Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Banking, Strippers and Foreign Types 

As is usually the case, last week was a bad week not to be an American. It is still difficult to find a good job in journalism, investment banking or lawyering in much of the developing world, leaving us to ask what exactly they are developing in their world. Other than new strains of long forgotten diseases of the lower intestine.

Both the Senate and the White House seem to have dropped their attempt to open our border with Mexico even further, so life probably got a little bit more uncomfortable if you are one of the millions of people who want to be an American but are not yet for the simple reason that you broke the law to live here. As if who is and who is not an American should be decided by law rather than the more practical and equitable arrangement of deciding who is an American according to who lives in the poorest country closest to an unprotected American border.

But it wasn’t only foreigners who are not Americans but would like to be who suffered last week. Other suffering foreigners included the three British bankers who never wanted to come back to America at all but now find they may never be allowed to leave. The Nat West 3--those three British bankers accused of once having something or another to do with Enron--were extradited to the US to stand trial for the sins of Texas. And then promptly informed by a judge that they will have to wait out their trial in Texas or some other part of America, which the bankers described as psychological torture, immediately endearing them to their new neighbors.

Actually, by saying they were charged with "something or another" I'm afraid I may have given the mistaken impression that I do not know precisely what the NatWest 3 are charged with doing. This would put me in the company of everyone else in the world. But I am in the unique position of knowing and understanding exactly what the charges are. They are precisely this: consorting with strippers and other Texans while engaged in investment banking.