We are entrapped in a quasi-market, manipulated and hetero-directed by conglomerates and financial institutions whose basic goal is to appropriate resources from the real economy, which are currently the properties of Countries, households, and enterprises (see my article “From development models to mechanisms of misappropriation “).
However, who is pulling the strings of this system? Who are the puppeteers?
The lintel of the system rests on a few large conglomerates defined as “super-entities” due to their impact force, their cross-sector approach and their transnational scope. Among these, it is worth mentioning at least four cases.
BlackRock, mainly owned by Merrill Lynch (49.8%), in turn, owned by Barclays, State Street Corporation, Axa, Vanguard Group and others. BlackRock directly manages more than $5 trillion assets, equal to almost half of the entire Eurozone GDP (!).
The Vanguard Group Inc., owned by 86% by hedge funds including Price Associates, BlackRock and Credit Suisse, with $3,000 billion assets under management (twice the Italian GDP).
State Street Corporation, owned among others by Barclays, Citigroup, General Electric and Vanguard, with $2.5 trillion of assets under management.
Capital World Investors, owned by a number of hedge funds with a global sphere of action, and with about $1.5 trillion under management.
These conglomerates possess substantial shares of the major companies listed in the largest stock exchanges worldwide; they own banks “too big to fail” ( “TBTF”, such as Bank of America, Bank of New York, JP Morgan, Barclays etc.), central banks (FED, ECB, BOE, through commercial banks), rating agencies (Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, Fitch), and affect the decisions of interbank boards for the determination of interest rates (Libor and Euribor).
In addition, they have direct representatives on the boards of the major Exchanges (such as NYSE Euronext, NASDAQ, London Stock Exchange, Frankfurt Stock Exchange and Hong Kong ..), they control the London Bullion Market for gold fixing, they possess thousands of sub-industrial holding companies in over 60 countries worldwide, they are the owners of Mastercard and Visa, via their commercial banks they control the electronic markets for international settlement of financial transactions such as Clearstream and Euroclear, and own or are creditors of newspapers and mainstream TV, inspiring their editorial line.
The core of this system includes about 1,300 companies with cross-ownership that represents a compact and global operating business and financial blockade. Just to mention one of the thousands of branches of this bundle, let’s consider that Standard & Poor’s is largely owned by McGraw-Hill, which in turn has Capital World Investor as its first shareholder, which is the same shareholder of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup , Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft. Moody’s, in turn, has Capital World Investors (10%) as its first shareholder but also each of the other three conglomerates with a percentage ownership of between 3% and 5% each. It is a joint where everybody possesses everybody else.
This group of 1,300 companies is directly responsible for 20% of the world’s operating revenues (!) and indirectly, through investments in sub-holding companies, a further 60% of turnover coming from manufacturing companies. So, about 80% of the worldwide turnover was due to this cross-block of 1,300 companies.
A subset of this core, which includes the 147 “super-entities” inter-connected between them in an even narrower way by crossed participations, is able to control the entire global network represented by the 1,300 companies mentioned above. Among the top 20 names of the 147 super-entities, we find BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street, Capital World, Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Goldman Sachs Group (source: Business Insider).
These super-entities are managed by a thousand of top-managers that determine the choices, the alliances, and the management philosophy. These individuals come from leading universities and business schools in the world, speak the same language, have peppered the same management culture, characterized by a stateless laicism that is able to adapt to any local identity, and whose basic objective is the maximization of profit and the appropriation of resources from the real economy.
There are no political views, social sciences, religious beliefs or economic systems that they prefer over others. Therefore, when two States go to war, there is a presidential election, a bank is likely to fail, or a tsunami strikes a populated coast, these super-entities have always opportunities to earn.
Intermediate objectives that these super-entities pursue are precise and pragmatic. Among these, I would mention the relocation of divisions and subsidiaries, the application of fictitious internal transfer prices to their respective groups, the reduction of labor costs and the propagation of precarious work, the execution of fictitious merger and acquisition transactions aimed at benefiting from tax avoidance.
In order to achieve these objectives, they have highly effective tools at their disposal, instruments of governance and appropriation, which are primarily the control of the currency, the ownership of the media, lobbying activities on the labor legislation and taxation. Here are the “claws” of the system, which have to be neutralized.
The control of the outstanding money is undoubtedly the most powerful tool available. The super-entities are in fact the real managers of the money supply, on several levels: by the central banks they control the primary creation of money, through commercial banks they create money through fictitious deposits generated by the activity of granting loans to clients; via Mastercard / VISA they create money for consumer credit, and so on by using other proprietary tools.
The intermediate objective of this mechanism is to indebt the real economy at all levels: State, families, and enterprises through a currency free from any link to real values, and kept strictly outside the control of the political sphere.
In fact, the super-entities are similar to modern “empires” where the military occupation has been replaced by the “financial” occupation constructed and perpetuated through the fundamental instrument of debt.
An indebted system is controllable from the outside, it is easily manipulable, and through the interest expenses paid on money created out of thin air by external private entities, the system impoverishes.
Media contribute greatly to this strategy. For example, they let us believe that the Government austerity measures for the Eurozone, or the failure of Lehman Brothers or ISIS is accidental facts or consequences of the economic cycle, rather than manipulated events created for the purpose of causing internal changes to the system.
Obviously, this creates a fertile ground for the formation of political-administrative coalitions that are willing to complete the job. Some examples. Through the dictate of government agendas, rating agencies impose austerity and create precarious work through reforms similar to the Job Act; through the media they solicit and manage mass deportation of illegal immigrants to contribute to deflationary pressure on wages; through parliamentary lobby the induce fiscal reforms that allow a company that produces and sells cars in Italy to be taxable in the Netherlands …
All this results in an asymmetric world where in addition to the financial strength, the media, and political power, these super-entities are able to circumvent the fiscal, corporate and labor laws, which would be applied harshly to domestic companies and small and medium enterprises, that hence continue every day to go bankrupt. It is an unequal struggle …
A primitive thought could now come to the conclusion that there are puppeteers and puppets, that the top of the pyramid is identifiable because we are used to thinking as if it were a pyramid. Unfortunately, it is not. An inextricable tangle of partnerships, cross-debts, and spheres of influence linked causes each puppeteer to be both the puppet of someone else and eventually master puppet of himself.
This happens at the levels of large corporations, as well as at the level of each individual, whether he is conscious of it or not. For example, the owner of a credit card plans to use the credit granted by the Master, but it is actually the credit to use the consumer, his compulsive purchase, his family needs and his labor force that will repay the debt created. Using the credit card, the consumer cooperates in the creation of banking money that increases the debt of the real economy and makes it more controllable by the financial sphere.
It’s a mechanism that propagates without any need for a director. We have entered into a “matrix”, where States are reduced to little more than condos, where a bank is self-proclaimed “Central” and “European” when in fact it is a private company governed by international law, where the dismemberment of employment protection is called “job act”, where the misappropriation of private wealth is called “bail-in”, where a fictitious mechanism of pressure on governments is called the “spread” and the big lie of the systemic crisis appeals to “austerity”.
The so-called “system” is a multi-level matrix based on debt and is free of any heart, or a focal point, and for this reason is not attackable either from the outside or from inside.
Indeed, those who may seem elements of weakness, crisis or discontinuities are almost always endogenous transformations within the matrix, that are needed to replace worn nodes and regenerate the system over time, increasing its density …
This has to be understood and assimilated thoroughly before moving on to the formulation of any action strategy. Confusing the puppeteers and the puppets and falling into the trap of fake signals issued by the system is a reactionary prerogative and therefore functional to the system itself.
This system can not be fought frontally, political coalitions are not sufficient and there are no technical solutions to be implemented shortly. Its power passes through our bodies, it came into our pockets, acting through our hands and has shaped our minds. It is not something exogenous with respect to the social and political sphere so it can be subverted; It is rather endogenous to it, and then you can fight only by changing the structure and functioning of social and economic relationships between families, enterprises and public administration. It needs to be wrong-footed…