Manipal, India — Just as any CEO would, George W. Bush and his CFO Dick Cheney have focused on ensuring as high a monetary return as possible to those who invested in their campaigns. Whether it is the oil companies based out of Houston, Texas, or corporations like Halliburton, those who put their dollars behind the Bush-Cheney ticket have been rewarded beyond their most optimistic calculations.
The downside has been a recession caused by the financial cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined with the higher oil prices generated by the geopolitical experiments of the current U.S. administration and the get-rich-anyhow outlook of financial institutions. Had the U.S. economy not been faced with these multiple shocks, stock and housing prices would most likely have continued to rise, thereby bailing out those institutions that advanced funds to subprime borrowers.
However, while individual corporations have benefitted exponentially from 2001 to 2008, the bulk of U.S. consumers have had to be content with modest or negative gains, thereby leading to the present loss of confidence in the future of what will, for another generation at least, be the primary economic engine of the globe.
After witnessing the colonial-style scramble for profits from the oil sector in Iraq -- which in its transparent rapacity most resembles Belgian policy in the Congo during much of the past century -- as well as the manner in which some corporate and other entities have leveraged their political connections to secure monopolies in Iraq and Afghanistan, savers in East and South Asia as well as Russia have steadily lost confidence in the integrity of the U.S. dollar and shifted to the euro. This has contributed to a slide in the greenback's value that may wipe away any gains in the anemic anti-inflation measures taken by the U.S. Federal Reserve thus far, and exacerbate the decline in both business as well as consumer confidence.