March 22, 2009

Who Could Have Predicted...?

The Big Takeover : Rolling Stone
It's over — we're officially, royally f*cked...

So it's time to admit it: We're fools, protagonists in a kind of gruesome comedy about the marriage of greed and stupidity. And the worst part about it is that we're still in denial — we still think this is some kind of unfortunate accident, not something that was created by the group of psychopaths on Wall Street whom we allowed to gang-rape the American Dream.

Well, not ALL of us....But yeah.
People are pissed off about this financial crisis, and about this bailout, but they're not pissed off enough. The reality is that the worldwide economic meltdown and the bailout that followed were together a kind of revolution, a coup d'état. They cemented and formalized a political trend that has been snowballing for decades: the gradual takeover of the government by a small class of connected insiders, who used money to control elections, buy influence and systematically weaken financial regulations.

The crisis was the coup de grâce: Given virtually free rein over the economy, these same insiders first wrecked the financial world, then cunningly granted themselves nearly unlimited emergency powers to clean up their own mess. And so the gambling-addict leaders of companies like AIG end up not penniless and in jail, but with an Alien-style death grip on the Treasury and the Federal Reserve — "our partners in the government," as Liddy put it with a shockingly casual matter-of-factness after the most recent bailout.
Sounds familiar?

Yeah, who saw that coming eh?


Bukko_in_Australia said...

To tell the truth, I'm starting to get worried that the coming disaster is going to be SO extreme that even our well-laid plans won't get us through. What if ALL money becomes worthless? It seems like every central bank is racing to spew out so much extra electronic cash/credit that the very concept of paper money will become meaningless. When we were in Perth, we stopped by the Perth Mint to pick up a few silver ducats with some spare cash I had lying around in the bank. (Then I lugged them all over W.A. in my backpack.) If it all comes down, the shiny pieces of metal I can hold in my hand might be all I've got left.

Ah well, here in Oz, I'm sure the government will organise some sort of "work for food" scheme where we all go back to the land and use sickles to harvest wheat in the Wimmera. That's what I need to get rid of this extra 10 kg on the belt line. (I never noticed that as much as I did when I was swanning around the Indian Ocean beaches in my bathers...)

Bukko_in_Australia said...

I finally got around to reading Taibbi's latest in that Rolling Stone link. (It was also referenced in a right-wing econoblog I read, and on an angry American talkback radio programme we downloaded, so three mentions definitely merits a Captain Cook.) It was so good I had Mrs. Bukko read it too. I shouldn't say "too" because I still haven't QUITE gotten to the end of the eighth screenpage.

There have been a lot of "Holy Shit! This is exactly how the economy is collapsing" articles that we've read over the years. This was not completely new information to us, but Taibbi spells it out so clearly (and angrily.) Thanks again for doing my pre-reading for me, Gandhza.


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