Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I Dream of a Recession

This week, the Internet was abuzz with a BBC interview that took place with a man named Alessio Rastani, a market trader who was brutally candid on the state of the current market, and what you should do next.  It's the kind of stuff you'd read on sites like Zero Hedge and on the doomer forums that I visit.  There has lately been some news stories on how qualified Mr. Rastani is (like this piece in the Telegraph), but I don't think that many people can argue with the underlying premise of what he's saying.  There is an epic shitstorm coming, and it is possible to make money from that.  And people exist, in Wall Street and in other inner corridors of power, who do not give a shit about people, governments, nations, the world.  All they care about is making profit.  And Mr. Rastani gives a very skillful lecture on this, in a mere three minutes.  And kudos to the BBC for having this; you'd never see this on CNBC.


mbl said...

Actually, this doesn't surprise me. There's a whole industry set up that makes money off of poverty (also war and imprisonment.)

Our politicians know enough about history & current events to know that Roosevelt's policies helped us out of the Great Depression, yet they've been dismantling those same policies, even as our country sinks into another depression.

Wealthy, developed countries provide safety nets for their people. Third-world countries do not. That's why they're poor--they don't provide help for their poor & they allow large corporations to do whatever they want, to use child labor, no minimum wage laws, no limits on hours worked, etc. That's why big corps outsource labor to the 3rd world. Deregulation of big business has been proven to cause exploitation of employees and customers.

Have you heard of Morris Berman?

Jeff said...


Thanks for your comment, and my apologies for posting a response so late (over a month later). I agree with pretty much everything you said, other than FDR's role in getting us out of the Great Depression. A lot of economists and historians feel that the advent of WW2 was the primary factor in getting us out of the depression. "Total war" was the ultimate factor in bringing the unemployment rate down.

However... I do think capitalists should be grateful to FDR and his New Deal. Even though it was widely deplored by them (to the point of some of the elite actively plotting to overthrow him; look it up on Wikipedia under "The Business Plot"), the risk of not doing anything or actively acting against the interests of the unemployed, down-and-out masses could well have resulted in a revolution that could have led to a socialist or communist government. Giving the jobless something to do through the jobs programs bought the U.S. government time until WWII came along and they were able to get out of the Depression.