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corporate dominance | political theory

Speculators trade in two weeks what the world makes in a year

The gargantuan size of the financial industry gives its largest players the power to dictate to the world's governments.
Speculation rests on phenomenal amounts of money sloshing around the globe. We could call this endless wave a permanent tsunami, except that would grossly understate the size of the financial wave.

If we could pile up all the money that is exchanged in financial markets and make a literal wave out of it, it would make for an astounding sight were we on the International Space Station, towering above the clouds. The wave would rise so high it might swamp the space station itself.

All right, I am getting fanciful here. And we wouldn't want to contemplate having to bail out the space station in zero-G conditions. But we are talking about an international financial industry that has truly grown to monstrous proportions, beyond any reasonable necessity.

How big? The combined daily trading average on the world's foreign-exchange, bond and stock markets is very roughly about US$6 trillion. If that total seems amazing, it is for good reason: By way of comparison, the gross domestic product of the world is about $65 trillion. To put it another way, in 11 business days financial speculators trade instruments and contracts valued at more than all the products and services produced by the entire world in one year.

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It's just money... 19.Dec.2012 17:28

iceland forever

And dwarfs the size of the world's gross yearly product. Nothing but paper, really, and promises; debt upon debt. Ask Bernanke. Stocks and their derivatives are traded in milliseconds, the schemes have ruined whatever 'market' there truly was (which is questionable if one looks at the history of the 'great' men in the market like J.P. Morgan), and the only ones to whom it makes any sense are those who laugh at us while proclaiming themselves the smartest guys in the room.

Besides, when one has to hold a fire sale, what does one get on the dollar? Paper burns real well. We just need to have a fire, and excuse me if I piss the other way.