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The atomic bomb was more than a weapon of terrible destruction; it was a psychological weapon
— Henry L. Stimson
When the decision was taken to allow Lehman Bros (7.1 trillion in derivatives – all figures taken from OCC’s Quarterly Report on Bank Trading and Derivatives activities, June 30 2008) to go under, unlike that as with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, AIG and now Citigroup (37.1 trillion in derivatives), the full nature of consequences were as unseen. The first factor was that the Europeans elected not to buy up the ‘toxic’ debt as had been circulated as a weapon of financial mass destruction, but to take equity in ‘their’ banks. The second factor is that the system of ‘Global Finance’ is not just something that can be switched on or off at will, like a light bulb, change of name ‘overnight’ of supplier on power station courtesy of corporate takeover, new terms as applied, normal service resumed – and apologies for any inconvenience issued. The third factor that there is always the unknown when one is dealing with ‘mass destruction’ – and this particularly the case in dealing with ‘psychological’ aspect; as in consequence of ‘Shock and Awe’ – and the chain reaction of a derivatives market unfolding.
This small article examines the parallel which exists in the ‘dropping’ of a financial weapon of mass destruction with the explosion of a nuclear device, and in particular the EMP or ‘electromagnetic pulse’ as psychological counterpart in economic warfare to the paralysis of electronic circuitry caused by EMP in conventional thermonuclear warfare, parallel being as of ‘circuitry’ neurophysiological in economic warfare. The ‘scorched earth’ of economic warfare is that of belief destroyed; buildings may be left intact, environment habitable and ripe for ‘invasion’ – but still there be ‘debris’; form of belief, ruination psycho political, and requirement of currency transfusion in the invasion or defense?
As figurehead, but an important one at that, Henry Paulson has much to answer for, but less than the organ grinders behind same.
It still wide open to speculation as to the nature of the machinations surrounding the creation and circulation of CDO’s and CDS’s as financial weapons of mass destruction, and the rationale underlying the selectivity of allowing certain institutions to fail while ‘rescuing’ others, results still to be seen thereof – courtesy of psychology in form of ‘shock and awe’?
The opinion represented herein this small article is that drawing heavily upon insight Jeffersonian concerning financiers as those who prefer ‘demoralizing pursuit’, rather than the insight of those inclined to interpret the current financial meltdown in progress as but product of lack of regulation and the action of a few reckless, albeit powerful individuals under ignorant greed. Call the latter the ‘lone gunmen’ account of assassinations financial as opposed to the ‘scheming and co-ordinated warfare’ theory concerning same; or madness pure and simple, as opposed to there being method in the madness; and scheming gone agley. Regardless of how called this much holds, this much verifiable; as a result of meltdown financial power in America has been consolidated into fewer hands. There has been a further concentration of wealth which is anathema to Democracy.
Let us be clear about this one demonstrable fact. JP Morgan Chase (91.3 trillion in derivatives), and Bank of America (39.7 trillion in derivatives) now have more control of Finance in America than ever before, and it was unprecedented that the American Government was held to ransom by such as Henry Paulson in his demand for release of funds from the public coffers, and complete control over same; issues of transparency aside.
Northcom does not exist without reason, alongside NSPD-51.
This is as documented and irrefutable; as fingerprint upon corpse as may yet be of Democracy, weapon lying beside Constitution shredded – to interpretation albeit.
It does not take the account of numerous representatives of Government in their confession as to such pressure, such fear, as was brought to bear to ‘drive through’ hand over of control financial – in similar sense as the abhorrence of the concentration camp system does not require testimony of such as Goering or Speer to verify.
History is witness; facts are facts.
It is in the connection as causality, as expression of reasoning and calculation as in the scheming as there will be disputation, accordant as to ‘side’.
Until battle, if not war won, so it goes.
To the victor go ‘the spoils’, and such including ‘interpretation’ oft as ‘rationalisation’ – and of also as complete ‘fabrication’ – as Orwell wrote.
The case stated here by way of side, and declaration.
As one of so many ‘little men’ damaged by the acts of such detailed above; in respect of home under threat, life savings wiped out, livelihood destroyed, in respect of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness being endangered. Living in the fear which would prevail, and as undermines quality. Gathering amidst the debris of ‘meltdown’ as shared with so many others, and more as yet to be joining such angst as part of tragedy. Stooping to re-build with worn out tool…
No more than ‘collateral damage’ – to scheme gone wrong?
Like most, the essential unfairness of the system realised; that ordinary working humanity as Citizen pays disproportionate share, that work is not rewarded as to real value at all, that real pleasure is not found in money or possession; but in the eyes of others cared for as genuine treasure and time shared in joy for, and as to dreams and aspiration, ‘spirit’ being foremost and eternal, the material transient and grubby in aspiration; as mere bauble and bangle be.
But the bottom line daily crust requisite, and margins existing; as in the crossing of the line, in going beyond the pale.
The Gini coefficient as expressive of margins, and within such it can be believed that the boundaries of Democracy are delineated? Democracy and Humanity is as dangerous to those who would covet ever more materially; greed and Democracy are opposite as seen, and ‘Socialism’ can be as dirty word in apperception thereby.
But economic repression beyond a certain level demands political repression?
As Carnegie put it:
The problem of our age is the proper administration of wealth, so that the ties of brotherhood may still bind together the rich and poor in harmonious relationship.
Anyway, back to that EMP effect psychological in financial warfare.
The premise: Lehman Bros was as financial nuclear bomb dropped. Factors involved in considering the EMP in a nuclear explosion include, altitude, yield, distance and geographical depth or intervening geographical variables. There are also four types of EMP, surface burst, high –altitude, source region and system generated.
Sept 15 2008. Lehman Bros became the largest bankruptcy in American Financial History, 7.1 trillion in derivatives; the shockwaves felt around the world, in London, in Tokyo, in Frankfurt, in Hong Kong. In Reykjavik. A measure of the altitude of the bomb; in 2007, non US subsidiaries of Lehman Bros were responsible for over 50% of Global revenue produced by the company. 400 Billion Dollars were ‘lost’ alone in months before filing according to James Giddens as trustee overseeing.
Images of Lehman Bros office buildings being ‘evacuated’, and shocked employees leaving carrying boxes, played around the world. The shock precipitated was indeed immense, and further exacerbated mistrust between Financial Institutions unprecedented. Here today, gone tomorrow. No one knew exactly how bad their own books were, let alone how bad that of their competitors. Correspondingly, no one wanted to lend. In course of just three days, the London Interchange Bank Office Rate (LIBOR) doubled; it’s biggest jump in at least seven years. Share prices tumbled further. In parallel terms the EMP pulse (timed in billionths of a second, much more rapid than lightning) can render unshielded electrical equipment inoperative. In financial warfare parallel, EMP as a consideration is as aspect of ‘shock and awe’, destroying trust, destroying confidence – with just as devastating results concerning functional operability, and the extension of damage collateral – few of us being ‘shielded’.
Fast forward: October 10. The G7 meeting. A pivotal moment in the expression of ‘shock and awe’, whence a clear difference emerged between Europe and America. The solution: not as to buy up debts using funds from the IMF, but for States to take equity in the banks. A temporary shutdown of the ‘free market’ in form of State ownership; taking out of private hands. This; the real parallel of fear which the Citizen experiences, as held by small proportion of society which now has unprecedented level of control over assets financial. The power of State concerning belief, the polymorphous nature of ‘Social Contract’; the mighty nature of pen upon paper legal – as within sequestration. Shouting that last word at the rich; it be as ‘cranberry sauce!’ to turkey indeed. Yet the damage done in terms of the effects of EMP paralysis electronic as in the parallel psychological being as dose of curare; in the lack of confidence, the mistrust, the hoarding attitude, not easy to turn around; and it too has own collateral damage radiating outwards and backwards from Main Street to Wall Street. Consumer confidence hit – as part contributory of downward spiral.
As with ‘Humpty Dumpty’, it is very difficult to put back that shattered; to contain the expression of ‘shock and awe’ when unleashed on such scale, to get the worms back in can, or shut lid on Pandora’s box. The reality is that the derivatives market unfolding is like a nuclear chain reaction – and the distinction between controlled as in nuclear reactor, and uncontrolled as in nuclear weapon also finds parallel – over 95% of derivatives are not regulated – so called ‘over the counter’. ‘Fear’ is indeed the key, and hope yet remains. But with the collapse of every additional company on Main Street, such fear grows, expressed in mistrust, in hoarding, holding on; in greater demands upon the State which finds resources shrinking, such the viciousness of cycle. In the exercise of discretion remaining; between essential and not so.
For what is ‘Society’ or ‘Nation’ but at the end of the day no more than ‘belief shared’? This the greatest damage of the EMP psychological, that when unleashed the paralysis consequent can destroy such belief shared – and bring with it misery unrivalled.
The greatest challenge facing the Western World right now: the containment of fear and the reconstruction of belief; in the Economy, in the Politicians, in the Financiers, in the Nation, in the Democracy. Fear as a tool double edged in the instability it precipitates – we have already seen reversal of private finance and free market dominance in the ‘Socialism’ of State taking ownership of institutions. An electromagnetic pulse can render particular types of low voltage electrical equipment permanently inoperable.
The hope herein that fear can be contained, and as for a poison where it is said that if it does not kill it makes stronger; that an important lesson for mankind be learned from this financial disaster. But that it not be at such a great price as makes ‘too dear’ in terms of the sufferance of common humanity, and that we have not to lose Democracy, before sense gained, and balance re-established, as eventuality?
Because such can be the impact of psychology of weapons of financial mass destruction; as dog of war unleashed, or as electromagnetic pulse causing havoc with ‘systems’ built upon circuitry neurophysiological; the scheming of which as within psychophysical parallel of conscious epiphenomenon produced such as ‘derivatives’ – and such as causes me desire to spit when I hear the very word.
But such it is also as of hope being left in box – and as springs eternal in the human breast.
STEPHEN MARTIN can be reached at: email@example.com