Crabs ‘sense and remember pain’ BBC. Look, I already feel bad when I eat lobster, having steamed a few in my time. Also, an elephant car wash.
Huge Supernova Baffles Scientists TFOT
Obama Backs Banks, Seeks to Block Fair-Lending Probe Bloomberg (hat tip reader John)
Fed needs to double balance sheet: PIMCO Reuters. So Pimco is now floating trial balloons?
Fed Watch: The Fed Understands Tim Duy, Economist’s View
The Debt to GDP Trajectory in Perspective Menzie Chinn, Econbrowser
Greenberg critical of AIG rescue tactics Financial Times
DBRS Accuses Fed Of Discriminating Against Small Rating Firms Wall Street Journal
Little Wiggle Room for China’s Foreign Exchange Reserves Economic Observer (hat tip reader Michael)
China Stocks Optimism ‘Overdone,’ Morgan Stanley Says Bloomberg
The Market Mystique Paul Krugman
Brazil president blames white people for crisis Financial Times
Comparing the U.S. to Russia and Argentina Glenn Greenwald, Salon. A must read, Wish I had written it.
A final comment:
I have mentioned several times I am working on a book. I really should not be posting at all, frankly, given my other commitments. It is very difficult and distracting for me to produce a book under the Bataan death march schedule I am on (manuscript due in August) and keep up with the blog.
Blogging has no synergies with my day job (unlike those of many other bloggers whose blog a by-product of their work). I need to devote time to the book. I was already under a considerable amount of stress due to blogging, and the addition of the book is another notch higher..
I do intend to resume posting on more or less my old volume once the draft is in, but I really must cut back until then.
Complaints about the guest bloggers DO NOT HELP. All they do is add to my stress level and demotivate the guest bloggers, who frankly are doing this as a favor to me.
The traffic stats on the guest posts say they are generally well liked, even if they may not be your personal cup of tea, and are therefore easy enough for you to skip if you so choose.
Please show more respect for the other writers. If you disagree with their line of argument in a post, that is one thing and you are welcome to take issue with them, but to complain about their presence here to their face is just plain rude.
Antidote du jour (hat tip reader David):
“I really should not be posting at all.”
Actually, I am of the opinion that you should not be writing the book at all, if the choice is between the two.
This work, here, at this moment in history, is far more important.
(That said, the guests are readable and cogent, though a touch verbose.)
If your book is meant to be, it WILL BE. It will work out and everything will be okay. If you do blow a gasket, then your deadline will be missed, so please don’t. But, also remember, that deadlines can be missed for legitimate reasons.
I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
You can always put the blog on a shelf and dust it off after you’ve finished your book. It is YOUR blog after all. The quality shows. People won’t pass you by if you take a sabbatical to write the book.
With all due respect, you are quite mistaken, Blogs are ephemera. While the larger ones have their following, they are infotainment and their impact is limited at best.
At least some beyond Krugman in the MSM are beginning to get the memo that the Geithner plan is little more than reviving TARP and adding an extra step – money laundering. Michael Kinsley has a column in the Washington Post today about how abstruseness seems to be the point of the Geithner plan. Of course, the blogosphere has made this point several times over, but it’s good to see it hopefully getting some traction in the MSM.
Yves @ 5:33 AM:
Actually, you would be very surprised at the discomfort you have brought to the “cottage” crowd along (both shores) of Long Island Sound.
I hope you are here to chronicle and comment on the real crisis when it arrives in ’13, when a sucker to buy the “T” paper cannot be found, even after being made “an offer he couldn’t refuse.”
To many people think to have something to say and write books…It’s a business we all know.
You may become famous with a book or with a blog. I do not see the difference…unless it’s strictly personal, if you feel it. But in this case it should not provide stress at all. For a stress test see at my blog.
Dear Ives Smith,
I’ve been a reader of your blog for a couple of years. It is an excellent blog. I admire your integrity, lucidity and elegance. Thanks much for all your work to keep it going. I also appreciate the high quality of the guests that you have invited to share their ideas.
All best wishes for a fruitful completion of the book project.
“…Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society.
This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population.
Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights….”
by Albert Einstein
This essay was originally published in the first issue of Monthly Review (May 1949)
With all due respect Yves, I think you are not quite right with classifying your blog as infotainment. In my eyes it is far more than that. It contributes valuably to building opinions in a still democratic environment. You stand for the freedom of opinion which is sometimes limited in the public media. That is an idealistic value, of course, but especially in critical times like these such values are more than money.
And for non-economists like me it is education. Please go to some public school or college and see how students are educated in these important economic things. Instead of viewing your blog as infotainment you might feel compelled to launch a big campaign then.
My wife makes her living writing books. I understand your position and know there are just so many brain cells left at the end of your working day.
We will survive until you have delivered the manuscript and finished with edits.
Please provide a link on your blog to pre-order the book once the pub date is set
i think that any guest posting that makes the cut to be on your blog is probably worthwhile reading. Best wishes on the book and I’ll be glad to see you again when you’re done. Add where do I get an autographed copy?
Yves, thank you. I look forward to your book.
Now this is radical, and right. The emperor has no clothes:
“But the wizards were frauds, whether they knew it or not, and their magic turned out to be no more than a collection of cheap stage tricks. Above all, the key promise of securitization — that it would make the financial system more robust by spreading risk more widely — turned out to be a lie. Banks used securitization to increase their risk, not reduce it, and in the process they made the economy more, not less, vulnerable to financial disruption.” End.
The natural tendency of the financial services business model is the boiler room. Manufacture a “security” to hype, carry it up with insider purchases (accumulate), man the phones to sell, and then dump it (distribute), and run like hell.
The credit card business has devolved to little more than legalized loan sharking.
The Reagan/Bush Plantation Capitalists, in business and government, have been feeding on the deep and liquid American financial markets and way of life.
The post-depression regulatory structure provided savers with sufficient certainty and over-site to confidently invest. This is what the wall street flim flam man has been harvesting. Wouldn’t it have been nice if the republicans had privatized social security ?
Unfortunately, the bailout proposal appears to be a continuation of the same. I hope I am wrong.
Blogging might be “narrowcasting” compared to publishing a book (“broadcasting”?) but your blog’s audience is probably such that you underestimate your influence today.
Good luck with the book. You will be missed.
Keep up what you are doing. The guests are doing just dandy thank you.
Books make coin. Even famous bloggers need coin.
As for the folks who complain, let them go somewhere else until you get back.
I enjoy your stuff greatly, but do what you have to do and don’t let the needy-greedy get you down.
NC is great. Blogs, especially this one, are more than infotainment. They help culture ideas. Because we don't spend money on it, or hold it in our hand its easy to consider it part of the blog-soup that helps filter thoughts & ideas — they just don't get the name stamped on them. What isn't like that though? Do we know the names of the mothers of Louie Armstrong, Stevie Wonder, Jim Henson, etc… nope, but someone has to plant the seed, of the 'flowers we stop to smell'.
Like a fungus, or bacteria, blogs are the first to inoculate, and they set the stage.
NC is a gem and we'll be happy to see you dedicate your time to what you think is most fruitful. Keep up the good work. The guest blogs are great too (especially Buitler, Durden & Pension Pulse – folks just enjoy your voice.)
Yves and company,
I love this blog, quite frankly and feel privileged to help Yves out as she writes her book.
I say, “feel free to complain to me all you want.” My job is to present relevant cogent arguments about the goings-on in finance and to spark debate.
My hope is that you readers find what I have to say insightful or helpful in teasing apart some of these issues.
If you don’t agree, feel free to let me have it in the comments. I welcome the discussion (despite the bruised ego). A healthy debate is what Yves’ blog is all about.
Best to you all. And, good luck with the project, Yves.
i completely support your decision. i find your writing and analysis compelling, but understand completely your priorities. absence here will indeed stoke the fires of fondness.
Yves Smith wrote: Blogs are ephemera. While the larger ones have their following, they are infotainment and their impact is limited at best.
Yves, technically I suppose you’re correct in saying that blogs are ephemera. But, newspapers are ephemera in the same sense. Newspapers have, in the main, abdicated their role as foreseen by the founders who penned the First Amendment. I think the case can be made that bloggers such as yourself have taken on that discarded mantle and now serve a critical role in informing the public and shaping public opinion.
Thank you for all you do and please don’t underestimate the importance and impact of your work.
Your blog is a LOT more than entertainment. It is the first thing I read when I get up [then the FT and Alphaville].
I don’t know how you carry on your schedule of just writing the blog 7 days a week. While I would very much miss it, perhaps you could cut back to 5 days while you write your book.
What I very much don’t want is to lose your blog entirely, either because of burnout, or the requirements of your book writing.
So, please do take care of yourself, but also please keep your insights coming as well. They are very much appreciated, and needed, in the dangerous world that now exists.
Yves said – “With all due respect, you are quite mistaken, Blogs are ephemera. While the larger ones have their following, they are infotainment and their impact is limited at best.”
The daily sunrise, rain storms, and thunder and lightning are ephemeral, but they can and do cause great and good changes …
Blogs, good blogs like yours (your integrity, intelligence and passion jump off the screen), because of the present freedom on the internet, are thunder and lightning that form the zeitgeist in real time. Books, and all of the system’s in place restrictive muzzling associated with them, are now; historical documents, out of date when printed, and mild breezes in comparison to blogs. Consider also the lifestyle change required to promote the book. Promotion owns your life.
The guest posts are great and even hint at a necessary and possible alternatively worthwhile and financially rewarding project in the blogosphere — consolidation of kindred media to offset the overwhelming loudness of the system’s powerful and deceptive voice.
The god’s of choice smile on you … follow your joy …
i on the ball patriot
It is great to be introduced to your guests — some of whom I have bookmarked to follow in the future.
Along with the other posters, I want to assure you I regard this blog as more than infotainment.
Blogs as a delivery venue in general yes.
Your insight into the markets, experience, and helping people cut through the news speak propaganda we are bombarded with by the great disingenuous ones, is very valuable.
Honestly I would pay several hundred dollars a year for this info.
Yves, great guest bloggers. If you know them and accept them then I know I’ll like them. If anything, they tend to bring more technical stuff for someone like me a very green investor. Green as in Newbie. Hopefully, ‘green’ too.
Love the links and fellow mammal pictures. (throw in a few fish and bugs and I’ll be fine.) Looking forward to your book.
President Lulu, please stop picking on people with blue eyes. I just saw Lawrence Summers on Big Think and he doesn’t have blue eyes. I do. And I am with you on being on the poor people’s side. Just get your facts straight. A lot of Irish and Icelanders have blue eyes and they aren’t doing so well in this financial mess either.
Love Cassandra’s blog too which I heard from here while she was guest blogger: http://nihoncassandra.blogspot.com/2009/03/pause-for-thought.html
anyway, she’s got some great links too. For wonderful pics and descriptions about hiking and climbing in Japan: http://www.i-cjw.com/
anyway, carry on with the hard work and don’t worry about commenters as we have lots of stuff to read.
I very much enjoy your guest bloggers. I would not have found Zero Hedge without it. It is now on my list of favorites.
Best of luck with the book and thank you for all of the effort you put forth with your blog.
I just want to chime in that I really like the guest postings. I had been reading Zero Hedge and Credit Writedowns anyway because they are excellent and am happy to see those bloggers receive added attention.
BTW – I think readers might also enjoy this link:
Obama Seeks JPMorgan, Goldman, Citigroup Support on Bank Plan
Come for the propaganda, stay for the LOLZ.
Everyone should check out the Hank Greenberg comments on the AIG rescue. Worthwhile reading.
Re your note: xoxo. Don’t change a thing!
Yves and guest bloggers,
Please disregard the unfounded criticism re: guest bloggers and linked content. Perhaps it is only selfishness. For each negative comment, there must be at least a thousand of us who check your blog first thing in the morning and often check for new posts throughout the day. Thank you for your insights and generosity and good luck with the book.
I can’t tell you how much I enjoy http://www.nakedcapitalism. I also enjoy the guest posts.
Good luck with your book – I’ll be buying a copy.
I’ve been saying things like Greenwald for years.
Yves, I love your blog, but you need to do your book 1st.
I recently finished Mike Panzer’s latest, and I’m looking forward to yours too. More guest posters are just fine. Do what you need to do. And, thanks again!
If you feel uncomfortable boiling lobsters, do what many chefs do: take a large knife, drive the point directly through the center of the head, then pull down quickly, so the knife slices the head in half. This kills the lobster almost instantly; much faster than boiling. Once you’ve done this, of course, you must work quickly to gut it and cook the meat.
Somehow, I am feeling this makes a metaphor for our current situation, but exactly who is the chef and who is the lobster is unclear.
(by the way, I have never done this myself, though I have watched it done.)
Please take care of yourself. We prefer you not blowing a gasket. We’ll be here.
Nil carborundum, Yves. Keep on buggering on.
I enjoy the guest bloggers. There is no need to be hostile or rude toward them either.
Yves I respecfully disagree your disparaging opinion about blogs. While they ARE ephemeral (as is most real-time information), they are far more powerful than infotainment.
Compared to the conflicted crap that comes out of the mainstream media (Murrow and Cronkite, we need you!!!) quality blogs like this shine like a beacon of pure truth and light.
The comments by Pigeon reflect my views to a T.
I forget how I first linked to your blog, but I bookmarked it first time around & am a daily reader. As the current economic meltdown started going critical I noticed more and more links to your blog by other financial bloggers, but by political bloggers as well.
Guest posts may read like recycled lectures in some cases, but as a non-economist, I have few complaints. If truth be told, even if you had to cut back to the linky goodness you provide daily, as well as the always marvelous "antidote du jour" I would still come by regularly.
Ignore the rabble rousers and write your book. A sheet of white paper…er, sorry, a blank screen…is a stomach churning prospect, as anyone knows who has ever faced a deadline.
The guest posts are fine, but they need to show some respect for readers–give us a link and excerpt only the relevant bits. If we want to follow them up, we will. It’s a little annoying to have to scroll through pages and pages of other people’s excerpted articles to get to their point.
Blogs are the future; books are the past. I don’t read books anymore. If your book came out, I would only know this because of your blog because I stopped going to bookstores years ago.
You will no doubt enrich your publisher with your book, but you have enriched countless people day-to-day with this blog.
What makes this blog stand out is its committment to rigor and the unique understanding you bring to the issues of the day. It likewise attracts a good readership that leaves insightful comments which don’t usually annoy me.
In a sense, it is one of the only and best sources for news perspective around. I personally think as the blog takes off, you will make a lot of money from it.
I value your writing. I continuously read about 30 or 40 of them. But I come here for you. (And I go to Cassandras site to read her.) I pick whom I want to read. Now, you could have done as David Merkel or others and just posted less. But apparently this is not your style, having invited a whole team.
The complaints seem to be centered around very long articles being posted. They create clutter. I think this is where a better blog template could help. I really like the Fistful of Euros “Read more right here…” feature. They have many disparate writers and still a uniform and professional look. (Letters from the Gulag, hu?)
Not to get personal, but if money is an issue for you, I’m sure there are a number of us who would be willing to subscribe to your blog. I get much more value from N.C. than I do from subscriptions that cost me several hundred dollars a year. So, count me as someone willing to subscribe, if you wish to go in that direction.
Yves, do not worry. Your blog is appreciated and valued. The time out you’re taking is not a huge deal, and very understandable. No blog run by an individual can continue constantly at the same personal level of input. You need a holiday from it anyway, and your readers, the ones you need, will respect that.
Your guest posters are different, sometimes markedly so, but they are an interesting change, they are worthwhile reads in their own right, they expand our horizons a bit.
I can only speak for myself, but take the time you need to get the book done, keep on with the guest writers, and you will get the tolerance you have merited and have every right to expect from your regular readers.
re citiation from Albert Einstein. I am not sure whether one can discard blogs as being merely “ephimeral”. I would presume that certain blogs are being followed not only by the active and passive blogging community but also by the government. There are even moments when I catch myself wondering if there exist any “unofficial” plans to shut down blogging in situations when the government could consider to much “infotainment” as being dangerously destabilizing.
Mrs Smith and cobloggers thanks you for doing what you are doing.
Ha ha! Good luck with the book.
Deadlines are a beeeetch. You always end up worrying about what you haven’t said in the MS.
“Topman Gerrit Zalm van ABN Amro heeft managers van de bank dringend verzocht hun bonussen in te leveren. ‘Je krijgt de garantie dat je een toekomst hebt bij de bank, maar dan moet je wel je bonus inleveren,’ heeft Zalm tegen de medewerkers van de bank gezegd.”
Former dutch minister of finance Gerrit Zalm now in charche of the pieces of ABN bank in hands of the dutch goverment did have a novel approch. Give up your bonus and you have a future with the bank. Otherwise you’re free to leave. 80% gives up there bonus!
Yves, I love your blog and have been an “addict” for a year now.
I am sad that you are temporarily winding down, but that sadness is the sadness one feels in any relationship when there is time away.
Good luck with your book – probably long overdue – and I cant wait to get a copy!
Keep on with the blog to the extent that you can, from time to time, ….please :)
We all look forward to seeing you full time again soon.
Best of luck and know that you have more supporters than Geitner at present!! lol.
ps your guest bloggers are just fine. They, together with your commentators still produce a mighty fine blog.
ps. Yves, you and your blog via the contributors and commentators has single-handedly improved the quality of thought of your [insert no here] unique visitors. Not because the visitors thoughts or ideas needed enlightenment or “improving” but because your blog provided an intelligent, timely and prodigious amount of information for your visitors to digest and provided a forum for exchange and debate of ideas – all in one place.
Intelligence and awareness grows in such an environment, not in a vacuum.
You are intelligent, prodigious and articulate. A rare combo.
Good luck again.
Yves, I’m very concerned about your health. You should take as much time off as needed as your health is the most important thing.
Surely, I’ll miss your posts, but your guest bloggers are doing a wonderful job.
To all the naysayers please move on you won’t be missed!
MIT prof and former (recent) chief economist from the IMF basically confirming what we have all been saying all along on this blog.
Linked to by Greenwald…
IMO today’s absolute must read
Well, Yves, as we all used to say in third grade: “Have a nice trip, see you next fall…”
Of course, by then, you will be (magnificent) manuscript in hand.
You’re far too modest, Yves.
I happen to know that at least one top executive of one of the “too big to fail” institutions reads your blog on a regular basis. I know because he’s my Father in Law and I turned him on to NC (pardon the awkward turn of phrase).
Don’t kill yourself keeping it up,though, Yves. If you need to go on hiatus, I’m certain you will still have a large following when you come back.
Three things: 1) As long as you continue to post a bit, we’ll muddle through with your able assistants.
2) While it may be ephemeral (‘taint stone or brick but then neither is paper) it is important, and educational as well as informative.
3) Science writers that “discover” that animals feel pain, think, or have emotions must have lived under rocks themselves and never observed animals closely before, which is a shame.
(3b) the antidotes du jour are often truly an antidote, on awful days when another friend loses a job and the government shows the skull beneath the skin a little more clearly.
Jeff, ditto. Look after yourself Yves and please don’t burn out. For what it’s worth; I don’t view NC as “infotainment”. For me, NC’s been an educational experience, far more beneficial than any uni course could hope to deliver. The collection of ideas and comments show that this is not about entertainment but about a people from a variety of backgrounds who are genuinely concerned about the events of the day and their implications. To the bloggers who don’t like the guest post, please show some respect – debate the idea and not the guest.
Yes, I have heard that crabs ‘cry’ when you cook them.
What people fail to understand is that vegetables also cry when they are chewed to death alive.
They cry silently.
When you grind that carrot to pieces in your mouth, after having flayed it first, you rarely realize the pain you’ve caused that carrot. This is completely true and you would konw it if you have ever read the Autobiography of a Yogi in which he talked about how Bose, who won a Nobel prize in physics, discovered plants had feelings too.
Of course, if you’ve watched the movie, ‘What the Bleep Is It All About’, you know also that even water has feelings.
So, next time you meet a vegan, please tell him what a cruel monster he is.
I felt a little guilt about elsewhere telling you to write fast but not much. After reading through the comments here and seeing the places all over the blogsphere that link to you I want to somehow challenge you to be creative and please figure out a way to stay engaged in the ongoing battle we are fighting.
I dare say woman that you are instrumental in making a greater difference in the public’s understanding of the economy than all the media gasbags combined.
I hate to lose that for even a second but will only rant about it occasionally.
This is about the fight, the ancestor in us all, ready to give up all, for the continuance of our rights, as I once gave this country my life, in its leaders name.
Real Patriots sacrifice their existence or belittlement in history to make changes for the common good. Would this be ages ago I would pledge my sword to you.
Skippy…dear lady you do have power and a heart dare I say, tempered by past deed’s, as I do. Penance is the most I can hope for…past wrong doings in my coutrys name.
The Quiet Coup
May 2009 – The Atlantic
This is an important article: the conclusion reads as follows:
“The conventional wisdom among the elite is still that the current slump “cannot be as bad as the Great Depression.” This view is wrong. What we face now could, in fact, be worse than the Great Depression—because the world is now so much more interconnected and because the banking sector is now so big. We face a synchronized downturn in almost all countries, a weakening of confidence among individuals and firms, and major problems for government finances. If our leadership wakes up to the potential consequences, we may yet see dramatic action on the banking system and a breaking of the old elite. Let us hope it is not then too late.”
Am I the only one that gets Google Ads to see
Angela Jolie, Britney Spears and Jessica Alba naked when I visit Naked Capitalism?
@ 12:07 PM,
Yes, Johnson is, I think, correct in re. ‘state capture’ though this might better be seen as a socio-structural ‘feature’ of the capital system, i.e. the legal-political system, government, has to my knowledge never been neutral but managed in the interests of a particular class or class segment — case at hand would, obviously, be the financial segment and its weightiest members.
Other hand, when Johnson says:
From long years of experience, the IMF staff knows its program will succeed—stabilizing the economy and enabling growth—only if at least some of the powerful oligarchs who did so much to create the underlying problems take a hit.
He is denying IMF structural adjustment programs’ role – through trade and financial liberalization, export promotion, reduced social expenditures, privatization of public assets – in creating, not stability and growth but the contrary — even that own institution’s data [and that of Angus Maddison] point out a post-1970 decade by decade decline in rate of world GDP.
Neither the IMF or WB have been neutral and, particularly over the last decades, have – with their promotion of the neo-liberal agenda – mismanaged, impoverished, killed.
Yves, Thanks. The book is important – it will be superb and when finished you will swear to never do it again.
FINALLY, something worth reading: Re: "Am I the only one that gets Google Ads to see Angela Jolie, Britney Spears and Jessica Alba naked when I visit Naked Capitalism?
> There is a hierarchy of infotainment here, which begins with the exposure to nakedness, it's kinda like poetry in motion, which is both subliminal and metaphorical in a sort of retarded way. I find it very absorbing and thought provoking and seldom find words to describe how I feel, after I come away from a visit here.
P.S. Books are so 1800's
In the long run, we are all ephemera.
I’ll add just a couple of thoughts to the “mix.”
What you add by your writings is more valuable than you’ll probably ever know.
With the team of guest writers that you’ve assembled, you have compiled a great wealth of information for your readers, and I thank you for that.
Is some of it a bit more lengthy and intense than we’re used to? Maybe, but that should, rather than frustrate us, challenge us to rise to the occasion and learn more.
Keep it up and bring them on!