Western European News Digest
Schroeder Again Calls for Control of Hedge Funds
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, in an interview with the Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel July 6, on the eve of the G-8 meeting, continued to demand the regulation of hedge funds, and was backed by European Central Bank head Jean-Claude Trichet, and the Association of German Banks (BDB). Trichet, speaking in Paris, said that it was necessary for the United States and Europe to come to a consensus at the meeting to regulate hedge funds; though lacking any specifics, Trichet's statement did serve to underline that the hedge funds and their crisis potential was the underlying subject of the G-8 meeting.
BDB spokesman Harald Noack, speaking in Berlin, was more specific in support of Schroeder's summit objective. Noack said transparency was needed, so that building risks can be recognized early and countermeasures taken. He added (according to RP Online) that "regulation of international financial markets should not be ruled out. According to him, this regulation only made sense at the international level, and should include regulation of offshore financial centers as well."
In an article for Tagesspiegel last week, Schroeder wrote:
"The rise of oil prices is not only related to increased consumption. According to experts, only a small volume of trade at the international exchanges serves the supply of crude oil. The bigger volume is, meanwhile, driven by financial markets, [and] is therefore, purely speculative. That is why we need more transparency on the oil markets. We want more exact data on how the relation between supply and demand is influenced, intensified, and accelerated. I am convinced that with the planned creation of a world oil data bank, an effective contribution is made in this respect. Because where there is more transparency, there is less room for speculation."
Schroeder also reiterated his call for hedge-fund controls: "There are other important themes that imply a considerable burden for the world economy. All G-8 countries welcome foreign investors, including so-called financial investors, in our national economies. What is important, however, is that all players respect fair rules. Meanwhile, hedge funds control more than a trillion dollars. In Germany, the more short-term engagement has caused developments that pose a threat to companies. The stability of the financial markets must not be threatened by such funds. That is why I call for a worldwide, efficient supervision. The most important objective of such a supervision must be improved transparency of the hedge-fund markets. Therefore, I want to propose at the G-8 summit in Gleneagles that internationally unified minimum standards for hedge funds are defined."
Zepp-LaRouche Chancellor Candidacy Reported in Leipzig Daily
"Head of BueSo Runs in Leipzig," read the headline of an article in the July 5 Leipziger Volkszeitung, which reported that Helga Zepp-LaRouche and Thomas Rottmair of the BueSo Party are candidates in the two election districts (153 and 154) of the city.
"The national chairwoman of the BueSo, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, a 57-year-old journalist, runs as a candidate in district 152 (Leipzig Nord)," the article says, announcing that the candidates were scheduled to hold their first election meeting in Leipzig July 5. The article includes pictures of both candidates.
London Bombings: What Happened to Standard Emergency Measures?
It is reported in various press that the bombing attacks in London July 7 paralyzed the cell phone networks, where for a time no one was able to get through. Yet a spokesman for Orange, a cell phone provider for France Telecom, the major carrier in England, said they had not received any request from the British government to restrict access to their network, or to leave it open for emergency access only.
A spokesman for Vodaphone said: "What we can do, but have not done yet, is to limit access to the network in such a way that only emergency services can use it."
Franco-U.S. Anti-Terror Cooperation In Place Since 9/11
"French and American Spies Have Their Base in Paris," headlined an article in Le Figaro July 4, adding "It is less cold in the shadows than under the spotlights." Figaro comments on an article in the Washington Post July 3, and confirms the existence of a special anti-terror unit called Alliance Base, created and financed by the CIA in Paris. Headed by a general from the French foreign intelligence service DGSE, who is the former station chief in Washington, the unit arrested Christian Ganczarski, a top al-Qaeda operative, in 2003. Four other countries work with the Franco-American unit: Germany, Britain, Canada, and Australia. The French took the initiative, but "nobody follows the CIA 'cowboy' methods, with respect to arrests and extra-judicial transfers." Alliance Base isn't a formal structure. "Dedicated agents of six countries can meet daily in Paris, without having to catch a plane," commented a specialist. The deployment of French commandos, along with U.S. special forces in Afghanistan, catalyzed this cooperation, accelerated under orders of President Jacques Chirac.
German Daily Covers Neo-Con Attack on U.S. Constitution and FDR
In its culture-history section on July 4, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung took the resignation of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor as the reference point to present an overview of the concerted neo-con attacks on everything that has remained in place, of the heritage of FDR.
Also referencing recent stories on the subject in the New York Times and in the New Republic, the German daily notes that "a small but influential group of law professors, judges, and activists is at work to turn back the clock to the time before Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal." This cabal, also known under the name "Constitution in Exile" movement, not only wants to place its own neo-con candidates on the Supreme Court, but wants to undo all the Social Security legislation that Roosevelt initiated. This is being done under the false, ultra-libertarian slogan "bring back the Constitution," FAZ reports, by alleging that the Constitution bans all intervention by the state.
Leading proponents of this cabal are Richard Epstein (Chicago University), Michael Greve (American Enterprise Institute), Randolph Barnett (Boston University), Antonin Scalia (Supreme Court), and Janice Rogers Brown (Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit).
The FAZ article notes, however, that the pro-FDR ferment is strong, and that there is a kind of panic on the neo-con side, out of fear that because of this resistance, they will miss their once-in-a-lifetime chance to carry out their coup.