Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Foreign foreign policy?

Like many I thought that the current leftward trend in American Government had been largely a home grown affair. Drunk with power the Left has seized the reins and is attempting to push through an ambitious yet irresponsible agenda of social and economic change. After reading some European news and editorial sources I am inclined to believe that rather than catering to a local electorate, the Obamanites are rather more concerned about appearing more cosmopolitan to our European friends.

Europe has been increasingly critical of America's failures to live up to its global responsibilities. The US is not only the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases but is by far the largest per capita emitter of carbon and other pollutants. China comes close to the US in terms of total carbon emissions, but it has four times more people, who each belch far less individually. Europe, while having much the same high living standard, has an "ecological footprint" that is only half of America's, since Europe has taken leadership in implementing renewable technologies and conservation practices.


Despite immense, taxpayer-financed rescue packages needed to overcome the crisis, the financial sector in the US is rapidly returning to business as usual. Indeed, three US banks – Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan – which received some $45bn of bailout aid, each paid billions of dollars more in bonuses in 2009 than they earned in 2008.

Here again, Europe is leading, while the Obama administration is dragging its feet. Europe has proposed far-reaching reforms designed to impose new rules on executive pay and bonuses, requiring that banks link pay to long-term rather than short-term performance, and that they "claw back" any bonuses received in the face of losses. Europe wants a financial police force that has powers to slash payments where investments prove to have failed, and to force boardrooms to control levels of speculation. Europe also wants to block the exercising of stock options for set periods and expose top bank directors to penalties, following huge payouts to failed bank chiefs.

For a continent that has a historical need to depend on the US for safety and economic well being you would think that they would be a bit less critical. Something along the lines of "don't bite the hand that feeds you". Well, at least we now have an idea where this nonsense is being cooked up.

You can catch the rest of this anti capitalist diatribe here.

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