Quotes du jour

November 22, 2011

Unrelated, pithy observations about the world around us:


“We can choose the sauce they will cook us in, but we’re still going to be cooked.” -Spanish voter

“Capitalism without failure is like Christianity without Hell.” -Kyle Bass

“If you perform the job of an actual journalist, telling truth to power, forget about attending press conferences at the White House, Pentagon or State Department. You won’t even be admitted in the building. ” -Pepe Escobar, Asia Times

“I’ve abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system.” -President George W. Bush (oldy but still true)

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” John F. Kennedy


A Dissenting Voice

November 18, 2011

Imagine that China forced Obama from office and installed Lloyd Blankfein or Benron Bukkake or Turbo Timmeh Shitener as President. That is pretty much what just happened in Italy.

Time Lapse photography from the International Space Station

November 16, 2011

Pretty cool:

Charlie Smith interviewed by Der Kaiser

November 14, 2011

Charles Biderman knows the score

November 12, 2011

Helga’s bar

November 8, 2011

(Found this in one of the forum’s I frequent and thought it was as fine a parable as any I’ve read which describes how Financial Engineering kills societies dead)

Helga is the proprietor of a bar. She realizes that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar. To solve this problem, she comes up with a new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later. Helga keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customer’s loans).

Word gets around about Helga’s “drink now, pay later” marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Helga’s bar. Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in town.

By providing her customers freedom from immediate payment demands, Helga gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages.

Consequently, Helga’s gross sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognizes that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Helga’s borrowing limit.

He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral!!!

At the bank’s corporate headquarters, expert traders figure a way to make huge commissions, and transform these customer loans into DRINKBONDS.

These “securities” then are bundled and traded on international securities markets.

Naive investors don’t really understand that the securities being sold to them as “AA” “Secured Bonds” really are debts of unemployed alcoholics. Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb!!!, and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation’s leading brokerage houses.

One day, even though the bond prices still are climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Helga’s bar. He so informs Helga. Helga then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed alcoholics they cannot pay back their drinking debts.

Since Helga cannot fulfill her loan obligations she is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes and Helga’s 11 employees lose their jobs.

Overnight, DRINKBOND prices drop by 90%. The collapsed bond asset value destroys the bank’s liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.

The suppliers of Helga’s bar had granted her generous payment extensions
and had invested their firm’s pension funds in the BOND securities. They find they are now faced with having to write off her bad debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds.

Her wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations, her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150 workers. Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multi-billion dollar no-strings attached cash infusion from the government.

The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, non-drinkers who have never been in Helga’s bar

[ Source ]

G. Edward Griffin on Corporations and Occupiers

November 7, 2011

Author of Creature from Jekyll Island”