Give the bankers a break


The world is going through difficult times and right now there seems no end to the downward spiral of the global economy. Fears of economic depression on the scale of the 1930s are widespread.

If you are worried about your job or superannuation, spare a thought for the major bankers, investors and corporate heads. It's their system that is crashing — think how they must be feeling!

The world appears to be taking a "you broke it, you fix it" approach to the whole problem, which is deeply unfair. You can see it in the images — the stress of the crisis and pressure to fix it is ruining these people. They are clearly not getting enough sleep.

And it isn't just the corporate elite, but their indentured servants (or "governments", as the media calls them). No matter what they do, how many meetings they convene, how many "rescue packages" they come up with, the problem seems to keep getting worse.

These people deserve a break. We should insist they stop, and go and have a lie down, for their own good. They should all take tomorrow off and go to the beach. Actually, why not take off the rest of their lives?

For the sake of the well-being of the super-rich, we should relieve them off their control over the world economy.

Because their system is fundamentally broken and they are simply driving themselves crazy trying to fix it. No one can make this system work properly — it's too insane. They might eventually find a way out of this immediate crisis, but new, potentially worse, crises will keep reappearing.

As Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez recently pointed out, "It is not possible to re-found the capitalist system; it would be like trying to sail on the Titanic when it's laying on the ocean floor".

Their system is driven by competition between corporate interests that own and control huge chunks of the economy. Each competitor has to continually find ways of increasing their profits and market share, or else fall behind the others.

To do this, the corporate heads have to, on the one hand, try to keep their workers' wages as low as possible to maximise profit share. On the other hand, they must continually expand their market, which means that consumption needs to continually grow.

The economists interviewed on those serious news shows may use a lot of big words, but how would they go on Channel TEN's Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Graderr?

Even a year five student could do the sums required to prove that if you keep the amount of money in the hands of working people low, those working people will not be able to continually increase their consumption.

Which is exactly what has happened. In the United States, for example, the real wages of working people have not increased since the early 1970s. The system got away with it for a while by keeping consumption growing via cheap credit. But a boom based on huge amounts of debt was bound to come crashing down sooner or later.

Hell, the rich even tried to make up for their inability to continually increase investments in the productive economy by creating a feeding frenzy of speculation on debt that had no connection to real wealth. These people are so desperate to "grow" their "assets" they would even float their dead mother's ashes if they could find someone to buy the shares.

It's sad to see people so messed-up and we need to tell them that it's not their fault they can't make this system work properly. There isn't a person alive who could. It's impossible. And frankly, it's just cruel to expect them to.

The tragic thing is, they won't ask for help. They are addicted to profits, but they can't admit they have a problem.

They are like the junkie who approaches you for money for the train. "Excuse me, could you spare a trillion dollars so I can save the world financial system?", when everyone knows they'll just use it to go and gamble in the mad pursuit of quick profits, just like they did to create the mess in the first place.

They are just like Johnny Cash as portrayed in Walk The Line — and we have to be like the Carter family staging an intervention and driving the pill pushers off his property at gun point. "Get outta here with your structured debt products! I don;t care what price you are offering for Rio Tinto shares, aint no one here buying!"

Once the corporate elite have had time to get well again, they could go and do something socially useful with their lives, like sing songs to prisoners.

In the meantime, we could take over the economy and begin to create a new system that is based on the needs of the whole society, rather than making profits for a tiny minority.

We could start by nationalising the financial sector and developing a state-driven economic stimulus package — one that places desperately needed environmental measures, such as renewable energy and public transport, at its centre.

The corporate elite would thank us in the long run.