The Banks' War Against Us

Historical insights & thoughts about the world we live in - and the social conditioning exerted upon us by past and current propaganda.

Re: The Banks' War Against Us

Postby Flabbergasted on January 28th, 2017, 3:46 pm

On p. 150 of the book "1001 Inventions: the enduring legacy of the Muslim civilization", we are told about the highly developed banking system which existed in 9th-century Baghdad.
Like today, coins were not the only ways of paying. Checks were around centuries ago as well. "Check" comes from the Arabic sakk, a written vow to honor payment for merchandise when its destination is reached. In the time of Harun al-Rashid in the ninth century, under a highly developed banking system, a Muslim businessman could cash a check in Canton, China, drawn on his bank account in Baghdad. The use of sakk was born out of the need to avoid having to transport coin as legal tender due to the dangers and difficulties this represented. Bankers took to the use of bills of exchange, letters of credit, and promissory notes, often drawn up to be, in effect, checks. In promoting the concept of the bill of exchange, sakk, or check, Muslims made the financing of commerce and intercontinental trade possible.

I don´t know if the monetary system was debt and usury-free. If it was, it might help answer the old question of how a trade-intensive economy can function without these scourges.

A curious aside (p. 151):
Twelve hundred years ago, while the caliphs ruled the Muslim world, King Offa reigned in England. He introduced silver coins to his kingdom and also minted a gold coin, the gold Mancus, worth 30 silver coins. The extraordinary thing about the Mancus was that it copied the Muslim gold dinar of the Abbasid Caliph Al-Mansur, dated 774 AD (157 AH), carrying on one side the Arabic inscription "There is no Deity but Allah, The One, Without Equal, and Mohammad is the Apostle of Allah." A significant difference from the original dinar is that King Offa stamped his name on it with the inscription of OFFA REX. Scholars have puzzled over why an English king would have made a replica Arab coin. Some say he had converted to Islam, but the more likely explanation is that it was produced for trade, or for pilgrims to use as they traveled through Arab lands. The coin most certainly would not have been made by an Arab craftsman because there is no understanding of the Arabic text: "OFFA REX" is upside down in relation to the Arabic Kufic script, and the word "year" is misspelled in Arabic. The coin was probably copied by Anglo-Saxon craftsmen. Discoveries like this have helped us to redraw the international economic and trade relations of 1,200 years ago. King Offa's coin is evidence of how far Islamic currency had traveled by the eighth century. Archaeologists have found thousands of Muslim coins in modern-day Germany, Finland, and Scandinavia, showing that this currency was transported and traded from Muslim countries across Europe. King Offa was not the only non-Muslim ruler to make an Arabic coin. An 11th-century Spanish Catholic prince, Alfonso VIII, ordered the minting of a decorative coin on which the inscriptions were written in Arabic and on which he referred to himself as the "Ameer of the Catholics" and the pope in Rome as the "Imam of the Church of Christ."

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I recommend the book, even if it seems to advertise a bit too enthusiastically for the Islamic genius. The "1001 inventions" described belong mostly to the golden age of Islamic civilization (9th - 13th century). In any case, the facts can (and should) be checked in other sources.
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Re: The Banks' War Against Us

Postby Farcevalue on March 7th, 2017, 2:28 pm

Revisiting the TARP banker bailout and came across this:

https://www.princeton.edu/faithandwork/media/ethics-in-the-executive-suite/kenneth-feinberg/

Links includes audio - hear it in his own words if you are so inclined.

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From 2009:

President Obama last month named Kenneth Feinberg to oversee compensation given to the 100 highest-paid employees at banks and other firms that received the largest government bailouts, including Citigroup and Bank of America.


http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=8214818&page=1

I apologize if this has been covered elsewhere.

Of course, he is still dispensing terror dough for the current crop of (fake) terror:

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/31/us/p ... .html?_r=0

He sure gets around!
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Re: The Banks' War Against Us

Postby simonshack on March 7th, 2017, 11:52 pm

Farcevalue » March 7th, 2017, 1:28 pm wrote:He sure gets around!


He sure does...

For those who may not know much about Kenneth Feinberg, here's a brief summary of what he's been up to - in later years:

http://www.cluesforum.info/viewtopic.ph ... 5#p2377445
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Re: The Banks' War Against Us

Postby Flabbergasted on February 3rd, 2018, 2:06 pm

Many of you may be familiar with the tales of the Turkish/Persian wise man (sometimes fool), Nasruddin. The anecdotes are intended to amuse and give food for thought. Here is one of my favorites:

One day Nasruddin borrowed a pot from his neighbor Ali. The next day he brought it back with another little pot inside.
“That’s not mine,” said Ali.
“Yes, it is,” said Nasruddin. “While your pot was staying with me, it had a baby.”
Some time later Nasruddin asked Ali to lend him a pot again. Ali agreed, hoping that he would once again receive two pots in return. However, days passed and Nasruddin had still not returned the pot. Finally Ali lost patience and went to demand his property.
“I am sorry,” said Nasruddin. “I can’t give you back your pot. It died two days ago.”
“Died!” screamed Ali, “how can a pot die?”
“Well,” said Nasruddin, “you believed me when I told you that your pot had had a baby.”


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One of the possible interpretations relates to usury. Like interest on a loan, the baby in the story is said to issue from a naturally barren mother. Out of greed, the lender accepts the physically impossible baby, but protests vehemently when confronted with the death of the mother, an equally impossible event, this time invoked in favor of the borrower.

Imagine telling the loan manager at your bank: "Sorry Frank, shit happens. The principal died before it could bear interest."

More on the unnaturalness of usury in this earlier post: viewtopic.php?f=29&t=20&p=2402724#p2402724

Another more psychological interpretation of the tale relates to the phenomenon referred to as "double standard". I find the concept particularly relevant to the sociology of scientific knowledge, but that's a topic for another thread.
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Re: The Banks' War Against Us

Postby Penelope on February 20th, 2018, 2:43 am

Post by Flabbergasted on January 28th, 2017, 3:46 pm

On p. 150 of the book "1001 Inventions: the enduring legacy of the Muslim civilization", we are told about the highly developed banking system which existed in 9th-century Baghdad.
. . .
I don´t know if the monetary system was debt and usury-free. If it was, it might help answer the old question of how a trade-intensive economy can function without these scourges.


Mohammed had been a merchant, so trade and profit were embraced, but not usury. The extension of credit was made slightly profitable through service fees and through slightly higher pricing of goods bought on credit. Banking was not an occupation of itself, but was an adjunct for any large merchant. Where loans of capital were made to a commercial endeavor the loaner had to become a partner. This means that if the business failed, there was no debt or interest due from the other partners.

As to how a trade-intensive economy (or a modern economy generally) can function without INTENSIVE interest and debt, this is known. It seems mysterious to us merely because classical economics is no longer taught in academia-- nor is it commented upon by our corrupt media. In fact it is everywhere misrepresented, so that There Is No Alternative (TINA) to our present wage-peonage.

I highly recommend https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZzH8xxCzR0 The History of Neoliberal Economics Michael Hudson.

Michael favors Modern Monetary Theory which advocates public banking.

Here is an hour twenty minutes presentation by him which is more wide-ranging.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBMRbCtYNrU

If you are interested in the anthropology of money, I recommend the book which Michael mentions at the beginning of the presentation. "Debt The First 5000 Years" It's by David Graeber. My hard copy is 534pp. It's heavily footnoted (59pp), and the index is helpful. There is a more recent paperback under $20.
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