Saturday, 31 January 2009

yeltsin was jelzman...


The New Russian Revolution Has Deposed The Jews

By Arthur Cristian


Shortly after Vladimir Putin was elected president of Russia in 2000, the murdered family of Czar Nicholas was beatified. Until quite recently, the centers of Jewish power had hoped to preserve some idealized memories of the murderous Soviet system in the minds of the Russians, but it turned out to be a vain hope.

Because Bolshevism was formulated and executed by Jews, their power centers had retained fond hopes of being able some day to reconnect and reinstall some sort of Jewish lobby leverage in the Kremlin. These fond hopes were dashed by Vladimir Putin.

By the end of 2008, the Russians were expected to have decided on what archetype they preferred: Stalin's 'Patriotic War' or Czarism. Until quite recently, Stalin had remained slightly ahead of Czar Nicholas II . 'Then, however, the Czar mysteriously pulled ahead.' (Die Welt, 17 July 2008, page 1) After that, the choice no longer had to be made.

The Jewish Lobby was of course hoping that a Czarist cult would never rise again, since the Czar had been the great adversary of the Bolshevik Jews. Now however, the Russians again see in Czar Nicholas II a kind of savior who, like Jesus, had dared to oppose the Pharisees.

Following on the heels of the organized collapse of the Soviet Union, the global Jewish Lobby was able to install Boris Yeltsin (alias Jelzman) in the Kremlin. Once they had seized control of Russia's natural resources, they believed they could rule forever, or at least as long as they were operating under the protection of the US military forces. Not only did they control the military bloodhound USA, which they could let loose against any country that became troublesome; they also controlled Russia, whose energy wealth they could use to exploit and enslave the entire planet. Yeltsin-Jelzman allowed the Russian military forces to disintegrate rapidly.

In the early 1990s the Arab press investigated the Jelzman case and exposed Yeltsin as a puppet of the Lobby, providing additional background details. On 28 November 1992 the newspaper 'Al Arab', published in London, made the following announcement on the front page: 'The name change was decided upon at the 20th Party Congress ... Yeltsin is a Jew. Risselov, a member of the Volksunion, revealed that the family name of President Yeltsin was Jelzman, a German Jewish name. The 20th Party Congress then decided to change the family name of Boris Jelzman to Yeltsin ... The reason given for this change was that the Russian people would be afraid of the name Jelzman since his grandfather Jelzman had murdered thousands of Russians under Beria.'

Everything had seemed to be going well for the Lobby. Then, out of a clear blue sky, Putin's coup occurred.

He deposed the terrible Jelzman-Yeltsin. Today Yeltsin's Jewish background is openly discussed even in the Establishment press, where as he is described as having 'converted to Christianity'. For example, on page 1 of its issue of 17 July 2008, Die Welt refers to 'Boris Yeltsin, the Communist who later converted to Christianity.'

When they brutally murdered the Czar's family in Yekaterinburg on the night of 17 July 1918 in the house of the engineer Ipatjev, the Bolsheviks unwittingly established '...a cult that, 90 years later, is still as strong as ever.' (Die Welt, 17 July 2008, p. 1) This was true even though Jelzman did everything in his power to erase the memory of the Czar from Russian consciousness. 'Boris Yelzin even had the Ipatjev house demolished without being able to stop the growing fondness for the Czar in Russia.' (Die Welt, 17 July 2008, page 1).

However, the Russian schools now teach that it was Jews who murdered the Czar's family, which is probably the reason why even Wikipedia has begun reporting that the murderers were Jews, a fact that could not be mentioned in former times. 'On 4 July 1918, the Cheka took over guarding the Romanovs in Yekaterinburg. They were accompanied by Jakov Jurovski... Jurovski was a Jew.' (from Wikipedia). Two additional Jewish assassins who joined the Jurovski murderers were Alexander Belobarodov and Filip Goloschtschokin.

Today, the Russians weep when they think of the horrible crime. 'Only the Jews would have been capable of such a terrible bloody crime' stated a participant in the memorial mass in front of the Church of the Blood that was held in Yekaterinburg in 2008.

According to eyewitness reports of the massacre, "the Czarina complained to Commandant Jurovski about the empty room in which they were held and she requested two chairs. Jurovski then had two chairs brought in, on which the Czarina and her ill son Alexi sat down. Jurovski ordered the other family members to stand in two rows behind mother and son, then brought in the execution detail. Jurovski informed the Czar that the government had ordered their execution and therefore, he was now going to shoot them. The Czar said nothing except the words 'Forgive them Father, for they know what they do' as Jesus said on the Cross. Then Commandant Jurovski shot him. All the other soldiers also shot Nicholas as well, and he died immediately.

Then the firing squad began shooting wildly to kill all the other members of the family. When the shooting was over, Alex and three of his sisters were still alive and lying wounded on the floor. The bullets that were fired at the girls seemed to have been deflected. The soldiers then began bayoneting the victims. However, the bayonets became stuck in the girls' bodices. This was because, during internment in Alexander Palace, the children and Lady-in-waiting Anna Demidova had sewed a large number of the family jewels and diamonds into a pillow and the girls' bodices. On the evening they were murdered they were wearing these bodices, and in addition, Demidova attempted to deflect the bullets with the pillow. For this reason the execution lasted about 20 minutes until the last member of the family was dead. After the murders, Jurovski attempted to erase all traces of the crime.' (From Wikipedia).

According to a report released by Archbishop Wikenti on 17 July 2008, around 40,000 persons took part in a religious procession from Yekaterinburg to an abandoned mineshaft some 18 kilometers distant.

In conjunction with the memorial service for the Romanovs, copies of 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion' were offered for sale.
The bodies of Czar Nicholas, his German wife Alexandra and their five children had been carried to that place after they had been shot by their Jewish murderers in the night of 17 July 1918 in Yekaterinburg. In conjunction with the memorial service for the Romanovs, copies of 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion' were offered for sale. Large numbers of printed pamphlets were distributed along with the Protocols. The printed materials were entitled 'Why we hate the Jewish Mafia' and posed the question 'Is This Xenophobia or Self Defense?' The student Ivan Kolsev, 20, who had wrapped himself in a Czarist banner, expressed the opinion of many when he said 'Democracy has no future -- we are returning to Monarchy!' On the banner was written 'In honor of Russia: for Czar and Fatherland.' [Agence France-Presse (AFP), 28 July 2008.]

For the Russians, the Jews are guilty of having killed emissaries of God when they murdered the Romanov family, since the family has been beatified. '...Just as they once crucified Jesus' said a participant in the memorial services. 'Nicholas and Alexandra were our father and mother -- they were like Russia's parents' said another of the faithful. Another participant in the memorial mass expressed enthusiasm for the return of the Czarism: 'The Czar is God's chosen on Earth, we must have a Czar.' (AFP 17 July 2008.)

The new Czarist cult is more than a revolution, it is the rebirth of the Russian nation after all the suffering the Bolsheviks inflicted on it. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez expressed this view during his visit to Moscow at the end of July 2008: 'Venezuela takes note of the rebirth of Russia with great and affectionate attention.' (Die Welt, 23 July 2008, p. 5)
President Medvedev then expressed sincere appreciation to President Chavez for his heartfelt interest. Since his first day as President of Russia, it has been Putin's principal goal to enable Russia's reawakening. He and his allies have always had a clear picture of the people who murdered the Romanovs along with 55 million other Russians.

It was always clear to Putin that these peoples' primary aim was to suck Russia dry and annihilate it for all time with their unparalleled parasitism.[the same pattern is most prevalent here in the U.S.] A Kremlin politician close to Putin was quoted as saying about the then most influential Jews: 'Boris Beresovski and Vladimir Gussinski are like bacteria that establish themselves in diseased bodies, but then die when the bodies grow healthy again.' [Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA), 2 April 2002.] This statement reminds us of a passage from Mein Kampf: 'The Jew is and will remain the eternal parasite, a freeloader that, like a malignant bacterium, spreads rapidly whenever a growth medium is made available to it.' (Chapter 11)

Vladimir Gussinski was the head of the Jewish Central Committee in Russia as well as chairman of the Jewish World Congress. After fleeing Russia for refuge in Israel, he stated to the world press that in Russia, 'a new state ideology against the West is to be feared... It has many anti-Jewish characteristics.' He called the then Russian president, Vladimir Putin, an 'extreme anti Semite and secret admirer of Hitler.' (Spiegel, 25/2000, p. 180)[ as usual spreading lies about people..always stirring up trouble and blaming it on others]

In early July 2008 observers noted a new high point in Russia's struggle against the Lobby, when the new US ambassador was installed in Berlin. Former chancellor Gerhard Schröder, an intimate friend of Putin, declined the invitation of the American ambassador, without explanation.

In the entire history of Post-War-Germany, or BRDDR, this had never before occurred. Such a snub could never have happened before, even in a dream. In addition to the fact that Schröder is not overly fond of the Lobby, he was certainly advised by his friend Putin to decline the invitation in order to demonstrate the new power relationship in Europe. 'When the new American embassy is opened in Berlin, Gerhard Schröder was absent. The ex-chancellor had been invited by the Americans, but he declined the invitation... The reasons for the former chancellor's failure to appear are not known.', 4 July 2008

zionist's "drang nach osten"

Israel hopes to colonize parts of Iraq as ‘Greater Israel’

By Wayne Madsen

Online Journal Contributing Writer

Jan 30, 2009, 00:20

(WMR) -- Israeli expansionists, their intentions to take full control of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and permanently keep the Golan Heights of Syria and expand into southern Lebanon already well known, also have their eyes on parts of Iraq considered part of a biblical “Greater Israel.”

Israel reportedly has plans to relocate thousands of Kurdish Jews from Israel, including expatriates from Kurdish Iran, to the Iraqi cities of Mosul and Nineveh under the guise of religious pilgrimages to ancient Jewish religious shrines. According to Kurdish sources, the Israelis are secretly working with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to carry out the integration of Kurdish and other Jews into areas of Iraq under control of the KRG.

Kurdish, Iraqi Sunni Muslims, and Turkmen have noted that Kurdish Israelis began to buy land in Iraqi Kurdistan, after the U.S. invasion in 2003, that is considered historical Jewish “property.”

The Israelis are particularly interested in the shrine of the Jewish prophet Nahum in al Qush, the prophet Jonah in Mosul, and the tomb of the prophet Daniel in Kirkuk. Israelis are also trying to claim Jewish “properties” outside of the Kurdish region, including the shrine of Ezekiel in the village of al-Kifl in Babel Province near Najaf and the tomb of Ezra in al-Uzayr in Misan Province, near Basra, both in southern Iraq’s Shi’a-dominated territory. Israeli expansionists consider these shrines and tombs as much a part of “Greater Israel” as Jerusalem and the West Bank, which they call “Judea and Samaria.”

Kurdish and Iraqi sources report that Israel’s Mossad is working hand-in-hand with Israeli companies and “tourists” to stake a claim to the Jewish “properties” of Israel in Iraq. The Mossad has already been heavily involved in training the Kurdish Pesha Merga military forces.

Reportedly assisting the Israelis are foreign mercenaries paid for by U.S. Christian evangelical circles that support the concept of “Christian Zionism.”

Iraqi nationalists charge that the Israeli expansion into Iraq is supported by both major Kurdish factions, including the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan headed by Iraq’s nominal President Jalal Talabani. Talabani’s son, Qubad Talabani, serves as the KRG’s representative in Washington, where he lives with his wife Sherri Kraham, who is Jewish.

Also supporting the Israeli land acquisition activities is the Kurdistan Democratic Party, headed by Massoud Barzani, the president of the KRG. One of Barzani’s five sons, Binjirfan Barzani, is reportedly heavily involved with the Israelis.

The Israelis and their Christian Zionist supporters enter Iraq not through Baghdad but through Turkey. In order to depopulate residents of lands the Israelis claim, Mossad operatives and Christian Zionist mercenaries are staging terrorist attacks against Chaldean Christians, particularly in Nineveh, Irbil, al-Hamdaniya, Bartalah, Talasqaf, Batnayah, Bashiqah, Elkosheven, Uqrah, and Mosul.

These attacks by the Israelis and their allies are usually reported as being the responsibility of “Al Qaeda” and other Islamic “jihadists.”

The ultimate aim of the Israelis is to depopulate the Christian population in and around Mosul and claim the land as biblical Jewish land that is part of “Greater Israel.” The Israeli/Christian Zionist operation is a replay of the depopulation of the Palestinians in the British mandate of Palestine after World War II.

In June 2003, a delegation of Israelis visited Mosul and said that it was Israel’s intentions, with the assistance of Barzani, to establish Israeli control of the shrine of Jonah in Mosul and the shrine of Nahum in the Mosul plains. The Israelis said Israeli and Iranian Jewish pilgrims would travel via Turkey to the area of Mosul and take over lands where Iraqi Christians lived.

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

Copyright © 2008

Thursday, 29 January 2009

bartering exchange to open in moscow

The Moscow Times

» Issue 4072 »

VMillionaire's Crisis Plan: Return to Bartering

27 January 2009

By Nadia Popova / Staff Writer

To help pull the world out of economic crisis, German Sterligov, one of Russia's first multimillionaires, has swapped his valenki for polished office boots.

After spending four years in a wooden hut in a forest outside Moscow, Sterligov has leased out almost an entire floor atop a skyscraper in the Moskva-City business district to launch a global barter system.

Sterligov, who doesn't watch television and rarely uses the Internet because of his Orthodox religious principles, plans to start facilitating the barter of debt and goods with his company, the Anti-Crisis Settlement and Accounting Center, by early March.

While the global economic crisis didn't sweep into Russia until September, Sterligov said he sensed that trouble was looming in August and got to work.

"I decided that barter trade would be the right choice for the world in times of liquidity problems and payment delays," he said in a recent interview.

So from August to November, computer programmers hired by Sterligov created an interactive database allowing the barter of debt and goods worldwide.

Sterligov illustrated a possible barter deal with a real-life example: Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works' estimated debt of 1 billion rubles ($30.4 million) to Mechel for coal supplies.

"Mechel could put information about MMK's nonpayment in our system and then add which products it needs itself," Sterligov said.

MMK, in turn, would put 1 billion rubles of steel into the system, he said. At some point, a company would surface that wanted steel and had a product needed by Mechel, and the deal would be completed.

"For this to work, you have to have thousands of bids in the system," Sterligov said, adding that debt would probably become the most popular item for barter.

Mechel and MMK declined to comment about their possible participation in such a system.

Barter trade was widespread in Russia in the 1990s, when economic turmoil following the Soviet collapse prompted companies to pay employees and creditors with the products they produced — anything from bricks to vegetable oil.

Sterligov built his fortune through one of Russia's first mercantile exchanges, which he launched in 1990, and subsequently got involved in businesses, "ranging from fish processing to metals trade," he said.

Sterligov said he had invested "several million euros" into the Anti-Crisis Settlement and Accounting Center. "I have no business plan — it's my money — and I spend as much as I want and is reasonable," he said.

Sterligov said he has opened offices through joint ventures in New York, London, Brussels, Hong Kong, Paris and Sydney and plans to open three more soon — in Istanbul, Berlin and Milan. He said his company owns 51 percent in each joint venture.

He declined to disclose the firms' names before an official presentation of his company in late February.

The company currently has 13 regional offices across Russia and plans to boost the number to 1,000 — mostly small offices in towns and villages — by March, when the whole system is to be launched.

Sterligov plans to hire around 15,000 people in Russia, mainly workers who have been laid off in recent months as companies scaled back production and axed investment plans.

Sitting in his office on the 26th floor of the Moskva-City skyscraper, Sterligov said it takes him two hours to get to work from his hut in a forest of the Mozhaisky district of the Moscow region, 100 kilometers northwest of Moscow, where he lives with his wife and five children.

"I still have sheep, chickens, goats and cows, but now they are mainly my wife and children's responsibility," said Sterligov, 42.

He said he would return to the woods as soon as the world gets out of the economic crisis.

Sterligov moved to the forest in 2004 after selling all of his holdings, including "several luxurious houses" in the prestigious neighborhood along the Rublyovo-Uspenskoye Shosse and some property abroad. "I had to pay back huge debts from my election campaigns," Sterligov said.

Sterligov unsuccessfully ran for Krasnoyarsk governor and Moscow mayor before then-President Vladimir Putin ended popular elections for the positions. He also tried to run for president in 2004 but was denied registration because of his failure to get notary certification for the signatures of support that he had submitted. Sterligov says he followed all the proper legal procedures.

He refused to say how he had earned the money for the Anti-Crisis Settlement and Accounting Center.

Several companies contacted by The Moscow Times expressed an interest in using barter trade during the crisis. "We could use barter trade to pay our contractors with the square meters that we build," said Yevgeny Plaksenkov, chief executive of Miel, a leading real estate company. "We know how it all works through our experience in the 1990s."

The crisis of liquidity logically leads to barter trade, he said. "However, barter is like a drug for the economy," he said. "It may give a temporary effect, but if you continue playing with barter it throws the economy backward."

Sergei Ryabov, head of regional and strategy development at Titan-Agro, an agro-business holding, said Sterligov's plans had potential. "In times of crisis, all means are good," he said.

Economists and legal experts, however, were highly skeptical about Sterligov's initiative. "The price of money is not high enough yet to return to the underdeveloped economy of the 1990s," said Natalya Orlova, chief economist at Alfa Bank. "The state was weak then, and taxes were barely paid. It is all different now."

Sergei Voitishkin, a corporate partner at Baker & McKenzie, said barter would not work because of hassles involving taxes and property rights. "The crisis is an opportunity to make economies more efficient, whereas barter schemes throw us back into the Dark Ages, which is definitely not what modern economy needs," he said.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

uk banks saved from total freefall


Revealed: Day the banks were just three hours from collapse

By Glen Owen

11:21 PM on 24th January 2009

Britain was just three hours away from going bust last year after a secret run on the banks, one of Gordon Brown's Ministers has revealed.

City Minister Paul Myners disclosed that on Friday, October 10, the country was 'very close' to a complete banking collapse after 'major depositors' attempted to withdraw their money en masse.

The Mail on Sunday has been told that the Treasury was preparing for the banks to shut their doors to all customers, terminate electronic transfers and even block hole-in-the-wall cash withdrawals.

Only frantic behind-the-scenes efforts averted financial meltdown.

If the moves had failed, Mr Brown would have been forced to announce that the Government was nationalising the entire financial system and guaranteeing all deposits.

But 60-year-old Lord Myners was accused last night of being 'completely irresponsible' for admitting the scale of the crisis while the recession was still deepening and major institutions such as Barclays remain under intense pressure.

The build-up to 'Black Friday' started on Monday, October 6, when the FTSE 100 dropped by nearly eight per cent as bad news on the economy started to multiply.

The following day, Chancellor Alistair Darling began all-night talks ahead of an announcement on the Wednesday that billions of pounds of taxpayers' money would be used to pour liquidity into the system.

But shares continued to plummet, turning into a rout on the Friday when the FTSE crashed by ten per cent within minutes of opening.

Both Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS were nearing complete collapse - but Lord Myners, who built up his fortune during a long career in the City, said the problems ran far wider.

'There were two or three hours when things felt very bad, nervous and fragile,' he said. 'Major depositors were trying to withdraw - and willing to pay penalties for early withdrawal - from a number of large banks.'

The threat to the system was so severe that the Bank of England was forced to contact RBS's creditors in New York and Tokyo to persuade them not to withdraw their funds, but it is not known which other banks faced a run on their reserves.

'We faced the very real problem of how banks could stop depositors from withdrawing their money,' a Treasury source said yesterday.

'The banks themselves were selling their shareholdings, accelerating the stock-market falls, and preparing to shut up shop. Mortgages would have been sold on and savers would have been spooked, to put it mildly. It would have been chaos.'

After a weekend of crisis talks, which concluded at dawn on the Monday, it was announced that Lloyds TSB was taking over HBOS, supported by £17billion of taxpayers' money, and RBS would receive an injection of £20billion - prompting the resignation of RBS's infamous chief executive, Sir Fred 'the shred' Goodwin. Share prices at last started a small rally.

Ruth Lea, economic adviser to the Arbuthnot Banking Group, said last night that it was 'highly irresponsible' for Lord Myners to reveal the scale of the problems because it could serve to further wreck already fragile levels of confidence.

'We are not out of the woods yet,' she said. 'I fear for Barclays, after the fall in its share price, and Lloyds has been damaged by the HBOS takeover.'

She added: 'If it was panning out in that way, then the Government would have had no choice but to step in and nationalise the entire financial system.'

Angela Knight, chief executive of the British Bankers Association, said: 'The issues related only to HBOS and RBS. To imply that all the banks would have gone under is wrong. It is complicated.'

Lord Myners also said that bank executives had been 'grossly over-rewarded' during the 'golden days' of big bonuses. 'They are people who have no sense of the broader society around them,' he said. 'There is quite a lot of annoyance and much of that is justified.'

true economy means good housekeeping


Worshipping the wrong god

Day and night we chant the mantra of profit while our environment lies in ruins, and ethics and our principles of justice are ignored

Satish Kumar,

Monday 26 January 2009 10.10 GMT

The question: What economic system would really benefit humanity?

Every year the World Economic Forum in Davos seems to take a materialistic view of the economy. I hope this year it will be different.

After the inauguration of Barack Obama, the new president of the United States, new and moral thoughts are in the air. The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy and the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, have also talked about moral capitalism. The current economic crisis is a "crisis of desires" and unless we are able to explore and consider the moral, spiritual and ethical dimensions of the economy, true economic recovery will be a distant dream.

I come from a Jain business family, my father traded in jute, cotton and grain. He used to say he had to make some profit to keep the business going but that his main motivation was to provide a service to the community. Profit is like oiling the wheels, it is a means to an end, not an end in itself.

For my father, and many other traditional business communities, money was not wealth. People, land, animals, forests, rivers and all other natural gifts were considered as true wealth. Money was only a measure, a means of exchange, our business was steady and sustainable. For us, all trade was a public service. The purpose of business was to provide "goods" and "services" not "bads" or "exploits". Imagine Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Walmart as "public service" businesses! Unfortunately, in the past few decades, this spiritual outlook and moral compass has changed; now greed is considered good and economic activities are driven to maximise financial profit. It is a new kind of religion; a religion of materialism and consumerism. We worship the god of money, and we sacrifice everything at the altar of the economy. We indulge in consumerism as if there was no tomorrow. As a result, in the short term, banks are running out of money, consumers are short of
cash, house prices are tumbling and unemployment is rising. In the longer term, we face global warming, global terrorism, global poverty and population explosion.

It amazes me to see that the great economists, industrialists, business leaders and politicians have even forgotten the true meaning of economy. They only think in terms of profit maximisation, whereas the true economy means good housekeeping; proper management of all aspects of the home. The criterion of good house management is to ensure that all the members of the household are living in harmony with each other and the place. Money is only a means to a good economy, not the economy itself.

Banks and business leaders, politicians and economists are looking for economic recovery, hoping to go back to business as usual: the good old days of growth without limit, consumption without restraint and profit without principles. From a spiritual perspective economy is good economy only when it is in harmony with ecology, ethics and equity. Day and night we chant the mantra of economy while our ecology is in ruins, our ethics shelved and our principles of justice are put on the back-burner.

There are two roads to economic recovery: the first option is to bail out the banks and fuel consumerism, put more money in mortgages and hope to get back to business as usual. But the second option is to think holistically, to invest in land and agriculture, in renewable energy and practical skills. The earth is our true bank. We are at a crossroads, which path are we going to choose? The answer is obvious.

But how do we choose the right answer without some guiding values? Such values can be none other than moral, ethical and spiritual. If we build our economy on spirituality then our quality of life will improve, we will see human wellbeing at the heart of economic policy; finance in balance with family and commerce in balance with community. As in Bhutan, economic growth will be in balance with the growth in human happiness and consumerism will be in balance with creativity and the human spirit.

Let us have the "audacity of hope" as Barack Obama, who is a deeply religious man, has said.

barter or starve


Nations turn to barter deals to secure food

By Javier Blas in London

January 26 2009 23:32

Countries struggling to secure credit have resorted to barter and secretive government-to-government deals to buy food, with some contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

In a striking example of how the global financial crisis and high food prices have strained the finances of poor and middle-income nations, countries including Russia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Morocco say they have signed or are discussing inter-government and barter deals to import commodities from rice to vegetable oil.

The revival of these trade practices, used rarely in the last 20 years and usually by nations subject to international embargoes and the old communist bloc, is a result of the countries’ failure to secure trade financing as bank lending has dried up.

The countries have not disclosed the value of any deals, and some have refused even to confirm their existence. Officials estimated that they ranged from $5m for smaller contracts to more than $500m for the biggest.

Josette Sheeran, head of the United Nations’ World Food Programme, said senior government officials, including heads of state, had told the WFP they were facing “difficulties” obtaining credit to purchase food. “This could be a big problem,” she told the Financial Times.

While food prices have fallen from their record high last year, this fall is only temporary, a study by Chatham House, the London-based think-tank, suggests
Last week, Malaysia’s commodities minister, Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui, said Kuala Lumpur had already signed a barter deal swapping palm oil for fertilizer and machinery with North Korea, Cuba and Russia. He said Malaysia was talking to Morocco, Jordan, Syria and Iran about other barter deals.

“[Bartering] could be used for contracts with other countries that do not have the cash,” Mr Chin told the local press. “We can set the conditions for them to supply us with the raw materials that we need.”

Thailand, the world’s largest exporter of rice, is discussing barter deals with Middle Eastern countries, including Iran. The Philippines, the world’s largest importer of rice, has secured rice needs for this year through a diplomatic agreement with Hanoi.

The countries’ struggle to obtain credit to import food is boosting the price of domestic crops. Ms Sheeran said that prices of crops in some African countries were rising sharply even as international food commodities prices had fallen from last summer.

The move to barter shows the global food crisis that started last year is far from over.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009

Monday, 26 January 2009

yuan to fuel worldwide hyperinflation

Hyperinflation Will begin In China And It Will Destroy The Dollar

Eric deCarbonnel
January 20, 2009

The conventional wisdom on China is dead wrong. Specifically, there is a widespread belief, as expressed by Goldman Sachs, that "China will keep the yuan trading within a narrow range in 2009 due concerns about exporters." Worse still, others are even predicting that China will devalue its currency! The sheer wishful thinking is astounding! The idea that "China will keep the dollar peg to help its exporters" ranks all the way up there with "Housing prices always go up" and "You can spend your way to prosperity".


If you have learned nothing else in the last year and a half, you should have learned that if something sounds too good to be true, that is because it IS too good to be true. The media overwhelmingly presents China's dollar peg as a win-win situation: Americans get cheap imports and low interest rates while China gets a strong manufacturing sector. While commentators do sometimes debates whether China will keep lending us money forever, they never talk about the REAL problem with the dollar peg.

Below is a chart which shows how China's dollar peg works. See if you can spot the downside that the media never seems to mention.

The US's trade deficit requires China to print money!

The little discussed downside of the dollar peg is all the money China has to print to maintain it. China's Central Bank puts the extra dollars it receives from its trade surplus into its growing foreign reserves and then prints yuan to pay Chinese exporters. This results in an increase in China's base money supply by an amount equal to the increase in its foreign exchange reserves. While China's ability to keep accumulating US reserves is endless, its ability to keep its money supply under control is not.

The true threat to the dollar peg

If there is one development which could force China to drop its dollar peg, it is out of control inflation. Rampant inflation would result in millions of citizens starving and would create widespread social unrest. Keeping food prices low is a matter of political survival for Chinese authorities. So, facing the choice between losing their grip on power and losing the dollar peg, they will not hesitate for a second to sacrifice the dollar to save their own skin.

So far China been able to contain inflation, but…

In recent years, China has been able to contain the inflationary effects of its trade surplus by soaking up or "sterilizing" all the extra liquidity (printed yuan). These sterilization efforts mostly involved:

A) Raising the reserve requirements of commercial banks. In essence, the PBOC (People's Bank of China) prints money to fund its trade surplus and then increases the amount of yuan banks have to keep as reserves at the Central bank, preventing the printed cash from reaching the economy. As of May of last year, commercial banks' reserve requirements were at 16.5 percent

B) Selling RMB-denominated sterilization bills. The state owned and controlled banking system has been forced to absorb the majority of these bills. As of May of last year, the value of sterilization bills reached 10 percent of bank deposits.

Taken together, these two steps have immobilized roughly 26.5 percent of Chinese commercial banks' deposits. This shows the magnitude China has had to intervene so far, as the value of sterilization instruments outstanding has been increasing at roughly the same rate as its foreign reserves.

PBC Foreign Reserves and Sterilization Instruments (US$ Billions)

While China has been able to contain inflation to single digits for the last decade, that is about to change. All economic forces are aligning in China for a surge in inflation.

1) China has abandoned its sterilization operations

Currently, the PBOC has abandoned its sterilization efforts all together:

A) The PBOC has lowered reserve requirements by 2 percentage point for China's big banks and by 4 percentage point for all other banks.

B) The PBOC has scaled back sterilization efforts by reducing liquidity-draining three-month and 52-week bill sales from once a week to once every two weeks. As a result of these decreasing sales, the clearing house for China's interbank bond market expects PBOC's 2009 bill issues to be down over 70%, which will increase the Chinese base money supply by 2 trillion yuan.

These actions signify that the PBOC has ceased sterilizing its currency interventions and is focusing on (imaginary) deflation risks. A flood of cash has been unleashed, and a tsunami of pent-up inflation will soon hit China.

2) China is running record trade surpluses

China's imports are crashing much faster than its exports. In December, Chinese imports fell 21.3% while exports fell only 2.8%. As a result, China has been running record trade surpluses these last three months: $35 billion, $40 billion, and 39 billion.

The reason for China's surplus is obvious when you think about it. Consider the following list of goods a country can exports and ask yourself what would hold up best during a severe global economic downturn.

*** Commodities (Oil, gas, steel, etc)
*** Capital goods (Airplanes, Caterpillars, Machinery for new factories, Machinery for new mining/oil exploration projects, etc)
*** Durable goods (SUVs, CARs, appliances, business equipment, electronic equipment, home furnishings, etc)
*** Luxury goods (brand name products, designer clothing, artwork, etc...)
*** Cheap consumer goods (everything you buy at Wal-Mart)

The answer is that the demand for cheap consumer goods will hold up better than anything else. This can easily be seen in the retail sales this holiday shopping season. Wal-Mart, which imports 70% of its products from China, was the only retail to post a year-on-year increase in sales. So while the world economy might be imploding spectacularly, demand for Wal-Mart's cheap Chinese goods is holding up quite well. The implications of this is that while China's exports will fall, they will fall less than those of any other country.

The current trade surplus is still completely unsustainable. If China's continues running a 40 billion dollar trade surplus all year, its base money supply will double by the end of 2009. Also, since China has halted the appreciation of the yuan, its trade surplus is unlikely to shrink as demand for cheap consumer goods is set to remain strong.

3) The Chinese economy will shrink in 2009

Consistently amazing economic growth is the biggest factor which has helped China contain inflation. Inflation happens when the money supply is growing faster than the economy, and china's economy has been growing fast. This economic growth has helped absorb the enormous quantities of yuan that have been printed to support the dollar. However, this will change in 2009. Due to falling global demand, China's economy is set for zero, if not negative, growth which will remove a significant mitigating force against inflation and amplify the inflationary impact of China's printing press.

Side note: China's economic strength is underestimated

It is important to note that, while economic growth will go probably go negative, China's economy will not crash. The strength of the Chinese economy is widely underestimate in the media today. In addition to the resilient worldwide demand for its cheap consumer goods, China is also benefiting for import substitution at home. This is why imports to China are falling so fast: Chinese are switching to cheap domestic product instead of expensive foreign imports. So while there has been a sharp drop in Chinese demand for big-ticket brands (Dior, Chanel, Hermes, etc…) and others luxury items, knock-offs and other cheap goods are still flying off the shelves. Chinese consumers are downshifting, but they are still spending strong, as reflected by the 21% year-over-year growth in 2008.

However, despite China's strong fundamentals, the current worldwide downturn is too strong for it to escape. The worldwide financial carnage is so severe that even the demand for cheap consumer goods will decrease. As a result, while China may outperform every country on Earth, its economy will still suffer in 2009.

4) Deflation in China would be too good to be true

China has been in a constant war with the inflation caused by the dollar peg. Economic growth and sterilization operations alone have not been enough to absorb the growing liquidity, and China has been forced to turn to ever more drastic steps in its efforts to contain inflation. These stifling policy measures together with its sterilization efforts have enormously suppressed domestic demand and have distracting the government from developing key services enjoyed by other developed nations. This suppressed domestic demand has also distorted China's economy, as reflected by the undersized service sector, and has lowered the quality of life for Chinese citizens.

Chinese financial repression and market socialism

In its losing battle with inflation, China has adopted stifling policy measures to suppress domestic demand and keep prices down:

(these are only a few of the anti-inflation measures China has adopted)

A) Strict price controls. (ie: Large wholesalers must seek central government approval if they want to raise prices by 6 percent within the space of 10 days or by 10 percent within a month.)
B) Credit ceilings. (limits on how much commercial banks can lend)
C) Floors on lending rates and ceilings on deposit rates
D) Strict rules governing lending decisions
E) Tight land purchase and lending requirements
F) Direct government intervention to limited expansion in certain industries (ie: aluminum, steel, autos and textiles sectors in 2004)
G) Penalty taxes on anyone buying and selling real estate in a short period of time.
H) Forcing local government to cut back spending by delaying approval of their investment projects
I) High sales taxes.
J) Etc...

Suppressed domestic demand has distorted China's economy

The distortions caused by sterilization operations and stifling policy measures are best seen when comparing China's and the US's economy:

A) US home buyers get tax incentives VS Chinese home buyers get tax penalties
B) US gets artificially low interest rates VS China's artificially high interest rates
C) US's "service economy" VS China's "service-less economy"
D) Etc…

In the US, the overvalued dollar and easy credit environment have caused the service sector to become oversized, artificially raising America's standard of living. In contrast, China's suppressed domestic demand has led its service sector to become undersized, artificially decreasing its standard of living.

Focus on inflation has lead to a lack of key government services

With Chinese authorities sidetracked by their export oriented focus and battle with overheating, the development of key government services enjoyed by other developed nations has been neglected. As a result, Chinese citizens' lack of social security, free education, and available consumer credit, which has forced them to save far more than their Western counterparts, leaving them with less disposable income.

Deflation would be a godsend to China

Chinese authorities must be thrilled about the prospect of fighting deflation instead of inflation. Fighting deflation would allow China to:

A) Scale back its increasingly costly sterilization efforts.
B) Lower interest rates.
C) Get rid of all the controls which are distorting domestic property markets.
D) Promote consumer spending without worrying about the inflationary impact.
E) Develop a comprehensive social security net.
F) Increase funding of public education.
E) Accelerate the development of a system to rate people's credit.
F) Encourage growth in underdeveloped domestic sectors (housing, health care, education, entertainment, etc)
G) Etc…

Most of the steps above are already being taken by Chinese authorities. Unfortunately, there are no free lunches. The possibility that China can maintain a highly inflationary currency peg, reverse years of anti-inflation policies, release a flood of sterilized yuan back into circulation, and go on a Western-style stimulus/bailout binge without experiencing double digit inflation is zero.

5) No deleveraging

There is no chance of real deflation happening in China. None. The Strength of China's Banking System makes it impossible.

A) Apart from Bank of China, Chinese banks have little exposure to overseas debt. So, although toxic US securities were sold to banks around the world, China's capital controls protected its banking system from America's bad debt

B) As a side effect of the country's sterilization operations, 26.5 percent of Chinese commercial banks' deposits were placed with the central bank last year (reserve requirements and forced underwriting of PBOC bills).

C) Unlike Western banks, who have been enjoying a credit bonanza for decades, Chinese banks have only recently gotten into the credit game, after years of being ridiculed for being overly cash-centric. Because of this late entry, Chinese banks completely missed the subprime party.

D) China is also in the enviable position of being one of the few countries which doesn't need to deleverage. While Western banks were going insane with high leverage and off-balance sheet financial vehicles, Chinese banks were doing the opposite, as can be seen on the chart below (from Tao Wang of UBS).

E) China has been waging a war against NPLs (non-performing loans) in the last few years. For example, with heavy penalties having been imposed on bank managers responsible for new NPLs, Chinese banks have become much more concerned about the loan safety than profitability. This battle again NPLs has paid off. As of September 30, 2008, nonperforming loans totaled only 2 percent for Chinese banks, compared to the 2.3 percent for FDIC-insured banks in the US. Loan loss provisions have also improved substantially, with provisions of Chinese banks amounting to an impressive 123 percent of their NPLs.

F) Finally, China's money supply itself is underleveraged when compared to the rest of the world. For example, the US's M2 to M1 ratio is 65% higher than China's. The Chinese M2 to GDP ratio is also more 160 percent, perhaps, the highest in the world.

When considering the strength of Chinese Banks and underlying strength of China's economy, no debt deflation is possible.

If there is no chance of deflation, then why is China's cpi slowing down?

There are three main reasons for the slowdown in China's cpi:

A) The bursting of the commodity bubble. Because of speculator dominated futures markets in the US, commodity prices were boosted to artificial level going into the summer of 2008. As these inflated commodity prices fell back down to Earth, they caused a temporary worldwide slowdown in inflation.

B) In the second half of the year, deleveraging and hedge fund redemption caused the outflow of a large amount of hot money from China. This outflow temporary depressed asset prices.

C) The unwinding of the commodity bubble spread deflation fears worldwide and caused the velocity of money to drop.

6) Deflation fears are paralyzing China's money supply

"deflation fears" have slowed the Chinese money supply to a crawl. While they are still spending, Chinese consumers are delaying big purchases and downshifting to discount stores. Businesses are strapped for cash, and scared Chinese banks are dumping riskier borrowers, like credit-card holders. China is experiencing one of the brief deflationary periods which typically precede hyperinflation.

Deflation fears in China also provide the perfect example of how a slowdown in the "velocity of money" and makes prices fall. Right now, Chinese banks are hoarding cash and delaying payments on personal credit cards. Only a year ago, most banks paid credit-card transactions in 14 days, but now merchants are having to have to wait 20, 40 or even 90 days to get paid. With lenders making credit-card transactions as unattractive as possible, many merchants are refusing to take credit cards from Chinese consumers. Think about that for a second, all that purchasing power from Chinese credit cards wiped out due to nothing but fear itself.

The important point to note about the price deflation caused by the deflation fears is that it will reverse sharply once inflation picks up. Banks will begin paying credit cards normally, and merchants will start accepting them again. The enormous amount of purchasing power which disappeared will reappear just as suddenly, causing a wild jump in inflation.

7) Sterilization operations have become a loss generating ventures

Until last year, China's sterilization operations had been profitable, since the rate of interest that Beijing earned on foreign exchange reserves (mainly US Treasuries) had been higher than the rates it was paying on its yuan-denominated sterilization bills at home. However, now that the fed has lowered US interest rates to zero for the foreseeable future, China's dollar peg has become a loss-making policy. When inflation hits china and interest rates rise again, China's losses from its currency sterilization will become staggering.

8) China likely to attract a flood of hot money in 2009

China has had a problem with hot money inflows in the past, and those problems are likely to get worse this year. Hot money refers to the money that flows regularly between financial markets in search for the highest short term interest rates possible. This hot money has found ways around China's capital controls and flows freely in and out of China to the authorities great frustration.

When hot money flows into china, it forces the PBOC to print money the same way as the trade surplus does. At the beginning of last year, these hot money inflows were one of China's biggest problems, bringing inflation up to 8.6 despite the authorities best efforts. The country's hot money problem ended temporarily with the bursting of the commodity bubble.

In the second half of last year, deflation fears and hedge fund deleveraging cause much of this hot money to leave China and seek the "safety" of US treasuries. This small exodus is what is responsible for the brief fall in China's foreign reserves. However, the outflow of hot money from China has ended, and it now looks set to reverse.

In the next month or so, rising inflation will start pushing up Chinese interest rates at a time when central banks around the world have set their rates at or near zero. Since the entire world knows that the yuan is undervalued, these higher rates will make China the most attractive destination on Earth for those seeking safe high yielding interest rates, and the hot money problem will return with a vengeance.

9) Chinese authorities are pulling out all the stops

Chinese authorities are pulling out all the stops to get the country back on track. In order to prop up economic growth, Chinese authorities have:

A) Raised tax rebates for exporters of everything from high-tech and electronic products (motorcycles, sewing machines and robots, etc) to some rubber and wood products.
B) scraped export taxes for some steel products, aluminum, rice, wheat, flour and fertilizers
C) Cut the lock-up period beyond which people can resell their property without paying a business tax from five years to two years.
D) scraped the urban property tax for foreign firms and individuals
E) Allowed people to buy second homes on the same preferential terms normally reserved for first time buyers.
F) Announced plan to spend 900 billion yuan over three years to build affordable housing
G) Cut the deed tax payable by first-time buyers of homes smaller than 90 sq m is to 1 percent.
H) Announced measures such as cash subsidies and tax cuts to encourage home purchases
I) Announced plans for a 4 trillion yuan (586 billion) stimulus package to boost domestic demand through 2010.
J) Announced plans to invest 5 trillion yuan roads, waterways and ports in the next three to five years (over 2 trillion yuan more than originally planned).
K) Approved 2 trillion yuan for railway investment
M) Announced a tax break for public infrastructure projects.
N) Abolished the 5 percent withholding tax on interest income.
O) Scraped the 0.1 percent tax on purchases of equities.
P) Instructed Central Huijin (a government investment arm) to buy shares of listed Chinese firms.
Q) Encouraged state-owned firms to buy back shares.
R) Raised minimum grain purchase prices by 15 percent
S) Approved landmark reforms that give peasants the right to lease or transfer their land-use rights
T) Issued a stimulus package for its auto sector, including a tax cut
U) Set a price floor for air tickets
V) Handed out cash gifts to brighten their mood before the Chinese New Year
W) Etc...

10) Banks are flooding the economy with new loans

Chinese authorities are pushing banks to extend credit and help fight "deflation". To encourage this money supply growth and new lending, the PBOC (the People's Bank Of China) has halted sterilization operations and has cut the benchmark one-year lending rate by 2.16 percent and the deposit rate by 1.89 percent. Also, as part of these efforts, Chinese officials are reversing decades of financial repression and freeing up their banking system.

As China lifts restrictions on lending, banks are flooding the economy with new loans. Credit ceilings under which commercial banks have been operating have now been removed, and credit controls have been relaxed to give banks more leeway in making lending decisions. Chinese lenders will now be able to restructure loans and adjust the types and maturities of debt. Banks are being pressured to use this new financial freedom to "promote and consolidate the expansion of consumer credit".

In addition to stimulating consumption, credit constraints are being relaxed to give loan access to small and medium privately owned businesses, which have until now been mostly shut out of credit by the state-owned financial system. As part of this effort and in order to help banks overcome their deflation fears, China has said it will tolerate more bad debt. This step is particularly significant, as the heavy penalties imposed for the creation of new non-performing loans has been a big restraint on credit expansion.

Finally, the commitment of Chinese authorities to fight deflation is so great that regulators have stated they will support the sale and securitization of loans. I repeat, China is moving towards securitization of loans! The adoption of securitization holds the potential to enormously accelerate money supply growth.

China's efforts to boost lending are working. In December, China's M2 money and loan growth soared. Just look at the graph of Chinese money supply growth below.

Does it look like China is headed towards deflation to you? (this chart will become much scarier once January's numbers are added in)


I view hyperinflation in China as absolutely guaranteed. Zero doubt. China is dismantling all the measures it has put in place over the years to fight inflation. It is dropping restrictions on purchasing property, eliminating price controls, getting rid of loan quotas, lowering interest rates, ceasing its sterilization efforts, etc… It is also pulling out all the stops to boost government spending and new loan creation.

Meanwhile, China's 40 billion dollar trade surplus means that its base money supply looks set to double in 2009. There is also the fact that China's money supply is frozen due to cash hoarding and will cause inflation to increase when it accelerates. Finally, the commodity bubble has finished bursting, and China's economy looks set to shrink.

Every economic factor in China suggests an enormous wave of hyperinflation will begin early this year. While I have written about the threats facing the dollar, this will be the event that finally ends the US's borrowing binge and destroys our currency.

Hyperinflation in China will be a monumental event

Because China makes most of the world cheap consumer goods, it will export its hyperinflation around the world. This means that no fiat/paper currencies will survive this with its purchasing power intact. Some will lose all value (dollar) while others will survive while experiencing a loss of purchasing power (yuan, euro, yen, etc...). The only money that will retain its full value in the face of Chinese hyperinflation is gold.

China will sink the dollar to save the yuan

Once hyperinflation kicks into gear, Chinese authorities will find it impossible to bring it under control without sacrificing the dollar. Since hyperinflation would hurt Chinese exporters as much as losing their US exports, China will face a clear cut decision. By dumping the dollar peg and selling its USD holdings, China will help contain domestic inflation in many ways:

1) China will no longer be printing massive quantities of yuan to support the dollar.
2) By selling dollars in exchange for yuan, China will be able to take those yuan out of circulation, shrinking its monetary base.
3) Since the yuan will strengthen enormously again foreign currencies, Chinese exports will fall and that means there will be a lot more goods available for domestic consumption.
4) Since the yuan will be stronger against foreign currencies like the dollar, Chinese imports will rise. That means cheaper commodity prices across the board.
5) Dropping the dollar peg will make the yuan a major reserve currency. That means lower interests rates in China as foreign central banks build up yuan reserves.

Those expecting deflation are in for a surprise

Western nations who are lowering interest rate very sharply, without fearing inflation, are mainly concentrating on the domestic dynamics of their economies and the value of their currency. My bet is that no one is even considering the possibility that inflation could be imported from China, and, when cheap Chinese imports stop being cheap anymore, it will catch everybody completely by surprise.

Eric deCarbonnel

mexico police chief losses his head

Mexico police chief's head found in ice box

The head of a Mexican police chief was delivered to his colleagues in an ice box in the country's latest drug-related violence.

Last Updated: 6:31PM GMT 20 Jan 2009

The incident came as 16 other people were also killed in Mexico's northern state of Chihuahua in attacks the authorities believe are linked to the country's drug wars.

"Hitmen cut off commander Martin Castro's head and left it in an ice cooler in front of the local police station," said a statement issued by the state justice authorities.

His head was left in the town Praxedis with a message from the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel.

The police commander was abducted on Saturday, along with five other police officers and a civilian, only five days after starting his job.

Six bodies in police uniforms bearing signs of torture and gunshot wounds were found on Monday in a street in the state capital, Chihuahua, officials said.

Hitmen killed four men in separate attacks in the violent border city of Ciudad Juarez, while six others, including a woman, were found dead in other towns across the state.

Mexican police and soldiers are battling a wave of drug-related violence across the country, particularly in northern areas bordering the US, with more than 5,300 people killed last year.

The federal government launched a campaign against drug-related violence more than two years ago involving the deployment of around 36,000 troops across the country.

casus belli: modification des frontieres du congo

Sarkozy veut dépecer la RDC

20 janvier 2009, Kinshasa

Le président français a jeté un pavé dans la mare en proposant une restructuration de la région des Grands Lacs en faveur du Rwanda et au détriment de la république démocratique du Congo. Celle-ci n'apprécie guère.

Lors de son message de vœux au corps diplomatique, le président français a fait un tour d'horizon général des grandes questions internationales. Abordant le chapitre de l'Afrique, et plus particulièrement de la région des Grands Lacs, Nicolas Sarkozy a tenu exactement ces propos : "Quant à la région des Grands Lacs, la violence s'est une nouvelle fois déchaînée. L'option militaire n'apportera aucune solution aux problèmes de fond qui se posent de façon récurrente depuis dix ans. Cela met en cause la place, la question de l'avenir du Rwanda, avec lequel la France a repris son dialogue, pays à la démographie dynamique et à la superficie petite. Cela pose la question de la république démocratique du Congo, pays à la superficie immense et à l'organisation étrange des richesses frontalières. Il faudra bien qu'à un moment ou un autre il y ait un dialogue qui ne soit pas simplement un dialogue conjoncturel mais un dialogue structurel :
comment, dans cette région du monde, on partage l'espace, on partage les richesses et on accepte de comprendre que la géographie a ses lois, que les pays changent rarement d'adresse et qu'il faut apprendre à vivre les uns à côté des autres ?"

Le journal Le Monde, dans son édition du 18 janvier 2009, reprend ce discours en allant en profondeur pour confirmer l'existence du plan Sarkozy comme initiative de paix qu'il compte discuter avec les autorités de Kinshasa lorsqu'il s'y rendra, au mois de mars. Il propose "l'exploitation en commun par la RDC et le Rwanda des richesses du Nord-Kivu". Sarkozy va plus loin en proposant le "partage" de l'espace et des "richesses naturelles". Quel espace doit-on partager ? Le Kivu ? Pourquoi ? Pourquoi seulement les richesses du Kivu ? Qu'est-ce que le Rwanda donne en échange pour partager avec la RDC ?

Si les choses traînent, c'est parce que le Rwanda brandit toujours la question sécuritaire. Or le président français ne devrait pas oublier que la république démocratique du Congo compte près de 450 ethnies qui ne se sont jamais fait la guerre. Mais depuis des décennies, le Rwanda, qui ne compte que DEUX ethnies, est toujours en guerre et a connu le génocide de 1994 – où la France est intervenue avec l'opération Turquoise –, qui a exporté la rivalité interethnique au Congo.

Ce plan Sarkozy viserait-il à dédouaner la France de son dialogue avec le Rwanda ? C'est une affaire franco-rwandaise qui ne concerne nullement la RDC. Elle ne peut servir de voie de sortie. Pire, le président français qualifie d'"organisation étrange" les institutions et les dirigeants de la RDC. Ces propos sont pour le moins étonnants quand on sait que des "conseillers occidentaux" sont à la base de cette organisation étrange. A quoi servent alors tous ces appuis et encouragements des ambassadeurs français accrédités en RDC ? De la poudre aux yeux ?

Encore un "faux pas de Sarkozy" après celui de Dakar [le discours de Dakar, en juillet 2007, avait suscité un tollé en Afrique – il parlait notamment de "l'homme africain [qui n'était pas] entré dans l'Histoire"] ? Que ce plan soit publié quatre jours avant l'entrée en fonction de Barack Obama, cela suscite des interrogations et n'est pas gratuit. La RDC considère la France comme un "Etat partenaire naturel". Depuis de Gaulle jusqu'à Chirac, en passant par Giscard d'Estaing et Mitterrand, la France a toujours été aux côtés des opprimés, et particulièrement avec la RDC, en se distinguant par une coopération dynamique et multisectorielle. Si la France de Sarkozy veut "changer" le monde, il ne lui appartient pas de transformer le Kivu en Proche-Orient.

Le Potentiel


Mardi 20 Janvier 2009

Kigali-Kinshasa: Ennemi commun


Les armées congolaise et rwandaise interviennent conjointement depuis mardi dans l'Est de la République démocratique du Congo. Les autorités veulent mettre un terme à la rébellion hutue, alors que les tutsis de Laurent Nkunda ont annoncé "la fin de la guerre". Kigali et Kinshasa font un pied de nez à Nicolas Sarkozy, qui a émis plusieurs idées sur le conflit du Nord-Kivu vendredi dernier.

Selon des sources militaires, l'armée rwandaise est entrée mardi matin dans la région de Goma, la capitale du Nord-Kivu, dans l'est de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC). Elle aurait pour objectif de pourchasser les rebelles hutus, rassemblés au sein des Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR). Cette intervention de l'infanterie rwandaise, et ses 1500 à 2000 hommes, se fait en collaboration avec Kinshasa, selon un accord défini le 5 décembre dernier. "La Monuc prend note de ce dernier développement et surveille très attentivement la situation", a déclaré un porte-parole de la force de l'ONU, déployée en RDC mais qui ne participe pas à l'opération.

Combattre les groupuscules hutus, c'est favoriser indirectement les autres rebelles, tutsis, rassemblés dans le Congrès national pour la défense du peuple (CNDP) de Laurent Nkunda. Une organisation combattue pendant trois mois par l'Etat congolais. Mais le CNDP a annoncé vendredi soir dernière la fin des hostilités avec les forces gouvernementales, envisageant même la signature d'un traité. Alors que les rebelles hutus sont de plus en plus isolés, le conflit dans l'est congolais semble en voie de résolution.

Un interventionnisme déprécié?

Vendredi dernier, Nicolas Sarkozy a dévoilé, lors de ses voeux au corps diplomatique, ses idées sur le conflit dans l'Est congolais. Pour ramener la paix dans cette région, le chef d'Etat est resté très évasif. Il a prôné "un dialogue non seulement conjoncturel mais aussi structurel", qui inclurait la question du "partage de l'espace et des richesses". Il a décrit le Rwanda comme un "pays à la démographie dynamique et à la superficie petite", et la RDC comme "un pays à la superficie immense" avec une "organisation étrange des richesses frontalières".

Résultat, les trois propositions françaises -l'exploitation commune des ressources minières frontalières, une réforme foncière et une réflexion approfondie sur le problème des minorités- n'ont pas été prises en compte par les autorités congolaises ou rwandaises. Plusieurs députés des deux pays se sont même indignés contre l'interventionnisme français. Mboso N'Kodia Pwanga, élu dans la province de Bandundu, s'est ainsi ému dans le quotidien congolais Le Phare: "A quel titre nous allons cogérer nos richesses nationales, inaliénables donc, avec un pays voisin?" Face à cette levée de boucliers, Pierre Jacquemot, ambassadeur de France en RDC, a dû démentir dans le quotidien L'Avenir "l'existence d'un plan français": "Nicolas Sarkozy a seulement lancé des idées pour sortir de cette crise", a-t-il justifié, après une réunion d'urgence avec le ministre de la communication congolais. Mais, au vu des derniers événements, les
autorités ne semblent pas avoir besoin de Nicolas Sarkozy, en voyage officiel en RDC début mars prochain, pour régler le conflit.

Vieux démons

Toutefois, il est peu probable que les propositions de l'Elysée aient provoqué la décision du CNDP, dont l'un des dirigeants, Bosco Ntangada, a annoncé vendredi soir "la fin de la guerre" contre les forces régulières de RDC. Laurent Nkunda, à la tête du mouvement, a dû confirmer l'information lundi matin: "Puisque nous allons désormais tous [avec l'armée congolaise] tirer dans la même direction, la guerre est terminée", a-t-il déclaré sur RFI. C'est plutôt l'union des forces rwandaises et congolaises, actées le 5 décembre dernier, qui a convaincu les rebelles tutsis d'arrêter les combats. Le CNDP, fragilisé par des luttes internes entre Bosco "Terminator" Ntangada et Laurent Nkunda, préfère la négociation, plutôt qu'être pris entre deux feux.

Le CNDP se mettant à disposition de la RDC, les armées officielles vont concentrer leurs efforts sur les rebelles hutus du FDLR. La présence de ces derniers est la principale source de tension entre la RDC et le Rwanda. Ils sont, pour la plupart, des anciens membres des milices considérées comme les responsables du génocide de 1994. Pris en étau, les rebelles hutus ne devraient pas tenir longtemps face au nombre écrasant de combattants issus du CNDP ou des troupes régulières de RDC et du Rwanda. Ce règlement de crise mettrait fin aux négociations de paix de Nairobi, qui resteront ainsi en échec. Les tutsis emmenés par Laurent Nkunda devraient même sortir grand gagnants du conflit: en échange de la paix, ils devraient obtenir, selon Radio Okapi, une amnistie totale couvrant tous les "faits de guerre" depuis 1994, massacres compris...

The Cohen plan:

December 16, 2008
Op-Ed Contributor

Can Africa Trade Its Way to Peace?


THE conflict in eastern Congo over the past 12 years has been as much a surrogate war between Congo and neighboring Rwanda as an internal ethnic insurgency, as a United Nations report underscored last week. The only way to end a war that has caused five million deaths and forced millions to flee their homes in Congo’s two eastern provinces is to address the conflict’s international dimensions. The role of Rwanda — which borders the provinces and which denied the accusations in the United Nations report over the weekend — is of prime importance.

The international community has worked hard to resolve the conflicts among the various parties: the sovereign states of Rwanda and Congo as well as the assorted militias and private armies that are sponsored by these two governments and by opportunistic local warlords. But despite the deployment of 17,000 United Nations peacekeepers, and many efforts at mediation with constructive American support, the situation appears intractable.

The failure of international diplomacy is related to the economic roots of the problem, which began with the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Until the economic conundrum is addressed, there is little prospect for a solution.

The genocidal war between the majority Hutu and the minority Tutsi in Rwanda spilled into Congo, and the eastern part of that vast country has been unstable ever since. When Tutsi rebel forces took power in Rwanda in June 1994, more than a million Hutu fled to Congo, where they settled into refugee camps on the Rwandan border.

After two years of cross-border raids from the refugee camps by exiled Hutu soldiers who had participated in the genocide, the Rwandan Army attacked and destroyed the camps, with the quiet but unambiguous approval of the United States in the absence of another solution to the violence. Most of the Hutu refugees returned to Rwanda, but about 100,000 of them, along with the exiled Hutu soldiers, moved westward as a disciplined group into Congo’s interior.

The Rwandan Army pursued the escaping Hutu and caught up with them near the city of Kisangani at the headwaters of the Congo River. The refugees were massacred, but the former Hutu soldiers escaped to neighboring countries.

The move against the refugee camps was the first step in a well-planned action by Rwanda in 1996 and 1997 to overwhelm the weak Congolese Army and, with the help of the Congolese opposition, overthrow the 30-year dictatorship of Mobutu Sese Seko. With logistical support from Uganda and Angola, the military action succeeded in less than three months. A new government in Congo was installed under President Laurent Kabila, an exile handpicked by the Rwandans.

And from 1996 to today, the Tutsi-led Rwandan government has been in effective control of Congo’s eastern provinces of North and South Kivu. This control has been maintained through intermittent military occupation and the presence of Congolese militias financed and trained by the Rwandan Army.

During these 12 years of Rwandan control, the mineral-rich provinces have been economically integrated into Rwanda. During this time, Congo’s governments have been preoccupied with internal and external wars elsewhere, and have been unable to combat foreign control of the eastern provinces, a thousand miles from the capital, Kinshasa.

But two years ago, Congo held multiparty elections that were judged to be transparent and credible by international observers. For the first time in a decade, there was hope for stability. President Joseph Kabila (the son of Laurent Kabila, who was assassinated in 2001) turned his attention to trying to gain control of the eastern provinces.

Unfortunately, this has led to increased conflict and suffering. The main source of the current violence is an insurgent force of ethnic Congolese Tutsi commanded by Laurent Nkunda, a former general in the Congolese Army. He claims to be fighting to defend the Tutsi community from discrimination and from the former Rwandan Hutu fighters who have returned from neighboring countries and now operate in the forested hills of eastern Congo.

General Nkunda’s military operations, however, are aimed mainly against the Congolese Army’s efforts to restore Congo’s sovereignty over its eastern provinces. His force is well armed and financed by the Rwandan government. The armed Hutu presence in the provinces provides the Rwandan government with a pretext to justify its interference there.

Having controlled the Kivu provinces for 12 years, Rwanda will not relinquish access to resources that constitute a significant percentage of its gross national product. At the same time, Congo’s government is within its rights to take control of the resources there for the benefit of the Congolese people. This economic conflict must be taken into account.

This provides an opportunity for the incoming Obama administration. Acts of war and military occupation aside, there is a natural economic synergy between eastern Congo and the nations of East Africa, including Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda. The normal flow of trade from eastern Congo is to Indian Ocean ports rather than the Atlantic Ocean, which is more than a thousand miles away.

After his inauguration, Barack Obama should appoint a special negotiator who would propose a framework for an economic common market encompassing Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. This agreement would allow the free movement of people and trade. It would give Rwandan businesses continued access to Congolese minerals and forests. The products made from those raw materials would continue to be exported through Rwanda. The big change would be the payment of royalties and taxes to the Congolese government. For most Rwandan businesses, those payments would be offset by increased revenues.

In addition, the free movement of people would empty the refugee camps and would allow the densely populated countries of Rwanda and Burundi to supply needed labor to Congo and Tanzania.

If such a common market could be negotiated, Rwanda and Congo would no longer need to finance and arm militias to wage war over the natural resources in Congo’s eastern provinces. Without government backing, the fighting groups would either dissolve on their own or be integrated into legitimate armed forces.

If undertaken with enough will and persistence, an American-led mediation to create a common market in East Africa could end the war and transform the region.

Herman J. Cohen was the assistant secretary of state for Africa from 1989 to 1993.

Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

roubini: banking system is insolvent

Roubini Predicts U.S. Losses May Reach $3.6 Trillion

By Henry Meyer and Ayesha Daya

Jan. 20 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. financial losses from the credit crisis may reach $3.6 trillion, suggesting the banking system is “effectively insolvent,” said New York University Professor Nouriel Roubini, who predicted last year’s economic crisis.

“I’ve found that credit losses could peak at a level of $3.6 trillion for U.S. institutions, half of them by banks and broker dealers,” Roubini said at a conference in Dubai today. “If that’s true, it means the U.S. banking system is effectively insolvent because it starts with a capital of $1.4 trillion. This is a systemic banking crisis.”

Losses and writedowns at financial companies worldwide have risen to more than $1 trillion since the U.S. subprime mortgage market collapsed in 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

President Barack Obama will have to use as much as $1 trillion of public funds to shore up the capitalization of the banking sector, following the $350 billion injection by the Bush administration, Roubini told Bloomberg News. Congress last year approved a $700 billion rescue fund, of which half remains to be disbursed.

Bank of America Corp., the largest U.S. bank by assets, posted a quarterly loss of $1.79 billion last week, its first since 1991, and received $138 billion in emergency government funds. Citigroup Inc. posted an $8.29 billion fourth-quarter loss, completing its worst year, and plans to split in two under Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit’s plan to rebuild a capital base eroded by the credit crisis.

‘Bankrupt’ System

“The problems of Citi, Bank of America and others suggest the system is bankrupt,” Roubini said. “In Europe, it’s the same thing.”

Stocks in Europe, Canada and Brazil dropped yesterday on speculation government efforts to shore up the financial industry will fail to stem the deepening global recession. The U.K.’s Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc said it expects to post a loss of as much as 28 billion pounds ($41 billion) for 2008 and the government got ready to raise its stake in the lender.

Oil prices will trade between $30 and $40 a barrel all year, Roubini predicted.

“I see commodities falling overall another 15-20 percent,” Roubini said. “This outlook for commodity prices is beneficial for oil importers, it’s going to imply that economic recovery might occur faster, but from the point of view of oil exporters, this will be very negative.”

Oil has tumbled 77 percent from its July high of $147.27 as the global economy sinks into recession, straining the budgets of crude exporters. Saudi Arabia, Oman and Dubai, the second- largest sheikdom in the United Arab Emirates, have said they will post budget deficits this year.

Crude oil for February delivery fell to $32.70, down 10.4 percent from last week’s close and the lowest since Dec. 19, on the New York Mercantile Exchange today. The contract traded at $33.37 a barrel at 10:45 a.m. London time.

To contact the reporters on this story: Henry Meyer in Dubai at hmeyer4@bloomberg.netAyesha Daya in Dubai

Last Updated: January 20, 2009 06:51 EST

new forms of money, demurrage, wir


If the state can't save us, we need a licence to print our own money

It bypasses greedy banks.

It recharges local economies. It's time to think seriously about an alternative currency

George Monbiot

The Guardian

Tuesday 20 January 2009

In Russell Hoban's novel Riddley Walker, the descendants of nuclear holocaust survivors seek amid the rubble the key to recovering their lost civilisation. They end up believing that the answer is to re-invent the atom bomb. I was reminded of this when I read the government's new plans to save us from the credit crunch. It intends - at gobsmacking public expense - to persuade the banks to start lending again, at levels similar to those of 2007. Isn't this what caused the problem in the first place? Are insane levels of lending really the solution to a crisis caused by insane levels of lending?

Yes, I know that without money there's no business, and without business there are no jobs. I also know that most of the money in circulation is issued, through fractional reserve banking, in the form of debt. This means that you can't solve one problem (a lack of money) without causing another (a mountain of debt). There must be a better way than this.

This isn't my subject and I am venturing way beyond my pay grade. But I want to introduce you to another way of negotiating a credit crunch, which requires no moral hazard, no hair of the dog and no public spending. I'm relying, in explaining it, on the former currency trader and central banker Bernard Lietaer.

In his book The Future of Money, Lietaer points out - as the government did yesterday - that in situations like ours everything grinds to a halt for want of money. But he also explains that there is no reason why this money should take the form of sterling or be issued by the banks. Money consists only of "an agreement within a community to use something as a medium of exchange". The medium of exchange could be anything, as long as everyone who uses it trusts that everyone else will recognise its value. During the Great Depression, businesses in the United States issued rabbit tails, seashells and wooden discs as currency, as well as all manner of papers and metal tokens. In 1971, Jaime Lerner, the mayor of Curitiba in Brazil, kick-started the economy of the city and solved two major social problems by issuing currency in the form of bus tokens. People earned them by picking and sorting litter: thus cleaning the streets and acquiring the means to commute
to work. Schemes like this helped Curitiba become one of the most prosperous cities in Brazil.

But the projects that have proved most effective were those inspired by the German economist Silvio Gessell, who became finance minister in Gustav Landauer's doomed Bavarian republic. He proposed that communities seeking to rescue themselves from economic collapse should issue their own currency. To discourage people from hoarding it, they should impose a fee (called demurrage), which has the same effect as negative interest. The back of each banknote would contain 12 boxes. For the note to remain valid, the owner had to buy a stamp every month and stick it in one of the boxes. It would be withdrawn from circulation after a year. Money of this kind is called stamp scrip: a privately issued currency that becomes less valuable the longer you hold on to it.

One of the first places to experiment with this scheme was the small German town of Schwanenkirchen. In 1923, hyperinflation had caused a credit crunch of a different kind. A Dr Hebecker, owner of a coalmine in Schwanenkirchen, told his workers that if they wouldn't accept the coal-backed stamp scrip he had invented - the Wara - he would have to close the mine. He promised to exchange it, in the first instance, for food. The scheme immediately took off. It saved both the mine and the town. It was soon adopted by 2,000 corporations across Germany. But in 1931, under pressure from the central bank, the ministry of finance closed the project down, with catastrophic consequences for the communities that had come to depend on it. Lietaer points out that the only remaining option for the German economy was ruthless centralised economic planning. Would Hitler have come to power if the Wara and similar schemes had been allowed to survive?

The Austrian town of Wörgl also tried out Gessell's idea, in 1932. Like most communities in Europe at the time, it suffered from mass unemployment and a shortage of money for public works. Instead of spending the town's meagre funds on new works, the mayor put them on deposit as a guarantee for the stamp scrip he issued. By paying workers in the new currency, he paved the streets, restored the water system and built a bridge, new houses and a ski jump. Because they would soon lose their value, Wörgl's own schillings circulated much faster than the official money, with the result that each unit of currency generated 12 to 14 times more employment. Scores of other towns sought to copy the scheme, at which point - in 1933 - the central bank stamped it out. Wörgl's workers were thrown out of work again.

Similar projects took off at the same time in dozens of countries. Almost all of them were closed down (just one, Switzerland's WIR system, still exists) as the central banks panicked about losing their monopoly over the control of money. Roosevelt prohibited complementary currencies by executive decree, though they might have offered a faster, cheaper and more effective means of pulling the US out of the Depression than his New Deal.

No one is suggesting that we replace official currencies with local scrip: this is a complementary system, not an alternative. Nor does Lietaer propose this as a solution to all economic ills. But even before you consider how it could be improved through modern information technology, several features of Gessell's system grab your attention. We need not wait for the government or the central bank to save us: we can set this system up ourselves. It costs taxpayers nothing. It bypasses the greedy banks. It recharges local economies and gives local businesses an advantage over multinationals. It can be tailored to the needs of the community. It does not require - as Eddie George, the former governor of the Bank of England, insisted - that one part of the country be squeezed so that another can prosper.

Perhaps most importantly, a demurrage system reverses the ecological problem of discount rates. If you have to pay to keep your money, the later you receive your income, the more valuable it will be. So it makes economic sense, under this system, to invest long term. As resources in the ground are a better store of value than money in the bank, the system encourages their conservation.

I make no claim to expertise. I'm not qualified to identify the flaws in this scheme, nor am I confident that I have made the best case for it. All I ask is that, if you haven't come across it before, you don't dismiss it before learning more. As we confront the failure of the government's first bailout and the astonishing costs of the second, isn't it time we considered the alternatives?


La Banque WIR

Réponse à la crise financière: principe de la coopérative et monnaie complémentaire

W. Wüthrich, Zurich

hd. Ces prochaines semaines, Horizons et débats publiera une série d’articles relatifs à la crise financière. Le contexte mondial doit être examiné. Sans noircir le tableau, nous esquisserons des réponses et tracerons des voies permettant de surmonter la crise. L’histoire de la Caisse d’épargne zurichoise d’aide aux paysans (voir no 35/36 d’Horizons et débats) a marqué un début. L’exemple de la Banque WIR lui succède aujourd’hui. Beaucoup de place sera consacrée aux idées de Raiffeisen.

Le 16 octobre 1934, une société coopérative a été fondée, qu’il convient aujourd’hui de considérer comme unique dans sa conception et son développement. Elle se nommait WIR Cercle économique société coopérative, mais a changé de nom il y a quelques années et s’appelle maintenant Banque WIR. On peut lire dans les statuts que la Société coopérative WIR est une organisation d’entraide d’exploitations commerciales, artisanales et de services. Elle a pour but de stimuler ses participants, de mettre, par le système WIR, leur pouvoir d’achat au service les uns des autres et de le maintenir dans leurs rangs afin de procurer aux participants un chiffre d’affaires supplémentaire.1

Principe de base

La Société coopérative WIR est une communauté qui se caractérise par un système monétaire complémentaire. Comme une banque centrale, elle émet sa propre monnaie, qui circule parmi ses associés à titre de moyen de paiement et dans laquelle elle octroie des crédits. La valeur du WIR est liée au franc suisse (1 WIR = 1 CHF). Une caractéristique principale est l’absence de taux d’intérêt. Les avoirs en compte ne sont pas rémunérés. C’est une incitation à vite dépenser l’argent et à accroître ainsi le chiffre d’affaires entre participants. A l’origine, les avoirs n’étaient pas seulement non rémunérés: un droit de rétention était perçu. Cela devait inciter encore davantage à remettre l’argent rapidement en circulation.

Un exemple

La commission des crédits de la Société coopérative WIR octroie un prêt hypothécaire de 100 000 WIR-CHF contre remise des sûretés usuelles en matière bancaire. Toutefois, elle ne prête pas l’argent de ses clients – comme le font les autres banques – mais émet l’argent elle-même, aujourd’hui en cliquant sur l’ordinateur. Contrairement au cas de l’institut d’émission, l’argent est créé non de par la loi, mais par un contrat et par la disposition d’une communauté à accepter l’argent de la société coopérative. Le preneur de crédit utilisera l’argent pour bâtir une maison, par exemple. Il paiera les artisans, qu’il connaît comme associés de la société coopérative. Ceux-ci règleront ainsi des factures de matériaux établies par d’autres associés qui, à leur tour, effectueront des paiements, etc. En règle générale, les factures seront payées en WIR à raison de 30 à 40% du montant total. Le solde sera payé en francs, car les entreprises participantes versent leurs salaires en francs et de nombreux autres frais, tels les impôts, ne peuvent pas être payés en WIR. – Ainsi, le prêt hypothécaire résultant de monnaie nouvelle crée un chiffre d’affaires dans la société coopérative pour de nombreuses années, jusqu’à ce que le crédit soit remboursé.
Le taux de l’intérêt perçu ne se chiffre actuellement qu’à 1%. Il correspond à peu près à la marge d’intérêt2 dans les banques et atteint, en moyenne, à long terme, un tiers des taux bancaires normaux. Il suffit à couvrir les frais et à constituer des réserves suffi­santes. Cette possibilité s’offre parce que la société coopérative produit la monnaie comme un institut d’émission. Une banque normale reçoit des fonds d’épargne, paie de ce fait des intérêts et prête l’argent à son tour. Elle payera aussi des intérêts pour recevoir l’argent de l’institut d’émission.
Depuis 1936, la Société coopérative WIR a le statut d’une banque et est soumise aux strictes prescriptions de la Commission fédérale des banques. La loi sur les banques prévoit un certain rapport entre les fonds propres et les actifs. Le volume du crédit n’est donc pas illimité. La monnaie WIR est couverte par des biens. Derrière chaque paiement effectué avec de la monnaie WIR, il y a un échange de biens et de services.
La société coopérative donne une plate-forme à ses membres pour s’offrir les uns aux autres des biens et des services. En font partie, outre la liste des participants – aujourd’hui en ligne – des brochures, des foires, des services de distribution, etc. Plus de 90 000 visiteurs de toutes les parties du pays ont visité l’an dernier les quatre grandes foires de Zurich, Lucerne, Wettingen et Berne, afin de faire connaissance d’autres coopérateurs et de leurs offres. De surcroît, les groupes régionaux organisent des rencontres politiques et culturelles. En 2007, 53 manifestations ont eu lieu, qui ont attiré 1600 personnes.
Le système exige que les participants planifient leurs besoins en francs WIR et dressent un budget. Les francs peuvent être échangés à tout moment contre des WIR. En revanche, les francs WIR ne peuvent être dépensés que chez d’autres coopérateurs contre des produits ou des services. Ou peuvent servir au remboursement d’un crédit. Un échange contre des francs n’est pas possible.

Système de monnaie complémentaire

Selon la théorie monétaire, WIR est une monnaie complémentaire. On entend par là l’accord conclu au sein d’une communauté et visant à accepter une monnaie qui n’est pas la monnaie nationale comme moyen d’échange. La monnaie complémentaire ne remplace pas la monnaie nationale. Toutefois, elle exerce une fonction sociale pour laquelle la monnaie nationale n’a pas été créée. Dans la Société coopérative WIR, les associés se soutiennent mutuellement en achetant les uns chez les autres avec leur propre monnaie et en pouvant recevoir des crédits de la centrale très avantageux. C’est important à des époques particulièrement difficiles sur le plan économique ou lors de hausses de taux d’intérêt. Le bien-être est généré et le chômage empêché.

Fondation de la Société coopérative WIR

Organisation d’entraide, la Société coopérative WIR a été fondée en 1934 par Werner Zimmermann, Paul Enz et 14 autres personnes – toutes convaincues par la théorie de la monnaie franche de Silvio Gesell. La dépression économique a frappé durement les petites et moyennes entreprises de l’époque. Les chiffres d’affaires se sont effondrés et de nombreux collaborateurs n’ont plus pu être employés. Il n’y avait pas de signe d’amélioration. Du point de vue de la doctrine de la monnaie franche, la cause de ce désastre résidait dans l’insuffisance de l’approvisionnement en monnaie et dans la perturbation de la circulation monétaire par la thésaurisation de la monnaie. – Comment cela s’est-il produit? De nombreuses banques ont fait faillite. Dans la seule Europe, elles étaient plus de mille. De grandes banques, telle la Kreditanstalt en Autriche, en faisaient partie. Beaucoup de personnes avaient perdu confiance et conservaient leur argent de préférence chez elles. En Suisse, on estimait que quelque 20% des billets en circulation étaient thésaurisés hors du système bancaire. Dans d’autres pays, le taux semble avoir été encore nettement supérieur. Les banques disposaient ainsi de moins d’argent pour accorder des crédits, ce qui a paralysé l’économie. Les monnaies étant liées à l’or, les instituts d’émission ne pouvaient pas mettre autant d’argent en circulation qu’elles le voulaient, contrairement à ce qui se passe aujourd’hui.

Que faire?

Une organisation d’entraide devrait entraider. La Société coopérative WIR a démarré avec 16 associés et un capital initial de 42 000 francs. Le nom de WIR (nous) est non seulement l’abréviation allemande de «Cercle économique société coopérative»; Werner Zimmermann l’a défini aussi comme le contraire de «ICH» (moi). Une communauté peut mieux défendre les intérêts de l’individu. A l’époque, les fondateurs du WIR n’étaient pas seuls. Il y avait, dans le monde, de nombreuses organisations semblables. Des associations et des villages entiers faits d’êtres les plus divers se sont efforcés, par des organisations d’échange et de la monnaie créée par eux-mêmes de s’opposer au climat paralysant de la grande dépression économique. Le processus suivant leur était commun:
1. Pour compenser la limitation de la monnaie nationale, ils ont créé une monnaie complémentaire dans un cadre restreint, bien discernable.
2. Ils ont pourvu le nouveau moyen d’échange de l’attrait de ne pas garder ni thésauriser la monnaie, mais de la dépenser rapidement. Non seulement les avoirs n’ont pas été rémunérés, mais un droit de rétention a été perçu. Celui qui ne dépense pas l’argent paie un droit. Cette obligation devrait empêcher que l’argent soit thésaurisé par peur de l’avenir. Les blocages de la pensée et de l’action – qui font aussi partie de l’image de la maladie psychiatrique de la dépression – devraient ainsi être éliminés.

Organisations analogues

Les organisations d’entraide étaient répandues surtout aux Etats-Unis, où le taux de chômage atteignait parfois 25% (10% en Suisse). Elles constituaient la réponse de la société civile aux problèmes quotidiens opprimants. De plus, les monnaies complémentaires ont déjà une longue tradition aux Etats-Unis.
En Allemagne, de nombreuses communes ont créé leur propre système monétaire lors de la grande inflation des années 20. Lorsque la crise économique mondiale a commencé, en 1929, la Société d’échange Wära a été fondée à Erfurt. Elle se considérait comme une association voulant s’opposer à la crise et au chômage sur le plan privé et de par sa propre initiative.


Wörgl, commune de 5000 habitants située près d’Innsbruck, en Autriche, a attiré l’attention.3 Dans cette petite ville et ses environs immédiats, il y avait 1500 chômeurs. Le maire payait les travaux urgents de la commune et partiellement aussi le salaire des employés avec des «Arbeitswertscheine» (billets équivalant à la valeur du travail). Cet argent communal était couvert à 100% par la monnaie nationale. Il pouvait être utilisé au sein de la commune pour l’achat de marchandises et de services. La nouvelle monnaie avait pourtant une particularité: A la fin du mois, chacun devait faire tamponner les billets qui se trouvaient en sa possession et devait payer une taxe de 1%. A la fin de l’année cela représentait 12%. Cette dépense pouvait être évitée si l’on dépensait la nouvelle monnaie avant la fin du mois. Le fait de ne pas dépenser l’argent était donc «puni».
L’échange contre de la monnaie nationale était possible, mais uniquement contre une taxe de 2%.
Pour la population de Wörgl, la participation à cette expérience monétaire était en principe facultative. Elle s’est laissé persuader par son maire et a accepté la nouvelle monnaie. La masse monétaire en circulation – ce qui est bien compréhensible – a augmenté inéluctablement. Le chômage a baissé d’un quart en une année et la situation financière de la commune s’est améliorée de façon significative. Les recettes supplémentaires (des taxes et des impôts) ont pu être utilisées pour des dépenses sociales.
La nouvelle du succès de l’expérience monétaire de Wörgl s’est vite répandue: Un système de paiement complémentaire intelligible au sein d’une collectivité locale ou régionale assure la circulation monétaire, fait baisser le chômage et assure la cohésion. D’autres communes, avant tout en Autriche mais aussi au Liechtenstein (Triesen) ont suivi l’exemple. L’expérience bien documentée a attiré l’attention de politiques et de scientifiques du pays et de l’étranger. L’économiste le plus connu de l’époque, John Maynard Keynes, s’est exprimé positivement. Le Premier ministre français Daladier fut un des nombreux politiciens qui ont visité Wörgl. Tout plaidait en faveur de l’extension de cette expérience couronnée de succès. Mais il n’en fut pas ainsi.

Etouffement de l’entraide mutuelle

La monnaie alternative de Wörgl a été interdite – au motif que seule la banque d’émission avait le droit d’émettre de la monnaie. Les autorités étaient en général sceptiques envers les organisations d’entraide et les monnaies de secours. En Allemagne et en Autriche, elles ont été interdites encore avant la prise du pouvoir par Hitler. Dans le débat politique, l’expérience de Wörgl a d’abord été dénoncée comme une «bêtise». Ensuite elle a été qualifiée d’idée communiste et, après la Seconde Guerre mondiale, de fasciste.
On a entendu parler d’événements semblables aux Etats-Unis où des monnaies complémentaires ont eu une très grande diffusion et où elles ont la tradition la plus longue. En 1933, J. D. Roosevelt a été élu président américain. Dans son discours d’investiture déjà, il annonça un programme qui allait entrer dans l’histoire sous le nom de new deal. La dépression économique avec son taux de chômage élevé devait être combattue. Il annonça des mesures de soutien de l’Etat aux banques et de nombreux et vastes programmes de création d’emplois. Comme les caisses étaient vides, l’Etat dut s’endetter. – En même temps, Roosevelt annonça l’interdiction des monnaies de secours de nombreuses organisations d’entraide.
Roosevelt a-t-il eu du succès avec son new deal? Les programmes de création d’emplois étaient sans doute mieux que rien. De nombreuses personnes ont effectué un travail utile dans le cadre de ces programmes. Le chômage est cependant resté élevé. La plupart des historiens de l’économie sont aujourd’hui d’accord sur le fait que le spectre de la dépression, aux USA comme en Allemagne, n’a disparu qu’avec le passage à l’économie de guerre. Des solutions décentralisées de la société civile auraient sans doute pu améliorer les programmes de l’Etat de manière plus durable.4
En Suisse, les autorités n’ont pas pris de mesures aussi rigoureuses contre les organisations d’entraide qu’en Allemagne et aux Etats-Unis. On a fait la différence entre organisations de droit public et de droit privé. La Société coopérative WIR, organisation privée, a été tolérée. En 1936, elle a été soumise à la loi sur les banques. Des requêtes de communes ont en revanche été rejetées avec la même justification qu’en Autriche. Des grandes communes comme Bienne et Brienz avaient planifié des expériences semblables à celle de Wörgl.

WIR – le seul système de monnaie complémentaire ayant survécu à la guerre

Dans les pays scandinaves, de nombreuses organisations d’entraide ont pu se maintenir avec leurs monnaies complémentaires jusqu’à la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Elles se sont alors toutes dissoutes. Les raisons résidaient d’une part dans des difficultés internes et d’autre part dans les désordres de la guerre. – La Société coopérative WIR a aussi connu des difficultés. Elle a cependant pris un nouvel élan après la Seconde Guerre mondiale et avec le boom économique, le nombre de ses membres a vite augmenté. Cela montre que la monnaie complémentaire n’a pas des avantages seulement pendant une crise écono­mique. Le mécanisme consistant à imposer une taxe à la monnaie WIR a été tout à fait abandonné après la guerre. En cela, la coopérative prenait quelque distance avec la théorie de la monnaie libre de Silvio Gesell. – Cependant l’idée de prêts sans intérêt a été maintenue. Les crédits WIR sont toujours sans intérêt.
Ce correctif avait des raisons tout à fait pratiques: Une incitation aussi massive à dépenser l’argent le plus vite possible s’était avérée bénéfique pour Wörgl. Mais elle aurait été inadéquate en plein boom économique. A la différence de la dépression des années 1930, il n’était plus nécessaire d’animer l’économie dans les années de l’après-guerre. C’était le plein emploi et les autorités suisses étaient occupées à freiner la haute conjoncture.

Une histoire changeante

La Société coopérative WIR a eu un long développement. Du milieu des années 1960 aux années 1970, elle a vécu une grave crise. Plusieurs membres ont vu dans le système WIR une occasion bienvenue de vendre de la marchandise de moindre qualité à des prix excessifs. Ou bien la monnaie WIR a été offerte dans des annonces de journaux 20% plus chère. La société coopérative risquait de voir sa réputation compromise et d’échouer. Il était nécessaire de lutter résolument contre les abus. Le commerce des créances WIR a été interdit par la société coopérative. Ainsi, jusqu’à aujourd’hui, d’année en année, les membres qui enfreignent les statuts sont systématiquement exclus. Le retour à l’idée d’entraide a ramené la société coopérative sur la voie du succès.
62 000 membres environ participent aujourd’hui au système WIR, uniquement des petites et moyennes entreprises. Ils règlent entre eux des paiements d’un montant d’environ 1,65 milliard de francs WIR par année. En tenant compte du fait qu’un paiement s’effectue en moyenne à raison de 30 à 40% seulement en WIR et que le reste s’effectue en francs suisses, le montant des biens et des services échangés au sein de la société coopérative représente plus du double. Les crédits commerciaux et hypothécaires en WIR s’élèvent à environ 860 millions.
La Société coopérative WIR dispose aujourd’hui d’un système de monnaie complémentaire bien au point. Lors du jubilé, en 1984, le directeur de la Société de Banque Suisse de Bâle a déclaré: «A partir d’une organisation d’entraide en temps de crise, WIR est devenue une institution pour les PME financièrement saine, rigoureusement organisée et parfaitement dirigée. Elle complète l’activité des banques et ne constitue pas une concurrence.»
Mais les choses ont changé depuis quelques années.

Banque WIR

En 1998, la société coopérative s’est rebaptisée Banque WIR. Elle a offert à ses membres des comptes de placement en francs suisses aux intérêts attractifs, sans pour autant cesser l’activité WIR. En 2000, elle s’est ouverte au public. Non seulement les entreprises mais aussi les particuliers peuvent aujourd’hui recourir à ses services et devenir membre de la coopérative. Aujourd’hui, chacun peut effectuer ses opérations bancaires en francs suisses chez elle. Ceux qui entrent dans le siège de Bâle pénètrent dans un bâtiment moderne en verre, acier et béton qui n’a rien à envier aux autres bâtiments bancaires. Des comptes d’épargne, de gestion, de placement en francs suisses font partie de l’offre ainsi que des crédits hypothécaires et commerciaux en francs suisses, en WIR ou mixtes.
La banque, qui est présente dans toute la Suisse, a aujourd’hui un bilan de plus de trois milliards de francs. Elle emploie à son siège de Bâle et dans ses 8 agences, réparties dans toute la Suisse, un peu plus de 200 collaboratrices et collaborateurs et forme des apprentis. Il y a peu, elle a aussi introduit la banque électronique.
La Banque WIR est ancrée dans le monde des PME et a sa place dans un réseau multiple de mesures d’entraide à ces PME. Elle s’est très bien imposée ces dernières années. L’argent des clients en francs suisses augmente d’année en année et a dépassé depuis longtemps la barre du milliard. Le nombre des clients «normaux» (qui ne participent pas au système WIR) augmente continuellement. Les organisations de consommateurs comparent souvent ses conditions avec celles d’autres banques. La Banque WIR s’en tire la plupart du temps de manière excellente. Cela n’est pas étonnant, car elle dispose de structures légères et, en tant que coopérative, elle n’est pas forcée d’obtenir un rendement maximal.
Elle organise ses relations avec ses nouveaux clients comme avant, de manière «coopérative». Elle met sur pied des ateliers. Dans ces réunions de travail par petits groupes, il ne s’agit pas seulement d’information et de conseil mais aussi d’un échange d’expériences et de l’élaboration en commun de solutions globales.

En forme pour l’avenir

L’assemblée coopérative de la Banque WIR a maintenant augmenté son capital à 17 millions de francs. L’intégration d’un système de monnaie complémentaire dans une banque «normale» est ainsi achevée. L’organisation d’entraide de 1935 est devenue, au bout de bientôt 75 ans, une banque d’affaires, mais reposant toujours sur une base coopérative. Elle a pour objectif ambitieux de devenir une banque des PME pour toute la Suisse. Elle ne veut cependant pas être une banque universelle5 mais élargir son offre «avec circonspection». La gestion de fortune et les transactions boursières n’en font toujours pas partie. En revanche, elle offre depuis 2006 un prêt écologique à 1% d’intérêt pour des investissements dans des systèmes de chauffage à énergie renouvelable. Mais son domaine principal reste toujours les prêts à intérêt réduit en WIR, en CHF ou mixtes.
Dans le monde de la finance, la Banque WIR est certainement la seule, mondialement, qui, telle une banque d’émission, crée son propre argent et accorde des prêts au sein de la coopérative et effectue des paiements. Les 62 000 PME l’apprécient. Le scepticisme envers la monnaie complémentaire WIR s’est dissipé depuis longtemps. La monnaie de la coopérative a reçu de la British Standards Institution de Londres, avec l’accord de la Banque Mondiale, le code CHW (selon ISO 4217) et a ainsi sa place dans le système financier électronique.
La Banque WIR pourra bientôt fêter son 75e anniversaire. Souhaitons beaucoup de succès à cette institution novatrice nullement concernée par la crise financière. •

1 Le présent texte se fonde sur les rapports de gestion de la Banque WIR, l’exposé publié à l’occasion du jubilé de la Société coopérative WIR, en 1984, et d’autres sources historiques.
2 Marge d’intérêts = écart entre les taux auxquels une banque rémunère les fonds que lui confient ses clients et ceux qu’elle exige pour ses crédits.
3 Cf. Fritz Schwarz, Das Experiment von Wörgl, Bern 1983.
4 B. Lietaer, Das Geld der Zukunft, Riemann 2002, p. 274
5 Une banque universelle offre tous les services bancaires.