Must Name Corporate Villains

Eleanor Eagan, March 4, 2022 [The American Prospect]

The lesson should be clear: In a crowded information environment, simply adopting populist policies—even entirely achievable ones—is not enough. Biden needs a populist communications strategy to match. To drive media coverage and get his agenda in front of even the most disengaged voters, Biden should start picking fights with specific corporate villains.

Although it was easy to miss among the references to various landmark bills, Biden’s State of the Union did include multiple, important promises when it comes to corporate accountability. He vowed to crack down on international shipping cartels that have raised prices by “as much as 1,000 percent and made record profits.” He promised new rules for nursing homes to “make sure [Americans’] loved ones get the care they deserve and that they expect,” and called out “Wall Street firms” for driving down quality and driving up costs in the nursing homes they acquire. He pledged action against consolidated meatpacking companies as well.

What Biden Should Do Now:  With his domestic agenda still bottled up, it’s time for some unconventional moves.

Harold Meyerson, March 4, 2022 [The American Prospect]

With Joe Manchin still consigning most of the Democrats’ domestic agenda to his own fetid dustbin, the party’s ability to meet the needs of its core constituents, much less the broader nation, has been eviscerated.

And it’s those core constituents, not just those feckless middle-of-the-roaders, who’ve been driving the drop in Biden’s support. In his Washington Post column today, E.J. Dionne has provided a deeper dive into the Post’s recent poll, which showed Biden’s overall approval rating to be an anemic 37 percent. Among the non-Republicans in the survey, support for Biden has fallen from 65 percent in April 2021 to 47 percent late last month. Among those non-Republicans, Biden’s support fell by 25 points in two crucial groups: non-whites and respondents under 40. It fell by 24 percent among those with household incomes under $50,000….

First, retire a chunk of student debt….

Second, go to Buffalo and make a speech backing the Starbucks baristas’ campaign to unionize, which has now spread to roughly 100 Starbucks outlets across the land. Moreover, the speech should really be directed at the entire millennial generation, which, when Gallup polled them last year, approved of unions at a stratospheric 77 percent rate.

Progressives Gain a Foothold in Texas

Alexander Sammon, March 2, 2022 [The American Prospect]

At first glance, Texas’s results look like a triumph for progressives, who came away with some major victories, and didn’t lose any top-priority races. The biggest breakthrough came by way of Texas’s 35th Congressional District, a gerrymandered deep-blue seat with pockets in Austin and San Antonio. Austin city councilman Greg Casar won the Democratic nomination outright, crushing the field with over 60 percent of the vote in a four-way contest….

Also notable was Casar’s disavowal of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement on the campaign trail, which led to his breakup with DSA, a sign that after Nina Turner’s loss in Cleveland, progressives are steering clear of confrontation with the deep-pocketed Democratic Majority for Israel PAC….

Also yet to be seen is the role of Texas’s stringent new voter restriction laws. In both Harris and El Paso Counties, nearly 30 percent of mail-in ballots were flagged for disqualification, according to the Guardian US’s Sam Levine. That’s a stunningly high number, and gives a sense of just how impactful those laws will ultimately be. In a tightly contested general election, that could be more than enough to swing the outcome.

Predatory Finance

Johannes Beermann: Cash of the future 

[Bank of International Settlements, via Naked Capitalism 2-28-2022]

Lambert Strether notes: “Beermann is “the member of the Bundesbank Executive Board responsible for cash.” Worth a read.”

“Defi and Shadow Banking 2.0”

Cory Doctorow [Pluralistic, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 3-2-2022]

“Allen argues that defi repeats the sins of the original shadow banking system, and then makes them worse. Defi, after all, is the latest iteration of fintech, and as Riley Quinn is at pains to remind us, “fintech” is a euphemism for ‘unregulated bank.’ As with the shadow banking system, the point of defi is to offer traditional financial instruments outside of the traditional regulatory framework. As with the shadow banking system, defi’s instruments are complex. As with the shadow banking system, defi enables leverage, compensates for it with rigidity, and is thus vulnerable to bank runs. Defi’s pitch is that you don’t have to trust a regulated bank to play fair (which is compelling, as regulated banks are awfully sleazy). But defi replaces regulated banks with something even riskier: “new intermediaries who are often unidentified and unregulated.’”

Lambert Strether added: “Worth reading carefully and in full. Mentions this paper–“

“DeFi: Shadow Banking 2.0?” (PDF)

Hilary J. Allen [William and Mary Law Review].

From the Abstract: ” there is still time to prevent DeFi from becoming Shadow Banking 2.0. This Essay argues for precautionary regulation of DeFi, designed to limit its growth and to cordon off whatever remains from the established financial system and real-world economy. While proponents of DeFi will contend that this will limit innovation, this Essay argues that DeFi innovation has limited benefits for society. DeFi doesn’t aspire to provide new financial products and services – it simply aspires to provide existing financial products and services in a decentralized way (meaning, without intermediaries). This Essay will demonstrate that the DeFi ecosystem is in fact full of intermediaries and explain why full disintermediation of financial services is an entirely unrealistic aspiration. This Essay will then proceed from that finding to argue that if DeFi cannot deliver on decentralization, regulators should feel emboldened to clamp down on DeFi in order to protect the stability of our financial system and broader economy.”

Climate and environmental crises

Sea Level Rise Will Be Catastrophic—and Unequal

[Wired, via The Big Picture 3-1-2022]

A chilling new report predicts a foot of sea level rise in the US by 2050. But quirks of physics mean everyone will suffer in different ways.

Information age dystopia

“The Quiet Way Advertisers Are Tracking Your Browsing”

[Wired, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 3-1-2022]

“The exact configuration of lines and swirls that make up your fingerprints are thought to be unique to you. Similarly, your browser fingerprint is a set of information that’s collected from your phone or laptop each time you use it that advertisers can eventually link back to you. ‘It takes information about your browser, your network, your device and combines it together to create a set of characteristics that is mostly unique to you,’ says Tanvi Vyas, a principal engineer at Firefox. The data that makes up your fingerprint can include the language you use, keyboard layout, your timezone, whether you have cookies turned on, the version of the operating system your device runs, and much more. By combining all this information into a fingerprint, it’s possible for advertisers to recognize you as you move from one website to the next. Multiple studies looking at fingerprinting have found that around 80 to 90 percent of browser fingerprints are unique. Fingerprinting is often done by advertising technology companies that insert their code onto websites. Fingerprinting code—which comes in the form of a variety of scripts, such as the FingerprintJS library—is deployed by dozens of ad tech firms to collect data about your online activity.”

As Tanks Rolled Into Ukraine, So Did Malware. Then Microsoft Entered the War.

[New York Times, via The Big Picture 3-2-2022]

After years of talks about the need for public-private partnerships to combat cyberattacks, the war in Ukraine is stress-testing the system.

Is the cyberwar coming or is it already here? 

[Vox, via The Big Picture 3-2-2022]

Russia’s history of destructive cyberattacks in Ukraine is raising concerns about a cyberwar in the future.

The dark side

The Right’s Would-Be Kingmaker

[New York Times, via The Big Picture 2-27-2022]

Peter Thiel, one of Donald J. Trump’s biggest donors in 2016, has re-emerged as a prime financier of the Make America Great Again movement.


Volume 24: The 2018 Election, Who Projected It Best?”

[Lobby Seven, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 3-1-2022]

Lambert Strether summarizes: “Larry Sabato, and not narrowly. Looks like combining quantitative and qualitative analysis is a good idea.”


[DailyPoster March 4, 2022]

One day before the start of Women’s History Month, the U.S. Senate voted to block the Women’s Health Protection Act — legislation to codify in federal law the right to an abortion ahead of likely Supreme Court action to overturn Roe v. Wade. The final count was 46-48, with West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin the only Democrat to vote no.  Republican Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) also opposed the bill, despite long touting themselves as supporters of abortion rights. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) voted in favor of allowing debate on the bill — a surprise given his past support for anti-abortion measures. The vote occurred around the 6-month anniversary of passage of a controversial Texas law that bans abortions after six weeks of pregancy and effectively deputizes private citizens to enforce the law.


[DailyPoster March 4, 2022]

Earlier this week, the drugmaker Viatris Inc. — formerly Mylan — announced its agreement to pay a proposed $264 million settlement to resolve a lawsuit “alleging it engaged in a scheme to delay generic competition to its EpiPen allergy treatment,” according to Reuters. The litigation began in 2016 after Mylan drastically raised the EpiPen’s list price, and it accused Mylan and Pfizer — the medicine’s manufacturers — of trying to “maintain a monopoly over the market for the devices.” As The Intercept reported in September, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s daughter and former Mylan chief executive, Heather Bresch, worked directly with the head of Pfizer to artificially inflate EpiPen prices.

Conservative / Libertarian Drive to Civil War

Study: ‘Stand your ground’ laws linked to 11% rise in U.S. firearm homicides

[ Washington Post, via The Big Picture 2-27-2022]

Stand-your-ground laws are associated with an 11 percent increase in monthly firearm homicide rates, according to the new study, with especially striking jumps in Southern states that embraced stand-your-ground early on. That amounts to 700 additional homicides each year, according to the findings published Monday in JAMA Network Open, a peer-reviewed medical journal.



Open Thread


Thinking Out Ukraine Sanctions


  1. bruce wilder

    When I was a teen-age bag boy working at the A&P, I belonged to the Union. It wasn’t a great union — it was what labor historians used to call “enterprise unions” — that is it had formed as a business venture to profit the organizers, exploiting the opportunity afforded by the New Deal’s support of unions. But, it did its basic job and workers were paid well and protected from management harassment and overbearing manipulation.
    When that same Union struck one of the supermarket chains in L.A. where I was living, years later, I refused to cross the picket line — well, actually in a couple of instances I crossed the picket line, filled a cart and left the store empty-handed as a protest.
    Now I find myself shopping at Target, which is run by management that is as happy exploiting its customers qua workers as its workers. So, not winning those battles.
    What I remember about that strike now long ago is how many people I knew resented supermarket workers asking for higher wages. Higher wages were for credentialed people like themselves. People who had gone to college.
    People like Lambert Strether, who identify the modern Democratic Party’s electoral base as “the PMC”, are also explaining why cheerleading the Democrats into championing the working class or unions (as opposed to “professional associations” whose demands may be marginally admitted to normative legitimacy) is futile. Those who are “shocked” when erstwhile “liberal” institutions such as major universities supposedly controlled by the more enlightened of the PMC are extremely hostile to unions are simply fools.
    Just thinking the Democrats are in some practical way more sympathetic to unions are missing the whole “Lucy promising to hold the football for Charlie Brown” thing that characterizes the Democratic Party’s “courting” of the left. The plan combines getting the votes while co-opting and humiliating and de-legitimizing the left’s few political champions. Yes, I am looking at you, AOC, Payapal, Bernie, . . . . and your stupid supporters who keep doing the same insane things, expecting a different result, digging ever deeper into a hole where your credibility is shot.

  2. Z

    It looks like the Israeli PM is now negotiating with Putin. Makes sense, might as well get the two true decision-makers together for such an important matter. Israel can get their puppet Zelenskyy to do whatever they want.

    Joseph and Volodymyr, you’ve done fine. I’ll take it from here.

    Again, no country secretly wants regime change in Russia more than Israel. They want those Jewish oligarchs that Putin tossed out of Russia back into the country with all their money to corrupt and influence Russian politics just like it did before Putin came into power and just like Jewish Zionist money does in the U.S. and UK. And they want to be able to emigrate more Russian Jews from overcrowded, and maybe soon to be overheating, Israel back to Russia.

    Shoot, if I was Putin, I wouldn’t meet face to face with Bennett because I’d be concerned he’d be carrying some bio-weapon that he was inoculated from. But, of course, Putin knows what he is doing and what he is up against more than I.

    There are Jewish Zionists all through this Russia situation from when Larry Summers and the Harvard Boyz constructed the privatization and the financial markets in post-USSR Russia in the early 90s to benefit Jewish oligarchs to the Committee to Save the World (Summers, Greenspan, and Rubin) bailing out the ruble in the late-90s to keep that corrupt structure of the Russian economy in place to Putin tossing out these Jewish oligarchs so that the Russian economy was no longer preying upon the Russian people and destroying their society to many of these tossed oligarchs then getting citizenship in Israel and creating a well-funded anti-Putin political pool of money in Israel to, as always, that money and Jewish Zionist elites’ cause corrupting U.S. politics and making Russia an enemy though it is against U.S. interests to the 2014 Ukrainian coup and aftermath which was heavily influenced by Nuland to the Jewish operators and funders of the democratic party they own which created the Russia Russia Russia hysteria during the 2016 elections and its aftermath to Israel’s puppet Zelenskyy getting into power to the sources of the hidden wealth that Zelenskyy has that was uncovered in the Pandora Papers to our current State Department which is headed by three Jewish Zionists who would not negotiate away Ukraine’s potential membership into NATO.

    But, of course, don’t expect the NYZ Times, the Grey Jezebel, our rulers’ paper of propaganda, to ever put these pieces together for the U.S. public.

    Again, if Putin really wants to play hardball he could create some conflict with Israel centered on the military operations in Syria and threaten to bomb them and you’d watch how fast he’d get Zelenskyy to the negotiating table anxious to strike a deal. In some ways I hope he does too, though it would be a very risky move. And it’s not that I want him to actually bomb Israel, at least not their civilians because I’m sure there are many fine people there just like the vast majority of Jewish folks in this country are good people IMO, but because it would further illuminate just how corrupted Western politics are by Israel and the Jewish Zionist elites. These corrupted Western political leaders will put their own populations through hardships to support an avoidable war that’s not even in their own countries’ interests, but they’ll pull back in a second IMO if all-blessed Israel is threatened.


  3. Z

    You can tell that the CIA is heavily involved in the production of the Ukrainian propaganda by its high quality. The CIA has got plenty of experience in this dark art.


  4. Z

    The Weekend at Biden’s production team is talking of extending the student loan payment moratorium past the current May 2nd end date and they’re maybe becoming slightly more open-minded about student debt cancellation.

    I see that Kamala Harris allegedly pushed hard to extend the last moratorium, an extension that the Biden Administration had at one point said they vehemently opposed. Not surprising. As politically unworthy as Harris is of being VP, her of zero delegates, the chances that she would be a better president than he/bipartisan Joe Biden are greater than 50% I’d say and there’s a lot of upside on how much better she’d be than Biden especially if fate leaves her in a place in which all that stands between her being a heroine to millions of people and the political humiliation of a double digit total delegate tally in the next presidential election is merely the flick of her signature on executive orders to eliminate all student debt.


  5. Andy

    I don’t think Zelensky can accurately be described as “Israel’s puppet.” He’s been telling everyone who’ll listen how disappointed he is that Israel isn’t doing enough to support Ukraine. Believe it or not it’s not always about the Jews (or the Zionists).

    But Zelensky is Jewish, you say. Yes he is and recently he’s been playing up his Jewishness for all it’s worth to “prove” that there are no Nazis in Ukraine. But prior to his heritage becoming a useful propaganda talking point he barely mentioned it at all. From what I understand he grew up in a non-religious household in the Soviet Union and being Jewish has played a negligible role in his life. Grayzone just wrote an article that touches on this.

    How much easier it would be if the Jews really were behind all that is bad, unpleasant and evil in the world! We’d know exactly who to blame and hold to account and could dispense with all this messy complexity and nuance. That worked out so well 1933 to 1945 didn’t it.

  6. Z

    Well, lookie there: Larry Fink’s old pal Steve Schwarzman from Blackstone made $1.1 B in compensation last year while the Fed had its liquidity spigot hooked up to Larry’s and Stanley’s Asset Inflation Factory Blackrock.

    Blackstone operates through four primary departments: private equity, real estate, hedge funds, and credit.


  7. Z

    Blackstone’s boom year made it the envy of Wall Street. In the last quarter of 2021, Blackstone’s fundraising machine gained a record amount of new money from pensions, endowments and other investors to put to work in new deals, bringing it closer to $1 trillion in assets under management. Blackstone cashed out of a record $77 billion of investments as its corporate private equity and opportunistic real estate holdings rose more than 40%.

    Blackstone’s “corporate private equity and opportunistic real estate holdings rose more than 40%” during the year! Good for Steve-O! And good to see that the Fed’s money that Larry and Stanley are using to buy REITs isn’t going to waste.


  8. Seattle Resident

    As far as Peter Daou’s comment about Biden’s poll numbers crashing due to his remark that nothing would fundamentally change and his covid response, it comes off as a little simplistic. He has pushed for mask mandates as well as the vaccines (and I’ll admit he could have been stronger on pushing masking and distancing). In spite of the mostly one track advocacy of the vaccines, they have for the most part, prevented people from dying if not from getting covid. He can’t help it if dumb red staters don’t want the vaccine and die as a result, not to mention an unwillingness among many of them to use proper mitigation strategies of masking and distancing, which has been discouraged not by Biden, but by politically motivated Red State governors and legislators.

    He also has a 50/50 Senate (not a majority as people want to say) with a couple of Vichy democrats that have crippled his ability to enact a robust BBB and voting rights to provide a bit of the change, if not enough of the change that the Sanders supporters and the DSA want.

    You also want to factor in hostility from the elites who opposed BBB and the withdrawal from Afghanistan, which cuts into their bottom line and that hostility has played out in daily corporate media vilifications of the administration which has arguably resulted in a manufactured discontent out of proportion to what real discontent they would have with policy, or lack thereof from Trump or any other Republican President.

    He’s not all the change we seek, but if the alternatives across the aisle want authoritarianism and white nationalism, then you have to work with and within the side that gives you the best shot for making the change you want. With right wing authoritarianism aggressively on the rise, I don’t think we have the time to wait for the Greens or the DSA to create some critical mass movement that becomes the equivalent of the present duopoly. Heck, why the hell didn’t Nader get to work on that after he lost the Presidential race in 2000? Or Jill Stein for that matter instead of yapping about the Russians?

  9. Lex

    @ Seattle Resident,
    As someone who works daily with human exposure to airborne contaminants (though not directly in infection control), I feel that Biden’s Covid response is as bad as trump’s just in a different way. He has followed emergency response / incident command practices and procedures even a little. Confused and contradictory communication is the big one like thinking if they say “once vaccinated throw away the masks” it will increase vaccination rates was asinine.

    He has refused to address underlying issues which limit effective response actions. Go back to school because “the economy” can’t handle lack of child care is another. But he had a whole summer to pour money into making those schools orders of magnitude safer for students and teachers. He didn’t and made no effort to do so. He probably could have done it for <$500 per classroom.

    He’s very much constrained by the domestic political situation, but he also promised that it was him the GOP would work with. We know DoE opined that he could cancel a whole bunch of student debt; he chose not to do so. He chose to add demands on Iran rather the sensible thing of returning to the agreement trump broke. Now he’s desperately trying to get Iran (and Venezuela) to agree to supply oil. He could have engaged Russia diplomatically but instead provoked while at the same time upping Trump’s provocation of China.

    I’ll give him a tough situation, but he’s refused to do the things he could do to improve it. And the entirety of the foreign policy team he’s selected should be shot into the sun. They’re not only as evil as Cheney, Rumsfeld et al, they every bit as incompetent.

  10. someofparts

    Well, these days following comments here and at NC is a better education than I got in years of official schooling. When the bozos in charge of this country finally provoke Russia to nuke the city I live in, I will be smarter than I’ve ever been right before I get incinerated. In fact, now that I think of it, Ian lives in a major Canadian city. Oh well, this website will be missed Ian.

  11. Ian Welsh

    If it looks like a nuclear war is going to start, I may well head for the nearest military base or city center. I’d hate to survive a nuclear blast, the pictures from Hiroshima and Nagasaki were… not good.

  12. Z


    There are Jewish Zionists all through this Russia situation:
    (1) from when Larry Summers and the Harvard Boyz constructed the privatization and the financial markets in post-USSR Russia in the early 90s to benefit Jewish oligarchs –
    (2) to the Committee to Save the World (Summers, Greenspan, and Rubin) bailing out the ruble in the late-90s to keep that corrupt structure of the Russian economy in place –,8599,2054093,00.html
    (3) to Putin tossing out these Jewish oligarchs so that the Russian economy was no longer preying upon the Russian people and destroying their society –
    (4) to many of these tossed oligarchs then getting citizenship in Israel and creating a well-funded anti-Putin political pool of money in Israel – SEE ABOVE
    (5) to, as always, that money and Jewish Zionist elites’ cause corrupting U.S. politics and making Russia an enemy though it is against U.S. interests (6) to the 2014 Ukrainian coup and aftermath which was heavily influenced by Nuland –
    (7) to the Jewish operators and funders of the democratic party they own which created the Russia Russia Russia hysteria during the 2016 elections and its aftermath –
    (8) to Israel’s puppet Zelenskyy getting into power –
    (9) to the sources of the hidden wealth that Zelenskyy has that was uncovered in the Pandora Papers –
    (10) to our current State Department which is headed by three Jewish Zionists who would not negotiate away Ukraine’s potential membership into NATO.

    Kolomoyskyi and Shefir, in the Pandora Papers story (9) are Jewish, and I also read that Zelensky has a $35M pad in Florida that was primarily paid for by Jewish oligarchs. It doesn’t matter “how Jewish” Zelensky is just that he is being financially awarded by Jewish Zionist interests and what he is currently doing – placing the Ukrainian people in the cross hairs of a guerilla warfare that the vast majority of them do not want to be subjected to – when it makes little sense to Ukraine, its people, or the vast majority of the world calls into question why and what his motivations are. And there lies that pile of wealth next to him with Jewish Zionist hands all through it so bribery comes to mind …

    As I’ve mentioned there are Jewish Zionists involved all the way through the history of this situation. I also find it hard to believe that those Jewish oligarchs that benefited so heavily from Summers’ and the Harvard Boyz’ privatization and financial market restructuring schemes and then got tossed by Putin don’t have a grudge and don’t want to return back to Russia. I assume that they remember the wealth and privileges they had there and all that Russia has to offer and they are driving to have Putin removed. This push to remove Putin makes no sense to the U.S.’s interests – it’s not the worth the risk – but yes, to a certain group of manically greedy elite Jewish Zionists it does. And from overcrowded Israel’s perspective it does too not to mention the benefits of having that Jewish oligarch money flowing into Russia’s politics and gaining a foothold in the Russian government like they have in the U.S.’s and UK’s. Like they had before Putin arrived.

    They’re not, nor is Israel, going to come out and say that they want Putin removed and that they are driving for it so they use resources that they can influence, such as the U.S. government and Zelensky, to do their dirty work and this is the form it takes.

    Finally, the Holocaust happened over 80 years ago, and hardly anyone, if anyone, responsible for it is still alive and it has little or no relevance to this situation.


  13. Z


    Of course Zelenskyy is going to go hard on his disappointment with Israel because Israel doesn’t want to appear to be a driver behind this conflict.

    The notion that all those Russian-Jewish oligarchs who went to Israel after Putin tossed them out of Russia and all their money is not going to produce a force of some sort against Putin is the stuff of anti-conspiracy theorists who have their tin foil hat pulled down over their eyes.


  14. somecomputerguy

    One of life’s great lessons, is that knowing things does not make you happy.

    One day, I was watching CNN, I think it was, feeling really depressed.

    I was thinking that I just need to stop watching, and I noticed they were interviewing a young man who had a shaved head, who was standing in front of his chums, and they all must have been members of a club or something because they all had shaved heads too, and they were all wearing boots with red shoelaces and nodding while he talked.

    I didn’t catch all of it. But anyway, this young man was earnestly explaining that the Jews control everything.

    This revelation was a bolt of lightning! I know several Jewish people!

    Now, when things look especially bad, I try to spread message; there is noting to worry about people! The Jews are in control.

    I sleep so much better now, knowing that the Jews are running everything behind the scenes. All of the Jewish people I have met are nice, thoughtful, reasonable people; exactly the people you want in charge.

    No matter how bad things are, they can’t get worse beyond a certain point, because the Jews will step in and take care of it. Nuclear war? Global warming? No worries. The Jews will never allow it. Even if they weren’t as nice, all the Jewish people would die too, if those things happened. Thank goodness for the Jews! Now we don’t have to worry.

    When I pass Jewish people on the street, now, I tell them; “GO JEWS! Way to keep the lid on!” Obviously, they pretend not to understand, to preserve appearances.

  15. Z


    There are a lot of good Jewish people in this world and in the U.S., I’d say the vast majority, and they’ve done a ton of good.

    Some of the folks fighting hardest and most effectively against the power of the Jewish Zionist elites who treat the world and its people like they own them are in fact Jewish.


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