Economics, Eurasia, History, Policy, Politics

1/6: How Russia decided to go from communism to capitalism in the 1990s

The foregoing article is an excerpt from the third chapter of my book, “Grand Deception,” which I wrote in response to Bill Browder’s bestseller, “Red Notice” but also as a retort to the relentless demonization campaign against Russia and its leadership in the West. Browder, an investor and hedge fund manager who made his fortune in the 1990s Russia, describes his fascinating experience during that time. However, he almost entirely glosses over the broader context within which events played out. Instead, he offers the same terse explanation he had regurgitated countless times in his various presentations and speeches, and it goes like this: after the collapse of the USSR, the government of Russia decided to go from communism to capitalism.[1] They thought that the best way to do this would be by giving everything away practically for free through various privatization schemes. Very rapidly, they transferred the nation’s economic resources into private hands.

But the unusual aspect of this transfer was that the private hands that received Russia’s wealth were not the same ones that had built it up since there were no restrictions on who could participate in the privatization program. As a result, the crown jewels of the nation’s productive resources ended up in the hands of a small group of oligarchs, most of whom covertly represented the interests of various western financiers. Continue reading

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Eurasia, History, Policy, Politics

Grand Deception: the 1990s raid on Russia

As the 2018 football World Cup in Russia draws to a close, many of her foreign visitors were surprised to encounter in Russia an affluent society and a friendly, welcoming host. This makes it difficult to appreciate that only a generation ago, Russia experienced a political, economic and social collapse of calamitous proportions. After the Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991, Russia embarked upon a transition from communism to capitalism. The so called “shock therapy” program, prescribed and guided by western experts resulted in the longest and one of the most severe economic depressions in the 20th century. Today, few people outside of the nations of former Soviet Union remember this dark episode. Fewer still understand it.

Even among the better informed intellectuals in the west, the failure of Russia’s shock therapy transition is largely misunderstood and often attributed to some sinister flaw in Russian society – a flaw which spawned corruption and criminality of staggering proportions. In this toxic environment, the sweet fruits of western democracy and capitalism simply could not grow in spite of the generous benevolence of Russia’s western friends and helpers. Continue reading

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Eurasia, History, Politics, Real life, Truth

How Bill Browder “proved” Vladimir Putin’s corruption

Former hedge fund manager Bill Browder, the faux crusader for human rights, has made very serious claims of corruption against Vladimir Putin, claims which many media personalities in the West have treated as true and factual without ever challenging them. Browder, the go-to expert on Putin’s corruption, presents these claims in his bestseller, “Red Notice.” At first blush, they show Vladimir Putin in a very negative light that may shock the reader. A more careful scrutiny of Browder’s case shows it to be a disingenous, baseless smear, which further begs the question: if this is the best (worst) Browder can offer as proof against Putin, what exactly do the ceaseless allegations of his corruption amount to? The following excerpt from my book (currently banned, but available here in electronic format) examines the merits of Bill Borwder’s assertions. Continue reading

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Central banking, Economics, Eurasia, History, Policy, Politics, Social development

Deflationary gap and the West’s war addiction

In June of 2014, a group of American researchers published an article in the American Journal of Public Health, pointing out that, “Since the end of World War II, there have been 248 armed conflicts in 153 locations around the world. The United States launched 201 overseas military operations between the end of World War II and 2001, and since then, others, including Afghanistan and Iraq.” To be sure, each of these wars was duly explained and justified to the American public and for all those Americans who believe that their government would never deceive them, each war was defensible and fought for a good reason. Nonetheless, the fact that one nation initiated more than 80% of all wars in the last seventy years does require an explanation, which I submit below: Continue reading

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Eurasia, Policy, Politics

Next installment of permanent war: Iran (again)…?

Today, (Friday the 13th of all days), President Trump announced that he is withholding certification of the Iran nuclear deal and announced that he would label Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. Again, the U.S. gets confrontational with a rival power in an escalation that could provoke yet another devastating war in the Middle East. As always, this is all perfectly justified: Iran, you see, is a rogue regime, a threat, its military is a terror organization, the country has a general deficit of freedom and democracy, etc…

And let’s not imagine that this is all down to Donald Trump. On July 3, 2015, presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton addressed a an audience at a Dartmouth College campaign event. On the occasion she said, “I want the Iranians to know that if I’m president, we will attack Iran … we would be able to totally obliterate them.”  The U.S. establishment has long had Iran in its crosshairs, waiting for a pretext and the opportunity. Continue reading

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Economics, Eurasia, Media, Policy, Politics, Social development, Truth

Vladimir Putin’s 17 years in power: the scorecard

The following article summarizes many of the changes in Russia over 17 years  under Vladimir Putin’s rule. All of the information presented is based on empirical data, most of it from western sources like the World Bank, Ernst&Young, Vtsiom, Ipsos and Gallup. Virtually none of this information was presented in any western corporate press with the notable exception of Forbes magazine (which took the information down after a few weeks). In addition to the below, I’ve subsequently published an article in three parts titled, “Is Vladimir Putin evil?

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Eurasia, Policy, Politics

Send them to east Aleppo

Yesterday, the British parliament held an emergency three-hour session to accuse Russia of war crimes and to discuss Britain’s involvement in establishing a no-fly zone and possibly sending troopos into Syria. The debate was initiated jointly by Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell and Labour’s Alison McGovern, a co-chair of the so-called “Friends of Syria” group. Their initiative was supported by the former US Iraq commander and CIA director General David Petraeus.

In his interview with the BBC radio, Andrew Mitchell submitted that, “the international community has an avowed responsibility to protect and that protection must be exerted. If that means confronting Russian air power defensively, on behalf of the innocent people on the ground who we are trying to protect, then we should do that.” Continue reading

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Eurasia, Social development

NATO innovates to further escalate tensions with Russia

In an interview with Germany’s always fairly balanced Bild, NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO can and must react to cyber-attacks, including with conventional military weapons, and that the 28 NATO member states will likely declare the cyberspace as an operational war zone. This makes total sense and all that’s missing from the interview is the reassurance that we’ve always been at war with Eurasia. I could not resist a repost here of my April 2014 article titled,

We must urgently rearm to defeat the New New Hitler from the East!!!

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Economics, Energy crisis, Eurasia, Policy, Social development

Eurasian integration and the future of humanity

Developed world has come to a fork in the road. One of the paths leads in the direction of general military conflagration as the empire aggressively seeks to assert its dominance,  bludgeoning every independent-leaning nation into submission. The other path leads toward peaceful economic integation, growth, cooperation and trade across the old continent. Western political elites, working on behalf of corporate interests seem to be doing their utmost to lead us into another World War. Meanwhile those independent-leaning nations are building bridges of cooperation and trade. A recent article by F. William Engdahl provides an excellent take on how that path is being forged. This could be one of the defining stories of humanity’s future. Continue reading

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