Wednesday, December 31, 2008

end of another year and the end of Capitalism

well another year is coming to a close and boy what a year 2008 turned out to be.

This year we saw the stock market crash and along with it the economies of many countries are seeing a down turn.

I've notice a number of people looking at this bad news and declaring that this is a sign that capitalism doesn't work as an economic system and if capitalism isn't already dead it is soon to end.

Now I understand where some of these people are coming from but the truth is we are not facing the end of Capitalism.

The thing is that some of the people who are saying we are entering a post-Capitalism era fail to realize is the fact the Capitalism is a big umbrella term for economic trains of thought usually centered around the ideal that people own their capital (which includes their labor)

What I think many people really mean is that this is hopefully the end of certain trains of economic thoughts such as favoring policies that benefit large companies and wealthy people but are economically harmful for the average person or the ideal that the free market will solve all problems, ect.

or maybe they do realize this but also realize that stating that Capitalism is dead or ended draws much more attention then saying something more specific like "class is out on the Chicago school of economic theory" or that "Reaganomics is Dead"

Friday, December 12, 2008

Madoff hedges $50 billion fraud

Bernard Madoff former head of the Nasdaq (and currently on the Nasdaq OMX board)and head of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC has been arrested today for basically running a giant ponzi scheme.

scheme was ran through Madoff's hedge found which promised people a return in the range of 7.3% to 9% on their investment. Due to their consistent returns this hedge found looked like a smart place for investors to put their money in. what they didn't know was that Madoff was paying off the old investors with the money that the newer investors put in.

at an estimated $50 billion this is one of the biggest fraud cases in history.

even though Madoff's a crook at least when he was caught he didn't deny what he did and is accepting the blame instead of trying to pin it on others.

but give that he is only getting 20 years in jail and a fine of $5 million I think he is getting of a little easy. the years are ok at his age he more then likely wont live to see the end of his jail term but giving the amount of mony he frauded out of people $5 million seems to be such a small fine.

I think the fine should be raised upped.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Chinese laid off workers riots.

last month the workers and ex-workers of Chinese factor that produces Nerf toys held a riot.

the riots where started when the factor made plans to fire over 200 workers and 80 of the senior workers got upset when they saw their severance package get cut.

it seems that this wasn't the first strike/riot in china dealing with people fighting over their jobs and quotes like

"When times are bad economically, a small incident can rapidly become a big one," said local Communist Party official Guo Chenming,

I think we may see more events like this.

it also makes me wonder why we haven't seen similar things happened in America. Companies have been cutting off workers lift and right and many people have seen their severance cut. maybe we don't have riots because even with the cuts we aren't in a position where we need to take similar actions or maybe we are just complacent.