Bank of England

Fall Reading – 1 Book – Hell’s Cartel

I went to the library yesterday with the wife and twins.  I stumbled across, and decided to pick, a book entitled, “Hell’s Cartel: IG Farben and the Making of Hitler’s War Machine.”  It was published just this year by Metropolitan Books, part of the Henry Holt publishing house.

I read a bit of the book last night.  It makes for interesting reading, so far.  Perhaps the most interesting thing for me is that Montagu Norman didn’t make the index.  As head of the Rothschild’s greatest toy, the Bank of England, his role in lending financial support probably merits some discussion.

From the inside flap

In 1925, in the aftermath of World War I and the Treaty of Versailles, six of Germany’s leading chemical companies banded together to protect their business from increasing foreign competition.  The merger created one of the preeminent corporations in the world and the largest in all of Europe.  IG Farben, as the cartel was named, soon dominated crucial industries ranging from synthetic rubber and oil to explosives, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals.  To this day, former Farben companies – the drugmaker Bayer, the graphics supplier Agfa, the plastics giant BASF – continue to play key roles in the global markets.

Yet, just 20 years after Farben’s creation, its directors found themselves on trial in the same Nuremberg courtroom that had decided the fates of the surviving leaeders of the Third Reich.  They were accused, in the words of the prosecutor Telford Taylor, of being “the men who had made war possible…the magicians who made the fantasies of Mein Kampf come true.”  The charges, unprecedented in their application to corporate leaders, included mass murder and the exploitation of slave labor.

Video Link re: Bayer and Contaminated HIV Vaccine

Insuring Risky Investments – Central Bank Style

If you’ve thought that the recent decisions by central banks to bail out investors who gambled and lost on sub-prime mortgages was odd, you’re not alone. If you thought that the bailout flies in the face of all you’ve been taught about the power and sanctity of the market, you’ve got company. And that company is none other than Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England – the same bank which was born around the time when wealthy Scots seeking greater engagement in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and a toe hold in Panama lost their loot behind the Darien Scheme of William Paterson, and born again when gold was discovered in Africa in the 1880’s.