The real, critically perplexing issue for the US government and its bailout (or rescue) is not the bailout as such (although it is a major, complex issue in itself) but the conditions which led to the collapse. The Americans and their expert political economists know that unless those conditions which gave rise to the crisis are eliminated or at least kept subdued then more collapses in the future are inevitable. They also know that more oversight and regulations cannot restrain or subdue speculation, because speculation is the essence of “the market”.
Plus in the short term, what will they do if the $700 billion injection fails to stabilize the market and how will the public respond to more capital injection? The policy-makers are split on what to do. Some want to let the collapse run its dangerously unchartered course with the hope that it will normalise itself according to various well-known economic theories and models. Others hate the idea of the unknown consequences and prefer to throw public money at it hoping that stability will be achieved, buy more time to work out how to kickstart the economy.
But in the long run the deepest problem is speculation which is the engine of finance capital and its credit system. In my view it is this speculation which caused the collapse in the first place and speculation cannot be regulated or subdued! So, if this was a game of chess the Americans are now facing “check-mate”, no more moves. Sorry, not quite check-mate because amongst political economists are some extremists who have one more “thought”: create a massive new market by force based on massive reconstruction.
The last major crisis of similar proportion in 1929-33 led to 2nd World War within six years! Economic stablity was restored when the smoke cleared in the aftermath of that massive orgy of bloodletting and widescale destruction.
Jamaicans, if we ever want to be taken seriously, need to think for ourselves instead of constantly trying to interpret someone elses thinking, especially concerning critical events.
Anthony Ferron, London
About Mark Lee
Editor, author and writer with career spanning print, radio, television and new media.