Monday, December 20, 2010

Plotting the raid in advance

The scandal isn't so much about what the banksters have done that's illegal, it's what is now legal.  After all, corrupt legislators in many countries have now decriminalized many of the banksters more egregious activity.  Even so, the ability of banks to cover their gambling losses by raiding the public till seems criminal to us innocent bystanders--even if the laws don't protect us as they should.

Here is the story of how the big October 2008 raid on the public purse--the one we were told was critical to the survival of the global financial system--was already well planned in March.  And of course, this particular evil just HAD to involve the Bank of England.  Of course.

WikiLeaks cables: Mervyn King plotted banks bailout by four cash-rich nations
Bank of England governor suggested new group of UK, US, Swiss and Japan could facilitate global bailout, cable shows
Jill Treanor, Monday 13 December 2010 23.00 GMT
The Bank of England governor, Mervyn King, was so concerned about the health of the world's banks in March 2008 that he plotted a secret bailout of the system using funds from cash-rich nations, according to a US embassy cable released by WikiLeaks.
Six months before the world financial crisis reached its peak, forcing taxpayers to rescue collapsing financial institutions, King told US officials in London that the UK, US, Switzerland and Japan could jointly enable a multibillion-pound cash injection into global banks, overriding the "dysfunctional" G7 nations.
The leak may allow King to claim that he – rather than Gordon Brown – was one of the brains behind the bailout of the banks, which took place in October 2008.
According to the cable, King told Robert Tuttle, the US ambassador to Britain, and the treasury deputy secretary Robert Kimitt, who was visiting London, that there needed to be a "coordinated effort to possibly recapitalise the global banking system" as well as a way to rid the banks of the toxic loans on their balance sheets.
The ambassador said in the cable, dated March 2008, that King's proposals "were not casual ideas developed in the course of a luncheon conversation. It was clear that his principal objective in the meeting was to outline his outside-the-box thinking for Kimmitt. King suggested that the US, UK, Switzerland and perhaps Japan might form a temporary new group to jointly develop an effort to bring together sources of capital to recapitalise all major banks." more
Not everyone has a sleazy Bank of England clone in their government plotting ever new ways to destroy their economies.  Here we see that Hungary has grown tired already of neoliberal "solutions."
Hungary rolls back pension reform, defies markets
By Gergely Szakacs and Marton Dunai
BUDAPEST | Mon Dec 13, 2010 1:47pm EST
(Reuters) - Hungarian lawmakers voted to roll back a 1997 pension reform on Monday, effectively allowing the government to seize up to $14 billion in private pension assets to cut the budget deficit while avoiding austerity measures.
With financial markets on edge across Europe over debt and deficits, Prime Minister Viktor Orban has spurned international advice to cut budget costs, as Ireland and Greece have done, in favor of unconventional policies meant to revive Hungary's moribund economy.
Parliament passed the pension legislation with 250 votes for, 58 votes against and 43 abstentions. Orban's ruling Fidesz party has a two-thirds parliamentary majority.
By plugging its budget shortfall with the pension funds and new taxes on banks and mostly foreign-owned businesses, Orban has promised to end years of austerity and bolstered the popularity of his right-of-center Fidesz party in opinion polls.
But the strategy -- which also includes regaining "financial sovereignty" by ending a 20 billion euro ($26.38 billion) safety net deal with the European Union and International Monetary Fund -- has worried investors, caused losses in Hungarian assets, and prompted a downgrade by Moody's ratings agency last week to Baa3, the lowest investment grade.
The government has also criticised the independent central bank for raising interest rates last month, and is poised to change the central bank law so it can fill the rate-setting Monetary Council with its own candidates. more

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