Just before Christmas we received a letter from someone close to international politics. Following the cordial appellation, this is what the author wrote:
“Yesterday, the European Central Bank (ECB) announced that it will hand out $ 645,000.000,000 in three-year loans to European banks. Which the ECB printed out of thin air, like Monopoly money! The interest will be one percent per year.
“The ECB will not be lending this money to the people of Spain, even though official unemployment in Spain is now at 23%. Spain’s Economy Minister said recently that ‘Spain faces its deepest recession in half a century.’ Tough luck; their Christmas tree has nothing under it.
“And when the European banks get this $ 645 billion, to whom will the banks be lending? Anybody, or nobody. No strings attached. They can borrow from the ECB at 1%, lend it back to the German government at 2%, lock in that profit, and take the next three years off.
“I just have one question.
“The world continues to face the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Unemployment throughout Europe is over ten percent. Entire national governments are on the verge of going broke. Why would anyone think that THE THING WE HAVE TO DO RIGHT NOW is to hand out $ 645 billion in more funny money to the banks? In Europe or anywhere else?
“The ECB is a public institution. How can it possibly justify yet another bailout for selfish private interests, while the public is sent straight to hell?
“If a Martian were to land in Paris today, and just read the headlines of the newspapers today, he could reach only one conclusion. That there has been a coup in Europe, the banks are now in charge, and they’re grabbing everything that they can get their hands on.
“Mark my words: at some point, people are just not going to take it anymore.” –
And now we’ll ask a question or two. Isn’t the ECB (a “public institution”) now doing exactly what the Fed (a privately-owned institution) has been doing since 1913? Isn’t the “fractional” system of lending money all based on the “funny money” that has always been loaned out to governments (like the U.S. government)? And does the writer actually believe that the people “are just not going to take it anymore”? Didn’t the writer hear about our own “bailouts”? Like flocks of sheep, people never have, and never will, raise an objection to being sheared – and you can take that to the bank.
No pun intended.