Wednesday, October 08, 2008

"Nationalizing the Means of Production...

As Atrios puts it: Awesome!
WASHINGTON — Having tried without success to unlock frozen credit markets, the Treasury Department is considering taking ownership stakes in many United States banks to try to restore confidence in the financial system, according to government officials.

Treasury officials say the just-passed $700 billion bailout bill gives them the authority to inject cash directly into banks that request it. Such a move would quickly strengthen banks’ balance sheets and, officials hope, persuade them to resume lending. In return, the law gives the Treasury the right to take ownership positions in banks, including healthy ones.

The Treasury plan, still preliminary, resembles one announced on Wednesday in Britain. Under that plan, the British government would offer banks like the Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and HSBC Holdings up to $87 billion to shore up their capital in exchange for preference shares. It also would provide a guarantee of about $430 billion to help banks refinance debt.
Only Nixon could go to China. Only Bush can finally bring the Marxist Revolution home!
As a friend in the market, and who spent the day buying, said tonight: "I'll pay. But if you're gonna turn this country into Europe, then I want better cheese, better wine and topless beaches."

a good time to repeat myself.
There's no way to escape the need not only for quantifying rationality but also for the more obscure notion of "judgement" and for discussions of and concerning values. The rationalism of unfettered individualism is done. If the consensus is that people act as individuals alone and strictly in their own interests, then that consensus helps create and maintain itself and the culture it describes (and if anyone argues against it you'll point to your "research.") But by the logic of simple reinforcement description then becomes prescription.

Now however for a period of time at least, we're going to managers with a major role in large financial institutions who aren't making a percentage. It won't be the end of the world. The crisis was well timed: if we're waking up in the morning with a more social democratic economic policy, we've been building a more social democratic culture.

The basis of society (and therefore social democracy) is not in Aristotelian non-contradiction -rules- but in the way people choose to face contradictory obligations. The man who opined in favor of better wine and topless beaches also berated me for thinking that I should have sold over the past week to buy. I sold nothing and I'm down $200,000. "Don't be an asshole. You'll be fine. Imagine if everyone did that. Stop thinking short term!"
The eternal conflict between self-interest and self-respect.
Self-respect is a function of the social; and my stockbroker is more of a humanist than any economist I know.

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