Saturday, March 4, 2017

Debt Servitude: Get Ready for It


The Trump administration is actively DE-REGULATING the financial sector while simultaneously promising to vastly increase spending on the state's repressive apparatus - policing and military spending.


REPRESSIVE APPARATUS

Let's start by discussing Trump's efforts to expand the state's repressive apparatus:

Trump has proposed increasing military spending by $54 billion (see here).

Trump is promoting spending on private prisons after the Department of Justice had planned to pull back from using them because private prisons have more problems and cost more to operate than public prisons (see here).

Trump supports "taking off the gloves" when it comes to policing of dissent, as illustrated by his efforts to shut down demonstrations at Standing Rock (here).

The state's repressive apparatuses are poised to stamp out dissent and to incarcerate "bad subjects."

FINANCIAL CONTROL

There is great Republican momentum to eliminate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, although so far, to his credit, Trump has withstood this pressure (see here).

Trump probably realizes he already has become too closely aligned to Wall Street in the minds' of Main Street's inhabitants. I have commented previously on Trump's Goldman Sachs' presidency (see here).

Trump's decision to lift the fiduciary rule and to eliminate Frank-Dodd (which was a weak alternative to Glass Steagall), demonstrates pretty conclusively whose interests are running Trump's fiscal policy. Trump is essentially seeking to removing the few barriers preventing a return to damaging financial speculation and predatory lending.

Bank stocks are way up, especially Bank of America, which has enjoyed a 40 percent increase in value since election day (see here).

There is pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates (see here).

Banks will be able to charge more for debt, which means that debtors (most of the population) will acquire more debt in an economic context of stagnating wages and declining middle-class job opportunities (see my book Crisis Communications).

Banks will be able to charge more interest in a loosening regulatory context. That means predatory lending and financial speculation may very well be around the corner since those corrosive impulses are only kept in check, never truly expunged from the financial complex (among others so afflicted).

Trump is creating a swamp, to use his own metaphor, inhabited by very large and dangerous demons that suck all inhabitants' energies and whose might and force subjugate and contain all within their purview.


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