Saturday, February 21, 2009

Petered Out

I think it's crystal clear now that between politicians, economists, pundits, business people, and scholars, that no one has a grip on EMO8; no one knows anything in terms of what to do. The ones who are at least honest and say so are to be noted.

What's also evident is that after throwing unprecedented amounts of good money - again, let's be honest; YOUR/MINE/OUR money - after bad and sinking us further into EMO8, incompetence is ruling the day like never before. It's The Peter Principle Gone Wild!

Welcome to Bizarro World, where a kid in East Los steals a bike and they haul him into the joint, but Bernie Madoff sits in a penthouse.

Consider; most Americans are completely unaware that in terms of the mortgage crisis we are barely a third of the way through it, if that. See footnote #4 of this article. This is a perfect example of how "the system" is failing; mass media's reluctance, fear or just ignorance of the facts is a dis-service, to say the least. Ironically, I first learned of this from a mass-media merchant; CBS's 60 Minutes.

But I just love experts, for instance, blowhard shithead and celebrated ex-GE CEO Jack Welch said the most astounding thing on Charlie Rose about a week ago. He said, in relation to the topic of extravagant bonuses for (investment) banking execs:

I own an investment bank... I've written about it in books. [These are the qualifiers, establishing his cred to make the judgments he does.] ...I had to hold my nose to pay the bonus, but if I didn't pay it, the people were gonna go. (see below vid or go here to approximately 23:45 )

The implication is that "the best" would leave. "The best" defined as Welch himself later defines it, as people who "chose to make money." They didn't choose to cure cancer, or to go into public service, he continues pointedly while looking across the table at an in-the-know smirking Chuck Schumer...

Now, on Welch's and "our" system's warped level it makes sense, after all, it's useless to argue with the reality of, yes, these people chose to make money. The problem is the logic of them leaving, and then Welch being stuck with a buncha shleps who, by his own logic, do not want to make money!

Let's go with that for a moment and expand it to the market in general. Most Americans go to a job they do not like, even hate and at the least are indifferent about; they do it because they need income, no more or less. Statistics for cardiac arrests bear this out; one day before or on that most favorite day of Monday, more incidents occur than on any other day. While incompetence does indeed run rampant, statistically there have to be competent people, doing jobs they have no investment in.

Welch seems to think that "his" formula is the only one for success. By simple logic, it's just not true. His implication is that just because someone chose to make money that somehow they are best suited for the task, and that he would therefore hold his nose and pay them their bonuses. The obvious and simple refutation is that Wall Street has been paying them market rates and extravagant bonuses... AND THEY'VE COMPLETELY JACKED UP EVERYTHING TO HISTORIC PROPORTIONS.

Everyone loves to point out how incompetent government is, and for the most part I agree. But as we can see, the private sector's incompetence has run amok.

In a disjointed segue, and as proof of Bizarro World's dominance, isn't it weird how the debacle of Enron, Andersen, Worldcom, Global Crossing, Tyco, Adelphia... now seems like ancient history?

Bunuel asked; "Where is the kindness and intelligence that will save us?"

I have some thoughts on that, but it's coming down the line.