Bilderberg expects interest rates to rise and many Americans to lose their homes in the months ahead. Meanwhile, they hope they can pressure President Bush to refrain from an all-out invasion of Iran while maintaining oil prices at their current record-high levels of about $70 a barrel.
Timothy Geithner, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, predicted rising interest rates and difficulties for families that have obtained adjustable rate mortgages, or “variable” interest rates. Many are likely to lose their homes as rising home mortgage rates add hundreds of dollars to their monthly payments, he said. While most listened solemnly and some expressed concern, one was heard to say, “stupid Americans deserve their fate.”
Many Americans, especially young families, have been buying expensive homes at low but “variable” interest rates. Others have been paying just the interest owed on their homes and not the principal. They are the most vulnerable, Geithner said. Some have paid little or nothing down. Some institutions “lend” buyers the down payment.
When home construction peaks and prices start downward, many will find they owe more on their home than it is worth in the marketplace. They will also find their mortgage—even “interest-only” payments—are unaffordable. The banks will get the homes back and sell them again.
Again, the term “stupid Americans” was heard among clucks of sympathy or silent indifference. According to one source, no concern was expressed by Allan Hubbard, assistant to President Bush for economic policy.
European Bilderbergers said they would have no part in an invasion of Iran, something Bush says is an “option on the table.” Although NATO is helping by adding 9,000 troops in Afghanistan, expect no help if Iran is invaded, they said. “We will not help you fight a war for Israel,” one said.
Several noted that Israel has had nuclear weapons since at least 1963 and has never signed on to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, so no international inspections are conducted. It was the late George Ball, a charter member of Bilderberg who was No. 2 man in the State Department under presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, who first revealed that Israel has nuclear weapons.
“Is it not reasonable that Iran would need such a deterrence against Israel?” an unidentified Bilderberger was heard saying. “If you invade Iran, Israel is your only ally and good luck.” One suggested that “surgical strikes”—but no land invasion—may be tolerated but others said they would be ineffective.
Listeners to this dialogue included Eival Gildy of Israel, head of “coordination and strategy in the office of the prime minister,” and Ziad Abu Amr, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, president of the Palestinian Council on Foreign Relations and professor of political science at Birzeit University. Ahmad Chalabi, former deputy prime minister of Iraq and one of the key sources of disinformation about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, was also present.
William Luti, special assistant to Bush for defense policy, and Richard Perle, former high Defense Department official and still a close adviser to Bush, responded that the United States is simply trying to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and make the world “safe.” But, said one European: “How ‘safe’ do you think the world will be if you invade Iran and Iran responds by firing missiles on your ally, Israel? Israel will nuke Iran in response and you will have your ‘proliferation.’”
Robert Zoellick, deputy secretary of state, said it would be necessary to keep the invasion “option” to pressure Iran into agreeing to abandon its nuclear weapons program.
“You’re wrong,” the European answered. “Iran simply refuses to be bullied by the United States. Save us a lot of trouble and forget about invading Iran.” The Americans remained silent.
Bilderberg’s mood was described as “uneasy” when it came to the issue of oil, a discussion followed closely by such oil-rich participants as banker David Rockefeller, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and Franco Bernabe, vice chairman of Rothschild Europe.
The “Latin American problem” mixed the issue of oil with Bilderberg’s scheme to expand NAFTA throughout the Western Hemisphere and have it evolve into an “American Union” patterned after the European Union. Hugo Chavez, head of Venezuela, is not only raising taxes on the extraction of oil from his country, he is trying to establish a trade coalition with neighboring nations that would block the expansion of NAFTA by creating the Free Trade Area of the Americas.
Bilderberg’s consensus seemed to be to not force higher oil prices at the moment, but be content with the immense profits enjoyed now.
Chavez’s barrier to NAFTA expansion leaves them moody because establishing an “American Union” is a critical step toward Bilderberg’s goal of establishing the United Nations as a world government.