Comments on: Break up the big banks Option ARMageddon Tue, 14 Oct 2014 13:06:34 +0000 hourly 1 By: Epiphany Hoskins Sun, 27 Sep 2009 15:11:50 +0000 Semantics. It’s C R I M I N A L! There, one word, one meaning. Educate yourselves about the central banks history and the Bank of International Settlements and find out who, what, when and why.

Only until the global community wakes up from the fog of prevarication can we return to asset based economies and abundance for the masses.

By: Ash Sun, 27 Sep 2009 12:45:03 +0000 Bichler and Nitzan have written great stuff on all this. At . Look for things on ‘differential accumulation’, ‘monopoly capitalism’ etc.

Theoretically, one of their original contributions is the argument that capital is not money but power in terms of both market share, political influence/control and cultural influence/control.

Secondarily that the typical business cycle involves alternating periods of general expansion versus contraction. That is normal, however in some of their papers they offer detailed historical analysis showing how during contracting phases, corporations ‘gain’ by maintaining or increasing relative market share and/or capital/influence viz. others in the same or related fields. So although their net income etc. may be declining, they are declining less than their competitors, many of whom either get wiped out or absorbed. Once this contraction phase is over, a smaller and relatively stronger group of leaders emerges (exactly as we are seeing in the banking and probably auto sectors right now for example), general expansion picks up again during which time startups can enter the fray, but when the next contraction comes along only the strongest survive and so on.

There is also evidence suggesting that the big players – who indeed increasingly become a more cohesive oligarchy over time – deliberately blow up the end of the expansion phases to bloat weaker players with too much credit in order to keep up with their competitors, and are also very savvy in terms of consolidating their power and influence during the hard times of severe contractions.

In other words, the trajectory of large-scale ‘capitalism’ is an inevitable one that consolidates power increasingly in the hands of a more and more condensed oligarchy. This process, they argue well, IS capitalism, not an aberration of it. By de-linking ‘capital’ from a largely monetary or investment-related definition (amount of $$ used to build factory etc.), they have revealed the true cultural and political dynamic of the beast.

It won’t go away unless force is met with force. There is no force organised in the current Republican Democracy system in the US to counter-act it.

The recent revelations from Sybel Edmunds detailing some of the techniques involving blackmail, bribery etc. to ‘hook’ dupes in the political, military, judicial and fourth estate, not to mention the Executive branches, show how widespread the systemic corruption/control is at this point. Voting in one or two honest Congress members won’t make any difference at all. Even a bona fide Third Party President would probably get nowhere, and if he did threaten to dismantle the oligarchy’s power overmuch, his life would be drastically and permanently shortened.

By: cle Sat, 26 Sep 2009 22:28:57 +0000 Wasted time waiting for the govt to do anything. Power belongs to the people. Deposits are what makes these banks grow. I decided months ago that Chase no longer served my best interests and moved my money to a smaller, local bank. Will be eliminating all credit cards as they are paid off since banks want to use “cashless society” against the people. Convenience is not always simpler, everyone must wrest back control of finances from these despots.

By: Haha Mon, 21 Sep 2009 01:43:13 +0000 I consider myself a pragmatist above all. Hence my previous statements.

I have never abandoned the desire to change the system. This is because I have always supported the system as it stands. Make of that what you will.

Perhaps you look down on those who say “It can’t be changed”. You probably also look down on those like me who say “the system is perfect as it is”.

But I look down on those who say “The system must change” without any idea of how they will change it, or what they will change the system into. If it isn’t idealism, then what? It certainly isn’t pragmatism.

People can say they want the system to change. But until they have the means to do it, it is just empty complaint. And while people have a god-given right to complain, it rarely has the practical effect needed to change things.

By: jb Sun, 20 Sep 2009 19:16:42 +0000 HaHa–
Thank you for the clarification, though I must correct you on one point—I am not an idealist, but a social pragmatist. Relativism, it seems, divides us; that I am a proponent of both cyclic history and autarchic survivalism is perhaps why we differ regarding individual determination.

I do not refute your explanation of corporatism, but ultimately your abandonment of the resolve necessary to change it. “The way things are” is the coward’s mantra, crooned by the benefactor of others’ misery, or the man who for need of determination disavows his own. These words find no refuge among honorable men. So I ask you now, what anthem do you choose to sing?

By: Haha Sun, 20 Sep 2009 02:09:28 +0000 Workers are a resource, JB. A factor of production. Just check your economic theory.

And as they are a resource, their value is determined by economic forces. Consider how much a third world nation worker is paid. Could it be that the developed worker is overvalued as a resource? Current trade with China would say yes.

Revolution requires a transfer of power. Those who rebel need a means to gain power over themselves. But what is it exactly that you believe Americans can rebel from?

The power the corporations have over you is dependence. You need them for everything. Money, finance, employment, trade and prosperity. They barely need you at all.

It is absolutely true that the workers are the lifeblood of the economy. But there is no requirement that those workers need to be *American* workers.

There are millions in Europe, Africa, China, and South America who would be willing to take the place of American workers. It’s all about standard of living, you see.

Ask Africa if it would enjoy living in a corporate state, in exchange for giving up their crippling third world poverty. They will trade places with America anyday. Will you make the trade with them?

If America ever found a way to rebel against corporations, this is exactly what would happen. Most people know this already, which is why it never will happen.

In fact, I would say the majority of Americans are happy with the status quo. Or at least content. So if there was a way to rebel, I don’t think it will happen soon.

That, my idealist friend, is the reality of the world.

By: jb Sun, 20 Sep 2009 00:09:50 +0000 HaHa–
I agree, though trust when a corporation’s notion of “employed and paid” is tantamount to debt peonage, the conditions of “oppressed and enslaved” are in due course satisfied. Moreover, the very survival of a corporation is dependent upon the willingness of a population to serve it. Your argument reads as though an employee is a liability, when in fact that same employee is the very lifeblood of a corporation itself. He gives his time to work for an equitable wage, uses that wage to purchase goods and services, and, when his wage proves inadequate, borrows at peril to his own economic standing money predictably benefiting the corporations you seek to defend. Though a corporation is not inherently corrupt, its inevitable devaluation of those it employs makes it so.

Furthermore, a report released in 2008 by Congress confirms two-thirds of U.S. corporations paid no federal income taxes between 1998 and 2005, despite having collectively reported trillions of dollars in sales, according to GAO’s (Government Accountability Office) estimate.

Whether named Caesar, king, or corporation, a tyrant comes to know the brutal machinery of rebellion. That, my monetarist friend, is the reality of the world.

By: Haha Sat, 19 Sep 2009 03:17:27 +0000 Revolution occurs when people are oppressed and enslaved. Not when they are employed and paid.

As I said, those corporations may one day decide to leave for another nation. Then where will all America’s riches go? Talk of revolution is empty, especially when you refer to people who are dependent on the system.

This isn’t like a petty king sitting on a throne looking out a window. These corporations and banks actually finance your country. They actually employ you, they actually loan you money and they actually sell goods to you.

This isn’t a perspective of the world. This is the reality of the world. Whether you choose to ignore it is up to you. At any rate, the corporations care very little if you like them or not. Either way, you are still dependent on them.

Regarding your comment on tax lawyers? Look up the words “tax evasion” and “tax avoidance”. There is a subtle difference.

Just as you no doubt attempt to minimise your tax liability, so do corporations.

By: jb Fri, 18 Sep 2009 21:29:11 +0000 HaHa–
Very interesting perspective; I believe such plutocratic thinking has historically proved invitation to violent revolution. Moreover, corporations rarely pay their fair share of taxes–ask any corporate tax attorney worth his or her weight in salt.

By: Haha Fri, 18 Sep 2009 16:23:31 +0000 Hoho.

That money was not stolen from Americans. It was donated by Americans. And Obama was the one who gave permission. If you have issues with the president giving your money away, take it up with him. It was not the corporations who did so.

You are no doubt also aware of the following:

1. Corporate America literally finances your nation with their tax income dollars. They have provided many times more funds to your nation then the amount used to bail them out. Or the fraction of income that 80% of middle class or lower class Americans provide with their taxes. Ever wonder how the government affords anything? Thank corporate America.

2. In the next decade these corporations will earn trillions. Once again, many times more then was provided to bail them out. And once again, this will go to the taxes that keep your country running.

3. These corporations (and banks) can leave America at any time, for a nation which appreciates them better. This is why any threats to “make them pay” are quite hollow. Considering you already owe them for everything, empty bluster just makes it all the worse.

4. Look at a corporation. Compare the amount they took from TARP, against how much that corporation is worth. Your PUBLIC money is just pocket change, a bribe to stop these corporations from laying you off at a time when they would be justified in doing so.

5. Insulting people on forums is not civil. The moderator must be off for the weekend.

By: HoHo Fri, 18 Sep 2009 09:36:37 +0000 HaHa. What rubbish. You conveniently forgot to mention that these “private” corporations… which work for their own profit… just robbed the taxpayers of tens of trillions of dollars through TARP and most importantly access to unlimited amount of liquidity from the FED. Sovereign money created FOR these private entities.

How on earth can you talk about PRIVATE when it’s all about PUBLIC money. You moron.

By: Anon Fri, 18 Sep 2009 07:20:27 +0000 Drewbie.

I agree that socialism is where the government controls the means of production.

As any economist (or really anyone with any financial knowledge) will tell you, one of the primary requirements for production is security and finance. Ask any businessman. Hell, ask any worker who drives to work in a car subject to mortgage.

Hence, when the government dismembers the banks, it is exercising central control over security and finance. Which means it is exercising central control over production. Which makes the policy fit the definition of “socialism”. Which in turn makes the people who support the policy fit the definition of “socialist”.

By: drewbie Thu, 17 Sep 2009 18:17:16 +0000 Because so many people have requested it:
Socialism – Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.

So, *technically*, a government controlled bank (or healthcare) isn’t socialism beacause it isn’t a ‘good’. One could argue that it fits into the part about planning/controling the economy.

By: Norman Thu, 17 Sep 2009 17:16:46 +0000 The animaged graphic for Rolfe Winkler’s “Break Up the Big Banks” is not displaying.

By: zytronbloodworthy Thu, 17 Sep 2009 13:05:30 +0000 THE THREAT OF DIALECTICAL TERRORISM

By: Haha Thu, 17 Sep 2009 08:19:39 +0000 Socialism is when a centralised government authority takes away the private property and profit of entities, because of the concept of class war.

If the government seeks to break up the banks, it will be at the behest of the poor uneducated masses. It will be because these masses are offended that other people prosper so much.

If you doubt this, then read the posts of this very forum. The own words of the posters indicate as much.

Companies are private entities. They work for their own profit. Just like any other individual. The only real issue here is that they earn more money then you do. And certain people don’t like that.

To break up a company, because you don’t like how large and rich it is? And yet you think this isn’t socialism? Just accept the word and the meaning. If you are a socialist, have the good graces to admit it.

On another note, socialists often call their enemies ‘facist’ as well. Yet another indicator that a person holds a socialist mindset.

By: John F. Wasik Wed, 16 Sep 2009 20:16:11 +0000 Banks got a tremendous boost through TARP and TALF and consumers got fewer mortgages and higher credit card rates. Financial reform can’t come soon enough. — John F. Wasik, author, “The Audacity of Help: Obama’s Economic Plan and the Remaking of America” (

By: Daniel Wed, 16 Sep 2009 15:52:51 +0000 Break banks up will not solve the problem, ’cause if they all fail simultaneously in the wake of a future “burst”, the collective efect anyway would force the government to bail them out, even if all of them, independently are not “too big to fail”. So, keep thinking another way around this problem.

By: Jimmy J Wed, 16 Sep 2009 15:31:53 +0000 Wells Fargo/Wachovia/AG Edwards is too big to even be run well. The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. Such a shame!

By: RFL Wed, 16 Sep 2009 15:21:07 +0000 From Thomas Jefferson:

“If the American People allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the People of all their Property until their Children will wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered.”

How true. How many banking scandals have the banks given us in the 25 plus years of de-regulation? History has proven that the banks cannot regulate themselves and require baby sitters to look after them. Yes, break up the big banks and return to banking regulation. With jail time for violators.

By: Bob Wed, 16 Sep 2009 14:58:03 +0000 No one apparently understands that the word “socialism” for the right means any government program. They will use the word, but never really know what it means.

I lived in Germany for 7 years: any doctor, any time, any treatment. And you know what? They only have 5 banks- and they are all big.

Those who throw the word Socialism around are the same as those Jews who call negative Israeli policy “anti-semitic”.

By the way, don’t break up the big banks- I have too much tied up in Citicorp stocks.

By: dumdum Wed, 16 Sep 2009 14:52:36 +0000 I prefer the John Kay pamphlet this blog is “inspired” by

By: Andrew Wed, 16 Sep 2009 14:39:02 +0000 is there any indication as to what is driving the growth of the big-4?

By: elmatto21 Wed, 16 Sep 2009 14:35:45 +0000 We stopped enforcing antitrust law a long time ago and have permited a great banking oligopoly to grow around us. The simple fact is, Democrat or Republican, legislation is bought and paid for by the commanding forces in this country—-that certainly is not We the People anymore. As we begin to unwind again and see that this here is not some nascent economic recovery, maybe, just maybe, there will be enough impetus for real and meaningful banking reform and actual antitrust enforcement. Or we will just allow even more consolidation, which to me seems quite likely.

By: Guy Thompto Wed, 16 Sep 2009 14:26:33 +0000 Absolutely correct. When we faced the dilemma of banks that were “too big to fail” what did we do? Of, we made them bigger. And now we are enacting new rules that will make it that much harder for smaller banks to compete on even footings with these behemoths.

One wonders about the thinking in the closed political circles. Do politicians not understand that we must eliminate potential catastrophes of the big bank failures, or do they really enjoy the high drama and relish the thought of another meltdown as being an opportunity to push legislation that would never see the light of day in saner moments?