Sunday, 6 May 2012

Vive La Farce

"How many sides does the pyramid have?" we all ask our children this question knowing they will count the facing sides and forget about the base. "The base is the most important side" you will try to explain, "the side you cant see is the side that holds the whole thing up and allows the beautiful shape of the pyramid to stand"

I dont know how many articles, papers, opinions I have trawled through over the past 5 years trying to learn and get to grips with "the Crisis" but it must run into thousands but the more you read, watch and ponder the more you realise that this "problem" is just like the pyramid. You have the financial side, bricks falling off like an avalanche, the political side and the market side doing pretty much the same thing, the builders looking on in horror as their dreams, life philosophies and hard work crumble. Each side different but needing the other side to be strong and secure in order for it to survive.

The side that matters I believe is the base, the economic side. I guess in ancient Egypt when the Nile waters did not flood quite as well as other years, people too would have been at each others throats, trying to feed their children, blaming the gods, blaming the Pharaoh and his court, maybe even the Jewish slaves. As then now.

So did the financial side bring down the economic side, or was it the political side that first started to fail and fall? as you go through the written word in all this, each and every author has their preferred base side, some economic, some finance, some political. All will need the other sides to justify their arguments. And so it goes on.

Finance in my opinion is not Economics, and economics is not politics, so how do we even begin to reconcile all these "sides" and repair the pyramid? I am sure we all have our views on that one. In engineering terms you would first test the foundations to make sure they are still true and can hold the weight of the bricks above, if not you repair and reconstruct the foundation first, and that could involve rebuilding the pyramid anew.

Those who look at the pyramid, squint. Other turn their faces away. Many choose not to go and see the broke pyramid preferring the visions they remember when it stood proud. Some love the challenge of the problem, but most are fearful that the whole pyramid will at some point collapse and then the arguments will be much worse.

So today two of the pillars of Western civilisation go to the polls to express their democratic wishes, instead of chopping off heads and spearing each other with swords. Progress indeed, the real point of democracy is peaceful change. But even if they go today wishing for change I very doubt they will get it, so too the American public later this year. Politics in the West has been reduced from theatre to farce and especially in Europe it has been so removed from its democratic source as to be tragedy.

We collectively have still not answered the question, how it happened and how do we put it right to such a degree that we have enough will and support for reconstruction to begin.