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Showing posts from October 12, 2008

Notes on the Zona 1

LI, as we hope we have made clear, has been disgusted with Nader and the Green party for years. Yet, in 2000, we voted for Nader, under the delusion that the Green party was something more than a vanity movement that existed to keep Nader’s name in the papers. But we’ve never regretted that vote. We regretted that Gore ran a suck campaign and then, insanely, didn’t contest all Florida precincts immediately, demanding a recount. Well, ho ho ho, it turns out that all the things Nader and the anti-corporation crowd were railing at – the failure to regulate the derivatives market, the failure to reign in corporate abuses, the use of lobbyists to stifle regulatory agencies that were warning about things like the abuse of accounting rules –well, they were all correct. It is like the 100 percent correct record. That’s nice. Meanwhile, the bipartisan oohing and ahhing over Maestro Greenspan has now started to settle in the national stomach a little badly, like a cannibal stew. Such, of cours

The Spirit of the Ultimate Game

Come on pretty boy Can't you show me nothing but surrender Economists call it the Ultimate Game. James Surowiecki gives a good description of it: “Take two people. Give them a hundred dollars to split. One person (the proposer) decides, on his own, what the split should be (fifty-fifty, seventy-thirty, or whatever) and makes the other person a take-it-or-leave-it offer. If he accepts the deal, both players get their share of the money. If he rejects it, both players walk away empty-handed. The rational thing for the second person to do is to accept the offer, whatever it is, since even one dollar is better than nothing. But in practice this rarely happens. Instead, lowball offers are almost always rejected. Apparently, people would rather throw away money than let someone else walk away with too much. Other experiments illustrate the same idea. Essentially, people are willing to pay to punish those they think are free-riding or acting unfairly, even when doing so brings them no ma

the smell of cognitive dissonance in the morning

The Republican re-election plan, such as it is, has been to blame GSEs- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – for the subprime crisis. Meanwhile, the Republican administration’s new plan is – to make every bank a GSE! LI loves the smell of cognitive dissonance in the morning! So, basically, the developed countries (save for China, the new home of the free market) have put their treasuries on the line. This will be an interesting game. As we pointed out before, the shrinking that is going to come will wipe out a lot, as in hundreds of trillions, of value, namely as the 550 trillion dollar pool of derivatives comes back to earth. Since nothing on earth – including the combined treasuries of all the richest nations – has that much money, the decision that is coming up is how to let it go. LI advises readers to check out the popping of John Law’s system for pointers. Or ... the Grimm’s tale about the Fisherman’s wife who wished to be God.

Nemesis and the Zona

- When Pompey was finally defeated, his head was cut off and sent to Julius Caesar in Egypt. Caesar buried the head in a spot of ground especially dedicated to Nemesis. - Events keep fucking with LI’s general strategy. I should be writing about the varieties of eighteenth century hedonism. But I am watching the money culture blow up before my eyes, like a dream. Things I have written on this blog long ago about inequality and its effects, or the meltdown in pensions, etc., have leaped into the coldblooded half reality of the headline world. - My brother Doug likes to say that I think I know all the answers. This is true. The prophetic vocation is in my bones. However, so far in my life, none of the answers have matched any of the questions anybody is asking. The answers were all torn from literature, a thing that has long been laid aside in that place where the dead bury the dead. These are tv washed days in the land of Cockagne, the artificial Paradise, and he not busy doing crack is