Who needs conspiracy theories? Just read the Financial Times.
Roger Altman is an American investment banker and a former Democratic politician. He served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Carter administration from January 1977 until January 1981 and as Deputy Secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton administration from January 1993 until he resigned in August 1994.
In December of 2011, Altman wrote an article for the Financial Times in which he explained that financial markets were “acting like a global supra-government,” noting:
They oust entrenched regimes where normal political processes could not do so. They force austerity, banking bail-outs and other major policy changes. Their influence dwarfs multilateral institutions such as the International Monetary Fund. Indeed, leaving aside unusable nuclear weapons, they have become the most powerful force on earth.
Altman continued, explaining that when the power of this “global supra-government” is flexed, “the immediate impact on society can be painful – wider unemployment, for example, frequently results and governments fail.” But of course, being a former top Treasury Department official, he went on to praise the “global supra-government,” writing that, “the longer-term effects can be often transformative and positive.”
Ominously, Altman concluded:
Whether this power is healthy or not is beside the point. It is permanent. … there is no stopping the new policing role of the financial markets.
This small network of dominant global companies and banks, many of which are larger than most countries on earth, with no democratic accountability, are also acting independently as a type of “global supra-government” forcing even our dysfunctional and façade-like “democratic” governments to collapse if they do not do as “financial markets” say.
In any other situation that’s called a coup d’état. But as Altman’s view reflected, powerful government officials will not oppose this network, whether or not the power is good for human lives and human communities – which is, in Altman’s words, “beside the point.” After all, in his view, “it is permanent.”
Unless, of course, the people of the world decide to have a say in the matter.
Thanks for reading,
Roger Altman, We need not fret over omnipotent markets, Financial Times, December 1, 2011