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

Greek Mistakes, European Misery and the Coming Decade of Suck

1) killing bankers isn’t what’s needed.  The people who need to be scared are their own rich, and their own politicians, who voted for the cram down instead of deciding to end tax evasion, primarily by the rich, and which by itself is enough to close the gap and avoid austerity measures.

2) Voting in right wing governments.  You get what you vote for.

When you refuse to tax the rich, the only other option is to soak the middle class and the poor.

Meanwhile the Brits have voted for cuts, cuts, cuts.  They too are about to get what they asked for.  Austerity.

This contagion is going to spread, because Europe is fundamentally in the same mode as the US: spare the rich, cram down the middle class.  The lesson taken by the elites from the crisis was that the rich must be appeased at all costs, because if they aren’t, they will go on strike, and crash the world economy.

What happened yesterday on the stock market proves it–nearly a 1,000 points off the DOW in seconds.  The stock markets are no longer free markets, their movements are controlled by a relatively small number of actors with very deep pockets, who can make them go up or down whenever they choose.

There was an opportunity to break the power of these folks—to wipe them out, but it required calling their bluff, not caving to them.  That opportunity has now passed.  While the world economy remains very fragile and could go into a tailspin any time if anything goes wrong, best guess is we have another really lousy recovery and economic cycle to look forward to, if austerity measures don’t crash it out entirely.  Over 80% of any gains will go to corporate profits, virtually nothing to ordinary citizens, and we’ll have another lost decade in which for virtually everyone the economy sucks.

There are solutions, but it’s clear that the elites in most countries aren’t willing to do anything about it, and frankly the population keeps voting for right wing governments (whether called that or not), so they’re getting what they vote for.  (Say what you will, Obama was the most right wing of the major Democratic candidates.)

So, get ready for another era during which the deep liquidity, the hot money, is completely catered to—even more than it was in the last era.  And get ready for an era in which, to paraphrase George Bush “who cares what you think? is the unofficial motto of government when dealing with ordinary people.


The Lack of Netroots Enthusiasm for Progressive Candidates in Primaries


Off for a bit


  1. CEO

    Don’t sugar coat it, give it to me straight.

  2. Walt Wit Man

    The bankers occasionally yank the chains on their puppy dogs just to remind them who’s in charge. They did it when Congress initially voted down the bailout in 2009 and the market tanked that day as well.

    Who knows what an honest regulator would find going on in the markets if they cared to investigate?

    Problem is, the puppy dog politicians like Obama have agreed to participate in the fraud. They agreed to funnel trillions of dollars from the taxpayer to the top 1%, via the Fed, to “fix” the economy. They are in on the scam so they can’t really call the bankers’ bluffs.

    But who knows what the truth is . . . is a web of lies and misdirection. I made the mistake of watching the evening news on ABC last night and whoa . . . . was it disgusting see them regurgitate the company line about a “fat finger” trader and reassure its viewers that the “economy” was turning around but also to fail miserably on reporting on the Gulf spill. They simply passed on BP press releases and PR blitzes as news and glorified BP’s heroic efforts to stop the spill without taking a critical look at BP’s actions or putting it in a larger regulatory/policy perspective. We are ignorant because we are lied to. And they are big lies.

  3. Walt Wit Man

    Boy, how time flies. 2008 was when Congress voted down the first version of the bailout for Goldman Sachs, et al.

    But like legislators that actually wanted to achieve something they got that sucker passed within days after some arm twisting by people like Obama.

    Almost a trillion dollars given to bankers (and more secretly via the Fed) in a matter of days.

  4. DupinTM

    What’s your opinion on the seemingly big push by Harry Reid to go after the banks? Was the Too Big to Fail amendment that lost (33-61 I think) the key ‘yanking of the chain’? I can’t tell anymore.

  5. David H.

    Debate on bailout: less than one week

    Debate on HCR: over one year

    Our govt in a nutshell. Into which they should all be crammed, before the shell is crushed by a steel-toed boot.

  6. “It’s a good life.” Here in Peaksville.

  7. anonymous

    “killing bankers isn’t what’s needed. ” But it couldn’t hurt (the rest of us) and would be a big morale booster.

    But seriously, how do you even see much of a sustained “lousy recovery”? I just see lurching from crisis to crisis until the system can’t even lurch anymore. I guess the fascists are just softening us up gradually for their eventual… what am I talking about? they took over in Dec 2001, maybe earlier. Let’s say “until they drop all pretext of democracy.”

  8. I don’t think we should kill banksters; I think we should give them useful work. Like emptying bedpans or restocking the shelves at WalMart.

  9. I’d say Obama and Hillary were about the same. The are both DLC’ers. I finally figured out Obama was once I found out he thought highly of Bob Rubin.

  10. peony

    The archetypal forces currently operative are the same as those in the 1960s, the 1930s, and the 1790s, where the trajectory of events and the status quo was violently interrupted by popular uprisings and rebellions worldwide. You’re probably right about the short term, but the days of the ruling elites are numbered. The “masters of the universe” are not the Masters of the Universe.

  11. Bernard

    peony, I wish!!!

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