They've Changed The System Again
If you’ve noticed, the stock market is soaring while the economy is sinking. Every bit of bad news on Main Street is treated as good news on Wall Street. Today’s announcement of a six percent annual decline in business brought a triple digit bounce in the Dow.
This is the celebration of what East German kids used to learn in Marxism-Leninism class as the triumph of state monopoly capitalism, or what Mussolini-era Italians knew as the corporate state. Don’t confuse it with socialism. That's when the state takes over business. This is business taking over the state. Or, more accurately, a merger of business and the state--in business’ favor, of course.
The nation’s few ideological free marketeers are shocked and appalled. But Wall Street is pleased and the public, as usual, is parked on a dead end road between ignoramia and oblivia. I market at a Stop&Shop and gas up at a Citgo. I ask and ask, but few, if any, at the former know or care that the store is owned by a Dutch conglomerate or at the latter that the station is franchised by Hugo Chavez and the good people of Venezuela. Why in blazes should they give a hoot that the nation’s investment banking has been turned over from Goldman Sachs to its graduates at the Fed and Treasury?
It’s much easier this way. Up until the great fall, the banksters had a job of it writing weird paper like credit default swaps and peddling it to other banksters, pension funds, school boards and your aunt Millie’s supposedly safe and sound bond fund. That took work and nail biting because no one understood the products.
Now, under state monopoly capitalism, Washington gives zillions to Wall Street, which smartly uses it to buy stocks rather than stupidly lending it to losers. It doesn’t matter if the stocks are dogs: the rising tide of fed bucks floats even garbage scows. Sure, this bubble will again burst, and probably soon. But the banksters will have pocketed their profits and left us to pay for the clean-up yet again.
What’s happened is that Obama and company have so far successfully life-boated the banksters off the foundering U.S.S Economy. Only the life boat is an ocean-going yacht and the rescued are enjoying drinks on the sun deck watching the Economy sink and giggling at the awful screams of the passengers. But not to worry. Treasure ports in China and the Persian Gulf are beckoning. The sinking of the U.S.S. Economy will soon fade into another old sailor's tale.