Wednesday, March 22, 2023


Wednesday, March 22, 2023

American Recurring Banking and financial Crises: the Historical and Regulatory Context

By Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay

(Author of the book about morals "The Code for Global Ethics" and his book about geopolitics "The New American Empire")

"All crises have involved debt that, in one fashion or another, has become dangerously out of scale in relation to the underlying means of payment." John K. Galbraith (1908-2006), Canadian-born American economist, (in 'A Short History of Financial Euphoria' 1994).

"History shows that once an enormous debt has been incurred by a nation, there are only two ways to solve it: one is simply declare bankruptcy, the other is to inflate the currency and thus destroy the wealth of ordinary citizens." Adam Smith (1723-1790), Scottish economist, father of modern economics, (in 'The Wealth of Nations', 1776).

"Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon in the sense that it is and can be produced only by a more rapid increase in the quantity of money than in output."  Milton Friedman (1912-2006), (in 'The Counter-Revolution in Monetary Theory', 1970).

Some six years from now will be the 100th anniversary of the 1929 stock market crash, marking the onset of the Great Depression (1929-1939).

These were crucial events in the United States and in many other countries. In the U.S., in particular, it heralded a period of nationalism, protectionism and sweeping banking regulations.

The 1929 crash occurred after a period called the "Roaring Twenties", which followed World War I (1914-1918) and the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-1919. It was a period of general economic prosperity, with many economic innovations and industries (automobile, electricity, telephone, radio, films etc.), being propelled by low interest rates and ongoing speculation.

What turned the stock market crash into a severe economic downturn was the failure of many banks and the credit crunch that followed.

Many American banks had followed the risky banking practice of lending large portions of their deposits for stock market speculation, and they did not survive the crash. Altogether, during the 1930 decade, it is estimated that as many as 9,000 U.S. banks failed, creating an important contraction of the money supply.

Even though the Federal Reserve central bank had been established in 1913, it was somewhat clumsy in designing and in implementing monetary policy. For instance, it did not widely use open market purchases to inject badly needed monetary liquidity in the economy, as money supply was contracting. Instead, in order to meet the requirements of the international Gold standard system of the time, the Fed kept raising its discount rate to prevent an exodus of money and gold from the United States, thus contributing to creating a deflation.

The financial crisis really became an international one when the large Austrian bank Creditanstalt failed, on May 11, 1931. This was a bank that had debts with many other banks. Its failure impacted negatively other international banks, and it contributed to making the financial crisis a truly international one.

All this is to say that a cascade of bank failures is a very dangerous phenomenon in a market economy. That is why there is an obvious need to prevent unduly risky investments by banks, through appropriate public regulation, to protect the public interest.

Why can deposit-financed commercial banks fall victim to a run on the bank?

The answer to the above question lies in the 'fractional reserve banking' system under which banks operate. Essentially, commercial banks borrow short-term funds from depositors and invest most of that money in profitable longer-term loans. For security and liquidity, they are required to maintain a mandatory minimum percentage of their deposits as cash reserves, the so-called fractional reserve, to be available for the withdrawal of deposits. The rest is considered capital to be loaned and invested in loans and in securities.

However, if confidence in a bank comes into question, especially if its loans or investments have lost value for any reason, (as indicated in the section of 'unrealized losses' in its books), people could fear for the safety of their deposits, and they may attempt to withdraw their savings during a panicky run on the bank. Such a panic or a crisis of confidence is bound to deplete a bank's meager reserves, and the lending institution may then face a liquidity crisis, and not be able to reimburse all depositors.

Without outside intervention, this could force a bank to close its doors and declare bankruptcy. If many banks find themselves in the same precarious illiquid situation, the entire banking system could enter into a systemic banking crisis, through a widespread contagion or domino effect.

Two major legislative attempts to regulate and two attempts to deregulate banks in the U.S.

The onslaught of the 1929 Stock market crash and the unfolding of the Great Depression, which translated into 15 million Americans losing their jobs and half of the country's banks failing by 1933, made the adoption of banking reforms a necessity.

In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) signed into law the famous Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which forced a clear separation between commercial banks, which rely on deposits from the public, and investment banks, which borrow money by issuing shares or bonds. And, because commercial banks have a fiduciary mandate to protect depositors' money, they also had to follow strict guidelines for their lending in order to avoid making too risky investments, which could jeopardize their solvency.

Moreover, in order to prevent financial panics and destabilizing runs on the bank, the Banking Act of 1933 established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), whose purpose was to restore trust in the American banking system. It guaranteed that small depositors would not lose their money if a bank becomes insolvent. On the other hand, insured banks had to follow strict rules of investing.

Even though the Glass-Steagall Act was slightly amended over time, its main features remained the foundation of the stability of the U.S. banking system for some sixty-six years, that is to say until 1999.

The 1999 Gramm-Leach-Billey Act to deregulate the American banking system

American banks had often lobbied Congress and the U.S. government to relax the rules of investing contained in the Glass-Steagall Act. In November 1999, then Democratic President Bill Clinton signed the Gramm-Leach-Billley Act (GLBA) into effect, after Congress had voted overwhelmingly in its favor, with a vote of 90-8 in the Senate and by a vote of 362-57 in the House.

That law repealed important sections of the Glass-Steagall Act. Its main feature was to remove the legal barriers that prevented financial institutions from merging commercial banking, investment banking and insurance services in a single holding entity. The purpose was to permit a consolidation of the American banking industry and create large financial conglomerates deemed to be financially more stable.

Some congressmen and many economists argued that the new law was a step backward in the wrong direction, because it could make banks too large to be managed, and because it could make it easier for them to increase the level of risk-taking in their investments. The end result would be to render such large financial conglomerates "too big to fail". This, in turn, would imply that the government would have no other choice but to bail them out with public money, in case of insolvencies.

The Dobb-Frank Act of 2010 vs. the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act of 2018

In 2007-2008, the Subprime Mortgage Crisis broke out in the United States, with three large investment banks failing (Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers). This time, the culprit was largely unregulated derivative financial products, such as mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and collateralized debt obligations (CDO), which lost a lot of their value when the housing bubble burst and widespread mortgage defaults ensued.

The failure of those large investment banks played a central role in the 2008-2009 global recession, dubbed the 'Great Recession'.

A partial rollback of banking regulations in 2018

After the economic debacle of 2008-2009, the Barack Obama administration and the Democratic-controlled Congress came to the conclusion that new banking standards were required if future financial crises were to be avoided. And, President Barak Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Act on July 21, 2010.

That law was designed to prevent the excessive risk-taking behavior that had led to the 2007-2008 financial crisis and cost hundreds of billions of dollars in public bailouts of failed financial institutions. With that objective in mind, the 2010 law intended to eliminate the classification of banks deemed 'too big to fail', by submitting medium size banks to the same stringent regulatory supervision as very large banks.

However, a well-known politico-banking scenario again came into play.

Some bankers began complaining that the new investment rules to prevent excessive risk taking were too strict. Their main demand was that the threshold for the new regulations to apply, i.e. to banks with assets worth $50 billion and above, should be raised to $250 billion and above. In simpler terms, the demands were that the new stricter banking regulations should apply only to very large banks, the so-called 'too-big-to-fail' banks, and not to medium-sized banks with assets and liabilities below $250 billion.

The Republican-dominated U.S. Congress acquiesced to the demands formulated by the banking lobby. —On March 14, 2018, the Senate passed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, exempting hundreds of U.S. banks that the Dodd-Frank Act's banking regulations had placed in the category of banks having between $50 billion and $250 billion of assets.

The new 2018 regulatory law also weakened the so-called Volcker Rule, which prohibits banking entities from engaging in proprietary trading and forbids banking entities from investing in or sponsoring hedge funds or private equity funds. —Thereafter, on May 24, 2018, President Donald Trump signed the partial repeal of the 2010 Dobb-Frank law.

The onset of a new banking crisis in March 2023

During the fatidic weekend of March 10-12, 2023, three American banks, whose total financial assets were below the $250 billion asset threshold, failed and required immediate intervention by regulators to prevent a wider contagion.

They were the Silicon Valley Bank ($212 billion assets), with significant exposure to the technology sector, the Signature Bank ($110 billion assets) and the smaller Silvergate Bank ($11 billion assets), the last two banks catering partly to cryptocurrencies users and to cryptocurrency-related firms.

The March 19, 2023 shotgun merger of the large Credit Suisse bank with the larger Swiss UBS bank is also indicative that large international banks can be fragile and may require an intervention on the part of regulators.

The U.S. Fed's role in creating monetary conditions leading to banking and financial crises

In the aftermath of the 2006-2009 financial and economic turmoil, the U.S. Fed and other large central banks in Europe embarked upon a nonconventional and risky monetary policy of massive money creation, with the so-called policy of quantitative easing (QE), and of artificially pushing interest rates way down, even to negative nominal interest rates, in some instances.

A clear indication of how the U.S. Federal Reserve central bank has been pumping liquidity into the monetary system can be seen in how fast its balance sheet, part of the monetary base of the economy, increased. It stood at roughly 0.9 trillion U.S. dollars, in 2007, but grew to 8.34 trillion U.S. dollars, as of March 8, 2023, an enlargement of more than 900 per cent.

This has had the consequence of the Fed bringing down nominal interest rates close to zero, just as other central banks in Europe and in Japan have also done.

However, a sure result of keeping interest rates artificially ultra low, for too long, is to create financial bubbles, in the bond market, in the stock market and in the real estate market. Lo and behold, in recent years, these markets have reached price levels that are way above their historical average.

This may have pleased some investors and some traders, but it may also have painted the central bank into a corner, if inflation gets out of hand and the central bank has to raise interest rates to fight it.

For reference: in the mid-summer of 2021, it was obvious that inflation in the U.S. was much above the targeted rate of 2 percent and was rising, but the Fed continued nevertheless its quantitative easing policy of purchasing $140 billion of bonds and mortgage-backed securities, each month.

The Fed's view at the time was that inflation was a 'transitory' phenomenon, not expected to last. Therefore, the Fed kept pushing liquidity into the U.S. economy until March of 2022, when it was obliged to reverse course as inflation was getting up steam. —By then, indeed, the inflation rate was already at 8.5 percent.

The fact of the matter is, when central banks raise interest rates after they have kept them ultra low for too long, it becomes very tricky for them to fight inflation without placing their banking sector in jeopardy.

That is because a sustained rise in interest rates causes the prices of bonds and of other securities already issued to fall, along with the price of real estate and of stock prices. Banks that are saddled with so-called 'unrealized losses', at such a critical time, may find themselves in financial difficulty, when they cannot afford to raise rates on their deposits, or appeal to outside help.


First, we may contrast public regulation of new drugs and public regulation of new financial products.

When it comes to the health of people, and when pharmaceutical companies propose new drugs or medications, such new medical products must be submitted, tested and approved by a public federal agency. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), founded in 1906, is responsible for regulating and approving new drugs and medications, before they can be distributed and sold.

However, when it comes to the health of the economy, it is much easier for the banking industry to invent risky new financial products and sell them to the public. Indeed, there is no statutory testing of the viability of such new financial products before their distribution. It's only after the fact—when it is discovered that they have been toxic for the financial system and the overall economy—that their use is curtailed and may be more strictly regulated.

Maybe the banking industry should be treated more as a public utility infrastructure, essential for the good functioning of the economy, in order to prevent market economies from following a disruptive boom and bust cycle, each 15-20 years.

Second, the recurrent periods of financial and economic instability could be a consequence of the dual mandate given to central banks. Indeed, besides serving as lender of last resort, in times of liquidity crises, a central bank's important role is to supervise the fiduciary money creating process, in order to prevent both inflation and deflation.

However, in 1978, the U.S. Congress adopted the Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act, which gave the Federal Reserve central bank an explicit "dual mandate".

Indeed, not only must the Fed manage and supervise the banking system and the money supply, in order to avoid inflation or deflation, but it must also "promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long term interest rates."

At times, such a dual mandate may enter into contradiction and make monetary policy most difficult to implement. This may also explain the kind of yoyo monetary policy that the Fed has adopted recently, pushing interest rates way down and pushing them way up, when inflation becomes a threat.

Economic growth and employment creation in the long run are primarily a government responsibility through its fiscal, industrial and other economic policies, even though monetary policy may influence economic activity and employment in the short-run.

Especially in times of inflation, a central bank with a dual mandate may find itself in a conundrum. That is because to control inflation, it must slowdown the rate of increase of the money supply and raise interest rates, thus slowing down economic growth and employment.

However, we may point out that the European Central Bank (ECB) does not have an explicit dual mandate. It has only one primary objective and that is price stability, subject to which it may pursue secondary objectives. Similarly for the Bank of Canada, whose primary mandate is to maintain low and stable inflation, while supporting "maximum sustainable employment".

Finally, in general, let us keep in mind that the more private bankers are shielded from their errors and mistakes by generous public bailouts, the more they will be tempted to invent esoteric and risky debt instruments, and the more the economy will be subjected to destabilizing financial crises.


International economist Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is the author of the book about morals "The code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles" of the book about geopolitics "The New American Empire", and the recent book, in French, "La régression tranquille du Québec, 1980-2018". He holds a Ph.D. in international finance from Stanford University.

Please visit Dr Tremblay's site or email to a friend here.

Posted Wednesday, March 22, 2023.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2023


Is the U.S. Biden Administration Behind the Blowing up of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 Pipelines between Russia and Western Europe?

By Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay

(Author of the book about morals "The Code for Global Ethics" and his book about geopolitics "The New American Empire")

[NATO's goal is] "to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down." Lord Ismay, first NATO Secretary-General (1952-1957).

"Near-term-thinking [by political and business decision-makers] is not only deeply irresponsible—it is immoral." Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, (in a speech to the General Assembly, Monday February 6, 2023).

"Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire." Zbigniew Brzezinski (1928-2017), Polish-born American political theorist. (In his book 'The Grand Chessboard', 1997).

"Peace is the virtue of civilisation. War is its crime." Victor Hugo (1802-1885), French novelist and political figure, (in 'Œuvres complètes de Victor Hugo', 1885)

A preamble is necessary to understand what follows.

Since the end of World War II in 1945, the influence of the U.S. government in European affairs has been front and center. During the Cold War (1945-1989) between the United States and the Soviet Union (USSR), Europe relied on the U.S., first for financial assistance with the Marshall Plan of 1947, and secondly, for military protection with the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), in 1949, a mutual security and military alliance.

After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, there was a realization in Washington that Europe could become less dependent on the United States. Indeed, the demise of the USSR also meant the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, the Soviet-controlled military defense alliance. Therefore, there was no logical reason to keep NATO alive. The question was then, to dismantle NATO or not?

Because NATO was the main source of U.S. influence in Western Europe, the George H.W. Bush administration and its Secretary of State, James Baker, decided not to dismantle NATO. However, they promised Russia that the military alliance would not expand into Eastern Europe. This promise was broken by the Clinton administration and subsequently by other American administrations, and NATO did expand eastward, with vehement protests from Russia, because it considered such an expansion a threat to its security.

Nevertheless, economic ties between Western Europe and Russia grew stronger over the years, through mutual trade and investment. In 2012, a new pipeline, Nord Stream 1, came into operation, bringing cheap Russian natural gas to Germany. German companies have greatly profited from this cheap source of energy. Some German companies have even been selling their excess imports of Russian natural gas to other European countries. In June of 2015, a decision was made to build a second pipeline, the Nord Stream 2, to double the quantity of Russian natural gas destined to Germany and to other European countries.

The above announcement raised strong fears in the U.S. government that Western European countries were becoming too dependent economically on Russia, and this, just as NATO was expanding in Eastern Europe to include former allies of Russia: Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania and Croatia.

Thereafter, all successive Congresses and U.S. Administrations have strongly opposed the building of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. They feared that the new pipeline would greatly increase Europe's dependency on Russian natural gas, and that this could have serious geopolitical consequences.

The war between Russia and Ukraine, which flared up on February 24, 2022, after the Russian invasion, but which really started in 2014, is, to a large extent, the result of NATO's expansion, which has de facto encircled Russia militarily. It is also a by-product of the American foreign policy goal to reverse Western Europe's growing economic ties with Russia.

As the Brzezinski's quote above states very clearly, the country of Ukraine is only a pawn in a much larger game by the United States government, designed to cut the economic ties between Russia, Germany and the entire European Union (EU).

Who sabotaged the pipelines Nord Stream 1 & 2?

On Monday, September 26, 2022, the day of Rosh Hashanah (which literally means "beginning of the year" in Hebrew*), U.S. President Joe Biden is alleged to have ordered the destruction of the undersea gas pipelines Nord Stream 1 and 2, linking Russia and Germany. (N.B. The pipeline Nord Stream 1 went into operation in 2012, whereas Nord Stream 2 was completed in 2021, but has never gone into operation.)

If confirmed, such an act of state terrorist sabotage would be considered an obvious act of war on the part of the Biden administration. It would also most likely have important political, geopolitical and economic consequences in the coming months and years.

That is precisely what is revealed in an explosive, well documented, coherent and lengthy report, entitled "How America Took Out the Nord Stream Pipeline", dated February 8, 2023, and written by celebrated American journalist Seymour Hersh (1937- ). Pulitzer prizewinner Seymour Hersh has had a long and successful career as an investigative journalist specializing in American military affairs and American military involvements abroad.

Mr. Hersh reports in much detail—while citing reliable sources that must remain anonymous for the time being—how a top secret plan to destroy the 750 mile-long natural gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea, linking Russia and Germany, was drawn up in Washington D.C., by an interagency group under the direction of Jake Sullivan, Biden's National Security Adviser, beginning in the late fall of 2021.

It is important to note that such planning would have taken place months before Russia launched its military invasion of Ukraine, on February 24, 2022, with the objective of preventing Ukraine from joining NATO.

Soon after the explosion of September 26, 2022, some American media surprisingly called the sabotaging of the strategic natural gas pipelines Nord Stream 1 and 2 a wartime "mystery". Some media even alleged that Russia could have blown up its own pipelines for some foggy reasons. Now it appears that the mystery can be dissipated, thanks to the diligence and hard work of American journalist Hersh.

Even though the sabotage action by U.S. Navy diving specialists (with the active cooperation of Norway) was supposed to remain a well-guarded secret and be shrouded in deniability, President Joe Biden could not resist from commenting publicly about the top-secret plan, even before the plan was to be executed.

Indeed, on February 7, 2022, during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Washington D.C., Mr. Biden went on record, declaring the following: [If Russia invades Ukraine], "then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it." He added, to be perfectly clear, in a response to a follow-up question by a journalist: "We will, I promise you, we will be able to do that."

Therefore, what journalist Hersh is now revealing in detail in his 5,000-word report is not a complete surprise, considering that President Joe Biden himself had clearly indicated that it was his intention to eliminate the natural gas pipelines linking Russia to Germany.

Moreover, what has now been made public are the enormous efforts made by the Biden administration to keep the sabotage plan top secret.

First, Congress was kept in the dark about the plan. Second, according to Seymour Hersh, special diving commandos of the U.S. Navy were secretly recruited and trained for the mission of placing mines in the deep sea, on the Nord Stream pipelines in Danish waters, off the coast of Bornholm Island. Third, the placing of explosive charges on the pipelines, in June 2022, was dissimulated within NATO military exercises named Baltops 22, and was conducted by the U.S. Sixth Fleet, which was in the area at the time.

In addition, since such explosives could be remotely detonated, the precise date for the destruction of the pipelines was left to President Biden to decide.—He is alleged to have chosen the date of Monday September 26, 2022.

Political, legal, economic and geopolitical ramifications of the sabotage

Now that the cat would seem to be out of the bag and the so-called "mystery" would appear to have been elucidated, the consequences of this act of state sabotage could be enormous and numerous.

First politically, not all members of the US. Congress will be pleased to learn that laws have been circumvented to keep them in the dark, when all the while President Biden was vaguely hinting that Russia could be behind the sabotage of its own installations, a few days after he had himself ordered the blowing up of the pipelines.

Congressional hearings on the issue would seem to be required, with testimonies under oath by some of the individuals most involved. Even Mr. Biden's impeachment could be considered.

This is a reminder of the fabrication and pretext used by the Lyndon B. Johnson administration, after the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, in order to justify an escalation of U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam War.

Also, one might remember the September 2000 report published by the PNAC (Project for a New American Century). Written under the supervision of neoconservative Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, an avid campaigner for the war against Iraq, the report proposed that there was a need for "a new Pearl Harbor", to galvanize the country behind the objective of "re-arming America".

One year later, just by coincidence or otherwise, there came the catastrophic event of September 11, which effectively reshaped U.S. foreign policy.

When a government operates in complete secrecy, independently from democratic legislative institutions, it may take a long time for citizens to learn the whole truth behind certain so-called "mysterious" events.

Secondly, the sabotage event demonstrates that one objective (possibly the primary objective), in having Ukraine join NATO and in provoking Russia, was to create a direct confrontation with Russia, which could 'justify' the destruction of the Russian-German pipelines. Therefore, the people of Germany are bound to ask German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for a public accounting of his role in the entire sordid affair. It is not beyond possibility that Mr. Scholz could be called to submit his resignation.

Thirdly, legally, the Russian government and the international consortium that owns the destroyed pipelines can be expected to launch a barrage of suits under international law and request billions of dollars in damages. Other victims of the resulting rise in the price of natural gas could follow suit. Russia would also be expected to launch a formal accusation against the U.S. for having so openly violated the United Nations Charter.

Fourthly, as more information starts to filter out over the coming weeks, European governments and the E.U. leadership—having bought Washington's official narrative that the push to admit Ukraine into NATO and the European Union was primarily based on a respect for Ukraine's independence—may have to reassess their motives for supporting a war leading to nowhere, except possibly into World War III.

Indeed, if the Ukrainian war has been an American-led fabricated war from the start, beginning with the U.S.-backed overthrow of the elected Ukrainian government, in 2014,  some among the most staunch European supporters of the war could realize that they have been manipulated.

Finally, journalist Hersh's revelations could also disrupt, and possibly even derail, any plan that the U.S. and NATO could have had to escalate the war in Ukraine.


This sad modern episode in the long history of human warfare should teach us all a lesson. Indeed, in matters of wars or other crimes, the first question should always be "Cui Bono?" or "Who profits?"

In general, when a war breaks out, you can be assured that it is in the interest of one of the parties, the one who actively sought it out, and not necessarily the one who shot first.

Finally, it must be said that in matters of wars of aggression, no government can be trusted.


*As a U.S. Senator, Joe Biden said on several occasions that he was a "Zionist" and that one does not need to be Jewish to be a Zionist.


International economist Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is the author of the book about morals "The code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles" of the book about geopolitics "The New American Empire", and the recent book, in French, "La régression tranquille du Québec, 1980-2018". He holds a Ph.D. in international finance from Stanford University.

Please visit Dr Tremblay's site or email to a friend here.

Posted Tuesday, February 14, 2023.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2023


Why Does Humanity Still Tolerate the Tragedy of Wars in the 21st Century? The Big Picture

By Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay

(Author of the book about morals "The Code for Global Ethics" and his book about geopolitics "The New American Empire")

"Quarrels would not last long if the fault were only on one side." La Rochefoucauld (François de) (1613-1680), French author of maxims and memoirs, (Maxime 496, 1665).

"By way of deception thou shalt do war." Official motto of the Mossad, a clandestine organization of the Israeli government. (N.B.: A phrase taken from the Bible, Proverbs 24:6).

"War is too serious a thing to be entrusted to military men." Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929), French Prime minister, 1906-1909 and 1917-1920, (in 'Soixante Années d'Histoire Française', 1932); (Sixty Years of French History).

"... Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security an liberty may prosper together." Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), 34th President of the United States, (1953-1961), in his 'Farewell Address', Jan. 17, 1961.

"NATO's barking at Russia's door [before the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine War of Feb. 24, 2022] provoked the reaction of the Kremlin. I can't say if (Russia's) anger was provoked, but facilitated, maybe, yes." Pope Francis I (Jorge Mario Bergoglio) (1936- ), 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church, (in an interview granted to the Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera, Tuesday May 3, 2022.

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when you super add the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority." Lord Acton (John E. Dalberg) (1834-1902), (in a letter to Bishop Creighton, April 5, 1887).


Addendum: (Thursday, January 26, 2023)

Under these circumstances, with the escalation of the war in Ukraine, it would be useful and desirable for the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. António Guterres, to convene an emergency session of the United Nations General Assembly, in order to discuss the question of peace in the world, considering the great risk that the deterioration of the war in Ukraine currently poses to humanity.


Since the end of the Second World War (1939-1945), there have been many civil wars and several important regional military conflicts between two or more countries, but none has evolved into a general world war involving all the most heavily armed countries. The most serious regional wars were the Korean War (1950-1953), the Vietnam War (1955-1975), the Iraq War (2003-2011), the Syria War (2011- ), and the Ukraine War (2022- ).

Indeed, with no sign yet of peace in Ukraine, nine years after the overthrow of the elected Ukrainian government, in February 2014, and nearly one year after the Russian military invasion, last February 24—and with a real danger that such a prolonged proxy conflict between great powers could escalate into a nuclear world warit may be appropriate to search for reasons why, in this 21st Century, the world is still threatened with murderous and destructive wars.

There are basic tendencies in human nature, structural institutional failures and geopolitical factors for why this is the case.

Let us identify the most important causes, which can explain why wars of aggression and proxy wars are still taking place today.

• Human nature: Warlike instincts as the basis for wars

Basic human instincts of control, conquest, domination, and exploitation have often been the very background to conflicts and wars between states.

That may be because some countries are, over time, ruled by men who are bent on using violence to gain and expand their power: they may be kings, emperors, dictators, autocrats or hardliners, even in so-called advanced societies.

If war belongs to the very nature of man, in order to escape this atavism, civilization would need to be more commonly based on humanistic principles, and democratic rules and laws, in order to curb the tendency of autocratic governments of oligarchies to dominate other peoples.

• Attempts to prevent wars, with ethical principles or through international cooperation

The Just War Theory

Ever since the philosophical works of Augustine of Hippo (354-430) and Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), the most well known religious thinkers about the Just war theory (jus ad bellum), there have been several attempts to introduce some morality and some fairness, if not more justice, into the practice of organized military violence between nations.

According to thinkers of the 'just war theory', a war must not be pre-emptive but be defensive. It must rest on self-defense. Its purpose must be to defend a nations' peace against serious injury, and be a lesser evil than the alternatives, after all diplomatic options have been exhausted. For that, a war must meet some criteria, such as being based on a just cause (ex: protect innocent life), seeking a just long-term peace, being under the control of a legitimate authority, being proportional in the means used and being waged as a last resort.

Needless to say, with no practical means to prevent wars of aggression, the Just war theory has not prevented wars of aggression, or wars of conquest, from taking place since its inception.

Indeed, when unscrupulous and arrogant leaders subscribe only to the law of the jungle in international relations, it leads to the application of the dictatorial rule that "might makes right".

The League of Nations (1920-1946)

The League of Nations was created in the first part of the 20th Century, in Geneva, Switzerland, on January 10, 1920, by 41 member states, representing 70 percent of the world population. It was a multilateral attempt to prevent a repetition of World War I (1914-1918) and to "achieve international peace and security".

Before WWI, the international system for keeping peace and stability was very primitive. It was based on a few military alliances regrouping several countries. They were supposedly designed to protect smaller states, and their objective was to be a deterrent to war through a so-called "Balance of Power".

Nevertheless, the alliance system was very unstable, because any serious localized military incident could easily escalate and trigger a wider war. Indeed, member nations of any given military alliance were expected to join in the mêlée, when a single country declared a war.

Before World War I, there were two rival military alliances: the Central Powers, which included Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy, joined later by Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire; and the Allies, which included France, the United Kingdom and Russia, joined later by Japan and the United States.

The spark that ignited WWI happened in Bosnia, in the city of Sarajevo, on June 28, 1914, when Archduke Franz Ferdinandheir to the Austro-Hungarian Empirewas shot to death along with his wife, Sophie, by the Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip. With that, military alliances came into play.

Without the military alliances, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand would have only caused a regional war between Serbia and Austria-Hungary. However, because of alliances, Russia came to assist Serbia, which in turn led Germany to declare war on Russia.

A question needs to be asked: Are military alliances powder kegs for creating large wars?

Even though, after WWI, the League of Nations was designed to prevent wars, it was too weak to prevent arms races between countries and to enforce disarmament agreements. It was also too weak to impose solutions to conflicts through negotiation or arbitration in cases of international conflicts.

The United Nations (1945)

The Second World War (1939-1946) is considered to have been a legacy of WWI. And, just like WWI, it involved two opposing military alliances. On one side was the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy, and Japan) and on the other, the Allied Powers (France, Britain, Canada, the U.S., the Soviet Union and China).

The immediate cause of WWI was the German military invasion of neighboring Poland, on September 1, 1939. Britain and France then both declared war against Germany, on September 3, 1939, in accordance with the defense treaties that they had signed with Poland.

However, historians have placed a lot of the blame for WWI on the failure of the League of Nations to prevent regional wars. They single out the Treaty of Versailles of June 1919, which imposed the payment of severe war reparations on Germany (the Weimar Republic) and on its economy, besides depriving Germany of several territories along with other exactions. Such a a severe humiliation of an entire nation, in turn, promoted the rise of the Nazi movement and of militarism in Germany, but also in Italy and in Japan.

The creation of the United Nations on June 26, 1945, in San Francisco, represents an attempt to ban wars of aggression, after the failure of the League of Nations. Indeed, the United Nations Charter states that its main purpose is to "save succeeding generations from the scourge of war".

Even though the U.N. Charter makes wars of aggression illegal, powerful states nevertheless continue to engage in wars of aggression against other less powerful nations, under different pretexts, claiming that their violent aggression is 'necessary', while resorting to an abusive interpretation of the Self-defense article 51.

That is why it can be said that the post-Second World War era has not left the world in a better position today for avoiding wars of aggression, than during the pre-World War I period. "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

• Geopolitical factors and the danger of military alliances

The Cold War I (1945-1991)

During WWII, the United States and the Soviet Union were allies. However, once the war ended, they engaged in building two powerful opposing 'defensive' military alliances.

On the one hand, in 1949, the U.S. government was instrumental in creating The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a 'defensive' military alliance initially regrouping 12 countries (the United States and Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United Kingdom). Presently, it has 30 members, with a number of countries waiting to join (Sweden, Finland and Ukraine).

Its official objective was to provide a counterweight to Soviet armies stationed in central and Eastern Europe after World War II.

NATO's Article 5 stipulates that:

“an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all; and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defense recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.“

On the other hand, the Soviet Union formed the Warsaw Pact military alliance in 1955, in order to counterbalance the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It had 8 Eastern European member states: the Soviet Union (USSR), Albania, Poland, Romania, Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria.

The founding treaty of the 'defensive' Warsaw Pact called on the member states to come to the defense of any member attacked by an outside force, and it set up a unified military command.

During more than three decades, these two opposing 'defensive' military alliances, a Western bloc and an Eastern bloc, served as counterweight to one another through the establishment of a balance of power in Europe.

However, the East European Warsaw Pact was officially disbanded in 1991, when the Soviet Union went through a severe political crisis and disintegrated, on December 25, 1991, being replaced by the Russian federation and 15 new states. That ended the thirty-six year Cold War.

Such an event left the Western bloc alliance, NATO, without a potential enemy to counterbalance.

The U.S. government, under President George H.W. Bush (1924-2018), as the promoter of NATO, then had two choices: either to dismantle the Western military alliance or to reorient its purpose and develop new missions.

The choice was made not to dismantle NATO, in order to maintain American influence in Europe.

Such a decision was not exempt from raising many misgivings on the part of the Russian government, which feared to be placed in the position of facing a potentially belligerent NATO. In order to allay such fears, the U.S. administration of George H.W. Bush gave assurances, through the Secretary of State James Baker (and representatives of other Western governments did the same) that NATO "would not expand into Eastern Europe" and therefore, would not pose a military threat to Russia.

As a counterpart, the Russian government was expected to go along with the reunification of East Germany (the German Democratic Republic) and West Germany (the German Federal Republic) into a single sovereign state, within the NATO alliance.

However, things changed in 1994 and even more so in 1999.

Cold War II (1999- )

Indeed, during the 1994-1996 period, under pressure from the Republican Party, but also influenced by neoconservatives in favor of a unilateral neo-imperialist foreign policy, President Bill Clinton made speeches indicating that his administration would not respect anymore the assurances given to Russia by the H.W. Bush administration, i.e. that NATO would not expand "one inch Eastward".

His administration had been convinced by neoconservative advisors that the U.S. government should take advantage of the extreme economic weakness of Russia to encircle the latter militarily.

In October 1996, President Clinton made it official that NATO enlargement was part of his foreign policy when he openly called for former Warsaw Pact countries and post-Soviet republics to join NATO. This was implemented, beginning in March 1999, when three East European countries (Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic) officially joined NATO.

In March 1999, the Clinton administration went one step further. It sidestepped the United Nations Charter, which forbids acts of aggression, and instead relied on the cover of NATO to initiate an aerial bombing campaign in Yugoslavia, against Serbian military targets. On that date, the U.S. government rendered the United Nations de facto impotent to prevent or stop wars of aggression. Since then, the U.S. government has relied on the NATO substitute to justify its military interventions abroad.

• Pretexts, provocations, lies and other deceptive tactics are commonly used to initiate war

There are panoply of indirect possibilities and treacherous strategies to initiate interstate warfare, besides directly bombing a country or sending armies to invade a foreign country.

For instance, a nation with warlike intentions can use provocations and threats as a prelude to war, or to incite an enemy to retaliate; an aggressor may also try to disrupt and destabilize a country by simulating a military attack through war games and covert operations. The recourse to a false flag operation (when a country commits an act of war and blames another country for it) has often been employed.

Another trick to hurt an unfriendly country is to resort to a proxy war (i.e. a war waged by a client-state against a targeted enemy, but being financed and armed by a major third party instigator). A mixture of a proxy war and a false flag operation can then be part of a plan to enlarge a conflict into an open war.

A war plan on the part of an aggressor can go as far as sabotaging the installations of a foreign country for military or political motives, through covert operations. An aggressor can also impose a siege on a victimized nation without any formal declaration of war.

One tactic commonly used to start a war is to denigrate and demonize an adversary, through lies and deceptive propaganda about that country's armaments or real intention.

Another way to push a targeted country to war is to impose trade embargoes of some essential commodity that it must import, such as oil. Indeed, the unilateral imposition of economic and financial sanctions against a country, in order to hurt its economy, is another hostile act that could result in a war.

That is why it is so arduous to prevent a war only through legal and diplomatic means, or through mediation, when a powerful nation is bent on going to war against another country.

Neither the League of Nations nor the United Nations made it illegal for a warlike nation to provoke a war through indirect means.

This is an indication of how complex and difficult it remains to make the curse of wars of aggression a truly obsolete event. Nevertheless, wars of aggression, now with the destructive capabilities of nuclear weapons, must be prevented, if humanity is to survive on this planet.

Finally, a not too cheery fact: A recent study has concluded that democracies are more likely to start wars than autocratic regimes.


Currently, the international political and legal framework to prevent or to end war is in shambles. The United Nations has been sidelined and its authority as an arbiter of military conflicts, as stipulated in the U.N. Charter, has been undermined and replaced with a comeback of more or less arbitrary raw power politics.

Like in a not so glorious past, military alliances have been reconstituted and the reliance on a new "Balance of Power" is again the only bulwark against a worldwide military conflagration. 

A more civilized world would free itself of the trap of atavistic military alliances, a proven historical recipe for permanent wars, high public indebtedness and persistent inflation. Wars of aggression and proxy wars should be eliminated as a barbarous human institution, once and for all.


International economist Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is the author of the book about morals "The code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles" of the book about geopolitics "The New American Empire", and the recent book, in French, "La régression tranquille du Québec, 1980-2018". He holds a Ph.D. in international finance from Stanford University.

Please visit Dr Tremblay's site or email to a friend here.

Posted Wednesday, January 11, 2023.

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Thursday, November 3, 2022

Justin Trudeau's Ultra-massive Immigration Policy


With its increasingly Ultra-massive Immigration Policy, Justin Trudeau's Liberal government is Doubling Down and is Guilty of Political Irresponsibility

By Rodrigue Tremblay, economist and former minister

"Economic thinking about immigration is generally quite superficial. It is a fact that in different [rich] countries, reproducible national capital is on the order of four times yearly national income. As a result, when an additional immigrant worker arrives, in order to build the necessary infrastructure (housing, hospitals, schools, universities, infrastructure of all kinds, industrial facilities, etc.), additional savings equal to four times the annual salary of this worker will be needed. If this worker arrives with a wife and three children, the additional savings required will represent, depending on the case, ten to twenty times the annual salary of this worker, which obviously represents a very heavy burden for the economy to bear." Maurice Allais (1911-2010), 1988 Nobel Prize in economics, 2002.

On Tuesday, Nov. 1st 2022, the minority liberal Trudeau government in Ottawa made his own the recommandations of the Toronto lobby Century Initiative. In fact, the Trudeau government announced its plan to increase Canada's immigration levels to allow for 500,000 new permanent immigrants annually, between now and 2025. Such a figure would represent a historical record and would exceed, proportionately, what no other democratic country has done.

In adopting such an extreme policy, the minority Liberal government of J. Trudeau deliberately underestimates the economic, social and ecological costs, which would likely result from such a move toward overpopulation.

In so doing, it is also acting in violation of a democratic principle, by committing the future of the Canadian people for decades to come, without consulting Canadians explicitly, by not holding public consultations in due form, and without holding a referendum or a general election to be fought on such a major issue. (Let us recall that in Canada, on November 21, 1988, there was a federal election specifically centered on a policy of free trade between Canada and the United Sates.)

It should be remembered that the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) obtained only 32.6 percent of the vote in the general election held on September 20, 2021. Moreover, since the participation rate in this election was only 62.9 percent, the direct popular support the LPC received from all Canadian voters was only 20.3 percent. No one can claim that the current Liberal minority government, presently in power in Ottawa, has a clear and legitimate mandate from the Canadian people to substantially upend the demographic composition of the country for decades to come.

Such an extremist policy also violates the principle of good governance, because this minority Liberal government has not tabled economic studies, or at the very least, a White Paper, to support its mass immigration policy. It prefers to rely on the narrow economic interests of private lobbies, such as those of the Century Initiative lobby of Toronto, whose objective is to triple the Canadian population by the year 2100, in order to have 100 million consumers.

Following that line, the Toronto organization expects the population of metropolitan Toronto to increase from 8.8 to 33.5 million inhabitants; that of metropolitan Montreal would swell from 4.4 to 12.2 million inhabitants; that of metropolitan Vancouver would grow from 3.3 to 11.9 million inhabitants, etc.) In such a bloated demographic context, the commercial paradise that some envisage could easily turn out to be a hell of congestion, pollution, permanent crisis in housing, an overload of public services in health, education, transportation, in addition to causing a deterioration of social cohesion and creating many other social problems.

Similarly, the minority Liberal government of J. Trudeau has provided no measure or analysis of the social, political and ecological impacts of such a radical demographic race over time.

In wishing to transform Canada, at all costs, into a country that would be a carbon copy of the United States to the North, the J. Trudeau government, unconsciously or not, may be preparing the integration of Canada to the United States—a country that is presently grappling with serious social and political problems—within a generation or two.

It is the responsibility of opposition parties in the House of Commons to oppose such an ultra-massive and improvised immigration policy by the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and if needs be, to force the latter to table the studies and analyses that could justify such an extremist policy. If the government does not comply, it would be their duty to call for a vote on the issue, allowing for a general election to be called, and letting the Canadian people have the final say.

Politicians cannot brag about living in a democracy and, at the same time, let private lobbies dictate public policy.



1- Article in French in the Journal de Montréal, Thursday, November 3, 2022

Immigration : l'irresponsabilité politique de Trudeau

By Rodrigue Tremblay, economist and former minister

Read here:

2- Article in French in the Journal de Québec, Thursday, November 3, 2022

By Rodrigue Tremblay, economist and former minister

Read here:


Tuesday, August 30, 2022


The Biden Administration and Two Looming Crises: An Economic and Financial Crisis and a Hegemonic War

By Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay

(Author of the book about morals "The Code for Global Ethics" and his book about geopolitics "The New American Empire")

"Our economic leadership does not seem to be aware that the normal functioning of our economy leads to financial trauma and crises, inflation, currency depreciations, unemployment and poverty in the middle of what could be virtually  universal affluence—in short that financially complex capitalism is inherently flawed." Hyman Minsky (1919-1996), American economist, (in 'Stabilizing an Unstable Economy', 1986)

"War deficits are the worst fiscal policy imaginable. They add to civilian demand but generate no marketable output of consumer products or capital goods. Accordingly, war deficits tip the economy toward excess demand, inflationary bottlenecks, rising interest rates, and financial instability. They destroy wealth and lower living standards." A. Stockman (1946- ), American politician, former U.S. congressman and budget director under President Ronald Reagan, and private equity investor, (in 'The Great Deformation, 2013, p.214)

"The survivors of a generation that has been of military age during a bout of war will be shy, for the rest of their lives, of bringing a repetition of this tragic experience either upon themselves or upon their children, and... therefore the psychological resistance of any move towards the breaking of a peace... is likely to be prohibitively strong until a new generation... has had time to grow up and to come into power. On the same showing, a bout of war, once precipitated, is likely to persist until the peace-bred generation that has light-heartedly run into war has been replaced, in its turn, by a war-worn generation." Arnold. J. Toynbee (1889-1975), British historian, (in 'A Study of History', vol. 9, 1954

"The tragic truth is that if the West had not sought to expand NATO into Ukraine, it is unlikely that a war would have raged in Ukraine today, and Crimea would most likely still be part of Ukraine." John J. Mearsheimer (1947- ), political scientist at the University of Chicago, (in his lecture given at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, Italy, on Thursday, June 16, 2022)

"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." Albert Einstein (1879-1955), in an interview in 'Liberal Judaism', April-May, 1949)

Besides the lingering Covid-19 pandemic and the on-going climate crisis, which will be accompanied by an energy crisis, not to mention the coming migration crisis, the world could be facing two man-made major crises in the years to come, i.e. an economic and financial crisis and a hegemonic war crisis.

I- Fundamental imbalances in the world economy

Indeed, fearing a persistent shortage of aggregate demand in the largest industrial economies (U.S., E.U., Japan, etc.), central banks adopted the unconventional monetary policy of pushing nominal interest rates toward zero and real interest rates into negative territory. This has resulted in investments whose profitability cannot be sustained in the long run when interest rates return to normal levels.

Secondly, the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic of 2020-2022 and demographic shifts have caused a slowdown in aggregate supply with supply shortages and supply chain disruptions for many commodities and products. Additionally, in the wake of the pandemic, many workers have withdrawn from the labor force, thus creating labor shortages in certain  sectors.

Thirdly, one negative consequence of economic and financial globalization has undoubtedly been its fiscal impact on the budgets of national governments. Less able to raise tax revenues on international corporations and other entities operating in their countries, governments felt obliged to raise their budget deficits and to go deeper into public debt. Any substantial rise in interest rates will result in a fiscal crisis for many governments.

Fourthly, central banks were pressured by treasuries to purchase increased amounts of public debt, thus increasing their balance sheets and the monetary base of the economy. In the case of the American Fed, its balance sheet was around $4 trillion in early 2020, and it has ballooned to around $9 trillion in mid-2022, mainly as a consequence of buying treasury securities and mortgage-backed private securities.

Similar actions by other central banks have also resulted in large increases in their balance sheets. This has pumped excessive liquidity into many economies and that is the first cause of higher inflation worldwide and the depreciation of fiat currencies. Higher inflation, for people on fixed incomes, means a rise in their cost of living and a drop in their standard of living. Economically, this is also the main cause behind the current condition of stagflation, i.e. a condition of slow economic growth with rising prices.

It would seem that economic and financial globalization has reached its potential, and its negative consequences have become more important. The fact that the U.S. government imposes unilateral economic and financial sanctions on other sovereign nations raises important legal and political issues about the sovereignty of independent states.

Indeed, due to the resurgence of international military and geopolitical tensions (see below), the system of economic and financial globalization erected after the Second World War is rapidly weakening. If such geopolitical tensions were to escalate, this could lead to a dislocation of the global economy and to a global economic slowdown, which could last many years.

II- A centenary hegemonic war could be in the making

Small-scale regional wars have been numerous an prevalent since World War II, but this does not mean that world wars have been eradicated from the international system.

History shows that such large-scale wars seem to occur in each century. It is an observed historical fact that countries with great military power always attempt to bend the international economic, financial and political systems to their advantages. And such dominating states in international politics do not hesitate to resort to a cold-blooded game of power politics to achieve their objectives.

Indeed, through the ages, such behavior has resulted in horrific hegemonic wars that peoples had to suffer, time and again, when empires engaged in the deadly game of "great power competition".

The cycles of murderous and destructive hegemonic wars and efforts to avoid them have been well analyzed by British historian Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975), Charles Kindleberger (1910-2003) and other international scholars.

This time around, as far as U.S. foreign policy is concerned, a cohort of neoconservatives in positions of authority within the Biden administration, supported by a score of Washington-based hawkish think tanks and weapons-making firms, is de facto calling the shots, along the lines of the doctrine of permanent war for the United States.

• The United Nations is presently powerless to prevent hegemonic wars

After World War II, the creation of the United Nations, in 1945, raised the hope that such hegemonic wars would be a fixture of a more barbaric past. The purpose was "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war".

The central article of the U.N. Charter, which spells out the way to avoid war, is 'Article 33'.

It reads:

     1- The parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice. 

2- The Security Council shall, when it deems necessary, call upon the parties to settle their dispute by such means.

But lo and behold, the great powers of the time (U.S., Russia, China, U.K. and France) did find a way to exclude themselves from the rules designed to maintain world peace. This was done mainly in obtaining a veto for themselves at the 15-member U.N. Security Council, a body whose decisions are binding on all UN members. And that is where the world stands today. Great powers can always wage aggressive wars with impunity.

The United States government in particular has de facto sidelined the United Nations. This was done behind the screen of NATO, originally a defensive alliance to contain the old Soviet Union, but redefined for the purpose nowadays as a de facto offensive military alliance, under U.S. control. NATO should have been abolished in 1991, when the USSR collapsed. Many European countries and Canada have fallen in line in backing the new warmongering NATO.

Suddenly, militarism is on the rise in the United States and some parts of the world, at a time when the United Nations has been rendered impotent. The Biden administration, as the head of the so-called 'free world', has not shown much interest in diplomacy and in negotiations to solve international conflicts, along the lines of a rule-based international system centered on the U.N. Charter and the legal prohibition of the use of force in international relations.

• Joe Biden and the U.S. commitment to militarism and permanent global war

By coincidence or not, the arrival of Democratic U.S. President Joe Biden (1942- ) in the White House, less than two years ago, has been followed by a chaotic period of unfolding international and domestic tensions.

President Biden's choices for his foreign policy team may have revealed his real bellicose intentions. This was the case when he diverted from tradition and named a career general (Lloyd Austin) instead of a civilian as Secretary of Defense. He also chose a known neoconservative (Antony Blinken) as Secretary of State. Mr. Biden probably knew what he was doing and that he had no real desire to put diplomacy ahead of warmongering in his international dealings. Numerous members of Biden's national security advisors are in the same bellicose camp.

During the 2020 U.S. presidential election campaign, the media did not report much about Senator Joe Biden's warmongering past. Rightly or wrongly, the Democratic candidate was considered more mentally stable, less arrogant and less 'dangerous' than outgoing incumbent Donald Trump. At least, that was what Mr. Biden's campaign promises conveyed.

There is a lesson here, and it is about the necessity to know about a presidential candidate's past to predict future U.S. government policies. The other lesson is that American policymaking is dominated by powerful business organizations and by a small group of affluent Americans. In American politics—money rules.

Therefore, after the botched and chaotic American withdrawal from Afghanistan, it was not a complete surprise when the Biden administration adopted an aggressive foreign policy, especially against Russia, Iran and China. It is a policy based on 'power politics' in international relations. And it is characterized by provocations, threats and economic and proxy wars.

• The military conflict in Ukraine could have been avoided

The Russo-Ukrainian war is a good example of a proxy war between the United States and Russia. It is a war that could have been avoided with a modicum of diplomacy. Indeed, everything was in place for this to be the case.

When the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2199 on February 12, 2015, which called on the countries involved (mainly Ukraine, Russia and the United States) to respect the two Minsk agreements of September 5, 2014 and of February 12, 2015, a diplomatic solution seemed possible.

❲As a reminder, these agreements provided for the establishment of a federal system in Ukraine, so that the Russian-speaking Ukrainian minority of the Donbas mining basin contiguous to Russia, and mainly located around the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, could enjoy autonomous status, in order to preserve its language and culture. —France and Germany had brokered such agreements.❳

Although the Security Council resolution was binding on all UN members, its guidelines were not followed. This failure prompted the Russian government to officially recognize the independence of the Russian-speaking territories and to invade the region militarily on February 24, 2022.

The alleged objective was to defend the inhabitants against the ongoing military attacks by the Ukrainian government, which took place after the 'coup d'état' against the pro-Russian Ukrainian government of President Viktor Yanukovych, on February 22, 2014, (with a strong implication by the U.S. government.) Yanukovych and his Party of Regions had been elected in the February 2010 Ukrainian Presidential election with 48,95% of the popular vote.

Over the last six months of this year, there has been an escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian war. There lies a real danger of an all-out military confrontation of the United States and NATO against Russia. European countries would then be on the front line of such a devastation. The world could then be facing a World War III, which could possible degenerate, by accident, into a nuclear World War. a first in history and probably the last.

• Leadership crisis in the West

Currently, many countries are facing a major leadership crisis, with several nations having political leaders who do not seem to be able to solve problems, some even welcoming a thermonuclear war. In other cases, they even seem to enjoy throwing gasoline on the fire and making matters worse.

European leaders are actively supporting a dangerous military escalation in Ukraine, where the war has become a daily disaster for civilians because of severe violations of international humanitarian law.

In their unconditional support of the Ukrainian Zelensky regime, it is as if such leaders were ready to accept a world war on European soil. If so, this would be the third major European war in a century. One has no need to look any further to understand Europe's decline and marginalization in world affairs during the last quarter century.


Many people alive today have never experienced a period characterized by difficult economic times and war. However, this is the type of world that leaders without much substance and judgement have been trying to create for the past few years.

On the economic front, a perfect storm is brewing, as economic and financial imbalances, coupled with demographic problems and costly environmental policies, risk being a drag on future economic progress for years to come.

On the geopolitical front, the post World War II uni-polar world order is crumbling before our very eyes, leading to more frequent hegemonic military conflicts.

The combination of a global economic and financial crisis and a serious geopolitical crisis could throw the world into a devastating perfect storm.


 International economist Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is the author of the book about morals "The code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles" of the book about geopolitics "The New American Empire", and the recent book, in French, "La régression tranquille du Québec, 1980-2018". He holds a Ph.D. in international finance from Stanford University.

Please visit Dr Tremblay's site or email to a friend here.

Posted Tuesday, August 30, 2022.

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