Lunchtime Links 6-21

June 21, 2010

Must ReadDysregulation nation (Warner, NYT)

Yuan soars to post-revaluation high (Reuters) On Saturday China said it would let its currency appreciate. Though U.S. consumers may face higher prices, this is absolutely necessary to help rebalance the world economy.

SEC turning up the heat on CDO cases — suing ICP Asset Mgmt for CDO fraud and investigating Magnetar

Don’t gut proxy access (Bebchuk, Dealbook)

Basel trading reforms delayed (Reuters) Ugh. The best fix for the global financial system is to make banks hold more capital. Postponing the rules for holding more capital against trading assets could delay the bigger reforms scheduled  for 2012…

Americans think soccer is boring (imgur) Some of us Yanks love the World Cup, but isn’t it ridiculous that every other match is determined by something besides quality play? Blown calls. Missed calls. Fake injuries. What solves this? More refs on the field? Some form of instant replay?

Cigarette tax will mean $10 packs in NY (Carrasquillo, myfoxny)

Funny church sign


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Per Dysregulation Nation – once the culture of the individual is started, how can it be turned off, especially when it is so profitable? If we can all be convinced that we are what we buy, then won’t we all be constantly searching to buy the things that create “me”? Judging by advertising, it works. Aren’t whole companies devoted to making frivilous items for the narcissist that, even so, keep lots of folks employed? (open the NYT and WSJ, publications directed to our leaders, and look at the $$$ watches therein, no better than a $20 Timex as a timepiece)

Individualism has been worshiped for some time. Wasn’t it the individuality of Beethoven and Lizst, and many since, doing things their way, that turned the musical world upside down?

Narcissism can turn out great works of creativity when accompanied by genius, but Joe Public catches on even if he isn’t a savant – aren’t we taught by movies and TV and books to trust the inner self even when everyone around is critical? Isn’t the idea of creating oneself through consumption a temporary antidote to mortality and aging – a source of refuge now that faith is stumbling and falling?

This is no revelation. Once liberated, individuals will not easily be subject to self-restraint, no even with a disaster that calls self-centered behavior into doubt. Who looks beyond BP to blame? Has the Gulf mess reduced driving? Not a bit. Eight Presidents have called for reduced oil consumption to no effect. Will we voluntarily reduce consumption of anything? Will we willingly see the economy contract? Far from it – everyone prays for the return of the consumer – Europe, please do your part!

We are digging ourselves a hole, more rapidly all the time – no great thought is required to see it – yet who has an alternative? It looks to me like we are closing in fast on the destiny of Homo Sapiens, that for all the intellect he has, is proving the one thing he can’t control is him/herself.

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