The Anglo-Venetians Behind Santander
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February 11, 2010 (LPAC)– The following article will appear in the Feb. 12 edition of the Executive Intelligence Review.
The Anglo-Venetians Behind Santander
by John Hoefle
Most people, when thinking of banks such as Banco Santander, tend to think of them as individual institutions, when, in truth, the world of finance is dominated by networks of institutions whose connections are sometimes only partially revealed, and often hidden from view. When it comes to “high” finance, the world is much smaller than you may suspect.
Banco Santander is a good example of how the oligarchic system works. On the surface, it appears to be a regional Spanish bank whose savvy has catapulted it into an elite international operation; but when you peer beneath that facade, you find yourself very quickly in the dark heart of the Anglo-Venetian empire. Behind Banco Santander stand some of the world’s most powerful, and criminal, forces.
As we peel back the Santander onion, we will find the British monarchy, the core of Venetian finance, and a host of other, unsavory elements. Below, we update and expand on some of the findings presented in EIR’s 2004 feature on Santander (see Documentation).
Banco Santander is a member of a European banking consortium, the Inter-Alpha Group. Formed in 1971, the group consists of 11 banks. In addition to Santander, the group includes the Royal Bank of Scotland, Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo, France’s Societe Generale, Germany’s Commerzbank, The Netherlands’ ING, Belgium’s KBC, Sweden’s Nordea, the National Bank of Greece, Portugal’s Banco Espirito Santo, and Ireland’s AIB. Their combined operations cover much of Europe, including significant penetration into the former Soviet bloc, the United States, and Ibero-America.
The Inter-Alpha Group itself is but part of the picture, as the real power lies in what controls the institutions themselves, and in what it uses those institutions to do.
The power behind the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), is the British monarchy. Among RBS’s holdings is Coutts & Co., perhaps the premier private bank in the world. Coutts, whose logo consists of three crowns, provides discreet banking services for members of the British royal family, foreign royals, and many prominent imperial agents around the world.
RBS is one of two firms to strike a strategic alliance with Banco Santander. The other is Assicurazioni Generali (“Generali”), the Venetian insurance giant which sits like a spider at the center of the web of Venetian finance. The chairman of Generali, Antoine Bernheim, spent most of his career at Lazard, the powerful investment bank. Bernheim is a director of two members of the Inter-Alpha Group, Banco Santander and Intesa Sanpaolo, where he is deputy chairman. Ana Patricia Botin, who learned banking at JP Morgan and now sits on the board of Banco Santander and chairs its Banesto subsidiary, is a director of Generali. Jose Maria Amusategui, a former co-president of Santander, sits on the Generali General Council, and the two firms hold cross-ownership positions.
The strategic relationship between RBS and Banco Santander was also displayed in their joint bid, with the Dutch-Belgian Fortis, to take over Dutch banking giant ABN Amro in 2007. Joined by several hedge funds, the three banks broke up a deal between Barclays and ABN Amro, and took the bank for themselves.
Banco Santander, and the Inter-Alpha Group as a whole, should be viewed as an instrumentality of the British monarchy and the Venetians. Such interlocking networks are a key component of how they run the world. The number of countries in which these banks operate is too large to list here, but includes every major nation in the world, from Western and Eastern Europe, to the BRIC nations—Brazil, Russia, India, and China—to North and South America, Asia, and Africa. From financial centers to offshore havens, from nations they control to nations they wish to take over, these banks and others like them are active.
RBS is a major player in the United States, owning Citizens Financial Group—a top-20 bank holding company—and Greenwich Capital Markets. But RBS also has a direct connection to Goldman Sachs. Prior to the 2008 takeover of RBS by the British government, one of the directors of the bank was Peter Sutherland, the chairman of Goldman’s London arm, Goldman Sachs International. Sutherland is also chairman of BP, the British oil giant; chair of the London School of Economics Council; a member of the steering committee of Prince Philip’s Bilderberger Group; and the European chairman of the Trilateral Commission. Sutherland made his career pushing globalization, as director general of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and its successor, the World Trade Organization. Such connections shed an interesting light on the financial and political activities of Goldman Sucks, the “vampire squid” whose CEO claims to be doing “God’s work.”
Intesa Sanpaolo counts among its predecessor banks Banca Commerciale Italiana (BCI), the bank where the infamous Propaganda-2 Masonic Lodge was formed. BCI also owned a significant chunk of Lehman Brothers in the 1970s. Lehman also had cross-ownership positions with Generali, going back to the 1950s, as did Lazard. Intesa Sanpaolo claims to be the number one bank in Serbia; number two in Albania, Croatia, Hungary, and Slovakia; fifth in Bosnia and Herzegovina; and sixth in Egypt.
At the time BCI made its investment in Lehman Brothers, the chairman of Lehman was Peter Peterson, the man who later founded the pirate-equity giant Blackstone Group, and one of the leading funders of the fascist austerity movement in the United States. Blackstone owns just under 3% of Generali, a connection which we take to indicate where Blackstone gets a significant part of its funding. It also suggests where Peterson gets his political agenda, as Generali was one of the creators of Benito Mussolini’s corporatist fascism.
The Slime Mold
Lord Benjamin Disraeli, the British prime minister in the late 1800s, once observed that, “The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.”
Disraeli was in a position to know. The Santanders, Goldman Sachses, and Blackstones of the world are, despite their seeming power, but chess pieces on a board controlled by unseen hands. This is the method by which the Anglo-Venetian empire runs the world, and the system which the United States was founded to defeat.
Lyndon LaRouche has characterized this oligarchic system as a slime mold, an organism which survives by adapting to changing circumstances, shedding components that are no longer needed and absorbing those that are, in a constant battle to preserve its existence. Its only real imperative is to maintain and expand its power, inexorably and ruthlessly.
The key to understanding this enemy is to view it as a system, from the top down, rather than from the bottom up, as a collection of individual institutions. The institutions are merely containers for capabilities, to be reorganized and discarded as needed.
Coutts was founded in 1692, and has gone through several incarnations. Today, it is owned by RBS, but its Ibero-American operations have been sold to Banco Santander.
Generali was founded in 1831, out of a collection of smaller Venetian insurance companies. It is the dominant financial power in Italy, but its influence stretches around the world.
These institutions would seem to be timeless, but that is an illusion. That they have survived so far, does not make them permanent.
Those who would entrust their future to banks like Banco Santander, would do well to reflect upon the fate of Barings, the British bank once called the sixth great power in Europe. Barings, founded in 1762, was a power for over two centuries, until it collapsed in 1995. Its carcass was sold to ING, another member of the Inter-Alpha Group, for a mere £ 1.