Let’s be clear. This disaster wasn’t due to a failure of the free enterprise system.
Timerity In Terminology
They called it a collapse of the financial system. Then they blamed Wall Street. Then it became a meltdown. Now politicians around the world are grudgingly admitting that their country is in recession. Some pundits even try to suggest that their country is only in a technical recession. i.e. two consecutive quarters of negative growth in GDP = gross domestic product. Obviously preferring the watered down more hopeful sounding tack. Dream on.
The Aftershocks Continue
Such descriptions underestimate the known underlying economic realities in most countries. As for the unknown? Only time will tell. New financial shocks continue to surface as the full extent of the financial community’s global interconnections and mutual dependence are revealed and understood. Appearing much like the aftershocks of earthquakes, as the arteries of what now resembles a world financial corpse are exposed to market pressures and forensic financial examination.
Who Would Spend In This Environment?
Politicians it seems, prefer denial, rather than admit the the bleeding obvious that a fast deteriorating world economy confronts them with the real possibility that it might continue it’s downward spiral towards an even worse economic classification. A world depression. Even the famous “Blind Freddy” can see that. So why try to hide it? Most people will try to save, not spend, regardless of assurances from politicians, if they consider their jobs are at risk.
Agents for Corrupt Practice
This collapse could not have occurred without the active involvement of politicians. It began with politicians in the United States, who in dereliction of their duty, created an environment for extreme abuse by failing to ensure adequate regulation, management and proper oversight of the American financial system.
Let’s be clear. This disaster wasn’t due to a failure of the free enterprise system. It was caused by people who under the guise of free enterprise sought to remove or limit the rules, regulation and strict supervision of the system. Many were the politicians who supported and voted for financial deregulation during the Reagan and Clinton years.
They finished up creating a virtual free for all, a game without adequate rules and little in the way of an umpiring capacity. In so doing they opened the doors to wholesale corruption of the financial system. All in the name of free enterprise.
More of the Culprits
While the early involvement of politicians was essential, the immediate beneficiaries of broad deregulation were the investment and commercial bankers, hedge fund managers, stockbrokers, lawyers, mortgage brokers and accountants. No doubt aided by corrupt public servants in key government departments. A fermentation which inevitably created the perfect financial storm. A viral tempest which finally turned in on itself and has now infected the rest of the world economy.
Stripping Away Regulations the Key
In America, the recognised homeland of free enterprise, the carpetbaggers had decided that the free enterprise system literally meant a free pass to great wealth. For them that is. They wanted a system free of rules, free of regulation and free of judicious corporate oversight. And they knew exactly what they had to do.
They calculated that if the remaining regulatory elements of the Glass Steagall Act of 1933 could be stripped away, they would see the removal of the last of the barriers to establishing a more deregulated financial system. By the late 1990’s this goal had been achieved. All of a sudden it was nirvana for many CEO’s and other individuals. In less than ten years it all came crashing down with the collapse of global investment bank, Bear Stearns, followed shortly after by the demise of Lehman Bros. Immediately alarm bells began ringing around the world.
A Virus Spread Worldwide
With the near total deregulation of the American financial system came new and often corrupt alliances along with a myriad of dodgy, complicated, corporate financial products and practices. This was the business of finance, American style, by the year 2000. Many of the shady deals and flawed enterprises which resulted, were the product of a deregulated embryo of this disaster, emerging as it has, to become the first international financial virus of the 21st century.
Now America and the world at large is in a race against time