Wall Street’s Enemy No. 1 Is Martin O’Malley; Dump Hillary
Jan. 25 (EIRNS)—Barack Obama’s lavish pre-debate praise for Hillary Clinton, in his Politico interview today, was presumably prompted by Wall Street orders, to try to save Clinton’s campaign as an obviously pro-Wall Street mouthpiece of Obama.
Obama went too far for Clinton’s comfort, when he said that going to war in Libya was a close call for him, and he was helped into doing it by Clinton’s determination. One day earlier, Obama’s former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that Clinton was the only one in the White House team who definitely saw the Libya war as for regime change.
Remember Libya—now an ungoverned terrorist safe haven and arms source for terrorists in Syria, as the result of Obama’s illegal assassination of Libya’s head of state. This is the truth about Libya, her war, which Hillary has refused to admit.
Pro-Wall Street, pro-war Hillary Clinton has got to be dumped as a prospective Democratic candidate. Wall Street’s accelerating financial blowup, with Hillary as its creature, is further discrediting her.
The candidate whom the Wall Street Journal declared, right from the start, “Wall Street’s Enemy No. 1,” is Martin O’Malley, who campaigned from the start, last May, on reinstating FDR’s Glass-Steagall Act, Wall Street’s wolf’s bane.
Wall Street’s enemy is not Senator Bernie Sanders, who has been fraudulently promoted to take that role, and is a fraud in it.
EIR Founding Editor Lyndon LaRouche stated today, “It is obvious that O’Malley is the right guy. His views have a certain degree of convergence with my own views on this subject, the necessity to shut down Wall Street before we are destroyed as a nation by it. I would go fully out for O’Malley in contrast to the jerks in the race, who need to be dumped. That includes Trump. That includes Hillary.”
O’Malley, LaRouche added, has the right policy on the most crucial matter; he has needed to have the conviction to carry it out, including the conviction of his own powers to carry it out.
Look at the results of Wall Street’s devastation of the United States since they got the miserable Presidents Bush and Obama into office. Look at the shocking reports emerging, week after week, on spiraling heroin addiction, suicides, rapidly rising death rates across the entire non-Hispanic white population since 2000.
Why, LaRouche asked, are a rising number of Americans committing mass suicide in these ways, since Bush and Obama have been in office? Because they’ve accepted marginal conditions of life, at the hands of these miserable Presidents, at the hands of a collapsing Wall Street.
Dump the jerks and shut Wall Street down. Let’s organize a Presidency.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Dallas Fed Starts To Call ‘Depression’ as Oil Debt Vaporizes
Jan. 25 (EIRNS)—Many sources pointed to the financial mudslide continuing and worsening today; none as poignant as the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, whose January survey of industrial conditions in Texas and Louisiana found everything collapsing. Calling the situation “an oil and gas depression,” the Fed bank found 21% of all companies had laid off workers and closed facilities, and that every aspect of its survey and forecast were back to their 2009 levels, or worse.
Financial Times on Jan. 24 headlined “U.S. Junk-Rated Debt Hits Two-Decade Low.” The $1 trillion of high-yield debt which is “energy debt” is now worth 56 cents/dollar on average, Financial Times says, citing Moody’s. Of the production and exploration companies, 11% of their debt was in default in December alone. “Investors are bracing for another spike in bankruptcies,” says the Financial Times. One of the biggest bankruptcies so far appears on for this week; Sandridge Resources, which has a debt of $4 billion.
Oilprice.com industry news website, in an article entitled, “Oil Crash Only the Tip of the Iceberg,” says the 11% estimate is too low (it covered only December), and the actual amount of defaulting energy debt is $180 billion, 18% of the energy high-yield sector—this according to Standard & Poor’s. S&P also says 50% of all this debt will go down without a quick and large rise in oil prices.
Oilprice adds that a collapse of oil price and debt signaled the 1987 stock market/real estate collapse; signaled the 2008 crash; and oil price and debt is now a larger bubble, with a larger drop in value already, than either of those other periods.
IMF’s Criminal-in-Chief Lagarde Says BRICS Going Down—But She May End Up in Jail
Jan. 25 (EIRNS)—Described by Reuters on Jan. 23 as “the darling of Davos,” IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde seemed to find pleasure in her statement at the World Economic Forum that “We used to talk of the BRICS, but their economic performance is very different from each other now,” and “They no longer appear to be a bloc.” Wall Street and the City of London, wishfully, say the same.
Lagarde had just announced her candidacy for a second term as head of the IMF, and was basking in the support received from several countries, following her nomination by British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne. Not everyone supports her candidacy, however. Governments of the BRICS nations—Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—say someone from their countries should lead the Fund.
The question arises, however, as to whether Lagarde can even complete a second term. A judge has ordered her to stand trial in France on a charge of negligence relating to her alleged involvement in a financial scandal, while serving as Finance Minister in the government of Nicolas Sarkozy. If convicted, she could go to jail for a year.
Lagarde is appealing the judge’s order, claiming she is innocent. But her history of illegal activity while serving in her current position suggests otherwise. Her decision to bail out Ukraine, a nation that was already in arrears in payments to Russia, was illegal—a violation of the Fund’s own regulations, but she went ahead with it anyway. She did the same thing in the Fund’s bailout of Greece. This lady knows a thing or two about crime.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
New Poll Has O’Malley at 10% Nationally; Obama Praises Hillary
Jan. 25 (EIRNS)—A new Zogby poll, conducted online on Jan. 19-20, shows Presidential candidate Martin O’Malley at 10% nationally. He appears “to be cutting into the Vermont Senator’s [Bernie Sanders] base of support,” Forbes magazine reported Jan. 24.
The poll of likely caucus and primary voters shows Clinton at 49% and Sanders at 27%. Clinton is said to be “solid” among Democrats, but among independents, O’Malley rose to 13%, Sanders at 45%, and Clinton at 20%.
Note that while Obama hasn’t officially endorsed Clinton (Presidents are supposed to remain neutral on their own party’s Presidential candidates), he has come as close as he can to doing so, offering her “warm praise” in a Politico interview today, according to U.S. News & World Report. With her experience as Secretary of State, Obama said, “It means that she can govern and she can start here, [on] day one, more experienced than any non-vice president has ever been who aspires to this office. Her strengths, in terms of the ability to debate, the ability to, I think, project genuine concern in smaller groups and to interact with people, where folks realize she’s really warm and funny and engaging.”
“The fact that she’s extraordinarily experienced and, you know, wicked smart, and knows every policy inside and out, sometimes could make her more cautious and her campaign more prose than poetry, but those are also her strengths,” Obama told Politico’s Glenn Thrush.
Obama didn’t criticize Sen. Bernie Sanders, but flatly rejected any notion that there was a similarity between Sanders’ insurgent campaign and his 2008 run.
Obama Tries To Block China in Europe: ‘We Make the Rules’
Jan. 25 (EIRNS)—The U.S. Committee of Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which infamously blocked a Chinese company’s Seattle port management agreement a decade ago, is being used under Barack Obama to block China’s economic deals with European companies and countries. The Wall Street Journal reports today that CFIUS is exercising a power it makes up as goes, and has repeatedly blocked agreements between Chinese banks and companies, and those in Europe, by threatening to recommend that Obama sanction the companies.
CFIUS claims that any European company with any operations in the United States, making any kind of agreement with a Chinese company, is fair game. It has blocked corporate acquisitions, mergers, joint ventures, “exerting its power in a way, that observers scratch their heads and say, ‘Really?’ ” says Robert Profusek of the law firm Jones Day to the Journal. “Almost anything has become a CFIUS deal.” CFIUS even blocked a merger between two European telecom companies—Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent—because the latter had a joint venture with Shanghai Bell.
The Journal noted that “Bankers and lawyers say Chinese buyers are now expected to pay a ‘CFIUS premium,’ … to account for the possibility that the deal won’t ultimately close.”
They say that even a Chinese board member on a European company with a U.S. subsidiary “triggers CFIUS concern.” And the “concern” can be purely economic opposition to China. “When the China National Offshore Oil Corp. bought Canadian oil and gas company Nexen Inc., … CFIUS required a change in the control of U.S. drilling leases, because it would have given the Chinese company control of assets in the Gulf of Mexico.”
This brings the South China Sea immediately to mind. But as the Journal noted in closing the article, it also brings up Obama’s slogan: “In other words, ‘We make the rules.’ ”
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Syrian Army Reconquering Northern Latakia Province
Jan. 25 (EIRNS)—Numerous news services report that the Syrian army, with its allies and Russian backing, is close to completing the reconquest of northern Latakia province, on the Turkish border. The advance of Syrian government troops is so decisive, in fact, that it can no longer be ignored by Western news outlets. The Los Angeles Times, citing both official Syrian statements and the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, reports that forces loyal to President Bashar Assad swept through the town of Rabiaa and nearby villages only 13 km from the Turkish border. The army advanced “after violent clashes against Islamic battalions” including Jabhat al Nusra, the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, reported the Syrian Observatory. Syrian and Russian warplanes backed the thrust, the Observatory said. “The Syrian Arab army in cooperation with militias gained control over 120 kilometers of Latakia province’s territory in the last two days,” according to a Syrian army statement. “The Russian intervention has really changed the rules of the game,” Fawaz Gerges, professor of Middle Eastern politics at the London School of Economics, told the Times. “The Syrian army has shifted from a defensive mode into an offensive mode.”
Patrick Bahzad, a French military expert who frequently writes on the “Sic Semper Tyrannis” blog of retired DIA officer Col. Patrick Lang reports, in a lengthy analysis posted this morning, that what was described as a “marginal” campaign “has certainly turned into a landslide push forward now…. What has happened militarily is closely linked to the non-linearity of military matters,” Bahzad writes. “There can be various phases in a ground operation stretching over a period of several months, and the operational tempo of the one phase is in no way indicative of the others. Once the strategic breaking point is reached though, the side having gained the upper hand usually pushes through, which results in the opponent’s posture crumbling under the pressure.” This is what happened in Salma, the former resort town recaptured by Syrian forces, last week, which compromised the defensive lines established by the insurgent groups, forcing them into a tactical retreat and a “correction” of the frontlines in the area. Complicating things for the jihadi groups is that the Turkish border in that area is now closed, denying them access to their safe havens inside Turkey.
Bahzad cautions, however, that the near total defeat of the rebels in northeastern Latakia doesn’t mean that the war is close to being over. Heavy fighting continues along an arc from Dara’a in the south, to Deir Ez Zor in the east—where Syrian army units are directly engaged against ISIS—to Aleppo in the north. Bahzad notes that developments north and east of Aleppo could be decisive, should Syrian troops decide to move towards the ISIS stronghold of Manbij. With the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces moving westwards across the Euphrates River, a major offensive from the east from Aleppo by Syrian forces could cut off ISIS supply lines to Raqqa from the northwest. However, “If the [Syrian army] and allies are consistent with their operations in Latakia, it is more likely that they will focus on further tightening the noose around the Idlib groups, isolating them from access to Turkey through the Azaz corridor.”
Kerry Backs the Saudis In Yemen
Jan. 25 (EIRNS)—U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, while he was in Riyadh on Saturday, Jan. 23, reiterated U.S. support for the Saudi war on Yemen, even as concerns continue to be raised about civilian casualties from the Saudi bombing. According to news reports, Kerry said the Saudi decision to launch airstrikes in Yemen was aimed at dealing with the Ansarullah movement (the Houthis) and al-Qaeda operatives in the Arab country. “Let me assure everybody that the relationship between the United States and the GCC nations (Gulf Cooperation Council) is one that is built on mutual interest, on mutual defense, and I think there is no doubt whatsoever in the minds of the countries that make up the GCC that the United States will stand with them against any external threat,” Kerry told reporters.
But earlier this month, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he was “deeply concerned” about Saudi Arabia’s intensification of airstrikes in residential areas and on civilian buildings in the Yemeni capital, and warned that Riyadh’s use of cluster bombs in Sana’a, may amount to a “war crime.”
And just this morning, reports emerged of a Saudi air strike killing 10 people in Sana’a, who are reported to be a local judge and his family. “The coalition planes launched airstrikes against the judge’s house. The building was destroyed in the airstrike, the judge and his nine relatives died,” a military source told Sputnik.
Kerry is either lying, or stupid, about the Saudis and al-Qaeda in Yemen. In August 2015, the Washington Post quoted Saudi military spokesman Gen. Ahmad Asseri saying that the Houthis were the priority, not Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). “We have to drive these Houthi militias out of the cities, and we have to help the legitimate Yemeni government restore order so that groups like al-Qaeda do not exploit the situation,” he said. Yet, according to numerous military analysts before and since, that’s exactly what al-Qaeda has done. According to some assessments, AQAP has been the biggest beneficiary of the Saudi war in Yemen, taking control of the town of Mukalla and extending its influence west, almost all the way to the port of Aden.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani To Visit France and Italy
Jan. 25 (EIRNS)—Iranian President Hassan Rouhani departed Tehran today for an official visit to France and Italy, a result of the lifting of sanctions against Iran following the signing of a nuclear deal. President Rouhani visited Rome today, where he will meet Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi as well as Pope Francis at the Vatican. He will then travel to Paris on Jan. 27, where he will meet French President François Hollande at the Elysée Palace on Jan. 28. This is Rouhani’s first official visit to Europe and the first for an Iranian President since former President Mohammad Khatami visited France and Italy in 1999.
The renewal and expansion of economic relations are on the agenda now that sanctions have been lifted, as can be seen by the fact that the delegation includes 100 political and economic leaders, including the Ministers of Oil, Transport, Industry, and Health. It is expected that contracts will be signed with French carmakers Peugeot and Renault, and with European aircraft manufacturer Airbus. “Important contracts will probably be signed on this trip, including with Peugeot and Renault,” Rouhani told reporters at Mehrabad Airport before leaving Tehran according to AFP. Referring to the possible purchase of aircraft and railway equipment, the Iranian President said, “We need to modernize our aviation fleet and buy locomotives. This trip takes place … at a historic moment,” and “We should make best use of the post-nuclear deal atmosphere for growth, development and youth employment.”
Peugeot, which used to sell 400,000 vehicles a year in Iran, is expected to sign a deal with Iranian car manufacturer Iran Khodro, to build Peugeot automobiles in Iran. Rouhani will meet with Pierre Gattaz, who heads the French business association, Medef.
In a related development, on Jan. 22 Greece’s state-owned Hellenic Petroleum, the country’s largest refinery, signed a deal to buy oil from the National Iranian Oil Company, making Greece first European country to buy Iranian crude oil since the lifting of trade sanctions. Deliveries are to begin immediately, and Greece will likely purchase 25% of its oil imports from Iran.
Greek Energy Minister Panos Skourletis and Iranian Deputy Petroleum Minister Amir-Hossein Zamaninia met on Jan. 22 to discuss energy issues, including oil supplies, and natural gas. Skourletis said Greece could serve as a bridge between Iran and Europe. There has also been discussion of possible Iranian investment in Greek refineries—part of the Iranian strategy of investing in refineries in countries that are potential purchasers of Iranian oil. Iran has also discussed this with Spain.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is expected to make an official visit to Tehran next month. The trip is likely to occur during the week of Feb. 14.
South Africa Defense of Nuclear, and China
Jan. 25 (EIRNS)—A patient refutation of the constant flow of propaganda attacking South Africa’s nuclear build plans from two academics from North-West University, is on the South African Moneyweb.co.za website today.
Dr. Anthonie Cilliers and Dr. Dawid Serfontein say that it is a buyer’s market for new nuclear plants, because there are a number of vendors, and little construction in the West, who all want the business. They argue that the South African government has a track record of rejecting unaffordable offers, so will choose the best plan for the country. Although the capital cost for nuclear is much higher than coal, when the capital has been repaid, usually in 20 years, it delivers much cheaper electricity. That 20-year repayment can also be extended.
They expect that 50% of the total cost of a plant will be “imported” from outside (i.e., generally, loaned by the vendor) but that South Africa can do a lot of the work itself. The Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa currently has 50 member companies that work in the nuclear build program, they report.
They praise the Chinese nuclear program, and say that although projects are struggling in the West, China is doing very well, “partly due to the wonderful work ethic and culture of productiveness of the peoples of the East.”