Buy Them Up!: Why We Must Nationalize the Banks

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    • #437889
      • Total Posts: 9,978

      John Adams presciently described banking as “an infinity of successive felonious larcenies.” Hidden charges, overdraft and ATM fees, and fines for returned checks seem to confirm this. Wall Street is an “industry” where high-frequency trading – a form of transaction where trades are conducted between computers on a nanosecond scale according to algorithms designed to exploit minuscule fluctuations in prices – is good business and arbitrage (exploiting a price difference for quick profit by buying a stock in one market and then quickly selling it in another where its price is higher) is respectable.

      One day in 2013, I was sitting on a NYC-bound train, talking politics with friends. I lamented how Wall Street had paralyzed the economy and hijacked our politics. As we disembarked, a Wall Streeter who’d overheard me said furiously that he worked hard in a tough environment and deserved everything he earned. I’ll concede that a trader’s eighty-hour workweek is stressful. I applaud the man’s work ethic. What I won’t concede is that he is blameless and deserves what he makes. Fluctuations in stock prices don’t reflect economic fundamentals. Making trades based on random noise shouldn’t be rewarded with immense sums, even if a trader works eighty hours a week doing it. As Teddy Roosevelt wrote over a century ago, “No man should receive a dollar unless that dollar has been fairly earned. Every dollar received should represent a dollar’s worth of service rendered – not gambling in stocks, but service rendered.”

      Big banks commit crimes. Economist Joseph Stiglitz writes in his book The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do about Them: “[T]he banks and others in the financial sector have a long-established proclivity for exploitation – for taking advantage of others, whether it’s in the form of market manipulation, insider trading, abusive credit card practices, monopolistic anticompetitive practices, discriminatory and predatory lending…the list is endless.” Consider JP Morgan Chase’s misdemeanors and crimes, which include (but aren’t limited to) Bank Secrecy Act and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations; knowingly executing fictitious trades; money laundering for drug cartels; disobedience of sanctions against Cuba, Iran, and Sudan; foreclosure, mortgage, and credit card abuse and fraud; illegally increasing overdraft penalties; manipulating electricity and municipal bond markets; conducting fraudulent derivative sales; and potentially obstructing justice. In his book The Divide, Matt Taibbi details the fees that banks have paid for their malfeasance. In 2011, Chase paid $211 million for rigging municipal bond bids. It also shelled out $27 million for overcharging active-duty soldiers on their mortgages. JPMorgan Chase has spent billions on associated legal fees.

      The big banks should be nationalized and run as social utilities. It’s not merely a question of protecting ourselves economically. It’s also a question of democracy. In a democratic society, our savings should be under democratic control. We need collective decision-making about resource allocation and economic goals. This means a publicly controlled finance industry which can channel money directly to socially beneficial purposes.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #437966
      Utopian Leftist
      • Total Posts: 646

      This is what I’ve been saying for a long while. People look at me like I’m from another planet (I am, but I digress).

      Why should banksters rake in millions for successfully gambling with the PEOPLE’S money?!? Iceland’s economy was struggling before they nationalized their banks. Now they are one of the wealthiest nations in Europe.

      "All fascism is a result of a failure of the left to provide a viable alternative." ~ Trotsky
      “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” ~ Krishnamurti

    • #437970
      • Total Posts: 5,210

      Clinton’s repealing of Glass Steagal in 2000 gave those criminal bastards exactly enough time to create a bubble clusterfuck which should have reminded us all why Glass Steagal was passed in the first place – because the previous stunts of these banker bastards literally created the Great Depression.

      Instead of punishing the criminals who caused the 2008 crisis, Barry Obama gave some of them cabinet positions (Geithner/Rubin/Summers/etc.) and then his fellow corporate “democrats” passed the weak-assed Dodd-Frank act which wasn’t shit compared to Glass Steagal. Which is evidenced by the fact that both Dodd & Frank are “retired” from Congress now, but not exactly living on their government pensions.

      "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable". - John F. Kennedy

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