Links 8/20/08

Wild dolphins tail-walk on water BBC

Judge: Man can’t be forced to divulge encryption passphrase CNet

Meet Mr. & Ms. Thrifty Who Are Deep In Debt Elaine Meinel Supkis. Shreds a CNN Money article.

Gold Bulls `Running for Cover’ Signal Price Drop: Chart of Day Bloomberg and Speculation Over, Gold Going to $600: Fund Manager CNBC (hat tip reader Saboor)

Economic consequences of falling oil prices Jim Hamilton, Econbrowser

Misguided game of SOx and NOx played for high stakes John Dizard, Financial Times

Why Downey Financial is Not IndyMac Institutional Risk Analytics

Did the Stimulus Package Actually Stimulate? Macroblog. Other economists like Gary Shilling have come to the same conclusion, that the stimulus package in fact did not do much, but this is a particularly nice, balanced reading of the tea leaves.

Fannie Mae Proves Economists Wrong: Skills Do Not Explain Income Inequality Dean Baker

Back to the Future: Are Banks Getting Religion? Roger Ehrenberg

Antidote du jour:

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  1. doc holiday

    This is a visual metaphor which points towards the 1939 masterpiece known as, “”Rafi et les Neuf Singes”. This work was a collaboration between Margret and Augusto Rey. Apparently, Rafi is the prototype for the wildly popular character named Curious George.

    The end of The Great Depression in the U.S. is associated with the onset of the war economy of World War II, beginning around 1939.

    However, in 1936 Maynard Keynes wrote The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money. This abstract work of economic theory was challenged in 1944 by criticism leveled by Friedrich Hayek, who suggested (according to Wiki) ” that the study of the economy by the relations between aggregates is fallacious, and that recessions are caused by micro-economic factors. Hayek claimed that what starts as temporary governmental fixes usually become permanent and expanding government programs, which stifle the private sector and civil society. Keynes himself described the critique as “deeply moving”, which was quoted on the cover of the Road to Serfdom.”

    Wiki offers additional food for thought: “Hayek’s central thesis is that all forms of collectivism lead logically and inevitably to tyranny, and he used the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany as examples of countries which had gone down “the road to serfdom” and reached tyranny. Hayek argued that within a centrally planned economic system, the distribution and allocation of all resources and goods would devolve onto a small group, which would be incapable of processing all the information pertinent to the appropriate distribution of the resources and goods at the central planners’ disposal.”

    I think this background history brings us back to “W’ and Curious George and the current monkey business associated with taxpayers bailing out a “small group” of failed banks and entities which are too big to fail and too big to succeed. Too crooked to be run honestly!

    In terms of “W” I think of this definition: A government in which a single ruler (a tyrant) has absolute power. Thus, I look back to the The Ownership Society as one of the greatest failures in American history, which connects Wall Street collusion to Washington corruption.

    We have a systemic failure in place today, because the leaders of our nation collectively made a choice to disregard the rules of the road and place themselves above the law. In general terms, we all share roads that have common laws, which most citizens respect, because with out uniform control, there would be chaos. I’m perplexed as to why a corporation that has a fleet of trucks, or jets, would on one hand demand that drivers of vehicles adhere to the rules of the road — yet on the other hand, these same corporations recklessly spin off Cayman-style entities and SIV-vehicles that have no rules, regulations, control, accountability or police enforcement. That is insane.

    Thus this chaos that we have been reading about for at least 10 years is an absurd abuse of power — and the tyranny of this subprime era is about a small group of people that are unaccountable for obeying the rules. This is an era of madness, where The SEC, FOMC,, FTC, DOJ and every branch of American government failed its citizens, by allowing corruption to go unchallenged!

    ..if you own something, you have a vital stake in the future of our country. The more ownership there is in America, the more vitality there is in America, and the more people have a vital stake in the future of this country. – President George W. Bush, June 17, 2004
    We’re creating… an ownership society in this country, where more Americans than ever will be able to open up their door where they live and say, welcome to my house, welcome to my piece of property. – President George W. Bush, October 2004.

    This is Curiuos George!

  2. Dave

    The CNN Money article may be a pile of horse sh!t, but Elaine Meinel Supkis is a loathsome writer as well, hardly capable of holding my interest. Neither party looks especially good parroting their arguments.

  3. Anonymous


    Unsupported ad hominem. The use of “loathsome” is a tip off. I’d hazard you don’t like her politics.

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