No, really. Just ask the New York Times, whose ramblings always make for an interesting study when it comes to the exploits of banks and bankers.
But even the generally banker-friendly Times, while eternally silent on the former Deutsche Bank chief’s secretive Bilderberg pedigree, acknowledged: “Ackermann played a role in the events that nearly destroyed the Cyprus banking system in 2013. Now he [is] back in this sleepy capital, toiling to fix one of the very banks he helped undermine.”
The Times in that vein floated the word “redemption” to speculate that Ackermann’s conscience nudged him to take over as board chairman of the Bank of Cyprus, the Mediterranean island’s largest lender.
Ackermann—slumming it these days with a token annual salary of 68,000 euros—now has an office in Nicosia, Cyprus, which is said to be quite Spartan compared to the palatial trappings of his former Deutsche post. He was quoted as confessing: “If I could give something back to the people or society, I would like to do that.”
The Times added that “the bank and the island’s economy are so closely intertwined that if Mr. Ackermann, 67, helps revive the bank, he will also help revive the country, whose problems were briefly at the epicenter of global financial market anxiety in 2013. And Mr. Ackermann would perhaps enhance his own legacy, which has lost some of its sheen since he left Deutsche Bank in 2012.”
While Ackermann reportedly led Deutsche “to the top echelons of investment banking” the bank has since “struggled to maintain that status as regulators have pressed banks to reduce risk. His successor, Anshu Jain, has already resigned under pressure.”
Ah, we musn’t underestimate the “pressure” and “risk” of administering computer keystrokes to conjure up money at interest, which requires no labor from bankers who’ll never turn a shovel of dirt—but requires endless toil, real risk and punishing property pledges from those we’ll hazard to call “customers.”
The Cyprus parliament, prompted by the European Union, this year passed laws to “streamline” the island’s complex foreclosure procedures. But that is making it “easier for the Bank of Cyprus to repossess property from borrowers who are in arrears, which is critical to dealing with the bad-loan problem,” the Times continued, although bank officials claim they’re reluctant to go on a foreclosure spree. That would breed “ill will.” And too many homes on the market hurts property values, they say.
After Deutsche, Ackermann became part-time chairman of Zurich Insurance, “a position that ended badly after its chief financial officer committed suicide, leaving behind a note that blamed Mr. Ackermann for his despair. An investigation by Swiss regulators absolved Mr. Ackermann of blame, but he resigned and has kept a low profile since,” the Times also noted.
Yet, amid all his professed self-reflection, Ackermann somehow still claims not to have a “bad conscience”—while saying “I think we did a lot of good things” at Deutsche. He added, “I want to demonstrate that we cannot only make money for ourselves, but also that banking is actually something which is a main contributor to the prosperity of society at large.”
Reality check, Mr. Ackermann: As long as usurious, private banks control money creation, there can never be genuine prosperity.
Options We're Never Told About
The growing consensus among monetary reformers outside the false alternatives of the “opposing” Keynesian and Austrian schools—from the Social Credit school which was born in the British Isles, to other reform ideas like the relatively new Bristol Pound in the UK—is that money’s introduction into society must be unencumbered by interest charges, in quantities large enough to liquidate prices and inventories in the present production cycle, to spur more production and keep the system flowing.
The economy, in short, needs a huge boost of effective demand. But modern bankers, economists and the press, by arguing that “inflation” is always lurking about, waiting to eat us alive, simply use that as a smokescreen to justify keeping the money supply chronically low—well below what’s needed to buy what’s produced in an employment system that generates prices which far outpace the comparatively meager salaries and wages it creates.
And that’s why Social Credit advocates, for example, support the idea of a citizen dividend to everyone, to reduce the need for taxes and cumbersome means-tested welfare systems. The periodic dividend would supplement regular income—freeing everyday people from wage slavery, drastically cutting credit card debt and other personal borrowing, while enabling people to pursue their true passion and become more politically involved. Self-employment would likely increase.
Thus, the government’s limited but crucial job is to make the market economy possible by directly providing “the money infrastructure” necessary for its operation, thereby supplanting the current addiction on banks loans, while providing enough purchasing power (on par with production data) for everyone—at a cost less than that of a postal system.
But the New York Times, under the guise of an honest inquiry into banker perfidy, seems intent on polishing the tarnish off of a banking elite whose debt-slavery system can only doom nearly everyone to penury—regardless of the personal reflections of key players like Josef Ackermann.
Furthermore, Ackermann is the board chairman of the rather obscure but very-well-connected Institute of International Finance (IIF).
The New York Times and other major media, because they have remained silent regarding Ackermann’s Bilderberg pedigree, naturally say nothing about the course the IIF has charted for Europe.
In Cyprus, the banks, under duress from the international financial community, had invested in Greek bonds which soon lost considerable value; that, in turn, led to the raids on bank depositors’ personal funds—the literal theft of savings accounts carried out by the banks—that made headlines a couple years ago.
And Ackerman played what the Times called “a primary role” in working out an agreement that provided crucial “debt relief” for Greece”—but hurt Cyprus.
Yet, Greece—also at the mercy of the international banking elite for all intents and purposes—didn’t see real relief for the overall populace and may not see it for years. And while angry Greeks have hit the streets to protest the government’s banker-molded, impoverishing economic policies, a Bank of Cyprus service car used by John Hourican, the bank’s chief executive officer since 2013, was torched by angry Cyprus residents.
Hourican formerly headed investment banking at the Royal Bank of Scotland. But in early 2013, he left there after some of its traders were proven to have conspired to fix benchmark interest rates in the infamous Libor scandal. Hourican was not directly implicated but we’re told he still fell on his sword to take “responsibility” before resigning.
As for the IIF, it just happens to represent the humble interests of Deutsche, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. And it turns out that the IIF is centrally focused on creating the airtight European banking union that AFP has often cited as a key Bilderberg goal.
The IIF’s objective is to further empower the European Central Bank that was long headed by veteran Bilderberger and current Trilateral Commission European chairman Jean Claude Trichet. Today the ECB is chaired by Mario Draghi, who breaks bread with Bilderbergers and other global power brokers through the obscure Group of Thirty (G30) banking “advisory” organization, among other outlets.
This effort to mold Europe’s economy into “one neck,” around which to fit the bankers’ “noose,” was highlighted at the IIF’s Nov. 18-19 “Colloquium on European Banking Union” in Frankfurt, Germany. The IIF, like the G30, has a Washington D.C. office, among other locations.
The Language Of Centralisation
In coordination with that program, the IIF is touting specific tools to create a banking union, including what the IIF calls Single Rulebook, Single Supervision, Single Resolution. An IIF Rulebook description states:
The Single Rulebook is the foundation of the banking union. It consists of a set of legislative texts that all financial institutions (including approximately 8300 banks) in the EU must comply with. These rules, among other things, lay down capital requirements for banks, ensure better protection for depositors, and regulate the prevention and management of bank failures.
And so it goes. It’s possible, as the above-noted fanciful Times’ article also claimed, that Ackermann may want to help put things right on the island after his conscience reportedly flickered. But in the world of modern banking, one is as much a captive of the system as its commander.
So, as head of the IIF, and considering the IIF’s intense efforts for constrictive Euro-centralization, any “improvements” that Ackermann or others may make—in Cyprus or anywhere else in greater Europe—will be engulfed by the centralized hydra of high finance, and the Bilderbergers and fellow travelers who run it.
Mark Anderson is the Bilderberg reporter for American Free Press and its hard-copy news- paper. He succeeded Jim Tucker on that mission while also covering the U.S. Congress and grassroots issues in the U.S. and overseas.