Male bashing in Barbados (#5D): Occupying the crease against corruption
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Male bashing in Barbados (#5D): Occupying the crease against corruption

Norwich : United Kingdom | Nov 06, 2011 at 1:30 AM PST
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Mitt Romney - Misleading

It seems to me that there is a very intriguing correspondence of details and themes between the match-fixing scandal surrounding the Pakistani three - Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir - and the now unfolding “fraud family tree three” narrative that threatens the Presidential ambitions of Republican front-runner nominee, Mitt Romney.

A few days ago, when I put my account of the “not cricket” (unfair), fraudulent treatment of retired Canadian diplomat Isaac Goodine by some Barbadian elites on hold, I was only beginning to appreciate the extent of this correspondence or correlation.

Since then, as I have been researching the personalities (especially Romney and Stanford) and issues involved, I have come to a fuller appreciation of how fundamentally the Pakistani elite athletes’ fraud and the corruption now threatening to taint Romney’s campaign are related.

In a lengthy, exclusive news feature, under the title “Romney Family Investment Group Partnered With Alleged Perpetrators Of $8 Billion Ponzi Scheme”, ThinkProgress.org sets out a compelling argument for potentially damaging links between the Romney dynasty and disgraced American billionaire cricket “aficionado” and financier Allen Stanford.

Stanford, now an occupant of a Texas prison (as his trial is repeatedly delayed), once occupied the crease for professional cricket development in the Caribbean. He even fell out of favour with the region’s cricket fiefdom, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), as he sought to set up a professional, self-sustaining cricketing league in the Caribbean and otherwise championed the cause of players - like Chris Gayle - in their pursuit of professional sport bargaining leverage and legitimacy.

The ThinkProgress report focuses particularly on three brokers who worked for Stanford’s parent company Stanford Financial Group before the Ponzi scheme allegations broke in 2009.

Once that scandal had broken, these brokers “branched off”, so to speak, and set up Solamere Advisors, a “wealth management company” (think of it as a kind of bank, if you dare) in partnership with Mitt Romney’s son Tagg and the Romney chief campaign fundraiser Spencer Zwick.

According to ThinkProgress, the three - Tim Bambauer, Deems May, and Brandon Phillips - are currently named as defendants in the case against Stanford Financial Group, contrary to claims by Tagg that they have been fully cleared of any wrongdoing in that matter.

The report says that that Tagg partnered with this trio - among “several of Stanford’s North Carolina executives” - to start Solamere Advisors, a subsidiary of parent company Solamere Capital, which is financed by his Republican presidential nominee father and run by Tagg (managing partner) and presidential campaign chief Zwick.

“We are excited to be associated with such a highly capable group of financial advisors with a proven track record of meeting the needs of their clients throughout the Southeast,” Tagg is reported to have said, in a press release announcing the launch of Solamere Advisors.

His “proven track record” claim will probably now seem a bit hollow to many of the thousands of investors who lost their retirement savings in the alleged Stanford Ponzi scheme – some through deals brokered by Bambauer, May and Phillips.

It seems to me that the disappointment and disillusionment that those investors have suffered and continue to suffer since the US Federal Bureau of Investigations challenged the authenticity of the assets they acquired from Stanford Financial Group, is not entirely unlike the disappointment and disillusionment that Pakistani and other cricket lovers have been suffering since the authenticity of Butt’s, Asif’s and Amir’s athletic efforts were questioned last year.

It seems to me – if I may extend the analogy - that the corrupting dirt beneath world crickets’ whites curiously corresponds to the financial services filth polluting not only Wall Street, but much else in western life.

My goal here though, is simply to show how the pecuniary “priestcraft” at the heart of the ongoing western banking, insurance and wider financial crisis, is paralleled by a crisis of governance in world cricket.

This correlation between financial services and cricket hardly surprises me. I see it as a symptom of the age in which we are living – an era of elitism driven “image paramountcy”.

A time when beauty and terror are fundamentally confused: when the most redeeming feature of the Mormon piety Mitt and Tagg Romney espouse - its openness to radical, reformational change - can be easily exploited or perverted to service the spiritual subterfuge of competing pecuniary, political and other interests.

What others denounce as Romney’s ideological flip flopping – for example, his seemingly opportunistic, political pronouncements and policy decisions supporting or opposing gay rights and environmental issues - I see as an extension of his Mormon molding.

I see it as an extension of the secular-religious gambling (or gambit) that mammon mindful Mormonism has always engaged in: a holding in tension of the heavenly and earthly most clearly expressed, perhaps, in the accumulation of material wealth by Mormons like hotel magnate J Willard Marriott – the best friend of George Romney, Mitt’s father.

To be continued….

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Junior Campbell is based in London, England, United Kingdom, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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