Empire, Power & People with Andrew Gavin Marshall- Episode 147

From Balance of Payments to Balance of Power

This episode attempts to take a look at the economic concepts of 'competitiveness' and the 'balance of payments' position of nations, placing them in an historical and real-world context. What do these terms mean and what are their implications? In general, this is a reference to the economic position of one nation in relation to the other nations of the world. If one country is a creditor (lender), another must be a borrower (debtor); if one country is a major exporter, others must be importers. These concepts have profound implications for the competitiveness and growth of modern economies, and thus, as these are major issues when it comes to IMF and other global financial actions and institutions, these concepts have profound implications for the balance of power in the world between nations. Ultimately, this dry and rather bland economic language reflects the underlying power structures and imperial system which exists in the age of globalization. This episode attempts to introduce listeners to this concept.

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Empire, Power & People with Andrew Gavin Marshall- Episode 145

The Early Years of the Group of Seven

The Group of Seven (G-7) emerged in the midst of the largest economic, monetary and financial upheavals since the Great Depression. They established a forum of cooperation among the large industrial powers of the United States, West Germany, Japan, Great Britain, France, Italy and Canada, designed to coordinate their policies and strategies in creating a stable global economy, and in dealing with major political issues, notably relations with the Third World. The G-7 was formed to act as a steering committee for the management of the global economy on behalf of the richest and most powerful nations.

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Empire, Power & People with Andrew Gavin Marshall- Episode 144

Central Banks & Global Governance

What role do central banks play in the process and evolution of 'global governance'? This episode attempts to provide a loose definition of global governance and briefly look at the role of 'independent' central banks in defining and shaping the modern world economy, specifically the global 'market economy'. What is the endgame design? Is there one? What is the relationship between monetary and fiscal policy, and what are its implications for democracy and society? Does the future hold a parallel to central banks in the form of independent, unelected finance ministries? If you listen to central bankers, that seems to be the case.

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Empire, Power & People with Andrew Gavin Marshall- Episode 143

German Economics & Syriza's Dismal Options

Building on the previous podcast's discussion of Greece and Europe's crisis, this episode examines German economic orthodoxy, known as Ordoliberalism, and the effects this has on German policy and strategy, as well as that of the European Central Bank. In addition, this episode examines the context of Syriza's decision to capitulate to Germany and the Troika in negotiations over a third bailout. What are Syriza's options to get out of this mess?

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Empire, Power & People with Andrew Gavin Marshall- Episode 142

Europe's Strategy to Topple Syriza

The anti-austerity Greek government of Syriza has signed on to the most invasive and harsh agreement of any Greek government to date: more austerity, more 'reform', and more control over Greece to its bailout creditors in Berlin, Frankfurt, Brussels and Washington. Greece is an occupied country that has been attempting to negotiate the terms of its liberation with the occupying powers. It has thus far failed. But this was the strategy of Germany and Europe all along: to sustain the crisis, increase the pressure, and gain the upper hand. Ideally, for Germany and the EU, the new agreement with Syriza would lead to a schism in the party and result in a collapse of the government, with elections bringing to power a puppet government that Europe would happily deal with. Until then, the strategy remains the same: increase the tension, increase the chances for regime change. This is what it means to live in a German dominated Europe.

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Empire, Power & People with Andrew Gavin Marshall- Episode 141

Urban Rebellions and Racist Rhetoric

Starting with some mainstream and social media analysis of the recent events in Baltimore, this week's rant takes on the political language of racism, the effect that media propaganda has in indoctrinating that racism into its viewers, and the comparison of coverage of black and white riots in recent years. As Martin Luther King explained, riots were "the language of the unheard," so instead of denouncing rioters as "thugs" and "criminals," it would be better to consider listening, because one of America's most repressed and impoverished populations is speaking loudly for all to hear.

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Empire, Power & People with Andrew Gavin Marshall- Episode 140

"Have the Finance Ministers be Bastards"

In the first half of the 1970s, the global economic, financial and monetary order underwent a series of catalytic changes and transformations. Relations between the rich and powerful nations, notably the United States, West Germany and Japan, had become tense and tumultuous. More problematic was that relations between these rich nations and the developing world (Africa, Asia, Latin America) was growing even more problematic and unstable. The Third World was demanding a new economic order while America's major economic rivals (Western Europe and Japan) were demanding greater say as U.S. power was in relative decline. Political diplomacy and foreign relations was becoming harder to manage in an increasingly changing world. Thus, a significant degree of power and empire-building was pushed into the world of 'economic diplomacy'. As Henry Kissinger explained in a meeting with President Ford in 1975, "The trick in the world today is to use economics to build a world political structure." Two days later, he added, "It is better to have the Finance Ministers be bastards." Later that year, the first meeting of the heads of state took place for what would later be known as the Group of Seven, and finance ministers and central bankers would gain increasing and unprecedented power to advance imperial interests around the world at a scale far beyond that of political and military relations.

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Empire, Power & People with Andrew Gavin Marshall- Episode 138

The Institutions of Global Governance

This episode attempts to provide a brief overview of some of the key institutions of global financial governance, specifically (though not exclusively) as it relates to Europe's debt crisis. Included in the discussion is not simply the names of the institutions, but their roles, their leadership and internal governance structures, meetings and interactions. Among these many institutions are the European Central Bank, Bank for International Settlements, IMF, the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), the Group of 20, European Commission, OECD, European Council, the Troika, Eurogroup, Institute of International Finance, Group of 30, World Economic Forum, International Monetary Conference (IMC), Bilderberg and the Trilateral Commission, among others. This is a world of financial diplomacy through 'dark secret meetings' in off-the-record discussions and behind the scenes maneuvering. This is the world of Global Financial Governance.

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Empire, Power & People with Andrew Gavin Marshall- Episode 137

Europe's Technocratic Tyranny

Throughout the course of the European debt crisis, unelected technocratic institutions have been the most important and influential in managing the EU's response to the crisis and overall management of Europe's economic governance. These institutions include the 'Troika' of the IMF, European Central Bank, and European Commission, but also secret meetings of finance ministers (known as the Eurogroup), who meet monthly to decide the fate of Europe's economy and give direction to the Troika in punishing problem countries. The former president of the Eurogroup (who is now president of the European Commission) proclaimed that it was best to make important decisions in "secret, dark rooms." This episode looks at the institutions that are represented in those 'secret, dark rooms'.

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Empire, Power & People with Andrew Gavin Marshall- Episode 136

Economic Diplomacy & Global Financial Governance

We know well the world of political diplomacy and international relations between states, where presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers and secretaries of state engage in a game of power politics, expanding empire and using leverage to serve their own interests and desires. The same holds true for the world of economic diplomacy, dominated by the theocracy of the global mafiocracy, the technocratic central bank governors, finance ministers, heads of international organizations and others who meet (often in secret) at the Group of Seven, the G20, annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF, at think tanks and forums like Bilderberg, the Trilateral Commission, World Economic Forum, at industry events such as the Institute of International Finance meetings, the International Monetary Conference (IMC), and with the Group of Thirty, among others.

These meetings, forums, and institutions socialize the technocrats of finance and bring them together in attempting to manage the economic relations and power politics between nations (and within nations) and to better construct a world of global financial governance, often in secret and in cooperation with the world's top bankers, corporations and oligarchs. This is the world of economic diplomacy and global financial governance.

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Empire, Power & People with Andrew Gavin Marshall- Episode 135

The World Economic Forum & the Global Plutocracy

This episode examines the history and role played by the World Economic Forum as a socializing institution for the emerging global class of plutocrats. Over the years and decades, the WEF has facilitated the spread of a distinctly Western ruling class to the far reaches of the globe, notably to Russia, Eastern Europe, China and many of the modern 'emerging market' countries who send delegations to ingratiate themselves to the rulers of the Western world: the banks, corporations, international organizations, political and technocratic elites from North America and Western Europe. The WEF has continued to function in this way, since its founding in 1971 to its most recent meeting last week.

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Empire, Power & People with Andrew Gavin Marshall- Episode 132

Technocratic Tyranny and Power Politics in China & the EU: A Comparison

China and the EU appear to be two very different power systems, and indeed, there are no lack of differences. But the similarities between them reveal far more than their differences. Notably, the process of selecting the highest leadership in each case reveals a behind-the-scenes struggle between powerful factions who horse-trade, negotiate and compete to get their own people into the top positions of power, all done outside the prying eyes of the public, away from any semblance of democratic accountability.

This episode examines the power politics behind the selection process in China, to the Politburo Standing Committee, and in the EU, to the European Commission. In both cases, we see a system governed by unelected elites and technocrats who impose policies that benefit a small minority of gangsters, oligarchs and dynasties, and have profoundly negative consequences for the majority of the populations under their dominion.

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Empire, Power & People with Andrew Gavin Marshall- Episode 131

Chinese Power Politics & Dynastic Intrigue

How is power organized and exercised within China? There are the obvious institutions: the Party, the State, the military, bureaucracy and state-owned enterprises which dominate the economy. But behind this lie the factions and families of the ruling oligarchy, with their descendants known as 'Princelings', amassing great wealth from the plunder of the nation, increasingly tied to Western financial and corporate institutions and elites, as well as elite Western universities.

The factional power politics and confrontations between China's oligarchy plays out largely behind the scenes of a powerful propaganda apparatus. In 2012, China's behind-the-scenes gangster-state power politics hit the headlines and became clear for many to see. The rise and fall of the powerful princeling, Bo Xilai, revealed a story of power and intrigue worthy of the ancient Chinese emperors and Hollywood movies, complete with propaganda campaigns, mass terror and torture campaigns, power struggles with other influential families and elites, spies, sex and the murder of a British banker, prompting a national and international scandal which has changed the course of China's history. As China is said to be changing the course of modern history, perhaps we should make a greater effort to better understand politics and power within China itself.

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Empire, Power & People with Andrew Gavin Marshall- Episode 130

Kissinger: A Modern Machiavelli?

Roughly 500 years ago, Machiavelli wrote 'The Prince' as an instruction manual for how a 'Prince' may gain and maintain power, in which he outlined influential notions, such as the concept that it is much better to be feared than loved, or that it is better to be miserly than generous. At the time, Machiavelli was writing about the Italian city states and the families which ruled and fought over them. Specifically, he dedicated his book to the first family of finance and modern banking, the Medici clan, whom he served as a close advisor, or consigliere. Machiavelli is perhaps best personified in modern times by the likeness of Henry Kissinger, arch-imperial strategist and technocrat who has spent his career in service to the modern Medicis: the Rockefellers, Rothschilds, Agnellis and Oppenheimers, among others. This episode takes a look at the concept of Kissinger as consigliere to 'The Prince.'

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Empire, Power & People with Andrew Gavin Marshall- Episode 129

Finance and Technocracy

For the ability of the ruling global financial mafia to maintain and protect its national and global power, the development and proliferation of technocracy has been a necessary corollary. Technocracy - or "rule by experts" - emanates from educational institutions and the social sciences, primarily, and is heavily institutionalized within think tanks, foundations, international organizations like the World Bank and IMF, the European Commission and WTO, as well as central banks and finance ministries. This episode looks at the relationship between technocrats, technocracy and the power and influence of the global financial mafia, particularly in the case of the European Union and the Bilderberg Group.

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