Guest Post: Will Bilderberg Sink the Global Economy?

Submitted by Leo Kolivakis, publisher of Pension Pulse.

Roughly once a quarter, I get together with some leftist professors at Alep restaurant in Montreal. As always, the food was delicious but Tom Naylor forgot to order the lamb dish, one of my favorites. He did make sure the wine kept flowing so I will forgive him.

It was a full house tonight. Even Robin Rowley, my econometrics and history of economic thought professor at McGill University, showed up and so did Jonathan Nitzan who just finished writing Contours of Crisis II: Fiction and Reality with Shimson Bichler.

There were many other distinguished guests tonight, including Sam Noumoff who will soon leave us to enjoy his retirement somewhere on the coast of Spain (I am so jealous). Presiding over tonight’s festivities was our esteemed President, George Archer, a man who knows how to say a lot with few words. El Presidente was at his best tonight, making sure his loyal servants were obedient. He allowed Naylor to have a few of his classic outbursts but nothing too anti-capitalistic.

A long time ago, I use to work with Jonathan and George at the Bank Credit Analyst, a private macroeconomic forecast firm based here in Montreal. Unfortunately, both Jonathan and George are not neo-classical economists so their views were too off course for traditional macroeconomic forecast firms who believe in the religion of economics.

As for Tom Naylor, well, he has long given up on economic theory saying “it’s all a fraud.” I think he has given up on humanity as well stating that the “real swine are humans as they took a perfectly clean animal like the pig and mistreated it. Now it’s the pigs’ revenge.”

Tom also took swipes at me for believing in President Obama and his message of change. “His administration is basically the extension of the previous Republican administration pandering to the banksters on Wall Street.”

When I asked him whether he believes real change is possible, he replied: “How can it happen when 99% of the population is electronically lobotomized and beyond redemption?”

A classic Tom Naylor response. Tom made a career writing on international money laundering, white collar fraud, and all sorts of economic crimes in between. His current interest is the ecology and he is getting ready to publish a satirical book on class warfare. He is an economist with an excellent grasp of history.

Now, if you would like to be part of the Men’s Club, you have to submit an application to El Presidente. You have to be a man (sorry, we do not accept women in our private club, recognizing they are far superior to men) and you have to repudiate all traditional economic theories you were taught in university.

The second criteria really limits our membership because most people accept neo-classical economic theory and all its precepts as religion. Interests rates cannot be negative and profits are the only measure of progress in society.

But no matter how exclusive our club sounds, we are nothing compared to the shadowy Bilderberg Group which is reportedly meeting in Athens tomorrow. The Guardian’s Charlie Skelton has been busy pursuing the world’s most powerful cabal, but so far with the annual secret meeting of the global elite only hours away, the shadowy corporatocracy remains tantalizingly elusive.

So what is on the agenda for the world’s rich and powerful? According to Daniel Estulin, author of the book, The True Story of the Bilderberg Group, elitists are divided on whether to quickly sink economy and replace it with new world order, or set in motion a long, agonizing depression:

On the eve of the 2009 Bilderberg Group conference, which is due to be held May 14-17 at the 5 star Nafsika Astir Palace Hotel in Vouliagmeni, Greece, investigative reporter Daniel Estulin has uncovered shocking details of what the elitists plan to do with the economy over the course of the next year.

The Bilderberg Group meeting is an annual confab of around 150 of the world’ s most influential powerbrokers in government, industry, banking, media, academia and the military-industrial complex. The secretive group operates under “Chatham House rules,” meaning that no details of what is discussed can ever be leaked to the media, despite editors of the world’s biggest newspapers, the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Financial Times, being present at the meeting.

According to Estulin’s sources, which have been proven highly accurate in the past, Bilderberg is divided on whether to put into motion, “Either a prolonged, agonizing depression that dooms the world to decades of stagnation, decline and poverty … or an intense-but-shorter depression that paves the way for a new sustainable economic world order, with less sovereignty but more efficiency.”

The information takes on added weight when one considers the fact that Estulin’s previous economic forecasts, which were based on leaks from the same sources, have proven deadly accurate. Estulin correctly predicted the housing crash and the 2008 financial meltdown as a result of what his sources inside Bilderberg told him the elite were planning based on what was said at their 2006 meeting in Canada and the 2007 conference in Turkey.

Details of the economic agenda were contained in a pre-meeting booklet being handed out to Bilderberg members. On a more specific note, Estulin warns that Bilderberg are fostering a false picture of economic recovery, suckering investors into ploughing their money back into the stock market again only to later unleash another massive downturn which will create “massive losses and searing financial pain in the months ahead,” according to a Canada Free Press report.

According to Estulin, Bilderberg is assuming that U.S. unemployment figures will reach around 14% by the end of the year, almost doubling the current official figure of 8.1 per cent.

Estulin’s sources also tell him that Bilderberg will again attempt to push for the enactment of the Lisbon Treaty, a key centerpiece of the agenda to fully entrench a federal EU superstate, by forcing the Irish to vote again on the document in September/October despite having rejected it already, along with other European nations, in national referendums.

“One of their concerns is addressing and neutralizing the anti-Lisbon treaty movement called “Libertas” led by Declan Ganley. One of the Bilderberger planned moves is to use a whispering campaign in the US media suggested that Ganley is being funded by arms dealers in the US linked to the US military,”reports CFP.

Daniel Estulin, Jim Tucker, and other sources who have infiltrated Bilderberg meetings in the past have routinely provided information about the Bilderberg agenda that later plays out on the world stage, proving that the organization is not merely a “talking shop” as debunkers claim, but an integral planning forum for the new world order agenda.

Indeed, just last month Belgian viscount and current Bilderberg-chairman Étienne Davignon bragged that Bilderberg helped create the Euro by first introducing the policy agenda for a single currency in the early 1990’s. Bilderberg’s agenda for a European federal superstate and a single currency likely goes back even further. A BBC investigation uncovered documents from the early Bilderberg meetings which confirmed that the European Union was a brainchild of Bilderberg.

In spring 2002, when war hawks in the Bush administration were pushing for a summer invasion of Iraq, Bilderbergers expressed their desire for a delay and the attack was not launched until March the following year.

In 2006, Estulin predicted that the U.S. housing market would be allowed to soar before the bubble was cruelly popped, which is exactly what transpired.

In 2008, Estulin predicted that Bilderberg were creating the conditions for a financial calamity, which is exactly what began a few months later with the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

Bilderberg has routinely flexed its muscles in establishing its role as kingmaker. The organization routinely selects presidential candidates as well as running mates and prime ministers.

Bill Clinton and Tony Blair were both groomed by the secretive organization in the early 1990’s before rising to prominence.

Barack Obama’s running mate Joe Biden was selected by Bilderberg luminary James A. Johnson, and John Kerry’s 2004 running mate John Edwards was also anointed by the group after he gave a glowing speech at the conference in 2004. Bilderberg attendees even broke house rules to applaud Edwards at the end of a speech he gave to the elitists about American politics. The choice of Edwards was shocking to media pundits who had fully expected Dick Gephardt to secure the position. The New York Post even reported that Gephardt had been chosen and “Kerry-Gephardt” stickers were being placed on campaign vehicles before being removed when Edwards was announced as Kerry’s number two.

A 2008 Portuguese newspaper report highlighted the fact that Pedro Santana Lopes and Jose Socrates attended the 2004 meeting in Stresa, Italy before both going on to become Prime Minster of Portugal.

Several key geopolitical decisions were made at last year’s Bilderberg meeting in Washington DC, again emphasizing the fact that the confab is far more than an informal get-together.

As we reported at the time, Bilderberg were concerned that the price of oil was accelerating too fast after it hit $150 a barrel and wanted to ensure that “oil prices would probably begin to decline”. This is exactly what happened in the latter half of 2008 as oil again sunk below $50 a barrel. We were initially able to predict the rapid rise in oil prices in 2005 when oil was at $40, because Bilderberg had called for prices to rise during that year’s meeting in Munich. During the conference in Germany, Henry Kissinger told his fellow attendees that the elite had resolved to ensure that oil prices would double over the course of the next 12-24 months, which is
exactly what happened.

Also at last year’s meeting, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice formalized plans to sign a treaty on installing a U.S. radar base in the Czech Republic with Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg.

Rice was joined at the meeting by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who reportedly encouraged EU globalists to get behind an attack on Iran. Low and behold, days later the EU threatened Iran with sanctions if it did not suspend its nuclear enrichment program.

There was also widespread speculation that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s “secret meeting,” which was accomplished with the aid of cloak and dagger tactics like locking journalists on an airplane to keep them from tracking the two down, took place at the Bilderberg meeting in DC.

It remains to be seen what kind of mainstream media press coverage Bilderberg 2009 will be afforded because, despite the proven track record of Bilderberg having a central role in influencing subsequent geopolitical and financial world events, and despite last year’s meeting being held in Washington DC, the U.S. corporate media oversaw an almost universal blackout of reporting on the conference, its attendees, and what was discussed.

Once again, it will be left to the alternative media to fill the vacuum and educate the people on exactly what the globalists have planned for us over the coming year.

Wow, this is exciting stuff – the conspiracy theorists must be having a field day! It’s too bad I didn’t make the cut because I would have enjoyed a cigar, fine wine and grilled octopus at the beautiful Astir Palace Resort with the likes of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Carlos Slim and Bill Clinton (a true cigar aficionado!).

I would listen to them complain about how they lost billions in the stock market last year and then remind them that there are more pressing issues like global pension tension.

I would then ask them to listen to the Greek shipping magnates who probably own some of those cargo ships treading water off Singapore, waiting for work:

To go out in a small boat along Singapore’s coast now is to feel like a mouse tiptoeing through an endless herd of slumbering elephants.

One of the largest fleets of ships ever gathered idles here just outside one of the world’s busiest ports, marooned by the receding tide of global trade. There may be tentative signs of economic recovery in spots around the globe, but few here.

Hundreds of cargo ships — some up to 300,000 tons, with many weighing more than the entire 130-ship Spanish Armada — seem to perch on top of the water rather than in it, their red rudders and bulbous noses, submerged when the vessels are loaded, sticking a dozen feet out of the water.

So many ships have congregated here — 735, according to AIS Live ship tracking service of Lloyd’s Register-Fairplay in Redhill, Britain — that shipping lines are becoming concerned about near misses and collisions in one of the world’s most congested waterways, the straits that separate Malaysia and Singapore from Indonesia.

The root of the problem lies in an unusually steep slump in global trade, confirmed by trade statistics announced on Tuesday.

China said that its exports nose-dived 22.6 percent in April from a year earlier, while the Philippines said that its exports in March were down 30.9 percent from a year earlier. The United States announced on Tuesday that its exports had declined 2.4 percent in March.

“The March 2009 trade data reiterates the current challenges in our global economy,” said Ron Kirk, the United States trade representative.

More worrisome, despite some positive signs like a Wall Street rally and slower job losses in the United States, is that the current level of trade does not suggest a recovery soon, many in the shipping business say.

“A lot of the orders for the retail season are being placed now, and compared to recent years, they are weak,” said Chris Woodward, the vice president for container services at Ryder System, the big logistics company.

Western consumers still adjusting to losses in value of their stocks and homes are in little mood to start spending again on nonessential imports, said Joshua Felman, the assistant director of the Asia and Pacific division of the International Monetary Fund. “For trade to pick up, demand has to pick up,” he said. “It’s very difficult to see that happening any time soon.”

So badly battered is the shipping industry that the daily rate to charter a large bulk freighter suitable for carrying, say, iron ore, plummeted from close to $300,000 last summer to a low of $10,000 early this year, according to H. Clarkson & Company, a London ship brokerage.

The rate has rebounded to nearly $25,000 in the last several weeks, and some bulk carriers have left Singapore. But ship owners say this recovery may be short-lived because it mostly reflects a rush by Chinese steel makers to import iron ore before a possible price increase next month.

Container shipping is also showing faint signs of revival, but remains deeply depressed. And more empty tankers are showing up here.

The cost of shipping a 40-foot steel container full of merchandise from southern China to northern Europe tumbled from $1,400 plus fuel charges a year ago to as little as $150 early this year, before rebounding to around $300, which is still below the cost of providing the service, said Neil Dekker, a container industry forecaster at Drewry Shipping Consultants in London.

Eight small companies in the industry have gone bankrupt in the last year and at least one of the major carriers is likely to fail this year, he said.

Vessels have flocked to Singapore because it has few storms, excellent ship repair teams, cheap fuel from its own refinery and, most important, proximity to Asian ports that might eventually have cargo to ship.

The gathering of so many freighters “is extraordinary,” said Christopher Pålsson, a senior consultant at Lloyd’s Register-Fairplay Research, the consulting division of Lloyd’s Register-Fairplay. “We have probably not witnessed anything like this since the early 1980s,” during the last big bust in the global shipping industry.

The world’s fleet has nearly doubled since the early 1980s, so the tonnage of vessels in and around Singapore’s waters this spring may be the highest ever, he said, cautioning that detailed worldwide ship tracking data has been available only for the last five years.

These vessels total more than 41 million tons, according to the AIS Live tracking service. That is nearly equal to the entire world’s merchant fleet at the end of World War I, and represents almost 4 percent of the world’s fleet today.

Investment trusts have poured billions of dollars over the last five years into buying ships and leasing them for a year at a time to shipping lines. As the leases expire and many of these vessels are returned, losses will be heavy at these trusts and the mainly European banks that lent to them, said Stephen Fletcher, the commercial director for AXS Marine, a consulting firm based in Paris.

In previous shipping downturns, vessels anchored for months at a time in Norwegian fjords and other cold-weather locations. But stringent environmental regulations in practically every cold-weather country are forcing idle ships to warmer anchorages.

But that raises security concerns. Plants grow much faster on the undersides of vessels in warm water. “You end up with the hanging gardens of Babylon on the bottom and that affects your speed,” said Tim Huxley, the chief executive of Wah Kwong Maritime Transport, a shipping line based in Hong Kong.

One of the company’s freighters became so overgrown that it was barely able to outrun pirates off Somalia recently, Mr. Huxley said. The freighter escaped with 91 bullet holes in it.

Another of the company’s freighters close to Singapore was hit last December by a chemical tanker that could not make a tight enough turn in a crowded anchorage; neither vessel was seriously damaged.

Capt. M. Segar, the group director for the hub port of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, said in a written reply to questions that many vessels were staying just outside the port’s limits. They do not have to pay port fees there.

Singapore has reported to the countries of registry for administrative action about 10 to 15 ships that have anchored in sea lanes in violation of international rules in the last two weeks, Captain Segar said.

Ships are anchoring at other ports around the world, too. There were 150 vessels in and around the Straits of Gibraltar on Monday, and 300 around Rotterdam, the Netherlands, according to the AIS Live tracking service.

But Singapore, close to Asian markets, has attracted far more.

“It is a sign of the times,” said AIS Martin Stopford, the managing director of Clarkson Research Service in London, “that Asia is the place you want to hang around this time in case things turn around.”

So will Asia lead us out of this global downturn? I doubt it. I also agree with my friend Tom Naylor that the Bilderberg Group are nothing but a “bunch of arrogant self-promoters” who think they are powerful.

Jonathan Nitzan reminded me that the power elite do not need to meet in Athens or anywhere else in the world. “They continuously talk to each other, go to the same clubs, talk the same economic lingo and they’ve already screwed up the world for a very long time.”

Postscript: Read this Haaretz article and keep up-to-date by reading Charlie Skelton’s latest Bilderberg files.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. carol765

    ¨The information takes on added weight when one considers the fact that Estulin’s previous economic forecasts, which were based on leaks from the same sources, have proven deadly accurate. Estulin correctly predicted the housing crash and the 2008 financial meltdown as a result of what his sources inside Bilderberg told him the elite were planning based on what was said at their 2006 meeting in Canada and the 2007 conference in Turkey.¨

    Oh Leo, please…. you should have commented on this nonsense.

    The info takes on added weight…. because that journalist correctedly forecasted the crisis based on Bilderberg plan leaks?!

    Plenty of people rightly predicted the crisis, and explained beforehand why it would unfold. Absolutely no need for crediting a journalist who is way too much over his head in the conspiracy.

    Yves, Roubini, hedgefund trader Paulson, David Rosenberg, Prof. Rajan, Marc Faber, Bob Shiller, Jeremy Grantham, Dean Baker, Mike Shedlock, Meredith Whitney, Bruce Sterling, Ray Dahlio, and on, and on, and on! All the readers of this and other fine blogs realized what was about to happen! Please, no weird UFO´s and other conspiracies on this blog.

  2. Chindit13

    Lots of grist here for the conspiratorialists, though I am of the view that the world is far too complicated and has far too many variables for any group, no matter how rich nor how intelligent, to play puppet master for the other 6.6 billion of us. Makes for good Hollywood thrillers and sells a lot of books, not to mention serving as a convenient salve for those who cannot or will not take personal responsibility, but reality of this sort is beyond anyone’s reach, and most certainly beyond the reach of neer-do-well and often inbred European nobility whose utility on the planet ceased to exist a century or so ago. But if it gets some Greek resort a little welcome business, they can knock themselves out. Occasionally somebody other than Rap Stars ought to drink the Cristal.

    The shipping info is interesting, though, and I am considering an Eskimo-style migration, but from Singapore to Indonesia by anchored ship rather than across the previous frozen Bering Sea. Either that or let loose a team of Magnum photographers to capture the images for posterity.

  3. wintermute

    Well researched as usual – BUT – the Bilderberg group is just a talking shop like the WEF in Davos. The world is too chaotic and full of self-interest to ever be controlled by some ad-hoc group.

    The G20 is another talking-shop example. Even the EU premiers meetings are a waste of hot air (and carbon footprints). The leaders of Britain, Germany and France meet on a weekend – and next day Merkel does the opposite of what they announced!

    If three aligned leaders can’t agree to go beyond self-interest – then the Bilderberg group “decisions” will be balderdash not boilerplate.

    Sky TV investigated this group – and its importance was shown as a urban myth.

  4. frances snoot

    One can label anything a ‘conspiracy theory,’ like slapping a pickle label on a peach jar. Conspiracy theory is just another way to marginalize ideas and people who do not conform to the status quo. If the powers to be do not want an area investigated or talked about it becomes a taboo to do so.

    Not much courage among the readership of this blog. The author of the entry is a puffed-up windbag, “Oh, how I wish I were exclusive enough to eat the octupus.”

    He will be eating crow when hyperinflation sets in in a year or so.

    chow. I’m off and won’t come back!

  5. LeeAnne

    “According to Estulin’s sources, which have been proven highly accurate in the past, Bilderberg is divided on whether to put into motion, “Either a prolonged, agonizing depression that dooms the world to decades of stagnation, decline and poverty … or an intense-but-shorter depression that paves the way for a new sustainable economic world order, with less sovereignty but more efficiency.”I don’t see how the following, in an article of supposed proofs of the extraordinary power of Bilderberg and extraordinary credibility of Estulin supports such claims:

    “Rice was joined at the meeting by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who reportedly encouraged EU globalists to get behind an attack on Iran. Low and behold, days later the EU threatened Iran with sanctions if it did not suspend its nuclear enrichment program.”

  6. Leo Kolivakis

    Dear frances “snooty”,

    You obviously are incapable of distinguishing when I am being serious and when I am being ironic. And I wouldn’t bet on hyper-inflation anytime soon.

    A few other readers also need to lighten up a little. :)



  7. LeeAnne

    comments have been very kind considering the waste of time this post is.

    I for one really pulled my punches.

    the first draft ended with, if I may quote myself:

    lots of thunder and lightening and no rain.

  8. joshua

    Here's the signal component(or at least a part of it):

    "So will Asia lead us out of this global downturn? I doubt it. I also agree with my friend Tom Naylor that the Bilderberg Group are nothing but a "bunch of arrogant self-promoters" who think they are powerful.

    Jonathan Nitzan reminded me that the power elite do not need to meet in Athens or anywhere else in the world. "They continuously talk to each other, go to the same clubs, talk the same economic lingo and they've already screwed up the world for a very long time."

    Fun post, and useful, although it took a couple of takes to realize it.

    Conspiracy is coordination intersected with discretion; to conspire. As such it's the bricks and mortar of pretty much all private/proprietary economic and social activity. Considerations of such tend to be on the conjecture/theory continuum because of the discretion component; and the outlandish nature of the mass of the body of 'theory' has something to do with jamming/noise introduced into things.
    I tend to agree with suspicions that the Bilds are likely a bunch of tragicomedic idiots, which wouldn't necessarily mean to downplay their influence.

    Was this post flaky? Not really. There is this play between what is being said at the meeting in Montreal, which though related in an offhand and humourous way is actually dead-serious & highly accurate macro-socio analysis, contrasted with the illusory glitzglam bs/noise of the Bilds meeting in Athens; and the Guardian piece as a swinging tail just adds to the bizzaro effect.

    To wrap this up(sorry), I wouldn't say the content of NC should center around pieces like this, but it's still worthwhile. FWIW, I think the NC-content could be improved in other ways, but elucidating the nature of that proposal is beyond the scope of this already overwrought comment.

  9. Lone Entrepreneur

    Most conspiracy theorists exist for one purpose, which to to create a belief that someone somewhere is in charge. As humans, we seem to have a problem understanding that we have little to no control over our existence…. Creating a conspiracy is to some extent the 21st century equivalent to building an idol for worship…

    Secondly, I can understand understand Mr. Tom Taylors frustration with average people. However, I think what he should consider is that people are only “nieve” when they are content. Meaning, when times get bad I think he would be quite surprised at how intelligent these people become. Meaning, nothing educates people faster than worrying how they will pay the bills next month… Once this process finally occurs in mass, I think Mr. Taylor would be surprised at how educated people become…

  10. susanmcc99

    I heard somewhere that Bilderburg orchestrated the East Coast vs. West Coast rap feud of the 1990s.

  11. Leo Kolivakis


    Take a chill pill; you've been on my case ever since I first posted on NC. If you don't like my posts, please ignore them. I will not take it personally.


    As far as "flaky" posts, you should keep an eye on the shipping industry for clues on the global economic recovery. If you think this was flaky, then you are not really interested in the dynamics governing global trade and the real economy.



  12. Chindit13

    Leo makes a great point about monitoring the flow of global trade. I make a habit of buying/sharing drinks with shipping clerks and executives in Asia, and it has served me well throughout this debacle. I can tell you that after a brief uptick, it has once again gotten pretty easy and cheap to find an empty vessel, and there are a lot of ports in export-oriented SE Asian countries where it is cheaper to ship your goods somewhere—anywhere—than to store them in an already overcrowded port.

  13. joshua

    “Most conspiracy theorists exist for one purpose, which to to create a belief that someone somewhere is in charge. As humans, we seem to have a problem understanding that we have little to no control over our existence…. Creating a conspiracy is to some extent the 21st century equivalent to building an idol for worship…”

    Parse this block of text please; I come up with bullshit. It’s in a common enough form I thought I’d like to try to point out what it is that makes it so:
    We have three essential components here, the first is an assertion about “most conspiracy theorists”. This is related to a fascinatingly spurious and inane assertion of metaphysical nature, introduced as a negation of the straw man idea “that someone somewhere is in charge” (of what? the whole universe? the local pachinko market? There is a difference; some people may well be (in some reasonable sense) in charge of the local pachinko market, and the path to such dominance might well have involved something one might reasonably describe as conspiracy (defined in a previous comment as coordination with discretion). Nothing particularly metaphysical, mystical, or Jungian going on here. One may, of course extrapolate to more expansive scales without risking schizophrenic paranoia. (the whole wide world as a highly complex pachinko market? There maybe a movie in there…)
    The positive metaphysical assertion, in no way qualified: “As humans, we seem to have a problem understanding that we have little to no control over our existence….” LOL. That’s funny for too many reasons. You should be a philosophy professor with material like that.

    …Let me hasten to add that there does exist a subset of analysts(of social coordination, enterprise, power relationships) who one might describe in Jungian senses as scripting an Oedipal-power theatre, sort of The Balcony in reverse. Why and how this happens may be interesting in and of itself, but it’s only reflective of a subset of our notional set of rational analysts, you know, I mean, those with sense as well as agency.

  14. Brick

    Perhaps you should have stated

    I also agree with my friend Tom Naylor that the Bilderberg Group are nothing but a “bunch of arrogant self-promoters” who think they are powerful.

    at the start rather than the end ,so not to confuse.

    Tankerworld as a news item today on low demand from bonded bunkers forcing stock piling of oil which hints at how shipping an have a knock on effect. It is not just European banks which financed all these ships either although some concern has been expressed about the exposure of Greek banks to the shipping industry. I wonder if it would be possible to trace those rusting ships back to canadian pension fund money.

    Now all we have to worry about is that shady group of leftist professors who met recently at alep restaurant and their master plan.

  15. Leo Kolivakis

    Brick wrote: “I wonder if it would be possible to trace those rusting ships back to Canadian pension fund money.”

    The new buzz word in Canadian public pension funds is “infrastructure”, which means investing in private equity groups to build roads, bridges, highways, shipping ports, airports, and everything else the cash strapped governments cannot afford to maintain and update.

    Who benefits from this? Private equity firms who charge heavy fees for these services and pension fund managers who game their infrastructure benchmark so they can then claim they “added value” in this exciting “new” asset class.

    In short, common people are working hard at making pension fund managers and private equity funds richer.

    I am exaggerating but not by much.



  16. zdashamber

    “… if you would like to be part of the Men’s Club, you have to submit an application to El Presidente. You have to be a man (sorry, we do not accept women in our private club) and you have to repudiate all traditional economic theories you were taught in university.”

    Man, no wonder the economy is in such a shambles, if even the economists who pride themselves on their “unique thinking” are so cliched. Seems to me that if you really wanted something different, you’d look to someone who has been cut out of the cycle of back-patting and corruption… Apparently, someone with internal plumbing.

  17. frances snoot


    whom one….whom one might describe in Jungian senses

    other than that, fantastic parsing analysis!

    okay, now I really am off…one last stab at the meat…if you think the ‘conspiracy theory’ label a tad onerous, just wait for the ‘hate crime’ punishments. Everyone will have to play nice-nice on blogs.

    Leo should not take everything personally. Some of us are cynics.

  18. Harlem Dad

    Dear Leo,

    I loved it! Informative and entertaining. I especially appreciated you friend Tom Naylor’s comments. This one is my favorite:

    “How can [change] happen when 99% of the population is electronically lobotomized and beyond redemption?”I believe the actual number is 97.835%, but let’s not quibble.

    And I have a fetish for perfectly precise usage of the english language. tantalizingly elusive is brilliant. No other combination of two words will say it nearly as well.

    The information about all those tankers floating there, just outside the port limits, is kind of spooky. But it did inspire my vote for the Black Swan Event that will change the world.

    A piece of space junk smashes into a space station, sending a large part of it hurtling towards the earth where it rams straight into a space-bound Shuttle still attached to it’s rocket booster, sending the entire mess into the waters near Singapore where thousands of tankers float deeply in the water because they’re storing over-produced oil.

    One by one, the tankers explode, in domino fashion, like a 1980s action-flick until the entire pacific rim convulses into the biggest series of earthquakes which sets off the _real_ ring of fire.

    Japan smashes into Seattle somewhere below the Aleutian Islands, creating a new type of computer system powered by raw eels and coffee beans.

    Mexico finally gets California back as the two land masses float halfway across the Pacific connecting Hawaii to Tahiti. Texas escapes being destroyed by the Tsunami by the Great Wall we’re building down there, George Bush is hailed as the Savior of Humanity, and idiotic babbling/stuttering qualifies as a second language.

    Oh, and Water Boarding becomes a High School Letter Sport.

    I feel better now. My left knee is still jerking, but not nearly so badly.

    Tim in Sugar Hill

  19. Leo Kolivakis

    depresso wrote: “This blog is sinking lower and lower.”

    Yeah, with insightful comments like this.

    Stick to cookie cutter news outlets which feed you neo-classical nonsense and forget the blogs altogether.

    I do not take anything written by some anonymous poster on a blog seriously.

    I write for free and enjoy looking at things from different angles. You don’t like what I write, move on…no skin off my back.

    Those of you who enjoy my comments, thank you.



  20. depresso

    Wow, this blog really is sinking lower and lower. With the socialist bias of the owner, it is no wonder that it attracts angry jerks like Leo Kolivakis.

    Thanks Leo, after your last comment, your argument seems much stronger, haha :-P

    PS: How come that I saw the housing crash coming without reading Estulin’s crap?

  21. Leo Kolivakis

    depresso: “How come that I saw the housing crash coming without reading Estulin’s crap?”

    In case you do not understand irony, I am not a big believer in conspiracy theories or the Bilderberg Group. Go back to carefully read the post.

    As for the housing crash, everyone with half a brain should have seen it coming but all the idiots who thought subprime would be contained got a rude awakening in 2008.

    By the way, I am not angry in the least. If you are so smart, why don’t you tell us your views on where we are heading over the next couple of years.

    I am all ears…



  22. Hugh

    I am not a conspiracy fan. How can 150 people keep anything quiet? How if they were so powerful and smart, did they somehow manage to run the world economy off the cliff? Of course in conspiracy theories, everything is a sign and evidence. So you could always argue that they planned to blow up the world economy because is was all part of the PLAN, the Shock Doctrine writ large. But the truth is that everyone makes a lot more money from healthy, expanding economies than those that are rapidly contracting.

    No, for me the real conspiracies are those that happen out in the open. They involve the revolving door between government and Congress on the one side and industry on the other whether we are talking finance, defense, healthcare or whatever. They involve deregulation and bubbles like those in the dot coms, housing, or commodities. They involve how unnecessary wars and despicable acts like torture are marketed. These are the real conspiracies of our times.

  23. Cat

    So The Bilderburg Group cannot possibly be what they appear to be, because it would never work and they would never agree anyway.

    I find it amusing that “there is too much chaos in the world” for any group to control it when Greenspan was able to create a credit bubble single-handedly, by some accounts. If the actions and opinions of a single person cannot matter in the world, then we wouldn’t need laws limiting how much media one media mogul can own in a single market. Need any more examples? How about Sherman Antitrust actions. How about the unbalanced influences of GS in the current credit crisis. How about the entire idea of “too big to fail” and who gets to pull the strings then. On balance, the fear of what one powerful person can accomplish is quite well enshrined in law and policy. I would add only that law and policy only work after-the-fact and accomplish nothing in reining in powerful individuals before they’ve changed the world. I’ll mention John D. Rockefeller and move on.

    And on the matter of “powerful players will never agree to any single strategy over self interest” it is worth pointing out that a lot of what plays out in public politics is FOR THE PUBLIC, and represents only a facade over the actual workings of power where the amount of agreement between seemingly disparate parties is rather high. They have MANY shared agendas, not the least of which is helping each other to stay in power. Right behind that, helping each other get rich. Next, helping each other control their respective populations and constituencies. Even that short list would be enough to encourage near-unanimous agreement on anything important once the discussion is behind doors and under that Chatham House rules. After they go back home they will say anything, and act in any way, before the MSM that will keep people thinking that the discussion is still on. Of course it isn’t, the board was already set and the pieces set in motion in the most efficient way possible. Democracy is a messy processes and not suited for any serious work.

    This isn’t paranoia. This is what humans do. It is how they think, how they have always thought. It is the world forced to operate at the human scale, the only scale at which the human mind can function. There is little difference in human thought and behavior even at 6 billion. There are simply more people (even entire nations) left on the margins as the board is set and the pieces set in motion. I’m rather shocked that intelligent readers would see it otherwise when most of history was been settled or negotiated or resolved or defined by a few men sitting at a table at a resort. It’s never the same few men, but how many different kinds of men are there?


  24. Daro

    Don’t let these commentators depress you Leo. I’m sure you’re at least partly right. I personally supported the President of the Japanese arm of the Carlyle Fund – THE elite (and shady) arms and investment fund to which Dick Cheney, John Major and ex-President Ramos are members (so you know it’s evil!). This guy was very powerful. Pictures of him arms around shoulders with G.Bush (I) and others of his yacht on his own private lake in Sweden, combined with being in his home in the most expensive building in Tokyo left me in no doubt.

    I helped bust an intrusion into his computer not noticed before (total paranoia has its uses!). He was computer illiterate and his infra-red activity was off the scale. Turned out someone was standing down in the park below his 40th floor apartment hacking by line-of-site in through his infra red connector on the back of the laptop! (He had his laptop pushed up against the window…)

    Anyway, as a kind-of-reward he showed me what he was doing on a trade strategy he’d set up. No lie – he made @$40 Million that day at closing. Pure insider moves; he proudly told me as much. I watched him demonstrating the close and net profits like a stage presenter to me. One particular problem he always had was his email inbox.. He used to receive over 1000 mail every day (no exaggeration… 1000+). Almost none of it spam (we filtered it pretty good). Crypto backup was needed each week to cope with the volume. Nearly all emails from people most of whom he said he didn’t even know: CEO’s and Co. Prez’s from seriously large firms from Taiwan to Brazil and the like all relating insider gossip they knew, and none of them asking anything in return! Just… sending the info, that’s all.

    The contents where remarkeable; “so-and-so is meeting with this-and-that minister which means they must be getting such-and-such contract/ the stock ID is XXX” etc. On and on, screen after screen all piling in continuously. I could only presume the contacts where set up and paid off by the Carlyle Group as a whole. Who knows?

    Outwardly – quiet, nice, courteous, thinnish, a little pale/frail, frizzy hair. All that jazz. The curious thing is he used to walk around unremittingly with a shadow of a lipless smile on his face saying “I don’t know anything… I’m not especially important…” (or something like that) over and over, like a mantra.

    As I say, quiet guy – but he scared me on some level. He didn’t come across potentially malicious at all, don’t get me wrong. His 2 young daughters lived with him but he was divorced – he got the kids – that’s rare. And this guy worked HARD (if technically illegally). I was called out to do emergency repair one evening on his PC and he came home round 7pm. Walked wordlessly into the bedroom and collapsed asleep. I got the impression he did that a lot…

  25. cian

    Cool club. I’ve read several of Naylor’s book. I remember Hot Money being quite an intense read. Nitzan’s book on Israel was also fascinating.

  26. kackermann

    Did they happen to tell Estulin what they have in mind for the troops in Afghanistan?

    He should do a survey to see where they come down on global warming.

  27. mmckinl

    Conspiracy Theory ?

    All decisions made between two parties effecting a third party are a conspiracy.

    Congress, The White House, right now, are engaged in conspiracy in that they are making decisions that effect people adversely. Their conspiracies are just cloaked in a rule of law.

    The Bilderberg Group looks to me as an information disseminator and recruiting tool for those very powerful actors who do call each other every day. They do not look like a policy producing body …Conspiracies? They happen every day, most just happen to be by and for TPTB …

  28. Yves Smith


    Where you are on conspiracy theories aside, things ARE often kept secret among large groups of people, particularly those that have security clearances.

    I recall a well placed buddy saying there had to be WMD in Iraq, because if there were doubts about the intelligence, someone would have leaked it to the NY Times or Washington Post. Well guess what, no one did. They cared about their jobs.

    Read Ellsberg’s Secrets on this matter.

  29. William A. Sigler

    Amazing how hyper-hip and vigilant NC’s readers are to every real and potential conspiracy to artifically manipulate the financial markets, all the while castigating how stupid the New York Times and the rest of the MSM are for not “getting it.” Then, along comes a better hidden, less familiar conspiracy theory and they veer off into the groupthink of preening ostriches pissed off that someone wants to steal their myths away.

    Get a grip, people, there’s no grey pill, only red and blue.

  30. Snoring Beagle

    Woo Woo… I like a good conspiracy read Leo. Bring on the Illuminati, The Skull and Bones Crew and the Tri-Lateral Commission. Did I leave anybody out. Oh yeah, The Rothschilds and the queen of England.

    And yes the shipping tidbit is telling but it would have been really cool to have some spy satellite photos of the ships all sitting pretty.

  31. frances snoot

    Egads. Conspiracy theory is relevant. Global Economy is like a playground with a fence. Big Daddy has the dough. He gives some to three friends. These friends must follow Big Daddy’s rules. These friends outsource their responsibilities. If they don’t follow the rules, they are done away with. Lots of people think they are free on the playground. The three friends hire some helpers, use a nice name like change or TQM and starve the free people or enslave them. The people who thought they were free kill each other off. Big Daddy laughs and goes to Bilderberg.


  32. Practical Observer

    not to stir the pot, but when you look at the decisions that have been made so far in this crisis, is there any doubt that they are being made for the benifit of the few rather than the majority. On top of that, people like Rahm are quoted as saying never let a good crisis goto waste because you can do all kinds of things you never could before…We need to return to the rule of law. law equally applied to all with everyone accountable. Make no mistake, the dollar is done if full blown banana republic sets in. We all need to make it politically impossible for this to continue.

  33. chaingangcharlie

    Blog sociology … Funny things happen when everyone's favourite blogger goes away to write a book, don't they ?
    Guest takes over a lot of the blog & writes some interesting stuff ( ok even I can hear a bit too much about pensions )but Leo comes up with this absolute MOVIE of a post , complete with spooky empty ships off Singapore & drunken Greeks with no lamb & Bildeburgers Glitzily (Not) Ruling The World.. I think it was all pretty good stuff… forgot where I was while I was reading it for a while there. ( Ok that's not unusual).
    Anyway, my real concern is the VENOM shown by some of the posters here. I mean, you don't HAVE to read it you know. He isn't holding a gun to your head.

    Some blogs … & here I am thinking of Mish's in particular … they are great EXCEPT for the usual crowd of commentators. The crowd there, they all agree with each other so much that reading the self congratulatory responses there is like drowning in treacle. Anyone turns up there who works outside the GroupThink ( say by daring to suggest Gold Might Crash or whatever ) gets absolutely hammered. Hated. Reviled. So – a long running popular blog can get to be a bit of a mutual masturbation party. ( Well, nothing wrong with that I hear a few daring souls thinking quietly to themselves..? ).

    Everyone needs their mental habituations scrambled once in a while. Not too much, you understand, but just enough to add some grit.

    Leo Adds Grit.

    Go Leo :-)

  34. jlivesey

    Tinfoil hat stuff aside – the cat’s hidden mine anyway – one thing here struck me. Cheap credit didn’t just boost trade and GNP worldwide; it also built all this trade infrastructure – ships, ports, cranes, docks, ship insurance, and on and on.

    As long as the game kept going, this infrastructure generated profits, but now the game is over for a while, this trade infrastructure looms over the world economy.

    There isn’t going to be any quick recovery. Green shoots are an illusion. First we have to work off all this overcapacity just to get back to zero.

    A similar thing happened back in the thirties. Massive amounts of shipping was laid up and found no employment until the war began. When the war did begin, the UK found itself in a race between building and sinking, so it turned out to be handy, but if we anticipate no war, this will be yet another mass of “stuff” that no longer earns its keep and that we will eventually have to junk.

  35. Ethan

    Frances Smoot:
    The word is “ciao”, not “chow”. Your failed attempt at intellectual snobishness makes me doubt your entire entry.
    Thanks and Regards,

  36. Yengemudi

    Asia’s de-coupling from American export dependence is one straw economists are holding on to. I had a think about whether Asia can really de-couple itself and escape the worst of the (in my mind) inevitable long recession in the developed world (incl Japan), and this is what I think.

    1. If there is a 10-15 year zombie period for America, it leaves only countries with growing domestic consumption as engines for growth. In China’s case, it is much easier for them (compared to India, say) to co-ordinate an effective government stimulus, and get some really good infrastructure in place. By that, I mean not just bridges/dams etc, but also economic infrastructure, like more private ownership in key industries like telecom. This will spur domestic consumption, but there will be a ceiling to the growth that can come out of a purely domestic consumption-led recovery – maybe GDP growth at only 3-4%, which creates its own set of social problems in China. As for spurring growth in countries hoping to import to China, the massive capacities built up in every industry in China mean that they will be deployed first towards satisfying internal demand, which admittedly, can grow a lot. I think this leaves limited room for imports – maybe Japan/Korea/Taiwan and then SEAsia benefit a bit, but nothing like the good old America-led days.

    2. The crazy amount of debt that America is piling on, if coupled with the thesis that American consumption is dwindling, means that the dollar will be hammered. Since China (and most other Asian countries, but this is more relevant to China, given the sheer size of its reserves) holds its reserves in US$, the subsequent fall in reserves puts a real crimp on China’s ability to spend its way out of the recession. They’ll probably switch all the reserves to euro or even RMB (why not, if China is going to be the country importing the most?). Since exports will also fall precipitously for China, there’s a real chance that deficit spending is the only way China can fuel domestic consumption. I’m not sure they’re willing to do that, and this probably means China replacing the US as an export market for everyone is not nearly feasible.

    3. India is in a far worse position vis-a-vis stimulus, as they run the real risk of default and capital flight if their debt gets any bigger. India really can’t sustain continued imports – they’re already running deficits and election promises mean that populism prevails and subsidies/handouts are given, all of which cost hard earned cash.On the plus side, domestic consumption is a far bigger slice of the GDP, and this will remain healthy – I think India can sustain 5% growth. But increased imports are not feasible, so this growth only favours India itself, without any sizeable effect on Asia as a whole

    Conclusion – I’ve only touched on India and China, as these are the only 2 economies, in my opinion, who can really prop up the world in the absence of the established ones doing so. In India’s case, I don’t think they can, and in China’s case, I don’t think they will. Either way, though these 2 economies will do ok internally, any decoupling effects won’t be felt by the rest of the world, who’ll have to suffer as a result.

  37. Hugh

    Actually the stories about WMD in Iraq were being debunked at the time by the McClatchy papers and by Scott Ritter. McClatchy didn’t have the circulation and Ritter was the target of a successful campaign to discredit him.

    So the information was there and was public but was not widely disseminated. Iraq is a principal reason we have a blogosphere because it showed the need fact check both government and the media because both had become unreliable, and often dishonest, purveyors of information. The internet gave us both the tools and the medium to challenge their narratives.

    We have been able to exact a price for their lies and stupidity but the truth is we have yet to force them to give up the policies that flow from them.

  38. Darcy


    You have it right, Leo adds grit to our puffed wheat breakfasts.
    Always good to shake up routine mastication.

    Go Leo

  39. minka

    How could our grossly incompetent elites plot anything? They’re self-regarding pompous fools, with the judgment of a pack of weasels.

    But, they probably love it that folks have paranoid fantasies about them. Keep feeding their egos, people!

  40. Greg Hall

    Most entertaining, but there’s no way a single group controlled the escalation of oil prices or the pop of the real estate bubble. There is indeed a group of global elitists, and they meet each year at Davos and other spots. If they can dump the current structurally broken system into a quick flush and replace it with a better sustainable system…my hat is off to them.;)

  41. Paul

    About conspiracies, people have not kept quiet. There is noise and there is a data stream and there is processing into a recognizable form. That takes the intellect and a community to share with to refine the information processing. Look up Abraham Bolden about his experience with law enforcement.

  42. Juan

    Well I did eat the octopus, not grilled but resting wholly in a tureen filled with la señora Martinez’ amazing black bean soup. The Bilderberg bunch has about as much world control as I do and if it is undecided whether to create stagnation or sharp depression they’d best consider that on a decade by decade basis, slowing global growth has been the dominant trend for over 30 years.

    What are all encompassing conspiracy theories good for other than drawing attention away from inherent systemic failings, you know, not all so different than some economists’ reliance upon exogenous shocks as cover for both theoretic and system failure.

  43. frances snoot


    Thanks, I grew up in Michigan.

    Oh, and snobishness has two b’s, unless you want to say it the British way like Ms. Snooty.

  44. Leo Kolivakis

    Yengemudi wrote”India is in a far worse position vis-a-vis stimulus, as they run the real risk of default and capital flight if their debt gets any bigger.”

    Interesting how the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is betting big on India. After reading your comment, I wonder if this is a good move.



  45. attempter

    Somewhat off topic, but since you twice mentioned Canada pensions in comments I thought I’d ask, have you written anything on Canadian pension exposures in the tar sands adventure?

  46. cian

    India’s also far more unstable politically and socially than people in the west seem to realise (the inverse is true of Pakistan). One of the main parties is essentially fascist-hindu, and is responsible for at least two pogroms against Muslims. And the majority of the population is still dirt poor and likely to remain so.

  47. Daro

    “India… is responsible for at least two pogroms against Muslims”

    One of my co-workers was Indian during one of these pograms. He was unabashedly delighted and laughed and swore they’d get the rest of them as well. He was a Brahmin I should add…

  48. Leo Kolivakis


    No, I have not dealt with tar sands and Canadian pension funds.


Comments are closed.