August 11, 2011

I apologize for the brief history lesson, dear readers, but sitting on a sailing boat all day makes one think about both Sybaris and gold. (A boat leaks the stuff as if there’s no tomorrow.) I advised my judo coach three years ago to use his life’s savings and buy gold. In fact, I insisted on it—something he did and I did not, which makes him “sitting pretty” right now and me a fool, but I don’t mind too much. Had I followed my own advice I’d be feeling awfully soft today, just like the Greeks that succumbed to sybaritic living back then.

The modern Greek sybarites lived off EU wealth until Goldman Sachs could no longer cook the books for the major financial criminal Kosta Karamanlis and his so-called conservative government. Goldman made more than 300 million greenbacks for services to mislead, yet not a peep has been heard. Whatever happened to accountability? Whatever happened to jailing white-collar crooks like the Goldman gang? Whatever happened to throwing out bureaucrooks in Brussels who encouraged such financial shenanigans by flinging billions to irresponsible Greek politicians who bought votes and created state sinecures for political friends with your tax moolah?

It is the same old story everywhere one looks: crooks (the bankers) at the top, crooks (the lowlife central-casting type) at the bottom, and the whipsawed middle classes stuck in between. When I was at the University of Pentonville for advanced sociological studies, my cellmate Tony the Loon had six years to go after botching a bank job because he’d ingested too much smack. (Lowlife criminals sometimes get very nervous before a big job, and just as their metropolitan elite counterparts sniff coke, they take heroin.) Tony ended up doing 12 years for sticking up a bank. Lloyd, as in Blankfein, head of Goldman Sachs, will not do a day but will be a billionaire when he retires. What kind of deal is that? Both crooks got caught, but only Tony did time. Ditto for the financial elite who got us in this mess. No one’s gone to jail except the innocent Lord Black.

And what about Bush, Cheney, and Blair? Shouldn’t they all be locked up? They caused hundreds of thousands of dead. Through their vain, reckless drive to become historical figures, they continue to kill and maim, yet all three are enjoying their retirement on our dime while we’re going bust. Sooner rather than later this has to be put right. Lying politicians have to face the music, starting with Bush and Blair. Cheney is like Göring without the latter’s intelligence, charm, and love of good art. Cheney should be made to take poison, a particularly venomous one that kills slowly. And the Goebbelses—Perle, Podhoretz, Kristol, and the rest of the neocons—ditto.

But enough of this bitterness. Gold is going through the roof, and you can guess who went into it while advising us to buy stocks four years ago—the smiling wallet-lifters that call themselves politicians and bankers. They have all gone on holiday, the weather in Greece is sunny and bright, Bushido has never been more pleasant to sail, and I am facing the worst crisis of my life—yet another birthday. Urghh!



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