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Wed, 18 Oct 2017
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Plane infestation: Mother and daughter ravaged by bedbugs on British Airways flight from Vancouver

Seven-year-old Molly Reid was left with sores, ruining the family holiday
A MUM has hit out at British Airways claiming she and her daughter, 7, were left bleeding after being ravaged by BED BUGS during a flight to London Heathrow.

Heather Szilagyi, 38, told how she saw the critters crawling out from behind her in-flight TV frames and food tray during the journey.

Although she discreetly flagged the issue to cabin crew, she said they were unable to re-seat her, her fiance Eric Neilson and her daughter Molly Reid, 7.

She told The Sun Online the experience has ruined their trip after they spent hours washing themselves, their clothes and tending to their sores.

Heather, from Vancouver, Canada, said: "It's been really frustrating, this has been horrible and its really ruined our trip."

The incident occurred while the trio were aboard a BA flight departing Vancouver on Monday night.


Seven injured, one person missing after oil platform explodes on Lake Pontchartrain, LA

Flames from oil platform explosion on Lake Ponchartrain
A platform exploded in Lake Pontchartrain on Sunday evening (Oct. 15) near St. Charles Parish and north Kenner, according to Kenner Police Department spokesman Sgt. Brian McGregor. Seven people were injured in the explosion, according to Kenner Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Kriss Fortunato, and authorities believe an eighth person is still missing.

Search and rescue operations were ongoing Sunday at about 10:15 p.m. Rescue boats are being sent from the Kenner Boat Launch at the end of Williams Boulevard, McGregor said, and authorities asked that residents avoid the area as much as possible.

Five of those injured were taken to the University Medical Center and two to East Jefferson General Hospital, according to Mike Guillot, director of East Jefferson Emergency Medical Services. The five who were brought to UMC "have blast type injuries and burns" and are in critical condition, he said, and the two at East Jefferson are stable.


Rose McGowan destroys ex Weinstein lawyer Lisa Bloom - says she offered her $millions to shut up about her rape


Lisa Bloom.
Lisa Bloom.

Your very name makes my stomach clench with a stressed tightness that takes my breath away. As does your mercenary act of depravity. Did you think of how it would affect victims to see you champion a rapist? How it felt to those you once "fought for," for them to know that you used them. You remember them right? They were the victims of assaults, women you'd previously helped. You lied to those hurt women and hid your true character. You wanted a shortcut to fame. You sold your book to be made into a mini-series, where you'd be the next Erin Brokovich, right?

But your avarice has taken you down. And I am glad.

You cannot spin your gaslighting web on us, the public, and have it remove TRUTH.

Comment: See also:


New Yorker's Weinstein expose: Multiple accounts of assault, rape - UPDATES


Since the establishment of the first studios a century ago, there have been few movie executives as dominant, or as domineering, as Harvey Weinstein. As the co-founder of the production-and-distribution companies Miramax and the Weinstein Company, he helped to reinvent the model for independent films, with movies such as "Sex, Lies, and Videotape," "The English Patient," "Pulp Fiction," "The Crying Game," "Shakespeare in Love," and "The King's Speech." Beyond Hollywood, he has exercised his influence as a prolific fund-raiser for Democratic Party candidates, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Weinstein combined a keen eye for promising scripts, directors, and actors with a bullying, even threatening, style of doing business, inspiring both fear and gratitude. His movies have earned more than three hundred Oscar nominations, and, at the annual awards ceremonies, he has been thanked more than almost anyone else in movie history, just after Steven Spielberg and right before God.

Comment: The author of the piece above, Ronan Farrow, was personally threatened with a lawsuit by Weinstein while working on the feature. The piece was originally intended for NBC, but ended up being published by the New Yorker.
When Maddow asked why Farrow's feature ended up at The New Yorker rather than at NBC, where he is employed as a correspondent, he replied, "You would have to ask NBC and NBC executives about the details. I'm not going to comment on any news organization's story that they did or did not run."

He added: "I will say that over many years, many news organizations have circled this story and faced a great deal of pressure in doing so."
Sources have offered conflicting accounts of why NBC didn't go with the story, some saying that his pitch bore little resemblance to the finished piece, and he didn't have enough on-the-record sources at the time:
Sources inside and outside NBC, meanwhile, challenged the network's assertion that Farrow had obtained no usable on-the-record, on-camera interviews with Weinstein's alleged victims. By several accounts, at least eight women claiming to have been sexually harassed, abused, or assaulted by Weinstein had agreed to go on camera - most of them anonymously in shadow, but two alleged victims with their names and faces. A third alleged victim was willing to allow her name to be used, but not her on-camera image, according to sources, and at least two of the women who spoke to NBC News ultimately ended up in The New Yorker piece.

Those claims, however, were heatedly contradicted by other network insiders, who said Farrow had not arranged a sufficient number of usable on-camera interviews with Weinstein's alleged victims, especially on-the-record interviews, to produce a story that could legitimately be broadcast by a major television network. Meanwhile, it was decided that the sting tape, absent context, could not be the basis for a stand-alone story.
According to a television-industry insider familiar with Farrow's NBC News project, however, "Farrow and his producer had been working this for 10 months. They had eight interviews on camera, with a mix of silhouette and not-silhouette-so eight women speaking. They had an NYPD audio tape, and they had enough for a story. And NBC did everything they could to delay it, complicate it, and ultimately Noah [Oppenheim] killed it. NBC shut it down."

This person continued: "It is what it is, and everybody can see it. It's crazy. There's no reason, journalistically, for the story to have been killed. Obviously, there was some other reason-and I don't know what that is."
Regardless, Weinstein could face criminal charges if the allegations made are true. A criminal sexual act in the first degree carries a maximum sentence of 25 years. Rape is a felony without a statute of limitations. And if he goes forward with his threat to sue the NYT, all his previous NDAs will be invalidated by subpoena.

Hollywood Reporter reports that Weinstein's wife Georgina is leaving him.
"My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions. I have chosen to leave my husband. Caring for my young children is my first priority and I ask the media for privacy at this time," Chapman said Tuesday in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. ...

Following the Times' exposé, in which Ashley Judd went on the record to accuse Weinstein of sexual harassment, Weinstein said that his wife was standing by him.

"She stands 100 percent behind me. Georgina and I have talked about this at length," Weinstein previously told Page Six. "We went out with [attorney] Lisa Bloom last night when we knew the article was coming out. Georgina will be with Lisa and others kicking my ass to be a better human being and to apologize to people for my bad behavior, to say I'm sorry, and to absolutely mean it."
Well, Lisa Bloom - one of the original 'crisis team' members assembled to do damage control - also left him. Daily Mail reports Weinstein is hiring Hollywood lawyer Patricia Glaser to discredit his victims and sue his company for damages.

Terry Crews shared his own story of sexual assault at the hands of a different Hollywood exec (pasted from Twitter):
This whole thing with Harvey Weinstein is giving me PTSD. Why? Because this kind of thing happened to ME. My wife n I were at a Hollywood function last year n a high level Hollywood executive came over 2 me and groped my privates. Jumping back I said What are you doing?! My wife saw everything n we looked at him like he was crazy. He just grinned like a jerk. I was going to kick his ass right then- but I thought twice about how the whole thing would appear. "240 lbs. Black Man stomps out Hollywood Honcho" would be the headline the next day. Only I probably wouldn't have been able to read it because I WOULD HAVE BEEN IN JAIL. So we left.

That night and the next day I talked to everyone I knew that worked with him about what happened. He called me the next day with an apology but never really explained why he did what he did. I decided not 2 take it further becuz I didn't want 2b ostracized- par 4 the course when the predator has power n influence. I let it go. And I understand why many women who this happens to let it go. Who's going 2 believe you? ( few) What r the repercussions?(many) Do u want 2 work again? (Yes) R you prepared 2b ostracized?(No)

I love what I do. But it's a shame and the height of disappointment when someone tries to takes advantage of that. He knows who he is. But sumtimes Uhav2 wait & compare notes w/ others who've been victimized in order 2gain a position of strength. I understand and empathize with those who have remained silent. But Harvey Weinstein is not the only perpetrator. Hollywood is not the only business we're this happens, and to the casualties of this behavior- you are not alone. Hopefully, me coming forward with my story will deter a predator and encourage someone who feels hopeless.
Ben Affleck put out his own statement, prompting some harsh responses. After someone tweeted reminding everyone that Affleck himself had grabbed Hilarie Burton's breasts and "everyone forgot", Burton responded with a simple "I didn't forget". (Affleck apologized soon after.) And Rose McGowan just told him to "f**k off!", saying he's known about Weinstein for years and even told her "Goddamnit! I told him to stop doing that" to her after Weinstein assaulted her.

In a list of reasons why the story was finally published - even though everyone in the biz knew - the Weekly Standard has an interesting theory:
Which brings us, finally, to the other reason the Weinstein story came out now: Because the court over which Bill Clinton once presided, a court in which Weinstein was one part jester, one part exchequer, and one part executioner, no longer exists.

A thought experiment: Would the Weinstein story have been published if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency? No, and not because he is a big Democratic fundraiser. It's because if the story was published during the course of a Hillary Clinton presidency, it wouldn't have really been about Harvey Weinstein. Harvey would have been seen as a proxy for the president's husband and it would have embarrassed the president, the first female president.
October 12 Updates

The University of Buffalo is moving to revoke Weinstein's honorary degree. Weinstein has also been suspended from the British film academy. Worse still for the Hollywood perv, the FBI has been ordered by the DOJ to open an investigation into the allegations. This comes after rumors that Weinstein was planning to go to Europe for sex rehab, prompting fears of a Polanski-type situation where he would dodge U.S. prosecution. However, Weinstein didn't head to Europe, but to a treatment center in Arizona. NYPD has also opened an investigation. Weinstein has been accused of frims in France and London, any of which could lead to charges in those respective places.

Weinstein was spotted in LA yesterday where he gave the finger to onlookers as he entered the office of his lawyer. He has apparently complained that he's been abandoned by his friends. It's also being reported that he had a meltdown at his daughter's place on Monday, prompting her to call 911 and report him as suicidal.
Tim Kaine told media that Hillary can't return Weinstein's donations because the election campaign is over, forgetting that the Clinton campaign entity still has around $1 million, more than enough to save face and distance themselves from the "dirty" money. (Clinton herself has said vaguely that returning Weinstein's money will be "part of" the 10% of her income she donates to charity each year.) The RNC is going after the Clinton campaign:

October 13 Updates

After her Twitter spat with Ben Affleck, Twitter banned Rose McGowan's account for 12 hours. Many saw this as censorship for her combative stance on Weinstein and Affleck. Twitter responded by saying she had tweeted a private phone number, and that after removing the tweet in question, her account was unlocked. Back on Twitter, McGowan didn't stop, accusing Amazon CEO and WaPo owner Jeff Bezos of covering up her own rape:
Rose McGowan is claiming that Amazon optioned a television series from her only to kill it soon after when she voiced concern about a possible move the company was making to bailout Weinstein.

'I told the head of your studio that HW raped me. Over & over I said it. He said it hadn't been proven. I said I was the proof,' said McGowan on Thursday in a tweet directed at company founder Jeff Bezos.

'I had already sold a script I wrote to your studio, it was in development. When I heard a Weinstein bailout was in the works.'

She then added: 'I forcefully begged studio head to do the right thing. I was ignored. Deal was done. Amazon won a dirty Oscar.'
She added, "I am calling on you to stop funding rapists, alleged pedos and sexual harassers."

The head of the studio was Roy Price, whom Amazon has just suspended. Amazon put out the following statement:
"Roy Price is on leave of absence effective immediately. We are reviewing our options for the projects we have with The Weinstein Co."
British actress Emma Thompson told BBC yesterday that sexual harassment is "endemic" to the Hollywood system and there are many in the industry just like Weinstein:
"Perhaps the more of us who say this is endemic, let's just say it's endemic," she reflected on the problem in Hollywood, "I spent my twenties trying to get old men tongues out of my mouth because they just thought well she's up for it. So I would imagine that that happens really very regularly and so perhaps this is a moment when we can say to men and women: 'Open your eyes and open your mouths and say something.'"

"One of the big problems," she emphasized, "about the way in which our systems work at the moment is there are so many blind eyes and we can't keep making the women to whom this happens responsible. They're the ones who've got to speak, why? We've got to look and say 'this is happening.'"
Jane Fonda admitted she knew about Weinstein's antics for about a year but kept silent. When asked why she didn't do anything, she replied:
"I - I don't," Fonda stumbled, "I was not that bold, because I guess it hadn't happened to me, and so I didn't feel it was my place."

"What did you know?" Amanpour pressed.

"One of the women who has spoken out," she explained, "Rosanna Arquette, told me, and uhm, you know, it came as a shock and a great disappointment. This male entitlement."

Fonda refused to say exactly what Arquette told her. Amanpour asked her if she knew that the abuse was an "open secret" in Hollywood.

"I didn't realize that," she said, "but I believe that it's, apparently it was so common that everybody must have known, and of course, these kind of men, it's not only sexual predation, these tend to be men who treat other people not well.
It was good of her to clarify. There's "male entitlement", which apparently applies to 50% of the human population - and there's the entitlement of predatory men who don't treat other people well in general. It's good to remember that such men are a minority. The problem isn't "male entitlement" - it's sexual predation. In her favor, Fonda did say this:
"I think they should all go to jail, and you know let's put Bill Cosby in there... but the question is not just Hollywood, you know, this is epidemic," Fonda, an Academy Award winner, told CNBC's Tania Bryer in an interview that aired Friday.

"This goes on all over the world, on all kinds of levels, and you know very, very powerful men and not very powerful men, but I think that they have to be put in jail."
October 14 Updates

Wow. TMZ is reporting that Weinstein's 2015 contract with his company allowed him to settle sexual harassments cases and stay employed with the company, as long as he paid the company. As Townhall puts it, this may mean that, ironically, he may have been fired illegally.
According to the contract, if Weinstein "treated someone improperly in violation of the company's Code of Conduct," he must reimburse TWC for settlements or judgments. Additionally, "You [Weinstein] will pay the company liquidated damages of $250,000 for the first such instance, $500,000 for the second such instance, $750,000 for the third such instance, and $1,000,000 for each additional instance."

The contract says as long as Weinstein pays, it constitutes a "cure" for the misconduct and no further action can be taken. Translation -- Weinstein could be sued over and over and as long as he wrote a check, he keeps his job.

The contract has specific language as to when the Board of Directors can fire Weinstein -- if he's indicted or convicted of a crime, but that doesn't apply here.
As for the company, Weinstein Co. is apparently seeking to sell or shut down, according to WSJ.

In a recent interview, Hillary Clinton "clarified" that Weinstein didn't give "a lot" of money to her, saying it was only "12, 16 thousand dollars, something like that." It was $43,350. Plus between $100k and $250k to the Clinton Foundation. And of course, she denied knowing anything about Weinstein's behavior until the media revelations. She tried to deflect the issue in a BBC interview by calling Trump a "sexual assaulter" - but dismissing allegations against her husband as "clearly in the past": "That has all been litigated ... there were conclusions drawn." Yep all those rapes are old news, apparently.

Get this: Weinstein actually donated to the defense fund to pay Bill's legal fees during his own sex abuse scandal back in the 90s. More than 60 members of the Hollywood elite did the same. Birds of a feather...

Michael Moore blamed the "white male hierarchy" for Weinstein, because obviously only white males abuse women. Moore himself had worked with Weinstein in the past, but claims he never saw him act inappropriately:
"Why do we live in a society where men do not intervene when they witness the mistreatment of women?" he asked. "I have intervened on more than one occasion and I have fired men who sexually harass women. Harvey Weinstein knew better than to behave inappropriately toward women in my presence. I'm guessing successful sociopaths like him who get away with it for years are very, very careful not to let the kind of men who would stop them dead cold ever get a glimpse of who they really are."

"I don't live in Weinstein's Hollywood world and I make documentaries," he explained, "so I can't speak to the culture he created and seemed to thrive in. I AM the only director that I know of who's actually taken Weinstein to court (for being a thief, which requires a different set of sociopathic skills, but, like sexual harassment, you can probably find them at a few Hollywood studios)."
Back in 2015 Moore tweeted: "Actually Harvey Weinstein is one of the best people to work with in this town. #funfactneverreported"

October 15 Updates

Weinstein has been expelled from the motion picture academy, after an emergency vote of its 54-member board of governors:
But within the academy some wrestled with the decision, fearing that it could set a precedent that would require the academy to police its members' behavior going forward. As many have pointed out in recent days, other Hollywood figures who have come under attack for their treatment of women and other behavior that could be seen as violating what the academy now calls "ethical standards of conduct" - including Bill Cosby, Roman Polanski and Mel Gibson - remain members of the academy in good standing.
That's right, if they do it once, they'll probably have to do it many more times in the future as more Harvey Weinsteins are exposed. And there are plenty of them.

Another victim has come forward: English actress Lysette Anthony claims Weinstein raped her in the 80s in her London home. Scotland Yard are investigating:
In the interview released Saturday, the Allen 'Husbands and Wives' actress describes the attack as 'pathetic' and revolting' and left her feeling 'disgusted and embarrassed.
That brings the total number of women claiming harassment or assault to over 30.

Chelsea Clinton fled to her car to avoid answering questions from a reporter about whether or not the Clinton Foundation would be returning Weinstein's $250k. Her father dodged questions as well:
On Friday night, Bill Clinton gave the opening address for the CGI University conference, and led a conversation with a panel of activists

Clinton did not take questions during the event, and press access was tightly restricted.

Two Clinton Foundation communications officials physically blocked a DailyMail.com reporter who was credentialed for the event and threatened to call security when the reporter attempted to approach Clinton at the end of the event, while he was speaking to audience members near the stage.

After the officials asked the reporter and a photographer to leave, another official followed them out to ensure they left the venue.
October 16 Updates

Tomorrow, Weinstein and new lawyer Patricia Glaser will plead his case in front of the Weinstein Co. board, arguing that he was fired illegally, not being in violation of his contract, and the board did not go through mediation or arbitration.

Back in 2015, this is what Courtney Love had to say in a red-carpet interview when asked what advice she had for young women trying to make it in Hollywood:
"Ummm... I'll get libeled if I say it," Love, 53, says at first in video of the chat unearthed by TMZ.

She then stops hesitating. "If Harvey Weinstein invites you to a private party in his Four Seasons [hotel room], don't go," says Love.
After the old footage was rediscovered, she responded on Twitter:

With upwards of 40 victims so far coming forward, the earliest is an intern who worked for Weinstein in 1980 while making his first film with him. Paula Wachowiak was 24 at the time, and the story is a familiar one: she went to his hotel room to have him sign some checks, he opened the door wearing only a towel, dropped it and asked her for a massage. Afterward she refused, telling him, "Actually, Harvey, you disgust me," he made a joke about it.

Rose McGowan, who claims Weinstein raped her, has come forward with additional details. She says Weinstein's "feminist" lawyer Lisa Bloom offered her $6 million to back off on her claims. Bloom denies it. From McGowan's Facebook post:
You know what is truth, Lisa? I feel like people should know that you've been calling my literary agent and saying there'd be money for me if I got on the "Harvey's Changed" bandwagon? You told her that I should care about HIS reputation. How HE has a family now and how HE has changed. Well, guess what? I've always had a family and that didn't stop him from assaulting me.
I know a con when I see one, after all, I grew up in Hollywood. I can see you a mile away, and you smell like rot.

I have a quadruple PhD in your brand of bullshit, Lisa Bloom, so I'm not buying.

You and your vile partner in evil, your co-counsel, Charles Harder, have been hounding me for months now. Terrorizing me at every turn. Trying to silence me.
The scarlet letter is your, and it's S for SHAME.

Snakes in Suits

Jury to decide Senator Menendez's fate in corruption & bribery trial

© Joe Penney / Reuters
Senator Bob Menendez
The judge overseeing the corruption case involving US Senator Bob Menendez said he won't dismiss any of the charges against the New Jersey Democrat. Menendez is facing 12 federal charges, including bribery, conspiracy and fraud.

Prosecutors say that Menendez accepted free flights on a private jet and other gifts from a wealthy Florida doctor in exchange for lobbying the government on his friend's behalf and securing improper Medicare reimbursements.

On Monday, US District Judge William Walls rejected the defense lawyers' motion to drop the charges. Menendez's defense team argued the charges did not meet the narrow definition of bribery established by the 2016 US Supreme Court ruling that reversed the conviction of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell.


Spain detains Catalan separatist leaders amid sedition investigation

© Reuters/Albert Gea
Spain's High Court has remanded two leaders of a Catalan separatist organization on suspicion of sedition. The prosecution alleges them to be the key figures in organizing the recent independence referendum, which was deemed illegal by Madrid.

The leader of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), Jordi Sanchez, and Jordi Cuixart of the Omnium Cultural group were jailed on Monday after questioning.The two men will not be allowed to post bail and remain in custody.

The Catalan regional police chief, Maj. Josep Lluis Trapero, and colleague Lt. Teresa Laplana were also questioned on Monday, but unlike the Catalan independence activists they have avoided jail. The police officials, however, were forced to give up their passports and have to appear in court every two weeks.


7 injured, 1 missing in Louisiana after an oil rig caught fire and exploded (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

© Roger Fernandez / Reuters
Flames are seen after an explosion at an oil rig in Lake Pontchartrain, in Louisiana October 15, 2017.
Several people have been injured and at least one remains missing after an oil rig caught fire and exploded in Lake Pontchartrain, north of New Orleans, local authorities said.

"Several people have been rescued from the active fire on the rig," Jefferson Parish spokesman Antwan Harris said.

While there were "a lot of injuries," according to Kenner Police Department spokesman Sgt. Brian McGregor, no deaths have been reported. At least seven people have been injured and one is missing.


Disabled children suffer 150% rise in verbal, physical & online abuse in 2yrs

© Walter G / Global Look Press
Hate crimes against disabled children including verbal, physical and online abuse have risen nearly 150 percent in two years, new figures suggest.

Figures obtained from police forces by the BBC under freedom of information rules reveal that there were 450 such incidents reported last year, up from 181 in 2015.

Only 29 of the 45 forces across the country provided full responses to the request, meaning that the actual number of reported incidents is likely to be much higher.

Amanda Batten of the Disabled Children's Partnership told the BBC: "Families often feel like they can't go into busy public spaces or post images on social media for fear of being publicly shamed or having to be submitted to people telling them that their child must lack quality of life because of their disability.


German town filled with refugees: "Who is integrating whom?"

Nadine Langer with her daughters at their home in Lebenstedt, Germany.
Late this summer, Nadine Langer took her six-year old to her first day at school. The girl was one of two German children in her class, she said, amid 20, mostly Syrian, refugees.

"I am not against foreigners," said Ms. Langer, 41. "But there is a point where we have to wonder who is integrating whom."

Germany's 2015 refugee crisis has largely disappeared from the headlines. But in this and other midsize towns, it is continuing to unfold, putting communities under stress, pressuring local coffers and feeding concerns about safety, jobs and the quality of education.

Some 140,000 asylum seekers have entered Germany so far this year-a sharp drop from the 1.2 million who arrived in the past two years. But in places such as Salzgitter there is a sense that the government, having housed and fed the newcomers, is failing in the longer-term effort to integrate them in German society.

This unease, pollsters say, boosted the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany at last month's election, making it the first far-right party to enter parliament in half a century. This shock means immigration will loom large when Chancellor Angela Merkel kicks off negotiations on Wednesday to form a three-party ruling coalition.


Will there be renaissance of macro investment?

© Greg Mably for Barron's
The petrodollar system is being undermined by exponential growth in technology and shifting geopolitics. Coming: a paradigm shift.

In the summer of 1974, Treasury Secretary William Simon traveled to Saudi Arabia and secretly struck a momentous deal with the kingdom. The U.S. agreed to purchase oil from Saudi Arabia, provide weapons, and in essence guarantee the preservation of Saudi oil wells, the monarchy, and the sovereignty of the kingdom. In return, the kingdom agreed to invest the dollar proceeds of its oil sales in U.S. Treasuries, basically financing America's future federal expenditures.

Soon, other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries followed suit, and the U.S. dollar became the standard by which oil was to be traded internationally. For Saudi Arabia, the deal made perfect sense, not only by protecting the regime but also by providing a safe, liquid market in which to invest its enormous oil-sale proceeds, known as petrodollars. The U.S. benefited, as well, by neutralizing oil as an economic weapon. The agreement enabled the U.S. to print dollars with little adverse effect on interest rates, thereby facilitating consistent U.S. economic growth over the subsequent decades.

An important consequence was that oil-importing nations would be required to hold large amounts of U.S. dollars in reserve in order to purchase oil, underpinning dollar demand. This essentially guaranteed a strong dollar and low U.S. interest rates for a generation. Given this backdrop, one can better understand many subsequent U.S. foreign-policy moves involving the Middle East and other oil-producing regions.

Comment: The dog-eat-dog world of predatory capitalist investment is imploding on itself, but "in crisis, lies opportunity." Cooperation and inclusive fair-dealing between countries, as exemplified by China and Russia will be the builder of wealth in the future.