Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Summary, 2014

Moral: Wherein we take a look at 2014 and a new approach for 2015.

This is our fifth year for a summary: 200920102011, 2012, 2013. In first year, there were more posts - 2009 (57). This year we only had 36 posts.

Part of that decrease might be due to the early focus of the blog to which we'll have to return. Perhaps, by 2010, the realization of the Fed's largess continuing, and increasing (QE infinity), sank in and caused depression. Not. Rather, it has taken time to get to the current situation which is just loaded with things to discuss: FED backed into a corner, the few pilfering the economy, savers slapped silly and flayed to within an inch of their lives, ... So, we will be getting to all of this.

However. let's look at this year's numbers for Past 30 days and for All time.

Past 30 days                     All time       
Given that 2015 is a year for celebrating the Magna Charta, we can use that to talk about economic issues. The King and the Barons. Ah, how many ways can we map those to characters here now? We have already mentioned Lords/Serfs.

Finally, in the "All time" sense, the "Chimera: sellers and buyers" has overtaken "Computation, finance and engineering" which is interesting.

It is nice to see "Reorganization of sorts" get attention (we will need to talk about a lost generation or two - unfortunately, this is true even if their pockets bulge with money).


The tone of the blog will lose its scoffing flavor. When Ben was in charge, raspberries were in order, after all he ought to be able take the heat. Trouble is, he gets more heat from other sides. This blog is, basically, rationally based. So, we'll get away from the barracks (yes, was in such as an impressionable 17-year old; at the time, it was WWII and Korean veterans - POWs even; so, give me a break, okay?). Yes, the operative word will be the absence of uncouth thought and actions. Hey, ever heard someone like Patton carrying around a recording device when he was in the field with his men?

That last bit is mentioned mainly to bring forth the fact that a whole lot of veterans got their start with the Bill that enabled their education and economic progress. Many of these were as smart as the privileged best-and-brightest (yes, right under Harvard - see the image). One could argue that the push toward fullness in the economy was related to the efforts of that generation and those who followed. And, it was pre-computer.

I was later, but I spent my career working with advanced computational systems. So, I know the lot. Who of the younger set can say that? Actually, the thing that I wrote several years ago needs to be rephrased. We'll be doing a lot of that as we go back and lift back to now the nuggets embedded in this work for the past few years.

Remarks:  Modified: 12/31/2014

12/31/2014 --

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Reorganization of sorts

Moral: Wherein we look at blogger improvements in order to bolster the medium, hopefully enhancing the message.

Namely, using the "Page" header in order to present information more coherently. As in, outside of the temporal view supported by the normal listing. Even, to the extent of getting away from the constraints of categories.

Ca-pital-sino, anyone?

Remarks:  Modified: 12/30/2014

12/30/2014 -- Added Lord/Serfs (note, please, 2015 will be the year of the Magna Charta - that whole bit is related to what we are doing here). Next up, Chimera (ah, yes, it is true, folks). There will be more.  

Monday, December 1, 2014

Fiat money

Moral: Wherein we look at "fiat" money, again, plus the cheshire multiple.

We have not had a post on this topic, for a while, but a recent WSJ article (How the 'Reserve' Dollar Harms America, Nov. 21, 2014) prompted such. So, back to the old themes.

This topic has been touched upon in all three blogs:
Call it funny money or what you may, the whole process depends upon wizards to control the process which easily veers out of control, as we have seen time and again. That the U.S. must lead the way is obvious to many; 'how is this to be?' is less so. 

Along with consideration of 'fiat' and 'gab-standard' having some focus, there ought to be, as well, some sensitivity to Minsky's thinking.


How high can it go? Well, the DOW is close to 18K today (12/3/14). There is a run-up going which we will watch. There are two caveats that need repeating.
  • This is funny money, folks, except for those who are in the position to exploit the situation: those who run the game, those with the wherewithal (the Buffets and more) to rake in gains (ill-begotten), and such. The fact: this group is a minority (very small in cardinality even if their pockets balloon immensely). 
  • Those who buy in now are lining up to be sacrificial lambs. Ah, the humanity. The fact: losers outweigh the winners by far. Even if we graduate the amount of winnings (ignoring near zero, for now) from reasonable to extremely greedy, the winner set would be small (far less than 10%, if that).  
Reminder: In the context of these discussions, 401K eyeballers are not "winners" (grieves me to even use the concept since the reality is so putrid - when the kimono is lifted) until they have cash in hand.

Now, having said that, what is needed? Rather than the headline says, Apple drops 22B in a day, we ought to think about another accounting approach where buyers/sellers bounce against an entity with a history (to be discussed). Yes, the peanut buttering of gains and losses across a whole population is stupid (always has been). 

When computers came along, were they applied to beefing up the accounting? No, they were turned into gamers to extract even more from a silly system. How has this gone on so long? 

The vested interests benefit, essentially. We do not have to rise to the level of ethics to bring the problems to public viewing. No, all that is necessary is to lay out the scheme's basis and how the ca-pital-sino is a type of "shell game." 


We were on this theme six years ago (Crooked games) and will go back to the earlier thoughts. The FED has changed the character of the game, delayed the consequences, muddied the water (really), and set us up for some interesting failings (will be worse than the last time - as many say). 

Remarks:  Modified: 12/06/2014

12/06/2014 -- Put here as placeholder: Capitalism's gravediggers.