Attentive observers will have noticed, that roughly every 10 years a financial crisis occurs, although with varying severity, they can always be traced back to 1929. That one, could almost be compared with the crisis of 2008. The difficulty with all these crises, is that each time a different mechanism has led to them. This should be taken into consideration, when trying to apply urgently needed measures, to prevent the next one from occurring.
One can roughly describe the beginnings of those already mentioned thus: Imagine, e.g., a large automobile concern. To pay the old-age pensions, the state gets the money from the present workers. The automobile concern on the other hand, must build up reserves to be able to pay the company pensions. In theory, these funds could be put into a savings account. This however, was not being done, long before 2008. It is also important to mention, that in a public corporation, a number of people are involved in the decision-making proccess.
So, the employee's representatives are of the opinion, that the funds should be as securely invested as possible. Government bonds e.,g. are considered to be secure. No-one can imagine that the state can go into bancruptcy. The companies hope that the pension fund will increase in growth by getting a somewhat higher yield than from a savings account. Real estate also seems to offer a solid equivalent for the funds. A second, lucrative source of funding are the proceeds earned through dealing in crude oil. After a longer peiod, where a barrel of oil cost only about one Dollar, the price has now increased to up to one hundred Dollars.
Also the responsible people in the Emirates appear to consider, that apart from Daimler-shares, the only worthwhile investment is in real estate. What that means, is building, building, building, so long, until later, any number of construction ruins reach into the sky. Banks of course, are by definition, institutes which do business using other people's money. They cannot have an equity ratio of, let's say 66 percent because then they would no longer be a bank. Indeed, hardly any outsider would have imagined that sometimes only 3 percent would be sufficient.
Of course, money can be earned by having money. Having such a low equity, the risk of losing one's own money is small. Indeed, at this point one must also consider the previously ruling time-flow, a peculiarity of the 2008 crisis. Ater all, capitaism had won the battle against communism. It was obviously the stronger system. Germany even seems to be succeeding in the building up of the decaying east and still being able to keep up with the industrial/economic nations.
Who then, would still dare to raise a warning finger? Over and above that, who would even listen to them? Shareholder value is at it's peak. In Germany, it's the Telecom shares, which have risen from the word go, those who have no idea of the stock market, are climbing aboard and getting the feeling of being in an elevator. That most people forget to get out again shortly after the share-value has peaked, is not directly the fault of the system. All the alarm signals are ignored, after all, there are so many examples of big profits being made.
As a consequence of the 11th of September 2001, the USA has, bit by bit, wagered it's national debt on considerable military expenses. What sort of yield can one expect, if one wages war on Irak and is then not able to keep the oil-supply going? All the signs of deficits are swept away by the money-printing machine. On the contrary, with low interest rates, America is cranking up the economy, the whole world is living from loans, all except perhaps China.
Now, one would think, that a solid Swabian company like Daimler has little to do with crumbling banks. Indeed, world economies are intertwined with each other. The rise and fall of the Dollar creates problems. How can one ask the listing-price for an S-Class Mercedes, when this either doesn't cover the manufacturing cost, or in comprison, may be far too high? This is where the banks come into play, so to speak, as an assurance for a stable exchange rate.
This of course has it's price, the banks have to take the risk and gamble that the currency will either be revaluated or devaluated, what ever happens they don't want to lose money. To ensure this, analysts, mathematic models and of course, computers are necessary. Nowadays, the popular opinion is, that the investment sector should be seperated from the commercial part of the bank. Oddly enough, in this respect, the American banks are exemplary. This only goes to show, one decides on certain measures and indeed, the next crisis is fueled from other sources.
Let's continue with the description of the crisis. In the meantime, there is a great deal of money in circulation which can, as quick as lightning, be spread about differently. The investment departments in banks consider themselves to be clearly superior because their profits are distinctly higher. If they can gamble to protect export-profits, then they can also gamble to increase their own. They take on a wager that a certain currency will be devaluated. If they then transfer a lot of this currency into another one, their actions are automatically justified. In addition, the money which is returned in the devaluated currency, brings in an extra profit.
Politics are not strong enough, to undertake measures against so much success. On the contrary, they even relax the rules of the game. By the way, this system of capitalism has long since bought it's way into the political landscape, since in a democracy, it's simple to promise everyone everthing. Compromises are smoothed out by spending more. The clock of debt is ticking away, also in Germany: One Billion, two billions. In view of this, the misconstruction of the Euro and the lack of control, is hardly noticed. Quite the opposite, as a shining example, Germany itself, oversteps the limit of 3 percent of the gross national product.
If today, you ask the justified question, of what has been done with all the tax-money, for which we've been responsible over the decades, you would be given the answer, that certainly, some of it, not very much though, has been paid out as bonuses to the bankers who are in pretty high positions, or to active employees whom they cannot afford to lose, or the money-printing states have used up the money. Then of course, the 'precision war' against Irak has also had to be financed. A further amount has been used up by, e.g., the European states, whose additional debts have resulted not from investing but through benefits to their citizens.
Of course, there may be the one or the other clever investor, who sold off at the right time. In stock-market slang, this is called 'profit-taking' Generally speaking, the investors also come off well, they get to keep at least part of their shares because the respective companies have been rescued. Thus, the miracle can be partially explained, which prevented the Deutsche Bank from having to apply for direct state loans. The large-scale government bail-outs probably saved the bank from having losses, so, at least partially, perhaps an indirect bank rescue?
No, the only one's who can justifiably complain, are those who never had the chance to exploit the boom in the first place and whose low means are again being drastically cut. Those in this country, e.g., the communal politicians with a high debt-ratio, who have tried to smooth everything out by buying scandalous overseas shares, should crawl away in shame. Another shocking action, was that gigantic sums of money had still been transferred, after the recipient had already pleaded insolvency.
At this point, we've only just touched on the artificial products offered by the banking sector. They are created in several stages. First of all, particularly in the USA, someone with hardly any equity capital and only a low income, could finance a house, purely on the suspicion that the house would rise in value. This transaction is given a seal of approval from a company that in the past, had perhaps produced independent appraisals. These debentures, together with the promise of profits, are thus broken down, that no-one can even roughly estimate the risk. This is the further development of the chain-letters of the past, only, it involves much more money or much higher financial loss. 10/12