Marketspeak was once reserved for the wine bar set and the City circuit but a flood of web awareness means people are familiar with all manner of financial instruments and investment systems. Sovereign wealth funds are the least sexy vehicles, Unimogs in a world of Ferraris, the fat man with a loaded plate at the open salad bar, a wall-flower Dairy Queen hoping to be asked for a dance, what a seasoned Lothario would call; “A sure thing at closing time!“. And hopping this money train is always a memorable ride.
Libya Investment Authority (LIA) figures aren’t known for transparency but we can deduce three huge investments in European companies, that Sarkozy and Cameron think we’re all ignorant prats and on this notion gave full diplomatic backing to some guy who ran a hardware store in downtown Tripoli up until a week ago. His credentials will stack up fine when he’s finally presented to the world to lead the invasion charge from a podium but it’s going to take a few more days to fit him up with a proper suit.
Now Gaddafi sees it all too, the setup meant to ensure he could be deposed at the appropriate time using his own, secured money for the ouster. What’s inherently wrong with this picture isn’t the fact that a dictator did this or that, rather that the wealth of a nation, which could just as easily have been put into people’s hands was instead funneled to the banking class which now holds it hostage. Many in Libya’s barely five million population should have been millionaires with plenty left over.
The oil barons always meant to steal that nestegg as they’ve done with countless others through counterfeiting scams that are so complicated, the Serious Fraud Office in London admits as much and is generally turned down for budgets in the tens of millions of pounds to prosecute recurring cases. Nobody’s truly sad to find out the Kuwait Investment Authority got raped in Spain or that while they tracked that cash for nearly thirty years, their standing investments crash and burn their US T-bills.
Numbers junkies eat this stuff up but what’s more interesting is the level of sheer larceny in the sphere of financial PR. One fine example of the poison pen’s mightiness over the naked sword is a legal caper that’s been going on seemingly forever. Long before Tarantino teamed up a deadly blonde with a deliciously bad Chinese girl, a clever fellow in London, let’s call him Dick, did it first and came up with ‘the magazine that never was’, which has proven so far to be a lucrative, self-propelled enterprise.
Dick created the Blog long before it was even named, no more than one copy of every issue was ever printed and that too was a gratis sample from printers submitting quotations. Building a mystique around his publication was easier than imagined since the content was pinched from PHD candidates at the LSE with focused subjects on a specific country’s leadership, financial health and future prospects. Dick could have spent millions on advertising and product placement but hired two hot babes instead.
When the first magazine sample arrived from the printer, Dick invited them over for a drink to see the result. Apart from the glossy cover, the magazine inside looked more like a typed high-schooler’s book report but it had just the right amount of blandness to be taken seriously. He handed his painted harlots two first-class tickets to Papua New Guinea, a week’s break and a sealed envelope for hand delivery to a particular government minister at home. They’d await his verbal reply to print run corrections that may be required, response to a corporate image consulting pitch, general PR etc.
It didn’t matter that the word ‘PROOF’ was splattered across the cover, that too would be left with the minister for the time being. Had the ladies been aware Dick intended to extort millions on the pretense his magazine reached only the top capitalists in the world, they might have walked away there and then. Divulging that would have left them technically unable to defend a legal position later as simple messengers, when they eventually did get arrested and thrown into a slimey, rat-infested prison. Their perfectly wet T-shirts didn’t help the cause, the Papuans buzzed like angry hornets.
Tucked deep inside that mid-numbing thesis was a list of names, government bigshots who were having torrid, wholly fabricated affairs with the wives of field grade military officers, a turd in PNG’s tiny and tribal societal swimming pool so to speak. The deal on offer in the sealed letter was to prevent that magazine issue’s publication at a cost of $3 millon, it was a long time ago, ok. PNG could keep the ‘PROOF’ and that’s the last anyone would ever hear of it. Otherwise, the spear-chucking was sure to follow.
The mineral extractors in PNG didn’t want any publicity on whatever level, they’d prefer the images of Stone Age creatures, lesser humans to propagate so there’s no need to guess further who the bona-fide headhunters were. The clueless, photogenic beauties invited the camera and that spooked PNG’s hard men more than overgrown gorilla enforcers might do. Arresting hot magazine editors alerted the local press too.
It was good business, Dick was behaving like any other financial terrorist, Standard & Poors, Moodys etc. At least 95% of the report added up so there was every chance PNG leadership instability rumours could spread. Dick chose to attack a miniscule fraction of Papua’s GDP rather than arousing outside forces to come to their rescue and he also correctly guessed they’d be embarrassed to share the sexual contents.
Parasitic predators are always hovering close to blocks of capital, devising stratagems and practicing getaways. The $70 plus billion in Libya’s frozen accounts has the ‘core beneficiaries‘ in a frenzy and the most credible candidates to take Gaddafi’s place are incredibly scared, this too is a tribal society assembled as a state. Every new puppet ruler is a monkey on a chain, nature of the conquest business. In a medievel setting, need we remind NATO allies the Libyans were once expert spear-chuckers as well?