Monday, January 31, 2011

The Story Behind the Story

This headline from the Wall Street Journal only begins to scratch the surface of what is really go on in Egypt: "Egyptian Unrest has Repercussions in Global Economy."

In reality, the headline should have read: "America's Monetary Policy has Repercussions in Global Economy."  President Mubarak is not the problem, but it is food inflation that has sparked the outrage.  Food inflation brought on by loose monetary policies in the USA.  It is a loose monetary policy to stave off a double dip recession and to preserve the standard of living in this country.  Egyptian anger shouldn't be directed at Mubarak; it should be directed at the Federal Reserve.

Egyptian unrest is just a symptom of a world flooded with American dollars.  But that is not the story that is being told.  In this immediate gratification world we live in, the soundbite is how dare the Egyptians throw a monkey wrench in the global (i.e., American) economic recovery.  Rather, I mean how dare the Egyptians cause our stock market to tumble 2% in a single day.  Don't those people know we have 401k's and IRA's to worry about?  Then again most Egyptians probably don't know what a 401k or an IRA is, but such is the case when you have basic needs to meet like putting food in your belly.

American media coverage of Egypt is so American centric and rarely touches on the root cause of the problem. The analysis gets simplified into the evil boogie man (Mubarak) suppressing the democratic wishes of the people.  It's all about democracy -- an American ideal -- that stands as a beacon up on the hill.  At least this is how TV portrays it.  We have it and they don't.  If the Egyptians wanted democracy, they could of had it too.  Egyptians didn't care for 30 years, but spurred on by rising food costs and hungry bellies, they are now expressing their anger.  Heck, the Egyptians can't even take responsibility for their own revolution as the current uprising was fermented by youth on Twitter and Facebook -- two American creations.

The bottom line: the story remains all about America.  It is an American story - democracy.  It is a revolution brought on by American ingenuity -- Twitter and Facebook.  But the story behind the story is that it is an Egyptian revolution brought on by American monetary policy and of a country looking out for itself.

And as the world (read: New York City) wakes up this morning, we can all rest easy for the moment as this headline tells us: "Futures Edge Up Despite Egyptian Fears".  The stock market has voted; the problem is solved.  Of course it is --until the next crisis.

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