What’s Behind the West’s Involvement in Lybia?

Some food for thought regarding Lybia (a friend forwarded several articles to me):

First off, I believe it’s quite curious that the IMF was so quick to recognize the TNC as Lybian government:

International Monetary Fund (IMF) today recognised the rebel’s National Transitional Council (NTC) as the legitimate government of Libya, assuring the war ravaged country of rapid and sustainable economic recovery.

“I am happy to report that reflecting the views of the international community, the IMF will deal with the NTC as the government of Libya,” IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said.

“In this context, the Fund stands ready to help the authorities through technical assistance, policy advice, and financial support if requested, as they begin to rebuild Libya’s economy,” she said.

… it certainly helps motivate “rebel” leaders to seize power when they are given the ability to request massive financial aid, pay it out to themselves and their cronies, and kindly pass the bill on to the country’s future taxpayers, in short … the IMF’s modus operandi.

In March BBC already reported:

Libya has declared gold reserves worth more than $6bn at current prices, thought to be held largely at home.

The reserves are substantial, ranking in the global top 25, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) data.

… since then gold has risen by about 30%, so those total reserves would now be closer to $8bn, if the reports are accurate.

And Asia Times Online asks Libya all about oil, or central banking?:


I have never before heard of a central bank being created in just a matter of weeks out of a popular uprising. This suggests we have a bit more than a rag tag bunch of rebels running around and that there are some pretty sophisticated influences.


Another provocative bit of data circulating on the Net is a 2007 “Democracy Now” interview of US General Wesley Clark (Ret). In it he says that about 10 days after September 11, 2001, he was told by a general that the decision had been made to go to war with Iraq. Clark was surprised and asked why. “I don’t know!” was the response. “I guess they don’t know what else to do!” Later, the same general said they planned to take out seven countries in five years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran.

What do these seven countries have in common? In the context of banking, one that sticks out is that none of them is listed among the 56 member banks of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). That evidently puts them outside the long regulatory arm of the central bankers’ central bank in Switzerland.

The most renegade of the lot could be Libya and Iraq, the two that have actually been attacked. Kenneth Schortgen Jr, writing on Examiner.com, noted that “[s]ix months before the US moved into Iraq to take down Saddam Hussein, the oil nation had made the move to accept euros instead of dollars for oil, and this became a threat to the global dominance of the dollar as the reserve currency, and its dominion as the petrodollar.”

According to a Russian article titled “Bombing of Libya – Punishment for Ghaddafi for His Attempt to Refuse US Dollar”, Gaddafi made a similarly bold move: he initiated a movement to refuse the dollar and the euro, and called on Arab and African nations to use a new currency instead, the gold dinar. Gaddafi suggested establishing a united African continent, with its 200 million people using this single currency.

During the past year, the idea was approved by many Arab countries and most African countries. The only opponents were the Republic of South Africa and the head of the League of Arab States. The initiative was viewed negatively by the USA and the European Union, with French President Nicolas Sarkozy calling Libya a threat to the financial security of mankind; but Gaddafi was not swayed and continued his push for the creation of a united Africa.


So is this new war all about oil or all about banking? Maybe both – and water as well. With energy, water, and ample credit to develop the infrastructure to access them, a nation can be free of the grip of foreign creditors. And that may be the real threat of Libya: it could show the world what is possible.

Most countries don’t have oil, but new technologies are being developed that could make non-oil-producing nations energy-independent, particularly if infrastructure costs are halved by borrowing from the nation’s own publicly owned bank. Energy independence would free governments from the web of the international bankers, and of the need to shift production from domestic to foreign markets to service the loans.

If the Gaddafi government goes down, it will be interesting to watch whether the new central bank joins the BIS, whether the nationalized oil industry gets sold off to investors, and whether education and healthcare continue to be free.

Of course health care is never free, so just ignore that nonsensical statement. The article also makes some, in my opinion, very questionable analyses about monetary policy and central banking which I am sparing you in the excerpts above. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t provide a lot of interesting journalistic insights into what may be going on behind the scenes in this project.

As my friend who sent me these articles pointed out: Let’s see how long it’ll take until we hear stories about Lybian assets missing.

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IMF Seeking a $500 Billion Bailout

As it is running out of money, IMF head says it will sell bonds to raise funds:

The International Monetary Fund will sell bonds as a way to raise funds to lend to struggling nations, the head of the organization said Saturday, in a victory for developing countries.


Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Saturday urged world finance officials to pony up more funds to meet the $500 billion goal. Progress towards that target “must be an important outcome of these meetings,” he said.

President Barack Obama is seeking congressional approval for up to $100 billion, matching commitments for the same amount made by Japan and the European Union. Canada and Switzerland have pledged $10 billion and Norway about $4.5 billion. But the full $500 billion hasn’t yet been raised.


The additional funds reflect the growing importance of the IMF in dealing with the global downturn, the worst the world economy has experienced in six decades. Just a year ago, the 185-member organization was seen as increasingly irrelevant as many developing country economies boomed.


The IMF “needs a more representative, responsive and accountable governance structure,” he said. “This is essential to strengthening the IMF’s legitimacy.”

Make no mistake. What the poor nations of the world need is the exact opposite. The IMF should be abolished, plain and simple. What has it done to fight world poverty since its inception in 1944? Has it not caused way more havoc than anything else throughout history? We don’t need a national central bank, and we most definitely don’t need a world central bank.

Obviously there is a concerted move toward a more and more powerful IMF. I wrote about this recently in Talks About Global Currency Gain Traction:

If you look at the description of SDRs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Drawing_Rights), they already possess a lot of the features that the European Currency Unit had in Europe as a prelude to the Euro.

I expect that if there is to be a concerted move toward a world currency, it will coincide with more and more talk about SDRs in the news and in the government propaganda all around the world.

Naturally, talk about the supposed importance of the IMF is increasing along with global currency proposals.

This is the first time ever the IMF is selling bonds. There is a striking parallel between this and what Fed recently did. Please Consider Update on Treasury’s Supplementary Financing Account:

Thus the Fed resorted to the Supplementary Financing Program, a 3rd, nontraditional, way of obtaining financing. The precise characterization of this move has to be nothing but this: That the Treasury borrowed very short term money on the open market, thus withdrawing it, and then invested this money in the Fed, similar to someone investing in stocks of a business.


A global currency would aggravate all the disastrous effects of national central banking enormously. There can’t be any doubt that the idea is nontheless becoming more and more palatable to world leaders. No matter how distant its potential fruition, individuals worldwide need to make sure these harmful aspirations are nibbed in the bud and reject the idea unconditionally.

What we need is the exact opposite. The global monetary system needs to become less centralized so as to increase and enhance regulation. We do need more regulation, not more government decrees, monopolies, and power that lead to less regulation. A global central bank would be just that. There simply is no better regulation of the global money and credit markets than Gold’s Honest Discipline. The history of money has shown us this time and again.

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Imbalance Increases in Eurozone

Bloomberg writes Steinbrueck Says Euro States May Bail Out Members:

German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck said euro-region countries may be forced to bail out cash-strapped members of the 16-nation bloc, going further than his counterparts in saying euro states can’t be allowed to fail.

“Some countries are slowly getting into difficulties with their payments,” Steinbrueck said late yesterday in a speech in Dusseldorf. “The euro-region treaties don’t foresee any help for insolvent countries, but in reality the other states would have to rescue those running into difficulty.”

Steinbrueck’s comments underscore mounting investor concerns as European nations pile on debt to bail out banks and counter the deepest recession since World War II. The EU governing treaty says member states aren’t liable for other members’ obligations.

While declining to identify countries facing problems, the German finance chief said Ireland, which has a widening budget deficit, is in a “very difficult situation.” The comment came in response to a question from the audience. Ireland’s debt- rating outlook was cut by Moody’s Investors Service Jan. 30.

The European Commission predicts budget shortfalls this year of 11 percent of gross domestic product in Ireland, 3.7 percent in Greece, 6.2 percent in Spain and 3.8 percent in Italy, compared with 2.9 percent in Germany. The EU ceiling is 3 percent.

The 3% ceiling won’t matter anymore from hereon. Consider the European stability treaty dead. One member state after another will violate the requirements. The fact that a bailout of some Euro states by others is discussed, just shows how torn this European Union really is, how severe its imbalances are. With discrepancies like these, it is completely unfeasible to maintain a currency union. The Euro will keep taking its beating for it.

Euro Weakens

The euro fell below $1.26 for the first time since early December. The difference in yield, or spread, between 10-year Irish and German bonds widened nine basis points to 257 basis points today. It widened by almost six times since the middle of last year as investors demanded higher premiums to hold Irish debt.

The Irish government is committed to restoring sustainability to public finances by 2013, the Dublin-based finance ministry said today in an e-mailed statement. At 41 percent of gross domestic product, the country’s debt is below the EU average of 60 percent, it said.

EU rules don’t “really constrain the ability of euro area countries to support one another during a period of exceptional stress,” David Mackie, chief European economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in London, said in a research note. “It’s hard to imagine that the region as a whole wouldn’t come up with a package of measures to support the individual economy.”

Governments including Germany’s may call in help from international organizations first before committing funds and pushing their own budgets deeper into the red to help others.

There is nothing much that international groups can do. Please consider in particular IMF Running Out Of Cash:

Dominique Strauss-Kahn said the Fund needed an urgent cash infusion if it was to continue bailing out troubled economies in the future. Mr Strauss-Kahn also indicated that the world’s advanced economies were now tipping from recession into full-blown depression, cementing fears about the scale of the economic slump in rich nations.

Who will bail out the IMF? I little while ago I wrote about the disastrous balance sheet of the Federal Reserve Bank, and concluded with a question. Who will bailout the Federal Reserve once it needs help? The IMF? It seems like the IMF will need help first.

European member states needs to come to their senses. An absolute and unconditional abandonment of any more bailout talks is highly necessary. Member states need to consolidate their finances, cut spending, trim down their obtrusive bureaucracies and cut their unsustainable tax burdens. Germany, France, and Italy should be leading the way in these efforts. The European Commission needs to put an end to its disastrous policy of subsidizing agriculture.

Individual responsibility per member state rather than complete collectivism should be aspired. Unfortunately Europe has not been very keen on individual responsibility. In Germany, France, and Italy, all one can hear is rants about “neoliberalism”, “anarchism”, “capitalism on steroids” which supposedly are to blame for the financial crisis.

The sentiment in the US is not at all different. As the US economy continues its decline, Europe is unwittingly joining the bandwaggon.

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