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Sahra Wagenknecht

Sahra Wagenknecht
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October 28th, 2011

"I told you so" say German Marxists of bank crisis

Article published on 27 October 2011

Erik Kirschbaum

Die-hard Marxists and others raised in formerly Communist east Germany feel Europe's sovereign debt crisis has vindicated their once-ridiculed warnings about the perils of unbridled capitalism.

Calls to shackle the banks in this bastion of Western consumerism are finding an increasingly receptive audience among Germans, some of whom now wonder whether their cash is safer under the mattress than in a bank.

Even mainstream conservatives are asking if the Left might not have been right all along, potentially boosting the prospects of more radical parties with less than two years to go to German elections.

European leaders struck a deal with private banks on Thursday to try to contain the debt crisis but doubts about the global financial system linger in Berlin, a city split by the Cold War that has witnessed an improbable revival of interest in Karl Marx since the financial crisis began in 2008.

"These banks have a ludicrous business model and it's extremely dangerous for us all," said Sahra Wagenknecht, a member of parliament and a fiery leader of the Left party that traces its roots to Erich Honecker's SED party.

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