“Immoral Debt,” Julian Assange, and Ecuador


by Marilyn M. Barnewall, ©2012

(Sep. 9, 2012) — There is an extremely interesting concept called “odious debt.”  Much has been written about it – for many years. .. even Aristotle talked of it.

In a recent article by Italian writer, Nicola di Cora Modigliani, the concept of “immoral debt” is mentioned in relationship to Ecuador, Argentina, the U.S.A., and Julian Assange.  The article (in Italian) can be found at http://sergiodicorimodiglianji.blogspot.it .

The story is difficult to follow because it bounces around in un-timed sequences.  It discusses Ecuadorian rejection of debt on the basis of “immoral debt” (the correct term being “odious debt”) that occurred in 2008 in the same time sequence he discusses Argentina’s early payment of its bond debt in 2012 but he identifies the bond debt as Argentina’s IMF debt… which it isn’t.  In other words, the article is confusing and contains some errors.

Modigliani’s story, however, is important because the concept of “odious debt” – or, if you’re an Italian writer “immoral debt” – is extremely interesting to a world of citizen tax payers who believe they are caught in a web of immoral debt which is forcing them into giving up the sovereignty of their nation and forcing them to become labor slaves to a system of economic, oligarchic terrorists.

The concept of “odious debt” may lend itself to an exit strategy for sovereign nations of the world to escape the crushing debt being heaped on the heads of people worldwide.   The idea does hold some thoughtful possibilities.

Modigliani’s story has to do with Julian Assange of Wikileaks fame and the reason the Republic of Ecuador gave him asylum in their United Kingdom Embassy.  Everyone had to wonder why Assange sought out the Ecuadorian Embassy.  Why Ecuador?

Here is what Modigliani says happened to Julian Assange.

On 15 June 2012, Julian Assange understands that for him it’s over. He knows that he will be arrested in Stockholm, picked up at the airport, not by police forces of His Majesty the King of Sweden, but by two officers of the CIA and a US diplomat, using specific formal agreements between the two nations to claim that Assange “actively intervened” in the NATO conflict in Iraq while the war was in progress. He will then be taken directly to the US, to the state of Texas, and subjected to criminal prosecution for terrorist activities. There will be a demand for the death penalty based on the provisions of the Patriot Act.

So Assange consults with his group, and at 9 a.m. on 19 June, enters the Embassy of Ecuador. His team opens negotiations with British agents in London, with the Swedes in Stockholm, and American diplomats in Rio de Janeiro. They agree to let the (London) Olympics pass, after which he can quietly go to South America, ‘just do not talk about it.’ But somehow they don’t trust the Anglo-Americans and rightly so. So they carry out two masterstrokes on 3 August and 4 August.

How does Modigliani get his insights into what Assange is thinking and what he’s doing?  There’s no way of knowing – but that’s not the important part of this article.  It’s just interesting information.

Modigliani goes on to say that on 3 August 2012, 16 months ahead of schedule, Argentina President, Cristina Kirchner, went to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)  headquarters in Manhattan.  Senor Patino, the Foreign Minister of Ecuador, went with her to pay off Argentina’s IMF debt.  Ecuador’s Patino was there because he represents Labour Alianza Bolivariana America, the economic union between Latin America and the Caribbean.

I can find no verification for these statements.  What I do find is that Argentina paid off a special bondholder fund representing money taken by Argentina when it froze citizen assets and closed its banks at the turn of the 21st century.

It is true that since 2002 Argentina has fought the IMF’s attempts to impose restrictive measures of economic austerity on the country. The IMF wanted to do what the IMF is known worldwide for doing:  It wanted to finance infrastructure, pay for research… you know the routine:  Make a country borrow and spend money building roads and airports and bridges and other “shovel ready projects.”  Such strategies force any nation deeper and deeper and deeper in debt until it is in economic ruin.  Sound familiar?

On the other hand, it is equally true that Argentina seems to lack character as a state when it comes to repaying their loans.  They seem to believe that banks in other nations ought to lend them money but they can choose not to repay.

And that is where the question of “odious” or “immoral” debt enters the story.

Though readers must wade through misconceptions and misstatements made by Modigliani in his article, it is an important article because it brings the concept of immoral debt to the public eye.

Modigliani says  “A lie is being forced upon the majority of the world’s population by the oligarch elites.”  This is an important statement because it is true.

Another of Modigliani’s statements suggests that Julian Assange provided evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the Rothschild/Rockefeller cabal – that it gave copies of documented conversations between elitist bankers and others about how to cripple the economies of the nations of South America.  The comments that make up the Assange evidence focus on how to take away South America’s energy resources, prevent economic recovery, and force the governments of the continent to pursue neo-colonialist policies in order that Spain, Italy and Germany can, with British capital, benefit from the difficulties sure to follow when the recommended policies are followed.  Anyone who has read Confessions of an Economic Hit Man will recognize the parallels.

If, indeed, Assange and Wikileaks did provide this information to the South American nations, it will enable them to avert numerous economic emergencies.  According to the Modigliani article, Assange has found asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London because of this information.   It sounds reasonable.

And, without intending to, Ecuador (whether or not acting on information provided by Assange to South American nations about the intent of western economies to destroy them and buy them from the ashes for a dime on the dollar) has exposed a great weakness in the world financial systems.

On December 16, 2008, Ecuadordorian President Rafael Correa didn’t make a scheduled interest payment on private bonds.  Ecuador had defaulted in 1998 when going through a financial crisis.  This time, however, was different.  Correa told the world that his small nation was not going to pay “obviously immoral and illegitimate debts.”

Ecuador’s gross domestic product (GDP) is close to 50 billion euros and its “immoral debt” is about 11 billion euros.  It’s a small country.  But that isn’t the point.  The “immoral debt” point made by Rafael Correa, was announced on television on December 12, 2008.  He said immoral and illegitimate debts violated the constitution and oppressed his people.

The question, then, becomes:  What debts are “odious” or “immoral,” and which are not?  What is an illegitimate debt?  President Correa related the Ecuadorian “immoral debt” to violations of that nation’s constitution.

In America, we can look at mortgage-backed derivatives and millions of unlawful foreclosures and come to the same conclusion.  These debts and the government funds loaned to the banksters that created them and who got bailed out by additional funds from the taxed pockets of American citizens can probably make the best claim of “immoral” or “odious” debt of any citizens in the world.

What else might represent “immoral debt?”

Well, if it’s anything that is unconstitutional, a claim could be made that the entire Federal Reserve System is “unconstitutional.”

Article One, Section 8 of the United States Constitution says “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United State;” Section 8 also says Congress has the responsibility “To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;”.

There is a lawful way to change the Constitution of the United States.  It involves both the House of Representatives and the Senate.  Each must approve by a two-thirds supermajority vote a joint resolution amending the Constitution.  The joint resolution does not require the signature of the President but is sent directly to the states for ratification.  Once ratified by the People, the Constitution is lawfully amended.  That is the process put in place by our Founding Fathers.

As anyone who is familiar with the history of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 knows, this procedure was not followed.  Instead, politicians who supported the concept of a central bank (which America had only briefly on two occasions until 1913) let their opponents go home for Christmas on December 23rd and proceeded to pass this act unconstitutionally.  The Congress cannot, under its own limited power, change the Constitution of the United States.  The Federal Reserve Act and the banking system that evolved from it have never been constitutional.

Foreign nations should beware.  They are doing business with an unlawful agency… one that could be found in violation of the Constitution and not qualified to create debt in the name of the people of the United States of America… “immoral” or “odious” debt.

Even by-passing the unlawful – which means “odious” and/or “immoral” – debt created by the Federal Reserve System, there is much debt from equally unconstitutional sources.  For example, only the Congress has the constitutional (moral) authority to declare war.  Could that mean that any debt from non-declared wars represents “immoral debt?”

Eduador’s President Rafael Correa says immoral and illegitimate debts violated the constitution of his country and oppressed his people.  He refused to pay them.  If that is the standard by which we define “immoral debt,” this Modigliani article, filled with its errors and misinformation (not disinformation… it does not appear to be intentionally misleading), is of critical importance.  It may have presented to the American people a strategy for getting rid of a lot of debt… immoral debt.

Before you think that I’ve taken leave of my senses, as I said at the beginning of this article there has been much discussion on the subject of “odious” debt (as the Paris Club calls it)… in fact, even the United States Congress has been talking about it.  We haven’t heard about it, of course.  Take a look at H.R. 2634, The Jubilee Act for Responsible Lending here.  http://marilynwrites.blogspot.com/ .

On April 16, 2008, this Act the House of Representatives passed an amended version of the Jubilee Act for Responsible Lending and Expanded Debt Cancellation.

It sounds like what we Americans needs is a good, old fashioned South American style coup by a military that understands the concept of “immoral debt.”  The precedent for it, after all, was set by the President of the United States of America when he declared the debt of Iraq to be “immoral debt” when we invaded that nation in 2003.


Marilyn MacGruder Barnewall is a career banker who started her professional life in 1956 as a journalist with the Wyoming Eagle in Cheyenne. During her 20 years (plus) as a banker and bank consultant, she wrote extensively for The American Banker, Bank Marketing Magazine, Trust Marketing Magazine, was U.S. Consulting Editor for Private Banker International (London/Dublin), and other major banking industry publications. She has written seven non-fiction books about banking and taught wealth creation private banking at Colorado University, for the American Bankers Association and Trust Bankers Association, and for Asian bankers in Singapore.  She has always argued with the banking industry about the way it does business and has authored seven banking books, one dog book, and two works of fiction:  When the Swan’s Neck Breaks and Flight of the Black Swan (about banking, of course). She has served on numerous Boards in her community.

3 Responses to "“Immoral Debt,” Julian Assange, and Ecuador"

  1. Dabigragu   Monday, September 10, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Agree Bridget, an excellent article.

  2. OPOVV   Monday, September 10, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    Dear Patriot Barnewall,
    The “Fraud in the White House” promises to pay-off “contributors” and other people who “support” him in his quest to render our Constitution null and void. Members of Congress and those of the Judiciary acquiesce, the order goes to Treasury to print a few billion dollars, the money is “given” to the Federal Reserve Bank, a PRIVATE CORPORATION (responsible ONLY to make a profit for its members), and then the money is “loaned” to the taxpayers of America, with interest (and then with COMPOUND interest). That “loaned” money finds its way into the pockets of individuals who may keep half with the other half being “contributed” to the campaign treasure chest of Obama, otherwise known as “STIMULUS” money.
    The deck is stacked against the honest Patriots of the United States who, unbelievably, think that change will come through letters and keeping an eye on our elected representatives, and in the court room.
    Not so, not by a long shot, not by anyone’s wildest imagination can we expect an ounce of decency or honesty from any court in our land, for if this were not so, then Obama would have been vetted by now and found wanting, so much so that his name would not be on the 2012 ballot.
    The “Oil for Food” UN scam was just as successful as Osama’s “STIMULUS”. And, yes, all that money is “immoral”, to state the obvious. Is it going to change, and if it is, what will be the catalyst? Romney lacks the character, the knowledge and the commitment to get the job done. Good luck, everyone.

  3. bridget zegers   Sunday, September 9, 2012 at 2:51 PM


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