Saturday :: Mar 15, 2008

Fueling the Wheels of Capitalism

by paradox

One can watch endless tax cuts for the wealthy, see plain citizens abused and humiliated just for the chance to testify in the People’s House, observe coercive and punitive bankruptcy law, look at our seniors desperately try to find medication money and yet still be shocked at how instantly the federal government will drastically act to protect the wealthy when their money is threatened.

“…borrowing and lending securities at a dizzying pace and fueling the wheels of capitalism.”

Fueling the wheels of capitalism, or creating wealth for any economy, is based upon and created by Labor. Day one of grad school econ, pretty basic stuff, yet still the New York Times (to be fair, just like almost everyone else in business “journalism”) blithely assumes that Bear Stearns, the investment bank the Fed rescued Thursday, is just so very, very crucial to the health of our Republic, so millions upon millions magically appear with a few phone calls to keep them in business.

What about Flynt and the auto workers? What about Detroit? Chrysler has been sold, Toyota just overtook GM as the #1 global producer, and Ford is a light truck company. After 30 years of going under nobody ever gave a damn about the men and women of that industry, nor their homes, families and communities, but somehow bankers are so special. This recession is going to hammer construction, which is going to body blow Ford, but will the Fed give GM a non-secured loan to help Ford? Huh.

What about the steelworkers? Or the airline workers? Or the high tech workers? After the internet bubble burst there was a crushing period of unemployment for three years in the Valley, nobody got hired, I watched it all, but no federal official ever came galloping in to save these companies from their gross negligence, nor did anybody ever give a damn about the millions of lives left in utter ruin by the inability to find a job when their industry went to hell.

It almost defies belief—the Finance industry is the same one that clamored for decades to be unregulated, they could be so much more efficient and productive if hey, you know, they were simply trusted in this world. The verdict on that trust is now in, Bear Stearns and the entire Street can twist in the wind and rot in hell for eternity for all I care, they earned their fate fair and square by the very rules they demanded and got.

Everyone will lose so much money, so many people will get hurt if we don’t bail out the banks.

Excuse me? Come again? The United States has routinely inflicted brutal and cruel economic policy upon its people for decades—how much howling misery goes on this very second because our people don’t have national health insurance? Unemployment insurance is an utter joke. It’s just an outrage, everybody else’s lives can go completely to hell but because bankers were trusted with so much of other people’s money they are always protected, Jesus, the sickening un-boundless arrogance of the Finance industry is scarcely to be believed.

All of this of course is based upon the assumption that the bailouts and rescues will work, which may not be the case at all. “In a trading firm, trust is everything,” said another brilliant New York mind. Trust and faith are the basis for every human relationship and endeavor, Jack, just where did you guys hatch this fervent Finance exceptionalism in your brains? Is it a specialty of the Ivy League?

Not only is Finance not trusted, they’re about to be subjected to a hurricane of anger and resentment for failing, failing utterly, yet somehow being so special as to be rescued once again.

Faith, Trust and Labor fuel the wheels of capitalism, adhered to by a code of rules that all are held accountable to. When we get so utterly off track that we think market players fuel our economy, give them special rules and then hold no one accountable for terrible negligence it should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone to watch the utter train wreck that is to follow in the next year in the Finance industry.

Capitalism like that always fails, there is simply no magical realm of reality for American finance capitalism. Ultimately, there is no escaping the basic rules all humans have to live by, as Finance is about to brutally find out. Or fail.

paradox :: 6:18 AM :: Comments (13) :: Digg It!