Archive for January, 2012

The Kids (At The Fed) Are Not Alright (January 30, 2012)

Posted in Banks and Banking System, Bernanke, Federal Reserve, Greenspan, Kleptocracy, Prison/Criminology, Society on January 30, 2012 by

. . .

K          “They sound like a bunch of seventh graders snapping their towels in the locker room and squealing at each other.”

J          “Seems that the model of adult life as ‘high school writ large’ has degenerated into ‘junior high school writ large.’”

K          “Civilization may be on the retrograde as our society slides into collapse.  Our national destiny may be heading toward a state of ‘kindergarten writ large.’  Too many of our politicians have problems ‘playing well with others.’  At least at the Fed, the clowns were all playing ‘Ring Around The Rosie’ with each other while disregarding the decline outside.”

J          “The Fed should be required to release transcripts every year rather than after five years.  What is transpiring and conspiring is too important to wait.”

K          “Years ago, the notion of ‘Groupthink’ was trendy.  The idea is that a group may be more concerned about maintaining harmony that developing a realistic perception of the situation they confront.  You wonder if even one of the Fed economists was writing internal e-mails warning of what was obvious to anyone who looked outside.”

J          “And got together after work with a friend over a beer and despaired about the situation.”

. . .

K          “Grab a sheet of paper and jot down the names of three individuals, trained as economists or not, who have a clue about what is going on in the economy.”

J          “. . .  How about two?”

K          “Two will do.”

J          “. . .  I am working on it.  . . .  How about one?”

K          “One is a start.”

J          “. . .  Can I have until tomorrow?”

K          “Take your time.  Larry Summers’ statement about women in scientific disciplines may be 180 degrees from the truth.”

J          “Summers is reliable because he is reliably wrong especially about the ‘dismal science.’”

K          “The only individuals who have a clue in our society about our economic circumstances are women – Brooksley Born, Sheila Bair, Elizabeth Warren, Yves Smith, Nicole Foss, Gretchen Morgenson, Terry Gross, Christine Lagarde, etc.”

J          “That is because women care.  When you think about it, the forte of our fellow males is starting wars and filling prisons.  When you get right down to it, the males who start the wars should fill our prisons.”

K          “Talent is a mix of a tutored and sage intellect, personal and intellectual integrity, and good old-fashioned courage.  America simply does not have talent at the top.  The élite is not élite.  And the current feeder system of universities, foundations and fellowships is designed to ferret out the same charlatans and promote them into positions of power in America.”

. . .

[See the article and comments in “The Washington Post” discussing the delusions at the Federal Reserve Bank six years ago at]

[See the “Frontline” program titled “The Warning” discussing the shenanigans of Greenspan, Summers, Rubin and their ilk and the courage of Brooksley Born at]

[See the “e-ssay” uploaded exactly six years ago to the minute titled “Greenspan’s Legacy – Apres moi, Le Meltdown (January 30, 2006).”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

The nerds won, but not the smart or courageous ones.

What clothes is the Emperor not wearing today?

Plus ca change . . .

Move To Amend: Occupy The Courts (January 23, 2012)

Posted in Citizens United Decision, Courts, Move To Amend, Occupy Movement, Supreme Court, Vietnam on January 23, 2012 by

. . .

C1          “Friday was a formal ‘Conference Day’ for the Supremes.  I doubt they conferred and expressed doubts about their decision.”

C2          “Citizens United is uniting citizens.”

C1          “These rallies unite the old Vietnam War protest crowd and the kids who recently were able to drink legally.”

C2          “The gathering of the gray hairs and the long hairs.  I looked around and wondered what the kids of the Vietnam crowd were doing on an overcast day.  And what the parents of the protesting kids were doing.” 

C1          “Working, if they are lucky.  To be have a job and get time off is a rarity today.  You have to hand it to the Supreme Court Police who handled the situation judiciously.”

C2          “The right presence and not a riot presence.  Wearing their blue uniforms and regular hats and not sporting the black Darth Vader riot gear, riot shields and riot clubs was a calming influence.”

C1          “Another day at the office.  The ceremonial barrier ringing the stairs was well positioned to allow the public to assemble and the police to establish a reasonable buffer.”

C2          “That ‘three percent’ is always there and made up what . . . about three percent of the crowd?  The dozen kids who trashed some of the barriers and advanced up the stairs did not advance the cause.  I understand their outrage, yet replacing the broken barriers will require public resources that could be used to provide fencing around a playground.”

C1          “When the group knocked down the barrier and moved up the steps of the Court, the Supreme Court Police had to make a quick decision.  Allowing the group to advance up three steps was about as much real estate as they could reasonably yield.”     

C2          “The violence done inside the Court does not justify or excuse the destruction done outside.  There is something about the right to peaceably assemble.”

C1          “No mace, no beatings, no arrests.  Nice touch.”

C2          “However, there may come a time when it will be necessary for all good men and women to come to the aid of their country and to storm the ramparts.”

. . .

[See the “e-ssays” titled “Bill/Melinda and Warren, It Is Time To Get Into The Game (January 25, 2010) and “Corporations United (Feb. 15, 2010).”]

[See “”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Do courts exist for the benefit of judges and corporations or for the benefit of the people?

When money speaks, the Truth is silent.

The system is not broken.  It is fixed.

Negroes are not citizens.  Dred Scott (1857) (mooted by the 14th Amendment); Corporations are persons.  Citizens United (2010) (mooted by the 28th Amendment?)

I won’t believe that a corporation is a person until Texas executes one.

Breaking News: Supreme Court Elects To Decide 2012 Presidential Election (January 16, 2012)

Posted in Constitution, Courts, Elections, Health Care, O'Bama, Presidency, Supreme Court on January 16, 2012 by

. . .

L1          “It really is so much easier.”

L2          “And they are so smart.  . . . .  Right.”

L1          “The outspoken opponents of judicial activism are awfully active judicially.”

L2          “And their actions and decisions are actively awful.”

L1          “In Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court held that it has the authority to appoint the President.”

L2          “Nothing is inconceivable today.  Laugh at me if you will, but I still maintain that allowing the Supremes to select the President is an ill-advised practice and a terrible precedent.”

L1          “The Five Lobbyists – our friends Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy, and Alito – announced that they will decide who wins the Presidency in 2012.  They will issue their decision in the context of the health care hullaballoo.”

L2          “Seems so.  When they review the constitutionality of ‘Romney – O’Bama Care,’ they may be confused by Romney’s ever changing positions.”

L1          “From what I hear, first Romney is in favor of Romney Care and then against Romney Care and then in favor and then against and then in favor and then against and then in favor.”

L2          “And then against.  I’m telling you, he is giving flip-flopping a bad name.”

L1          “What if the Five Lobbyists uphold ‘Romney – O’Bama Care’ and don’t taint the campaign?”   

L2          “You mean because ‘Romney – O’Bama Care’ is constitutional, albeit not the most sound public policy.”

L1          “That really should be a relevant consideration.  At least I think so.”

L2          “When do you think they will issue their decision?”

L1          “June.  Before heading off to the beach.”

L2          “They would need to hijack another case to select the President.”

L1          “They come back from the beach in October and could distort any old case lying around to declare the winner in November.”

L2          “I wouldn’t put it past them.”

. . .

[MLK – getting his words right is right and a nice birthday present.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Who says one vote does not matter?  5-4 was enough

The SCOTUS determining the POTUS is decidedly FUBAR

Losing Faith: MF Global and Kodak (January 9, 2012)

Posted in Bankruptcy, Banks and Banking System, Economics, Housing, Judges on January 9, 2012 by

. . .

K          “With each passing day, the American dream is being stolen from more and more proverbial hard-working and law-abiding Americans.  When enough ordinary Americans lose their few investments, there will not be enough Americans who are invested in America.”

J          “MF Global and Jon Corzine stole money and did the American thing.  They fraudulently filed Chapter 7 of Title 11, the Bankruptcy Code, as a securities dealer rather than a commodities broker to provide powerful creditors access to the company’s cash before its ordinary citizen clients.”

K          “The picture at Kodak is not pretty.  The retirees will discover that the pensions they worked a lifetime to build are vaporized or at least reduced in a moment via Section 365 of Title 11.  Even the Bankruptcy Code is economically and morally bankrupt.”

J          “And distorted and prostituted at every opportunity by bankruptcy lawyers and judges.  For so many other ordinary Americans, their house is a cage, a prison and a leg-hold trap.  The owners are drowning and can neither fight nor flee, neither tread water nor swim away.  Housing prices still must drop substantially to achieve market clearing prices.”

K          “If everyone acknowledged the real market value of houses, the house of cards would collapse.  Big Banks and most homeowners would be forced to admit that everyone is hopelessly insolvent.  Local governments would not be able to raise enough tax revenue unless they raised the mill rate to a crippling percentage of purported market value.  The only way for the Republic to survive the day is to nourish a collective national delusion that everything really is alright.”

J          “Is it better to nourish a collective national delusion?”

. . .

Bumper sticker of the week:

When you ain’t got nothin’, you ain’t got nothin’ to lose.

Iraq: AGFPT. Iran: AGFPT II? (January 2, 2012)

Posted in Bush, Foreign Policy, Iran, Iraq, Military Commissions Act, National Defense Authorization Act / FY 2012, O'Bama, USA PATRIOT Act on January 2, 2012 by

. . .

S          “Most members of the uniformed military are leaving Iraq, but America is never leaving Iraq.”

T          “The troops may only be able to take a two week R & R before invading Iran.”

S          “The American populace simply wanted and wants the Iraq quagmire to disappear.  Everyone in positions of influence dutifully obliged and rarely brought it up.  The invisible war.  Out of sight; out of mind.”

T          “Those in power in America seem inclined to maintain at least two wars.  Where next?  Iraq was and is America’s Greatest Foreign Policy Travesty, yet the failure can still be topped.”

S        “Will anyone remember?  Will anyone learn?  History is being written not by historians but by publicists and spin doctors.”

T          “Everything about the invasion was a lie.  Who realizes that the surge was not a surge of troops but rather a splurge of bribes to buy a temporary cessation of violence?  When the funds disappeared, the violence returned.”  

S          “To his credit, Bush seemed to learn something from the Iraq nightmare and didn’t invade Iran and trigger World War III.  It looked close for a few years.”

T          “That could have emerged as the new AGFPT.  However, Iran sporting nuclear weapons is not a pretty sight.  The sanctions sound tidy and elegant, yet they may be as provocative as a missile strike.  The major nations have engaged in clear acts of war.  And no one in power has adequately described America’s fundamental national interests in the region.”

S          “There should be a serious national debate before embarking on World War III.”

. . .

[O’Bama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012.  His signing statements will not bind or limit future presidents.  See the “e-ssays” titled “Vaclav Havel – Plato’s “Playwright President” (December 19, 2011)“, “Republicans are Enemy Combatants? (May 10, 2010)” and “Gun Control, NRA Style (January 9, 2006).”]   

Bumper sticker of the week:

The “Dirty Half Dozen.”  Let’s never forget:  George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith