Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Matt Taibbi :

To the rest of the world, the brazenness of the theft — coupled with the conspicuousness of the government's inaction — clearly demonstrates that the American capital markets are a crime in progress. To those of us who actually live here, however, the news is even worse. We're in a place we haven't been since the Depression: Our economy is so completely fucked, the rich are running out of things to steal.


Oli said...

I read the whole article. It's pretty depressing.

It also gives the impression that if they were to punish anybody in the financial sector they'd have to punish everybody and hence they're going to punish (almost) nobody.

I also hope that major investors (like pension funds) understand that their assets are at serious risk if they invest in markets with such widespread fraudulent activity.

Maybe they see this fraud as just a cost of doing business, a bit like corruption in some other markets.

It would also be interesting to know how significant the tax receipts from the financial sector are in the USA. Here in the UK it would seem that the government is effectively complicit in this kind of fraud because the massive profits generated also generate massive tax revenues and you can't stop one without stopping the other!

Oli said...

Although - I have also read somewhere that under current tax laws in the UK companies can roll-over their losses against profits indefinitely and because some financial firms made such a huge loss during the crisis this means that they wont need to pay any corporation tax for decades!

Let's hope they change this rule.

Composing said...

What's impressive is how utterly powerless national governments look.

If even Obama (who is allegedly smart and on the right side, and has a huge mandate behind him) can't or won't take this system on - and even appears to be colluding with it - it's hard to imagine any other elected head of state being able to make a difference.