3.4 Taking a Closer Look
The real question we should be asking ourselves is: what set this sequence in motion in the first place? What is it that induced banks to loan money to people they knew had no ability to repay it? The answer is that they believed they could pass on the risk to someone else. What was the mechanism that allowed this to happen? The securitization of debt! Investment houses that purchased these pools of dubious mortgages were not in any way naive about what it was they were purchasing. Once again, they only did so in the belief, the absolute certainty, that they could pass it on to others. History has proven them to be absolutely correct.
This process, once begun is extremely difficult to stop. Instead it has a natural tendency to accelerate and gain momentum over time. As this all progressed over the years, those at the center of all of this, the ones who created this miracle investment, the investment bankers, would have known better than anyone where all this would ultimately lead. This too would have been built into the calculation.
This is how the Hidden Game works – it is not some giant omniscient body, a Big Brother that precisely choreographs our every move, and even the minutest aspect of our lives. Instead it is a reiterative algorithm – a process that infinitely repeats itself. It is a pebble dropped in a pond, whose ripples radiate outward in all directions until they eventually come to fill the entire pond. Once this process is set in motion, all the Players need do is sit back and let it run its course.
When Greenspan states that he underestimated human greed, it is the height of irony. Greed is precisely what the Players banked on when they concocted the whole thing. Greed is what drove it, greed is what ensured that it would ultimately run its course, and culminate in collapse.
Then, when all goes awry, those in the inner circle are all stupefied! We are asked to believe that this intricate choreography, without which none of this could ever have taken place, was a perfect storm, a confluence of natural forces which no one could have predicted.
The worse part of all this is that we, the public, swallow it. We whine and grumble, and then go back to our lives. Begrudgingly, resentfully, we do our jobs, pay our taxes, and do as we are told.