We are driving from the airport to my hotel in Dublin for the GECCO 2011 conference. The topic for the conference is evolutionary methods for solving difficult problems. It is midday, it is sunny and I’m chatting with my cab driver about the buildings we pass on the way through this beautiful city. We also talk about current events and what the Irish feel about England.
“When I was young I was a bit of a rebel towards the Brits,” my cab driver explains, “but today I feel we are more like brother nations.”
“Maybe you feel in a similar way about the other Nordic countries?” he asks me. I nod.
Then my cab driver continues, “What has really upset me recently is what the Banksters and our previous government did to us and our country. Over just a few years these greedy and incompetent people did more harm to Ireland than the Brits did to us for centuries. I don’t understand why they are not in jail.”
I’m stunned, because I feel exactly as my Irish cab driver. And I know many of my Danish and American friends feel in the same way. Now I know we also have brothers in Dublin.
How is it possible in a modern democracy that a horde of greedy and reckless individuals knowingly are able to destroy the livelihood of hundreds of millions of people, then reap (in some cases, hundreds of) millions of dollars/euro in bonuses, then get bailed out by us taxpayers – and then still keep their top executive jobs?
Why don’t our governments impose transparency and strict regulations on the big banks and limits on the obscene bonuses for the financial executives? Why don’t the Danish justice department prosecute the top Danish Banksters? Why don’t the US justice department prosecute the top US Banksters?
Please watch Charles Ferguson’s documentary movie, “Inside Job”, which tells the inside story of the 2007-2010 financial crisis. Ferguson is a documentary rock star.
If enough citizens demand transparency and better regulations of our financial institutions, it will happen. If enough citizens demand justice for the obvious wrongdoings, it will happen.
Tomorrow I’ll discuss what I also learned in beautiful Dublin and at GECCO 2011.