STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
DB Briefs: Once More, to China / The Lure of a Wealth Tax / Libyan Rebels in the Crosshairs
By Staff News & Analysis - September 13, 2011

Once More, to China … Italy’s centre-right government is turning to cash-rich China in the hope that Beijing will help rescue it from financial crisis by making “significant” purchases of Italian bonds and investments in strategic companies. According to Italian officials, Lou Jiwei, chairman of China Investment Corp, one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, led a delegation to Rome last week for talks with Giulio Tremonti, finance minister, and Italy’s Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, a state-controlled entity that has established an Italian Strategic Fund open to foreign investors. Italian officials were in Beijing two weeks ago to meet CIC and China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (Safe), which manages the bulk of China’s $3,200bn foreign exchange reserves. Vittorio Grilli, head of treasury, met Chinese investors in Beijing in August. Italian officials said further negotiations were expected to take place soon. – Financial Times

The Lure of a Wealth Tax … Taxing the wealthy to stimulate the economy? … When he outlined his jobs program on Sept. 7, President Obama lamented that “a few of the most affluent citizens and corporations enjoy tax breaks and loopholes that nobody else gets.” Now, Obama is proposing to take away from millions of high earners some of the tax breaks that everybody gets. According to Jacob Lew, Obama’s top budget aide, the White House wants to pay for its $447-billion jobs plan in large part by limiting personal exemptions and itemized deductions for individuals making over $200,000 and couples making over $250,000. Those changes would bring in a projected $400 billion over the coming decade, Lew said. – LA Times

Libyan Rebels in the Crosshairs … Report: Libya rebels may be guilty of war crimes, Amnesty International said in a report released on Tuesday. The 100-plus page report, based on three months of investigation in Libya, draws no equivalency between the crimes of Qaddafi loyalists and those of the former rebels, who now hold power in Tripoli: The Qaddafi forces’ crimes were greater, the list of them is longer, and they may have amounted to crimes against humanity, the report said. But it said the crimes of the rebels were not insignificant. “Members and supporters of the opposition, loosely structured under the leadership of the National Transitional Council (NTC) … have also committed human rights abuses, in some cases amounting to war crimes, albeit on a smaller scale,” the Amnesty report said. – CBS News

Once More, to China …

Italy turns to China for help in debt crisis … Italy’s centre-right government is turning to cash-rich China in the hope that Beijing will help rescue it from financial crisis by making “significant” purchases of Italian bonds and investments in strategic companies. According to Italian officials, Lou Jiwei, chairman of China Investment Corp, one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, led a delegation to Rome last week for talks with Giulio Tremonti, finance minister, and Italy’s Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, a state-controlled entity that has established an Italian Strategic Fund open to foreign investors. Italian officials were in Beijing two weeks ago to meet CIC and China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (Safe), which manages the bulk of China’s $3,200bn foreign exchange reserves. Vittorio Grilli, head of treasury, met Chinese investors in Beijing in August. Italian officials said further negotiations were expected to take place soon. – Financial Times

Dominant Social Theme: Thank goodness for China’s economic vitality.

Free-Market Analysis: This is an excellent meme playing out: That China is rising as the US and the West are failing. The idea being proposed is that the West itself is tapped out, culturally and monetarily. From the standpoint of the elites, this is perhaps a net positive as a large part of power elite manipulations are aimed at the West’s long suffering middle classes. The idea has been to build world government by collapsing Western culture even as Western military might is used to subdue East and West.

The elites have busily worked to ruin Western economies through regulation, high taxes and, of course, central banking, which is the most corrosive force. It doesn’t hurt to provide a moral dimension as well. Those in the West are made to feel that China is taking over as the most dominant and powerful culture. This is, of course, untrue; China’s current spate of prosperity is built on the same kind of central banking stimulation that has proven so destructive in the West. For now, the story line is presumably helpful, but that’s all it is … a story.


The Lure of a Wealth Tax

Taxing the wealthy to stimulate the economy? … When he outlined his jobs program on Sept. 7, President Obama lamented that “a few of the most affluent citizens and corporations enjoy tax breaks and loopholes that nobody else gets.” Now, Obama is proposing to take away from millions of high earners some of the tax breaks that everybody gets. According to Jacob Lew, Obama’s top budget aide, the White House wants to pay for its $447-billion jobs plan in large part by limiting personal exemptions and itemized deductions for individuals making over $200,000 and couples making over $250,000. Those changes would bring in a projected $400 billion over the coming decade, Lew said. – LA Times

Dominant Social Theme: The wealthy simply have to be taxed. It’s unfair not to.

Free-Market Analysis: It is interesting to watch the Obama administration in action because after a while one begins to predict what memes may be set in play. The great banking families that are interested in building world government have been disassembling America’s free-market culture since the American Civil War. Central banking and a graduated income tax are two ways that have proven most effective.

A third way is to set economic classes against one another – creating a “wealthy” group that everyone else can resent and target. The Obama administration has certainly been adept at promoting such rhetoric, but one notes with some optimism that push-back to this sort of manipulation is growing in America and the West. Obama’s latest “jobs” speech has not been received with a great deal of enthusiasm, no matter that he chose once more to target the “wealthy.”

The administration has NOT been effective at blaming Wall Street in entirety for the economic crisis. People are just as angry with Washington DC as they are with Main Street. In Europe, the political establishment is blamed as well. During the last Great Depression, the populist manipulation was applied more easily; FDR was able to demonize almost anyone he chose; free markets were attacked relentlessly. But from our point of view in the modern era, the Internet Reformation has made such demonization a good deal more difficult. The old manipulations are not holding. Progress, of a sort …


Libyan Rebels in the Crosshairs

Report: Libya rebels may be guilty of war crimes, Amnesty International said in a report released on Tuesday. The 100-plus page report, based on three months of investigation in Libya, draws no equivalency between the crimes of Qaddafi loyalists and those of the former rebels, who now hold power in Tripoli: The Qaddafi forces’ crimes were greater, the list of them is longer, and they may have amounted to crimes against humanity, the report said. But it said the crimes of the rebels were not insignificant. “Members and supporters of the opposition, loosely structured under the leadership of the National Transitional Council (NTC) … have also committed human rights abuses, in some cases amounting to war crimes, albeit on a smaller scale,” the Amnesty report said. – CBS News

Dominant Social Theme: Once Gaddafi is removed, the rebels will need to go as well.

Free-Market Analysis: The war against Muammar Gaddafi has never been a “legal” one. Supposedly it was launched to protect Libya’s civilians against Gaddafi’s depredations, though after 40 years of Gaddafi’s rule, it seemed like an awfully arbitrary attack. For one reason or another the Anglosphere elites had decided to rid themselves of Gaddafi’s rule and thus, suddenly, an Arab awakening was detected in Libya.

We’ve often pointed out that the Arab Spring revolutions have taken place purely in secular states. In Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen and now in Syria, secular regimes (admittedly dictatorial) are being removed. The inevitable result will be a series of Islamic republics, which is apparently what the Anglosphere power elite wants. Many of these republics may be influenced heavily by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, which is in turn controlled or at least penetrated by the CIA.

In such a way, the great Western families shall continue to create an inimical (but surreptitiously controllable) Islam that can serve as both a dreaded enemy and an asset as necessary. In Libya the situation has been somewhat more complicated because the rebels themselves are not an entirely controllable group. We have wondered how the West intended to deal with an entity that was on record as stating that Western influence was not welcome in a post-Gaddafi Libya.

Now we can see the glimmerings of the West’s counterattack. According to various witnesses, NATO troops secretly on the ground in Libya have been committing acts of violence that are now being blamed on Libyan “rebels.” The trap beginning to close on the rebels and their commanders is one that leverages the ICC international court and the newly discovered horror of “war crimes.”

Usually such crimes take a while to be sorted through. But with astonishing efficiency, Amnesty International, as we can see, has already issued a white paper on these crimes and made special mention of the rebels’ part in committing them. This must be the first “war” where war crimes have been extensively documented even before the war is over!

Some 30,000 to 50,000 Libyans have apparently lost their lives in the West’s takedown of Gaddafi. The real war crime lies in the West’s overt aggression against Gaddafi, therefore, and in the West’s general manipulation of the situation leading to the violence and Gaddafi’s overthrow. What seems certain is that the rebels, who have done the fighting on the ground, shall soon find that the same powers that targeted Gaddafi are targeting them as well.

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