Where were the controls?
[This turned out to be a rant. You're free not to read it]
I'm amazed by the synchronicity of event in UK and US. It started with politics: both sides attarcted "leadership" which emerged rather quickly not to be too bothered about reality as long as it didn't interfere with their chums emptying the trough as fast as they could now they finally had the chance. Both sides relied extensively on spin, lies and as little transparency as they could get away with (whilst claiming to fight for the opposite, of course) and as much abuse of the nation's controls as they could muster (look up "bush signing statements" if you want to see just how much an alleged democracy was turned into something else entirely by Bush).
The rest is textbook stuff. Use or stage a calamity to scare the population into being quiet, destroy living conditions and schooling so that the average voter is far too busy surviving to think and keep it going for as long as possible. Cooking up a war is also a good way to push some tax revenue into the hands of the small cabal who sell weapons without too many objections, it's "fighting EVIL", innit?
That also needed hollowing out regulatory control. Start checking just who exactly limited the regulatory budgets. Who ensured the competent people disappeared? If you think only rating agencies employ cheap staff, you should look at the UK National Audit Office who drafts in consultancies, who (obviously clever enough not to derail the gravy train) employ the most junior people for investigations. The advantage of juniors is that they can also be overruled very easily, in the unlikely case they would see through some of the scams at, say, the ID Card project. The strategy worked, and where it threatened to fail, key people were given new jobs, designed to compromise them enough to make sure they wouldn't speak up either. It's everywhere. Health, military, finance - no wonder both nations have almost gone to the wall.
Here's a simple question: does anyone remember just where T Blair went to work, and how well they have done out of the crisis? If that surprises you you haven't been cynical enough, and you may take this as a hint that the crisis wasn't so unexpected as it appears (OK, we're now in conspiracy land, but you must admit that coincidences stack up in a staggeringly convincing way).
The trough is almost empty now. A last moment effort chalked up another loan on the tax payer's bill ($700bn, "because it's a nice big number") so that the bad players can escape in luxury with a nice pension, probably to another country. I wonder what this in the UK will look like, but the players are already positioning, including the returned master of spin, Mandelson, who will probably be tasked with explaining that it wasn't the government's fault and that a more active celebration of Guy Fawkes' day to get some people to take personal responsibility won't help (mainly because they have already retired to another country).
What these people have done amounts IMHO to treason. There is no other word that comes close to describing the full scale of what they have been doing for the last 8 years, and the misery that they have caused by their selfish behaviour. This was really treating people like money producing cattle.
I'll have my coat now, thanks, I have a plane to catch. The last one out doesn't need to bother turning off the light.
The lights will go out all by themselves.