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Posts Tagged ‘Paulson

The Cannibalism Of Capitalism

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feed me

feed me

There’s something diabolical about a creature that consumes itself. It seems so profoundly irrational, so utterly insane. We file stuff like that in some ‘unspeakable’ part of our minds.

Except that we live it every single day.

Capitalism is a great system in many ways, but it has a tendency to destroy itself if left unchecked. We’re seeing that all too clearly right now. There are two areas where capitalism is profoundly cannibalistic. Read the rest of this entry »

Let’s Talk About “The System”

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hi, i'm the system

hi, i'm the system

Back in the eighties there was an awful lot of talk about the nefarious “system”, a deep and dark conspiracy of the powerful to keep down the powerless. Before resentment became a tool of the right, it was a clarion call of the unreconstructed left, a youthful, incoherent, but somehow meaningful rallying cry that drove many a drunken, sophomoric conversation. You don’t hear too much about “The System” these days. Nobody seemed to care anymore, when “The System” was delivering them flat screen TVs and great opportunities to flip condos.

But it seems to me that it’s time to revive talk about “The System” because it’s become very clear what it is.

Undiluted socialism for the rich and influential, and the legal and enforcement system to protect it. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s Good for America is Good For GM

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Is this the future of the Big Three?

Is this the future of the Big Three?

David Brooks in today’s NYT suggests that bailing out the Big Three US car companies is a bad idea. While I have some doubts about his ideologically driven “creative destruction” thesis, the notion that some US Government Car Czar is going to be able to prevent these monoliths from going over the precipice is absurd. They are beyond recall in their current form. I come from the UK and back in the seventies we experimented with nationalizing the once glorious British car industry. British Leyland was the result and it was a national joke.

There are many well documented reasons that the Big Three can’t be saved; ranging from massive legacy costs, onerous union agreements, byzantine, slow moving management, being enslaved by short term stock prices, outmoded technology, and of course bad, boring cars. These companies as they are now are from another era. They are inherently dysfunctional, and need to go. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by coolrebel

November 14, 2008 at 10:26 am

The Inherent Wisdom of Sheep

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stocktrader460276

central casting

“I have no idea”, said one JP Morgan Chase economist today when asked by the New York Times why the Dow shot up over 550 points on the same day yet more recession indicators piled on. That seems to be the best response under the circumstances, but it belies a more serious problem. For years, we’ve been told to trust the market, to listen to the market. We were told that the market has an inherent wisdom.

The inherent wisdom of sheep more like.

Someone decided that the rally was due and bought. Someone else said “things are bottoming out”, and he told his mates. His mates told their mates, and they all got back in to earn some bucks with someone elses tired, downtrodden money. The herd mentality is not a signifier of great intelligence – quite the opposite. And this level of absurd, illogical, delusional volatility is a signal of worse to come. So please, for once and for all, let’s stop listening to the market – oh, and enough of those images of Wall Street traders watching the screens with panic and despair on their faces.

If I could earn a Euro for every time one of those…

Written by coolrebel

November 13, 2008 at 5:33 pm

Paulson – The Man With The Plan

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Man With Plan

Man With Plan

After nationalizing Fannie and Freddie, then letting Lehman Brothers die for no apparent reason, then bailing out AIG to the tune of $85 billion (now around $150 billion but who’s counting), Hank Paulson sat back to watch the credit markets unfreeze. But instead they just froze up some more.

Hank was totally bummed. “This job totally sucks”.

“The credit freeze just keeps on freezing”, he said to his posse of former Goldman Sachs hacks. “What the frick do I do?”

“You need one big plan”, said Neel Cash and Carry, “not just a whole bunch of little plans stuck together”. Hank nodded furiously. “Yes, yes, that’s right”. After scribbling a few notes on the back of a dry cleaning bill he looked up. “I’ve got it”. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by coolrebel

November 12, 2008 at 11:18 pm