As saner voices around the world are calling for solidarity and cooperation among nations in dealing with the parallel and interrelated crises of the Coronavirus pandemic and the collapse of the debt-ridden, speculation-driven financial system, an unhinged gaggle of war hawks is waging an aggressive propaganda campaign to demonize China, calling for coordinated action against it. "We are at war with China", they shout, and "they are winning." They claim, with no evidence to back them, that China not only covered up the outbreak of the Coronavirus there, but may have created it in a bio-weapons lab in Wuhan, and may have even deliberately exported it to the rest of the world! Further, they assert that China is engaged in a massive military buildup to extend its global power, while using the economic muscle of the Belt-and-Road Initiative (BRI) to cunningly manipulate desperate nations, with promises of economic aid.
As it became clear that the disinvestment in public health services in the United States over the last four decades had left the nation highly vulnerable to the Corona Virus pandemic, the U.S. Congress rushed through a bill to provide emergency aid. The Corona Virus Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) passed the Senate on March 25 and the House the next day, totaling over $2 trillion in funding. The vote in both Houses was nearly unanimous, as the looming specter of mass death was used to silence any opposition. While most of the funds were allocated to aspects of the fight against the pandemic—money to cities, states and hospitals for medical costs, loans for small and medium enterprises, a one-time payment to taxpayers making less than $75,000 per year—it also included $450 billion in Treasury Department loan guarantees to the Federal Reserve, which can be leveraged that up to ten times, to assure additional liquidity to the financial system to deal with the expected economic dislocation.
A tweet from President Trump on March 31, calling for a BIG & BOLD infrastructure plan, received far less media attention than his usual twitter posts. Coming just days after Congress passed a $2.2 trillion Corona Virus "relief" package, and the announcement by the Federal Reserve of a $4-plus trillion dollar bailout fund, it indicates that the President is aware that these measures are not only inadequate to address the economic needs exposed by the health emergency, but counter-productive, as the Fed's bailout policies are designed to protect speculators and the casino economy. This plan will NOT "stimulate" a recovery of the real economy—as Trump is no doubt aware—nor will it put an end to the reckless policies responsible for the crash of a second out-of-control speculative bubble in the last 12 years.
The neoliberal model of economy and finance, which has increasingly dominated the world since August 15, 1971, from its centers in the City of London and Wall Street, is heading toward a nasty implosion. This is the only conclusion one can reach from reviewing the recent actions of central bankers, particularly at the U.S. Federal Reserve, which reflect heightened panic and hysteria, especially among bankers and traders. In a rare Sunday announcement on March 15, the Fed said it will purchase $500 billion in Treasury securities and $200 billion in mortgage-backed securities, following the failure by traders and banks to sell an offering of 30-year Treasuries last week, as few buyers came forward.
It is fair to say that Wall Street's financial establishment was the real winner on "Super Tuesday" on March 3, when voters in fourteen states went to the polls, and delivered a solid victory to former Vice President Joe Biden, who won in ten of the states. An article published on March 2 by Reuters reported on discussions with fourteen "bankers, hedge-fund managers, private-equity bigwigs and prominent investors" on Wall Street, who spoke openly about their commitment to "making sure Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders does not get the nomination." They said they are "primarily supporting" Joe Biden, although they would also have been willing to back their Wall Street cohort, Michael Bloomberg, if Biden faltered. The victories propelled Biden to a lead over Sanders in the number of delegates needed to win the Democratic Party nomination, precipitating numerous media commentaries about the miraculous resurrection of Biden's campaign.
Global stock markets went plunging downwards this week, on news reports of the spread beyond China of the Corona Virus. Investors were reacting to warnings of the effects of the disruption of supply lines and the shut down of manufacturing plants, and the retreat in consumer spending. Forecasts are circulating which project that the disease could wipe out net corporate profits for the year. Some reports are projecting a drop in GDP, such as one prepared by Goldman Sachs, which predicts global GDP growth will barely top 2% in 2020, forecasting that U.S. growth will fall below 2%.
In 1996, after his release from prison following a conviction based on fraud and lies aimed at silencing him, internationally renowned statesman Lyndon LaRouche spoke of the explicit danger to the American republic, if the perpetrators of this gross injustice were not stripped of their arbitrary authority. "We have an out-of-control Justice Department in my view," he said, "where the rot is not in the appointees as much as it is in the permanent bureaucracy. We have a permanent sickness in the permanent bureaucracy of part of our government.
The failure of the Democratic Party to accurately count the votes cast in the Iowa caucus, which is the first test of the candidates competing for the party's nomination to run against President Trump, has made it into a national embarrassment, and an international laughingstock. The final count of the caucus, which took place on February 3, has yet to be released, as of February 14. Given that the total number of participants was only about 176,000, how is it possible that the final figures remain unknown? President Donald Trump ridiculed the party, asking how Americans could trust it to run the largest economy in the world, when it cannot even properly count the number of votes cast in a gymnasium?