Tag Archives: Greek Debt

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

The IMF . . . Uncloaked!

You must stick to your conviction but be

ready to abandon your assumptions. – Denis Waitley

In my quest to urge we all grow Society’s awareness of the current world order, I am indebted to the vlogger Lisa Haven for making me aware of the Articles of Agreement of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This provides the perfect example for my case.

Through the secrecy of the current world order we are controlled by our ignorance . . . no more, no less . . . and so the following is a lengthy piece. It covers some frightening facts about the immunity from accountability the IMF have awarded themselves in order to exercise that control.

I hope it explains why they were able to impose unelected regulation upon the Greek people last year with such ferocity and without any come back whatsoever from any government. The Troika comprising the European Commission, The European Central Bank and the IMF are one and the same club!

As background the IMF was formed out of the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944 and its objectives are quoted in Wikipedia as follows (Remember this bit, it’s important later):

“The organization’s objectives stated in the Articles of Agreement are to promote international monetary cooperation, international trade, high employment, exchange-rate stability, sustainable economic growth, and making resources available to member countries in financial difficulty.”

188 countries are currently members and contribute funds into a pool which individual members can draw upon if they get into financial difficulties. That this organisation came into being at the end of World War II is, to my mind, very significant.

International financiers had funded ALL sides during this global warfare, as they have done for centuries. Global levels of indebtedness were at a peak and so, therefore, they could exert pressure to consolidate their position at the pinnacle of world power. (The morality of financing and therefore encouraging all aspects of violent conflict across our species, irrespective of race, colour or creed is for you to decide.)

I give full credit (no sarcasm intended here) to the IMF for making their Articles of Agreement so publicly available. I can only surmise that they could see their only application would be for the medical profession, who might apply them as a non-addictive cure for insomnia!

I have therefore restricted myself to what I think the reader will be most interested in . . . their unassailable power!

Under Article IX we find Status, Immunities and Privileges which place it above global laws and accountable to no one (the following I paraphrase where verbose):

Section 1 Purposes of Articles (Boring!!)

Section 2 The Fund shall have the capacity to make contracts, acquire and dispose of immovable and movable property and institute legal proceedings – nobody is immune!

Section 3 The Fund however, is immune

Its property and its assets, wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall enjoy immunity from every form of judicial process except to the extent that it expressly waives its immunity for the purpose of any proceedings or by the terms of any contract.

Section 4 More Immunity

Property and assets of the Fund, wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall be immune from search, requisition, confiscation, expropriation, or any other form of seizure by executive or legislative action.

Section 5 Even more Immunity

The archives of the Fund shall be inviolable

Section 6 Unaccountable freedoms

All properties and assets of the Fund are free from restrictions, regulations, controls and moratoria of any nature.

Section 7 (Boring!)

Section 8 Immunities and privileges of officers and employees

Anyone associated with the fund, it seems, is immune from legal process when doing the work of the Fund. They also appear to enjoy ambassadorial status (immunity) insofar as immigration and alien restrictions are concerned, as well as the same travel privileges of (more immunity).

Section 9 Immunities from taxation.

All moneys, property and financial transactions are immune from taxation and custom duties. Nor is the fund liable to collect or pay any tax or duty.

Employees, no matter what rank, are exempt from personal taxation – All 2400 of them!!!!!!

(And they berate the Greek people for not paying their taxes . . . DUH!!!!!!!)

Section 10 demands that each member state institute whatever legal procedures are necessary, in their own country, to ensure the terms of this Article may be adhered to and advise the Fund of the detailed action it has taken.

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The above is extracted from just 3 pages out of the 89 contained in the full document, which you can read at your leisure here https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/aa/pdf/aa.pdf. As you will gather from my simple resume, it is quite mind numbing in the extent of the powers the financiers have awarded themselves and to which 188 governments have signed up to and keep in force.

The issues this raises for me are numerous. What first jumps off the page, to my simple mind is . . . If they cannot be prosecuted, because they have paced themselves beyond all global legal process, how is this document itself legally enforceable? After all it is governments who make their paper money legal tender!

If it is beyond the law then presumably it is ‘outlawed’ and with only limited rights, as is every other entity that is ‘beyond the law’? I am no lawyer and I am sure this has all been legalised, somehow or the other but it is a frightening precedent that has been kept in force and out of the media spotlight for 7 decades.

This causes another worry, as they do not convene with elected governments but only with the country’s financial institutions, such as the Fed in US and Bank of England in UK. Here I come back to Greece again. It now becomes clear how they were able to insert, without any resistance, unelected technocrats into the very heart of the country’s democratic process, something they appear to treat with contempt.

When I boil it all down, it seems as though the only loyalty and accountability this Fund recognises is to the application and maintenance of debt. It is the obligation to debt that gives it this unreachable power. Yet the funds it manages and which it uses to apply debt, to gather and exert this power, are provided by the 188 country members . . . from our taxes, as governments don’t have any money of their own!

If this is the case we have a situation where we, the taxpayers, are funding an unelected and unaccountable global body that declares its intention (and I quote here just one of the 6 purposes):

(ii). To facilitate the expansion and balanced growth of international trade, and to contribute thereby to the promotion and maintenance of high levels of employment and real income and to the development of the productive resources of all members as primary objectives of economic policy.

The current state of world economics and employment can best be summed up by the Funds Managing Director Christine Lagarde (on over half a million “tax free” dollars remember!), in a speech about the then problems within Europe and given in Brussels on 10th December 2013:

“First and perhaps most important, growth rates and output levels still remain well below where they should be. With unemployment rates as high as they are, this gap between actual and potential growth rates is likely to remain large for the foreseeable future.”

Well, with all due respect lady and without your grasp of global finances, this humble taxpayer would like his money back please, together with an end to a body who seems to have successfully made themselves immune to the chaos and pain they are now inflicting upon the 99%.

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