April 10, 2013

Wednesday Wisdom

I did the best I could with what I had. 

Joe Louis


  1. Sure that wasn't Margaret Thatcher??

    Love this. The irony is delicious and, as it was the "Iron Lady's" political mantra, absolutely appropriate.

    Petition for Thatcher's funeral.


    1. If it was Maggie - and I reckon she would have withstood many rounds in a ring with Fraser, had she been called upon to do so - then she did awfully well with what she had.

      Love the petition, and quite apt. Why would this rabidly capitalist ('there is no such thing as society') want anyone other than her own family picking up the bill for every aspect of her death? (Well, paid from her funds, well invested and saved, I'm sure.)

  2. Anonymous10:04 AM

    Margaret Thatcher made the UK "what it is today", so says David Cameron.

    That would be hopelessly in debt and the global hub of financial corruption.

    "The City of London has become the number-one home for the fruits of corruption," says Laurence Cockcroft, director of Transparency International UK.

    Well done gerly.


    1. An unfortunate boast from Cameron.

      Meanwhile, Annette Funicello, with Mickey Mouse Clubs' everywhere in mourning, but don't see any state funeral for Annette.

      She made talent shows what they are today.

  3. Anonymous8:52 PM

    Yes, how sad, I loved Annette in the way any innocent 6 year old boy could - she was lovely.


  4. If not for Annette, there would be no Britney Spears or Justin Timberlake.

    That's deep.

    Annette was such a gracious woman, a long, slow decline. Coma for a number of years. Nothing gracious about any of that. Life and death can be cruel.

  5. Thatcher was a revolutionary who was an overdue corrective to the stunted union crippled mediocracy that Britain had become. She also cleaned out the right. The glib and supercilious public school twit with a crackpot agenda gave way somewhat in business and politics to class-neutral technocrats.

    Thatcher changed Britain but she can't be blamed for the foul mess it and the rest of old Europe have become. Those are diseases from another quarter.

    Thatcher and Reagan stared down the Soviet Union and ridding the world of that rotten empire is huge and to have done it peacefully is a major contribution to the advance of humankind.

    Millions of people from Berlin to the Russian border have been freed and those beyond the border are freer than they have ever been. They are more prosperous than they have ever been too now that it is known that the market system is the only way to lift people out of poverty, secure general prosperity and advance quality of life for the most.

  6. A revolutionary?

    Hmm. Only if you believe Ayn Rand was a revolutionary, for example.

    Cameron's comment was off the mark. Different era. Quite strange to claim that much of Thatcher's legacy remains, it was also so last century. Bit like claiming that Howard made Australia what it is today ... he's not that long gone, but any legacy is quickly depleting.

    In the economic battle between capitalism and commumism, capitalism won. The Soviet Union would have collapsed whether Reagan and Thatcher had been around or not. Only the circumstance and moment would have varied.

    What's the longest most circuitous route from capitalism to capitalism? Communism. (Or socialism. Pick your poison.)

    David Hasselhoff is quite sure he was instrumental in the fall of the Berlin Wall.

    1. Y'now Caz I don't know what it says about the limits of my take on modern culture but I just had to Google David Hasselhoff to find out who he is. My first take was he's a Guardian journalist or something.

      I'm no where near as sanguine about the fragility of regimes built on crackpot adolescent mutual-wankery economic theories like communism, socialism and political Islamism. Firstly none of these ideologies are limited to political economy and in the case of Polislam hardly at all.

      What the man wants the man gets. End of Economics 101. Do you understand? Collect your diploma at the door. Applies to all three. You don't want to ask what Economics 201 is.

    2. Did you notice, Geoffff, I mentioned the ECONOMIC battle? Didn't say political.

      Hells bells, even the Middle East (some) and China have embarrassed capitalism. But don't notice them adopting people-friendly politics or human rights.

      The two are and can continue to be distinct.

      Used to be, I think, that capitalism was seen as an automatic door to democracy and no end of warm fuzzy human friendly things. Not so, of course. It's a means, but not a strong enough means, unfortunately.

    3. And you NEVER saw Baywatch, Geoffff?

      Guess you don't know who Pamela Anderson is, then. Although she's not up to much these days.

    4. Entirely agree. "Capitalism" covers a multitude of crimes. Slavery was "capitalism". Almost everything in Nazi Germany was in private hands. I doubt if these markets could be said to be free however. Who knows who and what was required to get a contract in Nazi Germany especially if you knew it came with slave labour.

      The machine is neutral. I not saying that the creeps working the machine should not be watched. The banking bubble was a bloody disgrace. No one knew enough about how these markets worked to monitor them. Not even in the banks themselves.

      Also most merchant and all investment bankers are wankers and assholes. Trust me with this. The work attracts them like uncovered meat attracts cats.

    5. Never seen Baywatch, Caz. Not even once.

      But I kinda do know who Pamela Anderson is. Never knew she was in Baywatch though.

    6. The machine is not neutral, Geoffff.

      Leaving aside iJustin's points, all focused on contemporary events and global economic manipulations, deceit, waste, greed, and so on, capitalism is an ideology. That's not neutral. Read Marx! Good grief, perfectly understandable that you never saw Baywatch (rubbish show, nice red bathers), but surely you've read of studied Marx?

      And leaving aside Marx, capitalism has always suffered, and always will, from political interference and manipulations, and from capitalists (*splutter*) making demands on the public purse.

      Never heard the expression: privatise profits, socialise the losses?

      Yep, an awful lot of that going on, always has been.

      No, the bleating from the likes of Gina, and bankers is a crock.

      Everything from what we pay, what we're able to buy, to skills shortages and working visa policies - and PAYE tax rates - stem from our lordy *capitalists* and politicians.

      That's not neutral. Not a bit of it.

    7. Sheesh Caz

      I never said they were nice guys. All I said is that the market system (nearly said the "free market" system but I didn't want to sound like a "capitalist") is now known to be the only way to lift people from poverty, ensure general prosperity and advance quality of life for most. That's not to say it always works. But it is now known that it is the only possible way it can work. The empirical evidence is overwhelming.

      Nor is it true that free market systems ensure human liberty. Introduce capitalism and human rights must flourish eventually is a notion so absurd it is actually offensive. The exact opposite could happen depending on the political culture.

      But it also true to say that no free and liberal society can be without a free market system. Its absence is a certain indicator of a people without rights. Very likely enslaved.

      And that's for Justin too.

  7. Anonymous9:37 PM

    Hawke, Keating & Button dealt (communicated/negotiated) with our unions (consensus) and enabled us to compete as best we could in a global environment. Australia, by comparison to the UK, is now in a far better position, and such was achieved without the egocentric brutality of MT.

    I don't expect to see too many Australians dance with delight when Hawke or Keating die, and of course JB rest his soul, didn't have an enemy in the world.

    Geoff, what is the market system doing for the people of Greece, Ireland, Cyprus, Latvia, Iceland, Spain, Italy and so on - have you not been paying attention lad?


    1. I saw the dancing and carry on too Justin and it didn't impress me. Boorish. The undignified behaviour of the rowdy fringe of the lower classes. Guardian readers.

      The market system is neutral. Ireland, Iceland and I gather Cyprus are stuffed because they gambled their economies on the junk bond market. They were riding high while it lasted. Money everywhere. Casinos do that. The Irish in particular were intolerable about how wealthy they all suddenly were. If there is anything worse than a smug Englishman it's a smug Irishman.

      Greece is stuffed as well because no one wants to do a full day's work and consider it a human right not to do so especially if the Germans are paying. This also accounts for much of the charm of Greece and the Greeks.

      The rest of them are stuffed because they are in the EC and/or the Eurozone anyway. These anti-market strait jackets of incredible conceit could have been devised by anti-Western agents for something truly sinister for all the harm and threat they are. Something foul and dangerous like communism, socialism or ... .

      Likely they were devised by Guardian readers come to think of it.

  8. Anonymous9:28 PM

    The market system is neutral.

    In the best of possible worlds Geoffff.

    The market is, and has been manipulated since there was a market. Hell, they had futures contract thousands of years ago in Mesopotamia, simple but they worked (until they didn't), and to welsh on a contract attacted death.

    Not so today, because the game is now a total sham, and to blame this savant created, and criminally run economic joke on the people, via the MSM is Edward Bernays 101.

    Fact, Greece never had the numbers to enter the EU in the first place - but with the very clever advice of Goldman Sachs they (the Government) hid debt using a currency swap deal (a deal that could never be honoured). GS then bought Credit Default Swaps (insurance) to make a buck from Greece's inevitable default.

    Do some homework, wise you may fall into the traps of them Guardian readers. Also check Papandreou's role and profit in all the bullshit. BTW, what makes you think the Greeks worked any less than any other EU country? I've seen the stats, one would suggest you have a peek yourself.


  9. Anonymous9:45 PM

    You see it was not junk bonds that bought the game down, it was junk bonds dressed up as AAA (risk free) securities, etc. All rated by Moodys, Fitch and Standards & Poor - who also received handsome commisions for doing so.

    This crap (trillions worth) was flogged all over Europe - AAA risk free securities, and it all came tumbling down when Lehman Bros was allowed to go belly up (for a number of sick and twisted reasons).

    Goldman Sacks made a squillion, first by flogging off the crap (to the "Muppets" - their customers) and then betting (by buying CDSs) that they would crash, The CDS's (derivaties) they bought were supposedly underwritten by AIG (insolvent) who were supposed to make good on the bets.

    So what happened? Those mortgage backed securities went belly up, as was always going to be the case, Goldman Sachs was now owed in excess of 30 billion dollars from AIG. The European holders of the securities were fucked, game over.

    So what did they do? They rewarded the collective control fraud of the banks, rating agencies and statutory agencies that had the power to stop the stupidity, by having the taxpayer foot the bill and make good the derivatives.

    But not only did the taxpayer foot the bill for the control fraud in the US the Fed also had to rescue the mess that Europe was becoming (owing to all those AAA junk bonds) wise the legal shit fight would have gone on for eternity - so the Fed, in 13 weeks, increased the size of its balance sheet by 1.3 trillion dollars (secretly) - in comparison to the 94 years it took them to reach 850 billion.

    The Japanese central bank just announced it was doubling the size of its balance sheet over the next two years - watch out.

    "The market" did not cause this mess - down right criminal action, greed, stupidity and fraud (at a very high level) did.

    Now Ireland - the risk takers re Irish debt were in fact unsecured creditors - the Irish taxpayer never had to repay much, if any, of the debt - but hey, them Irish politicians would have been kicked out of the club if they didn't screw the punters to make good bullshit bonds - of course the punters (not the risk takers), in their innocence (regarding the complexity and stupidity of debt/credit derivatives etc) believed everything the government and banks told them when the times were good. Buy now pay later, this time it's different etc - good times forever - as they were feed Bernays style via the MSM.

    Check out the new laws in the US - Dodd Frank (written by the banks) to ensure there would be no taxpayer bailouts again.

    Homework: Bank of America is shifting derivatives in its Merrill investment banking unit to its depository arm, which has access to the Fed discount window and is protected by the FDIC.

    Why would they do that?

    The market has never been neutral, but now it is owned by criminals who have manipulated it into a farce.

    We don't have anything that looks like Capitalism, or real/productive wealth creation now, all we have is arbitrage (artificial wealth creation - that's why Libor was rigged), bullshit, public relations (propaganda) and an ever increasing destruction of the middle class.

    Don't think it can't happen here.

    Geoffff, go and do your homework, and then tell me why the people of America will be treated no different than the people of Cyprus, Canada, New Zealand and probably Australia when the shit really hits the fan - whose fault will it be then?

    Some more homework: have a look at what the gold price is doing - and then have a look at gold's movement - very strange indeed, or is it?


    1. Banking and finance markets are pivotal to the free market system and therefore indispensable to a polity that aspires to human liberty.

      Criminals will always be attracted to places of money and power. Banks are such places. So are political parties. Sometimes the criminals win. In my time they took over the Queensland police force and the ruling party.

      That why we have regulatory authorities and central banks, checks and balances and the rule of law.

  10. Anonymous10:54 AM

    The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish! Frédéric Bastiat


    1. Exactly. I couldn't have put it better myself. Sometimes the criminals win.

  11. Umm.

    So we're all in violent agreement: capitalism is not neutral.


    As you were.