Friday, September 3, 2010

Is Crisis an Industry?

In the curious consciousness of the business world, this would be a profound thought. Somehow, this relentless quest for making more and more money, which has, in my opinion, landed us in this financial soup, has been reformatted by the corporations into something along the lines of eternal strife for knowledge, truth and God.

This is nothing new. Modern day business barons have somehow managed to embed the illusion of a soul into their ruthless ventures. A pretty ancient principle called the Brand has reached ridiculous proportions today. Products, which ultimately anyone can manufacture, has taken the back seat, and the brand has become far more important. The value, the conscience of the corporate identity, that extra component which can only be termed spiritual.

For example, the Nike president Tom Clark, who also doubled up as the sneaker shaman, spoke of keeping the magic of sports alive – the inspiration of sports allowing us to be reborn constantly. It was much more than selling shoes.

In this setting of corporate transcendence, it is quite natural for the facade of interpretations of the financial crisis to include pseudo metaphysical diversions. The rampant reactions of the so called pundits of the markets – none of whom foresaw this slump – range from intelligent afterthoughts to philosophical ponderings. A huge cult seems to have grown out of the worship of the Money God, and like any other civilization, they seem to be developing their own religion, philosophy, rules and value system. Or is it value laundering, the washing of the dirty soul corrupted by the pursuit of material wealth?

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Simon van der Wiel is a fictitious character who appears in the novel The Best Seller by Arunabha Sengupta.

These lines are both collected from the novel and extrapolated from it - additional musings of the author through his alter ego

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Amsterdam, Netherlands