The 14 [Maybe 15] People Who Run [Not Rule] The World

Year-end reportage loves conspiracy stories about secret societies in control of our world. These tales use the same journalistic gimmickry today's cable channels do. Each shadowy clan of knights or ancient aliens is introduced with the same "could it be" or "is it possible" narration that entrances us without requiring any real evidence.

OK, I'll play.

Is it possible there are 14 [maybe 15] powerful people who run our world [even though they don't rule it, because they don't hold public office]....? Put that way, anything's possible! All we have to do is conjure up some of the world's most influential banks in New York, Berlin, and Tokyo; throw a dart at their list of officers; and quite suddenly we have our self an almost credible plot-line for the next Dan Brown novel.

Before you laugh, think a moment. Think how very likely some of these very officers will be voting how their banks shall invest their next $150 million in the next (1) Hollywood blockbuster, (2) recording star, (3) Super Bowl halftime celebrity. These big-ticket headliners do not just happen, as much as you and I may like to think Oscars and Idols bubble up from us goodly creatures on Main Street. No, they happen because someone put big bucks into making them happen.

Go down the list. Movies like 'Gone With The Wind,' 'The Godfather' and 'The Titanic' were multi-million-dollar epics which could not have been made without the Aye votes from those 14 [or 15] fat cats. None knew much about Vivian Leigh, Al Pacino or Leonardo DiCaprio at the time; but hey they weren't investing in cinematic art, simply in the smartest hedge bets they could find. It's very much the same with the costly career buildups for concert headliners like Bruce Springsteen, Madonna and Garth Brooks. And as for this year's Super Bowl spectacular, you will again be witnessing not so much the best talent in America, but the best financed talent the fat cats could find and woo us into believing they were a one-of-a-kind find.

When we look back at year's end, rest assured much of what you think and feel and value is due to your conscious and subconscoious experience with these high-impact films and talents in your life. None of which would have ever come to pass without those nameless votes in those faceless banks in those power-capitals of the world you and I have never seen.

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