By Dom Serafini
Uncertainty doesn’t come from nowhere. It is man-made. It is often foreseen well ahead of time, but the warnings are regularly and deliberately ignored. Be it the destabilization of the Middle East, the 2008 financial crisis, climate change, or the current pandemic — none of these should have come as surprises that caused “uncertainty.” Even today’s rush to streaming media (also said to create uncertainty in the entertainment business) was years in the making — not a surprise.
Let’s begin with the chaos in the Middle East. We found ourselves in this predicament because of the ill-advised 2003 Iraq War staged by Dick Cheney (the de facto ruler of then-U.S. president George W. Bush’s administration). We all knew that the premises for the war were wrong, and we all knew that it would break the precarious equilibrium in the Middle East. There were no uncertainties about the outcome of the Iraq War.
Moving on to the 2008 financial crisis, its arrival (due to unaffordable mortgages being commoditized) was predicted as early as 2006, but the U.S. and other governments ignored the warnings issued, including one from Sheila Bair, then-chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. During a 2018 interview with National Public Radio, Bair stated that warning signs (caused by predatory lending) surfaced as early as 2001. Once again there were no uncertainties about the arrival of the world’s financial meltdown.
And so we arrive at today’s COVID-19 (a new strain of coronavirus) pandemic. President Donald Trump’s administration was aware of the threat as early as late November 2019, and nothing was done to prevent it, prepare for it, or to confront it. The National Center for Medical Intelligence, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the White House all knew the certainty of the virus. In this case we can say that the government was looking for uncertainties. The reason: Still unclear, but it most likely has to do with Wall Street.
Naturally, between 2008 and 2020, we had several other known uncertainties, like the killing of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, which created an expected power vacuum that facilitated a mass migration from the Middle East and Africa toward Europe. This killing was fomented by French president Nicolas Sarkozy (supposedly to silence someone who had secretly helped finance his presidential campaign) with the help of then-U.S. president Barack Obama’s administration.
As for today’s streaming media drive, the industry knew as early as 1990 that the major U.S. studios wanted to eliminate the middlemen. The process started with government deregulation, then continued with vertical integration in 1993. It was later refined with advances in digital technology, and in 2019 the studios finally managed to reach consumers directly. Nothing surprising happened here to create uncertainties.