Naked Capitalism: US Inflation Policies Slowing World Economy

Naked Capitalism: US Fails Miserably in Efforts to Isolate Russia

Victoria Nuland, March 2022:

“If Russia does not end this war and get out of Ukraine, it will be isolated on a small island with a bunch of sub countries and the rest of us 141 countries will go forward and build a prosperous future, while Russia suffers a complete economic and technological isolation…”

How it’s going now:

Silverado Policy Accelerator, a Washington nonprofit, recently issued a similar analysis, estimating that the value of Russian imports from the rest of the world had exceeded prewar levels by September.


But they keep trying!

People’s Daily: EU to impose fresh sanctions on Russia by Feb. 24: European Commission president

People’s Daily: West implements price caps on Russian oil products as Moscow vows to safeguard interests


TeleSUR: European Central Bank Raises Rates by 50 Basis Points

TeleSUR: Bank of England Raises Rates to 4 Pct

WSWS: Over 90 percent of Europeans worry about the rising cost of living

RT: Russia’s LNG production hits record high

Jacobin: Striking Food Delivery Workers in Russia Take on Tech Giant Yandex

In Russia, mounting authoritarianism and the wartime crackdown on dissent have hobbled trade unions. A five-day strike by food couriers showed that at least some workers are refusing to be muzzled.

RT: German exports to Russia nosedive – data

Germany reduced exports to Russia in December by 16.7% to €900 million ($988 million) compared to the previous month, according to the country’s Federal Statistical Office (Destatis).

RT: Serbia and Bulgaria launch construction of new gas pipeline

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Bulgarian President Rumen Radev marked the official opening. The two nations already linked their gas networks at the end of 2020 to allow Russian energy imported via the TurkStream pipeline to reach Serbia through an expanded grid.

Jacobin: Emmanuel Macron’s Plan to Raise the Pension Age Is Class War

Naked Capitalism: Companies in UK Are Hitting the Wall at Fastest Rate Since Global Financial Crisis

Business insolvencies in the UK surged by 57% in 2022, to 22,109, according to the latest data from the Insolvency Service, a UK government agency that deals with bankruptcies and companies in liquidation. It is the highest number of insolvencies registered annually since 2009, at the height of the Global Financial Crisis.

RT: UK water bills to soar by most in nearly two decades – media

TeleSUR: UK Train Unions' New Strike Suspends Service Of 15 Lines

RT: Finnish coal consumption soars

East Asia and Oceania

RT: India ditches dollar to bypass sanctions on Russian oil – Reuters

Local refiners are reportedly using UAE dirhams to pay for most of the Russian oil bought from Dubai-based traders

WSWS: Indian budget intensifies austerity for working people, hikes military spending

People’s Daily: Sri Lanka celebrates 75 years of independence from British rule

People’s Daily: Filipinos speak out against U.S. military expansion plans

Filipinos have spoken out against American military expansion plans in their country following a top U.S. defense official’s visit to the Southeast Asian country this week.

Central Asia and the Middle East

MEMO: EU donates $323m to Palestine

Monthly Review: Palestine is my cause: Arabs reaffirm support for Palestinians, rejection of the occupation

MEE: Israelis take to streets for fifth week of protests against Netanyahu government

MEE: Iran’s supreme leader pardons ‘tens of thousands’ of prisoners

The pardon does not apply to detainees on death row, dual nationals and those accused of ‘corruption on earth’

It was not immediately clear how many of these were detained in connection with the protests.

MEE: ‘Take your dirty hands off of Turkey’, Ankara’s interior minister tells US envoy

MEMO: South Korea to build nuclear plant in Turkiye

According to the report, Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) presented the proposal regarding the construction of four reactors capable of providing 1,400 megawatts (MW) of electricity in the northern province of Sinop.

The project is forecast to be worth about 40 trillion won ($32.55 billion).

RT: Türkiye gives timeline for Russian-proposed gas hub

A major natural gas hub in Türkiye, proposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and backed by his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is expected to start operating as soon as this year, according Ankara’s energy minister.


RT: Former colonial power accuses Russia of ‘neocolonial’ conduct

The French Foreign Ministry has claimed that Russia is threatening the sovereignty of several African states and endangering their populations. The allegation came after Moscow commented on recent decisions by Mali and Burkina Faso to expel French troops from their territory.

Africa News: Traoré gives assurances over relations with France despite troop exit

Burkina Faso’s military leader, Ibrahim Traoré, has said there has been no break in diplomatic relations with France.

Africa News: Seychelles ranked Africa’s least corrupt country - 2022 CPI

The island nation retained the position for the 5th consecutive year and 23rd ranking globally attained in 2022 with 70 points once again.

Denmark outperformed Finland and took first place with 90 points. Finland and New Zealand are second and third with 87 points each.

The CPI report rates the perception of corruption in the public sector using a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is clean. Seychelles stayed in 23rd place globally like in 2021 with a score of 70 points.

The rankings where everything is made up and the points don’t matter.

Africa News: Pope greeted by crowds of women in South Sudan as he backs girls' schools

MEMO: Suez Canal Authority denies agreement with Israel company, takes legal action

MEMO: Sudan parties reject normalisation with Israel

MEMO: Tunisia railway union: $326m in company losses, authorities are responsible

Africa News: No lights, no water: South Africans fume at cascading crisis

Already struggling without electricity for hours a day, many South Africans are now having to do also without water, as power outages batter the supply system.

Africa News: Ghana to begin process to establish War College – President Akufo-Addo

North America

Responsible Statecraft: Washington inflates the China balloon threat

The meltdown in DC risks turning into a self full-filling prophecy: Routine inter-state relations becoming a full blown crisis.

Common Dreams: China Slams Pentagon’s Downing of Balloon as an ‘Excessive Reaction’

Jacobin: Cities Are Spending More to Brutalize Homeless People Than It Would Cost to House Them

The cruelty is the point.

Inside Climate News: States Have Proposals, But No Consensus, On Curbing Water Shortages In Colorado River Basin

Six of the seven states that rely on the Colorado River proposed protecting the system’s major reservoirs with downstream reductions. But California, the biggest user, has its own plan under which it would avoid taking cuts.

Naked Capitalism: How Corporations Hope to Eviscerate Workers’ Right to Strike

This post highlights a Supreme Court case that could substantially weaken laborers’ ability to strike to force management concessions by making them liable for strike costs, or more accurately in case of the plaintiff Glacier Northwest, failure to prepare for a strike. Oddly this pending ruling has gone under the radar.

South America

WSWS: Germany’s Chancellor Scholz visits Argentina, Chile and Brazil

MEMO: Cuba commends Iran’s progress despite sanctions

Diaz-Canel also expressed his country’s willingness to strengthen bilateral ties with Tehran and noted that developments in Latin America and the world offer new opportunities to fortify multilateralism, Tasnim News Agency reported.

Common Dreams: ‘They Are Afraid of the People’: Guatemala Tribunal Bars Leftist Presidential Ticket From Ballot

Jacobin: El Salvador’s Historic Metal Mining Ban Is in Danger

Following its failed crypto scheme, authoritarian president Nayib Bukele’s cash-strapped government is making moves to reverse El Salvador’s metal mining ban. Its reintroduction would be a disaster for the nation’s already contaminated water supply.

TeleSUR: Pedro Castillo Must Be Released From Jail: Nicaraguan President

TeleSUR: Peruvian Crisis Continues as Congress Rejects Early Elections

TeleSUR: Ecuador: Five Candidates Were Assassinated Before the Elections

TeleSUR: Ecuador: Candidate for Mayor is Killed on the Eve of Elections

TeleSUR: Colombia: Assassination of Another Social Leader Reported

TeleSUR: Venezuela Commemorates the Civic-military Rebellion

Geopolitical Economy: UN human rights chief: End Venezuela sanctions, which ‘exacerbated economic crisis and hindered human rights’

The Ukraine Proxy Conflict

RT: Kremlin and White House deny Biden offered Putin ‘20% of Ukraine’

RT: Putin promised not to kill Zelensky – former Israeli PM

Russian President Vladimir Putin told former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett that he would not have Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky assassinated, Bennett revealed to Israeli media. The former PM flew to Moscow at the request of Zelensky, who declared that he was “not afraid of anyone,” only after Putin assured his safety.

WSWS: Ukraine cracks down on military “deserters”


Retrospectives, History, Theory, and Technology

Jacobin: After Independence, Algeria Launched an Experiment in Self-Managing Socialism

After the end of French colonial rule, Algeria’s first government began to promote workers’ self-management in the “Mecca of Revolution.” But a backlash by conservative elements led to a military coup that established the regime still in power today.

RT: Planet smashes record for most moons in solar system

Jupiter has officially become the planet with the most moons in the solar system, now counted at 92, thanks to the discovery of 12 more natural satellites, astronomers have said.

The previous record-holder, Saturn, has dropped to second spot, being orbited by 83 confirmed moons.

We must seize the moons of production.

StatNews: Rare polio case highlights how hard it will be to keep polio gone once it’s eradicated

RT: Oldest fossilized vertebrate brain found

The Left and the Right

Monthly Review: Neo-compradors: the leftist foot soldiers of Imperialism

“NGOs: In the service of Imperialism” by James Petras scientifically unpacks imperialism in contemporary communities of the global south. Prompted by the premise that capitalism, and by extension imperialism, is constantly evolving in an effort to perpetuate itself. James Petras takes neo-compradors as the unit of analysis for his study of imperialism.

The purpose of studies like this is a profound frustration with contemporary leftist discourse which has distorted Scientific Socialism, under the pretext of modernizing an outdated theory, into an ideology of political activism institutionalized by NGOs and sponsored by Western funds while employing revolutionary idioms.

Inside the Imperial Core

Monthly Review: Is the trip of the secretary general of NATO aimed to instigate the creation of the Asian version of NATO?

Outside the Imperial Core

Jacobin: The Global South Must Be at the Center of the Making of a Just Global Economic Order

Climate Change

Climate Change News: Cables become cool – Climate Weekly

As putting up solar panels and wind turbines becomes increasingly profitable without subsidies, governments are turning their attention to transmission lines.

But, while anyone with a few million in their back pocket can throw up a solar farm, who has got the billions to build power cables across the country?

Well the Indian government does. On Wednesday, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman promised $1bn towards cables linking renewable projects in the Himalayan state of Ladakh with states that people actually live in.

Over in Washington DC, the Climate Investment Funds does too. It has just lent Colombia $70m for transmission lines and other green projects. It has got $230m more in the pot for projects like this and is asking rich nations to top it up so they can roll out the programme to big hitters like India, Brazil and Indonesia.

No mention of China, the pioneer behind ultra-high voltage transmission lines…