October 11, 2009
In 1999, at the height of the dot.com bubble in New York, many an entrepreneur was able to raise millions of dollars in cash from the stock market simply by presenting to hapless investors fuzzy business plans of inexistent products or services. We all know how this ended.
This time around, the Nobel prize committee seems to have caught the dot.com bug. Last week it offered President Obama an undeserved Nobel Peace Prize, solely based on the winner’s good intentions and foreign policy pronouncements. Many capitals around the world are puzzled by the choice, which is not only controversial, it’s simply wrong.
For all his shortcomings, the only politician who truly deserves a Nobel peace prize is France’s President Sarkozy for rushing to extinguish the conflict between Georgia and Russia and for successfully negotiating an armistice between the warring parties in 2008.
Many pundits have tried to rationalize the 2009 choice of the Nobel prize committee. I personally regard the choice as one that doesn’t bode well for the recipient. In a strange way, the committee acted as if it had some kind of advance knowledge of tragic events that might prevent President Obama to live long enough to see the fruits of his efforts. To date, his televised performances, too frequent to be of benefit to him or his party, would probably deserve a Grammy award.
Dishing out Nobel prizes like this will make them irrelevant to all but the recipients, who will be perceived as the winners of a peculiar sort of northern European lottery.Florian Pantazi