February 19

Ep. 0052: A History of the US Dollar Part 5: Ticking Timebomb of the Petrodollar

Finally, we conclude our non-consecutive series on the history of the history of the US dollar with part 5, looking at the story of the dollar following the breakdown of the Bretton Woods system.  (This podcast was actually recorded over the course of 2 commutes — the first half in the morning commute to work, and the second one in the afternoon commute home.)

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • How the ending the ‘gold window’ in 1972 led to high inflation, which led to negative consequences (including some not purely economic) for society
  • The approaches of the Ford and Carter administrations to dealing with inflation
  • How, under first Carter and then Reagan, Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker (appointed in 1979) used high interest rates to staunch (though not completely stop) the erosion of the US dollar’s value in the early-1980s
  • The reasons that the dollar still (mostly) operates as the world reserve currency despite its obvious flaws and vulnerabilities, including the meaning of the term ‘petrodollar’
  • How things will go wrong, sooner or later, with this system, and how the remedy used previously by Volcker (high interest rates) could not realistically be used today by the Fed, even if they wanted to do so
  • A few thoughts on ways to prepare for this eventuality

Links to Previous Episodes in this Series:

(“Business Graph with Dollar Stock Photo” courtesy jscreationzs at freedigitalphotos.net)

External Links

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February 14

Ep. 0051: Accessory Before the Fact: Operation Keelhaul

Operation Keelhaul, which Alexander Solzhenitsyn called “the last secret of World War II,” was the forced repatriation of anti-Communist Russian and Eastern Europeans into Stalin’s clutches in the aftermath of World War II, where they often faced either summary execution or the gulag.

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • What Operation Keelhaul was and why it was so morally and legally questionable
  • The Yalta Agreement, the supposed reason for forced repatriation
  • How in reality British & American authorities actually started forced repatriation well before the Yalta Agreement
  • The most prominent case of forced repatriation, that of former Soviet General Andrey Vlasov and his approximately 900,000 followers
  • The case of the Cossacks, probably the next most-prominent group to be keelhauled
  • How British & American soldiers used lies, violence, and even drugs to facilitate these repatriations, including forced repatriations of prisoners that had been held on American soil
  • Prof CJ’s concluding thoughts on Keelhaul, including the truly Orwellian way that this huge favor to Uncle Joe was being done at the exact time that Nazi war criminals were being saved by the West in the name of getting an edge on the Soviets

External Links

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February 4

Ep. 0050: Accessory After the Fact: Operation Paperclip

After World War II, the US government acted as an accessory after the fact to some of the Nazis’ war crimes by getting war criminals (with valuable expertise, of course!) off the hook, bleaching their records, moving them to America, and giving them prestigious, well-paying jobs in the American military-industrial complex or intelligence agencies

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • The US government’s own definition of being an accessory to a crime after the fact, and how the government’s actions in saving guilty Nazis clearly fit that definition
  • A brief word on the so-called ‘doctors’ trials’ at Nuremberg, and how those prosecuted were just a tiny token number of guilty Nazi doctors
  • How Operation Paperclip came about, and how the orders to exclude so-called ‘ardent Nazis’ from inclusion in the program were largely ignored
  • The horrific conditions faced by the enslaved workers at Germany’s Mittelwerk rocket factory
  • How Nazis sometimes received better treatment from the US government than did Holocaust survivors
  • Some of the more prominent Nazis who were ‘paperclipped,’ including Wernher & Magnus Von Braun, Kurt Debus, Walter Dornberger, Arthur Rudolph, Hubertus Strughold, Reinhard Gehlen, and Otto Von Bolschwing
  • What this whole thing reveals about the moral ambivalence and situational ethics of American leaders, and about the ability and willingness of the political class to manipulate narratives of ‘good and evil’ in Orwellian fashion

Prof CJ’s Picks (buy anything from Amazon via these links to help support the show at no additional cost to you)