Sunday, April 5, 2009

As the World Slides - "Preserving the Financial Oligarchy"

As Danny Schechter so wisely comments in Summits Come and Summits Go, As the Economy Continues Its Slide (emphasis marks added to heighten your enjoyment):

The eyes of the world have been on the Economic Summit in London, but the ideas of the world were mostly conspicuous by their absence. Here we have a global crisis. The house is on fire. Unemployment is climbing. The real estate contagion is now claiming condos and even shopping malls. It's bad and, by most accounts, getting worse. And, all the "leaders" of the world can do is devote ONE DAY to a forum that must have cost millions to stage.

Our media and politicians love spectacles and political celebrities. The spin was on what Michelle was wearing, not on what Barack was thinking when he was so unwilling to agree to an international regime of regulation which is so clearly needed in a globalized world economy. The New York Times was properly critical of the Summit for falling "short," mostly focusing on the failure to commit to a larger stimulus package - what the US wanted but didn't get. They went lightly on their criticisms on the regulatory issue. The Times wrote: "The group also agreed to crack down on tax havens and, on a country-by-country basis, impose stricter financial regulations on hedge funds and rating agencies - necessary though insufficient steps to avoid a repeat of the current disaster." They never asked nor did they fully report on why Obama is "fiercely resistant to the idea of a global regulator."

(Bob Jackson of Arizona offered one plausible explanation: "The one smart thing the President did in London was to establish that the U.S. would not be regulated by global politicians. Our own politicians are corrupt and incompetent enough, without overt collusion of the politicians from the rest of the world.")
Here's another thoughtful comment from one onlooker:
"The lack of deep understanding of economics on the part of American journalists seems to be one explanation for the cheerleading of fiscal stimulus. It is the only solution that has been offered to them by people they trust. The reason this solution has been offered is that it is the only one that is seen to be able to preserve the financial oligarchy, which both Republicans and Democrats hold so dear." - Jacob Olsson
And Kevin from Georgia writes that:
"The Europeans were not going to agree to larger stimulus packages for one very good reason. They do not need to have very large stimulus packages. Most G20 European countries have robust safety nets that already take care of their citizens when the economy falters. They also do not have the crumbling infrastructure that America has with regards to transportation, especially mass transit and technological infrastructure."
So there. But Michelle looked gooooooooooood. Suzan ____________________


Beach Bum said...

All those reasons are sound but I'll throw in another. I think to a certain extent the bankers can hold President Obama hostage. While I freely admit I have little understanding of the financial system it isn't hard to see evidence that most don't like the president's progressive agenda. I'm figuring he may be walking a fine line to prevent them from at least panicking and at worst actively sabotaging his programs. None of these guys or gals have impressed me with their patriotism, its all about the bottom line and the profit margin.

Suzan said...

I agree, BB.

And yet, there's still his questionable choice of the Geithner/Summers/Rubin brigade to lead us out of the financial quagmire that they all had a steady hand in constructing for their and their friends' benefit.

Patriotism is a concept invented by scoundrels for fools.

But that's just my opinion.

Thanks for your take!