The Economic catastrophe fable – The Emperors New Clothes

Of course I understand why Jake DeSantis of AIG is sad and disheartened by the treatment and negative characterization of he and his colleagues at AIG. They believe that making money off of making money both serves a real human need and constitutes a valid occupation, god bless them.

In the world of finance – well they think they are the world , there are none more revered than the money men. With their financial skills they are the authors of our economy and this time of its failure. There is no animosity here – just a smug satisfaction because I never bought into the Calvinism of our economy nor its morality or its superiority, so I’m not disappointed, I feel vindicated.

Our socio-economic system often equates a humans worth on the amount an individual is able to produce. Western economies started off with commodities, moved to trades, and then to trading and finally to finance. Finance became the holy grail of productivity and all bow to its might and power – really we do.

So we became as the subjects in the Emperors new clothes, lavishing our praise and admiration on those who created such beautiful wealth- and when the leaders could no longer get exponential profits from the goods and services, conventional mortgages and other interest garnering transactions they had access to, they had to make something better! And they made up some really creative stuff too, even though some of it was banned after the GREAT Depression, it was awesome! You can make money off of leveraged money no real investment required!

Unfortunately all of these fancy agreements unravelled because there was nothing except that good feeling you get when a million dollar bonus hits your cayman island account holding it up. When the assets under the leveraging were found to be well, worthless, the slide started and it hasn’t stopped. We built a great system of paper wealth and most of us have nothing to show for it, except our debt.

How in the heck did that happen? Where was I, did I let this happen? Oh yes I was worshiping at the altar of material success it was so shiny and pretty and I was going to get my place on the altar too! I was going to be be fabulously, ridiculously, and obscenely rich. You know what I”m talking about – we all bought it but we were never going to get it.

Yes us working folk were really the chorus in the Greek Tragedy that our times have become. As narcissus couldn’t stop looking at himself – we couldn’t stop either – we became enamored, entranced and unable to really see the naked emperor. Until the rude awakening.

Welcome to the not so great depression. You may now join me in the back row.


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