[轉載] 閑話香港no Zuo no die – 天下縱橫談

 閑話香港no Zuo no die – 天下縱橫談 – udn城市 

1

前段時間出了兩件事情:第一件是法國的巴黎銀行因為違規,被罰了100億美元,第二件事情是阿根廷十幾年前的一次賴賬被判不合法,結果現在有錢也還不了被迫違約,十幾年來攢下的信用付之東流。好玩的是在於,做這兩次判決的都是美國,罰法國100億一度弄得美法關系極度緊張。

為什麼法國人和阿根廷人犯錯要由美國人來判呢?因為美國是金融中心。阿根廷人是在美國借的錢,而巴黎銀行如果不認罰,以後就別想在美國做生意了。開金融中心就是爽啊。

2

如果你是中國的老大,看到美國這麼爽,你要是不想搞個金融中心,那就不必當老大,可以直接拉出去斃了。十年之內,中國能成世界第一大經濟體,(而)世界第一大經濟體有權得到一個配得上世界第一大經濟體地位的金融中心。對中國來講,(因為)不能給香港派黨委書記,那這個金融中心寧可建到烏魯木齊也不會建在香港:烏魯木齊好歹是中亞第一大城市,真的。

3

在舊中國,起到連接中國和世界橋梁的城市是上海,當年上海與紐約倫敦巴黎齊名,香港不過是個小地方,後來共黨作死,人類就在香港山寨了一個上海。現在共黨扔掉共產主義信仰殺了回來,山寨版的上海自然競爭不過正版的上海。知道上海的房子為什麼貴麼?因為市場清楚,20年後,上海就是紐約,紐約房子什麼價,上海就得什麼價。在上海的朋友,趁現在房子便宜,趕緊買沒錯的。

4

有一個笑話是這麼說的:

廚師親切地問道:“你想被怎樣吃掉?不要怕,百花齊放,暢所欲言嘛。”
豬:“其實吧……我並不想被吃掉。”
廚師:“你看,說跑題了吧?”
豬:……

對香港而言,現在就像這頭豬,不是選擇死不死的問題,是選擇怎麼死的問題。當然,說死過分了一點,現在香港需要政府、資本和市民密切配合,系統的設計一個方案,應對必將到來的衰退。

香港問題的核心在於,市民從心理上不接受這個過程。在一個衰退的經濟體,將這種不可抗的外部原因歸因於不民主,乃至訴諸民粹是非常常見的事情:埃及和突尼斯如是,吉爾吉斯斯坦如是,最近的烏克蘭亦如是。一般而言,這種事情花些時間折騰幾次,大家腦子就清楚,就知道該幹嘛幹嘛了。

對香港而言,麻煩之處在於時間不等它。內地搞金融中心,十年生育,十年教訓,也就是二十年之內的事情。香港真的沒有時間浪費在傲嬌上。但是,看著二十年之前的窮親戚現在在香港什麼東西貴就買什麼,從感情上講,香港人又怎能不傲嬌呢?

5

香港如果丟掉金融中心的位置,會怎樣?

決定一個城市地位的,是這個城市的輸入與輸出。你能為這個世界做得多,這個世界也能給你更多的回報,如果你不能輸出,也就沒了輸入。

金融,制造,研發,包括旅游,這些都是有輸出的,但房地產和服務業不是。靠房地產和服務業是撐不起經濟的,你可以去看中國,但凡房價貴的地方,總有一些別的產業作支撐,香港一旦丟掉金融中心的位置,房價一定會大幅下跌,資產縮水,日子會非常難過。

6

三代目說“我們沒有欽定的意思,但我們的決定權也是很重要的”最大限度的概括了中央對港政策的核心。香港人不管怎麼折騰,大陸對香港的定位才是致命的。

首先,世界級金融中心香港已經毫無指望了,但香港仍然可以選擇成為華南地區的金融中心,這樣死得相對好看,但是,照香港這麼折騰,這個區域金融中心大陸恐怕都會放在廣州或者深圳。如果連區域金融中心都做不了,香港那就死得非常慘了。香港地太貴了,當年土豪劉鑾雄包著名外圍李嘉欣的時候,大概就給了一個不到90平米的房子,這種地方搞製造業是沒可能的。香港的研發也遠沒有新加坡那樣有指向性,更多的是粉飾太平的存在。至於旅游?大陸人去香港旅游,看的就是資本主義下的發達國家的生活水平,香港一旦沒錢,想看風光的會去東南亞,想看資本主義的會去台灣。台灣的國語雖然怪一點,但是起碼比粵語好懂多了。

如果你們不知道轉型失敗經濟衰退是什麼樣子的,我建議你們看看三十年前全國最富的東北。東北就是轉型失敗的樣子。說不定在等幾年台灣也可以看到。

7

對香港而言,民主選舉是極為重要的,只有通過真民主選舉,才能真正選出一個有市民支持的強勢政府,才能推動改革。一個弱勢政府,守成啥都不做,是不能帶領香港適應這個衰退過程的。

但是,共黨又非常不希望在公開場合議論民主自由這種事情,這會動搖共黨的統治,為了共黨的長治久安,犧牲一個香港沒啥捨不得。

所以,香港能做的是,是把這個民主放在一個非政治化的語境之下。簡言之,香港要的應該是一個不打民主大旗不刺激中央但又真正能得到市民支持的政府。日本人有句話說得好,打槍的不要,悄悄的進村。但是,香港有一批人不但打起了這個旗子,還試圖通過打這個旗子來指點中國的民主化進程。我不得不說,這些人想得太多了一點。

把香港的改革問題,置於“民主-獨裁”這樣的語境之下,不留任何轉圜余地,這是最典型的作死。很多事情,中央是可做可不做的,香港的泛民主派把這個可做可不做變成了不得不做。 你說這幫人是賣港求榮還是賣港求榮還是賣港求榮呢?要知道,這幫不愁吃喝的人,鬧了可以青史留名,不鬧可就啥都沒有啊

8

客觀的說,保証香港繁榮是中央的一個很重要的政治承諾,搞死香港,對中國的形象沒啥好處,這是中央對港政策最忌憚的地方。陸遙遙說佔中會導致雙輸,從這個角度說,確實香港輸了,中央也沒有贏。但是從長期講,香港這一鬧,對中央來說,很多原來下不了的決心現在就好下了。而對於中國來說,把金融這樣的產業放在能向中央交稅的地方,才是真正的大事,隻有這樣才能用轉移支付幫助中國需要幫助的窮人,而幫中國的窮人致富,是未來三五十年中國最重要的事情。至於負面?中國現在的形象很好麼?反正虱子多了不痒債多了不愁,多這一筆爛賬又如何?

悶聲發大財,才是硬道理,對香港,對大陸,都是。鄧矮說“不爭論”,一個意思。二代目三代目四代目都是真明白人。

9

所以,我總是認為,中央是下了個套,讓香港作死,然後再一舉消滅。

有一個故事我再講一遍:其實這個故事是高二文言文課文,標題叫《鄭伯克段於鄢》,文言文選自《左傳》。有興趣可以百度。我大體翻譯一下。從前鄭國的國王鄭庄公有個弟弟叫段,因為他媽小產鄭伯,所以不喜歡鄭伯,愛弟弟共叔段,於是他媽就想立段為王,但是鄭伯他爸沒有同意。於是段一天到晚作死,有人勸庄公管管,庄公說,多行不義,必自斃,你就等著瞧吧。后來, 等到段作死做得不像話,庄公就帶人把段滅了。

真壞!

10

香港再這麼鬧下去,no zou no die

出處: 閑話香港no Zuo no die – 天下縱橫談 – udn城市 http://city.udn.com/3011/5187147#ixzz3Cqr6uw90

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[轉載] 一曲忐忑驚四座——淺析中國軍隊反腐

 

valkyrie的博客:  一曲忐忑驚四座——淺析中國軍隊反腐

標簽: 時評

2014年6月30日,中共中央政治局決定給予原中央政治局委員,中央軍委副主席,國家中央軍委副主席徐才厚開除黨籍處分,並移送司法部門處理。

從某種程度上說,徐案的公布可能比近期的周永康案更為震動:周案早有傳聞,徐案卻在短期內迅速浮出,特別是涉及在中國百姓心目中最為神秘的部門——軍隊的二號人物。軍隊反腐,也迅速成為各方的熱議話題。

歐洲國家素以從軍為榮為貴,但與之不同,中國自宋以來奉行“重文輕武”傳統,軍人地位低下卑賤,絕大多數中下層官兵收入低微。1949年后,大陸軍人一度成為勝利新貴,特別是在精神與物質極為匱乏的時代,軍人高工資和政治地位成為當時羨慕崇拜的對象。但隨著冷戰結束和中國百萬大裁軍,軍人很快又恢復到傳統年代的貧困狀態。在上世紀80年代,按照“自我保障、自我發展”的要求,合法地鋪開了全軍經商的風潮,嚴重敗壞風氣和戰斗力。90年代末,根據“吃皇糧”的戰略決策,全軍停止經商,但軍人待遇並未跟上。地位與收入較之80年代更為下滑,一個校級軍官的月工資僅有1000-2000元人民幣。很多人雖貴為將軍,實際收入遠不及地方一個縣市領導甚至實權部門的普通公務人員。此后雖經數次調整待遇有所改善,但仍追不上物價特別是房價上升的速度。同時期中國軍隊的裝備同樣陳舊落后,靠極低的軍費勉強維持。

2004年后中國軍費開始大幅上漲,雖然軍人待遇仍然低微,但航天、航空、造船、機械等軍工系統卻受益極豐,尤其是隨著中國房地產膨脹,一度被軍隊視為累贅的大量營房土地成為價值巨大的資產,這些則是軍內腐敗的重要滋生地。但是,同時期爆出的軍內涉案金額卻遠小於地方系統。從各國軍事歷史與現狀來看,軍隊腐敗的基本途徑通常隻有人事任用、物資裝備採辦和土地轉讓三類。與之相比,地方權力部門掌管無以計數的土地、能源等天然資源,控制經商、貿易、醫療、福利、治安等各種活動,任何一點的權力尋租,都是軍隊腐敗難以望其項背的。

因此,徐案的爆出雖然說明軍隊腐敗異常嚴峻,但說軍隊是腐敗的重災區,或說軍隊能以特權保持腐敗就言過其實了。正如劉志軍案爆出創紀錄性的天文數字,但並無人說鐵道系統是腐敗策源地。鐵道系統基層的大多員工長期處於顛簸和偏遠等艱苦環境,待遇微薄,通過腐敗發大財的隻能是那些高層領導及有“集中力量辦大事”實權的部門人員。原鐵道部前身就是由軍隊鐵道兵集體轉業而來。

中國軍隊在整個政權體系中的地位並非民間想象的那麼具有特權,所以其腐敗其實遠不及能源、金融、貿易等地方實權領域。但由於軍隊的特殊性,腐敗的危害又遠大於其他領域。滿清軍隊對外幾無勝績,即使面對當時實力不濟的日本,貌似強大的北洋海軍同樣不堪一擊,拋卻政治因素,腐敗糜爛是敗壞戰斗力的最直接原因。國共相爭,共產黨軍隊的官兵素養和戰術運用遠不及國民黨軍,國軍常嘲笑共軍站隊都站不齊,后來劉伯承開辦軍事學院不得不聘請大量國軍戰俘作教員。但是,國軍“潛規則”是凡事無賄不辦。傅作義以蔣介石手令請領軍械,倉庫主任卻明言:沒有錢有手令也領不到。傅付錢后要倉庫主任寫了一張收據,並以收據為証向蔣告狀。該主任被撤,但不久又到另一倉庫任主任。甚至臨戰之際,國軍連長敢將下發用於構筑工事的水泥轉賣給商人。蔣介石深知腐敗是國軍死穴,也曾發狠抓蒼蠅打老虎,但由於整個社會缺乏民主法治基礎,整個政權又已根爛干朽,終無力回天。而此時的共軍在清廉上卻比國軍好許多,嚴格的政治管控和狂熱的理想主義在當時確實也起到了遏制腐敗的作用。

當然,出大案並不等同於反腐出大招。唯政黨政治馬首是瞻,是中國軍隊最大的特點。從薄熙來案、谷俊山案再到徐才厚案、周永康案,能聽到其中頗為神秘的政治音符。

軍隊本就是社會中的一個組成部分,並非獨立王國。社會若清廉、軍隊必清廉;社會若腐敗、軍隊必腐敗。我曾提到:沒有真正的政治、法制改革為基礎,軍隊改革即為無本之木。同樣,沒有正常正規的社會反腐體制,軍隊反腐也不可能順利推進。

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Caspian Report: a very insightful geo-political analysis channel

I highly recommend it.

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[轉載]台灣警察必須執法 掃蕩違法是責無旁貸

>集會遊行(社會運動,勞工運動,學生運動)雖受憲法保護,但逾越「集遊法」範圍,就失去「合法性」,政府運作是「改變現實來遷就制度」,所以必須「執法」,掃蕩「違法」是責無旁貸。

但「革命」理論是「改變制度來遷就現實」,所以學生一直強調他們霸佔立法院,有其「正當性」,就必須承認,佔領立法院是「革命」行為。

當警察只是執行驅離行動而打人,你們就叫「國家暴力」、地檢署起訴你們,你們就叫「白色恐怖」。陳飛帆從立法院到凱道會場,接受警察給於高規格護駕,當黑道出現時,你們又躲道警察後面叫囂。這不是「革命」,這是小孩玩「辦家家酒」,輸了還耍賴!

>出處: 退回服貿學生找錯人 – 天下縱橫談 – udn城市 http://city.udn.com/3011/5068706#ixzz2xx1rIlHs

 

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[轉載] 二二八事件: 一個武力奪權的運動

世界之所以如此混亂就是因為有這麼多人為自己的利益、主張、意識形態而造謠。語言和文字是可以魔術般地使用的,這是為什麼政治特別黑暗。

今天是2014年02月28日,「二二八事件」67週年紀念。「二二八事件」顧名思義開始於1947年02月28日,其實官民衝突造成人民死亡發生在1947年02月27日。那時候國軍正在大陸打內戰,認為台灣沒有駐紮大軍的必要,台灣島內兵力極為空虛,只能用來守軍事重點。當暴動一起,軍隊無法分兵遏止,警察則根本沒有這個力量,於是警察局很快被暴民佔領了,台灣立刻進入無政府狀態。

從大陸調到台灣鎮暴平亂的國軍21師(總共2萬部隊)登陸基隆的時間是1947年03月09日。

2007年,YST 寫了 從五個不同的角度看「228事件」(2007/03/16), 這篇文章從國際鬥爭的角度為228這個歷史事件做一個交代,對所有各方的力量都做了說明。

台灣戰後的經濟當然很糟,但是並不會比戰爭期間更糟,因為至少沒有繼續受到戰火的摧毀,所以經濟差並不是「二二八事件」發生的最主要的原因。「二二八事件」最主要的原因是台灣有三十萬日本人滯留台灣不肯回日本,這才是禍根。

要知道第二次世界大戰日本本土所受到的轟炸損害超過台灣,所以很多在台灣的日本人回到日本是完全沒有生計的。從中國的利益來講,日本人打輸了戰爭沒有生計是日本人的事情,日本自己要想辦法。中國既然以戰勝國收回了台灣這塊失土就應該把原來的統治者統統趕回日本,以絕後患。但是陳儀的心太軟,居然答應這些回國沒有生計的三十幾萬日本人可以留在台灣。這是陳儀所犯的最大的錯誤。這三十幾萬日本人變成此後台灣動盪的禍根。

五個不同的角度其實代表的是五個不同的鬥爭力量,它們是:中華民國、日本、美國、台灣本地人和中國共產黨。在這五個力量中,中華民國具有壓倒性的優勢;日本是戰敗國,主要的力量是滯留台灣的三十萬日人;美國在台灣只有一個領事館,美國的力量屬於政治影響的性質,美國的武裝力量遠在菲律賓,無濟於事;台灣人是島上的主要居民,人數眾多,單是站出來到處砍殺和搜尋外省人的暴民就有數十萬人;代表中共的謝雪紅是個無足輕重的小角色,她領導的所謂「二七部隊」號稱兩千人其實只有兩百人,連台灣武裝暴民零頭的零頭都沒有。

「二二八事件」是一個武力奪權的事件,有四股力量企圖把中華民國從台灣趕走,但是都沒有成功,也不可能成功。1947年2月的中華民國至少擁有六百萬軍隊,比台灣的總人口都多,蔣介石動個小指頭就可以殺光台灣人,但是他不會這麼做,因為蔣介石把台灣人當同胞。

「二二八事件」主要是台灣人在滯台日人的鼓動下造反向中華民國政府進行武力奪權的一個運動,進而演變成台灣暴民屠殺外省人的一個極度悲慘與殘酷的殺戮運動,這種挨家挨戶到處搜尋和屠殺外省人的恐怖時間長達十天,最後導致中華民國政府調動大陸的國軍回台進行武力鎮壓。

暴民屠殺在國軍登陸台灣的前一天達到最高潮,屠殺的對象絕大部分是外省人,但也開始包括小部分本省人。加緊捕殺外省人是因為這是最後的機會,台灣人自己互相殺戮則是為了要滅口,避免日後政府審訊時被清算或出賣。

「二二八事件」的主角是中華民國政府和台灣暴民,其他的力量都微不足道。

轉貼YST: 由謝雪紅回顧「二二八事件」 – 2011/02/28 17:00

「228事件」在統獨爭議中是非常重要的事件,可以說是台灣人尋求獨立的重要依據

李登輝是靠籠絡本土台灣人(特別是本土黑道)而成功奪權的,形成國民黨內以福佬族群為主的的「本土派」,也稱為「主流派」;李煥之流的原國民黨大老就被打入「非主流派」。李登輝靠本土黑道與金主建立個人的權力圈子和選舉票倉,國民黨的「黑金政治」是從李登輝開始的,當時流行一句話:「做黑道有什麼不好?做黑道可以和總統照相。」

「二二八事件」的暴民主要是三種人構成:黑道分子、失業群眾和從日軍退伍找不到工作的台籍軍人,他們都是社會底層的爛仔,哪裏會是什麼台獨人士口口聲聲強調的“台灣人的精英”。讀者要知道,單是第三類的台籍日軍就多達20萬人,他們在這個事件所展現的屠殺和破壞力非同小可。

為了鞏固「本土政權」李登輝用總統的權力親自導演為「二二八事件」“平反”,不但充滿了各種謊言,還用國家公帑支付龐大的賠償金,最糟糕的是建了一個不公不義的「二二八紀念館」並且立碑永遠抹黑在台灣的外省人。

其實李登輝的平反是假的,真正的目的是鞏固「本土政權」,核心目的是鞏固李登輝自己的權力,整個「二二八事件」的平反過程是一個笑話。

做為宋楚瑜的支持者,YST 最不能原諒宋楚瑜的就是他把國民黨的黨權和龐大的黨產交給李登輝。基本上,蔣經國為台灣打下的基業和累積的財富都被李登輝揮霍一空,其中部份進入他的私囊。

做為馬英九的反對者,YST 最不能原諒馬英九的就是他為了選票公開支持不公不義的「二二八紀念館」並且一有機會就抓幾個外省人打給本省人看,譬如郭冠英。這種「打外省人給本省人看」的心態特別令我痛恨,這是政客為了選票最低級和最惡劣的表演。

「二二八事件」是一個武力奪權的運動

甲. 「二二八事件」不同的詮釋

一個政治運動如果成功了,那麼運動的目的就只有一個,勝利者說了算;
一個政治運動如果失敗了,那麼運動目的的解釋就很多了,每個政客都朝著對自己有利的方向做解釋。
「二二八事件」豈能例外?

1.主張台獨的說:「二二八事件」是外來的國民黨軍隊殺我們台灣人;
2.中共官方說:「二二八事件」是台灣人民不滿國民黨的腐敗統治所做的抗爭,是官逼民反;
3.主張統一的 zgr說:「228 是爭取中國統一的起義」。
大家各說各話。

1與3的說法最簡單,但是也最背離事實。說這種話的人是用簡單的語言作人人聽得懂的政治文宣,對象是頭腦簡單的草民,他們是大多數。這是民進黨和共產黨最慣用的手法,因為他們都是搞群眾運動起家的。
2的說法是倒果為因,故意抹殺當時的大環境,手法相當高明。其實政治遠比口號複雜,當時的情況「民反」是實,但不是「官逼」,這不是三言兩語說得清的,老共的厲害就在這裏。共產黨這麼說,因為他們打擊的對象是國民黨;馬英九也這麼說就非常可惡了,他是為了選票討好本土台灣人。

如果你一直在警民衝突和軍民衝突之中鑽研,你永遠搞不清楚「二二八事件」的性質和動機。

如果我們把觀察的角度拉高到國際層次,那麼一切就非常清楚了。
「二二八事件」是一個武力奪權的運動,是中華民國、日本、美國、本土台灣人和中國共產黨五方角力的政治奪權運動。

要証明「二二八事件」是一個武力奪權的運動非常簡單。暴動一開始,暴民主要擁向的方向都是武器囤積之處。這不可能是普通的鬧事,暴民非常清楚知道他們在做什麼,很顯然地,他們後面有高人指點,這些幕後高人幾乎可以確定是日本人。

前面說過,「二二八事件」中的暴民是由三種人組成:地痞流氓、失業群眾、退伍的台籍日軍。這其中毫無疑問退伍的台籍日軍戰鬥力最強、組織力也最強,他們是武力奪權的中堅力量。這些暴民群集在街上搜索和屠殺的時候很多是頭戴日本軍帽、口唱日本軍歌,這些暴民效忠的對象毫無疑問是日本,這群暴民主要的後台老闆也一定是日本人,絕不會是文謅謅的台灣菁英林獻堂。

換句話說,日本雖然是戰敗國,但是在「二二八事件」這個武力奪權的運動日本是有實力的,日本的實力大於本土台灣人,更大於中國共產黨。

乙. 陳儀所犯的錯誤

當時台灣的最高行政長官是陳儀。陳儀是一個有見識的軍人,畢業於日本士官學校,而且娶了一個日本貴族女人為妻。陳儀不但學養俱佳,而且為官清廉,但是他犯了三個嚴重的錯誤:
1.過分信任台灣人和過高估計自己的能力;
2.拒絕政府派給他的軍隊;
3.答應三十萬不願意回日本(他們在日本找不到工作)的日本人留在台灣成為移民。

上面陳儀的三個錯誤以第三個最嚴重,因為它的影響最為深遠。這些滯留台灣的三十萬日本人都是身在台灣心在日本,是日本國留在台灣的內應,他們不但是「二二八事件」主要的暴動唆使者,而且今天台灣的獨立運動主要也是由他們和他們的後代推動的。台灣的學界與商界和日本有千絲萬縷的關係,尤其是商界日本有非常深厚的影響力,當年三十萬滯台日人在其中扮演非常特殊和重要的角色。

陳儀說,台灣人是我們的同胞,我以真心對待台灣人,治理台灣不需要軍隊。陳儀拒絕政府派給他的軍隊並且戲稱這些軍隊是“叫化子兵”。
(註:「叫化子」國語的意思就是乞丐。所以很多台灣人看到接收台灣的國軍服裝不整、軍容很差是真的。台灣人因此看不起國軍是真的,但是,這些服裝破爛的“叫化子兵”打敗台灣人景仰的日軍也是真的。)

陳儀不要這些“叫花子兵”,造成台灣鳥內兵力非常單薄(不足五千,駐守在幾個主要軍事要地,譬如高雄要塞)。但是日軍遺留下來的武器足可裝備20個師,這就是問題所在,一旦出事非同小可。這也是為什麼暴民最先蜂擁的目標就是這些軍火庫,我們可以確定是滯台日人的教唆與指點。

讀者看政治問題必須瞭解當時的大環境,尤其是經濟大環境,因為幾乎所有的政治運動都起源於經濟問題,譬如1989年大陸的「六四運動」真正的源頭是過高的通貨膨脹。讓我們看1947年的台灣:
1.第二次世界大戰剛結束,中國只是慘勝,不但被戰爭破壞的生產沒有恢復,又爆發了內戰,使得中國的經濟非常困難。
2.戰後的台灣一片殘破,同樣地經濟蕭條。經濟蕭條最大的特徵就是高失業率,尤其大量年輕人失業幾乎保証會引發政治運動。
3.二十萬台籍日本軍人回到台灣,他們大部分沒有工作,加上其他失業的群眾和地痞流氓(台語叫「浪人」),任何一點社會衝突的火花就會造成暴動而一發不可收拾。
4.1947年的台灣大環境非常困難,陳儀太高估自己的能力了。要解決當時台灣的經濟蕭條和高失業率是幾乎不可能的,而要求包括三十萬日本人在內的台灣人共體時艱則是根本不可能。
5.最關鍵的是,日本人使壞,在移交台灣前設下毒計。日治時期糧食和重要生活物質是配給的,日本人在戰後交接前故意取消配給制度使糧食的消耗量猛增,又大量給在台日人加薪使他們有能力大量購買,雙管齊下為接收台灣的國民政府埋下了經濟動亂的定時炸彈。果然陳儀政府不久就遭遇特大的糧荒,形成搶購風潮,一切腐敗無能的爛帳都算在中華民國的頭上,中華民國政府和台灣人民之間的關係立刻就惡化了。看到沒有?日本的毒計巧妙地製造陳儀政府的無能,糧荒與搶購直接導致官民的對立與緊張,「二二八事件」的爆發只不過是時間問題。

一點都不意外,後來果然出事了,由取締販賣私煙失控爆發的火花點燃了全省暴動的熊熊烈火。其實取締私煙引發的官民衝突是近因,就像1937年日軍在宛平縣失蹤一名士兵是引發中日全面戰爭的近因。近因只不過是導火線,不是問題的本身,所以根本不重要,重要的是遠因,也就是YST說的「大環境」。中日戰爭的遠因是日本覬覦中國的領土和資源;「二二八事件」的遠因是台灣的經濟蕭條、高失業率和日本殖民政府移交政權的時候埋下糧荒與搶購的定時炸彈。

好了,暴動已經開始,幾十萬暴民在全省展開大屠殺。一昧做爛好人、手上沒有兵的陳儀頓時傻了眼,眼看血流成河卻一籌莫展。

陳儀不是說他相信台灣人、不需要“叫化子兵”嗎?
現在陳儀把心挖出來給台灣人看都沒有用。
政治是最現實而又無情的。

丙. 五方勢力爭奪台灣的統治權

暴動一發生後,各方人馬都出動了,都認為自己有機可乘:
1.中華民國政府要控制暴亂,維持有效統治;
2.日本希望台灣脫離中華民國以利日本日後捲土重來;
3.美國兩頭觀望,只要中華民國失去控制,麥帥在菲律賓的軍隊就可以入台“維持秩序”;
4.台灣人以蔣渭川為代表爭取更多的民主與自由(表面旗號)和台灣人的參政權(實際控制);
5.共產黨借機插花,企圖建立台灣的共產政權。

「二二八事件」的起因是複雜的經濟因素,它們包括美國飛機對台灣長期轟炸所造成的生產破壞、經濟蕭條、糧食短缺、高失業率、高通貨膨脹、日本人暗地裏做手腳....等等,造成整個社會秩序的瓦解,一顆小火星就可以引發熊熊的燎原烈火,暴動是遲早會發生的事情。

大陸的官方也好,台灣選總統的馬英九也罷,一句輕描淡寫的「官逼民反」就把「二二八事件」艱難的經濟大環境和複雜的國際情勢一竿子全打翻了,能服人嗎?

「二二八事件」最根本的性質和動機是五方勢力爭奪台灣的統治權。

丁. 「二二八事件」主宰的龍頭和四個順位

上一節所說的五方人馬以中華民國的力量最大而且具有主宰的和壓倒性的優勢,因為當時的中華民國至少有六百萬軍隊,穩坐龍頭,其他四股勢力基本上根本沒有任何機會。

如果(在萬分之一的機會下)中華民國不能控制台灣,那麼駐紮在菲律賓的麥克阿瑟肯定會出手接管台灣。所以美國是這個事件的第一順位。

如果(在百萬分之一的機會下)中華民國和美國都不能控制台灣的暴動,那麼在滯台日人的鼓動和蜂擁的暴民下有可能台灣會獨立。所以日本是這個事件的第二順位。

如果(在千萬分之一的機會下)中華民國軍隊、美國軍隊、日本控制的武裝暴民都失敗了,蔣渭川代表的民主派「請願團」有可能成功與陳儀政府達成和解。以蔣渭川為代表的請願團是第三順位,基本上還是回到中華民國的統治,只不過少死一些人罷了。
理論上,這應該是事件發生後最好的結果,但是成功的或然率極小,原因有二:
a.貪心:蔣渭川的請願團成分非常複雜,並沒有一個有力的領導人。請願團的要求不斷水漲船高,從最先和政府講好的八個條件做出反悔,然後把條件增加到三十二個,後來又反悔,內部討論認為還不夠,於是再增加十個條件,最後變成四十二條流氓要脅式的條款送到陳儀手中,陳儀當然不能答應。
b.無能:蔣渭川的請願團並不能真正代表那些進行殺戮的暴民,這些代表也沒有能力控制暴民的殺戮行為。請願團的代表性是虛的,參加殺戮的暴民基本上控制在日本人的手中,而日本人的目標是台灣脫離中華民國。

最後,謝雪紅的兩百人「二七部隊」需要打敗蔣介石的軍隊、麥克阿瑟的軍隊和數十萬日本人教唆下的武裝暴民,才能在台灣建立共產政權。中共是「二二八事件」的第四順位,也是最後一個順位。這個機率應該不到萬萬分之一。

戊. 小結

基本上,任何論述不到百萬分之一機率的事件是沒有意義的。在「二二八事件」這個關係台灣前途的運動中值得討論的其實只有中華民國與美國的利益,日本勉強入圍因為不管怎麼說它是製造事件和進行暴動的主角。

美國獲得台灣的控制權是有可能的,問題只在美國願出多少代價。1947年至少有三名美國中央情報局的人員在台灣活動,而且緊密地與美國政府保持聯絡,他們的名字是George Kerr、Paine、Catto,他們的工作是鼓動台獨人士搞叛亂和搞壞中華民國和美國的關係為接手台灣做準備。這三人中以George Kerr最為活躍,後來還把他們的活動寫了一本書叫【被出賣的台灣】(Formosa Betrayed),1965年在美國發行初版,出版商是波士頓的Houghton Mifflin。1992年位於加州的「台灣出版社」為此書發行第二版。

美國非常精明,絕不肯白做大投資,出動軍隊和暴民先幹上,然後又不得不把收穫交還給中華民國。美國出兵入台“維持秩序”的先決條件是蔣介石的軍隊無法擺平叛亂(已經沒有回頭路),所以 YST給美國第一順位和萬分之一的機率。

日本唆使幾十萬暴民搞奪權,這幾十萬烏合之眾能先後打敗蔣介石和麥克阿瑟的軍隊,機會是微乎其微。YST 給日本第二順位和百萬分之一的機率,這還是假設暴民能成功搶劫大量軍火庫中儲藏的武器。

剩下的台灣人請願團和謝雪紅的兩百人「二七部隊」就不用提了,成功的機率比被雷打到還小。

結束語

1.「二二八事件」,毫無疑問地,是一個武裝奪權運動。

2.陳儀政府在接收台灣時許多事情處置不當,陳儀以君子之心和小人打交道犯下嚴重的戰略性錯誤應該負起全部的政治責任。但是在「二二八事件」發生後,陳儀的處置並無不當。

3.中華民國政府在「二二八事件」是被動地接受挑戰,所以躲不掉。

4.美國人在「二二八事件」的行動非常聰明,先由中央情報局的人員和台獨人士接觸,這是非常小的投資。如果台灣的情況發展到中華民國無法收拾,這時候美國才動用駐紮在菲律賓的軍隊進行實際控制。所以美國是謀定而後動,一動就達到目的,不做冒險的投資,不浪費一點點實力。

5.日本是次一等的聰明,雖然成功的機率極小,但是自身所冒的險也極小。日本唆使台灣人去暴動,自己在旁邊靜觀後變。如果成功,則一本萬利;如果失敗,死的都是台灣人,日本毫無損失。日本只要求台灣脫離中華民國,以後再慢慢一步步圖之,放的是長線。

6.暴動的台灣人最愚蠢,被日本和美國當槍使,死了固然活該,不死成功了也是美國(第一順位)和日本(第二順位)獲得實際控制權,沒有台灣人的份,處境比在中華民國的治理下還差。

7.台灣人的請願團雖說都是知識份子,但是各自打著自己的小算盤,是一群烏合之眾,成不了事。請願團基本不瞭解自己是沒有實力的人,當屠殺展開後,請願團就把要求的重點放在不能秋後算帳上而咬住不放(尋求自保),這是既愚蠢又自私的行為。
請願團沒有把問題想通,也小看了中華民國政府和它的六百萬“叫化子兵”。請願團不知道從一開始他們就沒有什麼討價還價的籌碼,中華民國的百萬大軍就只隔著一個海峽,眼前看不到並不等於不存在,更不等於十天後不出現。等到暴民屠殺外省人開始後,請願團已經走上絕路,連回頭的機會都沒有了。
想想看,身處小島,無處可逃,居然敢發動大屠殺,以為逼迫陳儀簽上一紙條約就可以逃過審判,這不是愚蠢是甚麼?
請願團這批台灣知識份子跟擄人撕票後的綁架犯有什麼不同?

8.中國共產黨是「二二八事件」最後一個順位,成功的機率是0。但是謝雪紅並不笨,她知道這個仗自己沒有一點點希望,但是她非出來幹一場不可,否則沒法向組織交代,這是犧牲打。
可嘆的是,即使這樣,謝雪紅最後(1970年)也免不了在大陸被批鬥而死,死狀淒涼。

讓我們回到話題的源頭來結束這篇論述。

有關「二二八事件」的論述在【天下縱橫談】已經數不清了,YST 個人至少就談過三次,不過由謝雪紅引發「二二八事件」的論述倒是第一次。

如果你是左派,特別是毛澤東式的左派,那麼論述謝雪紅帶領「二七部隊」來彰顯中國共產黨的英明是非常不智的,因為謝雪紅的結局非常慘,她先被打入右派,後被紅衛兵抄家,跟著接受長期的審訊、羞辱與肉體的折磨。不開玩笑,中國共產黨的清算鬥爭厲害得很啊,非常凶狠、殘酷和沒有人性,「反革命」的帽子只需自由心証就可以成立。謝雪紅的罪狀很多,其中兩個就是「共產黨的叛徒」和「二二八的逃兵」,謝雪紅抵死否認也沒用。

謝雪紅在「二二八事件」已經盡力了,她不可能成功的,她只是沒有死,因此紅衛兵就不放過她,沒有死就是有罪,就是逃兵。謝雪紅站在毛澤東後面的那張照片顯然也無法保護她。1970年(文革的中期),謝雪紅就這樣被折磨死了。

謝雪紅的悽慘下場令人寒心,連許多共產黨員看了都寒心,實在不是擁護中共政權為中共政權宣傳的好例子。

zgr 網友用謝雪紅來說明「228 是爭取中國統一的起義」不但是一個笑話,也是對中共政權無情的諷刺。

中共在「二二八事件」是無足輕重的配角,任何人把謝雪紅推出來為「二二八事件」戴上「統一中國」和「起義」的大帽子都是意識形態下的造謠,與歷史事實不符。

Posted in China, history, Japan, Taiwan | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The “rebels” are being exported to Ukraine

[Update Apr-8] Now the Russians are copying the same recipe of what caused the violent riot in Kiev and doing it first in Crimea and second in multiple cities of East Ukraine. Back-firing, or karma? Now the new “rebels” are pro-Russians.

“What we see from Russia is an illegal and illegitimate effort to destabilize a sovereign state and create a contrived crisis with paid operatives across an international boundary,” Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington.

[original] The demonstration in Kiev got more violent, and situation is deteriorating rapidly. There are reports saying that the demonstrators are being armed (by whom? the western report would not comment, but the usual suspects come to mind, the SAS, the CIAs). Let’s draw some parallels between Syria and Ukraine: both conflicts were started peacefully, and then escalated in violence, and later on armed conflict. Demonstrators would not have access to weapons (even in the USA the arm dealer of all and citizens with the badge of “Second Amendment”), but now they are getting more and more.

And now, the escalation is following the same footprints as the conflicts in Syria, with the foreign armed groups infiltrating to Kiev and ultimately Ukraine.

Libya, Syria And Now Ukraine – Color Revolution By Force

Image

The same forces that instigated unruly demonstrations in 2011 in Syria are now instigating such demonstrations in the Ukraine. That at least is what I am reading out of the fact that the exactly same graphics are used to train the willing-to-fight demonstrators. How else to explain the above graphics, once with Arabic and once with in Cyrillic letters?

Accompanying the demonstrations and illegal occupations of government buildings are in both cases brutal, criminal attacks on the police and other government forces. In Syria the violence “muscle” part was done by foreign financed Jihadists while neo-nazi gangs are used in the Ukraine. The demonstrations and the attacks on the state are planned and go together. There is nothing “peaceful” in demonstrations that are only the public-relations cover for attacks on the state. But the foreign politicians and media immediately utter “concerns” and threats over completely normal government responses to them. It is a scam to justify “western” “support” for the demonstrators and to further the violence.

The aim is “regime change” of legitimate governments by small minorities. Should the “regime” resist to that the alternative of destroying the state and the whole society is also wholeheartedly accepted.

Several German media used of the “regime” slander for the dully elected Ukrainian government today and did some concern trolling about “peaceful demonstrators” while policemen in Kiev were doused with Molotov cocktails. It is very obvious what is going on here and the media are playing along with the politicians, militaries and secret services that are behind these “revolutions”.

Color revolutions in the old form had become too obvious a scheme to be of further use. The concept was therefore extended to include intensive use of force and mercenaries and to support those forces from the outside with weapons, ammunition, training and other means. After Libya, where Gaddhafi forces are still fighting back, Syria was destroyed and now the Ukraine is the target. There are likely lists of other countries that shall be attacked by such means. What is really behind the Gezi-park demonstrations in Turkey and the protests in Bangkok? Are foreign powers behind these too or are they just copycat actions by local groups? How does Egypt fit in?

And what is the best defense a legitimate government can build against and how should it react to such attacks?

StepStone 19.02.2014 21:37

The Western media are tired to find some evidences to proof that the police brutalities in Ukraine, but they are failing. Only they found the pictures and video clip of violent actions of the extremists. They do not like tell the true story of the powerless members of the law enforcement agencies who are waiting for raining of stone, baseball bat, fire bomb with their last breath.

The Western media are experts on manipulating videos and pictures to misinform the people but this time they are so helpless to find the pictures and videos.

Carl Lundström 19.02.2014 19:13

The same US/EU tactic in Ukraina as in Libya and Syria. Promise the insurgents that the worlds greatest political, economic and military powers are behind them, and they will never stop – regardless if they are in majority or minority. US/EU prefers to win with violence – otherwise they would have told Ukraina “Everybody go home, elections in 90 days. We will supervise the elections so that everybody can trust the result. We will enforce the result with our power if necessary.” Had EU/US said that in december, Ukraina would now be in election campaign instead of killing campaign. But no. The EU/US are no democrats.

We need to be extra vigilant when we see stubborn demonstrator who refuse to compromise, and those who want to rally more support to affect public order. “Occupy Central” movement in Hong Kong comes to mind.

Posted in Media, military, Russia | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gold Reserve

In the beginning of 2013, the financial world was shocked this month by a demand from Germany’s Bundesbank to repatriate a large portion of its gold reserves held abroad. By 2020, Germany wants 50% of its total gold reserves back in Frankfurt – including 300 tons from the Federal Reserve. The Bundesbank’s announcement comes just three months after the Fed refused to submit to an audit of its holdings on Germany’s behalf. One cannot help but wonder if the refusal triggered the demand.

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New York Times: (2013/1) Germany to Move 674 Tons of Gold

Goldjp-articleLarge

On Wednesday, the Bundesbank said that it would begin moving some of the reserves, the second-largest stock in the world after that of the United States. The goal is to house more than 50 percent of German gold in Bundesbank vaults in Frankfurt by 2020, up from a little less than a third today, the bank said.

Citing security reasons, Carl-Ludwig Thiele, a member of the Bundesbank, declined to say how the transfer would be accomplished or to estimate the cost. But he said the Bundesbank had plenty of experience moving large sums of money.

During the cold war, West Germany followed a policy of storing its gold as far west as possible in case of a Soviet invasion. While that worry is gone, there is still an argument for keeping some gold in financial centers like New York and London. It remains the one currency that is accepted everywhere. In the event of a currency crisis, the gold could be quickly deployed in financial markets to help restore confidence.

The New York Fed stores the German gold without cost on the theory that the presence of foreign gold supports the dollar’s status as the global reserve currency. A spokesman for the New York Fed declined to comment.

The Bundesbank announcement follows a public outcry last year after a clash in Parliament about whether all the bank’s gold was properly accounted for.

For the great many Germans who still rue the day they had to trade their marks for euros, there has been at least one consolation. If the common currency did not work out, Germany still had huge reserves of the hardest currency of all: gold.

Except, as many people learned for the first time last year, it did not — at least not in the country itself.

More than two-thirds of Germany’s gold reserves, valued at 137 billion euros, or $183 billion, is abroad, stored in vaults in New York, Paris and London.

The new policy will include the complete withdrawal of 374 tons of German gold stored at the Banque de France in Paris, about 11 percent of the total. Bundesbank officials were quick to note that the decision was not a reflection of French trustworthiness. Rather, because France and Germany now share the euro, there is no need for reserves as insurance against currency crises.

“The gold in Paris is in the best of hands,” Mr. Thiele said on Wednesday. “We are thankful to the Bank of France for storing it.”

Still, news of the planned transfer caused some clucking in financial circles after news leaked out on Tuesday. “Central banks don’t trust each other?” William H. Gross, a founder and managing director of the investment firm Pimco, asked on Twitter.

Mr. Thiele denied there was any mistrust. “We have no doubts about the integrity of other central banks,” he said. “We’re not aware of any irregularities.”

After World War II, vanquished Germany had no gold reserves. The Nazis had used most of it to finance the war, and much of what was left vanished mysteriously in the postwar chaos.

But as its economy recovered and Germany became the export powerhouse it is today, the country accepted gold as well as dollars from the central banks of its trading partners to cover the financial imbalance created by German trade surpluses.

German reserves peaked in 1968 at about 4,000 tons, several years before the collapse of the so-called Bretton Woods system of fixed international exchange rates, which was underpinned by gold reserves.

The end of Bretton Woods in 1973 eliminated some, though not all, of gold’s importance as a universal currency. The total has fallen to about 3,400 tons after Germany transferred some of its treasure to international institutions in which it participates, including the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

===

The result? Germany only got 37 tons back (should be 50 tons which is a small amount already), and only 5 tons came from the US. The rest came from France. I don’t know about you but if I am a German I would be very angry.

Bundesbank Gold Bar

The Vaults

According to the official release, there are two main repositories where the USA hold their gold: the vault of Fed Reserve in New York, and the vault at United States Bullion Depository, at Fort Knox Kentucky. Here are the claimed figures:

New York Federal Reserve Bank: 7000 tons
Owner: Federal Reserve (private company)
33 Liberty Street, Manhattan, New York City

Federal-reserve-33-liberty

Security of the vault: (according to Wikipedia as of 2014/2): The vault rests on Manhattan’s bedrock, 50 feet (15.24 m) below sea level. The weight of the vault and the gold inside would exceed the weight limits of almost any other foundation.[5] The gold and other precious metals belong to 36 governments and is stored for free, but every time a bar is moved, a handling fee is applied. There are elaborate procedures for the handling of the gold, with three different teams monitoring every transaction.

Fort Knox: 4500 tons
Owner: US Dept of Treasury
Gold Vault Rd. and Bullion Blvd., Fort Knox, Kentucky

800px-U.S._Bullion_Depository

Security of the vault: (according to Wikipedia as of 2014/2):
Below the fortress-like structure lies the gold vault lined with granite walls and protected by a blast-proof door weighing 22 tons. Members of the Depository staff must dial separate combinations known only to them. Beyond the main vault door, smaller compartments provide further protection. According to a Mosler Safe Company brochure:

“The most famous, if not the largest, vault door order came from the Federal government in 1935 for the newly constructed gold depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Both the vault door and emergency door were 21-inches thick and made of the latest torch- and drill-resistant material. The main vault door weighed 20 tons and the vault casing was 25-inches thick.”

The facility is ringed with fences and is guarded by the United States Mint Police. The Depository premises are within the site of Fort Knox, a United States Army post, allowing the Army to provide additional protection. The Depository is protected by layers of physical security, alarms, video cameras, microphones, mine fields, barbed razor wire, electric fences, heavily armed guards, and the Army units based at Fort Knox, including unmarked Apache helicopter gunships of 8/229 Aviation based at Godman Army Airfield, the 16th Cavalry Regiment, the 19th Engineer Battalion, formerly training battalions of the United States Army Armor School, and the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Infantry Division, totaling 30,000 soldiers, with associated tanks, armored personnel carriers, attack helicopters, and artillery.
There is an escape tunnel from the lower level of the vault to be used by someone accidentally locked in.
For security reasons, no visitors are allowed inside the depository grounds. This policy has been enforced ever since the vault opened and the only exception was an inspection by members of the United States Congress and the news media on September 23, 1974 led by then Director of the United States Mint, Mary Brooks.

Don’t know about you but I think the security at Fort Knox is a lot stronger than the New York Fed. Also it is controlled by the elected government (if that means something), and protected by the military base. That would make sense, since after all the Fed is storing someone else’s gold, not the US (at least not entirely). And the Federal Reserve is private company owned by secretive (the member list is not disclosed) bank members.

Other vault locations:

Philadelphia Mint
Holding: ?
151 North Independence Mall W, Philadelphia, PA 19106phillyExterior

Denver Mint
Holding: ?
320 W Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80204

DenverMint

West Point Mint
Holding: ?
Its address is withheld by the National Park Service in its National Register listings
West Point, NY

west_point_building

San Francisco Mint
Holding: ?
155 Hermann St., San Francisco, California

220px-San_Francisco_Mint_2007

The top two are the famous vaults. The West Point one is curious, because the US government intentionally withheld its location in secrecy.

Naturally it makes you wonder, how much gold do they really have in there? See the below analysis:
The Great American Disaster: How Much Gold Remains In Fort Knox?

Well Germany’s central bank Bundesbank wanted to find out apparently last year, and shocked the world with the result.

See the below article by Peter Schiff. I am saving it here in case the article got deleted or moved:

Dark Gold – Shedding Light On A Mysterious Market

Commodities / Gold and Silver 2014
Feb 06, 2014 – 01:57 PM GMT
By: Peter_Schiff

Commodities Gold is the simplest of financial assets – you either own it or you don’t. Yet, at the same time, gold is also among the most private of assets. Once an individual locks his or her safe, that gold effectively disappears from the market at large. Unlike bank deposits or stocks, there is no way to tally the total amount of gold held by individual investors.

I like to call this concept “dark gold.” This is the real, broader gold market that exists below the surface-level transactions on the major exchanges. It’s impossible to know precisely how much dark gold exists around the world, but we do know that it is enough to render “official” gold holdings insignificant. That’s why I don’t buy and sell gold based on the decisions of John Paulson, or even J.P. Morgan Chase. It is a long-term investment that requires a deep understanding of the nature of money – and how little Wall Street’s media circus really matters.

Observing Dark Gold

Think of dark gold like dark matter. Dark matter is a mysterious substance that scientists hypothesize is an essential building block of our universe. All we know is that the universe is a certain size and that a huge amount of its mass is unobservable – this is what we’ve come to call dark matter.

We haven’t yet looked directly at dark matter. We can only observe phenomena that suggest there is a substance we aren’t seeing and can’t quite measure.

Likewise, dark gold is an essential building block of global financial stability. But the extremely private nature that makes it so valuable also makes it nearly impossible to directly observe.

But every now and then, we get a glimpse into the hidden undercurrents of dark gold. In the past year, the Federal Reserve slipped up in a big way and momentarily poked a hole that we can peek through to see what’s happening with some of the largest stores of dark gold in the world.

Gib Mir Mein Gold!

A year ago, the big news was that the Bundesbank, Germany’s central bank, would begin the process of repatriating a portion of its foreign gold reserves, including 300 metric tons stored at the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

The controversy really started in late 2012, when Germany simply wanted to audit its gold reserves at the Fed. They were denied this access, so the Germans switched their approach. If they weren’t allowed visitation with their holdings, they would instead demand full custody. In response, the Fed said it would oblige – within seven years!

As of the end of 2013, a Bundesbank spokesman reported that only 5 tons had been transported from New York to Germany so far, leaving the repatriation far behind schedule.

“But wait,” some might argue, “the repatriation process might be delayed, but we know the gold is there. Central bank holdings constitute the most visible gold in the world. These institutions report their holdings to the world regularly. The gold at the Fed isn’t dark gold at all!”

If this is a true and certain fact, then why was the Bundesbank denied a third-party audit of its gold in the Fed’s vaults? The closest we’ve seen was an internal audit by the US Treasury last year. Of course, the US government holds the sovereign privilege of answering to no one but itself, but that hardly makes for reassuring statistics on which to base one’s investments.

Golden Distractions

The truth is that we have no clue of the official gold reserves of any central bank in the world. All the Fed has to do to convince me otherwise is let an outside party into its vaults and count the gold. They’ve shown lots of paper; now show us the money!

It is very simple to count bars of gold where they exist. And it is clearly moral (and generally good business) to return assets that are held in trust when the creditor demands them. The Fed’s reluctance on both counts suggests that there is more to this story than meets the eye.

Fortunately, the veracity of the Fed’s claimed gold holdings has little bearing on the long-term precious metals investor. It’s the same with gold futures contracts and the daily spot price. These have no effect on whether or not you have a chest of real money buried in your backyard.

So why is it important that intelligent investors do keep some gold “buried” in their possession? Germany’s repatriation scandal begins to answer this question. The maneuverings of the New York Fed are like the patter and flourish of a magician – it distracts you from the real trick being played.

Or, in this case, where the most impressive piles of dark gold reside.

China Going For Gold

I’d bet that Western central banks are very pleased that the media has latched onto the dustup between Germany and the Fed. It means they are paying much less attention to the massive unreported stores of gold that many observers believe China has been accumulating, and which could have dire repercussions for the US dollar reserve system.

China last reported its gold reserves in 2009, clocking in at 1,054 metric tons. In the official rankings, this makes China’s reserves the sixth largest in the world. Germany comes in second with 3,387 metric tons (or so they hope), and all nations trail the United States’ claimed 8,133 metric tons.

Many speculate that China’s reserves have grown far beyond its official number in the past five years. However, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) is playing its cards close to its chest.

Last year, a deputy governor of the PBOC tried to convince the world that its reserves have not changed much since 2009. He explained that the Chinese government is keeping a limit on its gold reserves, because “if the Chinese government were to buy too much gold, gold prices would surge, a scenario that will hurt Chinese consumers.”

But a quick look at the numbers coming from the Chinese government shows that they just don’t add up.

China is the largest producer of gold in the world, pulling an estimated 437 metric tons of gold from the earth in 2013 – way more than runner-up Australia, with only 259 metric tons.

On top of this, China imported far more gold than any other country in the world in 2013. Via Hong Kong alone, China imported 1,158 metric tons of gold last year – a more than 107% increase from 2012.

HK-China_Gold_Imports

This gold is not leaving the country in large quantities. Sure, China is the biggest exporter of gold jewelry to the Western world, but the value of these trinkets is negligible compared to the thousands of tons of bullion they are creating and importing.

Jim Rickards has estimated that China has probably added at least 1,000 metric tons to its reserves every year since 2010, meaning it has well over 4,000 metric tons today.

This is a conservative estimate. Wikileaks documents claim that China actually imported more than 2,000 metric tons from Hong Kong in 2011 alone.

If this is the case, when China does finally reveal how much gold it’s holding, it will leap from the sixth largest reserves in the world to the second, easily surpassing Germany in a single bound.

They might even give the US a run for its money.

Out From Under

It’s no longer a secret that China would prefer a “de-Americanized world.” Whether it’s the PBOC or average Chinese consumers hoarding all this dark gold, the effects will be the same when China decides it is fed up with the funny-money central banking system long dominated by the US dollar.

It certainly seems like the East is preparing for this endgame. Several new physical gold vaults have opened in Singapore in the past year, Moscow recently launched a spot gold exchange, and Dubai is planning a new spot gold contract for this year. Let’s not forget that the Hong Kong Exchange bought the London Metals Exchange in 2012, and there have been rumblings of physically moving it to Hong Kong.

If China were to initiate a gold-backed currency attractive to international trade partners, its government and citizens are poised to become extremely wealthy and powerful overnight. Americans, on the other hand…

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Some investors avoid the gold market because of its innate unofficial nature. But in a time when governments are in a race to tax anything that moves and inflate anything that prints, gold’s privacy becomes the difference between preserving wealth or facing destitution.

I challenge my readers to worry less about the short-term movements in the gold futures market, or even which central bank has what holdings. Understand that gold is a deep, global market that has witnessed the rise and fall of countless empires. Your decision is simple: you either own it, or you don’t.
Peter Schiffis CEO ofEuro Pacific Precious Metals, a gold and silver dealer selling reputable, well-known bullion coins and bars at competitive prices.

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What do you think? There aren’t many reasons for Fed not to give Germany’s gold back to Germany. One reason came to mind: they want to hold on to them – when you hold someone’s valuable, you have the power isn’t it? They just can’t sue the Fed to take back to gold, right? And also if they drag their feet in returning the gold, they can do the same thing to others if they demand the gold back also. This all make sense and does not invalidate the claim that the Fed still have the gold.

But why melt the gold and recast new ones? Doesn’t that create extra cost? Isn’t it easier to just take the gold bar from vault, and put them on the ship? For security concern, isn’t it more dangerous to get the gold from the vault, cast it somewhere, and then transport it? Or one can say that they don’t even want to open their vault, but buy the gold from open market and mint it for Germany — all sounds dandy and good but hold on: isn’t it a lot more expensive than just take the gold from the vault? There can only be one logical answer: the Fed don’t have the gold that they claim to have. At least not for quantity that the Germans want, so they cannot just give them German gold bars in the first shipment, and then switch to Fed newly cast gold bars, as this would expose this lack of gold fact.

Bundesbank-goldbarren04

=== “Monkey Business” Surrounding the Repatriation of Germany’s Gold Stored at the NY Federal Reserve Bank. by Bill Holter

As there has not been an audit of Fort Knox since the 1950′s, nor a bar list made public since this German gold was claimed to have been deposited with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York back in the 1950s, this is a can of worms that has already been opened and any “answer” will only lead to more questions.

So why exactly would the gold need to be recast before sending it back?

Never mind the obvious question that we’ve already asked. Why will it take up to eight years to send the Germans their gold?

An-employee-of-Deutsche-Bundesbank-points-at-a-gold-bar-during-a-news-conference

You see, gold has a “fingerprint.” Once it is refined down to 99.999 percent pure, the fingerprint is erased. For example, the “coin melt” that came from the 1934 confiscation has a fingerprint of 90 percent purity. The gold the Soviet Union was selling back in 1990 was 89 percent pure and had the czar’s stamp on it, which was a dead giveaway that they were out of gold (money). They collapsed within six months and it was foretold by this “fingerprinted gold.”

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Keeping it under the lid

This is scary. Fed holds majority of the gold reserve for most of the world’s central banks. I am sure their top brass are panicking and would ask very direct questions to Fed to get their gold back, while not to alarm the public about this (and hence suppressing the news), and try to deal this with the US under the table. Well good luck to them. Bottom line is no one wants to cause a bank run, and the major governments will continue to keep a lid on this in concert. But fact is that one cannot print gold. Period. Physical gold has been the primary instrument to preserve monetary value and will probably continue to do so beyond symbolic value.

From Seeking Alpha:
Weekly COMEX Gold Inventories: Huge Gold Withdrawal From JPMorgan Warehouse Headed East

In the mean time, I encourage you to at least check whether you can buy gold coins, physical ones, in your nearest dealer. Last time I check in a local metal shop, there was a huge back log of physical gold order demand, and the mint cannot keep up of producing. There just isn’t much physical gold available.

Bundesbank Gold Coin

 

Response from the German Central Bank Bundesbank

[from mining.com]

On January 16, 2013 Germany’s central bank, the Bundesbank, said it will ship back home all 374 tonnes it had stored with the Banque de France in Paris, as well as 300 tonnes held in Manhattan by the US Federal Reserve, by 2020.

Fast forward a year and Buba, as the Federal Bank of Germany is affectionately (or maybe not) known, has only managed to bring home a paltry 37 tonnes of gold.

And a mere 5 tonnes of that came from the US, the rest from Paris. The US Fed holds 45% of the total 3,396 tonnes German gold.

Needless to say this prompted renewed questions whether Germany’s gold still exists in those Manhattan vaults or if it has been melted down, leased or even sold.

At the time of the original Bundesbank announcement, there were rumours that Germany wanted their gold back because the Fed refused German officials a viewing of the bullion a couple of months earlier.

German gold is also held at The Bank of England which stores 13% in London, while the Bank of France in Paris has 11% in total and the remainder is held at the Bundesbank’s headquarters in Frankfurt.

In November 2011, Venezuela repatriated some 180 tonnes of gold held in vaults in London and elsewhere to store it with the Caracas central bank under orders from late President Hugo Chavez.

In an extensive interview with German business publication Handelblatt, executive board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele, tries to lay to rest all the rumours about the program which was designed as a “trust-building” measure among the German people, noted below.

Interview with Carl-Ludwig Thiele, Member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank, published in Handelsblatt on 19 February 2014

Translation and source: Deutsche Bundesbank
Interview conducted by Norbert Häring and Jens Münchrath.

Mr Thiele, do you consider yourself a kind of psychotherapist of the German soul?

No, why should I?

Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann described the partial transfer of German gold from New York as a trust-building measure in Germany.You are the one responsible for organising this major logistical undertaking.

Indeed, we are inspiring trust by storing half of the 3,400 tonnes of gold in Frankfurt by 2020. Building trust also means being transparent. We were the first central bank to publish details of our storage facilities, including the respective quantities of gold stored there.

Is there a scenario in which gold could begin to be used in monetary policy?

A highly theoretical scenario would involve extreme turmoil on the foreign exchange markets. Germany safeguards its solvency through reserve assets. In addition to foreign currency, our reserve assets include gold reserves. This gold could be pledged or exchanged directly for foreign currency. That is also why we have left the other half of our gold reserves in New York and London. Although we thankfully do not envisage such a crisis scenario, central banks are designed for the long term.

In October 2012, you promised the German Bundestag that you would transfer a total of 150 tonnes of gold from New York to Frankfurt by 2015.In January 2013, you extended the time frame to 2020 and increased the amount to 300 tonnes. What time frame are you looking at now?

The plans are not contradictory. We specified our initial target in October 2012. In January 2013, we then presented a new gold storage plan and specified a new target that is considerably higher than the first. Instead of only 150 tonnes, we are now transferring 300 tonnes of gold from New York to Germany.

So both targets still apply?

We now consider ourselves bound to the new gold storage plan. But the three years have not yet passed. We shall wait and see. We are on the right track in any case.

But the members of the German Bundestag have acted on the assumption of the initial promise.The second has got a more long-term oriented time frame. Was your initial promise overly ambitious? In the first year, you only returned five tonnes from the USA.

It is not a question of “returning”. The gold is being transferred to Germany for the first time. Until 1998, only 2% of our gold, or thereabouts, was stored in Germany. In the first year, we transported five tonnes from New York. This year, we will transfer 30 to 50 tonnes, or perhaps even more, from New York to Frankfurt. And there is still next year to come.

Does that mean that the target of 150 tonnes is still attainable?

Since we are in the midst of an ongoing process, I would like you to ask me the question again in two years’ time. In any case, we will store half of the German gold reserves in Germany by 2020 at the latest.

Why are you content with such a low target for this year?Is the programme still experiencing teething problems in its second year?

No, it is not. We have planned the timing of the transfers in such a way as to ensure that 300 tonnes are transferred from New York to Germany by 2020 at the latest.

There are these rumours that either the gold in New York is no longer there or you do not have unrestricted access to it.Why have you not called in auditors or other externals to oversee the transfers in response to such rumours?

It astounds me that Handelsblatt pays any attention to such absurd rumours. I was in New York myself in June 2012 with the colleagues responsible for managing the gold reserves and saw for myself how our money is stored in the vault there. The Americans have never stonewalled or hindered us in any way. On the contrary, their cooperation has been most constructive in every respect. Our internal audit team was present last year during the on-site removal of gold bars and closely monitored everything. The smelting process is also being monitored by independent experts.

Does this also apply to opportunities to inspect the stocks?You said a year ago that discussions on the matter with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York were making good progress.

That is correct. We have enjoyed an excellent relationship of trust with the New York Fed for many decades. As regards the details of the contracts, however, we are bound by confidentiality which we cannot unilaterally break. From my visit to New York, I can tell you that a number of bars selected by us were removed, inspected and reweighed even while I was there. The inspections conducted by our internal audit team, during which an external auditor was also present, were also completed to our utmost satisfaction.

Was an external auditor present during your visit to the New York Fed gold storage facility in June 2012?

No, not during my visit. However, an external auditor was present for part of the time during the internal audit team’s inspection of stocks.

Did the gold from New York have to be melted down immediately?

The gold was removed from the vault in the presence of the internal audit team and transported to Europe. Only once the gold had arrived in Europe was it melted down and brought to the current bar standard. Some of the bars in our stocks in New York were produced before the Second World War. It was confirmed after the melting process, as anticipated, that these bars were absolutely fine.

The Federal Court of Auditors (FCA) sparked the debate by calling for an inspection of Germany’s gold holdings abroad.When you announced in October 2012 that part of the holdings were to be transferred to Germany, the FCA responded that this was a first step, but not a comprehensive procedure. Is the FCA now satisfied?

The FCA never demanded that the Bundesbank transfer gold to Germany. It was more concerned with extending its rights with regard to inspecting gold reserves abroad. The Bundesbank’s internal audit department now has rights it never used to have. The Budget Committee has acknowledged the FCA’s report, which concludes this discussion. Incidentally, the FCA examined the Bundesbank’s annual accounts for 2012 and found no irregularities.

The FCA claims it has no knowledge of newly agreed audit rights.

The FCA has access to all information at all times. I am sure the President of the FCA will be able to confirm this for you.

If the intention was to build trust, would it not have been better to postpone the smelting processso that you would have been able to present sceptics with the original bars?

Prior to transportation, the original gold bars were handed over to us in New York. Our internal audit team checked the numbers of the bars there and then against its own lists. The very same gold arrived at the European gold smelters that we had commissioned. This ought to demonstrate to everyone that such conspiracy theories are completely unfounded.

Calling in external auditors or critics was not an option?

The Bundesbank’s internal audit department is involved in the process from start to finish. Independent experts were present during the smelting process.

Are there any advantages for the Americans in storing gold for other nations?After all, they are protecting our reserves free of charge.

To answer this question, you need to look at the historical context. As you may know, gold reserves were established during the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate system. Given the threat from the East at the time, it seemed the safest option was to store German gold as far west as possible. The gold was therefore stored in New York from the outset.

So the Americans are taking on high storage costs for nothing in return?

No, why high storage costs? The gold has been stored there for decades. The storage rooms already exist.

Security guards cost money…

It is not just our gold that they protect, but also that of other central banks. But that is a matter for the New York Fed.

Just over a year ago, you were asked whether storing gold with the victors of the Second World War was not perhaps an echo of the old Bonn Republic when Germany was not yet a fully sovereign state.Back then, your answer was rather vague. What is your answer today?

To my knowledge, gold was stored in New York, London and Paris mainly for security policy reasons. We transferred 930 tonnes of gold from London more than ten years ago without experiencing any difficulties with the Bank of England or upsetting German-British relations. The same applies to the Banque de France and the New York Fed.

 

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