The Dumbest Thing on Downing Street
London's Downing Street isn't exactly Wall Street, but what's been happening there could potentially affect everyone on the planet. Or so we're told.
We're talking, of course, about the G-20 meeting, the gathering where serious leaders from once rich and now cash poor nations talked to each other about how to fix what's ailing the global economy. Let's start by noting that very little is dumber than when important people get together in the same place. Think about the even more selective G-7. Or Davos. Or Congress.
Incredibly though, the dumbest on Downing Street are not the grandstanding global politicians but the anti-capitalism protestors who followed them to London.
We've missed them, and their placards adorned with peace symbols. The nose rings, the spiked hair. They burst on the scene in 1999 in Seattle with a nebulous message about taking back what belongs to us or some such, and they raised quite a ruckus in Italy a couple years later. They've shown up from time to time since, but they've been largely hidden from view lately, probably attending politically charged puppet shows in France.
No doubt they also have a staggering knowledge of credit default swaps and mortgage-backed securities. Our U.K. bureau is on vacation, so we have to rely on fellow journalists who are there to illustrate the point. From The Wall Street Journal:
"The protesters, who gathered for a carnival-like event dubbed 'Financial Fool's Day,' carried slogans such as 'Make Love Not Leverage' and wrote graffiti on the walls of the Bank of England, including 'People will stop robbing banks when banks stop robbing people.'
Look, we all know people who have lost their jobs and substantial amounts of their life savings. Nothing's funny about the billions in taxpayer aid that have gone to the likes of Bank of America and AIG .
The only thing more infuriating is when several thousand rich kids play anarchist in between drum-circle sessions and cigarette breaks.
By Chris Nichols.
Dumb-o-meter score: 80 - If you're so worried about your fellow man, stop protesting and start a business.