Internationalists Calling for ‘Bretton Woods II’
By Christopher J. Petherick
International bankers and speculators are calling for a global gathering of the world’s top moneymen and policymakers along the lines of the meeting in Bretton Woods, N.H., in 1944, which spawned three powerful global financial organizations, the International Monetary Fund, the International Trade Organization and the World Bank.
Already, critics have come out against the proposed “BrettonWoods II,” saying it will do little to help working-class Americans, who have seen their life savings vanish as a result of the collapse of financial markets.
Most Americans recognize that the economic crisis in the United States is largely due to unbridled capitalist greed on Wall Street. The world’s leading financial institutions, seeking to maximize profits, exploited loose fiscal and regulatory policies in the United States to create a complicated system of investment vehicles.
As AFP has reported, a shadow banking system was built where so-called financial derivatives totaling an estimated $1 quadrillion were repeatedly traded without any protection or oversight from federal regulators. For over a decade, Wall Street rode high on these huge profits before the whole system collapsed under the enormity of its high-risk investments and massive debt.
So far, no country has been immune from these troubles. From Iceland to Pakistan to New Zealand, overwhelming debt and profligate ways have forced governments to reach out to unlikely sources for cash infusions, including China, in order to protect their citizens’ investments and prevent the total collapse of banking systems.
Main Street has seen pensions fail, businesses close and life savings evaporate. Now, European and American leaders, backed by top financial institutions and media outlets, want to formulate a new international framework to bring markets, including those in the United States, under a single global authority.
“We must create a new international financial architecture for the global age,” said British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. “We must have a new BrettonWoods—building a new international financial architecture for the years ahead.”
To his credit, President Bush was at first reluctant to toss aside the Constitution and hand over American sovereignty to the world’s leading moneymen. However, in late October, Bush recanted and announced his support for the meeting of global banking authorities that is scheduled to take place in Washington on Nov. 15.
Since its founding, the United States has benefited from respected public figures, who vociferously opposed ceding control of the nation’s money supply to the banking establishment. Many of these individuals, including Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and Wright Patman, established legacies for themselves by warning the country of the dangers posed by private banks.
America’s Founding Fathers were so dead set against giving private bankers control over the country’s means of exchange that they explicitly named the Treasury in the Constitution as the government agency that should dictate fiscal policy for the new country.
Unfortunately, with the passage of the Federal Reserve Act in 1913, the banking establishment solidified its control over U.S. money supply and quickly began erecting the modern system of “creditalism,” where international banking cartels can create money—and manufacture booms and busts—with the stroke of a pen.
Right around the time of the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act, Sen. Robert L. Owen of Oklahoma, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, put pen to paper to voice his opposition to private control of money:
“It is remarkable, and a fact of surpassing importance, that the provision of the Constitution of the United States authorizing Congress exclusively to coin money and regulate the value thereof has been overlooked by American statesmen. Their failure to perceive the deep significance of this language of the Constitution has resulted in the indefensible expansion and contraction of money by private persons, bringing on monetary depressions periodically.”
American taxpayers, who are now stuck with bailing out Wall Street, would be wise to take these words to heart and hold their elected and appointed officials in Washington accountable for forcing Main Street America to pay the cost of its own financial slavery to bankers.
Christopher Petherick is a journalist and publisher based in Maryland. For more information, see his website at www.brandywinehouse. us or write directly to BRANDYWINE HOUSE BOOKS AND MEDIA, P.O. Box 638, Cheltenham, MD 20623. Petherick encourages all readers with Internet access to sign up for AFP’s free weekly email newsletter. It’s loaded with house news and special offers available only to newsletter recipients and AFP web site users. See AmericanFreePress.net.
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(Issue # 45, November 10, 2008)