Kissing Rosary Beads (and other forms of speculation)
By David Peterson at Oct 22, 2008
One of the best short commentaries that I've found this far on the real-world consequences of the systemic fraud that the Americans have perpetrated across the global financial markets, as well as the inherent instability and pure speculation that governs the U.S.-driven regime of free capital mobility, has been Madeleine Bunting's "A crisis sparked by the world's rich will have the poor paying the highest price" (The Guardian, Oct. 20).
As I detest all members of the celebrity-witnessing cadre (e.g., in the States, one way for celebrities to establish their bona fides as something more than pretty faces has been to criticize Washington for its "failure" to stop the "genocides" alleged to be perpetrated by other governments -- Sudan happens to be their favorite photo-op this decade -- while turning career-wise blind-eyes towards the crimes of Washington on at least five different continents, and even sitting down to diner with the American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan as a show of "solidarity"), I particularly appreciated this passage of Bunting's:
Just as Steinbeck stirred the conscience of America with his novels on the dust bowl and the Great Depression, and Charles Dickens challenged the complacencies of Victorian Britain, so [India's Aravind] Adiga reads as a blistering critique of an economic system that can only be described as grotesque. The Indian economist Jayati Ghosh points out that Mumbai has the second biggest sales globally of Mercedes cars, yet more than half of India lives in poverty without enough to eat. The pertinence of Adiga's [Booker Prize] win is that
Why, I can even remember seeing a photo some years back that showed Bono taking-a-knee to receive the blessings of the last Pope. -- The more discredited are these celebrity suck-ups to worldly power, the better.
Look for the Americans to block every proposal for serious reform of the financial system. This means that sentiments such as the one expressed by France's rightish President last week before an emergency summit of the European Council in Brussels -- "This crisis is one too many. The system must be completely overhauled, an overhaul that must be global. A new form of capitalism is needed, based on values which put finance at the service of business and citizens, and not vice-versa." -- vastly exceeds what the Americans will accept. As what passes for "wealth"-creation in the States now amounts to little more than peddling counterfeit securities to the rest of the world, transfers of as much hard-earned money upwards as they can get away with before the global bubble really bursts (i.e., we ain't seen nothing yet, friends), and stockpiling that assemblage of hard assets maintained by the Department of War, the 21st Century is starting off about as destructively as can be.
"A crisis sparked by the world's rich will have the poor paying the highest price," Madeleine Bunting, The Guardian, October 20, 2008
"Bono recalls pontiff's affection for the poor -- and cool sunglasses," USA Today, April 4, 2005
"Sinead O'Connor Slams Bono," Irish Examiner, September 13, 2005
"Introduction by the President of the European Council,"