Economics, Economy, Macroeconomy, Microeconomy, Politics, Thoughts

And we are no longer asking “why” to the crisis

It’s amazing how we tend to forget. Not so long ago some people were still being blamed, bankers mostly, the beheaded god Alan Greenspan, some professional confidence man (aka con) Bernie Madoff, and a few more, but except for the latter that has even seen the disgrace in its own family, the former have gone back to their oversized bonuses and Mr. Greenspan is enjoying a deserved retirement, maybe with less conferences than what he had hoped for.

We’ll end up believing that the crisis is more a natural catastrophe, like those earthquakes in Japan, than a punishment. Isn’t it always easier not to blame yourself? God, with infinite power and without any need for an explanation, has just decided to punish you. And that’s all. Why think? Why blame? Why even change?

A system that privatises gains and socialises losses can’t be good. And that’s what we are seeing all over the world. All citizens end up sharing the burden. The “too big to fail” has been finally accepted by the whole humanity, the final enshrinement of the “moral hazard”.

Maybe we have finally reached our destination. We are capitalists when it’s time to reap benefits, but socialists with losses. Be aware, that only applies to big corporations. Finally, the richer 5% has some way to outgrow us all, to keep concentrating more and more power in their hands and make sure that when they fail they won’t have to answer for it.

I read today in the news that this year General Electric, in spite of a huge profit figure (true, it could have been better but it’s still huge) is only paying 7.4% of their profit in taxes. Congratulations to their accounting department, finding every possible trick, every crack in the fiscal legislation, every opportunity not to pay… But, at the end of the day, do you feel like they are making the same effort as citizens are? How much do you personally pay?

And another example, this time from Spain, from the likely next president in another year, a sentence in a conference in Germany: “If Spain is having a bad time it’s not the Spaniard’s fault”. Whose fault is it then? The hidden external enemy? God’s?

Beware, things that do not work can’t last for long…

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3 thoughts on “And we are no longer asking “why” to the crisis

  1. Interesting post and I’m gonna comment it in Spanish. It will be better to understand me, but summarizing, lots of times we are deciding on a wrong way and that’s decisions gives profits to big corporations.

    Partiendo de la última frase, a veces hay que dejar morir lo viejo para dar paso a lo nuevo, este tipo de transiciones y cambios dan un aire fresco necesario para corporaciones, economías, personas quién la vida y factores externos con el tiempo ha oxidado. Este tipo de razonamiento nos da a los jóvenes fuerzas para reestructurar todo aquello que vemos mal y esperamos no olvidar ya nuestro mayor riesgo es que cuando todo vaya bien otra vez ya nadie recordara estos tiempos tan duros y seguiremos alimentando este circuito vicioso.

    No obstante somos los jóvenes los que debemos replantear nuevos modelos de negocios para empresas, nuevas soluciones para la economía y sobretodo restablecer nuestras escaleras de valores que personalmente considero son el motivo que no nos deja rectificar los errores actuales de la sociedad en general.

    Al fin y al cabo nosotros también influimos en los desastres actuales, nuestras pequeñas
    decisiones como comprar un producto aparentemente necesario para nuestro día a día puede repercutir enormemente en diferentes aspectos de la sociedad y economía, basándome en la “economía de materiales”. ¿Si conocemos tantos datos desesperanzadores y negativos que afectan al ciudadano y benefician a la corporación porque nuestra escalera de valores nos dice que debemos consumir sus productos para ser felices y vivir?. ¿Quién tiene la culpa de todo? Visto lo visto, quizás da igual quién tenga la culpa, el que la tiene de verdad vive feliz igualmente porque se beneficia de ello.

    Fin! Tiendo a enrollarme… Sorry 😀

    Gracias por tu post el cual me empuja a reflexionar.

    David from Barcelona

  2. Alan says:

    This picture explain everything in a very simple manner. I believe the most important thing is to have the power to change the things.

  3. Matt Baker says:

    As usual on the mark.

    Most bankers I know blame it on a small group of people and feel that they are being unfairly punished. The fact that gearings have increased dramatically in the last few years, banks are making large profits playing the markets with customers money and that they seem less responsive to customers needs appears not to be an issue to them.

    I understand banks have to make a profit and that they have a role in society but like you Gabriel, I am very strongly against the “socialising” of failure. I believe that more banks should have been allowed to fail; banks believe in market forces and knowing that there is no bank of last resource, it might have taught them to manage themselves better.

    I am not surprised that they received a bail out, as so many politicians are in hock to them for jobs once they retire or for party contributions. Even Obama has appointed a load of Wall St “gurus” to oversee his banking reforms.

    However we also need to balance their role with the poor political management, characterised in the UK with “a light touch” regulation, and the consumers’ demand for endless cheap credit. Until we put in a sound regulatory regime, and persuade people that endless debt is not the right way to run their lives, we will never be able to get a firm hold of the banks playing free and easy with our money

    p.s. how’s the MC coming along?

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