All posts by Diane Warth

Horace Campbell: What China’s direct computer link to US Treasury means

Horace Campbell
2012-06-14, Issue 589

INTRODUCTION

The news in May that China can bypass Wall Street when buying United States government debt in what is the Treasury’s first direct relationship with a foreign government was reported by Reuters and carried by very few of the mainstream press. This announcement came at a moment when the depth of the Eurozone crisis was dominating the headlines and creating panic in international markets. Though this arrangement has been in place for about one year, it was only in last month that Reuters revealed in its report that for the first time ever the US Treasury system granted China direct computer link to its auction system. http://goo.gl/rbNCS

I can remember the days when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) sent representatives to sit in the central banks of Third World countries to monitor the operations of their treasuries. In those days of US financial and military dominance, these IMF monitors dictated to states and governments about management of their economies and used the IMF lending power to dictate whether resources were transferred to a country or not. Now it has been revealed that the United States government has given the Peoples Bank of China a direct computer link to the US Treasury. It is the equivalent of a Chinese officer monitoring the ebb and flow of US indebtedness and making decisions about buying and selling of US Treasury Bills without going through the Primary Dealers of US debt on Wall Street. This means that unlike other governments in the world, the Peoples Bank of China will not have to place orders for US debt through the Wall Street banks appointed by the feds as “primary dealers” to bid on Treasury auctions.

In our commentary this week we will reflect on this major international development in the world of high finance in relation to three aspects of the international system. First, what is the meaning of this arrangement for the stability of the international system in this period of depression? Second, what are the short term impacts on the relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China? And third, the importance of this arrangement for world peace?

In the conclusion we will note that while this arrangement for the short term is seeking to stabilize the international financial system, it is at the same time laying the foundations for the evolution of the international system towards a new financial architecture.

Click here to continue reading “What China’s direct computer link to US Treasury means ” by Horace Campbell.

Vijay Prashad: NATO in Libya: When protector turned killer

Vijay Prashad
2012-06-13, Issue 589

Back in January Faiz Fathi Jfara of Bani Walid asked a simple question, “I just need an answer from NATO: Why did you destroy my home and kill my family?”

NATO refuses to answer him.

NATO went to war in Libya to protect civilians through a UN mandate (Resolution 1973). Given legitimacy by the UN Human Rights Council and by the International Criminal Court, NATO began its ten thousand sorties. It quickly exceeded the UN mandate, moving for regime change using immense violence. All attempts to find a peaceful solution were blocked. The African Union’s high-level panel was prevented from entering Libya as the NATO barrage began.

Several influential countries, including Russia and China, have asked for an evaluation of Resolution 1973 since late last year. They want to know if NATO exceeded its mandate.

Click here to continue reading “NATO in Libya: When protector turned killer” by Vijay Prashad.

Noam Sheizaf: Africans attacked in Tel Aviv protest; MKs: ‘infiltrators’ are cancer

By Noam Sheizaf

A shop considered a meeting place for African refugees, vandalized following a Tel Aviv rally Photo: Oren Ziv
Coalition MKs incited the crowd against the refugees and asylum seekers during a protest in south Tel Aviv, which was followed by attacks on African immigrants and confrontations with police. A Likud MK called for the prosecution of Israelis giving shelter to Africans.

More than 1,000 Israelis protested this evening (Wednesday) against the African refugees and asylum seekers who have settled in South Tel Aviv in recent years. According to eyewitnesses’ reports, the crowd grew angry and ultimately violent, following speeches from Knesset members, including members of the government coalition.

It was one of the most violent protests Tel Aviv has known in recent years.

Click here to continue reading “Africans attacked in Tel Aviv protest; MKs: ‘infiltrators’ are cancer” by Noam Sheizaf.

Yousef Munayyer: Not All Israeli Citizens Are Equal

By YOUSEF MUNAYYER

Washington

I’M a Palestinian who was born in the Israeli town of Lod, and thus I am an Israeli citizen. My wife is not; she is a Palestinian from Nablus in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Despite our towns being just 30 miles apart, we met almost 6,000 miles away in Massachusetts, where we attended neighboring colleges.

A series of walls, checkpoints, settlements and soldiers fill the 30-mile gap between our hometowns, making it more likely for us to have met on the other side of the planet than in our own backyard.

Never is this reality more profound than on our trips home from our current residence outside Washington.

Click here to continue reading “Not All Israeli Citizens Are Equal” by Yousef Munayyer.

Violent Tel Aviv demo against African migrants

AFP

Violence broke out as several hundred people demonstrated in Tel Aviv on Wednesday night against the sizeable community of African immigrants in the city, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said.

“Following the violence, we arrested five demonstrators,” Samri added.

The media reported that people shouted xenophobic slogans, such as “blacks out,” and chided the “bleeding heart leftists” who defend immigrants.

There were also reports that two demonstrators attacked a foreigner, and that the windshields of several cars carrying Africans were smashed.

Over the years, an estimated 60,000 Africans, mostly from Sudan and Eritrea, have slipped over the border into Israel from Egypt.

Following a number of recent crimes, a lively debate has erupted over the tensions caused by the presence of the large African community concentrated in south Tel Aviv.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the “phenomenon of illegal immigration from Africa is extremely serious and threatens the foundations of Israeli society, national security and national identity.”

Israel is building a wall along its border with Egypt and a detention centre in the southern Negev desert.