One Of the Greatest Political Speeches

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With the events in Orlando, the world today looks unstable and dangerous.  What doesn’t help is the tendency for political leaders to score political points over such events. It is therefore worth looking back to another time to see how leaders can behave.

For me, the “peace speech” given by John F Kennedy in June 1963 is a template of what true leadership looks like. The backdrop was the Cold War where at any time the US and the Soviet Union could trigger nuclear armageddon. Continue reading “One Of the Greatest Political Speeches”

How Intelligence Agencies Really Work (3 min read)

CIA

Whenever there are politically motivated mass murders (like the Brussels attacks) or an impending war, there are calls for more funding for intelligence services. Yet, there is a limit to what they can achieve in their current configurations. The image of slick omniscient intelligence agencies in movies and echoed by conspiracy theorists is likely way off the mark.

Indeed, the failure of US intelligence bodies on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction allowed a rare insight Continue reading “How Intelligence Agencies Really Work (3 min read)”

Banking On War And Peace (2 min read)

US military

(excerpt from my upcoming book)

The retaliatory use of US and EU financial sanctions on Russian individuals show the importance of finance in geo-political relations. It shouldn’t necessarily come as a surprise as the largest increases in government debt tend to occur around wars. The financial system, then, is critical to raise these funds, and later find ways of paying it down.

Indeed, after the Second World War, most involved countries saw their government debt levels shoot higher. One way to pay the down down was to use financial repression, which is the most direct link between the state, war and the banking system. Continue reading “Banking On War And Peace (2 min read)”