Cyprus – The ‘nuclear’ option

Europe, the ECB and the IMF have put a gun to Cyprus’ head.

The threat has been made public – you do as we say and seize depositor’s money or -

Germany to Cyprus: your banks might never re-open

Either Cypriot members of parliament ignore the will of the Cypriot people or the ECB stops supporting Cypriot banks and they implode.  Which would mean either Cyprus leaves the Euro and re-introduces its own currency (which it could do)  or it tells its people that ALL their money is now gone.

The problem is the private Cypriot banks spent a great deal of the money deposited in them on buying high yielding Greek bonds/debt which were partially defaulted by Greece with the say-so of the ECB et al. So bear in mind that whatever else Cyprus is guilty of (and there is plenty of guilt to go around) it is NOT a case of a government spending profligately. Cyprus debt to GDP at 87% was lower that the Europe area average of 93%.

The ECB doesn’t care about that it just wants Cyprus to dry-run the new idea of making depositors pay for the sins of private banks directly from their savings rather than through the lengthy and ‘political’ process of official bail outs that we have had so far.  Cyprus is the test of a more ‘free market’, no messy voting, no lengthy arguments, technocrats-decide-for-us solution.

I expect the Cypriot parliament will do what its told by the man holding the gun. It will be interesting to see if they enforce it themselves or resign en-masse and allow Europe to  install  another non-democratic ‘Technocratic’ dictatorship. If so it will be just another sign we have left the modern era and that Europe, if not the whole West, is now Post Democratic.

So does Cyprus have an option? I think they do. A nuclear one.

It is true they have no fiscal bullets left. They never really had any. All they ever really had was a little plastic tomahawk they got from Woolies. Even that’s bent now. Even if they decide to let the ECB pull the life support on their banks the EU has said it feels confident no contagion will spread to the rest of Europe. What they mean is financial contagion. The contagion of one defaulted debt, causing another to default causing another. That danger, the EU thinks it has contained. And it may well have.

But Cyprus has one other option – not fiscal but legal.

The nuclear option of Cyprus is to not seize the money in peoples’ accounts but the information about that money. Such as where it came from, if it was criminal or laundered, and if so which banks, businesses and professionals knew about it and helped it on its way. The information which their regulators should have been collecting but never bothered to for the last 15 years. But even so, it is still there. Could still be used.

Cyprus has been laundering money. Its banks and businesses have helped. But so too have the banks and businesses of other countries. To my knowledge there is documentary evidence which implicates at least two huge European banks. A third, a German bank, would, I think, find itself dragged in also.  As would dozens if not hundreds of British registered shell companies and the British authorities who do nothing to regulate them, and yet are implicated in four major fraud cases I know of personally.

You might say, ‘So what! Nothing ever happens to the banks when they are found guilty of laundering. How does that  count as a nuclear option for Cyprus?’ and you’d be right. Nothing ever does happen to the banks. They pay a fine, and then carry on.  But what would change everything and strike a cold fear into the heart of Europe, its banks and its ruling class, is if Cyprus decided to do what nobody anywhere has done – begin a proper criminal investigation.

And it is the word criminal which would set a fuse burning which if not extinguished WOULD spread a contagion that would threaten Europe’s banks and political system.

To understand why,  you have to look at the monumentally important ruling in America in the case against HSBC. When the case first broke the headlines were all about the $1.92 billion fine HSBC had agreed to pay. What was made slightly less clear was that there had been an agreement between HSBC and the US Justice Department  that HSBC would pay the fine in return for not being found criminally guilty of anything.

HSBC was not criminally prosecuted. They agreed on what is called a ‘Deferred Prosecution Agreement”. Which means they were only ever going to pay a fine, agree to improve, try to look sorry and walk away with a ‘No admission of guilt’ settlement.

This despite the FACTs that, as Lanny Breuer, Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice (DOJ) said, the evidence they had gathered proved,

“…stunning failures of oversight .… The record of dysfunction that prevailed at HSBC for many years was astonishing.”

To which U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch a lawyer involved with the case added, 

“HSBC’s blatant failure to implement proper anti-money laundering controls facilitated the laundering of at least $881 million in drug proceeds through the US financial system…”

Yet HSBC were not guilty of any criminal act, certainly not guilty of Money-laundering. Not only that but even though the case found that,

 ”…senior bank officials were complicit in the illegal activity.”

No senior management was taken to court, no one faced criminal charges, no one went to gaol. Officially no one was guilty of anything more serious than having “turned a blind eye”. That was the phrase used.

All of which festered quietly just out of public consciousness. Until Eric Holder, the U.S. Attorney General testified before the U.S. Judiciary Committee in March 2013 and made the astonishing admission,

“I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy,”

In other words here was the starkest admission, from the most powerful judiciary in the world, that the big banks are officially above the law.  The law will not be applied to them.  The U.S. Justice department made clear is that if you criminally prosecute a bank, and find it criminally guilty, the bank would most likely lose its banking license and the many institutions that the bank relies upon to buy its bonds, lend it money and purchase its securities would no longer be able to. They would not be allowed by law to do business with a criminal institution.

So the answer is to allow the institutions to act illegally but not prosecute them. That way everybody can do business with people breaking the law but without the nasty word ‘criminal’ being around to stink up the party.

Only poor and ordinary people are Criminals. Rich people have regulatory failures.

Sorry for the lengthy digression. Now back to Cyprus. I think you can see where this is going.

Cyprus’ nuclear threat and option is to make it clear it is going to open criminal investigations into not just its own banks and those who run them, but the huge, systemically important foreign banks who have been dealing with Cyprus and its dirty money for years.

Every nation has so far done what the U.S. did to HSBC. They investigate and fine them making VERY sure there is no mention of criminal guilt. If one single country were to break this agreement and go after the criminals as criminals, the whole edifice is threatened with destruction.

It does not matter that Cyprus is small. Of course being found criminally guilty in a large country like the U.S. is an immediate death sentence. Guilt in Cyprus would not have the same immediate effect. But there would be a legal contagion because a judgment in one country is the basis of filing suit in others.

Currently the opposite is the staple of international banking. A regulator in one country ‘investigates’ one of its own systemically important banks and surprise, surprise finds that though there were ‘problems’, there was no criminal guilt. There are any number of ways of making sure you arrive at this happy conclusion. One way or another no one finds their important financial institutions criminally guilty – ever.

If Cyprus did, the plague would be out.

Even the knowledge such an investigation was underway would shake share prices at the banks under investigation. Once the evidence came out in court it could not be put back. That evidence would be there for all to use in their own countries. Even if governments refused to do it, ordinary people and NGOs could.

This is the option Cyprus still has. I know, as well as you it won’t happen. But it could. It should.

The Cypriot people know they have been guilty of turning a blind eye to tax evasion and laundering. They know the  EU wants to strip them of their low tax regime just as they want to strip it from Ireland as well. But they also know the EU doesn’t really want to lift the stone and expose the extent of  criminal activity that has been going on because of who and which banks they might find hiding under there.

The Cypriot people have to decide will they try to save themselves by trying to carry on with the same criminals or will they turn to the one option no one even seems to be aware is a possibility – the Truth.

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59 Responses to Cyprus – The ‘nuclear’ option

  1. Just me March 22, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    “Europe threatens Cyprus with bankruptcy in power struggle with Russia”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/03/22/cypr-m22.html

    • mvsjcl March 22, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

      And how is this any different than criminal blackmail?

  2. Enexoumeypothesi March 22, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    The criminals who are governing Cyprus are going to expose all the other criminals…..NOT A CHANCE!

    What you fail to understand is that the Cyprus ”elite” is ruling like anywhere else in the world. The only difference is that elsewhere, occasionally politicians or people with power end up behind bars. Even Greece has started to do this. Cyprus is a kind of it’s own. Since 1960 when Cyprus became an independent state, ONLY 1 person implicated in a cooperative scandal did some jail time.

    We had the bubble of the Cyprus Stock Exchange, billions of then pounds lost, common people lost their savings or even borrowed money to buy shares in insolvent companies. Who benefited most? Politicians and the owners of those companies.

    Cyprus is corrupt. And we, the people of Cyprus, deserve the incompetent, corrupt elite that has been governing Cyprus since 1960.

    For decades (not just 1), we have been living on borrowed money. Have you ever been to Cyprus? Do you see the houses people live in? The cars they are driving? We take a loan to build a house. We take a loan to buy a car. Do you know how many Cypriots traveled abroad last Sat-Mon that was a public holiday? Do you have any idea how many will travel this long weekend again a public holiday on Monday?

    I am a Cypriot but if Germany was in our shoes, I would never have agreed to my country bail out theirs, bearing in mind that prudent people that work hard and save money bail out people that all they do is take up loans after loans and live recklessly.

    • Golem XIV March 22, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

      I agree it won’t happen. And I defer to your far greater knowledge about Cyprus. I have never visited.

      But I would say that the UK may like to portray itself as more law abiding – but our elite are, I think, easily as dirty as yours. At least I think it would be an epic fight.

      Someone somewhere, some electorate, has to reach for the truth.

      • Enexoumeypothesi March 22, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

        No worries David, you may get the chance to visit Cyprus if it defaults and is kicked out of the euro, which personally i think is our best option,, it’s going to be dead cheap for you and the rest of the world to visit during summer!! Nice hotels, clean beaches and constant sun :)

        • neretva March 22, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

          “…and is kicked out of the euro,”

          that would be the best solution for any country. Neoliberal concept and “austerity” imposted by Berlin have and will kill any society.

          “Nice hotels, clean beaches and constant sun”

          of course if you have stash of cash in “service based economy”.

      • groundedkiwi March 23, 2013 at 2:36 am #

        Hopefully NZ will, if the reserve bank tries a hair cut on our savings. We have a small enough population to pressure for charges to be laid.

  3. Hawkeye March 22, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    I guess what you are theorising, is that the Cypriot’s may act in the manner of “well, if we’re gonna get taken down, we may as well bring the rest of you f#ckers down with us”.

    On the face of it, this would seem an irrational choice on the part of the Cypriots. It would seem like bitter revenge.

    However, as any good student of Behavioural Economics will tell you, this method of spiteful rejection is closely related to our innate sense of fairness. Looks like we could be witness to a real world play-out of the Ultimatum game:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimatum_game

    This being a form of Inequity Aversion, which “manifests itself in humans as the willingness to sacrifice potential gain to block another individual from receiving a superior reward”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inequity_aversion

  4. Pat March 22, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

    Just in case anyone thinks your money is any safer in a credit union, check out this story from Ireland:

    http://www.irishtimes.com/business/sectors/financial-services/credit-unions-lose-15-million-after-liquidation-of-ibrc-1.1334698

    (FYI, I do have my own meagre savings in a credit union, because I prefer them on principle to privately owned banks.)

    • Cora March 22, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

      Hi Pat,

      I’m not sure, and I could be mistaken but I think what happened to to Irish Credit Unions is slightly different to what is proposed in Cyprus – I think some Irish CUs lost money on an investment/bond that they took out with Anglo, these investments were something they were encouraged to get involved in but they didn’t have to do it and some prudent CUs decided to stay well away from that kind of (relative) risk taking, and now they are in better shape than those that were prolly feeling all smug and superior a few years back with their giant ‘portfolios’.
      So anyway I don’t think it was an actual retail deposit which got shafted.

      Just as an aside does anyone because Golem was saying about depositors and senior bondholders being given equal seniority does anyone know if say the interest rate on medium/long term deposit accounts is as good as those senior bondholders get?

  5. Jon March 22, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

    Another reason it won’t happen – nepotism.Just like corruption, it’s rife in Cyprus – and you NEVER rat out a family member…unless it’s financially worth it. That is the Cypriot mentality – and yes, i used to live there.

    However, as suggested, the UK is far worse imho – London, is the money laundering capital of the WORLD! But this will arrive on our shores soon enough – it has to because the entire system is systemically flawed.

    • Woodgnome March 23, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

      And in London, too, the rats will leave the sinking ship for some cozy offshore tax haven, returning only when they believe the coast is clear.

      This world will not change until laws everywhere are made to apply equally to every section of society. And until the concept of ‘social mobility’ is recognised to function in BOTH directions.

      That’s the main issue, here; The elite are happy enough to watch the OCCASIONAL pleb roll a lucky ’6′ and climb the ladder. Not so keen on the elite themselves having to hazard the snakes, though!

  6. averagejoe March 22, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21879801
    The co-op if I recall correctly is a mutual. And looks no safer than the banks either.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21860039
    Very predictable, and a sign they are making it up as they go along

    • Hawkeye March 22, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

      aj

      Regarding your second link, it looks like a case of greenlighting the policy of Nominal GDP targetting:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nominal_income_target

      Which translates as “obtain the appearance of growth by any means necessary”.

      But all Mervyn King’s horses and all the Bank’s men, won’t put (real) growth back together again.

  7. timbo614 March 22, 2013 at 8:07 pm #

    … and the Troika just upped the ante to 6.7Bln. Bloody Poker game!

  8. The Dork of Cork. March 22, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

    @Hawkeye

    Poor Aul Merve thinks growth is the growth of bank assets.

    Treasury money tokens (which cannot be leveraged by banks) to retire the debts is the only solution to prevent the implosion of physical life support systems. (but its probably too late now)

    All banks assets including possibly gold could tank.
    All credit banks will die as they will be unable to inflate their assets using fossil fuel.

    The system can no longer cope with usury as usury has destroyed almost all of the worlds capital base.
    However it looks like they will destroy the remaining rump capital base to keep the debt boat afloat one last time.

    What a ride this has been , what a ride.

    Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, supports this theory:
    “The St. George’s flag, a red cross on a white field, was adopted by England and the City of London in 1190 for their ships entering the Mediterranean to benefit from the protection of the Geonoese fleet. The English Monarch paid an annual tribute to the Doge of Genoa for this privilege.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_George's_Cross

    What is the modern version of the Bank of St George to do now ?

    There is no more worlds to conquer.

  9. steviefinn March 23, 2013 at 12:29 am #

    Interesting article from the Public banking Institute in regard to Cyprus, NZ & depositors. According to them the BRIC’s countries have fared much better than the West due to their publicly owned banks, the ECB is covering it’s own loans to Cypriot banks & the proposed action towards depositors in NZ has been in the pipeline since the 1998 Asian crisis.

    http://webofdebt.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/a-safe-and-a-shotgun-or-public-sector-banks-the-battle-of-cyprus/

    A primer on open bank resolution:

    http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/research/bulletin/2007_2011/2011sep74_3HoskinWoolford.pdf

    Open bank resolution pdf:

    http://www.nzba.org.nz/assets/Uploads/111004-OBR-Submission-NZBA.pdf

    According to Wikipedia : ( From the article )

    ‘In most legal systems, . . . the funds deposited are no longer the property of the customer. The funds become the property of the bank, and the customer in turn receives an asset called a deposit account (a checking or savings account). That deposit account is a liability of the bank on the bank’s books and on its balance sheet. Because the bank is authorized by law to make loans up to a multiple of its reserves, the bank’s reserves on hand to satisfy payment of deposit liabilities amounts to only a fraction of the total which the bank is obligated to pay in satisfaction of its demand deposits’.

    Hope this is not going over ground already covered.

  10. The Dork of Cork. March 23, 2013 at 1:37 am #

    @Stevie
    The problem is Steve………
    Money is also a utility (a state & individual utility) and not just the other side of a dud asset conduit

    You could argue that the people behind the credit banks will take take the deposits away again so that they can restart the credit extraction / capital destruction process all over again.

    We live in a very sick world.

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  12. PAUL KIMBER March 23, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    I’m glad you wrote this article even if the truth is unlikely to be pursued by the Cypriots. It needed to be stated amidst the spin being put out by the mainstream press. Thanks – I hope it gets quoted far and wide.

  13. Gemma March 23, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    A very interesting article. As to corruption, I think the Germans would be 100% behind such a move by Cyprus – and that includes any against their banks.

    Because one of the sorest problems for Germany’s feelings of integrity is that their private banks can get up to all sorts of naughtiness in areas where banking regulations are poor.

    That includes Ireland, the US, Greece and Cyprus among others.

    If only Cyprus had the guts to stand up! A vain hope, I think.

    One last point of issue – would then the Cypriots put some regulations in place to stop the kind of activities that went on? After all, it was the disparity of banking regulations that let the banks loose in Europe.

  14. The Dork of Cork. March 23, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    As our former very perceptive banking slave (finance) minister observed before his death.
    Ireland is a island…………..

    Both Cyprus & Ireland qualify as perfect capital control specimens.

    Capital controls within the Euro would be the worst form of monetary prison as global trade would not rebalance , Ireland & Cyprus as a political & economic units would merely cease to exist as the population fight for the last tokens in the euro company store.

    Global banking forces would be free to annihilate the surplus population of these islands and transfer resources not consumed to more profitable plantations.

    This looks like a repeat of Cromwellian dynamics from where I am sitting.
    Continental populations will be too sacred to react , they will just be glad that they are not the victims and keep their heads down.
    Ireland still burns a considerable amount of oil , 130 ,000 ~ BPD.
    We have reduced our oil consumption by more then the entire Greek area of Cyprus but I imagine the local banking agents are good for another more deadly round of austerity.

    If not the ECB will cut off the euro fiat as seen above.

    You cannot fight a limited war against these deadly Venetian forces.
    Given that we are dead anyway (its just a matter of time)
    National military fiat is the only semi survivable option for the PIigs as these global banks are prepared to do anything to preserve their credit monopoly.

    The above very sad events is however the most likely outcome.

    People have become domesticated chickens , when the fox enters the chicken coup they do not do anything to save their skins.
    The fight & flight instinct has been bred out of them.

    The Fox will continue to kill as he knows no other way.

  15. Buck Turgidson March 25, 2013 at 4:26 am #

    Yep…….. too big to fail and too big to prosecute. It is a very real fear (mine too) that a successful criminal prosecution could bring down the whole house of cards and this action would take out my retirement funds in the process. So why don’t we just let sleeping dogs lie?

    Be careful what you wish for you just might get it.

    • Phil T. March 25, 2013 at 5:10 am #

      From Wikipedia: ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiduciary )

      A fiduciary is a legal or ethical relationship of trust between two or more parties. Typically, a fiduciary prudently takes care of money for another person. One party, for example a corporate trust company or the trust department of a bank, acts in a fiduciary capacity to the other one, who for example has funds entrusted to it for investment. In a fiduciary relationship, one person, in a position of vulnerability, justifiably vests confidence, good faith, reliance and trust in another whose aid, advice or protection is sought in some matter. In such a relation good conscience requires the fiduciary to act at all times for the sole benefit and interest of the one who trusts.

      A fiduciary is someone who has undertaken to act for and on behalf of another in a particular matter in circumstances which give rise to a relationship of trust and confidence.
      —Lord Millett, Bristol and West Building Society v Mothew[1]

      A fiduciary duty[2] is the highest standard of care at either equity or law. A fiduciary (abbreviation fid) is expected to be extremely loyal to the person to whom he owes the duty (the “principal”): he must not put his personal interests before the duty, and must not profit from his position as a fiduciary, unless the principal consents…

  16. Hawkeye March 25, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    Phil T.

    I think we have the basis of a smoking gun here:

    “he must not put his personal interests before the duty, and must not profit from his position as a fiduciary, unless the principal consents”

    Whereas the conduct of high paid money managers has always been through “Looting: the economic underworld of bankruptcy for profit”:

    http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/projects/bpea/1993%202/1993b_bpea_akerlof_romer_hall_mankiw.pdf

    “Bankruptcy for profit will occur if poor accounting, lax regulation, or low penalties for abuse give owners an incentive to pay themselves more than their firms are worth and then default on their debt obligations. Bankruptcy for profit occurs most commonly when a government guarantees a firm’s debt obligations.”

    The assumption is that owners / managers employ a deliberate strategy of going broke (intentional looting) rather than subsidised risk taking / speculation. The reason for this occurring is that various conditions conspire to make this strategy yield a positive pay-off to the potential looter.

    Not one of us provided our consent to let the fiduciary make off with the loot.

  17. steviefinn March 25, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    From the anonymous ‘ Finem Respice ‘ blog – An article on depositor insurance, which features a historical example of a successful handling of a bank run, the deceit of instilling confidence, Higgs bosun, meta-stability & the fact that the aforementioned insurance is basically an illusion.

    Quite long but I think, fascinating – Interesting answers given to these questions – What is being insured against ? – Who is the insured ? – Who is the insurer ?

    His / Her concluding paragraph :

    ‘Once one realizes that these institutional fibs (unfettered access to funds, the safety of deposits, a lack of regime uncertainty, legally guaranteed equality for citizens, and guaranteed freedom of movement of capital- elemental freedoms that are supposedly instrumental to the legal system they form) are the energy peaks that maintain the false vacuum, one cannot help but notice that, contrary to the expertise of the Eccles, the great minds of the European Union seem fiercely determined to trigger the decay of the false vacuum in which they presently reside. Well, either that or they simply find it difficult to prevail in a “3 of 5″ Tick-Tac-Toe match with the top quartile of the Sea Cucumber population ‘

    http://www.finemrespice.com/node/126

  18. Kate Hudson March 26, 2013 at 2:58 am #

    David, can’t access your next topic – Inequality…….
    Is there a problem?

    • steviefinn March 26, 2013 at 9:24 am #

      Kate – I can get it.

      • Kate Hudson March 26, 2013 at 9:26 am #

        thanks Stevie, I tried again and it’s ok now.

  19. John Souter March 27, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

    David – it is unfair to expect the Cypriots to do what we do not do ourselves.

    The top financial magnates couldn’t give a tinkers cuss if a few of their acolytes end up in jail.

    Some time back a parcel of rogues could sell a nation, now an even lesser quantity of rogues are buying the world and buying at their fire-sale price.

    The ‘wealth’ created and attached to money both in its creation by banks and the subsequent creations by the shamans of investment banking is a combination of mirage and mythology. As a result, since it has no substance it can produce nothing nor support anything substantial and only survives by the influence of its mythological parables.

    In one respect this wouldn’t matter if it was egalitarian in its intention and distribution and merely a mark relative to perceived value of either labour or product, but it has overstepped that mark and probably by too far for recant or repentance to be considered by its players.

    America could have done it in 2008 if the government hadn’t handed the ball to Government Sachs. Obama could have done it if he hadn’t been bought and sold by Goldman’s gold. He had the mandate but not the balls once GS pointed out who had bought it for him and how much he had to pay to lease it.

    All this could have happened, but it didn’t – just as the UK could have put up a quarter of the money it did in support of the banks had they chosen to let their investment arms go hang and just support the retail banking, but they chose not to – why was that repeated and mirrored throughout the Western world at least?

    Their excuse at the time was that the world would collapse into chaos – well they have and it has. Now their excuse is allied to time – they just need time to get the books back in the black – who’s books and whose black – or is it merely time to re-evaluate and distribute their booty and re-calculate their bounties?

    My point is, seventy years past Roosevelt could take effective control, now his successor, supposedly the most powerful head of the most powerful nation on earth, is reduced to the role of a mountebank, a figurehead, a pawn, who can declare war on nations but hasn’t the power to regulate or control Wall Street.

    I believe we are experiencing the 3rd World War. A war with relatively few casualties but billions of ‘collateral’ victims – was it the neutron bomb that supposedly could wipe out all living forms but leave the buildings and infrastructure intact?- we can bin that and substitute its mark to market financial version.

    So what is the prognosis? Well the first point is, if this dis-ease is allowed to continue it will be terminal. The second problem is one of the difficulties faced by deranged people to self diagnose their mental problems and apply logic to their cause or measure let alone control the effects – as far as I’m aware even as clever as our species is it has never managed to effect a cure or solution for a problem it isn’t yet aware of. These people don’t see themselves as a problem – in fact they see themselves as an elite while the body of humanity is merely a ball-pond suitable only for their amusement. These people and their mind sets have to be stripped of all freedoms.

    For the victims present and potential the choice is stark – you either chose to live in perpetually threatened hope that eventually sense will prevail; or you award the values of sense to your-selfs, to your values, to the neighbour, society, nation and world that you want and your children and grandchildren can benefit from and build on. They deserve that legacy and you deserve the right to leave it to them. Tinkering with the ambitions of the magnates will never allow it to happen.

    In conclusion I consider while we still have restricted choice we have absolutely no real options.

    How would I go about it – first of all complete civil disobedience, dispute every government, local administrative and utility bill. Where possible bypass Bacs by enticing employer(s) to pay your wage or salary either by cash or cheque. Start a claim against these bills in the Small Claims Court – it costs little and adds another blockage to the system – and change your bank monthly or as often as you can. This will not directly -in the short term – effect the magnates, though civil control under governance is a major feature in their control of the game-park, But in the short term of months it would reclaim the ground for democracy as the benchmark for and of our governance as a sovereign people.

    The right of a true democratic process is our only weapon capable of the mass reconstruction created by the present idiocy. Do we have a choice?

    • Phil T. March 27, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

      Terrific Neutron Bomb/WW-III analogy John Souter !

      I wonder about your proposal, however, especially in light of what is articulated in the next thread Twilight of Justice concerning the apparent reality that G-SiFi’s, G-SIB’s and soon to be G-ii’s all operate outside of any legislative process.

      Are CDO’s, CDS’s, etc. the warheads that comprise the Neutron Bomb as you described above? (If not, then what is?) If so, are the G-SiFi’s, G-SIB’s, G-ii’s and Central Banks the silos ?

      I’ll look for any replies here or in the next thread …

      Best wishes …

  20. John Souter March 27, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

    PhiI T -it is my belief the CEOs for the most part are only acolytes. The Treasury and the US establishment are either placemen of Goldman Sachs ilk (how else would Goldman not only survive the melt -down but in fact profit from it) or with regard to the politicians they are bought by large loans on favourable terms and conditions.

    What other inference can apply when a $700 billion bail out was first voted down by the Congress only to be reinstated in a cosy meeting in the Whitehouse between Dubya the idiot, the Goldman Treasury and the representatives of GS?

    The job of the politicians, there as here and in all probability the EU and Eurozone club (main members at least) is to carry out the functions of Human Resource management on behalf of their global financial magnates.

    In their lexicon – Democracy is no longer a viable option. Its diversity carries with it too much responsibility which impinges and restricts profit and impairs advancement. (They never define what they regard as advancement)

    Banks create money through debt – derivatives are a gamble on a horse race without knowing how many legs the horses have got – and CDS’s are fraud writ large whose only claim to legality rest in the fact they’re not ‘writ’ at all.

    So ask yourself this – if all this debt is just figure shuffling cyber gobbledegook and everybody was happy with it up to 2008, why have a melt-down – what difference does a few extra tens of trillions make to cover for the sub-primes as long as they can keep loading and shuffling the digital pack?

    Strikes me it’s a bit like the pawnbroker arranging for his customers to be mugged on their pay day. He keep the goods, pockets their cash then ties them down in deeper debt.

    Cows have an excuse for staying clear of an electric wire capable of inflicting no more than an uncomfortable shock. They don’t understand the mechanics so stay clear of it. The financial shamans are simply employing the same tactics on us. As for the central banks, they’re merely the conduit between the politicians and the banks, with a secondary role as the A&E department for banks that have stumbled.

    regards
    John

    • Golem XIV March 27, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

      Agree that our rulers have decided Democracy is not longer desirable.

      We have to decide what we want to do about that. And how to do it.

      • Just me March 28, 2013 at 1:26 am #

        In my humble opinion…Its all to do with the preparation for the running out of global resources, some say there is one hundred years left, some say fifty years left, I tend to think it is nearer the fifty years, could be a lot less ?.

        Under the “capitalist system” that means big trouble for a “capitalist system”, people will turn to a more left system, it will indeed be a major shift to the left. The powers that be know this, they are not under ANY circumstances going to allow that to happen, that is not in their intrest.

        They are at this moment creating an environment of mayhem as an excuse to impose a system that will stop that from happening, science and technology have given them the power to accomplish this, it will slide evermore to a much more brutal form of authoritarian rule.

        That is my thoughts on what is happening….I hope, I really hope, I am WRONG!.

        It doesn’t in the least matter what you think of my message to you, you will very soon see for yourself, you will know when the following sequences start to occur…

        1) Collapse of the global financial system.
        2) Declared state of emergency here in the UK and elsewhere.
        3) The forming of a tri-party government in the UK.
        4) Suspended elections (until after the emergency, you should live so long).
        4) The rounding up of dissidents/agitators, etc, trials and…

        The writing is on the wall.

        “In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way”

        Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945)

        “We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we’d like to do our best to preserve that system.”

        Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

        http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2012/08/20/amerikas-future-death-paul-craig-roberts/

        • Hawkeye March 28, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

          Hi Just me

          That seems a sensible list of things for us to be extremely vigilante about.

          When mere “refusal to comply” with unreasonable requests from the authoritarian regime is deemed as dissent, then we are truly stuffed.

          • John Souter March 28, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

            I agree Hawkeye – problem as I see it is they will prioritise the commodity by cutting the demand for it by balancing the supply with the demand.

          • Just me March 31, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

            Hawkeye,

            Think about this…

            Has it ever occured to you that any working class person rarely gets beyond the rank of Captain in the british army ?. Ranks above Captain are the reserve of the private/public school educated, the sons and daughters of the rich and by definition supporters of a right wing status quo!.

          • Just me April 6, 2013 at 10:37 am #

            EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

            Echelon does exist…

            http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&reference=A5-2001-0264&format=XML&language=EN

        • Just me April 11, 2013 at 11:31 am #

          “Germany: Bundestag allows police access to private PINs and passwords”

          http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/04/11/germ-a11.html

        • Just me May 20, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

          “The decomposition of American democracy”

          http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/05/20/pers-m20.html

          • Just me May 22, 2013 at 9:05 am #

            “The Obama administration has arrogated to itself the power to subject US citizens to indefinite military detention without charges or trials, i.e., to conduct “disappearances.” A White House that regularly draws up “kill lists” for assassinations and massacres abroad has specified that it can order such killings of American citizens residing within the US itself if it deems them “terrorist” enemies of the state.”

            “Those who look at the horrors of Argentina under Videla’s junta and think, “It can’t happen here,” are only fooling themselves.”

            http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/05/22/pers-m22.html

  21. Just me March 28, 2013 at 2:12 am #

    “Russian subsidiary of Bank of Cyprus under scrutiny”

    http://rt.com/business/russian-subsudiary-bank-cyprus-scrutiny-876/

  22. Just me March 29, 2013 at 11:22 am #

    “The European Union’s looting of Cyprus”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/03/29/pers-m29.html

  23. Just me April 8, 2013 at 10:10 pm #

    “Iceland to Cyprus: ‘People should not pay for speculators’”

    http://euobserver.com/economic/119718

  24. Just me April 11, 2013 at 11:37 am #

    “Referring to losses depositors face on their bank accounts in Cyprus, Comdirect CEO Thorsten Reitmeyer told Wirtschaftswoche: “People can see how valuable it is to have an account in Germany.”

    “As an undeclared financial war rages between the EU countries, military staffs are making preparations for real wars. According to Bloomberg News, the Swiss army undertook exercises last year based on the premise of a war between its neighboring countries (Germany, France, Italy, and Austria) after a collapse of the euro. The Swiss army’s main aim in the exercise was to stop floods of refugees from crossing its borders.”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/04/11/pers-a11.html

  25. Just me April 11, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    “Cyprus to sell gold reserves to help fund bailout”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22106187

    I have always wondered, who bought all that/our gold the Brown sold off so cheap!!!. Always thought there was something very strange in what he done.

  26. Nicos Satsias May 9, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    The evolution of the depression and eventually the manipulation of Cyprus, was a chain reaction which was developed for various reasons. One of them was ideology and consequently apathy.

    However there are three connected contsituents which have never been discussed by the government officials or even became the reason for a strategic plan which will create different perspectives. Those are : The Cyprus problem, the natural gass and the EU memorandum of understanding.

    Some people believe that what happened to Cyprus was a result of a big conspiracy and the purposes were to force Cyprus to accept a solution which will be in fact a violation of human rights while it will be dividing the island officially. The natural gass is essentially the equilibrium for this effort and something that is in contradiction with these plans. Nevertheless Cyprus occassion and the decisions regarding the bank sector will affect negatively one way or another, the whole Europe in the long term. This is something that the bodies of the EU refuse to understand.

    Cyprus is the only country in Europe which its citizens human rights are violated every day since 1974 and the only divided country of the EU. This is something that the most sophisticated for some coalition, the “European Union” has never cared about although there is a big discussion that EU is supporting the human rights.

    What happened to Cyprus have increased the unemployment rate, a phenomenon for the whole EU. Historically unemployment was the reason for many revolutions and this might be a reason for another revolution in a different rate and with different weapons.

  27. Just me May 9, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

    “Five members of the euro currency union are receiving loans from the eurozone bailout fund”

    http://www.dw.de/532-billion-euros-to-rescue-five-countries/a-16800256

  28. Just me May 9, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

    “Japan”

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/100722143

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