FT.com: Financial institutions stare into the abyss


An illustration depicting the shaky situation of financial institutions

The world economy once again stands on a precipice. Finance ministers might want to look straight ahead, but investors are forcing them to peer down to the abyss.

As advanced economies slow sharply and emerging economies wonder whether inflation or recession is the greater threat, the need for finance ministers to find a way to achieve their ambition of “strong, stable and balanced” global growth has rarely been more urgent.

Christine Lagarde, the new managing director of the International Monetary Fund, has urged countries make necessary adjustments to restore confidence.

“I believe there is a path to recovery, much narrower than before, and getting narrower. To navigate it, we need strong political will across the world―leadership over brinkmanship, co-operation over competition, action over reaction,”

Could it be that it takes for the global economy to, once more, stand on the very brink of collapse before common sense prevails?

An institutional culture driven by Greed, Fear and Ego brought us to the edge and has been allowed to prevail as the people who created the problems were “trusted” to resolve them!

Trillions have been “wasted” on sustaining a false market, supporting failed Financial and Political institutions whose flawed philosophies and (morally) corrupt culture were exposed long before the 2008 collapse. They have been allowed to, essentially, micro (mis)manage – nationally and regionally – issues that required an holistic perspective (across domains), clear decisive leadership and macro management.

Their “solution” has consisted of socialising the losses of their investors, using the same assumptions, tools and techniques that contributed to the collapse whilst ensuring they preserve (or increase) personal/collective wealth and power. [with this in mind I find Timothy Geithner’s comments somewhat out-of-step with US actions!]

Finance is the new form of warfare – without the expense of a military overhead and an occupation against unwilling hosts. It is a competition in credit creation to buy foreign resources, real estate, public and privatized infrastructure, bonds and corporate stock ownership. Who needs an army when you can obtain the usual objective (monetary wealth and asset appropriation) simply by financial means? All that is required is for central banks to accept dollar credit of depreciating international value in payment for local assets.

Victory promises to go to whatever economy’s banking system can create the most credit, using an army of computer keyboards to appropriate the world’s resources. The key is to persuade foreign central banks to accept this electronic credit.

If it isn’t already too late, unless our “leaders” take heed, THEY will preside over the demise of all that they value and forfeit much more than the right to contribute in a post critical society.

Joseph Tainter wrote a chilling book called The Collapse of Complex Societies

“When the value of complexity turns negative, a society plagued by an inability to react remains as complex as ever, right up to the moment where it becomes suddenly and dramatically simpler, which is to say right up to the moment of collapse. Collapse is simply the last remaining method of simplification.”

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