Sunday, November 27, 2011

Naked Capitalism's Yves Smith on the news out of Europe and the Cognitive Dissonance of the Political Elite

The great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearance
as though they were realities,
and are often more influenced by the things that seem
than those that are.

Niccolo Machiavelli

"...the news reports seem more anesthetized
than shellshocked.

It seems almost as if the European leadership
has successfully faked its way through so many past crunches
that they are unable to perceive that the same old tricks
are no longer working.

Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill,
keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt,
chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench,
care about people's approval
and you will be their prisoner.

Tao Te Ching

And it is increasingly looking as if their dulled reaction times
are so out of line with market events
that even if they were to snap our of their stupor now,
it would be too late."

Yves Smith

Everybody sooner or later
sits down to a banquet of consequences.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Ponzi finance units must increase outstanding debt
in order to meet financial obligations.

A transition occurs over the course of an expansion
as increasingly risky positions are validated
by the booming economy
that renders the built in margins of error superfluous,
encouraging adoption of riskier positions.

Eventually, either financing costs rise,
or income comes in below expectations,
leading to defaults on payment commitments.

Hyman Minsky
Believed excessive debt causes financial crises

Where under the [Roman] Principate
the strategy had been to tax the future
to pay for the present,
the Dominate paid for the present
by undermining the future’s ability to pay taxes.

The Empire emerged from the third century crisis,
but at a cost that weakened its ability to meet future crises.

Joseph Tainter

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