Banker-Founded Moody’s Downgrades 12 British Banks

AFP
October 7, 2011

Moody’s on Friday downgraded its credit ratings for a dozen British lenders, including state-rescued Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds TSB, due to the removal and curtailment of government financial support.

Moody’s said it chose to downgrade five large banks and seven small ones as government action had “significantly reduced the predictability of support over the medium to long-term.”

The downgrades did not concern major lenders HSBC, Barclays or Standard Chartered, the agency said in a statement. But it added that it believed Britain’s government was now more likely to allow small lenders to fail if necessary.

The announcement comes as the European Union seeks swift recapitalisation of the region’s banks to avert the eurozone debt crisis spreading across borders.

Moody’s had warned in May that it could downgrade British banks.

Its decision to follow up that warning could now result in banks facing higher rates of interest when looking to borrow money on markets, further hindering their attempts to return to better health.

Affected lenders’ share prices slumped in London trade after the downgrades, with Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) down 3.53 percent at 23.5 pence and Lloyds Banking Group, the parent of Lloyds TSB, losing 3.64 percent to 34.56 pence.

At the same time, in midday trade, London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 0.41 percent at 5,269.74 points.

RBS said it was “disappointed” that Moody’s had “not acknowledged the (bank’s) progress… in strengthening” its credit profile.

“We do, however, see the removal of implicit government support for the UK banking sector as being a necessary and important step forward as the sector returns to standalone strength,” it added in a statement.

The Financial Times newspaper meanwhile reported on Friday that the British government feared the prospect of injecting RBS with fresh capital under Europe-wide recapitalisation plans.

RBS received billions of pounds of taxpayers money under one of the world’s biggest-ever bank bailouts in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, leaving it currently 83-percent owned by the British government.

Moody’s stressed on Friday that its financial sector downgrades did “not reflect a deterioration in the financial strength of the banking system or that of the government.”

Britain’s finance minister George Osborne said that despite the downgrades, he was confident that British banks were not facing the same problems as their eurozone peers.

“I am confident that British banks are well capitalised, they are liquid, they are not experiencing the kinds of problems that some of the banks in the eurozone are experiencing at the moment,” he told BBC radio.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Osborne said the downgrades were in fact evidence that Britain’s coalition government was taking the correct action in removing support from the banks.

“As I understand it, one of the reasons they (Moody’s) are doing this is because they think the British government is actually moving in the direction of trying to get away from guaranteeing all the largest banks in Britain,” he added.

Moody’s said it had downgraded RBS and Nationwide Building Society each by two notches to A2 from Aa3; Lloyds TSB Bank and Santander UK were cut by one grade to A1 from Aa3; the Co-Operative Bank was downgraded one level to A3 from A2.

“Moody’s Investors Service has today downgraded the senior debt and deposit ratings of 12 UK financial institutions and confirmed the ratings of one institution,” the agency said in a statement.

“The downgrades have been caused by Moody’s reassessment of the support environment in the UK which has resulted in the removal of systemic support for seven smaller institutions and the reduction of systemic support… for five larger, more systemically important financial institutions.”

Moody’s said it “believes that the government is likely to continue to provide some level of support to systemically important financial institutions… However, it is more likely now to allow smaller institutions to fail if they become financially troubled.”

The agency added that it had downgraded seven smaller lenders by between one and five notches.

Os Quatro Cavaleiros do Sistema Bancário Mundial

Se tiver dificuldade em entender o que é a Nova Ordem Mundial -é realmente o antigo ordem mundial-, e quem o compõe, este é o artigo de esclarecimento.

Por Dean Henderson
Tradução de Luis R. Miranda
27 maio 2011

Se você quer saber onde está o centro de poder real no mundo, siga o dinheiro – cui bono. Segundo a revista Global Finance, a partir de 2010 os bancos mais poderosos estão nas fortalezas de Rothschild no Reino Unido e França.

Eles são o francês BNP (US $ 3 trilhões em ativos), Royal Bank of Scotland (US $ 2,7 trilhões em ativos), o HSBC Holdings baseado no Reino Unido (US $ 2,4 trilhão em ativos ), Credit Agricole França (US $ 2,2 trilhões de dólares em ativos) e o britânico Barclays (US $ 2,2 trilhões em ativos).

Em EUA, uma combinação de desregulação e mania por fusões bancárias deixou quatro mega-bancos como a cabeça do sistema financeiro. Segundo a Global Finance, a partir de 2010 estão o Bank of America (US $ 2,2 trilhões de dólares), JP Morgan Chase (US $ 2 trilhões de dólares), Citigroup (US $ 1,9 trilhão) e Wells Fargo (US $ 1,25 trilhões). Chamei estes os Quatro Cavaleiros do Setor Bancário dos EUA. A consolidação do poder e do dinheiro.

Em setembro de 2000, o casamento que criou o JP Morgan Chase, foi a maior concentração em um frenesi de consolidação bancária que ocorreu na década de 1990. A mania das concentrações foi impulsionada pela desregulamentação do setor bancário como a revogação da Lei Glass Steagall de 1933, que foi promulgada depois da Grande Depressão para conter monopólios bancários que causaram a quebra da Bolsa em 1929 e que precipitou a Grande Depressão.

Em julho de 1929, a Goldman Sachs lançou dois fundos de investimento chamados Shenandoah e Blue Ridge. Nos meses de agosto e setembro desse ano, os bancos promoveram esses fundos e venderam ações ao público por centenas de milhões de dólares em por meio de Goldman Sachs Trading Corporation por 104 dólares por ação. Os investidores de Goldman Sachs foram resgatados no mercado de ações. No outono de 1934 as ações valiam 1,75 dólares cada. Um diretor de Shenandoah e Blue Ridge e Sullivan & Cromwell foi o advogado John Foster Dulles. [1]

John Merrill, fundador do Merrill Lynch, saiu do mercado de ações em 1928, como fizeram os investidores no Lehman Brothers. O presidente do Chase Manhattan, Alfred Wiggin tinha um “pressentimento” e formou o Sherman Corporation em 1929, para atacar as ações de sua própria empresa. Na sequência da crise de 1929, o presidente do Citibank, Charles Mitchell, foi preso por sonegação de impostos. [2]

Em fevereiro de 1995, o presidente Bill Clinton anunciou planos para eliminar o Glass Steagall e o Bank Holding Company Act de 1956 – que proibiu os bancos de serem proprietários de empresas de seguros e outras instituições financeiras. Naquele dia, o traficante de ópio e escravos, Barings faliu após que um dos seus operadores com base em Cingapura chamado Nicholas Gleason foi pego no lado errado de bilhões de dólares em operações com derivativos. [3]

A advertência foi ignorada. Em 1991, os contribuintes dos EUA, que tiveram que pagar mais de 500 bilhões de dólares para o S & L, foram forcados a pagar mais 70 bilhões de dólares para socorrer o FDIC, e logo pagaram o custo do resgate secreto de dois anos e meio no Citibank, que estava à beira do colapso após a crise da dívida na América Latina. Com as contas já pagas pelos contribuintes dos EUA a desregulamentação bancária foi dada como certa, o palco estava armado para um grande número de fusões de bancos como o mundo jamais tinha visto.

O secretário do Tesouro, Reagan, George Gould disse que a fusão dos bancos -em cinco a dez gigantes corporacoes- era necessário para a economia dos EUA. A visão de Gould estava prestes a se tornar realidade.

Em 1992, o Bank of America comprou o seu maior rival na costa ocidental, Security Pacific, e depois engoliu o Continental Bank de Illinois. Bank of America adquiriu mais tarde uma margem de 34% do Black Rock Bank (Barclays detém 20% do Black Rock) e uma participação de 11% no China Construction Bank, tornando-o a segundo maior instituição bancária do país, com ativos de 214 bilhões de dólares. Citibank tinha 249 bilhões de dólares. [4]

Ambos os bancos aumentaram os seus ativos para cerca de 2 trilhões de dólares cada.

Em 1993, o Chemical Bank assumiu o Texas Commerce Bank para se tornar o terceiro maior banco comercial, com 170 bilhões de dólares em ativos. Chemical Bank foi fundido com Manufacturers Hanover Trust, em 1990.

O North Carolina National Bank se uniu com C & S Sovran para formar o Nations Bank, que se tornou o quarto maior banco dos EUA com 169 bilhões de dólares em seus cofres. Fleet Norstar comprou o Banco de Nova Inglaterra, enquanto o Northwest comprou o Bancos Unidos de Colorado.

Durante este período os ativos bancários dessas empresas quebraram recordes a cada trimestre. O ano de 1995 quebrou todos os recordes anteriores devido as fusões bancárias. Negócios entre os bancos ‘produziram’ um total de 389 bilhões de dólares. [5]

Os cinco grandes bancos de investimento, que tinham acabado de ganhar uma tonelada de dinheiro dirigindo negociações da dívida na América Latina, aumentaram os seus lucros através da lista interminável de fusões entre 1980 e 1990.

De acordo com Standard & Poor’s, os bancos de investimento mais poderosos eram Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Salomon Smith Barney e Lehman Brothers. Um acordo que fracassou em 1995, foi uma fusão entre o grande banco de investimento em Londres, SG Warburg e Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. Warburg escolheu Union Bank of Switzerland como seu pretendente em seu lugar, e então veio UBS Warburg como a sexta força em bancos de investimento.

Depois do frenesi de 1995, os bancos agressivamente saíram para o Oriente Médio, e estabeleceram operações em Tel Aviv, Beirute e Bahrein, onde a frota de bancos dos EUA foi instalada. As privatizações do Banco de Egito, Marrocos, Tunísia e Israel abriu as portas a mega-bancos nessas nações. Chase e Citibank emprestaram dinheiro a Royal Dutch Shell e Saudi Petrochemical, enquanto o JP Morgan trabalhou com o consórcio Qatargas liderado pela Exxon Mobil. [6]

A indústria de seguros também tinha a mania de fusões. Em 1995, o Travelers Group tinha comprado Aetna e, Berkshire Hathaway, uma empresa de Warren Buffet, tinha absorvido Geico, Zurique Insurance tinha absorvido Kemper Corporation, CNA Financial comprou Continental Companies e General Re Corporation afundou seus dentes em Colonia Konzern AG.

No final de 1998, o gigante Citibank fundiu-se com o Travelers Group criando o Citigroup, um gigante de US $ 700 bilhões, que ostentava mais de 163.000 funcionários em 100 países, incluindo empresas Salomon Smith Barney (uma joint venture com o Morgan Stanley), Commercial Credit, Primerica Financial Services, Shearson Lehman Brothers, o Barclays America, a Aetna e Segurities Pacific Financial. [7]

Nesse mesmo ano, Bankers Trust e US Investment Bank Alex Brown foi adquirida pelo Deutsche Bank, que também tinha comprado Morgan Grenfell em Londres, em 1989. A compra pelo Deutsche Bank, fez com que o Deutsche Bank fosse o maior banco do mundo naquela época com um capital de 882.000 bilhões de dólares. Em janeiro de 2002, a japonesa Mitsubishi e Sumitomo Operations foram combinadas para criar Sumitomo Mitsubishi Bank, que superou o Deutsche Bank, com ativos de 905 bilhões de dólares. [8]

Em 2004, o HSBC se tornou o segundo maior banco do mundo. Seis anos depois, os três gigantes tinham sido eclipsados pelo BNP e Royal Bank of Scotland.

Em EUA, o pesadelo de George Gould chegou a seu ponto mais alto na hora certa para o novo milênio, quando o Banco Chase Manhattan, absorviu o Chemical Bank. Bechtel Banker Wells Fargo comprou o Norwest Bank, enquanto o Bank of America assumiu Nations Bank. O golpe final veio quando a reunificação da Casa de Morgan anunciou que iria fundir-se com o Chase Manhattan Bank/Chemical Bank/Manufacturers Hanover.

Quatro bancos gigantes surgem a reinar no mercado financeiro dos EUA. JP Morgan Chase e Citigroup foram os reis do capital da Costa Leste. Juntos, esses dois bancos controlaram 52,86% da Reserva Federal de Nova Iorque [9], enquanto o Bank of America e Wells Fargo prevaleceram na Costa Oeste.

Durante a crise bancária de 2008, essas empresas ainda cresceram mais, recebendo quase US $ 1 trilhão, cortesia da administração Bush e o secretário do Tesouro e ex-Goldman Sachs, Henry Paulsen, enquanto calmamente compravam ativos por centavos de dólar.

Barclays assumiu o Lehman Brothers. JP Morgan Chase engoliu o Bear Stearns e o Washington Mutual. Bank of America agarrou o Merrill Lynch e Countrywide. Wells Fargo teve o quinto maior banco do país, a Wachovia.

Os mesmos bancos controlados pelas mesmas oito famílias que durante décadas galoparam, seus Quatro Cavaleiros do petróleo pelo Golfo Pérsico são mais poderosos do que em qualquer outro momento na história. Eles são os Quatro Cavaleiros do Sistema Bancário Mundial.

[1] The Great Crash of 1929. John Kenneth Galbraith. Houghton, Mifflin Company. Boston. 1979. p.148

[2] Ibid

[3] Evening Edition. National Public Radio. 2-27-95

[4] “Bank of America will Purchase Chicago Bank”. The Register-Guard. Eugene, OR. 1-29-94

[5] “Big-time Bankers Profit from M&A Fever”. Knight-Ridder News Service. 12-30-95

[6] “US Banks find New Opportunities in the Middle East”. Amy Dockser Marcus. Wall Street Journal. 10-12-95

[7] “Making a Money Machine”. Daniel Kadlec. Time. 4-20-98. p.44

[8] BBC World News. 1-20-02

[9] Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History that Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons and the Great Pyramids”. Jim Marrs. HarperCollins Publishers. New York. 2000. p.74

Los Cuatro Jinetes de la Banca Mundial

Si a usted le es difícil entender que es el Nuevo Orden Mundial -en realidad es el antiguo orden mundial- y quienes lo componen, este es el artículo para aclarar sus dudas.

Por Dean Henderson
Traducción Luis R. Miranda
27 de mayo, 2011

Si quieres saber dónde está el centro de poder real del mundo, sigue el dinero – cui bono. Según la revista Global Finance, a partir de 2010 los más poderosos bancos se encuentran en los feudos de Rothschild en el Reino Unido y Francia.

Ellos son los franceses BNP ($ 3 trillones de dólares en activos), Royal Bank of Scotland ($ 2,7 trillones de dólares en activos), el HSBC Holdings con sede en el Reino Unido ($ 2,4 trillones de dólares en activos), el francés Credit Agricole (2,2 trillones de dólares en activos) y el Barclays británico (2,2 trillones en activos).

En los EE.UU., una combinación de desregulación y la manía de las fusiones bancárias ha dejado a cuatro mega-bancos como jefes del sistema financiero. Según Global Finance, a partir de 2010 son Bank of America (2,2 trillones de dólares), JP Morgan Chase ($ 2 trillones de dólares), Citigroup ($ 1.9 trillones de dólares) y Wells Fargo ($ 1.25 trillones). Los he llamado los Cuatro Jinetes de la banca de EE.UU. La consolidación del Poder del Dinero.

En septiembre de 2000 el matrimonio que creó JP Morgan-Chase fue la más grande concentración en un frenesí de consolidación bancaria que se llevó a cabo a lo largo de la década de 1990. La manía de concentraciones fue alimentada por una desregulación masiva de la industria bancaria como la revocación de la Ley Glass Steagal de 1933, que fue promulgada después de la Gran Depresión para frenar los monopolios bancarios que habían causado el crack bursátil de 1929 y que precipitó la Gran Depresión.

En julio de 1929 Goldman Sachs lanzó dos fondos de inversión llamado Shenandoah y el Blue Ridge. Durante agosto y septiembre de ese año, los bancos promocionaron estos fideicomisos al público, la venta de cientos de millones de dólares en acciones a través de Goldman Sachs Trading Corporation a $ 104 dólares cada acción. Los inversionistas de Goldman Sachs fueron rescatados en el mercado de valores. En el otoño de 1934 las acciones tenían un valor de $ 1.75 dólares cada una. Un director de Shenandoah y Blue Ridge y abogado de Sullivan & Cromwell, era John Foster Dulles. [1]

John Merrill, fundador de Merrill Lynch, salió del mercado de valores en 1928, al igual que lo hicieron inversionistas de Lehman Brothers. El presidente de Chase Manhattan, Alfred Wiggin tuvo una “corazonada”, al formar la Corporación Shermar en 1929, para atacar las acciones de su propia compañía. A raíz de la crisis de 1929, el presidente de Citibank, Charles Mitchell, fue encarcelado por evasión de impuestos. [2]

En febrero de 1995 el presidente Bill Clinton anunció sus planes para acabar con Glass Steagal y la Ley Bank Holding Company de 1956 – que prohibía a los bancos poseer compañías de seguros y otras entidades financieras. Ese día el comerciante de opio y esclavos, Barings, quebró después de que uno de sus operadores con sede en Singapur llamado Nicholas Gleason quedó atrapado en el lado equivocado de miles de millones de dólares en operaciones de derivativos. [3]

La advertencia no fue escuchada. En 1991, los contribuyentes de EE.UU., que ya habían tenido que pagar más de $ 500 mil millones de dólares al S & L, tuvieron que pagar otros 70 mil millones de dólares para rescatar a la FDIC, y poco después pagaron la factura de un rescate secreto dos años y medio de Citibank, que fue al borde del colapso después de la crisis de deuda en América Latina. Con sus cuentas ya pagadas por los contribuyentes de EE.UU. y la desregulación bancaria dada por un hecho, el escenario estaba listo para una gran cantidad de fusiones bancarias como el mundo nunca había visto.

El subsecretario del Tesoro de Reagan, George Gould ha afirmado que la concentración de la banca en cinco a diez bancos gigantes era necesario para la economía de los EE.UU. La visión de Gould estaba a punto de hacerse realidad.

En 1992, Bank of America compró a su rival más grande de la costa oeste, Security Pacific, para después tragarse al Banco Continental de Illinois. Bank of America más tarde adquirió una participación del 34% del banco Black Rock (Barclays posee el 20% de Black Rock) y una participación del 11% en China Construction Bank, haciendola la segunda mayor compañía bancaria del país, con activos de $ 214 mil millones de dólares. Citibank controlados 249 mil millones dólares. [4]

Ambos bancos han incrementado sus activos a alrededor de 2 trillones dólares cada uno.

En 1993, Chemical Bank absorbió el Commerce Bank de Texas para convertirse en el tercer mayor banco comercial con $ 170 mil millones de dólares en activos. Chemical Bank se había fusionado ya con Manufacturers Hanover Trust en 1990.

North Carolina National Bank y Sovran C & S se fusionaron y formaron el Nation Bank, para convertirse en la cuarta mayor compañía bancaria de EE.UU. con 169 mil millones de dólares en sus arcas. Fleet Norstar compró el Banco de Nueva Inglaterra, mientras que Norwest compró Bancos Unidos de Colorado.

A lo largo de este período los activos bancarios de estas empresas batieron récords cada trimestre. El año 1995 batió todos los récords anteriores desde las fusiones bancarias. Negocios entre bancos ‘produjeron’ un total de 389 mil millones de dólares. [5]

Los Cinco Grandes Bancos de Inversión, que acababan de ganar toneladas de dinero direccionando negociaciones de la deuda de América Latina, multiplicaron sus ganancias a través de la interminable lista fusiones entre 1980 y 1990.

De acuerdo con Standard & Poors los más poderosos bancos de inversión eran Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Salomon Smith Barney y Lehman Brothers. Un acuerdo que fracasó en 1995 fue una propuesta de fusión entre el mayor banco de inversión de Londres, SG Warburg y Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. Warburg eligió Union Bank de Suiza como su pretendiente en su lugar, y de ahí surgió UBS Warburg como la sexta fuerza en la banca de inversión.

Después del frenesí de 1995, los bancos se movilizaron agresivamente hacia el Oriente Medio, y establecieron operaciones en Tel Aviv, Beirut y Bahrein, donde la flota de bancos de EE.UU. se instaló. Las privatizaciones del Banco en Egipto, Marruecos, Túnez e Israel abrió la puerta a los mega-bancos a esas naciones. Chase y Citibank, pidió dinero prestado a Royal Dutch Shell y Petroquímica de Arabia, mientras que JP Morgan asesoró al consorcio liderado por Qatargas Exxon Mobil. [6]

La industria mundial de seguros también tenía un caso de manía por las fusiones. En 1995, Traveler’s Group había comprado Aetna, y Berkshire Hathaway -una empresa de Warren Buffet- había absorbido Geico, Zurich Seguros absorbió Kemper Corporation, CNA Financial había comprado Continental Companies y General Re Corporation había hundido sus dientes en Colonia Konzern AG.

A finales de 1998 el coloso Citibank se fusionó con Travelers Group para convertirse en Citigroup, la creación de un gigante de un valor de $ 700 mil millones que se jactaba de tener 163.000 empleados en más de 100 países que incluía a las empresas de Salomon Smith Barney (una empresa conjunta con Morgan Stanley), crédito comercial, Primerica Financial Services, Shearson Lehman, Barclays América, Aetna y Financial Pacific Segurities. [7]

Ese mismo año, Bankers Trust y U.S. Investment Bank Alex Brown fueron adquiridos por Deutsche Bank, que había comprado también Morgan Grenfell de Londres en 1989. La compra hecha por Deutsche Bank el mayor banco del mundo en ese momento con activos de $ 882 mil millones de dólares. En enero de 2002, el japonés Mitsubishi y Sumitomo Operations se combinaron para crear Mitsubishi Sumitomo Bank, que superó a Deutsche Bank, con activos de US $ 905 mil millones de dólares. [8]

En 2004 HSBC se había convertido en el segundo mayor banco del mundo. Seis años más tarde, los tres gigantes habían sido eclipsados por BNP y Royal Bank of Scotland.

En los EE.UU., la pesadilla de George Gould llegó a su punto más alto justo a tiempo para el nuevo milenio, cuando el Chase Manhattan absorbió Chemical Bank. Bechtel Wells Fargo compró Norwest Bank, mientras que Bank of America absorbió Nations Bank. El golpe de gracia llegó cuando la reunificación de la Casa de Morgan anunció que se fusionaría con el Chase Manhattan Bank de Rockefeller/Chemical Bank/Manufacturers Hanover.

Cuatro bancos gigantes emergieron para reinar en el mercado financiero de Estados Unidos. JP Morgan Chase y Citigroup fueron los reyes del capital de la Costa Este. En conjunto, estos dos bancos controlaban 52,86% de la Reserva Federal de Nueva York [9] mientras Bank of America y Wells Fargo reinaban en la Costa Oeste.

Durante la crisis bancaria de 2008 estas empresas crecieron aún más, recibiendo casi $ 1 trillón de dólares cortesía del gobierno de Bush y el secretario del Tesoro y ex de Goldman Sachs, Henry Paulsen, mientras que silenciosamente compraban activos por centávos de dólar.

Barclays se hizo cargo de Lehman Brothers. JP Morgan Chase se tragó a Bear Stearns y Washington Mutual. Bank of America tomó a Merrill Lynch y Countrywide. Wells Fargo se apoderó del quinto más grande banco del país, Wachovia.

Los mismos bancos controlados por las mismas ocho familias que durante décadas habían galopado sus Cuatro Jinetes del petróleo por el Golfo Pérsico son ahora más poderosas que en cualquier otro momento de la historia. Son los Cuatro Jinetes del Sistema Bancario Mundial.

Fuentes:

[1] The Great Crash of 1929. John Kenneth Galbraith. Houghton, Mifflin Company. Boston. 1979. p.148

[2] Ibid

[3] Evening Edition. National Public Radio. 2-27-95

[4] “Bank of America will Purchase Chicago Bank”. The Register-Guard. Eugene, OR. 1-29-94

[5] “Big-time Bankers Profit from M&A Fever”. Knight-Ridder News Service. 12-30-95

[6] “US Banks find New Opportunities in the Middle East”. Amy Dockser Marcus. Wall Street Journal. 10-12-95

[7] “Making a Money Machine”. Daniel Kadlec. Time. 4-20-98. p.44

[8] BBC World News. 1-20-02

[9] Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History that Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons and the Great Pyramids”. Jim Marrs. HarperCollins Publishers. New York. 2000. p.74

Consolidating US Money Power: The Four Horsemen of Global Banking

By Dean Henderson
Global Research
May 25, 2011

If you want to know where the true power center of the world lies, follow the money – cui bono.  According to Global Finance magazine, as of 2010 the world’s five biggest banks are all based in Rothschild fiefdoms UK and France.

They are the French BNP ($3 trillion in assets), Royal Bank of Scotland ($2.7 trillion), the UK-based HSBC Holdings ($2.4 trillion), the French Credit Agricole ($2.2 trillion) and the British Barclays ($2.2 trillion).

In the US, a combination of deregulation and merger-mania has left four mega-banks ruling the financial roost.  According to Global Finance, as of 2010 they are Bank of America ($2.2 trillion), JP Morgan Chase ($2 trillion), Citigroup ($1.9 trillion) and Wells Fargo ($1.25 trillion).  I have dubbed them the Four Horsemen of US banking Consolidating the Money Power.

The September 2000 marriage which created JP Morgan Chase was the grandest merger in a frenzy of bank consolidation that took place throughout the 1990’s.  Merger mania was fed by a massive deregulation of the banking industry including revocation of the Glass Steagal Act of 1933, which was enacted after the Great Depression to curb the banking monopolies which had caused the 1929 stock market crash and precipitated the Great Depression.

In July 1929 Goldman Sachs launched two investment trusts called Shenandoah and Blue Ridge.  Through August and September they touted these trusts to the public, selling hundreds of millions of dollars worth of shares through the Goldman Sachs Trading Corporation at $104/share.  Goldman Sachs insiders were bailing out of the stock market.  By the fall of 1934 the trust shares were worth $1.75 each.  One director at both Shenandoah and Blue Ridge was Sullivan & Cromwell lawyer John Foster Dulles. [1]

John Merrill, founder of Merrill Lynch, exited the stock market in 1928, as did insiders at Lehman Brothers.  Chase Manhattan Chairman Alfred Wiggin took his “hunch” to the next level, forming Shermar Corporation in 1929 to short the stock of his own company.  Following the Crash of 1929, Citibank President Charles Mitchell was jailed for tax evasion. [2]

In February 1995 President Bill Clinton announced plans to wipe out both Glass Steagal and the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956- which barred banks from owning insurance companies and other financial entities. That day the old opium and slave trader Barings went belly up after one of its Singapore-based traders named Nicholas Gleason got caught on the wrong side of billions of dollars in derivative currency trades. [3]

The warning went unheeded.  In 1991 US taxpayers, already billed over $500 billion dollars for the S&L looting, were charged another $70 billion to bail out the FDIC, then footed the bill for a secret 2 1/2-year rescue of Citibank, which was close to collapse after the Latin American debt crunch hit home.  With their bill’s paid by US taxpayers and bank deregulation a done deal, the stage was set for a slew of bank mergers like none the world had ever seen.

Reagan Undersecretary of Treasury George Gould had stated that concentration of banking into five to ten giant banks was what the US economy needed.  Gould’s nightmare vision was about to come true.

In 1992 Bank of America bought its biggest West Coast rival Security Pacific, then swallowed up the looted Continental Bank of Illinois for cheap.  Bank of America later took a 34% stake in Black Rock (Barclays owns 20% of Black Rock) and an 11% share in China Construction Bank, making it the nation’s second largest bank holding company with assets of $214 billion.  Citibank controlled $249 billion. [4]

Both banks have since increase their assets to around $2 trillion each.

In 1993 Chemical Bank gobbled up Texas Commerce to become the third largest bank holding company with $170 billion in assets.  Chemical Bank had already merged with Manufacturers Hanover Trust in 1990.

North Carolina National Bank and C&S Sovran merged into Nation’s Bank, then the fourth largest US bank holding company, with $169 billion in its war chest.  Fleet Norstar bought Bank of New England, while Norwest bought United Banks of Colorado.

Throughout this period US bank profits were soaring, breaking records with each new quarter.  The year 1995 broke all previous records for bank mergers.  Deals totaling $389 billion occurred that year. [5]

The Big Five investment banks, who had just made boatloads of money steering Latin American debt negotiations, now made a killing steering the bank and industrial merger- mania of the 1980’s and 1990’s.

According to Standard & Poors the top five investment banks were Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Salomon Smith Barney and Lehman Brothers.  One deal that fell through in 1995 was a proposed merger between London’s biggest investment bank S. G. Warburg and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.  Warburg chose Union Bank of Switzerland as its suitor instead, creating UBS Warburg as a sixth force in investment banking.

After the 1995 feeding frenzy, the money center banks moved aggressively into the Middle East, establishing operations in Tel Aviv, Beirut and Bahrain- where the US 5th Fleet was setting up shop.  Bank privatizations in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Israel opened the door to the mega-banks in those nations.  Chase and Citibank lent money to Royal Dutch/Shell and Saudi Petrochemical, while JP Morgan advised the Qatargas consortium led by Exxon Mobil. [6]

The global insurance industry had a case of merger mania as well.  By 1995 Traveler’s Group had bought Aetna, Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway had eaten up Geico, Zurich Insurance had swallowed Kemper Corporation, CNA Financial had purchased Continental Companies and General RE Corporation had sunk its teeth into Colonia Konzern AG.

In late 1998 the Citibank colossus merged with Travelers Group to become Citigroup, creating a behemoth worth $700 billion that boasted 163,000 employees in over 100 countries and included the firms of Salomon Smith Barney (a joint venture with Morgan Stanley), Commercial Credit, Primerica Financial Services, Shearson Lehman, Barclays America, Aetna and Security Pacific Financial. [7]

That same year Bankers Trust and US investment bank Alex Brown were swooped up by Deutsche Bank, which had also purchased Morgan Grenfell of London in 1989.  The purchase made Deutsche Bank the world’s largest bank at the time with assets of $882 billion.  In January 2002, Japanese titans Mitsubishi and Sumitomo combined operations to create Mitsubishi Sumitomo Bank, which surpassed Deutsche Bank with assets of $905 billion. [8]

By 2004 HSBC had become the world’s second largest bank.  Six years later all three behemoths had been eclipsed by both BNP and Royal Bank of Scotland.

In the US, the George Gould nightmare reached its ugly nadir just in time for the new millennium when Chase Manhattan swallowed up Chemical Bank.  Bechtel banker Wells Fargo bought Norwest Bank, while Bank of America absorbed Nations Bank. The coup de grace came when the reunified House of Morgan announced that it would merge with the Rockefeller Chase Manhattan/Chemical Bank/ Manufacturers Hanover machine.

Four giant banks emerged to rule the US financial roost.  JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup were kings of capital on the East Coast.  Together they control 52.86% of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. [9]  Bank of America and Wells Fargo reigned supreme on the West Coast.

During the 2008 banking crisis these firms got much larger, receiving a nearly $1 trillion government bailout compliments of Bush Treasury Secretary and Goldman Sachs alumni Henry Paulsen; while quietly taking over distressed assets for pennies on the dollar.

Barclays took over Lehman Brothers.  JP Morgan Chase got Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns.  Bank of America was handed Merrill Lynch and Countrywide.  Wells Fargo swallowed up the nation’s 5th biggest bank- Wachovia.

The same Eight Families-controlled banks which for decades had galloped their Four Horsemen of oil roughshod through the Persian Gulf oil patch are now more powerful than at any time in history.  They are the Four Horsemen of US banking.

Notes

[1] The Great Crash of 1929. John Kenneth Galbraith. Houghton, Mifflin Company. Boston. 1979. p.148

[2] Ibid

[3] Evening Edition. National Public Radio. 2-27-95

[4] “Bank of America will Purchase Chicago Bank”. The Register-Guard. Eugene, OR. 1-29-94

[5] “Big-time Bankers Profit from M&A Fever”. Knight-Ridder News Service. 12-30-95

[6] “US Banks find New Opportunities in the Middle East”. Amy Dockser Marcus. Wall Street Journal. 10-12-95

[7] “Making a Money Machine”. Daniel Kadlec. Time. 4-20-98. p.44

[8] BBC World News. 1-20-02

[9] Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History that Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons and the Great Pyramids”. Jim Marrs. HarperCollins Publishers. New York. 2000. p.74

 Dean Henderson is the author of Big Oil & Their Bankers in the Persian Gulf: Four Horsemen, Eight Families & Their Global Intelligence, Narcotics & Terror Network and The Grateful Unrich: Revolution in 50 Countries.  His Left Hook blog is at  www.deanhenderson.wordpress.com

Goldman Sachs Defrauded Investors, sent bailout outside U.S.A

by Karen Mracek and Thomas Beaumont

Goldman Sachs sent $4.3 billion in federal tax money to 32 entities, including many overseas banks, hedge funds and pensions, according to information made public Friday night.Goldman Sachs disclosed the list of companies to the Senate Finance Committee after a threat of subpoena from Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Ia.

 Asked the significance of the list, Grassley said, “I hope it’s as simple as taxpayers deserve to know what happened to their money.”

 He added, “We thought originally we were bailing out AIG. Then later on … we learned that the money flowed through AIG to a few big banks, and now we know that the money went from these few big banks to dozens of financial institutions all around the world.”

 Grassley said he was reserving judgment on the appropriateness of U.S. taxpayer money ending up overseas until he learns more about the 32 entities.

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 Goldman Sachs (GS) received $5.55 billion from the government in fall of 2008 as payment for then-worthless securities it held in AIG. Goldman had already hedged its risk that the securities would go bad. It had entered into agreements to spread the risk with the 32 entities named in Friday’s report.

 Overall, Goldman Sachs received a $12.9 billion payout from the government’s bailout of AIG, which was at one time the world’s largest insurance company.

 Goldman Sachs also revealed to the Senate Finance Committee that it would have received $2.3 billion if AIG had gone under. Other large financial institutions, such as Citibank, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley, sold Goldman Sachs protection in the case of AIG’s collapse. Those institutions did not have to pay Goldman Sachs after the government stepped in with tax money.

 Shouldn’t Goldman Sachs be expected to collect from those institutions “before they collect the taxpayers’ dollars?” Grassley asked. “It’s a little bit like a farmer, if you got crop insurance, you shouldn’t be getting disaster aid.”

 Goldman had not disclosed the names of the counterparties it paid in late 2008 until Friday, despite repeated requests from Elizabeth Warren, chairwoman of the Congressional Oversight Panel.

 “I think we didn’t get the information because they consider it very embarrassing,” Grassley said, “and they ought to consider it very embarrassing.”

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 The initial $85 billion to bail out AIG was supplemented by an additional $49.1 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, known as TARP, as well as additional funds from the Federal Reserve. AIG’s debt to U.S. taxpayers totals $133.3 billion outstanding.

 “The only thing I can tell you is that people have the right to know, and the Fed and the public’s business ought to be more public,” Grassley said.

 The list of companies receiving money includes a few familiar foreign banks, such as the Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays.

 DZ AG Deutsche Zantrake Genossenschaftz Bank, a German cooperative banking group, received $1.2 billion, more than a quarter of the money Goldman paid out.

 Warren, in testimony Wednesday, said that the rescue of AIG “distorted the marketplace by turning AIG’s risky bets into fully guaranteed transactions. Instead of forcing AIG and its counterparties to bear the costs of the company’s failure, the government shifted those costs in full onto taxpayers.”

 Grassley stressed the importance of transparency in the marketplace, as well as in the government’s actions.

 “Just like the government, markets need more transparency, and consequently this is some of that transparency because we’ve got to rebuild confidence to make the markets work properly,” Grassley said.

 AIG received the bailout of $85 billion at the discretion of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which was led at the time by Timothy Geithner. He now is U.S. treasury secretary.

 “I think it proves that he knew a lot more at the time than he told,” Grassley said. “And he surely knew where this money was going to go. If he didn’t, he should have known before they let the money out of their bank up there.”

 An attempt to reach Geithner Friday night through the White House public information office was unsuccessful.

 Grassley has for years pushed to give the Government Accountability Office more oversight of the Federal Reserve.

 U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, a Waterloo Democrat, said he would propose that the House subcommittee on oversight and investigations convene hearings on the need for more Federal Reserve oversight. Braley is a member of the subcommittee.

 Braley said of Geithner, “I would assume he would be someone we would want to hear from because he would have firsthand knowledge.”

 Braley also noted that the AIG bailout was negotiated under President George W. Bush, a Republican.

 He said he was confident that the financial regulatory reform bill signed by President Obama this week would help provide better oversight than the AIG bailout included.

 “There was no regulatory framework in place,” Braley said. “We had to put something in place to begin reining them in. I’m confident they will begin to be able to do that.”