I would define DOG-EAT-DOG capitalism as a system in which one profits using the capital and efforts of another while not being held accountable in the event things don’t work out. Bankers and politicians are very similar in that sense, since both are praised when things go right,  and both are usually not held responsible when the decisions they make lead to disaster.

The 2008 financial crisis and its subsequent  multi-national and multi-billion bailouts of the banks responsible for that very mess, resulted in the creation of a system where the profits are privatized, and risks are socialized. The worst of Capitalism and Communism combined.

Sure, since then, some governments have tried their hand at legislation to regulate the banking industry. But when the banking lobby is involved in the drafting of that said legislation,  it starts to lose its potency. It’s funny how virtual corporate citizens are intimately involved in the legislative process, while flesh-and-blood actual citizens are never allowed to have a word in it.

If, for example, the delicatessen industry was to be caught blatantly lying about the content of their product, there would sure to be some serious legal consequences. A company selling chicken breast that turned out to be mostly pig ears and pig tails, would most certainly be held accountable for it.

So why are companies operating in the financial industry, that get caught blatantly lying , not being held accountable against those very same high standards? Bankers get bonuses for selling predatory sub-prime mortgages to people who they know won’t be able to repay them. Then investment firms trick pension funds into buying into those bad loans, even though themselves are buying derivatives designed to profit when those very loans get defaulted. But that’s just business as usual, no one should be held accountable. No one  except the taxpayer.

And when a politician gets caught blatantly lying or screwing us, there’s usually no real serious consequences as well.  They usually get off pretty easy. Diplomatic immunity I guess.

So my question is: Why is it that the rules of accountability apply to the delicatessen industry, and pretty much everyone else, but not to the banking industry and the political industry?

The answer is that we expect at least some people out there to be able to swallow what comes out of the delicatessen  industry,  but nobody is expected to be able to swallow anything that comes out of the political industry.

And as far as the banking industry goes, they’re just accountants who  bought their way into not being accountable…


4 responses to “DOG-EAT-DOG CAPITALISM

  1. The banking industry suffers by the fact that it is so large that the people with which we deal when taking a mortgage or other are pawns that just follow the general guidlines set by their superiors. When something goes wrong the public cannot hold them accountable because they were just following what they had been taught, and their superiors are able to deny any responsibility because the chain of command seperating the small town banker from the corporate manager is so long that the corporate manager can declare that he was ignorant of the small bankers actions which in fact he was. Noone gets blamed and everyone recieves their end of the year bonuses.

    That being said, even if a technologically based democracy is established, there will still be the corporate system left to deal with. The law regarding the way corporations function can be modified, but anything revolving around large sums of money and with a structure composed of a web of subordonates is slow to change. The 2003 Documentary entitled “The Corporation” gives a good insight into this system and its multiple flaws.

    Nice version of the Yin-Yang, ideal representation of the situation.

    • Good point, and thanks for the feedback. Personally the modern corporation makes me think of one particular monster of ancient Greek mythology: The Hydra! The big multiple-headed monster regrows two heads every time you cut off one…

  2. siegfried von blitzburger

    We are still forgetting that our friendly delicatessan gets the axe or is held accountable when the meats dont make the cut…

    Understanding the mechanics behind the “big banking system “or “politcal rule” still doesn’t explain why other goods’n’services or smaller fries in the business world get penalized or even worse shut down… justice still gets served in those cases….

    This kind of lobbying goes way way back… before the western world ever let go of monarchy… cest la bourgeoisie… again n again…

    • Big government and Crown prosecutors are basically cowards. They’ll go to war against the “mom-and-pop” companies, because these guys are small and can’t fight back too much. But when it’s government against huge financial behemoths, which would be a fight of titan against titan, well in these case, unsurprisingly, the feds don’t have the stomach for it…

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