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Wed Dec 24, 2008 at 11:58 AM PST

He lives!

by Heteraetcaetera

In the Christmas spirit I have spent my time worrying about you. I found hope. Naturally: I was looking for some.

Who lives?

The Great Karl. Not Harpo,Groucho or even Rove, no: Karl.

I found three versions of the same production, and what I found was rising exhuberence, more sumptuous production values, more energy: vox very populii. growing louder and more convincing, more hopeful. To speak with the voice of the gods is what art will be able to do: it is the hope which mandates artists, dedicates them to truth and performance.

But not all artists are filled with truth. Many are filled with lies and their art is hate distilled and embittered. They are part of the show which must go on, they can't help what they see and translate. But the many speak with the same voice and sing the same song.

The purpose of this diary is to present what you might think of as pre-WWII kitsch, old favorites made new, bolder: for your enjoyment.

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Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 01:28 AM PST

Odious Debt

by Heteraetcaetera

Odious Debt is a concept in international law which entitles a nation to ditch debts run up to oppress and betray it's governing principles.

One recognizes the existence of an Odious Debt by the remarkable and determined resistence of the many to accede to the demands of those few who have been able to become the beneficiaries of said debt.

Odious Debt is debt incurred by a corrupt, odious régime, especially where the debt has been incurred to purchase military equipment or which has been incurred by means of corrupt inducements paid to members of the régime.

Poll

Odious Debt has been incurred by the outgoing Administration

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| 29 votes | Vote | Results

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Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 09:55 PM PST

A Moronogopoli?

by Heteraetcaetera

To the proposition:

IF America is ruled by money, and money is ruled by fools, should this form of government be termed a Moronogopoli?

How would you frame a dissenting view?

Surely not on the record of cough-cough "Investment banks" who shoved money by the truckload at great liars with window-dressing skills? Sic really transit gloria mundi. And in your lifetime, Baby.

A Moronogopoli is not to be confused with democracy, which is not inevitably (by it's very definition) a government of many evils, or "the worst form [thereof]" in that scoundrel Churchill's dictum.

But a democracy which has selected money as the golden rule by which it measures all/most men is doomed to falter in it's fiat.

Take the case of Bernie Madoff....

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Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 11:42 PM PST

Proposition Eight

by Heteraetcaetera

One male and one female may indulge many things,
Rare user guides have intrigued several kings.
McKinsey reports from the front lines of science
That a wealth of proclivities exist in defiance
Of gravity, gravitas, health, safety and life,
Where even exhuberant use of a knife
Can be viewed as the norm (if not taken too far):
It might just be a must to know who we are.

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Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 10:50 PM PST

Only in America

by Heteraetcaetera

Could there be a landslide free vote for the Status Quo candidate in the middle of a global financial crisis Made in America.

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Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:07 AM PDT

Schadenfreude

by Heteraetcaetera

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AIG bailout

The American International Group said on Friday that it had already drawn down $61 billion of the $85 billion emergency bridge loan it received from the Federal Reserve two weeks ago, an announcement that startled credit ratings agencies.

Looks as though things got out of control:

"The $61 billion draw to date on the facility is much larger than we had previously anticipated," said Rodney A. Clark, an analyst with Standard & Poor’s, explaining the change in outlook.

A.I.G. is required to pay back its borrowings from the Fed within two years. Mr. Clark said that to raise the money, the rapid drawdown of the loan made it likely that A.I.G. would have to sell off more businesses than Standard & Poor’s had expected.

This would leave "a much smaller and less diversified A.I.G." to pay off a proportionally bigger debt to the Fed, Standard & Poor’s said in a statement.

Will AIG be the next deadbeat player? Read about it below the fold.

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Sun Sep 28, 2008 at 12:40 AM PDT

How born losers win

by Heteraetcaetera

Own a hedge fund, fund a fascist. Somehow everyone forgets that the 1,000 year Reich lasted 12 years. You'd think it would take all the fun out of funding. But no.

A second fund, GLG Partners, which declared its ‘short-selling’ in Bradford & Bingley in June, is managed by Belgian Pierre Lagrange, whose wife Catherine has given £50,000 to the Conservative Party.

Both Mrs Lagrange and Mr Hintze are members of the Leaders Group, which grants access to the Tory leader and his inner circle in return for a £50,000 donation.

The links between Mr Cameron and the City of London figures dubbed alleged ‘robbers in pinstripes’ emerged after a team from Channel 4’s Dispatches programme obtained the names of the 100-strong Leaders Group.

The programme, being broadcast tomorrow, identifies Paul Ruddock and David Craigen of Lansdowne Partners, who have given £260,000 between them, as among seven hedge-fund members of the group.

What's that all about?

Poll

I feel better, now that I know

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| 4 votes | Vote | Results

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Sun Sep 21, 2008 at 12:24 AM PDT

What could go wrong?

by Heteraetcaetera

Really. Take credit default swaps ....from Reuters.:

"This was supposedly a way to hedge risk," says Ellen Brown, the author of the book "Web of Debt."
"I'm sure their predictive models were right as far as the risk of the things they were insuring against. But what they didn't factor in was the risk that the sellers of this protection wouldn't pay ... That's what we're seeing now."

When insuring against insurance on insured risk, however, ingenuity and chutzpah (highly prized attributes of the mid-class MBA) didn't guarantee success:

In one notorious case, a small hedge fund agreed to insure UBS AG (UBSN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the Swiss banking giant, from losses related to defaults on $1.3 billion of subprime mortgages for an annual premium of about $2 million.

The trouble was, the hedge fund set up a subsidiary to stand behind the guarantee -- and capitalized it with just $4.6 million. As long as the loans performed, the fund made a killing, raking in an annualized return of nearly 44 percent.

Can you spot the obvious mistake?

Poll

What could go wrong?

75%9 votes
25%3 votes

| 12 votes | Vote | Results

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Tue Sep 16, 2008 at 12:23 AM PDT

The Last Laugh

by Heteraetcaetera

It might be the last one you get.

Poll

The best things in life are free

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| 13 votes | Vote | Results

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Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 09:25 AM PDT

The sky is falling :: a song

by Heteraetcaetera

Was it One? Was it Two? Was it Three?
Is it something in the water, or just me?
I saw Freddie, I saw Fannie
Cry like L'il Orphan Annie
And the dominoes kept on falling like a forest where the trees

Poll

Five big banks in three days is:

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| 7 votes | Vote | Results

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Is the Half-Baked Alaskan a smokescreen for the quirks of the Silver State collapse?

Below the jump: a jingle

Poll

Audit committee members always resign

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| 22 votes | Vote | Results

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