Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bend over and take it bitches!!

Hardly seems worth fighting over ...yet


For those of us with a less, um, stochastic view of how the world works and who believe that shit doesn’t always ‘just happen’, mainstream media accounts of what’s going on in the world are often frustrating and, occasionally, amusing – but only in a very dark way

The coverage of the state of the British and World economy being the most immediate example that comes to mind

The British media has recently finally woken up to some key economic trends which have been noticeable for some time now but there has been far too much other, much more important stuff to report on. Those key economic trends include...
  • The price of oil is going up lots
  • The price of rice is going up lots
  • The price of wheat is going up lots
  • The price of gold is going up lots
  • The value of the dollar is going down lots
  • The value of the pound is going down lots
  • The availability of retail credit is going down lots

And not only has the British media been rather slow in reporting these movements it is also meticulous about reporting these movements as unconnected events and giving some frankly bollocks explanations as to the causes

Last night, on Channel 4 News for example, we were treated to appearances from representative jackals from both the World Bank and the IMF; in two scrupulously separated news items, lying through their fucking teeth about why the British/ European/ World economy is going to go tits up and why people can’t afford food in a growing number of regions of the world

What neither owned up to is that the underlying reason why all these things are happening is that a massive re-balancing of the world’s already unequal distribution of wealth is now well under way

Re-balancing is, of course, a euphemism for naked theft

-

UK interest rates have just been cut by another 0.25% and even before the cut the media whores were warning people that this cut, as with the previous cuts, would probably not be passed onto ordinary borrowers and that banks would continue to cut back on the volume of mortgages they are lending to people

Which is all very strange when you think about. Central banks have been creating and pumping money into the global economic system but the stuff is, so we are told, still thin on the ground

Where’s it all going?

I’d suggest a good place to start looking is in the markets that speculate in the price of things none of us can do without. Right now, borrowing made-up money at 5% to punt on and drive up the price of food or oil another 20, 30, 40 or 50% is pretty much a one way bet

...only your average person hasn’t got the resources or the means to buy their food six months forward. So, they’ll just have to take it up the rear end when the prices rise won’t they?

We are repeatedly told, from cradle to grave, that the cost of the things we need is driven by supply and demand. For example, the price of houses in the UK and the US was driven by population pressure, the increase in the number of households and a failure to build enough new housing

Bollocks

That’s only half the story – and not the interesting half

The other key driver for the £ or $ price of a commodity is the supply and demand of the money used to pay for it. And if you can force up the price of something by flooding a market with money, whilst restricting increases in what people earn, you end fucking those people big time

and you can flatten the price of anything just as easily

The need for housing in the US or UK didn’t suddenly drop overnight

In the same way that the need for rice or wheat didn’t suddenly leap up overnight either

There are some very, very evil fuckers manipulating both the supply of the essentials of Life and the money used to pay for that supply. Those of us on the demand side are currently at their mercy. A quality that oligarchs are not exactly renowned for

.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

The bank robbery going on is really blatent. We're told that the billions of pounds of central banking state aid(basically our money) that the banks are taking is to help ease the 'credit crunch'. Well it isn't easing the credit crunch. The opposite is happening. The more government funding they get, the more they tighten credit to us. What they're actually doing is just keeping the cash, either to repair their balance sheets or speculate on commodities and short stock.

They lose, they win. They win they win. Either way, we pay for it!

Stef said...

well mrs(ms?) clever clogs, if it's so blatant why aren't the papers talking about it then, uh?!!

Stef said...

...that's my other twat impression

paul said...

I wonder how it will all pan out?

Anonymous said...

Either the papers are putting on an act of wilful stupidly, or they're just a bit thick and blinkered. I'd say the latter. Actually, I think a lot of it is self interest. Whenever I hear anyone in the media talking bollocks about the housing market or interest rates/banking I usually think "you've got a massive mortgage or a load of BTLs haven't you?"

There's a tremendous amount of self interest involved in a lot of this bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Paul, that's an excellent link. Very astute, and of course applies just as much, if not more to Britain. We're so horrendously badly equipped to face a Russian style 1990s economic collapse (the work of the same cunts behind what's happening now of course) is frightening.

paul said...

Yeah, that's the problem, our societies are so fucking brittle. I was away during the great fuel protests but it was fascinating to watch from afar as shelves emptied and people tried to hoard fuel even in those few days.
There's another piece about life in post crash russia which was a very interesting 1st hand account, but I'm fucked if I can find it just now

Anonymous said...

Paul's link is well worth a visit.

An interesting point (for me) is that it draws attention to Paul Virilio's ideas of dromology and the museum of the accident. That is, as things get faster and their technological sophistication increases, the potential for destruction when an inevitable accident occurs is considerably higher.

A couple of Virilio links, here and here.

Anonymous said...

"There's another piece about life in post crash russia" ...

Anne Williamson's congressional testimony????

Stef said...

I spent a little time in Russia after the Rouble collapse and, no, it wasn't pretty and, yes, the Russians are tough as old boots - it's difficult not to respect them

They have also learned their lesson

paul said...

here it is
Rather at odds with the guns and gold survivalist bullshit

Anonymous said...

The point is, we're as fragile and spoilt as the Russians are tough and hardy. We're hard pushed to manage a minor recession, never mind a total collapse of the economic system. I think 50 years ago you'd say the British people were as tough as they come, but not anymore. We seem to have bred a society of dependent, debt addled entitlement drones. Hard times are going to be truly hard.

Stef said...

We seem to have bred a society of dependent, debt addled entitlement drones.

... entirely accidentally of course

thx for the quality linkage folks - am off for a read

paul said...

I'm all for avoiding collapse, but the idea of managed change is anathematic to the current psychopaths. As David Harvey reflects in 'a brief history of neoliberalism' when given the choice between disaster or change, they seem to prefer the former. Presumably as they are best equipped to escape its effects.
He is rather wry about the dilemma of choosing to save capitalism because its failure is so devastating

paul said...

Best part of that Virilio interview(for me)

CTHEORY: But what shall we dream of when everything becomes visible?

Virilio: We'll dream of being blind.

Stef said...

One of the things that is painfully evident about all this is that, by design, the current political process doesn't even start to address these issues - it's really rather difficult to suppress total contempt for the political and media classes

Stef said...

Rather at odds with the guns and gold survivalist bullshit

hmmm, mucho synchromente

jon doy said...

best line at Stef's Synchromente link above:

“If all these planets line up and things do get really bad”

ooh, i love all that bullshit

aligned planets ? Lara Croft. you're needed honey

p.s. excellente post, Mr Stef

jon doy said...

bbc2 8.30pm - one for the finacialoons out there - if the tv guide is anything to go by - Feeling the Pinch - Panorama