The market has a name: It is Goldman Sachs

The market has a Name: Goldman Sachs

By CJ Stone:

Previously published here, at:  http://cjstone.hubpages.com/hub/

Money is a new form of slavery, and distinguishable from the old simply by the fact that it is impersonal – that there is no human relation between master and slave.” Leo Tolstoy. From What Shall We Say? in the Complete Works of Leo Tolstoy

Corporatocracy

A few months ago Ken Clarke, the justice secretary and former chancellor, said that it would take two to three years for Britain to get out of the recession.

“People have got to understand it is going to be a long haul,” he said. “We have got ourselves into a real mess.”

Meanwhile Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England, has warned that UK take-home pay will continue to be squeezed.

You get the feeling we may be being softened up by statements such as these: that we are being prepared for a permanent reduction in our living standards rather than a temporary one.

A pay freeze alongside rising inflation means an effective pay-cut. We are seeing massive cuts in our public services and large scale redundancies. Restructuring of the NHS means privatisation by the back door. Libraries are closing. The lift on the cap on council house rents will lead to a form of social cleansing, as poorer people in wealthy areas are forced to leave.

Bankers bonuses, on the other hand, continue to rise. CEOs of large corporationscontinue to receive the kind of pay and benefits that would keep whole nations afloat.

The narrative being used to justify all of this is one of economic competence. There is a massive black hole in our budget which needs to be filled. At the same time, the government’s economic advisors – the ones who are prescribing these austerity measures – are also the same people who entirely failed to predict the financial crisis in the first place.

Worse: they are the very people whose economic theories brought the financial system to the brink of collapse. Remember, it was these same “experts” who argued for bank deregulation and a liberalisation of the markets. Wherever these policies have been instituted they have lead to financial chaos and a break down in the social order, as wealth flows upward, from the poor to the rich.

Is this deliberate? Are we seeing the creation of a form of corporate feudalism in which a capitalist aristocracy – a corporatocracy - lords it over the rest of us, with democracy as a convenient front?

Look around you folks: it is already here.

The Market

In an interview on BBC News 24 on the 26th of September, Alessio Rastani, an independent trader, made certain predictions about the economy.

He said that the euro will crash. “Markets are ruled by fear,” he said. “The big funds don’t buy this rescue plan. They know the market is toast. The stock market is finished. They’re moving their money away to other, safer, assets.”

The interviewer asked him if there’s anything that governments can do to prevent it? “I don’t care,” he said. “If I see an opportunity to make money, I go with that. People don’t remember, but the 30s depression wasn’t just about the market crash. There were some people who were prepared to make money off that crash. It’s not a time right now for wishful thinking hoping that the government is going to sort things out. Governments don’t rule the world. Goldman Sachs rules the world.”

Goldman Sachs, in case you don’t know, is the world’s most powerful investment bank.

Some of you may remember an interview in the Times two years ago with Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs. In it he said that he was “doing God’s work.” That interview came out as a response to an article in Rolling Stone magazine by Matt Taibbi, which accused Goldman Sachs of being like “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity.”

The article was called The Great American Bubble Machine. I recommend you read it.

Taibbi was very clear. Not only did Goldman Sachs make money from the depression, but it engineered it as well. In fact Taibbi goes on to list a whole series of economic crises that Goldman Sachs specifically engineered in order to make money from them, including the sub-prime crisis which brought about the financial collapse of 2008.

It’s a measure of the veracity of the information in the article that Goldman Sachs never sued him over it.

So the next time you hear someone on the TV telling you what “the market” demands, you should remember this.

The market has a name. It is Goldman Sachs.

Michael Hudson on the public option for banking and Occupy Wall Street

Debt

So our nation is in debt. It is so horribly in debt that it will take several generations to pay it off. It doesn’t matter what party is in power, the end result is the same. It’s job cuts and pay cuts and austerity measures for the foreseeable future.

All nations throughout the western world are in debt. There is so much debt, according to financial experts, that there isn’t enough money in the entire world to pay it off.

Stop and think about that for a second. The human race is in debt to itself for more money than there actually is in existence. Even if we all tightened all of our belts and starved ourselves to death to pay off the debt, we still couldn’t succeed. There just isn’t enough money to do it.

You wonder how this came about. One branch of the human family is in debt to the other. A very few people have so much money they couldn’t spend it in a thousand lifetimes, while large numbers are so poor they can’t even afford the basic necessities of life.

Here’s the problem. Money is created as debt. Banks issue money, but they charge interest on it, so in order to pay the money back the economy as a whole is forced to borrow even more money. It’s a vicious cycle which will go on forever. There can never be enough money to pay off all the accumulated debts.

“Money as Debt”

As a consequence money is always depreciating in value. The term “pound sterling” arises from the fact that originally a pound in money represented a pound weight in silver. At the current rate a pound of silver is worth £316 in sterling. That’s how far the value of our money has depreciated. Where has all this value gone?

Why has gold gone up recently? Actually it hasn’t: it is paper money that has gone down.

Something has gone horribly wrong with our financial system. Since when did we give control of our money supply to a handful of private corporations? The banking system is a parasite on the real economy, and the cause of, not the solution to, the financial crisis.

Links

21 thoughts on “The market has a name: It is Goldman Sachs

  1. I have posted some of this elsewhere, but I think it may bear repeating:

    I think that the Occupy movements, together with those who created the Arab Spring and others, could provide sources of ideas for a new way of striving against the united forces of globalisation, which have now clamped their authority on Greece and will no doubt try to do the same elsewhere in Europe and beyond.

    It will need all those groups, plus the ideas of those from whom an opinion has never been sought, in Africa, in the Republics of Central Asia, in China, India, Latin America – all those on whom the globalisation juggernaut is rolling or is about to roll. The globalisation forces have their think-tanks and their organised (sometimes secretive) groupings – it is time for all those who have no vested interest in their rapidly developing stranglehold to take strength from each other and find a forum of debate that is not immediately in the power of media who are complicit in the neo-con, neo-liberal project.

    This is the time when those who want to oppose that project need to debate and formulate the values which they want to see as universal. Each individual human being has a value; each thought has a value – but what we must remember is that one person’s hope may be another’s fear. Only by uniting in debate can we ensure that everyone’s view will be heard, will be counted – will be valued.

    As I have said, I think most of the media – in Britain or elsewhere – are complicit, if not actively promoting, the neo-liberal agenda. I realise that you yourself may feel more ‘at home’ with those organs, but they are not a location from which many of us can draw any hope. I congratulate you on having had the courage to face the St Paul’s Occupy group – probably, if you were to visit them again, you would find that your talk made a positive contribution, and you would be welcome to go on visiting – and debating

    The original was posted on Craig Murray’s blog

    http://otmpeterloo.wordpress.com/

    Our twitter site is #OTMP

  2. havantacluOTMP not sure this really applies to me or this article. I have a friend at Occupy St.Pauls, but I haven’t visited it yet. I plan to at some point. I tend to agree with you that the media have been complicit in the neo-liberal agenda, but we have to take our platforms where they arise. Tony Benn has used the media to great effect, and Chomsky has never turned down an opportunity to address the public, as far as I know. The voices of dissent didn’t start with the Occupy movement, though it is a very encouraging trend.

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  6. “we are being prepared for a permanent reduction in our living standards rather than a temporary one.”

    Sorry, but in what way is this a bad thing?

    We consume far too much (me included, I admit). We waste food and clothes on a whim. We run up credit card debits we can’t repay (then blame the banks for lending us the money, then blame them again for not lending us more money to pay back the money we already owe). We’ve convinced ourselves that “to have” is to be “happy.”

    If a reduction in living standards means we simplify our lifestyles then I don’t see a huge problem. Having to wait a couple of years to do something radical like “save” to buy a new whatever not only seems sensible to restore the balance, but also may make me appreciate it more.

    • You are taking a very narrow view of ‘living standards’ and within that definition, I probably agree with you.

      But the real agenda is to diminish our schools, hospitals, wages, infrastructure; to push up the cost of everything in order to increase the bonuses and wealth of the super-rich and the transnationals. This is a redistribution of wealth upward… and offshore. This is not some green agenda about a more sustainable lifestyle. It is financial parasitism.

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