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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 27-Oct-2014
27-Oct-14 World View -- Sunni vs Shia sectarian clashes grow in northern Lebanon

Web Log - October, 2014

27-Oct-14 World View -- Sunni vs Shia sectarian clashes grow in northern Lebanon

One banker jumps to his death, another hangs himself this week

This morning's key headlines from

Sunni vs Shia sectarian clashes grow in northern Lebanon

Lebanon's army tanks arrive in neighborhoods of Tripoli in northern Lebanon (AP)
Lebanon's army tanks arrive in neighborhoods of Tripoli in northern Lebanon (AP)

Clashes between the largely Shia Lebanon army versus Sunni jihadists in the northern Lebanon city of Tripoli, on the border with Syria, are entering their fourth day. The clashes are a spillover of the war in Syria, and are the worst violence in Lebanon since the war began.

There are two competing Sunni jihadist groups in Tripoli. One is the Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria (IS or ISIS or ISIL), which broke from al-Qaeda several months ago, when its leader, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi declared ISIS to be a new worldwide Muslim caliphate. The other is Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Nusra Front), which has remained loyal to al-Qaeda.

Over the past several weeks, militants from both al-Nusra and ISIS have launched several attacks on the army in the Tripoli area. Lebanon's army launched a counteroffensive on Friday, and began going from house to house in Tripoli, searching the houses for "ISIS suspects." This has caused a worsening humanitarian crisis, and led to many Tripoli civilians fleeing from their homes.

In a statement Saturday, the Lebanese military vowed that its troops would "not be pulled back until after the terrorists are eliminated." Daily Star (Beirut) and Al Jazeera and Washington Post

Lebanon won't accept any more Syrian refugees

Lebanon's cabinet passed a resolution closing the borders to any more Syrian refugees. No Syrian national will receive the "refugee" classification in the future, except in "an exceptional humanitarian case." Lebanon will also encourage "refugees to return home or to go to any other country by all possible means." If the resolution is fully implemented, then tens of thousands of Syrians with homes under attack by either the regime of president Bashar al-Assad or the opposition will not be able to flee to Lebanon.

There are over 3 million Syrian refugees from the war, mostly in neighboring countries. Another 6 million have been displaced within Syria, making it one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. Lebanon has 1.1 million officially registered Syrian refugees, although the number is believed to be far higher. They make up almost a quarter of the country's population of 5 million.

Lebanon has followed a different policy in handling refugees than Turkey or Jordan, which built special camps to house the refugees.

Lebanon rejected that idea because of their experiences with Palestinian refugee camps, which were supposed to be temporary but have continued to exist for decades, and currently house fundamentalist groups and armed militias, as well as Palestinian civilians.

Also, the Palestinian refugee camps at Sabra and Shatila were the site of a massacre of Palestinian refugees in camps 1982, an event that still weighs heavily on Lebanese psyches.

Instead, Syrian refugees in Lebanon can live in existing communities, rent apartments, and try to find a job. The result is that Lebanon's economy is strained to the limit.

The new proposal will require municipalities to comb areas where refugees are residing, and document their numbers. Daily Star (Beirut) and Al Arabiya/AP

One banker jumps to his death, another hangs himself this week

Thierry Leyne, 48, a top business associate of former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn committed suicide in Tel Aviv on Thursday, by jumping to his death from his 23rd floor luxury apartment in central Tel Aviv.

On Monday, the wife of Deutsche Bank banker Calogero Gambino found him hanging by the neck from a stairway banister in their Manhattan home. Gambino was cooperating with US regulators probing Deutsche Bank's involvement in illegal Libor rigging.

In January, former Deutsche Bank Senior Managing Director William Broeksmit was found by his wife hanged in his South Kensington, London home. Later in the year, a Senate hearing on bank fraud linked Broeksmit's name to an allegedly illegal $12 billion scheme to allow hedge funds to avoid paying short-term capital gains taxes.

These two are the latest of 20-30 banker suicides in 2014, with JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank strongly represented among the suicides bankers.

During the 1930s Great Depression, bankers jumping to their deaths was frequently a subject of black humor. ("Did you hear about the two bankers who booked a double hotel room so that they could commit suicide together?")

Today, it appears that there are just as many banker suicides. At times like this, it's worthwhile reviewing the history of how we got to this point.

Generation-X grew up in the 1980s often without fathers. They lived in mother-only homes, thanks to policies advocated by feminists telling mothers to dump the father and then lie in court about domestic violence in order to get large child support payments. 30% of whites and 72% of blacks grew up in homes with no fathers except for a string of men in their mothers' beds. These kids grew up hating their fathers and their mothers' boyfriends and the entire Boomer generation. Inner city blacks in Chicago and elsewhere who kill each other for sport are often from these fatherless families, which is not surprising.

The elite white kids expressed their hatred differently. Many got master's degrees in financial engineering in the 1990s, and then used their skills to knowingly sell trillions of dollars' worth of fraudulent subprime mortgage backed securities to the hated Boomer investors, creating the real estate and credit bubbles that resulted in the financial crisis, which today is far from over. Since the Obama administration has refused to punish these Gen-X criminals, they've remained in the same jobs, defrauding people in other ways, as I've described many times. Many of the bankers who have committed suicide are guilty of or suspected of being guilty of other kinds of fraud.

So given the recent history of banking, it's perhaps not too surprising that many bankers are committing suicide. These are criminals whose past is finally catching up with them. New York Post and Jerusalem Post and MMNews (Germany) (Trans)

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 27-Oct-14 World View -- Sunni vs Shia sectarian clashes grow in northern Lebanon thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (27-Oct-2014) Permanent Link
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