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.

 

More articles by:

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

Weekend Edition
February 23, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Richard D. Wolff
Capitalism as Obstacle to Equality and Democracy: the US Story
Paul Street
Where’s the Beef Stroganoff? Eight Sacrilegious Reflections on Russiagate
Jeffrey St. Clair
They Came, They Saw, They Tweeted
Andrew Levine
Their Meddlers and Ours
Charles Pierson
Nuclear Nonproliferation, American Style
Joseph Essertier
Why Japan’s Ultranationalists Hate the Olympic Truce
W. T. Whitney
US and Allies Look to Military Intervention in Venezuela
John Laforge
Maybe All Threats of Mass Destruction are “Mentally Deranged”
Matthew Stevenson
Why Vietnam Still Matters: an American Reckoning
David Rosen
For Some Reason, Being White Still Matters
Robert Fantina
Nikki Haley: the U.S. Embarrassment at the United Nations
Joyce Nelson
Why Mueller’s Indictments Are Hugely Important
Joshua Frank
Pearl Jam, Will You Help Stop Sen. Tester From Destroying Montana’s Public Lands?
Dana E. Abizaid
The Attack on Historical Perspective
Conn Hallinan
Immigration and the Italian Elections
George Ochenski
The Great Danger of Anthropocentricity
Pete Dolack
China Can’t Save Capitalism from Environmental Destruction
Joseph Natoli
Broken Lives
Manuel García, Jr.
Why Did Russia Vote For Trump?
Geoff Dutton
One Regime to Rule Them All
Torkil Lauesen – Gabriel Kuhn
Radical Theory and Academia: a Thorny Relationship
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: The Work of Persuasion
Thomas Klikauer
Umberto Eco and Germany’s New Fascism
George Burchett
La Folie Des Grandeurs
Howard Lisnoff
Minister of War
Eileen Appelbaum
Why Trump’s Plan Won’t Solve the Problems of America’s Crumbling Infrastructure
Ramzy Baroud
More Than a Fight over Couscous: Why the Palestinian Narrative Must Be Embraced
Jill Richardson
Mass Shootings Shouldn’t Be the Only Time We Talk About Mental Illness
Jessicah Pierre
Racism is Killing African American Mothers
Steve Horn
Wyoming Now Third State to Propose ALEC Bill Cracking Down on Pipeline Protests
David Griscom
When ‘Fake News’ is Good For Business
Barton Kunstler
Brainwashed Nation
Griffin Bird
I’m an Eagle Scout and I Don’t Want Pipelines in My Wilderness
Edward Curtin
The Coming Wars to End All Wars
Missy Comley Beattie
Message To New Activists
Jonah Raskin
Literary Hubbub in Sonoma: Novel about Mrs. Jack London Roils the Faithful
Binoy Kampmark
Frontiersman of the Internet: John Perry Barlow
Chelli Stanley
The Mirrors of Palestine
James McEnteer
How Brexit Won World War Two
Ralph Nader
Absorbing the Irresistible Consumer Reports Magazine
Cesar Chelala
A Word I Shouldn’t Use
Louis Proyect
Marx at the Movies
Osha Neumann
A White Guy Watches “The Black Panther”
Stephen Cooper
Rebel Talk with Nattali Rize: the Interview
David Yearsley
Market Music
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail