Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Stock Markets and the History Chart of the End of the World (With Presidential Cycles) - 28th Aug 20
2.Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook... AI Tech Stocks Buying Levels and Valuations Q3 2020 - 31st Aug 20
3.The Inflation Mega-trend is Going Hyper! - 11th Sep 20
4.Is this the End of Capitalism? - 13th Sep 20
5.What's Driving Gold, Silver and What's Next? - 3rd Sep 20
6.QE4EVER! - 9th Sep 20
7.Gold Price Trend Forecast Analysis - Part1 - 7th Sep 20
8.The Fed May “Cause” The Next Stock Market Crash - 3rd Sep 20
9.Bitcoin Price Crash - You Will be Suprised What Happens Next - 7th Sep 20
10.NVIDIA Stock Price Soars on RTX 3000 Cornering the GPU Market for next 2 years! - 3rd Sep 20
Last 7 days
Covid and Democrat Blue Wave Beats Gold - 15th Jan 21
On Regime Change, Reputations, the Markets, and Gold and Silver - 15th Jan 21
US Coronavirus Pandemic Final Catastrophe 2021 - 15th Jan 21
The World’s Next Great Onshore Oil Discovery Could Be Here - 15th Jan 21
UK Coronavirus Final Pandemic Catastrophe 2021 - 14th Jan 21
Here's Why Blind Contrarianism Investing Failed in 2020 - 14th Jan 21
US Yield Curve Relentlessly Steepens, Whilst Gold Price Builds a Handle - 14th Jan 21
NEW UK MOT Extensions or has my Car Plate Been Cloned? - 14th Jan 21
How to Save Money While Decorating Your First House - 14th Jan 21
Car Number Plate Cloned Detective Work - PY16 JXV - 14th Jan 21
Big Oil Missed This, Now It Could Be Worth Billions - 14th Jan 21
Are you a Forex trader who needs a bank account? We have the solution! - 14th Jan 21
Finetero Review – Accurate and Efficient Stock Trading Services? - 14th Jan 21
Gold Price Big Picture Trend Forecast 2021 - 13th Jan 21
Are Covid Lockdowns Bullish or Bearish for Stocks? FTSE 100 in Focus - 13th Jan 21
CONgress "Insurrection" Is Just the Latest False Flag Event from the Globalists - 13th Jan 21
Reflation Trade Heating Up - 13th Jan 21
The Most Important Oil Find Of The Next Decade Could Be Here - 13th Jan 21
Work From Home £10,000 Office Tour – Workspace + Desk Setup 2021 Top Tips - 12th Jan 21
Collect a Bitcoin Dividend Without Owning the King of Cryptos - 12th Jan 21
The BAN Hotlist trade setups show incredible success at the start of 2021, learn how you can too! - 12th Jan 21
Stocks, Bitcoin, Gold – How Much Are They Worth? - 12th Jan 21
SPX Short-term Top Imminent - 12th Jan 21
Is This The Most Exciting Oil Play Of 2021? - 12th Jan 21
Why 2021 Will Be the Year Self-Driving Cars Go Mainstream - 11th Jan 21
Gold Began 2021 With a Bang, Only to Plunge - 11th Jan 21
How to Test Your GPU Temperatures - Running Too Hot - GTX 1650 - Overclockers UK - 11th Jan 21
Life Lesson - The Early Bird Catches the Worm - 11th Jan 21
Precious Metals rally early in 2021 - 11th Jan 21
The Most Exciting Oil Stock For 2021 - 11th Jan 21
Financial Market Forecasts 2021: Navigation in Uncharted Waters - 10th Jan 21
An Urgent Message to All Conservatives, Right-Wingers and Patriots - 10th Jan 21
Despite Signs to the Contrary, Gold Price at or Near Top - 10th Jan 21 -
Ultimate Guide On The 6 Basic Types Of Index Funds - 10th Jan 21
Getting Vaccinated at TESCO - Covid-19 Vaccinations at UK Supermarket Pharmacies and Chemists - 10th Jan 21
Cheers for the 2021 Stock Market and These "Great Expectations" - 9th Jan 21
How to Plan Your Child With Better Education - 9th Jan 21
How To Find The Best Casino - 9th Jan 21
Gold Is Still a Bargain Buy - 8th Jan 20
Gold Price Set to Soar as Hyperinflation Looms - 8th Jan 21
Have Big Dreams? Here's How to Pay for Them - 8th Jan 21
Will the Fed Support Gold Prices in 2021? - 8th Jan 21
Stocks trading strategies for beginners - 8th Jan 21
Who is Buying and Selling Stocks in 2021 - 8th Jan 21
Clap for NHS Heroes 2021 as Incompetent Government Loses Control of Virus Again! - 8th Jan 21
Ultimate Gaming and Home Working PC System Build 2021 - 5950X, RTX 3080, Asus MB - Scan Computers UK - 7th Jan 21
Inflation the bug-bear looking forward through 2021 - 7th Jan 21
ESG ETF Investing Flows Drive Clean Energy to Fresh Highs - 7th Jan 21
5 Financial Market Surprises in 2021 - 7th Jan 21
Time to ‘Reset’ Your Investment Portfolio in 2021? - 7th Jan 21
Bitcoin Price Collapses almost 20% at the start 2021 - 7th Jan 21
Fed Taper Nervous Breakdown - 6th Jan 21
What Will the U.S. Dollar Ring in for 2021? - 6th Jan 21
Stock market frenzy- Ride the bandwagon but be sure to take along some gold coins - 6th Jan 21
Overclockers UK Custom Build Gaming System Review Heat Test and Final Conclusion - 6th Jan 21
Precious Metals Resuming Bull Market, Gold, Silver, GDX Trend Forecasts 2021 - 5th Jan 21
Trump’s Iran-COVID-Gate Anniversary  - 5th Jan 21
2021 May Be A Good Year For The Cannabis / Marijuana Sector - 5th Jan 21
Stock Market Approaching an Important Target - 5th Jan 21
Consumer Prices Are Not Reflecting Higher Inflation; Neither Is The CRB - 5th Jan 21
NEW UK Coronavirus PANIC FULL Lockdown Imminent, All Schools to Close! GCSE Exams Cancelled! - 4th Jan 21
The Year the World Fell Down the Rabbit Hole - 4th Jan 21
A Year Like No Other for Precious Metals… and Everything Else - 4th Jan 21
The Stocks Bull Market is Only Half Completed - 4th Jan 21
An In- Depth Look At Gold Price Trend - 4th Jan 21
Building America Back After a Dark Covid Winter - 4th Jan 21
America's Dark Covid Winter Ahead - 4th Jan 21
Buy a Landrover Discovery Sport in 2021? 3 Year Driving Review - 3rd Jan 21
Stock Market Major Peak in Early April 2021 - 3rd Jan 21
Travel and Holidays 2021 - Flight Knight Cabin Bag Review - 3rd Jan 21
�� Happy New Year 2021 Fireworks and Drone Light Show from London and Sheffied - BBC�� - 2nd Jan 2
The Next IMMINENT Global Catastrophe After Coronavirus - 1st Jan 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

FIRST ACCESS to Nadeem Walayat’s Analysis and Trend Forecasts

Paulson Panics Over UK Banking Crisis Solution

Politics / Credit Crisis Bailouts Oct 18, 2008 - 02:45 PM GMT

By: F_William_Engdahl

Politics Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleAmerica's de facto Finance Czar, US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has reached for the panic button and made a dramatic 180-degree reversal of his financial bailout plan passed only days before. On September 23 in testimony before the US Congress, Paulson, former CEO of the politically influential Wall Street investment firm, Goldman Sachs, declared his adamant opposition to the idea of the US Government taking equity stakes in troubled major banks in order to provide them capital and stabilize the frozen interbank trading market. On October 13, that opposition to ‘nationalization' collapsed. What happened to cause that sudden reverse is what interests us here. It shows the utter lack of coherency in the US financial elites over how to deal with their home-grown securitization of risk fiasco.


The Paulson plan was widely criticized among more sober US bankers and economists, including Paulson's predecessor as Treasury Secretary, Paul O'Neill who simply called the concept of using $700 billion taxpayer bailout fund to buy ‘toxic debt' from banks, as ‘crazy.' All critics agreed the Paulson approach was far the most costly model and far from guaranteed to solve the underlying problem—inadequate bank capitalization following hundreds of billions of dollars in sub-prime and other security losses.

Yet the Secretary adamantly refused to alter his plan, even after Congress rejected it in the first vote. He allowed non-related Democratic items to be glued on to his original TARP plan, a plan that gave the Treasury Secretary virtual dictatorial powers over the US finance and de facto the economy. It was referred to widely as ‘the financial equivalent of the US Patriots Act.'

Then, on October 8 the unexpected took place. Gordon Brown, former British finance minister and now Prime Minister, facing a literal meltdown of the British banking system, on advice of senior staff of the Bank of England, swallowed his own opposition to bank nationalization and adopted an emergency nationalization scheme. He announced that the UK Treasury had made € 64 billion available to buy bank preferred shares in eight UK banks designated by the Government as strategic. The nationalization was to be partial but effective and included a €260 billion ‘special liquidity scheme' of Treasury cash to inject into the frozen inter-bank market, consisting of UK Treasury bills in exchange for bank less liquid assets as collateral.

The relevance of 1931

The move was a replay of the dramatic decision by the British Government in 1931. At that time, Britain and members of the British Commonwealth ‘broke the rules of the game' and unilaterally abandoned the international Gold Standard. In September 1931, after months of debate, the UK abandoned monetary orthodoxy and unilaterally left the Gold Standard it had rejoined in 1925.

Germany had preceded the UK , under far different circumstances, by some weeks in August 1931 by abandoning the Gold Standard.

Germany , under emergency rule without Parliament under Chancellor Brüning, faced a crisis in the wake of the French decision to punish the German-Austrian economic entente. France had precipitated a banking crisis in Austria 's largest bank, the Vienna Credit-Anstalt.

The role of J.P. Morgan Bank in New York, the leading private creditor of the German banking system since the end of Hyperinflation in 1923, and the Morgan controlled New York Federal Reserve under Governor George L. Harrison, was instrumental in precipitating the German banking crisis of 1931.

As a condition for its stabilization loan to the Reichsbank, Harrison demanded the Reichsbank cease lending to German commercial banks. Under maximum duress, it did. The banks collapsed.

So long as it remained on the Gold Standard, a requirement of JP Morgan and the New York Federal Reserve, Germany had to prevent capital outflows and impose higher taxes and budget austerity to persuade international creditors of its credit worthiness. As German recession deepened, the government cut the social programs instituted after the war. It was the outbreak of the banking crisis in the summer of 1931 that made the German depression so severe. The collapse of the banks in central Europe had a major social, psychological and political impact. The rest became tragic history.

The United States , guided by Harrison and backed up by the monetary orthodoxy of President Herbert Hoover, held bitterly to the Gold Standard until March 1933 when newly inaugurated President Roosevelt left the Gold Standard. By then, the United States economy was deep in depression.

Paulson's Volte Face

This time around it was again England that led the break with the rules of a US financial game by swiftly nationalizing its top eight banks, starting with the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) on October 8, a Wednesday. By that Friday it was clear that Germany was also moving towards a national resolution of its banking problems, problems which originated in the US spread of Asset Backed Securities and Credit Default Swaps, an exotic new area of finance which had grown up in recent years in a totally unregulated area of bank-to-bank practice to a nominal size of some $68 trillion. The French Sarkosy Plan, a €300 to 400 billion ‘common bailout fund' modelled loosely on the original Paulson Plan, was dead. German taxpayers would not pay for the excesses of French or Italian banks. It was a sea change in attitude across the EU away from a US-led global financial unity. The American Century faced catastrophe.

That was the point of Paulson's radical shift to what in the parlance of US radical free marketers was a bolt towards the dreaded ‘S' word, socialisation of the banking system. According to my best European banking sources, had Paulson not taken radical new action at that point, as one City of London veteran banker expressed it, ‘the US banks were in danger of extinction.'

On Monday October 13 in the US Treasury, Paulson convened an emergency meeting with the heads of the nine largest US banks. According to reports from participants, Paulson handed each person a one page document to sign that they would agree to sell their stock shares in part to the US Government in return for an emergency injection of $250 billions. Paulson told them they must all sign before leaving the room. Three hours and reportedly many acrimonious arguments later, all nine had signed in the largest Government intervention into the US banking system since the Great Depression.

According to insider accounts from bankers here I spoke with and in New York , it was precisely the decision by the UK , backed by a similar if not yet so detailed plan from the German authorities which forced Paulson's Volte Face.

After the fact, in a confirmation of how weak the new Federal Reserve Chairman, Ban Bernanke is in face of the domineering personality of Paulson, Bernanke mumbled to the press that he had ‘all along' been in favor if the Government buying equity shares to recapitalize the banks. Why he refused to state that publicly before the Paulson Plan won the day is unclear, but it suggests the man Bush chose to succeed Alan Greenspan was chosen for his lability not his ability or his backbone.

San Francisco Federal Reserve President, Janet Yellen remarked as well, long after it had become clear that the US Administration's decision to let Lehman Brothers go bankrupt without Government assistance, had been a horrible miscalculation.

That Lehman Bros. bankruptcy on September 15, was the ‘shock heard round the world,' which precipitated a global crisis in banking confidence resulting in the present situation. Whether Paulson and friends calculated the collapse would provide the basis to demand a US-crafted solution to the crisis remains unclear. What is clear, one of the chosen ‘winners' in the present US banking reorganization, JP Morgan Chase, played a nasty role in the final push of Lehman Bros. into insolvency the Friday prior to Lehman's Monday declaration of insolvency. JP Morgan Chase had ‘mysteriously' withheld a $19 billion transfer that Friday which would have averted the collapse of Lehman Bros. It was an eerie echo of the nasty role played in 1931 by the House of Morgan in relation, then, to the German and European banking crisis.

After 1931 the House of Morgan never again rose to the prominent role it had held. It is looking increasingly likely that the successor to the bank, JP Morgan, despite the pretensions of its head, Jamie Dimon, to invincibility, may be far more modest.

By F. William Engdahl
www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net

COPYRIGHT © 2008 F. William Engdahl. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

* F. William Engdahl is the author of A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order (Pluto Press) and Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation , www.globalresearch.ca . The present series is adapted from his new book, now in writing, The Rise and Fall of the American Century: Money and Empire in Our Era. He may be contacted through his website, www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net

F. William Engdahl Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Comments

Chris
02 Nov 08, 11:28
Great article

Nice article.

Thanks for sharing it.

I liked reading it.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules