The financial Ike

• TODAY’S afternoon news wastes nothing:
"Bush cancelled all his activities. He intended to travel to Alabama and Florida to participate in campaign fundraising events."
"He said on Thursday that he was worried about the financial markets and the U.S. economy…"
"Markets have plummeted," the cables continue to report. "The government has seen itself forced to nationalize the giant insurance company American International Group (AIG), and the Federal Reserve, in a coordinated action with other central banks, has injected $180 billion into the financial markets."
"The president reaffirmed that his government is taking aggressive and extraordinary measures ‘to appease the markets.’"
"Authorities all over Asia are trying to stop their currencies, stock markets and securities from falling to prevent the Wall Street crisis from affecting the region."
"President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil today blamed the international financial crisis on speculation, and admitted he was worried about the danger of a possible recession in the United States.
"He also sympathized with the situation of major banks in the United States which, in the past, have criticized Brazil and other emerging countries, and called into question the international financial system.
"He said, ‘There is a crisis in the United States, a very big crisis that has extraordinarily shaken up the largest economy in the world.’
"‘It is not that we are not worried. The United States is the world’s largest economy and its largest importer.’
He concluded by saying, "It is with a certain degree of sadness that I see how important banks, very important banks that were always giving advice about Brazil and about what we should or should not do are now broke or have declared bankruptcy."
The hurricane winds of the financial Ike are also threatening all of the world’s "provinces." The weather forecast is uncertain; it’s been talked about for weeks, and gusts of more than 200 kilometers per hour are now being felt. As Rubiera would say, its [the hurricane’s] devastating power is increasing geometrically from one category to the next.
It is very difficult to closely follow and understand the fabulous figures of fresh money that are being injected into the global economy. They are huge doses of paper money, which are inevitably leading to a decline in its value and purchasing power.
Higher prices are inevitable in consumer societies and disastrous for emerging countries, as Lula da Silva said. If the largest importer in the world stops importing, this will impact on the rest; if it goes out to compete, this will impact on other producers.
The big banks of the developed countries are imitating and trying to coordinate with the banks of the United States; if the U.S. banks go broke, theirs will too, and they will devour each other.
Fiscal paradises are prospering; people are suffering. Is this how humanity’s well-being can be guaranteed?

Fidel Castro Ruz

September 18, 2008

8:46 p.m.•

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