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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Peter Mertens about the future of finance and the role of grass root movements

Peter Mertens, leader of the Workers’ Party of Belgium, believes the Eurozone debt crisis is pushing member states towards “a very large number of social conflicts.” Mertens told RT that Europe faces three alternatives – Saving the euro with “authoritarian measures by taking national sovereignty overnight to the European level”, Breaking up into “two, three or four Europes”, or
Adopting a socialist model, “where banking system is public, where energy system is public, where there is democracy.”
He believes Europe needs radical changes to its financial sector and that grass root movements , people’s demand is vital.

You can enjoy his interview here:

 

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Reminding you what Democracy looks like. 1.

There is no point on agonizing over good politicians winning some elections, for the world to become a better place.

Winning the elections and gaining the power are two completely separate things.
True power lays behind the parties and will not stop getting its way until we , the citizens, realize the following old-old, basic, simple fact:

The root of  Democracy
is for its citizens
to Be rulers and to Be ruled
AT THE SAME TIME.

That means actively participating on all public decisions and actively participating on all public positions.

Far from transferring the responsibility for your own life’s decisions, to someone else.., no?

I was reminded of this fact , when I was re- reading Aristotle’s  “Politics” ( Poli=City).
I found his description of  the private person, very illuminating. I also found very indicative of how the Athenians felt about their Democracy, his fierceful  writing against “elections” and “elected representatives” or “professional politicians”, as the Athenians called them. So, I thought I share…

( An interesting note: A private person = Idiotis, in Greek.That’s where the English word” idiot” comes from!
A very accurate translation, as you are about to find out…)

The Idiotis did not care to attend in the weekly public assembly ,”Agora”, were all decision making was going on. On other occasions he was failing to perform adequately to his random (drawn) public office position. Athenian society considered an Idiotis (private person..) to be an unworthy, lazy, stupid and selfish citizen. Becoming an Idiotis was loathed. One was deprived of any political rights, ownership was made public and the Idiot was exiled or even killed if his idiocy was deemed to have been harmful for the City.
Aristotle goes on describing the “professional politician” as the worst kind of private person. Even though he attends every single meeting he does that as a sole profession, thus seeking power for self-preservation.
Being an idiotis with power he is expected to take care of his personal well-being and not that of the City.

Having an electoral system (like other City /States had) was laughed upon from the Athenians.
It meant you are not your own Ruler anymore.
It meant you are an Idiot, who depends on Idiots.

So, please stop depending. Let’s get to the point.
I’m only agonizing for the moment to come, when WE, Citizens,
finally decide to focus our discussions on the exact steps we need to take,
in order to become Self-ruled thus Self-sustained.

Only then, will there be no room for malice, injustice and misery.
Only when ALL of us make sure of it, constantly and consistently.

This is what Democracy looks like.

 

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Banks manipulating LIBOR, robbing us blind. Finally caught. Time for jail.

Hoping you get to realize the extent of our dependance and complete ignorance of their tactics, allowing their financial dictatorship to rule our lives and deaths, please read:

“What may still seem to many to be a parochial affair involving Barclays, a 300-year-old British bank, rigging an obscure number, is beginning to assume global significance. The number that the traders were toying with determines the prices that people and corporations around the world pay for loans or receive for their savings. It is used as a benchmark to set payments on about $800 trillion-worth of financial instruments, ranging from complex interest-rate derivatives to simple mortgages. The number determines the global flow of billions of dollars each year. Yet it turns out to have been flawed.

Over the past week damning evidence has emerged, in documents detailing a settlement between Barclays and regulators in America and Britain, that employees at the bank and at several other unnamed banks tried to rig the number time and again over a period of at least five years. And worse is likely to emerge. Investigations by regulators in several countries, including Canada, America, Japan, the EU, Switzerland and Britain, are looking into allegations that LIBOR and similar rates were rigged by large numbers of banks. Corporations and lawyers, too, are examining whether they can sue Barclays or other banks for harm they have suffered. That could cost the banking industry tens of billions of dollars. “This is the banking industry’s tobacco moment,” says the chief executive of a multinational bank, referring to the lawsuits and settlements that cost America’s tobacco industry more than $200 billion in 1998. “It’s that big,” he says.

As many as 20 big banks have been named in various investigations or lawsuits alleging that LIBOR was rigged. The scandal also corrodes further what little remains of public trust in banks and those who run them….”

This is an expert from The Economist. They are not the only ones going public with this outrageous scandal, though I don’t see it getting the spotlight it deserves in mass media…

For more, you can also read:

FSA’s Turner Says Banks Culture One of ‘Cynical Entitlement’ (Bloomberg)
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-03/fsa-s-turner-says-banks-have-culture-of-cynical-entitlement-1-.html

Barclays Libor scandal: how can we change banking culture? (The Guardian)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jul/02/barclays-libor-scandal-change-banking-culture

Barclays just the tip of the iceberg as banking braced for more scandals (The Guardian)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jul/08/banking-scandals-barclays?intcmp=239

Banking Reforms after the Libor scandal (Financial Times)
http://blogs.ft.com/martin-wolf-exchange/2012/07/02/banking-reforms-after-the-libor-scandal/#axzz1zY8LnZHS

EU’s Barnier pushes for criminal sanctions for Libor abuse (Reuters)
http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/07/09/idINL6E8I91PR20120709

Barnier Seeks to Widen EU Rules to Bar Libor Manipulation (Business Week)
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-07-08/barnier-seeks-to-widen-eu-market-abuse-rules-to-include-libor

The links have been collected by the people  at Avvaz.org, promoting a signature collection to reinforce Michel Barnier, ( the EU finance regulator ) who is standing up to the powerful bank lobby and championing reform that would put bankers behind bars for fraud like this.
If the EU goes first”, they write, “accountability could quickly spread across the globe. But the banks are lobbying hard against it, and we need a massive surge of people power to drive these reforms through.”

PLEASE SIGN  ALONG!

Thank you!

 

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