FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Parasites of Big Finance

by RALPH NADER

Morning after morning, New York City based casino capitalists trade with Greece and the latest rumors from Western Europe on their minds.

What will affluent Germany do to bail out the collapsing, debt-ridden country of Greece? Will France go along with those plans? Will the massive injection of liquidity by the European Central Bank help the banks to behave in ways that help Greece, among other countries? Day after trading day, the U.S.

Why? Greece is a country of just over ten million people with a GDP smaller than that of New Jersey. But because it is closest to the fiscal cliff, financial observers fear a domino effect. If Greece defaults badly, it could pull Portugal, Spain, Ireland and then possibly Italy closer to financial disaster.

And what is the chain that binds Greece to these nations and then to larger countries in the EU and across the Atlantic to the U.S.? It is the deep, interdependency brought about by corporate globalization and its massive financial speculators, piling derivatives such as credit default swaps and other intricate pyramids of bets, on additional bets. These are the banks, hedge funds and other financial entities that pool other peoples’ money into ever-more abstract and complex betting or gambling instruments of parasitic, big finance.

Not that much has changed since the Wall Street collapse of 2008 other than the renewed “Wall Street” belief that you, the taxpayers, will be forced once again by your government to bail out even larger financial giants who are so interlocked as to be “too big to fail.”

Traders making speculative money from speculative money, traded in trillions of dollars, now hold hostage the real economy wherein people make money from providing needed or wanted goods and services. The fate of American workers, their pensions and the real businesses that employ them, rests on the globalized dominoes that a teetering Greece could set in motion. This is the craven logic of a global casino economy, driven by split-second computerized algorithms and camouflaged by the phony theory of “free trade” which is really corporate-managed trade.

The U.S. does not need to be shackled by the global corporatists to what may happen in Greece or Spain or Portugal. We should be less dependent on financial economies abroad and more self-reliant and independent of the global economy’s dangerously contagious risks.

That is why the more community-based economic activity there is in our country – credit unions; renewable, efficient energy; community health clinics; community food markets, etc. – the more insulated we will be from global seismic ravages. Those same community economies would have helped shield the Greek people from the wily clutches of Goldman Sachs and other aggressive casino creditors.

Unfortunately, the intellectually impoverished presidential and Congressional campaigns never propose ways to extricate our country from the octuple straitjackets of global speculators. The two-party political tyranny – Republican and Democratic – is too busy kneeling before the check-writers of imperious corporatists to stand up for the people whose votes they strive to secure.

As U.S. citizens struggle, Wall Street and Washington worry about Greece.

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, forthcoming from AK Press.

 

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
December 09, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Nasty As They Wanna Be
Henry Giroux
Trump’s Second Gilded Age: Overcoming the Rule of Billionaires and Militarists
Andrew Levine
Trump’s Chumps: Victims of the Old Bait and Switch
Chris Welzenbach
The Forgotten Sneak Attack
Lewis Lapham
Hostile Takeover
Joshua Frank
This Week at CounterPunch: More Hollow Smears and Baseless Accusations
Paul Street
The Democrats Do Their Job, Again
Vijay Prashad
The Cuban Revolution: Defying Imperialism From Its Backyard
Michael Hudson - Sharmini Peries
Orwellian Economics
Mark Ames
The Anonymous Blacklist Promoted by the Washington Post Has Apparent Ties to Ukrainian Fascism and CIA Spying
Erin McCarley
American Nazis and the Fight for US History
Yoav Litvin
Resist or Conform: Lessons in Fortitude and Weakness From the Israeli Left
Conn Hallinan
India & Pakistan: the Unthinkable
Andrew Smolski
Third Coast Pillory: Nativism on the Left – A Realer Smith
Joshua Sperber
Trump in the Age of Identity Politics
Brandy Baker
Jill Stein Sees Russia From Her House
Katheryne Schulz
Report from Santiago de Cuba: Celebrating Fidel’s Rebellious Life
Nelson Valdes
Fidel and the Good People
Norman Solomon
McCarthy’s Smiling Ghost: Democrats Point the Finger at Russia
Renee Parsons
The Snowflake Nation and Trump on Immigration
Margaret Kimberley
Black Fear of Trump
Michael J. Sainato
A Pruitt Running Through It: Trump Kills Nearly Useless EPA With Nomination of Oil Industry Hack
Ron Jacobs
Surviving Hate and Death—The AIDS Crisis in 1980s USA
David Swanson
Virginia’s Constitution Needs Improving
Louis Proyect
Narcos and the Story of Colombia’s Unhappiness
Paul Atwood
War Has Been, is, and Will be the American Way of Life…Unless?
John Wight
Syria and the Bodyguard of Lies
Richard Hardigan
Anti-Semitism Awareness Act: Senate Bill Criminalizes Criticism of Israel
Kathy Kelly
See How We Live
David Macaray
Trump Picks his Secretary of Labor. Ho-Hum.
Howard Lisnoff
Interview with a Political Organizer
Yves Engler
BDS and Anti-Semitism
Adam Parsons
Home Truths About the Climate Emergency
Brian Cloughley
The Decline and Fall of Britain
Eamonn Fingleton
U.S. China Policy: Is Obama Schizoid?
Graham Peebles
Worldwide Air Pollution is Making us Ill
Joseph Natoli
Fake News is Subjective?
Andre Vltchek
Tough-Talking Philippine President Duterte
Binoy Kampmark
Total Surveillance: Snooping in the United Kingdom
Guillermo R. Gil
Vivirse la película: Willful Opposition to the Fiscal Control Board in Puerto Rico
Patrick Bond
South Africa’s Junk Credit Rating was Avoided, But at the Cost of Junk Analysis
Clancy Sigal
Investigate the Protesters! A Trial Balloon Filled With Poison Gas
Pierre Labossiere – Margaret Prescod
Human Rights and Alternative Media Delegation Report on Haiti’s Elections
Charles R. Larson
Review:  Helon Habila’s The Chibok Girls: the Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria
David Yearsley
Brahms and the Tears of Britain’s Oppressed
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail