Monday, 4 January 2010

Hero the Zero (with apologies to Daevid Allen)

So after placing blind, unwavering faith in sub-prime debt brought about the credit crunch and with it the biggest global recession since the Great Depression, Americans chose to pick up this same blind, unwavering faith and place it in the lap of a former investment banker who’d run an institution that’d been involved in, err, sub-prime debt.

The result, judging by these magazine covers, was that mainstream American opinion got to reaffirm its jack-off fascination with individuals as opposed to institutions, complex analysis, anything that might run counter to existing prejudices etc., to an unbelieveable extent.

Thats why I think all these pics need gathered together for posterity's sake; it's my wee attempt at making sure any history of what’s happened has a clear sense of how ridiculous things where and how deluded so many people turned out to be when it came to choosing a white knight (Yeah sure hindsight is a wonderful thing, but c'mon theres laying it on a bit thick and then theres the images presented here).

Even better with Paulson is the extent to which he totally, utterly, totally, utterly, totally fucked up. I mean there he was in the hot seat and whoops-a-daisy, turned out to be an utterly glakit, useless bastard.

It’s like in the Autumn of 2008 when the only thing holding the global financial system together was a belief that big banks wouldn’t be allowed to fail, Secretary Paulson said “Fuck that, let Lehman BURN muthafucka!” or words to that effect.

Here I’ll digress for a mo’ - a polite interpretation would be Paulson took a dealmaker approach to the credit crunch and in so doing displayed a flexibility, creativity and ability to devise bespoke solutions to specific problems of the highest order. Except, given this was a systemic crisis all that shite was completely beside the point.

Rather, what was needed was a contextualised strategy wherein the issue wasn’t so much should Lehman Bros be allowed to fail as it was what would the possible consequences of it’s failure be. And lets not even discuss the progressively more generous terms (for banks at the taxpayers’ expense) on which deals where reached.

Digression over - at this point you could go on about the extent to which Goldman Sachs, which King Henry used to run, overlaps with and even controls the US state in a big, vampire squid stylely. Or you could be a bit brighter and broaden this to include investment banks and Harvard MBAs more generally. But, given that’s essentially straightforward left-wing views of the ruling class and it’s formation I’d rather not waste my time (Very rich and powerful people have a disproportionate influence over government policy, taxation and public spending? Really? You've got to be shitting me. Really? No way, etc.)

Rather, it’s more fun to imitate the all-American cult of personality type thang. I mean yer man Hank (rhymes with ….) obviously posed for these photos indicating he chose to have himself represented in ways that leave me with the impression that Hanky boy clearly has more than a wee bitty of an ego.

Like when the magazine said Secretary Paulson may we call you ”Mr Risk”, he presumably said “yes” and when they said whaddabout “The Persuader” he said “YES” and when they said “King Henry”?, he said “yes, yes, YESSSS!!!!! Jezuz fuckin’christ YESSSSSSSS!!, I AM King Henry Muthafucka!”

Turns out (ignoring the however many seats on the boards of however many private equity houses and financial boutiques he'll take in the future or has already been offered), yer man was a useless bitch, byatch.

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