Last night at 3am a CNN news alert woke me with a ping on the kitchen iPad: “Cameron vetoes new Euro Treaty, stocks plummet.”
By this morning at 6am global markets had all turned up. Scanning through the news alerts one particularly sickening headline stood out: “EU leaders drop demands for investor write-offs” to wit:
European Union leaders dropped their demand that investors share the cost of bailouts as Germany abandoned a campaign that helped deepen the two-year-old financial crisis.
…That marks a defeat for German Chancellor Angela Merkel who wanted to expose bondholders to losses in debt restructurings as her electorate resented writing the biggest bailout checks. Her push, which began last year, drew criticism from a European Central Bank concerned it would fan contagion and was blamed for some investors for driving up bond yields and forcing Ireland and Portugal to seek aid packages.
Apparently the banks and their lobbyists have scared the living hell out of the politicians once more with the “we are too important to take our losses” rhetoric. The representatives of the people caved again and agreed that the tax payers would continue to foot the bill to make the bankers whole and keep their executives revered and wealthy.
As shown in this CNN clip, the main reason behind Cameron’s veto was not anything noble like protecting the sovereignty of Britain but rather he is protecting his “City” base in London who insist that they cannot be subject to the more onerous financial regulation and oversight which the new EU treaty is looking to establish. These are the same rats who fled Wall Street after the tech wreck collapse prompted the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Bill in America which was designed to hold executives accountable for the financial disclosure of their corporations. Britain did not pass any such reform and so London received an influx of new business and bank offices safe from any meaningful accountability and disclosure requirements. (Apparently the Sarbanes-Oxley standard was lost on Mr. Corzine judging by his “I am innocent, I didn’t look at the mechanics, I don’t know where the money went” embarassment yesterday. This clearly is not an acceptable defence for a CEO today in America. Whether he gets away with this is another question.)
And so the bad guys have won another round. The people have been sold up the river once more. Now we will get on with the business of slashing and burning every social program, of cutting off funding for environmental protection, for clean energy, for water management, for health and education for every single aspect that makes a society strong, healthy and sustainable. All in the name of saving corrupt and sinister institutions.
There is one semblance of equality in all of this. The forced austerity on the masses will be the death of the world economy and we will all suffer the consequences of a prolonged global recession–even the rich–and an ongoing depression for the poor. But make no mistake, this morning is another low point for the cause of civilization.