martedì 20 luglio 2010

Usura globale

Usura globale
di Ugo Gaudenzi - 20/07/2010

Fonte: Rinascita

Anche l’Augusto Financial Times è... dei nostri. In un recente articolo sulla crisi dei “pigs”, i Paesi maiali (europei) destinati dalla grande finanza a terapie d’urto lacrime e sangue, dichiara - in fondo - che il “maxifondo” inventato dalla Ue e dal Fmi per “aiutare” le economie pubbliche in disavanzo non servirà a nulla.
Salvo che, ma questo lo diciamo noi, a permettere ai “donatori” - clan di banche - di prestare nuovo denaro e lucrare interessi dagli Stati già deboli e forzati alle politiche dei “tagli sociali” e delle lacrime e sangue.
Per il quotidiano londinese, longa manus della finanza della City (e di Wall Street), né la Grecia, né il Portogallo, né l’Irlanda, né la Spagna, riusciranno, infatti a pareggiare i conti. “Al punto che uno o più di questi Paesi potrebbe decidere un’uscita dall’euro”.
Ovviamente quel “primo” Paese è la Grecia, ritenuta l’anello più debole della catena. Ma, continua l’Augusto Media, ad Atene non converrà uscire... perché i soldi presi in prestito la manterranno per qualche anno ancora al di sopra della linea di galleggiamento. Un incremento dello 0,5 del pil all’anno, infatti, le garantirà di non dichiarare bancarotta.
Traduciamo: con quello 0,5 per cento in più di pil, la Grecia potrà pagare gli interessi - solo gli interessi, si badi bene - del mega prestito contratto. E gli usurai non vogliono affatto perdere la gallina dalle uova d’oro.
Tali uova d’oro vengono prodotte, lo ricordiamo sempre noi, dalla massa di “finanza derivata”, finanza cioè “a scommessa”, immessa come un fiume a drogare le economie mondiali. E che ammonta, nel globo terracqueo, a circa 600 mila miliardi di dollari.
E che i governi dei Paesi oggetto - tutti - da tale attenzione usuraia dovrebbero bloccare con legislazioni rigide.
Cosa che non fanno. Che non vogliono, né possono, fare. Perché siamo tutti strangolati, governanti coloniali compresi, dalla logica perversa del profitto speculativo del clan dei finanzieri d’assalto. Non abbiamo più uno straccio di sovranità economica. Non abbiamo più uno straccio di sovranità monetaria.

Economic Meltdown: The Final Phase

Economic Meltdown: The Final Phase

Giordano Bruno
Neithercorp Press
July 19, 2010

In the financial life of every culture built upon faulty monetary policy, there are points at which the thin thread of economic faith; the thread that ties the entire failing system together, the thread made tangible by the hopes (and sometimes ignorance) of the general populace, finally snaps. From Ancient Rome, to Weimar Germany, to Argentina, to modern day America, no society fueled by unsustainable debt and fiat inflation can duck the ‘Fiscal Reaper’ for very long. The U.S. alone has survived since the early 1970’s (after Nixon removed the last vestiges of the gold standard) on nothing but questionable credit practices and baseless optimism, but there is a limit to the power of fantasy. This is a fact that most mainstream financial analysts and some in the American public refuse to grasp. Mere belief in the enduring nature of the marketplace is not enough; the fundamentals must also support that belief.

Today, we face an atmosphere in which the fundamentals are fiercely opposed to the publicly promoted perception of the economy, and it is moments in history like this that present a clear primer for total collapse. Financial disaster is bad enough when it is at least partially anticipated. When the masses are caught completely unaware and unprepared in the midst of misguided conviction, this leads to the worst kind of tragedy: the ironic and Shakespearian kind. To avoid this brand of tragedy is one of the primary reasons why we in the Liberty Movement do what we do. We may not be able to stop the current crisis from developing, but we can create awareness, and through this we can lessen the cultural shock, and thereby lessen the impact.

Mainstream economists crowed about the “invincible” rise of globalism and the unstoppable U.S. financial juggernaut for years while more level headed and intelligent men tried to warn the public of danger. The initial derivatives collapse in 2007 / 2008 should have put all of these pathetic establishment cheerleaders to shame, not to mention out of work. Yet three years later, amazingly, we are asked, even expected, to continue to look to such sad and useless people for predictions on market stability that always turn out absolutely inaccurate, and advice on savings and investment that they are not equipped to give.

I suppose we should not be surprised by the continued lifespan of MSM parrots and puppets. They may not be helpful to the average American, but they are very helpful to international banks and the globalist companies that pay their salaries. They distract and confuse us. They comfort when they should caution, and contradict when they should pay heed. Our financial house is burning from the bottom floor up, and they assure us that the warm orange glow is just the dawning of a new and beautiful day. We are told to “look to the future”, a return to normalcy is “just around the corner”. Never would they dare to weigh the cold hard factors of the present, or the ruse would be up. Whether they are aware of it or not the lies media pundits perpetuate set the stage for even greater upheaval, to the detriment of most, and the benefit of only a handful.

In this article, as we have in so many others, we will examine those lies, as well as the truths they are meant to hide. The most important truth of all being, that not only are we not in the middle of a recovery, but that the final phase of the economic meltdown is about to commence…

Distractions, Half-Truths, And Outright Lies

“We will not have any more crashes in our time.”

- John Maynard Keynes in 1927

“I see nothing in the present situation that is either menacing or warrants pessimism… I have every confidence that there will be a revival of activity in the spring, and that during this coming year the country will make steady progress.”

- Andrew W. Mellon, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury December 31, 1929

“[1930 will be] a splendid employment year.”

- U.S. Dept. of Labor, New Year’s Forecast, December 1929

“While the crash only took place six months ago, I am convinced we have now passed through the worst — and with continued unity of effort we shall rapidly recover. There has been no significant bank or industrial failure. That danger, too, is safely behind us.”

- Herbert Hoover, President of the United States, May 1, 1930
Most of us were not alive to witness the throws of the Great Depression, but for many, the quotes above sound strangely familiar. Pundits and government officials of our fateful era have taken to spewing the same kind of nonsense on a daily basis, and one begins to wonder if they are TRYING to top the ridiculous statements of their forebears in an attempt of ultimate mockery. Today, not only are we told that “green shoots” abound, but that if those green shoots fail, it will only be because we did not “believe” hard enough in their existence!

It is this kind of idiocy that led us to the state of affairs we are in now, and it is the same idiocy that will leave millions of Americans in extended financial ruin in the near future. The absurd idea that prosperity is driven merely by blind optimism must be put to rest if we are ever to rebuild. Transparency, the pure and unadulterated truth, must be present in every aspect of government and finance without question for a culture to succeed. No longer can we operate in a system built upon the premise that the American people must be kept in the dark “for their own good”.

The essence of the recovery argument lay in unsubstantiated rhetoric, skewed statistics, and the over-promotion of news items that in reality are very minor economic indicators. Wall street reform has been heralded as a fix-all, yet the language of the legislation does little to nothing in reigning in the toxic derivatives trading practices that fomented the housing bubble, nor does it take any measures against the root cause of the mortgage crisis; the private Federal Reserve Bank, which artificially lowered interest rates and lending standards during the 1990’s knowing full well that this would amass pockets of poisonous debt securities throughout the economy. International banks have not been truly punished for their practices of market rigging and faulty accounting, nor will they be. The recent and laughable lawsuit settlements of AIG and Goldman Sachs prove that no bankers will be held accountable, only penalized with fines that amount to little more than pocket change to these monstrous global corporations:

This means that the conditions which triggered the initial collapse have not been mended in any way. Absolutely nothing has changed since 2007. Americans have only been temporarily shielded from the effects and the particulars of continuing financial corruption. For instance, it has been revealed that the SEC itself has known since at least April that Citigroup has been hiding assets and debts on its books by counting Repurchase Agreements as actual sales. For those of you not familiar with such slight-of-hand, this is the same kind of accounting trick that led to the fall of Lehman Brothers:

Citigroup claims, of course, that these Repurchase Agreements are only a small part of their operation and will not affect their ability to function. The problem is that like Lehman Brothers and Citigroup, it is probable that most global banks have used false accounting procedures to hide the true measure of their leveraged capital. It certainly is not in their best interest to reveal the whole truth, so why would they? Due to the continuing dilemma of hidden and unreported bank debts, it is only a matter of time before we witness yet another credit implosion, followed by even more taxpayer funded bailouts, and even greater stress on the stability of the U.S. Dollar.

While empty promises of reform and the hidden accounting practices of banks have kept markets malleable for the moment, it is really the exaggeration of consumer spending and retail gains, along with rigged unemployment reports from the Labor Department, that have kept the false recovery wheel spinning for over a year. Any profit or production increase by almost any company has been held up as a rallying cry for a bull market, even though in most cases these companies increased profits by cutting their labor force, and increased production by forcing their remaining employees to work harder for the same amount of money. They did not expand profits because the U.S. consumer is spending once again with wild abandon as has been suggested every time new quarterly profit reports are released. After a year of this misrepresentation of the facts, finally, the truth is starting to come out.

Retail stocks are beginning to shed value as they take hits from decreasing sales and profits, meaning, the cost cutting strategy has run its course and retailers are still losing money:

Service sector employment has remained stagnant. The excitable talk that started at the beginning of this year of a hiring resurgence has now faded:

The bottom line; the TRUE unemployment rate of around 20% has become perpetual, and some economists are even suggesting that we accept it as a standard. The American public is now coming to realize that healthy job creation is a very distant goal, one that the government alone has no ability to achieve, bailout or no bailout:

On the international scene, news from Europe has gone abruptly quiet. After months of blaring reports on the Greek sovereign debt crisis, and the imploding Euro, suddenly, we are told that the situation is stabilized? But how? What measures were taken and how did they affect a balancing of the EU economy? The fact is, no measures have been taken. No effective adjustments have been made. The MSM has only muted the reports, and for many Americans, out-of-sight truly is out-of-mind.

Greece is still right where it was six months ago, and the debt to GDP ratios of EU member countries continue to rise.

The mere mention that Spain’s Aaa credit rating was coming under review for a possible downgrade jolted stocks at the beginning of July. The review is not set to conclude for three months, but the market reaction shows that some of the larger investment firms are keenly aware of the weakness in Spain, and the chance that it will become the next in a long line of Greek style implosions:

Portugal’s credit rating was downgraded by Fitch in March, and now it has been downgraded by Moody’s as well:

And, the IMF and the EU have suspended a review of Hungary’s funding program while the country is in the midst of meltdown. This means Hungary will no longer have access to the $25.1 billion loan package made available by the IMF to see them through the crisis. Frankly, I think all countries are much better off not taking money from the demon spawn over at the IMF, but many of the citizens of Hungary may not see it that way. The suspension of the loan package almost ensures a national default:

Most European countries are in the same predicament as Greece to varying degrees, Greece just happened to be the first to fall. The combined weight of sovereign debts in all EU countries is now threatening the very framework of the European Central Bank itself. The ECB is now facing higher interest rates, which means increased funding costs that they cannot afford without inflating the Euro:

What is this leading to? A situation we have been warning about for years; either the default of numerous EU member nations, or the inflationary collapse of the Euro. In each case, the EU will eventually be forced to turn towards the only avenue left available to them; the IMF and full austerity measures. This, of course, was the plan all along….

We have just covered the broader problems in the world economy that have been obscured by the establishment media in order to perpetuate a false sense of security in the masses. However, these are simply ongoing problems that some may dismiss as “par for the course”, troubles that could go on for years without causing immediate damage to America itself. Other recent events, though, now show that the likelihood of a final phase meltdown of the U.S. economy may begin before the end of this year.

The Signs Of Final Phase Collapse

It is difficult to write about economic indicators of collapse for many reasons, but the primary issue is one of relativity. Most Americans alive today have never suffered through an extended depression and few if any have ever witnessed a full fledged meltdown of a country’s finance and infrastructure. Therefore, many people in this country have no point of reference with which to compare and contrast the events of the new millennium. The unfortunate reality is, when a society enjoys an extended period of affluence, they often become conditioned to take prosperity for granted. They become unable or unwilling to interpret warning signs of a collapse until the event is already near its end, and they have lost everything.

The signals listed below I believe are truly the last straw, the final alarm before the global financial system spirals completely out of control. It is impossible to say exactly when this larger secondary breakdown will occur, however, when one studies the economic disasters of the past, these same primers tend to appear preceding very fast moving financial decay.

Secondary Real Estate Bubble: If you think you’ve seen a catastrophe in the real estate market so far, just wait another six months. Now that the government home buyer tax credit has ended, we are starting to see how much the real estate market really was being propped up by taxpayer dollars. Mortgage bond yields have plummeted to their lowest level on record while bond sales have slumped, all in anticipation of another massive round of mortgage defaults:

Sales of new U.S. homes have plunged to the lowest level on record:

And, nearly 1 in 3 homes sales in the first quarter of 2010 were foreclosures at rock bottom prices:

Home foreclosures are on track to reach 1 Million or more by the end of 2010, and home seizures have risen 38% as banks process a backlog of mortgage defaults. This is despite efforts by banks to reduce foreclosure numbers by modifying loans and attempting short sales of properties:

This is nothing compared to the nightmare that is brewing in the commercial real estate market. Commercial real estate transactions have collapsed by 90% as many people are aware:

However, most analysts tend to overlook retail land occupancy rates. Commercial property vacancies have hit a ten year high:

In the past, owners of commercial real estate have enjoyed extra credit and loan extensions from banks because financiers hope that by supporting the commercial market through the downturn they might retrieve profits once the economic uncertainty has ended and businesses start making money again. But what happens when the downturn does not end? Banks are only going to extend loans for so long before they pull the plug, even on commercial borrowers. It would seem that the time has come for the commercial real estate bubble to finally burst.

Why are these recent problems in the real estate market an indicator of a final phase collapse in the near term? The issue is one of prolonged instability. The recession / depression that we face today should have transpired sometime in the early 1990’s. But the engineered low interest rates supplied buy the private Federal Reserve during that decade created the property value boom. Any American could buy a home regardless of whether or not they could actually afford it, and anyone with a home could then use it as collateral for enormous credit lines. This new artificial debt bubble prolonged the collapse for around fifteen years. As of the second quarter of 2010, though, this credit source has been exhausted completely. There is officially nothing left to support the general economy (except, of course, fiat inflation). The effects of this lack of national capital should become very visible by the end of this year.

Unemployment Visibility: It did not come as a surprise to this researcher that the jobs market began to crumble once again in June and July, but it did come as a surprise to some. We’ve talked on numerous occasions about how the Labor Department hides the true level of unemployment from the public, and I won’t beat that poor dead horse any further. Suffice to say, real unemployment counting the U6 measurement is around 20%. The length of the average American’s unemployment has reached incredible levels. Many millions have remained jobless for 6 to 12 months. In response, the Federal Government has extended unemployment benefits several times over the past year. While this has been painted as a necessary action to save the livelihood of jobless citizens, it is less about “compassion” from the government and more about obscuring the effects of unemployment until they are ready to let the cradle fall. That time has come.

Congress has not renewed extensions of benefits as of this month, and it looks as though they do not plan to do so again. Barack Obama (or his handlers) have tried to turn this issue into another false left / right paradigm argument, claiming that it is the Republicans that are to blame for the loss of unemployment benefits. This is a distraction from the real matter at hand. The truth is, the ENTIRE government is responsible for the disruption of benefits due to the unchecked and insane deficit spending BOTH parties have enacted over the years. Extending benefits again would add billions if not trillions to the already unsustainable U.S. debt and cannot be continued indefinitely.

Unemployment benefits hide the visible scars of national job loss. Now that millions of Americans have run out, expect to see those scars in all their terrible glory. Expect homeless numbers to skyrocket. Expect crime to skyrocket. Expect suicides to skyrocket. Expect all the problems that were once muted and hidden to now parade across the street where you live. Expect things to deteriorate from the comparably nice, polite, and civil situation we have currently. Expect things to get ugly.

Municipal Debt Implosion: As we have been warning about for the past couple years, municipal bonds are in dire straights. Cities and some states are ready to implode and they are ready to implode now. Look for city defaults to rise to record levels in the next year.

California and Illinois are broke, make no mistake. When Arnold calls for state employee pay to be reduced to minimum wage and Illinois lets $5 Billion in bills go unpaid, there is no turning back:

Municipal Bond Defaults now continue at triple the typical rate:

This not only sets the stage for statewide bankruptcies, it also threatens to bring down large holders of municipal securities, such as Citigroup and U.S. Bancorp:

Usually, muni-bonds are used by investors as a tax haven and hedge to weather credit storms like that which we are seeing now, yet, investors in the past few months have begun dumping their municipals like a bad date. I believe we will begin hearing about state defaults before the end of the year.

The Dollar? Stick A Fork In It, It’s Done: As we recently predicted, the dollar has broken its traditional relationship with the stock market. Usually, when investors pull their money out of stocks, they then place it in dollar based securities as a safe haven. This causes the dollar to increase in value. In the past few weeks, though, the dollar has plummeted at the same time as stocks! This means investors no longer trust the dollar as a safe haven investment during a market crisis. As we have said for years, when this signal happens, the dollar is ripe for meltdown.

Central banks across the world are beginning to abandon the U.S. dollar:

Despite the uncertainty in Europe, the dollar has still sunk against the Euro faster than it has in the past year:

In 2008, I predicted that China would radically re-engineer its economy, changing it from an export based hub to a self sustaining consumer hub. I predicted that they would depeg the Yuan from the Dollar after this move was done, and following that, they would dump their vast holdings of U.S. treasuries, causing the dollar to lose its world reserve status, destroying its value, and creating hyperinflation in prices here in the U.S. So far, the first two events have already occurred. China has depegged its currency from the dollar and is allowing it to begin appreciating. They have also almost finished converting their economy into a consumer system while continuing exports through the ASEAN trading bloc:

The Yuan is now being globalized by the Chinese in an effort to strengthen its base and make it viable as a reserve currency:

Some analysts have suggested that the globalization of the Yuan could take years, however, this is not necessarily so. If the U.S. dollar were to collapse, or the Euro, or both, the Yuan suddenly would look extremely viable as a reserve currency. I believe this is exactly what will happen, and, I believe China will begin depleting its U.S. Treasury holdings in the next 6 months.

Interestingly, some in China have gone out of their way to deny that such plans are in the wings, and the MSM has helped to facilitate this fallacy:

Set aside the fact that others in China are calling for the government to dump U.S. Treasuries:

Now would be the perfect time considering the dollar’s recent rise due to the problems in the EU. A bond dump at this time would mean China could reap maximum profits before a final monetary breakdown. China is reverting to a consumer hub and is no longer relying on exports to the U.S., so the idea that they have any reason whatsoever to continue holding onto U.S. Treasuries is absurd.

The final key to the coming Chinese treasury dump, I feel, is in the relationship between China and Germany. Germany is really the primary pillar of the EU, without it, the EU could not exist. A barely publicized visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on July 15th may be the final piece of a long escalating financial relationship between China and the stronger countries of the EU:

A Chinese / German financial alliance could create a core economic “shell” which might withstand an anticipated disintegration in the U.S. and some of the more indebted European nations. I do not expect the dollar as we know it to survive past 2011.

The Line Has Been Crossed

I have never seen so many indicators of total meltdown, when compared to past economic collapses throughout history, as I see today. Not to sound melodramatic, but I’m really not certain if I will be writing these financial analysis articles for much longer. I suspect that before the year is out there will be no more need, being that every facet I have laid out over the years will become glaringly obvious to everyone.

As I have stated so many times, we may not be able to stop these events from unfolding, but we can determine there final outcome. Prepare for the worst, because I have no doubt you are liable to see it before the next few years are done. Stand by your principles. Never compromise your conscience. And above all else, survive. No ending culminates without the graces of a new life, one full of possibility. It is up to you, the staunch and independent American individual, to see that that possibility is realized regardless of any obstacle or enemy. A fiscal catastrophe will not stop us, it will not break our spirits, it will not enslave us. It will only strengthen our resolve to remain forever defiant, and forever free.

Chavez Praises Banco de Venezuela Growth

Chavez Praises Banco de Venezuela Growth on the First Anniversary of its Nationalisation

Caracas, July 19, 2010 ( Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez declared the performance of the nationalized Banco de Venezuela unprecedented, one year after it passed formally into public hands.

At an event last Thursday to commemorate the first anniversary of the nationalization, Chavez proclaimed, “I don’t know if there has been any experience like it before in Venezuela of such growth. That means a lot of things. This throws out all of that information that is emitted from the laboratories of psychological warfare that global capitalism has set up in Venezuela … that manipulate and put fear in the minds of Venezuelans.”

He revealed an increase in deposits of 50.1% at the bank that make it the top performer in the country. “Today, the Bank of Venezuela is in first place out of all the banks in the country. When it was nationalized, and made the property of the nation, it was third place with Bs. 25.7 billion. Now it is in first place, with Bs. 38.6 billion in deposits.”

The loan profile of the bank to the productive sectors of the economy also increased in line with the government’s determination to ensure the Venezuelan financial sector works in the national interest.

Total loans made by Banco de Venezuela went up by 25.6% from Bs. 14.5 billion to Bs. 18.3 billion and manufacturing sector loans alone increased by 76.5% from Bs. 712.5 million to Bs. 1.3 billion.

Chavez also praised the doubling of loans to the housing sector. “The loan profile for housing was Bs. 582 million in June 2009, while at the end of June 2010 it reached Bs.1.2 billion, in other words, almost a 100% increase in credits for housing.”

Some Bs. 556 million were invested in other parts of the productive sectors of the economy and revenues that the bank made were valued at Bs. 400 million.

“This demonstrates a growth of 20% if you compare it with the revenues obtained during the first half-year of 2009, despite the fact that we cut interest rates by 40%,” said Chavez.

The government bought the Bank of Venezuela from Banco Santander on July 3, 2009 for just over $1 billion and managed to maintain all 7,500 workers in jobs throughout the nationalization process.

According to Chavez, the private company was initially reluctant to sell the bank. He said at the time that "there is something obscure here because its owners first were desperate to sell and now they are saying they do not want to sell it to the Venezuelan state. We are going to nationalize it so that it is put at the service of the Venezuelan people."

He also said that the bank’s resources righfully belonged to "the Venezuelan people and also the Venezuelan government."

"We need a bank of that size because this is the Banco de Venezuela. This bank generates massive profits but these profits are going abroad."

The government has since taken over a dozen banks, many for illegal transactions and others for failing to invest in the development of the country.

Happy 92nd birthday, Nelson Mandela

Happy 92nd birthday, Nelson Mandela

As he embarks upon his 93rd circuit of the sun, Nelson Mandela remains a hero to his country and to the world

The Star, Jul 11 2010
By Oakland Ross Feature Writer

  • Imagine the village of Nelson Mandela’s youth.

    Then, as now, the community of Qunu was scattered across a proud range of hills in Eastern Cape province. When Mandela was a boy, the place was home to only a few hundred souls, who dwelled in beehive huts built of mud bricks, with floors fashioned from the stuff of crushed anthills.

    The men were usually far away, working as labourers on distant farms or digging in the sweat-soaked darkness deep beneath the earth, in the rich reef of gold that winds below the high plains surrounding Johannesburg.

    The women and children remained at home, living in extended families that drew few distinctions between aunts and mothers or siblings and cousins. Children respected their elders. White people were remote figures of authority, recognized for their power but rarely seen.

    Young boys tended small stocks of cattle, sheep, goats or horses. They wore blankets as their only clothing and scampered barefoot across the veld. They ate a cornmeal porridge known as mealies. They gathered honey, fruit, and root vegetables in the wild. They slept on mats without pillows. They played games they invented themselves, hide-and-seek or tag. With more daring than success, they sought to ride upon the backs of freshly weaned calves.

    The fourth-born of 13 children, Mandela became a herd boy himself at the age of five.

    He might easily have known a very different life from the one he has led — as a fighter against apartheid, as a long-time prisoner, and as president of his country, chosen in its first fully representative democratic election.

    As a lesser royal, he might have grown up to become an advisor to the paramount chief of his clan, to enter into an arranged marriage, and to father a passel of children.

    Over the slow course of the years, he would have aged gradually, accumulating facial lines, grey hair, creaking joints and a measure of wisdom, before departing this green Earth, leaving few traces of his passage apart from an assortment of bones, a smattering of footprints, the memories of his offspring.

    But, for Nelson Mandela, the gods conjured a different plan.

    On July 18, the man known to many by his clan name — Madiba — celebrates his 92nd birthday, yet another milestone in a long and extraordinary journey that has encompassed a multitude of lives.

    “He is at the epicentre of our times, ours in South Africa, and yours, wherever you are,” South African novelist Nadine Gordimer once remarked.

    She was paying tribute to the same soul who today embarks upon his 93rd circuit of the sun — a genuine hero, authentic and intact, in a world that seems to devour its favourites almost as quickly as it anoints them.

    Somehow, Nelson Mandela stands apart, and today we celebrate the man who marks his birthday a week after his country finished staging a huge international event — the first African country ever to host soccer’s World Cup.

    Congratulations, South Africa.

    Mandela’s sacrifices, his achievements and his influence have endured and will long go on enduring.

    He has been a master of timing in a disjointed time, someone who has always seemed to know when to whisper and when to shout, when to wait and when to demand, when to stay and when to depart.

    In a way, departure has been his genius. African leaders have the unfortunate habit — they are hardly alone in this — of overstaying their welcome, of installing themselves in power and refusing to leave, while cronyism, corruption and political sclerosis exact their inevitable and corrosive toll.

    Think of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe or Yoweri Museveni in Uganda, to name just two Big Men among a long list of once well-respected African leaders who have clung to power long after they plummeted from grace.

    But Nelson Mandela knew exactly when to leave.

    He left when his job was done.

    If life is a circle, then Mandela has gone all the way around.

    During his fourscore and 12 years, he has been a soldier, a prisoner, a president. He has been a husband, a father, a patriarch, a son.

    He is a man of peace who has been willing to die for his beliefs or, if necessary, to kill.

    When courage was demanded, he was courageous. When eloquence was needed, he was eloquent. When decisions were required, he was decisive. When it was time for sorrow, he shed real tears.

    But he is not, and never was, perfection. Like everyone else on this earth, he is said to be petulant at times. At times, he neglected his roles as husband and father. At least once, he married badly. It’s clear he possesses a mortal soul, has weaknesses as well as strengths, defects as well as virtues.

    And yet, whether in the gloom of a jail cell or the harsh light of public office, Mandela has managed to lead a multiple life, to be both a flesh-and-blood human as well something else, something even more mysterious — a vessel for our longings. He has willed himself to become what we needed him to be.

    More than a man, he is the best of ourselves.

    “I have met many politicians in my life, but I consider him to be the seminal figure of the 20th century,” says John Honderich, chair of Torstar Corp., which owns the Toronto Star. Honderich met Mandela on two occasions, once in Toronto and again in South Africa. “There’s an aura, a magic about the man.”

    Almost no one who has met him could possibly disagree.

    Mandela emerged from nearly three decades behind bars to become the first freely elected leader of South Africa, putting an end at last to the poisonous doctrine of racial separation known as apartheid.

    He was 46 when they sent him to jail, a small, stone-walled cell on South Africa’s infamous Robben Island, and he was 72 when he finally emerged again into the sunlight and the flash of cameras — already old, by most people’s standards. And yet, in many ways, it was as if his life had barely begun, as if all his years until that moment had merely been preparation for what still lay ahead.

    A people to lead. A nation to rule. A legend to become.

    Where other men might have succumbed to less exalted instincts, seeking reprisals and revenge, Mandela has served as an apostle of forgiveness.

    “During my lifetime, I have dedicated myself to the struggle of the African people,” he said while addressing a South African court in 1964, shortly after it had sentenced him to life imprisonment on a charge of treason. “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

    His life has been a journey from innocence through suffering toward something like peace.

    That life began in the village of Mvezo (the family moved later to Qunu), a sheltered and seemingly timeless corner of the continent, and a domain Mandela lovingly described in his 1994 autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom.

    As a young boy, Mandela was in many ways blessed. He was the son of Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa, a minor chief in the Thembu clan of the Xhosa nation, and the third of his four wives. His birth name was Rolihlahla, a Xhosa word that means “pulling the branch of the tree” but may be translated as “the troublemaker.”

    As he remembers them, those early years were an idyllic time, strangely insulated from the injustices that were embedded in the life of a young nation called South Africa, a land that had become independent from British rule only a few years earlier, in 1911.

    Few people around him learned to read or write, but Mandela was an exception, at least in part because his mother was a Christian and a Methodist — a rare circumstance in that clan, in those days. At an early age, the boy named Rolihlahla was sent off to attend a mission school.

    It was there, in keeping with the Eurocentric custom of the time, that Mandela received a Christian name. His teachers decided he should be known to the world as Nelson.

    Nelson Mandela.

    In 1930, Mandela’s father died, and the 12-year-old became the ward of his clan’s paramount chief, a man named Jongintaba Dalindyebo. He continued his studies, eventually matriculating at Healdtown secondary school.

    Mandela went on to pursue a college education at the University of Fort Hare, South Africa’s first university for black students. There, he met Oliver Tambo, another young African firebrand, and both young men got involved in student politics. They soon ran afoul of school authorities and were expelled.

    The year was 1940.

    Returning to his village, the 22-year-old Mandela was dismayed to find that Chief Dalindyebo had decided it was time for his young charge to marry and had even picked out a bride for him.

    True to his childhood name, the troublemaker had different ideas and promptly absconded to Johannesburg, where he found work as a night watchman in a gold mine — a line of employment that might well have led to an obscure life followed by a quickly forgotten death, but not for Nelson Mandela.

    At the time, South Africa was at war in Europe, fighting against Nazism on the side of the Allies. By some standards, those were hopeful times in the country also known as Suid Afrika, a nascent state ruled in uneasy alliance by its English- and Afrikaans-speaking elites.

    Some of the laws that restricted blacks were relaxed during this period, and liberal reformers briefly believed their fellow South Africans might yet take an enlightened path toward a just future.

    For Mandela, Johannesburg was a revelation — an introduction to the dehumanizing reality of a society in which black people lived but did not belong, worked but did not vote, obeyed but were not heard.

    He moved to Alexandra, a black neighbourhood of the city. Never content to moulder, he enrolled in the University of South Africa, studied in his spare time, and earned his bachelor’s degree by correspondence. That done, he started law school at the University of the Witwatersrand.

    At the same time, Mandela was forming close relationships with some of the other young men preparing themselves to lead the struggle for black liberation in South Africa. Now he became friendly with Walter Sisulu, among others.

    Together, they joined an existing black nationalist organization — the African National Congress — and formed a youth wing that rejected the caution and accommodation favoured by the ANC leadership of the day, whom Mandela once branded as “a dying order of pseudo-liberalism and conservatism, of appeasement and compromise.”

    In 1944, Mandela married for the first time. His wife was Evelyn Mase, a cousin of Sisulu. The union produced four children — two sons and two daughters — but it would end in divorce in 1952, a victim mainly of Mandela’s nearly complete absorption in his political activities.

    By then, the fleeting hope of political reform had evaporated, and the country was ruled by the Herenigde Nasionale Party led by D. F. Malan. First elected in 1948, the new government advocated a stifling, misanthropic form of racial segregation that Malan called apartheid, the Afrikaans word for “apartness.”

    The division of South Africa into three distinct worlds — white, black and mixed race — had long been recognized as a fact. Now it was to be promoted as a doctrine, a battery of laws, an ideal. Certain jobs — like certain neighbourhoods, certain parks, certain park benches, certain public washrooms, certain doorways, certain seats on the bus — were to be reserved for sleg blankes.

    Whites only.

    Accurate bookkeeping, rather than racial prejudice, provided the underpinning for this pervasive new approach to race relations, or that was the pretence.

    The policy spawned elaborate bureaucracies charged with determining who was white, who black, who coloured. Blacks were required to carry passbooks, restricting where they could live and where they could travel. Eventually, South Africa’s white-skinned rulers would devise an insane patchwork of imaginary black states, known as Bantustans. People consigned to life in these glorified slums were stripped of their South African citizenship and reduced to the status of supplicants.

    The whole jerry-rigged system was neurotic, delusional and inhuman. It was also the law of the land.

    Inevitably, those were incendiary times.

    Mandela, Sisulu, Tambo and others continued to push the ANC to confront white authorities more aggressively. In 1951, Mandela himself became head of the ANC’s youth wing.

    A year later, the same year that he and Tambo opened the first black law practice ever in South Africa, the Mandela became president of the ANC’s Transvaal chapter, including Johannesburg and its surrounding territory.

    Predictably, the new, more confrontational tactics of the ANC triggered an increase in state repression.

    In 1956, South African authorities arrested nearly the entire leadership of all organizations opposed to apartheid, a total of 156 people, charging the lot with treason — a crime punishable by death. Those put on trial included ANC president Albert Luthuli. They also included Nelson Mandela.

    The Treason Trial ground on for four years, until March, 1961, when all of the remaining defendants, including Mandela, were acquitted. It was during the trial that Mandela met and subsequently married a young woman named Nomzamo Noblanda Winnie Madikizela, who went on to considerable renown in her own right as Winnie Mandela.

    The years churned past, and South Africa’s interracial divisions continued to deepen.

    On March 21, 1960, South African police in a Transvaal township called Sharpeville opened fire on throngs of blacks who were protesting against the country’s system of pass laws. Sixty-nine people were killed and at least 180 more were wounded in what came to be known as the Sharpeville Massacre, a bloodletting that shocked the world and propelled South Africa’s racial conflict to a new and more volatile level.

    Like others in the ANC, Mandela drew one firm conclusion from the carnage at Sharpeville: the struggle for black liberation in South Africa could no longer be waged by non-violent means alone. He and others quickly set about establishing an armed wing for the ANC, a guerrilla force called Umkhonto we Sizwe or “Spear of the Nation.” Mandela was named commander of the force, and his career entered a shadowy, clandestine stage.

    In 1962, he snuck out of South Africa in order to attend a conference of African liberation movements in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital. He proceeded to Algeria for military training and then to London for meetings with British parliamentarians.

    On his return to South Africa, Mandela’s hard-won reputation for stealth — some had taken to calling him the Black Pimpernel — finally failed him. He was arrested, charged with leaving the country illegally and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.

    Hardly had that trial ended when another commenced.

    On July 11, 1963, South African police raided a farm outside the town of Rivonia near Johannesburg, where they arrested nine men, all evidently leaders of Umkhonto we Sizwe, and charged them with more than 200 offences that included making plans for an “armed invasion” of South Africa. As commander of the organization, Mandela was himself hauled up on the same charges.

    Of the 10 defendants, five were sentenced to life imprisonment, Mandela among them.

    With the others, he was banished to Robben Island, 12 kilometres off the South Africa coast from Cape Town. He arrived on a grey winter’s day, lashed by a bitter wind, and was promptly ordered to strip and don the standard-issue uniform for black prisoners — khaki shorts, a light sweater and canvas shoes without socks. They gave him the number 46664 and confined him to a cell no longer than he was tall.

    It was 1964, the same year the Beatles invaded North America.

    For the following 27 years, Mandela remained a prisoner. In the late 1960s, within the space of a year, his mother died and his eldest son was killed in an automobile accident, but Mandela was denied permission to attend their funerals.

    The prisoners spent long, stultifying hours crushing rocks into gravel. Still, Mandela and his fellow inmates also managed to organize a sort of underground school that operated without their warders’ knowledge. They were also able to put on musical concerts, and somehow managed to keep their spirits up despite the groaning weight of the years that stretched ahead.

    “We regarded it as our duty to keep ourselves current on the politics of the country,” Mandela would later write. “One of the advantages of going to the quarry was that warders’ sandwiches were wrapped in newspaper and they would often discard these newsprint wrappers in the trash, where we secretly retrieved them. We would distract the warders’ attention, pluck the papers out of the garbage, and slide them into our shirts.”

    By such means, they kept abreast of the news.

    These and other stratagems helped ease the boredom of prison life, while earning for the inmates an occasional thrill of victory, the sensation that they were not totally at the mercy of their keepers.

    When they were not breaking rocks or plotting ruses against their guards, the prisoners engaged in debates about the great themes of the day — or the most arcane. An abiding subject for discussion involved tigers: had they ever existed in Africa? Mandela was finally persuaded by other prisoners that, most likely, they never had.

    Because of his dignified bearing and natural air of authority, Mandela was regularly chosen by his fellow inmates to convey their grievances to prison authorities and to negotiate on their behalf.

    “He was a very welcoming person,” remembers Lionel Davis, a former political prisoner who spent seven years on Robben Island, at the same time Mandela was there. “He made you lose your fears a little.”

    In 1976, after he had spent 12 years on Robben Island, Mandela was given the chance to save his own skin. Jimmy Kruger, minister for police under then president B. J. Vorster, offered him a deal. He could leave the island, return to his home — now reconfigured as a Bantustan called the Transkei — and live out his days in what some might call freedom. In return, authorities asked only that Mandela renounce the struggle of his people.

    Instead, prisoner 46664 turned on his heels and marched back to his cell. His years of imprisonment could have ended in a single instant of weakness. Instead, they were not yet halfway done.

    A decade later, Mandela was offered an even more seductive deal, this time by justice minister Kobie Coetzee. All he needed to do to gain his release on this occasion was to renounce, not the struggle itself, but merely the use of violence to achieve the struggle’s goals.

    Again, he told them no.

    Mandela remained on Robben Island until 1982, when he was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town.

    Meanwhile, the cause of liberation in South Africa was attracting more and more global attention. In 1985, a small army of international music stars, including Bruce Springsteen and Miles Davis, recorded a song called “Free Nelson Mandela.”

    Three years later, Mandela was moved again, this time to the Victor Verster Prison outside Paarl.

    When he had first disappeared from the world’s view, relegated to the flat, wind-blown blister of Robben Island, Mandela had been a sturdy, muscular man in early middle age, with a rectangular visage, a broad jaw and a powerful frame. It was this youthful image of the man that somehow remained current in the eyes of the outside world, even as Mandela himself — the human being, not the symbol — slowly aged.

    Meanwhile, far beyond the confines of South Africa’s jails, the world was changing. In 1989, the Berlin Wall came crashing down, the Cold War was ending and the Soviet Union was tottering toward its demise.

    In its own ungainly fashion, South Africa was inching toward change as well. Cold War-era conflicts in Angola and Namibia finally burned out, and South African forces withdrew.

    P. W. Botha, the country’s president and an ossified relic of the old guard, suffered a heart attack and was replaced by a more imaginative, forward-looking man named F. W. de Klerk, someone able to recognize a dead end street when he was stumbling down it.

    Apartheid in 1989 was surely a dead end street.

    Although still a prisoner, Mandela was universally regarded as the pre-eminent black South African leader of the day — a man whose approval was crucial to the success of any project for political reform. He held his first audience with de Klerk in December 1989.

    From that point onward, the dismantling of South Africa’s system of racial separation proceeded at a faster pace than almost anyone could have predicted.

    On Feb. 11, 1990, Nelson Mandela walked through the gates of Victor Verster Prison, nearly three decades after first being incarcerated. He was greeted by an exuberant throng, many of whose members must have been surprised — perhaps even shocked — by the appearance of a man whom they knew mainly from old photographs.

    Nelson Mandela in the year 1990 was a healthy and agile fellow, but he was also a septuagenarian, well past what most Canadians would consider to be retirement age. His hair was greying. His frame seemed far sparer than it once had been. His demeanour was that of an elder statesman rather than a young rebel. Yet his life’s work had barely begun.

    Among Mandela’s first major acts after leaving prison was to do what international celebrities are expected do. He went on the road, an extended world tour that would help increase the weight of global pressure for the abolition of apartheid while also enhancing his own political heft. The trek brought him to Canada — including stops in Ottawa and Toronto — in June of 1990.

    It was not the last time he ventured so far north. Mandela was to return to Toronto on at least two other occasions, once in 1998 and again in 2001, when he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Ryerson University.

    Back in 1990, however, his most urgent concerns lay closer to home. He was elected to the helm of the ANC in 1991, and he soon set about negotiating South Africa’s transition from pariah state to majority rule.

    The process was far from smooth, and it was to be marred by violence, some inflicted by whites upon blacks but much pitting blacks against each other. The bloodiest of these disputes was the long-running conflict between the ANC — which some viewed as a vehicle for members of South Africa’s Xhosa tribe — and the Zulu-based Inkatha Freedom Party led by Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

    Despite obstacles, distractions and frustrations, Mandela and de Klerk pressed ahead. For their efforts, they shared the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize. By then, they had cleared the way for the country’s first-ever free elections, in which all adult citizens, no matter their race or colour, would be entitled to cast their ballots.

    The vote was held in April, 1994, and the ANC won a solid but not overwhelming victory.

    Intimately familiar with the hazards of possessing too little power, Mandela also understood the dangers of holding power in excess, and he expressed relief that his party had fallen short of a two-thirds majority, a result that would have permitted the ANC to rewrite the national constitution unilaterally.

    On May 10, 1994, Nelson Mandela delivered his inaugural address as the first president of a democratic South Africa — an event that must surely be numbered among the brightest moments in a century that careened between light and dark, between hope and despair.

    Even more than his assumption of national office, however, what distinguishes Mandela from many a politician was his readiness to surrender power when the right moment came, a remarkable decision for a national leader on a continent whose leaders too often seem to regard the trappings of high office as commodities to be retained for as long as they draw breath or, if possible, longer.

    In 1997, Mandela ceded the presidency of the ANC to Thabo Mbeki. Two years later, he stepped down as South Africa’s ruler.

    By the time he left office, Mandela had divorced his second wife, the scandal-prone Winnie Mandela, and made a sensible and by all appearances happy third marriage to Graça Machel, widow of late Mozambican president Samora Machel.

    The two were married on Mandela’s 80th birthday, in 1998.

    As for his decision to leave active politics, the man’s sense of timing was characteristically impeccable.

    “Mandela realized he would be more effective outside government than in government,” says Davis, who once shared a prison block on Robben Island with Mandela. “It’s outside of government that Mandela made his mark.”

    As a former president, Mandela has been able to rise above the squabbles of day-to-day political life. He established a philanthropic institution, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and has thrown the weight of his name behind a range of noble causes, advancing the welfare of Africa’s young, for example, and also lobbying on behalf of the millions of men, women, and children suffering from HIV and AIDS.

    In 2004, Mandela announced his retirement from public life. “Don’t call me, I’ll call you,” he joked at the time.

    But call, they did. At times, so has he.

    Considering the stigma that still attaches itself to AIDS in Africa, Mandela made a courageous decision in 2005 when he acknowledged publicly that one of his own offspring — Makgatho, a son by his first wife — had lost his life to the disease.

    Many interpreted the carefully worded statement as a deliberate rebuke of Thabo Mbeki, Mandela’s successor as president, who had gained international infamy for his antediluvian views on AIDS — views many experts blame for the premature and unnecessary deaths of hundreds of thousands of South Africans.

    It was not the only time Mandela has spoken out from his retirement. On several occasions, he has used his influence to narrow rifts among South African leaders. In 2008, he condemned abuses of power being committed by Robert Mugabe, the president of neighbouring Zimbabwe.

    More recently, a Clint Eastwood movie called Invictus, partly about rugby but mainly about Mandela, has reawakened memories of the man around the world, while South Africa’s hosting of this year’s World Cup has refocused international attention on the country and, inevitably, on its greatest hero, too.

    South Africa without apartheid is not a paradise, as Mandela himself would readily admit. The country has its troubles and its tensions. It suffers from crime, poverty and abiding inequality. But its people can vote, they can speak their minds, they can run for public office, and they can come and go as they please. If these are not triumphs, it is difficult to imagine what triumphs might be.

    Nowadays, Mandela and his wife, live near Qunu, the village where he was raised. They dwell in a house by a quiet stream, in a valley surrounded by gentle hills.

    There, Mandela indulges a taste for private times and simple pleasures — a breakfast of porridge with fresh fruit and milk, for example, or the music of Handel or Tchaikovsky played at sunset, or visits from his three surviving children (from a total of six) and his 18 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, not to mention four step-children and four step-grandchildren from his final marriage.

    At 92, Mandela is a frail version of his younger self and is seldom seen in public anymore. Yet his influence and his legacy endure, both within South Africa and around the globe.

    On his long walk to freedom, Nelson Mandela carried a people, a nation and the hopes of the world. He did not let them fall.

    Happy Birthday, Madiba.

Pourquoi soutenir la campagne présidentielle de Cheminade

Pourquoi vous devez soutenir la campagne présidentielle de Jacques Cheminade

Dans son Projet contre les puissances de chantage du fascisme financier, section II, Jacques Cheminade lançait en décembre 2006 l'avertissement suivant :

« Le système financier et monétaire international actuel, celui du FMI et de la Réserve fédérale américaine (Fed), est un système de monnaie privée sous la coupe de l’oligarchie financière internationale. Un conglomérat mondial d’intérêts financiers, de banques et de compagnies d’assurance fait prévaloir ses spéculations contre tout investissement à long terme : ainsi, alors que la masse monétaire mondiale a été multipliée par quarante au cours de ces trente dernières années, la masse de biens et de services mondiaux n’a que quadruplé. Environ 500 000 milliards de créances financières de toute sorte constituent, dans le monde, dix fois plus que le total de la production mondiale de biens et de services.

« C’est dire que, physiquement, le système actuel est de fait en banqueroute. Sa désintégration est imminente.

« Un nouveau Bretton Woods est donc nécessaire pour éviter le chaos et organiser une relance physique. Il consiste à rétablir la loi des Etats-nations sur les monnaies. Une dévaluation du dollar, elle, n’arrangerait rien pour personne car elle ruinerait tout le monde : les banques centrales des pays autres que les Etats-Unis ont accepté des dollars comme réserves monétaires dans de très fortes proportions (90 % dans le cas de la Banque centrale européenne).

« La seule solution "physique", cohérente avec une politique de grands travaux à long terme, est donc de revenir à un monde de monnaies publiques, attachées à la production réelle de biens et à l’équipement à moyen et long terme des économies. »

Ce projet a donc été publié le 29 décembre 2006 par Jacques Cheminade, en tant que candidat à l'élection présidentielle d'avril 2007, quelques mois avant celle-ci.

Ceux qui ne souffrent pas d'amnésie se souviendront que pas une seule fois, au cours de cette élection, n'a été évoqué la moindre possibilité d'une crise financière, même mineure, et pourtant imminente.

En effet, une crise majeure, d'un ordre de grandeur semblable à celle dont avait averti Jacques Cheminade, a explosé le 28 juillet 2007, en plein été, et ce à peine deux mois après l'élection de notre nouveau président.

Cette crise a d'abord été décrite par nos plus grands plumitifs comme un « simple éclatement de la bulle des sub-prime » aux Etats-Unis, un événement qui « n'aurait aucun impact notable sur les économies européennes ». Puis, en octobre 2008, après la faillite de Lehman Brothers aux Etats-Unis, les gouvernements européens mettaient en place, pendant que Nicolas Sarkozy déblatérait sur le Nouveau Bretton Woods (un concept qu'il a piqué chez LaRouche et Cheminade pour le vider ensuite de tout son sens), un plan de renflouement sans précédent des banques européennes.

Trois ans plus tard, rebelotte ! Le système menace plus que jamais de s'effondrer, à nouveau. Encore une fois en plein été !

Cette fois-ci cependant, les Etats ne sont plus là pour renflouer, car les bâtiments ont été sérieusement endommagés par la première secousse.

Beaucoup parmi vous doutent, à l'image de Saint-Thomas, de la réalité de cette menace, pourtant plus imminente et évidente que jamais !

Jacques Cheminade est, quant à lui, depuis le 18 juin dernier, à nouveau candidat (voir sa déclaration de candidature ici). Il invite « tous les patriotes, sans esprit de réseau ni d’allégeance, à se mettre en rapport avec [lui] pour éveiller les grands foyers d’inspiration brûlant dans notre pays et les unir à ceux des autres ».

Ainsi il est grandement temps de vous engager. Nombreux sont ceux parmi vous qui nous observent du coin de l'oeil, attendant un signal extérieur (de victoire ?) pour faire le premier pas.

Cependant vous pouvez, a défaut ou en attandant de vous engager en tant que militant, contribuer financièrement à l'effort de Solidarité et Progrès. Je vous invite pour cela à vous rendre ici.

Tout en vous remerciant par avance pour votre soutien, bien cordialement,

Votre webmestre

Cliquez ici pour le texte complet
de sa déclaration de candidature

Gold, silver suppression, BIS swaps

Max Keiser interviews Ben Davies on gold, silver suppression, BIS swaps


8:56a ET Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold (and Silver):

On today's edition of "The Keiser Report" on the Russia Today television network, Max Keiser interviewed Ben Davies, CEO of Hinde Capital in London, about suppression of gold and silver prices to support the fiat currency system. They also discussed the recent gold swaps surreptitiously undertaken by the Bank for International Settlements, which Davies suspects were a mechanism for central banks to provide metal to cover a serious shortage in the gold market and continue price suppression. Keiser's interview with Davies is about 14 minutes long and begins at about 13 minutes here:

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc. Section:

8:56a ET Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold (and Silver):

On today's edition of "The Keiser Report" on the Russia Today television network, Max Keiser interviewed Ben Davies, CEO of Hinde Capital in London, about suppression of gold and silver prices to support the fiat currency system. They also discussed the recent gold swaps surreptitiously undertaken by the Bank for International Settlements, which Davies suspects were a mechanism for central banks to provide metal to cover a serious shortage in the gold market and continue price suppression. Keiser's interview with Davies is about 14 minutes long and begins at about 13 minutes here:

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.



di Filippo Giannini

25 luglio 1943, le logge massoniche-liberalcapitaliste in quegli anni, anche se fortemente domate, ancora resistevano negli ambienti industriali e vicini alla Corona. Riprendiamo alcune pagine del mio volume “Il sangue e l’oro” per proporre ai lettori un fatto poco noto o, comunque, trascurato per spiegare certi avvenimenti accaduti in quei giorni.

Il 21 aprile 1943 Vittorio Emanuele III aveva ricevuto alcuni uomini politici che lo sollecitavano ad allontanare il Capo del Governo. La cosa era stata segnalata a Mussolini il quale rispose che era a conoscenza di questo incontro, ma che fidava nella lealtà del Re: "Lealtà", aveva sottolineato "di cui non era lecito dubitare".

Due giorni prima il Duce aveva nominato Tullio Cianetti ministro delle Corporazioni.

Cianetti, quando nell’agosto 1939 apprese dell’accordo Ribbentrop-Molotov, reagì con soddisfazione. Infatti aveva scritto: "consideravo il sovietismo, il nazionalsocialismo ed il fascismo molto più vicini e simili di quanto non lo fossero nei confronti delle grandi democrazie plutocratiche".

Proprio per queste idee Tullio Cianetti era considerato negli ambienti di Corte "elemento troppo spinto e pericoloso". Ma, almeno in parte, le idee di Cianetti erano condivise anche da Mussolini: che egli fosse anticomunista è fuori discussione, ma non era antisovietico.

Ad accreditare questa tesi è sufficiente ricordare gli insistenti tentativi di Mussolini per indurre, nel corso della guerra, Hitler a trovare il mezzo per giungere ad una pace separata con l’URSS e rivolgere così tutti gli sforzi contro i reali nemici del fascismo: le democrazie plutocratiche.

Ma torniamo al "più rosso dei neri" o al "comunista del Littorio", come era chiamato Cianetti in un certo ambiente.

La stesura di questa sezione di capitolo è suggerita da un esame del libro di “Memorie” del Ministro delle Corporazioni, che nella Prefazione avverte: "Queste pagine non sono state scritte per piacere a qualcuno. Le ho scritte nelle carceri della Repubblica Sociale Italiana: i capitoli essenziali mentre attendevo il processo nelle carceri di Verona; gli altri secondari, subito dopo le tragiche giornate di Castelvecchio".

Mussolini, che trascorreva in casa un periodo di convalescenza, ricevette Cianetti a Villa Torlonia in un pomeriggio degli ultimi di maggio 1943. Il colloquio durò più di due ore. Il Duce appariva stanco e dimagrito, Cianetti avrebbe voluto parlargli brevemente, ma Mussolini gli disse: "Non vi preoccupate e ditemi con schiettezza tutto quello che avete intenzione di espormi".

Cianetti: "Duce, desidero innanzi tutto fare una premessa, dichiarandovi che io credo al corporativismo forse come al vangelo di Nostro Signore".

Mussolini: "Perché dite questo?"

Cianetti: "Perché ce ne è bisogno".

Mussolini: "Anch’io credo al corporativismo (…). Avete un progetto?".

Cianetti: " Si parla molto di concentrazioni industriali e lo si fa senza rendersi conto della portata di un così vasto problema. La concentrazione delle industrie presuppone quella del capitale e quando questo ha raggiunto un certo stadio si slitta con più facilità verso i monopoli, nei confronti dei quali desidero manifestarvi, fin da questo momento, la mia più netta avversione".

Mussolini si dice d’accordo e invita Cianetti a continuare.

Cianetti: "Desidero prospettarvi qualche cosa di più importante in merito agli sviluppi della politica sociale. In questi ultimi anni il Regime, per effetto della guerra, ha dovuto deviare da alcune linee maestre. La quasi carenza corporativa e l’enorme accrescimento dei complessi industriali hanno alterato, a danno dei lavoratori, un equilibrio che potrebbe compromettere l’attuazione definitiva del corporativismo (…). Ricordo che qualche anno fa voi mi diceste che, finché vivrete, non sarebbero sorti più complessi industriali dell’entità della FIAT e della Montecatini; purtroppo quel pericolo che volevate scongiurare esiste e si potrebbe dire che è già in atto. Vi chiedo pertanto che si dia valore e sostanza ad un principio già enunciato e cioè: quando i complessi industriali superano un certo limite, perdono il loro carattere privatistico ed assumono un aspetto pubblico e conseguentemente collettivo".

Il Duce, nel corso dell’esposizione, aveva continuamente fatto cenno di condividere il punto di vista del suo interlocutore. "E allora?" chiese.

Cianetti: "Allora non c’è che un rimedio: stroncare la tendenza al monopolio e socializzare le aziende più importanti".

Mussolini: "Voi pensate che siamo maturi per la socializzazione?".

Cianetti: "Penso che siamo in notevole ritardo, Duce. La socializzazione è cosa troppo seria perché si possa attuare di colpo (…). Siamo al quarto anno di guerra e le guerre accelerano fatalmente i tempi dell’evoluzione sociale. Avremo reazioni violente da parte di alcuni capitalisti, ma questi signori si devono convincere che oggi non si sfugge più al dilemma: o corporativismo o collettivismo".

In pratica il Duce accetta in toto il programma di Cianetti, poi disse: "E’ importantissimo: potremmo presentarlo al Consiglio dei Ministri nel mese di ottobre".

Ma Cianetti osserva: "No, Duce, mi permetto di insistere sull’urgenza del provvedimento, data la inevitabile perdita di tempo alla quale ho accennato. Vi propongo, quindi, di non andare oltre il mese di luglio o agosto".

Mussolini: "Sta bene, parlate con il Ministro della Giustizia e superate con lui gli ostacoli formali".

Uscendo da Villa Torlonia Cianetti sapeva "di andare incontro a difficoltà non comuni".

Interessante è leggere le motivazioni con le quali Alfredo De Marsico, Ministro della Giustizia, bocciò il progetto di Mussolini e Cianetti (“Memorie”, pag. 385):

De Marsico: "Tu, caro Cianetti, con questa legge mi calpesti e mi devasti addirittura tutto il diritto tradizionale".

Cianetti: "Non lo metto in dubbio, ma osservo soltanto che il diritto non può congelare la vita e l’evoluzione degli uomini; o serve ad entrambe o sarà spazzato quando si rivelerà un ostacolo al progresso sociale".

De Marsico: "Ma io non posso ignorarlo, questo diritto, e tanto meno infirmarlo".

Cianetti: "Chi pretende questo? Io ti chiedo soltanto di trovare le formule che siano atte alla preparazione di un clima giuridico che possa accogliere le innovazioni sociali che propongo. Tu non puoi chiuderti nel sancta santorum del tuo tempio, ignorando un fermento sociale che va incanalato".

De Marsico: "D’accordo, ma mentre tu sei la fiumana che avanza, io non posso essere che la diga che frena".

Cianetti: "Scusa se ti interrompo, caro De Marsico, ma il paragone non regge. Ammesso che io rappresenti la fiumana, non ti pare che sia poco saggia l’esistenza di una diga? La fiumana deve andare al mare; opporle una diga vuol dire provocare inondazioni e disastri. Alla fiumana si preparano il letto, gli argini e le piccole serre a cascata per regolarne il corso verso il mare; è proprio quello che io ti chiedo. Non parliamo, quindi, di dighe, ma predisponiamoci a costruire gli argini".

Ci siamo soffermati a lungo sulle memorie di Cianetti perché siamo convinti che la “congiura di Corte e militare”, già in programma per rovesciare il Governo fascista, fu accelerata nell’invitare Cianetti a "parlare con il Ministro della Giustizia", che vedremo in prima linea la notte del 24/25 luglio. Uomo della destra liberale, legatissimo alla Dinastia della quale rappresentava, oltretutto, gli interessi, De Marsico oppose il più deciso rifiuto anche all’esame del provvedimento, minacciando addirittura le dimissioni.

Il Duce, data la situazione militare difficilissima, cercò di evitare che a quella si aggiungesse anche una crisi ministeriale. Sicché fu costretto a soprassedere; ma, come ricorda Cianetti, lo rassicurò garantendogli che il provvedimento sarebbe comunque stato varato, "ma non prima del mese di ottobre".

Scrive a conclusione di questa vicenda Santorre Salvioli (“StoriaVerità”, N° 16) e del quale condividiamo l’opinione: "Non è da escludere che, riferito dal De Marsico ai vertici del Quirinale e dell’organizzazione capitalistica, la intenzione svoltista di Mussolini sia stata fra le cause scatenanti del Colpo di Stato del 25 luglio, posto paradossalmente in essere con l’ausilio involontario – non determinante - di Tullio Cianetti e del suo gruppo".

Tullio Cianetti, quasi al termine della sua vita osserva: "Come è avvenuto nel passato, si continuerà a truffare il mondo in nome della libertà e della democrazia di cui sarebbero depositari perenni – non si sa perché – i responsabili principali delle più grandi ingiustizie e schiavitù" Le sottolineature sono di FG).

Il colloquio con Cianetti in quel lontano giugno 1943, probabilmente va letto nella consapevolezza di Mussolini che la guerra per l’Asse era fortemente compromessa, e il suo animo di vecchio socialista gli imponeva di lasciare l’Italia, anche se sconfitta militarmente, socializzata, cioè vincitrice sul piano delle innovazioni sociali. La stessa operazione verrà riproposta l’anno successivo. Cianetti al termine della guerra, nel 1947, si trasferì in Mozambico dove morì nel 1976.

IRTA’s Opinion Letter To EU To Protect Barter

IRTA’s Opinion Letter To EU To Protect Barter Industry In Europe

On July 14, the International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA) together with IRTA-Europe submitted a two-page opinion letter to the European Union Commissioner for Market and Services to effectively protect the status of barter exchanges located within the European Union. The EU is presently considering regulations in a Financial Directive that if adopted could adversely affect barter exchanges there.

Therefore, IRTA’s letter has requested that the European Union:

· Exempt trade clearinghouses from any proposed regulations that may regulate financial clearinghouses.

· Modify the proposed language to assure that it is not so broad as to include trade clearinghouses under any regulatory plan that is intended for financial clearinghouses.

As part of this message included below is the full text of the IRTA letter.

IRTA founder Paul Suplizio chaired the committee that created the letter; it was then approved unanimously by the IRTA Global Board of Directors and the members of IRTA-Europe. IRTA President David Wallach and IRTA-Europe Chairperson Dorottya Szabo signed the letter on behalf of the Modern Trade and Barter Industry.

For more information e-mail Ron Whitney at or call (757) 393-2292.

2010 Letter from IRTA - Click here (PDF)