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Showing posts from August 14, 2011

Looting in the plutocene!

Comparison: an old and reliable enlightenment tool. The philosophes loved the whole idea of comparison, for it seemed to magically produce progress in ideas. Unfortunately, comparison, as the elementary student of dialectics knows, simply fossilizes the embryo idea – leaving it forever in a pre-natal state unless it is vigorously moved forward via the forceps of antithesis and inversion. However, under the shadow of that dialectic move, comparison still holds a great deal of anarchic power – satirical power. The enlightenment prehended the limits and fate of comparison in the preference given to satire. To which I want to revert. Let us compare stories of looting. Here’s one. It comes from the Royal Bank of Scotland. The Bank received 541 billion dollars worth of 1 percent and below loans from the Fed over the past 3 years. Why? Well, the Bank was preserved for all of us, we are told. Or rather, not told – our governors don’t have to tell us these things, they act f

Table 8- our Hoover Dam!

The news is full of pundits worrying and stories tutting about our swollen entitlements culture. Our middle class leaches. Our wage class deadbeats. The news is full of stories about how the government is going bust providing a safety net to the poorest, who incidentally, don’t appreciate it at all and smoke dope. The news is not full of the greatest safety net ever devised. It is as if we are hiding our light under a basket! What the Hoover Dam was to the culture of the thirties, Table 8 of the GAO report on the Fed is to the culture of the 00s. We should be proud of our men in blue (suits), whose hands no doubt were stricken with carpal tunnel aches and pains as they shoveled money into the pockets of the wealthiest. Here’s table 8. Table 8: Institutions with Largest Total Transaction Amounts (Not Term-Adjusted) across Broad-Based Emergency Programs (Borrowing Aggregated by Parent Company and Includes Sponsored ABCP Conduits), December 1, 2007 through July 21, 2010 Doll