Last modified: 7:58 AM Saturday, 14 January 2017

“Bank CEOs represent their shareholders, they’re appointed by the board of directors to make money for their shareholders. And the way they
think that they can best make money is to shape the regulatory rules around housing around derivatives... everything we used to have
that kept the financial sector under control has all been washed away, one way or another, by their efforts. They make
money in the boom. And when bad things happen, they shove all the downside onto the taxpayer.”

Simon Johnson, former Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund

The return of indentured servitude

The rule of law is fast becoming a quaint conceit in the (Citizens) United States of Corporatopia: Those who can buy legislators and change the laws rule. And now, those who can’t pay their mortgage may find themselves homeless and handing off a quarter of their income — for life — to repay a bank that can keep them in debt forever by setting interest rates so high that they are always paying the interest while the principal remains undiminished. (Worse, they are in fact paying only part of the interest, so their debt actually increases over time, even as they do their best to pay it off.)

Perpetual debt

Till debt do us part: how banks keep their customers bent over a barrel — for life.
[ Image Source ]

Enter the Tea Party.

Apparently convinced that all their troubles are referable to too much governmental intervention, millions of Americans have been successfully hoodwinked into electing representatives who promise more of the removal of regulatory oversight that has allowed banks and other corporate entities to commit fraud and then punish the victims. This is hardly surprising, given the amount of money spent to mislead them by sinister manipulators bent on twisting laws to their own advantage. There is, in fact, an established formula: Every dollar spent to influence a previously neutral voter increases by four percent the probability that he will cast his ballot as desired by those doing the spending. And if you have enough billions to invest in distorting the result, the potential returns are so enormous as to make such behavior irresistible to certain kinds of personalities.

Whose country is this: ours or David Koch’s?

Originally published as a review of a project-syndicate.org commentary on pathological banking practices.

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