German Taxpayers Willingly Subsidise Bankers

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NY Times, August 11, 2011 A debate between five economists on "Why Aren't Germans Protesting?" Rightly Disgusted at the Banks A bailout, like any other government expenditure, is a tax. Someone must pay all this money. And it is unfair to tax the broad population to pay for a special interest. Instead of being a progressive tax policy, bailouts enable bad behavior by the financial elite, sticking taxpayers with the cost. Bailouts are unpopular among Europeans who see them as a tax being paid by the population as a whole to financiers at the top of the pyramid. These bankers have lived in the short run, taking large risks of capital for short-term gains to outperform their rivals. It is a game that ...

Greece now, US soon

Geithner says, wait a minute, American banks have made huge billion-dollar–maybe, for all we know, a trillion-dollar bet that the Greeks will repay. They’ve made derivative plays, they’ve made cross-party insurance, and American banks would lose money. Now, if there’s a choice between American banks losing $1 and Europe going into neo-feudalism for a generation, Geithner will support the $1.

How a $13 Trillion Cover Story was Written

Free money creation to bail out America's elite financial speculators, but not for Social Security or Medicare Only the “Crazies” Get the Bank Giveaway Right Financial crashes were well understood for a hundred years after they became a normal financial phenomenon in the mid-19th century. Much like the buildup of plaque deposits in human veins and arteries, an accumulation of debt gained momentum exponentially until the economy crashed, wiping out bad debts – along with savings on the other side of the balance sheet. Physical property remained intact, although much was transferred from debtors to creditors. But clearing away the debt overhead from the economy’s circulatory system freed it to resume its ...

Rolling Back the Progressive Era

Financial strategists do not intend to let today’s debt crisis go to waste. Foreclosure time has arrived. That means revolution – or more accurately, a counter-revolution to roll back the 20th century’s gains made by social democracy: pensions and social security, public health care and other infrastructure providing essential services at subsidized prices or for free.

How Financial Oligarchy Replaces Democracy

Will Greece Let EU Central Bankers Run Riot Over Sovereignty? When Greece exchanged its drachma for the euro in 2000, most voters were all for joining the Eurozone. Their hope was that it would ensure stability, and that this would promote rising wages and living standards. Few saw that the stumbling point was tax policy. Greece was excluded from the eurozone the previous year as a result of failing to meet the 1992 Maastricht criteria for EU membership, limiting budget deficits to 3 percent of GDP, and government debt to 60 percent. The euro also had other serious fiscal and monetary problems at the outset. There is little thought of wealthier EU economies helping bring less productive ones up to par, e.g. ...

EU: Class War Declared

Concentration of financial power in non-democratic hands is inherent in the way that Europe’s centralized planning in financial hands was achieved in the first place. The European Central Bank has no elected government behind it that can levy taxes. The EU constitution prevents the ECB from bailing out governments

Will Iceland Vote “No” or commit financial suicide?

A landmark fight is occurring this Saturday, April 9. Icelanders will vote on whether to subject their economy to decades of poverty, bankruptcy and emigration of their work force. At least, that is the program supported by the existing Social Democratic-Green coalition government in urging a “Yes” vote on the Icesave bailout. Their financial surrender policy endorses the European Central Bank’s lobbying for the neoliberal deregulation that led to the real estate bubble and debt leveraging, as if it were a success story rather than the road to national debt peonage. The reality was an enormous banking fraud, an orgy of insider dealing as bank managers lent the money to themselves, leaving an empty shell – and then saying ...

Norway's Sovereign Wealth Risk Vortex

What does Norway get out of its Oil Fund, if not More Strategic Infrastructure Investment? For the past generation Norway has supplied Europe and other regions with oil, taking payment in euros or dollars. It then sends nearly all this foreign exchange abroad, sequestering its oil-export receipts – which are in foreign currency – in the Oil Fund, to invest mainly in European and U.S. stocks and bonds. The fund now exceeds $500+ billion, second in the world to that of Abu Dhabi. What do Norwegians get out of these financial savings, besides a modest interest and dividend yield? The export surplus is said to be too large to spend more than a small fraction (a Procrustean 4 percent) at home without ...