Do I know for a fact that the US did the deed—sabotaged both Nord Stream gas pipelines that run under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany? No, but US fingerprints are all over this economic sabotage. Ask yourself: What other country on earth has the motive and the means to do this—and can also get away with it? Only the US, whether or not US personnel actually did it. In that regard I’m quite open to the possibility that UK and Polish personnel were involved in the sabotage near the Danish island of Bornholm—not far from the Polish coast:
Now, some will rush to claim that Russia did this. Karl Denninger makes short work of that notion today:
My money is on sabotage but the question then becomes who has motive and capacity to pull it off? It certainly wouldn't be Russia; while they're capable there's no motive. They'd like to sell gas, of course, and can't without the pipes to deliver it.
This is truly a "black swan" sort of event, in that now its precluded for Europe and Russia to agree in some way to turn the pipes back on and deliver the gas over the upcoming winter. Without a means of delivery it doesn't matter what you want to do; you simply can't do it. And while I'm sure the damage can be repaired that's not a "few day" or "couple of weeks" problem in a circumstance like this.
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That’s the key. Who wants to preclude Europe from reaching an agreement with Russia? That would be the self appointed guardians of the self defined “rules-based order.” Blinken, Nuland, Sullivan, and the rest of the gang. If the EU breaks ranks, then NATO collapses. It’s in Russia’s interest to keep that practical possibility open; it’s in Neocon/Globalist interests to keep the EU—and especially Germany—in subjugation to the rules-based order. Besides, we have Zhou’s word that the US will engage in this type of economic terrorism:
In related news, you may have heard that the US is now going to supply Ukraine with long—or, at any rate, longer—range missiles. Does it strike you that the American Empire is absolutely determined to preclude any possibility of a negotiated settlement? Just as we sabotaged a promising looking settlement at Istanbul back in April? Yesterday Zelensky thanked the US for the missiles, claiming they had arrived, although there’s some dispute about that:
Meanwhile, the referenda will soon be over—today is the last day—and the four oblasts will be officially part of the Russian Federation. Russian forces that were providing security for the elections will return to combat duty that will now include defending Russia itself, rather than supporting the Donbass militias.
Unusually for him, Jonathan Turley dives into international politics today—no doubt recognizing that what goes around the globe lands in the US:
New Zealand Prime Minister Calls for a Global Censorship System
It’s worth a read. Turley sees clearly what the Left is trying to bring:
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is the latest liberal leader to call for an international alliance to censor speech. Unsatisfied with the unprecedented corporate censorship of social media companies, leaders like Hillary Clinton have turned from private censorship to good old-fashioned state censorship. Speech regulation has become an article of faith on the left. Ardern used her speech this week to the United Nations General Assembly to call for censorship on a global scale.
Ardern lashed out at “disinformation” and called for a global coalition to control speech.
In other words, they’ve given up on fooling most of the people most of the time. That’s too tiring, too time consuming, and … it doesn’t seem to work in the long run. So, back to the old fashioned way. Ardern, of course, is another of the new breed of WEF PM chicks that are popping up around the world. In her speech she pretty clearly links censorship to preservation of the rules-based order, to the war on Russia, the war on the economy, and the Covid Regime:
We created international rules, norms and expectations.
Uh, what you mean “we”, Karen?
“After all, how do you successfully end a war if people are led to believe the reason for its existence is not only legal but noble? How do you tackle climate change if people do not believe it exists? How do you ensure the human rights of others are upheld, when they are subjected to hateful and dangerous rhetoric and ideology?”
Let’s see—persuasion? Fact based argumentation? But, again, that’s too difficult when your goals are ideology based, not reality based.
You can see what has the Rules Based Order so perturbed in the reaction to the elections in Italy. Tucker Carlson captures that:
The French elections were a clear warning to the EU rulers. Then came Sweden, now Italy. It’s happening in Czechia, too:
Czech Elections Show Steady Rise Of Right-Wing Parties & Populists As Economy Sours
In this year’s municipal elections in the Czech Republic held over the weekend, Czechs backed populist and right-wing parties as the center-right government saw voters turn away due to a souring economy and growing cost-of-living crisis.
The populist ANO party, which is led by former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, came in first in eight of 13 regional capitals, but it fell short of gaining control of the two largest cities, Prague and Brno. Babiš, considered a close ally of Hungarian Prime Minister VIktor Orbán, narrowly lost Czech national elections in 2021, and the latest results indicate that his party is clawing back voters.
In addition, the right-wing Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) party led by Tomio Okamura made substantial gains in larger cities in the country, with the party’s aggressive stance against Russian sanctions, which many Czechs blame for soaring energy inflation, resonating with voters. Okamura’s party tripled its number of municipal representatives from 161 to 492, and secured its first-ever representatives in Prague. Polling also places the SPD as the second most popular in Czechia right now
Now, on to economics!
Every day you can read multiple posts at Zerohedge, all calling for an end to the Fed’s tightening or confidently (but less and less) predicting that the Fed will blink. Today we have:
The author purports to care about ordinary Americans, but his real concerns appear in the title. You’ll find regular and similar attacks on the Fed at CTH—but with a conspiratorial twist.
For my part, I’m not a Fed fanboy. Like Tom Luongo and Karl Denninger I see the current Fed policy as the least worst policy, given the fix we find ourselves in. As for the Financial Markets, I have little to no sympathy and do not believe that they represent a healthy future for the American political-economy. To the contrary, I believe they represent a degenerate financialization of the economy that will ultimately have to be brought to an end. Either way involves pain.
Denninger has a brief post on this today. I have no reason to believe Denninger is a Fed fanboy, but he’s on board with the interest rate hikes and has been predicting this policy for quite a long time. I believe he gets the fundamentals right—the Fed’s goal is not to stop inflation per se, but to wring excess liquidity out of the economy and to enforce some degree of responsibility on Congree. That reflects Tom Luongo’s view, as well:
Folks, this is not The Fed, nor can The Fed stop raising rates until either (1) there is a nasty, deflationary recession which takes several trillion out of circulation (by destroying the mythical "value" it represented) or (2) Congress stops deficit spending.
Yes, I know, that would require a massive decrease in said spending or a huge (unlike anything seen before) increase in net federal taxation.
The latter can't happen and further this year's "capital gains" receipts are likely to be much lower for obvious reasons which of course will make overall federal tax receipts go down. The former therefore will and eventually Congress will have to capitulate.
Is this a 2022 story? No. It might not be a 2023 story, but there is a hope for it to be a 2023 story.
That pivot may come off the election, assuming the GOP gets at least one house of Congress.
Indeed, what might actually make it even "better" is a split Congress, since then almost-literally nothing may get done, which means no more adds to the deficit spend and that would at least slow it down.
In the meantime, welcome to the mess.
In support of this view I will cite a webcast featuring Danielle DiMartino Booth 1-on-1 with Lacy Hunt. I can’t embed this video, which is about an hour long. It’s rather technical but, for those who aren’t familiar with these two, this is their background:
Join Quill Intelligence CEO & Chief Strategist Danielle DiMartino Booth as she welcomes renowned economist and monetary policy expert Lacy Hunt in a new deep-dive discussion. They will discuss big challenges facing the Powell Fed as it tightens monetary policy in the face of increasing scrutiny that it’s deepening the recession.
Lacy Hunt is Chief Economist and Executive Vice President of Hoisington Investment Management. Lacy and Danielle spent many years working at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, where Lacy was Senior Economist.
The one point I want to cite from this discussion is one made by Hunt—that the Fed is seeking wring excess liquidity—introduced by the Covid Regime—out of the economy. Hunt believes Powell has already eliminated about $1 trillion in excess liquidity, but will need to continue tightening into at least the first quarter of 2023. In the meantime, he says, ordinary Americans will be slammed by inflation.
I would love to see a discussion on the Fed between Booth, Catherine Austin Fitts, and Larry Kudlow.
Russia had every motive in the world to blow the pipeline since it would allow them to deny gas to Europe while pointing the fickle finger of blame at us. That said, I take no position on who did it, I acknowledge that in fact we may have done it, and I wish to add that I was nowhere near the Baltic when this happened and can prove it. All that said, nothing remains secret in Washington for long, so if in fact we did it, I do not expect the perps to be able to long hide their guilt.
The interesting thing here is that if we did it, then the regime is guilty of a grossly irresponsible act that will cost us dearly. If we did not do it, then the regime is still guilty of gross irresponsibility since they made public threats against the pipeline that no competent statesman would ever have made. Thus regardless of attribution, American foreign policy is a clown car. One wired with, as Keanu Reeves said in that movie "Enough Semtex to put a hole in the world"