Ellen Brown: The “Economic Endgame”: Making the World Safe for Banksters, Syria in the Cross-hairs

Iraq and Libya have been taken out, and Iran has been heavily boycotted. Syria is now in the cross-hairs. Why? Here is one overlooked scenario . . . 

In an August 2013 article titled “Larry Summers and the Secret ‘End-game’ Memo,” Greg Palast posted evidence of a secret late-1990s plan devised by Wall Street and U.S. Treasury officials to open banking to the lucrative derivatives business. To pull this off required the relaxation of banking regulations not just in the US but globally. The vehicle to be used was the Financial Services Agreement of the World Trade Organization.

The “end-game” would require not just coercing support among WTO members but taking down those countries refusing to join. Some key countries remained holdouts from the WTO, including Iraq, Libya, Iran and Syria. In these Islamic countries, banks are largely state-owned; and “usury” – charging rent for the “use” of money – is viewed as a sin, if not a crime.That puts them at odds with the Western model of rent extraction by private middlemen. Publicly-owned banks are also a threat to the mushrooming derivatives business, since governments with their own banks don’t need interest rate swaps, credit default swaps, or investment-grade ratings by private rating agencies in order to finance their operations.

Bank deregulation proceeded according to plan, and the government-sanctioned and -nurtured derivatives business mushroomed into a $700-plus trillion pyramid scheme. Highly leveraged,  completely unregulated, and dangerously unsustainable, it collapsed in 2008 when investment bank Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, taking a large segment of the global economy with it. The countries that managed to escape were those sustained by public banking models outside the international banking net.

These countries were not all Islamic. Forty percent of banks globally are publicly-owned. They are largely in the BRIC countries—Brazil, Russia, India and China—which house forty percent of the global population. They also escaped the 2008 credit crisis, but they at least made a show of conforming to Western banking rules. This was not true of the “rogue” Islamic nations, where usury was forbidden by Islamic teaching. To make the world safe for usury, these rogue states had to be silenced by other means. Having failed to succumb to economic coercion, they wound up in the crosshairs of the powerful US military.

Here is some data in support of that thesis.

The End-game Memo

In his August 22nd article, Greg Palast posted a screenshot of a 1997 memo from Timothy Geithner, then Assistant Secretary of International Affairs under Robert Rubin, to Larry Summers, then Deputy Secretary of the Treasury. Geithner referred in the memo to the “end-game of WTO financial services negotiations” and urged Summers to touch base with the CEOs of Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, Citibank, and Chase Manhattan Bank, for whom private phone numbers were provided.

The game then in play was the deregulation of banks so that they could gamble in the lucrative new field of derivatives. To pull this off required, first, the repeal of Glass-Steagall, the 1933 Act that imposed a firewall between investment banking and depository banking in order to protect depositors’ funds from bank gambling. But the plan required more than just deregulating US banks. Banking controls had to be eliminated globally so that money would not flee to nations with safer banking laws. The “endgame” was to achieve this global deregulation through an obscure addendum to the international trade agreements policed by the World Trade Organization, called the Financial Services Agreement….

The new FSA pulled the lid off the Pandora’s box of worldwide derivatives trade.  Among the notorious transactions legalized: Goldman Sachs (where Treasury Secretary Rubin had been Co-Chairman) worked a secret euro-derivatives swap with Greece which, ultimately, destroyed that nation.  Ecuador, its own banking sector de-regulated and demolished, exploded into riots.  Argentina had to sell off its oil companies (to the Spanish) and water systems (to Enron) while its teachers hunted for food in garbage cans.  Then, Bankers Gone Wild in the Eurozone dove head-first into derivatives pools without knowing how to swim–and the continent is now being sold off in tiny, cheap pieces to Germany.

The Holdouts

That was the fate of countries in the WTO, but Palast did not discuss those that were not in that organization at all, including Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. These seven countries were named by U.S. General Wesley Clark (Ret.) in a 2007 “Democracy Now” interview as the new “rogue states” being targeted for take down after September 11, 2001. He said that about 10 days after 9-11, he was told by a general that the decision had been made to go to war with Iraq. Later, the same general said they planned to take out seven countries in five years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran.

What did these countries have in common? Besides being Islamic, they were not members either of the WTO or of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). That left them outside the long regulatory arm of the central bankers’ central bank in Switzerland. Other countries later identified as “rogue states” that were also not members of the BIS included North Korea, Cuba, and Afghanistan.

The body regulating banks today is called the Financial Stability Board (FSB), and it is housed in the BIS in Switzerland. In 2009, the heads of the G20 nations agreed to be bound by rules imposed by the FSB, ostensibly to prevent another global banking crisis. Its regulations are not merely advisory but are binding, and they can make or break not just banks but whole nations. This was first demonstrated in 1989, when the Basel I Accord raised capital requirements a mere 2%, from 6% to 8%. The result was to force a drastic reduction in lending by major Japanese banks, which were then the world’s largest and most powerful creditors. They were undercapitalized, however, relative to other banks. The Japanese economy sank along with its banks and has yet to fully recover.

Among other game-changing regulations in play under the FSB are Basel III and the new bail-in rules. Basel III is slated to impose crippling capital requirements on public, cooperative and community banks, coercing their sale to large multinational banks.

The Public Bank Alternative

Countries laboring under the yoke of an extractive private banking system are being forced into “structural adjustment” and austerity by their unrepayable debt. But some countries have managed to escape. In the Middle East, these are the targeted “rogue nations.” Their state-owned banks can issue the credit of the state on behalf of the state, leveraging public funds for public use without paying a massive tribute to private middlemen. Generous state funding allows them to provide generously for their people.

Like Libya and Iraq before they were embroiled in war, Syria provides free education at all levels and free medical care. It also provides subsidized housing for everyone (although some of this has been compromised by adoption of an IMF structural adjustment program in 2006 and the presence of about 2 million Iraqi and Palestinian refugees). Iran too provides nearly free higher education and primary health care.

Like Libya and Iraq before takedown, Syria and Iran have state-owned central banks that issue the national currency and are under government control. Whether these countries will succeed in maintaining their financial sovereignty in the face of enormous economic, political and military pressure remains to be seen.

As for Larry Summers, after proceeding through the revolving door to head Citigroup, he became State Senator Barack Obama’s key campaign benefactor. He played a key role in the banking deregulation that brought on the current crisis, causing millions of US citizens to lose their jobs and their homes. Yet Summers is President Obama’s first choice to replace Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve Chairman. Why? He has proven he can manipulate the system to make the world safe for Wall Street; and in an upside-down world in which bankers rule, that seems to be the name of the game.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/wall-streets-secret-economic-endgame-making-the-world-safe-for-banksters-syria-in-the-cross-hairs/5348107

Ship Yard Gunman: Hunting for Answers

You can watch the AP wire get scrubbed before your eyes. Luckily at least one site keeps a log of previous versions of the same story.  One has to engage in some speculation because AP has proven to be so utterly manipulated for so many years.  So here’s my working hypothesis given recent and historical context: this is another staged event.  This is corroborated by eyewitness accounts of additional shooters who disappear from later stories without explanation, as also happened with the batman and sikh temple shootings.  Staging atrocities in controlled environments like military bases makes a lot of sense for any hidden agents.  Just line up the witnesses and order them to keep quiet.

The most obvious question of course is whether he was on SSRI antidepressants, as virtually every other mass shooter in memory has been (http://ssristories.com).  Will this ever be addressed in the MSM?  What do you think?

Google: “It is not yet clear if that individual was an accomplice

Police: Only one gunman in Navy Yard rampage

WASHINGTON (AP) – D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier says authorities believe there was only a lone gunman responsible for the Navy Yard shooting rampage that left 13 people dead.

Authorities had earlier said they were searching for a possible second suspect.

Mayor Vincent Gray says the 12 shooting victims range in age from 46 to 73 years old. The gunman, identified as 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, was also killed.

Gray said at a news conference late Monday night that they are still notifying the families of about half of the 12 people who were killed.

The FBI says the gunman used a valid pass to get on to the Navy Yard.

—-Previous story——–

Defense officials say the suspected Washington Navy Yard gunman was currently working as a defense department contractor, but it’s not clear if he was assigned at the military base in southeast D.C.

Defense officials say Aaron Alexis, 34, of Texas, was working as an information technology contractor, but it was not known which company employed him. As a contractor, he could have had a badge that might have gained him access to the base. Alexis was a former Navy reservist, serving from 2007 to early 2011.

The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University also says he was an online student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in aeronautics. He started classes in July 2012.

Thirteen people were killed during the shooting rampage at Building 197. More than a dozen others were wounded.

— Previous story —-

Federal law enforcement officials say the man accused in a shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard that left at least 12 people dead has been identified as Aaron Alexis.

The two officials spoke Monday to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

One of those officials says Alexis was a 34-year-old from Texas. He is believed to have a criminal record there and to be a holder of a concealed carry weapon permit.

That official says Alexis is believed to have gotten into the Navy Yard by using someone else’s identification card. It is not yet clear if that individual was an accomplice or if that person’s ID card was stolen.

—– Previous Story —–

Police say at least 12 people have died in the shootings at the Washington Navy Yard.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said during a news conference Monday that 12 people were confirmed dead.

Lanier says people are being told to stay in their homes and out of the area as authorities search for two other possible suspects. One of the shooters has died.

The police chief says officers are searching for two other people with firearms wearing military-style uniforms.

She says there is no indication of a possible motive at this time.

—– Previous Story —–

Police in Washington, D.C., are looking for two other possible gunmen, after a shooting today at the Washington Navy Yard that left six people dead.

Officials say at least four others were wounded, including a law enforcement officer. Police say a third gunman has died, though they’re not saying how.

Witnesses describe a gunman opening fire from the fourth floor, aiming down at people in a first-floor cafeteria. Others say a gunman fired at them in a third-floor hallway. It’s not clear whether they’re describing the same shooter.

Police say the two other potential gunmen were wearing military-style uniforms, including one who was wearing a beret. The police chief says one of them had a long gun, and the other was also armed.

The shooting prompted nearby schools to be put on lockdown. And planes at Reagan National Airport were briefly grounded so they wouldn’t interfere with police helicopters. Less than two miles away, security was beefed up at the U.S. Capitol, but police said there was no known threat there.

About 3,000 people work at the Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters. It builds, buys and maintains the Navy’s ships and submarines and its combat systems.

—–Previous Story—–

Authorities say they are looking for two additional suspects in a shooting rampage today at the Washington Navy Yard.

District of Columbia Police Chief Cathy Lanier says witnesses reported seeing two additional gunmen, both dressed in military-style clothing.

Lanier says one police officer was wounded in an exchange of gunfire with a shooter. She says one shooter has been killed.

Two Navy officials say at least six people were killed in the rampage.

As many as 10 were wounded.

This is a developing story and we will continue to update it as new information becomes available.

—–Previous Story—–

Two Navy officials say at least six people have died in a shooting at the Washington Navy Yard.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity on Monday because they were not authorized to discuss the situation publicly.

A Defense Department official and a federal law enforcement official have said a shooter had died, though it was not immediately clear how.

Police are also looking into the possibility of a second shooter.

As many as 10 were wounded.

—–Previous Story—–

Officials say at least one shooter has died at the Washington Navy Yard, where several people were killed and as many as 10 were wounded.

A federal law enforcement official and a Defense Department official said Monday morning that a shooter had died. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation.

Two other officials have said they are looking into the possibility of a second shooter at the Navy Yard.

—–PREVIOUS STORY—–

A Defense Department official says several people have been killed and as many as 10 have been wounded in a shooting at the Washington Navy Yard.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity Monday because the official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

The official also says the shooter is “contained” but not yet in custody.

Earlier in the day, the U.S. Navy said it was searching for an active shooter at the Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters, where about 3,000 people work.

The exact number of people killed and the conditions of those wounded was not immediately known.

—–PREVIOUS STORY—–

The Navy says several people have been injured in a shooting at a building at the Washington Navy Yard. Authorities are still looking for the shooter.

Officials say the shots were fired at around 8:20 this morning at the Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters, where about 3,000 people work.

Police and federal agents are on the scene. Ambulances are parked outside the building, and streets in the area are closed. Flights at Reagan National Airport have been temporarily halted.

A U.S. Park Police helicopter hovered over the building and appeared to drop a basket or a stretcher with a person onto the roof.

Naval Sea Systems Command is the largest of the Navy’s five system commands and accounts for a quarter of the Navy’s entire budget. It builds, buys and maintains the Navy’s ships and submarines and their combat systems.

—–Previous Story—–

D.C. police and the FBI say there’s a report of a shooter inside a military building at the Washington Navy Yard.

Police are responding to reports of shots fired, and an FBI spokeswoman says there’s at least one victim.

The U.S. Navy also said on Twitter that they’re looking for a gunman. They say three shots were fired inside their Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters.

The Washington Navy Yard says on its website that it’s the Navy’s oldest shore establishment. It is home to the chief of Naval Operations and is also headquarters for the Naval Historical Center and numerous naval commands.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

http://www.wkyt.com/news/headlines/Police-responding-to-reported-shooter-at-Navy-Yard-223901871.html

Exposing the Financial Core of the Invisible Government

In this study, we decided to identify in detail the people on the boards of directors of the top ten asset management firms and the top ten most centralized corporations in the world. Because of overlaps, there is a total of thirteen firms, which collectively have 161 directors on their boards. We think that this group of 161 individuals represents the financial core of the world’s transnational capitalist class. They collectively manage $23.91 trillion in funds and operate in nearly every country in the world. They are the center of the financial capital that powers the global economic system. Western governments and international policy bodies work in the interests of this financial core to protect the free flow of capital investment anywhere in the world. …

http://www.globalresearch.ca/exposing-the-financial-core-of-the-transnational-capitalist-class/5349617