How Bush’s Grandfather Helped Hitler’s Rise to Power

Courtesy of Ben Aris and Duncan Campbell @ The Guardian (2004):

George Bush’s grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany.

The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism.

His business dealings, which continued until his company’s assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act, has led more than 60 years later to a civil action for damages being brought in Germany against the Bush family by two former slave labourers at Auschwitz and to a hum of pre-election controversy.

The evidence has also prompted one former US Nazi war crimes prosecutor to argue that the late senator’s action should have been grounds for prosecution for giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

The debate over Prescott Bush’s behaviour has been bubbling under the surface for some time. There has been a steady internet chatter about the “Bush/Nazi” connection, much of it inaccurate and unfair. But the new documents, many of which were only declassified last year, show that even after America had entered the war and when there was already significant information about the Nazis’ plans and policies, he worked for and profited from companies closely involved with the very German businesses that financed Hitler’s rise to power. It has also been suggested that the money he made from these dealings helped to establish the Bush family fortune and set up its political dynasty. Continue reading

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UK Bail-in Powers Implementation

Courtesy of Gov.uk, because they care:

1. Introduction

The Special Resolution Regime (SRR) established in the Banking Act 2009 (“the Banking Act”) confers a number of resolution powers on the Bank of England and HM Treasury. The Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013 (the 2013 Act) confers on the Bank of England a further option for the resolution for banks, building societies, investment firms, and certain banking group companies: the bail-in stabilisation option.

Since the financial crisis, a wide-ranging programme of financial sector reform has been underway at domestic, European and international levels. The government set up the Independent Commission on Banking (ICB), charged with considering structural and related non-structural reforms to the UK banking sector to promote financial stability and competition. It reported in 2011, and one of its key recommendations was the introduction of a bail-in tool. Bail-in powers were also recommended by the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards (PCBS) in its June 2013 report. The Financial Stability Board’s (FSB), ‘Key Attributes of Effective Resolution Regimes’ – endorsed by the G20 – has recommended that resolution regimes put in place a bail-in tool in order to improve the toolkit for dealing with the failure of large, globally systemic banks.

Bail-in involves shareholders of a failing institution being divested of their shares, and creditors of the institution having their claims cancelled or reduced to the extent necessary to restore the institution to financial viability. The shares can then be transferred to affected creditors, as appropriate, to provide compensation. Alternatively, where a suitable purchaser is identified, the shares may be transferred to them, with the creditors instead receiving, where appropriate, compensation in some other form. Continue reading

No Surge of Romanian and Bulgarian Migrants After Controls Lifted

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European flight destinations on a board at Otopeni airport near Bucharest on 1 January 2014. Photograph: Bogdan Cristel/Reuters

Courtesy of Alan Travis @ The Guardian:

A quarter of a million Romanians and Bulgarians are now living and working in Britain, more than 80% of whom arrived before labour market restrictions on migrants from their countries were scrapped 12 months ago, say academics.

The Oxford University-based Migration Observatory said the growth in the Romanian and Bulgarian populations of the UK had remained at the same steady pace for the last seven years.

The lack of a surge in migrants from the two EU countries after seven years of transitional controls were lifted on 1 January 2014 confounds predictions by Ukip’s Nigel Farage and others that 5,000 Romanians and Bulgarians would arrive “each week, every week” for several years.

The migration experts said the latest labour force survey figures showed that the overall population of Romanians and Bulgarians in the UK rose from 205,000 in September 2013 to 252,000 in September 2014, an increase of 47,000. This followed a similar rise of 45,000 in the corresponding period in 2012-13.

Madeleine Sumption, the Migration Observatory director, said: “The growth in the Romanian and Bulgarian population of the UK has been steady for the last seven years, despite transitional controls that limited their access to the labour market and welfare state in the UK. The end of these controls do not seem to have had a very significant effect.” Continue reading

Democracy And Corruption: Germany Files War Crimes Charges Against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld And Other CIA Officials

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Courtesy of Tiffany Willis @ Liberal America:

The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights has filed a criminal complaint against U.S. torture program architects and members of the Bush Administration. The organization has accused CIA director George Tenet and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld of war crimes and they’ve called for a German prosecutor to conduct an immediate investigation.

This move follows the release of the damning Senate report on CIA torture that includes the case of German citizen Khalid El-Masri, who was captured in 2004 by CIA agents in a case of mistaken identity. The report revealed the shocking contrast of democracy and corruption.

Bizarrely, the only person involved with the CIA torture program who has been charged with a crime is the man who exposed the war crimes — whistleblower John Kiriakou.

The relevant parties in this case have given an extensive interview to Democracy Now. Some of the important points are below.

Wolfgang Kaleck, the general secretary of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights and the author of International Prosecution of Human Rights Crimes said this:

“By investigating members of the Bush administration, Germany can help to ensure that those responsible for abduction, abuse and illegal detention do not go unpunished.”

Continue reading

Even The BIS Is Shocked At How Broken Markets Have Become

Courtesy of ZeroHedge:

Not a quarter passes without the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) aka central banks’ central bank (also the locus of some of the most aggressive manipulation of gold and FX in human history) reiterating a dire warning about the fire and brimstone that is about to be unleashed upon the global economy.

It started in June of 2013, when Jaime Caruana, certainly the most prominent doom and gloomer at the BIS (who also was Governor of the Bank of Spain from 2000 to 2007 when this happened) asked if “central banks [can] now really do “whatever it takes”? As each day goes by, it seems less and less likely… [seven] years have passed since the eruption of the global financial crisis, yet robust, self-sustaining, well balanced growth still eludes the global economy…. low-interest policies have made it easy for the private sector to postpone deleveraging, easy for the government to finance deficits, and easy for the authorities to delay needed reforms in the real economy and in the financial system. Overindebtedness is one of the major barriers on the path to growth after a financial crisis. Borrowing more year after year is not the cure…in some places it may be difficult to avoid an overall reduction in accommodation because some policies have clearly hit their limits.”

The BIS’ preaching did not end there, and hit a new crescendo in June of 2014, when in its 84th Annual Report, the BIS slammed “Market Euphoria”, and found a “Puzzling Disconnect” between the economy and the market”:

“it is hard to avoid the sense of a puzzling disconnect between the markets’ buoyancy and underlying economic developments globally”, that “despite the euphoria in financial markets, investment remains weak. Instead of adding to productive capacity, large firms prefer to buy back shares or engage in mergers and acquisitions” and that “the temptation to go for shortcuts is simply too strong, even if these shortcuts lead nowhere”… “Particularly for countries in the late stages of financial booms, the trade-off is now between the risk of bringing forward the downward leg of the cycle and that of suffering a bigger bust later on.” Continue reading

Dramatic Correlation Shown Between GMOS and 22 Diseases – OPED

Courtesy of Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers @ Eurasia Review:

There is a growing movement for labeling of GMO crops, and many would go further and ban GMOs completely. Currently there is a close vote in Oregon on a GMO labeling initiative, with advocates for labeling 0.3% behind and raising money to check ballots (we urge your support). Those who profit from GMOs spent $20 million to prevent labeling in Oregon. Several states in the Northeast have put in place laws that will require labeling.

Vermont is about to be sued to prevent GMO labeling. GMO profiteers have an unusual marketing strategy. While most companies brag about their product, the GMO industry spends hundreds of millions to hide their product. The US does not requiring labeling of GMOs despite the fact that 64 countries around the world label GMO foods.

Millions have marched against Monsanto urging labeling or the banning of GMO products. There is a national consensus in favor of labeling but the government has been unable to respond. Indeed, President Obama’s food czar is a former Monsanto executive. The deep corruption of government is putting the health of the American people at serious risk.

The research highlighted below, “Genetically engineered crops, glyphosate and the deterioration of health in the United States of America,” was published in The Journal of Organic Systems this September and links GMOs to 22 diseases with very high correlation. We reprinted many of the graphs from the study that show an incredible correlation between the rise of GMO crops that use the herbicide glyphosate and a wide range of diseases.

Glyphosate was introduced to the marketplace in 1974 but data on its use is only available since 1990. Monsanto has genetically modified foods so that they are resistant to glyphosate, a herbicide Monsanto sells, resulting in a dramatic increase in the use of glyphosate. The study points out that research has shown that “glyphosate disrupts the ability of animals, including humans, to detoxify xenobiotics. This means that exposures to the numerous chemicals in food and the environment, such as endocrine disrupting chemicals and carcinogens, could be causing levels of damage that would not occur if the body were able to detoxify them.” Continue reading

The Consequences of Imposing Negative Interest Rates

Courtesy of Peter Tenebrarum @ Acting Man Blog:

Negative Interest Rates and Capital Consumption

Ever since the ECB has introduced negative interest rates on its deposit facility, people have been waiting for commercial banks to react. After all, they are effectively losing money as a result of this bizarre directive, on excess reserves the accumulation of which they can do very little about.

At first, only a small regional bank, Deutsche Skatbank, imposed a penalty rate on large depositors – slightly in excess of the 20 basis points banks must currently pay for ECB deposits. It turns out this was a Trojan horse. Other banks were presumably watching to see if depositors would flee Skatbank, and when that didn’t happen, Commerzbank decided to go down the same road.

However, there is an obvious flaw in taking such measures – at least is seems obvious to us. The Keynesian overlords at the central bank who came up with this idea have failed to consider a warning Ludwig von Mises once uttered about the attempt to abolish interest by decree.

Obviously, the natural interest rate can never become negative, as time preferences cannot possibly become negative: ceteris paribus, consumption in the present will always be preferred to consumption in the future. Mises notes that if the natural interest rate were to decline to zero, all consumption would stop – we would die of hunger while investing all of our resources in capital goods, i.e., while directing all of our efforts and funds toward production for future consumption. This is obviously a situation that would make no sense whatsoever – it is simply not possible for this to happen in the real world of human action.

Mises warns however that if interest payments are abolished by decree, or even a negative interest rate is imposed by decree, owners of capital will indeed begin to consume their capital – precisely because want satisfaction in the present will continue to be preferred to want satisfaction in the future regardless of the decree. This threatens to eventually impoverish society and reduce it to a state of penury:

If there were no originary interest, capital goods would not be devoted to immediate consumption and capital would not be consumed. On the contrary, under such an unthinkable and unimaginable state of affairs there would be no consumption at all, but only saving, accumulation of capital, and investment. Continue reading