Skynet is upon us
Those of you who might well deem yourself “cultured” will have been aware of the swirling faecal storm which has muddied the planet’s collective vision and has nearly everyone blindly groping an uncertain future. This storm began in the murky waters of real estate at the turn of the century and somehow evaded all forecasts of the trustworthy traders. The storm grew in silent power, building, budding and brewing into an uncontrollable concept now described as the “market”. Friendly images of your local market full of rambunctious salesman yelling lovely cockney gibberish have been replaced with a Mr Burns-esque candy-from-a-baby-snatcher.
Although I am no economist certain facts have become a given in this series of never-ending sequels and OMFG plot twists. One is the initial greed of American bankers in the real estate sectors who provided ridiculous sub-prime mortgages to the over eager first time buyer. Another is the earlier alluded usage of doublethink by said bankers to convince themselves that everything was picture perfect as long as they had a Bentley to go with their Stepford wives. Coupled with governments the world wide being drunk off of these miraculous results in the housing market (among other markets), the known ignorance reinforced itself. The good times rolled, I got a playstation 2 and took (or tried to) women to over expensive meals.
However, like the book I’m feverishly finishing up, Things Fall Apart. This has all fused into one reeking, amoral elemental storm which has made things more bleak than London weather (or Memphis*…). Perhaps the bankers, traders and other ‘marketeers’ were aware of all their misdeeds. Perhaps they also realised that, in the fall of the Motor City (Detroit) in the US and the fall of the North in the UK, they had diplomatic immunity and would eat mightily in any weather.
These folks are fat cats indeed, purring sinisterly in the hands of the mysterious shroud that is the boss. This boss has now abandoned leaning on nations and is now twiddling, discarding and playing with world leaders like a well worn chess set. Queen England stands firm as its pawns and higher ranked officers fold and while the walls of its rook crumbles. King Germany attempts to get across the board help (ha) to bishops Greece and Italy; all the while Castled Spain looks increasingly unsteady.
As fun as that extended metaphor was, it’s at complete contrast to precisely how dire things are in Europe and the rest of the world. The boss in control if this whole game, which I’m sure you guessed, is Skynet…I mean the markets. The markets have managed to shift both Italian and Greek PM’s by sheer terror. “Oooh the market didn’t like that” “I don’t know how the markets will react to this!”; these are the fearsome tales fed to us by the news in regards to the, quite frankly snobby, tastes of the market. To put the scale of the market’s power into perspective one need only consider the gravity of plucking Berlusconi from the board. Berlusconi has been plucky (sorry) managing to remain at the forefront of Italian politics for the past 20 years. As well as being a long serving PM he also has a Murdoch like Vulcan grip on the Italian media, owning virtually every channel. Within 24 hours of a denial of being ousted and a facebook message later, Berlusconi was ushered out with nary a statement.
So far so very mystical then; it seems as if the market has developed a mind of its own, no government seemingly able to simply put its foot down and tell the market to stay in check (again, apologies). The market has become that monster in the cave whom the village people provide unending spoils in the hope that it might cease breathing fiery chaos all over their town. As of yet it’s uncertain whether the Market is sated and won’t lash us back into the inferno that is the, sweet sounding, double dip. God help us all.
*As in Memphis Bleek the perennially “one hit away” emcee who’s just a beige guy really.