The unheard of

On Sunday, October 12, the Eurozone countries agreed an anti-crisis plan at the initiative of French President Sarkozy.

On Monday 13th came the announcement of multimillion funds that the European countries are to inject into the financial market to avoid a collapse. Shares rose with the surprising news.

In virtue of the aforementioned agreement, Germany had committed – in the rescue survey – 480 billion euros; France, 360 billion; Holland, 200 billion; Austria and Spain, 100 billion each; and so on until the total reached, with the British contribution of 1.7 trillion euros which, that day – given that the exchange rate between one and another currency is constantly varying – was equivalent to U.S.$2.2 billion, on top of the $700 billion of the United States.

The shares of the major corporations that had not gone bankrupt saw a sudden rise in their value which, while far from compensating the losses suffered in nine tragic days, allowed the politicians and bankers of the developed capitalist system to enjoy a breathing space.

In the evening of that same day, Silvio Berlusconi, the prime minister of Italy, at a banquet given in his honor at the White House, made a speech rendering tribute to Bush; “We trust in the president who had the courage to put into practice what he considered right, what he must do for himself, his people and the world.”

He really went over the top there!

Also on the 13th, the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for 2008 was awarded to U.S. citizen Paul Krugman. An undoubted defender of the capitalist system, he is also a very strong critic of President Bush.

Under the headline Gordon’s done a good job, published on the 14th in El País, various ideas are expressed, some of which merit being quoted textually:

“The natural thing to do is to face the problem of the lack of financial capital by having the state supply the financial institutions with more capital in exchange for part ownership…

“This kind of temporary partial nationalization was also the preferred solution, in private, of Ben Bernanke, president of the Federal Reserve.

“On announcing his financial aid plan of 500 billion euros, Henry Paulson, U.S. Treasury secretary, rejected this obvious way, alleging, “that is what is done in the case of bankruptcy.”

“The UK government has gone straight to the root of the problem and has acted with astonishing speed to solve it.”

“Paulson – having supposedly misspent a number of very valuable weeks – has also backpedaled and is now attempting to buy up bank shares instead of toxic mortgage assets.

“As I have said, we still don’t know if these measures will work… That clearsightedness has had to come from London and not from Washington.

“It is hard to ignore the feeling that Paulson’s initial response was distorted by ideology. Remember, he works for a government whose philosophy can be summed up by ‘private is good; public, bad.’”

“Throughout the executive, professional experts have been dismissed; quite possibly there is nobody left in the Treasury with the stature and experience necessary to tell Paulson that what he was doing made no sense.

“Luckily for the world economy, what Gordon Brown and his ministers are doing does make sense. And perhaps they have showed us the way to get over this crisis.”

As he confesses, not even the winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences is convinced that those measures will work.

These things are unheard of.

On Tuesday 14th, shares on the Stock Exchange fell a few points. The smiles have become more stereotypic.

The European capitalist countries, their productive and mercantile capacity saturated, desperately in need of markets to avoid strikes by workers and those specialized in services, depositors who are losing their money and ruined campesinos, are in no position to impose conditions and solutions on the rest of the world. That is being proclaimed by leaders of important emerging countries and of those poor and economically plundered nations who are the victims of unequal terms of trade.

Today, Wednesday, the value of stock market shares crashed again.

McCain and Obama are to laboriously debate the economic issue tonight.

In the great democracy of the United States, half of those with the right to vote are not registered; of those registered, half do not vote and only 25% elect those who govern them. Many of those who might now wish to vote for the Black candidate, cannot do so.

According to the polls, that candidate has an overwhelming majority. However, nobody dares to say what the result will be.

November 4 is a day of great interest to world public opinion, given the economic crisis in which U.S. society is enmeshed.

In the electoral context, there is just one thing that we can be sure of: in the next UK elections, Gordon Brown will not be elected prime minister.

Fidel Castro Ruz
October 15, 2008
7:05 p.m.