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Capitalism, Socialism or Fascism?

• Washington**Q**s Blog

Well, Nouriel Roubini writes in a recent essay:

This is a crisis of solvency, not just liquidity, but true deleveraging has not begun yet because the losses of financial institutions have been socialised and put on government balance sheets. This limits the ability of banks to lend, households to spend and companies to invest...

The releveraging of the public sector through its build-up of large fiscal deficits risks crowding out a recovery in private sector spending.

Roubini has previously written:

We're essentially continuing a system where profits are privatized and...losses socialized.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb says the same thing:

After finishing The Black Swan, I realized there was a cancer. The cancer was a huge buildup of risk-taking based on the lack of understanding of reality. The second problem is the hidden risk with new financial products. And the third is the interdependence among financial institutions.

Ben Bernanke saved nothing! He shouldn't be allowed in Washington. He's like a doctor who misses the metastatic tumour and says the patient is doing very well.

Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz calls it "socialism for the rich". So do many others. 


Some, however, argue that the economy is more like fascism than socialism. For example, leading journalist Robert Scheer writes:

What is proposed is not the nationalization of private corporations but rather a corporate takeover of government. The marriage of highly concentrated corporate power with an authoritarian state that services the politico-economic elite at the expense of the people is more accurately referred to as "financial fascism" [than socialism]. After all, even Hitler never nationalized the Mercedes-Benz company but rather entered into a very profitable partnership with the current car company's corporate ancestor, which made out quite well until Hitler's bubble burst.

And Italian historian Gaetano Salvemini argued in 1936 that fascism makes taxpayers responsible to private enterprise, because "the State pays for the blunders of private enterprise... Profit is private and individual. Loss is public and social" (page 416).

This perfectly mirrors Roubini's statement about the American government's bailout plan.

Remember that one of the best definitions of fascism - the one used by Mussolini - is the "merger of state and corporate power".

That could never happen in America, right?


The government has given trillions in bailout or other emergency funds to private companies, but is largely refusing to disclose to either the media, the American people or even Congress where the money went Congress has largely been bought and paid for, and two powerful congressmen have said that banks run Congress The head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the former Vice President of the Dallas Federal Reserve, and two top IMF officials have all said that we have - or are in danger of having - oligarchy in the U.S. Economist Dean Baker says that the real purpose of bank rescue plans was "A massive redistribution of wealth to the bank shareholders and their top executives" The big banks killed any real chance for financial reform months ago


As pointed out in May (it is worth quoting the essay at some length, as this is an important concept), looting has replaced free market capitalism:

Nobel prize-winning economist George Akerlof co-wrote a paper in 1993 describing
the causes of the S&L crisis and other financial meltdowns. As summarized
by the New York Times:

As Akerlof wrote in his paper:

Much more at site!

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