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AIG : In Defence of Fallen Heroes March 24, 2009

Posted by aetiusromulous in news, politics, Video, YouTube.
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Americans Fiddle, While America Burns.

Here’s the thing.

The American financial system has been doing this sort of thing since its inception. There were a few collapses along its 125-year history, and once in a while regulation was imposed as a reaction to events. Once the crisis receded from memory, regulation was relaxed and off it all went again. De-regulation is the status quo, the natural state of the Wall Street mojo. Regulation free cowboy finance built America…for whatever that is worth.


While the big guns of Wall Street were shooting up the corral, the lifestyle of the average American rose in their wake. Financial shenanigans fuelled the great consumer society. Absolutely no homeowner in America was calling for anybodies head when the value of their own main asset was riding the wave along with them. These guys were heroes and it is with no small irony these “contracts” were signed back in those, good old days.


The great “crime” for which the AIG employees are being hung, drawn, and quartered over is nothing worse than being in the wrong place, at the wrong time. The multimillion-dollar executives who pulled the levers of financial power were simply maximizing the benefits of Ivy League educations, putting their knowledge to work for the benefit of a culture that craved for more and more. Now an insult scrawled on placards of the stupid, “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” was once a top rated TV show, where millions tuned in to gaze upon the dream.

The bubble burst, as they always do, and it was AIG who lost at musical chairs – this year. Bernie Madoff lost too. So successful at feeding the beast, Madoff amassed 65 billion dollars worth of faith, trust, and admiration for over two decades. No meltdown and it would have been another two at least.

165 Million dollars would have been a bargain to keep this exponential dragon screaming just a little longer. AIG, Bear Stearns, et al were not unsuccessful businesses. On the contrary, they were just the latest in a long line of risk taking Americans who bet it all and lost. Without them, there would be no America, as we know it today – or yesterday. Far from turning on them now, we should be coming to their aid for they are no more villain than any other American. Partners in crime, AIG and America, the destiny of one, tied to the destiny of the other.

The congress listens to the people, and especially so when the people are the media. It is no wonder at all that, in the teeth of the worst financial catastrophe in modern history, a representative congress would load both barrels of a shotgun, and thrust it into its mouth. Taxing the ultimate risk takers out of existence when they alone understand the code beneath the game. From an old British field manual; “Don’t shoot the guide”.

Nero didn’t really fiddle while Rome burned. It is a bad rap he got somewhere along the way, however he has survived where others haven’t, by lending his name to a situation where people dither while the world around them burns to the ground. Perhaps he will retire now from history, a new Rome, a new Emperor, and a new civilization burning to the ground.

Americans fiddle, while America burns.

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