Wikinvest Wire

Wall Street Perestroika

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Whilst catching up on recent events, I'm taking the liberty of posting the following article by NJDOC (who also writes the blog Financial Feudalism) which was left in the comments section of the previous post about Ron Paul. Here it is, in its entirety:

Wall Street Perestroika
A Fait a Compli

Having watched the Sunday talk shows, it is obvious that the Wall Street Debt Reduction Plan is a done deal, with only minor detail to be discussed. I am not sure how to feel about it. But probably it is somewhere between bewilderment and incredulousness. Chutzpah, properly defined, is killing your parents and looking for sympathy that you have become an orphan. The one thing that this plan does not lack is chutzpah. The thieves on Wall Street have designed this plan so that they can improve their balance sheet, and in effect cover their losses on bad bets. Paulson will have absolute authority over the plan, and they will be able to buy instruments from foreign banks as well as commercial real estate paper. So the taxpayer has the added benefit of assisting his banker friends abroad and our Donald Trumps at home. This plan reminds me of another ambitious reform program. When Mikhail Gorbachev came to power, he knew that communism was not sustainable, and he believed it could be saved by a few reforms of the system, Perestroika and Glasnost (Rebuilding and Openness). The problem was that communism itself was a flawed system, and no amount of Perestroika could save it. The Soviet Union (and Russia today) had no finished product to sell abroad, and its collectivized farm system was unable to produce enough food for its population. It was completely reliant on oil exports to fund its ability to feed the masses, and when oil prices collapsed, it took out the USSR, despite all the attempts by the cronies to keep it propped up. So, as I look upon the landscape today, I see that Mr. Paulson is attempting a Wall Street Perestroika, so that the system can be saved!?!? However, one needs to ask a fundamental question, i.e. can our economic system, as currently designed, be saved? The parallels are frightening. As the USSR was dependant on oil exports to stay afloat, so to the USA is dependant on capital exports (treasuries/gse/mbs/derivatives etc…) to stay afloat. So just as a collapse of oil prices in the 80’s squeezed the USSR out of business, the last thing that the USA can tolerate is a new “price discovery’ on our capital exports. Because we are completely dependant on external powers to finance our budget and thus run our country is the reason why I believe these extraordinary measures are being undertaken. But just as Perestroika of the USSR failed because it was unsustainable, Wall Street’s Perestroika will probably fail. Adam Smith said that no country that has ever run up a large foreign debt has ever paid it back. I think that when foreigners understand that we do not have the capacity to pay back our debts, and that we are going to have to inflate our way our of our debt, they will pull the plug on the current finance agreements and in effect destroy the dollar’s standing as the world’s reserve currency. This may lead to the collapse of our whole economic system, despite Mr. Paulson’s best efforts to prop up the oligarchs.
Well done. Scary and quite possible.

Tivo awaits with the Sunday talk shows - I will summon what courage I can and have a look for myself.

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