Brazil became a major player in 1982 when it announced that it too was unable to make payments on its debt. In response, the U.S. Treasury made a direct loan of $1.23 billion to keep those checks going to the banks while negotiations were under way for a more permanent solution through the IMF. Twenty days later, it gave another $1.5 billion; the Bank of International Settlements advanced $1.2 billion. The following month, the IMF provided $5.5 billion; Western banks extended $10 billion in trade credits; old loans were rescheduled; and $4.4 billion in new loans were made by a Morgan Bank syndication. The "temporary" loans from the U.S. Treasury were extended with no repayment date established. Ron Chernow comments:
The plan set a fateful precedent of "curing" the debt crisis by heaping on more debt. In this charade, bankers would lend more to Brazil with one hand, then take it back with the other. This preserved the fictitious book value of loans on bank balance sheets. Approaching the rescue as a grand new syndication, the bankers piled on high interest rates and rescheduling fees.'
By 1983, Third-World governments owed $300 billion to banks and $400 billion to the industrialized governments. Twenty-five nations were behind in their payments. Brazil was in default a second time and asked for rescheduling, as did Rumania, Cuba, and Zambia. The IMF stepped in and made additional billions of dollars available to the delinquent countries. The Department of Agriculture, through its Commodity Credit Corporation, paid $431 million to American banks to cover payments on loans from Brazil, Morocco, Peru, and Rumania. At the conclusion of these agreements, the April 20, 1983, Wall Street Journal editorialized that "the international debt crisis ... is, for all practical purposes, over."
Not quite. By 1987, Brazil was again in default on its monstrous $121 billion debt, this time for one and a-half years. In spite of the torrent of money that had passed through its hands, it was now so broke, it couldn't even buy gasoline for its police cars. In 1989, as a new round of bailout was being organized, President Bush, Sr. (NYSE:CFR) announced that the only real solution to the Third-World debt problem was debt forgiveness. Thirteen years later, President Bush, Jr., was continuing the tradition and calling for another $30 billion IMF loan to Brazil, backed by the U.S taxpayer.
At the risk of running this history into the ground through repetition, here are just a few more examples before moving along.
Argentina was unable to make a $2.3 billion payment that was due in July and August. The banks extended their loans while the IMF prepared a new infusion in the amount of $2.15 billion. This restored the interest payments and gave the Argentinian politicians a little extra spending money.
1. Chernow, p. 644.
Seven months later, Argentina announced it could not make any more payments until the fall of 1983. The banks immediately began negotiations for rollovers, guarantees, and new IMF loans.
Argentina then signed an agreement with 350 creditor banks to stretch out payments on nearly a fourth of its $13.4 billion debt, and the banks agreed to lend an extra $4.2 billion to cover interest payments and political incentives. The IMF gave $1.7 billion. The United States government gave an additional $500 million directly. Argentina then paid $850 million in overdue interest charges to the banks.
By 1988, Argentina had again stopped payment on its loans and was falling hopelessly behind as bankers and politicians went into a huddle to call the next bailout play. They came out of the huddle with yet another package of new loans, rollovers, and guarantees. As summarized by Larry A. Sjaastad at the University of Chicago:
There isn't a U.S. bank that would not sell its entire Latin American portfolio for 40 cents on the dollar were it not for the possibility that skillful political lobbying might turn up a sucker willing to pay 50 or 60 or even 90 cents on the dollar. And that sucker is the U.S. Taxpayer. 1
The IMF bailed out Argentina again for $40 billion in 2001 and another $8 billion in 2002.
This history can become repetitious and boring. It would be counterproductive to cover the same sordid story as it has unfolded in each country. Suffice it to say that the identical game has been played with teams from Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Morocco, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic, and almost every other less-developed country in the world.
THE NEED FOR CONVERGENCE
This sets the stage for understanding the next phase of the game which is unfolding as these words are being written. It is the inclusion of China and the former Soviet bloc into the Grand Design for global government. As with all the other countries in the world, the primary mechanism being used to accomplish this goal-at least in the field of economics-is the IMF /World Bank.' The process is: (1) the transfer of money from the industrialized
- "Another Plan to Mop Up the Mess," Insight, April 10, 1989, p. 31.
- Other mechanisms which involve culture, education, political sovereignty, and military power are embodied in agencies of the United Nations,
nations which drags them down economically to a suitable common denominator-and (2) the acquisition of effective control over the political leaders of the recipient countries as they become dependent upon the money stream. The thing that is new and which sets this stage apart from previous developments is that the apparent crumbling of Communism has created an acceptable rationale for the industrialized nations to now allow their lifeblood to flow into the veins of their former enemies. It also creates the appearance of global, political "convergence," a condition which CFR theoretician, Richard Cooper, said was necessary before Americans would accept having their own destinies determined by governments other than their own.
Red China joined the IMF/World Bank in 1980 and immediately began to receive billions of dollars in loans, although it was well known that she was devoting a huge portion of her resources to military development. By 1987, China was the INIF's second largest borrower, next to India, and the transfusions have grown at a steady pace ever since.
The Bank has asserted that loans will encourage economic reforms in favor of the private sector. Yet, none of the money has gone to the private sector. All of it is funneled into the government bureaucracy which, in turn, wages war against the free market. In 1989, after small businesses and farms in the private sector had begun to flourish and surpass the performance of similar government enterprises, Red China's leaders clamped down on them with harsh controls and increased taxes. Vice Premier Yao Yilin announced that there was too much needless construction, too many private loans, and too much spending on "luxuries" such as cars and banquets. To stop these excesses, he said, it would be necessary to increase government controls over wages, prices, and business activities.
Then there is the question of why China needs the money in the first place. Is it to develop her industry or natural resources? Is it to fight poverty and improve the living standard of her citizens? James Bovard answers:
The Bank's defense of its China Policy is especially puzzling because China itself is going on a foreign investment binge. The World Bank gives China money at zero interest, and then China buys property in Hong Kong, the United States, Australia, and elsewhere. An economist with Citibank estimated that China's "direct investment in property, manufacturing and services [in Hong Kong alone] topped $6 billion." In 1984, China had a net outflow of capital of $1 billion. Moreover, China has its own foreign aid program, which has given more than $6 billion in recent decades, largely to leftist governments.
THE GREAT DECEPTION
It is the author's contention that the much heralded demise of Communism in the Soviet bloc is a mixture of fact and fantasy. It is fact at the bottom level of Communist society where the people, in truth, rejected it long ago. The only reason they appeared to embrace it for so many years was that they had no choice. As long as the Soviets held control of the weapons and the means of communication, the people had to accept their fate.
But at the tip of the pyramid of state power, it is a different story. The top Communist leaders have never been as hostile to their counterparts in the West as the rhetoric suggests. They are quite friendly to the world's leading financiers and have worked closely with them when it suits their purposes. As we shall see in the following section, the Bolshevik revolution actually was financed by wealthy financiers in London and New York. Lenin and Trotsky were on the closest of terms with these moneyed interests-both before and after the Revolution. Those hidden liaisons have continued to this day and occasionally pop to the surface when we discover a David Rockefeller holding confidential meetings with a Mikhail Gorbachev in the absence of government sponsorship or diplomatic purpose.
It is not unreasonable to imagine a scenario in which the leaders of the Communist bloc come to realize they cannot hold themselves in power much longer. There comes a point where even physical force is not enough, especially when the loyalties of those who hold the weapons also begin to falter. With economic gangrene creeping up the legs of their socialist systems, they realize they must obtain outside financial assistance or perish.
In such a scenario, quiet agreements can be worked out to the mutual advantage of all negotiators. The plan could be as simple as a statue-of-liberty play in a college football game: the appearance of doing one thing as a cover for accomplishing something else. While
1. Bovard, pp. 18-19.
Americans are prepared to accept such deception on a football field, they cannot believe that world financiers and politicians are capable of it. The concept is rejected out of hand as a "conspiracy theory."
Nevertheless, in this scenario, we theorize it is agreed among the negotiators that the Soviet Bloc needs financial support. It is agreed that the Western nations have the capacity to provide it. It is agreed that the best way to move money from the industrialized nations into the Soviet bloc is through international agencies such as the IMF /World Bank. It is agreed this cannot happen until hostility between world systems is replaced by political convergence. It is agreed that future conflict is wasteful and dangerous to all parties. Therefore, it is finally agreed that the Soviet bloc must abandon its posture of global aggression while the Western nations continue to move toward socialism, necessary steps for the long-range goal of merger into a world government. But, in doing so, it must be insured that the existing Communist leaders retain control over their respective states.
COMMUNISTS BECOME SOCIAL DEMOCRATS
To that end, they change their public identities to "Social Democrats." They speak out against the brutal excesses of their predecessors and they offer greater freedom of expression in the media. A few dispensable individuals among their ranks are publicly purged as examples of the demise of the old order. States that once were held captive by the Soviet Union are allowed to break away and then return on a voluntary basis. If any leaders of the newly emancipated states prefer true independence instead of alignment with Russia, they are replaced.
No other changes are required. Socialism remains the economic system of choice and, although lip service may be given to free-market concepts, the economy and all means of production remain under state control. The old Communists are now Social Democrats and, without exception, they become the leaders in the new system.
The West rejoices, and the money starts to move. As an extra bonus, the former Bolsheviks are now hailed by the world as great statesmen who put an end to the Cold War, brought freedom to their people, and helped to forge a New World Order.
When did Communism depart? We are not quite sure. All we know is that one day we opened our newspapers and it was accomplished. Social Democrats were everywhere. No one could find any Communists. Russian leaders spoke as long-time enemies of the old regime. Peristroika was here. Communism was dead. It was not killed by an enemy. It voted itself out of existence. It committed suicide!
Does it not seem strange that Communism fell without a struggle? Is it not curious that the system which was born out of class conflict and revolution and which maintained itself by force and violence for almost a century just went away on its own? Communism was not overthrown by people rising up with clubs and pitchforks to throw off their yoke of tyranny. There was no revolution or counterrevolution, no long period of fragmentation, no bloody surges between opposing forces. Poof! It just happened. True, there was blood in the streets in those areas where opposing groups vied for power, but that was after Communism had departed, not before. Such an event had never occurred in history. Until then, it had been contrary to the way governments act; contrary to the very nature of power which never surrenders without a life-and-death struggle. This, indeed, is a great curiosity-which should cause people to think.
Our premise is that the so-called demise of Communism is a Great Deception-not awfully different from many of the others that are the focus of this volume. We see it as having been stage managed for the purposes outlined previously: the transition to world government. In our view, that scenario is the only one that makes sense in terms of today's geopolitical realities and the only one consistent with the lessons of history.
We realize, of course, that such a view runs contrary to popular opinion and conventional wisdom. For many, it is shocking just to hear it spelled out. It would not be possible to convince anyone of its truth without extensive evidence. Certainly, such evidence abounds, but it is not within the scope of this study. So, now that we have stated it, we shall leave it behind merely as a clarificationof the author's point of view so the reader can step around it if he wishes.
American aid to Eastern European governments, while they were still puppet states of the Soviet Union, has been justified by the same theory advanced on behalf of China: it would improve their economies, show their people a better way of life, and wean them from Communism. Advocates of that theory now point to the demise of Communism as evidence of the soundness of their plan. The truth, however, is that the money did not improve the economy and did not show the people a better way of life. In fact, it did not help the people in any way. It went directly to their governments and was used for government priorities. It strengthened the ruling parties and enabled them to solidify their control.
It is well known that one of the reasons Poland's economy was weak is that much of her productive output was shipped to the Soviet Union at concessionary prices, primarily to support the military. Polish-built tanks fought in the Vietnam war; 20% of the Soviet merchant marine was built in Poland; 70% of Poland's computer and locomotive production and 80% of her communications equipment was shipped to the Soviets; American grain purchased by Poland with money borrowed from American banks was sent to Cuba. Poland was merely a middle man, a conduit to Russia and her satellites. The banks were really funding Russia.
It was in 1982 that Poland first defaulted on bank loans which had been guaranteed by the U.S. government through the Commodity Credit Corporation. Under the terms of the guarantee, taxpayers would make payments on any bank loan that went into default. That was what the banks were counting on when they made those loans, but to classify them as "in default" would require the banks to remove them from their books as assets. That was unacceptable, because it would make their balance sheets look as bad as they really were. So the Treasury agreed to bend the rules and make payments without requiring the loans to be in default. That was eventually stopped by an irate Congress, but not until the Reagan Administration had stalled long enough to pay $400 million directly to the banks on behalf of Poland.
In November, 1988, the World Bank made its first loan to Poland in the amount of $17.9 million. Three years later, in a dramatic demonstration of what the President had meant when he advocated "debt forgiveness," the Bush Administration canceled a full 70% of the $3.8 billion owed to the United States. Taxpayers picked up the bill.
The same story has been unfolding in all the former Soviet-bloc countries. In 1980, for example, just before Hungary was brought into the IMF/World Bank, her annual per-capita GNP was $4,180. This was a problem, because the policy of the World Bank was to make development loans only to countries that had per-capita GNPs of less than $2,650. Not to worry. In 1981, the Hungarian government simply revised its statistics downward from $4,180 to $2,100.1 That was a drop of 50% in one year, surely one of the sharpest depressions in world history. Everyone knew it was a lie, but no one raised an eyebrow. It was all part of the game. By 1989, the Bush Administration had granted "most favored nation" trade status to the Hungarian government and established on its behalf a special $25 million development fund.
American banks had always been willing to make loans to the Soviet Union, except for short periods of expediency during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and other minor business interruptions. In 1985, after the public had lost interest in Afghanistan, banks of the "free world" reopened their loan windows to the Soviets. A $400 million package was put together by a consortium of First National of Chicago, Morgan Guaranty, Bankers Trust, and Irving Trust-plus a London subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Canada. The loan was offered at unusually low interest rates "to buy American and Canadian grain."
Public indignation is easily disarmed when the announced purpose of a loan to a totalitarian government is to purchase commodities from the country where the Wn originates-especially if the commodity is grain for the assumed purpose of making bread or feeding livestock. Who could possibly object to having the money come right back to our own farmers and merchants in the form of profits? And who could fault a project that provided food for the hungry?
The deception is subtly appealing. It is true that the money will be used-in part at least-to buy grain or other locally produced commodities. But the borrowing nations are like a homeowner who increases the mortgage on his house "to enlarge his living room." He probably will make the addition, but he borrows twice as much as he needs so he can also buy a new car. Since the government allows a tax deduction on mortgage interest, in effect he now gets a tax deduction for the interest paid on his car as well. Likewise, the borrowing nations usually borrow more than they need for the announced purchase, but they receive all the money at favorable rates.
Yet, this is not the most serious fault in the transaction. In the case of Russia, the grain was no small item on her list of needs. After repeated failures of her socialist agriculture, she was not able to feed her population. Hungry people are dangerous to a government. Russia needed grain to head off internal revolt far more than the homeowner needed to increase the size of his living room. In other words, Russia had to have the grain, with or without the loan. Without it, she would have had to curtail spending somewhere else to obtain the money, most likely in her military. By giving her the money "to buy grain," we actually allowed her to spend more money on armaments.
But even that is not the primary flaw in making loans to Russia. The bottom line is that most of those loans will never be repaid! As we have seen, the name of the game is bailout, and it is as certain as the setting sun that, somewhere down the line, Russia will not be able to make her payments, and the taxpayers of the industrialized nations will be put through the IMF wringer one more time to squeeze out the transferred purchasing power.
BUSINESS VENTURES IN RUSSIA INSURED BY U.S.
In 1990, the U.S. Export-Import Bank announced it would begin making direct loans to Russia. Meanwhile, the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation was providing free "insurance" to private companies that were willing to invest in the ex-Soviet state. In other words, it was now doing for industrial corporations what it had been doing all along for banks: guaranteeing that, if their investments turned sour, the government-make that taxpayers- would compensate them for their losses. The limit on that insurance had been $100 million, a generous figure, indeed. But, to encourage an even greater flow of private capital into Russia, the Bush Administration authorized unlimited protection for "sound American corporate investments."
If these truly were sound investments, they would not need foreign-aid subsidies or government guarantees. What is really happening in this play is a triple score:
- International lending agencies provide the Social Democrats with money to purchase goods and services from American firms. No one really expects them to repay. It is merely a clever method of redistributing wealth from those who have it to those who don't-without those who have it catching on.
- American firms do not need money to participate. Since their ventures are guaranteed, banks are anxious to loan whatever amount of money is required. Efficiency or competitiveness are not important factors. Contracts are awarded on the basis of political influence. Profits are generous and without risk.
- When the Social Democrats eventually default in their contracts to the American firms or when the joint venture loses money because of socialist mismanagement, the federal government provides funds to cover corporate profits and repayment of bank loans.
There you have it: The Social Democrats get the goodies; the corporations get the profits, and the banks get the interest on money created out of nothing. You know what the taxpayers get!
By 1992, the wearisome pattern was clearly visible. Writing in the New York Times, columnist Leslie H. Gelb gave the numbers:
The ex-Soviet states are now meeting only 30 percent of their interest payments (and almost no principal) on debts to the West of $70 billion.... Various forms of Western aid to the ex-Soviet states totaled about $50 billion in the last 20 months, and the money has virtually disappeared without a trace or a dent on the economic picture.'
The interesting thing about this report is that Leslie Gelb has been a member of the CFR since 1973. Why would a CFR spokesman blow the whistle on one of their most important maneuvers toward The New World Order? The answer is that he is doing just the opposite. Actually he is making a plea for more loan and more outright aid on the basis that the need is so great! He advocates the prioritizing of funding with first attention to aiding Russia's nuclear-power facilities, agriculture, and industrial capacity. At the end of his article, he writes: "The stakes could not be higher. All the more reason for substantial, practical and immediate aid-not for grand illusions."
The excuse for all of this is that, if we do not keep the money flowing, Russia may fall back into the hands of those "bad Communists" who are just waiting to unleash nuclear war against us. Congress hears and obeys. In spite of the fact that all the preceding billions have "disappeared without a trace or a dent," the transfusion continues. In 1993 the World Bank advanced another half-billion-dollar loan to Russia; before leaving office, President Bush arranged for another $2 billion loan through the Export-Import Bank; and Congress authorized hitting the voters with another $2.5 billion in foreign aid specifically for Russia. In July of that year, at the meeting of the Group-of-Seven industrialized nations, another $24 billion was promised, half of which was to come from the IMF. In 1998, Russia defaulted on several billions of its debt, so the IMF restructured the old loans and issued new ones. In 1999, it was discovered that Russian officials had "laundered" (stolen) about $20 billion of this funding. The IMF publicly expressed shock and dismay; but soon resumed negotiations to issue new loans. As this book goes to print, there is no end in sight.
THE CONSPIRACY THEORY
A moment's reflection on these events leads us to a crossroads of conscience. We must choose between two paths. Either we conclude that Americans have lost control over their government, or we reject this information as a mere distortion of history. In the first case, we become advocates of the conspiratorial view of history. In the latter, we endorse the accidental view. It is a difficult choice because we have been conditioned to laugh at conspiracy theories, and few people will risk public ridicule by advocating them. On the other hand, to endorse the accidental view is absurd. Almost all of history is an unbroken trail of one conspiracy after another. Conspiracies are the norm, not the exception.
The industrialized nations of the world are being bled to death in a global transfer of their wealth to the less developed countries. Furthermore, it is not being done to them by their enemies. It is being done by their own leaders. The process is well coordinated across national lines and perfectly dovetails with the actions of other leaders who are doing the same thing in their respective countries, and these leaders regularly meet together to better coordinate their activities. This could not happen without planning.
A spokesman from the IMF would answer, yes, there is a plan, and it is to aid the less developed countries. But, after forty years and hundreds of billions of dollars, they have totally failed to accomplish that goal. Would intelligent people believe that pursuing the same plan will produce different results in the future? Then why do they follow a plan that cannot work? The answer is they are not following that plan. They are following a different one: one that has been very successful from their point of view. Otherwise, we must conclude that the leaders of the industrialized nations are, to a man, just plain stupid. We do not believe it.
These men and women are following a higher loyalty than to their respective countries. In their hearts they may honestly believe that, in the long run, the world will be better for it, including their fellow countrymen. But, for the present, their goals are not shared by those who have placed them in office, which is why they must conceal their plan from public view. If their fellow citizens knew what they were really doing, they would be thrown out of office and, in some cases, might even be shot as traitors.
If all of this is accidental, then there is no plan, no cooperation, no goal, and no deceit, just the blind forces of history following the path of least resistance. For some it is easier and more comfortable to accept that model. But the evidence speaks against it; not just the evidence in the previous chapters, but everything that follows in this book. By contrast, the evidence for the accidental theory of history is - a blank page.
The international version of the game called Bailout is similar to the domestic version in that the overall objective is to have the taxpayers cover the defaulted loans so that interest payments can continue going to the banks. The differences are: (1) instead of justifying this as protecting the American public, the pretense is that it is to save the world from poverty; and (2) the main money pipeline goes from the Federal Reserve through the IMF /World Bank. Otherwise, the rules are basically the same.
There is another dimension to the game, however, that involves more than mere profits and scam. It is the conscious and deliberate evolution of the IMF/World Bank into a world central bank with the power to issue a world fiat currency. And that is an important step in an even larger plan to build a true world government within the framework of the United Nations
Economically strong nations are not candidates for surrendering their sovereignty to a world government. Therefore, through "loans" that will never be paid back, the IMF /World Bank directs the massive transfer of wealth from the industrialized nations to the less developed nations. This ongoing process eventually drains their economies to the point where they also will be in need of assistance. No longer capable of independent action, they will accept the loss of sovereignty in return for international aid.
The less developed countries, on the other hand, are being brought into The New World Order along an entirely different route. Many of these countries are ruled by petty tyrants who care little for their people except how to extract more taxes from them without causing a revolt. Loans from the IMF/World Bank are used primarily to perpetuate themselves and their ruling parties in power-and that is exactly what the IMF/World Bank intends. Rhetoric about helping the poor notwithstanding, the true goal of the transfer of wealth disguised as loans is to get control over the leaders of the less developed countries. After these despots get used to the taste of such an unlimited supply of sweet cash, they will never be able to break the habit. They will be content-already are content-to become little gold-plated cogs in the giant machinery of world government. Ideology means nothing to them: capitalist, communist, socialist, fascist, what does it matter so long as the money keeps coming. The IMF/World Bank literally is buying these countries and using our money to do it.
The recent inclusion of Red China and the former Soviet bloc on the list of IMF /World Bank recipient countries signals the final phase of the game. Now that Latin America and Africa have been "purchased" into the New World Order, this is the final frontier. In a relatively short time span, China, Russia, and the Eastern European countries have now become the biggest borrowers and, already, they are in arrears on their payments. This is where the action will lie in the months ahead.
Disclosure: The author has no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
Additional disclosure: information provided here with permission of G. Edward griffin