Morgan Stanley Gets Stronger, 1,000s “Cut”

According to my favorite source of news of the “progress” of the empire, The New York Times (All the News We See Fit to Print), reporting on page one of the business news for January 19, 2013, “Morgan Stanley has taken aggressive action to bolster profit. Over the last year, the Wall Street bank has cut thousands of employees, sold costly assets and retooled major businesses.” Furthermore, according to reporter Susanne Craig “Those efforts worked. In the fourth quarter, Morgan Stanley reported earnings of $481 million … . Profit was equally strong for the year.” Even so, analysts are not particularly impressed. For one thing, return on equity is not good enough.

Okay. I thought the big deal in improving the American economy was to create jobs. That’s what our President tells us, repeatedly. That’s what the Republicans promised if taxes for the rich, the “job creators,” were only lowered. Well, Wall Street has a different way of looking at things. This is, after all, finance capitalism we’re observing here. Anyone who has even casually perused this blog has an idea of my opinions regarding capitalism, especially finance capitalism. Return on equity not good enough? Hmm. Return on equity is just one of capitalism’s measures of profitability. And profits are all that counts.

Supposedly unemployment is a major worry about the health of the economy. Humph. Unemployment means nothing to the Masters of the Universe except insofar as it might be construed as affecting profits. The government makes a lot of noise about having a “jobs plan.” But if such a plan interferes with profits, well, jobs become an “externality.” The truth? Jobs are never anything more than an externality to the corporate state and its corporate masters. If profits can be improved by hiring, then there will be hiring. If carrying too many employees might possibly hurt profits, then there will be firings, not hirings. Capitalists like to assert they have a goal of increasing “productivity.” The usual measure of productivity (an imprecise term, despite economists and their particular brand of shenanigans) is “output per man-hour of direct labor.” Well, if goods could be produced without any direct labor at all, then productivity would be infinite! Surely a capitalist’s wet dream. No, capitalists, and thus the state as well, being a client of capitalism, care not a whit about workers, unless it be a political expedient. For these capitalist predators, creating jobs is OK, or at least tolerable until the power of the corporate state becomes absolute, so long as wages are pushed lower and lower.

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