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27 October, 2016

How the banksters took over New York in 1975


We could say that the latest film of Adam Curtis, 'HyperNormalisation', is an update of some of his previous films, which is enriched with the most recent global events and developments. The new film presents also interesting stories about some key figures in the development of cybernetics and the modern perception of non-linear politics.

A special "chapter" is dedicated to an interesting story on how the banksters managed to take over New York back in 1975. This story is very important because it is focusing on the details of the rise of a new era in which the power of the banks and the financialized markets completely dominated over the political power until today.

In 1975, New York City was on the verge of collapse. For thirty years, the politicians who run the city had borrowed more and more money from the banks to pay for its growing services and welfare. But in the early 70s, the middle classes fled from the city and the taxes they paid disappeared with them. So, the banks lent the city even more. But then, they began to worry about the size of the growing debt and whether the city would ever be able to pay it back. And then, one day in 1975, the banks just stopped.

The city held its regular meeting to issue bonds in return for the loans, overseen by the city's financial controller. The banks were supposed to turn up at 11 a.m., but it soon became clear that none of them were going to appear. The meeting was rescheduled for 2 p.m. and the banks promised they would turn up.

What happened that day in New York, marked a radical shift in power. The banks insisted that in order to protect their loans, they should be allowed to take control of the city. The city appealed to the President, but he refused to help, so a new committee was set up to manage the city's finances. Out of nine members, eight of them were bankers.

It was the start of an extraordinary experiment where the financial institutions took power away from the politicians and started to run society themselves. The city had no other option. The bankers enforced what was called "austerity" on the city, insisting that thousands of teachers, policemen and firemen were sacked.

This was a new kind of politics. The old politicians believed that crises were solved through negotiations and deals. The bankers had a completely different view. They were just the representatives of something that couldn't be negotiated with: the logic of the market. To them, there was no alternative to this system. It should run society.

Today, we witness this "logic" in its most brutal form, especially concerning the European debt crisis. The destructive financialized capitalism increases inequality, poverty, unemployment, destroys welfare state, imposes austerity. In eurozone, the ECB dictatorship imposed brutal, neoliberal measures through financial coups. The example of Ireland is quite characteristic with the first silent coup there. The example of Greece is more obvious, as the ECB dictatorship was forced to reveal its true nature through an open financial coup in 2015, when the Greek Prime Minister decided a referendum so that the Greek people should decide on whether they would accept the brutal neoliberal measures.

However, these are signs that the banking mafia starts losing control, as more and more people understand that the free market "utopia" is a fairytale.

Financialized capitalism is about to end, but it seems that the system that will replace it, will be even worse. The economic elites are working to establish the global banking-corporate Feudalism, but more and more people appear to be informed about this new reality. The battle against this dark future will be continued.

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