Monday, November 11, 2013

Max Keiser's "financial terrorists": some statistics

Giotto: "Massacre of the Innocents" (1305)

Ever since 2008, econo shock jock Max Keiser has famously - and repeatedly - called bankers "financial terrorists". It's hard to assess the exact cost in human life because the causal chain is complex, but be assured that white-collar thieving and financial manipulation is not victimless.

For example, a study published this summer in the British Medical Journal estimates that nearly 5,000 suicides are indirectly attributable to the economic downturn.

Also this year, a paper by Friedman Schady at the World Bank looked at infant mortality in sub-Saharan Africa, and concluded that in 2009 alone there were an additional 28,000 - 50,000 infant deaths - mostly girls, by the way - because of the "bankers' global financial crisis". That's only one region, in only one year.

The Germans have a phrase: "Wehe, wehe!" - "Woe, woe!" - a lament, but also a warning.

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