Monday, March 31, 2008

Pablum for the rubes

"I am not suggesting that more regulation is the answer, or even that more effective regulation can prevent the periods of financial market stress that seem to occur every five to 10 years," Paulson will say in the remarks he will deliver on Monday.
...but we're going to do it anyway.

Desperation rules now.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Making a Recession Great

It's begun.

The Fall of Empire is assured.....and just think:
you're watching it all happen, live.

What a unique opportunity!
House Democrats recently adopted a budget with massive tax hikes, many of which are directed at those Americans who can least afford them. By allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire in 2010, this budget will raise income taxes not only on those in the highest income brackets, but raises the lowest bracket from 10% to 15% as well. Estates would again be taxed at 55%. The child tax credit would drop from $1000 to $500. Senior citizens relying on investment income would be hurt by increases in dividend and capital gains taxes. It's not just that the Democrats want to raises taxes on the rich. They want to raises taxes on everybody.
Note the author.

Full short speech.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Unarguable Carlin

"Another women's issue, prostitution. I do not understand why prostitution is illegal. Why should prostitution be illegal. Selling is legal. Fucking is legal. Why isn't selling fucking legal? You know, why should it be illegal to sell something that's perfectly legal to give away. I can't follow the logic on that at all. Of all the things you can do to a person, giving someone an orgasm is hardly the worst thing in the world. In the army they give you a medal for spraying napalm on people. Civilian life, you go to jail for giving someone an orgasm. Maybe I'm not supposed to understand it." -- George Carlin

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Who needs economists anymore?

The financial condition of institutions within the US banking system has gone critical, with core assets gone negative. Total deposits held, free of borrowed USFed reserves, have vanished.
Full article.

Monday, March 24, 2008

There's that pesky Fat Lady again

Watching it all come apart here on this blog, a dollar at a time...
That game is now up. You can think of lots of ways to describe the pain—debt is unwinding, investors are writing down assets, liquidity is short. But the simplest is that counterparties no longer trust each other. Walter Bagehot, an authority on bank runs, once wrote: “Every banker knows that if he has to prove that he is worthy of credit, however good may be his arguments, in fact his credit is gone.” In our own entangled era, his axiom stretches to the whole market.
Read it all.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Derivatives explained...with history

Note the article was written in 2001.
"In August 1998, an unexpected non-linearity occurred that made a mockery of the models. Russia defaulted on its sovereign debt, and liquidity around the globe began to rapidly dry up as derivatives positions were hastily unwound. The LTCM financial models told the principals they should not expect to lose more than $50m of capital in a given day, but they were soon losing $100m every day. Four days after the Russian default, their initial $3b capital base lost another $500m in a single trading day alone!"
What happens when The West defaults?

[insert grossly buggered smilie bleeding from all orifices, lying in a dead heap]

Full article.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hope springs eternal...

....and yet hope in one hand and shit in the other to see which one fills up first.

See what I mean.

Monday, March 17, 2008

More apathy, please

Finally, though it may not be deliberate, the schools produce a pitiably ignorant population that can't vote wisely. Just as trial lawyers don't want intelligent jurors, as they are harder to manipulate, so political parties don't want educated voters. The existence of a puzzled mass gawping at Oprah reduces elections to popularity contests modulated by the state of the economy. One party may win, yes, or the other. But a TV-besotted electorate doesn't meddle in matters important to its rulers. It has never heard of them.

To disguise all of this, elections provide the excitement and intellectual content of a football game, without the importance. They allow a sense of Participation. In bars across the land, in high-school gyms become forums, people become heated about what they imagine to be decisions of great import: This candidate or that? It keeps them from feeling left out while denying them power.

It is fraud. In a sense, the candidates do not even exist. A presidential candidate consists of two speech writers, a makeup man, a gestures coach, ad agency, two pollsters and an interpreter of focus groups. Depending on his numbers, the handlers may suggest a more fixed stare to crank up his decisiveness quotient for male or Republican voters, or dial in a bit of compassion for a Democratic or female audience. The newspapers will report this calculated transformation. Yet it works. You can fool enough of the people enough of the time.

When people sense this and decline to vote, we cluck like disturbed hens and speak of apathy. Nope. Just common sense.
Read Reed.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Evolution continues

I sympathize with and respect those anarchists whom oppose the Paul for President Campaign completely because they recognize this career politician’s stated purpose of saving the United States Imperial Federal Government from collapse. But do not fear that he will accomplish this task and start the process all over again; it is way too late for that. Think Gorbachev. This purist opposition is healthy, as it keeps the true ideal of self-government alive. I hope that we can all avoid unnecessary and counterproductive animosity after the election, win or lose, because we will need to organize our efforts in the waning days of the empire and after the collapse due to bankruptcy. We certainly don’t want another state to replace this obsolete one, much less end up with an American Putin coming to power.

Monday, March 10, 2008

An idea whose time has come

The best solution would be a government that would destroy itself.
It will.
The second best solution would be a government that does nothing at all – then, at least, matters will not get worse. This is what canceling the election would do. It would introduce enough confusion and chaos to keep government from acting either domestically or internationally, which would be a wonderful thing.

Monday, March 03, 2008

A desperate attempt to save the system

When you introduce perversities into an economic system, they invariably end up expressing themselves as distortions. The economy that evolved the past two decades, driven by the perverse securitization of wishes and frauds, will now express itself in a stark cratering of American living standards. Incomes and jobs will vanish, massive quantities of stuff will collect dust on the WalMart shelves, the fragile infrastructures of daily life will go to shit, and there will be political hell to pay. Every attempt to avoid a straight-up workout of our massive losses, will represent another layer of perversity and more consequent destructive distortions.
You can expect plenty of that last medication, just
treating the symptoms while the disease continues
to run wild in a vain attempt to preserve The System.

Massive amounts of wealth soon to change hands.

Highly recommended.

Saturday, March 01, 2008


But such inner voices had to be silenced. We had invested our entire sense of being – our very identities – with the nation-state. If our nation had failed to meet our expectations, this would reflect badly on our personal sense of who we are. Furthermore, if the attacks of that terrible day were – as more perceptive minds are aware – the unintended consequences (or "blowback") of terrible wrongs committed by the government with which we have identified ourselves, we must personally bear some of the responsibility.
I accept no such responsibility. I have never given my
consent to institutionalized/legalized murder and
theft in my name. Anyone who does so is a psychopath.

The rest of you, make your stand now.

Civilization, such as it is, is at stake.

Full essay.