Led by Italy's Tremonti,
Europeans Expand Front Against Speculators
July 7, 2008 (EIRNS)An FDR-style battle against financial speculators, especially as they are ravaging the world's poor through food and energy prices, is being brought to two summits this week: one, of the Group of Eight in Japan; the other, of the European Union economic and finance ministers' meeting in Brussels. The battle is being led by Italian Treasury and Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti, a leading proponent of a New Bretton Woods and a supporter of Lyndon LaRouche's Eurasian Land-Bridge program.
At the July 7-8 Brussels meeting, Tremonti will personally present a proposal to use Article 81 of the European Treaty against commodity speculators, a proposal that has his monetarist opponents having conniption fits, in London and Switzerland, as well as Italy.
Tremonti "will explain why, in his view, it is possible to use European laws against those who buy and sell paper oil barrels, i.e., contracts and instruments decoupled from the real possession of commodities, but able to steer the price amplifying tendencies dictated by 'demand and supply,'" reported the Rome daily Il Messaggero July 7. According to the July 7 issue of Switzerland's financial daily Neue Zuercher Zeitung, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi himself has also called for a limitation of speculative activities, at the G8 meeting.
The Italian initiative against speculation received prominent support July 6, when Pope Benedict XVI issued a call for emergency action in favor of the poor during his Sunday Angelus. "I address myself, then, to the participants in the meeting in Hokkaido-Tokayo, that they may focus their deliberations ont he needs of the weakest and poorest people, whose vulnerability is greater today because of speculation and financial turbulence and their perverse effects on the cost of food and energy," the Pope said. "Probably Giulio Tremonti did not expect to be able to present his plan against oil price increases in Brussels, the day after a paper statement that uses the same terminology," Il Messaggero reported.
On the opposite side of the issue, are the Swiss and London banking establishments, which have made their displeasure known. The July 7 Neue Zürcher Zeitung, mouthpiece of the Swiss bankers, accused Tremonti of simply using his fight against speculation and globalization as a diversion; but, it was forced, for the first time, to give his campaign prominent, accurate coverage. The NZZ wrote,"The Italian Economy Minister, a legal expert by education, is already is already well known for his interventionist suggestions." "The self-declared admirer of French mercantilist Colbert has already called also for a new Bretton Woods and protective tariffs to bring globalization under control, and accused the Financial Stability Forum, led by Italian Central Banker Mario Draghi, of proposing measures not effective enough against the international financial crisis. The FSF has prescribed just an aspirin, Tremonti impertinently once said."
Speaking for a faction of the London establishment, was Daily Telegraph's Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. Evans-Pritchard, who generally downplayed the issue, was constrained to admit that the futures markets does set the spot market price of petroleum, in his July 7th column. Pritchard's downplaying the threat that action might be taken against the speculators, is in stark contrast to his wild freakout about the possibility that the Federal Reserve might follow Lyndon LaRouche's advice, and raise interest rates to 4%, thus blowing the British game.
LaRouche's response to Evans-Pritchard's July 2 column is the featured item in the July 11 issue of EIR magazine.