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This article appears in the June 6, 2006 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Brits Fear Elder Statemen's
Challenge to Free Market

by Nancy Spannaus

[PDF version of this article]

Twice within the five days after a group of leading European senior statesmen came out with a call for a new "European Crisis Committee" to take the financial markets in hand, the London Daily Telegraph has featured attacks on the statement. In the words of the Telegraph's Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, the paper's international business editor, the effort by the 14 statesmen is "a grave threat to the City of London."

As Helga Zepp-LaRouche responded, on May 25, "Mr. Evans-Pritchard deserves our thanks for his frankness! He couldn't have been more direct: Any impediment to vulture capitalism in defense of the citizenry, represents a threat to London, which wants to remain the undisputed headquarters of the British Empire, and certainly not a 'regional branch.' "

This reality is further underscored by the fact that the document, which leads off with the assertion that "financial markets can not govern us!", has been virtually suppressed in the international press. Perhaps the London-dominated media consider the statesmen's call for a "World Financial Conference in order to rethink the rules of international finance and the governance of global economic issues," too close to the LaRouche-authored demand for an international heads of state conference to set up a New Bretton Woods system. We print the full text, and the list of signers, below.

The call, signed by leading figures like former French Prime Minister Michel Rocard, former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, and former EU Commision President Jacques Delors, targets the whole post-Bretton Woods system of unbridled free trade and globalization. By taking on these underpinnings of "modern capitalism," the group of 14, largely socialist former heads of state, finance ministers, and European Commission presidents, at least implicitly challenges the foundations of the Lisbon Treaty as well, as that treaty would enforce monetarist market austerity, as well as an anti-Eurasia war stance, on all of Europe.

Yet, Evans-Pritchard claims that these elder statesmen are part of a plot to push through the Lisbon Treaty, which he and his paper allegedly oppose. "What Pritchard's double-talk attempts to conceal," LaRouche explained, "is the fact that, all along, the British have never intended to be part of the Lisbon Treaty. They want to impose it on continental Europe, as a fascist straitjacket, but they have no intention of wearing the same shackles, themselves. This is typical of how the British oligarchy operates," LaRouche said. "They intend to turn continental Europe into an empire of beggars, while they run the show from outside the Lisbon Treaty dictatorial framework." LaRouche called the Lisbon Treaty "economic Kool Aid," explaining, "The British are preparing the poison Kool Aid for the Europeans, but they have no intention of drinking it themselves."

Put the Monster Back in the Closet

Further insight into the thinking behind the call was provided by a May 25 late night interview on Danish media by former Danish Prime Minister and Euro Parliament Socialist Group Leader, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen. Rasmussen is the avowed author of the Elder Statesmen's letter on the financial crisis.

Asked about why he was going against free-market policies, Nyrup Rasmussen said that current falling economic growth and increasing unemployment show that the markets cannot regulate themselves. He referred to a statement by German President Horst Koehler calling the markets "a monster which has to be put back into the closet." He therefore proposed that hedge funds, capital funds, and investment banks be brought under the same type of control as the regular banking system, and that reserve requirements be tightened, rather than loosened.

Isn't this an attack on free trade, he was asked. Yes, when it's too free, as Koehler said. It's become so free that greed has taken over. Especially the way high debt creation has been used in speculation.

Sovereign Governments, Unite

The Elder Statesmen's call clearly falls short of the full program of bankruptcy reorganization and establishment of a new international monetary system that has been put forward by Lyndon and Helga LaRouche. Yet it reflects an awareness of the bankruptcy of the financial system, its horrendous social consequences, and the disconnect between the financial markets and the physical economy which is essential for the necessary moves to be taken. The mere fact that they discuss the financial world accumulating "fictitious capital, with very little improvement for humanity and the environment," when the term "fictitious capital" has been seldom used by any economists beyond the German early 20th-Century economist Rosa Luxembourg and the LaRouches, sends a strong message to the Anglo-Dutch financial oligarchy.

It is clear that these statesmen recognize the systemic nature of the crisis. The next step is for them to embrace the solution-concept put forward by LaRouche: a new international agreement based on the establishment by sovereign governments of fixed currency parities; two-tier credit systems with low-interest rates for priority infrastructure projects and needed physical production; and forging new cooperative relationships to get out of the current depression. What President Franklin Roosevelt proposed as the foundation for the post-World War II world, must be implemented in order to prevent World War III.

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