March 30, 2001

The Unfolding Global Crash: The Great Fall of Materialism + US stock market slide: a turning point in American and world politics + JUSTICE FOR GOLD + Church gaffs

Hello everyone

As the global stock market casino bubble undergoes a radical "correction" and may very soon turn to a stampede towards the exit (a "capitulation" as they call it), it is appropriate to ponder what underlies this greedy madness.

Your comments are welcomed as usual...

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator

"The 21st century shall be spiritual, or won't be."

- Andre Malraux (French writer -- 1901 - 1976)

P.S. Please be sure to go read "The Threat of the Free Trade Area of the Americas" by Maude Barlow at:

Astounding Stuff. The entire reality and consequences of what the FTAA means is revealed!

Check also "CUPW and Council of Canadians Take NAFTA to Court" at:

More on this soon!

Read also from

Warnings of Global Recession Grow Louder

NEW YORK (Reuters) - As global stock markets topple, the Japanese and U.S. economies sputter and financial seams begin to pop in major emerging markets, anxiety is bubbling into financial markets that the world may face its first global recession in a quarter century. CLIP


Excerpt from Mother Jones

Genetically engineered food could reach the supermarket shelves without adequate safety testing or labeling. Write the FDA by April 3rd demanding that genetically engineered foods be labeled and that
pre-market safety testing be mandatory. For a sample letter and link to email your comments to the FDA, go to:


Quote below sent by (Mark Quire)

" I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin a shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered."

- John Kennedy

Mark also wrote:

"Jean, I am glad you can use the John Kennedy quote. Hey, by the way, thank you so very much for all the very hard work that you do to put out all the info. Even though I sometimes forget how important encouragement is, I for one just wanted to let you know how much it's appreciated."


LAST MINUTE ADDITION: Largest sunspot in 10 years today -- On March 29th at 1015 UT. X-FLARE: A powerful X-class solar flare erupted near sunspot group 9393 The blast sent a coronal mass ejection (CME) toward Earth -- the second in as many days. The first of the two incoming CMEs will likely hit Earth's magnetosphere on Friday; today's expanding cloud will probably arrive on Saturday. Forecasters estimate a 15 to 25% chance of severe geomagnetic storming in the days ahead. Sky watchers living above ~45 deg. geomagnetic latitude should remain alert for auroras after local nightfall until further notice. [NOAA geomagnetic latitude maps: North America, Eurasia, South Africa & Australia, South America]
More details at
-- Solar Wind velocity: 488.4 -- Sunspot Count Now Risen To 352 (03-29-01)

From: "Matthew Webb" <>
Subject: The Great Fall of Materialism
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2001

Dear WMS readers,

I would like to take a moment to urge you to read the following, well-stated article.

I have never before sent out any document to this list which is not strictly WMS related, but in this case I feel the social responsibility to do so. I have sent this piece to you under the title of "The Great Fall of Materialism" because this is exactly the case today. We are witnessing the turning point of a materialistic global society, one that is led primarily by the United States, and which is finally toppling into the dust for a variety of reasons. Not the least of these is the extreme global deterioration of the environment, government corruption at all levels, sheer mismanagement of public funds and the exhaustion of world energy resources. But most importantly, the problems we see in society and the world at large today, is simply the result of people living the WRONG set of values. By "wrong" I mean unnatural, wasteful and destructive. "More" is not necessarily better, just as quality living or personal worth has nothing to do with the size of one's bank account.

This may come as a shock to some, (and be more than obvious to others) but the conclusion that many are coming to is that the current status quo should fall, and fall hard. Just like any disease which must go through the process of fever and crisis, materialism as a life focus needs to be eliminated from the collective psyche of humanity. It must go through a series of shocks to the religion of the Dollar as God, (and a false god it is) in order to purge the world of its idea that humanity can ignore natural laws for as long as it pleases. Materialism is madness, and the karma of that madness needs to be paid in full. For this reason I personally do not see the current market collapse or energy blackouts, as being an ominously negative sign for humanity. On the contrary, I can't think of a better outcome, than to see the modern corruption finally fall to its knees, and be exposed for what it is to the people...fraudulence, decadence and waste. The sooner the current system dies and the public necessarily changes its life views as a result, the sooner a significant global shift in consciousness can occur. This is the way of creation. Something must often be destroyed, in order for better things to grow and take its place. The time for a total change of world view and lifestyle is at hand. Spiritualism must replace materialism as the primary focus of living.

I recommend that you follow up on this article, by doing further reading of The Survivalists' Guide for the New Millennium. It is contained in the Library of the World Mind Society at

Although I usually welcome comments on all subjects, on this occasion I will not answer any correspondence on this subject. I've been over and over this topic, (the necessary fall of materialism) on various forums and in many personal debates, to the point of exhaustion I now let world events simply speak for themselves. Thank you for your understanding.

Love and Clarity,

Matthew Webb


WSWS : News & Analysis : North America

US stock market slide: a turning point in American and world politics

By the Editorial Board

20 March 2001

US stock market investors suffered their greatest ever one-week losses during the week of March 12-16. The Dow Jones Industrial Average experienced three sharp declines in five days, including a drop of over 400 points on Monday and a 227-point drop on Friday, with a total weekly decline of 821 points-a loss of 7.70 percent. The S&P 500, a broader average of Wall Street stocks, showed a 7 percent decline, while the high tech-dominated NASDAQ index fell 8 percent.

The Dow Jones index fell below the 10,000 mark for the first time in six months, while the NASDAQ index plunged below 2,000 for the first time in three years. Since its March 2000 peak, the NASDAQ has fallen 63 percent, the biggest percentage drop in a major US stock index since the 1929 crash. Over the same period the Dow is down 16 percent and the S&P 500 down 25 percent.

Measured by the amount of paper value wiped out, the financial debacle in the American stock exchange is already among the worst in history, with no indication that a bottom has been reached. BusinessWeek magazine reported in its market watch column that there were hopes on Wall Street that a support level for the NASDAQ would be found at about the 1,350 mark-indicating a further 500-point decline in the high tech index was widely anticipated, which would bring the total plunge to 73 percent.

The combined losses on the NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange topped $4.6 trillion by the end of the week, nearly five times the losses from the October 1987 Wall Street crash. The NASDAQ by itself has fallen from $6.7 trillion in March 2000 to $2.7 trillion. The sheer magnitude of this decline is staggering. The $4.6 trillion in losses is:

* Greater than the entire publicly held federal debt

* More than the combined Social Security and Medicare trust funds

* The equivalent of the world losing the economies of Japan and South Korea

* The equivalent of the United States scrapping its auto, steel, electrical machinery and oil industries, all at once

The equivalent of the loss of the entire housing stock of the United States

* Two to three times the total value of Bush's proposed ten-year tax cut

* 1,000 times the amount that Bush would cut taxes this year, in the name of providing a stimulus to the economy and offsetting the threat of a recession

So rapid was the collapse in share values during 2000 that US household wealth saw its first net decline since the federal government began keeping such figures in 1945. Every postwar recession has only slowed the rate of increase in household wealth. But with more than 60 percent of US household assets now accounted for by the stock market, the NASDAQ-led slump produced a 2 percent drop in 2000.

The high-tech bubble

The driving force of the financial crisis has been the collapse of the speculative boom in high technology stocks, mainly those related to the Internet, computers and telecommunications. According to one study, nine of the eleven industrial sectors that make up the S&P 500 actually saw at least a modest rise in stock prices over the past year. But the two sectors that lost ground, high tech and telecommunications, were enough to push the overall index lower by 25 percent.

Another analysis, published in the New York Times March 18, gauged the high-tech collapse by calculating how long it would take selected stocks to regain their peak prices if they enjoyed annual increases of 15 percent-well above traditional rates of return. By this measure, Intel would take seven years to regain its top price, Cisco Systems would require 10 years, Microsoft six years, Oracle and Sun Microsystems nine years and Yahoo! no less than 20 years.

The financial deterioration of Yahoo!-a company with enviable name recognition, a huge Internet audience, and $1.7 billion in cash on hand-demonstrates how rapidly the crisis has developed and how deep is its impact. The company's market capitalization has fallen from $150 billion a year ago to under $10 billion, as its stock price has plunged from $250 a share to $17.

Three months ago Yahoo! management forecast first quarter revenues of $320 million. Now they are estimated at $170 million to $180 million, of which $117 million was already committed before the quarter began. The Internet portal thus obtained only $63 million in new sales. While Yahoo! took in $459 million in sales from other dot-coms in 2000, this is expected to fall to only $111 million in 2001.

Two weeks ago, company chairman Timothy Koogle resigned as CEO, with no replacement immediately named. In the wake of his resignation, the financial press carried reports that Yahoo!, Cisco Systems, Intel and other NASDAQ stalwarts had engaged in a practice known as "pro forma" reporting of financial results, in which the figures released to the public arbitrarily exclude certain obligations. In the case of Yahoo! and Cisco, the companies did not report the payroll taxes due for their employees-a huge expense that would have made their balance sheets much worse.

Even now Yahoo! may be grossly overvalued, since its stock was still selling at 140 times earnings. All the companies on the NASDAQ index combined were selling at 172 times earnings. If their stock prices fell to the typical historical level of 20 times earnings, the NASDAQ index would fall to about 170-compared to 5,048 in March 2000.

The impact on working people

It is hard to overstate the implications of this colossal financial liquidation for the American working class and middle class. Of the $4.6 trillion already vaporized-and trillions more which are at risk-much of it constitutes the life savings of tens of million of working people. Millions are discovering that their 401(k) plans, which have become a widespread substitute for guaranteed pensions, will no longer sustain them in a decent retirement. Three-quarters of the funds held by 401(k) plans, about $1.7 trillion, are invested in the stock market. Other people have lost savings set aside to buy a new home, finance their children's college education, or protect against the threat of a major illness.

TIAA-CREF, the teachers' pension fund, which is the largest institutional investor in the stock market, reported a 21 percent gain in its holdings in the fiscal year that ended March 31, 2000. When TIAA-CREF closes the books on the current fiscal year, some 250,000 retired teachers, college instructors and other professionals will experience a sharp movement in the opposite direction.

In 1999, as the bull market reached its zenith, the net worth of American households rose 14.1 percent. Douglas R. Cliggott, a strategist at J. P. Morgan Chase, told the New York Times: "It influenced the size of the homes we live in, the type of cars we drive, how we go on vacation. Because of the extraordinary improvement in the average American's net worth, it made us feel comfortable carrying what by historic standards would have been an extraordinary amount of debt."

It is a paradox that explains much of the political character of the 1990s that, side by side with soaring paper values on the stock market and rising corporate profits, both consumer and corporate debt increased astronomically. The 1990s boom was fueled by a borrowing binge that leaves the entire financial structure of the country poised on the edge of a precipice.

Consumer debt has doubled since 1990, to $7.5 trillion-more than $50,000 per household, over $25,000 for every man, woman and child in America. Much of this has involved homeowners taking out home equity loans to finance consumption, pay other debts, or gamble in the stock market. In 1982 homeowners owed lenders 30 percent of the market value of their residences. By 1999 this figure was up to 46 percent.

During the 1990s, the ratio of household debt, including mortgages, to disposable income rose by almost 25 percent. The average American family now has debts that exceed its average after-tax income. This debt is unequally distributed-in a manner diametrically opposite the distribution of wealth. The top ten percent of the population own over 70 percent of the national wealth, while the bottom 90 percent of the population, with less than 30 percent of the wealth, owe 70 percent of the consumer debt.

In corporate America as well, the 1990s has been an era of growing debt-topping $10.6 trillion by the end of 1999. By and large, companies have been unwilling or unable to finance expansion and new investment by issuing new stock, for fear that this would dilute the holdings of shareholders and cause a decline in the price. Rather, corporations have gone into debt, even borrowing money on the financial markets to buy up their own stock and boost its price.

The result is that instead of the traditional trade-off of equity and debt, with debt decreasing during a boom and swelling during a downturn, most companies have seen their debts increase during the stock market boom. The present financial crisis, let alone any severe and prolonged recession, will mean corporate bankruptcies on a vast scale-with predictable effects on jobs, benefits, pensions and living standards generally.

A global slowdown

The financial crisis in the United States has incalculable consequences for the world economy. This year marks the first time in a quarter century that all three of the main centers of world capitalism-the United States, Japan and Western Europe-are simultaneously experiencing an economic slowdown. In the case of Japan, stagnation has been protracted throughout the 1990s, since the collapse of the "bubble economy" in 1989-90. This financial debacle, triggered by the collapse of inflated real estate values, is now being widely compared to the puncturing of inflated stock values in the US. A Washington Post editorial last week pondered whether the US economic decline would be V-shaped, U-shaped, or "a Japanese-style L."

The US and Japanese crises are intertwined, since Japanese banks and corporations are heavily invested in the US securities and bond markets, as well as dependent on the United States as their leading export market. Japanese concerns own $350 billion in US Treasury bills, and even larger amounts of corporate stocks and bonds, as well as $150 billion in direct investments, more than any other country except Great Britain. There have been reports of Japanese banks unloading billions in US stocks in order to improve their balance sheets before the Japanese fiscal year ends on March 31.

A Japanese sell-off of American assets, sparked either by declining US stock prices or financial pressures within Japan itself, would depress stock prices even further. It would also depress the value of the dollar, since Japanese companies would have to convert dollar-denominated assets into yen in order to repatriate them. A falling dollar would undermine the ability of the Federal Reserve to cut US interest rates, or even force it to raise rates to prevent investor flight from the US currency.

Economic growth in the European Union is now estimated at 2.8 percent for 2001, down from previous projections of 3.3 percent, as the slowdown in the US and Japan takes its toll, and Germany, the most powerful component of the European economy, experiences both an acceleration of inflation and a fall in its real growth rate. Auto sales in Germany fell 12 percent. Eight of the nine largest European stock exchanges have seen lower prices since the beginning of the year, with most of them down over 10 percent.

Social and political consequences

The onset of a sharp financial crisis in the United States, and a more general global economic slowdown, will inevitably have the most profound consequences for the social and political stability of the major capitalist nations. The series of announcements of major layoffs in the US has already shaken consumer confidence, demonstrating once again that job security is a thing of the past for even the most skilled and highly paid workers.

Any significant increase in the US unemployment rate will confront millions with the consequences of the policy changes of the past two decades, in which social programs that once cushioned the impact of the capitalist business cycle have been abolished or largely gutted. Millions of people, especially the masses of low-paid service and contingent workers, will be thrown on the economic scrap heap with no social safety net and no personal resources to fall back on.

Equal to the material impact of the financial crisis will be the shattering of illusions so assiduously promoted by the media and ruling class opinion makers over the past 20 years, and especially in the decade since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The American people have been told incessantly that capitalism is the only credible form of economic organization, and that the unrestrained domination of giant corporations and the "market," backed by central bankers like Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, would guarantee an ever-rising level of prosperity.

Now capitalism is revealing its ugly face, in the gross misallocation of resources and the sheer irrationality of a system that piles up trillions for the corporate elite, while wiping out the retirement savings of millions, bankrupting small businesses, and depriving countless workers of their livelihood. As the crisis deepens, working people will inevitably reject the claims that all concern for social justice and equality must be subordinated to the imperatives of the market. Growing numbers will look for an alternative to the profit system and turn to the development of a mass political movement directed against it.

Copyright 1998-2001
World Socialist Web Site


From: "Leigh"
Subject: Re: The Great Fall of Materialism
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2001

Good work, Matthew, people need a sharp statement of fact like this to shake them out of their apathy. There is a lot of hypocrisy in the New Age movement, which nowadays seems more content with making money and with presenting the *appearance* of spiritual mastery than with taking the
responsibility to withdraw our support from the materialism and corresponding separatism that 99% of the people in the New Age movement still keep in place. I'm afraid that if the New Age movement sits around naively doing nothing until 2012, expecting some miracle to come along in that year and transform global consciousness, it will be greatly disappointed, because spiritual transformation is gained through the practical and responsible reorientation of personal will, and is not instilled in passive people by the waving of some cosmic magic wand. Spirit does work in mysterious ways, but it does not take away the spiritual lessons from people.

Peace to you



From: "Boudewijn Wegerif" <>
Subject: US Stock Market Slide - ZEAL chart + World Socialist Web Site commentary
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2001

Dear Friends of Truth,

The bear is hungry, the wolf is at the door - We have heard all this before.

You may read what follows from the World Socialist Web Site through tired eyes. But not too tired, I hope, to take in that the US stock market has begun a slide that will take the world economy into a recession - for real.

The gold website ZEAL - - has a chart that says the same thing in pictorial form:



Dear Jean,

I too appreciate the work you are doing, and took particular notice of your last compilation. I posted this on the WMS Discussion Board, under the title of "The Free Trade Agreement of the Americas".

There has been a truly amazing degree of response to "The Great Fall of Materialism" letter I sent out. I say "surprising" because I didn't honestly expect to get any positive feedback on it at all. This was the first time I've ever sent material that is critical of our materialistic world society out over the WMS network, with the exception of some Survivalists' Guide excerpts many months ago. The reactions have been universally positive. I conclude from this that people are realizing, (in
large numbers) that not only is there something terribly wrong with society at all levels, but that the "alternative" lifestyles and intentions of spiritual focus, are absolutely necessary. I think these recent market and energy crisis situations, not to mention numerous world disasters and wars, are painting an undeniable picture for the need of sweeping change. I personally could not be more grateful for this. Destructiveness is itself being destroyed.

Your efforts, and that of the Focus Group, persistently educates the public as to what is really going on in the world. I'm sure that this is a sometimes thankless job, but someone definitely has to do it. The good of humanity hangs in the balance.

You asked for a copy of some of the feedback I've received, on the Great Fall of Materialism. There have been about 25 letters so far, and here are just a few.

Love and Clarity,
Matthew Webb


MATTHEW ALSO RECOMMENDED READING "The Survivalists' Guide for the New Millennium" AVAILABLE FROM


From: "Boudewijn Wegerif" <>
Subject: JUSTICE FOR GOLD - final, part three
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2001

Dear Friends of Truth.

The news from Boston is that the U.S. Treasury Department has filed a motion to dismiss Reginald H. Howe's Gold Anti Trust Action lawsuit. This was expected. It is clear that the case against the gold cartel who are suppressing the price of gold is going to be long drawn out. I will keep you posted.

Here is the third, final part of JUSTICE FOR GOLD, which gives the full story. Remember, the complete three-part article is posted at the financial website Le Metropole Cafe ( owned and edited by Bill Murphy, the chair person of GATA. There is a two weeks free trial offer at the Cafe.

In friendship,

Boudewijn (Wegerif)

Part Three, of the three-part article

Boudewijn Wegerif
March 20001


Dissention in the Ranks




By Frank Veneroso's reckoning, based on years of experience in the gold market, diligent research and insider contacts, there are now some 14,000 tonnes of gold shorts, up from 8,000 tonnes at end 1998 . That means that of the total central bank and financial institution gold holdings of 33,500 tonnes, some 14,000 tonnes could be out on contractual loan to bullion banks.

The wording in the last sentence is, officially speaking, correct, because the given figure of 33,500 tonnes for all central bank and financial institution gold holdings may look as if it relates to actual physical gold held in the banks' vaults, but doesn't at all.

Reginald Howe spells out the reality in paragraph 27 of his lawsuit complaint - "during the term of the deposit or loan, the central bank retains the leased gold as an asset on its books and as part of its official gold reserves notwithstanding that the buyer of the leased gold owns it free and clear."

John Hathaway explains what is happening this way in a great essay, The Golden Pyramid ( "Central bank financial accounts refer to leased gold as "gold receivable", an item lumped together with gold on hand as if it were one and the same. in reality, gold receivable is a dubious asset . . . A significant percentage of the borrowed gold has already been melted down and sold into the physical markets. It no longer exists in deliverable form. Aided by poor information and worse governance, physical gold borrowed from the central banks has been sold over and over again in multiple transactions. Through the magic of derivatives, paper claims have multiplied against a shrinking base of physical gold. The short "cover" ratio rivals the most overvalued Internet shares."

The public is being wittingly or unwittingly deceived. At the website of the gold producers' representative body, the World Gold Council one is misled to believe that the US has gold holdings of 8,139 tonnes, The Netherlands 1012 tonnes, Sweden 185 tonnes, South Africa 126 tonnes, and so forth. There is no reference WCC website or in any other official records that I know of that the gold holding figures include the gold that is out on loan, with much of it sold.

Therefore, no citizen anywhere, other than in Switzerland, I believe, can say with any certainty from the official figures open to public scrutiny how much gold the central bank of their country still actually holds in its vaults.

When it dawns on the people of the oh so rich, "developed" world that the official figures for national gold holdings are totally misleading and that much of the gold may be lost to them, what is that going to do for the way people feel about their government? What is that going to do to the dollar and linked currencies of the "developed" world? What is that going to do to the price of gold?

Are the central bankers and treasury officials in the US and UK not ashamed to go to Third World countries like Kuwait, Bangladesh and Jordan to put on pressure for gold loans, especially while the Bank of England continues with the give away gold auctions?

What hope is there of any of the central banks involved in the gold price fixing ever getting back all the gold they have leased to bullion dealers?

How is it possible for "free market" forces to organize for gold to be marked at precisely $289 in the last days of December 1998, December 1999 and December 2000, and for the New York daytime and London overnight prices to fluctuate with a marginal precision ideally suited for gold carry trading over many months?

No doubt, questions like these will be raised in court during the course of the Howe Gold Anti-Trust Action lawsuit, and will produce interesting answers, which will spill over into the media. What impact will this have on the world's money market? A devastatingly conclusive impact, I should think.

Boudewijn Wegerif
Monetary Studies Programme,
Folkhögskola Vårdinge,
150 21 Mölnbo, Sweden

tel: +46.158 23315 - e-mail:

From: "Mark Graffis" <>
Subject: Church gaffs
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 200

These are actual clippings from church bulletins. It's amazing what a little proofreading would provide.

Bertha Belch, a missionary from Africa will be speaking tonight at Calvary Memorial Church in Racine. Come tonight and hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa.


Announcement in the church bulletin for a National PRAYER & FASTING Conference: "The cost for attending the Fasting and Prayer conference includes meals."


Our youth basketball team is back in action Wednesday at 8 PM in the recreation hall. Come out and watch us kill Christ the King.


"Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Don't forget your husbands."


The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to a conflict.


The sermon this morning: "Jesus Walks on the Water" The sermon tonight: "Searching for Jesus"


Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.


Barbara remains in the hospital and needs blood donors for more transfusions. She is also having trouble sleeping and requests tapes of Pastor Jack's sermons.


The Rector will preach his farewell message after which the choir will sing "Break Forth into Joy."


Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say "hell" to someone who doesn't care much about you.


Don't let worry kill you - let the Church help.


Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.


A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.


At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be "What is Hell?" Come early and listen to our choir practice.


Eight new choir robes are currently needed, due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.


The senior choir invites any member of the congregation who enjoy sinning to join the choir.


Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles, and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.


For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.


Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person(s) you want remembered.


Attend and you will hear an excellent speaker and heave a healthy lunch.


The church will host an evening of fine dining, superb entertainment, and gracious hostility.


This evening at 7 P.M. there will be a hymn sing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.


Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM, Please use the back door.


Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance