Bob Zoellick is really, really sorry for poor people in Asia,
who are really, really going to be hurt the most by a slow-down in global trade.
That’s what he told a Thomson Reuters Newsmaker ahead of the G20 meeting in London on April 1. According to Bobby Z, the global economy is going to contract by 1.7 percent this year, compared to growing by 1.9 percent last year.
He didn’t define growth.
He’s not suggesting that a decline in the velocity of derivative hot-potato is a decline in growth, is he?
I hope not.
But he did define poverty.
A buck twenty-five a day, he says.
Well, here’s what. A buck twenty-five in India is about sixty rupees. Which will buy you enough to eat for a day in India.
Which is all that matters to a poor Indian.
That makes a poor Indian better off than a derivative big-shot in Manhattan, at the end of the day.
He won’t be broke….. with other people’ money.
Or, in the red…. up to infinity
And that’s where you, me, and Bobby Z are now, after several trillion bucks.
I’ll take a buck-fifty in an Indian village, any day.
Maybe we need a new definition of poverty.
Or, we need a new president of the World Bank.
Not yet another axe-man
from the Sachs men.
Especially one who’s gone in and out of Treasury, the Department of State, and practically every US trade delegation in the last twenty years like a cheap suit through a Chinese laundromat and was — get this — an executive vice-president at none other than Fannie Mae.
That would be just around the time (1993-1997) they were shoving every one with a pulse (and many without) into subsidized housing.
Who else would we want cleaning up the nuclear fall-out from the housing bubble, if not one of the leading bubble-heads around, right?
Besides advising Enron on finance and screaming for war in Iraq, I don’t know if you could come up with a more radioactive resume than that.
Oh, that’s right, Zoellick’s got those two wrapped up, as well.
(Wiki: Zoellick signed the January 26, 1998 letter to President Bill Clinton from PNAC that advocated war against Iraq. During 1999, Zoellick served on a panel that offered Enron executives briefings on economic and political issues.)
What a busy fellow. Quite the boy wonder.
And oh — look. He’s into fancy innovations too.
He’s the guy who’s been shoving genetically-modified food down European gullets, like it or not.
(The”Big Five” biotech companies–Monsanto, Dupont, Syngenta, Dow Chemical, and Aventis–control 937 out of 1085 biotech patents).
And he’s shown he can shove it down Asian gullets too.
He’ll do anything to get rid of poverty, will our Bobby, even if it means getting rid of the poor. From high-tech food to high-tech finance, Zoellick’s a big believer in force-feeding.
Now he wants the G-20 to endorse a new $50 billion Global Trade Liquidity Programme (translated from the Higher Financialeze that reads Got To Love These Pigs), which combines a billion from the World Bank with “financing from governments and regional development banks,” which gets “leveraged by a risk-sharing arrangement with major private sector partners.”
We hate to bring cold logic into such a touchy-feely, lovey-dovey arrangement, but does “risk-sharing” mean the private-sector partners could go broke too?
Or, at least, get a fatal SIV? Because that’s what sharing risk usually means.
(Maybe we need a needle-exchange program for credit-heads, but that’s another story).
And all of this risk-sharing is just to help the poor in Asia out?
It brings a tear to our cynical eye, Bobby.
Such sharing. Why, it’s chummier than anything since David and Jonathan, this private-public partnership.
Oh, that’s right. Tim Geithner came up with that brainwave recently too.
(I guess that’s what being a Goldman alum does for you. It gives you the same sort of brainwaves).
And who would they be, these generous Fezziwigs of Finance, these Monetary Mother Theresas?
Standard Chartered, Standard Bank, and Rabobank, we hear.
We feel a brainwave coming on ourselves.
Wasn’t Rabobank one of AIG’s needle-sharers…er…counterparties?
And doesn’t that mean that, one way or other, the Fed has already done one of their hot little private-public lapdances with Rabobank?
I mean, how many private-public partnerships do you get to go through before people start calling you…
a two-bit bore.