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World Bank: ditch fossil fuel subsidies to address climate change

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Leaked Leaked documents seen by Guardian say rich countries should use money to help poorer countries adapt to climate change

World Bank documents propose that rich countries should eliminate the $50bn a year they give in fossil fuel subsidies, in order to financially help poor countries address climate change.

The documents, due to be presented to the G20 finance ministers in November, also suggest that countries redirect “climate aid” money already pledged, towards the propping up ailing carbon markets.

The Mobilizing Climate Finance paper, seen in draft form by the Guardian, has been prepared at the request of the world’s leading economies. It is likely to provide a template for action in the UN climate talks that resume in Panama next week, in preparation for a major meeting of 194 countries in Durban in November.

According to the confidential paper, there is little likelihood that in the current economic climate, public money will be available for raising the $30bn rich countries have pledged for the 2010-2012 period, and the $100bn a year that must be found by 2020. Instead, says the paper, “the large financial flows required for climate stabilization and adaptation will, in the long run, be mainly private in composition”.

It says: “A starting point should be the removal of subsidies on fossil fuel use. New OECD estimates indicate that reported fossil fuel production and consumption supports in Annex II countries [24 OECD countries] amounted to about $40-$60bn per year in 2005-2010 … if reforms resulted in 20% of the current level of support being redirected to public climate finance, this could yield $10bn per year.

“Reform of fossil fuel subsidies in developed countries is a promising near-term option because of its potential to improve economic efficiency and raise revenue in addition to environmental benefits.”

New analysis, says the paper, suggests that half the $50bn-a-year fossil fuel subsidies go to the oil industry, and around a quarter to coal and natural gas. It says: “About two-thirds of total fossil fuel support in 2010 was estimated to be for consumer support, with a little over 20% being producer support.”

Developing countries are increasingly frustrated by the refusal of rich countries to meet their climate finance pledges. But they are unlikely to approve of the bank’s innovative proposal that some of the money pledged to them should be used to prop up struggling carbon markets.

The report proposes: “Governments could make innovative uses of climate finance to sustain momentum in the market while new initiatives are being developed. They could, for example, dedicate a fraction of their international climate finance pledges to procure carbon credits for testing and showcasing new approaches, such as country programme concepts, new methodologies, CDM reforms and new mechanisms.

“This would be a cost-efficient use of climate finance as it would target least cost-options and would be performance-based. It would also help build up a supply pipeline for a future scaled-up market, preventing future supply shortages and price pressures.”

It also appears to back a levy on aviation and maritime fuels. “Increasing from zero a tax on an activity that causes environmental damage is likely to be a more efficient way to raise revenue than would be increasing a tax that already causes significant distortion.”

“A globally implemented carbon charge of $25/tonne CO2 on fuel used could raise around $13bn from international aviation and around $26bn from international maritime transport in 2020, while reducing CO2 emissions from each industry by around 5 to 10%. Compensating developing countries for the economic harm they might suffer from such charges … seems unlikely to require more than 40% of global revenues. This would leave about $24bn or more for climate finance or other uses,” says the paper.

Last month, the UK shipping industry’s trade body roundly rejected calls to be brought into the EU’s carbon trading scheme, saying that any solution to reducing the industry’s emissions must be global.

Original Article

Arab Spring may not lessen West’s influence

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Aspirations for political freedom are driving the revolutions sweeping the Middle East

5 May 2011 Last updated at 03:27 ET

After nearly a century of political stagnation, change is finally on the way in the Middle East, but what role will there be for Western powers in this new Arab world, asks Middle East analyst Gerald Butt.

5 May 2011 Last updated at 03:27 ET

The wholesale upheaval taking place during this Arab Spring is the first in the post-colonial era.

But there are signs that Western states – former colonial powers among them – will still be playing substantial roles in the emerging new Middle East of the 21st Century.

The last major upheaval in the region followed World War I and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

Britain and France had secretly devised a scheme to create nation states, trampling cynically over the aspirations of the Arabs for independence and unity.

Now, by contrast, it is precisely the aspirations of Arabs – this time for political freedom – that is driving the revolutions sweeping the region.

But while the desire for change is strong, the Arab Spring is following no co-ordinated course.

So there is ample scope for nations outside the region to devise stratagems as they seek to protect their interests.

The successful elimination of Osama Bin Laden is likely only to reinforce their confidence in taking positive steps to achieve their goals.

There is little, furthermore, that the Arab world – after decades of division, demoralisation and defeat – can do to stop them.

Familiar spectacle

Nowhere was this more obvious than in the popular uprising in Libya.

As Col Muammar Gaddafi turned his guns and fighter jets on his own people, the Arab League called for the imposition of a no-fly zone to protect civilians.

But the collective Arab world – for all its vast resources – could not muster sufficient political agreement to assemble the military hardware needed to impose the zone.

So, just when the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt appeared to be restoring Arab self-esteem, there came a humiliating call on the West to intervene.

Canadian Armed Forces CF18 at Trapani-Birgi airbase in Sicily, Italy - 25 March 2011

 Planes from Western nations are forming the bulk of the coalition force intervening in Libya

Now, not only are Western aircraft bombing targets across Libya, but military advisers from the three former colonial powers in the country, Britain, France and Italy, have been dispatched there.

For Arabs with even short memories, the spectacle looks depressingly familiar: Western forces helping to take control of a country rich with oil and gas.

Western powers have also intervened elsewhere – selectively. Some sanctions are being imposed on Syria for its brutal treatment of protesters – but not on Bahrain, where excessive force was also used on demonstrators.

Syria, in Western eyes, is a rogue state. Regime change there would neatly break the arc of Iranian influence that extends from Tehran to the Hezbollah strongholds of southern Lebanon.

Bahrain, on the other hand, is a key Western ally that provides a port for the US Fifth Fleet and an air base in the south of the island.

Saudi Arabia and all the Arab Gulf states, for their part, need Western support both to secure oil exports and to provide protection against what is regarded as a growing threat from an Iran with strong nuclear ambitions.

The growing Iranian influence in Iraq is also a worry in the Gulf. But the United States is preparing to increase the number of its embassy staff there next year to 16,000 – a sufficient platform, surely, from which to secure Western (and therefore Gulf) interests.

Egypt, too, looks set to maintain its ties with the United States. Public calls for the peace treaty with Israel to be scrapped are likely to be quietly ignored.

Any future leadership that took such a step would have to find funds to replace the $2bn (£1.2bn) that this cash-strapped country receives from Washington each year – and put its armed forces on a war footing again.

Then, just north of Egypt lies the strategically located island of Cyprus, where British sovereign bases provide a springboard for possible Western military intervention in the Middle East and North Africa.

All in all, then, the new Arab world, in many respects, is likely to look very much like the old one.

Colonial shadows

The key obstacle confronting those countries in the region that want to distance themselves from the influence of the West have been highlighted all too clearly by the Libyan crisis: the Arabs’ failure to take action themselves.

Oil refinery at Mina Al Ahmadi,40km south of Kuwait City - 4 June 2001

Vast oil wealth has not lessened Western influence in the Middle East

Despite the billions of dollars accrued in oil revenues and the billions spent on acquiring military equipment, two key challenges have not been met.

The first is to achieve political co-ordination. Inter-Arab disputes and rivalries have seen the 22 members of the Arab League pulling in different directions, rather than working for a joint cause.

The second challenge is to develop indigenous industries, rather than rely on technology and expertise from abroad.

As successive UN Arab Human Development Reports have pointed out, too often the technology was imported but not the skills: “With few exceptions, the experience of individual Arab countries in technology transfer, management and adaptation has not met initial expectations.”

The governments that come to power in the wake of the Arab Spring need to concentrate urgently on raising education standards, providing jobs for skilled graduates and developing indigenous talent, thereby enabling countries to stand on their own two feet.

Otherwise, the shadow of the former colonial powers and their allies is likely to fall across the Middle East for decades to come.

Gerald Butt, a former BBC Middle East correspondent, is a Cyprus-based writer on the region.

Original Article

April 2010 – Global Shale Gas Initiative (GSGI)

April 2010

The Department of State (DOS)

Overview: The Department of State (DOS) launched the Global Shale Gas Initiative (GSGI) in April 2010 in order to help countries seeking to utilize their unconventional natural gas resources to identify and develop them safely and economically. Shale gas is one of the most rapidly expanding trends in onshore U.S. oil and gas exploration and production. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), during the last decade, U.S. shale gas production has increased fourteen-fold; it now accounts for 22% of U.S. gas production and 32% of total remaining recoverable gas resources in the United States. By 2030, EIA projects that shale gas will represent 14% of total global gas supplies, providing the reserve base necessary for expanded consumption in a business as usual scenario. Future climate policies could increase demand for shale gas since it is a lower-carbon “bridge fuel” to reduce CO2 emissions. Although the U.S. shale gas experience cannot be precisely duplicated, its application through GSGI can be instrumental in helping governments understand the complexities of shale gas development. Governments often have limited capability to assess their own country’s shale resource potential or are unclear about how to develop shale gas in a safe and environmentally sustainable manner through establishing the right regulatory policy and fiscal structures. The ultimate goals of GSGI are to achieve greater energy security, meet environmental objectives and further U.S. economic and commercial interests.

Country Participation: Countries have been selected to participate in GSGI based in part on the known presence of natural gas-bearing shale within their borders, market potential, business climates, geopolitical synergies, and host government interest. Within GSGI, priority countries have the greatest potential for benefiting from GSGI opportunities. Other, non-priority, GSGI participants include those countries that have expressed interest and meet GSGI criteria. To date, partnerships under GSGI have been announced with China, India, Jordan and Poland, with bilateral agreements possible with several other additional countries.

Government-to-Government: The GSGI uses government-to-government policy engagement to bring the U.S. federal and state governments’ technical expertise, regulatory experience and diplomatic capabilities to help selected countries understand their shale gas potential. U.S. government agencies that partner with the Department of State under GSGI include: the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); the Department of Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey (USGS); Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE); the Department of Commerce’s Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP); the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy (DOE/FE). A benefit of this government-to-government cooperation is the potential for establishing and strengthening long-term working relationships at the technical and ministerial levels.

Sample Activities: GSGI activities are tailored to each country’s specific needs and availability of funding. Examples of GSGI activities in priority countries include: shale gas resource assessments; technical guidance to evaluate the production capability, economics and investment potential of shale gas resources; and workshops and seminars on technical, environmental, business and regulatory challenges related to shale gas development. Engagement with non-priority countries focuses on regulatory policies and fiscal structures challenges. At the request of these countries, DOS organizes conferences, meetings, training and public-private sector events in the United States. They are also invited to participate in select multilateral GSGI events.

Original Article

Offshore Oil: A Blessing or a Curse to Ghana People?

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While Ghana has just started making money from its offshore oil, civil society advocates and economists are warning not enough is being done to make sure oil wealth is a benefit and not a curse to Ghanaians.

At a Washington event late Thursday, they said Ghana’s government needs to have more planning and transparency to avoid a repeat of the massive corruption and violence that has plagued other oil-rich African countries.

The World Bank country director for Ghana, Ishac Diwan, said the stakes were high for Ghana’s new oil reality, as more and more offshore fields are discovered in West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea.

“Can Ghana do it is a big question. It would be a premiere actually and it would show the way to the Sierra Leones, the Liberias and Guineas, new democratic Guineas. So it is an extremely important experiment if I may say,” Diwan said.

A report gave a grade of C to all involved in Ghana’s oil quest

At an event organized by the non-governmental organization Oxfam America, Ghanaian civil society groups presented a report called “Ghana’s Oil Boom: A Readiness Report Card.”

It gave a mark of Cs, or fair, to all involved in the process, including donors like the World Bank, and civil society groups themselves.

Mohammed Amin Adam said civil society was trying hard but so far failing to get new laws signed and put into effect to force full contract disclosures between the government and oil companies as well as make the government show how it spends its oil revenue.

Adam said this transparency is necessary given the huge expectations Ghanaians have. “If you are transparent of how much you are receiving, how much you are spending, where you are spending it, those expectations will be moderated by themselves. And so the key here is transparency,” Adam said. “And this is why I will even build more expectations back in Ghana to put pressure on our government to invest this money well and transparently so that everybody knows where the money is going to and they can tell realistically what oil can offer and what oil cannot offer.”

He also expressed disappointment Ghanaian delegations had been sent to far away Trinidad and Tobago and Norway to learn from their oil experiences, rather than going to nearby Nigeria, to find out more about the difficult lessons learned there.

Another civil society representative, Nana Ama Yirrah, said Ghanaian villagers in western coastal areas nearest to the oil fields were already complaining about higher prices, pollution, fishing restrictions, and a lack of opportunities in the oil sector.

“The skills required for the oil industry is nowhere found within the communities, the kind of businesses that people are managing today in Ghana, the standards within those businesses are not the type that can fit into the oil industry. So it has become a very dicey issue that production has started and yet people are not seeing what they thought they would see,” Yirrah said.

Production started in December, and should reach output of 120,000 barrels per day within the next few months. Estimates are that Ghana could earn more than $1 billion a year from its existing Jubilee offshore oil field, and that further discoveries could boost these numbers.

Peter Allum, the chief of the Africa department at the International Monetary Fund, said it was essential Ghana’s government started making longer budget planning to figure out what to do with this money, and extend the current year to year approach.

The budget ought to have a medium term vision so there is a clear relationship in the budgetary process between the medium term revenue stream or wealth associated with oil and what is envisaged to be done with that in the way of financing projects over a multi-year timetable,” Allum said.

Ghana’s ambassador to the United States Daniel Ohene Agyekum said it was important to focus on the positives, and the vibrant debate that is taking place to make sure Ghana’s oil is a benefit.

“There is no need to apportion blame to any particular group. We all recognize the good work that as a collective we have done to move the oil industry much ahead of time. And I am proud to say this as a Ghanaian,” Agyekum said.

The ambassador also agreed with other panelists that while a lot of focus is being put on oil, this should not mean Ghana’s important agricultural sector should be diminished.

By Nico Colombant (VoA)

Original Article

Shocks Slow Global Growth as Employment, Profits Gain

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Apr 15, 2011 2:59 AM CT
By Rich Miller and Simon Kennedy

The global economy is cooling, in a shift that will slow, not stop, the worldwide expansion.

Growth is decelerating in the two largest economies as finance ministers and central bankers gather in Washington for the semi-annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank starting today. Higher gasoline prices have sapped consumer spending in the U.S., while tighter monetary policy has curbed demand in China. Japan, the world’s third largest economy, is struggling to right itself in the wake of a record earthquake, while Europe is battling a debt crisis that claimed its third victim — Portugal — last week.

“The headwinds we’ve run into are pretty strong,” said David Hensley, director of global economic coordination at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York. “The fundamental forces driving the recovery have not been stopped. We’re bending but not breaking.” JPMorgan Chase sees growth of 4.2 percent this year, down from its 4.7 percent forecast in January.

The enduring expansion means that global stock markets are still a buy, even as the world economy “loses some of its acceleration,” said Jim O’Neill, chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management in London. “The bull market in equities continues,” he said. He sees the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rising to between 1,400 and 1,450 by the end of the year from yesterday’s close of 1,314.52.

‘Really Under Way’

The IMF argues that the rebound has become “more self- sustaining” as increasing private-sector demand replaces waning public support in promoting growth, according to its World Economic Outlook issued this week.

“This is not a time for complacency, but the good news is that the recovery is really under way,” IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said yesterday in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “InBusiness” with Margaret Brennan. The Washington-based lender forecasts world growth of 4.4 percent this year and 4.5 percent in 2012, after 5 percent in 2010.

Expansion expectations nevertheless fell for a second consecutive month in April, according to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch survey of fund managers published this week. Forty-two percent of investors polled also said they see a period of below-trend growth and above-trend inflation.

In India, Asia’s third-largest economy, the benchmark wholesale-price index rose 8.98 percent in March from a year earlier, the commerce ministry said today. The Reserve Bank of India last month predicted inflation would be 8 percent by the end of March.

‘Rock and Roll’

The global economy is experiencing a “rock and roll recovery,” said Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Joh Berenberg Gossler & Co. in London. “While occasional shocks are rocking the markets, the recovery keeps on rolling.”

The oil shock did hit the U.S. economy hard in the opening months of 2011, as prices for regular gasoline at the pump jumped to the highest since 2008. St. Louis-based Macroeconomic Advisers reckons that gross domestic product declined 0.2 percent in February after dropping 0.4 percent in January. For the quarter as whole, the economic forecasting firm foresees GDP rising at an annual rate of 1.5 percent after increasing 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter.

The $38 billion deal to cut federal spending that lawmakers agreed on last week may trim economic growth, though at most by only a few tenths of a percentage point, said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist in Lexington, Massachusetts, for research group IHS. “Some of the numbers that have been bandied about are smoke and mirrors,” he said.

Japanese Earthquake

In Japan, GDP may shrink 3 percent in the April-June period, the most since the aftermath of the 2008 Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapse, as power and supply-chain disruptions reduce production, according to the median of 18 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey in the past week. Growth should rebound next quarter as Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s proposed 4 trillion yen ($48 billion) initial reconstruction package kick-starts a recovery, the survey shows.

Tokyo-based Shiseido Co., the country’s largest cosmetics maker, said this week the quake may have reduced its sales by 3 billion yen. A Shiseido factory that makes products including shampoo was damaged by the temblor.

China’s economy also may be decelerating, although, unlike in the U.S. and Japan, that seems more by design than happenstance. GDP rose 9.7 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said today, down from a 2010 peak of 11.9 percent.

‘Out of Control’

A slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy would help address inflation that billionaire investor George Soros warned this week is “somewhat out of control” in the aftermath of a record credit boom and higher commodity prices. The People’s Bank of China has raised interest rates four times and boosted banks’ reserve-requirement ratios six times since early October to contain price pressures.

Doubts about the euro area’s economic outlook have also increased after the European Central Bank raised its benchmark interest rate last week for the first time since July 2008, threatening to compound the pain of the continent’s sovereign- debt turmoil. Portugal last week followed Greece and Ireland in seeking an international bailout and is being told to implement a tougher fiscal squeeze to win it. Bonds of Europe’s most- indebted nations fell yesterday on concerns that they will have to restructure their debts.

Commodity Prices

The moderation in global growth has taken the edge off some commodity prices. The most-active copper contract closed at $4.3035 a pound yesterday, down from a record $4.6575 on Feb. 15, in trading on the Comex in New York. Lumber futures fell 22 percent to $266 per 1,000 board feet yesterday on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange from $340 on Jan. 4, the highest intraday price since May 5, 2006.

The deceleration hasn’t led so far to a repeat of the “double-dip” talk that was prevalent last year when the outbreak of Europe’s debt crisis fanned fears among investors that the world economy was relapsing into recession.

There are good reasons for that, Hensley said. The U.S. labor market is strengthening, with private-sector payrolls rising by 470,000 in the past two months, the biggest such gain in five years. Unemployment fell to 8.8 percent in March from 9.8 percent in November, the sharpest drop since 1983.

Balance Sheets

Balance sheets are also in better shape. Net worth for households and nonprofit groups rose by $2.1 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2010 as share prices rose and families rebuilt finances tattered by the recession, according to Federal Reserve figures.

The improvement is encouraging some consumers to take on debt again. JPMorgan Chase said this week that its credit-card- services sales volume — the amount of money spent using its branded cards — climbed 11.7 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier. That’s up from 9 percent in the fourth quarter and 4.2 percent in the first quarter of last year.

The increase “does reflect some underlying positive sales trends for consumers in general,” Douglas Braunstein, chief financial officer of the New York-based bank, said in an April 13 conference call with reporters and analysts. The second biggest U.S. bank by assets reported that its profits rose 67 percent in the first quarter to a second consecutive record as provisions for bad mortgages and credit-card loans tumbled.

Profits

Corporations also have improved their finances. Profits from current production climbed 29 percent last year, the biggest annual gain since 1948, Commerce Department figures show. And in a sign that industrial production may continue to improve, railroad-shipping volume, excluding coal and grain, increased 7.9 percent in the first quarter, according to data compiled by the Association of American Railroads.

U.S. stock prices have weakened as growth has slowed, with the S&P 500 off 2.1 percent from its 2011 high set on February 18. That pales against the 16 percent mid-year fall the index suffered in 2010 as concern about a double dip took hold.

“We’ve had a little bit of a wobble the past couple of days but we’ve come a long way, in effectively a straight line, since a few months ago, so it’s not surprising,” O’Neill said.

He took encouragement from the recent rise in the Chinese stock market and said it suggests a growing confidence among investors about the country’s ability to engineer a “happy slowdown” of its economy. The Shanghai Composite Index, which tracks the larger of China’s stock exchanges, has climbed 14 percent from its 2011 low set on Jan. 25 and traded at 3,050.53 at 3:32 p.m. in Shanghai.

In Europe, much depends on Germany, the region’s largest economy, which expanded in 2010 at the fastest pace in two decades. The country’s government yesterday raised its forecast for growth this year to 2.6 percent from 2.3 percent. The economy climbed 3.6 percent in 2010.

“There are a larger number of risks out there than is typical at this stage of an expansion,” said Allen Sinai, president of Decision Economics in New York, talking about the global economy. “I don’t think they are show-stoppers.”

Original Article

DAVID COKER: Who’ll be holding the purse strings?

While the three-ring circus to avert a federal government shutdown came to an abrupt end last weekend, the main event for the global economic community was convened in Bretton Woods at the Mount Washington Hotel.

A palatial structure nestled among the mountains and pine trees of upstate New Hampshire, it was the site of a landmark meeting of world leaders in 1944 that reordered the post-World War II global economy by establishing the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and exchange rates among various national currencies around the world.

A similar conference of more than 200 economists, financial experts, former elected officials and journalists dubbed Bretton Woods II was convened by the $50 million Institute for New Economic Thinking, a creation of international financier George Soros.

Soros, an outspoken billionaire who made his fortune manipulating currencies, has no less an optimistic goal in mind than “a grand bargain that rearranges the entire financial order,” establishes a global currency and removes for all time the reserve currency status of the U.S. dollar in international commodity transactions.

A mentor and huge financial supporter of President Barack Obama, Soros must not be concerned about the potential for U.S. financial insolvency and the administration forcing Congress to once again raise the federal debt limit beyond $14.3 trillion in the near future.

The conference, featuring such notables as former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker and a veritable who’s-who of leftist economists, sought to begin a dialogue that would piece together the New World Order.

Dealing with such heady topics as the “too big to fail” concept of investment banks, the European debt crisis, “the New New Trade Theory” and the escalating wage-price inflation in China, speakers shared views on a wide range of topics.

Authorized political institutions — such as the elected members of Congress who negotiated the budget deal to cut a paltry $38 billion out of the $3.7 trillion budget put forward by the Obama Administration — apparently are outdated and ineffective. Perhaps they get in the way of the smooth operation of global economics and the picking and choosing of winners and losers Soros and his associates envision.

Soros claims he currently finds the economic situation “much more baffling and less predictable than … at the height of the crisis,” but that while policymakers in the wake of the financial meltdown succeeded in averting a second Great Depression, we are now in a “delicate stage” of withdrawing “some of the emergency policy measures they have been relying upon.”

He claims “there are a number of unsustainable situations that nonetheless continue,” and that “politics has become the most important factor in determining the outcome.”

Reading reviews of the conference on various websites, it appears to me that most speakers repeated the economic gospel according to Lord John Meynard Keynes, the British economist who participated in the first Bretton Woods Conference and was an architect of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Applying the Keynesian model — juiced up on steroids to the level of global currency and government has proved to be dangerous stuff. That is, unless Soros and his fellows know something we do not. Does he know something about the point at which the Chinese, the Saudis and others may refuse to continue to accommodate runaway federal spending?

Could it be their real motive is to actually see the U.S. economy fail? Then Soros and his fellows could come in and pick up the pieces, imposing a global currency on the world while they control the purse strings.

If so, there is perhaps no better reason to reverse the trend of continuing to increase the federal debt limit.

Contact David Coker at OLDCARS55@aol.com.

( Original Article )

courierpress.com

Funding of Bretton Woods II by George Soros Exposed

Written by Bob Adelmann

Wednesday, 30 March 2011 10:14

When billionaire George Soros wrote two years ago that what the world needed now was “a new world architecture,” he was already laying plans for Bretton Woods II, April 8-11, 2011, to be held at the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire (pictured, above).

Soros wrote:

While international cooperation on regulatory reform is difficult to achieve on a piecemeal basis, it may be attainable in a grand bargain that rearranges the entire financial order.

A new Bretton Woods conference, like the one that established the international financial architecture after World War II, is needed to establish new international rules…reconstitute the International Monetary Fund (IMF)…[and] to reform the currency system…

Claiming that the international monetary system “cannot survive in its present form,” Soros argues that it could and should be revamped so that American leadership would be “re-established…in a more acceptable form. ”

In the formal announcement of the meeting, sponsored and funded to the tune of some $50 million by Soros’ Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), the stated purpose of bringing together “more than 200 academic, business and government policy leaders” is to move beyond the original Bretton Woods conference agreements in 1944 which established the IMF, the World Bank, and the United Nations and to “engage the larger European Union, as well as the emerging economies of Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia. ”

Such a meeting should surprise no one watching the current scene. Soros has made clear his economic and political philosophy, writing back in 1997 that “the main enemy of the open society, I believe, is no longer the communist but the capitalist threat. ” Writing for the Atlantic, Soros explained his position as an economic and political progressive:

Insofar as there is a dominant belief in our society today, it is a belief in the magic of the marketplace. The doctrine of Laissez-faire capitalism holds that the common good is best served by uninhibited pursuit of self-interest. [However] unless it is tempered by the recognition of a common interest that ought to take precedence over particular interests, our present system…is liable to break down [Emphasis added.].

Ironically (as Soros became fabulously wealthy as an international financial and currency speculator), he wrote: “Wealth does accumulate in the hands of its owners, and if there is no mechanism for redistribution, the inequities can become intolerable.”  He then quoted Francis Bacon, the 16th century English philosopher: “Money is like muck, not good except that it be spread. ”

The best way to accomplish this, of course, is to promote international controls and regulations so that that nasty private wealth can be monitored, tracked, followed, and moved into places where it will do the most good.

Soros is bringing many stars of the Anglo-American universe to New Hampshire for the meeting, including Paul Volcker, former head of the Federal Reserve System; Jeffrey Sachs, Director of The Earth Institute; Joseph Stiglitz, holder of the Nobel Prize in Economics; and Rob Johnson, INET Executive Director.

The goals of the meeting have been widely explored and analyzed elsewhere on this website here and here, and reinforce the internationalists’ continuing perceived “need” for international cooperation through international agreements and sanctions.

The role of Soros in such machinations has been made out to be more than it is. When Media Research Center first wrote about the meeting, Dan Gainor concluded that “this is a Soros event from top to bottom.” That may well be the case for this particular meeting, but as Anthony Wile noted:

The one world conspiracy goes back at least 100 years in its modern incarnation and probably longer. Soros hasn’t been alive that long. He’s a Johnny-Come-Lately, relatively speaking.

Sure, Soros has a role to play in this monetary drama. But the Anglo-American elite operating mostly out of the one-square-mile City of London is evidently and obviously behind this currency evolution. The IMF, Soros [and others]…are instrumentalities, not initiators.

One of the beauties of the Internet is that this meeting, which had initially been clandestine and low key, was brought out into the open by Media Research Center and then picked up by the Wall Street Journal. In years past, meetings, conferences, and events such as this one (i.e., Jekyll Island in 1910, Bretton Woods in 1944) would have been brought to the public’s attention only after the fact. Today, the whole world is watching, and proving (if more proof be needed) that sunshine is the best disinfectant after all.

( Original Article )

thenewamerican.com

George Soros’ New Plan for Global Financial Regulation

by Arlen Williams

What would you think if George Soros were organizing his fellow anti-American, globalist, neo-Marxist “thought leaders,” in pursuit of globally governed banking and finance, in a second Bretton Woods conference?

Would you consider that their goals include dragging American influence and incomes down, while confiscating much of our personal finances and giving them to other nations (and yes, the age-old financier network behind them) in the name of “communitarianism?”

Would you find their goal is to replace the bad influences of the IMF and the World Bank, with a much worse, more powerfully controlling, post-American global apparatus?

What would you think, if that meeting were being held this April 8th through 11th?

I got an email, last week; it was Tuesday the 22nd.  It was from George Soros.  To hear as straight from the dragon’s mouth as feasible, I had subscribed.  In this emailed article, he lamented the inequities of wealth among the nation-states of Europe, under the strains of their continuing insolvency crisis.  He warned of the dangers of national interest.  Rather, he proposed, not surprisingly, a further blowing of the global insolvency bubble, so the more indebted European nations may get along owing, while their lending nations get along being owed — all the while, blending and worsening the  financial and monetary crises and spreading this yeasty recipe further throughout the world, especially to America.

That was quite provocative.

Please be patient to let this article be a rather personal narrative and a kind of portal, and follow its links. Then, follow the links within the those articles. Perhaps, even one more layer. That will limit the redundancy involved and inform you as well as a book might, but in much less time.  To begin, here are my observations upon receiving his email, “Oh. My. George. Soros on Europe’s Worsening Banking Crisis & the Most Evil Plan Yet.”  Go ahead. Big Government will generously wait.

“’Most evil plan yet,’ was that an overstatement?” I wondered.  No, knowing what one may see about Soros, it was not hyperbole and the statement was well with my soul.  The next day, confirmation came from Dan Gainor of Business & Media Institute and Media Research Center, by his “Unreported Soros Event Aims to Remake Entire Global Economy,” first published in Business & Media Institute and at Fox News.

If you read nothing else stemming from this introduction, do peruse that.  There, Gainor puts this iniquitous plan into context and elucidates.  Nope, not going to excerpt, nor even quote. Just read it if you have not by now, please.

It was my privilege to interview Dan last Monday night, for about a half-hour.  That discussion may be found here.

Again, no reiterations offered, except that I will repeat that the documentation shows we were raped by European banks, in their own, deep insolvency trouble in 2008, using us at exactly the time it hurt us the most — during the Mortgage Meltdown’s peak, right before the general election.  You know how that went.  (It was also swept along as in the sport of curling, by peculiarly timed internal operations, including those of Soros comrades, Herb and Marion Sandler, and Senator Charles Schumer’s tongue. One must not distract further, by going on about the Community Reinvestment Act(s), Franklin Raines and Fannie Mae, the Pelosi Congress and their shoot-to-miss regulations, Goldman Sachs and friends, etc.)

That being our reminder of how they operate, what may we expect from our nation’s finances being thoroughly and systematically controlled by a megacartel of despotic foreign interests?

For further reading

Just presented by colleague, Kelleigh Nelson:
Klaus Warns Euro Pact will Lead to Full Political Union,” in euobserver.com, 3/29/2011

See the observations of compatriot blogger, Maggie Thornton and the related articles she links at the bottom of her piece:
George Soros Bretton Woods II Conf: Changing Finance World-Wide — New World Order: God’s Gonna Cut You Down…

And three caveats about this subject matter

1. Yes, this is anti-American and grossly evil.  It is warfare against our People.  America has been given us at great sacred cost, to preserve and pass along our freedom to our progeny.  Just as our Constitution rests squarely upon our Declaration of Independence, our freedom rests upon our personal, intra-national, and national sovereignties. There is no exception to this rule, whether it is assailed by any seemingly altruistic ideas and ideals of global governance, or of global finance.  And even the most generous offerings of internationalism require its antecedent, nationalism.

2. One must neither be taken with, nor be deterred by any coincidences of ethnic heritage, when studying banking, globalism, and collectivism.  While antisemites will at times present lies and distortions as facts, facts by their nature, can not be prejudiced nor bigoted.  Each individual is a free and ontologically equal, moral (and immoral) agent, all are sinners, all are offered redemption.

3. Come, let us be conspiracy investigators, regardless of the connotations and prior concoctions.  I suggest you start, or start afresh, with the startling and paradigm shifting research led by a gentleman named Norman Dodd, an energetic but humble young banker from the prior century, who eventually found himself going to Washington and working for Congress.  (Much of the records of the Reece Committee have been destroyed, hidden, or buried, but they are still preserved.)  If you saw Glenn Beck’s TV program last Friday the 25th, about the Federal Reserve, you will recognize Mr. Dodd’s interviewer.

One reason there are so many wild claims in this subject matter is that not enough people of discipline and sound epistemology engage in it.  But remember your Alinsky and do not be intimidated by ridicule.  There is a vast, worldwide conspiracy shown a few inches from your nose right now and many near the core of it meet next week in New Hampshire.

( Original Article )

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