WSJ "Outlook" Column
Jude Wanniski
December 4, 1996

 

Memo To: Website Fans, Supply-Side Students
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Wall Street Journal "Outlook" Column

Every Monday morning, rain or shine, The Wall Street Journal runs on its front page "The Outlook" column. It has been doing this for decades to give its readers a running start of the conventional wisdom on the week ahead. Between one and two million of the most successful middle managers in the nation read the column. Occasionally, leading industrialists, financiers, asset managers and political people tune in, at least to see what "Outlook" is serving up that Monday, although they will rarely read more than a paragraph or two. It is only necessary to see what the editors of the Journal consider to be conventional enough to fill the space. How would Business American be able to get Up and Running if there was not a Startling Line? At what it does, "Outlook" is the best in the business. For those of us in the know, if you know what I mean, the information dispensed in the column is so far behind the Curve that we would all go broke if we relied upon it ourselves for a guide to the week ahead. It is immensely important for the People at the Top to know what the masses of middle managers are thinking from one day to the next. Mountains can only be moved from the top down if one knows where the bottom of the mountain is inclined to move anyway.

So it was on Monday morning last that I tuned into "Outlook," immediately jumping to the column's end to see who was writing the day's epistle, headlined, "Development Banks Face Brave New World." It was good news. The writer was G. Pascal Zachary, a Journal technology reporter who has dabbled in banking and financial issues from time to time. Not a bad fellow, as journalists go, not plugged into one particular political team or another. On the downside, he is well down the learning curve on The Way the World Works, to coin a phrase. In Junior High, one might put it, on the way to a Ph.D. some day.

The column is all about how the international financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are wondering if there is a future for them in the New World Order. In fact, the people who run these totally inept, obsolete, corrupt institutions know they are in the crosshairs of the angry Americans who are in control of the Republican United States Congress. Which is to say the portion of the U.S. government that decides who gets taxed and what gets spent. As long as their pals in the Democratic Party controlled the House of Representatives, they could be sure of squeezing a few billion a year out of American taxpayers with the sob story that the funds would be used to help the starving children of Jabip, or Wherever. Never mind that the IMF and World Bank are run by the last remaining truly Evil People on Earth. They have friends in high places the major money-center Banks in New York, run by people who are Profit-Oriented, as we wish them to be. But not at the expense of the poorest people on the planet.

What Monday's "Outlook" column by G. Pascal Zachary informs those of us who are in the know is that the Evil People at the IMF and World Bank are trying to figure out a way to persuade the Republicans who will apparently control Congress and the purse strings for the next several years, at least, is that they are going to behave themselves. "Please Trent Lott, Senate Majority Leader, and Please Speaker Newt, we know we have been bad in the past, evil and corrupt and obsolete. But if you give us another chance and another $25 billion, we will prove to you that we can be A Force for Good."

In the third paragraph of "Outlook," we are told that Charles Dallara of the Institute for International Finance, Washington, says: Unless these multilateral lending organizations "adapt themselves quickly and dramatically" to global economic markets, "they should whither [sic] away." Now G. Pascal Zachary, a nice young man who is new to the Game, apparently does not understand that Charles Dallara is one of the most senior agents of these Dark Forces. Planted in the Treasury Department during the Carter administration by the evil Institute for International Economics, Dallara faithfully served those interests during the subsequent Reagan and Bush administrations, as US executive director of the IMF. Someone has told the Journal's Mr. Zachary that Charles Dallara is an independent, objective Observer, an honest man. Maybe Zachary simply found Dallara's name in his Rolodex. But there it is. A quote from one of the most faithful Agents of the Evil Empire the IMF and World Bank telling us right off the bat this Monday morning that the Evil Empire had better shape up or they will whither [sic] away.

The most hilarious notice in this "Outlook" column [to those of us in the know} is Zachary's report that the International Monetary Fund has already "silenced some doubters by deftly propping up the battered Mexican economy with emergency loans and aiding the former Soviet bloc." The Wall Street Journal editors here are shameless in permitting this silliness to go out to the few million innocent middle managers who read "Outlook" on Monday morning. Robert L. Bartley, editor of the Journal knows as well as anyone on this side of Saturn or Jupiter that the evil, i.e., ignorant, at the IMF were responsible for both the Mexican emergency and the collapse of public finance in the former Soviet bloc. [Check my testimony before the House Banking Committee, in our archive.]

What, dear website fans, am I trying to tell you? I cringe to think of all the millions of bright young men and women who are plunking down their 75 cents every Monday morning for the WSJ to get a bead on the week ahead, and are instead poisoned by this inside propaganda. What harm did it do if Bill Clinton made a few bucks on Whitewater real estate investments? So what if Hillary made a quick $100,000 speculating on pork bellies? What about these IMF scandals, which have caused the death and impoverishment of millions upon millions? Answer me that, Journal editors, who continue to suck up to Michel Camdessus, the Darth Vader of the IMF, who has the blood of these victims on his hands, through his financial holocaust. Answer me that.