imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Book Review: "The Greatest Predatory Attack of History"

by Hermann Zoller Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 at 1:13 PM

The 1933 Glass-Steagal law created a firewall between commercial and investment banks and prevented speculators from gambling with the money of savers. Restoring Glass-Steagal would restore trust and public spirit. Profit-making is not profit-maximizing; speculating is not investing.


A Review by Hermann Zoller

[The title of the book “The Greatest Predatory Attack of History” sounds like an historical crime thriller. The two authors probe today’s international financial world and show “why the diligent become poorer and poorer and the rich become richer and richer.” The authors Matthias Weik and Marc Friedrich active as financial consultants tackle one of the most important current political questions. This review published on January 8, 2014 is translated from the German on the Internet,]

In their entertaining book, Weik and Friedrich introduce readers into the airs of worldwide speculators. With a pinch of humor, the authors admit the described consequences trigger more an outburst of rage than a smile. However they avoid minimizing the problems and even turn them into an entertaining detective novel. Readers can work on the complicated material and enter into the exciting journey into a world of madness, lies, fraud and the greatest predatory attack of history.

With all its amusement value, the book shows in a crystal-clear way who pays the bill left by the speculators and fraudsters in the casino. The explained facts are horrifyingly momentous so one can hardly withdraw to the position of the amused spectator. The consequences affect the large majority of the population. The majority is robbed of money and freedom and democracy is whittled down. The book reads like a crime thriller with the difference that there are millions of victims and the crooks or hoodlums do not land in jail.

This is an exciting book for citizens not very familiar with “the crisis” in the past. The hunger leads to more and more knowledge about how the “capital crimes” are committed and by whom. Citizens should be more informed. “The financial branch has learned absolutely nothing from the so-called Lehman crisis.” Politics has also learned nothing. Despite their gained insights, many politicians are not ready to use the instruments to turn the financial industry upside down.

“It is actually good that people do not understand our banking- and monetary system. If they did understand, we would have a revolution tomorrow morning,” Henry Ford said. This book provides enough evidence that people should take to the barricades. Politicians should seize control instead of being led through the circus ring by the nose rings of speculators and fraudsters.

How banks “create” money is described in an understandable way. The authors conclude “banks apparently have the right to commit massive fraud without legal consequences.” The reader learns how the madness of our financial system has taken its course. On October 27, 1986 the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher recommended: “Throw away the rules that slow down success!” A worldwide race around deregulating the financial markets was sparked. On February 22, 1990 the German Kohl government resolved the abolition of the stock exchange tax. Its revival as a financial transactions tax has still not succeeded today. On November 12, 1999 US President Clinton rescinded a 1933 law (Glass-Steagal law) that enjoined the separation of commercial- and investment banks. From then on, speculators gained access to the assets of savers and no longer needed to commit fraud with their own wealth. “From that time, the madness took its own course,” the authors declare.

How the fraud got underway like the roulette in the casino and how politics although well-informed looked away or even supported the intrigues are outlined chronologically. Every freedom was given to the speculators. Even warnings from insiders like the investment-legend Warren Buffet were not heard. In a letter to shareholders of his Berkshire Hathaway holding company, he wrote: “We strive to be vigilant toward every risk of a mega-catastrophe. This attitude may seem excessively anxious. (…) In our view, derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction. They conceal dangers that now are hidden but are potentially deadly.”

Jorg Asmussen’s machinations are described as one who triggered the financial market crisis in Germany… Asmussen pushed trade with ABS (asset-backed securities). According to the Sueddeutscher Zeitung newspaper, “that passage in the 2005 Black-Red coalition agreement to liberate the German financial market from “unnecessary” regulations and promote product innovations and new distribution channels can be referred back to him.”

How the liberated worldwide speculation rampage could function is depicted in the example of CDOs (collateralized debt obligations) “secured” by CDS (credit default swaps). That the nominal value of all CDS at trillion in 2007 surpassed the value of the world social product shows how insane were the intrigues of the financial jugglers. The authors see this financial product as one of the main causes of the global crisis.

The descriptions in the book impressively prove that the role of the banks must be fundamentally reconsidered. Their machinations endanger the economic and social situation of millions of people. The authors even appeal to the statement of the former German financial minister Theo Waigel: “what happens on the international financial markets is fraud.”

In a detailed way, the book reveals how vast amounts of money are chased around the globe. The sums that taxpayers had to fork out in the stricken countries could only bail out the involved banks and speculators. This scandal is then topped by the compensations for the super-managers who played the wrong game. The CEO of Lehman Brothers Richard Fuld received approximately 0 million between 1998 and 2007. In the book, we read: “Fuld sold his million villa to his wife for the symbolic amount of 0 before possible indemnification claims could be made against him.”

The authors offer a long list of proposals to end the madness. These are underscored with a statement by Heiner Geissler: “Western democracies in their present form cannot be rescued if politics does not finally successfully carry out the overdue reform of the international financial markets.” [Translator’s note: Justice Brandeis said we can have concentration of wealth or democracy but not both.]

There are several reasons not to be especially optimistic. As the authors report, the financial industry has long eluded the disastrous crisis of the last years and seeks new expansion possibilities. At best many money managers regard attempts of politicians and monitoring authorities to curb the growth as a sporty challenge. Risks in the billions are offloaded. They take minority shares or sell business divisions that cannot continue any more because of strict conditions on investors. (…) The profiteers of this change are above all hedge funds and private equity companies that in the branch jargon are part of the so-called “shadow banks.”

While the book refers to the intrigues of speculators in an informative way, the authors are very superficial in economic questions. In discussing the conduct of states and the economic handling of debts, the authors obviously forgot much of what they correctly analyzed about the international financial world. Here they follow the mainstream in an unreflective way. Many things about the situation in southern Europe sound like regular gossip. Greece is usually pilloried instead of any analysis of the country’s development and the causes of its predicament. The authors’ lack of analysis of pensions is an analytical shortcoming, more than a blemish.

On the other hand, the authors do clearly emphasize that the distance between poor and rich is becoming greater and greater and name the perpetrators. “In 1996 the Kohl government abolished the property tax. This costs the state 4.8 billion per year. The Shroeder government lowered the business- and top tax rates – at a cost of 30 billion per year. In the last 20 years, the tax rate for the very rich (annual income over 1.5 million euros) fell from 42.1 to 33.7 percent. The tax rate for the super-rich (annual income over 174 million euros) plummeted from 43.6 to 23.7 percent. 50 billion euros are withheld from the state year after year because of tax reforms around the year 2000.

The conclusion presented to the reader at the end of the book is shattering: “Past incidents show that politics is more and more an accomplice of financial management and mercilessly enforces their interests against the population…” Why has nothing changed? Very simply nothing has changed because the profiteers of this system do everything so nothing changes. All great western democracies are pitilessly indebted and thus purely and simply dependent on the operators of the private financial system.

We must not resign to this. Therefore we understand the last maxim in the book as a call to resistance. “A positive thinking person does not refuse to take note of the negative. He only refuses to submit to it” – pastor and author Norman Vincent Peale.


Tomasz Konicz, “The Crisis Explained,” 2010

VIDEO: “Dollarocracy” by John Nichols and Robert McChesney, BookTV presentation, 1 hr 30 min, January 12, 2014

FREE INTERNET BOOK: “Restoring Shared Prosperity” by Thomas Palley and Gustav Horn, December 2013, 211 pp

Hans-Jurgen Urban, “The Tiger and his Trainers,” Dec 2013

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Addendum: Benjamin Tucker American Mutualist: Tucker Did Not Advocate Voting in Businesses S25 11:45PM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Celebrates 25 Years with the House of Hope Gala S24 7:10PM

Against the Rent Madness and For a Nonprofit Orientation! S24 11:56AM

Cybermonde, cyberguerre, cyberespace, cyberterrorisme S24 6:35AM

Paraphysique de psychosomatique S22 6:58AM

Chuck Grassley: Women Abusing, Animal Murdering, Illegal War Supporting Criminal S22 2:58AM

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy