It was a great performance in NY’s Central Park this month where Andrea Bocelli, Tony Bennett, and Celine Dion belted out their music for the adoring crowd. But there was a beast in that crowd ironically constructed from out of the same international humanity that made this performance so spectacular. On stage was a unique concentration of talent from Italy, Canada, Japan, and half the states in the US. A brilliant amalgamation of MUSICAL talent.
The metaphorical beast to which I refer is the equally brilliant amalgamations of FINANCIAL talent that have been formed in our time. Formed in the complex constructs of international banks, financial houses, hedge funds, monetary systems, and secretly assorted concentrations of power unlike anything in humanity’s history. These financial artists come from every corner of the world, carrying portfolios so vast they rival the GNPs of half the nations of he world.
The appellation “beast” calls for some clarification.
Free enterprise economies cherish and celebrate a free marketplace in which the fittest can survive and the weakest can hopefully go away. But in time, the fittest become the fewest, and the fewest concentrate their power in ways whereby freedom is pretty much limited to those high rollers who know the game. Better yet who can game the game. It’s been this way from the days of tribes to kingdoms to empires. In this respect, Darwin was dead right!
The bestiality enters our plot when these complex concentrations of financial power grow beyond the regulation — even the understanding — of the citizens and the governments they are supposedly servicing. To put it another way, check virtually every modern bubble and bust, war and victory, recession and depression over the last 500 years.
Some beasts should be killed. Others we try to tame and saddle. Saddle as in “regulate.” However, when the beast is great enough, it can defy saddles in the name of freedom. And so it is today. For as thousands thrilled that night to Bocelli, Bennett and Dion, few among them were thinking of the beast in their lives.
The ones who were, huddled a few miles away occupying Wall Street in another of history’s protests. A protest destined to become one of two tings: A footnote or a revolution. In the meantime, God bless our music more than our money….
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