“Slavery is often portrayed by revisionist historians as somehow antithetical to market capitalism; in reality, slavery was a winning portfolio investment, the very incarnation of just how evil “free-market” capitalism can be. As the authors write:
“If slaves … were an investment included in the asset portfolio of the planter/entrepreneur, they helped satisfy the owner’s demand for wealth. But unlike most other forms of capital, which depreciate with time, the stock of slaves appreciated. Thus, the growth of the slave population continuously increased the stock of wealth.”
What makes this graph so disturbing for us in 2012 is what it suggests about today’s “1 percent” — and how they view the rest of us. It gives form to the brutal crackdown on the Occupy protests — and suggests darker things to come as we try to free ourselves from their vision of civilization, and our place in it.”
“Upon the close of the May 1 comment period, it is our intention to begin posting these 73 standards in HTML and begin the process of providing a unified, easy-to-use interface to all public safety standards in the Code of Federal Regulations. It is also our intention to continue this effort to include all standards specifically incorporated by reference in the 50 states. That the law must be available to citizens is a cardinal principle of law in countries such as India and the United Kingdom, and we will expand our efforts to include those jurisdictions as well.”
It is time to suppress this sort of research. If we’re not careful, people will start looking at contemporary dynamics. Please have your Posterity Docent initiate Elephant Protocol Mu now.
Also: I want the little bead-flow animations.
“The tension arises from the fact that it is often more profitable to rip a customer’s face off in the short term than to defer potentially larger profit opportunities with the same client in the long term. When bankers whose personal franchises, careers, and compensation depends on the former are evenly balanced with bankers whose interests are aligned with the latter, an investment bank perches profitably if precariously on the knife’s edge of sustainable profitability. Notwithstanding industry critics’ perception that all investment bankers are all looking for a quick and easy score, those of us who actually work in the relationship side of the business know that our best personal outcome depends on a sustained career success lasting over a decade or more. Unlike, perhaps, traders who transact daily with equally ruthless hedge fund counterparties on a no-regrets, no-grudges basis, bankers like me in corporate finance and M&A transact with the same limited universe of clients year-in and year-out. We simply cannot afford to screw them over, because they do hold a grudge.”
‘Even if you have the most up-to-date edition of the very latest textbook, I think it’s recognize that the textbook — as an object, as instructional practice — is still a relic. It is a relic of a time when information was scarce. It’s a relic of the way in which we manufactured and scaled the industrial model of education — a teacher at the front of the classroom, assigning the lessons and readings from an authoritative text. One that was bound by print. One that was distributed state and even nation-wide. One that was uniform. Somewhere along the way, “textbook” became “curriculum” — and under today’s testing regime, that all became wrapped up in “assessment.“‘
‘Uncertainty drives the search for and generation of creative ideas, but “uncertainty also makes us less able to recognize creativity, perhaps when we need it most,” the researchers wrote. “Revealing the existence and nature of a bias against creativity can help explain why people might reject creative ideas and stifle scientific advancements, even in the face of strong intentions to the contrary. … The field of creativity may need to shift its current focus from identifying how to generate more creative ideas to identify how to help innovative institutions recognize and accept creativity.“‘
“Thus the most logical interpretation is that as other sources of cash are drying up – jobs, equity lines, etc. — consumers are now turning to credit cards for basic expenses, and as credit lines become exhausted another round of defaults is in store. Some may say that cash sales are not reflected in the data, but the American way of life and the core economic engine has been plastic-based for as long as we can remember, and is not about to change anytime soon.”
“To Sanders, the conclusion is simple. “No one who works for a firm receiving direct financial assistance from the Fed should be allowed to sit on the Fed’s board of directors or be employed by the Fed,” he said.
The investigation also revealed that the Fed outsourced most of its emergency lending programs to private contractors, many of which also were recipients of extremely low-interest and then-secret loans.
The Fed outsourced virtually all of the operations of their emergency lending programs to private contractors like JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo. The same firms also received trillions of dollars in Fed loans at near-zero interest rates. Altogether some two-thirds of the contracts that the Fed awarded to manage its emergency lending programs were no-bid contracts. Morgan Stanley was given the largest no-bid contract worth $108.4 million to help manage the Fed bailout of AIG.
A more detailed GAO investigation into potential conflicts of interest at the Fed is due on Oct. 18, but Sanders said one thing already is abundantly clear. “The Federal Reserve must be reformed to serve the needs of working families, not just CEOs on Wall Street.””
“Speculation: There’s a critique of the regulators and key decision makers during the crisis that invokes cultural capital and the idea that regulators are socialized with Wall Street in a way that it is difficult for them to exercise any type of power over them, to see their interests in conflict. I wonder if the same is true for the corporate sector. As the firm goes global, and as the white-collar workforce is broken by computerization and globalization, more and more elite corporate positions will be filled by those leaving Wall Street. (Has this already happened? Data/Studies?) If so, you’ll see an even more lucrative revolving door between corporate elites and financial elites. As such, any natural checks to financial sector power coming from the corporate market space is less likely to happen.”
“The lesson here is that if we want serious regulation of banks, we can’t trust it to be done by bank regulators. We’ve seen the Fed and the OCC time and time again bend over backwards to let the banks out of statutory requirements. We’ve seen this with inaction (HOEPA regs), with aggressive preemption (and OCC is back to its old tricks…).
And this isn’t just in the realm of consumer finance. This is also in the safety and soundness area. I’m not talking about stretched interpretations of section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act. I’m talking about affiliate transaction rules and Prompt Corrective Action, cornerstones of the safety-and-soundness regime. Saule Omarova has a great paper that shows how the Fed granted affiliate transaction waivers like a drunken sailor during the financial crisis. Those were rules that went back to 1932–33 as part of Glass-Steagal.
And remember Prompt Corrective Action? That was a response to all of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board’s screw ups during the S&L crisis (Who you say? There’s a reason the FHLBB doesn’t exist any more…). PCA is clear of a bunch of tripwires as you can get. The whole point was to make sure that the bank regulators regulated, not coddled. But Bernanke announced that he was suspending PCA for the banks during the financial crisis. Only after the stress tests cleared the big banks did PCA get applied to the small banks, and with a vengance. What a sorry state of the world we live in where the bank regulators are the last people we can trust to actually regulate the banks. ”
“Much of the modernization that Marx triumphed was a victory of profit-makers over rent-holders. What Hardt argues is that, as the economy becomes more and more about information, the crucial ends of capital holders is to take things that could belong to the commons and instead appropriate them as property rights and sell them off. The implies a prioritization of rent-holders over profit-makers in terms of power over the economy (also implying a regression back from the future that Marx thought would come after profit-makers – take that Hegelian Marxism!).
If we look at some of the major economic battles taking place, they are over patents, how the risks and rewards of large, systemically important public-utility style financial institutions are distributed and who gets to control the residual over the delegated ends of the government with the mad rush for the privatization of government resources and responsibilities. These are all, in some way, about rents. And the battle over these will determine a lot about who gains in the future of the economy.
As such, they are the only place where the financial sector and the real economy fight it out.”