Oct. 29, 2008 (LPAC) --Paris-- The leading French economic internet website, Capital.fr, which is visited daily by 40,000 individuals, carried an interview with French LaRouche associate Jacques Cheminade, accompanied by a photo with a statesman-looking Cheminade. The interview was titled: "We Must Organize the Bankruptcy of the Current Financial System." Here is a translation of the interview. The original is at www.capital.fr
Capital.fr More and more political leaders are calling for the holding of a new Bretton Woods. Jacques Cheminade didn't wait for the financial crisis to call for a complete re-building of the international financial system. As early as in the middle of the 1990s, this dissident "enarque" [graduate of the prestigious National Administration School, ENA], a candidate in the 1995 Presidential elections, pinpointed the danger of the current system's disintegration. The president of Solidarite & Progrès gives us his analysis of the situation and the remedies he sees as indispensable to avoid the collapse of the world economy.
Capital.fr: Why is the system so gravely ill?
JC: We're suffering today from the effects of the world financial deregulation that began in 1971 with the end of the convertibility of the dollar to gold. That decision sounded the end of the international monetary order, put into place at the end of the Second World War at the Bretton Woods conference. And that opened the way for an increasingly insane financial speculation. In practice, the banks and insurance companies were given the authority to generate currency. As a result, these institutions created liquidity all over the place. That set off the creation of phony money, that corresponds to nothing of the real economy. The central bank-led policy of low interest rates, massive use of financial derivatives, securitization of credits, excessive use of leveraging, and the absence of financial market regulations contributed further to the creation of a financial bubble of unprecedented scale. This bubble has now begun to implode, but it has not finished deflating yet.
Capital.fr: So the hundreds of billions injected are insufficient to solve the crisis...
JC: Efforts used by the western governments to save the current system are as useless as rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. State interventions are only adding money to money. Perhaps these huge sums of money poured in at the expense of taxpayers will give solace to the financial world in the short term, but will not solve the problem. On the one hand, confidence among the players of the system has disappeared, and thus many borrowers will never be able to pay back their debts. If one does not profoundly change the rules of the game, the world will not be able to avoid a recession of historic dimensions.
Capital.fr: What repercussions do you fear?
JC: After a deflationary period caused by the collapse of the real economy, the real danger is hyperinflation, when economic players will lose all faith in the value of money. States will be obliged to take recourse in a policy of social austerity as their tax revenues collapse. Faced with populations grabbed by the throat, authorities might consider restricting certain freedoms to safeguard public order. The threat that the Chinese regime will be destabilized will be very high, when China's exports can no longer find creditworthy consumers in the West.
Capital.fr: What solutions do you propose to avoid such a catastrophic scenario?
JC: The world needs a new financial and monetary order with a common agreement among the major powers, without excluding either Russia, China, or India. First, one has to put the current system into bankruptcy, and sort out the debts, separating the good ones, those tied related to the real economy, and the bad debt, tied to the toxic equities. The latter will be liquidated, while only the former will be repaid. Next, in order to stop speculation in currencies, it is indispensable to establish fixed exchange rates. Sovereign governments -- which are the sole guarantors of the interests of the people -- have to take back control of their currencies and therefore, control over central banks. Finally, we must issue public productive credit. Very long-term loans at low interest rate can be thus released in order to finance great infrastructure projects and to invest in fundamental research. In short, we're not talking about a technical or technocratic solution, nor about an arrangement among diplomats. The new rules of the game will be nothing other than the consequence of political will, returning to the primacy of human labor and social justice. This implies leading a fight against a financial oligarchy implanted in London and the Wall Street.