We need a cure for..
By Swarup Roy
When the USA sneezes, the world gets pneumonia The Anonymous American, a five- part article series appeared in Asean Affairs global magazine editions Nov/Dec 2009, Jan/Feb 2010, Mar/Apr 2010, May/June 2010 and July/Aug 2010.
he idea for a series of articles analyzing what ails America (USA to be precise) came to me last year when the whole world was in the painful grip of the economic crisis and reactions to the crisis had one underlying theme, it was all because of the “greedy Americans” epitomized by their Wall Street brethrens. A fellow publisher from Sweden who has lived in Bangkok for more than 20 years summed up the situation like this “some Americans cannot pay their mortgages because they could not afford to in the first place as they came under the sub-prime category and now that these guys cannot make their loan repayments on time why
should we and the world suffer?”. As a speaker and moderator in international forums in Berlin, Zurich, Paris, Madrid, Vienna, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, New Delhi and Bangkok I was engaging with some of the best international thought leaders and trying to come to some sort of a personal understanding as to where this was all heading. The range of opinions were as wild as it could get, from “It is all China’s fault”, “this is a free market phenomenon”, “ this is following the Kondratiev waves (also called supercycles, surges, long waves, K-waves or the long economic cycle)” and ‘Obama is here to drive the final nail into the coffin”.
The Installment Plan: How It Has Taken America To Where It Is Today The Anonymous American November-December 2009 edition of AseanAffairs
So I decided to publish these opinions under a column under the pseudonym “The Anonymous American”. This was meant to spur a debate without the necessity of the author revealing his or her identity because anyone who was an American living in any part of the world is invited to contribute to this column and forum/blog of www.aseanaffairs.com So when we received a call on Friday 8th October 2010 at our Bangkok office from Goldman Sachs, New York, I was not at all surprised. The caller gave his name as Mark (the last name was not clear in an overbearing New York accent) and our Managing Editor, David Swartzentruber
“…AND TO THE BANANA REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS….” The Anonymous American January-February 2010 edition of AseanAffairs
THE “NOT SO” GREAT SOCIETY The Anonymous American March-April 2010 edition of AseanAffairs
spoke with him. It went as follows “I’m calling from Goldman Sachs and would like to know who the author of the column The Anonymous American is?” David’s reply “he is a top executive in a huge American company and a friend of our publisher. I believe he has written a few articles”. The man from Goldman Sachs: “there are five articles that have been written by The Anonymous American and we have read them all. I want to convey a message from our CEO and head of Goldman Sachs, Mr Lloyd Blankfein that he does not appreciate these articles at all. Thank you.” So Wall Street does not like these articles! Especially perhaps the second one in the series (Jan/Feb’10) titled ““…AND TO THE BANANA REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS….”” and the analysis of the role of the Federal Reserve, The US Treasury Department, The US government, Wall Street, Goldman Sachs and Lloyd Blank-
“Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” The Anonymous American May-June 2010 edition of AseanAffairs
fein’s declaration that ““Goldman Sachs is doing God’s work.” The Anonymous American invites everyone representing all sides to contribute to the debate including Wall Street and Goldman Sachs and its CEO Lloyd Blankfein and we would be happy to publish them all as long as it is within our publishing and editorial guidelines. All the five articles are reproduced here for you the reader to read, comment and share your thoughts and opinions with us. Let the debate continue. Write to us at email@example.com or participate on the forum/blog on our website.
Swarup Roy Founder & Chairman AseanAffairs
“there are five articles that have been written by The Anonymous American and we have read them all. I want to convey a message from our CEO and head of Goldman Sachs, Mr Lloyd Blankfein that he does not appreciate these articles at all. Thank you.”
“THE MALADY OF NATIONS” The Anonymous American July-August 2010 edition of AseanAffairs
The Installment Plan: How It Has Taken America To Where It Is Today By The Anonymous American
It takes two to tango” as the old saying goes. Indeed, American consumers would not have been able to ascend to the lofty heights of the cliff off which they fell without the benevolent assistance of dishonest central bankers and corrupt politicians. They became entwined in a symbiotic dance of greed, envy, sloth, pride, gluttony, and lust. The bankers and politicians provided the consumer with the aphrodisiac that only they could manufacture and together they danced in an unbridled orgy of money and credit. That is, until the music stopped and it was time to pay the piper. Post- World War I America ushered in rapid changes to the industrial base and urbanisation of the middle class. Mass production of commodities became commonplace, and the abhorrence of debt was replaced by the need to have things at least as good and 74