Quantum of Suffering: Economic Hitmen Target Main Street

Wednesday, June 16, 2010
By Paul Martin

William N. Grigg

If we were to suture a toupee — preferably in a procedure not involving anesthetic — to the scalp of Lloyd Blankfein, the Goldman Sachs commissar would strongly resemble Dominic Greene, the reptilian villain of the most recent James Bond film, Quantum of Solace.

Blankfein already resembles Greene in ways that transcend mere aesthetics. The same can be said regarding the fictional Quantum criminal syndicate and the corrupt real-life oligarchy to which Blankfein belongs.

Although it was hampered with an undercooked script and an editing style that makes the action sequences all but impossible to follow (think of what Michael Bay would do in the editing bay following a two-day Red Bull jag), Quantum of Solace is the only Bond film to feature an entirely believable villain, and a surprisingly credible Evil Plot.

Dominic Greene is a composite of several real-life oligarchs. In addition to his resemblance to Blankfein, Greene — an ersatz conservationist who plunders countries and overthrows governments behind a facade of environmental philanthropy — also somewhat resembles Maurice Strong and George Soros.

Quantum itself is a tenebrous, Bilderberg-like Power Elite fraternity seeking control over the global economy. To that end, the group finances terrorism and revolution (which played a significant role in the previous — and much superior — Bond film, Casino Royale) with utter indifference to the ideology of its allies. It is the objective — the consolidation of power — that matters, rather than the doctrine used to recruit and motivate the cannon fodder.

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