to Lyndon LaRouche's "New Bretton Woods" policy proposal.
interview appears in the September
29, 2000 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Outlines Step to New Bretton Woods
the eve of a crucial meeting of the heads of state of the
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), taking place
on Sept. 26-27 in Caracas, Venezuela, Radio Mágica in Caracas
turned to Lyndon LaRouche for commentary and forecast. The OPEC
Presidents and their ministers have been denouncing speculation in
"virtual oil" as the cause of the skyrocketting price of
oil. Venezuela's oil minister, Alí Rodríguez Araque, stated on
Sept. 21 that "speculation can only be minimized by agreements
between producers and consumers, but ... I don't know if the
governments where this occurs, are prepared to intervene." This
was the core issue of the questions to LaRouche on Sept. 21, from
Radio Mágica, one of the largest FM stations in Caracas. The
interview was conducted by the well-known Venezuelan journalist and
former ambassador, Román Rojas. The full exchange follows:
Hello, friends. Today, we have in the Radio Mágica studio with us,
by telephone hookup from Washington, D.C., the great American
economist Lyndon LaRouche, who is an intellectual of great value,
worldwide, because of his proposals to deal with the crisis. His
writings are known here in Venezuela through the magazines Executive
Intelligence Review and Resumen Ejecutivo. How are you
today, Mr. LaRouche?
I'm feeling frisky, and in a fighting mood.
As usual. What's the latest fight you're involved in?
Well, first of all, we're in the worst hyperinflation since Weimar
Germany of 1923, in which the skyrocketing increase in the price of
petroleum is a leading feature. I'm trying rather urgently to get
the President of the United States to take certain measures.
Mr. LaRouche, in terms of European countries, some people are saying
that the cause of the rise of the petroleum prices is not so much
because of the producer countries, but the tax question. Is this a
positive factor in this current situation?
No, it's not. The key problem here is that you have a concentration
in the international spot market, of control over speculation
against future deliveries. You also have the complication of the
insanity of the U.S. oil companies, in not building up refining
capacity. Plus the fact, that those who are speculating against the
futures market in petroleum, are part of a, probably, $3 trillion a
year rate, currently, of looting other countries, to try to prop up
a sick dollar.
problem in this, is that the people around the President believe
that they have to try to prevent a collapse of the dollar from
occurring. The fact is that there is nothing they can do about it.
The collapse of the dollar is inevitable for sometime in the weeks
immediately ahead. And you have people like Larry Summers, the
Treasury Secretary of the United States, who is trying to postpone
the collapse until after the November general election.
warning to the government and others is: Look, stop this nonsense!
You can't save the dollar this way! What you must do right now, is
act on the petroleum crisis to bring that under control. The
solution is obvious to people in Venezuela who understand this
we have to do, is return immediately to the government-to-government
annual contracts we used to have as a system, 20 to 25 years ago. In
other words, the governments must give priority to nation-to-nation
agreements on delivery of petroleum, and override all other
deliveries. And since you're going to have a refinery crisis in the
United States this coming month, the United States must not only
import petroleum; it must now import refined product from countries
which have idle refinery capacity. We must also agree among these
nations on some kind of a price-pegging for one-year contracts, to
cover the situation.
some people will argue that doing that, would collapse the present
financial speculation market. But since the market is going to
collapse anyway, catastrophically, the most important thing is:
Don't worry about the collapse, but prepare to deal with it by doing
sensible things on this petroleum issue right now.
world economy depends, more than any other single factor in the
short term, on reliable energy supplies at reasonable prices. And I
believe that the oil-exporting countries can agree with countries in
Asia and Europe, and the United States, that such agreements are in
the mutual interest of all parties. I believe, for example, that the
Saudis would agree. Iran would agree. We have 5% of the world's
refinery capacity tied up, blockaded, in Iraq. That should be turned
around. So, what we need are some governments with clear heads, and
resolution to take action, and we can begin to bring this crisis
What are the steps that have to be taken on the global financial
Well, what we have to do, essentially, is go back to the
protectionist model of the 1950s, but at least the protectionist
model that was in effect through 1971. And the countries and
national economies involved, must agree on organizing long-term
trade agreements, including organizing private, long-term contracts
on delivery and supply of commodities, and also on establishing
stable price levels which protect both the exporting and importing
countries. In other words, we have to do very much like what was
done between 1945 and 1958, in terms of emergency agreements, and
get this whole business under control, to prevent an economic and
social catastrophe. What we'll have to do is freeze and reorganize
large parts of the outstanding financial assets and debts.
a matter of fact, if we do not do precisely that, very soon, in the
weeks ahead, this planet is going to go into a New Dark Age for
decades to come. If you allow the currencies to blow out and
financial systems to break down, without state-to-state agreements
to bring this under control, you'll have a chain reaction of chaos
which will cause a large-scale depopulation of the planet, for
this is the time when we need really strong leaders, like Franklin
Delano Roosevelt, who can take the kind of actions the situation
demands. I don't think that Bill Clinton is an FDR, although he's an
intelligent person. But I would hope that he would act like a
Roosevelt, at least for the period of this crisis. I think that's
the best chance for civilization at this point. That's why I'm
fighting to accomplish this.
Mr. LaRouche, there was recently a summit meeting of the 12
Presidents of South America. In what direction should that process
I was very happy with that. This coincides with the kind of thing I
proposed in 1982, which was named "Operation Juárez." And
we also did some special studies of South America and Central
America in that period, which were looking in the same direction
that Peru's President Fujimori, for example, presented in the
general view is that there should be a regional agreement among the
leading states of Central and South America, to form a group not too
much different from what was proposed for the ASEAN-Plus-Three
group. My objective is to create a situation on this planet where we
have a new kind of replacement for the Bretton Woods system. So we
need groups of nations which are strong enough as groups, to
participate with the authority of a great power, with the other
great powers, in running a new kind of Bretton Woods system very
much like that of the 1950s, but this time with the developing
sector of the world fully represented. And therefore a strong
federal agreement among the states of Central and South America, is
one of the essential building blocks of that new kind of Bretton
Mr. LaRouche, Thank you very much.