Saturday, 27 September 2008

Hell in a handbasket

Everybody has an opinion on the attempted bailout of the US banking sector. Gordon Campbell at Scoop has lots of plain speaking to get off his chest; here's a sample. 
". . . (a) the plan probably won’t work (b) isn’t fixable and (c) will be politically suicidal", because ". . . every person who has lost their home in the recession/subprime fallout because their bank refused to help them re-structure their debt - is furious that Wall Street is getting bailed out at their expense." And worse, ". . . this will allow John McCain and every Republican in a marginal seat to run as outsiders and rail against Washington – even though it was their party and its loony zeal for de-regulation that made the crisis possible, and inevitable."

James Howard Kunstler is as expressive as ever; he has every right to a good burst of "I told you so" as he's been predicting a banking and mortgage meltdown for some years, but he's not gloating. He does, however, call this ". . . a cockamamie scheme for the US treasury to absorb all the losses from a twenty-year binge in which Wall Street created and retailed the most complex set of swindles ever seen on this planet Earth. The background music to the tableau was the 'whoosh' of a several trillion dollars exiting the US financial system never to be seen again."

Even the Archbishop of Canterbury has something to say, drawing a rather long bow in an attempt to invoke Marx and to find a moral message in this mess. To him, it's not greed that is the sin, it's idolatry; and he calls on the secular saints Dawkins and Hitchens to expose this fallacy!

"...ascribing independent reality to what you have in fact made yourself is a perfect definition of what the Jewish and Christian Scriptures call idolatry.
   The mythologies and abstractions, the pseudo-objects of much modern financial culture, are in urgent need of their own Dawkins or Hitchens. We need to be reacquainted with our own capacity to choose — which means acquiring some skills in discerning true faith from false, and re-learning some of the inescapable face-to-face dimensions of human trust."

Sorry Your Grace, those two gentlemen are busy pulling down the entire edifice of religion; if they ever succeed, you'll just be an irrelevant old airhead.

I'd like to hear the story about the free market self-correcting without government interference again - that's my favourite fairy story this week.

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