No, Virginia, The Economy Is Not Getting Better As Banks Still Rule

Old Problems Remain In New Year – Published on ZSpace, by Danny Schechter, January 05, 2010.

Financial Reforms Are Being Watered Down As Bailouts Are Up.

New York, January 4th: It’s a new week, a new year, and some, erroneously believe a new decade. What’s not new is the stranglehold the banks have on our economy quietly stashing more billions for more bonuses while still restricting the flow of credit. Bad loans have been supplanted by no loans.

Writers on the left continue to go after one bankster—the one we love to hate:  Goldman Sachs which has become the poster boy for profiteering and even bad coffee served in their cafeterias. Most ignore the rest of the avaricious industry which is still volatile with big pockets of insolvency and dependence of government bailout funds. 

While the media focused on the terror threat over Deroit, the terrifying reality in Detroit is ignored. AP reports, “DETROIT – One measure of how tough times are in the Motor City: Some of the offenders in jail don’t want to be released; some who do get out promptly re-offend to head back where there’s heat, health care and three meals a day.
“For the first time, I’m seeing guys make a conscious decision they’ll be better off in prison than in the community, homeless and hungry,” said Joseph Williams of New Creations Community Outreach, which assists ex-offenders” … //

… Writes Nobel Laureate Joe Stiglitz, “The bailout exposed deep hypocrisy all around. Those who had preached fiscal restraint when it came to small welfare programs for the poor now clamored for the world’s largest welfare program. Those who had argued for free market’s virtue of “transparency” ended up creating financial systems so opaque that banks could not make sense of their own balance sheets. And then the government, too, was induced to engage in decreasingly transparent forms of bailout to cover up its largesse to the banks. Those who had argued for “accountability” and “responsibility” now sought debt forgiveness for the financial sector.”

Meanwhile, some economists see the health care reform as really as another way to bail out the financial system. Economist Randall Wray denounces:”Health insurance “reform” that requires everyone to turn over their pay to Wall Street. Can’t afford the premiums? That is OK-Uncle Sam will kick in a few hundred billion to help out the insurers. Of course, do not expect more health care or better health outcomes because that has nothing to do with “reform” … Wall Street’s insurers… see a missed opportunity. They’ll collect the extra premiums and deny the claims. This is just another bailout of the financial system, because the tens of trillions of dollars already committed are not nearly enough.”

This is clearly, as has been suggested, “wealth reform” not health reform.

Overall, economic truths are obscured and statistics fudged to promote apperceptions of recovery. Noted The market ticker on Denninger.net as they reviewed their projections from last year. He writes: “I dramatically underestimated the willingness and ability of “the criminal class” (that would be those in DC and on Wall Street) to lie, cheat, steal, paper over insolvency and get away with it – at least for a while.

Will this ultimately lead to an actual recovery?  No.  It mathematically can’t.  A short-term bounce in various metrics, yes, just like an insolvent person can spend on his credit cards until they get cut off and look like they’re improving.”

While we bitch about China’s trade policies, their economy grows even as Beijing admits billions of dollars were stolen by corrupt officials who now face zealous if draconian punishment. The white collar crimes here at home are winked at with businesses allowed to pay fines rather that face prosecution. There has still been no serious investigation or crackdown.

Good economic news is heralded; ongoing economic realties are not. Example:  much was made of falling monthly unemployment claims in December That was the headline. The worries of analysts who believe that winter snow storms and Christmas were the reasons are buried.

Reports the Detroit Free Press, “The December jobless rate will likely be 10%, matching the previous month and down from 10.2%, a 26-year high, in October. Still, most economists expect the unemployment rate to remain above 9% through 2010, as companies are likely to hire at a slow pace as they wait to see if the current recovery continues.”

At the same time youth unemployment stands at over l9 percent while minorities suffer twice that. Unnoted:  many have given up looking for work or have watched their benefits run out.

As for foreclosures, they are expected to rise with a possible “Double Dip.” The mortgage modification schemes are not working largely because the government puts property rights or lenders above human rights of borrowers. We need a moratorium on foreclosures caused by fraudulent mortgages and debt forgiveness.

So this is why the economy and the predatory forces that plunder it must become our priority in 2010. (full text).

(Mediachannel News Dissector Danny Schechter’s film, PLUNDER; THE CRIME OF OUR TIME will be out this year. See the new trailer at plunderthecrimeofourtime.com. Comments by e-mail).

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