Wall Street ‘Frog in the Well’ Croaks To Trump against China
Oct. 23 (EIRNS)—President Trump leaves in less than two weeks for an 11-day trip to Asia which includes summits with President Xi Jinping of China, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, Presidents Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines and Moon Jae-in of South Korea, and according to the White House Monday, perhaps with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the APEC meeting.
The attacks against China’s Belt and Road Initiative in the U.S. financial and national media have become a sustained roar, as Wall Street’s apprehension grows that Trump may discuss cooperative infrastructure projects and financing with Xi, above all; perhaps with Abe; and even with Duterte, who is presently one recipient of substantial, long-needed infrastructure financing and engineering from China. The President could initiate the United States joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB); joining the Belt and Road Initiative, as EIR and LaRouchePAC have been describing since 2014.
Before the President abjured public-private partnerships and called for public financing of his trillion-dollar infrastructure building idea, such as the New York Times would acknowledge that China’s publicly-funded national credit issuance for new high-technology infrastructure works well, whereas the famous public-private partnerships do not. But now, to the Wall Street Journal, to Time, and to London’s Economist, the Belt and Road has become a geopolitical, virtually “captive nations” scheme and the project credits from China a powerful flood of debt, enslaving the nations in it.
What is really involved is the potential that Trump’s very good relationships with Xi, Putin, and Abe may start turning into actual cooperation for the mutual economic and social benefit of their nations, and also many others, fostering in the process the cultural optimism greatly needed in the United States. This cooperation is what the Belt and Road Initiative actually is, per the testimony of leaders in Africa, Central and Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe; and honest journalists from those countries as well, as News China TV showed in its interviews with foreign correspondents at the CPC Congress, on Oct. 21.
Against this, the Wall Street frog is croaking from the bottom of the well to Trump: “Don’t join!”
But the pressure in the United States to address the so-called “natural disasters” of August/September is becoming intense. They pulled the nation’s citizens together—they also exposed that the United States lacks basic modern economic infrastructure to protect its citizens; its leaders have failed to promote the general welfare, at the cost of many human lives and many hundreds of billions of dollars of productive employment and wealth.
The pressure is keenly felt but there are no ideas. Though “infrastructure plans” are being promised now from White House and Congress, there is a vacuum of ideas of how to do it. Where the Philippines is at last getting projects of transportation and flood-control infrastructure with China’s credit; where nations in Africa are joining with China to eradicate extreme poverty at last; there is no plan to bring modern electrical power to Puerto Rico.
Lyndon LaRouche’s “four new laws to save the nation” of 2014 fill that vacuum—requiring most immediately, the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall Act against Wall Street, and Congressional creation of a national bank to issue large-scale credit for new infrastructure platforms. Joining China’s Belt and Road Initiative is the best potential forcing mechanism for those actions. We need the President to ignore Wall Street’s terrible croaking, and do it.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Trump Tweets, FBI Should Now Reveal Who Paid for ‘Discredited Dossier’
Oct. 23 (EIRNS)—On Saturday, President Trump tweeted, “Officials behind the now discredited ‘Dossier’ plead the Fifth. Justice Department and/or FBI should immediately release who paid for it.” The message refers to the two partners of Washington dirt-firm Fusion GPS, Fritch and Catan, who complied (under protest) to appear in person before the House Intelligence Committee this month, but then pleaded the Fifth Amendment, to not answer anything about their clients, financing and other details concerning their project—the 2016 anti-Trump dossier, which Fusion commissioned from “ex”-British foreign intelligence, MI6 agent Christopher Steele. A third Fusion GPS partner, Glenn Simpson, is supposed to testify to the House Committee in November, but when he appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee some weeks ago, he too refused to provide any information on the dossier.
Meantime, Fusion GPS is fighting to prevent its bank, TD Bank of Washington, D.C., from supplying its financial records which have been subpoenaed by the House Committee. Fusion GPS filed an injunction Oct. 20 against the House subpoena. The judge handling the case has given Fusion GPS until this Oct. 25 to produce documents and arguments as to why TD Bank should not comply. The judge gave the House Committee until today to reply to Fusion’s injunction motion.
At the same time Senate Judiciary is demanding to know whether Fusion GPS gave the dossier to British Intelligence, as well as who paid for it. This is crucial to MI6 providing the “credibility” to the dossier which otherwise had only Glenn Simpson as a source, whose record was not credible.
Trump has also tweeted that he had not been asked to give an interview to Special Prosecutor Mueller’s team.
Economic Hit Men and Their Media Magpies Desperate To Head Off U.S. Joining Belt and Road
Oct. 23 (EIRNS)—Bloomberg news service put out a wire yesterday asserting “the U.S. has been disappointed this year at China’s lack of progress in pursuing market-oriented reforms,” citing an unnamed “senior administration official.” Discussions between Presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump in Mar-a-Lago, Florida had been very good, but the Comprehensive Economic Dialogue between the two economies “failed to yield the desired results,” the official claimed. Specified as “concerns” were China’s subsidies, its “excess” productive capacity, industrial policy, and the need for “more free-market practices” to be allowed in the Belt and Road Initiative.
This is the Wall Street crowd panicking that President Trump could reject their failed policies, on behalf of real productive growth.
Meanwhile, Time magazine joined the swelling anti-Belt and Road media chorus, raving against what they label Chinese President Xi’s “One Belt, One Trap,” the phrase author Charlie Campbell says “wary bankers” have started to use about what is actually a wonderful global initiative. The Time article, “Ports, Pipelines, and Geopolitics: China’s New Silk Road Is a Challenge for Washington,” is a long, utterly British diatribe against the very idea that “the world’s poorest and most unstable nations” can, or should, be developed. Two examples suffice:
Time imputes to an unnamed Uighur, from western China, the anti-Belt and Road desire for bucolic primitivism. The man said, “things were better before” development arrived; “In the winter I would hunt wild turkey; in the summer I picked berries. We don’t need all this” development.
Second example. Time writes that, “Xi’s personal patronage of Belt and Road means many questionable projects are getting the green light due to political expedience rather than economic need. A new railway through landlocked Laos, for one, is set to cost $7 billion—about half of the country’s GDP…. The isolated nation of 7 million will never be a competitive manufacturing hub.” Says who?!
Infrastructure in Puerto Rico, the Choice Is Clear
Oct. 23 (EIRNS)—When Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló met Oct. 18 in Washington with President Donald Trump, the President made a number of clear commitments on Puerto Rico’s power infrastructure. He told the Governor, “I know you were talking about rebuilding your electric plant long before the hurricane; you’ve been wanting to do that for a long time. So maybe this is a reason that we can do it. And we’ll help you and we’ll all do it together.” Trump said further, “I don’t want to just fix poles—you can’t just fix the poles. We have to build a brand-new plant. Or we have to do, essentially, a renovation that’s so large, it’s going to be like a brand-new plant—one or the other. We’re looking at both right now.” Trump said that he had asked Congress to make a “plan and payment plan…. Because you are talking about some substantial numbers.”
The Army Corps of Engineers has placed an initial $115 million order for supplies and materials that includes more than 50,000 concrete, galvanized steel and wood utility poles, and 6,500 miles of transmission and distribution line cable.
As of Oct. 20, there were 148 large generators installed, with another 280 on hand on the island, and another 130 coming in, for a total goal of 400 to 500 installed, according to Army Corps of Engineers Commander Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, at his briefing at the Pentagon.
What this adds up to—even when complete, which is many weeks off—is still in the realm of emergency response and “stabilization,” not building a modern power infrastructure for Puerto Rico, which Trump is pledging to do.
Jimmy Carter Defends Trump, Offers To Mediate with North Korea
Oct. 23 (EIRNS)—In an interview in the New York Times Sunday Review section, former President Jimmy Carter defended the embattled Donald Trump to a rather perplexed Maureen Dowd. Speaking as one who knows, Carter surprised her, saying, “I think the media have been harder on Trump than any other President certainly that I’ve known about. I think they feel free to claim that Trump is mentally deranged and everything else without hesitation.” Specifically, on the Russia-gate charges, Carter said, “I don’t think there’s any evidence that what the Russians did changed enough votes, or any votes.”
Carter’s main point throughout the interview, was that he was ready to make a mission to North Korea, should Trump want him to. Having talked to National Security Advisor McMaster already, Carter said, “I told him I was available if they need me.” When Dowd tried to imply that it was Trump who had escalated the crisis, he cut her short, saying, “I’m afraid, too, of a situation—I don’t know what they’ll do. Because they want to save their regime.” Carter elaborated: “We greatly overestimate China’s influence on North Korea. Particularly to Kim Jong-un. He’s never, so far as I know, been to China. And they have no relationship. Kim Jong-il [Kim Jong-un’s grandfather, whom Carter had met with as President] did go to China and was very close to them.”
What probably got Dowd the most, however, was, as she wrote, “Carter was harder on Obama during the interview than he was on Trump,” continuing that he “complained that Obama had ‘refused’ to talk to North Korea more, and then Carter lamented the fact that Obama joined in the bombing of Yemen, which Carter says is the most interesting place he’s ever been.”
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Virginia State Senator Black Exposes ‘Saudi Regime as Real Sponsor of Global Terror’
Oct. 23 (EIRNS)—Iranian news agency Tasnim today ran an interview with Virginia State Sen. Richard Black, under the headline, “Saudi Regime ‘Real Sponsor’ of Global Terror: U.S. Senator.”
The lengthy interview, in which Black backs up his proof, is published in full, after a summary of Black’s personal experience, including as a combat pilot with the Marines in the Vietnam War, and afterward serving as Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Army, as well as holding elected office for many years in the Virginia legislature.
Black, a leader in the Republican Party, began by taking note of the fact that “President Trump’s refusal to certify the 2015 nuclear deal has caused considerable confusion and consternation around the world.” But Black and others, “have little doubt that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear agreement.”
“Western media repeatedly claim that Tehran sponsors terrorism,” Black noted. “I find it difficult to locate substantial evidence supporting that claim. On the contrary, ‘terrorism’ as that term is commonly understood, stems mostly from the actions of Saudi Arabia, which routinely promotes acts of terror through its radical madrassahs. Those madrassahs indoctrinate poor youth around the globe in the ultra-violent Wahhabi doctrines.”
He cited the 9/11 attacks, and several other attacks in both the U.S. and Europe as examples of attacks stemming from Saudi Arabian religious doctrines. “It seems difficult to justify aligning the United States with Saudi Arabia in order to defend the world against terrorism. Senator Bob Graham, co-chair of the [joint congressional intelligence] 9/11 commission said, ‘I am convinced that there was a direct line between at least some of the terrorists who carried out the September 11th attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia.’ ”
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Wall Street Issues Record Volumes of Collateralized Loan Obligations, and Wild Leveraging
Oct. 23 (EIRNS)—The current volume of issuance of collateralized loan obligations (CLOs), which were shown to become easily illiquid in the 2008 financial meltdown, is now at record levels. Today’s Wall Street Journal gives front-page coverage of the dimensions, showing that this year’s rate of issuance, which is at $247 billion for three quarters, has already exceeded the level of former peak year of 2006, which was $136 billion. The CLO activity started to pick up in 2014, then soared. This year may even triple the folly of 2006.
CLOs are the equivalent for leveraged corporate loans, to what MBS (mortgage-backed securities) and CDOs (collateralized debt obligations) are for mortgage loans. “The demand for things like CLOs is extraordinary,” according to a BlackRock, Inc. officer, quoted by the Journal.
And just as it was in 2005-07, the explosion of CLOs is creating the demand for an explosion in leveraged loans to stuff into them. Leveraged loan issuance this year will approximate $350 billion, also exceeding the record, which was in 2007. Much of this loan activity is buy-outs, leveraged buy-outs (LBOs).
The investors are pension and mutual funds; they have bought $206 billion in CLOs this year so far, and the “prices” of the CLOs have boomed. “Leveraged CLOs” are also appearing this year, although the Journal assures readers that the use of leverage (on leverage) is just a fraction of what it was in 2007.
Trump To Move on Commitment for Greek Debt Relief
Oct. 23 (EIRNS)—Citing unnamed sources, the Greek daily Kathimerini reports that President Donald Trump is moving on his commitment to seek debt relief for Greece. They report that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appears to be the one to spearhead the effort. Mnuchin took part in a meeting between Trump and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at the White House last week that addressed ways to promote investments in Greece, strengthen defense cooperation and push Greek debt relief demands. Trump reportedly has made a “strategic decision” to support Greece as a reliable ally in the Eastern Mediterranean.
After the third bailout review is completed for Greece, and a new government is formed in Germany, the U.S. may ask for an informal meeting of the International Monetary Fund’s Executive Board where pressure will be applied for a specific time frame with regard to Greece’s debt. The weekly Greek-American newspaper National Herald publishes the same article but writes that the U.S. will “squeeze” German Chancellor Angela Merkel until she “relents.”
Prior to the meeting with Trump, Tsipras held a meeting with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. After this meeting Mnuchin told Trump and Tsipras that Lagarde had contacted him saying her talks with the Greek premier went well and the negotiations to complete the review should go smoothly. Mnuchin relayed that Lagarde said the IMF will push for debt relief.
Meanwhile today, Greece’s creditors, i.e., the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the European Stability Mechanism (EU-ECB-ESM, but not the International Monetary Fund), arrived in Athens to try to finish the auditing of Greece’s budget and so-called reforms necessary to approve further distribution of bailout funds.
The German daily Handelsblatt comments that Tsipras flew directly to EU headquarters in Brussels filled with renewed confidence after his meeting with Trump and wants to exit the so-called adjustment program by August 2018.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Helga Zepp-LaRouche Tells Xinhua: ‘CPC National Congress Ensures Bright Future for Chinese People’
Oct. 23 (EIRNS)—Today, China’s news agency Xinhua ran an interview with Helga Zepp-LaRouche, titled, “Interview: CPC National Congress Ensures Bright Future for Chinese People: German Think Tank,” by Xinhua writer Qiao Jihong. The interview reads in part:
“BERLIN, Oct. 23 (Xinhua)—The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) will unite the country under the leadership of Chinese President Xi Jinping, ‘which means a bright future for the Chinese people,’ the president of a German think tank has said.
“ ‘It is obvious that President Xi Jinping has a loving and extraordinary personality. He leads the country by inspiration, which is the best of all forms of leadership,’ Helga Zepp-LaRouche, president of the think tank Schiller Institute, told Xinhua in a recent interview.
“LaRouche said she is confident that the congress will achieve a great success….
“In the interview, LaRouche said the ‘Chinese Dream’ which aims to achieve rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is a great inspiration, not only for China, but also for the rest of the world.
“ ‘You can feel the optimism that has been created in China when you talk to the ordinary people, including youths, which is in stark contrast to the cultural problems of the so-called “youth culture” in the United States and Europe,’ she said.
“LaRouche said she had traveled to China several times in recent years and was impressed by the CPC’s ability to make high-level strategic plans and execute them.
“She spoke highly of the Belt and Road Initiative, saying it is one of the most important strategic initiatives in the world that will promote common development and reduce poverty….
“ ‘It demonstrates that people can achieve anything when they are united for a good plan,’ she said.
“The establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Silk Road Fund and other institutions within the mechanism of the initiative will address problems in developing countries, she added.
“ ‘The CPC deserves the highest praise for its executive ability,’ which is more effective than the Western political systems, LaRouche said.”
Chatham House Screams That the Empire Is At Risk, Blames Trump
Oct. 23 (EIRNS)—Chatham House/Royal Institute of International Affairs, the core of the Britain’s “Empah,” is holding its annual two-day London Conference, on the theme: “In the Balance: A Future World (Dis)Order.” Their introduction to the conference on its Chatham House website reveals the state of panic in the heart of the beast, that the Empire is in deep trouble—and that Trump is supposedly to blame. Here it is in full:
“World order is fundamentally changing. The Trump presidency has left a vacuum in global leadership; developments in the Middle East are intensifying the struggle between Gulf states and Iran; Russia persists in reasserting its power while Europe remains preoccupied with its internal recovery; the North Korean threat has become thornier; and China seeks to balance its growing international ambitions and internal dilemmas. This is all taking place against a backdrop of accelerating technological advances and ever-expanding flows of information, bringing unprecedented change and uncertainty to how we work, compete and relate.
“The 2017 Chatham House London Conference will focus on how world order is shifting under these pressures and how societies and leaders can best adapt. This is a vital moment to convene leading thinkers and actors from across the world to compare best practices and chart ways to work together to build a sustainably secure, prosperous and just world.”
Of course, a “secure, prosperous and just world” has never had a chance under the British Empire, but just such security, prosperity and justice is finally showing itself under China’s Belt and Road. This is what has Chatham House so frightened, as Trump heads for Asia in two weeks, where he could, and must, join the New Silk Road.
New British Attack on the New Paradigm in South Africa
Oct. 23 (EIRNS)—British Lord Peter Hain is leading a new attack on the South African flank of the New Paradigm of the BRICS and Belt and Road Initiative. His fake news is that South African President Jacob Zuma and members of his family are part of a criminal “transnational money-laundering network”; Lord Peter announced, in this manner, in the House of Lords on Oct. 19, the British Crown’s orchestrated offensive against President Zuma and his faction in the ruling African National Congress (ANC)—including Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, his intended successor as ANC President and President of South Africa.
Hain served under Tony Blair—of Iraq War ill-repute—as Minister for Africa, Minister for Europe, Leader of the House of Commons, Privy Counsellor, and Lord Privy Seal. The Queen conferred on him a life peerage in 2015.
Hain has written to Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, expressing his concern that HSBC and Standard Chartered banks may have “wittingly or unwittingly” laundered funds for what he derogates as the “Gupta/Zuma criminal network,” a “transnational money-laundering network.” His letter names more than 40 members of the Zuma and Gupta families, some other individuals, and related entities. The list includes the names of President Jacob Zuma and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
Chancellor Hammond has responded, reporting that he has referred Hain’s letter to British law enforcement agencies, including the Serious Fraud Office. The U.S. Department of Justice and FBI have also been brought in.
This fraudulent attack comes just two months before the ANC election of a new party president, who will become the party’s candidate for President of South Africa in 2019. The chief contenders for party president are Dlamini-Zuma and London’s candidate, Cyril Ramaphosa, who scarcely conceals his satisfaction over the British attack on the Zuma faction. Ramaphosa said on Oct. 20 that the South African state has been “captured by people who want to milk the state, who want to rob our country of the money that belongs to the people,” and called on public servants to testify “when a commission of inquiry into state capture is set up.” (That “narrative” includes the now familiar condemnation of any major infrastructure by the government as “looting.”) South Africa’s opposition parties have also opportunistically chimed in, in support of the British attack.
At an overflowing campaign rally for Dlamini-Zuma in Evaton Township, Oct. 22, attended by LaRouche South Africa leader R.P. Tsokolibane, members of her team were aggressive in denouncing the British attack. Earlier in the day, Dlamini-Zuma’s aide, Carl Niehaus, told the press, “We are not going to be told, by British people who think they can still behave like colonialists and [can continue] neocolonial behavior, how we should deal with a situation in our country!”
Tshepo Kgadima, a political analyst for South Africa’s African News Network television (ANN7), commented that evening that Hain “wants to ensure that colonial rule will reign supreme on the peoples of this land, and that is despicable.” It is “nothing but the return of the old enemy that has been there from the time that we established democratic rule in South Africa.” Indeed it is, and a look at history shows that the “old enemy” has a much, much longer history in South Africa.
After Japanese Election Victory, Abe Prepares To Meet Putin, Xi, and Trump
Oct. 23 (EIRNS)—Following his electoral victory Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is preparing for a new meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit to be held in Vietnam on Nov. 10-11. “This success gives us the groundwork for carrying out a strong foreign policy,” Abe said, in his first press conference after the Sunday election. “As part of this effort, in particular I plan to hold a new meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in November, at the APEC summit. We would also like to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping. During these contacts, I plan to stress the importance of discussing the ways out of the situation surrounding North Korea’s missile and nuclear program.”
Abe said he would like to discuss the same issue with U.S. President Donald Trump during the President’s visit to Japan on Nov. 5-7.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Countries Sanctioning against Cooperation with China’s Space Program ‘May Think Twice’
Oct. 23 (EIRNS)—Western countries that prevent cooperation in space exploration with China (that is, the United States) may think twice, Chinese space experts told Global Times. Song Zhongping, a military expert who served in the PLA Rocket Force, said yesterday that being forced to develop its own technologies due to the U.S. ban on cooperation, has shown that “breakthroughs prove that China can develop its own independent space strategy and is shortening the gap with the other two major space powers, the U.S. and Russia.” He continued, “This also proves that the U.S. ban on cooperation with China has failed, and was very unwise.”
Wang Ya’nan, chief editor of Aerospace Knowledge magazine, explained that China’s strategy for space exploration is not to repeat what other countries have done before, but to break new ground. “For instance, the U.S. is leading Mars exploration, so China can start exploring other planets, like Venus and Jupiter. The U.S. landed on the Moon first, so our lunar exploration will try to explore new areas, like the use of lunar resources and even the establishment of a lunar base,” said Wang. In fact, in 2020, China plans to launch a mission to Mars, which will attempt to place an orbiter, lander, and rover at the red planet, all on its first mission. No other country has attempted such a complex three-pronged mission on its first trip to Mars.
“With its rapid economic development, China is economically strong enough to achieve innovative goals,” Song said, some of which have “even surpassed” the major space powers.
China’s dramatic advances in space technology have led to interest from other countries for joint missions, and China is confident in its own capabilities to be encouraging international cooperation. Joint missions are being discussed with Europe, and establishing a “strategic partnership” for space with Russia is being planned.
As former NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden has said, if the U.S. doesn’t change its policies, it will be “on the outside looking in”—another way of being the frog at the bottom of the well.