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When the first small piece of shit finally sticks.

So could it really be that after years of stonewalling, Draghi, the ECB and the cabal of central bankers and regulators, are finally being dragged blinking in to the light?

Funny how so often the biggest most powerful criminals, the untouchables, are brought down by the smallest of their crimes. The one they thought so beneath them they never bothered to think about it.

Like Al Capone indicted for tax evasion.

Here is Irish MEP Luke Flanagan asking Mario Draghi directly, and in Parliament, the question that could be the smoking gun.

Flanagan  :

“In 2007 you were governor of Banca d’Italia…Unicredti the biggest bank on your watch: Can you please confirm whether you were informed by the Central Bank of Ireland of the multi-billion Euro breaches at UniCredit Dublin?  If so, can you explain why the bank has never been sanctioned for those breaches of 2007.”

You can see the exchange as it happened here.

Could this be the small piece of shit that sticks to the expensive suit?

If so, then Mr Draghi, the Irish regulator and the various politician and bankers involved will NOT welcome that the whole sordid tale as told by the whistleblower who would not be shut up,  is now published as a book.

Nor that now one question has been asked, others are going to be asked today.

If just one whistleblower succeeds in getting their question asked, their story told instead of being gaoled and silenced, then the others will be able to hope for justice too. For every insolvent, bailed out bank there is a whistleblower too threatened and bullied to dare to speak out.

For my part am trying to put together and fund a film about Too Big to Fail/Too Big to Goal. About the whistleblowers versus the banks no government will prosecute.

I’ll let you know.

 

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82 Responses to When the first small piece of shit finally sticks.

  1. Tomas Devine aka tweety pie on twitter November 30, 2016 at 12:49 pm #

    Thank you David your a champion of the people

  2. Michael Fish November 30, 2016 at 3:08 pm #

    Leaving people like Draghi out there, untouched by investigation, even protected from embarrassment when they have simple but important questions directed at them for years, destroys the ability of almost everyone in society to clearly distinguish right from wrong. On a large scale, this inability allows, no, forces people to become parts in a societal construct that makes almost everyone fearful of doing right. At its most damaging, as a group, we end up protecting and rewarding arch criminals. Tony Blair, exposed to all as a war criminal in all but a formal criminal charge, still walks free. He is but one such. He is publicly respected. His sort speak out on major questions, as if they were blameless and worthy. What is a civil servant do when offered money for a small favour the first time? What is any company employee in a position of the simplest of trust to do in a similar situation? For more than a generation, some western societies have watched their codes of behavior become shells of protection for the powerful wealthy transgressor, while non violent misdemeanors by the disadvantaged are treated with abuse and punishment, often outrageous in their measure. Surely, there is a day when this has to change. That the case of Draghi, clear and simple as it is, might be the start of a correction of this problem should be the hope of every honest person…….
    Michael Fish, Canada

  3. Naresh November 30, 2016 at 4:27 pm #

    A devoted student of Buddha may be permitted to add: “Dharma chakra continues in its ceaseless motion”. He is tempted to wish also that something similar happens to fossil fuel criminals who block the switchover to clean energy.

  4. tony smyth November 30, 2016 at 5:37 pm #

    That would be “too big to JAIL” wouldnt it??

    • Golem XIV November 30, 2016 at 5:42 pm #

      Hello tony smyth.

      I think jail is more American. I’m a bit of an old fart and English and so have always used gaol.

      • Jim M. November 30, 2016 at 11:32 pm #

        Hi David,

        Unfortunately in your inimitable fashion you used goal, not gaol. 🙂

        I remember Jonathon’s first appearance on this blog several years ago now and have followed his story ever since. I am delighted to see his case gaining some traction again and Ming’s support is most welcome.

        I rarely comment these days but have been a keen reader of your blog since the beginning. I’m looking forward to seeing the written response from M. Draghi but I shan’t be holding my breath.

        Best wishes to you as ever.

        • Golem XIV December 1, 2016 at 12:00 am #

          Hello Jim,

          Yes as you say my inimitable fashion. Sigh. I did fix it…eventually. I think time is running against the Elite now.

          My feeling at the moment is that our immediate danger is now from what I am tempted to call the neoliberal left. They seem determined to alienate and divide us.

          But rather than argue with them I feel we must instead work to formulate a positive agenda of the local against the global. At least that is how it seems to me.

          David

          • Jim M. December 1, 2016 at 1:56 am #

            I’m not sure that globalisation, and I use the term hesitantly but broadly, isn’t like time in that it is something of a one-way process. With that in mind I wonder if we might do better to consider the role of the local within the global.

            Whichever way we cut it I agree that the relationship between local and global is where the answers are to be found.

            Always a pleasure to talk with you and I look forward to your take on Too big to fail/Too big to gaol. Life of Waves is still a favourite of mine to chill out to.

  5. John November 30, 2016 at 6:48 pm #

    Okay, I’m ready to donate on the crowdfunding page. I think helping some people into gaol is a good goal. 🙂

    • Ken November 30, 2016 at 8:27 pm #

      Yes indeed. I had some money put aside in case someone tried to crowd fund prosecuting Hillary. This is just as good a cause.

  6. nickgrif November 30, 2016 at 9:21 pm #

    Good luck with the funding of the film – we need more like you.

  7. Desperado November 30, 2016 at 9:25 pm #

    When numerous recognized leaders from all walks of life have willingly compromised themselves to the evil and powerful psychopaths behind various cults in order to proceed with advantages in their lives, then a bank loan book cover up is not only small, it is rather trivial. #pizzagate. Its global and its real.

  8. richardA November 30, 2016 at 11:57 pm #

    I just bought the book, I’ll comment as I work through it.
    It might benefit from exposure to the US problems – dating back to Long Term Capital Management and before. They found they were making far more profit than had been predicted by the model, but never thought there might be a problem there. Then everything went wrong.
    Germans seem to not understand that other nations nationals might tell lies – it’s a sort of blind spot, like believing everything printed by a computer.
    Similarly the regulators (all of them?) were late to realise that the banks knew they would be bailed out by taxpayers if the losses were big enough.
    There are similarities between the banking processes as described and insurance: misprice your insurance and your business booms, becomes huge until the claims for payouts roll in. The sheer size of the banking industry relative to the economy should give some indication that all is not well. But nobody wants to spoil the party – except for now when a massive recession seems to be the only way to recover from malpractice.
    I hope to read an updated version of the book – one with a happy ending.

    • Golem XIV December 1, 2016 at 12:02 am #

      You are right richardA. All our children are looking to us for that happy ending.

    • Gemma December 1, 2016 at 9:02 am #

      RichardA

      “Germans seem to not understand that other nations nationals might tell lies – it’s a sort of blind spot, like believing everything printed by a computer.”

      Most people believe what they read in their morning newspaper. My current test is to ask what brought down MH 17.

      People believe it was a missile, because that’s all they know. They never ask themselves how a Russian missile system was placed there the day before.

      How could the Russians have known that MH17 was going to be flying overhead, when its normal route was changed after it had taken off?

      It’s only one in five thousand aircraft that go off course.

      So: isn’t it reasonable to expect people to believe what they’re told? German bankers or British citizens. Not one of them is expecting to be defrauded by well dressed Americans.

      But we were. All of us.

      Americans, especially their banks, are very good at fraud.

      When they pop their derivative bubble, it’ll make the toxic asset scandal look like a summer picnic.

      All is not well.

      • richardA December 1, 2016 at 9:45 pm #

        Re MH17 – as far as I can tell it’s 50:50 as to which side brought the plane down, but that’s assuming it was by mistake.
        Regarding American deception, the three Ratings Agencies that played a central role up to 2008 (and perhaps earlier) were all under the control of the US government. As far as I can tell, the only reprimand they received was when one of them downgraded the USA’s credit rating.
        I haven’t gone into the details but thus far the US government played much the same, or greater role in the runup to 2008 as did the Irish government and politicans. Some US banks were more honest than others, but that tends to put them in a weaker position because they appear less profitable.
        The BoE is showing signs of getting to grips with derivatives in their banks, but that may take a decade, and I doubt they can do much more before the next crisis hits.

      • Mary Scullion December 3, 2016 at 5:29 pm #

        I was married into major banking family in Ireland with tentacles in USA Asia Spain, Vatican, Europe and of course UK. Believe me they could teach the US banks a lesson in fraud and corruption .

  9. Wirplit December 1, 2016 at 1:03 am #

    The FT is suggesting that fears are mounting over some Italian banks going down if there is a No in the Italian Referendum…which the bookies have as a 1 to 4 certainty. Draghi might have his hands full and I expect plenty of Italians will have an interest in this story about Unicredit.

    • steviefinn December 1, 2016 at 11:47 am #

      Stumbled on this yesterday when searching for Draghi – it is from the blog of Shaun Richards who has extensive experience in derivatives from his work in banking. lots of info on miss-selling etc within Italian banks. From what I have read he seems to be apolitical, but very critical of banking, both central & otherwise & general economic policy. A couple of extracts from an article commenting on what is basically a house of cards, even without the added political instability from back in January :

      ” If we look further back in time we see that the law covering Italian financial markets is often called the Draghi Law and we note that around the turn of the century he was Director General of the Italian Treasury. Then he went to Goldman Sachs which was busy designing derivatives for Italy and Monte Paschi as well as Greece before returning to head the Bank of Italy. So if there is a crime his fingerprints are all over it “.

      ” As things develop I would like to remind you of my thirteen point plan which covers banking bailouts and how they develop.

      1. The Board issues a statement accusing bloggers of spreading both irresponsible and factually incorrect rumours as the bank is sound and has no need of new capital.

      2. The Bank issues a statement of confidence in its management.

      3. The Bank tries to raise more private capital in spite of it having no need for it.

      4. If this does not work the relevant government(s) express(es) complete confidence in the bank and tell us that it has a sound management structure and business model. Indeed the bank had only recently been giving the government advice as to how to run the public-sector more efficiently.

      5. The relevant government(s) tell us that they are stepping in to help the bank but the problems are both minor and short-term and are of no public concern.

      6. The relevant government(s) tell us that the bank needs taxpayer support but through clever use of special purpose vehicles there will be no cost and indeed a profit is virtually certain.

      7.Part-nationalisation of the bank is announced and taxpayers are told that a profit will result from this sound and wise investment.

      8. Full nationalisation is announced to the sound of teeth being pulled without any anaesthetic.

      9. Debt costs of the relevant sovereign nation or nations rise.

      10. Consequently that nation finds that its credit rating is downgraded.

      11. It is announced that due to difficult financial times public spending needs to be trimmed and taxes such as Value Added Tax need to be raised. It is also announced that nobody could possibly have forseen this and that nobody is to blame apart from some irresponsible rumour mongers who are the equivalent of terrorists. A new law is mooted to help stop such financial terrorism from ever happening again.

      12. Some members of the press inform us that bank directors were both “able and skilled” and that none of the blame can possibly be put down to them as they get a new highly paid job elsewhere.

      13. Former bank directors often leave the new job due to “unforeseen difficulties”.

      https://notayesmanseconomics.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/what-is-happening-to-the-banking-sector-of-italy/

  10. Gemma December 1, 2016 at 8:30 am #

    Isn’t it interesting that this post concerns Unicredit Dublin?

    Obviously these practices are illegal in Italy, as they must be in much of Europe.

    Legalities are not something that Bankers, even of Draghi’s status, will be worried about. That begins when the Western Media decide they’re the fall guy and they cut the strings, so to speak. Fed to the wolves and the judiciary as a figleaf to far smellier problems.

    It is true that Al Capone was indicted for tax evasion. But he is small fry compared to the banks. The banks are bigger than congress; Capone was not. Furthermore, the banks have learned from Capone’s error.

    Being above the law has certain advantages in a poorly regulated country.

    Now: we all know that the 2007 banking crisis started in a small office in a side-street in London. Then it span out of control, laying bare the fraud that had been practiced for decades. There was nothing the banks could do!

    So they did the only thing any reasonable banker would do: they defrauded everybody else by not honouring the contracts they signed and thus they didn’t have to pay what they owed for those assets.

  11. Kavy December 1, 2016 at 11:05 am #

    Thanks David, I’m glad you put the effort in to do this. I’ve been signing loads of petitions recently and I’m very grateful that people put the work in getting these movements going. The world has turned ugly at the moment; we have got to try end neoliberalism before t it ruins everything. Maybe I will have to get involved with my local Green Party.

    • Golem XIV December 1, 2016 at 11:39 am #

      Hello Kavy,

      Yes time is pressing. But oddly I think time is no longer on the neoliberal side. Not to say they won’t do immense harm in the time they have left. Harm we should try our best to prevent.

      I feel part of our problem, part of the confusion I feel is swirling around us, is identifying that neoliberalism is now attacking us from right and left. And at the moment it is the neoliberal left of Blair, Trudeau, Clinton, Merkel et al, who are the most shrill and intolerant. And by being so unpleasant they are, I think, pushing people in to the arms of people like Trump.

      This is what I was trying to argue in Culture Matters. But my opinion is not very welcome in any of the mainstream left parties including the Green Party. There are people in the GP who agree with me but they feel afraid to speak up. It’s odd and concerning.

      Of course maybe I am very wrong. But at the moment I don’t seem to be able to get much of a conversation with them.

      Anyway, thank you for your comments – as always.

      • Kavy December 1, 2016 at 3:08 pm #

        Cultural Matters is going to be a difficult subject for many liberals, and I even felt unhappy about some of my posts I put out there. Could I be a bit xenophobic after all, if so, that is entirely unacceptable to me? But we have to be careful and that’s why Cultural Matters was so important. Unless the left looks at this the right may stay in power indefinitely and that would be a disaster for our society.

        From the left point of view, we can see that open borders was a right wing policy to bring down wages so we that we could compete with China. The right wing have no interest in culture, only business. And the affect on house prices was bad making it even harder for young people to buy a home. Also, if we allow too much immigration we might find that we don’t have a liberal society left at all anymore, with on the one side the fanatical right getting ground and fanatical religion on the other.

        Culture does matter.

        I apologise for putting this here rather than under Culture Matters. But this post has helped me to close the subject for now.

        I’m going to check out the Green Party in my area. If I get more involved maybe I will bump into you one day, David, and we can talk more about this more.

        Many thanks.

        • Golem XIV December 1, 2016 at 8:42 pm #

          I would greatly look forward to meeting you within the GP our otherwise. Just one word of caution. The GP is very pro open borders and immigration. I am in a minority. Though there is a quiet group who share my concerns. But they are generally afraid t speak up. So be careful. And take care.

          • Matt Oldfield December 14, 2016 at 12:02 pm #

            From the Wolfgang Streeck in the guardian:

            “International flows of people, money and goods: Streeck accepts the need for all these – “but in some sort of directed, governable way. It has to be, otherwise societies dissolve”.

            Those views on immigration landed him in another fight this summer, when he wrote an essay attacking Angela Merkel for her open-door policy towards refugees from Syria and elsewhere. It was a “ploy”, he said, to import tens of thousands of cheap workers and thus allow German employers to bring down wages. Colleagues accused him of spinning a “neoliberal conspiracy” theory and of giving cover to Germany’s far right. Streeck’s defence is simple: “It is impossible to protect wages against an unlimited labour supply. Does saying that make me some proto-fascist?” ”

            https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/dec/09/wolfgang-streeck-the-german-economist-calling-time-on-capitalism

        • steviefinn December 2, 2016 at 11:12 am #

          Kavy

          I think you are being too hard on yourself, as it seems to me that these days, one little step off the rigidly defined path & you are open to having any amount of labels stuck on you. I imagine that for many, anybody here who is questioning the conventional wisdom in terms of immigration etc, could suffer the same fate. I myself in the eyes of some would also be perceived as being anti- semitic, due to the fact that I abhor Israel’s behaviour in Gaza etc, which is I think ridiculous & basically just a form of censorship in an effort to deflect criticism.

          When I were a lad, it was easy to identify the racists & sexists, who in my eyes anyway were basically just nasty people, who it seemed to me, hated everybody including themselves. Of course it was not as simple as that, as their were lower levels of this, but I believe that most of this was a kind of casual thing, rooted in an age old suspicion of the stranger, or the other, going way back beyond to when people from the Midlands couldn’t understand a word of Cornish dialect.

          Of course this casual disregard could go either way & I remember incidents where immigrants were after initial suspicion, accepted & for the most part , made welcome, but when people are fighting for crumbs, not to mention other pressures, it can be a different story. I am only going on my own experience from what was once a close knit working class community, I’m sure there are many experts out there who have never been there, who would tell me I am mistaken.

          I had a small lesson in political correctness recently, which was rather funny in hindsight for a man of my age. I was sexually harassed by a younger woman, which led me to thinking that i should put in a complaint about it. I realised though that it would probably not be taken very seriously & would most likely result in hilarity for all & embarrassment & hassle for me. I wondered whether despite this, I should take a stand & fight for the right of old codgers to be able to peaceably go about there business without being intimidated by sexy young women ( probably for obvious reasons, a lost cause to start off ). Anyway, as she is quite a horrible person, I sorted it out in language that she could understand, which could have led to her complaining & me losing my job ( not that I would have cared all that much )

          If the shoe had have been on the other foot, she would not have had much trouble getting me sanctioned. I am not against these rules & they do serve as a protection for the potentially vulnerable, but I do think they have gone too far in some ways, leading to a situation which was illustrated by the seemingly political correct abuse that was heaped on those who voted for Brexit & Trump, except those immigrants & minorities who also did the same – some of whom voiced the same concerns as are being voiced here.

          There is supposedly something called democracy which allows for free speech, but what we have now it seems to me is those who don’t get their own way are jumping to handy default positions, without any real thought, while being able to preserve their own self righteousness & supposed superiority, while destroying any chance of a proper debate, & a serious look at the causes, never mind any attempt at addressing them. Bad people of whatever creed, colour or class are also able to use these positions to use as a shield to deflect any criticism of their behaviour.

          Aploogies for yet again rambling on, but I have time on my hands due to a tooth infection.

          • steviefinn December 14, 2016 at 12:52 pm #

            Matt – that in my opinion is a very good article. I cannot resist adding this short Mark Blythe in Athens video, which in terms of pressure on workers wages, says pretty much the same thing :

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwK0jeJ8wxg

      • Wirplit December 1, 2016 at 3:52 pm #

        Groupthink David powerful stuff. For me, reactions to Brexit revealed it wasn’t just the usual suspects on the right who suffer from that mental affliction. As Orwell knew the Left are themselves prone to it both on the hard and soft wings. In fact as you pointed out in your previous post about the New Statesman writer the “left” got particularly shrill imagining their ( imagined) Moral superiority made insults ok.

        Watching how C4 news has got less and less objective has been instructive mostly in their case on Syria and before on Ukraine. Cant deny now the existence of Info Wars which are out to herd opinion and what you say is right its from Right and Left sides at once.

        Those who are comfortable with opinions ( just as much as those who directly benefit from the world view those opinions are often propping up) do not take kindly to them being questioned whichever set of opinions they are. When you add some kind of moral stance to the mix then any questioning is almost seen as treachery.
        Thats what makes your blog great…its trying to distinguish the truth not follow a line hard though that can be.

        • steviefinn December 1, 2016 at 5:10 pm #

          On that point the Washington Post recently published a long list of blogs etc including the likes of Naked Capitalism, Of two minds, Zerohedge, Counterpunch, RT, Truthout, Black Agenda Report & others, many of which I have not heard of. All based on so called evidence from an anonymous group of ” Experts “, named PropOrNot, who are strangely unidentifiable. The claim is that the above push fake news & pro-Russian propaganda. Many of them are also sites that dared to be critical of she who thought she was Queen.

          Anyway, here’s a choice collection of people you can surely trust with the truth,( just forget about the Iraq WMD’s etc ) including the BBC, NYT, Guardian, Torygraph, FB, WAPO, NBC & others, who have all come together out of the goodness of their pure hearts, to provide a safe haven away from those dastardly disseminators of an alternative view to the mainstream line.

          https://firstdraftnews.com/partners-network/

          • Kavy December 1, 2016 at 7:16 pm #

            The fake news is the MSM. I have stopped reading the Guardian because of its propaganda. The MSM is Orwellian. This Greg Hunter interview of Paul Craig Roberts is good.

            Fake News List Death Knell for MSM-Paul Craig Roberts

            http://usawatchdog.com/fake-news-list-death-knell-for-msm-paul-craig-roberts/

            Economic expert and journalist Dr. Paul Craig Roberts thinks the recent publication of the so-called ‘fake news” list recently published by the Washington Post signals a major turning point for all of the mainstream media (MSM). Dr. Roberts explains, “I think this is the death knell for the mainstream media. I think this list essentially kills the credibility of the mainstream media and certainly the Washington Post. It has demonstrated it is completely devoid of any integrity. I am a former Wall Street Journal editor, and if we had done something like that, Warren Phillips would have fired every one of us. We would have been told to get out. You can’t carry on this kind of assault on people. I think this is a sign of desperation.”

          • Kavy December 1, 2016 at 7:25 pm #

            Jonathon Cook used to write for the Guardian until they pushed him out. He is now one of its biggest critics.

            http://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/

          • Mary Scullion December 3, 2016 at 5:33 pm #

            Ha Ha Ha very good…I needed a good laugh!!

  12. Kavy December 3, 2016 at 7:10 am #

    The neoliberal establishment is angry that their candidate, Hilary Clinton, a war hawk who was going extend the Neocon US hegemony through endless wars, did not win, so they are coming down hard on the alternative news networks who they think lost them the election. This is Orwellian, Big Brother. IT is the MSM that lies. An anonymous group put out a list of so called ‘ fake news’ sites, but the group is believed to be Neocon backed.

    US House of Representatives Passes Law Against Telling the Truth in America

    Paul Craig Roberts

    The US House of Representatives is so threatened by truth that “our” representatives have passed a law against telling the truth. As all truth in America is told by “Russian agents” spreading “false news,” the truth is no longer to be allowed.

    Read very carefully the ZeroHedge report below:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-02/

    • steviefinn December 3, 2016 at 12:17 pm #

      Kavy – your link doesn’t work, maybe the one below is correct. David said a while back that they would eventually be cracking down on places where the views do not fit the intended dose of soma.

      https://goo.gl/VCCCn2

      Circling the wagons eh ?

      • Kavy December 3, 2016 at 6:49 pm #

        Thank you, Steve.

        • steviefinn December 3, 2016 at 8:49 pm #

          You are welcome Mr. K……it reminds me how the Guardian ( of primarily it’s advertising revenue ) accused anyone in the comments section at the time of the Ukraine crisis who didn’t agree with the prepared script, of being trolls paid for by Putin.

  13. John Souter December 3, 2016 at 2:02 pm #

    We are, in effect, tinkering with minor effects and ignoring the fundamental cause. In the early days of the industrial revolution the establishment, then primarily aristocrats, fought against it then, as it grew in dominance, by nuanced acceptance modified its position primarily in order to maintain its control. A primary factor in their calculations was the human herd they would need in order to construct, manage and produce the goods and services the revolution of supply and demand. The instant effect of this was, whether by abuse or use, the humans involved were regarded as assets.

    Arguably since the acceleration of the technological revolution the human herd is no longer regarded as an asset but – with the exception of their role as consumers – as an ever expanding cohort of demanding liabilities; and, while the establishments may well be aware – even proactive in promoting this state of affairs – they will never acknowledge it exists. Preferring, as always, to rely on the nuances of evolution.

    For now they see no reason to change. It’s a question of values, short term yours or theirs; longer term those of your children’s, children’s children. Asset or liability, citizen or commodity?

    • Golem XIV December 3, 2016 at 4:06 pm #

      Hello John,

      I agree it is about values : this or ours. As for our role, I think you’re right ours is no longer what it once was. Do we have a role? Yes. Paying off debts.

      I wrote about it in Toxic Debt Wasteland

      http://www.golemxiv.co.uk/2010/07/toxic-debt-wasteland/

      But I don’t think we are just tinkering. In places like this I really feel we are sowing the seeds that will overturn this dying system.

  14. Phil December 5, 2016 at 6:38 am #

    Any thoughts on the dash to go cash-less?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-04/these-countries-have-nearly-eliminated-cash-circulation

    • Kavy December 5, 2016 at 9:15 pm #

      I have concerns about it but it could really mess it up for the drug barons as street drugs are usually paid for in cash. And it could also mess it up for people trying to sell stolen goods down the pub. If it goes cashless, I would like to see more public banks creating the money supply because otherwise all money would have to be borrowed from the private banks – yuck!

      From a Modern Money Theory point of view the government can create its own money by borrowing from publicly owned banks without taxation. This way we could do away with sales tax, and even lower income tax, while shifting the tax onto land instead. The rich can’t offshore that. Moving taxes onto land would help stem runaway house price inflation which makes them far too expensive for most people. The young are losing out.

      A quarter of the banks in the world are publically owned, in the 70’s it was as high as 40%. I don’t think a cashless society with all the money coming from private banks is a good idea. Look up Positive Money, or Modern Money Theory – MMT, or Ellen Brown, for a public banking solution.

      • Kavy December 5, 2016 at 11:02 pm #

        I’ve just watched this video by Ellen brown (the first video in the link below). The economist Steve Keen would disagree with her about the paying of interest on bank loans, but what is interesting is something I have been thinking about for a long time: That bankers can create money out of nothing and then buy up the whole planet. They can go to any country and buy its industries and utilities, and they might even get the IMF to demand that a country privatise its services. They then go to the banks who invent the money out of thin air, then buy up the companies, pay back the bankers with interest – so the bankers get rich- and load all the debts onto the companies. The companies then have to put their prices up – rent extraction on the general public. We now have the self perpetuating rich who can get to own the world – and grow rich in their sleep

        https://ellenbrown.com/

        • Kavy December 6, 2016 at 1:14 am #

          This video by Professor Richard Werner is great, I’m just up to the section called, The Central Banks War On Cash, which reverses much of what I said above. Small and medium non profit private backs are the answer and not central public banks, says Prof Werner. The central banks have been captured by the ruling elite and have never worked in the public interest. He explains here why the central banks policy of adjusting interest rates to stimulate the economy doesn’t work, and is in fact a con trick. I’m going to have to watch the video again to fully comprehend it, so I can’t do it justice here today.

          https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MechH0ebs_c&feature=youtu.be

          • Phil December 6, 2016 at 5:13 am #

            Thank you for those thoughts.

          • Kavy December 8, 2016 at 10:41 am #

            Richard Werner also says how in Germany they have loads of small local non profit private banks which works well for the German economy. They understand their local markets very well and put much of their profits back into their communities. Some of these banks only have about ten staff. He says how the ECB is trying to put them out of business by putting to many regulations on them. They get the same regulations as the big banks and documents might be 1800 pages long, too big for small banks to process.

            The ECB is trying to close these small banks down before the rest of Europe catches on to how good these banks are. The central banks are neoliberal, says Richard Werner.

            We have the Bank of Dave here in the UK, which is a small bank. It’s not allowed to create money, just lend money out it has taken in as deposits. The regulators had tried to close it down by making things awkward with too many regulations.

      • John G January 7, 2017 at 4:29 am #

        Please don’t equate MMT with Positive Money or Ellen Brown.

        There is no relationship.

  15. Phil December 6, 2016 at 5:32 am #

    Off topic but very much of concern to the central aims of this blog – a good interview about democracy and some of its historical currents.

    http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/the-athenian-legacy/19044?utm#.WEYUUeeg_IU

    • Roger Lewis December 9, 2016 at 8:03 am #

      Reply for Kavy, Werners film Princes of the Yen is a very good piece of work and shows how Dollar Hegemony and neo-liberalism work hand in hand to project US geo-political and economic policy into those under the spell of the Washington Consensus.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5Ac7ap_MAY

      • Kavy December 9, 2016 at 6:45 pm #

        Absolutely shocking! It makes you feel so helpless: how do they get away with it? This film should go out on the BBC, or Channel Four. People aren’t being informed. I’m glad there are people out there like David who are trying to change things.

        Most people have a good sense of right and wrong; I think we are born with it, but the Over Class are devoid of this.

        • steviefinn December 10, 2016 at 7:38 pm #

          Kavy & anyone else – A very good & comprehensive interview of Michael Hudson by Ross Ashcroft on TINA :

          http://renegadeinc.com/meet-renegades-michael-hudson/

          • Kavy December 11, 2016 at 10:42 am #

            Micheal Hudson is superb! He got his Phd and worked for banks for years to see how they function, so he knows them inside it. Hopefully neoliberalism will soon be finished.

  16. Jill December 6, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

    Extraordinary. Carney says globalization not working, free trade doesn’t raise all boats, calls for redistribution

    http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/Documents/speeches/2016/speech946.pdf

    Now he tells me…but then again Brexit and Trump voters had already figured it out and Germany’s Merkel says there’s no turning back from #globalization at CDU party convention.

    On another front:

    SNB U.S. equity holdings

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cy71CeuWEAAGeuV.jpg

    ECB bond purhases
    https://twitter.com/Schuldensuehner/status/804362435251630081

    I have no idea what central bankers consider to be the end game

    • Salford Lad December 9, 2016 at 2:07 am #

      Below is an extract from the latest post from John Wards excellent blog ‘The Slog’. Is this why the EU pursues clearly unworkable neoliberal economic and monetary policies.? Would indeed enforce the neccessity of Brexit.

      In front of some 23 EU FinMins at a closed-doors ECB presentation during late 2014, Mario Draghi clinically explained that wage-value destruction in the European Union was vital if the continent was to compete successfully with the emerging nations and smaller Asian tigers. He bullet-pointed on a chart how this could and would be achieved by austerity, unemployment and freedom of movement.

      Because Draghi is a sociopathic opportunist – and very bright – he was quick to spot, long before he inherited the ECB crown, that hastily folding former Soviet satellites into the EU was a potentially destabilising action….but could drag down wage levels if it enabled €15 per hour Eastern European workers to travel unencumbered, and undercut €35 West European artisans at the €20-25 point.

      Cleverly, the free movement of labour has been positioned as a liberty….as if beforehand, everyone had been a tied serf. This is both a ludicrous suggestion, and an obnoxious myth: much as I admire the work ethic of skilled Polish, Romanian and Portuguese workers, the obvious result has been further erosion of labour power.

  17. steviefinn December 10, 2016 at 2:27 am #

    This is small piece of rock trips up giant corporate sponsored boot, worn by the likes of ” I do not take my mandate from the European people “, Malmstrom. They appear to have skirted their way around it, but there is likely to be concentrated legal resistance to CETA from the Walloons & others.

    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20161027/09490835898/eu-canada-trade-deal-dodges-belgian-veto-now-faces-multiple-legal-challenges.shtml

    28 European academics including Piketty have prepared & signed a document they have named ” The Declaration of Namur “:

    http://www.declarationdenamur.eu/

    I don’t know who is eligible to join them in signing it – perhaps it is not open to us mutineers on the good ship Brexit, but it is perhaps a sign that good people are organising, if only in a small number & are able to man a barricade against the corporate colossus, which I think is something to cautiously celebrate.

  18. Kavy December 12, 2016 at 9:21 pm #

    I can’t see any of my new posts here. If they are turning and you have five of the same here, then my apologies.

    This one worked. Hmmm

    What I have been trying to put out I will our out tomorrow.

    • Golem XIV December 13, 2016 at 11:36 am #

      Hello Kavy, I’ve been away. Just got back. There are no posts from you being held for moderation in spam. Hope you can post soon what you have been trying to post.

  19. steviefinn December 13, 2016 at 12:36 pm #

    I spent nearly all day yesterday listening, while working to videos from political economist Mark Blyth who has been fully expectant of the rise in populism. His conclusions on the austerity fetish, as the number one go to option to force those with no real defense, to clean up the mess of those who have borne no cost for their misbehaviour, is what I found most interesting.

    Here he writes about the history of it & how those who apply it with glee, as usual cherry pick the history for their own ends, how Germany is trying to force it’s one size fits all template of running a trade surplus, despite the fact that other states, like France & Italy do not fit that mould, & by doing this are creating the same conditions through austerity that led to the rise of Hitler & a militaristic Japan.

    I find it interesting & like him, I think it doesn’t bode well for the future of Europe – from 2013 :

    https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2013-04-03/austerity-delusion

  20. Kavy December 13, 2016 at 5:15 pm #

    It marks it as spam. I had a link in it.

    Google Charles Ortel and the Clinton Foundation.

    • Kavy December 14, 2016 at 9:31 am #

      I wasn’t able to put out any links recently, but I found this short summery about the Clinton Foundation instead. I’m wondering if it could bring down neoliberalism. Charles Ortel is retired banker who likes complex problems and he has deeply studied the Clinton Foundation. He has been campaigning for some time now to get this out in the open.

      . ….

      Charles Ortel has studied the Clinton Foundation in depth as only an analyst could. His conclusions are that the Clinton Crime Family took in more than $100 billion and that most of that money disappeared.

      The Good News is that each act of solicitation for a donation is a felony. There are literally thousands of felonies that cannot be pardoned by President Obama because they occurred either under foreign jurisdictions or in violation of individual US state laws.

      Charles Ortel is managing director of Newport Value Partners LLC, which provides independent investment research to professional investors.

      He says every member of the Board of Directors for the Clinton Foundation is subject to arrest.

      The Clinton Foundation began operating in Haiti in 2003. Bill was made special envoy to Haiti in 2009. Bill Clinton and a former president of Haiti raised $14 billion in donations after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. No accounting of where the money went.

      They raised a billion dollars for the January 2001 Gujarat India relief effort with no accounting for where the money went. Maybe less than a million went to the victims in India. Remember the Boxing Day 2004 tsunami? $13 billion in relief aid was given but nobody knows where the money actually went. Tens of billions were raised for an offshoot called the Global Fund to help with HIV/AIDS problems in Africa. Nobody knows where the money went.

      The Bush and Clinton charity frauds often worked together which means that the Bush Crime family can go to an adjoining cell with the Clintons.

      Remember the best part of this scandal is that the Clinton Foundation Trustees cannot be pardoned by President Obama for crimes committed under state laws and under foreign jurisdictions.

      • steviefinn December 14, 2016 at 11:46 am #

        The current confusing ( to me anyway ) situation in the US in terms of a sudden witch hunt against so called ” Fake News ” & the fact that Dems appear to be trying to engineer what some are calling a soft coup against Trump by stating that the election was rigged by Darth Putin, might as a part of this be the Clintons seeking to discredit any news source which has dared to spill the beans on their various crimes & to label anything coming from Wikileaks as being nothing more than Russian propaganda.

        I suppose if she had been elected, it might have been even worse as well as the ramping up of the anti-Russian rhetoric & propaganda, Some are actually saying that there is a split within the Deep state itself, which has already been illustrated by the funding of separate groups in Syria who were fighting against each other.

        The Neo-Cons are in the mix too it seems, but it strikes some as being a very dangerous game, as if the Donald is unseated, it is not likely to lead to certain well armed members of the electorate being all to happy about it. Maybe the Clintons & her supporters are acting like any good mafia set up by going to the mattresses, in an all or nothing bid to survive……I don’t know, but it all does appear to be getting perhaps too interesting.

  21. redracam December 14, 2016 at 11:06 pm #

    Count me in for crowdfunding the film.
    I love watching peoples’ faces when they suddenly realize how the central banks create money.
    Good article / Some good posts and links, too!!

  22. Phil December 16, 2016 at 12:38 am #

    FAKE NEWS!

  23. steviefinn December 17, 2016 at 7:37 pm #

    Frying pan to fire ?

    “The list of countries in line for a bilateral deal could also include Vietnam and Singapore, [Trump’s economic adviser, Stephen Moore]\ said, adding that a deal with the United Kingdom “would be a real coup for Trump.” “It was Obama who said we’re moving U.K. to the back of the line when Brexit passed,” he said. “I think it’d be strategically smart to move it to the front of the line. With Britain you’d not worry about the depression of wages” [Politico].

    Whose wages ?

    http://www.politico.com/tipsheets/morning-trade

  24. steviefinn December 19, 2016 at 6:13 pm #

    An update from Wolf Richter :

    ” The Bank of Italy’s Target 2 liabilities towards other Eurozone central banks — one of the most important indicators of banking stress — has risen by €129 billion in the last 12 months through November to €358.6 billion. That’s well above the €289 billion peak reached in August 2012 at the height of Europe’s sovereign debt crisis.

    Foreign and local investors are dumping Italian government bonds and withdrawing their funding to Italian banks. The bank at the heart of Italy’s financial crisis, Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS), has bled €6 billion of “commercial direct deposits” between September 30 and December 13, €2 billion of which since December 4, the date of Italy’s constitutional referendum.

    Italy’s new Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, who took over from Matteo Renzi after his defeat in the referendum,said his government — a virtual carbon copy of the last one — is prepared to do whatever it takes to stop MPS from collapsing and thereby engulfing other European banks. His options would include directly supporting Italy’s ailing banks, in contravention of the EU’s bail-in rules passed into law at the beginning of this year. Though now, that push comes to shove, the EU seems happy to look the other way.

    While attention is focused on the rescue of MPS, news regarding another Italian bank, Banca Etruria, has quietly slipped by the wayside.

    On Friday it was announced that the first part of an investigation concerning fraudulent bankruptcy charges, in which 21 board members are implicated, had been closed. This strand of the investigation concerns €180 million of loans offered by the bank which were never paid back, leading to the regional lender’s bankruptcy and eventual bail-in/out last November that left bondholders holding virtually worthless bonds.

    The Banca Etruria scandal is a reminder — and certainly not a welcome one right now for Italian authorities — that a large part of the €360 billion of toxic loans putrefying on the balance sheets of Italy’s banks should never have been created at all and were a result of the widespread culture of corruption, political kickbacks, and other forms of fraud and abuse infecting Italy’s banking sector.

    Etruria is also under investigation for fraudulently selling high-risk bonds to retail investors — a common practice among banks in Italy (and Spain) during the liquidity-starved years of Europe’s sovereign debt crisis.

    Put simply, “misselling” subordinated debt to unsuspecting depositors was “the way they recapitalized the banking system,” as Jim Millstein, the U.S. Treasury official who led the restructuring of U.S. banks after the financial crisis, told Bloomberg earlier this year.

    At MPS, billions of euros worth of subordinate bonds were sold to retail customers, who now risk losing much, if not all, of their savings as a result. Their perilous fate is often held up as justification — some might even call it blackmail — for not bailing in junior bondholders as part of the bank’s resolution, as happened three years ago in Cyprus.

    MPS is also facing criminal investigation for cooking its own books, with the help of two other banks. In early October MPS’s head offices, fittingly housed within a restored ancient fortress in downtown Siena, were transformed into a gargantuan crime scene after a Milan court ordered MPS, Nomura, and Deutsche Bank to stand trial for a string of alleged financial crimes. They apparently include crimes that the Bank of Italy, under Mario Draghi’s tutelage, apparently knew about yet sat on its hands.

    The court also indicted 13 former and current managers from the three banks over the case, with prosecutors alleging they had used complex derivatives trades to conceal losses at MPS.

    Yet, as has happened in just about every Western jurisdiction since the Global Financial Crisis (bar Iceland, of course), no one will be held to account for the myriad “alleged” white-collar crimes, misdeeds and misdemeanors that paved the way to Italy’s unfolding banking crisis. As in Spain, high-profile investigations will be launched and trials will be held, yet they will lead nowhere. And they will take years getting there.

    In Spain judge Elpidio Silva dared to buck this trend when, in 2013, he sent Miguel Blesa, former CEO of Caja Madrid (now part of rescued Bankia), to jail for his role in alleged financial fraud and the wrongful “appropriation of funds.” But it was the judge who paid the price. Within days, Blesa was released by Spain’s public prosecution service. Judge Silva was forced to face trial on three counts: perversion of justice, infringing a defendant’s individual liberty, and turning the case into a cause célèbre against the banking profession. He was found guilty and expelled from the judiciary for 17.5 years.

    If the last nine years have taught us anything, it is that banks — and bankers occupying the corner offices — operate above the law of just about any land. All too often they’re too big not to bail and too important and well-connected to jail. In some cases, banks are even deemed too broke to fine. As long as the people gaming the financial system remain immune from criminal prosecution, the crises will continue. By Don Quijones, Raging Bull-Shit.

    “There is not and there will not be a banking crisis in Italy, nor will there be a European financial crisis coming from Italy,” explained European Commissioner Moscovici. But wait… So Who Gets to Pay for Italy’s Banking Crisis? ”

    http://wolfstreet.com/2016/12/18/lest-we-forget-italys-blossoming-banking-crisis-is-also-a-huge-crime-scene/

    • Kavy December 19, 2016 at 9:21 pm #

      Neoliberalism! A bunch of crooks. But the politicians go along with it. Tony Benn was great, but Hilary Benn? I don’t get it. At least Corbyn is decent.

      • steviefinn December 20, 2016 at 11:50 am #

        Speaking of crooks Kavy – Al Capone warned his friends to avoid the stock market prior to the Wall St. crash, declaring it the biggest racket ever. A stat quoted by Mark Blythe along the lines of:

        In 2016, in the US seven years after being bailed out by the taxpayer, the total bonus payouts not including salaries etc for Wall Street bankers was 28.4 billion dollars. While the total wage for all of those in the US on minimum wage was around 14 billion.

        Probably a similar story could be told for the UK, especially in terms of that cess pit of a bank RBS & of course unlike those small fry crooks like Capone & Luciano, nobody has done any time. Of course the banker sharp suits do not go around shooting people, but their enablers kill from a remove through austerity without getting their manicured hands in any way dirty.

  25. Phil December 25, 2016 at 5:48 am #

    For all the hand-wringing about a ‘return to the 1930s’, Melanie Phillips spells out why in Britain and America this last year has been the start of our revolution.

    http://melaniephillips.com/a-western-spring/

    Let’s be honest, the real similarity with the 30s is the Left’s craven ineptitude. As Maurice Glasman points out below, it was the Left which called preparations to fight Hitler and Mussolini ‘social fascism’.

    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2016/11/things-dont-only-get-better-why-working-class-fell-out-love-labour

    Mass immigration, multiculturalism and identity politics have all been massive boons to the global capitalist class. And as with our corrupt financial system they belong in the dustbin of history.

    Happy Christmas and bring on 2017!

  26. steviefinn January 1, 2017 at 5:56 pm #

    Just me wishing you all a happy new year, but only in the sense of your own sphere of influence, such as your families, friends & community. The same wish applied to the wider context of such a troubled world I think be sadly, extremely optimistic. I suppose for those who can sleep at night after making decisions that will lead to the destruction of many lives, those who make their living by lying & others who can count their value in the size of their miser’s hoard, alongside the generally selfish of this world, will not be very bothered about anything that doesn’t effect them directly.

    Still, there does appear to be change in the air, which I suspect will be casting a dark cloud over what were once blue skies for many of the above. Perhaps we are entering a kind of interregnum, which will eventually lead to something better once the tangled web of the old is at least partially unravelled. The forces behind this system will & are putting up a heated resistance to any threat to their feathered nests & like spoilt children, are accusing truth seekers of being the liars they are themselves & blaming everybody else for the present fiasco. Expecting them to have a deep look in their own mirrors, is of cause as pointless as it would have been to advise Midas of his folly.

    I recently had an hour or so walk around Dublin city centre, which is a place I tend to visit only occasionally over the last 20 years. My main aim was to visit the NAMA property ” Apollo House “, which has been occupied in order to house some of the many homeless existing in a city that I remember as being in comparison to now, as being a lot more at ease with itself. I came across quite a few people who were basically begging, one in particular was an old lady. I had to go to an ATM, which happened to be opposite the front facade of Trinity college. She was sitting with her back to the wall of another Georgian building within a colanade. The scene was dying to be photographed, but when I asked her, she stated she would prefer me not to do so.

    The scene reminded me of 2 things, the first being the old lady feeding the birds ( although she wasn’t ) from the film ‘ Mary Poppins ‘ & the struggling old lady featured in all 3 films of Kieslowky’s trilogy – ‘ Three Colours “. As I walked away I also remembered the question asked by the judge in the film ‘ Red ‘, when he asked Valentine whether she was in fact only helping the dog, in order to help herself – maybe my efforts are not really any different than let’s say, the above giving the odd charity ball for their favourite charity, Valentine was in fact, the only one of the 3 women in the trilogy to help the hunchbacked old lady to add to the bottlebank.

    Anyhow, away from my probably pointless soul searching & back to the Apollo project. I think it is a small sign of hope, whatever the true motives of all of those involved, I feel it will put the Irish government on the back foot & perhaps in a Fabian sort of way, is something at a grassroots level, that can knock, if only slightly, a much bigger enemy off balance. The last time I looked there were over 60,000 likes on the ‘ Home Sweet Home ‘ FB page, which although they are probably not all Irish, is a significant number within such a small country. Those who consider concrete as more worthy assets than people, have given them till the 11th to get out, so they can supposedly demolish the place.

    I think there is some promise in this, maybe only a small light, but as long as people are prepared to fight, I can I think wish the world a Hopeful New Year & beyond…..despite the odds.

    • Golem XIV January 2, 2017 at 11:53 pm #

      I really hope this year brings you and yours, happiness and health. Your Friend. David

  27. Phil February 9, 2017 at 2:19 am #

    http://mondediplo.com/2017/02/09uslaws

    I wonder if the above protection racket will get more attention now Trump is in power.

    • steviefinn February 10, 2017 at 1:08 pm #

      We live in hope.

  28. steviefinn February 13, 2017 at 10:34 am #

    I’m not sure whether this link will work as it is from Facebook – but it is Jonathon in full flow & has had around 1,200,000 views :

    https://www.facebook.com/truthful.irish/videos/1182049065174761/

  29. Postkey February 19, 2017 at 11:43 am #

    Would you believe it?

    “But there is another model.  When I was young, Ireland was quite poor.  Articles were written explaining how the Irish poverty reflected some sort of flaw in the Irish culture, or even a lack of intelligence.  But then Ireland adopted a neoliberal economic model, and it has now become one of the richest countries in the world (although that’s a bit overstated, as its GDP exceeds its GNP due to heavy multinational investment.)  Still it’s a successful economy.”
    http://www.themoneyillusion.com/?p=32284

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