Since 2007 has the world been in the doldrums of the financial universe, with disastrous consequences for many and it all started in the United States – the world’s richest nation and one of the most capitalist societies on this planet.
Until the collapse of the U.S. financial giant Lehman Brothers was a reality seemed to capitalism’s premises actually good enough, but both Lehman Brothers and many other banks in the world must have been sleeping more than usual since it was possible to dazzle everyone with inflated share prices, that was not more worth than the paper it was written on – or more specifically IT universe as the only daily means of communication between sellers and buyers. Exchange dealers had only a screen as the only link without ever having seen, heard or exchanged thoughts and realities face to face.
Anyone with insight into the major banks’ way of doing banking business in but outside the “system” appeared with several warnings before the world went financially in black, but the blanket fall did not materialize until the parties involved had to stretch their weapons and recognize the world’s largest financial scandal.
But there are actually people who earn a lot of money on this “One man’s death gives bread to another” – More of the conspiracy’s henchmen are left with gains on speculation’s chess pieces, where all farmers are now gone plus a few runners, horses and towers .
After this phase remains the king with his queen – and it’s actually the conspiracy’s king in person. This is people who have always been able to profit from other people’s stupidity and they have several fictional locations in this world – and for a good measure I can mention some facts where the entire political forum went into panic, since these people did not know enough from the financial inner circle and especially not in a capitalist system where democracy in this universe is a one way street with secret information, that might have prevented a total collapse if published before.
When Lehman Brothers went down, the notion that all banks were “too big to fail” no longer held true, with the result that every bank was deemed to be risky. Within a month, the threat of a domino effect through the global financial system forced western governments to inject vast sums of capital into their banks to prevent them collapsing. The banks were rescued in the nick of time, but it was too late to prevent the global economy from going into a free fall. Credit flows to the private sector were choked off at the same time as consumer and business confidence collapsed. All this came after a period when high oil prices had persuaded central banks that the priority was to keep interest rates high as a bulwark against inflation rather than to cut them in anticipation of the financial crisis spreading to the real economy.
The year 2010 marked the point at which the focus of concern switched from the private sector to the public sector. By the time the IMF and the European Union announced they would provide financial help to Greece , the issue was no longer the solvency of banks but the solvency of governments. Budget deficits had ballooned during the recession, mainly as a result of lower tax receipts and higher non-discretionary welfare spending, but also because of the fiscal packages announced in the winter of 2008-09. Greece had unique problems as it covered up the dire state of its public finances and had difficulties in collecting taxes, but other countries started to become nervous about the size of their budget deficits. Austerity became the new watchword, affecting policy decisions in the UK, the euro zone and later on in the US, the country that stuck with expansionary fiscal policy the longest.
There is no happy ending to this story. At best there will be a long period of weak growth and high unemployment as individuals and banks pay down the excessive levels of debt accumulated in the bubble years. At worst, the global economy will be plunged back into
recession again if the US goes backwards and the euro comes apart at the seams. The second, gloomier scenario looks a lot more likely now than it did before.
Why? Because there is no international co-operation. There are plans for austerity but no plans for growth. Even countries that could borrow money for fiscal stimulus packages are reluctant to do so. Europe lacks the political will to force the pace of integration necessary to avoid disintegration of the single currency.
Commodity prices are coming down, but that is the only good news. We are less than halfway through the crisis that began on 9 August 2007. That crisis has just entered a dangerous new phase.