Tag Archives: Banking

1865 . . . ‘Austerity’ Is Invented!

I am half way through an incredibly well researched book: The House of Rothschild . . . The World’s Banker 1849 – 1999 by Niall Ferguson. It has opened my mind to so much I have never thought of, nor considered before.

What has jumped out of the page is the mind-set of this family. Whilst I find loathsome their narrow focus upon getting their full dues from debt – compound interest and asset stripping – I admit to a grudging respect for their devoted loyalty to each other and their religious faith.

They rocketed to wealth and power after the battle of Waterloo in 1815, when their speedy lines of continental communication (mainly carrier pigeons) told them of Wellingtons victory when the rest of the UK believed he had lost.

They purchased every stock and bond within their means at rock bottom prices and when the news of victory finally arrived the value of their holding went through the roof. This formed the foundation of their financial empire and by remaining close, as a family, they have been able to grow that fortune and power across the globe.

As a part of this mind-set, it is apparent how quickly they adopted an utterly ruthless stance to the acquisition of their money and power. Also, how calculating they have been in applying their talents to the extremely profitable support of the (varying) successes of governments, in waging incessant wars with each other across Europe.

In 1859 Austria suffered a defeat in Italy from which it did not recover and would never again be regarded, in financial terms, as a great power. Indeed, Austria’s reputation continued to decline as it became more insolvent struggling to finance its needs and cover the costs of its past aggressions.

With its credit rating on the floor, the Rothschild’s saw the opportunity to provide Austria with its much needed funds. However, there was the question of the country’s existing debt, which also needed financing and it is here we see the introduction of ‘Austerity’. To the family the solution lay in selling off state assets to finance debt, of which they had their particular eye on the Austrian railways.

The Rothschild’s had seen the lucrative future of the railways and focussed upon building a rail infrastructure across Europe. In providing cash strapped Austria with loans the family could acquire further rail stock, at a cheap price, to enhance their investment.

It is here that we gain a further and profound insight into the mind-set of this banking family and their attitude to the global arena in which they operate. Less and less did they look at countries as national infrastructures of people and cultures but rather that each country simply represented a ‘business’ with assets and liabilities, of which state assets offer huge potential.

In the case of Austria, the family realised that its desperate need for funds created the opportunity for a complex of interdependent transactions of loans and asset acquisition that gradually liquidated what had become an unsustainable empire.

This new attitude to their moneylending has prevailed right up to the present day, as we have seen recently in the case of Greece. Here state assets, from water to islands, are being purchased at knock down prices, as an asset stripper would dismantle a bankrupt company.

A bankrupt company however, does not have a whole nation of people dependent upon it. The despair of the people, in seeing any way forward for their future employment potential and quality of life is of no concern. As with Greece, its cultural heritage and demeanour are of no relevance. The country is a ‘business’ that is failing and therefore the appropriate remedial financial action is necessary to protect loan revenues and capital repayments.

From this it can be seen that we now have an environment in which the needs of the people are disregarded. Financial return is everything and something that is increasingly evident across the globe.

It is a testament to just how powerful this family have become that their beliefs and values now dominate our global Society. There is an overbearing mind-set that eschews social values and the wider perspective necessary to live Life to the full on Planet Earth. It would not be too dramatic to say that our freedom is being ‘ring-fenced’ by these dominating financial beliefs.

Life cannot be lived by such narrow rules and regulations, which are already causing mass unemployment, the widening gap between rich and poor, food and water shortages and adding to the threats now coming from climate change. It is here that we face our greatest challenge, as the need becomes apparent to reverse this trend and reinstitute broader based values and beliefs into our world.

Such values have always come in the past from our religious beliefs, in providing the necessary moral code by which we live Life and interact with each other. They formed the foundation of the ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ by which business used to be conducted and whose morality and integrity have now been abandoned.

With the decline in the credibility of our traditional religions there is now a void, allowing narrow financial values to dominate and for which there is currently, no credible and effective counter belief.

‘Austerity’ may have been a clever and astute device to enhance the coffers and power of the few but it will cause the downfall of our species, something those few will not be immune from either.

Until the next time

 

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

OPENNESS . . . The New World Order!

 

 

 

For millennia, secrecy and stealth have been the primary ingredients in the acquisition and maintenance of power within our species. It is how the 1% have ruled, whilst setting the people against each other to keep them from turning on their rulers.

We have now moved into a whole new world where maintaining the ignorance of the people is becoming more difficult. From WikiLeaks to Edward Snowden, the odious Trade Agreements and now the ‘Panama Papers’, human morality, supported by the internet, is driving a coach and horses through the very heart of the traditional power base of the Old World Order of the ruling few.

As far as this latest revelation is concerned, reports suggest that sums of between some $1 to $2 trillion have been taken out of circulation and hidden away. Whilst we have all been aware that this sort of thing goes on, the sums now brought to light are truly staggering and could resolve the current plight of the poor if put back into circulation.

When you consider that this money was originally created out of thin air and then passed to the very people who already have more of it than the rest of us and who then take it out of circulation and hide it away (often legally), the whole current financial system is corrupt.

It is not only the credibility of the financial system itself that is now in question but also the governments who condone and support it. After the American Senate bullied Switzerland into opening up its secrecy rules, “to subvert further tax evasion”, we now find that the game has been moved to, of all places, Reno, Nevada, USA!

Rothschild has opened a trust company here and is moving clients from places like Switzerland and Bermuda, where new international disclosure requirements are now required, to Reno where they are not. You really couldn’t make this stuff up!

What we have here is a lack of any morality whatsoever, as the rich and corporations use and abuse the services of Society at a greater level than the rest of us but, unlike the rest of us, are not made to contribute their fair share to support those services.

At a time when technology is putting people out of work and with no solutions being attempted by governments, rather they are focused firmly upon supporting neoliberalism, it makes this type of financial abuse not only criminal but morally obscene.

In amongst all of the reporting on these latest revelations, are the various interpretations of vested interest. These range from a conspiracy to unseat the Icelandic Prime Minister (11.5 million pieces of dynamite information to do this? Hmmm!), to discrediting President Putin who, it would appear, does not use this type of financial service (although I am sure he is not ‘lilywhite’!).

Attempts have even been made to undermine the authenticity of the global group of journalists involved. I’m not sure this group have an ulterior motive, although the media they supply certainly do. Sadly, the Guardian, in spite of its valiant support of Edward Snowden, has introduced the red herring of Putin in its reporting of the whole affair.

The fact that all of this information, from WikiLeaks up to the present, has been made available without profit being sought speaks volumes about the integrity of the people involved. Whistle-blowing has become the last bastion of morality and integrity in an increasingly corrupt neoliberal world. Its values represent something inherent in all of us and something we deeply respect . . . the truth!

What, for me, is the most significant aspect of this whole story is that 370 journalists from 70 different countries supported these latest disclosures and worked in an unprecedented scale of co-operation for over a year to bring these revelations to light. It is a development of unparalleled importance in the current balance of power within Society.

It may be that their efforts will be suppressed by global media in the hope that the story will fade and business can continue as usual. I am not so sure, if Ed Snowden and WikiLeaks are anything to go by. In this 21st century we are no longer ignorant, nor are we misinformed (for very long), as the world of Information Technology opens up the secrets of the increasing levels of abuse that currently run our world.

The Old Order know what is going on but are, I would suggest, helpless to stop it (even with Surveillance), because their world has been constructed and can only succeed through stealth and secrecy and our new world of ‘Openness’ is simply not conducive to supporting or tolerating this.

Perhaps the worm has now found an effective way of turning, as we seek a return to a world in which the needs of the 99% receive the compassionate attention and support that is currently directed at the 1%.

Until the next time

 

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