The coincidence of events
Today started like most days in that after a breakfast with Jean it was time to switch on the PC and review the news that had come in over night and think about what material might be appropriate for the Blog. But that’s as far as it went for a normal day.
Because a number of items came together in a way that left me reeling. Not because it was necessarily new information but because together they represent the most compelling evidence as to why this economic crisis happened and, more importantly, the terrible likelihood that our leaders aren’t go to fix it and that the future will bring an even worse calamity.
Here’s how it arrived at my ‘desk’ so to speak.
Simon Johnson and James Kwak plus all the thousands of well-informed commentators are doing an amazing job in promulagating to a wide audience their views of the global economic crisis (there are over 11,000 subscribers to the Blog!); I am one of those subscribers.
Thus on October 9th, I received a Post in my email in-box from Baseline that caught my interest. It was called, What’s Wrong with a Phone Call? It essentially queries the tight links between US Treasury secretary Tim Geithner and the banking/investment industry. Here’s an extract towards the end of that Post:
“There’s nothing scandalous about the fact that Tim Geithner talks to the CEOs of Goldman, JPMorgan, and Citi a lot. It’s just a fact. It’s a fact that demonstrates the deep linkages between the thinking inside Treasury and the thinking on Wall Street (and yes, I know Citi and JPMorgan are in Midtown). It’s also one reason I have little interest in conspiracy theories — who needs a conspiracy when you have a sympathetic ear in the Treasury Department that you can get access to regularly?”
The Post is essential reading especially the dozens of comments.
Then this morning, there is the daily email from Yves at Naked Capitalism. She has a long review of the latest Michael Moore film, Capitalism: A Love Story. It’s a good review and Yves’ writing is easy on the eye and the brain so it was a
pleasure to read the review in full. The film appeared to be a powerful way of showing to the public just what had been happening in Wall Street and it’s effects on Main Street. Here’s an extract from Yves’ review:
Readers will likely enjoy his [Moore] treatment of the TARP and its aftermath. Moore provides evidence well known to finance blog readers, such as Goldman penetration of key policy positions, an obligatory Phil Gramm saying something heinous shot, and the role of financial services contributions (he managed to interview the fellow at Countrywide in charge of the “Friends of Angelo” cheap mortgage as bribe program, who sees nothing wrong in what he did). He also makes good use of Bill Black and Elizabeth Warren. Congressmen and women, agitated even now, describe how the process of getting the TARP through despite overwhelming popular opposition was masterfully orchestrated, carefully timed to prey on re-election fears “like an intelligence operation”. The clips are simply damning, and dispel any doubts of who is really in charge in DC.
Towards the end there was a link to the latest Bill Moyer’s Journal. I had no idea what was in store.
Bill’s latest is a 30 minute interview with Simon Johnson and the US Representative Marcy Kaptur (D-OH). The
interview is riveting. Be warned, if you start to watch it (and you should!) you will be unable to turn aside as Marcy and Simon spell out in words full of power and meaning just what has happened. (And it you are reading this Blog from outside the US, as many do, then you will still find it easy to translate what the US is going through with respect to your own country.)
It will leave you feeling, I’m sure, a mixture of anger, sadness and disbelief at the impotence of our leaders to defend and protect the peoples of our great countries, who are now paying with their jobs, with their homes and with life-changing circumstances for the greed of a small group of Too Big To Fail! Or as one of the commentators on Baseline Scenario put it, “Too Connected To Fail”!
If you really want to understand what is being done to us, watch Bill Moyer’s interview with Simon and Marcy.
By Paul Handover