Blindspot #036 – The End of Neutral Nations? (Sweden & Finland goes into NATO war gear 101)

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Blindspot #036 –  The End of Neutral Nations?

Buiteboer // From Bunker 42

We cover a question and an update in this Blindspot. The question, embedded in the title deals with Finland and Sweden giving up their neutrality in exchange for NATO. While the update is on why South Africa should ideally remain neutral (as far as it can) in the thick of a world at war – especially in the face of a massive ‘everything market bubble’ where US stocks are valued at more than 200% the value of the country’s GDP. Zerohedge warns that the mother of all bubbles, the everything bubble, is about to burst. Blindspot presents a slightly different reason why it is better for South Africa to remain more or less neutral as Eurasia and the West locks horns. As a country at the top of the world where major shipping lines cross (in case the Suez Canal gets randomly blocked by beached tanker again).

I – Sweden & Finland from neutral to NATO war ready 

While the world is watching the unfolding war in Ukraine, sparked by a much longer history of post-Cold War NATO expansion into Eastern Europe, and potentially Ukraine, two more countries that share borders with the Russian Federation recently raised their hands to join the club – Sweden, and Finland. The Swedish decision to join NATO is highly significant due to the fact that, since 1815, at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Sweden followed a policy of neutrality in global politics. Truly world changing events, decisions, and policies emerging around the world. 

If you look at the map of that part of the world it is quickly evident that this can only lead to further escalation of tensions between Russia, Western Europe, and NATO. The grand bifurcation of the world system, following on 24 February 2022, is continuing apace. . 

But the more interesting question is what has happened to the neutrality of these nations? Neither of these two ever experienced any direct threat from the USSR, and most definitely not from the post-Cold War Russian Federation. 

Why do these countries choose to join NATO, when it is clear that the Russian Federation has been warning for years about the slow eastward march of NATO to its borders. Why does Sweden and Finland choose to raise and wave a red flag in front of the bear that is clearly already not only angered, but directly striking at forces advancing NATO interests in Ukraine? 

II – South Africa & neutrality 

The case of South Africa is interesting and important in this regard. Opposition leaders, and media, have been railing against and criticising the South African governments’ efforts at maintaining a ‘to some extent’ neutral stance on the conflict. 

Regardless of this, it is evident that the enhanced militarisation of the European landmass (with even formerly neutral nations signing up for NATO card carrying membership) indicates more potential sites, and sources of frigmentation, and conflict, on the border where Eurasia, and Europe meet. 

As an African nation, a member of BRICS, and as a nation that purports to believe in the peaceful settlement of conflict, preferably through engagement and negotiation, it is most likely better to steer clear of the US vs Them logic pushing countries into aligning themselves with one, or, the other. 

At this stage in world history, South Africa cannot afford to be trapped into ideological traps that change as geopolitical, and policy winds shift. South Africa can better serve its own, regional, and global security interests by remaining open to engagement with all parties, and more importantly, maintain links with emerging power structures and systems -especially in a world where the financial system is being split in two between SWIFT, and emerging alternatives, among others, from BRICS nations themselves. 

III – Stock Market bubble of bubbles going boom soon? 

And perhaps, another glaring reason to keep geopolitical, global economic, and trade ties as diversified as possible. According to Phoenix Capital Research, in an article published on the ZeroHedge platform, a massive ‘everything bubble’ that has been developing in Western, particularly the US market, since advent of the 2008 GFC, and then the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, due to money printing, is at an epic inflection point. 

But, what do we mean? 

“We’ve already detailed just how insane this Everything Bubble became. A few of the more egregious items:

  • Crypto currencies that were invented as jokes (Dogecoin) were being valued at tens of billions of dollars.
  • Tesla (TSLA), which sold ~300,000 cars in 2020, was worth more than the value of every other auto manufacturer on the planet combined.
  • People were selling Non-Fungible Tokes (NFTs) of farts, toilet paper, New York Times articles and more.

All of the above items outline insane levels of speculation in individual assets, but they don’t fully illustrate just how MASSIVE this bubble became. Check out the below chart from Jim Bianco.”

The graph shows a horrific tsunami wave of a totally insanely over-stimulated over-heated stock market. But, not only are we looking at the current data, but will refer to a video clip on the excessive speculative bubble that led to the 1929 stock market crash, which of course ushered in the Great Depression. 

I short it means that the stocks traded in the market is valued more than twice the value of the underlying economy. This is not only impossible to maintain, but, anyone that thinks there’s an easy escape from it, may just be insane. 

Phoenix Capital Research provides an apt conclusion, and illustrates why South Africa might want to steer more neutral, and maintain diverse relations across a planet plummeted into crisis: taking ‘sides’ will not enable strategic survival. 

“The Tech Bubble, which everyone understands was an egregious stock market bubble, peaked at 182% of GDP in March of 2000. Put another way, even with stocks down 20% from their all-time highs (more if you’re using the NASDAQ to calculate), today the stock market is still a larger bubble than the TECH BUBBLE AT ITS PEAK! So again, the Mother of All Collapses is coming.”

We end with a clip from a documentary entitled – 1929 Wall Street Market Crash. Bottom line is that by 1929 the stock market had de-linked itself from the real economy, giving birth to a speculative bubble, which popped on Black Tuesday, 22 October, 1929. Looking at the bubble expressed in the graph on the contemporary stock market in the year 2021/22 – it seems that someone should shout “Brace” for impending impact. 

1929 crash clip up to min 2:26 

Links: 

https://kkinghistory12.weebly.com/black-tuesday-october-22-1929stock-market-crash.html

Phoenix Capital Research. 2022. The everything bubble has officially burst. 16 May, 2022. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2022-05-16/everything-bubble-has-officially-burst 

Tehran Times. 2022. Chinese defense minister to visit Iran on Wednesday. 26 April, 2022. https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/472115/Chinese-defense-minister-to-visit-Iran-on-Wednesday 

The New Arab. 2022. Iran, China agree to step up military cooperation. 28 April, 2022. https://english.alaraby.co.uk/news/iran-china-agree-step-military-cooperation 

Awaken with JP. 2022. They’re causing food shortages?! https://rumble.com/v12xq50-theyre-causing-food-shortages.html 

dasinsider. 2022. Iran defines relations with China. 27 April, 2022. (Das)insider. https://dasinsider.com/iran-defines-relations-with-china 

Martin Armstrong. 2022. Israel added Yuan to reserve currency portfolio. 25 April, 2022, https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/international-news/middle_east/israel-add-yuan-to-reserve-currency-portfolio/ 

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