"Sense And Nonsense" - Assorted Deep Thoughts

Tyler Durden's picture

With newsflow today non-existent, and the market acting somewhat bizarrely (i.e., not soaring on endless revenue misses and GDP forecast cuts, and in fact, selling off) we take this opportunity to share some philosophical "deep thoughts", although not from Jack Handey, but from the latest issue of the Edelweiss Journal.


“Government interference into economic affairs almost never alleviates the problem it set out to solve. The unintended, and perhaps  intended, consequences only rally more calls for further intervention. Because of its countless edicts, the majority of people who reside in Western economies have no concept of how and why markets function as they do. They have mistaken crony capitalism or socialism for genuine capitalism. While mistaken, this distrust of the market has been the lifeblood of the parasitic state.”

—James E. Miller, “Learning to Laugh at the State,” posted 1 July 2012 in the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada blog. Read more: http://tinyurl.com/ej-miller.


“We have been living beyond our means. We have been paying ourselves more than our efforts were earning. We sought political leaders who would assure us that the good times would never end and that the centuries of boom and bust were over; and we voted for those who offered that assurance. We sought credit for which we had no security and we gave our business to the banks that advertised it. We wanted higher exam grades for our children and were rewarded with politicians prepared to supply them by lowering exam standards. We wanted free and better health care and demanded chancellors who paid for it without putting up our taxes. We wanted salacious stories in our newspapers and bought the papers that broke the rules to provide them. And now we whimper and snarl at MPs, bankers and journalists. Fair enough, my friends, but, you know, we really are all in this together.”

—Matthew Parris


“Suppose I’m a fund manager worried that if I underperform the market over a twelve-month period I’ll be out of a job. What value would I attach to a boring business with dependable and robust cash flows, and therefore represents an excellent place to allocate preserve and grow my client’s capital over time but which, nevertheless, is unlikely to ‘perform over the next twelve months? The likelihood is that I will value such cash flows less than an investor who considers himself the custodian of his family’s wealth, who attaches great importance to the protection of existing wealth for future generations, values permanence highly, and is largely uninterested in the next  twelve months. In other words, an institutional fund manager might apply a ‘higher discount rate’ to those same expected cash flows than the investor of family wealth. They arrive at different answers to the same problem. The same cash flows are being valued subjectively and there is no such thing as an objective or ‘intrinsic value’ embedded in the asset, even though it has cash flows.”

—Dylan Grice in SocGen’s Popular Delusions, 17 July 2012.


They’ve found yet another shipwreck off the coast of Ireland. The SS Gairsoppa went down in 1941 by a German torpedo. It was laden with 1.4 million ounces of silver. The insured value at the time was 325’000 pounds and it was paid up properly. Assuming they can get to the wreck and bring the loot up, it has a current market value of around 38 million dollars. One can’t help but wonder what the current value would be if the ship had been carrying banknotes instead.

Courtesy of JE, read the article here: http://tinyurl.com/shipwreck


“If you’d invested a pound in the FTSE in 2005 (when [Bob] Diamond joined the [Barclays] board) and hung on to your dividends you’d  now have £1.08, notes a story in today’s Times. If you’d invested it in HSBC you’d have 78 pence. If you’d invested it in Barclays you’d have 29 pence. Which is rubbish, really. In the same time period, Diamond has been paid £119 million.”

—Merryn Somerset Webb, “The hounding of Bob Diamond: it isn’t disgraceful, it’s essential,” posted 4 July 2012 in her MoneyWeek blog.


“All government, in its essence, is a conspiracy against the superior man: its one permanent object is to oppress him and cripple him. If it be aristocratic in organization, then it seeks to protect the man who is superior only in law against the man who is superior in fact; if it be democratic, then it seeks to protect the man who is inferior in every way against both. One of its primary functions is to regiment men by force, to make them as much alike as possible and as dependent upon one another as possible, to search out and combat originality among them. All it can see in an original idea is potential change, and hence an invasion of its prerogatives. Th e most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.”

—H.L. Mencken


“They’re there because people have to have them, not because people believe in them.”

—David Jacob, who was fi red from Standard & Poors in December, in an interview at Bloomberg about the ratings industry


“I wholeheartedly agree on the issue of dishonesty in the financial markets. I am muzzled by our compliance offi cer and prevented from being as frank as I would like. Your reference to the delusional hope that keeps investors in the game reminds me of Nietzsche’s observation that “hope is the worst of all evils, for it prolongs the torment of man.” Confidence is unraveling before our eyes, but goes unseen by most. The fi nal stages of disillusionment will be swift.”

—From recent correspondence with a fund manager whom we admire


“Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.”

—H.L. Mencken


“Confidence is the feeling a person has before he fully understands the situation.”



Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Manthong's picture

"Party on, Garth."


Burr's 2nd Shot's picture

"Gold, Bitches" - my Zerohedge coffee mug

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

I believe it is properly spelled, "Gold, Bitchez".

Just trying to help.

Michael's picture

This is the deepest thought of the last decade nobody gets;

The war against a Military Tactic(Terrorism) used by The Base(in Arabic Al-Qaeda) is idiotic. The base doesn't even have any tanks or boats.

__ Michael

Stackers's picture

He who smelt it, dealt it.


economics9698's picture

‎"the vast majority of the poor, who spend a disproportionate portion of their budget on food, are hurt more from the government freebies, but because of a lack of understanding of basic economics they support the leaders who hurt them the most."

Likstane's picture

"I've abandoned free market principles to save the free market system" - POTUS 43

bigwavedave's picture

I think Tyler is British who traded from Toronto for a US Bank through the late 90's. Am I wrong?

economics9698's picture

Tyler is flying the flag of corruption hoping to make a list of libertarians and other undesirables so they can be terminated when the time comes.  Watch your step.

Or maybe he is a front man who has had the agenda hidden from him, a outer circle guy who is unaware of the inner circle.

One thing I do know is these boards are watched.



shovelhead's picture

I already turned you in . You can relax.

jumbo maverick's picture

One thing I do know-EVERYTHING is watched.

PicassoInActions's picture

“Confidence is the feeling a person has before he fully understands the situation.”


this one si cool.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Sort of like "Ignorance is bliss" only several steps further down that cognitive road.

Biggvs's picture

I heart Zero Hedge

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"Is that a Cognitive Dissonance in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?"

Mae West (sorta paraphrased)


A Lunatic's picture

"The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to a close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences." - Winston Churchill

nmewn's picture

"They’ve found yet another shipwreck off the coast of Ireland. The SS Gairsoppa went down in 1941 by a German torpedo. It was laden with 1.4 million ounces of silver. The insured value at the time was 325’000 pounds and it was paid up properly. Assuming they can get to the wreck and bring the loot up, it has a current market value of around 38 million dollars. One can’t help but wonder what the current value would be if the ship had been carrying banknotes instead." Courtesy of JE

It would be zero...but the government would still spend 100M to retrieve it anyways, calling it stimulative...of course the no-bid contract would be awarded to Captain Foghorn (son of Senator Foghorn).

otto skorzeny's picture

 you PM stackers always fixate on the shiny trinkets much like the Native Americans of 500 years ago. also- why the need to regurgitate the passage we just read?

nmewn's picture

So you don't like context?...well, you're gonna hate this then ;-)

August 13, 2012 5:00 am
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) has been working to secure sweetheart deals for Chinese green energy firms, according to reports.
Reid, who last week hosted the fifth annual National Clean Energy Summit at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, has been “pulling strings behind the scenes” for months on behalf of ENN Mojave Energy, a Nevada subsidiary of the Chinese-owned ENN Group.
After more than two years of secret negotiations beginning in 2009, lawmakers in Clark County, Nevada, unanimously agreed to sell 9,000 acres of public land to ENN for the bargain price of just $4.5 million ($500 per acre) in December 2011.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal questioned the “steep discount” ENN received for the land, which had been previously appraised for between $30 million and $39 million. The arrangement also included a bundle of tax incentives for ENN.
Reid, who reportedly helped secure a series of state and federal waivers as part of the deal, was actively involved in the negotiations with ENN. In April 2011, he led a delegation of senators to China, where the lawmakers met with senior Chinese officials and toured a number of green energy facilities, including the ENN headquarters in Langfang, China.
Upon his return, Reid called on the United States to pursue “new opportunities to collaborate on and advance clean-energy deployment here and abroad.”
Several months later, ENN chairman Wang Yusuo spoke at Reid’s clean energy summit, calling for a “more open and comprehensive” partnership between China and the United States on green energy.
ENN hired Richard Bryan, a Democrat who served with Reid in the U.S. Senate from 1989 to 2001, to represent the company in negotiations with state and federal officials. Reid’s son Rory is a partner at Bryan’s law firm."

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Nice context. :)

I can't wait until the day when I purchase my own Congressional critter with thirty pieces of Silver.


nmewn's picture

Its really shameful isn't it?
I don't expect them to be saints or messiahs, just more like us...I know its probably too much to ask...lol.

Freegolder's picture

Why do many on Zerohedge believe that an industrial metal (silver) is going to become very valuable in the future?

It gets mined, and then gets used in industry, end of story. There is no gigantic stock of silver held for investment.

Only gold will rise significantly in value, as it only has one use as a store of wealth.

How sad for people that they see what is coming, but believe silver will carry their wealth through it.

Only gold will do that.

Oquities's picture

use a few ozs. of gold to buy a coupla hundred dollar bags of pre. 1964 US silver coinage.  you don't want to buy a tank of gas with gold.

quasimodo's picture

Bought silver at the top? Too fucking bad


Joe Davola's picture

Gold has more than one use:  I'm planning to start a gold foil hat company - not only can one conspicuously flaunt one's wealth, it will shield your brain for the coming time when the HAARP experiments destroy the ionosphere.

JR's picture

Deep Thought from Wayne Allen Root --

“Inquiring minds want to know how Harry Reid entered the U.S. Senate with no assets and became one of the wealthiest United States Senators?”

nmewn's picture

According to Reid, I am supposed to be more outraged by what Mitt has done with his money, than what Obama is doing with mine.

shovelhead's picture

Nicely done. Short, sweet and to the point.

Boxed Merlot's picture

And Vegas gets their power from what, a dam?  The Chinese construct the worlds largest dam and peddle this sun baked stuff to the deserts of the US to assure that water will never flow to these areas. 

While they're at it, throw in a few more windmills, the wind is something to behold out there too. 


Green energy, right!

nmewn's picture

I'm surprised the Sierra Club isn't throwing themselves in front of trucks and bulldozers to save the tortoises & mice.

Well, not really ;-)

FreedomGuy's picture

China has the legacy of communism where all power resides in various government officials. In communism you get things done through "connections" which usually translates as bribes and favors if you are not family.

Therefore, they are particularly well suited to deal with people like the esteemed Harry Reid. Has anyone noticed the vast increase in wealth accumulated by Sen. Reid over his career?

You statists are such abject fools.

jumbo maverick's picture

Not speaking for him but from my perspective he typed out the passage because it makes a significant point. In fact it hammers it out like a damned sledgehammer hitting an egg. Point being that the silver has a real value, and after all these years it has risen. If it had been government printed money it would be worth zero, not because the water would have ruined it but because by its very nature it, over time, would ruin itself.
Not picking at you but think about the passage from a neutral point of view. Try to have an open mind about it. It may open up your eyes a little bit. It's good to go through life with open eyes. Helps to keep you from falling.

Peter Pan's picture

Isn't it amazing that you can drop your gold nd silver to the bottom of the ocean and with time it is still intact and producing value without any ommissions, statements or government subsidies. It reminds me of what one zero hedge contributor said recently when he noted that you CAN eat a small gold coin and it will still come out shiny and unchanged whereas if you swallow a FRN it will return to intrinsic value at the other end.

otto skorzeny's picture

HL Mencken is an unbelievable social satirist. we lack that kind of scathing scribe in today's society.

jayman21's picture

Tylers?  Did you forget about them?

Snidley Whipsnae's picture

H L Menken was the greatest journalist ever to pick up a pencil.

Mark Twain a close second.

Red Heeler's picture

Choose a favorite between those two? I'd never be able.

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken

sid farkas's picture

downvoting you for getting the quote wrong. 

Red Heeler's picture

Downvoting you for not correcting the quote if you think it's wrong.

pods's picture

The last time the official debt in the USA actually decreased was June of 1957.


Dead Canary's picture


I'm sorry, did I fuck it up for everybody?

buzzsaw99's picture

I would rather invest in a Bob Diamond run company than an Angelo Mozilo run company, or a Dick Fuld run company, or a Greenberg, or Benmouche, or Lewis, or... :times infinity:

Snidley Whipsnae's picture

"When a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental — men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand. So confronted, the candidate must either bark with the pack or be lost... All the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

H L Mencken

JR's picture

Deep thought: International financiers are nothing but huge mobsters, anyone with a brain can see what’s going on. Anyone with a half-way open mind sees it. Case in point:

Ron Paul has called the Iran sanctions an Act of War but they are also a technique the banking cartel uses to consolidate its power. Justin Raimondo elaborates in his column entitled New York Declares War on Iran how a British bank is hit with the sanctions and how ramifications of such action leads to transfer of bank holdings to the New York bankers. As Justin asks, Why?


While speaking truth to power is not the sort of thing one expects the executive of a leading bank to indulge in, we’ll take it where we can find it. Here‘s the Group Director of the Standard Chartered Bank responding to the charges, leveled by New York State bank regulator Ben Lawsky, that SCB was involved in financial dealings with Iran to the tune of $250 billion:

"You f—king Americans. Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we’re not going to deal with the Iranians?"

This, by the way, is cited in the complaint filed by the state of New York: Lawsky apparently thought it was incriminating enough to include. There is plenty of evidence this case has little to do with the sanctions, and more to do with bank protectionism: SCB is a British bank, and the city of New York is now engaged in a strenuous campaign to lure the high finance crowd away from London and back to the Big Rotten Apple. The Group Manager, who goes unnamed in the complaint, is asking the right question, which apparently Senor Lawsky isn’t prepared to answer – so I will.

We think we’re the center of the world: that’s what "American exceptionalism" is all about. Let’s say the Russian government decided that no one was to trade with, say, Italy, and the Duma passed legislation mandating economic sanctions. No one would pay the least amount of attention, except to mock the pretensions of the wounded Russian bear. When we do it, however, everyone is supposed to sit up and take notice. And of course they do: after all, the US is the epicenter of world financial markets, and New York is …well, where Wall Street is located. So the New York Department of Financial Services can act as if it’s the agency of a sovereign government, which in a very real sense it is. Aside from having one of the highest tax rates in the country, and aspiring to regulate the caloric intake of some of its residents, New York officials have lately moved to extend their reach internationally: the NYPD has sounded the alarm over the alleged "terrorist threat" posed by Iranian diplomatic personnel in the US:

"Mitchell Silber, the NYPD’s director of intelligence analysis, told Congress that Iranians may be using ‘diplomatic cover’ to conduct ‘hostile reconnaissance’ on America’s biggest city… …’the NYPD must remain vigilant in attempting to detect and disrupt any attack by Iran or its proxies,’ Silber told the House Homeland Security Committee.

"He said authorities have interviewed at least 13 people since 2005 with ties to Tehran who were seen taking pictures of city landmarks."…

Here we have a glorified state trooper acting as if he’s Henry Kissinger…

Lawsky exhibits the same sort of pretensions, describing SCB in the complaint as a "rogue institution" – you know, like Iran is a "rogue state" because it defies Washington’s imperial will….

If Cuomo, Lasky, and Silber want war with Iran, let them send the New York state National Guard over there and leave the rest of us out of it.


Imminent Collapse's picture

Love Mencken.  Crusty old bastard, but funny as hell and smart as a whip.  Piss and vinegar!

Curt W's picture

Government interference into economic affairs almost never alleviates the problem it set out to solve.

"almost never" ?   Please give example of when it did work.

blindman's picture

"News is what somebody somewhere wants to suppress; all the rest is advertising." Lord Northcliffe
13 August 2012
Bill Black Educates the Media On the Nature of Financial Fraud, With Little Apparent Effect

worbsid's picture

There is no difference in the real value of a one dollar note and a hundred dollar note. The only apparant difference is your confidence in the originator.