Monthly Archives: July 2015

The EU and Neoliberalism

“Control the oil, and you control nations. Control the food, and you control the people.” – Henry Kissinger

The following headline caught my eye and hits at the core of the problems we are now facing with the monolith that is the EU:

Osborne: We should think of EU as a “single market of free trade”

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Chancellor George Osborne said, “I prefer to talk about it as a single market of free trade. It’s free trade with the rules that enable the free trade to be a real success. That’s the way I think we should think about it.”

Putting ‘Free Trade’ and ‘rules’ in the same sentence stretches my imagination to breaking point! Our global marketplace is dominated by vast corporations whose most important activity, after profit making, is deregulation!

The EU has been in existence, in one format or another, since 1951 and therefore witnessed and been a party to the growth of the present global ‘free trade’ abuse that is destroying democracy.

The more you take in his words the more you can see how focussed the EU has become on trade and how little it is concerned with the welfare of its citizens. The Brussels bureaucracy invades our lives with increasing numbers of unelected people in positions of power. Their influence is paralysing our ‘free’dom with expanding regulations, whilst at the same time deregulating business in the name of ‘free’ trade.

Democracy it is about how people run their lives. In a small village it can work as near perfect as we can get it because we have an easily defined group of people and an easily defined area that these people interact within.

Decisions made by the village council come from an understanding of the needs and requests of the people and the village. Those decisions, once implemented, can be effectively measured by the only yardstick of any value . . . how they affect and improve the quality of life of the villagers.

As the democratic area grows, from a village to a town and then on to city, county, state and country so the ‘distance’ between the villagers and those decision makers increases. It is within this enlarging space that we see accountability diminishing, as political and financial considerations become the criteria for how our lives are lived.

The expansion of the EU into the present 28 countries, with more new members being sought, has demonstrated how the last point is now playing out. I am not alone in feeling disconnected from the democratic process of running the EU. This feeling is further exacerbated by the continued exodus of national power to Brussels and greater feelings of helplessness over running my life.

Once we were ‘citizens’ but are now rebranded as ‘consumers’, whose only rights can be exercised in deciding which products to buy from the global monopolies. Osborne makes no reference to our quality of life as citizens and seems only concerned with us as consumers. Proof positive that our Society in being turned into an Economy.

As the ‘conspiracy theory’ veil is lifted on such groups as Bilderberg, their influence is becoming more apparent. They may be powerful men ‘just getting together for a chat about world affairs’ but their interest is primarily commerce. It doesn’t take rocket science to work out that the agenda for such meetings therefore, is how to improve their business interests.

To further the interests of Capitalism, Bilderberg was created and became the birthplace of neoliberalism. Without such an organisation it would never have been possible to develop the thinking and influence capable of birthing and developing such a vast trading arena as the EU (or indeed the emerging international trade agreements like TTIP and TPP etc.)

A central political hub like the EU, overseeing so many individual countries, is the perfect means of expanding global control. Add a central bank and that control expands to include not only the people but their money as well. It is obvious from this premise that it becomes necessary to suppress democracy or it will interfere with this control. Which is precisely what is now happening.

The EU can only function for the benefit of the people if it is returned to a simple trading arrangement between member countries and without the vast political bureaucracy that has been allowed to develop. Returning powers to individual countries automatically returns democracy to those countries that is now being successfully usurped.

Reversing the current development of the EU would result in a mighty international Chamber of Commerce devoted to improving trade relations, whilst allowing international relations to remain the province of individual countries.

If Bilderberg is so successful for neoliberalism, then Socialism needs a similarly powerful group to fight its corner and re-establish democracy. If there is already such an animal it needs revitalising, because its presence on the international scene is not currently being felt. If there isn’t . . . There should be.

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Tsipras, Corbyn, Blair . . . and Judas

The reaction to my support of Alex Tsipras last week resulted in strong accusations against his supposed U-turn, aligning him with Judas and an overwhelming sense of betrayal.

Only 7 months ago our perception of Greek people was as ‘lazy tax dodgers’ until we became aware of the part the banks played in their downfall. The same game is being played out now as Tsipras is painted as a loser and we must not be drawn in again.

Let’s just take a look at what is actually going on. Here is a man with just 6 months experience on the world political stage taking on the most powerful forces on this planet, who have been around for centuries and not just months.

The ferocity with which they finally subdued him is an indication of how frightened they have become at what he is stirring up. Now they are pursuing regime change to put back the political cronies originally responsible for the current financial problems. We owe a debt of gratitude to him, as his actions lift the veil on what has been successfully hidden for centuries and the true nature of what he is battling.

It is not just about debt repayment but the threat to the growth of neoliberalism that is the real cause of their concern. There are another 24 countries about to collapse financially because of neoliberalist ‘austerity’ measures and so the need to maintain control, no matter how abusive, is paramount.

For Tsipras to carry out what his critics expect of him would be suicidal for Greece and its people at this time. The holiday season is just beginning and to exit the euro would see all cash points and banks closed and holidaymakers (Greece’s largest source of income) turning away in droves because of the uncertainty and chaos this situation would cause.

Yanis Varoufakis recently alluded to a ‘waiting game’, as deep seated political beliefs are contained whilst they pick their own moment to react. And would Syriza be broadcasting Plan B whilst taking this essential money that will buy them more time? The battle continues!

In similar vein in the UK, Tony Blair has launched a scathing attack upon a popular contender for the Labour leadership, Jeremy Corbyn. Before becoming Labour leader he (Blair) attended a number of Bilderberg meetings, along with Peter Mandelson, at which they came to see how the powerful ‘regulars’ were planning the future development of neoliberalism.

From this they saw an opportunity to make their mark by repackaging the Labour party, ingratiating themselves on the world stage and forming the springboard for their future careers as global players.

Low and behold they exited Westminster the moment Blair handed over to Brown and then went on to make their fortunes. Their allegiance is still to the Bilderberg group and hence Blair’s scalding attack upon the left wing intentions of Corbyn.

If ever there was an endorsement that Corbyn is working for the good of the people and headed in the right direction it is this outlandish attack, as abusive as the Troika’s response to Alex Tsipras . . . Both, of course, are singing from the same hymn sheet!

What I read into all of this is that we are seeing the early death throes of right wing capitalism and left wing socialism. The abusive financial climate of constant ‘austerity’ is seeing to the former and the results of the recent ballot boxes are sufficient evidence of the latter.

If Corbyn is serious about revitalising the Labour Party and God knows we need socialist driven policies now, he must take note of what is happening in Greece and prepare for a stinging backlash, of which Blair is the warning shot!

He must also look to bringing together the old left and right if he is to succeed. It is the only way forward, in my opinion, for our new global Society to develop an adequately self-balancing and regulated establishment . . . both of which have been missing in bucket loads in the past!

It seems to me that we are now witnessing the birthing of a new socialism, coming not only from here in the UK and Greece but in Spain and other countries around the world. The old order can see this to and are already aggressively protecting their wholly abusive monopolies.

We live in an ‘instant gratification’ Society, nurtured by the internet and endless credit. Sadly this mind-set works against the longer term requirements of fighting for our freedom. Once we turn upon those who are standing up for us we are dancing to the tune of the Troika and they will unleash their media dogs on our champions by whipping up this shallow sentiment.

The coming battle will be a bloody one in which we will all be involved. Knee jerk finger pointing is no longer an option.

 

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

My Admiration for Alex Tsipras Just Grows

After a landslide victory in January Alex Tsipras landed running on the world political stage and straight into the massed baseball bats of Brussels and the Troika. What a baptism of financial and political fire to be introduced to in your first days in power.

His intentions were honourable and with the best interests of the people at heart, except he was totally at odds with the policies of Greek creditors. Easing the financial position of the Greek people had never been a consideration, as poverty and suicide continued hand in glove.

However, the political dexterity of the Greek Prime Minister was admirable, as he ducked and dived around the conference tables of Europe. He successfully outflanked his creditors with a bewildering array of tactics, concluding with a referendum that showed the world just how determined he was to ignore intense pressure not to involve the support his people.

This has resulted in both Brussels and the Troika showing their hand to the world in just how opposed they are to such democratic involvement and support, a warning to all of us. Not only that but the subsequent ferocity of their unrelenting demands to hamstring the Greek people with more debt, as well as helping themselves to 50 billion euros worth of national assets, throws another spotlight upon the thinking and intentions of the new European Central Bank.

Its unelected representatives have been imbued with a power over the 28 member states banks that has all but removed any financial autonomy from those countries, illustrating their total commitment to neoliberalism. This newly declared power will now be directed at regime change in Greece, as they seek a ‘MacDonald’s’ government in each member state to acquiesce to their dictates.

This is NOT what Mr Tsipras has any intention of giving them! He has fought a very lonely battle, whilst undergoing an intense learning curve (haven’t we all!) on the new realities of European politics. What he is fighting is a bureaucracy with a contempt for the people whose countries they now have increasing power over. Democracy is being replaced by indebtedness and austerity that will also support the confiscation of national assets.

On this latter point Greece is a ‘magnetic’ tourist destination with much undeveloped land, both on the mainland and its beautiful islands. With austerity, land can now be bought up at a fraction of its true worth to be developed into attractive holiday accommodation. And the necessary cheap labour to look after those holiday makers will be readily available from an already indentured Greek population.

As the actions of Mr Tsipras lift the veil on the attempted birthing of a NWO I cannot go along with a consensus that is castigating him for a supposed U-turn. Here in the UK we are used to the “I-turn . . . U-turn . . . We all turn together” policies of Cameron’s government and so it is understandable to react when we see something similar elsewhere but I am not so sure. There is a difference between a U-turn and a tactical withdrawal.

I cannot believe that a man who has fought valiantly for his people against insurmountable odds is simply reneging on his deep felt political convictions, just to hold on to power.  Of course he was naïve about the intentions of Brussels and the Troika, weren’t we all!

Neither do I believe he is forfeiting his soul, as previous leaders have done, but simply doing whatever is necessary to refinance his country, albeit with more odious debt, in order to regroup and find more time in which to bring about the socialist changes he is seeking.

In identifying the ‘odious’ nature of much of Greece’s Public Debt, any new debt can only exacerbate this illegal situation and suggests a possible insight into thinking about a longer term plan for the good of his country. That takes courage and commitment, given that his opponents have now taken their gloves off in front of the whole world!

There is an election coming up in September and the Greek people are looking for leadership. Mr Tsipras has acted with integrity towards his people and held firm in his political beliefs, in spite of political colleagues leaving the ‘sinking ship’ and demonstrations opposing what he is doing.

What he is standing up for has touched a nerve in all of us. We know that what is happening to Greece is both unjust and wrong! We also know that we can expect the same treatment, if we too defy the abuse of austerity whilst watching our assets being stripped from us.

The time has come for a new breed of politician with the mettle of Alex Tsipras and entrenched socialist beliefs that can return us to a Society again and away from the Economy we are being forced into.

 

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

 

Who Actually Owns ‘Our’ Money?

banks photo

 “You never change things by fighting the existing reality.  To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Richard Buckminster Fuller  

In a piece last week http://www.globalmagnacarta.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=631&action=edit

I alluded to the ‘farcical’ nature of our money, as the taxes we pay are now used to compensate us when the banks steal our money . . . We seem to be paying for everything!!! As I pondered this the penny suddenly dropped.

(I know, I know. Not the brightest in the chandelier but I get there eventually!)

I was explaining how the next collapse will see the banks convert, not our taxes this time but our savings, current accounts and investments into their assets. “But they can’t do that” I hear you say, “It’s OUR money!!!”

Ah! No! Sadly it isn’t . . . It’s theirs! They print it (out of thin air) and then distribute it as 97% of the world’s currencies, charging us compound interest for its use (In Greece’s case at 18%). Every note, coin and digital statement in our pockets, purses, wallets and bank accounts is their property, we are merely borrowing it.

As their property, they can do with it whatever they like and that is precisely what they do. Before the penny dropped I wrote on a number of occasions about 2008 being the greatest financial heist in the history of our species. Sadly I have been misleading you and doing an injustice to the banks. As it’s their money no theft occurred!

All they did was move their money from our ‘taxes pot’ to their seriously broken ‘banking pot’ to repair the damage they had done with all of their sub-prime mortgage/odious debt lending. In taking it out of our ‘taxes pot’ this then left governments without any money to run their countries and so they had to borrow from the banks, something many couldn’t afford.

Therefore the banks insisted governments applied ‘Austerity’ measures, to meet these new debt commitments, which provided them with the excuse to take what isn’t theirs, namely our national assets. They can do all of this because they own and control the global supply of money, which they can hand out or take back whenever they choose and currently there is nothing our governments seem to want to do about it.

When the next collapse occurs they will move their money from our bank accounts into their own bank account, thereby making them solvent again and removing another vast chunk of money out of Society. In Europe the appropriate legislation has already been enacted to make it all appear legal to us, when in fact they don’t really need these cosmetics . . . because it’s all their money. (Just making the point again!)

The widening gap between the rich and poor is because the banks are now choosing to put their money, by the trillion, in the hands of their mates – the global corporations. They are not putting it with the people, who could start the economy growing again, because they choose not to.

Our enslavement by debt is, I believe, the means by which they are hardening their already extensive hold over a now very shaky global financial system that is riddled with Odious debt. (It may also help suppress our growing liberation by the internet.)

It is difficult to find alternative reasons, as I watch the tyrannical ferocity of their demands for the total capitulation of the financially insignificant country of Greece. The world is coming to recognise that this is not responsible banking practice but intimidation in its rawest form, designed to send out a clear message that nobody stands up to the banks.

And from both political and financial perspectives this treatment gets a lot worse. Not only are they destroying democracy, by putting unelected representatives in to run the country but also destroying it with debt. Demanding Greece now takes a new ‘credit card’ with a higher credit limit, to be used specifically to pay off the ‘credit card’ previously issued to them, (and invest little of it in the country), is simply repaying Odious debt with more Odious debt!

Over the years I have read a number of purported conspiracy theories, which to date I have taken with a pinch of salt. These theories suggest that all of the American Presidents who have been assassinated, from Abraham Lincoln to John F Kennedy, had one thing in common. They were all committed to taking away from private banks the issue of the country’s currency and returning it, many would argue rightfully, to a government run Public Banking system that would be of far greater benefit to the people and the economy.

As I ponder this and the mystery that still surrounds the death of JFK, I begin to wonder about these supposed conspiracy theories. Is it possible that what to me was previously ‘farcical’ is indeed lacking in any humour whatsoever?

 

Until the next time.

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Greek Debt . . . We Owe THEM!

There is no doubt in my mind that Greece, in fighting back against Brussels and the Troika, has opened a can of worms that will not return to the tin! There is a corruption within our global financial system that is now endemic because it is aided and abetted by an equally corrupt political system.

These corruptions have been going on for centuries now but there is a powerful ‘game changer’ at work in the new world of the internet. Here transparency is becoming the norm and the establishment are desperately trying to suppress it . . . or us. From WikiLeaks to Edward Snowden and now Greece the veil is being constantly lifted on what is emerging as abuses of elephantine proportions.

From the theft of taxpayer money in 2008 to the foisting of yet even more debt on the tiny country of Greece, which is already drowning in what its government have now legally defined as Odious (illegal) debt, our financial system is not only hopelessly out of control but becoming increasingly more brutal in its application.

The harshness of Greece’s treatment, particularly by Germany’s finance minister Wolfgang Schauble who goosesteps across their country demanding no relief from their already suffocating debt, serves no purpose whatsoever in providing sound financial management and can only be designed to frighten the rest of us into submission.

This level of arrogance is particularly paradoxical, given that he is the political overseer of Germany’s financial systems and its largest bank, Deutsche Bank, is reportedly now poised ready to become Europe’s version of Lehman Bros. He isn’t aware of this? . . . Yeah, Right!

If we add to this that banks compliance, with other banks, in the criminal act of rigging the international LIBOR rate, (he wasn’t aware of this either? . . . Yeah, Right!), then the world that Herr Schauble reigns over is as odious as he is, a sentiment endorsed by fellow Germans.

If we then take the demands of the IMF to relinquish Greece of 50bn euros of assets, when it is reported that the country does not now have that level of assets, we have reached a stage of financial manipulation that will not result in financial solvency but a nation of homeless people, destined to live in abject poverty in perpetuity.

So how can criminality like this continue on such a vast scale? The guilt can be squarely placed at the doors of our governments who, in 2008, turned away from the people by aiding and abetting the greatest financial heist in the history of our species. This single act has created a precedent of unimaginable consequences for all of us, manifesting a reign of financial tyranny that is now evident with the treatment of the Greek people.

The EU comprises 28 countries, each with its own national characteristics, needs and ambitions. Like the rich owner of a football team, you can assemble a first class group of players but it is in the management of the individual talent that creates a team capable of winning games for its supporters.

Nowhere in any aspect of the EU can I find any such management skills capable of identifying the individual strengths and weaknesses of the member states and welding them together into a positive force for the good of the people. Having a president, rotated every six months to appease the whole is not a recipe for long term integrated development. There is nobody at the helm to steer such an unstable ship, as is now becoming increasingly evident.

It is within this unhealthy environment that Greece was brought into the club without adequate scrutiny, like all the rest. The result has been that its shaky political establishment has been used and abused relentlessly for the benefit of the banks and other unscrupulous members. Brussels inability to reign in this growing abuse is threatening the whole edifice, which is now on the verge of imploding.

The euro is also playing its part and I my opinion is no use to man nor beast.  I’m sure the politicians had ambitions for it to rival the dominance of the dollar as the global reserve currency. All it seems to be doing however is suffocating the financial independence of member states and hence Greece’s problems now. With its current record I wouldn’t entertain it as the reserve currency in a game of Monopoly!

Our Capitalist driven establishment is sowing the seeds of its own self destruction because its outlandish abuse is being opened up to us by social media and the internet. The same resource that is educating us on the abuse is also now capable of supporting and developing a Society driven establishment. We just need to keep applying ourselves and like the Greek people, not give in. We owe them that much!

 

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

The Global Collapse . . . A Clarification

In a piece last week http://www.globalmagnacarta.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=622&action=edit

I am concerned I may have unintentionally created an ambiguity about our supposed protection from another banking collapse and so I offer further observations.

To remind you these are the words I am referring to:

“When the bad debts, like the Greek bubble finally bursts (because the value of their debt is way in excess of their worth as a country), the domino effect upon other similar situations and countries will crash the banks. Hence the unprecedented brutal pressure on Greece by Brussels and the Troika to keep playing, because they know what is at risk! When it happens, however, they will simply close their doors and lock in all of the cash they are holding.

The wages you have earned, or the money you have saved, or the pension you have contributed to will become an ‘asset’ of the bank into which they have been paid. As an ‘asset’ the bank can then use it to cover its indebtedness. Not only will they lock the doors and switch off the ATM’s but hold a piece of paper at the window, from our politicians, telling us that what they are doing is quite legal and to go away and annoy someone else.

A directive has come out from the European Commission that all EU countries must comply with so-called bank and resolution recovery directives (BRRD), mandating that all the money banks are holding become part of their capital structure and no longer money belonging to savers!

“But that’s theft” I hear you say. NO . . . it’s legalised theft, like the taxpayer bail-out, because it comes with the full collusion of our politicians!

To add insult to injury in the UK, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme is reducing the amount of compensation from £85,000 to £75,000 when a bank goes bust, instead of increasing it. (Does Osborne know something, do you think?!)

Between them the banks and politicians screwed us as ‘taxpayers’ last time and will screw us again this time as ‘account holders and savers’ with a bail-in instead of a bail-out!”

As 2008 played out it is important to remember that only one bank actually went bust . . . Lehman Bros! The rest were insolvent and should have gone bust but for our taxpayer money, which bailed them out because they were ‘too big to fail’.

Given no bank went bust we had no call upon any Government compensation scheme . . . and there isn’t one that covers the theft of our ‘tax’ money. This time around I believe a similar type of theft will occur and it will be even more financially intolerable.

Once the banks close their doors and entrap our money they will become solvent again (with a bit of financial jiggery pokery). Although they have stolen our savings we will have no claim upon the Government compensation scheme because they haven’t gone bust!

With a ‘bail in’, our savings and current account moneys cannot be returned to us because if this happened the banks would go bust again! And as they have not gone bust we cannot claim under the compensation scheme . . . What an odious but perfect “Catch 22”.

The global financial system is now so corrupt that if it was not so seriously threatening and contemptuous of our wellbeing it would be a joke. Banks declare that at the very core of their business model is trust and without it they could not look after the money en-“trusted” to them.

If this is the case, why do we need a government backed ‘compensation’ scheme? And here is the ultimate joke. This compensation scheme uses our money, which we pay in taxes, to compensate us when the money we deposit in banks is stolen by those banks! The precedent has already been created, because 2008 saw that same tax money stolen by the very banks we are being protected from!!!

(I suppose the banks would argue that in stealing our taxes they are saving us from having to make a claim for compensation . . . but at this point my brain is beginning to hurt!)

Not only that, there is no authority within this shambolic bureaucracy that we can turn to for any justice, with financial crimes that are now regularly being perpetrated upon us. Not even the late and great Agatha Christie could have come up with a plot as devious or corrupt as this. I mean, am I missing something or has it all become quite farcical now?

Well, that’s it. I feel I have cleared up any ambiguity I may have been guilty of and will wait for the coming implosion which, I think, will see the end of any remaining credibility our current financial system is tenaciously hanging on to.

Until the next time.

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Greece: The End? . . . NO, Just the Beginning!

As the news comes out that a ‘deal’ has now been reached with Greece it is interesting how far we have come in our perceptions of what is really going on here, signifying to me just how joined up we are becoming as a global Society.

I would suggest the following was the more popular perception of the situation just a few short months ago at the beginning of this year and based upon the propaganda of mainstream media:

“Sorry, but this is a population that dodged taxes for many yrs, retired early and lived well beyond means. Accountability needed”

And these are some of the comments I have seen this morning after the ‘deal’ was announced:

“if any of the other european politicians had any backbone, they would leave this farce of a summit. Ashamed of my German govt”.

Greeks face ‘Humiliating’ Demands As Twitter Says #ThisIsACoup

 “Greece hands over complete control of its economy and tax and spending decisions to unelected ESM managers. Try selling that to Greeks.”

#Troika‘s plan is to OWN #Greece as such -and all countries- in exchange for mere accounting entries”

“Max Keiser on The Goldman Sachs criminal cabal. Take them to the Hague they are CRIMINALS.”

Our mind-set has changed radically during this time, as we share with each other the pieces of truth we have found about what is going on, coupled with the reality of what the Greek people are actually experiencing. Like the illegal Iraq war, it is the difference between what the media fed us and what mobile phone images and texts, from the people actually experiencing the carnage, opened our eyes to.

Greece has opened our eyes once again, to the reality that ‘Austerity’ is nothing more than a manufactured financial tool with which to incarcerate a people and then steal their country . . . and it is happening across the globe!

What I find truly horrendous about the present situation is that more debt is being foisted upon a people who are already on their knees and are now being made to prostrate themselves face down in the dirt.

Secondly and even more tasteless, is that it is being done by the same bankers who continue to commit criminal acts, the most public of which was the manipulation of the global benchmark interest rate know as LIBOR. Banks, like Deutsche Bank, have not been prosecuted because this criminality is condoned by the political establishment to save itself from the collapse of the present unworkable and undemocratic edifice it has created around 28 European states.

The supposed agreement with Greece does nothing to resolve these fundamental issues. Indeed it once again kicks the can down the road. Greece will soon be in the headlines again, joined by an increasing number of countries who have been engineered into the same impossible ‘pit of debt’.

I am looking for some sort of political leadership to tackle these fundamental issues. There is however, a wall of silence that lacks even the remotest whiff of integrity and so we lurch from one crisis to the next, with the growing humiliation and impoverishment of the people.

The brutality of what is happening in Greece demonstrates that we are tipping over the edge into a war, where a ‘financial armoury’ is deftly being used with far more devastation than any tanks or guns.

There is a wisdom that says that 99% of the solution lies in identifying the problem correctly. Our growing awareness that the tiny country of Greece is just a pawn in a global power play, is changing thinking and attitudes. We are nowhere near as tolerant as we have been with this global power. Our intolerance and greater awareness make it impossible to return to earlier thinking of even six months ago. Indeed, this is how we evolve!

Alex Tsipras has fought valiantly in an extremely lonely fight and against impossible odds. His attitude has opened our eyes to not only our financial losses but the loss of dignity we are all experiencing with this financial usurping of our power and our countries wealth.

He may have reached the end of his current play but his leadership is something we should all be looking for . . . politicians who care about the people. With a growing new mind-set and new leadership we can continue what Greece has started (and Iceland have taken to a successful conclusion!).

From their valiant efforts we know there is as better way forward, turning us away from an Economy and back into a Society again. It won’t be quick and it won’t be easy but we have now identified the problem. Being aware of it we can no longer ignore it. Nor, I would suggest, do we want to.

Greece is a beginning . . . Not an ending!

 

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Why the Coming Global Collapse . . . Again!

armeggeddon photo

With a collapsing Chinese Stock Market and New York suddenly throwing a wobbly yesterday, in a piece a little longer than usual, I offer my observations on how greedy banks, aided and abetted by inept politicians, are causing another global collapse they will then watch from their ivory towers, as we flounder in the sea of financial devastation they have created. JTC

After 2008 interest rates were reduced to nearly zero “To get money circulating and grow the economy again” we were told. What sheer unadulterated rubbish . . . Banks earn their living by charging interest!

Low interest means they won’t lend to you and me, or small and medium businesses, which could have kick started the economy, because there’s no money in it (except for our credit cards)! This has resulted in banks seeking alternative avenues of profit that are causing the growing gap between the rich and the poor, as well as destabilising the global financial system?

Currently they are making money from vast amounts of cheap loans, printed out of thin air*, which they lend to mega corporations. These then use it to buy back their own shares or other companies, keeping their share price up and thereby enabling them to pay huge bonuses at a time when their profits are going down!

This creates a financial ‘bubble’, because the value of the shares is greater than the actual value of the company. As most of the global corporations are playing this game we now have a bubble the size of this Planet . . . and we know bubbles burst!

So what else are they doing? Loans that are risky demand higher interest rates and so ‘sub-prime’ lending is good. Lending to countries is even better because the loans are vast. But we already know these loans can’t be repaid, as Greece and a growing number of other countries are now declaring and the IMF is admitting to.

“Wait a minute” I hear you say, “Won’t the banks go bust, as they did in 2008”? I’ll return to this in a minute.

They have also focussed on financial gambling, (sorry Derivatives trading!) rather than traditional banking. Derivatives are just pieces of paper and lack any transparency as to their content, so you have no idea of what you are buying or selling. With the sub-prime mortgages the banks knew they were making loans that would quickly go bad and so they parcelled them together with good loans and sold this toxic combination off in bundles to each other.

Of course the bad loans in each bundle went bust, immediately destroying the declared value of the whole bundle (Derivative) and the bubble between their supposed value and actual worth burst, creating distrust and crashing the markets overnight.

It’s like a horse race in which, unknown by you, several of the horses have been doped. When the news gets out you raid the housekeeping to make up your losses and then stay away . . . for a while. Gambling is addictive and so eventually you return to the track and start betting again.

This is exactly what the banks did after 2008, with the collusion of politicians. And the bubble will collapse again but this time it will be devastating. To give you some idea of the extent of the problem, last year’s revenue in the world’s gambling capital, Las Vegas, was $6.4 billion. The last time I looked the value placed upon global derivatives, including currency, interest rate and sovereign debt gambling, was $724 TRILLION!

The 2013 Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report stated that global wealth had then reached a new all-time high of $241 trillion, confirming that another financial bubble of elephantine proportions has now been created.

Real wealth comes from making and selling tangible items that cannot evaporate overnight. Paper wealth, as sub-prime mortgage derivatives and the collapse of Lehman Bros demonstrated, not only disappear overnight through loss of trust but bring the whole world crashing down with them.

So why are the banks playing such a dangerous game again? Easy. They can’t lose again because they have a new source of ‘housekeeping’ money!

When the bad debts, like the Greek bubble finally bursts (because the value of their debt is way in excess of their worth as a country), the domino effect upon other similar situations and countries will crash the banks. Hence the unprecedented brutal pressure on Greece by Brussels and the Troika to keep playing, because they know what is at risk! When it happens, however, they will simply close their doors and lock in all of the cash they are holding.

The wages you have earned, or the money you have saved, or the pension you have contributed to will become an ‘asset’ of the bank into which they have been paid. As an ‘asset’ the bank can then use it to cover its indebtedness. Not only will they lock the doors and switch off the ATM’s but hold a piece of paper at the window, from our politicians, telling us that what they are doing is quite legal and to go away and annoy someone else.

A directive has come out from the European Commission that all EU countries must comply with so-called bank and resolution recovery directives (BRRD), mandating that all the money banks are holding become part of their capital structure and no longer money belonging to savers!

“But that’s theft” I hear you say. NO . . . it’s legalised theft, like the taxpayer bail-out, because it comes with the full collusion of our politicians!

To add insult to injury in the UK, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme is reducing the amount of compensation from £85,000 to £75,000 when a bank goes bust, instead of increasing it. (Does Osborne know something, do you think?!)

Between them the banks and politicians screwed us as ‘taxpayers’ last time and will screw us again this time as ‘account holders and savers’ with a bail-in instead of a bail-out!

As Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, stated in a press meeting last month, “The sub-prime crisis is mostly due to lack of supervision”. . . and this type of ineptness is exactly what the politicians do so very well in their support of a wholly distorted financial system.

As a global Society it is taking us nowhere. We need to exercise our growing power in this internet age and put people into power who have the same mind-set as Alex Tsipras. He is not frightened by his adversaries and his type of tenacity and integrity will end this corrupt form of Capitalism, turning us away from an Economy and back into a Society again . . . if we are willing to stand up and be counted.

 

Until the next time

*P.S. For a perfect description of how money is printed out of thin air I can do no better than refer you to this piece by my friend Sky Wanderer @glopol_analysis:  https://globalpoliticalanalysis.wordpress.com/2014/06/18/the-short-story-of-how-we-are-kept-in-odious-debt-deficit-crisis-and-austerity/?blogsub=confirming#blog_subscription-3

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Greece, Puerto Rica, Ukraine . . . UK!!

When the news broke yesterday that the BBC would now have to fund free television licenses for the over-75’s the preposterous nature of ‘austerity’ suddenly hit home in all of its vile reality. I don’t know why this particular cut hit home as it did. Perhaps it just highlighted the fact that the very fabric of Society is being torn to shreds. Even more sinister is that our ability to look after each other is being eroded, insidious step by insidious step.

And all for what? To pay the interest on the loans heaped upon us, as well as paying interest on the money we use for our day to day living. Every aspect of the money we use, whether it’s for paying bills or borrowing to buy a car/holiday/contents of our homes is charged out to us by private banks. It’s not cheap either, as the interest they charge is not ‘simple’ but compound, so they earn twice, by charging interest on the interest!

This government was voted in by just 24% of voters on a policy of ‘austerity’. The reasoning behind it is all very laudable.  We have borrowed beyond our means and the government tell us we need to cut back to meet our obligations through ‘austerity’ measures. What complete and utter twaddle!

The reality of ‘austerity’ is that its financial structure only benefits the lenders, gradually reducing the borrowers to penury. The glaring evidence of this is Greece, where 5 years of ‘austerity’ have reduced the country and its people to a shadow of their former selves. Banks are not lending to small and medium businesses to get the economy moving again. More debt is declared as the panacea for the already over indebted, necessitating the need to sell off national assets to meet impossible financial obligations.

It is precisely for this reason that the Greek people have now reacted in such a forceful manner. Not only electing a ‘left wing’ government into power but also continuing their strong defiance by refusing the current offers of more cuts and further social deprivation simply to pay interest to lenders.

The obscenity of all of this is the intolerable pressure heaped upon this tiny country by both politicians and bankers, who have suddenly realised that the impossible has happened and a borrower has turned round and said ENOUGH! The global financial system is now so rotten with Odious debt that a breath of resistance, such as Greece, can bring the whole edifice tumbling down like a house of cards and hence the brutal treatment being meted out.

These headlines today sum up this reality: –

Guardian – Greek citizens: “It’s like being in a war without weapons”.

The Economic Collapse – The German Siege of Greece Begins.

All for the sake of compound interest, as one country after another is brought to its knees. Cutting back on social benefits and justifying it by calling the users ‘scroungers’ is no different to calling the Greek people ‘tax dodgers’. I am not saying that there are some who are robbing the system, as there are in Greece but casting slurs is a propaganda tool to distract us from the unpleasant reality of what is actually going on.

These tactics are tearing Societies apart in many countries now, including here in the UK. Divide and conquer by setting taxpayer against supposed scrounger works, up to a point. Until the day we wake up and realise we have little or no social infrastructure with which to support any of us! This is the real cancer seeping over us now as financial values destroy human values.

The Greeks have had 5 years of an abuse designed to rob their country, whilst also robbing the people of their dignity as an inclusive part of the deal. Here in the UK we are just into a 5 year term with a government who are making my head spin with the ferocity of their cuts and the handing over of our national assets at rock bottom prices.

Are we really going to mirror the Greek experience and suffer increasing humiliation over the next 5 years to fund interest payments, or go directly to where they are now (and Iceland who is very financially healthy now) by fighting back?

The Labour party has a golden opportunity here, to regain credibility and then some with 76% of voters, by taking a leaf out of Greece’s book. Also carefully studying what is going on in Spain with the Podemos party who have ousted much of what is detested over here. With another Alex Tsipras at the helm they could halt, or end, this present government’s destructive term!

I am apolitical and love this country dearly but God knows we need anti-capitalist ideals to dominate now. We live in a Society NOT an Economy.

 

Until the next time.

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Greece says “No” . . . YES!!!

In the cool light of the morning after the Greek referendum my upper most thought is how I wish we too had a Prime Minister that can unite the people by the sheer power of his integrity and caring. Indeed I think 76% of UK voters are of a similar mind!

The strength of feeling that has produced such a damning vote on ‘Austerity’ shows how lacking in human compassion both the banks and Brussels have become and how hopelessly out of touch they are in managing this vast conglomeration of countries with such diverse national characteristics.

Alex Tsipras stance is a lone voice of sanity in a world gone mad. As Romano Prodi said “If the EU cannot resolve a small problem the size of Greece, what is the point of Europe?” This coming from former chief of the European Commission and Italy’s ex-premier.

It transpires that the IMF have finally come clean and conceded that Greece now needs an extra £42 BILLION over the next 3 years PLUS large scale debt relief to provide some sort of breathing space and re-stabilise the economy.

As I have said before, it is not just Greece that is struggling but Puerto Rica, (the newly dubbed “American Greece”), Ukraine, Italy, Spain, Portugal and many under-developed African nations as well. Here we have the evidence of just how worrying our global banking system has become, with such little regulation and the frightening mushrooming effect of compound interest upon existing debt.

And the solution to all of this debt is more debt! If current debt levels cannot be serviced, because of irresponsible lending practices, how is it at all conceivable that more debt will help? The Greek people are right in saying “Enough”! The misery they have been put through over the last 5 years, which is being demanded be continued indefinitely, is indefensible financially or on humanitarian grounds.

As an aside, (and bee in my bonnet this morning!), is the polling information put out before the actual vote on Sunday. ‘Neck and Neck’ was the unambiguous call from all pundits and how wrong they got it. My point here is that this mirrors our experience in the UK at the last election and begs the question as to whether we now have manipulation going on here. After all if international LIBOR rates can be manipulated, as well as news stories and electioneering promises, opinion poll data must be a piece of cake.

I mean, if it became known that people were intending to vote with a resounding “No”, as happened, what effect would that have had on the ‘undecideds’ in pushing the majority even higher. We know Brussels has stooped to some pretty unpleasant tactics in the run up to this referendum and the IMF demanded of a weak Prime Minister that the previous referendum be actually cancelled, so why not pollster jiggery pokery?

If I am correct then it highlights, once again, that it is not about money but the huge power struggle going on, to maintain a level of autocratic power over the people that will become unsustainable in this modern joined up world of very discontented voters. In standing up to this power, indeed running rings around them at times, Greece has touched a growing anger inside all of us at the hardship we are expected to endure in order to pay the banks their interest on bad lending practices.

As I watched the news footage last night and the growing realisation that the people had stood up to the existing power structures in no uncertain terms and their future is equally uncertain, there was also the realisation (and envy) that they had achieved something the rest of us need to carefully examine and consider. The people’s faces showed they had found the courage to vote “No” and in doing so had taken back their dignity.

To that I say a resounding . . . “YES”!!!!

 

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes