u2018Arise, Sir Alan!'

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Obviously the House of Saxe-Coburg-Battenburg — sorry, Windsor! — did not suffer as much of an Annus Horribilis as the rest of us this past year, for Good Old Queen Bess has just topped off her 50th twelvemonth on the throne of England by knighting Alan Greenspan for u2018his outstanding contribution to global economic stability.’

We can only assume that he tipped the old girl a wink in January last year and told her to bet the Scottish Highlands on buying a couple of hundred thousand lots of March 2003 Eurodollar futures at 98.00 (when they were trading at under 94.00), since he’d be having to cut rates all the way to Great Depression levels, in order to foster a little more of the sort of u2018economic stability’ he had managed until then in presiding over the biggest speculative mania in history.

Either that, or he told this scion of the House of Orange, reputed owner of a substantial chunk of BP/Royal Dutch Shell, that his next contribution to global economic stability would be so anaemic that America would soon have to do a Roosevelt and pick a war with someone, anyone, in order to hide its shame — preferably disrupting oil supplies temporarily in order to boost the shares in the political elites’ distinctly Old Economy stock portfolios, crammed full of the successors of the Seven Sisters.

Or maybe he whispered in her ear over the Earl Grey and Cucumber sandwiches at Buck House that she’d be onto a good thing by holding onto her sprawling real estate portfolio (heirloom of the Norman robber barons, or “the principal ruffian of some restless gang, chief among plunderers” as Tom Paine put it), since he and his soulmate at the Bank of England, Sir Edward the Unready, would slash rates far enough, and make sufficient irresponsible exhortations to the masses, to ignite a property Bubble in place of the deflating equity version.

Perhaps he told Her Britannic Majesty that her rumoured African mining interests would more than pay her exorbitant racehorse training fees, since he would flood the world with enough fiat money to enable gold at last to break out of its two-decade long bear market.

Maybe he told her simply to u2018stay long volatility’ since this year would be a veritable doozie — and perhaps to short a little stock in JP Morgan (u2018Horrid Little Welshman, dontya know?’) while she was at it.

Alan Greenspan receiving an award for u2018economic stability’ is like Paul Wolfowitz being feted for contributions to the advancement of Islamic studies, George Bush getting a gold medal for kicking his Ritalin dependency, or Tony Blair receiving a Boy Scout badge for self-effacement and intellectual integrity!

Alan Greenspan?

The man who started off his term with the 1987 Crash, stepped up with the 1990-91 Credit Crunch and the failure of the Bank of New England, ran through the Orange County debacle, the Dollar collapse of 1994-5, the concurrent Tequila Crisis, the consequent Asian Contagion, the LTCM Panic, the Russian default, the two (or is it three?) Brazilian Crises, not to mention the serious problems in Poland and Turkey, the monetary collapse in Argentina, the Dot.Com boom and the 2000-02 (-03—04-05?) Bust — and never stopped the printing press from running all the while?

Alan Greenspan?

The man who has led the West into more indebtedness and the Atlantic Consortium into larger current account imbalances than anyone heretofore?

Alan Greenspan?

The man who has been the incumbent Fed Chairman while Anglo-American manufacturing has disappeared up its own smoke stack to such an extent that the only people left in jobs are such wealth creators as realtors, lap dancers, tort lawyers, government apparatchiks, special forces operatives and paid (or unpaid) informers?


If you ask us, Sir Al has been to economic stability what Joe Stalin was to peasant farming, Joe Goebbels was to Truth in Government and what Joe Lieberman is to expensing stock options correctly.

Still, Lizziebet must be onto something here.

Maybe she reckons the second coming of this recession will be so severe and the GOP Administration so certifiable in its response that the Colonists will clamour to be allowed to rejoin Perfidious Albion once more as a refuge — so securing at last the dream of her great-grandfather’s advisors in cementing a Union of the English Speaking Peoples to preside over the Malthusian theme park she and her ilk want the planet to become.

Still, it’ll be a great foregathering at the College of Heralds when those three knights of the realm next meet to discuss their coats of arms — just imagine, Sir Alan Greenspan, Sir Bob Hope and Sir Rudy Giuliani, all in the same room…

That would be truly a case of Fiat, Hope and Uncharity!

Sean Corrigan [send him mail] writes from London on the financial markets, and edits the daily Capital Letter and the Website Capital Insight.

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