Trump’s brilliant strategy to dismantle US dollar hegemony

Written By: - Date published: 5:05 pm, February 3rd, 2019 - 56 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, economy, energy, Financial markets, Globalisation, Iran, law, military, Privatisation, Propaganda, Russia, United Nations, us politics, war - Tags:

Polymath economist Professor Michael Hudson‘s latest article is a geopolitical panoramic masterpiece, sparked by outrage at a series of concurrent events on January 31 which he predicts means that 2019 will be the “year of global fracture.” Definitely worth reading and thinking about.   

The irony for him is that it is the neocons and the populist Trump who are initiating “the end of America’s unchallenged global economic dominance.”   The root cause he says is clear:

foreign political leaders are coming to recognize what world-wide public opinion polls reported even before the Iraq/Iran-Contra boys turned their attention to the world’s largest oil reserves in Venezuela: The United States is now the greatest threat to peace on the planet.

He goes on to say:

Perhaps the problem had to erupt as a result of the inner dynamics of U.S.-sponsored globalism becoming impossible to impose when the result is financial austerity, waves of population flight from U.S.-sponsored wars, and most of all, U.S. refusal to adhere to the rules and international laws that it itself sponsored seventy years ago in the wake of World War II.

And further:

Imperial threats are no longer military. No country (including Russia or China) can mount a military invasion of another major country. Since the Vietnam Era, the only kind of war a democratically elected country can wage is atomic, or at least heavy bombing such as the United States has inflicted on Iraq, Libya and Syria. But now, cyber warfare has become a way of pulling out the connections of any economy. And the major cyber connections are financial money-transfer ones, headed by SWIFT, the acronym for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which is centered in Belgium.

He concludes:

Where is the left in all this? That is the question with which I opened this article. How remarkable it is that it is only right-wing parties, Alternative for Deutschland (AFD), or Marine le Pen’s French nationalists and those of other countries that are opposing NATO militarization and seeking to revive trade and economic links with the rest of Eurasia.

He is passionate as well as articulate. There are a few mistakes – the head of the World Bank has not always been a former Secretary of Defense – Robert McNamara was and neocon Paul Wolfowitz was Deputy Secretary to Donald Rumsfeld.

But I am sure he is right about global fracture in 2019. Brexit is just for starters.

 

56 comments on “Trump’s brilliant strategy to dismantle US dollar hegemony”

  1. Ad 1

    Hudson imputes that it’s all the fault of the left.
    For not being ….. somethingsomething enough.

    He also imputes that Trump’s politics are at fault, because Trump is hiring names Hudson recognises of the 1980s and 1990s.

    Academics that can only evaluate through historical filters are just long-wave melancholics prepisessed by inevitability and have more in common with predestination theologians like Calvin and Zwingli than current events.

    IMHO the causes of Trump are mostly within the GFC. But it’s so foolish to aascribe so much power to any one President. So far the system is responding to him pretty well. And business is great.

  2. Pat 2

    “Imperial threats are no longer military. No country (including Russia or China) can mount a military invasion of another major country. Since the Vietnam Era, the only kind of war a democratically elected country can wage is atomic, or at least heavy bombing such as the United States has inflicted on Iraq, Libya and Syria. But now, cyber warfare has become a way of pulling out the connections of any economy. And the major cyber connections are financial money-transfer ones, headed by SWIFT, the acronym for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which is centered in Belgium.”

    What a load of bollocks

    • Blazer 2.1

      why is it a load of bollocks?Hudson backs his view…what have you got?

      • Pat 2.1.1

        Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon,Syria,Georgia and Ukraine for a start…..anyone with a smattering of military nous would understand that in order to control/use of desired resources requires a physical presence…or boots on the ground….you may be able to disrupt or even stop someone from using a resource you desire via air power or cyber means but that will not deliver that resource to your use…..and conflict for resources is anything but history

        • francesca 2.1.1.1

          Look at the Bank of England refusing to allow Venezuela its gold back, and turning over Venezuela’s frozen US assets to Guaido
          Get Guaido in and Venezuela’s publicly owned oil is privatised and turned over to the US
          Thats how you get resources without going to war
          A lot quicker too, its happened through most of Latin America, left wing govts ousted , US friendly in

          • Dennis Frank 2.1.1.1.1

            Yes, but simplistic analysis just leads you astray. I agree that privatisation is an ideological threat. I agree that capture of the gold may be a Trump scheme. There’s more to the reality of the situation than that, however.

            The National Assembly is Venezuela’s authentic parliament. Removal of state power was an effective stalinist coup, and the establishment by Maduro of an alternative assembly to masquerade as parliament is also effective stalinism, but that doesn’t mean everyone ought to accept it as a necessary evil. Why would you expect the Bank of England to give Venezuela’s gold to Maduro?

            Anyone who refuses to hold free and fair elections is anti-democratic. That’s why they want to give the gold to the authentic representatives of the people.

          • Kevin 2.1.1.1.2

            And no body bags to explain.

          • Pat 2.1.1.1.3

            the withholding of the gold is simply leverage to place the desired boots on the ground…..it may or may not work….ultimately there is only one way to obtain access to any desired resource and if you think military conflict is passe then i suspect you are in for a rude awakening

    • francesca 2.2

      US applied sanctions can only work when all international transactions go through the SWIFT system, transiting through major banks located in the US
      SWIFT is a mechanism by which America applies the screws to its competitors economies.
      It gives America huge extra jurisdiction powers .
      Hudson is correct , and he’s been around longer than most commentators on this site

      https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2018/05/12/for-economic-truth-turn-to-michael-hudson/

      • Dennis Frank 2.2.1

        Paul Craig Roberts is often flakey, but I like this bit: “Neoliberal economics is an essential part of The Matrix, the false reality in which Americans and Europeans live.” That’s a key point. The left and right in Aotearoa got sucked down that rabbit hole too. Those of us neither left nor right knew it was crap. Some leftists refused to take the bait too, I ought to be fair enough to acknowledge, which caused the New Labour Party to emerge as an attempt to continue socialism. Still waiting for the explanation of why it failed…

        • francesca 2.2.1.1

          I agree re the slightly hysterical flakiness,regarding US/Russia and imminent nuclear holocaust, but his economic nous is pretty spot on

      • Pat 2.2.2

        I have read the bulk of the linked article and much of what he says is justified….NOT however the paragraph I said was bollocks…it is and for the reason i stated regardless of how long hes been around

    • rata 2.3

      I think I read this article in 1973,1983 !995, 2007 and 2014.
      Different writer same article.
      The “news’ is so formula this could be taken from any
      economic forecast from any media outlet any year since 1969.
      50 yeas the same “news” the same responses.
      deja vu all over again…again

      • Pat 2.3.1

        it may well have been the same author….this has been his passion since the seventies….people can become myopic.

    • Mike Smith 2.4

      Not sure that it’s bollocks Pat. Your premise is correct but I think Hudson’s point is about future invasions after the lessons provided by the countries you mention. Iraq was a disaster for the Americans, Afghanistan is a disaster for the Americans and was for the Russians, Lebanon taught the Israelis a lesson, Libya is still a disaster. Hudson points out that remaining option is bombing, nuclear or otherwise. What he doesn’t mention is the use of proxy forces, but those are also proving problematic for those using them.

  3. Blazer 3

    wow just wow!This dissertation lays bare the ‘magic show’ of western Capitalism and the reality of the US$ as a weapon of mass destruction.

  4. Gosman 4

    This idea that the US invades countries and grabs resources is unsupported by the reality. The countries where the US has been involved militarily where there was oil or gas involved Iraq, Libya, and even Afghanistan (proposed gas pipeline) have not given US oil and gas intetests any significant commercial benefits afterwards.

    • DJ Ward 4.1

      Well it’s clear in this case that the US apart from reacting against a socialist dictator that makes Chavez look moderate, is reacting to the privatising of Venezuela oil assets into mostly Russian and Chinese hands. So there is that Cold War feel to things.

      Iraq and Libya were about both nations moving to exclude trade of oil out of US currency and commodity exchanges. It’s possible the same exclusion of those two things was taking place in Venezuela due to sanctions. An understandable move by all three nations.

      So your correct they didn’t take the oil, but that’s because it was actually more about clipping the ticket and propping up currency. Let’s face it, the US is basically bankrupt and there currency should be worth far less than what it is.

      • Gosman 4.1.1

        Your analysis ignores the face that both Iraq and Libya proposed using the Euro instead of the US Dollar and countries using the Euro also supported both interventions. In the case of Libya it was the French that were the driving force.

    • mikesh 4.2

      Benefitting from other countries’ oil was not what it was all about. The point was to ensure that all transactions involving oil, gas, and their futures were conducted only in US dollars. This seems to be necessary if the US is maintain its hegemony.

      • Gosman 4.2.1

        Why did the French support the intervention and indeed lead it in Libya then?

        • mikesh 4.2.1.1

          I don’t know. Please let us know why YOU think the French invaded Libya. But whatever the reason, I’m sure the US was happy to support them. As Mrs Clinton said gleefully of Colonel Gadaffi, “We came, we saw, he died.”

          • mikesh 4.2.1.1.1

            PS: I seem to recall reading that The French president had borrowed money from Gadaffi to cover his election expenses. I think he invaded Libya so that he would not have to repay the debt.

  5. Wayne 5

    Afghanistan basically has no minerals worth extracting (at an economic price). Just too remote and difficult. The only people who can are the Chinese, in part because they have a land border (though a very mountainous one). But the Chinese seem to be able to do miracles with tunnels.

    The US and partners were/are not involved in Afghanistan for any economic reason. The reason is quite easy to discern; September 11, 2001.

    As for Venezuela, time will see. Basically the military will have to turn. The sanctions (until about a week ago) were all on specific individuals, so were not the primary cause of the economic failure. Now they include the state owned oil company.

    I don’t see the US having any appetite to invade Venezuela. The only trigger would be large scale killings by the military. I don’t see that happening.

    The military turning would simply require them to stay in their barracks, that is, not following Maduro’s orders. If that happens a transfer of power will happen quite quickly.

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    Hudson’s view isn’t total crap, but it is shallow. I hope he’s right about the fracturing thing – the sooner the elitist control system disintegrates, the better. However he’s so ill-informed he doesn’t even mention the Bilderbergers.

    The problem with the binary frame is that it stops the multipolar nature of geopolitics from being seen as the primary contemporary psychodynamic operating. Cold-warism is a mental affliction of academic policy-analysts that prevents clarity of perception.

    The American empire fracturing under Trump would be a welcome outcome, provided it doesn’t produce total chaos. Creativity emerges at the margin between order and chaos – we learnt that from chaos theory in the late eighties – so every player get more room to move and better options emerging.

    The elite plan for a new world order is not necessarily malignant. Paranoia about the Bilderbergers arises the minds who assume elites are evil and the people are good. Reality has never been that simple. Soros is a demon only in the psyche of the simple-minded. Elites can be benevolent. They can dictate without dictators as figureheads.

    We ought to watch the recycled neocons with scepticism, and evaluate their behaviour critically. Any demonic actions will be evident – eventually. No need to jump to premature conclusions. As regards dollar hegemony, the market dictates that. The dollar will stop being currency of choice only when a better option emerges!

    • francesca 6.1

      The dollar is in the process of being dumped as more and more realise their dependence on a rogue state , and the economic vulnerabilities that brings

      • Dennis Frank 6.1.1

        Perception, not reality. We thought the gfc would cause that shift. We thought the dot-com crash would cause that shift, prior. We thought the ’90s crises would do it, too. The market keeps proving to us that crises are insufficient to change mass behaviour. Only a positive alternative will induce people to make the shift.

        • francesca 6.1.1.1

          China is dumping its US bonds

          https://www.rt.com/business/444345-china-us-treasury-holdings-drop/

          The EU is seeking ways to trade with Iran that avoid SWIFT (and transit through US banks)
          Trade between India/Russia/China uses local currencies rather than US dollars
          The US dollar will never disappear, but a multi currency system is beginning to emerge, which dilutes the Dollar hegemony
          Countries are scrambling to reduce their vulnerability to the power of the US through its dollar dominance

    • Blazer 6.2

      you deserve some sort of award for this…

      ‘The problem with the binary frame is that it stops the multipolar nature of geopolitics from being seen as the primary contemporary psychodynamic operating. Cold-warism is a mental affliction of academic policy-analysts that prevents clarity of perception.’

      not sure which…one!👏

      • Dennis Frank 6.2.1

        Thanks, Blazer. Framing has become the most effective means of persuasion. I’m not sure why. Something rooted in deep psychology. Binary framing is traditional – we get it from the christians but the good/evil dichotomy is ancient. Christians got it from judaism, and the hebrews got it from the zoroastrians.

        I learnt both/and logic in the late sixties at the University of Auckland. I encountered it in both physics and computing then. Academic silos still prevent it being acknowledged as primary metaphysics. It is the positive alternative to zero-sum thinking. It produces win/win outcomes.

    • Gabby 6.3

      Lie back and wait til it’s over eh franxie.

    • the other pat 6.4

      ” The problem with the binary frame is that it stops the multipolar nature of geopolitics from being seen as the primary contemporary psychodynamic operating. Cold-warism is a mental affliction of academic policy-analysts that prevents clarity of perception.”……..i think my head just exploded 8-}

  7. RedLogix 7

    So now we’ve decided the USA is a dangerous rogue state, China is a techno-fascist Orwellian hell-hole, Russia is run by authoritarian thugs, the EU is paralysed by it’s own internal contradictions, Britain can’t make a decision to save itself, Australia is full of racist climate change denying bogans … and so on … where does anyone think we should go from here?

    • veutoviper 7.2

      After your “Confessions of a Blackberry Killer” yesterday, and now this, RedLogix I am seriously considering giving up on reading political blogs, Even housework – anything – seems preferable. LOL.

      Mind you, like Blazer at 6.2, I almost gave up after trying and giving up on understanding Dennis Frank’s “The problem is …” sentence in his comment at 6.

      This was followed by being bored to almost sleep by listening to RNZ National Nine to Noon’s Political Commentators droning on. That segment is now almost a case of “Bring back Matthew Hooton” …

      Mind you, now having aired off, maybe I will wait to see what other replies you get …

      Now, Mars – there’s a possibility.

      • RedLogix 7.2.1

        Maybe I shouldn’t say anything about what I do to errant cane toads on the way to work …

        But it’s still a serious question; having diagnosed the current world order as lamentably defective … where does the left imagine the path forward is? Especially if we are intellectually honest enough to acknowledge our part in all of this.

        • veutoviper 7.2.1.1

          Re the cane toads, no don’t mention otherwise I may feel the need to recontact some of my old SPCA colleagues in Australia! LOL

          (PS -did you see my reply and other responses to your Blackberry confession? Again LOL – it really triggered similar memories in a few or us!)

          But you are right; it is a very serious question which hits you directly in the eye/head/intellect when you see it put so boldly as you did – well said.

          in fact it is really another case of what you commented on the How To Get There post yesterday – short but for the most part hits the nail on the head IMO so I will quote it here:

          “Well if we’re serious about this kind of transition we need to think about what it would take to achieve it at a meaningful scale.

          That means people capable of taking an idea, working up a plan, building a team and leading it to a result. It takes capital, dealing with bureaucracy, lobbying and developing markets.

          It will happen when competency and hard work meet opportunity and cash flow. History is littered with well-meaning people whose hopes turned to ashes at the first contact with reality. Dreaming behind our keyboards won’t cut mustard.”

          I did not reply there but have been mulling what you said over in relation to
          the How to Get There posts. I don’t want to appear to criticise the posts as the response has been great and covers a lot of ground and ideas. However, as facilitating strategic and business planning was part of my public service days, I really feel a bit frustrated that the lack of structure, categorisation etc will lead to all these good ideas etc being lost in the TS archives. Also still mulling our other conversation re TS rules, behaviours etc. So wont be disappearing, but have now strayed well from the topic of this post. My apologies.

          • Dennis Frank 7.2.1.1.1

            Don’t apologise: substantial thinking requires no apology. You’ve identified the relevance of praxis without saying so. I’ve made a similar criticism here previously about the ephemeral nature of political blog commentary. Any effect on political process is incidental.

            However the premise of political blogs was merely to provide opportunity for feedback to essay-writers and thesis providers. None yet have been established for the purpose of collaboration. I put up an interim design of one in 2011 but lacked time & energy to promote it (altAotearoa), and it is now in the process of relocation and redesign to make it fit for purpose.

            Politically centrist, it is intended to help everyone transcend the inadequacies of representative democracy. Any similar leftist project immediately runs into the partisan handicap, so I cannot offer advice helpfully, other than to point out that the vehicle must be constructed for the purpose of collaboration. Enough idle chatter elsewhere!

    • the other pat 7.3

      we live with less….we look after one another more……….we treasure the earth as the mother that keeps us alive…..grow long hair and beards and lots of veges!

  8. CHCoff 8

    ‘Imperial threats are no longer military’

    Military sepending continues to increase around the world for no other reason.

    Brexit does look like an exercise in exporting unsustainability ( the bureaucracy paradigm, solve a problem by making it bigger).

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