It is interesting to note that the current economic debate relates to two subjects which seem foreign to each other: public and private debt, on the one hand, and social and / or wage income, on the other. On reflection, it is true that a lot of interference is perceptible. Are we not being told that wage austerity is imperative, that the reduction in pensions is an obligation, because, following the Covid-19 epidemic, the public debt has now reached 120% of GDP, while that of companies exceeds 2,000 billion euros? A much larger part of our resources should help to fill these “holes”, particularly that of a worn out Social Security.
The risk is all the greater since we are only at the beginning of the telluric “aftershocks” of this crisis. We must expect soon a multiplication of business bankruptcies, processions of carts of layoffs. It is true that the world economy has been seriously shaken. According to the International Monetary Fund, production fell by 3.4% in the United States in 2020, by 7.2% in the euro zone, by 5.4% in Germany, by 9% in France, by 2.4% in % in emerging and developing countries. The International Labor Organization considers that “In the near future, the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis on the economy and on employment should lead to enormous downward pressure on wages”.
In truth, the austerity practiced against popular incomes, the significant drop in the cost of labor announced are less due to the demands of deleveraging than to those of the profitability of capital, to the latter’s need to raise its profits. We can also see that large companies are also getting into debt like never before, less to relaunch their activities than to indulge in speculation. This is how the global market capitalization, that is to say the value of all the securities listed on the stock markets of the planet, went from January 2020 to January 2021 from 86.99 to 110.59 trillions of dollars, increasing by 27% as global economic growth declined by 3.5%. The scarecrow of debt is used to scare.
To unmask the operation, it seems necessary to show that the dangerousness of the debt is due less to its amount than to the fact that it is contracted from predatory financial markets and that we could find much less dangerous resources from the ECB and commercial banks, on condition that their funding criteria are changed.