When David Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinski founded the Trilateral Commission in 1973, the intent was to create a “New International Economic Order” (NIEO). To this end, they brought together 300 elite corporate, political and academic leaders from North America, Japan and Europe.
Few people believed us when we wrote about their nefarious plans back then. Now, we look back and clearly see that they did what they said they were going to do… globalism is upon us like an 8.6 magnitude earthquake.
The question is, “How did they do it?” Keep in mind, they had no public mandate from any country in the world. They didn’t have the raw political muscle, especially in democratic countries where voting is allowed. They didn’t have global dictatorial powers.
Indeed, how did they do it?
The answer is the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), self-described as the “central bank for central bankers”, that controls the vast global banking system with the precision of a Swiss watch.
This report offers a concise summation of BIS history, structure and current activities.
The famous currency expert Dr. Franz Pick once stated, “The destiny of the currency is, and always will be, the destiny of a nation.”
With the advent of rampant globalization, this concept can certainly be given a global context as well: “The destiny of currencies are, and always will be, the destiny of the world.”
Even though the BIS is the oldest international banking operation in the world, it is a low profile organization, shunning all publicity and notoriety. As a result, there is very little critical analysis written about this important financial organization. Further, much of what has been written about it is tainted by its own self-effacing literature.
The BIS can be compared to a stealth bomber. It flies high and fast, is undetected, has a small crew and carries a huge payload. By contrast, however, the bomber answers to a chain of command and must be refueled by outside sources. The BIS, as we shall see, is not accountable to any public authority and operates with complete autonomy and self-sufficiency.
Leading up to Founding
As we will see, the BIS was founded in 1930 during a very troubled time in history. Some knowledge of that history is critical to understanding why the BIS was created, and for whose benefit.
There are three figures that play prominently in the founding of the BIS: Charles G. Dawes, Owen D. Young and Hjalmar Schacht of Germany.
Charles G. Dawes was director of the U.S. Bureau of the Budget in 1921, and served on the Allied Reparations Commission starting in 1923. His latter work on “stabilizing Germany’s economy” earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1925. After being elected Vice President under President Calvin Coolidge from 1925-1929, and appointed Ambassador to England in 1931, he resumed his personal banking career in 1932 as chairman of the board of the City National Bank and Trust in Chicago, where he remained until his death in 1951.
Owen D Young was an American industrialist. He founded RCA (Radio Corporation of America) in1919 and was its chairman until 1933. He also served as the chairman of General Electric from 1922 until 1939. In 1932, Young sought the democratic presidential nomination, but lost to Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
More on Hjalmar Schacht later.
In the aftermath of World War I and the impending collapse of the German economy and political structure, a plan was needed to rescue and restore Germany, which would also insulate other economies in Europe from being affected adversely.
The Versailles Treaty of 1919 (which officially ended WWI) had imposed a very heavy reparations burden on Germany, which required a repayment schedule of 132 billion gold marks per year. Most historians agree that the economic upheaval caused in Germany by the Versailles Treaty eventually led to Adolph Hitler’s rise to power.
In 1924 the Allies appointed a committee of international bankers, led by Charles G. Dawes (and accompanied by J.P. Morgan agent, Owen Young), to develop a plan to get reparations payments back on track. Historian Carroll Quigley noted that the Dawes Plan was “largely a J.P. Morgan production” The plan called for $800 million in foreign loans to be arranged for Germany in order to rebuild its economy.
In 1924, Dawes was chairman of the Allied Committee of Experts, hence, the “Dawes Plan.” He was replaced as chairman by Owen Young in 1929, with direct support by J.P. Morgan. The “Young Plan” of 1928 put more teeth into the Dawes Plan, which many viewed as a strategy to subvert virtually all German assets to back a huge mortgage held by the United States bankers.
Neither Dawes nor Young represented anything more than banking interests. After all, WWI was fought by governments using borrowed money made possible by the international banking community. The banks had a vested interest in having those loans repaid!
In 1924, the president of Reichsbank (Germany’s central bank at that time) was Hjalmar Schacht. He had already had a prominent role in creating the Dawes Plan, along with German industrialist Fritz Thyssen and other prominent German bankers and industrialists.
The Young Plan was so odious to the Germans that many credit it as a precondition to Hitler’s rise to power. Fritz Thyssen, a leading Nazi Industrialist, stated
Some historians too quickly credit Owen Young as the idea-man for the Bank for International Settlements. It was actually Hjalmar Schacht who first proposed the idea, which was then carried forward by the same group of international bankers who brought us the Dawes and Young Plans.
It is not necessary to jump to conclusions as to the intent of these elite bankers, so we will instead defer to the insight of renowned Georgetown historian, Carroll Quigley:
So here we have a brief sketch of what led up to the founding of the BIS. Now we can examine the nuts and bolts of how the BIS was actually put together.
The Hague Agreement of 1930
The formation of the BIS was agreed upon by its constituent central banks in the so-called Hague Agreement on January 20, 1930, and was in operation shortly thereafter. According to the Agreement,
The duly authorised representatives of the Governments of Germany, of Belgium, of France, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, of Italy and of Japan of the one part; And the duly authorised representatives of the Government of the Swiss Confederation of the other part Assembled at the Hague Conference in the month of January, 1930, have agreed on the following:
As we will see, German reparation payments (or lack thereof) had little to do with the founding of the BIS, although this is the weak explanation given since its founding. Of course, Germany would make a single payment to the BIS, which in turn would deposit the funds into the respective central bank accounts of the nations to whom payments were due. (It would be the subject of another paper to show the shallowness of this operation: Money and gold were shuffled around, but the net amount that Germany actually paid was very small.)
The original founding documents of the BIS have little to say about Germany, however, and we can look directly to the BIS itself to see its original purpose:
Virtually every in-print reference to the BIS, including their own documents, consistently refer to it as “the central banker’s central bank.”
So, the BIS was established by an international charter and was headquartered in Basle, Switzerland.
According to James C. Baker, pro-BIS author of The Bank for International Settlements: Evolution and Evaluation, “The BIS was formed with funding by the central banks of six nations, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom. In addition, three private international banks from the United States also assisted in financing the establishment of the BIS.”
Each nation’s central bank subscribed to 16,000 shares. The U.S. central bank, the Federal Reserve, did not join the BIS, but the three U.S. banks that participated got 16,000 shares each. Thus, U.S. representation at the BIS was three times that of any other nation. Who were these private banks? Not surprisingly, they were J.P. Morgan & Company, First National Bank of New York and First National Bank of Chicago.
On January 8, 2001, an Extraordinary General Meeting of the BIS approved a proposal that restricted ownership of BIS shares to central banks. Some 13.7% of all shares were in private hands at that time, and the repurchase was accomplished with a cash outlay of $724,956,050. The price of $10,000 per share was over twice the book value of $4,850.
It is not certain what the repurchase accomplished. The BIS claimed that it was to correct a conflict of interest between private shareholders and BIS goals, but it offered no specifics. It was not a voting issue, however, because private owners were not allowed to vote their shares.
Sovereignty and Secrecy
It is not surprising that the BIS, its offices, employees, directors and members share an incredible immunity from virtually all regulation, scrutiny and accountability.
In 1931, central bankers and their constituents were fed up with government meddling in world financial affairs. Politicians were viewed mostly with contempt, unless it was one of their own who was the politician. Thus, the BIS offered them a once-and-for-all opportunity to set up the “apex” the way they really wanted it — private. They demanded these conditions and got what they demanded.
A quick summary of their immunity, explained further below, includes
- diplomatic immunity for persons and what they carry with them (i.e., diplomatic pouches)
- no taxation on any transactions, including salaries paid to employees
- embassy-type immunity for all buildings and/or offices operated by the BIS
- no oversight or knowledge of operations by any government authority
- freedom from immigration restrictions
- freedom to encrypt any and all communications of any sort
- freedom from any legal jurisdiction
Further, members of the BIS board of directors (for instance, Alan Greenspan) are individually granted special benefits:
- immunity from arrest or imprisonment and immunity from seizure of their personal baggage, save in flagrant cases of criminal offense;
- inviolability of all papers and documents;
- immunity from jurisdiction, even after their mission has been accomplished, for acts carried out in the discharge of their duties, including words spoken and writings;
- exemption for themselves, their spouses and children from any immigration restrictions, from any formalities concerning the registration of aliens and from any obligations relating to national service in Switzerland
- the right to use codes in official communications or to receive or send documents or correspondence by means of couriers or diplomatic bags.
Lastly, all remaining officials and employees of the BIS have the following immunities:
- immunity from jurisdiction for acts accomplished in the discharge of their duties, including words spoken and writings, even after such persons have ceased to be Officials of the Bank;[bold emphasis added]
- exemption from all Federal, cantonal and communal taxes on salaries, fees and allowances paid to them by the Bank
- exempt from Swiss national obligations, freedom for spouses and family members from immigration restrictions, transfer assets and properties including internationally with the same degree of benefit as Officials of other international organizations.
Of course, a corporate charter can say anything it wants to say and still be subject to outside authorities. Nevertheless, these were the immunities practiced and enjoyed from 1930 onward. On February 10, 1987, a more formal acknowledgement called the “Headquarters Agreement” was executed between the BIS and the Swiss Federal Council and basically clarified and reiterated what we already knew:
- The buildings or parts of buildings and surrounding land which, whoever may be the owner thereof, are used for the purposes of the Bank shall be inviolable. No agent of the Swiss public authorities may enter therein without the express consent of the Bank. Only the President, the General Manager of the Bank, or their duly authorised representative shall be competent to waive such inviolability.
- The archives of the Bank and, in general, all documents and any data media belonging to the Bank or in its possession, shall be inviolable at all times and in all places.
- The Bank shall exercise supervision of and police power over its premises.
Immunity from jurisdiction and execution
- The Bank shall enjoy immunity from criminal and administrative jurisdiction, save to the extent that such immunity is formally waived in individual cases by the President, the General Manager of the Bank, or their duly authorised representative.
- The assets of the Bank may be subject to measures of compulsory execution for enforcing monetary claims. On the other hand, all deposits entrusted to the Bank, all claims against the Bank and the shares issued by the Bank shall, without the prior agreement of the Bank, be immune from seizure or other measures of compulsory execution and sequestration, particularly of attachment within the meaning of Swiss law. [bold emphasis added]
As you can see, the BIS, its directors and employees (past and present) can do virtually anything and everything they want, with complete secrecy, immunity and with no one looking over their shoulders. It was truly a banker’s dream come true, and it paved the international freeway for the rampant financial globalism that we see manifest today.
Acting as a central bank, the BIS has sweeping powers to do anything for its own account or for the account of its member central banks. It is like a two-way power-of-attorney3 any party can act as agent for any other party.
Article 21 of the original BIS statutes define day-to-day operations:
2. holding gold for its own account under reserve in central banks;
3. accepting the supervision of gold for the account of central banks;
4. making advances to or borrowing from central banks against gold, bills of exchange, and other short-term obligations of prime liquidity or other approved securities;
5. discounting, rediscounting, purchasing, or selling with or without its endorsement bills of exchange, checks, and other short-term obligations of prime liquidity;
6. buying and selling foreign exchange for its own account or for the account of central banks;
7. buying and selling negotiable securities other than shares for its own account or for the account of central banks;
8. discounting for central banks bills taken from their portfolio and rediscounting with central banks bills taken from its own portfolio;
9. opening and maintaining current or deposit accounts with central banks;
10. accepting deposits from central banks on current or deposit account;
11. accepting deposits in connection with trustee agreements that may be made between the BIS and governments in connection with international settlements.;
12. accepting such other deposits that, as in the opinion of the Board of the BIS, come within the scope of the BIS functions.
The BIS also may
2. arrange with any central bank for the latter to act as its agent or correspondent;
3. enter into agreements to act as trustee or agent in connection with international settlements, provided that such agreements will not encroach on the obligations of the BIS toward any third parties.
Why is “agency” an important issue? Because any member of the network can obscure transactions from onlookers. For instance, if Brown Brothers, Harriman wanted to transfer money to a company in Nazi Germany during WWII (which was not “politically correct” at that time), they would first transfer the funds to the BIS thus putting the transaction under the cloak of secrecy and immunity that is enjoyed by the BIS but not by Brown Brothers, Harriman. (Such laundering of Wall Street money was painstakingly noted in Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler, by Antony C. Sutton.)
There are a few things that the BIS cannot do. For instance, it does not accept deposits from, or provide financial services to, private individuals or corporate entities. It is also not permitted to make advances to governments or open current accounts in their name. These restrictions are easily understood when one considers that each central bank has an exclusive franchise to loan money to their respective government. For instance, the U.S. Federal Reserve does not loan money to the government of Canada. In like manner, central banks do not loan money directly to the private or corporate clients of their member banks.
How Decisions are Made
The board of directors consist of the heads of certain member central banks. Currently, these are:
Nout H E M Wellink, Amsterdam (Chairman of the Board of Directors)
Hans Tietmeyer, Frankfurt am Main (Vice-Chairman)
Axel Weber, Frankfurt am Main
Vincenzo Desario, Rome
Antonio Fazio, Rome
David Dodge, Ottawa Toshihiko Fukui,
Tokyo Timothy F Geithner, New York
Alan Greenspan, Washington
Lord George, London
Hervï Hannoun, Paris
Christian Noyer, Paris
Lars Heikensten, Stockholm
Mervyn King, London
Guy Quaden, Brussels
Jean-Pierre Roth, Zïrich
Alfons Vicomte Verplaetse, Brussels
Of these, five members (Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland) are currently elected by the shareholders. The majority of directors are “ex officio,” meaning they are permanent and are automatically a part of any sub-committee.
The combined board meets at least six times per year, in secret, and is briefed by BIS management on financial operations of the bank. Global monetary policy is discussed and set at these meetings.
It was reported in 1983 that there is an inner club of the half dozen central bankers who are more or less in the same monetary boat: Germany, U.S., Switzerland, Italy, Japan and England. The existence of an inner club is neither surprising nor substantive: the whole BIS operation is 100% secret anyway. It is not likely that members of the inner club have significantly different beliefs or agendas apart from the BIS as a whole.
How the BIS works with the IMF and the World Bank
The interoperation between the three entities is understandably confusing to most people, so a little clarification will help.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) interacts with governments whereas the BIS interacts only with other central banks. The IMF loans money to national governments, and often these countries are in some kind of fiscal or monetary crisis. Furthermore, the IMF raises money by receiving “quota” contributions from its 184 member countries. Even though the member countries may borrow money to make their quota contributions, it is, in reality, all tax-payer money.
The World Bank also lends money and has 184 member countries. Within the World Bank are two separate entities, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). The IBRD focuses on middle income and credit-worthy poor countries, while the IDA focuses on the poorest of nations. In funding itself, the World Bank borrows money by direct lending from banks and by floating bond issues, and then loans this money through IBRD and IDA to troubled countries.
The BIS, as central bank to the other central banks, facilitates the movement of money. They are well-known for issuing “bridge loans” to central banks in countries where IMF or World Bank money is pledged but has not yet been delivered. These bridge loans are then repaid by the respective governments when they receive the funds that had been promised by the IMF or World Bank.
The IMF is the BIS’ “ace in the hole” when monetary crisis hits. The 1998 Brazil currency crisis was caused by that country’s inability to pay inordinate accumulated interest on loans made over a protracted period of time. These loans were extended by banks like Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase and FleetBoston, and they stood to lose a huge amount of money.
The IMF, along with the World Bank and the U.S., bailed out Brazil with a $41.5 billion package that saved Brazil, its currency and, not incidentally, certain private banks.
Congressman Bernard Sanders (I-VT), ranking member of the International Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee, blew the whistle on this money laundry operation. Sander’s entire congressional press release is worth reading:
IMF Bailout for Brazil is Windfall to Banks, Disaster for US Taxpayers Says Sanders
BURLINGTON, VERMONT – August 15 – Congressman Bernard Sanders (I-VT), the Ranking Member of the International Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee, today called for an immediate Congressional investigation of the recent $30 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout of Brazil.
Sanders, who is strongly opposed to the bailout and considers it corporate welfare, wants Congress to find out why U.S. taxpayers are being asked to provide billions of dollars to Brazil and how much of this money will be funneled to U.S. banks such as Citigroup, FleetBoston and J.P. Morgan Chase. These banks have about $25.6 billion in outstanding loans to Brazilian borrowers. U.S. taxpayers currently fund the IMF through a $37 billion line of credit.
Sanders said, “At a time when we have a $6 trillion national debt, a growing federal deficit, and an increasing number of unmet social needs for our veterans, seniors, and children, it is unacceptable that billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are being sent to the IMF to bailout Brazil.”
“This money is not going to significantly help the poor people of that country. The real winners in this situation are the large, profitable U.S. banks such as Citigroup that have made billions of dollars in risky investments in Brazil and now want to make sure their investments are repaid. This bailout represents an egregious form of corporate welfare that must be put to an end. Interestingly, these banks have made substantial campaign contributions to both political parties,” the Congressman added.
Sanders noted that the neo-liberal policies of the IMF developed in the 1980’s pushing countries towards unfettered free trade, privatization, and slashing social safety nets has been a disaster for Latin America and has contributed to increased global poverty throughout the world. At the same time that Latin America countries such as Brazil and Argentina followed these neo-liberal dictates imposed by the IMF, from 1980-2000, per capita income in Latin America grew at only one-tenth the rate of the previous two decades.
BIS dumps gold-backed Swiss Francs for SDR’s
On March 10, 2003, the BIS abandoned the Swiss gold franc as the bank’s unit of account since 1930, and replaced it with the SDR.
SDR stands for Special Drawing Rights and is a unit of currency originally created by the IMF. According to Baker,
This “basket” currently consists of the euro, Japanese yen, pound sterling and the U.S. dollar.
The BIS abandonment of the 1930 gold Swiss franc removed all restraint from the creation of paper money in the world. In other words, gold backs no national currency, leaving the central banks a wide-open field to create money as they alone see fit. Remember, that almost all the central banks in the world are privately-held entities, with an exclusive franchise to arrange loans for their respective host countries.
Regional and Global Currencies: SDR’s, Euros and Ameros
There is no doubt that the BIS is moving the world toward regional currencies and ultimately, a global currency. The global currency could well be an evolution of the SDR, and may explain why the BIS recently adopted the SDR as its primary reserve currency.
The Brandt Equation, 21st Century Blueprint for the New Global Economy notes, for instance, that
As to regional currencies, the BIS has already been hugely successful in launching the euro in Europe. Armed with new technical and social know-how, the BIS’ next logical step is to focus on America and Asia.
For instance, according to BIS Papers No. 17, Regional currency areas and the use of foreign currencies,
Assuming that NAFTA permanently identifies Canada, the U.S. and Mexico as one trading block, then North America will look like the European Union and the Amero will function like the Euro. All of the work put into the SDR would be perfectly preserved by simply substituting the Amero for the U.S. dollar when they choose to bring the Amero to ascendancy over the dollar.
For those American readers who do not grasp the significance of the adoption of the euro by European Union countries, consider how one American globalist describes it.
C. Fred Bergsten is a prominent and core Trilateral Commission member and head of the Institute for International Economics. On January 3, 1999, Bergsten wrote in the Washington Post
Bergsten will have to rephrase this when the U.S. gives up the dollar for the amero — that will become the most dramatic voluntary surrender of sovereignty in recorded history!
Our credo is “Follow the money, follow the power.” This report has endeavored to follow the money. We find that:
- The BIS is central bank to all major central banks in the world
- It is privately owned by central banks themselves, most of whom are also private
- It was founded under questionable circumstances by questionable people
- It is accountable to no one, especially government bodies
- It operates in complete secrecy and is inviolable
- Movement of money is obscured and hidden when routed through the BIS
- The BIS is targeting regional currency blocks and ultimately, a global currency
- It has been hugely successful at building the New International Economic Order, along with its attendant initiatives on global governance.
As to “follow the power,” another paper will more fully explore the influence of power that the BIS exerts over other banks, nations and governments. For your own consideration in the meantime, Proverbs 22:7 provides a useful compass: “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender”.
1. Quigley, Tragedy & Hope, (MacMillan, 1966), p.308
2. Edgar B Nixon, ec., Franklin D. Roosevelt and Foreign Affairs, Volume III (Cambridge: Balknap Press, 1969) p. 456
3. Sutton, Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler, (GSC & Associates, 2002) p. 26
4. Quigley, op cit, p. 324
5. BIS web site, Extracts from the Hague Convention, www.bis.org/about/conv-ex.htm
6. BIS, Statutes of the Bank for International Settlements Article 3 [as if January 1930, text as amended on March 10,2003], Basic Texts (Basle, August 2003), p. 7-8
7. Baker, The Bank for International Settlements: Evolution and Evaluation, (Quorum, 2002), p. 20
8. ibid., p. 16
9. BIS, Protocol Regarding the Immunities of the Bank for International Settlements, Basic Texts, (Basle, August 2003), p. 33
10. ibid, Article 12, p.43.
11. ibid, p. 44
12. BIS, Extracts from the Headquarters Agreement, www.bis.org/about/hq-ex.htm
13. Baker, op cit, p. 26-27
14. ibid, p. 27
15. BIS, The BIS in profile, Bank for International Settlements flyer, June, 2005
16. BIS, Board of Directors, www.bis.org/about/board.htm
17. Epstein, Ruling the World of Money, Harper’s Magazine, 1983
18. IMF web site, http://www.imf.org
19. World Bank web site.
20. Baker, op cit, p. 141-142
21. IMF web site
22. The Brandt Equation: 21 st Century Blueprint for the New Global Economy. The Brandt Proposals A Report Card: Money and Finances.
23. BIS, Regional currency areas and the use of foreign currencies, BIS Papers No. 17, September, 2003
24. Washington Post, The Euro Could Be Good for Trans-Atlantic Relations, C. Fred Bergsten, January 3, 1999