Controlling the financial markets instead of crushing the population of debtor nations

Reason and intention: A distress call

The financial crisis is the escalation of the «financial instabilities» that are unavoidable in capitalist societies. To avoid financial losses for the financial institutions, since politicians are afraid of not being able to deal with the consequences («too big to fail»), gigantic bailout packages are hammered
out, to be paid by the European taxpayers. The always just short-term stabilization of the financial markets is carried out through a frontal attack on incomes and jobs, social comforts and public goods, as well as the people’s democratic participation rights. To rescue the financial institutions, the destruction of the social cohesion, the loss of income and jobs and the impoverishment of broad levels of the population on the richest continent on earth is deliberately accepted, the future prospects of a whole generation, their hopes and expectations are destroyed.

We cannot put up with this blind destruction carried out by the saviors of the financial system. Neither in Greece today, nor in Portugal, Ireland, Italy or Spain tomorrow, or in France and Germany the day after tomorrow. The disembedded and unleashed financial markets and their players have to be civilized, controlled and strictly regulated. Elected governments buckle before rating agencies that are not legitimized by anybody –except by those governments themselves. The European Union, the European Central Bank, the IMF and the governments only have one item on their agendas: the reestablishment of the debt service capacity of the heavily indebted countries by means of a blood and tears austerity. The people in the debtor countries have to pay for the breakdown of the markets. They have to pay for the liberalization and deregulation that was conducted over the last 30 years all over the world. Private losses are compensated by public coffers, in Germany as well as in the USA, in Iceland or in Greece. To this end, loans are taken out at those financial institutions that have just been saved and whom thus are guaranteed secure profits.

The scientific advisory board of Attac was founded in 2001 and is an association of more than 100 professors, scientists and experts, representing a broad spectrum of different disciplines. The economists, sociologists, political scientists, jurists, psychologists and experts from other professions intend to allocate their expertise to the anti-globalization network Attac Germany. The members of the scientific advisory board generally agree upon their critical perception of the current course of globalization. This doesn’t exclude pluralism in the methods, goals and conclusions or differing positions. The scientific advisory board does not consider itself part of the anti-globalization network Attac Germany, but an independent panel with own assessments and opinions.

As a consequence, public debt exploded, causing the euro crisis. This currency crisis cannot be overcome by ever new rescue packages in favor of banks, funds and large estates, the bill being borne by the general public in terms of cutback packages. These measures only weaken economic activity, as can be observed in Greece. The financial markets have to be controlled again. The burden of debt has to be bearable. Therefore a transparently and fairly negotiated and perceived part of the creditor’s claims and the debt have to be canceled. Financial transactions, which were dissociated from the real economy in the frenzy of speculation, have to be taxed, just as large estates and high incomes.

Even conservative politicians deplore that the European integration project is threatened. The European societies are collapsing, one after the other is thrown into chaos by the failing financial markets. Some of the biggest speculators realized that they have gone too far. Now the political class is called upon to stop the destructive dynamic of the financial crisis by political measures that won’t worsen the situation. This is a distress call. Greece cannot «economize» any more or squeeze a higher debt service capacity out of the population without forsaking itself. Thus the «emergency exit» has to be on the financial market’s side. The markets and their supporters have failed to obstruct this exit so far. The only feasible action is to cut the debt and to reduce the creditor’s claims.

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The scientific advisory board of Attac was founded in 2001 and is an association of more than 100 professors, scientists and experts, representing a broad spectrum of different disciplines. The economists, sociologists, political scientists, jurists, psychologists and experts from other professions intend to allocate their expertise to the anti-globalization network Attac Germany. The members of the scientific advisory board generally agree upon their critical perception of the current course of globalization. This doesn’t exclude pluralism in the methods, goals and conclusions or differing positions. The scientific advisory board does not consider itself part of the anti-globalization network Attac Germany, but an independent panel with own assessments and opinions.

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