Thursday, July 21, 2011

Of Idols and Crises

Here's a quote of the day, perhaps the best metaphor I've heard for where we are now in this financial and economic crisis, a few years downstream of the initial fractures, as authorities (and bankers) in Europe are still trying to duck necessary pain and loss through clever financial slight of hand. From novelist John Lanchester, quoted in Business & Finance:
"It's like there was a giant rumbling noise, the foundations shook, there was a crack in the altar and the golden idol fell down," he says. "And then there was a silence as they picked up the idol, polished it and put it back on the altar and now they're hoping that nobody had noticed. The fact is, we've had three or four supposedly unprecedented crises in the last couple of decades, and these events seem to be getting bigger and more frequent. That suggests to me that we really need to fix the whole architecture of world capitalism, but nothing I've heard suggests that anybody's doing that." 
Truly, nobody is doing that. For the moment, in Greece, in the US, and elsewhere, everything is patchwork, a few small repairs, even the illusion of repairs, and that's it.