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Kshama Sawant's New 'Workers Strike Back' Coalition Will Fight For $25 Minimum Wage And More




After a decade on Seattle City Council, socialist Kshama Sawant is declining to seek reelection and will instead launch a new national coalition called Workers Strike Back this March in cities around the US. The goal of Workers Strike Back is to build an independent workers’ movement that fights for the interests of the working class, rather than the agenda of either corporate party. This coalition will organize for a $ 25 an hour minimum wage, build grassroots labor unions, fight for a clean energy transition, battle anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ legislation, and more. Kshama Sawant joins The Chris Hedges Report to discuss the launch of Workers Strike Back. 

Kshama Sawant has spent 10 years on the Seattle City Council, during which time she accepted only workers’ wages, increased the minimum wage to $15, and fought to increase taxes on Amazon. Sawant is a member of Socialist Alternative.

Production: Cameron Granadino, David Hebden, Adam Coley
Post-Production: Cameron Granadino
Audio Post-Production: Tommy Harron


Chris Hedges:  Kshama Sawant, a socialist who served for over a decade on the Seattle City Council, has announced she will not seek reelection. Instead, she will launch a national coalition called Workers Strike Back this March in cities around the country. This coalition will organize for a $25 an hour minimum wage, build grassroots labor unions in corporations such as Amazon, and advocate for a shorter work week without a cut in benefits and pay. It will also employ strikes when its demands are not met. It will work to build a massive green jobs program that can employ millions of workers in clean energy and prevent climate catastrophe, along with public ownership of the big energy corporations.

“Only the bosses profit from divisions among the working class,” she notes. Workers Strike Back will be a united, multi-racial, multi-gendered movement of working people. It will battle anti-trans legislation, and stand against all right-wing attacks on LGBTQ+ people. It will organize to win legal, safe, free abortions for all who need them. It will campaign to end racist policing, putting police under the control of democratically elected community boards with full power over department policy, hiring, and firing.

Her new labor organization calls for rent control, with no rent increases above inflation, as well as a massive expansion of publicly owned, high quality affordable housing, by taxing the rich. “We’re dying from unaffordable healthcare,” she notes, “As the pharma bosses and for-profit health insurance industry makes money from our sicknesses.” She and Workers Strike Back will call for free, state of the art Medicare for all, owned and democratically run by working people.

“The Democrats and Republicans both answer to the billionaire class. That’s why working people,” she writes, “keep getting screwed. Even so-called progressives in Congress,” she notes, “have completely failed to fight against the establishment, and offer no solutions.” The elected leadership of Workers Strike Back will accept only the average worker’s wage, as she did when she was a member of the city council.

Sawant, in her decade as a member of the Seattle City Council, has had an impressive track record. She helped win a $15 minimum wage for Seattle workers, pushed the council to tax Amazon, and championed renter protection as the chair of the Renters and Sustainability Committee. She joined the Socialist Alternative Party in 2006, and since then has helped organize demonstrations for marriage equality, participated in the movement to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and was involved in the Occupy movement. She’s an active member in the American Federation of Teachers Local 1789, fighting against budget cuts and tuition hikes.

Joining me to discuss the launch of Workers Strike Back is Kshama Sawant. So let’s begin with your tenure at the city council. I listed some of the achievements you and Socialist Alternative managed against fierce opposition, including a recall attempt to remove you from the council. What you managed to achieve. Why this break with local politics? Why this shift?

Kshama Sawant:  As you recounted yourself, Chris, we have, in the near decade that I’ve been on the City Council, we meaning Socialist Alternative and I, have demonstrated a phenomenal example of what can be achieved when you have an elected representative in office that is unflinchingly tied to building movements of working people, and the marginalized, and the oppressed, and understands that, as a representative of working people, your job is not to make deals with the Democratic or Republican establishments. Not to make friends with your supposed colleagues in the halls of power. But instead, your loyalty lies with the people who suffer under the system of capitalism and through the policies of the parties of big business.

We have won numerous victories, as you were also talking about. We feel that, at this point, after a decade on the city council, it is important for us to share the lessons of how we won this, and what it took to win these, what it took to overcome the dogged opposition of the ruling class, of the wealthy, of corporate landlords, of billionaires like Jeff Bezos. To take this message of a fighting strategy. How to build fighting movements to win victories for working people. We believe that it’s time to take this message national.

As you also importantly noted, we don’t have this kind of fighting politics virtually anywhere in the United States, and it’s unfortunate. Especially what’s striking is the absence of any fighting left politics in the US Congress. That’s happening in the midst of an historic cost of living crisis. Many young people have only known economic insecurity, and low wages, unaffordable housing that gets more unaffordable every time the landlord jacks up rent. The statistics are just damning. To see how the bottom has fallen from under working people’s lives.

Throughout the pandemic and its aftermath, working people have lost trillions of dollars worth of what was with them. Not only in terms of the recessionary effects of loss of jobs, but the overall cost that they’re going to pay. But it’s not happening in a neutral world. At the same time, billionaires have added trillions of dollars to their fortunes during that same period of the pandemic.

So it really reveals how capitalism is a zero sum game. The wealthy are becoming wealthier, not because they have high IQs or because they’re creative, but because they’re siphoning off wealth from the vast majority of workers. Workers, that’s why, are falling further and further behind. This has resulted in huge anger among workers.

At the same time, what is conspicuously missing by its absence is genuine left leadership, as I was saying before, and as you were saying as well. That’s why we are launching this nationwide movement, Workers Strike Back. Really it should be the labor leadership, leadership of the labor movement, that’s launching this, just like Enough Is Enough in the UK. However, that’s not happened, and we can’t hold our breath that they’re going to do it. That’s why Workers Strike Back is being launched.

As you correctly said, we are raising the demands of a real raise for workers, like $25 an hour. Good union jobs for all. We are also continuing to fight racism, sexism, and all oppression. Again, as you said, free healthcare for all, and quality affordable housing. Bottom line, this is very important, if we are to build a real force on the left for the working class whose leadership does not sell out, we need a new party for the working class where the rank and file of the party can hold its leadership accountable.

Chris Hedges:  Is the idea to build a militant labor movement, and out of that build a political party?

Kshama Sawant:  I think that that has to… I don’t know if we can lay out a blueprint schematic of the chronology of how it will happen. But absolutely, what you’re indicating is very true, which is that the two things are going to go together. In other words, we are not going to get a new party of a working class outside of building rank and file militancy in the labor movement as well. Those two things are going to go hand in hand.

At the same time, it’s not only about the labor movement as it is today. Because we also have to remember that the vast majority of young people, young workers, where there’s the strongest support for the politics we are bringing forward, most of them are not unionized. Workers Strike Back understands that. We obviously want to specifically and consciously orient towards the rank and file today, who are already within the labor movement. But at the same time, also begin helping to mobilize and organize the unorganized.

You mentioned Amazon. Absolutely, Amazon is a crucial, crucial battle. Right now, actually, Socialist Alternative, my organization, and also Workers Strike Back, the national movement we are launching, we’re already in solidarity with a campaign that Socialist Alternative is leading in Kentucky. The largest Air Hub of Amazon in the world, which is located in Kentucky near Cincinnati Airport, we are carrying out a union drive there. This is extremely important, because this is one of the choke points of the capitalist class. So all of this has to go hand in hand with building the efforts to build a new party.

One other thing I’ll add here is, and then the reason also why these two things are so deeply interconnected, is that one of the key obstacles to building a new party for the working class, to actually have fighting politics that represent the interests of the working class, as opposed to those of the billionaires, is that the majority of the labor leadership has been, and continues to be, tied at the hip to the Democratic establishment. That is not coincidentally existing on its own. That goes hand in hand with the primary strategy of the same labor leadership being business unionism, which is trying to make peace with the bosses.

Trying to make peace with the bosses goes hand in hand with trying to keep the peace with the Democratic and Republican establishment as well. So we need a real break from all of this towards rank and file militancy, whether it’s unionized or not.

Chris Hedges:  When you look at the rise of the Swedish socialist state, which the capitalist class managed finally to dismantle, but it was built through strikes. A series of strikes. Very high, I think over 70% of the Swedish workforce was unionized. They used that power to paralyze the country and get what they wanted. I’m looking at your movement, essentially, as embracing that tactic. That understanding that the only real weapon we have is no longer at the ballot box, with the two-party corporate duopoly, which blocks – I worked for Nader, as you know – Blocks any attempt by third parties to build a viable movement. But by mobilizing the working class to cripple the billionaire class through strikes. Is that essentially where you would like us to go?

Kshama Sawant:  Absolutely correct. I could not agree more with what you said. In fact, for Workers Strike Back and for building any kind of movement towards concrete victories for the working class, for any of that agenda, using the working class weapon of going on strike has to be an integral component. Without that, it’s not going to work. In fact, this very much goes into the heart of the problem with business unionism as well, and why these ideas are ultimately not only problematic, but actually rotten, in the sense that they negate a very basic reality under capitalism, which is that the interests of the billionaire class, the bosses, the major shareholders, the corporate executives, their interests are diametrically opposed to the interests of workers.

So when you have a majority of labor leadership that is married to the idea of business unionism, then you have a leadership that, for the most part, they consciously refuse to mobilize, activate their rank and file members, because the whole idea of business unionism is that the tops of the labor leadership will quietly negotiate contracts with the bosses. Unfortunately, we’ve seen the history. Often these are filled with defeats for workers, setbacks for workers, rather than what we feel should be class struggle unionism, which is actively organizing the rank and file. Not only organizing them in general, but organizing for powerful and successful strike actions.

Because class struggle unionism recognizes that the bosses will never concede anything unless they’re forced to, because their profits and their position of power and the system of capitalism itself, all of this is directly derived from underpaying workers. From stealing the value of the labor that workers produce.

One of the hallmarks of business unionism is preventing strike actions at all costs. Business unionists put their stress on the so-called bargaining process because they fear antagonizing management by any real mobilization of workers, much less going on strike. In fact, often what you see is the majority of the labor leadership even refusing to carry out militant protest actions, much less go on strike. In fact, not only is it going to be important in general, going on strike. But already, as The Guardian newspaper reported just this past Sunday, that the bosses at corporations like Amazon, it’s not like they’re asleep at the wheel. They know the anger in society. They know that unionizing drives are starting to pick up. They know that young workers are especially angry. So what they are doing is they’re beginning to counter all of that with fierce, old school anti-union or union busting measures.

So how will we push back against any of this successfully? It will not happen through business unionist strategy. It will require a class struggle approach, which is, as I said, rooted in the recognition that workers have to fight against the capitalist class’s interests, not engage in the futile idea of wanting to morally persuade the boss, because they’re not going to be persuaded.

The reason we want the Amazon tax, or the $15 minimum wage, or the series of renters’ rights that we want is not because we made moral arguments to the ruling class, the Chamber of Commerce, or Jeff Bezos. No, they fought tooth and nail against each such movement. Corporate landlords were absolutely against what we were calling for. But we won because we organized rank and file workers, renters, to go up against the might of the billionaire class.

Class struggle unionism recognizes that worker power does not reside in the bargaining room, but outside it. In the workplaces and on the streets. As you said, throughout history, not only Europe, obviously in Europe the labor movement trajectory was much stronger historically than in the United States. But even in the United States, there was a powerful American made worker tradition of militant strike action.

In fact, the New Deal and the creation of the measure of material standards of living that the middle class did get, that came not because of FDR’s beneficence, but because of militant strikes. General strikes, including in Minneapolis. These are historic, earth shattering events that changed the course of history. But that happened because there were Marxist socialists and other courageous leaders of the left who understood that we have to have this fighting strategy.

Today, concretely, we need this strategy to unionize Amazon and other prominent workplaces like that. Also coming up, the UPS contract is up for renewal. The contract of the longshore workers on the West Coast, all the way from Washington to Southern California, they are up for renewal. These are, alongside the Amazon Air Hub, these are strategic choke points for the capitalist class. So it is really crucial that we start educating. Have active discussions and debates inside the labor movement, and outside it, to discuss how do we shut down the corporate money making machine of capitalism, and win over the wider working class for the strike actions, and really win some real victories, and raise the consciousness, the political education of the working class?

Chris Hedges:  Let’s talk about the Democratic Party. Biden calls himself a pro labor president. Maybe you can mention what happened to the freight rail workers. But the Democratic Party essentially works hand in glove with the corporate community to prevent labor unions, and most of all to prevent strikes. That’s what they did with the freight rail unions, which actually, that’s one of the few groups of workers that retained the right to collective bargaining. The Biden administration took it away.

Kshama Sawant:  Yes, it was a deeply shameful moment for president Biden, and all the Democrats in Congress who went along with it to carry out, as you said, historically shameful strike breaking action by breaking the railroad worker strike. In fact, to keep in mind how it’s almost Dickensian, this situation they were facing. On the one hand, you have billionaires like Warren Buffett who are the main owners of the freight railroads. You’ve got the railroad bosses. On the other hand, you have railroad workers who are facing very dangerous working conditions. Even facing loss of life, injury, repeated cases of injury. What were they demanding? Just basic paid sick leave. Here, in the 21st century, in the wealthiest country in the history of humanity, these workers are having to fight for these basic needs. What you saw was the complete betrayal by this so-called pro labor president.

But we have to be clear. If we are going to be clear about the Democratic Party, then we also have to call out the role played by the so-called progressives. The Congressional Progressive Caucus – So-called progressive as I called them – The Congressional Progressive Caucus of the Democratic Party in the US Congress is 100 strong. The chair of that caucus is Pramila Jayapal, again, another so-called progressive. Then you have all these members of the so-called Squad, who were elected with these high expectations that they will show courage in the face of Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer, and all the power brokers on behalf of Wall Street. What you have seen again and again is repeated betrayals of working people. The betrayal of the railroad workers and the breaking of their strike, obviously, was one of the starkest moments, and I think really crystallized for millions of people.

Obviously I am aware that there are many well meaning people who still may have illusions. But it’s our duty to clarify to them that, “Look, this is what happened.” We cannot just keep thinking that at some point, somewhere, something is going to change, and finally the progressives in the Democratic Party will do something for working people, because they are not. We are seeing repeated betrayals from them.

Now we are seeing the brutal consequences from the Democrats siding with the railroad tycoons. We’re seeing this apocalyptic scenario unfolding in East Palestine, Ohio. So the only way we can come out of this really tragic situation, not only in East Palestine, but all the living standards that have stagnated and slipped back for the majority of the American working class. A non-starter for us to change anything is if we continue putting our faith in the Democratic Party.

That’s another very dangerous component for the left, failing to build a new party for the working class and the Democrats continuing to sell out working people, as the threat of the growth of right populism is still hanging in the air. Because workers are angry. They’re going to be looking for alternatives. In the absence of a genuine left alternative, they are going to end up getting scapegoated by right populism.

In fact, in the wake of the sellout by Biden, some railroad workers feel like, well you know what? I’m going to just maybe end up voting for Trump next time. Because what else is there for me to do? Trump came to power in the first place because there was such massive anger against the betrayals by both the Democratic and Republican parties. Unfortunately Trump ran, he was a con man through and through. He’s a member of the billionaire class. But he ran with this idea, the false idea that he was going to represent ordinary people. Obviously he didn’t. But the threat of Trumpism and right populism, far from gone, is actually growing.

Then the other thing I think to note is, when we were calling, when sections of the left, and Socialist Alternative, and you, and others were calling for Force the Vote, the Squad members like AOC said, you can’t do that. Now we are seeing the rightmost, and some of the most dangerous right-wing Republicans, like the Freedom Caucus, not to mention the MAGA squad within the Freedom Caucus, they showed that Force the Vote can be done, except they showed it from the right.

I have to say, it’s really just terrible that in response to the left asking, ordinary people asking, well the right wing showed how to do Force the Vote. What stopped you from doing Force the Vote for Medicare For All? Unfortunately, AOC’s response was, we can’t do that because it will cause relational harm. Actually, I think that was a rare moment of political honesty. Because what she really means – And this is true – What she means is that it is relational harm. Meaning if your priority is to keep cozy relationships with Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden, then you’re not going to fight for working people, because that will cause conflict between you and people like Pelosi and Biden. You will become public enemy number one to them. But that is what is needed.

We need leaders on the left for working people who have the courage to become public enemy number one of the ruling class, and understand that, actually, that is necessary in order to fight for working people.

Chris Hedges:  I just want to throw in that part of the contract negotiations for the freight railroad workers was addressing the lack of safety. They warned precisely that because they had downsized or fired so many workers and reduced crews to skeletal levels, and then were also not instituting even basic safety reforms, they completely predicted this horrific chemical spill we’ve seen in Ohio.

Kshama Sawant:  Oh, absolutely. You’re totally right, Chris, that the demands of the railroad workers were connected with the actual conditions. This was a completely predictable and avoidable catastrophe that has happened in East Palestine, Ohio. In fact, many of your viewers might know already that these freight magnates, the billionaires, their agenda is to expand profits, obviously. So they introduced a concept that they call Precision Scheduled Railroading. It sounds like something sophisticated. But that’s just, Precision Scheduled Railroading, or PSR, is just corporate speak for, let’s make everything as crappy as we can get away with for railroad workers and working class people as a whole, and take the maximum loot for the billionaires, the major shareholders, and the top executives. Basically what it meant was making the trains longer, reducing the staff, scrapping safety inspections, and lobbying the government to whittle down regulations. This is what’s happening.

In fact, that’s why it’s important also to highlight how we want to use Workers Strike Back as a nationwide movement to raise the consciousness of working people and also start building an alternative to the corporate parties. We are now launching a new petition, hopefully in collaboration with left railroad union leaders and other progressive labor unions, which is a petition, where the demands are that we need to bring railroads into democratic public ownership. Because the East Palestine derailment, and also what happened with the strike breaking shows that we need to eliminate the profit motive from the railroads altogether. Because it’s only when it is owned publicly, by workers, that we will be able to ensure safety measures and stop these preventable tragedies, and not further enrich the billionaires through stock buy-backs.

This petition, in response to the railroad crisis, is also calling for free healthcare for all. Obviously this is an overall demand that rank and file Democrat and Republican voters agree with. But most immediately, obviously we know that East Palestine residents will likely suffer serious, and even deadly health conditions, from this toxic disaster. We know that the railroad tycoons are attempting to evade any liability. So we need, as you said before, free state of the art Medicare for all, publicly owned and democratically run by working people. Of course, again, fundamentally all of this is also still tied to the need for a new working class party.

Chris Hedges:  Well let’s talk about strategy. Only about 11% of the US workforce is unionized. I think it’s about 6% are in the public sector. Like the freight railroad workers by law, essentially, can be blocked from carrying out strikes. The billionaire class itself has pushed through a series of measures going all the way back to the 1947 Taft-Hartley act that makes it difficult to strike. But right-to-work laws, very sophisticated union busting, units in large corporations like Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart. So let’s talk about where we’re starting from and what has to be done.

Kshama Sawant:  Yes, your point is very well taken. If you look at the proportion of workers who are unionized, it’s abysmally small. These are both historical failures by labor leadership, and also the fact that there has been a real concerted attack against the labor movement in the last 50 years, starting from the neoliberal era. So the reality is that the majority of young people are not in unions. At the same time, the popularity of unions among young people is historically high.

We have to be very clear. If we are going to be building a national movement like Workers Strike Back, then it’s not only for people who are today members of the labor movement. It is also for young people and other workers who are trying to organize a union in the workplace, but they don’t have a union. It is for all working people who want to get organized to fight back. Not just on workplace issues. It’s also, whether it is a housing struggle for rent control,or it is a struggle against oppression.

You mentioned trans rights. In fact, just last week, actually last Tuesday, our office, alongside Socialist Alternative and many South Asian activists, and also union members, we were able to win the nation’s, and in fact, outside South Asia, the world’s first ban on caste discrimination. Caste oppression is one type of oppression. We have to tie the struggles of workers related to workplace issues to these other struggles as well, because the cost of living crisis and the crisis around discrimination and oppression affects all of us in the working class. So we need to build a united movement of that kind.

At the same time, we also want to keep in mind that the struggles inside the labor movement also, even though at this moment encompass a minority of workers, if we can build rank and file militancy within some crucial unions, sectors of unions and sectors of industry, and win some outsized victories through powerful strike action – And I don’t mean to in any way inadvertently suggest that it’s going to be easy. This is going to be a real struggle, and we’re going to have to go head to head against the rotten business unionist ideas inside the labor movement.

There will need to be very patient political education also being carried out. Because many workers are not familiar with labor history, so we have to have respectful debate and discussion inside labor. This is going to be a difficult process, but a necessary process.

But the point I’m getting at is that, if we can get to a point where we can build major strike action in some crucial sectors of industry and win outsized victories through that process, then that will have, again, as you would say, it will punch above its weight. The effect it will have will boomerang throughout the working class, and especially young people will pay attention to it. That is why it’s important for us to both keep in mind that there are non-workplace issues where struggles will break out, like Black Lives Matter. At the same time, there are very strategic workplace situations that we have to pay attention to. That’s why I was also mentioning UPS. I think that is upcoming. That’s the most urgent dialog that we need, with UPS rank and file.

Chris Hedges:  So talk a little bit about how it’s going to work. Are you going to try and build chapters in various cities? What are you going to do?

Kshama Sawant:  Yeah, we do want to build chapters in various cities. Undoubtedly, we’ll need to have people who are watching shows like this one to contact us and let us know that they would like to do it for the beginning process. In Socialist Alternative, we are launching Workers Strike Back in various cities. In Seattle for example, on Saturday, March 4 will be our official launch. You are going to be part of that obviously, Chris, and some other leaders, including leaders in left labor.

So the launch is going to be on, as I said, Saturday, March 4 at 12:00 Noon Pacific Time at the University of Washington. If you are watching this, and you are in Seattle, you should definitely join us. Regardless of where you are, if you find this message exciting, please look us up on, and get in touch with us.

Just to give you a sense of what we’ve already done, as I said, we fought for this past legislation. We also are launching, as I said, this petition in solidarity with railroad workers and with the people in East Palestine. But aside from that, we are also helping build this union drive at the largest Amazon Air Hub, which I mentioned before. Then we are also helping to organize a network of undergraduate support for unionized graduate students at Temple University in Philadelphia, who are fighting for a living wage.

We picketed alongside American Airlines employees demanding a fair contract. We’ve stood with nurses calling for safe staffing. We joined over 200 union journalists in a walkout against retaliatory firings at NBC. So all of this shows, these early initiatives show that we can build real solidarity in action and class struggle. So I really hope that thousands, tens of thousands of workers and young people take up the mantle of Workers Strike Back, and build branches in various cities across the country.

Chris Hedges:  That was Kshama Sawant on her new organization Workers Strike Back. I want to thank The Real News Network and its production team: Cameron Granadino, Adam Coley, David Hebden, and Kayla Rivara. You can find me at

World News

Australian National Review – Ellen Brown: The Looming Quadrillion Dollar Derivatives Tsunami





Ellen Brown: The Looming Quadrillion Dollar Derivatives Tsunami

By Investment Watch Blog

via scheerpost:

Technically, the cutoff for SIFIs is $250 billion  in assets. However, the reason they are called “systemically important” is not their asset size but the fact that their failure could bring down the whole financial system. That designation comes chiefly from their exposure to derivatives, the global casino that is so highly interconnected that it is a “house of cards.” Pull out one card and the whole house collapses. SVB held $27.7 billion in derivatives, no small sum, but it is only .05% of the $55,387 billion ($55.387 trillion) held by JPMorgan, the largest U.S. derivatives bank.


Credit Suisse’s $39 Trillion Derivative Debt Poses Significant Threat to US Financial System.

  • The U.S. Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, is under a lot of pressure due to the deteriorating condition of Credit Suisse, a Swiss banking giant. Under the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation of 2010, Yellen was given increased powers to oversee financial stability in the U.S. banking system. The legislation made Yellen the Chair of the newly created Financial Stability Oversight Council (F-SOC), whose meetings include the heads of all of the federal agencies that supervise banks and trading on Wall Street. It is Yellen’s authorization that would be required before the Federal Reserve could create any more emergency bailout programs for mega banks.
  • Recently, the US Treasury was reviewing US banks exposed to Credit Suisse, looking into how many billions of dollars of underwater derivatives US banks were on the hook for as a counterparty to Credit Suisse, and U.S. banks exposure to Credit Suisse’s other major counterparties that U.S. banks do business with.
  • Credit Suisse was making headlines for two years, and serious problems at Credit Suisse have raised alarm bells in the US financial system. Credit Suisse is a global, systemically significant, too-big-to-fail bank that operates in the US and is deeply interconnected throughout the global financial system. Its failure could have widespread and largely unknown repercussions, which is why the US financial system and economy need to be adequately protected.
  • The recent revelations about Credit Suisse’s deteriorating state have raised concerns about contagion risks in the banking industry, particularly in light of the staggering amount of secret derivative debt being held by foreign banks. According to a report by the Bank for International Settlement, this unreported exposure is 10 times greater than their capital, with an estimated $39 trillion of dollar debt held off balance sheets.
  • This poses potential threats to dollar swap lines and with a significant portion of derivative trades still not being centrally cleared, a layer of opacity is added to an already unaccountable system. The quarterly derivatives report from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency found that four US mega banks held 88.6% of all notional amounts of derivatives in the US banking system, with a total notional amount of $195 trillion.

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Australian National Review – UCSF Orders Their Doctors To Ignore COVID Vaccine Injuries





UCSF Orders Their Doctors to Ignore COVID Vaccine Injuries

By Steve Kirsch

They don’t file VAERS reports either. That’s a violation of federal law. I had a bunch of questions for their media relations department, but they ghosted me. Here’s what I wanted to know.

Dr. Josh Adler is executive vice president and chief clinical officer at UCSF Health as well as vice dean for clinical affairs at the UCSF School of Medicine. I wondered if he would like to see these questions answered as well. So I asked him.

Executive summary

I sent a list of questions to UCSF media relations on March 20 at 10am PST. I also emailed and called the head of media relations at UCSF to let her know about my questions.

Their response: silence.

You know what that means, don’t you?

The questions I sent them

  1. The UCSF Chief Medical Officer has issued a verbal directive that medical staff (doctors, nurses, techs, etc.) are specifically instructed NOT to associate the COVID vaccine to any injuries. So even if they believe the vaccine caused the injury they are NOT allowed to talk to the patient about it. Can you explain how this is in a patient’s best interest? World health authorities such as Karl Lauterbach, Federal Minister of Germany for Health, have publicly admitted that the rate of severe vaccine injury is 1 in 10,000 and the V-safe data in the US shows the rate of severe injury (requiring medical care) is actually 100X higher: 8 SEVERE INJURIES per 100 fully vaccinated people. So why is the UCSF medical staff forbidden to make an association??
  2. I’ve been told that the staff are told not to ask if the person was recently vaccinated with the COVID vaccine because that would suggest to the patient that the COVID vaccine might have caused their medical condition. Is this true? So the patient must offer it to the doctor because the doctor isn’t allowed to ask? How does that improve clinical outcomes?
  3. I’ve been told that 70% of the Radiology Department (in Marin specifically) requested and were granted religious exemptions after seeing what happened to people who received the COVID vaccine. If it wasn’t 70%, what is the number?
  4. I’ve been told that the placentas of a majority of vaccinated women who give birth are not normal (calcified, blood clots, etc.). This started happening after the shots rolled out. Can you tell me what percentage was observed and why nobody at the hospital is speaking out to the press about this situation?
  5. Most troubling to me is that I was not able to find anyone who currently works at UCSF (including doctors, nurses, and lab techs) who would talk to me on the record for fear of being fired. Why would these doctors and nurses have such a fear? Will you guarantee in writing that any staff member who speaks out about any of the points above will be protected and not be fired just for speaking out? Have you fired anyone for speaking the truth? Who?
  6. With all the chatter about fear and intimidation tactics, have you issued WRITTEN assurances to the staff that 1) it is OK to ask about COVID vaccine status, 2) that it is OK to write vaccine exemptions when warranted such as allergic reactions, 3) that if they believe the vaccine caused an injury that they are free to talk about it with the patient and 4) that staff members who talk publicly about what they are seeing in the clinic with respect to vaccine-associated injuries/deaths and don’t violate any confidentiality/HIPAA rules will be protected from being fired? I want to know whether TRUE speech is protected and whether UCSF has notified staff of this in WRITING. If not, why not? Do fear and intimidation tactics yield better health outcomes?
  7. My friend Tim Damroth told me he suffered a cardiac arrest 2 minutes after getting his first COVID shot. He was in such pain since the shot that his UCSF doctors prescribed a nerve block shot. But in order to get the nerve block shot, UCSF required him to be fully vaccinated (i.e., 2 shots)! He asked for a vaccine exemption, but the UCSF doctors told him that UCSF doesn’t allow them to write any vaccine exemptions, even for people who almost died after getting the shot. So Tim got another shot in order to get the medical care he needed but this made his pain much worse. Can you confirm whether COVID vaccination is still required to get certain medical care at UCSF? If it isn’t still required, when did the requirement end? Can you explain the rationale for requiring vaccination to give a shot? Do you deny treatment to people with life threatening conditions if they are not fully vaccinated? How vaccinated must they be to be treated? 2 shots? 3 shots? I just talked to Tim and he will be delighted to sign a HIPAA consent to allow UCSF to talk about his case and all his medical records publicly so everyone can learn what happened to him. Are you proud of the way he was treated? Do you have any regrets?
  8. If you believe that COVID vaccine and masks are effective, why would you subject a patient to have to be vaccinated before receiving medical care? This is nonsensical in light of the Cleveland Clinic study which clearly showed that vaccines increase risk of getting COVID which would seem to put the staff at higher risk. You are clearly ignoring that study. On what basis? Nobody has been able to debunk the study. The precautionary principle of medicine requires that you hold off your vaccine requirement until you can resolve the ambiguity.
  9. How many UCSF staff have died within 6 months of receiving a COVID vaccine shot? Were autopsies done? Did they do the histopathology studies to rule out the COVID vaccine as a cause of death? Can we see the slides?
  10. How many UCSF staff have been seriously injured from the COVID vaccine?
  11. Why didn’t any doctor at UCSF file a VAERS report on the vaccine injuries of , Jan Maisel, and Angela Wulbrecht. This is required by law. was a former Chief Medical Officer at UCSF. Maisel is Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at UCSF. Wulbrecht was a top UCSF nurse. All of their injuries were required by law to be reported, yet no VAERS reports were filed. Why not? What are you doing to correct the problem?
  12. UCSF ultrasound technicians with decades of experience have seen an unprecedented number of menstrual irregularities in women who have been vaccinated. Why aren’t any of them warning the public about this? Is the public better off if nobody knows about this?
  13. I talked to one of the funeral homes used by UCSF. They are seeing a 20X higher rate of perinatal deaths after the COVID vaccines rolled out. This is a disaster. Why isn’t anyone saying anything about this? Why did the funeral director decline to be named for fear of being fired? Why isn’t UCSF just publishing the numbers to warn the community? How does keeping this information secret result in superior clinical outcomes?
  14. Nearly all of the UCSF neurologists know that the COVID vaccines have caused serious injuries to huge numbers of UCSF patients. Can you explain why none of them are speaking out publicly about what they are observing in the clinic?
  15. Why not make public health information from the hospital public? The information can be easily anonymized to protect privacy. Wouldn’t making medical records such as age/admission date/COVID vaccine dates/reason for admission be a huge public service? If the vaccine really works, everyone would know it. If the vaccine doesn’t work, everyone would know it. Why don’t we have data transparency?
  16. Is anyone at UCSF calling for data transparency from the CDC? If the death-vax records were public, we could instantly know whether the shots are beneficial or harmful. Is there a reason these records are not public and nobody at UCSF is calling for these records to be made public? Do we get better health outcomes when the CDC keeps the data from public view? The data can be easily anonymized to satisfy any HIPAA requirements. I personally released a subset of the death-vax records from Medicare. So I know it can be done. Oh, and it showed the vaccine were causing an enormous amount of excess deaths.
  17. How long do you think you can get away with hiding all these vaccine injuries from public view?
  18. Is this really in the public interest to keep all this stuff secret and engage in fear and intimidation tactics? Is there a paper in a peer-reviewed medical journal showing superior patient outcomes when the public is kept in the dark about vaccine injuries?

Additional actions

On March 20 at 9:50pm I sent this email to Dr. Adler and cc’ed his assistant:


These should be easy questions for UCSF to answer, but they are ducking my questions for some reason. I just can’t figure it out. I don’t want to spread misinformation, and I’ve offered to correct any questions if they will supply evidence that I’m wrong, but all I hear is silence.

It’s not just me who wants answers to these questions. Pretty much all my readers want to know the answer too.

More importantly, I’d guess that most of the people who work at UCSF would want to know the answer to these questions as well.

But apparently UCSF management and the mainstream media don’t think any of these questions are important.

I wonder if any members of the UCSF Health Leadership Team are curious about the answer to any of these questions. And if not, why not? Do all of them think secrecy is the best way to go? Which questions do they not want to have answered and why? I’ve emailed Dr. Adler and I hope he will respond.

They can’t keep running from the truth. The longer they avoid answering these questions, the worse they look.

Some day there will be accountability. You can bank on that.

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World News

Australian National Review – Government-Backed Digital Money To Represent $213B In Payments By 2030





Government-backed Digital Money to Represent $213B in Payments by 2030

By Lucas Mearian

Digital currencies backed by government banks still face a mountain of challenges before they’ll be ready for prime time, but 114 countries are involved in various projects, either in the planning stage or all-out pilots.

The global value of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) will grow dramatically from $100 million today to $213 billion by 2030, once the virtual money gains greater adoption for domestic payments, according to new data from Juniper Research.

By 2030, 92% of the total value transacted through CBDCs around the world will be paid domestically, as cross-border payment systems face an uphill battle for adoption, Juniper predicted.

The digital currency, which is backed by traditional fiat cash such as the US dollar or British pound, can bolster financial inclusion because customers don’t have to have a bank account to hold them; they can instead use encrypted “digital wallets” that exist in the cloud, on a desktop or laptop, or even on USB storage device.

With a cross-border CBDC payment system, immigrants, for example, could send money back to their countries of origin without having to pay what can be exorbitant fees for electronic money transfers. Businesses would also be able to make cross-border payments for goods and services with much cheaper, and faster, settlements.

Central-bank-backed digital currencies would also reduce the costs of printing and replacing mone, help improve fraud detection, and allow money paid to scammers to be more easily traced and recovered, according to Lou Steinberg, former Ameritrade CTO and managing partner at cybersecurity research firm CTM Insights.

“It would simplify and speed up cross-border payments and reduce the cost and complexity of processing checks, wires, etc.,” Steinberg said in an email reply to Computerworld. “Unlike cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, a currency that is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States or other trusted government would provide certainty that the value of the currency is being carefully managed. A government can adjust everything from the money supply to interest rates as they manage and maintain the value of a fiat currency.”

Digital currencies also eliminate the anonymous nature of consumer cash transactions. In places such as China, where spending activity is closely monitored, that would let the government know what movies an individual is buying tickets for of whether they are spending money at a bar. Those are hard to track with cash.

The US has been a slow follower compared to other nations, such as China and its digital Yuan, in developing a CBDC. Australia, China, Thailand, Brazil, India, South Korea and Russia already have pilots or will begin test programs this year. By 2030, the Bank of England and UK Treasury are planning to launch a digital pound or ‘Britcoin’ CBDC.

It matters which nation’s digital currency achieves widespread adoption first because that government will be able to set the global rules for most others, according to Steinberg. “Whomever sets up large international payment systems first will have a de-facto standard, one which latecomers will have to adopt,” he said. “The US continues to study a digital dollar while others are making progress. We need to prioritize a system for international payments and settlement based on a digital dollar, almost the equivalent of a next-generation SWIFT network.”

The features and standards can be used to design in privacy or state surveillance and traceability. They can include limited use currency, such as a type of dollar that could only be used for stimulus but not saved, or a digital dollar food stamp.

“On the other hand, countries like Cuba have two types of currency, and limit the use of one type to foreigners only (so they know which of their citizens are collecting money from foreigners),” Steinberg said. “If we want western standards around privacy, we need to set the standards. If we want the dollar to maintain its role as a ‘reserve currency,’ we need to set the standards around cross-border networks. Showing up late to the game means you play by some else’s rules.”

All together, 114 countries representing 95% of global GDP are investigating the creation of CBDCs, according to the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank. Only 10% have launched general CBDC networks. Sixteen percent of projects are in pilot stage, 30% are in development, and 27% are still in the research stage, according to the Atlantic Council.

“We are behind. The good news is that we are starting to realize this,” Steinberg said of the US.

This map by the Atlantic Council shows the maturity of CBDC projects around the globe.

In March 2022, for example, US President Joe Biden issued an executive order calling for more research on developing a national digital currency through the Federal Reserve Bank, or “The Fed.” The order highlighted the need for more regulatory oversight of cryptocurrencies, which have been used for nefarious activities such as money laundering. The Fed has been investigating the creation of a CBDC for years.

US lawmakers have also introduced bills that would allow the US Treasury to create a digital dollar. The electronic dollar would allow people to make payments using tokens on mobile phones or through cards instead of cash.

In November, the New York Federal Reserve Bank began developing a wholesale CDBC prototype. Named Project Cedar, the CBDC program hammered out a blockchain-based framework expected to become a pilot in a multi-national payments or settlement system. The project, now in phase 2, is a joint experiment with the Monetary Authority of Singapore to explore issues around the interoperability of the distributed ledger.

Juniper Research’s Maynard believes China will lead both domestic and cross-border CBDC use in 2030, “as it has had early pilots which have seen some success in the market.”

Since CBDCs are issued by central banks, they will be mainly targeted at domestic payments at first, with cross-border payments arriving as systems become established and links made between CBDCs used by individual countries. Crucial to CBDC success, however, will be cross-border and retail merchant acceptance.

CBDCs will also require a complex regulatory framework including privacy, consumer protection, and anti-money laundering standards, which need to be made more robust before adopting the technology, according to the Atlantic Council. Any new system of payment could also jeopardize the national security objectives of the country using them.

“They can, for example, limit the United States’ ability to track cross-border flows and enforce sanctions,” the group said. “In the long term, the absence of US leadership and standards setting can have geopolitical consequences, especially if China and other countries maintain their first-mover advantage in the development of CBDCs.”

Steinberg agreed, saying a fully distributed system has risks, “both that wallets will be electronically pick-pocketed, and that transaction validity (consensus) can be cheated. A well-designed system could be quite secure today and future proofed. A poorly designed one would lead to widespread theft and fraud,” he said.

The research by Juniper said to date there is still lack of commercial product development around CBDCs, with few well-defined platforms for central banks to leverage — a big limiting factor for the current market.

“While cross-border payments currently have high costs and slow transaction speeds, this area is not the focus of CBDC development,” said Nick Maynard, Juniper’s head of research. “As CBDC adoption will be very country specific, it will be incumbent on cross-border payment networks to link schemes together, allowing the wider payments industry to benefit from CBDCs.”

For success, any CBDC platform would need a full end-to-end financial network, including wholesale capabilities, digital wallet, and merchant acceptance, Juniper said.

Full end-to-end CBDC solutions, including wholesale capabilities and – most importantly – widespread merchant adoption central banks to generate buy in. That will mean leveraging platforms from experienced payments vendors, as well as having a public consultation model which involves key stakeholders at every stage.

“In order to achieve merchant adoption, it’s a chicken or egg scenario to an extent,” Maynard said. “Merchants will want to use the platform users are transacting in, but users will want to use the platform their favourite merchants and brands are on. As such, it will likely require a mix of incentives at both the user and merchant level to generate initial traffic.”

One of the challenges for central banks is figuring out how to enable a CBDC that adds value above existing payment systems, according to Gartner Research. The success of CBDCs also depends on “programmability” enabled by smart contracts, Gartner argued in a January report.

“In order to further justify investments into CBDCs, developers are experimenting with injecting programmability into CBDC-enabled payment value chains,” Gartner said. “Therefore, bank CIOs need to prepare for this transformation,”

As part of ongoing pilots of the digital Yuan, or e-CNY, for example, the Bank of China Chengdu is using smart contracts to manage the deposits for extracurricular school activities, such as field trips to museums. Using the e-CNY CBDC reduces reliance on third parties to deal with a refund if a class is canceled, or a student couldn’t attend, Gartner said.

Countries such as Russia and China see how payments that depend on US infrastructure and currencies can be affected by sanctions and are working to develop alternatives, Steinberg said.

“The one to watch is China,” Steinberg said, referring to the mBridge Project. “Domestically, they need to keep electronic payments from all moving to tech companies, and undoubtedly see benefits in increased consumer surveillance. Internationally, they piloted cross border payments and settlement with central banks in places like Thailand and UAE. That’s the current concern.”

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