Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Pop, fizz, ...

Moral: Wherein we see more spiking of the bowl as Ben must want to go out with a bang.

Realistically, are some goats being led to slaughter?

Snaps from Market Watch

Savers? Still being slapped silly.


07/22/2015 -- Some of these are, now, poster boys.

12/19/2013 -- Ben did his parting shot (whimper that it was); they're going to taper slowly, less than a 1/8th on the bond buy, starting next month. And, he's going to torture savers for another year or so. We'll have to see how the pieces fall. The markets got heavily seeded today in hopes of luring in the idiots and moms/pops (who cannot afford the pending losses). So, it's pop, fizz, ..., again. Too, we'll see more goo-goo talk to the immature markets and the addicted investors thereof. One of many technical issues that we'll have to get into: Nanex's view.

09/29/2013 -- Appealing to sociology?

09/28/2013 -- Obviously, the glee abated as several days of negative gains ensued. And, some Fed people got to doing their soothing talk (oh, 2014, before tapering, slowly, and no interest for the savers for years - they say). Stopping to get more information before going further. For instance, we have all sorts of viewpoints to consider, such as Matt Levine (talking about Schneiderman), Kid Dynamite (July 9th rant and discussion - shows how far behind I am), and more.

09/19/2013 -- All's not lost. Some accountants see a change that is problematic. But, first, savers are more than just risk averse; they put their actions where their mouth is by being prudent. Now, that was once considered a virtue; in fact, one could argue that it was expected for fiscal responsibility. However, some claim that accounting has removed prudence in lieu of theoretical nonsense leading to annual reports that are incomprehensible. Actually, the computer can make things such, too, so the whole bit that underpins our world seems to have been given a shaky basis (on purpose, to allow rooking the people? - or, through stupidity?). Of course, the side that argues that prudence is quaint (well, it seems to be for quants) is vocal, too. But, we have China asking prudence of Ben and the Fed?

09/19/2013 -- The real irony of Ben is that he's holding down interest rates, for what? He came in under a Republican regime, supposedly the lovers of "free" economics. "Free" as in more natural and market, rather than the heavy hand of government. It didn't take him long to set an unnatural rate. Think of it, Ben. What he has set up is a perpetually subsidized system. Which is good for the borrowers. But, what do they learn when they get further into debt with easy money? And, who would lend money at such low rates (without the subsidy making up some difference)? ..., Ben would rather have us play the ca-pital-sino than to have a reasonable interest rate. I'm not asking for much, but he didn't have to go below 1%. Sheesh. There is no rationale that he can offer that would make sense. Ben has to realize that the gaming of the market moves money from the savers, and the luckless, and into the pockets of those who run the system and are lucky. What the heck kind of economy is that? Look at your heritage, Ben, is you want to see how to frame the proper view. ... Ah, markets, that magical thing of the invisible hand (Ben really knows deeply either how close to crap that is or, if he dug deep enough, he would see the Hand of God - wait, he cannot go there due to the growth of secularization thanks to all sorts of factors -- but, if he did see Yahweh's influence, he would have to know that slapping saves silly so that the spoiled can have it their way is not the proper way). Another aspect of importance is the insistence that they're data driven as if their model provides sufficient ability to do such. Sheesh, Ben. Your data didn't do any good before the fact. That is, you were mouthing that things were okay right before they fell apart. So, we're to expect that you are more wise now. The issue is that Ben, and his crew, need to use their brains and knowledge. Data driven is not a silver bullet. In fact, in a lot of cases such methods result in down-right inhumane results. We'll have to explain that further. But, it'll be too late to help Ben (I wonder what he thinks of intuition - which is what we're paying him to use, given his roles as oracle, et al - don't blame the stupid computer and its data model, Ben).

09/18/2013 -- Pop, fizz, ... Ben had to show largess because of idiots who ran the economy to the ground (rogues all around). Ben is going. What do we have to look forward to? Businessweek has a review issue (of the past five years). Several articles are especially interesting. Too, phrasing shines: spin dross into gold (in relation to mortgage bonds). Perhaps, we'll get back to some of the more pertinent ones, at some point. If we do, it would be to bring forward what has been said here, from the beginning. To wit? Tranche and trash (WSJ has a good take on that). Securitization? This article brings on weeping (one example of the misuse of mathematics and computing that has been harped about). Adoption, and improved understanding, of lazy evaluation let loose the powers that resulted in the wild web and its little children, namely social media and more. To grasp the problem, we have to go back to computing that is in some type of responsible area. Avionics comes to mind. If what is couched as software in looser domains (financial engineering? -- looser?, yes bailouts are the norm despite all of the protestations of the ruling elite; or the whole cadre of the poorer folk can just suck it up when there are problems in order to relieve the fat cats' loss) were to used in flight controls, would we not have planes falling out of the sky? We'll get back to the simple issues that seem to not be seen by the elites chasing after the bucks that Ben has been throwing out of his helicopter.

Modified: 07/22/2015

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Cosmology - consumer

Moral: Wherein we continue our trek toward a fully-discussed cosmology of business.

Last time, there were some preparatory remarks which considered, momentarily, the basic principles that ought to be brought to fore. How could such wavering come about? Why can't we just start from some easily agreeable foundation (been to DC lately? - oh, yes, establishing spy-ville has been the main accomplishment, it seems?)?

Well, let me point to the puddles, and mud pies, being stirred by the intellectuals. Too, who isn't chasing their tail after the mathematical overlays descended upon us (ah, think NSA's little shadow world in which all but them are suspect - if you don't know about this you've been asleep in the back of the classroom) and added to great confusion?

Aside: An insidious cloud has cloaked our ability to see truth. I'll be going on about this at length. Think blinders, folks (yes, even minds rated at genius are trapped within this web).

So, today, I might have stumbled upon a position from which to start and from which we can omni-directionally venture (hint: non-linear and temporally non-convergent). First, the inspiration comes via reading Horace Kallen (actually, browsing). Several of his titles intrigued me, but, being devoted to duty, I took up his work on the consumer (The Decline and Rise of the Consumer).

Aside: Please note several things. The guy is writing from a philosophical position. Too, he's way before the "stupid" computer (smart, my arse). And, he was before the robot which is meant, in the minds of many, to create worse hell on earth than we have so far (no Luddite am I, look it up). Horace does not have the long American heritage which some of the ruling class claim (a whole slew of the leaders do descend from the royal houses of Europe - not many saints there). So, his late entrant viewpoint can be compared with the heritage'd (mind you, we'll do that - my ancestry is post-Civil war, to boot).

Horace Kallen,
The Decline and Rise
of the Consumer

Now, let us consider some words from the Epilogue, supposedly a look back from the year 2044:
  • Throughout history, the many had sweated and slaved, with the labor of their hands and heads bringing to birth the shapes and services of life whose accumulation and remembrance compose civilization. They had sweated and slaved, but they had been prevented from consuming and enjoying. They had sowed but others had reaped; they had nurtured and tended, others had eaten. They had been the producers only, others had been the consumers. They had been the means, mere tools with life in them, others had been the ends, free lives with delight in them. And those who felt and understood the injustice of this division were filled with a righteous anger. ... Without labor there can be no food; without work no human good whatsoever can come to be, no desire could be gratified, no wish attained, no life enriched. 

Ah, well put, Horace.

Aside: Horace's father was a Rabbi while he was an early secularist. But, as he said, one didn't pick (nor can one throw away) one's grandfathers. Horace is credited with coining cultural pluralism.


Consumerism has bad connotations since argument trend toward materialism, ostentation-ism (had to put that in for the Wall Street crowd), and such. But, corporations (with their God-give, and court-recognized, person-hood) and PACs (things of that ilk) are consumers, to boot.

Besides, looking at the economic equation (top view, as in GDP) shows a C. Guess what that represents and how large its effect upon the total?


Markets? Well, forget the idiocy currently in vogue that leads to financial engineering. They (we'll get into markets and their need) are to facilitate "business" at its core. We will be going back into that subject, time and again.

Be aware, that humans will be at the fore. And, I don't mean just those favored few, like Jamie and his ilk.

Aside: By the way, one use of the computer ought to be to level the playing field. Again, no Marxist label ought to be brought up here.


07/26/2015 -- This has had some recent reads. Lots going on, including poster boys coming out of the woodwork. We intend to get back to this topic: consumer as central to things economic (metaphysically sound).

09/17/2013 -- New blog. What is enough? Anyone remember room and board? That is a wonderful arrangement where you work, get fed, a roof over your head, and some spending money. Now, that may be an old concept. Nowadays? Yes, one would have a room provided by a slum landlord, the food would be gruel worthy of a gulag, and the money would be given to you on a debit card with exorbitant fees. Then, there are those who can never have too much. This is an interesting twist to use for discussing a central notion.

09/17/2013 -- Atlantic: where money was spent. Presupposes money to spend (hopefully, not by debt alone).

09/10/2013 -- Atlantic article: language and savings. However, note the U.S. position on the chart. Ben has slapped the savers silly (making them battered and bruised). Is he anti-savings? Or, is it that he wants to maximize consumption?

09/09/2013 -- Clarification. Of course, the "C" is for consumption (say, the whole collection of types of consumers - including those who would fall into the consumerism set). Needless to say, wouldn't unlimited production (without elimination via consuming) lead to the proverbial compacted state?

09/08/2013 -- Of course, it's not mathematics that's stupid, it's the misuse (which we'll get into). Marilyn says that mathematics doesn't inspire like literature and art (for once, I agree with her wholeheartedly). In fact, she thinks that mathematics ought to be taught early, then the later involvement would be by personal choice. Perhaps, then, some of the misuse would abate. Perhaps not, but let's wait until we detail the misuse before discussing that. Now, in the meantime, if you want to contemplate large "M" Mathematics, go right ahead, we'll take it any way that you want or need. 

Modified: 07/26/2015

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Cosmology - preparatory view

Moral: Wherein we continue to set the stage for describing a (the) cosmology of business.

As we know, Ben is leaving. So, we'll miss the guy. Too, how long before we wished that he were still there?

USA Today had a nice opinion written: Fed battle is about gender. Here are two quotes.

  • Summers, as a certain kind of dominant man, is aligned with Wall Street, and hence with money, and hence with the existing power structure. He embodies the inclinations that have gotten us into so much financial trouble.

  • Yellen, as an unshowy (read middle-aged) woman, is more academic and collegial in nature, and has done long and unheralded stints in government; she represents the collective self and hence a higher level of public selflessness and probity. 
Not my words. But, I wonder what would it be like if these two were switched (except for gender). As in, Larry and probity? Janet and megalomania?

Could that ever be? 


Now, given this juxtaposition, and little bit of reality, we have to comment on how it relates to the economy, especially its basis in banking (assuming that we need such for handling money -- providing liquidity). The ilk of Summers needs to have a sandbox where they can crap all they want. How can we do this? And, clean up. 

The other side was represented by Ben who did not seem to shy away from shotgun approaches. Essentially, he has created a state of matters from which we don't know how to move forward. Mind you, don't know how means that science works from knowns. It just does not cast about in the unknown realm trying to find something. 

Same for engineering (are you listening MIT and the financial engineering crowd?). It's methodological, to the extreme, even though such is hidden under an avalanche of mathematical expression of knowledge states. 


The main focus, as in origins, will have to deal with people. Those two types depicted, above, are along one type of axis. There are many other such polarities, actually spectral relationships. 

To where do we appeal, or begin, with an approach that is constructive. On the one hand, we can look to the U.S. Constitution. Before that, we can look at the Magna Charta. There are other forward-looking attempts at describing "mature" adulthood.

What is on the other hand? Ah, want me to venture there (not that I'm not prepared for such)?  Fortunately, we don't have to do that, just yet.


We all know that being free to apply one's creativity is part of a healthy, happy existence along with a whole lot of other things. But, as we have holidays to remind us, there are those who put themselves on the line for the American way (by the second). We can look at that in depth, too, and at how this service/disciplined attitude differs (almost as if there were two universes) from the gluttony of the ilk represented by Wall Street (and many other descriptions exist for this side - not many of them flattering - oh, "I screwed an old widow out of her last dime today" sort of thing - get the drift?).

We'll have to talk about the middle which is fairly broad and its importance. Of course, we'll do it in an new way; fortunately, the current Congress has represented the antithesis of the ideal (making comparisons available that are apropos and up to date -- thank you, gals and guys).  


09/04/2013 --

Modified: 09/04/2013