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Audio: 9/11 & Globalist Crash-Con-omics
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


New world order? Good luck


Nov 15, 2008 04:30 AM

Pat Buchanan

"Laissez-faire is finished, the all-powerful market that is always right, that's finished," French President Nicholas Sarkozy said last month.

As a result, it is "necessary to rebuild the entire global financial and monetary system from the bottom up, the way it was done at Bretton Woods after World War II."

Sarkozy's history is a bit off. The Bretton Woods Agreements were actually signed in July 1944, when German troops still occupied Paris.

Europeans seem positively giddy about this weekend's meeting in Washington, where they hope to impose a new world economic order like the one Americans imposed in 1944. We "must have a new Bretton Woods building a new financial architecture for the years ahead," says Gordon Brown, who is surely aware the first Bretton Woods was a British humiliation, with London yielding place and submitting to Washington's dictation.

Brown and Sarkozy will be in Washington for what is being billed as a historic gathering of the G20 nations. Yet to call this a second Bretton Woods is absurd. At that gathering in New Hampshire, the United States dictated the terms under which the world economy was to operate.

The U.S. dollar, tied to gold, was to become the world's reserve currency. The pound, the franc and other currencies were to be tied to the dollar at fixed rates of exchange. An International Monetary Fund was established to lend to nations with balance of payments problems. An International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) was created to provide loans for rebuilding war-torn Europe.

America provided most of the financing for the new institutions and assumed the lion's share of control. Though the most famous economist of the age, J.M. Keynes, led the British delegation, his ideas for a new world central bank and new world currency were brushed aside by the Americans.

The Bretton Woods system endured until Richard Nixon. With his country hemorrhaging [sic] gold in 1971, Nixon slammed the gold window shut, cut the dollar loose and let it float against other currencies.

To suggest that Europeans today possess anything like the hegemonic power of America in 1944 is delusion. Brown wants the IMF to become the "global central bank," the Fed of the world economy. But Americans are not going to fund such a bank, nor cede it authority, nor abide by its dictates.

Brown and Sarkozy may believe a new era of multilateralism is upon us, in which they will play great roles, as the bad old Bush era of American unilateralism ends. The Europeans are dreaming. It is nationalism, not globalism or multilateralism, that is resurgent worldwide. Recall: China, India and the United States rejected the Kyoto Protocols on global warming. And even if Barack Obama agrees to global climate change demands, Beijing will not.

And while China, India and Brazil may make even more demands, the United States is making no more concessions to conclude the Doha round of world trade negotiations. Doha is dead. Big Labour, which backed Obama, wants no more trade deals at the expense of U.S. workers.

Russia, too, is ready to use its veto in the Security Council to protect its perceived great power interests.

American unipolarity, which all professed to abhor, is indeed at an end. Let us see how the world likes the new multipolarity, with two, three, many centres of power economic, political and military.

This looks less like 1944 than 1904, with the Brits in decline and half a dozen other great powers rising.

Pat Buchanan is a Washington-based political commentator.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Credit crunch start of a new world order


By BEVAN GRAHAM - The Dominion Post | Monday, 17 November 2008

In the past month, financial markets have started to realise that the credit crunch is so much more than just a finance sector event.

It is also having a significant impact on economic growth and employment. The only question now is how deep the recession will be and how long it will last.

Economists in both the private and public sectors (namely central banks) recently revised down their growth forecasts for gross domestic product and employment for the remainder of this year and on into 2009 and 2010.

Just last week, the International Monetary Fund knocked the best part of a percentage point off developed market and emerging market growth for 2009. Developed markets are now expected to contract next year, the first contraction since World War II.

Emerging markets are expected to grow at just over 5 per cent next year. Combined, that leaves global growth for 2009 at a dismal 2.2 per cent.

The IMF's previous forecasts were prepared in October. One percentage point is a tremendous amount of expected growth to lose in just a month.

We agree with the IMF that developed markets will suffer most in the short term and that recovery will be slow as many households have to pay off debt to get their balance sheets back in order. We believe many forecasters are too sanguine about the expected timing and strength of the developed market recovery when it comes. This will not be a V-shaped recovery.

On the other hand, emerging markets will get hit hard in the short term as exports decline but are likely to recover more quickly. Emerging markets do not have over-leveraging to contend with and have the positive dynamic of quickly growing urban populations.

As for New Zealand, we know all about recession because we've been in one all year. Over- leveraged households in an environment of declining house prices are putting a damper on consumption.

Lay the global situation on top of that and the recovery we might have expected to see early next year is now pushed out a further 12 months, meaning 2009 will be weak. That's despite a lower exchange rate, lower interest rates, lower petrol prices and a significant easing in fiscal policy.

We don't see New Zealand back to anything remotely like trend growth until late 2010 or early 2011.

The longer-term issues underpinning economic growth are still the same as they were last month, last year and even 10 years ago: the strength of our innovation system, our ability to commercialise those innovations, the quality of our regulatory framework, our ability to remove infrastructure bottlenecks, how well we invest in skills and the strength and depth of our capital markets.

These are still the fundamental issues we need to focus on if we're really serious about building higher sustainable growth in New Zealand.

The complicating factor will be access to credit. One of the persisting effects of the credit crunch will be tighter and more expensive credit conditions. This will have important implications for households, businesses and indeed countries which have tended to consume more than they produce and run persistently large balance- of-payments deficits.

However, that's not all that's going to be different. The deleveraging dynamic in developed markets is one that may take some years to fully play out.

Potentially, this means a long period of sub-trend growth in developed markets. Consequently, we, as fund managers, have to think carefully about where the best returns will come from over the next few years.

The days of economic cycles being driven by cheap credit and consumption are well and truly over. Growth will be driven by the productive sectors of the world's economies. While that will be hard work in the short term, that sort of growth may prove to be more enduring.

Longer term, we believe there is going to be an acceleration in the rebalancing of global growth, wealth and political influence toward emerging markets.

* Bevan Graham is chief economist at Arcus Investment Management, a member of the global AXA group.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Japan to seek to take lead in creating new financial order: Aso


WASHINGTON (AFP) Prime Minister Taro Aso has made an ambitious bid to take the lead in creating a new global financial mechanism, as Japan announced its fresh commitment to tackling the global economic crisis.

Aso wound up his visit here to attend a summit of the world's top leaders, which ended on Saturday by adopting an action plan to boost flagging global growth and prevent future financial upheaval.

"Throughout this summit, I felt high expectations to Japan," Aso told a news conference.

"The world is now entering a new era," Aso said. "I think Japan should take concrete action. We would like to continue taking the initiative in establishing an economic system that can correspond to the new era."

During the summit, Japan announced a plan to lend up to 100 billion dollars to the International Monetary Fund to help provide financial lifelines to crisis-hit emerging countries.

Japan separately agreed to invest two billion dollars in a new World Bank fund to help recapitalize banks in smaller emerging markets.

Aso also stressed that Tokyo has an "outstanding experience" of overcoming its own financial crisis triggered by massive bad debts in the late 1990s, like the current turmoil which began in the United States.

Analysts say Aso has a window of opportunity to boost Japan's presence on the world stage and match its clout as an economic power during a series of upcoming talks with political leaders.

Tokyo is the second-largest donor after Washington to many global institutions, including the International Monetary Fund, but its attempts to raise its voice in the geopolitical arena have often ended in failure.

Shortly after the Washington meeting, Aso will head to a summit with other Asia-Pacific leaders in Peru, where he is expected to hold talks with US President George W. Bush and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

"I would like to proceed with our action to help strengthen financial cooperation in Asia and support self-reliant development of the region," Aso said.

On the sidelines of the Washington summit, the finance ministers of Japan, China and South Korea agreed to consider increasing the size of bilateral currency swap arrangements among the three countries.

Aso may also meet US president-elect Barack Obama on his way back from Lima.

"I had an impression that he is interested in Asia," Aso said, referring to his telephone talks with the incoming president following his election. "It is important for us to have a person with interest in Asia."

Aso's close aides held talks here with former secretary of state Madeleine Albright and a former Republican lawmaker who visited the US capital to pursue contacts with top G20 players on Obama's behalf.

For Aso, the flurry of diplomatic events will be a key test of whether he can boost his support at home as the nation prepares for general elections due by September next year at the latest.

Public support for Aso's cabinet was above 50 percent in opinion polls after he took power from his troubled predecessor Yasuo Fukuda two months ago, but has since declined and is now nearing 40 percent.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It occurred to me that the banksters and gubment are looting the US economy while on the other hand causing the U.S.
currency to go bust. What is the plan for their holdings of US dollars? Will they buy repossessed housing or trade into Euros. We need to keep an eye on what the neoliberals do with their investments.
It does not make sense to steal billions of dollars right before they become worthless.
They stand to lose more than anyone. They might want to keep the dollar afloat if their holding.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coalraker wrote:
It occurred to me that the banksters and gubment are looting the US economy while on the other hand causing the U.S.
currency to go bust. What is the plan for their holdings of US dollars? Will they buy repossessed housing or trade into Euros. We need to keep an eye on what the neoliberals do with their investments.
It does not make sense to steal billions of dollars right before they become worthless.
They stand to lose more than anyone. They might want to keep the dollar afloat if their holding.

Your question reminds me of the basic thoughts I've had when presented with the various disinfo stories pushed by various outlets - such as chemtrails.

When I first heard of such a thing, my immediate thought was: Don't those fuckers breathe the same air? Do they have special breathing apparatuses permanently affixed to their lungs? Why would those who are supposedly chemtrailing us to death shitcan their own ability to breathe clean(er) air?

So here, with this economic shitstorm - is it really just a matter of their ability to amass a gazillion dollars (which I've heard is a bit more than a bazillion), thus being able to weather the shitty economy? Are they using their dollars to invest in another country's monetary system? What exactly are they doing while the economy cannibalizes the citizenry?

To me, answers to these and other questions are akin to saying: What the fuck should I/we do to weather the storm?
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WTF is right. We have seen how a collapsing economy can cause buildings to fall!

The Empire Strikes Out - The US Economic Crisis
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In The Know: Should The Government Stop Dumping Money Into A Giant Hole?


Birth is the first example of " thinking outside the box"
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Zombie Economics: Don't Bail out the System that Gave Us SUVs and Strip Malls
By James Howard Kunstler, Kunstler.com
Posted on November 25, 2008, Printed on November 25, 2008

Though Citicorp is deemed too big to fail, it's hardly reassuring to know that it's been allowed to sink its fangs into the Mother Zombie that the U.S. Treasury has become and sucked out a multibillion dollar dose of embalming fluid so it can go on pretending to be a bank for a while longer.

I employ this somewhat clunky metaphor to point out that the U.S. government is no more solvent than the financial zombies it is keeping on walking-dead support. And so this serial mummery of weekend bailout schemes is as much of a fraud and a swindle as the algorithm-derived-securities shenanigans that induced the disease of bank zombification in the first place. The main question it raises is whether, eventually, the creation of evermore zombified U.S. dollars will exceed the amount of previously created U.S. dollars now vanishing into oblivion through compressive debt deflation.

My guess, given the usual time-lag factor, is that the super-inflation snapback will occur 6 to 18 months from now. And the main result of all this will be our inability to buy the imported oil that comprises two-thirds of the oil we require to keep WalMart and Walt Disney World running. At some point, then, in the early months of the Obama administration, we'll learn that "change" is not a set of mere lifestyle choices but a wrenching transition away from all our familiar and comfortable habits into a stark and rigorous new economic landscape.

The credit economy is dead, and the dead credit residue of that dead economy is going where dead things go. It came into the world as "money," and it is going out of this world as a death-dealing disease, and we're not going to get over this disease until we stop generating additional zombie money out of no productive activity whatsoever. The campaign to sustain the unsustainable is, besides war, the greatest pitfall this society can stumble into. It represents a squandering of our remaining scant resources and can only produce the kind of extreme political disappointment that wrecks nations and leads to major conflicts between them. I don't know how much Mr. Obama buys into the current adopt-a-zombie program -- his Treasury designee, Timothy Geithner, was apparently in on this weekend's Citicorp deal -- but the president-elect would be wise to steer clear of whatever the walking dead in the Bush corner are still up to.

All the activities based on getting something for nothing are dead or dying now, in particular, buying houses and cars on credit, and so it should not be a surprise that the two major victims are the housing and car industries. Notice, by the way, that these are the two major ingredients of an economy based on building suburban sprawl. That's over, too. We're done building it, and the stuff we've already built is destined to lose both money value and usefulness as the wrenching transition goes forward.

All this obviously begs the question: What kind of economy are we going to live in if the old one is toast? Well, it's also pretty obvious that it will have to be based on activities productively aimed at keeping human beings alive in an ecology that has a future. Once you grasp this, you will see that there is no reason to despair and more than enough for all of us to do, so we can recover from the zombie nation disease and get on with the next chapter of American history -- and I sure hope that Mr. Obama will get with the new program.

To be specific about this new economy, we're going to have to make things again, and raise things out of the earth, locally, and trade these things for money of some kind that we earn through our own productive activities. Don't make the mistake of thinking this is optional. The only other option is to go through a violent sociopolitical convulsion. We ought to know from prior examples in world history that this is not a desirable experience. So, to avoid that, we really have to put our shoulders to the wheel and get to work on things that matter, and do it at a scale that is consistent with what the world really has to offer right now, especially in terms of available energy.

In my view -- and I know this is controversial -- a much larger proportion of the U.S. population will have to be employed in growing the food we eat. There are many ways of arranging this, some more fair than others, and I hope the better angels of our nature steer us in the direction of fairness and justice. The prospects of a devalued dollar imply that we very shortly will not be able to get the all the oil-and-gas-based "inputs" that have made petro-agriculture possible the past century. The consequences of this are so unthinkable that we have not been thinking about it. And, of course, the further implications of current land-use allocation, and the property-ownership issues entailed, suggests formidable difficulties in rearranging the farming sector. The sooner we face all this, the better.

As the fiesta of "globalism" (Tom Friedman style) draws to a close -- another consequence of currency problems -- we'll have to figure out how to make things in this country again. We will not be manufacturing things at the scale, or in the manner, we were used to in, say, 1962. We'll have to do it far more modestly, using much more meager amounts of energy than we did in the past. My guess is that we will get the electricity for doing this mostly from water. It may actually be too late -- from a remaining-capital-resources point of view -- to ramp up a new phase of the nuclear power industry (and there are plenty of arguments from the practical and economic to the ethical against it). But we have to hold a public discussion about it, if only to clear the air and get on with other things, namely the new activities of alt.energy. But I would hasten to warn readers that we'll probably have to do these things more modestly, too (don't count on giant wind "farms"), and that we are liable to be disappointed by what they can actually provide for us (don't expect to run WalMart on wind, solar, algae fuels, etc.).

In any case, we're not going back to a "consumer" economy. We're heading into a hard-work economy in which people derive their pleasures and gratification more traditionally -- mainly through the company of their fellow human beings (which is saying a lot, for those of you who have forgotten what that's about). Our current investments in "education" -- i.e. training people to become marketing executives for chain stores -- will delude Americans for a while about what kind of work is really available. But before long, the younger adults will realize that there are enormous opportunities for them in a new and very different economy. We will still have commerce -- even if it's not the Kmart blue-light-special variety -- and the coming generation will have to rebuild all the local, multilayered networks of commercial interdependency that were destroyed by the rise of the chain stores. In short, get ready for local business. It will surely be part and parcel of our local food-growing and manufacturing activities.

I hate to keep harping on this -- we have to get cracking on the revival of the railroad system in this country, if we expect to remain a united country. This is such a no-brainer that the absence of any talk about it is a prime symptom of the zombie disease that has eaten away our brains. Automobiles (the way we use them) and airplanes are utterly dependent on liquid hydrocarbon fuels, and you can be certain we'll have trouble getting them. You can run trains by other means -- electricity being state of the art in those parts of the world that do it most successfully. I know that California just voted to create a high-speed rail link between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It's an optimistic sign, but it shows more than a little techno-grandiose overreach. High-speed rail would require a mega-expensive redo of the tracks. We need to scale our ambitions for this more realistically. California (and every other region of America) would benefit much more from normal-speed trains running every hour on the hour on tracks that already exist than from a mega-expensive, grandiose sci-fi program that might not get built for 10 years. The dregs of the Big Three automakers can and should be reorganized to produce the rolling stock for a revived railroad system.

Even amid the financial carnage under way right now, the public is enjoying a respite from high-priced gasoline, but it is due to be short-lived. As I've already said, we are in danger not just of oil prices going way back up again, but of losing access to our supplies from the exporting countries. In other words, we're just as likely to face shortages as high prices, and soon. Oil shortages are certain to produce a political freak-out here unless we get our heads screwed on right -- and this means that Mr. Obama had better prepare quickly for a comprehensive action plan in the face of such an emergency (which has to include a robust public information initiative).

In the meantime, Mr. Obama must dissociate himself from all activities aimed at the care and feeding of zombies. Mr. Obama is correct that there is one president and one government at a time, and since this is the case in reality, he must avoid being contaminated by the choices they make as their clock ticks out. Obviously, world markets might be more disturbed if Mr. Obama were to step up and actively contradict everything that is being done to cultivate zombies right now. He is in a very delicate position. But being a man of intelligence and sensibility, he may successfully navigate this rough passage.

That this meltdown is building straight into the Christmas holidays is one of those accidents of history that leaves one reeling in wonder and nausea. The cable networks better be prepared to bombard the public with round-the-clock showings of It's A Wonderful Life, because they're going to need all the moral support they can get as zombies stalk through the silent night, holy night.

Birth is the first example of " thinking outside the box"
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

two views of the Citibank bailout


Colossal Financial Collapse: The Truth behind the Citigroup Bank "Nationalization"

by F. William Engdahl


Vikram Pandit , ceo, citigroup was on Charlie Rose last night explaining why it wasn't their fault.

the show it posted yet, but should be soon

Birth is the first example of " thinking outside the box"
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roads, skies less full as Thanksgiving rush starts

By DON BABWIN – 57 minutes ago

CHICAGO (AP) — Travelers breezed through airport terminals
Wednesday and drivers cruised open roads, the effects of a sour
economy blamed for keeping people closer to home at the start
of the annual Thanksgiving rush.

Even though gas prices fell and airlines offered last-minute deals, many
Americans appeared to be skipping trips this year. San Francisco resident
Sharon McKellar called the Miami airport "shockingly quiet" after flying in
overnight to visit family.

At Boston's Logan International Airport, Alicia Kelly, 47, traveling with her
husband and two children to Miami to spend the holidays with her family,
said it was the lightest Thanksgiving travel she's ever seen. "We have
waited in no lines so far," she said.

Security lines moved along briskly at under 10 minutes at Hartsfield-
Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world's busiest airport. At Fort
Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, travelers found parking spots
in the front row of the lot and no wait for check-in and security.
The Delta terminal was nearly empty.

"This is crazy. There's no one here. It's quieter than on most weekdays,"
said Ryan Sullivan, who was flying to New York with his wife and two kids.

Minds are like parachutes.
They only function when open.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the Ambrose

Britain should join euro says Hong Kong's Tsang
Britain's efforts to hold on to sterling are doomed to failure in a global economy dominated by powerful currency blocs, said Hong Kong's leader Donald Tsang.

Mr Tsang, an elder statesman of Asian finance, said open trading states must adapt to the realities of modern finance.

"I do not believe in the sustainability of a small floating currency. Look at the pound, it's being attacked," he said in interview with the Daily Telegraph.

"The euro is a good move. People have to abide by the Maastricht criteria, so it imposes discipline. Other options are less palatable if you really want to become a big strong economic union."

Mr Tsang, the chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is a veteran of East Asia's currency crisis of the late 1990s and the SARS epidemic. As a Beijing loyalist, he offers clues into the current thinking of the Chinese leadership. His comments on sterling are a warning sign that China may ultimately prove reluctant to buy large amounts of UK Treasury debt in the future.

Mr Tsang, as always wearing his signature bow tie, said it will be impossible for the Far East to launch its own currency union until China makes the renminbi convertible. This is not yet remotely on the agenda.

"We have to mark our time. One thing is clear, this is not something you can impose. You have to work for it, with the market, and back it up with a solid banking system," he said.

For the time being Hong Kong now a province of China, but still a self-governing enclave of English Common law and free market economics will have to stick with its long-standing tie to the dollar.

"This is a cast-iron link to which we have attached ourselves for the last three decades," Mr Tsang said. "We have gone through rough and smooth turbulent times, prosperous times with this link. We have no intention whatsoever to change. Any other option is a non-starter.

"We are trading territory: our trading portfolio is more than twice out GDP, and the link provides us with security. The US dollar disciplines the way we behave. We balance our books, we have no debt, and we make sure we have sufficient reserves."

Mr Tsang said Asian states were destined to continue buying US Treasuries and agency bonds whether they liked it or not. "What else do you buy? Which market will provide you a sufficient pool denominated in a secure currency? I'm afraid we're hooked. We're very strange bedfellows, and we have to live with it."

He said the global economic crisis was the result of "sharp arbitrage" between two sets of cultural and economic systems, but there is little point blaming either East or West for has happened.

"You can say that the lack of savings and overspending in US is the main cause, but you can equally say that massive savings on part of Asians and other surplus economies is part of the cause. So whom to blame?

"The world comes in different shapes and forms, with different economic structures, different stages of development, different regulatory regimes. With a young and vibrant workforce in Asia, with very little social security, we haven't got the facility to absorb savings internally so we have to buy treasury bills in US and Europe. The imbalances have led to the tsunami we now face."

Mr Tsang said no corner of the world would be spared the current global slump, but predicted that China would hold out well with growth of 8pc or 9pc next year.

This may prove over-optimistic. The Chinese central bank slashed interest rates this week on signs of a very sharp slowdown in November. Beijing is increasingly worried about the eruption of violent protests in both the interior of the country the export hub of Guangdong.

"The global financial crisis has not bottomed yet," said Zhang Ping, chair of the National Development and Reform Commission in Beijing. "The impact is spreading globally and deepening in China. Excessive bankruptcies and production cuts will lead to massive unemployment and stir social unrest."

However, Mr Tsang said Hong Kong had weathered such storms before. "This global slowdown is part and parcel of the economic cycle and those with an open market just have to suffer."


Take the pound to parity and what difference does it make?
It's all so sewn up.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wars created financial crisis - Al Qaeda
correspondents in Dubai

November 28, 2008 06:02pm
AL Qaeda's second-in-command said in an internet video the US financial crisis was caused by Washington's military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan and taxpayers were paying the price.

"This crisis is one of ... the series of American economic haemorrhages after the strikes of September 11... And these ... will continue as long as the foolish American policy of wading in Muslim blood continues," Ayman al-Zawahri said on the video, posted on Islamist websites today.

"The ones shouldering the burden are taxpayers, whose money was spent to rescue senior capitalists and to protect the fraudulent interest-based system from collapse," Zawahri said.

Zawahri said US military action against militant tribal forces in Pakistan, who are allied with al Qaeda, would fail despite more troops being sent by US President George W. Bush to neighbouring Afghanistan.

"I challenge you (Bush), if you are really a man, to send the entire American army to Pakistan and the tribal regions for it to end up in hell," Zawahri said on the video, which carried English subtitles.
Calls for talks to end the war in Afghanistan showed the failure of US-led forces in defeating the Taliban, he said.

"All this is proof of the failure of their crusade," Zawahri said on the 80-minute video, referring to efforts to start a dialogue between the Afghan Government and some moderate figures from among Taliban insurgents.

With the Taliban insurgency spreading seven years after the hardline Islamists were forced from power, the possibility of talks with more moderate Taliban leaders is increasingly being considered, both in Afghanistan and among its allies.

Zawahri called for a general strike in Egypt to pressure the gGvernment to open the Gaza border to defeat an Israeli siege of the area ruled by militant Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.

"What is the problem if students, employees and workers were to refuse to study and work until the siege is lifted on Gaza?" the Egyptian militant leader told an off-camera interviewer.

"Are we unable to carry out such a peaceful strike?"
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