The slow motion bankruptcy of MF global and Greece should prove we’re still on the brink of an economic meltdown that will likely result in a global depression. Why? These events demonstate how the global economy, like the Communist system before it, is run by a small group of central planners (that allocate the world’s collective capital). These planners:
Make lots of VERY bad decisions. Wall Street and EU planners routinely attempt to sink the entire economic and financial system with excessive leverage and risk. These systemic threats have become so commonplace now, it’s nearly inevitable that one will cause a major collapse.
Become morally and ethically depraved. They operate on a continuous stream of fraud and lies. Too many instances to count. These planners are unencumbered by ethical or cultural norms. They actually believe these rules are below them. In reality, by doing so, these planners are eviscerating their own decision making (i.e. in terms of an OODA loop, they aren’t orienting themselves to the deep/rich cultural experience these rules represent).
Completely arrogant and unapologetic. They are never wrong. Nobody could have foreseen it. It’s a one in 10,000 year event.
Of course, this situation will persist until it doesn’t. At that point, we’ll be in for a long rebuilding process.
The theme of most political and social commentary is that things are more complicated than you think. For once, I wish to write that things are simpler than you think. This concerns two matters at the core of the present American political crisis.
The first is that control over the government has passed all but completely into the hands of business corporations. The country has become a plutocracy. This has occurred because corporations are the principal supplier of funds essential to the election of federal officials—the president and the members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, and through them, the members of the Supreme Court and the rest of the federal judiciary, all of whom are nominated and confirmed by the elected officials of the executive and legislative branches of the government.
. . . . . . .
I spoke of a second source of American crisis to which there is a simple solution, an intellectual solution, which to impose would require conversion of the hard hearts and biased minds of a sizable part of the international economic community (at least that part of it educated at the University of Chicago since the Second World War), as well as a near-revolutionary change in how the American government presently functions (see above). The crisis is easily described as the 1 percent problem. One percent of the American population receives income equivalent to the other 99 percent put together.
This is caused by the consensus decision of the economists and business schools to define profit as the sole criterion of corporation efficiency and public (and civic) worth. The automatic consequence of this has been the de-industrialization of the United States, the export of its manufacturing capacity, unemployment in the U.S. comparable to that of the Great Depression, poverty levels with no modern American precedent, and the moral corruption of American politics.
The whole game was based on one new innovation: the derivative instruments like CDOs that allowed them to take junk-rated home loans and turn them into AAA-rated instruments. It was not Barney Frank who made it possible for Goldman, Sachs to sell the home loan of an occasionally-employed janitor in Oakland or Detroit as something just as safe as, and more profitable than, a United States Treasury Bill. This was something they cooked up entirely by themselves and developed solely with the aim of making more money.
Phi Beta Iota: Evidently AP does not do its homework and takes Doug Naquin’s crap at face value. The Open Source Center was not created at the suggestion of the 9/11 Commission, which called for a new agency completely independent of CIA, and is in fact being considered by one Senator and OMB as this is written, but under diplomatic auspices. The Open Source Center (OSC) is a bastardized down-graded mis-directed and under-funded morphing of the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), a once great service (in WWII) that was destroyed by nit-wits sent into exile from more productive parts of the CIA. Naquin cannot do citation analysis, manage multinational information-sharing, or even find gray literature in more than eleven languages. He is, in a word, incompetent. But then so is Associated Press, in this instance, so they deserve one another. Neither is making a difference.
The last was just a short cut to my bio page, nothing more. I would only run for President if reddit got me on every ballot in all 50 states and we got debates in each of the 50 states that included the coalition cabinet.
I do believe we can raise $50M then $500M then $1B if we create BigBatUSA, but first all the Occupy groups have to create campaigns at IndieGoGo where I have them ready to do this, but only after they get at least 3 Occupy campaigns set up.
The below link goes to Matt Ridley’s excellent lecture analyzing the importance of heresy in science; and by extension, the danger to science posed by an Authority that dictates what is acceptable and what is unacceptable. The oppression of authority is a subject Galileo learned to his chagrin, and a central theme of Jacob Bronoski’s brilliant Ascent of Man, in my opinion, the finest television series ever produced. (Bronoski’s subject was the growth of knowledge and its central role in the cultural evolution of mankind. To appreciate the squandered potential of television and the mass media, one need only to watch Bronoski’s series of programs.)
Ridley gave the Angus Millar Lecture of the Royal Society of the Arts in Edinburgh a few days ago 31 October 2011. Ridley is trained in evolutionary biology — he has a PhD in Zoology from Oxford. His libertarian philosophy makes him controversial in some quarters, but he one of the best science writers out there, particularly on the subject of evolution. Like Darwin, he thinks and writes from the point view of the bottom-up empiricist (which is my favorite point of view).
Ridley’s specific subject is pseudo-science: its temptations, its fallacies, and its dangers: his case study is the theory of anthropogenic global warming–a theme about which he says: “When a study was published recently saying that 98% of scientists ‘believe’ in global warming, I looked at the questions they had been asked and realized I was in the 98%, too, by that definition, though I never use the word ‘believe’ about myself.”
Chuck Spinney Alexandria, Virginia
Below the Line: PDF Link and Also Full Text Online