Laporta's parrot and financial vultures

A bird is one thing and a bird is another.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
17 March 2023 Friday 23:26
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Laporta's parrot and financial vultures

A bird is one thing and a bird is another. Both have feathers, beaks and fly, but the second one is bigger and uglier. And one thing is a parrot, friendly, brightly colored and talkative, and another is a vulture, those birds of prey that basically feed on dead animals.

This week we have once again seen the shadow of the vultures hovering over the majority of mortals, that we are experiencing a great collective déjà vu, that type of paramnesia that makes us feel like something we have already experienced an event that is happening around us.

One day we wake up and have breakfast with the failure of Silicon Valley Bank and, at night, we have dinner and go to sleep with the catastrophe of Credit Suisse. And, of course, as we curl up inside the duvet we begin to remember the financial crisis of 2008, tremors and fears enter us. The next morning, while we have breakfast again pending whether or not the European Central Bank is going to give another blow to interest rates, we ask ourselves: are we sure that we are living in the year 2023? Or is the Lehman Brothers nightmare back?

The first subject in business schools should be Ethics, with capital letters, a philosophical discipline that studies good and evil and its relationship with morality and human behavior. But, of course, what is ethics today? And, above all, what sense does it make in the speculative world of finance? The 21st century is rather the time of cryptoethics, from the Greek kryptós, which means "hidden", "covert". For this reason, it is estimated that shadow finance, without control, adds up to 230 trillion euros, three times the world economy.

It is, therefore, very significant that this new financial crisis (it can already be called that) has been gestated to a large extent around cryptocurrencies (Silicon Valley Bank) and the opaque (crypto) Swiss banking (Credit Suisse). Switzerland, that (pseudo) neutral country that lives from being a banking tax haven, apart from selling Toblerones. Now it turns out that everyone (among the crypto-financiers that govern the progress of our planet, of course) knew that this entity with the name of petit-suisse had been trying to regain solvency for a long year. Now that the cake has been discovered, it has borrowed up to 50 billion francs from the Swiss central bank to gain liquidity. It is the logic of the cryptoethics of financial vultures that was already tested in 2008.

When the stock markets suffer an earthquake like the one this week, that phrase that thieves say when they threaten you makes more sense than ever: "The stock market or your life!" And it is that for the speculator, (crypto) money is his way of life, regardless of how many corpses he leaves along the way to feed the vultures.

And, what are the things of capitalism, curiously we have also learned these days that the Saudi Arabian oil company, Saudi Aramco, obtained in 2022 a profit of 160,000 million dollars (150,300 million euros), the highest profits obtained to date worldwide by a listed company. For its part, the Saudi bank SNB caused the stock market crash this week by announcing that it would not inject more money into Credit Suisse. All roads lead to Rome? Or rather Riyadh?...

Something has been moving for a long time in the Persian Gulf, where they are expert falconers. This region is already the true epicenter of the world, no matter how much the United States, China and Russia with their rivalries insist on the contrary. We have seen it with the propaganda World Cup in Qatar and we see it every week with news such as the construction of the Mukaab, the immense cubic and futuristic skyscraper, which could house 20 Empire State Buildings inside and which is projected in one of the districts of Riyadh.

Everything must be seen in perspective, from a bird's eye view. Or drone, like the one that caused an incident between the US and Russia over the Black Sea this week, when vultures have also been seen in Spain.

Shortly after the Clásico dispute at the Camp Nou that could definitively decide the League in favor of Barça, Florentino Pérez's Real Madrid has decided to appear in the Negreira case, that embarrassing episode of apparent waste of money by paying a million for some reports on referee profiles that were not even spelled correctly. According to Javier Tebas, president of LaLiga, "we are facing the biggest reputational crisis in the history" of this competition. Once again, putting more wood on the fire. But, it is clear that the soci culé must feel pissed off because so much money from the club would have been allocated to these reports. The case should serve to establish more controls on contracts and commissions, but, from there to this leading to suspicions that the referees have favored Barça...

Yes, the member must ask for explanations and responsibilities, but would he also do well to close ranks in support of the club because the vultures smell the blood and are already flying around the Barça corpse? Is there a desire, not only among the rivals on the field, but especially among the crypto-financiers, to gain control of Barça? Is there a desire for it to be a Public Limited Company, which is in the hands of shareholders who can speculate with the shield? And the best way to achieve this is to use the Negreira case in the most perverse way possible? Six out of every ten readers of La Vanguardia who have participated so far in the survey carried out by the newspaper on this subject affirm that "yes", that Barça is being the victim of a campaign to harm its image. Is that what Thebes was referring to?...

The great global financial crisis occurred in 2008. And, in April of that same year, Joan Laporta, now the Blaugrana president again, pronounced one of his most famous phrases before the culés supporters club: "To the parrot, we are not so bad !".

It was the second year without titles, the moment of goodbye to Ronaldinho, Deco and Rijkaard and the motion of no confidence that Laporta miraculously saved. Then he risked giving the reins of the team to Pep Guardiola (now, he has done the same with Xavi and without Messi), who made the best Barça since Cruyff resurface. Now, with the vultures flying over the Spotify Camp Nou, Pedri, Gavi and company can sentence the League against Real Madrid wearing Rosalía's motomami shirt, which, by the way, costs 400 euros. So, no matter how hard the birds try, the parrot is actually not that bad.