Wednesday, November 26, 2008


With this week’s announcements of his proposed Treasury Team, US President-Elect, Barack Obama, has dismayed many of his supporters and left them wondering whether the much trumpeted “Change we can believe in” which Mr Obama used to spearhead his campaign is ever going to happen in reality.

Just one look at the proposed list shows the direction the Obama Presidency will take:

LARRY SUMMERS: proposed Director of National Economic Council.

Summers, a Harvard Professor of Economics, was Chief Economist at the World Bank 1991-93. During his tenure, the WB was active in imposing so-called “structural adjustment programmes” in collusion with the IMF, to enforce neo-liberal economics with compulsory “privatisation” of public assets and concomitant massive debt on impoverished Third World countries. At the same time, following the collapse of the USSR, similar “economic medicine” was imposed on Russia and Eastern Europe resulting in the robbery of pension funds, state assets and widespread destruction of production assets in those countries during the 1990’s.

Summers joined the US Treasury Department in 1993 as Undersecretary and later became Deputy Secretary where, in 1997, he was principally involved with the IMF/WB scourging of the South Korean, Thailand and Indonesian economies as part of the bailout of these countries when financial crisis, similar to what is happening now, but on a lesser scale, hit them. The main result of these operations being fat profits for their cronies in “re-financing” and asset stripping with large numbers of people forced into unemployment and poverty. In 1999, Clinton promoted Summers to Treasury Secretary. He immediately set about lobbying the Congress to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, the mainstay of F.D.Roosevelt’s economic reforms to bring the USA out of the infamous 1929 Wall St. Crash, which outlawed “insider trading” and the type of trading in debt which has led to the present financial crisis of World Capitalism.

Desperate to get their hands on “quick-buck” financial returns from the use of virtual money, unrelated to any productive enterprise, and in which all profits returned only to them and their cronies, the Wall St./Treasury Clique persuaded Congress to repeal the long-standing US controls on bank credit with the “Financial Services Modernisation Act” which was signed into law by Clinton on 12.11.1999. Summers co-ordinated this with Senator Phil Gramm (Texas, and an associate of rogue petroleum company Enron) and thus the legislation was titled the Gramm-Leach-Bliley FSMA. Under its rules, 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. This was the foundation landscape for the growth of the fraudulent financial scams, massive ill-gotten profits, astronomical bonuses for Chief Executives and property market “bubble” which has collapsed into chaos ten years later and brought the world to economic disaster.

In December 2000, just before Clinton left office, Gramm introduced another 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”, Gramm declared, “will ensure” that neither the Secretary (of the Treasury) 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”. Summers moved on from the Treasury to become President of Harvard University in 2001-2006. In 2008, Gramm was McCain’s choice for Secretary of the Treasury if elected President.

TIMOTHY GEITHNER: proposed Treasury Secretary:

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), a political/financial elitist think tank in with offices in New York and Washington.

Geithner, a protégé of Summers, joined the Treasury Department in 1988 and was undersecretary for international affairs in 1998-2001 when Summers was promoted to Deputy Secretary and then Secretary. Geithner then went to IMF before being appointed President of the FRBNY in 2003. Geithner was directly involved with FRB Chairman Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Paulson in the deal which allowed JP Morgan Chase to take over Bear-Stearns in March this year and later the failed deal to prop up Lehman Bros. which finally broke the back of the massive credit fraud in the USA and exposed the rotten heart of the present crisis to public view.

The Federal Reserve Bank, despite its title, is not a government entity put a private corporation owned by the biggest banks and other wealthy shareholders such as;
Rothschild: London and Berlin; Lazard Bros: Paris; Israel Seiff: Italy; Kuhn- Loeb Company: Germany; Warburg: Hamburg and Amsterdam; Lehman Bros: New York; Goldman and Sachs: New York; Rockefeller: New York. The Federal Reserve orders the printing of US dollars and pays the Bureau of Engraving & Printing approximately $23 for each 1,000 notes printed. 10,000 $100 notes (one million dollars) would thus cost the Federal Reserve $230. Then they secure a pledge of collateral equal to the face value of these dollars from the US government. The collateral is US Government owned land (50% of the land west of the Mississippi is owned by the Government), labour output, and taxes collected by their agents, the Internal Revenue Service. By authorising the Federal Reserve Bank to regulate and create money (and thus inflation), Congress gave private banks power to create profits at will. Note the names here, Rothschild, Rockefeller, Lehman Bros; the same names that appear at the crime scene of the infamous 1929 Wall St. Crash, out of which they all emerged as billionaires while millions of US workers and their families suffered unemployment and starvation.

It is interesting that Mr Obama’s third announced appointment, Professor Christina Rohmer of Berkeley University, California, is a specialist in the study of recessions. Summers and Geithner are cunning and pragmatic individuals. No doubt they will come up with a heavily spun and plausible seeming “plan” for economic “reform” one that makes them look like the Lone Ranger and Tonto riding to the rescue rather than the Pirates of the Caribbean and obscures their part in creating the current crisis. It is also interesting that, despite well-flagged public pleading, no bail-out has been forthcoming for the US automobile industry. What will happen here is a scourging “downsizing” gutting of the existing companies which will deliberately wipe out conditions and employment standards gained by the Trade Unions, undermining Union power and forcing in low wages and no standards for the future. Thus the auto workers and others to follow will be made pay for the recession just like 1929.

Mr Obama was short on the detail of his financial policies but, it must cause intense worry to many of supporters to see the President-elect flanked by two of the main supervisors of the delinquency of Wall Street which has devastated its own financial system and threatened world financial stability as well. Do leopards ever change their spots?

FearFeasa Mac Léinn

Áth Cliath/DUBLIN, 26 Samhain/November 2008.

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