The German government’s policy on debt restructuring for Greece is lifted directly from policy papers prepared by the Deutsche Bank, it has emerged.
The proposal floated at the beginning of June by the German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble for a voluntary bond swap leading to a prolongation of the outstanding Greek sovereign bonds by seven years is based on a document by Deutsche Bank, investigative reporters from Germany’s ARD TV station have revealed.
The Deutsche Bank document called “Proposal for Greek liability management exercise – burden sharing without haircuts” insisted, not surprisingly, on a voluntary participation by banks.
The revelation that the Finance Ministry in Berlin just takes over the contents of policy papers of Deutsche Bank offers yet more proof that Chancellor Angela Merkel and Wolfgang Schäuble are puppets of the commercial banks.
Merkel and Deutsche Bank CEO Josef Ackermann attended this year’s Bilderberg conference in Switzerland and would have had ample opportunity to discuss ways and means to expropriate yet more money from the tax payers under one pretext or another.
The Deutsche Bank plan brings no real relief to Greece from the loan sharking operation run by the EU and ECB, which, acting like the Federal Reserve, flooded the Greek economy with cheap money in a boom phase before helping to ignite a bust, allowing banks like Deutsche Bank to call in the debts, seize collateral and impose loans at penal interest rates which tax payers across the eurozone have to pay.
Also, Deutsche Bank itself broke a voluntary agreement to retain Greek souverein bonds, offloading them in stealth on the ECB. The ECB holds billions of dubious Greek debt against the rules and it is the tax payer’s who will have to pay.
Of what worth are voluntary agreements when Deutsche Bank breaks them?
The proposal by Schäuble was a PR stunt to hoodwink the electorate and the increasingly restive German parliament, worried that the scenes in Athens might soon be repeated in Berlin.
Yet another theatrical PR stunt was the announcement by Merkel at a joint press conference with Nicholas Sarkozy today that Germany is not going to insist on private creditors reducing their interest rates for Greece, after all. What a surprise!
Last night at Netroots Nation, I had a conversation with Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison, the only Muslim in the Congress, and after I congratulated him for his outspokenness on Gaza, he told me of his support for the Palestinian statehood initiative in the United Nations.
“We all say we’re for two states. Everyone is for two states. Well for me this is the rubber meeting the road. Why do we oppose it if we are for the two state solution?
“Because,” he said, answering his own question, “we are captured by the Likud and to the right of the Likud. We are not captured by Israel or even by the lobby.” Israel, he said, has a more diverse political discourse than the United States, and as for the lobby in the U.S., it’s more progressive than people give it credit, it’s the Republican right that is making trouble.
“We are captured by the dispensationalists and the dominionists. It’s a myth that the Jewish lobby is doing it. Every single Jewish congressman in the Democratic Party is for two states and for peace. But the Republican party is driving the debate, and it’s dominionists and dispensationalists who need the Jews of Israel for the end times.”
I disagreed with him. His is the conventional dodge of any Democratic or by extension communal Jewish responsibility for Palestinian rightslessness, when support for Israeli maximalism is imbedded in his own party. I told Ellison about the debate between his good friend Brian Baird, a former congressman, and then-congressman Anthony Weiner in New York in March. “Weiner has said racist and intolerant things, including that there’s no occupation.”
Ellison said, “I don’t think that Anthony necessarily represents where the Democratic Party would be given its druthers.” He said that Jews vote 80 percent for Obama and their concerns are far more diverse than Israel, they have a progressive agenda. Again we differed. I said that opinion polls show that Jews are conservative on the Israel issue, against dividing Jerusalem for instance, and that this is not a trivial area for us, and we’re an empowered community.
“A lot of communities have had you know people who are not tolerant, Every community has its own us versus them going on,” Ellison said, and he included the black community. “But you got to remember 80 percent of Jews voted for Obama.”
He went on to say, “I’ve been to Sderot, I understand the Israeli security need.” He said he has heard some insensitivity toward Israeli concerns from the Palestinian solidarity community.
The fault in Ellison’s thinking is, Rightwingers can’t be driving this debate if they did not have adherents inside the Democratic Party; and they do. Anthony Weiner is hardly alone. The Democratic Party is also extreme. And Obama is, according to the Wall Street Journal and Commentary and the Jewish press, afraid of losing Jewish money, which is likely a majority of Democratic giving, if he say, comes out against settlements in the Security Council or supports a Palestinian state in the General Assembly.
I’m having some great conversations at Netroots, meaning kindred spirits, like Ellison. But in spite of Ellison’s great efforts, this issue continues to be special, even in the progressive community. Yesterday at Netroots, a heavyweight panel including two congressmen (John Garamendi, Jim McGovern) and Darcy Burner and Steve Clemons said that Democratic Party antiwar folks have to make common cause with the Republican libertarians on Afghanistan, so as to get us out of there, by putting pressure on the president. The thrust of the panel was that Obama has become a war president, and we must take him on by talking, from an American national interest, along with Republicans, about how much money we are wasting that we could be spending on education and infrastructure.
There is no panel here to talk about a creative coalition to take on the Republican right on settlements/Palestine. Because, embedded in the Democratic Party’s left-prog base, is support for Israel no matter what.
Though again, I’m having good conversations here, there are a lot of us here. Netroots is like J Street that way. The base is to the left of the leadership. More to come soon.
A group of Israeli soldiers crossed towards Lebanon, chasing a young Lebanese shepherd in attempt to kidnap him. However, the shepherd’s dog obstructed their plan and fought with the penetrators.
A report broadcast on Al-Manar TV station Friday, revealed that a platoon of Israeli soldiers set up an ambush inside Lebanese territory, 250 meters away from the border, in the liberated Saddana hill in Shebaa.
“Clashes took place between the dogs accompanying the shepherd’s flock of sheep and the Israeli soldiers, where one of the dogs bit an Israeli soldier after he hit it with a rifle that deeply injured the dog’s head”, Al-Manar reporter Ali Shoaib stated.
The shepherd Alaa Mohammad Al-Nabaa told the TV station that “I was herding… the dog started barking… every time I move forward it barks more. Suddenly, two Israeli platoons appeared, one coming from the left side and another from the right side”.
“I ran away, they started calling me and asking me to stop, but I kept on running… and then, they started fighting with the dog that attacked them and they hit it on the head”, Al-Nabaa added.
On his part, Development and Liberation bloc MP Kassem Hashem who visited the location told Al-Manar that “before we raise this violation to the International Community, we should reveal it to some Lebanese politicians and political groups who continuously praise the International Community and its decisions, and urge us to commit to them”.
“We ask them today, who is the part[y] violating international resolutions?” Hashem asked.
In parallel, the Al-Manar reporter pointed out that “the Saddana hills are supervised by the UNIFIL that continuously surveils the region by land and air. However, people there look forward that the UNIFIL would not settle for just counting the violations”.
Ali Shoaib contributed to this report.
Do not visit the country. Report from Washington or Beirut.
Start with a thesis you have no way to verify. Use it as headline. For example:
1a. Report of big demonstrations everywhere and of the government shooting demonstrators sourced solely to a shadowy anonymous group which claims to have organized them.
1b. Claim that the Syrian government “is not abandoning its strategy of relying on force to quell the dissent”.
2a. Report of a big and peaceful demonstration in Hama where no one was shot.
2b. Ignore your claim in 1b and claim that this is a sign that the government has “given up trying to assert control”.
3a. Report of various unsourced and likely false rumors.
3b. Claim that the various unsourced and likely false rumors “give the government jitters”.
3c. Quote someone from the Israel Lobby(!) in Washington(!) saying that the various unsourced and likely false rumors have the Syrian government “definitely panicking”.
4a. Report of a government concession which was obviously not a government concession.
4b. Have an opposition activist in Beirut(!) dismiss the government concession which was obviously not a government concession as being obviously not a government concession.
5a. Report that the Syrian leader is to make a televised address to the nation.
5b. Claim that this is a sign of his “absence”.
6. Quote the meaningless blustering of two anonymous U.S. officials in Washington(!).
7a. Report on reports about Turkish government intervention intentions which the Turkish government has thoroughly dismissed as utter nonsense.
7b. Claim that the opposition would like the reported Turkish government intervention which the Turkish government has thoroughly dismissed as utter nonsense.
7c. Quote an opposition activist in London(!) saying that the reported Turkish government intervention intentions which the Turkish government has thoroughly dismissed as nonsense is a “nightmare for the Syrian regime”.
7d. Claim that the “nightmare” is the explanation for an unrelated Syrian government operation against a small armed local rebellion.
8a. Repeat your reporting using various unsourced and likely false rumors.
8b. Quote an opposition activist in Ohio(!) with some theory about the meaning of the various unsourced and likely false rumors.
(Do NOT report of armed government opposition. Do NOT report that the demonstrations this Friday were smaller than last Friday. Do NOT report that the shadowy anonymous group’s website is registered and run in Germany by a German with a phone number in Berlin as contact information. Do NOT report that the group seems inactive as the last daily update on that site was eight days ago. )
Rinse and repeat next Friday.