Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/549/6419

From The Socialist newspaper, 23 September 2008

Their failure, their system: make the capitalists pay

Notice overlooked by Lloyds bank, which has just swallowed up Halifax Bank of Scotland, photo Paul Mattsson

Notice overlooked by Lloyds bank, which has just swallowed up Halifax Bank of Scotland, photo Paul Mattsson

FAT-CAT bankers from Wall Street to the City of London are reeling from the white-knuckle ride of last week's financial crisis. Capitalism has taken an almighty battering. In order to calm global markets, governments and financiers tried bail-outs, shotgun takeovers, and even letting a bank fail.

Elaine Brunskill

Trying to answer the question "Is the panic over?," The Independent's economics editor said: "For now, yes, if only because we're running out of banks to trash." Alan Greenspan, the former chair of the US Federal Reserve, commented that the demise of an institution such as Lehman Brothers was "probably a once-in-a-century type of event".

However in one volatile week, alongside the Lehman crash, we've seen: the US government being forced into nationalising AIG; Merrill Lynch (the third biggest US investment bank) hastily taken over by the Bank of America; and the take-over of HBOS, Britain's largest mortgage lender, whose share price plummeted by around 70%, with "spivs and speculators" blamed for the debacle.

All this followed hard on the heels of the bail-out of mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae - the US federal government was forced to nationalise them to rescue the US mortgage system and to try to stop further domino-effect banking failures.

These events are a huge ideological blow for fans of neo-liberalism. As Seumas Milne wrote in The Guardian: "What is certain is the dominance of the free-market model of capitalism which held sway across the world for two decades, is rapidly coming to an end."

Another Guardian commentator laments that the chair of the US federal reserve and the US treasury secretary, "have done more for socialism in the past seven days than anybody since Marx and Engels"!

On Sunday's AM programme, Gordon Brown tried to calm City nerves by saying: "We are pro-business; pro-market". Of course, he said absolutely nothing about New Labour being pro-working people. Even the last 16 years of economic growth have been dismal for the vast majority of workers who have had to run up huge debts to afford a half-decent standard of living.

But as ordinary workers struggled, city bankers strutted around, their wallets bulging with huge bonuses, thinking themselves 'masters of the universe'. These odious individuals used to whinge that the 'nanny state' is too costly and should be dismantled. Suddenly they have had a change of heart and want us to bail out their failing enterprises. This about-turn has been dubbed "socialism for the rich".

Socialists want the nationalisation of all the major banks and financial institutions, not just those which are floundering. However, we don't just want short-term nationalisation that pumps workers' taxes into failing banks, only to privatise them when the economy looks healthier.

We want these institutions permanently taken into democratically run public ownership. This move could guarantee affordable mortgages, and ensure workers' homes are not repossessed because of free market failings.

The fat-cat financiers who created this crisis are still creaming it in. The chief executive of AIG who - in his four months at the helm - managed to plunge the company into an abyss, will get a $7 million golden handshake.

The head of Lehman Brothers, which was "corroded by bad debt and bonus-fuelled speculation", walked away with $11 million. Meanwhile ordinary workers at Lehman's London office were told there was no guarantee they would be paid their final month's wages!

In Britain, it is estimated that over 100,000 jobs will be axed in the financial sector.

There will be no golden goodbyes for the bank-tellers, office cleaners and other working-class people in the finance sector - only unemployment (with scarce alternative jobs), a mountain of debt and the fear of losing homes as they struggle to keep up with rents and mortgages.

Capitalism's boom has come to an abrupt end.
More and more workers and young people will be looking for a socialist alternative to the destructive madness of the market.

Video: Credit Crunch part 1 - Interview with Socialist Party general secretary Peter Taaffe (4 mins)

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 23 September 2008:

Their failure, their system: make capitalists pay


Socialist Students

Scrap tuition fees!

Students seek out socialists!

Education a 'them and us' system


Socialist Party editorial

New Labour flounders in face of economic crisis


Socialist Party feature

Make the super-rich pay!

Merseyside CNWP calls for socialist policies


Socialist Party campaigns

Protesting against Bush and Brown's wars

LibDems aping the Tories

Them & us

Jamie's school dinner staff threatened with privatisation

Fighting the racist BNP in Stoke

We won't take the RAP on pollution

Health Trust concessions on Swansea casualty unit

Salford councillors play blame game


Socialist Party workplace news

Civil service strike ballot begins

Workers vow to fight Ford's closure plans

North Staffs NSSN launched


International socialist news and analysis

Revolution and counter-revolution in Bolivia


Socialist Party review

The Dark Knight: Batman's latest crime-buster

McMafia: Crime Without Borders


 

Home   |   The Socialist 23 September 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Capitalism:

triangleTrump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian conflict

triangleA world in crisis, ripe for revolution

triangleThem & Us

triangleBrexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

triangleFighting sexism, violence and capitalism - an international struggle

Market:

triangleUni market 'failure', two-year degrees - end cuts, scrap fees!

triangle'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

triangleObesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

US:

triangleRetail sector crunch: nationalise to save jobs

triangleTrump's tax plan: Robin Hood in reverse

triangleMobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

Alan Greenspan:

triangleWhy public sector cuts are not inevitable

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

16/12/17

Haringey

Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

14/12/17

Waltham Forest

Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

13/12/17

London

Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

13/12/17

Fracking

Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

13/12/17

Devon

Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

13/12/17

Miners

Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated

13/12/17

Bradford

Bradford campaign to save children's services launched

13/12/17

South London

South London health bosses' cover-up

13/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite day of action against blacklisting

13/12/17

Brighton

Brighton victory

13/12/17

Newham

Newham anti-academies strikes

13/12/17

Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting

12/12/17

Woolwich

Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

7/12/17

RMT

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

triangle13 Dec Labour 'purge' furore really just democracy

EU parliament, Strasbourg

triangle13 Dec Brexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

More ...

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

triangle6 Jan Socialist Party national women's meeting

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2