Sunday, September 21, 2008

THE EUROPEAN REACTION

LA Times - It's a rare day when finance officials, leftist intellectuals and ordinary salespeople can agree on something. But the economic meltdown that wrought its wrath from Rome to Madrid to Berlin this week brought Europeans together in a harsh chorus of condemnation of the excess and disarray on Wall Street.

The finance minister of Italy's conservative and pro-U.S. government warned of nothing less than a systemic breakdown. Giulio Tremonti excoriated the "voracious selfishness" of speculators and "stupid sluggishness" of regulators. And he singled out Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, with startling scorn.

"Greenspan was considered a master," Tremonti declared. "Now we must ask ourselves whether he is not, after [Osama] bin Laden, the man who hurt America the most. . . . It is clear that what is happening is a disease. It is not the failure of a bank, but the failure of a system. Until a few days ago, very few were willing to realize the intensity and the dramatic nature of the crisis.". . .

On the other end of the political spectrum, among leftists who have long predicted calamity for what they call the "savage neoliberal capitalism" of Wall Street, there were gleeful allusions to the stock market crash of 1929.

"Between the dread of a world in the midst of collapsing and the shiver of pleasure that finally something serious is happening to the kingdom of liberalism, how to orient oneself?" Eric Aeschimann wrote Thursday in the newspaper Liberation, a voice of French intellectuals whose disdain for capitalism persists in the 21st century.

Expressing nostalgia for "the good old days when bankers jumped out of windows," Aeschimann condemned as "extortion" the rescue of U.S. corporate giants by the very state that free-marketeers resent. . .

Joaquin Almunia, an ideologically moderate Spanish Socialist who is the European Union's economic commissioner, offered a simple analysis.

"It has been a problem of greed," he told El Pais newspaper. "In Europe it can't be said that we did nothing, European banks bought toxic products. . . . Nobody knows when this will end.". . .

The spectacle across the ocean has left a lasting impression on many Europeans. Hanna Evers of Berlin, a cellphone retailer interviewed in the shopping district of Wilmersdorfer Street, said she was angry about the amount of money that had been "burned" in recent days.

"And I'm furious when I see the pictures of Americans who thought they were on the sunny side of life and now have lost their homes and have to live in their cars," Evers said. "I definitely do not feel sorry for the bankers who lost their jobs in the last couple of days. I can't believe that a country like the U.S.A. could have been so careless on a money issue!"

"I was taught that the U.S.A. is the motherland of moneymaking," she added. "And now all I can see is a herd of headless chickens running around on Wall Street."

2 Comments:

At September 22, 2008 12:55 AM, Anonymous Mother of God said...

If the water in a fountain is captured and kept at the top when it rises, and not allowed its return trip to the pool, there is no more fountain.

Money is like water.

Your human ocean of money currently has peaks licking the moon, and troughs that bare the ocean floor.

As you have witnessed, the ride on the peaks is just as rough as in the troughs. All of humanity is riding this rough sea.

Clip the peaks and fill in the troughs!

A Pacific Sea for all to sail their lives on.

A many-fold increase in global human happiness.

99% of people financially better off.

100% of people living safer lives in a happier world.

And no extinction soon.

What are you waiting for?

 
At September 26, 2008 11:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like the war machine crumbles under it's own pressure. I hope they do make another $600bn appear out of thin air, because it only devalues the fraudulent american dollar further on the world stage.
Buy silver and gold now, oh and canned fish and spam too!

 

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