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international | worker & community struggles and protests | opinion/analysis Sunday March 17, 2013 21:34 by Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin - Artist
The Destruction of Savings and Pensions
We are living in a society where the combination of fractional-reserve banking (lending out multiples of deposits) helped along by quantitative easing (printing almost unlimited quantities of money) based on fiat currencies (money without intrinsic value) has created exponential growth for the world’s financial elites. This led to unprecedented bubbles in the property market as banks made it easy for people to borrow more money than they would have been allowed in the past when a conservative banker guideline for a home buyer was to have a two to two and a half times mortgage-to-salary ratio.
In contrast to these methods for almost unlimited sources of (false) wealth conjured up by financial elites, workers (borrowers) have only one source – wages – which are going into decline due to government cutbacks and increased taxes. Yet despite this obvious anomaly, whereby the banks get bailouts with even more money, borrowers are expected to pay back, and in full, under threat of repossession, every single cent of the flawed money lent to them to pay exorbitant house prices inflated by excessive lending in the first place.