Doomsayer’s moment of truth

The economic meltdown that seems to have drawn the world in its deathly vortex has shown the inadequacies of economics as a subject to predict the future. Expectedly, there aren't many people who could see the gathering dark clouds at a distance when the Wall Street was swimming in easy money. Nouriel Roubini, derided as a doomsayer, got it right when he said that the mortgage crisis will consume the US economy.

Roubini had cried wolf so many times in the past that not many believed this Iranian Jew polyglot. Fellow economists were sceptical of his methods as he fashionably did not resort to complex mathematical equations -- a trademark of many econometricians. Similarly, many did not believe when a "perennial US presidential candidate", Lyndon LaRouche, 86, predicted many years ago about how financial derivatives could sink a debt-ridden US and the world economy.

Not many believed him then, but in October 2008, US economy began to unravel in exactly the same way as he had presciently stated in his website and subsequently at many other forums. No one believed him as he had been intellectually marginalised by the US media and think-tanks as a ‘conspiracy theorist'. Heritage Foundation, the conservative think-tank, had called him names and accused him of running one of the "strangest political groups in USA". Such diatribes did not stop him from getting right on what was wrong with the US.

As it happened in the case of Roubini, his predictions came true as they were beyond the limiting qualification -- Ceterus Paribus -- that is used by classical economists for predicting the future. Like Roubini, LaRouche wove in politics, analogies from history and his understanding of philosophy to announce to the world that both the US and the world were on the verge of collapse.

LaRouche has had a long abiding love for India. During the Second World War he served in Burma in 1944 and swung by India. Since then he has been visiting India regularly. He was in New Delhi a few days after terrorists attacked Mumbai November 26 last year. The timing was significant for LaRouche. Not only did he want to be in Delhi to seek support from the Indian leadership for his grand plan to have a quadrilateral summit of India, US, Russia and China to save the new economic world order, he also wanted to share his views on who was behind the Mumbai attacks.

I met him in Delhi's Nicco Hotel. I was taken in by his imposing frame and a big head. Surely, he did not look his age. I told him about my familiarity with his writings and the seminal work he had done in dissecting and analysing political assassinations. His book, Derivative assassination, revealed close links between London-based religious groups and the assassins of India's late prime minister, Indira Gandhi. LaRouche firmly believes that the British still run their foreign policy and politics as if they are running an empire.

He alleges that there is a manifest British angle to the Mumbai attack. Rumours of British Muslims among the attackers, circulated in the media, gave him the necessary corroboration.

LaRouche believes that Barack Obama has to follow in the footsteps of Franklin D Roosevelt (FDR) and establish a new monetary world order by organising Bretton Woods II where India could play a big role. LaRouche's vision and depth of his understanding of philosophy left me breathless. With felicity he dropped the names of philosophers like Wilfred Leibnitz and Hume to hammer his point about what has been wrong with the world economy.

FDR's policies, if implemented, would have overturned world's colonial structure and established an equitable world order. Financial derivatives, he believes, have to be discontinued and parked in "bad banks" so that retail banks can go back to regular banking. In short, he wanted the debt to be written off.  The old "conspirator" and his predictions are being noticed all over the world.

In Delhi, though, the ruling establishment refused to meet him as they did not want to give legitimacy to his views on Britain. LaRouche is unfazed. He hopes Obama will execute many of his ideas for which he has been fighting all these years.