Fortunately, the calm, reassuringly wonkish persona of the PM appeared. However, rather than the usual backdrop of a Parliament House study with sombre, leather-tooled law books and a dozen Australian flags, he was back cast (technical term should be ?) against Parliament House itself. But the camera was pointing slightly up at him which, combined with close-up and his unnaturally large head, made him look like some scary sky-daddy looking down on his subjects and lecturing them about very bad things.
Well maybe he was, but it looked extremely bizarre and made me very glad I hadn't got into the pharmaceutical cabinet in advance. Not that I do that any more, of course...
Anyway, back to the entrails. The first entrails were of one George W Bush, but they include other interesting entrails - the Washington Consensus, known to its close supporters as TINA.
But it looks like there was an alternative after all:
We should have invested more in infrastructure, tightened regulation of the securities markets, and taken additional steps to promote energy conservation. We fell short because of politics and lack of money—and also, frankly, because special interests sometimes shaped the agenda more than they should have.And the sentence that comes before those:
The global-trade agreements we pushed through were often unfair to developing
No shit, Sherlock, as they say. The argument in favour: governments get elected to pursue the national interest. The response: even when it's wrong.
As many as 1.7 million Americans are expected to lose their homes in the monthsand...
ahead. For many, this will mean the beginning of a downward spiral into poverty.
The article is (sort of predictably) by former IMF Director Joseph Stiglitz, but it's a nice way to reinforce your beliefs if Joseph's are the sort of beliefs you believe in.
Globalization means that America’s economy and the rest of the world have become increasingly interwoven. Consider those bad American mortgages. As families default, the owners of the mortgages find themselves holding worthless pieces of paper. The originators of these problem mortgages had already sold them to others, who packaged them, in a non-transparent way, with other assets, and passed them on once again to unidentified others.
When the problems became apparent, global financial markets faced real tremors: it was discovered that billions in bad mortgages were hidden in portfolios in Europe, China, and Australia, and even in star American investment banks such as Goldman Sachs and Bear Stearns. Indonesia and other developing countries—innocent bystanders, really—suffered as global risk premiums soared, and investors pulled money out of these emerging markets, looking for safer havens. It will take years to sort out this mess.
Entrails, I imagine.
Well I should be working - I did bring work home - but then I got back to the entrails and the next ones that popped up, if that's indeed what entrails do, were these. Yes, we read that the next generation will the first to suffer a reduced standard of living. This article seems to argue, from a very small sample, that it won't be such a bad thing and anyway no-one will care too much.
That's a rather brave generalisation I think. If America has stopped investing in R&D, as per the earlier linked article, then where will the next i-Pod come from because all the youngies seem to want their i-Pod and similar toys. More to the point, what will be the next invention to have pod in its name (have you noticed how pods are everywhere now)?
Brought up to expect a higher standard of living - actually, I'm not sure what my parents brought me up to expect, now I come to think of it - and then caught up in the consumerist craze of the 80s and since, VVB has been busily acquiring things for a while now. But we still don't have nearly as many things as many other ostensibly similar households and we certainly don't take the overseas and expensive domestic holidays that other people do.
I wish we had some money in the bank so that the PM could come around and personally reassure us that it's safe, but shit, all we have is debt and superannuation.
Like a lot of others.
Call it a low-grade drug habit.