Now, Look Here (Publicistics) — Part Three

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: We, The Silly People

Chapter 11 (v.1) - New laws — old policy

Submitted: May 06, 2018

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Submitted: May 06, 2018




Experienced people are the communists, one can not object to this! They knew quite well that if you want to take something from somebody he will resist, but when you give him — most often he takes it. And if you decide to defend him, then even with not much brains you can take from him, as is said, his mother's milk. Well, it is so, if you begin to explain to a sheep, that you intend to milk her to make yourself cheese, she will not understand you, but if you graze her for a pair of weeks, then you'll be able to milk her, and shear her, and also take away some of her children now and then for a barbecue and she will still bleat happily. The same is true also for the cows. Yet for the people a pair of weeks is not enough, but 50 years — unquestionably!
So that the protection is a good thing! Quite rarely someone will tell you that he does not want to be protected, but if this happens then it will be because of pride. And when so, if one has a little of our levs in some nice banks, then why not the 'dear people' (id est the communists, for this is their common addressing of the masses) not to guaranty them to him, especially when this costs them nothing, because this, what they must give to the citizens, they will take from the companies (there is 50% protection of their investments), but there is also nothing at all to guaranty, because one takes his money from one bank and runs to another (state owned), due to the fact that the inflation is tremendous, and the dollar has lost its senses to be bought by one. So that the thing is sure and, as is said: the wolf is satiated (and who is he, ah?), and the sheep are whole!
It remains only to accomplish the affair competently, like communists! It is clear that people seek protection when they are under some danger, so that it was necessary in the beginning to frighten them, right? ( And even earlier was the period of 'lulling', in order that the people were able to put their levs and hard currency in the banks, not to hide them at their homes, but this was in the previous year. ) Then there was necessary that here and there 'burst out fires'. The 'pyramids' have already 'set the mat' of many persons 'on fire', so that there sufficed quite small state intervention (of the party, or state, Bulgarian National Bank, BNB). There was, for example, one good firm, called 'Financial Trading House FTA', which has already had for 3-4 years permit for currency transactions, took money (and levs, too) in deposits, sold Government bonds, and had a number of offices through the country. One morning, though, having just awaken, the Director of BNB decided to take back its licence (because there was needed 'kindling for the fire', so to say) and after a pair of days he also did this. Not that BNB has only then found out about this firm, but then become necessary to knock it over, the more so because it offered fixed interest rate on the deposits (as it is in the 'normal' countries), not floating and tied to the basic interest rate (BIR), determined by BNB (how it is in Bulgaria), so that this served as one of the reasons for taking back of its licence. And so, 'fires burst out', somewhere some people 'burned', others were frightened and already began, in the open or tacitly, to ask for protection.
The intervention from above, though, continued, because the banks hold the front. 'Now, let us see how long can they hold it?', said to themselves the communist leaders and meanwhile began to nationalize, pardon me: to 'defend the deposits of the citizens', in several banks. It was clear that there was little sense to begin with banks like 'Capital Bank', for example, where from January (and at least till August) have not changed the bank interest rates and the bank was so insignificant that people did not even know that it existed — such bank was not good for the competent politicians and specialists. Another thing was the 'Mineral Bank', for example, because it was wealthy, as also well known on the West, and the deposits there in hard currency were current, but with good interests (6-8% in an year) and they were added each three months. It is true that in the 'normal' Western countries people don't have monthly deposits (more so weekly), or they do not use them much, while their term deposits are for one, two, and three years, and for shorter periods exist current deposits, but we are also not Europe, after all! Well, we have compromised ourselves a little before the West and have closed us even more, as is said, but this was one of the purposes of the task (the communism can't vegetate by open doors to the West — it 'catches cold' — so that it was necessary to close the financial doors).
Another Bank — 'First Private Bank'! Even if it was the most poor of all banks it must have been closed because the mere name of it irritated the communist ear. But it was quite prosperous and well known abroad, and, in the first place, nobody supposed that the bank of 'Ventsi', for whom have voted half of the voters of Sofia, can go bankrupt. Though, a bank more or a bank less, what of it (or 'what here some person can mean?', as has said our poet Nikola Vaptsarov) — when it is necessary for the party, there is nothing to be done!
But, if all this has ended for a pair of weeks, then one could have taken this for natural disaster and soon forgotten about. Because of this was necessary that the things lasted at least a pair of months, so that other banks (without participation of the state) were set under permanent danger of closing and did not pay the people more than 30,000 lv without prior notice (how it is according to the rules), and also more than 10,000 lv (i.e. 50 US$), and even with prior notice of a whole week also was not possible to get the money (some banks gave not even 1-2 thousand levs), because the BNB has 'protected the savings' of the citizens. To say nothing about hard currency — in principle was possible to take (other banks were not declared bankrupt), but in practice came nothing from such efforts. And if somebody wanted to change a hundred of dollars for levs, because of the high interest rate (in those times 'only' 108%), he would have hardly dared to do this, because he neither could have saved his levs, nor the dollar has calmed down.
For this reason they decided to close additional couple of banks. Recently — another five or six, and those banks which BNB does not close they will alone go bankrupt, for the simple reason that the banks exist if there are people or companies to credit them! But the people now don't want to give credits to the banks (unless the bank is state owned). There can't be said that in Bulgaria don't exist private banks, but they just can't survive! Well, surely this is not communism but state-monopoly capitalism (according to the old communist terminology, yet it could have been called also financial socialism (for change), or in some other way, but this is not significant. The major thing is that the people wanted to be 'protected' and put alone their head in the harness.
After this comes the next protection (especially under the current prices on basic food products) — the system of coupons. The only problem is that by the contemporary copying techniques well-protected coupons would have costed quite much. ( Just imagine how more expensive will become coupons with pressed into them metal ribbons with inscription 'protection of the citizens' on them, or: 'Zhan' — from Zhan Videnov —, small lion, 'Zhan', small lion, and so on, but it is possible also to put crossed fibers, like a grid. )
The next step will be paying of the salaries in dollars, and maybe, to vote a law about the 'minimal minimal working salary', establishing that the minimal salary can't be less than one US dollar a day, what, after all, will be better than in the year 1900, for example (or maybe not?). The important thing is that the population was convinced, that it is well protected. The pensions will be corrected every month according to 'scientifically based norms' for consumption of one pensioner, which, surely, will not be enough for covering of all communal expenses for one or two rooms (not just bedrooms) flats, to say nothing about food and, God forbid, medicaments.
Well, it is true that money in the banks have, in fact, the poor citizens, not the wealthy! Not the socially weak but, still, poor ones, because they have had not enough money to buy something valuable — if not 'real' estate, as it is said in English, then at least a movable one. So with his 100,000 or 200,000 levs (i.e. 500 - 1,000 US$, resp.) one can't buy even well preserved second hand passenger car, because, if he could, he would have bought himself one, instead of to keep his money in banks. To say nothing about a living apartment or half to one decare (0.05 - 0.1 hectares) land around the town. So that this 'financial slap' for the Bulgarian people was even not according to the communists, i.e. to take from the wealthy and give to the poor ones, but exactly on the contrary!
But, after all, the communists are now socialists, they have centered themselves. Why not then to centralize the finances? For example, now the 'most state' bank, Bulbank', gives generally the highest interests for deposits in levs and good interests for hard currency. Similar is the situation also with 'Biochim', OBB (United Bulgarian Bank), Post Bank, even with DSK (State Saving Bank). To say nothing about Government securities, which in the beginning of October give about 450% (!) per year, and the money enter directly into the state treasury, eliminating even the state owned banks. So that around the New Year about 90% of the deposits of citizens (in levs and in hard currency) will be collected in the state banks and the operation will be finished with success and competently, where in Bulgaria will remain 4-5 state owned banks, 4-5 foreign banks (for assortment), and about ten more banks in process if liquidation. The main thing is that the people wanted to be milked, excuse me, protected!

Oct 1996

P.S. This material needs some commentaries, because it is true, but also questionable, i.e. the facts given here are true and Zhan Videnov, really, has provoked bankrupts of the banks, but in order to preserve our currency, as far as this was possible, and this was the best method for stopping of inflation with our own means, and, as the people later have convinced themselves, nobody has lost his money in this banks and the periods were preserved and continued profitably (only that the invested in levs capitals were eaten by the inflation, but they would have been eaten by it in any case). Social protection of deposits exists also in some Western countries and the West takes this method of 'centralized governing' of the banks for justified, and our UDF people did not object against the law, and it is still valid. But this does not mean that such law is not socialist, and, if we are consecutive, then it should not exist in a free capitalist market (because this is blocking of the bank before the court case for insolvency, i.e. the state acts as instance above the legislature).
All confusion in Bulgaria came again because of lack of coordination between the political powers, because, either was necessary to admit before the people that such rude totalitarian method was necessary (but then leave Zhan in peace and take measures for some our national money Board), or then defend till the end the freedom of market (but then not to introduce Money Board, which is obvious anti-market mechanism, but with the use of which the UDF simply washed their hands for similar rough measures later). At least was necessary to allow applying of the existing law also to similar to FTA financial houses, which have accepted deposits of the citizens, for the simply reason that for the clients they were some kind of banks. But neither the blue, nor the red, have done something similar.





  • * The material sounds much in the spirit of UDF, but look at the P.S. in the end.



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