The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Corruption, Don’t Talk To Me About Corruption

I have a hard time these days getting worked up over corruption charges. It’s clear Yanukovych stole billions, along with giving billions to his his friends and family.

George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Paulson, Geithner and Bernanke, bailed out their friends for trillions.  Bill Clinton repealed Glass-Steagall (leading directly to the financial crisis) and was worth a hundred million only a few years out of office (one might remark that politicians are still very cheap for what they give the people who buy them.)  In England, RBS just got half a billion dollars in taxpayer financed “bonuses” for driving the bank into bankruptcy and requiring the government to bail it out.  LIBOR was fixed, and the fine for that was a small fraction of the profits made.

The bailout and the financial crisis have led to an actual decrease in earnings and wealth for average people.  They have thrown the south of Europe into semi-permanent financial crisis; they are complicit in the turmoil in the Middle East.

Corruption?  Don’t talk to me about corruption. That the West’s corruption is winked at by legal authorities, does not make it any the less corruption.  And because the West is vastly richer, our corruption is vastly larger.  You may (or may not) have potholes on your roads, but you paid the bill for bailing out the rich: that money, and your futures, were stolen from you as surely as Yanukovych stole from the Ukrainians.

If you enjoyed this article, and want me to write more, please DONATE or SUBSCRIBE.


This Ukraine Stuff Writes Itself


So Much for the Crimea


  1. Celsius 233

    You just summed up the whole cabal.
    And we continue to think there is a solution? A way forward?

  2. ks

    It really is jarring to hear all this talk of being against corruption elsewhere when we have just lived through, and I guess continuing to do so, the biggest swindle in human history here.

  3. Formerly T-Bear

    The day of the jackal is in its pre-dawn early morning hours and the jackals will have their day. Until a directed pathology is set against the jackal, they shall devour all in sight until there being nothing left begin to devour themselves until only the greatest jackals remain turning into an ouroboros and commence devouring themselves as there is nothing else.

    That appetite will have reached such proportions as to find little nourishment at (for themselves) trifling sums held by those in the productive economy, only substantial revenue streams can satisfy that engorged appetite; in that there may be the light of survival. This will produce the ultimate unsustainable economy, it will collapse, destroyed by the very conditions that made the corporate welfare state possible, the profound ignorance of the human condition as it relates to power/wealth.

    Corrupt power/wealth contains its contradiction, rarely is it able to self-correct its errors, this inability is its Achilles weakness, corruption removes remedy. Whatever course events take, violence will be present in one form or another in each, that is fact and will not be avoided, the choice limited to limiting the extent of violence to be experienced, some means to ends have inherent advantages over others, e.g. embarking on rebellion against authority without a clear and achievable goal is a useless folly and the resulting violence promises to be unmerciful upon all protagonists.

    Ending the mandate of heaven takes many forms, none of which do not contain an alternative to the existing power and the dysfunction of that power. The alternative to the existing power structure of corruption that has leveled every cultural institution that stands in its way, much in the same manner the ancient cultures of mesopotamian Iraq were recently obliterated, requires considerations more fundamental than hither-to-fore necessary, rebuilding is from the foundation unlike anything before, but that is the price of corruption of social institutions developed throughout history. Those who do not retain their knowledge of history will seldom be up to the tasks required.

  4. ‘Formerly T-Bear’, you write persuasively, clearly and entertainingly. Of all the points you make, and I agree with, what strikes me as illustrating the hopelessness is this “Corrupt power/wealth contains its contradiction, rarely is it able to self-correct its errors, this inability is its Achilles weakness, corruption removes remedy. ”
    I live in Greece where the errors of corrupt governments and institutions, over at least 40 years, will continue, because the structures which facilitate them remain, unchanged. A familiar cry whenever reform is proposed is “It would be unconstitutional!” The present constitution is devised so that it is nigh on impossible to scrap it. Amendments have served to strengthen its immovability, as well as protecting those jackals in power…as well as hyenas who laugh in our faces!

  5. Formerly T-Bear

    @ Rosemary Papaeliou

    Thank you for your generous words. I cannot begin to imagine what it is now like in Greece for the citizen trying to maintain without social supports in place for generations, however meager they may have been.

    Greece isn’t the wealthiest of nations and depends historically on and as a trading entity, investing and reinvesting its wherewithal and living upon the returns generated. Unlike commodity generating countries (e.g. petroleum, minerals, agricultural products) where measurement of output is convenient and easily taxed, Greece had great difficulty in assessing those returns from trading and it was quite easy to obscure that income from taxation. A systemic weakness that was not addressed by the governing powers in Greece which debilitated the ability to provide promised services.

    Greece got caught out, like Ireland, Spain, Italy and Portugal in a tsunami of German, French, British and Dutch surplus savings looking for return on investment. For a long while that was provided by an unregulated construction frenzy throughout the Mediterranean resort basin. Supply vastly over-ran consumer, debt repayment became delayed then in default, investment funds disappeared, existing debt became frozen and unserviceable, and economic collapse set in. (Non-Mediteranean Ireland had a parallel home and commercial construction boom likewise affected in addition to raging price inflation and an extreme monetary velocity in an attempt to service their debts) In each of the aforementioned countries, governments became the investor of last resort to support the financial and banking networks running up deficits to cover their shortfalls in income until their bond issues overloaded the sovereign bond markets, paying premiums for the access to market credit required.

    The ‘Troika’ stepped in and demanded ‘austerity’ from the effected national budgets before economic assistance would be granted, delaying required assistance until the economic problems magnified themselves several magnitudes greater than original. To this was added the demands for title to existing revenue streams to service these loans as well as title to other public assets capable of generating revenue streams. The country’s accumulated public wealth was removed as Troika policy.

    It may be time or closely approaching the time for the citizens of these countries to remove their consent to be governed by the present political institutions, nullifying all acts made under the duress imposed by the Troika. Exit from the present European Union may be necessary as long as that Union remains under the delusions of economic austerity and the pseudo-intellectual academic fraud that supports that policy. Arrangements can be negotiated to in principle continue such a Union after necessary economic readjustments are made to replace the present economic debacle. It is certain only force and coercion will be required to continue on the present EU course until force is no longer enough to sustain. The original purpose of the EU was correct, but the policies enacted have taken that purpose off the rails.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén