Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Real Welfare Queens

...London-based journalist William Bowles:

It should be obvious to all and sundry by now that capitalism is in dire straights. Last week’s meltdown of the world’s major capital markets was only ‘rescued’ by the injection of literally hundreds of billions of dollars from by the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan and the US Federal Reserve.

So much for the magic of the ‘market’ which we are continuously told, solves all problems. And in fact, last week’s injection by the European Central bank of something like $100 billion dollars didn’t do the trick! More had to be ‘injected’ in order to stave off a total collapse of the world’s stock markets. The ‘injection’ is in reality a bail-out of the commercial banks.”

...“[A]dded to the sense of dread as investors have no idea which institutions own what debt, leaving the markets to be driven by rumor and counter-rumor. ‘There is great uncertainty as to how far risks are spread within the financial system and exactly where the losses reside,’ said Paul Niven, at F&C Asset Management. ‘The market is trading on fear.’ — (‘Central banks pour in billions - but global slide goes on’ — The Guardian, Saturday, 10 August 2007) Thus the real cause of the current panic is financial speculation caused by unrealistically cheap credit and almost no regulation of speculative markets…”

...That “entity we can’t even see,” in (Ethan) Miller’s words, has hit a big bump in the road and the “free enterprise for us” gang has turned, where else, but to the government to bail them out by lowering interest rates and pumping massive amounts of money into the system. The people who created the downturn are now lining up for subsidies so they can go out and buy “distressed properties” and restart the greed machine. Naturally, the Hedge Funds now want to profit on the misery they helped fund. Deals R’Us is still their mantra.

More here