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The International Writers Magazine: Comment

Flying Bankers
Dean Borok

The Coney Island Cyclone roller coaster ride may be closed for the season but don’t worry, your bank account is getting ready for the ride of its life. As the consequences of the sub-prime mortgage disaster continue to concentrically spread from the center like an oil stain on a white dress shirt, central bankers are vainly trying to contain the damage like a Federal Reserve Chairman with a bottle of stain remover five minutes before his big speech.
Good luck, chump!

As the consequences of the sub-prime mortgage disaster continue to concentrically spread from the center like an oil stain on a white dress shirt, central bankers are vainly trying to contain the damage like a Federal Reserve Chairman with a bottle of stain remover five minutes before his big speech. Good luck, chump!

Meantime, all these geniuses are passing the blame for this disaster onto each other like a hot potato. Not since the execution of Mary Queen of Scots in 1587 have so many big shots been out of the room. In his new book, subtitled “Don’t Blame Me”, former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan blames the Bush administration for its loose-booty fiscal policies. The Bushies are pointing the finger back at Greenspan, as though he were the one responsible for the tax cuts and the hundreds of billions wasted on the Iraq war. The British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alastair Darling blames the American retail mortgage lenders for selling mortgages to unqualified buyers. As though the financial geniuses in the City of London don’t have the brains to do due diligence on the securities they bought!

This sub-prime mortgage disaster seems to be shaping up as an Anglo-Saxon phenomenon because most of the idiot bond traders were able to buy and sell the worthless securities speaking the English language. A lot of very rich markets weren’t even touched by it, and now that wealth is more evenly spread around the world many emerging markets may be able to rise in importance relative to the English countries and a few hitchhiking suckers, notably the French, who went along for the ride.

Now that the western central banks have declared that they will accept the worthless bonds as security for extending loans to banks so that they don’t default, the western governments have effectively become buyers of last resort for the investment banks to dump their worthless investments. Until the money runs out…

And the bankers know plenty that we don’t know, that’s for sure. That’s why they are whistling in the wind and pretending everything’s peachy, while secretly their knees are knocking.

Want to buy a home or a luxury Duisenberg touring car? Just wait ‘til next year when you’ll be able to pick one up for a song – if you still have two nickels to rub together. Of course, those nickels won’t be worth shit anyway. The European currency is currently at $1.42 American and predicted to go as high as $1.48 by the beginning of 2008, while the dollar is at its historic all-time low. Europeans are discussing a rate cut because French president Sarkozy is bitterly complaining that French exports to North America are taking a beating, though the Germans, who have a more diversified export market for their machinery, are not yet feeling any pain at all to speak of. The ECB prime lending rate is already relatively low, at 4.00% compared to the American rate of 4.75%, which shows how strong the fundamental economic position is for Europe vis à vis the U.S. What if the ECB cuts its rate and their currency keeps getting stronger, buoyed by increased exports ha-ha, then what?

People better watch where they walk, for fear of being squashed by a falling banker. Two days after the British investment bank Northern Rock was saved by the bell from collapsing by the Bank of England, they declared a dividend for their top officers, the blokes who did such a fine job of loading the place up to the ceiling with worthless investments in sub-prime mortgage securities. These guys can take their dividends and have one final blow-out before they open the window and jump out. (They didn't pay out and withdrew the divvy. Ed)

A victim of globalization, I was knocked out of the box long ago. But I’m happy now.I have no assets to seize. In fact, I have an edge on all these analysts and structured finance accountants – I know how to survive in a jungle.
Things got so bad for me at one point that while I was commuting to my shit job at a white shoe law firm, the bus driver jammed the brakes before I was able to reach my seat. For fun. To watch me go flying around through his rear-view mirror.  As a result I broke my arm, requiring surgery. Now I have not one, but two personal injury law firms going after the MTA for me. You don’t get two personal injury firms at work for you unless you have an extremely strong case.
The only problem is, I’m going to get paid in dollars, which are sinking every day, and which are going to sink like a lead weight. I guarantee you, Bush’s family, being advised what he was doing to the economy, got out of dollars long ago, the same as he let the Saudi royal family flee the country after he fucked up 9/11. I intend to immediately do the same as soon as I get my hands on my settlement.

But where to go? The British pound and the euro are going to collapse too. It looks like the Swiss franc for me, because those Swiss bankers are the world’s biggest pricks and it’s not likely that they let themselves get sucked in. If there is a decline of western civilization this collapse of the international monetary system has to be an integral part of the process. Who is to blame? Nations can be sapped of their vigor by bad leadership. This certainly seems to be shaping up as the case for the (formerly) industrialized west. No amount of effort can overcome the handicap of a blundering, myopic ruling class. Our continuing decline has been long and steep, and our loss of manufacturing capacity is not the least of it. How much wealth can be generated by a population that is mainly employed talking on the telephone? Financial services alone cannot keep a country rich. Even Switzerland, the world’s greatest banking country, still makes watches and chocolates.

We have been led down the garden path for reasons that have not been made comprehensible to us. People think of skills these days in terms of interpersonal relations and clicking on a computer mouse. Everybody wants to be a stockbroker, and look where that has led us!

At the beginning of the twentieth century Argentina enjoyed a standard of living equivalent to the United States. Unfortunately they suffered under a corrupt and grasping oligarchy and ham fisted military rule for most of the century. The depletion of our military establishment due to the war in Iraq may have postponed the latter occurrence, but we are firmly in the grip of the former.

This writer has long maintained that a culture only learns from long experience of suffering. Now the American people are going to learn the hard way what they refused to learn through education and reflection: wishing does not make it so. Anyway, I’ll be long gone. It’s now coming time for the winds of change. Other countries and cultures will soon have the chance to show what they can do. I wish them luck!

© Dean Borok October 1st 2007

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Broken down into bite-sized pieces that even I can understand, this is how the racket was set up:

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