Saturday, May 16, 2009

On Public Corruption and the Military-Financial Complex

One of the themes of Econblog Review is that the Establishment has been engaged in an increasingly overt looting operation, with the politicians complicit, and with the bulk of the looting being done by players in or around the financial institutions. The U. S. has been the leader in this, with the U. K. its poodle. Thus, after Sarbanes-Oxley was rushed into law in the U. S. as a fig leaf following revelations of corporate accounting and related scandals in the beginning of this decade, the U. K. became the base of shady operations. Thus, the infamous AIG Financial Products group was based in London, and London became the refuge for legal hot money worldwide.

I had heard from an authoritative source that Washington, D. C. had become more corrupt than ever, bipartisanly, at the end of the Clinton era. Now comes word that London is "there". From the Huffington Post, Britain's Expense Scandal Widens. Here are some snippets:

Labour lawmaker Shahid Malik stepped down as justice minister early Friday after data showed that he claimed more than 65,000 pounds ($98,000) in housing costs over three years despite having discounted rent.

Brown's aide on climate change, Elliot Morley, was also suspended after he billed taxpayers' 16,000 pounds ($24,000) for mortgage interest payments on a loan that had already been paid off. Morley says he's now paid the money back.

The latest revelation came late Friday with another Labour lawmaker claiming thousands of pounds (dollars) of taxpayer money for interest on a non-existent mortgage. David Chaytor said he would pay back 13,000 pounds ($18,000) after continuing to submit bills on his paid mortgage.

"In respect of mortgage interest payments, there has been an unforgivable error in my accounting procedures for which I apologize unreservedly," Chaytor said. "I will act immediately to ensure repayment."

For the Conservatives, lawmaker Andrew Mackay quit his post as an aide to party leader David Cameron after he said he'd been guilty of errors over his expenses claims. . .

Other scandals have rocked Britain's politician system in recent history _ British Cabinet minister John Profumo's liaison with a prostitute almost brought down the government after it was revealed the woman was also linked to a Soviet spy _ but few have shaken all main political parties. . .

"We need our own Barack Obama," said Francis O'Hara, 24, a student. "This country needs a change."

The entire article is worth a read. The only part of it with which I disagree is Ms. O'Hara's statement. For another HuffPo article demonstrating the continuity of the Obama administration with that of Bush II, consider the following article/opinion piece it published from
Graham E. Fuller ,Former CIA station chief in Kabul and author of The Future of Political Islam
Posted May 11, 2009 09:24 AM (EST):

Obama's Policies Making Situation Worse in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Here is the start of the piece:

For all the talk of "smart power," President Obama is pressing down the same path of failure in Pakistan marked out by George Bush. The realities suggest need for drastic revision of U.S. strategic thinking.

-- Military force will not win the day in either Afghanistan or Pakistan; crises have only grown worse under the U.S. military footprint.

Please read the entire article. Absent another military conflict, the current Depression should lift and resolve itself into at least a "muddle-through" economy (John Mauldin's phrase). Continued/ramped-up war in Asia would guarantee rampant inflation and a continued decline in living standards in America- though Gross Domestic Product will rise! (As this policy would entail and require more governmental debt, look for it to become more and more likely as domestic uses of debt are largely tapped out.) For a detailed look at different points of view of America, Pakistan, and their relationship, consider the following blog run by "Fabius Maximus", which provides a wealth of articles and opinion pieces on this topic: Why are We Fighting in Pakistan?

No, Ms. O'Hara. Britain does not need its own Barack Obama. As does America, it needs change it really can believe in. Changing the Bush policy on family planning and generating some headlines about closing Guantanamo are not change. They are diversions to allow the permanent Establishment. The money is in Big Finance: No change there, except for the worse (PPIP). The money is in fighting and inciting wars: No change there, except for a more aggressive Obama policy in Pakistan.

Despite having the least governmental or executive experience of any major party Presidential candidate in memory, Barack Obama was given the thumb's up by the powers that be to provide an attractive new face, another diversionary tactic that allows the same corrupt behavior to continue.

Copyright (C) Long Lake LLC 2009

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