Note to Europe: Shut up!

April 2, 2009, 3:27 PM UTC

g20Our President is having a bit of a tough time at the economic summit in Europe right now.  He’s talking stimulus while Germany and France, those solid allies in a crisis, are hammering him with the demand for extensive regulation of hedge funds and other financial institutions, particularly those that operate in their sphere. As in, you know, multi-national corporations. Like the kind that recognize no national borders. That are, in a sense, countries unto themselves. Corporate nation states, in other words. They want to regulate them. 

How dare they! Obnoxious Europeans! Where do they get off telling American business entities what to do? Our guy should just tell them to shove off! Allez oop! Auf wiedersehn! 

On the other hand. Una momento, s’il vous plait? 

While it is obnoxious to have these pissant little countries telling us what to do, you have to wonder, if you take a minute between your call from London and your teleconference with Berlin right before you get on the plane for Tokyo, whether there might be a micro-pfennig of reason in what they’re talking about. I mean, we’re big capitalists all of us, for sure, since every other economic system that’s been tried has failed, unlike ours, right? Um. Well, let’s leave that be for a second. Anyway, we don’t like government of any kind sticking its big nez into Business. That’s bad Business. We don’t like it when Timmy the Gee tries to do it, and we CERTAINLY aren’t going to like it if a bunch of foreigners start poking their weltanschauungs into our operations. 

At the same time, come on, ladies and gentlemen. The large companies that caused the worldwide collapse of global capitalism, at least at this horrendous point in time, recognize no national boundaries. They have gleaned the benefits of a wide world market, reaping vast harvests wherever they went, except possibly in countries that do not pay their bills or that insist on paying them in vodka. When our corporations plied the seas like responsible merchant vessels that was one thing. But it’s pretty obvious that quite a few of them, particularly the ones that shape the markets themselves, have been operating more like a cross between cruise ships registered in Liberia and privateers that recognize no national laws but those of the sea on which they float. 

It just may be that, you know, if we want to operate in the world theater, we might have to obey some of the world’s laws and regulations. Just possibly, is what I’m saying. Unless we can get out of it in some way. Good luck, Mr. Obama. Win one for the team, will ya?