Our Future - Their Design
As much as they would like us all to forget and carry on living our financially distressed, economically depressed lives, most of us cannot erase the terrible events of 2008 from our minds, nor forget (or forgive) the actions taken in the aftermath by those who proclaimed to represent us. I refer of course to the colossal collapse of the financial industry and the unprecedented bail outs that were handed will-nilly to the mega-banks across the globe at the public’s expense – banks which had gambled with our money and lost. These for-profit houses of perpetual fraud have learned nothing from their previous crimes and have proved over the past decade that they are ready and willing to bring us to the brink of economic extinction once again, even if only to line their own back pockets. Having already destroyed entire communities, created a desperate state of mass inequality across the globe and decimated an entire generation of youth (now considered professionally and personally lost to the world) they are back bigger and bolder than ever and, I believe, are preparing to crash the global economy yet again. Why? Because it’s super-profitable. How? Because our governments (already bought and sold) will let them.
Little did we realize at the time the consequences that allowing the rampant criminality of bankers to continue uninterrupted and unabated would have not only economically, but in the political and social spheres as well. After years of austerity where our schools, hospitals and social services were slashed in the name of repaying debts that were not ours to begin with, the cross the public has carried for these predatory profiteers has proved itself far too heavy and cumbersome to bear. Our elderly strive on without proper pensions, the education of our youth suffers due to lack of teachers and resources, our infrastructure is crumbling, our jobs remain insecure, without benefits and we lack living wages; those who should be starting families and buying houses have been set back at least ten years causing a distortion in the nature of human relationships, we’ve had a brain drain from countless countries, the effects of which no statistician can yet estimate and the belief in the capitalist system as just and fair has been revealed for what it is – self-serving propaganda. Indeed, one might even suggest that bankers, who are the epitome of the corrupted capitalist class, having moved their debts from the private to the public sphere, have served not only to undermine the very ideology they endorse, but to reshape society in a way that nobody in the early 2000s could have ever imagined.
For years now, our entire lives have been financialized to the extent that we can no longer imagine ourselves surviving without debt. We can no longer conceive of attending university, buying a car, going on holiday or even, in some cases, providing ourselves with basic food and necessities without facing the prospect of being saddled with extortionate monthly payments that, since our wages remain stagnant, are impossible to repay. We live in an historic time, marvelling at events such as the rise of Donald Trump in the US, the number of right wing parties springing up, not only in Europe but worldwide, Brexit and the political circus that Britain has turned into, without ever tracing these stories back to their root. The mainstream media would like us to underestimate the effects that the global crash had on human civilization and so they drill us repeatedly with the notion that we are in a “recovery” and that because the markets are doing well, we are all doing well, but these suppositions could not be further from the truth. The schism between what we see around us, what we experience in our daily lives and the fables they appear so hell-bent on extolling is itself enough to know that we are indeed experiencing deeply troubled times and that they have a serious motivation in convincing us otherwise. The situation, as the establishment is well aware, is explosive and all they are trying to do at this point is keep the lid firmly closed on this boiling pot.
Miraculously, in spite of the fact that the banks both investment and commercial have managed to shape laws and regulations to their liking, they still fail to contain their greed and corruption within the line that they themselves have drawn. Al Capone’s Mafia would have been jealous of these banksters, who are able to write their own regulations and rob society blind, knowing that, no matter how far they go, they’ll always be “too big to fail.” The fact of the matter is that the CEOs and top executives of these banks are pathologically narcissistic and the capitalist regime only enables their illnesses to thrive. Our system even applauds them for it – encouraging their psychopathic tendencies to spread and flourish like a cancer. More distressing still is the knowledge of the political ties these financial parasites enjoy – a prime example being the Washington-Wall Street corridor: the revolving door in which disgraced bankers from Goldman Sachs enter the Whitehouse to retain top positions, including current treasury secretary Steven Mnunchin, who comes from a long line of Goldman Sachs treasury secretaries (like Hank Paulson under Obama). They continue to shape policies which suit their greed-driven, profit-craving impulses in total disregard of the rest of society and, because our democracies have likewise become for-profit enterprises, the majority of us broke, everyday-joes have no means to stop them.
Let’s face it, in this the year 2019, there are two justice systems - one for us and one for them. There are two social welfare systems - one for us and one for them. And while the average person grapples with an increasingly volatile and unstable existence, the banks continue their criminal activities, profiteering from the 99%, including the poorest members of society, extracting wealth while contributing NOTHING to the economy. After making fraudulent, predatory loans and being bailed out to the tune of trillions of dollars, they steal millions of peoples’ homes and still continue to perpetrate their rampant criminality, while cutting loose employees dependent on menial bank jobs for their livelihood. Meanwhile, if a person dying of hunger steals food from a shop, they will serve more time than any of these gangsters ever will and now, due to the fact that we’ve been unable to enact justice upon them for their crimes, we have become enslaved to this fascistic system of financial warfare, whereby they continue to (legally) bleed the economy of its wealth while we fall headlong toward the next colossal collapse.
Putting aside for a moment how fraudulent and deceptive the banking structure is as a whole (the creation of money via debt and the fractional reserve system being the greatest trick these devils ever pulled), it has become commonplace for the banks themselves to engage in a myriad of insidious, illegal activities. Search the name of any bank in the world followed by the word “scandal” and you will be bowled-over by the amount of controversy that surrounds every single for-profit bank in existence. They take enormous risks in the global market place and when they fail, it is society who pays – the bail outs are far from over and, in fact, have become a permanent feature of the neoliberal economy. According to BMG Group, the European Central Bank recently shut down Venice-based Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza as failed or failing banks. The bailout cost is around $5.8 billion, but costs nearly always exceed initial projections.... [Like many European banks] these banks are insolvent and have been walking zombies for years. The vast majority of banking institutions are indeed zombies that should have been sent back to the hell from whence they came as soon as began to crawl the streets looking for fresh flesh to devour, yet instead they are propped up and kept alive by a system that sustains itself on greed and corruption.
Should the average person on the street come to understand what’s been done to them over the past two decades by financial elites, the pitchforks would be ready in the morning. Having robbed us of our futures, destroyed our democracies, displaced entire communities, looted our public treasuries, the banks are still audacious enough to chase after the very people whose lives they have destroyed attempting to collect “debts” we apparently owe them, even though they have already stolen absolutely everything they could get their hands on. Not only do they tighten their grip over our economic lives while preaching about the moral imperative of repayment, but at the same time they continue their flagrant criminality – pushing the limits of legality as far as it can go, almost taunting us, seeing how far society can bend before it breaks. The innumerable examples of insider trading, market-rigging and money-laundering can attest to this. In 2018, HSBC had to set aside $632 million to settle a number of investigations into allegations of tax evasion and other crimes such as money laundering, but expects the amount could go up to $1.5bn, according to its interim results. In 2019, Deutsche Bank, one of the largest bans in Europe, was caught laundering money for a Russian cartel. According to the Guardian, Germany’s troubled Deutsche Bank faces fines, legal action and the possible prosecution of “senior management” because of its role in a $20bn Russian money-laundering scheme, announced in late 2019 that it will be letting go 18,000 staff members and many have view it as potentially the next Lehman Brothers. Morgan Stanley: rigging libor rates and its discriminatory practises against black and Latino communities – a normative feature of modern banking.
Goldman Sachs, the institution Matt Thaibi famously referred to as the “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money”; the kingpin of financial mafia who bet against their own mortgage-holders in 2008 and who has been implicated in one scandal after another since its inception, is again in the news for its latest controversy – the Malaysia 1MDB Scandal in which the US department of justice estimates that 4.5 billion dollars was misappropriated from the fund – a scandal which involves statesmen, oligarchs and bankers in their usual incestuous relationship, involving many assets, including, in some kind of quixotic twist the production of the film The Wolf of Wall Street, which many have criticized for glorifying banker criminality. JP Morgan Chase likewise has an impressive history of scandals trailing after it, including money laundering and market manipulation. In June of this year ‘Traders at Barclays, Citigroup, JP Morgan, RBS and UBS took part in a “three way banana split” cartel between 2007 and 2013 to manipulate the forex market, forcing the European commission’s decision in May to fine five banks more than €1bn (£910m) for colluding to reduce competition in markets for 11 currencies, including the US dollar, the euro and the pound.Irish banks, which follow America’s on the scale of corruption, were fined again this year three quarters of a billion dollars to customers who were overcharged on their mortgages, a scandal which according to Bloomberg, has tarnished the industry for a decade since the financial crisis. The list goes on and on and there is no end in sight. The criminality of the banking sector is ubiquitous and as unstoppable now as a runaway train. They will lead the world to economic Armageddon once again, after making away like bandits with trillions of dollars stuffed into every orifice of course. And who will be left holding the cheque once again – why us of course!
Now the mainstream news have forgotten all about our supposed “recovery” and have moved on to rallying cries of recession – as if such a thing was not anticipated by anyone who has had half an eye open to watch the financial elite devouring entire economies whole. As we lurch on toward the terrifying year of 2020, the global situation appears more volatile than ever before and it is highly possible that we are heading into a “recession” that is longer and deeper than anything that has come before. Whilst we rally on through the chaos of our crumbling societies in the coming years, I believe it is imperative for us to remember what the catalyst was for these terrible times – the audacious and unadulterated dictatorship of the banks and the financial elite. The strange events we have been witness to so far are a mere preview of what is to come. There is no doubt that during the panic and the chaos, the elite will try to confuse us, try to convince us that the upcoming crash is somehow our fault and attempt to once again capture the entire economy; that is why it is important to recall the outcomes of the global crash in 2008 and how those outcomes have led us to where we are now. The never-ending abyss of greed and corruption that is the banking sector has contributed to the apocalyptic issues with which we are now faced - unprecedented wealth inequality - overwhelming political instability spreading across the globe and the great depression which lies in wait like a ravenous demon before us.