The World According to The Automatic Earth

Given that preparation takes time, and that one cannot be late, now is the time to prepare, whether one thinks the Great Collateral Grab will manifest close to home next month or next year. Those who are not prepared risk losing everything, very much including their freedom of action to address subsequent challenges as they arise. It is a tragedy to fall at the first hurdle and then be at the mercy of whatever fate has to throw you. The Automatic Earth has been covering finance, market psychology and the consequences of excess credit and debt since our inception, providing readers with the tools to navigate a major crisis.

via The World According to The Automatic Earth – A 2013 Primer Guide – The Automatic Earth.

Greer: Magic is the reset button

Originally posted on Sortes Mechanomica:

Sooner or later, the things that have been excluded from the world by any given rationalist system will include things that can’t be ignored without putting the survival of the civilization at risk, and when those things are ignored anyway, as they normally are, the consequences are all too familiar from the historical record. That’s why rationalist movements in their final years, when it finally becomes impossible to ignore those things any longer, always end up making peace with the realms of magic, myth, and religion they‘ve previously spent so many years and so much effort denouncing. To put the same thing another way, that’s why the magic or the esoteric religion of a waning civilization ends up absorbing the heritage of that civilization’s broken-down rationalism, repurposing it to cope with the unmet needs of its time, and placing it in a context of practice that keeps it from blinding…

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AIG Bailout Trial Bombshell III: Paulson Lied to Congress About TARP

They abandoned the diversionary asset purchase plan shortly after the sweepingly broad legislation was passed. The focus on toxic mortgage paper, rather than the real intent, equity injections, was presumably to distract Congresscritters and the public from asking: “Whoa, if we are providing equity, what control and upside do we get?” This was a way to avoid inconvenient questions like “Why don’t we cap pay? Fire the top executives? Replace the board?” and other things that are normally done with failing or failed institutions.

via AIG Bailout Trial Bombshell III: Paulson Lied to Congress About TARP | naked capitalism.

In Defense of Looting

The civil rights movement was not purely non-violent. Some of its bravest, most inspiring activists worked within the framework of disciplined non-violence. Many of its bravest, most inspiring activists did not. It took months of largely non-violent campaigning in Birmingham, Alabama to force JFK to give his speech calling for a civil rights act. But in the week before he did so, the campaign in Birmingham had become decidedly not-non-violent: protesters had started fighting back against the police and Eugene “Bull” Conner, throwing rocks, and breaking windows. Robert Kennedy, afraid that the increasingly riotous atmosphere in Birmingham would spread across Alabama and the South, convinced John to deliver the famous speech and begin moving towards civil rights legislation.

This would have been impossible without the previous months of courageous and tireless non-violent activism. But it is also the emergent threat of rioting that forced JFK’s hand. Both Malcolm X and MLK had armed bodyguards. Throughout the civil rights era, massive non-violent civil disobedience campaigns were matched with massive riots. The most famous of these was the Watts rebellion of 1965 but they occurred in dozens of cities across the country. To argue that the movement achieved what it did in spite of rather than as a result of the mixture of not-non-violent and non-violent action is spurious at best. And, lest we forget, Martin Luther King Jr., the man who embodied the respectable non-violent voice that the white power structure claims they would listen to today, was murdered by that same white power structure anyway.

via In Defense of Looting – The New Inquiry.