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Tue, 29 Nov 2022
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Shocked by the "wealth grab" in Cyprus? This is just the beginning

cyprus weath grab
Today, lots of people woke up in shock and horror to what happened in Cyprus: a forced capital reallocation mandated by political elites under the guise of an "equity investment" in insolvent banks, which is really code for a "coercive, mandatory wealth tax." If less concerned about political correctness, one could say that what just happened was daylight robbery from savers to banks and the status quo. These same people may be even more shocked to learn that today's Cypriot "resolution" is merely the first of many such coercive interventions into personal wealth, first in Europe, and then everywhere else.

For the benefit of those people, we wish to point them to our article from September 2011, "The "Muddle Through" Has Failed: BCG Says "There May Be Only Painful Ways Out Of The Crisis", which predicted and explained all of this and much more. What else did the September BCG study conclude? Simply that such mandatory, coercive wealth tax is merely the beginning for a world in which there was some $21 trillion in excess debt as of 2009, a number which has since ballooned to over $30 trillion. And with inflation woefully late in appearing and "inflating away" said debt overhang, Europe first is finally moving to Plan B, and is using Cyrprus as its Guniea Pig.

Dollar Gold

The crazy theft of depositor savings in Cyprus could start a European bank run on Monday

Bank run in New York in 1933.
© Archives
Bank run in New York in 1933.
You can be forgiven for thinking that you don't need to give a hoot about what's going on in Cyprus this weekend.

After all, it's just a little island somewhere in the Mediterranean.

But what's going on in Cyprus could actually matter - not just to the rest of Europe, but to the rest of the world.

Here's the short version of what's happening:

Cyprus's banks, like many banks in Europe, are bankrupt.

Cyprus went to the Eurozone to get a bailout, the same way Ireland, Greece, and other European countries have.

The Eurozone powers-that-be gave Cyprus a bailout - but with a startling condition that has never before been imposed on any major banking system since the start of the global financial crisis in 2008.

Comment: The Washington Post agrees that today's Cyprus bailout could be the start of the next financial crisis.

Investment watch predicts
-Next, starting tonight and tomorrow, there will be bank runs in Spain and Italy. Possibly Portugal and Ireland as well, though their circumstances are different. I'd include Greece, but no one in Greece has any money to steal anymore. France may be affected too. If France sees ATM runs this weekend, things will be even worse than I predict

-Cyprus has an ordinary holiday on Monday. But if there are runs over the weekend, affected countries will also declare bank holidays.

-On Monday, European markets will get monkey-stomped. US Markets will open up down 2% or more. It gets uglier from there.
Zerohedge quotes German Commerzbank suggesting a 'wealth tax' in Italy will be next:
"A tax rate of 15% on financial assets would probably be enough to push the Italian government debt to below the critical level of 100% of gross domestic product." So there you have it, the 'new deal' in Europe, as we warned, is 'wealth taxes' and testing the "capacity of Cypriots" appears to be the strawman on what the public will take before social unrest becomes intolerable.

Che Guevara

Hugo Chavez and the Global Poverty Conspiracy

London, February 2002. A tiny, dark and intense woman waited at the end of a lecture until I was alone, brought her face strangely close to mine and whispered, "President Chavez needs you. Right now. To Caracas. Right now. You must come to see him."

President Who? All I knew about this Hugo Chavez guy was that he was an Latin-American jefe, led a bungled coup and was filled with a lot of populist bullshit and a lot of oil.

And I also knew that no one at BBC Newsnight was going to blow the budget for me to fly to South America to talk about a nation that 92 percent of our viewers couldn't find on a map and wouldn't want to.

"Send me an email."

"There will be a coup. March 15."

"The Ides of March. I like that. Aren't there always coups down there?"

"They'll kill him, undo everything. He needs you to stop it, he wants to explain it to you because he knows you understand."

Actually, you'd be surprised at the amount I don't understand at all. "So talk."

She did - for four hours - and wore me down into submission. But back at Newsnight I looked like an idiot when March 15 came and went with just a little gunfire in Caracas.

Three weeks later, the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, was kidnapped and held hostage by the head of Venezuela's Chamber of Commerce. Suddenly the BBC had to get me on a plane.


'Obey': film based on Chris Hedges' 'Death of the Liberal Class'

British filmmaker Temujin Doran has released a new movie that is based on the book The Death of the Liberal Class by Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges. The film, titled Obey, explores the rise of the corporate state and the future of obedience in a world filled with unfettered capitalism, worsening inequality and environmental changes.

Warning: Viewers may find some of the clips in the film - which you can watch in its entirety below - disturbing.

Comment: Just replace 'global warming' with 'Earth changes brought on by cometary intercession' and the picture is complete:

Celestial Intentions: Comets and the Horns of Moses


The "Dirty War" Pope Francis and how the Church is and has always been in alliance with the despot

For over a week, the media has subjected the public to a tidal wave of euphoric banality on the Roman Catholic Church's selection of a new pope.
© Desconocido
This non-stop celebration of the dogma and ritual of an institution that for centuries has been identified with oppression and backwardness is stamped with a deeply undemocratic character. It is reflective of the rightward turn of the entire political establishment and its repudiation of the principles enshrined in the US Constitution, including the wall of separation between church and state.

What a far cry from the political ideals that animated those who drafted that document. It was Thomas Jefferson's well-founded opinion that "In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own."

Jefferson's view - and the reactionary character of the media's sycophantic coverage - finds no more powerful conformation than in the identity of the new pope, officially celebrated as a paragon of "humility" and "renewal."


CIA may target Syrian extremists with drones: LA Times

The US Central Intelligence Agency is collecting information on Islamic radicals in Syria for possible lethal drone strikes against them at a later stage, The Los Angeles Times reported late Friday.

Citing unnamed current and former US officials, the newspaper said President Barack Obama had not authorized any drone missile strikes in Syria yet, and none were under consideration.

However CIA's Counterterrorism Center, which runs drone programs targeting militants in Pakistan and Yemen, had recently shifted several targeting officers to improve intelligence gathering on militants in Syria.

The targeting officers have formed a unit with colleagues who were tracking Al-Qaeda operatives in Iraq.


Tracing the origins of 'Muslim Terrrorism' and the 'War on Terror': Bin Laden family ties to major U.S. arms dealer, the Carlyle Group

Dick Cheney meets with Prince Sultan, Minister of Defense and Aviation in Saudi Arabia to discuss how to handle the invasion of Kuwait 1 December 1990. OBL's Mujahideen in Afghanistan (used to collapse the Soviet Union) were collected, trained, funded and processed through Saudi Arabia, the U.S.'s main regional ally since the 1973 oil crisis.
If the U.S. boosts defense spending in its quest to stop Osama bin Laden 's alleged terrorist activities, there may be one unexpected beneficiary: Mr. bin Laden 's family.

Among its far-flung business interests, the well-heeled Saudi Arabian clan -- which says it is estranged from Osama -- is an investor in a fund established by Carlyle Group, a well-connected Washington merchant bank specializing in buyouts of defense and aerospace companies.

Through this investment and its ties to Saudi royalty, the bin Laden family has become acquainted with some of the biggest names in the Republican Party. In recent years, former President Bush , ex-Secretary of State James Baker and ex-Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci have made the pilgrimage to the bin Laden family's headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Mr. Bush makes speeches on behalf of Carlyle Group and is senior adviser to its Asian Partners fund, while Mr. Baker is its senior counselor. Mr. Carlucci is the group's chairman.

Osama is one of more than 50 children of Mohammed bin Laden , who built the family's $5 billion business, Saudi Binladin Group, largely with construction contracts from the Saudi government. Osama worked briefly in the business and is believed to have inherited as much as $50 million from his father in cash and stock, although he doesn't have access to the shares, a family spokesman says. Because his Saudi citizenship was revoked in 1994, Mr. bin Laden is ineligible to own assets in the kingdom, the spokesman added.


Northern Ireland police to use drones at G8 summit

© Keith Morris/Alamy
The drones could cost the PSNI up to £1m.
Police force want to buy two remote-controlled aircraft to assist with security at this summer's economic summit

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is expected to buy two drones for the G8 summit in County Fermanagh in June, it emerged tonight. The aircraft can relay live pictures from high-quality cameras and are flown remotely.

It was reported that they could cost around £1m.

Heart - Black

Texan politician under fire for opposing public breastfeeding


Texas Rep. Debbie Riddle
Texas Rep. Debbie Riddle has infuriated women throughout the US: the lawmaker has voiced her opposition to breastfeeding in public, claiming that women should be "modest and respectful".

In a Facebook post that Riddle has since deleted, the representative expressed her opposition to House Bill 1706, which would allow a mother to breastfeed her child in public. The bill would also allow parents who believe their breastfeeding rights have been violated to file a lawsuit.

"Now, I am all in favor of breast feeding - however it is important for women to be modest while feeding their baby - and most women are modest and respectful," Riddle wrote on her Facebook page. "But, a bill that would allow for lawsuits if one 'interfered' with a woman breast feeding is really going a bit far."

She also said that a business owner should have a right to object to a woman breastfeeding on his property, and that women who breastfeed in public are "inconsiderate".


Federal judge bans 'unconstitutional' national security letters

© Shutterstock
A judge in the 9th Circuit Court ruled on Friday that "ultra-secret" national security letters (NSL) that come with a gag order on the recipient are an unconditional violation of free speech, Wired.com reported on Friday

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ordered the government to stop issuing all NSLs, which comes a shocking blow to the Obama administration's surveillance practices. The order, however,is stayed for 90 days to give the government a chance to appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

"It's a huge deal to say you are in violation of federal law having to do with a national security investigation," said Matt Zimmerman, senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which filed a challenge to NSLs on behalf of an unknown telecom that received an NSL in 2011. "That is extraordinarily aggressive from my standpoint. They're saying you are violating the law by challenging our authority here."