China’s World-Beating Tech Sector Gives Her a Huge Competitive Edge

The dragon is on fire when it comes to high-tech industries but a trade war with the US looms

pepe-escobar72_0.jpg?itok=iKdEN6-0Pepe Escobar

The unsung star of the World Economic Forum in Davos last week was not a head of state, but the Chinese Politburo member Liu He. The 66-year-old is a trusted confidant of President Xi Jinping and will soon be appointed vice-premier to oversee the Chinese economy.

Alibaba’s Jack Ma – he thinks the US is crazy for having spent $14 Trillion! on war over the last 30 years instead of investing that amount in infrastructure, like China did.

Last year in the Swiss ski resort, Xi stole the show with his keynote speech which outlined globalization with Beijing at the forefront. Now, his trusted chief economic adviser has taken the plaudits.

Liu emphasized, like his ‘boss’, that Beijing is against protectionism and that China is committed to sustainable growth. He also stressed the importance of economic reforms, which would “exceed the expectations of the international community.”

On an array of aspects, the dragon is on fire. Chinese debt is mostly internal, and in yuan, while the economy is fast becoming more productive through high-tech solutions such as big data. Thetransition from an export-fueled business model to a knowledge and innovation economy has been hyper-fast and relatively successful.

Still, red flags remain. Lou Jiwei, the chairman of the National Social Security Fund Council, has warned that China’s financial system is “severely distorted” and has “systematic financial risks.”

On a macro level, concerns persist about how long Beijing’s campaign to “de-leverage the financial sector” will take. There are also worries about the willingness to reduce “off-balance-sheet exposure” in the banking sector. Finally, there are fears that a “squeeze on local government funding could also hit infrastructure spending.”

Against this backdrop, the People’s Bank of China deputy governor, Yi Gang, has been hinting that ‘shadow banking’ and online finance operations will merit special attention in the central bank’s “macro-prudential framework.”

Yet for many, China’s digital ecosystem has been billed as one of the wonders of the ‘new’ world. A detailed report revealed how it is responsible for 7% of China’s gross domestic product and worth more than the GDP of France or the United Kingdom.

The all-powerful BATX, of Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent and Xiaomi, alongside Didi Chuxing, the Chinese Uber, and tech giants and Huawei, are practically a state within a state.

Major breakthroughs in voice and face recognition have helped transform business life in rural China. According to the Boston Consulting Group, there are at least 751 million internet users in China, which is more than the United States and India combined.

Coupled with that, expansion is virtually unlimited as only 54% of the population is connected compared to 77% in the US and nearly 90% in Japan and South Korea. And it certainly helps that Google, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are not present in the Chinese market.

The inevitable trend is for China’s digital ecosystem to keep driving internal growth while, in parallel, the New Silk Road, officially known as the Belt and Road Initiative, generates external growth.

Wang Yi, the Chinese Foreign Minister, recently set out plans to expand the Belt and Road’s reach to Latin America. He outlined the blueprint in Santiago, Chile, during the second ministerial meeting of the China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States Forum.

So, the new ‘Silk Road’ infrastructure push now takes in Eurasia, Africa and Latin America. The West sees it differently, of course, tending to lump “hard and soft power” as the “China threat”, according to the Chinese state-owned Global Times.

The US National Security Strategy took it one step further, defining China, alongside Russia, as a “strategic competitor.” In American ‘think tankland,’ opinion used to be split between the so-called ‘panda-huggers’, who favored engagement, and the ‘dragon-slayers’, who favored confrontation and sanctions.

A case can be made that the dragon slayers are in the ascendancy. This evokes the familiar specter of a trade war, with US attitudes hardening against China as a geopolitical and geoeconomic rival, mixed with a charm offensive to seduce fellow BRICS member India.

A concerted Washington attack on Chinese trade policies may be all but inevitable. Complex global supply chains will suffer, while prices inflate. Naturally, Beijing will move key pieces in its global asset chessboard, which could affect US bonds and equities.

No one will profit from a trade war between two huge, interconnected economies accounting for nearly 25% of global trade, 20% of global services, and more than a third of global output.

Yet even if that was to happen, it would not be enough to halt the long profitable march of digital China.

The Parallel State in Romania

by Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu, Romanian Senate President

I noticed that my refusal to participate in the UM Digi 24 TV debate about the parallel state, was followed by a series of attacks that have far exceeded the journalistic norms. I reserve the right to give a brief reply as an explanation of what is the rule of law, in the hope that those who need to understand will understand. As in the old saying: ”beat the saddle, to teach the horse”.

The essential elements of the rule of law are:

1.The the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens prevail vis-a-vis the institutions;

2. Institutions that are democratically elected exercise power on the basis of the legitimacy given to them by the voters, without interference from the institutions of force. The Parliament is the expression of the will of the Romanians and represents the fundamental institution;

3. The separation and balance of powers, in order to prevent slippages and excesses characteristic of the abuse of power;

4. The rule of law. The Constitution is the supreme and fundamental law.

On these points, the rule of law in Romania is under the siege by the parallel system of power.

The majority of the Romanians sees with concern that Romania has experienced regression in terms of the respect for human rights and for the fundamental freedoms, including in the first years after 1990, when a number of institutions of force had not been reformed yet. Every day, at the office of the Senate we receive complaints from the citizenry that condemn the flagrant violations of rights and freedoms. When I go on trips through the country, I talk to people who share my concerns. On the first page of the newspapers and the televisions, the Romanians have seen an avalanche of cases showing abuses committed by those who work in the so-called “tactical” field.

Lately, there has appeared new evidence related to attempts of distortion of the democratic process by the parallel state. There are many question marks related to trying to influence the results of the presidential elections in 2009, when the heads of the institutions of force were sitting at the table with the political people. We have certitudes related to the abuses of the parallel state against the political people, in an attempt to influence key electoral moments. One such moment was in 2014, when there was a warrant of surveillance of several politicians, among which I counted myself.

As regards the third point, every day we see people from the top of security institutions, where the corruption comes to the surface in a huge size, who refuse to submit to any kind of democratic control. In the United States, the Attorney General has to present himself at the request of the Congress and give explanations. In Romania, we got refusals and a constant run away from responsibilities, which denotes the mentality of those who consider themselves above the law.

Last but not least, in a state of law, the Parliament is the sole legislative authority. Unfortunately, in Romania we have statements from those who must apply the law, questioning the right of the Parliament to legislate.

I know that those who are on the payroll of the parallel state will go to great lengths to deny the evidence. They will say that there is no parallel state, that in Romania the rights and freedoms of citizens are respected to a comma and that all of the revelations in the press are exceptions to be ignored. That is what what they are doing at UM Digi 24 TV, where I have never heard one word about the abuses to which citizens are subjected to, as the victims.

The truth cannot be denied forever. Furthermore, I hope that stating these truths, repeatedly, in the public space, will contribute to the unmasking of the manipulation of those who belong to a minority, those who choose to go out in the street to protect, unwittingly, precisely the parallel system.

Descendants of Top Soviet Leaders Are Often Freaks – Why?

Anatoly Karlin Jan 30, 2018

Russia Insider Editor’s note: Brezhnev’s family is also a freak show.

Also, The 68-year-old son of Cuba’s former leader Fidel Castro has killed himself in Havana, according to Cuban state media.

Stalin’s granddaughter, Chrese Evans, is a tatted up freak girl living in Portlandia, as “American as apple pie” in the words of her mother.


Trotsky’s great-grandson, David Axelrod, is a Jewish ultranationalist who emigrated to Israel and has served three jail terms for terrorizing Palestinians.


Khrushchev’s granddaughter, Nina L. Khrushcheva, lives in the US and churns out anti-Russian propaganda for a bunch of Atlanticist institutions, including Soros’ mag.


Jews and Illegal Migration

A Liberal Nationalist says:

“Indeed after superficial reading, that could well be the lazy and simplistic conclusion, that goes as follows:

Individual Jews may be either liberal or conservative. It is because they “naturally” gain access to politically and intelectually influential positions, due to high IQs and supposed genetic superiority, that it is normal to see them, as any other liberal or conservative influencer, do what influencers do. In other words, move along, nothing to see here.

But this view is challenged when you take a look at the facts. Therefore, after a bit of research one is likely to end up asking some of the following questions:

Why do 67% of American Jews – average Jews – support immigration reform – and being immigration reform an euphemism for amnesty and more chain migration mechanisms – for more mass immigration from third world and developing countries?

1) Why do Jewish leaders and influencers almost unanimously support and lobby for mass immigration knowing as they do most of it is coming mainly from developing and third world countries?

2) Why, and I quote, has the Jewish community made it clear that opening America’s doors to Syrian refugees is one of its defining priorities?

3) Is it a Jewish cultural and religious issue? historic perhaps?

4) Why aren’t there more articles in tabletmag, Forward, World Jewish Congress and the ADL condemning the passivity of Israel towards the refugee crisis, and lobbying to get Israel opening his borders to all refugees?

5) Why of all influencers, do the ones publicly criticizing Islam and Western acceptance of mass immigration that is, such as Sam Harris, Gad Saad, Mark Steyn, Pamela Geller, Dave Rubin of the Rubin Report, Ezra Levant of the Rebel Media, the Gatestone Institute shills, Bill Maher, Douglas Murray and the rest of a long list, which by the way, is mostly composed of Jews, not acknowledge and condemn the Jewish organizations, leaders and influencers from Jewish owned MSM for their role in the lobbying of Western governments and manipulating public opinion to get them to accept more refugees?

Now, you can play dumb, dance around the issue, cry anti-semitism and play the victim so much you want, as you and your ilk (and I mean intellectually dishonest Jews, make no mistake) have done for so many centuries.

But the fact remains that the organized Jewish community, its leaders and influencers are almost unanimously lobbying for more third world mass immigration, and the ones opposing it fail to acknowledge the role played by said actors, perhaps because they are part of their tribe.

This lack of honesty and double standards on the one hand, and the lobbying for mass immigration on the other – so detrimental for the citizens of Europe and the US because it will convert, bit by bit, Western countries into developing ones like Brazil or Colombia, will no doubt be the source of future real and understandable anti-semitism, and of course by that time fools like yourself will again play victim and cry anti-semitism, and feel once more persecuted because of “envy”, as has been the narrative for centuries.”

Russia builds four new air bases in Syria, deploys another 6,000 troops

Feb 1, 2018 @ 10:00 Iranian Shiite militias in Syria, Russian air bases, Syria, US bases in Syria

Contrary to Moscow’s promises, the Russian military is not pulling out of Syria, but adding four more air bases (one shared with Iran) and 6,000 more troops.
On Dec. 11, 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin, followed by Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, announced that the Russian military was to withdraw from Syria to home bases. DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report that the reverse happened. A small number of units were indeed sent home, but they were sooner replaced, and instead of two bases – the air facility at Hmeimim and the naval installation at Tartus – four more Syrian air bases are being reconstructed and adapted for the use of the Russian air force.
The attached map illustrates their locations:

  1. The Tiyas Military Airbase (also known as T-4) in the Homs Governorate west of Palmyra, is the largest in Syria. The Russians are massively converting it into their main center of aerial operations in central Syria. Tyas will also provide backup as needed for Khmeimim, if drone, missile and mortar attacks recur.
  2. Palmyra (or Tadmor) Airport provides air support for operations in eastern Syria including the Deir ez-Zour province. Moscow has agreed to share it with Iran. The Revolutionary Guards Al Qods chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani is planning to make Palmyra the main assembly center for the transfer of pro-Iranian Iraqi Shiite militias from southern Iraq to Syria.
  3. From Hama Military Airport west of Hama, the Russians will exercise control from the air of central Syria and the northern and central highways to Damascus. Still more importantly, this airport’s location places it just 125km as the crow flies (173km by road) from Russia’s Tartus naval base on the Mediterranean coast.
  4. Shayrat, at Homs (which became notorious as the target of a massive US Tomahawk attack last year) is the main landing site for air transports which bring the Russian and Iranian forces troop reinforcements, weapons and spare parts.

More than 6,000 additional Russian military personnel are assigned to the four renovated bases in Syria – most of them air force and special operations personnel. Some have arrived.

The attached map shows how the new layer of Russian bases in western, central and eastern Syria faces the chain of military locations the Americans have decided to keep in northern Syria. The two powers are evidently in a race for bases in Syria. In strategic terms, the two powers are dividing a large swath of Syria between them as regions of influence, leaving any future ruler in Damascus with just about half of Syrian territory under government control.

Working for Walmart

“We need new management at Walmart. Many of you don’t know the story. I’m new to the management at Walmart. I started training on Dec 4. So much has happened already with my mess of a store that it is laughable. I’m having a field day with this shit show but I’m making money. Basically, I got a phone call back in November from a WMT recruiter asking if I wanted be an Asst Store Manager. OK. That led to three interviews and I was offered the position and that is when I found out how much WMT actually pays their management. The compensation is way better than you think. I accepted and started the training but then we had Xmas/quanzaa in the store. Just before Christmas, our not-white female Store Manager from the South took a leave of absence. (I met somebody, by pure serendipity, who has a lawsuit against said manager and WMT and it lawyer-ed up. Everything he has told me has come true so far.)

Right after New Year, I was called to the front office with the other co-managers and was told that I need to take a drug test for reasonable suspicion. I could deny and be terminated or go through with the test. I chose the latter option because I was not doing anything wrong. I was told I was suspended with pay.

Two weeks go by and the drug test comes back inconclusive (negative). So I am reinstated and asked if I can come back the next day. No, I can’t do that because I made all of these appointments so I made them pay for an extra day off. I got paid for just generally goofing off. It was unreasonable to begin with. I could have said that I had a job interview in Idaho or something like that but I didn’t go that far. Just not cool. They were kissing my ass after that fiasco.

Now another week later and we had one Co-manager walked out of the store this morning and the other we don’t know about. I never said a word about that drug test fail to anyone. I was hired by corporate. It’s about more than that though. I was told they could both be gone and the position eliminated. That leave the rest of us in a situation where the only management left are assistant managers. I found myself running a Walmart by myself a few times in the last week. I don’t even have full access to every system yet but I managed to do it. I sure as hell don’t know everything. It’s a business so the tenets of running a business apply. I love the damn job and I love what it pays. The chaos is awesome.

I requested the store that I am at for a reason, and I have one guy hired and I am looking for more. It is time for a change. You might have heard that two days ago WMT fired a shitload of people from corporate. WMT is cleaning house. There is management that has been taking advantage of the situation for far too long.

My whole suspension caused me to miss the rest of my training so now I have to start all over. That costs me money and benefits. This is a legal issue, but not yet. I’ll pick my battles.

Interesting that one of my fellow Assistants was a licensed securities broker for Wells Fargo but he couldn’t stand it he said. He didn’t elaborate as to why other than being bored but he still talks about it. I have to keep my eye on him. I don’t say shit about what I know.

This is the world we live in.

I wish I would have never went to university and just started with WMT right out of high school. I would be retired by now. One thing I do know for sure is that you will always have customers at Walmart. Who wants glamorous? Merica shops at Walmart, and so do you, so keep the snide comments to a minimum. “

The Truth About The So Called British “Royal Family”: Are they ALL Jews?


October 8, 2015


For the last few years, I have been telling people that the British “Royal Family” are absolutely not as they seem. […] I have said that these people are absolutely not British in any aspect, but are criminals, frauds, and have absolutely no rights to the British throne at all..

Now, I want to reveal through an article from my friend, Whitewraithe, who writes the blog: Pragmatic Witness, that amazing article, entitled: “Britain’s Jewish Royal Family” right here for everyone to see for themselves, and I do, of course, have some additional thoughts and comments to follow:

Britain’s Jewish Royal Family

What we have been sold is no less than the groundwork for the imposition of a future Jewish Monarchy in Great Britain. And engineered by the House of Rothschild, whose relations and puppets on Wall Street and in the City of London are responsible for a deliberatly created international financial crisis aimed at creating a one world currency system, a one world bank and a New World Order, one world government.

As one Royal insider commented “An insecure immigrant Royal family who have never felt at ease with the British people, and always more secure with immigrants and outsiders, and an alliance with the richest Jewish family in the world, heads of what is increasingly being re-Christened “The Jew World Order, who also seek to raise their status, is perceived by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh as the best guarantor of their family’s future and safety. In short, we will one day see a Rothschild Royal family.”

Many people still cannot get Kate Middleton or why she, a supposed ‘commoner’ would marry Prince William. But hidden right under our noses is the truth the controlled mainstream media is hiding. Kate Middleton is a Jew from a maternal line of non-practicing, assimilated and poor Sephardic Jews aligned to the Church of England. Her mother whose maiden name is Goldsmith, practicing or not, is Jewish and under Jewish law if the mother is Jewish then the children are Jewish, therefore the children of Prince William will be legally Jewish….especially as William, under Judaic law, is also a Jew!

Under Jewish law if William and Kate have children their children will be Jews!

Princess Diana was a Jew because her mother was a Jew therefore Princes William and Harry:  See also: Huffington Post A Jewish King And Queen Of England? It’s Possible


In Tina Brown’s book ‘The Diana Chronicles’, the author claims that Princess Diana’s Jewish mother Frances Shand Kydd had a long-running affair with Sir James Goldsmith during her marriage to Earl Spencer. She suggests that Diana, who was born in 1961, was Goldsmith’s love child and not Spencer’s daughter. Even so the father’s line is irrelevant as Jewishness travels down the matriarchal line and Diana’s mother was a Jew. See also:  The Times of Israel —  Will the Future King of England Be Jewish?

The Goldschmidts, like their neighbors and relatives, the Rothschilds, had been prosperous merchant bankers in Frankfurt, Germany since the 16th century.(Wikipedia). In 1773, Mayer Rothschild invited Goldschmidt, (Goldsmith), Schiff, Oppenheimer, Warburg and eight other ambitious Jewish businessmen to his goldsmith shop. Together they formulated a long term plan […].


The original and current Jewish definition of a “born Jew” is a person whose mother is Jewish. Judaism is passed down in a matriarchal lineage. Prince William’s mother, Princess Diana, had a Jewish mother (Frances Ruth Burke Roche; a Rothschild) and she likely had a Jewish father (though his lineage would be irrelevant under Jewish law). That would make William – Jewish.


Diana shares a striking physical resemblance to the children of Sir James Goldsmith – Zak Goldsmith, Ben Goldsmith and Jemima Goldsmith. They are allegedly Diana’s half brothers and sister.

Following the Rothschild protocol of interbreeding to keep the power and wealth all-in-the-family, Diana’s alleged half brother Ben Goldsmith wed Kate Rothschild in 2003.

Princess Diana’s other alleged half brother, Zac Goldsmith, divorced his wife after he was elected British MP. He is now living with Alice Rothschild. This Rothschild-Goldsmith couple is also expected to marry.

Many people were perplexed why parliament should — recently, during one of it’s most busy sessions since the war –, have enacted a law allowing Catholics to ascend to the throne. What perplexed them was that the issue was not even on the horizon and there was simply no justification at that stage to use valuable parliamentary time dealing with it. In the light of this theory we can better speculate what was going on.  This was an ‘en Passant’ means of allowing Jews to take the throne on the basis of the ‘equality’ and ‘diversity’ our cultural Marxist Queen so greatly cherishes.

People have also always been mystified why Charles married Diana in the first place given that he was deeply in love with and had a long-standing relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles. But that marriage made perfect sense if the family simply wanted Jewish children for a future Jewish monarchy. Whether the relationship lasted or not was of little importance once the the children were born and how convienient that Diana went the way of a wife of Henry the Eighth.

But the Kate-William marriage also perhaps explains Prince Charles’s dictum that, should he be ruler, he would seek a constitutional change that would remove him from sole governance of the Church of England to become the leader “Of all faiths.” Such a constitutional move would give Judaism parity with Christianity allowing a Jewish member of the Royal Family, for example, even if it were a woman, to ascend to the throne […].

And so the Rothschilds attended the royal wedding in more ways than one!



However, the Talmud states that the leader of the world Jewish takeover would be a King, meaning that, should a male Jew ascend to the throne, such a King would then himself not only be the senior Elder of Zion but also the long awaited Messiah; The King of the Jews. As there are no remnants of the ancient Jewish royalty, and in order to fulfil the prophesy, Jewish royalty must be re-established, and it appears from this evidence that the current British Royal family has become the vehicle of choice.

At last, we come to understand the old Masonic claim that “Jerusalem will be rebuilded here, in England’s green and pleasant land.” The King of the Jews will rule the world from London where the ‘square mile’ of London City no longer belongs to the English people but was long ago sold to the Jews. His castle may well sit on the site of the last Olympic games; an area stolen by the state from the East Londoners who lived and worked there, perhaps in the long term for this very purpose.

Could the New Jerusalem be built in the ‘square-mile’ or could it be built on the Olympic site which was surrounded during the event by the Jewish and Masonic symbol of triangular, pyramid floodlights? Could the arena of the Olympic stadium become the site for the rebuilding of the temple? […]

On a related point, Royal rumour has it that Prince Harry is under great pressure, especially from the Queen, to marry a black woman to help promote the racial genocide of the indigenous British people through mass immigration, cultural Marxism and Zioncorp promoted miscegenation. A series of Jewish and far-left MPs such as Margaret Hodge, using mass third world immigration and fixed housing lists in the East End, have already succeeded in almost wiping out the Cockneys in this effort.

The Queen famously threatened in her 2010 Christmas Speech “The future face of Britain is the face of the Commonwealth.”

i.e.: The end of the white race in the United Kingdom!

Kerry urges Abbas to “resist Trump, stay strong”

Jan 26, 2018

Former US Secretary of State John Kerry sent a message to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas urging him to “stay strong in his spirit and play for time and not yield to President Trump’s demands.” Kerry offered to help the Palestinians, hinting that Trump would not be around for long and he, himself, may be considering another run for president in 2020. “Maybe it’s time for the Palestinians to present their own plan”, said Kerry, who during the presidency of Barack Obama, tried and failed to negotiate peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Social Pathologies, World-Over

Strange new pathologies are not unique to America. Each pathology might be somewhat unique to it’s area, but the existence of pathologies is not unique to America. Take Japan for example. They have millions of hikikomori. Adults living with their parents playing on their computers and contributing nada to society. Millions … So ya these Japanese millennials don’t do opioids, like their American counterparts, they’re still messed-up. Then of course there is the sky-high suicide rate. They have a forest where people are hanging themselves so frequently it’s referred to as “the suicide forest”. AND the Japanese have basically given up on having children. It doesn’t get any more pathological than that.

And in Europe there are even more messed-yup feminists that simultaneously believe there are no biological differences between men and women, when talking about why women and men have different interests and different strengths (it’s 100% cultural they claim), while also believing that transsexuals have biologically driven preferences (how can a transsexual have a biologically driven urge to be the opposite sex if the sexes are biologically identical and gender is purely a cultural concept?).

Or you have the Swedes (and others) that are so messed-up with “white-guilt” (for what exactly?) that they choose to import millions of criminals, deviants, radicals and extremists into their society just to ‘prove ‘to the world they’re not racist. “Hey buddy, you’re still a unreformed racist. Get over it.” Do they befriend these people and invite these people into their homes? No. Swedish society is extremely xenophobic at the personal level and their ‘open embrace’ of other cultures is purely for show. It’s completely fake. And for this ‘fake show’ that fools no one, they are willing to destroy their society. How pathological is that?

The Rich Also Cry



While you have probably already forgotten the feast, Russia is only now slowly coming back to life after its overlong Christmas break completed on January 14 by the quaintly named Old New Year, or even perhaps by the Epiphany on January 19. Everybody went somewhere, even candidates for the presidential race coming in on March 18: the Communist one went to ski in Austria, while the right-winger went to Bali. On the eve of Epiphany, they dipped in the ice-cold waters: the ultimate trial of Russian fitness. Not only he-man Putin, but even she-woman Sobchak did it!

And now, at last, as the feasts are over, the real trial begins. The US is preparing a new round of sanctions, including seizure of Russian oligarch assets. They are ripe for collection. The confiscation of Russian holdings in Cyprus banks in 2013 passed without a hitch and served as a trial balloon. Putin didn’t object overmuch, for he is a sworn enemy of offshore accounts. None of the fleeced Russian businessmen succeeded in recovering their losses in court. Now is the time for the real thing, and much of the anti-Russian hysteria is aimed at preparing the ground for the seizure. In this way, they plan to get a cool trillion dollars into the US Treasury. Who will lose his assets and who will survive, this is the talk of the day in Moscow.

The Russian assets in the west could be divided into New Money, assets of Putin’s people, and the Old Money, assets of Yeltsin’s people. The sanctions are supposed to deal with Putin’s people, but Russian experts think the Old Money is more vulnerable, for a good reason. The New Money is under Putin’s protection. If the US or any other western authority grabs it, the Russian government may seize Western shares in Russian companies and properties.

But what about the Old Money? Its owners, elder oligarchs, are extremely worried about Putin’s nonchalance. Putin takes it easy, they say. Ma’alish, the Arab in Putin says. Que sera sera, says his inner Frenchman. And this nonchalant attitude drives the oligarchs crazy. They want him to fight and save their money. They insisted on his meeting with President Trump in Vietnam; some say the meeting took place in the depth of the night, far from prying eyes, and didn’t bring results. Now Putin says to the Old Money: if you want to save your money, repatriate it to Russia. We aren’t that mad, they reply. You have to defend us anyway! That was the Deal!

Now we are coming to a difficult part. The Deal. Connected people, in-the-know, claim that a top-secret agreement was reached between the late Mr Yeltsin and his cronies, on one side, and The West, on the other side, in 1991. Yeltsin et al had sold Russia’s interests down the river, and in return, The West allowed the bastards to hoard their ill-gotten gains in the Western financial system. Yeltsin et al had promised to let the Soviet republics go; to disarm; to follow the Washington Consensus, i.e. to stick to the liberal economic model; to allow the free import of consumer goods; to allow Western access to the Russian military complex; to let the West write Russian laws; to permit the free outflow of capital from Russia. The West promised to bring investment, to let Russia live in peace, to keep NATO away from Russian borders.

Mr Putin inherited The Deal. Slowly, the Deal has been eroded from both sides. NATO troops moved eastward, no sizeable investment came in, the West supported Chechen rebels. Russia limited Western access to its military-industrial complex; took Crimea; regained some of its international independence.

Putin was elected, or you may say, he was appointed to stick to the Deal and to serve as the Supreme Arbiter among the oligarchs, with very little of a power base of his own. Slowly, he created his own oligarchs (they are described as “siloviki”, though not all of them have some security forces background), and he had built up a limited power base; though many important positions, in particular in the economic sphere, remained in the hands of the Old Guard, Yeltsin’s men. This, too, was a part of the Deal.

The powerful personalities of Yeltsin’s era remained embedded in the upper echelons of Putin’s state. Chubais and Kudrin were and are untouchable. They are connected with the FRS and the IMF, they go to Bilderberg and Davos, they are often described as ‘the colonial administration’. They steal with both hands, and do it with impunity. Just last week it was revealed and published that Mr Chubais and Mr Kudrin appropriated a cool billion dollars of Russian state money while repaying the Soviet debt to the Czech Republic. The worst Putin can do about them is to give them a fat chunk of the Russian economy to chew on, while limiting their access to the rest. So he gave Mr Chubais the Rusnano company that made no profit but embezzled billions. This was the Deal.

Yeltsin’s oligarchs remained as rich as they were; Yeltsin’s family still possesses immense riches. And Putin does not dare to touch them. He goes hat in hand to open a Yeltsin’s Memorial Centre; he is courteous with Yeltsin’s widow and daughter. Putin’s establishment cautiously avoided celebration, or even mention of the Revolution centenary, in keeping with Yeltsin’s anticommunism. This is the Deal.


The topmost schools of Russia, the most endowed, the most privileged schools for the children of the new nobility are the HSE, (the Higher School of Economics, a clone of the LSE and the economic think-tank of the government), and MGIMO, (Moscow State Institute of International Relations, the school for perspective diplomats). Their graduates were been trained to despise Russia and admire the neo-liberal West (just like the Indian students trained by the Brits, had admired England and despised their country in the days of the British Raj). Professor Medvedev of the HSE called upon Russian government to transfer the Russian Far North to the international community, though this is the place of the greatest gas reserves (he kept his position). Professor Zubov of the MGIMO had compared Putin to Hitler, and denounced Russian diplomats as liars (his contract hasn’t been prolonged). All that is a part of the Deal.

Putin has been unhappy with the Deal for a long time, vocally so since his Munich talk in 2007, but he stuck to the script. Even now, Russia’s economy follows the liberal model; billions of dollars are being siphoned out of Russia monthly; billions of dollars’ worth of Western manufactured consumer goods are imported and sold in Russia, though it would make perfect sense to organise local manufacture. Russia’s Central Bank is directly connected to the Western finance system, and its emission is limited by the amount of hard currency in its coffers. The Rouble carry trade prospers, like the Yen carry trade did years ago.

Meanwhile, the Deal has been undone from the West, as a result of the epic struggle between Bankers and Producers, otherwise described as Liberals vs. Conservatives, or Globalists vs. Regionalists, personalised as Clinton vs. Trump. Yeltsin’s people are historically aligned with the Clinton camp. Now, their assets in the West, previously protected by the Deal, have lost their protection and come up for grabs.

The Old Money people are putting their effort into persuading the West, namely the US, to let them live in peace and instead confiscate the pro-Putin New Money.

This presented the golden opportunity for the anti-Putin activists, the time they can collect the fruit of their hard work. A somewhat typical anti-Putin activist is an émigré, Mr Andrey Illarionov, a Yeltsin man, an ex-adviser to President Putin (until 2005), a US resident, a member of the loony Cato Institute and an adept of Ayn Rand. He is an anti-Russian fanatic; next to him Rachel Maddow is a Putin groupie and Tokyo Rose a symbol of patriotism. Speaking to the Congress Committee of Foreign Affairs in 2009, he famously claimed about the US administration policy towards Russia that “it is not even an appeasement policy so well known to us by another Munich decision in 1938, it is a surrender. A full, absolute, unconditional surrender to the regime of secret police officers, chekists and Mafiosi”. Despite these fighting words, he is a frequent visitor to Moscow, and he never misses a demo where he can call out “Putin must leave” apparently unafraid of the “secret police officers, chekists and Mafiosi”. This is all you should know about the totalitarian Russian regime!

(Émigrés are frequently like that, and the US, a country of immigrants, had been vulnerable to the attack by Illarionov Syndrome, by listening to Masha Gessen, or to Ahmed Chalabi, the Iraqi émigré who claimed Iraq has had WMD, to Alexander Solzhenitsyn with his horror stories about GULAG, etc. I made it a rule to moderate my critique of Israel while abroad, in fear of failing the Illarionov Sanity Test.)

Now Mr Illarionov is lobbying the US Congress to remove its threats from the heads of those deserving oligarchs, who (in his words) amassed their fortune before advent of Mr Putin and “in order to survive, they had been forced to pay a large tribute to the Kremlin”. His lobbying effort on behalf of the Old Money people has been shared and supported by two notorious Putin haters, a fellow émigré Piontkovsky and a Swedish Neo-Con Anders Aslund.

Direct and generous beneficiaries of their lobbying are the Three Alpha Jews, Peter Aven, Michael Friedman and Herman Khan. They are owners of the Alpha Bank, a very big Russian bank , and they are Old Money oligarchs from Yeltsin’s days when their kin ruled the land.

Michael Friedman, the fat guy with a jolly piglet face, rose to his eminence from being a ticket tout selling illegally obtained opera tickets to Western tourists near Bolshoi Theatre; afterwards he became The Mind behind all ticket mafias in Moscow, and then proceeded to banking and so many other things.

Like many Old Money guys, Friedman earns money in Russia, but siphons it off for Jewish causes. He is a co-founder of a “Jewish Nobel Prize”, also called Genesis Prize, a cool million dollars being given annually to a deserving Jew, the most recent one being the notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg who called Donald Trump, “the faker”. This is not a coincidence; the Russian Old Money is solidly in bed with the Clinton camp. If Friedman succeeds in escaping the sanctions, it will be an additional proof that the Bankers still have the upper hand in the US Administration.

Alternatively, it could mean they are just smart and able to play the both houses. The Three Alpha Jews had been mentioned in the Steele Dossier as the conduit of Putin influence for Trump and against Clinton in the recent US Presidential elections. (They are suing Fusion GPS and BuzzFeed for spreading the accusation).

According to an even better conspiracy theory spread on the social networks, both Mr Illarionov and the smart Alpha Jews are a sleeper cell organised by cunning Mr Putin to ensure his survival in the most adverse conditions. All of them were very friendly with Putin; perhaps they just pretended to become his enemies, the conspiratorially minded journalist from the anti-Putin Echo Moskwy has implied.

Leaving the conspiracy theories aside for a while, we can reach a conclusion. The forthcoming attack of the US establishment on Russian assets is likely to undermine the Old Money of the Yeltsin Oligarchs, and not only them. This confiscation will spell the death knell to the notorious Deal, and then we shall see Putin Unbound.

But perhaps it is too late for him. An unverifiable odd rumour has risen in Moscow. They say that the Communist candidate Pavel Grudinin has strong backing among the “siloviki”, that is Putin’s appointees, often but not exclusively of security services background, for they are unhappy with Putin’s adherence to the Deal. But that will be the subject of my next piece.

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam

This article was first published at The Unz Review.

Nonfiction for the Nonplussed