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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Europe: the neo colonialism

The old model of Colonialism was the following: the colonizing power conquered or co-opted the Power Elites of the region, and proceeded to exploit the new colony's resources and labor to enrich the homeland.

It began with the Roman empire and spread to England, Portugal, Spain and so on... In Neocolonialism,as we could see for the thrid world countries, the forces of financialization (debt and leverage controlled by State-approved banking cartels) are used to indenture the local Elites (corrupting politicians) and populace to the banking center: the peripheral "colonials" borrow money to buy the finished goods sold by the "core," doubly enriching the center with 1) interest and the transactional "skim" of financializing assets such as real estate, and 2) the profits made selling goods to the debtors.

Very interesting and useful to understand the new "way" is the John Perkin`s book: Confessions of an economic hit man.

In essence, the "core" nations of the E.U. colonized the "peripheral" nations via the financializing euro, which enabled a massive expansion of debt and consumption in the periphery. The banks and exporters of the "core" countries exacted enormous profits from this expansion of debt and consumption.

Now that the financialization scheme of the euro has run its course, the periphery's neofeudal standing is starkly revealed: the assets and income of the periphery are flowing to the Core as interest on the private and sovereign debts that are owed to the Core countries' commercial and central banks.

This is the perfection of Neofeudalism. The peripheral nations of the E.U. are effectively neocolonial debtors of the Core countries' banks, and the taxpayers of the Core nations are now feudal serfs whose labor is devoted to making good on any bank loans to the periphery that go bad.

The peripheral nations of the E.U. are effectively neocolonial debtors of the Core countries' banks, and the taxpayers of the Core nations are now feudal serfs whose labor is devoted to making good on any bank loans to the periphery that go bad.

The European Union established a single currency and trading zone for the classical Capitalist benefits this offered: a reduction in the cost of conducting business between the member nations and a freer flow of capital and labor.

From a Neoliberal Capitalist perspective, such a union consolidated power in a Central State proxy (The E.U.) and provided large State-approved cartels and quasi-monopolies easier access to new markets.

From the point of view of the citizenry, it offered the benefit of breaking down barriers to employment in other Eurozone nations. On the face of it, it was a “win-win” structure for everyone, with the only downside being a sentimental loss of national currencies.

On the surface, the E.U. squared the circle, enabling stability, plentiful credit creation and easier access to new markets for all.

But beneath this beneficent surface lurked impossible-to-resist opportunities for exploitation and arbitrage. In effect, the importing nations within the union were given the solid credit ratings and expansive credit limits of their exporting cousins, Germany and France. In a real-world analogy, it’s as if a sibling prone to financing life’s expenses with credit was handed a no-limit credit card with a low interest rate, backed by a guarantee from a sober, cash-rich and credit-averse brother/sister. Needless to say, it is highly profitable for banks to expand lending to credit-worthy borrowers.

Credit at very low rates of interest is treated as “free money,” for that’s what it is in essence. Recipients of free money quickly become dependent on that flow of credit to pay their expenses, which magically rise in tandem with the access to free money. Thus when access to free money is suddenly withdrawn, the recipient experiences the same painful withdrawal symptoms as a drug addict who goes cold turkey.

Even worse--if that is possible--free money soon flows to malinvestments as fiscally sound investments are quickly cornered by State-cartel partnerships and favored quasi-monopolies. The malinvestments are masked by the asset bubble which inevitably results from massive quantities of free money seeking a speculative return.

This is a colonialism based on the financialization of the smaller economies to the benefit of the "core's" big banks and their partners, the Member States governments, which realize huge increases in tax revenues as credit-based assets bubbles expand.

The “too big to fail” Eurozone banks were offered a double bonanza by this implicit guarantee by the E.U. to make everything right: not only could they leverage to the hilt to fund a private housing and equities bubble, but they could loan virtually unlimited sums to the weaker sovereign states or their proxies. This led to over-consumption by the importing States and staggering profits for the TBTF Eurozone banks. And all the while, the citizens enjoyed the consumerist paradise of borrow and spend today, and pay the debts tomorrow.

Tomorrow arrived, but the capital foundation of the principal—housing and the crippled budgets of post-bubble Member States—has eroded to the point of mass insolvency. Faced with rising interest rates resulting from the now inescapable heightened risk, the citizenry of the colonized states are rebelling against the loss of their credit-dependent lifestyles and against the steep costs of servicing their debts to the big Eurozone banks.

Profits are private but losses are public--by shoving the costs of the bad debt and rising interest rates onto the backs of the core-country taxpayers (now indentured serfs).

The profits from the euro arbitrage and Neocolonial exploitation were private, but the costs are being born by the taxpaying public of both core and periphery.

The Power Elites are attempting to set the serfs of the periphery against the serfs of the Core, and this is necessary to keep both sets of serfs from realizing they are equally indentured to the Core's pathological Financial Elite-State partnership.




Liberally taken from Charles Hug Smith Of two minds
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