Monday, March 23, 2009

Dear Non-participants of Your Own Future, or How the Ship Will Sink

If you want to understand the trouble we're in (and I go back and forth between hiding my head and reading everything I can understand), you have to read this: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/26793903/the_big_takeover/

Famed Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi (of recent "Bush apology" feature) puts into sometimes snarky, but wholly understandable terms the trouble we're in and how we're only seeing the beginning of it. And you heard the Great Depression was bad?

To me it gets particularly interesting at the end of page 6 (of 8) when what we're seeing (bail-out/iceberg tip) gets compared to what we're not seeing. The metaphor of iceberg (pedestrian, and mine) is a valid one. As we quibble about $700B in taxpayer money for the bailout, secret dealings to the tune of $2-3T are happening every week.

Besides this (on the bailout):

"... the lion's share of the bailout money has gone to the larger, so-called "systemically important" banks... This itself is a hugely important political development. In essence, the bailout accelerated the decline of regional community lenders by boosting the political power of their giant national competitors.

Which, when you think about it, is insane: What had brought us to the brink of collapse in the first place was this relentless instinct for building ever-larger megacompanies, passing deregulatory measures to gradually feed all the little fish in the sea to an ever-shrinking pool of Bigger Fish. To fix this problem, the government closed ranks and used an almost completely secret bailout process to double down on the same faulty, merger-happy thinking that got us here in the first place, creating a constellation of megafirms under government control that are even bigger, more unwieldy and more crammed to the gills with systemic risk."

And finally, a slightly amusing/terrifying note on semantics:

"And on the linear spectrum of capitalism to socialism, where exactly are we now? Is there a dictionary word that even describes what we are now?"

For those of you conspiracy/New World Order theorists out there, it's not hard to figure who are leaders are now. It's only a matter of a few choice collapses of those $3T backdoor gambling bets until they fully take the reigns.

Want to start a betting pool of how many years before our false democracy stops claiming to be a democracy? I'll put in 8 years for half a billion myself. Who's with me?