Bankers + Tax Havens = Lower wages, benefits and pensions

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This video clip of the ‘looting of America’ exposes the same type of looting that is occurring in the UK.  In fact, it is generally accepted that the City of London is an even more criminogenic environment than Wall Street.  Banks that are too big to fail and bankers that are too big to jail.

In spite of being only 12 minutes long, it romps through the major ruses with an impressive list of commentators which include New Economic Perspective‘s Professor Bill Black and Professor Stephanie Kelton; Naked Capitalism‘s Yves Smith, James Henry, author of ‘The price of OffShore Revisited’ and Citicorps’ 2005 plutonomy document on the inconvenience of the franchise.

There is even a clip of Goldmans Sach’s Lloyd Blankfein explaining that the 99% of Americans have to lower their expectations of wages, benefits, pensions and sell off the remaining public assets.  We don’t need the chief vampire squid.  We have George Osborne turning the UK into a third world country.

The Truthseeker: Looting Of America (E12)

Published on Apr 5, 2013

The man who jailed a thousand bankers tells us how to do it; Twice the size of the US economy exposed offshore; and Wall Street circles the nation’s last assets. Seek truth from facts with former senior financial regulator Bill Black, The Price of Offshore Revisited author James Henry, former Wall Street executive Richard Eskow, Econned author Yves Smith, economists Stephanie Kelton and Dean Baker, and chief vampire squid Lloyd Blankfein.

Major Banks Help Clients like Romney Hide Trillions in Offshore Tax Havens

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Forget the 47 percent. Foreign tax havens—and investment vehicles like those the GOP candidate established at Bain Capital—are robbing world treasuries of billions.

Major Banks Help Clients Hide Trillions in Offshore Tax Havens

Published on Aug 3, 2012 by 

James Henry of Tax Justice Network:  US media and politicians mostly ignore massive untaxed wealth that big banks help rich move to tax havens.

Well, when you look at the distribution of wealth here that’s offshore, we think there’s no more than about 10 million people that really account for about 83 percent of the $21 trillion that is at a minimum offshore. And that’s pretty concentrated. The top 100 are multibillionaires. They account for about 8.1 percent of the total. The next 2,900, billionaires with an average wealth of $1.4 billion, account for another 7 percent of it. So that’s about 3,000 people that already are owning nearly 15 percent of the world’s financial wealth.

And then we have—the next step in the ladder is the sort of ultra high net worth crowd, which are—their average wealth is on the order of $58 million, and there’s about 117,000 of them in the world. And then, finally, there’s another fortunate few, who are about 9.9 million, whose average wealth is on the order of $6.3 million, and they account for about 60 percent of this. So 82 percent of the world’s wealth, then, when you add all this up, is—of the offshore wealth is owned by about 0.14 percent of the world’s population.

So if you look at it from the standpoint of who’s actually benefiting from this industry, you know, it’s a tiny share of the global population. And that group has—in terms of global wealth, which is about $231 trillion, they own about a third of all that global wealth. And so that’s a—you know, 0.14 percent is a tiny fraction owning that much wealth.

 http://truth-out.org/news/item/10825-trillion-dollar-tax-havens-inequality-and-recession-part-ii

James Henry, a former chief economist at McKinsey & Co., describes offshore tax havens like the “bar scene in Star Wars.” He explains, “Dictators and kleptocrats used them to conceal stolen loot. Arms dealers and drug dealers use them to launder their deals. Google and Apple and Pfizer use them to park their intellectual property and pay themselves tax-free royalties. Banks use them to park lousy loans and stash the offshore accounts and assets under management of their wealthy individual clients, many of which are paying zero taxes back home…And so on.” 

Romney has investments in a number of well known tax havens, including Ireland, Luxembourg, the Cayman Islands, and Bermuda. Until 2010, he held a few million in the Swiss bank UBS, which in 2009 was forced to pay the US $780 million in fines and penalties for helping more than 17,000 Americans commit tax fraud by hiding as much as $20 billion overseas. The total value of Romney’s offshore investments is unknown, but his tax returns have revealed that he has at least $30 million invested in the Cayman Islands, in at least 12 different Bain Capital funds. When pressed about the relationship between his offshore investments and his low tax rate (he paid 14.1 percent on $13 million in income, according to his 2011 tax return), Romney has largely declined to answer questions about his overseas holdings other than to say, “I pay all the taxes that are legally required, not a dollar more.” Romney has also denied getting tax benefits from his offshore accounts. He told Fox News, “[T]here was no reduction, not one dollar reduction in taxes by virtue of having an account in Switzerland or a Cayman Islands investment. The dollars of taxes remained exactly the same. There was no tax savings at all.”

Similarly, a Romney campaign spokeswoman told Mother Jones that Romney’s foreign investments “are taxed in the very same way they would be if the shares were held in the US rather than through a Cayman fund. No taxes are avoided or reduced. These funds are registered with the IRS and report all income to investors and the IRS, just like domestic funds.”

Romney’s assertion that his offshore investments have not reduced his tax bill has been met with skepticism by tax experts.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/09/mitt-romney-offshore-investments-cayman-islands

Plutonomy – Invasion of the Political Body Snatchers.

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I want to pitch an idea for a contemporary science fiction film… the lead, called F, investigates the dark world of politics, wealth and manipulation of the economy in a small country called Brittania (B).

The first thing that intrigues F is a graph that shows that over a period of some 30 years, there had been a large upward redistribution of income from the bottom 90 per cent to the top 1 per cent… but most striking of all was the rapid increase in wealth of the top 0.1 per cent.

Whilst analysing international data, F realizes that this redistribution is not a generalised phenomenon of all advanced economies.  Instead it is particularly marked in Brittania and one other advanced economy, Americana.  It occurs to F that this puzzling pattern of income redistribution couldn’t have resulted from just any old factor.  It had to be due to government policies; and that meant that the redistribution had occurred regardless of which political party had been in power!

This is weird to F because there had been no significant change in the two countries’ formal systems of government … but F gradually begins to understand that there is more to government than its formal structures. The same institution, for example an elected parliament or even individual political parties, may perform radically, systematically and intentionally differently from one historical period to the next, including with regard to the welfare of the general population.

Perplexingly, even those political parties commonly identified with the interests of the wealthy, had won their seats by convincing the majority that their policies would best serve the electorate’s material interests.  The story was, that by generating a larger GDP, gains would ‘trickle down’ to be shared with the majority of the population.  Obviously, that hadn’t happened.  The graphs didn’t lie.

But in both Brittania and Americana, either of the two major political parties could win elections, and it was thus open to one or other of them to expose the policies which resulted in the declining standards of living for at least 90% of the population.

After all, F reasons:

 “It does not seem credible that the electorates would knowingly vote for their continuation. Together these points imply a change in the political structures of these countries.  Why?  Because if the major political parties have before them a straight-forward way of winning elections by appealing to the basic material interests of the overwhelming majority of the electorate and they repeatedly decline to do so even when it means defeat, then there must be a non-democratic reason that governs their decisions and their access to office.”

F concludes that it follows that the real agendas or platforms of the winning parties had been kept secret!  What are they?”  The plot thickens.

F reviews his findings.  It seemed that the populations of Brittania and Americana had been kept nearly totally ignorant of the fact that for over thirty years their countries have been subject to the engineering of huge and extremely skewed upward redistributions of income. Moreover, this central fact had virtually never been mentioned or discussed in their general media. Nor could F find much about it in economics journals.

The breakthrough comes when F finally gets hold of The Plutonomy Reports which, though incomplete, reveal that the redistribution phenomenon is documented, conceptually driven, and no mere historical accident. In fact, so-called Plutonomists exist… even though their history is clouded in secrecy.  Plutonomy is a real-world political force; and the primary players of this political ideology, political movement and concept of government, belong to the financial sector.  The Plutonomists are the 0.1%!

The three reports, written before the global banking crisis 4 years earlier, outline the key points of this political ideology.  Their strategic nature make it all too clear why it has been imperative for the plutonomists to keep the contents of these historical documents from entering into mainstream discourse.  Now F understands why the Plutonomists had gone to such lengths with threats of legal action to supress these important historical documents from the internet.  Fragments of the reports are given below:

.

‘Report no. 1

Little of this note should tally with conventional thinking. Indeed, traditional thinking is likely to have issues with most of it. The world is dividing into two blocs – the plutonomies, where economic growth is powered by and largely consumed by the wealthy few, and the rest. Plutonomies have occurred before in sixteenth century Spania, in seventeenth century Hollander, the Gilded Age and the Roaring Twenties in Americana.  

We project that the plutonomies (Americana, Brittania and Canadia) will likely see even more income inequality, disproportionately feeding off a further rise in the profit share in their economies, capitalist-friendly governments, more technology-driven productivity, and globalization.

In a plutonomy there is no such animal as “the Americana consumer” or “the Brittania consumer”, or indeed the “Russkian consumer”. There are rich consumers, few in number, but disproportionate in the gigantic slice of income and consumption they take. There are the rest, the “non-rich”, the multitudinous many, but only accounting for surprisingly small bites of the national pie.

. . . we think the plutonomy is here, is going to get stronger, its membership swelling from globalized enclaves in the emerging world, . . .

Report no. 2

 The second report begins by identifying three things that have enabled the creation of plutonomies in Brittania, Americana, Canadia and Aussie:

Asset booms, a rising profit share and favourable treatment by market-friendly governments”…

What Could Go Wrong

. . . the rising wealth gap between the rich and poor will probably at some point lead to a political backlash. Whilst the rich are getting a greater share of the wealth, and the poor a lesser share, political enfrachisement remains as was – one person, one vote (in the plutonomies). At some point it is likely that labor will fight back against the rising profit share of the rich and there will be a political backlash against the rising wealth of the rich. . . . .  We don’t see this happening yet, though there are signs of rising political tensions. However we are keeping a close eye on developments.

The third is the longest of the three reports.  Significantly, it notes that  ‘The rise of this inequality is not universal. In a number of other countries – the non-plutonomies – income inequality has remained around the levels of the mid 1970s. It singles out Japan, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands as examples and dubs them “The Egalitarian Bunch”.  Further on, after reminding the readership that “plutonomy countries” are those with “economies powered by a relatively small number of rich people” and geared to “financial wealth creation”…. “the risks to plutonomy” are, as in previous reports, considered.

 Report no. 3

‘Perhaps the most immediate challenge to Plutonomy comes from the political process. Ultimately, the rise in income and wealth inequality … is an economic disenfranchisement of the masses to the benefit of the few. However in democracies this is rarely tolerated forever. One of the key forces helping plutonomists over the last 20 years has been the rise in the profit share – the flip side of the fall in the wage share in GDP. As plutonomists or capitalists tend to be long {on} the profit share, they have benefited from trends like globalization and the productivity revolution, disproportionately. However, labor has, relatively speaking, lost out. We see the biggest threat to plutonomy as coming from a rise in political demands to reduce income inequality, spread the wealth more evenly, and challenge forces such as globalization which have benefited profit and wealth growth.’

[emphasis added]

Nonetheless:

Our own view is that the rich are likely to keep getting even richer, and enjoy an even greater share of the wealth pie over the coming years.’

F is left reeling. These three plutonomy tracts, being windows both into the plutonomist’s mind and to their strategies, contain many interesting points, but for F, the most overwhelmingly significant one is that plutonomists see the subversion of the democratic process as the ultimate key to their success.

Indeed, if the “political enfranchisement remains” and is allowed to remain, then the “economic disenfranchisement of the masses” is only possible if the electorate can be bamboozled into voting against their interests.

The rest of the film is devoted to F uncovering the means by which the Plutonomists have undermined the democratic process and engineered the redistribution of wealth upward and off-shore.  F identifies the various strategies employed to effect and preserve the desired changes in law and government policy… the lobbyists, the think-tanks, the Public Relations, the political campaign funding, the long-term contracts enshrined by international treaties, the repeal of inconvenient legislation (particularly with regard to financial markets), off-the-books accounting for banks, deregulation (or non-regulation), tax havens, globalization, tax cuts for the 1%, shrinking state policies  and so on.

F finally realises, that underpinning all of this redistribution is the revolving doors movements of personnel between roles in government, corporations and finance.  For example, F’s attention is repeatedly drawn to the revolving doors movement of a mysterious organization referred to as the giant squid company, which seemed to wield inordinate influence in governments across the globe.

It also seemed that wherever the financial sector’s profit-seeking activities became focused primarily on the buying, selling, packaging and repackaging of either existing financial assets or new ones attached to existing real assets, the squid people were likely to be involved.  Furthermore, this profit-seeking activity, the redistribution of wealth upward, and the creation of asset bubbles were interlinked. By using their financial power to create rising prices which attracted investors, especially pension funds, from outside the plutonomy’s inner core, the prices became more and more inflated until eventually the bubble burst. Needless to say, the bubbles burst because the 1% sold off at the top, leaving themselves with proportionately huge profits to the disadvantage of the pension funds. The whole process was then re-started by the squid people, to create another bubble.

I will not spoil the climax of the film, which is essentially the struggle to regain power back from the 1%; and the difficulties for the 99% in identifying between the ‘good’ and the ‘infected’ politicians/activists … but suffice it to say that giant squids are definitely involved!

Reference:

Edward Fullbrook, “The Political Economy of Bubbles”, real-world economics review,

issue no. 59, 12 March 2012, pp. 138-154, http://www.paecon.net/PAEReview/issue59/Fullbrook59.pdf

A Neofeudalist Fantasy inspired by Bilderberg 2012

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The Bilderberg phenomenon is often dismissed as a ‘conspiracy fantasist’s dream.  However, there is no doubt that there is an annual three-day conference attended by members of the global aristocracy, global leaders of industry and politicians (including US presidential candidates) from around the world.  This year’s shadowy elite leaders’ conference was on May 31st 2012, so what was on the agenda? No real information is forthcoming, not even from the usually outspoken attendee Ken Clarke MP, nor from the queen of the Netherlands, the chairman of Barclays, and the chairman, vice-chairman and CEO of Shell Oil who also participated. 

Charlie Skelton reported that  ‘The Occupy movement seems … to have realised that the problem isn’t the 1%, it’s the 0.001%…..”We refuse to pay for the banks’ crisis” was the cry from OccupyLSX back in the autumn. They demanded an end to “our democracy representing corporations instead of the people.” What Bilderberg represents is the fact that our democracy IS our corporations. And politics is just the wake behind a shark fin.”

This is a possible history to fill the void.

 

Imagine a land, long ago, when people lived in small groups, gathering what they needed from the environment as they migrated from place to place ‘following’ their food.  Collecting wild hazelnuts and berries from the autumn woods; shellfish and seaweed from the shore, new green shoots in spring, grubs, roots and occasionally catching a fish or hunting for meat.

Over time, population growth, and rising sea levels, created food scarcity in the shrinking forests and grasslands.  Some groups settled down and became farmers .. a much harder life in many ways but it ensured a more or less regular food supply for the greater number of mouths.

Now, as any parasitologist would tell you, a new farming ecosystem meant new opportunities for ‘parasitism’ to get established.  And sure enough, there were soon groups of hunter-gatherers who adopted a land-based ‘pirate’ life-style of ‘raping and pillaging’ the farming communities. 

Pretty quickly, it was realised that this was disadvantageous to both the farmers and the pirates because it meant farmers dying from raping, pillaging or starvation, and the pirates having to find another farmer.

A new strategy evolved;  ‘land grab’ and enslavement of the farmers who now found themselves working as serfs to feed both themselves and the pirates.  Furthermore, the pirates left the farmers with barely enough to survive and to still keep on farming.  On the plus side, the pirates were willing to protect their assets, which may have meant that the farmers led a quieter life, free from other marauding pirates.

Psychologically, there was a terrible cost to the pirate aristocracy.  They had to shut down any sort of empathy for the suffering of the serfs… they had to make them ‘the other’, ‘less than’ and different. The pirates grew to see themselves as ‘very special’ entitled people who deserved more than their fellow human beings. To preserve this, there was a fierce sanction against marrying outside their pirate class. Inevitably, this sort of narcissism impacted on their relationships with their partners and children.

Furthermore, the narcissistic pirates became too special to do their own chores or look after their own children… or even to allow their ‘wives’ to do so.  And there was never enough being produced to satisfy the narcissistic pirates… these very special people saw no reason why they should not have it all.  And their increasing wealth came to substitute for the emptiness of their relationships.  The rules applied to other people but not to themselves.

Ultimately, there were limits as to how many of these bandits, any farming community could sustain.  At first, the expanding population of pirates could be accommodated by extending their range; by colonizing and taking over other groups of farmers.  But pretty soon, there were turf wars between rival gangs of pirates and many young male serfs were taken away from farming to fight on behalf of the pirates.  Of course, to have serf soldiers doing the dying instead of the pirate aristocracy was pretty irresistible to the pirates.

So it was, that successful pirates acquired vast empires of land with a multitude of serfs.  However, this presented a whole set of new problems … how to administer and keep control of a huge underclass?

From the start, organised religion, with different brands of hell-fire and damnation, was a major means of maintaining the pirates in their privileged position, and this control lasted for many centuries.  But, eventually, the pirates found that they could safely promote certain serf individuals to positions of authority and power without losing their overall sanction … and with that came the understanding that ‘divide and rule’ was a much more subtle and effective control mechanism than threats.  It became the strategy of choice from that time on.

Now, there was a means to divert any blame or resentment away from themselves and onto the apparent authors of the oppression, the administrators … the proto-politicians.  By keeping their lives and their wealth hidden from the masses, the pirates could not only exert ultimate control over the administrators, but with judicious paternalistic interventions, the aristocracy could induce respect, loyalty and even admiration from the unsuspecting serfs.

With colonization of foreign lands, came trade between different pirate overlords, and with trade came the need for an IOU system or money, banks, accountants and lawyers…. And the way in which the pirates stopped those professions running off with all the money was to make it ‘worth their while’ .. ‘to cut them in on the deal’.  In some aspects of banking, they found that it was particularly advantageous to employ those serfs who lacked empathy, and had all the ingenuity of the intelligent thief… the ‘anti-socials’.

So life continued over still more centuries.  There were blips of serf rebellion, but the pirates and their henchmen were always able to find a compromise which appeared to favour the serfs but in reality, incommoded the ruling elite very little.  The rentier pirates lived well – they had a monopoly on overhead charges for access to land, minerals or other natural resources, bank credit and other basic needs. They had no need to earn a living by producing anything because they received so much wealth from their inheritance and unearned income.

Then a disaster fell.  A huge war, a financial disaster brought about by the crooked bankers (that were installed by the pirates themselves), followed by another huge war.  The income of the top 1% fell from 24% of total pre-tax income to a mere 10% in the space of 20 years.  Worse was to follow.  The troops, returning from 5 years of war, were in no mood to put up with the privations of the life that they had had before the war.  A new type of government was elected which put in place a National Health Service, free dentistry, free schooling and a welfare safety net.  These were only of benefit to the serfs because the pirates had always had the income to pay for their own schools and medical provision.  On top of this, energy production, transport, utilities and communications were nationalized, and run by the government to further the national good.

The pirates were aghast .. not only were they being taxed to pay their share of services that they certainly didn’t need or use … not only did they lose the interests that would have been forthcoming prior to nationalization… but the sheer impertinence of the ‘little people’!

Who on earth did they think they were … breaking up the natural order?  It was the politics of envy!!

The fight-back had to begin. Fortunately, the pirates had allies abroad who certainly did not want to see such socialist ideas infecting their own countries.  The imperative to fight the welfare state and the mixed economy, overcame any difficulties that the narcissistic pirates had in co-operating … and doubtless each thought they might just find ways to outdo the other ‘pirates’.

One of the biggest problems, for the pirates and their fellow travelers, was that the welfare state was immensely popular with the serfs.  It was clear that any moves to re-privatise state services would need stealth.  A slow but a steady worsening, much media-undermining, and then the incremental introduction of private provision back into public services, would serve their ends.  The plan was that by the time they had finished, the serfs would go along with anything because they would think that they had so little to lose!

The pirates salivated at the idea of all those services that were going to be privatised.  There would never be a lack of demand for those assets, and payment was guaranteed by unavoidable taxation of the serfs by the government, that the serfs had themselves elected (Hee hee!).

Fortunately, the serfs had already been groomed to believe in the freedom of the press and the impartiality of the BBC.  How the absurdity of this belief made the pirates laugh!  It was almost incredible to them that the ownership of the papers by pirates, and the pirate leadership at the BBC was ignored.

The lower orders were to be deliberately distracted, and given opinion not facts.  They would be fed a diet of celebrity and sport; a constant drip-drip that politics was boring; that all politicians are the same; that all politicians are looking after number one; and that all politicians are like children needing the working people to bail them out yet again.  Active misinformation, propaganda and spin would be directed to cultivate the ‘correct’ attitudes amongst the managerial and educated middle classes. All that the pirate owned media had to do, was to label any inconvenient challenge to the pirate frame of reference, as ‘extremist’, ‘ideological’ or ‘a conspiracy theory’… and the ideas wouldn’t be taken seriously. TINA was to be repeated at every available opportunity… there is no alternative.  But underlying all of this, was the imperative that there was to be as little information as possible about the fabulous wealth and life-style of the pirates, or indeed their ownership of the assets.

There would be little difficulty in implementing most of their blueprint, given the pirate entourage of willing politicians, CEOs of corporations, the bankers and the financial sector, and these were to be the public faces of the scam. This political-corporate-financial nexus would be acting in their own self-interest so would not hesitate to keep the overall scheme as hidden as possible.

However, there was one major hurdle.  How to prevent another radical ‘out-of-control’ government coming into power and renationalizing everything?  Unfortunately, the pirates and confederates had previously miscalculated when they had allowed the serfs to have voting rights.  This was spun, at the time, as being ‘democracy’ but now it had been shown to be capable of back-firing on the pirates.  What was needed was a way of negating democracy and elected sovereign governments… the most obvious solution was another layer of government which took precedence.  They needed global governance!

But at this point, some bright young ‘anti-social’ serfs objected:

“The serfs won’t buy global government.  They are attached to their own lands and have little enough faith in their own politicians, let alone foreign ones.  Apart from anything else, they’ll want to vote for a global government and we don’t want to go down that road again!  Anyway, we don’t need a global government.  We have the tools already.”


The young anti-socials laid out their cunning plan:

“Our original inspiration was that of ‘The  Emperor’s New Clothes’ story.  The swindlers’ aim was to make a fool of the Emperor and take his money.  Your aim is to make the democratic process a joke, and take the money.   Our vision taken from the Emperor’s clothes’ story is that we require a shift in the prevailing conceptual framework … just as the people and the Emperor, in the story, were persuaded to believe that others could see the clothes.

In our case, this can best be provided by the assertion that ‘the markets know best’; and therefore ‘governments interfere with the markets operating properly’ and ‘we need to deregulate – we need to set the markets free’.  Then if, or rather when, the markets fail, we can say that there’s still too much red tape hindering the markets; that we must make it easier to ‘fire and hire’; that companies/individuals are not investing because of too much taxation; that public provision must be privatised because its ‘crowding out’ the private sector; and planning laws are holding back the economy by inhibiting very large conservatories from being built!

This is the perfect, plausible even, vehicle to achieve your goal.  Implicitly, the market knowing best means that the electorate and politicians do not … ergo ‘democracy’ becomes redundant.  In the same manner, it is implicit that government will shrink with the privatization of public services. The role of the state will be confined to being collector of taxes to pay for the privatized services, and to oversee law enforcement agencies required to protect the corporations, banks and pirates.

The first step must be to cause economic havoc in the country.. which should not be a problem for our financial friends.  This will justify our tame politicians to take the draconian action necessary to privatise the nationalized industries.  Eventually they will be able to fully dismantle the NHS and the rest of the welfare state.

The next step will be to set up some global agencies .. a WTO (World Trade Organisation), an IMF (International Monetary Fund) and a World Bank … who would have responsibility to maintain market freedom.  We need to set in place a General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) which will be mandated to supercede sovereign government legislation.  This has the advantage that governments can sign up to a treaty without having too much discussion in Parliament.  Furthermore, the negotiations can be completed in secret citing commercial sensitivity.  Any new government wanting to reverse privatisation will find themselves hamstrung by  the terms of the GATT and subject to WTO decisions.

The universal strategy will be a pincer movement.  The financial sector will create an economic crisis which will justify draconian cuts in the welfare system, mass privatization of public services and a fire-sale of national assets. The corporations will then step in to take-over services and buy up the assets cheaply. The politicians will take on the banks’ debts and recapitalise the banks.  This way we will be able to create a low-waged, high unemployment society with high levels of personal serf indebtedness.  Then we will be properly back in the driving seat with our back-to-the-future neofeudalism.

Oh, but before we forget, it is really, really important to be able to get ‘our money’ out of the system before it crashes!  We will need to get rid of exchange controls on the movement of money, and we need to sort out and ramp up ease of access to tax havens.  The serfs can have their redistribution of income .. we’ll redistribute it upwards and offshore!

Postscript:

Who would willingly have allowed the scurrilous ‘pirates’ to turn the clock back?  But just look at the graph (1)… and they’re not finished yet.

 

“If you’re sitting in banks driver’s seat and if you are controlling the quantity of national money, than de facto you control the political situation as well. Because if government needs loans and you are not willing to lend, than you are in absolute control of that government, and that’s the situation we’re in today.” Bill Still (3)

 

As Sherrill said, without regulation, capitalism is thievery. We stopped regulating the financial system, so thieves took over. (2)

 

 

 

Related posts:

Michael Hudson  http://real-economics.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/meta-thinking-on-political-economy.html

http://www.michaelmeacher.info/weblog/2012/09/tories-ramp-up-the-class-warfare/

http://think-left.org/2011/07/21/red-labour-must-address-the-elephant-in-the-room/

http://think-left.org/2012/08/20/has-george-osborne-been-taking-trans-atlantic-lessons-from-the-jude-wanniski-and-the-republicans/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/30/bilderberg-2012-technocrats-are-rising

(1)  http://think-left.org/2011/10/14/capitalism-neoliberalism-plutonomy-and-neo-feudalism/ 

(2)  http://www.economonitor.com/lrwray/2012/07/23/why-were-screwed/#idc-cover

(3)  http://www.positivemoney.org.uk/2011/09/bill-max-keiser-show/