What a party the banks have had over the last 10 years. An orgy of endless money printing and debt leveraging Derivatives, (or gambling slips to you and me!). When it all blew up in 2008 with sub-prime mortgages, the taxpayer was forced to quickly bail them out and off they went again with sub-prime auto loans by the million and Sovereign debt by the billion, all of which is feeding yet more odious debt into an already very sick global financial system.
If this was not enough, a group of them then became involved in rigging the LIBOR global interest rate structure, whilst others played with vast tax avoidance and money laundering schemes.
Aficionados of Monopoly will quickly recognise that in spite of all of this unsavoury activity the banks are holding limitless “Get out of Jail Free” cards. Even these are not really necessary, because there are no “Go to Jail” cards in a game that has been heavily rigged in their favour!
Reprimands are levied by the authorities, with fines of seemingly vast sums of money, which in reality just come out of petty cash. Even the reprimands have been rigged, as the fines are ‘tax deductible’ and so the very people the banks have screwed find themselves helping pay their fines. You really can’t make this sort of stuff up!
Our global financial system, seriously weakened by odious debt, is now further challenged by a derivatives market few understand and which, according to the Bank of International Settlements, was worth a staggering $710 trillion in 2014 and growing.
And so the party continues uninterrupted, as little legislation has been put in force to separate this devastating gambling activity (as we found to our cost in 2008), from traditional banking practices. In the case of sub-prime mortgages when the banking loans began to default the derivatives they were linked to became worthless, bringing the world to its knees.
We now have another default in the making as Greece stands up and says “Enough. We don’t want to play this silly game of austerity anymore!” Their debt has also been ‘parcelled’ out to join all of the other bad debt arrangements still there from 2008 up to the present, precariously waiting to come tumbling down with greater devastation than before.
The reaction of both Brussels and the Troika to this tiny country and the responsible actions it is now contemplating demonstrates the fragility of the present financial system and its inability to withstand such action and just how frightened those in the know really are.
So why has Greece finally stood up to this banking abuse? Interestingly it comes from human rather than financial motivation. The Greek people have voted in a government that has values quite unique in the present world of politics and something simply not entertained in the world of finance.
The Greek government is fighting for the dignity and self-respect of its people. It has called “enough” in response to the increased and continuing suicide rate of good people brought to their knees with despair at seemingly endless austerity measures that are not solving anything. People and families, who until recently had been working and raising their children, are now reduced to scavenging in the rubbish for food.
(Remember it was the boss of the IMF who declared only last year that “the global economy’s ‘new mediocre’ phase of low growth could well become the ‘new reality’”, ensuring millions remain without prospects of future employment or purpose to their lives.)
Human dignity and self-respect is inbuilt within all of us and knows when to call a halt to abuse. Just think for a moment about our own current abuse with:
- Secret ‘democracy destroying’ TTIP deals
- Ignoring our wishes over country wrecking Fracking
- Constant reneging of political promises by those we have elected to power.
It is here that Greece could return us all to sanity by bringing down this unreal world of abuse and financial deception that has been allowed to grow over the last decade. The bully boy tactics towards Greece standing up for itself shows a fear by the EU and the banks that others might follow, causing the destruction of the present global power structure.
By supporting Greece in bringing down the financial system, rather than letting the banks do it again, is not as irresponsible as it sounds, allowing us to take back our dignity and self-respect over an increasingly autocratic and abusive global regime. The alternative is that offered by Christine Lagarde, as mentioned earlier.
Certainly it will mean a painful time for all of us, (which has to come one way or the other), but that time would be limited, with economic growth and jobs waiting at the other end, as Iceland has already demonstrated.
The standoff with Greece and The EU is simply history repeating itself, as David once again faces up to Goliath . . . and we know the outcome of that first seemingly uneven confrontation.
Until the next time
Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes