by Graham Strachan

BRISBANE, Australia - Readers familiar with the motion picture "The Sting "may recall that the cornerstone of the successful "Sting" (fraud) was that the victim had to be unaware at the end of it all that they had been defrauded. Even if told, they would refuse to believe they had been dudded (conned).

In the case of "The Sting" - the movie, the philosophy of the leading characters was that fools and their money are easily parted. The people they were defrauding had money to lose in the first place. Such is not the case of the greatest fraud of all time presently taking place in the global economy, and the 'fools' being parted from their money are the simple, basically decent, trusting, ordinary people of the world, who are obliged to work for a living.

The Sting goes something like this. Over a trillion dollars zooms around the world each day in the global markets, buying and selling currencies, corporate shares and government bonds, 'futures' (options to buy things which might come into being in the future), and 'derivatives', instruments based on some underlying financial asset, however remotely. Some of the money (not much) actually gets to be invested in productive enterprise, but most of it is used by speculators playing a huge global gambling game. The media, now staffed by capitalist groupies paid to glorify these people, fawn over the speculators and call them 'players'.

Life is but a game, tra-la. Greed is good.

The sting is made possible because most of the 'money' the 'players' gamble with doesn't actually exist. It's pretend money, credit money extended to them by various banks, and ultimately the international bankers. The banks are able to do this - invent imaginary money out of thin air and charge interest on it - because of the 'fractional reserve banking system' whereby if a bank has around $6 of depositors funds in its vault it is allowed by law to create $100 of imaginary money and lend it out at interest. Banks do not, as Prime Minister Howard apparently thinks (or says he does), lend depositors funds.

They don't lend money at all. They extend credit, which is new 'money' created as interest bearing debt, a practice called 'usury' and banned by the Church during the Middle Ages, but allowed back in by Henry VIII. But back to the Sting.

At this point the media enter the picture, media owned and controlled by men who are themselves ultimately beholden to the international bankers. An area is targeted, like Asia. The world media then talk the area up. They run stories about 'Asian Tiger Economies', and how the 'future lies in Asia', fortunes are there for the asking. The global speculators are encouraged to invest their hot money there by the billions, in all sorts of ventures regardless of the risk, and in assets regardless of how dubious their value. At the same time the local banks in the target country are encouraged to borrow from the international bankers and make reckless loans, hardly bothering to assess the viability of ventures or requiring adequate collateral. The myth is promoted that it's almost impossible to fail in the 'emerging economies'.

Then a crisis is precipitated: the spill of an ageing President, for example, something to spook the speculators and induce them to dump the local currency and pull out. If the worst comes to the worst a deliberate 'run' on the currency can be arranged using the massive global hedge funds (as in the Thai collapse). What happens then is a massive flight of capital from the target country, and a devaluation of its currency in the floating money market, because nobody wants to be caught short with it. As the currency value plummets, the local banks cannot service their overseas loans which are tied to the value of the US dollar.

They call in their own loans but by this time the country's economy is so depressed by the flight of capital that the local borrowers can't meet their obligations. What is euphemistically called in banking circles the 'non-performing loan' becomes a local plague. The local banks then look like collapsing.

At this point the debt collector for the international money-lenders, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), is sent in to 'review' the situation, and to recommend a 'bailout package'. The pretext is 'to prop up the country's economy',but what that really means is bail out the country's private banks. And where does the money for the 'bailout' come from? This is where politicians in quasi-democratic governments like Australia's join the Sting team. In munificent mode they 'pledge' billions of dollars of their taxpayers' hard-earned money - real money, backed up by sweat - to the IMF to bail out the profligate bankers in the target country. Losses by private bankers, who deserve to be driven out of business by the 'free market' they claim to espouse, are made good by hard-working taxpayers in the developed (G-7) countries. So much for the 'free market'. It's all part of the scam.

The governments who pledge their taxpayers' money don't actually deliver it in cash. They borrow it from the international bankers at interest, thereby increasing the national debt, ultimately repayable by taxpayers or through the sale of national assets like Telstra and the Snowy Mountains Scheme. In the meantime there's the interest. The interest on Australia's debt now costs the country's taxpayers around $1.4 million an HOUR. The essence of the fraud is that imaginary money borrowed from the international bankers and 'lost' by irresponsible local bankers, is 'bailed out' with real money and assets stolen from the world's taxpayers by their own governments. It is fraud and slavery on a massive scale, a scale so massive nobody would ever believe it was deliberate.

It began when the value of money was severed from the gold standard by America in 1968. This enabled almost unlimited credit 'money' to be created. The precedent for using public funds to make up private bank losses was established when the Clinton administration bailed out the Mexican 'economy' (i.e banks) with $40 billion US taypayers' dollars in 1995. That removed the last source of discipline from the global markets - the possibility of making a loss. As Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr., president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama wrote recently, it sent a message that bad debts could be protected from exposure to market forces if the gamblers involved had good government connections.

Then they stand the chance of having their bills paid with other people's money.

The Mexican Sting was followed by a $141 billion bailout in Asia, to which Australian taxpayers were made to contribute around $5 billion. Then Russia had to be bailed out to the tune of $20 billion in 1998 alone. Now there is a possible $30 billion required for Brazil, and thereafter who knows? Japan, China, and probably Mexico again. To make sure the victims don't wake up that they are being defrauded, the sole purpose now of the Western media is to keep the people ignorant, to prevent them understanding anything of any consequence, to keep them in the dark or distracted with sex, sport, and the private lives of people like Princess Diana. Economics is portrayed as being beyond human comprehension, even of the best brains in the world. It's 'just happening'. Like the weather.

No it's not. This is fraud on a global scale: the milking of captive taxpayers by scoundrels with the help of paid liars in government and the media. Watch now for calls for a World Central Bank, which will create what American writer Anne Williamson, writing for the Internet news site WorldNetDaily, has described as "one global money monopoly that will be a final claim on [taxpayers'] national sovereignty and their wallets". She describes the world's taxpayers as'the world's unwitting bottomless purse'. The object is "to socialise the risks of reckless banking amongst the [world's] population, while allowing the profits to be retained by, and then shared out amongst the political and economic elite".

As Doctor Goebbels said, if you're going to tell a lie, tell a big one, then nobody will believe it's a lie. The same goes for fraud. Do it on a global scale, and who would ever believe it was a Sting?



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