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Guest Post: Seeking Solutions In An Uncertain World

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Todd Harrison of Minyanville

Seeking Solutions in an Uncertain World

“We used to play for silver, now we play for life; ones for sport and one’s for blood at the point of a knife.” --Grateful Dead

live in interesting times. During the last two years, a financial virus
spawned and infected the economic and social spheres as a matter of

This isn’t just about money anymore. Our civil
liberties, the foundation of free market capitalism and the quality of
life for future generations are dynamically shifting as we traverse our
current course. (See: The Short Sale of American Icons)

once offered that Shock & Awe was a tipping point through a
historical lens; as Baghdad blew-up on CNN, I somberly sensed America
would never be the same. That’s not a political statement -- we don’t
know what would have been if we didn’t invade -- it’s simply an
observation. Almost overnight, world empathy turned to global

If we’ve learned anything through these years, it’s
that unintended consequences tend to come full circle. Whether it’s the
moral hazard of bailing out some banks, the gargantuan profits of a
chosen few -- Goldman Sachs (GS), JP Morgan (JPM), Bank America (BAC), Morgan Stanley (MS), Wells Fargo (WFC)
-- the caveats of percolating protectionism, or the growing chasm of
social and geopolitical discord, times they are a-changin’ and it’s
freaking people out.

As speculators are vilified and hedge funds
are perceived as acceptable casualties of war, financial fatigue will
evolve in kind. We’ve already seen the burnout manifest in trading
volume -- upwards of 70% of the flow are the robots -- and we’ve
witnessed it in financial media, with reported ratings of some of CNBC’s
marquee shows down as much as 25% year-over-year. (See: The War on Capitalism)

once said, “If your enemy is superior, evade him. If angry, irritate
him. If equally matched, fight and if not, split and reevaluate.” As we
navigate this socioeconomic maelstrom, an increasing number of people
are weighing their options -- and some of the smarter folks I know are
“going dark.”

What does that mean? They’re selling businesses, unwinding trading
operations or otherwise distancing themselves from the capital markets.
The thematic reasoning is straight out of an Ayn Rand novel: “I can’t
compete and when I do, the rules of engagement change in the middle of
the game. I’ll let the powers that be vanquish themselves and return in
three to five years to sift through the remains.” (See: The Last Gasp Bubble)

first time I heard this, I took notice. The second time, it piqued my
interest. Now, with four or five savvy seers pulling the plug, I felt
compelled to communicate these observations. I’m often early and
sometimes wrong but I’ll always put it out there; while few are talking
about this, it’s on many people’s mind.

I’ll also share that the
most lucid thought I’ve had since offering in 2003 that we should "sell
tech and financials, buy energy and metals and open a taco stand in
Costa Rica" is to edge away from NYC. While I’m not the panicky type --
heck, some would say I thrive under pressure -- I would be remiss if I
didn’t offer the respect of that honesty. I’m unsure of the genesis of
this particular vibe -- quality of life or proactive self-preservation
-- but the intuition is palpable and ever-present.

As it stands,
I'm not in a position to do that -- this is where we are and this is
what we do -- but my personal choice doesn’t alleviate the overarching
societal shift or the collective tension that seems to be percolating. I
speak with a ton of people in an array of industries throughout the
world and "business is great" feedback is a rarity.

More often
than not with increased frequency, the sentiment skews in the other
direction, as do anecdotal data points such as thinning crowds at
concerts and excess capacity at high-end restaurants and sporting
events. There are of course exceptions -- $10 million plus homes in
Manhattan are well-bid, due in large part to Wall Street bonuses -- but
they’re an outlier in the broader array of our societal fray.

Last week on Minyanville, we shared the following feedback from someone within our community. And I quote:

I read your exchange on “going dark” and wanted to share some
anecdotal evidence. I owned a chemical and manufacturing corporation
that employed twelve people. We sold the company in October, 2009 for
three reasons: expectations of higher future tax rates (income and cap gains), lack of clarity in regulations and the perceived coming wave of governmental policies.

at that last sentence reminds me of why we decided to take our cards
off the table after a successful run; the words EXPECTATION, CLARITY,

All of these lead to one thing -- uncertainty. It
was hard enough to make a dime with the relative stability of the
previous period. Change the operating environment and in my mind, you
change the probability of success. Smart people (being presumptuous
there!) don’t wager in that environment!

Now, I’m not suggesting we cower in a corner, buy guns and butter and
get all Mel Gibson on each other. Further, I understand most folks
aren’t in a position to seize the day and walk away. I’ve written in the
past that if we’re not part of the solution, we’re part of the problem
and that remains true, now more than ever; society, at the end of the
day, is simply a sum of the parts.

As we wrestle with reality
and attempt to operate in the best interests of ourselves and those we
love, some have chosen to extricate themselves from an increasingly
tenuous struggle to focus on the little things in life. I suppose
they’re lucky to have that option and their actions are consistent with a
widespread reprioritization following the Great Recession. I’ve written
about them before; net worth vs. self-worth, having fun vs. being happy
and the caveats of looking for validation at the bottom of a bank account. (See: Memoirs of a Minyan)

those motivated to power through to better days and easier trades, the
actions of a few effects the lives of many; we, the people, need
motivated, innovative proactive problem-solvers to remain engaged as the
second side of the storm approaches. While our financial equation is
multi-linear and ever-changing, my sense is that we’ve got four to five
years of perseverance and preservation as a precursor to the profound,
generational opportunities that will emerge thereafter. (See The Eye of the Financial Storm)

at this emerging trend of “distancing” another way, we know the
opposite of love isn’t hate, its apathy. Through that lens, folks
walking away from the capital market construct may indeed be another
step in the steady migration from what was to what will be. We often say
the leaders who emerge from the crisis are rarely the same as those who
entered it. At the very least, it should be noted that several former
leaders have removed themselves from the running.


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Fri, 08/20/2010 - 17:25 | 533794 Turd Ferguson
Turd Ferguson's picture

"Now, I’m not suggesting we cower in a corner, buy guns and butter and get all Mel Gibson on each other."

Why the fuck not? Typical Wall St wuss. Goes right up to the edge and then backs off.


Fri, 08/20/2010 - 19:15 | 533991 Tom Servo
Tom Servo's picture

Off topic.

Shorebank went into FDIC recievership (wasn't that Barry S's baby?).... 2.16 billion *ouch*


Fri, 08/20/2010 - 22:56 | 534296 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

Anyone who continues to whine about Iraq and Shock and Awe is a liberal who's now undergoing a sober awakening. 

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 12:32 | 534842 InconvenientCou...
InconvenientCounterParty's picture

In the near future, a "liberal" may be defined as a person that gives bread and water to a starving person. A "conservative" will by some calculus decide not to.

Sun, 08/22/2010 - 19:22 | 536560 Rick Masters
Rick Masters's picture

Hey Jlee is that short for Julie cause you sound like a woman. Nag. Nag. Nag. Seriously this is a finance board stop trying to censor people thru your political intimitatuion, just like a little woman.

Mon, 08/23/2010 - 03:27 | 537116 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

Telling the truth about liberals is nagging? 

No, I'm not going to stop until the liberals stop whining.

Mon, 08/23/2010 - 12:03 | 537655 downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

truth = subjective

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 18:27 | 535219 Getagrip
Getagrip's picture

Hey Turd, ease up on Todd-he's one of the good guy's (Wall St. matrix convert). I think he's trying to say that if we get to that point, ya might want to head for Mexico and take your chances with the cartel. Nice hat... 

Sun, 08/22/2010 - 11:43 | 536005 harry tuttle
harry tuttle's picture

Your response should always reflect your level of certainty.  And, like the Boy Scouts say, "be prepared".  Alternatively, "hope for the best and prepare for the worst." 

Mr. Harrison is, nonetheless, clearly calling it like he's seeing it at the moment.  In that context, it would seem that some version of "going dark" might well be prudent.  For some, that might simply mean playing the cards close to the vest or, possibly, cashing in altogether and getting small.  If you're more certain than he is, best get on to the guns and butter there Turd, I know I have.


Fri, 08/20/2010 - 17:31 | 533812 Mitchman
Mitchman's picture

It is difficult to not feel that the best thing to do at this time is to save one's powder and watch TPTB destroy themselves.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 21:47 | 534195 merehuman
merehuman's picture

Mitchman, +1000 . Here is hoping sooner than later. The whole world is waiting...

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 22:58 | 534297 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

It's hard praying for destruction, so I try to say something simple like "Lord remove those in power who abuse it".

Of course that would be most of the government...

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 18:42 | 535226 Getagrip
Getagrip's picture

Amen! Remember, God will give us what we ask for. We have what we wanted. Welcome to the harvest... Dr. Charles Stanley (In Touch Ministries) 140 days of prayer to redeem our Nation. Keep Praying...






Sat, 08/21/2010 - 12:03 | 534397 Village Idiot
Village Idiot's picture

Let's hope "the whole world" isn't waiting - we have enough to work out without the rest of the world breathing down our necks. Screw that.

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 12:10 | 534818 Village Idiot
Village Idiot's picture

To the junkers,

maybe Ishould elaborate - if our financial system goes into cardiac arrest, we will need a safe place to revive and reinvigorate the patient.  While "the rest of the world" may be waiting, I can assure you that many governments will be less than concerned for our well being.  Setting aside the " we deserve it" aspect, we do need to get back on our feet as soon as possible.  It's not all roses in the real world.  I know that doesn't come as a surprise to anyone here.

Sun, 08/22/2010 - 19:26 | 536566 Rick Masters
Rick Masters's picture

News FLASH:In the world outside of this board and the typical ZH paranoia fringe sect (which isn't all of ZH and I know i've been here from day one), Most, like 99.9 percent of people do not want the painful medicine thay y'all are proposing. They don't.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 17:36 | 533823 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

"Almost overnight, world empathy turned to global condemnation.

If we’ve learned anything through these years, it’s that unintended consequences tend to come full circle."

One man's unintended consequences are another man's raison d'être. Black swans/white swans etc.

World empathy was turned to condemnation for a reason. That day (official start of the Iraq war), I made a conscious decision that drinking every day was required in order to survive its implications.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 21:40 | 534183 Bartanist
Bartanist's picture

There are other solutions.

As Einstein said: "An education is something we get when we forget everything learned in school".

There is more to our life than the obvious. The enemy that works to divide us understands. Do you?

Cast away the improbable.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 23:04 | 534302 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

OK, how about drinking and gold?

I really don't have any idea who the enemy is anymore, other than those who take away our liberty and money (.gov and banksters).  To Hell with 'em.

May I have some more gold, Sir?  And another sip of that ice-cold vodka, Sir?

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 11:46 | 534796 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

I really don't have any idea who the enemy is anymore, other than those who take away our liberty and money (.gov and banksters).

I'm assuming by dot gov you include the rent-seekers, as do I.  If so, then your list is complete.

And another sip of that ice-cold vodka, Sir?

At my age, drinking and training are incompatible.  Guess which one is falling by the wayside?

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 22:41 | 535550 DeltaDawn
DeltaDawn's picture

search "colloidal gold" to drink it (if you desire).

Mon, 08/23/2010 - 12:16 | 537686 downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

I don't often say this but, it sounds like you could use some Goldschlager.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 23:01 | 534300 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

World empathy was turned to condemnation for a reason. That day (official start of the Iraq war), I made a conscious decision that drinking every day was required in order to survive its implications.

Stop it. The condemnation was 100% contrived.

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 00:48 | 534391 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

boy those iraqis are good actors and the dead ones are so Stanislavsky

Mon, 08/23/2010 - 12:17 | 537688 downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

What a thing to say. I suppose you must have evidence for this, or were you just telling us  what you think?

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 17:48 | 533841 TooBearish
TooBearish's picture

The 2-20 multi billion $ hedge fund model is seriously coming into question.

Small is beautiful if you want to play the game.

Anyway, there is way too much capacity in the "financial services" space, its about time it was sized more proportionally to the overall economy.

What we need is PhDs designing better energy and transportation solutions rather than sussing out leveraged CDO, CLO, HFT crap to make a living.  I say tax the everliving crap out of those activites and get the programmers and engineers working on a fuel cell for the home to replace the gotdam oil burner.

Theres an industrial policy on the cocktail napkin for ya.  Booyea

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 18:24 | 533922 sid farkas
sid farkas's picture

I'm an HFT programmer with a degree from MIT. How about stop taxing me so I can pay back loans/afford a home. Then I can get on with more worthy (in your mind) pursuits.

By the way, how do you know what *we* need? If you need something, pay for it, otherwise MYOB.



Fri, 08/20/2010 - 18:51 | 533952 TooBearish
TooBearish's picture

Congrats, you are clearly applying your hard earned skills in the most lucrative field with your qualifications and creativity.

My point is that if we had an industrial policy, perhaps if there were the proper incentives, talents like yours would serve society a greater good (beacuse not everyone can go to MIT) and pay you equally or better in a career away from financial engineering.  Its such a shame that you feel the need to rent capital and steal from pension funds in order to make a living.


I do know we "need" energy - just a thought on the fuel cell thingy.  But now I will try to MYOB.  

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 19:18 | 534000 sid farkas
sid farkas's picture

This is the problem, the only "proper incentive" is free enterprise. When you say "industrial policy" you're talking about putting government in charge of it. We already know what that brings us, terrible investments in ethanol and solar tech. Pouring money down the drain chasing nuclear fusion, which is perpetually 50 years away from becoming feasible.

Really good ideas are always considered crazy before they become widely accepted. That makes them the least likely ideas for government to fund. I have crazy ideas of my own which may or may not turn out to be good, but I know the only way I'll get to look into them is if I self fund them.

I know what theft is, it's stealing from hardworking people via taxation, to fund things like war and "industrial policy".


Fri, 08/20/2010 - 20:32 | 534097 Ultranaut
Ultranaut's picture

In the real world we have a government. It's an unavoidable situation that we have to make the best of. An industrial policy which re-allocates capital from the assholes on Wall St. into actual productive activities is a much better idea than pretending free enterprise will solve the problem. We don't have free enterprise, and we never will so long as Wall St. is calling the shots.


The reason crazy ideas don't get funded by the govt. is because they are inevitably used as fodder for political propaganda.

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 13:46 | 534906 Maniac Researcher
Maniac Researcher's picture

In the real world we have a government.


I'm surprised you didn't get junked for merely admitting that here, Ultranaut. It's nice to see a realistic view rather than the all too common "after (I hope) everything collapses I'm going to do X.."

We don't have free enterprise, and we never will so long as Wall St. is calling the shots.

Hence, in my mind, the real question: how do we end Wall St.'s stranglehold on the government? I see many intelligent people that could devote their mental energies to this problem. This is what I am working on - instead of jumping directly to the conclusion that nothing at all can be done until after a collapse.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 20:48 | 534109 Jeff Lebowski
Jeff Lebowski's picture

We already know what that brings us, terrible investments in ethanol and solar tech.

Maybe I misread that...

We already know what that brings us, terrible investments in ethanol and solar tech.

Holy Santa Claus Shit!  Now you did it...  Prepare for the wrath of Leo...


Fri, 08/20/2010 - 21:33 | 534176 akak
akak's picture

Oh, the shame and horror, to be flogged by Leo with the intellectual and moral equivalent of a wet noodle!  What dishonor, what disgrace!  How COULD anyone bear it?

The wrath of Leo = a kitten's 'roar'

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 01:05 | 534403 Village Idiot
Village Idiot's picture


Fri, 08/20/2010 - 22:22 | 534160 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

@sid farkas

"Really good ideas are always considered crazy before they become widely accepted"


You mean like the expanding earth idea? expanding oil? expanding forest?


Fri, 08/20/2010 - 21:45 | 534189 Bartanist
Bartanist's picture

LOL ... the only propr incentive is personal freedom. Maybe you see "free enterprise" (which is not really free BTW) as the only proper incentive.

Do you realize that you are a slave to "fiat"?

What is fiat exactly? There is more to life... work on it.

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 01:08 | 534405 Village Idiot
Village Idiot's picture

"There is more to life... work on it."

bumper sticker!


Sat, 08/21/2010 - 11:50 | 534800 1100-TACTICAL-12
1100-TACTICAL-12's picture

Let me know where to purchase this one.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 22:40 | 534277 juangrande
juangrande's picture

There has not been "free enterprise" nor will there ever be. Enterprise can exist only within a framework of laws and protection, be it thru "agreed upon" society or tyrannical power. It all costs something. But to work for something that you know benefits most instead of an elite few can dramatically change your state of mind. As far as pouring money into these examples you proffer; a mere pittance compared to some more wasteful and destructive spending. More distraction and/or political bone throwing than anything meaningful.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 23:04 | 534304 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

Free enterprise is conducting your business following God's law and without Government interference or nannyism. That is the Christian and Founding Fathers view of free enterprise. 

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 02:42 | 534467 RichardP
RichardP's picture

God's law includes debt forgiveness in Jubilee years, giving to Caesar what is his and giving God what is his, taking care of family and then others, and the commands to replenish the earth, turn the other cheek, and do unto others as you would have them do to you.  Are those the laws you were thinking of when defining Free Enterprise?

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 10:35 | 534626 DosZap
DosZap's picture


Jubilee year debt forgiveness applied only to Jews( also,we are not under the Law, and most here are not Orthodox jews)............the rest, I can agree with.

Debt forgiveness is called Bankruptcy now.(if you qualify)

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 13:18 | 534878 RichardP
RichardP's picture

My point exactly.  He did not distinguish among which of God's laws his Free Enterprise would be governed by.  So - not a useful statement, being so vague.

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 14:49 | 534977 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

There is no need to distinguish. 

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 23:38 | 534344 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Juan, good points.

Truth is, we are at a point in our evo/devo-lution when we will begin to question the meaning/worth of everything. Including enterprise/work (free or otherwsie), contribution (to self or society) and all the associated structures that have brought us to where we are today.

For a sobering look into the effects of "free" Enterprise, please see the following, on wealth distribution courtesy Business Insider:

When the "balance" is so far off (and we can be assured that in a fractal world, it reflects our general out-of-balance-ness), hard resets lie ahead.

The tone of this piece sounded like a dirge to me.


Sat, 08/21/2010 - 10:29 | 534621 abc123
abc123's picture

Sid, you should just make money quietly (good for you!!) and not try to justify yourself.  It only makes you look pensive to defend your "proper incentive".  You know the game is rigged and you should not preach.

Today, "industrial policy" puts several enemy sovereigns ahead of the US: it dictates the production of smart technical people, it provides a tariff shield and it encourages vertical integration that leads to better national security around vital industry sectors.

You can wrap yourself in a flag of "free enterprise" to justify yourself but in the mean time the Chinese are stealing us blind.  We are losing that battle. 

We need to create things here so there is tangible value underpinning our money -- not just services.


Fri, 08/20/2010 - 19:22 | 534010 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Right, and keep looking the other way while your masters pick our pockets?  I think not.

When Wall Street is getting money from the Fed and the Feds, anything you do is our business, by definition.  Of course, if your particular firm doesn't accept money from Federal sources, then kudos.

I'm all for not taxing people, though.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 19:29 | 534020 sid farkas
sid farkas's picture

no bailouts here. We are not TBTF, I can count the number of people in my office on one hand.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 19:40 | 534038 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Very good, then.  You win a banana sticker.


Fri, 08/20/2010 - 21:47 | 534196 Bartanist
Bartanist's picture

Classic... almost as fulfilling as a Yatch full of fiat.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 21:48 | 534199 gabeh73
gabeh73's picture

MIT dude here too. Big oil pays for 67my kids private school and my mortgage. You limp dix naively day dreamin about a more altruistic government and "industrial policy" are pathetic. U have no idea who owns you and your fukingovernment .

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 22:30 | 534267 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

Hey there MIT dude, so, what's up doc?

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 12:52 | 534859 InconvenientCou...
InconvenientCounterParty's picture

most, but not all parasites eventually destroy the host after reproducing. Here's wishing you a kick in the scroat.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 19:55 | 534059 chet
chet's picture

Wow, you expect sympathy around here?

Go fuck yourself and your whole value-destroying industry.  You are using your smarts to leech a % here a % there off of the transactions of productive people in the productive economy.  Eat shit.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 21:02 | 534134 sid farkas
sid farkas's picture

Tell me you have no credit card, no mortgage, no car loan, no student loan, and you don't keep your money in a bank or use an ATM. Then I might think twice that banking/finance is a value destroying industry.

Until then, if it's a value destroying industry, why are you a consumer of those services? Nobody puts a gun to your head and forces you to trade stocks or open an account with a bank.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 21:55 | 534211 merehuman
merehuman's picture

I build houses. I grow food.

You make trades. There was a time i would have respected your trade as long as INVESTING was going on. None of you are investing in anything but lining pockets.

Pissed off J6P

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 22:22 | 534256 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

Actually Sid...people are in a sense "forced" to use a bank and credit cards for the simple reason that many things in this society demand it. You can't rent a car or hotel room without one and most (if not all) ATM cards limit your daily use (of your own money mind you) to an amount that would making buying a TV on your ATM card prohibitive regardless of how much cash you have. And then to add insult to injury, we get to pay for the right to access OUR OWN MONEY. And who benefits from this fiasco? Banks.

Yes people keep money in the bank. That is the traditional function of a bank...but now the bank keeps our money from us not for us and uses it to gamble in this neo-feudalistic gulag casino of an economy. And if they lose...they get bailed out by whom? By we the people of course.

As far as debt goes...lets call it what it really is: this system of "compounding interest" that we've come to view as the norm is not in fact it by it's proper name: Usury. It's a system designed to enslave us in debt. But that's another, and much longer topic all together.

You say you've recently graduated from MIT. Congratulations. It is indeed a prestigious school. It obviously shows you have some capacity and smarts. But the fact that you have recently graduated also tells me one other thing: You are still too young and inexperienced to know that everything they have taught you in school, with the exception of reading and math, is a complete fucking lie designed to make you not a better citizen or a better person, but a better slave...But'll figure that out before it's too late.

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 01:37 | 534433 TeresaE
TeresaE's picture

Say it AGAIN, Sam!

First thing I learned after college: I wasted my money and the professors primarily couldn't hold a job in the real world, let alone teach me how to do it.

Bullshit and academic/liberal doublespeak.  Goddamn that is worth a few thousand a semester, isn't it?

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 08:16 | 534548 Treeplanter
Treeplanter's picture

Most of the Education Industry is all about selling paper credentials.   The exception would be when it's learning a craft.  I got my money's worth in the creative writing program at UBC because the instructors focused on honing the craft.  No theories. I took part in government sponsored training programs in both Canada and the US.  Reforestation Trainer Training and Truck Driver Trainer Training.  In both cases a massive about of paper curriculum was required to get the taxpayers' money.  In both cases about 10% of the courses were actually useful to the Trainer.  Much of that involved safety.  At the end of the courses, you were still on your own but you had credentials.


Sat, 08/21/2010 - 11:55 | 534804 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

B.S.N.E. here; not a paper credential.

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 10:47 | 534634 DosZap
DosZap's picture


Usery is charging interest on borrowed funds.Set by lender, (unless there is a rate max set by law).No one makes someone accept it.

It's legal, and accepted..............just wasn't/isn't by Jews,to each other. Arabs, etc ...........

Foreigners were excluded,(under Jewish Law) and could be charged Usery.

Compound interest goes TWO WAYS....depends on who is getting it, if it's good or bad, huh?,

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 13:56 | 534910 Maniac Researcher
Maniac Researcher's picture

Do you blame Jews when you are applying cream to your raging hemorrhoids?

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 12:03 | 534812 1100-TACTICAL-12
1100-TACTICAL-12's picture

I have no credit card, no mortgage, no car loan, no student loan, i don't use an atm, and keep most my money in PM's. I also grow my own food & preserve it. And am teaching my children to do the same. When TSHTF I'll trade you that MIT degree for three homegrown tomatoes. You should tie a rope around your feet climb on top of your underwater mortgage house & jump. Maybe when you hit the end your head will pop out of your ass.

Sun, 08/22/2010 - 04:20 | 535781 sid farkas
sid farkas's picture

no mortgage here boss, I rent. How about I trade you a few rounds of .308 from my M1A for those tomotoes instead.

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 11:55 | 534805 Max Hunter
Max Hunter's picture

Nice Chet.. Same thing just going through my mind..

The macro view is, when wealth is created by people who's model is simply the transfer/sale/transaction of goods, i.e. wall street/banking they tax those goods (and labor) every bit as much if not more than government.

What's worse is the need for this service is produced by controllers of this service. In other words, we could do without it and increase the net value of our labor.  At least a large portion of taxes does go for education and development of society.. Whereas, the tax on our labor through money control produces nothing but a class of suits with a lot of money.. The financial (money control) of our economy produces nothing but conjured wealth that serves to ultimately be our demise as a few become extremely wealthy.

The wealth added by financial trickery over the past 100 years is fake and must be cleansed. The financial system that has grown around us has taxed the labor of people to the point of destruction.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 20:04 | 534065 sethco
sethco's picture

If you can't make ends meet as an HFT programmer you're underpaid, or you suck. You're like those card counting geeks from your alma mater they made that movie about, except you work for the casino, fleecing the patrons. They were sympathetic characters, you're not.

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 00:13 | 534375 Cleanclog
Cleanclog's picture

Sid farkas, you suck!

Hope you never "need" or just want to interact with anyone else or fall on hard times or actually develop a sense of humanity and that sense that life is bigger that just you as a cog in the wheel.  Wow . . . poor little MIT grad with loans to pay off.  Boo hoo.  

Poor suckers that went to public schools on loans and have loans to pay off.  Most of them at least do something with their knowledge that doesn't feel like they're screwing their neighbors.  

Are you really proud of your accomplishments?

For shame!

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 07:49 | 534543 equity_momo
equity_momo's picture

HFT are an abomination on capital markets. Ironically its capitalism imploding in on itself , its peaked and the use of your education at MIT has helped reached the tipping point. I dont blame you for chasing the easy money but its coming to an end very soon.

In the not too distant future youre going to be sat staring at your blinking red and green lights and ordered to pull the plug simply because there isnt a quant alive that can invent a prog to deal with market capitulations. It wont take higher tax rates in your industry to force you and your peers to use their braincells in a more productive way , it will simply be the natural equilibrium of capitalism at work destroying markets that force you out of your job and into a different industry. Youve come into the game late - pay off those debts asap and start geeking up on a new career.

Sun, 08/22/2010 - 04:14 | 535778 sid farkas
sid farkas's picture

There are so many morons out there who don't understand what we do. I'll try to explain it:

1. Like any other business we provide value to our customers who gladly do business with us, this is how we make money, there is nothing wrong with it.

2. Specifically we are competing against banks trying to offer a better price to customers. Banks typically rape their customers, so this is not too hard. We then hedge some of our (unprofitable) flow with the banks and keep the flow that generates profits. These customers would have paid worse prices if they dealt directly with the bank, so we saved them some money. Since we pass off some of our junk to the banks who don't know any better than to take it, we cut into their profits as well.

3. At the end of the day we are saving people money by offering the same service a bank is offering but at a lower price. We help individuals and hurt banks, if you think about it the conclusion is undeniable.


Sat, 08/21/2010 - 10:34 | 534625 stollcri
stollcri's picture

I'm calling bullshit, nay, total bullshit on this one.

I will assume that you are talking student loans. So, you got a loan to go to school (an expensive one) with no collateral and a high risk of not being able to repay, does your interest rate reflect this? Were you able to defer payment until after school? What bank (that is not given assurance by the government) gives these types of loans?

You are bitching about the government charging you taxes, but they may have been the only reason you were able to go to school and get a loan with a decent rate in the first place.

You are ungrateful and not as smart as you think you are. Good thing that Uncle Sam decided we needed to give loans to assholes like you, I sure wouldn't have.

Sun, 08/22/2010 - 03:51 | 535771 sid farkas
sid farkas's picture

1. schools are so expensive exactly because they are subsidized so heavily, who's to say what I could/could not afford if government stopped the subsidies? Are people on food stamps supposed to be grateful the government feeds them, when if they just stopped taxing everyone to death those same people would probably be able to work and earn an honest living?

2. I don't need the school anyway, most of the professors don't speak good english or give a shit about their undergrad lectures. And while MIT may not be as bad as the ivys as far as being socialist indoctrination camps, it is still pretty bad there.



Wed, 08/25/2010 - 11:02 | 542951 stollcri
stollcri's picture

I don't think that you know what you are talking about. It is too bad you appearantly went to school for technical credentials rather than an education.

Can you cite any examples of universities being cheaper where subsidies are removed? I have a feeling that you just completely made that up. If you do find an example of it being cheaper (in real terms), what effect did it have on that society?

Food stamps are one of the economy's automatic stabilizers, no rational person with a basic understanding of economics would seriously question their use. Without those things people might take care of themselves by going back to the farm and starting over during a recession, but when the economy recovers then they might not want to come back and work for the companies that previously threw them out in the streets. It is not efficient to have programmers doing farming, it is better that they don't lose their programming abilities, that is the goal of such programs. These programs are designed to support capitalism, without them there would be more risk in leaving the farm to come to the city, and that risk would/should show in higher wages.

I did not attend MIT, but most universities have a goal of encouraging critical thinking, that would include critically thinking about ones own beliefs. I would venture to guess that you simply dismissed any view that was counter to your existing views. I don't think that this is a strategy for success.

Fri, 08/27/2010 - 06:08 | 547721 akak
akak's picture

... most universities have a goal of encouraging critical thinking, that would include critically thinking about ones own beliefs.

That is one of the most naive statements I have ever read in this forum.

Yes, that is precisely what most universities CLAIM to uphold, but my own experience at one of the Big Ten universities was quite the opposite ---- indeed, much more akin to indoctrination than anything else.  "Toleration" was fine and dandy, and much blabbed about, when it came to gender, sexual orientation and racial issues, but in terms of true intellectual debate?  Don't make me laugh!  But I will say that the true and insidious nature of the indoctrination that I and my fellow students were subjected to was not immediately obvious even to this lifelong libertarian and questioner of authority, and only became fully evident to me years after the fact.

Fri, 08/27/2010 - 06:10 | 547722 akak
akak's picture

... most universities have a goal of encouraging critical thinking, that would include critically thinking about ones own beliefs.

That is one of the most naive statements I have ever read in this forum.

Yes, that is precisely what most universities CLAIM to uphold, but my own experience at one of the Big Ten universities was quite the opposite ---- indeed, much more akin to indoctrination than anything else.  "Toleration" was fine and dandy, and much blabbed about, when it came to gender, sexual orientation and racial issues, but in terms of true intellectual debate?  Don't make me laugh!  But I will say that the true and insidious nature of the indoctrination that I and my fellow students were subjected to was not immediately obvious even to this lifelong libertarian and questioner of authority, and only became fully evident to me years after the fact.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 17:56 | 533862 jimijon
Fri, 08/20/2010 - 18:02 | 533874 tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

the banksters control the markets in ways about which they could only hallucinate in 1913 when they started their march toward a world in which fasb is a bastion of fraud and a puppet of the new york bankster junta, leaving the room is the right thing to do...

power corrupts - absolute power corrupts absolutely. until tbtf and the fed are destroyed financial life is best played by the masters of the universe.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 19:21 | 534007 DocLogo
DocLogo's picture

"Who do you think started this bankster shit? And this the mutha fuckin thanks I get?" - JP Morgan


Fri, 08/20/2010 - 18:04 | 533878 chistletoe
chistletoe's picture

Nine years ago I sold all my tech stocks and bought oil.


I also made a prediction, that the basically-caucasian, western power centers

would collapse, never to return.  (along with other predictions, such as that no one would ever find any WMD's, that that war would last a long, long time and the USA would basically lose it eventually, that Osama Bin Laden would never be captured, that the housing bubble would eventually burst, and so on ...)

It has continually amazed me at how resistant the system is to collapse.  Here is a pretty good example of why.  Todd understands, intellectually, what is happening,

yet he still clings stubbornly to the belief that he can somehow trade this knowledge and make a profit on the stock market.  How quaint.


In the next generation, the next score or so of years, the governments of the west are going to crumble and fall, replaced for awhile with various unstable totalitarian efforts.

The Internet will become so clogged with commercial skullduggery that it will be abandoned.  And 3 or 4 billion people are going to die prematurely, due to

starvation, thirst, disease, war, suicide, anarchy, and general stupidity.


Thankfully, I'm not likely to live long enough to get to watch it all. 

Much like Cassandra, I will be made to pay for what others perceive as my sins,

the sins of clarity and rationality in a dishonest, irrational world.


Sam's son

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 18:18 | 533907 mikla
mikla's picture


Thankfully, I'm not likely to live long enough to get to watch it all.

No doubt it is my curse as a soiled and imperfect being that I *will* get to watch it all.

It has continually amazed me at how resistant the system is to collapse.

Agreed.  It's like a corporate merger between two very large organizations:  It seems a glacial pace while it happens, but later upon reflection it actually went pretty quick (preparation for a year, diligence for months, sign-off, then payout -- years went by, which seemed glacial then, but at the "big picture" level that actually goes pretty fast).

When the "final fall" comes, like Iceland (and we watch now with Greece), it goes quickly.  Ireland is dragging it out simply because they keep the bars open later.

<snip, system surprisingly resistant to collapse>, Here is a pretty good example of why.  Todd understands, intellectually, what is happening, yet he still clings stubbornly to the belief that he can somehow trade this knowledge and make a profit on the stock market.  How quaint.

Very nicely said.

Of course, nations only fall as a result of cashflow problems.  That will come to a head when the nations cannot service their debts, which we can all see is *very* close now.

Anytime now, but I'm still betting EU summer 2011, USA summer 2012.

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 02:50 | 534469 RichardP
RichardP's picture

No fall.  Morph; not start over.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 20:50 | 534114 Alchemist
Alchemist's picture

is it me or are raving lunatics wildly overrepresented on this site

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 21:29 | 534169 Reese Bobby
Reese Bobby's picture

Mostly on macro think pieces like this.  They lack the concentration and/or brains to engage on day-to-day financial issues.

If you were a raving lunatic would you not be drawn to ZH?  I've only had a login name for only about 1/2 a year.  This community is expanding fast and not even Tyler knows how it will work out.


Sat, 08/21/2010 - 01:20 | 534417 Village Idiot
Village Idiot's picture


Sat, 08/21/2010 - 02:51 | 534471 RichardP
RichardP's picture

I disagree.  Raving lunatics who want someone to pay attention to them will post where the eyeballs are.  And ZH has eyeballs.  And lunatics.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 21:44 | 534185 akak
akak's picture

is it me or are raving lunatics wildly overrepresented on this site

No, I think it's you.

Pray tell, what is the "lunacy" to which you are referring?  The collapse of many Western governments due to financial profligacy and insane and growing indebtedness?  That is not lunacy --- that hand has already been dealt, it just hasn't been called yet.

I can NEVER cease to be amazed to reflect on how, if one could jump back in time three or four years and relate all the financial events that have transpired since, every mainstream, conventionalist, conformist analyst would have automatically labeled it all as "lunacy".  You KNOW that that is true, yet every subsequent non-pollyannish prediction and logical projection of the trajectory that we as a society continue to follow is STILL automatically labeled by those same mainstream, pro-establishment, conventionalist, conformist parrots and sheep as "lunacy".

Methinks, Alchemist, that you are going to see a LOT more lunacy in the coming years.  Get used to it.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 21:50 | 534203 Alchemist
Alchemist's picture

Read some history, young man.. The world has been through MUCH worse ordeals pretty regularly and ended up ok.. We have been spoiled by 2 decades of Great Moderation and its end brings out the lunatics carrying the signs "The end is near".. Lighten up.. Nothing will collapse.. A little malaise, stress and payback for the old sin doesnt make for the end of the world.. These emotional end of the world claims that lack any intellectual rigor scream ignorance and lunacy

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 22:00 | 534222 mikla
mikla's picture

These emotional end of the world claims that lack any intellectual rigor scream ignorance and lunacy

From what I understand of your argument, you're making the unsupported assertion that, "it's been worse in the past, we'll get through it."

In contrast, I'm making the supported assertion that the debt will not be serviced.  The math is simple.  Do you assert the debts *will* be serviced?

I concede humans have a hard time understanding exponential equations.  I'm very interested in your "intellectual rigor" regarding how to continue a ponzi forever.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 22:08 | 534236 Reese Bobby
Reese Bobby's picture

A company of strategic importance does not cease to exist when it has to restructure its balance sheet.  The same hold true of the United States.  It is not a complicated concept.  But it will be a tumultuos restucturing.  Just no canabalism...

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 22:09 | 534238 akak
akak's picture

Indeed, Mikla, I would like to see Alchemist directly answer your question.

Alchemist, you seem to be making that same, tired, pathetically weak strawman argument so prevalent among conventionalist, mainstream (non)thinkers: that either things continue more or less just as they are today, or it is "The End of the World", whatever the Hell that means.  Nobody here that I can tell is predicting "The End of the World", just things getting much worse for a while (the length of that while yet to be determined), as we as a society inevitably pay the price for years of financial insanity and profligacy.

How is the debt going to be paid, Alchemist?  HOW?  And bad and unsustainable as the situation ALREADY is, it is growing exponentially worse by the month.

I sometimes wonder if most reality-deniers even have a clue what the words "Unsustainable" and "Inevitable' mean.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 22:27 | 534261 Reese Bobby
Reese Bobby's picture

I think I'll now be presumptuous: get a job.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 22:56 | 534294 Alchemist
Alchemist's picture

Quite simple.. There is a rich history of balancesheet recessions in the developed world that didn't result in defaults.. In fact deflationary deleveraging episodes more often than not result in lower rates and stronger currencies..  The market is clearly following the same script.. If risks of default are so obvious why is the bond market is where it is? 

Like I have been saying on this site: there is very little difference between government bonds and money - both are pieces of paper produced by the same government and both are in essence legal tenders..  So the government can replace one piece of paper with another by paying back government bond principal by money that it can just..


It's quite straightforward, in a balancesheet recession deleveraging cycle ensues which by corrolary involves destruction of money supply.. Government borrowing, i.e. printing Treasury certificates as opposed to money in this case - merely replaces destroyed money to prevent debilitating deflation to take place..


I am yet to hear a single valid argument regarding the future default scare


Go read Richard Koo 's "The Holy Grail of Macroeconomics"

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 23:12 | 534315 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

But the flaw here is the governments are not deleveraging. They are still leveraging, hello. Your playing games, I can move change between pockets too, this does not solve the problem.

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 10:50 | 534638 stollcri
stollcri's picture

Do you really think that this is the first time in history that people like you have said the country is taking on too much debt? (see also: WWII, Vietnam War) Were the people like you during those periods right, or wrong?

This is why I think that business people tend to make terrible civil servants, they don't understand that the government is society's last line of defense against, well, basically everything. That is why WE decided to form them. The government can't just close up shop and move to Florida when times get tough, they have to do the hard things that scare people like you.

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 12:08 | 534814 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture


Do you really think that this is the first time in history that people like you have said the country is taking on too much debt? (see also: WWII, Vietnam War)

We got away with WWII debt levels for only one reason: last man standing.  And VietNam didn't really end so well, did it, given the resultant closing of the gold window?  In fact, that act might be seen as the initiator of the fiat/debt bubble that is now finally bursting.  I have been saying for years now that the Fed's and dot gov's policy in this "Great Recession" has always been one of "last man standing," hoping everyone else fails first.  You seem to think they're going to get away with it; I do not.  I suspect we are both probably engaging in wishful thinking.

the government is society's last line of defense against, well, basically everything.

Including any outbreaks of really scary stuff like individual liberty....

they have to do the hard things that scare people like you.

Like enriching the MIC, sending other peoples' children off to die in wars of aggression, keeping itself in power by buying votes with empty promises of endless piles of other peoples' money, bailing out rent-seeking businesses, public employee unions, corrupt big labor, and the banking oligarchy that completely owns the political system here in the U.S.?  It seems you are saying "the end justifies the means", but I don't want to put words in your mouth.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 22:48 | 534286 Alchemist
Alchemist's picture

The government debt will be serviced.. QED


I see zero intellectual support for your statement.. I am glad you can spell "math" but your spelling prowess is no substitute for some analytics

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 23:11 | 534309 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

Serviced how? To keep it simple more debt and promises made to future outlays have been created than exists as money. Repayment is impossible. Monetization to repay will lead to hyperinflation not growth, and currency destruction.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 23:21 | 534326 Alchemist
Alchemist's picture

You have to understand what deleveraging means and how it works to destroy the money supply.. Inflation is created by demand for credit.. When demand for credit collapses which we observe now, government has to step in and replace the collapse in private credit.. At the end of the day, once the system stabilizes we will go through a currency adjustment to correct built up imbalances.. Unlike the stock market which is much smaller and much more prone to emotion, bond market is huge and is a sandbox where almsot exclusively professional investors play.. One has to presume that the price action is driven by rational investment decisions and the clear conclusion is that there is no risk of default.. Look at Japan - people have been screaming that they will default or that JGBs will collapse for good 10-15yrs.. And yet there 10yr yield is below 1% and the currency is at 15yr highs..

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 23:30 | 534337 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

Inflation is not created by a demand for credit! It is created by an increased money supply such as when a bozo bank called the Federal Reserve lowers interest rates to ridiculous levels.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 23:45 | 534352 Alchemist
Alchemist's picture

Price of credit has nothing to do with money supply.. Demand for credit (!) is what drives velocity of money and by corollary - money supply.. The Fed can "print" as much money as it wants but as long as there is no demand for credit the money just piles up as excess reserves adding to monetary base but not participating in the real economy.. Precisely what we are witnessing right now

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 14:53 | 534983 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

Nice dodge of the facts. You win, there's no arguing with you.

Mon, 08/23/2010 - 13:25 | 537870 downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

From what (little) I understand, it seems that there is, or was a short time ago, no lack in demand for lending..indeed that is the only thing that was keeping us afloat before the bust. As I understand, banks are not lending, so it would then seem to me as though the problem is a supply in willing lenders, not a lack of demand. Rates are extremely low right now, and there does not seem to be a line at the mortgage office.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 22:02 | 534227 merehuman
merehuman's picture

Being old dont mean squat . Being aware of history, the rise of money and present actual circumstances counts. Lots of my old neighbors think this will all blow over. So mistaken in their belief yet they cling to it not knowing the facts.

Perhaps the Alchemist has drunk trhe government coolaid too much

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 22:29 | 534266 Snidley Whipsnae
Snidley Whipsnae's picture

The mention of exponential function seemed to glaze his eyes...

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 01:36 | 534426 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

One of the most astounding and insightful equations I've ever come across is:

r*e^(i*Theta) = r*(cos(theta) + i * sin(theta))

which of course describes a circle.  Anyone that has no use/understanding for expotential functions is missing a large part of the mystery of the universe in which we live.  Having said all that, it is with mathematical certainty that the financial system as it currently exists, will self-destruct as the expotential functions involved in compound interest accelerate to infinity!

S/B on everyone's reading list:  "Secrets of the Temple, How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country", ISBN:0-671-67556-7 (dated but still relevant)

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 11:10 | 534669 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Haven't posted this in a while:Dr Bartlett explaining exponentials

I went Lunatic level 1 when TPTB started talking about green energy replacing oil

Went Lunatic level 2 in the March of 08. BS gone and Lehman stock cut in half, all in a day

Achieved Lunatic ,level 3, in the fall of 08.Being hours away from martial law and financial collapse just has that effect on me...

Currently at lunatic level 3++

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 22:28 | 534265 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

You tell someone they should learn history and then you proceed to make the statement "Nothing will collapse"? LOL! now that's irony!

"Nothing will collapse" = Famous last words of many former empires.


Fri, 08/20/2010 - 23:02 | 534301 Alchemist
Alchemist's picture

I am not saying that everything is peachy and perfect.. In fact I have been bearish on the economy and very pessimistic as to how things will evolve over the next 12-18months.. I think we are in an L shape recovery - will wallow at the bottom for some time.. But there is a difference between being bearish and pessimistic and saying that the world will end 

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 23:14 | 534318 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

Did you vote for Obama?

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 23:22 | 534328 Alchemist
Alchemist's picture

Hard core conservative here

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 23:31 | 534339 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

No way Jose.

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 01:40 | 534436 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

But...the World will end! (when the Sun goes into red super giant mode)

Hated to break the news, but there it is.

Mon, 08/23/2010 - 13:38 | 537912 downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

YES +5,000,000,000

in 5 billion years, they'll have forgotten these words were ever written

in 5 billion years, our predictions and predicaments will be moot

in 5 billion years, all of our thoughts and opinions will be but a faint memory that will be triggered by the smell of bullshit...this is my worldview: you have to know you're going to die so that you can live in the best way 

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 01:41 | 534437 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

The "Thousand-year Reich" (3rd Reich) lasted all of 13 years.

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 03:02 | 534475 RichardP
RichardP's picture

The preceding exchange was based on the opening claim that "the nation will collapse" - and then a time frame was given.  The opposing argument was that the nation will not collapse.  I agree.  Morph, probably.  Not start over.  Some of you changed the argument to a more global one.  The argument was simply that our nation is not about to collapse.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 22:40 | 534275 Argos
Argos's picture

Sorry, but I don't believe so now.  We are way to dependent on everything working out perfectly along a very long chain.  The end might not be financial.  There is still Katla, bird flu, nukes etc.  There's only a few days food in the grocery stores.  When you are starving, it doesn't matter the ultimate reason.  You just want to feed your kids, and you'll do  anything  to feed them.  There are what, 6 billion people now?  Ok, poof, now there are 8 billion, now 10 billion, now 30 billion.  Do you really believe that a huge crash is NOT going to happen?

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 22:59 | 534298 Alchemist
Alchemist's picture

I didn't realize we are engaged in the matters of faith rather than an intellectual argument

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 14:16 | 534929 Maniac Researcher
Maniac Researcher's picture

These emotional end of the world claims that lack any intellectual rigor scream ignorance and lunacy


Amen, Alchemist.

So many cowards here would rather junk and deride then actually engage the historical context of current events.

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 15:14 | 535013 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

Alchemist, your read of history is rather superficial.  While a terrible ordeal may not be the end of the world, it has been the end of the world for a great many.  The Banda Ache tsunami wasn't the end of the world, but it was the end of the world for 200,000 people, wiped out practically in the blink of an eye and no one knows their names.  The black death in the 14th century wasn't the end of the world, but after it had run its course whole cities were dead, in fact, 1/3 of the entire population of Europe was dead.  Just because you are priviledged and have been priviledged your whole life doesn't make you immune from such a disaster and, while it may not be the end of the world, it would certainly be the end of the world for you. 

Sun, 08/22/2010 - 20:29 | 536623 Alchemist
Alchemist's picture

Surely, we are all at risk that the end of our own private worlds might come to an abrupt end at any time for an unforeseen reason but the rest of the world will move on jsut as it always does

Mon, 08/23/2010 - 13:48 | 537954 downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

Exactly right. The apocalypse has come and gone for the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, and ________ (fill in 3rd world periphery state)

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 01:51 | 534443 TeresaE
TeresaE's picture

Do you now SEE how Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Papa Doc, rose to power?

I do.

25% (or more, idiocracy is real, not just a crappy movie) don't have the mental capabilities to understand what is coming.

50% could understand, but choose to continue believing what they are told to believe, not what they see, hear or feel (and in a predominantly faith based country, really, could it be any other way?)

Maybe (I'm being generous) 25% have an inkling of history and what happens.

Less than 5% are actually doing a damn thing to prepare for ANY of the DOZENS of disasters hanging over our heads.

Dawned on me about four years ago, the BULK of my fellow citizens will NEVER care, nor investigate, nor wakeup.  They will plod into containment zones, roll up their sleeves to be used as guinea pigs, take their pills and any food they can get and say, "Master, may I have another."

FUBAR is what we are.  Or, as ZH so eloquently puts it, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.

I'm hoping for zero plus a few years and have my eyes wide open.



Sat, 08/21/2010 - 03:14 | 534477 RichardP
RichardP's picture

Do you have any joy in your life?  Can you change what is coming?  Who knew in 1969 about iPhones and BlackPads?  Who knew in 1985 to put money on tweeting? Or on derivatives?  Did you know a year ago that Iran would initate a new source of electric power today (yay for them).  Are you sure you know what is coming?

Sun, 08/22/2010 - 20:32 | 536625 Alchemist
Alchemist's picture

Disasters ARE ALWAYS hanging over our heads.. But the ones that usually strikes are not the ones people are prepared for.. It's one thing to appreciate history, it's another to run around screaming "the end is near!".. There are people running around and screaming jsut that every day of human history whether such end is indeed near or not..

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 01:02 | 534402 chindit13
chindit13's picture

Only the schizophrenics, but that's to be expected.

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 12:16 | 534823 1100-TACTICAL-12
1100-TACTICAL-12's picture

It's you.

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 11:06 | 534689 DosZap
DosZap's picture


You sir are a member of an extremely LARGE American Club.

As a  Upper Middle Aged, male, who has like most here, played by the rules, the law, find myself spectactularly pissed off..........and daily in a quandry,  finding my thoughts running on what I want to do, should do.....not do.

If it were not for my Faith, and belief's, there is no telling what I would/could become..............before I am unable to get my pound.

It's scary at times to have strong  mores, values,and a faith that does not allow for personal revenge.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 18:15 | 533902 Inspector Asset
Inspector Asset's picture

How I surived a 36 hour man hunt with choppers, blood hounds and 20 of Denvers finest.

Tyler, I am going to get you some publicty of this bullshit. Its the least I can do.

Yopu have been my biggest inspiration.

Patrick the Painter

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 19:09 | 533982 MeTarzanUjane
MeTarzanUjane's picture

I didn't click your link but I'm guessing that you are claiming to be a fugitive and sexual predator? Correct?

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 20:55 | 534126 Jeff Lebowski
Jeff Lebowski's picture

Click the link, and try the guess of "crazy as a shithouse rat".

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 06:26 | 534520 doggings
doggings's picture

i concur. and he started a special blog and everything.

very worrying

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 01:39 | 534435 Village Idiot
Village Idiot's picture

LOL - even the VI knew how that story would end...without reading it - "I owe it all to you Tyler Durden, you inspired me to run amuck!"  hat tip to the author.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 22:36 | 534272 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

 - wow

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 12:58 | 534862 Hulk
Hulk's picture

ruh roh...

Thu, 08/26/2010 - 00:42 | 545128 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

 - that was a "tongue in cheek" wow, btw.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 18:17 | 533906 scratch_and_sniff
scratch_and_sniff's picture

Have a drink. Its over, we are caught and cornered.


Tell me this, why do people never mention the obvious solutions on this site?

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 19:10 | 533985 traderjoe
traderjoe's picture

I used to talk about possible <rational> solutions like industrial policy, etc. and watched in horror as the government did nothing but spend money on short-term band-aids. Then I started to realize that the PTB wasn't really interested in 'saving' this mess, and that my time would be better spent preparing for the ultimate end-game. Not for profit per se, but for the preservation of some semblance of a standard of living. 

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 19:41 | 534039 gmrpeabody
gmrpeabody's picture

“I can’t compete and when I do, the rules of engagement change in the middle of the game. I’ll let the powers that be vanquish themselves and return in three to five years to sift through the remains.”

Sounds like a plan to me!

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 01:41 | 534438 Village Idiot
Village Idiot's picture


Mon, 08/23/2010 - 13:59 | 537996 downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

Yeah baby, yeah! people forget the best part about the end of the world...repopulation!

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 11:08 | 534697 DosZap
DosZap's picture



Fri, 08/20/2010 - 20:11 | 534073 Sniper
Sniper's picture

Because people just want to say F**K YOU!:

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 23:58 | 534366 OldTrooper
OldTrooper's picture

Liked that song.  Saved the link for a special occassion.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 18:18 | 533909 chindit13
chindit13's picture

If we hadn't invaded Iraq....

The US would already be finished with whatever it is trying to do in Afghanistan.

Saddam may or may not have been killed, but he would probably have about the same amount of WMD as he had when the US invaded (none).  Man had made a decision that his personal pursuit of happiness (booze, broads and palaces said Pat Buchanan) was worth more than doing something that might get him invaded by the US.  Little did he know perception (or deception) was reality.  And I mean Cheney's deception.

Cheney would have left office and gone back to being the CEO of the US firm doing the most business with Saddam, just like when Cheney ran Haliburton 1995-2000.  Hypocritters do not change their stripes.

Many more young American servicepeople would be walking this planet.

Many more Iraqis would be walking this planet, and in Iraq rather than Syria/Jordan.  Yes, Saddam would have continued to take his toll, but on balance....well, is/was he the only miscreant running a country?

The USA would have a slightly better financial position, perhaps having enough money to rebuild infrastructure that would at least bring it to the level of rural China.

al Qaeda would have more trouble recruiting.

We may not have known that the USA can torture with the best of them.

The USA might still be able to pretend it holds some piece of the moral high ground.

The USA would have more friends, or rather, it would have friends. (That plural may be optimistic.)

TV, especially political shows, would have less screaming.

The USA would still be playing Little League baseball in summer, despite the empty and overly dramatic words uttered ad nauseum in the years since the invasion "thanks for doing what you do over there so we can continue to do what we do over here".

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 20:16 | 534076 fxrxexexdxoxmx
fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

And I mean Cheney's deception.


When Bill Clinton spoke of Saddams WMD prior to 1999 was he just working for Cheney?

You sound like Obama " Bush's fault".

I wonder if he asked Michelle if her children are actually his or the last president?

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 01:54 | 534446 TeresaE
TeresaE's picture


Blinded by what he is told to be blinded by.

I no longer expect any different.

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 09:56 | 534599 chindit13
chindit13's picture

I'm not sure I am familiar with your trailer park, but I may have flown over it.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 21:32 | 534173 Reese Bobby
Reese Bobby's picture

Dear Howard Dean:

I don't think you should be posting on this site.



Fri, 08/20/2010 - 21:48 | 534200 akak
akak's picture

I read NOTHING explicitly or implicitly pro-Democratic Party in that honest assessment of what might have been absent Bush & Cheney's shameful war of choice.

Until you can open your mind beyond the false and hopelessly limited left-right, Democrat-Republican paradigm and faux political "spectrum", you are going to remain par of the problem and not be part of the solution.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 22:20 | 534252 Reese Bobby
Reese Bobby's picture

You are presumptuous; a nice term for kind of stupid.  Your presume I don't know Washington politics is broken?  You presume I don't understand Bush=Clinton=Bush=Obama.  And it was the recitation of Democratic talking points that explicitly and implicitly suggested there was a "pro-Democratic" stance.  In my opinon, Sparky...

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 22:24 | 534258 akak
akak's picture

I think that if you read any "Democratic talking points" (to any of which I would be acutely aware) in that comment, it was your own mind that inserted them and not Chindit who did so, Sparky, for I see none --- just the truth.

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