Bank Separation Conference Held in Zürich
July 2, 2014 • 1:21PM

On Saturday, June 28, a conference on "Switzerland in the Vortex of Globalization" took place in Zürich, organized by "Impulswelle," a group that fights for bank separation and a stop to the bail-in policy, and declares its friendship with the LaRouche organization in Germany.

About 60 people gathered in the Hotel Glockenhof to hear Neue Solidarität editor Alexander Hartmann, military expert Dr. Franz Betschon, and financial expert Prof. Marc Chesney address various aspects of the strategic picture and discuss solutions to the political and economic crisis. They were introduced by Impulswelle representatives Werner Frey, Doris Honegger-Zimmermann, René Machu, and Ruth Frey. At the end of the day-long seminar, a draft resolution was distributed, which will now be elaborated by a working group and soon published. The resolution calls for a series of measures, starting with the implementation of a Glass-Steagall-like banking reform.

Mr. Frey opened the seminar with a short presentation of the concept of globalization as explained by Thomas P. Barnett, a Pentagon advisor who wrote a manifesto for imperial domination.

Alexander Hartmann explained that American policy as described by Barnett and implemented by the Bush and Obama administration is not "made in U.S.A." but made in Britain. He went through an explanation of the origin of the current economic crisis, based on LaRouche's famous "Triple Curve" diagram, and explained the global war threat as a consequence of the unsolved economic crisis. He then described the solution as laid out in LaRouche's Four Points.

Dr. Col. Franz Betschon, a former corporate executive and Army General Staff reservist, exposed the unpreparedness of the Swiss security apparatus in light of the strategic dangers. The west overestimates its military superiority, Betschon insisted, citing a couple of recent events showing that US naval forces have shown unexpected vulnerability to both Russian and Chinese systems. Although Dr. Betschon characterizes himself as a "Putin understander," he laid out a scenario in which, should war break out on European territory, Switzerland can be occupied in a matter of hours and can do nothing to prevent it.

Finally, Prof. Chesney illustrated the paradoxes of neo-liberal economic policies, which contradict even their own dogmas. Bankers who ruin their banks get large bonuses, derivatives are like arson, the Libor is an entire swindle, banks get hidden subsidies through "too big to fail" status, etc. We need clear and simple rules, such as the original Glass-Steagall was, Prof. Chesney said. Complicated rules are inapplicable.

In the following discussion, many questions were posed, such as the example of Iceland's response to the financial crisis, the state of the banking separation discussion in Switzerland, the BRICS as an alternative to the dollar system, bank reserve regulations. A representative of the "Plain Money" (Vollgeld) initiative, which is currently collecting signatures for a referendum, also asked the speakers about their view. Prof. Chesney gave a diplomatic answer, saying that he is not concerned with the issue, but he made clear that he holds a 100% reserve system as wrong.