Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 15778 Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:15 pm Post subject: Nazi sympathisers at the Bank of England
key role of the taboo BIS exposed again!
Was Montagu Norman a Nazi sympathiser?
Until last month, a small portrait of Sir Montagu Norman hung in the Governor’s private meeting room beside his office at the Bank of England.
Montagu Norman (pictured) was close friends with Hjalmar Schacht, Adolf Hitler's minister of economics and Reichsbank president
By Philip Aldrick, Economics Editor - 4:50PM BST 31 Jul 2013
Norman was Britain’s first modern central banker and Governor for a remarkable 24 years until 1944, amassing powers at Threadneedle Street that turned what was a cosy City institution into an arm of the state.
But he was also an economic dinosaur, whose determination to put Britain back on the gold standard in 1925 destroyed industry and condemned Britain to a more severe recession than necessary.
Adam Posen, a former Bank’s rate-setter, has said that when he could not decide which way to vote he would look at the giant portrait of Norman hanging in the Monetary Policy Committee’s meeting room and ask himself “What would Montagu do?”. Then do the opposite.
So, Mark Carney’s decision to remove the heirloom shortly after taking over as Governor on July 1 was loaded with symbolic significance. What he could not have known, though, was that another – more damaging – gold scandal involving Norman was about to erupt.
On Tuesday, in a newly digitally published history, the Bank revealed that it had helped the Nazis sell gold looted from Czechoslovakia in March 1939. The documents put Norman right at the heart of the decision, raising fresh questions about his suspected Nazi sympathies.
According to the documents, the gold was being held in the Bank’s vaults on behalf of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) – the central bank for central banks. On March 21 1939, BIS requested the Bank transfer £5.6m of gold – £735m in today’s prices – from “Number 2 Account to Number 17 Account”.
The Bank was “fairly sure” the transfer was from the National Bank of Czechoslovakia to Germany’s Reichsbank, the record states. But, regardless of its suspicions, the transfer was made that very same day. Over the following 10 days, the Reichsbank sold £4m of the gold, with the proceeds poured into Germany’s ongoing rearmament.
There is little doubt the Bank was aware of the significance of its decision. The request came just days after Hitler had invaded Czechoslovakia, in direct breach of the Treaty of Munich of September 1938, when Germany was given the Sudetenland in exchange for peace.
Moreover, the request came from the then BIS president, J W Beyen, a Dutchman. The Czech central bank, under threat from its new Nazi bosses, had instructed Beyen to make the transfer. The Netherlands at the time was feeling extremely vulnerable to invasion and desperately trying to demonstrate its neutrality, so Beyen was in no position to object.
However, had it wanted, the Bank could have blocked – or at least delayed – the request. It had significant influence at BIS because its representative Sir Otto Niemeyer was chairman, a post that revolved between member countries. Yet, it took the French to suggest barring the transfer of the looted gold.
According to the historical record, Norman told the Treasury on March 22 that he had “received a telephone message from the Governor of the Bank of France proposing that they should urge their respective Treasuries to make joint protest to the President of the BIS against possible delivery of Czech assets to the Germans, and that they themselves should join in making a specific request to transfer no Czech assets pending the next meeting of the board”.
Norman “declined” the request, taking the puritanical position that “it would be wrong and dangerous ... to attempt for political reasons to influence the decisions of the president of the BIS”.
Contact with the French appears to have been made on the day both the BIS request and transfer were made, suggesting Norman green-lighted the deal personally. His defence was that BIS rules had to be followed no matter what, and he persisted with this absurd line even after war was declared on September 3.
On September 4, he wrote to senior Treasury official Sir Richard Hopkins to warn that any deviation from the BIS rules “would offer hostile propaganda an excellent opportunity for criticism that, where it is in their interest, HM Government do not hesitate to disregard their international arrangements”.
To make itself absolutely clear, the Treasury replied: “The Bank should not act upon an order of the BIS if it seems to the Bank to be likely that the order might benefit the enemy... The Bank should not act upon an order without consulting the Treasury... Neutrals are to be assured that, where the Treasury are satisfied as to ownership, orders by the BIS shown to be on behalf of neutrals will be authorised”.
The documents reinforce the impression that Norman was an inflexible aparatchik, but also renew questions about his suspected Nazi sympathies. As outlined in Liaquat Ahmed’s Lords of Finance, Norman was close friends with Hjalmar Schacht, Hitler’s minister of economics and Reichsbank president.
In January 1939, Norman went to Berlin to attend the christening of Schacht’s grandson, named Norman in his honour. Ahmed writes that Norman admired “Schacht, and during the early years of Nazi rule, even the achievements of Hitler – he is said to have told a Morgan partner that 'Hitler and Schacht are the bulwarks of civilisation in Germany’.”
Schacht later turned against Hitler and was sent to Dachau in 1944 for suspected involvement in the attempt on the Fuhrer’s life. But he played a vital role in restoring Germany’s fortunes under the Third Reich.
Suspicions about Norman’s political leanings would be reinforced by his behaviour after the press got hold of the Czech gold scandal. By May 1939, it had become a major political issue and on May 26, the Chancellor of the time Sir John Simon, asked Norman if the Bank still had the Czech gold. Norman obfuscated.
He “did not answer the question”, the record states. In fact, the Bank did have the gold. It never left the Bank’s vaults, but was simply moved from one account to another. Beyen later defended his transfer request in a chance encounter with the journalist who broke the story. Being remarkably disingenuous, Beyen claimed: “It is all technical. The gold never left London.”
More controversially still, on June 1, amid the political outcry, Norman conducted a further gold transaction on behalf of the Reichsbank worth £860,000 – without official clearance. “This time, before acting, the Bank referred the matter to the Chancellor, who said that he would like the opinion of the law officers of the Crown,” the record says.
“On the BIS enquiring, however, what was causing the delay and saying that inconvenience would be caused because of payments the next day, the Bank acted on the instructions without referring to the law officers.” Norman defended his actions by claiming the law officers later supported the decision.
History has not been kind to Norman, whose dandyish eccentricities such as disappearing on long cruises under the pseudonym Professor Clarence Skinner during crises have not enhanced his reputation. On the other hand, Carney’s colleagues at the Bank of Canada, where he was Governor, say he is acutely aware of his place in history.
Hanging in one of the BoC’s boardrooms are portraits of all former Governors and whenever Carney was lobbied by some vested interest, according to his special adviser Tim Hodgson, he would ask: “You’re comfortable with the next Governor looking up at my picture and saying you did that to me. That’s the standard by which I make decisions.”
Robert Owen ~ THE BANK OF ENGLAND
[House of Lords 5th October 2000]
An interesting technique is revealed by the Charter of the Bank of England: it was slipped through as part of a tonnage bill, which was later to become a recognized parliamentary technique. The Charter provides that “rates and duties upon tonnage of ships are made security to such persons as shall voluntarily advance the sum of 1,500,000 pounds towards carrying on the war against France.”
Other European banks, such as the Banks of Genoa, Venice and Amsterdam, were primarily banks of deposit, but the Bank of England began the practice of coining its own credit into money, the beginning of the monetarist movement. The Bank of England soon created a “new class” of moneyed interests in the City, as opposed to the power of the old barons, whose fortunes derived from their landholdings. Of the five hundred original stockholders, four hundred and fifty lived in London. This was the dawn of the preeminence of the “City”, now the world’s leading financial center. For this reason, the Rothschilds identified their key American banks with the code word “City”.
Early descriptions of the shareholders of the Bank of England identify them as “a Society of about 1300 persons”. They included the King and Queen of England, who received shares to the value of 10,000 pounds each; Marlborough, who invested 10,000 pounds — he also invested large sums from his “commissions” in the East India Co. in 1697, and later became Governor of the Hudson Bay Company, which paid a 75% dividend; Lord Shrewsbury, who invested 10,000 pounds; Godolphin, who invested 7000 pounds — he predicted that the Bank of England would not only finance trade, but would carry the burden of her wars, which was proven true in the next three hundred years. Virginia Cowles writes, in “The Great Marlborough”: “England emerged from the war as the dominant force, because the Bank of England’s credit system enabled her to bear the burden of war without undue strain.”
Other charter subscribers were William Bentinck, later the first Earl of Portland, he had been a page in William of Orange’s household, accompanied William to England in 1670 on his initial visit, handled the delicate negotiations of his marriage with Mary in 1677, and prepared the details of William’s invasion of England. He was given the title of Earl of Portland, and became the most trusted agent of William’s foreign policy. (In 1984, we find the 9th Duke, Cavendish-Bentinck, is chairman of Bayers UK Ltd, and Nuclear Chemie Mittchorpe GMBH, Germany; he also had a distinguished career in foreign service, joining the Foreign Office in 1922; he represented England at the successive Paris, Hague and Locarno conferences, was chairman of joint Intelligence for the Chiefs of Staff 1939-45, and Ambassador to Poland during the critical years of 1945-47, when that country was turned over to the Soviet Union, with England’s surreptitious support.)
Other charter subscribers to the Bank of England were:
* the Duke of Devonshire (William Cavendish) who built Chatsworth; he also had signed the invitation to William to assume the throne of England; he was High Steward at Anne’s Coronation in 1702, and was said to lead a profligate private life — (the present duke sold seven drawings in July 1984 for $9.2 million [and] the 11th Duke married Deborah Freeman-Mitford daughter of Baron Redesdale; his present brother-in-law, Baron Redesdale, is vice president of Chase Manhattan Bank)
* the Duke of Leeds, Sir Thomas Osborne, who also signed the invitation to William — he was lord high treasurer and had arranged the marriage of Mary. He was later impeached for receiving a large bribe to procure the charter of the East India Co. in 1691; because of his favored position at court the proceedings were never concluded, and he left one of the largest fortunes in England
* the Earl of Pembroke, (Thomas Herbert), who became the first lord of the admiralty, and later lord privy seal
* the Earl of Carnarvon, who is also Earl of Powis and Earl of Bradford
* Lord Edward Russell, created Earl of Orford 1697; he had joined the service of William in 1683, was appointed treasurer of the Navy 1689, first lord of admiralty 1696-17, and lord justice 1697-1714 (Sir Robert Walpole, the famed British leader, was created Earl of Orford in the second creation)
* William Paterson, usually credited with being the founder of the bank of England — he was forced out within a year
* Sir Theodore Janssen, who invested 10,000 pounds
* Dr. Hugh Chamberlen
* John Asgill, an eccentric writer and pamphleteer
* Dr. Nicholas Barbon, son of Praisegod Barebones, who started the first insurance company in Great Britain
* John Holland, a reputed Englishman who also started the Bank of Scotland in 1695
* Michael Godfrey, who died at Namur, Belgium on his way to Antwerp to establish a branch of the Bank of England — he was the first deputy governor of the Bank of England, and nephew of Sir Edward Godfrey, who was murdered by Titus Oakes in 1678
* Sir John Houblon and twenty members of his family were also early stockholders; Sir John became lord of the admiralty, and Lord Mayor of London; his brother James was deputy governor of the Bank of England
* Salomon de Medina, later knighted by William III
* Sir William Scawen
* Sir Gilbert Heathcote, director of Bank of England 1699-1701, and from 1723-25; he was Sheriff and later Lord Mayor of London, founded the New East India Co. in 1693; his parsimony was ridiculed by Alexander Pope in his quatrains
* Sir Charles Montague, first Earl of Halifax, and Chancellor of the Exchequer — the present Earl is a director of Hambros Bank
* Marquess Normandy, John Sheffield, also held the title of Duke of Buckingham — he is buried in Westminster Abbey
* Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel, comptroller of the royal household
* Charles Chaplin
* and the philosopher, John Locke.
In his “The Bank of England, A History”, Sir John Clapham notes that by 1721, a number of Spanish and Portuguese Jews had been buying stock in the Bank of England — Medina, two Da Costas, Fonseca, Henriquez, Mendez, Nunes, Roderiquez, Salvador Teixera de Mattes, Jacob and Theodore Jacobs, Moses and Jacob Abrabanel, Francis Pereira. Clapham notes that since 1751 there has been very little trading in Bank of England stock; it has been very closely held for more than two centuries.
The Bank of England has played a prominent role in American history — without it, the United States would not exist. The American colonists considered themselves loyal Englishmen to a man, but when they began to enjoy unequalled prosperity by printing and circulating their own Colonial scrip, the stockholders of the Bank of England went to George III and informed him that their monopoly of interest-bearing notes in the colonies was at stake. He banned the scrip, with the result that there was an immediate depression in the commercial life of the Americas. This was the cause of the Rebellion; as Benjamin Franklin pointed out, the little tax on tea, amounting to about a dollar a year per American family, could have been borne, but the colonists could not survive the banning of their own money.
The Bank of England and the Rothschilds continued to play a dominant role in the commercial life of the United States, causing panics and depressions for the Rothschilds whenever their officials were instructed to do so. When the Second Bank of the United States expired in 1836, and President Jackson refused to renew it, [thus] creating great prosperity in the United States when government funds were deposited in other banks, the Rothschilds punished the upstarts by causing the Panic of 1837. As Henry Clews writes in “Twenty-Eight Years on Wall Street”, p. 157: “The Panic of 1837 was aggravated by the Bank of England when it in one day threw out all the paper connected with the United States.”
By refusing to credit American notes and stocks, the Bank of England created financial panic among the holders of that paper. The panic enabled Rothschild’s agents, Peabody and Belmont, to reap a fortune in buying up depreciated stocks during the panic.
The Bank of England has played a prominent role in wars, revolutions, and espionage, as well as business panics. When Napoleon escaped from Elba in 1815, the London gold market jumped overnight from 4lb.6d to 5lb.7d. The leading buyer was Nathan Mayer Rothschild, who was under orders from the British Treasury to dispatch gold to the Duke of Wellington, grouping to stop Napoleon. After Waterloo, the price of gold dropped.
During the twentieth century, the most important name at the Bank of England was Lord Montagu Norman. His grandfather, George Warde Norman, had been governor of the Bank of England from 1821-1872, longer than any other man; his other grandfather, Lord Collet, was Governor of the Bank of England from 1887-89, and managing partner of Brown Shipley Co. in London for twenty-five years.
In 1894, Montague Norman was sent to New York to work in the offices of Brown Brothers; he was befriended by the W.A. Delano family, and lived with the Markoe family, partners of Brown Bros. In 1907, Norman was elected to the Court of the Bank of England. In 1912, he had a severe nervous breakdown, and was treated by [Carl] Jung in Switzerland. He became deputy governor of the Bank of England in 1916, and later served until 1944 as Governor. The Wall Street Journal wrote of him in 1927:
“Mr. M. Collet Norman, the Governor of the Bank of England, is now head and shoulders above all other British bankers. No other British banker has ever been as independent and supreme in the world of British finance as Mr. Norman is today. He has just been elected Governor for the eighth year in succession. Before the war, no Governor was allowed to hold office for more than two years; but Mr. Norman has broken all precedents. He runs his Bank and his Treasury as well. He appears to have no associations except his employees. He gives no interviews. He leaves the British financial world wholly in the thick as to his plans and ideas.”
The idea that one individual ran the Bank of England to suit himself, with no influences, is too ridiculous to be considered. What about the Rothschilds? What about the other shareholders? Carroll Quigley, in “Tragedy and Hope” notes that: “M. Norman said, ‘I hold the hegemony of the currency.’ — He is called the currency dictator of Europe.”
Lionel Fraser of J. Henry Schroder Wagg notes in his autobiography, “All to the Good”, that he was in charge of Lord Norman’s personal investments. He also notes of the firm of Helbert Wagg, former jewelers from Halberstadt and now a London banking house (later J. Henry Schroder Wagg), “The firm was official brokers on Stock Exchange to the great and all powerful House of Rothschild.” Both Wagg and Schroder had been in business in London for 159 years when they merged in 1960. Another writer notes that Lord Norman frequently consulted with J.P. Morgan before making his Bank of England decisions.
Gordon Richardson, chairman of J. Henry Schroder from 1962-72, then became Governor of the Bank of England from 1972-83, when he was succeeded by Robert Leigh-Pemberton, chairman of the National Westminister Bank, also director of Equitable — he married into the Cecil-Burghley family.
The present directors of the Bank of England are:
* G.W. McMahon, deputy governor since 1964, economic analyst Treasury 1953-57, adviser British Embassy Washington 1957-60
* Sir Adrian Cadbury, chairman Cadbury Schweppes, dir. IBM UK
* Leopold de Rothschild, N.M. Rothschild and Sons, etc.
* George V. Blunden, exec. dir. Bank of England since 1947, served with IMF 1955-58
* A.D. Lochnis, dir. J. Henry Schroder Wagg
* G.A. Drain, member Trilateral Commission, treasurer European Movement, Franco-British Council, British North American Committee, lawyer for many unions and health associations
* Sir Jasper Hollom, has been on the board since 1936
* D.G. Scholey, chairman S.G. Warburg Co., Orion Insurance, Union Discount of London, Mercury Securities, which now owns S.G. Warburg Co. Irwin Holdings
* J.M. Clay, dep. chairman Hambros Bank, chairman Johnson and Firth Brown Ltd
* Hambros Life Assurance
* Sir David Steel, chairman British Petroleum, dir. Kuwait Oil Co., The Wellcome Trust, trustee The Economist (whose chairman is Evelyn de Rothschild)
* Lord Nelson of Stafford, chairman GE Ltd. chairman Royal Worcester Co., Natl. Bank of Australasia, International Nickel, British Aircraft, English Electric, Marconi Ltd. chairman World Power Conference, Worshipful Co. of Goldsmiths, Middle Eastern Assn
* Lord Weir, chairman The Weir Group, chairman Great Northern Investment Trust
* E.A.J. George, exec. dir Bank of England, dir. Gilt-Edged Division Bank of England, IMF 1972-72, Bank for International Settlements 1966-69
* Sir Hector Laing, chairman United Biscuit, Allied Lyons, Royal Insurance
* Sir Alastair Pilkington, chairman Pilkington Bros. Glass, dir. British Petroleum, British Railways Board.
The Bank of England also dominates the Bank of Scotland, whose chairman is Robert Bruce, Lord Balfour; his title Balfour of Burleigh was created in 1607; he is manager of English Electric and Viking Oil; he married the daughter of magnate E.S. Manasseh. Directors of Bank of Scotland include Lord Clydesmuir, also dir. Barclays Bank, and Rt. Hon. Lord Polwarth, director of Halliburton, which interlocks with the Rothschild First City Bank of Houston and Citibank, Imperial Chemical Industries, Canadian Pacific, and Brown and Root Wimpey Highland Fabricators, which interlocks with George Wimpey PLC, largest construction firm in the British Empire, whose 44 companies have revenues of 1.2 billion pounds per year. Lord Polwarth’s daughter married Baron Moran, High Commissioner of Canada, who previously served as Ambassador to Hungary and to Chad; Baron Moran’s daughter married Baron Mountevans, manager of Consolidated Goldfields.
Directors of George Wimpey PLC included S.S. Jardine; Viscount Hood, who is chairman Petrofina UK, and director J. Henry Schroder Wagg, and Union Miniere; and Sir Joseph Latham, chairman Ariel International, director Deutsches Kreditbank.
Wimpey Co. interlocks with Schroder Ltd, parent of J. Henry Schroder Wagg. The Earl of Airlie (David Ogilvy) is chairman of Schroder; he married Virginia Ryan, grand-daughter of Otto Kahn and Thomas Fortune Ryan; The Earl is also director of Royal Bank of Scotland; directors of Schroder include Lord Franks, director of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Rhodes Trust, and Kennedy Center; he is a former Ambassador to the United States; G.W. Mallinkrodt; Sir E.G. Woodruffe of Unlever; and Daniel Janssen of the Bank of England.
The Merchants of Death and World War I
One of the great Rothschild hoaxes was the “disarmament movement” of the early 1930s. The idea was not to disarm, but to persuade the nations to junk what arms they had so they could later be sold new ones. “The merchants of death”, as they were popularly known in those days, were never more than errand boys for their true masters, “the bankers of death”, or, as they were also known, “the Brotherhood of Death”.
In 1897, Vickers, in which Rothschilds had the largest holding, bought Naval Construction and Armament Co., and Maxim Nordenfeldt Guns & Ammunition Co. The new Vickers-Maxim Co. was able to test its products in the Spanish-American War, which was set off by J. & W. Seligman Co. to obtain the white gold (sugar) of Cuba; the Boer War of 1899-1901, to seize the gold and diamond fields of the Witwatersrand, and the Russo-Japanese War of 1905, designed to weaken the Czar and make the Communist Revolution inevitable. These three wars provided the excuse for tooling up for the mass production of World Wars I & II. In 1897, an international power trust was formed, consisting of DuPont, Nobel, Koln, and Kottweiler, which divided the world into four distinct sales territories.
The chairman of Vickers, Sir Herbert Lawrence, was director of Sun Assurance Office Ltd; Sun Life Assurance, and chairman the London committee of the Ottoman Bank; directors included Sir Otto Niemeyer, director of the Bank of England, and the Anglo International Bank; S. Loewe, the German arms magnate, Loewe & Co.; Sir Vincent Caillard, President of the Ottoman Debt Council, financial expert on the Near East; and Sir Basil Zaharoff, the “mystery man of Europe”.
The highwater mark of “the merchants of death” hoax was reached in the Nye Committee Hearings of 1934, copies of which are invariably missing in government libraries. Alger Hiss was investigator and counsel for the Committee. Typical was Chairman Nye’s questioning of Mr. Carse of the Electric Boat Co. (a subsidiary of Vickers):
Chairman NYE: In 1917, Mr. Carse, you drafted a letter to help Zaharoff avoid paying income tax on your commissions to him of $766,852. There is Exhibit 24, a letter dated Sept. 21, 1917, addressed to Mr. H.C. Sheridan, Washington, D.C. Who is Mr. Sheridan, Mr. Carse ?
CARSE: He owns the Hotel Washington. At that time he was the agent of Vickers Ltd. in this country, and he was also a representative of Zaharoff. Mr Sheridan handled Mr. Zaharoff’s income tax with White and Case.
CHMN: Did you know that this was false, that this omission of a million dollars referred to was actually Sir Basil Zaharoff’s income ?
CARSE: No, I did not know anything about Zaharoff’s income.
CHMN: But you have told us that a letter by Zaharoff six weeks earlier that 82,000 francs he received was his own personal income.
CARSE: I do not know what Zaharoff did in his business. He did not tell me.
CHMN: Did Zaharoff succeed in escaping the payment of income tax to the United States ?
CARSE: I believe there was some settlement made. Sheridan handled it….. Zaharoff was never a stockholder insofar as I ever knew. The men who handle very large stock do not put the stock in their own names.
CHMN: Zaharoff wrote to you 19 May, 1925: ‘I desire no thanks for what I have done, because I am bound to attend to the interest of my firm of Vickers and the Electric Boat Co. in both of which I am a stockholder.’
CARSE: I know he told me that, but I was never able to trace anything.”
Sen. Clark then pursued questioning on how the armaments firms and oil companies promoted wars:
CLARK: So this whole occasion of arming Peru, and of the revolution in Bolivia on the basis of arming against Chile was based on erroneous rumor ?
MR. SPEZAR: That is my impression.
CLARK: You wanted to interest the large oil companies in financing an armament program for South America
CARSE: I was willing to present any proposition the government might approve with regard to any oil companies which might be interested.
The Nye Committee frequently came back to Zaharoff’s activities, referring to him as “a kind of superspy in high social and influential circles”. For many years he exercised great influence on Prime Minister Lloyd George of England. Zaharoff, who began his career as a brothel tout and underworld tough, arranged for Lloyd George to have an affair with Zaharoff’s wife.
Arthur Maundy Gregory, an associate of Lloyd George, was also a Zaharoff agent. Maundy Gregory for many years regularly peddled peerages in London clubs; knighthoods, not hereditary, were 10,000-12,000 lbs.; baronetcies went for as high as 40,000 lb., of which he paid Lloyd George a standard 5000 lb. each. Maundy Gregory was also closely associated with Sir Basil Thompson in British counter-espionage.
Zaharoff, who was born in 1851 in Constantinople, married one Emily Ann Burrows of Knightsbridge. Maundy Gregory then introduced Emily Ann to the [sexually] insatiable Lloyd George. From that time on, he was at Zaharoff’s mercy. Although Zaharoff was closely associated with Lloyd George throughout World War I until 1922, when their association effectively ended Lloyd George’s political career, the name Zaharoff appears nowhere in Lloyd George’s extensive Memoirs. Lloyd George’s political career came to an end after Zaharoff persuaded him to help the Greeks against Turkey in 1920, a disastrous adventure which brought about Lloyd George’s downfall from political power. George Donald McCormick, in “The Mask of Merlin”, the definitive work on Lloyd George, states:
“Zaharoff kept him (Lloyd George) closely informed on the Balkans. During the war, Zaharoff was sent on various secret missions by Lloyd George. The Big Three, Wilson, Lloyd George and Clemenceau, met in Zaharoff’s home in Paris. On one occasion, Zaharoff went to Germany (in 1917) on Lloyd George’s personal instructions, disguised in the uniform of a Bulgarian Army doctor. Clemenceau later said, ‘The information which Zaharoff secured in Germany for Lloyd George was the most important piece of intelligence of the whole war.’”
Zaharoff was awarded the Order of British Empire in 1918 for this mission. McCormick also notes, “Zaharoff had interests in Briey furnaces of the Comite des Forges. Throughout the war no action was taken against Briey or nearby Thionville, a German area vital to the German army. Orders to bombard Briey were cancelled on orders of Zaharoff.” M. Barthe protested this event in a speech to the French Parliament January 24, 1919.
McCormick found that Zaharoff had made some interesting confessions to close associates. He boasted to Rosita Forbes, “I made wars so that I could sell arms to both sides.” He offered astute political advice to Sir Robert Lord Boothby, “Begin on the left in politics, and then, if necessary, work over to the right. Remember it is sometimes necessary to kick off the ladder those who have helped you to climb it.”
In addition to his Vickers and Electric Boat stock, Zaharoff had large holdings in other armaments manufacturers, Krupp and Skoda. The Skoda Works of Czechoslavakia were controlled by the powerful Schneider family of Schneider-Creusot, headed by Eugene Schneider, whose grand-daughter married the present Duke of Bedford. The Nye Committee found that Vickers interlocked with Brown Boveri of Switzerland, Fokker, Banque Ottomane, Mitsui, Schneider, and ten other armaments firms around the world. Vickers set up a torpedo manufacturing firm, Societe Francasies des Torpilles Whitehead, with the former Whitehead Co., whose owner, James B. Whitehead, then became English Ambassador to France. Frau Margareta von Bismarck was a director of Societe Francasies, as was Count Edgar Hoyos of Fiume.
At its peak in the 1930s, the Vickers network included Harvey Steel, Chas. Cammell & co. shipbuilding, John Brown & Co., Krupp and Dillinger of Germany, Terni Co. of Italy, Bethehem Steel and Electric Boat in the U.S., Schneider, Chatillon Steel, Nobel Dynamite Trust, and Chilworth Gunpowder Co. The trustee for the debentures of the armaments firms was Royal Exchange Assurance Co. of London, of which E. Roland Harriman of Brown Bros Harriman was a director.
As First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill obligingly changed the fuel of the entire English fleet from coal to oil, as a favor to the Samuel family which owned Royal Dutch Shell.
The most revealing works on the armaments dealers, the Nye Committee Hearings, and “Merchants of Death” are now fifty years old. On p. 167 of “Merchants” we find that:
“The Societe Miniere de Penarroya controls the most important lead mines of the world, accounting for one-eighth of the world’s production. Since 1833 the French bankers, the Rothschilds, have controlled these mines, but in 1909 the Rothschild Bank entered into an alliance with the Metallgeschaft of Frankfurt, the company in which both the Kaiser and Krupp were heavily interested. This company remained under German and French control for about two years of the war. At the outbreak of hostilities, 150,000 tons of lead were shipped from these mines to Germany, via Switzerland. When shipments to France were resumed, the price was raised to such an extent that it more than doubled the price which the English paid for their lead. Free trade between Germany and France in important chemicals, for powder, etc. continued; the Swiss supplied both sides with electric power. All along their frontier great powerhouses sprang into being, facing Germany from Italy, producing iron, bauxite, chemicals and power. Zeiss products were exported to Britain throughout the war.”
Dr. Ellis Powell told an audience at Queens Hall, London, March 4, 1917:
“At the beginning of the war many thousands of German reservists were allowed to return to Germany although our Fleet could have stopped them. German individuals, firms and companies went on trading merrily in British names, collecting their debts, and indirectly, no doubt, financing German militarism. At the very moment when Germans were destroying our property by Zeppelin bombs we were actually paying them money instead of taking their holdings as part compensation for damage done. In January 1915 came the vicious decision by Lord Reading (Rufus Isaacs) and the Appeal Court, according to which the Kaiser and Little William Co. was a good British company, capable of suing the King’s own subjects in the King’s own courts …. The uninterrupted activity in this country of the Frankfurt Metal Octopus is not an accident … Let me analyze one lurid case, which has stirred public indignation and anger to its depths. I mean the impudent survival of the German banks. We have now been at war nearly three years. Yet their doors are still open. They sent large quantities of bullion to Germany after the war started.”
There was a remarkable amount of goodwill and free trade continuing during World War I among the warring nations. Of course the Americans did not wish to be left out of the great outpouring of ‘goodwill’ in which forty million people were killed. It was not enough that the Americans were financing the war through their Federal Reserve System and the personal income tax, which, as Cordell Hull so aptly put it in his Memoirs, “had been passed in the nick of time” before the outbreak of the war; nor was it enough that the Americans were feeding the “Belgians”, actually the Germans, through the Belgian Relief Commission, so that the war could be prolonged until the United States became a belligerent. Concerned Americans dedicated themselves to the proposition that American boys should be killed in the trenches with the British, the French, the Germans and other nationalites.
The warmongers set up three principal organizations to force the United States into World War I — the Council on National Defense, the Navy League, and the League to Enforce Peace. The Council on National Defense was authorized by act of Congress August, 1916, although there was no nation on earth known to be contemplating any attack on the United States.
Pancho Villa had led a small group of bandits against Columbus, New Mexico, but this raid was hardly an occasion for national mobilization. It was a retaliatory strike because of the actions of New York bankers in Mexico — the Warburgs held the bonds of the National Railways of Mexico; George F. Peabody and Eugene Meyer and Cleveland H. Dodge owned the copper mines of Mexico; Seligman & Co. owned Electric Power and Light of Mexico. The Mexican Revolution was an uprising against President Porfirio Diaz, who had collaborated profitably with the Warburgs and Rockefellers for years. Percy N. Furber, president of the Oil Fields of Mexico Ltd. told C.W. Barron:
Robin Breeds | June 23, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Reply
Wars are carefully staged productions and they did what they supposed to do they had a good audience so they successful, to say they had one philosophy of government against another is total nonsense, These are World Order production’s, each side is set up to perform in a certain manner outcome was always predetermined a staged production kinda like a Soap opera. You ask that question to one thousand Britons, and I kid you not, all of them will say that it is owned by the Government. They would be wrong.
The people wielding this power see the world’s financial crisis as their moment of opportunity to seize greater power. The scary part of that is that hardly a living soul even knows they exist. Now that’s real power.
Sabine Kurjo McNeill | June 23, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Reply
What fascinating comments, Robin!
THANK YOU VERY MUCH INDEED!!!
Am currently exploring the ‘real’ power of Twitter to alert people to an attack on Berlin a la 9/11 – foreseen for this Sunday. http://twishort.com/ac4vj
Angela Kenny | August 6, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Reply
wow this is the best i’ve read in a long time.
james armstrong | August 27, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Reply
Backtracking to 1694…… It seems important that the original charter of the B of E was for a twelve year duration only. It was many times renewed, but not without controversy. Here is a precedent for fixing a termination date for every incorporated company, charging them annually for the inestimable privilege of operating in what Adam Smith called the ‘Golden Highway’ of trade in beautiful peaceful credit-respecting England. A Renewable Termination Date would give a sanction to be used for unethical behaviour by companies, banks etc. Money from the licence would easily pay off the national debt. c.f. Goldman S,’s profits of $12bn and salries of $16bn. James .
Sabine Kurjo McNeill | August 28, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Reply
WOW, that’s really useful / constructive / fascinating / interesting, James!
Any suggestion for how to take this forward???
Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 15778 Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
Posted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 12:20 am Post subject:
Never mind the Czech gold the Nazis stole...
The Bank for International Settlements actually financed Hitler’s war machine
Hjalmar Schacht (left), Hitler's finance minister, with his close friend Montagu Norman, Governor of the Bank of England from 1920 to 1944
By Adam Lebor8:21PM BST 31 Jul 2013Comments161 Comments
The documents reveal a shocking story: just six months before Britain went to war with Nazi Germany, the Bank of England willingly handed over £5.6 million worth of gold to Hitler – and it belonged to another country.
The official history of the bank, written in 1950 but posted online for the first time on Tuesday, reveals how we betrayed Czechoslovakia – not just with the infamous Munich agreement of September 1938, which allowed the Nazis to annex the Sudetenland, but also in London, where Montagu Norman, the eccentric but ruthless governor of the Bank of England agreed to surrender gold owned by the National Bank of Czechoslovakia.
The Czechoslovak gold was held in London in a sub-account in the name of the Bank for International Settlements, the Basel-based bank for central banks. When the Nazis marched into Prague in March 1939 they immediately sent armed soldiers to the offices of the National Bank. The Czech directors were ordered, on pain of death, to send two transfer requests.
The first instructed the BIS to transfer 23.1 metric tons of gold from the Czechoslovak BIS account, held at the Bank of England, to the Reichsbank BIS account, also held at Threadneedle Street.
The second order instructed the Bank of England to transfer almost 27 metric tons of gold held in the National Bank of Czechoslovakia’s own name to the BIS’s gold account at the Bank of England.
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To outsiders, the distinction between the accounts seems obscure. Yet it proved crucial – and allowed Norman to ensure that the first order was carried out. The Czechoslovak bank officials believed that as the orders had obviously been carried out under duress neither would be allowed to go through. But they had not reckoned on the bureaucrats running the BIS and the determination of Montagu Norman to see that procedures were followed, even as his country prepared for war with Nazi Germany.
His decision caused uproar, both in the press and in Parliament. George Strauss, a Labour MP, spoke for many when he thundered in Parliament: “The Bank for International Settlements is the bank which sanctions the most notorious outrage of this generation – the rape of Czechoslovakia.” Winston Churchill demanded to know how the government could ask its citizens to enlist in the military when it was “so butter-fingered that £6 million worth of gold can be transferred to the Nazi government”.
It was a good question. Thanks to Norman and the BIS, Nazi Germany had just looted 23.1 tons of gold without a shot being fired. The second transfer order, for the gold held in the National Bank of Czechoslovakia’s own name, did not go through. Sir John Simon, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, had instructed banks to block all Czechoslovak assets.
The documents released by the Bank of England are revealing, both for what they show and what they omit. They are a window into a world of fearful deference to authority, the primacy of procedure over morality, a world where, for the bankers, the most important thing is to keep the channels of international finance open, no matter what the human cost. A world, in other words, not entirely different to today.
The BIS was founded in 1930, in effect by Montagu Norman and his close friend Hjalmar Schacht, the former president of the Reichsbank, known as the father of the Nazi economic miracle. Schacht even referred to the BIS as “my” bank. The BIS is a unique hybrid: a commercial bank protected by international treaty. Its assets can never be seized, even in times of war. It pays no taxes on profits. The Czechoslovaks believed that the BIS’s legal immunities would protect them. But they were wrong.
The Bank of England’s historian argued that to refuse the transfer order would have been a breach of Britain’s treaty obligations with regard to the BIS. In fact there was a powerful counter-argument that the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia had rendered any such obligations null and void as the country no longer existed.
A key sentence in the Bank of England documents is found on page 1,295. It reads: “The general attitude of the Bank of England directors of the BIS during the war was governed by their anxiety to keep the BIS to play its part in the solution of post-war problems”. And here the secret history of the BIS and its strong relationship with the Bank of England becomes ever more murky.
During the war the BIS proclaimed that it was neutral, a view supported by the Bank of England. In fact the BIS was so entwined with the Nazi economy that it helped keep the Third Reich in business. It carried out foreign exchange deals for the Reichsbank; it accepted looted Nazi gold; it recognised the puppet regimes installed in occupied countries, which, together with the Third Reich, soon controlled the majority of the bank’s shares.
Indeed, the BIS was so useful for the Nazis that Emil Puhl, the vice-president of the Reichsbank and BIS director, referred to the BIS as the Reichsbank’s only “foreign branch”.
The BIS’s reach and connections were vital for Germany. So much so, that all through the war, the Reichsbank continued paying interest on the monies lent by the BIS. This interest was used by the BIS to pay dividends to shareholders – which included the Bank of England. Thus, through the BIS, the Reichsbank was funding the British war economy. After the war, five BIS directors were tried for war crimes, including Schacht. “They don’t hang bankers,” Schacht supposedly said, and he was right – he was acquitted.
Buried among the typewritten pages of the Bank of England’s history is a name of whom few have ever heard, a man for whom, like Montagu Norman, the primacy of international finance reigned over mere national considerations.
Thomas McKittrick, an American banker, was president of the BIS. When the United States entered the war in December 1941, McKittrick’s position, the history notes, “became difficult”. But McKittrick managed to keep the bank in business, thanks in part to his friend Allen Dulles, the US spymaster based in Berne. McKittrick was an asset of Dulles, known as Codename 644, and frequently passed him information that he had garnered from Emil Puhl, who was a frequent visitor to Basel and often met McKittrick.
Declassified documents in the American intelligence archives reveal an even more disturbing story. Under an intelligence operation known as the “Harvard Plan”, McKittrick was in contact with Nazi industrialists, working towards what the US documents, dated February 1945, describe as a “close cooperation between the Allied and German business world”.
Thus while Allied soldiers were fighting through Europe, McKittrick was cutting deals to keep the Germany economy strong. This was happening with what the US documents describe as “the full assistance” of the State Department.
The Bank of England history also makes disparaging reference to Harry Dexter White, an official in the Treasury Department, who was a close ally of Henry Morgenthau, the Treasury Secretary. Morgenthau and White were the BIS’s most powerful enemies and lobbied hard at Bretton Woods in July 1944, where the Allies met to plan the post-war financial system, for the BIS to be closed.White, the Bank history notes rather sneeringly, had said of the BIS: “There is an American president doing business with the Germans while our boys are fighting the Germans.”
Aided by its powerful friends, such as Montagu Norman, Allen Dulles and much of Wall Street, the BIS survived the attempts by Morgenthau and White to close it down. The bank’s allies used precisely the argument detailed on page 1,295 of the Bank of England’s history: the BIS was needed to plan the post-war European economy.
From the 1950s to the 1990s the BIS hosted much of the planning and technical preparation for the introduction of the euro. Without the BIS the euro would probably not exist. In 1994, Alexander Lamfalussy, the former BIS manager, set up the European Monetary Institute, now known as the European Central Bank.
The BIS remains very profitable. It has only about 140 customers (it refuses to say how many) but made a tax-free profit of about £900 million last year. Every other month it hosts the Global Economy Meetings, where 60 of the most powerful central bankers, including Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, meet. No details of meetings are released, even though the attendees are public servants, charged with managing national economies.
The BIS also hosts the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, which regulates commercial banks, and the new Financial Stability Board, which coordinates national regulatory authorities. The BIS has made itself the central pillar of the global financial system.
Montagu Norman and Hjalmar Schacht would be very proud indeed.
Adam LeBor is the author of 'Tower of Basel: The Shadowy History of the Secret Bank That Runs the World’, published by PublicAffairs _________________ www.lawyerscommitteefor9-11inquiry.org www.rethink911.org www.patriotsquestion911.com www.actorsandartistsfor911truth.org www.mediafor911truth.org www.pilotsfor911truth.org www.mp911truth.org www.ae911truth.org www.rl911truth.org www.stj911.org www.v911t.org www.thisweek.org.uk www.abolishwar.org.uk www.elementary.org.uk www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/2149 http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
Swiss banks have been accused of collaborating with the Nazis during WWII, but they are not alone. British and American bankers also helped fund Hitler's war machine. Officers from the Bank of England sat on the board alongside leading Nazis of the Bank for International Settlements (B.I.S.). While Europe was engulfed in WWII, the B.I.S. laundered plundered gold for the Nazis and paid dividends to the Bank of England. Henry Morganthau, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury for F.D.R., pursued the B.I.S.'s American president, Thomas McKittrick, uncovering evidence that other leading allied banks were collaborating with the Nazis. Allied bankers were never prosecuted after the war.
The US Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Morgenthau, began investigating Nazi finances 60 years ago and found Allied banks, including many British and American high street names, who continued to do business with Hitler's Germany throughout the war
371 Swiss banks stand accused of collaborating with the Nazis during World War II. This was suspected at the time by by U.S. Secretary of Treasury Henry Morgenthau, who began investigating this collaboration. He found the Swiss were not alone. His archives reveal that both British and American bankers continued to do business with Hitler, even as Germany was invading Europe and bombing London.
This investigative film shows in detail the roles played by the Anglo-German banking clique. Key members of the Bank of England together with their German counterparts established the BIS, the Bank for International Settlement, which laundered the plundered gold of Europe. On its board were key Nazis such as Walther Funk and Hjalamar Schact The president of BIS was an American, Thomas McKittrick, who readily socialized with leading Nazis. Not only the BIS, but other allied banks worked hand in hand with the Nazis. One of the biggest American banks kept a branch open in Occupied Paris and, with full knowledge of the managers in the U.S., froze the accounts of French Jews. Deprived of money to escape France, many ended up in death camps.
The Tower of Basel: Secretive Plans for the Issuing of a Global Currency
Do we really want the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) issuing our global currency?
In an April 7 article in The London Telegraph titled “The G20 Moves the World a Step Closer to
A Global Currency,” Ambrose Evans-Pritchard wrote:
“A single clause in Point 19 of the communiqué issued by the G20 leaders amounts to revolution in the global financial order.
“‘We have agreed to support a general SDR allocation which will inject $250bn (£170bn) into the world economy and increase global liquidity,’ it said. SDRs are Special Drawing Rights, a synthetic paper currency issued by the International Monetary Fund that has lain dormant for half a century.
“In effect, the G20 leaders have activated the IMF’s power to create money and begin global ‘quantitative easing’. In doing so, they are putting a de facto world currency into play. It is outside the control of any sovereign body. Conspiracy theorists will love it.”
Indeed they will. The article is subtitled, “The world is a step closer to a global currency, backed by a global central bank, running monetary policy for all humanity.” Which naturally raises the question, who or what will serve as this global central bank, cloaked with the power to issue the global currency and police monetary policy for all humanity? When the world’s central bankers met in Washington last September, they discussed what body might be in a position to serve in that awesome and fearful role. A former governor of the Bank of England stated:
“[T]he answer might already be staring us in the face, in the form of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). . . . The IMF tends to couch its warnings about economic problems in very diplomatic language, but the BIS is more independent and much better placed to deal with this if it is given the power to do so.”1
And if the vision of a global currency outside government control does not set off conspiracy theorists, putting the BIS in charge of it surely will. The BIS has been scandal-ridden ever since it was branded with pro-Nazi leanings in the 1930s. Founded in Basel, Switzerland, in 1930, the BIS has been called “the most exclusive, secretive, and powerful supranational club in the world.” Charles Higham wrote in his book Trading with the Enemy that by the late 1930s, the BIS had assumed an openly pro-Nazi bias, a theme that was expanded on in a BBC Timewatch film titled “Banking with Hitler” broadcast in 1998.2 In 1944, the American government backed a resolution at the Bretton-Woods Conference calling for the liquidation of the BIS, following Czech accusations that it was laundering gold stolen by the Nazis from occupied Europe; but the central bankers succeeded in quietly snuffing out the American resolution.3
In Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time (1966), Dr. Carroll Quigley revealed the key role played in global finance by the BIS behind the scenes. Dr. Quigley was Professor of History at Georgetown University, where he was President Bill Clinton’s mentor. He was also an insider, groomed by the powerful clique he called “the international bankers.” His credibility is heightened by the fact that he actually espoused their goals. He wrote:
“I know of the operations of this network because I have studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years, in the early 1960's, to examine its papers and secret records. I have no aversion to it or to most of its aims and have, for much of my life, been close to it and to many of its instruments. . . . [I]n general my chief difference of opinion is that it wishes to remain unknown, and I believe its role in history is significant enough to be known.”
Quigley wrote of this international banking network:
“[T]he powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations.”
The key to their success, said Quigley, was that the international bankers would control and manipulate the money system of a nation while letting it appear to be controlled by the government. The statement echoed one made in the eighteenth century by the patriarch of what would become the most powerful banking dynasty in the world. Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild famously said in 1791:
“Allow me to issue and control a nation’s currency, and I care not who makes its laws.”
Mayer’s five sons were sent to the major capitals of Europe – London, Paris, Vienna, Berlin and Naples – with the mission of establishing a banking system that would be outside government control. The economic and political systems of nations would be controlled not by citizens but by bankers, for the benefit of bankers. Eventually, a privately-owned “central bank” was established in nearly every country; and this central banking system has now gained control over the economies of the world. Central banks have the authority to print money in their respective countries, and it is from these banks that governments must borrow money to pay their debts and fund their operations. The result is a global economy in which not only industry but government itself runs on “credit” (or debt) created by a banking monopoly headed by a network of private central banks; and at the top of this network is the BIS, the “central bank of central banks” in Basel.
Behind the Curtain
For many years the BIS kept a very low profile, operating behind the scenes in an abandoned hotel. It was here that decisions were reached to devalue or defend currencies, fix the price of gold, regulate offshore banking, and raise or lower short-term interest rates. In 1977, however, the BIS gave up its anonymity in exchange for more efficient headquarters. The new building has been described as “an eighteen story-high circular skyscraper that rises above the medieval city like some misplaced nuclear reactor.” It quickly became known as the “Tower of Basel.” Today the BIS has governmental immunity, pays no taxes, and has its own private police force.4 It is, as Mayer Rothschild envisioned, above the law.
The BIS is now composed of 55 member nations, but the club that meets regularly in Basel is a much smaller group; and even within it, there is a hierarchy. In a 1983 article in Harper’s Magazine called “Ruling the World of Money,” Edward Jay Epstein wrote that where the real business gets done is in “a sort of inner club made up of the half dozen or so powerful central bankers who find themselves more or less in the same monetary boat” – those from Germany, the United States, Switzerland, Italy, Japan and England. Epstein said:
“The prime value, which also seems to demarcate the inner club from the rest of the BIS members, is the firm belief that central banks should act independently of their home governments. . . . A second and closely related belief of the inner club is that politicians should not be trusted to decide the fate of the international monetary system.”
In 1974, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision was created by the central bank Governors of the Group of Ten nations (now expanded to twenty). The BIS provides the twelve-member Secretariat for the Committee. The Committee, in turn, sets the rules for banking globally, including capital requirements and reserve controls. In a 2003 article titled “The Bank for International Settlements Calls for Global Currency,” Joan Veon wrote:
“The BIS is where all of the world’s central banks meet to analyze the global economy and determine what course of action they will take next to put more money in their pockets, since they control the amount of money in circulation and how much interest they are going to charge governments and banks for borrowing from them. . . .
“When you understand that the BIS pulls the strings of the world’s monetary system, you then understand that they have the ability to create a financial boom or bust in a country. If that country is not doing what the money lenders want, then all they have to do is sell its currency.”5
The Controversial Basel Accords
The power of the BIS to make or break economies was demonstrated in 1988, when it issued a Basel Accord raising bank capital requirements from 6% to 8%. By then, Japan had emerged as the world’s largest creditor; but Japan’s banks were less well capitalized than other major international banks. Raising the capital requirement forced them to cut back on lending, creating a recession in Japan like that suffered in the U.S. today. Property prices fell and loans went into default as the security for them shriveled up. A downward spiral followed, ending with the total bankruptcy of the banks. The banks had to be nationalized, although that word was not used in order to avoid criticism.6
Among other collateral damage produced by the Basel Accords was a spate of suicides among Indian farmers unable to get loans. The BIS capital adequacy standards required loans to private borrowers to be “risk-weighted,” with the degree of risk determined by private rating agencies; and farmers and small business owners could not afford the agencies’ fees. Banks therefore assigned 100 percent risk to the loans, and then resisted extending credit to these “high-risk” borrowers because more capital was required to cover the loans. When the conscience of the nation was aroused by the Indian suicides, the government, lamenting the neglect of farmers by commercial banks, established a policy of ending the “financial exclusion” of the weak; but this step had little real effect on lending practices, due largely to the strictures imposed by the BIS from abroad.7
Similar complaints have come from Korea. An article in the December 12, 2008 Korea Times titled “BIS Calls Trigger Vicious Cycle” described how Korean entrepreneurs with good collateral cannot get operational loans from Korean banks, at a time when the economic downturn requires increased investment and easier credit:
“‘The Bank of Korea has provided more than 35 trillion won to banks since September when the global financial crisis went full throttle,’ said a Seoul analyst, who declined to be named. ‘But the effect is not seen at all with the banks keeping the liquidity in their safes. They simply don’t lend and one of the biggest reasons is to keep the BIS ratio high enough to survive,’ he said. . . .
“Chang Ha-joon, an economics professor at Cambridge University, concurs with the analyst. ‘What banks do for their own interests, or to improve the BIS ratio, is against the interests of the whole society. This is a bad idea,’ Chang said in a recent telephone interview with Korea Times.”
In a May 2002 article in The Asia Times titled “Global Economy: The BIS vs. National Banks,” economist Henry C K Liu observed that the Basel Accords have forced national banking systems “to march to the same tune, designed to serve the needs of highly sophisticated global financial markets, regardless of the developmental needs of their national economies.” He wrote:
“[N]ational banking systems are suddenly thrown into the rigid arms of the Basel Capital Accord sponsored by the Bank of International Settlement (BIS), or to face the penalty of usurious risk premium in securing international interbank loans. . . . National policies suddenly are subjected to profit incentives of private financial institutions, all members of a hierarchical system controlled and directed from the money center banks in New York. The result is to force national banking systems to privatize . . . .
“BIS regulations serve only the single purpose of strengthening the international private banking system, even at the peril of national economies. . . . The IMF and the international banks regulated by the BIS are a team: the international banks lend recklessly to borrowers in emerging economies to create a foreign currency debt crisis, the IMF arrives as a carrier of monetary virus in the name of sound monetary policy, then the international banks come as vulture investors in the name of financial rescue to acquire national banks deemed capital inadequate and insolvent by the BIS.”
Ironically, noted Liu, developing countries with their own natural resources did not actually need the foreign investment that trapped them in debt to outsiders:
“Applying the State Theory of Money [which assumes that a sovereign nation has the power to issue its own money], any government can fund with its own currency all its domestic developmental needs to maintain full employment without inflation.”
When governments fall into the trap of accepting loans in foreign currencies, however, they become “debtor nations” subject to IMF and BIS regulation. They are forced to divert their production to exports, just to earn the foreign currency necessary to pay the interest on their loans. National banks deemed “capital inadequate” have to deal with strictures comparable to the “conditionalities” imposed by the IMF on debtor nations: “escalating capital requirement, loan writeoffs and liquidation, and restructuring through selloffs, layoffs, downsizing, cost-cutting and freeze on capital spending.” Liu wrote:
“Reversing the logic that a sound banking system should lead to full employment and developmental growth, BIS regulations demand high unemployment and developmental degradation in national economies as the fair price for a sound global private banking system.”
The Last Domino to Fall
While banks in developing nations were being penalized for falling short of the BIS capital requirements, large international banks managed to escape the rules, although they actually carried enormous risk because of their derivative exposure. The mega-banks succeeded in avoiding the Basel rules by separating the “risk” of default out from the loans and selling it off to investors, using a form of derivative known as “credit default swaps.”
However, it was not in the game plan that U.S. banks should escape the BIS net. When they managed to sidestep the first Basel Accord, a second set of rules was imposed known as Basel II. The new rules were established in 2004, but they were not levied on U.S. banks until November 2007, the month after the Dow passed 14,000 to reach its all-time high. It has been all downhill from there. Basel II had the same effect on U.S. banks that Basel I had on Japanese banks: they have been struggling ever since to survive.8
Basel II requires banks to adjust the value of their marketable securities to the “market price” of the security, a rule called “mark to market.”9 The rule has theoretical merit, but the problem is timing: it was imposed ex post facto, after the banks already had the hard-to-market assets on their books. Lenders that had been considered sufficiently well capitalized to make new loans suddenly found they were insolvent. At least, they would have been insolvent if they had tried to sell their assets, an assumption required by the new rule. Financial analyst John Berlau complained:
“The crisis is often called a ‘market failure,’ and the term ‘mark-to-market’ seems to reinforce that. But the mark-to-market rules are profoundly anti-market and hinder the free-market function of price discovery. . . . In this case, the accounting rules fail to allow the market players to hold on to an asset if they don’t like what the market is currently fetching, an important market action that affects price discovery in areas from agriculture to antiques.”10
Imposing the mark-to-market rule on U.S. banks caused an instant credit freeze, which proceeded to take down the economies not only of the U.S. but of countries worldwide. In early April 2009, the mark-to-market rule was finally softened by the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB); but critics said the modification did not go far enough, and it was done in response to pressure from politicians and bankers, not out of any fundamental change of heart or policies by the BIS.
And that is where the conspiracy theorists come in. Why did the BIS not retract or at least modify Basel II after seeing the devastation it had caused? Why did it sit idly by as the global economy came crashing down? Was the goal to create so much economic havoc that the world would rush with relief into the waiting arms of the BIS with its privately-created global currency? The plot thickens . . . .
Ellen Brown developed her research skills as an attorney practicing civil litigation in Los Angeles. In Web of Debt, her latest book, she turns those skills to an analysis of the Federal Reserve and “the money trust.” She shows how this private cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back. Her earlier books focused on the pharmaceutical cartel that gets its power from “the money trust.” Her eleven books include Forbidden Medicine, Nature’s Pharmacy (co-authored with Dr. Lynne Walker), and The Key to Ultimate Health (co-authored with Dr. Richard Hansen). Her websites are www.webofdebt.com and www.ellenbrown.com.
1. Andrew Marshall, “The Financial New World Order: Towards a Global Currency and World Government,” Global Research (April 6, 2009).
2 Alfred Mendez, “The Network,” The World Central Bank: The Bank for International Settlements, http://copy_bilderberg.tripod.com/bis.htm.
3 “BIS – Bank of International Settlement: The Mother of All Central Banks,” hubpages.com (2009).
5 Joan Veon, “The Bank for International Settlements Calls for Global Currency,” News with Views (August 26, 2003).
6 Peter Myers, “The 1988 Basle Accord – Destroyer of Japan’s Finance System,” http://www.mailstar.net/basle.html (updated September 9, 2008).
7 Nirmal Chandra, “Is Inclusive Growth Feasible in Neoliberal India?”, www.networkideas.org (September 2008).
8 Bruce Wiseman, “The Financial Crisis: A look Behind the Wizard’s Curtain,” Canada Free Press (March 19, 2009).
9 See Ellen Brown, “Credit Where Credit Is Due,” www.webofdebt.com/articles/creditcrunch.php (January 11, 2009).
10 John Berlau, “The International Mark-to-market Contagion,” OpenMarket.org (October 10, 2008).
The collaboration between Benjamin Strong and Lord Montagu Norman is one of the greatest secrets of the twentieth century. Benjamin Strong married the daughter of the president of Bankers Trust in New York, and subsequently succeeded to its presidency. Carroll Quigley, in Tragedy and Hope says: "Strong became Governor of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as the joint nominee of Morgan and of Kuhn, Loeb Company in 1914."87
Lord Montagu Norman is the only man in history who had both his maternal grandfather and his paternal grandfather serve as Governors of the Bank of England. His father was with Brown, Shipley Company, the London Branch of Brown Brothers (now Brown Brothers Harriman). Montagu Norman (1871-1950) came to New York to work for Brown Brothers in 1894, where he was befriended by the Delano family, and by James Markoe, of Brown Brothers. He returned to England, and in 1907 was named to the Court of the Bank of England. In 1912, he had a nervous breakdown, and went to Switzerland to be treated by Jung, as was fashionable among the powerful group which he represented. *
Lord Montagu Norman was Governor of the Bank of England from 1920 to 1944 [Editorial note: originally 1916 to 1944: Corrected 1/20/2012]. During this period, he participated in the central bank conferences which set up the Crash of 1929 and a worldwide depression. In The Politics of Money by Brian Johnson, he writes, "Strong and Norman, intimate friends, spent their holidays together at Bar Harbour and in the South of France." Johnson says, "Norman therefore became Strong’s alter ego. . . . "Strong’s easy money policies on the New York money market from 1925-28 were the fulfillment of his agreement with Norman to keep New York interest rates below those of London. For the sake of international cooperation, Strong withheld the steadying hand of high interest rates from New York until it was too late. Easy money in New
87. Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope, Macmillan, New York, p. 326
* When people of this class are stricken by guilt feelings while plotting world wars and economic depressions which will bring misery, suffering and death to millions of the world’s inhabitants, they sometimes have qualms. These qualms are jeered at by their peers as "a failure of nerve". After a bout with their psychiatrists, they return to their work with renewed gusto, with no further digressions of pity for "the little people" who are to be their victims.
York had encouraged the surging American boom of the late 1920s, with its fantastic heights of speculation." 88
Benjamin Strong died suddenly in 1928. The New York Times obituary, Oct. 17, 1928, describes the conference between the directors of the three great central banks in Europe in July, 1927, "Mr. Norman, Bank of England, Strong of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, and Dr. Hjalmar Schacht of the Reichsbank, their meeting referred to at the time as a meeting of ‘the world’s most exclusive club’. No public reports were ever made of the foreign conferences, which were wholly informal, but which covered many important questions of gold movements, the stability of world trade, and world economy."
The meetings at which the future of the world’s economy are decided are always reported as being "wholly informal", off the record, no reports made to the public, and on the rare occasions when outraged Congressmen summon these mystery figures to testify about their activities they merely trace the outline of steps taken, and develop no information about what was really said or decided.
At the Senate Hearings on the Federal Reserve System in 1931, H. Parker Willis, one of the authors and First Secretary of the Federal Reserve Board from 1914 until 1920, pointedly asked Governor George Harrison, Strong’s successor as Governor of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York:
"What is the relationship between the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the money committee of the Stock Exchange?"
"There is no relationship," Governor Harrison replied.
"There is no assistance or cooperation in fixing the rate in any way?", asked Willis.
"No," said Governor Harrison, "although on various occasions they advise us of the state of the money situation, and what they think the rate ought to be." This was an absolute contradiction of his statement that "There is no relationship". The Federal Reserve Bank of New York which set the discount rate for the other Reserve Banks, actually maintained a close liaison with the money committee of the Stock Exchange.
Justin Walker explains how he became interested in the money system having an uncle wh was a governor of the Bank of England from the 1950s to the 1970s Sit Harry Pilkington. Harry explained to the young Justin, aged 16, that the bankers controlled the press and the politicians here in Britain so not to believe either. Justin goes on to explain what a propagandised Britain we live in with the rights of juries to reject bad laws and find people not guilty if they disagree with the law. At the heart of it all is the system of money creation and what is effectively a power cult which is heading for a corporate tyranny and Orwellian future. The BCG has events in Winchester 11am on Saturday 19th November at the Guildhall and in Bristol 6pm on Saturday 29th October 2016 at the Watershed.
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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
In a vault in Basle, Switzerland, lie some of the most politically sensitive documents of the Second World War.
Historians uncovering the story of the gold trade that financed the Nazi war machine would love to have sight of them - not because they will provide further evidence of Swiss guilt in the trade but because they could expose other countries involved, including Britain.
In the saga of Nazi gold, it is always the Swiss who are to blame; the Swiss who were prepared to accept bullion looted from the victims of German oppression to the extent that the war was prolonged longer than necessary. But if the historians are right, these papers will go to the heart of the British financial establishment and raise questions about the allegiance of one of the most powerful figures of his day, former Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Montagu "Monty" Norman. Academics believe the archive will show that the Bank, led by Sir Monty, bent over backwards to help the Nazi war machine.
In an age without television and media access, Norman's was a household name. Famed for his supercilious manner, bad temper and contempt for the political leaders of his day, he was a banker's banker, whose aim was to create a network of central bankers like himself, free of the control of governments.
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That, at least, is one explanation for Norman's behaviour in the years before the Second World War. There is another: that Norman was a German sympathiser, who wanted to ensure the German economy could fuel the country's war machine and that the Nazis had an outlet for their looted gold.
So concerned were the Americans about Norman that in the summer of 1942 President Roosevelt sent a report on his activities to Sir Winston Churchill. The British Prime Minister asked Anthony Eden, his Secretary for War, to look into the American concerns, in particular the allegation that Norman had met Hjalmar Schacht, a senior German official in neutral Sweden, in May 1941.
Herr Schacht was thought to be trying to broker some sort of peace deal. Norman was his chosen conduit. Papers filed in the Eden archive at Birmingham University reveal what must have been an unprecedented exchange: Churchill's right-hand man quizzing the Governor of the Bank of England about his allegiances. Norman denied seeing Herr Schacht for over a year.
For Churchill, this was not good enough. In a memo to Eden, the Prime Minister pointed out the war was now three years old, not one year. Norman's answer, thought Churchill, was inadequate. He instructed Eden to dig deeper. But at this point, the file goes dead: what further details Eden extracted from Norman are not recorded. Typically, Churchill did not want the Americans to know of his concerns. They were sent a bland reassurance that all was well with Norman.
So what was the Governor up to? Scott Newton, lecturer in modern history at Cardiff University, says there is "nothing in the file to clear Montagu Norman of the American charge". He was rightly suspected, says Newton, of being involved in "an unsavoury peace deal behind the government's back. Bearing in mind the report came from the US President, it would have relied upon good intelligence."
Norman, says Newton, "was trying to prevent the war developing to the point where the Bank of England was in danger of losing the prestige it had built up between the wars. Norman had a view that the world ought to be run by central bankers. He was not in any sense a democrat and he was worried the war would undermine the contacts he had created." Churchill, says Newton, "could not stand him; he distrusted him enormously".
The extent of the Bank of England's involvement has still not been disclosed. Documents from the period have convinced several historians that the Bank, through its redoubtable Governor, played a pivotal role. But the records which could reveal the detail remain inaccessible to historians in the Bank of International Settlements based in Basle, Switzerland.
Established after the First World War to smooth the system of compensation by Germany to the Allies for the conflict, BIS is a bank for central banks. It is more than a mere mechanism for moving money between governments, however. The meetings of its board are talking shops for the world's most powerful financial figures, a club where they can talk without interference from politicians and government officials. One of its most influential members in the years before the Second World War was Sir Montagu Norman.
On 15 March 1939, Hitler completed his rout of Czechoslovakia, making a triumphant entrance into Prague. One of his first acts was to order the directors of the Czech national bank to hand over the country's gold reserve. For Hitler, the Czech gold was a vital replenishment of rapidly dwindling reserves. An increasingly isolated Germany needed gold to barter for raw materials.
The Czech directors told the Germans it was too late; the gold had already been deposited via BIS in the Bank of England. The Germans ordered them to retrieve it. BIS did not deal in physical transfers of money or bullion - most of them took place on paper, by central banks adjusting their accounts with each other. The Czechs called BIS, which contacted London.
Norman obliged, instructing BIS to deduct the gold's value, some $40m (pounds 24m) at 1939 prices, from the Bank of England's account in Basle. The gold went back to Czechoslovakia, and to the Reichsbank in Berlin.
News of the trade did not leak out for two months. Then, in May 1939, prompted by a tip from a journalist, George Strauss, the Labour MP, asked Neville Chamberlain, the Prime Minister, if it was true that the national treasure of Czechoslovakia was being given to Germany.
The Government, advised by Norman, said it was impossible to determine who was the real owner of gold that passed through BIS; that the Basle institution was heavily protected by international protocols; and that as a banker for central banks, its dealings had to remain confidential.
In fact, Norman knew all along who was the rightful owner of the gold. He had told a Whitehall committee on 22 March 1939 that he had received a call from the Governor of the Bank of France, on behalf of BIS, asking for the return of the gold. "We did absolutely nothing," says historian Scott Newton. "Here was Czechoslovakia that had been invaded, and here was Monty Norman approving the transfer of its gold to the Reichsbank."
Norman's agreement, says Newton, was no surprise. "Monty Norman and the leading merchant banks in the City were up to their necks in helping to prop up the German financial system. The Germans owed a lot of money to British banks."
The bankers did not want the Americans to emerge from the war with the upper hand, economically. Dr Neville Wylie, research fellow in Modern History at Cam- bridge University, says "there was a strain of German sympathy within the Bank and the City. The alternative - of dealing with the rampant capitalists across the Atlantic - did not appeal."
How far that sympathy went, beyond the Czechoslovakian deal, will only be revealed when the BIS records are finally opened.
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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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