Extend your hands in front of you. Raise them above your head. Flowing through your fingers, your bones and lungs is the master foundation of the world. All around you, invisible as spirits, money surges in streams of data driven between cell towers. Humming in long cables underground and undersea, in lines along streets that actually vibrate with the energy of transmission, dollars and renminbis, euros and yens travel at the speed of light from country to country, to businesses and banks and markets, and to individuals in dividends, social security deposits, 401K updates, veterans’ payments, loans, and a hundred thousand other forms. The money never stops. The global economy never rests. It is alive and sensitive as gossamer. It is physically driven by computers so powerful and software so sophisticated in its algorithms that 2 million trades a second can be made. Global money has become the most complex force ever created by human beings.
The Furies from Dore’s illustrations from The Inferno
This is the beast that House Republicans (and some Senate Republicans) in their inestimable ignorance and hubris want to disrupt by refusing to lift the debt ceiling of the United States. They believe that the beast is docile, that stabbing it will cause no harm and in fact may even “bring stability to world markets.”* Their rage at the President is all encompassing, their insular self-righteousness dismissive of other possibilities, and their blindness so pure and cleansing that they believe they alone can see into the future, past October 17, and that if the United States defaults on its debts, all will be well, that trillions of economic convulsions will not tear the air apart, that chaos will not descend, that economic Furies will remain leashed — that the beast will not bare its teeth, hunch its power into its legs and chest and leap at all our throats.