Thursday, August 16, 2007

How in the world did you get hold of so much silk?

And today's readings from the Good Book and it's movie adaptation are...

Chapter. 35

"Milo had been caught red-handed in the act of plundering his countrymen, and, as a result, his stock had never been higher. He proved as good as his word when a rawboned major from Minnesota curled his lip in rebellious disavowal and demanded his share of the syndicate Milo kept saying everybody owned. Milo met the challenge by writing the words 'A Share' on the nearest scrap of paper and handing it away with a virtuous disdain that won the envy and admiration of virtually everyone who knew him."

Chapter. 28

"The escape hatches in the front and rear sections flew open while the sea was still foaming white and green around the plane, and the men scrambled out as speedily as they could in their flaccid orange Mae West life jackets that had failed to inflate and dangled limp and useless around their necks and waists. The life jackets failed to inflate because Milo had removed the twin carbon-dioxide cylinders from the inflating chambers to make the strawberry and crushed-pineapple ice-cream sodas he served in the officers' mess hall and had replaced them with mimeographed notes that read 'What's good for M&M Enterprises is good for the country'."

Movie transcript:

"Where the hell's my parachute? All right, which one of you bastards stole my parachute? Hello, this is the bombardier here. We gotta turn back. Nately, we gotta turn back now. Nately! Do you hear me up there? We gotta turn back. We're gonna turn back now. Nately, let's turn back. We're gonna turn back!

What is it this time, Yossarian?

Some bastard stole my chute!

Anything the matter?

My parachute. It's gone!

Don't worry.

What do you mean? What do I do if I have to bail out? Use my handkerchief?

That kind of humour in the face of adversity keeps America strong. I like you.

Aardvark, I' d like to kill you, but I haven't got time.

You could have my chute but I gave it to Milo.

You gave it to Milo?

He's got all the chutes. He's got a hell of a deal going for silk in Alexandria.

Maybe I do have time to kill..."


and what a fascinating few days it has been in the world's financial markets. I've been taking immense amounts of childish pleasure making a series of crank phone calls and sending abusive emails to friends who work in the City - paying particular emphasis on a couple of guys I had a drink with only a few weeks ago who were confidently insisting that the fallout from the losses on US mortgages had already been priced into the markets.

That's the kind of razor-sharp financial acumen which has made London the global finance centre that it is

We are now at one of the most amusing stages of the farce that is the managed boom-bust cycle when the people responsible for selling equities and financial instruments are busy telling their clients that now is an excellent buy!! opportunity, whilst quietly unwinding their own positions just in case everything really does go tits up

And maybe they're right. Maybe this isn't the Big One. Maybe the bubble won't burst just yet. It could have popped two, three or four years ago but it didn't. Only the people holding the needle really know when that's going to happen and they're not in the business of telling



Merkin said...

Cotton with chocolate, anyone?

Wolfie said...

Six months ago I told my wife to ease-up at work as she wasn't going to get a bonus this year.

I don't think this is the "big one" but its going to be a rough ride for a while yet. With the global economy geared towards propping-up the ailing USD and deficit things will continue much as they have been doing until it becomes apparent that there is no hope of keeping the dream alive. Right now it’s a journey back to the long-term trend curve - its just that's a bit of a long way down..

Anonymous said...

I recall watching a property porn show on UK tv. It followed a chain of house buyers. Cleverly, at the beginning of the programme, it didn't show who was the first person in the chain. There were about eight houses in the chain; the first house consisted of a young couple in a starter home, they wanted to move up the chain but couldn't move 'til their house was sold. The next couple were in the same position; they wanted to move up the chain, they needed the earlier couple to buy their house so that they could move up. At each of the steps there was an increase in price of the respective properties. Also, the further away from the beginning of the chain the more they needed the person at the beginning to buy. At one point, someone in the chain said, "if this person can't afford 8-thousand pounds, I'll lend it to him."

The person at the beginning of the chain was a lawyer; he never bought the first house and instead moved into a posh flat in the centre of Manchester - the chain collapsed.

The point is ... the current liquidity crisis is the above situation writ large. Just imagine, the whole of Western Capitalism being dependent upon someone like Joy Darville. Yee - Ahhh !!!! Oooh Aahhh !!!

(Bet Crabman would know what to do).

Stef said...

@merkin - but it tastes so disgusting

@wolfie - I was browsing through some curve porn last night thinking something similar - the biggest possible problem being, as you know, that all sorts or previously unknown or overlooked nasties tend be revealed whenever the tide rolls back. And there are one or two hidden nasties out there

@anon - Good one - the redneck butterfly in the jungle of capitalism

cf. The Jesus Nut (the other kind)

Joy's hot...

Anonymous said...

(i) Fed pushes on a piece of string here.

aka Lamontable behaviour.

(ii) With obvious consequences here

(iii) Which was predicted by Mish, here

Reading some of the other article's on Mish's site, it's obvious that the MSM don't grasp the seriousness of the situation.

Anonymous said...

(i) Fed pushes on a piece of string here.

aka Lamontable behaviour.

(ii) With obvious consequences here

(iii) Which was predicted by Mish, here

Reading some of the other article's on Mish's site, it's obvious that the MSM don't grasp the seriousness of the situation.

Stef said...

@anon - thanks for the link, I hadn't seen the Mish site before

and as for the MSM not grasping the situation, they're not paid to - their job is to talk the market up until they're instructed otherwise