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Showing posts from January 20, 2002
Remora Limited Inc had beer last night with a faithful reader, who made comments about Limited Inc's Enron obsession. The hint over the table was that we are becoming, shall we say, a little tedious on the subject. Without, this reader also implied, being particularly acute. Well, that hurts. We are drawn to this story for the same reason a shark is drawn onward by the thrashing of the wounded swimmer -- it is the frenzy of instinct, against which man and beast strive in vain. We are, after all, caught in the net of our blood before we are caught in any other net, God help us all. Given our limited resources, we can't sift through documents given to us late at night by anonymous sources, but we have hoped to develop, for our readers, a sense of the connections between politics and the liberalized financial markets that are sometimes not adumbrated in the daily paper. The daily paper, after all, has to have room for the funnies, and often seems to pitch its prose to the
Remora Limited Inc can't remember - was it T.S. Eliot who said that every strong writer creates the tradition he follows? By which he meant that literature is not sequential, even if its chronology, by mundane necessity, is. A writer picks out, from the vantage point of those instincts found in his prose, those of his predecessors who tended towards him. Blake thought the same thing - Milton dreamed of Blake, and then Blake dreamed of Milton. Mixing memory and desire indeed. Well, the same can be said for �. economic history. When bubbles are blowing, the historians turn a revisionist eye on previously dissed speculators. In the nineties, there was an outpouring of sympathy for, of all people, J.P. Morgan. So cultured! So right, so often! This acquisitive weasel, this man whose name was rightly cursed by every farmer and Pullman porter in the 1890s, the classic photograph of whom, stick raised, WC Fields proboscis burning, pig like eyes shining with malice and outrage, was m
Remora The Financial Times is pleased that Joe Lieberman is leading the Senate investigation into Enron. He will lead it quickly, sensibly, painlessly ... nowhere. Lieberman is a centrist, or perhaps it is better to say self-centrist, Democrat. Supposedly, he sees himself as the next president. His philosophy is to the right of Nelson Rockefeller -- which is why you can bet that nothing he uncovers with the Enron probe is going to rock his support for deregulation. The FT comments that many were dismayed to see him tugged leftward as Al Gore's vp -- yes, all that radical mouthing on maintaining the surplus. Emma Goldman returns, talking them fiscal prudence blues. Or was this Herbert Hoover in his itchier hours? Emma, to tell the truth, might have spit. Anyway, the FT is confidant that Lieberman will sink the Enron inquiry under so many fathoms of technicalities, long winded spiels, and his trademark rebarbative moralizing, that it will do minimum harm to Bush. Limited Inc agre
Remora The nineties have yet to earn a definitive moniker as a decade. Limited Inc. suggest that it be called the New Math decade. Remember, a few years ago, the dispute over metrics? Okay, those of you who weren't swept up in the Net biz bubble might not remember the dispute over metrics, or care, but for a while, the argument, made by highly paid stock analysts, was that the metric that counted was not quarterly earnings, which had the mildewy, moth ball scent of Old Economics. No, we were another generation, and we wanted the more intangible numbers associated with number of hits, or expected number of hits, or the amount of energy, in watts, given off by the synergies and efficiencies the disintermediation of commodities effected in Seattle on an average Wednesday. Etc. Numbers suddenly became ineffable. They were so impressive, the new numbers - the sudden spike in productivity if you jiggered the way you measured it, the trickle down that was finally sticking in the aver
Remora The prophets of Baal. Elijah was one of the more sensible prophets in the Old Testament, combining Houdini's magic tricks and Commandante Marcos' light show of manifestos and media bravado. Plus he had an experimental attitude rare among the credulous prestidigitator set, dimly foreshadowing Bacon's aphorism : : " the true course of experiment, and in extending it to new effects, we should imitate the Divine foresight and order. For God, on the first day, only created light, and assigned a whole day to that work, without creating any material substance thereon. In like manner, we must first, by every kind of experiment, elicit the discovery of causes and true axioms, and seek for experiments which may afford light rather than profit." It was in this spirit Elijah devised the first consumer comparison test. Here's the passage from Kings 1: 18: 19: Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Ba
Remora Black and conservative... There's a story in the NYT Magazine about Glenn Loury , the economist and former totem black conservative -- a position that has now fallen to Shelby Steele (and no, Limited Inc. means totem, not token). Almost all stories about Glenn Loury begin by a cursory survey of his ideas before jettisoning them for a more gossipy, and perhaps interesting, survey of his life. It is a life that Ellison, or Leon Forrest, might have written, literature loose in the wild hinterlands of America -- or perhaps not so wild, since Loury's lifeline goes from the working class South Side of Chicago to the Reaganite high of the 80s. Recently, Loury has defected from the conservative movement, even resigning from the American Enterprise Institute after they sponsored Dinesh D'Souza's book on race. Fair has this appraisal of the D'Souza book: "... D�Souza advocates legalizing racial discrimination. "What we need is a long-term strategy th