Swedish economist Stefan Fölster has published a novel-prediction The Crash of 2024 in which he accused Russia of the intention to "destroy the world’s financial system". Western sanctions will become the reason for this apocalypse. At the same time, the Russians will simply blow up Stockholm to get it out of the way.
To Blow Up Stockholm
Stefan Fölster, a Swedish economist and publicist, has published his novel The Crash of 2024 in which he presented a possible scenario of “Russia’s aggressive behavior” against the West and the outbreak of a “global hybrid war.” According to Fölster, the Russian Federation is about to take over the world's financial system in order to avoid the impact of economic sanctions against the country. After that, Russia will launch a strong attack on Western countries.
In 2024, Russia will take control of Montenegro, and then of Bulgaria and Serbia, which will take its side. It will annex southern Ukraine and wipe off Stockholm from the face of the Earth with a rocket attack in order to intimidate the West, RIA Novosti reports the contents of the book. As Sweden is not a NATO member, Western allies will not stand up for it. The Kremlin needs it to hold on to power after 2024, Fölster said.
The strangest and not-so-flattering thing about this European country is that Fölster is quite a well-known person in the country and a recognized financial expert. The book itself has been actively promoted in the Swedish press and positioned as a wise warning to a “naive Sweden” (readers are told that Moscow allegedly has been “already implementing” this scenario).
Fölster is writing seriously on the pages of Svenska Dagbladet (one of the most popular newspapers in the country), that “all the pieces of this puzzle are crimes that have happened recently, are being planned or have already been committed, but have not been solved yet. <...> That's why my thriller isn't just a light reading book, but also a good reason to think about Sweden's future.” That is, the Scandinavian average folks should take it not as a fantasy of the fiction writer, but as serious analytics.
This hypothesis, if these apocalyptic thoughts can be called so, has little in common with reality, said Anna Bodrova, a senior analyst of the Alpari Center for Information and Analysis. First of all, the imperfection of the Russian financial system, which is 15 years behind the world’s, is a generally known fact, she explains. The process is underway, but it's too slow to wait for any miracle on this side.
Secondly, Russia still remains isolated from global finance under numerous sanctions. It significantly reduces the potential of its “attacks” since wars require money. Now the budget is supplemented by reforming the tax system, in other words from the wallets of people as well as by oil and gas revenues. That's not enough to take over the world. In general, the idea of Russia's mythical aggression has always been welcomed by the West, so there is nothing surprising in the emergence of such speculations, Bodrova said.
It’s Funny But Sad
The tendency towards Russia’s strengthening on the geopolitical map of the world is of concern not only to the U.S., but also to Sweden, Roman Blinov, head of the analytical department of the International Financial Center, said. It has its historical background, since the time of Peter the Great, Russia has always been a threat to Sweden to some extent, Blinov said.
He admits Russia has a number of dissenting opinions and approaches that differ with the European partners and opponents in many aspects of understanding of the world. But in general, they are completely forgotten about when it comes to Russian gas or other natural resources. As they say since Roman times, business and money don’t stink. However, it is a nice chance to “promote oneself” on a wave of pseudo-Russian nuclear, military and ideological threats.
All of this is “fake news”, which has been already used very actively by many media in Europe and Russia. In this case, it is difficult to convince Swedish critics that their conclusions are ridiculous, at least because there is no real dialogue on equal terms, and partly because of their unwillingness to accept Russia's position.
Blinov is confident that it just comes down to unwillingness to engage in a constructive dialogue. Moreover, this dialogue undermines the ability to hear the opponent and draw correct conclusions. The situation is both funny and sad. In such questions one should never “dive” into the past and evoke grudges of the Middle Ages.
Typical Attempt to Make Money
The publication and popularization of “scary stories” about Russia, Iran, Syria, Venezuela and other developing countries and regions in the European mass media, as well as the book by Stefan Fölster, work as an information signal, limiting the demand for risk, Alexander Osin, Russian stock market operations management analyst of IC Freedom Finance, said. Tellingly, that active discussion of the book in the media coincided in time with the appointment of Christine Lagarde, former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, to the post of the head of the European Central Bank (instead of Mario Draghi), Osin said in an interview with Wek.
Taking into account the policy of the IMF during Mrs Lagarde's tenure, the market might have an opinion that the European authorities are going to keep by force the status quo in the structure of the European economy despite the actively changing external and internal factors.
Meanwhile, the situation in the markets and in the global economy is changing. The Western media has not noticed that the US exodus from the north of Syria actually means the lifting of the blockade for the economic cooperation in the region and the possibility of trade and financial cooperation between the Arab countries and the EU, as well as with Asia.
The Japanese government's decision to increase VAT remains unnoticed. It should accelerate the growth of the CPI in the third world economy, which has strong economic ties with Europe.
The accelerating growth of the CPI of China up to its maximum for the last few years has been also unnoticed. On the basis of the correlation of inflation indicators of the EU and China it may signal a possible acceleration of the CPI of the EMC in the next six months to levels above 2% (YoY).
Osin is confident that the market will take anti-inflationary protection measures and invest in risk. The main threat to these processes is the non-market management of demand, similar to the one that took place during the 2014-2015 commodity market crisis, when the largest commodity market operators had to reduce or stop operations under the influence of regulatory pressure. An instrument that prepares the market for such non-commodity, politicized and administrative measures is the pressure on the public conscience with the help of publications such as the one mentioned above.
The geopolitical fantasy fiction of this kind could be easily written by a famous person just for “hype”, more fame and fees, Petr Pushkaryov, chief analyst of TeleTrade Group, said in his interview with Wek. Another noteworthy question is why the author's idea was moving in that direction. The expert supposes that chances are that this happened because, apart from Fölster’s own ingrained in the blood honest mistakes and misconceptions,
he is well aware of the pro-American forces on the European continent. Moreover, the USA is trying to hold on the power over political minds and moods in European society which is still strong, but already slipping away.
Incidentally, the book by Richard Shirreff, former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, entitled “2017: War with Russia: An Urgent Warning from Senior Military Command” was promoted exactly the same way three years ago. And even if these people do not act as direct sponsors and customers of such works, they spare no efforts to make the scripts soaked in extreme distrust of Russia and demonizing Russian authorities for some reason. They are ready to spread them widely and to imprint these almost familiar clichés into the mass consciousness and subconscious.
“Iran? Obviously, these are fanatics who threaten the world with a nuclear bomb. It does not matter that they do not have it yet, while in many countries nuclear missiles have been in service for decades. China? They are people stealing intellectual property from the West and economic invaders of the world. Therefore, they should not be dealt with. Russia? Well, of course, it is tirelessly preparing to invade a prosperous Europe, blowing up our world and destroying all the major human values,” Pushkaryov said.
While bribing or intimidating the traditional European politicians, the Pro-Americans want to see first of all such images in their environment and in the head of every European in connection with the names of these countries. Because only by maintaining myths about various fake threats can they keep people's consciousness within the framework of NATO ideological traditions and explain to the people that they have to pay the USA at least 2% of GDP for military purposes and from whom exactly they are protected, making them even call for the presence of American military units in their countries, for which they should buy expensive American liquefied gas.
And to do much more, so that only Europe would be further away from Russia ideologically, economically, politically and at the level of human contacts. Instead, Europe and Russia might become closer as the most natural potential friends and allies and realize that our interests not just get along perfectly, but actually coincide completely. It is necessary to hold more thoughtful round-table conferences with philosophers and economists, as well as writers and brilliant publicists. Only not with propagandists now from the Russian side.
Rather, with thinkers who are ready to talk openly and publicly about the common values that bring us closer together. Also to talk honestly about the clichés or real obstacles in our minds that still divide us from Europe.
According to Pushkaryov, it would be nice to have books with other normal realistic scenarios of coming closer together but not with “our answers to Chamberlain”. as is often the case now in superficial television shows on Russian television channels, where the image of supposedly hostile to Russia's European values is easily read in the text. Nowadays, this often happens in superficial Russian TV shows, where the image of European values allegedly hostile to Russia is easily read out.
“We have to explain patiently in a well-argued manner that a united and very strong Europe is in Russian interests,” Pushkaryov says. “For us, Europe is both a natural ally in the common economy and growth we all need, and with a common and close culture. It is one of several equally important independent outposts and pillars, one of the equal centers of power in world politics, in relation to which we are not trying to create something alternative, but to be with Europe together.”
All of this is really true. Moreover, the situation around the unification of Germany in 1989 proves it, too. When Gorbachev had already given way on, it was the Americans, who were against it and not interested in a strong and big Germany as a support for a strong Europe.
It is necessary to explain in a well-argued manner in confidential conversations with influential European minds that Russia does not need any European territories now or in the future. We will never entrench upon them. It is a fundamental moral imperative for us, and pragmatically we have enough our own territories, with which we do not always know what to do.
That we are taking the same measures to move away from dollar payments, not to destroy the world’s financial system, but to protect ourselves. Europe itself is moving along the same path. If someone is pushing both us and Europe to speed up the movement along this path, it is rather the “masters” of the dollar system themselves by increasing political risks, imposing trade restrictions, and speaking out more and more disrespectfully about their European partners, after all.
And that Russia only wants to transform the current financial system into a safer, more comfortable and more equal one. This process is really pushing, but Russia does not have enough funds to create its own financial system. There are no such intentions so no one would build an illusion in this regard.
If all this is done thoroughly, the economy will gradually overcome the rest of the obstacles in a natural way. Business connections will expand in any case.
Pushkaryov suggests that it is likely that only after 2024 that many people in Europe really believe in the sincerity of Russia's intentions, when they will be convinced with their own eyes that Putin don’t arrange any “expected” apocalypse either in Europe or in Russia in order to keep the power. And that as by law enacted, the power will shift smoothly to his proposed successor, whom the people support by the free will in full accordance with both our and European standards of democracy.