Weaponising interest rates, inducing negativity caused by austerity

Continuing on from the previous blog, here are some further extracts from ‘The Production of Money’ by Ann Pettifor:

Wielding the weapon of interest, finance capital effectively holds societies, governments and industries, but also the entire ecosystem, to ransom over repayment of its loans. This predicament is particularly tragic given that, in theory, the development of banking and of sound monetary systems should have ended the power of any elite to extract outsized returns from borrowers. Today, just as in earlier pre-banking eras, interest rates remain high in real terms, even in rich countries. However, this is only because these societies, elected governments and industries have conceded such despotic power to finance capital.

In Chapter 4 she tells us how the ‘broken record’ phrase governments trot out is ‘there is no money’. That sword through the heart of civil society is a painful experience we have suffered all our lives, and tells us Austerity will continue.

Ann Pettifor:

We live in turbulent political and financial times, and in a global economy dogged by failure. We survive precariously on a planet warmed by human greenhouse gas emissions and disturbed by a human-induced mass extinction. The financial system is currently volatile, corrupted and widely discredited. Scandals of mis-selling, theft, manipulation and fraud abound. And the cry ‘there is no money’ for projects that society holds dear echoes all around us. We are assured that ‘there is no money’ for care of the elderly, or for the mentally ill, or for social housing. There is no money for the commissioning of operas, plays or other forms of artistic creation. There is no money for public investment in water conservation, renewable energy, flood defences, the retrofitting of old, energy-leaking properties, or other investments designed to protect society from climate change. One of the reasons for this chorus of defeatism is the global overhang of debt, and the conflation by many economists (and indeed the public) of both public and private debt. In this chapter I hope to deal with both the ‘there is no money’ meme, and the differences between public and private debt, and why public debt, at times of weakness, ought not to be a barrier to public investment. ‘The state has no source of money’ At the heart of the politically inept responses to the financial crisis is an ideologically driven and mendacious conviction: that while society can afford to bail out a systemically broken banking system, it cannot afford to finance and address economic failure, youth unemployment, energy insecurity, climate change, poverty and disease. Society, it is argued, ‘has no money’ to finance these challenges, to stimulate recovery or create employment.

Every citizen who hopes to get answers to why we have been struggling like this for so long should sit down and read this book. It is so refreshing, it is like therapy to read it, to scrape the fog away of mixed messages spouted by ‘experts’ and politicians.

Debt is defined as an asset by its owners: creditors and international financiers, including private equity investors. Assets are valuable in themselves – think of the rent extracted from property, from income streams generated by the purchase of a football club, or from companies in the form of dividends, etc. But debt (or a loan) is also an asset and has value as a source of ‘rent’ in the form of interest payments made over time. Finally, debts (for example, a bank’s mortgages) are useful as income-generating collateral for leveraging even more borrowing or debt. Think of phone network providers that have thousands of contracts with users. These contracts represent streams of revenue into the future, and holding these contracts provides the phone network company with the collateral needed against further borrowing.

Too much debt carried by borrowers living in austere times leads to defaults, thus the economy deflates beyond rescue.

The politicians responsible for enforcing austerity policies had not just imposed unnecessary suffering and dislocation on millions of people, their communities and countries. They had not only caused public debt to rise. They, in fact, caused disillusionment with democracy to set in among the unemployed and impoverished in Europe and the US. Austerity and the collusion between politicians and the finance sector opened up political space for right-wing, populist political parties like Donald Trump and the Tea Party in the US, the National Front in France, and Golden Dawn in Greece. These were among the social and political consequences of democratic politicians enacting policies that enrich the few while impoverishing the majority; policies based on the interests of the robber barons and on the flawed theories of ‘defunct’ economists.

To see democracy threatened as a result of financial gambling run by those who think they are amongst the brightest brains in the world, is to despair of present day support for this modus operandi we seem saddled with.

Ann Pettifor reminds us, later in her book, that the rate of interest on money is merely a ‘social construct’. We must remember that; some of us have had our financial lives stubbed out by these ‘constructs’.

High rates of interest do harm to the majority and favour the rentier.

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Designing financial instruments which destroy lives

Fact: Those with wealth seek to invest in varioùs assets which have the best return.

Sometimes financial instruments have been designed to fill the shortfall in asset availability.

Many of us have suffered after these machinations inevitably turn foul.

Many ideas central to financial mathematics began with betting … The scientists who cracked blackjack and roulette in the 1960s and ’70s eventually moved into finance, tired of the attention from casino security. To them, the divide was superficial. Like the modern teams tackling sports betting, they just saw another market, another set of inefficiencies, and another game to be beaten.

Adam Kucharski, May 2016, ft.com

It seems the gambling addiction practised in the world of finance has been given a divine status which allows detachment and impunity from being seen as it should be, a major harm to life itself.

Ann Pettifor describes the fallout from the 2007-9 financial crisis and mismanagement:

Among the safest assets are US government bonds (US ‘treasuries’) and British government bonds (‘gilts’). Unfortunately the slump of 2007–09 and its aftermath cut government tax revenues dramatically, as firms failed, individuals lost employment and wages fell in real terms. Instead of supporting the heavily indebted private sector by expanding public investment, increasing employment and supporting wages after the crisis, western governments responded to the slump by cutting spending further. This meant that governments stopped borrowing, and the issue of government bonds declined. At about the same time, central banks embarked on quantitative easing and, by purchasing government bonds and placing them on their balance sheets, helped create a shortage of such safe assets. As a consequence, the prices of all assets have risen, including government bonds, and the yields (the return an investor will realize on a bond) have fallen – in some cases to negative levels! Because of these low yields (returns) and this shortage of bonds, capitalists have to park their funds in other assets. The most attractive asset is property: valuable and scarce real estate in, for example, inner London, New York City or Hong Kong. The outcome of low yields on government bonds is the massive inflation of property prices – which in turn has led to a form of ‘social cleansing’ as prices rocket and ordinary Londoners, for example, can no longer afford to purchase property or pay high rents.

Charles R. Morris, in his book ‘The Two Trillion Dollar Meltdown’ takes us into 1994 and the dark world of Wall Street activities which:

took low quality mortgages and created the subprime market. These mortgages became structured Bonds called CMO’s (collateralized mortgage obligations). These bonds were then ‘tiered in horizontal slices, or tranches, and portfolio cash flows were preferentially directed to the top tranches. Since the top tranches had first claim on cash flows, they qualified for the highest investment-grade ratings. The bottom tranches absorbed all the initial defaults but paid high yields. The mix of very high-quality, high-rated instruments plus a smaller quantity of high-yield, high-risk paper matched up well with the preference of long-term investors. Wall Street inevitably pushed the tranching technology to an extreme, triggering a serious mortgage-market crash in 1994.

Efforts were made to redesign the mortgage market into Residential Mortgage Backed-securities (RMBS). These became the standard element in most big investor portfolios.

Next came the CMBS (commercial mortgage-backed securities)

pioneered by the federal agency charged with selling off multibillion of commercial mortgages acquired from failed S&Ls…..tailored to their underlying assets….don’t lend themselves to pooling. The solution was to involve the rating agencies in the construction of the pool. Banks would assemble a detailed profile for each property on a projected pool – it’s financials, management, tenant histoŕy, maintenance records and mortgage details. The rating agencies used proprietary models to estimate default risk and actively negotiated the pool structure – rejuggling properties to improve geographic diversity, or insisting on more buildings with long-term, blue-chip tenants. A typical CMBS had five or six tranches…….

This process enabled asset-backed securities (ABS) to “finance equipment, transportation fleets, or anything else investors could value”

In turn this led to commercial banks use of CBOs (collateralized bond obligations) and investment banks ‘experimented with CLOs (collateralized loan obligations) and the generic name for all types of securitized assets was CDOs (collateralized debt obligations).

“For banks, selling assets and liabilities off their balance sheets reduces strain on regulatory capital; for companies, it lowers apparent debt.”

Morris goes on to write most fascinatingly how each step of this process opened the floodgates which led to

The notional value of credit default swaps-that is, the size of portfolios covered by default agreements-grew from $1 trillion in 2001 to $45 trillion by mid-2007.

Lives destroyed:

What Is the Link Between Homeownership and the American Dream?

In many ways, the American Dream is a concept of optimism. It implies equal opportunity and that any individual can aspire to financial stability and even superior wealth—regardless of their background—through hard work, entrepreneurial ventures, or other means. A large component of financial stability and the American Dream is owning your own home. The Great Recession and the ensuing housing collapse in 2008 cast doubt on the so-called “American Dream.” The economic crisis precipitated by the 2020 lockdowns and job losses didn’t help.

The American Dream is now considered out of reach for many groups in American society. This article focuses on how 2008 started to dismantle it.


The pain goes on to the present day:




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Credit Line

Ann Pettifor explains:

…after the Second World War, the finance sector recruited (directly or indirectly) economists, journalists and politicians to reverse Keynes’s monetary theories and policies…..

[Thank the London School of Economics for much of the defamation of Keynes from then on and]…….led ultimately to the victory of the economy’s robber barons……..the ecosystem, is once again subordinated to the interests of global finance.

The Production of Money

So ideas were put into action such as LIBOR (invented by Minos Zombanakis, banker, 1926-2019) . This concept was manipulated and led to the the banking sector rigging interest rates between them:

The most memorable incidents in earth-changing events are sometimes the most banal. In the rapidly spreading scandal of LIBOR (the London Interbank Offered Rate) it is the very everydayness with which bank traders set about manipulating the most important figure in finance. They joked, or offered small favours. ‘Coffees will be coming your way,’ promised one trader in exchange for a fiddled number. ‘Dude. I owe you big time! … I’m opening a bottle of Bollinger,’ wrote another. One trader posted diary notes to himself so that he wouldn’t forget to fiddle the numbers the next week. ‘Ask for High 6M Fix’, he entered in his calendar, as he might have put ‘Buy Milk’. What may still seem to many to be a parochial affair involving Barclays, a 300-year-old British bank, rigging an obscure number, is beginning to assume global significance. The number that the traders were toying with determines the prices that people and corporations around the world pay for loans or receive for their savings. It is used as a benchmark to set payments on about $800 trillion–worth of financial instruments, ranging from complex interest-rate derivatives to simple mortgages. The number determines the global flow of billions of dollars each year. Yet it turns out to have been flawed.

From ‘The LIBOR scandal’, Economist, July 2012.

This is the Timeline of the Scandal, illustrating how the small, tight community of bankers work together globally:


The global banking sector consists of small, medium and large banks. Sometimes, as in the 2007-8 banking crisis, famous financial sector institutions collapsed, others were ‘bailed out’ by the taxpayer.

Some lists of banks around the world I found are shown below. They all interact with one another and form a banking ecosystem.

It was 1963 when Africa formed its group of banks:

The idea of an Association of African Central Banks was first introduced on May 25, 1963, at the Summit Conference of African Heads of State and Government held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In this regard, African Heads of State and Government unanimously agreed to set up a preparatory Economic Committee to study a large range of monetary and financial issues, in collaboration with Governments and in consultation with the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).


2023 list of 50 European Banks:



There are a 4836 local and national banks offering banking services in United States with nearly 77000 branches in 9922 cities.


Many books and articles scrutinise the activities of the banking sector as they impact each and everyone of us, and the health of our planet. For example, Wall Street practices monitored here:


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Start-up to Scale-up: Do No Harm

Farmers might consider adding seaweed to the diet of their cattle because it will reduce the methane output by the animals by 80%! The research has been revealed in this article:


But before we get too excited we must not make the usual mistake we humans so often do when scaling up to meet a demand:


So if we can add other uses of seaweed we might say, ‘Hey! Here’s another good one!’

Biodegradable packaging from seaweed!


This reminds me of the sand battery I included in a blog some time ago:


So before a great idea can become a grand solution to our desire to save the planet, first we must do a study of an environmental cost benefit analysis to avoid harm.

For example, a sea salt battery might be a better solution than the sand battery:


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‘Euthanasia of the rentier’: understanding of the fundamentals of the monetary system

From ‘The Production of Money’, by Ann Pettifor

Keynes was ruthless in his approach to the subordination of the finance sector to the interests of wider society and actively campaigned for the ‘euthanasia of the rentier’. He regarded the love of money for its own sake as ‘a somewhat disgusting morbidity, one of those semi-criminal, semi-pathological propensities which one hands over with a kind of shudder to the specialist in mental diseases’.

Q. What do we all hope for?

A. Three goals:

  • Economic prosperity
  • Financial stability
  • Social justice

The author suggests this can only be achieved if we:

Bring offshore capital back onshore

And to do that we should ban lobbyists, who argue otherwise, from Wall Street and the City of London. They have brought us to this perilous edge which even all politicians of various denominations choose not to recognise.

Ann Pettifor:

The Bretton Woods era (1945–71) was a time during which the private banking and finance sector acted as servant to and not master of the economy. Thanks largely to John Maynard Keynes’s theories, his understanding of the monetary system, and to the implementation of his monetary policies during this period, the financial system was made to work largely in the interests of wider society.

But since then the international expanse of offshore banking has become sufficiently complicated to require enablers (lawyers and bankers) to assist those with legitimate and illegitimate requirements. There are agents who offer such services to this lucrative market. Here is an example:


Why do people want to keep their money offshore?

The above website answers:

Freedom to do business in a secure judicial system, without being bothered, and maintaining your right to privacy are probably the main reasons why people go offshore today.

Pettifor recommends bringing offshore back onshore using capitol control which results in keeping interest rates:

low across the spectrum of lending – essential to the health and prosperity of any economy

And is

essential to the management of toxic emissions and the ecosystem

And this last quote particularly intrigues me. Surely we should all become familiar with the work of Ann Pettifor who has a body of work worth highlighting as our planet and all forms of life are under so much duress from human activity.

Ann Pettifor explains how the wealth generated could have benefited all those who gave their labour, but instead was stolen by the few:

However from the 1960s onwards, private wealth, led largely by private bankers, in collusion with elected politicians, began again to wrest control of the monetary system away from the regulatory democracy of governments. Today the global economy is effectively governed by a small number of actors based in private global banks and other financial institutions. They manage the system in their own vested interests to the detriment of wider society. In the absence of any real political challenge from society, private wealth owners have used the public infrastructure of money, and their power over private money production, to amass astounding amounts of wealth.

And here below, published in The Conversation on 15th March, 2023, an interesting article suggesting central banks are responsible for inflation, written by Richard Werner, University of Winchester:


And back to Ann Pettifor, something most of are acutely aware of in this troubled world, the subject of USURY:

Usury is today widely accepted as normal in western economies whose monetary systems have been weakened by the parasitic grasp of finance capital, and enfeebled by heavy burdens of debt. This acceptance blinds society to the way in which usury exacerbates the destructive extraction of assets from the earth.

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Environmental auditing is not what it seems

You and I might care about sustainable forestry and check that any product made from the trees of this world are carefully sourced to protect ancient and rare trees.

Auditors who assist in green labelling are part of a multi billion dollar industry. But are they really helping us protect this planet? Perhaps they may be assisting criminals to conceal their ill gotten timber under green labelling to avoid prosecution?

Read the ICIJ latest report on the topic by clicking on the link below:


Spread the word to raise awareness in your community, as they have here in an Indian news outlet:


Dreamstime image
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No new fossil fuels and address loss and damage

Botswana is about to welcome a Canadian company into a famously pristine region. What have they been allowed to do?


There are honorary consuls in Toronto and Ontario, and there are negative associations now emerging from ICIJ of countries being robbed by those appointed. See:


As this outrageous oil exploration project is planned for this rare pristine wilderness in Botswana, there are others like the French oil exploration in Virunga Park, DRC. This deal was led by Boris Johnson of the UK.


We should all be protesting at the highest levels.

So sad to see one of the few pristine Arctic wilderness environments will now be trashed by Willow Oil company. Fossil fuels are here to stay, and they will retain what we think of as vital for growth but we are knowingly extinguishing the last vestiges of hope for life on this amazing planet.


We have seen the devastation of the Nigerian delta by Dutch Shell and we know about the centuries of ongoing theft of wealth from exploited areas of Africa. Royal Dutch Shell was founded by Sir Henri Deterding, an ardent Nazi. From WW2 to the present day, there is a notorious story linked to this oil group, written up by John Donovan.

We can’t use the war in Ukraine as an excuse to continue to destroy treasured wilderness in Africa, nor of any other rare, pristine area of this wonderful earth.

Read the story of Sir Henri Deterding and the power of Royal Dutch Shell, by John Donovan, 2016:

Royal Dutch Shell and the Destruction of Nigeria

And read of other evidence from:


And find out about OPL 245:


The outcome of acquittal has been a disappointment to Nigerians. Social Justice is rarely achieved when the scales are tipped into the greedy hands of the exploiters.

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Green building design: Biomimicry architecture

I am reproducing this website as it best illustrates how rebuilding countries which have suffered massive destruction could be achieved in an eco way. Surely, there should be no reason to build using pre-eco design methods?






Modelled on the way that termites construct their nest to ventilate, cool and heat it entirely through natural means.



CH2, as it is known, is the first building in Australia to achieve a six star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. 



Click below to view more completed projects new projects using biomimicry and enviromentally friendly architecture.



Click below to view conceptual designs of future biomimicry based projects that are on the drawing board.


Biomimicry Architecture

I choose to work within three parameters; nature, resourses and aesthetics. By “nature” I mean the Gaia theory of natural systems in which life itself controls the biosphere. Designers need to see the city as an ecosystem in which all parts are interlinked and influence each other. “Resources” are human, natural and economic. By “aesthetics” I refer to a new relationship between designer and nature where the former copies the processes of nature and not nature itself.”

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What we know about industrial growth – and it isn’t good.

Zach Wichter wrote an article in the New York Times (June 20, 2017) entitled “Too Hot to Fly? Climate Change May Take a Toll on Flying.”

He pointed out that when temperatures get too high, the aerodynamic that allow planes to take off is negated.

4 years ago, Aviation website explained:

“On a hot and humid day, the aircraft will accelerate more slowly down the runway, will need to move faster to attain the same lift, and will climb more slowly. The less dense the air, the less lift, the more lackluster the climb, and the longer the distance needed for takeoff and landing. Fewer air molecules in a given volume of air also result in reduced propeller efficiency and therefore reduced net thrust. All of these factors can lead to an accident if the poor performance has not been anticipated.”

In 2021, flights were grounded due to intense heat:


And in Phoenix, Arizona, it was stifling and excessive heat which grounded flights:


“Airbus and Boeing jets are able to operate at higher temperatures, but performance may still be impaired by heat. Earlier this month Hainan Airlines decided to delay the departure of its flight from Las Vegas to Beijing for the summer, because of the capacity restrictions imposed by high afternoon temperatures.

The Chinese carrier has switched the departure time from 2.10pm to 1am. Flight HU7970 will take off in the early hours until the end of October.”

When we take a round trip journey from New York to London, our flight costs the Arctic three more square meters of ice. See:

Dirk Notz and Julianne Stroeve, Observed Arctic Sea-Ice Loss Directly Follows Anthropogenic CO2 Emission,” Science 354, no.6313 (Nov 2016).

Current situation in the Arctic:


We have seen the increase of permafrost melting in Arctic areas of Russia. The most alarming consequence is illustrated by the oil spill a couple of years ago:


Food security is deteriorating due to many factors, but a major one is climate change.

Economical disaster will hit farmers who remember perfect conditions for their produce in mid latitude countries. They will have had a good living during their lifetime, but now will see their land turning to desert. It will be a Grapes of Wrath scene on a massive scale.



Yet emissions continue to rise and the consequences are what we know already.

The classification of countries will change as mid latitude countries lose out due to climate change. As some economies shrink, so others will grow, but globally the world is suffering due to high use of fossil fuels in industrial settings.


Apparently Karl Marx can help us out of the mess we are in if our minds are open to his wisdom, as represented to us in a recently written book:


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By 2100: Global warming is projected to lower per capita GDP by 50 percent minimum

We know the ongoing Ukraine war has forced a postponement of plans to make us less reliant on fossil fuels. The weaponising of energy has stopped us in our tracks.


A precursor to Ukraine was Tigray, fighting for independence but trashed by Ethiopian and Eritranean warfare when the large dam was bombed in 2021 and the country went dark.


Now we see 2022 to present day, the massive attacks on the Ukrainian energy infrastructure which was built in the Soviet era and Russia has the maps of where every part of it is located.


Destroying energy infrastructure with intent is a crime against humanity. More so if the global consequences are to increase emissions which accelerate climate change.

Environmental damage through war is immense. Economic damage is immense.

Research before the blackouts in Tigray and Ukraine estimated economic damage with already known factors, and the outlook is dire:


Economic stability is a fiction given our trajectory of insane perpetuation of harmful activities.

And Africa is an easy target for plunder, all countries continue to exploit its vast resources, for example, Russia in Eritrea and Sudan extracting gold and potash reserves, whilst the population suffer in drought conditions across the Horn of Africa:



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