Engineered Economic Crisis: Simultaneous Inflation and Deflation

Saturday, November 8, 2014
By Paul Martin

By Prof. Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Global Research
November 08, 2014

While the financial sector of the core capitalist economies is enjoying escalating asset price inflation, the real sector of these economies, especially those of Europe and Japan, is suffering from deflation, that is, stagnation and high unemployment.

And while the simultaneous occurrence of inflation and deflation sounds paradoxical, it is only superficially so. In reality it is simply the logical outcome of neoliberal monetary policies pursued in these countries: as these policies of austerity economics have since the 2008 financial collapse systematically drained the overwhelming majority of citizens of material resources and funneled those resources to the financial sector, the result has been the understandable contraction of the real sector concurrent with the expansion of the financial sector.

In the face of these apparently contradictory developments, economic pundits and financial “experts” at the helm of monetary policy-making apparatus feign bewilderment at how market developments have become increasingly more “complicated,” and how economic fine-tuning has accordingly become more challenging. Such pompous utterances are, however, hollow pretensions designed to obfuscate issues, to mystify economics and to confuse the people. In reality, there is absolutely nothing “complicated” or mysterious about the simultaneous expansion of the financial sector and contraction of the real sector. It is, indeed, altogether axiomatic that if you systematically rob Peter to pay Paul, you are going to impoverish Peter (the 99%) while enriching Paul (the 1%).

The concurrent enrichment of the financial plutocracy and impoverishment of the masses of the people is akin to the growth of a parasite in the body of a living organism at the expense of life-sustaining blood or nourishment of that organism. What is unbeknown to the public is that the parasitic transfer of economic blood from the bottom up is not simply the spontaneous outcome of the operations of the invisible hand of market mechanism, or the blind forces of competition. More importantly, the transfer is the logical outcome of deliberate monetary policies that are crafted by the financial elites and their proxies at the helm of economic policy making of most capitalist countries. As political economist Mike Whitney recently put it:

“As most people now realize, stocks haven’t tripled in the last 5 years because the economy is expanding. Heck, no. The economy is still on all-fours and everyone knows it. The reason stocks have been flying-high is because the Fed added a hefty $4 trillion in red ink to its balance sheet. Naturally, when someone buys $4 trillion in financial assets, the price of financial assets go up” (source).

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