Wall Street and the Hegelian Dialectic
Andrew Dilks, Contributor
August 6, 2013
These days, describing the big banks as criminal syndicates extorting billions from the public is hardly sticking one’s head above the parapet: the foreclosures scandal, in which GMAC, Bank of America, CitiBank, JPMorganChase and others ignored banking laws in their fervour to throw people out of their homes as quickly as possible, was just one example of a long list of the many crimes of the financial sector, which by now has become so completely deregulated that its players are acting not just with impunity from any kind of prosecution but with the active assistance of the governments of the West.
The political establishment, in its subservience to the banking elites, decided to deal with the financial mess (well, it’s a mess for the common man – the banks on the other hand are finding the situation incredibly lucrative) by implementing wide-ranging austerity measures, designed to hit the poorest hardest. British Chancellor George Osborne announced a cut of £7 billion from the benefits of the British poor – the same amount the bankers responsible for the crisis awarded themselves in bonuses. One wonders how much it’ll take before such brazen disregard for equitable financial policies will be met with violence on the streets in Britain and America – after all, the French, Belgians, Greeks and Spanish aren’t taking these cuts lying down (although the latter two know where this is heading, having lived under brutal dictatorships in living memory).
This isn’t simply a case of bad economic planning: the governments of the Western world – at the behest of the big banks – are carrying out an orchestrated looting of public money as part of a deliberate redistribution of wealth into fewer hands, something that has been happening for decades. Wall Street banks engaged in property tax collection, buying up thousands of tax liens, and making huge profits by hitting homeowners with predatory interest, absurd penalties and extortionate legal fees targeting the poor and the elderly. It’s another attack on top of cuts to social spending, the theft of pensions and the refusal on the part of the banks to issue new loans to the little people, while at the same time ‘defense’ spending reaches new heights.