Despite numerous assurances of US officials and pro-government "Washington" boys from the IMF and the World Bank group regarding the "sustainable recovery of the American economy" and "confidently overcoming the crisis," the real situation in the economy is still far from being ideal. from elementary balance. The American political elites, controlled by the large financial capital of Wall Street and the transnational industrial giants, not only do not discuss the real causes of the 2008 crisis, but by all means try to silence them. None of them even dare to raise the issue of the catastrophe to which the US and the entire world economy led the 40 anniversary of the unbridled domination of parasitic financial capitalism, realized in the interests of the international financial oligarchy and based on the construction of the dollar debt pyramid.
Against the background of the incessant talk about improving the financial and economic situation in the United States, the real situation in the economy remains extremely difficult: economic growth of 3% in the 4-th quarter. 2011 more than 67% was due to a record jump in material and technical stocks by 3,5% in the last 25 of the year. At the same time, the White House manages to maintain the level of economic and business activity solely due to the maintenance of record budget deficits - of the order of 9-13% over the past 4 years. The enormous emission pumping of financial markets by the Federal Reserve ($ 2,3 trillion over the last 3 of the year), coupled with unrecorded emissions (guarantees, sureties, etc.) in the amount of $ 13 trillion. allows you to keep borrowing rates at historically low levels (0,05-2%) and inflate bubbles in financial markets that mimic the revival of business activity and the recovery of the global economy.
Fig.1 Dynamics of public debt to GDP (in billions of dollars and as% of GDP)
At the same time, not a word is said about the existing structural imbalances and distortions in the American economy, which threaten with the exhaustion of the effect of emission flooding of financial markets with liquidity to plunge not only the American but the entire world economy into a phase of new global depression. At the same time, the existing monetary and financial system, based on uncontrolled and unlimited dollar emission in the interests of the largest international shareholder banks of the Federal Reserve and building a pyramid of unpaid debts, also will not stand under the onslaught of fundamental distortions.
We are talking about the exorbitant debt burden on the state (105% of GDP), White House's uncovered social and health care obligations (350% of GDP), perennial chronic budget deficits (10% of GDP over 3,5 years), and the trade balance (3,8% of GDP), excessive debt burden of the population (120% of disposable income), stagnation in the housing market (sales 4 times lower than 2006) and still extremely high unemployment (officially 8,3%, in reality at least 16,5%), which throws everything to the side greater number of american citizens etc Oocyte lumpenization and degradation of the population.
The report of the Federal Treasury on the dynamics of the state budget execution in February 2012 was completely disappointing. - despite the growing political crisis around excess spending, the federal budget deficit in February of this year exceeded $ 232 billion, which was 1,7 times higher than the level of November 2011g. and almost 4,5% surpassed the value of February of the previous year. In general, following the first 2 months, the US state budget deficit exceeded $ 259,4 billion. If the White House cannot step on the throat of the military-industrial complex and cut funding for military operations to "plant democracy" in the Middle East and Afghanistan, it risks provoke a full-fledged budget crisis and finally undermine the confidence of investors and other countries in the US currency. And this can already be a good enough reason to further destabilize financial markets and provoke a market crash.
Figure 2 US federal budget deficit
Source: Philadelphia Fed
Concern about shrinking consumer activity of American citizens, expressed in a slowdown in retail sales growth in large retail chains from 5,3% in early January, 2012 is causing quite strong concerns. to less than 2,3% in mid-March. And even the debt burden on the population, which has decreased from 135% to 115% of the size of disposable income, is not able to have a significant impact on the revival of consumer activity. Especially in conditions when the labor market, with the exception of the financial sector and certain sectors of the service sector (restaurants, hotels, tourism), still stagnates.
Moreover, if we correct the official data of the US Department of Commerce for real inflation (cleared of manipulations with hedonic indexes, the structure of the consumer basket and geometric mean smoothing), it turns out that the real retail trade in the US is at the end of 2006, despite 35% increase in public debt over the past 4 of the year, uncontrolled investments in financial markets of more than $ 3,2 trillion. and unrestrained talk about a bright future of the deindustrializing US economy, breathing its last, and the unshakable positions of "dollar imperialism".
The situation with the dynamics of retail sales and consumer activity looks absolutely awful, if the official and extremely politically correct data of the state statistical services on the population growth of the United States is adjusted. In this case, the increase in retail sales for the period 1990-2011gg. will be not widely advertised pre-election 48,2%, but much more modest 102,2%. Taking into account the real inflation, the increase at all will amount to barely noticeable 22,7%, while most of this increase is due to inflation of the debt burden on the population and jump in consumption of 20% of the most wealthy US citizens, while the standard of living of 40% of the least well-off population has decreased by 5 -10%.
Fig.3 Dynamics of real retail turnover in the USA
Source: dshort.com, Bureau of Census
The next wave of optimism was triggered by a report by the US Department of Labor, whose experts continue to push for electoral optimism and continue to throw out, with rare zeal, those who receive unemployment benefits for more than 2 years or have lost all hopes of finding a permanent job. The natural result of the statistical perversions of the White House was the decrease in the US unemployment rate from 9,2% to 8,3% for the period from mid-summer 2011. However, an alternative estimate of the unemployment rate (U6 indicator), given by the Ministry of Labor itself and taking into account the “desperate unemployed”, indicates that the unemployment rate exceeds the 15% mark.
However, this assessment of unemployment causes skepticism - over the past 30 years, the US economic authorities, acting under pressure from the ruling class and the financial oligarchy, have changed the 3 times in the methodology for calculating employment indicators. If you resort to the methodology of the middle 1980-ies, which took into account part-time employment, desperate to find a job for more than 12 months and idle for economic reasons, then the unemployment rate goes beyond 22,5%. And this is quite comparable to being in a state of undeclared default. The only thing that saves the White House is part-time employment and social benefits for unemployment, supported by giant holes in the local and federal budgets.
At the same time, the average duration of being in the status of unemployed in the 2011. jumped from 37,4 to 40 weeks, and the proportion of the so-called chronically unemployed "jumped in the last 4 of the month from 42,2% to 42,6%. And this is in conditions where almost half of all 227 created in February 2012. jobs were due to a jump temporary employment in the services sector (+ 45 thousand places), as well as public health and social welfare (+ 61,1 thousand places). If in January of the previous year the growth of jobs in these sectors did not exceed 13,8 and 16,1 thousand places, respectively then by December 2011 it grew to 18,7 and 29,5 s. the places and at the beginning 2012g. and all doubled.
Figure 4 Unemployment Dynamics in the USA
Source: Department of Labor, Shadowstats.com
The situation in foreign trade is not much better, in which the United States continues to act as a net consumer of imported goods and services and, contrary to numerous statements by officials, can in no way reduce its excess consumption, which provokes increased distortions in the global economy. In other words, the US government artificially supports excessive consumption of final goods and services, which it is in principle not able to pay even theoretically. Sustainable US trade deficits began to form at the end of the 1960-1970-s, when the rampant flight of large industrial and financial capital, as well as the transfer of production capacity outside the country in search of cheaper labor, caused a drop in the production of marketable products in the US and chronic excess import over export.
It was in the second half of the 1960's. Treasury by agreement with bankers from Wall Street, among other things being the main shareholders of the American "printing press" represented by the Fed, began to expand emission pumping and expand debt burden. As a result, the ratio of gold reserves of the Ministry of Finance in relation to the emitted cash money fell from the 90-100% required under the Bretton Woods system to barely noticeable 10%, which provoked the inability of the US to fulfill its obligations to foreign owners of dollar reserves and exchange paper dollars for gold. In fact, in mid-August 1971g. during the famous Nixon speech about freezing the exchange of gold for US dollars defaulted and, apparently, lost the race of the USSR.
Figure 5 US Foreign Trade Deficit
Source: FRB St. Louis
After the abolition of the gold standard in August 1971g. and removing the "golden brake" from the emission pumping of the economy and inflating consumption into debt (known as "reaganomics policies", but prepared under Jimmy Carter), began the orgy of financial capitalism, which turned into "dollar hegemony", inflation of financial bubbles and unrestrained growth of debt burden . Only in the last 30 years, the level of government debt burden jumped from 40% to 105%, the ratio of debt to disposable household income increased from 55% to 115%.
The natural outcome of unleashing the financial oligarchy that controls the printing press of the Federal Reserve was a massive redistribution of assets and national income: the share of the financial sector in corporate profits in the US jumped from 4% in 1947. to 45% in 2007g., and the share in the country's GDP has expanded from 2% to 17%. In fact, taking into account the scale of the redistribution of assets and national wealth in favor of the financial oligarchy, as well as control over a critical part of the financial assets of the state, the population and the corporate sector, it can be a question of the dominant position of large transnational financial capital in the economy and politics of the USA - up to 30% in GDP and 50% in profits.
Figure 6 The share of the financial sector in corporate profits and US GDP (%)
The dominance of large financial capital, which actively parasitized on the emission pumping of financial markets and the lifting of restrictions on cross-border capital flows, led to the overflow of capital from low profitable real sectors of the economy and basic science to speculative operations on financial markets with high returns. At the same time, according to the report of the Comptroller of Money Circulation at the US Treasury, in the hands of 4 key US banks are concentrated more than 98% of the total derivatives market, which became the main tool for manipulating financial markets, commodity exchanges, and, consequently, the global economy.
The scale of concentration and centralization of bank capital in the hands of the largest and most influential banking groups is most clearly manifested in the following examples - from the beginning of the 1980's. the share of assets attributable to banks with total assets exceeding $ 10 billion jumped from 27% to 82%, and their share in total banking sector profits increased more than 4 times - from 20% to 87%. At the same time, despite the overall growth in the number of banks with assets exceeding $ 10 billion, the list of the largest shareholders of the Federal Reserve and prime dealers, determining the fate of the American and the entire world economy, as well as the situation in the currency and financial markets, has not undergone almost any changes. As before, control over the printing press and the issue of the dollar is in the hands of an international financial cartel, whose interests are often diametrically opposed to the interests of the state, the population, and industrial capital.
Separate attention should be paid to the relentless conversations of supranational ruling elites and the “Washington boys in short pants” from the IMF and World Bank serving their interests that the rapid growth of the debt burden on all sectors of the US economy (from 110% to 370% of GDP over the last 40 years) not conducive to lowering US financial stability and destabilizing the financial system It is clear that large transnational financial capital, as well as international monopolies, in whose interests financial globalization was carried out under the banner of "dollar imperialism", does everything possible to keep silent about its parasitic existence - instead of acting as an instrument for financing capital investments and means of ensuring expanded reproduction and realization of the investment potential of the industry, financial capital mutated into an independent predatory faction of capitalism, parasitic on the decay of the world economy.
Figure 7 The share of banks in total assets of the US banking system, depending on the size of assets
For more than 40 years, the only net recipient of interest payments on loans in the United States (and the situation is similar throughout the world) has been the banking sector, whose net interest income for the last 40 years (with the abolition of the gold standard) jumped from $ 15 to $ 650 billion . (4,5% of GDP). At the same time, the total interest payments on loans from the US government and the non-banking corporate sector are based on 2009 only. exceeded $ 300 and $ 315 billion (4,2% of GDP).
The situation is no better for the ordinary citizens of the United States, whom the propaganda of the Washington Regional Party Committee has managed to record as one of the main beneficiaries of the rampant financial capitalism - net interest payments of the population in 2009. passed for $ 190 billion. At the same time still in 1989g. At its peak, the net interest incomes of the US population exceeded $ 220 billion. Since then, the financial system has completely gone out of control of the state and society and functions solely in the interests of itself and its main owners, realizing the lion’s share of national income and wealth in favor of financial oligarchy.
Fig.8 Net interest income of US economic entities
Since the beginning of the 1970's. The annual US foreign trade deficit jumped from $ 15 billion to $ 551 billion in 2008. - i.e. 36,7 times. At the same time, over the past 12 years, the US imports of goods and services exceeded exports by $ 350-600 billion or 3,5-5% of GDP. In other words, annually throughout 2000-2011. The United States received a good loan from all the rest of the world at a rate of a few percent of its GDP, which, coupled with an increase in the debt load, made it possible to maintain the illusion of an increase in the welfare of the population. Following the 2000-2011g. the cumulative accumulated deficit of US foreign trade exceeded $ 7,37 trillion, which is almost half of the GDP of the "empire of good" in 2011. - $ 15,3 trillion
Chart 9 Devaluation of paper currencies relative to an ounce of gold
Source: Reuters, BMG
The "imperialism of the dollar" and the system of global comprador bribery of national elites allowed the American management class, which is one of the main centers of power within the global management class, to draw most of the previously independent countries of the world into a system of unequal foreign economic exchange. In other words, over the past 40 years of domination of dollar-based financial capitalism in exchange for selling off real goods and resources (oil, gas, metals), exporting countries in the United States receive from them unsecured dollar bills (or numbers on computer accounts) in such a volume without loss you can only invest in the debt securities of the US government. This contributed to the inflow of financial capital in the United States, the further inflation of bubbles in the consumer and financial markets, as well as the growth of imbalances in excess consumption. It is not surprising that, coupled with the effect of overvalued relative to the real purchasing power of the dollar rate, this allows the US, with its contribution to world GDP at 18,5%, to generate about 40% of global final demand and maintain the share of the dollar in the international settlement system above the 55-60% .
In other words, throughout all the 40 years of uncontrolled emission pumping of the world economy and financial globalization, realized in the interests of a narrow circle of the largest international banks-shareholders of the Federal Reserve and the rest of the largest Central Banks, all other countries lent and free of charge to the system of unequal foreign exchange. continue to lend to the United States, exchanging resource for non-resource, commodity for non-commodity, physical for virtual, i.e. real capital is fictitious. Over the past 12 years alone, the United States has thus received a net commodity credit of $ 6,7 trillion. (44,6% of GDP), and for the period since the cancellation of the gold standard and the monetization of debt, the accumulated deficit of US foreign trade exceeded $ 8,5 trillion. In many ways, this artificially inflated due to the expansion of credit and the imposition of the world's only reserve currency in the face of the dollar consumption and helped create the illusion of rising living standards of American citizens and for the time being to cover the crisis state of the American economy, which has become, in fact, bankrupt.
Figure 10 Accumulated US Trade Deficit
At the same time, worthless dollar bills obtained as part of such a non-equivalent exchange are also permanently depreciated in 6-10 years during periodically provoked stock and stock market crises, which contributes to the depreciation of debts and the burning of excess dollar money supply. Only since the cancellation of the gold standard and the launch of the global dollar issue flywheel, the US currency depreciated 7 times, and since the creation of the Federal Reserve (headquarters of the international banking cartel) the dollar's purchasing power has fallen more than 23 times.
Since the removal of the "golden brake" and the elimination of all sorts of restrictions with the uncontrolled emission of the dollar and other reserve currencies, there has been a process of so-called "inflation of petrodollars", expressed in the ubiquitous growth of quotations on the financial, commodity and currency markets, creating the illusion of reviving the global economy and the turbulent development of business activity. However, in fact, there is an unbridled depreciation of "paper" currencies, manifested in the "inflation of financial assets" - the issue of key reserve currencies was finally untied from the real economy and increase in commodity security, which triggered a general inflation of financial bubbles.
Fig.11 The purchasing power of the American dollar (1967g = $ 1)
For more than 40 years, the overwhelming majority of countries of the so-called "periphery of world dollar imperialism", which has entered into the system of international division of labor imposed by American TNCs and global banks on the rights of colonial banana republics and suppliers of cheap labor, lend free of charge to their material and labor resources US and support the purchasing power of the depreciating dollar. In fact, the liberalization of foreign economic relations, which is imposed on the frankly colonial and predatory "Washington Consensus", is aimed solely at simplifying the access of global monopolies and international banks to the markets of previously independent countries and their subsequent financial and economic colonization.
As the experience of Eastern European countries and former member countries of the USSR shows, the monstrous deindustrialization of the economy, the collapse of high-tech industries, the degradation of science, technology and technology becomes the logical outcome of the thoughtless lifting of restrictions on cross-border capital movements and following the recommendations of “Washington boys” production potential, lumpenization of the population and the slide of national economies into a state of medieval feudal archaic. It is precisely this that demonstrates with utmost clarity the example of the Eurozone covered by the debt crisis, which reflects the deep crisis of the whole European integration project, which was colonial in nature. Neither Greece, nor Portugal, nor even Spain, within the framework of the existing system of division of labor, have any sources for existence - they simply cannot offer competitive products to the European market and compete with Western European industrial giants.
And Russia, unfortunately, over the past 22 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union has also been acting as a raw materials appendage and supplier of skilled labor for the United States, the European Union and, more recently, China. Over the past 20 years, more than $ 750 billion has flowed out of the country only according to official statistics of the Bank of Russia, and given the “gray” and frankly criminal withdrawal of capital, this figure exceeds $ 1,5-2 trillion. Taking into account lost capital gains and the multiplicative negative effect of 2-fold fall in GDP, 60% industrial collapse, 5-fold compression of capital investments, 10-fold fall in high-tech industries and the extinction of 15 million people total losses will exceed $ 3,5-4 . If we add to this figure the devouring of national wealth from the sale of irreplaceable natural resources in the amount of $ 3,3 trillion, then the sum of Russia's direct economic losses from one-sided and defective embedding into the global division of labor carried out in the interests of Wall Street banks and the largest international banks will exceed $ 7 trillion mark
Fig.12 Russian export commodity structure
Only in the last 20 years, the share of mineral raw materials and primary processing products in exports jumped from 26% to 92%, the share of manufacturing industries in GDP fell from 36% to 16,1%, production volumes in the processing industries are 20% below 1990g levels, and in mechanical engineering, machine-tool construction and instrument-making, the output does not reach 40-55% of the level of the late USSR. At the same time, in most manufacturing sectors, especially in investment engineering, equipment manufacturing and light industry, the load level has fallen from 82-87% to 30-45%. And no matter how much the Russian authorities would talk about their intention to get off the “oil needle” and carry out “modernization,” the process did not go any further than replacing light bulbs in doorways and digging out a potato field in Skolkovo.
If the Russian authorities really want to break out of complete economic, political, financial, ideological, and scientific and technical dependence, then it is necessary to reorient the entire model of the Russian economy in the shortest time possible from eating up the natural resource rent to maximizing scientific, technical, infrastructural and industrial rent. And for this it is necessary to declare a war on systemic corruption at the highest level, to limit the arbitrariness of the raw material monopolies that terrorize the manufacturing industry and the population of extremely high tariffs and make the overwhelming majority of non-primary sectors of the economy unprofitable. It is necessary to untie the ruble emission from the inflow of petrodollars and foreign loans as soon as possible, as well as to start the mechanism of crediting the domestic economy and refinancing the national banking system so that the money supply is formed in accordance with the needs of domestic producers, rather than games of global speculative capital.
“Dollar imperialism”, which pumped out juices from the world economy in the interests of large transnational financial and industrial capital, is gradually choking under the weight of the structural imbalances and contradictions generated by it. Unlike 2008, when the collapse of the existing monetary and financial system, based on the hegemony of the dollar and the US government’s pyramid of debt, was prevented, it was possible only thanks to the launch of the printing press and the unprecedented scale of flooding financial markets with cheap liquidity ($ 13 trillion, taking into account off-balance emission in the United States alone), to prevent the collapse of the "imperialism of the dollar" by monetary methods today will not work. The level of US government debt jumped from 65% to 105% of GDP, and half of the eurozone countries are already in technical default - Italy, Spain and Portugal manage to refinance previously taken debts solely due to the issue of the financial market from the ECB in the amount of $ 1,4 trillion. for the last year.
The world economy and the international monetary and financial system are at a standstill and are on the verge of collapse - the more the world's largest central banks flood financial markets with cheap liquidity in the interests of transnational financial capital, the larger the bubbles in financial markets and the more severely the real economy suffers from growth costs and the faster the real standard of living of the population falls.