Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Global Financial System, the International Banking Cartel, and More!

China-Russia currency agreement further threatens U.S. dollar
By Hao Li
November 24, 2010
China and Russia have agreed to allow their currencies to trade against each other in spot inter-bank markets.
The motive is to "promote the bilateral trade between China and Russia, facilitate the cross-border trade settlement of [the yuan], and meet the needs of economic entities to reduce the conversion cost," according to Chinese officials.
This latest move -- a continuation in a series of efforts by both countries to move away from U.S. dollar usage in international trade -- further threatens the dollar's reserve currency status.
The dollar has this status because it is currently the currency of international trade.
For example, when Malaysia and Germany exchange goods, the transaction is often denominated in dollars.
In particular, oil -- something that all modern economies need -- is denominated in U.S. dollars, so the currency is almost as indispensable as oil itself.
The dollar reserve currency status allows the U.S. to run up high deficits and have its debt be denominated in the U.S. dollar, which in turn enables it to print unlimited dollars and inflate its way out of debt. America, understandably, wants to protect these privileges.
In fact, some allege that the U.S. wants to protect this status so badly that it invaded Iraq because the country began selling oil in euros instead of dollars. Now, the U.S. is allegedly threatening Iran because of the country's desire to use euros or Russian rubles in oil transactions.
Meanwhile, China and Russia are gradually revolting against the U.S. dollar. This latest move to shift bilateral trade away from it is significant in itself because China-Russian trade -- previously denominated in dollars -- is currently around $40 billion per year. For Russia, trade with China is larger than trade with the U.S.
Moreover, as this policy extends to Russian exports of oil and natural gas to China, it threatens the global "petro-currency" status of the U.S. dollar.
According to the International Energy Agency, China is already the largest consumer of energy, although the U.S. is still the largest consumer of oil. However, China, now the largest automobile market in the world, is expected to rapidly increase oil consumption.
Russia is already the second biggest oil exporter and the biggest natural gas exporter in the world.
In other words, the growing importance of Russia and China in the global energy picture -- and their phasing out of dollar usage for trading energy commodities -- would marginalize the status of the dollar.
Russian ambitions against the dollar for energy exports go back to 2006. That year, former President
Vladimir Putin made plans to set up a ruble-denominated oil and natural gas stock exchange in Russia.
"The ruble must become a more widespread means of international transactions. To this end, we need to open a stock exchange in Russia to trade in oil, gas, and other goods to be paid for with rubles…Our goods are traded on global markets. Why are they not traded in Russia," said Putin, according to RIA Novosti.
For China, it is promoting the use of yuan as a trade settlement currency in Asia. Recently, it allowed its currency to trade against the Malaysian ringgit. Just like the deal with Russia, the purpose of that agreement was to "promote bilateral trade between China and Malaysia and facilitate using the yuan to settle cross-border trade."
Trade is the major reason for the demand of foreign currencies in the first place. So as countries like China and Russia phase out the usage of U.S. dollars for international trade -- including but not limited to oil trade -- its status as the world's reserve currency will continue to slide.
Predatory Finance: The New Mode of Global Warfare
By Michael Hudson
Global Research, October 12, 2010
“Coming events cast their shadows forward.” – Goethe
What is to stop U.S. banks and their customers from creating $1 trillion, $10 trillion or even $50 trillion on their computer keyboards to buy up all the bonds and stocks in the world, along with all the land and other assets for sale, in the hope of making capital gains and pocketing the arbitrage spreads by debt leveraging at less than 1% interest cost? This is the game that is being played today. The outflow of dollar credit into foreign markets in pursuit of this strategy has bid up asset prices and foreign currencies, enabling speculators to pay off their U.S. positions in cheaper dollars, keeping for themselves the currency shift as well as the arbitrage interest-rate margin.
Finance has become the new mode of warfare – without the expense of military overhead and an occupation against unwilling hosts. It is a competition in credit creation to buy global real estate and natural resources, infrastructure, bonds and corporate stock ownership. Who needs an army when you can obtain monetary wealth and asset appropriation simply by financial means? Victory promises to go to the economy whose banking system can create the most credit, using an army of computer keyboards to appropriate the world’s resources.
The main hurdle confronting this financial Lebensraum drive is that it requires the central banks of targeted economies to accept electronic dollar credit of depreciating international worth in payment for national assets.
U.S. officials demonize countries suffering these dollar inflows as aggressive “currency manipulators” for what Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner calls ‘competitive nonappreciation,’ in which countries block their currencies from rising in value.” Oscar Wilde would have struggled to find a more convoluted term for other countries protecting themselves from raiders trying to force up their currencies to make enormous predatory fortunes. “Competitive nonappreciation” sounds like “conspiratorial non-suicide.” These countries simply are trying to protect their currencies from arbitrageurs and speculators flooding their financial markets with dollars, sweeping their currencies up and down to extract billions of dollars from their central banks.
Their central banks are being forced to choose between passively letting these inflows push up their exchange rates – thereby pricing their exports out of foreign markets – or recycling these inflows into U.S. Treasury bills yielding only 1% with declining exchange value. (Longer-term bonds risk a price decline if U.S interest rates should rise.)
The euphemism for flooding economies with credit is “quantitative easing.” The Federal Reserve is pumping a tidal wave of liquidity and reserves into the financial system to reduce interest rates, ostensibly to enable banks to “earn their way” out of negative equity resulting from the bad loans made during the real estate bubble. This liquidity is spilling over to foreign economies, increasing their exchange rates. Joseph Stiglitz recently acknowledged that instead of helping the global recovery, the “flood of liquidity” from the Fed and the European Central Bank is causing “chaos” in foreign exchange markets. “The irony is that the Fed is creating all this liquidity with the hope that it will revive the American economy. ... It’s doing nothing for the American economy, but it’s causing chaos over the rest of the world.”
What U.S. quantitative easing is achieving is to drive the dollar down and other currencies up, much to the applause of currency speculators enjoying quick and easy gains. Yet it is to defend this system that U.S. diplomats and bank lobbyists are threatening to derail the international financial system and plunge world trade into anarchy if other countries do not agree to a replay of the 1985 Plaza Accord “as a possible framework for engineering an orderly decline in the dollar and avoiding potentially destabilizing trade fights.”
The Plaza Accord derailed Japan’s economy by raising its exchange rate while lowering interest rates, flooding its economy with enough credit to inflate a real estate bubble. IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn was more realistic. “I’m not sure the mood is to have a new Plaza or Louvre accord,” he said at a press briefing on the eve of the IMF meetings in Washington. “We are in a different time today.” Acknowledging the need for “some element of capital controls [to] be put in place,” he added that in view of U.S. insistence on open, unprotected capital markets, “The idea that there is an absolute need in a globalised world to work together may lose some steam.”
At issue is how long nations will succumb to the speculative dollar glut. The world is being forced to choose between subordination to U.S. economic nationalism or an interim of financial anarchy. Nations are responding by seeking to create an alternative international financial system, risking an anarchic transition period in order to create a fairer world economy.
Re-inflating the financial bubble rather than writing down debts
The global financial system already has seen one long and unsuccessful experiment in quantitative easing in Japan’s carry trade.
After its financial and property bubble burst in 1990, the Bank of Japan sought to enable its banks to “earn their way out of negative equity” by supplying them with low-interest credit for them to lend out. Japan’s recession left little demand at home, so its banks developed the carry trade: lending at a low interest rate to arbitrageurs to buy higher-yielding securities. Iceland, for example, was paying 15%. So yen were borrowed to convert into dollars, euros, Icelandic kroner and Chinese renminbi to buy government bonds, private-sector bonds, stocks, currency options and other financial intermediation. Not much of this funding was used to finance new capital formation. It was purely financial in character – extractive, not productive.
By 2006 the United States and Europe were experiencing a financial and real estate bubble of its own. And after it burst in 2008, they did what Japan’s banks did after 1990. Seeking to help U.S. banks work their way out of negative equity, the Federal Reserve flooded the economy with credit. The aim was to provide more liquidity, in the hope that banks would lend more to domestic borrowers. The economy would “borrow its way out of debt,” re-inflating asset prices for real estate, stocks and bonds so as to deter home foreclosures and the ensuing wipeout of collateral on bank balance sheets.
Quantitative easing subsidizes U.S. capital flight, pushing up non-dollar currency exchange rates
Quantitative easing may not have set out to disrupt the global trade and financial system or start a round of currency speculation, but that is the result of the Fed’s decision in 2008 to keep unpayably high debts from defaulting by re-inflating U.S. real estate and financial markets.
The aim is to pull home ownership out of negative equity, rescuing the banking system’s balance sheets and thus saving the government from having to indulge in a TARP II, which looks politically impossible given the mood of most Americans.
The announced objective is not materializing. Instead of increasing their loans against U.S. real estate, consumers or businesses, banks are still reducing their exposure. This is why the U.S. savings rate is jumping. The “saving” that is reported (up from zero to 3% of GDP) is taking the form of paying down debts taken out in the past, not building up liquid funds.
Just as hoarding diverts revenue away from being spent on goods and services, so debt repayment shrinks spendable income. Why then would banks lend more under conditions where a third of U.S. homes already are in negative equity and the economy is shrinking as a result of debt deflation?
Mr. Bernanke proposes to solve this problem by injecting another $1 trillion of liquidity over the coming year, on top of the $2 trillion in new Federal Reserve credit already created during 2009-10. This
quantitative easing has been sent abroad, mainly to the BRIC countries: Brazil, Russia, India and China. “Recent research at the International Monetary Fund has shown conclusively that G4 monetary easing has in the past transferred itself almost completely to the emerging economies … since 1995, the stance of monetary policy in Asia has been almost entirely determined by the monetary stance of the G4 – the US, eurozone, Japan and China – led by the Fed.” According to the IMF, “equity prices in Asia and Latin America generally rise when excess liquidity is transferred from the G4 to the emerging economies.” This is what has led gold prices to surge and investors to move out of the dollar since early September, prompting other nations to protect their economies.
Speculative credit from U.S., Japanese and British banks to buy bonds, stocks and currencies in the BRIC and Third World countries is a self-feeding expansion, pushing up their currencies as well as their asset prices. Their central banks end up with these dollars, whose value falls as measured in their own local currencies. U.S. officials say that this is all part of the free market. “It is not good for the world for the burden of solving this broader problem … to rest on the shoulders of the United States,” insisted Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on Wednesday, as if the spillover from U.S. quantitative easing and deregulation was not promoting the speculative dollar glut.
So other countries are obliged to solve the problem on their own. Japan is holding down its exchange rate by selling yen and buying U.S. Treasury bonds in the face of its carry trade being unwound as arbitrageurs pay back the yen they earlier borrowed to buy higher-yielding but increasingly risky sovereign debt from countries such as Greece. These paybacks have pushed up the yen’s exchange rate by 12% against the dollar so far during 2010, prompting Bank of Japan governor Masaaki Shirakawa to announce on Tuesday, October 5, that Japan had “no choice” but to “spend 5 trillion yen ($60 billion) to buy government bonds, corporate IOUs, real-estate investment trust funds and exchange-traded funds – the latter two a departure from past practice.”
This “sterilization” of unwanted inflows is what the United States has criticized China for doing. China has tried more normal ways to recycle its trade surplus, by seeking out U.S. companies to buy. But Congress would not let CNOOC buy into U.S. oil refinery capacity a few years ago, and the Canadian government is now being urged to block China’s attempt to purchase its potash resources. Such protectionism leaves little option for China and other countries except to hold their currencies stable by purchasing U.S. and European government bonds.
The problem for all countries today is that as presently structured, the global financial system rewards
speculation and makes it difficult for central banks to maintain stability without recycling dollar inflows to the U.S. Government, which enjoys a near monopoly in providing the world’s central bank reserves by running budget and balance-of-payments deficits. As noted earlier, arbitrageurs obtain a twofold gain: the margin between Brazil’s nearly 12% yield on its long-term government bonds and the cost of U.S. credit (1%), plus the foreign-exchange gain resulting from the fact that the outflow from dollars into reals has pushed up the real’s exchange rate some 30% – from R$2.50 at the start of 2009 to R$1.75 last week. Taking into account the ability to leverage $1 million of one’s own equity investment to buy $100 million of foreign securities, the rate of return is 3000% since January 2009.
Brazil has been more a victim than a beneficiary of what is euphemized as a “capital inflow.” The inflow of foreign money has pushed up the real by 4% in just over a month (from September 1 through early October),
and the past year’s run-up has eroded the competitiveness of Brazilian exports. To deter the currency’s rise, the government imposed a 4% tax on foreign purchases of its bonds on October 4. “It’s not only a currency war,” Finance Minister Guido Mantega explained. “It tends to become a trade war and this is our concern.” Thailand’s central bank director Wongwatoo Potirat warned that his country was considering similar taxes and currency trade restrictions to stem the baht’s rise. Subir Gokarn, deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India, announced that his country also was reviewing defenses against the “potential threat” of inward capital flows.”
Such inflows do not provide capital for tangible investment. They are predatory, and cause currency fluctuation that disrupts trade patterns while creating enormous trading profits for large financial institutions and their customers. Yet most discussions treat the balance of payments and exchange rates as if they were determined purely by commodity trade and “purchasing power parity,” not by the financial flows and military spending that actually dominate the balance of payments. The reality is that today’s financial interregnum – anarchic “free” markets prior to countries hurriedly putting up their own monetary defenses – provides the arbitrage opportunity of the century. This is what bank lobbyists have been pressing for. It has little to do with the welfare of workers in their own country.
The potentially largest speculative prize promises to be an upward revaluation of China’s renminbi. The House Ways and Means Committee is demanding that China raise its exchange rate by the 20 percent that
the Treasury and Federal Reserve are suggesting. Revaluation of this magnitude would enable speculators to put down 1% equity – say, $1 million to borrow $99 million – and buy Chinese renminbi forward. The revaluation being demanded would produce a 2000% profit of $20 million by turning the $100 million bet (and just $1 million “serious money”) into $120 million. Banks can trade on much larger, nearly infinitely leveraged margins, much like drawing up CDO swaps and other derivative plays.
This kind of money has been made by speculating on Brazilian, Indian and Chinese securities and those of other countries whose exchange rates have been forced up by credit-flight out of the dollar, which has fallen by 7% against a basket of currencies since early September when the Federal Reserve floated the prospect of quantitative easing. During the week leading up to the IMF meetings in Washington, the Thai baht and Indian rupee soared in anticipation that the United States and Britain would block any attempts by foreign countries to change the financial system and curb disruptive currency gambling.
This capital outflow from the United States has indeed helped domestic banks rebuild their balance sheets, as the Fed intended. But in the process the international financial system has been victimized as collateral damage. This prompted Chinese officials to counter U.S. attempts to blame it for running a trade surplus by retorting that U.S. financial aggression “risked bringing mutual destruction upon the great economic powers.”
From the gold-exchange standard to the Treasury-bill standard to “free credit” anarchy
Indeed, the standoff between the United States and other countries at the IMF meetings in Washington this weekend threatens to cause the most serious rupture since the breakdown of the London Monetary Conference in 1933. The global financial system threatens once again to break apart, deranging the world’s trade and investment relationships – or to take a new form that will leave the United States isolated in the face of its structural long-term balance-of-payments deficit.
This crisis provides an opportunity – indeed, a need – to step back and review the longue durée of international financial evolution to see where past trends are leading and what paths need to be re-tracked. For many centuries prior to 1971, nations settled their balance of payments in gold or silver. This “money of the world,” as Sir James Steuart called gold in 1767, formed the basis of domestic currency as well. Until 1971 each U.S. Federal Reserve note was backed 25% by gold, valued at $35 an ounce. Countries had to obtain gold by running trade and payments surpluses in order to increase their money supply to facilitate general economic expansion. And when they ran trade deficits or undertook military campaigns, central banks restricted the supply of domestic credit to raise interest rates and attract foreign financial inflows.
As long as this behavioral condition remained in place, the international financial system operated fairly smoothly under checks and balances, albeit under “stop-go” policies when business expansions led to trade and payments deficits. Countries running such deficits raised their interest rates to attract foreign capital, while slashing government spending, raising taxes on consumers and slowing the domestic economy so as to reduce the purchase of imports.
What destabilized this system was war spending. War-related transactions spanning World Wars I and II
enabled the United States to accumulate some 80% of the world’s monetary gold by 1950. This made the dollar a virtual proxy for gold. But after the Korean War broke out, U.S. overseas military spending accounted for the entire payments deficit during the 1950s and ‘60s and early ‘70s, while private-sector trade and investment were exactly in balance.
By August 1971, war spending in Vietnam and other foreign countries forced the United States to suspend gold convertibility of the dollar through sales via the London Gold Pool. But largely by inertia, central banks continued to settle their payments balances in U.S. Treasury securities. After all, there was no other asset in sufficient supply to form the basis for central bank monetary reserves. But replacing gold – a pure asset – with dollar-denominated U.S. Treasury debt transformed the global financial system. It became debt-based, not asset-based. And geopolitically, the Treasury-bill standard made the United States immune from the traditional balance-of-payments and financial constraints, enabling its capital markets to become more highly debt-leveraged and “innovative.” It also enabled the U.S. Government to wage foreign policy and military campaigns without much regard for the balance of payments.
The problem is that the supply of dollar credit has become potentially infinite. The “dollar glut” has grown in proportion to the U.S. payments deficit. Growth in central bank reserves and sovereign-country funds has taken the form of recycling of dollar inflows into new purchases of U.S. Treasury securities – thereby making foreign central banks (and taxpayers) responsible for financing most of the U.S. federal budget deficit. The fact that this deficit is largely military in nature – for purposes that many foreign voters oppose – makes this lock-in particularly galling. So it hardly is surprising that foreign countries are seeking an alternative.
Contrary to most public media posturing, the U.S. payments deficit – and hence, other countries’ payments surpluses – is not primarily a trade deficit. Foreign military spending has accelerated despite the Cold War ending with dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Even more important has been rising capital outflows from the United States. Banks lent to foreign governments from Third World countries to other deficit countries to cover their national payments deficits, to private borrowers to buy the foreign infrastructure being privatized or to buy foreign stocks and bonds, and to arbitrageurs to borrow at a low interest rate to buy higher-yielding securities abroad.
The corollary is that other countries’ balance-of-payments surpluses do not stem primarily from trade relations, but from financial speculation and a spillover of U.S. global military spending. Under these conditions the maneuvering for quick returns by banks and their arbitrage customers is distorting exchange rates for international trade. U.S. “quantitative easing” is coming to be perceived as a euphemism for a predatory financial attack on the rest of the world. Trade and currency stability are part of the “collateral damage” caused by the Federal Reserve and Treasury flooding the economy with liquidity to re-inflate U.S. asset prices. Faced with this quantitative easing flooding the economy with reserves to “save the banks” from negative equity, all countries are obliged to act as “currency manipulators.” So much money is made by purely financial speculation that “real” economies are being destroyed.
The coming capital controls
The global financial system is being broken up as U.S. monetary officials change the rules they laid down half a century ago. Prior to the United States going off gold in 1971, nobody dreamed that an economy could create unlimited credit on computer keyboards and not see its currency plunge. But that is what happens under the global Treasury-bill standard. Foreign countries can prevent their currencies from rising against the dollar (which prices their labor and exports out of foreign markets) only by (1) recycling dollar inflows into U.S. Treasury securities, (2) by imposing capital controls, or (3) by avoiding use of the dollar or other currencies used by financial speculators in economies promoting “quantitative easing.”
Malaysia used capital controls during the 1997 Asian Crisis to prevent short-sellers from covering their bets. This confronted speculators with a short squeeze that George Soros says made him lose money on the attempted raid. Other countries are now reviewing how to impose capital controls to protect themselves from the tsunami of credit flowing into their currencies and buying up their assets – along with gold and other commodities that are turning into vehicles for speculation rather than actual use in production. Brazil took a modest step along this path by using tax policy rather than outright capital controls when it taxed foreign buyers of its bonds last week.
If other nations take this route, it will reverse the policy of open and unprotected capital markets adopted after World War II. This trend threatens to lead to the kind of international monetary practice found from the 1930s into the ‘50s: dual exchange rates, one for financial movements and another for trade. It probably would mean replacing the IMF, World Bank and WTO with a new set of institutions, isolating U.S., British and eurozone representation.
To defend itself, the IMF is proposing to act as a “central bank” creating what was called “paper gold” in the late 1960s – artificial credit in the form of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). However, other countries already have complained that voting control remains dominated by the major promoters of arbitrage speculation – the United States, Britain and the eurozone. And the IMF’s Articles of Agreement prevent countries from protecting themselves, characterizing this as “interfering” with “open capital markets.” So the impasse reached this weekend appears to be permanent. As one report summarized matters: “‘There is only one obstacle, which is the agreement of the members,’ said a frustrated Mr Strauss Kahn.” He added: “The language is ineffective.”
Paul Martin, the former Canadian prime minister who helped create the G20 after the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis, noted that “the big powers were largely immune to being named and shamed.” And in a Financial Times interview, Mohamed El-Erian, a former senior IMF official and now chief executive of Pimco, said: “You have a burst pipe behind the wall and the water is coming out. You have to fix the pipe, not just patch the wall.”
The BRIC countries are simply creating their own parallel system. In September, China supported a Russian proposal to start direct trading between the yuan and the ruble. It has brokered a similar deal with Brazil. And on the eve of the IMF meetings in Washington on Friday, October 8, Premier Wen stopped off in Istanbul to reach agreement with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan to use their own currencies in tripling Turkish-Chinese trade to $50 billion over the next five years, effectively excluding the U.S. dollar. “We are forming an economic strategic partnership … In all of our relations, we have agreed to use the lira and yuan,” Mr. Erdogan said.
On the deepest economic plane today’s global financial breakdown is part of the price to be paid for the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury refusing to accept a prime axiom of banking: Debts that cannot be paid, won’t be. They tried to “save” the banking system from debt write-downs in 2008 by keeping the debt overhead in place while re-inflating asset prices. In the face of the repayment burden shrinking the U.S. economy, the Fed’s idea of helping the banks “earn their way out of negative equity” is to provide opportunities for predatory finance, leading to a flood of financial speculation. Economies targeted by global speculators understandably are seeking alternative arrangements. It does not look like these can be achieved via the IMF or other international forums in ways that U.S. financial strategists will willingly accept.
Monopoly Money and the International Banking Cartel
Posted on August 12, 2010 by dvrabel
The Federal Reserve has been at the top of the news for a long time and it’s getting a lot of attention now as it appears the next down cycle in the depression may be upon us. So what’s the real reason the world listens so intently to an Ivy League bureaucrat like Bernanke? Of course, it has nothing to do with him. It’s who he is accountable to–the international banking cartel:
Bank of America Securities LLC
Cantor Fitzgerald & Co.
Citigroup Global Markets Inc.
Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Jefferies & Company, Inc.
J. P. Morgan Securities Inc.
Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc.
Barclays Capital Inc.
HSBC Securities (USA) Inc.
Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC
UBS Securities LLC.
Daiwa Capital Markets America Inc.
Mizuho Securities USA Inc.
Nomura Securities International, Inc.
Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.
BNP Paribas Securities Corp.
RBC Capital Markets Corp.
RBS Securities Inc.
These institutions are the current primary dealers of the Federal Reserve System. They have power over the
entire economy, everything in “the market,” very much a non-free market. They sit at the top of the world’s monetary system, currently the Fed’s debt-dollar pyramid, with a governmental license to what has been the most secure capital in the world–US Treasury debt–for a monopoly price that nobody else can get. And when it comes to global finance, the difference between the strongest banks vs. dying banks is just a few basis points in price (cost of capital).
These banks get first dibs on buying the servitude of the US population through the Fed/Treasury auction process. They distribute some of it to subordinate capital for a guaranteed premium, and they park a large amount of it on their own balance sheets as assets upon which they can speculate, trade, and fractionalize to create the rest of the money in the economy and put other countries, companies, and people in even more debt. So these institutions hold a monopoly position that even leviathan Standard Oil never dreamed of: a government-enforced usury license that generates trillions for their premium capital holders and senior employees and allows them to act as imperial armies sucking in more territory around the world as neoliberalism breaks down sovereignty.
This is why the country list above doesn’t mean what some may think. The institutions aren’t national. The list only indicates that the banking establishment has a permanent parasitic stake in those countries to churn their populations under the Fed’s debt system. All of the listed institutions are global in nature. Together with hedge funds and their other buy-side buddies, they have power over nations. Like any corporate institution, banks drive earnings per share (EPS) by expanding and leveraging their balance sheets, which for banks means putting everything else in more debt. So these cartel banks work to expand their territorial control beyond their national borders to put other populations in debt. This is a mathematical requirement of exponential growth enforced by the private capital system. The eventual end state of this dynamic is one integrated, global banking empire. It’s only a matter of time before their collective balance sheets (plus the large Chinese banks now that the cartel is colluding with them) control the rest of the world if people don’t awaken and choose to put a stop to it.
Will they succeed? The Fed system is in transition. The crash of 2008 was the first phase of global capital holders shifting their private capital out of the system so the Fed was forced to add public capital, i.e. your debt, into the system. More of this is likely coming. But does this mean the international banks behind the Fed are dying? No. They’ve simply transferred their bad assets to the public through the Fed and prepared to ramp up operations in Asia, which will be a primary churn center for the 21st century global banking system. Capital assets have been transferred, production assets have been transferred, and the capital holders can transfer much more capital in a short period of time if they so choose.
All the specifics of this coming transition may not be clear, but it is coming unless the global population says no. The banks have set up the ultimate voluntary test. If we continue to say yes by playing along with the banks and the multinational corporations they control, then they will have proven that a global empire ruled by an integrated banking system is preferred and possibly superior to independent countries. But they appear to be failing their own test. Ivy League neoliberalism has been exposed for what it is. The people are now indeed saying no.
Global Empire and the International Banking Cartel
Part II Global regulatory institutions
By Damon Vrabel Friday, August 20, 2010
Last week I wrote an article explaining what I mean by the international banking cartel that operationally rules the economy–the Federal Reserve primary dealers. Some astute readers wondered why I didn’t report on the global regulatory institutions that have power over that cartel. Good question. And others asked for more clarity on the cartel itself.
Regarding the first question, I purposely focused on the cartel because so many people still don’t believe it exists due to false free market propaganda. If people don’t realize that a cartel of predatory usury institutions operationally controls the US, then why would they care about the regulatory framework over those institutions?
But the point is well-taken. The article might have implied those 18 dealer banks have ultimate power. Not at all. The key word in the above paragraphs is “operationally.” The dealers operate within a larger framework. They do not strategically rule over the framework itself. The ultimate rulers are the most senior private capital pools in the world who use the dealers as capital laundering machines and who create their desired framework through the central banks, IMF, BIS, and political institutions like the European Union and G20.
Since WWII, their desired framework has been to fuel global empire by milking the US population through the debt-dollar system centered around the Fed. Now that the US has been milked dry, things are shifting to a new milking center for the 21st century–China. Behind the scenes will be the senior capital pools currently in London and New York and the banking establishment in Switzerland, but on the surface Asia will emerge with profound power as China becomes the operational center of a new global empire based on a new global currency. At that point, the key dealers will simply plug into that new system. The world will think this represents the end of the US empire. But a US empire never really existed. More accurately the US was simply the latest host of the parasitic international banking empire that leeches off countries and plays them against each other. The parasite will quietly slither into Asia while using its media to blame the US host for the damage it has done.
Now a few points of clarity for those who want to better understand the cartel dealers:
- They are not equal. Some play long-term strategic chess as they’re aligned with the senior capital pools
mentioned above. Others play the short-term profit game as the chess players allow them. Of the US firms, JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs are on top. While Goldman may appear to be #1 since its people have literally run key government agencies for about 20 years, I’d suggest that JPM Chase is preeminent. Not only does it have the most power due to its derivatives position, which gives it the highest claim on capital in the US, but also it’s the merger of the old aristocratic interests behind JP Morgan and the Rockefeller interests behind Chase Manhattan. So let’s just say it wouldn’t be in your financial interest to bet against this bank. Its power was demonstrated after the crash of 2008. The media suggested JPM emerged unscathed because it was the honest, good bank whereas bad, greedy banks failed. Yeah, and I live with Puff the Magic Dragon. Ask yourself, after the Corleone family killed the leaders of competitive families in The Godfather, did Congress investigate the losing families, or did they investigate Corleone? So why did Congress investigate the losing banks!? You don’t blame the firms that were driven out of business. You look to the firm that benefited most. The fact is, the crash of 2008 was the trigger for a restructuring M&A transaction of the US economy, and had there been a tombstone printed in the WSJ, just speculating here, the lead bank would have likely been JPM.
- Some members change over time. These are the short-term profit players. For example, Countrywide was a dealer while it helped inflate the real estate bubble and BT Alex Brown was a dealer while it helped inflate the first tech bubble. Both of them were leaders of their short-term niche markets because of their privileged risk/cost position as dealers, and both of them were acquired by senior dealers for a deep discount once senior capital was pulled, bursting their respective bubbles and leaving the losses in the hands of junior capital.
- The cartel is international, so we no longer live in a world of independent countries. It would be more appropriate to view countries as administrative districts of the banking system so the financial elite class can extract value from the lower and middle classes. One of the key insights from the movie Braveheart was how the royal elite from different countries cooperated with each other against the masses. Today it’s more sophisticated. The mathematical, formulaic banking system aligns the financial elite in different countries together against their populations by managing them as digits on a balance sheet. It’s a simple matter of math, accounting, and system management, not conspiracy.
- Both political parties serve the cartel. It controls and profits from the private sector corporate system (typically championed by the political right) and the government welfare system (typically championed by the political left). Choosing between Democrats and Republicans changes nothing.
- Finally, it means conventional wisdom about money is false. The problem isn’t that our money isn’t gold-backed. The problem isn’t fiat money. The problem is that all money is hierarchically controlled as an asset to private sector institutions and elite capital holders who have the ability to call-in their chips, i.e. your bank digits, whereas it’s an interest-bearing debt to governments and the people. This has immense ramifications I don’t have room to address here. Government neither prints money nor causes inflation in this system (if it would like the original colonies did to escape British banker austerity and usury, some of the current unemployed would have jobs and those losing their homes in foreclosure might find some relief). Rather, the cartel controls all money and drives inflation/deflation cycles. It has driven consistent inflation for 60+ years. So we are now facing painful deflation, or hyperinflation if the government makes a key mistake, as the senior capital pools attempt to bring about the new banking/currency framework. If the money system isn’t changed, the emergence of the 21st century global empire mentioned above is only a matter of time.