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A call for my investment
by Thanos Kalamidas
2008-09-29 08:35:45
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So what really happened with the American economy? Is Marx proved right nearly twenty years after the fall of the Soviet Union and Leninism? Over-consuming and over-productivity are going to be the nemesis of the system that won the war or is Bush and his neo-conservatism discovering his socialist sides?

I’m not an economist myself and most of the time I try hard to understand all the economic analysis in the papers, still my private insurance in AIG made me a bit worried last week and caused some telephone calls and questions that received answers that made me feel totally stupid. Talked with a financial advisor lately? They are full of acronyms, the MIL of the IG equalling the IS of the MIG! Please shoot me fast, my brain is numb and the only thing I can think of is the cinnamon bun I had earlier this morning. But then he reassured me that nothing is wrong with AIG because it is a big company! This is the part I should feel relieved and smiling but somehow it didn’t work; you see that was the part I asked naively and then what happened to those gigantic banks that went bankrupt last week?

It was that part when my financial friend fell quiet and I started hitting the telephone in a case …you know something broke! Nothing wrong with my telephone receiver but definitely something wrong with my friend who after a lot of thought answered, "Don’t worry, the market takes care of its self." "Let me see," I continued, "If I understood well the next time a virus will hit him the best thing I have to do is just wait, not go to the doctor, not ask for help just lay there and wait." The silence from the other side was too loud and made me worry again. "Have a bit of faith in the system man!" This is the answer I got suddenly from the other side.

Now, faith is something I have my arguments and I didn’t invest in faith twenty-five years ago but in AIG and if I remember well it was a safe investment. "Well, you know how it is with these sorts of investments," he said with a lower secretive tone, "There are certain risks to them, and is like gambling!" Oh man I should know, I thought; I put my money in Las Vegas, I made my retirement money blackjack and I didn’t know it! The conversation stopped somewhere there with me wondering why twenty-five years ago I decided to gamble my retirement money on blackjack and him being sure that I was stupid.

But am I stupid? Ok, I don’t understand all these acronyms and I don’t understand much about stocks but then again I understand enough to invest my money in a company that showed growth and was seriously taking care of me, why then this company invested in everything I was trying to avoid? Most of all why do they expect me today to lay down and show faith in a system that has tricked me and profited only GM’s with private planes and unique mansions in L.A. or Las Vegas? But most of all why these people invested my money in uncertain investments without any guarantee while they assured me that I should trust them avoiding all those …uncertain investments without any guarantee? But then again why did I invest my money there? Because I wanted to safeguard somehow my old times, because I wanted to make sure that I will not depend on the state for my personal expenses when I get older and because I wanted to make sure all this hard work left something for the future. That means when I was doing this investment I was not gambling.

So was Marx right? Did we come in our over-consuming and over-productive limits? Have we become nothing more that greedy creatures that want to add in our possession materials we barely need and barely use? For decades a bank loan has been something I’ve been avoiding mostly scared from the return demands and the sense that the exchange you had to leave was not worth, but nowadays an ID or driver license was enough for a bank to give the most unbelievable loan. Could you pay it? Well most of the creditors had already problems with their credit cards not with a house mortgage.

The system will find its way? No way, the truth is that the system is in so deep shit – sorry my financial language – which only strong help can save it. And now coming to USA since this is where the centre of the virus lays, do you know who is responsible? The war on Iraq! Something Marx had never predicted! Will it be cured? Yes, but the question was never if it will be cured but who is going to pay the bill and I’m sorry to say but Carl was right definitely here, the people are going to pay the bill, the more unemployed are going to pay the bill, the damaged health system is going to pay the bill, the older are going to pay the bill! Just let’s hope nearly twenty years after the fall of the communism as we knew it and the Soviet Union that we will not see a new communism raising on the rubble of a failing and trebling capitalism!

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Emanuel Paparella2008-09-29 11:22:44
Indeed Thanos, it wouldn’t be half as bad if “the market” were personalized and given the attributes of human nature among which greed and desires which transform needs into wants. Then we would know what we are dealing with and we would take seriously Plato’s insight that poverty has nothing to do with how much or how little we have but with how big our desires are. Instead “the market” is rationalized, mystified and given scientific status with math formulas which cover every possible contingency and the ability to correct itself; which is to say it is given the endowments of a demiurge or a god; a god that cannot fail because it is a god, to be trusted and even worshipped. No need to go and lie on an analyst's couch. But come to think of it, rather than with science, perhaps we are dealing with psychology asking the question: do you or do you not have faith and confidence in the market? Could Jung have had it on target? He said, throw religion out the window and it will promptly return the back window in the form of a cult or an ideology to be worshipped. It would appear that the demiurge god “market” has taken up a new residence: it used to live in Las Vegas where those with big desires used to make pilgrimages; it has now taken up residence on Wall Street. McCain reassures us that as St. George of old he will slay the monster and if he fails Palin will take up the challenge. Don't you feel reassured?

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