Urgent need for an International Court for Global Financial Crimes

Christel Hahn - 06/08/2014

It is in the light of the latest developments of the Argentine crisis, but also the last prosecutions and astronomical convictions of European (and international) banks and financial institutions by the U.S., and in the light of the statement of Jorge Capitanich, chief of the Cabinet of Ministers of Argentina calling for "international regulation of the process of debt restructure...", that we have the pleasure to publish again Newropeans' proposal for the establishment of an International Court for Global Financial Crimes, written by Christel Hahn.

We have been hit by the financial crisis. This financial and monetary crisis constitutes an imminent breakdown of the system that keeps the real economy running. And this crisis is responsible for the destabilization of whole nations as far as their financial future is concerned. To such an extent that one has to say, that we are living in an economic war-zone.

LEAP1 has been describing the attacks of Wall Street and the City of London against the Euro. Eurozone states are facing problems because they are under attack. They are hit by the financial crisis either directly (the necessary tax income is missing) or indirectly (through their effort to save their banks and real economy). And Euroland is defending the Euro with the help of China and others, who need the Euro, when they want to divest the Dollar. So Euroland is defending itself and its future. But at what cost?

Regarding public debts Wikipedia says that wars and economic crises have been the reasons for growing public debts and that the events of 2008/2009 led to an average increase of Eurozone public debts from 70% of the GDP to 85% (about 20 000 Euro per person).2 On top of this we have the 750 billion Euro Rescue Fund, which is equal to about 2 000 Euros for each of the 350 million Euroland citizens. Also many cities have been hit by the crisis. That adds to the load young people have to shoulder before they even start their working live. The public austerity measures affect all public sectors like education and health. In the private sector we have growing bankruptcies and unemployment. All this creates a situation, against which the young people in Europe are starting to rebel.

The context is 30 years of Globalization or “Neo-Liberalization”. The World Bank and the IMF have forced many countries to shoulder immense debts and to convert their economies according to the dictate of Washington. In the developing countries this has lead to the ruin of large segments of the population. In the developed countries people are not dying of hunger, but still the situation for many is getting worse by the day. Just to take one problem out of many: if your medical care is inadequate and if the food you buy is junk food, your health is being degraded and it is a great burden for many people, having to live with an ailing body. We are now for the first time in a situation, where the health of the young generation is worse than the health of older generations.3The youth already has been robbed of their future. People who are now children, or finishing school, have the prospect of being unable to find a job to sustain themselves and a family as well as not being able to find an environment, in which it’s a pleasure to live.

The global financial crisis that hit the world economy three years ago is the culmination of all this. To understand our situation, we have to see, that the crisis only looks like something inevitable or a natural disaster, but it’s not. It has started and is developing, because some global players, mainly from Wall Street and the City of London, have devised and implemented certain highly criminal schemes.

These schemes are very complex and abstruse, but basically they work like this: You give mortgages to people, who actually cannot afford to buy a house and who will never be able to pay back the mortgage. At the same time you get politics to support this scheme. This is crime number one. Then you make a new product, which consists of these mortgages, and sell the product. You don't tell your customers the truth about this product but you promote it by saying that selling risks is something positive. This is crime number two. And then you bet against your own product, meaning you will make money, when the people who bought the houses cannot service the mortgages any more. This is crime number three. This is the basic scheme. There are variations, of course. For instance, at first you help manipulate the Greek balance, so Greece becomes part of the Euro. After this you bet against the Euro.

This scheme is highly criminal, even more so, if you look at how the scheme unfolded and how many people have been ruined through it and how much damage has already been inflicted. It requires a highly criminal mind and attitude. No normal businessman, even the toughest one, would act like this. It’s like selling a damaged water heater knowing it will set the house on fire, then creating an insurance paying you money when your customer's house burns down. Even the really tough and fraudulent don't normally do business in a way, which does such an immense injury to their customers and to society as a whole. If people behave like this, then we know that they are criminals and we must call for justice.

After the Second World War, the Nuremberg trials were put into place, (1) because the societies, that ended the war, wanted the main perpetrators of the war to be sentenced and punished; (2) because the mechanisms of fascism and of a fascistic mind needed to be understood and (3) because the chain of events, that led to the disasters of the Second World War, needed to be revealed.

The Nuremburg trials functioned as a tool to bring justice to the people who had been damaged by the Nazis. And in our times on an even bigger scale people are financially damaged by the highly-criminal class which is now actually operating our financial systems world-wide.

So today we need such a justice process and an International Court for Global Financial Crimes. And then we need to put the main perpetrators before this court. And exactly like in Nuremberg the following things need to happen:

  1. The key perpetrators need to be identified and put before the court.
  2. An investigation has to be started into the chain of events, which led to the financial crisis. As in every criminal investigation, everything needs to be documented and all the supporters and helpers need to be identified
  3. As at Nuremberg, we should accompany each trial by a psychological and psychiatric investigation. Göring was given a psychologist to understand his mind and behavior. In the same way the criminal mind of those, who invented the schemes, that caused the financial crisis, have to be understood. And we have to understand that these people are criminal and sick, not normal.
  4. The main actors need to be sentenced, punished and placed in a position, where they will never be able again to be part of the business world, like a paedophile can never be a teacher.
  5. Financial reparations have to be part of the punishment, so what has been robbed has to be seized in compensation for the damage, as the possessions the Nazis in Germany had collected from all over Europe during their ascendancy were confiscated from them after the war and returned to the former owners.

An International Court for Global Financial Crimes has to be created because the damage of the last 30 years for the future generations is bigger than the damage of the 30 years from the beginning of the First World War (1914 - 1918) to the end of the Second World War (1939 - 1945), including the Great Depression (1929 - 1939).

Justice is not something you do, because you hate somebody. The symbol of Justice is the balance. So Justice exists to create a new balance. If the victims of a crime don't get justice and the perpetrators are not punished, then the energy of the crime cannot be stopped. This has been proven by systemic therapy4 and it is true for individual and for collective cases. But if the energy of the crime is not stopped, it will at least place the next two generations in a position, where they have no chance to live a life on a healthy financial foundation. So only by putting the main perpetrators of the neo-liberal globalization of the last 30 years and the financial crisis before court can we leave future generations a world in which they can live a self-determined and fulfilled life.

One of the leading players of Wall Street is Goldman Sachs. Just to take two examples out of their record, they were responsible for a huge loss to the German IKB Bank5 and they helped the Greeks to hide their real financial situation.6 Now Goldman Sachs has been investigated in the US by the SEC and has paid a fine of 550 Million Dollars. This was not a trial, but a deal, and the deal will prevent all victims of Goldman Sachs from getting justice in the US. The following graph that relates the fine to the Goldman Sachs 2009 staff payments and profit and to the money it received from the public crisis fighting budget, illustrates this point:



So, we confront a matter of the utmost urgency. And we have to understand that our main European political leaders will not respond to this urgency to stop that criminal energy. The political leaders are not on the side of the common man and will not stand against this horrendous crime. On the contrary, those criminal people make more profits today than ever. They are even in a position of growing power to determine what our politicians do.

In Europe, it is only the European public, who can call for the necessary actions. So the issue needs to be raised in the European public debate and incorporated into the people’s manifestos. It also needs to be incorporated into our communication to the BRICS about the consequences of the crisis, because the BRICS are the ones, who will redefine the rules of the global game.


Christel Hahn
Tengen, Germany
(first published 12 July 2011)