a rising tide sinks all ships

The velocity of money. a rising tide sinks all ships. That is, capitalism and democracy have always had an uneasy relationship. They are not partners naturally suited to one another for the most part. Something of an artificial idea; like Judeo-Christian heritage, or religious-Zionism who intrinsic coherence needs some sort of archaeological lucky strike to justify the tenuous hold of so fleeting an idea. To nihilistically wipe one or another out has always been a recreational activity, but as this baseball games wanes on into extra innings, we are at point where the match seems to be called because of darkness and we are awaiting the dawn of a new day, should it decide to be complicit with us. In his time, Supreme  Court justice Louis Brandeis was regarded as a populist judge; he consistently nodded towards the imperative of freedom of speech,but held that society must be protected from what he termed the   “clear and present danger” test. No one at that time could have realized the power and clout and of these behemoth global enterprises with little national affiliation or loyalty….

Joseph Heath:The problem is that when you have a crisis like this, which is complicated, even understanding what happened, why it happened, and why it generated a recession is subtle, and requires, really, the framework of neoclassical economics. Having opted out of that framework, people are poorly positioned to even understand what happened, much less to recommend any kind of regulatory solutions to it. How are you going to stop the problem from happening again? You have to be able to get into the nitty-gritty of how financial markets work, and how central banking works, and so forth, to address that. But the Left, broadly speaking, has no opinion on central banking. People barely have an opinion on the tax code. Those are the questions that become relevant when you have a crisis like this, and often people are sort of intellectually poorly equipped to have opinions on the matter.—Read More:http://walrusmagazine.com/blogs/2009/08/07/qa-joseph-heath/?ref=2009.09-marx-economics-joseph-heath-interview&page= image:http://ginsbergblog.blogspot.ca/2012/02/william-burroughs-birthday.html

The scorecard of scandals is impressive, and it exposes the sad realization that financial markets can never be effectively reformed. They can be looked at like a serious illness that at best can be contained and hopefully not spread. Almost   all financial theories on future wealth such a pension plans, OAS etc. are based on the performance of financial markets, that effectively, there is a dependence on them; but is scrapping the idea of markets and returning to gold and silver and barter and fiat money the answer? Is Ron Paul the Messiah? Financial markets have become such a dominant theme is business that, as they say the world is awash in cash, the reason being there are not enough real investments to put that capital into. So to generate returns the easiest way is to fix markets and cook the books, not that this is a new phenomenon and in the long run, a form of insanity;Einstein is said to have arrived at the   observation that doing the identical  thing over and over  and over while expecting variable results each time is the definition of madness….

Joe Nocera:Peregrine Financial Group. This long-running fraud, which has apparently been going on almost as long as the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, came to light when the firm’s founder and longtime chief executive, Russell Wasendorf Sr., tried to commit suicide a few weeks ago. (He failed.) Helpfully, he left a lengthy note that laid out what he had done. Peregrine, you see, is a commodities broker, and Wasendorf had been stealing the money that customers had on deposit with the firm. As you’ll no doubt recall from the very similar MF Global scandal, where $1.6 billion in supposedly segregated customer funds went missing as the firm careened toward bankruptcy, this is supposed to be the sin of sins for a commodities brokerage. Sinful it may be, but not all that difficult, it would appear. Read More:http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/21/opinion/nocera-financial-scandal-scorecard.html

—What may still seem to many to be a parochial affair involving Barclays, a 300-year-old British bank, rigging an obscure number, is beginning to assume global significance. The number that the traders were toying with determines the prices that people and corporations around the world pay for loans or receive for their savings. It is used as a benchmark to set payments on about $800 trillion-worth of financial instruments, ranging from complex interest-rate derivatives to simple mortgages. The number determines the global flow of billions of dollars each year. Yet it turns out to have been flawed.—Read More:http://exhibitions.nypl.org/africansindianocean/essay-east-africa.php

Allen Ginsberg:I made a few changes with Gelek Rinpoche later. No attainment because no non-attainment. Topsy-turvy extremes instead of views. Cause what do you mean? Extremes of nihilism or extremes of mind only. In ’68 I was really intrigued by Suzuki-roshi’s translation. Sort of like telegraphise, compared to others I’d read. It was so succinct. So I went to him and sang it to him and asked his permission to sing it in public. He said, sure. I was adding a little American melody and flavor there. Using inflections and notes to emphasize: no suffering; no cause of suffering. Very operatic there. (chants again). Also no non-attainment. Which I found emotionally the heart of it, in a way. So I got his permission to do it in public. I didn’t know if I was messing around with something I didn’t understand and appreciate. Just thought I’d better tell him what I was doing and wouldn’t do any brain damage to anybody. He was very nice about it.Read More:http://www.cuke.com/Cucumber%20Project/interviews/Ginsberg.htm

—The business became particularly appealing in 2001 because of a relationship with CBI/Markazi, an Iranian state-owned oil company that needed to process $500m a day in payments denominated in dollars. This relationship then led to business with other Iranian clients. Among the most important business partners were the Iranian state bank, and two of the country’s largest state-owned commercial banks.
Although American firms were banned from doing business with Iran, an exemption did exist for many years for “U-turn” transactions, which involved dollar transfers that came into America’s financial system and then left without staying. They did have to be disclosed, however. In 2006 American banking regulators asked Standard Chartered for information on these, but were allegedly sent only information on a limited number in an effort to deflect attention. Only in 2010, they say, were authorities informed about the scope of activity. Even then, compliance was allegedly inadequate. Much of it was outsourced to India.—Read More:http://www.economist.com/blogs/schumpeter/2012/08/standard-chartered-and-iran


( see link at end)….The market value of Standard Chartered Plc tumbled $16 billion on Tuesday after New York’s bank regulator threatened to tear up its state banking licence for allegedly hiding $250 billion in transactions tied to Iran.

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) slammed Standard Chartered as a “rogue institution” that “schemed” with the Iranian government, which is subject to US sanctions over its nuclear programme, and hid 60,000 secret transactions to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in fees over nearly 10 years….

…Even the so-called ‘safe’ banks like StanChart and HSBC seem to be crumbling, with their reputation in tatters. No one, it

ms, is immune,” said one institutional investor, who asked not to be named….

—-A new cyber surveillance virus has been found in the Middle East that can spy on financial transactions, e-mail and social networking activity, according to a leading computer security firm, Kaspersky Lab.
Dubbed Gauss, the virus may also be capable of attacking critical infrastructure and was built in the same laboratories as Stuxnet, the computer worm widely believed to have been used by the United States and Israel to attack Iran’s nuclear program, Kaspersky Lab said on Thursday.—Read More:http://www.theglobeandmail.com/technology/tech-news/gauss-the-latest-weaponized-computer-virus-found-in-mideast/article4471231/

“Some of the language used is very disturbing. Of course, it could be that the Americans are exaggerating, but somehow that doesn’t seem to be the case here,” the investor said.

The bank, which has been in talks with US authorities since early 2010 over the matter, had exposed the US banking system to terrorists, drug traffickers and corrupt states, the DFS said.

The New York regulator described how officials at Standard Chartered, one of the banks least tarnished during the financial crisis thanks to its focus on emerging markets and a conservative approach to capital and liquidity, had debated whether to continue Iranian dealings….

—Harry K. Thaw – violent, paranoid madman, drug addict, wife abusing son of a millionaire coal baron and most famously, murderer of architect Stanford White in 1906 – seen here enjoying a breakfast from Delmonico’s in his jail cell at the tombs.—Read More:http://the-four-hundred.tumblr.com/page/5

In October 2006, the top official for business in the Americas, whom the regulator did not name, warned in a “panicked message” that the Iranian dealings could cause “catastrophic reputational damage” and “serious criminal liability”.

A group executive director in London shot back, according to a New York branch officer: “You f—ing Americans. Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we’re not going to deal with Iranians.”

The reply showed “obvious contempt for US banking regulations”, the regulator said….Read More:http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-08-08/news/33084889_1_bank-regulator-kai-nargolwala-stanchart

—Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt (1880-1925)
Son of Cornelius II and Alice Vanderbilt, father of Gloria Vanderbilt, and grandfather of CNN anchor, Anderson Cooper.
Reggie was the black sheep of the family – a lazy, spoiled, alcoholic gambler he died at the age of 45 from liver failure.
His brothers were William Henry Vanderbilt who died of typhoid fever while at Yale, Cornelius Vanderbilt III who was disinherited due to his unapproved choice of a wife, and Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt who was the main heir but went down with the Lusitania in 1915.—Read More:http://the-four-hundred.tumblr.com/page/5

If money made the mind more sane,
Of money mellowed in the bowel
The hunger beyond hunger’s pain,
Or money choked the mortal growl
And made the groaner grin again,
Or did the laughing lamb embolden
To loll where has the lion lain,
I’d go make money and be golden.

Nor sex will salve the sickened soul,
Which has its holy goal an hour,
Holds to heart the golden pole,
But cannot save the silver shower,
Nor heal the sorry parts to whole.
Love is creeping under cover,
Where it hides its sleepy dole,
Else I were like any lover….( Allen Ginsberg)

…Oscar Wilde: In fact, property is really a nuisance. Some years ago people went about the country saying that property has duties. They said it so often and so tediously that, at last, the Church has begun to say it. One hears it now from every pulpit. It is perfectly true. Property not merely has duties, but has so many duties that its possession to any large extent is a bore. It involves endless claims upon one, endless attention to business, endless bother. If property had simply pleasures, we could stand it; but its duties make it unbearable. In the interest of the rich we must get rid of it. The virtues of the poor may be readily admitted, and are much to be regretted. We are often told that the poor are grateful for charity. Some of them are, no doubt, but the best amongst the poor are never grateful. They are ungrateful, discontented, disobedient, and rebellious. They are quite right to be so. Charity they feel to be a ridiculously inadequate mode of partial restitution, or a sentimental dole, usually accompanied by some impertinent attempt on the part of the sentimentalist to tyrannise over their private lives. Why should they be grateful for the crumbs that fall from the rich man’s table?…

—But, finally, there’s this: On Wednesday, Capital One, the big purveyor of credit cards, agreed to pay $210 million — including reimbursing customers to the tune of $150 million — because one of its vendors had deceptively marketed and sold customers needless add-on products.
Where were the regulators? In this case, it was the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, along with the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that conducted the investigation and brought the action against the bank. For the year-old bureau, this was its very first enforcement action.
These days, I guess, that amounts to progress.—Read More:http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/21/opinion/nocera-financial-scandal-scorecard.html image:http://www.artknowledgenews.com/2009_10_17_22_51_28_minneapolis_institute_of_arts_mia_presents_the_louvre_and_the_masterpiece.html


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