Guest Post: TED gets furious, tells Yves to go away and, errm, not be so furious

By Richard Smith, a London-based capital markets IT specialist

Hmm, I wonder if Yves’s resolution authority post will become the econoblogosphere’s equivalent to Clochemerle’s shattered urinal and its entourage of rioters. Surely not; yet it’s impressive how often such modest, utilitarian objects – a pissoir, a blog post about a financial reform proposal – can unexpectedly become the focus of great public ire.

It’s clear that regulators need the legislative authority to wind down a financial firm – that’s been unfinished business since Glass-Steagall was abolished, which left FDIC flapping in the breeze, and bit the hapless Fed and Treasury very heavily in the backside once they finally noticed there was something of a financial crisis on; 12 September 2008, according to Hank Paulson’s memoirs. Better late than never, I suppose.

It’s clear that regulators need to monitor the exposures of large complex financial institutions. It’s clear that no-one has a clue how to wind down a large complex financial institution that has chunky derivatives exposures and large overseas deposits, otherwise there wouldn’t be this continuing low-key faff about Citigroup. It’s also clear that this administration doesn’t exactly have a glittering track record of grabbing the financial reform agenda by the throat, and that its flustered-looking second round initiatives, the Volcker rule and the resolution authority, are, for the moment at the very least, light on detail and short on plausibility.

So you might think a Naked Capitalism post politely (well, relatively politely, this is Yves, but anyhow, not at all angrily, see for yourself ) questioning The Epicurean Dealmaker’s attempted defence of the resolution authority idea would be a useful addition to this great debate we’re all having.

TED doesn’t think so. His counterblast comes in three pieces – first, a pointless ad hominem preamble in which he simply tells us all that Yves is tired and should go on holiday (this seems to be a wild overinterpretation of Yves’ latest doomed resolution to sort out her sleep schedule), second, a central piece actually about the pretext for the post in which he misses some of Yves’ points, and connects with others (since it will make him look better than he deserves, I will skip the rejoinders he gets right); third, a piece about the unfairness of describing folk working in the banking industry as banksters, with a little homily on anger attached.

But but but…like the thought or not, pretty much everyone working in the banking industry, even lowly little guys like me, and certainly including such grand figures as TED and Yves, is a beneficiary of the rapacity (in the good times) and bailouts (in the less good times). That’s the most illuminating part of the post, that glimpse of how TED sees the world and his place in it; somehow decoupled from inflated asset values and inflated fees, and not at all ashamed.

Yet we banksters certainly should be trying very hard to fix what’s broken, and feeling embarrassed rather than defiant and angry and a bit whiny; and, at least in the less exalted banking circles that I adorn, that’s exactly what’s happening. And some of us, at our different paces, constrained by our variously acute and conflicting requirements for food, shelter, capacity to look after our loved ones, and a sense of integrity, are looking for something altogether different to do. And that’s fair enough too, I should think.

TED’s final point seems to be for Yves to discover how tired, bitter, humorless, full of hate, angry, strident and self-righteous she is, and to understand the awful danger of being like that. At least, I think that’s the gist of his concluding and very egregious sermonet; he isn’t quite this direct about it, but I’m damned if I can work out who else the subject of all those epithets is meant to be. Get this scorcher:

Anger has a personal cost, too. Unless it is leavened with reason, and moderated by the acknowledgement that no-one is perfect, hate and anger can be highly corrosive. Justifiable anger is a wonderful source of energy, and a marvelous spur to action. But nurtured, coddled, and sustained overlong, anger can constrict the vision, dull perceptiveness, and calcify the brain. It can blind you to the good in others, to the alternatives available to you, and, in the end, to the truth. If left untreated too long, eventually others tire of your stridency and self-righteousness, and you sink back into justified and bitter obscurity, another valued voice in the debated stifled by irrelevance.

Is this crazy bombast actually serious? Unless it’s a wry piece of self-referential irony – TED’s capable of that sometimes, unlike many IB types. A moment of deliberate self-deflation, or just more ad hominem, with extra pomposity? The reader must decide for himself, because I just can’t tell, this time.

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  1. psychohistorian

    Hey TED,

    I think you would look good in an orange jumpsuit at Gitmo. America is suppose to exist to support the populace at large, not the rich and their lackeys like you.

    There is this concept called moral turpitude. Look it up and tell us if you would pass a test to enter this country.

    Thanks for the posting. TED needs to know how much his moral vacuousness is revered.

    1. zephyrum

      > Hey TED,
      > I think you would look good in an orange jumpsuit at Gitmo.

      Amen, Brother!

  2. nah

    in an orderly world all things can be dealt with in a manner keeping with the order of tall tales and ownership
    and that goes for bankrupt institutionalized capitalist government… if we need basic services that people are not willing to acknowledge as being important than ABC should be selling that rather than 1 off acknowlegements

  3. vv111y

    I have meant to say this at some point and this seems like a good post to do it.
    I am a Canadian who is taking care of both my immediate family and some extended family finances.
    Yves, if this is you tired, bitter, humorless, full of hate, angry, strident and self-righteous – then please don’t ever stop.
    I want you to know how much of a positive impact you have had on at least one person throughout this crisis. I expect this includes many, many more.
    Someway, somehow, I would be happy to return the favour however I can.

    Thank You Yves.

  4. Tom Stone

    Yves is still capable of being outraged by the pervasive corruption she sees,and this is offensive?

  5. etz

    I agree that “banksters” may not be the most adequate term to describe folks working in the banking industry.

    “Thieves”, “parasites”, or “brigands” are much better candidates, just to name a few.

  6. Doug Terpstra

    TED: “Anger has a personal cost, too. Unless it is leavened with reason, and moderated by the acknowledgement that no-one is perfect, hate and anger can be highly corrosive.”

    Well, duh! Sure, a steady diet of fear and loathing, a la Hunter Thompson, can induce one to swing wildly at mythical wombats, but that hardly describes Yves clear-eyed autopsy of financial crimes. This Epicurean ‘delicacy’ may be flushed in Clochemerle’s urinal.

    TED does catpure me, however—an irrelevant cynical curmudgeon, ready for the rubber room of bitter obscurity.

  7. Jesse

    Perhaps TED et al. Wall Street types should be much more concerned than they apparently are.

    Yves and I are the nice ones.


    1. Dave

      “Should you see me on the street, however, you will be able to recognize me easily. I am the distinguished looking, well dressed 6’5″ gentleman with chiseled abs and gleaming teeth the size of dinner plates.”

      Sounds to me like a self absorbed, pretentious puke who over estimates the importance of his role in the financial order and the importance of that order in the real world.

  8. Paul Tioxon

    The other day, Yves had our attention drawn to a Berkley riot, that it seems was locals and not students getting out of hand. I believe, Yves had tried to read a canary in the mine analogy into this outbreak. I am interested that the more recent and much larger and clearly student lead national day of action last Thursday, 4th, has not registered as much. Jesse points out to TED, that along with Yves, they are among the nicer critics. This is something that will become more and more clear as the many dispossessed middle class, student and mid career in ruins professional sees little restoration of life before The Fall of Wall Street. The SDS is back. The students are getting night sticks and heads cracked. The tea partiers have not got the same response when they show up armed at presidential rallies to protest. I wonder, will the students learn from the tea party or will the government crack some of the women’s skulls with the death panel signage? The point is that the rest of the country is not getting satisfactory answers and the republicans attack everything from solar energy and fuel cells, to health care reform, just to stay in power. Oil and cars and DOD contracts are not going to keep the nation growing. And people do not want to leave the suburban tract developments anytime soon to downscale in the cities or trailer parks. What do you think they will do if they are continued to be foreclosed out of homes and can not make the money they used to maintain an adequate middle class lifestyle?

  9. Claremont

    This post doesn’t respond at all to the substantive points which TED raised in his response to Yves, instead it just calls him names and mischaracterizes what he said. It’s hard to act like you are trying to have a reasonable discussion when you explicitly claim that “(since it will make him look better than he deserves, I will skip the rejoinders he gets right)”.

    TED has a point in that Yves’ initial post makes it look like she never actually read what he wrote, and that her overuse of the “bankster” term is counterproductive. The paragraph you quoted is not all that unreasonable, and calling TED a “crazy bombast” based on it is not fair.

    1. borker

      Friend of pot calls kettle black at best, but I don’t see name calling here. Or are you just letting us know you don’t know what “ad hominem’ means?

    2. attempter

      How ridiculous that anyone would blow up at Yves of all people for her mild criticism of this fraudulent resolution notion. (She actually took it seriously on the textbook merits, which is far more than it deserves given the practical reality of kleptocracy.) Unlike with some of the peasant ruffians among her commenters, her commentary hardly seems to be an expression of rage.

      Maybe it’s because of who she is, not a peasant but someone from the fraternity, that TED finds this mild disagreement so menacing. Maybe he’s well-armored vs. outsiders. But in constructing this caricature, this person seems to be revealing how even the mildest insider criticism, criticism from within the fraternity, stings.

      It’s not possible to overuse the term “bankster”, which is actually pretty mild.

      I suppose if an entire post was nothing but the repeated word “bankster”, that might be monotonous, but it still wouldn’t be unfair to anybody.

      The last thing any bankster should ever want is for fairness or justice to prevail. Things would not go well for them.

      (And they better all be praying there’s no such thing as a just God.)

    3. br_add

      Yes, agreed. TED raises some good points, and anyone who tries to construe him as an ideologue severely misrepresents him and has probably not read what he has written throughout the past couple of years.

      It would be difficult for Yves to argue that people like TED are to blame for the crisis, so TED’s point about decrying the supposedly homogenous bankers remains.

      Anyone who says this is a “blow-up” by TED (or that he finds Yves menacing) obviously has not read what he has written inside OR outside the non-linked (and what the hell is up with that?) article.

      And Francois – TED is pretty clear that resolution would bring the flexibility and (we can hope) preparation… they were obviously afraid of exceeding their jurisdiction. The regulators failed because of uncertainty – they didn’t know whether they had the authority to take certain courses of action. Your supposed critique applies to a stem-and-root reform proposed by Yves just as much as to TED’s proposal for reform since it depends on regulators exercising discretion.

      I am sorry but people like Felix Salmon, Mike Konzcal and James Kwak have provided the balanced analysis on the blogosphere lately compared to the rantings against bankers that are found on this site. You don’t (and shouldn’t) have to resort to blunt generalizations to make your point(s) more compelling.

      1. Richard Smith

        the non-linked (and what the hell is up with that?) article

        Just finger trouble – apologies. It was a difficult post to write.

  10. Francois T

    Both TED and Yves had pretty solid arguments about the resolution authority.

    I think the biggest points of contention have to do with flexibility and planning.

    In theory, TED is right; regulators need both. There is no other way to instill the fear of God in the Financiers that it would be much more difficult for them to game the system since it would not have overly precise targets.

    In practice, Yves is right.Wwhile not saying so directly her argument is that regulators, before anything else, must harbor a commitment to do their goddamn job! And they’ve utterly failed during the last 10 years. WTF would flexibility and preparation bring to the table if the operators just refuse to use it in the first place?

  11. john bougearel


    A very curious post. Most comments are focused on TED’s schizophrenic [at best] or sociopathic post, and deservedly so.

    But the quote I appreciate from Richard Smithi is this: “Yet we banksters certainly should be trying very hard to fix what’s broken, and feeling embarrassed rather than defiant and angry and a bit whiny; and, at least in the less exalted banking circles that I adorn, that’s exactly what’s happening.”

    Two things of merit here, Richard is identifying with the culpability of the abusive system he is a part of and secondly he is willing to try to fix. How many banksters do you know out there willing to even to admit or try to fix jack about what is flawed and illegal? It’s an oxymoron at best.

  12. bob goodwin

    From Ted:

    “investment banking has its fair share of crooks, but we are no different than the rest of society. …. To think otherwise is just plain stupid.”

    Count me as stupid. I actually live in the rest of society.

    1. carol

      bob, thanks for picking on the crux of TED’s argument.
      After ALL that has been revealed over the last two years (and imagine: all the ‘innovations’ whose disastrous impacts not yet have been revealed), talking about a FAIR share regarding crooks, just says it all.

      If someone uses ‘fair’, ‘fairness’ in relation to the ongoing on Wall Street, he/she has lost it.

      1. etz

        This is how sociopaths responds to public shaming.

        They really don’t understand it, but they feel SOME sort of negative reaction to any moral critique of their behavior.

        So, kind of like the neighborhood asshole/psychopath at the local bar. When seen in public by everyone to be doing something incredibly uncouth, horrendous, disgusting, selfish, etc – they say “Aw they’re just jealous and wish they were me.”

        …revealing how they really view the world, or at least how they excuse their actions – that everyone else in the world is AT LEAST as bad as them and would be doing the same thing given the opportunity – therefore there is no guilt neccessary for a sociopathic bankster when stealing from the public – you’re stealing from sociopathic thieves after all, right?

  13. Kevin de Bruxelles

    The disagreement between Yves and TE revolves around two different approaches of military strategy. TED’s approach comes from traditional combat. In this case ambiguity is your strongest weapon. Without going into too much detail there is a concept of combat developed by Col. John Boyd called a OODA Loop in which he tries to describe the process of enemies engaging in battle. The acronym OODA stands for different stages each side has to go through in order to take an actions: Orient is to observe your environment and especially your enemy’s actions. Orient is the most important stage where you filter and analyze your observations through your cultural perspective. Decision is where a course of action is decided. Action is the physical reality of the decision. These OODA-Loops repeat continuously until one side has won.

    The goal in most combat is to confuse the Orient stage of your opponents OODA-loops with ambiguity while retaining for yourself flexibility and manoeuvrability. In other words you want to keep your opponents guessing as to exactly where your attack will come and when. This is clearly what TED is getting at by his statement: “Dear Readers, it’s that you don’t share your detailed battle plans with the enemy”

    In deterrence strategy (as described by Thomas Schelling in Arms and Influence) which was heavily used during the Cold War nuclear stand-off, the goal is totally different from normal combat. In deterrence you aim to convince your opponent to not take certain actions. In order to convince him you must commit to doing something that will hurt him – hurt him so much that it is not worth him taking the actions you want to deter. In order to do this you need to reinforce the Orient stage of his OODA-Loop by proving your commitment to taking the actions that will hurt him. The goal of deterrence is to limit your own flexibility, (you don’t want some weak President chickening-out at the last second and not launching those bombs!) the ideal situation is if your retaliatory actions became close to automatic. In banking regulation the goal of a deterrence strategy would be coerce the banks away from reckless activities which they assume will be covered by the taxpayers if things go bad. It seems to me this is more the direction Yves is describing in the quote below (although since I have not read her book yet I may be wrong):

    But for an completely untested and untrusted regime, the authorities need to convey the ground rules and key mechanisms in advance, both to prepare investors and counterparties, and more important, to debug the plan on paper as much as possible in advance.

    In other words in deterence you most certainly do share your battle plans with your enemy; in fact you spend most of your time trying to convince him of your commitment to these plans.

    Seen in this framework the question becomes which model of strategy is more appropriate for banking regulation; traditional combat or deterrence? And remember you have to pick one since these two strategic appoaches are total opposites.

    While I am certainly no expert on banking it seems clear that regulation falls much more into the deterrence model and therefore Yves’ approach seems more sound. Are we really going to believe that corrupt government officials are going to battle behind the scenes for the interests of the common people during the next crisis? Puh-lease. It would be much better to have a clear and transparent set of automatically-occurring events which are designed to punish the banks as severely as possible than it is to give corrupt politicians flexibility to screw us all again one more time. But of course this deterrence regime unfortunatly will not happen any time soon due to the lack of any will to power by the American masses to force these changes upon their political and wealthy elite. But if changes were to occur they should follow at least a deterrence model and even better a compellence model (but that’s a subject for another comment).

    1. Uncle Billy Cunctator

      TED, or as Yves calls him “ED” (heehee) does use the word flexible.

      So assuming that both Yves and ED are using RAND certified tactics, where did they learn this? Business school? CIA Blogging night school? We can’t forget too that successful warfare depends on effective propaganda and deception. Two fairly high profile bloggers fighting it out, big mean old ED beating up a girl… makes for great theater.

      1. Kevin de Bruxelles

        My guess is that neither of them are really aware of these military concepts but I cannot say for sure. While Schelling is pretty widely read unfortunately Boyd and the OODA-Loop is less well known. I suppose they are basing their proposals on their expereinces. The point of my comment is to reframe this discussion within proper military theory since both Yves and TED made references to military theory in their posts.

        It is in every thinking person’s interest to become familiar with military strategy and to not leave it to RAND and CIA types. I became obsessed with learning about it in order to argue against the Iraq War. But in order to argue against something you have to at least attempt to understand it.

  14. Uncle Billy Cunctator

    Two observations: 1) TED’s a bright guy or girl, a narcissist, and a has a decent sense of humor, but anyone who leaves their Wittgenstein quotes in the original german is so pretentious you just want to gargle lysol. Also, he/she was disrespectful and deserves to have his/her keester clocked. 2) Any child born into this psychotic banking/wall street family of ours is doomed to be sociopathic. Agencies, regulators, new banks, hair salons, whatever — all bound to grow up screwed up and corrupt. Yves’ message was: systemic. It’s painfully obvious. Systemic. Write it on your forehead and chant it in the morning: The fix needs to be systemic, and that means it goes beyond Wall Street and the Regulators. Far beyond. If you don’t know this, your income probably depends on the status quo (or what *was* the status quo). Systemic.

  15. craazyman

    I never construed Yves’ or anyone’s use of the word “banksters” to refer to ALL members of the financial services industry.

    That is a tawdry straw man on TED’s part.

    Defining a bankster is like spoting pornography, you know an asshole when you see one. boooowhah ahaha hahahahah ahahahahah!

    Otherwise, with ad-hominems and ruffled feathers removed — the arguments back and forth are legitimate ones. And there’s no such thing as bad PR. Especially when you’ve got a new book out. :)

    I wonder if TED could reform the slave trade by making slave ships a bit more humane, keep the leg irons more than 3 feet between collars and feed them gruel twice a day. A few rats in the hold is OK though. Got to keep the operation “efficient”. The more who die on the way, the less the payoff on arrival.

  16. Jose

    Don’t you see Yves the rotten needles that your magnetic opportunistic ego attracts? Who do you really call “looters”? The honest, highly educated brethren, who are capable enough to make a bob or two with their own acquired smarts or the crazies that cannot stop drooling at someone else’s greed, while secretly wishing for it to be their own?

    As TED said, once the dire times are well past, you will undoubtedly fade into a self imposed obscurity, as did all your previous econo-political revolutionary contemporaries. I pity you!

  17. Dan Duncan

    ED…Never heard of the guy. Went to his blog (definitely a “he”, btw)….

    To those calling ED a narcissist:

    ED lacks the courage to be a narcissist. His pretentious, self-congratulatory style, coupled with his refusal to accept Comments demonstrates an Ego that’s far too sensitive and fragile for rote narcissism.

    ED knows he smarter than most. [Actually, the use of the word “most” in this context would really piss ED off. It doesn’t go nearly far enough, and ED would find it quite marginalizing and insulting.]

    Let me rephrase: ED knows he’s smarter than 99.99% of all humans who have ever lived. ED knows he smarter than you and me. He just does. And he has his Wittgenstein to prove it.

    ED wants others to see how smart he is…and he’d love to have a group of acolytes telling him what he already knows: Just how damn smart he is.

    But in doing so, this Dealmaker faces a risk, he’s just not willing to accept…that he’s merely above average.

    So he closes off his interactions, writes his pretentious bullshit and maintains his self-delusion that he’s beyond exceptional. [Notice his use of “The” Epicurean Dealmaker. He’s not merely “an” Epicurean Dealmaker…as if that wouldn’t be nauseating enough. No, he’s THE Epicurean Dealmaker.]

    Acknowledgments by Yves and rebuttals by Richard merely confirm his “exceptionalness” and his relevance.

    If you want to strike at the heart of ED, first you shrug, then you yawn…and if he continues…bring out the heavy artillery…and laugh.

    He is, after all, the punchline of his own joke:

    What’s the only thing worse than a Narcissist?

    A Narcissist Wannabe, who’d love to be a narcissist if only he had the courage to have his Echo.

    Mr. ED is a lonely guy who’s an Epicurean Dealmaker by day, who’s obviously saddled with Erectile Dysfunction by night.

    [And no ED, I’m not writing that last sentence metaphorically.]

    1. Dan Duncan

      Since I’m on the subject of a wilted, self-contained narcissism, let me respond to me own post:

      You ever notice how pretentious pricks like ED always have to appeal to a Wittgenstein?

      Too often, it’s not the philosophy, but just how obscure “sounding” a philosopher’s name is that determines that philosopher’s staying power.

      If Wittgenstein had been “Smith”, Nietzsche been “Jones” and Hegel “McDonald”, I guarantee you that we wouldn’t have dorks like ED quoting them ad nauseum.

      There’d be no captions like the following:

      “Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen.”
      –Bob Smith

      There’d be no “McDonaldlian” tripe, and therefore no Hegelian vomit.

      And what a wonderful world it would be….

      1. Otto

        Amen and amen. Ted=ed=yves besides being narcistic(arrogant)has blogger’s fatigue. She has a strong point of view on the subject of how to fix the financial meltdown which she conveys here.However she gets a strong contingent that has different views that are just as compelling.To wage the war against these different views is taking too much strain on her so she resorts to sox puppetry.
        Guaranteed she will now blackball me from this website.

        I think a rational approach to solving a problem is to first understand what is the problem. That is not easy when you have pre-conceived notions and biases.What is the problem: greed , victimization, no regulations, poor judgement,shadow banking system, etc.
        Let’s get a real handle on what caused the problem before we come up with a fix.

        1. Yves Smith Post author


          Since when is Richard Smith a sock puppet? He’s provided posts of his own before. And which of the comments above do you suggest are from “sock puppets”? Most of the commmentors are well established, and I have IP addresses for all comments, if you really care to see who supplied which.

          As for banning IP addresses, I do that only for spammers and for persistent trolls. I welcome dissent, your slur to the contrary.

          1. RagingDebate

            I get those kind of comments on my network to the effect of being banned for presenting dissenting opinion. Nothing like a good contrarian debate. Your focus on a systemic solution is a suggestion to break up the global central banking racket. Of course these people are most unhappy at what you are doing. You don’t need a rest because what fuels you is restoring the balance and resting when that job is complete. I know all about it.

            Ok let’s not break up the racket. They wanted to be to buy influence to deregulate and loot (YES loot). They got it and it brought CB into the public spotlight so much for CB independence mandate. Be careful what you wish for in Washington. That goes even for those thinking they are bigger than the people itself.

            We should help CB evolve and solve their terminal problem faces. How
            about peer to peer lending and 20 M bankers in the U.S.? Evolve or be
            swept away by violent revolutions all over the globe or a third world war in the nuclear age. What’s a CB to do? No global debate with the citizens in the West was pure folly. No debate means no political compromise which equals fail for the third attempt at global government.

      2. TED...ROTFL


        Can I get an amen, brother?

        Amen, brother!!!

        You know what a wonderful world would be for me? One in which the 600,000+ humans who *are* smarter than 99.99% of the species got together in some gigantic mythical Rose Bowl (6x the size) and they put Dan down on the middle of the field. There’d be a second of a green flash in his eyes, then an explosion of monumental proportions as all the particles of his head dissociated like the bits of a melon in Gallagher’s pathetic prop act.

        There really is nothing better than watching douchebags wandering around in a gas-filled darkness trying to light a match and unaware of their own imminent self-immolation. I get that feeling about two sentences in to every comment by Duncan.

        He even went after Wittgenstein today! And the plethora of consonants in his name! Sooooooo overrated that man is!!!!!

        I swear, even all those 600,000+ in the mythical Rose Bowl couldn’t have dreamed that one up!

        Who remembers Adam Smith? Who discusses his work? No one, that’s who!!!!!!! Words like “ego” and names like “Jung” are so exotic until one realizes they mean “I” and “Young” respectively. Even Poirot was forced to admit that Giuseppe Verdi was a man no better than Joe Green!!!

        My take on Dan’s text:

        “The Lion isn’t fast.
        The Lion isn’t strong.
        I hate the Lion.”

        Dan’s subtext:

        “I want to be the Lion.
        I want to be the Lion.
        I so, so, so want to be the Lion.”

        I don’t think Dan really hates the Lion. It is something more ever-present he hates. Oh, Danny boy, the mirror is the most uncomfortable place in the room, isn’t it? Your frailty. Your weakness. It is too much to bear. N’est-ce pas, little man?

        Then again, sometimes I wonder if all the posts under the moniker “Dan Duncan” are just parts of an elaborate prank by the Onion.

        If so, bravo, Onion, bravo.

        Absolutely freaking hilarious!!!!!

        [N.B. not really TED…not that I’m any less douchey…]

        1. Dan Duncan

          C’mon TED. Clearly you’re angry with me…but splattering my mellon in a Gallagher routine? And then, this zinger–which really hit home bTW: “Dan wants to be a lion, but he can’t.”

          What am I even supposed to do with this? Hell, TED, I want to be insulted. I really do. I’d love nothing more than give it right back to you…

          But this has to be the single most ineffective invective ever directed my way.

          Think about it: You’ve been reading my trash. It makes you want to vomit. You really can’t stand me. It’s been building up for a long time. Finally, you let it all out in an assumed moniker that you cowardly made up just for the big insult…

          And what did you do with it?

          The always novel, ever funny and oh so cutting: “It’s like an elaborate prank from the Onion!”

          And now, as a result of your lame attempt to insult me, I have that stupid song from the Tokens playing in my head:

          “In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight.”

          Well, at least you managed to cause me some annoyance.

      3. call me ahab

        Otto says-

        “I think a rational approach to solving a problem is to first understand what is the problem.”

        wow- what a stupid fuck- still trying to figure that out Otto?

  18. Got A Watch

    When every ‘Investment Bankster’ is swinging from a lamp post on Wall ST, justice will have been served.

    Until then, scum like ED should be ignored like the criminal apologists they are.

  19. Lee

    “Anger has a personal cost, too. Unless it is leavened with reason, and moderated by the acknowledgement that no-one is perfect, hate and anger can be highly corrosive” he says without noticing the steam coming out of his ears.

    How delightfully passive-aggressive!

  20. Fred

    “Tired, bitter, humorless, full of hate, angry, strident and self-righteous she is, and to understand the awful danger of being like that.”

    Isn’t it a symptom of the sociopath to blithely ignore the pain and struggles heaped upon the many people and scorn those who recognize the reality? It is tragic that so many have cautiously entrusted Stewarts of the economy: Fed, Treasury, Banks, Presidential Administrations and Congress only to find their trust broken. Sadly it is clear now that the current Stewarts view trust as “investor confidence” in a grand confidence game. Those who challenge an autocracy are criticized until they are proven right and then lauded by those who scorned them with saccharin praise instead of genuine recognition.

    History has shown that those who are healthy enough to see reality will live long and contented lives. I wish Yves a continued long and happy life.


  21. Siggy

    ED, your diatribe is itself evidence of your being a narcistic personage. This business of being a self identified dealmaker and the oracle of delphi is less than curious, it is absurd.

    Were I a dealmaker, I’d be touring and seeing the sights. This current morass is not amenable to making real deals. This current morass is a sea of waves suitable for trading tactics and very short term plays. This a mess in which you set trades that are self liquidating and throw only moderate profits.

    If you’re a real dealmaker this is a time to bide your time and preserve puchasing power as you wait for the new millenium to arrive.

    Now, I can see that one could interpret Yves efforts here and in her book as being a polemic for reform. And if you’re from Chicago, you might affectionetly say that she’s ‘on a mission from God’. For my part, I’m glad she accepted the assignment as she does it far better than I could.

    ED, to you I suggest that you pound some sand. The appellation ‘banksters’ is more widely appropriate than you are able to apprehend. What Yves is creating is a dialogue that will help to educate the ignorant to the obscenity of greed that a small community of financial services participants has become. It wasn’t always so blatant and there was a time when the action was dominated by players who created value. Today it is all about extracting value.

    I’m mad as hell and I join with Yves in wanting reform.

  22. JohnD

    I just read Mister E. Dealmaker’s saucy daggered minuet of a riposte, and for some reason the image of the delightfully hateful Archibald Cunningham, (from the movie Rob Roy, played by Tim Roth) kept popping up in my mental widescreen. Cunningham gave offence by robbing MacGregor’s clan, razing his house and lands, beating him to within an inch of his life, shooting his dog, murdering his fellow clansmen, causing his brother to be shot by soldiers and raping (and possibly impregnating) his wife. Otherwise he is charming, erudite, and a delight to see, as TED is to read, generally. However, the tone today is a bit shrill, and I think, Yves, you have won the duel, without your knowing there was one.

  23. Anonymous

    It’s amazing that culprits still actually believe that they have the power to silence critics through intimidation. I have the feeling that the critics will not be silenced and neither should they be.

  24. DanB

    As paradigms/mythologies enter into crisis the problems they generate become more and more complex and the solutions offered less effective and more counterproductive. If you’re working from a defective paradigm all strategies and tactics are futile.

    Yves i, in my view, moving -herself and her readers- towards the realization that our institutions are no longer sustainable, for both fiscal/economic and ecological (energy) reasons. I learn a great deal from her but it is filtered through an ecological understanding of our situation.

  25. Hugh

    If you look at the S&L scandal and compare it to the fraud that lay behind the housing bubble and the financial meltdown, there should, conservatively speaking, be about 10,000 bankers and financial industry types doing time.

    We have a financial system which is both broken and out of control What we need is real reform, not these endless Potemkin versions of it from people with less than zero credibility.

    I invoke yet again my sensibility paradox. A credible resolution authority for a TBTF is something of an oxymoron. But even if government could act in a sensible way to put one together, this would mean it had the sense to put limits on size and interconnectedness such that a resolution authority would not be needed. This is what the TEDs of this world do not get, even at this late date. After 30 years of the financial system careening further and further out of control, it is ludicrous to think that the system or any part of it is going to suddenly be gifted with common sense, and that gamers, politicians, and regulators are going to all behave more responsibly. This is magical thinking, pure and simple. There is nothing angry or bitter in calling it such.

  26. Al

    Read Yves last paragraph- ordered the book. Akindred spirit.Jim Chanos, at a conference at the Roosevelt Institute put it this way, “there was lying and stealing” and there should be prosecution. Without that our mire lacks a “proper narrative” and there will be insufficient public outrage to pressure our politicians to make the requisite systemic changes.

  27. anon

    Relax, TED is writing in his character’s voice. That’s his schtick. It’s all style. Take the rudeness/smugness seriously at your peril.

    They both make reasonable challenges to each others arguments.

    1. Richard Smith

      Actually I rate his posts; for all the appallingly bumptious showing off, there is always a good sharp point or two well put, and his tongue seems to be firmly in his cheek, if that helps.

      But this one threw me.

      The actual points about the resolution authority are OK – there is some good to and fro to be done there and more to come no doubt. Good Steve Waldman adjudicating post today BTW.

      The surrounding flourishes were more than a little off this time, though, and that was what caught my attention; usually he has a tight grip of the tone.

  28. plschwartz

    TED smells his 15 minutes of fame and is trying to make the most of it. Yves you are the gunslinger and he is one of those endless punks who tried to make a reputation with one quick draw.
    Inflated ego
    deficient talent

  29. Claire

    I agree with the other people who’ve posted that this site is becoming an ever-increasing echo chamber analagos to Zero Hedge (albeit with a different bias).

  30. TheTank

    Epic Kur Ion whines that using the word “banksters” makes its seem that “commercial bankers, investment bankers, insurance company employees, and presumably everyone else in the financial industry are uniformly engaged in a vast, intentional, and irredeemably criminal enterprise.”

    Funny, that’s exactly the way it looks to us little people down here at the bottom. And guess what? We’re the people that learn how to retread Abrams, clear jams from Ma Dueces, place a 105 mm exactly where an LT says to, and generally bring the hurt to your doorstep. TED should stop and think about that.

  31. kevinearick

    echo chamber?

    seems to me that the diversity of participation is increasing, along with speed of circulation. naturally, many have moved past talking and are now elsewhere doing, having crossed the abutment provided, but others have entered.

    is that not good?

    bridges are not designed for occupation.

    1. Skippy

      Success is the ultimate failure, in condensed time frames, feast of the future never bodes well…eh.

      Skippy…we won today…lol.

  32. Winter

    The Epicurean Dealmaker’s criticism is spot-on and, I think, rather constructive. This Guest Post “response” scarcely addresses any of TED’s points: ie that the term “bankster” is a crude oversimplification, that indiscriminate and relentless anger is a poor substitute for considered thought and that NC too often preaches to the converted. TED uses wit and irony, two qualities in short supply on this site. Chillax, Susan/Yves: a lighter touch may win over people other than your true believers

  33. Brian

    I have been a long time Naked Capitalism reader, who a few months ago discovered The Epicurean Dealmaker. In this dustup I’m afraid I have to side with TED. I too have noticed a slide from rational analysis to semi hysterical demonizing where ad hominem attacks are the norm. I used to check this site multiple times a day. Now, often a week goes by or more. Sadly, this site appears to have morphed from one whose politics derived from economic views, to one where political views drive the economic analysis.

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