To secure its privileges and tax favoritism, the financial sector opposes government power to tax or regulate. Fighting under the banner of “free markets,” it is now fighting to centralize economic planning power in Wall Street, the City of London and other financial centers. What is remarkable is that under ostensibly democratic politics, an “independent” central bank has been carved out – independent from elected officials, not from the commercial banks whose interests it represents. Many voters believe that a financial bubble enriches the economy rather than turning the surplus into a flow of interest and banking fees.
Rentier income is now treated as just another profit opportunity to gain from investing tangible or financial capital. Land and monopolistic rent-seeking activities are lumped together as “capital,” stripping away the classical distinction between economic rent and normal profit.
Michael discusses how democracy has been subverted.
Michael discusses the growing Occupy Wall St movement and the opportunities for banking reform. “How are you going to re-criminilise fraud? Tim Geithner is a bank lobbyist and should not be in charge of the Treasury”.
Yet on Wednesday, October 4, the president tried to represent the OccupyWallStreet movement as supportive for his efforts. He pretended to endorse a pro-consumer regulator to limit bank fraud, as if he had not dumped Elizabeth Warren on the advice of Mr. Geithner – who seems to be settling into the role of bagman for campaign contributors from Wall Street.