Posts Tagged ‘Birthday’

Happy Banking Barack!

August 4, 2012

I MEAN BIRTHDAY, WHATEVER.

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Abstract: Obama’s birthday today. What a precocious child, from nothing to president. OK, Senator a few years. “Senator”: the word is from “senior”. The Roman Senate was made of seniors, advising.

Obama: so young, inexperienced, and yet father of the nation, with his young fellow multimillionaires friends from Chicago to talk to! Jamie Dimon, a young plutocrat, third generation, lived there in a 17 rooms mansion. Is not the world wonderful? Obama: even Nobel before noble! What magic! President of the mightiest nation without genuinely friendly family elders for common sense advice?

At least Vladimir Putin got the elders at the KGB for advice, who he knew and trusted since he was a student! With Obama, the elders were there for advice, sure: they were the very greedy plutocrats who caused the crisis.

What did Obama accomplish? Why so admiring of banks and financiers? Is it why he did so little in reforming finance? Because it was the greatest heist that ever was, and is still on-going, in full view, and still nobody sees it? The emperor has no clothes, but dances the twist? Truly a wonder! Fooling all the people, all of the time?

In Great Britain even the right wing conservative government of David Cameron has had enough with the banks. The Tory-Liberal government and The Economist are now saying about banks what I have long repeated. The bank outrage is central to the crisis not just in Great Britain and the USA, but in the entire West.

Just two days ago a crazed financial program went on line and caused at least half a billion dollar loss to its firm, while battering the credibility of the USA’s financial markets. Operators could not even stop it for half an hour. That sort of scandal could easily be avoided with a Financial Transaction Tax. A Financial transaction Tax would automatically impose a speed limit on financial trading to re-establish causality, as I have long advocated. (Also it’s only justice; all other transactions are subject to taxation!)

Why did only France pass a Financial Transaction Tax?

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GETTING ADVICE FROM CROOKS: DREAMS OF ONE’S FATHER FOR THE CLUELESS:

This is Barack Obama’s birthday. For those outside of the USA, it is hard to fathom the cult the Obama campaign is trying to build around it. Truly pathetic. Those guys are desperate, begging for money. And people ask: what did you give us for our money, Barack? Odes to banks and the world’s richest men? The citizens of the USA are treated as if they were three years old.

As I am slightly more mature than that, I decided to go to the bottom of that childish behavior. I met recently with people who knew Obama pretty well when he was a child, when they, themselves, were already responsible adults with children of their own. I asked them whether they found normal that the kid they knew and befriended is not only now president, but never bothered to ask for their parental advice. It’s not like Obama had living parents. He has not been so endowed, for years.

Those elders thought it had been a mistake for Obama never to talk with them. They were actually shocked by it. Who else could Obama have turned to for friendly trust, guidance and experience?

People such as the plutocrat Eskrine Bowles, advised (or ordered?) Obama to “leave your friends behind, they only cause problems“? Welcome to plutocracy, Obambi!

We, the elders and me, concluded that the inappropriate public dreaming of Obama for figures such as Warren Buffet was an ersatz search for fatherly advice. Instead of finding the latter, with those he could trust, since childhood, Obama went to search for advice in all the wrong places. It will, no doubt turn out well for him financially. If you obey Morgan Stanley as USA president, Morgan Stanley should not forget you, as USA citizen. But the question remains: is that all the wisdom the world can pretend to?

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WHAT HAVE YOU DONE BESIDES SINGING THE PRAISES OF FINANCIERS?

Tyranosopher: So this is your birthday, Mr. President, and what have you done? [Words on the song of John Lennon, So This Is Christmas]. Answer: When I could, not much. When I could not, well, I begged for much money, for me, The One. Although I did support the war of France against Qaddafi, like you guys wanted.

Tyranosopher: This you did, and that was good. And you also saved the auto industry, and that was excellent. But you saved the auto industry, because it begged for mercy, first, and when only public money could provide it. The banks have not begged for mercy. Ever. Quite the opposite, they, and their agents (Honorable Krugman among them), have been dictating the agenda, up to, and since, 2008. The banks were not allowed to fail, first. So they could not be nationalize for nothing.

The only bank that was not helped, Lehman Brothers, was not helped because the secretary of the treasury, Paulson, ex-football player, not really an intellectual, ex-head of Goldman Sachs, and owner of a large island, hated it with a passion.

Obama: I accomplished my signature achievement, ACA, the Affordable Care Act.

Tyranosopher: You could have expanded Medicare in one minute, and get Congress to pass the whole thing the next day, when you had a super majority in the Senate (60 votes, as Ted Kennedy was still well enough to vote, then). It would have long been effective. That’s change. Change that may happen someday, if you are still around on top, that’s not change.

Instead you bent over backwards to please the plutocrats, so it is taking years to produce that silly, hyper complicated thing, and we ended down in the muck with an ACA, aka Obamacare, aka Romneycare, which pleases nobody. If you lose the election, we can only admire how hard you worked for it. Or how hubristic you were to think you could fool everybody, and get away with it.

Obama: “What’s done is done. We gave a serious thought at what you call Medicare For All, too late. Now ACA is the law.”

Tyranosopher: ACA is the law, as long as you are not beaten in three months. And that hinges on enough of an economic recovery, which is hobbled by the financial plutocracy, which believes it owns all the money in the world, and ought to keep it to itself.

That economic non-disintegration, in turn, depends a lot upon Europe not collapsing in another bout of deep recession in its on-going Greater Depression. Please don’t forget that the present head of the European Central banks was a partner at Goldman Sachs for six years, and even a vice-chairman there. Why would he want to help you? When he can help the real thing, Romney?

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MIGHT IS RIGHT, SO MONEY IS RIGHT:

Ever since the 2008 banking Crisis, the Anglo-Saxon governments, the U.S. Federal Reserve, and their obsequious followers (the ECB Draghi) have known mostly one policy: throwing money, ever more money, at the banks (It’s called under various names, to confuse the herd of bleating sheep).

The self celebrating conscientious liberal Paul Krugman would put it, trying to hide his apparent plutophilia behind semantics, throwing ever more, “monetary base” at the banks.

Obama of course, has been a central part of this celebration of the banks. Obama does even more: he celebrates hyper rich financiers and over-crooks, and sing their praises all over the main stream media. He wrote an ode in Newsweek to the famous Warren Buffet, a rare plutocrat owning the main rating agencies, Goldman Sachs, and going long or short, accordingly, when he is not plotting with the Chinese the demise of Western work, industry, and the global atmosphere.

Indeed China, were Buffet invests so much, is “severely under-reporting its carbon emissions“…China may be under-reporting its annual carbon emissions by as much as 1.4 billion tonnes a year—roughly the amount that Japan, the world’s fourth-largest emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2), pumps out each year” (The Economist quoting Nature Climate Change.)

Obama went on TV to sing the praises of Jamie Dimon. Hey, suppose Obama has no job next year, would not it be nice to be invited at Citigroup, or Goldman Sachs, and be n $200,000 for a few minutes’ speech as Larry Summers had been? A man needs to feed his fancy, and cannot live normal, after living so big, that would be cruel and unusual punishment…

OK, back to the banks. I will quote extensively from the most current issue of The Economist (I am a subscriber), and if the Economist disagrees, it can always have its directors in Luxembourg, behind that cheap door, explain to me that I cheated taxpayers. I will address their grievance.

The reason for quoting extensively from The Economist is that this way I cannot be accused to be far out to the left of Marx, all alone. I have company among the fact based community.

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AS LONG AS BANKS HAVE MONEY, THEY DON’T NEED AN ECONOMY:

The Economist says, in “Money For Nothing“,  that: “Although it should still, in theory, be profitable for banks to lend to small and medium-sized companies, they seem unwilling to do so. The latest figures from the European Central Bank show that bank loans to the private sector were down… Nor is it economic, given the issuing costs, for small companies to borrow money in the bond market.”

So why don’t the democratic governments create PUBLIC banks to finance small and medium companies? (The French Socialist government has said it would create such a bank, but it has been busy changing the fiscal system, with the Financial Transaction Tax, effective since august 1, 2012. Now, of course it went to the sacred August vacation, last savagely interrupted in August, 1914!)

Amusingly, some in the right wing British government are starting to feel so inclined…

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BRITAIN IS IN A GREATER DEPRESSION, BUT NOT ITS BANKSTERS:

The Financial Times, on August 2nd 2012, announced that “cabinet ministers” have been discussing the nationalization of the Royal Bank of Scotland (The British People already owns 82% of the Royal Bank of Scotland after bailing it out in 2008!) OK, the Financial Times has also its directors behind that same door in Luxembourg: the theme today is collaboration with the enemy, to fight greater evil.

As The Economist put it (before  removing the post later!):

“Fed up with the lack of lending, “senior government figures” are discussing whether to spend £5 billion buying up the 18% of RBS the state doesn’t own.

… the long-toothed Liberal business secretary Vince Cable… is looking for a more radical solution. In a leaked letter to the Prime Minister David Cameron in March, Mr Cable suggests breaking up RBS to create a “British Business Bank with a clean balance sheet and a mandate to expand lending rapidly to sound business“.

The rationale behind it is to lend to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Current government policy on this lies in tatters. In February 2011, those at the top came up with a whizzy idea called Project Merlin. The idea was that British banks would sign a contract agreeing to lend more to businesses and—like magic—there would be growth. The Excalibur of bonus cuts was hinted at.

This didn’t work. Growth flatlined. Lending dried up. Excalibur stayed in its stone…

To Mr Cable, “the banking crisis casts a long shadow”. Some economists place Britain’s flagging productivity and lost output down to the seizing up of credit. To desperate ministers who think the market has failed, letting the state step in seems increasingly a good idea.

…the coalition’s current plan—is to nurse RBS back to health and sell it off for a profit. But the bank is expected to announce losses of about £1.5 billion for the first half of the year…. This gives ministers a political reason to nationalise it.

There would also be trouble from the EU. Letting the state direct credit for a bank with a £1 trillion balance sheet might breach EU state-aid rules. This is not to mention the political difficulty of spending £5 billion (where will the money come from?) on something less likely to make a profit. But in an economy now smaller than when the coalition came into power, these things seem to matter less and less.”

To prevent all this economy stalling circus, money losing bank corporations should have been allowed to fail, until they were bought back (by the government, if nobody else, like a crazed sheik, moved in first), for cents on the euro, pence on the pound, pennies on the dollar.

The correct course would be for the British government to coolly announce that they would stop helping banks such as RBS, and threaten to take away their banking license. After such a menace, loud and clear, the stock prices of the banking corporations would collapse, and the banks could be nationalized cheaply. Meanwhile a PUBLIC bank to lend to SMEs ought to be created (say with the 80 billion pounds brandished to help existing banks).

The same applies everywhere.

Of course, in the USA, the lovers of financiers come around, and like Obama, proclaimed that the USA put its banking house in order, while Europe did not. But Europe did lent trillions, at zero interest (basically) to banks. And what did the banks do? Keep the money to themselves, not recycle it in the economy. That is what is giving many European leaders pause.

In the USA, it has been just the same: the banks kept the money for their own operations and that of their friends. The difference with Europe is that much more money was given (sorry, “lent” at zero interest or so) to them. So indeed, American bankers are more arrogant, as those who are given more often are. 

They know they are the ones who, using leverage, create the money. They abused that privilege, for themselves, so regulators are cracking down, thus cracking down on money creation. The only way out is to create public banks.

Big corporations have no problem getting money, as… they are trusted more than most government: investors know they rule the world (and often do not pay tax, because, thanks to decolonization, they have 100 banana republic to call home, like pirates of old, in the seventeenth century).

Is the state of world finance something to celebrate? Probably not. And now the USA is facing the real possibility that a plutocrat red in fang and claw becomes president. After 4 years of Obama bending over backwards to please plutocrats, voters of the USA may be thinking: if the president thinks plutocrats are so good for us, why not being led by the real thing?

So happy birthday, Mr. President. After all, even Adolf Hitler celebrated his birthday in April 20, 1945, as Soviet shells were exploding all over Berlin. Some people are so much into themselves, they never get out.

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Patrice Ayme