Wednesday, February 11, 2009


August 1, 2008 - Construction in my neighborhood. I think a lot of this is done by now and the interiors are being done. Don't know who's going to live in them in this economic climate.

It's on the news now that the NY stock market just plunged after Geithner announced reforms in how the bailout package will be managed. Maybe it's too early to say, but it sounds to me it's a sign that Wall St. can't handle government regulation, even when it's begging Washington for bailout money. They think they should be able to receive the American people's tax money and use it without regulation and with impunity. They can't process that the way they've been using their own money without regulation and with impunity has caused the current global economic crisis.

I see it as a disease, a mental illness on Wall St. Like when AIG received bailout money and the first thing they did was take their top executives on a luxury spa retreat. They don't get it. It's the same as a compulsive gambler who doesn't realize there's a problem. There's no reflection involved, no urgency felt to act prudently. They receive bailout money and they use it the only way they know how - for their own selfish, indulgent interests. All of Wall St. is the same, and so it's no surprise that when Washington announces that they are demanding accountability, that if they are receiving taxpayer money, they have to report exactly how it's being spent, they go running like cowards.

I remember when the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union collapsed, some people proclaimed it a final victory for capitalism. One famous commentator even remarked it was the "end of history", which I not only didn't understand, but found short-sighted and arrogant, and right then and there I predicted that someday capitalism would likewise fail. I had no idea how or when, just that it would, and that some enlightened sustainable hybrid of socialism and capitalism would need to arise.

I don't know if we're facing the collapse of capitalism, but as commentators are arguing that the fundamental basis of capitalism is intact, and that this crisis is an exception, I would suggest that this crisis is the natural result of free-wheeling capitalism. This is no exception.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Johnny Too Bad (Taj Mahal)
2. Ceremony (Rainer Maria)
3. Workin' for T.V. (Southern All-Stars)
4. Electric Relaxation (A Tribe Called Quest)
5. The World at Large (Modest Mouse)
6. Boogie With Stu (Led Zeppelin)
7. Pledging My Time (Bob Dylan)
8. As Long As He Needs Me ("Oliver!")
9. Capacity (Deadweight)
10. Workin' Man (Stanley Clarke)

6 comments:

Pierre said...

Whoo.

I like the idea of an "hybrid of socialism and capitalism".

In France, we call what people did capitalisme sauvage, "wild capitalism".

There should be regulation, indeed, but if regulation there is, isn't it the end of what people call capitalism?

I recently finished reading American Psycho (in English, it was quite a pain in the ass at some point), and this is exactly how I represent those AIG people going to a great Hotel for some seminar... people mainly occupied by where they're going to eat tonight and how to get this new car before everybody else (not mentioning they have videotapes to return).

Anyway, I find it pretty stupid to inject money in industries like the car industry (Our Beloved Sarkozy recently said he would give 6.5 billions € to the main French car companies), when you know it will be spent in producing expensive cars that nobody want anymore (I'm pretty sure the billions spent by our gov won't be used for R&D).

Finally, I think the main problem is Human Being. When you give too much power to people, they'll use it for their own benefit. It's (sadly enough) an obvious fact when talking about capitalism, but it was the same with communism, unfortunately.

But don't worry, a new political party has been created in France: the New Anti-Capitalist Party (http://www.npa2009.org/). The people behind it mainly come from a collapsed party called the Revolutionnary Communist League. Sounds pretty cool, hu?

Oh and by the way, talking about communism, could you change your background color? A darker red would be perfect... like Bordeaux red! Cause it's currently pretty painful to read.

keauxgeigh said...

Give me a thumbs up or down on the background color. It's now clashing with the text colors, though.

I totally agree that the problem is human nature. The main fault of capitalism is human nature and the depths of greed that it tempts. The main fault of communism is also human nature, because people just aren't that willing to share their efforts and property, which necessitates an authoritarian, totalitarian gov't, or dictatorship.

The bailout to protect mortgages and people's homes is easier to swallow than money to the auto industry, which has been described as the slowest on environment and safety, and the biggest promoter of remaining slaves to fossil fuels.

Pierre said...

Honestly, all these economic things are blowing my mind. I don't get most of what's going on. But from my little human being's point of view, playing with non-existing money as Wall Street is doing is just impossible to understand. Well, that's why I studied computer engineering, after all.

As for the bg color, it seems to be better for my eyes, but you're right: text is harder to read.

You should give a try to Kuler, it's pretty efficient.

And, in general, if you get a darker background, get a lighter text and vice-versa. So maybe you can pick up an even darker blue and set the text using a grey or a blanc cassé.... y'om sayin'?

On a completely different topic: did you get my last e-mail about photo stuff?

Cheers!

P.S.: I didn't know you know Michael the French! Just discovered it through your blogroll.

keauxgeigh said...

Or maybe you need to get your eyes checked.

Yea, non-existent money. People should use existent money, even if they have to print it themselves, yo'm sayin'?

Either that or I'll have to find more work.

Sorry about the email, I got a whole bunch I'm backed up with.

Pierre said...

I know what you're sayin' (is there a way to reduce the size of this sentence too?).

No problem about the e-mail, take your time :)

Cheers mate (as they say in England where Taiwanese people can now stay up to 6 months without any specific visa)!

Pierre said...

OK, I just discovered this online tool for managing colors in a website:
http://colorschemedesigner.com/

Pretty useful!