This is a strange story. We were having a chat after the project meeting finished and somehow the subject of European Central Bank (ECB) came up. I don’t remember why or how but the question was raised: who controls the ECB? Well, I knew that ECB was a company but I did not know details. So I had to have a look. The results are … well, this could have been expected.
Okay, so ECB is a bank, a commercial entity with all European Central Banks as shareholders. No surprises there. So whoever controls the Central Banks of the EU countries – controls the ECB. Now the next question is, of course, who controls the Central Banks?
I did not check them all but I suspect they are all organized the same way: the government (I could not find out how) is the shareholder and owner of the Central Bank. It seems that even where the Central Banks were private, they were nationalized some time ago. So they are all publicly owned. But there is a catch.
You see, the Central Banks have a note on their pages and in the documents that effectively says: “we are not controlled by the government”. I cannot imagine why, but all right, so the Central Banks are not controlled by the government, that’s just the way they are set up. So the owners actually do not control the banks. Who controls them then?
In this case, since there is no other obvious control mechanism, the Board of Directors and, in the first place, the Governor, will be controlling the Central Bank. Again, it seems that all banks in Europe are set up identically. So their management actually controls the Central Banks and therefore controls the ECB. A financial empire, no less. Very well. Who are the management and can we see any clear affiliations there?
And that’s where it got messy. Some countries’ Central Banks do not disclose any information about the governors – those are double suspicious. But all of the others show affiliation with U.S. one way or another. Here is the list of governors and those of their past affiliations that could be easily found.
- ECB: Mario Draghi, President – Goldman Sachs, World Bank
- Bank of England: Mark Carney, Governor – Goldman Sachs
- Bank of France: Christian Noyer, Governor – IMF, World Bank
- Deutsche Bundesbank: Jens Weidmann, President – IMF
- Bank of Greece: Yannis Stournaras, Governor – IMF
- De Nederlandsche Bank: Klaas
A survey conducted in May 1945 on the whole French territory now released (confirming a survey in September 1944 with Parisians) showed that interviewees appear well aware of the power relations and the role of allies in the war, despite the censorship and the difficulty to access reliable information under enemy’s occupation.
A clear majority (57%) believed that the USSR is the nation that has contributed most to the defeat of Germany while the United States and England will gather respectively 20% and 12%.
But what is truly astonishing is that this vision of public opinion was reversed very dramatically with time, as shown by two surveys conducted in 1994 and 2004. In 2004, 58% of the population were convinced that USA played the biggest role in the Second World War and only 20% were aware of the leading role of USSR in defeating the Nazi.
This is a very clear example of how the propaganda adjusted the whole nation’s perception of history, the evaluation of the fundamental contribution to the allied victory in the World War II.
Source: http://www.les-crises.fr/la-fabrique-du-cretin-defaite-nazis/… -->continue reading →
Quite often, the data on repressions are used to demonstrate that a country is not “sufficiently democratic”. Here is some rather interesting data on the prison population in different countries from the International Centre for Prison Studies.
Let’s start with Russia, as it is now again the new enemy #1 of the “democratic world” as announced by the leaders of USA. In Russia, the number of prisoners equals to 467 people per 100,000 of national population. Is that a lot or not?
Let’s compare with other well-known totalitarian regimes. Their neighbor – Belarus with their totalitarian leader Lukashenko sports 335 people per 100,000 of population in jails. Uhm, okay, so Belarus is not as totalitarian as we thought. But certainly Iran would qualify as a totalitarian state, where people are thrown into jail for minimal brushes with the Muslim laws, right? Iran has 283 people per 100,000 of population in jails. No, this cannot be right. China! China is the totalitarian state of the century! China’s oppression of the “small man” is iconic and this is confirmed by their prison rate of … 124 people per 100,000 of national population. Strange, isn’t it?
Okay. Let’s get to the democratic side then. How are the things in the leader of the world democracy – United States? United States welcomes you to democracy with a prison rate of 707 detainees per 100,000 of national population. Oops. USA has 5% of the world population and 25% of the world incarcerated population.
Does this mean that to reach proper enlightened democracy Russia has to put double the number of people into jails and China would have to get five times as fast at locking people up?
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Here I am, peacefully reading this article in BusinessWeek about the recent shooting at Charlie Hebdo in Paris where criminals shot several people to death. The article is interesting as it talks about the origins of violence towards those who dare to create dissenting satire and evoke laughter at the corruption of powerful and sacred.
Suddenly, halfway through the article it turns into an unfounded rhetoric about the “iron fist of Putin” in Russia and false interpretations of the quasi-political dissent in Soviet Union in the last century. What gives?
BusinessWeek is hardly an independent magazine but it was not yellow press either, as far as I remember. Amazing to see how quickly most media joined the Cold War on Russia with all the anti-Russian hysteria building up now. I cannot name any mainstream Western or U.S. magazines or newspapers that would write anything close to the truth about Russia anymore.… -->continue reading →
Reprint from: The Outlook for the New Year by Paul Craig Roberts
Washington has shaped 2015 to be a year of conflict. The conflict could be intense.
Washington is the cause of the conflict, which has been brewing for some time. Russia was too weak to do anything about it when the Clinton regime pushed NATO to Russia’s borders and illegally attacked Yugoslavia, breaking the country into small easily controlled pieces. Russia was also too weak to do anything about it when the George W. Bush regime withdrew from the ABM treaty and undertook to locate anti-ballistic missile bases on Russia’s borders. Washington lied to Moscow that the purpose of the ABM bases is to protect Europe from non-existent Iranian nuclear ICBMs. However, Moscow understood that the purpose of the ABM bases was to degrade Russia’s nuclear deterrent, thereby enhancing Washington’s ability to coerce Russia into agreements that compromise Russian sovereignty.
By summer 2008 Russian power had returned. On Washington’s orders, the US and Israeli trained and equipped Georgian army attacked the breakaway republic of South Ossetia during the early hours of August 8, killing Russian peacekeepers and civilian population. Units of the Russian military instantly responded and within a few hours the American trained and equipped Georgian army was routed and defeated. Georgia was in Russia’s hands again, where the province had resided during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Putin should have hung Mikheil Saakashvili, the American puppet installed as president of Georgia by the Washington-instigated “Rose Revolution”, and reincorporated Georgia into the Russian Federation. Instead, in a strategic error, Russia withdrew its forces, leaving Washington’s puppet regime in place to cause future trouble for Russia.
Washington is pushing hard to incorporate Georgia into NATO, thus adding more US military bases on Russia’s border. However, at the time, Moscow thought Europe to be more independent of Washington than it is and relied on good relations with Europe to keep American bases out of Georgia.
Today the Russian government no longer has any illusion that Europe is capable of an independent foreign policy. Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated publicly that Russia has learned that diplomacy with Europe is pointless, because European politicians represent Washington’s… -->continue reading →
The Economic Populist has published an interesting overview of wages statistic in USA. It turns out that nearly a third of people working are extremely poor. These are not jobless but people who actually have jobs. Still, one third of working people receive wages before taxes below $15,000 a year and nearly 15% of workers – below $5,000 a year. Most Americans, 52.4%, make less than $30,000 a year yet those very Americans only have 15.3% of the total country income from wages.
The chasm between the rich and poor is growing yearly. An astronomical 23.1 million wage earners made less than $5,000 per year in 2013. Those making less than $5000 a year are only getting 0.7% of the total compensation pie as a group. The top wage bracket – over $50 million – has 110 people in it or 0.000064% of wage earners. This top wage bracket received 0,18% of the total net compensation. And this inequality of wages keeps increasing.
The Economic Populist concludes that “The bottom line here is the rich are getting richer and most of America continues to get squeezed even though in 2013 wages improved. As a trend we can see since 1990 just a never ending attack on regular wage earners in this country. The bounce back in 2013 isn’t enough to make up for 30 years of a spiral down.”… -->continue reading →
Abraham Lincoln is portrayed by mass media in a completely different light than he actually was. I think his original works should be compulsory reading for all Americans at school. They will serve as a good point of reference for their future life. Look at this:
I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, [applause]—that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will for ever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything.
— Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 3. Speech on September 18, 1858.
And compare this to the official history:
Lincoln disapproved of slavery, and the spread of slavery to new U.S. territory in the west. … Lincoln was a moderate in the middle, opposing slavery primarily because it violated the republicanism principles of the Founding Fathers, especially the equality of all men and democratic self-government as expressed in the Declaration of Independence. … On October 16, 1854, in his “Peoria Speech”, Lincoln declared his opposition to slavery, which he repeated en route to the presidency.
— Wikipedia, Abraham Lincoln.
And I cannot help but finish with a very suitable quote from George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four”: “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”
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The Cable reports in their exclusive about the battle being fought by America against on-line privacy in an obscure U.N. General Assembly committee that is looking to constraint the widespread surveillance of the Internet. The proposal by Germany and Brazil spearheads the mounting movement inside U.N. that seeks to uphold the Internet privacy as a basic human right. The Cable notes that “American representatives have made it clear that they won’t tolerate such checks on their global surveillance network.”… -->continue reading →
Reuters published an investigative report on the practice of exchanging adopted children on the Internet in USA recently. The parents adopting foreign children in U.S. advertise the kids they did not like on the Internet boards, like Yahoo and Facebook, and find quickly new homes for them without ever verifying who the other people are. Many children change several families in a short time, get lots and lots of abuse and suffer humiliation.
Speaking publicly about her experience for the first time, one girl adopted from China and later sent to a second home said she was made to dig her own grave. Another re-homed child, a Russian girl, recounted how a boy in one house urinated on her after the two had sex; she was 13 at the time and was re-homed three times in six months.
I am happy to know that Russia forbid adoption to U.S. since last year.
More: Russia launches criminal inquiry into U.S. child exchanges… -->continue reading →