Category Archives: Western Hegemony’s Collapse

Western Hegemony’s Collapse

A Travesty of Protectionism

By Michael Hudson
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Trump’s series of threats this week was a one-two punch. First, he threatened to impose national security tariffs on steel and aluminum, primarily against Canada and Mexico (along with Korea and Japan). Then, he suggested an alternative: He would exempt these countries IF they agree to certain U.S. demands.

But these demands make so little economic sense that they should be viewed as an exercise in what academia used to call power politics. Or in Trump’s world, Us versus Them, a zero-sum game in which he has to show that America wins, they lose.

It won’t work. Trump’s diplomatic ploy with Mexico is to say that he’ll be willing to exempt them from the steel and aluminum tariffs if they agree to (1) build the wall that he promised to make them build, and (2) give other special favors to the United States. He can then go to American voters and say, “See, we won; Mexico lost.”

This is unlikely to elicit a Mexican surrender. Its president already has said that building a wall makes no sense, and cancelled the planned diplomatic visit to Washington last week. Giving in to Trump’s election promise to American voters (or more to the point, indulging in his own ego trip about the wall) would be political suicide. Trump would crow that he made Mexico bow to his bidding.

Matters aren’t much better in Canada. While some Pennsylvania and Ohio steel companies probably will try to make Trump look good by hiring back a few hundred workers if and when the tariffs are announced, Canada and other suppliers employees would have to be laid off. Canadian resentment already has been building up for decades, ever since the auto agreement of the 1960s and ‘70s that favored U.S. suppliers.

But the real economic problem comes from within the United States itself. If new steel workers are hired, they may be laid off in a few months. Most important is the bigger economy-wide picture: The Chamber of Commerce and other groups have calculated that the loss of jobs in steel- and aluminum-using industries will far outnumber the new hiring of steel and aluminum workers.

NPR on Wednesday had a maker of beer kegs explain that if the cost of steel goes up, he can’t afford to match the prices of foreign keg manufacturers who buy their raw materials cheaper – and do NOT have tariffs raised on higher manufactures.

There are many good arguments for protectionism. These arguments are in fact much better than the free-trade patter talk used to indoctrinate college economics students. Of all the branches of today’s mainstream economics, free-trade theory is the most unrealistic. If it were realistic, Britain, the United States and Germany never would have risen to world industrial power. (I review the fallacies of free-trade theory in Trade, Development and Foreign Debt.)

Economic history provides a long and successful pedigree of good arguments for protective tariffs. Britain created its empire by protectionism, stifling manufactures in the United States as long as it pursued free trade. After the Civil War ended, America built up its industry and agriculture by protectionism, as did Germany and France. (I discuss the strategy in America’s Protectionist Takeoff: 1815-1914.)

But as each of these nations became world leaders, they sought to pull up the ladder and prevent other countries from protecting their own industry and agriculture. So they changed to “free trade imperialism.” The aim of industrial leaders is to convince other countries not to regulate or plan their own markets, but to let the United States engineer an asymmetrical trade policy whose aim is to make other countries dependent on its food exports and monopoly exports, while opening their markets to U.S. companies.

Since the 1920s the protectionist economies that came to support free trade have rewritten history to white out how they got rich. The strategy of protectionism has been forgotten. Trump’s so-called protective tariffs against steel and aluminum are the antithesis to every principle of protectionism. That is why they are so self-destructive.

A really nationalistic trade strategy is to buy raw materials cheaply, and sell finished manufactured goods at a high value-added price.

The idea of industrial protectionism, from British free trade in the 19th century to U.S. trade strategy in the 20th century, was to obtain raw materials in the cheapest places – by making other countries compete to supply them – and protect your high-technology manufactures where the major capital investment, profits and monopoly rents are.

Trump is doing the reverse: He’s increasing the cost of steel and aluminum raw materials inputs. This will squeeze the profits of industrial companies using steel and aluminum – without protecting their markets.

In fact, other countries are now able to legally raise their tariffs to protect their highest-technology sectors that might be most threatened by U.S. exports. Harley Davidson motorcycles have been singled out. They also can block U.S. monopoly exports, such as bourbon and Levi blue jeans, or pharmaceuticals. Or, China can block whatever U.S. technology it decides it wants to compete with.

Trump’s tariff threats caused short-term aluminum prices to jump by 40 percent, and steel prices by about 33 percent. This raises the price of these materials to U.S. manufacturers, squeezing their profits. Foreign manufacturers will not have their material prices increased, and so can out-compete with U.S. steel- or aluminum-using rivals. The global oversupply in fact may make the price of steel and aluminum decline in foreign markets. So foreign industry will gain a cost advantage.

On top of that, foreign countries can legally raise tariffs in their own markets – for whatever industries they deem will best gain from this advantage.

Trump’s tariffs will not induce new capital investment in steel or aluminum

America’s logic behind protective tariffs after the Civil War ended the Southern free-trade policies was that tariff protection would create a price umbrella enabling U.S. manufacturers to invest in plant and equipment. Britain already had made these sunk costs, so the United States had to include the cost of capital in its revenue.

That’s how America built up its steel industry, chemical industry and other manufacturing industries.

But no steel or aluminum company is likely to invest more or hire more U.S. labor as a result of higher tariff revenues. These companies may raise their prices, but neither investment nor trickle-down effects are likely.

For one thing, aluminum is made out of electricity, and America is a high-cost producer. Alcan – America’s largest supplier – has a rip-off deal with Iceland, getting electricity almost for nothing.

For steel, it takes a long time to build a modern steel mill. No company will do this without an assured market. Trump’s tariff increases do not guarantee that.

America’s policy of breaking international agreements (we’re the “indispensable nation”)

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Few companies, labor groups or banks in New York City have been willing to trust Mr. Trump in recent years. He should have called his book “The Art of BREAKING THE deal.” That’s how he made his money. He would sign an agreement with suppliers to his hotels or other buildings, and then offer only 80 cents (or less) on the dollar. He’d tell them, in effect: “You want to sue? That will cost you $50,000 to get into court, and then wait three or four years, by which time we’ll have made enough money to pay you on the cheap.”

Bank lenders had as much trouble getting paid as did Trump’s hapless suppliers. He made his fortune this way – so successfully that he seems to believe that he can use the same strategy in international diplomacy, just as he’s threatening to break the Iran agreement.

Will this work? Or are foreign economies coming to view the United States as “not agreement-capable”? In fact, will U.S. companies themselves believe that agreements signed today will still be honored tomorrow?

Trump’s national security ploy to bypass Congressional authority over trade policy

This is not the first time the United States has raised tariffs unilaterally. George W. Bush did it. And my 1979 book, Global Fracture, describes U.S. protectionism in the 1970s against other countries. America did it again and again.

But Trump has introduced some new twists. First of all, former U.S. protectionism had Congressional backing. But Trump has bypassed Congress, no doubt aware that steel-using and aluminum-using industries can mobilize Congressional support against Trump.

So Trump has used the one play available to the Executive Branch: the National Security umbrella. In a great mind-expansion exercise, he claims that it would be a loss of national security to depend on neighboring Canada, Mexico, or allies such as South Korea and Japan for steel and aluminum. If he can convince a kangaroo trade court, this loophole is indeed allowed under WTO rules (GATT Article XXI). The idea was to apply to times of war or other great crisis. But U.S. steel and aluminum production has been steady for over a decade, and there seems to be no military or economic crisis affecting national security.

Suppose Trump gets away with it. Other countries can play this “national security” game. Any economic activity can be deemed national security, because every economy is an overall system, with every given part affecting all the others. So Trump has opened the door for overall asymmetrical jockeying for position. The most likely arena may be high-technology and military-related sectors.

Back in the 1980s this was called “Uncle Sucker” patter talk – acting as if the United States was the exploited party, not the exploiting actor in international trade and investment. Ultimately at issue is how much policy asymmetry the rest of the world is willing to tolerate. Can the United States still push other countries around as it has done for so many years? How far can America push its one-sided agreements before other countries break away?

Each foreign country threatened with loss of steel or aluminum exports has a more high-tech industry that it would like to protect against U.S. competition. The response is likely to be asymmetrical.

And here at home, how long will higher manufacturing industries back Mr. Trump and his policy that makes a travesty of “smart” protectionism?

Trump Trade Wars Are A Perfect Smokescreen For A Market Crash

Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.com

First, I would like to say that the timing of Donald Trump’s announcement on expansive trade tariffs is unusual if not impeccable.

I say this only IF Trump’s plan was to benefit establishment globalists by giving them perfect cover for their continued demolition of the market bubbles that they have engineered since the crash of 2008.

If this was not his plan, then I am a bit bewildered by what he hopes to accomplish. It is certainly not the end of trade deficits and the return of American industry. But let’s explore the situation for a moment…

Trump is in my view a modern day Herbert Hoover. One of Hoover’s first actions as president in response to fiscal tensions of 1929 was to support increased tax cuts, primarily for corporations (this was then followed in 1932 by extensive tax increases in the midst of the depression, so let’s see what Trump does in the next couple of years). Then, he instituted tariffs through the Smoot-Hawley Act. His hyperfocus on massive infrastructure spending resulted in U.S. debt expansion and did nothing to dig the U.S. out of its unemployment abyss. In fact, infrastructure projects like the Hoover Dam, which were launched in 1931, were not paid off for over 50 years. Hoover oversaw the beginning of the Great Depression and ended up as a single-term Republican president who paved the way socially for Franklin D. Roosevelt, an essential communist and perhaps the worst president in American history.

This is not to say Hoover was responsible for the Great Depression. That distinction goes to the Federal Reserve, which had artificially lowered interest rates and then suddenly raised them going into the economic downturn causing an aggressive bubble implosion (just like the central bank is doing right now). But Hoover did actually aid the Fed in their undermining of economic stability by pursuing policies which were poorly timed.

I’m hitting readers with all of this because I am growing rather tired of the contingent of Trump apologists in the liberty movement scrambling to defend every single Trump action no matter how illogical. These people should know better. Sorry, but Trump is not “playing 4D chess” against the globalists. His primary initiatives have only served so far to create a useful distraction away from the globalists.

The disturbing key to all of this is the fact that many of Trump’s policies are things that I and many others have argued for in the past. The problem is, he is implementing them out of order and with bad timing, which will only make such policies appear destructive in the end, rather than constructive.

In terms of the implementation of tariffs, the people who are defending this action at this time do not seem to understand the basics of international trade. Tariffs can only be enacted from a position of economic strength and resource development. This strength comes from internal self-sufficiency in production; meaning, in order for the U.S. to force a trade balance (which is what tariffs are supposed to do) the U.S. must have a strong industrial base and MUST be capable of producing most if not all necessary goods and goods in broad demand.

The fact is, U.S. manufacturing has been utterly outsourced by the very corporations Trump just gave a 10% tax cut to, and rebuilding that industrial base would take decades. Why? Because there are no incentives for corporations to bring manufacturing back.

As I already stated, Trump is instituting potentially solid policies but he is doing so out of order. Tax cuts for corporations should have been enacted only as an incentive for manufacturing jobs to be returned to America. Instead, corporations got tax cuts for absolutely nothing. And will those tax cuts go towards more jobs or innovation? Nope. They will be going to pay off unprecedented corporate debts, and stock buybacks, most of which were accrued through borrowing from the Federal Reserve.

Will this stock buyback bonanza even generate new highs in the Dow? Probably not. But I’ll explain why that is later.

If Trump had given tax incentives for corporations to bring manufacturing back into the U.S., and then given those corporations a few years to make the shift, only then would tariffs have been an effective action. But as the situation stands now, we have minimal tangible production in this country, and, historic debts held by the same overseas competitors that Trump is now seeking to “teach a lesson.”

Debt is the next issue which needs to be addressed before tariffs can ever be implemented in a practical way. In terms of national debt, rather than setting up a plan to reduce U.S. debt expenditures, Trump is increasing debt by reducing taxes while at the same time increasing spending. Trump did not take a hard stand on the debt ceiling debate as he originally claimed he would, and so, the debt train continues unabated.

Who is going to purchase this debt, I wonder? Over the past several years the largest buyer of U.S. treasury debt was the Federal Reserve through fiat money creation. Now, the Fed has tapered quantitative easing and is dumping their balance sheet at a rate faster than anyone expected. The Fed is pulling the plug on its artificial support of the economy.

The next largest buyers are major foreign central banks in countries like China, Japan and to some extent the supranational EU. If the debt buyers of last resort are now the very same countries Trump is seeking to enact tariffs over, how do you think this little theater will end? Yes, with a dump of U.S. treasury bonds and perhaps the dollar as world reserve by those nations.

But what about the U.S. consumer? Isn’t the consumer market in America so enticing that nations like China would “never dare” dump U.S. debt or the dollar? No, not really. If we are talking about a trade “war,” then a country like China, which has a vast manufacturing base and which has also been building up its own domestic consumer market, would be willing to make the sacrifice. America would be hurt far more by the threat of debt default and the loss of the dollar’s international buying power than China ever would be by the loss of American consumers. With tariffs being implemented, they may lose the American consumer anyway.

Our retail market is hardly as appetizing as it was 10 years ago given the decade of drudgery Americans have endured, with the largest number ever of working age citizens no longer participating in the jobs market, as well as real worker wages in continued decline while the American consumer is now more indebted than at any other time in history.

All of these negative effects are weighing down our economy while the Federal Reserve is quickly deflating the fraudulent markets that the establishment used during the Obama administration to argue that America was “in recovery.” Of course, alternative economists have known since the beginning that this was a lie, and that the only thing propping up the economy and stock markets was central bank manipulation.

The Fed under Jerome Powell has made it crystal clear that they WILL be raising interest rates and cutting the Fed balance sheet, perhaps more than their dot plots had indicated in the past. Without low rates and a steadily rising balance sheet we have already seen the results. Stocks in particular have gone crazy compared to the past few years, dumping nearly 10% one week, spiking about half that the next week. One thing is certain, the supposedly endless bull market induced by the Fed years ago is now over. Stocks are in heart attack mode.

It is no coincidence that the first two times the Fed reduced its balance sheet the Dow plunged over 1,000 points. The latest dump of $23 billion at the end of February resulted in a drop of around 1,500 points. It is too early in this process to know what the trend will be, but it seems to me that stocks are being steam valved down every month. With a marked decline just after a balance sheet dump, followed by a less impressive dead cat bounce the week after.

In the meantime, Trump’s “trade war” is now being blamed in the mainstream for the decline in stocks that the Fed is actually responsible for. As I have always said, Trump is the ideal scapegoat for the inevitable economic crisis the central bankers have staged. Trump’s tariffs might exacerbate the problem, just as Hoover’s policies did in the beginning of the Great Depression, but the blame rests squarely on the Federal Reserve and central banks around the world. Will the average person understand this dynamic once the dust settles on our financial system? Probably not.

So, to summarize, while Trump has indeed set in motion policies that conservatives in general tend to approve of, he has done so in an impractical way that will ultimately be blamed for a market crash the Fed created. If conservative ideals such as limited government and sovereign trade protection get the blame for an unprecedented economic crisis then this could sabotage conservatism for generations to come. If elections are still even a factor as this crisis unfolds, the chances of the public accepting a socialistic nightmare regime after Trump exits the White House are high. And, the banking elites that conjured the whole mess will escape once again without any punishment.

The question we must ask is this – Is Trump aware that his policies are creating a perfect distraction for those same banking elites? I believe we will know for certain the answer to that before 2018 is over.

Oil Analyst: ‘US oil production figures are vastly exaggerated’

Exxon Mobil, one of the world’s largest oil companies, announced on March 1 that it will exit joint ventures with Russia’s Rosneft due to US and EU sanctions. Sputnik has discussed the matter with Dr Mamdouh G. Salameh, an international oil economist and a visiting professor of energy economics at the ESCP Europe University in London.

Sputnik: Exxon’s decision to withdraw from joint ventures with Russia’s Rosneft is to affect operations of both companies, with Exxon reporting an after-tax loss of $200 million, what kind of cooperation, if any, is still possible between Exxon and Rosneft?

Dr Mamdouh G. Salameh: I’m of the opinion that Exxon Mobil may have come under pressure to exit its joint ventures with Russia’s Rosneft. We must remember that Exxon Mobil applied in 2015 and in June 2017 for a waiver from US sanctions on Russia but the US Department of the Treasury rejected both applications. Of course, Exxon Mobil would have liked to continue its cooperation with Russia and we still hope to do that in the future. The question is will the United States lift the sanctions on Russia. I don’t think so, because they have economic and geopolitical aims by keeping the sanctions on Russia, thus preventing any future Exxon Mobil investment in Russia.

READ MORE: Exxon Mobil Exits Joint Oil Ventures With Russia Due to Sanctions

Sputnik: Sanctions against Russia were imposed in 2014 and they were then extended last year. Exxon announced its decision now because of the applications for a waiver, is this why it took them such a long time to decide to withdraw from joint ventures with Rosneft?

Dr Mamdouh G. Salameh: Because Exxon Mobil was still hoping that they might in the short term get another waiver, maybe 2018-2019, but it seems to me that the US Congress is in no mood to lift the sanctions against Russia in the foreseeable future. I guess this against this knowledge Exxon Mobil has had no alternative but to withdraw from its agreement Rosneft. And of course to keep its shareholders happy, Exxon Mobil wanted to assure them that the loss of investment opportunities in Russia would be offset by investing to boost oil production in the Permian basin in the US states of Texas and New Mexico.

Sputnik: The United States is likely to become world’s biggest oil producer in the near future. What kind of changes do you see this bringing to oil markets?

Dr Mamdouh G. Salameh: Let me answer these claims first before I answer your question. There is a huge amount of hype by the US Energy Information Administration and the International Energy Agency IEA about US oil production. Even the Saudi Oil Minister Mr Khalid A. Al-Falih was forced to publicly accuse the IEA endeavors this year of hyping about US shale oil and its potential. Remember, that any US oil production figures are so exaggerated they include 1 to 2 million barrels a day extra which cannot be judged as true oil production.

I [will] tell you how — the IEA includes in its calculations of US oil production LNGs — Liquefied Natural Gas, which come from natural gas wells, as well as such gasses as ethane, propane, butane and pentane. Which don’t qualify as crude oil and condensates and in its crude oil count. The real question is whether natural gas plant liquids can be sold as oil on the world market. The answer is an emphatic “no.” If you cannot sell them as crude oil, then they are not crude oil.

Now, US shale producers are trying or tried all through 2017 to cap oil prices at 60. But the agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC producers, led by Russia, enabled the groups to break through $60. In 2018 US producers are trying to cap oil prices at $70, but they will fail in 2018 as they failed in 2017. And US oil production, by the way, in 2017 amounted to only 9.3 million. That is far behind Russia and Saudi Arabia. And the projection for 2018 is 9.5, which is still far behind Russia and Saudi Arabia.

The views and opinions expressed by Dr Mamdouh G. Salameh are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

Total Debt

Global Sovereign debt is now roughly equal to Global GDP – about $60T. Private debt is greater. Globally, according to the World Bank it was at 140% global GDP in 2016, and is probably higher now. In some cases like US & JP, private debt approaches 2x GDP. The entire world – all the land, mines, factories, houses, sub-surface minerals, etc, etc – is valued at roughly $200T. That’s how much the planet is “worth” if some aliens came along and wanted to buy it. We’ve collectively borrowed some 60-70% of the value of everything there is. Debts at those levels are unsustainable except at very high growth rates and even then one wonders about the real collateral left to borrow the necessary currency against. Growth is nowhere to be found, so big time defaults are coming our way.

On top of that basic fact regarding debt-backed currency issuance, the financial world has built a staggering edifice of currency swaps, credit default swaps, mortgage backed securities, and a bewildering collection of various derivatives, many of impenetrable complexity. All of them, repeat all, amount to little more than bets on bets derived from that original debt obligation that brought the currency into existence. Thus, at the end of the day all are subject to counter-party risk however “hedged” they may claim to be.

This is particularly so for the large currencies that underpin the system, namely the EUR & USD and the banks embedded in the FR & ECB systems. The total, nominal value of this edifice is >$1Q, or some 5x the value of the planet. It’s mostly “hedged” in a matrix of counter-party obligations, but that matrix fails when a default at a critical node cascades through the system.

“Shale is a retirement party for the oil industry”

“Shale is a retirement party for the oil industry” - Oil analyst Art Berman

Everybody likes to conflate “Laws” of economics with Laws (note the lack of quote marks) of Nature.

Economics is not natural. It’s one context of human psychology. Nothing more, nothing less.

So to define the Energy industry in terms of economics and finance only makes sense in terms of human psychology and current customs.

The real currency of modern society is Joules. Energy. Money is fungible, they say, meaning that since it’s a human abstraction we can make whatever we want to be money into money, and we can make that money be worth whatever we decide.

Not so with Joules.

It’s an indictment of our screwed-up system of Finance that we can’t do things we absolutely have to do because we can’t afford it financially. That means our system of evaluating cost and benefits has malfunctioned and is giving false readings and false incentives.

However, that doesn’t make any difference once it costs 1 Joule of energy to extract 1 Joule of energy. Once that happens, none of our shared hallucination of Finance makes any difference. Fracking is very energy-intensive, if you look at all the inputs. Petroleum production everywhere has a collapsing EROEI (Energy Returned On Energy Invested). That’s the real issue.

At some point we’ll pull our heads out of our asses, force our Oligarchs to be inconvenienced and give up some of their accumulated advantages and fix our system of Finance. But that won’t change the fact that we’re getting closer to the point when on balance we expend more energy than we get from extraction.

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Oil is a geopolitical weapon so information is completely distorted. If shale is such a good play why is Trump opening up then deep sea drilling everywhere and in reservations ? Sounds not very convincing. Horror would be if US is running out of oil, Saudi Aramco IPO is a sign that Saudis want to leave a sinking ship. So who will provide the oil ? Russia, Iran ? Is that why we see war in the Middle East? It is better not to be naive regarding oil and energy.

The fracking companies racked up 200 billion of negative cash-flow in the last years. The FED created a multitude of silly businesses, from fracking to TESLA / UBER, which make people believe everything is awesome. A look into the balance sheets shows you that this is not correct. Even in the current interest environment these money-burning machines shall collapse under their debt.

“The US oil shale reserves has over 2 trillion barrels of recoverable hydrocarbons.”

That means, how much chemicals are to be put into the ground (water)?

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NOT ONE SHALE OIL COMPANY HAS POSTED ONE PENNY OF PROFIT FROM SHALE OPERATIONS IN 12 YEARS!

NOT ONE! The entire industry is living on debt. ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, ConocoPhillips, etc. have doubled, tripled, and quadrupled their debt levels in the last twelve years. $52 a barrel won’t service their debt.

Another point, the public can’t afford higher energy prices. So the industry is stuck. 14 million barrels a day? LMAO! We can’t even use what they are pumping now. Demand is down so that we are stacking the stuff at these levels.

We are reaching a one for one cost per barrel pumped. When we get closer than 3:1 it is pretty much over…..for the average consumer. Statoil CEO just got through stating that 70% of the current known oil/gas will never see the light of day…..it will cost too much to get it out.

Here are now 1.7 million active shale wells operating in the US. To keep production constant 89.8% of them will need to be replaced over the next five years. At an average price of $4.4 million per well that will be $7.3 trillion.

https://www.fractracker.org/2015/08/1-7-million-wells/

http://www.thehillsgroup.org

1.7 M wells at 7.3 T, each well would have to achieve a profit of $4.4 M to reach break even. Taxes, licenses, operational expenses not included. 7.3 T spread over the 5 years would be 1.5 T or 7.9% of GDP.

Gasoline is still cheaper than orange juice not to mention healthcare.

The Bilderberg Plan in 2009: Remaking the Global Political Economy

Apparently, the main topic of discussion at that year’s meeting was to address the economic crisis, in terms of undertaking, “Either a prolonged, agonizing depression that dooms the world to decades of stagnation, decline and poverty … or an intense-but-shorter depression that paves the way for a new sustainable economic world order, with less sovereignty but more efficiency.” Other items on the agenda included a plan to “continue to deceive millions of savers and investors who believe the hype about the supposed up-turn in the economy. They are about to be set up for massive losses and searing financial pain in the years ahead,”

The Bilderberg Plan in 2009: Remaking the Global Political Economy

by Andrew G. Marshall

From May 14-17, the global elite met in secret in Greece for the yearly Bilderberg conference, amid scattered and limited global media attention. Roughly 130 of the world’s most powerful individuals came together to discuss the pressing issues of today, and to chart a course for the next year. The main topic of discussion at this years meeting was the global financial crisis, which is no surprise, considering the list of conference attendees includes many of the primary architects of the crisis, as well as those poised to “solve” it.

The Agenda: The Restructuring of the Global Political Economy

Before the meeting began, Bilderberg investigative journalist Daniel Estulin reported on the main item of the agenda, which was leaked to him by his sources inside. Though such reports cannot be verified, his sources, along with those of veteran Bilderberg tracker, Jim Tucker, have proven to be shockingly accurate in the past. Apparently, the main topic of discussion at this year’s meeting was to address the economic crisis, in terms of undertaking, “Either a prolonged, agonizing depression that dooms the world to decades of stagnation, decline and poverty … or an intense-but-shorter depression that paves the way for a new sustainable economic world order, with less sovereignty but more efficiency.” Other items on the agenda included a plan to “continue to deceive millions of savers and investors who believe the hype about the supposed up-turn in the economy. They are about to be set up for massive losses and searing financial pain in the months ahead,” and “There will be a final push for the enactment of Lisbon Treaty, pending on Irish voting YES on the treaty in Sept or October,”[1] which would give the European Union massive powers over its member nations, essentially making it a supranational regional government, with each country relegated to more of a provincial status.

Shortly after the meetings began, Bilderberg tracker Jim Tucker reported that his inside sources revealed that the group has on its agenda, “the plan for a global department of health, a global treasury and a shortened depression rather than a longer economic downturn.” Tucker reported that Swedish Foreign Minister and former Prime Minister, Carl Bildt, “Made a speech advocating turning the World Health Organization into a world department of health, advocating turning the IMF into a world department of treasury, both of course under the auspices of the United Nations.” Further, Tucker reported that, “Treasury Secretary Geithner and Carl Bildt touted a shorter recession not a 10-year recession … partly because a 10 year recession would damage Bilderberg industrialists themselves, as much as they want to have a global department of labor and a global department of treasury, they still like making money and such a long recession would cost them big bucks industrially because nobody is buying their toys…..the tilt is towards keeping it short.”[2]

After the meetings finished, Daniel Estulin reported that, “One of Bilderberg’s primary concerns according to Estulin is the danger that their zeal to reshape the world by engineering chaos in order to implement their long term agenda could cause the situation to spiral out of control and eventually lead to a scenario where Bilderberg and the global elite in general are overwhelmed by events and end up losing their control over the planet.”[3]

On May 21, the Macedonian International News Agency reported that, “A new Kremlin report on the shadowy Bilderberg Group, who this past week held their annual meeting in Greece, states that the West’s financial, political and corporate elite emerged from their conclave after coming to an agreement that in order to continue their drive towards a New World Order dominated by the Western Powers, the US Dollar has to be ‘totally’ destroyed.” Further, the same Kremlin report apparently stated that, “most of the West’s wealthiest elite convened at an unprecedented secret meeting in New York called for and led by” David Rockefeller, “to plot the demise of the US Dollar.”[4]

The Secret Meeting of Billionaires

The meeting being referred to was a secret meeting where, “A dozen of the richest people in the world met for an unprecedented private gathering at the invitation of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to talk about giving away money,” held at Rockefeller University, and included notable philanthropists such as Gates, Buffett, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, George Soros, Eli Broad, Oprah Winfrey, David Rockefeller Sr. and Ted Turner. One attendee stated that, “It wasn’t secret,” but that, “It was meant to be a gathering among friends and colleagues. It was something folks have been discussing for a long time. Bill and Warren hoped to do this occasionally. They sent out an invite and people came.” Chronicle of Philanthropy editor Stacy Palmer said, “Given how serious these economic times are, I don’t think it’s surprising these philanthropists came together,” and that, “They don’t typically get together and ask each other for advice.” The three hosts of the meeting were Buffet, Gates and David Rockefeller.[5] [See: Appendix 2: Bilderberg Connections to the Billionaire’s Meeting].

Bilderberg founding member David Rockefeller, Honourary Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations,
Honourary Chairman and Founder of the Trilateral Commission,
Chairman of the Council of the Americas and the Americas Society,
former Chairman and CEO of Chase Manhattan.

At the meeting, “participants steadfastly refused to reveal the content of the discussion. Some cited an agreement to keep the meeting confidential. Spokesmen for Mr. Buffett, Mr. Bloomberg, Mr. Gates, Mr. Rockefeller, Mr. Soros and Ms. Winfrey and others dutifully declined comment, though some confirmed attendance.”[6] Reports indicate that, “They discussed how to address the global slump and expand their charitable activities in the downturn.”[7]

The UK newspaper The Times reported that these “leading billionaires have met secretly to consider how their wealth could be used to slow the growth of the world’s population,” and that they “discussed joining forces to overcome political and religious obstacles to change.” Interestingly, “The informal afternoon session was so discreet that some of the billionaires’ aides were told they were at ‘security briefings’.” Further, “The billionaires were each given 15 minutes to present their favourite cause. Over dinner they discussed how they might settle on an ‘umbrella cause’ that could harness their interests,” and what was decided upon was that, “they agreed that overpopulation was a priority.” Ultimately, “a consensus emerged that they would back a strategy in which population growth would be tackled as a potentially disastrous environmental, social and industrial threat,” and that, “They need to be independent of government agencies, which are unable to head off the disaster we all see looming.” One guest at the meeting said that, “They wanted to speak rich to rich without worrying anything they said would end up in the newspapers, painting them as an alternative world government.”[8]

The Leaked Report

Bilderberg investigative reporter Daniel Estulin reportedly received from his inside sources a 73-page Bilderberg Group meeting wrap-up for participants, which revealed that there were some serious disagreements among the participants. “The hardliners are for dramatic decline and a severe, short-term depression, but there are those who think that things have gone too far and that the fallout from the global economic cataclysm cannot be accurately calculated if Henry Kissinger’s model is chosen. Among them is Richard Holbrooke. What is unknown at this point: if Holbrooke’s point of view is, in fact, Obama’s.” The consensus view was that the recession would get worse, and that recovery would be “relatively slow and protracted,” and to look for these terms in the press over the next weeks and months.

Estulin reported, “that some leading European bankers faced with the specter of their own financial mortality are extremely concerned, calling this high wire act "unsustainable," and saying that US budget and trade deficits could result in the demise of the dollar.” One Bilderberger said that, “the banks themselves don’t know the answer to when (the bottom will be hit).” Everyone appeared to agree, “that the level of capital needed for the American banks may be considerably higher than the US government suggested through their recent stress tests.” Further, “someone from the IMF pointed out that its own study on historical recessions suggests that the US is only a third of the way through this current one; therefore economies expecting to recover with resurgence in demand from the US will have a long wait.” One attendee stated that, “Equity losses in 2008 were worse than those of 1929,” and that, “The next phase of the economic decline will also be worse than the ’30s, mostly because the US economy carries about $20 trillion of excess debt. Until that debt is eliminated, the idea of a healthy boom is a mirage.”[9]

According to Jim Tucker, Bilderberg is working on setting up a summit in Israel from June 8-11, where “the world’s leading regulatory experts” can “address the current economic situation in one forum.” In regards to the proposals put forward by Carl Bildt to create a world treasury department and world department of health under the United Nations, the IMF is said to become the World Treasury, while the World Health Organization is to become the world department of health. Bildt also reaffirmed using “climate change” as a key challenge to pursue Bilderberg goals, referring to the economic crisis as a “once-in-a-generation crisis while global warming is a once-in-a-millennium challenge.” Bildt also advocated expanding NAFTA through the Western hemisphere to create an American Union, using the EU as a “model of integration.”

The IMF reportedly sent a report to Bilderberg advocating its rise to becoming the World Treasury Department, and “U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner enthusiastically endorsed the plan for a World Treasury Department, although he received no assurance that he would become its leader.” Geithner further said, “Our hope is that we can work with Europe on a global framework, a global infrastructure which has appropriate global oversight.”[10]

Bilderberg’s Plan in Action?

Reorganizing the Federal Reserve

Following the Bilderberg meeting, there were several interesting announcements made by key participants, specifically in regards to reorganizing the Federal Reserve. On May 21, it was reported that US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner “is believed to be leaning heavily towards giving the Federal Reserve a central role in future regulation,” and “it is understood that the Fed would take on some of the work currently undertaken by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.”[11]

On Wednesday, May 20, Geithner spoke before the Senate Banking Committee, at which he stated that, “there are important indications that our financial system is starting to heal.” In regards to regulating the financial system, Geithner stated that, “we must ensure that international rules for financial regulation are consistent with the high standards we will be implementing in the United States.”[12]

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, former President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Bloomberg reported that, “The Obama administration may call for stripping the Securities and Exchange Commission of some of its powers under a regulatory reorganization,” and that, “The proposal, still being drafted, is likely to give the Federal Reserve more authority to supervise financial firms deemed too big to fail. The Fed may inherit some SEC functions, with others going to other agencies.” Interestingly, “SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro’s agency has been mostly absent from negotiations within the administration on the regulatory overhaul, and she has expressed frustration about not being consulted.”

It was reported that “Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was set to discuss proposals to change financial regulations last night at a dinner with National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers [who was also present at Bilderberg], former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker [also at Bilderberg], ex-SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt and Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard University law professor who heads the congressional watchdog group for the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program.”[13] The Federal Reserve is a privately owned central bank, owned by its shareholders, consisting of the major banks the make up each regional Fed bank (the largest of which is JP Morgan Chase and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York). This plan would essentially give a privately owned bank, which has governmental authority, the ability to regulate the banks that own it. It’s the equivalent of getting a Colonel to guard a General to whom he is directly answerable. Talk about the fox guarding the hen house. It is literally granting ownership over the financial regulator to the banks being regulated.

As Market Watch, an online publication of the Wall Street Journal, reported, “The Federal Reserve, created nearly 100 years ago in the aftermath of a financial panic, could be transformed into a different agency as the Obama administration reinvents the way government interacts with the financial system.” Referring to Geithner’s Senate appearance, it was reported that, “Geithner was also grilled on the cozy relationships that exist between the big banks and the regional Federal Reserve banks. Before Geithner joined the administration, he was president of the New York Fed, which is a strange public-private hybrid institution that is actually owned and run by the banks.” In response, “Geithner insisted that the private banks have no say over the policies of the New York Fed, but he acknowledged that the banks do have a say in hiring the president, who does make policy. The chairman of the New York Fed, Stephen Friedman, was forced to resign earlier this month because of perceived conflicts of interest due to his large holdings in Goldman Sachs.”[14]

The IMF as a Global Treasury

The Bilderberg agenda of creating a global treasury has already been started prior to the Bilderberg meeting, with decisions made during the G20 financial summit in April. Although the G20 seemed to frame it more in context of being formed into a global central bank, although it is likely the IMF could fill both roles.

Following the G20 meeting at the beginning of April, 2009, it was reported that, “The world is a step closer to a global currency, backed by a global central bank, running monetary policy for all humanity,” as the Communiqué released by the G20 leaders stated that, “We have agreed to support a general SDR allocation which will inject $250bn (£170bn) into the world economy and increase global liquidity,” and that, “SDRs are Special Drawing Rights, a synthetic paper currency issued by the International Monetary Fund that has lain dormant for half a century.” Essentially, “they are putting a de facto world currency into play. It is outside the control of any sovereign body.”[15] [See Appendix 2: Creating a Central Bank of the World]

Following the Bilderberg meeting, “President Obama has asked Congress to authorize $100 billion in loans to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help create a $500 billion global bailout fund,” which would give the IMF the essential prerogative of a global treasury, providing bailouts for countries in need around the world. Further, “the bill would allow the IMF to borrow up to $100 billion from the U.S. and increase the U.S. fiscal contribution to the IMF by $8 billion.” Elaborating on the program, it was reported that, “World leaders began on the global bailout initiative, called the New Arrangement for Borrowing (NAB), at the G-20 summit in early April. The president agreed at that time to make the additional funds available.” Obama wrote that, “Treasury Secretary Geithner concluded that the size of the NAB is woefully inadequate to deal with the type of severe economic and financial crisis we are experiencing, and I agree with him.”[16]

With the G20 decision to increase the usage of IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), forming a de facto world currency, it was recently reported that, “Sub-Saharan Africa will receive around $10 billion from the IMF in Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to help its economies weather the global financial crisis,” and that, “As part of a $1.1 trillion deal to combat the world economic downturn agreed at April’s G20 summit, the IMF will issue $250 billion worth of SDRs, which can be used to boost foreign currency reserves.”[17]

Recent reports have also indicated that the IMF’s role in issuing SDRs goes hand in hand with the Bilderberg discussion on the potential collapse of the US dollar, and, “Transforming the dollar standard into an SDR-based system would be a major break with a policy that has lasted more than 60 years.” It was reported that, “There are two ways in which the dollar’s role in the international monetary system can be reduced. One possibility is a gradual, market-determined erosion of the dollar as a reserve currency in favor of the euro. But, while the euro’s international role – especially its use in financial markets – has increased since its inception, it is hard to envisage it overtaking the dollar as the dominant reserve currency in the foreseeable future.” However, “With the dollar’s hegemony unlikely to be seriously undermined by market forces, at least in the short and medium-term, the only way to bring about a major reduction in its role as a reserve currency is by international agreement.” This is where the SDRs come into play, as “One way to make the SDR the major reserve currency relatively soon would be to create and allocate a massive amount of new SDRs to the IMF’s members.”[18] This is, interestingly, exactly what is happening with Africa and the IMF now.

Former IMF Managing Director Jacques de Larosière recently stated that the current financial crisis, “given its scope, presents a unique opening to improve institutions, and there is already a danger that the chance might be missed if the different actors cannot agree to changes by the time economic growth resumes.” He is now an adviser with BNP Paribas, a corporation highly represented at Bilderberg meetings, and he was head of the Treasury of France when Valéry Giscard d’Estaing was President of France, who is a regular of the Bilderberg Group.[19]

The Guardian Covers Bilderberg

The British paper, the Guardian, was the only major mainstream news publication to provide ongoing coverage of the Bilderberg meeting over the weekend. His first columns were satirical and slightly mocking, referring to it as, “A long weekend at a luxury hotel, where the world’s elite get to shake hands, clink glasses, fine-tune their global agenda and squabble over who gets the best sun loungers. I’m guessing that Henry Kissinger brings his own, has it helicoptered in and guarded 24/7 by a CIA special ops team.”[20] However, as the weekend dragged on, his reporting took a change of tone. He reported on the Saturday that, “I know that I’m being followed. I know because I’ve just been chatting to the plainclothes policemen I caught following me,” and he was arrested twice in the first day of the meetings for attempting to take photographs as the limousines entered the hotel.[21]

He later reported that he wasn’t sure what they were discussing inside the hotel, but that he has “a sense of something rotten in the state of Greece,” and he further stated, “Three days and I’ve been turned into a suspect, a troublemaker, unwanted, ill at ease, tired and a bit afraid.” He then went on to write that, “Bilderberg is all about control. It’s about "what shall we do next?" We run lots of stuff already, how about we run some more? How about we make it easier to run stuff? More efficient. Efficiency is good. It would be so much easier with a single bank, a single currency, a single market, a single government. How about a single army? That would be pretty cool. We wouldn’t have any wars then. This prawn cocktail is GOOD. How about a single way of thinking? How about a controlled internet?,” and then, “How about not.”

He makes a very astute point, countering the often postulated argument that Bilderberg is simply a forum where people can speak freely, writing: “I am so unbelievably backteeth sick of power being flexed by the few. I’ve had it flexed in my face for three days, and it’s up my nose like a wasp. I don’t care whether the Bilderberg Group is planning to save the world or shove it in a blender and drink the juice, I don’t think politics should be done like this,” and the author, Charlie Skelton, eloquently stated, “If they were trying to cure cancer they could do it with the lights on.” He further explained that, “Bilderberg is about positions of control. I get within half a mile of it, and suddenly I’m one of the controlled. I’m followed, watched, logged, detained, detained again. I’d been put in that position by the "power" that was up the road.”[22]

On Sunday, May 17, Skelton reported that when he asked the police chief why he was being followed, the chief responded asking, “Why you here?” to which Skelton said he was there to cover the Bilderberg conference, after which the chief stated, “Well, that is the reason! That is why! We are finished!”[23] Do reporters get followed around and stalked by police officers when they cover the World Economic Forum? No. So why does it happen with Bilderberg if all it is, is a conference to discuss ideas freely?

On the Monday following the conference, Skelton wrote that, “It isn’t just me who’s been hauled into police custody for daring to hang around half a mile from the hotel gates. The few journalists who’ve made the trip to Vouliagmeni this year have all been harassed and harried and felt the business end of a Greek walkie-talkie. Many have been arrested. Bernie, from the American Free Press, and Gerhard the documentarian (sounds like a Dungeons and Dragons character) chartered a boat from a nearby marina to try to get photos from the sea. They were stopped three miles from the resort. By the Greek navy.” As Skelton said himself, “My dispatches on the 2009 conference, if they mean anything at all, represent nothing more acutely than the absence of thorough mainstream reporting.”[24]

Skelton’s final report on Bilderberg from May 19, showed how far he had gone in his several days of reporting on the meeting. From writing jokingly about the meeting, to discovering that he was followed by the Greek State Security force. Skelton mused, “So who is the paranoid one? Me, hiding in stairwells, watching the pavement behind me in shop windows, staying in the open for safety? Or Bilderberg, with its two F-16s, circling helicopters, machine guns, navy commandos and policy of repeatedly detaining and harassing a handful of journalists? Who’s the nutter? Me or Baron Mandelson? Me or Paul Volker, the head of Obama’s economic advisory board? Me or the president of Coca-Cola?”

Skelton stated that, “Publicity is pure salt to the giant slug of Bilderberg. So I suggest next year we turn up with a few more tubs. If the mainstream press refuses to give proper coverage to this massive annual event, then interested citizens will have to: a people’s media.”

Amazingly, Skelton made the pronouncement that what he learned after the Bilderberg conference, was that, “we must fight, fight, fight, now – right now, this second, with every cubic inch of our souls – to stop identity cards,” as, “It’s all about the power to ask, the obligation to show, the justification of one’s existence, the power of the asker over the subservience of the asked.” He stated that he “learned this from the random searches, detentions, angry security goon proddings and thumped police desks without number that I’ve had to suffer on account of Bilderberg: I have spent the week living in a nightmare possible future and many different terrible pasts. I have had the very tiniest glimpse into a world of spot checks and unchecked security powers. And it has left me shaken. It has left me, literally, bruised.” Pointedly, he explains that, “The identity card turns you from a free citizen into a suspect.”[25]

Who was there?

Royalty


Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, the largest shareholder in Royal Dutch Shell

Among the members of the Bilderberg Group are various European monarchs. At this years meeting, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands was present, who happens to be the largest single shareholder in Royal Dutch Shell, one of the world’s largest corporations. She was joined by one of her three sons, Prince Constantijn, who also attended the meeting. Prince Constantijn has worked with the Dutch European Commissioner for the EU, as well as having been a strategic policy consultant with Booz Allen & Hamilton in London, a major strategy and technology consulting firm with expertise in Economic and Business Analysis, Intelligence and Operations Analysis and Information Technology, among many others. Prince Constantijn has also been a policy researcher for RAND Corporation in Europe. RAND was initially founded as a global policy think tank that was formed to offer research and analysis to the US Armed Forces, however, it now works with governments, foundations, international organizations and commercial organizations.[26] Also present among European Royalty was Prince Philippe of Belgium, and Queen Sofia of Spain.

Private Bankers

As usual, the list of attendees was also replete with names representing the largest banks in the world. Among them, David Rockefeller, former CEO and Chairman of Chase Manhattan, now JP Morgan Chase, of which he was, until recently, Chairman of the International Advisory Board; and still sits as Honourary Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, Chairman of the Board of the Americas Society and Council of the Americas, Honourary Chairman of the Trilateral Commission, which he founded alongside Zbigniew Brzezinski; also a founding member of the Bilderberg Group, prominent philanthropist and is the current patriarch of one of the world’s richest and most powerful banking dynasties.

Also present was Josef Ackermann, a Swiss banker who is CEO of Deutsche Bank, also a non-executive director of Royal Dutch Shell; Deputy Chairman of Siemens AG, Europe’s largest engineering corporation; he is also a member of the International Advisory Council of Zurich Financial Services Group; Chairman of the Board of the Institute International of Finance, the world’s only global association of financial institutions; and Vice Chairman of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum.[27]

Roger Altman was also present at the Bilderberg meeting, an investment banker, private equity investor and former Deputy Treasury Secretary in the Clinton Administration. Other bankers at this years meeting include Ana Patricia Botin, Chairman of the Spanish bank, Banco Español de Crédito, formerly having worked with JP Morgan; Frederic Oudea, CEO and newly appointed Chairman of the Board of French bank Societe Generale; Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, an Italian banker and economist, formerly Italy’s Minister of Economy and Finance; Jacob Wallenberg, Chairman of Investor AB; Marcus Wallenberg, CEO of Investor AB; and George David, CEO of United Technologies Corporation, who also sits on the board of Citigroup, member of the Business Council, the Business Roundtable, and is Vice Chairman of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. [For more on the Peterson Institute, see: Appendix 1]

Canadian bankers include W. Edmund Clark, President and CEO of TD Bank Financial Group, also a member of the board of directors of the C.D. Howe Institute, a prominent Canadian think tank; Frank McKenna, Deputy Chairman of TD Bank Financial Group, former Canadian Ambassador to the United States, former Premier of New Brunswick; and Indira Samarasekera, President of the University of Alberta, who is also on the board of Scotiabank, one of Canada’s largest banks.

Central Bankers

Of course, among the notable members of the Bilderberg Group, are the world’s major central bankers. Among this years members are the Governor of the National Bank of Greece, Governor of the Bank of Italy, President of the European Investment Bank, James Wolfensohn, former President of the World Bank, and Nout Wellink, on the board of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).[28] Jean-Claude Trichet, the President of the European Central Bank was also present.[29] There is no indication that the Governor of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke was present, which would be an odd turn of events, considering that the Federal Reserve Governor is always present at Bilderberg meetings, alongside the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, William C. Dudley. I have contacted the New York Fed inquiring if Dudley visited Greece or went to any meetings in Greece between May 14-17, or if another senior representative from the New York Fed went in his stead. I have yet to get a response.

The Obama Administration at Bilderberg


National Security Adviser General James Jones

The Obama administration was heavily represented at this years Bilderberg meeting. Among the attendees were Keith B. Alexander, a Lieutenant General of U.S. Army and Director of the National Security Agency, the massive spying agency of the United States; Timothy Geithner, US Treasury Secretary and former President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Richard Holbrooke, the Obama administration’s special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan; General James Jones, United States National Security Advisor; Henry Kissinger, Obama’s special envoy to Russia, longtime Bilderberg member and former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor; Dennis Ross, special advisor for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; David Patraeus, Commander of CENTCOM, (U.S. Central Command, in the Middle East), Lawrence Summers, Director of the White House’s National Economic Council, former Treasury Secretary in the Clinton administration, former President of Harvard University, former Chief Economist of the World Bank; Paul Volcker, former Governor of the Federal Reserve System and Chair of Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board; Robert Zoellick, former Chairman of Goldman Sachs and current President of the World Bank;[30] and Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg.[31]

Other Notable Names

Among many others present at the meeting are Viscount Étienne Davignon, former Vice President of the European Commission, and Honourary Chairman of the Bilderberg Group; Francisco Pinto Balsemão, former Prime Minister of Portugal; Franco Bernabè, CEO of Telecom Italia and Vice Chairman of Rothschild Europe; Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister of Sweden; Kenneth Clarke, Shadow Business Secretary in the UK; Richard Dearlove, former head of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Services (MI6); Donald Graham, CEO of the Washington Post Company; Jaap De Hoop Scheffer, Secretary-General of NATO; John Kerr, member of the British House of Lords and Deputy Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell; Jessica Matthews, President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Richard Perle of the American Enterprise Institute; Romano Prodi, former Italian Prime Minister; J. Robert S. Prichard, CEO of Torstar Corporation and President Emeritus of the University of Toronto; Peter Sutherland, former Director General of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), first Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and is currently Chairman of British Petroleum (BP) and Goldman Sachs International as well as being a board member of the Royal Bank of Scotland, Chairman of the Trilateral Commission, Vice Chairman of the European Roundtable of Industrialists, and longtime Bilderberg member; Peter Thiel, on the board of directors of Facebook; Jeroen van der Veer, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell; Martin Wolf, Associate Editor and Chief Economics Commentator of the Financial Times newspaper; and Fareed Zakaria, US journalist and board member of the Council on Foreign Relations.[32] There were also some reports that this years meeting would include Google CEO Eric Schmidt, as well as Wall Street Journal Editor Paul Gigot,[33] both of whom attended last years meeting.[34]

Conclusion

Clearly, it was the prerogative of this year’s Bilderberg meeting to exploit the global financial crisis as much as possible to reach goals they have been striving toward for many years. These include the creation of a Global Treasury Department, likely in conjunction with or embodied in the same institution as a Global Central Bank, both of which seem to be in the process of being incorporated into the IMF.

Naturally, Bilderberg meetings serve the interests of the people and organizations that are represented there. Due to the large amount of representatives from the Obama administration that were present, US policies revolving around the financial crisis are likely to have emerged from and serve the interests of the Bilderberg Group. Given the heavy representation of Obama’s foreign policy establishment at the Bilderberg meeting, it seemed surprising to not have received any more information regarding US foreign policy from this year’s meeting, perhaps having to do with Pakistan and Afghanistan.

However, the US recently decided to fire the general who oversaw the Afghan war, being replaced with “Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, a former Green Beret who recently commanded the military’s secretive special operations forces in Iraq.”[35] From 2003 to 2008, McChrystal “led the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), which oversees the military’s most sensitive forces, including the Army’s Delta Force,” and who Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh singled out as the head of VP Cheney’s “executive assassination wing.”[36]

So, given these recent changes, as well as the high degree of representation Obama’s foreign policy establishment held at Bildebrerg this year, there were likely to have been some decisions or at least discussion of the escalation of the Afghan war and expansion into Pakistan. However, it is not surprising that the main item on the agenda was the global financial crisis. Without a doubt, the next year will be an interesting one, and the elite are surely hoping to make it a productive one.

God is NOT in the real estate business

“….we know that 3,000 years ago the Celtic people resided in places like present-day Switzerland. Just because 3,000 years ago some people believed that God gave Jerusalem specifically to the Jewish people, that doesn’t mean that you ignore the next 3,000 years and the place should become the capital of Israel based on biblical references. The idea that the rights of the Palestinian people can be ignored because of religious text written down thousands of years ago is absolutely ludicrous.” CRAIG MURRAY

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/01/31/former-ambassador-reflects-on-current-events/

God is NOT in the real estate business. I used to think lie that, but then remembered that I approve of the reconquest of Spain and would rejoice if Constantinople was reurned to the Christians

Any person ascribing to and in any way, supporting an ideology of separation and domination of all humankind, recognizing out-group people as ‘beastial’ and ‘only looking like ‘humans’ to better serve ‘the chosen people’ are collaborators, even if only in a small way.

All people should recognize the inherent anti-social imperative of this Torah-Talmud ideology, those self-recognizing as ‘jew’ should publicly and definitely renounce this ideology and move on with the rest, and as part of humanity.

Nationalism is a transitional state towards empire. It can never be stable.

It is based on the principle of ego, which is inherently expansive.

No Western political entity has ever been stable.

Stable entities, like Egypt or China, are based on limiting ego. A completely different approach to the world.

Modern diverse western states are riven by internal factions. Nationalism would transfer those internal ego fights to the outside world.

Internal ego fights would become external ego fights.

Many people think this would be an improvement over our current situation. We’ve lived in that would before.

Our current situation was an attempt to escape that world – by turning ego fights internal. That created it’s own problems, as we see.

The West has been unable to conceive of politics as cooperative rather than competitive – it oscillates between internal competition between groups and factions, or internal unity for the purpose of competing on the world stage.

But always, competition, dialectics, tension.

It is a nice dream, that we can limit ego to “just the right amount”. But ego has its own momentum. Ego must be externally limited. We cannot count on it stopping at just the right moment.

Nationalism may be one element, but a state cannot be “based” on it, and no stable state has.

Maybe it’s time to look beyond.

But, we probably won’t, because the West has lost its creativity, and can only shuffle between a limited menu of options that have become fossilized.

Such is the senility of a civilization.

Banksters & Aristocrats

The royal families generally use proxies for their banks and finances however they still have many connections in banking today.

Switzerland, Luxembourg, Monaco and Liechtenstein all use private banking which enables money laundering and criminal transactions.

The nation of Liechtenstein is ruled by the Royal House of Liechtenstein and they own the private banking group called LGT Group with Prince Maximilian of Liechtenstein as the CEO and President. In 2008 this bank was investigated for enabling tax evasion by various governments.

Prince Mario Chigi of Rome was investigated for tax evasion involving millions and using private banks in Liechtenstein. Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau worked as Vice President of Goldman Sachs in London and his widow Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau worked for ABN AMRO Bank and George Soros’ Open Society Institute.

Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Parma is of Italian Nobility and a member of the Dutch royal family and worked for ABN AMRO Bank in Amsterdam. The House of Orange-Nassau has large shares in Royal Dutch Shell, Royal Dutch Airlines and Philips Electronics.

Prince Edouard de Lobkowicz was of Holy Roman and Belgian nobility until his death in 2010. Prince Edouard had worked as an investment banker for Chase Manhattan as well as several other banking firms in New York City and was also an Ambassador of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

Prince Charles-Antoine Lamoral of Ligne-La Tremoille owns Kelfield Co. Ltd. of Switzerland which does business in the mining industry and has a 10 year contract in gold mining and 50 year contract in diamond mining.

The Montagu family are British nobility and established the Bank of England and founded Samuel Montagu & Co. which has gone into contract with HSBC as Montagu Private Equity. The Montagu’s cousins the Barons of Norman helped to establish the Bank for International Settlements.

The Knight of Malta Grand Duke Henri is the reigning monarch of Luxembourg and his royal family of the House of Nassau-Weilberg has part ownership over the Banque Internationale a Luxembourg with the larger shares owned by the House of Thani in Qatar. The royal family of Luxembourg sold off many of their banks to House of Thani because they have large amounts of wealth which is laundered through banks in Luxembourg used for financing organize crime. Since Qatar is a sovereign nation ruled by the House of Thani there is no one to investigate their personal finances used for money laundering and financing of criminal enterprises.

The European royal families have made an agreement with the Mid Eastern royal families involving business deals, organized crime, human trafficking and allowing their nations to maintain their sovereignty. That is the incentive of the House of Thani for financing the agendas of the European royal families. Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg also worked for the International Monetary Fund and the former Minister of Finance Luc Frieden was Governor of the World Bank and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund. Royal families use their agents to manages banks and serve their interests.

Christopher O’Neill is a British-American banker and member of the Swedish House of Bernadotte through his marriage with Princess Madelaine of Sweden. Christopher O’Neill worked for NM Rothschild and Sons, Steinberg Asset Management, and Noster Capital as stated in his royal biography.

The Spanish House of Bourbon created and own Banco Santander which has over 1.3 trillion in assets. Prince Louis Alphonse of Bourbon the Duke of Anjou is a Spanish-French banker that worked at Banco Occidental de Descuento and BNP Paribas.

The Pallavicini family are top bankers that own Immobillairie a multi billion dollar real estate development company, Global Wealth Management (GWM) an international finance firm, and are invested in Greentech which is for renewable energies. GWM is located in Milan, Rome, London, Malta, Geneva, and Luxembourg. The Pallavicini princes run Rottapharm pharmaceuticals and Prelios asset management. Marquis Alfonso Pallavicini of the Austrian branch was a top executive for BNP Paribas an international banking group with assets worth nearly 2 trillion.

Prince Jean Christophe is the head of the Imperial House of Bonaparte and from the Bourbon-Two Sicilies family through his mother Prince Beatrice. Prince Jean Christophe worked for Morgan Stanley and Advent International which is a buy out firm with assets at 31 billion.

Prince Eric Sturdza of Romania owns and runs Banque Baring Brothers Sturdza located in Geneva Switzerland.

Archduke Sigismund is the current Grand Duke of Tuscany residing in Switzerland and works in banking as he admitted in an interview.

Prince Lorenz of Belgium the Archduke of Austria-Este is a managing partner for Gutzwiller Bank in Switzerland and a former Advisor to the Board of Directors of BNP Paribas.

Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, Prince Lorenz of Belgium and Archduke Sigismund of Austria are top Swiss bankers assisting the other royal families with private bank accounts, money laundering, tax evasion, international tax theft schemes, and in making illegal payments that finance their criminal agendas. The Erlach family are a Swiss Bernese nobility that work as international tax attorneys and involved with CMS von Erlach Poncet Ltd.

The Rothschild are also top bankers running various investment firms and businesses and hold titles of nobility in France, Austria and the United Kingdom. Lynn Forester de Rothschild is CEO of E.L. Rothschild and her husband Evelyn de Rothschild is a financial adviser for Queen Elizabeth II. Baron David Rene de Rothschild is the head of the French family branch and is Chairman of N M Rothschild & Sons as well as a top executive for other financial and merchant institutions like De Beers. Baron David Rene de Rothschild’s wife is Princess Olimpia Aldobrandini of Italian Black Nobility. Baron Benjamin de Rothschild holds an Austrian title of nobility today and is the head of Edmond de Rothschild Group along with his wife Ariane de Rothschild and they reside in Switzerland where banking is private. Eric de Rothschild is a British-French banker that manages and partly owns Paris Orleans holding company. Edouard de Rothschild is another French banker and head of the Rothschild & Cie Banque.

The higher level royal families like the House of Windsor, House of Savoy, and House of Bernadotte use members of royalty and nobility to manage banks they authorized as the self proclaimed corporate land owners. Many bankers and merchants are knighted by the royal families or educated at universities chartered as royal corporations. The royal families use private banking institutions to conceal their true wealth. They also use proxy share holding companies to conceal their ownership over corporations.

The Dutch royal family established the Netherlands Trading Society tied with various banks and merchant companies. The British Royal family and their peerage do covert business at the City of London Corporation.

The royal families claim to own governments. They have massive amounts of land, resources, companies, and have the largest amounts of wealth hidden in private banking.

A history of Crass Commercialism of Britain

RT reports:

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Theresa May this week as she reportedly looks for a free trade deal with the nation on course to be the world’s biggest economy.

Britain sends just 3 percent of its exports of goods and services to China, something which May will be looking to boost with the 50 representatives she has taken with her.

The annual value of UK-China trade is about $84 billion, much less than the $211 billion in trade between Germany and China.

Language Hat reminds us:

Ivan the Terrible once used the (derogatory) term to refer to Queen Elizabeth in one of his letters.

He was complaining that he, the tsar, was writing to the queen about matters of the state – possible military alliance, dynastic marriages and stuff like that – but, she, the queen, in her correspondence with the tsar was only interested with lowly matters of trade and profit.

And in irritation, he called her “poshlaya devica” (mercantile merchant girl?)

Sent from my iPad

China’s World-Beating Tech Sector Gives Her a Huge Competitive Edge

The dragon is on fire when it comes to high-tech industries but a trade war with the US looms

pepe-escobar72_0.jpg?itok=iKdEN6-0Pepe Escobar

The unsung star of the World Economic Forum in Davos last week was not a head of state, but the Chinese Politburo member Liu He. The 66-year-old is a trusted confidant of President Xi Jinping and will soon be appointed vice-premier to oversee the Chinese economy.

Alibaba’s Jack Ma – he thinks the US is crazy for having spent $14 Trillion! on war over the last 30 years instead of investing that amount in infrastructure, like China did.

Last year in the Swiss ski resort, Xi stole the show with his keynote speech which outlined globalization with Beijing at the forefront. Now, his trusted chief economic adviser has taken the plaudits.

Liu emphasized, like his ‘boss’, that Beijing is against protectionism and that China is committed to sustainable growth. He also stressed the importance of economic reforms, which would “exceed the expectations of the international community.”

On an array of aspects, the dragon is on fire. Chinese debt is mostly internal, and in yuan, while the economy is fast becoming more productive through high-tech solutions such as big data. Thetransition from an export-fueled business model to a knowledge and innovation economy has been hyper-fast and relatively successful.

Still, red flags remain. Lou Jiwei, the chairman of the National Social Security Fund Council, has warned that China’s financial system is “severely distorted” and has “systematic financial risks.”

On a macro level, concerns persist about how long Beijing’s campaign to “de-leverage the financial sector” will take. There are also worries about the willingness to reduce “off-balance-sheet exposure” in the banking sector. Finally, there are fears that a “squeeze on local government funding could also hit infrastructure spending.”

Against this backdrop, the People’s Bank of China deputy governor, Yi Gang, has been hinting that ‘shadow banking’ and online finance operations will merit special attention in the central bank’s “macro-prudential framework.”

Yet for many, China’s digital ecosystem has been billed as one of the wonders of the ‘new’ world. A detailed report revealed how it is responsible for 7% of China’s gross domestic product and worth more than the GDP of France or the United Kingdom.

The all-powerful BATX, of Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent and Xiaomi, alongside Didi Chuxing, the Chinese Uber, and tech giants JD.com and Huawei, are practically a state within a state.

Major breakthroughs in voice and face recognition have helped transform business life in rural China. According to the Boston Consulting Group, there are at least 751 million internet users in China, which is more than the United States and India combined.

Coupled with that, expansion is virtually unlimited as only 54% of the population is connected compared to 77% in the US and nearly 90% in Japan and South Korea. And it certainly helps that Google, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are not present in the Chinese market.

The inevitable trend is for China’s digital ecosystem to keep driving internal growth while, in parallel, the New Silk Road, officially known as the Belt and Road Initiative, generates external growth.

Wang Yi, the Chinese Foreign Minister, recently set out plans to expand the Belt and Road’s reach to Latin America. He outlined the blueprint in Santiago, Chile, during the second ministerial meeting of the China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States Forum.

So, the new ‘Silk Road’ infrastructure push now takes in Eurasia, Africa and Latin America. The West sees it differently, of course, tending to lump “hard and soft power” as the “China threat”, according to the Chinese state-owned Global Times.

The US National Security Strategy took it one step further, defining China, alongside Russia, as a “strategic competitor.” In American ‘think tankland,’ opinion used to be split between the so-called ‘panda-huggers’, who favored engagement, and the ‘dragon-slayers’, who favored confrontation and sanctions.

A case can be made that the dragon slayers are in the ascendancy. This evokes the familiar specter of a trade war, with US attitudes hardening against China as a geopolitical and geoeconomic rival, mixed with a charm offensive to seduce fellow BRICS member India.

A concerted Washington attack on Chinese trade policies may be all but inevitable. Complex global supply chains will suffer, while prices inflate. Naturally, Beijing will move key pieces in its global asset chessboard, which could affect US bonds and equities.

No one will profit from a trade war between two huge, interconnected economies accounting for nearly 25% of global trade, 20% of global services, and more than a third of global output.

Yet even if that was to happen, it would not be enough to halt the long profitable march of digital China.