The myth of US recovery
Monday, March 16, 2009
News that Wall Street has enjoyed stock advances for three straight days has made headline news from Baltimore to Beijing, buoyed by Citigroup’s announcement that it made a profit for two consecutive months this year.
Only in a distorted media culture where news is valued by the speed at which it moves rather than interrogated and analysed for its truth is such a story received as the first green shoots of spring and economic recovery.
The truth is that the US economy is in fundamental trouble. Unlike in the UK where the government has at least taken a stake in the banking institutions whose toxic ‘assets’ it is insuring, the US public sector has simply taken on vast amounts of poisonous debt to allow American banks to turn a quick profit.
In the medium term, this means the prospect of Wall Street’s cancer being cut out, perhaps, but transplanted instead into US public services where it will remain for years to come.