Jews in the Economy and Finance

Lenin’s Willing Industrialist: The Saga of Armand Hammer, Part 5: Coda to a Life of Lies

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Doctor Armand Hammer made it clear that he would be remembered and that, not only would his memory be secure in immortality, but he would also exert influence over what didn’t get remembered about him. The memory of the bad things that he had done would die with him, while the good he wanted people to believe he’d done would be his legacy, even if it was largely a lie. Armand Hammer claimed that he “pursued two of the greatest goals I can imagine — world peace and a cure for cancer” (Hammer 468). These may have been his stated goals, but it’s doubtful that they were ever his real intentions.

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The idea that Hammer wanted world peace is directly at odds with how he earned his money. War, upheaval, and revolution had provided his point of entry in the two major ventures that created his empire and helped make him one of the largest players on the geopolitical scene in the twentieth century. His friend and fellow titan-of-industry John Paul Getty reminded  Hammer of this fact in his autobiography As I See It. According to Mr. Getty, when someone cornered him at a party and made the requisite “‘tell-me-the-secret-of-making-millions’ question I furrowed my brow and said, ‘Actually, there’s nothing to it. You merely wait for a revolution in Russia’” (Hammer 150).

War had been good to Armand Hammer. Although Armand Hammer talks proudly in his autobiography of supporting the campaign to bomb Germany into submission in World War II, the good Doctor also had a blast in the aftermath of the Great War. Read more

Lenin’s Willing Industrialist: The Saga of Armand Hammer, Part 4: The Real King of Oil, and the Importance of using a Bagman

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Although the definitive biography of the Jewish billionaire Marcel Reich is called The King of Oil, the title probably belongs to industrialist Armand Hammer, for perhaps no one did as much to alter the political and economic geography of the global oil scene than he did. Others may have accumulated more wealth with oil, but few used their wealth to exert such leverage.

As in all of Armand Hammer’s endeavors, the narrative he prefers to tell of how he succeeded in gaining a foothold in the global oil scene is a self-serving fairytale that doesn’t bear close scrutiny. In Hammer, he claims that he managed to outbid the Seven Sisters oil cartel by extending an offer to King Idris to search for an oasis in Kufra, Libya. Just as Armand Hammer ostensibly wanted to feed the Russian peasants so many years before, he would now quench the thirst of an impoverished and tiny Middle Eastern nation languishing in “its medieval poverty” (Epstein 228). This story, which “has all the elements of a fairytale — a good king, a kingdom imprisoned by lack of water, and a wise man who shows the king how to lift the curse from his small kingdom — became the conventional account of how a small, inexperienced American oil company got the richest prize in Libya” (Ibid.).

His narrative of supposed “enlightened altruism” (Epstein 23) hid the fact that he had paid a “multimillion dollar bribe to a key official in the Libyan royal court” (Ibid.). In Hammer’s defense, a certain level of bribery was de rigeur when operating in oil concessions at the time. A “financial editor who specialized in the internal operations of Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, the parent company of Esso Libya” (Blumay 116), told Hammer’s PR flack that any “company involved in the Libyan auction bribes the ministry” but that what distinguished Armand Hammer’s bribe from the usual ones on offer was “the astonishing amount of money that Doctor Hammer threw around” (Ibid.). Read more

Lenin’s Willing Industrialist: The Saga of Armand Hammer, Part 3: The Faberge Fraud and Other Sleaze

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One day while Armand Hammer was browbeating his PR man Carl Blumay by rattling off his list of accomplishments, he mentioned that in addition to being a “great industrialist” (Blumay 362) he was also a “distinguished philanthropist and art collector” (Ibid.). He capped his speech by claiming that he may, in fact end up living forever.

Art was very important to Armand Hammer, or rather being perceived as someone who was a knowledgeable collector of great art was important to the public image he was intent on constructing.

In his autobiography Hammer explains that his goal was to amass an eclectic collection of the world’s greatest artworks to share with the public who otherwise wouldn’t get to enjoy fine art. In an interview with Charlie Rose he declared that “Great works of art should not be held in the private and exclusive property of rich men. They should be shared with and enjoyed by everybody, for the education of the young and the enrichment of the lives of all humans” (Hammer 260). That his philanthropy was really an enterprise linked to everything from tax fraud to forgery should come as no surprise to those familiar with the wide chasm between Hammer the PR creation and the real Armand Hammer. He told Carl Blumay, his trusted employee of more than a quarter-century, the following when talking about what he was going to do with a particular batch of paintings: “I’m not going to sell them. … If I donate them to a museum or a school, the tax law enables me to base my deduction on the appreciated value, not on the purchase price. The more I inflate their value, the more I’ll be able to write off” (Blumay 22). Blumay’s recollection is corroborated by a Washington Post review headlined “An Exhibition of Losers by Major Masters,” by Paul Richards, who “speculated that the entire [exhibition] was an attempt by Hammer to inflate the value of the collection so that he could claim a fat tax deduction” (Blumay 173). Read more

Putting Shylock to Shame: The Moneylender Portrayed as Hero

There is a certain threshold beyond which the sociopathy of a Jewish intellectual like Yaron Brook achieves an almost alien quality. It is one thing to be a sociopath; quite another to extoll the total untethering of the individual from any kind of higher morality as the greatest cause to which one can devote their life. Hearing Brook talk about how the Allied bombing campaign against Germany should serve as a guidepost for American foreign policy gives readers the feeling they’re in the presence of something not made of flesh, as in a recent meme that presents Mark Zuckerberg as Star Trek’s Data intent on collecting the personal information of users of Facebook in order to learn what it means to be human.

Brook outdoes himself in a piece entitled “The Morality of Moneylending: A Short History.” The title is misleading, since its author does not dispassionately present a history, but rather presents a historiography with Jews (from Shakespeare’s Shylock to California’s Michael Milken) depicted as misunderstood and falsely persecuted heroes who are unfairly punished for their enterprise, industry, and value creation (all contrary to economic, philosophical, and theological arguments that lambast “barren metal” and extol those things which hold an intrinsic value).

“It seems,” Brook starts his article, “that every generation has its Shylock—a despised financier blamed for the economic problems of his day. A couple of decades ago it was Michael Milken and his ‘junk’ bonds” (Brook). And just as Shylock and the other Venetian Jews were forced to live in ghettos, wear red caps, and endure myriad other slanders from ungrateful goyim (Al Pacino gets spit on quite a bit in Michael Radford’s 2004 adaptation of The Merchant of Venice), our modern-day persecuted bankers must endure similar slings and arrows such as “investigations, criminal prosecutions, and heavier regulations.”

The ethnic fear and loathing — Shylock’s “ancient grudge” (Shakespeare 362) which he “feeds fat” in the famous play’s aside — is front and center in Brook’s article, as he bemoans the fact that moneylenders have served as “the primary scapegoats for practically every economic problem.” His laundry list of slights includes having “their property confiscated to compensate their ‘victims’” [the scare quotes are Brook’s] as well as “pogroms and the vilification of the House of Rothschild” and the jailing of American financiers.

Brook would presumably have us glorify the Rothschilds, as did former inside trader Ivan Boesky, the son of Jewish immigrants who claimed he aspired to be a “latter-day Rothschild” (as noted in James B Stewart’s Den of Thieves, 226) and proceeded to do his best to make good on his ambition. Before the law eventually caught up with him, Ivan Boesky would engage in a series of insider trades that made him and a small cadre of fellow conspirators rich beyond dreams of avarice. In the aftermath of the era of merger mania and hostile takeovers he helped initiate, individual lives and companies were ruined, and trust in markets was eroded, if not shattered. Boesky of course has enjoyed a rather large pop culture footprint thanks to a speech given to a graduating class at the University of California in 1985, in which he assured the young audience that “Greed is all right.” That would eventually morph into the famous credo “Greed is good,” uttered by Michael Douglas in his Oscar-winning turn as Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street. Read more

The Failure of Multiculturalism in Polish Ukraine

Mykola Pymonenko – To War!

We are often told today that multiculturalism, that is to say a state made up of a diversity of peoples, is a great strength. No, it is in fact our greatest strength! To state any concerns or criticisms, no matter how mild, is seen as sacrilegious.

However, the opposite is true and throughout history where there are many examples of diverse and multicultural societies falling into discord and strife. The focus of this piece will be on a place that has been praised in hindsight for its liberalism and tolerance: the Commonwealth of Poland-Lithuania.

Poland-Lithuania came into being after the 1569 Treaty of Lublin when the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania were unified and made into one country. Prior to this, in the 1385 Union of Krewo, the two were linked in a personal union under the reigning Lithuanian monarch. Before 1569 what are now Belarus and the bulk of Ukraine[i] were also part of the Grand Duchy, which was the largest European country at the time. As per the 1569 treaty, however, Ukraine was handed over to Poland, thus setting the stage for a violent future of ethnic conflict.

The Polish nobility or szlachta was used to a high degree of autonomy which only became greater after the old Lithuanian Jagellonian dynasty died out. After this occurred, the monarchy was elected and became increasingly subservient to the nobles. The szlachta, it should be noted, was not entirely ethnically Polish. It would come to include Lithuanian, Ukrainian and other non-Polish noble houses that Polonized to such an extent that they may as well have been ethnically Polish. Examples of the power to which the nobility held include their ability to bring back serfdom (so-called neo-serfdom) and a 1518 law which stated that the king could not accept in his royal courts complaints of subjects on noble land, giving the nobility a free hand. Nobles eventually gave themselves power to introduce corvée labour, seize peasant land and the peasants working it.[ii]

Yet all was not well with the nobility during the years leading up to the tumultuous seventeenth and eighteenth centuries,

Perceptive foreigners… saw, for instance, that the much vaunted freedom of the szlachta, which gave Poland the reputation of being one of the freest states in the world, rested on the complete deprivation of rights and enslavement of all the other classes of the population, that along with the unlimited freedom of the nobles, the burgesses were deprived of all participation in political life, hampered in their economic development, and shut within the walls of the towns. Parliamentarianism was flourishing in Poland, but alongside it, the executive was powerless to function. … The royal power was rigidly limited, and all decisions were made by the powerful ruling classes of nobles. This class, moreover, was degenerating. The Polish nobles had lost their former chivalrous and fighting spirit. They were corrupted by wealth and had lost their former energy which could now be aroused only to fight for privileges against real or imaginary attacks by the royal power.[iii]

Not only were they corrupted by vice and power, but the szlachta had ceased to see themselves as having any relation to the people they ruled over. The nobility had developed, from the sixteenth century on, an ideology known as Sarmatianism, which erroneously said szlachta were the descendants of Sarmatians, a steppe people originating in what is now southern Russia. Importantly, szlachta saw themselves as ethnically distinct from even the Polish peasants.[iv] It also came to view Roman Catholicism as the only true form of Christianity. Such an ideology was bound to create sharp social divisions but especially with their Ukrainian subjects. This was to have a great and terrible impact on the Commonwealth in the mid-late seventeenth century. Read more

On The Left and the Myth of the ‘Jewish Proletariat’

‘The weight of the Jews’ exploitation is great and their harmfulness unlimited. … If we find it possible to preach revolution, and only revolution against the nobles, how can we defend the Jews?’
Ukrainian Communist Revolutionary, 1876.[1]

In the months immediately before his coronation in 1189, Richard the Lionheart became aware of rising anti-Jewish sentiment among the people of England. This ill-feeling was the result of decades of rampant usury, property seizures, social disparities, and what historian Robert Chazan described as the “effective royal protection” of Henry II.[2] Eager to ally himself with the mood of the nation, particularly in the tenuous early days of his reign, Richard appealed to the sentiments of the masses by banning Jews from attending the coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey. News of the ban was welcomed by the people, but the move was deeply unsettling to England’s Jews. The prohibition was nervously perceived by the nation’s Hebrews as a weakening of the vital Jewish relationship with the elite. This relationship, particularly the protection it provided to Jewish loan merchants, had been absolutely essential to the untroubled continuation of the Jews’ highly antagonistic financial practices among the lower orders. Without this protection, the position of the Jews in England would no longer be viable. Therefore, in a desperate attempt to resist a decline in Jewish influence, on the day of the coronation a party of senior Jews arrived at the doors of Westminster Abbey bearing lavish gifts and sycophantic tongues. The effort was in vain.

The Jewish party were refused entry by nobles and officials, and the group was then stripped and flogged for their flagrant defiance of royal orders. Since this punishment was a public display, a story soon circulated among the peasantry that the new king consented to general action against the Jews, and that the royal elite was now siding with the people. In the ensuing days, luxurious Jewish homes were burned, and castles containing Jewish debt rolls were stormed and their contents destroyed. These actions, however, were built on an assumption of elite backing that was in reality non-existent. The expectations of the masses were soon rudely crushed. The Lionheart’s banning of the Jews had been a mere measure of propaganda intended to endear him to his subjects, and the flogging of the intruding party was carried out without his consent. In truth, the King remained as beholden to the sway of mammon as his predecessors. When push came to shove, the peasantry, unlike ‘his’ Jews, were expendable. Richard wasted little time in rounding up and executing the ringleaders of the anti-Jewish action, even including those who had damaged Jewish property by accident. He then issued orders to “the sheriffs of England to prevent all such incidents in the future.”[3] In the aftermath of this crushing of the people, the Jews of England would once again remain under high levels of royal protection until ‘the Lionheart’ left the country for the Third Crusade — a venture, ironically, to relieve people in foreign nations of the tyranny of ‘infidels.’ The entire affair remains a perfect illustration of the centuries-old symbiotic relationship between Jews and our native elites, and the thread of parasitic capitalism that binds them. Read more

Philip Green, Jewish Criminality, and the Cost of Economic Parasitism, Part 2

green&BLair

Green and Tony Blair

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Philip Green possesses an appearance so darkly befitting a caricature that one might see it, like the stripes of a wasp, as a warning from Nature itself. But even had this son of the Talmud emerged from the womb looking like a Swedish prince his life trajectory would have still borne the stamp of his racial origins. Green was born on 1952 in Croydon, in south London, the son of a retailer and property speculator. At the age of nine he was sent to the Jewish boarding school Carmel College in Oxfordshire, the most expensive school in all of England until it closed in 1995. As his biographer Stewart Lansley points out, Green is no ‘self-made” man. Few Jews ever are — the entire concept of the ‘self-made man” is rooted in individualistic rather than close-knit societies. When his father died, Green inherited the family business at the age of twelve and had access to a substantial estate. More importantly, Green was born into a close-knit community of Jewish businessmen and speculators, all of whom had access to credit networks and financial knowledge beyond the means of non-Jews. Assured of the support of these networks, Green left Carmel College at 15 to work for a co-ethnic shoe importer. By his late teens he was travelling to the US, Europe and the Far East. On his return, at age 21, he set up his first business with a £20,000 loan backed by more communally pooled funds, importing jeans from the Far East to sell on to London retailers. Read more