Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The ultimate conspiracy ..?

Never mind a handful of Italians working on refineries, why does any British worker imagine that they now have some divine right to enjoy a better standard of living than the "average" of the world's population - which as a form of shorthand, used to be regarded as the lifestyle of a Chinese peasant. Of course no Western politician is going to dare to go anywhere near the notion of "globalised fair shares for all" on such a scale, but we have just experienced one of those meteor-strike moments when tectonic plate-shifts can happen.

So - once again - why don't we wind the world back 24 months, get Obama to print sufficient $trillions for Billy Bob to pay off his mortgage, and pretend it never happened?

Securitised loans will either be repaid or be worth something; the world's manufacturers will get their customers back; taxes will be paid and the fool's paradise can resume while we work out a softer landing scenarios. The only immediate difference will be that certain politicians and all the world's bankers will be locked away in forced labour camps, pedalling generators and otherwise making a contribution to society for the first times in their miserable lives.

The present global financial crisis has mostly been spared dark conspiracy theories - the allure of the alternative of the "monumental cock-up perpetrated by inept asses" has been considerable. But there is a quite astonishing willingness to accept the cock-up principle at face value; namely that the world's most intelligent businesspeople and politicians really are just as clumsy, dangerous and stupid as they have been painted.

Or maybe the truth will out - and that might just be that someone spotted when we hit peak oil production in 2007/8, there was not going to be a ceiling on demand, and thus the price of oil would sail onwards and upwards - unless someone collapsed a house of cards that they knew very well how to collapse, and thus slam the brakes on the world economy while alternative energy strategies were given time and impetus to get moving at last. Had oil sailed on through $200 a barrell, then the civil and inflationary consequences could simply have become "unmanageable", and the US population might have forced its government to occupy oil producers rather more overtly than they got away with the Iraq sideshow..?

Even now, TMP still cannot believe that absolutely no one who was notionally able to access the best brains, numbers and advice of the global financial industry was properly aware of the enormity of the financial cock-up that had been built on foundations of fairy credit and unsustainable derivatives. Not even a pair of abject imbeciles like Broon and Darling.

Stories like that of Sir James Crosby sacking his risk manager for telling him what he and HBOS didn't want to hear, supports the monumental cock-up proposition. The banks and their advisers (KPMG have some interesting explaining to do) really do seem to have been as willfully stupid as we all suspect.

And where else in the world other than The Great Trough of Westminster would you find the accused, the regulators, the witnesses, the guilty, the judges, and the jury all sitting down together, with every intention of keeping all the cash they have been paid to perpetrate this financial abomination - and the vast majority of those confessed guilty of a crime worth £200bn, continuing in paid employment as if nothing has happened..?

All those fat sloth salaries really must be retrieved under the proceeds of crime legislation. Including Broon's stipend for the past 11 years - less expenses, of course.

Back in te real world, anyone who has been charged £40 by LloydsTSB for being overdrawn £1.80 for 1 day may find it quite hard to muster sufficient contempt for these banking imbeciles.

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