31st December, 2009
First, thank you for the support you have given this blog, and for your helpful and insightful comments over this eventful year. I have much appreciated our conversations, and your loyalty. May 2010 bring you all peace of mind and economic stability. And may we together begin to grow a new political climate and a new political class, that will finally detach itself from the financial elite, and respond to democratically-determined priorities for peace, stability and social justice.
Second, apologies for this period of hibernation over the holiday season. I blame Andrew Ross Sorkin (of the New York Times) whose 540 page blow-by-blow account of the events leading up to the failure of Lehman Brothers and the massive TARP bail-out of October, 2008 is a must-read. “Too Big to Fail” was a constant companion over the holidays, interrupted only by my periodic, but lame attempts to prove that I too can bake mince pies, stuff chickens and light log fires.
Finally, a gift from the Financial Times, which yesterday published a poem illustrated here – The bankers who wouldn’t say sorry: a cautionary tale”. Martin Dickson, the paper’s deputy editor speaks for all of us through this light-hearted ditty, but does more: he warns in the last verse of what is to come as a result of financial greed and political ennui. Sadly, I, and many others, share his gloomy forecast.
It would be good to end this story
In a nice blaze of moral glory,
Like Hilaire Belloc’s clever tales
Where evil-doing always fails.
Alas, the only moral here
Is bankers just themselves hold dear.
But there’s a price we all will pay
If politicians won’t display
A little courage and crack down
Upon these unsafe, grasping clowns:
Another bomb is being built,
By bankers with no sense of guilt.
It’s ticking now, will louder tick
Unless we stop it, fast and quick.
For mark my words, believe this rhyme,
It will go off in five years’ time.
You’ll hear no end of sturm and drang.
When it explodes with a loud BANG.