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Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

European gold: Sold? Pledged! Safe.

December 25, 2011 Leave a comment

A socialist Europe is deep in debt – but still has substantial gold reserves with various central banks. At least as per official records.

24 types of Statism. Currency mismanagement is part of Statist systems |  Popular cartoon based on original by Barry Deutsch; modification source and author not known  |  Click for original Barry Deutsch cartoon.

24 types of Statism. Currency mismanagement is part of Statist systems | Popular cartoon based on original by Barry Deutsch; modification source and author not known | Click for original Barry Deutsch cartoon.

Printing presses – all systems go

As Governments across the world, print more and more money, the 20th century idea of Trustworthy State is on its last legs. Increasingly, the (undeserved) trust that the State enjoyed with the masses in the 20th century, is now close to breaking point.

We may very soon see a situation, where people will accept only gold – and no paper currency. The entire structure of 20th century monetary system after WWII, was built on paper. In the last 60 years, people (except a few) have gradually forgotten the link between gold as a store of value.

A memory lapse of a link that is too important to forget.

Currency mismanagement is dead. Long live currency manipulation. |  Cartoonist - Michael Ramirez in April 16th 2009; source & courtesy - townhall.com  |  Click for larger source image.Currency mismanagement is dead. Long live currency manipulation. |  Cartoonist - Michael Ramirez in April 16th 2009; source & courtesy - townhall.com  |  Click for larger source image.

Currency mismanagement is dead. Long live currency manipulation. | Cartoonist – Michael Ramirez in April 16th 2009; source & courtesy – townhall.com | Click for larger source image.

Few people realize it, but Italy holds the world’s fourth biggest stockpile of gold, at 2,452 tonnes. That’s even more than France, and more than twice as much as China.

Only the U.S., Germany and the International Monetary Fund hold more.

The question here is whether some of the troubled European countries — such as Italy and France — are going to have to start selling off the national gold pile to meet their bills.

Some wonder if they already have.

Italy’s gold has a street value of about $123 billion — easily enough to cover this year’s $80 billion budget shortfall. Portugal’s $19 billion in bullion more than covers its $13 billion deficit. France has $122 billion worth of bullion, enough to make a massive dent in its $150 billion deficit.

Meanwhile, look at the people who actually have a lot of money — namely, the Chinese. I continue to suspect that, sooner or later, China is going to move some of its massive $3 trillion-plus reserves into gold, the only currency that no other country controls. At the moment, the richest Western countries, including the United States, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, hold between 60% and 80% of their entire reserves in gold.

The figure for China: Less than 2%. No, that isn’t a misprint.

When that bullion changes hands, it may be the moment when power shifts from the rulers of yesterday to the rulers of tomorrow. This is what happened a century ago, when plenty of that French, German and British gold ended up in the hands of the United States.

In the very short term, this may keep downward pressure on gold. The people who hold the world’s gold at the moment need cash, and may have to sell.

In the medium to longer term, it ought to be bullish. (via Will the Europeans have to sell their gold? – Portfolio Insights by Brett Arends – MarketWatch).


Italian Collapse …

November 16, 2011 3 comments

English language media, controlled by the Anglo-Saxon Bloc, routinely predicts the collapse of nations.

Europe has a choice. Controlled devaluation of the Euro or a disorderly retreat. |  Cartoon By Patrick Chappatte  |  Published: November 10, 2011 |  Source & courtesy - nytimes.com  |  Click for a larger image.

Europe has a choice. Controlled devaluation of the Euro or a disorderly retreat. | Cartoon By Patrick Chappatte | Published: November 10, 2011 | Source & courtesy - nytimes.com | Click for a larger image.

For 90 years, culminating in Mussolini’s fall, Italy’s leaders were determined to create a sense of nationhood by turning Italians into conquerors and colonialists. Vast sums of money were therefore spent on expeditions to Africa, often with disastrous results; at the Battle of Adowa in 1896, in which an army was wiped out by an Ethiopian force, more Italians were killed in a single day than in all the wars of the Risorgimento put together. Although the country had no enemies in Europe and no need to fight in either of the world wars, Italy joined the fighting in both global conflicts nine months after they had begun when the government thought it had identified the winner and extracted promises of territorial rewards.

Mussolini’s miscalculation and subsequent downfall destroyed Italian militarism and at the same time punctured the idea of Italian nationhood. For 50 years after World War II, the country was dominated by the Christian Democrats and the Communists. These parties — which took their cue from the Vatican and the Kremlin, respectively — were not interested in instilling a new sense of national identity to replace the old one.

Postwar Italy was in many ways a great success. With one of the highest growth rates in the world, it became an innovator in such peaceful and productive fields as film, fashion, and industrial design. Yet the economic triumphs were uneven, and no administration was able to reduce the disparities between north and south. (via The End of Italy – By David Gilmour | Foreign Policy).

The overvaluation of the Euro is the one big reason why EU economies are suffering such a deep recession. |  Cartoon by Patrick Chappatte  spoofing Gloria Gaynor's pop-song, titled 'I will survive'.|  Published: October 31, 2011  |  Source and courtesy - nytimes.com.  |  Click for larger image.

The overvaluation of the Euro is the one big reason why EU economies are suffering such a deep recession. | Cartoon by Patrick Chappatte spoofing Gloria Gaynor's pop-song, titled 'I will survive'.| Published: October 31, 2011 | Source and courtesy - nytimes.com. | Click for larger image.

Problem with English language

English language media, dominated by the Anglo-Saxon Bloc has been anti-EU for obvious reasons.

EU is a challenge to …

Anglo-Saxon Hegemony

A stable EU dominated by Germany and France would be a significant challenge to the Anglo-Saxon Bloc.

For instance, an EU-Japan-BRICS alliance could prise apart, the dominance of the Anglo-Saxon Bloc.

Italy which was melded together in a post-Napoleonic, ‘secularized’ Europe, became a major industrial power – without the ‘benefit’ of colonies (like Spain, Britain or France) or a large home market (like USA).

Similarly, post WWII Italy, was able to manage its re-construction, even with coalition governments collapsing at metronomic intervals.

Between a resilient Italy – and predictions by a biased Anglo-Saxon media, who would you chose …


Lethargy As Opinion

August 16, 2011 3 comments

Examining governance records of selected ten premiere post-WWII governments across the world could throw up some surprises.

Colonial motivations

The British Raj needed to mock and diminish the Indian politician. The Indian political leader was trying to dislodge the colonial Government from their position of power. Churchill’s famous descriptions of Gandhiji as ‘that naked fakir’ and Indian politicians as ‘men of straw’ was a sentiment shared across ruling elites in Britain.

Seems like in India, too

Post-independence, this mockery of the Indian politician has only grown. This criticism, carping and mockery has no basis in fact – statistics, measurements, performance metrics. Anything at all.

The drag government’s been on the Indian story is astonishing. No government in the world’s been such a burden to a country. It’s done none of the things it’s meant to while it seems to eye private success with greed. There’s only so long this frame can hold…

One of the things making me happiest in America was the man coming up was celebrated. In India, I sense disgust, revulsion for that person, that he should suddenly have aspirations, riches, ambitions. In Noon, I’ve tried to get at this. (via ‘I think of myself as Indian in a sense that includes Pakistan’ – Page 2 – Times Of India).

Aatish Taseer, whose books and writings have been met with much fanfare, publicity and soundbites, is another one who bites into the dust of empty criticism.

If we are to examine governance records of selected ten premiere post-WWII governments across the world, Taseer’s emptiness (he is not alone) will stand exposed.

These 10 governments four from Europe (France, Germany, Italy and UK), two from South America (Argentina and Brazil) Japan and USA, China and India. Looking back at the 65 years after WWII (1945-2010), the context and strategies of these ten countries throws up some surprises. India would definitely be a part of the Top-3 anyway that such a performance can be rated.

Image source and courtesy - economist.com.

Image source and courtesy - economist.com.

Just on what basis have other governments have done better? All that bedevils Indian governance are present in all other countries. And the answer to all that ails ‘modern’ governance, can only come from India.

You can do a 10 country evaluation here and vote. And maybe, Taseer-miya …

You should read about भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra, .

The shadow of oil

Middle East Politics (from Coming apart, coming together By Edward R. Kantowicz; Page 165; courtesy - books.google.com). Click to go to source.

Middle East Politics (from Coming apart, coming together By Edward R. Kantowicz; Page 165; courtesy - books.google.com). Click to go to source.

Is the USA like Britain was a hundred years ago? (Caroon courtesy - mpg50.com.). Click for larger image.

Is Pax Americana like Britain was a hundred years ago? (Cartoon courtesy - mpg50.com.). Click for larger image.

Fat and lazy

Between 1875-1935, Britain was dependent on India for gunpowder, on USA and Iran for  oil, on Malaya and India for rubber. British economy had grown fat and uncompetitive – unlike Italian, German and Japanese economies.

Even though Britain won WWII, their economy was a lost cause. Though Germany, Italy and Japan were losers, with their economy in shambles, they could make a brilliant recovery and vastly out-compete Britain.

The story of Middle East oil is similar for USA and West. The Welfare State, built on a diet of cheap oil, easy dollars,  is now too expensive for the West to sustain. The above book extract gives an excellent snapshot of the oil industry in the 20th century.

And the shadow of oil on the 21st century.

Britain – phuski or phoenix

It has been like this in the UK for 70 years now!

It has been like this in the UK for 70 years now!

With just about two months left before the expected election date of May 6, the outcome is impossible to predict. A Tory majority, a minority Labour government, or a split Parliament with the third-party Liberal Democrats holding the swing votes are all viable scenarios. The markets have a jittery season ahead of them. (via In Britain, a Rout Turns into a Race – BusinessWeek).

At the edge of the precipice!

Last time around, in the stagflation of 1970s, as the low-exchange rates era in Europe ended, in the post oil-shock world of 1973, Britain inched to the edge of precipice of becoming a Third World economy. It was North Sea Oil that saved Britain. What will it be this time? Britain’s options are shrinking.

The Great Squeeze

Between 1930-1940, Britain was in a similar position, electorally and economically. Churchill, Montagu Norman executed the Great Squeeze on the Indian Peasant. What will it be this time around?

On October 27th, 1931, the Ramsey Macdonald led “National” Government (Conservatives and Liberals coalition, fearful of the rising Labour Party) in Britain won a huge majority of 554 MPs of 615. The economic crisis of September (misnamed as the Indian Currency Crisis), ensuing Depression era problems in the US, the Weimar Republic problems – and other issues pushed this ‘National’ government to ram through a series of measures (page 130-131) that depressed silver and gold prices and raised interest rates in India.

Which way the wind blows

Will Scotland secede? Will North Sea Oil go away with Scotland? Will Britain be able to withstand a hung Parliament and a coalition Government? Italy, after WW2 and before 1993 electoral reforms, had nearly 60 Government changes in 47 years (1946-1993). Will Britain go the Italian pre-1993 coalition-era way? Rapid descent or a slow spiral.

Or an unlikely phoenix-like rise?

PS – Phuski is colloquial Hindi for damp squib

History we don’t see – staring in our faces

February 23, 2010 Leave a comment
Satellite images of Kampilya

Satellite images of Kampilya

Recently, imposing changes have been recognized in river courses in Pakistan (Sindh), Punjab and Rajasthan: a change of paramount importance has been the disappearance of the Sarasvati river around the 19th century BC, recorded in the rigvedic literature as the most prominent among the Indian rivers. This ecological disaster destroyed the developed Indus-Sarasvati civilization, compelling a considerable number of people to migrate and to settle down in other alluvial planes. In our satellite image it was possible to read the footprint of the arrival in the Ganges Valley of those migrating people. Of course, that intuition had to be tested on the field.

The Ca, Foscari University of Venice, the CNR of Padua and the VAISonlus (a non-profit association) organized the first field survey “Kampilya Mission” under the direction of Marcolongo and myself. On February 6, 1996, the second day of the expedition, we found the imposing walls of a fortified city.

In the following missions, in 1997 and 1999, we verified the regular rectangular shape of the layout of Drupad Kila, Fort of King Drupada, as it was called by the villagers. In fact, Kampilya is mentioned in the Mahabharata as the capital of the Southern Panchala Kingdom, at the time of the mythical King Drupada. The walls of the city measure 780 by 660 meters and are perfectly oriented toward the points of the compass. What is very surprising about this layout, orientation and size is that another city recently discovered in Gujarat, Dholavira, has precisely the same features. The plans of Kampilya-Drupad Kila and Dholavira coincide perfectly, something recognized also by Dr Bisht, the director of the excavations on that second town. The problem is that Dholavira was a town of the Indus-Sarasvati civilization, 2,000 years older than Kampilya. This fact offered evidence of the continuity of only one urban model from the Indus-Sarasvati to the Ganges civilizations in the time frame of two millennia. (via Asia Times: THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING INDIA Part 10: The Kampilya archeological project).

While India has been giving huge coverage to inane ideas and theories from various English speaking archaeologists, two Italians, Gian Giuseppe Filippi, Bruno Marcolongo, collaborated with ASI to do some interesting work.

Marcolongo has done interesting work in Italy, Mongolia and Yemen – part from India. Using remote sensing tools.

Mrtyu-Concept of Death in Indian Traditions

Mrtyu-Concept of Death in Indian Traditions

Gian Giuseppe Filippi, Professor of Indology, University of Venice, has written two (at least) very interesting books on Indian philosophy. One of his books, deals with “explores the Indian view of mortal existence–from an individual’s conception to his/her journey to the Kingdom of Yama–with rare scientific objectivity–by unveiling a complex network of sentiments, beliefs, scriptural references, customs, etc.”

What ever conclusions they (Filippi and Marcolongo) derived, were predictable – and simple. Something, that English speaking, Anglo Saxon historians have been trying to deny for the last 170 years. And Indians are wasting time, trying to convince these English speaking ‘skeptics.’

All this was not surprising. The sheer lack of coverage by Indian media was shocking. Apart from two really small write ups in two Hindi newspapers, there was no coverage of this project.

I am reminded of another Italian, Trombetti, who was the first to link and understand the link between Elamite culture and Tamil-Dravidian languages. A vital element, in understanding Mesopotamia, Assyrian, Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian and Egyptian history.

Stereotypes of the Raj

August 29, 2009 2 comments
In the next one week ... Britain capitulated (Cartoon By Illingworth, Leslie Gilbert, (1902-1979) in Daily Mail on 25 February 1946. Click for larger image.

In the next one week ... Britain capitulated (Cartoon By Illingworth, Leslie Gilbert, (1902-1979) in Daily Mail on 25 February 1946. Click for larger image.

After the guns fell silent

At the end of WW2, Britain was a superpower, intact with its huge colonial Empire – apart from the massive debt that it owed the US. With Germany defeated and Hitler dead, Italy in shambles and Mussolini hanged, Britain sat at the head of ‘high tables’ in the post-WW2 world deciding the fate of the nations – with its partner in crime, the US of A.

The Raj propaganda

This cartoon from National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth by Leslie Gilbert Illingworth, (1902-1979) was first published by on 14 May 1946. A cartoonist with nearly 5000 cartoons, he was a solidly-establishment type man, who usually reflected the view of the masters.

This cartoon above shows a huge disconnect between British propaganda and reality. On 14th February, Illingsworth was busy depicting a ‘fractious’ India that would break up without the British Raj. Four days later, the 20 lakh colonial Indian armed forces, united and raised the banner of Independence. United across ranks, skin colour, language, geography, religion, caste, height, weight – with only one thing uniting them. They were all Indians.

The navy rebellion in Bombay in 1946, after which the army saw a mutiny in Jabalpur

The navy rebellion in Bombay in 1946, after which the army saw a mutiny in Jabalpur

Trouble from unexpected quarters

On February 18th, the lowly Naval Ratings from the Royal Indian Navy rained on the British parade – by raising the flag of Indian Independence. Britain did not have the stomach to take on the Indian Colonial Army, battle hardened and exposed to warfare in all the global theatres of WW2. The British acquiesced and 18 months later they were out.

The ruling Congress party distorted history and take all credit for the departure of the British colonialists. Contributions of leaders like SC Bose was ignored or the importance of the February 1946 joint action by the Indian armed forces against the colonial forces, was minimized to the ‘Naval Ratings Mutiny.’

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