The Confidential Memo at the Heart of the Global Financial Crisis

[Note:  I had a number of readers send me this story yesterday, including Greg Palast himself.  I held off posting it for a number of reasons, but I think one of my readers summed it up best with their comment, ‘If Palast can be believed about this, we’re scrod’.  DLH]

THE CONFIDENTIAL MEMO AT THE HEART OF THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS
By Greg Palast
Aug 22 2013
<http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/larry-summers-and-the-secret-end-game-memo>

When a little birdie dropped the End Game memo through my window, its content was so explosive, so sick and plain evil, I just couldn’t believe it. 

The Memo confirmed every conspiracy freak’s fantasy: that in the late 1990s, the top US Treasury officials secretly conspired with a small cabal of banker big-shots to rip apart financial regulation across the planet. When you see 26.3 percent unemployment in Spain, desperation and hunger inGreece, riots in Indonesia and Detroit in bankruptcy, go back to this End Game memo, the genesis of the blood and tears.

The Treasury official playing the bankers’ secret End Game was Larry Summers. Today, Summers is Barack Obama’s leading choice for Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, the world’s central bank. If the confidential memo is authentic, then Summers shouldn’t be serving on the Fed, he should be serving hard time in some dungeon reserved for the criminally insane of the finance world.

The memo is authentic.

I had to fly to Geneva to get confirmation and wangle a meeting with the Secretary General of the World Trade Organisation, Pascal Lamy. Lamy, the Generalissimo of Globalisation, told me,

“The WTO was not created as some dark cabal of multinationals secretly cooking plots against the people… We don’t have cigar-smoking, rich, crazy bankers negotiating.”

Then I showed him the memo.

It begins with Larry Summers’ flunky, Timothy Geithner, reminding his boss to call the Bank bigshots to order their lobbyist armies to march:

“As we enter the end-game of the WTO financial services negotiations, I believe it would be a good idea for you to touch base with the CEOs…”

To avoid Summers having to call his office to get the phone numbers (which, under US law, would have to appear on public logs), Geithner listed the private lines of what were then the five most powerful CEOs on the planet. And here they are:

[snip]

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