Sunday, December 18, 2011

Icelandic Fisherman portrayed by Lewis

     He wasn't a loser. He was practically the top fisherman/boat captain on the hunk of land called "Iceland." Ahoy Mate! Iceland, relatively speaking, is closer to the U. S. of America so that must be why American banks intelligently chose him to act as middleman for their loans to Argentina.
     Back in Iceland (brrrr....) there is a professional fisherman who became a currency speculator.

      Michael Lewis ("Boomerang") is a good writer. I'm not kidding. There are a lot of nutty things going on in the sphere of money and the social lives of those who live financially.
     Lewis does ask a few good questions.

     It seems to me that we expend an awful lot of wasted energy pretending that the world makes sense. Of course, in the end it does ---- it must. In the meantime, it's crazy.
     There are a lot of irrational persons in the world. Some may be psychotic, particularly some in business and finance. I do believe this. I think we have to quote Paul McCartney or John Lennon, now, that "the banker never wears a mac." (That's 'raincoat' but in Cockney or Liverpoolesque or something.)

     Literary critic Edmund Wilson criticized "mere" money-making, and did so a long time ago ---- summer of 1929, in a letter. (the phrase "mere money-making" occurs towards the end of "letters, vol. 1", and he was one of the top critics of his day so what more do you want out of me?)

     We need to be more helpful. We do. All we do is criticize persons. Or, if they are not so bad ---- if we are not criticizing the hell out of them ---- we are patting them on the back. Ever notice  this? We actually become friends with them! We are telling them, "you are great entrepreneurs," "You are 'clever' financiers," said the president.
     All that great finance stuff was done already, by the Rothschilds, in the 19th and early 20th centuries. So, let's get over it.

     He wasn't a loser, he was one of the youngest fishing boat captains in Iceland ---- a master fisherman. What kind of guy was he? He would be a very competitive one. In the country (is it really named that?) named "Iceland" (ha ha ha) what kind of person goes into commercial fishing? He would be entering a field of thousands of other healthy males competing for whatever posts there may be, on the piers, or boats, or whatever it was. In the book there is a description of fishing. Whatever fish are extracted from the ocean, going all out, in all weather, as aggressive protestant-ethic persons with maximal competitive work ethic, these animals even after all these processes are only as good as the market fish price. That fish flesh is at the mercy of the world market.
     Is it really such a jump, after all? ---- fisherman to hedge fund? Is that as weird of a transition as it sounded like it was at first? It is practically the same thing. It does have a weird side ---- but, that's capitalism. Capitalism is weird, at least in the form it now exists in.

                                      part two

     Still, I always say that capitalism is what we have ---- this is our system. Regulation is something that should be considered. It should be a normal part of the system. (We always end up regulating in any case, of course. It should always be considered.) It is wrong to say it is the exception to the rule ---- "the" rule? Right. To a rule that someone cooked up, that a so-called "conservative" created out of thin air. Yes, that is what they did. They cooked up a really weird theory, they did it on purpose. And, we accepted it.
     Capitalism is weird yet it is our system. Capitalism is always hybrid. It will always have two parts. This is something we must learn.
     Regulation is hard work but that does not mean there is anything inherently wrong with it. It is one side of hybrid capitalism, and its natural complement is the other side, which is called non-regulation, the "free market" or the dynamic of markets. These two sides have been inherent in capitalistic phenomena for a long time. They have both existed, together, for about two hundred years. The decoupling process has been ideological, and it is a mistake. You should never just look at one side of capitalism and not the other. Ths is because capitalism is a hybrid. It (the system itself) won't work otherwise. "Regulation" -- unlike Joe Wilson's wife -- is "fair game." It should always be under consideration. When we have to regulate, we do. 
     This doesn't mean it is easy. It's a lot harder than uttering free-market claptrap. You have to pay attention to what you are doing. You should not be distracted by that conservative theoretical claptrap. You would need to ignore this stuff that is always coming in your ear; you really must concentrate totally on how to regulate. To do this, you do not concentrate on how not to regulate, get it? You accept the responsibility of regulating; you use a lot of skill doing so. 
     And, in light of this, I think we can see just about what it is that happened. A gimmick is always an easier thing, always the easier thing, right? The simplistic and dead wrong "conservative" version/vision of the lazy boneheads won and took sway. (Assuming we have employ the best persons at the job, that job of governing capitalism should not be so hard that it could not be done.)
     Conservatives always seem to want to see only one side, you know. And you know I am getting sick of this crap. They seem to make less sense every year. At one time communism met its fate. It was blown up. It was blown out of the water but at that time it made more sense than the sense capitalism makes now. In the last period of Americana, let's say since the fifties ----- forces called "conservative" (I would have preferred "malevolent nitwit") have done the worst thing they could have done, and made the worst choice of all. They made the worst choice they could have made, they made the perfect storm. That is what I am saying the so-called "anti-regulation" view (or "view," and I add the quote marks because, you see, it does not even make sense, I mean semantically, or grammatically, logically, or any other way). Theirs is the worst argument, the perfect storm. Their "view"? Their point? We should never regulate. Never, ever? Do you really mean  that, Milton?
     The stance we always see from them is one that says only one side is right. But conservatives do this all the time. Nevertheless, when it comes to capitalism, they are wrong about it: dead wrong.

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