GM Chrysler and Obama : Automaker Debacle "a failure of leadership – from Washington to Detroit" : No More Bailouts without Restructuring

As reported by the BBC, no more bailouts for US carmakers GM and Chrysler if they do not restructure swiftly.

President Obama has correctly called the American automaker debacle of GM and Chrysler “a failure of leadership from Washington to Detroit that led our auto companies to this point.

Scott Oldham, writing in Popular Mechanics in the year 2000 (!), identifies many of the mistakes that were made in the past 50 years in his article History Lesson On A Century Of Cars.

From the very beginning of foreign competition in the automobile market, starting in 1959, when the German Volkswagen Beetle came onto the U.S. market and quickly cornered a 10% market share, America has failed to read the writing on the wall. As Oldham writes:

While the relationship between our nation’s legislators and our nation’s carmakers has been, at times, confrontational, it’s Washington that Detroit turns to when the road turns rocky.

When Japanese carmakers began to find niches in the U.S. car market starting in 1967, there was no sensible response by the American automotive industry or by the United Auto Workers (UAW) to face the openly visible competitive challenges that were facing them. Already in 1974, as the result of the 1973 oil embargo, many American car buyers opted for better-made lower-mileage Japanese cars, increasing the Japanese share of the automobile market to 20%. The Japanese soon even started setting up auto plants in the USA. They had the better products.

Oldham writes:

The Detroit River flowed red. The Big Three turned to Washington. Lee Iacocca asked President Carter for an $800 million loan guarantee to save the floundering Chrysler Corp. And got it. The UAW petitioned for quotas that limited the number of imports that could be brought into the United States. Those quotas were refused, but Japan agreed to voluntarily put restraints on its number of exports. Then Detroit pleaded for an investigation into Japanese “dumping”-selling cars at a price lower than in Japan, perhaps even at an unprofitable price, to gain market share here.

The Washington bailout kept Chrysler running then, but this did not keep European car manufacturers such as Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar and Land Rover from successfully entering the market. The market share of U.S. carmakers continued to drop, without any corresponding export balance. The U.S. cars were simply too poorly made, too expensive and not economically efficient enough to survive in foreign markets.

Oldham, writing in 2000 about the prospects for the future, then makes a serious error in his article in adopting the flawed way of thinking that has categorized America’s view of the automobile world:

As we enter the third century of the car, Ford owns Jaguar, Volvo passenger cars and Aston Martin outright, as well as a third of Mazda. GM owns Saab passenger cars and a large chunk of Isuzu. And Chrysler, which briefly owned Lamborghini, went out and married Daimler-Benz, forming DaimlerChrysler.

Such partnerships not only blur the lines between domestic and import cars, they eliminate them. Should this trend continue, Detroit will one day effectively exterminate the import car from its turf-which has clearly been its goal for the entire second half of the 20th century.” [emphasis added]

Wishful thinking is not a solution. If that was Detroit’s goal, they have failed miserably. The only way that America could ever have “exterminated the import car from its turf” would have been to make better, cheaper, more economical cars. Instead, America continued to make poorer, more expensive and less economical cars and went into the SUV and truck craze in the 2000s, “fueled by” the totally mistaken conception that petroleum-based fuels were endless and that American car manufacturers were somehow exempt from the economic realities of the rest of the world.

One of the advocates of the SUV and truck craze was the chief of General Motors, who on March 29, 2009, was just forced out of his job by the Obama administration, after having led the company into total ruin in a decade of hopelessly flawed leadership. He epitomizes one problem of the corporate (and political) world in general, which is the over-prevalent hiring of CEOs who are “well-liked” and “popular”, rather than people who know what they are doing. One must seriously ask, who are the board members that keep these incompetents in office, year after year, when it is clear that they have no business being in the position they are in?

AIG and Obama : "I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak."

Say what you want, but Obama is sharp. To the rather aggressive question by someone in the news media who is clearly not on Obama’s side as to why it took Obama so long to express outrage at the AIG bonuses, Obama replied: “It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak“.

Hat tip to Disputing (“Conversations about Dispute Resoultion”), who were “surprised to learn that the standard AIG Employee Retention Plan (Bonus Contract) [as posted by The New York Times] contains no arbitration clauses.

Our comment to that is: If you are getting 30% of the business you write as a flat out cash bonus, who needs arbitration? Obviously, such – in our view – unconscionable contracts (unconscionable with respect to the shareholders) are not normality.

Wealth in America : Who Has the Money? : Wealth Income and Power in U.S. Society : Owners and Top-Level Managers Dominate : The Average American Loses

Who holds America’s riches?

Professor G. William Domhoff of the University of California at Santa Cruz is the author of Who Rules America?, a book which he describes online as follows:

My book, Who Rules America?, presents detailed original information on how power and politics operate in the United States. The first edition came out in 1967 and is ranked 12th on the list of 50 best sellers in sociology between 1950 and 1995. A second edition, Who Rules America Now?, arrived in 1983 and landed at #43 on the same list. Third and fourth editions followed in 1998 and 2002, and the fifth edition, upon which most of this web site is based, came out in 2006. Keep an eye out for the sixth edition, due in summer of 2009, which updates the story to include the rise of Barack Obama and the nature of his administration.” [emphasis added by LawPundit]

The description of the book is enlightening about the subject matter:

Drawing from a power elite perspective and the latest empirical data, Domhoff’s classic text is an invaluable tool for teaching students about how power operates in U.S. society. Domhoff argues that the owners and top-level managers in large income-producing properties are far and away the dominant figures in the U.S. Their corporations, banks, and agribusinesses come together as a corporate community that dominates the federal government in Washington and their real estate, construction, and land development companies form growth coalitions that dominate most local governments. By providing empirical evidence for his argument, Domhoff encourages students to think critically about the power structure in American society and its implications for our democracy. . .

The current financial credit crisis in America can only be properly understood with a good background of knowledge about the wealth figures that Domhoff presents. Many important facts can be viewed at Who Rules America? online at Wealth, Income and Power, illustrative of which is the following graphic of the development of income in the United States between 1982 and 2000:

Distribution of income in the United States, 1982-2000

Year Top 1 percent Next 19 percent Bottom 80 percent
1982 12.8% 39.1% 48.1%
1988 16.6% 38.9% 44.5%
1991 15.7% 40.7% 43.7%
1994 14.4% 40.8% 44.9%
1997 16.6% 39.6% 43.8%
2000 20.0% 38.7% 41.4%
From Wolff (2004).

These statistics will of course have gotten much worse during the Bush administration. Essentially, the top 1% of the population already in the year 2000 earned nearly double as much income as it did in 1982, while the bottom 80% of the population earned 16% less than it did 20 years previous.

This pattern of wealth misappropriation by the upper classes in America has been going on for quite some time now and the current financial credit crisis can in a Franz Kafka like way be viewed as the point in time when the paying public had been bled so bone dry that the entire mercenary system of income in America became its own exploiting impediment – the small guys ran out of money and could no longer make their mortgage payments to finance the money-grab of the big guys.

Things have gotten so bad that the United States, according to Domhoff, ranks 2nd in the world after Switzerland, a nation of banks, for God sake, in terms of the total national wealth held by 10% of the population:

Percentage of wealth held by the Top 10% of the adult population in various Western countries

country wealth owned by top 10%
Switzerland 71.3%
United States 69.8%
Denmark 65.0%
France 61.0%
Sweden 58.6%
UK 56.0%
Canada 53.0%
Norway 50.5%
Germany 44.4%
Finland 42.3%

The result of this increasing concentration of wealth is power and corruption — under the motto that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

The only available solutions to keeping the United States from dropping further and further into its present near-status as a 3rd world country are: 1) rigorous, indeed draconic controls of its financial institutions, and 2) quick and speedy redistribution of the nation’s wealth to the broad mass of America.

Indicative of the giant divide between reality and what you read in the newspapers is Domhoff’s graphic comparing the development from 1990 to 2005 of CEO pay (up ca. 300%), the S&P 500 (up ca. 140%), corporate profits (up ca. 100%), production workers’ pay (up ca. 4%), and the Federal minimum wage (down nearly 10%).

The papers are constantly full of overfed executives ranting about the minimum wage, but in reality, that is not the issue. A nation running its economy as a vast system of worker exploitation will not long endure and America must get its act together quickly if it is to survive the present financial crisis and move forward, or – perhaps forever – fall behind. Heed the warning signs.

Hedge Fund Managers Fleece the Country and the World of Yet More Billions

Svea Herbst-Bayliss at Reuters reports in Top hedge fund earners take home billions that the country’s top 25 hedge fund managers had their 3rd best year ever in 2008, gambling with other people’s money, and collected a total of $11.6 billion for their services, which averages out to $464 million per manager per year. That is YOUR money folks. YOUR money that you no longer have.

Looks like a good way to make a living – but for WHAT?

For WHAT product or service that is useful to society are they paid this kind of money? For making your life better? For improving their country? For something good done for the world? None of these things. They are getting paid that much for successfully GAMBLING with wealthy people’s money.

That the laws permit this kind of thing is one of the great mysteries of this universe. We would put a blank 99% income tax on those kinds of windfall profits for the good of the public treasury.

That would still leave the 25 managers $116 million to share = $4,640,000 annually per manager, which is a good years work and then some.

As written at the Wikipedia:

Hedge funds are typically open only to a limited range of professional or wealthy investors. This provides them with an exemption in many jurisdictions from regulations governing short selling, derivative contracts, leverage, fee structures and the liquidity of interests in the fund. A hedge fund will typically commit itself to a particular investment strategy, investment types and leverage levels via statements in its offering documentation, thereby giving investors some indication of the nature of the fund.

The net asset value of a hedge fund can run into many billions of dollars, and this will usually be multiplied by leverage. Hedge funds dominate certain specialty markets such as trading within derivatives with high-yield ratings and distressed debt.“

There is no reason in law or logic to give hedge funds these special privileges and to leverage money they do not have, giving them even more power than they already have with the pure cash at their disposal. These are the very same people who make billions by driving markets down, including the present market situation, and who then make billions by driving markets up, or did you think that last year’s increase in the price of gasoline was the product of Ma and Pa buying oil shares down at the local five-and-dime stockbroker?

What will now happen is that these same hedge funds will be buying up “toxic assets” for a song, i.e. all of those default mortgages, and then, when the economy is moving again, make a gigantic profit from their investment. Fools and their money are easily parted. In the hands of the professionals of avarice, money breeds money.

Does Your Average American Know He or She is Being Stolen Blind by the Upper Echelons ?

The Great Debate, a blog by Bernd Debusmann at Reuters, has some interesting statistics on the ever-widening gap between salaries at the American business top as compared to those of normal American workers. Debusmann writes in In American Crisis, Anger and Guns:

There’s less wealth to spread around now as trillions of dollars has evaporated with increasing speed in the deepening crisis. In housing alone, more than $5 trillion has vanished. The gap between rich and poor, a gap of Third World proportions, has not changed. A full-time worker, on average, made $37,606 last year, considerably less than in 1973, adjusted for inflation.

While CEOs made 45 times as much as workers in 1973 they make more than 300 times as much today, according to Holly Sklar, author of “Raise the Floor, Wages and Policies that Work for All of US.

That figure is of course exaggerated, unless you are comparing only the CEOs at the very top in Fortune 500 companies and the like, who of course are making millions of dollars per year. I have never been sure just quite what for, but people are paying them that kind of absurd money to be company figureheads under the mistaken assumption that only CEOs who get millions can make millions. It is a rather foolish idea, not supported by empirical studies.

In any case, one of the truly serious problems in America is that a great mass of the population really does not know what is going on, thinking that everything is hunky-dory just because they are in America, and not realizing that they are increasingly being stolen blind by the upper strata of society, who have been taking an increasingly larger share of the pie for themselves, and leaving less and less of that same pie for the vast majority of normal Americans.

We do not know what the solution to this confounded situation is. As long as people in America fail to realize that they have a problem, it will not be solved.

Major Causes of the Financial Credit Crisis : Stanford Magazine Tells the TRUE Story of Brooksley Born : The Rejected Attempt to Regulate Derivatives

Paul Krugman, who in 2008 was the sole winner of the Nobel Prize for Economic Science, in his book, The Great Unraveling: Losing our Way in the New Century, chronicles the optimistic 1990s which dissipated into gloom in the 2000s because of “incredibly bad leadership, in the private sector and in the corridors of power.” We are not always great fans of Krugman, who was not always as brilliant as he is claimed to be. In the book, he himself writes (quoted from the Wikipedia):

I was no more perceptive than anyone else; during the bull market years [of the late 1990s] some people did send me letters claiming that major corporations were cooking their books, but – to my great regret – I ignored them. However, when Enron – the most celebrated company of its time, lauded as the very model of a modern business enterprise – blew up, I immediately saw the implications: if such a famous and celebrated company could have been a Ponzi scheme, it was very unlikely that the rest of U.S. business was squeaky clean. In fact, it quickly became clear, the bubble years were both the cause and effect of an epidemic of corporate malfeasance. (p. 26)

One way to diminish crimes is to obfuscate terminology. The term “corporate malfeasance” is a nice way of ignoring blunt words like “theft” and “fraud”. Moreover, equating the plundering and pilfering of the American economy to an analogically unrelated medical “epidemic” adds an element of excuse to the crime because an epidemic presumes a sudden outside cause, and thus implicitly reduces the personal responsibility and culpability of the actors.

As for the causes of the current financial crisis, Thomas Friedman at the New York Times, a Pulitzer Prize winner from the year 2002, echoed a similar sentiment of a sudden disaster in the year 2008, referring to a meltdown and a breakdown, as if this were a short-term malady:

[Either] our country’s best-paid bankers were overrated dopes who had no idea what they were selling, or greedy cynics who did know and turned a blind eye. But it wasn’t only the bankers. This financial meltdown involved a broad national breakdown in personal responsibility, government regulation and financial ethics.

Meltdown” is a term taken from the catastrophic total or partial melting of a nuclear reactor core and really has nothing to do with economics. A “breakdown” is a sudden malfunction. Here again the terminology used by the author suggests – perhaps subliminally as means of reality avoidance – that the current credit crisis was a spontaneous unforeseen event, rather than – as we shall see below – the inevitable product of many erroneous long-term policies and decisions.

The cover text of the March/April 2009 issue of Stanford Magazine casts an illuminating light on the TRUE story, proclaiming in giant text: “The Woman Who Tried to Save Our Money* (*And the People Who Stopped Her)“. In an article titled Prophet and Loss, Rick Schmitt, accompanied by the photography of Erika Larsen, tells the story of Stanford Law School grad Brooksley Born, who was “named to head the Commodity Futures Trading Commisssion in 1996“, and who at that time already warned then Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan of the coming disaster, and tried to implement regulations, only to be told that Greenspan did not believe in laws against fraud in the economic sector and that the market would take care of itself. Nor was Greenspan alone in his sentiments, which were shared by most of Wall Street and the political community, who were – already in the 1990s, and surely in the 80s and 70s – all busy robbing the bank.

Contrary to the – still erroneous – opinions of Krugman, who places the majority of blame for the present crisis in the hands of “radicals” in the Bush Administration – and there is no doubt that the tax and economic policies of the Bush Administration amounted to national theft for the benefit of the wealthy – Born’s story proves that the causes of the current economic situation go further back in time than Bush, and that American institutions and both Democrats and Republicans are responsible for what is happening, so that partisan politics here are totally inappropriate and just downright wrong. Both Democrats and Republicans were raking in the nation’s cash, and still are. All those bonuses are not going to innocent lambs who do not understand the situation. Quite the contrary. Here is a common law definition of fraud:

All multifarious means which human ingenuity can devise, and which are resorted to by one individual to get an advantage over another by false suggestions or suppression of the truth. It includes all surprises, tricks, cunning or dissembling, and any unfair way which another is cheated.” – Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th ed., by Henry Campbell Black, West Publishing Co., St. Paul, Minnesota, 1979.”

Warren Buffet wrote in 2002 in a letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders that “derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction, carrying dangers that, while now latent, are potentially lethal, ” but no one listened to him, as Kevin Cool so aptly notes at First Impressions at that same Stanford Magazine in his editorial, “She Saw it Coming: Long before the meltdown, Brooksley Born rang the alarm.” And if people did not listen to Warren Buffet, a world-famous investor in 2002, they most surely did not listen to the virtually unknown Brooksley Born in 1997 . People were deaf to reality. What has changed?

As Rick Schmitt writes in Stanford Magazine online:

As chairperson of the CFTC, Born advocated reining in the huge and growing market for financial derivatives…. One type of derivative—known as a credit-default swap—has been a key contributor to the economy’s recent unraveling….

The swaps were sold as a kind of insurance—the insured paid a “premium” as protection in case the creditor defaulted on the loan, and the insurer agreed to cover the losses in exchange for that premium. The credit-default swap market—estimated at more than $45 trillion—helped fuel the mortgage boom, allowing lenders to spread their risk further and further, thus generating more and more loans. But because the swaps are not regulated, no one ensured that the parties were able to pay what they promised. When housing prices crashed, the loans also went south, and the massive debt obligations in the derivatives contracts wiped out banks unable to cover them.

Back in the 1990s, however, Born’s proposal stirred an almost visceral response from other regulators in the Clinton administration, as well as members of Congress and lobbyists. The economy was sailing along, and the growth of derivatives was considered a sign of American innovation and a symbol of the virtues of deregulation. The instruments were also a growing cash cow for the Wall Street firms that peddled them to eager takers.

Ultimately, Greenspan and the other regulators foiled Born’s efforts, and Congress took the extraordinary step of enacting legislation that prohibited her agency from taking any action. Born left government and returned to her private law practice in Washington….

Congress enacted the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which effectively gutted the ability of the CFTC to regulate OTC derivatives. With no other agency picking up the slack, the market grew, unchecked.” [link added by LawPundit]

Read the whole story here – if you want to know the real truth. There was no meltdown, it was not an epidemic, it was a long sustained period of unchecked and unregulated greed at top levels of public and private life, leading to the pilfering and plundering of the American and world economy to the tune of TRILLIONS of dollars. Some now have much more and many more now have much less. It would be useful for the journalists of this world to track down who has that money now.

The role of the law is now to figure out how to get that money back, viz. to redistribute the windfall profits that the financial mercenaries have pocketed. Given the way that human beings are, this will not be easy, especially since much of the plundered money is in the pockets of those who in fact are still currently running the financial world.

Are derivatives and related credit and insurance scams the biggest Ponzi scheme ever imagined? Does it make Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid look like petty amateurs?

People of the law – you permitted it, either willingly – most likely, or, less likely, due to a well-meaning misunderstanding of human vices and virtues and of how the real market works. Mankind shows time and again that it is a selfish beast, when not properly constrained. That very conclusion is the honest assessment of humanity which is at the root of capitalism, contrary to the erroneous and amply disproven theories of Marxism-Leninism that men and women are good at heart and willing to work for their fellows out of simple good will. Most of them NEVER do. And that is why we have law and lawyers – both of which should function as the regulatory instances for keeping things fair and honest at the societal level. In the modern era, caught in the search by people of the legal profession and elsewhere to become “materially wealthy” and to “be important” or “powerful” in the eyes of their peers, the true role of the law as the protector of the common weal has been largely lost.

In this connection we refer to Linda McQuaig, who wrote Lost in the Shopping Mall in the Queen’s Quarterly in 2002, which we excerpt below from

[P]undits appear[ed] shaken by the astounding greed and dishonesty at the heart of [Enron’s] corporate culture. Still, some shrug it off as simple human nature, saying that we are inherently a competitive, acquisitive species, naturally inclined to push our own self-interest as far as we possibly can. But is this the whole picture? Is our society really nothing more than a loose collection of shoppers, graspers, and self-absorbed swindlers? Perhaps we are in danger of becoming such a culture, but it is important to remember that culture itself is a learned set of rules….

[T]he concept of the public good is one that has fallen out of favour in recent years. Over the last two decades, it has become increasingly common to dismiss the notion that we all share an interest in the broader community, that society is more than simply a collection of individuals all pursuing their own individual material self-interest. With the decline in support for the notion of the public good, we see a growing acceptance of private power, and a willingness to allow the corporate sector to dominate the economic and political spheres.

This emphasis on corporate rights is something of a departure from the early postwar years, when it was widely accepted that corporations should be subject to the control of society. It was therefore accepted that governments had an important role to play in regulating corporations and the economy, in redistributing resources through the tax system, and in providing social supports. Overall, it was expected that government would defend the public good.

The “new” capitalism of the last two decades is about diminishing the role of government and extending the rights and influence of corporations, through privatization, deregulation, and cutbacks in the size and scope of government. In many ways, of course, this isn’t really a “new” capitalism at all, but rather a throwback to an earlier kind of laissez-faire capitalism.

There is a tendency these days to see the aggressive new capitalism as inevitable, as rooted in human nature. It is widely assumed that humans are intensely acquisitive, materialistic, and individualistic by nature, and that therefore it is naive to think of any notion of the public good.

The late economic historian and anthropologist Karl Polanyi mounted a powerful challenge to this view — not on moral grounds, but on the grounds of observing the way people in other societies behaved. Polanyi argued that the intense focus on material acquisitiveness, which seems so natural in our society, is a historical aberration, something that really does not exist outside of the type of capitalist society that has developed in the West in the last few hundred years. All societies throughout history have devised ways to meet their material needs. But in other societies, meeting material needs was only one of the many functions that an individual performed in that society, and was considered a less important focus than other aspects of life — like religion, family, kingdom, clan, tradition, and law….

Polanyi argued that the one characteristic found in humans in all societies is not a focus on material acquisition, but rather a need to interact with other humans. According to him, humans are first and foremost “social animals” — an observation made centuries earlier by Aristotle. As social animals, we seek to relate to other humans and naturally form ourselves into communities. And, as social animals, we have a strong self-interest not just in acquiring material possessions, but in creating and maintaining strong, viable communities and in protecting the natural environments that sustain these communities. The point is not to suggest that humans are nicer than our economic theories suggest, but rather that human needs are different than we have come to believe. In other words, being part of a strong, viable community is not just a nice, idealistic notion but is part of our deeply rooted set of human needs, part of our human hardwiring.

If this is true, it raises the question of whether the new capitalism is undermining our own self-interest by limiting our ability to take collective action to protect our communities.” [links added by LawPundit]

Read McQuaig’s article in full.

Essentially, if one follows McQuaig’s thread of reasoning, then the solution to the present financial credit crisis is “collective action” “to protect our communities“. It will be interesting to see how that necessity guides government and private policies in the months ahead.

Europeana Relaunched Again : The European Union Digital Cultural Resource Project Appears in Improved From with over 4 Million Digital Items

We were informed by email today that Europeana, the digital cultural resource project of the European Union, currently presenting access to over 4 million digital items at museums and libraries throughout the EU, has relaunched again after a problematic start in November.

Europeana explains what it is about, and provides to us a list of the partner organizations that make materials available to Europeana.

That same “about us” page provides us with an overview of Europeana as follows:

The [European] Commission has been working for a number of years on projects to boost the digital economy. These prepared the ground for an online service that would bring together Europe’s cultural heritage.

The idea for Europeana came from a letter to the Presidency of Council and to the Commission on 28 April 2005. Six Heads of State and Government suggested the creation of a virtual European library, aiming to make Europe’s cultural and scientific resources accessible for all.

On 30 September 2005 the European Commission published the i2010: communication on digital libraries, where it announced its strategy to promote and support the creation of a European digital library, as a strategic goal within the European Information Society i2010 Initiative, which aims to foster growth and jobs in the information society and media industries. The European Commission’s goal for Europeana is to make European information resources easier to use in an online environment. It will build on Europe’s rich heritage, combining multicultural and multilingual environments with technological advances and new business models.

The Europeana prototype is the result of a 2-year project that began in July 2007. went live on 20 November 2008, launched by Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Information Society and Media.

Europeana is a Thematic Network funded by the European Commission under the eContentplus programme, as part of the i2010 policy. Originally known as the European digital library network – EDLnet – it is a partnership of 100 representatives of heritage and knowledge organisations and IT experts from throughout Europe. They contribute to the Work Packages that are solving the technical and usability issues.

The project is run by a core team based in the national library of the Netherlands, the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. It builds on the project management and technical expertise developed by The European Library, which is a service of the Conference of European National Librarians.

Overseeing the project is the EDL Foundation, which includes key European cultural heritage associations from the four domains. The Foundation’s statutes commit members to:

  • Providing access to Europe’s cultural and scientific heritage though a cross-domain portal
  • Co-operating in the delivery and sustainability of the joint portal
  • Stimulating initiatives to bring together existing digital content
  • Supporting digitisation of Europe’s cultural and scientific heritage”