Is business war? It is in the world of post-industrial, post-state conflict. Battles between the corporate allies of nation-states and the transnational tribes and the gangs of black globalization are at the core of this century's epochal war. "Piercing the Corporate Veil"
So far, the level of violence directed against the corporations and employees of the global financial system has been relatively muted (the occasional riot, as in the breaking of branch windows as we saw in Iceland and a spike in bank robberies in the US). However, given our experience with the recent punctuated evolution of warfare, that isn't likely to last given the depth/scale of the current crisis. As we have seen in recently (from Iraq to Nigeria to Mexico), the targeting of corporations is now a fixture of modern conflict (please read). The targeting of banks would be a natural extension of this trend line given the following:
- The central role they have recently demonstrated in the global economic system (systemic importance to the status quo).
- Their role in bringing the crisis to individuals (revenge, hatred, etc.) -- this could serve as a common point of agreement for group formation.
- The symbiotic relationship between banks and the government.
- The targets tend to become specific. Specific companies, called out by name, rather than diffuse attacks on industries. In other cases, attacks on firms associated with specific countries has been effective.
- Attacks on personnel have proven to be common. These attacks work since it makes it difficult to retain or attract employees. It also radically reduces productivity and drives up costs. Attacks on senior management and the board of directors can produce dramatic results. The effect pierces the corporate veil and makes corporate decision making a matter of personal security.
- Attacks on assets, logistical networks, and facilities. Disruption of supply chains, particularly if they are just-in-time, and facilities drives up costs and hurts customer relationships. It also forces an 'armoring' of the entire system.
- Downward pressure on the stock price.
- A loss of customer confidence. Lost sales/lower revenue.
- A radical loss in efficiency/productivity due to security costs.
NOTE: I'll stop at this point. Will pick it up again with more specificity of analysis if/when attacks begin.