Pluto in Capricorn: What Can History Tell Us?

Back in 2012, I read a fascinating article that detailed the history of Pluto in Capricorn while squaring Uranus. The most memorable of these for me was the creation of the first post office and central bank(?). Try as I might, I haven’t been able to find that article again. In my quest, I discovered a few things, including the fact that the current Pluto-Uranus square represents the first “solar return” for the American Revolution. The US Declaration of Independence was signed while Pluto was in Capricorn. Pluto’s trip through Capricorn lasts from 2008 to 2024. It should return to its 1776 position in 2022-2023. So in many ways, what is happening today could truly be seen as a second American Revolution.

On Monday, March 16th, 2015, the seventh and final Pluto-Uranus square takes place before Pluto enters Aquarius. Pluto is about half-way through Capricorn, so we’re feeling the full effects of it’s influence. This final square is Uranus’s last call to “Change or Die.” So, the weeks and months ahead could see some BIG changes. (More to follow). -LW

When Pluto journeyed into Capricorn last year it was no surprise to astrologers that the world took an economic hit and that we would be faced with a global recession.

Pluto has a need to purge – clean out the rubbish and discard all that it deems unnecessary.  It does the jobs that others are too scared to do, or that are too unpleasant, and requires the penetrative skill to get to the bottom of things.  Once it has found what needs to be eliminated, it then destroys it.  Pluto operates slowly and stays around for a long time, breaking up and annihilating all that is rotten – taking no prisoners and no casualties.

The devastation left behind brings with it the anticipation of huge change and renewal.  What remained before no longer exists and must be replaced with fresh, new innovations and a transformation of power.  As Pluto travels through the signs, his position tells us which areas he is operating in.  When Pluto ingresses into Capricorn, where he last was 244-248 years ago, he once again visits the sign which is concerned with law and order, economics and political systems that have become institutionalised into the fabric of our society.  Every structure that has been put in place since Pluto’s last visit is once again under telescopic scrutiny, and those which stand tallest are most vulnerable and are called into audit.

When Pluto travels through Capricorn it infiltrates not just the structure of societal systems but the core moral underpinnings on which they were built, and asks ‘is this right?  Are these the correct systems and the appropriate foundations for society – for this particular point in time?’  What we know of our own society and where we are placed within it will undoubtedly change before Pluto makes its departure from Capricorn.  Each time Pluto travels through Capricorn it changes the worldview of the masses.

It will shake up the very bones of society and pinpoint areas related to Capricorn, such as skeleton, skin and teeth and how the body functions; clocks, watches and anything to do with measuring time; land and ownership on any scale and the mechanisms through which this is managed; the domination of industry in all its forms; and with Pluto as its regulator it will also have a huge influence over how society reproduces and populates and how populations can be divided – be it by race, religion, class, etc. When Pluto departs Capricorn there will be evidence of mass destruction and mass regeneration.  The cost to humanity and to individuals may be massive in many cases, and seem extremely unfair and difficult to bear, in hindsight it will make a notable mark in the history of our society that will allow it to change and grow in a new way.

Let’s walk down that road and take a glimpse of what Pluto has exterminated and achieved in his journey through Capricorn through the ages.

February 532 to November 551
The entry of Pluto into Capricorn in February 532 was joined by his opposition to Capricorn’s ruler, Saturn, deepening the depression and deprivation of Pluto in Capricorn and giving rise to confrontation between the oppressed and oppressor.  Introducing the ingress in 532 was the Nika revolts in Greece, which were a result of political domination that saw the killing of over 30,000 people.  The first pandemic of bubonic plague hit the Eastern Roman Empire (538-540), cold weather created mass starvation in the northern hemisphere (which was put down to a volcanic eruption) and the apparent final battle of King Arthur (whose myth is still very present in our society in nearly 1500 years later) took place in 537.

January 778 to December 796
This particular ingress of Pluto was accompanied by an opposition to Uranus, and a square to Jupiter, creating a a T-Square.  Ideologies of liberation and belief systems would have dominated this period.  At this time several conflicts over land and religion were fought throughout Asia and Germany and the first Viking raid in England occurred in 793.  With regards to industry, the invention of the heavy plough was believed to be around this time, although the date is unknown, and the earliest iron horseshoes have been discovered from this decade.  It is interesting with Jupiter as the focal planet of the T-Square that horses played such a significant part of the transformation of industry at the time.

January 1024 to December 1041
Pluto’s transition into Capricorn at the start of the last millennium was accompanied by a conjunction with Jupiter and Chiron.  Only months before this ingress the first paper money was invented in China.  French publications from 1035 describe a three year famine that was associated with climate change, China’s population doubled in size throughout the century and a painting from 1035 depicts a spinning wheel in China, an apparatus which would become one of the most beneficial inventions and biggest assets to mass industry for many centuries ahead.

December 1269 to November 1287
The ingress of Pluto into Capricorn here was separating from a wide conjunction to Chiron and applying to a wide conjunction with Mercury. There were several wars initiated by the Mongols throughout China and Japan, Italy established the Albanian Kingdom, Portugal eliminated the last Moorish community in Faro and the largest battle of knights (80,000 men) in the middle ages was fought in the Battle of Marchfeld in 1278.  Three Popes died in one year (1276). The first escapement on clocks was invented in 1275, and by 1280 the first mechanical clocks appeared in Europe – although these had been invented by the Chinese some years earlier.  Windmills were also invented around this time (1285-1290), another innovation which was beneficial to the progress of industry, and the procedure for ensuring all new minted coins conformed to standard – a practice labelled Trail of the Pyx – was introduced in 1282.  England and Wales united in order to bring all the people in both regions under British rule, and a legislation was introduced in 1283 which stated that women can be burnt at the stake and men hung, drawn and quartered, if found guilty of treason.  In 1274, King Edward I ordered all Jews to wear yellow badges and in 1282, the Archbishop of Canterbury ordered the closure of all London synagogues and forbade Jewish doctors to perform on non-Jewish people (note that in the 1930s, when the Nazis enforced this again, Pluto was in the opposite sign of Cancer).

December 1515 to December 1532
When Pluto journeyed into Capricorn, this time it was making a trine to Uranus.  It was this period that brought us out of the Middle Ages and into the Early Modern period, spearheaded by Martin Luther in 1517, which divided western Christianity.  Around this time, African slaves were being carted between continents to boost the labour force in the southern states of the US (which started in 1510, when Pluto was in Sagittarius), the Aztec empire was conquered (1519) as was the Inca empire (1531).  Several navigation innovations took place, with the first map of the American continents in 1520, the first crossing of the Pacific from 1520-1, and the first circumnavigation in 1519-1522, as Magellan reached the Moluccas via the Philippines, and the route from Mexico across the Pacific to the Moluccas was discovered.  The Little Book of Assays was published (1520) which outlined the authentication of stamping minted coins, the official postal service was established in England (1516) and the first book on dentistry was published in Germany (1530).

January 1762 to December 1778
Pluto’s ingress into Capricorn at this time was marked by a tight conjunction with Venus and a square to the conjunction of Uranus and Saturn.  The latter would indicate several reforms, revolutions, a breakdown of existing systems, a breakthrough of new technologies, changes to the status quo, and – along with Venus – would delve into the areas of agriculture and the setting up of new financial systems, resource management and new markets that arose to serve the new industry and which led to the consumerism that we have today.  The conjunction gave rise to a new era in which the focus was on wealth and opportunity, but against this was the back drop of the square which reflects the conflict, oppression, exploitation and issues of economic and social deprivation.  The period began in 1762 with the publication of the Social Contract, by Rousseau, which although outlined social control also maintained that people should be free to decide who they want to be governed by.  During this period we can see the invention of the spinning Jenny (a device made to spin thread) (1764) and also the steam engine (1769), both of which were significant contributors to the industrial revolution and to the idea of world as machine.  Other inventions included the electric telegraph (1774), the flush toilet (1775), the submarine (1776), the steamship (1775) and the sandwich (1762).  Captain Cook found the New World by landing in Botany Bay in Australia (1770), found Hawaii in 1778, and, after a long battle, The American Declaration of Independence was established in 1776.

January 2008 to November 2024
When Pluto moved into Capricorn last year it was applying to a conjunction with Venus and Jupiter.  So what does this mean and how could this latest ingress manifest for us in the present day?  We have visited history and see how Pluto can behave when conjunct Venus or Jupiter (1024 and 1762) but how will he behave in our present day, as the world is a much different place.  Pluto has spent the last eighteen years travelling through Sagittarius – this was a period which focused on the power of knowledge, the escalation of debt, travel innovations, religious wars and terrorism, all of which will soon be subject to a worldwide audit!  As Pluto made his first ingress into Capricorn, global society was faced with economic uncertainty.  Our financial markets have been severely hit and the collapse of financial institutions has impacted the entire world, and Pluto has only just entered the sign.  We have economic problems where the world’s resources are diminishing and economic power shifting to countries that have larger labour forces, less debt and technological assets.

We keep hearing that problems of overpopulation are reaching breaking point.  The majority of the world’s population do not have enough food.  We have an ageing society who will require care and welfare that the system is not equipped to provide.  The threat of AIDS and other worldwide epidemics and pandemics increase at alarming rates.

As Pluto digs his way into Capricorn, it is likely that economic deprivation and depression will increase and anxiety of an unknowable future will permeate society. Climate change could bring untold problems. Apocalyptic thoughts will dominate and fear and anticipation of the end world when the Mayan calendar ends in 2012 is one example of this.

All these factors are deeply serious and are not done enough justice here.  It is clear that many people around the world have suffered and will suffer the effects of these problems.  We can learn from the past as well that much that is positive for society has arisen during periods of Pluto in Capricorn.  We can try to understand what may occur and how people may react to the current transit, and prepare as far as possible to lessen the impact.  We know that with Pluto in Capricorn resistance is futile, but that we need to remain open to new possibilities and opportunities that will lead to the building of social and economic systems from those which are rotten and in need of replacing.  Pluto requires everything to be ‘let go’ and it is more painful for those who find it difficult to do so.  There is an anticipation among astrologers of the square between Pluto in Capricorn and Uranus in Aries which will occur in 2012, and out of this inevitable conflict we may see a glimpse of radical new beginnings to come.

What will also be a fascinating time to live through is when Pluto makes its journey into Aquarius in 2024, and only a few years before this Aquarius would have also had Jupiter and Saturn making a conjunction in the this sign (this is the first conjunction in an unbroken sequence in 960 years as it moves into the air element).  Their conjunction cycle moves from the earth element into the air element, which may create the platform which will lead us out of a materialistic culture into a mental one (perhaps even to outer space!).


Roberts, J.M. The New Penguin History of the World(Penguin, 2007).

Stacey, Wendy, ‘Pluto in Capricorn: The Map becomes the Territory’ (Lecture at ISAR, Denver, USA, 2005).

Stacey, Wendy, ‘Pluto in Capricorn’ (Lecture at the Astrological Lodge of London, 2006).


Wikipedia [last accessed 25 August 2009]

‘Chronology’, at [last accessed 02 February 2005]..






Astrology & Health (History)

Alfred Webre: Positive Timeline, BRICS, Money, Putin & the Omniverse – TRUTH

Alfred covers a lot of topics, including the possibility that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “the handler” for US President Barack Obama. A lot of untold history is covered, too. This is fascinating stuff!

An exercise in the Socratic method & the Positive Timeline:  Is Putin a Saviour or Deceiver and Why does it matter?

by Alfred Lambremont Webre

PROPOSITION FOR OPEN DISCUSSION: The working hypothesis is to see if Putin is the 3rd Antichrist predicted by Nostradamus who predicted Napoleon as the 2nd Antichrist.  The definition of “Antichrist” is very loose.  It could also be “Antechrist or predecessor of Christ. The archetype seems to be the “Militaristic Conquerer Reformer” i.e. a modern-day Napoleon

WHY DOES IT MATTER? In 2008 Obama was seen as a Saviour to many, now he is playing the Universal Deceiver/Loser…to Putin’s Universal Saviour. However this may be a dialectic if Obama is a long-term Russian Project to bring down and destroy the American Republic, for which there is ample evidence (below). In this sense, Putin (the Saviour) is Obama/Loser’s Handler under the Long-term Russian project to bring down America.

Hence Putin (not Obama) may be Nostradamus 3rd Antichrist.

WHAT ABOUT THE POSITIVE TIMELINE? The equation of the Positive Future is Positive Future = Positive Timeline + Unity Consciousness. Unity Consciousness is “We are One”. Duality Consciousness is “I win, you lose”. Creating a positive future requires allowing Unity Consciousness leaders to come into power and rejecting leaders in duality consciousness.  Thus it is important to examine if Putin is in Unity or Duality Consciousness – If he is a deep deceiver or a real Saviour.


1. EUREKA & BINGO MOMENT? This is why Pope Bergoglio is now moving behind BRICS and supporting PUTIN.
PUTIN = 3rd Antichrist
POPE BER-GOG-LIO = False Prophet.
SEE COMING ATTRACTIONS? ESCHEW PUTINISM & BEWARE THE FALSE FLAG ET INVASION Nostradamus Prophecies for 2014, 2015 – 2020. Rise of the Third Antichrist 666 in Russia. UFO Alien invasion. Including the rise of the Antichrist President Vladimir Putin of Russia, and alien UFO invasion of earth and modification of human DNA for immortality. French prophet Nostradamus visions of the future.

2. Napoleon was the 2nd Antichrist in Nostradamus predictions
Putin fits in that militaristic reformer mold
Look at the Napoleonic Code
The British hate Napoleon and Putin
Putin is the 3rd Antichrist. QED

1.PUTIN&OBAMA3. Alfred Lambremont Webre From a different perspective, Putin is Obama’s handler in a long-term Soviet strategy that has shredded the American republic and is taking it down around your head and shoulders as we write. Putin & Russia is continuing a long-term war of aggression and destruction of America now through its handlee Obama/Soetoro.

1. The How and Why Behind Obama’s Mysterious Rise to the Presidency

2. The Russians Are coming PUTIN, OBAMA & THE



How Intelligence Legend & Manchurian candidate Barack Hussein Obama was created
By Alfred Lambremont Webre, JD, MEd


4. This is also Christopher Story’s position in an excellent 750 page book THE NEW UNDERWORLD DISORDER – The FEMA trains go through underground tunnels under the Bering Strait to camps in the Russian Gulag
Important (free) books exposing NWO: “The New Underworld Order” & “The European Union” by Christopher Story

2.OBAMA.POPE5.  RT & KEVIN ANNETT UPDATE This explains why RT [Putin’s TV network, the largest in thed world] cancelled Kevin Annett’s interview that would have revealed Pope Bergoglio’s Ninth Circle ritual scrifice and rapes with the statement “Anyone that believes the Pope does these tings is crazy.” That is NWO-speak! Kevin Annett would have blown the cover on the Putin-Pope NWO alliance of 3rd Antichrist and False Prophet as Archetypal Upper Theatre Social roles their intel units are all aware of. Communism and the Societ Union was a Vatican and Jesuit invention

6. POSITIVE TIMELINE & 3RD ANTICHRIST – Of course we are on the Positive Timeline. Positive Future = Positive Timeline + Unity Consciousness. That is why the 3rd Antechrist is so transparent and we can see the phenomenon. Napoleon the 2nd Antichrist according to Nostradamus was a great Reformer as is Putin, at the surface level.

7. ANTICHRIST = ANTECHRIST? This is the issue, correct? Is Putin a predeccesor to the Golden Age, or a Great Deceiver? Well, you can diss the great show you incarnated for or watch this show too. It’s a free will Univers. Just pointing out your options on a bright day in Vancouver, BC

8. Remember, the guy that Putin IS handling – Obama – was thought in Nov. 2008 by many to be a predecessor to the Golden Age and now shown to be the Great Deceiver. What makes you think Putin is any different. Geopolitics is all Jesuit Kabuki Theatre

9. One of the world’s greatest educators was Socrates who asked questions and taught in the Socratic Method.

Alfred Lambremont Webre For those minds who want Soul-Utions and knowledge we are on a positive timeline, plus the science behind it, read the 27 page paper here POSITIVE FUTURE

10. FROM A FRIEND: “I don’t think he [Putin] is. He is using everything and every opportunity to realize his own concept of the outcome he wants and its a strong Russia without all the genocidal toxins for the rest of the world. Russia already had Chernobyl and that has had a big effect on the economy of Russia by shortening people’s lives by about 10 years.

“Putin did not like communism and he is a reformer according to Kruschev’s son who really supports him and praises his reforms because he said Kruschev tried to make reforms but the Soviet bolshevik indoctrination was too fresh and too strong to overcome.

“Putin is different and he is definitely multi-generational intel. I have not seen any mistakes so far. However I do not believe he is foolproof and in the next 10 years we will see what emerges. The Jesuit babble is going to be all around him to confuse the public. Put Putin next to Obama and I will eat a Russian ice cream cone before I eat an American oreo cookie with all the poisons I have seen it emit already.

“Obama is handled by the intel agencies and every one of them is headed by a Catholic Jesuit trained operative. Even Panetta had parents who were immigrants from Calabria in Italy – the heal or toe of the boot – and that region was part of the Hapsburg empire so Panetta has a Hapsburg tie as well. His specialty in Congress and after has been “oceans” and “food and starvation”. HAH!!! Sounds pretty Jesuit to me.”

11.  [FROM A FRIEND: PUTIN AS ANTECHRIST [Nostradamus deeper meaning?] – “Hello Mr. Lambremont Webre. “In 1994 Boris Yeltsin gave 30 million citizens free land.
In 1999, 35 million citizens supplies 54% of the nations food in 110 growing day. In
1996, Putin signed into law that the people will no longer need to claim
their land, will not be taxed and can keep their land and pass it on to
their kin. In 1996, Putin signed into law that each child will get a chapter
of Book 8 of The Ringing Cedar Series, information of the Ancient Vedic
Positive Future = Positive Timeline + Unity Consciousness
A key discovery promulgated in this paper is that (1) a critical mass of humanity is (2) co-creating a positive future, through conscious acknowledgement that (3) we are synergistically traveling along a positive timeline (4) in Unity consciousness.
The Positive Future equation has supplanted and overcome an outdated Matrix Elite formula that is no longer effective:
Problem + Reaction = Solution
Positive Future equation
The Positive Future equation is:
Positive Future = Positive Timeline + Unity Consciousness

The Positive Future equation suggests that in the synergy between the Positive Timeline and Unity consciousness, a critical mass of humanity is collectively and individually activated for some or more of these suggested actions and policies for a positive future, and synchronistically resources and actors are brought together in multi-dimensional universe processes to manifest a desirable

Seven Steps to Transform the Global Financial “Crisis”

by Alfred Lambremont Webre

VIDEO – Alfred Webre: Positive Timeline, BRICS, Money, Putin & the Omniverse – TRUTH
By Alfred Lambremont Webre


Judge Napolitano: A Nation of Sheep

Judge Napolitano delivers an excellent presentation on how the Constitution of the United States has been eroded. -LW

The Dumbing down of America, Who Profits?

The general public needs to understand that the government’s money does not come from their budget. After all, a budget is merely a plan for income and expenses. The governments money is recorded in the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs). This article explains the kinds of things you will find in the CAFRs. This will amaze you. -LW

by Walter Burien – CAFR1


In Reply to Doc Blake’s post copied below the WJB reply:

Doc Blake:

Just so you don’t get played as was intended by the government boys, the illusion spoon fed us that you parroted below: “We have a rubber stamp government, run by large corporations” Well, it was that way in the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and going into the 60’s. But a big transition took place going into the beginning of the 50’s to the end of the 60’s that culminated by the mid 90’s and was absolute come 2000.

The corporations, banks, insurance, and brokerage companies from the 30’s to 60’s were constantly seeking government funds and investment capital. They thought they could influence the same. They got it each year at an ever increasing rate. That old saying of: “Walk into my pallor said the spider to the fly” doomed those companies to takeover by the eager hand of government.

Come the 70’s “collective” local and federal government was well on its way to taking over controlling interest in those companies by direct investment and cash funding to the same. Little by little bit collective government would invest each year on average 3% to 5% of their gross income. On a good year 7% to 8%. One of my favorite expressions when it comes down to government’s investments for takeover is: “there are only so many nickles to a dollar”.

Come the 90’s “collective” local and federal government owned the majority of those companies by investment, and was calling the shots as the “primary investor”. They called the shots and those holdings were being networked via “private’ associations covertly established by the government players themselves. Private associations like,, council of Mayors – State Managers – Governors – etc. And let’s not forget two of the largest private associations: The Democratic and Republican parties.

The comprehension or even a cognitive thought generated in the public per the reality of the obvious nature of what was taking place in their face and right under their noses was diligently held back from them through massive efforts applied in all relevant communication mediums that were covertly taken over DUE TO THE MONEY and wealth ever growing involved. The public never comprehended the scope and size of the government takeover.

The distractions, misdirections, and irrelevant promotions the public was constantly spoon fed to maintain and create a void as to the obvious was masterfully played out each and every day. For the last 10-years I have wanted to write a book entitled; “The decades of masterful entertainment applied – The road to Government takeover and ruin”

In the 80’s and 90’s collective US Government doing so well on the domestic front turned their focus on international takeover starting with Mexico in the 80’s, moving on to India and the Soviet block countries in the 90’s, and as of 2000 the big cherry to pick, China.

To pull this off it was required to keep the population delusional and misdirected to virtually the opposite thinking over the reality of the situation taking place and they pulled it off due to the massive wealth involved. The population parrots almost exactly what they are directed to parrot contrary to the basic glaring them right in the face reality of:

1. Government’s increase in their gross income each and every year (almost a 3000% increase on average in 35 years)

2. Collective Governments increase in their domestic “and” International investment holdings (collectively now the primary owner of any relevant large corporation, mortgage, loans, debt instruments and totaling in value as a conservative estimate 110 trillion domestically plus another 45 trillion internationally)

3. Why do these large corporations seem to get a pass-card and policy set to do as they wish reaping in massive profits when in some case those profits generated are seriously in conflict with or in direct conflict with the public’s interest and well being? The answer there is realized with another question and answer:

How do you get the full cooperation of government? ANSWER: Give government the largest percentage of the take. (Bank policy; trade policy; market regulatory policy; Insurance / mortgage / loan policy over the last several decades was designed to benefit primarily the largest controlling investor – collective local and federal government)

TREASON: “Treason doth never prosper; what’s the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it treason.” Sir John Harrington, 1561-1612

When and if the pubic ever comprehends “the basics” it will all come into view very clearly. But then to cut through the masterful distractions and misdirections due to the money and wealth involve, the general public really has never had an ice-cube’s chance in hell of being able to do so.

I am working on having an impact in that arena and hope to make some real progress in that direction soon. The real cute point is I think I can do it with the full cooperation of government and the primary corporations after I have the chance to brief them on how to create a win-win for one and all that creates a thriving economy for all time to come. Done through the TRF program implemented through and by the TRFA. Hard trick to pull off but I think I can do it..

Please share and publish my comments for others to see.

Truly yours,

Walter Burien –
P. O. Box 2112
Saint Johns, AZ 85936

Tel. (928) 458-5854



America Dumbed down? What Do You Think? Do The Crazies in WalMart Know That They Are Crazy?
From: Doc Blake – 09/24/14

WalMart Crazies!

Could 287 Chemicals in the Blood of New Born USA Babies Make WalMart Worse?

Why Are Trace Chemicals Showing Up in Umbilical Cord Blood.

This is America dumb-ed down, and totally clueless in WalMart! Brain surgeon and retired neurologist Dr. Russel Blaylock spells this out in the video below. Everyone in America needs to see this video because the implications are becoming such a deep and frighting nightmare as you can clearly see in Walmart and other public areas?

Dr. Russel Blaylock, Video

Instead of looking toward a bright future for humanity expressing the highest ideals assisted by its government, the one our founding fathers foresaw. We have a rubber stamp government, run by large corporations introducing whatever they please in the way of chemicals, heavy metals, GMO’s and toxic waste into the food-chain. Bringing mental and physical diseases to a trusting, naive public who believe everything is just fine except they are sick. While on the other side the medical establishment reaps the dividends of these chemically sick Americans and treats them with poisonous, mentally deranging and addictive drugs. So we end up in a mad house country, with the mental patients running the show.

Solution to the Problem
A hell of a lot of government, scientific, medical and business leaders need to be convicted for this and spend a great deal of time in prisons and mental institutions. Because they have committed crimes against humanity and they are far too dangerous to the public to be allowed to cause more harm.

Happy Healthy Trails,

Doc Blake


Bank With BRICS

Celebrations surrounding the 70th anniversary of the Bretton Woods agreements that created the IMF and the World Bank are low key affairs. It does not help that the U.S. Congress has failed to ratify the most recent agreement to expand the IMF, required to make World Bank resources (tied to IMF borrowing quotas) grow as well.

Transcripts of the 1944 conference held at the Mount Washington Hotel in New Hampshire have been discovered and published. Observers have long recognized the significance of what transpired when the American delegation led by Harry White debated the British delegation led by John Maynard Keynes. New work by Canadian political economist Eric Heilleiner shows that the conference organized by the wartime allies (the United Nations before the UN was created) had a wider focus than was commonly understood, and included significant contributions from more than the U.S. and U.K.

Undoubtedly, the first step in establishing postwar U.S. hegemonic leadership was the scuttling of the Keynes plan at Bretton Woods. A banking arrangement Keynes called an international clearings union where countries with international surpluses would automatically lend them to deficit countries — the U.S. would have been the lender — was opposed by the U.S. and its allies.

As it turned out, in the years after the war, the U.S. provided bilaterally over $12 billion in Marshall Plan loans to Europe, far more in dollars than was envisaged by the Keynes plan.

As a result of Bretton Woods, a U.S. dollar based foreign exchange market system emerged. Individuals and companies would trade their national currencies for U.S. dollars, and then use their dollars to make international payments. It was not until 1958 that the European countries accepted to make their currencies convertible through foreign exchange markets, activating IMF lending.

The role of the World Bank was simple: sell bonds on Wall St. to absorb the surplus funds accumulating in the U.S. banking system; then lend the money to Europe for rebuilding infrastructure damaged during the war. If American firms got many of the building contracts so much the better.

At about the same time as the 70th anniversary of Bretton Woods, the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) were putting the finishing touches on two new international financial institutions they decided to create just over one year ago.
The New Development Bank conceived for infrastructure lending begins with capital pledges from the five founding members of $50 billion, increasing to $100 billion by 2017. A short-term lending facility, the Contigency Reserve Arrangement to fend off speculative attacks against the BRICS from hedge funds, shadow banks, and others is also to come into existence. This will be a welcome development for Russia facing G7 country boycotts instigated to limit its access to financial markets.

By 2014 the U.S. had been running huge deficits in international accounts for over three decades. Other nations have been accumulating dollars in foreign exchange reserves. China is the champion with an accumulated surplus of over $3 trillion !
China has already been putting its excess dollars to work around the world, lending for infrastructure projects at attractive rates (priced below market rates) through its state owned banks. Chinese companies follow the loans building dams, roads, railroads, ports, and football stadiums in Africa, Latin America, Asia, or Europe.

The New Development Bank is now set up to do what the World Bank has failed to do: borrow Chinese surpluses and lend to deficit countries other than the U.S. for infrastructure.The financial power of the BRICS Bank resides in its ability to use its paid-in and callable capital as security to borrow on world markets. A New Development Bank bond will be considered “risk free” by financial markets because the resources of the BRICS countries lie behind the pledge to pay interest, and redeem the bond at maturity.

The BRICS Bank founding documents only mention dollars (and establish English as the working language). The Bank could also issue bonds denominated in Special Drawing Rights, the international currency unit of the IMF; or indeed in the Chinese currency unit; or create an international unit of its own. Needless to say currency decisions made by its Board of Governors, Directors, and President will be watched closely around the world.

The Bank and the Contingency Reserve Arrangement both provide for additional members to join. Given the unwillingness of the U.S. Congress to implement decisions made by the G20 to expand IMF and World Bank resources, it would make sense for Canada along with other middle power countries to consider membership in the new institutions. Moving away from an international system where the richest country in the world, the U.S., is also the biggest borrower from the rest of the world is an objective worth pursuing outside the IMF and World Bank.

Duncan Cameron is the president of and writes a weekly column on politics and current affairs.