Tag Archives: Martin Feldstein

Stephen Lendman ~ Bilderberg Conference Convenes

SteveLendmanBlog June 7 2013

cartoon_bilderberg

On June 5, the London Evening Standard headlined “No minutes, no press conferences – just the world’s power brokers chewing the fat on the issues of the day. It’s the Bilderberg conference – and it’s coming to a suburb near you.”

On June 6, it convened. It continues through June 9. It’s a rite of spring. A previous article said British political economist Will Hutton calls attendees the “high priests of globalization.”

Powerful movers and shakers have their own agenda. They’re up to no good. They meet annually face-to-face. They conspire, collude and collaborate against populist interests. Their’s alone matter.

According to Bilderberg Meetings.org:

“Founded in 1954, Bilderberg is an annual conference designed to foster dialogue between Europe and North America.”

“Every year, between 120 -150 political leaders and experts from industry, finance, academia and the media are invited to take part in the conference.”

“About two thirds of the participants come from Europe and the rest from North America; one third from politics and government and the rest from other fields.”

“The conference is a forum for informal, off-the-record discussions about megatrends and the major issues facing the world.”

“Thanks to the private nature of the conference, the participants are not bound by the conventions of office or by pre-agreed positions.”

“As such, they can take time to listen, reflect and gather insights. There is no detailed agenda, no resolutions are proposed, no votes are taken, and no policy statements are issued.”

“The 61st Bilderberg meeting will take place at the beginning of June 2013 in the UK.”

Earlier articles discussed their agenda. Their ideal world isn’t fit to live in. Democracy is verboten. They want one world government. They want unchallenged global dominance.

Their wish list includes universal rules they set, centralized global control, perpetual crises and wars, NATO operating worldwide, abolishing the middle class, establishing ruler-serf societies, and having unchallenged wealth and power in their hands.

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Whispers of Return to Drachma Grow Louder in Greek Crisis

by Landon Thomas Jr | NY Times
November 2 2011

The political upheaval in Athens has suddenly made the once unspeakable — Greek debt default — a distinct possibility.

Unthinkable: that Greece might end its 10-year use of the euroand return to its former currency, the drachma.

Such a move is still officially anathema in Athens. But a growing body of economists argues that it would be the best course, whatever the near-term financial and economic implications. And now, with a referendum on the European-led bailout facing Greek voters, a vocal minority that has long called for a return to the drachma might find itself with a growing group of listeners.

A return to the drachma is unlikely to offer a quick cure for Greece’s ills. Default on the nation’s $500 billion in public debt would become a certainty, depositors would take their money out of local banks and, with a sharp devaluation of as much as 50 percent, inflation would loom. A return to the international credit markets would take years.

But drachma defenders contend that these worst fears are overdone. Yes, there would be disruption and panic initially. But, they say, pointing to Argentina’s case when it broke its peg with the dollar in 2002, the export boom ignited by a cheaper currency and the ability to control the drachma would eventually work in Greece’s favor.

“The real problem is that we are operating under a foreign currency,” Vasilis Serafeimakis, a senior executive at Avinoil, one of Greece’s largest oil and gas distribution companies, said of the euro. In the last year, he has been banging the bring-back-the-drachma drum.

“If we had our own currency, we could at least print money,” Mr. Serafeimakis said, referring to the ability to revalue the drachma. “And what is the worst thing that happens if we do this? I don’t get a Christmas gift from one of my bankers.”

His voice is still a lonely one.

According to a recent poll in the Greek newspaper Kathimerini, 66 percent of Greeks believe that returning to the drachma would be bad. But proponents of a euro exit say that beneath the surface, more Greeks are beginning to question the euro.

“The view that Greece should exit the euro is more widespread than you would think,” said Costas Lapavitsas, a Greek economist at the University of London who has long pressed for a return to the drachma. “It is just that the opposing view is so dominant.”

Until now, many Greeks have been wedded to a European identity forged by a national embrace of the euro and the wealth that, for a time, came along with it. Talk of returning to the drachma had mainly been held up as an apocalyptic vision rather than a viable policy option.

But for a growing number of Greeks, the collapse of their economy is apocalypse enough.

Prime Minister George A. Papandreou threw down the gauntlet to the Greek people Monday when he surprised the world by announcing a referendum on the latest bailout plan. But it was his finance minister, Evangelos Venizelos, who that same day put a finer point on the question.

“Are we for Europe, the euro zone and the euro?” he asked. Or, he continued, does Greece return to the drachma?

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Occupy the Mortgage Lenders

By Simon Johnson | Nation Of Change
October 23 2011

“Any settlement should also include the banks’ explicit agreement that they will support modifying America’s bankruptcy law to enable inclusion of mortgages in the usual court-run processes.”

OP-ED | Participants in the Occupy Wall Street movement are right to argue that the big banks have never properly been investigated for the mortgage origination, aggregation, and securitization behavior that was central to the financial crisis – and to the loss of more than eight million jobs. But, thanks to the efforts of New York’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, and others, serious discussion has started in the United States about an out-of court mortgage settlement between state attorney generals and prominent financial-sector firms.

Talks among state officials, the Obama administration, and the banks are currently focused on reported abuses in servicing mortgages, foreclosing on homes, and evicting their residents. But leading banks are also accused of illegal behavior – inducing people to borrow, for example, by deceiving them about the interest rate that would actually be paid, while misrepresenting the resulting mortgage-backed securities to investors.

If these charges are true, the bank executives involved may fear that civil lawsuits would uncover evidence that could be used in criminal prosecutions. In that case, their interest would naturally lie in seeking – as they now are – to keep that evidence from ever seeing the inside of a courtroom.

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