Now that “bail-ins” have become accepted practice all over the planet, no bank account and no pension fund will ever be 100% safe again. In fact, Cyprus-style wealth confiscation is already starting to happen all around the world. As you will read about below, private pension funds were just raided by the government in Poland, and a “bail-in” is being organized for one of the largest banks in Italy. Unfortunately, this is just the beginning. The precedent that was set in Cyprus is being used as a template for establishing bail-in procedures in New Zealand, Canada and all over Europe. It is only a matter of time before we see this exact same type of thing happen in the United States as well. From now on, anyone that keeps a large amount of money in any single bank account or retirement fund is being incredibly foolish.
Let’s take a look at a few of the examples of how Cyprus-style wealth confiscation is now moving forward all over the globe…
For years, there have been rumors that someday the U.S. government would raid private pension funds.
Well, in Poland it just happened.
According to Reuters, private pension funds were raided in order to reduce the size of the government debt…
Poland said on Wednesday it will transfer to the state many of the assets held by private pension funds, slashing public debt but putting in doubt the future of the multi-billion-euro funds, many of them foreign-owned.
While the world was glued to the developments in the Mediterranean in the past week, Poland took a page straight out of Rahm Emanuel’s playbook and in order to not let a crisis go to waste, announced quietly that it would transfer to the state – i.e., confiscate – the bulk of assets owned by the country’s private pension funds (many of them owned by such foreign firms as PIMCO parent Allianz, AXA, Generali, ING and Aviva), without offering any compensation. In effect, the state just nationalized roughly half of the private sector pension fund assets, although it had a more politically correct name for it: pension overhaul.
By way of background, Poland has a hybrid pension system: as Reuters explains, mandatory contributions are made into both the state pension vehicle, known as ZUS, and the private funds, which are collectively known by the Polish acronym OFE. Bonds make up roughly half the private funds’ portfolios, with the rest company stocks.
And while a change to state-pension funds was long awaited – an overhaul if you will – nobody expected that this would entail a literal pillage of private sector assets.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said private funds within the state-guaranteed system would have their bond holdings transferred to a state pension vehicle, but keep their equity holdings. The funds would effectively be left with only the equities portions of their assets, even this would be depleted, and there will be uncertainty about the number of new savers joining.
But why is Poland engaging in behavior that will ultimately be disastrous to future capital allocation in non-public pension funds (the type that can at least on paper generate some returns as opposed to “public” funds which are guaranteed to lose)? After all, this is a last ditch step which no rational person would engage in unless there were no other option. Simple: there were no other option, and the driver is the same reason the world everywhere else is broke too – too much debt.
Paving the way for other nations to introduce similar legislation and inform consumers what they’re really putting into their mouths, the labeling of products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) within the nation of India is now mandated by law. The country’s Ministry of Consumer Affairs makes declared in a June 5, 2012 notice that all GMO-containing packaged foods must be labeled by January 1, 2013 or face legal repercussions.
Each package containing GM ingredients will clearly be labeled directly on the prime real estate of the package as ‘GM’. A warning that many heads of organizations and even bodies within the Indian government are praising for its ability to inform individuals as to what they are really feeding their family.
“The labelling will basically help inform the consumer about the presence of GM content in packaged food products,” said B.N.Dixit, Director, Legal Metrology, Department of Consumer Affairs.
Day 3 of the three-day period before the super-conjunction of the Sun, the Black Moon, and Jupiter: As we continue our deep descent into a blaze of transformation, bright light accompanies us. This photo is last night’s sky over Poland (by M. Nikodem), capturing Venus at its brightest for all of 2012. Tomorrow’s Full Moon (which also accompanies the super-conjunction) is the biggest and brightest of all the Full Moons this year.
By now you are probably reaching your limit with something. You are ready to be released from something that has been weighing heavily on you. This is the last day of the “fall” of the metaphorical phoenix and with it comes emotional turbulence. If you have been following this process and have surrendered yourself to it, you are probably in a controlled dive.
Following the anti-Monsanto activism launched by nations like France and Hungary, Poland has announced that it will launch a complete ban on growing Monsanto’s genetically modified strain MON810. The announcement, made by Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki, sets yet another international standard against Monsanto’s genetically modified creations. In addition to being linked to a plethora health ailments, Sawicki says that the pollen originating from this GM strain may actually be devastating the already dwindling bee population.
“The decree is in the works. It introduces a complete ban on the MON810 strain of maize in Poland,” Sawicki stated to the press.
Similar opposition to Monsanto occurred on March 9th, when 7 European countries blocked a proposal by the Danish EU presidency which would permit the cultivation of genetically modified plants on the entire continent. It was France, who in February, lead the charge against GMOs by asking the European Commission to suspend authorization to Monsanto’s genetically modified corn. What’s more, the country settled a landmark case in favor of the people over Monsanto, finding the biotech giant guilty of chemical poisoning.
“USA: We’re No. 1!”
Oh, wait — Iceland is No. 1. But we did beat out Poland and Slovakia, right? Uh…no. But go on down the rankings and there we are! No. 27, fifth from the bottom. So our new national chant is, “USA: At Least We’re Not Last!”
A foundation in Germany has analyzed the social justice records of all 31 members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), ranking each nation in such categories as health care, income inequality, pre-school education, and child poverty. The overall performance by the United States — which boasts of being an egalitarian society — outranks only Greece, Chile, Mexico, and Turkey. Actually, three of those countries performed better than ours in the education of pre-schoolers, and Greece did better than the United States on the prevention of poverty.