So, here I am, rushing in like a fool… (and interspersing my rant with palinisms, thus inspiring complete confidence in the down-home wisdom of anything I say)
I can understand pretty well nothing about the “credit crunch.” Except that we seem to have got worse and worse at naming things. The “Great Depression” has a certain grandeur. The “credit crunch” sounds like a crappy breakfast cereal.
* hey joe*
And naming things seems to be the crucial component of this crisis. When “money” is the cause of the whole fiasco, it must be so much a matter of what people believe. Money is paper backed up by promises. If you don’t trust the promises, what value does the paper have? As far as I can see, once money is divorced from production there is nothing to back it up.
If a steelworks goes bankrupt, it has assets: plant, materials, the skills of its workforce. Someone else can buy its carcass and make steel. If a bank goes bankrupt, all it has is the ghost of bits and bytes on a computer system. You surely couldn’t treat the financial skills of its money-making experts as a saleable commodity, on the present showing.
Is it possible that enough people have £50,000 in savings to make it worth the UK government’s electoral while to guarantee £50,000 rather than £33,000?
How the fuck could anyone “save” £50k? The “savings” word conjures up an image of respectable austerity. Making do and mending. People buying supermarket own-brand tins of beans, rather than the costlier branded version. Darning sweaters rather than throwing them out at the first hint of a hole. Do me a favour, guv. (Affects cockney accent.)
This sort of stuff might save you £50 a year at most. So that’s a thousand years of savings then. Let’s be insanely generous in the estimate. Imagine our conceptual saver is dining on bread and dripping (I’m not sure what that is, but it sounds economical) and saving £500 a year. That still means it would take a hundred years to save £50k
I can think of a few circumstances in which a reasonably well paid person might have £50k (such as having sold their house and keeping hold of the money until they can buy another.) However, people in that situation can’t account for any notable fraction of the population.
So let’s do away with any idea that the £50k limit represents “savings” rather than bank deposits. The newspapers are full of the horrific possibility that people with more savings (maybe about 3% of the bank customer population) might take their money to another EC country, unless the government guarantees it all. In fact, all EC countries seem to be facing this horrific possibility and are randomly guaranteeing or not guaranteeing all deposits, depending on the time of day.
Hmm. Isn’t that the nature of global capitalism? This free movement of money, yada, yada, that we’ve been getting told (for decades) is the solution to all social evils. The money supply must be freed from constraints. The markets bring prosperity through some miraculous trickle-down effect. Any constraints upon the money markets would destroy free trade, and so on.
So, how confused am I? Don’t tell me that was made-up stuff? Who’d have thought it?
Irony upon irony. The IMF reckons the US economy (and hence, the rest of the world’s economy) is in much worse shape even than we’ve been told.
* big shout out to class 6b*
In its latest twice-yearly Global Financial Stability Review, the Washington-based institution dramatically raised its estimate of losses to the US banking system to around $1.4 trillion (£800bn), 45% up from the $945bn it estimated in April and reaffirmed just two months ago.(from the Guardian)
So the billions that Congress has finally agreed to hand over are not going to cover more than a little section of the losses? (The spare $billions that can be instantly conjured up from the vaults but just weren’t available to prop up failing real industries or to provide free healthcare system?)
As soon as banks are in trouble, nationalising them is acceptable. Once as they start to show any profit again, they’ll be handed right back, of course.
If there aren’t a few people with wealth beyond the proverbial dreams of avarice, the rest of us are in trouble, you see.
Well, no, I don’t really see. However, I can quite see how the losses of the mega rich have trickled down, so that minimum wage-earning taxpayers get a democratic share in those losses.
We were being told, only recently, that taxing the mega rich was a “bad thing” because, then, we wouldn’t benefit from their wealth-creating magic if they weren’t free to accumulate as much wealth as they wanted. How satisfying to find that they now believe in share and share alike.