27 Sept 2011

The New Jerusalem: Elusive Capital of a Divided Heaven on Earth.

If you are a generation removed from the Holocaust, just seventy years past, then it is understandable why the Jewish/Israeli people are concerned about the preservation of Israel’s  very existence.
It is also not hard to criticise Israeli government’s approach to dealing with Palestinian grievances. Israelis do it every day in political and social life.
Total victory over your opponent requires total destruction. Let one survive and it will re-establish growth to avenge and inflict retribution for past harm and defeats.  Winning contested spaces by military means can attempt to be Machiavellian towards total destruction, or they can be concluded with compromise, and permit communities to move into  a new peace. No country and its people can withstand a perpetual state of conflict with its neighbours.
If you also believe humanity today is a little bit wiser about this path of destruction then peace talks will eventually prevail.
                The complexities of Jerusalem, with its very deep religious and political motivations are often hard to understand.
The New Jerusalem to most is a biblical concept. To others it is a dream and a hope. And to a few, a truth in waiting as the Holy Capital of the Kingdom of Heaven.
“I saw an angel of the Lord coming and saying to me: Trouble not thyself so greatly, concerning the salvation of Jerusalem.” (3 Baruch 1:3)  The New Jerusalem will be the earthly location where all true believers will spend eternity with God.

Al Quds “The Holy Sanctuary, City of the Temple” or Yerushaláyim  "Abode of Peace" is the closest Humanity gets to Heaven. From the Divided Cities Series. 1991
But for now leaders Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas are focused on Earthly matters. Should the New Jerusalem become the centre of negotiations after contested settlements around Jewish and Palestinian States, it will be difficult for the world not to entrust Israel with a very heavy burden. That burden will be the light Jews have carried for many centuries. It will be upon the rock of tolerance for Palestinian neighbours, Islam and the respect for free worship that Israeli security and ultimately its future will be built. Not missiles or tanks.
Jerusalem should strive like all the divided cities to heal the wounds of their past. It should be given the chance to be unified but with a compassion for Palestinian desires to share this fabled city within an equal desire to make it the unified capital of Israel.
For all the glory of God and his ways there is still the Earthly solution to political failures. What the Lord gives the Lord can take back.
The economic crisis sweeping Europe is producing some serious political questions. One of which is how much isolationism is worth supporting before it becomes a hindrance to economic progress. Israel/Palestine can flourish, but a divided city reflects a divided land. The Levant just isn’t that big to chew it forever.

25 Sept 2011

EU Crisis. The Secret World of Credit Default Swaps. Instruments of Control

What’s the buzz, tell me what’s a happening, what’s the buzz, tell me what’s a happening.
European exposure to the financial crisis is so enormous that a default of Spain alone would easily wipe-out a fist full of banks and pension funds.
But wait a minute aren’t these loans insured and the lenders protected. Isn’t that the complaint of the Piigs that it is way too costly to insure their bonds.
If you crash a car, you claim insurance. That’s what it’s there for, you’ve paid the hefty premium.
There are fancy financial tools around to cover sovereign default claims such as Credit Default Swaps. Except…..no one seems to be very sure about that.
The world of Credit Default Swaps is murky and highly secretive. Apparently, a chosen few Wall Street Bankers keeps the world in the dark about where these instruments are and whether they are actually worth anything at all. Their personal names are unknown to the general public. But they are drawn from the same anti-social and dangerous clique, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley etc. Their function is putting profit before people.
If any Piigs force Credit Default Swaps (loan insurance) to pay out and cover
their Debts, the Swaps may be not worth their Bacon. If this happens then
Piigs at the market go home. 2011
This scenario around CDS is scaring the Euro leadership. Greece can force by default, the Credit Default Swaps to cough up. If they are proven to be inadequate as they were in 2008 when they played a pivotal role in the first meltdown after Lehman Brothers, then European capitalism may take a possible fatal body blow.
The swap part of the name means the policy is traded around the world willy nilly. It seems their locations are vague and no one knows who holds what and for whose debt. Between 2000 and 2008 Credit default swaps traded upward from $900 billion to more than $30 trillion. In contrast to traditional insurance these Swaps are completely unregulated. Theoretically Greece could be holding the Credit Default Swaps (insurance) which cover their own debts to German and French lenders. It looks like a default swap is never going to pay out to the lenders as an insurance policy.
The secret cartel (who pontificated some time back they were more capable of running the world than politicians) trade their Wall street invented derivatives for extremely large profits. They earn huge fees insuring for events they believe will never happen or will never be allowed to happen, such as exposing a sizeable number of European banks to total failure. It is called hostage taking and blackmail to some folks. In short they say don’t rock the boat or we all sink. Hence the face down between lenders and debtors. No wonder the Euro-Core vanguard sense shaky ground. They also face potential meltdown if the mountain of debt is no longer covered by dodgy insurance policies. What is at stake is the vast hoardings of the Secret Bankers, citizens pensions and the collapse of world inter banking activity.
The Cult of Secret Bankers needs to finish. They have had a run for more than 300 yrs, They need to be resisted and the boat allowed to sink. We can rid ourselves of this parasite banking cartel. Build new modern structures. Put citizens welfare before reckless selfishness.