from June 19, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Tuesday,
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was until 2013:
I have been
writing about the crisis since September
1, 2008 (in Dutch, but
since 2010 in English) and about
the enormous dangers of surveillance (by secret services and
by many rich commercial entities) since June 10, 2013, and I will
continue with it.
moment and since more than two years
problems with the company that is
supposed to take care that my site is visible 
and with my health, but I am still writing a Nederlog every day and
I shall continue.
2. Crisis Files
five crisis files
that are mostly well worth reading:
A. Selections from June 19, 2018:
1. Nomi Prins: The central banking heist has put the world at
The items 1 - 5 are today's
selections from the 35 sites that I look at
every morning. The indented text under each link is quoted from the
link that starts the item. Unindented text is by me:
2. Trump Lies About Germany, Again, to Cast Immigrants as an
3. Six Dictators Who Divided Children From Parents
4. A Call to Bring Julian Assange Home
5. We Get It — Trump Is Awful
Prins: The central banking heist has put the world at risk
This article is by
Liam Halligan on Unherd. It starts as follows - and I am quoting a bit
more than I would have done in other cases, namely because Nomi Prins
is one of the few economists I like,
and because this article outlines her basic position quite well:
“The 2008 financial crisis
was the consequence of a loosely regulated banking system in which
power was concentrated in the hands of too limited a cast of
speculators,” Nomi Prins tell me. “And after the crisis, the way the US
government and the Federal Reserve dealt with this corrupt and criminal
banking system was to give them a subsidy.”
Such strong, withering
analysis is, perhaps, unexpected from someone who has held senior roles
at Wall Street finance houses such as Bear Stearns and Goldman Sachs.
But Prins is no ordinary former banker.
The US author and
journalist left the financial services industry in 2001. She did so, in
her own words, “partly because life was too short”, and “partly out of
disgust at how citizens everywhere had become collateral damage, and
later hostages, to the banking system”.
Since then, Prins has
chronicled the closed and often confusing world of high finance through
the 2008 crisis and beyond. Her writing combines deep insider knowledge
with on-the-ground reporting with sharp, searing prose. Alongside
countless articles for New York Times, Forbes
and Fortune, she has produced six books – including Collusion: how central bankers
rigged the world, which has just been published.
Her main target in the new
work is “quantitative easing” – described by Prins as “a conjuring
trick” in which “a central bank manufactures electronic money, then
injects it into private banks and financial markets”. Over the last
decade, she tells me when we meet in London, “under the guise of QE,
central bankers have massively overstepped their traditional mandates,
directing the flow of epic sums of fabricated money, without any checks
or balances, towards the private banking sector”.
I think all of the
above is quite correct, and here is a link on quantitative easing - but I should warn you this is a link to the
Anyway... here is more:
Since QE began, in the
aftermath of the financial crisis, “the US Federal Reserve has produced
a massive $4.5 trillion of conjured money, out of a worldwide QE total
of around $21 trillion”, says Prins. The combination of ultra-low
interest rates and vast monetary expansion, she explains, has caused
“speculation to rage … much as a global casino would be abuzz if
everyone gambled using everyone else’s money”.
Much of this new spending
power, though, has remained “inside the system”, with banks shoring up
their balance sheets. “So lending to ordinary firms and households has
barely grown as a result of QE,” says Prins, “nor have wages or
prosperity for most of the world’s population”. Instead, “the banks
have gone on an asset-buying spree”, she explains, getting into her
stride, “with the vast flow of QE cash from central banks to private
banks ensuring endless opportunities for market manipulation and asset
bubbles – driven by government support”.
Prins describes “the power
grab we’ve seen by the US Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank,
the Bank of Japan and other central banks”. Using QE, she argues,
“these illusionists have altered the nature of the financial system and
orchestrated a de facto heist that has enabled the most
dominant banks and central bankers to run the world”.
Yes, I think that is correct
(and quite important). Here is more:
Prins says that QE has been
“a massive deceit and a huge factor in driving inequality – a
dedicated effort by institutions with the ability to create money,
deciding that it doesn’t go to ordinary people”. While it was sold “as
a massive trickle-down programme, helping the incomes of regular
households, the benefits have been focused at the very top”.
Stock markets have
benefitted, she acknowledges, “but a mere 10% of Americans own 85% of
the market”. Prins also argues that low interest rates have harmed most
Americans. “We need to normalise the rate environment, so ordinary
people get some kind of return on their pensions and savings,” she says.
Precisely. Here is the
ending of this article:
Quite so, and this is a strongly
“What we’ve witnessed,
since 2008, is the unbridled ability of the so-called people at the top
to implement socialism for the banks,” Prins tells me. “If anyone had
said we are going to give $21 trillion to the global banking sector, it
would never have happened – so we’ve had a backdoor process instead,
under the pretense it would help ordinary people.”
Lies About Germany, Again, to Cast Immigrants as an Existential Threat
This article is by
Robert Mackey on The Intercept. It starts as follows:
The president of the United
States told a blatant lie about Germany on Monday, claiming that the
nation’s crime rate — which is at
its lowest level in 25 years — has gone “way up” since
Europe granted asylum to hundreds
of thousands of refugees fleeing the wars in Syria and Iraq.
The lie, posted
on Twitter by Donald Trump, was an attempt to justify the
exceedingly cruel measures he ordered to deter unauthorized
immigration, including the arrest of asylum-seekers at the southern
border and the removal of their children for detention in
As Mathieu von Rohr of the German magazine Der Spiegel pointed out,
Trump’s false claim about crime in Germany — which is down
5.1 percent overall since last year and 2.4
percent for violent offenses — also misled readers about the
continued popularity of Chancellor Angela Merkel, even as she resists
calls for a crackdown on asylum-seekers from allied conservatives in
the state of Bavaria.
Yes, I think all of
that is correct. Here is more:
Yes, and this is a
recommended article - and see the next article:
Undeterred by the facts,
Trump followed his false claim with a second tweet, in which he
revealed that the lie about Germany was part of a broader effort to
cast immigration, at least by nonwhites, as an existential threat to
both Europe and the United States.
While it was not clear what,
exactly, Trump thinks is happening in Europe — where there has been a
sharp decline in migration from the Middle East and Africa since 2015 —
he repeated the comment in prepared remarks at the White House later on
Dictators Who Divided Children From Parents
This article is by
Juan Cole on Truthdig and originally on Informed Comment. It starts as
Separating children from
their parents, as Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions and their Myrmidons are doing,
is monstrous and has been characteristic of the biggest dictators of
the modern era. Here are a few cases, in case you don’t believe me:
Stalin’s police used to designate some Soviet citizens as
“enemies of the people” and then would take their children from those
families. Some so designated who had their families confiscated were
2. Pol Pot’s Khmer
Rouge in Cambodia in the 1970s and 1980s: Every family that
lived in the cities was forced by Khmer Rouge soldiers to work in the
fields in the countryside. This was the time in which husbands and
wives, mothers, fathers and their children, and brothers and sisters
were all separated from each other.
3. Under Spanish
dictator Francisco Franco, Catholic hospitals were encouraged to
steal babies from leftist families at the hospital, telling the parents
they were stillborn, and then to give the infants to right-wing
families to raise.
Yes indeed, and one can
add that the Chilian dictator did the same as Franco did with children
than were born
to women he was torturing. And indeed Trump fits quite well
these sadistic dictators.
Here is some more:
4. Saddam Hussein,
the Iraqi dictator, expelled tens of thousands of Iraqis of Iranian
heritage. In some instances, Saddam kept the children but expelled the
5. The Myanmar
military junta has separated Muslim children from their
families, as part of the ongoing attempt by the Buddhists to expel the
6 And, yes, Hitler
separated children from their families on a large scale. In some
instances, he had children with blonde hair and blue eyes born into
“Slavic” families kidnapped and given to a German family to raise as
Yes. And this is a strongly
Call to Bring Julian Assange Home
article is by John Pilger on Consortiumnews. It starts as follows:
The persecution of
Julian Assange must end. Or it will end in tragedy.
government and prime minister Malcolm Turnbull have an historic
opportunity to decide which it will be.
Yes, I think all of this
is correct. Besides, I think Assange runs a greater risk than
did of being very seriously tortured, simply because the
present head of the CIA - Gina Haspel - is a torturer, a sadist
and a liar.
They can remain silent, for
which history will be unforgiving. Or they can act in the interests of
justice and humanity and bring this remarkable Australian citizen home.
Assange does not ask for
special treatment. The government has clear diplomatic and moral
obligations to protect Australian citizens abroad from gross injustice:
in Julian’s case, from a gross miscarriage of justice and the extreme
danger that await him should he walk out of the Ecuadorean embassy in
We know from the Chelsea
Manning case what he can expect if a U.S. extradition warrant is
successful — a United Nations Special Rapporteur called it torture.
Here is more:
I know Julian
Assange well; I
regard him as a close friend, a person of extraordinary resilience and
courage. I have watched a tsunami of lies and smear engulf him,
endlessly, vindictively, perfidiously; and I know why they smear him.
I agree again, though I
must add that the 2008 plan that Pilger briefly describes also depended
on the corruption of many papers, such as The Guardian,
which is at present, compared with what it was until 2013 or 2014,
utterly sick and very dishonest. (But I must admit it pays its
journalists well, which seems the most important care the
Guardian has, at least in public.)
In 2008, a plan to destroy
both WikiLeaks and Assange was laid out in a top secret document dated
8 March, 2008. The authors were the Cyber Counter-intelligence
Assessments Branch of the U.S. Defence Department. They described in
detail how important it was to destroy the “feeling of trust” that is
WikiLeaks’ “centre of gravity”.
This would be achieved, they
wrote, with threats of “exposure [and] criminal prosecution” and a
unrelenting assault on reputation. The aim was to silence and
criminalise WikiLeaks and its editor and publisher. It was as if they
planned a war on a single human being and on the very principle of
freedom of speech.
Here is more:
The question is why.
Well... I think Assange was
charged with a crime by the Swedes, but indeed that
although that failure took nearly five years.
Julian Assange has committed
no crime. He has never been charged with a crime. The Swedish episode
was bogus and farcical and he has been vindicated.
Katrin Axelsson and Lisa
Longstaff of Women Against Rape summed it up when they wrote, “The
allegations against [Assange] are a smokescreen behind which a number
of governments are trying to clamp down on WikiLeaks for having
audaciously revealed to the public their secret planning of wars and
occupations with their attendant rape, murder and destruction… The
authorities care so little about violence against women that they
manipulate rape allegations at will.”
And in any case, Pilger is quite right that the real complaints
Assange are that he spoke and published the truth, and the
the NSA, DNC etc. This is a strongly recommended article.
Get It — Trump Is Awful
article is by John Atcheson on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Every morning the news is
full of Trump’s latest antics, and the Republican Party’s complete
surrender to his insanity, and the liberal and progressive outlets are
the worst offenders. They just can’t seem to tell us enough, what
an idiot the man is.
Here’s the thing.
Those of us who know that Trump is completely unfit for the job, don’t
need an endless stream of examples, we need an alternative. And those
who don’t, aren’t reading, watching or listening to the news – they’re
tuned into Fox, which is not news -- it’s Trump’s version of Pravda,
and it’s busy trying to instill fear and create conspiracies. Or maybe
they’re listening to Clear Channel or Sinclair, which are even less
about the news and more about propaganda.
So the constant bombardment
of Trumpian tweets and other daily bits of foolishness is basically
useless. It amounts to a steady stream of singing to the choir.
And giving a narcissist like Trump that kind of coverage is like
feeding a malignancy.
Meanwhile, the news that
matters – the Democrats’ abandonment of the middle class, and their
sell-out to corporations and fat cats -- goes virtually unreported in
the mainstream media, and grossly underreported in the progressive
I agree with most things
Atcheson said in the above quotation, and notably with ¨the Democrats’ abandonment of the middle
class, and their sell-out to corporations and fat cats¨, but not quite with the thesis that
¨the constant bombardment of
and other daily bits of foolishness is basically useless¨.
My reasons are that the man
is a madman, a neofascist, and a gross liar, and his lies need
to be documented and identified as lies. (And you
can´t just turn away from his evident madness or his
evident lies, simply because he is the most powerful man on earth, who
can blow up everyone
when he feels like it: His lies must be contradicted as lies.)
But anyway... here is
The mainstream media
regularly treats us to opinion
pieces by pundits who say the Democratic party is going too far to
the left, and that this supposed drift will hurt them in the midterm
elections. This, at a time when polls show that
support for progressive issues like health care (especially single
payer), social security, sane gun laws, stronger regulation of Wall
Street and big banks, a living minimum wage, a commitment to get the
money out of politics, and stronger environmental and climate policies,
combined with a commitment to reverse the Republican’s tax cuts for the
rich, would give Democrats an overwhelming advantage in the midterms
and in 2020.
But the neoliberal
establishment that runs the party holds fast to the very policies that
are making it shrink into oblivion. For example, the DCCC and DNC
tried to get progressives out of primary races; they urged candidates
to avoid specifics about gun control; and they endorsed center right
candidates. At the same time, Pelosi and Schumer’s big idea for
the Party’s midterm run is a PayGo bill – a bow to austerity that is
strictly center right.
I think the above is
all correct. Here is more:
Meanwhile, credible studies
like the one conducted by Gilens
and Page show that democracy is dead in the US and the country is
effectively an oligarchy. This startling but well documented conclusion
generated a round of consternation among the usual suspects in the MSM,
but it quickly dropped off the media’s radar, replaced by the political
horserace and Trump’s reality show Presidency.
Yes, I agree that ¨democracy is dead in the US¨, at least in the sense that the
desires and values of ordinary voters simply do not count, neither
the government nor for both prominent political parties, and I also
agree that the USA ¨is
effectively an oligarchy¨
indeed because the rich have bought nearly all of the
representatives of ¨the people¨.
Here is the ending of
I mostly agree and this is
a strongly recommended article.
The daily din should pale
in comparison to the fact that the US has become an oligarchy, that
neither party is representing the people’s interests, and that an
equitable, just, free and prosperous society would be well within our
grasp if the people were offered candidates who represented them, not
 I have
end of 2015 that
xs4all.nl is systematically
ruining my site by NOT updating it within a few seconds,
as it did between 1996 and 2015, but by updating it between
two to seven days later, that is, if I am lucky.
claimed that my site was wrongly named in html: A lie.
They have claimed that my operating system was out of date: A lie.
just don't care for my site, my interests, my values or my
ideas. They have behaved now for 2 years
as if they are the
eagerly willing instruments of the US's secret services, which I
from now on suppose they are (for truth is dead in Holland).
two reasons I remain with xs4all is that my site has been
there since 1996, and I have no reasons whatsoever to suppose that any
other Dutch provider is any better (!!).