“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Notes for a future study of insanity among the governing class



PARIS — The Credit Suisse Group, the Swiss banking giant, on Thursday reported a first-quarter loss nearly three times worse than analysts had expected as it wrote down $5.3 billion in soured investments.
The bank, based in Zurich, reported a net loss of 2.15 billion Swiss francs, or $2.1 billion, in the first quarter, compared with net income of 2.8 billion francs a year earlier.
“On balance, I was quite pleased” with the results, said Peter Thorne, an analyst with Helvea in London. “In this market, if an investment bank doesn’t report $20 billion of write-downs, you tend to be quite relieved.”

It is no surprise to LI that a system in which inequality of wealth has sharpened as much as it has in the U.S. would spawn a whole new kind of fantasy and reality in the press and the public discourse. So I suppose it comes as no surprise that the Daily Mail - a British tabloid - has a sharper article about inflation than you will read in, say, the NYT. The Daily Mail decided to create its own basket of goods and use them as an index of inflation, and of course what they discover, once you wipe away the wonderful fall in prices of plasma tv, is that inflation as it should be studied - you know, how much extra is coming out of the pocket of your average household income - is a lot higher than anything government reports can account for. Although I must admit, I did admire the butter prices over there in Britain:

"A pack of English butter is up by 36p to 94p..."

Wow, about $1.80 for butter!

PS - Our far flung correspondent, Mr. T., refers us to this article, which tells us - where all the bees went! You will notice that the Floridian beekeeper at the center of the article is doing more productive work for you and me and the earth than all the hedge fund traders put together. Naturally, then, he lives on charity.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

An article in the financial times: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7f8caa3c-1005-11dd-8871-0000779fd2ac.html?nclick_check=1