Archive for January, 2010

Jimmy Cayne, George W. Bush, and saving the world

January 13, 2010

Jimmy Cayne received $500 Million in salary and bonuses from 2000-2008. This wealth, none of which was under threat regardless of what happened to Bear Stearns (despite the fact that the bonuses derived largely from ridiculously risky speculation which fueled the crash), along with the subconscious understanding that the insane machinations of high finance would inevitably lead to a collapse and the expectation that his bank was also “too big to fail”, perhaps was why he was able to maintain a level of composure during the Bear Stearns meltdown.

He became upset not when Bear Stearns was shown to be a disastrous corporation, but rather when Bear Stearns wasn’t bailed out. That’s interesting – imagine if you’ve been working at a job for some time and are doing terribly, as a result your company crashes and you only become upset when you don’t receive corporate socialist assistance. How curious it is that when Oprah talks about “personal responsibility” she never points the finger at corporations or their leadership, rather always at the very people hurt most BY corporations. I’m sure the fact that she herself is wealthier than most CEOs has nothing to do with it.

It’s reminiscent of George W. Bush maintaining so much composure during the Twin Towers disaster. Why shouldn’t he be composed? – he expected to exploit the disaster, not be harmed by it. Of course, Ronald Reagan would have had the decency to pretend to be shaken up – I’m sure the fact that Reagan worship became so prevalent during the Bush II years has nothing to do with the incident.

People often ask me “Is something wrong with you?”

Two much more pertinent questions for them to ask are “Is something wrong with me?” and “Is something wrong with the world?” I, after all, am unimportant.

While they ask “Is something wrong with you?” the clock is ticking on the life of the world. We live in a society of insane Neros, all fiddling while the world burns. Is it any wonder that I appear troubled? I’ve noticed that my trouble eases somewhat whenever I do something particularly useful in saving the world or when I witness such a thing done by another. But trouble is irrelevant – all consolation is shunned, such as, let’s say, ice cream. We will all be troubled until we solve our problems.

I don’t so much care whether or not civilization survives – it’s still an unanswered question whether civilization has any value. I care very much however about how much damage is done to humanity during the fall of civilization. Proponents of global warming believe that if civilization falls humanity should go with it – hence the apocalyptic fantasies and the desire to increase global warming. It’s a myth that there are people who believe global warming doesn’t exist – it’s politically expedient for them to believe that they believe that since they would be socially outcast (or worse) if they claimed to want to increase global warming.

There’s a debate we are not brave enough to have – the debate over whether the world should be saved.

Addressing the issue of “In today’s world are there any good investments?”

January 11, 2010

Long-term, lets say 50+ years or maybe even 30+ years, there’s no such thing as a good investment, since the world (with respect to human habitation) is dying and no, capital won’t be able to escape to outer space, at least in that time frame.

Disastrous garbage mega-banks are “too big to fail”, yet during the Copenhagen sham the US was only willing to give $10 Billion to help save the planet. Apparently the planet is NOT “too big to fail”. Wrap your head around that logic and continue to tell me that the elite are “rational”.

In the short to medium term, I completely disagree with those who say there’s no such thing as a good investment. Right now there is a massive India/US alliance and with US power backing India, investments look good in India. Investments are also strong in areas with positive near-future expectations, like the Western-allied Pakistan. China is a strong economy right now and with the exception of their stock market bubble which could crash this year there are many good investment opportunities.

Green technologies which are successful would be tremendous investments, at or exceeding the value of early investments in Microsoft. Much of the elite, barring big oil, big coal, etc. of course, are behind green technologies.

What’s a more pertinent question perhaps is the issue of whether one’s primary focus should be on power calculations, which is what investment is all about, versus a focus on saving the world. Power calculations are amoral. Power calculations can lead one to believe mega-banks are “too big to fail” while the planet is worth, well, $10 Billion.