The Reasons behind the Financial Crisis
L. Makaron: Michael, we met exactly twenty days ago, on the 4th of November, and everyone was anticipating two momentous events on a planetary scale: the election of the US President and the summit of the G20 in New York on November 15, 2008. Everyone had hopes and so did I… If you remember, I actively opposed some of your conclusions, statements, and analysis of what might happen. I was sure that these two events were supposed to make albeit if not an instant, then a considerable positive one-time impact on the world economy.
М. Laitman: Is this how it was perceived in your circles?
L. Makaron: Well, it was assumed that as soon as Barak Obama is elected President of the United States of America, the market would sky-rocket the next day. At least many of those with whom I talked thought that first of all this provided certainty. Secondly, Barak Obama is a man who had made up his mind to stop the war and is inclined to solve inner American problems. Besides, the Democrats have always been known as economy regulators. Well, not to mention the summit…
Now, Obama has been elected President, which in itself is unique. The G20 met in New York on November 15, 2008. Yet unfortunately no world country felt any better. Japan officially announced a recession. Russia’s President and prime-minister said that two years of crisis lie ahead and took unprecedented measures that have never been taken there in support of economy, including tax remissions. The United States of America also officially admitted recession. Europe is in recession… So regretfully whatever had been expected never happened. Everyone thought that it would be as before: good news will send investors to the market. Sadly, this never happened.
М. Laitman: Basically I wasn’t supposed to look like an oracle. I was just looking at what people don’t understand, in what world they found themselves. They think that it is a regular phenomenon that affects one country or a block of states. Hence the new President naturally understands the market and something is naturally changing because there is a common global foundation.
But none of this exists anymore. Therefore neither Obama nor the G20 will help, because firstly neither of them understands what is going on, and secondly there is no money. Obama was good in their model: take it from one pocket and put into another and everything would go up according to their desire. There is nothing to transfer from pocket to pocket.
L. Makaron: Yes, actually everyone expected that 700 billion dollars which they talked about in America, the bill that was approved for the support of the US economy and American companies would stabilize the market.
However, something totally new occurred because the plugging up of financial channels can no longer be controlled; it has become uncontrollable. Today banks stopped trusting banks. Today people stopped trusting banks. No one trusts anyone.
Nevertheless, before we continue talking about the absence of money and try together to find an answer to the question: “Why did this happen and what is this phenomenon’s nature?” I’d say that there are people who understand.
For example, Gordon Brown, the prime-minister of Great Britain said a few days before the New York summit that the world should change and become less egoistical. He said that people should take decisions that would consider everyone’s interests and that we can no longer live the way we do. So some bright spots do appearal though…
М. Laitman: I have lately found a few dozen of such sayings (not at Gordon Brown’s level, but uttered by large industrialists). All of them say: “Egoism is bad. This is the world’s problem. This is the source of our troubles and misfortunes. We need to unite, love one another, and trust one another.” All is well, but what’s next?
L. Makaron: Well, next step is trying to realize it somehow.
М. Laitman: They don’t have it! In the same way they don’t understand what is happening to the economy, they don’t understand how to make the world different, suitable for all of the circumstances arising within today’s humanity.
Humanity has a certain law of development. Now we have suddenly reached a new stage of development. The laws of the past don’t work. We want to force them back and we don’t know the new laws. So we…
L. Makaron: Oh, perhaps this is so because even the most distinguished economists, the best-known and respected specialists in the field of economy and world, global finance are silent today. They suggest nothing new.
Everyone suggests old recipes: let’s invest more money in economy and let’s control the process. They suggest that states should already start controlling. Some people already say that a global bank should be established and that only such a bank controlling everything that happens on the Earth would be able to cope with this problem.
М. Laitman: It won’t. This will be a universal Nazism. There will be individual Nazi states controlling absolutely everything: banks and factories will work under state supervision, the connection between them will be controlled and provided by the state. Basically everything can exist only this way today because on the one hand everything crumbles; but on the other hand, unless this happens, what else do they have? Free market is finished. Money injections are pointless because it’s not money anymore.
L. Makaron: Even the Russian government that directed huge amounts of money to activate the bank system and to support industry with liquid assets had to reprimand state-controlled central banks (“Where’s the money?”), because instead of injecting the means into industry, these banks lend money at high interest for profit or even buy hard currency and transfer it abroad. In other words, egoism is in full swing.
М. Laitman: In principle, why does the state appropriate funds now? It really wishes to give normal means instead of fictional ones, doesn’t it?
L. Makaron: I’d like to explain why this happens. At our last meeting we said: money is an equivalent of goods and services, of certain usefulness stored in a state. If there is too much of it, neither goods nor services can be obtained. This is called “inflation.”
We both know a country called Rwanda, where inflation was several hundred thousand percent a day. We remember post-war Germany, where one dollar was worth a few trillion German marks. This occurs when the state has no other ways of providing the circulation of goods and services in the country.
М. Laitman: Today the whole world is like that.
L. Makaron: The currency reserves that many countries have saved (as the Bible says, they accumulated funds during “seven good years”) are being used now. They appropriate the money in economy; they send it back; this is apent-up demand.
But first of all, it is never enough because the “domino effect” (or mass panic) starts. People think: “I don’t need money now, but unless I go to the bank today, somebody else will and the bank won’t have enough money. What should I do?” In fact, no bank has sufficient liquid assets that would correspond to its liabilities.
Otherwise a bank can’t exist. A bank has to lend money to enterprises and other banks and profit from it. This is a regular business that profits from trading money. There is nothing supernatural in a bank.
М. Laitman: This is its product.
L. Makaron: The President of a bank is like the manager of a plant providing financial services. So if everyone demands his money, the bank won’t have enough liquidity to pay off. It is simply impossible.
М. Laitman: Is this normal in normal times?
L. Makaron: This is normal in normal times because based on statistics all people don’t need money at the same time.
М. Laitman: Yes, let’s say there should be thirty percent.
L. Makaron: Insurance business is based on the same principle. If (God forbid) all people crash their cars and make a claim, the insurance company will go broke momentarily because statistics say that this is not supposed to happen! This is exactly the way it really is. Hence, in normal conditions a bank doesn’t need so much liquidity.
Today, when the global financial bubble artificially inflated by the American sub-prime mortgages burst…Money is gone…
М. Laitman: Why did this suddenly happen? This could have continued forever.
L. Makaron: This couldn’t have continued forever because the amount of money today already exceeds...
М. Laitman: Did people come and demand everything at the same time?
L. Makaron: No, something else happened. Apparently the reason was the egoism of certain market players, individuals of the financial infrastructure.
М. Laitman: Did they deliberately decide to expose the companies?
L. Makaron: No, they didn’t. The people who started receiving credits turned out to be unable to pay off. This wave of bankruptcies became publicly known. If they could have somehow hid it in America, then the problems of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mack would have remained unexposed and no one would have found out.
Maybe they regret their failure to save the Lehman Brothers. They say: “We have acted correctly.” Yet as usual they acted correctly at the wrong time. If they hadn’t allowed these three institutions to collapse, this could have continued for awhile. But the situation might have become even worse for it would have involved many more people.
What happened? Analysts or special auditing firms assessed all of these structures as super-reliable. “AAA” (“Triple A”) – there is nothing more dependable! It is like… well, it’ll sound blasphemous, but “AAA” was like Lord God’s guarantee.
Therefore, all the world’s banks, including Israeli, Swiss, Australian, and Icelandic banks (Iceland has recently gone bankrupt) were buying those shares because they were profitable. They brought low but reliable profit. It was not a speculation; it was “AAA,” hence everyone has acquired those shares, made derivative securities and then resold them to people. People bought the derivative securities from them and were calm because “AAA” was a very trustworthy bank.
When “AAA” collapsed it turned out that my thousand-dollar share is worth $1.That’s how it all began.
М. Laitman: Well, this is just an outward…
L. Makaron: … background. That’s right.
М. Laitman: The core is human irrepressible egoism. And, as Mr. Brown and the like correctly said, it burst out and reached the next level.
On the one hand, it demonstrated its global character and interconnection of everything and everybody, of all people and all human organizations throughout the world’s human community. On the other hand, it showed that it rose so high that we can’t control it. It can’t be controlled by “the twenty,” “the seven” or “the eight.” There is no way to control it. We don’t know how to control it. We used to know in the past and could agree. This entire egoism was beneath us. All systems worked beneath us.
Just think of this! Twenty greatest people in the world who have everything get together and realize that they are approaching an abyss…
L. Makaron: Eighty-five percent of the world’s gross output is in their hands.
М. Laitman: Yes. They have practically everything. Now that they realize that they are approaching an abyss, they keep walking toward it hand in hand. That’s how the result of the G20 summit appears.
L. Makaron: You see, one way or another every one of these people is responsible to his country.
М. Laitman: It doesn’t matter!
L. Makaron: They have to come up with a solution.
М. Laitman: That’s the point! How were they waving their hands while calmly descending from their planes?!
L. Makaron: I don’t think they were calmly descending. None of them was calm.
М. Laitman: Yet they realized that there is no solution.
L. Makaron: Except for Berlusconi who doesn’t care anyway.
М. Laitman: They realize that they have no solution and the situation continues deteriorating.
L. Makaron: Yes, they agreed to reconvene 100 days after Obama will have taken up his duties.
М. Laitman: A 100-day period in our time… Who is Obama anyway? What more can he do that others like him calling the shots today can’t? How? Will he have different people and different institutions with different powers?
L. Makaron: He is a man who is able to activate a printing press. They have the same powers, but different views.
М. Laitman: Is their ideology or outlook different?
L. Makaron: Their outlook is different.
М. Laitman: Do they know what to do, do they have a plan? They will use the same populist methods.
L. Makaron: They think they know. They do know. They will stimulate production and consumption. That is all people know to do. They will increase people’s aspiration to have more. It isn’t bad, is it?
М. Laitman: Have people’s aspirations to have more already fallen down so that it should be stimulated?
L. Makaron: Of course. Americans should start buying clothes and other goods again. Because if they stop buying things (forty percent of the world’s consumption is in America), two hundred million Indians and three hundred million Chinese will lose their jobs. Both India and China will have a colossal problem to manage this huge mass of people who got used to receiving money for their work, whose living standards have grown, and who enjoy all comforts of civilization. Tomorrow they’ll have to be told: “Thank you, there is no more work for you.” What should they do?
М. Laitman: Is this an American problem?!
L. Makaron: This is a global problem.
М. Laitman: It is, but should America solve it? Do you realize that …
L. Makaron: Because America created a system which allows it to consume more than any other country.
М. Laitman: “I was feeding you and now the feeding stops.”
L. Makaron: If it stops feeding others it won’t be able to survive!
М. Laitman: Why? “We’ll stop buying Chinese plastic goods. What’s so special about it?”
L. Makaron: Americans can’t produce them anymore. So they’ll have to…
М. Laitman: They don’t need it.
L. Makaron: …stop buying it; they’ll have togive it up.
М. Laitman: They don’t need it. We’ll go back to good old times…
L. Makaron: Old times.
М. Laitman: The times of settlers…
L. Makaron: You mean they will consume less, don’t you?
М. Laitman: I do.
L. Makaron: Back to wagons and horses, banjo and country music.
М. Laitman: Yes, and everything will be nice and pretty. An army, a nation of pioneers and explorers; the American spirit - I see nothing wrong in it. Why should they increase consumption to provide for the Chinese and Indian markets?
L. Makaron: I’ll tell you why. The egoism of people who got used to getting rich quickly during the last twenty-five or thirty years stands behind it.
М. Laitman: They won’t be able to do that any longer.
L. Makaron: They want to hustle a quick buck, make a fortune in a day. Not like it was in the past – producing goods for decades and winning a reputation. They want to make a fortune in a day. They will push financial institutes and governments towards it claiming that people need to be forced to consume more again.
М. Laitman: Let me tell you, their old methods of the past won’t work First of all, we are facing the next blow that will smoothly move from the financial sphere into the economic one. It is when all production stops, isn’t it?
L. Makaron: Yes.
М. Laitman: The next stage is one of famine and urban overpopulation. People won’t be able to do anything. They won’t be able to feed themselves…
Now that all pension and savings funds collapse, a huge problem will arise. What will these people eat?! Where will they get food?! Who will provide them with their daily ration?! Explain this to me. I am not speaking only about pensioners; I mean young and healthy people who will be sitting at home not knowing what to do. They will have a free TV. They need a Big Mac with a bottle of Coke or water. Who will give them these things? Electricity, heating, cooling, minimal comforts… They can’t do anything else. You can’t just drive them out of stone jungle cities. There are millions and billions of them around the world.
L. Makaron: Why don’t you think that people will have to go back to their previous way of life, to agriculture.
М. Laitman: Where will you send them?!
L. Makaron: Are there no lands?
М. Laitman: Will you dispatch them to the Far East “in accordance with Stalin’s directive”? Where will you send them?!
L. Makaron: All right, but about Israel?
М. Laitman: Let’s not talk about Israel. It is such a small country. The conditions here are totally different.
L. Makaron: And in America?
М. Laitman: It is the same in America, the same!
In the absence of funds, now that people are losing their savings, what are they going to do tomorrow? There is no job, no means even for food, for a normal way of life…
L. Makaron: Well, the situation is not that catastrophic yet?
М. Laitman: Why not?
L. Makaron: The overall money supply will diminish by thirty or forty percent. It will not disappear completely. It will be spread as a thinner layer, and, of course, thanks to egoism there will always be people who will have more, whereas the number of people with nothing will grow.
М. Laitman: What will pensioners do without a pension? Where will the state get the money? Or perhaps it will tell them: “You may die friends.”
L. Makaron: The state can do two things: either print money – then it’s the same as it doesn’t exist. A loaf of bread will then cost thousands of rubles or dollars.
The state will be forced to take repressive measures: confiscate money and redistribute it in order to hold the power. Someone will suggest a way to feed people and it will be just like you said; this will be a repetition of Hitler’s variant. He told them: “I know how to feed you.” “First I’ll take everything away from the Jews and the rich and then we’ll go and invade the neighboring countries.” After a hundred years people will come back to the same thing.So what’s the way out?
М. Laitman: This is the way out. According to simple worldly logic - this is the way out. But now it will not happen only in Germany! This will happen simultaneously in many countries, in the same G20 if you will. What will they do? They’ll wage war against one another, send armies to exterminate a couple of billions of people, and then the rest will, so to speak, live peacefully knowing that they just send people to be slaughtered.
L. Makaron: Do you think that a decision to go down and make a step back in civilized development will be taken?
М. Laitman: The state in which the world has a lot less resources than it was believed suggests that humanity consisting of six billion people will have to be diminished to two billion.
L. Makaron: Well, this sounds very pessimistic.
М. Laitman: Hold on a minute! This is simple math. What shall we do?
L. Makaron: What should we do?
М. Laitman: It turns out that there is no usual logical way out; and therefore they just go back to their countries. They know this quite well! Everything I say is basically simple math.
However, there’s no way out because in this world at the level of our egoism this problem cannot be solved! This is a huge demographic problem in cities where the number of young people is twice as small as the number of senior citizens. What should be done with all the foreign workers?
When there’s not enough work in their own country, millions of immigrants filled up every hole. This happens not only in Russia, but everywhere: Mexican refugees and others.
So they’ll find no solution at the level of our world. The solution is in using the law of nature that evoked this new state within us.
L. Makaron: Was it evoked because people are opposite to this law?
М. Laitman: Yes! Yes. People are opposite to it.
L. Makaron: This happened because the size of economy, egoism or interaction manifested?
М. Laitman: These things are the same. Economy, egoism, and interaction have become so enormous that they formed a common mass. It is like drops of water merge together…
L. Makaron: This resembles drops of mercury.
М. Laitman: Yes, drops of mercury merge together and a completely new law, commonness or quality emerges. They were fighting, redistributing things, and playing with one another before. As soon as they formed a communion, they started playing with some kind of a global law.
L. Makaron: Well, I know that you have a very important event – the first Kabbalistic channel started broadcast today. This channel describes and propagates the method that explains the world’s interaction and interconnection. Perhaps it makes sense to make the first such statement today without any euphemisms and say it frankly? This may arouse the leadership’s resentment.
I can give an example: in Latvia, which considers itself a democratic country and is constantly screaming that Russia is a dictatorship, a professor of economy in Daugavpils answered his students’ question, “How should we save our money?” by saying: “Don’t keep Lats and avoid keeping your money in Latvian banks.” He was arrested by the security service immediately after the lecture. He was accused of undermining the country’s economy and even financial system.
М. Laitman: I’d say he was undermining not only the financial system, but the entire regime.
L. Makaron: All right, but people should hear what you say.
М. Laitman: One minute! This is an outright provocation. What is he telling people? He says that everything is in this country.
L. Makaron: He said: “Buy dollars.”
М. Laitman: So what should they do? This act indicates that in principle latent Nazism exists in every country and it should naturally manifest, otherwise the country won’t be able to defend itself.
Hence, the only remedy against self-destruction and against this “new” turn that we already went through one hundred years ago is to study the law, in which we find ourselves today, and observe it.
L. Makaron: So maybe you should talk about it at the opening of the channel, even though it may seem unpleasant and embarrassing to some people. This way it will be clear that people who consider themselves politicians caring for their people’s well-being…
М. Laitman: In fact they don’t…
L. Makaron: I still believe they care for people in their own way. So perhaps you should explain to them that nothing will come out of it, so let’s listen! It’s a wonderful opportunity! Even if it doesn’t involve the entire world, but there are already millions of people in Israel and in other countries. This is a satellite channel, so the statement will be heard in other places too.
М. Laitman: We are trying to do that. However, we know of a historical example: ten Egyptian plagues befell humanity when it was breaking out of egoism. The small humanity that decided to rise above egoism, come out of Babylon, go through Egypt and get out of it had to receive ten serious blows, crises.
L. Makaron: Does this mean that there is no way out? Is the third world war bound to take place?
М. Laitman: No.
L. Makaron: Does the population of the Earth have to be diminished? Does famine have to break out?
М. Laitman: No, no, no! According to Kabbalah the Earth is able to provide food for 200 or 300 billion people.
L. Makaron: Well, they will have to stand holding one another’s hand.
М. Laitman: (Laughing) No, no. There are various resources at the bottom of the ocean… the resources that are concealed in nature. If we treat it correctly and exist in harmony with it, then nature’s attitude to us will be completely different. We will receive a totally different, opposite influence from it.
I am not going to speak about such seemingly utopian numbers and states. But if people begin to understand today (at least serious people) that “holding hands” meaning unity, mutual understanding, perhaps not love, but correct interconnection between people, is a guarantee of our existence. Kabbalah speaks of how this correct interconnection can be achieved.
It speaks about it in a purely scientific manner. Let’s take the natural force that created us. This is a force of unity, unification, bestowal, and love…
L. Makaron: So we should believe that it can…
М. Laitman: It can because it created us, it develops us and it brought us to this new threshold, when we suddenly turned out to be globally interconnected. We should take this force and use it. Kabbalah is revealed in our time because it shows how to realize this unified natural force correctly directed at humanity. Humanity shouldn’t oppose this force; it should work in harmony and unison with it.
L. Makaron: You are saying very important things, you know, but your words trouble me a lot.
М. Laitman: We have no other way out at the same level.
L. Makaron: People will not hear you… What should be done to make people hear? They won’t hear trying to solve the problem by using the same old methods…
М. Laitman: That is why we open our channel and use a variety of other means to explain that if we go on trying to solve the problem by old methods we will drive the disease deeper inside. We are not at the old level anymore!
L. Makaron: In any case we will confront the individual egoism of the rulers, leaders, and the elite.
М. Laitman: Let them take it as a national idea – this will be wonderful!
L. Makaron: There should be not a national idea, but a global one.
М. Laitman: Let it be global, let them take it. It is really global. It is the same ancient Babylonian principle when humanity was still very small. It felt this global principle within, realized that it should unite (while in fact being egoists), and was scattered all over the Earth.
Today we have nowhere to run away from one another. We must find this equation among ourselves today.
L. Makaron: So let’s shout about it. We must shout.
М. Laitman: Yes, we must shout.
L. Makaron: We must appeal to the leaders of nations, the UN, economists…
М. Laitman: This should be an appeal. I don’t know how, but it shouldn’t sound too pompous. Usually people start thinking that someone tries to advertise himself this way…
L. Makaron: Last time you said that there are people who will talk about this and teach. Apparently these people should show by their own example and explain how to activate this law. It is important for all of us today to activate this law.
It should start working. How? Where is this trigger? What should be done? What is the sequence of operations? Make the first step, make the second step, make the third step, and then the law will start working.
М. Laitman: The main thing is mass media. Via mass media we should start explaining to all people in what state they should live and why we should achieve interconnection with one another. Everyone must understand that for his survival he should be content with the basic necessities and give the rest to the world and society.
This looks like communism and socialism, although America is already coming to this. However, the fact is that at the same time we should explain to man what he gains, what reward he receives. By living so man starts feeling his similarity to the Upper nature.
There is a subtle, delicate problem here – how to explain to people that in love to others they will feel completely different, perfect and eternal, above their animate body. They will perceive the general law of nature that rules them. They will rise above the animate level (for all we do is just serve our animate body) to the human one. The state called “man” will start manifesting within them.
Prior to globalization this state has never manifested before. Now that we have approached this enormous global crisis, we can discover our new state called “man” in it, the one that elevates us above animals.
L. Makaron: Well, I think that…
М. Laitman: Humanity will have no other way out. It will be compelled to reveal this state! The question is how much suffering this will require, more or less. The difference means wars, destruction, and dreadful famine.
L. Makaron: It seems to me that through this satellite channel available to a great number of people not only in Israel, but also in other countries in as many languages as you can provide, you should simply speak about this for two minutes several times every day. Speak about this for two minutes every hour!
When a ship is sinking, it sends a SOS signal. At a certain hour (there is a notion “radio silence”), every ship keeps silent and listens to SOS signals. Maybe we should do the same?! If not every hour, then every three hours, but this channel should show a caption or your address or perhaps some animated image saying: “Attention! We are running out of time! Let’s start working! Come on!” This way we may succeed in attracting people’s attention to the problem.
М. Laitman: You see, you have already come up with a good idea.
L. Makaron: You know I hate to think that everything may end up in a bad way.
М. Laitman: No, it won’t end up badly. According to the same global law of nature we will achieve balance with it anyway. Humanity will rise to the level of “man” from its current animate level, either by way of suffering or by way of wisdom.
L. Makaron: Let’s choose the way of wisdom!
М. Laitman: Let’s try! Thank you!