Siempre hay tiempo para recordar a nuestros raices
Me dio risa infinita el servicio del Auto tag, ajaja ta bien amiguitos
Siempre hay tiempo para recordar a nuestros raices
Me dio risa infinita el servicio del Auto tag, ajaja ta bien amiguitos
Niña de las trenzas negras
niña de la soledad
morena piel de montañas y
Luz del fogon que lleva
fuego de amor que se aviva
Del cielo de tu mirada
viene sonrisas de sol
y tus manitas morenas
caricias de tierra
Quien velará tus sueños
quien peinará tus trenzas
mujercita tus penas se iran
al despertar en tu vida el amor
y mil secretos la vida abrirá
muchos que el tiempo guardó
Cuentan que entre los maizales
su canto se oye al pasar
y por montañas y cerros se lleva
tierno canto de esperanza
llevas ternura del valle
Mujercita tus penas se iran
al despertar en tu vida el amor
y mil secretos la vida abrirá
muchos que el tiempo guardó
Antes de “gustar” a este “post”,mejor que se hayan escuchado a las obras andinas
Kalamarka en Francia
This interview appears in the October 29, 2004 issue of Executive Intelligence Review. And was sourced from http://www.larouchepub.com/lar/2004/interviews/3142veintitres.html
LAROUCHE TO ARGENTINE JOURNALIST:
Fight the IMF for Americas To Survive
The following is the full text of Lyndon LaRouche’s telephone interview on Oct. 12, 2004 with Romina Manguel of Veintitres magazine, of Argentina. Clips from an earlier interview (see EIR, Oct. 22, 2004) she had done with LaRouche were used in a movie documentary, “Debt,” directed by the well-known Argentine television personality and journalist Jorge Lanata. “Debt” was released on Oct. 7, 2004, generating great interest in LaRouche in Argentina.
Q: Your statements in the documentary had a big impact, and many people have asked: “Who is this personality?” Can you tell us who you are?
LaRouche: I have been a Presidential candidate for the United States, and I’m now a political figure of the United States. I’m a prominent international economist, quite successful in long-term forecasting, pretty much over the last 40 years. And I’m something of a political figure internationally.
Q: Why are you interested in the international credit institutions? Since when? And why do those institutions have a particular interest in the Third World nations that suffer from them?
LaRouche: Essentially you are dealing with the same phenomenon that gave us Hitler and others between 1922 and 1945. It’s a group of international financier circles, largely family circles on the Venetian fondo model. And these circles control most of the banking interests of Europe, and related interests, and also have spread, of course, into the Americas. These people actually are imperialist in their mentality.
Go back to the period between, say, 1000 A.D. and the 15th Century Renaissance, you will find that these Venetian families set up what is called an ultramontane system of banking, such as the Lombard banking system, which collapsed first in the Dark Ages of the 14th Century, but came back and had been responsible for the religious wars of 1511-1648 in Europe, and were the basis for the establishment of the Anglo-Dutch Liberal system, to which the United States was opposed.
So even though the United States is corrupted by this, the United States at its foundation was the creation of a republic to establish independence of these kinds of systems, plus the old Hapsburg system. And in the Americas, in countries like Argentina, especially after the period of the Lincoln victory in the Civil War in the United States, these countries became more and more republics modeled consciously upon the American System of political economy.
This is true in Mexico, in what became the process of the PRI [the Revolutionary Institutional Party]. It’s true in Argentina. It came later, a tendency in this direction, in Brazil. It was also in Peru—a tendency in this direction. So, in the Americas, especially as consolidated under President Franklin Roosevelt, there was a sense of a system of republics based upon the model of the United States, and based on the idea of John Quincy Adams’ drafting of the Monroe Doctrine. That is, a system of independent republics, cooperating with each other, in a mutual pact, like the Rio Pact that Franklin Roosevelt negotiated.
So what you have here, with respect to a country like Argentina, you have what is considered historically a treasonous faction in the United States, these kinds of financier interests, who are out to destroy the system of the Americas—which is not the British capitalist system; it’s the American System. And you find in the constitution, and in the traditions of Argentina—although there are other traditions there too—you find that tradition. You find that in Mexico, in Franklin Roosevelt’s relationship to the government of Mexico, the Cárdenas government. And you find it in Peru. You find the aspiration in the Americas for this kind of a system of republics.
And so the issue here is: You now have the international banking interests, the liberal bankers, which include New York bankers, who are part of this Venetian tradition. And these are the guys that gave us fascism between the Versailles Treaty and the end of World War II. These guys were never rooted out; they still exist inside the United States in a very powerful faction. They are a more powerful faction in Europe than they are in the United States. And we’ve come to a financial crisis, which is, their system is in crisis. And now they are back to the same business of trying to eliminate the sovereign nation-state, to loot the world, and all kinds of nasty things.
Q: Why did this subject interest you? How did you become interested in it and have this position, and involve yourself in a subject which, for many U.S. politicians, is an alien one, or which is only on the agenda before elections?
LaRouche: Oh, I came back from World War II, from service overseas, and I had gone overseas as a man in the footsteps of Franklin Roosevelt. That is, he was my President, and he had saved the United States. He was leading in saving the world from what was spreading across Europe: fascism. When I came back to the United States, in 1946, from overseas service, I saw a real right-wing turn in the United States, back towards precisely what we fought against in fascism.
As I came to know later in my study of this question, that on the day that Franklin Roosevelt died, under his successor, Harry Truman, the people who had created Hitler and people like that in Europe, the people behind Hitler, the bankers behind Hitler, the financier oligarchy behind Hitler, were back in power. They had actually owned the Nazi system. Some Nazis had been hung, or were being hung or whatnot, but they were back in power, with their money. They’re still back in power.
What the problem is, is that the United States has been betrayed from within, by the influence of this kind of force. Eisenhower was a patriot, Truman was not. Jack Kennedy had question marks, but he did some good things. Johnson was essentially a patriot, but a frightened one after Kennedy’s assassination. Nixon was evil, pure evil. He belonged to them. Carter was controlled by these people, although he didn’t know it—the Trilateral Commission was a part of this. Reagan was a mixed bag. Reagan, on the one side, was like me—actually, ten years older than I am—like me, he was in the Roosevelt tradition, but he was brought over to this crazy liberal system. And then you had Bush. The first Bush was a part of the system. Clinton was a different case, and this Bush is a tool of the worst of this system.
So, I’ve simply been reacting as a patriot of my country to what I know to be my tradition, and against the resurgence of what we fought in World War II, which is now back again, and is trying to take over the world.
Q: Do you think that the average U.S. politician is aware of the costs to these countries of paying the debt? Do they know what the social cost is, of having to pay the debt, or are they not aware of it?
LaRouche: Most of the politicians in the United States and in Europe today are little men. They are not really qualified as leaders, patriotic leaders, of countries. They’re not all bad people, but they’re little men, and they tend to be opportunist in going along with what they believe they can succeed in doing for their benefit, to their own advantage, or for the advantage of their own circles. They have very little imagination, that is, political imagination. They are not great statesmen, like Solon of Athens. They’re not great statesmen like Franklin Roosevelt or de Gaulle, for example, as an example of someone in Europe of the same type.
We don’t have great men. Not great men in the sense of tyrants, but great men who have a vision, who are like Jeanne d’Arc in the case of France, who gave her life for a principle, and had a vision of the importance of this principle, as all great European and other leaders have had: the vision, a patriotic vision of what they must do for their nation, and also for the benefit of civilization in general. We do not have such leaders in the United States today. In that sense, I’m unique, at least at this time.
Q: The International Monetary Fund continuously terrorizes countries, talking about what the consequences would be of not paying the debt. Do you believe, in the realm of fiction, that it is possible for a country to not pay the debt to the Fund, and survive?
LaRouche: It’s not possible to pay the debt to the IMF, and survive as nation-states. That’s the situation today. The IMF has—since 1971 in particular, when Nixon took over and destroyed the fixed-exchange system, and that was at the Azores conference in 1972—set up this floating exchange-rate system. The IMF has become a tool of a predatory force of international financier circles. Now, we’ve got to the point that if we try to collect the debts, as they are now, civilization will vanish from the planet for some time to come. That is, it’s not possible to collect the debts, and for civilization to survive.
That’s what you see in Argentina. It’s not possible for Argentina to pay this debt and for Argentina to survive physically as a nation and people. This is true also for the entirety of South and Central America. Very soon, sooner or later, but in the near future, every country in South and Central America will be destroyed, if the IMF has its way. And there will be genocide caused by this kind of thing. The kind of genocide that will remind historians of what happened in Europe during the 14th century.
So therefore, the choice is, either you meet the obligations imposed by the IMF and thus give up civilization, accept global genocide; or you say, no: The highest law of society is the maintenance of the welfare of the people, and the posterity and the sovereignty of nations, which is the principle of our Constitution here in the United States.
So, if we defend our Constitution, we say, the international financier circles, with their predatory power, have committed a crime against humanity. We are not going to honor the criminals. We will do justice, but we will do justice by starting by defending the sovereignty, the general welfare, and the posterity of our people.
Q: In the film documentary, you compared the dynamics of those institutions with the Gestapo, and that had an enormous impact. Can you amplify your reasoning on this a bit?
LaRouche: My point is, if you want to conquer a people—for example, you had the German people in a fit of fright and foolishness, endorse the adoption of a dictator, Adolf Hitler. Now, to prevent the German people from coming back, voluntarily, out from under the kind of dictatorship and schemes that Adolf Hitler represented, you create an instrument of terror, a police-state instrument of the type that John Ashcroft, the present Attorney General of the United States, would like to impose—is attempting to impose on the people. What you have, therefore, is the same thing. To impose the kind of dictatorial rule, by a predatory force, the international financial cartel, upon people, it is necessary to destroy the democratic rights of people, and to crush all of those people—either by exemplary actions of cruelty, or simply by eliminating persons who will stand up and fight.
Q: In light of this panorama, do you think that the Argentine leaders, the Argentine Presidents, who do not rebel against the policies of the Fund, are accomplices?
LaRouche: Not necessarily. They are in effect accomplices, but they’re like the appointed leaders who are under the control of an overreaching power of compradores. They’re the outside compradores typified by the Bank of Santander, which is a predatory instrument of Europe in South and Central America. And now, in a sense, with the IMF backing, and with backing from European governments and from the U.S. government, they have imposed a cruel dictatorship upon Argentina.
The question is, how do we fight? If a nation is not capable in and of itself to resist, then those of us, among all nations who understand justice, must intervene and must act, and establish our solidarity with the people of republics, to jointly work to defend them.
For example, what I’m doing in the United States: I know that there’s no force on this planet today which could stop the worst depression the world has known, at least modern civilization, unless we save the Presidency of the United States. We have a candidate, John Kerry, who is not the best choice in the world, but is the only choice available to us, to defeat what George Bush and Cheney represent. My belief is that there’s no one on the planet who has the combination of power and knowledge to defeat this monster, except the United States. Therefore, my view is that the United States must provide a leadership, like Franklin Roosevelt did during the 1930s and the war, a leadership which can reach out to other countries, which do not have the strength to defend themselves independently, and we must have solidarity with these countries and work together with them, to enable them to secure their rights.
Q: How responsible are the men in those institutions regarding what happens? I’m speaking of [former IMF Managing Director Michel] Camdessus, at one point, of [IMF First Deputy Managing Director] Anne Krueger. Or are they victims of the system in which they are immersed? How much responsibility can be ascribed to each one?
LaRouche: They’re just as responsible as the Nazis, as the Nazi concentration camp administrator. They may not intend to kill people themselves, but they’re employed in a position where that’s the duty that’s mandated on them, and they will do it. Some will resist, some will not do it. But they will do it. They are, in a sense, they’re like pimps. They make their living that way. They make their career that way, and they may say they regret what they do, but they say: “I have to do it. I’m just doing my job.” Like a mafia boss.
Q: Over the course of your most active political career. what do you think most irritated the credit institutions of the U.S. political Establishment?
LaRouche: I think two things are most notable. Number one, my exposure, my successful forecast, of what happened in 1971-72. The system was coming down, and the system did come down. The monetary system collapsed under Nixon, as I had forecast was probable.
Secondly, in the latter part of the 1970s, running for President and especially during the first term of President Reagan’s term of office, I launched the initiation of what became known as the Strategic Defense Initiative. At that time, there were leading political figures in Argentina, who were associated with me in defending that proposal, in the beginning of the 1980s; they didn’t get much of a reward from the United States for that, though.
But these two things were considered a great threat to the policies of the oligarchy.
For example, it was not only the U.S. oligarchy. One has to remember that in 1986, when a section of the U.S. government deployed over 400 people in an operation against me and my associates, and had a force deployed to assassinate me, officially, where they had a force ready to come in where I was, and shoot everybody on sight, in the place where I was living, to get me. The Soviet government of Gorbachov was one of those who screamed loudest for my elimination, at the same time that the faction behind George Bush, Sr. was also pushing for my elimination. It was George Bush, Sr., of course, and his crowd, which put me into prison.
So I think it was these two things, my persistent action on this as typified by my intervention in 1976 on behalf of the just new world economic order, as in the Non-Aligned nations project in Ceylon, in Sri Lanka, at that time. That was number one. That was almost a death sentence for me. Number two, the SDI. That became almost a death sentence for me. These two things I have never been forgiven for by the oligarchy.
Q: Finally, what is your answer to your critics who, in an effort to discredit you, brand you a fanatic, delirious, a man of impossible ideas?
LaRouche: I don’t pay much attention to these characters. Most of them are not honest, that is, they’re not sincere. It’s simply, they’re repeating what somebody tells them to say. Most of this comes through the corrupt press, which is controlled by what are in fact the fascists of today—though some of the leading press has come over, in a sense, on my side, against the worst abuses. For example, the New York Times sometimes acts on issues in a way which I find favorable, and other people like that. In general, I give no credit to any of this stuff, because I know what it is, I know where it comes from. And frankly, I despise people who do that. They’re beneath my dignity.
Q: I thank you greatly for this interview, which is going to be featured prominently in the magazine. The people of the LaRouche Youth also participated in this report.
LaRouche: It’s fun, isn’t it? Life is fun. It’s a dangerous fight, but it’s fun. [read more]
AUSTRALIAN SBS-TV ‘DATELINE’: MR TSVANGIRAI HAS IN FACT, TOGETHER WITH THE CIA/MOSSAD – BEEN PLOTTING TO KILL PRESIDENT ROBERT MUGABE.
October 13th 2010 – Zimbabwe is in the mainstream propaganda press again: president Mugabe named six ambassadors and did not inform his prime minister Tsvangirai, it says. That’s – according to Tsvangirai ‘illegal’ – so he sends letters protesting this to the United Nations, the European Union, South-Africa, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland. Asking those not to acknowledge the new ambassadors because they are supposed all to belong to Mugabe’s party, ZANU-PF.
Concerning ‘justice’ and Africa one has to read it on Internet too: in many articles Zimbabwe and Mugabe are by the MSM described as too bad and as lawless, but when, how and why did it start?
Personally I don’t think any info in the MSM is correct at all. The problems in Zimbabwe in full strength began when Mugabe told the multinationals, IMF, World Bank – and especially Monsanto and its vile products – that he was throwing them out of the country.
Any country or people – not fully complying with the criminal multinational industrial/financial clan’s usurers – is attacked, demonized like Mugabe, and possibly destroyed.
In Africa (I lived there for ten years too, as many know by now) the predators have already been at work a long time, and so have their ‘economic hit men’ and errand ‘secret’ services like the CIA/NED etc. As well as global criminal organisations like the International Murder Fund (IMF) and the World (robbing) Bank. – Url.: http://tinyurl.com/6chyze
And of course the compliant propagandists in the warmongers media don’t mention it, but Australian TV in 2002 showed Tsvangirai preparing to kill Mugabe with some (fake?) Canadians, which most probably was a CIA/Mossad killing team.*
“Mr. Tsvangirai has in fact, been plotting to kill President Robert Mugabe,” the SBS-TV presentation of its documentary said. Which – as I said – also is kept out of the mainstream propaganda/information as well:
ZIMBABWE: TSVANGIRAI ACCUSED OF HIGH TREASON.
BY AFROL ZIMBABWE.
Afrol News, 25 February – 2002 – Morgan Tsvangirai, favourite to Zimbabwean presidential elections on 9-10 March and leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), today was informed he would face charges of high of treason when he was questioned at Central Harare Police Station. Tsvangirai today was brought to the police station and was interrogated for two hours, but later released.
The MDC leader’s lawyer, Innocent Chagonda, said his client was to face charges of high treason over his alleged plot to “eliminate” President Robert Mugabe. High treason is punishable by death in Zimbabwe. Tsvangirai however said he had reason to believe police would not proceed with a prosecution before the election.
A special edition last week of Australian SBS-TV’s program ‘Dateline’ titled ‘Killing Mugabe – The Tsvangirai Conspiracy,’ claimed to “present evidence that the opposition leader has had no intention of letting the electoral process take its course. While parading his supposed democratic credentials, Mr Tsvangirai has in fact, been plotting to kill President Robert Mugabe,” the SBS presentation of its documentary says. Tsvangirai rejected these accusations, claiming the video showing himself and several Canadian consultants discussing what is to happen in Zimbabwe after “the head of state has been eliminated” had been a trap set up by the Zimbabwean government.
DISCUSSION AROUND THE ISSUE OF THE ELIMINATION OF MUGABE
Indeed, the Canadians suddenly “from nowhere introduced discussion around the issue of elimination,” moving him to “burst out of their meeting,” Tsvangirai declared last week. The MDC later found the Canadian company had contacts with ZANU-PF, Zimbabwe’s ruling party.” – [end excerpt] – You can read the rest, and make up your own mind about Zimbabwe and Africa at Url.: http://tinyurl.com/6grol6
The multinationals do in Africa what they’ve done – and are doing – elsewhere too: stealing and killing if they don’t immediately get what they want. – HR & Africa – Url.: http://tinyurl.com/5mj7sj
I’VE SAID IT BEFORE: FIRST WE ROB THEM BLIND FOR AGES.
AND THEN WE ACCUSE THEM OF NOT BEING ABLE TO SEE!
This is what president Mugabe and many other Africans are utterly angry about too: the inhuman Rothschild empire’s financial usury system does to countries and continents the worst in its quest for power and profit; at any cost to the others. No wonder they see red now and then.
The worst picture depicting African reality, symbolizing everything going on, is this picture of the vulture waiting for a child to die. No wonder photographer Kevin Carter committed suicide some time after taking the picture. For which he – while still alive – got a Pulitzer Prize as well. Then he killed himself. – Url.: http://tinyurl.com/6x59ms
Look at what the day and night do to people all around the world, and in Africa too: according to a UNICEF report, which did not get any publicity and at first was hard to find:
Five million children die in Africa yearly, and more than 10 million children around the world: Nigeria – The Tide – Sunday, Jun 1, 2008 – More than 10 million children around the world die before their fifth birthday every year, according to a new report by UNICEF, the United Nations Children Fund.
10 MILLION CHILD DEATHS ANNUALLY
The report, titled ‘The State of Africa’s Children 2008’ which was launched on May 28 at the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Japan, which looked at the successes and failures of governments regarding the health and survival of the children of Africa, is complementary to a broader UNICEF report on the health of the world’s children.
Although Africa accounts for only 22 percent of births globally, half of the 10 million child deaths annually occur on the continent. Africa is the only continent that has seen rising numbers of deaths among children under five since the 1970s.
Many of these children die of preventable and curable diseases. UNICEF’s report says malaria is the cause of 18 percent of under-five deaths in Africa. Diarrheal diseases and pneumonia “both illnesses that thrive in poor communities where sanitation is severely compromised, and where residents are often undernourished and exposed to pollution” account for a further 40 percent of child deaths. Another major killer is AIDS.” – [end excerpt]
For those who don’t know yet about the ongoing infanticide, you can read the rest here at UNICEF – Url.: http://www.unicef.org/media/media_46565.html
The multinationals and their financial criminal cartel, rape humanity.
Empire you said? Vultures! That’s what they are!
DEMOCRACY FROM THE BARREL OF A GUN
Concerning Africa and many other continents, the US/UK junta and its financial cartel tries to take more and more, still via their propaganda lying it’s ‘helping’ people, or, a still worse threat: ”We want to come and spread democracy.”
They spread their brand of ‘democracy’ from the barrel of a gun, killing millions of human beings.
As an independent former Africa correspondent during ten years, I can only confirm that the multinational predators even try to get the last bit of meat on the cadavers. And globally the criminal banking cartel kills for profit and power. Until we people stop them.
Looks like we have to ‘neutralize’ them, before they kill us all.
Barbara H. Peterson
We here at the ranch know how to deal with pests. Specifically, flies. Flies can be a major source of discomfort to both animals and humans, and the larger the fly population gets, the more miserable your existence around them. These insipid pests buzz around and bother you until you either get rid of them or simply give up and leave until they are gone.
Flies are not only pests, but they carry disease. They feed on just about any type of food, digested or not, and are so persistent that they quickly monopolize any food anywhere. They lay eggs in wounds, which hatch into maggots that eat necrotic flesh. Think of Monsanto as just such a pest. The difference being that the maggots know when to stop, Monsanto does not. Think of the times that Monsanto has destroyed organic farms, laid its genetically modified “eggs” in the field, then stuck around to feed on the desperation and devastation its products cause.
When flies become a serious problem, then eradication is necessary – not only for health’s sake, but sanity as well, and it’s high time we got out the flyswatter and started eradicating some pesky, disease-ridden flies aka Monsanto. How? At the ranch remove all things that they are attracted to – clean out the stalls, rotate and drag the pastures, and keep the manure piles down to a minimum because that is where they like to hatch their eggs. You also starve them until they no longer come around by removing food sources. In the case of one of the biggest pests around, Monsanto, you clean out your cupboards, rid your house of all biotech products, and keep your contact with them at a minimum. You starve the company until it no longer can make a dime off of you.
A Monopoly is a Monopoly is a Monopoly…
All species that feed off of others want a monopoly, and Monsanto and Goldman Sachs are no different. They don’t like to share their food supply, and we are on the table, dressed up like Thanksgiving turkeys. They feed off our ignorance, and if we do not recognize the deceptions they use, we can run out of precious life blood in no time. Make no mistake about it, these bloodsuckers will drain you dry until you drop dead, with smiles on their faces.
They both have monopolies – one on seeds, the other on finances, and they have joined forces. Together, they are working hard at monopolizing both our natural seeds and finances, taking us to the brink of genetic extinction and leaving us to climb up, sick and penniless, out of the primordial ooze created by a deadly combination of pseudo-science and greed and topped off with an unhealthy dose of pure narcissism. To put it bluntly, we are living in a cesspool of genetically engineered garbage, the long term effects of which are just now being exposed, and we are being force-fed these abominations through stealth. They are not labeled, and these corporations don’t want them to be. While Goldman Sachs strangles the economy, throwing more and more people into low-income food assistance programs, people who have received the brunt of these destructive agendas eat what they can get, and what they get is processed GMOs, courtesy of Monsanto and all the other biotech firms following closely on the heels of the swarm leader.
A More Profitable Union
Not only does it appear that Monsanto and Goldman Sachs have a similar business ethic or lack thereof, but Goldman Sachs is currently taking a big interest in corn as well as promoting Monsanto. A marriage made in…. well, you know.
All throughout the epic surge in corn prices, the big Kahoona, Goldman Sachs, where buy means sell, and sell means Goldman’s traders are buying everything its clients have to dump, was quiet. That is no longer the case: “we recommend a short May-13 CBOT wheat position vs. a long May-13 CBOT corn position.” In other words, Goldman will now be selling May 13 corn.
And just who has a monopoly on corn via its genetically modified (GMO) corn seed? Why, Monsanto, of course! And just how much of the corn grown in the U.S. is GMO?
More than 90 percent of all soybeans grown in the United States are genetically modified (GM) for herbicide resistance and are consequently sprayed with massive quantities of those toxic chemicals. Fully 85 percent of all corn grown in the country is also genetically engineered, either for herbicide resistance or to produce pesticides within its tissues. Since farmers sell their corn and soy to large distributors who mix the product together for processing, this essentially means that 100 percent of non-organic corn and soy products on the US market are GM.
Here is Monsanto’s presentation for the Goldman Sachs Agricultural Biotech Forum 2011.
I get all warm and fuzzy inside when I think of Monsanto and Goldman Sachs flying wing in wing to their next victim, don’t you? Just think of the possibilities…. Then get serious about getting out of the system and into a more independent lifestyle.
What’s It Gonna Take?
Many local community gardening projects are springing up all over. One such project is LA Green Grounds. Elon writes, “LA Green Grounds volunteers design and build the new gardens, generally in front yards, teaching volunteers along the way and fostering community”.[read more]
The IMF’s War on America SOURCE
The headlines of an article in yesterday’s Market Watch says, IMF Bombshell: Age of America Nears End (see story below).
This article covers a report by the International Monetary Fund that predicts the end of what they call “The Age of America.” The IMF says that China will overtake the American economy in 2016.
The fact of the matter is that the data and statistics cited by the IMF are flawed.
But this does not dismiss the fact that the Chinese economy is growing at a much more rapid rate than the American economy; and if we do not change the way in which we are operating our economy, and stop the annual trillion dollar budget deficits, the Chinese economy will indeed surpass that of America.
But that is not the point of this blog post. No, the point of this post is that this story is IMF black propaganda about the U.S. The point of Crisis by Design the Untold Story of the Global Financial Coup is that the financial crisis was created in order to take down the US and the US dollar as the stable point in international finance and to replace them with a “Global Monetary Authority.”
Those of you that have followed my writings and/or this blog, know that in fact a Global Monetary Authority was put in place in April of 2009. That’s a done deal. But America still clings to economic leadership.
The significance of this statement issued by the IMF is not the phony facts and figures. No, it’s that the article is consistent with the IMF’s jihad, along with the Bank for International Settlements, to destroy the dollar and America as an economic power by putting out this kind of black PR.
And that’s what it is. This is Black Propaganda that aimed at driving home the message that America is on her way out.
Let be honest here, we have brought this on ourselves. We cannot continue to enjoy any semblance of economic prosperity or, for that matter, be the strongest economy in the world with trillion-dollar-per year budget deficits. But the point I am making here is that the IMF is doing everything it can PR-wise to create the impression that America’s best days are behind her. We need to restore fiscal sanity to Washington government to ensure that that is not the case.
Keep your powder.
John Truman Wolfe, author of America the Litigious, Mind Games, and The Gift has released his latest stunning bestseller – Crisis By Design: The Untold Story of the Global Financial Coup and What You Can Do About It. Wolfe draws on experience as a senior credit officer in two banks, and co-founder of a prestigious Los Angeles based business management company, where as a registered investment adviser he oversaw the financial and investment matters of some of the biggest names in Hollywood.
IMF Bombshell: Age of America Nears End
Commentary: China’s economy will surpass the U.S. in 2016
April 25, 2011
The International Monetary Fund has just dropped a bombshell, and nobody noticed.
For the first time, the international organization has set a date for the moment when the “Age of America” will end and the U.S. economy will be overtaken by that of China.
And it’s a lot closer than you may think.
According to the latest IMF official forecasts, China’s economy will surpass that of America in real terms in 2016 — just five years from now.
Put that in your calendar.
It provides a painful context for the budget wrangling taking place in Washington, D.C., right now. It raises enormous questions about what the international security system is going to look like in just a handful of years. And it casts a deepening cloud over both the U.S. dollar and the giant Treasury market, which have been propped up for decades by their privileged status as the liabilities of the world’s hegemonic power.
According to the IMF forecast, whomever is elected U.S. president next year — Obama? Mitt Romney? Donald Trump? — will be the last to preside over the world’s largest economy.
Most people aren’t prepared for this. They aren’t even aware it’s that close. Listen to experts of various stripes, and they will tell you this moment is decades away. The most bearish will put the figure in the mid-2020s.
But they’re miscounting. They’re only comparing the gross domestic products of the two countries using current exchange rates.
That’s a largely meaningless comparison in real terms. Exchange rates change quickly. And China’s exchange rates are phony. China artificially undervalues its currency, the renminbi, through massive intervention in the markets.
The comparison that really matters
The IMF in its analysis looks beyond exchange rates to the true, real terms picture of the economies using “purchasing power parities.” That compares what people earn and spend in real terms in their domestic economies.
Under PPP, the Chinese economy will expand from $11.2 trillion this year to $19 trillion in 2016. Meanwhile the size of the U.S. economy will rise from $15.2 trillion to $18.8 trillion. That would take America’s share of the world output down to 17.7%, the lowest in modern times. China’s would reach 18%, and rising.
Just 10 years ago, the U.S. economy was three times the size of China’s.
Naturally, all forecasts are fallible. Time and chance happen to them all. The actual date when China surpasses the U.S. might come even earlier than the IMF predicts, or somewhat later. If the great Chinese juggernaut blows a tire, as a growing number fear it might, it could even delay things by several years. But the outcome is scarcely in doubt.
This is more than a statistical story. It is the end of the Age of America. As a bond strategist in Europe told me two weeks ago,
“We are witnessing the end of America’s economic hegemony.”
We have lived in a world dominated by the U.S. for so long that there is no longer anyone alive who remembers anything else. America overtook Great Britain as the world’s leading economic power in the 1890s and never looked back. And both those countries live under very similar rules of constitutional government, respect for civil liberties and the rights of property. China has none of those. The Age of China will feel very different.
Victor Cha, senior adviser on Asian affairs at Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies, told me China’s neighbors in Asia are already waking up to the dangers.
“The region is overwhelmingly looking to the U.S. in a way that it hasn’t done in the past,” he said. “They see the U.S. as a counterweight to China. They also see American hegemony over the last half-century as fairly benign. In China they see the rise of an economic power that is not benevolent, that can be predatory. They don’t see it as a benign hegemony.”
The rise of China, and the relative decline of America, is the biggest story of our time. You can see its implications everywhere, from shuttered factories in the Midwest to soaring costs of oil and other commodities. Last fall, when I attended a conference in London about agricultural investment, I was struck by the number of people there who told stories about Chinese interests snapping up farmland and foodstuff supplies — from South America to China and elsewhere.
This is the result of decades during which China has successfully pursued economic policies aimed at national expansion and power, while the U.S. has embraced either free trade or, for want of a better term, economic appeasement.
“There are two systems in collision,” said Ralph Gomory, research professor at NYU’s Stern business school. “They have a state-guided form of capitalism, and we have a much freer former of capitalism. What we have seen, he said, is “a massive shift in capability from the U.S. to China. What we have done is traded jobs for profit. The jobs have moved to China. The capability erodes in the U.S. and grows in China. That’s very destructive. That is a big reason why the U.S. is becoming more and more polarized between a small, very rich class and an eroding middle class. The people who get the profits are very different from the people who lost the wages.”
The next chapter of the story is just beginning.
U.S. spending spree won’t work
What the rise of China means for defense, and international affairs, has barely been touched on. The U.S. is now spending gigantic sums — from a beleaguered economy — to try to maintain its place in the sun. See: Pentagon spending is budget blind spot .
It’s a lesson we could learn more cheaply from the sad story of the British, Spanish and other empires. It doesn’t work. You can’t stay on top if your economy doesn’t.
Equally to the point, here is what this means economically, and for investors.
Some years ago I was having lunch with the smartest investor I know, London-based hedge-fund manager Crispin Odey. He made the argument that markets are reasonably efficient, most of the time, at setting prices. Where they are most likely to fail, though, is in correctly anticipating and pricing big, revolutionary, “paradigm” shifts — whether a rise of disruptive technologies or revolutionary changes in geopolitics. We are living through one now.
The U.S. Treasury market continues to operate on the assumption that it will always remain the global benchmark of money. Business schools still teach students, for example, that the interest rate on the 10-year Treasury bond is the “risk-free rate” on money. And so it has been for more than a century. But that’s all based on the Age of America.
No wonder so many have been buying gold. If the U.S. dollar ceases to be the world’s sole reserve currency, what will be? The euro would be fine if it acts like the old deutschemark. If it’s just the Greek drachma in drag … not so much.
The last time the world’s dominant hegemon lost its ability to run things singlehandedly was early in the past century. That’s when the U.S. and Germany surpassed Great Britain. It didn’t turn out well.
IMF and the World Bank Destroying Countries
The IMF/World Bank are systematically tearing nations apart. It’s not privatization. They steal from the people and hand it over to themselves. The World Bank/IMF pays off politicians to transfer a nation’s water systems, railways, telephone companies, nationalized oil companies, gas stations, etc. to IMF-backed transnational companies, which they later destroy after transferring the assets to dummy corporations.
By Richard Salbato, UnityPublishing.com
March 22, 2002
The World Bank/IMF is owned and controlled by NM Rothschild and 30 to 40 of the wealthiest people in the world. For over 150 years they have planned to take over the world through money.
The former chief economist of the World Bank, Joe Stiglitz, was fired recently. He pointed out to top executives that every country in which the IMF/World Bank is involved has ended up with a crashed economy, a destroyed government, and sometimes in flames with riots.
Before Joe Stiglitz was fired, he took a large stack of secret documents out of the World Bank. These secret documents from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund reveal that the IMF required nations:
to sign secret agreements of 111 items
in which they agreed to sell off their key assets — water, electric, gas, etc.
in which they agreed to take economic steps which are really devastating to the nations involved
in which they pay off the politicians billions of dollars to Swiss bank accounts to do this transfer of a countries fixed assets
If they do not agree to these steps they are cut-off from all international borrowing. Today no one can survive if they can’t borrow money in the international marketplace, whether you are people or corporations or countries. If that does not work, they overthrow the government and plant lies about the former government and/or even rewrite history.
The Argentina Plan
Inside documents from Argentina show the secret Argentine plan. This is signed by Jim Wolfensen, the president of the World Bank. Argentina has had six presidents in five weeks because their economy is completely destroyed. This happened because they started out in the end of the 80s with orders from the IMF and World Bank to sell-off all their assets, public assets, like their water system. Then they taxed the people.
They created big government and big government handed it off to the private IMF/World Bank. They pay off the politicians billions in Swiss bank accounts.
The Enron Connection
The water system of Buenos Aires was sold off for a song to a company called Enron. A pipeline that runs between Argentina and Chile was sold off to Enron.
Then the globalists blew out Enron after transferring the assets to another dummy corporation.
They come in, pay off politicians to transfer the water systems, the railways, the telephone companies, the nationalized oil companies, gas stations, etc. — the politicians then hand it over to the IMF for nothing. The Globalists pay off politicians individually, billions a piece in Swiss bank accounts.
The plan is total slavery for the entire population. Enron is a dummy corporation for money laundering, drug money, etc.
IMF Planed Riots
The IMF/World Bank are systematically tearing nations apart, whether it’s Ecuador or Argentina. It’s not privatization. They steal it from the people and hand it over to the IMF/World Bank.
They hand it over, generally to the cronies — like Citibank grabbed half the Argentine banks. British Petroleum grabbed pipelines in Ecuador. Enron grabbed water systems all over the place.
The problem is that they are destroying these systems as well. You can’t even get drinking water in Buenos Aires. It is not just a question of the theft. You can’t turn on the tap.
It is more than someone getting rich at the public expense.
And the IMF just got handed the Great Lakes. They have the sole control over the water supply now.
The IMF and the World Bank is 51% owned by the United States Treasury.
Every country IMF/World Bank has meddled in, they have destroyed and the economies ended up in flames.
They even plan the riots. They know that when they squeeze a country and destroy its economy, you get riots in the streets. And they admit that it an IMF riot. Because you have riot, all the capital runs away from your country and that gives the opportunity for the IMF to then add more conditions.
California Utilities & Enron
It is really an imperial economy war to implode countries, and now they are doing it here with Enron.
They are getting so greedy — they are preparing it for America. The chief investigators of Enron for the State of California said that that it’s not just the stockholders that got ripped off. They sucked millions, billions of dollars out of the public pocket in Texas and California in particular.
Where are the assets? See, everybody says there are no assets left since Enron was a dummy corporation — from the experts I’ve had on — and they transferred all those assets to other corporations and banks.
According to the investigations, they are telling me that California’s electric bills were pumped up unnecessarily by 9 to 12-billion dollars. California’s paid, but I don’t know who they are going to get it back from now. Well they actually caught the Governor buying it for $137 per megawatt and selling it back to Enron for $1 per megawatt, and doing it over and over and over again.
Enron’s Auditor – Lord Wakeham
The men who designed the system in California for deregulation then went to work for Enron right after.
Lord Wakeham, who was on the audit committee of Enron, is the head of NM Rothschild. There isn’t anything that he doesn’t have his fingers in. He’s on something like fifty Boards. And he was supposed to be head of the audit committee watching how Enron kept the books. In fact, they were paying him consulting fees on the side. He was in Margaret Thatcher’s government, and he’s the one who authorized Enron to come into Britain and take over power plants in Britain.
Enron owned a water system in the middle of England. This is what Lord Wakeham approved and then they gave him a job on the board. On top of being on the board, they gave him a huge consulting contract. Lord Wakeham is supposed to be in charge of the audit committee to see how they were handling their accounts, but he is also the head of the board to regulate the media.
Lord Wakeham is trying to pass laws in England where you can’t own your own water. He can’t be touched because he regulates the media.
Rothschild and the Illuminati
Burrow into NM Rothschild, you’ll find it all there: The IMF/World Bank implosion, how they bring down a country and destroy the resources of the people.
First you open up the capital markets. That is, you sell off your local banks to foreign banks. Then you go to what’s called market-based pricing. That’s the stuff like in California where everything is free market and you end up with water bills no one can pay. Then open up your borders to trade — complete free marketeering. Its like the opium wars. This isn’t free trade; this is coercion trade. This is war.
They are taking apart economies through this. China has a 40% tariff on the USA, but the USA has a 2% on them. That’s not free and fair trade. It’s to force all industry into a country that the globalists fully control, and they control China.
The Illuminati owns Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart has 700 plants in China. There is almost nothing in a Wal-Mart store that comes from the United States of America, despite all the eagles on the wall. They have big flags saying “Buy American” and there’s hardly anything from America in their stores.
What’s even worst is they will hire a factory and right next to it will be the sister factory which is inside a prison. You can imagine the conditions of these workers producing this lovely stuff for Wal-Mart.
Sell off the water company and that’s worth, over ten years, let’s say about 5 billion dollars, ten percent of that is 500 million. A Senator from Argentina said that he got a call from George W. Bush in 1988 saying ‘give the gas pipeline in Argentina to Enron.’ Enron was going to pay one-fifth of the world’s price for their gas. The Argentine Senator asked ‘how can you make such an offer?’ The answer was that if they only pay one-fifth that leaves quit a little bit for you to go in your Swiss bank account. This is the same George W. Bush who said he didn’t get to know Ken Lay of Enron until 1994. Now they are having these white-wash hearings.
Bill Clinton, to get even with Bush’s big donor, cut Enron out of the California power market. He put a cap on the prices they could charge. They couldn’t charge more than one-hundred times the normal price for electricity. That upset Enron. So Ken Lay personally wrote a note to Dick Cheney saying get rid of Clinton’s cap on prices. Within 48 hours of George W. Bush taking office, his energy department reversed the clamps on Enron.
Argentina is an example of step two of the IMF. A fifth of the population of Argentina is unemployed, and they said cut the unemployment benefits drastically, take away pension funds, cut the education budgets.
Now if you cut the economy in the middle of a recession (created by the IMF), you absolutely demolish the nation.
You don’t start cutting the budget in a recession: you start spending money to stimulate the economy. You don’t raise taxes, you cut them. But they tell these countries you’ve got to cut, and cut, and cut. Why? Well, according to the inside documents, it’s so you can make payments to foreign banks — the foreign banks are collecting 21% to 70% interest. This is loan-sharking. If fact, it was so bad that they required Argentina to get rid of the laws against loan-sharking because any bank would be a loan-shark under Argentine law.
Part 3 and Part 4
Then they open up the borders for trade; that’s the new opium wars. They destroy an economy so that it can not produce anything, and then open the borders to sell their own goods.
They force nations to pay horrendous amounts for things like drugs, legal drugs. That’s how you end up with an illegal drug trade. What’s there left to survive on except sell us smack and crack?
And so, drive the whole world down, blow out their economies, and then buy the rest of it up for pennies on the dollar.
What’s Part 4 of the IMF/World Bank Plan?
In Part 4, they take apart the government by the coup d’etat and they install their own corporate government. In Venezuela where they have an elected president of the government, the IMF has announced that they would support a transition government if the president were removed. They are not saying that they are going to get involved in politics — they would just support a transition government.
What that effectively is saying is: we will pay for the coup d’etat if the military overthrows the current president, because the current president of Venezuela has said no to the IMF. He told those guys to go packing. They brought their teams in and said you have to do this and that. And he said, I don’t have to do anything. He said what I’m going to do is double the taxes on oil corporations because we have a whole lot of oil in Venezuela. And I’m going to double the taxes on oil corporations and then I will have all the money I need for social programs and the government — and we will be a very rich nation.
Well, as soon as he did that, they started fomenting trouble with the military. And watch this because the President of Venezuela will be out of office in three months or shot dead. They are not going to allow him to raise taxes on the oil companies.
Bush Administration Signals End to Open Government
1) The Bush administration invoked executive privilege to keep Clinton-era documents secret. The move shocked Republican lawmakers. Why would Bush want to cover up for Bill Clinton? Representative Dan Burton, who is the Chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, even threatened to hold Bush in contempt of Congress unless he releases several sets of subpoenaed Justice Department documents that he has hidden. It does not matter. Bush promises to never comply with congressional investigators. Bush is determined to keep Clinton’s crimes concealed.
2) Bush flatly refuses to hand over records of internal energy task force meetings. These records could either incriminate or exonerate Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney regarding allegations of conflict of interest in the Enron scandal. Even the General Accounting Office is suing the White House (a first) to obtain the records. Again, Bush refuses to comply. The president is even willing to ignore court orders demanding the release of documents.
3) Just this week, the United States Government’s top lawyer told the U.S. Supreme Court that officials have the right to lie to American citizens. No, he did not explain how that assertion jives with Bush’s Christian testimony.
4) Two days ago, the White House ordered all federal agencies to delete their web sites of all “sensitive information.” The White House did not say what information it considered “sensitive.”
5) Vice President Cheney is already the stealthiest Vice President in U.S. history. Seldom does anyone know where he is or what he is doing.
6) President Bush admitted to forming a mysterious “shadow government” comprised of unknown persons who are living in underground bunkers at secret sites outside Washington, D.C. Not even top legislators know who these people are or what instructions have been given them. Furthermore, how does a “shadow government” mesh with the U.S. Constitution? These questions have never been (and never will be) answered.
When asked by a reporter about these and other matters, Bush said,
“I have a duty to protect the executive branch from legislative encroachment.”
Congress, for the most part, only learns of Bush’s clandestine carryings-on as brief sketches leak out in the press.
However, none of this seems to bother the American people or members of the press. Bush is a wartime president (even though no one officially declared war) and, therefore, can do anything he pleases with total impunity. In truth, the Bush administration signals the end to both open government and constitutional government — and few people seem to even notice.
Christians cannot comment on Government in USA
Congress has decided to silence you, me, and any other Christian who dares express a moral view that may impact a political campaign! The U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate have both passed a so-called “campaign finance reform” bill … and now President Bush has said he will sign it into law! In spite of all the propaganda in the media, this legislation actually silences Christian and conservative organizations — banning them from commenting on key moral issues during election campaigns … while allowing the liberal media to speak out freely.
This new law is a SLAP IN THE FACE to our right to free speech. It is absolutely, blatantly UNCONSTITUTIONAL!
This legislation effectively strips church and conservative leaders and organizations of religious free speech during elections.
For me or any other conservative spokesperson to comment and inform you with a Christian perspective would be illegal … and the threat of jail a reality!
Even your own pastor cannot inform you on key political and moral issues when it comes time to vote!
So where will you get all your information about the political and moral views of candidates? FROM THE BIASED, SECULAR MEDIA!
From The Wilderness Publications, http://www.copvcia.com, see a related article on how scientists and academics are viewing the possibility of reducing the world’s population by more than four billion people and doing so selectively with DNA biological weapons. See how hundreds of microbiologists are being assassinated world-wide to keep this plan in the hands of only a few people. [www.rense.com, http://www.narconews.com]
The G20: The New Ruling Aristocracy of the World?
Share the World’s Resources
The finance ministers and reserve bank governors of the G20 countries gather with leading International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank officials. They tell us that these politicians come to create a better world for us. The biggest joke of all is that they will expect us to believe this lie. Of course, if you look past the superficial pomp, glitz and sheer propaganda that are part of their gatherings, you will find that a better world is not being created for us; a better world is being created for the global elite and their transnational companies to our detriment.
The G20 only cares about economic growth for the richest companies on earth; they really don’t care about us — we are inconsequential to them until we rise up in protest. Indeed, at their meetings the G20 will be formulating plans to further exploit the workers and poor of the world to produce more wealth for transnational companies and their greedy capitalist owners.
The G20’s Composition and Agenda
The G20 comprises of the 20 biggest economies in the world, in the form of the US, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Russia, Japan, South Africa, China, Brazil, Australia, Argentina, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Turkey. Together these countries account for 90% of the world gross product and over 80% of world trade. Added to this, with their combined voting power in the IMF and the World Bank, these countries completely dominate these institutions. Indeed, the President of the World Bank and Managing Director of the IMF are required to attend all the G20 meetings.
The G20 was established by the G8 in 1999 in the wake of the Asian economic crisis. At the time of the Asian financial crisis, some of the largest economies in the South came under speculative attack, for which neo-liberal policies such as financial liberalisation had created the space. When the crisis initially broke, billions of dollars were wiped out in a matter of hours and it threatened to spread to the countries of the North.
Indeed, the Asian economic crisis shook the most powerful countries and economic institutions, such as the IMF and the World Bank, to their core. It actually endangered the entire neo-liberal global project that had been formulated to supposedly overcome the crisis that capitalism had first began to experience in the 1970s, which was and is based on the problem of over-accumulation of capital.
To shore up the neo-liberal system, the giants of the G8, led by the United States, realised that they needed to further draw in the biggest countries of the South, such as South Africa, India, China, and Brazil into the global financial governance system. The G20 was one attempt to do this and in effect rescue the global neo-liberal agenda, which had been — and still is — so favourable to the interests of transnational companies.
The G20’s self-stated purpose is to meet annually to discuss policies that will promote continuous high economic growth for transnational corporations across the world, whilst at the same time attempting to limit any possible financial crisis that may pose a threat to high economic growth. To do this, the G20 has opted to promote neo-liberal globalisation even further.
The most important document that has been produced by the G20 so far is the Accord for Sustained Growth. It outlines the policies that the G20 countries aim to promote in order to create an environment in which the largest companies in the world can maintain high growth.
One of the most important pillars of the G20’s Accord for Sustained Growth is financial liberalisation. As such, the G20 has called for countries across the world to further open up their economies to capital flows. The goal of this is to increasingly allow companies to move money in and out of any economy in the world.
Thus, the G20 wants to entrench an environment where corporations can look for countries and areas of investment that offer the highest rates of return. This includes allowing companies to buy assets in any country and speculate on any stock market in the world.
Of course, financial liberalisation has already spawned speculation on currencies and stock markets on an unprecedented scale, which in turn has created financial volatility and increased the likelihood of another financial crisis. Due to the fact that the G20 believes in financial liberalisation, their answer to this increased financial volatility is not for countries to impose financial controls to stop speculation but rather for countries to build up their currency reserves and strengthen their capital markets.
The G20 countries, including South Africa, believe that countries could use these reserves to defend their currencies and stock markets when they are attacked by speculators. Building up reserves means that countries have to divert money away from social spending. Thus, the G20 countries believe that speculation should be allowed to continue, and its negatives effects, such as currency and stock market crashes, should be borne by the poor, who will lose further social services so that vast reserves can be built up to defend currencies and stock markets when the corporate speculators descend on them.
Through the Accord for Sustained Growth, the G20 has also called for all countries to advance the privatisation of state-owned assets and public services. This creates further investment opportunities for transnational corporations, who can now swoop into the countries of the South and buy up the ex-state owned assets that offer the best possibilities for future profiteering.
In fact, under South Africa’s chairmanship, the G20 has been pushing countries to privatise state assets at an increasingly rapid rate in order to use the money received from this to service debts to the IMF, the World Bank, and private Northern banks. Since much of the debt owed by the South is illegitimate, this call for the countries of the South to sell their public assets to pay the IMF, the World Bank and Northern private banks is especially sickening.
It will translate into a situation where people across the globe will lose the few remaining social services that they still have so that the Northern private banks can grow richer.
The G20 countries have also sought to assist the largest transnational corporations to increase their profits in a variety of other ways. The G20 has promoted policies to create a flexible labour market on a global scale. In other words, the G20 are promoting policies that strip workers of their few remaining rights so that corporations can pay them less and less and thereby drive up their profit rates.
Along with this, the G20 has implemented policies that are aimed at protecting the intellectual property rights (IRPs) of corporations, including patents on medicines. In doing so, the message being sent by the majority of the G20 countries is that the interests of transnational corporations are more important than people’s lives.
Through the Accord for Sustained Growth, the G20 countries have also committed themselves to implementing and furthering trade liberalisation. Indeed, all of the G20 countries are firm believers in free trade because it is the transnational companies that are based within their territories that benefit from free trade regionally and globally. For this reason, the G20 countries have used the G20 meetings as a forum to discuss how they could collectively kickstart the stalled WTO negotiations. In fact, the G20 countries are the driving force within the WTO: they are the ones that have driven the entire WTO process through the exclusive green room meetings in which they participate to the exclusion of smaller countries of the South.
At their meetings, the G20 will also be discussing the possibility of implementing a number of reforms within the World Bank and the IMF. However, the reforms that have been suggested by the G20 countries are only superficial. The largest countries of the South involved in the G20, such as South Africa, Brazil, China, and India, want to reform the World Bank and the IMF in order to receive greater voting rights for themselves within these institutions. They have, however, not called for equal voting rights for all countries in IMF and the World Bank, which is significant. In effect, this means that South Africa, Brazil, China, and India are still willing to deny larger voting rights for smaller nations within the IMF and the World Bank.
It, therefore, appears as if these G20 countries wish to use the G20 to push for greater voting rights for themselves in the IMF and the World Bank so that they can join the older imperial powers in using these institutions to promote the expansionary agendas of their own capitalist elite. Certainly the reforms that are proposed by the G20 countries regarding the IMF and the World Bank have not extended to questioning the neo-liberal policies these institutions have forced upon poorer nations of the South. This is because all of the G20 countries are firm believers in neo-liberal economics.
In fact, the G20 countries have openly stated that as part of the proposed IMF and the World Bank “reform” process, the control that these institutions have over smaller countries’ economies should be strengthened. This would entail the further imposition of neo-liberal economic policies on smaller countries.
It is telling that the G20 countries, especially South Africa, India, and Brazil, wish to extend the powers and reach of the IMF and the World Bank at the very moment that these institutions have lost much of their power and credibility in the South. Indeed, the IMF and the World Bank, and the neo-liberal agenda that they push, are being openly challenged by countries such as Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, and Ecuador. The defence that G20 countries, such as South Africa and Brazil, have mounted on behalf of the IMF and the World Bank clearly demonstrates that these countries are far more aligned with the older imperial powers than they are with progressive countries, such as Venezuela and Ecuador.
The Consequences of the Policies Pushed by the G20
The consequences of the neo-liberal policies that have, and are, being pushed by the G20 countries are familiar: the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. While most of the G20 countries are now richer than ever under neo-liberal globalisation; as many as 80 other countries are now poorer than they were in the 1970s.
Although trade has increased under the global neo-liberal ‘free’ trade regime, it has only been an elite who have benefited. The portion of exports from the poorest countries has declined markedly. In fact, the poorest 48 countries now only account for 0.4% of global exports. This is because the industries in these countries have been destroyed by imports flooding in under the banner of ‘free’ trade. All of this translates into a world of growing inequality: a world where the richest 400 people, the new global capitalist aristocracy, now have more money than the poorest 3 billion people combined.
While companies have made massive profits due to neo-liberal policies that are promoted by the G20 countries, the people of the world have suffered. Due to privatisation, billions of people have lost all access to social services, such as education, water, sanitation, and healthcare. This is because, in most countries, these services are now being sold by private companies as commodities: if you can’t afford to pay for such services, you don’t get them! The macabre result: over 1 billion people have lost access to clean drinking water; 2.6 billion people lack basic sanitation; over 1 billion people are illiterate; 820 million people suffer from malnutrition; over 1 billion people lack access to any form of healthcare; and 30 000 children die every day from poverty.
This takes place in a world where the amount of money spent by American and European companies on entertainment each year could give every person in the world access to enough food, proper healthcare, basic education, and clean water.
The Reasons Why the G20 Emerged
The event that led to the formation of the G20 was the Asian financial crisis. However, the actual reasons why the G20 was formed are more systemic and relate to the steady decline of US imperial power and the growing breakdown of US hegemony — the Asian crisis was simply the catalyst for the formation of the G20, not the reason why it was formed.
Since the early 1970s, and the beginning of the global capitalist crisis, the US’s global economic dominance and hegemony has been on the decline. In 1950, the US supplied 50% of the world’s gross product; by 2003 this had dropped to 20%. In 1950, 60% of all manufactured goods were produced in the US, today only 20% of manufactured goods derive from the US. Non-US companies now dominate most of the industries in the world. For example, 9 of the 10 largest electronics companies, 8 of the 10 largest car manufacturing companies, 7 of the 10 largest oil companies, and 19 out of the 25 largest banks in the world are non-American. Since 2002, the US has also been paying out more to foreign investors than it has received from its investments abroad. This, along with declining exports, has seen its current account deficit balloon.
As early as the mid-1970s, the global position of the US state and capital was declining and that they were losing market share and economic power to other imperial countries, such as France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Japan. Certain sections of US capital realised that the growing importance of countries such as Japan and Germany, along with decline of the US, could spark inter-imperial rivalry on a global scale, which would be detrimental to the capitalist system as a whole.
Some of the most important sections of the US capitalist class have been firm believers that the largest capitalists across the globe have a common interest in ensuring that there is a stable global environment that favours capital accumulation, even though they may compete with one another as individual capitalists. Thus, these influential US capitalists believe that the most powerful capitalist states should work together to create a global environment that favours the interests of the most powerful corporations in the world.
The influence that this section of US capital exerted over the US state led to the US forming the G7 in 1978. The formation of the G7 was aimed at persuading Western Europe and Japan that the US was willing to work with other capitalist powers to create a global environment that would favour the interests of all of the most powerful capitalists. On this basis, and through the G7, a collective imperialism was formed, which was headed up by the US, but included lesser imperial powers like the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, and Japan.
By the 1990s a number of countries in the South had also begun to emerge as regional imperialists. For example, since the 1990s, sections of Brazilian capital, with the assistance of the Brazilian state, have been rapidly expanding into other Latin American countries. In East Asia, China has emerged as a major player and now looks set to rival the US globally. Similarly, South Africa has emerged as a regional imperialist in Africa. The South African state has been working hand in glove with South African corporations to assist them to expand into other African countries. This has seen South Africa becoming the largest foreign direct investor in Africa.
With countries such as South Africa, Brazil, India, Australia, and China emerging as regional powerhouses, the US was faced with a further devolution of its power in the regions where these countries were and are acting as imperialist powers. Again the US indicated to these countries that it would be willing to cooperate with them. In doing so, the US co-opted South Africa, Brazil, and India into the collective imperial system that it had created with lesser imperial powers like the UK, Germany, France, etc. It did this in a number of ways. For example, South Africa, China, Brazil, and India were welcomed into the inner circles of the World Economic Forum.
The World Economic Forum has been one of the central institutions through which capitalists and leaders from the South have been inducted into the emerging global capitalist aristocracy. Along with this, regional emerging imperialists, such as South Africa, were drawn into the centres of power in the WTO, the IMF, and the World Bank. Similarly, the G20 was established to entice the emerging regional imperial powers into the global collective imperial system. The aim of this was to ensure global stability so that a climate which favours capital accumulation globally could be assured. Of course, the new regional imperial powers like South Africa have not joined as equal partners; they are lesser partners in the global collective imperial system. This can be seen by the fact that the G20 is not yet a highly formal structure like the G8.
Despite acting as a collective globally, through such institutions as the G20, each of the powers involved in the collective imperial system has its specific region of the world in which it operates as the prominent imperialist power to further its own capitalist entities interests. For example, the US’s main strategic imperialist spheres are Latin America, the Middle East, parts of Africa, and parts of Asia; while Britain’s imperialist ambitions are mainly restricted to some of its ex-colonies.
Similarly, South Africa’s imperialist sphere covers much of sub-Saharan Africa. As a result, where two or more imperial powers’ interests clash in a certain region or country, they will compete in that region or country, even though globally they will remain aligned through institutions such as the G20 and the World Economic Forum. Hence, although not in conflict globally, in certain areas in Africa, South African, British, and US interests do clash. This, however, does not preclude South Africa, Britain, and the US from working together in other areas of Africa where they have common interests.
Within the collective imperial system, the various countries continuously jostle to increase their powerbases. Specifically, under George Bush Jr, the US has acted unilaterally on a number of occasions to strengthen its leadership position within the global collective imperial system. It has targeted strategically located countries such as Iraq, Iran, North Korea, and Zimbabwe through military actions and sanctions. Such actions were not just directed at these countries — they were actually warnings to the regional and global imperial powers located close to these countries or with interests in these countries, such as the EU, Russia, China, and South Africa.
For example, the US invasion of Iraq was aimed at seizing oil interests in Iraq for US companies to the detriment of European oil companies. Added to this, the military attack on Iraq was also meant as a veiled warning to the European powers not to openly challenge the US’s leadership role in the global imperial system.
Such action by the US has even extended into a bid to gain global dominance as the sole imperial power. However, because of its declining economic and political power, the US has failed dismally in these actions. It has become bogged down in a war in Iraq, which it is losing. It has also failed to intimidate North Korea into submission and thereby undermine China’s power. Similarly it has also failed to get rid of the ZANU-PF in Zimbabwe, which was aimed at curbing South Africa’s imperial influence and power in sub-Saharan Africa.
By undertaking these actions, and failing to reach its goals, the US has found itself in a serious crisis. Due to these failures its leadership position in the global collective imperial system has been further eroded.
As a result of the costly wars it is waging, the US is now borrowing at an unprecedented rate: its debt now stands at over $9 trillion. Most of this debt is owed to countries such as China, Russia, India, Brazil, and South Africa. If the dollar continues to weaken, there is a real danger for the US that these countries will withdraw the money that they have invested in US bonds. If this happens, the US economy will be in severe crisis and may even experience an economic meltdown, which will have knock-on effects globally.
At this point the US is at a crossroads. It can try and maintain its leadership position through military might: abandon initiatives such as the G8, the G20, and the World Economic Forum, and attack the emerging regional and global imperial powers militarily and/or economically. This is an unlikely option. Iraq has proved that despite all of its high tech weapons the US is militarily over-stretched. It could not fight wars on multiple fronts like the British Empire of old.
Added to this, a global imperial war — along with the trade barriers that would accompany it — are not in the interests of the biggest US transnational companies. The largest transnational companies, and their global capitalist owners, want a global neo-liberal free trade regime. They need such a global free trade regime to function as truly transnational companies and maximise their profits.
The other option that the US has — to deal with its declining power — is to further broaden and strengthen the global collective imperial system. This would perhaps involve replacing the G8 with the G20 and granting the reforms in the IMF and the World Bank that have been demanded by China, South Africa, India, and Brazil. This would also further undermine the US’s power, but it would further bind the global elite in the G20, and their project, together. Such an option is actually favoured by some sections of the US capitalist elite, and seems the most likely path the US will follow.
Even if the G20’s power is increased, and the global collective imperial system is strengthened, there are no guarantees that capitalism will not experience a massive crisis in the future. Neo-liberalism has created a form of capitalism that is volatile, highly unstable, and susceptible to crises. Added to this, capitalism has created an unprecedented environmental crisis.
The meetings of the G20 are meetings of the global elite. Despite the rivalries between the countries involved, they have proven and continue to prove a willingness to work together to force neo-liberal economic policies on the people of the planet.
The aim of such policies is to maximise the profits of the largest transnational corporations in the world. Like the US, the people of the world also face a choice. We can sit by and watch the G20 — along with the other forums that the collective imperial powers use — push through neo-liberal policies, or we can join together and resist.
We can join hands with the movements that have emerged across the world, like the Zapatistas, to struggle against neo-liberal capitalism and the collective global imperial system. We can also join with the countries — like Venezuela and Ecuador — that have used the decline of the US to embark upon a path away from capitalism.
The choice is ours: we can choose to struggle to make another world possible or we can sit in silence and let the likes of Trevor Manuel and his allies in the G20 do what they want.
Building the NWO by Stealth
Once the City of London (the financial sector within London) used British Military Forces to carve out a physical empire for the British East India Company and the bankers. Nowadays the ruling Venetian oligarchy and its Khazar Monarchy is dividing and conquering the world by a different form of imperialism. Globalization.
It has been estimated that the Monarchy presently dominates over 90% of the present international financial system. The money-power has long been transferring its wealth from paper to hard assets in order to position itself to rule following the complete collapse of the financial structure. Control of resources, trade, financial markets, currency and commodity prices have enabled asset-stripping, sometimes by destroying national economies as in Russia and Asia, or through commanding debt-reduction strategies involving privatization of state assets like banks, airlines and water utilities as in Australia.
The final objective in globalization is world depopulation and a return to serfdom as directed by UN and national policies in place since at least the 1980’s.
The UN is an agency for legitimizing and enforcing the designs of the City of London for their planned NWO. By dividing a nation so as to gain a foothold in some strategic area they can destabilize that nation, bringing it under economic restraint or blackmail by the IMF and World Bank. Then UN “peacekeeping” troops can occupy the troubled region indefinitely, making as it were, a UN colony defended by “the rest of the world” team in behalf of what Benjamin Disraeli called the “Hidden Hand”.
The IMF is “bag man” for the International Bankers. It assembles guarantees and collateral from nations like Australia, whose leaders are controlled by the City, in order to salvage the bad debts of private banking consortia when nations default. And it ensures collection of usury by enforcing “conditionalities,” which, if ignored, can mean the boycott of international credit.
The Australian League of Rights stated in their weekly Newsletter, On Target (Vol.35, No.37 – September 24, 1999),
“East Timor is merely the most recent of a long list of countries destroyed by the apparent inaction of the United Nations. And it is not the first time Clinton has stood by and refused to commit Combat Troops that could have prevented the slaughter of thousands of innocent people. Populations the length and breadth of Africa have been decimated with exactly the same treatment.”
(Half of all newborn babies in Africa have AIDS, a disease made by the USDOD and distributed in Africa by WHO vaccinations. Average life expectancy for these newborn babies will be 25 years, the continent will be depopulated as planned and control or resources will revert to the oligarchy through their presence and geopolitical predominance).
“Another independent nation threatened by the actions of the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization (formerly GATT), both part of the United Nations and the evolving ‘World Government’, is Taiwan.”
“The purpose of the UN force currently taking control (in East Timor) is explained by UN spokesman David Wimhurst: “that mission includes as everybody knows the eventual formation of transmission of administration which would allow at some point East Timor to become independent.”
“Independent” in this context means independent only of Indonesia. The UN is the political and military arm of the World Bank. The essential criterion for East Timor to achieve independent nation status is that it submits to becoming a subsidiary of the World Bank. The people were allowed a referendum on whether they wanted to be free from Jakarta, but they will never be allowed a say in their relationship to the debt merchants.
“ABC news reports that the World Bank says it is ready to “offer” financial help to rebuild East Timor. “Bank president James Wolfensohn says a team will be sent to the territory as soon as it is safe. Mr. Wolfensohn continues ‘the people that will be running the (reconstruction) program… will be the UN, but subject to what the UN decides, I think we will certainly be trying to work with and embrace the East Timorese. And I would expect that representatives of the potential East Timorese government will in fact be in Washington in the next several days and we will be ready to talk to them.'” They are currently talking to East Timor’s independence leader, Xanana Gusmao.”
“In scenes reminiscent of John Howard’s first days as Prime Minister, if Mr. Gusmao says what the UN wants to hear, and signs the fledgling state into eternal debt bondage, he will be allowed to become head of state. If not, agreeable replacements will be swiftly and professionally vetted. Nothing will be left to chance on this issue. Disraeli wrote over 100 years ago that the world is run by people very different to those that most people are aware of.”
“It is an illusion also that East Timor is reliant on the World Bank for its reconstruction. The reconstruction of East Timor is reliant on the physical amount of the natural resources and technology available to it. The finance system is a man-controlled one which should not be allowed to restrict these physical realities” (end of On Target quote).
US Secretary of Defense, William Cohen said in Jakarta today, that unless Indonesia disarms the militia, prosecutes those responsible for the violence and stops the massacres in East Timor, the US will do severe damage to Indonesia.
We should view events in East Timor as a continuation of what has happened in Kosova. The City of London created the situation in East Timor to splinter Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous nation, and in the process pick-up the vast oil, gas and mineral riches of the Timor Sea as they position themselves to maintain power following the collapse of world currencies.
Until the Asian Economic Meltdown was inflicted in 1997, Indonesia was prospering, with a national oil, industry, manufacturing, forestry and mining development and a poverty rate lower than the US. Within six-months the economic gains achieved in the previous 25 years were lost when at the insistence of lackies of the City of London in the Australian government, and the pro-IMF oligarchy installed through US efforts in 1965, the nation capitulated to the IMF.
It now becomes clear that the Timor Gap Treaty, whereby one man, ex-Foreign Minister Gareth Evans, granted Indonesia sovereignty over hundreds of billions of dollars worth of proven oil and gas reserves, was a conspiracy. We see now the Senator’s loyalties lay with the City of London who plan to hold the world’s resources in a NWO. Doubtless he has purchased the reward he has long coveted, of high office with the UN (at US$300,000.00) following his resignation from the Australian Parliament last week (with a A$2.3 million Superannuation payout).
And Prime Minister John Howard’s complicity as an agent of the City is demonstrated by Australia’s call for a referendum in East Timor after helping to make it an economic cripple by enticing it into IMF conditionalities following the Asian Economic Meltdown.
Small wonder Indonesian troops inflicted a scorched earth policy in East Timor. Their government know they have been betrayed by Australia. When Indonesia accepted IMF help it destroyed their economy and their society. By withstanding ex-Prime Minister Paul Keating’s bullying tactics, Dr. Mahathir rejected the IMF and Malaysia has prospered. On the other hand, Kosova was destroyed and given to drug lords and criminals because Yugoslavia was independent of the IMF and refused to privatise state assets. As with World War II, the strategy behind the aggression against Serbia is for the break-up of Russia.
There was more than altruism behind John Howard’s guaranteeing a bankrupt Indonesia to the IMF with Australian surety. If would be drawing a long bow to suppose John Howard was unaware of his part in this plan to break-up that nation for the benefit of the City. Now he is supervising — with the lives of Australian soldiers as surety.
The current edition of The Philadelphia Trumpet compares Australia’s army with “Dad’s Army” of the 1970’s British TV comedy series. It exposes Australia’s defense unpreparedness and the dismantling of the Australian Security and Intelligence Organization (ASIO) by successive Fabian socialist governments since 1972 and quoting The Bulletin (August 3), rehearses “a decade of disastrous intelligence and economic judgments at bureaucratic and academic levels” with intelligence bungling and constant failure to foresee situations before they arise.
According to On Target, Australia’s Defense spending has averaged 1.9% of GDP whereas ABC Radio National today estimated that Australians spend 1% of GDP purchasing marijuana.
Keep listening to see if International Narcotics, a common denominator associated with recent conflict in Kosova, Colombia, Chechynia, Turkey, Afghanistan, Kurdistan and Dagestan turns out to be an important factor in the East Timor situation. Drug money laundering through City of London-controlled banks provides an important sounce of physical cash (as distinct from electronic funds) is big business, and when you say IMF think drugs.
Strauss-Kahn Screws Africa
By Greg Palast, The Guardian
May 20, 2011
Now that I’ve dispensed with the obvious and obnoxious teaser headline, let’s drop the towel and expose Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s history of arrogant abuse. The truth is, the grandee of the IMF has molested Africans for years.
On Wednesday, the New York Times ran five – count’em, FIVE – stories on Strauss-Kahn, Director-General of the International Monetary Fund. According to the Paper of Record, the charges against “DSK,” as he’s known in France, are in “contradiction” to his “charm” and “accomplishments” at the IMF.
Au contraire, mes chers lecteurs.
Director-General DSK’s cruelty, arrogance and impunity toward African and other nations as generalissimo of the IMF is right in line with the story told by the poor, African hotel housekeeper in New York City.
Let’s consider how the housekeeper from Guinea ended up here in New York. In 2002, this single mother was granted asylum. What drove her here? It began with the IMF rape of Guinea.
In 2002, the International Monetary Fund cut off capital inflows to this West African nation. Without the blessing of the International Monetary Fund, Guinea, which has up to half the world’s raw material for aluminum, plus oil, uranium, diamonds and gold, could not borrow a dime to develop these resources.
The IMF’s cut-off was, in effect, a foreclosure, and the nation choked and starved while sitting on its astonishing mineral wealth. As in the sub-prime mortgage foreclosures we see today, the IMF moved quickly to seize Guinea’s property.
But the IMF did not seize this nation’s riches for itself. Rather, it forced Guinea to sell off its resources to foreign corporations at prices much like the sale of furniture on the lawn of a foreclosed house.
The French, Americans, Canadians, Swiss (and lately, the Chinese) came in with spoons out and napkins tucked in under their chins, swallowing the nation’s bauxite, gold and more. In the meantime, the IMF ordered the end of trade barriers and thereby ruined local small holders.
As a result of the IMF attack, Guineans who could, fled for freedom and food. This week, then, marked the second time this poor African was molested by the IMF.
Now we have the context of how these two, the randy geezer of globalization and the refugee ended up, in quite different positions, in that New York hotel room.
Since taking over the IMF in 2007, erstwhile “Socialist” Strauss-Kahn has tightened the screws in an attempt to maintain the free-market finance mania that ruined this planet in the first place. [That’s worth a story in itself – and that’s coming. Our team has a stack of inside documents from the IMF that we will be releasing in my new book in the Fall.]
DSK’s lawyers say the relationship with the housekeeper was “consensual.” But DSK says that about all IMF agreements with nations over whom it holds life and death powers. That’s like saying a bank robbery is consensual so long as you don’t consider the gun.
Whether it was agreed-upon sex or brutal rape, it could only have been “consensual” in the same way that the people of Guinea consented to IMF-ordered financial rapine.
The Times article quotes an IMF crony of Strauss-Kahn saying DSK gets his way by “persuasion” not “bullying.” Tell that to the Greeks.
It was DSK who, last year, personally insisted on brutal terms for the so-called bail-out of Greece. “Strong conditionality” is the IMF term. Strauss-Kahn demanded not just a devastating cut in pensions and a deliberate increase in unemployment to 14%, but also the sell-off of 4,000 of 6,000 state-owned services. The DSK IMF plan allowed the financiers who set the financial fires of Greece to pick up the nation’s assets at a fire-sale price.
The Strauss-Kahn demands were not “tough love” for Greece: The love was reserved solely for the vulture bankers who received the IMF funds but were not required to accept one euro in lost profit in return. DSK, despite the advice of many, refused to ask the banks and speculators to reduce their usurious interest charges that were the root of Greece’s woes.
Requiring Greece to sell assets, drop trade barriers, and even end the rule that Greek ships use Greek sailors has nothing to do with saving Greece, but everything to do with DSK’s commitment to protect every banker’s balance sheet from unwanted violations.
I do not consider it a stretch to say that a predator in the bank boardroom suite assumes his impunity applies to the hotel suite.
Forensic economist and journalist Greg Palast, author of the New York Times bestsellers, Armed Madhouse and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, has investigated the IMF and World Bank for BBC Television Newsnight and the Guardian Newspapers (London) and Democracy Now! (New York).
Former IMF Chief (and sexual predator) DSK gets the boot at a protest rally of more than 100,000 in Greece on May 29th
Flashback: The Big Privatisation Debate – African Experiences (Excerpt)
With the intensified push for economic liberalization by the IMF, World Bank and other creditor institutions, more and more African leaders are agreeing to privatize. Over the past decade, African governments, often under pressure from creditor institutions to act quickly, have sold off thousands of state-owned enterprises. – Privatization shifts gears in Africa, African Recovery, April 2000
Africa Policy E-Journal
November 13, 2002
…Beginning in the 1970s, and gaining momentum throughout the 1980s and 1990s, has been the global trend away from state ownership and control towards privatisation.
Recent studies on privatisation in several African countries have shown that:
Privatisation led to the loss of over 60,000 jobs in Zambia while several hundred thousand workers were retrenched in Ghana.
Privatisation led to increases in the price of services. In Zambia, a privatised bus company dramatically increased the bus fares and closed down unprofitable — mostly rural — bus routes. As a result many Zambians now walk many kilometres to their workplaces and schools because they can no longer afford the bus fares or because the buses no longer service the areas where they live.
In Nigeria the prices for Kerosene increased by 6,000% between 1985 and 1995. Postal and telecommunications services increased their prices by 2,500 – 5,000% during that period while electricity prices increased by 883%.
In Ghana the introduction of cost recovery programmes were part of privatisation and resulted in increased fees for health and education services. As a result, they became unaffordable for the poor.
In Zimbabwe, privatisation also led to retrenchments and increased prices for services. The Cotton Company of Zimbabwe, for example, reduced its workforce from 3,000 to 500 after privatisation.
Flashback: IMF Forces African Countries to Privatise Water
February 8, 2001
A review of IMF loan policies in forty random countries reveals that, during 2000, IMF loan agreements in 12 countries included conditions imposing water privatization or full cost recovery. In general, it is African countries, and the smallest, poorest and most debt-ridden countries, that are being subjected to IMF conditions on water privatization and full cost recovery.
Ironically, the majority of these loans were negotiated under the IMF’s new Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), says Sara Grusky from the Globalization Challenge Initiative [http://www.challengeglobalization.org]. The reform was announced with great fanfare in 1999 when IMF officials claimed that the new loan facility would re-focus the IMF’s controversial structural adjustment measures on activities that borrowing government’s would identify as leading to poverty reduction.
An example is tiny Sao Tome and Principe. The island government has been put under pressure to pursue the implementation of a public enterprise reform through privatization and liquidation of nonperforming public enterprises for which buyers cannot be found. Nine public enterprises will be privatised, including the water and electricity utility and the national airline (Air Sâo Tomé).
The objective is said to be “to increase access to safe drinking water through rehabilitation of the waterworks system,” according to the IMF.
Some 20 percent of the population does not have access to safe water at present, but this number could rise if market prices are set on the service.
Rather than contributing to poverty reduction, water privatization and greater cost recovery make water less accessible and less affordable to the low income communities that make up the majority of the population in developing countries. The alternative is to revert to unsafe water sources or more distant sources.
The most immediate impact of reducing the accessibility and affordability of water falls on women and children. Worldwide, more than five million people, most of them children, die every year from illnesses caused from drinking poor quality water.
“When water become more expensive and less accessible, women and children, who bear most of the burden of daily household chores, must travel farther and work harder to collect water — often resorting to water from polluted streams and rivers,” says Sara Grusky.
This is confirmed by Ghanaian activist, Rudolf Amenga-Etego of the non-governmental Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC), who was in Washington recently highlighting the implications of having the poor pay “market rate tariffs” for water in Ghana. The World Bank has been pushing decentralisation in Ghana since 1988 and Ghana’s Water Sector Restructuring Project is expected to be approved by the Bank’s Board of Directors this year.
“Where cost-recovery becomes the underlying policy, water will become unaffordable for many poor people in Ghana,” Amenga-Etego told the news agency IPS.
The significance of finding such a high number of conditions relating to water privatization and water cost recovery in IMF loans is twofold. First, in the hierarchy of international financial institutions the IMF is at the top. Compliance with IMF conditions enables governments to receive the “seal of approval” that permits access to other international creditors and investors. Thus IMF conditions weigh especially heavily upon borrowing governments.
Second, it is quite common that World Bank loans have, as their first condition, compliance with certain IMF conditions. This is known as “cross conditionality.” In the division of labor between the two institutions, it is the World Bank that has primary responsibility for “structural” issues such as the privatization of state-owned companies.
Therefore, it can be presumed that in every country where IMF loan conditions include water privatization or full cost recovery, there are corresponding World Bank loan conditions and water projects that are implementing the financial, managerial, and engineering details required for such ‘restructurings’, says Sara Grusky.
In Ghana, civil society has announced its intention to resist the privatisation pushed for by the World Bank. Figures from the Government of Ghana have shown that only 36 percent of the rural population have access to safe water and 11 percent have adequate sanitation within the existing system. Water is also scarce in the capital, Accra. In typical working class areas of Accra such as Medina, it would cost a family 3,000 cedis to use 10 buckets of water a day if prises were to follow market rate tarrifs. Yet, the minimum wage per day is 7,000 cedis.
Also in South Africa, protest is spreading. The South African Anti-Privatisation Forum, a collective of community based organisations and labour unions, has mobilised against the privatisation of local government services, including water. Various strikes over social issues have marked the last year. The recent spread of cholera in South Africa is directly linked to the poor water quality in many working class areas. More expensive water could exclude even more people from clean and safe water.
The table identifies 8 African countries and paraphrases the specific IMF loan conditions relating to water privatization or water cost recovery, as mapped by the Globalization Challenge Initiative. In most of the countries, the IMF conditions require some form of privatization, and in several countries the conditions require both privatization and greater cost recovery…
Web site: http://www.exxon.com
Incorporated: 1882 as Standard Oil Company of New Jersey
Sales: $117.77 billion (1998)
Stock Exchanges: New York Boston Cincinnati Midwest Philadelphia Basel Dusseldorf Frankfurt Geneva Hamburg Paris Zurich
Ticker Symbol: XON
NAIC: 211111 Crude Petroleum & Natural Gas Extraction; 324110 Petroleum Refineries; 324191 Petroleum Lubricating Oil & Grease Manufacturing; 325110 Petrochemical Manufacturing; 447100 Gasoline Stations; 486110 Pipeline Transportation of Crude Oil; 486910 Pipeline Transportation of Refined Petroleum Products; 212110 Coal Mining; 212234 Copper Ore & Nickel Ore Mining; 212299 All Other Metal Ore Mining; 221112 Fossil Fuel Electric Power Generation
As the earliest example of the trend toward gigantic size and power, Exxon Corporation and its Standard Oil forebears have earned vast amounts of money in the petroleum business. The brainchild of John D. Rockefeller, Standard Oil enjoyed the blessings and handicaps of overwhelming power—on the one hand, an early control of the oil business so complete that even its creators could not deny its monopolistic status; on the other, an unending series of journalistic and legal attacks upon its business ethics, profits, and very existence. Exxon became the object of much resentment during the 1970s for the huge profits it made from the OPEC-induced oil shocks. The uproar over the Exxon Valdez oil tanker spill in 1989 put the corporation once more in the position of embattled giant, as the largest U.S. oil company struggled to justify its actions before the public. At the end of the 1990s Exxon stood as the second largest of the world’s integrated petroleum powerhouses—trailing only the Royal Dutch/Shell Group. In addition to its oil and gas exploration, production, manufacturing, distribution, and marketing operations, Exxon was a leading producer and seller of petrochemicals and was involved in electric power generation and the mining of coal, copper, and other minerals. Exxon was also once again making history, through a proposed merger with Mobil Corporation, to create the largest petroleum firm in the world in one of the biggest mergers ever—and to reunite two of the offspring of the Standard Oil behemoth.
Prehistory of Standard Oil
The individual most responsible for the creation of Standard Oil, John D. Rockefeller, was born in 1839 to a family of modest means living in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. His father, William A. Rockefeller, was a sporadically successful merchant and part-time hawker of medicinal remedies. William Rockefeller moved his family to Cleveland, Ohio, when John D. Rockefeller was in his early teens, and it was there that the young man finished his schooling and began work as a bookkeeper in 1855. From a very young age John D. Rockefeller developed an interest in business. Before getting his first job with the merchant firm of Hewitt & Tuttle, Rockefeller had already demonstrated an innate affinity for business, later honed by a few months at business school.
Rockefeller worked at Hewitt & Tuttle for four years, studying large-scale trading in the United States. In 1859 the 19-year-old Rockefeller set himself up in a similar venture—Clark & Rockefeller, merchants handling the purchase and resale of grain, meat, farm implements, salt, and other basic commodities. Although still very young, Rockefeller had already impressed Maurice Clark and his other business associates as an unusually capable, cautious, and meticulous businessman. He was a reserved, undemonstrative individual, never allowing emotion to cloud his thinking. Bankers found that they could trust John D. Rockefeller, and his associates in the merchant business began looking to him for judgment and leadership.
Clark & Rockefeller’s already healthy business was given a boost by the Civil War economy, and by 1863 the firm’s two partners had put away a substantial amount of capital and were looking for new ventures. The most obvious and exciting candidate was oil. A few years before, the nation’s first oil well had been drilled at Titusville, in western Pennsylvania, and by 1863 Cleveland had become the refining and shipping center for a trail of newly opened oil fields in the so-called Oil Region. Activity in the oil fields, however, was extremely chaotic, a scene of unpredictable wildcatting, and John D. Rockefeller was a man who prized above all else the maintenance of order. He and Clark, therefore, decided to avoid drilling and instead go into the refining of oil, and in 1863 they formed Andrews, Clark & Company with an oil specialist named Samuel Andrews. Rockefeller, never given to publicity, was the “Company.”
With excellent railroad connections as well as the Great Lakes to draw upon for transportation, the city of Cleveland and the firm of Andrews, Clark & Company both did well. The discovery of oil wrought a revolution in U.S. methods of illumination. Kerosene soon replaced animal fat as the source of light across the country, and by 1865 Rockefeller was fully convinced that oil refining would be his life’s work. Unhappy with his Clark-family partners, Rockefeller bought them out for $72,000 in 1865 and created the new firm of Rockefeller & Andrews, already Cleveland’s largest oil refiners. It was a typically bold move by Rockefeller, who although innately conservative and methodical was never afraid to make difficult decisions. He thus found himself, at the age of 25, co-owner of one of the world’s leading oil concerns.
Talent, capital, and good timing combined to bless Rockefeller & Andrews. Cleveland handled the lion’s share of Pennsylvania crude and, as the demand for oil continued to explode, Rockefeller & Andrews soon dominated the Cleveland scene. By 1867, when a young man of exceptional talent named Henry Flagler became a third partner, the firm was already operating the world’s number one oil refinery; there was as yet little oil produced outside the United States. The year before, John Rockefeller’s brother, William Rockefeller, had opened a New York office to encourage the rapidly growing export of kerosene and oil byproducts, and it was not long before foreign sales became an important part of Rockefeller strength. In 1869 the young firm allocated $60,000 for plant improvements—an enormous sum of money for that day.
Creation of the Standard Oil Monopoly: 1870–92
The early years of the oil business were marked by tremendous swings in the production and price of both crude and refined oil. With a flood of newcomers entering the field every day, size and efficiency already had become critically important for survival. As the biggest refiner, Rockefeller was in a better position than anyone to weather the price storms. Rockefeller and Henry Flagler, with whom Rockefeller enjoyed a long and harmonious business relationship, decided to incorporate their firm to raise the capital needed to enlarge the company further. On January 10, 1870, the Standard Oil Company was formed, with the two Rockefellers, Flagler, and Andrews owning the great majority of stock, valued at $1 million. The new company was not only capable of refining approximately ten percent of the entire country’s oil, it also owned a barrel-making plant, dock facilities, a fleet of railroad tank cars, New York warehouses, and forest land for the cutting of lumber used to produce barrel staves. At a time when the term was yet unknown, Standard Oil had become a vertically integrated company.
One of the single advantages of Standard Oil’s size was the leverage it gave the company in railroad negotiations. Most of the oil refined at Standard made its way to New York and the Eastern Seaboard. Because of Standard’s great volume—60 carloads a day by 1869—it was able to win lucrative rebates from the warring railroads. In 1871 the various railroads concocted a plan whereby the nation’s oil refiners and railroads would agree to set and maintain prohibitively high freight rates while awarding large rebates and other special benefits to those refiners who were part of the scheme. The railroads would avoid disastrous price wars while the large refiners forced out of business those smaller companies who refused to join the cartel, known as the South Improvement Company.
Ours is a long-term business, with today’s accomplishments a reflection of well-executed plans set in motion years ago. Likewise, Exxon’s success at building shareholder value in the future is dependent on plans we develop and implement today.
The following strategies have and will continue to guide Exxon as we strive to meet shareholder and customer expectations: identifying and implementing quality investment opportunities at a timely and appropriate pace, while maintaining a selective and disciplined approach; being the most efficient competitor in every aspect of our business; maintaining a high-quality portfolio of productive assets; developing and employing the best technology; ensuring safe, environmentally sound operations; continually improving an already high-quality work force; maintaining a strong financial position and ensuring that financial resources are employed wisely.
The plan was denounced immediately by Oil Region producers and many independent refiners, with near-riots breaking out in the oil fields. After a bitter war of words and a flood of press coverage, the oil refiners and the railroads abandoned their plan and announced the adoption of public, inflexible transport rates. In the meantime, however, Rockefeller and Flagler were already far advanced on a plan to combat the problems of excess capacity and dropping prices in the oil industry. To Rockefeller the remedy was obvious, though unprecedented: the eventual unification of all oil refiners in the United States into a single company. Rockefeller approached the Cleveland refiners and a number of important firms in New York and elsewhere with an offer of Standard Oil stock or cash in exchange for their often-ailing plants. By the end of 1872, all 34 refiners in the area had agreed to sell—some freely and for profit, and some, competitors alleged, under coercion. Because of Standard’s great size and the industry’s overbuilt capacity, Rockefeller and Flagler were in a position to make their competitors irresistible offers. All indications are that Standard regularly paid top dollar for viable companies.
By 1873 Standard Oil was refining more oil—10,000 barrels per day—than any other region of the country, employing 1,600 workers, and netting around $500,000 per year. With great confidence, Rockefeller proceeded to duplicate his Cleveland success throughout the rest of the country. By the end of 1874 he had absorbed the next three largest refiners in the nation, located in New York, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. Rockefeller also began moving into the field of distribution with the purchase of several of the new pipelines then being laid across the country. With each new acquisition it became more difficult for Rockefeller’s next target to refuse his cash. Standard interests rapidly grew so large that the threat of monopoly was clear. The years 1875 to 1879 saw Rockefeller push through his plan to its logical conclusion. In 1878, a mere six years after beginning its annexation campaign, Standard Oil controlled $33 million of the country’s $35 million annual refining capacity, as well as a significant proportion of the nation’s pipelines and oil tankers. At the age of 39, Rockefeller was one of the five wealthiest men in the country.
Standard’s involvement in the aborted South Improvement Company, however, had earned it lasting criticism. The company’s subsequent absorption of the refining industry did not mend its image among the few remaining independents and the mass of oil producers who found in Standard a natural target for their wrath when the price of crude dropped precipitously in the late 1870s. Although the causes of producers’ tailing fortunes are unclear, it is evident that given Standard’s extraordinary position in the oil industry it was fated to become the target of dissatisfactions. In 1879 nine Standard Oil officials were indicted by a Pennsylvania grand jury for violating state antimonopoly laws. Although the case was not pursued, it indicated the depth of feeling against Standard Oil, and was only the first in a long line of legal battles waged to curb the company’s power.
In 1882 Rockefeller and his associates reorganized their dominions, creating the first “trust” in U.S. business history. This move overcame state laws restricting the activity of a corporation to its home state. Henceforth the Standard Oil Trust, domiciled in New York City, held “in trust” all assets of the various Standard Oil companies. Of the Standard Oil Trust’s nine trustees, John D. Rockefeller held the largest number of shares. Together the trust’s 30 companies controlled 80 percent of the refineries and 90 percent of the oil pipelines in the United States, constituting the leading industrial organization in the world. The trust’s first year’s combined net earnings were $11.2 million, of which some $7 million was immediately plowed back into the companies for expansion. Almost lost in the flurry of big numbers was the 1882 creation of Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, one of the many regional corporations created to handle the trust’s activities in surrounding states. Barely worth mentioning at the time, Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, or “Jersey” as it came to be called, would soon become the dominant Standard company and, much later, rename itself Exxon.
John D. Rockefeller and Henry Flagler incorporate the Standard Oil Company.
Standard controls $33 million of the country’s $35 million annual refining capacity.
Rockefeller reorganizes Standard Oil into a trust, creating Standard Oil Company of New Jersey as one of many regional corporations controlled by the trust.
Standard founds its first foreign affiliate, Anglo-American Oil Company, Limited.
The Sherman Antitrust Act is passed, in large part, in response to Standard’s oil monopoly.
The trust has secured a quarter of the total oil field production in the United States.
Lawsuit leads to dissolving of the trust; the renamed Standard Oil Company (New Jersey) becomes main vessel of the Standard holdings.
Jersey becomes the sole holding company for all of the Standard interests.
Federal government files suit against Jersey under the Sherman Antitrust Act, charging it with running a monopoly.
U.S. Supreme Court upholds lower court conviction of the company and orders that it be separated into 34 unrelated companies, one of which continues to be called Standard Oil Company (New Jersey).
The Esso brand is used for the first time on the company’s refined products.
A 30 percent interest in Arabian American Oil Company, and its vast Saudi Arabian oil concessions, is acquired.
Company gains seven percent stake in Iranian oil production consortium.
Standard Oil Company (New Jersey) changes its name to Exxon Corporation.
OPEC cuts off oil supplies to the United States.
Revenues exceed $100 billion because of the rapid increase in oil prices.
The crash of the Exxon Valdez in Prince William Sound off the port of Valdez, Alaska, releases about 260,000 barrels of crude oil.
Headquarters are moved from Rockefeller Center in New York City to Irving, Texas.
A federal jury in an Exxon Valdez civil action finds the company guilty of “recklessness” and orders it to pay $286.8 million in compensatory damages and $5 billion in punitive damages.
Company appeals the $5 billion punitive damage award; it reports profits of $8.46 billion on revenues of $120.28 billion for the year.
Company agrees to buy Mobil in one of the largest mergers in U.S. history, which would create the largest oil company in the world, Exxon Mobil Corporation.
The 1880s were a period of exponential growth for Standard. The trust not only maintained its lock on refining and distribution but also seriously entered the field of production. By 1891 the trust had secured a quarter of the country’ s total output, most of it in the new regions of Indiana and Illinois. Standard’s overseas business was also expanding rapidly, and in 1888 it founded its first foreign affiliate, London-based Anglo-American Oil Company, Limited (later known as Esso Petroleum Company, Limited). The overseas trade in kerosene was especially important to Jersey, which derived as much as threefourths of its sales from the export trade. Jersey’s Bayonne, New Jersey refinery was soon the third largest in the Standard family, putting out 10,000 to 12,000 barrels per day by 1886. In addition to producing and refining capacity, Standard also was extending gradually its distribution system from pipelines and bulk wholesalers toward the retailer and eventual end user of kerosene, the private consumer.
Jersey at Head of Standard Oil Empire: 1892–1911
The 1890 Sherman Antitrust Act, passed in large part in response to Standard’s oil monopoly, laid the groundwork for a second major legal assault against the company, an 1892 Ohio Supreme Court order forbidding the trust to operate Standard of Ohio. As a result, the trust was promptly dissolved, but taking advantage of newly liberalized state law in New Jersey, the Standard directors made Jersey the main vessel of their holdings. Standard Oil Company of New Jersey became Standard Oil Company (New Jersey) at this time. The new Standard Oil structure now consisted of only 20 much-enlarged companies, but effective control of the interests remained in the same few hands as before. Jersey added a number of important manufacturing plants to its already impressive refining capacity and was the leading Standard unit. It was not until 1899, however, that Jersey became the sole holding company for all of the Standard interests. At that time the entire organization’s assets were valued at about $300 million and it employed 35,000 people. John D. Rockefeller continued as nominal president, but the most powerful active member of Jersey’s board was probably John D. Archbold.
Rockefeller had retired from daily participation in Standard Oil in 1896 at the age of 56. Once Standard’s consolidation was complete Rockefeller spent his time reversing the process of accumulation, seeing to it that his staggering fortune—estimated at $900 million in 1913—was redistributed as efficiently as it had been made.
The general public was only dimly aware of Rockefeller’s philanthropy, however. More obvious were the frankly monopolistic policies of the company he had built. With its immense size and complete vertical integration, Standard Oil piled up huge profits ($830 million in the 12 years from 1899 to 1911). In relative terms, however, its domination of the U.S. industry was steadily decreasing. By 1911 its percentage of total refining was down to 66 percent from the 90 percent of a generation before, but in absolute terms Standard Oil had grown to monstrous proportions. Therefore, it was not surprising that in 1905 a U.S. congressman from Kansas launched an investigation of Standard Oil’s role in the falling price of crude in his state. The commissioner of the Bureau of Corporations, James R. Garfield, decided to widen the investigation into a study of the national oil industry—in effect, Standard Oil.
Garfield’s critical report prompted a barrage of state lawsuits against Standard Oil (New Jersey) and, in November 1906, a federal suit was filed charging the company, John D. Rockefeller, and others with running a monopoly. In 1911, after years of litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s conviction of Standard Oil for monopoly and restraint of trade under the Sherman Antitrust Act. The Court ordered the separation from Standard Oil Company (New Jersey) of 33 of the major Standard Oil subsidiaries, including those that subsequently kept the Standard name.
Independent Growth into a “Major”: 1911–72
Standard Oil Company (New Jersey) retained an equal number of smaller companies spread around the United States and overseas, representing $285 million of the former Jersey’s net value of $600 million. Notable among the remaining holdings were a group of large refineries, four medium-sized producing companies, and extensive foreign marketing affiliates. Absent were the pipelines needed to move oil from well to refinery, much of the former tanker fleet, and access to a number of important foreign markets, including Great Britain and the Far East.
John D. Archbold, a longtime intimate of the elder Rockefeller and whose Standard service had begun in 1879, remained president of Standard Oil (New Jersey). Archbold’s first problem was to secure sufficient supplies of crude oil for Jersey’s extensive refining and marketing capacity. Jersey’s former subsidiaries were more than happy to continue selling crude to Jersey; the dissolution decree had little immediate effect on the coordinated workings of the former Standard Oil group, but Jersey set about finding its own sources of crude. The company’s first halting steps toward foreign production met with little success; ventures in Romania, Peru, Mexico, and Canada suffered political or geological setbacks and were of no help. In 1919, however, Jersey made a domestic purchase that would prove to be of great long-term value. For $17 million Jersey acquired 50 percent of the Humble Oil & Refining Company of Houston, Texas, a young but rapidly growing network of Texas producers that immediately assumed first place among Jersey’s domestic suppliers. Although only the fifth leading producer in Texas at the time of its purchase, Humble would soon become the dominant drilling company in the United States and eventually was wholly purchased by Jersey. Humble, later known as Exxon Company U.S.A., remained one of the leading U.S. producers of crude oil and natural gas through the end of the century.
Despite initial disappointments in overseas production, Jersey remained a company oriented to foreign markets and supply sources. On the supply side, Jersey secured a number of valuable Latin American producing companies in the 1920s, especially several Venezuelan interests consolidated in 1943 into Creole Petroleum Corporation. By that time Creole was the largest and most profitable crude producer in the Jersey group. In 1946 Creole produced an average of 451,000 barrels per day, far more than the 309,000 by Humble and almost equal to all other Jersey drilling companies combined. Four years later, Creole generated $157 million of the Jersey group’s total net income of $408 million and did so on sales of only $517 million. Also in 1950, Jersey’s British affiliates showed sales of $283 million but a bottom line of about $2 million. In contrast to the industry’s early days, oil profits now lay in the production of crude, and the bulk of Jersey’s crude came from Latin America. The company’s growing Middle Eastern affiliates did not become significant resources until the early 1950s. Jersey’s Far East holdings, from 1933 to 1961 owned jointly with Socony-Vacuum Oil Company—formerly Standard Oil Company of New York and now Mobil Corporation—never provided sizable amounts of crude oil.
In marketing, Jersey’s income showed a similar preponderance of foreign sales. Jersey’s domestic market had been limited by the dissolution decree to a handful of mid-Atlantic states, whereas the company’s overseas affiliates were well entrenched and highly profitable. Jersey’s Canadian affiliate, Imperial Oil Ltd., had a monopolistic hold on that country’s market, while in Latin America and the Caribbean the West India Oil Company performed superbly during the second and third decades of the 20th century. Jersey had also incorporated eight major marketing companies in Europe by 1927, and these, too, sold a significant amount of refined products—most of them under the Esso brand name introduced the previous year (the name was derived from the initials for Standard Oil). Esso became Jersey’s best known and most widely used retail name both at home and abroad.
Jersey’s mix of refined products changed considerably over the years. As the use of kerosene for illumination gave way to electricity and the automobile continued to grow in popularity, Jersey’s sales reflected a shift away from kerosene and toward gasoline. Even as late as 1950, however, gasoline had not yet become the leading seller among Jersey products. That honor went to the group of residual fuel oils used as a substitute for coal to power ships and industrial plants. Distillates used for home heating and diesel engines were also strong performers. Even in 1991, when Exxon distributed its gasoline through a network of 12,000 U.S. and 26,000 international service stations, the earnings of all marketing and refining activities were barely one-third of those derived from the production of crude. In 1950 that proportion was about the same, indicating that regardless of the end products into which oil was refined, it was the production of crude that yielded the big profits.
Indeed, by mid-century the international oil business had become, in large part, a question of controlling crude oil at its source. With Standard Oil Company (New Jersey) and its multinational competitors having built fully vertically integrated organizations, the only leverage remained control of the oil as it came out of the ground. Although it was not yet widely known in the United States, production of crude was shifting rapidly from the United States and Latin America to the Middle East. As early as 1908 oil had been verified in present-day Iran, but it was not until 1928 that Jersey and Socony-Vacuum, prodded by chronic shortages of crude, joined three European companies in forming Iraq Petroleum Company. Also in 1928, Jersey, Shell, and Anglo-Persian secretly agreed to limit each company’s share of world production to their present relative amounts, attempting, by means of this “As Is” agreement, to limit competition and keep prices at comfortably high levels. As with Rockefeller’s similar tactics 50 years before, it was not clear in 1928 that the agreement was illegal, because its participants were located in a number of different countries each with its own set of trade laws. Already in 1928, Jersey and the other oil giants were stretching the very concept of nationality beyond any simple application.
Following World War II, Jersey was again in need of crude to supply the resurgent economies of Europe. Already the world’s largest producer, the company became interested in the vast oil concessions in Saudi Arabia recently won by Texaco and Socal. The latter companies, in need of both capital for expansion and world markets for exploitation, sold 30 percent of the newly formed Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco) to Jersey and ten percent to Socony-Vacuum in 1946. Eight years later, after Iran’s nationalization of Anglo-Persian’s holdings was squelched by a combination of CIA assistance and an effective worldwide boycott of Iranian oil by competitors, Jersey was able to take seven percent of the consortium formed to drill in that oil-rich country. With a number of significant tax advantages attached to foreign crude production, Jersey drew an increasing percentage of its oil from its holdings in all three of the major Middle Eastern fields—Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia—and helped propel the 20-year postwar economic boom in the West. With oil prices exceptionally low, the United States and Europe busily shifted their economies to complete dependence on the automobile and on oil as the primary industrial fuel.
Exxon, Oil Shocks, and Diversification: 1972–89
Despite the growing strength of newcomers to the international market, such as Getty and Conoco, the big companies continued to exercise decisive control over the world oil supply and thus over the destinies of the Middle East producing countries. Growing nationalism and an increased awareness of the extraordinary power of the large oil companies led to the 1960 formation of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Later, a series of increasingly bitter confrontations erupted between countries and companies concerned about control over the oil upon which the world had come to depend. The growing power of OPEC and the concomitant nationalization of oil assets by various producing countries prompted Jersey to seek alternative sources of crude. Exploration resulted in discoveries in Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay and the North Sea in the late 1960s. The Middle Eastern sources remained paramount, however, and when OPEC cut off oil supplies to the United States in 1973—in response to U.S. sponsorship of Israel—the resulting 400 percent price increase induced a prolonged recession and permanently changed the industrial world’s attitude to oil. Control of oil was, in large part, taken out of the hands of the oil companies, who began exploring new sources of energy and business opportunities in other fields.
For Standard Oil Company (New Jersey), which had changed its name to Exxon in 1972, the oil embargo had several major effects. Most obviously it increased corporate sales; the expensive oil allowed Exxon to double its 1972 revenue of $20 billion in only two years and then pushed that figure over the $100 billion mark by 1980. After a year of windfall profits made possible by the sale of inventoried oil bought at much lower prices, Exxon was able to make use of its extensive North Sea and Alaskan holdings to keep profits at a steady level. The company had suffered a strong blow to its confidence, however, and soon was investigating a number of diversification measures that eventually included office equipment, a purchase of Reliance Electric Company (the fifth largest holdings of coal in the United States), and an early 1980s venture into shale oil. With the partial exception of coal, all of these were expensive failures, costing Exxon approximately $6 billion to $7 billion.
By the early 1980s the world oil picture had eased considerably and Exxon felt less urgency about diversification. With the price of oil peaking around 1981 and then tumbling for most of the decade, Exxon’s sales dropped sharply. The company’s confidence rose, however, as OPEC’s grip on the marketplace proved to be weaker than advertised. Having abandoned its forays into other areas, Exxon refocused on the oil and gas business, cutting its assets and workforce substantially to accommodate the drop in revenue without losing profitability. In 1986 the company consolidated its oil and gas operations outside North America, which had been handled by several separate subsidiaries, into a new division called Exxon Company, International, with headquarters in New Jersey. Exxon Company, U.S.A. and Imperial Oil Ltd. continued to handle the company’s oil and gas operations in the United States and Canada, respectively.
Exxon also bought back a sizable number of its own shares to bolster per-share earnings, which reached excellent levels and won the approval of Wall Street. The stock buyback was partially in response to Exxon’s embarrassing failure to invest its excess billions profitably—the company was somewhat at a loss as to what to do with its money. It could not expand further into the oil business without running into antitrust difficulties at home, and investments outside of oil would have had to be mammoth to warrant the time and energy required.
The Exxon Valdez: 1989–98
In 1989 Exxon was no longer the world’s largest company, and soon it would not even be the largest oil group (Royal Dutch/Shell would take over that position in 1990), but with the help of the March 24, 1989, Exxon Valdez disaster the company heightened its notoriety. The crash of the Exxon Valdez in Prince William Sound off the port of Valdez, Alaska, released about 260,000 barrels, or 11.2 million gallons, of crude oil. The disaster cost Exxon $1.7 billion in 1989 alone, and the company and its subsidiaries were faced with more than 170 civil and criminal lawsuits brought by state and federal governments and individuals.
By late 1991 Exxon had paid $2.2 billion to clean up Prince William Sound and had reached a tentative settlement of civil and criminal charges that levied a $125 million criminal fine against the oil conglomerate. Fully $100 million of the fine was forgiven and the remaining amount was split between the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund (which received $12 million) and the U.S. Treasury (which received $13 million). Exxon and a subsidiary, Exxon Shipping Co., also were required to pay an additional $1 billion to restore the spill area.
Although the Valdez disaster was a costly public relations nightmare—a nightmare made worse by the company’s slow response to the disaster and by CEO Lawrence G. Rawl’s failure to visit the site in person—Exxon’s financial performance actually improved in the opening years of the last decade in the 20th century. The company enjoyed record profits in 1991, netting $5.6 billion and earning a special place in the Fortune 500. Of the annual list’s top ten companies, Exxon was the only one to post a profit increase over 1990. Business Week’s ranking of companies according to market value also found Exxon at the top of the list.
The company’s performance was especially dramatic when compared with the rest of the fuel industry: as a group the 44 fuel companies covered by Business Week’s survey lost $35 billion in value, or 11 percent, in 1991. That year, Exxon also scrambled to the top of the profits heap, according to Forbes magazine. With a profit increase of 12 percent over 1990, Exxon’s $5.6 billion in net income enabled the company to unseat IBM as the United States’ most profitable company. At 16.5 percent, Exxon’s return on equity was also higher than any other oil company. The company also significantly boosted the value of its stock through its long-term and massive stock buyback program, through which it spent about $15.5 billion to repurchase 518 million shares—or 30 percent of its outstanding shares—between 1983 and 1991.
Like many of its competitors, Exxon was forced to trim expenses to maintain such outstanding profitability. One of the favorite methods was to cut jobs. Citing the globally depressed economy and the need to streamline operations, Exxon eliminated 5,000 employees from its payrolls between 1990 and 1992. With oil prices in a decade-long slide, Exxon also cut spending on exploration from $1.7 billion in 1985 to $900 million in 1992. The company’s exploration budget constituted less than one percent of revenues and played a large part in Exxon’s good financial performance. Meantime, Exxon in 1990 abandoned its fancy headquarters at Rockefeller Center in New York City to reestablish its base in the heart of oil territory, in the Dallas suburb of Irving, Texas. In 1991 the company established a new Houston-based division, Exxon Exploration Company, to handle the company’s exploration operations everywhere in the world except for Canada.
At the end of 1993 Lee R. Raymond took over as CEO from the retiring Rawl. Raymond continued Exxon’s focus on cost-cutting, with the workforce falling to 79,000 employees by 1996, the lowest level since the breakup of Standard Oil in 1911. Other savings were wrung out by reengineering production, transportation, and marketing processes. Over a five-year period ending in 1996, Exxon had managed to reduce its operating costs by $1.3 billion annually. The result was increasing levels of profits. In 1996 the company reported net income of $7.51 billion, more than any other company on the Fortune 500. The following year it made $8.46 billion on revenues of $120.28 billion, a seven percent profit margin. The huge profits enabled Exxon in the middle to late 1990s to take some gambles, and it risked tens of billion of dollars on massive new oil and gas fields in Russia, Indonesia, and Africa. In addition, Exxon and Royal Dutch/Shell joined forces in a worldwide petroleum additives joint venture in 1996.
Exxon was unable—some said unwilling—to shake itself free of its Exxon Valdez legacy. Having already spent some $1.1 billion to settle state and federal criminal charges related to the spill, Exxon faced a civil trial in which the plaintiffs sought compensatory and punitive damages amounting to $16.5 billion. The 14,000 plaintiffs in the civil suit included fishermen, Alaskan natives, and others claiming harm from the spill. In June 1994 a federal jury found that the huge oil spill had been caused by “recklessness” on the part of Exxon. Two months later the same jury ruled that the company should pay $286.8 million in compensatory damages; then in August the panel ordered Exxon to pay $5 billion in punitive damages. Although Wall Street reacted positively to what could have been much larger damage amounts and Exxon’s huge profits placed it in a position to reach a final settlement and perhaps put the Exxon Valdez nightmare in its past, the company chose to continue to take a hard line. It vowed to exhaust all its legal avenues to having the verdict overturned—including seeking a mistrial and a new trial and filing appeals. In June 1997, in fact, Exxon formally appealed the $5 billion verdict. Exxon seemed to make another PR gaffe in the late 1990s when it attempted to reverse a federal ban on the return to Alaskan waters of the Exxon Valdez, which had by then been renamed the Sea-River Mediterranean. Environmentalists continued to berate the company for its refusal to operate double-hulled tankers, a ship design that may have prevented the oil spill in the first place. In addition, in an unrelated but equally embarrassing development, Exxon in 1997 reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission in which it agreed to run advertisements that refuted earlier ads claiming that its high-octane gasoline reduced automobile maintenance costs.
Nearing the Turn of the Century: Exxon Mobil
In December 1998 Exxon agreed to buy Mobil for about $75 billion in what promised to be one of the largest takeovers ever. The megamerger was one of a spate of petroleum industry deals brought about by an oil glut that forced down the price of a barrel of crude by late 1998 to about $11—the cheapest price in history with inflation factored in. Just one year earlier, the price had been about $23. The oil glut was caused by a number of factors, principally the Asian economic crisis and the sharp decline in oil consumption engendered by it, and the virtual collapse of OPEC, which was unable to curb production by its own members. In such an environment, pressure to cut costs was again exerted, and Exxon and Mobil cited projected savings of $2.8 billion per year as a prime factor behind the merger.
Based on 1998 results, the proposed Exxon Mobil Corporation would have combined revenues of $168.8 billion, making it the largest oil company in the world, and $8.1 billion in profits. Raymond would serve as chairman, CEO, and president of the Irving, Texas-based goliath, with the head of Mobil, Lucio A. Noto, acting as vice-chairman. Shareholders of both Exxon and Mobil approved the merger in May 1999. In September of that year the European Commission granted antitrust approval to the deal with the only major stipulation being that Mobil divest its share of a joint venture with BP Amoco p.l.c. in European refining and marketing. Approval from the Federal Trade Commission proved more difficult to come by, as the agency was concerned about major overlap between the two companies’ operations in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region. The FTC was likely to force the companies to sell more than 1,000 gas stations in those regions as well as accede to other changes to gain U.S. antitrust approval.
Ancon Insurance Company, Inc.; Esso Australia Resources Ltd.; Esso Eastern Inc.; Esso Hong Kong Limited; Esso Malaysia Berhad (65%); Esso Production Malaysia Inc.; Esso Sekiyu Kabushiki Kaisha (Japan); Esso Singapore Private Limited; Esso (Thailand) Public Company Limited (87.5%); Exxon Energy Limited (Hong Kong); Exxon Yemen Inc.; General Sekiyu K.K. (Japan; 50.1%); Esso Exploration and Production Chad Inc.; Esso Italiana S.p.A. (Italy); Esso Standard (Inter-America) Inc.; Esso Standard Oil S.A. Limited (Bahamas); Exxon Asset Management Company (75.5%); Exxon Capital Holdings Corporation; Exxon Chemical Asset Management Partnership; Exxon Chemical Eastern Inc.; Exxon Chemical HDPE Inc.; Exxon Chemical Interamerica Inc.; Exxon Credit Corporation; Exxon Holding Latin America Limited (Bahamas); Exxon International Holdings, Inc.; Esso Aktiengesellschaft (Germany); Esso Austria Aktiengesellschaft; Esso Exploration and Production Norway AS; Esso Holding Company Holland Inc.; Exxon Chemical Antwerp Ethylene N.V. (Belgium); Esso Nederland B.V. (Netherlands); Exxon Chemical Holland Inc.; Exxon Funding B.V. (Netherlands); Esso Holding Company U.K. Inc.; Esso UK pic; Esso Exploration and Production UK Limited; Esso Petroleum Company, Limited (U.K.); Exxon Chemical Limited (U.K.); Exxon Chemical Olefins Inc.; Esso Norge AS (Norway); Esso Sociedad Anonima Petrolera Argentina; Esso Societe Anonyme Francaise (France; 81.54%); Esso (Switzerland); Exxon Minerals International Inc.; Compania Minera Disputada de Las Condes Limitada (Chile); Exxon Overseas Corporation; Exxon Chemical Arabia Inc.; Exxon Equity Holding Company; Exxon Overseas Investment Corporation; Exxon Financial Services Company Limited (Bahamas); Exxon Ventures Inc.; Exxon Azerbaijan Limited (Bahamas); Mediterranean Standard Oil Co.; Esso Trading Company of Abu Dhabi; Exxon Pipeline Holdings, Inc.; Exxon Pipeline Company; Exxon Rio Holding Inc.; Esso Brasileira de Petroleo Limitada (Brazil); Exxon Sao Paulo Holding Inc.; Exxon Worldwide Trading Company; Imperial Oil Limited (Canada; 69.6%); International Colombia Resources Corporation; SeaRiver Maritime Financial Holdings, Inc.; SeaRiver Maritime, Inc.; Societe Francaise EXXON CHEMICAL (France; 99.35%); Exxon Chemical France; Exxon Chemical Poly meres SNC (France).
The List of the 16 caves follow the article below
For your first caving trip you should be able to borrow a lamp and helmet until you decide whether you want to go caving again. You may be able to borrow some other specialist clothes, such as a waterproof oversuit, and other gear. However, don’t worry if you can’t, the following will be suitable for a first trip:
HELMET: With a Y chin-strap and lamp bracket.
LAMP: Any reliable lamp can be used providing it can be attached to your helmet to leave your hands free.
OLD WARM CLOTHES: Perhaps thermal underwear, pullover, thick socks and tracksuit trousers. (NOT jeans as they drag when they get wet.)
WATERPROOF JACKET & OVER TROUSERS: These can be covered with a boiler suit or ‘overall’ to protect them.
BOOTS: Well-fitting wellingtons with non-slip treads are best, otherwise boots without hooks for laces
Story credit: Try Caving http://www.trycaving.co.uk
1. Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave at San Ignacio, Belize
Entrance to the Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave
Photo credit: Mongabay.com travel.mongabay.com
The Crystal Maiden
The Crystal Maiden
Found inside Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave
Photo credit: Travel Into World travelintospain.blogspot.com
Photo credit: The Circumference http://www.thecircumference.org
Accessible to the public only by licensed guides conducting day-trips to multi-day stays, Actun Tunichil Muknal is only one of three caves around the edge of a small valley. Actun Tunichil Muknal is on the northwest, Actun Uayazba Kab is high on the southwest, and the small Actun Nak Beh lies on the southeast edge. Within the valley itself Roaring Creek flows to the north past Cahal Uitz Na, a Maya centre reclaimed by the jungle. The map to the right, while not to scale is a fair representation of the area and shows the small tributary that exits from the east end of Actun Tunichil Muknal and empties into Roaring Creek. Not shown are a number of seasonal creeks or paths between sites. Access to the field camp known as the “Xibalba Hilton” and first stop for all visitors, is via a 3 kilometre hike that comes in from the northeast and hugs the banks & also crosses through Roaring Creek. There is no vehicular access to the sites.
Story credit: Maya Belize http://www.mayabelize.ca
2. Grotte d’Hercule (The Cave of Hercules) at Tangier, Morocco
Dangerous but fun activity
Photo credit: Grotte d’Hercule on Flickr http://www.flickr.com
Inside the cave of Hercules
Inside the cave of Hercules. It was said to be used as a brothel in the early 1900s
Photo credit: ZONGULDAK: Black Diamond of Blacksea http://www.skyscrapercity.com
Photo credit: Google Maps maps.google.com
Located 14 km west of Tangier in Cap Spartel, the north-western extremity of Africa’s Atlantic coast. Cap Spartel is heavily wooded, but below it the Robinson Plage stretches off to the south. The caves are located about 100 metres from the Robinson Plage Holiday Village and surrounded by some expensive cafes.
The caves has been used as a dwelling since Neolithic times. Archaeological excavations have produced human bones and flints. For a long time locals quarried stone here, then, in the first half of the 20th century they were used as brothels, until it was found that tourists were a more lucrative venture.
It is recommended that one visits the caves very early in the morning to avoid being hassled by the locals. The Caves of Hercules are Tangiers premier tourist attraction. Apart from their great beauty and archaeological interest, they are reputed to have been the dwelling place of Hercules who founded Tangier and made the Straits of Gibraltar, with one blow from his sword.
From the entrance kiosk, the guide leads the party along a concrete path, past the old quarry working to a second entrance overlooking the Atlantic ocean. This is called “The Map of Africa”, as the outline of the entrance is said to resemble this feature. This entrance is impassable at high tide.
Story credit: Show Caves of the World http://www.showcaves.com
3. Kungur Ice Cave in the Perm region, Russia
Ice formation inside Kungur Ice Cave
Photo credit: Environmental Protection Department of the Perm http://www.permecology.ru
Map and photo of Kungur Ice Cave
Surface karst features above Kungurskaya Cave, superimposed on the cave map (A) and the view of the Ice Mountain from the Sylva River (from the south). 1 = dry cave passages, 2 = cave lakes, 3 = contours by the breakdown material, 4 = suffosion dolines, 5 = karst collapse/subsidence dolines.
Photo credit: Speleogenesis Online Scientific Journal http://www.speleogenesis.info
Location of Kungur Ice Cave
Kungur Ice Cave is one of the biggest caves in the world and the only in Russia cave purposely equipped for excursions. This unique natural monument, surrounded with multiple legends, is located in the Urals, between Perm and Yekaterinburg. Scientists claim that the age of Kungur ice cave is nearly 10-12 thousand years. The extension of the cave’s passages is around 6000 metres, and the underground tourist route is 1.5 kilometres; the cave has 20 grottos and about 60 lakes.
High popularity of the cave can be explained with favourable and easy to reach location and mysterious charm of its remote alleyways. As soon as one gets into the Kungur cave they start feeling dizzy because of the excessive level of oxygen in the air. The thought about getting lost in the labyrinths can also frighten visitors. Many tourists who were left behind the excursion group had to wait for the next one in complete dark.
Excursions through Kungur cave have nothing in common with museum excursions. When leaving the cave people get a feeling of being born again or returning from a long trip; there is hardly a museum to cause the same effect. It is recommended to visit Kungur cave in late spring, when the ice stalactites reach their maximum size. Tourists are also advised to put on warm clothes and comfortable footwear during the trip.
Kungur ice cave can be referred to one-level labyrinth, and consists of several tens of grottos of various sizes linked by passages and tracks. Some grottos reach 50-100 metres in diameter and 20 metres height. The total extension of all explored passages of the cave is around 5.6 kilometres.
The cave has gained world popularity because of its impressive ice formations giving the grottos incredible and unique beauty which is also reflected in the grottos` names: Brilliant, Polar, Ruins of Pompeii, Meteor’s Grotto, Sea Bottom, Crypt and Cross Grottos, etc. The first grotto tourists usually visit is called Brilliant and is full of beautiful crystals lit with illumination and sparkling with different colours. Brilliant Grotto is linked with the second, Polar Grotto, but it is known that in the past, 100 years ago, the two grottos formed one.
The grotto called Titanic is one of the most interesting ones as it is famous for a big underground lake it has inside. Sometimes a boat appears on the big lake; however, it is not tourists to have a boat trip but scientists from the Academy of scientists, who live and work in a two-storey building located not far from the cave’s entrance.
The length of the longest grotto in Kungur ice cave is 200 metres – this is why the grotto is called Long. Here there are a number of small lakes and there is also the entrance to the reserved part of the cave, which remains untouched for future generations and scientific researches; entering the reserved territory is available only for speleologist groups. There is also a place of complete dark in the cave – Meteor Grotto. Excursion guides usually explain that even cats loose the ability to orientate in space after staying in this grotto for 5 minutes.
Story credit: Russia IC http://www.russia-ic.com
Literary Agents email addresses
If you’ve written a story or a novel, click Literary Agents email addresses to see a list of literary agents’ e-mail addresses
These are non-fee agents and if they have a website, you will see a link to the website listed next to the agent’s email address
4. Atta Cave – Dripstone Cave of Attendorn in Sauerland Germany
Atta Cave in Germany
Photo credit: Holidays in the Southern Sauerland http://www.sued-sauerland.eu
Attendorn cave in Germany
The Attahöhle is probably the most beautiful show cave of Germany, with numerous speleothems along the tour path. There are forests of stalactites, stalagmites, curtains and pillars. One of the chambers is called Kristallpalast (crystal palace) to honor this.
Beneath the normal flowstone, the cave contains huge areas with crusts of calcite crystals, sometimes big enough to be called dogtooth spar. They were formed in standing water, which contained a large amount of calcium carbonate in solution. They only grow inside the water, so the long term water level is the horizontal line where the calcite crystals end. Unfortunately only a small part of those crystals can be seen on the tour. The finest crusts are in the undeveloped parts of the cave and the specimen which are shown on the tour were placed there.
A really beautiful feature are the numerous curtains They are illuminated from behind and show the typical structure with stripes resembling bacon rinds. Those stripes were formed by changing water supply with changing amounts of iron oxide.
The cave was discovered after a blast during the quarry works of the Biggetaler Kalkwerke in 1907. The owner realized the touristsic potential and developed the cave immediately. It was opened the same year with more than 200m trails. The following year the length of trail was more than doubled and it became a round trip. But there was a problem with the original entrance which was located at the road to Finnentrop. With increasing traffic it became more and more dangerous, and so in 1925 a new entrance was built. A 60m long tunnel completed the access to the remaining parts of the cave and relocated the entrance to the Hotel Himmelreich. Unfortunaly the commercialization inhibited any research in the cave, and so it took 70 years until the cave was explored. In the early 1980s some local cavers were allowed to explore the cave, and the length of the cave increased from 850m to 6,670m in 1993.
Unfortunately a cave visit has various drawbacks, like the high entrance fee and the expensive parking. It is not allowed to take pictures in the cave which is explained with copyright reasons, which means they want a monopoly in selling pictures. Also they never corrected the false length that they give: the cave tour is not 1,800m long but only 560m.
Story credit: Show Caves of Germany http://www.showcaves.com
5. Ali Sadr Cave, Hamadan Iran
Ali Sadr Cave in Iran
Photo credit: TripAdvisor http://www.tripadvisor.com
Ali Sadr Cave Iran
One of the most beautiful and most unique natural phenomena in the world is the Ali-Sadr cave in the Hamadan province, Iran, views of which attract visitors’ interest and attention. This huge cave is located 75Km due northeast of city of Hamadan in the heart of mountains called Subashi in the Kaboudar-Ahang town.
After entering the cave we face a relatively vast area, about 270m2, in which we can rest a while and wait for our turn. Passing through a wide path, we arrive at a wharf. From there onward, we should use boats for our excursion.
Along the water canals, which are between 2 to 50 meters wide, we face a good number of labyrinthine halls. All the routes of this cave end in a vast central square called The Island. This square, which has an
Area of approximately 750 m2, is located at the distance of 350 meters from the wharf from which all the branches originate. One of these branches, through which the boats pass, has the length of 2.5Km. in this part the roof, which is 10 to 20 meters above the water level, is covered by calcium Carbonate sediments. Stalactites (icicle-shaped formations of lime hanging from the roof of a cave, formed by the steady dripping of water containing minerals) in different colors double the beauties of this unique cave. Besides, the most astonishing stalagmites (formations of lime extending upwards like a pillar from the floor of a cave as water from a stalactite drips into it) can also be found in this wonderful, marvelous cave. These are seen in the shape of cauliflowers, needles and umbrellas, in colors of red, purple, brown, green and blue. Ali-Sadr is the only yachting cave with waters so clear that we can see to a depth of 5 meters even in a dim light.
Beside the natural significance of this unique phenomenon, it should be pointed out that the discovery of historical tools and works of art aging thousands of years, including jugs and pitchers, indicates that humans lived in this place since 12000 years ago. Furthermore, the paintings of deer, gazelles and stags, the hunting scenes and the image of bow and arrow on the walls and passages of the exit section and prove the point that at the primitive historical ages and in the hunting era man was living in this cave.
The age of this cave is 70 million years and now more than 16Km of its water and land routs have been explored, yet not all the routs are known and the exploration is continuing. The efforts have been somehow successful and in some cases new passages and water routs with lengths of about 10 to 11 Km have been found, some of these canals have even led to dry land finally ending in a lake, after long distances.
Story credit: Iran Chamber Society http://www.iranchamber.com
6. Hasting Caves in Tasmania
Hastings Cave in Tasmania
Hastings Caves in Tasmania include Newdegate Cave, the largest tourism cave in Australia.
The Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service conducts 45-minute tours through Newdegate’s large, highly decorated cavern. Formations in the cave are spectacular and include flowstone, stalactites, columns, shawls, straws, stalagmites and the unusual helictites – tendrils of calcite that grow in all directions in tiny filaments.
The caves of this region started to form approximately 40 million years ago and remained unseen until 1917, when timber workers discovered an entrance. They named their magnificent find after the governor of the time, Sir Francis Newdegate.
Newdegate Cave is spacious and well lit, with no narrow passages. There are around 240 stairs but these are traversed in small sections. It is one of the few caves in Australia to have formed in dolomite, which is harder and heavier than limestone. (Dolomite is characterised by pearly white and pinkish crystal, and should not be confused with that famous Tasmanian rock, dolerite, which weathers into tall grey flutes such as those you see on Mt Wellington and Cradle Mountain.) The underground temperate is naturally maintained at nine degrees Celsius (48 degrees Fahrenheit) all year round.
You can buy your tickets for the cave tour, at the Hastings Cave Visitor Centre, which is about five kilometres (three miles) from the cave entrance. Here you’ll find modern, well equipped facilities including interpretation, souvenirs and a licensed cafe.
The thermal pool is surrounded by forest and ferns and has a large picnic area equipped with change rooms, showers and toilets, electric barbecues, shelters and forest walks. The pool is fed from a spring that supplies spring water at around 28 degrees Celsius (82.5 degrees Fahrenheit) all year round. It is hygienically controlled and has a paddling pool for children.
A walk along the Hot Springs Track will take you to the convergence of two streams. If you put your hand in the water here, you’ll be able to feel the warm current from one stream meeting the cold current from the other.
How to Get to Hastings Caves
Tasmania’s Hastings Caves and Thermal Springs are 90 minutes’ drive south of Hobart and just one hour from Huonville. Take the A6 all the way to the C635 turnoff just north of Southport and follow the signs.
Story credit: Discover Tasmania http://www.discovertasmania.com
7. Covaciella cave, Asturias, Spain
Covaciella cave, Asturias, Spain
Prehistoric art depicting bison in the Covaciella cave
Photo credit: Heart Views http://www.hmc.org.qa
Covaciella cave, Asturias, Spain
Stone Age drawing of a horse found inside Covaciella Cave
Nearly 200 rock art sites of Upper Paleolithic age are currently known on the Iberian Peninsula, in both caves and the open air. Over half are still concentrated in Cantabrian Spain and they span the period between c. 30–11 kya, but–tracking the course of human demography in this geographically circumscribed region–many of the images were probably painted or engraved during the Solutrean and, especially, Magdalenian. Dramatic discoveries and dating projects have significantly expanded the Iberian rock art record both geographically and temporally in recent years, in close coincidence with the growth of contemporaneous archeological evidence: cave art loci in Aragón and Levante attributable to the Solutrean and Magdalenian, many cave art sites and a few open-air ones in Andalucía and Extremadura that are mostly Solutrean (in line with evidence of a major Last Glacial Maximum human refugium in southern Spain), the spectacular Côa Valley open-air complex in northern Portugal (together with a growing number of other such loci and one cave) that was probably created during the Gravettian-Magdalenian periods, and a modest, but important increase in proven cave and open-air sites in the high, north-central interior of Spain that are probably Solutrean and/or Magdalenian.
Despite regional variations in decorated surfaces, themes, techniques and styles, there are broad (and sometimes very specific) pan-Iberian similarities (as well as ones with the Upper Paleolithic art of southern France) that are indicative of widespread human contacts and shared systems of symbols and beliefs during the late Last Glacial. As this Ice Age world and the forms of social relationships and ideologies that helped human groups survive in it came to an end, so too did the decoration of caves, rockshelters and outcrops, although in some regions other styles of rock art would return under very different conditions of human existence.
Story credit: Springer Link http://www.springerlink.com
8. Chauvet Cave, France
Chauvet Cave, France
Researchers believe that caves containing prehistoric paintings, such as those found in the Chauvet Cave in southern France, provide excellent natural analogues for the water flow at Yucca Mountain.
The 30,000-year-old paintings in these caves were made with oxides of iron and small amounts of manganese, as well as clay, charcoal, and silica. None of these materials would survive long in the presence of abundant water. Yet many cave paintings have survived in locations far more humid, and with more than three times the rainfall, than Yucca Mountain.
Those paintings survived because water tends to flow around caves and tunnels, not into them, in part because of the comparative size of the different openings. In unsaturated rock, what little water is available in the pores and fractures has a tendency to remain there rather than flow into larger openings, such as caves or tunnels. Based on these studies, we expect seepage into repository tunnels to be minimal.
Story credit: U. S. Department of Energy Studies Behind Yucca Mountain http://www.ocrwm.doe.gov
9. Cueva de las Manos (Cave of the Hands) Río Pinturas, Argentina
Cave of the Hands Río Pinturas, Argentina
Argentine stamp depicting the Cave of the Hands
Photo credit: World Cultural Heritage as seen through postage stamps worldheritage.heindorffhus.dk
Cave of the hands Rio Pinturas, Argentina
10,000 year old rock art at Cave of the Hands
Photo credit: DownTheRoad.org The continuous bicycle touring story since 2002 downtheroad.org
Cueva de las Manos (Spanish for Cave of the Hands) is a cave located in the province of Santa Cruz, Argentina, 163 km (101 mi) south from the town of Perito Moreno, within the borders of the Francisco P. Moreno National Park, which includes many sites of archaeological and paleontogical importance.
The Cave lies in the valley of the Pinturas River, in an isolated spot in the Patagonian landscape, some 100 km (62 mi) from the main road, National Route 40. It is famous (and gets its name) for the paintings of hands, made by the indigenous inhabitants (possibly forefathers of the Tehuelches) some 9,000 years ago. The composition of the inks is mineral, so the age of the paintings was calculated from the remains of bone-made pipes used for spraying the paint on the wall blocked by the hand.
The main cave measures 24 m (79 ft) in depth, with an entrance 15 m (49 ft) wide, and it is initially 10 m (33 ft) high. The ground inside the cave has an upward slope; inside the cave the height is reduced to no more than 2 m (7 ft).
Scene of huntingThe images of hands are often negative (stencilled). Besides these there are also depictions of human beings, guanacos, rheas, felines and other animals, as well as geometric shapes, zigzag patterns, representations of the sun, and hunting scenes. Similar paintings, though in smaller numbers, can be found in nearby caves. There are also red dots on the ceilings, probably made by submerging their hunting boleadoras in ink, and then throwing them up. The colours of the paintings vary from red (made from hematite) to white, black or yellow. The negative hand impressions are calculated to be dated around 550 BC, the positive impressions from 180 BC, and the hunting drawings to be older than 10,000 years
Most of the hands are left hands, which suggests that painters held the spraying pipe with their dexterous hand. The size of the hands resembles that of a 13-year-old boy, but considering they were probably smaller in size, it is speculated that they could be a few years older, and marked their advancement into manhood by stamping their hands on the walls of this sacred cave.
Cueva de las Manos has been listed as a World Heritage Site since 1999.
Story credit: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia en.wikipedia.org
10. The Reed Flute Cave (Ludi Yan) near Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China
The Reed Flute Cave (Ludi Yan)
Some shapes resemble us figures which made the local people give it names like Pines in the Snow, Mushroom Hill, Dragon Pagoda, Sky-Scraping Twin, Virgin Forests , Red Curtain, etc. For me it looks like a group of skeletons and skulls — Gustavo Morejon
Reed Flute Cave (Ludi Yan) is located in the northwestern section of the city. It is 240 m deep and is probably the largest and most magnificent cave in Guilin. Ludi Cao, reed grass, grows in front of the cave and can be used to make the most wonderful flutes. This was what gave the cave its name. It used to be a favorite place for the local people to hide themselves in times of war or trouble.
Photo credit: Google Maps maps.google.com
The Reed Flute Cave (Ludi Yan) is an amazing cavern located five kilometres Northwest of the downtown of Guilin, on the southern shoulder of the Guangming Hill (Bright Hill), in China. It is in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The cave got its name from the verdant reeds growing outside it, with which people make flutes and pipes; but according to a legend, The Reed Flute Cave got its name because people believed that the reed by the cave’s mouth could be made into flutes.
Once you get inside the cave, you are presented with an amazing display of colours and shapes that makes your imagination watch shapes such as Pines in the Snow, Mushroom Hills, A Dragon Pagoda, Sky-Scraping Twins, Virgin Forests , A Red Curtain, etc. The cave is about 240 meters long and it was formed 600,000 years ago by a cave river. The stalagmites in the cave are generally longer than the corresponding stalactites, and can reach more than 10 meters, which suggests quicker speed of dripping water.
According to the legend, the stone pillar in the grotto is the Dragon King’s magic needle, used as a weapon by the Monkey King in the popular Chinese fable and novel “Journey to the West.” People started visiting the caves in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and the cave used to be a war refuge during World War II. The grass covered the entrance to the cave, so the people of the area used this cave for many centuries as a hideout.
During the Sino-Japanese War, Guilin became a refuge for thousands of nationalities and intellectuals, and the cave served as refuge for some of them. Printing plants, newspapers, hospitals, and even theatrical companies took refuge in the karst caves (the location of some of these caves was not rediscovered until the late 1950s). The cave was opened to the public in 1962 and it is so spectacular that it has been named “The Palace of Natural Arts”.
Story credit: Everywhere Travel is all around you http://www.everywheremag.com
11. Cave of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Israel
cave of the dead sea scrolls
Cave 4 at Qumran, on the shores of the Dead Sea. Numerous fragments of the first five books of the Old Testament (Torah) were found in this cave. Qumran was in Jordan at the time of the initial discovery of the scrolls. Some of the scrolls are now displayed at the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem.
Photo credit: Ferrell’s Travel Blog ferrelljenkins.wordpress.com
fragment from the dead sea scrolls
“Aramaic Apocryphon of Daniel” one of the Dead Sea Scroll fragments in an exhibition at the Jewish Museum
Photo credit: The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com
The Discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls
In the spring of 1947 Bedouin goat-herds, searching the cliffs along the Dead Sea for a lost goat came upon a cave containing jars filled with manuscripts. That find caused a sensation when it was released to the world, and continues to fascinate the scholarly community and the public to this day.
The Dead Sea scrolls consist of roughly 900 documents, including texts from the Hebrew Bible, discovered between 1947 and 1956 in eleven caves in and around the Wadi Qumran near the ruins of the ancient settlement of Khirbet Qumran, on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea. The texts are of great religious and historical significance, as they include some of the only known surviving copies of Biblical documents made before 100 C.E., and preserve evidence of considerable diversity of belief and practice within late Second Temple Judaism. They are written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, mostly on parchment, but with some written on papyrus. These manuscripts generally date between 150 B.C.E. to 70 C.E.. The scrolls are most commonly identified with the ancient Jewish sect called the Essenes, but recent scholarship has challenged their association with the scrolls.
The Dead Sea Scrolls are traditionally divided into three groups: “Biblical” manuscripts (copies of texts from the Hebrew Bible), which comprise roughly 40% of the identified scrolls; “Apocryphal” or “Pseudepigraphical” manuscripts (known documents from the Second Temple Period like Enoch, Jubilees, Tobit, Sirach, non-canonical psalms, etc., that were not ultimately canonized in the Hebrew Bible), which comprise roughly 30% of the identified scrolls; and “Sectarian” manuscripts (previously unknown documents that speak to the rules and beliefs of a particular group or groups within greater Judaism) like the Community Rule, War Scroll, Pesher on Habakkuk, and the Rule of the Blessing, which comprise roughly 30% of the identified scrolls.
Publication of the scrolls has taken many decades, and the delay has been a source of academic controversy. As of 2007 two volumes remain to be completed, with the whole series, Discoveries in the Judean Desert, running to thirty-nine volumes in total. Many of the scrolls are now housed in the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem. According to The Oxford Companion to Archeology, “The biblical manuscripts from Qumran, which include at least fragments from every book of the Old Testament, except perhaps for the Book of Esther, provide a far older cross section of scriptural tradition than that available to scholars before. While some of the Qumran biblical manuscripts are nearly identical to the Masoretic, or traditional, Hebrew text of the Old Testament, some manuscripts of the books of Exodus and Samuel found in Cave Four exhibit dramatic differences in both language and content. In their astonishing range of textual variants, the Qumran biblical discoveries have prompted scholars to reconsider the once-accepted theories of the development of the modern biblical text from only three manuscript families: of the Masoretic text, of the Hebrew original of the Septuagint, and of the Samaritan Pentateuch. It is now becoming increasingly clear that the Old Testament scripture was extremely fluid until its canonization around 100 A.D.”
Story credit: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia en.wikipedia.org
12. Pindaya Caves, Myanmar (Burma)
Pindaya Caves, Myanmar (Burma)
There are some 8000 Buddha images made from alabaster, teak, marble, brick, lacquer and cement
Photo credit: Inle Lake View Resort and Spa http://www.inlelakeview.com
Inside the Pindaya cave in Myanmar
Inside the Pindaya cave
About 45 km from Kalaw is a small town Pindaya, well known for its extensive limestone caves. The caves are set deep in the hillsides and there stands at the entrance, a 15 meter high Shwe U Min Pagoda. There are some 8000 Buddha images made from alabaster, teak, marble, brick, lacquer and cement. Among the more unusual features in the cave is a set of stalagmites that can be struck with large wooden mallets to produce gong tone.
The way to Pindaya is scenic since both side of the little tar road are fields of dry cultivated mountain rice, potato and passes through the Pa O, Taung Yo, Danu hill tribes villages. Entering the plateau of Pindaya, the great mountain range appeared to dwarf the city and lake down below. Aged banyan trees lined the beautiful Pindaya Lake, which is the only water source for bathing and cleaning.
Story credit: Inle Lake View Resort and Spa http://www.inlelakeview.com
13. Lechuguilla Cave in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico, USA
Lechugilla Cave New Mexico
Photo credit: U. S. National Parks Service http://www.nps.gov
Lechugilla Cave Map
Photo credit: U. S. National Parks Service http://www.nps.gov
Lechugilla Cave Location Map
Photo credit: Google Earth Hacks http://www.gearthhacks.com
Lechuguilla Cave is, as of August 2007, the fifth longest cave (122 miles (196 km)) known to exist in the world, and the deepest in the continental United States (1,604 feet (489 m)), but it is most famous for its unusual geology, rare formations, and pristine condition.
The cave is named for the Agave lechuguilla, a plant found near its entrance. It is located in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. Access to the cave is limited to approved scientific researchers, survey and exploration teams, and National Park Service management-related trips.
Lechuguilla Cave was known until 1986 as a small, fairly insignificant historic site in the park’s backcountry. Small amounts of bat guano were mined from the entrance passages for a year under a mining claim filed in 1914. The historic cave contained a 90 feet (27 m) entrance pit known as Misery Hole, which led to 400 feet (122 m) of dry dead-end passages.
The cave was visited infrequently after mining activities ceased. However, in the 1950s cavers heard wind roaring up from the rubble-choked floor of the cave. Although there was no obvious route, different people concluded that cave passages lay below the rubble. A group of Colorado cavers gained permission from the National Park Service and began digging in 1984. The breakthrough, into large walking passages, occurred on May 26, 1986.
Since 1986, explorers have mapped 122 miles (196 km) of passages and have pushed the depth of the cave to 1,604 feet (489 m), ranking Lechuguilla as the 5th longest cave in the world (3rd longest in the United States) and the deepest limestone cave in the country. Cavers, drawn by the caves’ pristine condition and rare beauty, come from around the world to explore and map its passages and geology.
Stalagmites, stalactites, and draperies by a poolLechuguilla Cave offered even more than just its extreme size. Cavers were greeted by large amounts of gypsum and lemon-yellow sulfur deposits. A large variety of rare speleothems, some of which had never been seen anywhere in the world, included 20 feet (6.1 m) gypsum chandeliers, 20 feet (6.1 m) gypsum hairs and beards, 15 feet (4.6 m) soda straws, hydromagnesite balloons, cave pearls, subaqueous helictites, rusticles, U-loops and J-loops. Lechuguilla Cave surpassed its nearby sister, Carlsbad Caverns, in size, depth, and variety of speleothems, though no room has been discovered yet in Lechuguilla Cave which is larger than Carlsbad’s Big Room.
Scientific exploration has been conducted as well. For the first time a Guadalupe Mountains cave extends deep enough that scientists may study five separate geologic formations from the inside. The profusion of gypsum and sulfur lends support to speleogenesis by sulfuric acid dissolution. The sulfuric acid is believed to be derived from hydrogen sulfide which migrated from nearby oil deposits. Thus, this cavern (as well as Carlsbad Caverns) apparently formed from the bottom up, in contrast to the normal top-down carbonic acid dissolution mechanism of cave formation.
Rare, chemolithoautotrophic bacteria are believed to occur in the cave. These bacteria feed on the sulfur, iron, and manganese minerals and may assist in enlarging the cave and determining the shapes of some unusual speleothems. Other studies indicate that some microbes may have medicinal qualities that are beneficial to humans.
Lechuguilla Cave lies beneath a park wilderness area. However, it appears that the cave’s passages may extend out of the park into adjacent Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land. A major threat to the cave is proposed gas and oil drilling on BLM land. Any leakage of gas or fluids into the cave’s passages could kill cave life or cause explosions.
Story credit: Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org
14. Diros Cave at Areoppoli, Greece
Diros Cave in Greece
Photo credit: PBase.com http://www.pbase.com
Diros Cave diagram
Photo credit: Greek Landscapes http://www.greeklandscapes.com
Photo credit: Trav Buddy http://www.travbuddy.com
One factor that attracted men to settle in Diros cave was the presence of abundant drinking water in the lake inside it.
A band of Neolithic sailors cruising along the gulf of Diaries on their way to Mills to procure supplies of obsidian, the valuable hard volcanic rock used for making tools and weapons, apparently put in here found the water, and began to live In the cave and the surrounding area.
The occupations in which the Neolithic Community of Diaries engaged, their specialization in the sphere of production, their daily activities and living patterns their burial customs religious beliefs artistic sensitivity and intellectual concerns can all be traced n the finds brought to light by the archaeological excavations. Diros Neolithic Museum contains exclusively objects from a single geographical and cultural unit. The basic objectives of the exhibition are to facilitate communication between visitors and the exhibits, and an understanding of each object within the overall group so as to make it easy for visitors to form an idea of the life of the Neolithic community.
The cave served as a place of refuge a residence a workshop a huge storeroom for goods, and also as a cemetery and cult area.
The wealth and quality of the finds show that a populous dynamic Community evolved at Diros, which grew into an important center of farming and stock-breeding that also had a strong commercial and sea-faring character.
The excellently made tools of stone, bone and obsidian, the superb painted, plain and relief pottery the characteristic weaving accessories, needles and spindle- whorls, the delicate bone, stone and even silver jewelry the elegant terracotta and marble figurines and the abundance of excellently preserved bones from human and animal skeletons combine to make the Diros cave an Important archaeological site of unique scientific interest.
The Neolithic Community of Diros evolved during the Late and Final Neolithic Period (4800-3200 BC)
The life of the community was interrupted abruptly about 3200 BC by a severe earthquake as a result of which the mouth of the cave was blocked. Those trapped in the cave died of starvation, while those on the countryside abandoned the area because they had lost their supply of drinking water.
Story credit: Laconian Professionals http://www.laconia.org
15. Hang Sung Sot cave at Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Hang Sung Sot Cave in Vietnam
Photo credit: My Several Worlds http://www.myseveralworlds.com
Ha Long Vietnam map
Photo credit: CC Travel http://www.halongbaytours.net
Located on the same island as the Virgin cave, Sung Sot cave is said to be the most beautiful – Sung Sot means astonishment or awe in Vietnamese. The path to Sung Sot is quite steep and flanked with trees. The cave is comprised of 2 chambers. The outer chamber, which is referred to as the waiting room, is square and approximately 30 metres high. The walls of the chamber are very smooth and generate a range of colors that blend with its surroundings.
The inner chamber is known as the serene castle. Inside the chamber are stalactites and stalagmites that come in a variety of forms from conversing sentries to animals in varying poses. It is up to your imagination. Many visitors are impressed by the reflection of the water that caused the formation of images inside the chamber.
Story credit: Circle of Asia http://www.circleofasia.com
16. Cheddar Cave, England
Inside the Cheddar Cave, England
Parts of the spectacular Cheddar Caves and Gorge complex have been attracting visitors for over 200 years. The largest and most famous cave is Gough’s Cave, so named because it was discovered by a Sea Captain named Richard Gough in 1890. It stretches 0.4km (0.25 miles) underground and is often referred to as a cathedral because of the vast caverns – such as the magnificent Diamond Chamber and Solomon’s Temple – that were carved out by Ice Age melt waters over a million years ago. When Gough’s Cave was blasted with dynamite to open it up for further exploration, archaeologists discovered what’s now known as Cheddar Man, the oldest complete skeleton found in Britain that’s thought to date back over 9,000 years. Other archaeological finds date human habitation in and around the site back over 40,000 years. The smaller Cox’s Cave was discovered by local mill owner George Cox in 1837 when one of his workers fell through a hole in the roof of the cave whilst collecting rocks for a new building. Above ground, a series of 274 steps known as Jacob’s Ladder take visitors from the foot of Britain’s biggest gorge to the very top where the Lookout Tower and the cliff top Gorge Walk are located. Caving, climbing and abseiling courses can also be arranged at the site.
Story credit: Iexplore http://www.iexplore.com
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