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Post on Predictions, Banker Suicides, and 1998
Created by John Eipper on 02/06/14 7:33 AM

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on Predictions, Banker Suicides, and 1998 (Bienvenido Macario, USA, 02/06/14 7:33 am)

After I read Ric Mauricio's comment of 5 February, I almost began to feel sorry for past and present members of the US Congress. Imagine how boring it is to be excluded from the wonderful Obamacare. They also must have a boring retirement life, since they have no worries where their next check will come from.

While in office, there is no excitement for members of the US Congress in doing trades, since they are allowed to trade using privileged and non-public information. Yes, insider trading is legal for members of the US Congress. But not for those in the private sector of the military-industrial complex.

We have an ongoing currency crisis in emerging markets around the world, and it sure has hit the US stock market. And for those in Wall Street, life is very exciting.

When the stock market crashed in October 1929, stock brokers who lost clients' money committed suicide.

When the subprime mortgage and real estate market collapsed, along with the foreclosures, there was a rash of murder-suicides across the US.

Like the 1997 Asian currency crisis that continued on to 1998, this year's currency crisis (Perfect Storm) that hit the global markets on January 23, 2014 is actually a continuation of the crisis from August 19 to 23, 2013. Here are some casualties:

"Four Prominent Bankers Found Dead Within Six Days, All Ruled ‘Suicides'"

M.B. David, Political Blind Spot

February 4th, 2014


Moving to a different topic, Robert Whealey asked on 2 February: "Was there anybody in Washington [in 1998] predicting that George W. Bush would invade Afghanistan?"

I'm curious why George W. Bush's name would even come up in 1998.  If the US were to invade Afghanistan one would have expected it to be the work of Al Gore. Here are some highlights of 1998:

--US announces first budget surplus in 30 years.

--The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, a United States Congressional statement of policy calling for regime change in Iraq, was signed into law by President Bill Clinton (10/31/1998). Who would have thought it would be George W. Bush, not Al Gore who would carry out the Congressional War on Iraq?

--Iraq prevents UN weapons inspectors from conducting a search, and President Bill Clinton orders a series of air strikes against Iraq.

--Devaluation of the ruble. The ruble lost 70% of its value against US dollar in 6 months. Several of the largest Russian banks collapsed, and millions of people lost their savings.

--IMF offers $22 billion loan to Russia to stabilize economy with strict conditions.

--Russian inflation in 1998 reached 84 percent and welfare costs grew considerably.

--Bill Clinton denies he had "sexual relations" with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, starting the Lewinsky scandal and investigations. Later Pres. Clinton admitted having sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky.

--Financial crisis hits much of Southeast Asia. (This is a continuation of the Asian currency crisis that started in July 1997.)

--Terrorist bombing attacks at two US Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, killing 250 people.

--An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter Scale in northeast Afghanistan kills more than 5,000.

--US launches cruise missile strikes against al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan.

--Dow Jones drops over 500 points on August 31st.

--Osama bin Laden publishes fatwa declaring jihad against all Jews and Crusaders.

JE comments:  Quite a smorgasbord from Bienvenido Macario!  First of all:  does the wave of banker suicides suggest they know something we don't?  The words of fellow Michigander Bob Seger come to mind:  "I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then."

So shall we wax nostalgic about 1998?  Why the heck not?  It was the Summer of (Lewinsky) Love, an innocent time when things like that were crises of grave proportions.  Most WAISers will remember '98 as just a short while ago, but for our Basque son Aritz (born on 12 May '98), it's a lifetime.  In his Christmas message 1998, Prof. Hilton asked, "What do you think of other countries?"  This, in nuce, has been the WAIS mission ever since:


So what do you think of other countries?

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