"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in"
(Leonard Cohen)
"Ignore all proffered rules and create your own, suitable for what you want to say"
(Michael Moorcock)
"Look for your own. Do not do what someone else could do as well as you. Do not say, do not write what someone else could say, could write as well as you. Care for nothing in yourself but what you feel exists nowhere else. And, out of yourself create, impatiently or patiently, the most irreplaceable of beings."
(Andre Gide)
"I want my place, my own place, my true place in the world, my proper sphere, my thing which Nature intended me to perform when she fashioned me thus awry, and which I have vainly sought all my life-time."
(Nathaniel Hawthorne)
“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.”
(Franz Kafka)
"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated"
(John Donne)
“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”
(Robert J. Hanlon)
"Life is beautiful, but the world is hell"
(Harold Pinter)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Euro Storm Clouds Gather

EXTRACT: Perhaps summing up the Zeitgeist, Alessio Rastani, the now infamous stock market trader, almost cheerfully told a dumbfounded BBC News 24 presenter that that the euro zone is “toast” and that, apparently, nothing can be done about it - “Goldman Sachs rules the world”, not governments. He also admitted that he and his colleagues “dream” of moments like this, as the economic crisis - and possible complete crash of the banking/financial system - provides them with plenty of opportunities to make loads of money. Rastani also advised anxious viewers to “be prepared and act now” unless they want to watch their savings and investments disappear down the drain, though what he expects ordinary workers to do (set up their own hedge fund?) was left unstated.
Now, at the very last minute, there are frantic attempts to cobble together some sort of plan, any plan, to avert a catastrophic collapse of the euro - which would send the world spinning into chaos. Jean-Claude Trichet, head of the European Central Bank, urged government leaders to “demonstrate their sense of direction” and a spooked Barack Obama - terrified of the implications for an already recession-hit United States - declared that Europe’s financial crisis is “scaring the world” and that the actions taken so far by its leaders “haven’t been as quick as they need to be”. But there is an oppressive sense that events are running out of control and that it could all be too little, too late.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

EXTRACT: The Tory and Liberal Democrat ‘master plan’ is in tatters. Their expectation, or hope, was that by the time of the next election in 2014 there would be a roaring upturn. Meaning that the country had gone from pain to economic growth again, thus justifying the austerity measures and the coalition government’s whole raison d’être. Look, things are working and we can be generous again. This has already been shown to be totally illusory. Come the next general election, the Tories will hardly be popular, while the Liberal Democrats will be facing a wipe-out.
Everyone can see the danger of a crash, from the IMF to the Financial Times. But instead of solutions from authoritative leaders, there is only short-term expediency - no Marshall Plan no New Deal. Definitely no Keynes. Just walking in front of the train instead. What irrationality. This is tantamount to collective suicide, given the very real danger that in the next recession it will be countries going down - and dragging the banks and other financial institutions down with them.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Tinkering At The Edges

EXTRACT: Communists tend to agree, for once, with Brendan Barber - the general secretary of the Trade Union Congress - who thought that the report was “merely tinkering around the edges”. We also think that David Fleming, Unite’s national officer, was right to be singularly unimpressed by the report - believing it effectively “kicks the overdue reform of the banking sector into the long grass” and that the ICB’s ring-fence/firewall “will not in any material way impact on the behaviour or culture at the top of the banks, where this crisis was born”.
More bluntly, the ICB’s reform proposals are pie in the sky. The world will not stand idly by until 2019 while the UK in glorious isolation gets its banking act together - we are in crisis now. Fear and panic is spreading throughout the euro zone, not dissipating, and will have near immediate and massive repercussions for the UK’s banking/financial sector.