GFC 2 in the oven: trillion dollar bailouts

Written By: - Date published: 7:06 am, July 10th, 2015 - 26 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, Economy, Financial markets, loan sharks - Tags:

The financial elite have set us all on course for Global Financial Crisis episode 2, as the limits of financial “extend and pretend” seem close to being breached. And boy is it going to be a biggie. Will “Grexit” trigger it? Or perhaps massive losses in the Chinese financial markets? Or some other rare but devastating ‘Black Swan‘ event (as described by Nassim Taleb)?

Too big to fail” financial institutions were so labelled because their failure would pose systemic risks to the global economy (or so gullible/ignorant politicians were told while entire treasuries were held hostage by insolvent banks). But these ‘TBTF’ institutions are now bigger than ever while the global leadership class continues to engineer our societies for fragility and not for resilience.


But just how big were the bank bail outs? BIG. Central banks created trillions in new money (warning – Heritage Foundation link!) to keep (literally) criminal financial institutions afloat. The total bail out figure may be as high as US$29 trillion. Prof L. Randall Wray goes into more detail here.

Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone skillfully revealed the many official lies told around the bank bailouts: that there were no alternatives, that the public got its money back, etc.

Meanwhile, ordinary people live under the boot of daily austerity, ostensibly because there is ‘not enough money’  – which is a nonsense, especially if you understand that today, money is created ex nihlo (‘out of nothing’) by computer keystrokes (I’ll post some time on my All Blacks vs Japan analogy for that). In reality, “austerity” at its core is little more than a greed based exercise of power, financial repression and resource rationing.

Helicopter Ben's keyboard

This is all the result of choices made by the global leadership class whereby irresponsible bankers got bailed out to the tune of $$$$$ (and got huge bonuses), while householders, workers, small business people, retirees and even whole nations were left to quietly sink or swim on their own. In some cases, they have been deliberately held under water (Greece) or used as sacrificial geopolitical pawns (Ukraine).

Max Keiser describes one aspect of this system as “interest rate apartheid.” If you are a privileged financial insider, you get access to all the money that you want no questions asked, at near 0% interest rates (in fact, spouses of big bankers were found to have personally received millions in nearly free government funds). If you are an in-favour nation, then you can borrow using the markets at a low 2% or 3%. For ordinary individuals, being subject to 15% plus interest rates on personal loans and credit cards is commonplace.


For those ‘untouchables’ at the very bottom of the financial heap cut off from routine sources of credit, annualised interest rates of hundreds of percent per annum apply. Yes, debt has long been an effective tool of political and social control, and interest rate apartheid numerically quantifies your current level of privilege in the system.

Depending on its timing, National will be probable electoral beneficiaries of GFC episode 2. Why? Because Andrew Little, Annette King, and Finance spokesperson initiate Grant Robertson won’t be able to overcome the “safe hands”, “don’t put it all at risk”, “steady as she goes” memes the MSM will tack on to the “proven experience and market credibility” of John Key and Bill English.

Laugh, cry or gnash your teeth, that’s just the way it is.

malcolm x



26 comments on “GFC 2 in the oven: trillion dollar bailouts”

  1. AsleepWhileWalking 1

    An estimated $1.4 trillion dollars worth (USD) of Chinese stocks are traded on the NYSE + Nasdaq is a much more likely reason for yesterdays lost four hours. (The official line is that the shutdowns x 3 were caused by a “software upgrade”).

    I think it’s safe to say that this was a deliberate intervention to stave off a 1987 style stock market collapse…for at least a month or two.

    Edit: Dave Hodges of the Common Sense Show interview with James White of The Liberty Brothers Radio Show discuss the recent cyber-attacks and how infrastructure is targeted next (connected to the next financial crash because it is the way TPTB use to control panic, yesterday was a rehearsal according to Hodges).

    • dukeofurl 1.1

      The NYSE is only one of 13 stock exchanges in US. A lot of stocks are privately traded in ‘dark pools’ as well. Most stocks can be traded on multiple exchanges.

      Hardly affected the trading as there is another option just a click away.

      Where did you get the figures for Chinese stocks- $1.4 trillion ?

      If you get a list , including HK and Taiwan, there is not more than 30 on NYSE and say 80 on NASDAQ

  2. ianmac 2

    Another one of those huge stories with huge possible outcomes which can frighten the daylights out we little people. What can I do about it? Like watching the Japanese tsunami – just watch and hope CV.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Yep – and that fear is used as a form of control over people and indeed whole countries. For instance, I don’t think the poor treatment of Greece is predominantly about Greece at all – but as a warning and political control over other highly indebted EU nations: Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy.

  3. aerobubble 3

    Back whenever I made the point, that the GFC was the first correction that took markets by surprise, and the second would be when markets realize how to return to the new normal. As we have been seeing global conservative incumbents have been introducing led wing policies, even if the policies favor the 1% and retiries, those that vote with their money and those at the ballot box respectively.

    But let’s go back, and ask where did the first big chink in the armour of neo liberalism begin. I would suggest withe the massive collapse of a hedge fund, a black swan hit, Argentina I believe had a run on their currency, the hedge funds old have been fine, had Russia had not caused a second black swan. the purity of the ideology was corrupted forever, the high priestly wonks of finance faith in their eqns had been destroyed, they could no longer manage risk.

    Neo-liberalism was powered on the lie, that the growth from cheap high density fuels flowing out of the middle east was due to their vision of economics. That the great wealth creation built on wealth creation of the past was not due to their magic tomes on finance by a corrupt political philosophy that even left wing parties could neither contradict or buy into, so they joined up, adage of you can’t beat them bet a door to Murdoch and declare your undying faith to the new corruption.

    Our collective wealth has never come from the managers, they can only screw up, misdirect wealth, and steal off with it, otherwise its returned in multiplier forms to those, us all, who create value, rescue value, recycle monetary value. So govts can print money, build infra structure can fund health, or they can take on debt which transfers wealth to the financial sector, cut taxes which aids those who pay the most tax best, or they can cut services and take away yet more value from the masses. I.e screwup, misdirect and steal from the masses.

    There would be no world climate crises had neo liberalism not taken over, we’d have solve it by now, along with making the world more capitalist, turning the third world around long ago. The wealthiest are not stupid, they just don’t care since theycan’t take the wealth with them.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Our collective wealth has never come from the managers

      Spot on – it has come from cheap flows of highly dense energy (as you mentioned) and from labour energy putting that supplementary fossil fuel energy to work extracting and processing goodness out of mother nature.

      • aerobubble 3.1.1

        When Jobs of Apple sold his first PCs, it was people valuing them by buying them that reaped wealth for Steve jobs. Not the other way around. Jobs knew this that why it pained his naracissitic personality so much to have to produce what consumers wanted. Only big finance think they created wealth being so detached from its actuality.

  4. Wow…. Colonial Viper, we have come a long frigging way! Who would have thought that you would one day be a Standard writer! I bow to you!

    [CV’s actually been a TS author for a while. Like many though, he’s had a period of inactivity on the posting front. Hopefully CV 2.0 will feature more regularly! TRP]

  5. Ad 5

    Sometimes CV it is better just to stop thinking and start drinking.

    Personally, I’m going to The Chills at Chicks Tavern tonight.

    You’re generating mighty sophisticated melancholy there. You’re beginning to remind me of Hardt and Negri. Which is a good thing.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Ah yes, Chicks Hotel a great venue. Sorry I can’t make it but have a great time 🙂

  6. johnm 6

    Because we live in that time of the end of growth for following reasons:

    1. Peak Oil
    2.Climate Change
    3.Resource depletion on a massive scale: No more stuff left to rip off.
    4. Overpopulation and its demands

    Then we have trillions of derivatives based on non existent growth which expectations are being extracted from the poor including Greece.

    The agency of this shit system the banks have been bailed out to trillions.

    This rotten shit pile is living on borrowed time including the 100 fing billion we owe banking scum overseas thankyou Shonkey.

    • johnm 6.1

      ” Economists insist that recovery is at hand, yet unemployment remains high, real estate values continue to sink, and governments stagger under record deficits. The End of Growth proposes a startling diagnosis: humanity has reached a fundamental turning point in its economic history. The expansionary trajectory of industrial civilization is colliding with non-negotiable natural limits.

      Richard Heinberg’s latest landmark work goes to the heart of the ongoing financial crisis, explaining how and why it occurred, and what we must do to avert the worst potential outcomes. Written in an engaging, highly readable style, it shows why growth is being blocked by three factors:

      Resource depletion Environmental impacts Crushing levels of debt
      These converging limits will force us to re-evaluate cherished economic theories and to reinvent money and commerce.

      The End of Growth describes what policy makers, communities, and families can do to build a new economy that operates within Earth’s budget of energy and resources. We can thrive during the transition if we set goals that promote human and environmental well-being, rather than continuing to pursue the now-unattainable prize of ever-expanding GDP. ”

  7. keyman 7

    stocks are pumped with all that printed money its vapor wealth here today gone tomorrow i remember 1987 it happens sudden and fast but like mitch feierstein said recently you haven’t seen nothing yet.

  8. keyman 8

    the nats have put all our egg’s in one basket china take away dairy and ponzi housing market theres just a mountain of debt left in this country fuckin baby boomer’s have
    screwed us over

    • Jackp 8.1

      Baby boomers? I think it’s the neoliberals that have screwed us royally be them a baby boomer or not. I am not for the banks being bailed out. Iceland is a good example why we should not bail the banks out. Gosh, what is happening in Greece is extremely tame compared to what the US banks stole from the taxpayers.

  9. tc 9

    look at iceland laughing at those who got sucked into the ‘too big to fail’ BS.

    new ways and means are long overdue which will come from letting them burn to the ground as its obvious they are a broken and self serving bunch of crooks.

  10. Smilin 10

    Yeah we heard Osbournes cure sounded like updated Maggie Thatcher
    Britain heading on course for a reality check when the 2016 crash really gets going
    Greece is only as big as Alabama economically yet they are 40% worse off
    As for us well another 50 billion could be where we end up when it all takes off
    Key should start losing it so he can get out without his ego smashed to pieces cause this will be bigger than anything he can bullshit us about.
    Sad part about us peaceful Kiwis we cant impeach the bastard

  11. Smilin 11

    The other thing is China is reaching peak production therefore everything will stagnate which it can only do as the worlds population is approaching critical mass and uncontrollable decline is inevitable until real values, democracy,and the reality of the bs about money are addressed and fixed
    For instance who needs super rich sports for a starter only the 1%
    The rest of us have learnt to live without it, a dinky toy is as much fun

  12. Reddelusion 12

    So you don’t scare the horses CV i doubt grexit will tigger next financial crisis as unlikely to happen and with Ecb unlimited put on European sovereign bonds this will maintain liquidity and any contagion issue. It also looks like for all Tsiparsa bluster and gaming by previous finance minister they have conceeded on a worse deal than they voted No to ( go figure?) Similarly China stock market is a very small part of chinese economy, has a history as a casino and limited public participation (10pc of pop). Thier banks are also not overly exposed. Saying all of that cv I do have some sympathy for your views, Not so much Neo liberal capitalism in regard to the real economy but I do think financial liberalisation and deregulation has gone to far, The financial sector should serve the real economy and societies needs, it appears the other way around at present, to much reliance on market discipline and self regulation a little more external regulation would not be be a bad thing

  13. Sable 13

    The reality is we have been dragged backwards into 19th century style extremes of wealth and poverty, the haves and the have not’s. It can only get worse now the MSM have finally been brought to heel and the institutions that were meant to serve us all serve only a small percentage of the population at everyone else’s expense. I wonder how long this can last until enough people have decided they have had enough?

  14. AmaKiwi 14

    An eighteenth century banker (sorry, I can’t find the quote) said mortgages were banking’s most brilliant invention. Mortgage payments are a form of rent except the bank has none of the responsibilities of a landlord. Credit cards are even more devastating.

    I grew up in a cash society (I can’t buy it until I have all the money) and watched it change into a credit card world (buy anything you want and charge it.)

    We can blame it on the banks for making this form of gambling socially acceptable. But we (the entire world) are now at a point where our collective debts (personal, corporate, and personal) are so enormous we can never repay them.

    This week China, Greece, and Puerto Rico all smashed into the debt brick wall. Expect overseas Chinese owners of Auckland real estate to start dumping property to raise cash to cover their debts at home.

    It’s just beginning. NZ and its people are heavily in debt. The deflation is coming here.

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