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Showing posts from March 29, 2020

John Prine

There are the songs you love, the bands, the singers. And then there is that special subset that you sing. You sing in your head, or you sing outloud. You sing in the kitchen, cooking. You sing on the bike, biking. You sing in the car, all alone, at 2 o’clock in the morning, heading home. My mom sang in the kitchen. In my memory, most of her songs involved Jesus. My Dad, on the other hand, seemed singularly untouched by popular song culture. It was one of those things that made him an isolato in America. He was also singularly uninterested in sports – I sometimes wonder what kind of American male reared me. I believe the only lyrics he knew, or that he would come out with (save for mouthing the words of Christmas songs) were: “Red sails in the sunset/far over the sea”. Which he would sing mock crooner style, as though singing were an inherently bogus occupation. All my family followed Mom, in liking to sing. My life with song really begins when I reached the age of 12. That

complete article: the stock market and its problems

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.