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Showing posts from September, 2008

Value Extractors Even More Stunned

I'd like to humbly recommend a new word for placement in the English lexicon, if I may. The word is dismendacity . Please, allow me. Mendacity is the practice of willfully furthering falsehood, and the prefix dis- always means to go against, to reduce, to take apart. With the new word in place, one may be a bit more edified when analyzing today's World events. Let's look, shall we? By a narrow margin the House of Representatives voted down the infamous $700 billion "bailout package." Even as they tarried the stock market was beginning its record plunge, ending up 777 points down on the day, a precipitous 7% drop. (What's with all the 7's? Must be something biblical. Well, that in a minute.) Enough members of Congress refused to bless it simply because they saw that they were about to compel their consituents to hand over gobs of money to enable rank irresponsibility. Financiers and Wall Street gurus of all stripes lent (whoa, lent , how are they doi

Stunned Credit Contracters

As the current economic "meltdown" progresses, two axioms are confidently spouted by power brokers both political and economic: "We must restore confidence in the market," and "We must prevent a serious contraction of credit." Everyone hears them often and we all breathe a sigh of relief because it seems these guys really know what's going on and they're on the job to fix it. But what do these two statements really mean? What exactly is "confidence in the market," as if our trust must be in the place where buyers and sellers meet? For that is all that a market is, a place where buyers and sellers meet. Is there something wrong with that--are the market seats too lumpy? Are the market floors a bit too slippery? The lights in the market just too bright? Air conditioning doesn't work properly? No, it is not the market that is at fault. It is the people who do business there . And why does "confidence" in those people need t

The Stunned Value Extractors Circle the Wagons

A good friend of mine is a young financial analyst at Bank of America. We meet for a meal occasionally and talk about the things of the World. I've been interested in particular in his take on what I've written about value assessment . What is interesting is that even as a devout Christian himself, he very graciously confesses he just does not get what I'm writing, all of what I'm saying is just way over his head. He's even told me, "I just look at the plain words of the Bible." This should bewilder me because this is precisely what I am doing. But I understand. I understand why, as smart as he is, he is oblivious to what the World does: My friend has been fully indoctrinated in the things of the World by those who are sworn to keep him looking at only the World. Many profound truths have emerged from the economic whirlpool in which the country is drowning right now. I submit that these truths are some of the simplest to understand, but I will say that

The Stunned Value Extractor Show

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This promotional photograph was issued yesterday for the premiere of another boffo Broadway hit. The spotlight hit the rising curtain and... Oooo! There they all were! The star-studded cast of that spectacular production We're All Really Upset About All This and We'll Really Take Care of Business This Time, Really . An historic week on Wall Street has been capped by this entertainment extravaganza. Hey, it's the weekend! They're all there, the SEC chairman, Treasury secretary, and Fed chairman, deftly playing the parts of all the king's men working valiantly to put Humpty together again. Of course headlining the event are the most powerful legislative leaders, center stage, representing Humpty. Humpty. As in Humpty Dumpty your average Joe and Josephine American, proud World inhabitants. The story so far: Poor poor Humpty needs to be rescued from his toxic behavior. Because Humpty is so prone to fall off walls, and to push others off walls too, he definitely

So What Is It With Stunned Value Extractors?

To get the full context of this post, I invite you to read my post from yesterday . This is sort of an addendum to that piece. I left my keyboard yesterday thinking about how much I wear my heart on my sleeve. Some of me thought "You blew it Dave. You slipped too much emotion into the issue. Let the facts speak for themselves." The other parts of me just thought, "So what. This is you, what you want, how you feel about that." I also felt uncomfortable getting across the idea that I'm convinced no one understands the way Gods economy works. I have very good friends who I know do get it. The thing that makes me sad (oh no emotions again) is that it is very hard to see where people in some measured way are truly acting on what Jesus said. Actually being ungrafted to the World . I can only think of His words in Luke, there at the end of chapter six: "Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say?" Yes, I confess there are times I don't do

Stunned Value Extractors

Before teaching my Advanced Placement U.S. Government class the very first period of the day on Monday, I peeked at MSNBC's news site to catch any up-to-the-minute stories. Here was the headline I saw screeching across the top: "Markets Stunned by Lehman Bros. and Merrill Lynch." After my students filed into class, I displayed this on my TV screen and told them this: "I'm stunned that they are stunned. Come on, what were they thinking?" The they to whom I refer are indeed all the people who misassessed things so much that the current economic collapse is unfolding. I further explained this for my students using an illustration about a lender cheerfully handing over a home loan with $3,000-a-month mortgage payments to a gleefully willing guy earning $1,000 a month. These people are stunned ? My students laughed at the abject folly of this. Everyone is now beholding the idiocy of valuing things by the World, yet no one knows squat about what to do. La

The Latest Feature in the 9/11 Extravaganza

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It is 9/11 and the common sentiment is that we commemorate things today with solemn events and quite contemplation. I wonder how many think at all about how much our "imaginations are catastrophized," a term Tupper Saussy coined to describe precisely what World operatives are still doing to a large extent with grandiose 9/11 mythology. Here is the latest that I saw: This is the memorial for the Pentagon victims, and right when I saw this photograph I could not help but think, "airport runway lights." You tell me, does this not look like runway lights for an jet airliner to land right into the Pentagon building? Could this be a subliminal suggestion that we are to believe that what hit the Pentagon on 9/11 was actually an airliner? Furthermore shouldn't this be interpreted as a subtle message about the bright glory of a work which effectively mobilized the nation to battle evildoers on a grander scale? The latest about 9/11 is from the National Institute of S

The Value Extractors at Work

This past summer I was visiting my father and we were out on the patio enjoying dinner discussing economic issues. The conversation drifted toward the question of why the dollar is so weak, and I offered some standard economese to explain. Eventually I got to the core reason any currency is valued as it is: It has to do with the way people perceive value, and a currency is merely a reflection of that value assessment on a macro scale. My stepmother couldn't understand. She wondered how that could be when our productive capacity in the U.S. is still so much stronger than that of other countries, particularly in Europe where the Euro has seemed to be doing a gleeful trampling dance on the sprawling dollar. In today's Los Angeles Times Tom Petruno's column bears out incisively the exact point I was making. The dollar is making a comeback and the key reason has to do with perceived value . His main point is that the dollar is appearing attractive again because people are see

Politically Correct Rage

This week the Republicans are planning to "tone down" their national convention festivities, since ribald partying would be quite unfashionable when a hurricane threatens the Gulf Coast states. Never mind that people are dying all over the place at the hands of people who lie, cheat, steal, murder, exploit... If it's a big thing that'll be in the papers everywhere, and you're a politician of any stripe, then you've got to make big whoop-tee-do about how adept you are at championing whatever good thing you can do to stop it. Or help it. Or whatever you're supposed to do with it. Now this kind of behavior doesn't particularly rankle me. It used to when I put my faith in the World System and sought entertainment from its elaborate film and stage productions. This is what Cain's agents do, it's their nature. What does steam me a bit is when people who say they follow Christ sign up with this World System and then rage against anyone who calls the