LONDON — Tempers are flaring across Europe as the economic pain deepens and more people lose their jobs.
On Wednesday, the suburban Edinburgh home of RBS’s ex-chief was damaged.
Just ask Fred Goodwin, the former chief executive of the ailing Royal Bank of Scotland, whose house and car were vandalized early Wednesday. Or Luc Rousselet, the manager of a 3M factory in France, who was barricaded in an office for a second day by workers demanding better severance packages for 110 employees who are being laid off. Or Luc Rousselet, the manager of a 3M factory in France, who was barricaded in an office for a second day by workers demanding better severance packages for 110 employees who are being laid off.
American financial wizards who thought up securitization as a vehicle of greed and convinced themselves (or else didn't care about the consequences-who looks that far ahead?) that the process eliminated risk,actually promoted risk and brought down the houses of cards that was the mighty financial sector. The pile of leverage they created burst. It destroyed trust, killed the credit market, shut down perfectly good companies that couldn't roll over their debt, raised the unemployment numbers like a bottle rocket and drove people from their homes into tents, like the Hoovervilles of the Great Depression. (Isn't it funny how it probably will no longer be known as the Great Depression, just as the Great War just became World War I, one in a series), I quote from yesterday's NY Times:
As the operations manager of an outreach center for the homeless here [Fresno, CA], Paul Stack is used to seeing people down on their luck. What he had never seen before was people living in tents and lean-tos on the railroad lot across from the center.
“They just popped up about 18 months ago,” Mr. Stack said. “One day it was empty. The next day, there were people living there.”
Geithner proposed a new plan to regulate the behemoths. The market is down today. When he unveiled his TALF-on-steroids plan the other day, the market climbed over 400 points. The bold-faced names behind Obama's economic steerage are Wall Street-friendly (Larry Summers, Tim Geithner himself) and the market responds like an EKG. Give us the taxpayer-backup on the worthless ("toxic") securities and we love the thought we'll make trillions. Tell us we have to be reined in and we growl, chomping off big pieces of common equity. Who's running the show, anyway?