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Friday, October 11, 2013

Urgent Warning: Our Bank Deposits Are No Longer Safe

As a result of recent changes to the rules governing the financial system operating throughout the G20 nations, a serious threat has arisen to the finances of individuals, families, and institutions that have entrusted their assets to major banks.  Here's the situation:  in case "systemically important" banks should fail, they are now authorized to take over the assets of their clients, including our deposits! This procedure is known as a "bail-in”—as distinguished from a "bail-out”—and it has already been implemented in Cyprus. This threat has been thoroughly documented by Ellen Hodgson Brown (author of two extraordinary books on our money system, The Web of Debt, and, just published, The Public Bank Solution), and by the Public Banking Institute, which she founded. For a vivid, compelling explanation of the crisis provided by the Institute, see this brief video: .  Given the vast, destabilizing involvement of major banks in derivatives gambling, about ten times the volume of the real economy as this video shows, major banks are constantly at risk of failing, and suddenly triggering a bail-in assault on our assets.  The peril is especially clear in Canada which legalized the bail-in procedure in its 2013 Federal Budget.  See: .  But this bail-in agenda was mandated for all the G20 nations at their 2011 meeting, and it is likely to be reenforced by provisions of the CETA and TPP, the vast so-called “trade agreements” presently being negotiated.

Having been assured that the bail-in rescue plan is readily available in case they fail, banks are all the more likely to participate in speculative activity.  When driven to insolvency by their losses in derivatives gambling, the losing banks' first priority must be to pay off the winning banks ("counter parties") with whatever resources they can muster, now including their clients' assets—our financial resources.  The outrage of bail-ins includes the "super-priority status" of bank "counter parties" over our claims as bank clients.

The danger from bail-ins is especially high at the moment.  If the US government on October 17 defaults on its debt, the global financial system, with some $700 trillion of speculative derivatives churning around, may be thrown into the sort of chaos that would bring a major financial meltdown, perhaps surpassing that of 2008, with many bank failures resulting in bail-ins, bringing a massive shift of financial resources from the middle class to the already obscenely wealthy.  Even if we escape this immediate peril—perhaps only temporarily—the threat to our financial welfare from the banks' speculative excesses remains imminent.  Add to this the proclivity of private banks intentionally to engineer depressions for their own benefit (there is rich documentation available for this), and the dangers hanging over us become all the more imminent.

Ultimately it will require persistent political action to eliminate the grossly unjust bail-in threat—e.g., outlawing bail-ins altogether, developing public banking, restoring the Glass-Steagall Act (which separated investment banking—mostly derivatives gambling now—from depository banking and insurance).  But for the present, what personal actions might we take to protect ourselves?  We all need to be seeking alternatives to the mainline banks that we can no longer trust.  It may be possible for individuals and institutions to find safe haven for their financial resources by using credit unions. The risk probably differs from one credit union to another. We need to explore with each specific credit union the extent to which members' assets are entrusted to major banks—preferably not at all.  We need to consider becoming active credit union members, constantly vigilant regarding the safety of our collective resources.  We can no longer take it for granted that our bank deposits are safe.

George Crowell   October 7, 2013

Thursday, October 3, 2013

More Announcements from our Facilitator


I have news for you on four items.

1. The first issue is we have had a change of date for our monthly meeting. Due to conflict we have had to change just this meeting from Tuesday Oct. 8th to Thursday Oct. 10th at the Tolpuddle CO-OP. Start time is still 7:00PM.

I am putting an agenda together and I should have done by tomorrow at the latest. If anyone has any items that they would like to bring forward, please send them to me ASAP.

2. I missed one event from the last blast. Starting Friday November 15th, a film series brought to you by The Seeds of Hope, the Latin American Canadian Solidarity Association, Heart-Links, Mining Watch, The Centre for Social Concern at King's University College and the Council of Canadians: Extracting the Earth: Canada and Beyond.

It is a free film series about how Canadian and American resource companies are conducting themselves not only in Canada but in Latin American countries as well. Discussions follow the movies.

All films are being shown at the Stevenson-Hunt Room at the Central Public Library.

Friday Nov. 15th, 6:00-10:00PM: London premiere of Gold Fever. A movie about mining in Columbia.
Saturday Nov.16th, 5:30-9:00PM: Films about Canadian and American mining in Peru and Mexico
Sunday Nov. 17th: The Hole Story and films about fracking in Canada.

For more details email LACASA at

3. If anyone is interested in participating in this event: October 19th is the day of the Global Frackdown#2. It is a day to join with people around the world to say no to fracking anywhere. Some chapters are getting involved but most of them are being directly affected by fracking. London has not been affected by fracking yet but with fracking occurring around the Great Lakes basin, it will only be a matter of time. Check out : for more details.

4. There has been an interest to try and resurrect the London Environmental Network. It was originally started to try and bring environmental groups together in London and to try and support the actions of other groups and to make sure to try to coordinate events  so there wouldn't be five or six environmental events happening on the same day. With what is happening with Pen-Equity, London Hydro being threatened and other issues around London, there has been a jump of people joining the LEN Facebook site. Perhaps it is time that environmental, social justice groups and political groups to come together. Check out the Facebook site (search for London Environmental Network) and lets get the conversation started.

Rod Morley, Facilitator, London Chapter, Council of Canadians