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Komsomolskaya Pravda, Russia

Putin is Better than Goldman Sachs


"My country hasn't ceased to be my country. And all the more infuriating are the cries of 'democrats from afar,' who for some reason consider themselves entitled to rant from above about what happens in Russia. We have many things wrong here. But you excited monkeys who have gotten your mirrors dirty better wipe them clean and take a look at yourselves."


By Dmitry Voskoboinikov



Translated By Yekaterina Blinova


December 12, 2011



Russia - Komsomolskaya Pravda - Original Article (Russian)

Vladimir Putin: His authority and scheme to remain in power for another term as president is under heavy fire from a resurgent opposition and a more restive public.


RUSSIA TODAY VIDEO: Mass protests near Kremlin against vote rigging and Vladimir Putin, Dec. 24, 00:02:20RealVideo

I doubt that the “United Russia” Party got 46.5 percent of the vote in Moscow. I think that is about twice the actual total. These Duma elections have left an unpleasant aftertaste.


But my country hasn't ceased to be my country. And all the more infuriating are the cries of “democrats from afar,” who for some reason consider themselves entitled to rant from above about what happens in Russia. We have many things wrong here. But you excited monkeys who have gotten your mirrors dirty better wipe them clean and take a look at yourselves. Just see what's happening in the European Union.


I do not know if you've noticed, readers, that the recently-installed leaders of Greece and Italy were not elected by the people. Former head of the Bank of Greece and senior economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Lucas Papademos, was appointed prime minister of Greece. He was made head of government right after his predecessor Geogrios Papandereu lost his nerve and decided to hold a referendum on the need for even harsher austerity measures. Essentially, he got too cocky about conforming to the “people’s will.” Papademos, however, knows first hand how some ten years ago, his country - with the help of one of the largest global investment banks - “Goldman Sachs” - hid its huge debts from other eurozone countries. He knows and keeps quiet. So he has prospered.


I am sure that the other new European Prime Minister - Italian Mario Monti, is of like mind to Papademos. Unlike his stately predecessor Silvio Berlusconi, this former member of the International Advisory Board of Goldman Sachs was not elected by the people either: the new leader was sent down to the masses “from above.” There isn't a single person in Monti’s government that has stood for an election. Yet look how smartly “Super Mario” is tightening the screws: he has already raised the retirement age of women from 60 to 62, and for men from 65 to 66, without waiting parliamentary approval for the measures that will dramatically drain the resources of local governments.


The notion that is supposed to occur to us mere mortals is this: Papademos and Monti are, as they say, “technocrat-saviors” who are courageously pulling their governments out of debt. But as the monthly Le Monde Diplomatique puts it, neither one nor the other seem to be an “apolitical technician.” Both are "men of the right.”



By the way, Europe’s new central bank chief Mario Draghi was a former vice-chairman and managing director of Goldman Sachs International during the period that coincides with the Greek swindle.


In a real sense, Goldman Sachs has begun to govern Europe.


Among business circles, the company has the nickname the "Firm," and the "Firm" doesn’t do any fooling around. Everywhere one looks it has people “inside.”


Before being appointed U.S. Treasury Secretary in 2006, Henry “Hank” Paulson was head of Goldman Sachs. In 2008, not long before the launch of the so-called “Paulson Plan” - the appropriation of $700 billion to rescue U.S. financial institutions - he conducted a meeting with the entire leadership of his former company during a visit to Moscow at a major hotel so as not to attract attention. It is said that he appeared remarkably well-prepared for the unfolding crisis and that sometimes he seemed to now of what was coming just a little before everyone else.


But to attribute such a concentration of financial capital influence to the intrigues of one, even to an enterprise as immense as Goldman Sachs, would be an oversimplification.


In late October, the University of Zurich published an interesting study. Researchers analyzed nearly all transnational corporations - 43,060 - on the subject of who owns them and how. As a result, they created a “map” of 1318 companies comprising the heart of the global economy. But even on this “select” list, researchers found a core of only 147 companies that control 40 percent of the wealth of the others. Each of these 147 firms is either partially or fully owned by another. Generally, the actual owners are banks or other financial organizations. The close ties among these 147 companies may raise concerns: if a fire begins, all of them may collapse.


This could have happened three years ago. But the presses worked tirelessly to print U.S. dollars backed by nothing, delaying the inevitable. And they managed to do it.


Now comes the next critical stage. According to a report by the Bank of International Settlements, derivatives worth over $707 trillion are flying around the world (re-sold debts and insurance that are also backed by nothing). Another financial bubble of unprecedented proportions. The entire aggregate global GDP, by the way, is $63 trillion. When this bubble bursts - the entire speculative global economy will be finished, along with the whole of “democracy.”


So Goldman Sachs' has rushed its people into power. And people like Putin, Berlusconi (and generally all somewhat independent politicians - the smart as well as the ridiculous self-aggrandizing), are in their way.


*  *  *


Even economically powerful Germany hasn't been “passed over” by these guys: In late November, when Berlin tried to place its long-term securities with a maturity of 10 years, 35 percent of them couldn't be sold. Yet just two days, after Italy, burdened with immeasurable debt but by now lead by the "right person" Mario Monti, had a successful sale of its securities. The Germans were unambiguously given to understand that "international financial capital" will not allow them to call the shots in Europe.   



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And this gave rise to other unpredictable developments, in spite of the results of European summits like the one that ended last Friday. German chancellor Angela Merkel, in contrast to Monti and Papademos, and unlike the E.U. President Herman Van Rompuy and Baroness Ashton, the E.U. foreign minister, understands that she is an elected and not an appointed politician. And whoever replaces Merkel in Germany will also be elected. Among Germans, who have ridden themselves of the “eternal guilty” imposed on them after World War II, other scenarios won’t fly. They themselves don't live on credit and will not long pay for the debt of others, regardless of how urgently they are pushed in that direction. And that means that pretty soon, we will soon see a new round in the European drama.


And I truly hope that even if December 2011 has shaken German-speaking Vladimir Putin, Russia will be watching the events unfold in Europe with him as our head of state. Russia may be a state riddled with corruption, a bloated bureaucracy, and electoral fraud, but it is one that retains its independence and the capacity to cleanse itself, which should necessarily begin in 2012. Otherwise, the future of our country will be dim. To be precise, it will be promising only for Goldman Sachs.




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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US Dec. 27, 6:59am]


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