Finansvärlden har ingen rätt till immunitet – en annan värld måste vara möjlig

20 Oct, 2011 at 22:50 | Posted in Economics, Politics & Society | Comments Off on Finansvärlden har ingen rätt till immunitet – en annan värld måste vara möjlig

I sin senaste New York Times-artikel skriver Krugman apropå Occupy Wall Street-rörelsens berättigade kritik av finansvärlden: 

As the Occupy Wall Street movement continues to grow, the response from the movement’s targets has gradually changed: contemptuous dismissal has been replaced by whining … The modern lords of finance look at the protesters and ask, Don’t they understand what we’ve done for the U.S. economy? The answer is: yes, many of the protesters do understand what Wall Street and more generally the nation’s economic elite have done for us. And that’s why they’re protesting.

For the financialization of America wasn’t dictated by the invisible hand of the market. What caused the financial industry to grow much faster than the rest of the economy starting around 1980 was a series of deliberate policy choices, in particular a process of deregulation that continued right up to the eve of the 2008 crisis.

Not coincidentally, the era of an ever-growing financial industry was also an era of ever-growing inequality of income and wealth. Wall Street made a large direct contribution to economic polarization, because soaring incomes in finance accounted for a significant fraction of the rising share of the top 1 percent (and the top 0.1 percent, which accounts for most of the top 1 percent’s gains) in the nation’s income. More broadly, the same political forces that promoted financial deregulation fostered overall inequality in a variety of ways, undermining organized labor, doing away with the “outrage constraint” that used to limit executive paychecks, and more.

Then came the crisis, which proved that all those claims about how modern finance had reduced risk and made the system more stable were utter nonsense. Government bailouts were all that saved us from a financial meltdown as bad as or worse than the one that caused the Great Depression.

You see, until a few weeks ago it seemed as if Wall Street had effectively bribed and bullied our political system into forgetting about that whole drawing lavish paychecks while destroying the world economy thing. Then, all of a sudden, some people insisted on bringing the subject up again.

And their outrage has found resonance with millions of Americans. No wonder Wall Street is whining.

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.