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Asian Crisis to Exceed $120 Billion: Vultures circle failed economies

  • Washington wants you to finance the Asian bailout so fat cat speculators and bankers, as usual, won't feel the pinch.
By Warren Hough

With bankrupt Asian nations bowing to the merciless dictates of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the staggering bailout - estimated at $120 billion in this newspaper three weeks ago - promises quick benefits to the so- called "vulture speculators" who are cashing in.

Of course, the American taxpayers will ultimately have to pay for it.

"Vultures are circling over Southeast Asia," and they are not small predators, reported Michael M. Phillips of the Wall Street Journal on December 9.

The international financiers who have started "feasting on Asia's wounded properties" are led by Goldman, Sachs and Co., the giant New York investment bank where Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin made his millions, and where he intends to return for more payoffs after he leaves government, Phillips found.

For Wall street megabankers and currency speculators, "such an IMF bailout is a bonanza," says Dr. Reinhardt Bodenhagen, an exchange scholar at New York University specializing in studies of global financial institutions.

"A leading vulture capitalist such as giant Citibank looks on the agony of Southeast Asia as a source of windfall profits," he explained. "To begin with, Citibank is partly responsible for setting up the crisis by lending South Korean and Indonesian banks far too much money in hard-to-repay dollar- denominated loans."

While the Asian borrowers run into hard times and buckle under the weight of their foreign debt, Citibank isn't worried: it knows that U.S. taxpayers, who meekly let the IMF and the World Bank pick their pockets, will mount another bailout.

"I bet not one American voter in a million knows how much of his annual tax return goes into financing such world-wide banking scams,' Bodenhagen noted. "The shocking answer is that it runs into tens of billions of dollars."

Most of these staggering handouts end up feeding the profits of the Wall Street financiers who have caused the breakdown of developing countries in the first place, Bodenhagen revealed.

"The global money managers have loaded down these rapidly growing economies with high-interest IOUs, and then sabotaged their ability to repay with feeding-frenzy raids of currency speculation that devalued the money supply of the hardest-working Asian countries," the economist explained.

When the victim of these financial raids is busted and unable to defend itself, "Goldman Sachs, Citibank, the Soros Fund and other global profiteers swoop down like vultures and begin buying up assets at dirt-cheap bankruptcy prices," says Felipe Vidaurrete, a Mexican export broker who was watched such maneuvers in his own country.

In Asia, Goldman Sachs has just announced the purchase of a controlling interest in the Dusit Thani hotel chain, which manages 25,000 hotel rooms in Thailand, Indonesia and South Korea.

Citibank is negotiating to buy several hard-pressed Thai and Philippine financial firms. And the agents of George Soros -- the currency speculator blamed by Asian leaders for sabotaging their payments systems -- are "all over the place, looking for bargain buyouts," Vidaurrete added.

In the consensus of the most sources interviewed for this report, the process of so-called "developing-country bailouts,' has degenerated into a "brutal racket,' says Otho de Cruikman, an experienced Third-World relief administrator.

"It news Wall Street tens of billions of dollars in rip-off profits," he related. "But among the looted countries it leaves behind millions of ruined lives -- people who are thrown out of work even as they are hit with higher fuel and food prices and more biting taxes."

The day will come, Bodenhagen predicted, when the IMF and its banker confederates "will have to face retribution for what they have done to the wage-earners of the world. It won't be a pleasant outcome.