STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
DB Briefs: Central Banks Under Attack / Yemen Looks to Shed Saleh / Obama Lawlessness Continues?
By Staff News & Analysis - September 20, 2011

Progress: Central Banks Under Attack … Why central banking needs a total rethink … Most of the financial reform debate has understandably focused on the future of banking, with the case for root-and-branch change apparently proven beyond doubt by the advent of a second credit crunch in Europe and the latest, shocking instance of rogue trading at UBS. Less well aired is the case for reform of an even higher form of financial aristocracy – central bankers. Arguably, their policies were as culpable in causing the crisis as the greed of financiers, yet remarkably they have managed largely to escape public opprobrium, or even much in the way of public scrutiny. – UK Telegraph/Jeremy Warner

Yemen Looks to Shed Saleh … Yemen protesters storm elite military base; 50 die … Thousands of protesters backed by military defectors seized a base of the elite Republican Guards on Monday, weakening the control of Yemen's embattled president over this poor, fractured Arab nation. His forces fired on unarmed demonstrators elsewhere in the capital, killing scores, wounding hundreds and sparking international condemnation. The protesters, joined by soldiers from the renegade 1st Armored Division, stormed the base without firing a single shot, according to witnesses and security officials. – AP

Obama Lawlessness Continues? … Obama tears up the Constitution …The scope of his lawless disregard expands by the day … The Constitution of the United States, whose adoption we celebrate every Sept. 17, clearly lists the powers of each branch of the national government . Let's what Barack Obama, like any president, is empowered to do and see if it squares with his actions. – Washington Times/Robert Knight opinion

Progress: Central Banks Under Attack

Why central banking needs a total rethink … Most of the financial reform debate has understandably focused on the future of banking, with the case for root-and-branch change apparently proven beyond doubt by the advent of a second credit crunch in Europe and the latest, shocking instance of rogue trading at UBS. Less well aired is the case for reform of an even higher form of financial aristocracy – central bankers. Arguably, their policies were as culpable in causing the crisis as the greed of financiers, yet remarkably they have managed largely to escape public opprobrium, or even much in the way of public scrutiny. – UK Telegraph/Jeremy Warner

Dominant Social Theme: Look, central bankers do the best job they can. Fixing the price of money is hard work. Just cut them a break!

Free-Market Analysis: Central banks are under attack as never before and thus we have been waiting for the inevitable limited hangout to occur. It would seem to be taking place in a predictable spot – the UK Telegraph, a publication that is mildly anti-central bank and has the requisite reader sophistication to tackle such issues.

Jeremy Warner, assistant editor of The Daily Telegraph, is an appropriate fellow to launch the media campaign. This is not to say that Warner is participating in anything underhanded or even premedited. But nonetheless, we see signs that a campaign is getting underway.

For one thing, a report has been written. This is how the great banking families handle attacks on their central memes. They create reports that are mildly critical of some aspects of the current regime while absolving its larger direction. Central banks, in other words, have not performed adequately, but this is only because the right inputs have not been created. Garbage in, garbage out …

Warner is understanding of the problem in this article, while being mildly reproving nonetheless. "Unbelievably," he writes, "there has been no published internal inquiry into the Bank of England's handling of the crisis, or indeed, any remorse expressed over the policies that led up to the credit crunch." Having pointed out this uncomfortable fact, he then begins to explain how central banks might function BETTER.

Warner quotes a "new report" from a shadowy group of "international economists, financiers and policy-makers calling itself the 'committee on international economic policy and reform'." The report, Warner writes, indicates that central banks' crucial mistake in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis was rigid adherence to the principles of "flexible inflation targeting." As a result, interest rates were set too low for too long a time.

All of this, unfortunately, is besides the point. Central banking is price-fixing, plain and simple. Price fixing doesn't work because it CAN'T work. It is impossible for human beings to set the prices for … ping-pong paddles, let alone the price of money. The one encouraging fact about such limited hangouts is that the powers-that-be feel the need to provide them at all.


Yemen Looks to Shed Saleh

Yemen protesters storm elite military base; 50 die … Thousands of protesters backed by military defectors seized a base of the elite Republican Guards on Monday, weakening the control of Yemen's embattled president over this poor, fractured Arab nation. His forces fired on unarmed demonstrators elsewhere in the capital, killing scores, wounding hundreds and sparking international condemnation. The protesters, joined by soldiers from the renegade 1st Armored Division, stormed the base without firing a single shot, according to witnesses and security officials. – AP

Dominant Social Theme: The process of politics in Yemen is a peaceful internal affair. The American government has nothing to do with it.

Free-Market Analysis: Sooner or later the current Yemeni regime will fall but that will not be the end of it. As we have written many times before, when a country like Yemen is not reported on in the West that is only because of its importance. Yemen is a country of some 24 million people and these people have been stripped of rights and hope by Western political and military calculations during the past half-century. Today, more and more of them are aware of it. Change is coming. Big change.

Yemen was a victim of Cold War tensions and then, after the Cold War, of the need for the Anglosphere power elite to control the Middle East on behalf of the dollar reserve system. Enter President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a dictator who ruled Yemen harshly for some 30 years with American backing and funding.

Now Saleh, having been blown up, is in Saudi Arabia and both the Americans and Saudis are frantic about the unfolding situation in Yemen. More and more it seems to be a democratic process that will be immune to outside influences. Without Saleh there is no "strong man" to hold the country together and with 30 fractious tribes to satisfy, the Yemeni political process is likely to undergo fragmentation rather than unification.

Nothing wrong with a fragmented Yemen except that such a country will be impossible for the Anglosphere elites along with Saudi Arabia to control in the manner that they have before. And once Yemen is destabilized it will likely become a hotbed for Islamic fundamentalism. This will in turn destabilize Saudi Arabia, which is right next door. And this will surely have an impact on the dollar reserve system, which is dependent on Saudi power.

The Americans and Saudis currently are pretending that Yemen must arrive at its own political destiny. But in fact, behind the scenes both countries are working desperately to create a continuance of central government. That may be impossible to do, however.

The alternative is a Saudi invasion of Yemen. From what we understand, if the Saudis try to invade Yemen, they will basically end up fighting millions of tribal warriors adequately armed in a landscape that resembles Afghanistan's. Yemen has never been fully invaded or occupied. It is likely a military solution is not the answer to the West's geopolitical problems in this difficult country.


Obama Lawlessness Continues?

Obama tears up the Constitution …The scope of his lawless disregard expands by the day … The Constitution of the United States, whose adoption we celebrate every Sept. 17, clearly lists the powers of each branch of the national government . Let's take a look at what Barack Obama, like any president, is empowered to do and see if it squares with his actions. – Washington Times/Robert Knight opinion

Dominant Social Theme: America is threatened now in a way it never has been before. President Barack Obama has ushered in a new era of lawlessness.

Free-Market Analysis: Another day, another article about President Barack Obama's existential threat to the US Constitution. Excuse us for being slightly cynical. The US Constitution – itself a somewhat vague and imperfect document – began to be under threat before the Civil War and was destroyed after the North won its victory.

Since the end of the US Civil War, the unraveling of American freedoms has continued apace. Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, William Clinton and George W. Bush are just some of the presidents who come to mind who have launched egregious and mostly successful attacks on American freedoms.

Robert Knight seems to see Obama as responsible for much of the erosion of US liberties. He claims that Obama "has compiled a spectacular record of noncompliance with the Constitution." And he cites such areas as the The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to justify this perspective. "On Feb. 23, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr announced that under Mr. Obama's direction, the Justice Department would no longer defend DOMA, which is under attack in several federal courts," he writes. "Obama … is violating his oath of office to appease the gay lobby."

Then there's the 15th Amendment, according to Knight. Under Obama, Knight claims, the Justice Department has effectively become "a race-based enforcement unit." He points to a much reported story having to do with the New Black Panther Party, whose members were caught on tape intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling place in 2008, which the Justice Department declined to prosecute.

Then there's immigration. Last month, he writes, "the administration announced a new policy that, in effect, ends enforcement of illegal immigration, providing the illegal alien meets the requirements of the Dream Act, a bill Congress failed to pass. So, Mr. Obama is ignoring current federal law while creating rules based on a law that never passed."

All of this does indeed provide us with a pattern of arrogant lawlessness. But somehow it still pales in the face of the rabid illegality of the Bush administration that started two major wars for no conceivable reason while doing more to strip Americans of their civil liberties than any president since FDR. In fact, we would take the conservative press a little more seriously had there been substantial pushback to Bush's civil and military depredations when he was taking them. There was not.

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