Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Big Banks skate on drug money laundering charges

When a kid gets busted selling a joint, she may face serious consequences. College scholarships may be denied, family may be kicked out of their homes and there may be stiff fines to pay. Passing a bad check can do the same. So why can HSBC get away with laundering drug money and UBS can get away with manipulating the LIBOR financing system with little more than a slap on the wrist?

The "Law of supply and demand" says that when the supply of something is reduced, but the demand is not limited, then the price will tend to rise. This higher price leads to the development of alternatives to the product which is expensive as people run to get in on the high prices. But what about when supply and/or demand are manipulated by corporate or governments powers? Do we actually have an energy crisis, or do we have a crisis of energy supply being manipulated by non-market forces?

Welcome to the New Austerity. Back in the 1960s there was hope that the "New Left" or the "New Politics" would save us from the environmental damage that international war and corporate capitalism had caused. A new feeling of freedom and interdependence would fill the human spirit, ending hunger, war and racism.

Today all the talk is about belt tightening. From France to Greece workers and students are marching against austerity, but is anyone marching for what we WANT?

Finally, South Korea's new Prime Minister is a woman. Great Britain, Australia, India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Liberia, Ecuador, Brazil and dozens more have elected women to lead their nations. How is a nation governed differently under a woman leader, and why is the United States not on the list of governments to be led by women?

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