Cowering Before Capital

If this were debt cancellation and stimulus it would be interesting and the details are not out but I somehow doubt this will be much more than doing what the markets want, the level of debt created by financialisation and neoliberal policies is socially unsustainable unless police states become standard. Nowhere in the article are people mentioned, just banks & governments. The quote ‘inability of the Greek government to live within its means‘ is such a poisonous falsehood, as if financial institutions did not for years bribe key people into endless debt restructuring not because it helped them but because it made money for the banks. This is a merry game played by elites with the costs passed onto those not allowed to participate, yet the besuited oligarchs have the chutzpah to project their irresponsibility onto their victims. This is a rescue package within the rules of the game, better than what could have happened but ultimately it prolongs the scam. Neoliberalism, does not work, financialisation in place of actual productivity does not work (excuse the pun), capitalism unregulated and unconstrained does not work, Adam Smith was actually very clear on that despite what Randroids and laissez faire fundamentalists prefer to read into his works (by current standards he’d be labeled a socialist by corporate media). What we are seeing is a rolling breakdown of  systems of human activity because we are serving the economy not making the economy serve us.

Oh and some spurious wonky shit about elections, is it just me or are you sick of the (very masculine) obsession with numbers and deals and very little mention of the consequences to people of the cuts no one seems to want to think about (is this I suspect because they are all convinced of the neoliberal arguments and wouldn’t know a socialised market if they fell over one). Or am I just stupid for hoping just a tiny bit a coalition and public appetite for reform might stymie the cuts agenda of a lib/lab coalition because they can see the tories waiting to profit off the market fetishised ‘austerity’ measures (nice euphemism for class war and shock doctrine beloved by all those who fully expect not to suffer one iota because of them, until maybe that crime spike means it’s their home invaded and they get beaten the shit out of to give up all their valuables, no really I’m trying to feel sympathy for the self absorbed privileged twats).

What? You didn’t order a rant, well you got one anyway. Try the veal, I’ll be here all week… then I’ll be at http://www.tenpercent.org.uk/

Peace out motherfunkers.

Flat Tax, The Smackdown

Tory Shadow chancellor George Gideon Oliver Osborne (heir to the Osborne baronetcy of Ballentaylor) is a flat taxer, yet what happens to those nations praised by flat tax messiahs, such as Iceland, Latvia… they crash spectacularly and repeal it. Richard Murphy lays it out. So will this end Tory dreams of flat taxes or just mean we have an easily visualised predicator for the UK after some years of Tory thieving.

Greed Will Eat Itself

A rift has opened up between the government and the financial authorities after a furious Alistair Darling was kept in the dark over the lifting of the ban on short-selling, which may have contributed to this week’s tumultuous crash in the value of banking shares. The chancellor is thought to have been given just one hour’s notice by the Financial Services Authority that hedge funds would once again be able to place bets that bank shares would fall. Darling believes the ban will have to be reintroduced, given the fragility of the financial system.

D’you think?

Money Transfer, Wealth Transfer

What clearer lesson do you want that government has been colonised by a plutocracy and used as a means to siphon off public money into the private sector and at every stage generating private profits at public expense. So here we go-

Britain’s public finances took a big hit in December from the government’s recapitalisation of Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS).

So public money going to a private bank, then-

A scheme to renovate England’s secondary schools could grind to a halt because banks are not lending money, the building industry has warned.

Oh dear the bailout has not encouraged the banks to behave for the common good, how strange it’s not like they are explicitly profit making corporations with zero moral accountability, oh wait…but you see it’s far funnier than that-

Speaking to the committee of MPs later, Schools Minister Jim Knight said the current problems with lending could have an effect on Building Schools for the Future (BSF) because the scheme used private finance initiatives (PFI). Under PFI, private companies fund the building of schools, typically with the local authority repaying the costs over the next 25 to 30 years.

But Mr Knight added: “It is not the case that the money has dried up.” He said there was still interest from banks wanting to take part in the scheme, and there were alternative sources of funding. The feedback we are getting is that this aspect of investment, in public sector projects, is the lowest risk of them all, and probably the last to feel some of the difficulty and heightened risk attached to it.”

Get it? See the government could have used our money to build our schools but…no it used our money to keep the financial sector going with few reforms, so the PFI schemes would keep going, so private corporations would profit off safe investments in public projects, investments made with, er…our money (well they will be when they start lending). Exactly how including a third party who must take a certain amount in profit is ‘more efficient’ remains a Holy Mystery that must never be discussed… Of course PFI’s are disastrous for value and public accountability but what they do do is provide long term sources of revenue to private corporations with cosy relationships with government, who also benefit by appearing to be doing stuff and hoping no one notices the decades long bill future generations will be paying. So at the end of all this banks & politician’s who helped cause the crisis under the guise of neoliberal zealotry are rewarded while ….well some schools will get built, maybe, and end up costing us far more so PFI’s remain a good source of profit. It’s all down to who our representatives really work for and just how democratic we are, can we really have a say in how and by whom the country is run? Or are we just running occasional popularity contests for middle management, and let’s face it, an awful lot of people let themselves be lied to, as long as the living was good. Yeah, that worked out.

Hell In A Handbasket

An interesting lengthy Bloomberg (!) article about how the Chicago School are reacting to the failure of the idiotic, cruel & inhuman beliefs. Some are moderating their fundamentalism, some retain it even while continuing to sweep under the rug their demonstrable failure and their role in torture and murder around the world. But this small paragraph is rather funny and suggests the huge breadth of debate being permitted amongst the ruling class-

Barack Obama, who will referee the laissez-faire versus free- market debate as U.S. president, has pledged the largest spending on infrastructure since the 1950s to save or create 3 million jobs.

It goes on to repeat what we already know, Obama’s team is full of Chicago drones, but really, they are vacillating between laissez-faire versus free- market? So the free market and the French phrase meaning…the free market. Whom does Bloomberg think their audience are?

So Friedmanite fundmentalist vs. Friedmanite pragmatists, oh yeah everythings gonna work out just fine. Democratic -party- debate at its finest. And you thought Rick Warren was bad.

So How’s That Deregulation Ideology Worked Out For You?

Not so much?

Madoff Securities was also a member of five self-regulatory organisations, including US independent securities regulator Finra and the Nasdaq.

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Faith Based

US President George W. Bush said Thursday that the global economic crisis was not “a failure of the free market system” and warned against seeing government intervention as “a cure-all.”

“The crisis was not a failure of the free market system. And the answer is not to try to reinvent that system,” Bush said in a prepared speech to lay out his agenda at Friday and Saturday talks with world leaders in Washington.

Naomi Klein if you haven’t already.

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