“Die Wall Street ist immer das Erdbeben-Epizentrum des Kapitalismus”

8220die-wall-street-ist-immer-das-erdbeben-epizentrum-des-kapitalismus8221

05-12-18 01:39:00,

Yanis Varoufakis. Bild: acTVism.org

Yanis Varoufakis über Julian Assange, Wirtschaftspolitik & die Zukunft Europas

Zain Raza von acTVism.org sprach mit Yanis Varoufakis, dem ehemaligen griechischen Finanzminister und Mitbegründer des Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25). Das Schicksal von Julian Assange sieht er als Warnung: “Zuerst holen sie sich Julian. Dann Sie. Mich. Und alle anderen. Es betrifft ganz klar die Pressefreiheit und das Recht der Bürger zu wissen, was die Regierungen, angeblich in ihrem Namen, hinter ihrem Rücken tun.”

Die Entwicklungen seit der Finanzkrise 2008 gleichen für ihn denen nach der Weltwirtschaftskrise 1929: “2008 war das 1929 unserer Generation. Wie 1929 begann alles an der Wall Street. Die Wall Street ist immer das Erdbeben-Epizentrum des Kapitalismus. Wenn der Kapitalismus über eine bestimmte Schwelle hinaus ein unhaltbares Niveau erreicht, dann bricht er in der Wall Street zusammen. ” Damals wie heute wurde versucht, die Krise auf dem Rücken der Schwachen zu lösen: “Und das Ergebnis war Faschismus. Das ist genau das, was heute passiert. Brexit, der Fall von Angela Merkel, Matteo Salvinis faschistische Bewegung in Italien, Orbán in Ungarn.”

Für ihn ist die Gefahr groß, dass die EU auseinanderfällt. Man müsse jetzt handeln, bevor es zu spät ist, alle Demokraten und Progressive müssten sich vereinen, das versuche er mit DiEM25. Dabei sei das Verständnis der Ökonomie wichtig: “Wirtschaft ist langweilig. Wirtschaft nervt. Aber es ist die Sprache, in der Politik verhandelt und betrieben wird. Und jeder von uns muss ihre Grundlagen verstehen, damit unsere Teilnahme am politischen Kampf effektiv sein kann.”

(Zain Raza)

 » Lees verder

How Wall Street Drove Public Pensions Into Crisis and Pocketed Billions in Fees

How Wall Street Drove Public Pensions Into Crisis and Pocketed Billions in Fees

20-10-18 01:09:00,

A Wall Street Coup

Thousands of Kentucky public school teachers swarmed the state Capitol earlier this year, angry not about low salaries, but about their shrinking pensions. Among their concerns: the high portion of their money that has ended up in the hands of Wall Street in opaque, high-cost products that seem to benefit no one aside from the people who sold them. Rising pension costs helped to send teachers in Colorado into the streets in protest a few weeks later. In the last year, pension woes have also prompted teachers in Ohio and Oklahoma to march. And police, firefighters, and other public employees in Michigan have been staging protests since at least 2016 to preserve their public pensions, more than one-third of which is invested in “alternatives”: private equity, hedge funds, commodities, distressed debt, and other opaque Wall Street investment vehicles.

A “Wall Street coup” — that’s how pension expert Edward “Ted” Siedle describes it. Public pensions across the country now squander tens of billions of dollars each year on risky, often poor-performing alternative investments — money public pensions can ill afford to waste. For all the talk of insolvency, $4 trillion now sits in the coffers of the country’s public pensions. It’s a giant pile of money of intense interest to Wall Street — one generally overseen by boards stocked with laypeople, often political appointees. “Time and again,” Siedle has written, “hucksters successfully pull the wool over these boards’ eyes.”

In 1974, in the wake of the spectacular collapse of the Studebaker car company and its pension plan, Congress passed a piece of landmark legislation, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Under ERISA, companies are required to adequately fund their pensions and follow what was then called the “prudent man” rule, which barred those in charge from putting pension dollars into overly risky investments. The departments of Labor, Treasury, and Commerce were charged with overseeing the country’s pensions and a new body was created, called the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, that would backstop pensions should a business default.

Except Congress left out public employees entirely — with a yawning loophole that granted an exemption to public pensions. ERISA expressly exempts public pensions operated by state and local governments — the plans that provide for the country’s teachers,

 » Lees verder

Niet Wall Street maar Europese megabanken brachten de wereld aan het wankelen, stelt IMF-econoom Tamim Bayoumi

Niet Wall Street maar Europese megabanken brachten de wereld aan het wankelen, stelt IMF-econoom Tamim Bayoumi

08-06-18 09:58:00,

Medium hh 4968904
Londens zaken­centrum Canary Wharf, Docklands, 12 september 2008

©
Peter Hilz /HH

We schrijven 14 november 2008. Het is twee maanden na het dramatische bankroet van Lehman Brothers, de middelgrote New Yorkse zakenbank die in de weken daarna de Noord-Atlantische interbancaire markt zou platleggen en overheden aan beide kanten van de oceaan tot uitzonderlijke maatregelen zou dwingen. Alleen al in Nederland kostten die eerste weken van de crisis de staat, en dus Nederlandse belastingbetalers bijna honderd miljard euro aan steun voor banken. Tien jaar later zouden de wereldwijde verliezen in termen van misgelopen economische groei zo’n 45.000 miljard dollar bedragen – maar een klein beetje minder dan de totale waarde van wat de wereld per jaar produceert.

Maar dat lag op dat moment nog ver in de toekomst. Dat het goed mis was, daar was echter ook toen al vrijwel iedereen het over eens. Het was voor de toenmalige president van de Verenigde Staten, George W. Bush, aanleiding om een G20 voor regeringsleiders in Washington af te kondigen, met Spanje en Nederland in de bijwagen. Na afloop van de tweedaagse bijeenkomst in november lieten de verzamelde regeringsleiders de wereld ronkend weten dat ze de handen ineen zouden slaan, dat ze een grondig onderzoek naar de oorzaken van de crisis zouden beginnen, dat ze de bankensector en financiële markten aan strikter toezicht zouden onderwerpen en dat ze zich zouden blijven inzetten voor een open internationale economische orde. De jaren dertig, toen overheden niet ingrepen en terechtkwamen in een handelsoorlog – en uiteindelijk in een echte oorlog – mochten zich niet herhalen. Het tekende de paniek, de urgentie en de wanhoop van die dagen. Alles wat ooit vast, gefixeerd en onomstotelijk leek, werd vloeibaar. Het was plotseling onbegrijpelijk hoe toezichthouders ooit hadden kunnen denken dat zelfregulering door banken een goed idee was. Neoliberalisme als scheldwoord werd plotseling ontdekt door de neoliberalen zelf.

De Britse bankenexpert Tamim Bayoumi, werkzaam in Washington bij de mondiale instelling die zich tijdens de crisis ontpopte tot een van de keurigste critici van het mondiale financiële stelsel en de eraan ten grondslag liggende ideologie, vertelt aan de telefoon dat hij zich die eerste post-Lehman G20 nog als de dag van gisteren kan herinneren. Wat hem destijds vooral frappeerde was het verschil in perceptie over de oorzaken ervan aan beide kanten van de oceaan.

 » Lees verder

Massive US and EU Street Protests Are the Only Way to Avoid War

Massive US and EU Street Protests Are the Only Way to Avoid War

10-04-18 09:35:00,

Charles is the founder and editor of Russia Insider. He can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter and on Steemit.

The invaluable Michael Krieger wrote about this yesterday, and he is absolutely right – the weak spot in the establishment’s march to war is the strong popular mood against it on the left and right, and the transparently absurd lying coming from the war-happy crowd. This provides an opening for a broad-based, massive anti-war movement uniting an otherwise fractured and feuding public.

After reading and republishing his article, I started asking: is this in any way realistic?

I think it is.

The fact is that the usual suspects are trying to frog-march America and the EU to war using old-fashioned techniques of false flags and lying in a completely new environment of relative informational openness. Yes the Deep State can use Google and Creepybook to tilt the odds in their favor, but only up to a point. If that works so well, how do you explain the election of Trump?, Brexit? or a dozen similar unexpected outcomes?

The 2016 elections were an emphatic rejection of these ridiculous wars. Combine the MAGA crowd with Bernie Bros, and you have a good 70% of the country saying quite emphatically – No!

The kindling of a major anti-war movement is very dry and could well burst into flames.

Consider:

1) the memory of the Iraq war and the wide belief by most people that we were lied to, 2) the grinding economic difficulties of most Americans who will see the war as another stupid distraction from more urgent and pressing economic problems, 3) the likelihood that the war will send the economy into a nose-dive, 4) wide-spread anti-migrant sentiment, 5) the veterans out there furious about the last wars – going back to Vietnam, 6) the historically low trust in the media – down in the 30% area.

Past anti-war movements were decidedly ideologically on the Left. It wasn’t what a good Republican, patriot, veteran, etc, would do. Not anymore. This time around those guys would probably be at the front of the picket lines.

 » Lees verder

Did The Fed Save Wall Street With A Temporary QE4?

Did The Fed Save Wall Street With A Temporary QE4?

28-02-18 09:00:00,

Authored by Alex Deluce via GoldTelegraph.com,

The stock market suffered one of its most drastic falls on February 5, 2018. The price of gold rose but as equities started rebounding after the selloff, gold trended lower.

Gold has enacted a portfolio hedge when markets rapidly swing and the recent pullback was no different. However, something was quite bizarre with regards to the Fed’s balance sheet a week after the market meltdown. Recently published data shows that the Fed’s balance sheet increased by 14.1 billion during the week ending February 14th, 2018.

By the looks of it, the Fed had reverted back to “quantitative easing” by printing money out of thin air by injecting $14 billion into the banking system by purchasing mortgage-backed securities.

It’s important to realize, that the cash injected can be leveraged 10x. In other words, the $14 billion injected is $141 billion of leverage for the banks to use for activities such as propping up the stock market.

However, most recently, the Fed’s balance sheet was reduced by $23.2 billion.

By the looks of things, the Federal Reserve is serving Wall Street by providing a safety net around volatility.  Which, of course, is driven by this ridiculous “wealth effect” policy that it has tried to achieve and preserve the last decade. It’s no surprise though, central banks are going to be central banks and continue to compound on disastrous and failed policy errors by repeating their old ones.

So, the question is – what happens this week, following this plunge in the Fed b/s?

 » Lees verder