Wallstreet, Meet Lord Byron

A recent article in the Economist, which led with the byline,

Wall Street, the flagship of capitalism, has been bailed out by state-backed investors from emerging economies. That has people worried—for good reasons and bad

…reminded me of what little I know of the death of Lord Byron. That creator of terrible and romantic visions – Don Juan  for instance – and insatiable action who swam the Hellespont to prove the love that beat in his breast – might have little to do with Wallstreet save the feasting on their flesh at death.

The Economist writes:

Sapped by the subprime crisis, rich-world financial-services groups have been administered nearly $69 billion-worth of infusions from the savings of the developing world in the past ten months, according to Morgan Stanley.

When Bryon, that rock-star-aristocrat-poet who’s body had once been seen as “too beautiful to look at” had breathed his last as an exile in Greece, the biographer Phyllis Grosskurth recounts how hs body was hacked, dismembered for a few choice souvenirs. And while its probably too early to sound the death knell for the American economy, one can almost hear the butcher-doctors sharpening their knives as the consumptive, once elegant economy, chatters away:

…Sovereign-wealth funds are as hard to grasp as shadows… America’s Congress has uttered barely a squeak as Wall Street’s titans have taken foreign cash. But when credit was loose it was alarmed at the state-backed acquisitions of oil companies and ports.

What a shocking image of butcher-doctors at the door. Clearly I agree the economy is in crisis. We need, the world needs, to find better ways to structure our economy. Stirling Newberry as a comment on his own post at The Agonist wrote: “Right now the international consensus is that the rich own the world and the rest of us just make trouble.” Always rather a dreamy sort, I’m proceeding with the premise that the rest of us can make something good.

perhaps a bit over the top. i think the poet’s birthday got me going. but i have to say, the ironies and inconsistencies of our time – indeed any time that is “human” – are hope-consuming sometimes. did you catch the piece about the new city being built in Abu Dhabi – the world’s first “car free zero carbon walled city” sprung out of the desert on, well, oil profits? i wonder where the water supply will come from…

Mostly I feel like a deer in the headlights. I just saw a statistic that I found incredible: “By 1990, the value of the weapons, equipment, and factories devoted to the Department of Defense was 83% of the value of all plants and equipment in American manufacturing.” ~Chalmers Johnson at TomDispatch. The people I know take satisfaction from what they make and are creative. With much of of economy bent on destruction, no wonder we feel discouraged.

  • lhtorres says:

    perhaps a bit over the top. i think the poet’s birthday got me going. but i have to say, the ironies and inconsistencies of our time – indeed any time that is “human” – are hope-consuming sometimes. did you catch the piece about the new city being built in Abu Dhabi – the world’s first “car free zero carbon walled city” sprung out of the desert on, well, oil profits? i wonder where the water supply will come from…

  • John Powers says:

    Mostly I feel like a deer in the headlights. I just saw a statistic that I found incredible: “By 1990, the value of the weapons, equipment, and factories devoted to the Department of Defense was 83% of the value of all plants and equipment in American manufacturing.” ~Chalmers Johnson at TomDispatch. The people I know take satisfaction from what they make and are creative. With much of of economy bent on destruction, no wonder we feel discouraged.

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