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Danske Bank – Who helped them Launder?

A couple of days ago the always good Francis Coppola wrote a piece for Forbes entitled,

The Banks That Helped Danske Bank Estonia Launder Russian Money

In it she made the simple but essential point that  while Danske Bank, through its Estonian branch, had laundered $234 billion,

…Danske Bank Estonia couldn’t do this by itself. Much of the money was paid in U.S. dollars, and for that, it needed help from other banks. Banks that had access to Fedwire, the Federal Reserve’s electronic settlement system. Big banks, in other words.

Coppola then named the banks involved.

J.P. Morgan, Bank of America and Deutsche Bank AG all made dollar transfers on behalf of the Estonian branch’s non-resident customers. And according to the Wall Street Journal, Citigroup’s Moscow branch may have been involved in some financial transfers in and out of Danske Bank Estonia.  (bold emphasis added by me)

So, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank and J.P. Morgan moved money OUT of Danske and in to dollar denominated accounts elsewhere, (see section 19 of Danske’s internal investigation). but that is only half the story. It leaves the huge unanswered question,

who moved the money in to Danske Bank’s Estonian branch in the first place?  

The accounts through which the money was laundered are non-resident accounts.  Non-resident simply means the people or entities which hold the accounts do not live in Estonia. So how did these non residents deposit their money in Danske’s Estonia branch?  Either they physically transported $234 billion dollar’s worth of their local currencies in trunks and suitcases from their own country, in to Estonia and to the bank, or it had to have been deposited electronically. Which would mean some other banks, in addition to those mentioned by Forbes, were involved.

So are there more banks than just the four listed in the Forbes article who had and perhaps still have relationships with Danske bank and who therefore could have (I’m not accusing anyone),  wittingly or unwittingly moved the money into Danske’s Estonian branch?

Ah, the joys of the internet.  Here is the list of Danske Bank ‘s Correspondent banks as of today.  (A note for all the lawyers, I am certainly NOT suggesting any of these banks laundered money. I am merely noting that it isn’t just the four banks mentioned in the Forbes article that routinely helped Danske move money around.)

For those who might not know, a correspondent bank is simply a bank that your bank has a working relationship with. So J.P.Morgan was Danske’s correspondent bank in the US. The relationship is often a bigger more international bank, which is licensed  in many countries, providing services to a smaller more regional or local bank.  But its important not to see this Correspondent relationship as being all one way.  By having a relationship the larger bank not only gets a fee for its help but becomes the international conduit for the money that its owner wishes  to move out of the small bank and its country of origin into the wider global market.

The lists of Danske’s correspondent banks shows 16 countries and territories:  Australia/New Zealand, Belarus, Canada, Switzerland, The Czech Republic, Europe, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Singapore, and the USA .    Bear in mind that some of these countries might be where the laundered money was coming from and some might be where that money was hoping to get to.

At the risk of insulting people when I look for the countries where the money might have been coming from I see the Czech Republic, Belarus, Russia and maybe Poland.

In the Czech Republic Danske’s correspondent bank is Obchodni Bank.  It is the largest bank in the republic but is actually majority owned by KBC Bank, part of KBC Banking and Insurance Group which  is one of Europe’s largest financial houses and it’s Belgian.  So perhaps the Belgian authorities should be concerned?

In Belarus the Correspondent bank is Priorbank JSC. This is a billion and a half euro bank, with 760 000 customers. It is in fact 87.74%  owned by Raiffeisen Bank of Austria. Now Raiffeisen and I have form, so I have to be careful here.  The link is to an article about money laundering which I wrote called “How to make the truth illegal’. What I can say is that not only does Raiffeisen’s name come up in the Magnitsky laundering case, it also comes up centrally in the infamous money laundering scandal  in which $1.2 billion was looted and laundered from Kyrgyzstan.  The best investigation of this affair I know of concluded,

…the suspicious transactions went through many banks around the world, with the largest amounts passing through Citibank in New York, the UK’s Standard Chartered and Austria’s Raiffeisen Zentralbank. These banks continued their relationship,… (My emphasis)

So perhaps the Austrian authorities should take a little look too?

In Poland Danske has its own banking network.

In Russia, where it has been assumed that most of the dirty money came from, Danske’s correspondent bank is Russia’s Central Bank.  Although things do get awfully wiggly in Russia I still think the Central Bank is an unlikely accomplice.

Danske does have its own presence in Russia. So it could have taken the dirty money directly into its own Russian subsidiary and moved it to Estonia all by itself.  But according to its web site it has only  60 employees in all of Russia so they would have been terribly busy and even they MIGHT have noticed something was odd about $234 billion coming in and going straight back out.  I also doubt every crook lined up at the same teller window week after week.

This seems to leave us with the four banks mentioned by Forbes. If so, then all the money that was laundered from Russia would have had to have been transferred into Danske by Deutsche and CITI. The other two banks which the Forbes article mentions, J.P.Morgan and Bank of America, only moved the money out, not in.  Now while I think this is entirely possible, given the feats of laundering that both Deutsche and CITI have achieved before, that they could have done it all themselves, it seems naive not to at least look to see if there were other banks involved in Russia.  So I did.

And what I found is that there is a second, larger list of correspondent banks. You get to it through the part of Danske’s web site that deals with Transaction Banking. For those of you aware of trends in Money Laundering the mention of ‘Transaction Banking’ might have started a red light flashing. Transaction or Electronic Laundering, uses fake on-line sales and is the fastest growing method of laundering.  One recent estimated is that $200 billion a year of transaction laundering occurs in the US alone.

Here is the link to the larger list.

It’s laborious to use but it reveals that several other large European banks have ties to Danske and help it to move money.

It turns out there are other banks in Russia that Danske does business with, namely Alfa Bank and Zao Unicredit Bank.

Alfa is a strange one. On the one hand Global Finance Magazine has repeatedly called it Russia’s Best Bank. On the other it has had a strategic alliance with GazProm.  America sees Gazprom as the Dark Lord Putin’s One Ring, binding European countries to its Gas supply.  Alfa has also been at the centre of the whole Trump/Russian dossier storm. And as if that wasn’t enough in December 2017, Alfa Bank’s wholly owned Dutch subsidiary, Amsterdam Trade Bank, was raided in connection with an investigation into possible money-laundering.

Zao Unicredit Bank is part of the sprawling trillion euro Italian Bank Unicredit. So this brings Italian Banking  in to our story. But it is worth remembering, however, that Zao used to be part of Bank Austria.  It was renamed when Unicredit bought Bank Austria. A purchase which, I have been told by one who worked in UniCreidt, pissed off Austrian bankers something rotten.

UniCredit still owns Bank Austria which means an Italian Bank, owns the third largest bank in Austria.  So Zao not only brings Italian banking in to the picture but links a second Austrian bank to Danske.

Danske also has partner banks in Serbia. One is Erste Bank AD Novi Sud, which is  part of Bank Erste – which is the largest bank in … Austria.   Another is RaiffeisenBank Ad Beograd. So now we have all three of Austria’s largest banks tied to Danske.  No other country has all three of its biggest banks all tied to Danske.  Might we being to wonder if there is something about Austria?

Not to be outdone The Italians are there too. Banc Intesa AD Beograd is one of the largest banks in Serbia but is 93% owned by another huge and ailing Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo.  And UniCredit Bank Serbia works with Danske.  But again Unicredit Bank Serbia was part of Bank Austria. So is this an Italian or another Austrian connection?

Ukraine is on the list too.  Another country that routinely crops up in Money Laundering and political/banking corruption stories. In Ukraine we have Raiffeisen Bank Aval and UniCredit Bank LLC Kiev. And once again the UniCredit subsidiary used to be Bank of Austria. Hmm.

In Croatia we find among others, RaiffeisenBank Austria and  Erste & Steiermärkische Bank. While Societe General makes an appearance for the French.

In Bosnia we again have, one again, Raiffeisen and Unicredit.

While in Kazakhstan we have HSBC flying the flag for British Money Laundering banks. (Not that I’m suggesting AT ALL that HSBC might ever do anything shady in Kazakhstan).

And if we look for Middle East connections there is Banque Saudi Fransi which is Credit Agricole and Saudi British Bank which is 40% HSBC.

All of which amounts to what?  There is nothing criminal or even unusual in various banks having relations with Danske. All banks have relations with each other. But is there a pattern? There is a close connection between Dankse and all three of Austria’s largest banks and both of Italy’s largest , in countries that we might not wholly unfairly suspect of being a possible source of dirty money Is this something regulators might think important?

Russia, Bosnia, Belarus, Croatia, Serbia and Ukraine, all linked to Danske by the same Italian and Austrian banks.  And it is certainly fair to say that Austria has been a favourite place for Ukranian Oligarchs to park their billions.

Absolutely nothing I have said here is evidence of any wrong doing. But if you have a bank, Danske Bank in Estonia, which is at the centre of a vast laundering scheme surely you don’t just look at the banks that moved the money out of Estonia into dollar accounts? That is only the back half of the laundering.  Surely you should look for any banks that could have begun the laundering. And surely a reasonable pace to start, if only to rule them out, is the list of banks which Danske itself says are the banks it has close money-moving ties to?

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57 Responses to Danske Bank – Who helped them Launder?

  1. Jim Frankken October 3, 2018 at 3:26 pm #

    How terribly unsurprising the spiderweb of cleaning dirty cash. Another shining example of human worth as a species…

  2. paul rodney clayton October 3, 2018 at 3:38 pm #

    Very, very useful forensic work Golem. Many thanks for this. Stay safe, if you can.

  3. Jon Stevenson October 3, 2018 at 8:15 pm #

    Hang on….our Home Sec was a managing director at Deutsche Bank AG during the time they admitted criminal charges back in the late unpleasantness….Could it be he was also involved in money laundering?

    • Golem XIV October 3, 2018 at 8:43 pm #

      You may think that. I couldn’t possibly comment.

    • niko October 4, 2018 at 9:27 am #

      while i can not specifically answer on this. but it is well known that the laundering business the intelligence services are deeply involved. also an accounting firms.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=np_ylvc8Zj8

  4. bill40 October 3, 2018 at 11:53 pm #

    Your posts may be infrequent, sadly, these days but always worth waiting for, thanks for writing this.

  5. niko October 4, 2018 at 9:17 am #

    what i’ve found out is that unicredit bank (formally an italian hq bank) is itself owned by an American, next one in ownership is the UK. they call it ‘institutional investors”. so anglo-saxon’s ownership of unicredit bank is like 74%.

    • Golem XIV October 4, 2018 at 11:54 am #

      That’s very interesting. Thank you. One small point though. Even though UniCredit may be owned by non Italian investors it is still domiciled and regulated by the Italian authorities.

      As for the Intelligence services you are quite right. Even an intelligence service needs a banker. I can think if one Latvian bank which MI6 uses. I would be utterly astonished if they don’t have very close ties into HSBC. Generally the most protected bank is the Services bank. Which often means the services and the crooks use the same bank. Think of BCCI. Thanks for commenting.

  6. niko October 4, 2018 at 9:21 am #

    i;ve seen somewhere that of these ‘institutional investors’ in Unicredit the largest one is JP Morgan.

  7. Jonathan Sugarman October 5, 2018 at 11:39 pm #

    David,

    Re UniCredit, where do I begin?!?

    Re Germany’s Deutsche Bank, here’s a reminder today from ZeroHedge:

    Deutsche Bank’s Moscow desk also used mirror trades – wherein the same party takes both sides of a trade, selling in rubles then buying in dollars – to help criminals move money out of Russia, an activity for which it was fined more than $600 million. The bank earned some 10 million euros from the trades, it said.
    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-10-05/danske-bank-shares-plummet-more-details-234-billion-money-laundering-scandal-emerge

    Jonathan Sugarman
    UniCredit whistleblower

  8. Chris October 13, 2018 at 12:21 pm #

    Hi Golem XIV

    i am Austrian and to be honest i am a bit shocked how deeply involved the austrian banks seem to be. The regulators in Austria are basically neglecting their duties. This came out in the Hypo Alpe Adria scandal were the austrian taxpayers had to pay the bill. the only politician who seems to care about this, Peter Pilz, was framed for “sexual harrassment”. but the most agonizing thing is that nothing about this is reported in any austrian newspaper, absolutely nothing. Banks are very powerful in Austria.

    thank you for your research and keep up the great work

    • Golem XIV October 15, 2018 at 6:02 pm #

      Hello Chris,

      I wish I could say Austria was unusual but I can’t. Its eh same here in GB and in every country I am aware of. Austria is difficult because your two biggest banks virtually own all the ‘investigative journal’ outlets as well as funding the two biggest parties. Austria like the UK, like Ireland is held hostage by its banks. And it you and I who are the losers. It’s going to be all about what we do when the next crisis hits.

      • Jacob October 18, 2018 at 9:10 am #

        What happened ? Let us have a look. More pieces of the puzzle have been exposed ….

        https://twitter.com/ruth_mottram/status/1051835187397611522

        • Jacob October 18, 2018 at 9:24 am #

          and while we are discussing the finance topic.

          Throughout Europe, countries have been the target of ‘gangs’ of bankers, traders and hedge funds that have committed fraud with dividend taxation through ingenious constructions. The damage is in the tens of billions. “This is organized crime in pinstriped suit.” In the Netherlands too, the tax authorities have been victims of dividend-stripping bankers for years. This is evident from the research of the international journalistic cooperation project The Cumex Files, of which Follow the Money is part.

          Through carefully set up international partnerships, banks and brokers managed to deprive tax authorities in Europe at least € 55.2 billion between 2001 and 2016.

          There are two types of strategies summarized under the term ‘dividend stripping’: CumEx and CumCum. CumEx is a form of tax evasion (illegal), CumCum is seen by regulatory authorities as tax avoidance (unlawful).

          CumEx is technically complicated, but comes down to this: multiple dividend tax is reclaimed while dividend tax is only paid once.

          CumEx transactions such as those that took place in Germany in 2012 did not occur according to the Tax Office in the Netherlands, but here too, with ingenious financial constructions, dividend taxes are reclaimed, while there is no basis for this.

          In the Netherlands, the tax authorities think that at least EUR 152 million has been disadvantaged by the US investment bank Morgan Stanley. These are CumCum transactions.

          Confidential documents from, among others, the Australian bank Macquarie and the Swiss private bank Sarasin also show that the Netherlands stood in the sights of dividend-stripping merchants and bankers.

          The authorities (supervisors and tax administrations) did not, or barely, oppose these practices. Often the authorities did not even realize that they themselves were stripped.

          In Germany, this type of transaction was explicitly prohibited in 2012, after the discovery that the tax authorities had been disadvantaged for billions. In February 2016, the Bundestag decided to conduct a parliamentary inquiry. Shortly afterwards, a large-scale criminal investigation was instituted and the Cologne Public Prosecutor ordered raids from various banks.

          One of the main players in this fraud is the Swiss bank Sarasin. Sarasin was a subsidiary of Rabobank during that period.

          ABN Amro, which was nationalized in September 2008, went public on 20 November 2015 and refused to answer questions from the German parliamentary committee of inquiry.

          The Cologne Public Prosecutor describes the cooperating bankers, traders, investors and hedge fund managers who, with CumEx transactions, disadvantaged the German tax authorities as a ‘Bande’ – a criminal organization.

  9. Rob October 22, 2018 at 2:29 pm #

    So, on the one hand we have the neoliberal banker class who launder money with impunity and corporations who evade their taxes while bleeding developing countries dry, and on the other hand you have Muslims who are given carte blanche to rape and torture English children by the thousand for decades and mutilate their own daughters before passing the bill the tax payer. Then you have the police saying that they won’t be bothering to pursue many types of crime just as over a hundred MPs, including the Greens’ Caroline Lucas, promise not to report illegal immigrants to the authorities.

    All of which leads this citizen to conclude that obeying the law is a mug’s game.

    How I weep for those older more dignified Britons who grew up in a different era, who registered their displeasure in the referendum and who were then slandered by people not fit to wash their feet. The same elderly who are now regularly targeted for violence and robbery, such attacks having risen 300% in a decade. No ‘hate crime’ hysteria for them; they’re not needed anymore by the Treasury officials (‘such a drain on resources’) and are but ‘Gammons’ to the Corbyn cult.

    The absolute shame of it all.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6108191/Violent-attacks-elderly-three-times-likely-just-ten-years-ago.html

    • Jacob October 22, 2018 at 8:04 pm #

      David Malone has given us for many years insight in the world of finance and national and international affairs that should matter to us all. The blogs are read by many and give us all an opportunity to discuss the challenges that are lying in front of us and we can find answers along the way. Not all issues can be tackled but we can at least make this an open forum where truth can the leading force. The above response I feel does not contribute to any of the challenges we face. Let’s have a look at your comments.

      ‘’How I weep for those older more dignified Britons who grew up in a different era, who registered their displeasure in the referendum and who were then slandered by people not fit to wash their feet. The same elderly who are now regularly targeted for violence and robbery, such attacks having risen 300% in a decade. ‘’
      Crime statistics have traditionally suggested that people aged 60 or over are less likely to be the victims of violent crime than the rest of the population. But while national victimisation surveys consistently report lower levels of victimisation among those aged 60 and over, these figures don’t necessarily capture the full picture.
      It distinguishes violence against older people from violence against other groups – and suggests the problem is one associated with the age of the victim. And this leads to different policy and practice responses. But, as the evidence has shown, violence against older people isn’t a problem caused by age.
      Instead, violence should be looked at across all age groups. This would allow researchers to examine both age and gender, as well as class, ethnicity and other social characteristics – to get a better understanding of the links between the types of violence people experience at different life stages.
      All of which is important, because these figures are likely to increase as the population, in the West at least, continues to age at a rapid pace.

      Are you suggesting that the older people in the UK voted for Brexit to stop all the violence in Britain? Will the removal of all the ‘’Europeans ‘’ bring safety and comfort?

      EU immigrants make up about 5% of English NHS staff and about 5% of the English population, according to the best available data. Across the UK, EU immigrants make up 10% of registered doctors and 4% of registered nurses. Immigrants from outside the EU make up larger proportions. Restrictions on non-EU immigrants have affected NHS recruitment, suggesting that the same could happen if there were limits on EU immigration.
      EU immigration contributes to financial pressure on the NHS, but its annual impact is small compared to other factors. Whether EU immigrants pay enough into the public finances overall to cover their costs is difficult to say, and researchers give different answers. However, They make more of a net contribution than other groups.

      ‘’ on the other hand you have Muslims who are given carte blanche to rape and torture English children by the thousand for decades ‘’

      Sexual abuse of children and young people by groups of men – including Asian men – happens in the UK. According to the best available data, Asian men make up 75 per cent of “Type 1” group abusers, who target children and young women because they are vulnerable. But white men make up 100 per cent of recorded “Type 2” group abusers, who target children because of a longstanding paedophilic interest. From the information available, we know that actual number of group abusers who are Asian is around three times higher than the number of group abusers who are white. However, it’s worth remembering that child sexual abuse by lone offenders is more common than abuse by groups. What we don’t know is how many of those lone offenders are white, Asian or Muslim or other ethnic group. We should be wary of drawing too many conclusions …..

      – “I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”
      ‘’ The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose.’’
      James Baldwin

      • Rob October 23, 2018 at 2:06 am #

        Written like a true zealot with predictable ready made answers for everything which cuts across the globalist Left’s mantras. And completely missing the point about why any normal person should obey the law when it is flouted ACROSS THE BOARD.

        ”Are you suggesting that the older people in the UK voted for Brexit to stop all the violence in Britain? Will the removal of all the ‘’Europeans ‘’ bring safety and comfort?”

        Why do you psychologically project onto people? You see? You are so possessed of infinite wisdom that you already know exactly what I think and why I think it.

        Older people clearly voted Brexit because they remember growing up in a self governing country that was confident in itself and its culture. They certainly remember a nation where the elderly were treated with respect. I always find it amusing when left globalists attack the very norms which are common in the exotic foreign cultures they always worship.

        Elderly people also voted Brexit because their country has also been changed beyond all recognition by mass immigration they never voted for, imposed on them by an unholy coalition of the old imperialist class, big business and the smug, corrupt globalist Left. It is well understood that rapid ethnic change is psychologically destabilising for people and that ever increasing diversity reduces social trust, increases authoritarianism, weakens mental health and lessens the willingness to pool resources.

        Mass immigration is unpopular EVERYWHERE: in South Africa, there were huge outbreaks of violence two years ago; in Singapore, a place where people never protest, there were huge demonstrations at the government’s plans to reduce the native Singaporese to 50% of the population. In South Korea, there was mass opposition to the country taking just a few hundred Syrian refugees.

        As for the statistical obfuscations, if Muslims witnessed a 300% increase in attacks against them, I don’t think you’d be employing those tactics to make the issue go away.

        ”EU immigrants make up about 5% of English NHS staff and about 5% of the English population, according to the best available data. Across the UK, EU immigrants make up 10% of registered doctors and 4% of registered nurses. Immigrants from outside the EU make up larger proportions. Restrictions on non-EU immigrants have affected NHS recruitment, suggesting that the same could happen if there were limits on EU immigration.”

        The British state chose to take other countries’ trained medical staff rather than train British people. Please explain to me what’s socialist or moral about that – particularly when non-EU essentially means the developing world? During the New Labour years, African health ministers begged the government to stop taking their trained workers.

        One of the many things I disagree with Brexiteers on is that unemployment is low: it isn’t. There is vast under-employment and in many parts of the country, suicide is through the roof as despair sets in. Again, only the smug, conceited middle class left would come out with such nonsense when Marx spent most of his life pointing out how the capitalist imported foreign labour to discipline the native working class.

        ”Sexual abuse of children and young people by groups of men – including Asian men – happens in the UK. According to the best available data, Asian men make up 75 per cent of “Type 1” group abusers, who target children and young women because they are vulnerable. But white men make up 100 per cent of recorded “Type 2” group abusers, who target children because of a longstanding paedophilic interest.”

        White men aren’t targeting Muslim children for religiously and racially motivated child rape. You do realise the difference between religiously and racially motivated crimes don’t you? In fact I’m sure you do because if white men were raping Muslim children, people like you would be rioting.

        You clearly have absolutely no idea how big the greatest scandal in English social is do you? Partly of course because the organisations of the globalist Left, have helped cover it up for over thirty years and partly because the media in cahoots with the psychopathic British state have no interest in letting the public know. A Labour member I know told me it was common knowledge within that party, the body most culpable, that at least 100,000 white children and an unknown number of Sikh girls had been sacrificed to the multicultural project (and for Muslim votes of course).

        Read the Jay Report from Rotherham (the designated scapegoat town) and then understand that that benighted place is the tip of the iceberg.

        Such is your indoctrination however, you talk this away with statistical obfuscations worthy of a neoclassical economist or defender of gross economic inequality – ah yes! But these bankers pay 25% of the total tax take! Just 0.1% of people paying 25% of the tax! We not only need more of these people, we need to free them up so they can make more money for us.

        “I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”

        ‘Hate’ is the control word used by the globalist class to emotionally blackmail ordinary people into accepting wholesale ethnic change. ‘Hate’ is the word used by the globalist left to silence people who are outraged that native British people, particularly their children have been the subject of the most vicious actual hatred for decades.

        What people like you fail to realise is that it isn’t just the sociopathic economic elite which is the problem: the whole of society is degenerating. But owing to your ideology, because you can’t cope with the fact that the political Left, which has spent the last fifty years tearing at the old values of decency, respect for others, self control etc, is every bit as responsible for this as the 1%, all you want to do is focus on the nasty bankers. It’s pathetic.

        • Jacob October 23, 2018 at 10:16 am #

          The banks have not forgotten anything and politics has not learned anything. The responsible bankers live on in luxury and the bill of the banking debacle still has not been presented. The financial crisis only takes a nap, it can wake up anytime. The causes have still not been addressed, the place where the crisis started, the financing of the housing market, it is still operating in the same way as in 2008. Worldwide, we see a huge increase in loans, of debt. From 120.000 billion dollar debt in 2008 we went to 196,000 billion dollars in 2018. So there’s just over 70,000 billion dollars in debt added.

          The gross global domestic product is about 80,000 billion dollars. The global debt size is therefore 2.5 times as large as the gross global product. That is huge. Debt growth is mainly in emerging economies. If in China 20% of the population takes up debt, of course it immediately starts to add a lot. Housing prices have already exceeded the level of 2008. It is asking for problems. Because the day the debt price goes up again, people and companies have to refinance and they get into trouble.

          We also failed to build in restrictions on global capital movements after the crisis. Due to the low debt price, the returns on investments are low and people look for higher returns outside Europe. In recent years, a lot of money has flowed to emerging economies. But because of the lack of capital restrictions you see the same capital flowing out of that country again if something happens like in Turkey this summer, with all the consequences for that country.

          Unfortunately, the banking issue is barely addressed in the public debate. We prefer to wind ourselves about identity debates. Well, there are more important things than gender neutral discussions.

          The cultural opposition ‘cosmopolitanism versus xenophobia’ is the greatest political cliché of the 21st century.
          Because under this cultural fault line there is economic discontent resulting from 40 years of neoliberalism: the protection at the bottom of the labor market has been systematically broken down, the room for maneuver of the ‘capital’ factor has become a lot bigger and the bargaining power of the trade union has fallen accordingly.

          The UK indeed had a strong trade union tradition, but has not succeeded in stopping the declining labor income ratio and in the end the employee will receive less wages than before. Everywhere the strength of the factor of ‘labor’ comes to an end.

          What we see is a greatly increased profitability of large companies. The cash reserves of the multinationals have never been so great. And these reserves are hardly used to invest, but mainly to buy back shares and do wasteful acquisitions. Another cause for these high cash reserves is tax avoidance.

          The United Kingdom acts as tax havens for large capital. The holes that have been struck in the treasury have been partially absorbed by raising the burden on the ‘labor’ factor. Today the employee not only pays more and more taxes, he also receives less and less for it. Our care, education, childcare and elderly care are becoming more expensive, but their quality is worse. Government services have become dull. And that’s because of that difference in mobility.

          The pain is unevenly distributed, it is particularly noticeable to those who depend on the welfare state, the average citizen still lives relatively well, so that socio-economic issues are rarely seen as pressing issues, and the political quarrels are largely cultural in nature. The public debate has now been dominated by identity issues for over fifteen years. Economics has become the exclusive research object of mathematicians.

          The gap between these analyzes and the experience of the voter has become gigantic. In the House of Representatives, politicians discuss purchasing power pictures for different income categories, but these categories are completely artificial. They have nothing to do with what people actually experience at the end of the month.

          The United Kingdom is a beautiful country for higher educated people. For the lower middle class and below, there is a completely different reality: sky-high rental costs, stagnating incomes, expensive care and education, eroding protection, and an increasing difference in mortality rates. That is the real breeding ground for the displeasure.

          The ability to name that dissatisfaction in socio-economic terms, let alone in terms of class struggle, has completely disappeared. The language you need for that is gone. Until the 1980s there was a rich tradition of heterodox political economists. Today there are only neo-classical economists, for whom markets are power-free places. They look at everything through the eyes of the imagined perfect market and their policy recommendations always come down to removing market distortions as much as possible.

          The over-technification of academic economics has in turn led to a huge loss of knowledge about socio-economic issues in newspapers, television or radio. The media are increasingly busy with clickbait; more clicks provide more revenue. They function as a marketing machine for the identity distraction theater. With regard to identity issues, everything is political for the media. In terms of socio-economic themes, on the other hand, there is a distorted vision.

          Last year there was the mobilization against the free trade agreements TTIP and CETA. There are indeed socio-economic issues that manage to stir the mood. David Malone did a great job explaining to the electorate what the effects are of these. I found it fascinating to see what kind of mobilization the resistance to TTIP brought about. It is indeed possible to explain to the population that not the migrant, but the skewed socio-economic playing field threatens it.

          We also notice that every time such a debate starts, right-wing politicians try to create a news item to shift the attention. It is a dog whistle for: the Muslims have to be tackled severely.

          The media are jumping in. But even the left cannot resist commenting on it, it is a shame that such a politician uses that whistle and reacts in the fiercest language.” Look at how morally high I am. “They forget that they are walking behind the rats from the right.

          Since the 9th of November 2016, the progressive quality media have only been working on one thing: making clear what an abject, amoral dick Donald Trump is. Well, I know it now. I would like to read an analysis of how progressives can reverse the free trade agreements, which are very detrimental to the poor.

          Those who have little to fear financially will soon find cultural issues more important than labor market uncertainty. That is normal. But in the cosmopolitan class the emphasis has shifted too far in the direction of identity politics. What they do not realize enough is that these symbolic, often very charged, debates are also used to attack migrant populations. Again that dog whistle.

          The more the cosmopolitan left have come to identify themselves with the emancipation struggle of cultural minorities, a struggle that has nothing to do with class or material interests, the more the right has come to respond with an imaginary British identity. In other words: the struggle of the gay movement or migrant organizations is not only a godsend for the British employer who can raise the exploitation rate even further, but also for the populist politician.

          The financial crisis was a debacle from the right, but the electoral bullet was left. How do you explain that?
          It is largely the result of the fact that the social democratic parties have been hijacked by professional politicians from the elite who do not have socio-economic concerns and have shifted the front line of emancipation from socio-economic to identity-politics issues, seventeen years after 9/11. We are still talking about terrorism and the incompatibility of Islamist values with the founding principles of the UK since the crisis of 2008. We have not been able to shift the political discourse from identity politics to class struggle, while there is so much information available. The World Economic Forum in Davos had the feeling the growing inequality is more of a problem than Social Democracy in Europe.

          Social Democrats have simply accepted the neo-liberal order. I have not yet been able to catch Labour, but also the Liberal Democrats, on a fundamental analysis of the power imbalances in capitalism. For them, the answer is not the reversal of globalization, but the investment in the educational opportunities of the underclass.

          They feel the only argument that remains is that we must take the stragglers into the speed of the Elite people by giving them better education, so that they can actually become like the Elite people.That is not enough. Because with ‘being like us’ the elite actually says that they are the standard of things. With that you only rub salt in the wound. We must not accept that basic premise. Globalization is the outcome of political decisions. It can be turned back.

          Look what Trump does! He politicizes the free trade policy, which is now completely withdrawn from democratic decision-making. Trump tries to do something about that. This is done with horrible motives, but at the same time he shows that it is possible.

          Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Europe has lived, so to speak, in a classless society. Capitalism, with parliamentary democracy as its political control, had won. It has been an illusion. In that period in which the class discourse slowly faded and atomized, we saw a conspiracy against the working class: the labor income ratio has only declined. And it could happen because we no longer had the words to fight it. Trump and Brexit will force us to find those words again

          Migration has always been used as a disguised labor market policy. If there was a shortage on the labor market and wages rose too much, the gate for migrants was temporarily opened up. The multi-ethnic nature of the United States enabled employers to conduct divide-and-rule strategies. Because of the cultural differences one could prevent the employees from putting their heads together, and that a powerful socialist party or trade union could emerge.

          Because of the far-reaching dislike of a growing group of voters from the Democrats, and more specifically from the Clinton clan who took the moral high ground and called the supporters of Trump ‘deplorable’. Many Democrats present themselves as progressive and are supposedly proponents of emancipation, but at the same time they take care of themselves and are close friends with the financial elite. It is a recipe for electoral suicide.

          The victory of Donald Trump and the Brexit situation forces Social Democrats in the United Kingdom to think about what they really want. The destination of post Brexit Britain comes into this. Unless it threw itself into core Europe, including both the Euro and Schengen – which is unlikely to happen – or unless it commits to being the Trotskyite – or is it Bannonite and Farageist – vanguard of a revolution which it intends to export, aiming at the dismantlement of the European Union. The UK has, for a couple of decades, really only had 2 choices.

          A book by Thomas Frank, Listen Liberal, should be mandatory reading for most of us . His remedy is just as solid as his diagnosis: stop the trade agreements, bind the banks, make education and healthcare public and improve it, re industrialize the economy, invest in infrastructure and remove the horse stable of professional politicians.

  10. Rob October 26, 2018 at 4:37 pm #

    Not much point arguing with cut and paste views from the Open Society Foundation.

    I wonder if some of the money laundered through those banks is being used to fund the mass migration into Europe. The amounts are truly astonishing.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2_-21bdGe4

    • True Brit October 26, 2018 at 9:23 pm #

      meanwhile … The British intelligence service GCHQ was behind the extensive hack of Belgacom in 2013, concludes the federal prosecutor’s office in Belgium. The British ally refused to cooperate with the investigation.

      That the GCHQ was behind the notorious hack follows from research that started five years ago and that was known internally under the name Trinity. The researchers encountered, among other things, IP addresses, where the espionage software from Belgacom tried to contact and which can be traced back to a British company.

      The British Ministry of the Interior, however, refused to cooperate in providing the data behind the IP addresses, because this could ‘jeopardize sovereignty, security and public order’. De Standaard writes this on the basis of a confidential report. Partly because of this, the federal prosecutor can not appoint any suspects. The Belgian government did not want to respond.

      In the Snowden documents that appeared in 2013, it already stated that the GCHQ had access to Belgacom servers, which are now called Proximus. The NSA and GCHQ could intercept, among other things, telephone calls and internet traffic. Among other things, the European Commission, the European Parliament, NATO and payment processor Swift would have been tapped.

      The Intercept wrote in 2013 that the Dutch security company Fox-IT found the espionage software at Belgacom. That security company concluded because of the complexity that it had to be state hackers. Fox-IT was acquired in 2015 by a British group.

    • England Forever October 26, 2018 at 9:32 pm #

      UK: We’ve had it with you smelly bohunks! We’re leaving your soccer league!
      EU: Oh. We’re sorry to see you go; you’ve contributed a lot to the game.
      UK: Well, we will, of course, want to keep playing with you, just setting our own rules.
      EU: Uhhh… wait, what?

      UK: Oh, yes. We know you can’t manage without us. That’s why we’ll agree to continue playing soccer with you, as closely as possible, but we will, of course, have to have 14 players on our team.
      EU: Wait, no, that–
      UK: And three goalies.
      EU: That… you can’t–

      UK: Uh, and we’ll want to be able to carry the ball in our hands when it’s convenient for us to do so. But not you. And have the option to use cricket bats. And, again, not you. Oh, and we don’t want to be subject to your referees. We’ll bring out own to decide if we’ve done anything wrong.

      EU: Uhhh… no. No. That’s not soccer. Those aren’t the rules we all agreed to.
      UK: But we don’t want to play by your rules, we want to take back control and play by ours. Can’t you thick-headed dolts understand that?
      EU: Yes, that’s fine, we understand that; but you can’t play by your rules and play in our league at the same time.

      UK: What? Why not? Aren’t we palsies and best buds?

      EU: Yes, fine, but what you’re proposing is simply unworkable, and it will make everyone else who’s agreed to the rules start demanding their own set of rules. Pretty soon soccer simply won’t exist anymore. It’ll be 28 different teams all playing different games again, like back in the 1940s. We’re not going to do that, no matter how much we like you.

      UK: You people simply aren’t serious and you’re putting unreasonable demands on us and it’s all just pressure tactics! Everything would be fine if you’d just be reasonable and negotiate!

      EU: You don’t negotiate with rules. You either follow them, or you don’t. You’re not going to. That’s where things stand.
      UK: Undemocratic, fascist monsters!

      • Rob October 27, 2018 at 5:07 pm #

        This is the EU which has smashed Greece? Which helped provoke the conflict in Ukraine? Which has a commission beholden to the banks and European Roundtable of Industrialists? Which rolled back worker’s protections in Spain and Portugal in return for bailouts? Which insists on free movement which harms organised labour?

        Silly parodies don’t make any of that go away.

    • Jacob October 27, 2018 at 12:09 pm #

      Rob,
      You seem to be the type of man who likes to communicate with links to articles and video clips. This is how you prefer to spread your message. I suggest I will follow your style of getting some ideas across and I also have a few questions for you.

      There we go,

      1. First I want you to have a laugh, (and take a deep breath) with some British humour.

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0bpywz8/the-mash-report-series-2-episode-1

      2. Then it is time for a history lesson,

      https://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/zinncol1.html

      3. We will then move on, to hopefully understand the playbook a bit better.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/25/tommy-robinson-and-the-far-rights-new-playbook

      4. Now it is time for all of us to get to know you a little bit better.

      You say that the whole of society is degenerating. That we see the old values of decency, respect for others, and self-control are being torn apart. You talk about the rapid ethnic change that is psychologically destabilizing the people and that the ever increasing diversity reduces social trust, increases authoritarianism and weakens mental health and also lessens the willingness to pool resources. You say the Muslims are given carte blanche to rape and torture English children by the thousand for decades and mutilate their own daughters before passing the bill to the tax payer. You say we should conclude that obeying the law is a mug’s game. We should all be growing up in a self-governing country that is confident in itself and its culture. A nation where the elderly are treated with respect. You also inform us we need more bankers and we need to free them up so they can make more money for us.

      5. Now some open questions and try to be precise in your wording.

      How will we bring our British society together? (Without the emphasis on submission, obedience, unaccountable power, nationalism, and a commitment to remaking the world with lethal, racialized violence towards Indians, Africans, Europeans, and Asians)

      How will we reintroduce the old values of decency and respect for others? (Including Indians, Africans, Europeans, Asians and Americans)

      How will a British economy build on a speculative industry (banking etc.) Without much regulation in place thrive when the financial sector ends up in choppy water?

      What does planet Rob look like when he would be the Ruler of this floating rock in space and time?

      6. Now have a look at another funny video clip

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37iHSwA1SwE

      Have a great weekend !

      • Rob October 27, 2018 at 4:55 pm #

        Do you support the attack by Labour’s thugs on the UKIP stall in Sheffield today? Or how they closed down a debate with Sargon of Arkad in Scarborough? Is that how you think we can all be ‘brought together’?

        Or do they get a pass because they say the right words? All the while not only having nothing to say about the epic levels of racist violence against white people, mainly white children, but actually helping with the cover-up.

        All I hear from you is the same old global leftist bullshit which is every bit as responsible for the predicament Britain is in as what the bankers have done.

        It’s not called neoLIBERALISM for nothing.

        Indeed, I would bet my life that Corbyn and McDonnell would sell out to the banks in a heartbeat if they thought they could be left in charge of a left-globalised Britain.

        • Rob October 27, 2018 at 5:03 pm #

          Uhhh Howard Zinn… Another American Jew who has been at the forefront of re-writing American history to justify Jewish supremacy. Organised Jewry in the US, like here in the UK, has been the battering ram for globalisation and replacement migration.

          http://www.kevinmacdonald.net/CofCchap7.pdf

          The poor Native Americans were killing and enslaving each other for centuries before the Europeans arrived. Indeed they genocided the original ‘native’ Americans themselves. All he’s doing is putting a guilt trip on white Americans in the same way that Jewish interests used the Civil Rights movement to their own purposes.

          All you’re doing is repeating the same old self-righteous, ego-centric, already failed arguments which the Left have been trotting out since Enoch Powell. You don’t even have the capacity to stick to your own moral standards.

          • Jacob October 30, 2018 at 12:52 pm #

            After the attack in the synagogue in Pittsburgh, Saturday by the extreme right winger Robert Bowers, where eleven people were killed, the question has risen how we should interpret this terrorist act. Many point to the climate of hatred that US President Trump has created and the anti-Semitic “dog whistles” with which he punctuates his speeches. In particular, the continuous portrayal of the Hungarian-American businessman George Soros as an evil genius. But he is by no means the only one who deliberately (or unconsciously) spreads the image among his followers of Soros as the rich, cosmopolitan Jew who pursues his plans behind the scenes.

            In the UK, Nigel Farage uses this toxic image. It fits in seamlessly with the widespread anti-Semitic accusations against Soros on social media by alt-right supporters like yourselves
            Are Trump or Farage anti-Semites? Honestly, no idea. However, they both operate with the message of an old stereotype of Jews as non-land-bound manipulators whose purpose is to undermine the world of non-Jews. This idea has an enormous power and dates back to the middle Ages. Then it was the Christian world that the Jews would have supposedly undermined, since the nineteenth century the stereotype has developed in two different directions.

            First of all, the Jew as a capitalist who extracts wealth from all the workers and who, as a plutocrat, embodies global capitalism, with the bankers Rothschild and the Sorosses of that time. It is not without reason that many socialist thinkers have given prominence to this anti-Semitic cliché in its anti-capitalist propaganda, such as the French nineteenth-century Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and Charles Fourier. Both regarded capitalism as thoroughly parasitic; the stereotype of the Jew as a user fits in perfectly with this.

            On the right-hand side of the spectrum were Jews as uprooted cosmopolitans who were determined to undermine the nation-state and, through their influence in the media and the banks, pursued the world society. Jews as ‘octopuses’ who with their ‘tentacles’ embraced and ruled the globe is an image that repeatedly returns in extreme right-wing propaganda. This image as the powerful, nowhere rooted Jew behind the scenes in control and politicians manipulates, culminated in the Protocols of the wise of Zion, which were fabricated in Russia in 1903 (by whom is unclear to date).

            It is worrying that this conspiracy theory with the rise of the radical right, with Soros as target, has once again penetrated the mainstream. But it also shows the timeless character of this anti-Semitic cliché: again the capitalist Jew who pulls the strings behind the scenes, in combination with the cosmopolitan who does not have a message to the nation-state. Only – unlike in the nineteenth century, or at the time of the Nazi regime – is it now linked to the migration theme. For example, it is teeming with accusations that Soros, through his Open Society Foundation and supporting all kinds of humanitarian goals, ultimately strives to bring as many Islamic refugees as possible into Europe to destroy European culture

            The whipped-up fear visions that there is a ‘Muslim war’ going on – an important theme with Farage and others, fits in seamlessly with that. In the US we see something similar. For example, the popular Trump-minded political draftsman Ben Garrison published a cartoon (‘D Day’) of a landing ship with Soros ‘face, from which Latin American migrants from Soros’ mouth enter America and crush Uncle Sam. Attacks on Soros continue to fuel anti-Semitic imagery and fuel the program of radical right-wing politicians such as Trump, Orbán, and Farage. Whether they personally cherish anti-Semitic ideas is ultimately not that interesting. What matters most is the often deliberate use of this stereotype that fits perfectly into their political program of authoritarian isolationist nationalism, in which there is no place for immigrants, especially if they are Muslims or come from continents (Africa, Latin America, Europe, Middle East) that are considered inferior. It is time for this form of anti-Semitism to be recognized as such and for the politicians and individuals who use it that they will explain why they use it.

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