This text is an alternative history to the DSK affaire.
Scene : A man in an expensive hotel is in the shower when the chambermaid walks into the suite.
Man: I'm in the shower. The extractor fan is broken.
Maid: I'll call the facilities manager.
Man: Is he an engineer ? I want a worker, not a manager.
Maid: We have to pass all complaints through a designated switchboard.
Man: I pay more for one night here than you get in a month. One night here is the same as a years income for a peasant in Bengal. What do you think to the Maoist uprisings in India ? This big city needs it's cultural revolution right now. Are you in a trades union ? What do you think to president Obama ?
Maid: You sound like an FBI or CIA agent. We get lots of their bosses at this hotel. They often break the fittings. The shower is the only place with no smoke detectors.
Man: In the land of the free their is no freedom. We only give the freedom to work a lifetime for a pitiful wage. You lug around horrid heavy trolleys full of used bedclothes. You probably work split shifts and use a depressing urban transport network.
Maid: Yes the trolleys are here. You are on the computer as checking out.
Man: I want the room for two more hours. The computer should have tagged 'max late checkout'. Just go and check with reception.
Maid: There are more VIPs booked up for this suite. They could arrive anytime.
The man walks out of the shower dressed in jeans and a T-shirt with a pattern showing a candle by a grave surounded by a forest and barbed wire entanglements.
Man: This is the way of death for many.
The forest is superstition,
And the barbed wire is authority: church or state.
Maid: You have plagiarised Amnestity International.
Man: This is how I dress when off duty. Catching the bus is a thrilling experience in many cities but I don't do that much now. Taxis OK. Drivers from all over the world.
This hotel is a dump. They charge extra for Wi Fi.
Maid: Free WiFi was abused by government spies and diplomats who used our poor hotel's stretched system to upload terabytes of data for saving money in their budget cutting agencies. This max WiFi use was sussed out during some global warming conferences. These suites can hold up to seven people when the correct procedure is followed. Ultra Late bookings are cash only.
Some customers leave their computers switched on to run webservers.
Man: Yes. I see the implications. Some malicious person might wish to launch a devastating cyber-attack from this very room. The media point the finger of suspicion at everyone and the state responds by developing new offensive capabilities against everyone. The weaponisation of cyberspace has arrived.
Maid: The workers have nothing to lose but their chains. It's funny how many seem to love being tied up with new chains. There is now the way to link your brain to the cloud, so that you can here your favourite CDs on a machine linking you to the world.
Man: Porn sites became the first chains to the cloud.
Maid: Why do you change the subject? Were you smoking something in the shower ? Many guests do.
Man: The TV is merde. Powerful people like me fix it that way. What else is there to do? You have to be ingenius to smoke anything in New York these days. Do you have any secret stairwell for staff smoking ? Who has the key to the roof ?
Maid: I have had enough. I am meant to do this whole floor.
Man: Poor you. Another exploited worker. Did you have to pay to get this job.
Maid: You bet. Agencies want an arm and a leg. West Nile Virus and breeding biting insects in these smoke free parks are bad enugh, but when it comes to labour agencies in these freemarket cities you really see an epidemic of parasitic greed.
Man: We call it 'Right to Work' when trade unions are banned. We know that in places like China the unions are often part of government control, but of course we try the same here. Do you pay high rent ?
Maid: Of course. This is two and a half grand a night for a suite, but people pay two grand a night for wretched accomodation in tenement blocks. Two grand in terms of their earning power. All rich people want is to increase the Dini Coeffecient which measures inequality.
Man: The 'Dini Coeffcient'! You know parametric economics and you work in a dump like this. My organisation pays people like you to wash the dirty laundry. Massage capitalism to make it look good. Our financial institutions are all made out to be like Snow White, but they are built on foundations of greed and lies.
Maid: It could be made to be better. We need the rich people to realise that running the world to benefit only themselves stifles progress. Whenever the poor become the new rich they themselves do all they can to block progressive change. They try to conquer all sorts of necessary change such as birth and death, but they use antiquated methods such as laws with well paid judges and poorly paid policemen to enforce the rule of the rich against the urge of the poor to curtail the excesses of the rich.
The so called 'Rule of Law' is something that can be turned into a weapon. Anti-Terror laws, or racial or religious segregation laws have frequently been used to batter minorities. Does the 'Rule of Law' mean a process wholly supervised by a self serving elite that went to the best law schools.
Of course the true battles are fought to determine who makes the laws. The trouble is that these lawyers think you can make a law, wave the magic wand, and the problem is solved.
Man: Are you questioning the 'Rule of Law'?
Maid: Not at all. Why not go on to 'Free Markets'. We need a body of international law, rather than self serving regulation, to police the international financial markets.
Man: I will not question your virtue at this time, because the workman is arriving. He will check out that extractor fan.
Maid: Search for bugs ?
Worker: I was sent here Sir. Electrical fault ?
Man: We think a previous occupier of this suite was trying to hack a rival organisation. Our organisations are twin pillars of the capitalist economy, IMF and World Bank. We don't trust each other because each thinks the computer systems of the other are unreliable. There are USB flash drives all over the place.
Maid: Yes. Some customers are careless.
Man: Do they still call electrical engineers 'Sparky' ?
Worker: I went to Ren Min university in Hainan, but did an MSc at Glasgow. They had sectarian jokes about dead electricians in that place. The Chinese are similar.
Man: Forget the sectarian jokes. Do hotel guests ever get electrocuted ?
Worker: You mean the scene in Doctor No, where James Bond tried to get out of his locked up hotel room and undergo an ordeal in a megalomaniac's labyrinth just to get out with his life ?
Man: Yes. That sort of thing. This hotel sees plenty of megalomaniacs staying around. Many customers end up wasting time for world changing meetings with very important people. We have the UN in this town. There is a sort of collegiate atmosphere in these world beaurocracies, with people like Monica Lewinski asking for jobs at the UN as a price for ....
Maid: Yes, the president claims they were left together during one of those government shutdown's caused by poltical obstruction. If Lewinski were black, the whole thing might have been kept in the dark, as with the case of many previous presidents.
Man: Sure. We do things better in Europe. Belgium has been without a government for over a year, but there has been lttle inconvenience. They still have the EU capital in Bruxelles despite the country being linguistically divided.
Maid: When men don't speak the language they just get physical ...
Worker: That's true. They employ strong men who just look intimidating. This city is full of armed security guards who often don't ubderstand language very well. The ruling class seems to enjoy recruiting its myrmidons from the ranks of the lumpenproletariat.
Right now we need this room for the next set of guests.
Man: And right now I have to work on a rescue plan to save the World Economy from a multiple Fukishima style melt down.
Maid: That's a sexist and racist pun.
Worker: I agree. You cross the border of bad taste ....
But more seriously you have a valid point.
When the human race is faced with catastrophe wee see organised crime bidding to show it can do as much as government. The Yakuza organised soup kitchens in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and they distributed food to earthquake and tsunami victims. Now the Yakuza are supposed to be plotting to dump millions of tons of nuclear contaminated topsoil somewhere.
Man: Yes. The dirty economy is the new black economy.
To tell the truth it's been like this for thirty years.
Maid: That's true. Kids in the area nearest to the port played around in areas where ships had unloaded barrels of gunk, and then bribed customs officials to indefinitely delay processing of the documentation, and even forget it. When children got sick no one could find out what was in the gunk.
Worker: When capitalists call for deregulation that is code for firing the scientists who do not work for them. People like you want to wave the magic wand of 'Carbon Trading' to the public, but the next thing we will see is calls for deregulation and Free Markets in 'Carbon Trading', and then organised crime will move in.
Man: Organised crime is deeply embedded in the World Financial system. Opium and Cocaine are grown on plantations and are often consumed quickly, unlike mortgages. Organised crime is a form of welfare from below, rather than a 'New Deal' from above.
Maid: Toxic waste dumping is not welfare.
Man: True. But toxic waste removal is a service offered to the rich, and then rules are enshrined in unimplementable legislation. The people who lobby for or against regulation like this end up staying in these expensive hotels.
Maid: Like Marion Barry, former mayor of Washington exposed in a coke fuelled sex orgy at a Washington Hotel. Why did he need to use a hotel in his home town ?
Worker: To have meetings away from his wife.
Our hotel has a desk at the airport. We need the room. Sign this docket for work done on the extractor fan, and if you check out quickly, we will give you cashback at the airport.
Scene 2: The man checks out of the hotel. To do this he signs his name in a book, and takes a small stick off the necklace which carries a Buddha image. A machine reads the stick. A taxi is called. The man gets into the taxi.
Man: Five five five plaza please.
Driver: Fasten your seat belt. No smoking in the Taxi.
Man: Which African country are you from?
Driver: Eritrea, Sir.
Man: One of the last Stalinist states in the World.
Driver: You say it well Sir. Afewerki is from the same mould. He really would like to be the big boss of all of Africa, but he settled for Eritrea.
Now he is running a sort of hermit state, with internal repression and hostility to near neighbours.
Man: Yes. Like North Korea. Military council calling the shots. Similar people to the Tigrineans, but sworn enemies. Willing to make trouble. Look at Somalia.
Driver: Another divided state. Victim of the Cold War.
Man: You speak of the 'Cold War'. Most kids do not even remember that !
Driver: My father studied in Moscow. He told me that America had to be better. The Five five five plaza is a haunt of East Asians. Why are you going there ?
Man: My organisation has a statistical unit which is looking at non bank economies. Pakistan, Dubai, Somalia and Kenya are part of the Middle East department, but CTJK or China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea are hugely important.
Japan is very weird to many of the financial gurus. They say Japan has been in recession for two decades or more, but they have a number two ranking in millionaires. The Japanese boast that they are a more equal society than America, but why so many millionaires ?
Driver: Maybe it's Tokyo property prices. A two woman geisha bar in Shinjuku occupies a million buck leaseholding ?
Man: Like a mobile phone stall in Mecca. They can make half a million just by working a single hajj season ?
Driver: That's what they say in Eritrea. But those millionaires don't show on the books.
Man: That millionaire report was done by Lehman Brothers and Cap Gemini. There is no reason anyone should trust them. There is a huge amount of herd behaviour amongst financiers.
All this bullshit gets taught in business schools and look at the world we live in.
Man: Here we are at 555-Plaza. Do you have swipe key in your cab ?
Driver: We installed that in the console in the cab. Electronic payments. Mobile phones, Flash drives, USB sticks, swipe cards. Always prefer cash, but tips and other things are sometimes better 'off book', or on 'delayed book'.
Man: Take some cash, and scan the stick.
The driver put the memory stick into a place next to the cigarette lighter. The man's memory stick had come off a necklace that the man had been wearing. The driver had a similar device on a wristband, and he knew that he would get an account top up.
SCENE III 555 PLAZA
Man goes to Korean restaurant and joins a group in a private room, reserved for friends of the owner.
Man: We are here to discuss the banking crisis. I have asked to meet you here because you know about banks. First I will ask the soldier here for a possible military solution to this problem.
Soldier: We can establish terms of trade by helping to sieze assets and land, or by defending our overseas assets better than the opposition, but we cannot actually solve a banking crisis.
Man: That may be true, but military banks are often chequebook banks which manage the pay of soldiers and, quite often, former soldiers.
Soldier: My bank paid soldiers, and migrant workers recruited through military contract schemes. We also made sure contractors got paid. We had to be efficient, and we competed with other banks.
Farmer: Agricultural banks have a history, just like military banks. There is Credit Agricole and Tanakan Kasikorn Thai. These type of banks came with the idea of national planning. The days of national plans seem so far behind us in many ways. It seems plans are made by casino managers these days, and they just set the odds of getting richer or poorer.
Man: Yes. That is pure class warfare. Banks are used as tools to set up a system of social predestination. Social mobility is well controlled by a banking system.
Engineer: Don't forget the construction sector. Moving stone and concrete is the key to both military and civilian success, not to mention transportation networks. We built the Great Wall to defend the country, and we built the Grand Canal to link the hinterland.
Merchant: International trade requires an EXIM Bank, for Export/ Import. Trade may be enforced and protected by either military means, or by international law.
Farmer: International trade becomes currupted if it involves the mere movement of money. This is what is really happening today.
Soldier: We guarantee the security of the state's national boundaries, but the fiscal area may be different to our national sovreignty.
Man: We have had a continuing financial crisis since 2008. The rich states bailed out their banks, and went into deficit. China did not need to do this, so they have become a creditor nation, and as a result all sorts of stratagems are being used to make China look bad. The old imperialist powers regret their loss of influence.
For the time being the IMF and the World Bank are engaged in calling meetings to discuss the debt crises of nominally rich countries in the Euro Zone but the different governments of the European Union have lost their way.
The territorial integrity of Europe is still rather more ambiguous than many would like.
Soldier: Much of this is down to the NATO alliance which was designed to contain Stalin's Russia, but now they are waging war in Afghanistan and Libya, and the Americans, who have the largest clout in NATO, have formal alliances with Israel, Bahrein, Qatar, and maybe Pakistan. There is still a semi-militarised area in Kosovo.
In the mean time the World's most powerful fleets are finding it very hard to guarantee trade around the Horn of Africa. Piracy is still a problem in the Twenty First Century.
Farmer: There is famine in much of North East Africa.
Man: That is 'Cold War' style planning. In the 1970s and 80s the Russians and Americans were seeking regional hegomony in that part of Africa. The plan left the people impoverished while the 'Concert of Great Powers' buttered up brutal dictators.
Engineer: They also claimed to have something like an 'International Community' which would run aid projects and such like. These aid projects were OK as long as they did not involve any strategic planning such as birth control or nationalisation of resources.
Merchant: Help for weak economies is always done by asking for more and more privatisation. This ensures that weak governments will have no control over resources and technology, because all high technology ventures will remain foreign owned.
This maintains an international division of labour whereby many people work extremely hard for one or two dollars a day.
Man: You describe a vision of Hell. Look at the Book of Revelations in the Christian Bible. It describes how the people go astray, and make some compact with a Great Beast. This Great Beast is described by many as one of the most lethal dictators in history, and yet the Chinese have money with an image of Mao Tse Tung printed on it. There are millions of Americans that believe all this sort of stuff, and they think that any sort of planned economy is a direct challenge to God.
Soldier: As it happens the confiscation of religious assets was useful to both Tudor England and Revolutionary France. This type of thing has also been tried in some so-called Islamic countries. China of course has seen perpetual battles between monkhood and central government.
Engineer: The Afghan communists issued a fairly direct challange to the religious factions in the late 1970s and they did not last very long. It is the same in the United States today. There is a powerful religious establishment which seeks to prove that salvation will come only by faith rather than any form of rational planning. It is very hard to challange these people.
Farmer: Christ told that the lilies of the field surpassed Kings in their glory. Of course if everyone had to cut the lilies and give them to the King that is just a formalisation of debt owed by the people to the King, or the Lord.
The big religions tend to teach that the debt is owed to God, or nature. Management of the debt is wise stewardship.
Soldier: Wise stewardship of resources only happens if everyone follows orders. The ordinary soldier is meant to be obediant to the orders of superior officers.
Merchant: Militarised societies have always suffered the center versus periphery syndrome. History is full of wall and ditch building episodes.
Engineer: Walls and ditches require maintenance. Militarisation is not enough. It is necessary to find a labour force.
Man: Workers can be made available if the people are given an ideology where they think that they owe someone else a living. These people may be Lords and Masters, or perhaps future generations. The idea of state or racial power is a very important method of getting people to subsume their individual desires.
Merchant: With money we can ensure a ranking of states.
Soldier: Money wins many wars, but don't try to push the lowest ranking states even lower down. That is an excercise in futility.