Tuesday, 6 November 2012

ojos bien cerrados or pay no attention to that man behind the curtain

There a perfect cover for the meeting of finance ministers and reserve bank chiefs of the G20 nations going on in Mexico. One wonders about the timing of such things and though the meeting seems kind of formal and anodyne, one still cannot quite shake the feeling that important decisions are being vetted—the kind that governments cannot rely on democracy and openness to choose wisely. There is no rudeness, nor strategic advantage, I think, in not waiting for the outcome of the US elections, even though neither of these events went unplanned or were scheduled in a vacuum.

I fear that the results will be hotly contested and unknown for weeks, but regardless of the conclusion and attendant consequences, the US president will be accedes to the same fiscal situation. Most of the discussion in Mexico seems to be economic-boilerplate, not choking off near-term growth by too great a focus on austerity and discipline, deferring the savings and necessary restructuring for later, all which might seem a rather insignificant message to come out of the gathering of so much talent, power and influence ten-thousand kilometers away (for the EU representatives) but bureaucracy is often like that.
In as much as some events might like to have the spotlight stolen from, maybe this conference also stands for the scales that fell away from one’s eyes in another regard (scales—that phrase has been haunting me throughout the campaign, an obscure and automatic saying like, “As I lay dying, the woman with the dog’s eyes would not close my eyes as I descend into the underworld”): the chaos the whole of the banking and financial system has wrought. Maybe the illusion is dispelled that covered up the cycle of boom and bust that is a dissonance and a disconnect from the real economy and only plays policy into the hands of money-managers. The allure and ease, stoked by private concerns, keep central banks and ministers distracted from the real charges and warrants. The charade crested in 2008 and left many disillusioned but so long as there is money to be made off of money, some will try to keep up this effluvious momentum. Maybe such overshadowed events, spared some attention through timing, are acknowledgments that people are weary of talk without protection, calls for reform and toning down the rhetoric of ascetics, and efforts and assessments to bridge disorder best not receive top-billing so we’re not all heir to this fiscal froth.