The day after I arrived in New York, Lehman Brothers, the investment bank that had been in business for 158 years, collapsed. By the time I left a few days later, Merrill Lynch had undergone a distress sale and the American government, given the choice between apocalyptic financial panic and the bottomless pit, had chosen the bottomless pit and bailed out (and taken over) the giant insurance company, AIG. more>>>
Wow! Please don't let the current economic crisis prevent you from visiting New York. I assure you, there is no causal connection between the economy and your travels. Do speak publicly in this beleaguered metropolis. New York needs your salutory common sense and ascerbic literary flair.
One partial sentence in this marvelous article made the whole shebang clear to me: "...for the procuring of what will predictably bring him no more than a few minutes' satisfaction, soon to be followed by a further fevered search for a few more moments' satisfaction." Upon reading that, I immediately thought to myself: That's an addiction! In a world where the greatest Anglo-American fortunes have been made on the back of the global illicit drug trade (starting back with opium and carrying forth to the present day with heroin, morphine, cocaine, and others, with a little detour into alcohol during the Prohibition eras), and facilitated by every secret police, spy, organized crime, and money-laundering banking organization world-wide, it is only fitting that the entire financial system, itself, should operate the same way.