It was Diwali last week. The weather was very un diwali like. It was cold, raining and snowing. All at the same time.  It was hard to even keep a candle going outside. My mood was epitomised by the candle – dark and cold. Looking for solace I looked at my previous posts about Diwali and how I had talked about the meaning of letting the light shine in our minds, in our lives. Of how we need to clean the cobwebs of our mind and not just of the attic.  That didn’t help at all.

So I turned to the news, looking for some cheerful diwali celeberations in all corners of the world. Except, all I get to hear was about the ‘global’ financial crisis. I imagined if I closed my eyes and listened to the television I could make believe that I was watching one of those bad hollywood movies with a disaster theme and how it starts in the US and how it engulfes the world.  There is a shot of arabs praying in the desert and christians praying in the vatican city for the success of the US F-16 airplanes or some space ship. Unfortunately, this is not a movie I can and it plays out everyday all around me.

I wondered then about how global is this financial crisis ? It is more global than I thought it is and it has been playing out for some time before it got to its current state. It started playing out in the poorer nations when the oil prices went high and inflation sky rocketed and poor people across the world lost whatever hope they had of getting out of their daily miseries. But it only became a ‘global’ crisis when it hit the banks in the developed nations of the world. Now that it has hit us that is all we can talk about.

We forget that they are people much below in the food chain who have lost all hope they had of getting on the economic bandwagon. Those poor rickshaw pullers in Moradabad who service the workers in the brass and glass exports factory, or the farmer in Africa who now not only has to battle the western subsidies to its farmers but also falling demand for his product as western economies look to protect their farmer incomes.

When things were good in the last couple of years, I used to fantasise about what will happen to the ‘development’ sector. Where will they go, what will they do once the poor countries of the world have enough to take care of themselves. Surely then , it will be the right time to find life in Mars and ‘develop’ it. I have now lost hope of this happening in my life time. Unfortunately, even the IMF is back in business now. Except it still, like a good pet, does not have the balls to stand up to the prime culprit in the current crisis. Imagine a developing country nationalising its bank, the government wouldn’t have lasted the end of its term. There is talk about ‘rehauling’ the global financial framework. The world can’t agree to a WTO, or an emissions treaty, what are the chances of agreeing to a new financial framework.

So the moral of the story. If the problem is in some other country, send the IMF/WB, consultants or the army (in that order) . But if the problem is at home, call it a global financial crisis and continue to do your thing. The crisis hits everyone’s but the solution comes from a handful of countries. Happy Diwali !