Guest Post: The Neoliberal Financial Skim
Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds
The Neoliberal Financial Skim
The perfection of the Neoliberal order is a parasitic financial sector protected by the Central Bank and State.
If the Status Quo is ultimately a distribution system, as correspondent Simon H. proposes, then we should focus our attention on the inordinate share of the system's profits being distributed to the financial sector. Frequent contributor B.C. has ably captured this perfection of Neoliberal economic order in five charts.
The essence of neoliberalism is that a liberalized financial sector will efficiently regulate itself via market mechanisms and make more profitable use of capital than either the State or the non-financial sectors of the economy.
The State's proper role is the classical Neoliberal view is the following:
1. Get out of the way so the financial sector is free to enrich the nation with market-based allocation of capital
2. If reducing regulation is not possible, then benign neglect will do
3. Reduce the State's skim of the economy so more of the national income flows to the private economy, where the financial sector's can allocate capital according to profit potential rather than the State's cronyism and/or political corruption.
This is the classic theory, but in practice the Neoliberal financial sector is the ultimate perfection of cronyism and political corruption, as the Central Bank and State protect the financial sector's vast skim of the national income with a combination of toothless regulations and regulations that are only enforced for purposes of percetpion management (see Soviet Show Trials).
When the aforementioned benign neglect is insufficient to divert the national income to the parasitic finance-rentier sector, then the Central Bank and State actively transfer taxpayer monies to the financial sector via tax breaks, loopholes, and massive direct and indirect subsidies.
With this context in mind, please look at the following charts to grasp the scope and scale of the State-protected financial sector skim:
Precisely what benefits from this gargantuan parasitic skim flow to the general good? Into whose pockets does this gargantuan parasitic skim flow? Hint: not the lower 90% of the American populace.
The perfection of the Neoliberal order is a parasitic financial sector protected by the Central Bank and State. That is the U.S. Status Quo in a nutshell.