The American financial system has hit its worst crisis ever. The crisis has been evident from the fact that in a given day, Dow Jones lost more than 4 per cent, which has been its steepest fall ever since the 9/11 attacks! It all started when Lehman Brothers, one of the largest US investment banks, filed for bankruptcy protection. As if this wasn’t enough, another equally big investment banker, Merrill Lynch, resorted to a merger with the Bank of America, and along with all this, the world’s largest insurer, American International Group (AIG) was also found gasping for breath! In fact, the signals for such an impending crisis were visible from the time the sub-prime meltdown had started, with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac literally getting buried under the debris of bad mortgages. No wonder, this is just the beginning; and the big question in everyone’s mind is clearly: who is going to be the next casualty, and how far would this crisis extend.
But more than what meets the eye, as far as this crisis goes, what’s going to be most intriguing is what would be the final fallout of this crisis. It is needless to state that the intrinsic strength of the American financial market is so intense that whosoever controls it, invariable controls the US policy making. This brings us to an even more fundamental but sinister truth about America.
This question might often arise in anyone’s mind as to what makes the US so paranoid and concerned about the welfare of Israel or, in other words, the welfare of the Jewish community at large. Probably no other community in this world, barring the Christians, has so much worth of their lives. It is so for a simple reason: that there is no other community than the Jews who exercise an incredible grip over American and European (developed Europe) business and intelligentsia. They control almost everything that has to do with finance, media & entertainment, technology, energy etc. For the uninitiated, some of the major US based financial institutions – like the Goldman Sachs, Solomon Brothers or even Lehman Brothers – were started by German Jews’ investments. Many prominent US-based companies have some or the other type of Jewish connection, be it directly or indirectly. So whether it is JP Morgan, Warburg Pincus, AT&T, Comcast, the Wall Street Journal, The Coastline Trust Company or the Albertsons, each has a distinct Jewish origin. Reports even state that the owners of Wall Street Journal and News Corp, Mr. Rupert Murdoch, the Oracle promoter Larry Ellison and Michael Dell of Dell Computers, all have Jewish origins. In fact, if one takes a random selection, it would not be surprising if one gets the impression that every famous person in this world has been baptized to Judaism, whether it is Steve Ballmer, Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke, Michael Bloomberg, Sergey Brin (of Google fame), Milton Friedman, Ben Graham, Andy Grove (Remember Intel?), Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, George Soros (needs no introduction), Sam Zell, Steve Wynn (Las Vegas Casino fame), Charles Saatchi or Steven Spielberg. But then, this cannot be denied that the Jewish contribution to global economy, particularly to that of the US, has been incredible (considering the fact that they comprise a mere 2% of the American population!). And it is not for nothing that today the US is a $12 trillion economy. Post World War II, US had opened its doors to the Jews all over the world and the Jews have literally reciprocated by using their ingenuity and perseverance to take USA to where it is. Not to forget that the rather infamous strife of supremacy between the Jews and WASP (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) is known to many.
Now the question is, how is all this connected to the current financial crisis that the US is going through? It is indeed critical, for in the last few years, a significant structural change can be witnessed with respect to large American financial institutions. This change is the waning influence of Jews in at least the US financial markets, and that influence is being replaced by others, the most prominent ones being Arabs! Connectedly, on account of the cataclysmic losses that each of the financial behemoths has been suffering, and now with too little options remaining, many of them have been incessantly bailed out by petrodollars. So, while the investments of Kuwait Investment Authority this year have been to the tune of $two billion in Merrill Lynch, in addition to a bailout package of $three billion for the beleaguered Citigroup (In fact, the whole package of bailing out a literally fledging Citibank was worth $14.5 billion, in which the consortium partners, in addition to Kuwait Investment Authority, were the Singapore Government and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal), there are monoliths like Abu Dhabi Investment Authority whose assets globally are above $800 billion on conservative estimates. Interestingly, this company is now the largest shareholder in Citibank through its investment of $7.5 billion. It now also has a stake in Carlyle Group (one of the largest American PE players), as well as a 28% share in the London Stock exchange.
Along with all this, in the last couple of years, while the world has been bleeding, thanks to the incredible rise in the price of oil, those have been the Middle East-based oil producing countries that have been ruling the roost. Reports state that a few of the Middle East-based sovereign wealth funds are already valued at a few hundred billion dollars; and given the incredible way they have been raking in dollars, it would not be surprising if the value of these sovereign wealth funds before long reaches the trillion dollar mark, making more petrodollars available for investments.
So where is it all heading and what would be the logical culmination of this tectonic shift that is happening in the major financial institutions? It is for sure that options in front of America and American institutions are too limited currently, and it is also sure that it would not be easy for the Jewish community to let go of the supreme power that they have earned and shielded for themselves – more so to Arabs, considering the legacy of the Israel-Palestine conflict (which is more than just a global conflict today). At the same time, what is needed to be observed is whether these Arab investments, which till now had been meant purely for business, would somehow intervene in bringing shifts in US foreign policy. If that happens, then to say that this world would see a tectonic shift of power from the West, would be to say the more than obvious!!!
- 28 September 2008 |
- Arindam on Indian Economy