Thursday, October 23, 2008

Leathery Toad Channels Bart Simpson Before Congress

The economic war criminal Alan Greenspan was uncharacteristically intelligible in what will likely be the closest he offers by way of an apology. Greenspan joins Robert Rubin, William Donaldson, Henry Paulson and the cast of thousands in substantially avoiding any admission of his own role in an economic disaster for which WE THE PEOPLE will be held to account.

Greenspan effectively said, "I can't help feeling partly responsible." This is one of the leading advocates of deregulation in the history of modern economics.

Still the media faun all over him, just as they do with all of these arrogant shits. Charlie Rose had "Ace" Greenberg on last night (October 22nd). Now, Rose's specialty is grovelling before those whom he admires or with whom he agrees and being obnoxious to any others. But Rose outdid himself, even compared to recent interviews with Warren Buffett and Maurice R. "Hank" Greenberg (no relation to "Ace").

The New York Times, meanwhile, invited Myron Scholes (vide Wikipedia) of Long Term Capital Management notoriety to suggest questions for Obama and McCain — no mention of Scholes's vested interest in covering up the roots of this absurd, obscene bailout.

And NPR interviewed William Donaldson, former head of the SEC and also a major advocate of deregulation. NPR accepted at face value Donaldson's claim that he voted for more regulation while at the SEC. Presumably that translates as "There was this one time I voted for spending less on coffee at our daily briefings". Donaldson was at the helm when the SEC released Goldman Sachs (then headed by Henry Paulson) and other investment firms from the "net capital rule" in April, 2004, effectively allowing the firms to go into unlimited debt.

Likewise, Robert Rubin (also from Goldman Sachs), now advising the Obama campaign, advocated for deregulation while Secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton years.

See the connections?

It's as if the captain of the Titanic had survived and instantly been offered the command of another great passenger liner by his buddies formerly in the navy with him.

In truth, this should come as no surprise. Ours is an authority-driven society. Thus, a degree from Harvard Business School can mask a multitude of sins.

We have a hybridized Buddy-Authority System (BAS). The figures in positions of authority are all buddies. They cover for one another. And they make damn sure that major media figures are also buddies, thus ensuring friendly media coverage — as if the air of authority were not already sufficient to intimidate weak-minded, not particularly well-educated journalists. Not that these journalists don't have excellent credentials — they have their equivalents of the Harvard MBA — but the notion of actually digging for truth is utterly alien to them, particularly when doing so threatens access, buddy status, or professional acceptance.

Again, no surprise. It was ever thus. The Brits couldn't conceive that Kim Philby was a spy. "He's an old Etonian! We were at Oxford together! Pish posh." And Caesar: "Et tu, Brute?"

At the head of this was the God Greenspan. We have to wonder, "Is there any depth to which conditions could descend which would prompt genuine doubt about Greenspan and his ilk?"

Fortunately, in the midst of these yea-sayers, there are the intellectuals, in the sense that Edward Said meant — the real questioners, the Mark Twains or Chomskys or Galbraiths. (See Representations of the Intellectual, 1996)

Would that Galbraith were still alive. In his last years, he wrote on precisely the phenomenon we are now witnessing (A Short History of Financial Euphoria, 1990 and 1993):
In any great organization it is far, far safer to be wrong with the majority than to be right alone. . . . In all life one should comfort the afflicted, but verily, also, one should afflict the comfortable, and especially when they are comfortably, contentedly, even happily wrong. . . . There is something wonderful in seeing a wrong-headed majority assailed by truth.

No comments: