In our current political environment, power dynamics are playing an increasingly pivotal role with regard to the structuring of our socio-economic and political systems. It colors the narratives of both historical and current events and is the source of the divisive political rhetoric that has become commonplace. But power is a slippery thing to pin down. Power does not reveal itself in ways that the average citizen fully appreciates until a crisis strikes with enough force to cause a sea change in the way people view the world around them.
Prior to the 2008 real estate collapse, the majority of people the world over were generally unaware of the structural mechanisms that drive the largest market in the world. The post World War II economic boom that set the world on an arc toward greater economic freedom and prosperity was unprecedented in human history. Those who were born in this era bore witness to nearly a lifetime’s worth of increased economic mobility and technological innovations that were accepted as the norm over the course of decades of growth.
This is precisely why the subprime mortgage crisis had such a profound impact on the psyche of the global population. It had been generations since such a massive financial disaster had occurred, and this was the first in an era where markets are completely intertwined and moving at algorithmic speed. We witnessed the domino effect that is now all but guaranteed to take place across all markets when there is upheaval — or worse — in any market of significance. So,the question naturally arises after an unprecedented economic disaster: what has been done by governments and financial institutions to make sure that nothing like the 2008 disaster ever happens again? Unfortunately the answer is unnerving to say the least.
At first glance it may seem as though the regulatory authorities within the US government have taken the proper steps to mitigate the risk of another subprime market bubble from forming again. But when one looks at the situation with even a little discernment, it is abundantly clear that this is just not true. As of 2017, one decade after the subprime mortgage crisis jeopardized the entire global economy, United States authorities have have fined financial institutions a total of 150 billion dollars for what can only be described as criminal lending and financial practices. While 150 billion dollars may seem like a lot of money and a fitting punishment, when set against the backdrop of the bailout, which totaled $29 trillion, it’s downright laughable.
And so now that we have entered an era where the line that delineates our banking institutions and our government authorities is virtually non-existent, what possible motives do these sprawling corporate bodies have to change their parasitic business practices? Slap-on-the-wrist fines after taxpayer-funded bailouts and congressional oversight run by the very people who caused the collapse in the first place does not yield favorable results for the average citizen. So it is no surprise that these institutions are continuing the same reckless behavior that led to the 2008 economic crisis.
Thus we return to the crux of the matter: the modern age of multinational corporations and a global-market that is susceptible to weakness in any component and the birth of an elite group of market-makers and financiers who wield power on a level that history’s most ambitious tyrants couldn’t have imagined. They have the ability to dramatically alter the lives of billions without so much as a lifting of a sword or the raising of a gun.
This insidious shifting of economic power in ways that the average person is not even aware of has resulted in financial catastrophe in the lives of countless people and at the least has had a negative effect on legions more. After the 2008 crisis, jobs were lost, wages stagnated, people’s investments were obliterated, children had to move back in with their parents and in other cases parents had to move in with their children. It was a loss of wealth and human dignity, a theft of capital earned through hard labor and sacrifice, and an attack on the psyche of people who believe that if they played by the rules and worked hard that the system would not betray them. It was an attack on the social contract itself.
This power structure must change and Viva represents a big step in that direction…