Black Agenda Radio Commentaries
News, analysis and commentary on the human condition from a black left perspective.

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The LIBOR scandal is only a big deal, in that it shows once again that global capital is a thoroughly criminal enterprise. Tinkering will not do – the class that created the system must be disempowered. The $1,000 trillion derivatives casino “is a bomb – a world-threatening monstrosity – that must be dismantled.” LIBOR is merely “agauge on the console of the bankers’ crime machine.”

 

LIBOR Ain’t Nothing But an Acronym: We Must Abolish the Finance Capitalist Class

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The system itself is a criminal enterprise that preys on the entire planet.”

The latest finance scandal concerns the LIBOR, the acronym for the interest rates banks offer each other for loans. Because the LIBOR rate is used as the basis for so many other financial calculations, some people say the scandal is potentially the biggest in the world. And then, there are those of us who wonder if the LIBOR case, in and of itself, really matters at all.

It is almost as if a bank has just been robbed, and the customers are all worried about the way that the robbers are calculating the value of the loot. The fact of the matter is, the robbery was an inside job. In this case, it appears that virtually all the big bankers and the people who were supposed to be regulating them were in on the crime – although, so far, only Barclays Bank in Britain has been fined. The banking system was not victimized by some shadowy group of predators who could be quarantined – after which all would be well. No, the system itself is a criminal enterprise that preys on the entire planet. What we have observed, most dramatically since the meltdown of 2008, is that the banksters who run the global financial criminal enterprise also control the political mechanisms of the western world. The state and, ultimately, the people pay the cost of the bankers’ crimes. Not only are the criminals not punished, they are rewarded with trillions of dollars in virtually free money from world’s central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve. This allows them to grow even bigger, and to commit ever larger criminal transactions, which the banks ultimately record as profits or pass on as losses to the public at-large.

It appears that virtually all the big bankers and the people who were supposed to be regulating them were in on the crime.”

Mathematically speaking, the biggest impact of LIBOR rate-fixing occurs in the world of derivatives, a universe inhabited solely by finance capitalists. The realm of derivatives dwarfs the one in which the rest of humanity lives. There are, perhaps, $1,000 trillion in derivatives hovering over a real world economy that is valued at only $70 to $80 trillion a year. That means the derivatives economy that is the playground of Wall Street is 12 and-a-half to 14 times bigger, on paper, than the real economy. Put another way, the bankers routinely place bets that are bigger than the real world’s actual worth – much, much bigger than the value of all the goods and services produced by every man, woman and child on the planet. Clearly, the derivatives trade is a bomb – a world-threatening monstrosity – that must be dismantled.

The public’s interest is not in how phony LIBOR rates affect the prices of a thousand trillion dollars in derivatives. Rather, humanity desperately needs to abolish the derivative trade, altogether, before it crushes the real economy.

To abolish derivatives, we will have to put the banking class out of business.

Noted economist Nouriel Roubini says some of the bankers ought to be hanged in the streets, to teach them a lesson. What’s certain is, if you don’t hang them, they will use their control of the government to hang thousands of you. Forget LIBOR. It’s just a gauge on the console of the bankers’ crime machine. The criminal class, itself, must be eliminated from public life.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

Direct download: 20120711_gf_LIBOR.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:02pm EDT

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Rwanda’s crimes against Congo are the subject of another United Nations report. The U.S., Rwanda’s ally and protector, “is also liable for the genocide in Congo.” Washington has placed its guns and money in the hands of an aggressive, minority regime – which is not surprising. “U.S. policy in Africa has almost always been to choose chaos in those places where it cannot rule directly.”

 

The Genocidal Fruits of U.S. Africa Policy

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Why does the United States place its strategic interests in the hands of the elite of a warlike minority in the heart of Central Africa?”

The United Nations has finally released a report detailing Rwanda’s latest destabilization of the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo. As usual, the delay was caused by the United States, which routinely blocks criticism of its military and political client-state, Rwanda, which has since 1996 been deeply complicit in the death of 6 million Congolese. The United States is, therefore, also liable for the genocide in Congo – the largest mass killings since World War Two.

Apologists for U.S. policy in Central Africa are fond of using the word “strategic.” The United States, they say, arms and protects Rwanda because America has “strategic” business and defense interests in the Congo’s vast mineral deposits. The infinitely corrupt Congolese strongman Mobutu Sese Seko used to be Washington’s attack dog in Africa. But, in the mid-90s, the Americans opted to back an invasion of eastern Congo by the Tutsi-minority regimes in Rwanda and Burundi, and the other U.S. client-state in the region, Uganda. Washington chose to put its strategic interests in the hands of a small but highly militarized people, the Tutsi, rather than help the Congolese government maintain control over its own territory.

A formula for endless war.”

Why would the United States choose such allies to protect its so-called “strategic interests.” On the face of it, this would seem like a formula for endless war in the region. Even before the mass killings of Tutsis in 1994, they never comprised more than 15 percent of the population in Rwanda or in Burundi, where Hutu people make up the vast majority. Having lorded it over the Hutus during and prior to the arrival of European colonialism, and havingmassacred many Hutu in both nations after independence, the Tutsi are not loved by their fellow countrymen. They have since become a primary source of destabilization and genocide in Congo. So the question is: Why does the United States place its strategic interests in the hands of the elite of a warlike minority in the heart of Central Africa? Why would Washington invest millions in minority-ruled governments of tiny countries like Rwanda and Burundi, which can only be sources of permanent instability in the region? Don’t the Americans understand that support for tiny, aggressive elites guarantees continued chaos?

The answer is: Yes, they do understand. Since independence, U.S. policy in Africa has almost always been to choose chaos in those places where it cannot rule directly. And chaos brings genocide. The U.S. reasons that, at any given moment, chaos contains many options, an infinity of possibilities for superpower action – whereas stable regimes with broad popular support provide less room for the foreigner to maneuver, less possibilities for a quick change of policy or regime.

Which is one reason that China looks good to Africa and to much of the rest of the formerly colonized world. The Chinese do not foment coups, or encourage whole regions to become saturated in arms. They just want to do business in a stable environment. That’s why China has surpassed the U.S. as Africa’s trading partner, and why U.S. imperialism will ultimately be defeated. Because nobody wants someone around who spreads chaos and mass death everywhere he goes.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

Direct download: 20120711_gf_ChaosAfrica.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:51pm EDT