Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Help me!

Can you help me? You see, I'm totally baffled. We’re in the worst crisis since the Great Depression, possibly the worst financial crisis ever, and to solve it we have recruited the very people who caused it in the first place. Meanwhile, those who identified the emperor’s lack of clothes many years ago get ignored. It seems to apply everywhere - for example Obama’s economics team looks like a rogues gallery of Wall St. banksters.

Last week featured an important event. The Irish Times was going to feature an article from the God-like personage of Peter Sutherland, ex-Chairman of Goldman Sachs, BP and other blue chip majors, and the decks were cleared for what was billed as a ‘hard-hitting and frank’ examination of what went wrong, and what we must do to fix it.

And Peter didn’t let us down. He told us we were in potentially the worst economic crisis the country had ever experienced. That it had been building up for some time and that we must all face reality and be prepared for a major drop in personal and national income. Tough, nay, brutal measures were called for.

All of this was presented with tons of gravitas, and treated with deep respect, almost reverence, by one and all. Including me. He seemed to have the problem, and its causes, nailed. After all, as a recent boss at Goldman's, he, let's say, had first hand experience of the problem.

But then a thought struck me. Sutherland is an unusual name for an Irishman, and I just wondered could he be the same one who addressed the Irish Management Institute last April?

Le me check. Why yes, one and the same. And presumably he presented a similar grim message in that forum?

Well, no actually.

In fact he denounced the ‘doomsayers’ in trenchant terms. Ireland’s economy was ‘not a bubble’ and that we could expect ongoing glory in the form of growth rates higher than anywhere in the EU for the next five years.

What happened in the intervening months? I don't know, but I do know that he’s still treated as a seer, and apparently we should be grateful that he took the trouble to spell out the situation for us.

Why wasn’t he hooted out in a storm of derision? Probably for the same reason that Robert Rubin, Alan Greenspan, and all of the Neocons are still in place, sternly admonishing us and laying out in unequivocal terms what we must now do.

So back to my original question: Can you explain this mystery to me?

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Goldman Sachs was a revolving doo for all the snakes in the US Treasury .Hank Paulson who stole 750 Billion Dollars of taxpayers money and gave it to his buddies in the banks while the people starved was a former Colman Sacks chairman.They then promptly paid out massive bonuses from this taxpayers money.

As chairman of BP he oversaw major cost cutting which pared back safety standards of BP refineries in the US .This resulted in a catastrophic fire in one of their plants in Texas which resulted in many deaths.BP were cited for safety violations at the plant.

Also ,in early February sutherland was fired from his job as a non executive director of RBS which presided over the biggest loss in british corporate history.
And who can forget his masterful performance in favour of the Lisbon Treaty.?

He was the architect of GATT which was the globalised regualtory framework that enabled sutherland's class of parasites to transfer middle class wealth upwards to them .
They called it globalisation and a leg up for the poor...yeah right!

sutherland is a financial snake.He has poisoned everything he has been involved with.

Anonymous said...

Well spotted Savant.

Anonymous said...

The cast of this little piece, sounds like a Barmitzvah guest list.

doodler said...

Well, I can help in explaining the cause of the financial crisis:
Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Berlin. In order to increase sales, she decides to allow her loyal customers - most of whom are unemployed alcoholics - to drink now but pay later. She keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers loans).

Word gets around and as a result increasing numbers of customers flood into Heidi's bar.

Taking advantage of her customers' freedom from immediate payment
constraints, Heidi increases her prices for wine and beer, the
most-consumed beverages. Her sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic customer service consultant at the local bank Recognizes these customer debts as valuable future assets and increases Heidi's borrowing limit.

He sees no reason for undue concern since he has the debts of the alcoholics as collateral.

At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert bankers transform these customer assets into DRINKBONDS, ALKBONDS and PUKEBONDS. These securities are then traded on markets worldwide. No one really understands what these abbreviations mean and how the securities are guaranteed.

Nevertheless, as their prices continuously climb, the securities become top-selling items.

One day, although the prices are still climbing, a risk manager
(subsequently of course fired due his negativity) of the bank decides
that slowly the time has come to demand payment of the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi's bar.

However they cannot pay back the debts.

Heidi cannot fulfill her loan obligations and claims bankruptcy.

DRINKBOND and ALKBOND drop in price by 95 %. PUKEBOND performs better, stabilizing in price after dropping by 80 %.

The suppliers of Heidi's bar, having granted her generous payment due dates and having invested in the securities are faced with a new situation.

Her wine supplier claims bankruptcy, her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor.

The bank is saved by the Government following dramatic round-the-clock consultations by leaders from the governing political parties.

The funds required for this purpose are obtained by a tax levied against the non-drinkers.

Finally an explanation I understand . . .

Anonymous said...

Because these parasiites have every avenue closed off. They control all the levers of power. Note how nobody in the irish Times, even after the aticle appeared, drew attention to his IMI speech (apart from yu, that is)

clonycavan said...

Thank you so much, Savant; and anonymous and Doodler.
'...by a tax levied against the non-drinkers'; very good. That's the bit we haven't seen, yet.
One very injust form of this would be: if those who have always paid their monthly mortgage payment to live in a modest house, were taxed in order to subsidise those who have borrowed hugely to live in a desireable house, which is beyond their means.

Anonymous said...

I thought Sullivan/Sutherland were common Irish names.

Anonymous said...

Very true clonycavan, but it cud well happen.

Anonymous said...

Sutherland isn't the same genesis as Sullivan. The former derives from, I imagine, 'South Land' while Sullivan comes from, I presume, the Irish 'sul amhain' (pr. sul awan) which means 'one-eyed'.

beppo said...

I have been following the financial goings-on for a year or so and have never read an explanation so beautifully simple and,I think, accurate as Doodler's offering. Thanks.