Wednesday, October 7, 2015
The Political-Financial Complex
Ike was right when he warned us about the danger of acquisition of power by the Military-Industrial Complex. Steve Keen, an Australian Economics Professor, is right when he warns us about the Political-Financial Complex...a term coined by him.
A perfect example of the Political-Financial Complex is as follows. Not too long ago, a lobbyist for CitiBank essentially authored a Rider to a Legislative Bill in the U.S. Congress. This was not just any old Bill the Rider was attached to---it was the Omnibus Spending Bill for the U.S. Gov't...if I recall correctly, it was a $1.1 trillion Bill. The CitiBank Rider basically rolled back some protections that were in the Dodd-Frank law. Dodd-Frank was nothing to write home about, but it did give some protection from out-of-control elements in the Financial Sector.
Mega Banks are major contributors to both Dems & Repubs in the U.S...at the same time; in other words, the Banks contribute to both Party candidates in the same election. The reason for that could be innocent, but somehow I doubt it. Then, too, we have estimates from a few different sources stating that in the 2016 national election cycle here, about $10 billion dollars will be spent by all major candidates. That's not only a reflection of how debased the dollar has become; it's also an abomination. It would be interesting to know how much of that total is/will be coming from Mega Banks. At the end of 2014, five of the largest banks here had total assets of about seven trillion dollars. Those banks are: J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup (CitiBank), & U.S. Bancorp (U.S. Bank). They could easily fund a very significant percentage of 2016 election expenditures. [There are probably a dozen ways around rules limiting political contributions...if any of those rules still exist.] I think it's very naive to believe that politicians are not influenced by major campaign contributions. As someone (can't recall who) once stated, "The Big Banks don't influence elections... they own them.". Perhaps that's an exaggeration, but not by much.
According to CNBC, the banks listed above account for 45% of the banking industry. Think: Sherman AntiTrust Act, Clayton AntiTrust Act, and Federal Trade Commission Acts. Think: monopoly. Think: common sense. Since 2008, the "Too-Big-to-Fail" Mega Banks have grown by 37%. So much for the politicians "protecting" us. Those banks need to be broken up...ASAP. Either that, or make banks public utilities. North Dakota has just such a public bank; it outperforms Wall Street while being heavily regulated.
All of this is not only a U.S. problem...it's a worldwide problem. Those at the seats of public and private Power collude to convert publicly owned infrastructure into privately owned assets controlled by Mega Corporations. "Austerity" is imposed on countries in order to save not their economies, but instead, to save the out-of-control Financial Sectors in those countries. Banks weren't meant to be financial parasites engaged in speculating on bizarre, highly risky derivatives and other no-job-creating ventures. They once served a legitimate, almost modest function: servicing home, auto, and business loans. The Mega Banks have become giant casinos... to the detriment of the Lower and Middle Classes around the world. Unfortunately, politicians everywhere aid and abet them.
Boycott Mega Banks. They create almost zero new jobs.
Lobby to have them broken up.
Following the successful example in N. Dakota, lobby to have banks converted to public utilities.
Not only my opinion. Be Well