The Emperor’s New Clothes
Directed by Russell Brand and Michael Winterbottom (2015)
In a style reminiscent of Michael Moore, British comedian Russell Brand uses this 2015 documentary to expose the total insanity of our present global economic system.
The film begins with an examination of neoliberalism (aka free market fundamentalism), an economic system glorifying greed and selfishness that engulfed the world under Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. It would set off a 40-year wealth transfer, in which working people got poorer and poorer while the fortunes of the rich skyrocketed.
Corporate deregulation, one of the major tenets of neoliberalism, would lead to major criminal behavior on the part of bank officials, including rigged interest rates schemes, foreign exchange fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion. Unchecked, this crime spree inflicted crushing misery on billions in the 2008 global financial crash. Yet no banksters ever went to prison for it.
Instead, too-big-to-fail banks got taxpayer-funded bailouts that banks used to buy back shares (to increase their stock prices) and pay obscene CEO salaries. Unfortunately the film fails to make clear the essential role of private banks in money creation, the alleged reason why they can’t be allowed to fail. At present private banks create 97% of our money out of thin air when they issue loans.*
Instead of bailing out them, we should have allowed criminal banks to fail and restored authority for money creation to publicly accountable government bodies.
The full film can be seen free until Dec 28 on the Maori TV website: The Emperor’s New Clothes