|Russia and the CIS News Digest
Russian Weekly Zavtra Publishes Interview with LaRouche
Oct. 23 (EIRNS)The Oct. 21 issue of the popular Russian newspaper Zavtra features on its front page a discussion with American economist Lyndon LaRouche, under the headline "Our Last Chance." Based on an interview with LaRouche by Zavtra deputy editor Alexander Nagorny done Oct. 10, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum's "Dialogue of Civilizations," on the island of Rhodes, Greece, the publication presents LaRouche's incisive ideas on dealing with the crash of the global, monetarist system.
The Zavtra interview is rapidly spreading through Russian-language Internet sites, appearing today on Biznes Online, the RossiyaRing of Patriotic Resources portal, and the site of the Movement for the Rebirth of Russian Science. Quotations in this report are from Zavtra's version of what LaRouche said, a Russian translation which paraphrased LaRouche's original formulations with considerable accuracy.
LaRouche told Zavtra that the world is facing two interrelated historical problems. One is the utter bankruptcy of monetarist economic policies, which are rooted in the Middle Ages (in the original, LaRouche spelled out their Venetian provenance). Those policies are now "leading the world to a total crash." The second problem, LaRouche linked with V.I. Vernadsky's conception of the biosphere and the noösphere: the exhaustion of natural resources by human activity, faster than mankind is restoring and creating such resources through technology.
In Zavtra's words, LaRouche says that "the current crisis cannot be harnessed and defeated, without solving both these problems; we must do away with the world monetarist system of global finance, and build a new system, a productive economy in accord with Vernadsky's principles."
Zavtra highlights LaRouche's counterposition of the Hamiltonian American System of political economy, oriented toward "physical economy," to the monetarist swindles and financial bubbles of recent years. In addition, the write-up of LaRouche's briefing includes his sharp distinction of the post-Roosevelt Keynesian approachesbecause of Harry Truman's dirty deals with Winston Churchill, as against Franklin Roosevelt's orientation toward American System physical economy. Also included is LaRouche's denunciation of the phoniness of current claims that a recovery is going on in the United States, or anywhere else.
LaRouche's reply to Nagorny's question, as to whether President Obama would support LaRouche's initiatives, Zavtra gave as follows: "In no way. Obama is an agent of influence of that same oligarchical finance capital, which I describe as the British Empire. Among his appointees are a great number of people like Larry Summers, a direct representative of these circles, who is known in Russia and the world as a thief. He's the one responsible for the pseudo-anticrisis program in the Obama administration, which is only funneling additional gigantic sums of money to their friends."
By way of contrast, Zavtra included LaRouche's description of his Homeowners and Bank Protection Act, which would have worked when it was proposed in 2007. Now, the paper cites LaRouche, a point of no return has been passed. Derivatives and similar financial instruments must be banned. "But, that is not enough," said LaRouche in Zavtra's summary, going on to present the American thinker's "four powers" conception:
"Now we are in the middle of a crisis, which could blow up the entire planet in a chain reaction at any moment.... While 80% of what a country needs for its economic security used to be internally provided, in the period of globalization the ratio goes the other way. That is why I propose to approach the global crisis not so much from a national platform, as through joint actions by key nations in the world economy. That means China, the USA, India, and Russia. If these nations take a unified line for the reorganization of world finances, and initiate and force the implementation of a restructuring of the world financial and credit systems in the framework of a Rooseveltian model of physical economy, then the world has a chance to avoid catastrophe."
According to Zavtra, LaRouche called monetarism "the plague of the world," since the time of the Peloponnesian Wars. "We must subordinate the money system to the power of sovereign nations," is Zavtra's concluding report of LaRouche's words. (Next week's EIR, dated Nov. 6, will carry the full interview.)
Shrinking Russian Economy Needs LaRouche Plan
Oct. 26 (EIRNS)The Russian economy continues to implode, according to just-released Russian Economy Ministry figures for the first nine months of 2009, showing how urgently Russia needs the Four-Power economic agreements that Lyndon LaRouche has put on the world agenda. There was another agreement signed between Russia and China todayTransportation Ministers Igor Levitin and Li Shenglin signed a memo on cooperation in road construction and river navigation, and "to promote the development of roads that are part of international transportation corridors"part of the projects agreed to by the two governments during Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's visit to China Oct. 13-15. The dire economic figures show how much more has to be done.
Russia's GDP shrank 10% in the first nine months of 2009, compared to the same period in 2008; the only "positive" news was that the September GDP crash was "only" 8.6%, after a 10.5% contraction in August, due to an upturn in gold and forex reserves and a slower fall in foreign investment. Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin tried to spin things into an Oct. 24 declaration that the recession is "over," based on rising oil pricesa statement greeted with hoots of skepticism by independent economic experts, Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported today.
The Economic Development Ministry reported that Russia's trade surplus crashed by 51.7% year-on-year in the first nine months of 2009, down to $74.9 billion from $155 billion in 2008. Foreign trade was worth $337.8 billion, down 43% for that period. Russian exports were worth $206 billion in these nine months, almost 45% lower than a year ago, and imports were down almost 40%, to $131.5 billion. September figures were only slightly better, about 37% lower than a year ago.
A "showcase" of the collapse is AvtoVAZ, Russia's biggest automaker. The company, despite government bailouts, might have to declare bankruptcy, chief finance officer Oleg Lobanov was quoted by Novosti on Oct. 19. Despite efforts to keep people working, the threatened layoffs of 27,000 workers could be carried out as early as January-February 2010, Novosti had earlier reported. AvtoVaz employs directly about 100,000 people in the 700,000 one-industry city of Togliatti on the Volga. The layoffs follow months of forced vacations, reduced work, and short pay.