Saturday, April 18, 2015

Signs That The Elite Are Feverishly Preparing For Something BIG

End of the American Dream
April 19, 2015

Police State Riot Control Exercise - Public DomainWhat in the world are the elite up to?  In recent days, we have learned that the New York Fed is moving a lot of operations to Chicago because of concerns about what a “natural disaster” could do, the federal government is buying 62 million rounds of ammunition commonly used in AR-15 semi-automatic rifles for “training” purposes, and NORAD is moving back into Cheyenne Mountain because it is “EMP-hardened”.  In addition, government authorities have scheduled a whole host of unusual “training exercises” all over the nation.  So are the elite doing all of this in order to prepare for something really BIG, or should we just chalk up all of this strange activity to rampant government paranoia?
First, let’s talk about what the New York Fed has been doing.  What kind of natural disaster would be bad enough to completely shut down the operations of the New York Federal Reserve Bank?  It would have to be something very unusual, and apparently the New York Fed is very concerned that such an event could happen.  According to Reuters, the New York Fed has been transferring personnel to Chicago and building up its satellite office there just in case a “natural disaster” makes it impossible for normal operations to continue in New York…
First, let’s talk about what the New York Fed has been doing.  What kind of natural disaster would be bad enough to completely shut down the operations of the New York Federal Reserve Bank?  It would have to be something very unusual, and apparently the New York Fed is very concerned that such an event could happen.  According to Reuters, the New York Fed has been transferring personnel to Chicago and building up its satellite office there just in case a “natural disaster” makes it impossible for normal operations to continue in New York…
The New York branch of the U.S. Federal Reserve, wary that a natural disaster or other eventuality could shut down its market operations as it approaches an interest rate hike, has added staff and bulked up its satellite office in Chicago.
Some market technicians have transferred from New York and others were hired at the office housed in the Chicago Fed, according to several people familiar with the build-out that began about two years ago, after Hurricane Sandy struck Manhattan.
Officials believe the Chicago staffers can now handle all of the market operations that are done daily out of the New York Fed, which is the U.S. central bank’s main conduit to Wall Street.
This seems very odd.
In all of U.S. history, there has never been a natural disaster in New York City that would have been bad enough to totally shut down the operations of the New York Fed for an extended period of time.
So why are they so concerned?
Well, I can think of one event that could cause such a disruption…
An east coast tsunami.
This is something that I wrote about in this article.  But other than that, it is hard to imagine a natural disaster which could shut down the New York Fed for an extended period of time.
Another very odd thing that we learned about this week is an absolutely massive purchase by the government of ammunition that is commonly used in AR-15 semi-automatic rifles.  The following comes from an article by Paul Joseph Watson
The Department of Homeland Security is set to purchase over 62 million rounds of ammo typically used in AR-15 semi-automatic rifles, just weeks after the ATF was forced to back down on a ban on M855 bullets.
posting on FedBizOpps.gov this week reveals that the DHS is looking to contract with a company to provide 12.6 million rounds of .223 Remington ammunition per year for a period of five years – totaling 62.5 million bullets.
The solicitation explains that the purchase is intended, “to achieve price savings over the current .223 Rem duty ammunition.” The bullets will be used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents nationwide for “training” purposes.

Why in the world would U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents nationwide need such a massive amount of ammunition for “training” purposes?
That seems very odd.
Something else that seems very strange is the fact that NORAD is moving back into Cheyenne mountain after all these years…
It shut down nearly ten years ago as the threat from Russia seemed to subside, but this week the Pentagon announced that Cheyenne Mountain will once again be home to the most advanced tracking and communications equipment in the United States military.
The shift to the Cheyenne Mountain base in Colorado is designed to safeguard the command’s sensitive sensors and servers from a potential electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, military officers said.
The Pentagon last week announced a $700 million contract with Raytheon Corporation to oversee the work for North American Aerospace Command (NORAD) and US Northern Command.
Admiral William Gortney, head of NORAD and Northern Command, said that ‘because of the very nature of the way that Cheyenne Mountain’s built, it’s EMP-hardened.’
So the U.S. military is concerned about an EMP attack all of a sudden?
Spending 700 million dollars to move back inside a mountain just because it is “EMP-hardened” is a pretty big deal.
Do they know something that we don’t?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Citi Economist Says It Might Be Time to Abolish Cash

Bloomberg Business
April 17, 2015

The world's central banks have a problem.
When economic conditions worsen, they react by reducing interest rates in order to stimulate the economy. But, as has happened across the world in recent years, there comes a point where those central banks run out of room to cut — they can bring interest rates to zero, but reducing them further below that is fraught with problems, the biggest of which is cash in the economy.
In a new piece, Citi's Willem Buiter looks at this problem, which is known as the effective lower bound (ELB) on nominal interest rates.
Fundamentally, the ELB problem comes down to cash. According to Buiter, the ELB only exists at all due to the existence of cash, which is a bearer instrument that pays zero nominal rates. Why have your money on deposit at a negative rate that reduces your wealth when you can have it in cash and suffer no reduction?
Cash therefore gives people an easy and effective way of avoiding negative nominal rates.
Buiter's note suggests three ways to address this problem:
  1. Abolish currency.
  2. Tax currency.
  3. Remove the fixed exchange rate between currency and central bank reserves/deposits.
Yes, Buiter's solution to cash's ability to allow people to avoid negative deposit rates is to abolish cash altogether. (Note that he's far from being the first to float this idea. Ken Rogoff has given his endorsement to the idea as well, as have others.)
Before looking at the practicalities of abolishing currency, we should first look at whether it could ever be necessary. Due to the costs of holding large amounts of cash, Buiter puts the actual nominal rate at which the move to cash makes sense as closer to -100bp. So, in order for a cash abolition to become necessary, central banks would need to be in a position where they wished to set nominal rates much lower than that.
Buiter does not have to go far to find an example of where a central bank may have wanted to set interest rates much lower to -100bp. He uses (a fairly aggressive) Taylor Rule to show that Federal Reserve rates should have been as low as -6 percent during the financial crisis.
It seems Buiter is correct: Sometimes strongly negative nominal rates are called for. 
Buiter is aware that his idea may be somewhat controversial, so he goes to the effort of listing the disadvantages of abolishing cash.
  1. Abolishing currency will constitute a noticeable change in many people’s lives and change often tends to be resisted.
  2. Currency use remains high among the poor and some older people. (Buiter suggests that keeping low-denomination cash in circulation — nothing larger than $5 — might solve this.)
  3. Central banks and governments would lose seigniorage revenue.
  4. Abolishing currency would inevitably be associated with a loss of privacy and create risks of excessive intrusion by the government.
  5. Switching exclusively to electronic payments may create new security and operational risks.
Buiter dismisses each of these concerns in turn, finishing with:
In summary, we therefore conclude that the arguments against abolishing currency seem rather weak.
Whatever the strength of the arguments, the chances of an administration taking the decision to abolish cash seem vanishingly small. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

ISIS CAMP DISCOVERED AT U.S. BORDER!

Infowars News
April 16, 2015

Infowars reporter Joe Biggs touches down at the U.S./Mexico border where it has been reported that ISIS has established a compound in Juarez, N.M. among numerous cartel groups.
We know the feds have been caught smuggling drugs and weapons into America, but are they now smuggling in members of ISIS?

Global Property Bubble Fears are Growing

The Economist
April 16, 2015

BEFORE the financial crisis of 2007-08 low long-term interest rates fuelled an extraordinary house-price boom around the world. That bubble was pricked in the crisis and subsequent recession. Since then, however, central banks’ attempts to crank up the recovery by pushing down long-term interest rates to new lows have had a predictable consequence in many property markets. House prices are now rising in 18 of the 23 economies that we track, in eight of them at a faster pace than three months ago (see table).
There remain some weak spots, especially in Europe. Prices in Spain, which had one of the biggest bubbles before the crisis, are still falling. They have also been declining in France and Italy, reflecting continuing economic weakness in the euro zone’s second- and third-largest economies. In contrast, housing markets are buoyant in some northern European countries, notably Britain.
Since some recovery was bound to occur after the housing slump, how worrying are the renewed signs of exuberance? To assess whether house prices are at sustainable levels, we use two yardsticks. One is affordability, measured by the ratio of prices to income per person after tax. The other is the case for investing in housing, based on the ratio of house prices to rents, much as stockmarket investors look at the ratio of equity prices to earnings. If these gauges are higher than their historical averages then property is deemed overvalued; if they are lower, it is undervalued.
Based on an average of these measures, houses are at least 25% overvalued in nine countries. Judged by rents, the most glaring examples are in Hong Kong, Canada and New Zealand. The overshoot in these economies and others bears an unhappy resemblance to that prevailing in America at the height of its boom before the crisis.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Global Schooling: The Hijacking of American Education

August Forecast & Review
April 12, 2015


CommonCoreTree.jpgHijack: To seize control of (a moving vehicle) by use of force, especially in order to reach an alternate destination.
This issue demonstrates the virtual takeover, or hijacking, of American education by the same global elite who have already been noted in other issues of The August Review. The time period for this hijacking is roughly the same as the economic plundering of America detailed in For Sale: The United States of America -- it started roughly in 1973, and is still in progress today.
The success of globalism rides on the back of manipulating the minds of students to reflect patterns of global dogma. These students may be academically inferior to their 1970 counterparts, but scholarship was easily traded for the globalist-friendly character traits of a global citizen -- traits that will not question the globalist agenda, but that will indeed welcome it as an inevitable evolution of civilization.
It will be shown that the hijacking...
  • had careful forethought and planning
  • anticipated a specific timetable for implementation
  • was actually implemented according to the stated timetable
  • included plans to remove resistance and obstacles
  • was steeped in deception and double-talk
The common thread through all of this will be seen most clearly in the common patterns of financing that repeatedly surfaces: Foundations like Carnegie Corporation, Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, and others, who backed those working toward globalist ends.
The result is the total subversion of American education into the hands of a relatively small band of global elitists. There was no public or political mandate for their policies or actions. By and large they operated behind the scenes by blurring the distinctions between public and private policies, and by making sure no one connected the dots to accurately display the "big picture."
The mission of The August Review has been "Follow the money, follow the power". In this case, we are following the money. The big picture will reveal to the reader a startling scene that few have experienced before.

Background: Policy and Planning

In his contribution to the 1979 book, Schooling for a Global Age, Robert Leestma of the U.S. Office of Education wrote:
"National security today involves more than military preparation. Global education is one of the essential new dimensions.
"The globalization of the human condition is interweaving the destinies of all nations and peoples at an accelerating rate and affecting many aspects of life. Global education involves multidisciplinary perspectives about the extended human family, the existing condition of mankind and the planet, and foreseeable consequences of present trends and alternative choices.”1
The back side of the dust cover noted the financial backers of the studies:
The Danforth Foundation
The John D. Rockefeller III Fund
Martha Holden Jennings Foundation
Charles F. Kettering Foundation
Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
The Needmor Fund
The Rockefeller Foundation
The Spencer Foundation
U.S. Office of Education
National Institute of Education2
Emphasis is added to note two things: first, the Rockefeller and Kettering foundations originally funded the Trilateral Commission. Second, public funds were intermixed with private funds to facilitate and implement a non-public supported or authorized endeavor.
Schooling for a Global Age was an excellent example of global education strategy because of its authority of scholarship, financial backing and subsequent impact. Although it was not an "official" US government publication, government officials were quoted and substantial government funds were provided so the study could be undertaken.
In short, this book typified the then-current thinking of the National Education Association (NEA), the Department of Education, the various foundations listed and most importantly, the thinking of David Rockefeller et al.

Keiser Report: Warren Buffett's Interest Rate Apartheid

Keiser Report
April 12, 2015


In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s – and unto Warren Buffett (and other tollbooth operators) everything else. In the second half, Max interviews internet and tech pioneer Halsey Minor about his latest venture, Bitreserve.org, a next-generation money service built on top of bitcoin.


19 Signs That American Families Are Being Economically Destroyed

The Economic Collapse
April 12, 2015

19 - Public DomainThe systematic destruction of the American way of life is happening all around us, and yet most people have no idea what is happening.  Once upon a time in America, if you were responsible and hard working you could get a good paying job that could support a middle class lifestyle for an entire family even if you only had a high school education.  Things weren’t perfect, but generally almost everyone in the entire country was able to take care of themselves without government assistance.  We worked hard, we played hard, and our seemingly boundless prosperity was the envy of the entire planet.  But over the past several decades things have completely changed.  We consumed far more wealth than we produced, we shipped millions of good paying jobs overseas, we piled up the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world, and we kept electing politicians that had absolutely no concern for the long-term future of this nation whatsoever.  So now good jobs are in very short supply, we are drowning in an ocean of red ink, the middle class is rapidly shrinking and dependence on the government is at an all-time high.  Even as we stand at the precipice of the next great economic crisis, we continue to make the same mistakes.  In the end, all of us are going to pay a very great price for decades of incredibly foolish decisions.  Of course a tremendous amount of damage has already been done.  The numbers that I am about to share with you are staggering.  The following are 19 signs that American families are being economically destroyed…
#1 The poorest 40 percent of all Americans now spend more than 50 percent of their incomes just on food and housing.
#2 For those Americans that don’t own a home, 50 percent of them spend more than a third of their incomes just on rent.
#3 The price of school lunches has risen to the 3 dollar mark at many public schools across the nation.
#4 McDonald’s “Dollar Menu & More” now includes items that cost as much as 5 dollars.
#5 The price of ground beef has doubled since 2009.
#6 In 1986, child care expenses for families with employed mothers used up 6.3 percent of all income.  Today, that figure is up to 7.2 percent.
#7 Incomes fell for the bottom 80 percent of all income earners in the United States during the 12 months leading up to June 2014.
#8 At this point, more than 50 percent of all American workers bring home less than $30,000 a year in wages.
#9 After adjusting for inflation, median household income has fallen by nearly $5,000since 2007.

MEET THE SECRETIVE GROUP THAT RUNS THE WORLD

Zero Hedge
April 12, 2015

Nothing comes closer to the stereotypical, secretive group determining the fate of over 7 billion people, than the Bank of International Settlements
Meet The Secretive Group That Runs The World
Over the centuries there have been many stories, some based on loose facts, others based on hearsay, conjecture, speculation and outright lies, about groups of people who “control the world.” Some of these are partially accurate, others are wildly hyperbolic, but when it comes to the historic record, nothing comes closer to the stereotypical, secretive group determining the fate of over 7 billion people, than the Bank of International Settlements, which hides in such plain sight, that few have ever paid much attention.
This is their story.
First unofficial meeting of the BIS Board of Directors in Basel, April 1930
The following is an excerpt from TOWER OF BASEL: The Shadowy History of the Secret Bank that Runs the World by Adam LeBor.  Reprinted with permission from PublicAffairs.
The world’s most exclusive club has eighteen members. They gather every other month on a Sunday evening at 7 p.m. in conference room E in a circular tower block whose tinted windows overlook the central Basel railway station. Their discussion lasts for one hour, perhaps an hour and a half. Some of those present bring a colleague with them, but the aides rarely speak during this most confidential of conclaves. The meeting closes, the aides leave, and those remaining retire for dinner in the dining room on the eighteenth floor, rightly confident that the food and the wine will be superb. The meal, which continues until 11 p.m. or midnight, is where the real work is done. The protocol and hospitality, honed for more than eight decades, are faultless. Anything said at the dining table, it is understood, is not to be repeated elsewhere.
Few, if any, of those enjoying their haute cuisine and grand cru wines— some of the best Switzerland can offer—would be recognized by passers-by, but they include a good number of the most powerful people in the world. These men—they are almost all men—are central bankers. They have come to Basel to attend the Economic Consultative Committee (ECC) of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), which is the bank for central banks. Its current members [ZH: as of 2013] include Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the US Federal Reserve; Sir Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England; Mario Draghi, of the European Central Bank; Zhou Xiaochuan of the Bank of China; and the central bank governors of Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, Canada, India, and Brazil. Jaime Caruana, a former governor of the Bank of Spain, the BIS’s general manager, joins them.
In early 2013, when this book went to press, King, who is due to step down as governor of the Bank of England in June 2013, chaired the ECC. The ECC, which used to be known as the G-10 governors’ meeting, is the most influential of the BIS’s numerous gatherings, open only to a small, select group of central bankers from advanced economies. The ECC makes recommendations on the membership and organization of the three BIS committees that deal with the global financial system, payments systems, and international markets. The committee also prepares proposals for the Global Economy Meeting and guides its agenda.
That meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. on Monday morning, in room B and lasts for three hours. There King presides over the central bank governors of the thirty countries judged the most important to the global economy. In addition to those who were present at the Sunday evening dinner, Monday’s meeting will include representatives from, for example, Indonesia, Poland, South Africa, Spain, and Turkey. Governors from fifteen smaller countries, such as Hungary, Israel, and New Zealand are allowed to sit in as observers, but do not usually speak. Governors from the third tier of member banks, such as Macedonia and Slovakia, are not allowed to attend. Instead they must forage for scraps of information at coffee and meal breaks.
The governors of all sixty BIS member banks then enjoy a buffet lunch in the eighteenth-floor dining room. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the Swiss architectural firm which built the “Bird’s Nest” Stadium for the Beijing Olympics, the dining room has white walls, a black ceiling and spectacular views over three countries: Switzerland, France, and Germany. At 2 p.m. the central bankers and their aides return to room B for the governors’ meeting to discuss matters of interest, until the gathering ends at 5.
King takes a very different approach than his predecessor, Jean-Claude Trichet, the former president of the European Central Bank, in chairing the Global Economy Meeting. Trichet, according to one former central banker, was notably Gallic in his style: a stickler for protocol who called the central bankers to speak in order of importance, starting with the governors of the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, and the Bundesbank, and then progressing down the hierarchy. King, in contrast, adopts a more thematic and egalitarian approach: throwing open the meetings for discussion and inviting contributions from all present.
The governors’ conclaves have played a crucial role in determining the world’s response to the global financial crisis. “The BIS has been a very important meeting point for central bankers during the crisis, and the rationale for its existence has expanded,” said King. “We have had to face challenges that we have never seen before. We had to work out what was going on, what instruments do we use when interest rates are close to zero, how do we communicate policy. We discuss this at home with our staff, but it is very valuable for the governors themselves to get together and talk among themselves.”
Those discussions, say central bankers, must be confidential. “When you are at the top in the number one post, it can be pretty lonely at times. It is helpful to be able to meet other number ones and say, ‘This is my problem, how do you deal with it?’” King continued. “Being able to talk informally and openly about our experiences has been immensely valuable. We are not speaking in a public forum. We can say what we really think and believe, and we can ask questions and benefit from others.”
The BIS management works hard to ensure that the atmosphere is friendly and clubbable throughout the weekend, and it seems they succeed. The bank arranges a fleet of limousines to pick up the governors at Zürich airport and bring them to Basel. Separate breakfasts, lunches, and dinners are organized for the governors of national banks who oversee different types and sizes of national economies, so no one feels excluded. “The central bankers were more at home and relaxed with their fellow central bankers than with their own governments,” recalled Paul Volcker, the former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, who at- tended the Basel weekends. The superb quality of the food and wine made for an easy camaraderie, said Peter Akos Bod, a former governor of the National Bank of Hungary. “The main topics of discussion were the quality of the wine and the stupidity of finance ministers. If you had no knowledge of wine you could not join in the conversation.”
And the conversation is usually stimulating and enjoyable, say central bankers. The contrast between the Federal Open Markets Committee at  the US Federal Reserve, and the Sunday evening G-10 governors’ dinners was notable, recalled Laurence Meyer, who served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve from 1996 until 2002. The chairman of the Federal Reserve did not always represent the bank at the Basel meetings, so Meyer occasionally attended. The BIS discussions were always lively, focused and thought provoking. “At FMOC meetings, while I was at the Fed, almost all the Committee members read statements which had been prepared in advance. They very rarely referred to statements by other Committee members and there was almost never an exchange between two members or an ongoing discussion about the outlook or policy options. At BIS dinners people actually talk to each other and the discussions are always stimulating and interactive focused on the serious issues facing the global economy.”
All the governors present at the two-day gathering are assured of total confidentiality, discretion, and the highest levels of security. The meetings take place on several floors that are usually used only when the governors are in attendance. The governors are provided with a dedicated office and the necessary support and secretarial staff. The Swiss authorities have no juridisdiction over the BIS premises. Founded by an international treaty, and further protected by the 1987 Headquarters Agreement with the Swiss government, the BIS enjoys similar protections to those granted to the headquarters of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and diplomatic embassies. The Swiss authorities need the permission of the BIS management to enter the bank’s buildings, which are described as “inviolable.”
The BIS has the right to communicate in code and to send and receive correspondence in bags covered by the same protection as embassies, meaning they cannot be opened. The BIS is exempt from Swiss taxes. Its employees do not have to pay income tax on their salaries, which are usually generous, designed to compete with the private sector. The general man- ager’s salary in 2011 was 763,930 Swiss francs, while head of departments were paid 587,640 per annum, plus generous allowances. The bank’s extraordinary legal privileges also extend to its staff and directors. Senior managers enjoy a special status, similar to that of diplomats, while carrying out their duties in Switzerland, which means their bags cannot be searched (unless there is evidence of a blatant criminal act), and their papers are inviolable. The central bank governors traveling to Basel for the bimonthly meetings enjoy the same status while in Switzerland. All bank officials are immune under Swiss law, for life, for all the acts carried out during the discharge of their duties. The bank is a popular place to work and not just because of the salaries. Around six hundred staff come from over fifty countries. The atmosphere is multi-national and cosmopolitan, albeit very Swiss, emphasizing the bank’s hierarchy. Like many of those working for the UN or the IMF, some of the staff of the BIS, especially senior management, are driven by a sense of mission, that they are working for a higher, even celestial purpose and so are immune from normal considerations of accountability and transparency.
The bank’s management has tried to plan for every eventuality so that the Swiss police need never be called. The BIS headquarters has high-tech sprinkler systems with multiple back-ups, in-house medical facilities, and its own bomb shelter in the event of a terrorist attack or armed conflagration. The BIS’s assets are not subject to civil claims under Swiss law and can never be seized.
The BIS strictly guards the bankers’ secrecyThe minutes, agenda, and actual attendance list of the Global Economy Meeting or the ECC are not released in any form. This is because no official minutes are taken, although the bankers sometimes scribble their own notes.Sometimes there will be a brief press conference or bland statement afterwards but never anything detailed. This tradition of privileged confidentiality reaches back to the bank’s foundation.
“The quietness of Basel and its absolutely nonpolitical character provide a perfect setting for those equally quiet and nonpolitical gatherings,” wrote one American official in 1935. “The regularity of the meetings and their al- most unbroken attendance by practically every member of the Board make them such they rarely attract any but the most meager notice in the press.”8 Forty years on, little had changed. Charles Coombs, a former foreign exchange chief of the New York Federal Reserve, attended governors’ meetings from 1960 to 1975. The bankers who were allowed inside the inner sanctum of the governors’ meetings trusted each other absolutely, he recalled in his memoirs. “However much money was involved, no agreements were ever signed nor memoranda of understanding ever initialized. The word of each official was sufficient, and there were never any disappointments.”
What, then, does this matter to the rest of us? Bankers have been gathering confidentially since money was first invented. Central bankers like to view themselves as the high priests of finance, as technocrats overseeing arcane monetary rituals and a financial liturgy understood only by a small, self-selecting elite.
But the governors who meet in Basel every other month are public servants. Their salaries, airplane tickets, hotel bills, and lucrative pensions when they retire are paid out of the public purse. The national reserves held by central banks are public money, the wealth of nations. The central bankers’ discussions at the BIS, the information that they share, the policies that are evaluated, the opinions that are exchanged, and the subsequent decisions that are taken, are profoundly political. Central bankers, whose independence is constitutionally protected, control monetary policy in the developed world. They manage the supply of money to national economies. They set interest rates, thus deciding the value of our savings and investments. They decide whether to focus on austerity or growth. Their decisions shape our lives.
The BIS’s tradition of secrecy reaches back through the decades. During the 1960s, for example, the bank hosted the London Gold Pool. Eight countries pledged to manipulate the gold market to keep the price at around thirty-five dollars per ounce, in line with the provisions of the Bretton Woods Accord that governed the post–World War II international financial system. Although the London Gold Pool no longer exists, its successor is the BIS Markets Committee, which meets every other month on the occasion of the governors’ meetings to discuss trends in the financial markets. Officials from twenty-one central banks attend. The committee releases occasional papers, but its agenda and discussions remain secret.
Nowadays the countries represented at the Global Economy Meetings together account for around four-fifths of global gross domestic product (GDP)— most of the produced wealth of the world—according to the BIS’s own statistics. Central bankers now “seem more powerful than politicians,” wrote The Economist newspaper, “holding the destiny of the global economy in their hands.” How did this happen? The BIS, the world’s most secretive global financial institution, can claim much of the credit. From its first day of existence, the BIS has dedicated itself to furthering the interests of central banks and building the new architecture of transnational finance. In doing so, it has spawned a new class of close-knit global technocrats whose members glide between highly-paid positions at the BIS, the IMF, and central and commercial banks.
The founder of the technocrats’ cabal was Per Jacobssen, the Swedish economist who served as the BIS’s economic adviser from 1931 to 1956. The bland title belied his power and reach. Enormously influential, well connected, and highly regarded by his peers, Jacobssen wrote the first BIS annual reports, which were—and remain—essential reading throughout the world’s treasuries. Jacobssen was an early supporter of European federalism. He argued relentlessly against inflation, excessive government spending, and state intervention in the economy. Jacobssen left the BIS in 1956 to take over the IMF. His legacy still shapes our world. The consequences of his mix of economic liberalism, price obsession, and dismantling of national sovereignty play out nightly in the European news bulletins on our television screens.
The BIS’s defenders deny that the organization is secretive. The bank’s archives are open and researchers may consult most documents that are more than thirty years old. The BIS archivists are indeed cordial, helpful, and professional. The bank’s website includes all its annual reports, which are downloadable, as well as numerous policy papers produced by the bank’s highly regarded research department. The BIS publishes detailed accounts of the securities and derivatives markets, and international banking statistics. But these are largely compilations and analyses of information already in the public domain. The details of the bank’s own core activities, including much of its banking operations for its customers, central banks, and international organizations, remain secret. The Global Economy Meetings and the other crucial financial gatherings that take place at Basel, such as the Markets Committee, remain closed to outsiders. Private individuals may not hold an account at BIS, unless they work for the bank. The bank’s opacity, lack of accountability, and ever-increasing influence raises profound questions— not just about monetary policy but transparency, accountability, and how power is exercised in our democracies.
Read the entire article

ISIS Appears Ready to Launch Strike Against Israel, Moving Fast on the Border

The Federalist Papers
April 12, 2015



The radical Islamist terrorist group ISIS has been wreaking havoc across the Middle East for several months now. In their path they have left a trail of violence, murder, rape, and barbarism not seen since Islam’s earlier days.  But up until this time, their targets have been in Islamic countries like Syria, Iraq, and Libya.
That may now be changing as the Jerusalem Post reports:
Islamic State-affiliated jihadists in the volatile Sinai Peninsula have claimed the graphic killings of an Egyptian solider and another captive.

According to AFP, the group Sinai Province uploaded a video overnight between Friday and Saturday that allegedy shows the fatal shooting of the solider and the beheading of the other man.
In the video, a man addressing the camera says he is an Egyptian solider who was captured on April 2 by the group formerly called Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis during an attack on a military outpost in the northern Sinai.
After the soldier speaks, a masked jihdai from the group — that changed its name after pledging allegiance to the extremist Islamic State group — is seen shooting him in the head, according to AFP.
The Sinai Peninsula borders Israel to the southwest.  Israel controlled the Sinai for decades until a recent treaty with Egypt returned control to the Egyptians.  This is an alarming turn of events if ISIS (or one of their affiliates) is operating so close to Israel.  The Jerusalem Post supplies further details:
A day after the ambush on April 2, the group claimed responsibility for attacks on military checkpoints which killed 15 soldiers and two civilians in Sinai.
Sinai Province said in a statement its fighters used rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons in the attacks, which highlighted security challenges facing Egypt despite one of the toughest crackdowns on militancy in its history.
The group said the operations killed or wounded dozens of people.
If there is a growing ISIS presence in the Sinai, this could spell trouble for not only Israel and Egypt, but for much of the world as well.  The Suez Canal is located on the western side of the Sinai Peninsula.  It connects the Red Sea with the Mediterranean Sea and is a vital shipping lane between Europe and Asia.








If ISIS can interfere with ship traffic through the Canal, it could cause a huge disruption of trade in the Eastern Hemisphere.
Egyptian President, al-Sisi understands what’s at stake here as the Jerusalem Post relates:
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has repeatedly called on Arab and Western states to confront Islamist groups, which have flourished in the region since the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings toppled autocratic states which contained them.

Sinai-based terrorists have killed hundreds of soldiers and police since then-army chief Sisi toppled Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in 2013 after mass protests against his rule.
 Israel will not stand quietly by and wait for ISIS to invade them.  If the terrorist presence grows in the Sinai, look for Israel to begin military strikes on their bases.
Of course, ISIS would never have been heard of in the first place if President Obama had taken the threat seriously and had the U.S. intervene when they were just getting a foothold in Syria and Iraq.  But remember, this is the President who referred to ISIS as the “JV team”, and who still can’t bring himself to call them Islamic terrorists.

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