Mervyn King, former governor of the Bank of England, predicts that the banking system may not survive another crisis. He said: “I don’t think we’ve really yet got to the heart of what went wrong“. This is the analysis of someone ‘in the know’, as a captain being aware of his ship having struck an iceburg. He also predicted that the UK’s historic low interest rate could not continue, and this gives a clue to the true nature of the impending banking collapse.
Jo Citizen stumped up to pay the gambling debts of the banks in 2008, but this was not enough to satisfy the continuing lust for power and wealth of the banker barons. They instructed their hirelings in America and the UK (the Federal Reserve, and the Bank of England), to lower interest rates to just above zero, enabling them to pay virtually nothing for the money they invest (a continuation of ‘bot’ betting on interest rate levels), and lend.
This has been a very successful plan, as, since 2008, the four largest American banks have declared profits of $214 billion. Their British counterparts – HSBC, Barclays, Standard Chartered, and (State rescued) Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Bank – made a profit of £16.5 billion for the six months to June 30, 2013, despite having been involved in debt write-offs (selling debt to ‘collection jackals’ at 10 cents in the dollar), and being fined for fraudulent selling of protection insurance.
The just above zero scam has also enabled governments to finance their spending by borrowing at a false rate of interest, at the same time as devaluing the savings of Jo Citizen.
This game is about to end. The banker barons, having risen from the dead as Dracula, and having been revived on the blood of Jo Citizen, now demand more. Low interest rates limit them to what they can charge for money lending. An article in businessweek.com (November 14, 2013), explained their new lust: ‘That is why … “Higher rates improve the profitability of banks”, says Christopher Lee, a money manager who specializes in financial stocks at Fidelity Investments. “If the environment improves next year, I think they are well prepared to capture that growth … In an environment like that, “you have to get very excited about our business”, Gary Cohn, chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs (GS), said in an Oct. 23 Bloomberg TV interview … Brian Moynihan, chief executive officer of Bank of America, told analysts on a July 16 conference call that the “sustained low-rate environment” was hitting revenue and earnings. That’s why bankers and bank stock investors have a simple wish for 2014: higher interest rates’.
The order for higher interest rates has been given for 2015 and beyond (in the UK, this process will commence after the May General Election), and analysis has been undertaken of the likely effects on the new class of sub-prime mortgages.
This debt is not essentially different to the sub-prime debt of 2008 – held by people on low incomes, who had little chance of repaying loans made on calculations of 4-5 times their annual income. Recent mortgage-takers have not been given the same amount of rope by which to hang themselves (although 90% – 95% loans to value mortgages are still common enough), yet, when interest rates rise, their debt will land them in the same lifeboats as the class of 2008.
Banker barons suggest that many will be able to bear hardship if rates rise gradually. They argue that Jo Citizen has reduced the level of his and her personal debt since 2008, and will make ‘economies’ if pushed to repay their mortgages. They also suggest that many new mortgages are on low, fixed rates, which will insulate mortgage holders from rate rises.
These arguments are a mile wide and an inch thick. Debt-to-income ratios in the UK are still at 140% of GDP, and fixed rate periods inevitably run out, which will result in a sudden plunge into deep waters for many. Shaila Dewan (nytimes.com, February 18, 2014), reported that: ‘American households took on $241 billion in additional debt in the fourth quarter of last year, signaling the end of an extended period of hunkering down. Total household debt increased 2.1 percent, the largest quarterly increase since before the recession, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’.
Dewan’s report suggests increased debt levels may be the result of people ‘struggling to maintain spending levels in the face of high unemployment and stagnant wages’. That is, many Jo Citizens of American and the UK face a sudden plunge into deep waters – catapulted from a credit-fueled shopping spree on ‘Manic Monday’ to eviction from their homes on ‘Panic Tuesday’.
The logic to banker barons is simple. It is more profitable for banks to charge higher interest to top-end individuals and companies than it is to sacrifice an indeterminate number of the Jo Citizens they snacked off on their way to a feast.
The solution? Nationalise all banks. Cancel government debts to banks and international financial institutions. Abolish stock market and currency speculation. Cancel the $200 trillion ‘gambling’ contracts that banks have leveraged on themselves. Encourage governments to print their own money, with which to provide for fair and equitable societies. Call to trial all baron bankers and their political hirelings. They are nothing but tissue-tigers, descendants of medieval quill-pushers, who dreamt of ways in which their lowly kind could one day be Lords of the Earth and hold dominion over others. If found guilty of crimes against humanity, sentence them to work in a factory, producing goods that people really need.
There is nothing inevitable about having to be slaves of Mammon. Thomas Jefferson forsaw the threat posed by a banking elite, which would be able to buy governments: “I sincerely believe“, he said, “that banking institutions are more dangerous than standing armies“.
How were we made so frightened of so-called terrorist threats that we became entombed in a world of mass surveillance and a multitude of invasive laws? – which one dark day soon will be used to imprison even those who our System Lords view as irksome.
lenin nightingale 2015