Skip to main content

ECB's economic hitmen

globinfo freexchange

What was the trend in the last decade of the 20th century that ensured the dominance of neoliberal doctrines of capitalism across the planet? If your first response is the collapse of the former USSR and the Eastern bloc, think again. Behind the celebrations and observations about the alleged domination of liberal bourgeois democracy, one of the biggest attacks was held on peoples' rights to control even falsified, through representatives, the economy of their country.

Sawing off the branch on which it sat, the political establishment across the world began to offer different levels of independence to central banks. The political establishment obeyed to the dominant view among market participants, according to which, politicians through the provision of benefits to the people, cause extreme cyclical fluctuations in the economy, which only an independent central banker could balance. In fact, politicians, apart from the twig on which they sat were also sawing the tree of democracy. "The independence of central banks", Naomi Klein explained to me a few years ago, "is the mechanism by which markets explain to the politicians that they cannot play with their toys. It is the most important evidence that the markets are in an open war with democracy."

The European Central Bank not only could not be an exception in this situation but soon became the most ruthless "economic killer" who acted on behalf of commercial banks of countries such as Germany. Using the central bankers of member countries as a "fifth column", ECB managed to impose its positions in parliaments of weak countries when needed to overrule the governments that did not cooperate.

The fact that the European Union lacks political control mechanisms on such institutions, leaves ECB completely uncontrolled. In the US, where the FED enjoys the same "independence", would be considered unthinkable for the central banker to come into conflict with the interests of the federal government, for example by refusing to buy Treasuries to help the national economy to emerge from a crisis. Unlike in Europe, the ECB has refused several times to listen to the wishes of even the Eurogroup, declaring allegiance only in Berlin, or, in specific financial institutions.

As Barroso's former advisor Philippe Legrain revealed to the Greek Truth Commission for Public Debt, the refusal of ECB's previous president, Jean-Claude Trichet, to consider any potential restructuring of Greek debt in 2010, was aimed solely at rescuing certain French and German banks which were particularly exposed to Greek debt.

As the debt crisis deepened, leading the economies of the European region in hostage under the respective central banker of the eurozone, the ECB clearly took the role of an "economic hitman". While Washington had access, during previous decades, at CIA to ensure its dominance in South America, Berlin began in 2008 to entrust 'destabilization' operations to the ECB. The dress rehearsal held in Ireland in 2010, when Trichet openly threatened the government that it would cut funding of the banking system, forcing Ireland to exit eurozone in case it would not accept the "offer" loans from the EU, IMF and the cruel austerity measures imposed. The total amount that the Irish tax payers called to pay for this agreement was EUR 64 billion, or about 14,000 euros per Irish citizen.

This silent "coup" was successfully repeated in Cyprus when Berlin decided to get over with regional economic havens and gather control of black money into more controlled regions in Europe. And of course the same threats from the ECB were repeated several times in Greece, every time that the terms of the new loan agreements had to be set.

The ECB mechanism, in close cooperation with the central bankers of the eurozone members, was now completely out of control, interfering in the internal politics of sovereign states. The next step, namely the overthrow of an elected prime minister, it was just a matter of time to occur and was first tested in Italy.

In the summer of 2011, through a simple letter-ultimatum to Silvio Berlusconi, Trichet and Draghi called for implementation of harsh austerity measures in order for the ECB to buy bonds of the Italian state and save the country from imminent bankruptcy. Serving specific sections of the bourgeoisie in Italy, which were suffocating under the monetary policy of Berlin, Berlusconi spoke openly about the possibility of exit of Italy from the eurozone and several bankers within and outside Italy were requesting his "head on a plate".

As the Financial Times revealed last year, the summer of 2011, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano called the technocrat, former employee of Goldman Sachs, Mario Monti, in his office under absolute secrecy and asked him whether he would be ready to replace the elected prime minister. According to the Financial Times, the message given to Monti, was that he would be called to govern, as soon as the spread of the Italian bonds, which at that time ranged at 200 units, exceeded 300. The soaring spread and the precipitation of Italian bonds was done through a series of skilful movements by the ECB president Mario Draghi (coincidentally or not, another former executive of Goldman Sachs).

The ECB was sending a clear message that those governments who do not follow the orders were risking to be thrown in the dustbin of history, just in a few weeks.

The work of ECB could not, of course, mark such a success without the active support of the central bankers of the EU member states, which in most cases act as agents of the decisions taken in the central headquarters in Frankfurt. This, of course, does not have to do with some personal treason, but with a reflection of the prevailing balance between the economic elites of the eurozone countries with the powerful economic centers of Europe. The more dependent and parasitic is the bourgeoisie in a eurozone country, the more the man who puts as central banker will express his allegiance to the ECB. His "independence" actually ensures that he is unaccountable to any democratically elected institution, and thus attached to the strongest (and most lucrative) piece of the economic elite each time.

There were of course a few times when the government of a country which for various reasons decided to deviate from the mandate of the ECB, preoccupied with the local central banker. The right-wing government of Hungary gave a battle for months to force the central bank governor András Simor to leave his position, through which functioned essentially as a representative of the country's creditors. The EU and the ECB used their entire arsenal to prevent the removal of Seymour, going so far as to threaten Hungary even to suspend country's right for voting in all institutions. At that time they remembered government interference in the freedom of press, a case which until then, no one in the corridors of Brussels bothered to investigate.

Ιn order to force the central banker to resign, the Hungarian Government cut his salary by 75% and put its own people in many posts of the central bank. In vain. The central banker left only when his term ended and only after the "independence" of the central bank gave him the opportunity to fight the interests of his own country in one of the most critical posts of the Hungarian economy.

The government of Cyprus was also in open war with the central banker. With the outbreak of the crisis in 2012, the coldness of relations between President Christofias and the central banker A. Orphanides evolved into an open war as the former realized suddenly that he does not control the country's banking system during one of the most crucial moments of the modern Cypriot history. Once again, Frankfurt of course stood openly on the side of its own man, who exerted pressure to impose new austerity measures. Christofias was forced even to refer him to the general prosecutor (accused for the manipulation of official data) to achieve his removal, when it was already too late.

The question naturally arise: After all this, why did the SYRIZA government in Greece, permitted Yannis Stournaras to continue be in charge of the Greek economy?

Translated from the original source:


Related:


The new big trick of neoliberal bankdebtocracy

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Stock market: one of the biggest frauds in the age of financial capitalism

globinfo freexchange
Lee Camp speaks with Tan Liu about his revealing book The Ponzi Factor, where Liu exposes all the big fraud of the stock market. Liu explains why the stock market, especially today, in the era of financial capitalism, is the purest definition of a Ponzi scheme:
The issue, of course, is profits from stocks and what makes a stock price move, is not the earnings and growth. It is actually money from another investor. Now, is there a connection at all with respect to earnings and growth and this price movement? Yes, it's called a speculative connection. It is not a legal one. It is not a logical one. It is not a definitive, or, a mathematical one.
The SEC defines three basic features of a Ponzi scheme:
One, it is an investment scenario. Two, the investment profits come from other investors. Three, the investors think the profits come from somewhere else.
What we can clearly observe every single day, every single moment the stocks are trading, is an event where the stoc…

How a group of economists undermined public institutions, paving the way to neoliberalism

An assumption had become a truth. The self-interested model of human behaviour, that had been developed in the Cold War to make the mathematical equations work, had now been adopted by these economists as a fundamental truth about the reality of all human social interaction.
globinfo freexchange
A group of economists in the early 70s arbitrarily adopted the self-interested model of human behaviour that had been developed in the Cold War, to explain the dysfunctionality of public institutions. This perception would become a powerful tool in the hands of the neoliberal ideology, carried by big banks and corporations, to demonize the state and dismantle any state control upon them at the expense of the societies.
In his documentary The Trap, Adam Curtis explains:
In the early 70s, the government bureaucracies in Britain began to collapse. Those around them blamed a growing economic crisis, but it was clear that something much more fundamental had gone wrong. What were supposed to be institut…

Italy, Greece, Deutsche Bank: heavy clouds of non-linear collapse gather again above Europe

globinfo freexchange
For nearly ten years now, the key decision centers inside eurozone are trying to hide the huge problems, pretending that the crisis is behind, in order to maintain a completely failed economic model, which also reveals, day by day, its authoritarian nature and despise against real Democracy. The totally problematic structure of eurozone makes things even worse.
In Italy, we had another political crisis and a constitutional coup because the new majority and potential coalition government is not likeable to the Brussels/Berlin axis.
In Greece, things are not looking better. The country is about to exit the IMF-type neoliberal program imposed by the Troika (ECB, European Commission, IMF), in August. Yet, the economy is still in very bad shape, drowning in stagnation, with unprecedented unemployment, nearly zero growth and a national debt at 180% of GDP, which is actually much higher than Greece's debt in 2010 (120% of GDP) when crisis hit the country!
In fact, the eu…

More evidence that the 2011 riots in Syria were sparked by a false flag operation

globinfo freexchangeIndependent journalist Eva Bartlett spoke with Lee Camp about her recent trip in Syria. Bartlett visited the hospital in Douma where many victims of the latest alleged chemical attack went to receive medical care. Bartlett spoke with a medical student who was working the day of the alleged attack, and actually confirmed the reporting by the veteran journalist Robert Fisk, according to which there was no evidence of a chemical attack.
Bartlett also went to Daraa, where the first protests took place in 2011, and spoke to people there. They confirmed what many other investigative journalists support. 

This is strong evidence that it was a false flag operation that actually sparked the subsequent riots:
In the initial protest, Daraa was named as the birthplace of the so-called revolution. And Daraa is a city in the very south of Syria, not a very large city, and a rather unlikely city for a so-called revolution to have started. But prior going to Daraa, I interviewed a do…

WikiLeaks reveals Italian officials had serious concerns about Italy's ability to participate in the monetary union already since the late 70s

The WIKILEAKS Public Library of US Diplomacy (PlusD)holds the world's largest searchable collection of United States confidential, or formerly confidential, diplomatic communications. As of April 8, 2013 it holds 2 million records comprising approximately 1 billion words. The collection covers US involvements in, and diplomatic or intelligence reporting on, every country on earth. It is the single most significant body of geopolitical material ever published. The PlusD collection, built and curated by WikiLeaks, is updated from a variety of sources, including leaks, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and documents released by the US State Department systematic declassification review.
globinfo freexchange
A 1978 cable from the US Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs to the Secretary of State, was monitoring in detail the Italian serious concerns on the perspective of Italy joining the European monetary union. It describes an atmosphere of anxiety insi…

How eurozone became a financial dictatorship

It all started with the silent coup against Ireland
globinfo freexchange
In 2010, Ireland experienced Frankfurt's political blackmail. On the 18th of November, where there was a governing council of the ECB in Frankfurt. The governor of the Irish central bank who sat on the governing council, called "Morning Ireland" which is the most important radio program in Ireland, to say that Ireland will need what he called a loan. He didn't warn the government about it and this created a massive panic.
Then, the next day, there was a letter written from the then president of ECB, Jean-Claude Trichet, to Brian Lenihan, the minister of finance at the time, saying that 'if you don't apply the so-called bailout program, by this opening of the markets the following Monday, we're going to cut off access to Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA)', which obviously would have collapsed the Irish banking system.
The ECB used the liquidity weapon in order to impose its terms o…

David Harvey: unless there is some real new thinking, another crisis is inevitable

globinfo freexchange
Chris Hedges spoke with David Harvey about the repeated crises of the capitalist system, which generate further instability, especially since the early 70s where we have the rise of financial capitalism and neoliberal ideology.
As Harvey points out:
Interestingly, in almost every crisis there has been a good deal of re-evaluation of exactly how to think about the economy, how to think about the relationship between state power and politics and all this kind of stuff.
Since 2007-08, is hardly any new thinking at all. And actually, we're trying to hang on. And we are trying to hang on because the oligarchy - which has all of the money, all of the power - is actually in a situation where it does not want any change. And until we confront the oligarchy, we're not going to find a way of exiting from this, apart from repeating what happened in 2007-08.
And the interesting thing when you look back, before 2007-08, and you see big financial crises in Argentina, in Braz…

The facts about Venezuela’s May 20th Presidential Election

Despite a high level of election transparency, one that Jimmy Carter called “the best in the world”, the US and its allies have accused Venezuela of election fraud. Caleb Maupin breaks down how Venezuela’s electoral system really works.
by Caleb T. Maupin
Part 3 - Accusations of Fraud
Despite the stringent safeguards in place to protect Venezuela’s election integrity, international media based in Western countries have widely claimed the election was fraudulent. Those claiming that the results are illegitimate have cited prior statements from SmartMatic, a corporation based in London that manufactured Venezuela’s voting machines. An official statement from SmartMatic claimed the 2017 Constitutional Referendum vote showed “tamper evident.” Statements from SmartMatic have been vague about how exactly the results were illegitimate or what malpractice took place.
Tibisay Lucena, president of the National Elections Center (CNE), says the claims from SmartMatic and its Chief Executive Antonio …

Will the Swiss citizens beat the banksters today?

About 5.3 million Swiss citizens, including registered members of the Swiss Abroad community, are eligible to take part in the June 10, 2018 ballot. Votes on a broad range of issues, as well as elections, also take place in many cantons and municipalities across the country.
globinfo freexchange
The Swiss sovereign-money referendum of June 2018, also known as the Sovereign-Money Initiative, aims to give the central bank of Switzerland the sole authority of "creating money."
This is actually what the proponents of the Swiss "Vollgeld Initiative" want. They say only the government, through the publicly-owned Swiss central bank (SNB), should be able to create money and put it into circulation.
The Sovereign Money Initiative aims to give the Swiss Confederation a monopoly on money creation, including demand deposit (full-reserve banking, by including the creation of scriptural money in the legal mandate of the Swiss National Bank. The name of the initiative was inspired by…

Marx predicted our present crisis – and points the way out

The Communist Manifesto foresaw the predatory and polarised global capitalism of the 21st century. But Marx and Engels also showed us that we have the power to create a better world.
by Yanis Varoufakis
Part 1 - The spirit of communism driving the manifesto is proving hard to silence
For a manifesto to succeed, it must speak to our hearts like a poem while infecting the mind with images and ideas that are dazzlingly new. It needs to open our eyes to the true causes of the bewildering, disturbing, exciting changes occurring around us, exposing the possibilities with which our current reality is pregnant. It should make us feel hopelessly inadequate for not having recognised these truths ourselves, and it must lift the curtain on the unsettling realisation that we have been acting as petty accomplices, reproducing a dead-end past. Lastly, it needs to have the power of a Beethoven symphony, urging us to become agents of a future that ends unnecessary mass suffering and to inspire humanity …