Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Larry Summers

Any reforms applied to the capitalist financial institutions?

Almost 3 years to the onset of the financial crash of the century and we have the firm conviction that no reforms to the financial institutions have been applied so far.

The International Regulatory Bank has issued a report in June 2010 and proposed a “moderate” attitude to reforms stating: “Instead of attempting to eradicate financial crisis, which is impossible, we have to reduce the frequency and severity of crisis.”

What that means?

How frequently must crisis take place for mankind to suffer and support; and how level of severity is quantified?

Are there any indicators and measuring sticks to appropriate number of crisis and corresponding severity?

Who is supposed to be bearing the brunt of the impending crisis?

Barack Obama wanted to downsize  multinational financial institutions that are “too big to allow them to fail” so that the tax payers should not be obligated to maintain systemic dangerous institutions.

Congress was not pleased with the suggested reforms:  The financial lobby engaged over 1,500 professionals (lawyers, financiers, and politicians) and spent $350 million to “redirect” the project law under discussion.

That amount earmarked for lobbying congress represents less than one per thousand of the 400 billion profit generated in the last semester of 2009. This profit accounts for 38% of the total profit of the USA in that semester.

Let us put things in perspective:

1. First, the four largest banks in the US has 42% of all the assets in 2009 and held 96% of the 300 billion of the derivative products.

2.Second, every day witnesses financial transactions amounting to 5 trillion while the total saving for all the nations is less than 4 trillion per year.

Nobel laureate Joseph Stieglitz reminded us that

Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner (finance minister) were the same individuals who impose deregulation during Clinton and prohibited any interventions in regulating market derivative products.  It is the multinational financial institutions that are “lending” their experts to governments:  Government is claiming to being helpless faced with the shortage of financial experts willing to working for the government”

Paul Krugman, another laureate, wrote: “The ratio of finance profit to the GNP jumped from 4% to 8% in the last two decades, but the resulted in no economic real growth.  The economy was rendered less stable and less performing due to financial deregulation.”

Paul Volcker, ex-chief of the Federal Reserves during Reagan, said: “You don’t find a single American graduating with superior diploma in engineering, math, or physics.  Wall Street has drained all the bright minds into the financial world.”

Paul Volcker is the same guy who predicted that his financial policies during Reagan will let “blood flow knee-deep” in Latin America.  Indeed, most of the Latin States were ravaged by civil wars and internal unrest and upheaval for two decades.

You might think that the financial crisis and its everyday repercussions on unemployment and lower standard of living has dissipated the illusion that “increased financial transactions can be counted as increase in internal market trade“;  this illusion is still maintained by the media at the sold of the multinationals.

There was no real economic growth in the US and Europe in the last 10 years:  Just a big bubble of the illusion of growth.

How do you value quality of life? (October 20, 2009)

 

            French President Sarkozy assembled a committee of Nobel Prize economists such as Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen to ponder on new indicators for measuring economic performance and social progress. This honorable committee submitted its report on September 13, 2009. The conclusion of the report concerning social progress target the well being of the citizens such as life expectancy, affordable health care, affordable dwelling, worthy education system that focus on individual reflection instead of data and fact memorization since the individual will be called upon to act on his decision, alternatives to organize our life around activities that we love; having satisfying jobs that we value; the possibility of expressing our opinions in public politics and social meetings; enjoying wholesome environment, clean water and purer breathable air; and feeling secure in the neighborhood.  All this social indicators are more valuable to measure how a State has been progressing than relying solely on GNP or how many cars a family own or the number of household equipments.

            Joseph Stiglitz is not welcomed in the Obama Administration because he harshly criticized the President economic adviser Larry Summers in The New York Times;  Stiglitz said: “the plan for financial and economic stability is too modest to be effective. The pumping of money in banks is practically free gifts offered to Wall Street: only investors and creditors to these banks are benefiting but not the tax payers.”  Stiglitz is the chief of the line of economists who attack the concept that free markets have the capability to stabilize imbalances efficiently.  His mathematical models have demonstrated that transactions in free markets are biased toward those who are specialized in finance and have the necessary data to fool clients; “globalization has created a fresh pool of investors to exploit their ignorance”.

            In this post I will ask binary questions of (Yes or No) for voting on laws and amendments in three categories of quality of life: personal, community, and State levels. For example, on the community level, suppose that if people postpone purchasing their first cars for a year and the saved money covers the expenses of inoculating all babies in the community then how would you vote?  Suppose people are asked to postpone buying a new car instead of their older one for a year, then how would you vote?  Suppose of inoculating babies the community decided for pay for free complete blood tests for citizens over 45 of years? Suppose that the community can perform free bypass surgery for the badly needed patients, or free urine dialysis?

            What if you can postpone for a year replacing your washing machine to cover the expenses of investing in playgrounds for kids, or clean water, or new sewer system, or public transport system, or upgrading a hospital, or modernizing schools with updated communication and audio visual systems? How would you vote?

 

            On the State level, suppose the tax breaks exempt people earning less than $10,000 of taxes.  If the State decided to exempt people earning less than $20,000 would you vote for that new tax break knowing that investing money on the previous tax break are targeted to preserving natural reserves, distributing electricity 24 hours per day at the original rate, establishing affordable State health care for all, paying higher rates for teachers for continuing education to encourage individual reflection, increasing rates for nurses with higher quality of services, investing in clean alternative sources of energy, or salvaging beach resorts and better accommodating camping grounds and reclaiming greener locations for the public? How would you vote?

 

            On the personal level, suppose your family is over three kids and they attend private schools. If you are to send them to public schools, in safe neighborhoods, then would you invest the saved money on a new bathroom, building an extra large room for the kids to assemble and play, arranging the garden as an attractive playground for the kids, taking additional vacations, working part-time so that you may monitor the teaching of your kids after school, subscribing your kids in various clubs and extra-curricular activities, or going out more frequently to movie theaters, musical event, and plays?

            The premises are clear: for the same financial saving you have choices of improving the quality of life of the many in return of lavisher personal comfort.  These questionnaires permit you to value the kinds of quality of life you believe in; they are easy to administer and the responses can be statistically analyzed using statistical packages specialized for binary responses.  How your community value quality of life? How your nation value quality of life?  What do you think about this research project?


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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