News that the International Monetary Fund initially demanded to loot a shocking 40% of savings from the private bank accounts of Cypriots underscores how residents of the Mediterranean country could be the latest victims of the infamous “IMF riot,” as the chief economist of the German Commerzbank calls for Italians to be similarly plundered for 15% of their savings. The government of Cyprus is set to vote tomorrow on enforcing a “tax,” which in reality is nothing less than a confiscation of private wealth, that would hit savers with between 100,000 to 500,000 euros with a levy of 9.9%. Those with over half a million euros will face an even higher rate of 15%.
However, the scale of the robbery could have been far higher. As Zero Hedge reports, “It appears that the settled-upon 9.9% haircut is a ‘good deal’ compared to the stunning 40% of total deposits that Germany’s FinMin Schaeuble and the IMF demanded.” Now that the dictatorial EU and IMF have simply set about stealing the privately accrued wealth of lifetime savers in Europe, everyone is asking one question – who’s next?
Joerg Kraemer, chief economist of the German Commerzbank, has called for private savings accounts in Italy to be similarly plundered. “A tax rate of 15 percent on financial assets would probably be enough to push the Italian government debt to below the critical level of 100 percent of gross domestic product,” he told Handelsblatt. Although many Cypriots reacted with an anger over the theft of their savings, with one man threatening to drive a bulldozer into his local bank, the reaction has so far been noticeably calmer than one would expect in a country like Italy, which has already been hit with violent anti-austerity riots over the past year. Are we now seeing yet another example of the “IMF riot” – where the banking elite deliberately fosters social dislocation as a ruse to seize control of a nation’s economy and begin the process of asset stripping, just as happened in Greece and Argentina? Are Cyprus and Italy now in the crosshairs?
As respected investigative reporter Greg Palast exposed in 2001, the global banking elite, namely the World Bank and the IMF, have honed a technique that has allowed them to asset-strip numerous other countries in the past – that technique has come to be known at the “IMF riot.” In April 2001, Palast obtained leaked World Bank documents that outlined a four step process on how to loot nations of their wealth and infrastructure, placing control of resources into the hands of the banking elite. One of the final steps of the process, the “IMF riot,” detailed how the elite would plan for mass civil unrest ahead of time that would have the effect of scaring off investors and causing government bankruptcies. “This economic arson has its bright side – for foreigners, who can then pick off remaining assets at fire sale prices,” writes Palast, adding, “A pattern emerges. There are lots of losers but the clear winners seem to be the western banks and US Treasury.” How long before the crisis engendered by the looting forces Cyprus to sell its precious assets in return for IMF debt, just as Greece has been doing over the last three years?
The looting of Cyprus, erroneously labeled a “tax,” has been spun by the Cypriot government, the IMF, the EU and the establishment financial media as a necessary evil to prevent the country’s banks going bust and the nation collapsing into bankruptcy. Firstly, as Mark J. Grant explains, describing the maneuver as a “tax” is an insult to reality. “Let’s be quite clear; the European Union has confiscated the private property of the citizens in Cyprus without debate, legislation or Parliamentary agreement,” he writes. “A bank account is not a bond or a stock or any sort of investment. This seems to be lost on many people. A bank account is the private property of a citizen or a corporation and does not belong to the government or at least that was the supposition up until now in Europe.”
Secondly, the doomsday proclamation about Cyprus collapsing if the government is not allowed to loot private bank accounts is merely a cover story to justify what represents a brazen act of mass financial rape. Instead of protecting the bankers responsible for the crisis while pillaging the people who bear no responsibility whatsoever for the debt, Cyprus should be following in the footsteps of Iceland. Instead of bailing out bankers, Iceland arrested them. Instead of targeting its population with brutal austerity measures, Iceland paid off people’s underwater mortgages. Iceland also allowed people to pay off debts in foreign currency, which were declared illegal, with the devalued krona. The result was that Icelanders had more money in their pocket, reinvested it into the economy and now the country has enjoyed a miracle financial turnaround.
The Cypriot government has seemingly chosen a different option – selling out its people to the gaping jaws of the European Union and the IMF and setting the stage for years of economic turmoil, civil unrest and dependency on a financial dictatorship which benefits not from stability but from sustained chaos.
- I Don’t Understand What The IMF Is Thinking (forbes.com)
- GOLDMAN: The Bailout Could Be A Great Deal For Cyprus (businessinsider.com)
- Cyprus government’s ‘great bank robbery’ of private accounts may set off bank runs across Europe (sgtreport.com)
- BANK HOLIDAY: Government To Seize 10% Of All Savings & Deposits In Cyprus (secretsofthefed.com)
- Cyprus parliament holds bailout crisis session (cbc.ca)
- Cyprus rescue breaks all the rules (bbc.co.uk)