Saturday, January 17, 2015

SAR #15017

There are monsters in the world, but mostly they are our monsters.

Problem Solved: One of the biggest problems we have is that the world does not work the way the neoclassical economic model says it should. If if the world worked that way everything would be fine. But it doesn't. So we'll keep on doing the wrong things until the world begins behaving itself.

Domino: Schlumberger, the oilfield services company is cutting 9,000 from its payroll because... yep.

Swish: Switzerland's freeing of the franc is a testament to how bad things are getting in the eurozone, how fast and how far the continent is falling into deflation. It also is an object lesson for those who believe all the twaddle that central bankers spew. The move will hurt Swiss exports and thus the Swiss economy. It will hurt all those in eastern Europe who have franc-denominated mortgages and other debts. It crushed the largest US public FX dealer, Forex Capital Markets (FXCM) which lost 90% of its value and is said to be in need of $200 million cash, now. Any number of private FX traders are facing unmeetable margin calls. [A quick approximation suggests losses of $750 million or so.] Citi and Goldman Sachs are pretending it didn't hurt them too much, but that's mostly PR – and it's kind of neat to see the people who have rigged the FX market for years getting hoist by their own petards. But don't cry for them, Goldman has $12 billion set aside for pay and bonuses.

Practice Makes Perfect: Cops in South Florida have been using mugshots of local black men as target practice. 
Half A Loaf: AG Eric Holder has, rather late in the game, banned 'asset seizure' on the federal level. But local and state cops will continue to strip innocent people of their cars, homes and savings in the name of protecting us from drugs (and buying lots of toys for cops with the proceeds).

Asked and Answered: Is low inflation good news? No, it's a big problem.

Creepy Mission: US defense officials have confirmed that 400 US 'trainers' and hundreds of support staff will be heading to Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar to train Afghan mujahadin Syrian opposition forces. We've seen this movie before.

Between Friends: PM Cameron and President Obama are going to 'fix' freedom of speech by restricting it even more, eavesdropping even more, surveilling the citizenry even more, and by banning all encryption except for the use of Pig Latin. Because the French, after all, were not able to prevent the massacre even though the actors were known to them, were under surveillance and electronic monitoring and all that jazz. But these efforts are only a failure if their object was to prevent terrorism, it isn't; it is to prevent dissent.

Gerber Babies: Raising self-confident, independent free range kids is now a crime.

Other Hands, Other Pockets: Amid all the celebration of low-cost gasoline for the ordinary guy, have you stopped to wonder whose money it is that will be disappeared when the frackers can't pay it back? And how biga dent will that make in your take home pay? Who is going to be left holding the bag? Hint: Not the banksters. 
Proposal: The Supremes, having ducked the issue for as long as possible, have agreed to decide the same-sex marriage question. Temporarily, of course. Remember abortion rights?

Noted: Humans are “eating away at our own life support systems” at a rate unseen in the past 10,000 years. This cannot go on, and thus it won't.

1 comment:

Jesse said...

There are both monsters and heroes in this world, and they are us.

Both come from the same cloth that is human: deeply flawed, imperfect, and often filled with fear and trembling.

Some give in to it, to hatred, to elevating themselves by deriding and tearing down, by setting themselves above the rules, by engaging in every kind of negative emotion and violation of kindness and goodness.

Some make a religion of themselves, and when they are not talking about themselves, tear down those who do not talk about them.

And yet there are many, many more than are ever noticed, who are heroes. They rise above themselves, above their lesser instincts, to act kindly, to do their duties, to quietly stand their ground each and every day, as conscience and honour demands of them.

This is nothing new. But it is something, a basic principle, that we occasionally forget.

'Many are the wonders, but nothing more wondrous than man.'