The Liverpool-Iraq Connection

As I wrote here:

Fans of Liverpool and Manchester United have long groused about the price our beloved football clubs have paid for the privilege of being owned by Americans: both clubs have been saddled with debt and huge annual interest payments to service the loans taken out by the new owners simply to acquire them. The Americans shrug. Leveraged buy-outs (using borrowed money to acquire new assets) are an integral part of the US business culture that has brought the international financial system to the brink of collapse.

Iraq, it may be argued, was the consummate leveraged acquisition. Rather than raise taxes, as nations entering protracted conflicts have typically done, the Bush Administration actually slashed them to wage a war that has already cost America close to $1 trillion.

Iraq was occupied on borrowed money. And like Liverpool, it was supposed to pay for itself — remember, Wolfowitz said Iraqi oil would finance the whole thing. Well, it didn’t exactly turn out that way, which is why the global financial crisis and economic recession may force the U.S. to let go. Whether the same happens to Liverpool’s horrid owners is another matter.

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