Saturday, February 28, 2009

Banana Republic

And now we see the leadership starting to edge towards bank nationalisation, after we heard from our president that banks need to stay private. It seems the puppeteers are pulling a different set of string this week and now word is leaking to the mainstream press that perhaps one ought to start thinking about nationalising, very temporarily, at least Citi and Bank of America because they are ruined. Jolly good. Now we the people get to fire the people that helped drag us into this depression. Hell no we don't! Here's why:
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Fixing the financial collapse and pulling us out of the Great Depression Two we are tail spinning into requires massive decisive action by Our Leaders. It also requires them to hurt the people who donated the most to their re-election campaigns. However this process of descent into poverty needs to be managed otherwise people will rebel against a blatant favoritism for the banksters. So we get soothing words and inaction, we get taxpayer funds (created out of thin air) that support the banks while the people who's failing assets boost the fictitious asset ledgers of those banks. And real people find themselves unable to stay in their homes and end up being forced out. By banks sustained by their taxes!
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At this point in the slide towards economic collapse the decision seems to be that just letting failed enterprises fail is not on the cards. People at the top don't want this because a rapid descent into poverty leads a Tea Party of the sort people in power don't much like. And massive structural change brought upon us suddenly and irrevocably by endless bankruptcies will disturb the placid backwaters of our lives. So if our leaders let the economy implode people at the bottom, like you and me, are forced to accept change and people at the top lose their perqs of power. So we conspire with our leaders to keep trying to keep the economy alive, while trying to avoid painful cuts to our way of life.
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It would be nice if we could have jobs and secure housing and a gradual decline into the future of no credit, far fewer choices and a slow lesson in how to change the way we live. Instead it seems the drive to keep the mandarins happy with two trillion dollars of public (non existent) funds means foreclosures will continue apace with a sop of a few billion dollars (seventy five? what's that between 300 million friends?) to let the people think the cavalry is on the way to resuscitate drowned mortgages. By the time our leaders realise homelessness is the bigger problem caused by the stupid mortgages who knows how many homes will be blighting empty suburbs across this land. And how many families will be trying to pay rent in cruddy apartments. And how many fearless leaders will be living in Bermuda or behind impregnable gated compounds...
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Too little too late is the ideal way for our leaders to chase this descent into poverty for most of us, while allowing a few to rise to the top so high above the Republic they look like oligarchs even by the cold light of day. An oligarchy is a small group of well heeled people issuing orders to the politicians who control the fates of the majority, just as the United Fruit Company used to tell Central American governments how to treat their people. Welcome to The New Banana Republic, and the financial world for which it stands, indivisible it seems from the mortgages that have ruined it.