Know thy enemies of the Second Amendment.
From Yahoo (via Reuters): Bank of America Corp plans to stop lending to companies that make military-style firearms for civilians, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, making it the second major U.S. lender to address gun sales after the Florida high school shooting that left 17 dead in February.
The company is in discussions with a few manufacturers who make military-style firearms for civilians, Bank of America’s vice chairman, Anne Finucane, told the news agency in an interview. “It is not our intent to underwrite or finance military style firearms on a go-forward basis,” she said.
A spokesman for Bank of America declined to comment on the report.
Last month, Citigroup Inc added restrictions on firearm sales for new retail sector clients, requiring them to sell firearms only to customers who passed a background check, restricting sales for buyers under 21, and not sell so-called bump stocks or high-capacity magazines.
The second-deadliest shooting at a U.S. public school re-ignited the long-running national debate over gun rights, pitting many of the students who survived the Feb. 14 high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, against powerful gun rights groups like the National Rifle Association.
The AP’s Paul Wiseman reports that on December 26, 2017, President Trump signed the GOP’s tax bill into law. By slashing the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%, one of the highest among advanced economies, the new law distributes benefits across a range of American industries, from construction to health care. It also applies a low one-time tax to the profits that corporations have long kept overseas to avoid paying taxes under the current higher rate.
According to an analysis by the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Wharton Budget Model:
The biggest tax savingsfrom 2018 through 2027 go to manufacturers($261.5 billion).
Next are insurance and finance companies ($249.4 billion).
Retailers will save $171.4 billion. Matthew Shay, CEO of the National Retail Federation, says the new law will help retailers accelerate investment in e-commerce and mobile technology, as well as induce foreign-owned retailers to shift investment dollars into the United States.
The new tax plan has already brought fruit in companies giving raises to their employees (see below), as well as plans to increase their U.S. investments. As WND puts it:
“Before the ink was even dry on President Trump’s signature on the Republican tax-cut bill, corporate America was not only toasting it, praising it and celebrating it, but handing out money to employees like Santa Claus.”
“Just weeks after the federal government adopted the biggest tax overhaul in three decades, the effects are rippling through corner offices and boardrooms, with companies large and small dusting off once-shelved plans, re-evaluating existing projects and exploring new investment in factories and equipment.”
But the Demonrat governors of Connecticut, New Jersey and New York said they will file a lawsuit to block the tax overhaul. California, also a “blue” state, may join the lawsuit.
The AP reports that on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, governors Andrew Cuomo of New York, Dannel Malloy of Connecticut and Phil Murphy of New Jersey announced that they’re talking to governors of other states to form a multi-state coalition in a lawsuit to block Trump’s tax reform because the new tax law caps a deduction for state and local taxes at $10,000 — and Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, California all exact high state taxes. This means that in the past, before the Trump-GOP tax reform, the federal government effectively had been subsidizing residents of those states by allowing them to write off their state taxes.
Cuomo, a potential 2020 White House contender, had announced his intention to fight the tax overhaul earlier this month. Murphy said he expects the suit to be filed within weeks. Malloy said no decision has been made on where the action will be filed.
Below is a list, in alphabetical order, of the companies — large and small — that have announced wage increases, bonuses, investments and charity donations because of the Trump-GOP new tax law. Many of them specifically credited the new tax law: (1) AAONis giving $1,000 bonus checks to 2,000 employees. CEO Norman Asbiornson said it was a result of the new tax law and a “direct recognition” of his employees’ importance.
(2) AccuWeather distributed year-end bonuses to about 500 employees. (3) Aflac is increasing its 401(k) match from 50% to 100% on the first 4% of compensation plus a one-time $500 contribution to every employee’s 401(k). It also plans $250 million increase in U.S. investment. (4) American Airlineswill give $1,000 bonuses to its nearly 128,000 employees except officers. (5) Americacollect announced $300-$500 bonuses for 250 employees. (6) American Savings Bank, the third-largest bank in Hawaii, said it will award $1,000 bonuses to nearly all of its employees, as well increase its starting wage from $12.21 to to $15.25 an hour. (7) Aquesta Financial Holdings in Cornelius, N.C., will raise hourly pay to $15 and give $1,000 bonuses to all of it workers. (8) Associated Bank in Wisconsin boosted its minimum hourly wage to $15 and paying workers a $500 bonus.
(9) AT&T will expand its bonus program to an additional 200,000 staffers getting $1,000 apiece. (10) Bank of Hawaii, the state’s second-largest bank, will give $1,000 cash bonuses to 2,074 employees, or 95% of its workforce. The bonuses affect all employees below the senior vice president level. The bank also will increase its minimum wage from $12 to $15 an hour. (11) Bank of the Ozarksannounced bonuses of up to $1,200 for 2,300 workers.
(12) BB&T plans $1,200 bonuses for 27,000 employees, a boost in the base wage from $12 to $15 per hour, and charitable donations of $100 million.
(13) Boeing announced a gift of $300 million in investment in its employee-related charitable program “to support our heroes, our homes and our future.” (14) Canary LLC will hire new employees and purchase more equipment.
(15) Central Pacific Bank said each of its 850 employees will get $1,000 bonuses, and its wage will rise from $12 to $15.25. (16) Citizens Financial Group will give $1,000 bonuses to 12,500 employees, and $10 million donations to charities. (17) Comcast NBC Universal, citing the new tax law and the FCC’s elimination of “net neutrality” of government regulation of the Internet, announced $1,000 bonuses to more than 100,000 non-executive employees, as well as plans to spend more than $50 billion in the next five years on infrastructure investments which will create thousands of new direct and indirect jobs. (18) Comerica Bank is raising wages to $15 per hour and giving bonuses of $1,000 to 4,500 non-officer employees. (19) Commerce Bank is giving $1,000 bonuses for fulltime workers, $250 for part-timers, to a total of 3,450; as well as $25 million donations to charities. (20) Community Trust Bancorp has $1,000 bonuses for full time employees and $500 for those who are part-time. (21) Copperleaf Assisted Living has bonuses of $200-$600 for 175 employees.
(22) Dayton T. Brown Inc. is delivering $400 bonuses for each of the 210 employees (23) Delaware Supermarkets Inc. announced $150 extra bonuses to 1,000 non-management personnel. (24) Express Employment Professionals announced bonuses of $2,000 to more than 200 non-executive employees. (25) FedExannounced it will give wage increases and bonuses, make a voluntary $1.5 billion contribution to the company’s pension plan, and reinvest and modernize. Compensation will be increased by more than $200 million, with about two-thirds going to hourly workers. The rest of the money will fund increases in performance-based incentive plans for salaried personnel. The company will also invest $1.5 billion to expand its FedEx Express facility in Indianapolis over the next seven years. Later this year it will announce plans to modernize its Memphis hub.
(26) Fifth Third Bancorp increased its minimum wage to $15, and a a bonus of $1,000 to 13,000 employees. (27) First Hawaiian Bank, the state’s largest bank, will give out $1,500 cash bonuses to 2,264 employees or all but 11 members of its senior management team, as well as increase its minimum wage from $12.75 to $15 an hour for 613 employees. (28) First Horizon National Corp. announced 4,000 workers are getting $1,000 bonuses. (29)Gate City Bank gave $1,000 bonuses to 538 non-management personnel, as well as $500,000 in additional charitable giving. (30) Home Depot, with over 400,000 Americans on its payroll as of 2017, announced “a new one-time cash bonus for U.S. hourly associates of up to $1,000 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017.” Craig Menear, the chairman, CEO and president of Home Depot, said in a statement: “We are pleased to be able to provide this additional reward to our associates for continuing to deliver outstanding customer service. This incremental investment in our associates was made possible by the new tax reform bill.” (31)INB Bank is giving $500 bonuses to 200 employees, and raising base wages to $15. (32) Kansas City Southern, the Missouri-based transportation holding company with railroad investments in the U.S., Mexico and Panama, said it would immediately give a one-time $1,000 bonus to non-executive employees of its subsidiaries in the U.S. and Mexico. (33) Kroger CEO W. Rodney McMullen said the new tax law would influence his company “to continue to invest in our business, which will grow jobs.” (34) Melaleuca Inc., the Idaho health-care and home-products company, is providing its 2,000 employees $100 bonuses for every year they worked for the company. The company has 147 employees who have worked for the company for 20 years or more.
(35) National Bank Holdings Corporation has $1,000 bonuses for employees making up to $50,000. (36) Nationwide Insurance is giving 29,000 workers $1,000 bonuses. (37) Navient announced a $1,000 bonus to most of its 6,700 workers. (38) Nelnet announced $1,000 bonuses for 4,100 employees.
(39) OceanFirst Financial Corp. increased its base wage to $15 per hour. (40) Ohnward Bancshares handed out $1,000 bonuses for all 260 employees. (41)Pinnacle Bank had $1,000 bonuses for 1,007 employees.
(42) PNC Financial Services will give $1,000 bonus to about 47,500 workers. (43) Royal Hawaiian Heritage Jewelry plans to open up three more shops – in Honolulu, in Kauai and Maui in addition to its existing three shops. (44) Rush Enterprises of Texas is giving each of its 6,600 employees a $1,000 bonus – a total of $6.6 million. CFO Steven Keller said: “You’ve got a choice – we could’ve kept it and stuffed it in the company bank account or coffers, or we can share it with the people.”
(45) Sinclair Broadcast Group gave $1,000 bonuses to 9,000 employees. (46) Southwest Airlines gave $1,000 bonuses to 55,000 employees, provided $5 million additional charitable donations.
(47) Starbucks, citing the GOP’s tax reform bill, Starbucks announced it will give pay raises and stock grants to its 150,000 employees, most of whom work as baristas or shop managers. Starbucks will also the tax break for some pro-family measures: All employees will soon be able to earn paid sick time off, and parental leave benefits will include all non-birth parents.
(48) TCF Financial Corporation gave $1,000 bonuses to all full time employees. (49) The Flood Insurance Agency had $1,000 bonuses for 17 full time employees. (50) Territorial Savings Bank had $1,000 bonuses to 247 employees. (51) Turning Point Brands, Inc. had $1,000 bonuses for 107 employees. (52) Unity Bank will give a $750 bonus to all 200 non-executive employees.
(53) U.S. Bancorp, the parent company of U.S. Bank, announced a $1,000 bonus for nearly 60,000 employees. The bank also plans to increase its minimum wage for all hourly employees to $15 per hour, make “enhancements” to its employees’ health-care options, make an “additional investment in strategic projects centered on the customer experience” and make a one-time $150 million contribution to the U.S. Bank Foundation, the bank’s charitable arm. (54) U.S. Bank of America employees making up to $150,000 per year in total compensation – about 145,000 teammates – will receive a one-time bonus of $1,000. (55) Walmart is increasing the minimum hourly wage for its U.S. employees to $11 and handing out bonuses of up to $1,000, crediting President Trump’s tax cut. Walmart is the nation’s largest private employer, with more than 1 million U.S. hourly employees. (56) Washington Federal in Seattle will increase wages for most of its workers by 5% and adding 25 people to its information-technology staff.
(57) Wells Fargo raised the minimum wage to $15, beginning January 1, 2018.
Has the Chief Puppeteer been killed today in a plane crash? It’s too soon to know if this is so, but it does catch the imagination.
Here’s another report. Still speculation:
A little more at this link: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5093089/Helicopter-plane-crash-mid-air-collision.html
And another link: https://yournewswire.com/lord-rothschild-dead-plane-crash/
Still nothing on Drudge, FoxNews, Breitbart or WND. Reports are only coming from the UK at this moment.
Hours later, here is the first American news media even mentioning the story: https://www.usatoday24x7.com/lord-rothschild-feared-dead-after-plane-crash-in-buckinghamshire/
There are a lot of very big things happening right now, but a news blackout on them. People, search for the answer to “what the other hand is doing.”
Notice the relative silence in American media on the subject of the civil war in Saudi Arabia, the declaration of war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the rogue Saudi involvement in both the Las Vegas attack and an attempt to assassinate President Trump.
Something far bigger is going on than any current news on American media, and it is being actively blacked out from the American public. But I am not frightened. As Sun Tsu taught, to win a war it is important that your military becomes formless, inscrutable.
But we must not wait around ghoulishly hoping for the ruin of some real or perceived enemy:
“Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
Or the LORD will see it and be displeased,
And turn His anger away from him.” – Proverbs 24:17-18
“Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” – Luke 10:20
From Yahoo: Barack Obama’s spokesperson Eric Schultz defended the former president’s $400,000 speaking fee for an upcoming speech at a conference sponsored by a Wall Street investment bank.
“With regard to this or any speech involving Wall Street sponsors, I’d just point out that in 2008, Barack Obama raised more money from Wall Street than any candidate in history — and still went on to successfully pass and implement the toughest reforms on Wall Street since FDR,” Schultz said in a statement. Reports that Obama would earn $400,000 for the speech drew criticism this week, as people argued that accepting money from Wall Street firms would go against his beliefs. Obama’s post-presidential career will include a number of speeches and a two-book deal with Penguin Random House for $60 million.
“While he’ll continue to give speeches from time to time, he’ll spend most of his time writing his book and, as he said in Chicago this week, focusing his post-presidency work on training and elevating a new generation of political leaders in America,” Schultz said. See original article on Fortune.com
The Alternative Media have long asserted that an international cabal of satanists controls our world.
Now, a credible whistleblower has come forth, testifying to the cabal’s existence.
He is a former elite Dutch banker named Ronald Bernard.
Below is an interview of Bernard in Dutch, with English subtitles, followed by a transcript.
In the interview, Bernard said that he came from a family with an abusive father. In order to survive the abuse, he’d learned to suppress his conscience. He became an entrepreneur, and became interested in the financial world. A contact in that world offered to mentor him, but instructed him that the necessary condition to achieve success in the financial world is that Bernard must put his conscience into the “freezer” — otherwise called a Faustian bargain.
Bernard became a financial success as a facilitator in tax avoidance and currency exchange/money laundering for big players, including banks, governments, multinationals, secret services, and terrorist groups. Through his work, he came to see the connecting dots about which only the top 1% of the pyramid of global elite are privy. That top elite of 8,000 to 8,500 worship Lucifer as their god, regard people as sheep to be used, and manipulate the media so as to conceal how the world really operates.
Bernard became part of that exclusive top 1% and was invited to the elite’s satanic church of “Eyes Wide Shut” Black Mass, naked women and drugs.
By this time, Bernard’s long-dormant conscience had begun to stir after seeing how currency speculation, specifically of the Italian lira, bankrupted a company and drove the owner to commit suicide.
When Bernard was asked to participate in satanic blood sacrifices of children, that was the coup de grâs. Those who participated would be blackmailed by the satanic elite to do their bidding.
Bernard began to refuse assignments. He wanted out, but was trapped. He was physically tortured, to prevent him from revealing names of companies, groups, and individuals. Eventually, he had a complete breakdown and ended up in Intensive Care.
While in IC, Bernard had a near-death experience in which he was outside of his body but “saw” the hospital staff working on his body. That convinced him that he is not just body, but has a soul. It took a full year for his body to recover.
Here’s the transcript of the English translation of the interview: Interviewer: Ronald, you have a very strong background in the financial sector, asset management, deposit trading, as far as I understood. Can you tell us something about your experiences? For how long did you work there? Bernard: Well, my experiences are more complicated than what you mentioned just now. Actually I have been an entrepreneur my entire life. Independence being the key component to me. I have once tried being an employee, but that didn’t work out. Being an entrepreneur, I have seen many sectors, amongst which I have experienced the financial world. All my other companies as an entrepreneur, like my own fashion line for ladies, car-dealership and also import-export, had me involved to such an extent with building up my own fortune, it inherently guided me into the world of finance. Working in import-export, you encounter different currencies and you have to go to the exchange to trade through brokers. One of these brokers said at some point, “Ronald, I’ve been looking at your life for a long time and you are always busy. You earn money, we know, but what is your goal?” I replied: “the only goal I have as an entrepreneur is to earn as much money as I possibly can” because the more money I have, the quicker I can retire, be free and of course have status, basically everything you want in this society. Or at least, that’s what I thought back then. So the broker said: “In that case, stop what you are doing now, stop with all those companies and just start dealing money, go into the financial world.” And that is the beginning of that situation that is connected to your original question. The broker, had a place in the exchange market and he dealt in currencies, deposits, so trading in assets to make money out of differences in interest rates, and that involved the aforementioned asset management. Those three aspects together formed the interesting package I said yes to. He said: “All right, you can take my place here, I’ll train you, introduce you to the network, but in exchange I want 10% of your annual earnings.” So he basically sold me his spot in the financial world and asked a 10% commission which I paid him. I said “Yes, fine with me!” Then he replied: “There is one thing you need to know. If you can’t put your conscience in the proverbial freezer, and I don’t mean on -18 degrees, but on -100, then don’t get involved in this.” Oops! That was the message, “you want a lot of money, you can obtain that, I can help you, but it comes at a great cost, because you cannot do this with a clear conscience.” Well, I laughed at that, I was young and naive. From my youth, from the way I came into life; my far from ideal youth led me to develop a certain view of the world and humanity. Interviewer: What do you mean by that? No warm, loving family? Bernard: My mother always did the best she could to make us feel loved, but she was hampered by that due to the behavior of the father, who caused us to feel more like we lived in a war zone with each other. That isn’t an exemplary situation to grow up in. As a child, growing up like that led me to believe that the world and humanity are far from great. Interviewer: So putting your conscience in the freezer was fitting in as a starting point? Bernard: I was, partially, already used to doing that out of self-preservation, so to put my conscience in the freezer was not an impossible task to me. Interviewer: So it became a survival mechanism to you? Bernard: Yes, yes. And my view of humanity and the world around me wasn’t exactly positive either. I only thought of myself, that’s the way I grew up to be out of self-preservation and I got into the deal. Which meant, that slowly, I build up a customer base. As I improved my skills within the network, I got deeper into the financial world, and then it turns out the world is really small, and you keep noticing that. Even when I was still working in import-export dealing in grain and such, you notice it is just a small circle. And if we talk about the hard core circle in the financial world, I don’t mean Miss Jean at the bank, but the big global flows of money which you use for trading. Interviewer: You are talking about world wide cash flows, so not the Netherlands in particular where you started working? Bernard: The Netherlands do play a distinct part in this story, but the world does not revolve around it. The Netherlands are part of a large global financial system in which you work through the exchange market if you want to do official transactions. And many banks who do the currency exchange get certain assignments from clients, which they can’t get away with easily. Then the need arises for people like me, who were the straw men where big money flows are involved. We used certain financial constructions, international legislation, to move the money in such a way making everything ‘OK.’ So all supervisors, regulatory bodies that are in place world wide, because they are… That no one wakes up seeing what is going on, like a year or two ago, with the scandal around Panama… Interviewer: The Panama Papers. Bernard: Yes. Interviewer: Yes. Bernard: Yes then… Interviewer: Tax evasion? Bernard: I think, well that was about avoiding taxes, tax evasion is when you break all the rules. This had to do with avoiding. But when you see what happened there, I’m like, “guys that is old news, and who are you boring with that?” Because it is peanuts and hardly relevant. However, for the common people, that is great news, but it is not anything big. But it does show there is something very wrong in this world. For example, there are people in the Netherlands, with certain positions, who have bank accounts in Panama with legislation that allows them not to pay taxes in the Netherlands, which is still completely legal. Constructions like that were part of my job, when we had to change currency. We had changes, the first boycotts in Iraq early ’90s, when there was a boycott in Iraq because of the war that started there. And we were confronted with what we called ‘Iraqi-dollar’ — Iraqi-dollars which were actually American dollars. The American dollar has a direct relation to the oil prices which made it a world trading currency backed up by oil. As long as that connection is in place, the dollar has value. Officially, the Iraqi people weren’t allowed to sell their oil due to the boycott. In theory, that is because never before was there such big business in oil, with discounts in this case, because officially it wasn’t allowed… so with discounts it still crossed the borders. Because the energy was always paid in dollars, these Iraqi-dollars had to go somewhere. You couldn’t just take them to the desk at the bank because all the regulations and checks did provide a certain protection, because money laundering and criminality wasn’t anything new back then. Now we call it terrorism, but that was then also the case. So then you need people to take the heat. As straw men you got invited to a bank in, for example, Germany, with basements full of trucks filled with money. Interviewer: Wow! Bernard: And then you think, “Sure… trucks, transports, a busy company.” Then they show you they are all filled to maximum capacity with dollars. And they tell you “We need to get rid of all this cash.” So change them for Pounds, German Marks, this and that, in such way, and it needs to go there and there. Interviewer: Are we now talking about money laundering? Or… Bernard: Well, processing cash. Processing cash in such a way that we can legally reintroduce it into the money circuit. Interviewer: So that was your task? Bernard: That was an assignment my colleagues and I got. Interviewer: Okay. Bernard: You are never alone on an assignment because you cannot do this on your own. It is not possible. We all know Scrooge McDuck scooping money with his shovel, well we literally had to do that over there. It was impossible to process all at once. So then you need to find a way. Cash used to be the predominant way of paying, where nowadays most is digital. But you tried to find a way to process the cash. How do you reintroduce the cash into the circuit so Iraq can deal in its oil without being hampered? Because they are the ones that own the money. Iraq doesn’t want to… Look, you mentioned money laundering, but what it was about the boycott, Iraq had to stick to the rules, and by, you know, everything you want to know about the world, you can know by following the money. That is the bottom line. Everyone can say “blah blah,” but make sure you follow the money, then you’ll find the truth. Same goes for that situation. So the only thing Iraq and their buying partners wanted was to remain free of any accusations. Because the partners who bought it were the ones placing the boycott in the first place. But they are actually all friends on the same side. Everybody thinks there are opposites like good and bad guys in the world, but on the higher levels it is just a game and they are all working together. However, they do have to stick to the rules and regulations, which they themselves have created to keep the rest of society suppressed and make sure that it will not be too crowded at the top. So you have to play by your own rules. So that is what is going on there, is to make sure that nobody can trace you. Apart from the elite themselves, nobody in the lower ranks can find out what really happened. Interviewer: Compartmentalized, that’s how we call it. Bernard: Yes. Interviewer: Everyone knows only his own little piece. Only the elite knows what is happening. Bernard: Yes, but because we were doing the dirty work, we had to know a lot.Because we couldn’t afford to make any mistakes. Interviewer: How high in the pyramid did you get? Were you close to the top of the pyramid? Bernard: Well, we were communicating with them. Interviewer: Okay. Bernard: My ego would have loved it to get to the position of belonging to the top itself. Nowadays we still talk about 8,000-8,500 people who run the entire world. It would have been amazing to get into such a position back then. Interviewer: All right, but if we say the top knows 100%, can you estimate how much you knew and understood of what happened? Bernard: In my work, I had to know 100% of what was going on.There was no other way, because the interests of the people involved were huge. Interviewer: Especially for the top. Bernard: Exactly. If I wouldn’t know all the details I would end up making mistakes.Which would cause a spin-off, because those mistakes would be detected. Then the people that don’t know anything about it would interfere. We are talking about having nerves of steel to function at this level. Interviewer: So did you have nerves of steel? Bernard: Yes, it worked just fine. Interviewer: The freezer worked very well for you… Bernard: Yes, I played at the highest level for about 5 years.And then it was totally over, out and done with. That was a very intense moment for me. Interviewer: That happened suddenly, or was there a reason? Bernard: Well, no, the thing is… I gave a small example of what was involved. So in this case, currency exchange. Dollar to something else, deposited in a safe manner, and managing assets well, so it could grow to rate of return, leading to reinvestments with the money. The level I played at in those 5 years, and that didn’t happen overnight, you need to earn your place. I am skilled at connecting the dots, information in order to achieve a full picture of all the things involved, that need to be taken into account within the playing field. Which is a very detailed process. You stand out when you are gifted in this. This is the reason I was trusted with the full 100% of the information where it concerned my jobs. So I didn’t know about everything they knew, but everything I needed to know regarding the case I was working with colleagues. I was often put in the leading role because I kept a good overview of the situation, and I was good at innovative thinking to solve the problem. I had fun, creating solutions in such a way to always stay ahead and outsmart them, staying within the rules of the game but playing around with them to make everything match up. I loved that game. However, on the other hand you had a great amount of responsibility and you learned more and more about the real world, since through the financial world you learn all of the actual truth. Interviewer: So you say “all”, in what regard? Bernard: Well, your clients give you glimpses of how the world actually works. In hindsight, I still didn’t know everything, but I did know a lot, because my clients were banks who didn’t want blood on their hands. But within those banks there is always a number of people who know damn well what is going on.So like1% within a bank knows the truth of the matter regarding the happenings within the world, which is not surprising considering they are involved in the flows of money. Those are your clients. You also have governments to deal with, multinationals, you have to deal with secret services, and what they now call terrorist organizations. You get all of those groups that are involved with the big money as clients, then you start seeing the connections. So they might be compartmentalized as you just mentioned, regarding knowledge, but because I am in the middle I see how they relate to another; you see the money coming from this place, then going to that place, etc. You keep gaining information and thereby overview of what is really going on. Interviewer: So do you have to serve and keep all of those groups happy, including terrorist organizations, you were trying to keep everybody happy? Bernard: Yes. Interviewer: Dear God! Bernard: Yes. That was my job. Interviewer: Keeping all the balls in the air. Bernard: Yes, indeed. So one of the things that I found out that I did not know before, but now I do, is about secret services; you think they are there to serve and protect a people, country, etc. but they actually turn out to be criminal organizations, to be more precise, the system is heavily so. We are talking about financing wars, creating wars, so basically creating a lot of misery in this world. So lots of conflict. And then I think to myself, if only people knew what the world is really like. Secret services will stop at nothing. Nothing. But they also have their flows of money, because if they are trading in drugs or weapons, or for that matter, people… all that money has to go somewhere. Everything has to be financed. Interviewer: You say “if”, but could you confirm they are doing this? Ronald: All of them. All of them. Interviewer: Yes. Bernard: So the entire world as we think we know it, is just an illusion we believe in. Which is something you find out in this line of work, and where it all went wrong for me, to put it that way. Interviewer: ‘Right’, you mean, finally that is. Bernard: In hindsight, yes it was for the best, but my ‘freezer’ started to malfunction. There were things happening. For example, I went to a different trade market, and one of my colleagues there said: “Ronald, do you remember that case with the Italian lira?” I sometimes mention that during talks as well. “Do you remember those deals?” in which we did massive dumping of the lira, which reduced the value of the currency, which caused a company in Italy to be hit in such a way they went bankrupt. And then you hear at the exchange, “You remember that successful deal with the lira?” I say, “yes.” And then they say, “Did you know that the owner committed suicide and left a family behind?” Interviewer: Things like that… Ouch. Bernard: And back then we laughed at it. Ha ha ha, all together, all of us. We looked down on people, mocked them. It was just a product. Waste. Everything was worthless trash. Nature, the planet, everything could burn and break. Interviewer: Just useless parasites. Bernard: Just as long as we met our goals, as long as we were growing. Many of my colleagues ended up drinking or using drugs. Not me. Maybe I should have. Interviewer: Or not. Bernard: No, in hindsight, it was for the best and I’m happy to still be alive. However, all those horrible things started to eat at me. Interviewer: Can you give an example, because I can sense a lot of terrible things happened to you. Bernard: Yes, it is a difficult part for me to talk about. Interviewer: I can feel that, but only whatever you wish to share is all right. Bernard: Yes, I only talk about things I want to tell. But it does evoke lots of emotions and with my conscience not being in the freezer it touches me deeply. Interviewer: Can you tell me the worst thing that has happened that caused the tipping point in your situation? Bernard: Well, that was the beginning of the end. You get so deep into these circles, and you sign a lifetime contract. Not with blood or anything. To never disclose names of companies, organizations or people. I think that is why I am still alive. You have to stick to it. If we are talking about the worst things that I have experienced… I just told you about things that made the freezer glitch, my conscience started to show itself. Let’s put it this way, I was training to become a psychopath, and I failed. I did not complete the training, and didn’t become a psychopath. My conscience came back and the most difficult part for me was, because I had such a great status there, I was a success, I was trusted with the people playing at this level. To put it carefully, most of these people followed a not very mainstream religion. So you have Catholics, Protestants, all sorts of religions. These people, most of them, were Luciferians. And you can say “religion is a fairy tale, God doesn’t exist, none of that is real.” Well, for these people, it is truth and reality, and they served something immaterial, what they called Lucifer.And I was also in contact with those circles, only I laughed at it because to me they were just clients. So I went to places called Churches of Satan. Interviewer: So now we are talking about Satanism? Bernard: Yes, so I visited these churches, just as a visitor, dropped by, and they were doing their Holy Mass with naked women and liquor and stuff. And it just amused me. I didn’t believe in any of this stuff, and was far from convinced if any of this was real. Interviewer: It was just a spectacle to you. Bernard: Yes, in my opinion the darkness and evil is within the people themselves. I didn’t make the connection yet. So I was a guest in those circles and it amused me greatly to see all those naked women and the other things. It was the good life. But then at some point, which is why I’m telling you all this, I was invited to participate in sacrifices… abroad. That was the breaking point. Children. Interviewer: You were asked to do that? Bernard: Yes, and I couldn’t do that. Interviewer: Would you like to stop for a moment by the way? Bernard: No. And then I started to slowly break down. I lived through quite a lot as a child myself and this really touched me deeply. Everything changed. But that is the world I found myself in. And then I started to refuse assignments within my job. I could no longer do it. Which made me a threat. Interviewer: For them, of course. Bernard: I was no longer capable of functioning optimally. My performance started to shake and I had refused tasks. I had not participated. The purpose of the whole thing, eventually, in that world, is that they have everybody in their pocket. You need to be susceptible to blackmail. And blackmailing me proved to be very hard if I look back on it. They wanted to do that through those children. And that broke me. Interviewer: Is that – you are not telling me something new – what they also do in politics? Bernard: If you google this, you’ll find enough worldwide witness accounts to know this isn’t a Walt Disney fairy tale. Unfortunately the truth is that worldwide they have been doing this for thousands of years. I once studied theology and even in the Bible you find references to these practices with Israelites. The reason the first 10 tribes were banished to Babylonia was because of these rituals with children. Including the sacrificing of children.So this is pertinent, all this made me believe, because I realized there was more to life than meets the eye. There is a whole invisible world. It is real. You really do talk about a dark force and a manifestation of light. So I resorted to studying theology to make sense of it all. Interviewer: And psychology as well if I remember correctly? Bernard: Yes, but I did that in my first life. Because through commercial psychology, mass psychology, I was able to manipulate situations for my own benefit. Interviewer: That is scary, because if you dig into that you find Tavistock Institute and mind control, MK Ultra, Monarch and the like… Bernard: Yes, that is correct, but that was all part of the job. Through training at the job I got into that more deeply, because when you are making deals you also need to manipulate the media. You have to manipulate lots of things because nothing can be seen as it is. Everything has to appear to be something different. You see the people as a flock of sheep. You put a couple Border Collies and drive them in a direction. And to be honest with you, I still see that happening around me. People are still, through the systems and methods that we ourselves used to use, being treated in that same way. And it still works. People still don’t understand how it really works and are still on the level of “as long as I have my beer” and whatever, completely self absorbed, also a survival mechanism. I mean it is the program after all, but you still see how stupidly easy it is to put people in a certain direction.When you are the one pulling the strings, that is. Interviewer: Mass psychology. Bernard: Yes. Much later in all those studies and discoveries I found a document, which they are claiming is bullshit of course, the Protocols of Zion.And nowadays I recommend everyone to read the whole of that incredibly boring document. Just work through it, read it through. Interviewer: We are also talking about Zionism. Bernard: Yes, of course. If you read the Protocols of Zion, and really study them and understand, then it is like reading the newspaper of the daily life. How from their position of ultimate power, and ultimate it has literally become, but that is only because the people don’t stand up for themselves. They don’t realize what reality is. Interviewer: And we have all been programmed. If you dare say you are against Zionism, then you are branded an anti-Semite. Bernard: The negative, you can say evil, the Luciferians, Satanists, whatever you which you call it… it is a real entity. I have found that what is written in the Bible, and not just the Bible, you can find it in so many books, there really has been a moment of separation from the manifestation of light, in which a group went their own way and are carrying an intense hatred, anger; the people who do not underestimate the severity of this are but few. Because this is an all annihilating force that hates our guts. It hates creation, it hates life. It will do anything to destroy us completely, and the way to do that is to divide humanity. Divide and conquer is their truth. Humanity is a manifestation of light. That is the true creation. As long as you divide them based on political parties, skin color, you name it… then you – from a Luciferian point of view that is – suppress the full capacities of your enemy, their full power. They can’t stand up for themselves, because if that would happen, the Luciferians would lose. Then this monster, the greedy monster would disappear. I tell people about this old American general who puts an entire room of people in the dark. The eyes adapt to the darkness, but you can’t see a thing. The general doesn’t say a word and suddenly he flicks on a lighter. One little light. Due to the prolonged darkness, you experience a manifestation of light from a single point and everyone can slightly see each other again. And then he says “that is the power of our light.” Interviewer: Beautiful. Bernard: Unite. Unite. Come together, and this entire shit story seizes to exist. That’s how fast it could happen. But that is easy for me to say now, but then I was in a period of my life in which I was crumbling down. Interviewer: Could you tell us something specific about that? Bernard: I started to refuse assignments. My conscience came back after the request involving the children and I started to refuse more and more. I had a conscience and I couldn’t function anymore. Interviewer: But you did still show up to work after that? Bernard: I didn’t really have a choice, I had my own business with several offices and employees, everything was still rolling. Interviewer: That must have been hard. Bernard: Yes, it got very hard, all the tensions. So on the one hand, you are playing with money on a high level, in which you can’t afford to make mistakes, otherwise everything falls down at once, your entire business is ruined, everybody involved, including yourself. Then you are really screwed. So that brings a lot of stress, factoring in the resurfacing of a conscience. I was warned off when I got into this. “Don’t do it if you can’t put your conscience at -100 degrees in the freezer.” Interviewer: And you probably realized that then? Bernard: Yes, I heard myself laugh at it back then, but it wasn’t a joke at all. I totally did not understand where I really got into. Interviewer: And your proverbial freezer was switched off? Bernard: Broken. I couldn’t do it anymore. So I tried to work through it, keep up appearances. I didn’t know how to get out of this, I was trapped as well. Everybody was trapped. This all led me to crashing completely eventually. My body just simply stopped. The first thing I saw was my mother crying at the Intensive Care. Interviewer: You ended up at the IC? Bernard: Yeah, I really shut down. Interviewer: You had literally crashed? Bernard: Yes. Yes. And… at that time I didn’t believe in anything, but I can still recall how I saw, from that corner, I was looking down upon myself. I saw how they were working on me. Interviewer: You had a near death experience. Bernard: Well, you could call it that. I have seen I am not my body. I’m “in” my body, but I am not just my body. I have seen them working on me.And later on, I’ve been reluctant to talk about it for a long time. I really talked about it much later. But when I did, I had researched so many things already and started to believe. I was starting to better understand the spiritual and the material. At that point this intense experience got its own place. The realization that I’m not my body, it’s just a vessel. So I lived through all of that, but I also needed a long time to recover. Interviewer: Yes, of course. Bernard: Yes I was a train wreck. Complete wreck. I was completely burned out. I had crashed, and the body needed a year to recover.I don’t really want to get into it now, but in those circles I got tortured physically during my exit time. This was in order to make sure I would never break the contract of secrecy. So I was taken for a certain amount of time. I was “treated.” All those factors together, just increased the stress I was experiencing, literally running full speed towards my own end. Interviewer: Do you mean abductions, as we call it, or programming? Bernard: No, they exposed me to certain types of torture that makes sure you’ll never damage anyone in that world. It did all happen that way, so the end of my first life was so extreme that I couldn’t handle it anymore. I couldn’t handle it anymore, in no way. However, my mind power was so strong, that it only happened with and to my own body. That was… well, I didn’t know what to do anymore. There were no options left for me. So that is why sometimes I think – of course it is not true – but I wish, like so many colleagues, I had taken the drugs and alcohol route. At least my end would have been more gentle. Most of them are just dead by now. Even though I know there are more straw men walking around, there are little still alive whom I knew back then. Most of them are already gone. Well I was dead too, but I’m still here. Interviewer: So you still have something left to do. Bernard: Yes, I suppose you could say that. But that is, I can’t say in short, since I don’t know how long we have been talking, the world that I found myself in. If you have any specific questions, then I can answer them, but I had hoped to be more concise. But I just don’t know how. Interviewer: Well, you have my gratitude for all you have shared. Bernard: To me, it is a very big deal.
Ronald Bernard is now engaged in a “citizens’ initiative” called Bank of Joy, of which he’s the founder.
Bank of Joy provides interest-free financing for life-enhancing local and sustainable projects. Bank of Joy invites anyone to join:
“For 25 euro you can join in. For 100 euro you can become part-owner. “
At the end of a promotional video on the Bank of Joy, you can see Bernard in a group of men and women walking toward the camera.
Heidi and Ted Cruz, March 23, 2015, Lynchburg, VA. (Photo Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)
Senator Ted Cruz’s wife, Heidi, is head of the Southwest Region in the Investment Management Division of the Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs, on a temporary “leave” because of Ted’s presidential campaign.
Heidi Cruz is also a former investment banker for J.P. Morgan and a“historical member” of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), for which she served as a member of the CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force on the Future of North America, which a North American Union. (See “Is Ted Cruz an advocate of a North American Union?“)
Although Heidi Cruzpresently is on leave, she was fully working for Goldman Sachs in 2012 when Ted obtained a low-interest $1 million loan from her employer for his senatorial campaign. To top it off, Ted Cruz did not disclose the loan as he is required by law. The New York Times reports on Jan. 13, 2016, that campaign finance reports show that in the critical weeks before the May 2012 GOP primary, Ted Cruz put “personal funds” totaling $960,000 into his Senate campaign. Two months later, shortly before a scheduled runoff election, he added more, bringing the total to $1.2 million — “which is all we had saved,” as Cruz described it in an interview.
But a review of personal financial disclosures that Cruz filed later with the Senate does not show a liquidation of assets that would have accounted for all the money he spent on his campaign. What it does show, however, is that in the first half of 2012, Ted and Heidi Cruz obtained a low-interest loan from Goldman Sachs, as well as another one from Citibank. The loans totaled $750,000 and eventually increased to $1 million before being paid down later that year. Both loans had floating interest rates around 3%, generally in line with rates available to wealthy borrowers at that time.
Neither loan appears in reports filed by Cruz’s senate campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
Candidates are required to disclose the source of money they borrow to finance their campaigns. Other campaigns have been investigated and fined for failing to make such disclosures, which are intended to inform voters and prevent candidates from receiving special treatment from lenders.
A spokeswoman for Cruz’s presidential campaign, Catherine Frazier, acknowledged that the loan from Goldman Sachs, drawn against the value of the Cruzes’ brokerage account, was a source of money for the Senate race, but insisted that the failure to report the loan was “inadvertent” and that there had been no attempt to hide anything. Frazier did not address whether the Citibank loan was used also for Cruz’s Senate race.
Former election commission lawyer who specializes in campaign finance law Kenneth Gross, however, disagrees.
Gross said that listing a bank loan in an annual Senate ethics report — which deals only with personal finances — would not satisfy the requirement that it be promptly disclosed to election officials during a campaign: “They’re two different reporting regimes. The law says if you get a loan for the purpose of funding a campaign, you have to show the original source of the loan, the terms of the loan and you even have to provide a copy of the loan document to the Federal Election Commission.”
Specifically, in failing to report the two bank loans to the FEC, Cruz violated:
52 USC 30104 (b)(2) (6), which requires the committee of a federal candidate to disclose on a report filed “loans made by or guaranteed by the candidate”; and
52 USC 30104(b)(4)(d), which requires the reporting of “repayment of loans made by or guaranteed by the candidate”.
ZeroHedge points out that someone will have to file an official complaint against Cruz, and the FEC could impose fines. But if evidence emerges that his failure to disclose the loans was ‘knowing and willful,’ he could be criminally prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice, according to campaign finance experts. Aside from Ted Cruz’s dishonesty in not reporting the loans to the FEC, there is also the matter of his hypocrisy.
In 2012 when he ran for the Senate as a darling of the Tea Party, and in his current presidential campaign, Ted Cruz presents himself as a populist for the “little man,” against Wall Street bailouts and the influence of big banks in Washington. Recently, when asked about the political clout of Goldman Sachs in particular, he replied:
“Like many other players on Wall Street and big business, they seek out and get special favors from government.”
The dishonesty here is that Cruz has pretended to stand against the bankers….I am sorry. But Cruz is bought and paid for and would be in the pocket of the New York Banks no different than Hillary, Bush, or the rest of them who take money from this crowd. You do not forget to report a loan from Goldman Sachs when your wife is a managing director. Come on. How stupid do we have to be to entertain this excuse?
Every year since 1977, three powerful agencies — the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency — undertake a review of America’s banks, specifically of their large syndicated bank loans — all loans of $20 million or greater that are shared by three or more financial institutions.
The annual review typically starts in March, with the results published around the beginning of the third quarter as the SharedNational Credit Review (SNCR).
According to international investor Simon Black of Sovereign Man, this year’s SNCR was published last week, which says U.S. banks are not sound:
Late last week, a consortium of financial regulators in the United States, including the Federal Reserve and the FDIC, issued an astonishing condemnation of the US banking system.
Most notably, they highlighted “continuing gaps between industry practices and the expectations for safe and sound banking.”
This is part of an annual report they publish called the Shared National Credit (SNC) Review. And in this year’s report, they identified a huge jump in risky loans due to overexposure to weakening oil and gas industries.
Make no mistake; this is not chump change.
The total exceeds $3.9 trillion worth of risky loans that US banks made with your money. Given that even the Fed is concerned about this, alarm bells should be ringing.
Simon Black explains that in banking, there are three primary types of risk from the consumer’s perspective:
1. Fraud Risk: Is your bank stealing from you?
The case of MF Global shows that fraud in the Western banking system is clearly not zero. MF Global was once among the largest brokers in the United States. But in 2011 it was found that the firm had stolen funds from customer accounts to cover its own trading losses, before ultimately declaring bankruptcy. See:
2. Solvency risk: Does your bank have a positive net worth?
Like any business or individual, banks have assets and liabilities. For banks, their liabilities are customers’ deposits, which the bank is required to repay to customers. Meanwhile, a bank’s assets are the investments they make with our savings. If these investments go bad, it reduces or even eliminates the bank’s ability to pay us back.
This is precisely what happened in 2008; hundreds of banks became insolvent in the financial crisis as a result of the idiotic bets they’d made with our money.
3. Liquidity risk: Does your bank have sufficient funds on hand when you want to make a withdrawal or transfer?
Most banks only hold a very small portion of their portfolios in cash or cash equivalents, not just physical cash, but high-quality liquid assets and securities that banks can sell in a heartbeat in order to raise cash and meet their customer needs to transfer and withdraw funds.
For most banks in the West, their amount of cash equivalents as a percentage of customer deposits is extremely low, often in the neighborhood of 1% to 3%. This means that if even a small number of customers suddenly wanted their money back, and especially if they wanted physical cash, banks would completely seize up.
Black writes, “Each of the above three risks exists in the banking system today and they are in no way trivial. Now we have a report from Fed and the FDIC, showing their own concern for the industry and foreshadowing the solvency risk.”
Credit risk in the Shared National Credit (SNC) portfolio remained at a high level, according to an annual review of large shared credits released today by federal banking agencies. […]
Leveraged lending, which accounts for approximately one quarter of the SNC portfolio, remained a focus of the agencies. This year’s review found that banks are making progress in aligning their underwriting practices with the leveraged lending guidance issued by regulators in 2013. However, the review highlighted continuing gaps between industry practices and the expectations for safe and sound banking. Leveraged transactions originated within the past year continued to exhibit structures that were cited as weak by examiners. The persistent structural deficiencies found in loan underwriting by the agencies warrant continued attention.
The review also noted an increase in weakness among credits related to oil and gas exploration, production, and energy servicesfollowing the decline in energy prices since mid-2014. Aggressive acquisition and exploration strategies from 2010 through 2014 led to increases in leverage, making many borrowers more susceptible to a protracted decline in commodity prices.
Oil and gas commitments to the exploration and production sector and the services sector totaled $276.5 billion, or 7.1 percent, of the SNC portfolio. Classified commitments–a credit rated as substandard, doubtful, or loss–among oil and gas borrowers totaled $34.2 billion, or 15.0 percent, of total classified commitments, compared with $6.9 billion, or 3.6 percent, in 2014.
To read the 2015 Shared National Credit Review in PDF, click here.
Black’s advice, other than finding a safer banking jurisdiction are:
Hold physical cash. Physical cash serves as a great short-term hedge against all three risks, with the added benefit that there’s no exchange rate risk. All you have to do is go to your nearest ATM machine, take out a small amount at a time and build up a small pool of cash savings.
Own real assets, e.g., real estate property, gold and silver. There may be a time where we are faced with the consequences not only of a poor banking system, but also of decades of wanton debt and monetary expansion. At that point, the only thing that will make any sense at all is direct ownership of real assets.
The term “deep state” refers to a secret government that operates as a state within a state. The term originated in reference to the politics of Turkey — that the country actually is ruled by a group of influential anti-democratic coalitions within the Turkish political system, composed of élites of the intelligence services (domestic and foreign), military, security, judiciary, and mafia.
In other words, deep state is The Powers That Be.
What follows are excerpts from a July 30, 2015 article by Philip Giraldi for The American Conservative. Giraldi is a former CIA officer and currently the executive director of the Council for the National Interest.
As all governments—sometimes for good reasons—engage in concealment of their more questionable activities, or even resort to out and out deception, one must ask how the deep state differs. While an elected government might sometimes engage in activity that is legally questionable, there is normally some plausible pretext employed to cover up or explain the act.
But for players in the deep state, there is no accountability and no legal limit. Everything is based on self-interest, justified through an assertion of patriotism and the national interest. […]
First of all, one should note that for the deep state to be effective, it must be intimately associated with the development or pre-existence of a national security state. There must also be a perception that the nation is in peril, justifying extraordinary measures undertaken by brave patriots to preserve life and property of the citizenry. Those measures are generically conservative in nature, intended to protect the status quo with the implication that change is dangerous.
Those requirements certainly prevail in post 9/11 America, and also feed the other essential component of the deep state: that the intervening should work secretly or at least under the radar. Consider for a moment how Washington operates. There is gridlock in Congress and the legislature opposes nearly everything that the White House supports. Nevertheless, certain things happen seemingly without any discussion: Banks are bailed out and corporate interests are protected by law. Huge multi-year defense contracts are approved. Citizens are assassinated by drones, the public is routinely surveilled, people are imprisoned without be charged, military action against “rogue” regimes is authorized, and whistleblowers are punished with prison. The war crimes committed by U.S. troops and contractors on far-flung battlefields, as well as torture and rendition, are rarely investigated and punishment of any kind is rare. America, the warlike predatory capitalist, might be considered a virtual definition of deep state.
One critic describesdeep state as driven by the “Washington Consensus,” a subset of the “American exceptionalism” meme. It is plausible to consider it a post-World War II creation, the end result of the “military industrial complex” that Dwight Eisenhower warned about, but some believe its infrastructure was actually put in place through the passage of the Federal Reserve Act prior to the First World War. Several years after signing the bill, Woodrow Wilson reportedly lamented, “We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.”
In truth America’s deep state is, not unlike Turkey’s, a hybrid creature that operates along a New York to Washington axis. Where the Turks engage in criminal activity to fund themselves, the Washington elite instead turns to banksters, lobbyists, and defense contractors, operating much more in the open and, ostensibly, legally. U.S.-style deep state includesall the obvious parties, both public and private, who benefit from the status quo: including key players in the police and intelligence agencies, the military, the treasury and justice departments, and the judiciary. It is structured to materially reward those who play along with the charade, and the glue to accomplish that ultimately comes from Wall Street. “Financial services” might well be considered the epicenter of the entire process. Even though government is needed to implement desired policies, the banksters comprise the truly essential element, capable of providing genuine rewards for compliance. As corporate interests increasingly own the media, little dissent comes from the Fourth Estate as the process plays out, while many of the proliferating Washington think tanks that provide deep state “intellectual” credibility are similarly funded by defense contractors.
The cross fertilization that is essential to making the system work takes place through the famous revolving door whereby senior government officials enter the private sector at a high level. In some cases the door revolves a number of times, with officials leaving government before returning to an even more elevated position. Along the way, those select individuals are protected, promoted, and groomed for bigger things. And bigger things do occur that justify the considerable costs, to include bank bailouts, tax breaks, and resistance to legislation that would regulate Wall Street, political donors, and lobbyists. The senior government officials, ex-generals, and high level intelligence operatives who participate find themselves with multi-million dollar homes in which to spend their retirement years, cushioned by a tidy pile of investments. America’s deep state is completely corrupt: it exists to sell out the public interest, and includes both major political parties as well as government officials.Politicians like the Clintonswho leave the White House “broke” and accumulate $100 million in a few years exemplify how it rewards. A bloated Pentagon churns out hundreds of unneeded flag officers who receive munificent pensions and benefits for the rest of their lives. And no one is punished, ever. Disgraced former general and CIA Director David Petraeus is now a partner at the KKR private equity firm, even though he knows nothing about financial services. More recently, former Acting CIA Director Michael Morellhas become a Senior Counselor at Beacon Global Strategies. Both are being rewarded for their loyalty to the system and for providing current access to their replacements in government.
What makes the deep stateso successful? It wins no matter who is in power, by creating bipartisan-supported money pits within the system.Monetizing the completely unnecessary and hideously expensive global war on terrorbenefits the senior government officials, beltway industries, and financial services that feed off it. Because it is essential to keep the money flowing, the deep state persists in promoting policies that make no sense, to include the unwinnable wars currently enjoying marquee status in Iraq/Syria and Afghanistan. The deep state knows that a fearful public will buy its product and does not even have to make much of an effort to sell it.
Of course I know that the United States of America is not Turkey. But there are lessons to be learned from its example of how a democracy can be subverted by particular interests hiding behind the mask of patriotism.Ordinary Americans frequently ask why politicians and government officials appear to be so obtuse, rarely recognizing what is actually occurring in the country. That is partly due to the fact that the political class lives in a bubble of its own creation, but it might also be because many of America’s leaders actually accept that there is an unelected, unappointed, and unaccountable presence within the system that actually manages what is taking place behind the scenes. That would be the American deep state.
DailyMail: Greece has revealed it is to introduce a surcharge for all cashpoint withdrawals and financial transactions in a desperate attempt to prevent citizens withdrawing their money from the country’s beleaguered banks.
Ministers hope the controversial move could raise as much as €180 million ($201,364,806 US), which the Athens government hopes will help the country avoid defaulting on debts owed to international creditors. As the Greek economy teeters on the verge of bankruptcy, millions of panicking citizens have completely cleared their accounts – pulling more than €28 billion out of banks and pushing the total cash revenue held in the country’s financial institutions to a 10-year low.
The controversial introduction of mandatory cashpoint charges still requires approval by the European Central Bank but is expected to amount to €1 for every €1,000 (€1 equals $1.1187 US) transaction. While the measure is unlikely to impact on day-to-day withdrawals, Greece hopes it will deter citizens clearing out their bank accounts.
Get your money while it’s still there…
Clarifying that the charge will not apply to money paid in to a bank account, a senior finance ministry official told The Times: ‘The surcharge is just one of a grab-bag of measures we are considering if things get tough.’ The official added that Greece is also considering a ceiling on bank transfers over €1 million in what could fire the starting pistol for capital controls if Greece does go bust over the coming months.
The news comes as the EU upgraded its growth outlook for the eurozone on the back of cheaper oil and a weak currency – but a sudden worsening of Greece cast a pall over the brightening situation.
The improved Spring Forecast report said the eurozone would avoid much feared deflation as the 19-country area claws its way back to levels last seen before the global financial crisis. Germany, Europe’s economic powerhouse, is expected to grow by 1.9 per cent in 2015, above the EU average, helped by domestic demand and an improving labour market.
France’s sluggish economy should expand by a much slower 1.1 percent but its budget deficit outlook has improved, making Paris less likely to face embarrassing penalties for breaking EU rules on public spending. Even Italy and Portugal saw modest growth, while Ireland – which recently left an international bailout programme – had the fastest growing economy in the region. Cyprus however is stuck in recession three years after its bailout and will not return to growth until next year, the Commission said.
But the gloomiest prognosis is for Greece, due to the drawn-out battle between the new leftist government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the debt-hit nation’s EU and IMF creditors.
With fears growing of a Greek exit form the euro, Greece’s economy slumped severely in the first three months of the year. The Commission accordingly slashed its overall 2015 growth outlook to 0.5 per cent, a huge tumble from its earlier estimate of 2.5 percent. It predicted Greece would rebound strongly with 2.5 per cent growth in 2016. ‘In light of the persistent uncertainty, a downward revision has been unavoidable’ Moscovici told a news conference ahead of a meeting with Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis.
The ‘meagre’ 2015 growth estimate is also on condition that Greece reaches a deal with its creditors by June on its bailout, added the EU’s Commissioner for the euro, Valdis Dombrovskis. Greece’s debt, already the highest in the eurozone, would meanwhile soar to 180.2 percent of annual economic output this year, before falling slightly to 173.5 percent in 2016.
The Commission predicted that consumer prices will edge up by a minimal 0.1 percent in 2015, but then gain momentum to 1.5 percent in 2016, after the eurozone came out of deflation last month. Deflation can be dangerous, risking a spiral of ever weaker demand, slowing the economy and pushing up unemployment.