Sunday, March 22, 2009

I Love The Future But There'll Be So Many Ads

When we remember we're all mad the mysteries disappear and life stands explained. Well the "financial crisis" is making us mad in more ways than one and Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone remembered that. Even channeled a little Hunter S while he gained his financial literacy devouring and digesting the strange objects he found in Financial Wormholes. Anyone who reads "The Big Takedown" (courtesy of the Twelfth Bough) will understand and want a six gun in their hand. An excerpt:

In essence, Paulson and his cronies turned the federal government into one gigantic, half-opaque holding company, one whose balance sheet includes the world's most appallingly large and risky hedge fund, a controlling stake in a dying insurance giant, huge investments in a group of teetering megabanks, and shares here and there in various auto-finance companies, student loans, and other failing businesses. Like AIG, this new federal holding company is a firm that has no mechanism for auditing itself and is run by leaders who have very little grasp of the daily operations of its disparate subsidiary operations.

In other words, it's AIG's rip-roaringly shitty business model writ almost inconceivably massive — to echo Geithner, a huge, complex global company attached to a very complicated investment bank/hedge fund that's been allowed to build up without adult supervision. How much of what kinds of crap is actually on our balance sheet, and what did we pay for it? When exactly will the rent come due, when will the money run out? Does anyone know what the hell is going on? And on the linear spectrum of capitalism to socialism, where exactly are we now? Is there a dictionary word that even describes what we are now? It would be funny, if it weren't such a nightmare.

I already had this shit down on the evening of 9-12-01 was a Wall Street refugee already knew it deep within sucking in the ticker tape parade of my ex-boss my co-workers asbestos and blood-soaked obscenities. The perps were going to take everything just a question of what next and we've known for awhile now. Wall Street is LBO'ing our government and the government's bank is redeeming checks to itself. Excuse me. It's not good business to point out a problem if you don't have a solution. Luckily enough there is one it's simple and good.

They're only stealing money and that's the funny thing. It's the key thing. You see their version of money is magnetically charged positive and negative bytes that can appear or disappear with the strike of a return key. That's not real. It's the definition of Virtual. It's the Matrix. So if you've still got your electronic money in big banks in money markets or certificates of deposit you need to take it out. You need to convert the key-strokes while you can into something tangible even if it's only paper then convert it to something harder.
Join a community bank or a credit union while you figure it out.

Same if you have shares in things halfway around your country or the world. Sell them carefully but sell some because the devil skewers the hindmost. Distance unfamiliarity and lack of accountability guarantee you'll be the first to get screwed when it comes falling down and not all of us are interested in becoming Warren Buffet's Buddy. Delay the mortgage payment for a week, ten days, two weeks into Credit Debt Obligations. Give them a cleansing fast. Pull the pins on your holy hand grenades niggers I don't use the word lightly because the plan is to make us all slaves.

The solution is to re-scale and make your world small but still extensible. The technologies are already there. Grow vegetables and swap them with your neighbors. Get your ass on facebook your face on assbook on Twitter and introduce the transgender girl you met in Thailand to Louie up the street and share pics of kohlrabi. Invest in good things near you like a brewery or a share in a farm's crop. A cow's milk. You've heard how it was the Vandals and Visigoths who took down Rome but that's not the big history. It was Christ took Rome because he took down their puppets. Thing was the Romans built great roads and couldn't close the Appian Way to Christians. Close the roads and close the commerce so the Christians used their roads and brought in a stronger network. Like the internetz are now. Emperor Constantine in the East converted and his empire lasted another century.

Only thing matters in the end is what your family your friends and neighbors think of you.
They are your credit score. My grandfather Karl Elzenbeck died and a quarter of the city showed up for his funeral because he spread good will. The world's going to start looking a lot like how it used to only bigger better and far far more interesting. That's our Future and I can hardly wait. Now is the time to discredit the people we're bailing out with their electronic bonuses to hire protective armies. The people we can't know. There are The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas. There are They Who Are Too Big to Fail. Let's do this thing.


A. Peasant said...

Great post, Marc. Urban Survival talks about retribing today.

If you collect trend information, a useful practice is to sort it into a mental 'bit bucket' (to borrow a computer programming term) and label the whole thing as a meta-layer (Ooops, another programming concept) named something like "retribing". Convenient way to frame developments. Retribing being a social response to government failing to listen, failing to maintain the consensus that held things together.

Once started, the trends are self-reinforcing: More retribing results in actions that cause more government response, which in turn causes further tribing...but fortunately it's only Monday and this process happens over much longer periods of time than a day, week, or month.

Still Life Living said...

"Join a community bank or a credit union while you figure it out."

One of the big arguements in favor of BofA or WAMU or others was the nationwide access to ATMs. Well, recently I stopped into my northern Idaho credit union and was informed that I had two FREE atms within walking distance of my Los Angeles house -- and at most other 7-11s. I also could go to a number of other local C.U.s in the area and make deposits, get free notary services, and process loan applications as if in Idaho.

Plus, the CU will actually sit down with you and tell you which programs they have make the most sense for you, not just what their corporate heads are saying. It felt like the Summer of Love all over again.

MarcLord said...


good means we're on a close wavelength. will get over there more often.

MarcLord said...


my suggestion about delaying a mortgage payment by two weeks doesn't even apply to my credit union. They already have a 15-day grace period. Have fun when you walk away.

Anonymous said...

While I favor the walkaway, I have to respectfully disagree that the credit unions and community banks are the way to walk toward. The credit unions are not immune. For your consideration:
Feds Seize Two Corporate Credit Unions

There has got to be a better way.

The community banks are weak now, too - personal experience with the one I work for.

We all must find a better way.

MarcLord said...


I know the comm-banks and CUs are no panacea, just a transitional point. But they lost the incentive to make responsible loans, and Wall Street is also denying bail-out money to them now. They haven't gotten dollar one of TARP.

I'm lucky to have a great credit union, not everyone does. SLL will probably come back here and tell us about some different investment vehicles popping up...