Clearstream has a double system of accounting, with secret, non-published accounts that banks and big corporations use to make transfers they don’t want listed on the official books.
Though it is legally limited to dealing with financial institutions, Clearstream gives secret accounts to multinational corporations so they can move stocks and money free from outside scrutiny.
Clearstream carried an account for a notoriously criminal Russian bank for several years after the bank had officially “collapsed,” and clearinghouse accounts camouflaged the destinations of transfers to Colombian banks.
Clearstream operates a computer program that erases the traces of trades on request from its members.
Clearstream was used to try to hide a dubious arms deal between French authorities and the Taiwanese military.
It amazes me what we let our leaders and our wealthy get away with. The corruption within the system is monumental. The savings and loans crisis in the eighties, the Crédit Lyonnais scandal in France, Enron. There doesn’t seem to be any end to the ill-doing of the financial elite.
Consequence? A couple of peons get assassinated, another one does a couple of years of jail and the ringleaders walk free, although often – but not always – sent into a forced retirement. But with the ill-gotten wealth they enjoy, what do they care?
Not much, apparently.
When will we crack down on white-collar crime? Why should stealing car radios or groceries be a greater crime than defrauding the public on a monumental scale?
Short answer: it shouldn’t.
And the world’s prisons should be filled with white-collar criminals. Which could easily be financed with their confiscated wealth.
A few years of crackdown and the world’s stock markets will be as safe as Moscow streets became after the gangs were rounded up in the late nineties.
Who would want to commit white-collar crime if he or she knew the consequences were complete confiscation of all material assets and a decade or more in prison? Especially if he or she knew that the chances of apprehension were high.
for the longest time, i would have nothing to do with german speaking women even conceptually. my single experience in this domain was the daughter of a consul who lived with my first girlfriend and shared the bed with us when i stayed over with the two of them.
brigitta corresponded to the clichéd foreign portrait of a german woman. she was exceptionally pneumatic with an enormous heaving bosom and massive rubenesque thighs. in this surfeit of flesh, she managed to have quite a small waist. she had curly blonde hair and prodigious appetites and a very sharp german accent employed vigorously to express her demanding personality.
considering that this teutonic maiden was probably the final hatchet into that first relationship, i forswore her kind for what i thought was a lifetime.
large pneumatic blondes and harsh accents have never been at all to my taste. a reason to avoid california and australia for that matter. soft speech, rounded consonants, long vowels, dark hair and light eyes are my synonyms for bliss.
and so a lifetime of mainly russia and france and wondering occasionally what it was i was missing in italy or spain. never a thought for german-speaking lands except how to exclude them from my travel plans.
well the image above – nothing could be further from the truth. particularly in austria. the austrian accent in english is completely different from the german one. it is soft and sultry. much clearer than the french accent in english and i would argue far more sexy. of course, nothing is more beautiful to the ear than a well spoken french woman speaking her native tongue but in english, nothing exceeds the grace of an austrian mädchen. almost all of them have it. particularly outstanding is a carinthian speaking english but at this point we are splitting hairs. the austrian accent is great. if you want to check up on it, just call austrian airlines from anywhere in the world.
but not all is well. particularly in germany there are a large number of excessively large girls and women. like canada, germany is a beer-drinking country. and as a group german girls drink beer, like the men. nothing spoils a woman’s figure like beer (or a man’s for that matter but men are not on the agenda today).
austria happily enough is more of a wine-drinking country. while the men do drink beer, the austrians are very keen on all kinds of things mixed with soda and lemonade (beer and lemonade is a radler), white wine and soda is a weissspritzer and red wine and mineral water is a rotspritzer and apple juice and soda is obspritzer. also popular is the italian prosecco (a sort of semi-sweet champagne), as well as white wines of all kinds. many women drink exclusively these beverages and consequently have very good figures and often retain fine boned grace into their thirties and beyond.
the women from german speaking lands are very different from their french counterparts. they are far less likely to talk an excessive amount of superficial nonsense. they would like to speak about what it is of interest to them. and to the point. they tend not to flirt very much aimlessly. you can trust that if a woman is paying attention to you for the moment at least she is interested in what you are saying. this may or may not be a good thing – some in france argue that the flirt is the lifeblood of gracious society. others consider it naught but a nuisance.
often the women retain good figures as a fair amount of outdoor activity is considered part of a good upbringing. any well brought-up austrian lass should be able to do a good few hours on steep hiking trails without trouble or complaint. the more adept among them even contrive to do hard-core climbing with the men. cycling and swimming are practiced through old age. not to participate in sports and outdoor activity almost marks a girl as lower caste or unwell in austrian society.
on the other hand, the women as a group do not try to rival the men. so in a group of mountain bikers one cannot expect the women to match the men for either strength or endurance. the physical condition of the women has polite limits, often made tighter but the unfortunate and widespread practice of smoking. but as a group they are stronger and more svelte and fitter than canadian, french or russians.
apart from their lovely accents (in the case of the austrians) and their good figures, the appeal of women from the german speaking lands is this: they are hard-working, clean and sober as a group.
the general level of habitation is so high – square corners, clean floors, sparkling bathrooms – that it is a national norm. women are highly social creatures, very sensitive to societal standards. when everybody’s house is clean and immaculate, the pressure to meet the general standard is very high.
moreover, cleaning and maintaining a house properly is a kind of craft, a sort of guildmanship, which is passed from generation to generation. women born and raised in these lands – depending on the household, of course – have that savoir-faire. just as in french households, women have the savoir-faire of making extremely good dinners and running a soirée end to end.
this is not to say that in france the women keep dirty households or that austrian women, for example, can’t cook. but as a rule one would find houses in german speaking lands significantly cleaner with better bathrooms, while one would find the general level of culinary expertise significantly higher in france.
in exchange for their ability to keep a household in fine order, women from the german speaking lands do expect the man to participate in the general cleaning, even if the woman is ultimately responsible for the overall standard. they also expect a man to be compliant (not necessarily obedient. his own belonging must also be kept in good order.
moreover, they cannot abide dirtiness in a man’s person. french women and russian women are far more tolerant of the body in a natural state. canadian women are don’t like dirt either but they are uptight about everything, including men’s bodies as well as their own. no doubt someone will mention that there is promiscuity in canada as well. yes, but it is a brutal promiscuity – a promiscuity which leaves the woman’s partner in debauch with more of a sensation of sleeping with a brazen prostitute than an act of tender intimacy (the women of quebec are a happy exception in all of this english speaking canadian ascetism.)
particularly unpleasant to many german speaking women is the act of fellatio. it is amazingly unpopular here. women from german-speaking lands would far rather have straight sex than oral sex.
in america, apparently it is the inverse. the young women – from presidential interns to walmart clerks – think nothing of a quick BJ. it a conceptual differnce. bill clinton maintained that he “didn’t have sex” even after the stains were found.
in seeking an explanation for this, the best i could come up with is that in austria the men’s loins often smell and are unclean. at least that is what my informal sampling revealed as the greatest complaint about fellatio among austrian women. at the root of austrian men’s hygiene problem is their generally uncircumcised state. austrian women are very negative about oral sex, at least the performing of it, as past experience has taught them to expect a very unpleasant experience in taste and odour; once convinced of the cleanliness of the man their enthusiasm climbs substantially, and many even acquire a taste for fellatio.
from my original position of staying as far away from the women of german-speaking lands as possible, at this point i have to recommend them very highly with only a single caveat. for all the delight and good in them, their native tongue remains german.
which is neither graceful or lovely. in my experience one is ill-advised to sustain a long-term relationship with a woman whose native language you do not at least understand, as a woman’s character is far more deeply embedded in her natural dialect than the characterless international english she is likely to speak.
to speak to her in english is to drink wine with one’s nose plugged. one has only the faintest idea of the nectar that one quaffs.