The year 2012, that has been prophesised by many different cultures to be a turning point, and is turning out to be a REALLY interesting year. Locally, we are faced with 2 pieces of legislation that are have the potential of disrupting our equilibrium and therefore our day-to-day lives, namley the Secrecy Bill and the e-tolling issue. Then, we are going to witness the "bloodbath of Mangaung".
Petrol prices are leaping ahead and will continue to do so as oil prices skyrocket. The USA have imposed sanctions on Iran from 30 June, for no reason other than they "believe" Iran is developing a nuclear capability, and feel threatened by it. What this means for South Africa, is that we are told by the USA that we must reduce our oil imports from Iran. We currently import about 25% of our oil from that beautiful country. As the sanctions against Iran begin to take hold we will suffer further increases in the price of oil, and possibly a shortage of oil.
This all seems like a bad news 2012, so if the world ends, then it can't be too bad, not so? Except that this is not going to happen. Internationally, we have many EU countries who are over-borrowed and are unable to meet their debt commitments, and so we read about "bale out packages".
Why did they over-borrow in the first place? What does this mean for us at the southernmost tip of Africa?There was an interesting revelation and request in the British parliament in February by one of the members of the house of lords, that defied rationality. The Lord in question was one Lord James of Blackheath. He informed the parliament in London that he had been following something that amused him from the year 2009. It appeared that an amount of $15 TRILLION (yes, that is what he said, equal to the national debt of the USA) had been transferred from the Federal Reserve Bank (via JP Morgan Bank, via HSBC Bank) to the Royal Bank of Scotland, and he requested that this transaction should be "investigated". He had copies of all the SWIFT transaction confirmations, and "oodles" of other evidence.
Did any of you notice this? Probably not.The signatories on the SWIFT notification are non other than the Secretary for the US Treasury, Bernanke, and the, then governor of the New York Federal Reserve, Alan Greesnspan, who it seems were conspiring with one George Bush, to redeem the EU banks. (Where does that money come from and who owns it?) It transpires, subsequently, that these funds had been transferred to 11 other banks.
One in particular caught my eye. It is the holding bank of our own Absa Bank that is in the process of mass retrenchment of staff. Now there have been no other further public revelations regarding this, but one wonders whether these banks have been asked to pay back the amount, or are greedily, "making hay while the sun shines".
Another interesting development has been the confiscation of US Treasury Bonds in Italy, US$ 3 trillions worth. Then there was the resignation of their Prime Minsiter Berlusconi, and subsequent charges of fraud against him. Have you been following this - US$ 3 trillion?Then our own South African, Greg Smith, takes on the largest bank in the USA, Goldman Sacks (for which he worked for 9 years and became a director), and describes them as a "toxic bank" who describe their customers as "muppets" from whom they conspire to "make as much money" as they possibly can. One has to ask, "Is the tyranny of the banks beginning to crumble?"
Between our own local differences and international developments, my advice is, "Hold onto your hats", preferably hard hats. 2012 is shaping up to be a huge rollercoaster ride.Let us all hold a thought for Iranians though. They are being targeted unjustly and unfairly, and I really hope that the USA will not decide to kill more people without recourse, and let us hope that our government will not give into the US demands.
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