Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Shortly after WW II, the Financial Sector made up about 3% of the U.S. economy. Today it's just under 10%, but accounts for more than 30% of all corporate profits in this country. In the past, we had Finance Capitalism in this Land (relative to the Financial Sector). Banks, especially large ones, served a useful function by financing businesses and their expansions...thus creating new jobs. Now we have Casino Capitalism. Large banks put their (and your) money into bizarre financial derivatives and bets in the Futures markets. Estimates vary, but approximately $1.25 quadrillion in derivatives now are out in the marketplace. That amount is many times more than the GDP of the entire world. That's insanity, and puts us all at risk. Worst of all, that activity does not finance new businesses, expand old ones, or create any jobs.
On top of that, at the G-20 Meeting late last year, new rules were promulgated allowing 30 mega, international banks to be "Bailed-In" in the case of a financial crisis. That means those banks can appropriate the funds in YOUR accounts if they get into trouble. They simply seize your money. Supposedly then, FDIC Insurance bails you out...covers your losses, or more accurately, the theft of your money by the bank. Unfortunately, the FDIC "kitty" is only about $46 billion, while the deposits covered are in the trillions. The Fed Reserve could conjure-up the difference, but might not because that would make the dollar even weaker during an ongoing Crisis. [By the way, G-20 Rules are not a Treaty. The only approval necessary is that of the Executive Branch.] The new rules don't specify "depositors" or "bank customers", but rather the bank's "creditors". The largest bunch of creditors a bank has is made up of its depositors (customers). Whether you know it or not, every time you deposit money in a bank you are loaning that money to the bank. Your checkbook or savings book is the bank's I.O.U. So in those transactions, you are one of the bank's creditors. According to the G-20, your funds now can be appropriated by the bank if that bank is in crisis.
You might ask, how can this be? The G-20 was formed after the last Crisis and created a Financial Stability Board...a "financial regulator". They make the rules, and the G-20 leaders (of countries) usually go along automatically. Whether they fully understand the rules or not, leaders such as our President sign on the dotted line...with no approval of Congress. Needless to say, the process is in no way democratic.
Coupled with all of the above, in the last few years several mega banks (the corporations, not individual executives) have admitted to criminal manipulation of foreign currency exchanges, civil sub-prime mortgage fraud, other frauds, and of course, there was the Barclay's Bank LIBOR interest rate scandal. Some analysts have described these new moguls of Finance as thinking of themselves as Financial Gods and Masters of the Universe. Their hubris is incredible. They all need to be taken down about 100 notches.
You might ask, so what, what effect can I have on these conceited "investment" bankers? I would say, plenty. We could have a great effect if all or most (or even many) of us would boycott mega banks... ASAP. With the elimination of Glass-Steagall by Bill Clinton, Repubs, & Dems, the conceited mega bankers can & do gamble with your money. If their bets go radically wrong, they now can (with the blessing of the G-20) simply seize any money you have in their bank. Get out of all mega banks, NOW. Patronize your local bank; they'll be more than happy to have you as a customer. If at all possible, cut up your credit cards issued by mega banks. They borrow money for as low as POINT 25 percent (.25%) interest. What do they charge you? Credit cards are a racket.
The so-called "investment" banks are not that for the most part...not anymore. These mega banks are gambling in the stock market on Futures and Derivatives. Their (& your) money goes into foreign currencies, foreign capital investments, derivatives, and other no-job-creating ventures. They are gambling not only with individual depositor funds, but also with pension funds, and those of cities and counties. They sometimes bet against their own customers. They don't even especially care about the bank for which they work...it's all about getting rich quick, or richer. Financial analysts, meaning those who study the Financial Sector, mostly all agree that (in general) mega banks are parasites on our economy. We really have two separate economies in this country: the one representing & serving most of us; and the one representing & serving the mega banking Oligarchy. They are vastly different. When the highest levels of our Gov't report that things are improving in our economy, they aren't talking about the economy in which most of us find ourselves.
Mega banks should be broken up. They are parasites on the rest of us.
BOYCOTT them. Start now...for the sake of future generations, start now.
Not only my opinion. Be Well