The Dark Past Of The Bank For International Settlements
The Dark Past Of The Bank For International Settlements by Patrick Wood for Activist Post
Although written by Patrick Wood in 2005, nothing has changed to the historical fact of the Bank for International Settlements. It has nefarious roots and is the tap-root of modern globalization.
Today, the BIS is getting headlines again because of its direction of central banks to go cashless. It is readily apparent that it has not lost its power and influence over the decades. For anyone wanting to understand how the world really works, this is a must-read paper. ⁃ TN Editor
Created at Bretton Woods in 1944, the World Bank has been dominated by international bankers, members of the Council on Foreign Relations and later by the Trilateral Commission. Corruption and self-interest run amok as public funds are converted into private hands by the billions.
According to The World Bank, it is,
“a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. We are not a bank in the common sense. We are made up of two unique development institutions owned by 184 member countries—the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). Each institution plays a different but supportive role in our mission of global poverty reduction and the improvement of living standards. The IBRD focuses on middle income and creditworthy poor countries, while IDA focuses on the poorest countries in the world. Together we provide low-interest loans, interest-free credit and grants to developing countries for education, health, infrastructure, communications and many other purposes.” 1
High-minded words like “our mission of global poverty reduction and the improvement of living standards” would lead the reader to believe that the World Bank is some benevolent and global welfare organization. Why is it then, that The World Bank joins the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization as organizations that people around the world just love to hate?
In reality, the World Bank carries its weight, along with the International Monetary Fund and the Bank for International Settlements, to forcibly integrate minor countries of the world into its own brand of capitalistic democracy.
World Bank Beginnings
A sibling of the IMF, the World Bank was born out of the U.N. Monetary and Financial Conference at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire in July, 1944. The original name given to the World Bank was the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and reflects its original mission: to rebuild Europe after the devastation of World War II. The name “World Bank” was not actually adopted until 1975.
Both the IBRD and the IMF were created as independent specialized agencies of the United Nations, of which they remain to this day.
The word “Development” in the IBRD name was rather insignificant at the time because most of the southern hemisphere was still under colonial rule, with each colonial master responsible for the business activities in their respective countries.
Note: It is argued by some that there was an original desire by banking elites to put an end to colonialism by restructuring investment and trade patterns in colonized countries. This paper will not deal with this issue, but it should be noted that this has been exactly what has happened, in many cases being aided by the operations of the World Bank and the IMF.
As a “reconstruction” bank, however, the World Bank was impotent. It ultimately loaned only $497(US) million for reconstruction projects. The Marshall Plan, by contrast, became the true engine of the reconstruction of Europe by loaning over $41(US) billion by 1953.
The primary architects of the World Bank were Harry Dexter White and John Maynard Keynes, both of whom are summarized Global Banking: The International Monetary Fund (see article for complete details) as follows:
“Such is the moral fiber and intellectual credentials of the creators of the IMF [and the World Bank]: One was an English ideologue economist with a markedly global bent, and the other a corrupt and high-ranking U.S. government official who was a top Soviet spy.”2
Structure of the World Bank
Today, the World Bank consists of two primary units: The already-mentioned IBRD and the International Development Association (IDA), which was created in 1960.
The IBRD lends only to governments who are credit-worthy; in other words, there is an expectation that they will repay their loans. The IDA, by contrast, only lends to governments who are not credit-worthy and are usually the poorest nations. Together, they create a “one-two” punch in global lending to any government that they are able to talk into borrowing. The U.S. currently contributes about $1 billion per year of taxpayer funds to the IDA.
Three other affiliates combine with the World Bank, to be collectively called the World Bank Group:
- The International Finance Corporation (IFC) – Founded in 1956, lends directly to the private sector in developing counties.
- The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) -Founded in 1988, provides guarantees to investors in developing countries against losses caused by noncommercial risks.
- The International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) – Founded in 1966, provides international facilities for conciliation and arbitration of investment disputes.
Headquarters for the World Bank is Washington, DC. It employs approximately 7,000 in the Washington complex, and another 3,000 in 109 offices scattered throughout member countries.
IBRD funds its lending operations by selling AAA-rated bonds and other debt instruments to other banks, pension funds, insurance companies and corporations around the world. By contrast, the IDA is funded by (taxpayer) contributions from member countries. Annual levels of lending is roughly equal between IBRD and IDA. While the IFC generates its own capital in open markets, MIGA and ICSID receive the majority of their funding from the World Bank, much of which is taxpayer funded.
Ownership of the World Bank consists of voting shares held by member countries, according to size and contributions. Currently, the U.S. is the largest shareholder with 16.4 percent of total votes. The next largest voting blocks are Japan (7.9 percent) and Germany (4.5 percent). Because major decisions require an 85 percent super-majority vote, the U.S. can effectively veto any change (100% -16.4% = 83.6%).
It should be noted that the United Nations is headquartered in the United States, on land originally donated to it by David Rockefeller. The Bretton Woods Conference was held in New Hampshire. Every president of the World Bank has hailed from the United States. It is no wonder that the rest of the world views the World Bank as an American operation.
There has been an unwritten but traditional rule that the World Bank president will always be an American, while the president of the IMF is European. (A recent exception to this is the current IMF president, who is Canadian).
It is instructive to review the past presidents of the World Bank, because it demonstrates which elite cabal is really in control of World Bank operations. In turn, this will point strongly to the real beneficiaries of the World Bank hegemony. The complete biographies and accomplishments of these men far exceed the available space in this report, so only a few highlights are noted.
1. Eugene Meyer. June to December, 1946. Chairman, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve from 1930-1933; owner of the Washington Post; Member, Council on Foreign Relations; agent of Lazard Freres, Brown Brothers, Harriman; appointed head of the War Finance Corporation during WWI by Woodrow Wilson.
2. John J. McCloy. March 1947 to April 1949. Member and chair of the Council on Foreign Relations; Chairman, Ford Foundation; Chairman, Chase Manhattan Bank; lawyer whose firm was council to Chase Manhattan Bank.
3. Eugene Black. July 1949 to December 1962. Chairman, Board of Directors for the Federal Reserve System (1933-34); senior vice president of Chase Manhattan Bank; Member, Council on Foreign Relations; member of Bilderbergers; created the International Finance Corporation and the International Development Association at the World Bank.
4. George Woods. January 1963 to March 1968. Vice president of Harris, Forbes & Co.; vice president of Chase Bank; vice president of and board member of First Boston Corp. (one of the largest U.S. investment banking firms).
5. Robert Strange McNamara. April 1968 to June 1981. President and director of Ford Motor Company; Secretary of Defense in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations; member of Trilateral Commission, Council on Foreign Relations and Bilderbergers; honorary council trustee of Aspen Institute. Personally negotiated China’s entrance into the World Bank.
6. A.W. Clausen. July 1981 to June 1986. President, CEO and chairman of Bank of America; member, Trilateral Commission; member, Bretton-Woods Committee.
7. Barber B. Conable. July 1986 to August 1991. Member of U.S. House of Representatives from 1965 to 1985; member Trilateral Commission and Council on Foreign Relations; senior fellow, American Enterprise Institute; board member, New York Stock Exchange; member, Commission on Global Governance.
8. Lewis T. Preston. September 1991 to May 1995. President, CEO and chairman of J.P. Morgan & Co., and chairman of the executive committee; vice president of Morgan Guaranty Trust Co.; member and treasurer of Council on Foreign Relations; director of General Electric.
9. James D. Wolfensohn. June 1995 to 2005 Executive partner and head of the investment banking department, Salomon Brothers (New York); executive deputy chairman and managing director, Schroders Ltd. (London); director, Rockefeller Foundation; board member, Rockefeller University; honorary trustee, Brookings Institution; Director, Population Council (founded by John D. Rockefeller); member, Council on Foreign Relations.
10. Paul Wolfowitz. 2005 – present. Deputy Secretary of Defense (2001-2005); member, Trilateral Commission; member, Council on Foreign Relations; member, Bilderbergers; director of the neocon flagship, Project for the New American Century ( PNAC); member of the elite “Vulcans” group that advised George W. Bush on foreign policy during the 2000 presidential elections (other neocon members included Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Richard Perle); member of and frequent speaker at Social Democrats USA (successor to the Socialist Party of America).