A Better New Year? Perhaps Not…

2021 was good because Trump was out, but there are many unanswered questions that do not give reason for cheer. 

Syria, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, North Korea and many other poor countries and being raped by despots, religious fanatics, rabble armies and mercenaries. 

In the US, the big Republican Party has not improved its manners – they are the biggest threat to American democracy. That could turn into something worse than a pandemic…

The “media” that we are being forced to accept is still dominated by Big Tech that is damaging democracy by pushing out fake news, and by profiting from the work of others. They do not even pay their due taxes, and they are just too big to stop…

Banks make us do all the work and have no idea about customer service – in fact customers are servicing the banks! Do we need banks that mainly exist to feather their own beds?

Climate change is not happening fast enough because of corporate lobbying by oil, coal, forestry and the vehicle industries. Lobby registers are still not implemented and lobbying has ballooned. Men in suits claim that Greta is rubbish, and continue to greenwash their companies’ activities. Who do they think they are fooling?

But we are powerless to act except by not flying, trying to use less plastic, sorting our waste into five bins… while the big boys enjoy not doing anything of the sort – à la Davos, or G7, or G20 – all in private jets and heavy armoured cars… 

Our cash savings have been destroyed by non-existent interest rates while inflation is surging ahead at 5% and 6%. In fact it has been chipping away at bank deposits for over a decade now. The central banks are openly financing governments with fake money. Men in dark suits, white shirts and blue or red ties  look at us with serious faces and keep on repeating that we must cut public spending, while they go on massive investment binges by buying government, bank and corporate bonds – the US’s Federal Reserve now holds USD 9 trillion while the European Central Bank owns €5 trillion. These are huge numbers – you can only imagine what the traders at big banks are saying when they get home in the evening, “Hi dear, that was another great day. The French just sold €2 billion of their 10 year bonds and I sold them two minutes later to the ECB! Then Germany sold another 20 year bond issue to us and a few other banks – we placed one-third with central banks in ten minutes. You can’t even imagine what my bonus will look like in January…!” 

The claim by the Bank of Finland or by the German Bundesbank that the central banks are not financing governments is the biggest hoax around today. Their active purchasing of these bonds is keeping interest rates down well below inflation, and low interest rates and the abundant money supply pumps up share prices and causes home prices to go sky high. This makes the pockets of the wealthy bulge, while students, other younger folk, low income workers and pensioners see that they have less cash for food, heat and rent – they are clearly being made poorer with less security. 

The same central bankers talk endlessly about austerity and the need to cut public spending and yet their actions only make things doubly hard for the majority of the population. 

Then you have the Finnish corporate bosses talking about tax cuts as their salaries and bonuses soar in to great heights. In relative terms this small number of inter-connected gentlemen are receiving some  30 to 60 times more cash each year than the average worker. These ratios are far greater if you take into account their pension benefits and share options, but they are well hidden away from the daylight.

Finland used to be a place where you could discuss these questions but today any such discussion is squashed quickly by well-organised, well-paid and active lobbyists, who are joined at the hip with the wealthy and the right wing politicians who sing the song of the same corporate leaders and bankers, their sponsors.

… and it is not only the bankers and corporate leaders who are boisterously selling their stories… now we have Finnish doctors who earn millions from private practice and related businesses, after we, the taxpayers, have paid for their super expensive and long training. 

2022 may be a reasonably good year, but it could also turn noisy in and between the US, Xi, Putin for others. 

We need to practice talking more and be brave enough to say that some policies are being created by others who are not politicians. Elected politicians should decide upon such policies and not by CEOs, their boards in the private sector, or by non-elected public officials like central bankers.

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