Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How paranoiac should we be?

Critics in Europe are very uneasy about the new Italian ECB chief, the Greek premier and the prime minister-designate of Italy’s past or present relations with the Goldman Sachs bank. Key European crisis figures Mario Draghi, Lucas Papademos and Mario Monti all have backgrounds with ‘Government Sachs’. Euronews

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) said international adviser Mario Monti, who yesterday was asked to lead a new Italy government, has “discharged all his obligations” to the firm. Goldman wishes Monti success in the “extraordinarily important task” he has assumed, according to an e-mailed statement today. Bloomberg
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There is this wonderful Spanish saying, "when you see your neighbor's beard on fire, put your whiskers to soak", whose American version would be, "what goes around, comes around". I think both versions of this sample of folk wisdom apply to what has just happened in Italy and Greece, where the pressure of the financial markets have caused two governments elected by universal suffrage to be brought down and replaced by technocratic governments which have been chosen by "experts" to apply "austerity measures" to the population of these countries, without consulting the voters. If instead of the gnomes of finance, this had been done by military officers, we would call it all a coup d' état... now we are not quite sure what to call it.
Now mind you, I am not defending Silvio Berlusconi, the most sinister clown to grace Italian politics since Mussolini, but frankly friends and neighbors, the Italians did vote him into office and have not been given the opportunity to vote him out and are now being governed by Mario Monti, a very nice man, a very intelligent man, but someone that nobody voted for and who happens to be closely linked to Goldman Sachs, of all people. Now that in turn, if you have any attachment at all to representative government, universal suffrage, and stuff like that, rivals the advent of Berlusconi as the most sinister thing to happen in Italian politics since the rise of Il Duce.
Meanwhile, back in Wall Street, mayor Bloomberg has cleared Zuccotti  Park and now, lost among all the exciting news of financial meltdown, it seems that the government of Israel is set on starting a war with Iran, against the opinion of their own military and intelligence community, who would have to be the ones to fight said war... and of course, our Nobel Peace Prize winner, president Barack Obama, isn't "taking any options off the table."
All we need now, to create a "Rapper's Delight" of conspiracy theory delirium, is for somebody to discover how Lloyd Blankfein is set to make money on a war in the Middle East.

As they say, “you couldn’t make this stuff up” nobody would believe it if you did… June 1914 must have been a little like this… Certainly the most historically “pregnant” period I have ever lived (I was born in ’44) and that includes the fall of the Wall… because there was another system perfectly intact (ours) when that went down… now there is nobody here but us chickens boss.

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