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From Atlas To Capital - Everyone Is Shrugging

Tyler Durden's picture


From Mark Spitznagel, founder and chief investment officer of Universa Investments, a California-based hedge fund, first appearing in Project Syndicate

Capital Shrugged

Capitalism’s greatest strength has been its resiliency – its ability to survive the throes and challenges of crises and business cycles to fuel innovation and economic growth. Today, however, more than four years into a credit crisis, a conspicuous enigma calls this legacy into question.

Despite recent hopes of recovery in the US, including an inventory catch-up in the fourth quarter of 2011, real US GDP growth has remained persistently below trend. Moreover, although seasonally adjusted January employment data have brought the unemployment rate down to 8.3% (while total jobs were actually lost in January), the more realistic rate of “underemployment” remains over 15% and the labor-force participation rate is at a record 30-year low. And the US is clearly not alone in its malaise, with the eurozone fighting a far more urgent sovereign-debt crisis.

So, why is this time different? The answer lies in Ayn Rand’s rhetorical invocation of despair in her 1957 epic Atlas Shrugged: “Who is John Galt?” Simply put, when the state seizes the incentives and drivers of capital investment, owners of capital go on strike.

Rand portrays innovative industrialists as akin to Atlas in Greek mythology, carrying on his back a dystopian world of growing and overbearing collectivist government. The hero, John Galt, calls for them all to shrug, to “stop the motor of the world” by withdrawing from their productive pursuits, rather than promoting a world in which, under the guise of egalitarianism, incentives have been usurped in order to protect the politically connected from economic failure.

Today, Rand’s fictional world has seemingly become a reality – endless bailouts and economic stimulus for the unproductive at the expense of the most productive, and calls for additional taxation on capital investment. The shrug of Rand’s heroic entrepreneurs is to be found today within the tangled ciphers of corporate and government balance sheets.

The US Federal Reserve has added more than $2 trillion to the base money supply since 2008 – an incredible and unprecedented number that is basically a gift to banks intended to cover their deep losses and spur lending and investment. Instead, as banks continue their enormous deleveraging, almost all of their new money remains at the Fed in the form of excess reserves.

Corporations, moreover, are holding the largest amounts of cash, relative to assets and net worth, ever recorded. And yet, despite what pundits claim about strong balance sheets, firms’ debt levels, relative to assets and net worth, also remain near record-high levels.

Hoarded cash is king. The velocity of money (the frequency at which money is spent, or GDP relative to base money) continues to plunge to historic lows. No wonder monetary policy has had so little impact. Capital, the engine of economic growth, sits idle – shrugging everywhere.

Rand, perhaps better than any economic observer, underscored the central role of incentives in driving entrepreneurial innovation and risk-taking. Whittle away at incentives – and at the market’s ability to communicate them through price signals – and you starve the growth engine of its fuel. Alas, central bankers, with their manipulation of interest rates and use of quantitative easing, patently neglect this fact.

Interest rates are more than a mere economic input that determines levels of saving and investment. Rather, as the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises emphasized, they are a reflection of people’s aggregate time preference – or desire for present versus future satisfaction – not a determinant of it.

Interest rates thus incentivize and convey to entrepreneurs how to allocate capital through time. For example, lower interest rates and cost of capital raise the relative attractiveness of cash flows further in the future, and capital investment increases – the system’s natural homeostatic response to higher savings and lower consumption.

State manipulation of interest rates, however, does not influence time preference, even though it signals such a change. The resulting inconsistency creates distortions: as with any price control, capital receives an incentive to flow to investment that is inconsistent with actual supply and demand.

The Fed is purposefully and insidiously distorting the incentive system – specifically, signals provided by the price of money – resulting in mal-investment (and, when public debt is monetized, inflation). This can continue for a time, rewarding unproductive investments and aspiring oligarch-speculators who presume that the Fed has eliminated risk. But, as Rand reminds us, at some point the jig is up.

Today, after the largest credit expansion in history, that point has clearly been reached. Impassive capital now ignores deceptive market signals, and the liquidation of untenable mal-investment percolates through the system as immutable time preferences prevail.

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Thu, 02/16/2012 - 18:57 | 2167562 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Rand was a brilliant thinker.  Too bad her fiction was boring.

Junks away!!!!!

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 19:04 | 2167585 Irish66
Irish66's picture

It was boring till I understood I'm scared to watch it unfold.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 19:47 | 2167703 xcehn
xcehn's picture

Yeah, ignorance is bliss on a diet of mainstream media propaganda, and happy days are here again.


Thu, 02/16/2012 - 20:26 | 2167810 Henry Chinaski
Henry Chinaski's picture

Yo! Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged meets Trading Places.  "Who's puttin' out Kools on my carpet"

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 21:35 | 2167956 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

"Simply put, when the state seizes the incentives and drivers of capital investment, owners of capital go on strike."

This most fundamental premise of this author's take on Ayn Rand is demonstrably false.  The owners of capital have not gone on strike.  They have increased their wealth and they have increased their economic activity at the expense of the rest of society.    Pure self-interest rules the day, and society goes down the tubes while the Galts compete with their yachts and private jets.  What we are seeing today is not Rand's vision of what is wrong -- it is Rand's vision of what is right.  Oligarchs are living by no rules and no regulations while the little guy is plundered for their benefit.   Understand that, and you will understand why some of us believe Rand was horribly dangerous for a functioning and healthy capitalist system.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 21:44 | 2167982 Pants McPants
Pants McPants's picture

Good to see you out trolling again, LTER.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 21:50 | 2167991 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Seems to me that the guy who is making personal remarks about a poster who is directly responding to the subject of the article is the troll.  But I guess like most facts, this clearly objectively true one is of no interest to you.  

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:06 | 2168048 Tortfeasor
Tortfeasor's picture

There was more than one rich guy in Atlas. Oligarchs and producers are mutually exclusive.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:27 | 2168117 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

"Oligarchs and producers are mutually exclusive"

Not in real life.  That is one of the many areas in which Rand had it wrong.  Theory is great.  Reality is a bitch. 

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:37 | 2168152 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

True if you're talking about Rand Corp....

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 01:26 | 2168572 sitenine
sitenine's picture

Also keep in mind that some of the greatest contributors to this phenomenon are mark to fantasy rules.  GAAP has rendered itself stupid imho.  Banks cannot sell a lot of the property they have on their books at "par".  To do so would mean a loss.  A loss they are neither willing to take nor able to sustain.  Built up inventory is becoming worthless, and cash almost impossible to get your hands on (I'm sure you can think of several other good examples).  Furthermore, banks aren't lending to each other because the low interest rates don't warrant the risk.  It is my opinion that the Federal Reserve will buy many more MBS sooner rather than later.  The Bernank was right all along about it all being about access to credit more so than liquidity, I'm just not sure he had any idea what-so-ever how bad the situation was really going to get.  The word 'insolvency' gets thrown around an awful lot these days.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 17:19 | 2173598 CIABS
CIABS's picture

Ayn Rand was a dimestore philosopher, and it's not surprising that she thrived in the USA.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 23:12 | 2168252 redpill
redpill's picture

"producing" fiat money doesn't count, FYI

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 00:09 | 2168397 G-R-U-N-T
G-R-U-N-T's picture

Your terrified of Ayn Rand LTER, because you know she is completely and thoroughly accurate in her perception of looters, leeches and parasites whom feed off those of us that create, produce, and manufacture products that make us a profit.

Here is one of the simplest illustrations that typifies government largess at it's very core!

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 00:11 | 2168402 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

What do you produce, Grunt?  

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 00:14 | 2168414 G-R-U-N-T
G-R-U-N-T's picture

Ink on paper! What do you produce?

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 00:21 | 2168441 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Bullshit answer.  I've said before what I do and what kind of business I own.  You can find it here on ZH.  Care to share or are you just full of shit?

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 00:34 | 2168473 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

Look at the piece of shit calling someone full of shit. You're advocating more status quo of bailouts and allowing the looting to continue and you expect us to believe you're a hard working business owner who supports paying more taxes to fund this insanity? 

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 01:07 | 2168523 G-R-U-N-T
G-R-U-N-T's picture

Anyone with common sense and a brain to think could figure it out holmes.

I thought you would have grown up since the last time we debated Rand, but I see your head is still up your ass, whining, complaining and touting the message of parasitism, collectivism and other leech invested rantings.

One of these days you may hear that loud POP, and perhaps you can share your testimony of what it was like to recover from a fecal infested mindset. You may be able to help others with shit filled brains giving them an opportunity, through your experience, to recover from their own imaginary shit filled manufactured alternate reality.


Fri, 02/17/2012 - 01:22 | 2168577 4horse
4horse's picture

here seeing Your [sic] you're terrified of . . . Ink on paper!

and the horror. the horror every right to be

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 00:22 | 2168443 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

Reading your tripe and bullshit is a real bitch. You're just a bitter loser who has never produced anything. Your job is shuffling papers. Am I right?

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 21:57 | 2168029 TrulyBelieving
TrulyBelieving's picture

"The owners of capital have not gone on strike. They haave increased their wealth......Pure self interest rules the day."  No doubt that the well connected and all sorts of criminals invest their money for the reasons you suggest, but there are many who will not participate in this rape of mankind, this thievery.  No it is these that won't participate in this  crime that have very few options to invest respecting a fair and honest market. Thus they sit out and wait.                     

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 21:58 | 2168035 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Name one.   

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:09 | 2168057 TrulyBelieving
TrulyBelieving's picture


Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:13 | 2168072 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

hahahah.  You just said the only word that really matters to Ayn Rand.  Nicely done. 

P.S.  Somehow, I don't think that you "sitting on the sidelines" is going to cause society to fail.  But I'm sure you think you are important.  I've said enough about you.  What do you think about you?

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:25 | 2168114 TrulyBelieving
TrulyBelieving's picture

You are right, me sitting on the sidelines wont cause this criminal activity to fail, and anyone wishing for society to fail has their own issues. It is not a matter of self-importance, but one of character.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:35 | 2168141 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

I've yet to meet anyone with good or decent "character" who worships Rand.  From what you've said so far, you are no exception.   But putting that aside, what exactly are you sitting on the sidelines about?  If your answer is that you are not investing in the Wallstreet casino, how exactly is that depriving anyone of anything of value?   I am a business owner.  I spend a lot of time with other business owners who are trying to build their businesses.  Not a single one is holding back a single thing because of some ridiculous ideology.  Some bitch and moan about the "socialist" in office, but it is all a lot of talk.  

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:57 | 2168211 TrulyBelieving
TrulyBelieving's picture

I do what I do, and you can also do as you please. Perhaps this concept is foreign to you?

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:59 | 2168220 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

You are the one preaching to me, brother.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 10:48 | 2169301 Banjo
Banjo's picture

Hahaha you won't win. I would bet there are probably many Rand "believers" who are on government transfer payments and they think they are "shrugging" away.

What I find limits people is they read "one" viewpoint and fall in line, rarely venturing into uncomfortable territory. They are unable to think outside that one correct perspective.

I suggest people reading far and wide sure take in some Rand, read Marx, Hayek, Von Mises, Keynes, Stuart Mill, Henry George, Adam Smith, Hume, Law, Chomsky, Daniel Yergin, Milton Friedman, Irving Fischer, Steeve Keen, Menger and many many others. I believe that Jen's O Parson's Dying of money is the best exposition of money, interest, inflation it includes an introduction to left wing and right wing argument over the issue. J.W. Smiths, Economic Democracy is one of the most confronting books I ever read.

Incidentally I was arguing with an economist friend and he said the significance I placed on resources in that particular discussion was theoritacally Marxist, this lead me to read the communist manifesto. In that document it was talking about how wonderful and re-inventive capitalism was. I'm like what the?

I'm still learning and I'm open to all sorts of ideas. I don't belive that Rand is "the" solution her work might be part of a way to understanding.

I tell people very simply if Rand or x theory was the one solution as in "proved" humanity would have implemented this long ago. Look at the vehicle wheel we have today no one argues that it is round and has rubber, because quite simply it is the solution that works. The replacement to the wheel might be magnetic levitation or in a science fiction future teleportation.






Fri, 02/17/2012 - 00:29 | 2168463 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

I have yet a meet a decent or sane person who hates Rand. Idiots like you are full of shit. You are nothing more than a parasite trying to keep the status quo or having the government bail out bankers and investing in scam green energy companies. 

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 04:20 | 2168733 ffart
ffart's picture

I started with Rand, but I prefer Rothbard. I thought a completely privatized police force was crazy until I started reading his work and realized that's effectively how it was done for hundreds of years. 

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 04:40 | 2168752 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Criminals may (and do!) use Ayn Rand's ideas to justify their pillaging, but that does NOT invalidate the ideas.  After all, even Satan can quote scripture when it suits his purposes.  Check your premises.   As far as character is conerned, go forth and alleviate some suffering:

Then ask yourself, "How is it that someone can read "Atlas Shrugged" (and a lot of other Ayn Rand work!) AND STILL come to the conclusion that Charity is necessary?"  Again, check your premises.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:46 | 2168175 piceridu
piceridu's picture

Just had a meeting with my Chinese/Malasian friend and business associate I haven't seen in 10 years. Hugely succesful importer. He is a multi-millionaire. I was blown away by his stories of the present business climate. He has about 200mil in inventory and will no longer sell on credit. He has been burned by big companies that used him as a bank, strung him along and then went bankrupt. He said he's done. He will no longer participate in this farce. He along with many compatriots worth in the billions have and are starting the process of leaving to their own Galt's Gulch back in Asia.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:55 | 2168205 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

So basically your friend is a multi-millionaire who made his fortune during this era and yet.... he thinks the system is broken and now that he made his millions in the system, he wants to go where he can pay less for labor.

Thank you for making my point.  He made millions but he wants more.  Greed.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 23:15 | 2168253 TrulyBelieving
TrulyBelieving's picture

Your point is useless as it implies when one has made money, perhaps millions, then he must be evil because he is greedy. Greedy is desiring more in a transaction than what is owed you. Now explain that if someone got exactly what is owed, even if it large amounts, how he has done some wrong that deserves the wrath that you and others of your ilk heap upon him?

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 23:19 | 2168274 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Where did I complain about your buddy making millions?  I did not.  I complained that HE complained that somehow there is a problem with our system when he only made a few million, so he needs to go hire slave labor to make even more.  That is just plain old fashioned narcissistic evil greedy behavior.   It is also exactly what is wrong with our society.  Nothing is ever enough.   

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 23:35 | 2168305 fourchan
fourchan's picture

rand was the greatist philosopher of the 20th century.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 00:31 | 2168470 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

Either you're stupid or you are a pathological liar. Where is the labor involved in importing/exporting?

Like I said, you're a typical Rand hater and one of the parasites

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 00:50 | 2168506 piceridu
piceridu's picture

You must be a social worker or on the gov't teet. He busted his ass for 27 years building a business employing over the years thousands of people. He has been hit with so much shit i.e. regulations, government extortion, bullshit requirements and the loss of morals. Men and women like him have kept the very same government bureaucrats, that have extorted from his labor, fat and happy with high salaries, benefits and pensions that he could only dream about. You probably have no idea what it takes as an entrepreneur with a dream and dollar, to make a successful run inspite of all the barriers and hurdles guys like you have thrown his way. And by the way, he rather lose it all than continue with this farce.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:11 | 2168063 aphlaque_duck
aphlaque_duck's picture

Me too. Three successful businesses under my belt already but I will not play in this climate.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:36 | 2168147 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Good.  Less competition for us real business owners.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:52 | 2168198 xela2200
xela2200's picture

Alright chief! The US business environment is awesome. The IRS is not coercing countless business for money. They don't have every accountant in the country sending 1099s around like they are post cards. Obama is not making regulations that are unfriendly to business and his rhetoric is not outright hostile for those of us who want to risk capital. He is not playing class warfare. No laws are been passed that could cause you to loose your liberty or property for buying gold, asking for transactions to be paid in cash, complaining, or anything that prevents the government from having access to your money at will. Lawyers are not on wings just waiting for any lazy or dishonest employee that gets fired to call them to see how they can sue the employer.

Just peachy really. Where do I sign?

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:58 | 2168217 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

All rhetoric.  I don't believe for a second that you are not in business because of regulation.  Regulation and taxation are a bitch but you hire an accountant and you figure out the rules and you make it work.   Many companies have made record profits in the environment you decry.

What business did you close because of Obama?  

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 23:03 | 2168224 xela2200
xela2200's picture

Good for you. You are the man. I hope it keeps on going strong for you.


Thu, 02/16/2012 - 23:14 | 2168259 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

So the answer is none.  You did not close a business because of Obama.  You are merely using Obama as an excuse for your own inability to succeed.  Very entitlement-minded of you.  Do you see the irony?  

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 23:29 | 2168292 aphlaque_duck
aphlaque_duck's picture

Specifically one line of business that I am not in because of regulations: alternative currency/banking (especially anything bitcoin related). HUGE opportunies there for entrepreneurship but they will never let it happen.

I have many more ideas but I won't dignify your retarded comment with further explanation.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 23:36 | 2168310 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

So how is it that others have succeeded in bitcoin land?  Are they in league with Obama?  I recall reading the opposite, but enlighten me.  No doubt we need more fiat currencies.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 23:43 | 2168316 aphlaque_duck
aphlaque_duck's picture

They aren't really succeeding, they have no choice but to operate in a legal grey area (to be generous) and are being shut down.

Also, bitcoin is not fiat. It is a commodity whose value is determined only by market participants, you fucking retard.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 07:10 | 2168846 Raging Debate
Raging Debate's picture

About sums it up Xela. I have four part time employees. I would make all four full time and add several more if the environment were not as described.

Hate Rand or whatever your name is, your opinion is yours to have but it doesn't seem to be the norm, at least on this site. I try and change it because I WANT to hire more people and put them back to work. But first things first.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 19:46 | 2173845 xela2200
xela2200's picture

Sure, first things are first. Business purpose is not to provide employment as politicians want people to think. Businesses produce goods and services that are needed by others. If the business activity increases then employees will be hired, but only if their cost can be justified by the production that the market can bear.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 07:17 | 2168852 Raging Debate
Raging Debate's picture

About sums it up Xela. I have four part time employees. I would make all four full time and add several more if the environment were not as described.

Hate Rand or whatever your name is, your opinion is yours to have but it doesn't seem to be the norm, at least on this site. I try and change it because I WANT to hire more people and put them back to work. But first things first.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 11:09 | 2169451 pivot
pivot's picture

LTER, it's been a long time since i have commented here, but your fighting spirit has convinced me to do so. Assuming you have read Atlas Shrugged, you probably realize you come off more like Dagny Taggart, though it sounds as if you'd like nothing better than to be Jim Taggart. I worry that you, as a business owner, will eventually come around after fighting reality for too long, and by then it will be too late. It does not take a business owner to understand and appreciate Rand's message, though since you are a business owner it is surprising that you fight it so hard. The reality is that when taken to its logical endpoint, the current state of affairs (crony capitalism, socialized/utopian/populist belief systems, government overreach, and loss of individual freedoms) will get worse, not better. Why should it get better? Can you point to examples of how things are better now than 2, 5, 10, or 20 years ago with regard to individual freedoms? Both political parties have been responsible for this erosion, so why do you put so much faith and trust in these people? You can struggle to work within the system for a long time, but eventually the system will crush you. Yes, right now the (ever increasing) regulations and taxes a bearable burden, which you can address (at high cost) by hiring experts (consultants, lawyers, and accountants). These experts will assist you but are also working against you by lobbying for ever more regulation, taxation, and more complex and complicated bureaucracy. At some point, you will realize that all your revenues are going toward regulatory burden and taxes, and none of the fruits of your labor are accruing to you (yes, at some point, you will understand that you, the individual is important and your own wellbeing is not the definition of greed). All the while, you will be demonized for not doing enough of your part, and that your success is unfair (measured of course subjectively). It is at that point that you will have to do substantial introspection (you don't seem ready for that yet) to determine whether, in fact, your current premises are flawed. Those with power (those with guns) don't care whether you once supported their cause of a utopian wonderland. Eventually they will come after that which you produce. Will you be ready to comply?

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:14 | 2168075 tmosley
tmosley's picture

What, you think they make a big public announcement?  Hold a parade?  Buy a Superbowl commercial?

No, they steal away quietly, not to be heard from again.  Hell, for all we know, they might be faking their deaths.

But hey, you want to name one, how about Jim Rogers?  There's a guy who has advertised it.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:48 | 2168182 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

How did Jim Rogers walk away?  He is on every news program in the world talking his book and he continues to invest actively.   

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 00:30 | 2168467 tmosley
tmosley's picture

But not in the US.  The world is his gultch.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:25 | 2168107 xela2200
xela2200's picture

Check the volumes in the stock market. Read posts from small business owners who are closing shop out of sheer frustration. Me with 2 successful business under my belt.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:49 | 2168188 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

So not succeeding in business in someone else's fault?  That sounds so.... you know.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 00:36 | 2168480 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

Sounds like your Messiah 

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:10 | 2168061 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Did ya READ the book?

Here's a hint, there were two types of "capitalists" in there.  Galt and Co were one, Boyle and Co were another.

Even a high school kid could tell which brand you are conflating with Galt.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:44 | 2168165 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

 Do you also speak Klingon?   Okay, cheap shot.

Here's reality.  Every single one of the businesses which has grown into oligarch Boyle status started as Galt.  Wal-Mart is a great example.  Sam Walton was a brilliant capitalist.  He gained massive wealth and his business turned into a scourge on the world.   There are many, many, many other examples.  The Fortune 500 is full of them.  Myth versus reality.   American literature is ripe with this theme for a reason.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 00:37 | 2168481 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Yes, those low, low prices certainly are evil.

The only evil thing that I can think of that has come out of Wal-mart is its support for increased regulation and requirments for employers to provide health care for part time workers.  This was clearly a move that was intended to price their competition out of business.  Most everything else has been a result/continuation of Walton's philosophy.

But even those evils didn't happen until long after Sam Walton died.  Funny how you collectivize people.  I guess in your eyes, Dagny and James were the same.

Honestly, you are revealing yourself to be a Randian villain yourself.  Next you'll be telling us there is no such thing as "thought" and hawking your book on the subject.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 00:38 | 2168486 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

So in your demented mind it's okay for mega-corporations to bribe politicians and regulators? It's okay to bail out the Wall St banks? You are one stupid fuckhead

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 00:59 | 2172368 BlakeFelix
BlakeFelix's picture

Bribe is a big word, corperations(or people controlling corperations) express opinion with money.  Bailing out the banks was the right thing to do(although they should have auctioned them off afterwords).  Walmart isn't the problem, it's the system that allows walmart to exist that is the problem.  Walmart gets a lot of flack that IMO belongs to the weak labor market.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:35 | 2168128 Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

Yeah, I agree more with "America's Discretionary Spending Well Has Run Dry" than this article. If no one can buy your inventions, there is no reason to invent.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 23:41 | 2168319 jamochavez
jamochavez's picture





Thu, 02/16/2012 - 23:57 | 2168357 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

With the all caps, it all made sense.  Well done, jamochavez.   Oh.  And FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING FUCK.  Did that bring you around?    P.S.  I hope you don't think your granda made up the line about "can't teach stupid."  If you think so, she was right.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 04:55 | 2168763 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Jeez ~ I can't wait until the fucking "Stripes" thread so I can come on, hijack the whole thing, & pontificate like I know WTF I'm talking about...

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 08:00 | 2168872 nmewn
nmewn's picture kidding.

To summarize, in the world of LTER, one is "greedy" only if one refuses to risk their saved capital (legally earned) in an enviroment where law is only enforced against those who are in arrears according to the Statist Bribe Ledger.

And of course, by the state maintaining this Statist Bribe Ledger to consult as to who should be singled out for punishment and re-education is in itself an act of kindness, fairness, generosity and charity for all.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 10:19 | 2169203 Blankman
Blankman's picture

LTER - You mentioned above that you own a business.  Sorry but I do not have the time to go through all of your posts in ZH to find which type you do own.  Could you tell me what exactly you do?  I have an engineering business in the Chicagoland area.  We are a "forced" unionized company.  So our employees are paid quite well.  HOwever due to the unionization our clients use us less and less each year - union costs do not ever stop going up.  Ever.    


I like reading your posts because you can be thought provoking (and irritating) however I would like more info to try to know where you are coming from.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 01:11 | 2168562 brettd
brettd's picture

Good point.

I think you're right on " rules or regulations...".  

As uneducated/disinterested as people are, taxpayers ARE NOT voting for these bailouts.

It's people in government who are ruling or deeming things to be so, and simply passing the bill onto taxpayers via inflation/debt.

A python slowly squeezing the life out its prey.

We (at ZH) hear of pitchforks and bazookas, but aimed at whom?


Fri, 02/17/2012 - 01:56 | 2168622 4horse
Fri, 02/17/2012 - 01:42 | 2168609 Melin
Melin's picture

"Galts compete with their yachts and private jets"? 

Envy much?

Galts compete to make the best products and provide the best services.  They want everyone to be strolling the decks of their own private yachts and jets.

I'm still waiting for my personal spacecraft but the regulators have thus far failed to produce them.  They've fashioned their chains and straight-jackets to perfection tho.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 19:04 | 2167588 tmosley
tmosley's picture

You thought it was boring?  I was rapt.  Read it again when I was done.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 19:29 | 2167653 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

It was a good story, but her writing style lacks.  This is the difference between Hemmingway and Rnad.  I could read a cereal box if Hemmingway wrote it.  Rand had a great story, but she could have cut the work in half.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 20:04 | 2167747 riphowardkatz
riphowardkatz's picture

What part would you cut out?

The negative responses to rand posts could easily be programmed with a computer. I have never read one of substance they boil down to. She was dumb, she admired a killer, she is for high schoolers that is almost the extent. 

I read them every time because I looking for the day that someone makes me think. Doesnt look like any of the haters here are going to accomplish that.

Ad hominens get so boring. Just refute one thing she said about politics or capitalism just one PLEASE 

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 20:12 | 2167774 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Huh?  No.  I like Rand.  I just found her prose boring.  And tedious.  Her stories are good, plots are good, but they run on.  That's all.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:39 | 2168142 xela2200
xela2200's picture

The only thing with Rand is that been Russian you have to have a little insight into the culture. Some argue that some of her characters where arrogant and somewhat narcissist but with some latitude one can make an argument that they were self-confident and somewhat frustrated with the people around them. Rand also seem to have lived under a some what different moral code based on intellect over emotion. She was an interesting person in my opinion. And, yes the prose sometimes got boring. The book could have been shorter. However, she more than makes it up in her imagery.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 23:40 | 2168318 merizobeach
merizobeach's picture

All this time, I thought there was just some unwritten rule that says Russian existentialism can't be expressed in under a thousand pages.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 20:25 | 2167809 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

Could have cut the political letctures in half.  I found myself going "Yeah, yeah, got it..." and skipping to the rest of the story.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 20:33 | 2167828 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

A lot of the dialougue is tedious.  She likes to hear herself write, me thinks.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 23:04 | 2168232 piceridu
piceridu's picture

The book was written released I think in the mid 50's. Now, think about it for a moment. You're awake and enlightened but in those days, most people were hyponitised by Bernay's type propaganda. It was written when people didn't have much access to information. Those long drawn out speeches were probably necessary for the readers at that time. A reader's poll by the Library of Congress was taken and Atlas Shrugged was rated the second-most influential book in reader's lives, behind only the Bible. 

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 00:25 | 2168451 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

Yeah, and popular styles were different, yadda yadda.

Still could have done with breaking up the lectures into smaller chunks (I remember skipping 5-10 pages at a time) and/or cutting.  Parts of it became repetitive.

Not saying they aren't worth reading or enjoyable though (much like many classics).

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:11 | 2168065 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Shortened version of Rand for you:

"Greed is good.  If you can avoid paying a penny for the benefit of living in a functioning society, take advantage of it.  Tell everyone who thinks that paying to live in a functioning sociey makes sense that they are suckers.   Those who lack empathy will rise to the top and take over the world because most people give a shit about others.  Take advantage of their weakness.  Rip out their hearts and eat them before they die."

Saves a lot of reading.  Yes?


Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:16 | 2168083 tmosley
tmosley's picture

You think our society is "functioning".

You're precious.

Also, note that society functioned just fine in the US between Reconstruction and 1913, with no need for anyone to "pay" to live and work there.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:52 | 2168197 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Are you fucking serious?  It worked great for those for whom it worked great.  Huge segments of the US lived in abject poverty during that period, literally living meal to meal.   Many died of starvation.  Average life expectancy was shit for the poor compared to the wealthy.   But that wouldn't matter to you, would it.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 23:17 | 2168266 LasVegasDave
LasVegasDave's picture


You're not promised shit when you are born into this world.

Those who succeed and pay for others deserve special treatment.


Thu, 02/16/2012 - 23:26 | 2168289 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Really?  Have you read the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States?  There are some quaint statements in both documents about certain inalienable rights to which were are all "entitled" on birth.  Do you reject those documents because of your sheer selfishness?   We hold these truths to be self-evident.  Fuck Head.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 23:43 | 2168325 LasVegasDave
LasVegasDave's picture

show me where in the constitution you are promised property or material wealth, shithead.

You are given the right to earn your way without interference from parasites and altruists like yourself who now use a bastardized govt. to steal from productive people.


Fri, 02/17/2012 - 00:07 | 2168392 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Show me in my post above where I said the constitution promised property or material weatlh.  Double shithead. 

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 08:26 | 2168895 Al Gorerhythm
Al Gorerhythm's picture

Double Shithead?!!! What are you, 12? That business of yours is a paper route, no?

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 00:40 | 2168491 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Right, and no-one lived in poverty before that, and no middle class emerged during that period.  Life expectancy didn't rise dramatically during that period.  Prior to that time, all was roses, milk, and honey.  

Your ideology is one of ignorance and evil.  True evil.  You would take us back down the road to serfdom.  Fuck you.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 00:45 | 2168502 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

You're a total fucking moron and a meathead. Comparing standards of living from the 1800's to today's standard of living?

Somehow we're supposed to believe that the Federal Reserve and IRS enabled all of the scientific and technological advances from 1913 until today? Go fuck yourself then tell your mother to kill herself for shitting out a moron like you.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 01:18 | 2168575 brettd
brettd's picture

"Many" as in the 20 million plus who starved in Stalinist USSR, or more like North Korea now?


Thu, 02/16/2012 - 23:36 | 2168308 Max Fischer
Max Fischer's picture



Society absolutely did NOT function fine in the period you noted.

Have you ever heard of: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"?  Do you understand the history of that quote?  The vast majority of US citizens lived in pure poverty, while oligarchs like JP Morgan lived like kings. 

I've noticed that many libertarians and anarcho-capitalists have a very distorted view of history.  I suppose if I thought the Gilded Age and Xeer were great references for modern society, then perhaps I'd subscribe to libertarian ideologies, too. 

Max Fischer, Civis Mundi 


Fri, 02/17/2012 - 00:42 | 2168494 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Lol, and exactly which country was the city referred to in your quote located?

Look at the living standard of the people before that period IN THE US, and after that period IN THE US.  It went from abject poverty to a large and growing middle class.  QED.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 00:49 | 2168521 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

What are you fucking stupid? The fucking King of England was poor back then compared to people on welfare today. They didn't even have running water or electricity. You can't compare life 100 years ago to today and claim that they were poor. All the pioneers were working 14 hours a day and living hand to mouth. The higher standards of living didn't come because of the Federal Reserve or IRS. It was technology and science. 

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 05:04 | 2168768 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

MF has trouble understanding that the largest single contributer to the libtard party/philosophy is crude oil...

& of course, since we can print that at will (just like the fact that people can play Monopoly NON STOP, because we don't, in reality, need to feed ourselves, heat the house, or put gas in the token)...

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:57 | 2168212 IAmNotMark
IAmNotMark's picture

I guess it saved you some reading.  It seems like you haven't even read Rand.  Or you looked at the words but didn't understand the meaning.  Maybe you should trying reading some more.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 23:02 | 2168228 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

You are right.  I "should trying read some more."  Well said.  Who doesn't look at the words?  

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 00:43 | 2168499 tmosley
tmosley's picture

You, apparently, since you can't distinguish between the two brands of businessmen in the book or in real life.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 01:37 | 2168605 I only kill chi...
I only kill chickens and wheat's picture

Wow LTER, I could about give up reading comments here. Calm down and have a beer or diazepam.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 03:50 | 2168704 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

"But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak?  What strength do you mean?  It is not the strength of guns or muscles.  Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think.  Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it?  Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools?  By the able at the expense of the incompetent?  By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy?  Money is made--before it can be looted or mooched--made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his abilityAn honest man is one who knows that he can't consume more than he has produced."

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 03:45 | 2168700 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Still trying to find fish in the treetops...

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 20:52 | 2167856 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture

Ayn Rand

  • Wrote good prose.  Excellent message
  • Brevity is not in her vocabulary. 
  • Being concise is an unknown concept to her.
Thu, 02/16/2012 - 20:53 | 2167857 4horse
4horse's picture

Nietzsche's ninny -the full nincompoop- yet they here have y'all now hurrying to search, showoff and knowingly quote their own alissa rosenbaum . . .

the financial intelligentsia

as if enough aynrands were kruggerands shown in public, enriching what sychophants as are likewise here scavenging maybe some of their dropped hints for some of their dropped nickels'n'dimes


all the while and in their own meantime bitchez so completely self-satisfied with what's otherwise unheard of

For a country to have a great writer is like having another government. That’s why no régime has ever loved great writers, only minor ones.


as if the further parroting of a plagiarist, on an article about being searched. stripped. Imprisonment . . . yeh. might make, like cramer, for another allaround renascent HautKultist, where outright rape'n'robbery is only completely satisfying when you can as well spit-back upon your victim. the raped. the robbed. quoting You

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 21:45 | 2167987 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

ya wanna know what a true dichotomous misanthropist is --- a split personality Rand and Nietzsche in the same straight jacket 

total self-destruct idiots, period!


Thu, 02/16/2012 - 20:52 | 2167855 Chump
Chump's picture

I thought The Fountainhead was kind of lame, honestly, but I got through it.  Atlas Shrugged was epic.  I was reading it when I found ZH and my mind was blown to read the technical analysis of current events while I read a fictional accounting of them.  The Virtue of Selfishness sealed the deal for me.  Capitalism and Freedom was fantastic but fuck Greenspan sideways with a tire iron.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 21:49 | 2168008 johnberesfordti...
johnberesfordtiptonjr's picture

I assume that you are aware that Alan Greenspan was part of Ayn Rand's "collective?"

She praised Greenspan on many occasions and he was part of her inner circle in New York in the 50's.

I bet that she would still be singing his praises despite his position as Fed Chair.

Perhaps hypocrisy was one of her core “principles.”  

I see that her cult lives on.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 21:59 | 2168036 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Hey Fuckstick...Greenspan was the one who did the 180 in the '60s/'70s...

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:41 | 2168160 johnberesfordti...
johnberesfordtiptonjr's picture

You appear to know nothing of Ayn Rand.

For example, I'll bet you think the following-

- she was a "Libertarian"

     she hated them since she believed they stole her ideas

- she was a Reaganite

     she did NOT support Reagan and believed he was merely a crony capitalist

The ultimate paradox is that her ideas are often used TO SUPPORT CRONY CAPITALISM via deregulation, removal of anti-trust actions, the development of "free market" solutions for virtually everything, regulatory capture,  etc.

Invoking Ayn Rand is all part of the scam and I see that that many are drinking the Kool-Aid.

Don't you get it?  

By the way, Greenspan's "flaw in the model" is a reference to his Ayn Rand "laissez-faire market"  thinking.

REP. WAXMAN: In other words, you found that your view of the world, your ideology was not right. It was not working.

MR. GREENSPAN: Precisely. That's precisely the reason I was shocked, because I had been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.


Best Regards,



Fri, 02/17/2012 - 00:45 | 2168504 tmosley
tmosley's picture

You can't have a free market with a central bank.  It is impossible.  It's like trying to dig a hole in loose dry sand.  It just fills right back up.  You have a mixed market at best, and you MUST attribute the failings you encounter to THAT system, and no other.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 09:40 | 2169069 Chump
Chump's picture

Of course I'm aware, did you read Capitalism and Freedom?  The complete about-face that dickhole made as Fed Chairman was reprehensible.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 23:42 | 2168321 aaxiom
aaxiom's picture

I believe her ability to write as CLEARLY as she did in a SECOND language is nothing short of astounding. I like Rand and find her to be a bit long-winded (in her fiction, NOT in her non-fictional work), but I find I disagree with a few of her ideas.

But, love her or hate her, one must admit that she saw a lot of what's going on today (as did those of the Austrian School). Yes, she -- and others -- thought this would cave a lot sooner, but this is simply a matter of timing. The facts remain: This system of ours is completely unsustainable in the long-term. The definition of what "long-term" means is open to debate, but I'm thinking we don't have very long to wait until things get surreal.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 05:07 | 2168771 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

I like Rand and find her to be a bit long-winded

Yeah, well LTER puts her to shame in that department...

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 20:22 | 2167802 knightowl77
knightowl77's picture

As an audio book, it makes the miles fly by.....written in the 50's, it sounds like it was written yesterday

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 19:16 | 2167610 rbg81
rbg81's picture

Ayn Rand definitely had issues.  And while many think she was a prophet, she was just relating what she saw happening from her time in the early Soviet Union.  Unlike generations of "enlightened" Marxist professors, she knew exactly where the road to Collectivism led.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 19:28 | 2167634 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

This isn't net cash they speak of, and oh what a misnomer we have floating out in the world (the kind that really bites investors hard).

Gotta love how they keep talking about 'record cash' when every company has been rushing 24/7/365 to issue debt via incredibly low yielding corporate bonds, thanks to the window of opportunity The Bernank's pernicious ZIRP monetary policy and federal reserve voracious sovereign bond buying has offered these corporations.

At last check, which was about 8 months ago, it was my understanding that U.S. publicly traded corporations now have a record amont debt outstanding - I'm going to try to nail down the exact figure.

I'm not quite sure what the net-net of "cash hoarded" is, but it sure would be nice if someone mentioned the aggregate amount of those corporate bonds just sitting out there.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 19:35 | 2167674 Cdad
Cdad's picture

Ah...the sterilization of the blazing sunshine brother....

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 19:40 | 2167681 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Edit - This was as of sometime in 2011 (I'm not sure if 'syndicated loans' even is all inclusive):

I found some of what I was looking for:

Banks not lending? Corporate borrowing soars in 2011 - ABC News › Money You +1'd this publicly. Undo

Dec 26, 2011 – Consumers may be cutting debt and banks may be tightening up their balance sheets, but borrowing by U.S. corporations is in full swing.

Law of Unintended Consequences: Corporate Borrowing Binge

So far in 2011, syndicated loan volume has increased a whopping 56% compared to 2010, according to Dealogic. The total of $1.76 trillion is the highest single-year sum since the pre-financial crisis days of 2007...



This is yet another unintended consequence of zero percent rates.  Investment grade companies increasing their borrowing by 68% year over year has certainly not led to hiring.  Maybe we can just say that perhaps it stalls the pace of further layoffs, we seem to have gotten good at merely accepting "saved jobs" these days anyhow.


And so the Balance Sheet Recession continues apace for the deleveraging consumer while those with the greatest ability to borrow (and, god forbid, spend) continue to pad their balance sheets with fresh cash.  That they have no need for.

Nicely done.


Here's the problem the sell-siders and even many innocent observers never mention or don't understand:

This trillion plus of 'borrowing' IS NOT CASH. It's debt that has to be rolled over or repaid.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 19:39 | 2167689 Cdad
Cdad's picture

Don't worry, brother truth,

Any minute now................................................holding my breath................................the shills over at the BlowHorn [CNBC] are going to get right on that explanation of "cash on the sidelines/debt."  Because they are "jourlanists" over there.  Because they live to "inform" the little guy.  Because there is so much "experience" over at that network, that they cannot help but uncover the truth.  Because COMCASTIC was so stupid as to buy that junk network, that they are very concerned about protecting the "value of the BlowHorn" asset.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 20:02 | 2167739 AUD
AUD's picture

This trillion plus of 'borrowing' IS NOT CASH

Of course not. The $ itself is the obligation of the Fed.

The problem with this article is it was written by an 'investment adviser', talk about (non existent) misallocated capital. These 'financial engineers' are the problem, not the solution.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 19:41 | 2167691 FrankDrakman
FrankDrakman's picture

And yet, despite what pundits claim about strong balance sheets, firms’ debt levels, relative to assets and net worth, also remain near record-high levels. 

Did you miss this sentence in the article?

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 19:53 | 2167718 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Yes. I did.

Thanks for pointing that out.

I'm not going to tell the author how to write, but if I had written that, I would have emphasized that fact and I would have attached a number to it.

And I am somewhat confidence total corporate debt of U.S. publicly trade companies is well in excess of 2 trillion at this point in time, but I need to find the data.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 20:15 | 2167784 Id fight Gandhi
Id fight Gandhi's picture

Prophet? If anything she was evil.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 00:26 | 2168456 G-R-U-N-T
G-R-U-N-T's picture

Yep, she did indeed rbg81!

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 05:08 | 2168774 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Unlike generations of "enlightened" Marxist professors, she knew exactly where the road to Collectivism led.

Yeah ~ A PHAT book deal...

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 20:00 | 2167733 HamyWanger
HamyWanger's picture

Ayn Rand was certainly a "thinker". Like every other human on Earth who has something called a brain in his skull.

The question can be basically summed up as who is right, and who is wrong. It is not sufficient to be able to write good English and appear intelligent to be right.

And I'm afraid Rand was tragically wrong on a variety of points.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 20:07 | 2167757 duo
duo's picture

what Rand didn't imagine was ZIRP destroying capital like it has since 2008.  It would require a rewrite of Part II.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 21:21 | 2167922 Vint Slugs
Vint Slugs's picture

Altho she didn't anticipate ZIRP, she had the capital destruction down cold.  What do you think was happening when d'Anconia constructed a worthless mine in the Peoples State of Mexico, when he arranged for his laden ore ships to be sunk; when Danneskjold sank ships or seized their cargo?  That was capital destruction on a grand scale, equal in its own way to ZIRP.  No need to have Part II rewritten.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 23:46 | 2168324 xela2200
xela2200's picture

Not sure it is the same thing. d'Anconia knew that the Mexican government was going to expropriate the mine and brag to the people about it. Instead, he made a fool of the government. Also, all those who were trying to capitalize (leaches) on the project. Dagny was smart and only used old trains and refused to invest on that line even going against his brother who at the end took credit for the opposite. In short, he destroyed the dumb money in this case government and speculators.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 21:22 | 2167927 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

That's stupid.  Changes to words in books can't "destroy capital."  That's exactly what capital IS NOT.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 00:55 | 2168533 4horse
4horse's picture

words. inert  .  .  .

fallen on deaf ears


yet not the publishing, promotion and purveyance of some

and not others  .  .  .  vaporized

as it appears happens to one or anothercooked books

enron l.ron or erehwon depending upon who's A-COUNTING

SALES numbersvotingrollsbookclubs fraudclosures bestsellers


That's stupid.for who to whom the bell tolls whether it's heard/or unheard of  .  .  .


falling in a forestfrom the trees cut for paper-clichesbuzzwordscatchphrases what-goes-around

                         Changes to words in books can't "destroy capital."

wot about "decapitated"  if "meaning" incapacitated. and/or jus "kaput"

ACHTUNGmust be paid

and paid forto whofor whom by whose trendsetters or attentiongettershogs-of-the-limelight


right. now let's try to focuson whowhatwhen where why they try to fuckus


establishing value . . . the very Idea of what's said sensible. acceptable. successful. or instead thought sordid. disordered

and avoided: unmentionable

according to . . . wot.a-crock-aauthority? right? like,quoting chapter'n'verse cause the bible tells me so. juDeo-

no? __then, deadlanguage, do what's to do do but at least use your head


That's exactly what capital IS NOT.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 12:25 | 2169931 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Are you trying to communicate?

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 17:41 | 2171504 4horse
4horse's picture

the primacy of 1source

and words unheard

because, a blueprint, the 1read needed: blocked

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 18:08 | 2171581 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

OK, was just checking.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 05:15 | 2168776 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

The question can be basically summed up as who is right, and who is wrong. It is not sufficient to be able to write good English and appear intelligent to be right.

And I'm afraid Rand was tragically wrong on a variety of points.

Oh yeah? & I guess that sums it all up (because you said it was so)... I suppose that 50 years later, on an interenet blog (populated mostly by people who are here because they DON'T watch "Dancing With the Stars"), the fact that people are still slicing and dicing her work, & trying to come to conclusions that apply to 'generations removed' of political, financial, & socio-economic comingling means nothing, right?

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 07:42 | 2172618 4horse
4horse's picture


I suppose that 50 years later . . .


lit.crit and contextual analysis will indeed be further past passe than already even now, but--  extreme exegesis  --what's read will nonetheless remain much the same: meaning, people reading what's construed as meaning by those with the power to enforce it  .  .  . deploying such past text tactics of publishing which, on an internet blog, have likewise already arisen at bluffho,politico and so-on-and-so-forth, whose recent partners, owners and coopters are-- deconstructed  --no doubt truly enjoying what victorious spoils of political, financial, & socio-economic comingling as, ultimately, means nothing, right?




or, wrong, perhaps again merely insisting upon significance as enlists their books, their movies, their mirrors, of idols, icons and leaders, of such exsanguineous concepts and intent, Ideas, as are all, really, that's fit to print


no difference


seeing as how news  --now, then, whenever/whatever they get around to choosing-- can no longer exist without hermeneutics sliceddiced&nice-enough boobtubery and/or spuntumbled&twisted like a rubikube so as to all the better inform their consumer of such intent as to exactly what is/is not meant and remembered as meaningful while all the better even further obfuscate what a captive audience might indeed do




so __something-always-happening-at-the-zoo, so exciting, living-in-the-city, so hectic yet energetic and full-of-life__ likewise will certain events remain subject to their ongoing socio-cultural exegetics, wherein the most representative articles, essays and texts best expressing such nuances and subtleties of our world around us, and as can only really be addressed by the finest minds, writers and experts as to what's so-new-to-do among us, must of course be the continuing purview of only such influential mavens, quidnuncs and aficianados as so totally know the now


.  .  .  etc.


arbiters elegantiarum, of all importance, and ubiquity, then, everywhere putting what haut cuisine, haut couture and haut kultur as are the food, fashion and fun to be had, de rigeur, all virtually right in front of you and little doubt found on your plate, on your back and on your mind

finding otherwise  .  .  .  offscreen. offline. or offcourse, will of course be less and less of a worry for the young, uninformed or offkilter because --given such killer apps as can now accompany you 24/7 on your latest updated ipad, iphone, imobile-- finding you or connecting to only the most valuable facts, info and fun fun fun, le dernier cri, means absolutely no effort or imaginable exertion on your part will keep you apart from what, remember, is the whole raison d'etre of a laborsaving device in the first place: no muss,no fuss. no sweat: enough! as you further learn to just sitback and relax while nonetheless attached and at all times attuned to our ever-never-ending news, views or music, whatever you choose, and as can always be found over any and all of our brands,gadgets,bandwidth and owned airwaves -the humanosphere- where neo-existence and with no effort expected we give you the earliest bird, the latest alert and the last word



words words words
talkshows. talkradio. talkingheads, now an everyday fixture of jibber, jabber, gabbing and gossip as pays lipservice to such worthy causes and urgent issues as are our talk, talk and alltalk
yet, thought. feeling. expression, what else is there to say and where would we be without them
remembering, words, our greatest gift, linguistics, being the ability to break-down and take-apart the very engine of all our social, cultural and intellectual interaction: never forgetting into-the-bargain that, our most valuable treasure, yet also perhaps like spam, the come-on and junkmail, for instance, what's worthless as well exists and will always find you first  .  .  .

waste. ads. trash. buzz. buswha. babble. marketing. promotion. pornography. propaganda. agenda. garbage, the total tonnage of which, unsolicited, everyday buries significance along with salesmanship and senselessness under its dense oppressive weight

.  .  .  while what's rare, scarcity, and the truly valuable, is easily suppressed and often escapes us, buried, where we have to dig, and dig, and dig down deep and elsewhere if we're ever to find a true find, of value. muscle and mind. body and soul. a whole truth




where, for an instance, we've thought to suppose In 100 years who's gonna care . . .

a century

there, where --keynesian translation--  in the end we're all dead
and, good-bad orprobably indifferent, perhaps finally content to be



FedRes Act



in other words, and none further, 200 years  .  .  .

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 20:14 | 2167778 Id fight Gandhi
Id fight Gandhi's picture

She was a Jewish woman who thought she knew everything, her ideals actually inspired the satanic bible.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:32 | 2168136 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

So, do you approve or disapprove of her?

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:23 | 2168064 G-R-U-N-T
G-R-U-N-T's picture

"Rand was a brilliant thinker.  Too bad her fiction was boring.

Junks away!!!!!"


Hm...Mr. Hendrix...I, personally, savored every bit of both "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged"!

Many infected minds cannot wrap around the objective reality she brought forth in these novels. They do indeed parallel exactly what is going on in America/Europe as welfare statism persists as the self annihilating system it is.

Deficit spending is the hallmark of the welfare state.

"Morally, the promise of an impossible "right" to economic security is an infamous attempt to abrogate the concept of rights. It can and does mean only one thing: a promise to enslave the men who produce, for the benefit of those who don't." If some men are entitled by right to the products of the work of others, it means that those others are deprived of rights and condemned to slave labor." ("Man's Rights" in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.) There can be no such thing as the right to enslave, ie, the right to destroy rights." -Ayn Rand

and..."It is true that the welfare statists are not socialists, that they never advocated or intended the socialization of private property, that they want to "preserve" private property-with government control of its use and disposal. But that is the fundamental characteristic of fascism."

Absolutely damn right. She was indeed a brilliant thinker and whom had clarity on perceiving reality.



Fri, 02/17/2012 - 06:50 | 2168809 4horse
4horse's picture

indeed a brilliant thinker and whom had [sic] clarity on [sic] perceiving

invisible ink. bleeding, on paper, into demons of delirium, and grammar, if not nachtmahr

ayn the equal, unseen, long stewing au jus not rus, but a borschting of lara's theme meets madame blavatsky

Victor, hugo, zhivago, or who knows who'll ever go again after drinking up that drunken fuckin Drankenstein


one's cup runneth over . . .


begin, HerrDerrMurderingKoolAid, what god hath again wrought:

write right nevermind think rite, one to mirror the other, being erudite must be why she's your favorite

cause, enlightenment, which is always being right, wrongs both of you each in its own trite way on your way --quite Teutonic, one might say-- of what's an individuality yet anyway a perhaps shared ethnic collective which's something seemingly naturally selected for by said type always being right in a showy will to power stolenwhose geneology of morals must perforce rightfully accrue to her,you and yours by virtue of such duality as demands your very own transvaluation of all values


already owning the transvaal --blacks, mines, dynamite, blood diamonds and all


golden. for by now, and so promoted, must everyone rigidly agree and most eerily see NO RULES for yous guys. either of you. neither of you, both here and now seen between scylla and charybdis-- style vs. substance --that you is, so clearly, such clarity, really really perceiving rarity where grunt'n'aynrand and and and whomever had parity on conceiving is raelity beyond ethic . . .  beyond edit . . . beyond help, if even well beyond reading in indeed beingthieving Beyond Good'n'Evil!

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 18:59 | 2167569 catacl1sm
catacl1sm's picture

Shrugged, bitchez!

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 20:05 | 2167750 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

I'm not shrugging...I'm keeping my head down. Seems to be the appropriate thing to do in the era of 'See some evil, hear some evil, spoke some evil, tell someone...'

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 05:19 | 2168778 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Mainly when I think of "shrugging", the first image that pops into my brain is that banker on the CHANCE card (in Monopoly), that has empty pockets and the card says...


Thu, 02/16/2012 - 19:00 | 2167571 Cdad
Cdad's picture

Simply put, when the state seizes the incentives
and drivers of capital investment, owners of capital go on strike.

Ya had me in the second paragraph, and no more need be said for the perpetual market nonsense going on just now.  Wall Street is applying the same remedy again and again, marking up stocks and thinking that this will mark up confidence, or restore Wall Street's entirely destroyed credibility.  It won't.

The Greater American Depression will roll on and on, for as I have been saying, also eloquently stated in this piece , capital will not form in this environment.  And so the only capital available will be Bernanke Bucks, and Berananke Bucks will only create bad inflation...which will stunt growth, not create it.

Today's Banana Republic market session was a complete embarrassment.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 20:05 | 2167687 duo
duo's picture

Simply put:  Work for 40 years, save up $2M, live off of $100K of interest at 5%, and leave the bulk to your kids when you die.

With 0.25% interest rates?  Why bother trying to make money and save it?  Fuck it, I'll go on the dole like everyone else.

It makes NO SENSE to work your ass off to create savings (capital) if all it will get you is 0.25%.

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 20:12 | 2167772 Cdad
Cdad's picture

...and until such time as Ben Bernanke is removed from the Fed, and the Fed audited and summarily shut down, you can expect nothing but more of the same...a perpetually declining quality of life in America.  There is nothing novel here.  There is nothing surprising.  There is nothing less than the greatest financial crime ever committed, and Ben Bernanke is the criminal syndicate's figure head.

And the people of this nation say...................nothing.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 03:54 | 2168706 Inthemix96
Inthemix96's picture


You want to try living in England mate, you think youve got it bad? You havent got a fucking clown like nick clegg yet.

God help us all

Thu, 02/16/2012 - 19:04 | 2167587 DCFusor
DCFusor's picture

And we just grinned, sittin' on our bag o' seeds.

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