Of course, there are forces in the USA that absolutely do not want this (and there are serious disagreements within them), but the manifestation of their contradictions in 2013 could be noticed at every step. If in 1999, 2003 or even 2011, the attempts of the world community to resist the global elite, who wanted war and annihilation of the legitimate authorities of certain countries, were completely hopeless, then in 2013 the war in Syria managed to stop and even put terrorists in some limits, limiting their assistance by external forces. You can, for example, note such a wonderful circumstance as the refusal of the British Parliament to give the right to support separatist terrorists in Syria, demanded by Prime Minister Cameron.
There were other events in 2013 that the previous 20 years seemed impossible: this is the “Snowden case” (more precisely, the support he received in various parts of the world) and the defeat of the Brussels bureaucracy in Ukraine (signing of an association agreement with the EU It was precisely the political project of the “Atlantic” elite), a statement about the possibility of participation in the Customs Union (CES) by Turkey and Israel. You can also add the US refusal to put pressure on Iran and, as a result of this, the announcement of Saudi Arabia and Israel of its strategic alliance.
All this could not have happened if the liberal elite, defining international politics in the 90-e-2000-e years, still wrote the rules of the game. In this sense, the description of the split of this elite as the main process defining the 2013 processes of the year was absolutely correct.
The second fundamental point, noted in the forecast, was the role of dollar emission. Here, too, the deviation from reality was minimal: taking into account the fall in aggregate private demand and its gradual replacement by the demand of states (with an increase in government debt, of course), it was the dollar issue (and, like its weak similarity, the issue of the yen and some other regional currencies) kept the situation . Of course, the negative consequences of such emissions also occurred, but we will discuss them in the forecast part.
It should be noted that the processes of regionalization of the markets, which were also mentioned in the forecast, as a result, the dollar emission also showed itself quite actively. It may be noted, for example, strengthening the position of the yuan and its output to the second (after the dollar) place in international trade. But a more or less accurate analysis of this process is impossible, since statistics show currency turnover together for trading and speculative transactions, and in this situation it is almost impossible to calculate the exact share of the dollar in the world trade system, because forex turnover is orders of magnitude more. It is important to note that the fundamental destruction of the dollar financial system has not yet occurred, since the prices of world markets are still formed in dollars.
The forecast specifically talked about strengthening control over offshore companies and tax evasion - and Russian citizens saw with their own eyes the relevant processes. At the same time, our country here is following common processes, which is clear from the fact that if this were not the case, the Russian liberals, who control economic and financial policies in the country, would have been able to suspend this process in our country. It is clearly not in the interests of their “senior” partners, whom I called the forecast “alchemists” (and in some other texts, “percentages”) and who today are in a difficult situation. I was mistaken only in terms of the “Tobin tax” - the “percentages” managed to stop the adoption of this tax in the European Union through the courts. However, as an alternative, the approval of the “Volcker rule” in the USA, which represents a partial restoration of the Glas-Stigal law, which prohibited speculation with other people's money, was adopted during the Roosevelt era in 1933 and canceled at the request of the global financial elite in recent months. the Clinton presidency at the very end of 2000 of the year.
You can also note what happened in 2013 year, the attempt of the “percentages" to return to the control of the Fed by appointment to the post of its head Larry Summers. This maneuver failed, Summers was forced to withdraw his candidacy himself, but the fact that the attempt itself was not reflected in the forecast is some of its shortcomings.
I was also mistaken in terms of the fact that states will begin to create an alternative to liberal economics. Although at the private level, such attempts are being made (even in Russia, although the Ministry of Education, controlled by liberals, in particular, in the person of HSE, strictly forbids any alternative to the economic “mainstream”), for example, a group of British professors said it was going to reconsider the methodology of teaching economics, This process has not received state support yet. Apparently, the control of the economics lobby turned out to be stronger than I had assumed, or the matter is in the self-zoning of politicians who categorically refuse to recognize the real state of affairs in the economy. It should be noted that economists actively support the political elite in the framework of its policy “everything is fine, beautiful marquise”, which also weakens the realists from other economic schools who talk about how things really are.
The forecast noted that in 2013 the volume of cross-border trade will fall, in particular, reference was made to the Baltic Dry Index, which at the end of 2012 reached its minimum. This part of the forecast was not realized - the index over the past year has more than doubled (which, however, is still much lower historical maximums), which suggests that the degradation processes in the economy are still going relatively slowly, and emission still plays its positive role. At this point, I hurried a little.
Overly optimistic, I looked at the situation in the countries - potential regional leaders. Since the destruction of a single world division of labor is slower than I had anticipated, regional positive processes, in particular, the intensification of the investment process in some countries, are still lagging behind. But China’s problems were described quite adequately, and the decisions of the last Plenary Meeting of the CPC Central Committee showed that the Chinese leadership is fully aware of the problems that have arisen. True, it does not yet have a clear and clear plan for overcoming them without serious negative consequences for the economy and the system of the country's social relations.
It should be noted that in my forecast I directly wrote that Turkey has no other way but to deepen relations with the Customs Union, which then seemed a rather bold conclusion. Which, however, paid off. It should be noted that the Atlantic elites in the EU and the USA (associated with the “mortgage lenders”) are actively oppressing the Turkish leadership today in the expectation that it will change its policy. This is naive enough - in Turkey, forces such as those that "leaked" their countries in Eastern Europe in the 90 years and brought them to total poverty cannot yet come to power. The living standards of the population in the European Union and the United States are indeed falling, but this process is still going very slowly - although noticeably. Currency wars really have not yet led to the destruction of Atlantic unity, but the whole story of Snowden was a serious blow to an attempt to create a free trade zone in the North Atlantic. And all these processes were the result of a split in the world elite.
Arguments about the growth of problems in the financial sector and the strengthening of the role of gold have not yet fully realized, although, let's say, an understanding of the problems of the banking sector has already become completely public knowledge. It’s another thing that while the financial elite purposefully omitted gold, they were clearly unable to achieve their goals (below 1000 dollars per troy ounce). In general, most likely, the processes described in the forecast will be continued in the coming year.
Another indirect sign that the situation had not improved was a very half-cut reduction in the Fed’s issuance programs by the end of the year. Actually, the Fed is "caught on the word" - Bernanke once promised that if some indicators (inflation and unemployment) become "better than ...", then he will begin to reduce the corresponding programs. Since statistical agencies usually modify statistics not by falsifying numbers (although this happens), but by changing the methods, recently these methods have become overly optimistic. And the local improvement of the economic situation led to the release of official figures for the promised borders - which forced the Fed to act.
At the same time, if the situation would really improve, the tightening of monetary policy would have to be more convincing. And it was also impossible to abandon the tightening, since the emission practically does not have a positive effect on the real sector of the economy, limiting itself to inflating a bubble in the stock market. In general, the attempt to confine to bare words and spells forced the Fed to perform actions that in reality became only a demonstration of its powerlessness in the current situation.
Considerations on commodity markets and regional processes are generally reflected. In particular, migration processes have clearly grown. Moreover, although no one has yet begun a real limitation on labor migration within the European Union, talk about it has already begun - which means that as the economy falls, such restrictions will be introduced fairly quickly. In general, it can be noted that the forecast as a whole fairly adequately reflected the processes occurring in the world, although they clearly proceeded somewhat faster than I had supposed, in the political sphere and lagged behind in the economic sphere.
And now it's time to move to the forecast part. It is clear that those processes that determined the situation in the past year will find their continuation and the year that has begun, for this reason they should be considered first of all. First macro. If we talk about inflation, then in the second half of last year a deflationary tendency was clearly evident - against the background of a decrease in private demand, prices for raw materials also fall. More precisely, the infrastructural component of the rise in prices has not gone away (in the US it is around 3 – 4%), while the rise in prices due to the increase in demand has almost stopped. Actually, official (underestimated) consumer inflation in the United States is now about 2%, and its real value is about 4%, but, apparently, it is no longer possible to reduce this value through purely macroeconomic processes. Well, except that the decline in private demand will reach the level of the beginning of the 30-s, that is, of the order of 1% per month.
If we talk about other indicators, then, most likely, the tendency of the previous year will continue, which is that a sluggish depression is developing, which the authorities of all developed countries are actively trying to stop. The main instrument here is the issue and support of individual financial institutions that have fallen into crisis, as well as stimulation of individual industries or groups of industries. A classic example is the decline in energy prices in the United States, which has had a local effect over the past two years. Of course, he could not interrupt the basic economic trends, but he clearly created some positive moments.
The key point here is the “dump” point, that is, the moment when somewhere in a certain country or sector of resources there is frankly not enough, which will lead to the beginning of a rapid recession. It is quite difficult to specify it precisely, but there are several potentially dangerous places that it makes sense to describe. The most important of them is the US stock market. There, the bubble has clearly formed, and there is a serious likelihood that it will burst in 2014 year. In this case, it will inevitably be the beginning of a new round of crisis, according to many experts, comparable in scale to the autumn of the 2008 year. It is possible that even stronger, because then we managed to stop the crisis due to massive emissions, and now, firstly, its effectiveness for the real sector will be extremely low (the consequences of numerous “ku”), and, secondly, it will lead to high inflation, which in itself is extremely dangerous (since the credit multiplier is already quite small).
What can cause the start of a stock market crash? It can be either “dispersed” (in the sense that just the level of risk of losing their capital from the point of view of participants and without some obvious external cause will become prohibitively high and they will begin to massively exit the market) or “concentrated” . The latter may be some unexpected unpleasant news, for example, a sharp deterioration in the parameters of the Chinese economy (see below), or even political reasons (see below for arguments on geopolitical processes), there may be some sort of natural disaster on a large scale. Theoretically, a major terrorist act could also be the cause (the likelihood of this is all the more so because mid-term elections to the US Congress will take place in November, which could be the beginning of a fundamental change in the overall political picture in this country).
It seems to me that if there is no such obvious reason, then the US market in 2014 will not collapse, since the optimism of all participants is supported not only by state propaganda, but also by their own understanding that for each of them this collapse may be the last. In such a situation, the general desire to “continue the banquet” will most likely fail without some external reason. Another thing is that the scale of this cause will shrink all the time as the bubble expands - so by the spring of the 2015 of the year, it is possible that the panic may already start almost from scratch. In a sense, this is an analogue of a supercooled liquid: to some decrease in temperature below zero for the appearance of ice, a “crystallization center” is needed, if there is no ice, no ice is formed. But as the temperature decreases, the scale of such a center all the time decreases and at some point local unions of several molecules, which are constantly formed as a result of thermal motion, can already act as such. And - the crystallization process begins.
It makes sense to talk about other commodity and speculative markets, since theoretically there are two different scenarios for their development. The first one was announced in his forecast by Oleg Grigoriev, who said that the need to place money somewhere that had accumulated in unbelievable quantities among some financial institutions would lead to a scenario like the middle of 2000, that is, rising stock prices developing countries and the growth of other, secondary financial bubbles. This scenario seems to me not quite true, and here is why. The fact is that, firstly, any bubble is inflated by speculators for a reason, and in order to cause an influx of money to ordinary "physicists" who, due to their number, take the initiative of speculators and allow them to exit the market, fixing a profit. Today, the situation is different - the “physicists” simply do not have money, the mechanism for bringing emission funds to them already practically does not work, then there would be no saving for consumer expenditures, saving and speculation are out of the question.
Secondly, the risks have risen sharply. It was good in the middle of 2000-x, when no one believed in a serious collapse. Today, everyone takes into account this probability, and therefore - the policy of speculators will be much more cautious. In fact, there can be no talk about long-term investments in such a situation, and short-term ones are possible only in those markets that have very high liquidity, that is, an opportunity to quickly sell the corresponding assets. Most of all this corresponds to the forex market (why I believe that in 2014, the volatility of cross-exchange rates will be much higher than in 2013), a bit less - the US stock market. But the commodity markets (which form the 2 – 3 market maker) and especially the stock markets of developing countries do not meet this condition.
Third, the stimulation of commodity markets will cause a sharp increase in cost inflation. Against the background of serious problems in the real sector and the fall in private demand, there is no reason to expect a growth in lending to the real sector - which means that we are waiting for massive bankruptcies and a reduction in real wages. That is - a further decline in demand and a fall in the GDP of the main producing countries. Including the United States and the European Union. It is unlikely that such a policy will be supported by the majority of governments that have enough leverage to restrict it (including through controlled central banks).
In general, it seems to me that in the beginning of the year the markets will most likely behave according to a depressive scenario. Moreover, those of them that still look quite promising today may gradually come out of this status in the near future, since the risks and fears of speculators will increase all the time. In other words, the areas of profitable capital investment in the 2014 year will be gradually reduced, although it is rather difficult to estimate the speed of this process a priori. But here, too, a part of the previous forecast needs to be repeated: infrastructure projects in countries with potential regional leaders will become more and more relevant. However, if the slow depression of the economy does not accelerate for some reason, then perhaps this process will be almost imperceptible.
It makes sense to go to the factors that can accelerate the negative processes in the economy. They are connected, first of all, with that split, which was formed in the world financial elite and which extremely limits the possibilities of all its parts. In any case, I will say once again what I have said several times in recent years. The listed forces are not structured groups that have their own recognized leadership, middle link and, so to speak, rank and file. Rather, they are groups of people who clearly see their interests and opportunities in one direction or another and, to the extent possible, coordinate their interests with those for whom they believe their interests coincide. Moreover, if the “interest holders” have a more or less pronounced coordinating center (these are the IMF and the structures associated with it), then the “money changers” have no such thing. At the same time, since the split in the elite occurred quite recently, there are still people who have not finally decided on their position, a similar situation with many financial and state institutions.
In accordance with our analysis (and here I do not insist on absolute truth, if someone is ready - I will listen to other options with interest) of such groups are three. Two, so to speak, global ones are “money changers” and “lenders”, and one so far is global, but ready to come to terms with its regional future, this is the part that today relies on the Obama administration and the current leadership of the Fed. It should be noted that following the results of the crisis, this third group will be systemically equivalent, say, to Chinese, Latin American, or Eurasian. But for now it controls the emission of the world reserve and trading currency, the dollar, and in this sense it is quite comparable in power with the first two.
The first two groups are incompatible in principle - because “money changers” build a system of relatively independent financial centers (which need an intermediary infrastructure, which, in fact, personify money changers), and “lenders” can exist only in the case of a single monetary and financial system , and exclusively within the control of the emission center of this main currency. As for the American group, in theory, it can get along with those and others, but today Obama is clearly affected by money changers. And because the “lenders” are clearly trying to wrest control over the Fed (they urgently need money to maintain the global financial infrastructure), and because for financiers “lenders” the government’s foreign policy (including US policy) is this is just a tool, and for Obama - a source of costs, resources for which are not enough.
If Obama’s policy does not change (for now, only the elections in November can change it, and even then, if their results are frankly “anti-Bamovian”), then the fight between these groups will go on with a gradual increase in the defeat of the “lenders”. In other words, the main “players” associated with this group (the largest international banks, the World Bank, the WTO, the offices of international organizations, the Brussels bureaucracy of the European Union, the “liberal elite of the post-Soviet countries, etc.) will gradually give up their positions this year. Specifically for Russia, I will talk about this situation separately, in the forecast for our country, as for the rest of the countries and regions, we will have to deal with them separately each time, since it is difficult to say which of the tactical battlefields will take the first place today.
Although some of these fields can be noted. There will be a desperate fight for Ukraine, and by itself it is of no interest to anyone, but it is principled from the point of view of the fight “money changers” and “percentages”. The position of the latter is voiced by Brzezinski. As for the “money changers,” Ukraine itself is not interested in them, but they are interested in the emergence of a Eurasian center of power and, conversely, are not interested in strengthening the “Atlantic” plans of the Brussels bureaucracy. Hence, the second “battlefield” - the creation of the North Atlantic free trade zone, which, when implemented, will turn Western Europe into a kind of present-day Eastern Europe (that is, a raw material appendage of the United States) and deprive the “change” of their main base. The third place in which the fight will go especially sharply is Russia, which should become the basis of Eurasian integration, but which so far makes every effort to prevent this from happening because the financial and economic policy is determined by the appointees of the “lenders” represented by liberal privatizers 90-ies and their heirs.
In any case, since the total amount of resources of the “interest holders” is reduced, they will tend to organize all sorts of provocations, such as major terrorist attacks, regional wars, and so on, aimed at improving their control over the global financial system. This is due to the fact that it is this group that still controls the global speculative markets and economic media, except for the Middle East understandable to everyone (the probability of a war on which, of course, has decreased, but still not to zero).
But let us return from politics to economics, more precisely, to the regional aspects of the forecast. At first - about the European Union. The economic problems in it, which are already very large, will increase, moreover, in two directions at once. The first is protests in poor countries, linked to rising unemployment and insufficient support from the EU. The second is protests in rich countries (first of all in Germany), whose population against the background of falling living standards will protest against too large deductions. In addition, protests against labor migration, both illegal and legal, from poorer to less poor EU countries will increase.
The worse the economic situation in the EU is, the more aggressive will be the leaders of its individual countries on the world stage (a typical example is Hollande in the 2013 year), however, in my estimation, there will be no fundamental changes from the past year in the 2014 year. The parties will win more and more aggressive elections in local elections (compared to 2000's toothless liberal “alternative”), and the main opponents of the previous decade will increasingly merge into a single liberal party with only one goal: authorities and maintain the current EU system for which there are no longer any resources. Theoretically, a sharp collapse can occur, but only as part of a serious collapse in the US stock markets, which in the 2014 year seems unlikely in the event of a natural development of events and slightly more likely in the case of special incentives. And, of course, a collapse can occur if a party comes to power in one of the EU countries and defaults on its obligations. It seems unlikely today, but ... "Never say never."
The second fundamentally important region is the Middle East. Here the situation has more or less cleared up, the United States has clearly relied on Iran as the main regional ally (and the choice was made not only because Iran is the most powerful country in the region, but also because it is the most predictable and negotiable). But such a choice was made within the framework of the policy agreed with the "money-changers" and Obama, and he absolutely does not like the "percentages". For this reason, the latter may have various excesses related to attempts to unleash a major regional war (after which the financial structures through which it will be financed will receive powerful sources for their development). The probability of such a development is not very high, but it is quite positive, so it would be wrong to disregard such a scenario.
The next fundamentally important region is China. Theoretically, of course, there is still Afghanistan, Pakistan, India - but they are unlikely to be the instigators of serious changes, the situation there, rather, follows the development of affairs in other regions. But in China there are serious problems - the most severe structural crisis, a mirror image of the crisis in the United States. It is only expressed in that the Chinese economy can no longer afford to stimulate domestic demand. An attempt was made to “stir up” the rural sector as much as possible, to make it an independent profit center, in fact, to increase the level of division of labor in it, but at the first stage it will not lead to an increase in demand for export goods. The main question is whether the financial bubbles caused by stimulating domestic demand will burst in 2014. It seems to me that not yet, even a sharp drop in private demand in the West in the event of a collapse of the US stock market, most likely, will have little effect on the situation of China's 2014. And in this way, China will gradually form a RMB currency zone.
Latin America. There will be a complex process of consolidation of the Latin American currency zone under the leadership of Brazil. At the same time, the potential of this zone will be quite high, since it needs to build a serious infrastructure, which can be the reason for serious investments in the region (both internal and external). Their return is possible at the first stage due to the export of raw materials, then - due to the issue of regional currency. It should be noted that Russia has the same development option, but it is not yet feasible, due to the control over the economic policy of the comprador bourgeoisie. How quickly the corresponding understanding will come to the participants in economic processes is a difficult question. In 2013, I already made a similar assumption and made a mistake, so the final conclusion about the beginning of the relevant processes is rather virtual.
USA. Here in the coming year there are two main issues that are closely related: elections and the state of the stock market. And if the second can be transferred to 2015 year, then the first will have to be resolved in any case in early November. The main problem in assessing the situation (which, in fact, will determine the situation in the economy, and therefore seems important in this forecast) is that the current political model of the United States, built on the dichotomy of "Republicans" - "Democrats" (as conservatives and liberals) within the same economic model, no longer works. The split between the “H. Clinton group” and the “Obama group” (from which it is not yet known who will go to the presidency in 2016) is much stronger than, say, between the “Clinton group” and the “neocon” republicans.
This situation is connected with what we have already said - with the split of the global financial elite. But, as a result, it is very difficult to predict what, for example, a “good” election result is for Obama. It seems to me that for him the victory of economic realists (such as supporters of Ron Paul) from the Republican Party is a much more pleasant result than the staggering victory of the Democratic Party, if it is achieved by increasing the representation of supporters of H. Clinton. How can I explain this interpretation to voters “on the ground”, I can not imagine.
At the same time, the “percentages” desperately need to change the balance of forces in their favor, and I do not rule out that they will be able to construct such a position that a collapse in the markets just before the elections will give them some perspective due to the weakening of Obama’s position. Again, the “percentages" badly need the victory of the "neocons", not the realist Republicans, but here we will carefully watch the election campaign and try to isolate the relevant moment if it appears. So, if such a political structure is built, then there are chances of accelerating the financial crisis. Otherwise, everything will develop more or less calmly, most likely, the crisis will be transferred to 2015 year. As for the other indicators, here everything will go within the framework of a sluggish depression, similar to the past year. So far, the US monetary authorities still have the resources to close local problems - such as lower world oil prices (this can dramatically reduce the profitability of the entire shale energy sector) or deterioration in China.
Russia remains - but a separate text will be written for it in the near future.