By Michael Hudson
The reaction to the sabotage of three of the four Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in four places on Monday, September 26, has focused on speculations about who did it and whether NATO will make a serious attempt to discover the answer. Yet instead of panic, there has been a great sigh of diplomatic relief, even calm. Disabling these pipelines ends the uncertainty and worries on the part of US/NATO diplomats that nearly reached a crisis proportion the previous week, when large demonstrations took place in Germany calling for the sanctions to end and to commission Nord Stream 2 to resolve the energy shortage.The Euro Without German Industry
Hudson noted, however, that “the biggest beneficiary” of Russia having been laden with sanctions is Washington. This is because Europe, which is heavily reliant on Russian energy, is faced with simultaneous energy and food crises, thus leaving it with little ability to pay attention to other matters.
“Basically, Washington doesn’t care if Russia wins the war [in Ukraine], because the US has succeeded in eliminating its competition in Europe, especially Germany.”
The agency added that the European Union’s commitment to reduce member states’ gas consumption by 15 percent from August 2022 to March 2023 will continue to increase oil demand by about 300,000 barrels per day for the next six quarters.
The Aframax vessels are optimally-sized to dock at European docks, which often cannot fit supertankers, an analyst from E.A. Gibson Shipbrokers told Bloomberg, and the current sky-high rates should remain heightened in the months ahead so long as sanctions against Russia remain.
“The market consensus was too pessimistic about Russia’s capability to re-route volumes to other buyers,” IEA analysts said. “Russia’s exports adjusted towards other buyers without a serious disruption to its production.”
Congress has repeatedly authorized multimillion-dollar sell-offs of the U.S. strategic minerals stockpile over the past several decades, but Washington’s increased anxiety over Chinese domination of resources critical to the defense industrial base has prompted lawmakers to reverse course and shore up the reserve.
The stockpile was valued at nearly $42 billion in today’s dollars at its peak during the beginning of the Cold War in 1952. That value has plummeted to $888 million as of last year following decades of congressionally authorized sell-offs to private sector customers. Lawmakers anticipate the stockpile will become insolvent by FY25.
“A lot of what happened is Congress just getting greedy and finding politically convenient ways to fund programs that they weren’t willing to raise revenue for,” said Moulton.Congress and Pentagon seek to shore up strategic mineral stockpile dominated by China
Blame China for their greed?! 🙄
The unprecedented U.S.-led Western sanctions against Russia have been likened to economic weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) that would ultimately destroy the Russian economy. In reality, the sanctions are like a double-edged sword — they inflict pain on Russia but also impose costs on their imposers.Why sanctions against Russia may not work
Trump had four Iranian oil tankers seized in August, alleging that they were heading for Venezuela. The problem? There is no basis in international law for the seizures, which are therefore mere piracy and outright grand larceny. The owners of the vessels have filed suit in a Washington, D.C. district court.
President Trump on Friday signed a proclamation expanding tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from some countries.
— Read on thehill.com/policy/finance/479881-trump-expands-tariffs-on-steel-and-aluminum-imports