Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Kicking Capitalism Into A Fairer System

It is quite unusual for a profession to be so disliked that while they are
carrying away cardboard boxes after emptying their desks for the last time, they still face as much derision as before. Sympathy is not in abundance for the city boys because it is hard to feel compassion for a Lehman Brother employee where the average wage was £160,000 pa. The biggest cheers are coming from the left who are like a dog with three tails as the Capitalist system falls apart around everyone's ears.
The average person, and i include myself in this, do not understand much about the World markets or what the FTSE index does and the only time we have come across AIG was on the front of a Manchester United shirt so it doesn't have any effect on our lives what the NASDAQ is doing but suddenly we are told that our lives are on the verge of being altered drastically. Yet again.
Seems to me that the way the system works is to have a period of growth where the gap between rich and poor widens and every decade or so, there is a massive fall which primarily kicks the poorest repeatedly until things pick up and off we go on the same path to do it all over again.
To my untrained eye, it seems that the guardians of the system are happy to play fast and loose with other peoples money and walk away financially secure with a bulging bank balance when it all goes go pear shaped while everyone else has to tighten the belt and dread a call to assemble in the Managing Directors office.
Obviously, putting all your eggs in one basket is a ludicrous idea so having a few behemoth institutions that have enough sway to drag down multiple other businesses with it when it flops over is bad business management. If we have learnt anything it is that smaller financial centres that cause smaller waves when they make bad decisions is the way to go, that is if Capitalism survives because this is the opportunity that the anti-Capitalists have been waiting for. If they can devise an alternative economic model, or radically shake up the one we have, this would be the time to push it out. It won't be any good in eighteen months time when the cycle is moving out of the slump phase, slap it down on the table now because you won't have a better opportunity. Capitalism is down, boots on lads and start kicking it into a more fairer, less corrupt and more stable model run for everyone and not just the few.

There is a campaign backed by the former Danish Prime Minister for World leaders to address the fundamental causes of this crisis here.

23 comments:

iMuslim said...

You may be interested in the following petition by Avaaz.org:

GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS: ACT NOW!

Lucy said...

That's great imuslim. Just the type of thing we need. Thank you.

Noah "Nog" M. said...

Lucy,
-"The biggest cheers are coming from the left who are like a dog with three tails as the Capitalist system falls apart around everyone's ears."

What is being seen? What is unseen?


-"The average person, and i include myself in this, do not understand much about the World markets"

I can't even begin to unravel the wisdom of this.


-"Seems to me that the way the system works is to have a period of growth where the gap between rich and poor widens and every decade or so, there is a massive fall which primarily kicks the poorest repeatedly until things pick up and off we go on the same path to do it all over again. "

It seems to everyone who has ever lived that the Earth is flat and the heavenly orbs move around our stationary home plane. So what things "seem" might not be what they "are". Ptolemy made the mistake of trying to "save the appearances". To often this mistake is also made in the economic sphere.


-"it seems that the guardians of the system are happy to play fast and loose with other peoples money and walk away financially secure with a bulging bank balance when it all goes go pear shaped while everyone else has to tighten the belt"

This may in many instances be true and in others not. But again, upon what grounds are we to draw causation from these sorts of observations? I could explain away any observed motion anywhere with a hundred different absurd theories. Often, the real causes are the most difficult to understand.


-"If they can devise an alternative economic model, or radically shake up the one we have, this would be the time to push it out."

A great alternative economic model would be capitalism. Now's a great time to try it.


I'm curious, can someone give me an epistemological defense for a theory of causation which attributes these present problems to "capitalism" (whatever capitalism means)? If this question itself makes no sense to those attributing these problems to capitalism, they shouldn't be attributing these problems to capitalism.


-Nog

Anonymous said...

An epistemological defense for a theory of causation? You are either a youngester trying to sound grown up or a grown up trying to sound patronising. Usually people only speak like that when they don't really understand what it is they are speaking about and hope they can confuses everyone.
I don't have any sympathy for the banks or bankers Lucy and the system is rotten. I hope that it is blown away and a new one set in its place.

Thelma

effay said...

I think this post does a good job of expressing one of the great confusions in the world today, namely, the belief that financial markets are the world's greatest exposition of Capitalism, as if it is as simple as more money involved=more Capitalism involved. I do not believe this is true.

Consider this quote from a New York Times article ("McCain's Radical Agenda," Bob Herbert) that someone actually e-mailed to me today: "We're seeing in the Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch fiascos just how well the unfettered marketplace has been working." This statement is patently false. (Fannie and Freddie are government sponsored enterprises that were created by Congress for God's sake!)

The truth is that the financial markets are actually some of the most regulated markets in America, which makes them some of the worst displays of Capitalism. Also, consider the contrast between practically unregulated (in a relative sense) hedge funds which are doing fine and the heavily regulated housing market which is in the crapper. For these reasons and others, Socialists around the world should in fact be proclaiming the failure of anti-Capitalism.

In any case, I can't really sum it up any better than Noah, so I'll reiterate his point: "A great alternative economic model would be capitalism. Now's a great time to try it."

annie said...

'I don't have any sympathy for the banks or bankers Lucy and the system is rotten. I hope that it is blown away and a new one set in its place'

Thanks, Thelma.

Cheezy said...

I think it's very simplistic to attribute this strife to either "too much regulation" or to "not enough regulation" as if 'regulation' is a uniform thing to be applied, or not, and it's either a good idea or a bad idea.

The truth is that the right kind of regulation can help control the worst excesses of markets, while the wrong kind can exacerbate them.

Joseph Stiglitz puts it well:

"The idea that markets are "self adjusting," that free, unfettered markets lead as if by an invisible hand to the well being of all, has been repeatedly refuted (the Great Depression was the most telling refutation). But it is a lesson that has to be learnt over and over again.

The challenge is to get the right balance between markets and government, to get the right form of regulation that allows for innovation – but not the kind of financial innovation that we have just seen. Instruments that were supposed to reduce risk actually increased it."


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/joseph-stiglitz-you-ask-the-questions-799885.html

One of these 'instruments' he is referring to is surely the Derivatives Market.

Where I work, failing banks have been 'the talk of the town' lately (not surprisingly) and from talking to my workmates (most of whom are more experienced than myself, working in the 'coal-face' the markets) they seem to agree.

Cheezy said...

On the lighter side of financial armageddon, I notice that Andrew Lloyd Webber is offering free show tickets to redundant finance workers...

http://www.reuters.com/article/artsNews/idUSGOR81822120080918

Haven't those poor bankers gone through enough?

Anonymous said...

What is happening is being caused by Pootin. Though he is good looking, he is jealous of America and the wonderful country of wealth and equality that's is. Our faith will carry us to the land of milk and money! God bless America.

Louise.

Lucy said...

Interestingly, although it is the World that seems to be on a financial downer, it is mostly America and the UK most affected. What does America and the UK do in their financial system that nowhere else seems to do so when it falls over, they are hit less?
I think it is obvious that the money men were either not regulated enough
or people turned a blind eye to their practices.

Noah "Nog" M. said...

"think it is obvious that the money men were either not regulated enough
or people turned a blind eye to their practices.
"

-What do we mean by "money men"?
-Who's turning a "blind eye"?
-What else do we know about the American and British "financial systems"?

-What is the true "problem"?
-What is the "ultimate cause" of the "problem"?


-Nog

Cody Bones said...

People, people, relax. We have a bear market about every six years or so, the average duration in 13 months, and the average downturn is 28%. This has happened before, and it will happen again. Oh and Cheezy, Stiglitz is a pimp!!!


I had a much longer, more dignified response that probably would have gotten Karl Marx to apply for a job at Goldman Sachs, but unfortunately blogger ate it this morning. IF your calling for more regulation, you better hurry up before the market does it for you. Whoops too late.

effay said...

"I think it is obvious that the money men were either not regulated enough..."

We've recently been learning about one of John Marshall's greatest argumentative conventions: essentially he would preface his most incredibly debatable statements with a phrase like "none can argue" or "all men agree."

"...it is mostly America and the UK most affected."

"The [Russian] RTS Index...fell 21 percent this week before authorities shut equity exchanges, while the Micex Index tumbled 25 percent."

Cheezy said...

"IF your calling for more regulation, you better hurry up before the market does it for you. Whoops too late."

See, there you go, mate - everyone's a winner!

"Stiglitz is a pimp!!!"

OK then, I'll forward this analysis of your's to the Nobel Prize Committee, the World Bank, Columbia University et al, so they can all revisit their opinion of the fellow!

lettersA2Z said...

Louise, what village are you from?

i enjoyed your points lucy. "into a more fairer, less corrupt and more stable model run for everyone and not just the few". you'd be surprised how many economists now share this view.

"A great alternative economic model would be capitalism. Now's a great time to try it."

we have to at least slap another name on it, otherwise countries would carry on as usual pretending to be capitalist.. *wink wink nudge nudge*

i believe we'll see a more polarized world market soon with the bulk of market force in asia. yet, still sufficiently spread out so as to avoid what we're going through now.

Cody Bones said...

Cheezy, I'm taking off my Cameron Now t-shirt, for my tattered but lovable on that simply says "Got Milt"



P.S

The line is from the Godfather.

"What about Tatalia?? Tatalia's a Pimp, it was Barzini all along"

and the World Bank is a collection of Yutzs and progressives.

Lucy said...

effay, why are we not reading about Norwegian, Chilean, Libyan, New Zealand or Thailand banks and assorted places of finance going to
the wall. And why not?

-What do we mean by "money men"?
The men who run the finances

-Who's turning a "blind eye"?
Whoever is meant to be regulating them so that things like this don't happen.

-What else do we know about the American and British "financial systems"? It falls over a lot and costs many people their livlihoods, homes, jobs etc..

-What is the true "problem"?
That the system we use, keeps messing up, approx every 6 years according to our friendly money man above.

-What is the "ultimate cause" of the "problem"?
Financial institutions over-stretching and shoddy business practises in an attempting to make larger profits.

Cody, as you work in such an insecure area, if times get hard for you i am sure that a few of us could get together and perform a charity single for you so you could stay in the lifestyle that you have become accustomed. We could call it
C.O.D.(y)

Anonymous said...

Lucy, Cody represents the best of America which is the best nation in the world. Capitlism is the best system in the world as it allows those with talent or rich parents to get very rich. Those who don't make it, well, lifes tuff!

Perhaps you could get a Green Card?

Louise.

Anonymous said...

Lucy,

Any idea who is playing Thelma and Louise?

Q

Anonymous said...

Lucy, any idea who is playing Q?

Louise, my sister, and me, Thelma, did not ask Q to reveal him or herself. It's not our business. We are patriotic and have faith, strong faith, and that is enough.

We respect Q's anonimity though we know that he or she is a Texan. So is our Commander in Chief, God bless him.

If he, Q, is a 'he' and has a compass that points in the right direction, we are both unmarried. I'm taller and have blond hair most the time. People tell me I look like Dolly Parton from the neck down.

Just love your blog, Lucy. You get such interesting people here especially the American ones.

Cody is our favorite! And he's rich too!

Thelma.

Anonymous said...

Thelma/Lousie,

Just curious if you are one of us (maybe coming out of the closet) or if you are new to the blog fest here...

Q

PS - over time I've revealed everything about identity except my street address and last name...

Lucy said...

No idea who Thelma or Louise is Q but i wouldn't suggest accepting a car ride off them. They do seem spirited ladies though and that can't be a good thing.
I know who Q is Thelma/Louise, and he is a decent and very witty kind of chap once you work out his humour.
We do get some great characters here Thelma/Louise from all walks, countries, ideologies and views. They make it fun.

Anonymous said...

Lucy, we are so happy that you talked to us. I've told all the neighbors and they are just so jealous. Do you have a Bruised flag that we could put in our front yard? We Americans just love flags.

Thelma was saying about her likeness to parts of Dolly. Well, though I'm shy and very modest let me just say that often I have been mistaken for Madelaine Albright!

Mr Q, we are both glad you are a he. Our clambake is known far and wide so if you're ever in town we can promise you a time you'll never forget.

I must stop now because our next Presidents are soon to hold a debate. It's so exciting electing a new Commandar of the World. We favor McCain because...well, capitlism is best because you can buy such big warships.

Sometimes we Americans are just not appreciated but, somehow, we still carry on saving the world.

Louise