The world’s political, academic and business luminaries gather this week for their annual knees up at the chi chi resort of Davos in Switzerland. The event is billed as a brainstorming hot house for the global advancement of mankind. It also gives the tax evaders attending the opportunity to withdraw some cash.
Given the state of the global economy, there are already hints of recriminations as brainstorming turns to blamestorming.
American bankers blame the government and regulators for underwriting sub-prime lending and changing the rules that do not allow them to hide their mess through accounting trickery. Bankers believe that ½ of 1 should = 1, because it might, again, sometime in the future.
Bankers around the rest of the world blame American bankers for getting them into this mess. Surprisingly, the data suggest European banks have lent out much more money per capita than the Yanks and with greater enthusiasm, clearly following a new model of social wealth distribution not understood by anyone.
Hedge funds blame their poor performance on the banks for taking away their ability to borrow up to 30 times the investor cash they hold. Unfortunately their highly sophisticated models did not predict that any of this mess was going to happen, so there is no investor cash left.
Investors blame the credit rating agencies which gave toxic investments an A for Excellent when the deserved an S for Shite rating. This is the equivalent of paying for Kobe beef and receiving cold and stinky regular cow shit, albeit a very large portion.
Business blames a lack of consumer demand for the decline in profitability citing that people have just stopped buying stuff. Ironically, this is forcing businesses to sack people, who will have less money to buy stuff.
The general public are unsure who to blame. Frankly, when you don’t have a job, lose your home, and have to spend your savings to keep your family alive, allocating blame is the least of your concerns although blaming the government is usually a good starting point.
The French people are going on strike holding their government accountable for the mess they are in. Why not, if there is no demand just stop the supply. Hah, that will show them!
Governments and their regulators are setting bankers up for the fall, but are increasingly doing some niggly finger wagging.
The Chinese and Russians are blaming the Americans for fucking up capitalism with Vladamir Putin questioning whether Americans are fit to run businesses. Pot, kettle, black?
The American government is pointing a finger at the Chinese citing that their currency is being manipulated and needs to be devalued for any substantial economic recovery to take place.
The Canadian government is being blamed by the opposition for not grasping the scale of the stimulus required, and in response, the government is refusing to govern.
The Brits are blaming each other and cannot seem to unite in concert to blame anyone else.
Norwegians are not great at pointing the finger at each other. Nothing is anyone’s fault in Norway and this lack of accountability generally means that the blame will fall on foreigners.
I haven’t yet heard recriminations from school children but I hope they are blaming their parents for their total fucking incompetence in managing grown up stuff and leaving them with huge debts before they can even spell collateralised debt obligation.
I did not make it to Davos due to a diary conflict. It is my fault for double booking, but it was the only time the psycho therapist could fit me in. I am being treated for excessive responsibility disorder. He is convinced I do not apportion enough blame to others.