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Five Years of Financial Meltdown: Some reflections on economics as a means of social control Printer friendly page Print This
By T.J. Coles. Axis of Logic
Axis of Logic
Sunday, Feb 24, 2013

"It is well enough that people do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning."

- Henry Ford

The year 2013 marks the fifth anniversary of the global financial collapse, which many have compared to the crash of 1929. With record numbers of poor Americans in prison (ethnic “minorities” being the principal victims) and British economists predicting a “triple-dip recession”, it is perhaps worth taking a different approach towards analysing cause and effect.

Those Dirty Hippies!

The 1960s saw an explosion of youth activism. Indigenous resurgence movements, the civil rights struggle, opposition to the decimation of Vietnam, and women’s liberation are just some examples. The FBI’s Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO) placed millions of activists under surveillance, sent death threats to many, published disinformation, spread negative rumours at their places of work, and even assassinated individuals (including Black Panther Fred Hampton). In Britain, “there were never less than a staggering 2 million personal files in MI5’s Registry, a number that ‘began to rise dramatically’ in the late 1960s and 1970s”, notes Chatham House scholar, Professor Michael Clarke.1

In response to the protests of ‘68, three organisations were formed by the elite in the years that followed: the Club of Rome, the Trilateral Commission and the World Economic Forum. It was soon recognised that subversion and terror could no longer be used to control the population. The Trilateral Commission consisted of businesses including Lloyds and Barclays, Wells Fargo, Lehman Brothers, Bank of America, and Chase. Their 1975 report, The Crisis of Democracy, says the following:

“Those institutions which have played the major role in the indoctrination of the young in their rights and obligations as members of society have been the family, the church, the school, and the army. [But these institutions are no longer fulfilling their role] ... We have come to recognize that there are potentially desirable limits to economic growth ... [I]n wartime or periods of economic catastrophe, common purposes are easily defined.”2

The above banks, and others, also attend the World Economic Forum (WEF). Since the WEF was founded in 1971—the year in which COINTELPRO formally ended—there have been four major boom and bust recessions in the West.3 Also in that year, the Bank of England activated a secret plan from the 1950s—Operation Robot—when it deregulated the UK economy (Competition and Credit Control), knowing full-well that it would destroy domestic industry.4 The socioeconomic effects were quite awesome: The number of British children living in poverty rose from 9 per cent to 30 per cent from 1979 to 1997; the prison population more than doubled; and asset inflation rose exponentially.5

Commenting on the financial institutions’ role in further deregulating the US economy under Reagan, Ivar Berg, Chair of the Department of Sociology at Pennsylvania University, wrote at the time:

“They are not thus planning for economic growth; rather, they are using the tax system’s components as mechanisms for the redistribution of income, which, in plain language, is to say as mechanisms of control over opportunities, accesses, and benefits. Meanwhile, it is not unlikely that welfare mothers will be held responsible for mounting federal deficits and for driving up interest rates by their wanton ways."6

If that sounds familiar today—i.e. to justify the attack on social security—it is no accident.

The Con of the Economy

So, why can’t the economy get fixed today? The economy is a rigged casino, and until the majority realise that, boom and bust in the debt-based system will continue. The price of currency is offset by gold (the Gold Standard). The price of gold is not necessarily set according to supply and demand, but rather, determined by five people sitting in a room each morning in St. Swithins Road, London. Controlling the value of gold controls the value of currency and exchange. This is called gold fixing. Individuals and corporations -

“…transact business on the basis of a single quoted [gold] price. Orders can be changed throughout the proceedings as the price is moved higher and lower until such time as buyers’ and sellers’ orders are satisfied and the price is said to be ‘fixed’”.

The quotation is from the website of the organisation which manages price fixing, the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA).

“The fixings are the internationally published benchmarks for precious metals … The Gold Fixing is conducted twice a day by telephone, at approximately 10:30 am and 3:00 pm. There are five Gold Fixing members - all of whom are Market Making members of the LBMA ... They are the Bank of Nova Scotia–ScotiaMocatta, Barclays Bank Plc, Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Bank USA, NA and Société Générale.”7

Many of their delegates are attendees and members of the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, and the WEF. The Market Making Members include Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, and UBS AG (also members of Bilderberg et al). The biggest scam, however, is the purchase of gilts. The British and American governments borrow money “by issuing gilts, which are IOUs, promising to repay an amount of money on a particular date and a specified interest rate”, wrote BBC Online analyst, Anthony Reuben, in one of the few mainstream news articles which makes any effort to explain the workings of national debt.

“Gilts are sold at auction, so the government does not know how much money it will be paid for each gilt or who will buy them”. That the government borrow from private companies raises the question: what are taxes for? In the UK, the Debt Management Office sells the gilts on behalf of the government. The process is managed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who takes his orders from Bilderberg.

Local authorities and public corporations purchase the fewest gilts. “The biggest owners of gilts are insurance companies and pension funds. For them, gilts are predictable investments, which are particularly useful when a low-risk product is needed”, Reuben added. That is because the taxpayer bails them out when their toxic bubbles burst. The social security system granted to banks, insurers, and pension fund companies dwarfs that given to the public.

“Next on the list comes investors overseas. Unfortunately, nobody keeps records showing in which countries these gilts are held”, Rueben added.8 In other words, the government and corporations work hand in glove to steal the public’s money and launder it to foreign firms. And it works. In Britain, the government bailed out Bradford and Bingley, Lloyds, and North Rock via the Bank of England, which posted record profits in 2008, as did gold price-setters Barclays and HSBC, and RBS and Lloyds in 2011.9

Meanwhile, Save the Children for the first time in its history issued an appeal for UK children. In an incredible irony, the Prince’s Trust co-sponsored a study which found that a million UK children are starving. In that year, Prince Charles paid himself over £18 million, care of the taxpayer, and sharply reduced his annual "charity" donations.10 Still, as his favourite singer Leonard Cohen11 put it:

“Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor and the rich get rich...”



  1. Federal Bureau of Investigation, “COINTELPRO”, FBI Records: The Vault, no date, x and Michael Clarke, 1992, British External Policy-making in the 1990s, London: MacMillan and the Royal Institute of International Affairs. Also see Ted Gregory, “The Black Panther Raid and the Death of Fred Hampton”, The Chicago Tribune, 4 December, 1969,

  2. Michel J. Crozier, Samuel P. Huntington, and Joji Watanuki, 1975, The Crisis of Democracy: Report on the Governability of Democracies to the Trilateral Commission, New York: New York University Press.

  3. Ben Chu, "World Economic Forum: Thousands gather, with billions to spend", The Independent, 22 January 2012,

  4. Robin Ramsay, 2012, Well, how did we get here? A brief history of the British economy, minus the wishful thinking, Myriad Editions (online),

  5. Nick Davies, 2009, Flat Earth News, London: Vintage and Stanley Cohen, 1990, Visions of Social Control: Crime, Punishment and Classification, London: Polity Press.

  6. Berg "Social control and the Economy: In Quest of Common Denominators" in Social Control: Views from the Social Sciences, Jack P. Gibbs (ed), London: Sage, 1982.

  7. "Statistics FAQs", no date, London Bullion Market Association,\

  8. Anthony Reuben, "Who owns the UK's debt", BBC News Online, 26 February 2010,  

  9. Simon Duke, “Top banks to rake in £1bn each week: Profits to double at state-owned RBS and Lloyds”, Daily Mail, 4 January, 2011,

  10. Rebecca English, "Prince Charles gets a 11% pay rise from the taxpayer (well all William and Kate's royal tours don't come cheap)", Daily Mail, 30 June, 2012, and Save the Children, "The UK’s poorest children reveal the bleak reality of life in recession-hit Britain", 5 September, 2012,  and Mirror, "Two children in every class are going hungry – and the problem is getting worse", 5 July, 2012,

  11. Neil Spencer, "Leonard Cohen: A troubadour at Charles's court", Guardian, 21 May, 2006.

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