From Madero to Maduro: Lessons of the Mexican Revolution for 21st Century Venezuela

From Madero to Maduro: Lessons of the Mexican Revolution for 21st Century Venezuela

MARTIN SIEFF | 21.02.2019 | WORLD / AMERICAS

From Madero to Maduro: Lessons of the Mexican Revolution for 21st Century Venezuela

Just over 100 years ago, Mexico had a popular, much beloved democratically elected President determined to reduce foreign influence and obscene profits flowing out of the country and raise the standard of living for his people. The US financial interests on Wall Street orchestrated a military coup and made sure he was brutally murdered.

The president obviously was not Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, who has been set up to receive the same treatment this year, but his name was remarkably close – Madero not Maduro. The parallels and contrasts between the two men are thought-provoking.

Unfortunately poor Francisco Madero, an idealistic reformer who ruled as President of Mexico from 1911 to 1913 did not have the tough political street smarts and plain common sense that Venezuela’s Maduro has exhibited throughout his long, controversial but undeniably successful career.

Madero naively trusted in the army commander-in-chief he had inherited from his predecessor President Porfirio Diaz, General Victoriano Huerta. Huerta had prospered throughout the long 35-year rule of Diaz from 1876 to 1911 by carrying out genocidal campaigns for him against the Yaqui Indians and the Mayans.

In 1913, Wall Street interests enthusiastically supported Huerta when he carried out a coup against the innocent Madero. Woodrow Wilson, the US president of the day was an exceptionally ugly racist who despised the Mexican people and at first went along with Huerta’s coup.

The huge financial and mining interests in New York were eager to continue plundering Mexico’s resources while more than 90 percent of its people lived virtually as slaves in appalling poverty under Diaz.

In the last decade of Diaz’s rule – securely supported by the Wall Street financial robber barons, as historian Matthew Josephson called them and by the complacent administrations of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft – at least 600,000 people were worked to death as real slaves on the estates of Diaz’s supporters. Not a whisper of disapproval was heard from Washington.

Huerta ruled with his usual mindless thuggish brutality for less than a year and a half before provoking such national revulsion that he was ousted in a brief and bloody civil war. He fled of course to the United States but then made the mistake of alienating US business and military leaders alike by openly embracing Imperial Germany to plot his militaristic comeback.

Huerta died in loose US military custody in 1916 after a night of dining out and carousing. Poisoning by the Americans was widely suspected but the cause may well just have been heavy drinking. His autopsy revealed extreme cirrhosis of the liver.

To this day Huerta is reviled as the murderous mass killer and cowardly murderer and tool of cynical foreign interests he was while the well-meaning, but tragically ineffectual Madero is genuinely loved by the people of Mexico. The days from the start of Huerta’s coup to the president’s murder – gunned down by an impromptu firing squad of assassins by night along with his own brother and vice president are remembered as La Decena Tragica, The Ten Tragic Days.

In the years that followed, Mexico endured all the horrors of a collapsed state with rival feuding bands slaughtering each other and everyone else they came across. The population of the country plummeted from 15 million in 1910 to 11.6 million a decade later. Factoring in how many deaths were masked by the high birth rate, well over four million people, or more than 25 percent of the total population died in the years of anarchic violence that Huerta’s murder of President Madero set in motion.

La Decena Tragica continues to reverberate in Mexico to this day. When current President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador continues to withstand massive pressures from the Trump administration to recognize their preferred puppet, Juan Guaido as Washington’s preferred figurehead president of Venezuela, he is heeding his people’s reverence for martyred President Madero and remembering the bloodbaths and chaos that the hated Huerta unleashed in his place.

Madero naively trusted in the honor of his army commander, the murderous Huerta. By contrast, President Maduro in Venezuela, like his political mentor and predecessor Hugo Chavez, has taken care to always have an army high command loyal to the democratically elected national civilian leadership. Nevertheless, today, US leaders have openly called on Venezuela’s military leaders to scrap their own cherished constitution and political processes and violently topple President Maduro – All of course in the name of their usual mythical and never-defined “freedom.”

However, Bloomberg News pointedly noted in a recent report that in a Venezuelan military establishment of more than 2,000 generals and admirals, only a single officer who did not even command any troops has sworn allegiance to National Assembly Speaker Juan Guaido, the farcical boy toy whom the Trump administration is trying to set up as “president” of Venezuela in Maduro’s place.

It is just as well. The precedent of Mexico more than a century ago teaches us that if the US plot to topple President Maduro were to succeed, as the one to remove and murder President Madero did so tragically 106 years ago, then civil war, chaos and the violent death of multiple millions of innocent people would rapidly follow.

In the seven years following the murder of Francisco Madero, more than a quarter of the population of Mexico were slaughtered or starved to death. The history of states where 21st century US administrations have successfully orchestrated “regime change” makes clear that Venezuela would suffer a similar fate.

Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, South Sudan and Ukraine remain appalling object-lessons to the world in US criminal incompetence – at the very least – in “nation-building.” The consequences of the endless failed attempts to topple the government of Syria tell the same terrible story.

The bullets that slammed into gentle, naïve little President Madero more than a century ago continue to ricochet in our own bloodstained age.

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Venezuela – The Straw that Breaks the Empire’s Back?

February 07, 2019

by Peter Koenig for The Saker Blog

Venezuela – The Straw that Breaks the Empire’s Back?

Venezuela in the limelight, on practically all the written, audio and visual mainstream media, as well as alternative media. A purposeful constant drip of outright lies and half-truths, “fake news”, as well as misleading information of all shades and hues about Venezuela is drumming our brains, slowly bending our minds towards believing that – yes, the US has a vital interest in meddling in Venezuela and bringing about “regime change”, because of primarily, the huge reserves of oil, but also of gold, coltan and other rare minerals; and, finally, simply because Washington needs full control of its “backyard”. – BUT, and yes, there is a huge BUT, as even some of the respected progressive alternative media pretend to know: Amidst all that recognition of the AngloZionist empire’s evil hands in Venezuela, their ‘but’ claims that Venezuela, specifically Presidents Chavez and now Maduro, are not blameless in their ‘economic chaos’. This distorts already the entire picture and serves the empire and all those who are hesitant because they have no clue, whom to support in this antagonistic US attempt for regime change.

For example, one alternative news article starts, “It is true that some of Venezuela’s economic problems are due to the ineptitudes of the Bolivarian government’s “socialist command” economy, but this overlooks the role played by the United States, the United Nations, and the European Union….”. Bingo, with such a low-blow beginning, the uninformed reader is already primed to ‘discount’ much of the interference by Washington and its minions. Some of the-so-called progressive writers have already been brain-smeared, by calling Nicolás Maduro a “dictator”, when in fact, there is hardly any country farther away from a dictatorship than Venezuela.

In the last 20 years and since Comandante Hugo Chavez Frias was first elected in 1998 and came to power in 1999, Venezuela had another 25 fully democratic elections, of which 6 took place in the last year and a half. They were all largely observed by the US based Carter Institute, the Latin American CELAC, some were even watched by the European Union (EU), the very vassal states that are now siding with Washington in calling President Maduro an illegitimate dictator – and instead, they side with and support the real illegitimate, never elected, US trained and appointed, Juan Guaidó. Former President Carter once said, of all the elections he and his Institute observed, the ones in Venezuela were by far the most transparent and democratic ones. By September 2017, the Carter Center had observed 104 elections in 39 countries.

Despite this evidence, Washington-paid and corrupted AngloZionist MSM are screaming and spreading lies, ‘election fraud’; and Nicolás Maduro is illegal, a dictator, oppressing his people, depriving them of food and medication, sowing famine – he has to go. Such lies are repeated at nauseatum. In a world flooded by pyramid-dollars (fake money), the presstitute media have no money problem. Dollars, the funding source for the massive lie-propaganda, are just printed as debt, never to be repaid again. So, why worry? The same Zionists who control the media also control the western money machines, i.e. the FED, Wall Street, the BIS (Bank for International Settlement, the so-called Central bank of central banks), the European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the banks of London. The western public, armchair warriors, all the way to caviar socialists, believe these lies. That’s how our unqualified brains apparently work.

A recent independent poll found that 86% of all Venezuelans, including from the opposition, want no interference by the US and her puppet allies, but want to remain a sovereign state, deciding themselves on how to resolve their internal problem – economics and otherwise.

Let me tell you something, if Mr. Maduro would be a dictator – and all the diabolical adjectives that he is smeared with were to apply, he would have long ago stopped the western propaganda machine, which is the western controlled media in Venezuela; they control 90% of the news in Venezuela. But he didn’t and doesn’t, because he believes in freedom of speech and freedom of the ‘media’ – even if the “media” are really nothing more than abject western lie-machines presstitute. Mr. Maduro is generous enough not to close them down – which any dictator – of which there are now many in Latin America (take a pick: Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Guatemala, Honduras….) would have done long ago.

***

From the very beginning, when Hugo Chavez was first elected in 1998, Washington attempted to topple him to bring about “régime change”. The first real coup attempt took place on 11 April 2002. Under full command by Washington, Chavez was ousted for less than 2 days, when an on-swell of people and the vast majority of the military requested his reinstatement. Chavez was brought back from his island seclusion and, thus, the directly Washington-led coup d’état was defeated (“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”). But the pressure mounted with economic sanctions becoming ever bolder and, in the case of Venezuela, they had severe economic and humanitarian impacts because Venezuela imports close to 90% of her food and medication – still today – and most of it from the US.

Both Chavez and Maduro had very little leeway of doing differently what they have already done. Sanctions, boycotts, outside money manipulations, driving inflation to astronomical levels and constant smear propaganda, these predicaments are biting hard. The US has a firm grip on Venezuela’s dollar dependency.

Last week, Washington confiscated about US$ 23 billion Venezuela’s reserve money in US banks, blocked them from use by the legitimate Maduro government, and, instead, handed them to their US-appointed, puppet, never elected, “president”, Juan Guaidó. – He is now able to use Venezuela’s money in his US-EU-and Lima-Group supported “shadow” government. Will he dare? – I don’t think so. However, he has already invited US petro, companies to come to Venezuela and invest in and take over the petrol industry. Of course, it will not happen, as President Maduro stays in power, firmly backed by the military.

All of this sounds like a bad joke. Did you ever heard of Juan Guaidó, before the US and her European vassals almost unanimously and obediently aped Washington in supporting him?

Likewise, the Bank of England withheld 1.2 billion dollars’ worth of Venezuelan reserve gold, refusing to respond to the Maduro Government’s request to return the gold to Caracas. Both cases represent an extreme breach of confidence. Up to now, it was ethically, commercially and financially unthinkable that reserve money and gold deposited in foreign banks would not be safe from hooligan theft – because that’s what it is, what the US is doing, stealing other countries money that was deposited in good fate in their banks.

In a recent interview with RT, President Maduro, said there was absolutely no need for “humanitarian aid”, as the UN suggested, prompted by the US. This so-called humanitarian aid has everywhere in the world only served to infiltrate ‘foreign and destabilizing’ elements into countries, just look at Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, to name just a few. While the US$ 23 billion blocked in New York banks could have supplied Venezuela with 20 years-worth of medication for the Venezuelan people, Maduro asserted, Venezuela has enough liquidity to feed and medicate her people.

However, what this latest Trump plunder (the money and gold confiscation) does, is hammering one more nail in the western monetary system’s suicide coffin. It sends an ever-clearer signal to the rest of the world, to those that haven’t noticed yet, the AngloZionist empire cannot – I repeat – CANNOT – be trusted. Ever. And the European Union is intrinsically and “vassalically” linked to the Washington rogue state – not to be trusted either. There is virtually no circumstance under which a countries’ assets in western foreign lands – as bank deposits, or foreign investments – are safe. It will prompt a move away from the dollar system, away from the western (also entirely privately-owned) SWFT international transfer system by which sanctions can be enacted.

Indeed, the Russia and China and much of the SCO (Shanghai Organization Cooperation) members are no longer dealing in US dollars but in their own currencies. We are talking about half the world’s population broke free from the dollar hegemony. Europe has started a half-assed attempt to circumvent the dollar and SWIFT system for dealing with Iran. Europe’s special purpose vehicle, or SPV, is called INSTEX — short for Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges. It is a project of Germany, France and the UK, suspiciously chaired by the latter, to be endorsed by all 28 EU members.

It aims in a first instance at shipping “humanitarian aid” to Iran. Similarly, to Venezuela, Iran’s foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, after learning about the details, considered the conditions of INSTEX as insulting and rejected any dealings with Europe under this system. Iran, he said, does not need “humanitarian aid”, not from Europe, not from anybody. In the meantime, what was to be expected, has already happened. The Trump Administration issued a stern warning of “sanctions” to the EU, if they would attempt to deal with Iran outside of the dollar system. Europe is likely caving in, as they always do.

***

Back in Venezuela, the NED (National Endowment for Democracy), the extended arm of the CIA, has for the last two decades trained funded and infiltrated ‘traitor’ agents into Venezuela, with the goal to assist the opposition to foment unrest, to carry out assassinations and other ‘false flags’, and to simply create chaos and unrest. However, some of these agents are also lodged in Venezuela’s financial institutions, as the Fifth Column, where they sabotage – often with threats – any economic policies that could rescue Venezuela from its economic predicament.

In June 2017, I was privileged to be a member of an economic advisory team to Mr. Maduro. During three days of intense discussions with government, a number of potential short- medium and long-term solutions emerged. They were well received by Mr. Maduro and his economic team. What became of these recommendations? – Well, maybe there are strong foreign-directed forces at play to prevent their implementation.

Clearly, any accusation that the Maduro Government may bear the blame for some of the economic chaos, have to be vigorously rejected. Mr. Maduro has very little space to maneuver the economy other than what he is already doing. His actions are severely limited by the ever-stronger squeeze by western claws.

With or without Venezuela’s new crypto currency, the oil-based Petro, the Venezuelan economy, including a major proportion of her imports, is strongly linked to the US dollar. With military threats and sanctions left and right, there is little that the Government can do in the immediate future to become autonomous. Yes, Russia and especially China will most likely help with balance of payment support loans, with investments in the oil industry to ease Venezuela’s US-dollar debt burden and vamp up oil production; and in the medium and longer run they may also help boosting Venezuela’s agricultural sector towards 100% food self-sufficiency.

What is the real reason, you may ask, behind Trump’s intense ‘coup d’état’ attempt – aka, Bolton, Pompeo and Elliott Abrams (the ‘regime change’ envoy), or the diabolical troika’s killer mission?

  • Is it oil and other natural riches, like gold, coltan, diamonds and many more rare minerals? Venezuela with some 301,000 MMbbl (billions of barrels) of known reserves has about 12% more hydrocarbon reserves than Saudi Arabia. Shipping from the Gulf to Texas refineries takes 40-45 days and the risk of passing through the Iran-controlled strait of Hormuz. Delivering oil from Venezuela to Texas takes some 2-4 days.
  • Is it that Venezuela committed a mortal sin when circumventing the petro-dollar, when trading her hydrocarbons, notably with China and Russia in other currencies, like the gold-convertible yuan? – Remember, Saddam Hussein and Muamar Gadhafi attempted similar dollar-escaping actions – and look what it brought them. The US-dollar hegemony depends very much on oil and gas trade in US dollars, as per an agreement of the seventies between the US and Saudi Arabia, head of OPEC.
  • Is it that Washington cannot tolerate any socialist or socialist leaning country in its “backyard”? – Cuba and Nicaragua beware!
  • Is Venezuela a crucial stepping stone to fully dominate Latin America and her resources? – And, hence, a step closer to ‘full power dominance’ of the world?
  • Or all of the above?

I believe it’s all of the above, with a strong accent on Venezuela’s abandoning the US-dollar as hydrocarbon trading currency – putting the dollar-hegemony even more at risk. Once the dollar ceases to be the main reserve currency, the US economy will slowly collapse – what it is already doing. Twenty years ago, the US-dollar dominated world reserve coffers with about 90%. Today that proportion has sunk to less than 60%. The dollar is rapidly being replaced by other currencies, notably the Chinese yuan.

Now let’s cut to the chase. – It is clear that the Trump Administration with these stupid actions of dishing out sanctions left and right, punishing allies and foes alike, if they deal with Russia, Iran, or Venezuela – and this special blunt regime change aggression in Venezuela, nominating a 35 year old US puppet, trained in the US by CIA as Venezuela’s new ‘interim president’, confiscating Venezuela’s reserve assets in New York and London, stopping importing petrol from Venezuela and punishing anybody who imports Venezuelan oil – except, of course, Russia and China. The ‘might’ of the US stops short of interfering in these non-dollar deals. With these and more ridiculous actions and military threats – Washington is actually not only isolating itself, but is accelerating the fall of the US economy. Ever more countries are seeking alternative ways of doing business with currencies and monetary systems other than the dollar-based fraudulent SWIFT, and eventually they will succeed. All they need to do is joining the China-Russia-SCO system of transfer in their local currencies and the currencies of the eastern SCO block – and dedollarization is moving a step further ahead.

Dedollarization is the key to the end of the US (dollar) hegemony, of the US economic supremacy. The arrogant Trump, plus the impunity of the unfettered diabolical and outright dumb Bolton-Pompeo-Abrams approach of military threats and intimidations, may just make Venezuela the straw that breaks the Empire’s back.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; RT; Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; TeleSUR; The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, the New Eastern Outlook (NEO); and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

Peter Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

How Wall Street Finances the Battle against Neoliberalism?

Global Research, January 20, 2019

Today I read an interesting article referring to Mexico on how neoliberal economists through the application of “strong IMF economic medicine” contributed to “wreaking  havoc” on the global poor while “protecting the financial elites”.

And then I arrived at the foot of the article published by Alternet:

“This article was produced by Globetrotter, a project of the Independent Media Institute”.

The Independent Media Institute, a tax exempt charity foundation supported by George Soros, a multibillion dollar Wall Street tycoon and hedge fund manager largely involved in speculative trade in the commodity and foreign exchange markets.

The Independent Media Center is described as an

“Internet-based, news and events bulletin board [which] represents an invariably leftist, anti-capitalist perspective and serves as a mouthpiece for anti-globalization/anti-America themes.”

Globetrotter is a projet of the IMC which (according to the IMC):

“explores the struggles for independence, dignity and democracy in the developing world, from economic models to war and imperialism.”

Needless to say, I was puzzled. Wall Street finances the battle against neoliberalism?

A critique of the IMF macro-economic agenda for Latin America is funded by a foundation owned by one of Wall Street’s most prominent financiers.

I read through the article once more: The article does not actually bash the Wall Street financial elites involved in destabilizing the Mexican economy. It largely focuses on the failures of the IMF bureaucracy without acknowledging that the IMF bureaucracy always acts on behalf of Wall Street.

While the author accuses the IMF mission to Mexico of window dressing, “[n]othing in the IMF staff statement indicated a policy that would tackle Mexico’s grave problems of poverty and inequality”.

One is however left with the impression that it’s all a big management failure which can be rectified by changing the IMF recipe and training IMF officials to learn the realities of developing countries:

Someone should encourage the IMF to stop sending staff teams into countries like Mexico. Each report is identical to the previous one. Nothing seems to be learned by these teams. Years ago, a senior IMF economist told me that when he arrived in a Central Asian country he knew nothing of that country, he got to see nothing of it when he was there and he knew virtually nothing when he drafted the Article IV review. All he did in the country was sit in one air-conditioned room after another, listen to canned reports from nervous finance ministry officials and then develop the report based on the IMF’s same old recipe—make cuts, target welfare, privatize and make sure that the banks are happy. (Alternet, emphasis added)

“Make sure the banks are happy”. Yes, that is the main goal. And the standard recipe serves their interests.

The IMF is controlled by Wall Street and the US Treasury. It has informal ties to the Pentagon. It routinely interfaces with the Washington think tanks. It is part of what is called the “Washington Consensus” which defines the gamut of deadly  economic measures imposed on indebted developing countries.

https://www.alternet.org/2018/11/international-monetary-fund-flexes-its-muscles-latin-america/embed/#?secret=OKwwFZy5dV

“Funding Dissent”

Numerous organizations and protest movements (against neoliberalism) including the World Social Forum (WSF) are funded by Wall Street. How is the process of “manufactured dissent” achieved?

Essentially by “funding dissent”, namely by channeling financial resources from those who are the object of the protest movement to those who are involved in organizing the protest movement.

Co-optation is not limited to buying the favors of politicians. The economic elites –which control major foundations– also oversee the funding of numerous NGOs and civil society organizations, which historically have been involved in the protest movement against the established economic and social order. The programs of many NGOs and people’s movements rely heavily on funding from both public as well as private foundations including the Ford, Rockefeller, McCarthy foundations, among others.

The anti-globalization movement is opposed to Wall Street and the Texas oil giants controlled by Rockefeller, et al. Yet the foundations and charities of Rockefeller et al will generously fund progressive anti-capitalist networks as well as environmentalists (opposed to Big Oil) with a view to ultimately overseeing and shaping their various activities. (Michel Chossudovsky, Manufacturing Dissent, Global Research, 2015

Global capitalism finances anti-capitalism: an absurd and contradictory relationship.

There can be no meaningful mass movement when dissent is generously funded by those same corporate interests which are the target of the protest movement. In the words of McGeorge Bundy, president of the Ford Foundation (1966-1979),Everything the [Ford] Foundation did could be regarded as ‘making the World safe for capitalism’”. (Ibid)

France’s Green Vests

Will elite institutions attempt through various means to infiltrate the Green Vests? France’s intelligence and police apparatus has no doubt already contemplated this option.

Sofar the movement is fully aware of the dangers of cooptation. There is no evidence that the Gilets Jaunes have been coopted or financed by outside funding. While Soros has supported the so-called “color revolutions”, the Yellow Vests have expressed there position in relation to the fake “revolutions” funded by the financial establishment.

click to enlarge

In the case of France, the Gilets Jaunes movement has a grassroots structure.

The Gilets Jaunes call for the withdrawal of France from NATO. It addresses the impacts of neoliberalism while taking a firm anti-war stance. The movement is not manipulated by NGOs or political parties. In the words of Diana Johnstone:

“President Emmanuel Macron’s New Year’s Eve address to the nation made it perfectly clear that after one unconvincing stab at throwing a few crumbs to the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) protest movement, he has determined to get tough.”

Macron is a former senior staff member of  Rothschild & Cie Banque:

Macron is the very embodiment of this system.  He was chosen by that famous elite to carry through the measures dictated by “the Markets”, enforced by the European Union. He cannot give in.  But now that people are awake to what is going on, they won’t stop either.  For all the lamented decline in the school system, the French people today are as well-educated and reasonable as any population can be expected to be.  If they are incapable of democracy, then democracy is impossible.(Ibid)

Goldman Sachs: Making Money the Old-Fashioned Way

By Stephen Lendman
Source

Goldman Sachs (GS) makes money the old-fashioned way by stealing it, scamming investors, defrauding them.

Its operations involve manipulative fraud on a massive scale, the way it’s operated throughout its history.

When caught red-handed, slap-on-the-wrist punishment at most is imposed, management free to steal again through fraud, grand theft, market manipulation, front-running them, and scamming investors worldwide.

Its senior management officials operate like shadowy Mafia dons, a crime family, posing as an investment bank/financial services company, connected to others like it on Wall Street and corrupt politicians, complicit in the firm’s shady operations in return for generous campaign contributions.

In 2010, an SEC civil suit charged GS with defrauding customers. It made billions from the scam, repaying $550 million. It was pocket change, the equivalent of a handful of revenue days.

None of its senior officials were ever held accountable for their manipulative activities. Former GS mortgage bond trader Fabrice Tourre was a rare exception on Wall Street, prosecuted for fraud – not his superiors, OKing how he defrauded investors.

GS is perhaps the most adept on Wall Street at amassing fortunes the old-fashioned way. Chairman Lloyd Blankfein earlier called company operations “doing God’s work.”

Manipulative activities include advising clients to buy assets the firm wants to dump, notably toxic ones, getting clients to assume dangerously speculative positions, things making GS the maximum profits – at the expense of scammed investors.

In 2002, the firm was largely responsible for Greece’s debt crisis. A GS scam involved circumventing Eurozone rules in return for mortgaging assets.

Through creative accounting, debt was hidden in off-balance sheet accounts. Cross-currency swaps derivatives were used. 

Government debt issued in dollars and yen was swapped for euros, then exchanged back into original currencies. Debt entrapment followed, Greece held hostage by Brussels to bankers to service and repay it.

GS profited hugely by scamming Greece, leaving most of its people impoverished. Its business model thrives on similar schemes globally – conniving, cheating, and profiting at the expense of scammed investors.

For years GS scammed the sovereign 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) wealth fund.

In 2015, US prosecutors began investigating Goldman’s involvement in raising over $6 billion for 1MDB. In 2016, an investigation began into the firm’s $3 billion bond deal for the fund.

Malaysia filed criminal charges against GS and two former officials over looting billions of dollars from the fund. Attorney General Tommy Thomas accused former GS Southeast Asia chairman Tim Leissner and former managing director Roger Ng of fraudulently deceiving the fund’s management.

Other GS employees were also charged. Malaysian authorities want the company to repay $2.7 billion in misappropriated funds, along with $600 million in fees charged.

Prosecutors also demand up to 10 years imprisonment for the accused GS personnel, along with stiff fines assessed against them.

They were accused of using looted dollars to buy luxury mansions, yachts, a private jet, artwork, and other expensive items. Former prime minister Najob Razak may have been involved, perhaps bribed by GS to go along with the scam.

The UAE is suing Goldman over its alleged role in a bribery scam. In 2014, the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) sued the firm after losing 98% of $1.3 billion LIA invested with GS in 2007.

GS made over $1 billion in derivatives trades with LIA funds, almost their entire value lost, Goldman earning around $350 million from its manipulation. A 2016 trial ruling was in the company’s favor, showing how tough it is to hold the firm accountable.

In January 2016, GS was fined $15 million for arranging to borrow securities for short sales without authorization.

Goldman earlier was charged with manipulating the oil market, aiming to increase the commodity’s price by speculating in oil futures.

GS and other Wall Street firms were also accused of manipulating other commodities, including aluminum.

In 2013, Goldman was subpoenaed as part of an investigation into complaints that company-owned metals warehouses “intentionally created delays and inflated the price of aluminum.”

Along with JP Morgan Chase, GS was accused of violating US antitrust laws. Months later, Goldman sold its aluminum warehouses to Ruben Brothers.

he company is being investigated in various countries, including the US, for its manipulative practices.

Most often when caught red-handed, punishment, if any, is minor compared to huge profits made from dubious practices.

Earlier I compared Goldman to the fabled comic book Superman character, saying:

GS is faster than competitors, thanks to its proprietary software ability to front-run markets illegally and get away with it.

It’s more powerful than the government it controls and manipulates advantageously to its bottom line; and

It’s able to leap past competitors, given special status afforded the firm by Republicans and undemocratic Dems.

Economics Professor L. Randall Wray once explained that SEC laxity let Goldman “sleep through every bubble and bust in recent memory (it helped create) since it took over Washington during the Clinton years.”

In his book titled “The Great Crash, John Kenneth Galbraith included a chapter on Goldman, explaining how the firm contributed to the Great Depression by selling risky investment trusts to unwary buyers.

They collapsed like a house of cards, the valuation of one dropping from a $104 per share price high to less than $2 at rock bottom.

Goldman made a fortune from the scam. Buyers lost their collective shirts. Things are much the same today.

Goldman’s power and influence lets the firm and its management get away with all sorts of things that would land ordinary people behind bars longterm.

Who are the Architects of Economic Collapse?

Will an Obama Administration Reverse the Tide?

Global Research, August 24, 2018
Global Research 9 November 2008

This article was written at the height of the 2008-2009 economic crisis which coincided with the US presidential election campaign. It was published in the week following Obama’s victory in the November 2008 elections. 

The October 2008 economic meltdown was the result of a deliberate process of financial manipulation. Ten years later under the Trump administration, financial warfare has become increasingly sophisticated. Manipulations of  foreign exchange markets combined with economic sanctions have been used by Washington in alliance with Wall Street to trigger economic instability in targeted countries, including Iran, Turkey, Russia and Venezuela.  

The following article provides a brief history of “financial warfare” from the 1997 Asian Crisis (triggered by the manipulation of forex markets) to the October 2008 financial meltdown, not to mention the bailout procedures put forth by powerful banking conglomerates.

Michel Chossudovsky, August 24, 2018

****
The October 2008 financial meltdown is not the result of a cyclical economic phenomenon. It is the deliberate result of US government policy instrumented through the Treasury and the US Federal Reserve Board.

This is the most serious economic crisis in World history.

The “bailout” proposed by the US Treasury does not constitute a “solution” to the crisis. In fact quite the opposite: it is the cause of further collapse. It triggers an unprecedented concentration of wealth, which in turn contributes to widening economic and social inequalities both within and between nations.

The levels of indebtedness have skyrocketed. Industrial corporations are driven into bankruptcy, taken over by the global financial institutions. Credit, namely the supply of loanable funds, which constitutes the lifeline of production and investment, is controlled by a handful of financial conglomerates.

With the “bailout”, the public debt has spiraled. America is the most indebted country on earth. Prior to the “bailout”, the US public debt was of the order of 10 trillion dollars. This US dollar denominated debt is composed of outstanding treasury bills and government bonds held by individuals, foreign governments, corporations and financial institutions.

“The Bailout”: The US Administration is Financing its Own Indebtedness

Ironically, the Wall Street banks –which are the recipients of the bailout money– are also the brokers and underwriters of the US public debt. Although the banks hold only a portion of the public debt, they transact and trade in US dollar denominated public debt instruments Worldwide.

In a bitter twist, the banks are the recipients of  a 700+ billion dollar handout and at the same time they act as creditors of the US government.

We are dealing with an absurd circular relationship: To finance the bailout, Washington must borrow from the banks, which are the recipients of the bailout.

The US administration is financing its own indebtedness.

Federal, State and municipal governments are increasingly in a straightjacket, under the tight control of the global financial conglomerates. Increasingly, the creditors call the shots on government reform.

The bailout is conducive to the consolidation and centralization of banking power, which in turn backlashes on real economic activity, leading to a string of bankruptcies and mass unemployment.

Will an Obama Administration Reverse the Tide? 

The financial crisis is the outcome of a deregulated financial architecture.

Obama has stated unequivocally his resolve to address the policy failures of the Bush administration and “democratize” the US financial system. President-Elect Barack Obama says that he is committed to reversing the tide:

“Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers. In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people.” (President-elect Barack Obama, November 4, 2008, emphasis added)

The Democrats casually blame the Bush administration for the October financial meltdown.

Obama says that he will be introducing an entirely different policy agenda which responds to the interests of Main Street:

“Tomorrow, you can turn the page on policies that put the greed and irresponsibility of Wall Street before the hard work and sacrifice of men and women all across Main Street. Tomorrow you can choose policies that invest in our middle class and create new jobs and grow this economy so that everybody has a chance to succeed, from the CEO to the secretary and the janitor, from the factory owner to the men and women who work on the factory floor.( Barack Obama, election campaign, November 3, 2008, emphasis added)

Is Obama committed to “taming Wall Street” and “disarming financial markets”?

Ironically, it was under the Clinton administration that these policies of “greed and irresponsibility” were adopted.

The 1999 Financial Services Modernization Act (FSMA) was conducive to the the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933.

A pillar of President Roosevelt’s “New Deal”, the Glass-Steagall Act was put in place in response to the climate of corruption, financial manipulation and “insider trading” which resulted in more than 5,000 bank failures in the years following the 1929 Wall Street crash.

Bill Clinton signs into law the  Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act, November 12, 1999

Under the 1999 Financial Services Modernization Act, effective control over the entire US financial services industry (including insurance companies, pension funds, securities companies, etc.) had been transferred to a handful of financial conglomerates and their associated hedge funds.

The Engineers of Financial Disaster

Who are the architects of this debacle?

In a bitter irony, the engineers of financial disaster are now being considered by President-Elect Barack Obama’s Transition Team for the position Treasury Secretary:

Lawrence Summers played a key role in  lobbying Congress for the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act. His timely appointment by President Clinton in 1999 as Treasury Secretary spearheaded the adoption of the Financial Services Modernization Act in November 1999. Upon completing his mandate at the helm of the US Treasury, he became president of Harvard University (2001- 2006).

Paul Volker was chairman of the Federal Reserve Board in the l980s during the Reagan era. He played a central role in implementing the first stage of financial deregulation, which was conducive to mass bankruptcies, mergers and acquisitions, leading up to the 1987 financial crisis.

Timothy Geithner is CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which is the most powerful private financial institution in America. He was also a former Clinton administration Treasury official. He has worked for Kissinger Associates and has also held a senior position at the IMF. The FRBNY plays a behind the scenes role in shaping financial policy. Geithner acts on behalf of powerful financiers, who are behind the FRBNY. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)

Jon Corzine is currently governor of New Jersey, former CEO of Goldman Sachs.

Larry Summers (left) and Timothy Geithner

At the time of writing, Obama’s favorite is Larry Summers, front-runner for the position of Treasury Secretary.

Harvard University Economics Professor Lawrence Summers served as Chief Economist for the World Bank (1991–1993). He contributed to shaping the macro-economic reforms imposed on numerous indebted developing countries. The social and economic impact of these reforms under the IMF-World Bank sponsored structural adjustment program (SAP) were devastating, resulting in mass poverty.

Larry Summer’s stint at the World Bank coincided with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the imposition of the IMF-World Bank’s deadly ” economic medicine” on Eastern Europe, the former Soviet republics and the Balkans.

In 1993, Summers moved to the US Treasury. He initially held the position of Undersecretary of the Treasury for international affairs and later Deputy Secretary. In liaison with his former colleagues at the IMF and the World Bank, he played a key role in crafting the economic “shock treatment” reform packages imposed at the height of the 1997 Asian crisis on South Korea, Thailand and Indonesia.

The bailout agreements negotiated with these three countries were coordinated through Summers office at the Treasury in liaison with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Washington based Bretton Woods institutions. Summers worked closely with IMF Deputy Managing Director Stanley Fischer, who was later appointed Governor of the Central Bank of Israel.

Larry Summers became Treasury Secretary in July 1999. He is a protégé of David Rockefeller. He was among the main  architects of the infamous Financial Services Modernization Act, which provided legitimacy to inside trading and outright financial manipulation.

Larry Summers and David Rockefeller

“Putting the Fox in Charge of the Chicken Coop”

Summers is currently a Consultant to Goldman Sachs [Oct 2008]and managing director of a Hedge fund, the D.E. Shaw Group,  As a Hedge Fund manager, his contacts at the Treasury and on Wall Street provide him with valuable inside information on the movement of financial markets.

Putting a Hedge Fund manager (with links to the Wall Street financial establishment) in charge of the Treasury is tantamount to putting the fox in charge of the chicken coop.

The Washington Consensus

Summers, Geithner, Corzine, Volker, Fischer, Phil Gramm, Bernanke, Hank Paulson, Rubin, not to mention Alan Greenspan, al al. are buddies; they play golf together; they have links to the Council on Foreign Relations and the Bilderberg; they act concurrently in accordance with the interests of Wall Street; they meet behind closed doors; they are on the same wave length; they are Democrats and Republicans.

While they may disagree on some issues, they are firmly committed to the Washington-Wall Street Consensus. They are utterly ruthless in their management of  economic and financial processes. Their actions are profit driven. Outside of their narrow interest in the “efficiency” of “markets”, they have little concern for “living human beings”. How are people’s lives affected by the deadly gamut of macro-economic and financial reforms, which is spearheading entire sectors of economic activity into bankruptcy.

The economic reasoning underlying neoliberal economic discourse is often cynical and contemptuous. In this regard, Lawrence Summers’ economic discourse stands out. He is known among environmentalists for having proposed the dumping of toxic waste in Third World countries, because people in poor countries have shorter lives and the costs of labor are abysmally low, which essentially means that the market value of people in the Third World is much lower.  According to Summers, this makes it far more “cost effective” to export toxic materials to impoverished countries. A controversial 1991 World Bank memo signed by of Chief Economist Larry Summers reads as follows (excerpts, emphasis added):

DATE: December 12, 1991 TO: Distribution FR: Lawrence H. Summers Subject: GEP

“‘Dirty’ Industries: Just between you and me, shouldn’t the World Bank be encouraging MORE migration of the dirty industries to the Less Developed Countries? I can think of three reasons:

1) The measurements of the costs of health impairing pollution depends on the foregone earnings from increased morbidity and mortality…. From this point of view a given amount of health impairing pollution should be done in the country with the lowest cost, which will be the country with the lowest wages. I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that.

2) The costs of pollution are likely to be non-linear as the initial increments of pollution probably have very low cost. I’ve always though that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly UNDER-polluted, their air quality is probably vastly inefficiently low compared to Los Angeles or Mexico City. Only the lamentable facts that so much pollution is generated by non-tradable industries (transport, electrical generation) and that the unit transport costs of solid waste are so high prevent world welfare enhancing trade in air pollution and waste.

3) The demand for a clean environment for aesthetic and health reasons is likely to have very high income elasticity. [the demand increases when income levels increase]. The concern over an agent that causes a one in a million change in the odds of prostrate cancer is obviously going to be much higher in a country where people survive to get prostrate cancer than in a country where under 5 mortality is is 200 per thousand…. ”

http://www.globalpolicy.org/socecon/envronmt/summers.htm

Summers stance on the export of pollution to developing countries had a marked impact on US environmental policy:

In 1994, “virtually every country in the world broke with Mr. Summers’ Harvard-trained “economic logic” ruminations about dumping rich countries’ poisons on their poorer neighbors, and agreed to ban the export of hazardous wastes from OECD to non-OECD [developing] countries under the Basel Convention. Five years later, the United States is one of the few countries that has yet to ratify the Basel Convention or the Basel Convention’s Ban Amendment on the export of hazardous wastes from OECD to non-OECD countries. (Jim Valette, Larry Summers’ War Against the Earth, Counterpunch, undated)

The 1997 Asian Crisis: Dress Rehearsal for Things to Come

In the course of 1997, currency speculation instrumented by major financial institutions directed against Thailand, Indonesia and South Korea was conducive to the collapse of national currencies and the transfer of billions of dollars of central bank reserves into private financial hands. Several observers pointed to the deliberate manipulation of equity and currency markets by investment banks and brokerage firms.

While the Asian bailout agreements were formally negotiated with the IMF, the major Wall Street commercial banks (including Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and J. P. Morgan) as well as the “big five” merchant banks (Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley and Salomon Smith Barney) were “consulted” on the clauses to be included in the Asian bail-out agreements. [Note: These are 1997 denominations of major financial institutions]

The US Treasury in liaison with Wall Street and the Bretton Woods institutions played a central role in negotiating the bailout agreements. Both Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner, were actively involved on behalf of the US Treasury in the 1997 bailout of South Korea:

[In 1997] “Messrs. Summers and Geithner worked to persuade Mr. Rubin to support financial aid to South Korea. Mr. Rubin was wary of such a move, worrying that providing money to a country in dire straits might be a losing proposition…” (WSJ, November 8, 2008)

What happened in Korea under advice from Deputy Treasury Secretary Summers et al, had nothing to do with “financial aid”.

The country was literally ransacked. Undersecretary of the Treasury David Lipton was sent to Seoul in early December 1997. Secret negotiations were initiated.  Washington had demanded the firing of the Korean Finance Minister and the unconditional acceptance of the IMF “bailout”.

A new finance minister, who happened to be former IMF and World Bank official, was appointed  and immediately rushed off to Washington for “consultations” with his former IMF colleague Deputy Managing Director Stanley Fischer.

“The Korean Legislature had met in emergency sessions on December 23. The final decision concerning the 57 billion dollar deal took place the following day, on Christmas Eve December 24th, after office hours in New York. Wall Street’s top financiers, from Chase Manhattan, Bank America, Citicorp and J. P. Morgan had been called in for a meeting at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Also at the Christmas Eve venue, were representatives of the big five New York merchant banks including Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley and Salomon Smith Barney. And at midnight on Christmas Eve, upon receiving the green light from the banks, the IMF was allowed to rush 10 billion dollars to Seoul to meet the avalanche of maturing short-term debts.

The coffers of Korea’s central Bank had been ransacked. Creditors and speculators were anxiously awaiting to collect the loot. The same institutions which had earlier speculated against the Korean won were cashing in on the IMF bailout money. It was a scam. (See Michel Chossudovsky, The Recolonization of Korea, subsequently published as a chapter in The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order, Global Research, Montreal, 2003.)

“Strong economic medicine” is the prescription of the Washington Consensus.  “Short term pain for long term gain” was the motto at the World Bank during Lawrence Summers term of as World Bank Chief Economist. (See IMF, World Bank Reforms Leave Poor Behind, Bank Economist Finds, Bloomberg, November 7, 2000)

What we dealing with is an entire ” old boys network” of officials and advisers at the Treasury, the Federal Reserve, the IMF, World Bank, the Washington Think Tanks, who are  in permanent liaison with leading financiers on Wall Street.

Whoever is chosen by Obama’s Transition team will belong to the Washington Consensus.

The 1999 Financial Services Modernization Act

What happened in October 1999 is crucial.

In the wake of lengthy negotiations behind closed doors, in the Wall Street boardrooms, in which Larry Summers played a central role, the regulatory restraints on Wall Street’s powerful banking conglomerates were revoked “with a stroke of the pen”.

Larry Summers worked closely with Senator Phil Gramm (1985-2002),chairman of the Senate Banking committee, who was the legislative architect of the  the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act, signed into law on November 12, 1999 (See Group Photo above). (For Complete text click US Congress: Pub.L. 106-102). As Texas Senator, Phil Gramm was closely associated with Enron.

In December 2000 at the very end of the Clinton mandate, Gramm introduced a second piece of legislation, the so-called Gramm-Lugar Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which paved the way for the speculative onslaught in primary commodities including oil and food staples.

“The act, he declared, would ensure that neither the sec nor the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (cftc) got into the business of regulating newfangled financial products called swaps—and would thus “protect financial institutions from overregulation” and “position our financial services industries to be world leaders into the new century.” (See David Corn, Foreclosure Phil, Mother Jones, July August 2008)

Phil Gramm was McCain’s first choice for Secretary of the Treasury.

Under the FSMA new rules – ratified by the US Senate in October 1999 and approved by President Clinton – commercial banks, brokerage firms, hedge funds, institutional investors, pension funds and insurance companies could freely invest in each others businesses as well as fully integrate their financial operations.

A “global financial supermarket” had been created, setting the stage for a massive concentration of  financial power. One of the key figures behind this project was Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers, in liaison with David Rockefeller. Summers described the FSMA as “the legislative foundation of the financial system of the 21th century”.  That legislative foundation is among the main causes of the 2008 financial meltdown.

Financial Disarmament

There can be no meaningful solution to the crisis, unless there is a major reform in the financial architecture, implying inter alia the freezing of speculative trade and the “disarming of financial markets”.  The project of disarming financial markets was first proposed by John Maynard Keynes in the 1940s as a means to the establishment of a multipolar international monetary system. (See  J.M. Keynes, Activities 1940-1944, Shaping the Post-War World: The Clearing Union, The Collected Writings of John Maynard Keynes, Royal Economic Society, Macmillan and Cambridge University Press, Vol. XXV, London 1980, p. 57).

Main Street versus Wall Street

Where are Obama’s “Main Street appointees”? Namely individuals who respond to the interests of people across America.  There are no labor or community leaders on Obama’s list for key positions.

The President-elect is appointing the architects of financial deregulation.

Meaningful financial reform cannot be adopted by officials appointed by Wall Street and who act on behalf of Wall Street.

Those who set the financial system ablaze in 1999, have been called back to turn out the fire.

The proposed “solution” to the crisis under the “bailout” is the cause of further economic collapse.

There are no policy solutions on the horizon.

The banking conglomerates call the shots. They decide on the composition of the Obama Cabinet. They also decide on the agenda of the Washington Financial Summit (November 15, 2008) which is slated to lay the groundwork for the establishment of a new “global financial architecture”.

The Wall Street blueprint has already been discussed behind closed doors: the hidden agenda is to establish a unipolar international monetary system, dominated by US financial power, which in turn would be protected and secured by US military superiority.

Neoliberalism with a “Human Face”

There is no indication that Obama will break his ties to his Wall Street sponsors, who largely funded his election campaign.

Goldman Sachs, J. P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Bill Gates’ Microsoft are among his main campaign contributors.

Warren Buffett, among the the world’s richest individuals, not only supported Barak Obama’s election campaign, he is a member of his transition team, which plays a key role deciding the composition of Obama’s cabinet.

Warren Buffett

Unless there is a major upheaval in the system of political appointments to key positions, an alternative Obama economic agenda geared towards poverty alleviation and employment creation is highly unlikely.

Barack Obama. November 7 Press Conference.
Joe Biden (far left), newly appointed chief of staff Rahm Emanuel (far right). Photo: Charles Dharapak

What we are witnessing is continuity.

Obama provides a ” human face” to the status quo. This human face serves to mislead Americans on the nature of the economic and political process.

The neoliberal economic reforms remain intact.

The substance of these reforms including the “bailout” of America’s  largest financial institutions ultimately destroys the real economy, while spearheading entire areas of manufacturing and the services economy into bankruptcy.

 

The Venezuelan “Petro” – Towards a New World Reserve Currency?

February 22, 2018

by Peter Koenig for The Saker Blog

The Venezuelan “Petro” – Towards a New World Reserve Currency?

Imagine an international currency backed by energy? By a raw material that the entire world needs, not gold – which has hardly any productive use, but whose value is mostly speculative – not hot air like the US dollar. Not fiat money like the US-dollar and the Euro largely made by private banks without any economic substance whatsoever, and which are coercive. But a currency based on the very source for economic output – energy.

On February 20, 2018, Venezuela has launched the “Petro” (PTR), a government-made and controlled cryptocurrency, based on Venezuela’s huge petrol reserves of about 301 billion barrels of petrol. The Petro’s value will fluctuate with the market price of petrol, currently around US$61 per barrel of crude. The Petro was essentially created to avoid and circumvent illegal US sanctions, dollar blockades, confiscations of assets abroad, as well as to escape illegal manipulations from Florida of the Bolivarian Republic’s local currency, the Bolívar, via the black-market dollars flooding Venezuela; and, not least, to trade internationally in a non-US-dollar linked currency. The Petro is a largely government controlled blockchain currency, totally outside the reach of the US Federal Reserve (FED) and Wall Street – and it is based on the value of the world’s key energy, hydrocarbons, of which Venezuela has the world’s largest proven reserves.

In a first batch Venezuela released 100 million Petros, backed by 5.342 billion barrels of crude from the Ayacucho oil fields of Orinoco; a mere 5% of total proven Venezuelan reserves. Of the 100 million, 82.4% will be offered to the market in two stages, an initial private Pre-Sale of 38.4% of so-called non-minable ‘tokens’, followed by a public offering of 44% of the cryptomoney. The remaining 17.6 million are reserved for the government, i.e. the Venezuelan Authority for Cryptomoney and Related Activities, SUPCACVEN.

When launching the currency, on 20 February 2018, Vice-president Tareck El Aissami declared, “Today, the Petro was born and we will formally launch the initial pre-sale of the Venezuelan Petro. Venezuela has placed herself in the vanguard of the future. Today is a historic day. Venezuela is the first nation to launch a cryptomoney, entirely backed by her reserves and her natural riches.” President Maduro has later affirmed that his country has already entered contracts with important trading partners and the world’s major blockchain currencies.

Can you imagine what this means? – It sets a new paradigm for international trade, for safe payment systems that cannot be tampered with by the FED, Wall Street, SWIFT, New York courts, and other Washington puppets, like the European Central Bank (ECB), the unelected European Commission (EC) and other EU-associated Brussels institutions. It will allow economic development outside illegal ‘sanctions’. The Petro is a shining light for new found freedom from a hegemonic dollar oppression.

What is valid for Venezuela can be valid for other countries eager to detach from the tyrannical Anglo-Zion financial system. – Imagine, other countries following Venezuela’s example, other energy producers, many if not most of whom would be happy to get out from under the Yankee’s boots of blood dollars inundating the world thanks to uncountable wars and conflicts they finance – and millions of innocent people they help kill.

Rumors have it, that in a last-ditch effort to salvage the faltering dollar, the FED might order the IMF to revert to some kind of a gold standard, blood-stained gold. – Of the 2,300 to 3,400 tons of gold mined every year around the globe, it is estimated that about a quarter to a third is illegally begotten, so called ‘blood’ gold, extracted under the most horrendous conditions of violence, murder, opaque mafia-type living (and dying) conditions, child labor, sexual enslavement of women, many of whom way under-age, abject poisoning of humans with heavy metals, mercury, cyanite, arsenic and more, contamination of surface and underground water ways, vast illegal deforestation of tropical rain forests – and more. That’s the legacy of gold, the MSM, of course, doesn’t talk about.

That’s what the west based its monetary system on until 1971, when Nixon decided to replace gold with the fiat dollar which then became de facto the world’s major reserve currency, albeit declining rapidly over the last twenty years. In desperation, Washington might want to apply another gold-based international norm to salvage the faltering dollar. Of course, a norm designed to favor the US, with the rest of the western and developing world destined to absorb the astronomical US debt.

Since the world’s major goldmining corporation and the illegal gold-digging mafia networks work hand-in-hand, smuggled gold works its way intricately into the dominium of shady traders, many of whom also deal with so-called white gold (drug powder), washing gold and drug-money simultaneously, thereby confounding and obscuring the origins of either. Eventually this illegal gold is purchased by major gold mining or refining corporations mixed with ‘legal’ gold, so that the illegal portion is no longer traceable.

Therefore, every ounce of gold that would back our money, the purchases of our livelihoods would be smeared in blood, in children’s abuse and death, in murdered and enslaved women and men, in poisoned water ways and in a contaminated environment. But the world wouldn’t go for it. No more. There are healthier and more transparent physical assets to back up international currencies, i.e. the Petro, backed by energy. Though not free from socio-environmental damage, petrol-energy may gradually convert into alternative sources of energy, like solar, wind and aquatic power or a combination of all of them.

What the world is to aim for is a monetary system based on each nation’s or group of nations or societies economic output. Today it’s the other way around – it’s the fiat money, designed by the Anglo-Zionist masters of finance, that defines economies. Thus, economies in our western world are prone to be manipulated by the rulers and their institutions – FED, IMF, World Bank, World Trade Organization (WTO) – that support the debt / interest-based monetary rules – they are purposefully maneuvered into booms and busts. With every bust, more capital is transferred from the bottom to the top, from the poor to an ever-smaller elite. The energy-based Petro is a first step away from this sham.

Imagine the Petro was to become the new OPEC currency! The world would need Petros, as it used to need US dollars to buy hydrocarbon energy. But Petros are blockchain-safe, less vulnerable for manipulation. They are not coercive, they are not made for blackmailing ‘unwilling’ nations into submission; they are not tools for violence. They are instruments of equitable production and trade. They are also instruments of protection from the fiat money abuses.

The world’s ten largest hydrocarbon producers

Ranking Country Petrol (billion barrels)
1 Venezuela 300.9
2 Saudi Arabia 266.5
3 Canada 169.7
4 Iran 158.4
5 Iraq 142.5
6 Kuwait 101.5
7 Emirates 97.8
8 Russia 80.0
9 Libya 48.4
10 Nigeria 37.1
Total 1,402.8

Source: http://geab.eu/en/top-10-countries-with-the-worlds-biggest-oil-reserves/

have a capital base of 1.4 trillion barrels of crude. Not bad to start a worldwide cryptocurrency, based on energy, controlled by energy and by all those who will use energy – that might become a world reserve currency, at par with the Chinese economy- and gold-backed Yuan, but much safer than the fiat currencies of the US-dollar, Euro, British Pound and Japanese Yen.

We are talking about a seismic paradigm shift. Its potential is unfathomable. The move away from the US-dollar hegemony might result in an implosion of the western monetary structure as we know it. It may stop the predator empire of the United States in its tracks, by simply decimating her economy of fraud, built on military might, exploitation and colonization of the world, on racism, and on a bulldozing scruple-less killing machine. The Petro, a secured cryptocurrency based on energy that everybody needs, might become the precursor for an international payment and trading scheme towards a more balanced and equitable approach to worldwide socioeconomy development.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; RT; Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; TeleSUR; The Vineyard of The Saker Blog; and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 3 0 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

The Bitcoin Revolution

13-01-2018 | 08:19

The exponential growth of US markets in the lead-up to the 2008 economic meltdown captivated economists around the world. China’s Central Bank even dispatched a team of experts to the US, hoping to master the trade that supposedly offered massive profits and carried zero risk.

The Bitcoin Revolution

But the report that the team sent back to Beijing was unusually brief. It described the sale of subprime mortgage bonds as a practice involving “one candle and a million mirrors”.

Chinese experts concluded that the reflection of the flame was undoubtedly bright, so long as the candle remains lit.

The ten long years of economic hardship that followed certainly proved the Chinese theory right.

And in the chaos that ensued after the US-manufactured crisis gripped much of the global economy, some of the world’s sharper minds began exploring alternatives to the current financial system.

One of the things they came up with is crypto currency.

The birth of Bitcoin

Crypto currency is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses cryptography to secure its transactions.

By the end of 2017, there were over one thousand different crypto currencies in circulation. But the vast majority are very similar to, or directly derive from the first successfully implemented model – Bitcoin.

Likely invented by a group of individuals using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin was released as the first decentralized worldwide payment system in 2009 – without a central bank or a single administrator overseeing its transactions.

This entirely digital, heavily encrypted virtual currency has no middlemen like banks, and no transaction or credit card fees for small businesses.

Last year alone, bitcoin rose by more than 900% in value. In December, it was worth USD 16,000 per unit.

Just over five years earlier, a developer named Laszlo Hanyecz made the first bitcoin transaction, using 10,000 coins to buy a couple of pizzas. At the time, one bitcoin was worth a measly USD 0.08.

Interestingly, the value of bitcoin began to soar just after April 2013, when Cypriot banks confiscated Russian deposits under the pretext of the claim that the assets belonged to the Russian mafia. The move was part of a €10 billion bailout deal with the European Union.

Since then, many investors have turned to bitcoin. During last year’s Thanksgiving weekend in the US, the number of users on the electronic bitcoin stock market exceeded 13,3 million.

And after accumulating hundreds of millions of dollars in investment capital, bitcoin has been equipped with the latest technology needed for ‘mining’ – the process that creates the virtual coins.

According to unofficial sources, the largest concentration of this equipment – or mining ‘nests’ – is located in China and Russia.

All of these advances are creating realistic conditions for the crypto currency to take over global monetary transactions, undermining the monopoly of the existing banking system.

Bitcoin vs. the US Dollar

If one is to use the US Dollar as a tool for measuring the financial value of any item, it is important to keep in mind that the American currency is constantly being printed at the behest of a consortium of private banks, operating under the umbrella of the US Federal Reserve.

Their relentless thirst for more, combined with American government expenses, quite literally leads to the production of a colossal sum of money each year.

As a result, the US dollar has lost no less than 97% of its purchasing power. In practical terms, an item that cost USD 1 in 1913 is now priced at USD 24. As such, it is difficult to see how the American currency can maintain its international standing in the long run.

On the other hand, crypto currency, unlike government-issued money that can be inflated at will, is mathematically limited to twenty-one million bitcoins, a number that is set and can never change.

This limited availability has only added to the existing demand. And as crypto currency quickly gains the reputation of a highly profitable investment, a growing number of people are looking to convert their dollars into bitcoin.

The Banksters

In one of the few quotes attributed to Satoshi Nakamoto, the mastermind or masterminds behind the bitcoin phenomenon, western governments are accused of falsifying the value of national currencies, while the banking system is blasted for handing out loans without having the minimal capital required to cover those credits.

It is clear that the emergence of crypto currency is essentially a revolt against the unjust monetary system, with the US dollar at the helm.

Every revolt is significant, no matter how small, and for the big bankers – or ‘banksters’ – it can be especially dangerous.

The advanced technology used by bitcoin is one of its key assets, opening up a world of possibilities.

That said, it is impossible to predict just how effective this revolt is likely to be, especially in the short to medium term.

Those who feel threatened by bitcoin are extremely powerful, highly intelligent individuals that consider themselves the masters of the universe.

These individuals plan to confront bitcoin in many ways, and have already started weaving a dangerous net that may prove fatal to the crypto currency.

The Chief Executive Officer at JPMorgan Chase & Co., Jamie Dimon, told an investor conference in New York that he would fire any employee trading bitcoin for being “stupid”.

“I’d fire them in a second. For two reasons: It’s against our rules, and they’re stupid. And both are dangerous,” he said in September of last year.

Meanwhile, banks on Wall Street have all started creating their own crypto currencies, modeled on bitcoin and designed to counter it.

One of these is Ripple XRP. This crypto competitor recorded a whopping 36,018 percent growth in 2017, compared to bitcoin’s 1,318 percent.

But despite the epic growth, the banks and other financial institutions still have some catching up to do. By January 2018, Ripple XRP was still trading at USD 2.89, whereas bitcoin is currently trading at just over USD 13,000.

An optimist might say that the night is darkest just before the dawn. The USD-dominated financial system is that darkness, and bitcoin or some other form of crypto currency is the dawn of a new day.

Source: Al-Ahed

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