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“Soundbite of laughter”

So I was lying in bed this morning listening to the radio. I’d prefer the BBC, but KPCC switches over to NPR far too early.

Then I heard the dulcet, seemingly reasonable, tones of Renee Montagne say this:

…we start with a reminder of the root of Europe’s financial crisis: European countries borrowed too much money.

That’s one way to frame it. The bankster’s way. There is another way. And that is that the banksters made a lot of bad loans. That’s why they get interest.  Interest is a metric of risk. There are two parties to every transaction, and it’s not that some European governments borrowed too much money, but that most every bank made loans that they should not have made. They encouraged it. They fomented it. They robosigned documents. They sought out the bad lendees. They lied, misled, tranched, CDO’ed, and derivatived.  

The reason banks can get people, or governments, to pay interest for loans is accepting that some will go bad, and the bank will have to eat it.  Banks have managed to game the system so that they get the interest from taking risks, and have the risks subsidized when they get it wrong.  

More simply, privatize the profit, socialize the risk.

There is an alternative to forcing austerity, debt, and crisis upon the citizens of these countries, who almost certainly made none of the decisions that caused this crisis, while the banksters and ministers who made the bad decisions walk away untouched. And in fact, enriched.  That alternative is to force the banksters to write off the bad loans.  Cram down the loan.  Write it off.

Another alternative is to give the people the money, a stimulus, if you will, and let them pay off their mortgage, their credit card.  Either way, the banksters get paid, but the way our masters have chosen mean that the banksters get paid, and the people are made to suffer more.  Unless you work in Brussels, or Berlin, or DC.  Or work for a bank.  No suffering there.

That money has to be paid back, but in many cases, new money does not exist in Europe.

The money does not have to be paid back. The banksters could be stiffed.  Banks don’t print money;  governments do.  Banks are not loaning out money anyway, only borrowing it from governments at the zero bound, loaning it sparingly at 5% and paying the 5% to themselves in bonuses.  Where can I get a deal like that?

And where does money come from? It comes from the full faith and credit of governments. Not from banks. Banks don’t print money, nor back it.  Governments do.  The money could exist, if governments wanted to print it. The banks only have the money that governments give them.

This crisis is caused because the banksters own the governments, and are going to make sure that every last citizen pays every last drop of blood to the bank, with interest, at the point of a gun (see riots in Greece, and look around for OWS protesters in the US).

Let’s be clear.  Angela Merkel is not going to China to beg for money to rescue Greece — China is paying to bail out the banksters, who otherwise would be insolvent because they made bad loans. These guys who are supposed to be the smartest people in the room made a bunch of risky loans, and if China doesn’t bail them out, they go under. And they’ve succeeded in framing the issue in such a way that even NPR regurgitates their spin without a second thought.

If this is the sort of unbiased analysis promulgated by “Planet Money” without even an alternative voice from, I don’t know, a Nobel Prize winner like Paul Krugman, KPCC would be well served by ditching NPR and only playing the BBC. NPR is run by our corporate masters, just as much as Fox, CNN, or NBC.

Soundbite of laughter, as Chana Joffe-Walt of NPR laughs about Angela Merkel going to China on her knees.  “Liberal” NPR, indeed.

Heard on Morning Edition

February 17, 2012 – RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

We’re going to hear now from Planet Money. And we start with a reminder of the root of Europe’s financial crisis: European countries borrowed too much money. That money has to be paid back, but in many cases, new money does not exist in Europe. Chana Joffe-Walt with our Planet Money team reports that this simple fact has European leaders on a global search for cash.

CHANA JOFFE-WALT, BYLINE: Here’s where we are: The Europeans have tried bailout funds. They’ve hosted dozens of summits, at those summits hatched plans for more bailout funds. The European Central Bank has gotten involved. And yet investors are still afraid to lend money to European countries. The countries need money, and so it has come to this.

JIANG SHIXUE: Chancellor Merkel came to our academy talking to our scholars.

JOFFE-WALT: This is Jiang Shixue. He’s an academic at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, gleefully describing to me one of the most exciting moments of his 56 years as a Chinese person: The moment when one of the most important people in Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, came to his country, to his workplace.

SHIXUE: She said that the E.U. would be happy to see if China can offer a kind of helping hand for the E.U.

JOFFE-WALT: She said she would like to see China offer a helping hand to the E.U.?

SHIXUE: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And finally, she…

JOFFE-WALT: Meaning what? Meaning money?

SHIXUE: Oh, yes. Yes. Of course, money. Well, I would say her voice was gentle and that her words were nice and open.

JOFFE-WALT: Well, you have to be friendly and gentle when you’re asking somebody for money.