Thirty years ago, on Oct. 19 1987, the biggest stock market crash in one day occurred on Wall Street. On that “Black Monday”, the Dow Jones dropped by a spectacular 22.6% in panic sales. Many articles were published on the occasion of the 30th anniversary, but virtually all failed to correctly answer the question generally raised: “Can it happen again?”
Over the past decade, China’s banks have generated some $10 trillion of credit. During the same decade, the financial institutions of the trans-Atlantic sector plus Japan have issued more than $15 trillion in cumulative “quantitative easing” (QE). But whereas China’s credit has gone into productive activities, the western QE money – half again as much as what China issued – went exclusively into pumping up the speculative bubble again.
Just days after the White House spokesman raised the issue of re-establishing the Glass-Steagall Act, the Vice-Chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Thomas Hoenig spoke of bank separation, setting off a new wave of panic among the mega-banks.
The French Constitutional Council announced on March 18 the 11 Presidential candidates who had received at least 500 duly validated “presentations” from elected officials throughout the country – and Jacques Cheminade is among them. According to the rules, signatures must come in from at least 30 different administrative departments (out of 101), and not more than 50 from the same department, to ensure national representativity. The first round of the election is on April 23.
After interviewing Jacques Cheminade, until recently President of the French party Solidarité et Progrès, RTL announced in an article on Feb. 21 that the presidential hopeful had over 500 written pledges from mayors to sponsor his candidacy, which is the minimum needed to be able to run for the French presidency. After that article, virtually all major media covered Cheminade’s statement (AFP, Les Echos, France Soir, Le Figaro, Libération, Europe 1, France Info, France TV Info, etc.), and a number of them took statements from his campaign staff as well, including AFP. The candidate also gave an excellent 20-minute interview to the news channel LCI on Feb. 24.
Immediately following the Feb. 16 press conference by Donald Trump, Lyndon LaRouche commented that if his presidency is to be successful, he must move quickly to re-instate Glass-Steagall bank separation and to rein in Wall Street, as he pledged to do during the election campaign. In fact, over the past weeks, as the threat of a new financial crash grows, there has been a surge of support in the United States for re-establishing a strict separation between deposit and investment banks, as mandated under the Glass-Steagall Act.
With just over ten weeks to the first round of the French presidential election on April 23, a serious political crisis is unfolding. The conservative candidate François Fillon (Les Républicains), who was still considered the front-runner two weeks ago has been severely weakened by allegations that he used taxpayer money to pay his wife and two of his children for jobs they did not carry out. Fillon has since been overtaken in the polls by Marine Le Pen of the Front National and Emmanuel Macron, a renegade socialist and former Economics Minister of François Hollande, who is known as the “bankers’ man”.
Democratic Representative Marcy Kaptur of Ohio held a press conference in the House of Representatives on Feb. 1 to announce her introduction of a bill to re-enact Glass-Steagall legislation. Twenty-six other Members of Congress co-sponsored the bill, three of whom made short statements: Republican Walter Jones and Democrats Tim Ryan and Tulsi Gabbard. Bartlett Naylor, an expert on financial markets from Public Citizen, also spoke shortly.
The debate on re-enacting the Glass-Steagall Act in the United States has become very hot over the past weeks, in particular around the Senate confirmation of Steven Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary. At the Senate Finance Committee hearing on the issue on Jan. 19, Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell used the entire time allotted to her to confront the former Goldman Sachs banker on separating commercial banks from investment banks, which was widely covered in the media. Asked point-black “do you support returning to Glass-Steagall”, Mnuchin replied: “No, I don’t support going back to Glass-Steagall as is.”
A preliminary assessment of Donald Trump’s inaugural address was written on Jan. 21 by the International President of the Schiller Institute Helga Zepp-LaRouche for the German weekly Neue Solidarität. We provide a few excerpts, in draft translation, below.