Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Anderson Cooper's Hypocrisy - US Financial Crisis

The popular narrative has concretized and the verdict is out that a bunch of fat cat CEO's in a small street on an island town schemed to send the entire world into a tail spin making apocalypse look like picnic. Here comes Anderson Cooper in his Italian tailored suit with a shiny tie and a program titled "Ten Most Wanted: Culprits of the financial crisis". The first two were AIG CEO, Lehman CEO (Dick Fuld). I did not watch the rest. I just puked and shut it off. The title of the program segment itself is a not so subtle rip off of "FBI's 10 most wanted". This was a program on supposed rogues gallery. Sort of public lynching.

While the CEO's do share blame, it is just that, they only "SHARE BLAME" with others. The election cycle is rolling out this Wall Street Vs Main Street plot. However most non partisan economists are congealing around the view that the contributory factors are many, easy lending promoted by politicians to butter low-income voters, Community re-investment Act (CRA) that forced banks to lend to sub-prime borrowers, highly regulated Fannie & Freddie becoming political tools to further interests of politicians (dems and republicans), greedy consumers (who dares to name them), excess money inflow from Chinese who in turn were floating in excess investment due to export boom and finally of course CEO's. But hey its too complex a narrative, does not make a good "story line" it would affect TRP ratings of CNN.

Who cares about truth? who cares for wisdom? We are a 24 hour news cycle, sound bite obsessed generation. We want wisdom in a capsule.

Well if Anderson really wants to go at CEO's he should start at home. The AOL-Time-Warner (CNN parent) merger wrote of $100 billion in 2002. That is more than the combined write off's of all financial firms so far. Its more than the GDP of many countries. I can bet my farm that Anderson will do a double take before he goes that route.

Here is more to CNN's duplicity. At the height of Danish cartoon controversy (cartoon of The Prophet) CNN's Wolf Blitzer said "out of respect for Islam we are not showing the cartoon" (respect or fear of....) . Recent Time issue had a picture of a frog on a crucifix with a note "Pope protests against picture of frog on crucifix". If anyone wanted to understand "talking from both ends of the mouth", "hypocrisy" this is it.

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