Opinion by Helge Nome
My economic soap box platform is getting decidedly crowded lately. The doom-and-gloom crew are rapidly increasing in numbers as all the fancy penwork on corporate balance sheets is coming to light: The “recovery” was just a figment of the imagination, engineered by cost cutting involving, among other things, massive layoffs in staff by employers. It was all good for the balance sheet and bad for business. The rationale behind this behavior was to sail through the recession and hit the next bubble on the upslope. Instead, it has become “Custer’s Last Stand”: Arrogance turned into humiliation.
So, in a desperate scramble to get out of their predicaments, corporations are now beginning to use their inflated balance sheets to eat each other in mergers and acquisitions. They are about to find out, the hard way like Custer did, that all the unemployed “Indians” will encircle them, and unlike Custer’s Indians, starve them out of existence through their lack of purchasing power for the corporations’ products and services. Nevertheless, the result is the same: Dead corporations.
A lot of people are about to learn something that has been largely forgotten, even by people in the financial system who should know better, that fiat money like the Dollar, Yen, Euro and all the rest of them, have no inherent value that can be multiplied by a printing press. Their value only exists in relation to what they can legally purchase, such as goods and services of all kinds. And if you start “messing with the money”, as our financial predators have done for a long time now, the uncertainty and risk introduced into the productive system has the effect of making it shrink, rather than expand.
So as FED Chairman, Helicopter Ben Bernanke, gets ready to climb aboard his chopper, once again, with bags of money to be released into the economy as his final “nuclear option” for fixing things up, the financial corporations are eagerly holding up their hands anticipating even more inflated balance sheets to fund ever bigger corporate mergers and acquisitions. So that even more people can be laid off, reducing effective purchasing power in the community again.
This is the outcome of collective tunnel vision taken to the nth. degree. The vision of an ostrich with his head firmly planted in the sand and about to get his backside soundly kicked.
Custer and his men walked into a trap set for them by their Indian opponents. Our financial generals are walking into a trap set by themselves. Unlike Custer’s men, we don’t have to follow them.