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Posts Tagged ‘World Bank’

Vatican Calls for a Central World Bank

Posted by Admin on October 28, 2011

http://vigilantcitizen.com/latestnews/vatican-calls-for-a-central-world-bank/

By  | October 25th, 2011 | Category: Latest News | 161 comments


Enough about Jesus. Now listen to my economic policies!

On October 24th, the Pope officially gave his support to Occupy Wall Street and, like Gorbachev, proposed a solution that goes EXACTLY at the opposite of the protester’s demands: an international organization regulating economy. In other words, a Central World Bank. In other other words, a New World Order.

Thank you Vatican for your input. Jesus was indeed a big advocate of international banking. He also preached about a world financial system that would only benefit the elite. Yup, that’s what he did alright (sorry for the extreme sarcasm).

Here’s an article about the Vatican pushing for the same international system as the Rockefellers and others.

Vatican Calls for Oversight of the World’s Finances

The Vatican called on Monday for an overhaul of the world’s financial systems, and again proposed establishment of a supranational authority to oversee the global economy, calling it necessary to bring more democratic and ethical principles to a marketplace run amok.

In a report issued by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the Vatican argued that “politics — which is responsible for the common good” must be given primacy over the economy and finance, and that existing institutions like the International Monetary Fund had not been responding adequately to global economic problems.

The document grows out of the Roman Catholic Church’s concerns about economic instability and widening inequality of income and wealth around the world, issues that transcend the power of national governments to address on their own.

“The time has come to conceive of institutions with universal competence, now that vital goods shared by the entire human family are at stake, goods which the individual states cannot promote and protect by themselves,” Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, the president of the pontifical council, said as he presented the report on Monday. “That is what pushed us.”

The language in the document, which the Vatican refers to as a note, is distinctively strong. “We should not be afraid to propose new ideas, even if they might destabilize pre-existing balances of power that prevail over the weakest,” the document states.

The message prompted comparisons with the rallying cries of protest movements that have been challenging the financial world order, like the indignados in Madrid and the Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York City. Still, Vatican officials said the document was not a manifesto for disaffected dissidents.

“The document proposes ideas that seem to be in line with those proposed by the indignados, but really we are in line with the Magisterium of the church,” said Bishop Mario Toso, secretary to the pontifical council, referring to the church’s teaching authority. “It is a coincidence that we share some views. But after all, these are proposals that are based on reasonableness.”

The document is a reminder that the Catholic Church, without getting involved in policymaking, still seeks to shape its principles. “To function correctly the economy needs ethics; and not just of any kind, but one that is people-centered,” the document states, paraphrasing an encyclical that Pope Benedict XVI issued in 2009 calling for greater social responsibility in the economy.

In the United States, the report was embraced by politically liberal Catholics who are concerned about the widening gap between rich and poor. Vincent J. Miller, a professor of Catholic theology and culture at the University of Dayton, wrote, “It’s clear the Vatican stands with the Occupy Wall Street protesters and others struggling to return ethics and good governance to a financial sector grown out of control after 30 years of deregulation.”

John Gehring of Faith in Public Life, a liberal advocacy group in Washington, said, “In the next Republican presidential debate, someone should ask Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, both proudly Catholic, whether they support the Vatican’s call for more robust financial reform.”

Politically conservative Catholics, meanwhile, hastened to assure their camp that the document does not carry the full force of church teaching, since it was produced by a Vatican office, not by the pope himself. And some dismissed the report as nothing new, or simply misinformed.

Writing in the National Review, Samuel Gregg of the Acton Institute, which promotes free-market economic policies, said of the document: “It reflects rather conventional contemporary economic thinking. Unfortunately, given the uselessness of much present-day economics, that’s not likely to make it especially helpful.”

– New York Times, Vatican Calls for Oversight of the World’s Finances

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Are the Visitors About to Land, and if so Should We be Afraid…Maybe VERY Afraid?

Posted by Admin on June 11, 2011

http://www.unknowncountry.com/journal/are-visitors-about-land-and-if-so-shou

Thursday, June 2, 2011
Whitley Streiber
On April 25, famed physicist Stephen Hawking warned that aliens, if they came here, might prove to be dangerous. He said, “We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach.”

Then, on June 6 the National Geographic Channel aired a special on alien invasion that essentially repeated this warning. It assembled a team of experts who were uniformly of the opinion that aliens, if they come here, are going to be dangerous and difficult to handle–assuming, that is, that they don’t simply kill or enslave us all.

Meanwhile, warnings are appearing all over the internet about a ‘false-flag’ alien attack that is supposedly going to be faked by parties unknown, presumably the government. Last week, the online prankster group Anonymous was supposed to flood UFO sites with reports of an invasion by triangular craft, but it never materialized due to the fact that we and others were tipped off about it and published warnings.

I have always wondered if the visitors might show up in a more obvious way just before or during the early stages of some great planetary catastrophe, and since we’re at that point right now, it’s worth asking what it might actually be like if they did.

I don’t agree with uninformed doomsayers like Hawking and the National Geographic Channel. They come at this from the standpoint of an intellectual and cultural establishment that is going to be devastatingly challenged by the appearance of aliens with superior science and technology. In fact, they’re going to be undercut almost to irrelevance. Think how Stephen Hawking would feel if somebody came along who could instantly and decisively close all the questions he has spent his lifetime studying? He would feel emasculated, that’s how he would feel. It would be devastating.

However, that doesn’t mean that they are necessarily evil. I spent years involved with them, and when you do that, you find out that they are extremely complex, that their ancient ways are very, very subtle and their approach to reality is very definitely different from ours. They deal with us in much the same way we might deal with primitive tribesmen whose fear makes them dangerous, or lab animals. They are wary, rough and dangerous if threatened. But if you try to engage with them, what you find is a glorious, astonishing presence, filled with wisdom and knowledge and humor, and intellectually far, far beyond our norm.

The true reason that paragons of the existing cultural establishment like Stephen Hawking and the National Georgraphioc Channel fear the visitors is that they sense that, if they do make themselves known, then their cherished world view is going to implode. And they’re right. If that happens, the cultures of science and the intellect are going to be challenged in ways as yet undreamed of.

I can see where the powers that run this struggling old world of ours would be appalled by that prospect. But I can also see that a lot of ordinary folks are going to welcome them–as they should, and precisely for the reason that Hawking and his contemporaries and colleagues fear them: they are going to bring profound and powerful change.

From my own experience, I can say that it is going to be as difficult an experience as we have ever known. But it will also be transformative. The chains draped over our shoulders by the establishment that now dominates human life are going to fall away like so much dust.

And perhaps that, more than anything, is what our leaders fear.

Read the original source: http://www.unknowncountry.com/journal/are-visitors-about-land-and-if-so-shou#ixzz1Ou0lP8nc

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Unreported Soros Event Aims to Remake Entire Global Economy

Posted by Admin on April 10, 2011

Left-wing billionaire’s own experts dominate quiet push for ‘a grand bargain that rearranges the entire financial order.’
  • By Dan Gainor
  • Wednesday, March 23, 2011 4:48 PM EDT

Two years ago, George Soros said he wanted to reorganize the entire global economic system. In two short weeks, he is going to start – and no one seems to have noticed.
On April 8, a group he’s funded with $50 million is holding a major economic conference and Soros’s goal for such an event is to “establish new international rules” and “reform the currency system.” It’s all according to a plan laid out in a Nov. 4, 2009, Soros op-ed calling for “a grand bargain that rearranges the entire financial order.”
The event is bringing together “more than 200 academic, business and government policy thought leaders’ to repeat the famed 1944 Bretton Woods gathering that helped create the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Soros wants a new ‘multilateral system,” or an economic system where America isn’t so dominant.
More than two-thirds of the slated speakers have direct ties to Soros. The billionaire who thinks “the main enemy of the open society, I believe, is no longer the communist but the capitalist threat” is taking no chances.
Thus far, this global gathering has generated less publicity than a spelling bee. And that’s with at least four journalists on the speakers list, including a managing editor for the Financial Times and editors for both Reuters and The Times. Given Soros’s warnings of what might happen without an agreement, this should be a big deal. But it’s not.
What is a big deal is that Soros is doing exactly what he wanted to do. His 2009 commentary pushed for “a new Bretton Woods conference, like the one that established the post-WWII international financial architecture.” And he had already set the wheels in motion.
Just a week before that op-ed was published, Soros had founded the New York City-based Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), the group hosting the conference set at the Mount Washington Resort, the very same hotel that hosted the first gathering. The most recent INET conference was held at Central European University, in Budapest. CEU received $206 million from Soros in 2005 and has $880 million in its endowment now, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.
This, too, is a gathering of Soros supporters. INET is bringing together prominent people like former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker and Soros, to produce “a lot of high-quality, breakthrough thinking.”
While INET claims more than 200 will attend, only 79 speakers are listed on its site – and it already looks like a Soros convention. Twenty-two are on Soros-funded INET’s board and three more are INET grantees. Nineteen are listed as contributors for another Soros operation – Project Syndicate, which calls itself “the world’s pre-eminent source of original op-ed commentaries” reaching “456 leading newspapers in 150 countries.” It’s financed by Soros’s Open Society Institute. That’s just the beginning.
The speakers include: 

  • Volcker is chairman of President Obama’s Economic Advisory Board. He wrote the forward for Soros’s best-known book, ‘The Alchemy of Finance‘ and praised Soros as “an enormously successful speculator” who wrote “with insight and passion” about the problems of globalization.
  • Economist Jeffrey Sachs, director of The Earth Institute and longtime recipient of Soros charity cash. Sachs received $50 million from Soros for the U.N. Millennium Project, which he also directs. Sachs is world-renown for his liberal economics. In 2009, for example, he complained about low U.S. taxes, saying the “U.S. will have to raise taxes in order to pay for new spending initiatives, especially in the areas of sustainable energy, climate change, education, and relief for the poor.”
  • Soros friend Joseph E. Stiglitz, a former senior vice president and chief economist for the World Bank and Nobel Prize winner in Economics. Stiglitz shares similar views to Soros and has criticized free-market economists whom he calls “free market fundamentalists.” Naturally, he’s on the INET board and is a contributor to Project Syndicate.
  • INET Executive Director Rob Johnson, a former managing director at Soros Fund Management, who is on the Board of Directors for the Soros-funded Economic Policy Institute. Johnson has complained that government intervention in the fiscal crisis hasn’t been enough and wanted “restructuring,” including asking “for letters of resignation from the top executives of all the major banks.”

Have no doubt about it: This is a Soros event from top to bottom. Even Soros admits his ties to INET are a problem, saying, “there is a conflict there which I fully recognize.” He claims he stays out of operations. That’s impossible. The whole event is his operation.
INET isn’t subtle about its aims for the conference. Johnson interviewed fellow INET board member Robert Skidelsky about “The Need for a New Bretton Woods” in a recent video. The introductory slide to the video is subtitled: “How currency issues and tension between the US and China are renewing calls for a global financial overhaul.” Skidelsky called for a new agreement and said in the video that the conflict between the United States and China was “at the center of any monetary deal that may be struck, that needs to be struck.”
Soros described in the 2009 op-ed that U.S.-China conflict as “another stark choice between two fundamentally different forms of organization: international capitalism and state capitalism.” He concluded that “a new multilateral system based on sounder principles must be invented.” As he explained it in 2010, “we need a global sheriff.”
In the 2000 version of his book “Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism,” Soros wrote how the Bretton Woods institutions “failed spectacularly” during the economic crisis of the late 1990s. When he called for a new Bretton Woods in 2009, he wanted it to “reconstitute the International Monetary Fund,” and while he’s at it, restructure the United Nations, too, boosting China and other countries at our expense.
“Reorganizing the world order will need to extend beyond the financial system and involve the United Nations, especially membership of the Security Council,’ he wrote. ‘That process needs to be initiated by the US, but China and other developing countries ought to participate as equals.”
Soros emphasized that point, that this needs to be a global solution, making America one among many. “The rising powers must be present at the creation of this new system in order to ensure that they will be active supporters.”
And that’s exactly the kind of event INET is delivering, with the event website emphasizing “today’s reconstruction must engage the larger European Union, as well as the emerging economies of Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia.” China figures prominently, including a senior economist for the World Bank in Beijing, the director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the chief adviser for the China Banking Regulatory Commission and the Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations.
This is all easy to do when you have the reach of George Soros who funds more than 1,200 organizations. Except, any one of those 1,200 would shout such an event from the highest mountain. Groups like MoveOn.org or the Center for American Progress didn’t make their names being quiet. The same holds true globally, where Soros has given more than $7 billion to Open Society Foundations – including many media-savvy organizations just a phone call away. Why hasn’t the Soros network spread the word?
Especially since Soros warns, all this needs to happen because “the alternative is frightening.” The Bush-hating billionaire says America is scary “because a declining superpower losing both political and economic dominance but still preserving military supremacy is a dangerous mix.”
The Soros empire is silent about this new Bretton Woods conference because it isn’t just designed to change global economic rules. It also is designed to put America in its place – part of a multilateral world the way Soros wants it. He wrote that the U.S. “could lead a cooperative effort to involve both the developed and the developing world, thereby reestablishing American leadership in an acceptable form.”
That’s what this conference is all about – changing the global economy and the United States to make them “acceptable” to George Soros.
– Iris Somberg contributed to this commentary

Dan Gainor is the Boone Pickens Fellow and the Media Research Center’s Vice President for Business and Culture. His column appears each week on The Fox Forum. He can also be contacted on FaceBook and Twitter as dangainor.

 

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Continuing Colonialism: World Bank Funds Mining in Africa

Posted by Admin on March 27, 2011

http://www.truth-out.org/continuing-colonialism-world-bank-funds-mining-africa68756

Thursday 24 March 2011

by: Cyril Mychalejko   |  Toward Freedom | Report

The private finance sector arm of the World Bank Group announced last month that it would invest $300 million to promote mining in Africa.

“Mining is a critically important yet challenging sector and [the International Finance Corporation] IFC has a role to play in supporting responsible companies that will bring jobs, related infrastructure and government revenues to Africa,” said Andrew Gunther, IFC’s Senior Manager of Infrastructure and Natural Resources in Africa and Latin America.

Dr. Aaron Tesfaye, a professor of International Political Economy and African Politics at William Paterson University, said he is not surprised by the announcement because of the economic and security implications mining and strategic metals have for industrialized nations.

“Much has been written about China’s voracious appetite for Africa’s mineral resources as it attempts to become a global industrial power. I think the World Bank‘s investment is a precursor of larger investments on projects, as big and emerging powers engage in the new scramble for Africa,” said Tesfaye.

While the IFC claims to promote poverty reduction through sustainable development in developing countries, it has been criticized because the mining projects it has funded have a track record of causing human rights abuses and massive environmental damage.

“This is bad news for Africans, at least those who aren’t members of the business and political elite,” said Jamie Kneen, Communications Coordinator for MiningWatch Canada.

According to a 2006 report published by a group of NGO’s that includeEARTHWORKS and Oxfam International, “Mining does not have a good record of contributing to sustainable development or poverty reduction. The World Bank’s own research has indicated that mineral extraction is neither necessary nor sufficient for sustained economic growth, and that it has not helped developing nations escape from poverty.”

Kneen also voiced concerns over human rights, labor rights and environmental sustainability. Sakura Saunders, an anti-mining activist and editor of ProtestBarrick.net, also pointed out the mining industry’s horrendous history.

“The extractive industry is not only correlated with high rates of militarism and corruption, but it is also an industry that is inextricably linked to externalized environmental and social costs,” said Saunders. “Additionally, these industries traditionally provide very little revenues in terms of royalties and taxes to their host countries.”

The EARTHWORKS and Oxfam report, which focused on gold mining, also pointed out that, “These vast industrial operations often irreversibly alter landscapes, displace communities, contaminate drinking water, harm workers, and destroy pristine ecosystems or farm lands.”

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In January 2006, the IFC awarded Newmont Mining Corporation a loan of $125 million to develop an open-pit gold mine in Ghana. According to the IFC, Newmont’s Ahafo gold mine served as a model for “responsible mining and community development.” The IFC-Newmont development model ended up displacing over 10,000 people, many of whom were subsistence farmers, while in October 2009 the company was responsible for a cyanide spill which poisoned local water supplies and killed scores of fish. As a result it was ordered to pay $5 million in “compensation”. EARTHWORKS, which has been working with local communities against the project through its No Dirty Gold campaign, also noted that: “Security forces associated with the mine have also been implicated in human rights abuses…have beaten and arrested protesters who were demonstrating over unfair Newmont practices. On one occasion protesting workers were shot. Some residents who were displaced have been assaulted by security forces for allegedly trespassing on company property.”

Saunders’ criticism of paltry royalties and taxes provided to host countries is also supported by a report released in 2009 by the Tax Justice Network for Africa, ActionAid, Southern Africa Resource Watch, Third World Network Africa and Christian Aid, titled “Breaking the Curse: How Transparent Taxation and Fair Taxes can Turn Africa’s Mineral Wealth into Development.”

The report stated, “Mining companies operating in Africa are granted too many tax subsidies and concessions [and] there is a high incidence of tax avoidance by mining companies conditioned by such measures as secret mining contracts, corporate mergers and acquisitions, and various ‘creative’ accounting mechanisms.”

The report also blamed the World Bank for pushing mining reforms on the continent during the early 1990’s that called for deregulation and tax subsidies to attract foreign investment, policies that either created or reinforced these corrupt and harmful conditions plaguing communities across Africa. The report calls for reforms that include more transparency from the mining industry and the creation of a new accounting system and oversight board.

But MiningWatch’s Kneen questions whether such policies are attainable, or even advantageous. “Whether a reasonable tax structure could even be implemented in the face of pressure from the industry and the [World] Bank, it’s not clear how that money would be used for social investment, compensation, and environmental protection and rehabilitation in the absence of competent agencies to do this. It seems obvious that the independent institutional and governance capacity cannot be created once the extraction is underway – technical capacity can be created but it cannot escape corruption or the more insidious regulatory capture that afflicts even developed countries like Canada.”

What all of this amounts to is the continuation of colonialism’s brutal legacy through a corporate neocolonialism carried out by transnational mining companies with the aid of international financial institutions working at the behest of developed nations.

“In the division of labor in the international economy, Africa has been relegated to a plantation economy. The primary reason still is the intrusion and present consequences of colonialism resulting in lop-sided development,” said William Paterson’s Tesfaye. “Today this is evidenced by a highly developed mineral extracting/commodity producing sector for export and a large peasant based rural subsistence economy. It is true of course, that Africans employed in the mineral extraction sector do earn better wages. But neither this minuscule industrial labor force nor the gelatinous and peripheral African bourgeoisie have been able to connect with the larger African population to determine the trajectory of the state and its economy. Thus the colonial model is not a way out for Africa.”

Kneen offered a similar analysis. He said, “The colonial underdevelopment of Africa, transformed into a post-independence model of corporate exploitation – for the most part no longer directly run by rich countries – has deprived Africans of not only the capital and resources they need to undertake their own development (fertile land, timber, fish, fresh water), but the democratic and participatory processes by which this could be done.”

The underdevelopment of Africa – democratic, social and economic – is not an accident, but rather a strategy to maintain domination over a region rich in resources and cheap labor.

This helps explain why, as Kneen points out, “Investors, governments, and the multilateral institutions don’t just tolerate corruption and repression, they eagerly support it.”

Cyril Mychalejko is an editor at www.UpsideDownWorld.org, a website on activism and politics in Latin America.

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