Thursday, January 23, 2020
Whoops Essay -- Analysis, John Lanchester
The book Ã¢â¬Å"Whoops! Why everyone owes everyone and no one can payÃ¢â¬ by John Lanchester, will be analyzed in this essay in order to look at the wider geopolitical banking strategy, the roles and development of international institutions and strategies that have lead to the current economic crisis. At the beginning of the book, the author identifies two key events which created the environment for such a crisis to occur: the Cold war and the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. These two events are pointed out because as he sees it, the cold war provided the capitalist nations with an opposite system to compare to, and its advantages in terms of social justice and peoples rights were incomparable. However after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Ã¢â¬Å"capitalism began a victory party that lasted twenty yearsÃ¢â¬ (J.Lanchester, p15), and as at its core capitalism is not an equal distributor of wealth, in addition to many countries after the fall abandoning their focus on social justice and focusing on growth, which was not sustainable. Here the author starts to lead the reader to considering how the strategies of society as a whole and key agent of the financial industry were formation of the environment in which they were. A proportion of the blame must lie with certain agents of the industry and their lack of actions. Deregulation had gone too far and governments were too slow or unwilling to act on time. An example given is when five major banks (Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, Bear Sterns, and Morgan Stanley) in 2004 were allowed to cut the amount of capital they had to hold as a reserve against potential loses. (J.Lanchester, p.163). The author points out how successful lobbying had become and that those banks at one point wer... ...100). These three banks had to all be bailed out. This situation incorporates the key four elements of the authorÃ¢â¬â¢s argument, and is one of many. The bookÃ¢â¬â¢s prevailing theme is how the strategy adopted by various agents of the financial industry has trickled down to the society. The author upon mentioning the creation of securitization, several times notes that this is what Ã¢â¬Å"broke bankingÃ¢â¬ . This change in strategy of banks and the society as a whole led to many changes. The lender and the borrower being separated and the loan sold-off is a key flaw and arguably, speaking in general terms can be largely attributed to the systematic errors existence which played a large role in the most recent crisis. Throughout the book there is a feeling that the author sees the system as not being beneficial to the end consumer when fundamentally this should be the opposite.