Letters to the Editor

Economic parallel

July 17, 2008


To the editor:

In 1998, I took a job with a Western firm in Russia, right in the midst of a political and economic crisis. Just as I arrived, the IMF reassured Russians and the global market that the necessary loans would be provided to keep their banking system afloat.

The nearly $5 billion loan that was supposed to keep the Russian banking system solvent to the end of the year disappeared within a week. The Central Bank then defaulted on $40 billion of government debt, sending the Russian banking system into free fall and devaluing the ruble. Most average Russians saw their savings reduced to a fraction.

While historical analogies are always imperfect, Russian financial wizards do not have a monopoly on greed and theft. Just as officials at the Russian Central Bank were guilty in the late 1990s of selling worthless pieces of paper to keep their rotten system afloat, so more and more it appears that U.S. treasury officials and their political-corporate cronies are involved in an increasingly desperate and corrupt game to keep the U.S. economy solvent. While small-time investors and pension plans are being wiped out, bankers, brokers and oilmen are recording record salaries and profits.

The Russian people reacted to this elaborate Ponzi scheme with their typical stoic resignation and further deep distrust in their political and economic leadership. I sensed these same sentiments when reading about how folks in Lawrence are selling their blood and family heirlooms to pay bills and put bread on their tables ("Cashing In," Journal-World, July 13).

Ray Finch,


lawrencechick 9 years, 2 months ago

It should read "the CEO's of banks, brokerage firms, and oil companies are making record profits". They continue to get their nauseating salary while stockholders are losing everything and huge chunks of America are being sold to foreigners. And yes , the type of corruption in Russia has, and will continue, to go on in the US.

Daytrader23 9 years, 2 months ago

bankers, brokers and oilmen are recording record salaries and profits.Do your research before you commit it to paper. Yes the oil industry is recording record profits, but they are investing more than what they make to find and develop more oil. See the movie Oil Crash. (its coming) Now as far as Bankers and Brokers you couldn't be further from the truth. Have you not noticed all the layoffs from the investment firms on Wall st. ? Or do layoffs only matter when it happens at factories in middle America? Actually these layoffs will hurt the America economy even more since their salaries are significantly higher than that of a factory worker. And as far as bankers go, maybe you have not noticed but..........sign this is useless, why am I trying to make this argument. To the author, read the financial section of a major news paper, please.

KsTwister 9 years, 2 months ago

If greedy CEO's weren't cashing in on the backs of other american workers then maybe there would be a better chance for more people in this country. They cut your benefits and add to their stock portfolio. When a man has to forgo insurance to buy food or gas is bad enough but when the companies lessen the amount they will pay for insurance so they can have a better profit line or increase what they can offer a CEO it is very telling.

chet_larock 9 years, 2 months ago

Ms. Nancy, you should read more carefully (I know that's asking alot). Daytrader took that comment from the letter, then proceeded to explain why the author was mistaken in their assessment. Why do you hate America so much?

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