Tag Archives: Greece

Obama Visit . . . Some Afterthoughts

obama photo

I started off my last piece by stating how ashamed I was at being British these days. That our Prime Minister has found it necessary to beg for the assistance of the American President (amongst others) to argue his case for remaining in the EU, because he now has no credibility whatsoever with his own people, is humiliating in the extreme.

Brussels too, is losing credibility with the British people (and the Europeans for that matter) and hence unelected technocrats begging him to come over and argue their corner as well.

So much for modern leadership and government!

Instead of inspiring speeches we were treated to subtle threats. I thought we had been told we had a ‘special relationship’ with the US. What would have happened if that did not exist . . . Oh wait a minute, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan. Or maybe regime change, as is currently going on in Brazil. (Nearly happened in the UK after the CIA leaked the Panama Papers!)

Given this, I find myself questioning the credibility of the current leader of the birthplace of Neoliberalism, whose political agenda is evidenced in the country’s biggest debt mountain, achieved from the immorality of student loans. What is so reprehensible about this government sponsored lending is that a third of these youngsters cannot now repay those loans . . . we’re talking a trillion dollars of debt here!

Then we have the startling news this week that 1 in 5 US families have nobody working to put food on the table. Worse still the Federal Reserve has disclosed that 47% of all Americans would be unable to find just $400 without selling something, if an emergency occurred. The deadly result of Neoliberal policies that have exported so many US jobs abroad, whilst holding wages down to compete.

The US economy is in far worse shape than the media would have us believe, as corporate bankruptcies continue to escalate, caused by issuing trillions of dollars of debt to artificially hold up share prices in a huge Ponzi scheme that can only result in financial Armageddon.

Freedom of speech is also questionable in the US, as protestors, (it doesn’t matter where or what they are protesting), are commonly dealt with by violent police action or incarceration and sometimes fatality.

With these credentials, rather than being seduced into staying in the EU I feel we have been given “an offer we can’t refuse!” Much has been reported about us “getting to the back of the queue” for trade deals. If TTIP is the deal, we already know what our answer is. (Both Obama and Merkel say the pact will provide a shot in the arm to Western economies . . . how would we know, it’s so secret . . . more like another “offer we can’t refuse”!)

I don’t know about you but I feel we are being treated just like the people of Greece. Step out of line and you will get a slap! Democratic process . . . forget about it!

After the newly elected Greek government held a referendum, the results of which were ignored by the US backed Troika, unelected technocrats were installed to run the country and ensure interest payments on loans got priority over everything, including the people’s welfare.

Not only that but the terms of the new loans were even more punitive, as a Neoliberal ‘slap’ for stepping out of line.  (Remember also that the US backed former government shied away from a referendum after the IMF gave them a call, hence the election.)

It was the same with Cuba. Here the people revolted in 1959 and installed a communist regime. The US response has now become predictable. Break off diplomatic ties and commence covert operations to topple the regime and install their own puppet government.

In the case of Cuba, the people resisted, not just for a month or two but right up until 2015. The US worked out their tactics were going nowhere and eventually restored diplomatic relations, as well as now looking to lift trade embargoes. Is this what Greece can look forward to?

(Wasn’t it interesting how, after Obama’s official visit to Cuba, our very own Rolling Stones also visited and held a free concert to which 500,000 excited Cubans attended. “Upstaged” was a word I saw in one report. ‘Excited’ was not a word I saw used to describe Obama’s visit.)

Was Obama’s UK visit a warning shot across the bows? No meaningful observations. Silence also about TTIP and the frightening mess Europe in now in, with US style debt and immigration problems (which they deal with in their own country with barbed wire and military guards the length of the Mexican border).

The UK is not a poor nation, like Cuba or Greece but the world’s fifth largest economy on whom other countries, like the US and EU rely for trading support. Threatening to take away our powers could, I would have thought, sent us into the arms of the rising BRICS group.

Here lies the Pentagons greatest nightmare. This powerful group of countries are looking to introduce their own monetary system later this year, backed by gold, rather than created out of thin air by financier backed government decree. When the existing fiscal Ponzi scheme ultimately collapses where will countries go for financial stability . . . You decide.

In our referendum debate, we’ve already had the ‘financial assault’ by the supposedly unbiased IMF and our very own Bank of England. Obama’s visit was to remind us of their other might, as an integral part of the Rothschild’s/US pact to seek global dominance.

There is no doubt, with the US fronting up to China and Russia in ever more belligerent terms, Europe is a strategic centre of critical military importance to both sides. And with the youth of this area jobless, there is a ready source of recruits to rapidly build a European army, something the US is dedicated to enacting.

Our referendum really isn’t just about ‘In/Out’, I would suggest but rather our attempted salvation from ‘debt drowning’ Neoliberal domination. It is the root cause of growing global unrest, from low wages, unemployment, eroding democracy and escalating immigration, to producing an ever increasing gap between rich and poor.

Interesting times my friends and much to weigh up as we read between the lines.

Until the next time

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

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