The Great Manic-Depression
We’ve been talking about creating millions and millions of jobs by embarking upon another salvaging job. The first such effort, of course, was made in the late 30s and early 40s, and the results were positive. The plan was to end the Great Depression by building ships, mainly, for a scheduled second world war. The Great Depression came to a screeching halt, we won the war, and we should have learned how to create jobs. But we didn’t, and now the world is in trouble again.
When we threw away our shipbuilding capability we also threw away millions of jobs and trillions of dollars, and again we’re broke and depressed. But the greedy ones aren’t concerned.
The World Economic forum in Davos, Switzerland, is in the headlines this week. Investment bank parties like this one is what those folks are all about, and you can be sure that none of the delegates in attendance have any intention of apologizing for the part they played in bringing about the worst economic wreck since the Great Depression. But with $ 25 trillion disappearing into thin air since the start of the economic crisis, they’re about to be held accountable.
Forget about responsibility, blame and contrition. Nobody in Davos will admit it, stated one observer, “but the truth is that everyone here is part of the problem, and the public will soon begin demanding a pound of flesh.”
• “No banker or businessman wants to take responsibility. It’s their view that everybody else did something wrong.”
• “There’s a ‘Great Gatsby’ quality to Davos,” said Harvard’s Niall Ferguson. “When people look back at this gilded age, I’m sure there’ll be images of the investment bank parties at Davos … There’s a sense of ‘let’s have a party anyway,’ and ‘let’s talk about the post-crisis world,’ as though that could be soon. People are still in denial.”
A well-known world statesman reminded those in attendance that “just one year ago we heard the words of our American friends from this tribune about the fundamental strength and the cloudless prospects for the U.S. economy. Now, the pride of wall Street, the investment banks, have virtually ceased to exist.”
When that statesman was asked by one of the prospecting money-lenders how his country could be assisted in developing its information technology industry, the response was an unexpected one.
“We don’t need help,” was the answer. “We’re not handicapped. The people who really need help are the poor, the disabled, the pensioners and developing countries.”
Maybe the unapologetic and greedy delegates at Davos could learn something from that statesman.
Oh yes. The statesman’s name? Vladimir Putin.