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EU-Greece

Hi,
Here’s a video I found interesting


Chomsky mostly in the role of interviewer. Interviewee is the finance minister of Greece who resigned.
Pretty good run-down of relevant European history, some crucial points where US- and corporate power tie in!

C ya

Goldman’s Greek Gambit

http://www.thenation.com/article/goldmans-greek-gambit/

Generic news on the economy :-)

Click on the link and get ready to giggle!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HN2iVe8_Ato

It’s very poignant, because it also includes the subtle lies we still encounter every day:

Bees are a bad metaphor for money. Bees (insofar as they have not yet been eradicated by modern agriculture) are self-organizing. Money, on the other hand, is NOT self-organizing. It follows paths very carefully crafted and maintained by people.

Furthermore, printing and minting money is NOT money creation. The fact that countries get to put their name on those things is merely to indicate who foots the bill whenever things go pear-shaped. According to a document you can find here, British TV did try to show the process of money being ‘made’ (i.e. created). If anyone saw this, please post a link here in the comments section. It would make for a refreshing change – THANKS!

www.banks-need-boundaries.net relaunch

We have given our website an up-to-date technical base (Joomla 3) and a facelift, check it out: www.banks-need-boundaries.net

Austrian Association Against Predatory Credit files class-action lawsuit against Deutsche Bank

Since the current political class seems neither able nor willing to protect citizens from hazardous banking practices, the Austrian Association Against Predatory Credit ‘Kreditopferverein‘ (AAPC) is launching its first class-action lawsuit against systemic fraud by banks.
In November 2013, the European Commission fined a number of large banks for manipulating LIBOR and EURIBOR. As these two reference interest rates can be found in most credit contracts, the fraud affected millions of debtors. To date, no one has taken steps toward compensating the debtors. Worse still, debtors are expropriated when they have trouble paying and their property is forcibly auctioned off (foreclosure) – despite their having paid interest rates built on a manipulated base rate.
For too long, there has been no certainty regarding the full extent of the damage by LIBOR/EURIBOR manipulation. AAPC’s current class-action lawsuit wants to help achieve this certainty. One must also ask the question, whether contracts that are partly based on deceit can even be legally valid. For AAPC, this lawsuit is one step towards fixing fundamental flaws in our system.
Contrary to common knowledge, banks don’t lend out the money of savers, but create new money out of thin air whenever they make a loan – without a real asset base! The upshot of this is that our money supply is in the hands of a few banks – how undemocratic! Democracy is a farce without democratic money.

Original press release (German): “KOV Kreditopferverein klagt Deutsche Bank

Princes of Yen

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5Ac7ap_MAY

Thanks, RM, for the tip – a fascinating film about the power of central banks.

Save the 1%!

The wealth gap between rich and poor is widening. However, so is the gap between the elite and the super-elite. That’s right folks – they’re getting screwed too! More than half the wealth in the top 1% is going to the top 0.1%.°

Save the top one percent!

Of course, one must continue to pay attention to the 99%. They need support by organizations for human rights, worker rights and involvement, tax justice, freedom of the press, charitable organizations.°° However, helping them is a drawn-out, hard struggle. One not only fights for the cause, but also for money to support it. In a way, you’re an activist and a salesman. Not easy.

Saving the top 1% has no such drawbacks. One must simply start by making sure they know how they’re getting screwed (they rarely do), and then aid them in fixing the mechanisms. Because it’s all part of the same system, the 99% will benefit. Many of the same tools are being used to rob both groups:

* Value-added tax (it’s regressive!)

* Bailouts (too-big-to-fail and straight bailouts “to save jobs”)

* Dumb-down media (can you believe that some of the top 1% I met over the holidays didn’t even know about TTIP?)

(Neither did hardly any of them know the German “aid” money to Greece was just new debt, to repay wealthy banks/hedge funds. It ping-ponged right back to Germany and France, mostly the super-elite, and whoever’s selling two submarines to the Greek army.)

* Tax-avoidance tricks. Ranging from tax havens to simple over-use of business-expense accounts: Business-class flights, or going out for meals that are more about eating than meeting.

* Totalitarian corporations. Today’s technology would be perfect for integrating workers better in decision-making, not to mention profits! Instead, we have global tyranny.

* A propos technology: more often than not, it was developed at public expense (universities), and then handed over to private power for profit (patents). Sometimes, the patents on new developments are even bought up for the sole purpose of preventing progress.

* So-called “free trade”, which isn’t free trade. Just because money is crossing borders, doesn’t mean it’s trade. And what’s “free” about it, is primarily the freedom of lobbyists and lawyers to influence legislation behind the scenes on behalf of their paymasters.

* So-called “globalization”, which really is just one specific kind of global integration. Geared to suit the neoliberal agenda. When Marx addressed “workers of the world”, he was advocating a different (bad?) kind of globalization.

* The very system by which money is created and how it is destroyed, see banks-need-boundaries.net

* Financialization of the economy. Most of the money used to be in the real economy, now it’s zooming around the globe to turn money into more money, and to kill unloved social policies by capital flight (veto of the Virtual Senate). The average time a stock was held used to be months, now it’s seconds. High-frequency trading and other nifty programs also means brain-drain: these people could be working on green technologies, cancer, you name it…

* The public relations industry geared towards the “manufacturing of consent” (Lippmann) for the top 0.1%’s short-term needs. (The long-term ones, such as air for their grandkids, are excluded!)

* Privatization, public-private “partnerships”, death of the commons, rise of gated communities.

All of these points involve/reinforce an upwards redistribution, the legitimacy of which must be challenged by those losers in the top 1%. HELP THEM HELP THEMSELVES😉

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Some mechanisms that rob only the bottom 99% – need to be challenged, too:

* Scientific methods of strike-breaking – mobilizing the community against unions.

* The lottery. It’s a tax on mathematical incompetence and desperation – more widespread at the bottom.

* Fees, e.g. for public transport (anyway just to clear roads for limos and SUVs). All fees are a regressive tax!

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° Numbers taken from The Trillion Dollar Meltdown, one of the first books about the crisis, page 140. In this section of the book, Charles R. Morris goes on to debunk arguments used by conservative lobbies to deny that the wealth gap is widening. Mainly US-based, and using numbers from 1980 to 2005. My feeling is that if you’d include other countries and numbers until today, we’d see it’s getting worse rather than better. This has to do with the lackeys of the top 0.1% working to rig the system in their paymasters’ favour (often even against their own…they just hope to one day be part of it) – they’re also rigging the system by which the system can be altered. Basically continuing what the founding fathers did, setting up “checks and balances”.

°° But: “Donating money and then deducting it from taxes is just a way of bypassing the government and assuming its role for yourself.”

 

 

Paying fines with pre-tax money

Can banks deduct fines from taxes?

Last month, the Swiss government said “No” (SRF, German link).

Hope everyone gets the news!

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The main branch of ‘Banks need Boundaries’ is currently AAPC in Austria, dedicated to a kind of class-action to help victims of predatory lending and raise awareness about problems relating to modern money-creation. More info in German: www.kreditopferhilfe.net

NATO to Iraq?

It’s hard to believe this is ten years old.

 

What have we learned ?

 

http://archive.org/details/NoamChomsky-ColumbiaUniversity2004

 

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p.s. If one were to talk about NATO – how about discussing its ABOLITION? One of the great missed opportunities: seeing the Warsaw Pact collapse without dissolving its western twin sister😦

TTIP ridicule

Our petition‘s final words: “institutions that are not democratically legitimized should be rejected.”

Today, negotiators return to discussing the terms of TTIP, the planned free-trade agreement between US and EU.

 

The country I live in, Switzerland, recently made such a deal with China. What this means is that Swiss industry gets to play footsie under the table with its Chinese counterparts, while everyone else must put their cards on the table.

 

Regularly, such agreements harm the people of both countries involved, and don’t even help ‘trade’ (but make it easier to shift stuff around between different branches of the same corporation).

 

Personally, I’d have liked to see some free trade when China was ready to export cheap solar cells in the wake of Fukushima. No chance – extra import tax, presumably thanks to effective lobby work we’ll never know about.

 

Instead, here’s some healing humour – click here to enjoy the video!

 

Sigmar Gabriel’s pompous reaction to the anti-TTIP petition is typical for anyone representing industry. As with MAI, if this thing is successfully smashed, it won’t be thanks to guys like him, but you and me! Thanks for sharing this lavishly on both sides of the Atlantic.

 

To be sure: Things aren’t perfect in Germany either. However, most of the scandals (poison in eggs, EHEC germs, undeclared horse meat in beef products) were illegal. TTIP and similar efforts usually want to fix the laws to make the shortcuts legal.