In Babylon's Banksters I wrote about the Gaussian copula formula of Dr. David Li and how that was used by Wall Street banksters to create a whole new kind of financial security instrument: the credit default swap. One of the securities used as collateral - as we all know by now - were home mortgages. Add to that mix banksters who are totally corrupt, wholly given over to greed, and in bed with corrupt politicians, and what do you get?
You get Mel Brooks' comedy film and Broadway musical, The Producers. I have to admit, until I read the following article, I had never thought about it in this way, but this fellow lays it all out as best as anybody:
As the author of that piece notes, the two characters in The Producers, a washed-up Broadway producer and his fame-hungry accountant - played by Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder in the original movie release, and by Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick in the movie remake, modeled more closely on the actual Broadway musical - decide they can make money by producing a total disaster of a play, and over-subscribing it, i.e., selling thousands of precentage points to several investors, and then, when the play flops, make away with a fat profit, leaving the investors none the wiser.
Well, in the movie, the producer and his crooked accountant find the very worst play they could possibly find to stage in liberal New York - a real dog called "Springtime for Hitler" written by an unrepentant Nazi - and then, to really sink the play's chances, decide to produce it as a musical, hiring a gay director to stage the whole thing complete with chorus and dancers goosestepping their way across Europe while singing outrageous lyrics in praise of Hitler. So elegantly and exquisitely bad and mis-staged is the whole production - the opening chorus alone is worth the price of the movie in either version - that the result is not, as they had hoped, a total failure, but rather, a Broadway success. And of course, with that, the crooks are caught when their over-subscription is found out. In the movies, of course, the two crooks go to prison.
Hence our writer's analogy: the crooked banksters did essentially the same thing, selling the same home mortgage over and over again as components in the huge bundles of securities called credit default swaps, committing fraud on a massive scale, but, like the Producers, hoping that the market would not go south and leave them caught with their fraud exposed. But the market did go south, and the fraud was exposed when several banks, each thinking it owned the mortage on a property no longer making payments, foreclosed on the property. Woops.
Well, the author's point in the article linked above is well-taken. It was a simple and elegant scheme, and might have worked if the whole thing hadn't gone south. But it made me think of how the whole principle could be usefully employed elsewhere, like Bin Laden's over-subscribed death, for example. How many times has he died? Well, most recently it appears that a fraud has been perpetrated, and is being exposed as such by any number of people pointing out holes in the story, and the possibilities - some more plausible than others - that he died earlier.
In short, the "war on terror" was over-subscribed, and deliberately so.
The problem here is - as the author of the linked article also observed - that the big European banks, Deutsche Bank in particular, seem alive to the fact that they were defrauded, and are perhaps behind the scenes wreaking some sort of revenge (and is this why the big German bank just bought the New York Stock Exchange?). So that raises another question: what sort of "retaliation" for the over-subscribed death(s) of Bin Laden will be in the works?
Perhaps the question is a moot one, for the bottom line is, we're watching theater, and a badly scripted one at that.