The question of what's going to happen in the next crisis seems to be going up on the zeitgeit charts; Graeber had one such piece; so (naturallly) does the Archdruid; here's another one from Project Syndicate; and here's an interesting one from Golem XIV, a UK finance blogger. The high points:
If you line up the S&L, the Junk Bond and the Dot Com bubble, America has had a major home-brewed financial crisis every ten years. If you consider that none of these events happened in isolation nor limited their effects to the country of origin then we have to conclude that the global financial system is prone to crises. You can, if you see the world through resolutely libertarian glasses, blame everything on interfering governments – it matters little. The fact remains that the system as is, is unstable and run by the myopic, the greedy and the corrupt. Where they draw their salary, which side of the revolving door they happen to be on, on any day seems to me irrelevant. The worst of them don’t understand and are easily bought. The best have no concern for anyone or anything beyond their next bonus.
And here we are being led by them.
Of course saying another crisis is coming is like saying we are due a large earthquake in Southern California. True, but it doesn’t mean one is going to happen tomorrow. What I think it does mean is that we should be thinking what our leaders, what the people they work for – the global overclass – might already have in mind or have already put in place, for what they want done next time. I think it would be foolish to imagine they have not thought about it and are not putting in place the things which will close off some futures and force us into others that they prefer. They have so very much to lose and so very much more they want to gain.
Ding ding ding ding ding! Read below the fold...
Schnedier Tele 2x. First rose leaves turning yellow, but borage still blue and green. And petals and ground litter everywhere ("birds like a mess"). In color terms, it really is a tapestry. Almost literally, since all this colorful organic matter is gradually collecting and intermingling on a flat surface, the earth (there to rot and make the soil better next year, instead of hanging on a wall, I suppose).
And I tried again with that white poppy that shows the mark of a brush with frost: Read below the fold...
I think I've posted this before -- it's got a ton of retweets -- but if so, I like it so much I'm doing it again!
Plot idea: 97% of the world's scientists contrive an environmental crisis, but are exposed by a plucky band of billionaires & oil companies.
— Scott Westerfeld (@ScottWesterfeld) March 21, 2014
usiness leaders looking for some reassurance from Gov. Andrew Cuomo about his intention to campaign for a Democratic takeover of the state Senate may have walked away a little happier Friday, after the governor sought to downplay his enthusiasm for a Senate controlled by his own party.Read below the fold...
And by "run," I mean they threw the regular under the bus because they thought the private equity guy, an independent, has a better chance of winning. Yeah, Roberts, I know, but doesn't it look like if the Democrats can't find a vet, they'll settle for a bankster? Read below the fold...
I have to admit that I thought it would have collapsed by now, as did the Saker (too lazy to find the link). It hasn't yet and here's a good theory why:
The war in eastern Ukraine, which has had more impact on the European economy than any news coming out of Frankfurt or Brussels, appears to be ending. Despite the sporadic attacks that have wrecked previous ceasefire attempts.
Investors have mostly assumed that the ceasefire would not hold, either because Russian President Vladimir Putin is deceitful and greedy for more territorial conquest, or because Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko would not accept the splintering of his country that Russia demands. But this fashionable pessimism is probably wrong.
The ceasefire no longer relies on good faith or benevolence but on a convergence of interests: [Henry the K would be proud]. Putin has achieved all his key objectives, and Poroshenko recognizes that trying to reverse militarily the Russian gains would be national suicide.
So, I assume, good, or not as bad as we might imagine. Read below the fold...
David Graeber in The Baffler has written a truly extraordinary article:
Of Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit
End of work arguments were popular in the late seventies and early eighties as social thinkers pondered what would happen to the traditional working-class-led popular struggle once the working class no longer existed. (The answer: it would turn into identity politics.) Jameson thought of himself as exploring the forms of consciousness and historical sensibilities likely to emerge from this new age.
What happened, instead, is that the spread of information technologies and new ways of organizing transport—the containerization of shipping, for example—allowed those same industrial jobs to be outsourced to East Asia, Latin America, and other countries where the availability of cheap labor allowed manufacturers to employ much less technologically sophisticated production-line techniques than they would have been obliged to employ at home.
From the perspective of those living in Europe, North America, and Japan, the results did seem to be much as predicted. Smokestack industries did disappear; jobs came to be divided between a lower stratum of service workers and an upper stratum sitting in antiseptic bubbles playing with computers. But below it all lay an uneasy awareness that the postwork civilization was a giant fraud. Our carefully engineered high-tech sneakers were not being produced by intelligent cyborgs or self-replicating molecular nanotechnology; they were being made on the equivalent of old-fashioned Singer sewing machines, by the daughters of Mexican and Indonesian farmers who, as the result of WTO or NAFTA–sponsored trade deals, had been ousted from their ancestral lands. It was a guilty awareness that lay beneath the postmodern sensibility and its celebration of the endless play of images and surfaces.
That is very acute. Read below the fold...
Pro-Union demonstrators made 'Nazi salutes' in front of Police officers as Scotland's referendum vote began to turn nasty.
Hundreds of demonstrators waving Union flags arrived at George's Square in Glasgow, which up until recently had been the unofficial headquarters of the pro-independence movement.
Well, that should certainly reconcile the Yes voters to the result. Read below the fold...
In a policy paper published on Friday, the Greens stated that "dramatic" constitutional changes were needed to rebuild public trust in politicians and the political system.
It said the referendum process highlighted the "urgent need" for a new settlement. It also criticised the "profoundly undemocratic" move by Westminster party leaders to pledge further powers for Scotland without consultation.
"It is no longer tenable for politicians to defend the over-centralised entity that is the present-day British state," it continued.
The central tenet is for a "People's Constitutional Convention", which would consider a range of matters, including: Read below the fold...
NEW PALTZ — Students trying to protest during Gov. Andrew Cuomo's visit to SUNY New Paltz Tuesday were threatened with pepper spray and forced to back away from the building where the governor was speaking.
And college President Donald Christian is OK with that. Cuomo's office ordered the move, he said.
Cuomo's office said they were looking into the matter but had not responded with a statement as of early Thursday evening.
Nadia Alirahi, 21, a student senator and member of the student association, said about 15 to 20 students from NYPIRG and Democracy Matters wanted to protest outside the Student Union Building where Cuomo was to make an announcement of a $10 million state grant to the school. The students were opposed to fracking among other grievances.
Wait, I thought Cuomo was opposed to fracking? Read below the fold...