Well, of course, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development wouldn't quite say it that way. But, that is the upshot of what a relatively mainstream operation tells us: the financial crisis is still being felt worldwide, with millions of people out of work who would have been working but for the greed of the bankers and stupidity of politicians, including those in the U.S.
Unemployment will remain well above its pre-crisis levels next year in most OECD countries, despite modest declines over the rest of 2014 and in 2015, according to a new OECD report.A few points are worth making.
The Employment Outlook 2014 says that average jobless rates will decrease slightly over the next 18 months in the OECD area, from 7.4% in mid-2014 to 7.1% at the end of 2015. Almost 45 million people are out of work in OECD countries, 12.1 million more than just before the crisis. Globally, an estimated 202 million people are unemployed, with many more in low-paid and precarious jobs.
The Outlook also analyses the impact of the crisis on wages. It finds that real wage growth has come to a virtual standstill since 2009 and wages actually fell in a number of countries by between 2% and 5% a year on average, including in Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Spain.[emphasis added]
So, while bankers are getting off with no punishment--basically, benefiting from the Bank of America "leave no banker behind, hike their pay, make the shareholders pay" deals with the government--millions of other people who aren't well-connected elites are suffering from the greed and incompetence of the elites and their bankers.
But, Wall Street is Wall Street--the people on Wall Street live to make huge bonuses, no matter the consequences. It's the culture--a culture that is unchanged today precisely because bankers have not paid the price.
The OECD, though, indirectly indicts the idiot politicians, including our own White House and Congress, who made the entire crisis far worse by opting for either austerity (budget cutting) or weak stimulus.
They did not get that:
Austerity would not work.
The only way to prevent years and years of stagnation and psychological devastation to generations of people was to SPEND MORE, not cut.
Elected leaders punished the wrong people.
Elected leaders were listening to the very people who created the crisis.
As I wrote back in 2011, the entire political system had gone off the rails and was engaged in a conversation that was entirely economically stupid. The United Nation, at that time, said:
Fiscal imbalances and higher public debt ratios are a consequence of the global financial and economic crisis, not the causeAnd:
Fiscal austerity seeking to cut fiscal deficits, curb public debt and thus "regain the confidence of the financial markets" is likely to be self defeating, as it affects GDP growth and reduces fiscal revenues.[emphasis added]We needed to spend more money--I used the $1 trillion figure in 2010 and a lot smarter people like Paul Krugman were castigating the White House for being too cautious.
You did not have to be a fucking Nobel Prize winner to know this.
That comes a bit late in the game. And, frankly, looks so crassly 2014 election-motivated that it lessens the punch, in my humble opinion, with the voters he's probably trying to motivate.
And in that other hall of economic genius, the Federal Reserve Board, you've got a bunch of the Fed's governors--still a minority apparently--who are arguing that the Fed should start raising interest rates because the worst is over and some people (read: bond holders) are wringing their hands over the prospect of inflation, which is non-existent.
So, bottom line: the reality in the streets is frightening, all over the globe--and, yet, we have the elites on Wall Street busily figuring out the new scam and a coterie of politicians who won't do what's needed, either because they have no spine, no vision or just don't care.