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Stupidity or Satire?: "Restore Economic Confidence by Robbing Banks" at the Huffington Post

March 26th, 2009 No comments

I was actually turking, working on Amazon’s Requester’s “Ask a Question” task when this article popped up: Restore Economic Confidence by Robbing Banks by Spencer Green. The article draws a parallel between our current economic crisis and the 60s bank robbing duo Bonnie & Clyde, suggesting that a new brand of “populist criminals stand up for all of us.”

The interesting thing about this article is that I can’t tell whether it’s a parody of Keynesianism, or it’s someone with a Keynesian viewpoint simply being facetious but still oblivious to the absurdities of his position. Reading it like a libertarian, I see good satire (which is basically true of any statist piece read as a consistent libertarian; it’s either something someone really written or really good satire of the nonsense people believe). Reading it as a real statist piece, it makes my stomach turn.

It’s posted under “Comedy News,” so I’m really thinking it’s satire, but I don’t know. Someone advise me?

The Descent Continues: British banks nationalized

October 13th, 2008 No comments

The Brits seemed keen on stopping National Socialism in Germany; that was the whole point of World War II, wasn’t it? But apparently, this was in order to foster and develop national socialism in Britain.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/3187600/Banks-nationalised-in-37bn-deal.html

Banks nationalised in £37bn deal
The Government has begun nationalising HBOS and the Royal Bank of Scotland, pumping £37 billion of taxpayers’ money into the struggling firms.

…RBS has said that it will receive £20 billion of capital from the Government – meaning taxpayers will hold a 60 per cent stake in the company. Its chief executive, Sir Fred Goodwin, is to resign.

A further £17 billion is to be pumped into the merged HBOS-Lloyds TSB, meaning 40 per cent of the new "superbank" will be held by the Government on behalf of the public…

Banks will effectively be state-run, with Government-appointed board members put in place to ensure it once again begins lending to businesses and individual customers.

… Together with Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley, the move will mean the Government effectively has four of the country’s biggest lenders under its control.

… However, Government sources were unabashed about nationalising more banks, after similar moves to save Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley.

The Prime Minister said the financial crisis had fundamentally shifted the balance of power between companies and the state. Despite Mr Brown’s pledge to spend "up to £50 billion", sources said the final Government bill could be more.

Nothing to see here folks. Just government "saving the markets" through the use of massive and involuntary wealth transfers. The usual successful policy.

The chain of events that will follow from this are not surprising. The government will "save" the banks, only to lead to another crisis: "our banks need our support! If the national banks go down, it will be a catastrophe!" And so forth. And British taxpayers will be fleeced ad infinitum until there’s simply no more fleece, the nationalistic drugs have worn off, and the veil is really lifted so everyone can see the gigantic gun behind it all: "You’re not doing this because you’ve got some kind of British pride or because it’s your social organization of choice. You’re doing it because we’re making you."

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Some politicians really care about the bailout plan: precisely, 54% in campaign contributions more than those who voted ‘no’

October 6th, 2008 No comments

In the ludicrous atmosphere of platitudes, slogans, and cliches, we certainly hear plenty about how the boys in Washington are off drafting a bailout, er, rescue, err, investment to save the U.S. economy. Yes, I’m sure Barack Obama and John McCain have some idea about how to spend $700 billion that doesn’t even exist – at least more than those banks do! And what about That Congress? Why, nothing but the amassed intellectual wealth of America, legislating for the common good.

They’re doing such a great job that the financial sector decided to throw a little "bonus money" their way – you know, to reward them for working for the common good and all.

This is how the government ‘protects’ the economy. The empirical evidence is in: large corporations don’t spend money for nothing.

But hey, "more regulation" and "the government needs to do something" are the calls of the day, especially among those young people. I wonder if they’ve noticed our national debt lately, have considered the notion of legislative corruption and regulatory capture, or thought about how a bailout might encourage companies to undercapitalize, even decades into the future, allowing them to play the upsides of risky investments and letting taxpayers take the rest. Oh wait.

The government should totally do something, like really.