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The Armageddon Looting Machine

The Looming Mass Destruction From Derivatives

by Ellen Brown

financial-crisisIncreased regulation and low interest rates are driving lending from the regulated commercial banking system into the unregulated shadow banking system. The shadow banks, although free of government regulation, are propped up by a hidden government guarantee in the form of safe harbor status under the 2005 Bankruptcy Reform Act pushed through by Wall Street. The result is to create perverse incentives for the financial system to self-destruct.

Five years after the financial collapse precipitated by the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy on September 15, 2008, the risk of another full-blown financial panic is still looming large, despite the Dodd Frank legislation designed to contain it. As noted in a recent Reuters article, the risk has just moved into the shadows:

“[B]anks are pulling back their balance sheets from the fringes of the credit markets, with more and more risk being driven to unregulated lenders that comprise the $60 trillion “shadow-banking” sector.”

Increased regulation and low interest rates have made lending to homeowners and small businesses less attractive than before 2008. The easy subprime scams of yesteryear are no more. The void is being filled by the shadow banking system. Shadow banking comes in many forms, but the big money today is in repos and derivatives. The notional (or hypothetical) value of the derivatives market has been estimated to be as high as $1.2 quadrillion, or twenty times the GDP of all the countries of the world combined.

According to Hervà Hannoun, Deputy General Manager of the Bank for International Settlements, investment banks as well as commercial banks may conduct much of their business in the shadow banking system (SBS), although most are not generally classed as SBS institutions themselves. At least one financial regulatory expert has said that regulated banking organizations are the largest shadow banks.

The Hidden Government Guarantee that Props Up the Shadow Banking System

According to Dutch economist Enrico Perotti, banks are able to fund their loans much more cheaply than any other industry because they offer “liquidity on demand.” The promise that the depositor can get his money out at any time is made credible by government-backed deposit insurance and access to central bank funding. But what guarantee underwrites the shadow banks? Why would financial institutions feel confident lending cheaply in the shadow market, when it is not protected by deposit insurance or government bailouts?

Perotti says that liquidity-on-demand is guaranteed in the SBS through another, lesser-known form of government guarantee: “safe harbor” status in bankruptcy. Repos and derivatives, the stock in trade of shadow banks, have “super-priority” over all other claims. Perotti writes:

“Security pledging grants access to cheap funding thanks to the steady expansion in the EU and US of “safe harbor status”. Also called bankruptcy privileges, this ensures lenders secured on financial collateral immediate access to their pledged securities. . . .

“Safe harbor status grants the privilege of being excluded from mandatory stay, and basically all other restrictions. Safe harbor lenders, which at present include repos and derivative margins, can immediately repossess and resell pledged collateral.

“This gives repos and derivatives extraordinary super-priority over all other claims, including tax and wage claims, deposits, real secured credit and insurance claims. Critically, it ensures immediacy (liquidity) for their holders. Unfortunately, it does so by undermining orderly liquidation.”

When orderly liquidation is undermined, there is a rush to get the collateral, which can actually propel the debtor into bankruptcy. The amendment to the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005 that created this favored status for repos and derivatives was pushed through by the banking lobby with few questions asked. In a December 2011 article titled ” Plan B — How to Loot Nations and Their Banks Legally,” documentary film-maker David Malone wrote:

“This amendment which was touted as necessary to reduce systemic risk in financial bankruptcies . . . allowed a whole range of far riskier assets to be used . . . . The size of the repo market hugely increased and riskier assets were gladly accepted as collateral because traders saw that if the person they had lent to went down they could get [their] money back before anyone else and no one could stop them.

Burning Down the Barn to Get the Insurance

Safe harbor status creates the sort of perverse incentives that make derivatives “financial weapons of mass destruction,” as Warren Buffett famously branded them. It is the equivalent of burning down the barn to collect the insurance. Says Malone:

RuleOfBanks“All other creditors — bond holders — risk losing some of their money in a bankruptcy. So they have a reason to want to avoid bankruptcy of a trading partner. Not so the repo and derivatives partners. They would now be best served by looting the company — perfectly legally — as soon as trouble seemed likely. In fact the repo and derivatives traders could push a bank that owed them money over into bankruptcy when it most suited them as creditors. When, for example, they might be in need of a bit of cash themselves to meet a few pressing creditors of their own.

“The collapse of . . . Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and AIG were all directly because repo and derivatives partners of those institutions suddenly stopped trading and “looted’ them instead.”

The global credit collapse was triggered, it seems, not by wild subprime lending but by the rush to grab collateral by players with Congressional-approved safe harbor status for their repos and derivatives.

Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers were strictly investment banks, but now we have giant depository banks gambling in derivatives as well; and with the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act that separated depository and investment banking, they are allowed to commingle their deposits and investments. The risk to the depositors was made glaringly obvious when MF Global went bankrupt in October 2011. Malone wrote:

“When MF Global went down it did so because its repo, derivative and hypothecation partners essentially foreclosed on it. And when they did so they then “looted’ the company. And because of the co-mingling of clients money in the hypothecation deals the “looters’ also seized clients money as well. . . JPMorgan allegedly has MF Global money while other people’s lawyers can only argue about it.”

Troika Buys NationsMF Global was followed by the Cyprus “bail-in” — the confiscation of depositor funds to recapitalize the country’s failed banks. This was followed by the coordinated appearance of bail-in templates worldwide, mandated by the Financial Stability Board, the global banking regulator in Switzerland.

The Auto-Destruct Trip Wire on the Banking System

Bail-in policies are being necessitated by the fact that governments are balking at further bank bailouts. In the US, the Dodd-Frank Act (Section 716) now bans taxpayer bailouts of most speculative derivative activities. That means the next time we have a Lehman-style event, the banking system could simply collapse into a black hole of derivative looting. Malone writes:

“. . . The bankruptcy laws allow a mechanism for banks to disembowel each other. The strongest lend to the weaker and loot them when the moment of crisis approaches. The plan allows the biggest banks, those who happen to be burdened with massive holdings of dodgy euro area bonds, to leap out of the bond crisis and instead profit from a bankruptcy which might otherwise have killed them. All that is required is to know the import of the bankruptcy law and do as much repo, hypothecation and derivative trading with the weaker banks as you can.

“. . . I think this means that some of the biggest banks, themselves, have already constructed and greatly enlarged a now truly massive trip wired auto-destruct on the banking system.”

The weaker banks may be the victims, but it is we the people who will wind up holding the bag. Malone observes:

“For the last four years who has been putting money in to the banks? And who has become a massive bond holder in all the banks? We have. First via our national banks and now via the Fed, ECB and various tax payer funded bail out funds. We are the bond holders who would be shafted by the Plan B looting. We would be the people waiting in line for the money the banks would have already made off with. . . .

“. . . [T]he banks have created a financial Armageddon looting machine. Their Plan B is a mechanism to loot not just the more vulnerable banks in weaker nations, but those nations themselves. And the looting will not take months, not even days. It could happen in hours if not minutes.”

Crisis and Opportunity: Building a Better Mousetrap

There is no way to regulate away this sort of risk. If both the conventional banking system and the shadow banking system are being maintained by government guarantees, then we the people are bearing the risk. We should be directing where the credit goes and collecting the interest. Banking and the creation of money-as-credit need to be made public utilities, owned by the public and having a mandate to serve the public. Public banks do not engage in derivatives.

Today, virtually the entire circulating money supply (M1, M2 and M3) consists of privately-created “bank credit” — money created on the books of banks in the form of loans. If this private credit system implodes, we will be without a money supply. One option would be to return to the system of government-issued money that was devised by the American colonists, revived by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, and used by other countries at various times and places around the world. Another option would be a system of publicly-owned state banks on the model of the Bank of North Dakota, leveraging the capital of the state backed by the revenues of the state into public bank credit for the use of the local economy.

Change happens historically in times of crisis, and we may be there again today.

Ellen Brown is an attorney, president of the Public Banking Institute, and author of 12 books, including WEB OF DEBT and its newly-released sequel, THE PUBLIC BANK SOLUTION. Her websites are http://WebofDebt.com, http://PublicBankSolution.com, and http://PublicBankingInstitute.org.

Transnational Plutocrats Behind JPMorgan Chase

Behind the Scenes at JP Morgan Is An Army of Plutocrats from the Global Elite: Bilderbergers, CFR, Trilateralists, Henry Kissinger, World Economic Forum, Group of 30, Industrialists, Oil men and Billionaires from around the World Control the 4 Trillion Dollar Bank Operations

Occupy.com’s report on the Banking Influence by Andrew Gavin Marshall Exposes the Globalist Powers Infesting the Bank.

Global Power Project, Part 4: Banking on Influence with JPMorgan ChaseWed, 7/3/2013 – by Andrew Gavin Marshall

In May, JPMorgan Chase was listed as the largest bank in the world with assets at roughly $4 trillion — some $1.53 trillion of it in derivatives. This was reported a month after the announcement that the bank had posted a record first-quarter profit of $6.5 billion.

Jamie Dimon, the bank’s CEO and Chairman, has faced a host of scandals in relation to his management of the megabank, including the loss of roughly $6 billion through the London branch of the bank — losses that Dimon was accused of hiding. A 300-page report by the U.S. Senate, investigating the “creative accounting” of JPMorgan, noted that the bank “hid losses, did not share information with its regulators, and misled the public” in what one banking regulator referred to as “make believe voodoo magic.” Stated bluntly in The New York Times, JPMorgan Chase, the largest derivatives dealer in the world, “is too big to regulate.”

In the midst of the scandal, the bank faced a potential “revolt” of its shareholders in a bid to strip Dimon of his dual role as CEO and Chairman. In confidential government reports which were leaked to The New York Times, the bank was accused of “manipulative schemes” which transformed “money-losing power plants into powerful profit centers” while executives made “false and misleading statements” under oath.

Yet even in the midst of scandal, Jamie Dimon was praised in a storm of support by billionaires, corporate kingpins and media barons. Calling JPMorgan Chase “as good a bank as there is,” New York City mayor and billionaire media baron Michael Bloomberg went on to call Dimon “a very smart, honest, great executive.” News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch praised Dimon as “one of the smartest, toughest guys around,” while Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric, referred to him as a “great leader” and said he had earned the “right to hold both Chairman and CEO titles.” To top it off, billionaire investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffet, dubbed Dimon “a fabulous banker.”

And the adoration goes all the way to the top rung. In 2009, The New York Times referred to Jamie Dimon as “President Obama’s favorite banker.” In 2010, Obama told Bloomberg BusinessWeek that he didn’t “begrudge” bank CEOs like Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs for their massive bonuses of $17 and $9 million, respectively. Obama explained: “I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free-market system.” The president added, “I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen.”

In May of 2012, Obama rushed to Jamie Dimon’s defense in light of the financial scandals, stating that Dimon was “one of the smartest bankers we got.” The Financial Times referred to Dimon as “the last king of Wall Street.” And when finally faced with the decision to strip Dimon of his dual role as chairman and CEO, Obama’s “favorite banker” ended up winning “a decisive victory” by maintaining both his roles.

But this is just the surface of JPMorgan Chase’s financial manipulations. The bank, in fact, was at the forefront of creating Credit Default Swaps (CDS), a key aspect of the derivatives market that led to the inflation and subsequent blowout of the housing bubble. JPMorgan developed these “financial instruments” as a type of insurance policy in 1994, allowing the bank to trade its debt (in the form of loans to corporations and governments) to third parties, thus handing off the risk and removing the debts from its accounts, which allowed it to make further loans. JPMorgan opened up the first CDS desk in New York in 1997, “a division that would eventually earn the name the Morgan Mafia for the number of former members who went on to senior positions at global banks and hedge funds.” Back in 2003, the same Warren Buffet who would later praise Dimon referred to credit default swaps as “financial weapons of mass destruction.”

JPMorgan was also at the forefront in the United States pushing for financial deregulation, particularly the slow-motion dismantling of the Glass-Steagall Act that had been put in place in 1933 in response to the financial speculation which had helped spark the Great Depression. After hearing proposals from banks such as Citicorp, JP Morgan and Bankers Trust, which advocated the loosening of “restrictions” put in place by Glass-Steagall, the Federal Reserve Board in 1987 voted to ease many of the regulations. That same year, Alan Greenspan, who had previously been a director of JP Morgan, became the chairman of the Fed. In 1989, the Fed approved an application submitted by JP Morgan, Chase Manhattan, Citicorp and Bankers Trust to further reduce the regulations imposed by Glass-Steagall. In 1990, JP Morgan became “the first bank to receive permission from the Federal Reserve to underwrite securities.”

Financial deregulation accelerated under President Clinton, much to the delight of Wall Street banks, which were then permitted to merge into megabanks, with JPMorgan merging with Chase Manhattan to form JPMorgan Chase. As early as 2006 and 2007, multiple megabanks were beginning to bet against the housing market through various hedge funds, allowing them to make profits on the housing collapse they created. JPMorgan continued to sell mortgages as it bet against the mortgage market, passing on the risk while it hedged its bets to profit from the failure and losses of others. In 2011, the bank paid a $153 million fine to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to settle allegations of “securities fraud.”

In the midst of the financial crisis in 2008, JPMorgan Chase became not only a major criminal, but also a prime beneficiary. In 2007, the global investment bank Bear Stearns was named by Fortune magazine as the second “most admired” financial securities company in the United States, while Lehman Brothers was put in first place. As the financial crisis erupted, Bear Stearns executives “discovered” that they were “nearly out of cash” in March of 2008. The CEO of Bear Stearns, Alan Schwartz, made a phone call to Jamie Dimon — JPMorgan Chase was the clearing agent for Bear Stearns — asking for an overnight loan. Dimon, who also sat on the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, turned there instead of providing the loan through his own bank. The president of the New York Fed – who was elected by the banks that own the New York Fed – was Timothy Geithner. Geithner began discussions with Bear Stearns, and the following morning he held a meeting with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, where they agreed to an emergency loan for Bear Stearns, providing the funds through JPMorgan Chase.

Read Full Article here


U.S., British Banks Plan To Rob All Depositors

Wall Street, Banks Prepare For Financial Collapse.  Plans Now in Place to Rob Americans of Their Bank Deposits as They Did in Cyprus

RuleOfBanksby Ellen Brown

This article first appeared at Web of Debt.

Cyprus-style confiscation of depositor funds has been called the “new normal.” Bail-in policies are appearing in multiple countries directing failing Too Big To Fail banks to convert the funds of “unsecured creditors” into capital; and those creditors, it turns out, include ordinary depositors. Even “secured” creditors, including state and local governments, may be at risk. Derivatives have “super-priority” status in bankruptcy, and Dodd Frank precludes further taxpayer bailouts. In a big derivatives bust, there may be no collateral left for the creditors who are next in line.

Shock waves went around the world when the IMF, the EU, and the ECB not only approved but mandated the confiscation of depositor funds to “bail in” two bankrupt banks in Cyprus. A “Bail in” is a quantum leap beyond a “bail out.” When governments are no longer willing to use taxpayer money to bail out banks that have gambled away their capital, the banks are now being instructed to “recapitalize” themselves by confiscating the funds of their creditors, turning debt into equity, or stock; and the “creditors” include the depositors who put their money in the bank thinking it was a secure place to store their savings.

The Cyprus bail-in was not a one-off emergency measure but was consistent with similar policies already in the works for the US, UK, EU, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, as detailed in my earlier articles here and here. “Too big to fail” now trumps all. Rather than banks being put into bankruptcy to salvage the deposits of their customers, the customers will now be put into bankruptcy to save the banks.

Why Derivatives Threaten Your Bank Account

The big risk behind all this is the massive $230 trillion derivatives boondoggle managed by US banks. Derivatives are sold as a kind of insurance for managing profits and risk; but as Satyajit Das points out in Extreme Money, they actually increase risk to the system as a whole.

In the US after the Glass-Steagall Act was implemented in 1933, a bank could not gamble with depositor funds for its own account; but in 1999, that barrier was removed. Recent congressional investigations have revealed that in the biggest derivative banks, JPMorgan and Bank of America, massive commingling has occurred between their depository arms and their unregulated and highly vulnerable derivatives arms. Under both the Dodd Frank Act and the 2005 Bankruptcy Act, derivative claims have super-priority over all other claims, secured and unsecured, insured and uninsured. In a major derivatives fiasco, derivative claimants could well grab all the collateral, leaving other claimants, public and private, holding the bag.

The tab for the 2008 bailout was $700 billion in taxpayer funds, and that was just to start. Another $700 billion disaster could easily wipe out all the money in the FDIC insurance fund, which has only about $25 billion in it. Both JPMorgan and Bank of America have over $1 trillion in deposits, and total deposits covered by FDIC insurance are about $9 trillion. According to an article in Bloomberg in November 2011, Bank of America’s holding company then had almost $75 trillion in derivatives, and 71% were held in its depository arm; while J.P. Morgan had $79 trillion in derivatives, and 99% were in its depository arm. Those whole mega-sums are not actually at risk, but the cash calculated to be at risk from derivatives from all sources is at least $12 trillion; and JPM is the biggest player, with 30% of the market.

It used to be that the government would backstop the FDIC if it ran out of money. But section 716 of the Dodd Frank Act now precludes the payment of further taxpayer funds to bail out a bank from a bad derivatives gamble. As summarized in a letter from Americans for Financial Reform quoted by Yves Smith:

Section 716 bans taxpayer bailouts of a broad range of derivatives dealing and speculative derivatives activities. Section 716 does not in any way limit the swaps activities which banks or other financial institutions may engage in. It simply prohibits public support for such activities.

There will be no more $700 billion taxpayer bailouts. So where will the banks get the money in the next crisis? It seems the plan has just been revealed in the new “Bail-in” policies.

All Depositors, Secured and Unsecured, May Be at Risk

The bail-in policy for the US and UK is set forth in a document put out jointly by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Bank of England (BOE) in December 2012, titled Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important, Financial Institutions.

In an April 4th article in Financial Sense, John Butler points out that the directive does not explicitly refer to “depositors.” It refers only to “unsecured creditors.” But the effective meaning of the term, says Butler, is belied by the fact that the FDIC has been put on the job. The FDIC has direct responsibility only for depositors, not for the bondholders who are wholesale non-depositor sources of bank credit. Butler comments:

Do you see the sleight-of-hand at work here? Under the guise of protecting taxpayers, depositors of failing institutions are to be arbitrarily, de-facto subordinated to interbank claims, when in fact they are legally senior to those claims!

. . . [C]onsider the brutal, unjust irony of the entire proposal. Remember, its stated purpose is to solve the problem revealed in 2008, namely the existence of insolvent TBTF institutions that were “highly leveraged and complex, with numerous and dispersed financial operations, extensive off-balance-sheet activities, and opaque financial statements.” Yet what is being proposed is a framework sacrificing depositors in order to maintain precisely this complex, opaque, leverage-laden financial edifice!

If you believe that what has happened recently in Cyprus is unlikely to happen elsewhere, think again. Economic policy officials in the US, UK and other countries are preparing for it. Remember, someone has to pay. Will it be you? If you are a depositor, the answer is yes.

The FDIC was set up to ensure the safety of deposits. Now it, it seems, its function will be the confiscation of deposits to save Wall Street. In the only mention of “depositors” in the FDIC-BOE directive as it pertains to US policy, paragraph 47 says that “the authorities recognize the need for effective communication to depositors, making it clear that their deposits will be protected.”  But protected with what? As with MF Global, the pot will already have been gambled away. From whom will the bank get it back? Not the derivatives claimants, who are first in line to be paid; not the taxpayers, since Congress has sealed the vault; not the FDIC insurance fund, which has a paltry $25 billion in it. As long as the derivatives counter-parties have super-priority status, the claims of all other parties are in jeopardy.

That could mean not just the “unsecured creditors” but the “secured creditors,” including state and local governments. Local governments keep a significant portion of their revenues in Wall Street banks because smaller local banks lack the capacity to handle their complex business. In the US, banks taking deposits of public funds are required to pledge collateral against any funds exceeding the deposit insurance limit of $250,000. But derivative claims are also secured with collateral, and they have super-priority over all other claimants, including other secured creditors. The vault may be empty by the time local government officials get to the teller’s window. Main Street will again have been plundered by Wall Street.

Super-priority Status for Derivatives Increases Rather than Decreases Risk

Harvard Law Professor Mark Row maintains that the super-priority status of derivatives needs to be repealed. He writes:

. . . Derivatives counter-parties, . . . unlike most other secured creditors, can seize and immediately liquidate collateral, readily net out gains and losses in their dealings with the bankrupt, terminate their contracts with the bankrupt, and keep both preferential eve-of-bankruptcy payments and fraudulent conveyances they obtained from the debtor, all in ways that favor them over the bankrupt’s other creditors.

. . . When we subsidize derivatives and similar financial activity via bankruptcy benefits unavailable to other creditors, we get more of the activity than we otherwise would. Repeal would induce these burgeoning financial markets to better recognize the risks of counter-party financial failure, which in turn should dampen the possibility of another AIG-, Bear Stearns-, or Lehman Brothers-style financial meltdown, thereby helping to maintain systemic financial stability.

In The New Financial Deal: Understanding the Dodd-Frank Act and Its (Unintended) Consequences, Mr. David Skeel agrees. He calls the Dodd-Frank policy approach “corporatism”“ a partnership between government and corporations. Congress has made no attempt in the legislation to reduce the size of the big banks or to undermine the implicit subsidy provided by the knowledge that they will be bailed out in the event of trouble.

Under-girding this approach is what Mr.Skeel calls “the Lehman myth,” which blames the 2008 banking collapse on the decision to allow Lehman Brothers to fail. Mr. Skeel counters that the Lehman bankruptcy was actually orderly, and the derivatives were unwound relatively quickly. Rather than preventing the Lehman collapse, the bankruptcy exemption for derivatives may have helped precipitate it. When the bank appeared to be on shaky ground, the derivatives players all rushed to put in their claims, in a run on the collateral before it ran out. Mr. Skeel says the problem could be resolved by eliminating the derivatives exemption from the stay of proceedings that a bankruptcy court applies to other contracts to prevent this sort of run.

Putting the Brakes on the Wall Street End Game

Besides eliminating the super-priority of derivatives, here are some other ways to block the Wall Street asset grab:

(1) Restore the Glass-Steagall Act separating depository banking from investment banking. Support Marcy Kaptur’s H.R. 129

(2) Break up the giant derivatives banks. Support Bernie Sanders’ “too big to jail” legislation.

(3) Alternatively, nationalize the TBTFs, as advised in the New York Times by Gar Alperovitz. If taxpayer bailouts to save the TBTFs are unacceptable, depositor bailouts are even more unacceptable.

(4) Make derivatives illegal, as they were between 1936 and 1982 under the Commodities Exchange Act. They can be unwound by simply netting them out, declaring them null and void. As noted by Paul Craig Roberts, “the only major effect of closing out or netting all the swaps (mostly over-the-counter contracts between counter-parties) would be to take $230 trillion of leveraged risk out of the financial system.”

(5) Support the Harkin-Whitehouse bill to impose a financial transactions tax on Wall Street trading. Among other uses, a tax on all trades might supplement the FDIC insurance fund to cover another derivatives disaster.

(6) Establish postal savings banks as government-guaranteed depositories for individual savings. Many countries have public savings banks, which became particularly popular after savings in private banks were wiped out in the banking crisis of the late 1990s.

(7) Establish publicly-owned banks to be depositories of public monies, following the lead of North Dakota, the only state to completely escape the 2008 banking crisis. North Dakota does not keep its revenues in Wall Street banks but deposits them in the state-owned Bank of North Dakota by law. The bank has a mandate to serve the public, and it does not gamble in derivatives.

A motivated state legislature could set up a publicly-owned bank very quickly. Having its own bank would allow the state to protect both its own revenues and those of its citizens while generating the credit needed to support local business and restore prosperity to Main Street

For more information on the public bank option, see here. Learn more at the Public Banking Institute conference June 2-4 in San Rafael, California, featuring Matt Taibbi, Birgitta Jonsdottir, Gar Alperovitz and others.

Ellen Brown is an attorney, chairman of the Public Banking Institute, and the Ellen Brownauthor of eleven books, including Web of Debt: The Shocking Truth About Our Money System and How We Can Break Free. Her websites are www.webofdebt.com and www.ellenbrown.com.


E.U. Bankers Rob Depositors of up to Astounding 40%

Massive Demonstrations Rock Cyprus – E.U. Banksters Steal Billions From Depositor’s Accounts – Parliament Shut Out of Process

Massive Protests Rock CyprusThe “Troika of Doom”, the European Central Bank, the European Union, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Sign A Deal With the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades.

The bullies of the so-called “Troika” have signed a piece of paper that they are calling an “agreement” with the new rightist President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades that reorganizes the banking system of Cyprus.  The Cypriot Parliament was totally shut out of the process – the voice of the peoples’ representatives silenced and ignored in one of the most heavy-handed operations yet mounted by the European banks and Bilderberg ruling class.

And in one of the most cynical statements made yet this year, Daniel Gros, from the Centre for European Policy Studies, in an interview with Euronews, said that “It was necessary to have some theatre”, letting the Cypriot Parliament to say “no” to the first bailout offer.  Then a second deal was signed by the President with the “Troika”, with no vote from the Parliament at all.  This is a cynical admission that the entire process is being stage-managed by the euro banksters.

Troika Buys Nations

Good Bank vs Bad Bank

The deal as forced on Cyprus is the most onerous that can be imagined for the middle class, the poor, and small business, as well as some of the wealthy and foreign investors.  The “Troika” has seized the Second largest bank in Cyprus, the popular Laiki Bank, and divided it into 2 parts, a “good bank” where all deposits under euro 100,000 were transferred and will be given to the remaining Bank of Cyprus, and a “bad bank” which will carry all the debt and derivitives, plus all the accounts that have over euro 100,000.  The depositors who have money in the “bad bank” will be subject to a loss of their funds of up to 40% of their accounts. ECB appointed Bank Gov. Panicos Demetriades, who is also on  the ECB board, said that the funds transferred to the “bad bank” will be used to pay off bad debt.  In addition, the bond-holders of the Laiki Bank will likely suffer a 100% loss and the bond-holders of the Bank of Cyprus will also take a heavy loss.

Bank of Cyprus Gov Panicos Demetriades is an ECB Board Member
Bank of Cyprus Gov Panicos Demetriades is an ECB Board Member

Food Markets Slump 50%

The fresh fruit and vegetable markets have dropped 50% in sales.  A Euronews video reported that the poor people have been hit hard, now only affording to buy potatoes, just the basics.  The banks were completely shut down on March 16th, throwing the population into chaos, with no money to buy anything.  On Sunday, March 24th, currency controls allowed a withdrawal of only 100 euros per day.  Not only have mass demonstrations rocked the island, but the employees of the now closed Laiki Bank tried to storm the bank.  Police kept the employees out by using force.  These employees will now be out of work permanently.

In a recent interview, Eurogroup Chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said that Cyprus is being used as a “model” for future operations of the ECB that might be put on to other countries, probably referring to the problems of the “P.I.G.” nations. This admission caused an uproar in the E.U. as the ruling elites were upset that the Eurogroup Chief had let the cat out of the bag, so to speak.

With the collapse of the financial system, Cyprus now faces a rolling crises, poverty, unemployment, business failure, and a total dissolution of trust in the banking system.  Now the entire world knows that their deposits in any bank can evaporate in an instant.  Likewise the investors in the banks themselves, the shareholders and bondholders can easily be hung out to dry by the big Central Banks.  Meanwhile, the Wall Street derivatives peddlers who caused all this get off scot free.

Better to die on your feet



Collapse of the E.U. Beginning?

Helga Zepp-LaRouche Warns of Chain-Reaction Collapse of the E.U. and Hyper-Inflation.  Run On E.U. Banks May Be Next as UK Pensioners Told To Pull Their Funds From E.U. Banks as Currency Controls Loom.

Helga_Zepp-LaRouche_Axis_for_Peace_2005-11-17Helga Zepp-LaRouche, in an Emergency International Webcast warned that the crisis in Cyprus is threatening to unravel the entire European Union.  She also considers the possibility that this crisis is being created to lead Europe into a “Political Dictatorship” by collapsing the Euro and forcing the people of the European nations into a dictatorship.  The present “bank robbery” of the accounts of the average citizens who are asked to take a so-called “hair cut”, meaning that the Central Bank wants to steal 6.75% of their bank funds, is really nothing more than one of the largest bank robberies in history, committed by the European Central Bank and their plutocratic owners. Even more money would be stolen from larger accounts over $100,000.  These would be hit with almost 10%.

It is interesting to note that Cyprus is a place where many grey area depositors have money stashed.  Rumors abound that both the Russian and Israeli mobs have millions in bank deposits there.  It is also rumored that various mafias from the Middle East, Lebanon, Palestine, and France use Cypriot banks.  Are these folks going to stand for a “shakedown” by the even bigger mafia – the European Central Bank – Rothschild Axis?  Or will there be hell to pay for this act?  The Russian, Israeli, Lebanese, and other mobs could easily begin a “pay back” for this treachery.  If you see the strangled bodies of E.U. bankers floating down the Seine, you will know that the biggest mob war in modern history has  begun.

In addition, any “currency controls”, meaning that depositors will be limited in their ability to withdraw the full amount of funds from their own accounts, will also trigger a complete loss of faith in the E.U. banking system.  Indeed, it may already be too late to stem the loss of faith in the system.  According to Zepp-LaRouche, the British government has warned its citizens living overseas in European countries to withdraw their pension funds since looming currency controls, bank closures, and bank “holidays” may limit their access to their own funds needed to pay rent, eat, and otherwise survive.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche also warns these arrogant  bankers that any planned dictatorship in the European Union is doomed to failure.  Millions of people are not going to stand for it.  Click on the link below to hear the complete web cast:

Click here to see Helga Zepp-LaRouche

$43 Trillion Racketeering Law Suit Filed

Major Banks, Governmental Officials and Their Comrade Capitalists Targets of Spire Law Group, LLP’s Racketeering and Money Laundering Lawsuit Seeking Return of $43 Trillion to the United States Treasury

PR NewswirePress Release: Spire Law Group, LLP – Thu, Oct 25, 2012 2:09 PM EDT

NEW YORK, Oct. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Spire Law Group, LLP’s national home owners’ lawsuit, pending in the venue where the “Banksters” control their $43 trillion racketeering scheme (New York) – known as the largest money laundering and racketeering lawsuit in United States History and identifying $43 trillion ($43,000,000,000,000.00) of laundered money by the “Banksters” and their U.S. racketeering partners and joint venturers – now pinpoints the identities of the key racketeering partners of the “Banksters” located in the highest offices of government and acting for their own self-interests.

In connection with the federal lawsuit now impending in the United States District Court in Brooklyn, New York (Case No. 12-cv-04269-JBW-RML) – involving, among other things, a request that the District Court enjoin all mortgage foreclosures by the Banksters nationwide, unless and until the entire $43 trillion is repaid to a court-appointed receiver – Plaintiffs now establish the location of the $43 trillion ($43,000,000,000,000.00) of laundered money in a racketeering enterprise participated in by the following individuals (without limitation): Attorney General Holder acting in his individual capacity, Assistant Attorney General Tony West, the brother in law of Defendant California Attorney General Kamala Harris (both acting in their individual capacities), Jon Corzine (former New Jersey Governor), Robert Rubin (former Treasury Secretary and Bankster), Timothy Geitner, Treasury Secretary (acting in his individual capacity), Vikram Pandit (recently resigned and disgraced Chairman of the Board of Citigroup), Valerie Jarrett (a Senior White House Advisor), Anita Dunn (a former “communications director” for the Obama Administration), Robert Bauer (husband of Anita Dunn and Chief Legal Counsel for the Obama Re-election Campaign), as well as the “Banksters” themselves, and their affiliates and conduits. The lawsuit alleges serial violations of the United States Patriot Act, the Policy of Embargo Against Iran and Countries Hostile to the Foreign Policy of the United States, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (commonly known as the RICO statute) and other State and Federal laws.

In the District Court lawsuit, Spire Law Group, LLP — on behalf of home owners across the Country and New York taxpayers, as well as under other taxpayer recompense laws — has expanded its mass tort action into federal court in Brooklyn, New York, seeking to halt all foreclosures nationwide pending the return of the $43 trillion ($43,000,000,000.00) by the “Banksters” and their co-conspirators, seeking an audit of the Fed and audits of all the “bailout programs” by an independent receiver such as Neil Barofsky, former Inspector General of the TARP program who has stated that none of the TARP money and other “bailout money” advanced from the Treasury has ever been repaid despite protestations to the contrary by the Defendants as well as similar protestations by President Obama and the Obama Administration both publicly on national television and more privately to the United States Congress. Because the Obama Administration has failed to pursue any of the “Banksters” criminally, and indeed is actively borrowing monies for Mr. Obama’s campaign from these same “Banksters” to finance its political aspirations, the national group of plaintiff home owners has been forced to now expand its lawsuit to include racketeering, money laundering and intentional violations of the Iranian Nations Sanctions and Embargo Act by the national banks included among the “Bankster” Defendants.

The complaint – which has now been fully served on thousands of the “Banksters and their Co-Conspirators” – makes it irrefutable that the epicenter of this laundering and racketeering enterprise has been and continues to be Wall Street and continues to involve the very “Banksters” located there who have repeatedly asked in the past to be “bailed out” and to be “bailed out” in the future.

The Havens for the money laundering schemes – and certain of the names and places of these entities – are located in such venues as Switzerland, the Isle of Man, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Cypress and entities controlled by governments adverse to the interests of the United States Sanctions and Embargo Act against Iran, and are also identified in both the United Nations and the U.S. Senate’s recent reports on international money laundering. Many of these entities have already been personally served with summons and process of the complaint during the last six months. It is now beyond dispute that, while the Obama Administration was publicly encouraging loan modifications for home owners by “Banksters”, it was privately ratifying the formation of these shell companies in violation of the United States Patriot Act, and State and Federal law. The case further alleges that through these obscure foreign companies, Bank of America, J.P. Morgan, Wells Fargo Bank, Citibank, Citigroup, One West Bank, and numerous other federally chartered banks stole trillions of dollars of home owners’ and taxpayers’ money during the last decade and then laundered it through offshore companies.

This District Court Complaint – maintained by Spire Law Group, LLP — is the only lawsuit in the world listing as Defendants the Banksters, let alone serving all of such Banksters with legal process and therefore forcing them to finally answer the charges in court. Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission, nor the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, nor the Office of the Attorney General, nor any State Attorney General has sued the Banksters and thereby legally chased them worldwide to recover-back the $43 trillion ($43,000,000,000,000.00) and other lawful damages, injunctive relief and other legal remedies.

James N. Fiedler, Managing Partner of Spire Law Group, LLP, stated: “It is hard for me to believe as a 47-year lawyer that our nation’s guardians have been unwilling to stop this theft. Spire Law Group, LLP stands for the elimination of corruption and implementation of lawful strategies, and that is what we’re doing here. Spire Law Group, LLP’s charter is to not allow such corruption to go unanswered.”

Comments were requested from the Attorney Generals’ offices in NY, CA, NV, NH , OH, MA and the White House, but no comment was provided.

About Spire Law Group

Spire Law Group, LLP is a national law firm whose motto is “the public should be protected — at all costs — from corruption in whatever form it presents itself.” The Firm is comprised of lawyers nationally with more than 250-years of experience in a span of matters ranging from representing large corporations and wealthy individuals, to also representing the masses. The Firm is at the front lines litigating against government officials, banks, defunct loan pools, and now the very offshore entities where the corruption was enabled and perpetrated.



James N. Fiedler



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