This weekend has seen traumatic happenings on the world’s economic and political platform; nothing unusual you might say, true, but the events that have taken place affect the daily bread and butter of the entire globe! And as usual, these changes have not been due to the fault of the world’s average Joe and Jane, but to the political and financial institutions they have put their trust in.
Most of us are not intellectual economists with university diplomas sticking out of our back pockets, nor are we financial wizards who know the magical secrets of making a profit when shares are making a loss! But these are the sort of people who rule our lives, working through the governments we place in power. I am not saying all are bad, but let’s face it; most of today’s problems can be laid at the doors of government advisors who were, or are on their own personal schedule. We have seen the painful results time after time, after time… Maybe we should be able to have a larger voice into a government’s choice of advisors?
Democracy is the most prefect political tool that we have; but we as voters either misuse it or ignore it; only to moan about the consequences when it’s too late. The split political power base in the USA at the moment is a classic example; two opposing parties fighting each other, from their Washington strongholds! I actually don’t blame the parties concerned, but the voting public- Ladies and Gentlemen, this mess was created by you! America, you are not alone in screwing it up when you vote; you could say the same about a couple of European countries. Politics and finance both have an unsavoury reputation, agreed? To get their way they use a common tool called FEAR. And we, the gullible public, are easily led into its waiting trap.
Late on Friday, at the close of market trading, one of the world's leading credit rating agencies,Standard& Poor's, downgraded the United States' top-notch AAA rating for the first time ever. Here we go, let’s put more fear into the already panicking financial markets! Believe me someone, somewhere, is going to make big bucks on Monday! Do any of you know how these ‘super star’ credit agencies do their calculations- who pays them to do it- in fact who the fuck are they?! Ok, as stated before, I am not a university graduate, nor a financial genius, but a little-bit of street level logic I do have, let us look at some of S&P’s credit ratings.
S&P ratings (selected)
- AAA: UK, France, Germany, Canada, Australia
- AA+: USA, Belgium, New Zealand
- AA-: Japan, China (Source: S&P)
Now it seems all those countries on the top row are in a better financial state than the US, therefore Mr Cameron is talking rubbish when he says the UK has to tighten its belt- arguable. But can someone explain, why the nation that holds a great part of the world’s debt in its hands, China, is at AA-; and don’t come with ‘it’s a commy country’; it stopped being one the day that Mao died!
If you agree with the ratings above then explain this to me, S&P award only four US corporate companies triple ‘A’ ratings they are: Microsoft, Exxon, Mobil, Johnson & Johnson and Automatic Data Processing. Give me a reason why companies such as Apple and Google, who last week had more liquid cash than the US treasury, are not rated?! Besides which, how can you put a company’s rating higher than its home country’s sovereign rating? Any one remembers the film ‘Roller Ball’ which is played in a world ruled by large companies?
All these games with ratings and who’s the king of the political jungle, is not going to help Mr & Mrs D. Public, most of whom are seeing costs exploding, and jobs disappearing. At the moment many of our‘western’ governments cannot get their act together, could be that they have let themselves be ruled by greed!