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Book Image Not Available
Book details
  • Genre:BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
  • SubGenre:General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:306
  • eBook ISBN:9781908374561

Brothers, Sisters.. Trilogy 2: The Advance

by Jonas Cleary

Book Image Not Available
Overview
Five years ago Jonas Cleary asked me to write a foreword for “Brothers, sisters.. with a focus on the socio-economic aspects of the book. As “Brothers, sisters.. is now republished as a trilogy, he has asked me for a new, revised foreword to the book or better, an updated one mirroring the prevailing socio-economic environment relative to what he has written. In that original foreword I had not only outlined how the then economic factors determining the world’s financial system would inevitably lead to its collapse, but could do so in a frighteningly short space of time. I mentioned that seemingly bedrock behemoths from General Motors to the House of Saud would be swept away in the wake of such a breakdown. That the only beneficiaries of the AAA rated bonds, then flooding the financial markets, were bankers skimming fat fees from peddling them, but otherwise, they were worthless ‘paper’ puffed up with ‘air money’. These years later, the world’s financial system has narrowly escaped - yet again - from implosion. Those supposedly secure bonds have indeed been found to be worthless, and General Motors swept into insolvency, as have many financial institutions, whose gluttony for ever higher profits were largely responsible for bringing about this latest financial crisis. However, the prediction I made, and has not - as yet - materialised is fall of the House of Saud (although it too, is now being buffeted by the storms, unleashed by jobless graduates, sweeping through the Middle East). Finance ministers across the world believe that their immediate intervention in, and assistance to, the financial markets staved off this impending breakdown. In this they are deluded. It was money, more than $13 trillion of it - equal to the US’s GDP - high-handedly taken from ordinary peoples’ tax payments by those ministers’ governments, and rushed to the outstretched hands of the then desperate, near as destitute banks, which prevented a worldwide economic collapse.
Description
Five years ago Jonas Cleary asked me to write a foreword for “Brothers, sisters.. with a focus on the socio-economic aspects of the book. As “Brothers, sisters.. is now republished as a trilogy, he has asked me for a new, revised foreword to the book or better, an updated one mirroring the prevailing socio-economic environment relative to what he has written. In that original foreword I had not only outlined how the then economic factors determining the world’s financial system would inevitably lead to its collapse, but could do so in a frighteningly short space of time. I mentioned that seemingly bedrock behemoths from General Motors to the House of Saud would be swept away in the wake of such a breakdown. That the only beneficiaries of the AAA rated bonds, then flooding the financial markets, were bankers skimming fat fees from peddling them, but otherwise, they were worthless ‘paper’ puffed up with ‘air money’. These years later, the world’s financial system has narrowly escaped - yet again - from implosion. Those supposedly secure bonds have indeed been found to be worthless, and General Motors swept into insolvency, as have many financial institutions, whose gluttony for ever higher profits were largely responsible for bringing about this latest financial crisis. However, the prediction I made, and has not - as yet - materialised is fall of the House of Saud (although it too, is now being buffeted by the storms, unleashed by jobless graduates, sweeping through the Middle East). Finance ministers across the world believe that their immediate intervention in, and assistance to, the financial markets staved off this impending breakdown. In this they are deluded. It was money, more than $13 trillion of it - equal to the US’s GDP - high-handedly taken from ordinary peoples’ tax payments by those ministers’ governments, and rushed to the outstretched hands of the then desperate, near as destitute banks, which prevented a worldwide economic collapse. None of these ministers have acknowledged that their administrations’ - individually and collectively - lax monetary policies and laissez faire attitudes towards the financial markets were largely responsible for precipitating the crisis. Nor has there been admission from a single financial institution that their irresponsible wagering and employees’ greed for ever higher remuneration were also responsible for the near collapse of financial markets. Since the near breakdown in 2008, and despite politicians’ and bankers’ pronouncements to the contrary, nothing of substance has changed. The sole product of the much vaunted inter-government regulatory oversight of the banks is the ‘Basel III Accord’. This Accord called on banks to increase their capital reserves and clean up accounting procedures. Basel III is a beefed-up successor to Basel II, which banks cheerfully ignored and was itself created in an attempt to stop banks avoiding the similar tenets of Basel I. Gallingly for governments, most major banks neglected to comply with Basel III. Moreover, many of them, or so it appears, also quickly found ways of circumventing it. Having handed over so much of their taxpayers’ money too bail out the banks, many governments’ treasury cupboards are bare. In increasingly desperate bids to stave off the consequences of their own wastrel ways, they have been forced to borrow from the money (bond) markets. While much of the finance provided by these markets is usually puffedup leveraged ‘air money’, interest on the bonds is paid with [taxpayers’] real money. However, increasing amounts of the sums governments borrow is not for the benefit of their countries’ economies but is spent on paying back their earlier bond borrowings. Because most governments are for all intents insolvent, bond markets, led by banks and rating agencies, exact ever harsher terms on the money lent. In so doing these markets exercise ever greater power over countries’ economies than do their governments. Also unchanged by
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