Now, it’s the markets that were saved with the people’s money that intend to strangle those very same people.
Pigs, swine. That’s how the markets’ and the banks’ Dr. Strangeloves now refer to the most fragile countries in the euro zone, as a play on their initials: Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain. The PIGS! In a veritable financial war that has just entered a new phase with the markets’ aggression against countries and people, these words say much. Contempt, humiliation, deprecation, it’s the vocabulary of thugs, even though they may wear white collars and a tie, with respect to those they intend to slaughter.
What’s happening? The big investors, the ones that lend to countries, are now speculating on the public debt of the most fragile to demand higher profitability on their investments for the supposed risks incurred, risks evaluated by the notorious rating agencies, connected to those same big investors, and which decide the health and solvency of sovereign countries. It’s an infernal machine since its logic dictates that the more problems a country has, the dearer it will pay for its financial survival, and the heavier it will have to bring its debt to bear on its inhabitants. The risk coverage itself, in the form of insurance, is also a sophisticated financial product that has to be negotiated. Hence the interest in ratcheting up the risks and arousing panic in the markets. By attacking Greece last week, the markets weakened the entire euro zone, provoking a drop in the euro itself and a fall in stock exchanges.
So, here we have it then, in the words of “Les Échos'” editorialist, “the third crisis, the real one.” It comes – Alas! – as no surprise. For months, the prospect of a bond crash, that is, of a moment when states could no longer pay, has been taking shape. The rescue of the banks and the financial system, which cost billions, has increased countries’ indebtedness, and now it’s the establishments and the markets they’ve saved with their people’s money that intend to bring them to their knees by strangling those same people.
But who has truly learned the lessons from what had occurred? Let us recall the court economists’ insider commentaries after the first G-20 on “financial regulation.” It was all underway. Reformed capitalism was going to take its responsibilities with respect to the planet into account. As though we should count on the capitalists and their governments to call capitalism into question! The restoration of the financial growth of the CAC 40 [France’s S&P 500] sharks was paid for by hundreds of millions of unemployed in the world and by the dramatic impoverishment of those who were already the poorest. States’ public debt will be paid for by austerity plans. Isn’t that what’s underway in France where the head of state and his government have taken the initiative? But that’s only the beginning.
On the front line, Greece is resisting. A big demonstration will take place in Athens on Wednesday, the day before a European Economic Summit. Oh, undoubtedly, there will be talk there of new regulation, common policies, cooperation; no doubt they will worry about Greece and how to save it or how to get rid of it. For we’re far from the blessed days of the miraculous euro! But acts are required and strong acts! The markets are powerful. They are not untouchable. Capitalism is now a naked king and a naked king with a problem: public opinion and the people.
Translation: Truthout French Language Editor Leslie Thatcher.