IMF Bailout? – NO, not again – IMF Buyout? MAYBE.
1997-8, and we are presented with still another example, of the banking and exchange community’s irresponsible behaviour in loaning and investing US generated credits into unstable Asian markets. Considering the far reaching potential negative effects; and the manner in which this was done; and its chronic repitition; perhaps it should also be described as stupid, and even genocidal behavior in a frenzied search for un-earned profits.
Operating under cover of free market theories, and made confident by their experience of the gullible support or acquiescence of Ayn Rand’s delinquent children (a.k.a. the “libertarians”), the financial malefactors are up to their old game:
“Force the American taxpayers to bail us out again, (with profits of course) or the new mess we’ve created may bring down the world’s financial systems, taking the lives of hundreds of thousands in the process.”
Greenspan and Rubin, that much over-rated duo, have had their way with the U.S. financial system for years, and their policies have continued to concentrate government generated wealth, into the hands of the super rich. (Thats a fair way to describe a retroactive capital gains tax cut in which about 28 out of $32 billion in cuts, goes to persons with over $300,000 annual income)
It would be wishful thinking to expect a bailout plan promoted by these fellows to advance a just solution of the problem. From what source or tradition would they draw their ideas of justice? Concepts of Morality have been purposely removed from economic training for decades in America; and for over 2 1/2 centuries in England. Some economists are actually proud of the removal of what they consider “normative” values from their “science.”
At some desperate point, the right strategy in the quest for a decent monetary system may include letting the financial community destroy itself in one of their recurring self created crises.
Two effects would be:
First the general population of the world would suffer grievously, while the miscreant bankers/brokers were relatively insulated by their years of accumulated loot.
Second, as after the great depression (re-read Roosevelt’s 1933 innauguration speech), their free market cover theories would be widely seen for what they in large part, historically have been:
plausible sounding tools of sophistry, designed to maintain a diseased monetary order. Conclusions derived theoretically from faulty premises, in which the nature of money is always misdefined. A system of economic rules which somehow always manage to continue concentrating money and power into the hands of the plutocracy, at the expense of society in general.
It would take decades for their propaganda apparatus to rebuild the public image of their primitive form of capitalism – “savage capitalism” – as Pope John Paul II, calls it. During that hiatus, with the help of developing knowledge in this area, and the INTERNET tool, their “errors” can be exposed and defeated.
At this time however, AMI is not ready to suggest allowing the world’s economies to slide into convulsion just because the bankers deserve it. However there is no reason to save them harmless, and accept another bailout for the bankers, and other corporate miscreants.
Perhaps something more along the lines of a buyout is in order; and we put forward some ideas for discussion:
1)An accounting and general publication of which banking and corporate establishments are involved; for how much; who in those organizations approved the bad loans/investments; What has happened to them? Are their bosses influential in the IMF?
2)Rapid publication of which major speculative trading groups have contributed to the crisis, by shorting the Asian currencies. Which correspondent firms and which US clearing houses assisted their activities.
3) A consideration of ex post facto legislation to recover those billions of dollars in ill gotten gains, in order to apply them to help resolve the crisis. Thanks to computerization, this would not be difficult.
4)Benefits which US provided funds gives to banks or corporations (via the IMF or through the US Treasury) shouldn’t be a gift or loan, but a purchase of the company’s equity, at some adjusted price; perhaps the lowest price of the past 48 months. The Government should end up owning at least whatever part of the bank or company’s equity, which the buyout funds represented; with full voting rights.
Put the shares into a special Government account from which the income goes toward Social Security, medicare or to college scholarships.
Its time to stop giving the banks sweetheart deals which provide no incentive to avoid such future problems.
The crisis sheds some light on Corporate America’s international strategy. Many have watched in wonder as American workers have been fired from well paid manufacturing jobs, and pointed out that this was reducing the market among Americans for the goods produced by the corporations. The crisis shows they preferred to develop their markets outside the US, and also to invest in subsidiaries there. They thus purchased labor at the cheap rates often available in foreign countries where labor has minimal rights.
This had (they thought) the political benefit of suppressing labor in the US, reducing US wage levels, and reducing labor’s political power. But playing with underdeveloped markets, there was a greater risk of default on the moneys due to these organizations. These groups are the loudest exponents of “Laissez faire”; free market views which would dictate that they now suffer their losses.
But Laissez faire was not meant to be followed by them; but to be used as an argument for harming labor and for constricting government – the main organization capable of protecting the common good from the corporate predators.
Real world events would suggest a large upward adjustment in US wage rates, as compensation for the stable political situation which labor in large part, provides here; and for paying for the military machine which international corporate activity depends on.
The corporate attempt to be bailed out of their errors, in the same year that they have agitated to cut welfare benefits to the truly needy, is despicable. Their attempt to have the same American workers they are attacking, bail out their corporate greed and stupidity shows the complete bankruptcy of their philosophy, as well as their management methods, and the depravity of their soul-less existence. Lobbying furtively for assistance from the government they continually denigrate as impotent, attests to the unfathomable depth of their hypocrisy.
It should not be allowed.