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Why bringing the bankers to heel is so important…

Written By: - Date published: 11:33 am, January 13th, 2012 - 88 comments
Categories: climate change, economy - Tags: ,

There’s an excellent article on energybulletin.net that you should read.

Written by ecological economist Brian Davey, he explains how while we need to fix the problems of peak oil and climate change, we’re not going to get anywhere until we deal with the psychopathic elite of bankers who have control of the world economy.

They created the financial crisis, and are now working to protect themselves from any damage from it – at our expense.

But in fact while in the US and UK there is righteous anger as bankers keep getting large bonuses from their bailed out companies, there are three crises, not one:

There is certainly a crisis of the financial system largely created by a massive amount of elite fraud during the “euphoric economy” of the bubble years. However there is also a crisis of uneven development where competitive imbalances between many parts of the world have reached their outer limits. Also, probably most important of all, there is a crisis caused by the global economy reaching the limits to economic growth – with constraints in resource availability, and destructive pressure on overused ecological sinks.

But…

without dealing with the bankers and the banking system we will not get far in resolving the other problems. During the boom a massive inflation of financial assets was created that only has value, ultimately, if these assets are able to function as claims on real wealth and real economic activity. But there is no prospect of expansion of real productive capacity. There is no sign whatsoever that a robust economic growth will get going again to make possible a servicing and repayment of the debts out of rising income. The result is that societies are being turned into debtors’ prisons for a psychopathic elite – although this process is being contested. As the Occupy Movement clarifies what it stands for it is to be hoped that the contest with the financial system takes a more definite form. In this respect we need some kind of manageable debt jubilee that is fair to all, including those who are not in debt. We need to take away from the banks the right to extend credit by creating new money. And we need to investigate and clean up the chief perpetrators of banking crime and fraud.

And there was massive fraud:

The “liars’ loans” in the sub prime market were criminal fraud. Lying on the loan applications was fraud. Giving loans when it was known there was no chance that they could be serviced to earn a brokerage fee was fraud. Overvaluing houses, so that even larger loans could be given out and even larger broker fees received, was fraud. Failing to keep adequate and truthful documentation about these loans was fraud. Packaging these ‘toxic assets’ and selling them on was fraud. Giving them AAA ratings without really looking was fraud or grave negligence.

Then knowingly taking out multiple credit default insurance and shorting these assets in the knowledge that these loans were toxic was fraud, as was using friends in the US government to ensure that AIG paid up on the credit default swaps when it went bust. At each step of the chain people made money by issuing and packaging up so called ‘toxic assets” that they knew were worthless – and by not taking out sufficient provisions against what was obviously going to be an avalanche of bad debts.

As early as 2004 the FBI warned of an epidemic of fraud in the home loans market and of the likely consequences. So what was done?

Nothing. Yet, Professor of Economics and Law, William K Black, estimates that there must have been at least a half million felonies committed.

Why the failure to act?

In part nothing was done because toxic economic theory said that nothing needed to be done – because markets were efficient and could price in risk for themselves. When it was assumed that nothing needed to be done the markets could be taken over by criminals.

Read the whole article (which of course recommends you watch Inside Job).  Without getting rid of these impediments – indicting the banksters for their crimes – this planet is going to get nowhere…

88 comments on “Why bringing the bankers to heel is so important…”

  1. Gosman 1

    This is just another giant waste of time along the lines of the pathetic Occupy movements. I have read this stuff for years but apparently there is suddenly an urgent need to radically redesign our global economic system before we can tackle the impacts of climate change. Well good luck with that because it is simple not going to happen anytime soon. No current major economy in the world is pursuing these sorts of goals nor is there any major chance that an opposition movement will seize power to implement them.

    • thatguynz 1.1

      Wow Gos, you must be really happy with the status quo of the world we live in. By inference you seem to suggest that there is no point in trying to fix anything because nobody else is doing it so it’d be a waste of time.

      I for one am pleased that there are other people out there that look at things holistically, identify that things really aren’t working, and take steps to try and make it right. Granted some of these may be slightly mis-focussed or in some cases become subverted a la the Occupy movement but that still doesn’t detract from their initial goals to improve things.

      I do however agree that expecting these step changes to occur by way of governmental led action is unlikely – hence why the bottom up change that you seemingly disparage is so important.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      No current major economy in the world is pursuing these sorts of goals nor is there any major chance that an opposition movement will seize power to implement them.

      That really just means that the major economies and all the rest that are following them are purposefully ignoring the reality that our present economic system is what’s causing all the problems.

    • Karl 1.3

      Now Now…. It’s better to ??? upon your feet than to live upon your ????.

      The Problem with the occupy movement etc is that they have not got their branding right…. it’s not chic enough… you need the middle class dear boy….. Its all about perception, marketing…..

      Srdja Popovic: How to topple a dictator:
      http://www.ted.com/talks/srdja_popovic_how_to_topple_a_dictator.html

      http://www.aforcemorepowerful.org/resources/nonviolent/methods.php
      198 Methods of Nonviolent Action.

      Practitioners of nonviolent struggle have an entire arsenal of “nonviolent weapons” at their disposal. Listed below are 198 of them, classified into three broad categories: nonviolent protest and persuasion, noncooperation (social, economic, and political), and nonviolent intervention. A description and historical examples of each can be found in volume two of The Politics of Nonviolent Action by Gene Sharp.

      The Methods of Nonviolent Protest and Persuasion

      Formal Statements
      1. Public Speeches
      2. Letters of opposition or support
      3. Declarations by organizations and institutions
      4. Signed public statements
      5. Declarations of indictment and intention
      6. Group or mass petitions

      Communications with a Wider Audience
      7. Slogans, caricatures, and symbols
      8. Banners, posters, and displayed communications
      9. Leaflets, pamphlets, and books
      10. Newspapers and journals
      11. Records, radio, and television
      12. Skywriting and earthwriting

      Group Representations
      13. Deputations
      14. Mock awards
      15. Group lobbying
      16. Picketing
      17. Mock elections

      Symbolic Public Acts
      18. Displays of flags and symbolic colors
      19. Wearing of symbols
      20. Prayer and worship
      21. Delivering symbolic objects
      22. Protest disrobings
      23. Destruction of own property
      24. Symbolic lights
      25. Displays of portraits
      26. Paint as protest
      27. New signs and names
      28. Symbolic sounds
      29. Symbolic reclamations
      30. Rude gestures

      Pressures on Individuals
      31. “Haunting” officials
      32. Taunting officials
      33. Fraternization
      34. Vigils

      Drama and Music
      35. Humorous skits and pranks
      36. Performances of plays and music
      37. Singing

      Processions
      38. Marches
      39. Parades
      40. Religious processions
      41. Pilgrimages
      42. Motorcades

      Honoring the Dead
      43. Political mourning
      44. Mock funerals
      45. Demonstrative funerals
      46. Homage at burial places

      Public Assemblies
      47. Assemblies of protest or support
      48. Protest meetings
      49. Camouflaged meetings of protest
      50. Teach-ins

      Withdrawal and Renunciation
      51. Walk-outs
      52. Silence
      53. Renouncing honors
      54. Turning one’s back
      The Methods of Social Noncooperation

      Ostracism of Persons
      55. Social boycott
      56. Selective social boycott
      57. Lysistratic nonaction
      58. Excommunication
      59. Interdict

      Noncooperation with Social Events, Customs, and Institutions
      60. Suspension of social and sports activities
      61. Boycott of social affairs
      62. Student strike
      63. Social disobedience
      64. Withdrawal from social institutions

      Withdrawal from the Social System
      65. Stay-at-home
      66. Total personal noncooperation
      67. “Flight” of workers
      68. Sanctuary
      69. Collective disappearance
      70. Protest emigration (hijrat)
      The Methods of Economic Noncooperation: Economic Boycotts

      Actions by Consumers
      71. Consumers’ boycott
      72. Nonconsumption of boycotted goods
      73. Policy of austerity
      74. Rent withholding
      75. Refusal to rent
      76. National consumers’ boycott
      77. International consumers’ boycott

      Action by Workers and Producers
      78. Workmen’s boycott
      79. Producers’ boycott

      Action by Middlemen
      80. Suppliers’ and handlers’ boycott

      Action by Owners and Management
      81. Traders’ boycott
      82. Refusal to let or sell property
      83. Lockout
      84. Refusal of industrial assistance
      85. Merchants’ “general strike”

      Action by Holders of Financial Resources
      86. Withdrawal of bank deposits
      87. Refusal to pay fees, dues, and assessments
      88. Refusal to pay debts or interest
      89. Severance of funds and credit
      90. Revenue refusal
      91. Refusal of a government’s money

      Action by Governments
      92. Domestic embargo
      93. Blacklisting of traders
      94. International sellers’ embargo
      95. International buyers’ embargo
      96. International trade embargo
      The Methods of Economic Noncooperation: The Strike

      Symbolic Strikes
      97. Protest strike
      98. Quickie walkout (lightning strike)

      Agricultural Strikes
      99. Peasant strike
      100. Farm Workers’ strike

      Strikes by Special Groups
      101. Refusal of impressed labor
      102. Prisoners’ strike
      103. Craft strike
      104. Professional strike

      Ordinary Industrial Strikes
      105. Establishment strike
      106. Industry strike
      107. Sympathetic strike

      Restricted Strikes
      108. Detailed strike
      109. Bumper strike
      110. Slowdown strike
      111. Working-to-rule strike
      112. Reporting “sick” (sick-in)
      113. Strike by resignation
      114. Limited strike
      115. Selective strike

      Multi-Industry Strikes
      116. Generalized strike
      117. General strike

      Combination of Strikes and Economic Closures
      118. Hartal
      119. Economic shutdown
      The Methods of Political Noncooperation

      Rejection of Authority
      120. Withholding or withdrawal of allegiance
      121. Refusal of public support
      122. Literature and speeches advocating resistance

      Citizens’ Noncooperation with Government
      123. Boycott of legislative bodies
      124. Boycott of elections
      125. Boycott of government employment and positions
      126. Boycott of government departments, agencies, and other bodies
      127. Withdrawal from government educational institutions
      128. Boycott of government-supported organizations
      129. Refusal of assistance to enforcement agents
      130. Removal of own signs and placemarks
      131. Refusal to accept appointed officials
      132. Refusal to dissolve existing institutions

      Citizens’ Alternatives to Obedience
      133. Reluctant and slow compliance
      134. Nonobedience in absence of direct supervision
      135. Popular nonobedience
      136. Disguised disobedience
      137. Refusal of an assemblage or meeting to disperse
      138. Sitdown
      139. Noncooperation with conscription and deportation
      140. Hiding, escape, and false identities
      141. Civil disobedience of “illegitimate” laws

      Action by Government Personnel
      142. Selective refusal of assistance by government aides
      143. Blocking of lines of command and information
      144. Stalling and obstruction
      145. General administrative noncooperation
      146. Judicial noncooperation
      147. Deliberate inefficiency and selective noncooperation by
      enforcement agents
      148. Mutiny

      Domestic Governmental Action
      149. Quasi-legal evasions and delays
      150. Noncooperation by constituent governmental units

      International Governmental Action
      151. Changes in diplomatic and other representations
      152. Delay and cancellation of diplomatic events
      153. Withholding of diplomatic recognition
      154. Severance of diplomatic relations
      155. Withdrawal from international organizations
      156. Refusal of membership in international bodies
      157. Expulsion from international organizations
      The Methods of Nonviolent Intervention

      Psychological Intervention
      158. Self-exposure to the elements
      159. The fast
      a) Fast of moral pressure
      b) Hunger strike
      c) Satyagrahic fast
      160. Reverse trial
      161. Nonviolent harassment

      Physical Intervention
      162. Sit-in
      163. Stand-in
      164. Ride-in
      165. Wade-in
      166. Mill-in
      167. Pray-in
      168. Nonviolent raids
      169. Nonviolent air raids
      170. Nonviolent invasion
      171. Nonviolent interjection
      172. Nonviolent obstruction
      173. Nonviolent occupation

      Social Intervention
      174. Establishing new social patterns
      175. Overloading of facilities
      176. Stall-in
      177. Speak-in
      178. Guerrilla theater
      179. Alternative social institutions
      180. Alternative communication system

      Economic Intervention
      181. Reverse strike
      182. Stay-in strike
      183. Nonviolent land seizure
      184. Defiance of blockades
      185. Politically motivated counterfeiting
      186. Preclusive purchasing
      187. Seizure of assets
      188. Dumping
      189. Selective patronage
      190. Alternative markets
      191. Alternative transportation systems
      192. Alternative economic institutions

      Political Intervention
      193. Overloading of administrative systems
      194. Disclosing identities of secret agents
      195. Seeking imprisonment
      196. Civil disobedience of “neutral” laws
      197. Work-on without collaboration
      198. Dual sovereignty and parallel government

      • thatguynz 1.3.1

        Lol, personally I think distilling their objections down to 3-5 concise key points may have been enough to appeal to the wider populace but I’m not sure which of the 198 potential actions that may have come under :)

        • Karl Sinclair 1.3.1.1

          Yeah, a top 10, but that seems so cliche

          • Colonial Viper 1.3.1.1.1

            I disagree strongly that the number of potential action points should be reduced; they probably should be better categorised however.

            IMO there must be something that every single member of society can do, no matter who they are, what position they hold, how old they are, their skills or qualification, their intellect, how much or how little money or time they have.

            • thatguynz 1.3.1.1.1.1

              I agree that every one can and should do something. The reason however that I believe they should have had a small number of key points they wanted addressed is because it would make it considerably easier for people to understand what they stand for and are trying to achieve. This in turn makes it easier for people to relate to the goals and to gain buy in which makes the likelihood of achieving said goals more likely.

              As it was it seemed that there were multiple agendas which while valid had the net effect of muddying the water such that “Jo Public” didn’t really understand what they were doing and how it related to them. Whether that was deliberately maneuvered by “outside” interests is of course a matter of debate.

              It doesn’t however preclude additional points from being added as initial outcomes are achieved :)

      • LynW 1.3.2

        Wow, that’s a very comprehensive list. No excuse for inaction or giving up then! What’s most frustrating for me having watched ‘Inside Job’ is that the main perpetrators remain in power, the lobbying continues and little accountability has occurred. Is it simply that more people need to know the truth or that most just accept the situation and focus on personal survival?

      • dave brownz 1.3.3

        Well one item has come to the fore and with it no hope of clinging to pacifism – Longview bravo!

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLY_Nk1lVuE

        ILWU officials try to disrupt meeting building solidarity between rank and file and the Occupy Movement building the massive protest at Longview, Washington. Officials don’t want solidarity strike action in support of the Longview Local 21 because it breaks ‘Taft-Hartley’ the reactionary bosses law that prohibits solidarity strikes and exposes the officials to law suits. This is why the labour bureaucrats are called ‘labour lieutenants of capital’ in the labour movement. Workers have never won any serious struggle without breaking the bosses law. From Greece to California, “Wildcats now, everywhere!”

    • Dun Brush aka jaymam 1.4

      Well if the fraudsters aren’t going to be prosecuted as they should be, at least somebody could publish a list of their names, so that people can avoid giving them any more money.

  2. RedLogix 2

    Yup. TINA.

    We can all go home now, our lords and masters have it under control.

  3. mik e 3

    Gooseman the toxic worthless assets. Have to be written off sometime in the banking system.It has only been delayed and sidelined so far.
    $580,000 trillion is the latest figure available.
    most of it belongs to American companies but Europeans have plenty as well as the Chinese.
    The G20 are covering up the problem at the moment so as not to spook the markets .
    Shonkeys old firm in which he was an integral part as chief currency trader, Owes $79 trillion
    now absorbed into the bank of America which key has shares in .

    • Gosman 3.1

      What absolute rot. The world GDP is not anywhere near 580,000 Trillion USD so it is idiotic to state the amount of toxic assets is the you mention.

      I suspect you are using the value of derivatives to arrive at this figure. However that highlights a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of derivatives.

      Most derivatives for speculative purposes zero themselves off in terms of the accounting equation i.e. if Company A is liable for 100 billion dollars worth of derivatives then other companies ae the counter party to that on the asset side for the equivalent amount.

      They do complicate matters of liquidity and when it comes to ascertaining the risk profile it is true but their impact is nowhere near what people have scaremongered about. If they were how come we have yet to see the complete meltdown that has been predicted for a number of years?

      It is beyond belief to suggest that it is all down to central governments ‘hiding’ the problem. Markets are far too perceptive to be fooled by mere PR over a long period (i.e. 2 to 5 years).

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        More bullshit from Gosman

        The neoliberal assumption that total liabilities are irrelevant because one party’s debts are another party’s assets (i.e. that they can be “zeroed off”) has been proven wrong time and time again as matters of liquidity, solvency and counter party risk are key drivers of financial collapse and that is what you get when liabilities (potential and actual) far exceed the productive capacity of an economy.

        If they were how come we have yet to see the complete meltdown that has been predicted for a number of years?

        It is beyond belief to suggest that it is all down to central governments ‘hiding’ the problem. Markets are far too perceptive to be fooled by mere PR over a long period (i.e. 2 to 5 years).

        LOLOLOLOLOL

        The above sentences are so full of misunderstood SHITE that I don’t even know where to begin to unpick it.

        For starters, banks, central banks and governments aren’t “hiding” the problem with PR, they are hiding it by:

        1) Refusing to mark assets to market.
        2) Keeping toxic (false) assets and known liabilities off balance sheet.
        3) Using massive injections of liquidity (quantitative easing, currency swap lines, etc) to paper over the cracks.
        4) Preventing any serious investigation and criminal charges against massive financial fraud from proceeding.

        You should be embarassed that a self confessed Marxian like myself has to teach you, a Righty, these basics.

        I do agree with you however that the 580,000 trillion number can in no way be correct. The last figure I saw re: notional derivative liabilities was $708T, just over 10x global GDP.

        • Gosman 3.1.1.1

          Whatever C.V. As opposed to you I have actually worked with these instruments of ‘mass financial destruction’ rather than just read and writen about them on the internet. But as a self professed Marxian you are obviously far more economically literate than anyone else. That would explain how Marxian economics has been flourishing for years in places like Cuba and North Korea.

      • mik e 3.1.2

        good wind up gooseman but the true figure is available on bloomberg it is $5,800 trillion.

        • nadis 3.1.2.1

          5,800 trillion. Please, take a sensibleness test. Provide a link to the Bloomberg data. US GDP is around 15 trillion, global GDP around 60 trillion. At 5,800 trillion you’re looking at around 100 years of global output at current levels.

          Re derivative exposure – the actual number after net offs is significantly lower. When Lehman went bankrupt the biggest fear at the time was how the 500 + billion of derivative exposure would impact on the rest of the banking system. But after netting off all the exposures, the actual exposure was around 23 billion. The nominal exposure adds up all the transactions a bank has – where A pays B and B pays A, actual expoure would be nil but nominal number would show as 2. O when A pays B, B pays C and C pays A. More complicated,but still a net exposure of nil and if documented correctly, the default of one party may not result in losses to the others as transactions can be assigned amongst the non-defaulting counterparts. The biggest cleanup for OTC derivatives would be the requirement of a central clearing house with assignable contracts which is the reform the US and Europe are following. At least then we would know what the net exposures are rather than the gross.

          Another thing about reported exposures. I may enter into a 100 million swap transaction, but to close that out I would have to pay the difference between the open price and ghthe clase price which may be positive, negative or nil, but only a small fraction of the nominal value. if the counterparty defaults its not the nominal value owing, just the mark to market.

          So the nominal amount of exposure seems incredible but the true economic exposure is likely only 5 or 10% of that number – still a big number though.

          But throwing numbers around like 5,800 trillion means you have zero credibility and no one will ever take you seriously.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.1.1

            Fuck nadis why are you talking about “credibility” but still promoting that ‘net offs are all that count’ bullshit? Look mate, this ain’t personal but please grow a brain.

            Once a major counterparty fails, there is no more netting off, geddit? The perfect example is AIG.

            Major financial institutions around the world had bought CDS’s via AIG to enable them to “net off” any liability that their various asset and derivative positions might incur down the track.

            The only problem was that of counter party risk.

            So when AIG failed their “netting off” approach went down the tubes and the tax payer was conned into stumping up for all their losses.

            This is exactly the same as when a Christchurch house owner buys insurance to ‘net off’ the potential liability of having their house destroyed by an earthquake. Great in principle – except when counter party risk is realised and AMI sinks down a hole itself. No more netting off.

          • mik e 3.1.2.1.2

            GDP and Debt are 2 separate entities .The derivative debt at just 4 companies fred&fannie Goldman Sachs Merrill Lynch adds up to nearly $200 trillion.
            World wide its huge even China has a huge liability Europe as well.
            Thats why right wingers like Merkel and Sarkosy want to introduce a financial transaction tax
            to make these dodgy dealers pay back just a part of the giant Ponzi fraud.

  4. Phil B 4

    Economist Steve Keen – http://debunkingeconomics.com – recommends governments bankrupt the banks, nationalise the financial system and pay off people’s debt. Basically start again with a clean slate, and a new economic theory. He argues that bailing out the creditor side was tried and has not worked so its time to look at the debtor side. Here’s a link to his BBC interview:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/hardtalk/9641873.stm

    • Problem is that banks are already nationalised as they are controlled by central banks that are part of the state. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16413230

      So the question becomes who controls the state. The state is controlled by finance capital. The personnel are interchangeable and when faced with the bankruptcy of nations the bankers step in to manage the state directly as in Greece and Italy. The left can see this is the road to disaster, the right see salvation at the end of the tunnel. That is salvation for them from the angry masses. No chance.
      US ‘masses’ are becoming concerned about the rise of ‘class tensions’. 55% Elephants and 73% Donkeys say that class conflict is on the rise.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/12/us/more-conflict-seen-between-rich-and-poor-survey-finds.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha23

      Therefore for the people to control the banks the state has to be taken over and run by the people so that the banks can be EXPROPRIATED and run according to the needs of the people arrived at in democratic assemblies.
      http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/staterev/

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        The Federal Reserve is NOT controlled by the state, it is privately owned with a large part of its board of directors seconded from the private banking industry.

        I’m sure you know this already, but thought I would re-emphasise.

        The Rothschilds and Bilderbergs of the world control the banking industry.

        • dave brownz 4.1.1.1

          Well the banks are not the problem. They are a symptom not the cause of the disease.
          Banks have money and money doesnt create value, its a measure of value and a means of exchange provided there are things that can be exchanged. Banks are there to facilitate the circulation of money and exchange of commodities.

          The problem is whoever owns the means of production (MP) controls the production of value. The means of distribution and exchange are secondary but still part of the overall circuit of capital. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1857/grundrisse/ch01.htm

          The system is fucked because for all their dedication to exploitation new forms of slavery etc the bosses who own the MP cannot force workers to produce enough value to get a return on their pile of money. The result is an overproduction of capital that sits in banks looking for the opportunity to increase in value. So money does not get invested in production of value but speculating in existing values causing bubbles and then burst bubbles.

          So there is no point in just treating the symptom, banks that speculate and interrupt the circuit of capital bringing a halt to production. Keynes was onto this circuit breaker but his fix didnt work cause he still had to get the capitalists to invest somehow. Wars and depressions help but usually they snaffle the money back out of production into their pockets. China makes it work because who is going to disagree with their state.

          Therefore need to expropriate the MP, and take control of central banks so that money is invested in production not speculation. But this will mean taking over the state because the state defends the status quo and private ownership of the MP, ME and MD.

          That’s why OWS is interesting, how long will it take for people to wake up that Wall St is just the grisly face of capitalism and that workers have to unite to takeover the big chunks of capital that own and control production? Not long, already we see the penny drop as OWS people realise that FINANCE CAPITAL isnt just the banks but the fusion of industrial and banking capital as in the ports. And that Finance Capital controls the state and local bodies including their Mayors who call the cops the riot squads and the paramilitaries.

          So one short very steep learning curve.

          • thatguynz 4.1.1.1.1

            OK notwithstanding the other flaws in your assessment of central banks and money creation etc you have heard of fractional reserve lending right? To make an assessment that money is solely a means of exchange is patently incorrect.

            A more appropriate analogy would be that money = debt. As an example – when a bank writes a mortgage to you and in essence “creates” the majority of the money being lent, where in the whole money supply chain is the interest that you also have to repay created?

            • dave brownz 4.1.1.1.1.1

              That guy. You don’t understand money. Its worthless unless it can be exchanged for commodities (which have value). That’s why all the paper money ‘created’ that can’t be exchanged for anything of value is worthless. Marx called it ‘fictitious’ capital. Today we might call if ‘virtual’ capital. Value ultimately arises from the labour that is embodied in commodities. Debt that cannot be paid off by exchange for commodities is bad debt. If you own the Greek debt yuv already had a haircut, and the Greek people will soon make sure that you lose your head as well because they arnt going to be turned back into slaves to produce the commodities to meet Greece’s debt. When the rest of us wake up and realise that our ggkids will be slaving to pay of worthless trillions of paper money debts today the system will go up like a bonfire. A lot of the kids are already waking up, in tents, and feeling the power…

              • thatguynz

                Dave – in some respects we are saying the same thing but from different angles. I initially said that money isn’t solely a means of exchange – not that it wasn’t at all. I completely agree that until money is exchanged for something of value it is worthless – hence why it is called fiat as it carries no intrinsic value of its own. My point however was that there is more of what you term “fictitious” or “virtual” money being created (by various means – be it central bank or institutional/trading bank creation) than there are commodities or items of value to underpin it. Therefore to use your terminology, it is “bad debt” and by its very nature has no physical ability to be repaid – ever.

                I also said that money creation isn’t solely conducted by the central banks (+ the IMF/BIS/World Bank etc.). Because of fractional reserve lending, the trading/institutional banks themselves are also creating money which is where I disagreed with your original post. Banks do more than simply providing facilitation for the circulation of money and the exchange of commodities.

        • nadis 4.1.1.2

          Colonial Viper says “The Federal Reserve is NOT controlled by the state, it is privately owned with a large part of its board of directors seconded from the private banking industry.”

          i’m calling bullshit on that. Board members of the Fed are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Which shadowy conspiracy controls Janet Yellen?

          And the old turkey about ownership. I would argue the fed system is actually a socialist collective. The individual district banks are owned by over 3000 banks who are part of the US banking system. The actual decision making part of the Fed (the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve – Bernanke, Yellen, Duke etc) has no capital and is a Federal Government Agency – not a private or public corporation.

          They are required to deposit 3% of their capital and receive dividends of 6% per annum. Any profits the Federal REserve system makes above that is given to the US Govt. In fact just recently the Fed district banks paid a dividend of 79 billion to the US treasury. From memory I believe the NY FRB acts as agent for the governors and generates most of the profits. But by statute these profits go to the government, not any shareholders of the NY Fed.

          Five minutes on Google finds the following:

          http://www.usagold.com/federalreserve.html
          http://webskeptic.wikidot.com/federal-reserve-system
          http://www.federalreserve.gov/faqs/about_12784.htm
          http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-10/fed-s-rising-balance-sheet-generates-76-9-billion-for-treasury-department.html

          Like most of these stupid conspiracies, the most simple explanation is that there is no conspiracy. But of course then you must realise that the absence of a conspiracy is actually incontrovertible proof that a deeper, more secret conspiracy exists. And then if you cant find proof of the deeper conspiracy it just shows how devilishly clever those greedy Jewish bankers are.

          • thatguynz 4.1.1.2.1

            Oh my word. You’re honestly taking the piss aren’t you? You’ve taken the time to research it and THAT is the conclusion you’ve come to?

            And by the by, I didn’t see anyone else introduce the “Jewish banker” theorem. Personally I judge bankers on their ideology, not their race, sexuality, faith or other.

            • nadis 4.1.1.2.1.1

              Ok that guy- Please educate me. And are you familiar with irony?

              I would hardly call reciting things I already knew and 5 mins on google researching, but you obviously are more knowledgeable than me. Please educate me and explain where anything I said is wrong.

      • Phil B 4.1.2

        thanks for the links. We may start to see more democratic control of the banks, as Christine Lagarde said in “Inside Job”, the role of the financial services sector is to serve…….other alternatives are being discussed …Kiwibank gets a mention:
        http://webofdebt.wordpress.com/

    • mik e 4.2

      economic research shows this method does work in the 1998 asian contagian.
      South American countries tried different methods, the countries that nationalized their banks recovered very quickly while those countries let their banks go bankrupt economies floundered.
      Our country is a perfect example in the 1930’s Labour nationalized our bankrupt banks as well as many struggling companies.The US let their banks crash and their economy took 20 years to fully recover ,NZ on the other hand recovered immediately after such actions.By a labour led coalition.

  5. queenstfarmer 5

    This confuses (or overlooks) cause and effect. The toxic subprime crisis was a direct result of government unwisely intervening in the market, as summarised here:

    The pressure to make more loans to minorities (read: to borrowers with weak credit histories) became relentless. Congress passed the Community Reinvestment Act, empowering regulators to punish banks that failed to “meet the credit needs” of “low-income, minority, and distressed neighborhoods.” Lenders responded by loosening their underwriting standards and making increasingly shoddy loans. The two government-chartered mortgage finance firms, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, encouraged this “subprime” lending by authorizing ever more “flexible” criteria by which high-risk borrowers could be qualified for home loans, and then buying up the questionable mortgages that ensued.

    • thatguynz 5.1

      Oh balls. To suggest that it wouldn’t occur in a pure free market and it is solely due to governmental interference is simply ludicrous. Notwithstanding that it is also a gross over-simplification of how and why the sub-prime market imploded which in and of itself is still only the tip of the iceberg for the economic calamity that is still unfolding.

      • queenstfarmer 5.1.1

        So which part of the factual narrative outlined above do you disagree with, and upon what evidence?

          • queenstfarmer 5.1.1.1.1

            That does not challenge any of the known facts, of which there is little dispute. It simply offers a different theory on why things played out the way they did. The key politician behind the federal scheme, Barney Frank, said very similar things and declared that Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae were in great shape and there were no problems pending. Of course, we all know what happened next.

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Don’t be an asshole qstf, Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae were amongst the last lenders to enter the subprime and liars loan markets.

              This has always been driven by the private sector, and the private sector used lobbyists and huge campaign donations to bring crooked politicians onboard.

              The banksters now run the governments of the world, and they do this by controlling the money supply.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.2

          The banksters and the government are in it together. They are part of the same meta-entity now.

          And don’t say that it can’t happen in NZ.

          That’s why we have an international bankster as Prime Minister. Same as in Greece and in Italy. See how well that works for them.

    • Pascal's bookie 5.2

      A fairly through smackdown of the ‘CRA cuased the meltdown’ myth here q.

      Be sure to take the time and follow the links if you’re unconvinced:

      http://www.cjr.org/the_audit/a_community_reinvestment_act_r.php?page=all

      • nadis 5.2.1

        There were many causes of the GFC but mostly too much liquidity and debt and not enough common sense. Securitisation was another contributing factor allowing transactions to occur with no sensible alignment of interest. Originator arranges a mortgage for a deadbeat borrower. Bank sells shitty loan to FNMA, FHLMC, GNMA or a private aggregator. Aggregator packages pools up and sell via securitisation market. Ratings agency rate based on flawed correlation structure. Investors buy tranches at stupid prices. There was a willing buyer and willing seller at every step of the transaction.

        Too big to fail = too big to start with. Nothing should be too big too fail, and if it is, then that signals a breakdown in a properly functioning market. Which should be the preserver of regulators but regulators don’t have the fortitude to stand up against vested interests. I actually think it is a tragedy of the commons or a game theory problem. What is rational for one bank – (fewer controls, more leverage, sweetheart deals with govt agencies) is actually toxic for the wider system and eventually each individual bank.

        I worked for investment banks for many years and was at ground zeroduring many crises, but I believe the ability of banks to socialise losses is a massive rort. They should have failed. The most ironic aspect of the GFC to me is that banks were essentially subsidised for loan losses via the TARP and similar, but at no point were they forced to actually cancel the obligation of the borrower. So the banks sold the defaulted loan at a premium to the Fed, and still foreclosed on the borrower. The US would be a very different place right now if some of trillions of TARP and QE money went to individuals and not just banks. I guess there was the cash for clunkers scheme though.

        • thatguynz 5.2.1.1

          Now that nadis – I largely agree with. Unfortunately instead of common sense prevailing under a mindset that would benefit all Americans (or more accurately – all global citizens) we’re left with the concept of socialise the losses and privatise the profits which benefits largely only those that initially created the issue…

          Of course there was counter-party willingness as the loans were onsold – there was $$$ to be made or risk to be taken off their books (dependant on which side of the transaction you were on). Guys like John Paulson had a field day – in his case primarily because he was taking insurance on the credit default swaps failing – which was a fairly logical outcome. What was more concerning was the likes of GS, JPM et al taking counter positions to products that they were selling their own customers and as you said, the regulators are toothless beasts as you don’t bite the hand that feeds.

    • mik e 5.3

      Qsf that is just a small part of the problem overall the likes of Meryll Lynch and other merchant banks around the world owe trillions their is no insurance for them.AIG went bust as well.
      if these insurance futures junk bond traders had the backstop their would be a problem.
      High risk borrowers included countries.
      fannie & freddy were the srtaw that broke the camels back.
      Their losses are barely 1% of the ponzi banking world.

  6. randal 6

    there is no such thing as a free market.
    show me where there is one?
    and I dont mean some guy selling eggs on a saturday morning.

    • aerobubble 6.1

      Free Markets are theory, the goal was to create the nearest reality of one by government legislation and over sight. The problem arose when, in my opinion, cheap oil kept flooding the market making it easy to build from scratch rather than fix up the system. This causes a paradigm shift in the global group think on economics, that free markets actually can exist without governments. There is, was, no conspricy. It just happened this way. Neoliberals never had an original thought.

      The second question is how to change matters. Well cite cheap oil every chance you get. Understand how the media use PR to create the spectacle. By telling us that its too expensive to selfishly want to help others, that its a weakness we cannot afford, that we have to destroy to get change (aka the cheap oil fumes talking). There are three realities, one neo-liberals isn[t smart anymore, we cannot afford it, we’ve hit global limits.

      So the next question is why aren’t we already moving to some new purposeful economic realism.
      Simple, we are, its not fast enough (would it ever have been without hindsight). Germany giving up nuclear! algea turned into fuel. There are things happening and the worse thing we could do is to forgive debts. As for punishing wrong doing…

      ..well that’s brings in the SST view of justice, justice is not there for retribution, or even punishment justice is there to placate society, the victims, the people, and the needs of the society as a whole so that society doesn’t get hang up. Justice survives primarily to move society forward.

      And therein comes what we need to do, find just ways (discourse) to NOT get hang up on past wrong doings (sure find remedies for those wronged, sure take home owners and the broker who sold them the liar mortgage to court – both benefited – one got a cheap home to live in and subsidied the rich by working for cheap returned in a nice warm conservative glow that somehow they were the winners).

      So explain the origin of the crisis, explain the origins of climate change, peak oil, of pollution, debt, explain why it hurts all of us and how we all win by changing it. We certainly don’t win by having some far leftwing socialist democracy shitte replacing our now nasty socialist nationalistic fascist media dictatorship we have now. Sure for the first few years, maybe decade we might even make the right choices when it comes to the problems (I doubt it), feel good. But it won’t last because capitalism isn’t tamed, peoples needs are dynamic, sure its no free market.
      Put simply, replacing lame neo-liberalism free market (psuedo control) with another psuedo feeling of control from the left won’t work. Its simple, shit happens, you must deal with each step a new in a principled way and be open to error, black swans, and being proved completely wrong.

      And that’s the weakness of the right, their bravo, their strength is power, their they have the answer – leave it to the market – just empty hollow thinkers who avoid the real problems because the media let them. Welcome to the media dictatorship, created by the media not having a backbone.

  7. Colonial Viper 8

    Bunji, always enjoy your posts.

    One other thing we must do: make the Government the primary source of credit in the economy, and not the private profit driven banks.

    We need interest free, debt independent, publicly issued money which can then be supplied to the economy in the necessary amounts and to necessary sectors to meet the broad needs of commerce and wider society.

  8. Colonial Viper 9

    An extraordinarily detailed lecture by William Black as to the financial fraud which has toppled economies around the world.

    http://vimeo.com/10239575

    Black personally helped to put behind bars hundreds of crooked bank executives after the S&L scandal of the 90’s, he knows his shit, he has been there and done that, and he knows exactly what is happening now – and what needs to be done.

  9. People who think tinkering with the captains chair, is going to fix the gash in the side, are as much part of the problem as the industrialists and bankers. To paraphrase George Carlin
    As far as us 7 billion monkeys goes it is to late to do anything, hence the reason I encourage people not to have children, even if the 200(?) million children born this year were Mother Teresa clones, it would not stop what is in motion, (not forgetting Fukushima) We probably went passed the point of ‘saving humanity’ 100 + years ago.
    Actually it isn’t really a problem ? I mean we have to do something before we go extinct, so why not just fuck everything and as many people and creatures we can ?
    Banking is just helping finance the whole deal and keeping it running at max speed, if it wasn’t for the banks, it might have taken mankind another 100 or so years to kill ourselves off ? -After we discovered coal and oil.
    And we can all sit around telling ourselves fairy stories, of how great ‘human kind’ is and what caring, intelligent, primates we all are, when the truth is we are more stupid now than when we came out of the cave.

    Humanity …… what a joke.

    • RedLogix 10.1

      And it’s own way Robert, your comment here is no more helpful than Gosman’s right at the beginning of this thread.

      They both end up advocating despair, and that nothing we can do will ever change anything..

      mmm… Now I come to think about, whose interests do you imagine that particular thought might serve?

      • LynW 10.1.1

        +1 I agree RedLogix. There’s no way I want to view the world like that.

        • Populuxe1 10.1.1.1

          +1 If your worldview is so morbid, there’s not much point in commenting just to say nothing can be done. By the way, where’s Afewknowthetruth these days? Did he finally subtract himself to ease the world of the burden of his carbon footprint?

      • Robert Atack 10.1.2

        This talk http://www.youtube.com/user/oilcrash1#p/a/f/0/yOq2A_SGTYA is but one example of were we are heading, the fact it isn’t being screened on prime time TV or discussed in parliament sort of confirms our destiny.

        I know there is always the “yeah but” , and with 99% of the population always accepting the “yeah but” , mainly from people who haven’t a clue, then we will keep on keeping on, right up until the gas room door slams shut behind us.

        >Now I come to think about, whose interests do you imagine that particular thought might serve?<

        I would like to think it might prevent a few more children being crushed in the rush through the bottle neck ? As I explained, preventing the creation of future sufferers is about the only thing we can do. And if parents actually loved their children you would think they would want to know how they may survive the coming years, but no, it is more important to 'look the part' and conform with this blinkered consumer driven destruction of everything your children need to see out their 3 score and 10.

        Going back to the Titanic, at what point in the sinking was it 'doomish' to suggest they lower the lifeboats? You can pretend you have a magic eggcup and you are going to bail us out of the crap, but in the end an eggcup just will not cut it.

        Another George Carlin saying "Fuck hope" oh and "Don't vote"

        And not viewing the world as it is, just shows people can not grow up. You can not turn back time, running out to the backyard to play with ya dolls might be a nice way to avoid thinking about the facts, but is doesn't change them.

        • RedLogix 10.1.2.1

          OK Robert. We’ll do nothing and let the predators roam at will.

          You remind me of a fawn I spotted a few weeks ago. I spotted it off the track about 20m, the hind had taken off with a hell of crash… but the fawn had panicked and had stuck it’s head a bush, thinking it was hidden. Of course it’s whole back end was still in plain view.

          I got so close I almost touched it.

          Well ok the fawn was young and acting on instinct. But ultimately it’s actions were exactly what a real predator would have delighted in. A free easy kill.

          Now you have looked long and hard at the threat facing humanity, how our current behaviour is ultimately terminal. On that we are on the same page. You have then looked at the way we have so far responded to the threat and concluded we are incapable of intelligent action to mitigate it. That’s a pretty fair conclusion too. Business as usual is impossible; the narrative of growth forever no longer works… and so far very few people want to let go that fairy tale.

          For the last 10,000 years or so since the adoption of agriculture our society has been dominated by patriarchal power, and obsession with property, material wealth and the means to accumulate and protect it.

          The economic system we now have, privileges and enables a tiny wealthy elite to accelerate that process beyond all sanity. It harms every human, every living thing … and ultimately threatens extinction on a mass scale. But 10,000 years is a blip in evolutionary time… and the thing about the future is that it never, ever turns out how we expect it to.

          There is a future, its not hell, it’s not necessarily heaven either… it’s a complete and utter change of every way we think and behave. Look about the world, look at the extraordinary extremes of beliefs humans cling to. We are capable of believing in almost anything. So don’t tell me we cannot change, we do and do so all the time.

          What we do not yet have just yet is a new narrative that we can believe in, one that makes sense in a post-carbon world.

          I fully expect to die without seeing anything much change, except probably to get worse. But fucking well REFUSE to give up. As long as I have a voice and a mind with which to think I will use them. Anything less is the ultimate failure.

        • LynW 10.1.2.2

          It is what it is Robert Atack. Whether by personal choice or individual nature, rose tinted glasses, denial, whatever….my choice is to continue to believe in the good of people…that love, hope and continued optimism is a far more constructive way to try and bring about change. Life is Beautiful! (1997)

          • Robert Atack 10.1.2.2.1

            >my choice is to continue to believe in the good of people…that love, hope and continued optimism is a far more constructive way to try and bring about change.<

            IF I had a choice I would go along with your hopes and dreams Lyn, but there are no choices left, the planet is on a non-stop path to a non-human friendly environment, we are over 391ppm and growing at 2ppm per year or there about, CO2 hangs around for 1,000 years, once the buffer of the ice is gone, (it is going because we are at 391ppm), then we will see some real heating of the environment, the oceans will turn to stagnant acid because the ice that is helping pump the water around the globe will not be there.
            If ignoring the truth helps you get through the day, then fair enough, after all that is what most people do (see most of the comments on The Standard as an example)
            I just hope all the Polyannas will go off and die quietly when it is their turn, and leave us Cassandras alone, we did try after all.
            But alas I know once TSHTF we prepared people are going to be over run by you lot, so again it comes back to accepting the reality that when things do go to crap they will really really go to crap.

            So yeah it is what it is.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.2.3

          The capitalist bus is playing a game of “Speed” where if the bus drops under 90km/h it explodes due to a debt and unemployment bomb; problem is that the road finishes in a cliff not far ahead.

          The passengers do not control the bus and the bus driver and his advisors are in a locked cage in the front. They seem quite happy to be powering along and aren’t listening to the passengers in the least.

          Occassionally they issue an upbeat assessment over the PA system.

          Re: RL

          What we do not yet have just yet is a new narrative that we can believe in, one that makes sense in a post-carbon world.

          The narrative has already been written in many places, but I’d point to JMG’s “The Ecotecnic Future”

          http://www.energybulletin.net/50751

          As a primary example. Sadly, TPTB see nothing in this new narrative for them, not the privilege or power you speak of. So it will never be promoted in a way that will reach most people in a way that they can understand.

          Re: Lyn W

          that love, hope and continued optimism is a far more constructive way to try and bring about change.

          This approach will be effective in salvaging whanau and hapu units, local communities, etc. On a nationwide basis by the time most people notice the smoke, the bottom nine floors of our ten story civilisation building will be fully alight and getting out safely will be very difficult for most.

    • johnm 10.2

      Science is certain humanity will be extinct possibly sooner than later. We are but visitors on this Planet which currently is severely degraded in so many areas by our actions.perhaps the interstellar Voyager probe travelling to the stars will be our only surviving artifact protected by sterile space. Weather and climate will have removed our remains from the Earth’s surface.

    • nadis 10.3

      I agree RL. That thinking is bankrupt of any belief in humanity. At numerous points through history doomsayers, based on the then current thinking, saw no future for humanity. And yet humanity continues to adapt, evolve and survive, prosper.

      And JohnM where do you get :

      Science is certain humanity will be extinct possibly sooner than later.

      Really? Not any science I’m familiar with. Got a reference, I’d be interested in reading that.

      • johnm 10.3.1

        Hi nadis
        Where I got that from I read in a popular science book forgotten which that all species have a life span (Just like individuals) and eventually go extinct. Most of the species who have lived on this Planet have already been and gone. What could cause us to go extinct?
        Intense and comprehensive environment exploiters such as ourselves have a shorter life span than more humble species such as lizards!
        1. Runaway extreme climate change. Lovelock believes we are already going into a hot house Earth.
        2. Nuclear War.
        3. A new lethal virus which spreads through breath.
        4. A deterioration of our ability to pass on our dna. as in the film “Children of Men”
        5. For some reason the Earth changes in atmosphere and its oceans and soils we cannot survive.
        6. Extinction could be enabled first by all or some of the previous items happening first.
        7. A huge asteroid collision with the Planet We live in a cosmic shooting gallery.
        8. An existential SHOCK such as the effective end of fossil fuels’ energy supply throwing us back to the energy regime of the 15c but with a huge amount of more people to look after on a degraded Planet. Fossil fuels would be like the potato was to the Irish who starved when the blight happened.
        9. Severe overshoot of the Planet’s resources leading to reduction in carrying capacity refer Catton “Overshoot the ecological basis for revolutionary change”

        • Colonial Viper 10.3.1.1

          Even after all that its still quite likely that several hundred million people will survive in various corners of the earth. In other words, back to the population level of the 1600’s and 1700’s.

  10. Bruce Collings 11

    The “pathetic” Occupy movements are attempting to enlighten people who have not understood how the global financial system has evolved since fiat currency took over from a notion of ‘money’ which is tied to something of genuine intrinsic value.

    Now that the off-balance sheets ‘value’ of over-the-counter (= between mates risk swaps) derivative trades exceeds global gross domestic product by a factor of ten, the system is serving only the 0.001% who control the global financial system itself – by owing and controlling the few remaining banks which are all ‘too big to fail’.

    For Gosman, let me try to put this another way. The entire 7 billion human population currently exists by buying roughly US $70 trillion’s worth of goods, services, products every year.

    Through the proliferation of fiat currency by the world’s reserve banks there is now circa US $700 billion circulating the planet in financial derivative ‘products’.

    These financial derivative gambles dictate the cost of everything on our planet. On every gamble placed the money men take a fat commission and other than this real money which is extracted from the process, no genuine contribution is made to humanity by these rich scum.

    Some people think that this is wrong. I am one.

    As for our climate and climate change – we are in the “Cinderella” zone of our Star, The Sun – get used to it.

    • thatguynz 11.1

      +1

    • Jum 11.2

      And John Key is a derivatives expert. Or at least this description is him:
      ‘On every gamble placed the money men take a fat commission and other than this real money which is extracted from the process, no genuine contribution is made to humanity by these rich scum.’

    • Draco T Bastard 11.3

      The “pathetic” Occupy movements are attempting to enlighten people who have not understood how the global financial system has evolved since fiat currency took over from a notion of ‘money’ which is tied to something of genuine intrinsic value.

      Wrong. Nothing wrong with fiat currency if it’s allowed to represent a fixed value (this doesn’t have anything to do with stupidities such as a gold standard), interest can’t be charged on it and private interests don’t get to print willy nilly. None of which happens now. In fact, the biggest problem I can see is that with the ascension of Monetarism and the belief that money itself had value people forgot what the actual economy is (the real resources that we actually use) and what it’s for (ensuring that no one lives in poverty and that we can do what we want to do as a society).

      • thatguynz 11.3.1

        Gee DTB, that’s starting to sound like some of the principles of Sharia banking :) Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing depending on which elements of it you look at.

        • RedLogix 11.3.1.1

          Well yes.

          It’s an interesting fact that while all the major religions are silent on most matters economic, they ALL in one form or another say something about the charging of interest.

  11. The Voice of Reason 12

    The merde is hitting the fan in Europe as we speak. France cop a credit downgrade and the markets aren’t taking the news well.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      this is the interesting thing: the UK has the worst debt to GDP ratio of all: 492% debt to GDP (and I have seen estimates as high as 600%). They make France look like good boys.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15820601

      But, S&P and Moody’s won’t touch the UK (for now) as doing so would really wreck the financialised game playing.

      NB a downgrade from AAA typically necessitates the dumping of bonds from that country as many hedge funds and pension funds state they will only hold AAA assets.

      • mik e 12.1.1

        The UKs figures are hugely distorted because it is a major financial hub.Their debt level per earner comparing income level they are lower than us.

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1

          Ahem. Its not a distortion its a fact.

          By “major financial hub” I take it you mean “hub of financial fraud” and “major centre of trading of largely unregulated derivatives and other associated financial weapons of mass destruction”.

          NB the following blow ups centred on the City of London because it has amongst the most lax rules in the world for financial trading.

          1) Bernie Madoff. A major section of his ponzi operation was located in London, because of its more lax regulation.

          2) AIG. The CDS operation of AIG which almost destroyed the entire financial system was located in London because of its more lax regulation.

          3) Lehman Bros – a large proportion of its losses were suffered in its London offices, those offices were left stranded in the collapse of Lehman, ditto above.

          4) MF Global – was taking advantage of the lax City of London rules around rehypothecation, which led to its downfall.

          • johnm 12.1.1.1.1

            Hi CV
            Everything You Need to Know About Wall Street, in One Brief Tale
            by Matt Taibbi
            Refer link: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/01/14-2
            Hi CV
            Thankyou for your understanding of the magnitude of the neoliberal financialisation banking nightmare on our backs.

            John Key made his ill gotten speculative gains in the London office of Merryl Lynch.

            The article above by Taibbi again clearly exposes the criminality of the banking ststem in America: Comment on that article-

            “As Brooks Adams wrote in 1913, “The modern capitalist looks upon life as a financial combat of a very specialized kind, regulated by a code which he understands and has indeed concocted, but which is recognized by no one else in the world. He conceives sovereign powers to be for sale. He may, he thinks, buy them; and if he buys them, he may use them as he pleases….He may sell his service to whom he pleases at what price may suit, and if by doing so he ruins men and cities, it is nothing to him. He is not responsible, for he is not a trustee for the public. He if he be restrained by legislation, that legislation is an outrage, to be annulled or eluded by any means that will not lead to the penitentiary.” The law upholds his privileges, but “he is of all citizens the most lawless…and looks upon the evasion of a law devised for public protection, but inimical to him, as innocent or even meritorious.”

            Increasingly sophisticated propaganda has been designed to conflate that cultish “code” with public good, or, more accurately, with public necessity and inevitability. It is absurd, of course, and can’t last. The mask is mostly off, but the malevolent and deadly institutions built on lies persist.”

            • thatguynz 12.1.1.1.1.1

              +1 Matt Taibbi’s stuff is well researched and well written. I’m still regularly surprised that he manages to get it published in MSM :)

  12. randal 13

    Unfortunately there is nothing that can be done.

    The structure thats sits on the top of productive enterprise has been there since agriculture first produced a surplus in pre-historic times.

    Now it relies on the insatiable desire for goods and the ability of sociopaths to use the system for their own psychological needs.

    As we have become individualised and separated from community and family then we have become mere disposable items in someone elses ledger.

    The answer is not immediately apparent as the avenues for communal action get closed off by the state and the corporations who reserve it for themselves in a nifty confidence trick.

    How to put the social back into society is the hard part but it is coming and soon it will be urgent, the resource base that humanity depends on now will not last forever.

    [I’ve taken the liberty to slightly edit this into a form more people will read. It’s spot on. Hope you don’t mind me mucking with your signature style just this once…RL]

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      I listened to the horse whisperer on National Radio yesterday afternoon. He said that once you have the horse thinking your ideas while believing that they are his own, you have it made.

      That’s why the Right wins today.

      That’s why people vote against their own interests.

      That’s why so many “Left” parties just ain’t so any more.

      And the banksters win no matter who is in parliament.

      • Spot on my friend as is Randal.
        What hope for the world though with people like Gosman running things?

      • mik e 13.1.2

        thats because the banks have our govts by the short and curlies if we don,t do what they say they will dry up funding.
        Helen Clark admitted this as much when setting up kiwibank.

    • muzza 13.2

      Unfortunately the majority of people simply are not able tobegin to see, let alone comprehend the degree of decepition which masquerades as our environment, (by that I mean the man made constucts). There is a tendancy IMO for people to believe that technology and science will save humaity from itself, however theyt fail to conceive that those who control the technology etc, are the same who bring us GFC’s, war and the like.
      I agree with RL, that we who are aware and understanding, must continue to educate, prepare and show by example, if only inside our social unit, that there are still amazing reasons to be human, ans alive.
      I can see where Robert Atack is coming from too, however to understand energy is to understand that defeatest mindsets simply entrap us into this physical nightmare. – Note I am not trying to advocate wishing away reality as a polyanna!
      It is incumbent on all of us to play our part, and Randal hit the nail in the above post. It will begin at community level, and it has to begin with the people who are aware, because those at the helm, seemingly have a one way ticket in mind for us….
      Get stuck into community gardening initiatives, and show a visible presence to your local MP’s when you disagree with anything at all, get stuck right into them on a regular basis, calls, emails etc, because the more who do, the more will follow, and if they dont, well fuck it, those that have will at least have been proactive!

      • LynW 13.2.1

        + 100 An excellent summary of this thread of conversation muzza.

      • Robert Atack 13.2.2

        >well fuck it, those that have will at least have been proactive!<

        It doesn't work, the people are just not listening ……… for now.

        I pissed over $25,000 against the wall of apathy (earnt @$20.00 per hour)
        A few samples http://www.youtube.com/user/oilcrash1#p/u/40/QlYTJ9JHY4A
        And I challenge anyone else to equal my efforts, add 15,000 DVDs given away to this.And that includes at least 600 into parliament, another example http://oilcrash.com/articles/you_tube.htm
        My 'opinion' wasn't created in a vacuum, it came from 8 years of attending the school of hard knocks …. clashing with the pig ignorant masses, until I gave up in 2007/8.

        • RedLogix 13.2.2.1

          It doesn’t work, the people are just not listening

          Yes.. I know that. And seriously I can imagine exactly how that felt. That’s why you have my respect.

          It took what 40 years of hard battle to end chattel slavery.. because there were so many huge vested interests resisting the change.

          This one will take just as long.

        • muzza 13.2.2.2

          Robert – you should feel satisfied in your efforts, even though they may not have had the tangiable response you may have wanted to see, as yet, you can be sure that efforts such as yours will register on the timeline somewhere…

          Keep at it in any way you can mate…do it because you believe its right!

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