|This interview appears in the September 29, 2000 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
LaRouche Outlines Step to New Bretton Woods
On 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:
Rojas: 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
Rojas: As usual. What's the latest fight you're
LaRouche: 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.
Rojas: 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?
LaRouche: 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.
My 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
My 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 problem.
What 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.
Now, 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.
The 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
Rojas: What are the steps that have to be taken on
the global financial crisis?
LaRouche: 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.
As 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 economic reasons.
So 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.
Rojas: Mr. LaRouche, there was recently a summit
meeting of the 12 Presidents of South America. In what direction should that
LaRouche: 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 Brasilia
My 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 Woods.
Rojas: Mr. LaRouche, Thank you very much.