EIR Daily Alert Service, August 22, 2019

Volume 6, Number 166
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
  • The World at a Crossroad; A New Dark Age, or a New Renaissance
  • Climate Lunacy Planned for Global Youth Climate Strike and Climate Emergency Action Week
  • Business Roundtable Replaces ‘Shareholder Value’ With Social Consciousness-i.e. Green Finance
  • Trump Consulted With Macron on Inviting Russia to G7 Summit in 2020 in U.S.
  • China Threatens Sanctions Over U.S. $8 Billion Sale of F-16 Fighter Jets to Taiwan
  • U.S. Cruise Missile Test Was Message Aimed at Russia
  • Netanyahu Threatens Iran After Another Mysterious Explosion in Iraq
  • Risky Mortgages Make a Comeback, as Lending Standards Are Relaxed
  • Commerzbank on Shrinkage Course, Considering 9,600 Layoffs
  • Peskov and Slutsky Assess Putin-Macron Meeting in France
  • National Space Council Hears Presentations on Space Nuclear, Power, and Mining Helium-3
  • Quantum Computing, a Technology Race Provoked by Edward Snowden


The World at a Crossroad: A New Dark Age, or a New Renaissance

Aug. 21 (EIRNS)—Signs of a pending crash of the trans-Atlantic financial system are escalating. The level of panic in the financial sector was demonstrated by the emergence of calls for “helicopter money” to paper over the collapse of the $1.5 quadrillion derivative and leveraged debt bubble. BlackRock, the largest private equity firm in the world, has produced a paper for the Jackson Hole, Wyoming meeting, which takes placeat the end of this week, Aug. 22-24, bringing together many of the top bankers and financial government officials from around the world. They call their proposal a “regime change” of the financial system, abandoning the so-called “independence” of the central banks. Far from being a call for national banking—which is a central piece of the program of Lyndon LaRouche to restore the American system—what they propose is to merge the governments and the central banks, and go to what they call “direct investment,” or direct delivery of money to any failing bank which needs it. Anything to keep the derivative bubble afloat for a few more weeks, or months at most.

This is precisely what LaRouche warned of in his famous “Triple Curve Typical Collapse Function,” the pedagogical device which he developed in 1995, in an astounding but simple and convincing way, showing how the financial and the monetary aggregates are moving in a hyperbolic direction upwards to a certain point, while the real economy is moving downwards, and going down, causing the collapse of the real values of the financial aggregates. We have now reached the point where any kind of liquidity pumping you can imagine is not going to be sufficient to maintain this bubble. We are heading toward the perfect storm, with no solution available, other than the transformation of the entire system along the lines of LaRouche’s Four Laws: Glass-Steagall; nationalize the central banks, creating National Banks in the tradition of Alexander Hamilton (or the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau in the postwar reconstruction plan in Germany); and then establish a new, international credit system, a New Bretton Woods system. This creates the capacity to launch a crash program for fusion, for space research cooperation, and for cooperation with China on the New Silk Road, developing the entire world.

In the U.S., President Trump’s call for a Moon-Mars Mission, the Artemis Project, on a crash basis, was presented at a National Space Council meeting held in Virginia on Aug. 20, posing the urgency of nuclear propulsion systems if man is to travel to Mars without the physical damage from radiation which would result from the nine-month trip using chemical propulsion. (In fact, only a fusion rocket, cutting the trip to a number of days, will allow for regular travel to Mars—which is why a crash program for fusion must be launched simultaneously with the Moon-Mars Program.) In both the Artemis Project and the fusion energy project, only unfettered international cooperation between the leading scientific nations of the world can achieve the necessary results. It is precisely this same international cooperation which is required to implement the transformation of the global financial system, through a New Bretton Woods.

Against this hopeful and optimistic vision of the future, the dying remnants of Empire have unleashed the most massive campaign of behavior modification—i.e., brainwashing—in modern history. A week of cultural and scientific insanity is to be carried out internationally from Sept. 20-27, centered at the UN General Assembly in Manhattan, demanding that all these ideas of scientific advancement of the human race be totally scrapped—that all investigations into the frontiers of human knowledge, in space, in reproducing the wonder of the Sun through fusion power, in advancing the power of an expanding human race over the development of the universe—all this be reversed, in order to “save the planet” from nonexistent anthropomorphic climate change. The Chicken Little from the children’s nursery rhyme was not as insane as this mass psychosis spread by abused children, psychotropic drug freaks, and evil minds who want to save a dying financial system at the expense of the human race.

The choice is clear—join in the development of the universe and the unleashing of human creativity in the many generations to come, through scientific progress and cultural beauty, or see humanity driven into a new dark age, and likely thermonuclear war. This is the moment in history for which Lyndon LaRouche created this organization.


Climate Lunacy Planned for Global Youth Climate Strike and Climate Emergency Action Week

Aug. 21 (EIRNS)—As poor “global climate activist” Greta Thunberg makes her way across the Atlantic, organizers for the “Global Youth Climate Strike” are gearing up for their Sept. 20 action, three days before the UN’s Sept. 23 UN Climate Change Summit.

In fact, the entire week of Sept. 20-27 is set aside as “Climate Emergency Action Week.” The key organizers of this British Empire-directed apparatus, the 350.org, FridaysForFuture, and “many others,” are mobilized for what they predict will be an extraordinary global event. The website, Global Climate Strike provides a world map of planned activities, and instructs people on how to get involved in their area, with a special video message from Greta Thunberg.

Their statement, published on the San Francisco-based Indybay website, warns that “as young climate strikers have shown, there is huge power in sustained action week after week to match the scale of the climate emergency. These dates in September (20th-27th, 2019) are only a beginning to the sustained mass mobilization that will be needed to pressure world governments to take action in line with climate science and justice.

“Millions of us will walk out from home, work, school or university to declare a climate emergency and show our politicians what action in line with climate science and justice means.” The FridaysForFuture network is mobilizing to make Sept. 20 “their largest global climate strike ever,” according to this screed. “They have invited everyone to join them on Friday, September 20 and again the following Friday, September 27 when they will join Earth Strike for a general strike.”

The strike is necessary, the statement asserts, “because our house is on fire. The climate crisis is an emergency but we’re not acting like it. People everywhere are at risk if we let oil, coal and gas companies continue to pour more fuel on the fire.”

According to an Aug. 20 posting to Common Dreams, the Week of Action will include protests targetting specific fossil fuel companies and projects, teach-ins, people’s assemblies, and other such events. One student organizer, attending a climate strike in New Jersey, announced “we’re calling for students and adults to be striking. Don’t go to work, don’t go to school, speak up about climate change.”

Business Roundtable Replaces ‘Shareholder Value’ with Social Consciousness—i.e., Green Finance

Aug. 21 (EIRNS)—The Business Roundtable, leaders of 192 of the largest corporations in America, issued a new definition of the “purpose of a corporation,” ending, they claim, the single focus on “shareholder value”—that the primary function is to maximize profits for the stockholders. Instead, “Investing in employees, delivering value to customers, dealing ethically with suppliers and supporting outside communities are now at the forefront of American business goals,” claims these Good Samaritans.

Sounds good, right? But keep in mind that Deutsche Bank has for a long time asserted that they no longer put shareholder value über alles—which should be no surprise, since their shares no longer have any value! Perhaps J.P. Morgan’s Jamie Dimon (currently chairman of the Business Roundtable) and the others see the handwriting on the wall as the stock price bubble is heading for a crash.

But the truth is more sinister. The statement gives lip service to their intent to pay more attention to their workers and suppliers, but the kicker in their list of new priorities reads: “Supporting the communities in which we work. We respect the people in our communities and protect the environment by embracing sustainable practices across our businesses.” Ah, yes, sustainable green finance, the City of London’s frantic effort to divert funds from productive investments into a green bubble.

Other signers include Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook, Bank of America’s Brian Moynihan, Dennis A. Muilenburg of Boeing, and GM’s Mary Barra. Larry Fink, CEO of the oh-so-humanitarian BlackRock, put it this way in his 2019 annual letter to shareholders: “Companies must demonstrate their commitment to the countries, regions, and communities where they operate, particularly on issues central to the world’s future prosperity. Fundamental economic changes and the failure of the U.S. government to provide lasting solutions has forced society to look to companies for guidance on social and economic issues, such as environmental safety and gender and racial equality.”

Trump Consulted with Macron on Inviting Russia to G7 Summit in 2020 in U.S.

Aug. 21 (EIRNS)—According to CNN reporter Kylie Atwood, citing a source in the Trump Administration, President Donald Trump agreed with French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to the G7 summit in 2020 which will take place in the United States.  Trump is expected to raise this issue at the Aug. 24-26 G7 summit in Biarritz, on France’s Bay of Biscay.

“Trump & Macron spoke over the phone today & agreed they wanted to invite Russia to the G7 next year, a sr admin official said. Trump is expected to broach the topic w/ world leaders at the G7,” Atwood wrote on her Twitter account, and stating that it was Macron’s initiative to invite Russia.

Commenting on the proposal for Russia to rejoin the G8 Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told TASS, “Initiatives need to be outlined and handed over to Russia for consideration. At the moment, it is hard to understand what it is all about, so if the G7 wants to position itself as a serious platform, the discussion should be moved from the media field to the expert level.”

Also commenting on the proposal, Chairman of the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky echoed President Putin’s earlier remarks, telling TASS today, “We are not rejecting any kind of formats, but returning to the G8 is not a goal in and of itself.”

“If Russia indeed receives an invitation to take part in the 2020 summit, it should build on the specific agenda and how equal rights for all parties will be guaranteed. All that should not boil down to some ceremonial actions amid the aggressive anti-Russian policy of sanctions pursued by the G7,” Slutsky emphasized.

He pointed out that after Russia left the G8, other multilateral forms, such as BRICS and the G20, “where Moscow plays a substantial role,” began developing more intensively. “Trump’s idea to revive the G8 proves once again that Russia plays an important role on the global stage…. The G7’s steps aimed at containing and isolating Russia failed to yield any results. Both the U.S. and French Presidents recognize that,” he said.


China Threatens Sanctions over U.S. $8 Billion Sale of F-16 Fighter Jets to Taiwan

Aug. 21 (EIRNS)—Yesterday, the Trump Administration confirmed the $8 billion sale of 66 F-16 fighter aircraft to Taiwan. Both the State Department and the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, an arm of the Defense Department, delivered formal notification to Congress. The State Department added, of course, that the sale in no way changes the U.S. adherence to the “One China” policy.

China’s response was immediate, including the threat of imposing sanctions involved in the deal—an unusually harsh response.

In today’s press briefing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang stated that, “We demand from the United States [that it] adhere to joint agreements and immediately cancel the supply plan. Otherwise, Washington will have to answer for all the consequences. China will take all possible measures to protect its own interests, including sanctions against U.S. companies that will participate in these arms transfers to Taipei.”

U.S. Cruise Missile Test Was Message Aimed at Russia

Aug. 21 (EIRNS)—The Aug. 18 U.S. test launch of a Tomahawk cruise missile out of a ground-based MK 41 vertical launcher is being seen by a number of U.S.-based expert commentators as a direct message to Moscow, that the U.S. is moving quickly to create a capability that was previously prohibited by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and that it could conceivably include placing cruise missiles in the missile defense installations in Poland and Romania.

Arms control experts Hans Kristensen and his colleague Matt Korda, writing in the Federation of American Scientists’ Strategic Security blog yesterday, argue that the launch represents a reverse of U.S. security policy “which for 32 years sought to curtail such weapons and instead … makes the United States needlessly complicit in the INF Treaty’s demise and frees Russia from both the responsibility and pressure to return to compliance.” They write that as long ago as March, Pentagon officials announced that the DOD would be testing two ground-launched missiles following the Aug. 2 end of the INF Treaty: a ground-launched Tomahawk in August and a ground-launched ballistic missile in November.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in remarking on the U.S. cruise missile test yesterday during a joint press conference with the Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchvey from Ghana, said: “We learned about [the U.S. missiles] in October last year, when John Bolton came for a visit, and he told us … that statements by Trump about the need to withdraw from the treaty were not an invitation for a dialogue, it was the final decision. Apparently back then, or maybe even earlier, they began preparations for the launches that have taken place and that violate parameters of the INF Treaty,” reported TASS.

Russia’s Acting Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy told TASS this morning that Russia and China had asked for a UN Security Council session on U.S. statements regarding ground-based missiles and that this session will be held on Aug. 22.

Netanyahu Threatens Iran after Another Mysterious Explosion in Iraq

Aug. 21 (EIRNS)—There was another mysterious explosion in Iraq yesterday, this one at a military depot at the Balad airbase reportedly belong to the Popular Mobilization Forces, the military formations that include Shi’ite militias allied to Iran. AP reports that all of these explosions, four over the past month, have occurred at PMF facilities.

No one has claimed responsibility, but the suspicion has grown that they’re all the result of Israeli airstrikes targetting Iran-backed groups in Iraq. Though Israel has not officially confirmed its responsibility, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu practically admitted it during a visit to Ukraine yesterday. “Iran has no immunity, anywhere,” he declared during a press briefing at his hotel in Kyiv, reported the Times of Israel. “The Iranians continue to threaten Israel with annihilation and are building military bases across the Middle East intended to carry out that goal,” Netanyahu said, blaming the 2015 nuclear deal for Iran’s increasing aggression. “We will act—and currently are acting—against them, wherever it is necessary,” he declared.


Risky Mortgages Make a Comeback, as Lending Standards Are Relaxed

Aug. 21 (EIRNS)—The Wall Street Journal reports today that the high-risk mortgages—think subprime—that were granted, actually encouraged, with no oversight whatsoever in the period leading up to the 2007-2008 financial crash, are appearing once again, as the strict lending criteria established after the crash now appear to be “eroding” as the Journal puts it.

So, people with low credit scores or high debt levels, and even those with no “traditional employment” are able to obtain mortgages without too much trouble. As these new loans don’t meet post-crisis standards set by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, they are referred to as “non-qualified” or non-QM loans. An indicator of their growth is the fact that in 2018, borrowers took out $45 billion of these unconventional loans—the most in the last decade—and origination is on track to rise again in 2019, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, an industry research group. Such creative financing isn’t guaranteed by government agencies and thus charge higher interest rates than conventional loans.

According to the Journal, those who favor the use of non-QM loans—largely nonbank lenders—argue that the post-2008 stricter lending criteria made mortgages too hard to obtain. They argue that offering them now will open the housing market to “sound borrowers” who had been shut out of it. And, while nonbank lenders dominate the market for these loans now, some big banks, such as JPMorgan Chase & Co., Credit Suisse Group AG, and Citigroup Inc., have been arranging mortgage bonds backed by unconventional loans. In the first quarter of 2019, for example, some $2.5 billion worth of subprime loans, those with FICO credit scores below 690, ended up in mortgage bonds. That is more than double a year earlier and the highest level since the end of 2007, according to Inside Mortgage Finance. There was $1.9 billion worth of subprime mortgage bonds in the second quarter.

For the moment, the majority of big bank mortgage divisions are avoiding riskier borrowers, leaving them to the nonbank lenders. Still, the Journal warns, the increase in nonconventional loans indicates that lenders are “looking further afield for customers.” Plus, with doubts about the economy, and housing prices rising faster than incomes for most Americans, it’s getting harder to find “cream-of-the-crop borrowers.”

Commerzbank on Shrinkage Course, Considering 9,600 Layoffs

Aug. 21 (EIRNS)—Commerzbank, Germany’s second-largest private bank, is considering laying off 9,600 employees and shutting down up to 200 of its 1,000 local offices, as part of what it believes is a consolidation strategy. The bank’s share has lost 40% of its market value since April, when it was at a preliminary peak because of the option of a merger with Deutsche Bank which failed; in 2009, Commerzbank shares were worth €26 euros—now they are at less than €6.


Peskov and Slutsky Assess Putin-Macron Meeting in France

Aug. 21 (EIRNS)—There a several Russian commentaries on the Aug. 19 talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron:

“The talks were positive in general. That does not mean that the interlocutors agreed with each other. However, they were consistent in demonstrating their political will to discuss all issues, both those, on which they see eye to eye, and those they disagree on,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters yesterday.

Their discussions went beyond the initial 2.5 hours of first round of talks between the two delegations. According to Peskov, they continued until late Monday night Aug. 19, with Putin returning to Moscow in the early hours of yesterday morning. Peskov also described the talks as “a very meaningful, constructive and trust-based dialogue.” The two leaders “synchronized their watches on the key bilateral and global issues,” he said.

Chairman of the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky commented on Aug. 20 that the outcome of the meeting “was a step forward in both enhancing bilateral cooperation and tackling the most pressing current global issues. [The parties] discussed the Syrian and Libyan settlement, and stepping up the Normandy [format] talks to resolve the conflict in southeastern Ukraine. All that is extremely essential for global stability and security,” reported TASS. The Normandy format talks involves Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany.

Referring to Macron’s remarks about confidence in the future of Europe stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok, Slutsky said, “This is the Greater Europe concept pioneered by the great Charles de Gaulle. Of course, Russia supports and shares such approaches. However, in order to implement them, we need to travel down a long path and abandon the dividing lines on the common European continent. And, of course, the anti-Russian sanctions imposed on Europe from across the pond are totally out of sync with this context.

“I believe that France, as one of the leading European powers, could spearhead the curtailment of the European Union’s policy of sanctions. To begin with, it would be logical to lift all restrictions from lawmakers, which contradict the very nature of parliamentarism. That’s my opinion,” Slutsky concluded.


National Space Council Hears Presentations on Space Nuclear, Power, and Mining Helium-3

Aug. 21 (EIRNS)—The National Space Council, headed by Vice President Mike Pence, had its sixth meeting yesterday since it was restored by President Donald Trump in 2017. Pence and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine’s remarks centered on the progress in the major elements of the Moon-to-Mars program—the Orion spacecraft, and the Space Launch Vehicle that will launch it. Mike Pence also said that they are working with the Congress on the additional funding that is needed for the Artemis program.

The objective of the program, it was explained, is to live on the Moon for months. These will be multi-month expeditions at the South Pole. And unlike Apollo, the program will not rely solely on government funding.

Some of the groundbreaking technology that will have to be developed on the way to missions to Mars were discussed by a panel of experts in the last section of the meeting.

Rex Gevenden, president and CEO of BWX Technologies, and former NASA Chief Engineer, gave a presentation on the company’s work on nuclear thermal propulsion. BWX, formerly Babcock and Wilcox, has 60 years of experience in nuclear technology and power plant construction.

Gevenden said that technology is rapidly evolving, becoming higher power and more compact, which is important for space travel applications. Bridenstine asked: How much time could we save going to Mars using nuclear, rather than chemical propulsion? The answer was that nuclear would take half the time, about three months.

“That is absolutely a game-changer for what NASA is trying to achieve,” Bridenstine said. “That gives us an opportunity to really protect life, when we talk about the radiation dose when we travel between Earth and Mars.” There was no mention of fusion rockets, which would reduce the trip to a matter of days.

With prodding from Bridenstine, Gevenden stated that fission reactors in spacecraft would allow them to maneuver, for reasons of national security or to avoid space debris. He discussed directed-energy weapons, which could be used to divert an asteroid or take out space debris.

Oddly, however, it was not mentioned at the meeting that yesterday President Trump signed a “Presidential Memorandum on Launch of Spacecraft Containing Space Nuclear Systems,” which specifies detailed procedures and departmental responsibilities for launching spacecraft that house fission reactors.

Clive Neal, from the University of Notre Dame, an expert on lunar science and resource utilization, and Emeritus Chair of NASA’s Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG), said that developing in situ resource utilization (ISRU) on the Moon will require a sustainable human presence. Importantly, after listing the more commonly known water ice and other resources on the Moon, Neal mentioned helium-3 for fusion is one of the resources for export from the Moon. “China is very interested in this,” he said, and “bringing the economy of the Moon to Earth should be an important goal of the lunar program.”

Finally, Elizabeth (Zibi) Turtle, a planetary scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, discussed their Dragonfly mission to send a version of a drone to Saturn’s moon, Titan. The Dragonfly project was recently chosen by NASA for its next New Frontier mission. The launch vehicle will carry a quadcopter, a kind of helicopter with two sets of two propellers. It will launch in 2024, and arrive at Titan a decade later.

Quantum Computing, a Technology Race Provoked by Edward Snowden

Aug. 21 (EIRNS)—Chinese physicist Pan Jian-Wei and the Chinese effort in the frontier field of quantum computing which he leads, were profiled in a long article in the Aug. 19 Washington Post. Having conducted interviews at a Shanghai quantum computing conference this summer, the paper reports that Pan and his colleagues are building a “hacking-resistant” fiber-optic communications system across China, totaling 1,300 miles of cable so far centered on communications between Beijing and Shanghai.

“To the dismay of some scientists and officials in the United States, China’s formidable investment is helping it catch up with Western research in the field and, in a few areas, pull ahead,” the Post article states. “Catch up” is the usual nonchalant journalistic falsehood, as it is only those U.S. and Chinese scientists who are collaborating in the field, who understand the relative importance of the work in both countries in this “revolution” as Dr. Pan calls it.

Interestingly, he has attributed China’s surge in efforts on quantum computing during the past seven years to a non-scientist, Edward Snowden, the former intelligence community official and whistleblower. Secure, unhackable and therefore unsurveillable communications is the area of this field in which China is most advanced. The growing fiber-optic network is paired with a planned system of quantum-computing satellites of which one is operational so far; they “use qubits to securely transmit information.”

And “when the network is complete,” says the Post, “it could complicate U.S. efforts to eavesdrop on China’s government or military communications, some Western scientists say.”

But one Canadian scientist who works several months a year at a leading quantum computing lab in Shanghai, Barry Sanders of the University of Calgary, had a more useful insight. “I have my Western way of doing things—freedom of thought, take risks,” Sanders told the paper. “In China, there is more emphasis on the common good. One guy spent two years really focussed on how to prepare the lab room [for other scientists’ work]. You can assign people these tasks—they will do something that in our world would be seen as beneath us. But here they are supported and held in high esteem.”

Correction: In the EIR Daily Alert for Tuesday, Aug. 20, #164, the slug headlined, “Washington PostCompelled To Admit Christchurch and El Paso Mass Killers Are Ecofascists,” mistakenly ended mid-sentence. The final sentence should have read: “This lengthy admission is crucial, coming from the flagship liberal publication which has consistently blamed President Trump for ‘white supremacist’ violence and the mass killings.”

Reach us at eirdailyalert@larouchepub.com or call 1-571-293-0935

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