Thursday, May 6, 2010
Today the US stock markets and markets throughout Europe plunged. Working-class observers suggest that increased volatility in the markets signal more manipulation of the markets--and some wealthy investors profiting from the panic.1 In Greece, workers continue to protest austerity programs to service its debt to Western European powers.2 Neoliberal policies in other European nations have put other working-class people in peril, including people in Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Ireland.3 Conditions for workers worldwide have deteriorated to starvation levels, particularly in India, where food prices have increased more than 20%.4 In the US, British Petroleum's oil spill near Louisiana may be the largest ecological disaster in the nation's history, threatening to create increases in gas prices and sea food, while destroying the seafood industry in the area.5
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs (Source: UK Guardian)
The US Senate Governmental Affairs Subcommittee held hearings today examining the role of Goldman Sachs in the banking crisis. There were great theatrics as Senators Carl Levin and Claire McCaskill grilled Goldman executives about how GS employees sold junk stocks and derivatives to their clients.
The hearings sound very much like the testimony by Enron executives involved in undermining the energy industry. Unfortunately, many politicians, Democrats as well as Republicans, are beholden to Wall Street, and working-class people are skeptical that any politicians are looking out for them.
GS has also been implicated in hiding problems in Greece's economy. Greece appears to be close to bankruptcy, along with several other European nations, including Portugal, Spain, and Ireland. In 2008, Goldman was heavily involved in oil futures as prices rose and fell--and they, along with JP Morgan, were implicated in manipulating the markets.
In other stories, there is more rumbling on the Chinese real estate bubble as capitalism runs rampant there and the wealthy squeeze out more surplus value from their workers.