Occasional reflections on Life, the World, and Mathematics

Archive for November, 2011

The revolution will not be televised devouring its own children

A perennial topic of public discussion ever since my childhood has been the sellout our not of the formerly revolutionary former youth of the Baby Boom. The false premise here is that they were the sellers rather than the buyers. While there are great acts of civil courage and genius (political, scientific, and artistic) revealed individually in that generation, as in every generation, when seen as a collective these people’s actions are indistinguishable from the script one would have expected if they had been forged into a steel-sinewed generational army equipped to plunder the past and the future. First, they sucked resources out of their parents while devising a cult of youth that absolved them of any need to respond with ordinary human gratitude. Then they determined to ensure that their own children would never do the same to them, by stitching up the tax system and the pensions to ensure that public resources would be bled dry by the time their successors tried to make a claim on them. (more…)

Greek contagion

Since yesterday, news reports are full of comments like this:
Many economists fear that if Greece exits the euro, it could lead to financial contagion, as investors and ordinary bank depositors in other eurozone countries may fear that their own government will follow suit.

What does this mean? Are the Spanish looking to the Greeks as a model? That would be really weird. Esos griegos tenían un gran éxito con su incumplimiento de las deudasHagámos lo mismo. Or is it a matter of queueing up? Greece has first dibs on default, and Spain just has to wait its turn. Or is this setting up a resonance in a Sheldrakian morphic field of default patterns? Perhaps we are witnessing the final consummation of the marriage of 21st century mathematics and 20th century pseudoscience that finance has been tending toward for the past three decades (at least).

Surely the impact on investors will depend in part on the effects seen from a Greek euro withdrawal. At the very least If we think back to recent history, presumably any reasonable person would have thought, after the Lehman Brothers shit-storm, that the US financial authorities would be less likely to allow another similar bankruptcy to proceed. So, if Greece leaves the euro in a ball of flames, Spain will be unlikely to see it as a model. And if Greece’s exit from the euro isn’t so terrible then… maybe it’s just not so terrible.

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