Henry Paulson- the man with the word
I recall the great stampede. It was so long ago and far way in September, 2008.
The weekend when our Secretary of the Treasury came out. When he confessed. When we had our “chicken-little” moment.
On that Sunday he gathered around him our “representatives” and came clean. “My brothers, the sky is falling.” That morning’s sermon was the most extraordinary single moment in the fiscal history of the United States. The word spoken there may have unalterably changed the course of American history; it may have altered global trajectory.
I wondered what that word was, didn’t you?
It must have been a very powerful word, don’t you think? When they heard it, our “lawmakers” forked over seven hundred billion dollars to the care of a single man; the man with the word.
Yes, they did dilly-dally around for a few days (long enough for some of us to see the sky had not fallen), but in the end, in fear of what he had said, they gave in. They are still giving in today. They are so far “given in” they don’t even bother to observe the usual niceties. For, the Federal Reserve has heard the word too, and the laissez-faire president heard it. Even when the herd stopped running and said “no”, they say “yes”. No hearings, no silly voting, and certainly no petty constitutional hang-ups.
What a word this must be!….teacher, teacher, didn’t you say the house of the people must authorize all spending…wasn’t that in the first chapter……something about the power of the purse…..
I tried to look it up. I “googled” every combination of “the word that could destroy the world” that I could think of.….destructive word….the word that could end the world…..the word that WOULD end the world….the word of death….the phrase of doom…..magic spells…..voodoo incantations…bad words….nasty words…hurtful words…..apocalyptic prayers…..
The only result I got was something from Greek mythology. It seems that “Apollo” may have been the word of destruction. That Apollo means maleness, and that the phallus was an instrument of destruction. Athena, the female counterpart, was the symbol of life, and her domination by Apollo was an allegory for the destructive impulse.
We can’t imagine that Paulson exposed himself, can we? That it was some giant phallus that spread the little doggies over the range?
As I had with God, Patriotism and Love, I would have to figure out the meaning of the great destructive word all by myself.
It took me three months.
I started with a process of elimination. Any words that had already been uttered publicly would have to be ruled out. That included “abracadabra”, “collapse” and “great depression”. I studied Mr. Paulson’s testimony before the House, and all his press conferences and releases I listened to every broadcast and read every article, but not one of the thousands of experts that have opined could help me figure out what the destructive word might be.