Thread Rating:
  • 1 Vote(s) - 5 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL MELTDOWN
LONDON HYPERINFLATIONARY POLICY OPPOSED TO GLASS-STEAGALL
Paul Gallagher
http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2012/39...gl-st.html

The June 11 attempted bailout of Spanish banks' debt failed immediately and backfired spectacularly. It is now only a short time before a desperate City of London imposes a policy of deliberate hyperinflation on all the trans-Atlantic nations including the United States—or, those nations re-enact Franklin Roosevelt's Glass-Steagall law on an emergency basis, to successfully reorganize their banking systems. The outcome of this fight will determine the future fate of the U.S. Economy—rebuilding, or complete wreckage, like that of 1923 Weimar Germany gripped by hyperinflation—as well as those of European nations.

The June 11 events, which proved the futility of any further attempts to bail out the insolvent, frozen-up megabanks of Europe, with their $5-6 trillion in unrecognized bad debts, ironically triggered an all-out British campaign, starting four days later, for huge new bank bailouts by central banks.

The €100 billion Spanish bank bailout by European "rescue funds," proposed June 11, was risible against the conservative estimate of €450-500 billion of bad debt on Spanish banks' books; but it was a big enough new debt, piled on mountains of unpayable debt, to send Spain's sovereign and bank debt reeling. Spain's 10-year bond yield skyrocketed, reaching 7.35% a week later. The quick deterioration of Spanish government debt, in turn, hit the Spanish banks which are loaded with it. Fitch Ratings downgraded Spain's biggest banks, Santander and BBVA, two notches to BBB, not far above junk. The clear image was of the driver who turns the wheel hard right, and sees the car go sharply left in response.

Italy was also swept in, its 10-year debt rate leaped to 6.28%, and Austrian Finance Minister Maria Fekter said Italy may need an EU bailout—ritually denounced, of course, by Italian fiat-premier Mario Monti. Suddenly, all the "experts" were talking about the panic of bondholders whose bonds become subordinated to masses of new supranational-institution (bailout) debt. Greece was forgotten; steady electronic bank runs and capital flight from Spain and Italy took center stage, with indices of banks' short-term liquidity operations flashing red.

Any attempt at a massive bailout by the EU of Spanish and Italian sovereign and bank debt is patently impossible; but "a global bailout of Europe's banks" is exactly the British demand, raised already on May 25 by former Chancellor/Prime Minister Gordon Brown in the New York Times.

Los Cabos Fraud

The furious British drive—aided by President Obama—to force Germany, immediately, to agree to a money-printing hyperinflation to "save" the banks, was brutally obvious on June 19 as the G-20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico ended. Days earlier, on June 15, Bank of England head Mervyn King and Chancellor George Osborne had held emergency conference calls with European finance ministers, and then made public calls to all central banks to print money, fast. King said that the banks of Europe were insolvent—"it's a solvency, not a liquidity crisis"—and then demanded that governments provide the banks ... much more liquidity. "We have thrown at this everything bar the kitchen sink," said King; and then demanded "more drastic measures" were necessary. The Bank of England would immediately print and lend British banks £100 billion.

Then, on the evening of June 19, the London Telegraph, Guardian, and Observer newspapers all published reports "from the Los Cabos summit," that a deal for a roughly $1 trillion bailout of Spanish and Italian debt by the European bailout funds—European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and European Stability Mechanism (ESM) had been reached, at the demand of Obama and British Prime Minister Cameron. These authoritative-sounding reports appeared only in British media, and they were false. The German government, the next morning, June 20, denied that this "deal" had even been discussed at Los Cabos, where Obama and Cameron had had a "sub-meeting" on the bank crisis with European leaders after the G-20 summit formally ended.

And the EFSF and ESM do not have, of course, €750 billion, or $1 trillion, to buy Spanish and Italian bonds on the open market; these funds have only the authorization to raise that amount on the markets themselves, and the ESM authorization has not yet been approved by the German Parliament. And $1 trillion "would be nowhere near enough" to cover European banks' bad debts, to quote Gordon Brown's acknowledgment in his May 25 New York Times op-ed.

But this hyperinflationary bailout is "the deal" nonetheless, unless it is stopped by a Glass-Steagall reorganization, which must start with a U.S. re-enactment of FDR's original Glass-Steagall Act.

Listen to Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, quoted by the London Daily Telegraph June 19:

"There are systemic problems in the eurozone which require a systemic answer.... Common resources [must be] transferred from richer countries to poorer countries, [to show] that the whole eurozone stands behind the banks of the eurozone.... I think there are signs that the eurozone are moving towards richer countries standing behind their banks and standing behind the weaker countries" [emphasis added].

Crush the National Opposition

It was most notable, behind the chaos caused by the strident British demands for hyperinflation, and the confusion of denials by Germany and Spain that they had agreed to it, that the European Central Bank (ECB) clearly refused to start big purchases of Spanish and Italian debt—for now. And in the United States on June 20, the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee merely extended its existing asset-purchase scheme, did not announce new ones, but introduced new language: "The Committee is prepared to take further action as appropriate to promote a stronger economic recovery," thus effectively authorizing Fed chairman Ben Bernanke to gear up money-printing when he thinks necessary.

The City of London "imperial" strategy for forcing through its hyperinflation policy by manipulation, was described fairly clearly, if to a relatively small and elite audience, by Deutschebank CEO Josef Ackermann at the Atlantic Council in Washington May 20. Ackermann is chairman of the Institute for International Finance (IIF), the "lobby" of the biggest international banks. He explained that new central bank bailout operations would be held in reserve, or used only in small steps, until the bank crisis became really extreme and acute; by going "to the precipice," governments had to be compelled to give up their sovereignty and throw their revenues and credit into bank bailouts. Two days later, ECB head Mario Draghi said the same thing, while declining to lower ECB interest rates. A day after that, Bernanke repeated it again, telling the Senate Banking Committee, there will be no more qualitative easing from the Fed for now—"Congress must do its job."

The collapse has accelerated the scheme; London is determined the German government will capitulate and commit all its credit by the end of June. Then, London wants the ESM fund to be licensed as a bank, in order to be able to borrow from the ECB and launch the really huge, multi-trillion-dollar money-printing. Telegraph financial columnist Ambrose Evan Pritchard quoted former Foreign Minister David Owen on June 20:

"This is not going to work unless they let the fund gear up and draw on the full firepower of the ECB.... Any bond purchases must be on a crushing scale to eliminate all doubts...."

Glass-Steagall
What will be "crushed," after national sovereignty, is national economies suddenly thrust from deep recession into hyperinflation.

But when the Glass-Steagall Act was still in full force and enforcement—before Alan Greenspan's consolidation of power over the Federal Reserve and other regulatory agencies—it prohibited any protection/insurance being given by either the Fed or the FDIC, to the "low-quality securities" of any "non-bank." And virtually all the major British and other European banks were—and are—"non-banks" under Glass-Steagall because they massively violate its principles of banking separation, and protection of commercial banking only. And they are clearly loaded with "low-quality securities": $5 trillion of bad assets, even by the estimate of the International Monetary Fund.

Re-enactment of Glass-Steagall, by passage of the House legislation H.R. 1489, and passage in the Senate, as well as in the nations of Europe is the one action that can stop London's and Obama's brutal drive for hyperinflation.


WHY THE EMPIRE DESTROYED THE U.S. SECOND NATIONAL BANK
Nancy Spannaus
http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2012/39..._bank.html

There is a deliciously biting irony in the current world financial/economic breakdown crisis. For while it can be correctly argued that the current planet-threatening calamity is in large part the result of a global banking dictatorship run amok, the solution lies not in eliminating strong national banks in favor of "free competition"—as the populists scream—but in establishing new sovereign banking institutions, devoted to creating credit for an industrial revival.

The reality, as it will again be imposed through re-establishment of FDR's Glass-Steagall law, is that there are two kinds of banks, and banking systems. One kind can legitimately be called speculative, or monetarist, as defined by the British imperial dominance of the world financial system during most of the period since the British Empire's establishment in 1763. The second kind was defined most deftly by the first Treasury Secretary of the United States, Alexander Hamilton, when he called for a National Bank that would be a "nursery for national wealth." In the first kind, the standard for the bank's success is the acquisition of money, or precious metals, land, and the like; in the second, the standard is the promotion of the productive powers of the nation, from its labor force to its scientific and technological platform for further development of mankind.

The first, urgently required step for getting out of the current crisis is to stop the bailouts of the monetarist banking system, by imposing an exact replica of Glass-Steagall. Momentum has been growing internationally behind such a demand, as it becomes increasingly clear that the trillions of dollars in derivatives and other gambling debts are strangling mankind's ability to survive, and must be deprived of any government support. By this measure, commercial banking—as related to real productive activity—will be supported by government institutions, and gamblers in the investment banking system will be allowed to "go hang."

But at that point, the second requirement comes into play, as Lyndon LaRouche has repeatedly outlined: A new credit system, based on national banking, must be established, to meet the needs of the gigantic development projects needed for a real recovery, starting with the North American Water and Power Alliance (NAWAPA XXI). For an historical analogy to this requirement, we again look to the history of the United States, specifically the activities of the two Banks of the United States.

Banks for Progress
Only when the United States was governed by a national banking system devoted to providing credit for vast nation-building programs, has this country thrived. Alexander Hamilton's Bank of the United States (1791) was devoted to putting into economic practice the sovereignty which was otherwise enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, of which he was also a prime shaper. While Hamilton's intention, of using the bank to implement his program of manufactures, was never fulfilled, it provided some protection from the British Empire's economic attempts to destroy the new nation.

By the narrowest of margins, the British enemies of the United States were able to sabotage the renewal of the Bank of the United States charter in 1811, thus dramatically weakening the nation on the eve of the War of 1812. The experience of that war created conditions for reversal of the attitude of many who had previously opposed the Bank, and, after some false starts, the Second Bank of the United States (1816-36) created the credit system for one of the greatest booms this nation, or the world, had ever experienced.

Despite efforts by many patriots, no new National Bank has been able to be established, but the period of massive industrial leaps and expansion in the United States have all occurred under national government policies which emulated its functioning. First, there was the Abraham Lincoln Greenback policy, forced upon him by the British banking cabal that de facto supported the Confederacy, but leading to dramatic economic growth. Then, there was Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal policy, which utilized numerous government institutions, especially the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, to launch great projects, like the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), which made the United States the industrial giant of the world.

Without such sovereign control over credit, and the dedication to use that sovereign control for increasing the productive power of man over nature, the United States—and other nations—were sitting ducks for the British imperial financiers. Now, that Empire's death throes threaten to take us all down with it—unless we throw off its yoke, and take up national banking again.

The Record of the Second National Bank
In the article that follows, EIR History Editor Anton Chaitkin takes up the particular case of how the Second National Bank of the United States developed the nation industrially, especially under the 1825-1829 Presidency of John Quincy Adams; he also shows who was out to destroy it. In an upcoming issue, we will home in on how the bank operated, in partnership with industrialist patriots throughout the country, to carry out this economic transformation.

Those populist dupes who, even today, scream about the idea of a National Bank, should take careful note. Under the Second National Bank's operations, the United States was becoming an economic powerhouse, and challenging British financial imperialism. Thus it was the British Empire, working through Wall Street and its spokesmen, who orchestrated the political fervor against the Second Bank. And one of those leading tools was none other than President Andrew Jackson.

Among the U.S. population at the time, there was never an outcry against the program of canal-building, road-building, and industrial support that the Bank facilitated. Memorials poured into Congress in favor of continuing the Bank's charter, when Bank president Nicholas Biddle sought to renew it in 1832; the other side was practically mum, but for the bankers' manipulations behind the scenes. The opponents of the Bank effectively wanted to put the power back in London's hands, by returning to a "hard money" policy based on gold and silver—eliminating credit for expanding physical productivity.

Yet, the American people stupidly did re-elect an Andrew Jackson who had threatened to eliminate the Bank in the elections of 1832. By doing so, they eliminated the source of stability for U.S. currency, and the source of credit for uniting the nation through inland waterways, railroads, and the like. Had the Biddle bank program continued, it is fair to say that one of the major bases for manipulating the South into the Rebellion would have been eliminated.

The elimination of the Second National Bank of the United States was an act of treason, which at first caused a crash of the economy in 1837, which led to depression and starvation throughout the United States. The longer-term effect was to create the conditions for the most bloody war Americans have ever suffered through, the war which the British hoped would destroy us forever, the Civil War.

In the pages that follow, you will learn of an industrial revolution you have never heard of, which absolutely depended upon the administration of National Credit through a National Bank. This was the true exercise of freedom, the freedom to develop mankind's capabilities to create a better future for all mankind. When you hear a populist say otherwise, either look for his Wall Street or London sponsor, or just give it to him straight: National Banking is progress; the Empire's monetarism is death. Which does he choose?



Reply
GEITHNER AND BERNANKE DEMAND NEW MEGA BAILOUT OF EUROPE
http://larouchepac.com/node/23152


Capitol Hill sources have confirmed that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke are demanding that Congress prepare emergency legislation for yet another hyperinflationary bailout of the hopelessly bankrupt trans-Atlantic financial system. For the past week, the two men have been meeting secretly with leading Congressional Democrats and Republicans, demanding that they draft new legislation to bailout the banks on an even larger scale than after the 2008 collapse.

According to several congressional sources, Geithner and Bernanke have pledged that they will do everything in their power to flood European banks with bailout funds through the Federal Reserve, but they candidly admit that it may be impossible, and that congressional action may be required. If the crisis hits, they warn, there must be legislation already prepared, because the speed and magnitude of the crisis may require extraordinary intervention to "save the system."

LaRouche: Our Enemies Could End Civilization This Weekend

Lyndon LaRouche today denounced the Bernanke-Geithner efforts as "tantamount to treason." "The current Trans-Atlantic system cannot be saved" LaRouche warned. "The only option is the immediate reinstatement of the original Franklin Roosevelt Glass-Steagall Act. It must happen now!" LaRouche warned that, as of Thursday or Friday of this week, the entire European financial system will explode. "Either Germany will hold firm and refuse to surrender the last vestiges of national sovereignty, or Europe will go into a hyperinflationary breakdown. It all hangs on Germany." German Chancellor Angela Merkel is under pressure from a swarm of British and Wall Street agents - from Geithner and Bernanke to George Soros - to agree to a German bailout of the entire euro system. "The reality is that the gambling debts of the European and Wall Street banks can never be paid. The only option is an orderly cancellation of all those trillions of dollars of gambling debts by reinstating Glass-Steagall."

Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) has introduced H.R. 1489 to reinstate Glass-Steagall and the bill now has 69 co-sponsors from both parties. Last week, LaRouchePAC exposed the fact that former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker has been mobilized, on behalf of Geithner and Bernanke, to sabotage the passage of Glass-Steagall. Now, Geithner and Bernanke are pushing for another even bigger taxpayers bailout of Wall Street and London's gambling debts. According to Capitol Hill sources, even Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) rejected the Bernanke and Geithner demands!

Lyndon LaRouche reiterated that the only option is Glass-Steagall.
"Anyone who is not fighting for Glass-Steagall now is going to be judged a traitor to humanity. The only way to save the viable commercial banks is to end the bailouts and go back to Glass-Steagall. If Glass-Steagall is not passed into law now, we face the danger of total chaos, when the system comes crashing down. It could happen as early as the end of this week, as the European crisis reaches a break point."

Reply
GLOBAL SYSTEMIC CRISIS: THE GLOBAL ECONOMY SUCKED INTO A BLACK HOLE AND WORLD
http://www.leap2020.eu/GEAB-N-67-is-avai...12189.html

As LEAP/E2020 anticipated since the end of 2011, the end of summer 2012 marks the beginning of the revival for Euroland with the emergence of a positive dynamic fed by two lasting phenomena: first, the progressive operational installation of the instruments bitterly discussed and decided upon during the last 18 months and, secondly, the visionary spark brought by the political changes of the last six months which have put Euroland’s medium to long term future back in the middle of the decision-making process. The Euro’s progress these past weeks offers a perfect illustration of the phenomenon (1). That being said, Europe will be in recession for the next six to twelve months. It just goes to show that the only good news that we announced in the June 2012 GEAB issue is far from being miraculous.

In a certain sense, it’s even the contrary, since henceforth it’s no longer possible to hide the global economy’s tragic state behind the pretext of the “Euro or Greek crisis”. The more Euroland advances constructively, the more the “Potemkinien” (2) character of the US, Chinese, Japanese and Brazilian... economies’ « health » will show itself. The tree will no longer hide the forest, namely that all the major global economies are entering recession or slowing growth simultaneously, leading the socio-economic and financial world into a black hole.

At the same time summer 2012 will have marked a major acceleration in world geopolitical dislocation with a Syrian conflict which becomes more dangerous for the Middle East and the world day by day (3), Israeli-Iranian tension which is ready to explode at any time, and widespread testing of declining US power – from the China Sea to Latin America via the whole Muslim world. The strategic-military world is heated white-hot as the massive resumption of arms sales worldwide illustrates for that matter, with the United States supplying 85% of the total (4).


For these reasons, LEAP/E2020 maintains its June 2012 Red Alert and estimates that, by the end of October 2012, the global economy will be sucked into a black hole against a backdrop of world geopolitics heated white-hot. Suffice it to say that the coming weeks will, according to our team, carry the planet away in a hurricane of unprecedented crises and conflicts.

So, in this GEAB issue, LEAP/E2020 sets out the list of the seven key factors of this double shock without modern historical equivalent:

In addition, this GEAB issue contains an anticipation of the cumulative impact of the crisis and the Internet on European retail trade, predicting a loss of 2.5 million jobs by 2015.

This issue also contains the first of a series of three anticipations on the risks of a social explosion in Europe, the United States (GEAB N°68) and China (GEAB N°69). We decided begin with Europe which, according to our researchers, should experience “times of riots in the first half of 2013”, with of course big differences between European countries.

Also, you will find two GEAB Indices in this issue, the GEAB $ Index and the brand new GEAB € Index, which will henceforth appear three times a year.

And, of course, there is the GlobalEurometre which takes the pulse of Europeans’ views on key subjects.

This month our recommendations concern currencies ($, €, £, Yen, Yuan), gold, energy and basic foodstuffs, stock exchanges and life assurance.

Finally, you will find information on the programme for the third Euro-BRICS seminar organized in Cannes by LEAP, in partnership with the MGIMO on September 27th/29th, 2012 and a GEAB subscriber special offer for the online training in political anticipation organized by our partner FEFAP.

The very painful end of the US anaesthetic is at the crossroads of the seven key factors of a double shock of the coming weeks

Because it is indeed that. As we have underlined on many occasions in the GEAB, the United States has, since the beginning of this crisis, refused to face reality (5) by having increasing recourse to financial, monetary,… (and military) subterfuge to try and mitigate the consequences of the crisis. All this however is proving to be ineffective at the end of summer 2012, in spite of the trillions of Dollars thrown down what is proving to be a bottomless hole.

The best proof is the Fed’s September 13th decision to maintain its Operation Twist programme of Treasury repurchases by adding to it an unlimited programme (in time and amount) of mortgage backed securities repurchases (40 Billion USD/per month) to try and revive the US property market and, through the latter, employment and consumption. The Fed is aware that this decision will cause a backlash and damaging consequences internationally. In fact it has been hesitating for months ahead of a new QE3 (6). But, in trying to avoid a socio-economic implosion and a stock exchange collapse on Wall Street ahead of the November 2012 elections (7) whilst trying to save its own credibility under heavy attack from the Republican camp, it chose “Psychological Easing” rather than “Quantitative Easing”.

The Fed is increasingly becoming the key player in the US property market, thus persisting in confusing the problems of liquidity and solvency. US households don’t have any more money to buy or build houses (8). Mortgage interest rates won’t change anything here. Only Wall Street, for a certain time, will be able to continue surfing on record levels until one “beautiful morning” everything collapses due to a sudden awareness that the real economy is sinking into depression.

Indeed all the signals are already on red: employment isn’t moving up, the jobs created are paid very much less than those lost (9), poverty is exploding throughout the country (10), … and the US multinationals (11) have increased announcements of falling profits for the second half of 2012 and 2013, returning to the levels of 2008/009, typical of a recession period (12).

Number of US households participating in the Food Stamps Programme (dark line) and benefit received (red line) (2009-2012) - Source: Zerohedge, 07/2012

The US political system’s current and future impotence (13) in facing its deficit problems (14) combined with « sequestration » (15) of the Federal budget (16) the effects of which are already making themselves felt throughout the US economy (as we had anticipated from spring 2012) (17), will turn the coming weeks into an endless succession of bad economic news (18) … against a backdrop of increasingly less well-managed geopolitical challenges. Because the anaesthetic is finished on this front as well!

It only took just a year for all the perverse effects of the 2011 Western attack on Libya to appear: from the assassination of the United States ambassador to Libya to the anti-US riots throughout the Moslem world, frankly one can’t deduce a successful policy of “accompaniment” of the Arab revolutions.

The fierce Russian and Chinese will to support the Syrian regime against Western and Gulf monarchies’ attempts to overthrow it (19) has not only wrecked any positive dynamics at the UN Security Council but has turned itself into a test of US power in the Middle East.

Finally, it’s the whole of East and South-East Asia (Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, South Korea,…) which, through the conflicts over numerous small islands, is in the process of testing the American capacity to stay put, face to face with China (20), an Asiatic power. And they are evaluating in real time what remains of US power in the region. By the beginning of 2013, their conclusions will recombine the alliances and allegiances inherited from the Second World War.

And even the “back-yard” of the United States (according to the Monroe doctrine), namely Latin America, has undertaken to collectively face multi-decade US geopolitical positions: the exclusion of Cuba from trans-American fori and questioning of the war on drugs, the pillar of US interventionism in Latin America for more than forty years (21).

Let’s quote Europe also as an anecdote, since Euroland’s accelerated integration de facto constitutes an ousting of US influence at the heart of European construction. Beginning in 2013, the IMF (i.e. Washington) will certainly be never invited again to deal with intra-Euroland problems as it is the case today with Greece. Even as regards defence, the surprise announcement of a possible BAE Systems – EADS merger, with EADS as the major shareholder (22), illustrates the end of an era when defence had to be transatlantic with the United Kingdom in charge. Whereas, from now on, BAE Systems is fighting for its life (23).








Reply
WALL STREET LOOTING : WILL JPMORGAN CHASE BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR MONEY BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR MONEY LAUNDERING “LAPSES”?

Tom Burghardt
Global Research, January 13, 2013
http://www.globalresearch.ca/wall-street...es/5318781


As a sop to outraged public opinion over Wall Street’s looting of the real economy, criminal banksters are coming under increased scrutiny by federal regulators.

Scrutiny however, is not the same thing as enforcement of laws such as the Bank Secrecy Act and other regulatory measures meant to stop the flow of dirty money from organized crime into the financial system.

And never mind that President Obama and his hand-picked coterie of insiders from Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo (all of whom figured prominently in recent narcotics scandals) are moving to impose Eurozone-style austerity measures that threaten to ravage the social safety net, the American people are spoon-fed a pack of lies that this cabal will protect their interests and enforce the law when it comes to drug money laundering.

Late last week, Reuters reported that “U.S. regulators are expected to order JPMorgan Chase & Co to correct lapses in how it polices suspect money flows … in the latest move by officials to force banks to tighten their anti money-laundering systems.”

In December, the Department of Justice cobbled together a widely criticized deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with Europe’s largest bank, HSBC, over charges that the institution, founded in 1865 by British drug lords when the British Crown seized Hong Kong from China in the wake of the First Opium War, knowingly laundered billions of dollars in drug and terrorist money for some of the most violent gangsters on earth.

Despite the fact that DOJ imposed a $1.9 billion (£1.2bn) fine which included $655 million (£408m) in civil penalties, not a single senior officer at HSBC was criminally charged with enabling Mexican drug cartels and Al Qaeda terrorists to illegally move money through its American subsidiaries.

More outrageously, even when stiff fines are levied against criminal banks and corporations, as likely as not “some or all of these payments will probably be tax-deductible. The banks can claim them as business expenses. Taxpayers, therefore, will likely lighten the banks’ loads,” The New York Times disclosed.

“The action against JPMorgan,” Reuters reported,


“would be in the form of a cease-and-desist order, which regulators use to force banks to improve compliance weaknesses, the sources said. JPMorgan will probably not have to pay a monetary penalty, one of the sources said.”

Read that sentence again. America’s largest bank, responsible for some of the worst depredations of the housing crisis which tossed millions of citizens out of their homes and fined $7.3 billion (£4.53bn) for doing so, will not be fined nor will their officers be criminally charged for presumably washing black money for organized crime.

Despite the recklessness of senior officials at JPMorgan, including CEO Jamie Dimon, former CFO Doug Braunstein and former CIO Ina Drew over the bank’s massive losses in the credit derivatives market last year, Bloomberg News reported that the board will only “consider” whether to release a report on the fiasco which wiped out close to $51 billion in shareholder value at this “too big to fail” bank.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), severely criticized by the US Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in their 335-page report into HSBC, along with the Federal Reserve are expected to issue the cease-and-desist order as early as this week.

Last April however, when OCC issued a cease-and-desist order against Citigroup for alleged “gaps” in their oversight of cash transactions similar to those of drug-tainted HSBC and Wells-owned Wachovia, which laundered hundreds of billions of dollars for narcotics traffickers through dodgy cash exchange houses in Mexico, no monetary penalties were attached.

A “person close” to Citigroup “attributed part of the problem to an accident when a computer was unplugged from anti-money-laundering systems,” according to The New York Times.

While such bald-faced misrepresentations may pass muster with America’s “newspaper of record,” Citigroup’s sorry history when it comes to facilitating criminal money flows is not so easily swept under the rug.

Late last year investigative journalist Bill Conroy reported in Narco News: “In the 1990s, Raul Salinas de Gortari, the brother of former Mexican President Carlos Salinas, tapped US-based Citibank to help transfer up to $100 million out of Mexico and into Swiss bank accounts. Although US authorities investigated the suspicious money movements, ultimately no charges were brought against Raul Salinas or Citibank–a Citigroup Inc. subsidiary.”

“Again,” Conroy reported,


“in January 2010, Citigroup popped up on banking regulators’ radar, this time in Mexico, when a Mexican judge accused a half dozen casa de cambios (money transmitters) of laundering drug funds through various banks, including Citigroup’s Mexican subsidiary. In that case, Citigroup again was not accused of violating any laws.”

However, despite that fact that the OCC’s cease-and-desist order against Citigroup accused the bank of systemic “internal control weaknesses” that opened the institution up to shady transactions by “high-risk customers,” presumably including flush-with-cash narcotics traffickers, the bank was not indicted for criminal violations under the Bank Secrecy Act and did not admit wrongdoing, instead promising to “institute reforms.”

As with Wachovia and HSBC, OCC charged that Citigroup’s “lapses” included “the incomplete identification of high risk customers in multiple areas of the bank, inability to assess and monitor client relationships on a bank-wide basis, inadequate scope of periodic reviews of customers, weaknesses in the scope and documentation of the validation and optimization process applied to the automated transaction monitoring system, and inadequate customer due diligence.”

Additionally, Citigroup “failed to adequately conduct customer due diligence and enhanced due diligence on its foreign correspondent customers, its retail banking customers, and its international personal banking customers and did not properly obtain and analyze information to ascertain the risk and expected activity of particular customers.”

According to OCC auditors, Citigroup “self-reported” that “from 2006 through 2010, the Bank failed to adequately monitor its remote deposit capture/international cash letter instrument processing in connection with foreign correspondent banking.” As I have pointed out, correspondent and private banking are gateways for laundering drug and other criminal money flows.

In other words, replicating patterns employed for decades by the world’s leading financial institutions, organized criminals and terrorist financiers were enabled, with a wink-and-a-nod by the US government, above all by US secret state agencies which siphoned off part of the loot for covert operations, to wash black cash through the system as a whole.

Already stung by billions of dollars in losses due to risky trades in credit derivatives as noted above, MoneyWatch reported “CEO Jamie Dimon can’t blame this on a ‘flawed, complex, poorly reviewed, poorly executed and poorly monitored’ strategy, like he did when the bank lost $6.2 billion on the so-called ‘London Whale’ trade.”

“In many ways,” reporter Jill Schlesinger wrote, “the current potential regulatory action is worse than any trading loss, because it indicates a systemic lapse in controls.”

According to MoneyWatch, regulators “appear to have found a company-wide lapse in procedures and oversight connected to anti-money-laundering (AML) surveillance and risk management. AML controls are intended to deter and detect the misuse of legitimate financial channels for the funding of money laundering, terrorist financing and other criminal acts.”

But there’s the rub; federal regulators are loathe to police, let alone hold to account those responsible for such illicit transactions precisely because the infusion of dirty money into the system is a splendid means to keep failed capitalist financial institutions afloat, a process which Global Research political analyst Michel Chossudovsky has termed “the criminalization of the state.”

In fact, as former London Metropolitan Police financial crimes specialist Rowan Bosworth-Davies recently wrote on his website: “These institutions exist … to handle and facilitate the through-put of the staggering volume of criminal and dirty money which daily flows through the financial sector, because the profits there from are just so incredibly valuable.”

“The biggest problem for these banks,” Bosworth-Davies observed,


“is that by far the greatest amount of this money is illegal to handle under international money laundering laws. All banking institutions are now effectively subject to international laws which prohibit the handling or the facilitation of criminally-acquired money from whatever source, and that money includes the proceeds of drug trafficking, all other criminal activities (including tax evasion), and the proceeds of terrorism.”

Indeed, “The money they were moving was so huge … that it became very easy to persuade Governments to turn a blind eye, while regulators were encouraged to look the other way, when the banks began engaging in a series of wholesale criminal activities.”

Until OCC reveals the content of its cease-and-desist order pending against JPMorgan Chase we do not know the extent of the bank’s potential criminal “lapses” under the Bank Secrecy Act.

However, as Reuters reported although “no immediate action is expected from US prosecutors,” it is a near certainty that the federal government and complicit media will disappear whatever dirty secrets eventually emerge down the proverbial memory hole.


FRAUD, MONEY LAUNDERING AND NARCOTICS. IMPUNITY OF THE BANKING GIANTS.
NO PROSECUTION OF HSBC

Tom Burghardt
Global Research, December 31, 2012
http://www.globalresearch.ca/fraud-money...bc/5317406

In another shameful decision by the US Department of Justice, earlier this month federal prosecutors reached a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with UK banking giant HSBC, Europe’s largest bank.

Shameful perhaps, but entirely predictable. After all, in an era characterized by economic collapse owing to gross criminality by leading financial actors, policy decisions and the legal environment framing those decisions have been shaped by oligarchs who quite literally have “captured” the state.

Founded in 1865 by flush-with-cash opium merchants after the British Crown seized Hong Kong from China in the aftermath of the First Opium War, HSBC has been a permanent fixture on the radar of US law enforcement and regulatory agencies for more than a decade.



Not that anything so trifling as terrorist financing or global narcotrafficking mattered much to the Obama administration.

As I previously reported, (here, here, here and here), when the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations issued their mammoth 335-page report, “U.S. Vulnerabilities to Money Laundering, Drugs, and Terrorist Financing: HSBC Case History,” we learned that amongst the “services” offered by HSBC subsidiaries and correspondent banks were sweet deals, to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars, with financial entities with ties to international terrorism and the grisly drug trade.

Charged with multiple violations of the Bank Secrecy Act for their role in laundering blood money for Mexican and Colombian drug cartels, as a sideline HSBC’s Canary Wharf masters conducted a highly profitable business with the alleged financiers of the 9/11 attacks who washed funds through Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi Bank.

While the media breathlessly reported that the DPA will levy fines totaling some $1.92 billion (£1.2bn) which includes $655 million (£408m) in civil penalties, the largest penalty of its kind ever levied against a bank, under terms of the agreement not a single senior officer will be criminally charged. In fact, those fines will be paid by shareholders which include municipal investors, pension funds and the public at large.

With some 7,200 offices in more than 80 countries and 2011 profits topping $22 billion (£13.6bn), Senate investigators found that HSBC’s web of 1,200 correspondent banks provided drug traffickers, other organized crime groups and terrorists with “U.S. dollar services, including services to move funds, exchange currencies, cash monetary instruments, and carry out other financial transactions. Correspondent banking can become a major conduit for illicit money flows unless U.S. laws to prevent money laundering are followed.” They weren’t and as a result the bank’s balance sheets were inflated with illicit proceeds from terrorists and drug gangsters.

Revelations of widespread institutional criminality are hardly a recent phenomenon. More than a decade ago journalist Stephen Bender published a Z Magazine piece which found that “99.9 percent of the laundered criminal money that is presented for deposit in the United States gets comfortably into secure accounts.”

According to Bender: “The key institution in the enabling of money laundering is the ‘private bank,’ a subdivision of every major US financial institution. Private banks exclusively seek out a wealthy clientele, the threshold often being an annual income in excess of $1 million. With the prerogatives of wealth comes a certain regulatory deference.”

Such “regulatory deference” in the era of “too big to fail” and its corollary, “too big to prosecute,” is a signal characteristic as noted above, of state capture by criminal financial elites.

Indeed, HSBC’s private banking arm, HSBC Private Bank is the principal private banking business of the HSBC Group. A holding company wholly owned by HSBC Bank Plc, its subsidiaries include HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) SA, HSBC Private Bank (UK) Limited, HSBC Private Bank (CI) Limited, HSBC Private Bank (Luxembourg) SA, HSBC Private Bank (Monaco) SA and HSBC Financial Services (Cayman) Limited. All of these entities featured prominently in money laundering and tax evasion schemes uncovered by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee in their report. Combined client assets have been estimated by regulators to top $352 billion (£217.68).

According to Senate investigators, HSBC Financial Services (Cayman) was the principle conduit through which drug money laundered through HSBC Mexico (HBMX) flowed. “This branch,” Senate staff averred, “is a shell operation with no physical presence in the Caymans, and is managed by HBMX personnel in Mexico City who allow Cayman accounts to be opened by any HBMX branch across Mexico.”

“Total assets in the Cayman accounts peaked at $2.1 billion in 2008. Internal documents show that the Cayman accounts had operated for years with deficient AML [anti-money laundering] and KYC [know your client] controls and information. An estimated 15% of the accounts had no KYC information at all, which meant that HBMX had no idea who was behind them, while other accounts were, in the words of one HBMX compliance officer, misused by ‘organized crime’.”

In fact, the “normal” business model employed by HSBC and other entities bailed out by Western governments fully conform to the “control fraud” model first described by financial crime expert William K. Black.

According to Black, a control fraud occurs when a CEO and other senior managers remove checks and balances that prevent criminal behaviors, thus subverting regulatory requirements that prevent things like money laundering, shortfalls due to bad investments or the sale of toxic financial instruments.

In The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One, Black informed us: “A control fraud is a company run by a criminal who uses it as a weapon and shield to defraud others and makes it difficult to detect and punish the fraud.”

“Control frauds,” Black reported, “are financial superpredators that cause vastly larger losses than blue-collar thieves. They cause catastrophic business failures. Control frauds can occur in waves that imperil the general economy. The savings and loan (S&L) debacle was one such wave.”

Indeed, “control frauds” like HSBC “create a ‘fraud friendly’ corporate culture by hiring yes-men. They combine excessive pay, ego strokes (e.g., calling the employees ‘geniuses’) and terror to get employees who will not cross the CEO.” In such a “criminogenic” environment, the CEO (paging Lord Green!) “optimizes the firm as a fraud vehicle and can optimize the regulatory environment.”

In their press release, the Department of Justice announced that HSBC Group “have agreed to forfeit $1.256 billion and enter into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department for HSBC’s violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Trading with the Enemy Act (TWEA).”

“According to court documents,” the DOJ’s Office of Public Affairs informed us, “HSBC Bank USA violated the BSA by failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program and to conduct appropriate due diligence on its foreign correspondent account holders.”

The DOJ goes on to state, “A four-count felony criminal information was filed today in federal court in the Eastern District of New York charging HSBC with willfully failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering (AML) program, willfully failing to conduct due diligence on its foreign correspondent affiliates, violating IEEPA and violating TWEA.”

However, “HSBC has waived federal indictment, agreed to the filing of the information, and has accepted responsibility for its criminal conduct and that of its employees.”

In other words, because they accepted “responsibility” for acts that would land the average citizen in the slammer for decades, those guilty of “palling around with terrorists” or smoothing the way as billionaire drug traffickers hid their loot in the so-called “legitimate economy,” got a free pass. In fact, under terms of the agreement DOJ’s “deferred prosecution” will be “deferred” alright, like forever!

Why might that be the case?

The New York Times informed us that state and federal officials, eager beavers when it comes to protecting the integrity of a system lacking all integrity, “decided against indicting HSBC in a money-laundering case over concerns that criminal charges could jeopardize one of the world’s largest banks and ultimately destabilize the global financial system.”

Keep in mind this is a “system” which former United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime director Antonio Maria Costa told The Observer thrives on illicit money flows. In 2009, Costa told the London broadsheet that “in many instances, the money from drugs was the only liquid investment capital. In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system’s main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor.” Costa said that “a majority of the $352bn (£216bn) of drugs profits was absorbed into the economic system as a result.”

Glossing over these facts, Times’ stenographers Ben Protess and Jessica Silver-Greenberg, cautioned that “four years after the failure of Lehman Brothers nearly toppled the financial system,” federal regulators “are still wary that a single institution could undermine the recovery of the industry and the economy.”

“Given the extent of the evidence against HSBC, some prosecutors saw the charge as a healthy compromise between a settlement and a harsher money-laundering indictment. While the charge would most likely tarnish the bank’s reputation, some officials argued that it would not set off a series of devastating consequences.”

Devastating to whom one might ask? The 100,000 Mexicans brutally murdered by drug gangsters, corrupt police and Mexican Army soldiers whose scorched-earth campaign kills off the competition on behalf of Mexico’s largest narcotics organization, the Sinaloa Cartel run by fugitive billionaire drug lord Chapo Guzmán?

“A money-laundering indictment, or a guilty plea over such charges,” the Times averred, “would essentially be a death sentence for the bank. Such actions could cut off the bank from certain investors like pension funds and ultimately cost it its charter to operate in the United States, officials said.”

Many of the same lame excuses for prosecutorial inaction were also prominent features in the British press.

The Daily Telegraph reported that the “largest banks have become too big to prosecute because of the impact criminal charges would have on confidence in them, Britain’s most senior bank regulator has admitted.”

“In a variant of the ‘too big to fail’ problem, Andrew Bailey, chief executive designate of the Prudential Regulation Authority, said bringing a legal action against a major financial institution raised ‘very difficult questions’.”

“‘Because of the confidence issue with banks, a major criminal indictment, which we haven’t seen and I’m not saying we are going to see… this is not an ordinary criminal indictment’,” Bailey told the Telegraph.

Echoing Bailey, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer said the decision not to prosecute HSBC was made because “in this day and age we have to evaluate that innocent people will face very big consequences if you make a decision.”

This from an administration that continues to prosecute–and jail–low-level drug offenders at record rates!

“Breuer’s argument is facially absurd,” according to William K. Black. In a piece published by New Economic Perspectives, Black argues:


Prosecuting HSBC’s fraudulent controlling managers would not harm anyone innocent other than their families–and virtually all prosecutions hurt some family members. Breuer claims that virtually all of HSBC’s senior officers have been removed, so his argument is doubly absurd. Mostly, however, Breuer ignores all of the innocents harmed by the control frauds. SDIs [systemically dangerous institutions] that are control frauds are weapons of mass economic destruction that drive global crises and are the greatest enemy of ‘free’ markets. They are also the greatest threat to democracy, for they create crony capitalism. We are all innocent victims of these control frauds–and the Obama and Cameron governments are allowing them to commit their frauds with impunity from criminal prosecutions. The controlling officers get wealthy without fear of prosecution. The SDIs controlled by fraudulent officers have to purchase an indulgence, but the price of the indulgence is capped by the ‘too big to prosecute’ doctrine at a level that will not cause it any real distress. Breuer’s and Bailey’s embrace of too big to prosecute should have led to their immediate dismissals. Obama and Cameron should either fire them or announce that they stand with the criminal enterprises and their fraudulent controlling officers against their citizens.

As Rowan Bosworth-Davies, a former financial crimes specialist with London’s Metropolitan Police observed on his web site, “When you get a bank which admits, like HSBC has just done, that it is nothing more than a low-life money launderer for Mexican drug kingpins, and when it serves powerful vested interests to get round internationally-ratified sanctions against rogue nations, what possible benefit is achieved by trying to pretend that they cannot be prosecuted and charged with criminal offences?”

“Oh, excuse me,” Bosworth-Davies wrote, “it might impact the confidence they enjoy? Whose confidence, their Mexican drug traffickers, their international sanctions breakers, their global tax evaders, or the ordinary, law-abiding clients who are entitled to assume that their bank will obey the laws imposed on them and will provide a safe place of deposit?”

“Confidence,” the former Met detective averred, “what bloody confidence can anyone have when they know their bank is an admitted criminal? When their money is deposited with a bank that breaks the criminal law at every possible opportunity, which cheats them at every turn, sells them fraudulent products, launders drug money, evades international sanctions, moves foreign oligarchs’ tax evasion, safeguards the deposit accounts of Third World dictators and their families, then what is that confidence worth?”

Instead, as with the 2010 deal with Wachovia Bank, federal prosecutors cobbled together a DPA that levied a “fine” of $160 million (£99.2m) on laundered drug profits that topped $378 billion (£234.5bn).

Although top Justice Department officials charged that HSBC laundered upwards of $881 million (£546.5m) on behalf of the Sinaloa and Colombia’s Norte del Valle drug cartels, federal prosecutors investigating the bank told Reuters in September that this was merely the “tip of the iceberg.”

In fact, as Senate investigators discovered during their probe, the bank failed to monitor more than $670 billion (£415.6bn) in wire transfers from HSBC Mexico (HBMX) between 2006 and 2009, and failed to adequately monitor over $9.4 billion (£5.83bn) in purchases of physical U.S. dollars from HBMX during the same period.

Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer, said in prepared remarks announcing the DPA that “traffickers didn’t have to try very hard” when it came to laundering drug cash. “They would sometimes deposit hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, in a single day, into a single account,” Breuer said, “using boxes designed to fit the precise dimensions of the teller windows in HSBC Mexico’s branches.”

While Breuer’s dramatic account of the money laundering process may have offered a gullible financial press corps a breathless moment or two, a closer look at Breuer’s CV offer hints as to why he chose not to criminally charge the bank.

A corporatist insider, after representing President Bill Clinton during ginned-up impeachment hearings, Breuer became a partner in the white shoe Washington, DC law firm Covington & Burling. From his perch, he represented Moody’s Investor Service in the wake of Enron’s ignominious collapse and Dick Cheney’s old firm Halliburton/KBR during Bush regime scandals. Talk about “safe hands”!

Appointed as the head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division by Obama in 2009, Breuer presided over the prosecution/persecution of NSA whistleblower Thomas A. Drake on charges that he violated the Espionage Act of 1917 for disclosing massive contractor fraud at NSA to The Baltimore Sun.

More recently, along with 14 other officials Breuer was recommended for potential “disciplinary action” by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General over the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal which put some 2,000 firearms into the hands of cartel killers in Mexico.

“A Justice official said Breuer has been ‘admonished’” by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, “but will not be disciplined,” The Washington Post reported.

Breuer had the temerity to claim that deferred prosecution agreements “have the same punitive, deterrent, and rehabilitative effect as a guilty plea.”

“When a company enters into a deferred prosecution agreement with the government, or an non prosecution agreement for that matter,” Breuer asserted, “it almost always must acknowledge wrongdoing, agree to cooperate with the government’s investigation, pay a fine, agree to improve its compliance program, and agree to face prosecution if it fails to satisfy the terms of the agreement.”

As is evident from this brief synopsis, when it came to holding HSBC to account, the fix was already in even before a single signature was affixed to the DPA.

Without batting an eyelash, Breuer informed us that HSBC has “committed” to undertake “enhanced AML and other compliance obligations and structural changes within its entire global operations to prevent a repeat of the conduct that led to this prosecution.”

“HSBC has replaced almost all of its senior management, ‘clawed back’ deferred compensation bonuses given to its most senior AML and compliance officers, and has agreed to partially defer bonus compensation for its most senior executives–its group general managers and group managing directors–during the period of the five-year DPA.”

Yes, you read that correctly. Despite charges that would land the average citizen in a federal gulag for decades, senior managers have “agreed” to “partially defer bonus compensation” for the length of the DPA!

As Rolling Stone financial journalist Matt Taibbi commented:

“Wow. So the executives who spent a decade laundering billions of dollars will have to partially defer their bonuses during the five-year deferred prosecution agreement? Are you fucking kidding me? That’s the punishment? The government’s negotiators couldn’t hold firm on forcing HSBC officials to completely wait to receive their ill-gotten bonuses? They had to settle on making them ‘partially’ wait? Every honest prosecutor in America has to be puking his guts out at such bargaining tactics. What was the Justice Department’s opening offer–asking executives to restrict their Caribbean vacation time to nine weeks a year?”

“So you might ask,” Taibbi writes,

“what’s the appropriate penalty for a bank in HSBC’s position? Exactly how much money should one extract from a firm that has been shamelessly profiting from business with criminals for years and years? Remember, we’re talking about a company that has admitted to a smorgasbord of serious banking crimes. If you’re the prosecutor, you’ve got this bank by the balls. So how much money should you take?”

“How about all of it? How about every last dollar the bank has made since it started its illegal activity? How about you dive into every bank account of every single executive involved in this mess and take every last bonus dollar they’ve ever earned? Then take their houses, their cars, the paintings they bought at Sotheby’s auctions, the clothes in their closets, the loose change in the jars on their kitchen counters, every last freaking thing. Take it all and don’t think twice. And then throw them in jail.”

But there’s the rub and the proverbial fly in the ointment. The government can’t and won’t take such measures. Far from being impartial arbiters sworn to defend us from financial predators, speculators, drug lords, terrorists, warmongers and out-of-control corporate vultures hiding trillions of taxable dollars offshore, officials of this criminalized state are hand picked servants of a thoroughly debauched ruling class.

Writing for the World Socialist Web Site, Barry Grey observed: HSBC “was allowed to pay a token fine–less than 10 percent of its profits for 2011 and a fraction of the money it made laundering the drug bosses’ blood money. Meanwhile, small-time drug dealers and users, often among the most impoverished and oppressed sections of the population, are routinely arrested and locked up for years in the American prison gulag.”

“The financial parasites who keep the global drug trade churning and make the lion’s share of money from the social devastation it wreaks are above the law,” Grey noted.

“Here, in a nutshell,” Grey wrote, “is the modern-day aristocratic principle that prevails behind the threadbare trappings of ‘democracy.’ The financial robber barons of today are a law unto themselves. They can steal, plunder, even murder at will, without fear of being called to account. They devote a portion of their fabulous wealth to bribing politicians, regulators, judges and police–from the heights of power in Washington down to the local police precinct–to make sure their wealth is protected and they remain immune from criminal prosecution.”

Regarding America’s fraudulent “War on Drugs,” researcher Oliver Villar, who with Drew Cottle coauthored the essential book, Cocaine, Death Squads, and the War on Terror: US Imperialism and Class Struggle in Colombia, told Asia Times Online, it is a “war” that the state and leading banks and financial institutions in the capitalist West have no interest whatsoever in “winning.”

When queried why he argued that the “war on drugs is no failure at all, but a success,” Villar noted: “I come to that conclusion because what do we know so far about the war on drugs? Well, the US has spent about US$1 trillion throughout the globe. Can we simply say it has failed? Has it failed the drug money-laundering banks? No. Has it failed the key Western financial centers? No. Has it failed the narco-bourgeoisie in Colombia–or in Afghanistan, where we can see similar patterns emerging? No. Is it a success in maintaining that political economy? Absolutely.”

Equally important, what does the impunity shamelessly enjoyed by such loathsome parasites say about us?

Have we become so indifferent to officially sanctioned crime and corruption, the myriad petty tyrannies and tyrants, from the boardroom to the security checkpoint to the job, not to mention murderous state policies that have transformed so-called “advanced” democracies into hated and loathed pariah states, who we really are?

As the late author J. G. Ballard pointed out in his masterful novel Kingdom Come, “Consumer fascism provides its own ideology, no one needs to sit down and dictate Mein Kampf. Evil and psychopathy have been reconfigured into lifestyle statements.”

Paranoid fantasy? Wake up and smell the corporatized police state.


HSBC CAUGHT IN NEW DRUG MONEY LAUNDERING SCANDAL
Tom Burghardt
Global Research, November 02, 2012
http://www.globalresearch.ca/hsbc-caught...al/5310397


While HSBC’s Canary Wharf masters are back-peddling furiously over charges that they gave a leg up to terrorist financiers and drug traffickers as a recent U.S. Senate report charged, new evidence emerged that its business as usual for the multinational banking giant founded by Hong Kong-based British opium merchants.

Earlier this month, The Independent reported that French police had “intercepted one of the dozens of ‘go-fast’ cars which transport cannabis at high speed from Spain to Paris. The seizure–banal in itself–unravelled an extraordinary network of drug-trafficking, money-laundering, fraud and tax evasion which sprawled over the invisible barrier which separates Paris from the city’s poor, multiracial suburbs.”

The bank embroiled in this latest scandal? Why HSBC, of course!

According to reporter John Lichfield, “bank notes handed by clients to street drug dealers in the suburbs were ending up, French and Swiss investigators discovered, in the safes of seemingly law-abiding, well-heeled citizens in the French capital.”

But that’s not the only place where crisp bundles of cash were turning up.

“A trio of Moroccan brothers, including a prominent fund manager in Geneva, are alleged to have concocted an elaborate scheme to launder money by balancing two illegal flows of cash,” The Independent averred.

At the center of this multimillion euro money laundering spider’s web were: Meyer El-Maleh, the managing director of the fund management firm GPF SA, and brothers Mardoché El-Maleh, the alleged bagman of the cannabis-for-cash scheme and Nessim El-Maleh, a fund management specialist with the Swiss private banking arm of HSBC, HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) S.A.

The Independent reported that the trio “are suspected of handling up to €12m (£9.6m) in cash in the past seven months (and far more over the past four years). Assets seized by the police include €2m in cash, gold ingots, art treasures and guns.”

“The HSBC bank has confirmed that its employee was involved in the affair,” Swiss Info disclosed, “but says that it has been ‘cooperating actively with the authorities about this over the past few months’. The Swiss newspaper Le Temps reports that GPF SA is about to dismiss the other brother.”

Talk about closing the barn door after the horses have escaped!

Among the well-heeled perps arrested by authorities on charges of “conspiracy to launder money and association with criminals” was Florence Lamblin, a prominent Green Party politician and deputy mayor of the 13th arrondissement in Paris.

Her arrest was all the more ironic considering that fake “left” Greens are currently in coalition with François Hollande’s pro-austerity “Socialist” government. Lamblin and her coalition partners had run on a platform demanding tougher action against (wait for it) international money laundering!

When Lamblin’s home was raided “police discovered €400,000 (SFr484,000) in low-value notes” in safes belonging to the “progressive” politician, Swiss Info averred.

In the wake of her arrest, Lamblin was forced to resign although she denied “any involvement” in the drug smuggling scheme.

Her lawyer, Jérôme Boursican told AFP “she had held 350,000 euros from a family legacy in a Swiss account.”

“If anything, my client may be guilty of tax fraud, over the transfer back to France of a sum of €350,000 from a family inheritance which was placed in a Swiss bank account in 1920,” Boursican explained.

The attorney told France 24 that he would ask a judge “to dismiss the case against his client ‘as soon as possible’ and blamed her involvement on a ‘judicial error’.”

The “error” of getting caught perhaps?

Despite Lamblin’s professed innocence, Swiss Info reported that “the sums involved are huge.” French police have charged that “the sum involved in the money laundering is about €40 million, while French Interior Minister Manuel Valls says that the drug smuggling must have brought in about €100 million.”

As preliminary reports suggest it appears that Lamblin was keen on keeping more than the environment “green.”

A typical money laundering “placement” scheme, “cannabis profits leaving France were ‘swapped’ for assets hidden in Switzerland which tax cheats or business fraudsters wished to repatriate,” The Independent reported.

“The risky job of smuggling drug-trafficking proceeds over the Franco-Swiss border was avoided,” Lichfield wrote. “Instead, the drugs cash was handed over in plastic bags to Parisians who had hidden Swiss accounts.”

“The same sums were debited from their banks in Geneva and sent on a complex route through shell companies in London and offshore tax havens to purchase assets for the drug barons in Morocco, Dubai or Spain. A commission was allegedly paid on both transactions,” The Independent averred.

Referred to as “layering,” the transfer of funds took place through a series of opaque financial transactions that camouflaged their illegal origins. In the case of our well-heeled Parisians, drug profits were swapped through bank-to-bank and bulk cash transfers via private banks in Geneva, one of which was owned by HSBC.

As Senate investigators disclosed, “Bulk cash shipments typically use common carriers … to ship U.S. dollars by air, land, or sea. Shipments have gone via airplanes, armored trucks, ships, and railroads.”

“Shippers,” Senate staff averred, “may be ‘currency originators,’ such as businesses that generate cash from sales of goods or services; or ‘intermediaries’ that gather currency from originators or other intermediaries to form large shipments. Intermediaries are typically central banks, commercial banks, money service businesses, or their agents.”

Eschewing armored cars, airplanes or ships, the “originators” of these illegal cash flows preferred ubiquitous black plastic trash bags and “go-fast” limousines as the method of choice for bulk cash transfers. It would certainly cut down on shipping costs as the loot moved “offshore” and entered the shadow world of private banking!

As financial researcher James S. Henry pointed out in The Price of Offshore Revisited: “The term ‘offshore’ refers not so much to the actual physical location of private assets or liabilities, but to nominal, hyper-portable, multi-jurisdictional, often quite temporary locations of networks of legal and quasi-legal entities and arrangements that manage and control private wealth–always in the interests of those who manage it, supposedly in the interests of its beneficial owners, and often in indifference or outright defiance of the interests and laws of multiple nation states.”

“A painting or a bank account may be located inside Switzerland’s borders,” Henry wrote, “but the all-important legal structure that owns it–typically that asset would be owned by an anonymous offshore company in one jurisdiction, which is in turn owned by a trust in another jurisdiction, whose trustees are in yet another jurisdiction (and that is one of the simplest offshore structures)–is likely to be fragmented in many pieces around the globe.”

Given Switzerland’s strict bank secrecy laws, we do not know, and Senate investigators did not disclose, how many billions of dollars were hidden for HSBC’s private banking clients in Geneva, where it originated or whether or not occult wealth shielded from scrutiny was derived from organized criminal activities.

In July however, when the Senate pointed a finger directly at HSBC over anti-money laundering “lapses,” The Bureau of Investigative Journalism revealed that “British clients of an HSBC-owned private Swiss bank that is the focus of a major HM Revenue & Customs investigation are alleged to have evaded tax by an amount likely to exceed £200m.”

Lord Stephen Green, Baron of Hurstpierpoint and current Minister of Trade and Investment in David Cameron’s Conservative government, was previously HSBC’s chief executive and the chairman and director of HSBC Private Banking Holdings (Suisse) N.A. for ten years.

During Green’s tenure, journalist Nick Mathiason disclosed that “the sums allegedly evaded by Britons using HSBC’s Swiss bank are massive. HMRC told the Bureau ‘the early indications are that the amounts are significant’.”

According to Mathiason, in 2010 the HMRC “received data smuggled out of HSBC by a former bank IT worker, now under arrest in Spain and facing possible extradition to Switzerland, that contained details of 6,000 UK-linked individuals, companies and trusts. Two senior tax investigators who both worked at HMRC told the Bureau the average amount evaded in the 6,000 accounts is likely to range between £33,000 and £50,000.”

While the sums involved in the Parisian money laundering and drugs scandal may be chump change in comparison to the trillions of dollars in illicit drug money that enters the system each year as a result of “normal business relations” between global drug cartels and the international financial system as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) revealed last year, it does demonstrate the utterly corrupt nature of the system as a whole.

Indeed, seeming ideological foes are joined at the hip when it comes to fleecing the working class and imposing austerity and privatization schemes that profit their real constituents–the global class of financial parasites who “win” regardless of which party of hucksters gain power.

As Henry observed, “private elites … had accumulated $7.3 to $9.3 trillion of unrecorded offshore wealth in 2010, conservatively estimated, even while many of their public sectors were borrowing themselves into bankruptcy, enduring agonizing ‘structural adjustment’ and low growth, and holding fire sales of public assets.”

Public sector thefts that enrich the shareholders and officers of corrupt institutions like HSBC.

Although settlement talks between U.S. regulatory agencies and HSBC has forced the bank to set aside at least $700m (£441m) to meet the cost of any fines, it is highly unlikely that officials at the bank will be criminally charged.

Currently negotiating with the Justice Department, the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency over serious allegations that the bank conducted a multiyear, multibillion dollar business with terrorist financiers and global drug cartels, the price tag may balloon even higher.

“HSBC’s $700 million set-aside, if paid, would constitute the largest U.S. settlement reached over such allegations, topping the $619 million in penalties and forfeitures paid in June by ING Groep NV, the biggest Dutch financial-services company,” Bloomberg News reported.

According to The New York Times, “federal authorities think HSBC could end up paying at least $1 billion. The bank itself said ‘it is possible that the amounts when finally determined could be higher, possibly significantly higher’.”

A spokesperson for HSBC however, told the Times this “case is not about HSBC complicity in money laundering. Rather, it’s about lax compliance standards that fell short of regulators’ expectations and our expectations, and we are absolutely committed to remedying what went wrong and learning from it’.”

But as Rowan Bosworth-Davies, a former financial crimes specialist with London’s Metropolitan Police observed: “You don’t launder this volume of money by accident, because somewhere along the line, your systems and controls for preventing money laundering just ‘broke down’! You do it because you work in a bank which is willing to flout every rule in the book and engage in layer upon layer of criminal conduct if the money is right! You do it because your management structure is defined by a criminogenic determination to amplify the anomic environment within which you operate and in which you expect your staff to co-operate.”

For their part, Swiss bankers are scrambling to put as much daylight as possible between themselves, the Paris money laundering scandal and HSBC.

Bernard Droux, the chairman of the Geneva Financial Center foundation, an umbrella group of independent banks and wealth managers told Swiss Info: “We were surprised that it should still be possible to do this today. This is a practice that has been forbidden by law for more than 20 years.”

But as with other recent examples of financial skullduggery, Droux reverted to form and claimed “You can never rule out the possibility of black sheep in any profession. No international centre is totally protected from this kind of thing.”

He hastened to add that Switzerland was at the “forefront” of the international fight against drug money.

However, Droux’s “black sheep” brush-off was undercut by a recent Bloomberg Businessweek report. We were informed that “Swiss private banks are looking for footholds in Latin America as the lower fees and higher interest rates offered by local wealth managers deter the region’s super-rich from traveling to Geneva and Zurich.”

This “changing relationship,” Bloomberg reported, began “in the 19th century when Swiss banks guarded the fortunes of plantation owners and mining magnates. UBS AG (UBSN), Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) and other Swiss banks are being forced to seek acquisitions as Latin America’s $3.5 trillion wealth management market is set to grow by more than half by 2016, according to Boston Consulting Group.”

“‘People are becoming richer and richer,’ said Gustavo Raitzin, head of Latin America for Julius Baer Group Ltd. (BAER). ‘An emerging consumer class wants to make liquid investments and they need private banks and wealth managers’.”

It is worth recalling in this context that Julius Baer’s Cayman Islands division, as the whistleblowing web site WikiLeaks revealed, was instrumental in squirreling away “several million dollars” of funds controlled by late Mexican Army General Mario Acosta Chaparro and his wife, Silvia, through a shell company known as Symac Investments.

Acosta, who served time in prison for his ties to the late drug trafficking kingpin Amado Carrillo Fuentes, the self-styled “Lord of the Heavens” who ran the Juárez Cartel, was killed in May when an assassin fired three rounds from a a 9mm revolver into his head.

The secret-spilling web site averred: “With the assistance of Julius Baer, Mr Chaparro was able to invest several millions of USD in Symac with all the secrecy which the Caymans allowed and to draw out some $12,000 a month.”

Who else might be in need of “private banks and wealth managers” employed by the likes of HSBC and Julius Baer to make such “liquid investments” possible with no questions asked?



BLACK DOSSIER: HSBC & TERRORIST FINANCE
http://antifascist-calling.blogspot.ca/2...nance.html


It's tough being the world's second largest bank.

HSBC, the London-based British multinational banking and financial services giant operates in 85 countries with 7,200 offices worldwide with assets totaling more than $2.6 trillion (£4.06tn).

They're also caught-up in serial scandals: the Libor interest rate-fixing scam, serious charges of drug money laundering as well as suspicions that bank officers "palled around" with terrorist financiers.

Founded in 1865 when the British Crown seized Hong Kong as a colony in the aftermath of the First Opium War, British merchants (today we'd call them drug lords) needed a bank to handle the brisk trade in the illicit substance and launched the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Company Limited. Rebranded "HSBC" in 1991, the bank expanded at breakneck speed in the heady days after The Wall fell.

While some might call them a success story, exemplars of financial wizardry in tough economic times, more appropriately perhaps, we might borrow a term from Mafia lore to describe their preeminent position in the capitalist pantheon of corrupt institutions: juiced.

'Sorry, now Go Away'

Today, the "War on Drugs" rivals the "War on Terror" for top spot on the global hypocrisy index.

Moral equivalencies abound. After all, when American secret state agencies manage drug flows or direct terrorist proxies to attack official enemies it's not quite the same as battling terror or crime.

Pounding home that point, a new report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations accused HSBC of exposing "the U.S. financial system to a wide array of money laundering, drug trafficking, and terrorist financing risks due to poor anti-money laundering (AML) controls."

That 335-page report, "U.S. Vulnerabilities to Money Laundering, Drugs, and Terrorist Financing: HSBC Case History," (large pdf file available here) was issued after a year-long Senate investigation zeroed-in on the bank's U.S. affiliate, HSBC Bank USA, N.A., better known as HBUS.

Drilling down, we learned that amongst the "services" offered by HSBC subsidiaries and correspondent banks were sweet deals with financial entities with terrorist ties; the transportation of billions of dollars in cash by plane and armored car through their London Banknotes division; the clearing of sequentially-numbered travelers checks through dodgy Cayman Islands accounts for Mexican drug lords and Russian mafiosi.

From richly-appointed suites at Canary Wharf, London, the bank's "smartest guys in the room" handed some of the most violent gangsters on earth the financial wherewithal to organize their respective industries: global crime.

A case in point. In 2008 alone the Senate revealed that the bank's Cayman Islands branch handled some 50,000 client accounts (all without benefit of offices or staff on Grand Cayman, mind you), yet still managed to ship some $7 billion (£10.9bn) in cash from Mexico into the U.S. Now that's creative accounting!

Playing fast and loose with U.S. banking rules, Subcommittee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) said that by exploiting the bank's "poor AML controls, HBUS exposed the United States to Mexican drug money, suspicious travelers cheques, bearer share corporations, and rogue jurisdictions."

Describing a "compliance culture" that was "pervasively polluted for a long time," Levin said it "will take more than words for the bank to change course."

Yet weasel words and butt-covering were all that were proffered to the American people even before Senate hearings began. Bank spokesman Robert Sherman said in an emailed statement that HSBC "will acknowledge that, in the past, we have sometimes failed to meet the standards that regulators and customers expect. We will apologize, acknowledge these mistakes, answer for our actions and give our absolute commitment to fixing what went wrong."

Right on cue, chief compliance officer David Bagley dramatically fell on his sword during those hearings and resigned on camera. It was quite a performance even by Washington's tawdry standards.

Appearing contrite, Bagley told the panel: "Despite the best efforts and intentions of many dedicated professionals, HSBC has fallen short of our own expectations and the expectations of our regulators. ... I recommended to the group that now is the appropriate time for me and for the bank, for someone new to serve as the head of group compliance."

While there's no word yet just how big Bagley's golden parachute will be, it's a sure bet he won't spend a day in jail, nor for that matter will Lord Stephen Green, HSBC's former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Between 2003-2010, Green tilled the helm after serial stints directing The Bank of Bermuda Ltd., HSBC Mexico, SA, HSBC Private Banking Holdings (Suisse) SA and HSBC North American Holdings Inc.; units which feature prominently in the scandal. Sensing perhaps that the jig was up, last year he joined David Cameron's Conservative government as Minister of State for Trade and Investment.

Unlike Pappy Bush who claimed to be "out of the loop" during the Iran-Contra guns-for-drugs affair, Green was fully apprised of bank shenanigans and the Senate published emails which prove it.

Cheekily however, while underlings take the fall, Green told The Daily Telegraph, "I do not believe that I have a case to answer other than in the important sense that as chairman and chief executive I was responsible for what the company did. HSBC has expressed regret for the failures. I share that regret."

The Telegraph noted that Green has not considered resigning from Cameron's government, saying he was "very engaged" with his current plum post.

Ironically enough, the current Baron of Hurstpierpoint is an ordained priest in the Church of England and the author of an inspirational tome, Good Value: Reflections on Money, Morality and an Uncertain World. And no, you can't make this stuff up!

The top spot is now occupied by Stuart Gulliver who, quicker than you can say "we're sorry," admonished employees to "do better" and expressed remorse over his firm's "unacceptable behavior." Never mind that before ascending the throne, Gulliver was director of HBUS, HSBC Latin American Holdings Ltd., and HSBC Bank Middle East Ltd., divisions that have raised more than an eyebrow or two amongst Subcommittee investigators.

Topping Bagley's Kabuki-lite performance with her own rendition of clown car camp, Irene Dorner, HBUS's President and CEO told the Senate: "We deeply regret and apologize for the fact that HSBC did not live up to the expectations of our regulators, our customers, our employees, and the general public. HSBC's compliance history, as examined today, is unacceptable. ... We've worked hard to foster a new culture that values and rewards effective compliance, and that starts at the top."

Bathos aside, it was a polite way of saying "let's move on" and get back to the business of lining our pockets; after all, it's what we do best.

'The past is never dead. It's not even past'

Years before hijackers slammed passenger planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon killing nearly 3,000 people, secret state agencies began to exploit the fraternal links between Osama bin Laden's Afghan-Arab database of disposable Western intelligence assets, also known as al Qaeda, and prominent financial institutions.

In his 1999 book, Dollars for Terror, journalist Richard Labévière relates how a former CIA analyst explained: "The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and helping them against our adversaries worked marvelously well in Afghanistan against the Red Army. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter the Chinese influence in Central Asia."

Was a new Cold War dawning?

No. In fact, it was the same Cold War. Only this time it was tricked-out in seductive finery by denizens of Western think-tanks and on-the-make NGOs. In the age of spin and endless news cycles, they'd hit upon a splendid formula to pour the "old" imperialist wine into new bottles: "humanitarian intervention" and a "responsibility to protect."

It was a brilliant script. In the blink of an eye our media-saavy masters could "enhance democracy" and "reform markets," magically transforming publicly-owned resources into privately-held assets controlled by banks! That terrorist proxies would serve as walk-ons and help drive the final nail into the coffin of national sovereignty wasn't considered proper conversation in polite company.

Labévière wondered whether "the new forms of terrorism actually embody the highest stage of capitalism?" They did, and "the straw men of the bin Laden Organization's subsidiaries [were] very well received by the business lawyers of Wall Street and the Bahamas, by the wealth managers of Geneva, Zurich and Lugano, and in the hushed salons of the City of London."

Not so curiously perhaps, "the privatization of violence and the privatization of the economy has become paradigmatic." In fact, "apart from any religious purpose," Labévière wrote, "the 'Jihad' is gaining ground as a profitable activity. It becomes liable to all the mafioso devolutions, and sinks into pure banditry. In many cases, Islamist ideology is used as a wonder worker to paper over banditry in all its forms."

Bin Laden as a Mafia capo di tutti capi? It certainly was a novel reading of geopolitical machinations!

More to the point, if an "army marches on its stomach," who then are the money men who put food in their bellies and kalashnikovs in their hands?

Bankrolled by Saudi and Gulf banks with a wink, a nod and logistical support from their old friends, the CIA and the Pentagon, today's Green condottieri once again are on the march, wrecking havoc and sowing chaos, with particular attention paid to states targeted as official enemies by the Global Godfather. Just ask the Iraqis, Libyans and Syrians.

While the Senate report may have disclosed that HSBC turned a blind eye to terrorist financing among it correspondent banks, the Riyadh-based Al Rajhi Bank for one, Saudi Arabia's largest privately-held financial institution, such arrangements hardly flourished in a vacuum.

With assets totaling $59 billion (£92.5bn), the Al Rajhi's are amongst the wealthiest families in the Kingdom. Investigators found that after 9/11 "evidence began to emerge that Al Rajhi Bank and some of its owners had links to organizations associated with financing terrorism, including that one of the bank's founders was an early financial benefactor of al Qaeda."

While the Al Rajhi family deny any role in financing terrorism, they have declined "to address specific allegations made in American intelligence and law-enforcement records, citing client confidentiality," The Wall Street Journal reported back in 2007.

Journalist Glenn R. Simpson averred that "a 2003 CIA report claims that a year after Sept. 11, with a spotlight on Islamic charities, Mr. Al Rajhi ordered Al Rajhi Bank's board 'to explore financial instruments that would allow the bank's charitable contributions to avoid official Saudi scrutiny'."

"A few weeks earlier," the Journal disclosed, the Agency said that "Mr. Al Rajhi 'transferred $1.1 billion to offshore accounts--using commodity swaps and two Lebanese banks--citing a concern that U.S. and Saudi authorities might freeze his assets.' The report was titled 'Al Rajhi Bank: Conduit for Extremist Finance'."

Although U.S. law enforcement and secret state agencies "acknowledge it is possible that extremists use the bank's far-flung branches and money-transfer services without bank officials' knowledge," the Journal noted that CIA analysts had concluded that "senior Al Rajhi family members have long supported Islamic extremists and probably know that terrorists use their bank."

It goes without saying that one should always approach CIA reports with a healthy dose of skepticism, especially in light of the Agency's well-documented history of employing cut-outs such as al Qaeda as terrorist cats' paws.

Such reports however, lay a trail of bread crumbs that policy makers can either act upon or more likely, ignore. That senior Bush and Obama administration officials did nothing with this information, never mind the regulatory agencies charged to enforce anti-money laundering laws, is testament to the corrupt, bipartisan nature of American policy as a whole.

It also beggars belief that Lord Green or the bank's compliance officers were unaware of CIA allegations or that Britain's own foreign intelligence arm, MI6, hadn't apprised top officials of the risks involved. In fact, as we'll see below, HSBC's own internal documents prove otherwise.

Osama's 'Golden Chain'

There were certainly plenty of red flags flying which should have alerted bank officials.

In March 2002, al Qaeda's list of financial benefactors surfaced when computers were seized in Sarajevo at the Bosnian headquarters of the Benevolence International Foundation, "a Saudi based nonprofit organization which was also designated a terrorist organization by the Treasury Department."

Osama bin Laden, who held a Bosnian passport issued by the breakaway government fronted by Western "liberal interventionist" darling Alija Izetbegović during NATO's dismemberment of socialist Yugoslavia, was a supporter of the Nazi SS Handschar Division during World War II. Bin Laden referred to this group of financial angels as his "Golden Chain."

Additional evidence also emerged in 2002 during Operation Green Quest, a Treasury Department effort to "disrupt terrorist financing in the United States."

In March of that year, law enforcement officials raided the Herndon, Virginia offices of the SAAR Foundation "an Al Rajhi-related entity." Indeed, the name "SAAR" was an acronym for the organization's founder, Sulaiman Abdul Aziz Al Rajhi, the controlling partner of the Al Rajhi Bank.

Subcommittee investigators commented that "one of the 20 handwritten names in the Golden Chain document identifying al Qaeda's early key financial benefactors is Sulaiman bin Abdul Aziz Al Rajhi, one of Al Rajhi Bank's key founders and most senior officials."

An affidavit supporting the search warrants "detailed numerous connections between the targeted entities and Al Rajhi family members and related ventures. The affidavit stated that over 100 active and defunct nonprofit and business ventures in Virginia were part of what it described as the 'Safa Group,' which the United States had reasonable cause to believe was 'engaged in the money laundering tactic of 'layering' to hide from law enforcement authorities the trail of its support for terrorists."

Green Quest investigators were particularly keen on unraveling links between the SAAR Foundation and the Swiss Al Taqwa Bank, incorporated in the Bahamas in 1988 for "tax purposes."

Founded by Swiss Nazi sympathizer and convert to Islam, Albert Armand (Achmed) Huber, who professed admiration for both Adolph Hitler and Osama bin Laden, the bank was accused by U.S. officials in helping al Qaeda launder funds. Although the Treasury Department froze its assets in 2001, the investigation was shut down by the Bush admini...
Reply
IT CAN HAPPEN HERE: THE BANK CONFISCATION SCHEME FOR US AND UK DEPOSITORS  

Ellen Brown
http://www.globalresearch.ca/it-can-happ...rs/5328954

Confiscating the customer deposits in Cyprus banks, it seems, was not a one-off, desperate idea of a few Eurozone “troika” officials scrambling to salvage their balance sheets. A joint paper by the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Bank of England dated December 10, 2012, shows that these plans have been long in the making; that they originated with the G20 Financial Stability Board in Basel, Switzerland (discussed earlier here); and that the result will be to deliver clear title to the banks of depositor funds.

New Zealand has a similar directive, discussed in my last article here, indicating that this isn’t just an emergency measure for troubled Eurozone countries. New Zealand’s Voxy reported on March 19th:

The National Government [is] pushing a Cyprus-style solution to bank failure in New Zealand which will see small depositors lose some of their savings to fund big bank bailouts . . . .

Open Bank Resolution (OBR) is Finance Minister Bill English’s favoured option dealing with a major bank failure. If a bank fails under OBR, all depositors will have their savings reduced overnight to fund the bank’s bail out.

Can They Do That?

Although few depositors realize it, legally the bank owns the depositor’s funds as soon as they are put in the bank. Our money becomes the bank’s, and we become unsecured creditors holding IOUs or promises to pay. (See here and here.) But until now the bank has been obligated to pay the money back on demand in the form of cash. Under the FDIC-BOE plan, our IOUs will be converted into “bank equity.” The bank will get the money and we will get stock in the bank. With any luck we may be able to sell the stock to someone else, but when and at what price? Most people keep a deposit account so they can have ready cash to pay the bills.

The 15-page FDIC-BOE document is called “Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important, Financial Institutions.” It begins by explaining that the 2008 banking crisis has made it clear that some other way besides taxpayer bailouts is needed to maintain “financial stability.” Evidently anticipating that the next financial collapse will be on a grander scale than either the taxpayers or Congress is willing to underwrite, the authors state:

An efficient path for returning the sound operations of the G-SIFI to the private sector would be provided by exchanging or converting a sufficient amount of the unsecured debt from the original creditors of the failed company [meaning the depositors] into equity [or stock]. In the U.S., the new equity would become capital in one or more newly formed operating entities. In the U.K., the same approach could be used, or the equity could be used to recapitalize the failing financial company itself—thus, the highest layer of surviving bailed-in creditors would become the owners of the resolved firm. In either country, the new equity holders would take on the corresponding risk of being shareholders in a financial institution.

No exception is indicated for “insured deposits” in the U.S., meaning those under $250,000, the deposits we thought were protected by FDIC insurance. This can hardly be an oversight, since it is the FDIC that is issuing the directive. The FDIC is an insurance company funded by premiums paid by private banks. The directive is called a “resolution process,” defined elsewhere as a plan that “would be triggered in the event of the failure of an insurer . . . .” The only mention of “insured deposits” is in connection with existing UK legislation, which the FDIC-BOE directive goes on to say is inadequate, implying that it needs to be modified or overridden.

An Imminent Risk

If our IOUs are converted to bank stock, they will no longer be subject to insurance protection but will be “at risk” and vulnerable to being wiped out, just as the Lehman Brothers shareholders were in 2008. That this dire scenario could actually materialize was underscored by Yves Smith in a March 19th post titled When You Weren’t Looking, Democrat Bank Stooges Launch Bills to Permit Bailouts, Deregulate Derivatives. She writes:

In the US, depositors have actually been put in a worse position than Cyprus deposit-holders, at least if they are at the big banks that play in the derivatives casino. The regulators have turned a blind eye as banks use their depositaries to fund derivatives exposures. And as bad as that is, the depositors, unlike their Cypriot confreres, aren’t even senior creditors. Remember Lehman? When the investment bank failed, unsecured creditors (and remember, depositors are unsecured creditors) got eight cents on the dollar. One big reason was that derivatives counterparties require collateral for any exposures, meaning they are secured creditors. The 2005 bankruptcy reforms made derivatives counterparties senior to unsecured lenders.

One might wonder why the posting of collateral by a derivative counterparty, at some percentage of full exposure, makes the creditor “secured,” while the depositor who puts up 100 cents on the dollar is “unsecured.” But moving on – Smith writes:

Lehman had only two itty bitty banking subsidiaries, and to my knowledge, was not gathering retail deposits. But as readers may recall, Bank of America moved most of its derivatives from its Merrill Lynch operation [to] its depositary in late 2011.

Its “depositary” is the arm of the bank that takes deposits; and at B of A, that means lots and lots of deposits. The deposits are now subject to being wiped out by a major derivatives loss. How bad could that be? Smith quotes Bloomberg:

. . . Bank of America’s holding company . . . held almost $75 trillion of derivatives at the end of June . . . .

That compares with JPMorgan’s deposit-taking entity, JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, which contained 99 percent of the New York-based firm’s $79 trillion of notional derivatives, the OCC data show.

$75 trillion and $79 trillion in derivatives! These two mega-banks alone hold more in notional derivatives each than the entire global GDP (at $70 trillion). The “notional value” of derivatives is not the same as cash at risk, but according to a cross-post on Smith’s site:

By at least one estimate, in 2010 there was a total of $12 trillion in cash tied up (at risk) in derivatives . . . .

$12 trillion is close to the US GDP. Smith goes on:

. . . Remember the effect of the 2005 bankruptcy law revisions: derivatives counterparties are first in line, they get to grab assets first and leave everyone else to scramble for crumbs. . . . Lehman failed over a weekend after JP Morgan grabbed collateral.

But it’s even worse than that. During the savings & loan crisis, the FDIC did not have enough in deposit insurance receipts to pay for the Resolution Trust Corporation wind-down vehicle. It had to get more funding from Congress. This move paves the way for another TARP-style shakedown of taxpayers, this time to save depositors.

Perhaps, but Congress has already been burned and is liable to balk a second time. Section 716 of the Dodd-Frank Act specifically prohibits public support for speculative derivatives activities. And in the Eurozone, while the European Stability Mechanism committed Eurozone countries to bail out failed banks, they are apparently having second thoughts there as well. On March 25th, Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who played a leading role in imposing the deposit confiscation plan on Cyprus, told reporters that it would be the template for any future bank bailouts, and that “the aim is for the ESM never to have to be used.”

That explains the need for the FDIC-BOE resolution. If the anticipated enabling legislation is passed, the FDIC will no longer need to protect depositor funds; it can just confiscate them.

Worse Than a Tax

An FDIC confiscation of deposits to recapitalize the banks is far different from a simple tax on taxpayers to pay government expenses. The government’s debt is at least arguably the people’s debt, since the government is there to provide services for the people. But when the banks get into trouble with their derivative schemes, they are not serving depositors, who are not getting a cut of the profits. Taking depositor funds is simply theft.

What should be done is to raise FDIC insurance premiums and make the banks pay to keep their depositors whole, but premiums are already high; and the FDIC, like other government regulatory agencies, is subject to regulatory capture. Deposit insurance has failed, and so has the private banking system that has depended on it for the trust that makes banking work.

The Cyprus haircut on depositors was called a “wealth tax” and was written off by commentators as “deserved,” because much of the money in Cypriot accounts belongs to foreign oligarchs, tax dodgers and money launderers. But if that template is applied in the US, it will be a tax on the poor and middle class. Wealthy Americans don’t keep most of their money in bank accounts. They keep it in the stock market, in real estate, in over-the-counter derivatives, in gold and silver, and so forth.

Are you safe, then, if your money is in gold and silver? Apparently not – if it’s stored in a safety deposit box in the bank. Homeland Security has reportedly told banks that it has authority to seize the contents of safety deposit boxes without a warrant when it’s a matter of “national security,” which a major bank crisis no doubt will be.

The Swedish Alternative: Nationalize the Banks

Another alternative was considered but rejected by President Obama in 2009: nationalize mega-banks that fail. In a February 2009 article titled “Are Uninsured Bank Depositors in Danger?“, Felix Salmon discussed a newsletter by Asia-based investment strategist Christopher Wood, in which Wood wrote:

It is . . . amazing that Obama does not understand the political appeal of the nationalization option. . . . [D]espite this latest setback nationalization of the banks is coming sooner or later because the realities of the situation will demand it. The result will be shareholders wiped out and bondholders forced to take debt-for-equity swaps, if not hopefully depositors.

On whether depositors could indeed be forced to become equity holders, Salmon commented:

It’s worth remembering that depositors are unsecured creditors of any bank; usually, indeed, they’re by far the largest class of unsecured creditors.

President Obama acknowledged that bank nationalization had worked in Sweden, and that the course pursued by the US Fed had not worked in Japan, which wound up instead in a “lost decade.” But Obama opted for the Japanese approach because, according to Ed Harrison, “Americans will not tolerate nationalization.”

But that was four years ago. When Americans realize that the alternative is to have their ready cash transformed into “bank stock” of questionable marketability, moving failed mega-banks into the public sector may start to have more appeal.

THE CYPRUS BANK BATTLE: THE LONG PLANNED DEPOSIT DEPOSIT CONFISCATION SCHEME

Ellen Brown
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-cyprus-...me/5328098

“If these worries become really serious, . . . [s]mall savers will take their money out of banks and resort to household safes and a shotgun.” — Martin Hutchinson on the attempted EU raid on private deposits in Cyprus banks

The deposit confiscation scheme has long been in the making. US depositors could be next …

On Tuesday, March 19, the national legislature of Cyprus overwhelmingly rejected a proposed levy on bank deposits as a condition for a European bailout. Reuters called it “a stunning setback for the 17-nation currency bloc,” but it was a stunning victory for democracy. As Reuters quoted one 65-year-old pensioner, “The voice of the people was heard.”

The EU had warned that it would withhold €10 billion in bailout loans, and the European Central Bank (ECB) had threatened to end emergency lending assistance for distressed Cypriot banks, unless depositors – including small savers – shared the cost of the rescue. In the deal rejected by the legislature, a one-time levy on depositors would be required in return for a bailout of the banking system. Deposits below €100,000 would be subject to a 6.75% levy or “haircut”, while those over €100,000 would have been subject to a 9.99% “fine.”

The move was bold, but the battle isn’t over yet. The EU has now given Cyprus until Monday to raise the billions of euros it needs to clinch an international bailout or face the threatened collapse of its financial system and likely exit from the euro currency zone.

The Long-planned Confiscation Scheme

The deal pushed by the “troika” – the EU, ECB and IMF – has been characterized as a one-off event devised as an emergency measure in this one extreme case. But the confiscation plan has long been in the making, and it isn’t limited to Cyprus.

In a September 2011 article in the Bulletin of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand titled “A Primer on Open Bank Resolution,” Kevin Hoskin and Ian Woolford discussed a very similar haircut plan that had been in the works, they said, since the 1997 Asian financial crisis. The article referenced recommendations made in 2010 and 2011 by the Basel Committee of the Bank for International Settlements, the “central bankers’ central bank” in Switzerland.

The purpose of the plan, called the Open Bank Resolution (OBR) , is to deal with bank failures when they have become so expensive that governments are no longer willing to bail out the lenders. The authors wrote that the primary objectives of OBR are to:

■ensure that, as far as possible, any losses are ultimately borne by the bank’s shareholders and creditors . . . .
The spectrum of “creditors” is defined to include depositors:

At one end of the spectrum, there are large international financial institutions that invest in debt issued by the bank (commonly referred to as wholesale funding). At the other end of the spectrum, are customers with cheque and savings accounts and term deposits.

Most people would be surprised to learn that they are legally considered “creditors” of their banks rather than customers who have trusted the bank with their money for safekeeping, but that seems to be the case. According to Wikipedia:

In most legal systems, . . . the funds deposited are no longer the property of the customer. The funds become the property of the bank, and the customer in turn receives an asset called a deposit account (a checking or savings account). That deposit account is a liability of the bank on the bank’s books and on its balance sheet. Because the bank is authorized by law to make loans up to a multiple of its reserves, the bank’s reserves on hand to satisfy payment of deposit liabilities amounts to only a fraction of the total which the bank is obligated to pay in satisfaction of its demand deposits.

The bank gets the money. The depositor becomes only a creditor with an IOU. The bank is not required to keep the deposits available for withdrawal but can lend them out, keeping only a “fraction” on reserve, following accepted fractional reserve banking principles. When too many creditors come for their money at once, the result can be a run on the banks and bank failure.

The New Zealand OBR said the creditors had all enjoyed a return on their investments and had freely accepted the risk, but most people would be surprised to learn that too. What return do you get from a bank on a deposit account these days? And isn’t your deposit protected against risk by FDIC deposit insurance?

Not anymore, apparently. As Martin Hutchinson observed in Money Morning, “if governments can just seize deposits by means of a ‘tax’ then deposit insurance is worth absolutely zippo.”

The Real Profiteers Get Off Scot-Free

Felix Salmon wrote in Reuters of the Cyprus confiscation:

Meanwhile, people who deserve to lose money here, won’t. If you lent money to Cyprus’s banks by buying their debt rather than by depositing money, you will suffer no losses at all. And if you lent money to the insolvent Cypriot government, then you too will be paid off at 100 cents on the euro. . . .

The big winner here is the ECB, which has extended a lot of credit to dubiously-solvent Cypriot banks and which is taking no losses at all.

It is the ECB that can most afford to take the hit, because it has the power to print euros. It could simply create the money to bail out the Cyprus banks and take no loss at all. But imposing austerity on the people is apparently part of the plan. Salmon writes:

From a drily technocratic perspective, this move can be seen as simply being part of a standard Euro-austerity program: the EU wants tax hikes and spending cuts, and this is a kind of tax . . . .

The big losers are working-class Cypriots, whose elected government has proved powerless . . . . The Eurozone has always had a democratic deficit: monetary union was imposed by the elite on unthankful and unwilling citizens. Now the citizens are revolting: just look at Beppe Grillo.

But that was before the Cyprus government stood up for the depositors and refused to go along with the plan, in what will be a stunning victory for democracy if they can hold their ground.

It CAN Happen Here

Cyprus is a small island, of little apparent significance. But one day, the bold move of its legislators may be compared to the Battle of Marathon, the pivotal moment in European history when their Greek forebears fended off the Persians, allowing classical Greek civilization to flourish. The current battle on this tiny island has taken on global significance. If the technocrat bankers can push through their confiscation scheme there, precedent will be established for doing it elsewhere when bank bailouts become prohibitive for governments.

That situation could be looming even now in the United States. As Gretchen Morgenson warned in a recent article on the 307-page Senate report detailing last year’s $6.2 billion trading fiasco at JPMorganChase: “Be afraid.” The report resoundingly disproves the premise that the Dodd-Frank legislation has made our system safe from the reckless banking activities that brought the economy to its knees in 2008. Writes Morgenson:

JPMorgan . . . Is the largest derivatives dealer in the world. Trillions of dollars in such instruments sit on its and other big banks’ balance sheets. The ease with which the bank hid losses and fiddled with valuations should be a major concern to investors.

Pam Martens observed in a March 18th article that JPMorgan was gambling in the stock market with depositor funds. She writes, “trading stocks with customers’ savings deposits – that truly has the ring of the excesses of 1929 . . . .”

The large institutional banks not only could fail; they are likely to fail. When the derivative scheme collapses and the US government refuses a bailout, JPMorgan could be giving its depositors’ accounts sizeable “haircuts” along guidelines established by the BIS and Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

Time for Some Public Sector Banks?

The bold moves of the Cypriots and such firebrand political activists as Italy’s Grillo are not the only bulwarks against bankster confiscation. While the credit crisis is strangling the Western banking system, the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China – have sailed through largely unscathed. According to a May 2010 article in The Economist, what has allowed them to escape are their strong and stable publicly-owned banks.

Professor Kurt von Mettenheim of the Sao Paulo Business School of Brazil writes, “The credit policies of BRIC government banks help explain why these countries experienced shorter and milder economic downturns during 2007-2008.” Government banks countered the effects of the financial crisis by providing counter-cyclical credit and greater client confidence.

Russia is an Eastern European country that weathered the credit crisis although being very close to the Eurozone. According to a March 2010 article in Forbes:

As in other countries, the [2008] crisis prompted the state to take on a greater role in the banking system. State-owned systemic banks . . . have been used to carry out anticrisis measures, such as driving growth in lending (however limited) and supporting private institutions.

In the 1998 Asian crisis, many Russians who had put all their savings in private banks lost everything; and the credit crisis of 2008 has reinforced their distrust of private banks. Russian businesses as well as individuals have turned to their government-owned banks as the more trustworthy alternative. As a result, state-owned banks are expected to continue dominating the Russian banking industry for the foreseeable future.

The entire Eurozone conundrum is unnecessary. It is the result of too little money in a system in which the money supply is fixed, and the Eurozone governments and their central banks cannot issue their own currencies. There are insufficient euros to pay principal plus interest in a pyramid scheme in which only the principal is injected by the banks that create money as “bank credit” on their books. A central bank with the power to issue money could remedy that systemic flaw, by injecting the liquidity needed to jumpstart the economy and turn back the tide of austerity choking the people.

The push to confiscate the savings of hard-working Cypriot citizens is a shot across the bow for every working person in the world, a wake-up call to the perils of a system in which tiny cadres of elites call the shots and the rest of us pay the price. When we finally pull back the veils of power to expose the men pulling the levers in an age-old game they devised, we will see that prosperity is indeed possible for all.

Reply
FINANCIAL TURBULENCE SIGNALS GLOBAL MELTDOWN IN PROCESS
http://larouchepub.com/other/2013/4025fi...tdown.html

The world financial system has entered a twilight zone of uncontrolled hyperinflation, characterized by the fact that no amount of monetary expansion can any longer sustain the rate of growth of the British Empire's cancerous financial aggregates bubble. As a result, massive "unexpected" turbulence and capital flows are rapidly spinning out of control.

The nature of the problem can only be understood from the standpoint of Lyndon LaRouche's famous Typical Collapse Function graphic, or triple curve. We have now entered the region of that collapse function, where the rate of growth of financial aggregates not only has dropped below the curve of the rate of growth of the monetary pumping, but has begun to plunge rapidly downwards. In this new geometry, massive monetary infusions such as quantitative easing (QE) both fail to bail out the financial aggregates, and actually accelerate their meltdown, all the while, driving the physical economy deeper into hell.

It's like a heroin addict who is so hooked on the "fix" of the increasing QE of the last few years, that it is no longer a matter of what happens when the QE stops. You can't stop the QE; you can't talk about stopping it; and you can't even think about the topic of eventually "tapering" it. In fact, global markets today are already undergoing full-fledged junkie withdrawal symptoms and wild contortions, even as the financial heroin continues to flow freely.

Indeed, the current system cannot be saved, nor does the ruling British-based financial oligarchy intend to do so. As Lyndon LaRouche commented on June 14, the British Empire has something different in mind, and is deliberately taking steps that will mean mass death in the U.S., and elsewhere, very quickly. What will happen when the food supplies are cut, when people can no longer eat? That is the Queen's policy for reducing the population from 7 billion to 1 billion.

Symptoms Abound
The symptoms of the terminal illness of the system are myriad, from rising interest rates on long-term government bonds in Japan and the United States, to huge market volatility. The following reports are indicative:

Global bond markets are collapsing, and this is "threatening to halt a global refinancing wave," the Financial Times warned June 14. They noted that "US sales of investment grade corporate debt ... have this week almost come to a complete halt." The recent weekly average of such sales had been about $23.2 billion; this week it is only $3.2 billion—an almost 90% drop. The same thing is happening in the junk bond market.

Massive reverse carry-trade flows are underway out of the so-called emerging markets (EM), such as Brazil. The World Bank has issued a statement warning of the EM implosion, while the International Monetary Fund has demanded that the U.S. Fed not even think about exiting from QE. In reporting on the EM crisis, the Daily Telegraph's Ambrose Evans-Pritchard noted June 14 that "the emerging market rout has become pervasive," with huge outflows occurring from Brazil, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Turkey, Mexico, etc. Brazil alone has spent $5.7 billion in reserves this month to try to stop the capital flight, and has also used derivatives contracts to do the same.

Evans-Pritchard quoted a Brazilian asset manager saying: "Brazil seems to be under speculative attack. We are losing reserves very fast. We should not forget that Russia lost $210 billion in reserves in a few weeks during the Lehman crisis in 2008." Brazil has $375 billion in reserves. In the last week they have dropped their 6% tax on foreign bond investors, and lifted their 1% tax on currency derivatives.

FT Alphaville fretted June 14 that current levels of QE-smack are no longer producing the desired high: "The smoke and mirrors are fading. What is worrying, however, is that a move of this size has been prompted by simple talk of tapering [the QE purchases]. If that's what tapering does, what will the first hint of a proper QE exit inspire?"

Bloomberg wire service demanded the same day that its dope distributor continue to deliver the stuff, big time: "Bernanke needs to emphasize on June 19 [after the next Federal Open Market Committee meeting] that 'policy will remain quite accommodative.' "

The Fed Prints—for Whom?
Bloomberg vastly understated the pressure on the FOMC, which opens its meeting today. In fact, recently released figures show that the Fed is currently playing the role of Atlas, holding up the entire financial system by issuing liquidity—including to the failing European banks.

According to the reliable website ZeroHedge.com, the Fed's flow-of-funds reports from the fourth quarter of 2012 and first quarter of 2013 show that the majority of the Federal Reserve's money-printing continues to go to support the liquidity and cover the losses of European banks—and not to lending.

The site demonstrates that more than all net bank lending in the United States in the first quarter was done by a single bank—the Federal Reserve! Its $303 billion increase in assets dwarfed the $158 billion increase in assets of the whole banking system; in other words, all the other banks had a net decline in lending by $145 billion. And again in the first quarter, more than half of all of this "reserve creation" by the Fed went to the U.S.-based branches of British and Eurozone banks.

On the U.S. side, the Federal Reserve now holds 15% of all U.S. Treasury debt, as well as a huge portfolio of mortgage-backed securities—pure bailouts for the Wall Street banks. And when interest rates suddenly began to rise in May—without any sign of a Fed "exit"—the central bank lost $155 billion in one month, according to estimates by Forbes. This is three times its total equity capital.

Since Jan. 1, 2011, the fiction has been created that the Fed never need recognize such losses, but can simply book them as offsets to the interest payments which the Treasury will make to it on those securities. For one thing, this means Fed payments of its profits to the Treasury will stop, creating more U.S. government debt.

More importantly, the process will lead to a hyperinflationary meltdown, further stripping the real economy, which is already bereft of productive credit. LaRouche's Typical Collapse Function shows the process, which his Three-Step Economic program—Glass-Steagall, a Hamiltonian credit system, and NAWAPA—can uniquely stop.




Reply
MARTIAL LAW AND THE ECONOMY : IS HOMELAND SECURITY PREPARING FOR THE NEXT WALL STREET COLLAPSE ?
http://ellenbrown.com/2013/10/07/is-home...-collapse/

Reports are that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is engaged in a massive, covert military buildup. An article in the Associated Press in February confirmed an open purchase order by DHS for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition. According to an op-ed in Forbes, that’s enough to sustain an Iraq-sized war for over twenty years. DHS has also acquired heavily armored tanks, which have been seen roaming the streets. Evidently somebody in government is expecting some serious civil unrest. The question is, why?

Recently revealed statements by former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown at the height of the banking crisis in October 2008 could give some insights into that question. An article on BBC News on September 21, 2013, drew from an explosive autobiography called Power Trip by Brown’s spin doctor Damian McBride, who said the prime minister was worried that law and order could collapse during the financial crisis. McBride quoted Brown as saying:


If the banks are shutting their doors, and the cash points aren’t working, and people go to Tesco [a grocery chain] and their cards aren’t being accepted, the whole thing will just explode.

If you can’t buy food or petrol or medicine for your kids, people will just start breaking the windows and helping themselves.

And as soon as people see that on TV, that’s the end, because everyone will think that’s OK now, that’s just what we all have to do. It’ll be anarchy. That’s what could happen tomorrow.

How to deal with that threat? Brown said, “We’d have to think: do we have curfews, do we put the Army on the streets, how do we get order back?”

McBride wrote in his book Power Trip, “It was extraordinary to see Gordon so totally gripped by the danger of what he was about to do, but equally convinced that decisive action had to be taken immediately.” He compared the threat to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Fear of this threat was echoed in September 2008 by US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, who reportedly warned that the US government might have to resort to martial law if Wall Street were not bailed out from the credit collapse.

In both countries, martial law was avoided when their legislatures succumbed to pressure and bailed out the banks. But many pundits are saying that another collapse is imminent; and this time, governments may not be so willing to step up to the plate.

The Next Time WILL Be Different

What triggered the 2008 crisis was a run, not in the conventional banking system, but in the “shadow” banking system, a collection of non-bank financial intermediaries that provide services similar to traditional commercial banks but are unregulated. They include hedge funds, money market funds, credit investment funds, exchange-traded funds, private equity funds, securities broker dealers, securitization and finance companies. Investment banks and commercial banks may also conduct much of their business in the shadows of this unregulated system.

The shadow financial casino has only grown larger since 2008; and in the next Lehman-style collapse, government bailouts may not be available. According to President Obama in his remarks on the Dodd-Frank Act on July 15, 2010, “Because of this reform, . . . there will be no more taxpayer funded bailouts – period.”

Governments in Europe are also shying away from further bailouts. The Financial Stability Board (FSB) in Switzerland has therefore required the systemically risky banks to devise “living wills” setting forth what they will do in the event of insolvency. The template established by the FSB requires them to “bail in” their creditors; and depositors, it turns out, are the largest class of bank creditor. (For fuller discussion, see my earlier article here.)

When depositors cannot access their bank accounts to get money for food for the kids, they could well start breaking store windows and helping themselves. Worse, they might plot to overthrow the financier-controlled government. Witness Greece, where increasing disillusionment with the ability of the government to rescue the citizens from the worst depression since 1929 has precipitated riots and threats of violent overthrow.

Fear of that result could explain the massive, government-authorized spying on American citizens, the domestic use of drones, and the elimination of due process and of “posse comitatus” (the federal law prohibiting the military from enforcing “law and order” on non-federal property). Constitutional protections are being thrown out the window in favor of protecting the elite class in power.

The Looming Debt Ceiling Crisis

The next crisis on the agenda appears to be the October 17th deadline for agreeing on a federal budget or risking default on the government’s loans. It may only be a coincidence, but two large-scale drills are scheduled to take place the same day, the “Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill” and the “Quantum Dawn 2 Cyber Attack Bank Drill.” According to a Bloomberg news clip on the bank drill, the attacks being prepared for are from hackers, state-sponsored espionage, and organized crime (financial fraud). One interviewee stated, “You might experience that your online banking is down . . . . You might experience that you can’t log in.” It sounds like a dress rehearsal for the Great American Bail-in.

Ominous as all this is, it has a bright side. Bail-ins and martial law can be seen as the last desperate thrashings of a dinosaur. The exploitative financial scheme responsible for turning millions out of their jobs and their homes has reached the end of the line. Crisis in the current scheme means opportunity for those more sustainable solutions waiting in the wings.

Other countries faced with a collapse in their debt-based borrowed currencies have survived and thrived by issuing their own. When the dollar-pegged currency collapsed in Argentina in 2001, the national government returned to issuing its own pesos; municipal governments paid with “debt-canceling bonds” that circulated as currency; and neighborhoods traded with community currencies. After the German currency collapsed in the 1920s, the government turned the economy around in the 1930s by issuing “MEFO” bills that circulated as currency. When England ran out of gold in 1914, the government issued “Bradbury pounds” similar to the Greenbacks issued by Abraham Lincoln during the US Civil War.

Today our government could avoid the debt ceiling crisis by doing something similar: it could simply mint some trillion dollar coins and deposit them in an account. That alternative could be pursued by the Administration immediately, without going to Congress or changing the law, as discussed in my earlier article here. It need not be inflationary, since Congress could still spend only what it passed in its budget. And if Congress did expand its budget for infrastructure and job creation, that would actually be good for the economy, since hoarding cash and paying down loans have significantly shrunk the circulating money supply.

Peer-to-peer Trading and Public Banks

At the local level, we need to set up an alternative system that provides safety for depositors, funds small and medium-sized businesses, and serves the needs of the community.

Much progress has already been made on that front in the peer-to-peer economy. In a September 27th article titled “Peer-to-Peer Economy Thrives as Activists Vacate the System,” Eric Blair reports that the Occupy Movement is engaged in a peaceful revolution in which people are abandoning the established system in favor of a “sharing economy.” Trading occurs between individuals, without taxes, regulations or licenses, and in some cases without government-issued currency.

Peer-to-peer trading happens largely on the Internet, where customer reviews rather than regulation keep sellers honest. It started with eBay and Craigslist and has grown exponentially since. Bitcoin is a private currency outside the prying eyes of regulators. Software is being devised that circumvents NSA spying. Bank loans are being shunned in favor of crowdfunding. Local food co-ops are also a form of opting out of the corporate-government system.

Peer-to-peer trading works for local exchange, but we also need a way to protect our dollars, both public and private. We need dollars to pay at least some of our bills, and businesses need them to acquire raw materials. We also need a way to protect our public revenues, which are currently deposited and invested in Wall Street banks that have heavy derivatives exposure.

To meet those needs, we can set up publicly-owned banks on the model of the Bank of North Dakota, currently our only state-owned depository bank. The BND is mandated by law to receive all the state’s deposits and to serve the public interest. Ideally, every state would have one of these “mini-Feds.” Counties and cities could have them as well. For more information, see http://PublicBankingInstitute.org.

Preparations for martial law have been reported for decades, and it hasn’t happened yet. Hopefully, we can sidestep that danger by moving into a saner, more sustainable system that makes military action against American citizens unnecessary.

Ellen Brown is an attorney, president of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books, including the best-selling Web of Debt. In The Public Bank Solution, her latest book, she explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her 200-plus blog articles are at EllenBrown.com.


Reply
US DEBT CLOCK
http://www.usdebtclock.org

NATIONAL DEBT: THE NO NONSENSE GUIDE
http://www.debtbombshell.com/


Although some of the facts and figures on this site are now out of date, the arguments and explanations should be as relevant today as they were back in June 2009, when this site was created.

The UK national debt clock is still ticking fast. We already owe more than £900 billion to investors at home and abroad. The Government says our debt will hit £1,043 billion by April 2011 and £1.2 trillion just one year later. Yes, that really is £1,216,000,000,000.

To pay this year's £43 billion interest bill, every household will stump up more than £1,800 in tax. That's not a joke - that really is how much it's going to cost you. The UK's national debt has become so astronomical that it's hard to make sense of it anymore.

But in this economic climate it's never been more important to understand how politicians spend our money and why they're running up huge debts on our behalf. This unprecedented level of public debt in peacetime has huge implications for Britain's economy and our future. Hopefully this site can begin to answer your questions.

Q: Why is Britain in so much debt?

Q: Who do we borrow all this money from?

Q: How is national debt measured?

Q: What are we spending the money on?

Q: Does it matter how government spends the money?

Q: How will national debt affect our future?

Q: Is the problem getting better or worse?

Q: What can we do to prevent a debt crisis?

Q: Has Britain always been in so much debt?

Q: Is it right for us to borrow and spend like this?

Q: Are we really printing money?

Q: Can I comment or share information with other readers?

Q: Can I embed the debt counter on my site or blog?

Q: How is the debt clock calculated?

Q: What are your sources of information?

Q: Who are you and why did you make this site?

Email Share



Key points

The burden of national debt is real, and weighs on every family
The most dangerous thing for a politician is an informed electorate


Contents
Britain's budget deficit
The role of the bond market
Measuring the national debt
Public spending in Britain today
The impact of fiscal policy on national debt
The consequences of excess debt
The problems of forecasting national debt
Taking action to avert a debt crisis
The history of Britain's debt
The immorality of national debt
Quantitative Easing explained


Reply
THE SPECULATIVE ENDGAME : THE GOVERNMENT “SHUTDOWN" AND “DEBT DEFAULT”, A MULTIBILLION BONANZA FOR WALL STREET

Prof Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, October 16, 2013

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-specula...et/5354420

The “shutdown” of the US government and the financial climax associated with a deadline date, leading to a possible “debt default” of the federal government is a money making undertaking for Wall Street.

A wave of speculative activity is sweeping major markets.

The uncertainty regarding the shutdown and “debt default” constitutes a golden opportunity for “institutional speculators”. Those who have reliable “inside information” regarding the complex outcome of the legislative process are slated to make billions of dollars in windfall gains.

Speculative Bonanza

Several overlapping political and economic agendas are unfolding. In a previous article, we examined the debt default saga in relation to the eventual privatization of important components of the federal State system.

While Wall Street exerts a decisive influence on policy and legislation pertaining to the government shutdown, these same major financial institutions also control the movement of currency markets, commodity and stock markets through large scale operations in derivative trade.

Most of the key actors in the US Congress and the Senate involved in the shutdown debate are controlled by powerful corporate lobby groups acting directly or indirectly on behalf of Wall Street. Major interests on Wall Street are not only in a position to influence the results of the Congressional process, they also have “inside information” or prior knowledge of the chronology and outcome of the government shutdown impasse.

They are slated to make billions of dollars in windfall profits in speculative activities which are “secure” assuming that they are in a position to exert their influence on relevant policy outcomes.

It should be noted, however, that there are important divisions both within the US Congress as well as within the financial establishment. The latter are marked by the confrontation and rivalry of major banking conglomerates.

These divisions will have an impact on speculative movements and counter movements in the stock, money and commodity markets. What we are dealing with is “financial warfare”. The latter is by no means limited to Wall Street, Chinese, Russian and Japanese financial institutions (among others) will also be involved in the speculative endgame.

Speculative movements based on inside information, therefore, could potentially go in different directions. What market outcomes are being sought by rival banking institutions? Having inside information on the actions of major banking competitors is an important element in the waging of major speculative operations.

Derivative Trade

The major instrument of “secure” speculative activity for these financial actors is derivative trade, with carefully formulated bets in the stock markets, major commodities –including gold and oil– as well as foreign exchange markets.

These major actors may know “where the market is going” because they are in a position to influence policies and legislation in the US Congress as well as manipulate market outcomes.

Moreover, Wall Street speculators also influence the broader public’s perception in the media, not to mention the actions of financial brokers of competing or lesser financial institutions which do not have foreknowledge or access to inside information.

These same financial actors are involved in the spread of “financial disinformation”, which often takes the form of media reports which contribute to either misleading the public or building a “consensus” among economists and financial analysts which will push markets in a particular direction.

Pointing to an inevitable decline of the US dollar, the media serves the interests of the institutional speculators in camouflaging what might happen in an environment characterized by financial manipulation and the interplay of speculative activity on a large scale.

Speculative trade routinely involves acts of deception. In recent weeks, the media has been flooded with “predictions” of various catastrophic economic events focusing on the collapse of the dollar, the development of a new reserve currency by the BRICS countries, etc.

At a recent conference hosted by the powerful Institute of International Finance (IIF), a Washington based think tank organization which represents the world’s most powerful banks and financial institutions:

“Three of the world’s most powerful bankers warned of terrible consequences if the United States defaults on its debt, with Deutsche Bank chief executive Anshu Jain claiming default would be “utterly catastrophic.”

This would be a very rapidly spreading, fatal disease, ... I have no recommendations for this audience... about putting band aids on a gaping wound,” he said.

“JPMorgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon and Baudouin Prot, chairman of BNP Paribas, said a default would have dramatic consequences on the value of U.S. debt and the dollar, and likely would plunge the world into another recession.” (...)

Dimon and other top executives from major U.S. financial firms met with President Barack Obama and with lawmakers last week to urge them to deal with both issues.

On Saturday, Dimon said banks are already spending “huge amounts” of money preparing for the possibility of a default, which he said would threaten the global recovery after the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

Dimon also defended JPMorgan against critics who say the bank has become too big to manage. It has come under scrutiny from numerous regulators and on Friday reported its first quarterly loss since Dimon took over, due to more than $7 billion in legal expenses. (Emily Stephenson and Douwe Miedema, World top bankers warn of dire consequences if U.S. defaults | Reuters, October 12, 2013

What these “authoritative” economic assessments are intended to create is an aura of panic and economic uncertainty, pointing to the possibility of a collapse of the US dollar.

What is portrayed by the Institute of International Finance panelists (who are the leaders of the world’s largest banking conglomerates) is tantamount to an Economics 101 analysis of market adjustment, which casually excludes the known fact that markets are manipulated with the use of sophisticated derivative trading instruments. In a bitter irony, the IIF panelists are themselves involved in routinely twisting market values through derivative trade. Capitalism in the 21st century is no longer based largely on profits resulting from a real economy productive process, windfall financial gains are acquired through large scale speculative operations, without the occurrence of real economy activity. at the touch of a mouse button.

The manipulation of markets is carried out on the orders of major bank executives including the CEOs of JPMorgan Chase, Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas.

The “too big to fail banks” are portrayed, in the words of JPMorgan Chase’s CEO Jamie Dimon’s, as the “victims” of the debt default crisis, when in fact they are the architects of economic chaos as well as the unspoken recipients of billions of dollars of stolen taxpayers’ money.

These corrupt mega banks are responsible for creating the “gaping wound” referred to by Deutsche Bank’s Anshu Jain in relaiton to the US public debt crisis.

Collapse of the Dollar?

Upward and downward movements of the US dollar in recent years have little do with normal market forces as claimed by the tenets of neoclassical economics.

Both JP Morgan Chase’s CEO Jamie Dimon and Deutsche Bank’s CEO Anshu Jain’s assertions provide a distorted understanding of the functioning of the US dollar market. The speculators want to convince us that the dollar will collapse as part of a normal market mechanism, without acknowledging that the “too big to fail” banks have the ability to trigger a decline in the US dollar which in a sense obviates the functioning of the normal market.

Wall Street has indeed the ability to “short” the greenback with a view to depressing its value. It has also has the ability through derivative trade of pushing the US dollar up. These up and down movements of the greenback are, so to speak, the “cannon feed” of financial warfare. Push the US dollar up and speculate on the upturn, push it down and speculate on the downturn.

It is impossible to assess the future movement of the US dollar by solely focusing on the interplay of “normal market” forces in response to the US public debt crisis.

While an assessment based on “normal market” forces indelibly points to structural weaknesses in the US dollar as a reserve currency, it does not follow that a weakened US dollar will necessarily decline in a forex market which is routinely subject to speculative manipulation.

Moreover, it is worth noting that the national currencies of several heavily indebted developing countries have increased in value in relation to the US dollar, largely as a result of the manipulation of the foreign exchange markets. Why would the national currencies of countries literally crippled by foreign debt go up against the US dollar?

The Institutional Speculator

JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Bank America, Citi-Group, Deutsche Bank et al: the strategy of the institutional speculators is to sit on their “inside information” and create uncertainty through heavily biased news reports, which are in turn used by individual stock brokers to advise their individual clients on “secure investments”. And that is how people across America have lost their savings.

It should be emphasized that these major financial actors not only control the media, they also control the debt rating agencies such as Moody’s and Standard and Poor.

According to the mainstay of neoclassical economics, speculative trade reflects the “normal” movement of markets. An absurd proposition.

Since the de facto repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act and the adoption of the Financial Services Modernization Act in 1999, market manipulation tends to completely overshadow the “laws of the market”, leading to a highly unstable multi-trillion dollar derivative debt, which inevitably has a bearing on the current impasse on Capitol Hill. This understanding is now acknowledged by sectors of mainstream financial analysis.

There is no such thing as “normal market movements”. The outcome of the government shutdown on financial markets cannot be narrowly predicted by applying conventional macro-economic analysis, which excludes outright the role of market manipulation and derivative trade.

The outcome of the government shutdown on major markets does not hinge upon “normal market forces” and their impacts on prices, interest rates and exchange rates. What has to be addressed is the complex interplay of “normal market forces” with a gamut of sophisticated instruments of market manipulation. The latter consist of an interplay of large scale speculative operations undertaken by the most powerful and corrupt financial institutions, with the intent to distorting “normal” market forces.

It is worth mentioning that immediately following the adoption of the Financial Services Modernization Act in 1999, the US Congress adopted the Commodity Futures Modernization Act 2000 (CFMA) which essentially “exempted commodity futures trading from regulatory oversight.”

Four major Wall Street financial institutions account for more than 90 percent of the so-called derivative exposure: J.P. Morgan Chase, Citi-Group, Bank America, and Goldman Sachs. These major banks exert a pervasive influence on the conduct of monetary policy, including the debate within the US Congress on the debt ceiling. They are also among the World’s largest speculators.

What is the speculative endgame behind the shutdown and debt default saga?

An aura of uncertainty prevails. People across America are impoverished as a result of the curtailment of “entitlements”, mass protest and civil unrest could erupt. Homeland Security (DHS) is the process of militarizing domestic law enforcement. In a bitter irony, each and all of these economic and social events including political statements and decisions in the US Congress concerning the debt ceiling, the evaluations of the rating agencies, etc. create opportunities for the speculator.

Major speculative operations –feeding on inside information and deception– are likely take place routinely over the next few months as the fiscal and debt default crisis unfolds.

What is diabolical in this process is that major banking conglomerates will not hesitate to destabilize stock, commodity and foreign exchange markets if it serves their interests, namely as a means to appropriate speculative gains resulting from a situation of turmoil and economic crisis, with no concern for the social plight of millions of Americans.

Speculation in Agricultural Commodities: Driving up the Price of Food Worldwide and plunging Millions into HungerOne solution –which is unlikely to be adopted unless there is a major power shift in American politics– would be to cancel the derivative debt altogether and freeze all derivative transactions on major markets. This would certainly help to tame the speculative onslaught.

The manipulation through derivative trade of the markets for basic food staples is particularly pernicious because it potentially creates hunger. It has a direct bearing on the livelihood of millions of people.

As we recall, “the price of food and other commodities began rising precipitately [in 2006], ... Millions were cast below the poverty line and food riots erupted across the developing world, from Haiti to Mozambique.”

According to Indian economist Dr. Jayati Ghosh:

“It is now quite widely acknowledged that financial speculation was the major factor behind the sharp price rise of many primary commodities , including agricultural items over the past year [2011]... Even recent research from the World Bank (Bafis and Haniotis 2010) recognizes the role played by the “financialisation of commodities” in the price surges and declines, and notes that price variability has overwhelmed price trends for important commodities.” (Quoted in Speculation in Agricultural Commodities: Driving up the Price of Food Worldwide and plunging Millions into Hunger By Edward Miller, October 05, 2011)

The artificial hikes in the price of crude oil, which are also the result of market manipulation, have a pervasive impact on costs of production and transportation Worldwide, which in turn contribute to spearheading thousands of small and medium sized enterprises into bankruptcy.

Big Oil including BP as well Goldman Sachs exert a pervasive impact on the oil and energy markets.

The global economic crisis is a carefully engineered.

The end result of financial warfare is the appropriation of money wealth through speculative trade including the confiscation of savings, the outright appropriation of real economy assets as well as the destabilization of the institutions of the Federal State through the adoption of sweeping austerity measures.

The speculative onslaught led by Wall Street is not only impoverishing the American people, the entire World population is affected.

Reply
SOVEREIGN DEBT FOR TERRITORY: NEW GLOBAL ELITE SWAP STRATEGY
http://rt.com/op-edge/179772-sovereign-d...territory/

Adrian Salbuchi is a political analyst, author, speaker and radio/TV commentator in Argentina.

In recent decades, dozens of sovereign nations have fallen into ever-deepening trouble by becoming indebted with the “private megabank over-world” for amounts far, far in excess of what they can ever pay back.

Is this due to bankers’ professional malpractice coupled with government mismanagement on a truly grand scale? Or are we seeing global power elite long-term planners slowly achieving their goals?

It takes two to dance the tango

Recurrent sovereign debt crises reflect neither “over-lending mistakes” by bankers and investors, nor “innocence” on the part of successive governments in deeply indebted nations.

Rather, it all ties in with a global model for domination driven by a system of perpetual national debt which I have called “The Shylock Model”.

As with the tango which requires rhythm and bravado, Argentina is again dancing centre-stage to global mega-bankers’ financial tunes after falling into a new “technical default”. Not just because the country is unable to pay off its massive public debt by heeding the “rules of the game” as written and continuously re-vamped by global usurers, but now with added legal immorality and judicial indecency on the part of New York’s Second District Manhattan Court presided by Judge Daniel Griesa.

Griesa has shown no qualms in putting US law at the service of immoral parasitic “bankers and investors” such as Paul Singer of the Elliott/NML Fund and Mark Brodsky of the Aurelius Fund.

The mainstream media inside and outside Argentina refer to these parasitic money “sloshers” as “vulture funds”; a conceptual mistake because one might then be led to believe that other funds and bankers - Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, George Soros, Rothschild, Warburg - are not “vultures” when, in fact, the very foundations of today’s global banking system lie on parasitic pro-vulture rules and laws coupled with an overpowering lack of moral values.

Sovereign debt

Sovereign debts are a major problem in just about every country in the world, including the US, UK and EU nations. So much so, those debts have become a Damocles’ Swords threatening the livelihood of untold billions of workers around the world.

One often wonders why governments indebt themselves for so much more than they can ever hope to pay… Here, Western economists, bankers, traders, Ivy League academics and professors, Nobel laureates and the mainstream media have a quick and monolithic reply: because all nations need “investment and investors” if they wish to build highways, power plants, schools, airports, hospitals, raise armies, service infrastructures and a long list of et ceteras, economic and national activities are all about.

But more and more people are starting to ask a fundamental common-sense question: why should governments indebt themselves in hard currencies, decades into the future with global mega-bankers, when they could just as well finance these projects and needs far more safely by issuing the proper amounts of their own local sovereign currency instead?

Here is where all the above “experts” go berserk & ballistic, shouting back: “Issue currency? Are you crazy?? That’s against the “rules & laws” of economics!!! Issuing national sovereign currency to finance the real economy’s monetary needs leads to inflation and lost jobs and chaos and… (puts us nice mega-bankers out of a job…)!!.” That’s when they all gang-up into noisy “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!!” mode.

Then you ask them: What happens when countries default on their unpayable sovereign debts - as they invariably and repeatedly do - not just in Argentina, but in Brazil, Spain, Venezuela, France, Costa Rica, Peru, El Salvador, Portugal, Russia, Bolivia, Iceland, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Thailand, Nigeria, Mexico, and Indonesia?

Again the voice of the “experts”: “Then countries must “restructure” their debts kicking them forwards 20, 40 or more years into the future, so that your great, great, great grandchildren can continue paying them”. Oh, I see!

The truth is that countries need public spending to maintain their economies resilient and buoyant, their citizens working, prospering and happy; their nation-states sovereign, strong and secure.

OK: happy, secure and working populations cannot be defined as a formula that can be readily integrated into “expert” economists’ spreadsheets. However, there’s a basic truth that should be obvious by now: Finance (which is the virtual world of bankers, investments, speculation and usury) should always be fully subordinated to the Real Economy (which is the world of work, production, buildings, milk & bread and services).

All this begs the obvious question: Since governments have a natural tendency to overspend and end up getting themselves into too much debt, which is the better option then:

- that their “red numbers” (aka sovereign debt) should be owed to themselves; their own nation-states (debt in local currency that in the last instance can be written off, even if a bad bout of inflation cannot be stopped, countries can always revamp their currencies as Argentina repeatedly did over the past forty years), whereby the whole “debt crisis” basically becomes a short-term internal affair (albeit painful!), or…

- to convert those “red numbers” into foreign currency debt (US Dollars or Euro) fully controlled by powerful far-away, well-organized creditor-technocrats and global mega-bankers sitting at the FED and IMF in Washington DC; the European Central Bank in Frankfurt; or perched in eager expectation in their Wall Street vulture nests?

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me
This tongue-twister, which famously proved too much for Baby Bush to muster, is a fitting description of how the hellish sovereign debt system really works in the long-term.

Argentina’s recurrent defaults and debt restructuring go back many decades. For brevity’s sake, let’s just point to 1956 right after President Juan Domingo Perón was ousted by a very bloody 1955 US-UK (and mega-banker) sponsored military coup.

Argentina's political leader and former president Juan Domingo Peron and his wife Isabel Peron (AFP Photo)Argentina's political leader and former president Juan Domingo Peron and his wife Isabel Peron (AFP Photo)

Perón was hated for his insistence on not indebting Argentina with the mega-bankers: in 1946 he rejected joining the International Monetary Fund (IMF); in 1953 he fully paid off all of Argentina’s sovereign debt. So, once the mega-bankers got rid of him in 1956, they shoved Argentina into the IMF and created the “Paris Club” to engineer decades-worth of sovereign debt for vanquished Argentina, something they’ve been doing until today.

But each sovereign-debt crisis cycle became shorter, more virulent and more toxic.

By December 2001, Argentina had collapsed financially sinking into the largest sovereign debt default in history. Immediately, the IMF’s deputy manager Anne Krueger proposed some “new and creative ideas” on what to do about Argentina.

She published them in 2002 in an article on the IMF’s website: “Should Countries like Argentina be able to declare themselves bankrupt?”, in which she said that “the lesson is clear: we need better incentives to bring debtors and creditors together before manageable problems turn into full-blown crises”, adding that the IMF believes “this could be done by learning from corporate bankruptcy regimes like Chapter 11 in the US”.

She pointed this out as “a possible new approach”, adding that “of course many practical and political obstacles to getting such an approach up and running” needed to be overcome, the “key features would need the force of law throughout the world”, creating “a predictable (global) legal framework”.

From the stance of global mega-bankers’ geopolitical long-term planners, Ms Krueger’s proposal consisted of first gradually driving countries into receivership, and then sequentially into full-fledged bankruptcy.

Then as if nations were private corporations like Enron or WorldCom - they could be broken up into as many “digestible” pieces as possible, to be gobbled up by international creditors in some global vulture-fest banquet.

These ideas were developed in greater detail in her IMF essay, “A New Approach to Debt Restructuring”, and in a “Foreign Affairs” (mouthpiece of the powerful New York-Based Elite think-tank, Council on Foreign Relations) article published in July/August 2002 by Harvard professor Richard N Cooper: “Chapter 11 for Countries”.

Here, Cooper very matter-of-factly recommends that “only if the debtor nation cannot restore its financial health are its assets liquidated and the proceeds distributed to its creditors – again under the guidance of a (global) court” (!).

During those turbulent years, the global press – Time and The New York Times, for example – even suggested that the immensely rich Patagonia southern region should secede from Argentina as a defaulted debt payment mechanism.

In June 2005, however, a new sovereign debt bond mega-swap was instrumented by Argentina’s new president, Nestor Kirchner, and his Finance Minister Roberto Lavagna.

However, as Argentina became more and more structurally mired in debt, its sovereign debt crisis cycle grew shorter and shorter so that by 2010 a new debt crisis was in the books involving yet more debt reengineering, this time by President Cristina Kirchner and her Economy Minister (and today prosecuted Vice President) Amado Boudou.

But that too failed to hold for long, and today Singer’s NML/Elliot Fund and Brodsky’s Aurelius Fund have pushed Argentina again into default, this time with the legal backing of local Manhattan Federal Judge Griesa and the US Supreme Court.

The very fact that today the fate of Argentina’s sovereign debt lies with the US Judiciary is an eloquent sign of things to come.

Don’t kill the hen that lays golden eggs!
Surprisingly, Ms Krueger recently came out in “defense” of Argentina recommending Judge Griesa and his “Vulture Nest” boys should not act hastily killing off the Argentine hen that lays golden eggs.

In an article published July 2014, she warns that the “US Supreme Court’s decision on Argentina adds a new wrinkle, and may very well further increase the risk attached to holding sovereign debt and this, to the cost of issuing it.”

The specialized and mainstream media - Financial Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Economist - are also recommending Judge Griesa and his vulture chicks to show more restraint because in today’s delicate post-2008 banking system, a new and less controllable sovereign debt crisis could thwart the global elite’s plans for an “orderly transition towards a new global legal architecture” that will allow orderly liquidation of financially-failed states like Argentina. Especially if such debt were to be collateralized by its national territory (what else is left!?)

Will yet another sovereign debt bond mega-swap be imposed upon Argentina, this time with large swathes of its national territory – especially Patagonia – being used as collateral guarantee?

That would mean that in a few years’ time the Shylocks in Wall Street and London will do everything they can to yet again push Argentina into default, since that would pave the way for them to “legally” take over its territory cashing in on their collateral as “compensation”.

Remember: usurer Shylock drooled at the mouth whilst sharpening his knife preparing to cut deep into Merchant Antonio’s heart. He didn’t give a damn about the 3000 ducats owed him: he just wanted the pound of flesh “legally” his.

Is this what the coming “Sovereign Debt Model” will look like?

If we tie this all in with what the unfolding of “Act III” in the on-going Israel-Palestine crisis whereby re-settling millions of Israeli civilians into southern Argentina might be on the drawing board, we can then begin to understand how nicely Argentina’s next debt crisis will tie in: The global Rothschild’s, Warburg’s, Lazard’s, Soros, Rockefellers will be able to “legally” take over Patagonia, and then “legally” hand it over to whomever they wish without a single shot being fired!

If this is what’s really happening behind-the-curtains regarding Argentina, does anybody believe it will stop there?

Beware Greece, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Korea, Japan, Ukraine, Brazil, South Africa – the world government is marching in!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)