News & Analysis
Real Reason for Lehman Bros. Collapse? Another Insane International Tribunal ...
Finance tribunal opens to settle disputes ... Disputes arising from complex transactions can be put for possible resolution at the world's first international specialist finance tribunal from Monday. The Hague-based tribunal, funded by the Dutch government, aims to build up internationally recognised legal precedent in an area that can be opaque to even the most senior national judges who have previously heard disputes over credit derivatives, collateralised debt obligations or other exotic products that gained notoriety during the financial crisis. – Financial Times
Dominant Social Theme: Global justice is inevitable, and necessary. It's not totalitarian, mind you, merely part of the process of "rationalizing" the decision-making process so everyone knows where they stand.
Free-Market Analysis: "They" are at it again. Supposedly the Dutch government had the bright idea to create a global "financial tribunal." But who gets up in the morning and decides that what the world needs is a better way to resolve disputes about derivatives and other artificial securitized instruments?
The problem is NOT that there is no prestigious and final word from a judicial authority on these insane instruments. The problem is that they exist at all.
They are purely the flotsam and jetsam of central banking. By printing endless amounts of money from nothing, the great central banking families that control tens and even hundreds of trillions of dollars have entirely distorted the world's economy.
We call what has occurred "Dreamtime." It lasted for at least 100 years, throughout the 20th century, and during that time Western middle classes were convinced of the efficacy and necessity of the current system.
Pre-Internet, the power elite's dominant social themes ruled the day. It was a matter of certainty that various fear-based promotions were not only accurate but inevitable. Only a hopelessly optimistic person would have argued that there were not too many people in the world, that starvation was all-but-inevitable, that oil was running out, that the environment was hopelessly befouled, that the world was not in the transformative grip of a terrible global warming.
And yet none of these have proven to be true. They are the malicious memes of the elite, floated to frighten middle classes into giving up wealth and authority to global authorities such as the UN, IMF and World Bank.
An entire panoply of global facilities has been set up in the past 50 years. Many people STILL don't seem to have noticed it, but global government is proceeding apace. The New World Order is upon us even as the bought-and-paid-for pundits of the power elite continue to shout that those who see its parameters are "conspiratorialists" and worse.
In fact, there IS a conspiracy. It is a conspiracy joined by a handful of power elite families controlling money around the world (what passes for money) and supported by their military, religious, political and corporate enablers and associates. It is located in the City of London, Washington DC, the Vatican and Tel Aviv.
Its goal is to create world government and any time someone points this out in a mainstream publication the elite's house hysterics shout that this sort of logic is born of paranoia and worse.
In fact, this is a typical Freudian reaction, to label others with a trait that one perceives in oneself. It is called "projection."
What is occurring today is what we have taken to calling "directed history." This is the sort of history that can only be achieved with massive, even incomprehensible, funding. The elites – entirely allergic to EVER using their own funds for purposes of command and control – have used endless amounts of central banking fiat money to create "history" throughout the 20th and early 21st century.
No one can fully explain the formal hostilities of the 20th century. Several, such as the Vietnam War and Pearl Harbor, were obvious provocations, created by apparently false-flag events. But lift the curtain and Western funding becomes evident for both the Soviet Union and Germany's Nazi period. The wars of the 20th century in particular, both hot and cold, increasingly seem to have been phony ones.
And what was the result of these wars? In almost every case, an equally phony solution was applied. Having apparently created a military conflict, the power elite proposed the SOLUTION – more government, more authority-from-the-top-down, more economic interference, price fixing, market meddling – inevitably leading to more recessions, depressions, social tension and ... further justifications for military activity.
We could go on ... but really there is no need. It is all over the Internet now, thousands of articles, testimonies, descriptions, in manifold, merciless, electronic glory. The impossible crimes of the Western elite are reported, thusly, in detail. It is clear, indelible and unalterable.
Yes ... for anyone with the stomach to follow the ins and outs of the 20th century especially and its murderous reign that saw some 150 million extirpated in one way or another by "governments," the conclusions are inescapable.
The major events of the world have become part of a liar's liturgy, a presentation of a thousand facts that make it clear the power elite is providing – often via something approaching genocide – the problem and then the solution. Simple enough if one can bring oneself to recognize it.
Now add to the faux-globalist solutions of the elite one more: a global financial tribunal ...
Again, there is no NEED for a global financial tribunal. The insanity of the current monetary system is amply illustrated in the volume of so-called derivative products that now apparently tops one thousand trillion.
Wall Street, the City of London and other financial centers are entirely driven by central banking paper fiat. Without the super-fuel of monopoly cash, these "financial centers" and the banks they spawn would not exist. There would likely be no derivatives. There would be no modern stock market. There would be no "cult of Buffett." There would be no ... Buffett.
Modern financial speculation is a result of endless torrents of painted paper made available, first of all, to those closest to the spigot on Wall Street and Main Street. People do not grasp this simple fact – that the modern world is defined by monetary stimulation: Wars, global governance and financial engineering are all the result of central bank over-printing.
The booms and busts caused by central banking fiat money are criminal, as is the monetary inflation that is an inevitable part of the process. Those (an increasing number) who call for this monopoly money printing to take place under the aegis of the government itself are not doing anyone any favors.
The accursed system would still exist. It would still bankrupt hundreds of millions and continually deprive further billions of the basic necessities such as food and water. Unfortunately, even now, it continues. And this new global financial tribunal is one more aspect of it. Here's more from the article:
The tribunal will provide a three-member panel to decide disputes, with parties deciding their panel from a list of 80 specialists in either litigation or finance from around the world. "National courts and ad hoc arbitration have been unable to produce a settled and authoritative body of law," said Jeffrey Golden, a professor at the London School of Economics and the chairman of the management board overseeing the tribunal who made the case for the court in the Financial Times in 2009. "Decisions are unpredictable, too decentralised, often taken too slowly and not always enforceable in other jurisdictions."
The financial crisis, exacerbated by the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008, hastened calls for a specialist tribunal to decide thorny matters of finance. While judges sitting in courts in London and Manhattan have traditionally presided over financial disputes – because contracts tend to be written under New York or English law – some rulings have either been difficult to enforce in other jurisdictions or one court has ruled in opposition to another.
A recent example was the Belmont decision arising from Lehman's bankruptcy. A London court ruled in July that noteholders of a particular CDO at the time of Lehman's collapse were entitled to have priority on collateral being held by a third-party trustee because of a so-called flip clause. A US court, meanwhile, had decided that flip clauses were unenforceable.
While judges in national courts will often have to decide complicated disputes in areas in which they are not expert, Mr Golden said the risks were especially great for finance. "There is more than $600tn notional outstanding, subject to the terms of one standard-form contract," Mr Golden said, referring to the value of over-the-counter derivatives contracts yet to be settled. Those contracts tend to be governed by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) master agreement, which Mr Golden helped draft.
So, dear reader, now perhaps we see the reason – the REAL reason – for the collapse of Lehman Brothers. It was to justify further power elite meddling in the financial economy. Point to Lehman Brothers' collapse and you have a justification for yet further nonsensical judicial impetus.
We don't think for a moment this facility will remain "civil." Sooner or later the civil actions this facility decides will come under pressure for criminalization. It is a private facility for now, and a voluntary one. But how long will that last? We have no doubt that sooner or later people will be compelled to use it, or something like it.
Global governance, criminal and civil, is being erected at a record pace. The International Criminal Court, apparently funded by George Soros, continues to jostle aggressively for prestige and credibility on the international scene.
In this way a whole new body of criminal and civil law can be developed. It's not enough to put US citizens, for instance, in jail for 20 years for shoplifting tiny items. Eventually, perhaps, people will be jailed worldwide for incomprehensible financial crimes – and worse. At least that seems to be the plan.
Money Power will not rest until only its representatives can pursue financial transactions without the threat of punishment. It is not enough to control the manufacture of money. The use of it must be policed worldwide as well.
There is no end to it ... at least not for now. It is true, of course, that young people have continually engaged with the system in this Internet era. There are, for instance, spreading protests led by those involved with Occupy Wall Street. But this has been shown time and again to be a kind of false-flag operation, purposefully funded by the powers-that-be.
Those involved with Occupy Wall Street have been protesting Wall Street and are now apparently going to target the US Congress as well. But the goals of OWS are incoherent, from our view. Those involved, certainly those at the top, want to USE the current, corrupt system to punish those who have benefited the most from it.
Yes ... They want to use the totalitarian, monopoly-judicial mechanism to rectify the wrongs of monopoly-authoritarianism. As with the French Revolution, the terrible system itself is apparently to be brought to bear on wrongdoers, further justifying its horror. What sense does that make?
The system is flawed at a FUNDAMENTAL level; likely it cannot be changed. The best that can be hoped for (a good chance in our view) is that it will simply fall apart. In any event, until monopoly fiat is extirpated and competitive currencies allowed to float freely there will be no realistic change. And Money Power, implacably, will float endless false-flag protest movements to ensure that its central banking empire is not attacked head on.
Bigness is the order of the day. Money Power thrives on bigness. Corporate bigness. Military bigness. Judicial bigness. The power elite exercises its power via mercantilism, using the levers of government to achieve its goals behind the scenes.
Once upon a time, justice was truly private. If people wanted to resolve a problem they went out and hired a third party for that purpose. Or the two parties resolved it directly via peaceful or non-peaceful means. You can see our articles on the subject simply by 'Net searching on the terms "private justice" and "Daily Bell."
The judicial facility mentioned in this article excerpted above is a pretend solution to a cold-bloodedly created problem. Get rid of central banking and the problem of financial complexity goes away. The huge torrent of funding that supports military activity and sociopolitical charades around the world will subside. Even the judicial system itself, if starved of monopoly fiat, will begin to collapse.
People will take justice into their own hands once again. The idea of governments – and eventually one central government – pursuing people around the world to bring them to account for a continually more farcical list of fabricated crimes – will gradually disappear. It will prove too expensive and, ultimately, ludicrous.
It all begins and ends with monopoly money. The elites print it and drown the world in it. Then, when the distortions appear, they propose increasingly authoritarian, top down solutions to deal with the economic distortions they have created. In this way, they consolidate world power.
In our view, the Internet Reformation – as we often point out – is providing a powerful countervailing trend to Anglosphere power elite machinations. It is thus a race against time, as the elites continue to propose their authoritarian solutions on a groaning, distracted world.
Conclusion: Out of chaos ... order. At least that's what they hope. We don't.
Posted by memehunter on 01/20/12 03:07 PM
Well, there's at least two of us...
Posted by Dilence Sogwood on 01/20/12 03:02 PM
You are arguing the hypothetical with respect to the pro forma world without prior monetary expansion. Please, just let this asset/liability issue sink in over the weekend. Then maybe you will stop trying to make technocratic arguments about what assets should be allowed to exist.
Hedge funds are pretty simply just a partnership. LLC structure with a general partner and limited partners. Throw on top a small and annoying amount of SEC regulation, and there you have it.
The only reason there is a niche is because the government encourages the profileration of "relative performance" mutual funds via IRAs, 401ks and other manipulation of the tax code.
Should that regulatory regime fall away, I would still be doing the same thing. Researching assets and investing in good ones.
Posted by Summer on 01/20/12 01:57 PM
As far as I am concerned, point 2 - moral codes should be entirely voluntary and perceived and valued as principles that help promote a peaceful and decent society - the real point of religion, not doctrinal differences that detract from the true objective of religion, as demonstrated by prophets.
But since religion is out of vogue, let's settle for a consensus against interest by those who understand it and have the honesty to admit it is *the* issue. :)
Who's with me!?
Posted by Dilence Sogwood on 01/20/12 01:39 PM
More nitpicking on the homogeneization issue. Even the Abacus deal had very low Fannie, Freddie concentration. Maybe 5%. Most of these loans were orginated by private banks. The prospectus actually listed every asset in the CDO. Now the assets (loans to borrowers) are no longer homogenous, they are discrete and can be analyzed. Wow, that process took all of 3 minutes.
Unless you want to carry a factory around on your back you are going to own a security. Securitization is a TOTALLY legitimate solution to market place activities.
On the issue of the free-market coming up with these products, they DID. Real people came up with this stuff. You can go meet them if you want. They are not alien lizard people.
My hyperbolic argument against the trillions in homeowners insurance still stands if your argument against the asset side still stands.
The problem is created on the liability side, and as you know, that results in malinvestment.
Reply from The Daily Bell
It is very simple. Let's speak of SUPPLY AND DEMAND.
Supply - money
Demand - products
Cut the amount of money sloshing around and there will be LESS NEED FOR WALL STREET. And for investing.
Rothbard speculated that in a gold economy, money would gradually APPRECIATE.
In any event, we would simply argue that much of Wall Street does WOULD NOT BE NEEDED in an honest money or free-banking economy.
You run or work for a hedge fund. Hedge funds are an entirely artificial invention - a regulatory hiccup. In a REAL economy you might be number-crunching for the merchant marine or something ... or speculating on grain. Who knows?
But the point is that much of what Wall Street does, invents, bundles, is basically illegitimate and supported only by these tremendous monetary flows. Absent this raging deluge of money production, Wall Street would not exist as it does now, and neither would its products!
Posted by Dilence Sogwood on 01/20/12 12:32 PM
Sorry to nitpick here, but you did write
"The problem is that they exist at all." I think your antecedent was "securitized instruments" which you describe as "artificial." These is nothing artificial about these instruments. A few of them were constructed out of crappy assets, sure. But there was nothing artifical about them. I challenge you to read a prospect or indenture of even a failed CDO like Abacuss and find anything artifical. Assets that do not produce expected cash flows are not "artificial" unless they are frauds, which was not the case.
And yes, I do feel that pro forma for money supply increase, there should and would be very large notional balances of derivatives. This is the information age and we don't need to put dusty deeds in a vault. People want access to parts of assets. People want to arrange their own priority of payment and collateral. On the liability side, a borrower is able to access the "market" rather than just have his balls crushed by Pierpont.
Reply from The Daily Bell
"The problem is that they exist at all."
Yes, within the context we are discussing it IS a problem. They SHOULD NOT exist as part of the larger phenomenon of MONETARY EXPANSION. They are a direct product in our view of central banking ephemera.
Who knows what they would look like absent central bank monetary stimulation? Who knows if there would have been enough of them to be bundled initially.
You may forget (but we do not) that they had to be HOMOGENIZED before they could be BUNDLED. And you needed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for that process.
So initial derivatives were government products from what we can tell.
Let the MARKET come up with these products.
Perhaps we ought to have tempered the statement you point to (a bit) but within the context of our larger argument we stand by it.
We are not ill-disposed toward ANY evolution of the market place. Heck, we think all these securities ought to be traded together with people being able to use them as they see fit - including derivatives.
What bothers us is that the current Wall Street is ANYTHING but a free market and much, if not most, of its activities are the result of central bank money printing and not legitimate solutions to marketplace issues.
Posted by Dilence Sogwood on 01/20/12 11:50 AM
DB - the world has had forward contracts since the salt trade. Insurance for seagoing merchant vessels existed at the dawn of written history.
These are derivatives.
You continue to confuse the asset and liability side of the puzzle. For criminey's sake read Rothbard's Case Against the Fed again. Which side of the balance sheet does he focus on? The liability side.
In the Austrian veracular growth of the liability side leads to malinvestment. We all know A=L+E. Malinvestment is the A and it becomes the negative E eventually.
Look around, inflating the money supply lead not only to CDOs that are worthless, but it also lead to houses that are going to need to be bulldozed. You are absolutely correct, inflating the money supply leads to more assets.
There is trillions of dollars of homeowners insurance on mortgaged houses with Fannie/Freddie backing that wouldn't exist if the money supply didn't expand - why not argue against homeowners insurance? Because that is not the problem!
The "existence" of these assets - or any assets for that matter - is not the "problem." How can a free-market advocate say that any asset should not exist?
This discussion might seem like a finer point to you, but it all a part of the meme that free markets are bad, central control is good. Please do not contradict yourself.
Reply from The Daily Bell
We don't. And we NEVER WROTE that derivatives should not exist. Merely that the market as it exists TODAY is abnormally inflated by central banking funny money. You believe a thousand trillion in derivatives is a normal phenomenon? We DO NOT. Financial futures have been around for thousands of years, and we are well aware of that. But there is a difference between a utile instrument and a bubble!
Posted by Dilence Sogwood on 01/20/12 10:50 AM
Your larger theme here is fine, but your inspecific attack on CDOs and credit derivatives is completely wrong.
"The problem is NOT that there is no prestigious and final word from a judicial authority on these insane instruments. The problem is that they exist at all."
Securitization and credit derivatives are very important mechanisms of efficiency and ownership in the free market. I argue that the sovereign credit derivative market is the only thing preventing Angela from dictating the PIIGS bond holders take a haircut without a default/ issue endless new paper at 6% to finance deadly deficits / accept Eurozone bonds in lieu.
The correct issue is that banks are OVERLEVERERD, they BORROW PRINTED MONEY, and their LOSSES ARE SOCIALIZED. That's it. That is the issue. The "Dreamtime" comes from the LIABILITY side of the balance sheet.
ASSET side of the balance sheet is all anyone wants to talk about. Junk Bonds, CDS, CDOs, ABS - the media has made them all sound awful. They are the tools of free market enterprise. They are claims and they are assets. They just have goofy names. CDS is a bond put option. Where are the people saying we should do away with equity puts? Nowhere, because it is a stupid idea.
The ASSET side represents things like heavy machinery, houses, productive capacity. All REAL things.
DB- Please start to "get it right" - as you are victim to an anti-free market meme yourself.
... now if you want to throw in re-hypotication of collateral, well that is an issue, but again it is a LIABILITY.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Look here, Mr. Dilence Sogwood, it seems to us that it is INCONTROVERTIBLE.
Without central banking funny money, the amount of securitized activity in the US (and the world) would be GREATLY LESSENED.
That's ALL we're arguing. We're not discussing people's rights to issue derivatives. Go right ahead. But do it in an HONEST MONEY ENVIRONMENT.
The world got along fine without derivatives for tens of thousands of years. Now, in this century, of central banking supermoney there's suddenly a thousand-trillion's worth.
That doesn't make sense to us. This is not financial innovation! It's the result of monetary inflation. And without central banking and monetary inflation, we don't think the derivatives markets would exist. Or not at least as they do now ....
Posted by Abu Aardvark on 01/20/12 07:34 AM
"A historical economic template that has been proven to work should be followed: Worgl (with demurrage) and the Islamic Empire (with zakat) being two examples of how an interest-free system has operated."
John Maynard Keynes (of all people) about Silvio Gesell (1862-1930), who inspired the "Wörgl Experiment":
"The idea behind stamped money is sound. It is, indeed, possible that means might be found to apply it in practice on a modest scale. But there are many difficulties which Gesell did not face. In particular, he was unaware that money was not unique in having a liquidity-premium attached to it, but differed only in degree from many other articles, deriving its importance from having a greater liquidity-premium than any other article. Thus if currency notes were to be deprived of their liquidity-premium by the stamping system, a long series of substitutes would step into their shoes-bank-money, debts at call, foreign money, jewellery and the precious metals generally, and so forth. As I have mentioned above, there have been times when it was probably the craving for the ownership of land, independently of its yield, which served to keep up the rate of interest;-though under Gesell's system this possibility would have been eliminated by land nationalisation."
Click to view link
Posted by memehunter on 01/20/12 12:05 AM
Summer, excellent points and thank you for moving the debate towards finding solutions.
Personally, I have been focusing on points 1 and 3 here on the DB. As for point 2, some feedbackers may see a binding moral code as being somewhat coercive. On the other hand, and as you pointed out, once there is a solid consensus against interest, people will be aware of the issues and will be in a position to implement interest-free currencies on a large scale (and without need for coercion).
Such systems, if successful, will set an example that will probably influence other communities to adopt similar solutions, as can be seen with Wörgl, which several Austrian cities wished to emulate before the National Bank of Austria stopped the experiment.
Posted by Summer on 01/19/12 08:29 PM
Posted by Summer on 01/19/12 08:26 PM
He's wasn't gonna tell you *how* he does it was he?!
Posted by Abu Aardvark on 01/19/12 07:59 PM
"I care not what puppet is placed upon the throne of England to rule the Empire on which the sun never sets. The man who controls Britain's money supply controls the British Empire, and I control the British money supply."
Nathan Meyer Rothschild (1777-1836)
Posted by Abu Aardvark on 01/19/12 07:50 PM
MH: "Ha, that's funny, because you're the one who is always following me everywhere on the DB and always feeling mysteriously compelled to reply to my feedbacks. If you wish to stop replying to my feedbacks, I'm all for it. I'd rather debate with other feedbackers on the DB."
Yeah, funny indeed.
MH: "I must also note that you have not answered my questions."
I have ... more than once, others exhaustively. DB staffers in particular. Round and round.
MH: "Your poor attempt at distorting my last question (under the guise of offering a summary) does not constitute a valid reply."
Hint: I quoted you.
MH: "What I am saying is that in the current situation where a tiny elite already has control of the wealth, moving to a free-market environment without simultaneously removing Money Power's means of control (compound interest being the primary one) is bound to bring us back to "elite-rule"
I disagree. Premise and implications. We've been here before ...
Posted by Summer on 01/19/12 06:36 PM
I agree with you to an extent but you're going two steps back. Power seeking - first step (not possible to address through economic means), then interest - the propelling factor and *the* reason for the existence of debt crises, central banking and Money Power. Enabling it to buy off governments and leech off of the masses.
Man seeks power - Power is gained through corruption - corruption is enhanced and facilitated through immorality - when a large enough factor of people are immoral they have don't have strong principles to reject domination and exploitation (to a great enough extent). Society is left with 'rational' choices - the ends justify the means - rather than beneficial or equitable choices. Then, as a whole corruption is more acceptable, thus more widespread.
So what have been or could be solutions to the problem of interest?
1. Education (a positive step but it may be difficult for many to understand): But if a large enough mass of people were aware of the way how interest siphons off their wealth to Money Power they would of course demand alternatives.
2. Moral codes: In the past, even an unlettered person, be they a Christian, Muslim or Jew was protected from interest enslavement on *principle* - it was simply forbidden.
3. A historical economic template that has been proven to work should be followed: Worgl (with demurrage) and the Islamic Empire (with zakat) being two examples of how an interest-free system has operated.
My challenge still has not been refuted - interest has been factually proven to be *the* main tool, and very reason for the existence of 'Money Power'; and importantly only requires a few evil men to implement its manipulation of wealth.
I would add here that the form of rule/authority is something that has been fluid throughout history and should be for people to decide whether they want tribal, regional or national rule. (Of course, at the moment national governmence is Money Power's poodle and so too would regional governance - it's just an issue of scale and scalability.) Both will have similar problems of wealth transfer via interest.
A solid consensus against interest will enable a large enough number of people to debate and implement a preferred solution without interest and preferably with zakat/demurrage addressing the important issue of circulation of wealth.
Posted by tjdetmers on 01/19/12 06:08 PM
Click to view link!/mail/InboxLight.aspx?n=555871653!n=209232712&fid=1&fav=1&mid=3a1831df-3f9e-11e1-b34f-00237de41794&fv=1
Some one sent me this graphic. It shows how we do not have a clue about these sums of money... .in a way we can understand. Hope this come through this time.
Posted by tjdetmers on 01/19/12 06:02 PM
Click to view link!/mail/InboxLight.aspx?n=1333734279!n=936537270&fid=1&fav=1&mid=3a1831df-3f9e-11e1-b34f-00237de41794&fv=1
Someone sent me this graphic the other day. It really helps me to understand how most of of us are miles away from understanding these numbers. Hope the graphics come up for you.
Posted by dave jr on 01/19/12 03:48 PM
I don't think any currency will be able to last without either government fiat (which we agree to oppose) or an intrinsic value. Even in the Worgl experiment, the scrip was 'redeemable' in State currency. If free to choose, potential users will require minimal risk to get them to participate.
But hey, thats not my problem. I would be ecstatic just being able to freely choose.
Posted by memehunter on 01/19/12 02:39 PM
should read "money supply" - I guess I'm typing too fast...
Posted by memehunter on 01/19/12 02:38 PM
I agree with points 1, 2, and 3.
As for backing the currency, I don't think it is so crucial compared to other issues - in my view, the nature of the currency (i.e., gold, paper, gold-backed, and so on), does not matter as much as other aspects, because I think that Money Power could still control the Money Supply under a gold-backed currency (although I agree that it might "slow them down" a little).
But if that's our biggest disagreement (and it's not even a complete disagreement, it's more that I don't see it as a big issue), I'd say it's a pretty good start.
Posted by dave jr on 01/19/12 02:23 PM
What you propose will require:
1. repeal of all legal tender law.
2. removal of budensome regulation of economic activity.
3. a government limited to an approved budget.
4. a method for backing the currency.
Lets do that and we can be allies against the centralization of power.