Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The most important bank you have never heard of - but you belong to

 The most important bank you have never heard of – but you belong to

Don’t want to be part of an international banking scheme that allows the too-big-to-fail banks in Canada to just help themselves to your funds should any of the big banks discover they are insolvent? In the midst of a second wave COVID-19 threat? Where do I get this information about bank bail-ins?  Well, first check out The CDIC (Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation) web site which explains, more or less, how many central banks – mostly in the western world – get together from time to time in exclusive fancy places like Davos Switzerland, and decide, more or less, how the world is to be run.  There’s a whole bunch of these central banks Sixty-two in fact. And yes, Canada is one of them.

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is the central bank of central banks, owned by 62 central banks representing countries that account for 95% of the world’s GDP. The chairman of the BIS is Jens Weidmann. Mr. Weidmann is also chairman of The Deutsche Bundesbank (Deutsche Bank), which is one of the most important banks in the western world. The Deutsche Bank is in a pile of trouble right now for being accused of money laundering several trillions of dollars through their banking system. But that’s another post.  The BIS states their mission as: “To serve central banks, in their pursuit of monetary and financial stability, to foster international cooperation in those areas and to act as a bank for central banks”.  Oh, how lovely that sounds.

This Bank of International Settlements squeezed the life blood out of countries such as Greece and Cyprus with insistence on austerity for the people in order to repay the loans they didn’t make. However, the BIS was sensitive to the mass anger of the people in countries who saw their tax money given over to the too-big-to fail banks and this time have come up with something different. Instead of bail-outs, they are saying, let’s do bail-ins as the first line of rescue.  As defined by the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CIDC), “In contrast to a bail-out, a bail-in is intended to rescue a failing bank by making its creditors and shareholders (depositors) bear the cost of recapitalizing the bank through the conversion through some of or all of the bank’s bail-in debt into common shares”.  In other words, the banks can just take a portion of depositor’s money out of their account without their permission and give them shares of the failing bank in return. Why would anybody want shares in a failing bank?

The CDIC report continues: “The Canadian financial system remained resilient throughout the global 2008 financial crisis, with no Canadian bank failures. The strength of the Canadian financial sector should not be taken for granted, however, and the bail-in tool is a recommended international standard”. This means that the Canadian financial sector considers bail-ins as the first-line best practice ‘tool’ for any potential threat of bank failures, and that our domestic economic policy is being determined by international interests over our own.

More next time.

Friday, September 18, 2020

It's all connected: Fores fires, courts and the banking system


It's all connected: Fores fires, courts and the banking system

I had planned in this post to write and talk more about the bail-in program that the Canadian government and the banks have in store for us should any of the banks in Canada be threatened with default. You know, fail. Be forced to close down for lack of liquidity of funds. However, as the wildfire smoke from California, Washington and Oregon is getting in my eyes at the moment I want to clarify my position concerning the environment. Because I was asked about it by a friend. In my younger days (when I was in my sixties and seventies and even eighties instead of nineties) I gained a bit of a of a reputation for participating in at least four of the most bitterly contested blockades against logging companies in British Columbia. And wrote about them. My friend wanted to know why I just didn’t stick to writing about environmental stuff surrounding the deforestation of BC province as I was experienced at that instead of trying to write about the banking systems which was boring and difficult. 


I tried to explain that I am doing this because our banking system is extremely important. It’s where the logging companies get their loans, the bank’s loans figures determine why and how they pay little or no taxes, while the true environment coast of clear cutting vast swaths of mature public forests is never mentioned on the books. It was in the courtrooms of BC when I was arguing that the vast majority of BC citizens loved their public forests and that as a right, we were all the rightful owners of BC public lands. As the true owners of these lands there was no real reason for the courts not to defend our rights. But instead of defending the people’s right to protect our own properties against a renter who was destroying the property, the BC judges interpreted the law to read that a renter (the logging companies) had the right to use the property as they wished, which meant they could do what they very well dammed pleased with it. And furthermore the judges would continue to give out injunctions in favour of the logging companies which meant any citizen trying to stop this travesty of the law as a crime against the court, not the logging companies. Anyone who tried to interfere with the logging corporations would be charged with contempt of court. And I began to see that this fight for public land was the same struggle as the one going on right now in Canada which is our right to insist that our public bank, The Bank of Canada, be taken away from the invaders of private international users and be restored to its original mandate, that of a public bank for the welfare of Canadians. 


I will get to that soon, but the immediate concern is that the Canadian government has set up the laws and rules for bail-ins for looting people’s bank accounts should the private banks in Canada, through their own greed, face bank failure. The very planning for bail-ins comes from the central bankers in Europe and involves most western banks. It is not a one off Canadian thing. But for this post I just wanted to try to make the connection between the smoke we presently are swallowing from the wildfires south of the border to our economic system (and theirs) composed of the CEOs of corporations, judges, heads of government and private banks. The Bank of Canada is the worst in my opinion ,as it parades as a public bank, created specifically for the Canadian people which it is not. It is acting like a private bank. More on this and bail-ins next time.

Monday, September 07, 2020

Of Bucket Lists and Bail-ins

If banks are dying, they want to cross off everything on their “bucket list” before they collapse completely.

I am sure most adult Canadians remember something of the controversy about how much money the Canadian government gave banks and corporations during the 2008-9 recession.  Many North American banks would have gone belly up had not the governments used taxpayer money to bail them out.  So these gifts to the banks and largest corporations were given from the taxes of the working class people to reward the elites for their most public displays of greed.  That was called a bail-out.  The governments who gave the bailouts did not really have that money. The government, remember, is us. There wasn’t enough money in the public coffers from our taxes and fines and confiscations of property by the authorities to pony up in good form.  So our governments, instead of making the insolvent banks and corporations pay for their greed simply slapped the private debt of the banks and corporations onto the backs of the working class. However, I want to talk about bank bail-ins this time.  I’ll start with the bail-in from the country of Cyprus.

Why start with that small country?  Because the country of Cyprus has already had bank bail-ins that were brokered with the central banks and major lending elites in Brussels in 2013.  When the Cyprus government could not pay back their EU loans, they all sat down to talk. The agreement reached between the Cyprus government and the blood-sucking European central banks of Europe was to just rob the savings accounts of Cyprus citizens who had savings accounts.  And it was not the bank accounts of the rich that were looted.  It was the careful, hard won savings of the working class. And the holders of these modest accounts were not asked.  The money was just taken out of their accounts.  The BBC reported on this most egregious event this way: “People in Cyprus with less than one hundred thousand Euros (approximately $150,000 CAD) will have to pay a onetime tax of 6.75 %, Eurozone officials said.” And the reporter goes on to advise us “The levy itself will not take effect until Tuesday, following a public holiday but action is being taken to control electronic transfers over the week-end”.

Oh, how clever they are! To announce the robbery over a three-day holiday while the Cyprus banks wouldn’t be open so the hard-working people couldn’t rush and take their money out. But the banks were still busy draining the accounts electronically.

So a bail-out is where the government gives the money to the banks, using public funds. A bail-in is where banks directly take money from people’s uninsured savings accounts. Can’t happen here?  You may be surprised to learn what is now Canadian policy on this matter.  Next time.