After Bernie Madoff made off with an extraordinary amount we now learn that cash intended for the reconstruction of Iraq has vanished into a black hole. No one knows what has happened to it. At the same time Obama is talking billions to bail out the banks with Brown in the UK making similar proposals.
There is a problem throwing money around as I found out when I was on Birmingham City Council with responsibility for transport in the city. There was quite a lot of money on offer for various schemes. The problem was the capacity to be able to deal sensibly with large amounts suddenly coming on tap. The idea that Obama had was that there would be many schemes that had been shelved in the past. They need doing yes, but first you have to make sure that there is adequate means of translating schemes into purposeful value for money projects. The fear expressed by some is that the money will be squandered.
Clearly the other problem in the free, unfettered world that is global Capitalism even with regulation supposedly in place ways and means will be found to make a quick buck or two, well running into millions and billions. The word trillion now crops up so we are talking about unimaginable amounts – squillions in fact.
What are the banks deciding to do with the money? Well one of the things a banker can’t do without is a massive bonus rain or shine. Doesn’t matter that huge losses have resulted from your risk taking – with other people’s money – you still come up smelling of roses. As far as the public is concerned the stench is not of the rose but the rotting stench of corruption by those who have the means of control. Who in the political parties is there to challenge? Who can because all of them supported the system unconditionally and now only propose the very minimum of reform and control.
Clearly Capitalism hasn’t, won’t learn lessons and foxes are let into the hen house to solve the problem. But people if not foxes are greedy creatures. The only way that a small proportion of the world’s population can be well fed and fat is because others can be exploited or totally dispensed with.
Squillion. I made this up on the spur of the moment to describe unimaginable sums of money, but clearly others have got there first. Zillion or bazillion appear to be alternatives.