Danger Ahead: The Oligarchs Don't Understand That Economic Collapse...

Thom Hartmann says Greece's austerity problems are a sign of global collapse, which will spread because the small group of corporations controlling most wealth continue to suck more and more.

... there are about 1,300 companies that control 80% of all the global revenues for all the transnational corporations on the planet.

Of those 1,300 core companies, only 147 companies, which all happen to own each other in some way, control 40% - or nearly half – of all the wealth in the entire transnational corporate network. That means 1% of transnationals own 40% of all the world’s business wealth.

In other words, the global 1% has its own 1%.

Right now, you can count the number of banks that own half of all the wealth in the U.S. economy on just one hand.  There are just five of them  and they are the usual suspects: Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Citigroup. Their total assets equal 8.5 trillion, which is 56% of our entire economy.

... thanks to globalization, their tentacles are wrapped around the entire world’s economy. It won’t just be the United States imploding the next time these giants fall: it will be much of planet Earth itself.   This is the danger of raw, unfettered capitalism. This is where the demands of higher and higher quarterly profits take down the economy.

This corporatocracy made up of just over 100 transnational corporations are desperately trying to garner more wealth by toppling governments in Europe and demanding wealth-extracting austerity ...

... these corporate forces, “oust entrenched regimes where normal political processes could not do so. They force austerity, banking bail-out and other major policy changes.

The violence on display in Greece is a consequence of the Monopoly endgame the world economy is in. No matter how much austerity that nations like Greece, Spain, and Europe endure, these corporate masters will be unsatisfied and they’ll demand even more.They’ll take their harvesting machines to Germany, the U.K., and eventually the United States. In fact, they’ve already begun. Until eventually they’ve destroyed the one thing that keeps their own hearts beating: working people.

That’s when collapse happens.

As the researchers in Zurich have discovered with actual data, we’re all living in a functional oligarchy today with just a handful of corporations – all of which are wealthier and more powerful than most sovereign governments – sucking whatever remaining wealth they can from the rest of us. [emphasis mine]

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A systemic risk bank tax, what an innovative solution to too big to fail!

Like the impact of an elephant herd grazing on grassland, multinational banks shape the financial environment to an extent that far outweighs their small number. And like a contagious person on a transnational flight, when these giant, interconnected banks succumb to financial ills, they are uniquely positioned to infect wide swaths of the financial system.

Researchers from Princeton University, the Bank of England and the University of Oxford applied methods inspired by ecosystem stability and contagion models to banking meltdowns and found that large national and international banks wield an influence and potentially destructive power that far exceeds their actual size.

"This would basically create a systemic-risk tax for larger more highly connected institutions and work to the advantage of smaller financial institutions," Sugihara said. "It is there in the small banks and thrifts that many publicly useful financial innovations arise."

The models the researchers created illustrate that such a policy is not only crucial, Sugihara said, but also potentially far-reaching and relatively simple to implement in comparison to existing, more complex regulations.

"This particular integration of network dynamics with confidence effects makes this model unique, and potentially both minimal and comprehensive," Sugihara said. "It calls attention to a general class of problem that has a long tradition in ecology but is only recently being taken seriously in central banking -- namely, the importance of evaluating risk by viewing banking as a 'whole' system." [emphasis mine]

Banks do have influence. Corporations too. Big business is into everything.

I agree - it's a sad state of affairs.


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