Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Are We Facing a Global Financial Crisis?

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The unpopular solution to the global debt crisis
High retirement ages have helped Scandinavians keep the issue under control. Other nations may have to follow suit
By Marcus Oscarsson, GlobalPost
Monday, Aug 15, 2011
STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- When France raised the retirement age from 60 to 62 last year, three million people took to the streets in protests.
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People march to protest a recently-passed pension reform bill in Marseille, France
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Not so in Sweden. The Scandinavian kingdom, which already has European Union's highest retirement age, plans to raise it even more. No protests are planned.
As Europe and the United States tackle crippling public debts, under the close watch of volatile markets, some countries have found a working solution. Adjusting the retirement age has proven a successful tool in the fight against skyrocketing public debts and budget deficits across Europe. Properly handled, it could help stabilize the increasingly shaky euro. But when sprung on an unsuspecting and unprepared population, it can bring protesters to the streets and bring down presidents.
It is not a pure coincidence that the economies of Sweden, Norway and Denmark are in better shape than those of Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal. The big difference in retirement age plays a big role. Sweden's statutory retirement age is 65 and the actual exit age, which is lower due to various early retirement schemes, is 64.3 according to Eurostat's most recent figures. That is the highest in the EU.
As most European nations implement severe austerity plans Sweden has instead reduced its income tax. The Nordic monarchy has been praised for weathering the global economic crisis and was called the "North Star" by The Economist for having an annual growth of 6 percent the first six months of 2011 and being the only EU member set to reduce its gross debt between 2008 and 2012. "We don't have to raise taxes or make any budget cuts," said Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg last week.
Earlier this year, Sweden launched a commission to study retirement. "As the life expectancy increases, more people need to work longer than today. Too many leave before turning 65. This is about increasing the actual exit age," said Sweden's Secretary of Social Insurances, Ulf Kristersson. The commission will consider limiting early retirement schemes, raising the age that workers are entitled to keep their jobs from 67 to 69, and further raising the statutory age of retirement. "More people need to work longer than today or the pensions will decrease," Kristersson said.
The Swedish plans did not spark a single street protest. Swedes put a lot of trust in their authorities and accept that the government plays a large role in citizens' lives, both taxing them heavily and paying generously for health care, education and family leave. Perhaps Swedes' trust is justified: Sweden consistently ranks as having low corruption in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index.
In contrast, when French President Nicholas Sarkozy said France had no choice but to raise its retirement age, one of Europe's lowest, from 60 to 62, it sparked seven one-day strikes across the nation. From Paris to Marseille workers rallied against Sarkozy, whose approval ratings plunged.
Meanwhile, Greece, Ireland and Portugal have been forced to accept bailouts from the EU and International Monetary Fund to keep their economies afloat. Italy and Spain have implemented harsh austerity measures. The skyrocketing pension costs hobbling the troubling economies are a general problem and northern European governments are disinclined to keep financing early retirements in the south.
Greeks, Portuguese and Irish can generally begin drawing pensions at age 65. But there are major differences in the actual exit age: Sweden has the same retirement age for both men and women but Greece, Italy and United Kingdom have 65 for men and 60 for women, despite a recent European Court of Justice ruling stating that different pension ages based on gender violates the principle of equal treatment. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has found that the effective age of retirement in many European countries, including Greece, Ireland, Spain and Italy, is years younger than the statutory age.
In the last two years, several EU members have had no choice but to raise the retirement age. Germany raised the retirement age from 65 to 67, Ireland and United Kingdom plan to raise it from 65 to 66, and Spain from 65 to 67. When Greece promised austerity in return for its bailout, Greek social affairs minister Andreas Loverdos said that the average actual retirement age would be raised from 53 to 67. "This is about saving the country from collapse," he told the Financial Times.
Following the recent U.S. budget deal, a congressional committee will have the daunting task of proposing more than $1 trillion worth of cuts by Thanksgiving. One possibility is to raise the age for Medicare eligibility to 67. If that happens, perhaps U.S. politicians should study how Italy sold its retirement age hike to the public last summer.
As pension reforms sparked outrage across Europe, the Italian parliament quietly increased the retirement age by more than three years. "It's Europe's most sweeping pension reform, without a single day of demonstrations," Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti said. The Berlusconi administration used a sophisticated method to raise the retirement age from 65 to 68.5 years by 2050 by adjusting it gradually according to life expectancy projections. The first adjustment will occur in 2015, the second in 2019 and subsequent adjustments every 3 years thereafter, saving the government more than $100 billion.
In response to the European Court of Justice ruling, the retirement age for women in the Italian public sector was raised from 61 to 65, to be the same as for men. Welfare minister Maurizio Sacconi said that Italy could have complied with the court ruling by lowering the retirement age for men to 61 -- but markets might have reacted badly.
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Greek Film Shows Way Out of Debt Bind
by Henry Makow Ph.D.
June 20, 2011
"Debtocracy" introduces the concept of "odious debt" and points to strong precedents for repudiating national debt.
"At first we thought this predatory IMF behavior was reserved for the Third World, but now it's clear Europe and America are also in their cross-hairs."
Debtocracy" a 75-minute documentary made for $15K has inflamed popular resistance in Greece by casting the debt crisis in a new light.
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Seen on the Internet by over a million Greeks, the film convincingly argues that the debt is a neo-liberal ("Economic Hitman") scam and there are strong precedents for repudiating it.
The brainchild of Costas Lapavitsas, an economist and professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, the film introduces the concept of "odious debt" which was used in 2003 by the United States to renounce Saddam Hussein's $120 B debt to Russia and France.
Defined by Russian economist Alexander Sacks in the 1920's, "odious debt" is incurred by a despotic power, "not for the needs or in the interest of the State, but to strengthen its despotic regime, to repress the population that fights against it, etc., this debt is odious for the population of all the State."
He went on. "This debt is not an obligation for the nation; it is a regime's debt." Sack called it "a personal debt of the power that has incurred it." When this power falls, that debt "consequently . . . falls with the fall of this power."
Sack also considered a debt odious when, "the loans incurred by members of the government or by persons or groups associated with the government to serve interests manifestly personal - interests that are unrelated to the interests of the State." A bribe is an example of a manifestly personal interest.
Now, in order for a debt to be deemed "odious," Sack said that the lender must also be aware that the loan is "contrary to the interests of the nation."
In this case, Professor Sack said, "the creditors have committed a hostile act" against the people. They can't therefore expect that a nation freed from a despotic power will assume the 'odious' debts, which he called "personal debts of that power."
As we shall see, these criteria apply to Greece. But first the film looks at:
Equador
The Illuminati banker - IMF method of absorbing the world's wealth is well documented. They bribe corrupt regimes to incur huge debts for costly boondoggles built by companies owned by the same bankers. Then the bankers make their targets repay these "loans" (created out of thin air) by accepting severe "austerity" programs and privatizing national enterprises and resources.
At first we thought this predatory behavior was reserved for the Third World, but now it's clear Europe and America are also in their cross-hairs.
Rafael Correa, the President of Equador didn't think the majority of his government's income should be used to service the national debt. He ordered an "audit committee" to investigate how this debt was incurred and discovered that 70% of it was due to the corruption of prior regimes.
He renounced that debt. Equador's bonds fell to 20 cents on the dollar. His government secretly bought it back and saved seven billion dollars in interest.
Interestingly, many civil servants at the Ministry of Finance refused to cooperate with the audit committee. This emphasizes that there is always a class which is in cahoots with the bankers and profits at the expense of the people.
Greece
The banker-owned mass media has put out the story that Greece's problems are due to bloated bureaucracy and a crippled tax system. But "Debtocracy" documents a pattern of wasteful boondoggles from which the bankers and the ruling class benefited.
These include bribes and kickbacks from the German conglomerate Siemens to build the Athens subway system and a $1.1 B boondoggle for "security" at the 2004 Athens Olympic games.
But the most costly expenditure has been billions for unnecessary weaponry -- aircraft and submarines -- bought from European manufacturers owned by the same bankers.
Conclusion
It's clear that the Illuminati bankers intend to use debt to enslave and impoverish us. They will use the specter of financial mayhem to extort the money from us.
Like Greece, our governments will have a choice. Either default on the debt or default on the people. Our puppet politicians have been defaulting on us for a long time. We need to use the concept of "odious debt" to ensure they stop now.
The bankers' credit scam cannot go on for ever. Eventually the social contract will break down as is happening in Greece. This is why the bankers are creating a New World Order police state, under the pretext of a war on terror.
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Collapse: It's Coming! Are You Ready?
by Gerald Celente
June 15, 2011
Everything is not all right. And things are going to get worse … much worse. The economy is on the threshold of calamity. Wars are spreading like wildfires. The world is on a razor’s edge.
Not so, say world leaders and mainstream media experts. Yes, there are problems, but the financiers and politicians are aware of them. Policies are already in place and measures are being taken to correct them.
Whether it’s failing economies, intractable old wars or raging new wars, the word from the top always maintains that steady progress is being made and comforts the populace with assurances that the brightest minds and the sharpest generals are in charge and on the case. On all fronts, success is certain and victory is at hand. Only “patience” is required … along with more men, more time and more money.
As far as these “leaders” and their media are concerned, the only opinions that count come from a stable of thoroughbred experts, official sources and political favorites. Only they have the credentials to speak with authority and provide trustworthy forecasts. That they are consistently, if not invariably, wrong apparently does nothing to diminish their credibility.
How can any thinking adult possibly imagine that the same central bankers, financiers and politicians responsible for creating the economic crisis are capable of resolving it? Within days of its announcement, we predicted that Bush’s TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) was destined to fail, and subsequently predicted the same for Obama’s stimulus package (The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act). They were no more than cover-ups; there would be no recovery.
Meet the New Plan, Same as the Old Plan
Democrat or Republican, it makes no difference. Despite the heated rhetoric, solving economic problems had less to do with the party in power and more to do with professional competence.Both sides had their turn in office. Both used their power to initiate policies that created the problems. Both sides had their shot at fixing the messes they were responsible for. Both sides failed, as we predicted. Given who they are and what they’ve done, we confidently predict an unbroken sequence of bipartisan failures in the future.
The Beltway Incompetents are in the driver’s seat. What person with a healthy instinct for self-preservation would believe the promises of politicians or trust the judgment of central bankers or Wall Street financiers whose only real interest is self interest?
Not “Business as Usual” In the 1920s, US President Calvin Coolidge declared, “The business of America is business.” Four score and 10 years later, the business of America has become war: The forty-year War on Drugs; The ten-year War on Terror; the Afghan War (longest in American history); the eight-years-and-no-end-in-sight Iraq War; the covert wars in Pakistan and Yemen; and most recently, the “time-limited, scope-limited kinetic military action” in Libya.
While the justifications for engaging in these wars were all different, all were murderous, immoral, interminable, ruinously expensive and abject failures. Why would anyone believe the optimistic battle communiqués issued by the “czars” in charge and the battlefield brass who keep reassuring the public that reapplying previously failed strategies would, this time, lead to success?
Yet even in the face of their proven failures and gross incompetence, anyone daring to challenge the party line or the conventional wisdom is dismissed as an “alarmist,” “fear monger,” or “gloom-and-doomer.” However unwelcome our forecasts may be – pessimism, optimism, like or dislike are all irrelevant – only their accuracy counts. We correctly forecast:
Afghan and Iraq Wars would be debacles
Bursting of the housing bubble
The “Gold Bull Run"
The “Panic of ’08"
European Monetary Union crisis
Failure of US bailout/stimulus packages to revive housing and create jobs
Falling governments, spreading civil wars and social upheaval on a global scale
We also said that the Federal Reserve’s sighting of economic “green shoots” in March 2009 was a "mirage” and predicted that their much vaunted “recovery” was no more than a temporary solution, a quick-fix to be followed by “The Greatest Depression.” And now, in June 2011, with the Dow on a down trend and the economic data increasingly pointing in the direction of Depression, Washington and Wall Street remain in denial. The only debate among the “experts” is whether or not a “double dip” recession is likely.
However, for the man on the street – pummeled by falling wages, higher prices, intractable unemployment, rising taxes and punitive “austerity measures” – “Depression,” not “recession,” and certainly not “prosperity,” is just around the corner.
According to a June 8th CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, 48 percent of Americans believe that another Great Depression is likely to occur in the next year – the highest that figure has ever reached. The survey also indicates that just under half of the respondents live in a household where someone has lost a job or is worried that unemployment may hit them in the near future.
Suddenly, after years of obvious economic hardship experienced by tens of millions of Americans – only when the suffering and pain can no longer be cloaked in abstractions and cooked statistics – does an emboldened media dare utter the forbidden “D” word.
For Trends Journal readers, alerted to this emerging trend some three years ago, the prospect of Depression should come as no surprise. Neither should the idea that, when it hits and can no longer be denied, a long suffering public will take to the streets.
When I made this forecast back then it was written off by most of the major broadcast and print media.
Now, however, when one of their own, belatedly and hesitantly, raises that possibility he is elevated to sage status and it becomes big news. In early June, Democratic strategist James “It’s the Economy, Stupid” Carville, having finally mastered the higher math of adding two plus two, warned that decaying economic conditions heightened the risk of civil unrest.
As I described it all those years ago: “When people lose everything, and have nothing left to lose, they lose it.”
Trend Forecast: The wars will proliferate and civil unrest will intensify. As we forecast, the youth-inspired revolts that first erupted in North Africa and the Middle East are now breaking out in Europe (See “Off With Their Heads,” Trends Journal, Autumn 2010)
Given the trends in play and the people in power, economic collapse at some level is inevitable. Governments and central banks will be unrelenting in their determination to wring every last dollar, pound or euro from the people through taxes while confiscating public assets (a.k.a. privatization) in order to cover bad bets made by banks and financiers.
When the people have been bled dry financially and have nothing left to give, blood will flow on the streets.
Trend Lesson: Learn from history. Do you remember when it first became apparent that the US economy was in deep trouble and heading toward the “Panic of 08”? Not many will. Most people were in a summer state of mind and in holiday mode. It was late July 2007 when the stock market suddenly plunged from its euphoric 14,000 high.
Though we had warned in our Summer 2007 Trends Journal (released that June) that “trends indicators point to a major crisis hitting the financial markets between July and November,” the diving Dow was downplayed as a mere “hiccup” … a time to pause between more mouthfuls of expansion.
Biggest mistake in a falling stock market
The huge swings in the Dow are giving investors pause. But taking your money out of the market now could be the gravest mistake of all.
NEW YORK — This past Thursday was the second worst day of the year for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. But remember, it was just a week ago today that the Dow closed above 14,000 for the first (and only) time.
Fluctuations in the market shouldn't get to the 401(k) investor. Keep in mind your time horizon – most of us are going to be invested in the market until we retire, often decades from now. CNN 27 July 2007
Four years and trillions of dollars in stock and 401(k) losses later, that typical “take a deep breath, stay the course” advice looks tragically misguided. The Dow would eventually lose more than half its value and now, in June 2011, it’s fallen below 12,000.
The moral of this story is to not let your mind take a summer vacation. Conditions are rapidly deteriorating and it is imperative to remain on high alert. Another violent financial episode is looming. It may be triggered by economics (e.g., debt defaults and debt crisis contagion in Europe, a crashing US dollar, or commodity price spikes); it could be terror (false flag or real), a man-made disaster (another Fukushima) or one made by Mother Nature … or any combination of the above.
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Black Eagle Trust Fund
The 9/11 Attacks and the Black Eagle Trust Fund
03/06/2011
"On that fateful day, the Securities and Exchange Commission declared a national emergency, and for the first time in U.S. history, invoked its emergency powers under Securities Exchange Act Section 12(k) easing regulatory restrictions for clearing and settling security trades for the next 15 days. These changes would allow an estimated $240 billion in covert government securities to be cleared upon maturity without the standard regulatory controls around identification of ownership."
Dear friends,
Few people are aware of the huge Black Eagle Trust fund, let alone its critical relation to the 9/11 attacks. A brilliant summary of excellent information regarding this covert fund compiled by meticulous researcher E.P. Heidner ties together many previously unexplained threads in the 9/11 mystery in ways that are most compelling. Heidner presents volumes of solid evidence to support his thesis that one of the main reasons for the attacks was to cover up the laundering of over $200 billion in bonds from this secretive fund that were to come due the day after 9/11.
Serious 9/11 researchers will likely be most grateful for the revealing connections in this careful research made between seemingly unconnected parts of the 9/11 story and the many people and organizations involved. Those less familiar with the 9/11 cover-up will almost certainly appreciate the broad overview given and the hidden history behind it all. If we follow the money, a lot of unexplained things begin to make sense.
Below are key excerpts from this remarkable paper with highlighting provided for those with limited time. If you do have time, the many diagrams, photos, and charts available in the original 58-page essay are most helpful. The full document also includes 232 footnotes for verification filling 17 pages worth of text. In the concise summary below, I've kept the original footnote numbers, so you will find they skip quite a bit. See the full essay to explore these informative footnotes. For the entire original paper with footnotes, click here.
Some readers may feel upset or overwhelmed with this material, yet the fact that you are reading this and that this powerful information is awakening many as it spreads around the Internet shows that we are making a difference. Others may be excited to finally see the bigger picture. See our "what you can do" section at the end of the article for ideas on how you can help spread the word and build a brighter future. Thanks for caring.
With best wishes,
Fred Burks for PEERS and the WantToKnow.info Team
Former language interpreter for Presidents Bush and Clinton
Note: For what may be the most powerful single piece of evidence corroborating this theory, click here to read the Reuters news service article on the massive volume of electronic financial transactions conducted from inside the WTC just before the towers collapsed. Yet the investigation results are being kept secret.
Collateral Damage: U.S. Covert Operations and the Terrorist
Attacks on 9/11
The September 11th attacks were likely meant as a cover-up for financial crimes being investigated by the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), whose offices in the Pentagon were destroyed on September 11th. The attacks ... were intended to cover-up the clearing of $240 billion dollars in securities covertly created in September 1991 to fund a covert economic war against the Soviet Union, during which ‘unknown’ western investors bought up much of the Soviet industry, with a focus on oil and gas.
The 9/11 attacks also served to derail multiple Federal investigations of crimes associated with the 1991 covert operation. Hundreds of billions of dollars of government securities had to be destroyed. A critical mass of brokers from the major government security brokerages in the Twin Towers had to be eliminated to create chaos in the government securities market. A situation needed to be created wherein $240 billion dollars of covert securities could be electronically “cleared” without anyone asking questions – which happened when the Federal Reserve declared an emergency and invoked its “emergency powers” that very afternoon.
There were three major securities brokers in the World Trade Center: Cantor Fitzgerald, Eurobrokers and Garbon Inter Capital. Cantor Fitzgerald was the largest securities dealer in the US and arguably the primary target. 41% of the fatalities in the Twin Towers came from Cantor Fitzgerald and Eurobrokers. 31% of the 125 fatalities in the Pentagon were from the Naval Command Center that housed the Office of Naval Intelligence. 39 of 40 Office of Naval Intelligence employees died. The Naval Command Center had been moved into that newly opened section of the Pentagon only a month earlier. And in the vaults beneath the World Trade Center Towers, any certificates for bonds were destroyed.
On that fateful day, the Securities and Exchange Commission declared a national emergency, and for the first time in U.S. history, invoked its emergency powers under Securities Exchange Act Section 12(k) easing regulatory restrictions for clearing and settling security trades for the next 15 days. These changes would allow an estimated $240 billion in covert government securities to be cleared upon maturity without the standard regulatory controls around identification of ownership.
The Origins of the World Trade Center Attack
Emboldened by the lack of consequences for subverting the U.S. constitution and breaking international law during the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s, a Bush administration group known as “the Vulcans” planned a bigger drive to crush Communism once and for all. They waged war against the Soviet Union and Iraq under George H.W. Bush, and against Iraq and Afghanistan under George W. Bush. Belonging to this group were Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Armitage, and Condoleezza Rice.
The Vulcan’s drive to bring an end to the Cold War was fueled by a covert war chest invisible to congressional oversight. This war chest would be known by several names: Black Eagle Trust, the Marcos gold, Yamashita’s Gold, the Golden Lily Treasure, the Durham Trust or Project Hammer. The program also seems to have lined the pockets of the individuals that executed this policy. This was done to the tune of a staggering $240 billion dollars in covert and allegedly illegal bonds, which appear to have been replaced with Treasury notes backed by U.S. taxpayers in the aftermath of September 11.
The covert securities used to accomplish the national security objective of ending the Cold War ended up in the vaults of the brokers in the World Trade Center, and were destroyed on September 11, 2001. They came due for settlement and clearing on September 12. The federal Agency investigating these bonds – The Office of Naval Intelligence – was in the section of the Pentagon that was destroyed on 9/11.
To this key group of senior National Security officials called the Vulcans, who had participated in the victory of the economic cold war in 1991, the WTC, the Pentagon, the four airliners and their occupants would
became ‘collateral’ damage in the ending of the Cold War. Their deaths were required to hide the existence of the Black Eagle Trust, and the covert activities it had funded for over 50 years. The destruction of these lives and buildings constituted a cover-up of continued lawlessness by a fraternity or brotherhood of businessmen and criminals often referred to as ‘the Enterprise’ in the 1980s, though it has remained in the shadows since.
Numerous sources have documented that at the end of WWII, the treasury of the Japanese Empire was discovered in the Philippines by a staff member of General Charles Willoughby, [Edward Lansdale], who was General MacArthur’s chief of Intelligence. Then known as the Golden Lily Treasure, this mass of wealth had been accumulated by the Japanese through over fifty years of pillaging by its army in Southeast Asia and China. It was deposited in the Philippines due to the U.S. submarine blockade of Japan. Reports vary, but documents in the public domain suggest the recovered treasure was in excess of 280,000 metric tonnes of gold, not including jewels and diamonds. After the War [Lansdale] tortured Major Kojima Kashii – General Yamashita Tomoyuki’s driver – until he revealed and
created a map of the gold sites.
Lansdale briefed Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy about the findings, and a U.S. Cabinet level decision was made to confiscate the gold and cover-up its discovery. The gold would be added to the Black Eagle Trust fund. It was McCloy, along with Secretary of the Navy Robert B. Anderson and Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson who created the Black Eagle Trust.
John McCloy, who had shared a box at the 1936 Olympics with Adolph Hitler, went on to become President of the World Bank. Robert Anderson would go on to operate the Commercial Exchange Bank in the British West Indies, be convicted of running illegal banking operations and tax evasion, and be sentenced to prison. A fourth member of that group – William ‘Wild Bill’ Donovan – would go on to found the CIA and distribute the gold to key banks represented by his staffers.
The trust they created takes its name from the Nazi Black Eagle stamped on the gold bars of the Third Reich. Gold bullion confiscated from the Reich and not returned to its rightful owners and their heirs was the original source of funding for this trust. Over the years, the significance of the Nazi gold would pale in comparison to the confiscated Japanese treasure.
The men responsible for initiating and executing the confiscation of Nazi and Japanese treasury gold represented the most senior Intelligence officers in the U.S. and Britain at the end of World War II, and the Cabinet of the President of the United States. The financial institutions represented by these individuals would become the major financial banks in the world, along with the Swiss-German banks they hid their gold in. The Yamashita gold would become the cornerstone of the Black Eagle Fund, from which many covert operations of the U.S. intelligence would be funded.
Lansdale’s operation in the Philippines gave birth to most of the common features of modern covert operations for U.S. Intelligence: bribery, theft, torture, and false flag operations. It would be Lansdale who would initiate a bond between the US intelligence organizations and Israeli intelligence. It would be Lansdale that would set precedents for the Intelligence community to retain the services of organized crime on U.S. soil. Lansdale would hire American Mafia family heads Carlos Marcello, Santos Trafficante, Meyer Lansky, and Lucky Luciano in the U.S. war against Fidel Castro in 1961.
It would be Lansdale’s team that would propose and justify sacrificing innocent U.S. civilians in order to rally
the American citizenry to support an invasion of foreign soil. This was done under a program run by Brigadier General William H. Craig, who reported to Lansdale for the Cuba project. This project was called Operation Northwoods. Documents for this project would be accidentally released from the files of Robert McNamara into the public domain some 40 years later, exposing the degree to which Lansdale’s operatives would go to wage war. These declassified documents revealed secret plans of the U.S. military to wage a fabricated “terror” campaign against US citizens as a pretext to justify a second invasion of Cuba.
Barrick Gold would become an investment for nearly every gold bullion bank associated with the Marcos gold recovery. These banks would loan gold to Barrick, which would then sell the borrowed gold as derivatives, with the promise of replacing the borrowed gold with their gold mining operation. The records of many of those transactions disappeared when Enron collapsed and the trading operation and all its records were taken over by UBS, another major recipient of Marcos gold. The FBI was reportedly conducting an investigation into those transactions, and the investigation files were kept on the 23rd floor of the North Tower of the WTC. A review of the personal accounts of September 11 now suggests that office was deliberately targeted with explosives prior to the collapse of the WTC towers.
Taking Control
In November 1980, Ronald Reagan was elected to the White House. Sixty-nine days after the inauguration, John Hinckley attempted to assassinate President Reagan. Eight days prior to that attempt, there were a series of unprecedented policy changes that put George Bush in charge of Foreign Policy and National Security. That conferred new roles and powers on Bush, including "unprecedented powers for a vice president." Vice President George Bush was named the leader of the United States "crisis management'' staff, as a part of the National Security Council system. Then, on March 30, 1981, just eight days after these powers were conferred on Bush, President Reagan was shot.
The father of the assassin that put Bush in power was John (a.k.a. Jack) Hinckley, Sr., the owner of Vanderbilt Oil. Hinckley had been giving maximum donations every year to George H.W. Bush since he started running for Congress. In The Black Hole of Guyana: The Untold Story of the Jonestown Massacre, John Judge painstakingly documents that Jonestown was a CIA operation for converting dispossessed and lonely refugees into assassins. In an operation that was falling under Congressional investigation, the evidence had to be eliminated – and nearly all the inhabitants were murdered to prevent disclosure.
A key player in the Marcos gold would be Banker’s Trust, which was taken over by Alex Brown &
Sons, after Banker’s Trust floundered financially on its Russian loans in the mid 1990s. These Russian loans were facilitated by Enron, starting in August of 1993, and very possibly were part of the Project Hammer takeover of Soviet industry. Alex Brown‘s involvement would bring to the forefront the names of three names of individuals who would play multiple roles in this mystery: Buzz Krongard, Mayo Shattuck, and J Carter Beese.Buzz Krongard is reported as the mentor of Beese and Shattuck from their years together at Alex Brown. Additionally, he managed the merger between Bankers Trust and Deutschebank Alex Brown. Bankers Trust, Zurich was a key Marcos gold holder. Krongard would move on to become Chairman of the investment bank A.B. Brown, Vice Chairman of Banker's Trust, and Executive Director of the CIA at the time of September 11.
Mayo Shattuck would be reported to be the personal banker for Adnan Khashoggi and Edgar Bronfmann during their partnership at Barrick Gold. He would move on to become the CEO of Deutschebank who would resign for unexplained reasons the day after September 11, and would not be at the WTC office that day when the tower collapsed. It was his bank that was identified as the source of the illegal stock options that indicated there was insider trading taking advantage of the September 11 tragedy.
What happened to the Marcos gold after it was confiscated by U.S. agents in 1986 has never been reported, but throughout the early 1990s, the world gold market would be befuddled by the mysterious appearance of thousands of tonnes of gold which appeared to suppress the price of gold.
In preparation for their war against Communism, and in the years leading up to the failed – or faux – coup of 1991 which initiated the last days of Gorbachev and the rise of Yeltsin, Bush and a cadre of rogue KGB officials built a complex international network of banks and holding companies that would be used to take over ownership of the Soviet economy. Over 300 of these KGB turncoats who supported this operation would later be re-located to the US in the early 1990s and pensioned. Periodic CIA reports to Congress would review KGB and organized crime complicity in the
takeover of Russia by criminal elements, but all mention of the formidable role of the U.S. would be expunged from Congressional oversight and the public record.
In the first phase of the economic attack on the Soviet Union, George Bush authorized Leo Wanta and others to destabilize the ruble and facilitate the theft of the Soviet/Russian treasury. This would result in draining the Russian treasury of between 2,000 to 3,000 tonnes of gold bullion, ($35 billion at the time). The gold was ‘stolen’ in March of 1991, facilitated by Leo Wanta and signed off by Boris Yeltsin’s right hand man. The majority of the leaked reports from the CIA and FBI suggest the theft of the Russian treasury was a KGB and Communist party operation, but what those reports omitted was the extensive involvement of Boris Yeltsin, the U.S. banking industry and the CIA.
In the second phase, Wanta, George Soros and a group of Bush appointees would begin to destabilize the ruble. There were two major operations: the largest was coordinated by Alan Greenspan and Oliver North, and implemented by Leo Wanta.
The 9/11 Cover-up and the Black Eagle Trust
With an understanding of the economic war being waged on the Soviet Union, the focus needs to turn to reports that on September 11, 1991, President George Bush was responsible for issuing $240 billion dollars in secretive bonds as a part of this attack on the Russian ruble. There are six lines of evidence from eight sources that suggest this was indeed the case. Many of these instances are corroborated with documents available on the Internet, presented by those making the claims.
The bonds sat for ten years, like a ticking time bomb. They had to be settled – or cashed in by September 12, 2001. The two firms in the U.S. most likely to be handling them would be Cantor Fitzgerald and Eurobrokers – the two largest government securities firms in the U.S. The federal agency mostly involved in investigating those transactions was the Office of Naval Intelligence. On 9/11, those same three organizations: the two largest government securities brokers and the Office of Naval Intelligence in the US took direct hits.
What happened inside the buildings of the World Trade on September 11 is difficult, but not impossible to discern. The government has put a seal on the testimony gathered by the investigating 911 Commission, and instructed government employees to not speak on the matter or suffer severe penalties, but there are a number of personal testimonies posted on the Internet as to what happened in those buildings that day.
Careful reconstruction from those testimonies indicates the deliberate destruction of evidence not only by a targeted assault on the buildings, but also by targeted fires and explosions. In the event that either the hijacking failed, or the buildings were not brought down, the evidence would be destroyed by fires. In addition to the investigative evidence being destroyed, the Federal Register reported that the physical securities held by the brokers in their vaults had been destroyed.
What would be even more revealing would be the actions of the Federal Reserve Bank and the Securities and Exchange Commission on that day, and in the immediate aftermath. As one of many coincidences on 9/11, the Federal Reserve Bank was operating its information system from its remote back-up site rather than it’s downtown headquarters. The SEC and Federal Reserve system remained unfazed by the attack. All of their systems continued to operate. The two major security trading firms had their trade data backed up on remote systems. Nevertheless, the Commission for the first time invoked its emergency powers under Securities Exchange Act Section 12(k) and issued several orders to ease certain regulatory restrictions temporarily.
The Federal Reserve Suspends the Rules
On the first day of the crisis, the SEC lifted “Rule 15c3-3: Customer Protection – Reserves and Custody of Securities.” Thus GSCC [Government Securities Clearing Corporation] was thus allowed to substitute other securities for the physical securities destroyed during the attack. “…collateral substitutions can and should be made with regard to immediately maturing collateral.” At this point in time, the Federal Reserve and its GSCC had created a settlement environment totally void of controls and reporting – where it could substitute valid, new government securities for the mature, illegal securities, and not have to record where the original bad securities had come from, or where the new securities went – all because the paper for the primary brokers for US securities had been eliminated.
A review of the explanations for the actions of the Federal Reserve after September 11th exposes an amazingly complex web of analysis and speculation. The reports published by the Federal Reserve argue that the Federal Reserve’s actions increasing the monetary supply by over $300 billion were justified to overcome operational difficulties in the financial sector. While impressive as the reports are, what is noted by the casual reader is that all of the Federal Reserve analysis is speculative and suggestive, using phraseology such as “may have,” “likely,” “presumably,” or “should have.” There are few – if any – definitive statements about root cause and the appropriateness of the Federal Reserve response.
While the Fed was reporting outstanding account balances of over $100 billion per day (while not identifying the banks involved), the Wall Street Journal reported that at one point during the week after 9/11, BoNY was publicly reported to be overdue on $100 billion in payments. The Deutschebank, which sat inside the WTC and was totally decimated, reported no such account balance increase, and JP Morgan, the other of only two clearing banks which uses the same traders and communications hub, reported no such increase in its account balance. No one has publicly asked: why is it that these other two banks were not seriously disrupted, while the Bank of New York – which had no structural damage – seemed unable to operate?
Certain key unknown figures in the Federal Reserve may have ‘conspired’ with key unknown figures at the Bank of New York to create a situation where $240 billion in off balance sheet securities created in 1991 as part of an official covert operation to overthrow the Soviet Union, could be cleared without publicly acknowledging their existence. These securities, originally managed by Cantor Fitzgerald, were cleared and settled in the aftermath of September 11th through the BoNY. The $100 billion account balance bubble reported by the Wall Street Journal as being experienced in the BoNY was tip of a three day operation, when these securities were moved from off-balance-sheet to the balance sheet.
[As reported on page 12 of a Federal Reserve document] “In the absence of complete information on deliveries into and out of its account at BoNY on September 11, and as a result of its assumption of settlement fails on the starting legs of blind-brokered RPs, GSCC recorded (after the close of business on September 11) $266 billion in transactions that apparently failed to settle.… Continuing connectivity problems prevented GSCC from giving BoNY delivery instructions after the close of business on September 11 and prevented it from acquiring information on activity in its account at BoNY during the day on September 12. Consequently, GSCC recorded $440 billion in settlement fails as of the close of business on September 12.”
What appears to be the case is that the Federal Reserve imbalances reported on three consecutive days in the aftermath were largely concentrated at the Bank of New York, which is reported to represent over 90% of the imbalance, suggesting the Bank had been the recipient of massive fund transfers, and unable to send out transfers. Overall transactions for the day of 9/11 were seemingly down even more significantly than volume, but the transactions that came in after closing were extremely large, averaging in size in packages of $35 million or more. This would be consistent with a hypothesis that $240 billion of securities were being pushed surreptitiously into the money supply.
The Federal Reserve, without providing the detail required to substantiate it’s claims, would have the public believe that there were widespread liquidity issues, when in fact the issues were very concentrated primarily, if not singularly, in the BoNY, which has been the subject of an ongoing major money-laundering investigation for many years. These account balance issues resulted in the defacto expansion of the monetary supply, details of which are no longer reported by the Federal Reserve.
The reported cause of this market malfunction is seemingly suspect. By comparison, the Deutschebank which sat inside the World Trade Center reported no such account balance increase, and JP Morgan, the other of two clearing banks which uses the same traders and communications hub, reported no such increase in account balance. Additionally, while problems were being documented between the BoNY and GCSS, no other institution had those problems.
There is a contention that at the core of the September 11th attack, someone was planning to cover the 1991 issuance of $240 billion in covert securities used to finance the collapse the Soviet Union. The facts surrounding the financial aftermath of September 11 suggest this is not only possible, but that reports describing the aftermath have deliberately been misleading.
The US dollar money supply was significantly increased in the aftermath of 9/11;
The bank at the core of the illegal money laundering by ex-Soviet criminals was the source of the increased money supply (BoNY);
The generally disseminated rationale for BoNY’s operational problems seems to have affected no other bank in a similar manner or magnitude and is inconsistent with reports on the BoNY operations in the aftermath;
A key witness who might provide insight to these issues is a statistically aberrant death;
The source of the BoNY’s $330 billion increase in assets is cloaked under the privilege of “private banking;”
The only alleged “severe” disruption to the financial systems was the Federal Reserves account balance and the securities trading fails – both systems required to hide the laundering of $240 billion in covert securities.
This is not a ‘proof’ that $240 billion was laundered, but it provides probable cause for paying serious attention.
Conclusion
History has many interpretations, and this report has been just one of many – an interpretation pieced together from the bold admissions and revelations of insiders, whose stories have been ignored and suppressed by the major media organizations. It is an interpretation of history that suggests a few determined men strove to change the world in defense of Western capitalism in ways which they felt needed to be hidden from the public. Whatever emotion or logic that was adequate to cause them to hide their actions from the public was not strong enough to prevent them from committing the acts.
Footnotes: To explore the excellent footnotes for the above article, see the end of full article available here.
Author’s Note: This is the condensed version of this story. The author cannot vouch for the accuracy of the source materials, although efforts have been made to validate the consistency of the story line with as many references as possible. There is no single fact or reference that this story is dependent on. The author expects some details to be disputed, and possibly disproved, but contends that the story line will hold true regardless.
Note from Fred: Though I doubt this was the only reason for 9/11, it was likely one of the main motivators. For what may be the most powerful single piece of evidence corroborating this theory, click here to read the Reuters news service article on the massive volume of electronic financial transactions conducted from inside the WTC just before the buildings collapsed. Yet the investigation results are being kept secret.
What you can do:
Inform your media and political representatives of the vital information in this article on the Black Eagle Trust. To contact those close to you, click here. Urge them to call for the release of classified documents and videos and to press for a new, impartial investigation of 9/11.
Explore the wealth of reliable, verifiable information on 9/11, including several excellent documentaries, in our 9/11 Information Center available here.
Learn more about 9/11 and the secret societies likely involved in this powerful lesson from the free Insight Course.
Explore inspiring ideas on how we can build a brighter future by reading this short essay.
Spread this news to your friends and colleagues, and recommend this article on key news websites so that we can fill the role at which the major media is sadly failing. Together, we can make a difference.
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Japan Shows How to Defuse Debt Time-bomb
By Ellen Brown
URL of this article: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25035
Global Research, May 29, 2011
webofdebt.com
[T]hreatening to default should not be a partisan issue. In view of all the hazards it entails, one wonders why any responsible person would even flirt with the idea. - Alan S. Blinder, Princeton professor of economics, former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve
A game of Russian roulette is being played with the national debt ceiling. Fire the wrong chamber of the gun, and the result could be the second Great Depression.
The first Great Depression led to totalitarian dictatorships, war to consolidate power, and concentrations of capital in the hands of a financial elite. The trigger was a default on the global reserve currency, in that case the pound sterling. The U.S. dollar is now the global reserve currency. The concern is that default could create the same sort of global panic today. Dark visions are evoked of the President declaring a national emergency, FEMA plans locking into place, camps being readied for protesters, and the secret government taking over . . . .
This may all just be political theater, but do we really want to get close enough to the economic precipice to find out? The conservative ideologues toying with the debt ceiling are doing it to force cuts in the budget, a budget that was already approved by Congress. Congress is being held hostage by a radical minority pushing a risky agenda, one that is based on an economic model that is obsolete.
High-stakes Gambling
On May 16, the Wall Street Journal published an opinion piece titled “The Armaggedon Lobby,” which
claimed that a “technical default” on the federal debt was just “political melodrama” and not really a big deal:
[B]ond markets can figure out the difference between a genuine default when a country can’t pay its bills and a technical default of a few days if it serves the purpose of fixing America’s fiscal mess.
Not so, said Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal in a May 20 interview on CNBC. "That's gambling. This is the United States. You're leading the whole world. You cannot play games with that."
It is not just that the government could be brought to a standstill, with a third of its bills now being paid by borrowing; or that interest rates would shoot up, forcing thousands of homeowners into foreclosure. Failure to pay on the national debt could trigger a default on the global reserve currency. As one commentator described what could go wrong:
[T]he consequences of a US default could spark yet another global financial crisis. The US could lose its triple-A rating, which could cause a sell-off in Treasury notes by institutional and foreign investors. This sell-off could lead to higher interest rates, and banks’ balance sheets might be decimated by the decline in their bond portfolios. Thus, global banking and financial market liquidity could dry up. Lending between institutions and people or businesses could possibly cease altogether or become cost prohibitive.
A Rerun of 1931?
The sort of chaos that could ensue was seen when Great Britain reneged on its deal to redeem pound sterling banknotes in gold in 1931. The result was the worst global depression in history.
When the pound went off the gold standard, markets panicked. People rushed to exchange their paper money for gold, in any currencies in which that was still possible. The gold wound up hidden under mattresses and in safety deposit boxes, unspent; and the banks from which it was pulled, having no reserves to back their loans, quit lending or closed their doors. Credit froze; business ground to a halt.
As other countries ran short of gold, they too were forced to take their currencies off the gold standard. The last holdouts suffered the most, including the United States, which kept its gold window open until 1933.
The 19th century had been plagued by bank runs, caused by banks having too little gold to back their outstanding loans. The Federal Reserve was instituted in 1913 ostensibly to prevent those runs, but its levee did not hold back the run of the 1930s. In 1933, the country suffered a massive banking collapse, forcing President Roosevelt to declare a banking holiday and take the U.S. dollar, too, off the gold standard.
Freed from the Bankers’ “Cross of Gold”
The transition off the gold standard was a painful one; but according to Beardsley Ruml, Chairman of the
Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the country was the better for it. In a paper read before the American Bar Association in 1946, he said that going off the gold standard had finally allowed the country to be economically sovereign:
Final freedom from the domestic money market exists for every sovereign national state where there exists an institution which functions in the manner of a modern central bank, and whose currency is not convertible into gold or into some other commodity.
Freed from the strictures of gold, Roosevelt was able to jump-start the economy with deficit spending. As Marshall Auerback details, the next four years constituted the biggest cyclical boom in U.S. economic history. Real GDP grew at a 12% rate and nominal GDP grew at a 14% rate.
Then in 1937, Roosevelt listened to the deficit hawks of his day and slashed the deficit. The result was a surge in unemployment, and the economy slipped back into depression.
What lifted the country out of the doldrums was again deficit spending, liberally engaged in to fund World War II. In wartime, few people worry about the national debt. The debt grew to 120% of GDP – twice what it is today -- and wound up sustaining another very productive period in U.S. history, one that set the country up to lead the world in manufacturing for the next half century.
On Inflation and Taxes
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Ruml said federal taxes were no longer needed to fund the budget, which could be financed by issuing bonds. The principal purpose of taxes, he said, was “the maintenance of a dollar which has stable purchasing power over the years. Sometimes this purpose is stated as ‘the avoidance of inflation.’"
The government could spend as needed to meet its budget, drawing on credit issued by its own central bank. It could do this until price inflation indicated a weakened purchasing power of the currency. Then, and only then, would the money supply need to be contracted with taxes.
“The dollars the government spends become purchasing power in the hands of the people who have received them,” Ruml said. “The dollars the government takes by taxes cannot be spent by the people,” so the money supply can be contracted with taxes as needed.
When the economy is in a recession, however – as it is now -- the government needs to spend in order to get purchasing power into the hands of the people. Businesses cannot hire more workers until they have more customers demanding their products, and the customers won’t come until they have money to spend. The money (“demand”) must come first. Adding money will not drive up prices until the economy is at full employment. Before that, increasing “demand” will drive up “supply” by setting the engines of production in motion. When supply and demand rise together, prices remain stable.
We now know that a government can go quite far into debt without a dangerous level of price inflation
occurring – much farther than the U.S. has gone today. Besides World War II, when U.S. debt was 120% of GDP, there is the remarkable example of Japan. Japan has retained its status as the world’s third largest economy, although it has a debt to GDP ratio of 226% -- and it is still fighting deflation.
Critics of the deflationary theory point to commodity prices, which are soaring today. But if those prices were due to the economy being awash with “too much money chasing too few goods,” real estate prices would be soaring too. Instead, the real estate market has collapsed. What has actually happened is that the housing bubble has transmuted into the commodity bubble, as “hot money” has fled from one to the other. The overall money supply is still in decline.
The deficit hawks have been predicting for years that the federal debt would sink the dollar and the economy, and it hasn’t happened yet. In fact the federal debt has not been paid off since 1835, and no disaster has resulted. The debt has not only been carried on the government’s books but has continued to grow, and the economy has grown and flourished along with it.
This is not an economic anomaly. The economy has flourished because of the national debt. Nothing backs the currency today but “the full faith and credit of the United States.” Money is no longer a metal; it is an inflow and outflow, credits and debits. The liabilities of the government are the assets of the private economy. The national debt is what backs the money supply.
Dealing with the Rising Cost of Debt Service
There is a potential time bomb in a growing federal debt, but it is one that can be defused. The debt has risen from $10 trillion to $14 trillion just since the banking crisis of 2008, not from “entitlements” but due to the Wall Street collapse and bailout. Just the interest on this growing debt could cripple the tax base if interest rates were at normal levels, so they have had to be pushed almost to zero. The result has been to create a dollar carry trade. This has facilitated speculation in commodities, a major cause of today’s commodity bubbles.
There is, however, a solution to this problem, and it was discovered by Japan. The government can spend, not by issuing bonds at interest to the public, but simply by creating an overdraft at the central bank, as Beardsley Ruml recommended. The Bank of Japan now holds an amount of public debt equal to the country’s GDP! As noted by the Center for Economic and Policy Research:
Interest on [Japanese] debt held by the central bank is refunded back to the treasury, leaving no net cost to the government on this debt. . . . Japan continues to experience deflation, in spite of the fact that its central bank holds an amount of debt that is roughly equal to its GDP. This would be equivalent to the Fed holding $15 trillion in debt.
Like the Bank of Japan, the Federal Reserve now returns the interest it receives to the government. With a rising interest tab on the federal debt no longer a problem, private interest rates could be allowed to rise to
normal levels.
Today the Fed is not permitted to buy bonds directly from the Treasury but must go through middleman bond dealers. But that problem too could be fixed. In a supporting statement in 1947, Federal Reserve Chairman Marriner Eccles discussed a bill to eliminate the unnecessary cost of these middlemen. He said the Federal Reserve had been allowed to purchase securities directly from the government from its inception in 1914 until the Banking Act of 1935. Then:
A provision was inserted in that act requiring all purchases of government securities by Federal Reserve banks to be made in the open market, which means purchased chiefly from dealers in Government bonds. Those who inserted this proviso were motivated by the mistaken theory that it would help to prevent deficit financing. . . .
Nothing constructive would be accomplished by the proviso that the Reserve System must purchase Government securities exclusively in the open market. About all such a ban means is that in making such purchases a commission has to be paid to Government bond dealers.
The interest cost and the bond dealers’ cut could both be eliminated by allowing the Treasury to borrow directly from its own central bank, interest free.
Nothing to Fear But Fear Itself
We have been frightened into believing that government debt is a bad thing, but nearly all money today originates as debt. As Marriner Eccles observed in the 1930s, “That is what our money system is. If there were no debts in our money system, there wouldn’t be any money.”
The public debt is the people’s money, and today the people are coming up short. Shrinking the public debt means shrinking more than just the services the government is expected to provide. It means shrinking the money supply itself, along with the ability to provide the jobs, wages and purchasing power necessary for a thriving economy.
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BNY in $10B Russian scam
Employees allegedly laundered Russian gangsters' funds through bank
CNN Money
August 19, 1999
NEW YORK (CNNfn) - The Bank of New York was used by members of a Russian organized-crime gang to launder as much as $10 billion since early last year, the bank confirmed Thursday.
The bank suspended two high-ranking employees in its Eastern European division with pay this week in connection with the case. Both employees, identified as Natasha Gurfinkel Kagalovsky and Lucy Edwards, are married to Russian businessmen.
Bank officials maintain that thus far there have been no allegations of wrongdoing leveled against the $68 billion institution, the nation's 16th-largest commercial bank based on year-end 1998 statistics.
The investigation, which is being run by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, apparently focuses on the use of the bank as a conduit for funds from Russia into other countries.
The accounts under investigation are linked to Semyon Yukovich Mogilevich, who investigators say runs a veritable one-stop shopping center of crime, according to the New York Times, which first reported the story Thursday.
Mogilevich is engaged in arms trafficking, extortion and prostitution, according to law enforcement and intelligence sources, the Times reported.
Money laundering refers to the practice of moving illegally gained funds in and out of a series of accounts, eventually hiding the money's origins.
British investigators reported suspicions about money laundering at the bank to their U.S. counterparts more than a year ago. While investigators kept watch, the money flowing through the suspect accounts grew from $4.2 billion to as much as $10 billion.
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Global Debt and Parallel Universe
Jean Baudrillard - Translated by Francois Debrix
Liberation, Paris
An electronic billboard in Times Square displays the American public debt, an astronomic figure of some thousands of billions of dollars which increases at a rate of $20,000 a second. Another electronic billboard at the Beaubourg Center in Paris displays the thousands of seconds until the year 2000. The latter figure is that of time, which gradually diminishes. The former figure is that of money, which increases at a sky-rocketing speed. The latter is a countdown to second zero. The former, on the contrary, extends to infinity. Yet, at least in the imaginary, both of them evoke a catastrophe: the vanishing of time at Beaubourg; the passing of the debt into an exponential mode and the possibility of a financial crash in Times Square.
In fact, the debt will never be paid. No debt will ever be paid. The final counts will never take place. If time is counted [si le temps nous est compte], the missing money is beyond counting [au-dela de toute comptabilite]. The United States is already virtually unable to pay, but this will have no consequence whatsoever. There will be no judgment day for this virtual bankruptcy. It is simple enough to enter an exponential or virtual mode to become free of any responsibility, since there is no reference anymore, no referential world to serve as a measuring norm.
The disappearance of the referential universe is a brand new phenomenon. When one looks at the billboard on Broadway, with its flying figures, one has the impression that the debt takes off to reach the stratosphere. This is simply the figure in light years of a galaxy that vanishes in the cosmos. The speed of liberation of the debt is just like one of earth's satellites. That's exactly what it is: the debt circulates on its own orbit, with its own trajectory made up of capital, which, from now on, is free of any economic contingency and moves about in a parallel universe (the acceleration of capital has exonerated money of its involvements with the everyday universe of production, value and utility). It is not even an orbital universe: it is rather ex-orbital, ex-centered, ex-centric, with only a very faint probability that, one day, it might rejoin ours. That's why no debt will ever be paid. At most, it can be bought over at a bargain price to later be placed back on a debt market (public debt, national debt, global debt) where it will have become a currency of exchange. Since there is no likely settlement date, the debt has an incalculable [inestimable] value. As long as it hangs like that over our heads with no reference whatsoever, it also serves as our only guarantee against time. Unlike the countdown which signifies the end of time, an indefinitely deferred debt is the guarantee that even time is inexhaustible... And we really need a virtual time insurance since our future is about to dissipate in real time.
Clearing the debt, settling the accounts, cancelling the payments by the Third World... Don't even think about it! We only live because of this unbalance, of the proliferation and the promise of infinity created by the debt. The global or planetary debt has, of course, no meaning in the classical terms of stock or credit. But it acts as our true collective credit line, a symbolic credit system whereby people, corporations, nations are attached to one another by default. People are tied to each other (this goes for the banks too) by means of their virtual bankruptcy, just as accomplices are tied by their crime. Everyone is certain to exist for the other in the shadow of an unamendable and insolvable debt for, as of today, the total amount of the global debt is much larger than the total amount of available capital. Thus, the debt no longer has any meaning but to unite all civilized beings to a same destiny served on credit. A similar thing takes place with nuclear weapons whose global capacity is much bigger than what is needed to destroy the entire planet. Yet, it remains as a way of uniting all of humankind to a same destiny marked by threat and deterrence.
At least, it is easier now to understand why the Americans are so eager to advertise their domestic debt in such a spectacular manner. The Times Square initiative is designed to make the state feel guilty about the way it runs the country, and intended to warn the citizens about the imminent collapse of the financial and public spheres. But, of course, the exorbitant figure deprives the billboard of any meaning (even figures have lost their credit line). In fact, this is nothing more than a gigantic advertising campaign and, by the way, this is why the neon "billboard" is made to look like a triumphant stock exchange quotation that has gone over the top. And people stare at it, fascinated by the spectacle of a world performance (in the meantime, people rarely look at the numerical time clock at Beaubourg to witness the gradual ending of this century). People are collectively in the same situation as that Russian test pilot who, until the very last second, was able to see his airplane drop and crash on the video system of his Tupolev jet. Did he have the ultimate reflex to look at the image before dying? He could have imagined his last living moments in virtual reality. Did the image survive the pilot, even for a tenth of a second, or vice versa? Does virtual reality live on after the catastrophe of the real world?
Our true artificial satellites are the global debt, the flows of capital, and the nuclear loads that circle around the earth in an orbital dance. As pure artifacts, with a sidereal velocity and an instantaneous capacity of reversal, they have found their true place. This place is even more extraordinary than the Stock Exchange, banks, or nuclear stockpiles: it is that of the orbit, where they rise and set like artificial suns.
Some of the most recent of these exponentially developing parallel worlds are the Internet and the many worldwide webs of information. Each day, in real time, the irresistible growth (or outgrowth perhaps) of information could be measured there, with numbers representing the millions of people and the billions of operations that they cover. Information now expands to such an extent that it no longer has anything to do with gaining knowledge. Information's immense potential will never be redeemed and it will never be able to achieve its finality. It's just like the debt. Information is just as insolvable as the debt and we'll never be able to get rid of it. Collecting data, accumulating and transporting information all over the world are the same thing as compiling an unpayable debt. And here too, since proliferating information is larger than the needs and capacities of any individual, and of the human species in general, it has no other meaning but that of binding humankind to a destiny of cerebral automation and mental underdevelopment. It is clear that if a small dose of information reduces ignorance, a massive dose of artificial intelligence can only reinforce the belief that our natural intelligence is deficient. The worst thing that can happen to an individual is to know too much and, thus, to fall beyond knowledge. It is exactly the same thing with responsibility and emotional capacity. The perpetual intimation of the media in terms of violence, suffering, and catastrophe, far from exalting some sort of collective solidarity, only demonstrates our real impotence and drives us to panic and resentment.
Caught in their autonomous and exponential logic, all these parallel worlds are like time bombs. It is more obvious with nuclear weapons, but it is also true of the debt and capital flows. The smallest intrusion of these worlds into ours, the least noticeable encounter between their orbits and ours, would immediately disrupt the fragile equilibrium of our exchanges and economies. This would (or will) be the same with the total liberation of information, which could transform us into free radicals desperately searching for our molecules in a scanty cyberspace.
Reason would probably insist that we include these worlds into our homogeneous universe: nuclear weapons would have a peaceful use, all the debts would be erased, all the flows of capital would be reinvested in terms of social well-being, and information would contribute to knowledge. This is, no doubt, a dangerous utopia. Let these worlds remain parallel to ours, let their threats hang up in the air: their ex-centricity is what protects us. For, no matter how parallel and ex-centric they may be, they are in fact ours. We are the ones who created them and placed them beyond our reach, as an ersatz of transcendence. We are the ones who placed them on their orbits as some sort of catastrophic imaginaries. And it is perhaps better this way. Our society was once solidified by a utopia of progress. It now exists because of a catastrophic imaginary.
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