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Archive for August 8th, 2007

and you thought our side was bad

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Look, I get in over my head sometimes with the economics, even right out here in front of you guys, no doubt, but what follows is a remarkably shallow pool to drown in. Mark Steyn at The Corner on National Review Online, instructs his readers why using less gas won’t “hurt the Saudis”:

Well, you can say it all you want but people will just laugh at you. Americans will never accept that the way to make the world better is to drive smaller, less comfortable cars. And, besides, the premise is completely false: If you trade in the Expedition for a Honda Civic, that oil you save won’t stay in the ground and thus impoverish the Saudis; it will merely be sold to the Chinese and Indians and other fast developing nations who will replace America and Europe as buyers of the cheapest and most easily extractable oil in the world. So the sheikhs will be as rich as ever and funding as many Islamist nutters. But we’ll be driving worse cars and feeling virtuous.

Aren’t these guys all about market pricing as the One True Way, the answer to every ill? What do they think they mean when they talk about it?

(via Yglesias, who reads it so we don’t have to…)

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Written by adswithoutproducts

August 8, 2007 at 9:58 am

Posted in Uncategorized

think they meant “ouroboros capital management”

with 7 comments

Cerberus Capital Management, whose largest institutional investors include the California State Teachers’ Retirement System and TIAA-CREF (the latter handles my meager retirement accounts), purchases Chrysler, and immediately installs an anti-labor goon as CEO… Robert Nardelli, referred to in this USA Today article as "the poster child of poor workforce relations," is the goon in question. In other words, money managed on behalf of (mostly) union members has, via the wonderful ethical laundry program of capital management lp type stuff, come around to set other union members up for a royal ass-kicking and general despoilation, mostly of, yes, their retirement benefits. Following so far?

We’re not very far away from a scenario in which, say, a car company’s employee-managed retirement fund, via a capital management company, purchases the very car company in question, and in a frantic grasp for capital, robs the very workers who hold the fund of retirement benefits before breaking the company into parts and putting everyone out of work. So everyone ends up with no job, no health benefits, and slightly higher retirement account balances. Except, of course, for the new CEO and the managers in the CM firm, who walk away with tons of cash.

Ha! That would be hilarious! Almost as funny as California school teachers ("inadvertently") fucking the guys who make the Chryslers. (which is not as funny, because it is not as uncanny… plus there’s a rather obvious white-collar, blue-collar thing going on, though I’ll bet the blues on average earned more than the whites do now…)

At any rate, there is of course a message in all of this, a blindingly clear one about complicity and the impossibility of clean hands (like I said, TIAA-CREF manages my money too!), and what the "end of the proletariat" means when it results in the birth of a class of fractional capitalists who unconsciously read their quarterly-statements unaffected by the scenes of cannibalistic creative destruction playing out between the lines of figures.

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Written by adswithoutproducts

August 8, 2007 at 12:32 am