The Bears explain Bank Bailouts

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The bears explain the bank bailouts in the US but the same principles apply in the UK.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yipV_pK6HXw&feature=relmfu

Parasitological post-script:

Over-parasitism of a host species results in the collapse of both the susceptible host and parasite populations. The technical term, in biological circles, is ‘killing the goose that laid the golden egg’. However, over-parasitism may also fuel selection for ‘geese’ that fight back. Bankers beware!

The Missing billions / UKuncut new video

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UKuncut have produced an excellent new video asking the simple question about whether it makes sense to implement deep public sector cuts, at a time of large giveaways to some of the world’s largest corporations.

The film centres on the court case being brought by UK Uncut Legal Action against HMRC, over a tax deal done between the revenue and Goldman Sachs in 2010, that saw £20m wiped off the a banking giant’s tax bill.

Hat tip Richard Murphy  Tax Research UK

The missing billions | UK Uncut from Small Axe Films on Vimeo.

The banking system is a parasite on the real economy.

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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.

http://think-left.org/2011/11/07/the-market-has-a-name-it-is-goldman-sachs/

Economics is easy to understand. Wealth comes from human beings. It’s as simple as that. It comes from human beings engaging with nature in an intelligent and productive way in order to make all of the things we want and need. It is work that makes wealth. This is so obvious an observation that it hardly needs commenting upon. All of the classical economists understood it: Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill, as well as Karl Marx.

The reason that modern economics has become so complex is that it has attempted to obscure this simple fact behind a fog of distraction in order to hide the processes by which a very few people have become more and more obscenely wealthy, while the rest of us are being squeezed to the point of desperation.

We’ve been living under an illusion for the last 30 years or so. The illusion goes under the collective name of “Monetarism”. It is also sometimes known as “Thatcherism” or “Neoliberalism”. In the US it went under the name “Reaganomics”.

http://think-left.org/2011/07/23/we-do-the-work-someone-else-takes-the-wealth/

The Tory-LD ploy is to cynically trot out the lie, that over-spending on public services by the last Labour government caused ‘this mess’, and that they are ‘forced’ to clear it up by dismantling the welfare state, the NHS and our education system. The reality is that this Tory-LD government is governing on behalf of the banks and ‘what banks want is for the economic surplus to be paid out as interest, not used for rising living standards, public social spending or even for new capital investment.’ 

http://think-left.org/2011/12/21/gordon-brown-did-not-spend-all-the-money-the-banks-did/

The market has a name: It is Goldman Sachs

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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.

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