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Rothschilds Stage Revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt To Kill Islamic Banks In Emerging North African Markets

Posted on: March 3, 2011

Tunisia has undergone increasing economic liberalization over the last decade: In the 2010-2011 World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, it was ranked as the most competitive country in Africa, as well as the 32nd most economically competitive country globally. North Africa’s large Muslim populations are a vast business opportunity for Islamic banking and other businesses.

Contrary to popular belief, the world’s finances are controlled by privately-owned “central banks” masquerading as federal government banks in nearly every country in the world [The U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, ruled that The Federal Reserve (U.S.’ central bank) was privately owned in 680 F.2d 1239, LEWIS v. UNITED STATES of America, No. 80-5905].

Though it is a carefully guarded secret, the Rothschilds and their associates own most the shares in the central banks (Federal Reserve Directors: A Study of Corporate and Banking Influence, Committee on Banking, Currency and Housing, House of Representatives, 1976, Charts 1-5) (Mullins, Eustice Secrets of the Federal Reserve 1983). With extremely little government input, the economies of Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, and Algeria are strictly controlled by the Rothschild’s central banks and their International Monetary Fund.

The motive: Just follow the money

Islamic banks have been eating into Rothschild profits in the Middle East because: they don’t charge interest (Shariah Law), they are growing very rapidly among the world’s exploding Muslim populations, and (in these catastrophic economic times) they are more stable than western banks.

While it is a very good thing that people are freed from the tyranny of dictators, they also need to be freed from the tyranny of economic control and serfdom. The relevant moral question is: Do the means justify the end?.

Ben Ali’s son-in-law El Materi at the opening of his Zitouna Bank, North Africa’s first Islamic bank, last May

Deposed Tunisian President Ben Ali’s son-in-law, Sakher El Materi, opened Tunisia’s first Islamic bank, Zitouna Bank, on May 26, 2010. Zitouna Bank is the first Islamic bank in the Maghreb region [North Africa]. The bank was a first step toward Ben Ali’s new program of extensive reforms, “Tunisia, a Pole for Banking Services and a Regional Financial Centre”, which would have undermined the power and the profits of the Central Bank of Tunisia (privately-owned by the Rothschilds and their associates).

Tunis Financial Harbour opened last October 19. Its the first offshore finance centre in North Africa.

The Telegraph (October 19 2010) reported on the opening of the megaproject Tunis Financial Harbour –President Ben Ali’s bid to make Tunisia the regional financial centre of North Africa and beyond: “Islamic investment bank Gulf Finance House (GFH) and the Tunisian government have created the first offshore finance centre in North Africa. The centre will be part of Tunis Financial Harbour, a $3 billion waterfront development in Tunis . . . GFH, which is based in Bahrain, hopes the centre will allow Tunisia to take advantage of its strategic position on the Mediterranean sea, and operate as a bridge between the EU and the rapidly growing economies of North Africa [and subSaharan Africa].”

“However, despite the current poor climate, the potential for Islamic banking in Egypt is huge, and one should expect more moves from Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank into Egypt, possibly in the form of a buyout,” Executive Magazine (Feb 8 2011) reports, “A recent Middle East Business Intelligence report said it best, when it opined, ‘If Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank can make a success of offering Islamic products, the whole market will open up. We have already seen some of the local banks start to advertise their Islamic products in view of the competition for customers they see about to begin.’

“Clearly Islamic banks in the Gulf are already anticipating the day when their home markets are saturated. And it appears that Egypt will be on the next front-line in the development of regional Islamic banking and finance.”

“African countries such as Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Sudan are keen on future sukuk exercises (issuing Islamic bonds). Gambia debuted with a US$166m sukuk deal, privately sold in the US in 2006.” [International Finance Review (Reuters), 2008]

The New York Times article “Islamic banking rises on oil wealth, drawing non-Muslims” ( November 22, 2007) reported: “Rising oil wealth is lifting Islamic banking – which adheres to the laws of the Koran and its prohibition against charging interest – into the financial mainstream. . . . In addition to Islamic loans, there are Islamic bonds, Islamic credit cards . . . Loans and bonds that conform to the Koran are already available in the United States. . . .

“’This is an industry on its way from a niche industry to becoming a truly global industry,’ said Khawaja Mohammad Salman Younis, the managing director for operations in Malaysia for Kuwait Finance House, the world’s second-largest Islamic bank. ‘In the next three to five years you’ll see Islamic banks coming out in Australia, China, Japan and other parts of the world.’

“In Islamic banking, financiers are required to share borrowers’ risks, meaning that depositors are treated more like shareholders, earning a portion of profits. Financing deals resemble lease-to-own arrangements, layaway plans, joint purchase and sale agreements, or partnerships.

“The stampede into Islamic finance is mostly an effort to tap an estimated $1.5 trillion of funds sloshing around the Middle East, largely from higher oil prices. . . .Those investments have helped ignite an economic revival throughout the Muslim world at a time of increasing religious conservatism among Islam’s 1.6 billion faithful. A result is expanding demand for financial services that adhere to Islamic law . . .

“And while the biggest Islamic banks are in the wealthy Gulf states, the most attractive potential markets are in Turkey and North Africa (emphasis added) and among European Muslims. . . .

“. . . even non-Muslims are taking advantage of a growing range of Islamic products offering competitive returns. For instance, David Ong-Yeoh, a public relations executive tired of fretting over the rising interest rate on his adjustable rate mortgage, refinanced to a 30-year fixed loan from an Islamic financial institution. Now, he pays regular installments that include a predetermined profit margin for the bank.

“’The terms are better than on conventional loans,’ said Ong-Yeoh, 41.

“Islamic finance also avoids other prohibited practices. Shariah-compliant bankers cannot receive or provide funds for anything involving alcohol, gambling, pornography, tobacco, weapons or pork. Proponents of Islamic banking say these are limits any socially conscious investor can support, Muslim or not. They also envision wider appeal for Islamic banking’s ban on interest, which stems from the Koran’s prohibition against usury.

“This is a view that has a long religious and historical tradition. Interest is repeatedly condemned in the Bible. Aristotle denounced it, the Romans limited it, and the early Christian church prohibited it. . . .

“The belief that all interest charges are unjust now underpins Islamic finance. . . .Hoarding is frowned upon in the Koran, so savings earn no return unless put to productive use.

“’Money should be used for creating better value in the country or the economy,’ Maraj said. ‘Money cannot generate money.’

“Nor can Islamic banks simply trade money. ‘In the Islamic finance model, the banks are supposed to mobilize funds through a fund management concept,’ said Rafe Haneef, head of Islamic banking in Asia for Citigroup.

“Indeed, Islamic banking is supposed to function more like private equity firms than conventional banking. ‘Private equity is an Islamic concept,’ Haneef said.

“Industry proponents say this risk-sharing requirement helps reduce the kind of abuses that led to the subprime mortgage mess in the United States. Scholars consider it un-Islamic to overload a customer with debt or invest in a company with excessive debt.”

The Washington Post, “Islamic Banking: Steady In Shaky Times” (Oct 31 2008), reported: “As big Western financial institutions have teetered one after the other in the crisis of recent weeks, another financial sector is gaining new confidence: Islamic banking. Proponents of the ancient practice, which looks to sharia law for guidance and bans interest and trading in debt, have been promoting Islamic finance as a cure for the global financial meltdown.

“This week, Kuwait’s commerce minister, Ahmad Baqer, was quoted as saying that the global crisis will prompt more countries to use Islamic principles in running their economies. U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Robert M. Kimmet, visiting Jiddah, said experts at his agency have been learning the features of Islamic banking.

“Though the trillion-dollar Islamic banking industry faces challenges with the slump in real estate and stock prices, advocates say the system has built-in protection from the kind of runaway collapse that has afflicted so many institutions. For one thing, the use of financial instruments such as derivatives, blamed for the downfall of banking, insurance and investment giants, is banned. So is excessive risk-taking.

“’The beauty of Islamic banking and the reason it can be used as a replacement for the current market is that you only promise what you own [contrast to western banks fractional reserve system]. Islamic banks are not protected if the economy goes down — they suffer — but you don’t lose your shirt,’ said Majed al-Refaie, who heads Bahrain-based Unicorn Investment Bank.

“The theological underpinning of Islamic banking is scripture that declares that collection of interest is a form of usury, which is banned in Islam. In the modern world, that translates into an attitude toward money that is different from that found in the West: Money cannot just sit and generate more money. To grow, it must be invested in productive enterprises.

“’In Islamic finance you cannot make money out of thin air,’ said Amr al-Faisal, a board member of Dar al-Mal al-Islami, a holding company that owns several Islamic banks and financial institutions. ‘Our dealings have to be tied to actual economic activity, like an asset or a service. You cannot make money off of money. You have to have a building that was actually purchased, a service actually rendered, or a good that was actually sold.’

“Islamic bankers describe depositors as akin to partners — their money is invested, and they share in the profits or, theoretically, the losses that result. (In interviews, bankers couldn’t recall a case in which depositors actually lost money; this shows that banks put such funds only in very low-risk investments, they said.)”

It is easy to see why the Rothschilds and their network of conventional western banks would be threatened by competition from the more appealing, more conservative Islamic banks.

Late in 2008, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde announced France’s intention to make Paris “the capital of Islamic finance” and said several Islamic banks would open branches in the French capital in 2009. French sources estimate this area of the financial market is worth from 500 to 600 billion dollars and could grow by an average 11 percent a year.

John Sandwick, managing director of Swiss asset management firm Encore Management, characterized the opening of several Swiss Islamic banks as, “the race to control the rich prize: which today is worth hundreds of billions, but in the future will be trillions of dollars of Islamic wealth.”

“According to Standard and Poor’s, Islamic banking assets reached about $400 billion throughout the world in 2009. In November 2010, The Banker published its latest authoritative list of the Top 500 Islamic Finance Institutions with Iran topping the list. Seven out of ten top Islamic banks in the world are Iranian according to the list.” (iStockAnalyst, Feb 8, 2011)

BEN ALI’S SON OPENS FIRST ISLAMIC BANK IN ATTRACTIVE NORTH AFRICAN MARKET

Commenting on the opening of Zitouna (Islamic) Bank, International Business Times (May 28 2010) reported, “North Africa has begun to embrace Islamic finance after years watching from the sidelines, partly to channel more Arab Gulf petrodollars into the region. . . .Tunisia has one of the most open economies in the region and attracts substantial investment from the European Union, something that is expected to accelerate after 2014, when the government has said it will make the currency (the Tunisian dinar) fully convertible.”

Global Islamic Finance News (May 31, 2010) reported, “Zitouna Bank also seeks to impart a regional dimension on its activities, particularly in the Maghreb region [North Africa], all the more so that it is the first specialised bank not belonging to a foreign banking group,” and went on to add, “The Bank will also seek to forge strong relations with the Maghreb and Mediterranean banks to ensure needed flow of financial operations for its customers. The bank officials stressed that the financial institution has established relations with 12 Islamic banks in collaboration with the Institute of Islamic banks in Bahrain.

Zitouna bank’s formation had been announced earlier in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Tunisia on 10 September 2009. Tunisia and Morocco authorized Islamic finance in 2007, partly to channel more investment into their fast-growing tourism and real estate industries.

Due to his being the son-in-law of President Ben Ali, El Materi’s Zitouna Bank was expanding in Tunisia to the level of monopoly. El Materi had built a powerful business empire: he ran businesses in News and Media, Banking and Financial Services, Automotive, Shipping and Cruises, Real Estate and Agriculture, Pharmaceuticals and last November 22 he bought a 50% stake in Orascom Telecom for 0.2 billion.

The newly-opened Tunis Financial Harbour was on the brink of becoming the regional financial centre of North Africa and, with its strategic position on the Mediterranean sea, becoming a bridge between the EU and the rapidly growing economies of North Africa and subSaharan Africa.

On January 20 2011, ZItouna Bank, Tunisia’s first Islamic bank was seized by the Central Bank of Tunisia (Rothschilds). The bank owned by Sakher El Materi, the thirty-year-old son-in-law of deposed Tunisian leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has been placed under “the control” of the central bank. Materi is presently in Dubai. The move came a day after 33 of Ben Ali’s clan were arrested for crimes against the nation. State television showed what it said was seized gold and jewellery. Switzerland has also frozen Ben Ali’s family assets.

EGYPT’S ISLAMIC BANKS THREATENED BY ROTHSCHILD REVOLUTION: OLD MAN POTTER VS HARRY BAILEY

A still from the film “It’s A Wonderful Life”

The following scenario is right out of the 1946, Frank Capra film It’s a Wonderful Life with Old Man Potter (Rothschild) creating a run on Harry Bailey’s traditional Savings and Loans (Islamic bank):

Islamic (halal) banking products have not made significant inroads in North Africa yet, except in Egypt. “. . . There are several Islamic banks operating in Egypt: Faisal Islamic Bank, Al Baraka Egypt (Al Ahram Bank) and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank NBD . . . There may be others as well,” says Blake Goud, an expert on Islamic Finance (The Review – Middle East, Jan 31 2011), “. . . and the risks of a run on the bank should concern those interested in Islamic banking around the world because it could provide a test of how resilient Islamic banks really are to crisis.

“What I mean is that the Egyptian situation, which could be a fantastic opportunity for the Egyptian people, could expose a weakness within the Islamic banking industry if it is problematic. The main risk to any bank is that there is a run and the bank cannot meet depositor withdrawals with the cash available on hand. This forces the bank to raise cash from other means. In most cases, it can either get an inter-bank loan from another bank overnight that allows it to handle withdrawals. If other banks are hesitant to lend to a given bank because of fears of asset quality, then the bank will usually have access to an overnight borrowing facility with the central bank, which operates as the lender of last resort.

“The key for Islamic banks is that they are not able to take advantage of the inter-bank lending market, nor are they able to borrow from (or lend to) the central bank (emphasis added) because those loans are interest-bearing. The only alternative is to find other banks (mostly Islamic banks) willing to extend Shari’ah-compliant, bilateral loans often using commodity murabaha. In a country like Egypt where the Islamic banking industry is a small portion of the total banking system, it does not create a systemic risk if Islamic banks fail, but it does matter a lot to the depositors of other Islamic banks in the country and globally. If there is the potential that a run on an Islamic bank will not be stopped by someone; whether that is a foreign bank, a multi-lateral bank like the Islamic Development Bank or the central bank of Egypt (through emergency measures), then it could hurt confidence in Islamic banks.

“If neither of these options are available, the bank will have to try to raise funds by selling its assets, most of which (loans) are illiquid in the short run. It will have to take a loss on the sale to realize the cash it needs to meet withdrawals. If this continues and the bank sells enough assets at a discount to the value they are held on the balance sheet, the bank’s equity will be negative (the value of assets minus liabilities) and it will become insolvent (having earlier only been illiquid). This is the fundamental danger in banking from a financial stability perspective. If enough banks face runs and have to sell assets, the run could become self-sustaining and contagious. Even a healthy bank facing a run can become insolvent.

“The loss of confidence is more than just a reputational hit and a hit on the egos of Islamic bankers. It would make it more difficult for Islamic banks to attract and retain depositors and it could raise the cost at which it can attract depositors. This would make the bank, all other things equal, less profitable (it makes profit of the spread between the return on invested funds and the cost of funds borrowed from depositors). Lower profitability will lower the attractiveness of Islamic banks to equity investors limiting their ability to increase capital through equity offerings (or at least increasing the dilution to current shareholders). It will lower the amount available to supplement capital as well as pay dividends to its shareholders.

“Therefore, it is important that the Islamic banks in Egypt make it through the ‘run’ that is predicted if it materializes, not just for those banks’ shareholders, but also for the Islamic banking industry.”

In contrast, Bloomberg reports, “Egypt’s banks may risk a surge in customer withdrawals when they open for business, placing them among companies worst hit by the nationwide uprising against President Hosni Mubarak. … Central Bank Governor Farouk El-Okdah said in a telephone interview Jan. 29 that his bank has $36 billion in reserves, enough to accommodate investors should they wish to withdraw funds. His deputy, Hisham Ramez, said interbank lending “will function properly” when banks are reopened. He said the security situation will determine when that is possible.

“Asked about the risk of a bank run, Mohamed Barakat, chairman of state-run Banque Misr and head of the country’s banking association, said in a telephone interview that Egyptian lenders are ‘very liquid,’” with average loan-to-deposit ratios of 53 percent. […] “The Egyptian interbank offered rate, the rate banks charge to lend to each other, is at a 16-month high of 8.5 percent.”

THE MEANS: SPONSOR PRO-DEMOCRACY ACTIVISTS

These Rothschild revolutions are done under the pretense of bringing democracy and deposing despots, but the real aim is to initially create chaos and a leadership vacuum, then quickly offer a solution: install a puppet that will do the economic bidding of the Rothschilds. The citizens gain freedom of speech and association, but become economic serfs.

These revolutions are most likely coordinated at the highest levels by the Rothschild’s International Crisis Group. Mohamed ElBaradei is already being touted as a new leader for Egypt. ElBaradei is a trustee of the International Crisis Group. Another board member of this group is Zbigniew Brzezinski. George Soros sits on the executive committee. The later two are ubiquitous front men for the Rothschilds.

The revolutions are from the same playbook as the fairly nonviolent “color revolutions”. These revolutions have been successful in Serbia (especially the Bulldozer Revolution (2000), in Georgia’s Rose Revolution (2003), in Ukraine’s Orange Revolution (2004), in Lebanon’s Cedar Revolution and (though more violent than the previous ones) in Kyrgyzstan’s Tulip Revolution (2005), and Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution. Iran’s Green Revolution (2009) was unsuccessful.

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