A LOOK BACK: ANNE WILLIAMSON AND THE RAPE OF RUSSIA
This very significant article was brought to my attention - along with many others which, hopefully, I will share and blog about eventually, as soon as I have the time to digest them - by former Housing and Urban Development Assistant Secretary Catherine Austin Fitts. It tells a story that, given the current Western "policies" vis-a-vis the Ukraine and Russia, we would do well to remember, for it adequately outlines, I believe, how the USA is being perceived in Russia, both by the general population and by its leaders, and why. The article also provides some much-needed context in which to view the rise of the BRICSA bloc and the Russian foreign policy under Mr. Putin. Here is the link:
Testimony of Anne Williamson Before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services of the United States House of Representatives September 21, 1999
Having taught Russian history at one time at the college level, I personally deeply appreciate Ms. Williamson's understanding of Russian cultural institutions, and the effect they have had on the development of Russian culture and economy(see, for example, her comments on the votchina) . She is, in my opinion, sadly unique in this respect. I would personally have wished only for her to have mentioned the de-feudalization program of rolling back the obrok and barshchina systems of feudalism that had prevailed - for that in effect was what it was - that was undertaken by the Tsardom in the late 19th century, a program whereby Russian serfs were to buy their own land, on the basis of low interest loans from the government, which were in turn financed by Russian government bonds. (Communism, through collectivization of the farms, rolled all this back into yet another form of serfdom, this time sponsored by the Bolsheviks.) During the late 19th century, Russian agriculture, as a result, slowly began to modernize, and began to prosper and Russia began to be a net exporter of agricultural goods. All that changed of course under the Communists.
There are several points this article makes, and I will simply lay them out seriatim, so that the reader can see the historical development outlined in Ms. Williamson's testimony to Congress.
Point one: Russia was looted by the Russian oligarchs, many former Communists, with the aid of the USA, and this money was invested in the USA equities and real estate markets:
And there is no mistake as to who the victims are, i.e. Western, principally U.S., taxpayers and Russian citizens’ whose national legacy was stolen only to be squandered and/or invested in Western real estate and equities markets.
Point two: the Russian oligarchy - again, largely former Communist nomenklatura - was essentially bought by Western financial institutions, which aided Yeltsin in creating the oligarchical class that was the basis of his political power and "popularity":
Western assistance, IMF lending and the targeted division of national assets are what provided Boris Yeltsin the initial wherewithal to purchase his constituency of ex-Komsomol [Communist Youth League] bank chiefs, who were given the freedom and the mechanisms to plunder their own country in tandem with a resurgent and more economically competent criminal class. The new elite learned everything about the confiscation of wealth, but nothing about its creation. Worse yet, this new elite thrives in the conditions of chaos and eschews the very stability for which the United States so fervently hopes knowing full well, as they do, that stability will severely hamper their ability to obtain outrageous profits. Consequently, Yeltsin’s "reform" government was and is doomed to sustain this parasitic political base composed of the banking oligarchy.
Point three: the Western financiers and newly-minted Russian oligarchy were completely ignoring Russian reformers who wanted, not the mercantilist system imposed on Russia by Yeltsin, the IMF, and the West, but a genuinely capitalist system in which the Russian people were given full property rights (recall the 19th century reforms of serfdom under the Tsars, vs the collectivization schemes of the Communists):
Ironically, the nontransferability of the votchina system’s entitlement was the very flaw a shareholding culture and an equities market could have addressed successfully had Lenin’s revolutionary dictum of "Property to the people! Factories to the workers!" been realized. And such a program existed. It was designed by Larisa Piasheva, a free market Russian economist who was appointed by Moscow mayor Gavriil Popov to design and execute a program for the privatization of Moscow’s assets. Ms. Piasheva’s program was a fearless and rapid plunge into the market which would have distributed property widely into Russia’s many eager hands. Further, the program – inspired as it was by the policies of Ludwig Erhard and his adviser, the renowned Austrian economist Wilhem Ropke - did not rely upon Western lending but instead tailored itself to maximize direct Western investment.
When the Administration says it had no choice but to rely upon the bad actors it did select for American largesse, Congress should recall Larisa Piasheva. How different today’s Russia might have been had only the Bush Administration and the many Western advisers from the IMF, the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Harvard Institute of International Development then on the ground in Moscow chosen to champion Ms. Piasheva’s vision of a rapid disbursement of property to the people rather than to the "golden children" of the Soviet nomenklatura.
Point four: Russia was looted by its former Communist bosses, and the wealth thus looted was parked in western financial institutions (see above):
And only now, eight years almost to the day later, do US taxpayers learn that the "eager, young reformers" to whom their resources were sent for the purpose of building a new Russia were in league from day one with the exhausted Soviet nomenklatura in a scheme to loot Russia’s wealth and park it in the West.
Once the crime of voucher privatization was fully realized, thereafter ensued a years-long highly-criminal and oftentimes murderous scramble for hands-on control of the enterprises. Directors stashed profits abroad, withheld employees’ wages and after cash famine set in, used those wages, confiscated profits and state subsidies to "buy" the workers’ shares from them. The really good stuff - oil companies, metals plants, telecoms - was distributed to essentially seven individuals, "the oligarchs", on insider auctions whose results were agreed beforehand. Once effective control was established, directors - uncertain themselves of the durability of their claim to the newly-acquired property - chose to asset strip with impunity instead of developing their new holdings.
Point five: the influx of all this additional capital led to inflation of value on western corporations' shares:
Once the criminal financial flows from Russia and Asia were combined with the easy money common to presidential election cycles and began pumping into the economy in the spring of 1995, it wasn’t long before asset inflation hit U.S. corporate share valuations.
Point six: the IMF was established to prevent the type of asset-stripping and currency speculation that, to a great degree, led to the rise of Hitler and World War Two, but the current policies are counter to the West's own long-term interest and only exacerbating the conditions for general conflict(a point we have been making here in slightly different ways vis-a-vis the Ukraine and Russia):
A world war and a score of years later, the allies established the IMF as a prophylactic money bag to prevent destabilizing trade imbalances and therefore, they thought, a repetition of the preceding decade’s nightmare. Yet over half a century later, the IMF, the World Bank and their similarly US-controlled spawn - the IFC, the six regional development banks and the EBRD - have become 800-pound gorillas of economic distortion and, over time, of pillage which unchecked will guarantee extensive international conflict and a broadly-based anti-Americanism.
Point seven: the playbook is well known and obvious:
Sell assistance programs on an alleged "free market" and "humanitarian" basis by awarding government grants to those academics who can be relied upon to supply the intellectual camouflage politicians and journalists then repeat ad nauseum to a distracted public, move the IMF and the World Bank to target, induce target to raise taxes, fine tune target’s central banking operations, encourage borrowing and debt creation through the target’s government and its national banks, allowing IMF lending to pay yields if necessary; induce target to privatize national property while building a flimsy, artificial "infrastructure" for an equities market good enough to attract high risk foreign investors. Once the target nation’s government flounders, step back and watch speculators assert discipline through a run on the target’s currency. The subsequent devaluation delivers, in turn, a flood of cheap imports to American manufacturers and producers.
The finishing touch on the swindle is to confiscate more money from G-7 citizens (the lion’s share from Americans) to pay for what is said to be an "essential" IMF bailout; thereby allowing Uncle Sam’s IMF minions to entrench themselves more deeply in the target’s government. Taxes are raised, the population struggles beneath indebtedness, government funding demands and the inevitable domestic inflation a devaluation delivers. Western neo-colonialists then bully the target over its rapidly compounding debt in order to extract yet more property. Once successful, the world’s insiders then turn around and deliver cheap shares from privatizations and initial public offerings into the maw of U.S. mutual funds and portfolio investors. US taxpayers get hit coming (foreign aid) and going (bailouts) and innocent foreigners’ property is finagled away either from, or on account of, inattentive and corrupt leaderships. The big winners are the world’s increasingly corrupt and cozy governing class, international bureaucracies and global banks.
Point eight: US policy has been that of deliberate fraud and deceit, and will only backfire against it:
What U.S. policy has wrought across much of the post-cold war landscape is a moral, political and financial abomination based on fraud, theft and deceit.
There's more to the story of the rape of Russia, but this, I think, will suffice to show why Russia is no longer content to be raped, encircled, and demonized. For the careful reader, there is yet another thing evident in this testimony, and that is the close alliance of President Clinton and Harvard University, and of the latter with the financial shenanigans in the rape of Russia. And that, I hope, will also indicate just how corrupt some of our academies really are, and how any pronouncements coming from their "experts" should be taken with a grain of salt. (For an interesting read, also courtesy of Secretary Fitts, see US vs Harvard Pdf, especially the opening paragraph).
See you on the flip side...
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I do not share the optimism many in the truth movement feel concerning the coming fall of the US empire and rise of BRICS (i.e. mainly China & Russia) possibly joined by Germany. It would be a perfect confirmation of the warnings of Anatoliy Golitsyn.
Did the USSR Fake Its Own Death in 1991?
An ex-KGB officer predicted that the USSR would fake its own collapse
Christopher Story – EU Corruption (concerns the operations and aims of the Nazi international)
The BRICS Bank: Next Stop On The Road To World Currency
I share your concerns Slay… this is why I’ve been trying to warn about the Nazi international/EU business… I am a bit skeptical of Golitsyn’s claims however.
Very good Slay Usura particularly the last one(The BRICS Bank: Next Stop…) with its video at the end.
Thank you for posting this. I found Anne Williamson’s testimony very interesting.
A book I would highly recommend if anyone wants to further their Russian studies would be “The Third Rome: Holy Russia, Tsarism and Orthodoxy” by Matthew Raphael Johnson, Ph.D.
This book covers how the serfs lived, how it was proposed that they should be freed etc. Within their bondage (to lord or tsar) they actually led reasonably good lives – a detailed case is made in this book.
And to read of the rape of Russia, I bought a book recently “Russian Populist: The Political Thought of Vladimir Putin” by the same author.
The Saker has posted an excellent video of Sergei Glaz’ev giving us a very good overview of Russia’s position at the moment, with an excellent understanding of where the US and Europe stand. It has English subtitles.
Thanks for posting it.
I second that Outstanding video Robert I just stream it.
I second the word of thanks for the post and would encourage further pursuit of the topic’s near relations.
Thanks also to Daphne O for the material recommendations.
The current ruling paradigm is opposite that of the civil commons. Currently the malignant paradigm confines meaning and value to automatic selves, private commodities, and a criminal syndicate’s self-maximizing transnational currencies issued by the private international banking cartel; all of which which places absolutely no value on life-capital. The opposite of the civil commons that protected and enabled the reproduction of shared life-resources of community with continued access for all members to live from. For the last 30 years the malignant privatization for money-profit waves are unraveling the social life organization defining the living species’ paramount survival & moral evolution. The commons has been ideologically inverted into an unmediated common resource to be privatized for profit. A barbaric process that began with moving & clearing English & native lands to the current exploitation of peoples’ communal lands after decolonization. This unbridled plunder of the world’s commons has included the systematic despoliation of the forests, oceans, rivers, aquifers, species and soils. In the past the civil commons protected these life-capital bases to ensure continued access to their goods Currently the commons is free to be enclosed and exploited.
The civil commons = any and all social constructs that enable universal access to life-goods Once the blinkers of the reigning paradigm shed, the bars of the invisible prison will fall.
The universal value in humanity preferences are strong & true in breathing clean air rather than polluted air, eating and drinking non-poisons , having spacious shelters rather than not, relating to others as humans not beasts, and having life-meaningful tasks rather than meaningless ones.
Well I got that off my chest.
Joseph ~ Putin advisor Sergei Glaziev agrees with Catherine & you.
See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cikvqdMRTTA, in which Sergei indicates that Russia has learned the lessons about which Williamson testified.
Possibly precipitated by the Ukraine/U.S. MH17 wake-up call, Glaziev talks of indigenous/impending Russian-BRICS dedollarization solutions
However, he may or may not yet have made the leap to an energy-backed currency, suggested in your 7-Aug-14 News & Views and Cook article.
Even better might be a KWH-backed currency, as suggested by Bucky Fuller — decentralized, fungible & internationally e-transmittable.
Hydrocarbon/KWH-backed currencies promote infrastructure development & energy generation, which correlate most closely with and/or result in rising standards of living for nations & peoples.
Unfortunately or fortunately, Glaziev & Co. may know better than most that Socialism is dead & Capitalism is bankrupt. Soon, the Dollar.
Next may come a decentralized energy-backed currency, truly a Phoenix rising from the ashes of the old Russia & what others did to MH17.
I am unable to connect to the website but as to the idea of looting Russia. THE RUSSIANS are considered pseudo-Europeans at best just another target for real Europeans to loot, torture, enslave, and murder along with the rest of the to legged beasts of burden of the world. But again the Western Elites live as I said before in their drug induced bubbles of illusion.
two legged beasts of burden of the world.
finally got through to the website and was able to read Anne Wiliamson testimony. Her testimony is about fifteen years old but like all important statements still rings true today. I would like to thank you for your font on this website easer to read.
Joseph, Truly unbelievable. Here’s more folks, if you don’t have time to read it all the way…
“The improbable yields (290% on 3-month paper at one point) on the Russian market’s GKO instruments were paid with US taxpayers’ money via IMF loans. Guess where all investment went? By yielding those kind of non-market returns, the bond market insured that all the country’s resources and all that it was capable of attracting went to the support of the state, just as Tsarism and Communism had done previously.
So lush were the bond market’s rewards that dubious market participants included the Russian Central Bank itself through an off-shore firm known as Fimaco. The involvement of the Harvard Institute of International Development’s [HIID] honchos in the same conflict-of-interest activities has already been admitted publicly and remains the object of a Boston Grand Jury’s scrutiny. The Harvard Management Corporation[HMC], which invests the university’s endowment, was also an avid purchaser of Russian bonds, a dubious and unsettling history since there is no legal separation of HMC and the university itself. According to the Russian Interior Ministry’s Department of Organized Crime, Western employees of Russian banks, Western bankers and consultants, Russian bankers and anecdotal evidence, other likely participants include certain employees of the U.S. Treasury, of the multilateral agencies (most especially the World Bank’s Moscow offices), of bilateral aid agencies, and policy and program consultants acting through accounts established in their wives’ maiden names with non-U.S. reporting brokerages in Moscow. Even the Ford Foundation’s Moscow office sponsored its own internal Russian bond shop for which the unthinking Russian managers once asked this reporter to drum up U.S. investors.”
About “some corrupt academics” and USA or West form of governance.
There are some limits on how system works in science, culture.
USSR lost the Cold war. It’s became possible because Soviet elite did not identified Cold war as a threat, secondly it wanted to get better life. They did travel in Europe, USA and saw how West elite was living – very few responsibilities, owning means of production, guaranteed place in elite for their children etc. Soviet elite had all this at home practically but not officially. So they decided to collapse the state, form new one only with some rights for themselves. And they thought that West would help do that. Of course they were tricked, West provided in power Gorbachev who did everything to destroy the state. Then Gorbi signed capitulation in Malta december 1989 just after East Germany was thrown into Nazi’s hands.
So the war was over. But the principle question what is next? And now goes the typical Western approach to this matter. You Russians lost, so you gonna pay, country would be divided, your sales markets is ours from now on, your army must be destroyed, nuclear weapons confiscated(this did not happen, but could), most of your allies would suffer. And as a consequence Soviet economy collapsed, war happened in Armenia, Abkhazia, Tajikistan, Transnistria and later Chechnya. In 1988 the number of people living in Eastern Europe including European USSR below poverty line was 20 millions, in 1996 – 180 millions.
And the main decision was to make all these attributes of winners and losers not public but factual. There are no work, gangs all over country blame it on oligarchs, drunken Eltsyn, failed economic reforms. And of course no occupation army, I mean those Russians would have resist immediately if they see American or French soldier in Moscow. This was quite similar of what happened with Germany in 1918. And 1920s in Weimar republic and 1990s in Russia are just twin brothers.
An now back to the “corrupt academics”. Many scientists and academics worked on this result for decades. The psychology of them was: “to succeed(in Western way) with Russia(USSR) you have to look at Russia as a hunter looks at a deer”. Some academics understand and accept this, some don’t. But the order in the West from elite does exist not just now or in the post WW2 period, it’s exist for centuries, so somebody has to execute.
This order does make Western historiography on Russian affairs inadequate. Some people do understand Russian history very well(like Kissinger for instance) but what spreads – is that hunter’s look. And I’m sorry to read it in Dr. Farrell’s second paragraph about late 19th century reforms in Russia.
These reforms led to a 1917’s catastrophe and civil war. There were Western elite who financed revolutions, but the inner factor was more huge and complex. Bolsheviks came out of nowhere and succeeded to correct situation, organize economy and to prepare country for the next “Drang nach Osten”.
Makes sense, until:
“The finishing touch on the swindle is to confiscate more money from G-7 citizens (the lion’s share from Americans) to pay for what is said to be an “essential” IMF bailout; thereby allowing Uncle Sam’s IMF minions to entrench themselves more deeply in the target’s government. Taxes are raised, the population struggles beneath indebtedness, government funding demands and the inevitable domestic inflation a devaluation delivers.”
None of which has happened. And looks like an excuse to simply object to taxes on the behavior of the very wealthy, particularly in the US, so in fact is arguing against one of the policies that the US government could use to stop some of this mess.
Normal, not at all ironical, that Ms Williamson is in fact on the side of the rich and powerful abusing whomever–citizens of Russia, the US, etc.
Yeah, and this means that today (2014) in Russia and the USA, the wealthy, and wealth transfers, should be taxed at a much higher rate. If those kinds of taxes had been in place in 1995, they would have limited the ability of the US et al to aid connected communists in looting Russia in the 1990s.