The Moral Unraveling of the EU, Bailouts and Central Banking
Slovakia has now approved the European debt-crisis bailout fund, but the problems Europe is experiencing are similar to those faced by America in the grip of the Fed's immense bailouts of the past two years.
Increasingly, these are seen as morally repugnant by citizens throughout the West. And this has significant consequences that the mainstream press declines to report. Dominant social themes work by omission as well as commission. In this column, I'll examine their immorality and potentially ruinous ramifications.
Money continues to flood Western regimes and financial institutions with billions and billions that they don't deserve and cannot properly apply. Surely, the top elites driving this insanity are aware that the bailouts are only aggravating the situation and leading to the potential for an even bigger crash.
Perhaps there is no alternative but to "kick the can down the road." On the other hand, perhaps the bailouts are part of a wider destabilization effort, one intended to generate chaos and misery that will pave the way for global governance and maybe a new world currency. This is the view of the more conspiratorially-minded among the alternative media.
For whatever reasons, the bailouts, against all logic, continue apace. They began in the US with TARP and then continued with US$16 trillion-plus (probably more) in short-term loans extended by the US Federal Reserve to financial institutions - not just in America but around the world.
This saga was unusual, not only for the incalculable wealth that was extended but also because it played out in front of millions. The ramifications continue to be felt.
In the US, Congressman Ron Paul is conducting the Federal Reserve's first "audit." Ben Bernanke speaks, but his pronouncements have nowhere near the power or authority of his predecessor Alan Greenspan. Occupy Wall Street and alternative journo Alex Jones are both holding organized protests outside Fed buildings.
The Internet has allowed people to see - finally - exactly what's going on. Prior to the Internet, the controlled mainstream news would have explained in unison that the Fed "made massive adjustments to the global financial fabric to ensure that systemic collapse was mitigated ..." or employed other nonsensical euphemisms. These sorts of non-explanations would have been repeated ad nauseum.
But in the era of the Internet, such gobbledygook has been effectively negated by literally millions of articles (and thousands of videos) explaining what central banking really is - monetary price fixing - and how central bankers "print money from nothing" to advantage their cronies at the expense of everyone else.
The system survived because it appeared so incomprehensible that it was beyond criticism. Not anymore. People around the world "get it" and the anger is breaching even the indolence of the political class.
We can see this in Slovakia, where that Eastern European nation was the last holdout among euro-zone nations to approve the EU's most recent sovereign bailout fund. On Tuesday, the parliament rejected the fund and brought down the government of Prime Minister Iveta Radicova. On Thursday, the parliament voted FOR it, but the point had been made.
Even parliamentary representatives, notoriously resistant to the public sentiment they are supposed to be accommodating, are now beginning to reflect the animosity of their constituents. The Telegraph's Ambrose Evans-Pritchard recently captured this sentiment in a column entitled, "EU bailout is racket for financial elites."
Twenty years ago, no mainstream paper in the world would have run such an article - even given today's extreme stress and provocation. But times have changed. The financial system has come in for criticism the likes of which has not been seen (or heard) for decades. Here's an excerpt from Evans-Pritchard's article:
"Bravo," writes Evans-Pritchard, summing up the New Age's defiance to establishment ways. We began to write about this back in August of 2009 when The Market Oracle's Stewart Dougherty - a financial consultant - sent us a column entitled "The Metastasis of Moral Hazard and its Effect on Gold." He wanted us to see what he'd written. Here's an excerpt:
We thought then, and believe now, that Dougherty wrote one of the decade's most profound columns, capturing the MORAL dimension of the fraud of "bailouts" and the impact of their fundamental - even obscene - unfairness. We wrote about his column (you can see it here: Have the Immoral Actions of Central Bankers Precipitated the Decline of the West?) and commented:
Dougherty has written a REAL article of REAL observations about the end of Western civilization. Sheesh, ... Spengler's Decline of the West in three darn pages ... He's right, he has gotten the morality right. It's not just the culture of the West, or its promotions, or even its social organization that is finished.
You CANNOT, as a society, witness a couple of guys pull a trillion out of their back pockets without feeling, well ... snookered. And after feeling snookered, something else begins to percolate. "Hey," you say, "wait a minute. I sit here with my debts and my job and my house in foreclosure and this guy - THIS GUY - throws around trillions? Wait a minute. WHEN DO I GET MINE!"
Now the rage has spread.
Anthony Wile is an author, columnist and entrepreneur focused on developing projects that promote the general advancement of free-market thinking concepts.
Mr. Wile is the Chairman and CEO of the Swiss-based publishing firm Appenzeller Business Press AG (ARBP). He is a senior editor of ARBP's flagship news site, TheDailyBell.com. In 2010, ARBP founded and appointed Mr. Wile as the Executive Director of The Foundation for the Advancement of Free-Market Thinking – a non-profit Liechtenstein-based foundation. Prior to founding ARBP in 2008, Mr. Wile founded and ran, along with the late Harry Browne and others, Free Market News Network Corp. His most popular book, High Alert, is now in its third edition and available in several languages. High Alert, first published in 2004 was an early predictor of many of the events that have rocked global financial markets during the past 6 years. Mr. Wile is a staunch advocate of free banking and the need for societies to adopt an honest money standard. Mr. Wile has published more than 200 articles dealing with a variety of issues from a free-market perspective. Other notable books written by Mr. Wile include The Liberation of Flockhead (2002) and The Value of Gold (2002). Prior to beginning a career in publishing, Mr. Wile worked in the Canadian investment industry with Scotia McLeod (Bank of Nova Scotia), and Nesbitt Burns (Bank of Montreal). He continues to advise and consult to large international banks and money managers as well as to senior executives at both senior and junior mining firms. A Certified Investment Manager, he was made a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute in 1994. In 1991, Mr. Wile graduated from Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with a business degree.