Posts Tagged ‘Financial Crisis’

The hollow populism of Steve Bannon

February 13, 2017

Steve Bannon, the chief adviser to President Donald Trump, is probably the most influential person in the Trump administration besides Trump himself.

But I find it hard to get a handle on Bannon’s thinking, since he shuns the limelight, and hasn’t written any books or magazine articles I could get hold of,

His 2010 documentary film, Generation Zero, is probably as good a guide to his thinking as anything else.

It is well done and, despite being 90 minutes long, held my interest—at least until the last 10 minutes of so, which consists of restatements of the main points.

Generation Zero is an analysis of the roots and consequences of the 2008 financial crisis, which Bannon rightly blames on crony capitalism, the unholy alliance of Wall Street and Washington that began in the 1990s.

But if you look at the film’s action items, what he really does—knowingly or unknowingly—is to protect Wall Street by diverting the public’s attention from what’s really needed, which is criminal prosecution of financial fraud and the break-up of “too big to fail” institutions.

Bannon presents himself as an enemy of corrupt politicians and financiers.  But there is nothing he advocates in the film or otherwise that threatens the power of either.

∞∞∞

Generation Zero draws on a book, The Fourth Turning by William Strauss and Neil Howe, who claim there is a cycle in American politics based on the succession of generations.  Each cycle consists of four turnings—(1) a heroic response to a crisis, (2) a new cultural or religious awakening, (3) an unraveling and (4) a crisis.

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Housing, financialization and the crash

October 27, 2014

Via Corrente

This video by Richard D. Wolff is a clear and accurate account of the financial crash and the current struggles of American working people.  It dates from 2011, but it is still relevant.  I recommend fast-forwarding through the first three and a half minutes minutes, which are about economic classes, and getting to the meat of the video, which is about the foreclosure and credit crisis.

I can remember when most goods and services were paid for through cash and check, without having to go through credit card companies, other lends and insurance companies.  I don’t deny the benefit of credit or of insurance, or advocate going without either, but it is striking how much we Americans are at the mercy of lenders and insurers.

The 1% prepare for the next financial crash

September 24, 2014

The past 30 years have seen a series of financial crises, each worse than the previous one, followed by a government bailout.  David Malone, a documentary filmmaker turned financial journalist, said the world’s financial elite see another crisis coming, which will be the worst of all.

Rather than try to prevent the next crisis, he wrote, the financial elite are preparing to secure themselves from harm.  This means neutering the ability of national governments to regulate banking or restructure debt.   This includes international trade sgreements that would make freedom from regulation a binding obligation under international law.

With government rendered powerless, international bankers and financiers, as their creditors, would have the power to dictate.

There’s more.  Read his two articles to get the full story.  This is speculation based on circumstantial evidence, but it seems plausible to me.

LINKS

The Next Crisis – Part one by David Malone as Golem XIV (via Naked Capitalism)

The Next Crisis – Part two – a manifesto for the supremacy of the 1 percent by David Malone as Golem XIV (via Naked Capitalism)

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