Donnerstag, 19. März 2009

Hippocrisy and Opportunities!

Hypocrisy and opportunities!

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Par Philippe Schockweiler

Many people have foreseen that the greed and the uncontrolled and untransparent methods of many banks will lead sooner or later to a global financial mess.

One of those early birds was the Ex-President of the World Bank and now German Federal President Köhler who claimed already in 2006 that many global financial institutes are creating a Frankenstein-like monster which will grow out of control. But with all the rescue packages, countermeasures and the nervous swarming around of European “top” politicians, it seems that if those who survived the sinking Titanic are now in the lifeboats and waiting to be picked up by some good Samaritans.

But what about those who sank, those unfortunates who were living in degrading circumstances already before that? It is a certainty that the crisis is moving South and is spreading out to the East and it will dramatically widen the gap between rich an poor especially in developing countries.

And here comes the hypocrisy: On the one hand, we have golden parachutes, billions of bailouts and managers being celebrated like heros for renouncing a 13th and 14th month paycheck. On the other, we have bleeding continents such as Africa with a 103 billion Euro debt which no European Government seems to want to revoke.

However if a bank “X” speculates and looses billions of Euros, the same European politicians who bicker and bugger about too small development aid budgets, are very keen on giving bailouts to exactly these banks. Oh Saint and sacred economic growth(s)!

Some interesting figures I found on the blog of Duncan Green from Oxfam Great Britain: In 2007 the U.S Government spent $23.2 billion on development aid, whereas the bailout of the American Bear Stearns Financial Group cost  $ 29 billon! Furthermore, the bailout of AIG Insurance was higher than the global amount of U.S and European development aid spend in 2007 ($ 152.2 billion bailout versus $ 90 billion dollar development “efforts”).

Last but not least, the $ 700 billion Wall Street bailout: For the same amount of money, one could clear twice the accumulated debts of the world's 50 poorest countries or extinguish poverty in the world for over 2 years. But hey! Imagine what would happen if we wouldn't give this taxpayers money to the Wall Street – hundreds of bankers in Italian silk suits starving in Manhattan and pumping their drinking water from the New York sewer? This is the hypocrisy I'm talking about, the uncountable cases of distress and misery that Africa and many other third world countries endure and where we just turn away from.

Sky rocketing food prices are most of all affecting those most vulnerable. If for once we had this transatlantic coalition fighting poverty, AIDS and misery in the third world on the same magnitude than saving a corrupt and unfair financial system, then we could indeed be talking about “change” in the world. Of course we cannot let the banks rot either, but we politicians finally must learn a lesson from this crisis:

While nationalizing some of the biggest banks in Europe and around the globe, we now must understand to set up stronger regulations to prevent future fluctuations.

PS: Dëssen Artikel war am Februar am Paperjam an am Januar an der eurpäescher Jonken Gréngen Zeitung ECOSPRINTER nozeliersen

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