Guest Post: The Economy Will Not Recover Until Trust is Restored « naked capitalism
1:04 pm EDT, Sep 11, 2009
Despite all the money going directly to the big banks, despite all the government guarantees and loans and special tax breaks, despite the shot-gun weddings and bank mergers, despite the willingness of the Treasury and the Fed to do almost whatever the banks have asked, the reality is that credit is not flowing.
Why? Because the underlying problem isn’t a liquidity problem. As I’ve noted elsewhere, the problem is that lenders and investors don’t trust they’ll get their money back because no one trusts that the numbers that purport to value securities are anything but wishful thinking. The trouble, in a nutshell, is that the financial entrepreneurship of recent years — the derivatives, credit default swaps, collateralized debt instruments, and so on — has undermined all notion of true value.
Many of these fancy instruments became popular over recent years precisely because they circumvented financial regulations, especially rules on banks’ capital adequacy. Big banks created all these off-balance-sheet vehicles because they allowed the big banks to carry less capital.
Slashdot Technology Story | The Decline of the Landline
1:42 am EDT, Aug 20, 2009
The phone network is thus not just a technical infrastructure, but a socioeconomic one. The more Americans abandon it to go mobile-only or make phone calls over the internet, the more fragile it becomes: its high fixed costs have to be spread over ever fewer subscribers. If the telephone network in New York State were a stand-alone business, it would already be in bankruptcy. In recent years it has lost 40% of its landlines and revenues have dropped by more than 30%
All the more reason to put the infrastructure into a public trust, while service providers lease it from the public. This ensures its viability while also allowing for innovation and economic diversity in services provided.
Why The FCC Wants To Smash Open The iPhone - washingtonpost.com
9:50 pm EDT, Aug 1, 2009
Good questions. Hopefully, the FCC will share Apple's answers with the rest of the us. It is all a bit absurd, though. Why does it take a formal request from a government agency to get Apple (and AT&T) to explain what the rules are to get on the wireless Internet? More importantly, why are these companies allowed to be the gatekeepers to the wireless Internet? The iPhone needs to be smashed open, and the FCC is swinging the hammer.
These are good questions and it's very interesting to note that both companies have been active in stopping jailbreaking. I realize that there's a lot of really important issues at hand, but a few years ago, this was one of my biggest railing points (telecom reform) and I think it's caused billions (trillions?) of dollars of opportunity cost for economic development.
During this long period of delay and potential litigation, ugly passions would again be aroused. And our people would again be polarized in their opinions. And the credibility of our free institutions of government would again be challenged at home and abroad.
In the end... the verdict of history would even be more inconclusive with respect to those charges arising out of the period of his Presidency...
My conscience tells me clearly and certainly that I cannot prolong the bad dreams that continue to reopen a chapter that is closed. My conscience tells me that only I, as President, have the constitutional power to firmly shut and seal this book. My conscience tells me it is my duty, not merely to proclaim domestic tranquility but to use every means that I have to insure it.
That's where I thought you were going. It's clear, particularly when you look at the wiretapping situation, that the White House is not going to give up the expansion of power it received during the Bush Administration so easily, regardless of its morality.
There have been a number of articles lately about people cutting costs by cancelling/cutting cable TV service.
This is an interesting discussion.
I think this revelation was "old" when my good friend Luke Kanies uttered out loud to the Tennessee Legislature that all content would be packetized within 5 years. This was in 2002 and he was right. At the time, the MPAA was trying to strong arm legislation so that they could control the pipes in anticipation of this happening. It didn't work and I think you will see a paradigm shift in the next 2 years as people wake up to this reality. With the exception of live sports or other "noteworthy" events (Pres speaking, breaking news, etc), there's very little reason to have cable in its packaged form. You can download almost anything and in a lot of cases, the quality is good. Sometimes better than cable due to poor compression.
But this got me thinking about something else that has been brewing. I've been saying for a few weeks that all of this 'chaos' in the economy is really the result of a transition to an information based economy. All of the disintermediation that we were yapping about in the early-mid 90's when the internet came of age has happened, and now we're seeing the effects. As institutions from the 20th century come crumbling down because they can no longer control the distribution of information.
This has happened in retail, automotive, finance, real estate, the content industries (movies, music, news, etc), and is about to happen in healthcare and government. This has some MAJOR implications, which we are feeling very much at the moment.
For one, with as interconnected as everything is globally, this type of instability in institutions has massively cascading effect on the world.
The other is that the entire nature of "work" and "career" is also changing. No longer are we safer or even more productive in large organizations. In fact, competition is so fierce and the need for adaptability so great, that large organizations have a hard time even picking priorities, much less executing on them. I think that a new era of small teams or individuals will take over, as the building blocks of commerce.
U.S. Marshals nab hundreds in warrant operation or Another Country Music HIT!
3:25 pm EDT, Jun 25, 2008
The officers took with them his picture and some intelligence: he's missing part of two fingers on his left hand. He doesn't go anywhere without his girlfriend, who's four or five months pregnant. They also thought Flesher might be with his one-armed brother, but neither man could be found. They crept up driveways and surrounded the homes, guns at the ready, to no avail. He wasn't anywhere they expected.
Here's the treatment for a new country music song.
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