Paul Craig Roberts October 14 2013
Not that long ago government and free market proponents were at sword’s point, but no more. With little left in the private sector to rip off, the financial gangsters have turned to the public sector and put to work for them the free market economists’ advocacy of privatization. Governments themselves became part of the conspiracy once the politicians realized that looting public assets was an efficient way to reward their private benefactors.
We can see the entire picture in the David Cameron government’s privatization of the British Royal Mail. The prime minister has described the looting as “popular capitalism” even though the British public overwhelmingly opposes turning over the mail service to a profit-making enterprise.
The British government’s pursuit of policies opposed by the public shows the absence in Britain of the very democracy that British prime ministers, such as Blair and Cameron, are so anxious to help Washington spread with invasions, cluster bombs, and depleted uranium to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Iran.
Here is how the Royal Mail is being privatized or, rather, looted.
First Cameron’s government, guided by the financial gangsters, undervalued the assets of the Royal Mail and assumed mail delivery charges below those that will be charged. This fictitious accounting allows public assets to be transferred to the politicians’ private benefactors at a price below their value.
For example, all of the Royal Mail’s real estate is being transferred to the new private owners for less than the value of the Royal Mail’s London real estate alone. Neil Clark reports that one Royal Mail London depot is worth about one billion British pounds; but the entire real estate assets of the Royal Mail–public property–is being transferred to the new private owners for about three-quarters of one billion British pounds. The deal was so loaded in favor of the private purchasers that the share price rose almost 40 percent on the first day of trading. (This might have been some sort of nominal trading as the deal possibly has not been finalized.)