Me? I’m Still Shorting their Sorry Asses
As one would expect, EUtopia is gunning for investors to give ‘the masses’ something to build some false social solidarity around.
“For the locusts in the finance sector, a new age is dawning.” This is how German Social Democrat and Member of the European Parliament Udo Bullmann commented on the prospect of new EU-wide regulations for hedge funds.Those ‘locusts’ are making the revenues that happen to be buffering the collapse of your retirement, Udo baby. They’re also offering a hint at what those assets are really worth. Since you’d rather see the rating agencies lie to the public about what the sectors and industries people work for, investors and hedge funds snapping to and fro are the only approximation of mark to market you’ll ever really see.
That the Social Democrats would triumphantly bring out their “locust” bon mot again now is particularly troubling when one considers that the EU’s current offensive against hedge funds appears to be all about offering up a convenient scapegoat to public opinion, as opposed to addressing the fundamental problems underlying Europe’s debt crisis. Anti-Semitism, after all, has always been a matter of finding a scapegoat.And look for it, they will. The old reliable straw man of European “intellectualism” is being pointlessly and evasively employed again, when it’s Europe’s government pandering to people for votes that have bankrupted society to make the political class look “generous” with people’s own money.
The comparison sparked controversy, especially after historian Michael Wolffsohn accused Müntefering and the Social Democrats of using rhetoric reminiscent of Nazi screeds. Indeed, as the German journalist Ulrich Speck pointed out at the time in a (no longer available) blog post, the “swarm of locusts” metaphor had a long history in anti-Semitic discourse dating back to at least the early 19th century. It is used, moreover, in the infamous Nazi propaganda film Jud Süß (“The Jew Süss”). In the film, the Jews are said “to descend upon our country like locusts.” Implicit in the German discussion — though rarely if ever stated openly — was the fact the Nazis had, of course, always associated Jews with finance, and vice-versa, and that this association was indeed an essential part of their anti-Semitism. (The “Jew Süss” to whom reference is made in the title of the eponymous film, for instance, is the 18th Century Jewish financier Joseph Süss Oppenheimer.)Not to mention the fact that it’s also used by the left, right, and center in many of these “great cultures”.
The Social Democrats reacted indignantly to the criticisms. But it did not help the credibility of their cause when Germany’s biggest trade union, IG Metall, published a cartoon depicting the famous “swarm” of financial investors...No need to guess that in the absence of an easy outsider characterization as Jews, that these locusts took another form.
Like you couldn’t have guessed that one