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Big Bankers

by Thomas Spellman, 2000

Super-rich investment bankers have for many years been a dominating force in our society, using their ability to control money as a means of lifting themselves up above their neighbors to great heights of wealth and to subject their fellow men to excesses of poverty.

It's somewhat difficult to single out the owners of the richest investment bankers as a cultural group from the other groups with whom they mix - politicians, oil barons, corporate moguls. They control vast sums of money, they lend it, and they borrow it. They collect great quantities of money in interest, and they lend it out again, or invest it in family trusts, donate it to politicians. They own controlling shares in oil companies, insurance companies, Health Maintenance Organizations. Money for them is like a river of water, they can see its movement, eddies and flows, they can see its potentials and stagnations. They are constantly damning, moving, shifting, and directing it. They buy huge amounts of government bonds and securities, can affect the stock market with any move they make. Almost all people on the planet are affected by their work, and yet I am uncertain of how they see their fellow people. Their main priority seems to be how to profit from them, in any way possible.

"It is necessarily part of the business of a banker to profess a conventional respectability which is more than human. Life-long practices of this kind make them the most romantic and the least realistic of men. - John Maynard Keynes" (Chernow, introductory quote) I can't help but getting the impression of these bankers, that they do try to live as though they are better than human, that humanity is theirs to do with as they see fit. And it seems they think, when it is convenient, that the effect on people of their economic manipulations and maneuvers is inconsequential, not to be considered, unless the people's response is a threat to their profits.

Professor Carroll Quigley, professor at Harvard, Princeton, and Georgetown Universities and author of Tragedy and Hope, a 1300 page analysis of the "Establishment," explains that they want "nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole." (Allen, 13) He further observes: "'... his [the individual's] freedom and choice will be controlled within very narrow alternatives by the fact that he will be numbered from birth and followed, as a number, through his educational training, his required military or other public service, his tax contributions, his health and medical requirements, and his final retirement and death benefits.'"(Allen, 13) This is not the talk of a fanatical right-wing extremist, or of an uneducated conspiracy theorist, but a "liberally educated" member of the "elite."

These mysterious men, called by some the Establishment or the Insiders, are thought to be a conspiracy with the intent of tyrannizing humanity and controlling their every move. Gary Allen, author of a widely read conspiracy theory book in the 1970's called, None Dare Call it Conspiracy, levels one attack after another accusing the international banking industry of being the impetus behind most of the major wars within the last several hundred years, at least. He also accused them of being responsible for most serious major political and national events that are commonly considered to be have been accidental, coincidental, or due to extreme individuals, such as the Depression in the 1930's, the World Wars, the Holocaust, revolutions, etc. All of these tragedies are supposedly the build-up to a one world tyrannical government: "The end result, if the Insiders have their way, will be the dream of Montagu Norman of the Bank of England 'that the Hegemony of World Finance should reign supreme over everyone, everywhere, as one whole super-national control mechanism.'" (Allen, 57) (Because Allen does not use sufficient reference methods, much of the material in his book must be taken on his word. This is unfortunate because of the broad coverage he gives to the subject.)

Montagu Norman was the founder of the Bank of International Settlements, now operating as a central bank for the central banks of the world - a place for them to meet out of view of the public: "Set up in a hotel off the main square of Basel, Switzerland, the new Bank for International Settlements fulfilled Montagu Norman's dream of a place where central bankers could forge international monetary policy without political interference." (Chernow, 312) This institution is on a higher level than the IMF and World Bank in terms of its disconnection from any particular nation and autonomous power, and yet it is able to lend to any nation's central bank, and acts as a universal bank for all-comers.

There are many quotes of famous men critical of the banking industry:

"The eyes of our citizens are not sufficiently open to the true cause of our distress. They ascribe them to everything but their true cause, the banking system; a system which if it could do good in any form is yet so certain of leading to abuse as to be utterly incompatible with the public safety and prosperity. I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies... and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale." -THOMAS JEFFERSON

"Banking was conceived in iniquity, and was born in sin. The Bankers own the Earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create deposits, and with the flick of the pen, they will create enough deposits to buy it back again. However, take it away from them, and all the great fortunes like mine will disappear, and they ought to disappear, for this would be a happier and better world to live in. But if you wish to remain the slaves of Bankers, and pay the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create deposits." - SIR JOSIAH STAMP, (President of the Bank of England in the 1920's)

" . . . we have in this Country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks. . . . This evil institution has impoverished and ruined the people of the United States. . . . Some people think the Federal Reserve Banks are United States Government institutions. They are private credit monopolies which prey upon the people of the United States for the Benefit of themselves and their foreign customers. ..." - CONGRESSMAN LOUIS T. McFADDEN

"The 12 regional reserve banks aren't government institutions, but corporations nominally 'owned' by member commercial banks.", p. 27. -Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Modern Money Mechanics

"The abandonment of the gold standard made it possible for the welfare statists to use the banking system as a means to an unlimited expansion of credit.... In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value.... Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the "hidden" confiscation of wealth.... [Gold] stands as a protector of property rights." - ALAN GREENSPAN


Governments of the world are seriously in debt to the international investment bankers, and are being controlled by them. They need to think of some way of helping one another out of such dependency on extreme debt expansion, or of reducing their need for investment bank financing. The banking interests are stripping their countries dry, and they need to become more protective of their resources, natural as well as human.

The big bankers like it when governments sell lots of bonds to finance their expenditures because the bonds are essentially loans from the purchaser (the bank) to the seller (the government). When governments are deeply dependent on large amounts of bond sales for funding, the banks can control the government by buying more or less bonds. This allows the bankers to demand from the governments whatever they want, including a "free market" (which means allowing bank-owned corporations unlimited access and freedom, including riddance of all competitors - it could also be called a "tyrant market") and various monopolies of natural resources, industry, etc., but most importantly, the establishment of a central bank owned by the private bank(s). The central banks are not usually owned by the nation which it supposedly serves, rather they are private corporations owned by the (usually private) international investment banks, or "merchant banks." Most of the third world central banks serve policies which keep their nations economically subservient to the US and European economies, or in other words, the Southern Hemisphere in service to the Northern.

One of the more serious methods used today by the banks (in the North) to enforce strict control over developing nations (the South) is through the use of IMF and World Bank loans. Once the countries are hooked on the loans, and the interest that goes with them, they can be forced into pursuing domestic industrial, economic, and social policies that they wouldn't ordinarily pursue, and which the developed countries wouldn't pursue either, such as excessive privatization and deregulation, elimination of environmental and labor controls and laws, and reduction of human rights.

In 1944, at Bretton Woods on Mount Washington, New Hampshire, the Allies agreed on the formation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to assist member countries in addressing short-term balance-of-payments problems to provide for more stable exchange rates, and a sister organization, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the World Bank), which would offer long-term loans for the construction of basic economic infrastructure and other worthy development projects. (Smith, 31)

The IMF and the World Bank were originally created under the auspices of "helping" the defeated Axis countries of Europe to stabilize their economies under capitalism, but were in the long run, intended to maintain control over those economies. They were increasingly used later as a tool of foreign market penetration and domination of developing countries.

"They (IMF, World Bank, GATT) proved very useful in shifting the costs of various recent (late 1970s) international financial crises from the rich capitalist nations onto those less powerful. And they contributed to the collapse of several decades' worth of ordinary people's living standards across the South since the late 1970s, in Eastern Europe since the late 1980s, and in emerging markets since the mid 1990s" (Bond)

In January of 1982, during an economic recession, "a dozen or more debtor nations were lining up ... seeking [bankruptcy] relief ... " from the IMF, and "... the IMF negotiated 'work-out' plans for the failed debtors ... the sovereign nations were compelled to accept the banker's terms."(Grieder, 545) These "work-out" plans included reduced domestic government spending and reduced imports "in order to build up the reserves to keep up the the interest payments on its growing indebtedness."(Grieder, 545)

The name of the game for the international investment banks, of which the IMF is one, is to keep governments in a continuous debt burden because the interest on the debts is the bank's profit. So the governments thus affected by overwhelming debt should consider any thing they can do to remove themselves from such a yoke of oppression. Thomas Jefferson stated, "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a money aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. This issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of the moneyed corporations which already dare to challenge our Government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country" (Kenan, 247)

Another solution is suggested by the following:

Debt is an efficient tool. It ensures access to other peoples' raw materials and infrastructure on the cheapest possible terms. Dozens of countries must compete for shrinking export markets and can export only a limited range of products because of Northern protectionism and their lack of cash to invest in diversification. Market saturation ensues, reducing exporters' income to a bare minimum while the North enjoys huge savings. The IMF cannot seem to understand that investing in ... [a] healthy, well-fed, literate population ... is the most intelligent economic choice a country can make." (George, 143, 187, 235)

That is, the IMF could be induced to develop a proper outlook in investing as it relates to humanity, i.e. realizing that their investment decisions are having severe consequences for real people, and that they would have better returns in the long run, a more stable economy, if they invest in the improvement of people's lives, and not just in a fat bottom line.

Works Cited

Allen, Gary with Larry Abraham. None Dare Call it Conspiracy. California: Concord Press, 1971.

Bond, Patrick. Defunding the Fund, Running on the Bank. Monthly Review: An Independant Socialist Magazine, Jul/Aug 2000, Vol. 52 Issue 3, p127, 14p.

Chernow, Ron. The House of Morgan. New York: Touchstone, 1990.

George, Susan. A Fate Worse Than Debt. New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1990.

Greider, William. Secrets of the Temple. New york: Touchstone, 1987.

Smith, Roy C. The Global Bankers. New York: Truman Talley Books, 1989.

Kenan, H.S. The Federal Reserve Bank. The Noontide Press.

Quotes. <>

Solutions, or hints thereof:

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