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Forum Post: Concorde: One accident; thanks but no thanks. Capitalism: 5-yearly catastrophes; welcome home sweet home. Take that!

Posted 12 years ago on Jan. 9, 2012, 9:52 a.m. EST by merkozy (12) from New York, NY
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Rather than cut-and-paste solutions, what is needed now is for naked capitalism to be recalled for a major reconstruction. It has been done before. At the beginning of 2010, Japanese carmaker Toyota recalled million of cars after various technical problems were reported, the most serious problem involving the accelerator.

Apparently, cars fitted with these faulty accelerators would continue accelerating even after the driver has taken the foot off the gas. Rival carmaker Honda soon followed suit, globally recalling more than half a million cars in order to fix a switch defect that had potential to cause a fire. Soon it was the French iconic car brand Peugeot, recalling several hundred thousands of cars.

When the world economy crunched back in 2008, the diagnosis was clear and unambiguous: prices of goods and services had surprisingly continued skyrocketing even after money has dried up, which meant the sacred Law of Supply and Demand was tragically out of sync. But that is as far as the similarities with the carmakers go. Three years down the line naked capitalism had not been recalled to its maker even as it has become clear that the system has major life-threatening fault lines.

Even after finding out that house prices acceleration had nothing to do with incomes and affordability, the clamour for house prices to start rising again is once again getting louder and louder. And after finding out that the ever-increasing oil price pre-9/15 could not be explained by demand for it, the firming oil price was soon hailed as a clear sign that the global economy was on the mend. So it is with securitisation.

After causing a huge fireball that left billions of people with third degree burns, the process of bundling toxic loans before selling them on to unwitting people remains at the core of this credit-fuelled economic philosophy. But perhaps one can understand why market fundamentalists are violently opposed to the recall of capitalism. As has so often happened with other mass factory recalls, it might be decided better to discontinue this diabolical experiment that has caused havoc in ordinary people’s lives.

In 2003, the Concorde aircraft, the Anglo-French engineering wonder of the skies, was permanently put out to pasture after its first and only crash resulted in 100 deaths. The logic behind the discontinuation was simple: if the science cannot be proven beyond a doubt and the consequences so deadly clear, it is better to err on the side of caution. Not that this was the end of the story.

By 2010, US airline Continental Airlines and five men stood in the dock in Paris facing manslaughter charges over the tragic death of the 113 passengers and crew on that doomed flight in 2000. In November of the same year, the airline and one of its engineers were found criminally responsible for the fatal crash. So, as Continental Airlines prepared to shell out millions in compensation for their collective failure, in Wall Street the sick masterminds behind a fatal ticking bomb were rubbing their hands with glee, in anticipation of bumper bonuses.




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