THE HERRHAUSEN METHOD:
A Serious Challenge to the
Genocidal Trans-Atlantic System
by Rainer Apel
July 30—On July 12, Helga Zepp-LaRouche issued an urgent appeal, “,” which called for a government recapitalization of that derivatives-laden bank, conditional on its immediately reversing its policies back to those of its murdered former Chairman Alfred Herrhausen. This campaign of Lyndon and Helga LaRouche is continuing and intensifying, and is finding a growing response internationally. What is at stake is either an uncontrolled world financial blowout leading to war,— or an orderly reorganization towards recovery.
The chief speaker (equivalent to Chairman) of Deutsche Bank’s board, Alfred Herrhausen, was killed in his car on his way to the bank by a remote-control bomb, on the morning of Nov. 30, 1989. The assassins have never been found or identified. The official version, instantly given to the press after the incident, is that he was killed by a team of the “third generation” of the infamous Baader-Meinhof gang (RAF, Rote Armee Fraktion), but that was never proven; it was also never proven that such a “third generation” even existed.
Foto: Ruhr Initiative Group
Crucial pieces of evidence have mysteriously disappeared during the past 26 years—including the wreckage of the car, whose availability would be important to determine in a renewed investigation, what kind of bomb was actually used in the assault, and whether that could provide leads into other circles that might have had an interest in killing Herrhausen.
It is widely known that particularly during the period between the big Wall Street Crash of October 1987, and the day of his assassination, Herrhausen had made himself many enemies in the trans-Atlantic world of banking and finance, with his unconventional proposals for solutions to the international debt crisis, and for economic-financial cooperation of the West with the Soviet Union—proposals that posed a serious challenge to the principles of financial policies in the western trans-Atlantic system—principles which have had increasingly genocidal effects.
Like John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert, Alfred Herrhausen was not murdered for anything that he had done (still less for anything he had said), but for what he threatened to do in the future. This threat was reflected in his public statements. In our July 22 issue, EIR quoted on page 20, from the , four days after his assassination, with its straight challenge to destructive trans-Atlantic banking methods. Two earlier statements which Herrhausen had given in June and September, already contained the core components of what he would have said in New York, had he not been assassinated.
Herrhausen’s Answers to the Crisis
In an essay headlined, “The Time Has Come —Debt Crisis at a Turning Point,” published by Germany’s leading business daily Handelsblatt on June 30, 1989, Herrhausen denounced the debt policies of particularly the U.S. banks. Not only were they useless, he wrote, but they were only worsening the debtor nations’ situation as well as that of the creditor banks themselves. Instead, the only measures that would work were general debt write-offs of up to 70%, cuts in interest of up to 50% for five years, a grace period of five years granted to all debtors, and an extension of the maturity of loans to 25 or 30 years.
This approach, he insisted, would “enable the said (debtor) nations to reassign considerable resources that so far had been used to serve the debt, to instead be used for such purposes as would serve the recovery of their domestic economies.” Herrrhausen added that what debtor nations really needed was not fresh money—that is, new debt—but “it would be better to say they need resources.” The net effect of this “resources reallocation could, during the first five years, be bigger than [all] the fresh money injections they have requested so far.”
Herrhausen did not reference it directly, but what he proposed was the approach generally taken in the London Debt Agreement of 1952, that created enormous relief for postwar Western Germany to get back on its feet, and not collapse under the weight of the piled-up old debt. That Agreement had been negotiated by Deutsche Bank’s longtime Chairman Hermann Josef Abs—the outstanding constructive banker who also played a role in promoting the career of a promising young banker with the name of Alfred Herrhausen.
On another occasion, an extensive press briefing on Sept. 25, 1989, at the World Bank’s autumn meeting in Washington, D.C., Herrhausen presented the same arguments, pointing out that he very much hoped that other banks would follow the example of Deutsche Bank as a “debt reduction bank,” as it had shown itself to be in several cases of developing-sector debtor nations. Herrhausen warned that the unresolved payments problems of the debtor nations, along with problems resulting from debt imbalances in the United States itself and in Europe, posed a systemic risk, whose dimensions had been understated for too long. It was high time to act, and to do so in a constructive way, Herrhausen insisted. At the same time, unrest in the Soviet Union despite its reforms, along with nationality frictions and “escalated conflicts erupting from that,” could lead to problems particularly in the Soviet Bloc, with negative repercussions for all Eastern Europe. Herrhausen proposed for unstable Poland in particular, the creation of a special new bank in Warsaw, an “Agency for Reconstruction,” which unlike the current banking practices of the West, would make sure that new loans to the Polish economy would be used for clearly-defined industrial development projects, just as the Marshall Plan money of the United States was used for well-defined reconstruction in Germany and Europe after World War II. There must also be a substantial cut in the high foreign debt of Poland.
With that, Herrhausen had addressed in his own words what in his own historic speech at the Kempinski Hotel in Berlin, on Oct. 12, 1988. That speech was being studied by many policy-makers and bankers in the months following, and one may assume that Herrhausen had the text on his desk at some point as well.