Mark Ames: Why finance is too important to leave to Larry Summers
Yves is here. Although Larry Summers’ influence has finally faded, he still has enough influence to make his hat a member of the Fed’s board of directors, and worse yet, a candidate for the chairman of the Fed. Therefore, the hardy perennials written by Mark Ames for our first fundraiser ten years ago is still an important warning.
Although this is our analogy to Christmas staples, such as the Grinch stealing Christmas or the good life. Ames’ work is the opposite of sappy. His article also explains one of the reasons why leftist power is so bad: its followers abandon finance, believing that finance is dirty and therefore not worth studying.
In the spirit of Christmas, a few months in advance, we hope you can leave some good things in our socks, um, Tip jar!
Author: Mark Ames, author Mail: From Reagan’s workplace to Clinton’s Columbine’s anger, murder, and rebellion.
If you have been reading “Naked Capitalism” without giving back to donations – and most of us have been fascinated since we discovered Yves Smith’s powerful, sharp voice and clever mind – then you are already Impunity for murder. Naked Capitalism is a rare blog that can make you smarter. Smarter in many things, but mainly about Yves’ professional field, finance.
Due to historical misfortune, American leftists have not understood finance or even cared about understanding for two generations. Half a century ago, hippies believed that finance was under them, so they happily ceded the entire field—finance, commerce, economy, currency—also called “political power”—to the other side. Getting rid of the financial struggle is like hitchhikers returning the gun to the Manson family. There is a nice line in Charles Portis’ anti-hippie novel “The Dogs of the South”, which captures the self-righteous contempt of “characters” by the baby boomers:
He always said—boasting, like those people—that he had no digital mind and couldn’t do things with his hands, cunningly suggesting that there were better qualities.
Regarding the part of the hand-this will refer to another great failure of the hippies, turning their backs on the Labor Party, because the Labor Party has not adapted to the hippies’ culture war. Therefore, fifty years later, the left finds itself to deal with the consequences of the devastating neglect of finance and labor over the years—the consequence is powerlessness and political incompetence.
This is why Yves Smith is so important to anyone who cares about politics and the bad direction this country is taking. In 2008, the left suddenly discovered that although it can have a big fight with the best of them, saying how bad foreign wars are, how wrong racism and sexism are, and how wrong homophobia is, but it has been dismissed in 2008. The financial collapse was completely shocked. This ignorance is politically and intellectually paralyzed. Even the dictionary is alien. Of course, unless you are one of the early followers of the Yves Smith blog.
This is not always the case.
As early as the 1930s, the left had taken root in the economic, monetary, and financial fields; at that time, the left and the Labor Party were actually one. Based on finance and economics, the left has a better understanding of labor and political power, as well as ideology and organization than the left today. This can at best resist the stupid and malicious attacks that the right has specifically sprayed on us. We are just understanding how slow and ignorant we are politically, how much time and knowledge we have lost, and how much we must catch up.
This is why Yves Smith’s “Naked Capitalism” is one of the 99% most valuable assets in the long-term struggle: she is both an analyst and an educator, with rare literary talent (especially in finance) . One thing that protects the financial oligarchy is the lengthy and terrifying prose in which they disguise their poisonous ideas and concepts. Yves is one of the few people who can make financial reading as emotional as it needs to be.
Naked Capitalism is our online university in finance, politics and ideology. Other online universities were established to turn millions of vulnerable young people into indebted Wall Street feeding cows, while naked capitalism is just the opposite: completely free, consistent, vibrant and necessary, making us smarter, Teach us how to overthrow a financial oligarch one day. Another difference between Naked Capitalism and online college scams: (Stanley Kaplan cough!) Your donation will not pay Ezra Klein’s salary in the end.
This brings me back to my whole “Shame on you!” point I tried to make before. When it comes to fundraising, nothing is more effective than humiliation. This is how those late-night advertisements work: You are sitting in the comfort of your home, and then suddenly a three-legged dog staggers into the cage, with big wet eyes, and then a pedophile with a beard comes over and says:” Poor Rusty has endured more abuse and pain than you think. Tomorrow, he will be poisoned to death in a slow and terrible death chamber. And you—look at you, sit there, hold yours Dumpty monkey and your heater, what kind of sick bastard are you? Take out your damn MasterCard and send the money to Rusty, otherwise his death will be on your head. I hope you have a good night’s sleep.”
Now I know that this kind of appeal does not work for the naked capitalist crowd-there are too many economists here, and as everyone knows, you cannot attract the hearts of economists, because, well, see “Larry Summer The content under the “World Bank Memorandum”… I can imagine Larry and the three-legged dog watching that late-night ad together, powering a 2-liter diet Coke, swallowing a bag of salt-vinegar potato chips in a kettle, and counting three-legged. The production value of a dog is not moved by perceptual appeals. Larry picked up the tape recorder: “Project: How to end the gas? Solution: Transport all three-legged stray dogs to sub-Saharan Africa. Africans will not even notice. The dog is saved. Private capital is released. The problem is solved. “
So some of you have no heart, and some of us have no shame. But we all understand how important naked capitalism is in educating us. I’m pretty sure that the other party knows how dangerous such a website is, because as we become more educated and political, we become more and more threatening.
The oligarchs spent decades on a project to “fund the left,” and they succeeded in a way that we only have now. “Donating to the left” does not mean refusing to provide funds to the corrupt Democratic Party; it means removing all funds that threaten the 1% of people’s control over wealth and power.
One of their greatest successes, whether intentional or not, is to dirty the news industry and reduce it to a manageable scale, the integrity of which can be submerged in the bathtub. Nowadays, it is almost impossible to make a living as a journalist. As the economy of journalism is still in free fall like the Soviet refrigerator industry in the 1990s, the media is less willing to challenge power, journalists are less willing to falter than ever, and everyone is more inclined to corruption (see: Washington Post, Atlantic Monthly). A study by ProPublica in May uses numbers: In 1980, the ratio of public relations personnel to reporters was approximately 1:3. In 2008, there were 3 public relations staff for every reporter. That was before news fans suffered a bowel movement in 2008.
This is what oligarchy looks like. I saw exactly the same dynamic in Russia under Yeltsin’s leadership: when he took power in 1991, Russia had the most fearless and ideologically diverse news culture I have ever seen. This is the low-fidelity, low-fidelity and ideological nature of American journalism. High-octane version. The 1970s. But once Yeltsin created an oligarchy to ensure his victory in the 1996 election, the oligarchs snapped up all free media and expelled anyone who challenged power. When Putin came to power, all the great Russian journalists Taby and I knew had given up their careers as public relations or political prostitutes. It was oligarchy that killed Russia’s journalism; Putin merely eliminated some of the remaining resistance.
The only way to prevent this from happening is to support the best things we have left. Free work sucks. It can’t stand it, and it won’t.
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So now donate to naked capitalism. If you can’t afford it, do your best. If you can afford more, give more. If you can give a lot, then give a lot. Whether you can contribute $5 or $5,000, it will pay for itself, I assure you. This is not just giving, but showing that you want a different debate, a different society, and a different culture.
Who knows, maybe we will win; maybe we will even find a way to seal Larry Summers on a space barge and launch him into deep space to orbit Uranus forever. Yves? Can it be financed?