Making the World Safe for Banksters: Syria in the Cross-hairs

“The powers of financial capitalism had another far reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole.”  —Prof. Caroll Quigley, Georgetown University, Tragedy and Hope (1966)

Iraq and Libya have been taken out, and Iran has been heavily boycotted. Syria is now in the cross-hairs. Why? Here is one overlooked scenario. 

In an August 2013 article titled “Larry Summers and the Secret ‘End-game’ Memo,” Greg Palast posted evidence of a secret late-1990s plan devised by Wall Street and U.S. Treasury officials to open banking to the lucrative derivatives business. To pull this off required the relaxation of banking regulations not just in the US but globally. The vehicle to be used was the Financial Services Agreement of the World Trade Organization.

The “end-game” would require not just coercing support among WTO members but taking down those countries refusing to join. Some key countries remained holdouts from the WTO, including Iraq, Libya, Iran and Syria. In these Islamic countries, banks are largely state-owned; and “usury” – charging rent for the “use” of money – is viewed as a sin, if not a crime. That puts them at odds with the Western model of rent extraction by private middlemen. Publicly-owned banks are also a threat to the mushrooming derivatives business, since governments with their own banks don’t need interest rate swaps, credit default swaps, or investment-grade ratings by private rating agencies in order to finance their operations.

Bank deregulation proceeded according to plan, and the government-sanctioned and -nurtured derivatives business mushroomed into a $700-plus trillion pyramid scheme. Highly leveraged,  completely unregulated, and dangerously unsustainable, it collapsed in 2008 when investment bank Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, taking a large segment of the global economy with it. The countries that managed to escape were those sustained by public banking models outside the international banking net.

These countries were not all Islamic. Forty percent of banks globally are publicly-owned. They are largely in the BRIC countries—Brazil, Russia, India and China—which house forty percent of the global population. They also escaped the 2008 credit crisis, but they at least made a show of conforming to Western banking rules. This was not true of the “rogue” Islamic nations, where usury was forbidden by Islamic teaching. To make the world safe for usury, these rogue states had to be silenced by other means. Having failed to succumb to economic coercion, they wound up in the crosshairs of the powerful US military.

Here is some data in support of that thesis.

The End-game Memo

In his August 22nd article, Greg Palast posted a screenshot of a 1997 memo from Timothy Geithner, then Assistant Secretary of International Affairs under Robert Rubin, to Larry Summers, then Deputy Secretary of the Treasury. Geithner referred in the memo to the “end-game of WTO financial services negotiations” and urged Summers to touch base with the CEOs of Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, Citibank, and Chase Manhattan Bank, for whom private phone numbers were provided.

The game then in play was the deregulation of banks so that they could gamble in the lucrative new field of derivatives. To pull this off required, first, the repeal of Glass-Steagall, the 1933 Act that imposed a firewall between investment banking and depository banking in order to protect depositors’ funds from bank gambling. But the plan required more than just deregulating US banks. Banking controls had to be eliminated globally so that money would not flee to nations with safer banking laws. The “endgame” was to achieve this global deregulation through an obscure addendum to the international trade agreements policed by the World Trade Organization, called the Financial Services Agreement. Palast wrote:

Until the bankers began their play, the WTO agreements dealt simply with trade in goods–that is, my cars for your bananas.  The new rules ginned-up by Summers and the banks would force all nations to accept trade in “bads” – toxic assets like financial derivatives.

Until the bankers’ re-draft of the FSA, each nation controlled and chartered the banks within their own borders.  The new rules of the game would force every nation to open their markets to Citibank, JP Morgan and their derivatives “products.”

And all 156 nations in the WTO would have to smash down their own Glass-Steagall divisions between commercial savings banks and the investment banks that gamble with derivatives.

The job of turning the FSA into the bankers’ battering ram was given to Geithner, who was named Ambassador to the World Trade Organization.

WTO members were induced to sign the agreement by threatening their access to global markets if they refused; and they all did sign, except Brazil. Brazil was then threatened with an embargo; but its resistance paid off, since it alone among Western nations survived and thrived during the 2007-2009 crisis. As for the others:

The new FSA pulled the lid off the Pandora’s box of worldwide derivatives trade.  Among the notorious transactions legalized: Goldman Sachs (where Treasury Secretary Rubin had been Co-Chairman) worked a secret euro-derivatives swap with Greece which, ultimately, destroyed that nation.  Ecuador, its own banking sector de-regulated and demolished, exploded into riots.  Argentina had to sell off its oil companies (to the Spanish) and water systems (to Enron) while its teachers hunted for food in garbage cans.  Then, Bankers Gone Wild in the Eurozone dove head-first into derivatives pools without knowing how to swim–and the continent is now being sold off in tiny, cheap pieces to Germany.

The Holdouts

That was the fate of countries in the WTO, but Palast did not discuss those that were not in that organization at all, including Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. These seven countries were named by U.S. General Wesley Clark (Ret.) in a 2007 “Democracy Now” interview as the new “rogue states” being targeted for take down after September 11, 2001. He said that about 10 days after 9-11, he was told by a general that the decision had been made to go to war with Iraq. Later, the same general said they planned to take out seven countries in five years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran.

What did these countries have in common? Besides being Islamic, they were not members either of the WTO or of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). That left them outside the long regulatory arm of the central bankers’ central bank in Switzerland. Other countries later identified as “rogue states” that were also not members of the BIS included North Korea, Cuba, and Afghanistan.

The body regulating banks today is called the Financial Stability Board (FSB), and it is housed in the BIS in Switzerland. In 2009, the heads of the G20 nations agreed to be bound by rules imposed by the FSB, ostensibly to prevent another global banking crisis. Its regulations are not merely advisory but are binding, and they can make or break not just banks but whole nations. This was first demonstrated in 1989, when the Basel I Accord raised capital requirements a mere 2%, from 6% to 8%. The result was to force a drastic reduction in lending by major Japanese banks, which were then the world’s largest and most powerful creditors. They were undercapitalized, however, relative to other banks. The Japanese economy sank along with its banks and has yet to fully recover.

Among other game-changing regulations in play under the FSB are Basel III and the new bail-in rules. Basel III is slated to impose crippling capital requirements on public, cooperative and community banks, coercing their sale to large multinational banks.

The “bail-in” template was first tested in Cyprus and follows regulations imposed by the FSB in 2011. Too-big-to-fail banks are required to draft “living wills” setting forth how they will avoid insolvency in the absence of government bailouts. The FSB solution is to “bail in” creditors – including depositors – turning deposits into bank stock, effectively confiscating them.

The Public Bank Alternative

Countries laboring under the yoke of an extractive private banking system are being forced into “structural adjustment” and austerity by their unrepayable debt. But some countries have managed to escape. In the Middle East, these are the targeted “rogue nations.” Their state-owned banks can issue the credit of the state on behalf of the state, leveraging public funds for public use without paying a massive tribute to private middlemen. Generous state funding allows them to provide generously for their people.

Like Libya and Iraq before they were embroiled in war, Syria provides free education at all levels and free medical care. It also provides subsidized housing for everyone (although some of this has been compromised by adoption of an IMF structural adjustment program in 2006 and the presence of about 2 million Iraqi and Palestinian refugees). Iran too provides nearly free higher education and primary health care.

Like Libya and Iraq before takedown, Syria and Iran have state-owned central banks that issue the national currency and are under government control. Whether these countries will succeed in maintaining their financial sovereignty in the face of enormous economic, political and military pressure remains to be seen.

As for Larry Summers, he went on to become president of Harvard, where he approved a derivative bet on interest rate swaps that lost over $1 billion for the university.  He resigned in 2006 to manage a hedge fund among other business activities, and went on to become State Senator Barack Obama’s key campaign benefactor.

Summers played a key role in the banking deregulation that brought on the current crisis, causing millions of US citizens to lose their jobs and their homes. Yet he is President Obama’s first choice to replace Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve Chairman. Why? He has proven he can manipulate the system to make the world safe for Wall Street; and in an upside-down world in which bankers rule, that seems to be the name of the game.


Ellen Brown is an attorney, president of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books including the best-selling Web of Debt. In The Public Bank Solution, her latest book, she explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her websites are,, and

65 Responses

  1. This is mind-blowing. Don’t understand it it, but seems really important.

  2. Insightful. Dark. Pervasive.

    God help us all…

  3. Excellent article, Ellen. This further shows that the monetary crisis we face is not economic, but one of law enforcement. These monetary crimes against humanity by sociopath bankers and their government made men have caused millions of deaths. There is prima facie evidence for their mass arrests, RICO forfeitures, and severe sentences.

  4. The end game is not about “them”. It’s about us at the grass roots level. The elite have set the stage for the market’s monetization of individually owned bullion, which is something that has actually been around since the mid 90’s. This monetization process is a market movement, bottom-up from the grass roots that cannot be condoned from “on high” because of the real-time component. When migrating from any legacy to a new system , neither system can be allowed to crash during the transition, be it the legacy system (debt based USD) or the new system (floating gold weight as currency). Rate of transition is critical in the process toward this emerging currency system that utilizes debt-free store of value married with instant & scalable liquidity ….in REAL-TIME Regrettably, when looking in hindsight, it appears that “the script” has been followed and that some evils have been necessary in the process….. just the way it was written.

    The tragic fork in the road is the use of “the stick”by the elite since they cannot support real-time gold-as-money for fear of a transition rate that would be far too quick. A dollar crash is not good for anyone. They are relegated to the role of carrying the stick on the basis that humans are stubborn when it comes to change and quite often, the “carrot” (such as this post) is simply not enough.

    Order is the prime consideration and whether it’s an organic order led by the market or a top-down oppressive order by the traditional apex of power remains to be seen. I suggest we act in favor of the former.

    Gold is a currency now that it floats in real-time. Follow the script.

  5. Think of the Troops who volunteered after 9/11 to serve this Nation,

    and now find themselves SERVING AlQueda, the PERPETRATORS of 9/11.

    • 911 and all the other false flags had nothing to do with Al Queda and everything to do with El-CIA-duh and the American government politicians/rogues and Israeli Mossad/government/rogues. Please wake-up, as soon as you do your own research for a change instead of relying on the lying main stream media. Thank-you

      • Exactly Padraigin.

        I have been a member of A&E for 911 Truth for a number of years and I know that 911 was a staged event to get us into all of theses wars for banksters/Wall Street.

        Currently A&E has a major campaign going, with a huge billboard in Times Square and numerous other kinds of adverts throughout the US, but also in London and Sydney Australia.

        Once awareness of what really happened on 911 reaches “critical mass”, wars will cease and public banking will be accepted … always assuming that the war against Syria does not turn into a nuclear WW3 and/or that Fukushima is not a global extinction event.

        If these scenarios happen, then we can all forget about any kind of seeking after a better future,

        • Gerryhiles. A&E are 100% right. Those three towers that were brought down on 9/11, CLEARLY came down because of “Controlled Demolition”. It is impossible for a plane to totally demolish such huge massively steel reinforced buildings, and tower seven wasn’t even hit by a plane, and yet it was totally demolished. The destruction, defies the rules of physics.
          9/11 is the greatest lie ever told, and in America, public discussion of this lie has been canned by the media.

  6. Spot on Ellen.

  7. All I can say is wow. I was always wondering how the financial class was tied in to the “seven in five”? Now, if Palast has it correct we know the who what where why. Seems it was/is not just the energy giants that are driving “western interests”. Great piece!

  8. […] Ellen Brown Writer, Dandelion Salad September 4, […]

  9. […] Making the World Safe for Banksters:  Syria in the Cross-hairs […]

  10. […] by Ellen Brown, Web of Debt Blog via Web of Debt: […]

  11. Spot on Ellen! 1989 Basil I also had profound effects in the US when the commercial banks called their loans. My father lost his job when the electrical wholesale business he worked for had it’s credit line called by Fleet Bank. The commercial loan was performing however the business failed shortly after and the employees were let go. The economy went into a recession because liquidity was pulled from the financial system and the financial markets also took a hit. This seems like every recession/depression that have rolled throughout the US system over the past 200 plus years, only now it has gone global. If this was a state bank as in North Dakota, this would have never happened. The movement should start with the local municipalities establishing community banks and being supported by the state run banks. When are people going to wake up and remove the squid?

  12. Ellen Brown provides another revealing article that now communicates the congruence between International Imperial Money Power, and US foreign policy, in R2P, ‘Regime Change’ and the subsequent military deployments.

    The US citizenry must understand that the submissive, Congress, under the direction of Wall St. is taking the necessary steps that will trigger thermonuclear WWII. Everyday that Americans tolerate this crap, while the we watch in bewilderment, Congress’ failure to reinstate the Glass-Steagall standard in US banking is the National Security Crisis, not Syria.

  13. Thanks for putting all of the most important information and revelations in one article, The real motives and agendas under all the phony partisan political theater. I will be sending this to everyone I know.

  14. […] Ellen Brown Web of Debt […]

  15. How can you have truly public banking when the government itself is owned by private central banks? Public banks in the present context would become nothing more than local branches of the global squid.

    I love you, Ellen, but there’s one small step that needs to be taken before public banking can perform as advertised:
    28th Amendment (aka Corporate Firewall Amendment)
    Corporations are not persons and shall be granted only those rights and privileges that Congress deems necessary for the well-being of the People. Congress shall provide legislation defining the terms and conditions of corporate charters according to their purpose; which shall include, but are not limited to:
    1, prohibitions against any corporation;
    a, owning another corporation,
    b, becoming economically indispensable or monopolistic, or
    c, otherwise distorting the general economy;
    2, prohibitions against any form of intervention in the affairs of government by means of;
    a, congressional lobbying
    b, electoral sponsorship or advocacy
    c, educational sponsorship or publication
    d, media news reporting
    3, provisions for;
    a, the auditing of standardized, current, and transparent account books
    b, closing the FRB and the establishment of state-owned banks
    c, civil and criminal penalties to be suffered by corporate executives et al for violation of the terms of a corporate charter.

    Optional: (or possible 29th amendment)
    The 16th Amendment to the United States Constitution is hereby repealed and Congress shall re-write the U.S. Code to reflect the changes embodied herein.
    (While we’re at it, we could also repeal the 17th amendment)

  16. […] This piece first appeared at Web of Debt. […]

  17. […] “Iraq and Libya have been taken out, and Iran has been heavily boycotted. Syria is now in the cross-hairs. Why? Here is one overlooked scenario”:  (Here) […]

  18. […] Making the World Safe for Banksters: Syria in the Cross-hairs […]

  19. One of the first actions taken by the Lybian rebels when Ghaddafi was “eliminated” was to change the Lybian Central Bank into a Rothschild alligned Central Bank. It was clearly one of the most, and possibly, THE most important goals of the “rebels”.

  20. The Money Power, a term coined by the North-Texas argrarian “populists” who knew what their primary antagonist was, continues to grow like a cancer and must be exterminated ASAP. The problem is few know of The Money Power and how it has morphed as an institution and took over the US government during WW2. One of the keener insights into that evolution is Prouty’s The Secret Team”/a>, although he doesn’t detail what happened during WW2. Similarly, Mike Ruppert did an excellent job of linking the CIA to the US/UK banking confab. I highly suspect Ms Brown’s hypothesis is correct because it links too much together to show that the events weren’t of a spontaneous sort whatsoever.

  21. Excellent analysis. It is clear that there is much more than is immediately apparent in the current Syrian control crisis. Your essay adds clarification to that fact.

    Re-blogged @ AbZu2
    For alternative views to the current situation in Syria on my blog check out:
    > All Wars are Bankers Wars
    > Exo-Politics in the Syrian Crisis
    > What’s Really Happening in Syria: Parting the Veils of the New World Order Assault on the Middle East ~ Foster Gamble

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