F. William Engdahl
November 24, 2008
On Friday November 21, the world came within a hair’s breadth of the most colossal financial collapse in history according to bankers on the inside of events with whom we have contact. The trigger was the bank which only two years ago was America’s largest, Citigroup. The size of the US Government de facto nationalization of the $2 trillion banking institution is an indication of shocks yet to come in other major US and perhaps European banks thought to be ‘too big to fail.’
Paulson demanded, and got from a labile US Congress, Democrat as well as Republican, sole discretion over how and where he can invest the $700 billion, to date with no effective oversight. It amounts to the Treasury Secretary in effect ‘spitting into the wind’ in terms of resolving the fundamental crisis.
The clumsy way in which US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, himself not a banker but a Wall Street ‘investment banker’, whose experience has been in the quite different world of buying and selling stocks or bonds or underwriting and selling same, has handled the unfolding crisis has been worse than incompetent. It has made a grave situation into a globally alarming one.
Inscribed on the Liberty Bell is, “Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof” (Lev. 25:10). The next verse reads, “It shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possission, and ye shall return every man unto his family.”
As our government reaches ever further into our wallets with corporate buyouts and printing even more money, greater burdens are heaped upon our collective backs. American taxpayers will now carry the debt loads of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, making us slaves of debt we never agreed to pay.
If we were to view our government optimistically, we could view it as leading by example, reminding us that forgiveness is the only way out of the failed obligations of others. Yet it is radical — is it not — that our leaders actually called for the forgiveness of debt? On the other hand, as a nation that professes to be Christian, that is exactly what Jesus taught his followers to do.
The Lord’s Prayers says, “… forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors…” This passage is reverently spoken by most Christians–ostensibly 85% of the American population, and reminds them to forgive those that lie, steal, hurt, cheat, kill and to forgive even the worst of sins: choosing to serve power and money over God. In other words, the Lord’s Prayer is a reminder that we are called to forgive even the people who run our government.