Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Financial Crisis Talk at Baha'i UN Office

A Baha'i International Community news report will be edited with my comments inserted followed by my response. Given the highly qualified speaker, Dr. Augusto Lopez-Claros, a major question is whether or not key decision makers at the Baha'i UN Office received "the real story" behind closed doors, or just this watered-down treatment which is mostly the same propaganda handed out by so-called main-stream media for a gullible public.
Disclaimer: First, the quoted BIC report is a rendering of the talk, and a written text of the talk was not seen; however, a link to a 9 part video of the talk is provided. Second, this report implies that the content of the talk was deemed suitable for the public.
Legend: my edits, [my comments], my emphasis
Dr. Lopez Claros, international economist, examines financial crisis and implications for global governance

Dr. Augusto Lopez-Claros, an international economist and a member of the Baha’i community, gave a lunch-time talk at the BIC, examining the global financial crisis and its implications for global governance [which currently is a collection of super-rich oligarchs, controlling most governments and the international banking cartel]. The crisis in [death pangs of] the financial system, which experienced fifty years of economic growth, has led to widespread questioning of the sustainability of our economic system [duh, really?]. In an article for the Financial Times (11 March 2009), economist Amartya Sen argued that the question is "not so much about the end of capitalism as about the nature of capitalism and the need for change." Sen highlighted that Adam Smith talked about the importance of "broader values for the choice of behavior, as well as the importance of institutions." [huh? The good doctor goes immediately to the lame-stream media propaganda which uses "misdirection" devoid of real insights, and "distraction" from real issues by focus on mostly irrelevant intellectualisms] Dr. Lopez-Claros went on to address weaknesses in [the near death of, the horrific insolvency of, the robbery of taxpayers by] the financial sector; new challenges arising from the crisis; current mechanisms for international cooperation, and future prospects for global governance..

Addressing Financial Sector Weaknesses [Imminent Collapse]

The financial crisis exposed underlying weaknesses [a sort of satanic evil] in the financial sector. Among them: flawed regulation of banking institutions and too little regulation of the shadow banking system (such as investment banks and hedge funds). The focus, however, should not be on regulating only the banks but rather—as noted by the IMF [a major "control center" or "front" for the shadow oligarchy and possible coming international central bank for national central banks, such as the Federal Reserve in the US]—"all activities [good-bye freedom; hello fascist dictatorship] that pose economy-wide risks" [to the super-wealthy, behind-the-scenes king-makers]. This means that insurance companies and institutions selling mortgages should also be "covered [by giving them taxpayer (and our children's) money whenever these players make a mistake] and known to a systemic stability regulator with wide powers" [known as "fascism" and loss of free market which is part of individual freedom]. Such powers would, for example, extend to disclosure requirements [like complete transparency with public disclosure of all bids by contractors for Baha'i construction projects?] and discouraging the emergence of mega-banks [more misdirection: say one thing while the oligarchy does the opposite]. However, Dr. Lopez-Claros cautioned, there is a real danger [certainty] that financial sector weaknesses will not be adequately rectified, leaving the door open for future crises [which guarantees that phase II of this Greater Depression will make the 2008-2009 phase I look like a gentle preview of what is coming]. Vested interests are hard at work to prevent many reform proposals. [Agreed] Also, as the crisis abates and other topics rise to the top of the political agenda, more "exciting" topics may be at the forefront of people’s minds. [In other words, misdirection by oligarchy-controlled mass media to control public rage at being ripped off.]

New Challenges

In the second part of his talk, Dr. [Lopez-]Claros explained how the crisis has given rise to a new set of challenges [like basic survival]. The first of these is the question [clearly complete lack] of fiscal sustainability. Countries incur large fiscal deficits to bail out [with their children's money] their financial institutions and stimulate [destroy] their economies [since increasing debt leads to ruin, not prosperity]. High levels of public debt constrain government policy (as they are less able to invest in areas such as education and infrastructure) and weaken the governments’ ability to respond to future economic crises. This situation is exacerbated by a further challenge facing many of the larger economies—namely ageing populations and low fertility rates that threaten the sustainability of [has already destroyed] pension systems [which default (don't send checks) or payments vaporize due to loss of purchasing power (inflation)]. Governments that borrow heavily to stimulate the market risk undermining their credibility, causing investors to leave. Governments should therefore invest carefully, in areas such as infrastructure and environmental protection and conservation.

Outdated Mechanisms for International Cooperation

...The financial crisis has highlighted the need for an international institutional infrastructure. Some, such as Gideon Rachman (in a Financial Times article, 9 December 2008) see in the financial crisis the possibility—even the plausibility—of something more than just cooperation between countries, of some form of a world government [which would somehow replace the current one of the so-called "illuminist" oligarchy?]. However, notes Dr. Lopez-Claros, it is unlikely that we will see a quick move in this direction [although the current illuminist cabal might succeed in collapsing enough economies and governments to "move" rather swiftly]. At the moment, governments seem more inclined to try to recreate the conditions of 2003-2007 [which cannot happen for at least a generation] than to move in the direction of better mechanisms of governance [which is specifically prohibited by their illuminist masters]. As seen by the establishment of international cooperation in the 20th century, it may be [is] necessary for humanity to collectively experience the full extent of the shortcomings of the current economic and political system [in the inevitable coming phase II of this Greater Depression]. Yet, the future may hold many surprises (such as the unknown consequences of climate change [more misdirection rubbish]), among them major changes in human priorities, values, and consciousness [like getting out of debt, buying gold with any savings to preserve that wealth, instead of spending on silly things like iPads].
My reactions:

1. I applaud that Dr. Lopez-Claros would visit the Baha'i International Community UN Office (BIC) and share his expertise.

2. It is assumed that his public BIC talk would not needlessly create excessive anxiety, but if we also assume that all, or most, of the audience were Baha'is, one might expect that its content might have gone beyond mostly oligarchy-controlled media propaganda (designed to misdirect public attention to trivial issues of minor importance) and rather focus on the nitty-gritty information that might empower audience members to better survive the coming economic storms, since it will no doubt take many years to fully purge excessive debt and speculation in the midst of intense social disruption.

3. Although one would not expect to see it in the public BIC report cited, one might hope that privately, the good doctor did indeed take the gloves off and share with key decision makers a more informed picture of current economic fundamentals (which, for example, can be found in posts here and in "Further Reading").
© 2010 James J Keene