[intro]World economic inequality has reached obscene levels with recent reports indicating that 62 super wealthy individuals own more wealth than close to four billion people – just under half of the world’s population.[/intro]
The widening gap is part of a trajectory that is likely to worsen in the years ahead, if urgent steps are not taken to rectify it. The article below provides some context;
People are seeking alternatives to the neo-liberal banking and monetary system as basic survival becomes harder and harder for working people and the unemployed the world over.
While banks have been bailed out in America, in a place such as Iceland, bankers have been jailed for collusion, mismanagement and fraud. The article below, from thinkprogress.org provides more details of this development.
In the United Kingdom and the United States individuals who stand against the capitalist economic orthodoxies and promote social justice for ordinary citizens are gaining ground. Jeremy Corbyn has risen to the leadership of the British Labour Party and Bernie Sanders is making headway in his bid to become the Democratic Party candidate for president of the United States.
In South Africa, there is much focus on social issues such as racism and inequality. There are many reasons offered for the weakness of the economy and the rand, but little attention is paid to the role of currency manipulation and speculation in international markets.
This week, however, South African newspapers carried an article stating that the Competition Commission was targeting six major financial institutions implicated in currency manipulation. See the full story below.
The local probe follows a similar investigation which result in banks in the UK and USA being fined a total of R92 billion.
The banks apparently used chatrooms to manipulate currencies.
IOL reported the following this week;
“In 2002 former president Thabo Mbeki launched a commission of inquiry into the collapse of the rand after ex-South African Chamber of Business chief executive Kevin Wakeford blew the whistle on currency manipulation. He fingered three major companies in the collapse of the rand.
Mbeki appointed the Myburgh Commission of Inquiry. At the time the rand had collapsed from R7.60 to R13.84 to the US dollar in 2001.
Wakeford warned that if this practice was not stopped, the rand would go down to R20, R30, R40 and possibly R50 to the US dollar.”