image from wikipedia
(The first of two articles debunking pro-corporate myths about the global debt crisis)
Unpacking the Lies About the Global Economic Crisis
The only way I know to make sense of the global economic crisis is to assume, until proven otherwise, that everything Obama, Wall Street and the corporate media tell us is a lie. The economy Obama, US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke talk about is a fairy tale economy that bears no relation whatsoever to the real world. Obama, like most western leaders, makes out that the only way to "solve" the debt crisis is to tighten our belts and destroy the middle class via wage, benefit and social service cuts. Thanks to Occupy Wall Street, a new narrative about the global economic crisis is beginning to emerge. And guess what? Once people get a clear view of what's really happening, they come up with some fairly straightforward and painless solutions.
Debunking the Fairy Tale:
1. When is a recession not a recession? When it's really a deflationary spiral.
Obama, Geithner and Bernanke keep telling us the current economic crisis is a recession. It's not. It's really a deflationary spiral. Deflation occurs when the economy shrinks. The US economy is clearly shrinking, just as Japan's economy has been doing for the last two decades. The US economy lost 10-20% of its real wealth in 2008 and has been slowly shrinking ever since. Consumer buying power continues to decrease, as Americans deplete their savings and experience wage and benefit cuts. Because people have less money to purchase goods and services, many businesses have quit producing them. This, in turn, causes more workers to be laid off.
2. The $15 trillion debt taxpayers owe Goldman Sachs represents money that never existed.
Contrary to popular misconception, the government doesn't issue money. Nearly all new money is created by private banks when they generate new loans. On average, most banks have only 7% of a new loan on deposit. The rest is generated out of thin air. This system started in 1694 when the Bank of England was created.
The federal government came by most of the $15 trillion debt by assuming -- through bailouts and other means - the toxic debts of Goldman and other major investment banks that were technically bankrupt. They were bankrupt either because they created trillions of dollars of toxic debt (out of thin air) for subprime mortgages for over-valued real estate that could never be repaid or because they bought this toxic debt from other banks.
The other thing Obama doesn't tell us is that there are still billions of dollars of toxic debt (again created out of thin air) that have yet to be "written down" (i.e. "written off" and subtracted from banks' balance sheets). In 2008, trillions of dollars of toxic debt that wasn't transferred to government balance sheets was hidden by transferring it from weak banks to strong ones.
Any business other than a bank would be required to deduct these bad debts from their earnings in their annual report, when they declare their profits, dividends and CEO bonuses. Yet to protect the stock prices of bank prices, Obama colludes with Wall Street to keep this information secret.
3. The true unemployment figure.