bank run but you can’t hide

Discrepancy of wealth, that yawning chasm between the haves the have haves and the uber haves vs. the slaves on the bottom of the pyramid has always been a populist theme. Our brains seem to be hard-wired to rearrange the world in our own image. To play at god, or at least tinker with intelligent design in the individual’s attempts to build utopias. But there is much to caution against attempts to build utopias, by either the Left or Right; particularly those against oppression in the name of noble principles.

---A few weeks back, the Financial Times ran a two-page article based on a two-hour interview with the Great Fraudster. At the end, the two journalists were still confused about how and why Madoff did what he did.--- image:

Still, using a report by the Deloitte Center for Financial Services, The Financial Post reported there were 12.6 per 100 households in Canada with assets over $1 million $U.S. leading the G7 pack. Japan followed at 11.6 with the U.S. checking in at 8.9. There are people with substantial wealth to spend on bling. There always seems to be enough people who have to wedge public opinion in favor of keeping things as they are. But for the other 90% of us, the situation is portends to less idyllic prospects….

---‘He invented for his own sake! He was an inventor because he hated hard beds and bad food and slow boats and flimsy huts and dirt. And waste - he complained about the cost of things, but it wasn’t the money. It was the fact that they got weak and broke after you bought them … He hated sleeping outdoors. “It’s lawless and unnatural to sleep on the bare ground”. He always spoke tenderly about his own bed. “Even animals make beds!” ‘ “---Read More: image:

Golombek: In 2009, Canadians filed nearly 24.5 million personal tax returns. Of those, 8.3 million of them were non-taxable the majority of which are likely being filed by Canadians to ensure their ongoing eligibility for certain benefits and credits….Of the 24.5 million returns filed, 18 million Canadians reported total income of $50,000 or less. That’s not a typo. In other words, ignoring individuals who don’t file returns such as children, nearly 75% of tax-filing Canadians earned under $50,000 in total income in 2009.Add another 5 million Canadians who reported total income of between $50,000 and $100,000 and you conclude that about 95% of individuals have income below $100,000 annually. Read More:

Granted that undeclared revenue is well, undeclared in the statistics; with the cost of basics, fairly lofty taxation and  societal pressure to keep consuming, it is no wonder there are unsettling currents gathering steam:…

---The suggestion seems to be that Father is running away from America not just to build an egalitarian society using entirely natural resources, but rather to build a society over which he has almost total influence - even if he would deny this. He scorns the modesty of the native settlements, despite having imported non-indigenous materials to create his settlement.--- Read More: image:

Eric Cantona :”We don’t pick up weapons to kill people to start the revolution. The revolution is really easy to do these days. What’s the system? The system is built on the power of the banks. So it must be destroyed through the banks.

“This means that the three million people with their placards on the streets, they go to the bank and they withdraw their money and the banks collapse. Three million, 10 million people, and the banks collapse and there is no real threat. A real revolution….

---"You go to your bank in your village and you withdraw your money. And if 20 million people do that, the system crumbles, no weapons, no blood, Paggiari style," added Cantona, invoking the calling card of notorious French bank robber Albert Spaggiari, who in 1976 made off with millions of francs after tunnelling his way into a branch of Societe Generale. Cantona's call has been taken up by Stop Banque,...---Read More: image:

“We must go to the bank. In this case there would be a real revolution. It’s not complicated; instead of going on the streets and driving kilometres by car you simply go to the

k in your country and withdraw your money, and if there are a lot of people withdrawing their money the system collapses. No weapons, no blood, or anything like that.” Read More:

…The Giving Pledge, founded by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, has signed about seventy billionaires who promise to give away most of their fortunes to charity. The group includes Chuck Feeney, a New Jersey philanthropist, and  other famous Americans  including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, movie mogul George Lucas, financier Carl Icahn, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

---In May 2000, Markopolos took his story to the Boston-branch of the SEC and ran them through his analysis. He waited for a response but none was forthcoming. Naturally, he became upset given that he "hand delivered" all the evidence, and more than a little scared given that he was making allegations against "a powerful and prominent man." The documentary shows Markopolos buying a gun, which the about-to-become first-time father carried with him most of the time. He also took shooting lessons. But Markopolos was persistent even if regulators were incredibly lax. For instance, when Eliot Spitzer, the former attorney-general of New York, was in Boston for a speech in 1992 he arranged that a copy of his research was given to him. As for the regulatory laxness, no alarm bells went off when one of its investigators married Madoff's niece. A number of senior SEC staffers resigned in 2008 when the full extent of their slackness emerged.--- Read More: image:

Cynics have questioned whether the group is really responsible for any tangible  new giving, since some  of the billionaires on board already had plans to give away their fortunes.The group’s strategy seems to be to create interest in and widespread publicity about the pledge first,  hope to persuade reluctant billionaires to join over time, work their way down the food chain to lesser wealth and create positive spin for their style of business.However as much individuals like Buffett try to rebuild society based on ideals, they are doomed to failure because society is a reflection of our innate flaws: our ego, greed, thirst for power, and the desire to be like a god, which is the trap they are all in.

One has to question this entire” giving” exercise. Frank Genovese of Babson College once proposed that all wealth should basically go to the state on the death of an individual. Meaning each generation should have to earn its keep. The problem still remains the management of this cash. If instead, the money would simply disappear on death, erased from the books, then we could avoid the entire charity and poverty industry which requires the manufacturing of poor and destitute to give a pretext to the charitable works they are allegedly providing. Perhaps it can go “up in smoke” as the Madoff fraud alleges, held in some escrow account in another dimension only accessible to a chosen few…

But really what are the options? Paul Theroux’s Mosquito Coast is a kind of escape from the materialist West, but ends up reproducing the same dynamic, just with different props and context. The novel revolves around a troubled “genius” figure, Allie Fox, a charismatic inventor who drags his family out of the United States to start a new civilisation in the jungles of Honduras. Like a parallel revolutionary, he leads first by example, with a gift for impelling others with his pragmatism and oratorial skills,  but inevitably  resorts to tyranny and oppression to enforce his views , and denies  responsibility for his own shortcomings. Demanding faith and labor of those around him, he abandons the waste and degradation in the US for a new life based on shifting ideals dictated solely by him. In the first part of the book,  Fox could almost pass as a compelling if peculiar genius, especially when seen in the current economic circumstances. He deplores wastefulness and greed, making compelling arguments against consumerism; his initial desire for self-sufficiency seems noble and thoughtful, even if he takes every opportunity possible to offend those who don’t agree:

His family – and anyone else in earshot – provide audience to his diatribes on the nature of capitalism, religion and civilisation, a family that he briefly extends while creating a new society in the jungle. However, it becomes quickly apparent that there is a gap between his beliefs and his actions, that he consistently refuses to admit he is wrong, except sometimes later, when it conveniences him. Despite his evident need to sermonize, for instance, and to instruct, he pillories missionaries for doing the same thing in the name of God. Similarly, his need to sound his ideas requires a congregation of sorts, which contradicts his assertion that,…

“People can’t stand to be alone. Can’t tolerate it! So they go to the movies, get drive-in hamburgers, put their home telephone numbers in the crapsheets and say, “Please call me up!” It’s sick. People hate their own company – they cry when they see themselves in mirrors.”

While claiming himself to be an atheist, ‘Father’ starts to wield his inventions – particularly his ice-making ‘Fat Boy’ – like miracle machines, and becomes obsessed with the idea of taking ice to the deepest recesses of the jungle, where the natives have never seen ice or been reached, and thus tainted, by missionaries or modern life. However, the need to undertake these arduous journeys is tinged with an egomaniacal will to spread his own gospel of civilisation, namely: science. Read More:

Read More:

Related Posts

This entry was posted in Cinema/Visual/Audio, Feature Article, Ideas/Opinion, Literature/poetry/spoken word, Marketing/Advertising/Media and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>