Naomi Klein: Poorest, most vulnerable paying for bank bailouts


With the results of stress tests on the major banks about to be released, the Washington Post is reporting that nearly all the banks “now have enough money to weather the recession” and that this is an “outcome more positive than many investors had expected.”

However, political analyst Naomi Klein doesn’t trust the stress tests. “It still feels like they’re playing with the numbers,” she told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Wednesday, “that they’re trying to delay the moment of truth — and I think that that’s why that confidence is really, really tentative.”

Klein is concerned that “the poorest and most vulnerable people in the country are being asked to bail out the most wealthy.”

“It really does fit the thesis of The Shock Doctrine,” she said, referring to her book in which she exposes how governments and powerful corporations use disasters and upheavals to gain even more power.

“Here we have just this transfer, this massive transfer of public wealth into private hands,” Klein explained, “and that’s continuing and it’s much, much larger, just on a much larger scale than any of the investments we’re seeing through the stimulus or the budget.”

Almost $12 trillion is being spent to bail out the financial sector compared to only about $1 trillion being spent on economic stimulus.

“My real concern is — has been my concern from day one — is that the crisis on Wall Street, created by deregulated capitalism, is not actually being solved,” continued Klein. “It’s being moved. A private sector crisis is being turned into a public sector crisis.”

“They are already cutting corners,” she told Maddow. “Now Aids funding in Africa is being cut by $6.6 billion. So who is paying for this? This is where the unfairness of it becomes very clear.”

This video is from MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast May 6, 2009.

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