Tag Archives: Debt

Capitalism . . . Creator of Poverty

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.” – JFK

According to one of my financial heroes, Bill Bonner, money is not wealth. It simply measures wealth like a clock measures time. Wealth is what has been produced, is made available and that which you can buy with money.

When banks print money out of thin air it is like adding an extra hour to a clock. It doesn’t make time any bigger, it simply distorts it and disorients the observer. What counts with money is that it is honestly made available to purchase goods and services. Honest money cannot be separated from the real economy where those goods and services are produced.

Say’s Law offers the wisdom that “You buy products with products . . . not pieces of paper.”

QE in the US, Europe and Japan is following Zimbabwe in separating money from the real economy. Trillions of dollars have been printed that mislead everyone into thinking they are wealthy, until they see the need for a wheelbarrow full of this pseudo wealth to buy real wealth – a carton of milk. We aren’t there yet but that is where we are headed!

Similarly, profit is not wealth but merely a measurement of overall business efficiency. When you combine these two illusions you arrive at the curse of the 21st century . . . debt. Debt offers the most efficient means of producing profit, by producing unreal money with few overheads.

With all of this in mind let me give you my perspective on what is going on and remember I’m no economist, but even to my simple mind we are now heading to an almighty financial catastrophe. I will use the car industry to make my point but the principles can be applied across today’s financial world. Continue reading

2016 . . . Feudalism is Returning

The private banks have argued for a long time now that the issue of money should be exclusively theirs. They further argue that to allow governments this power would see political abuse of the monetary system. It is a sound argument, which has allowed financiers to amass not only great wealth but also vast power that now, as we are seeing, is usurping the powers of elected governments and eradicating democracy.

The end result of this is that in this 21st century we are being taken back to a feudal Society, where the people own very little and are enslaved by debt.

In feudal times the peasants (people) were allowed to farm and cultivate plots of land by renting that land from the powerful (Barons). They rarely achieved ownership of the land they worked because a large portion of what they grew was taken by the Landowner as rent for the land. This kept the people at a barely subsistence level from what they farmed. If they had a poor year they incurred debt, because of inadequate supplies of crops with which to pay the rent. If they were unable to ‘grow their way out of debt’ they were enslaved in serfdom.

I see many similarities between then, when Magna Carta came into force and today. Our private money system has created a property boom which is now pricing property at such astronomical rates, more and more people are being returned to renting their own home, or denied that opportunity, with little chance in the foreseeable future of this situation changing . . . A rentier Society.

Technology is being allowed to replace jobs with no political will to lead a vision of employment in this new era. Already the young are consigned to a form of slavery, as educated graduates, burdened down with debt, are finding it less and less possible to engage in a career with a meaningful future and income opportunities, leaving them with no option than to rent their homes . . . A rentier Society.

Cash is being abolished to enable our money to become wholly digital to support negative interest rates, where we pay the banks to look after our money! This means we will have no independence or control over our finances, as was the case when cash ruled. We will soon see our money frozen at the press of a button if we somehow transgress. Remember what happened to Julian Assange and Ed Snowden . . . all accounts frozen without any judicial process to confirm their guilt . . . A financially repressed rentier Society.

Given such a lacklustre environment in which Society is expected to function it can only mean a return to the feudal times of centuries ago. And this in a time when we can send people into Space and perform the most miraculous of medical operations and healthcare.

Nowhere is this more obvious than the odious TTIP trade agreement, which is being forced upon governments around the world. It will reduce populations by 50% by starving people, abolishing pensions and spreading poverty, according to Michael Hudson in an interview with Bonnie Faulkner this month (I am indebted to T J Greene @greentak for this one) http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/02/michael-hudson-discusses-the-new-global-financial-cold-war.html

This supposed trade agreement is to force privatisation and disable government regulation.

. . . And I quote:

“There are a number of related aims: to nullify environmental protection regulations that cost money, to nullify protection of labour, and to nullify attempts to tax natural resources or economic rent. The idea is to turn roads and the transport system into toll roads, which will be owned by foreigners and run at a high charge. The Internet and the water system will be sold off and made into toll systems, to charge for their services and for other basic needs. This will impose a neo-feudal rentier economy throughout the world as the finance, industrial and real estate (FIRE) sector takes over the government sector.”

. . . And just to hammer home the point:

“The neoliberal plan is to create a post-industrial society. By “post-industrial” I mean a neo-rentier economy returning to feudalism. Instead of governments taking the lead and providing basic services at a low price to become a competitive economy, neoliberalized governments sell roads and energy, electricity, water and sewers to buyers that are going to charge whatever the market will bear. This is going to impoverish the country. It’s the opposite of what development economics taught through most of the 20th century”.

Austerity becomes a lot clearer when you realise that all of the debt slushing around this beautiful Planet is now so vast it has become unrepayable. The bankers have engineered this so they are now able to take repayments in the form of sovereign services, transport services, health services and water and sewage systems.

We are returning to a feudal society, by way of debt, that has been allowed to grow beyond prudent levels. Greece, which I rant so much about, is a precursor of what is to come. Where a country is simply broken up to pay odious debt that has been foisted upon its people by irresponsible bankers, aided and abetted by equally irresponsible politicians. Their beautiful islands are being sold off at rock bottom prices like some second hand car auction. TTIP is preparing us all for such action!

In spite of looking very black, there is something within me that continues to say “there will be a turning point”, as there always has been throughout our history. These tactics were tried after the 1929 collapse and seen to fail miserably. John Maynard Keynes, no less, preached against such action and was shown to be right. Financiers think they know better these days and only time will tell.

Very much in our favour now is the fact that we are no longer the global serfs of centuries ago, as I have said before. We are much better educated and with the powerful means of communicating with each other globally. When and where that turning point will be I really don’t know but happen it will . . . We simply have to believe!

(As an aside, you may not be aware, as I wasn’t, that 800,000 names (2% of eligible electors!) have ‘dropped off’ the electoral register, following changes to the way citizens register to vote in the UK. That’s 800,000 people entitled to vote who no longer can help to change things. The National Voter Registration Drive – #NVRD – is driven by passionate people who are rising up to address their governments failure to manage and nurture a ‘healthy’ democracy. Actions like this are on the increase and happening everywhere . . . hence my optimism!)

Awareness breeds understanding and understanding breeds change.

Until the next time

 

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

Our Toxic Financial System – Part 3 of 3

Nathan Rothschild

In Part 1 http://tinyurl.com/z3x2yzb I justified my use of the word ‘toxic’ in the title from the dictionary, which described it “Causing social harm or unpleasantness” – The Free Dictionary by Farlex. In this final part I would like to offer examples of how the biggest global monopoly in our history is now consolidating its vast powers and whether they are of benefit to Society or not.

In Part 2 http://tinyurl.com/j3xu9uq I alluded to how money comes into being. Monopoly allows them to simply create loans on a balance sheet and bring money into existence (out of thin air) for the duration of the loan and on which we pay interest.

This monopoly to supply our money no longer needs to hold reserves of tangible assets – like gold – to support the value of that money. Indeed, to protect this monopoly they actively work against any country looking to bring its own currency into existence. Recently (and quietly) disclosed in Hilary Clinton emails), it was confirmed that Gaddafi was looking to introduce a gold backed currency into Africa and never quite made it.

With no control over how much cash is circulated into Society, because it is no longer controlled by how much gold reserves the banks have to hold, we have seen a printing bonanza since 2008, as money is flooded into the economy to stave off what should have been an economic collapse and recession.

These vast amounts of money were supposed to be put out into Society to spend on goods and services, thereby stimulating the economy back into a healthy position. A monopoly however, allowed banks to hold on to the money to boost their own severely strained reserves (they were all technically bankrupt after 2008). They also gave cheap loans to the corporate world. These were used to buy out the competition and buy back their own shares, thereby artificially holding up their share prices, in an era of falling sales.

This stimulated the growing gap between rich and poor, as the banks directed their money in just one direction – the corporate world. Like a gardener directing his hosepipe to water just a part of the garden, those plants that received it flourished and the remainder withered.

In spite of all the reassurances from the experts, like the Federal Reserve, that ‘QE’ would sort the problem of growing unemployment and economic slowdown, it didn’t. In addition, these private banks have continued to merge risky investment banking with their consumer banking, the very problems that heralded the collapse of 2008.

Because of their monopolistic position the banks are again looking to the public to bail them out, by taking current account money and savings next time. (Don’t raise the fact that we have a government protection scheme to reimburse us in this event . . . that is our taxpayer money again that will support this second grand theft!!)

As we become aware of what is happening the astute will take their money out of the banks and hoard it under the bed, as we have done for eons when distrust of the banks sets in. This time, because they are so fragile, the banks want to pre-empt our astuteness by getting rid of cash, something already under way in – Canada, Denmark, France, India, Israel, Norway and Sweden, to name but a few.

If we are restricted to plastic, (which ordinarily need not present a problem, if properly overseen) our money is no longer in tangible form as notes and coins but simply numbers on a computer screen and their monopoly will allow them to deny us access at will. Their monopoly control then becomes absolute. Their reasoning is that it will enable them to crack down on money laundering and tax evasion.

Indeed, only in the last year or so Switzerland has been under attack from US agencies to make public the many corporations who deposit funds in secret bank accounts to avoid tax. Having done the gentlemanly thing and given in, Switzerland is now seeing this money transferred to Reno, Nevada in the US, where that same privileged tax status is available to those same corporations!

Debt obligation is underwriting the flourishing of this financial monopoly and as with all monopolies, Society is the poorer for it. We have absolutely no control over current financial abuse and our governments seem to be helpless because of their debt obligations to theses very banks.

Private banking has its place in Society, I believe, as a provider of services to the corporate world. What current banking practice has established is that we need a separate ‘public banking’ system, for the private individual and accountable to those very people, as both customers and taxpayers.

Here there is a ray of light in no less a place than Switzerland, the home of global banking. This country operates both public and private banking services, the former of which provides the citizens with one of the best health services in the world. Now there is a move to demand that government, not the private banks, has the exclusive power to create the country’s money.

The reasoning for this is summed up as follows:

  1. Currently money is created as debt, resulting in severe malfunctions.
  2. The country’s money supply is under private control and therefore a monopoly.
  3. Bank deposits are not secure.
  4. Money supply rises and falls in line with banking profitability, not social need.
  5. The money supply fosters inflation.
  6. Debt issued money is only a benefit to banks and not to Society.

Interestingly this has not been widely covered by global media and left to the specialist publications and social networking to be heard. (Another ray of light in our rapidly changing world!) It is early days but here, at its very centre, is evidence of awareness on the injustices of debt driven monopoly banking.

We have a new, plain speaking breed of political leader emerging and showing integrity and a desire to break from the current world order of unelected corporate rule . . . like Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and Bernie Saunders in the US.

They can’t do it on their own, as Gaddafi, Lincoln and JFK have previously demonstrated but in league with like-minded politicos we could see real progress to a less abusive monetary system . . . and so much more.

Awareness breeds understanding and understanding breeds change

 

Until the next time

 

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

Global Leadership . . . Hmmmm!

As I watched the gathering of global leaders in Malta, standing for the obligatory photo op, I thought for a second I saw strings hanging down to their arms and legs. I looked again and they were gone, or had they been ‘photo shopped’ out . . . You decide!

As the financialisation of our Planet continues these corporate puppets gather to try and resolve yet another massive problem they have been instrumental in making. How can Europe possibly offer meaningful support to all these desperate immigrants when we are engulfed in chronic debt, falling production and vast youth unemployment?

It was Albert Einstein who observed that “The thinking that created the problem is quite incapable of solving it”, and how prophetic these words have become. We have horrendously serious problems to confront and deal with as a species, if we are to continue to live on this beautiful Planet, all of which have been caused by the policies of our leaders corporate masters.

If we look at the employment problems our young have to face, they can only escalate as we move into the future, creating a breeding ground for rebellion and anarchy. The significance of this, to my mind, is that every single one of us has to feel some sense of purpose in living this Life and work often provides the solution to that dilemma.

Youngsters today do not have this benefit, because robots and employers are reducing traditional workforces dramatically. They are getting away with it through contrived ‘austerity’ programmes which now rapidly losing credibility.

How will Society shape itself if there is little employment for people and that which is available is meaningless and insecure? How will homes be provided and family’s reared and how will we feed ourselves? Governments can’t help because their tax income will also drastically reduce.

And then we come to the broader picture. Climate change and global warming are a reality, in spite of the billions spent by the corporate sector on propaganda that argues against our interests and for theirs. With the benefit of modern communications we can actually see the ice caps melting as we look at them!

On the food front we know that water shortages are now occurring and can only get worse. The corporate solution to this Life threatening scenario is, with the help of ‘austerity’, to buy up as many national utilities as they can. Not for our benefit but as a source of guaranteed future profits. The fact that they are not employing people whose wages could then pay for this precious commodity and inevitably will die of thirst, is not a subject on anyone’s agenda.

Again with our environment, we are the only species to poison its own food by constantly dumping toxic waste into the oceans. To my mind it is the most childlike act of mindlessness, of all the present atrocities, because there is a mind-set that reasons the oceans are so vast they will absorb whatever we dump in them.

Evidence is now coming thick and fast of the nuclear pollution in our seas. Once again there is a puerile attitude by the culprits that ignores the natural state of the oceans and the fact that it is our largest source of food. Oceans have currents and these currents take what is dumped in the East, South, North, and West and move it around the world like a giant blender. (And TPP will deregulate food hygiene standards . . . Dear God!)

The curse of Society is political and corporate short terminism. Strategies are put in place that will see out the current political term and share prices are manipulated for the current accounting period. It is everywhere, from our news headlines to the collapsing state of our debt riddled financial systems and the shortages of jobs and food. Stock Markets scream for higher profits and share prices, pushing companies into dubious short term practices to maintain both. The latest being the VW emissions scandal.

We now have a lunatic environment where cheap money, printed out of thin air, is being taken on as debt, by big corporations, to buy up competitors in an effort to convince shareholders that ‘big’ is valuable. The present reality is that corporate sales are in constant decline and so share prices are being inflated by stardust, reaping terrible repercussions when the debt mountain cannot be repaid, which won’t be too long now.

The global financial system is run by unelected officials who are not accountable to governments, only their own board, as to how our money is produced and controlled. Debt, negative interest rates and the gradual disappearance of cash are now firmly on the agenda as they take us into uncharted waters!

And the masters and puppets currently keep it all in place with this financial control and a global media, whose propaganda constantly diverts our thinking away from these real problems with the latest political/celebrity ‘sensation’. It is here that the real blame lies.

Our media is the very essence of how we all assess and manage political and corporate activity. It is the means by which we regulate the powerful. History has shown how the powerful are always blinded by their own power – hence Magna Carta all those centuries ago.

As the media continue to play down the threats to our very existence we look to whistle-blowers and other responsible people to inform us. Will it take this extreme behaviour to bring the media back on course again, because we need something?

I understand that Rupert Murdoch is now dating Jerry Hall, Mick Jagger’s ex. Maybe our salvation will be found in her knocking some sense into him but I’m not holding my breath!

Until the next time

 

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

EU . . . Let’s Start Again!

I have never hidden my contempt for what the EU has now become and I am sure this reflects the attitude of the unelected bureaucrats in Brussels who increasingly hold sway over 500 million of us.

Originally it was a project that made sense, as it focussed on free movement of labour, capital, goods and services. When it’s true size and potential was recognised (the EU now accounts for 15% of global GDP), monetary and fiscal ‘union’ became the new goals, as financiers waded in and democracy began to whither.

Control of political ‘union’ became the priority and Bernard Connolly’s paper ‘Europe: Driver or Drive. EMU and the lust for Crisis’ identified how crisis could achieve that control.

Environmental Issues would increase control over member countries. Terrorism would increase control of state surveillance, police and judicial issues. Global Financial Crisis would provide the excuse for Europe wide regulation and global financial governance. European Monetary Union would create the crisis to force the introduction of European economic government.

Britain was not prepared to accede to both political and financial union and so ‘contrived crises achieved the desired control behind our backs. These tactics demonstrated that we are dealing with un-elected representatives whose primary loyalty and concern is not with the people of Europe.

As Oliver Hartwich wrote in Why Europe Failed “The people of Europe did not suddenly wake up one day and demand they be bound together by a supra-national organisation. Neither did they demand to give up their national currencies in return for the euro. Indeed there has never been a popular movement for any sort of European integration”.

So how did it become so large an entity? If ‘crisis’ provided the goals, three disciplines fuelled the growth, of which language was the first. In 1957 when the Treaty of Rome lauded the famous four freedoms of “labour, services, goods and capital” it also had an innocuous commitment to “ever closer union among peoples”.

At the time this was lost in the excitement about a Common Market but provided the powerful with the tool with which to push for closer ties and the greater centralisation of power. And what better way to achieve this than by the second discipline of law-making?

The European Court of Justice was brought into being with the express purpose of asserting its own supremacy over and above the role of our parliaments. The European Communities Act 1972 states that:

Section 2 (1) means that provisions of EU law that are directly applicable or have direct effect, such as EU Regulations or certain articles of the EU Treaties, are automatically “without further enactment” incorporated and binding in national law without the need for a further Act of Parliament

Having control of the language and law-making all that is left for absolute control is the third discipline . . . money! The inauguration of the European Central Bank and its plaything, the euro, provides a level of control that is truly sinister. It allows peripheral nations to borrow cheaply under conditions that provide an ‘ever closer union’ and bring them into line through the application of debt. (I am indebted to Nick O’Connor of Capital and Conflict for his insightfulness here.)

Margaret Thatcher immediately saw this threat when the ECB was first muted and warned against it:

“If I were [in charge], there would be no European central bank accountable to no one, least of all national Parliaments. The point of that kind of Europe with a central bank is no democracy, taking powers away from every single Parliament, and having a single currency, a monetary policy and interest rates which take all political power away from us.” 

How prophetic her words, as the IMF and ECB have now demonstrated by bringing Greece to its knees with debt. Followed up immediately by the invasion of unelected technocrats who pour over and interfere in every aspects of the countries workings, down to the processes used by bakeries!

What we are now moving to, with fiscal union, is a United States of Europe and if Britain does not join it will remain a fully paying member, obeying its rules but without the ability to influence decision making.

This is what the “Remain In” campaigners are threatening, amongst them the twice disgraced member of Tony Blair’s government, Peter Mandelson. Given his long standing membership of the Bilderberg group, one of the corporate world’s most powerful groups, I take his words with a pinch of salt. A view supported by recent words from EU President Juncker’s deputy, Frans Timmerman who said:

“What was unimaginable before now becomes imaginable, namely the disintegration of the European project. The European ideals still have very strong support among the population across Europe. What do not have strong support are European politicians and European politics”

As more and more countries demand the return of sovereign powers to national governments the power grab by the technocrats is seeding its own self destruction. Democracy is an integral part of every one of us and the EU’s growing dictatorship flies in the face of this natural order.

If Britain leaves others will follow, because the whole project is now fatally flawed, with the financial crisis, limited growth, unemployment and now immigration. We need a new ‘Phoenix’ to rise from the ashes in the shape of, say, a European ‘Trade’ Council, focussing upon refining trading between member countries and run by the people who pay for it all and have the greatest interest in its success . . . Companies, Unions and Taxpayers.

From this foundation growth can occur organically, with political power contained within the borders of each country, jointly committing to a mandate to support the development of a people driven union.

 

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/Cyprus . . . A Sinister Experiment

I have just finished an incredible and comprehensively researched book by Ernst Wolff that has made me realise how naïve I have been about the forces that control our world. It’s called Pillaging the World, The History and Politics of the IMF and like me, will change your thinking about how the world works.

The IMF was birthed out of negotiations between the US and UK in 1940, designed to create a new world monetary order. Officially the job of the IMF, as a supposed independent body, was to bring stability to global financial systems and help out troubled countries in crisis who were members of its ‘club’.

The UK was subsequently pushed to one side and it was then designed primarily to represent the interests of the US and secure economic world domination, becoming the real force behind the development and growth of neoliberalism.

To conceal this purpose it has always been presented as an independent body, supported by a policy of only having non-Americans as its public face, (MD Christine Lagarde is excellent as a European and a striking woman with considerable financial expertise). The people who actually pull the strings remain clouded in secrecy.

Current membership of the IMF stands at 188 countries, who have voting rights based upon their financial contribution to the ‘club’. The starting capital for the fund was $8.8 billion of which the US deposited by far the largest amount of $2.9 billion, thereby rendering the voting rights of the other members worthless.

The original statute of intention included the telling condition:

‘To provide member countries facing balance of payment difficulties with temporary access to the Fund’s general resources and under adequate safeguards.’ (My italics)

As lender of last resort the IMF quickly realised it could attach conditions to all loans, over and above the crippling compound interest that is levied. Loans are not subject to parliamentary approval and treated as classified information that is not intended for the public eye. Because of these aggressive conditions global corporations are able to move in and reap vast profits from buying up a country’s assets at rock bottom prices. Continue reading

Conspiracy Theory? . . . You Decide

In a recent BBC TV interview Edward Snowden described how the security forces are able to use our smartphones to locate where we go and listen in to our day to day conversations, remotely turning them on in our pockets or bags if necessary. This level of personal invasion is on a par with rape but whilst they are intimidating us they are not actually manipulating us.

In the financial arena of our lives however, there is no doubt in my mind we are being manipulated and suppressed in an ever tightening vice like grip. It begun with the 2008 crash when our taxpayer money was taken from us, forcing our governments to borrow vast debt to prop up a weakened Society.

These loans demanded ‘austerity’ measures which have seen our state services dramatically reduced and other entities sold off at record low prices to, supposedly, help repay that debt. Austerity is severely weakening global democracy, as corporations make themselves more powerful through their own seemingly irresponsible actions.

With another financial collapse on the way, the banks are seeking to ‘safeguard’ taxpayers by stealing their savings and investments instead! This new form of theft is being enforced by legislation (the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD)) from the EU who, interestingly, have recently ordered 11 countries to enact it within two months or be hauled before the EU Court of Justice, according to Reuters.

In essence banks are now authorised to convert the money we hold with them into their assets if they get into trouble. So our current account, savings, or other investments, become the banks property to be used to prop them up, in the same way our taxpayer money did in 2008.

Whilst the UK has government protection (which is currently being reduced from £85,000 to £75,000 per customer if a bank goes bust), in Austria their parliament enacted legislation which removed government liability for all bank deposits, leaving bank customers high and dry – a worrying precedent!

We are being set up to have our own money stolen from us again, as in 2008 and financially enslaved to exert greater control over what we do.

It makes sense to me when we now hear that the Bank of England, no less, wants to do away with cash! They are citing the reason as confronting “money laundering and other criminal abuses”. Its replacement could be a digital currency along the lines of Bitcoins.

And this only a year or two since they launched a blistering assault on Bitcoins and other virtual currencies as being the “haunt of criminals and money launderers”! If we add to this the reports over the years of whole bank branches in the US being run by criminals for the very purpose of money laundering, their whole argument about their responsibility with money becomes questionable at least.

What the eradication of cash will achieve is greater control over our money by banks. Every penny, cent, peso, lira we spend will be recorded by them and our privacy will again be violated in an indefensible manner.

Unlike smartphone surveillance however, they will be able to exert a control over us with their ability to simply shut down our means of payment, be it plastic card or smartphone, citing some vague abuse or clause in their endless terms of business. I can see a ‘daily allowance’ being instituted “for our own safety”, which they control, as is currently the case with cash dispensers. They would be capable of restricting how much we take abroad or buy from abroad . . . or anywhere!

Removing cash further allows them to manipulate us with the new phenomenon of negative interest rates, where our savings reduce instead of increasing. With no other option available, like cash, we would then be forced to spend, thereby boosting the economy (which is what they want!).

Cash has always provided us with the freedom to do what we like with our money. We can save it, hoard it if we do not trust the banks and retain an independence over our lives by how we spend it. That will all disappear overnight as ultimate control is taken over by the banks.

(As I write NatWest have just emailed to tell me they are withdrawing their ‘Cash’ Back (my quotes) service and replacing it with My Rewards . . . Same service, different words. Hmmm!)

If we add to these threats the watering down of global democracy by notorious trade agreements, such as TPP and TTIP, there is a vast shift in global power going on at present, caused by the advent of the internet. Traditionally we have been controlled through ignorance, by ‘divide and conquer’ where, as long as we fight each other, we are not a threat to those who rule us.

That means of control in now dead in the water as the internet educates us and brings us together for the first time in our history. Rulers are turning to direct control to counter this unification and debt is more effective than physical conflict. Look at the recent experience of the Greek people to see the reality of this new era of financial power and control.

As the Greek people have realised, we can only retaliate with political power, by putting the right people in place to fight our corner. History shows us, with monotonous regularity, that austerity/financial stricture is always the cause of revolution . . . and now it could be global!

Conspiracy Theory? . . . You Decide

 

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 . . . A ‘Profit Machine’!

At last the media are beginning to accept that Alex Tsipras’s ‘infamous’ U-turn on July 13 2015 was a necessary and responsible action, faced with a Troika threatened collapse of the entire Greek financial system.

The ferocity of their assault was a calculated reaction to his democratic call for a referendum in the face of their threats to ignore democracy and bow to their demands. He is the loneliest person on this Planet as he tries to deal with the frustrations of his people and those in his party, who seem incapable of understanding the sheer power they are up against.

Greek debt is not the issue here. It is a relatively insignificant country, financially, which has found the courage to stand up to this dominant world force and their inhuman actions. This draconian power has had to be demonstrated to maintain their global position.

The consequences to the people is irrelevant with such actions, as they need to deter any thought of future challenges to their power by others, particularly given the rising tide of popularity for left wing politics in Spain, Italy and now in the UK.

Be under no illusion that the EU is a different place since July 13, as it witnessed the surrender of liberal democracy to the brutal forces of Neoliberal Authoritarianism. It is also a place of growing dissent to that surrender.

A recent opinion poll by Opinium showed that 62% of those polled, in seven EU countries, believed that Brussels handled the Greek tragedy badly, compared to just 12% who thought it was handled well. In Italy a whopping 76% of respondents believed Brussels had handled the issue badly and 56% likewise in Germany (one of Greece’s greatest critics!)

It also screams the question as to where Brussels was in all of this, with their burgeoning bureaucracy of overpaid bureaucrats and vast expense accounts, supposedly there to rid us of power politics and create a machinery of integration. Their silence on Greece has been deafening!

The EU has become a bloated power source that is trying to run dysfunctional countries by decree. History has shown that this, like fiat money printed out of thin air, is doomed to failure, whilst the people suffer untold abuse during the process.

This abuse continues unabated with a new bailout for Greece of a staggering 86 billion euros. Little if any of this money will reach the Greek people, or help restart the Greek economy, as its sole purpose is to service current Greek debt! And let’s not forget that interest is a banks PROFIT!

To generate 86 billion euros worth of loans probably costs the banks 50 euros (I would imagine) in hitting the correct keys on the computer keyboard. That is all it takes to place a set of digits in the necessary accounts pages, which Greece is then able to draw on.

So for 50 euros the Troika will be earning a reported 18% interest on this new money and all the other money they have printed out of thin air. Given the Federal Reserve is currently printing trillions of dollars at virtually zilch interest rate, Greece is a ‘nice little earner’ for global banking.

All they have to do is maintain the impossibility of debt repayment and they have a source of perpetual income from perpetual interest. Constantly paying such a staggering amount of interest on such a staggering amount of debt, has turned Greece into a ‘Profit Machine’.

If we then add to this the 50 billion euros of national assets that will be sold off at huge discounts to hedge funds, as additional recompense for such debt, we can see how apposite the term ‘Odious’ debt is.

Here we have the sum total of unregulated Capitalism. All concerned argue and rant over the impossibility of Greek debt repayment and yet nothing is even muted to hit at the very core of these problems, by bringing the banks back under proper control and regulation! They demand independence, whilst proving conclusively that they are quite incapable of the responsible management of that independence. If they are ‘Too Big to Fail’ break them up, DUH!

We may be in the infancy of Neoliberal Authoritarianism and rightly angered by it. However there is also a cautionary note. Brussels may be silent to this brutal abuse but we too are guilty of quickly pointing a finger at the overpowered and helpless victim.

If we are to resist this new authoritarianism we must remain united and not succumb to the historic ‘divide and conquer’ that has had us fighting amongst ourselves for centuries.

We have the means to unite, like at no other time in our history and could now be helping Alex Tsipras back on his feet. Should we not be urging him to keep going, confident that he and others who are equally determined to challenge the growth of ‘Profit Machines’ and fight for our freedom, are assured of our undying support in what will be a protracted battle?

Until the next time.

 

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

Global Finance and Planet Zog

Space photo

As I left Planet Zog on my Virgin Galactic space shuttle, I realised it is a place where people of all races colours and creeds cohabit in happy union, with a deep love of their Planet and respect for each other and the art of living Life.

As a global Society they have high self-esteem that manifests in pristine healthcare services, education and Social infrastructures that look after the needy when the challenges in Life became overwhelming. Employment demand is high and much of it is directed to the many diverse ways of managing their Planet, which provides the resources for all their needs.

It has not always been this way and emerged from a long battle of change with previous traditions that had enslaved the people and were destroying the Planet. Global Society then had been ruled for eons by Lenders, a sector of Society who were clever in the management of money. They were not different to the rest but just adept at recognising the inherent power of money and skilfully utilising that power for their benefit.

In the beginning they had simply managed and protected the wealth of others by keeping it secure in ‘banks’. As not all the stored wealth was used by its owners the Lenders began lending the excess out for others to use and charging for this service. They then began assisting governments in printing their currencies, providing the means to ‘move’ this money around the country and then abroad.

Eventually they created a global system of ‘money movement’ which they charged all users for. They persuaded governments to let them supply their country’s money and ‘remove any danger of political interference’ in the economy.

In time the Lenders came to control nearly all the money in circulation across Planet Zog. Their real skill however, lay in remaining hidden from public gaze. Few people knew who they were or how money was produced and paid for. This secrecy meant the people were unaware it was not their money but only lent to them for a charge.

The Lenders power increased as they were able to simply agree or refuse to lend their money to governments when it was needed. Their vulnerability came from human frailty, as power driven greed drove them to seek greater control over countries, by cleverly taking their money out of circulation and replacing it with loans.

They did this by vastly increasing their ‘bad’ banking practices and demanding that the people’s good money (taxes) pay for the predicted failures of their irresponsible activity. Governments were helpless. They did not control the money and so became immersed in debt and had to sell off national assets to help pay for that debt.

Again the Lenders cleverly justified this to the people as ‘Austerity’ measures to meet the huge loan repayments. Because of peoples ignorance about how money worked they initially accepted the restrictions they were placed under. Despair set in and many committed suicide

At this time the technological inventors amongst them developed a global communications system that allowed people to talk to each other across the Planet for the first time in their history. The Lenders did not like this new source of people power and sought many ways to restrict its use, by increasing the surveillance of the people as well as reducing their freedoms to speak and demonstrate.

However, this new communications system began to lift the veil on the secrecy of the Lenders, who they were and how they manipulated money. For the first time people saw that it was not their governments who were to blame for their hard lives but the Lenders.

By the simple expediency of removing the secrecy that had kept the Lenders in power for so long people began to work towards a new way for Society to live on Planet Zog. By taking back the power to print and circulate their own money they could build this new Society.

Running their own banks meant the interest, which was previously taken by the Lenders, could now be circulated back into Society. The sums involved were so vast that they would fund undreamt of healthcare and education facilities, as well as excellent cheap public transport and other infrastructures. Their energy supplies became cheaper, as did the cost of money, all of which was possible through strong regulation by new democratically empowered governments.

It took time for change to happen, because the Lenders did not relinquish their power willingly. However, by lifting that veil of secrecy the people at last knew what they were fighting. They could see a future for themselves and their children, free of enslavement to debt. They could now live their lives on a Planet whose plentiful resources would be the reward for its careful management.

Virgin Galactic may not be operating yet but the internet is and we are increasingly lifting the veil. As our ignorance is dispelled the way ahead will, I am sure, open up to us as it did on Planet Zog.

 

Until the next time

 

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

RBS . . . Osborne’s Having a Laugh!

So, our illustrious chancellor has sold off the first tranche of our shares in Royal Bank of Scotland with a mere £1 billion in losses. (It could be £1.5bn when the actual share price is known on Tuesday). Bet the hedge funds who scooped them up won’t be making any losses. Then again they wouldn’t have been suckered into this odious deal in the first place!

But the real truth of this abusive scam is much worse. We paid £45bn for a bankrupt company that had achieved the largest annual loss in UK corporate history! It was bankrupt when we bought it and it is still bankrupt now, along with all the other private banks. At this week’s prices we will get roughly £30bn back for our outlay of £45 bn, making our losses not £1bn but £16bn . . . all on a company that is worthless!

In the chancellor’s annual Mansion House speech in June 2013 he stated about the sale that – “getting the best value for the taxpayer, maximising support for the economy and restoring them to private ownership” and “Now is the time for RBS to rebuild itself as a commercial bank, no longer reliant on the state, but serving the working people of Britain.”

Does he really believe we are a bunch of Muppets? “Serving the working people of Britain”. Banks have never served us but only screwed us with mountains of debt! How it “maximises support for the economy” when it is bankrupt and returning to the same pool as all the other equally bankrupt banksters is beyond me. Greece and a growing number of other countries will tell you none of the banks are doing their economy any favours!

Then there’s the governments media propaganda machine, who tell us Osborne took advice from James Leigh-Pemberton, head of UK Financial Investments, the body who look after taxpayer stakes. Formerly educated at Eton, he is the son of Robin Leigh-Pemberton who was Governor of the Bank of England from 1983 – 1993. All smells a bit incestuous to me . . . Just saying!

Only a few weeks ago we were told that this sale had the blessing of both the Bank of England (a private financial company) and independent adviser Rothschild. Does this revised information suggest the PR machinery had its knuckles rapped for putting a Rothschild and the Bank of England in the spotlight on such a dodgy deal?

I raise this because the Guardian have reported that the letter from the Treasury recommending the sale was signed by the ‘second’ permanent secretary in the absence of the most senior civil servant in the Treasury, Nick Macpherson. Has this canny mandarin decided to distance himself from such an abusive deal? . . . You decide.

But this, of course, is what ‘Austerity’ is all about. We are made to watch helplessly as our national assets are sold off at rock bottom prices, purportedly to pay the odious debt that all of these very people and institutions have saddled us with in the first place. What really rattles my cage is that RBS was bankrupt when we bought it and has flagrantly continued its dubious business practices, supported by our money.

Fred Goodwin, the man responsible for the collapse of the bank walked away with outrageous benefits that included an annual pension of £555,000 (subsequently reduced to £342,500) and an estimated tax free fund of £2.7 million. To this day he has shown no remorse whatsoever for his aggressive greed and incompetence.

His successor, Stephen Hester, was no better, overseeing senior executive’s demands for a £1.5bn bonus when the company had just made a £1.1 bn loss. Under his watch there was a loss of 34,000 jobs and a disastrous upgrade of the banks computer system which cost £125 million to cover customer compensation and a further £56 million in fines.

For this ‘expertise’ he received an annual salary of £1.1 million, taking home £1.5 million in bonus and pension payments in 2010. Leaving in 2013 he took with him in excess of £1.6 million as his ‘separation’ package.

The financial cost to the taxpayer for all of this incompetence is bad enough but our noses have been rubbed in it through a complete lack of any regulatory infrastructure or morality, by senior banking staff, regulators or government, in protecting our investment.

The 24% who voted the ‘Eton Mess’ into a majority government did so in support of ‘Austerity’ measures. RBS is a salutary lesson to them and the rest of us that we are now being treated as a joke. I don’t know about you but that leaves a very unpleasant taste in my mouth.

 

Until the next time

 

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