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Nice

Written By: - Date published: 9:08 am, September 30th, 2008 - 45 comments
Categories: economy, International - Tags:

45 comments on “Nice ”

  1. Bill 1

    Call me twisted, but that failed bail-out package and the accompanying drops in the markets makes for a feel good news article. I guess when the Berlin Wall crumbled, the official news sources in the Soviet Bloc were somewhat negative in their reporting too.

    I don’t think it’s time to bail out ‘the people’ as much as time for people to bail out of the whole shebang.

    But since people are not able/prepared for that, it strikes me as a shame that the Labour party here embraced neo-liberal doctrine so completely, ’cause now would have been a really good time for them to repudiate their faith, embrace their doubts and set down social and economic policies that fall decidedly outside the realm of neo-liberal acceptability.

    Oh well.

  2. Bill 2

    Maybe I misread the placard and the ‘Bail out people’ is an instruction rather than a plea?

    On another track, since ‘merchant banker’ is just a piece of rhyming slang, why hasn’t it been applied to JK before now? Just a question.

    Picture of JK. ‘Why vote for a total merchant banker.’ etc, etc

  3. Daveski 3

    I agree Bill. I’m sure North Korea, Cuba and Albania will be immune from these neo-liberal failings!

  4. Phil 4

    Theres a lot of really poor journalism going on around the bail-out, and a lot of misunderstanding.

    We’re not talking about throwing $700bln USD down a drain – it’s a purchase of loans that are still backed – for the most part – by solid residential property (the security needs to be differentiated from the borrowers ability to repay the mortgage, two very different things)

    The US government is going to be picking up these loans secured on housing at a substantial discount, so there is in all probability a positive return in future for the federal government as those loans progressively get paid back and/or the property market recovers. Add to that the prospect of holding a portion of the stock in banks (which are also at astonishingly low market valuations at present) and there is a very real opportunity to make an absolute fortune for taxpayers.

    Of course, there also needs to be a change in the regulatory oversight. Not necessarily more, but certainly a change to the way banks are supervised by the likes of the Fed.

    ….

    One thing that really concerns me though, is the pace of the legislative process here. Remember the last time the US government pushed something through this fast? It was the Patriot Act and associated counter-terrorist measures… some nasty stuff hidden in that.

  5. Bill 5

    On a Tui theme I guess, tidy up the quotes and…

    “We won’t sell Kiwi Bank…yet. Merchant banker!”

    “50 000 shares, I mean, um, ah, between 50 000 and 100 000″ Merchant banker!

    ” I don’t know if I met Ashcroft. Um, eh I met him at my home” Merchant banker!

    I wont post any more. I’m sure others can come up with far better, but anyway, ever noticed he always seems to have one hand in his pocket…..merchant banker!

    How many kleenex will be needed to clean up the mess this merchant banker will make?

    ALERT! Don’t let this merchant banker near your assets!

    Ah shit. Stopping now.

  6. Vanilla Eis 6

    I’d be interested to see if they’re going to put the hard word on executive bonuses and parachutes as a condition of the buyouts: I’d say “nothing” is about what they’re owed.

    Phil has a couple of good points though –

    1) The bailout isn’t just throwing money away, and it will hopefully ease some of the pain that will be felt anyway.

    2) The Govt could quite possibly make money off this (But what the hell is Government doing in business? Isn’t that all *gulp* Socialist and stuff?)

    3) Pushing legislation through so fast can be dangerous. Action has to be taken quickly, but I don’t think that Congress are wrong to defeat a bill that has been put together so hastily. I imagine most of the Rep’s haven’t even had a chance to read the fine-print (Of which there will be a lot) – always a smart thing to do when dealing with large sums of money.

  7. Bill 7

    daveski.

    Neo-liberalism is not a world wide phenomena. True, most developing and ex-state communist countries had it forced on them through SAPS and such like and the anglo-saxon world adopted it wholesale.

    But that leaves a lot of countries that didn’t pursue neo-liberal economic doctrines.

  8. Phil,

    This 700 trillion is only the amount they can have outstanding at all times but they can trade over and over again. Bloomberg reckons this bail out of the worthless paper junk bonds could cost the US taxpayer up to 5 trillion.

    This bailout would give the banksters immunity from prosecution for fraud and give Paulson dictatorial power over the entire financial system of the US. No check and balances.

    The speculative bubble created by John Key and his Wall street bankster mates is likely to exceed a Quadrillion dollars.

    Why should the US taxpayer and make no mistake the UK population is also hit for up to a trillion pounds and the Federal Reserve of NZ will also start bailing out failing banks if need be so why should we the little people bail out the banksters speculative orgy of the last 20 years because that’s how long this has been going on. This did not happen overnight you know.
    The derivative trade banned in 1933 because it was just to speculative was taken out of the mothballs by Alan Greenspan in 1987 and ever since the bloodsuckers on Wall street and in the city of London have been having a go at it.

    If John Key has any remorse about his speculative past he should consider giving his fortune to the super fund it just lost over 880 million dollars the last year. but guess what I’m sure he would rather spend it on another house in Hawaii were he and his predatorial banking mates are going to enjoy the spoils of their drunken looting of the worlds populations when he is done selling of NZ’s assets to them.

    I have the feeling a lot of NZers are going to be mightily pissed of with him in a year or so and he’ll be very happy to live in that resort.

  9. Santi 9

    How amusing is the sight of the enemies of capitalism and free-market economies rejoicing at this time.

  10. Tara 10

    Phil & Vanilla Eis,

    .. where have you guys been hanging out for the last year or two ? Worshiping at the feet of von Hayek in the National party common room ?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/3088685/US-Economy-Even-Hank-Paulsons-bail-out-plan-cannot-detox-global-banking.html

    and

    http://optionarmageddon.ml-implode.com/2008/09/28/a-picture-of-the-apocalypse/

    might give you a taste of what is around the corner.

    Electorally, who would want to be in power right now ?

  11. higherstandard 11

    People love a bad news story Santi – human nature sadly.

  12. Vanilla Eis 12

    Tara: Did you even read the first article?

    to quote:

    Even if Congress backs the Paulson bail-out, the $700 billion blast cannot save the US, Britain or the world from the deepest economic slump since the Thirties. If Congress balks, God help us.

    Emphasis mine. Read my post again – did I say that the bailout was a cure-all? Hell no. But if it doesn’t happen, the pain is going to be a lot worse.

    As Mr Paulson says, US taxpayers are on the hook whether they like it or not. A $700 billion fund to soak up toxic debt and stabilise the credit market is the cheapest way out. It is certainly cheaper than Depression.

    Stop lumping me in with the free-market idealists. I’m most assuredly not one. But that doesn’t mean I’m blind to the fact that things are incredibly fucked, and will quite likely get worse if the Fed doesn’t inject some cash shortly.

    Oh, and one last quote from that article:

    … claims that the US is going bust are frivolous. The US Treasury is not taking on permanent debt: it is behaving like a giant wealth fund, hoovering up mortgage securities selling far below their real value for reasons of panic. Famed investor Warren Buffett expects it to make “a considerable amount of money’.

    That Buffett guy has had the odd dip in the financial pool. Maybe he’s not the worst person in the world to take advice from?

  13. coge 13

    Only one thing worse than a bailout, & that is no bailout.
    Although the bailout constitutes rampant govt socialism, via nationalisation of financial assets. Not a good thing. For my personal reasons, of which I won’t go into, I prefer no bailout.

    Let’s see some solutions, instead of grandstanding & blaming “the system”. At the end of the day, taxpayers pay, one way or the other.

  14. Santi,

    Free trade and capitalism is one thing. But wanting free trade and capitalism when it’s profitable and socialism and regulation when your business goes bankrupt because you’ve been gambling with it? come on.

    Capitalism is about the freedom of enterprise whether you make it or break it that’s up to you.

    The banksters betted with other peoples money and made gazillions while doing it. Now let them pay the price for their greedy irresponsible behaviour.

    Dismantle the Federal Reserve system, abolish the monopoly of the privately owned banking cartel and let’s go back to the time of social credit. We own this country. We the people and not a bunch of parasitical low lives speculating with the fruits of our labour, our hard earned money.

  15. Coge,

    Spending anywhere between 700 billion to 5 trillion of the already maxed out taxpayers money to prop up corrupt financial institutes is day light robbery. Getting out of two illegal wars of aggression and spending the money (last week the congress passed another trillion to be spend in the wars) on rebuilding the crumbling American infrastructure creating jobs, invest in schools etc. is more in order.

  16. Vanilla Eis 16

    Eve: the problem is that the bankers won’t be the ones paying the price… They’ve already had their multi-million dollar bonuses, they’ll be ok. It’s the people who have mortgages on their homes, which will be foreclosed upon to pay the debts these banks have incurred, who will suffer.

    Hence me being in favour of the bailout (in some form, it will have to happen – either in welfare payments for the unemployed or in cash for the banks to retain liquidity) while completely removing the bonus system for bankers (ideally this could be applied retrospectively, say by a 100% tax bill on any such payment in the last 6-12 months). It won’t cover the bailout, or anything near, but it’ll mean that the money goes where it’s needed, and if an executive has to sell his house because he can’t make the payments? Well, too bad.

  17. randal 17

    WALL STREET…. the place where people go for advice from people who go to work on the subway!

  18. randal 18

    where people go in rolls royces to get advice from people who go to work on the subway.

  19. gobsmacked 19

    I’m sure our wonderful politicians will sort this mess out, if we just let them appear in the TV debate. That’s what really matters, eh?

    God, we’re fucked.

  20. Vanilla Ice,

    I’m all for helping the Americans who have lost their jobs because the same scum from the banking world who are also on the boards of big corporations and who for profit outsourced all the well paying jobs to china and who sold suckers the idea that their overvalued houses would always go up in price expensive mortgages.

    Those people need jobs and income to pay their mortgages and feed and clothe their kids. So if you’re going to bail out anybody why not them. They just passed another trillion for their wars so why not for their own people.

    The truth is that giving Wall street banksers unlimited amounts of money is only going to increase inflation on a massive scale. In fact it will destroy the dollar altogether. It will start the sell of of the dollar by China and Japan and it will be the end of the Anglo-Saxon financial system.

    But perhaps that is what should happen because then perhaps we can make the criminal banking elite pay for their monstrous speculative bubble and their wanton looting of the worlds resources.

  21. Phil 21

    worthless paper junk bonds
    RMBS means ‘residential mortgage back security… as in there is a whopping great house and piece of land behind each and every loan. For the security to be worthless, it would have to be the case that every single one of those homes and the land with them was also worth $0 – to say the bind is ‘worthless’ is simply not accurate.

    This bailout would give the banksters immunity from prosecution for fraud and give Paulson dictatorial power over the entire financial system of the US. No check and balances.

    “Over the entire financial system” is a bit of a stretch, Trav…
    I doubt this ‘dicatorial power’ is really going to be true following the failed house vote overnight. I fully agree that there needs to be acceptable checks/balances, but we probably disagree on the nature of them. I’m not so sure about the avoidance of prosecution as, as I understand it, there has not been a systematic breaking of any particular laws, just some shockingly unethical practices.

    The speculative bubble … is likely to exceed a Quadrillion dollars

    Erm, so?
    The Fed/Treasury is not there to bail out the whole industry. It’s there to provide a degree of confidence that has been lacking recently. There is going to be a need for banks to ‘hold hands and work through this together responsibly’ (as, I think we can both agree, there should be).

    Federal Reserve of NZ (sic) will also start bailing out failing banks

    Our banks have not taken on RMBS to anywhere near the extent of the US or other countries. Our banks strike me as being sound, and well oversighted by the RBNZ, so I dont accept a bank failure is remotely possible for NZ any time soon.

    banksters speculative orgy of the last 20 years because that’s how long this has been going on. This did not happen overnight you know

    I put this to you; Where do you think all that money came from? It wasn’t created out of nowhere (please don’t start on this…)
    It came from all the funds, investors, etc that had excess cash sloshing around, and were looking for somewhere with a juicy interest rate return. These investors need to take a share of the blame for ignoring the real risk there were getting themselves into. they wanted more of this stuff, and the banks were only too happy to securitise sub-prime loans and get them off the balance sheet.

    Then we need to look at the original borrowers. They suddenly thought they could have a home that five minutes earlier they couldn’t afford? More of my favourite bug-bear; financial illiteracy in the general populace.

    Blaiming the banks alone for where we are now is myopic, and ignores the demand side of supply and demand.

  22. Pascal's bookie 22

    VE, I pretty much agree.

    The only problem I have is that we don’t get the bailout we want, we only get the bailout on offer. That bailout was one that would be administered by the Bush administration. I simply don’t trust them.

    The politics of it are a mess, and the GOP congress critters have decided that having no deal is better than any deal that involves ‘socialism’. They want to be able to run against the deal, blaming the Democrats.

    If I was the Dem’s I’d respond with a New Deal 2.0. Include all sorts of populist stuff marketed around a slogans like the one in the poster and “Too big to Fail? Too big to exist!”. Break the banks. etc.

    The way the GOP has poilticised this is disgusting, but if that’s the way they want to roll, then Obama has a shot at setting the playing field for some dramatic reform. Ideally he should put himself as a conservative check on a populist Democratic congress. Let the GOP rant on the sidelines for a decade.

  23. Bill 23

    This financial crisis was predictable and was predicted by some. But the ‘doomsayers’ were voices in the wilderness. The ‘herd’ just kept straight on, smokin’ those cigars and celebrating that ‘tomorrow was another day.’

    So now it’s all come crashing and there’s panic and all sorts of mayhem. Fine.

    But what was that mentality that persisted on a disastrous trajectory by employing wilful blindness and suspending disbelief? More importantly, what is that trait going to lead us to on matters that are not abstract products of human cunning; that lead to far greater consequences than the collapse of an idea?

    A way of doing business is over and it’s going to have effects in the real world that will hurt a lot of people. That’s one thing.

    But more important, MUCH more important, is the ecological and climatic disaster that is facing us down right now.

    I can see the same pattern of denial…the wilful blindness and suspension of disbelief. In a financial meltdown it is arguably possible by means of shifting money and developing rules to ameliorate real world consequences.

    But rules and money will do nothing for our ability to grow crops when seasons are no longer the broadly predictable affairs we have become accustomed to. Money and rules will do nothing to ameliorate chaotic weather or shifts in ecological systems or any of the real world consequences of climate change.

    Since we failed/refused to foresee and avert a disaster in a financial model that was merely a product of our own cunning imagination, then it has to be wondered what chance with real world systems that are far more complex and utterly crucial to our survival?

    Just a thought.

    Ah jeez, me cigar’s gone out! Oh well, tomorrow’s another day.

  24. Vanilla Eis 24

    PB: Yeah, a New Deal for the 21st Century appeals to me too. But it won’t happen, because Bush would never let it through, and if it’s not signed and sealed before Obama takes office it’ll likely be too late – seen the markets this morning?

  25. randal 25

    hahaha…its just a correction for irrational exuberance…wheeeeeee

  26. Phil,

    Why don’t you watch this documentary about the Money Masters

    If you can say money wasn’t made out of thin air than you’re going to have to deal with my response whether you like it or not.

    This is a very nice video that will teach you about money creation.

    The fractal banking system has created over a Quadrillion (1000 trillion) dollars out of thin air speculating in unregulated financial products.

    The worlds GDP is no more than 60 trillion a year in real goods.

    It is that bubble that is now deflating. This bubble has nothing to do with the real economy. It is just speculative crap betting hedging also known as gambling.

    Banks in the US are walking away from the property the foreclose on because they don’t want to get into the real estate maintenance business. LOL.

  27. rave 28

    Ironically the democrats had already capitulated to Bush with a token oversight, equity (ha ha paying twice what the bad debts are worth now – even less in the future) and some token protection for homeowners.

    It was the House Republicans who pulled their free market outrage that socialism was stalking the land of the free.

    There will be a further compromise but meanwhile more banks will deservingly go bust. That is the whole purpose of a recession/depression – the destruction of overvalued value.

    All these crocodile tears for Wall St is a bit rich when they sat back and let the market rip in Asia in 97 and Russia in 98.

    Talk of socialism via the Treasury is crap. The state has always propped up capitalism, its just that the marketeers try to deny it in good times. And its no use thinking that deal they eventually arrive at will do anything for workers.

    Homeowners should sit tight occupy their homes and stop further sales. Those already living in Walmart carparks should go home and stake out their property. The idea that homeowners are to be blamed for getting into mortages they couldnt afford is crap. We are talking about a credit card culture promoted by the financiers, why should homeowners be blamed for this?

    They have been conned and found the cost of housing too high when wages were declining and jobs being lost. Many will have paid more than the likely new value of their houses anyway.

    On the basis of mass occupations homeowners should demand the nationalisation of housing and the cancellation of their mortgage debt. They can then pay rent to the state at a rate pegged at no more than 20% of their wage.

  28. higherstandard 29

    A slightly less biased and more reasonable analysis than most.

    http://myslu.stlawu.edu/~shorwitz/open_letter.htm

  29. Phil 30

    Trav,

    over a Quadrillion (1000 trillion) dollars out of thin air speculating in unregulated financial products.

    The worlds GDP is no more than 60 trillion a year in real goods.

    Sorry, I missed the significance of the decimal placing… It’s a verrrrry big scaaaaary number,. until you put it in context.

    When you work it out per person on the planet (6 billion, roughly) that’s about $160k USD. I’d think that’s probably an accurate reflection of the net worth of each person on average, when you take into account the skewed nature of wealth distribution.

    I think you’re also confusing GDP (which is the ‘flow’ of what’s produced in a year) with the actual ‘stock’ of wealth underlying it. If global GDP is 60 trillion, a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation puts the global stock of wealth at $1,200 trillion (assuming that GDP represents the return on the underlying assets, and is on average a real 5%)… which still leaves us $200 trillion in ‘capital’.

    Banks in the US are walking away from the property the foreclose on because they don’t want to get into the real estate maintenance business.
    LOL

    That’s their prerogative. The Fed and Treasury can’t/won’t do the same.

    I actually think there is quite an opening for an investor/institution to get a property empire on the cheap. You look for properties about to be foreclosed, and agree on a purchase price with the current occupant where you take ownership, they pay you rent as landlord, and they don’t have to move out.

    As investor, you get a house at a discounted price, the bank doesn’t lose out on its original mortgage, and the tennat doesn’t get foreclosed and kicked out.

  30. Santi 31

    “Dismantle the Federal Reserve system, abolish the monopoly of the privately owned banking cartel and let’s go back to the time of social credit”

    Keep dreaming travellerv.

    By the way, did you incredibly smart woman get to the bottom of the conspiracy theories behind 9/11 and the moon landing hoax? Good on you, Dutch Einstein!

  31. Bill 32

    rave

    claiming ‘squatters rights’ would work, if people displayed solidarity for one another. But in an environment where looking after number one and getting ahead of the Jones’ has become the acceptable norm, I can’t see a culture of solidarity flourishing. Still, worth a go.

    Something along the lines of a defaulting mortgage becoming a rent payable to a government agency (after re-evaluation) sounds too easy and sensible. Can’t have that!

    At the end of the day, the ‘big boys’ will work or stumble something out ( by accident or design) that is to their mutual benefit and that at the very least preserves a semblance of the present system ticking along after a fashion.

    I just can’t see the point myself. Capitalism will always come to a point where it produces more than it can consume and the only way out, insofar as seeking profit maximisation is through speculation. Even when this shit is ‘sorted out’, it’ll only be a matter of time before it all comes around again.

    I remember the days when kids used to stick their hands in a fire and learn something from the experience. Alas, no more it seems.

  32. Quoth the Raven 33

    Moon landing hoax that’s Ian Wishart’s. Don’t you know Jesus lives on the moon.

  33. Draco T Bastard 34

    As investor, you get a house at a discounted price, the bank doesn’t lose out on its original mortgage, and the tennat doesn’t get foreclosed and kicked out.

    But the country does end up with near monopoly landlords which will come together into an oligarchy – exactly what we have now and what added to the crisis.

  34. rave 35

    Bill:

    On collectivism.

    The big stink being kicked up by workers on the streets is collectivism at a very minimal level. Its only one step for them to set up neighborhood committees to defend their homes from foreclosures.

    If its OK for the bosses to gang up and hold up the government for a hand out, its OK for workers to gang up to keep their homes. Then when theyve done that they can gang up to take over the hospitals, transport, and other services and run them collectively.

    Its another step forward in industry. Section 11 bankruptcies has seen companies bail out of jobs and workers pensions. Usually the assets get grabbed cheap by some other boss. Workers need to gang up and take over the plants in lieu of their back wages stolen by these put up bankruptcies. This has happened in Argentina and Venezuela so its not outlandish in the US facing a big crisis. Here workers go from being collectives of taxpayers to being collectives of producers of wealth.

    What has been set in motion with this crisis opens up this prospect of a collective consciousness developing among the working class majority. We can go from a rebellion against bailouts for the rich to stakeouts of industry etc to provide jobs, housing, jobs, services etc

    When the Republicans talk about ‘socialism’ we should say “you havnt seen anything yet”

  35. He Santi,

    Great debating skills. If you can’t debate on facts you go for the personal insults.

  36. roger nome 37

    ‘higher standard’

    That isn’t a well-reasoned argument. It’s all non-sequitors and rhetoric. Sheds no light at all.

  37. Phil,

    Let’s agree to disagree on this one.

    I predict that there is no saving this one and I hope I’m wrong and with me some very smart people whose articles I’ve been reading from both sides of the political spectrum. I can assure you that these people all hope they are very, very wrong.

    In fact I predict an economic meltdown of biblical proportion and have prepared for it.

    I hope I’m going to be one of those people that in a couple of years looks at herself in the mirror and things Jeez girl did you get that wrong or what. I really do.

  38. Tara 39

    ‘Vanilla Eis’ & ‘Phil’: opposition to the US “Bailout” seems to have been a Bipartisan thing. Could something like that happen in Aotearoa / Neu Seeland ?

    See WSJ link below.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122273395169288417.html

  39. Tara 41

    Abraham Lincoln on Bank Bailouts

    “It is an old maxim and a very sound one, that he that dances should always pay the fiddler. Now, sir, in the present case, if any gentlemen, whose money is a burden to them, choose to lead off a dance, I am decidedly opposed to the people’s money being used to pay the fiddler…all this to settle a question in which the people have no interest, and about which they care nothing. These capitalists generally act harmoniously, and in concert, to fleece the people, and now, that they have got into a quarrel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the people’s money to settle the quarrel.” – Abraham Lincoln, January 11, 1837

  40. Bill 42

    Rave.
    Don’t get me wrong. I basically agree with what you say. But I question the existence of the will and don’t see where the historical knowledge to carry things through is going to come from.

    In Argentina, workers didn’t take over the factories because they thought it was a good idea (unfortunately) but out of desperation and complete lack of any other option.

    And then in Argentina and elsewhere, when the workers had it all on a plate, they gave control away to the government..(not all of them, but a goodly number)

  41. T-Rex 44

    Trav – I can see why you’d say that, but I’m not convinced actually. The economy is a weird thing. Like you say, the US is hugely in debt… but what does that mean really? I mean do you actually think they’re going to go bankrupt? That makes no sense. It’s a fiat currency – there are 300 million people and a huge amount of infrastructure and resource base and technology backing it. Saying “I think the US government will go bankrupt” is also a bit of a non-statement. How? What currency is their debt held in? What is to stop them from just printing more money (as they’ve essentially been doing hand over fist for the last few months). I mean they’ll devalue their currency, sure, but they won’t be bankrupt.

    I agree there are going to be a lot of big ripples, but I don’t think it’s as simple (or as catastrophic) as the armageddon scenario you portray. Do you think trade is just going to stop? Can you think of any reason WHY it actually would?

    Also: Did you see this article? http://www.stuff.co.nz/4711218a30.html

    I’m quietly pleased the bailout got rejected. It’ll get passed eventually, but I think it SHOULD be a struggle if any good is to come from it. It should be painful enough that people really stop and reconsider the systems in place.

    The Daily Show last week on the issue was truly awesome.

    Has anyone noticed how the ETS, which has been under consideration and development for… what… about 3 or 4 years now… anyway, it’s “A rushed and reckless piece of legislation”. But the “Pick up the tab for the gross incompetence, huge salaries, and abominable risk assessment skills of the finance industry act” or whatever it’s called is “An urgently required measure for the good of the economy”?
    Interesting to see priorities and planning horizons. Spending 700 billion now for the sake of stupid lending practices with questionable consequences is prudent economic management… but GOD help you if you try to suggest spending a fraction of that on renewable energy development funding… I mean that would be meddling in the market, who knows what might happen?!

    Oh wait, that’s right, the coal industry would tank. My mistake… everyone knows what might happen.

  42. rave 45

    Bill
    I don’t disagree that overcoming the isolation of individuals is a problem. But if Michael Moore and others are right, then it was the collective rage that stopped the bailout yesterday.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0809/S00391.htm

    Moore thinks that the system can be rescued but its worth pushing him as far as he will go. He’s calling for a national mobilisation to stop the bailout period. That’s a good starting point.

    I also agree that Argentinian workers occupied out of desperation. There are still many under occupation but it is a struggle given the recovery of the economy. In Venezuela I would say that the conditions are much better and important occupations and nationalisations are still happening.

    But isnt the situation in the US for homeless people desperate?
    Ive seen TV interviews and coverage of the homeless. It reminds me of the desperation of the unemployed in Argentina until they started organising road blocks. Its a big psychological shift to go from an insolated jobless person or loan defaulter to a pissed off home defender grouped to others in the block and getting organised like the piqueteros in Argentina.

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