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The Greek Coup: Liquidity as a Weapon of Coercion
Posted on July 30, 2015 by Ellen Brown
“My father made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. Luca Brasi held a gun to his head and my father assured him that either his brains, or his signature, would be on the contract.” — The Godfather (1972)
In the modern global banking system, all banks need a credit line with the central bank in order to be part of the payments system. Choking off that credit line was a form of blackmail the Greek government couldn’t refuse.
Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is now being charged with treason for exploring the possibility of an alternative payment system in the event of a Greek exit from the euro. The irony of it all was underscored by Raúl Ilargi Meijer, who opined in a July 27th blog:
The fact that these things were taken into consideration doesn’t mean Syriza was planning a coup . . . . If you want a coup, look instead at the Troika having wrestled control over Greek domestic finances. That’s a coup if you ever saw one.
Let’s have an independent commission look into how on earth it is possible that a cabal of unelected movers and shakers gets full control over the entire financial structure of a democratically elected eurozone member government. By all means, let’s see the legal arguments for this.
So how was that coup pulled off? The answer seems to be through extortion. The European Central Bank threatened to turn off the liquidity that all banks – even solvent ones – need to maintain their day-to-day accounting balances. That threat was made good in the run-up to the Greek referendum, when the ECB did turn off the liquidity tap and Greek banks had to close their doors. Businesses were left without supplies and pensioners without food. How was that apparently criminal act justified? Here is the rather tortured reasoning of ECB President Mario Draghi at a press conference on July 16:
There is an article in the [Maastricht] Treaty that says that basically the ECB has the responsibility to promote the smooth functioning of the payment system. But this has to do with . . . the distribution of notes, coins. So not with the provision of liquidity, which actually is regulated by a different provision, in Article 18.1 in the ECB Statute: “In order to achieve the objectives of the ESCB [European System of Central Banks], the ECB and the national central banks may conduct credit operations with credit institutions and other market participants, with lending based on adequate collateral.” This is the Treaty provision. But our operations were not monetary policy operations, but ELA [Emergency Liquidity Assistance] operations, and so they are regulated by a separate agreement, which makes explicit reference to the necessity to have sufficient collateral. So, all in all, liquidity provision has never been unconditional and unlimited. [Emphasis added.]
In a July 23rd post on Naked Capitalism, Nathan Tankus calls this “a truly shocking statement.” Why? Because all banks rely on their central banks to settle payments with other banks. “If the smooth functioning of the payments system is defined as the ability of depository institutions to clear payments,” says Tankus, “the central bank must ensure that settlement balances are available at some price.”
How the Payments System Works
The role of the central bank in the payments system is explained by the Bank for International Settlements like this:
One of the principal functions of central banks is to be the guardian of public confidence in money, and this confidence depends crucially on the ability of economic agents to transmit money and financial instruments smoothly and securely through payment and settlement systems. . . . [C]entral banks provide a safe settlement asset and in most cases they operate systems which allow for the transfer of that settlement asset.
Internationally before 1971, this “settlement asset” was gold. Later, it became electronic “settlement balances” or “reserves” maintained at the central bank. Today, when money travels by check from Bank A to Bank B, the central bank settles the transfer simply by adjusting the banks’ respective reserve balances, subtracting from one and adding to the other.
Checks continue to fly back and forth all day. If a bank’s reserve account comes up short at the end of the day, the central bank treats it as an automatic overdraft in the bank’s reserve account, effectively lending the bank the money in the form of electronic “liquidity” until the overdraft can be cleared. The bank can cure the deficit by attracting new deposits or by borrowing from another bank with excess reserves; and if the whole system is short of reserves, the central bank creates more to maintain the liquidity of the system.
The most dramatic exercise of this liquidity function was seen after the banking crisis of 2008, when credit was frozen and banks had largely stopped lending to each other. The US Federal Reserve then stepped in and advanced over $16 trillion to financial institutions through the TAF (Term Asset Facility), the TALF (Term Asset-backed Securities Loan Facility), and similar facilities, at near-zero interest. Toxic unmarketable assets were converted into “good collateral” so the banks could remain solvent and keep their doors open.
Liquidity as a Tool of Coercion
That is how the Fed sees its role, but the ECB evidently has other ideas about this liquidity tool. Whether a country’s banks are allowed to “access monetary policy operations” is seen by the ECB not as mandatory but as discretionary with the central bank. And as a condition of that access, if a country’s bonds are “below investment grade,” the country must be under an IMF program — meaning it must subject itself to forced austerity measures. According to ECB Vice President Constâncio at the same press conference:
[W]hen a country has a rating which is below the investment grade which is the minimum, then to access monetary policy operations, it has to have a waiver. And the waiver is granted if there are two conditions. The first condition is that the country must be under a programme with the EU and IMF; and second, we have to assess that there is credible compliance with such a programme. [Emphasis added]
Liquidity is provided only on “adequate collateral” — usually government bonds. But whether the bonds are “adequate” is not determined by their market price. Rather, political concessions are demanded. The government must sell off public assets, slash public services, lay off public workers, and subject its fiscal policies to oversight by unelected bureaucrats who can dictate every line item in the national budget.
Europe now has a system where liquidity and insolvency problems can occur and can be deliberately generated (at least in part) by the central bank. Then the Troika can force that country into an “IMF program” if it wants to continue having a functioning banking system. Alternatively, the central bank can choose to simply “suspend convertibility” to the unit of account [i.e. cut off the supply of Euros] and force the write down of deposits [haircuts and bail-ins] until the banks are solvent again.
Pushed to the Cliff by the Financial Mafia
Were liquidity and insolvency problems intentionally generated in Greece’s case, as Tankus suggests? Let’s review.
First there was the derivatives scheme sold to Greece by Goldman Sachs in 2001, which nearly doubled the nation’s debt by 2005.
Then there was the bank-induced credit crisis of 2008, when the ECB coerced Greece to bail out its insolvent private banks, throwing the country itself into bankruptcy.
This was followed in late 2009 by the intentional overstatement of Greece’s debt by a Eurostat agent who was later tried criminally for it, triggering the first bailout and accompanying austerity measures.
The Greek prime minister was later replaced with an unelected technocrat, former governor of the Bank of Greece and later vice president of the ECB, who refused a debt restructuring and instead oversaw a second massive bailout and further austerity measures. An estimated 90% of the bailout money went right back into the coffers of the banks.
In December 2014, Goldman Sachs warned the Greek Parliament that central bank liquidity could be cut off if the Syriza Party were elected. When it was elected in January, the ECB made good on the threat, cutting bank liquidity to a trickle.
When Prime Minister Tsipras called a public referendum in July at which the voters rejected the brutal austerity being imposed on them, the ECB shuttered the banks.
The Greek government was thus broken Mafia-style at the knees, until it was forced to abandon its national sovereignty and watch its public treasures sold off piece by piece. Suspicious minds might infer that this was a calculated plot designed from the beginning to throw Greece’s prized assets onto the auction block, a hostile takeover and asset stripping for the benefit of those well-heeled entities in a position to purchase them, including the very banks, hedge funds and speculators instrumental in driving up Greek debt and destroying the economy.
No Sovereignty Without Control Over Currency and Credit
In the taped conference call for which Yanis Varoufakis is currently facing treason charges, he exposed the trap that eurozone countries are now in. It seems there is virtually no legal way to break free of the euro and the domination of the troika. The government has no access to the critical data files of its own banks, which are controlled by the ECB.
Varoufakis said this should alarm every EU government. As Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King warned in 1935:
Once a nation parts with the control of its currency and credit, it matters not who makes the nation’s laws. Usury, once in control, will wreck any nation.
For a nation to regain control of its currency and credit, it needs a central bank with a mandate to serve the interests of the nation. Banking should be a public utility, serving the economy and the people.
Ellen Brown is an attorney, founder of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books including the best-selling Web of Debt. Her latest book, The Public Bank Solution, explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her 300+ blog articles are at EllenBrown.com. Listen to “It’s Our Money with Ellen Brown” on PRN.FM.
Ellen Brown Attorney at Law LLM JD
Global News Aruba
Associate News Reporter and Analyst
Ellen Brown is the founder of the Public Banking Institute and the author of a dozen books and hundreds of articles. She developed her research skills as an attorney practicing civil litigation in Los Angeles. In the best-selling Web of Debt, she turned those skills to an analysis of the Federal Reserve and “the money trust.” She showed how this private cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back. In The Public Bank Solution, the 2013 sequel, she traces the evolution of two banking models that have competed historically, public and private; and explores contemporary public banking systems globally.
Brown developed an interest in the developing world and its problems while living abroad for eleven years in Kenya, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua. She returned to practicing law when she was asked to join the legal team of a popular Tijuana healer with an innovative cancer therapy, who was targeted by the chemotherapy industry in the 1990s. That experience produced her book Forbidden Medicine, which traces the suppression of natural health treatments to the same corrupting influences that have captured the money system. She also co-authored the bestselling Nature’s Pharmacy, which has sold 285,000 copies. Ellen ran for California State Treasurer in 2014 with the endorsement of the Green Party garnering a record number of votes for a Green Party candidate. Her blog and articles are at http://EllenBrown.com. The Public Banking Institute is athttp://PublicBankingInstitute.org.
|Posted on August 8, 2015 at 1:00 AM||comments (74)|
Berdad AUTONOMIANAN di 15-12-1954 a Pone un FIN na e Epoca Colonial di Hulanda ??
Berdad AUTONOMIANAN di 15-12-1954 a Pone un FIN na e Epoca Colonial di Hulanda ??
by Augustin Stamper
Cu Tur Respet, Nos NO Mag Tornu na e Historia Politico di Nos ISLA pa Perhudica Nos Mes y muy particularmente “PERHUDICA DESTINO di Nos PROPIO Criaturanan Inocente lantando riba Nos ISLA Tan Stima Aruba”, pero “Tambe esnan lantando riba Nos otro ISLANAN Ruman Respeta na Corsou y Sint Maarten”, sigur awor den Futuro desde 10 di oktober 2010. Tur Nos Respetable Representantenan, particularmente Nos Lidernan Politico y Expertonan Estatal, for di introduccion di e Koninkrijksstatuut 15 di december 1954, via e AUTONOIANAN Fundeshi di e Statuto, Tur tabata y te cu awe ainda, Tur ta CONVENCI cu e AUTONOMIANAN tanto e.o. di Aruba, Corsou y Sint Maarten, tambe esun di Hulanda na Cabez di e Koninkrijk aki, CONVENCI cu e Autonomianan aki for di e fecha ultimo menciona, nan bin pone un FIN na e Epoca Colonial di Hulanda cu a inicia den aña 1634. E CONVICCION aki lamentablemente ta Totalmente ROBEZ, e NO por ta basa riba BERDAD sino riba Ideanan Politico Masha EMOCIONAL, ROBEZ pues, cual “Semper a Bin PERHUDICA Nos Tur te cu e dia diawe den e Propio Koninkrijk aki”!!
Ta bon conoci cu Colonialismo tin tur cos di Haci cu “Tratonan di DESIGUALDAD”, “SIN Tratadonan di DERECHONAN Humano”, “Tratonan di DESIGUALDAD” cual Politiek Den Haag (PDH) a pone un “FIN” na nan dia 10 di december1948, “6 AÑA PROME CU INTRODUCCION DI E STATUTO”, dia pues cu “PDH a Acorda e Tratadonan Internacional” di cu y pa cu “Nos DERECHONAN Humano” cu “Nacionan Uni”. Dia cu Nos ISLA Aruba mescos cu tur Nos otro 5 otro ISLANAN Ruman den Caribe Hulandes, via e “Tan Fundamentalisimo Tratadonan Internacional”, cada un di Nos ISLANAN a bira un “Nederlands RECHTSGEBIED”, esta “Teritorio di ………….“DERECHONAN” …………HULANDES”. Dia cu PDH a pone un “FIN” na e “Epoca Colonial di Hulanda”, den Niun Sentido di Palabra pues dia di introduccion di e Statuto. Loke “SI” Nos Representantenan Respeta a pone un “FIN” na dje via introduccion di e Statuto “61 Aña Pasa” ta: e “Relacionan DURADERO” cu “Hulanda TABATA TIN” cu “Nos ISLANAN for di aña 1634 den e Epoca Colonial”!!
Segun e “Legitimo BERDAD di Nos Historia Politico” y “NO Weganan/Idealnan Politico EMOCIONAL Totalmente ROBEZ”, introduccion di e Statuto a Pone un “FIN na e Relacionan DURADERO” cu “Tur Nos 6 ISLANAN Hunto cu Surman”, “TABATA TIN CU HULANDA” den e Epoca Colonial ya Bon Splica. Kiermen segun “LOGICA” y “NO WEGANAN EMOCIONAL”, desde 15 di december 1954 via dicho AUTONOMIANAN, te dia 10-10-10, “SEMPER” Tur Nos 6 ISLANAN, “TABATA TIN” un “Relacion TEMPORARIO cu Hulanda”, anto “SIN DERECHONAN HULANDES”, pa e “Simpel HECHO” cu e AUTONOMIANAN como tal NO, “NO” ta “RECONOCE” e “DERECHONAN Hulandes” cu Politiek Den Haag a Otorga Nos Pueblonan Respeta dia 10 di december 1948 via e Tratadonan Internacional di “Nos DERECHONAN Humano”. Un “Tan Penibel REALIDAD di Bida di acuerdo cu Nos BERDADERO Historia Politico”, “SIN Weganan/Trikinan EMOCIONAL Politico”. Anto Nos Yiunan di Tera Respeta “NACI” cu e Nacionalidad Hulandes via Nos Grandinan Stima for di casi “400 AÑA PASA (1634)”!!
“AUTONOMIANAN cu Tin Nos Pueblonan Respeta”, “BIBANDO” di “DEBERNAN SO”, “SIN DERECHONAN HULANDES” Conforme e “BALORNAN di e Nacionalidad Hulandes NACI di Nos den Caribe HULANDES”, “BALORNAN Fundamental Ricibi for di 10 di december 1948”. “BALORNAN Fundamental” cual ta nifica: Nos Pueblonan Respeta for di e fecha ultimo menciona, ta “Parti Directo di e Inmenso RIKEZA di Pais Hulanda”. E.o. Hulanda su Forza di Exportacion ta Algo Mas di “MIL MIYON Euro” NO pa Luna sino pa “DIA”!!
Kiermen; cu e AUTONOMIANAN for di december 1954, Nos Representantenan Respeta cu a Acorda e Koninkrijksstatuut cu PDH, consciente o inconscientemente, “Nan a PROLONGA” e “Tratonan di DESIGUALDAD”, “Tratonan DESIGUAL” di Prome cu e Acuerdonan di e Tratadonan Internacional di cu y pa cu “Nos DERECHONAN Humano”. Epoca “SIN DERECHONAN HULANDES”. Segun “LOGICA” desde 10-12-1948, “IMPOSIBLEMENTE” Nos Pueblonan HULANDES den Cariba por Ricibi “Tratonan IGUAL” via dicho AUTONOMIANAN. Cu e AUTONOMIANAN te cu e dia diawe den aña 2015, “Tur Nos Representantenan Respeta” a/ta “PROLONGA” e “Epoca Colonial di Hulanda”, “SIN DERECHONAN HULANDES”, Epoca caul Politiek Den Haag a pone un “FIN” na dje “67 AÑA PASA” manera ya Bon Splica !!
Enbez di cu a “PROLONGA” e Epoca Colonial di Hulanda (Tratonan di DESIGUALDAD) via dicho AUTONOMIANAN, “SIN DERECHONAN HULANDES’, un “Decision Masha EMOCIONAL Totalmente Robez”, Nan lo Mester a “PROLONGA” e “Relacionan DURADERO cu Hulanda TABATA Tin cu Nos ISLANAN” den e Epoca Colonial como tal. “PROLONGA e Relacionan DURADERO” pues PERO “CU” loke yama “RECONOCIMENTO” DI “NOS ………..”DERECHONAN” ………. HULANDES”. E “Tan Fundalisimo DERECHONAN” aki lo Mester a wordu “Poni Central y DOMINANTE den e Koninkrijksstatuut”, enbez di e AUTONOMIANAN cu ta “Mara Nos Pueblonan Respeta” na “DEBERNAN SO”, “SIN DERECHONAN HULANDES” den Caribe HULANDES. Nos Niun a Yega di NACE cu un Cos cu yama AUTONOMIA. “Con por a Pone AUTONOMIANAN cu - NO ta Duna Nos Pueblonan Respeta Ni di Come y Ni di Bebe - Central di DOMINANTE den e Materia di Nos Relacionan Humano den e Koninkrijksstatuut”??
Un “DRAMA HUMANO”, Nada di Gaba, sino pa “Produci Lagrimanan di Profundo Tristesa pa particularmente “Destino di Nos PROPIO Criaturanan na e.o. Aruba”, anto “NAN” cu ta “Nos Legitimo FUTURO” lantando den un Mundo Extremadamente Dificil. “NAN cu for di 10-10-10”, via dicho AUTONOMIANAN ta den un “Relacion TERMINAL” cu Hulanda, segun “LOGICA” y “NO Weganan/Trikinan EMOCIONAL Politico”. “LOGICA” pa e “HECHO” cu Aruba, mescos cu Corsou y Sint Maarten NO, “NO” ta Ubica den e Awanan Teritorial di e Berdadero Pais Hulanda, sino “Aruba y Corsou ubica PERMANENTEMENTE” den e “Awanan Teritorial di e otro Berdadero Pais, VENEZUELA”. Desde 10-10-10 Nos otro ISLANAN Ruman, Bonaire, Saba y Sint Eustatius, Nan Pueblonan Respeta cada un a bira “Parti Directo di Pais Hulanda”, “Parti INTEGRAL Estatal” di Hulanda, cu un “Relacion DURADERO cu Hulanda”, “SIN AUTONOMIA - COLONIAL - DI DEBERNAN SO” di 15-12-1954, Nan como “Bijzondere Gemeente di Pais Hulanda”!!!!
Augustin Chrismo Stamper (onafhankelijke onderzoeker Koninkrijksrelaties, Discipulo Denter di e Don di PAZ di Cristo Jesus)
|Posted on July 31, 2015 at 12:00 AM||comments (0)|
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Posted by Cindy Sheehan at 8:30 AM
China's NGO Law: Countering Western Soft Power and Subversion by Eric Draitser
China’s NGO Law: Countering Western Soft Power and Subversion
(Originally appearing in New Eastern Outlook NEO)
China has recently taken an important step in more tightly regulating foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) inside the country. Despite condemnation from so called human rights groups in the West, China’s move should be understood as a critical decision to assert sovereignty over its own political space. Naturally, the shrill cries of “repression” and “hostility toward civil society” from western NGOs have done little to shake the resolve of Beijing as the government has recognized the critical importance of cutting off all avenues for political and social destabilization.
The predictable argument, once again being made against China’s Overseas NGO Management Law, is that it is a restriction on freedom of association and expression, and a means of stifling the burgeoning civil society sector in China. The NGO advocates portray this proposed legislation as another example of the violation of human rights in China, and further evidence of Beijing’s lack of commitment to them. They posit that China is moving to further entrench an authoritarian government by closing off the democratic space which has emerged in recent years.
However, amid all the hand-wringing about human rights and democracy, what is conveniently left out of the narrative is the simple fact that foreign NGOs, and domestic ones funded by foreign money, are, to a large extent, agents of foreign interests, and are quite used as soft power weapons for destabilization. And this is no mere conspiracy theory as the documented record of the role of NGOs in recent political unrest in China is voluminous. It would not be a stretch to say that Beijing has finally recognized, just as Russia has before it, that in order to maintain political stability and true sovereignty, it must be able to control the civil society space otherwise manipulated by the US and its allies.
For full article:
Posted by Cindy Sheehan at 8:30 AM