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Showing posts from March 22, 2020

why do we have stock markets

In the wake of two major bailouts, a decade apart, following on a crash in 200-2001 and overshadowed by the twin phenomena of de-industrialization and an enormous increase in wealth inequality that should be compared not to the U.S. in the twenties but to Ancien regime France in the 1730s, the question arises: why do we have stock markets?   And, more broadly, why have we allowed, or even encouraged, the burgeoning of financial instruments   in the post Bretton Woods period? The so called shadow markets, or the other kind as well, that advertise themselves as security for other financial instruments, but always not only fail in that responsibility, but always crash themselves, bringing about chain reaction crashes? Peter L. Bernstein, who was an investor, journalist and economist in one, observed that stock markets have increased in the post-war period from around 50 in 1948 to around 125 in 1998. This speaks to something attractive in the current period about the stock market.

Santa Monica 2012

What’s escape to the mapless girl Lugging earbait on Wiltshire and Fifth Jilling the edge of tonight’s magnesium splendor? Disappear, baby, down the convenient alley To end up in someone’s car. All that suck n fuck machinery -- Set in motion to produce this drop? … as ratcatchers in prowlers come howling to a stop. - Karen Chamisso

Rachel Kushner's Mars Room take 2

At the dawn of movie-making, there were no stars. Indeed, as film historian Michael Newton writes, the actors were: “… puppets, mannequins, and not expected to reveal through their external image a complex inner life. Those early bioscope models were anonymous, subordinate to the piece of film itself; indeed, the earliest films were ‘performed by people who were anything but actors’, sometimes literally just folk picked up in a café. 3  Erwin Panofsky remarks that the cast of a prestige 1905 production of  Faust  are ‘characteristically “unknown”’. “Even then, however, the camera seems to pick out certain people. Newton cites a short story by Rudyard Kipling, Mrs. Bathurst, in which the narrator sees a film that documents a London crowd crossing a bridge and sees someone he knows, Mrs. Bathurst: ‘There was no mistakin’ the walk in a hundred thousand’ and ‘She walked on and on till she melted out of the picture – like – like a shadow jumpin’ over a candle.’ The film trans

Rachel Kushner's The Mars Room - take one

Emily Rust, in “Hitting the "Vérité Jackpot": The Ecstatic Profits of Freeze-Framed Violence ” (Cinema Journal 2011) has remarked that: “… a number of American films from the late 1960s and early 1970s conspicuously employ freeze-frames in scenes of protracted brutality. The documentary In the Year of the Pig (Emile de Antonio, 1968) as well as the fiction films Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (George Roy Hill, 1969), Joe (John G. Avildsen, 1970), and The Parallax View (Alan J. Pakula, 1974), in addition to the primary subjects of this essay - Gimme Shelter and Night of the Living Dead (George A. Romero, 1968) - are but a few examples.” Rust, shrewdly, conjoins violence at the highest levels – John F. Kennedy’s assassination as the prototype – to the popularity of this technique. The assassination films – in particular, the Zapruder tape – have been obsessively scanned and stopped, as though an explanation lurked in the absolute stillness imposed by the freeze fr