All posts by Christian Anderle

Goldman Sachs : Eine Bank lenkt die Welt

Aufgrund des großen Erfolges mehrfach auf ARTE ausgestrahlt.

Die amerikanische Investmentbank Goldman Sachs ist in den letzten Jahren zum Symbol für die Maßlosigkeit und die ausufernde Spekulationen in der Welt der Finanzen geworden. Der Dokumentarfilm gibt Einblicke in die Mechanismen der finanziellen und politischen Machenschaften der Bank.

Seit fünf Jahren steht die amerikanische Investmentbank Goldman Sachs für sämtliche Exzesse und Entgleisungen der Finanzspekulation. Durch hochspekulative Geschäfte mit der Zahlungsunfähigkeit der amerikanischen Privathaushalte konnte sich die Bank an der aktuellen Finanzkrise bereichern und wurde dank ihrer politischen Verbindungen selbst vor dem Bankrott bewahrt. Als die amerikanische Krise über den Atlantik nach Europa schwappte, wurde Goldman Sachs zu einem der Protagonisten der Euro-Krise: Die Bank soll gegen die europäische Einheitswährung spekuliert und die griechische Staatsschuldenbilanz mit Hilfe komplexer und undurchsichtiger Währungsgeschäfte geschönt haben. Als die europäischen Regierungen nacheinander dem Zorn der Wähler zum Opfer fielen, nutzte Goldman Sachs die Gunst der Stunde, um ihr komplexes Einflussgeflecht auf den alten Kontinent auszuweiten.

Goldman Sachs ist mehr als eine Bank. Sie ist ein unsichtbares Imperium, dessen Vermögen mit 700 Milliarden Euro das Budget des französischen Staates um das Zweifache übersteigt. Sie ist ein Finanzimperium auf der Sonnenseite, das die Welt mit seinen wilden Spekulationen und seiner Profitgier in ein riesiges Kasino verwandelt hat. Mit weltweit einzigartigen Verflechtungen und einem Heer aus 30.000 Bankern konnte Goldman Sachs auch in den letzten fünf Krisenjahren kräftige Gewinne einstreichen, seine Finanzkraft weiter ausbauen, seinen Einfluss auf die Regierungen stärken und sich vonseiten der amerikanischen und europäischen Justiz völlige Straffreiheit zusichern.

Das Geschäftsgebaren der Bank ist überaus diskret. Ihr Einfluss reicht weit in den Alltag der Bürger hinein – vom Facebook-Börsengang über die Ernennung des Präsidenten der Europäischen Zentralbank bis hin zum Lobbying gegen die Regulierung des Finanzsektors. Der Arm der Bank ist lang, und sie befindet sich stets auf der Gewinnerseite.

Video © Capa Presse, ARTE France, 2012

Green Renaissance

If only vegetables had feelings …

Images courtesy of Green Renaissance. Sharing Ideas, Inspiring Change.

America’s Unofficial Religion — The War On An Idea

Everyone in the United States knows that „Socialist” or „Communist” is considered a bad word. How did things get that way?

Abby Martin explores the history of anti-Communism in America, and the heavy repression of an idea that became an unofficial religion.

Excerpt (17:02 – 19:05 mins):

In 1947, House Committee on Un-American Activities began to target people in the entertainment industry.  „Dangerous professions“ such as screenwriters, actors, directors, producers, technicians, authors, musicians and others were all summoned to Congress and forced to publicly swear that they were not Communist.  Those who said they were, were barred from employment and blacklisted in Hollywood.  But you did not even have to say you were to get punished, you just had to assert your rights.  Like the ten screen writers and directors who took a stand against the nation-wide witch hunt:

„We are aware of a developing nightmare of fear in our land in which increasing numbers of citizens are being forced to swear ‚I am not this,’ ‚I am not that,’ ‚I don’t belong to anything,’ ‚I don’t believe in anything,’ ‚I do not criticise anything.’ (…) Thought control entering the university campuses.  (…) Labor leaders being framed on purged testimony. Lawyers sent to prison for defending their clients.“

All ten decided that when asked if they were Communist they would refuse to answer.  All ten were sent to prison.  For those who were open Communists, well, they were just arrested.  Under the Smith Act it was deemed illegal for anyone to be a member of the Communist Party.  In a surprise attack, the state arrested everyone who held a leadership position in the party. All of them were sent to prison. Over a 100 were convicted of being Communists and given sentences of up to 6 years — jailed for nothing but their beliefs.

(…)  The climate was such that anyone who even leaned to the left was completely persecuted.

Sounds all too familiar, doesn’t it? ◻︎


Learning From Sophie Scholl

Why Austria’s anti-Nazi Legislation Ought to be Amended

Composed on June 16, 2014

In May 1945, a few days after World War Two had ended in Europe, the new government of Austria enacted an emergency decree designed to assist the transition to a free and democratic society. It banned and dissolved the Nazi Party, confiscated its property, and disempowered the Nazi leaders. Moreover, it made attempts to reestablish the Nazi Party or to found any other National Socialist organization illegal. To be on the safe side, the promotion of Nazi ideas as well as any activism in support of National Socialist aims were prohibited, too. The government enacted an absolute penalty for any such efforts: capital punishment.

About two years later, the government and the Allies had managed to restore basic order. The government — composed of Communists, Socialists, and the People’s Party (Christian-Democrats plus Conservatives) — had meanwhile been recognized by the Allies. Much of the country was still in ruins.  People were traumatized by war, firebombing, atrocities, camp life. Things were still not good, but — very gradually — getting better.

It had long been decided that denazification is imperative. The effects of Nazi propaganda needed to be reversed. Neither the Western Allies nor Stalin’s Soviet Union considered pro-German nationalism beneficial to their interests or compatible with their values and ideas. Thus, it was easy to reach a compromise. The Allies had submitted a bulk of demands to the Austrian government. They included the prohibition of National Socialist activism, as well as regulations to register Nazis, to bar them from serving in the administration, to ban them from universities, to exclude them from higher professions, to deprive them of their right to vote (even for anti-Nazi politicians), to seize their property, and the like.

Continue reading Learning From Sophie Scholl

Ugly Americans, Mischievous Internet

American Cowboys are Liberating the World but Refined Europeans (Still) Know Better

Composed on June 30, 2014

Europe, 2014.  Europeans are suffering terribly under the ruthless yoke of American cultural imperialism. America’s brave spirit and mighty arms have long defeated all truly noble (reasonable) attempts to protect Europeans from liberty: the Spanish Inquisition, Queen Victoria, Kaiser Wilhelm, the Nazis, the Fascists, the Communists. Some Europeans are forced, for the first time, to take responsibility for their lives.

Tastes are defined by Hollywood, by local popular culture, and the (unhealthy) demand for liberty. TV shows such as Family Guy, Ridiculousness and Ugly Americans are freely available. Gangster rappers such as Snoop Dogg and Eminem are subverting public morality. Biker gangs and skinhead hordes are freely roaming through the streets (as if this would be desirable). On a daily basis, Europeans are forced to make horrible decisions (not much easier than Sophie’s Choice): Should I listen to the Sponge Bob or to the Robot Chicken?

Continue reading Ugly Americans, Mischievous Internet