The translation is a little messy, but you’ll get the point. Germany and Russia – Fourth Turnings happen every 80 years. Guess what time it is?
The translation is a little messy, but you’ll get the point. Germany and Russia – Fourth Turnings happen every 80 years. Guess what time it is?
Governments and the ruling elite are starting to turn on each other. They have taken their debt created fantasy world to its limits. The pressure is getting to them. They are bickering. The Germans are starting to assert their independence. Once one domino falls, the rest will follow, and then all hell will break loose. The gold isn’t in the Federal Reserve vaults.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, International business editor
8:24PM BST 24 Oct 2012
The revelation came as Germany’s budget watchdog demanded an on-site probe of the country’s remaining gold reserves in London, Paris, and New York to verify whether the metal really exists.
The country has 3,396 tons of gold worth €143bn (£116bn), the world’s second-largest holding after the US. Nearly all of it was shifted to vaults abroad during the Cold War in case of a Soviet attack.
Roughly 66pc is held at the New York Federal Reserve, 21pc at the Bank of England, and 8pc at the Bank of France. The German Court of Auditors told legislators in a redacted report that the gold had “never been verified physically” and ordered the Bundesbank to secure access to the storage sites.
It called for repatriation of 150 tons over the next three years to test the quality and weight of the gold bars. It said Frankfurt has no register of numbered gold bars.
The report also claimed that the Bundesbank had slashed its holdings in London from 1,440 tons to 500 tons in 2000 and 2001, allegedly because storage costs were too high. The metal was flown to Frankfurt by air freight.
The revelation has baffled gold veterans. The shift came as the euro was at its weakest, slumping to $0.84 against the dollar. But it also came as the Bank of England was selling off most of Britain’s gold reserves – at market lows – on orders from Gordon Brown.
Peter Hambro, chair of the UK-listed gold miner Petropavlovsk, said the Bundesbank may have withdrawn its bullion in self-protection since it did not, apparently, have its own specifically allocated bars in London. “They may have decided that the Bank of England had lent out too much gold, and decided it was safer to bring theirs home. This is about the identification. Can you identify your own allocated gold, or are you just a general creditor with a metal account?”
The watchdog report follows claims by the German civic campaign group “Bring Back our Gold” and its US allies in the Gold Anti-Trust Committee that official data cannot be trusted. They allege central banks have loaned out or “sold short” much of their gold.
The refrain has been picked up by German legislators. “All the gold must come home: it is precisely in this crisis that we need certainty over our gold reserves,” said Heinz-Peter Haustein from the Free Democrats (FDP).
The Bundesbank said it had full trust in the “integrity and independence” of its custodians, and is given detailed accounts each year. Yet it hinted at further steps to secure its reserves. “This could also involve relocating part of the holdings,” it said.
It’s good to see the foreign press isn’t totally in the capture of the ruling oligarchs. They actually reported a self immolation in front of the Reichstag. Only TBP and a few non-mainstream sites reported on the self immolation of Thomas Ball on courthouse steps in New Hampshire. The MSM pretended it didn’t happen. Here are links to the details:
Hundreds of tourists and Berliners on Saturday became eyewitnesses to a spectacular suicide in front of the Reichstag building.
A 32-year-old Berliner stabbed himself in the chest according to police at noon at the main entrance of the Reichstag. He then doused himself with a flammable liquid and set fire to himself. Passersby alerted the police and rescue workers. They tried in vain to resuscitate the man. He succumbed to his injuries on site yet.
THOMAS BALL’S REMAINS
The situation in Greece is not exactly the same as the situation in Germany during the 1920s, but the end result could be the same. History may not repeat, but it rhymes. The European banker technocrats that are demanding more and more austerity for the many while the bankers continue to reap billions in profits while paying themselves ample pay packages should read When Money Dies or a few other books about the rise of Hitler. The suffering in Germany caused by the French and their brutal Treaty of Versailles reparations demands forced Germany into a hyperinflationary collapse. People who are starving, with no hope, will turn to those with extreme views. The Nazis and Communists battled throughout the 1920s for the hearts and minds of the German people. Only desperation allowed someone like Hitler to gain control. Greece has elections in another month and the extremists are gaining momentum. They will not gain control in April, but their success, combined with further austerity on the Greek people will eventually lead them to pick an extremist as their leader. You can guess what might happen next. Spain, Portugal and Italy will follow. History is cyclical.
Policemen shout slogans during a demonstration of Greek security forces against the new austerity measures in Athens.
With Greece entering its fifth year of recession and dealing with harsh austerity measures imposed as part of a eurozone bailout deal to save it from default, its society is in upheaval. Opinion polls suggest the old political system is collapsing, and extremist parties are gaining popularity ahead of spring elections.
At a recent protest in Athens, a large bronze bell tolled as thousands of policemen in full uniform marched solemnly through the streets. They ominously waved their handcuffs at Parliament, shouting, “Take your bailout plan and get out of here.”
Christos Fotopoulos, president of the police union, accused Greece’s international lenders of plundering his country, and he called for their arrest.
Nick Malkoutzis, deputy editor of the Kathimerini English-language daily newspaper, says this protest is one sign of widespread loss of trust in Greek institutions.
“What we’re seeing is the crumbling of the political system that was constructed over the last three decades,” Malkoutzis says. “It was a political system built around the middle classes and two main parties.”
Polls show plummeting approval for the Socialists and the conservative New Democracy, which approved the bailout plan. But small parties further to the left and further to the right that oppose the terms of the agreement are gaining ground. The four small leftist parties are ahead by 43 percent and could win a majority and, in theory, form a governing coalition.
That terrifies Greece’s creditors, some of whom have questioned the wisdom of holding elections. But postponing the vote, Malkoutzis says, can only exacerbate Greeks and incite more protests and more violence.
“There is the issue whether people here in Greece feel their opinion is being heard, whether they have the right to express it,” he says.”There are huge democratic issues at stake.”
And it’s not just the left that’s gaining popularity; so are two new far-right movements.
One is the ultranationalist and neo-fascist Golden Dawn, which preaches the superiority of the white race. It is polling above the 3 percent necessary to enter Parliament.
“We reject the idea that all races and nations are created equal,” she says. “We have become economic slaves of the Zionist economy and usurers.”
At the other end of the political spectrum, one of the parties doing well in the polls is the far-left SYRIZA that wants to renegotiate the terms of the bailout. Member of Parliament Dimitris Papadimoulos says austerity has sharply widened the gap between rich and poor.
Papadimoulos calls for a wide governing coalition because Greece, he says, faces the same dilemma the West faced after the crash of 1929 — a progressive or an authoritarian outcome.
“In the U.S. we had the New Deal and Roosevelt; in Europe we had Hitler and Mussolini,” he says.
Publisher and commentator George Kirtsos is a conservative, but he agrees that Greece risks class warfare.
“You cannot have a functioning democracy without some positive economic and social results,” Kirtsos says.
With the economy going from bad to worse, Kirtsos says, the country is in permanent political crisis.
“At one point or another you will have to declare martial law to impose all these measures,” he says.
Elections are likely at the end of April, and the leaders of the pro-bailout Socialist and New Democracy parties want to woo back their angry supporters. The conservatives have a tough law-and-order and anti-immigrant platform, and the Socialists say they saved the country from default.
But current polls show that one-third of the electorate is still undecided, and an equal number say they’ve given up on politics and refuse to vote.
Austerity for the many so the banking cabal can retain their wealth and power. The Greek people are giving the politicians and bankers a big middle flaming finger. They need to execute a few politicians and bankers to get the message across loud and clear.
(Reuters) – Historic cinemas, cafes and shops went up in flames in central Athens on Sunday as black-masked protesters fought Greek police outside parliament, while inside lawmakers looked set to defy the public rage by endorsing a new EU/IMF austerity deal.
As parliament prepared to vote on a new 130 billion euro bailout to save Greece from a messy bankruptcy, a Reuters photographer saw the buildings engulfed in flames and huge plumes of smoke rose in the night sky.
The air over Syntagma Square outside parliament was thick with tear gas as riot police fought running battles with youths who smashed marble balustrades and hurled stones and petrol bombs.
Government officials warned that Greeks faced “unimaginably harsher” sacrifices if parliament rejected the package, which demands deep pay, pension and job cuts, when it votes later in the evening.
But on the streets many businesses were ablaze, including the neo-classical home to the Attikon cinema dating from 1870 and a building housing the Asty, an underground cinema used by the Gestapo during World War Two as a torture chamber.
As fighting raged for hours, protesters threw homemade bombs made from gas canisters as riot police advanced across the square on the crowds, firing tear gas and stun grenades. Loud booms from the protests could be heard inside parliament.
“Tear gas has reached the parliament chamber,” said leftist lawmaker Panagiotis Lafazanis.
After days of dire warnings and threats of rebellion, parliament began debating a bill setting out 3.3 billion euros ($4.4 billion) in wage, pension and job cuts this year alone, to secure funds Greece needs to avoid bankruptcy next month.
Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told parliament that the alternative to the international bailout – bankruptcy and a departure from the euro zone – would be far worse for Greeks.
“The choice is not between sacrifice and no sacrifices at all, but between sacrifices and unimaginably harsher ones,” he told a stormy debate expected to run well into the night.
One small party has already pulled out of the coalition of Prime Minister Lucas Papademos in protest against the terms of the rescue package from the European Union and International Monetary Fund – Greece’s second since 2010.
A number of lawmakers from the two biggest government parties, socialist PASOK and conservative New Democracy, have also threatened to rebel but their numbers did not appear to be enough to sink the bill.
Greece needs the international funds before March 20 to meet debt repayments of 14.5 billion euros, or suffer a chaotic default which could shake the entire euro zone.
“GREEKS HAVE RISEN!”
But many Greeks believe their living standards are collapsing already and the new measures, which include a 22 percent cut in the minimum wage, will deepen their torment.
“Enough is enough!” said 89-year-old Manolis Glezos, one of Greece’s most famous leftists. “They have no idea what an uprising by the Greek people means. And the Greek people, regardless of ideology, have risen.”
Glezos is a national hero for sneaking up the Acropolis at night in 1941 and tearing down a Nazi flag from under the noses of the German occupiers, raising the morale of Athens residents.
“These measures of annihilation will not pass,” Glezos said on Syntagma Square, visibly overcome by teargas and holding a mask over his mouth.
As is usual in Greek protests, only a small fraction of the crowd fought the police but one group started a fire right in front of a tent where first aid workers were preparing to care for the injured. “Cops, pigs, murderers!” chanted the crowd.
Police said 14 injured protesters were taken to hospital – including one who was hit in the stomach by a flare – and at least 50 were treated at the scene for breathing problems caused by the tear gas. At least eight police were also injured.
Inside parliament, Venizelos said: “Anyone who wants to remain in the euro zone must abide by some rules.
“The law must be passed by midnight because come Monday morning, the banking and financial markets must have got the message that Greece can and wants to survive.”
According to lawmakers from both the Socialist and the conservative party, some deputies who had threatened over the past two days to reject the law have changed their stance.
“The number of dissenters looks shrinking rather than growing,” one deputy told Reuters. Another said: “The situation is too delicate – nobody can really be sure until the beans are counted.”
A deputy minister who declined to be named said he expected more than 200 lawmakers in the 300-seat parliament to approve the law.
The bill has riven the ruling coalition and deepened a social crisis among Greeks already hit by cuts and tax hikes to ease the country’s huge debt burden.
During the debate a Communist Party deputy hurled the pages of the bill on the floor of the chamber and in fiery exchanges Venizelos warned lawmakers: “If the law is not passed, the country will go bankrupt.”
A BOTTOMLESS PIT
The EU and IMF say they have had enough of broken promises and that the funds will be released only with the clear commitment of Greek political leaders that they will implement the reforms whoever wins an election potentially in April.
Euro zone paymaster Germany ratcheted up the pressure on Sunday. “The promises from Greece aren’t enough for us anymore,” German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in an interview published on Sunday in Welt am Sonntag newspaper.
German opinion polls show a majority of Germans are willing to help, Schaeuble said, “but it’s important to say that it cannot be a bottomless pit … At least people are now starting to realize it won’t work with a bottomless pit.
“Greece needs to do its own homework to become competitive – whether that happens in conjunction with a new rescue program or by another route that we actually don’t want to take…”
When asked if that other “route” meant Greece quitting the euro zone, Schaeuble said: “That is all in the hands of the Greeks themselves. But even in the event (Greece leaves the euro zone), which almost no one assumes will happen, they will still remain part of Europe.”
The austerity measures include cutting the minimum wage from about 750 euros a month and aim to cut Greece’s bloated state sector workforce by about 150,000 people by 2015.
It also provides for a bond swap to ease Greece’s debt burden by cutting the real value of private-sector investors’ bond holdings by some 70 percent. Greece will miss a February 17 deadline to offer a debt “haircut” to private bondholders if the vote is not passed on Sunday.
Thus might the next Fourth Turning end in apocalypse – or glory. The nation could be ruined, its democracy destroyed, and millions of people scattered or killed. Or America could enter a new golden age, triumphantly applying shared values to improve the human condition. The rhythms of history do not reveal the outcome of the coming Crisis; all they suggest is the timing and dimension. — Strauss & Howe