27 Jun 2012

The web of technocracy

I'm participating in a lively discussion on 'Cashless Society' on another forum, where I posted the Hindu BusinessLine article on India's Finance Ministry calling on banks to ensure that every family in India must have at least one bank account within six months.

I had to clarify that this action is among the last strands in a vast technocratic web of corporate "partnerships", an extensive IT network, and a comprehensive legislative framework that's already put in place.

The following are the other strands in the e-governance web in India - where the "e-citizen" is stealthly, silently transformed into an "e-customer"...

1. There is a biometrics-based Unique ID (UID) project being rolled out in India as we speak; it's the largest such database in history - and it is ultimately meant to enable a cashless society. (This article quotes the CEO of MindTree, one of the key IT companies involved.)

2. The framework for a mobile-based, biometrics-validated transaction system has already been worked-out by the Government of India. (This article is from the India's Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. There is also an extremely detailed pdf report at the end of the article, on the framework that is in place.)

3. In my previous post I have covered how this system is designed to create government-corporate monopolies that have sinister precedents in the "chartered companies" of the colonies; What the possible agenda may be; and the possible significance of the timing of all this.

And there is NO WAY to stay outside this web. Let me clarify...

As most of us are aware, 'money' is created every time 'debt' (i.e, IOUs) is created by a bank. I am no economist but my understanding is that the medium-of-exchange that a government authorises for repayment for all debts, public and private (legal tender) eventually dominates all other media-of-exchange. So if the new legal tender is electronic cash, eventually we all MUST 'work' to earn e-cash pay our taxes in e-cash!

(I don't believe it will be India alone that is taking this route. The privatisation of governance via public-private partnerships is spearheded by companies like Accenture - including for basic areas like food, income, healthcare, etc.)

I am confident that all this is not coincidence. There are powerful groups within the ruling classes that see "crisis" as "opportunity" - because populations in panic tend not to question "solutions" - no matter how horrendous they seem in hindsight.

The announcement I mentioned in the beginning of this post was one of the last ones - but perhaps among the most ambitious - moves by Pranab Mukherjee as Finance Minister. It is now a near-certainty that he will be appointed as the next President of India - with two significant powers: ONE, to make the vital "call to form the government" in case of a hung parliament in the 2013 elections. Two, to declare a state of national emergency when he perceives an internal or external threat - or a financial crisis!

Remember, India - after multiple downgrades by sundry Wall Street rating vultures - is now at the edge of a much greater financial precipice than we were in 1991. Incidentally, then, we were "rescued" by Manmohan Singh, a former Finance Minister and present Prime Minister, who has NEVER been elected into Parliament. He is just a technocrat who came into prominence and power during a crisis!

24 Jun 2012

Is there a major monetary 'reset' coming in six months?

PLEASE NOTE: I've edited this post a bit to add new information, clarify some points and to correct minor errors.

The world's major financial institutions are insolvent. Between debt, derivatives, re-hypothecation, and fractional reserve banking, there is just too much (several hundreds of trillions of USD more) of 'notional money' in the system than corresponding real assets or collateral value.

No repayment or settlement is possible... A major financial and monetary system resest is INEVITABLE.

Of late, several economists and thinkers have been noting a movement toward bifurcating the 'money system' as we know it today, into two parts:
- a universal 'store of value' (i.e. global currency)
- an electronic 'medium of exchange' (i.e. cashless society)

On one hand, there are very visible candidates for 'global currency' - like the IMF's Strategic Drawing Rights (SDRs), which is valued against a basket of currencies - and The World Bank Group's Bancor, a concept that is valued against gold.

On the other hand, cashless e-transactions are being aggressively promoted as an alternative that is safer, faster, more efficient, and trackable (thus less prone to corruption). The advantage for the financial system is that a 100% electronic cash would also end the need to even keep a fractional amount in reserve.

But a electronic cash also has its downsides:
- it is essentially a trasfer of zero-value IOUs;
- it is still created by bankers;
- it is usable only within an approved network;
- it will eventually require some form of electronic / biometric identification; and (most perhaps, most importantly...)
- it can never be 'stored' or 'saved' by the users (i.e. the public).

Although nearly inevitable, there has been never been a date or timeframe ascribed for this 'reset event', or more likely 'reset process'... until last week, that is!

On 17 June 2012, India's Finance Ministry instructed the country's banks to "ensure that at least one person per family across the country has a bank account in the next six months." Essentially, a call to plug the lives of all 1.3 billion Indians (or 1-in-6 of all humanity) into the financial matrix.

The intention is to transfer all government transactions online. From taxes to subsidies - EVERYTHING will be in e-payment!

You probably don't think India has the IT infrastructure, authentication processes, or financial inclusiveness to make this happen... You are wrong. Almost every village of over 2000 persons in India's un-banked hinderland is now connected by private - and substantialy, foreign - companies called 'Banking Correspondents'. Its shareholders include hedge funds and foreign banks.

The IT infrastructure and system is in place - and it's called the National Information Utilities (NIUs). Not surprising, these too are structured for heavy corporate participation. This system will in-turn be based on the largest biometric database in history, the Unique ID (UID) System - which too will be validated, operated and maintained by private corporate entities!

This is from the Report of the Technology Advisory Group for Unique Projects, presented by a team led by Nandan Nilekani to the Finance Ministry: "NIUs are important institutions, since they aid the functioning of Government. Due to various factors such as a large upfront sunk-cost, economies of scale, and network externalities from a surrounding ecosystem, they are essentially set up as natural monopolies."


The set-up is very similar to a Chartered Company monopoly - the most familiar of which (for Indians at least) would be the East India Company.

But such a drastic, far-reaching realignment of power between the public and private domains would need a serious crisis as backdrop in order to manufacture the appearance of public consent, or to takeover via 'emergency' powers minus public debate... Here's where the significance of the recent debasement of the Indian Rupee (by over 1/5th of its value), the downgrading of India's banking sector as well as its sovereign debt rating to one notch above 'Junk' status - could possibly come into play in the next few months!

11 Jun 2012

"Et tu, Paul?"

US Senator Rand Paul, son of Congressman Ron Paul, now endorses - and will probably campaign for - Mitt Romney.

I guess, this just goes to show...

Now whoever wins the next term as the 'Global Overlord of Democracy and Freedom Home Delivered by a Drone' in November 2012, Wall Street's pod of giant vampire squids won't lose sleep.