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Things to Ponder!

Here are a couple of stories from today's New York Times which are indirectly relevant, but which may serve to take our minds off local politics, momentarily.

The first is a column by Paul Krugman - the Dismal Science guru du jour prior to the arrival on the scene of Thomas Pikerty. Krugman nails the obfuscation surrounding the richest .1% that control 40% of US wealth - does anyone believe that figure to be far from the mark here? Reference to the top 10% paying  70% of the income tax take as Bill English is wont to tell us, well echoed by John Key, simply serves to disguise the true scale of plunder by the obscure and well hidden .1% that has occurred since the 1960's. 

The second is an Op-Ed contribution by Noam Scheiber that provides background on the role of AIG Insurance (Yes, the very same that is now the principal sponsor of our very own All Blacks!)

Forget the court case under review - just contemplate for a moment the role that this Company played in the 2008 financial melt-down when it had to be bailed out by the Federal Government because of the extraordinary cover it had provided to the primary rorters - Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and others whose risky mortgage securities AIG had insured in the run-up to the crisis. The $180 billion that the Fed pumped in to keep AIG afloat simply passed through to the primary rorters as an indirect subsidy to keep them afloat.

The full story is yet to be told of the manner in which those who devised this gigantic Ponzi have managed to escape censure, and enabled to bounce back to lead and devise further forays against the public purse.

But in the meantime, it would be as well for supporters of our national team to be aware of the company we keep!




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