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Paul Gallagher

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...."

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.

Nancy Spannaus

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?


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THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL MELTDOWN - by moeenyaseen - 08-27-2006, 09:59 AM

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