"The wealthy, not only by private fraud but also by common laws, do every day pluck and snatch away from the people some part of their daily living. Therefore, when I consider and weigh in my mind these commonwealths which nowadays do flourish, I perceive nothing but a certain conspiracy of rich men in procuring their own commodities under the name and authority of the commonwealth.

They invent and devise all means and crafts, first how to keep safely without fear of losing that which they have unjustly gathered together, and next how to hire and abuse the work and labor of the people for as little money and effort as possible."

Thomas More, Utopia

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The beautiful lies we tell

It's funny how no matter what your instincts seem to tell you about the current economic crisis, punditry-land can't wait to direct your attention to the latest signs of "green shoots" making their way through the cracks thus signaling the imminent return of the go-go recent past. Sure, the economy is shedding jobs at the rate of 600,000 per month and the American auto industry has been allowed to sink beneath the waves (those parts not wholly owned by foreign competitors) while trillions in taxpayer funds have been shoveled to the insolvent financial institutions that drove us over the cliff, but ignore all that if you will. You see, this time the very economists who missed the dangerous growth of the largest asset bubble in history and clapped like circus seals as the deregulated financial sector "innovated" the Derivative Beast into existence which now exceeds the combined GDP of the entire world in notational value are now on the case and ask that you trust their sober judgement on this.

Dmitry Orlov neatly splashes cold water on this nonsense in his latest speech. An excerpt:

Economics is not directly lethal, and economists never get sent to jail for criminal negligence or gross incompetence even when their theories do fail. Finance is about the promises we make to each other, and to ourselves. And if the promises turn out to be unrealistic, then economics and finance turn out to be about the lies we tell each other. We want to continue believing these lies, because there is a certain loss of face if we don't, and the economists are there to help us. We continue to listen to economists because we love their lies. Yes, of course, the economy will recover later this year, maybe the next. Yes, as soon as the economy recovers, all these toxic assets will be valuable again. Yes, this is just a financial problem; we just need to shore up the financial system by injecting taxpayer funds. These are all lies, but they make us feel all right. They are lying, and we are buying every word of it.

I highly recommend you read the speech in full. Sobering indeed.


Anonymous said...

Obama taking care of the rich via the bailouts. At least we knew Bush was an enemy of the working man. Obama has fooled alot of folks.


Coldtype said...

It's slowly beginning to dawn on many of his former ardent fans that nothing has changed and in fact has gotten worse. He has INCREASED the Bush era defense budgets by 10%, turned his back on the Employee Free Choice Act, closed the door on single payer health insurance as an alternative to what is presently the least efficient health care system in the industrialized world, and of course no amount of taxpayer loot is too much for the Wall Street hustlers.

Anonymous said...

Obama is the Chicago Machine in action.They got their man in,who isnt even qualified to run for office.Now he is raiding the pantry and giving it to all away.

This country is heading down the same path as South Africa.