Gainers And Losers

Lockdown for a New World Order

Kobad Ghandy

Whether the lockdown was for countering the virus or to fast-track the New World Order as conceived by the international billionaire club is a contentious point which needs examination, assessing the pros and cons on the issue. And even if it was to counter the virus they have conveniently used the issue to their advantage to fast-track their steps to the NWO (New World Order).

The lockdown/pandemic was called just the time the world economies had witnessed a contraction in their economies, not seen since the Great Depression and far worse than the 2008-09 crash. And the economic collapse that came in January 2020 must also be seen in the light of economies in a state of severe stagnation for a decade, kept afloat by and infusion of $ 87 trillion resulting in a global debt of $ 255 trillion. Figures that were by themselves unsustainable, except for the zero/sub-zero interest rates.

In fact, well before the onset of the pandemic/lockdown, the world capitalist economy was slowing fast. Real GDP growth had dropped to under 2 percent a year in most major economies; in the case of Japan and the Eurozone, it was below percent. And many key emerging economies, like Mexico, Argentina, and South Africa were already in recession. Global corporate profits were stagnating at best. Productive investment was contracting. International trade was falling, partly driven by the intensifying trade war between the US and China.

And then came the crash in Quarter 1 of 2020. In the first Quarter (Jan-March) of 2020 (i.e. just before the pandemic/lockdowns), the US economy contracted by 4.8%, Japan by 7.1% and the EU by 3.5%. Not only that, commodity prices throughout the world began crashing by end February itself. US oil prices lost half its value in less than two weeks in the latter half of February having plunged to $24.5 a barrel, lowest since 2003.

And it was this scenario that the pandemic was hastily declared and lockdown imposed, virtually overnight. And with it the US GDP declined by an unprecedented 32.9% in Q2 (April-June 2020) making it the sharpest GDP decline in US history. The economic shock in April, May and June was more than three times as sharp as the previous record — 10% in 1958 — and nearly four times the worst quarter during the Great Recession. The UK’s economy slumped 20.4% in Q2. This is the largest quarterly contraction in the UK economy since quarterly records began in 1955. Spain contracted 18.5% and France 13.8% in the quarter ending June. Saudi economy shrank 7% in Q2 with joblessness at a record high.

But why the billionaire club would want to destroy the economies of the world as surely that would be against their own interests? This writer too was initially confused; but slowly the facts began to reveal themselves. While they gained phenomenally during the lockdown; desperate situations called for desperate solution. Through the process they were all set for the GREAT RESET, as outlined in the book of Karl Schwab, the founder and king/CEO of the World Economic Forum.

Even towards the latter period of the lockdown Oxfam says more people were dying of starvation than the virus. Oxfam released troubling new data on world hunger as late as July 2021: “At least 11 people die of hunger each minute. In addition, famine like conditions across the globe have increased 6 times over last year.” The report they have released is titled “The Hunger Virus Multiplies” states that the number of deaths due to hunger per minute is more than the number of deaths due to Covid-19 per minute. Oxfam has also stated that 155 million people around the world now live at crisis levels of food insecurity. This is around 20 million more than last year’s levels.

But the global billionaire club showed a complete different scenario. According to a report published by the think tank Institute of Policy Studies: In the very first quarter (April to June 2020) after the lockdown/pandemic was declared the US billionaires had become richer to the tune of $565 billion since March 18–up 19% from the beginning of the pandemic.

This was at its very inception. The Forbes billionaire list explains it all. Presented in April 2021 it stated: The total number of billionaires was 2,775 worth $ 13.1 trillion. In the year of the Pandemic/lockdown the number of billionaires increased a phenomenal 660 in numbers and their total wealth surged a record $ 5 trillion – i.e a massive 63% - in just one year. Out of the top 10, six are digital while Mukesh Ambani at number 10 and Elon Musk at number 2 are partially digital. Warren Buffet at number six is finance and investment. Europe’s billionaires are also $ 1 trillion richer than a year ago.

India added 38 new billionaires during the pandemic year. The number of Indian billionaires has risen to 140 at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic from 102 the previous year, with their combined wealth nearly doubling to $596 billion (i.e. Rs. 1.5 lakh crore) and Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani retaining the tag of Asia's most prosperous at $ 84.5 billion. Of this, Gautam Adani alone made whopping $42 billion last year, making him India's second wealthiest and number 24 in the world list at $ 50.5 billion. In other words, Adani earned Rs. 86 crore per day or Rs.3.5 crore every hour, that too during the lockdown when others could barely survive.

The tenth most wealthy was Cyrus Poonawalla at $ 13.8 billion. Two days before the corona virus lockdown was imposed in India, his net worth stood at $7.47 billion on March 23. Since then, his net worth has risen dramatically, thanks to his partnerships with global pharma majors and Bill Gates who gave over Rs.2,000 crore for the COVID-19 vaccine. In the 5 months after the lockdown, Poonawalla's net worth had risen 84.7 percent to $13.8 billion, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index. In other words his wealth increased by $ 6.3 bn in just 5 months (ie. Roughly Rs.3,000 crore each month, or Rs.100 crore per day); and this was well before the role out of the vaccine.

While these billionaires made a fortune, if one looks at the impact on the masses – i.e. not just the poor but also the middle classes – one sees a devastating impact. Many are facing it and really do not require data as crore have been thrown out of jobs and what is even worse this time it has also hit a big section of the self-employed and middle classes who have lost their source of income.

In the very first three months of the lockdown job-loss figures in the US rose to 28.5 million – three times the jobs lost during the 2008 crisis. In the first nine months of the pandemic/lockdown the number of people living in poverty has doubled. The world's poorest could take a decade to regain their financial footing. Meanwhile, America's richest people have seen their wealth soar during the pandemic by more than $1 trillion. Oxfam describes the pandemic's impact as 'the greatest rise in inequality since records began’. ILO says Covid-19 created an unparalleled job crisis: The total share of working hours lost was 8.8% during 2020 – the equivalent of 255 million full time workers; with a further loss of 140 million full-time jobs lost in the first quarter of 2021, and a further 127 million full time jobs lost in Quarter 2 of 2021. In other words a total loss of 522 million full time jobs during the course of the pandemic/lockdown.

This is not all. The poor and middle classes have not only been hit by job losses and loss of self-employment but also a rise in prices of essential commodities on a scale rarely seen before. In May 2021 global food prices rose highest in 10 years , 4.85% higher than April and 39.7% higher than May 2020. The UN’s FAO (Food & Agricultural Organisation) said the world food price index touched 127 in May this year the highest since Sept 2011 i.e. y-o-y increase of 40%. Wheat rose 31%, Corn 100%, Soyabeans 53%, Palm oil 40%, Raw Sugar 43%, Coffee 64%, Milk powder 29%, cotton 41% and rubber 46%. Even Crude Oil prices crossed $ 75 per barrel; the highest since Oct 2018. Brent was trading at $ 41 /barrel a year ago.

In addition, small and medium businesses are being pushed to the wall and swallowed up by the big corporates. This is indicated by the surge of mergers and acquisitions throughout the year. Globally quarterly M & As surpassed $ 1 trillion for the fourth consecutive quarter (ending June 2021), making it the strongest y-o-y percentage growth on record.  With many businesses pushed to bankruptcy, the big corporates, flush with funds/profits are buying them up for a song.

So, it is clear who gains from this pandemic/lockdown and who loses. On the surface those imposing the lock-down on the world, the billionaires, are the biggest gainers. That is in the short term. But the question that arises in the long run would not the destruction of the economies be detrimental to their interests. Would it not be like lifting a rock to drop it on one’s own feet?

People will now see how this is also in their long-term interest to reorganise the world (economy and life itself) in the image of the billionaire club, a la THE GREAT RESET. What then is this New World Order that they conceive?

Western economists realise that the crisis is so deep and systemic that they cannot carry on in the old way any longer. For how much longer can they keep printing notes resorting to Quantitative Easing and thereby piling up the global debt. They have done this during the decade period after the Great Recession; they have again resorted to this tool during the economic collapse during the lock down – and all this not to revive the economy but just keep it afloat. Their head barely above the surface of the water while it begins to sink at every small hiccup. It is just no longer sustainable. So enter the Great Reset!

A capitalist economy faces its crises due to a fall in the rate of profit and with it a drop in investment, as also due to the lack of a market for their commodities. Now as they have reached the end of their tether (Is it their ‘End of History’?), they have a drastic formula for increasing rate of profit and grabbing markets and thereby keeping their head above the water.

Profit can only be raised by reducing the cost of labour (variable capital) to its minimum. This they plan to do through two processes—massive digitalisation of the economy and introducing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robots on an even bigger scale.

Then there is the restricted market already impacted by low wages around the world and by China sweeping the world markets on a massive scale. Desperate for markets and cheap labour to cushion their crises, the West has relied on China for both till now. But this too gets saturated; besides the Chinese would use the West’s dependence and weakness to further consolidate their strength thereby pushing the US/EU/Japan further into the corner.

So, the West has come out with this GREAT RESET to solve these twin problems of increasing the rate of profit and grabbing markets, also hoping to take China on board their project.

If anything this is sought to be done first through massive digitisation which entails WFH (work-from-home), education through internet, entertain-ment through the net, gambling through the net, massive boost in on-line retail sales, including medical, meetings and programmes through internet/zoom, etc etc–a veritable virtual world. This has already been pushed on a massive scale during lockdown (and in India with demonetisation, GST and a number of other govt. steps). A report by Accenture entitled Covid Impact said: $ 856.6 billion worth of transactions to move to digital mode by 2023 in India. Worldwide 420 billion global transactions worth $ 7 trillion are expected to shift from cash to digital payments by 2023 and increase to $ 48 trillion by 2030.

No doubt this is taking place at extraordinary speed, no matter what the social costs are. Surprisingly, people see WFH becoming a permanent phenomenon, conferences and meetings on zoom and other such platforms as a regular feature; education from home with little signs of opening up, etc. And with the WHO and media saying this social distancing etc will be necessary for the future, notwithstanding the vaccines etc, due to virus mutations, people are in it for the long hall.

And as far as robotics goes Schwab waxes eloquent on the 4th Industrial Revolution as he says it will largely be driven by four specific technological developments: high-speed mobile Internet, AI and automation, the use of big data analytics, and cloud technology. Of these four technologies, he says, AI and automation are expected to have the most significant impact on employment figures within the global workforce. A recent study released by McKinsey Global Institute and quoted by Schwab in his 2016 book says that roughly one-fifth of the global workforce will be impacted by the adoption of AI and automation, with the most significant impact in developed nations like the UK, German and US. By 2022, he salivates, 50% of companies believe that automation will decrease their numbers of full-time staff and by 2030; robots will replace 800 million workers across the world.

With such steps as digitisation and robotics they may be able to retrieve the levels of profits but where will employment and the market for commodities come from? For that the lockdown has been the tool to bring their NWO – at two levels. First wipe out small and middle business, which will not be able to sustain the forced closures and restrictions – their bankruptcy will enable the billionaire club to buy them up at throw-away prices and grab not only their businesses but also markets; and secondly dominate the food and medical market which is all that would exist as a market when the bulk of the masses will be pushed to improvisation. So, aggressively push through laws that facilitate this corporate takeover like India’s three farm laws and all the other Acts passed in the monsoon session of the Indian parliament. Also, as Klaus Schwab suggests get rid of all welfare schemes and replace it by a Universal Basic Income (UBI) and by 2030 “You’ll own nothing, and you’ll be happy”. In other words, living off govt doles, giving the barest minimum to survive (which can be switched off if you do not fall in line). This UBI will just cover the basic necessities. In India they have already started DBT on a wide scale; the first step to a UBI. Of course, the upmarket expenditure, though curtailed by the decimation of large sections on the middle classes, will continue with more wealth in the hands of the top 1%, that will act as the main social base for the billionaire club and their hangers on to push through their agenda.

In essence the Great Reset will be a highly digitalised world run by the billionaire club, or at least those at the very top of the pyramid. The top 1% will be their main social base while the vast network working for them -directly and indirectly—the politicians, bureaucrats, journalists, doctors, top corporate honchos etc around the world, will get the crumbs off their golden table.

It is not just the 2775 billionaires who call the shots worldwide but those at the top of the pyramid as reflected by the Big Three. Post the 2008 crisis it is the Asset Management Groups that have evolved into gigantic monoliths. It is not just these billionaires who are dictating policies but these Asset Management Groups that control most of them. Just three of the top ASMs dominate the scene. They are rarely heard off and never mentioned. Talking of conspiracies—a conspiracy of silence! Together, Black Rock, Vanguard and State Street have nearly US$11 trillion in assets under management. The Big Three, taken together, have become the largest shareholder in 40% of all publicly listed firms in the United States. In the S&P 500 – the benchmark index of America’s largest corporations – the situation is even more extreme. Together, the Big Three are the largest single shareholder in almost 90% of S&P 500 firms, including Apple, Microsoft, ExxonMobil, General Electric and Coca-Cola. In 2015, these 1,600 American firms [the 40%] had combined revenues of about US$ 9.1 trillion, a market capitalisation of more than US$17 trillion, and employed more than 23.5 million people. They also manage about one-third of global investment capital.

 Do the CEOs of these AMGs de facto control corporate America, and for that matter, the world? Yes and No! They are Larry Fink, Joseph Hooley, and Mortimer Buckley respectively. Also rarely mentioned in the media. But they themselves are controlled by their shareholders and those whose funds are invested with them. Ironically the largest shareholders in both Blackrock and State Street are owned by Vanguard. And Vanguard itself is not publicly listed, but privately held. It is an incestuous circle. The Big 3 have a major holding in every sector of the US economy from Digital, to Oil, to Banks, to Retail, to Media to Medicine and Pharma, to even consumer items like Pepsi and Coke. They dictate policies and others are forced to fall in line. So, if one turns to the present pandemic, one finds that the Big Three bosses are heavily wired into the US medical complex…Buckley is a board member of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. From 2011 to 2017, he was chairman of the hospital’s board of trustees; Hooley serves on the President’s Council of Massachusetts General Hospital; Fink is the co-chair of the NYU Langone Medical Centre board of trustees. Incidentally Google owns 22% of the shares of AstraZeneca. It is these three AMGs that are also the main shareholders of all the big pharmaceutical companies and so de facto control them.

Though they wield enormous power, yet these three are the front men for the investors in the AMGs who are the top billionaires and financiers together with HNWIs. It is these top investors who finally control the strings. Though it is difficult to have access to those who owns Vanguard they are primarily the Digital Moguls, the top financiers like Rothschild, Rockefeller, Warren Buffet, George Soros and the other 11 of the traditional wealthy bloodlines —Astor, Bundy, Collins, DuPont, Freeman, Kennedy, Li, Onassis and Reynold. It is this cabal who basically call the shots through their web of organisations and links worldwide. Acting though the bodies like WEF, UN, WTO, WHO, WB, IMF, etc as also their web of nefarious organisations, most of which are running in the name of philanthropy. It is basically this cabal behind the lockdown and Schwab’s New World Order.

The worldwide web of this cabal operates at a number of levels:
First, and most obvious is through the international bodies that have been mentioned above and a few others. It is they who control their purse strings and dominate the third world. Top bureaucrats from third world countries work on these bodies and act as their agents, besides their network through politicians and bureaucrats. Just a few examples are Soumya Swaminathan today and earlier Manmohan Singh, Montek Singh Alluwhallia, etc. They are also as part of the network of academics in US universities like many of the NITI Ayaog earlier members, RBI governors and chief economic advisors to the government, besides a host of top academics who shuttle between Indian Universities/govt bodies and US universities.

The second important sphere of collaboration is at the big corporate level where, for example, Indian big corporates are closely intertwined with the US primarily (but also EU and Japan) corporate worlds. This operates directly through TNCs, then through collaborations and finally through investment and control by means of US Private Equities/Venture Capitalist funds, FIIs in the financial markets and also direct purchases of companies. For example, Infosys is de facto controlled by FIIs who have majority control and the promoters have minority shareholding who then become tools at their behest. Today there is hardly any ‘Indian’ big corporate and/or IPO that is not deeply interwoven in this foreign nexus including Reliance, Tata, etc. Even India’s share markets are de facto dictated by them as is the value of the rupee by the huge amounts they pump in and withdraw on a daily basis.

Third is a network of ‘philanthropic’ organisations like the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Rockefeller Foundation, Open Society Foundation (George Soros). BMGF in India, is now probably the largest such in the world; but the others also have a significant influence and have interlocking link amongst themselves.

According to the RUPE: BMGF has a substantial presence in India, directly funding projects totalling at least $1 billion from 2003, when it entered, to 2012. Apparently, this does not include funds given to international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that run projects in India. (For example, BMGF has donated a total of almost $1 billion to a single international NGO, Programme for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), to conduct and fund various projects; indeed, PATH has been described as an agent of the foundation more than a grantee. PATH in turn runs projects in India.) In India, BMGF’s activities are largely in the fields of health and nutrition, where it co-funds government programmes, non-governmental organisations’ activities and pharmaceutical companies’ ventures here.

The partial list of Gates-funded projects in India gives a sense of BMGF’s reach and influence in health care and particularly vaccine production, testing and promotion. It would quite obviously be playing a major role in the present vaccine initiative in India as also the Covid task force. Bill Gates has gone on record saying it is his most profitable investment and openly opposed the lifting of patent rights on the Covid-19 vaccine which was considered by the US president. It was he who privatised the Oxford vaccine by giving it to AstraZeneca.

Last but not least the cabal operates through many dubious organisations which have wide links worldwide like: Project Syndicate which includes nearly 500 media outlets in more than 150 countries; the Trilateral Commission whose records are stored at the Rockefeller Archive Centre in New York whose journal had once said there is an "excess of democracy” in the 1970s; the Bilderberg Group established in 1954 formed for bolstering a consensus around free market Western capitalism and all that. The list could go on and on and many operate in a cloak-and-dagger fashion with little transparency.

Suffice it to say with this huge network amongst most countries and the vast money at their disposal this tiny cabal can control most aspects of the economy, media, health care and therefore can be effective in dictating and implementing their agenda. Otherwise, how was it to be explained that a lockdown could be imposed worldwide simultaneously and similar policies adopted everywhere. They could get the media on their side because the digital moguls are part of the cabal. After all it is the same Big Three that have a controlling interest in all pharma companies, digital/internet companies, media houses and it is their organisational network that has their tentacles in all sphere of the economies of the world and social life. They could orchestrate a consensus for lockdown, isolation, vaccines etc while ignoring any other possible alternative. They were least concerned if their measures actually countered the virus—their only concern is to push through their New Economic Order.

If they are allowed to implement their reset agenda people in India are to be enslaved as never before. Confined to homes under de facto house arrest, police swarming the place with full power to fine and arrest but courts non-functional, unemployment reaching gigantic levels, MSMEs wiped out and self-employment opportunities restricted, entertainment opportunities curbed and reduced, health care facilities further privatised, food, land and essentials corporatised, medicine and vaccines with negative impact forced on the public at huge cost – in short, a veritable nightmare.

The first step to stem the cabal’s schemes is to reverse the lockdowns and give back people their source of livelihood – to protect agriculturists, jobs and MSMEs from big corporates poisonous tentacles. India should have their own internet framework and digitisation should not be accompanied by extreme backwardness.

To become a modern country, what is needed for India is to empower the people with the necessities of life, raise their cultural and life standards, improve their educational level, and modernise thought and behaviour. It is foolish to equate digitalisation with modernisation when it results in lakhs of students having to leave education, lose jobs and source of employment. Most important, during a pandemic, or even otherwise, increase the level of public health care. It is veritably criminal that in spite of all the media hype on pandemic, public health care expenditure is kept at the measly 1% of GDP, in many countries, it is as high as 10% of GDP.

For one thing, no medicine has yet been discovered to counter any virus be it common flu, chickenpox, measles, or Covid, etc. The only method of fighting the virus is to build immunity and use whatever prophylactic is available or proved and well tested vaccines – not experimental ones that are not properly researched. Very few lives would have been lost if there had been proper health care facilities existed, focus had been put on immunity enhancement, and one would not have seen that massive wave of deaths as took place in the second wave. Without taking any measure to build immunity spread a known prophylactic, like ivermectin, and build effective infrastructure in the public hospitals, the health authorities are not likely to be able to protect citizens from ordinary diseases, let alone Covid.

Has there been any historical precedent that lockdown has been effective in disease control? In 2019 1.5 million people died of TB. And this has been ongoing year after year. TB claims over 4,35,000 Indian lives each year, in spite of having a medicine for it. But successive governments do nothing. Malaria kills lakhs and the mosquito menace grows with little attempt at mosquito eradication. Hygiene has gone from bad to worse resulting in lakhs of child deaths by simple diarrhoea and dysentery. Water is filthy and heavily polluted, air pollution is increasing, foods are turning toxic due to heavy doses of fertilisers and pesticides (not to mention GM seeds), resulting in an epidemic of cancers. With no government ever showing interest in improving this situation (India has turned into a veritable paradise for the pharma companies and the medical profession), how could anyone believe they have turned a new leaf on the Covid issue! Over the years people in India have been dying of like fleas of TB, Malaria, Dengue, diarrhoea and dysentery, cancer and a host of new diseases – but has any govt taken any step to reduce this. NO! Then can one believe their overdrive in combating Covid is sincere and not something sinister?

The TV channels are filled with it, the newspapers seem to have little else, the net is infused with it, even every call people make has a message before they speak. The propaganda would do justice to the efforts of Project Syndicate. They cannot even pay their lakhs of ASHA health workers properly forcing them to go on strike, forget the hype that frontline workers are the real heroes. And if there is a wave the people, are to blame for being irresponsible citizens; the govt has no responsibility for building immunity and providing good cheap health care.

So, whether it is Covid, TB, malaria, or any other major killer disease India’s first step needs to be to increase its expenditure on public health care which is just one of the lowest in the world. With all the media attention given to Covid can one think the govt is really serious about it when it has been neglecting health care for decades and even during the epidemic not increasing its expenditure. Let alone increase its expenditure ,it failed to provide oxygen to hospitals. Besides, their Task Force is promoting drugs like remdesivir at huge prices (often black-marketed at lakhs of rupees) which is known to be ineffective, if not harmful – even admitted by the WHO. And the steroids administered are causing serious side effects and also further destroying one’s immunity. In fact, the death rate from Covid-19 is not much more than any other major disease; with a little care from the govt, instead of spreading panic and fear it could be further restricted. There is need to counter Covid or any other disease but not by destroying peoples’ lives.

In truth India needs to formulate its own policies suited to local conditions (e.g. social distancing may be possible in the West, but in India where the bulk live in congested one room tenements is it not Tuglakian?) rather than implement blindly the dictates of the Bill Gates type and his cabal masters that have a vested interest in lockdown, vaccine sales, etc to push for their New World Order.

To counter the RESET in India, a starting point could be from the farmers’ struggle which has not only shown the farm laws as a product of this same cabal but even that Covid need not spread with gatherings. Their 600 martyrs are more from the heat and cold that they have had to face rather than Covid. Worldwide there have been massive demonstrations against the lockdowns.

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Vol. 54, No. 14-17, Oct 3 - 30, 2021