The Greek Solution Isn’t (it is quantitative shysterism)

The real deadline in Greek debt is this afternoon when a private organisation, largely of banksters, decides whether insurance on this debt (collateral dervative swaps) has been trigger by the so-called credit event.  A number of vulture funds have bought Greek bonds very cheap in the hope of being either to cash in on the insurance or sue the Greek Government for the full price.  So the matter isn’t settled.  Argentina defaulted in 2002 and is still facing court action – a New York court has just ruled against a similar settlement by them.

The banks have sold us generally useless PPI that wouldn’t pay out anyway to people who needed it, we have ‘whiplash’ and other dodgy insurance claims putting our premiums up in the increasing compensation culture and all kinds of finance supposedly guaranteed by derivatives when it isn’t.  This Greek swap does mean some private interests have lost money, but the bonds in question were often held by banks, pension funds and such oddities at the French Post Office.  If the muck was ever really insured the insurer should pay – and the real insurer is us and we are paying by shifting it to public sector (i.e. taxpayer) debt.  All this quantitative shysterism is based on issuing insurance in order to take the fees involved, knowing the ultimate insurer (us) gave no permission.  I’d say this is the equivalent of TWOC or joy riding without a car and people should be going to jail.  There is no need for an intent to permanently deprive (though we have been) – insurance has been sold without there ever being any collateral to pay out, and guilty knowledge of who would have to pay out.  Our money was used (including our future money) to make bets until the point no wins were there to be trousered.

The quantitative shysters are borrowing money from us to make the same bets all over again.  The are shysters because we never get to know what bets they placed, who got paid out and where any of the money is.  Quantitative seems to fit because their excuses are expressed in complicated numbers that actually preclude us knowing the money trail.

Goldman Sachs did the quantitative shystering that hid real Greek debt in foreign currency exchange dealing.  They must have known what they were doing.  And where else has this process taken place?  What is the state of real value of any bonds sold under CDS insurance – the same as the 20 cents on the dollar Greek muck?  This even extends to stuff like student loans (thought to be 20% in default in the US) – loans dependent on future earnings in economies getting crappier.  These are about the same  in total as the sub-prime exposures allegedly behind 2008.

Greece is a pimple in current liabilities.  Even if it has been squeezed, expect an outbreak of acne.  Of CDS is triggered this afternoon, will it be just for the amount of bonds left outside the ‘settlement’ (mostly held under British Law), or have the hedge funds been in multi insuring for a much bigger sum through naked CDS and who might have been dumb enough to sell this for a few quid knowing the bill would be footed by taxpayers?

No solution has been attempted because there is no police investigation into how much money was taken and where that is.  The thieves not only don’t face criminal liability – they have also been in the position, through insider knowledge, to lay bets on the collapse they have caused.  It’s like a burglar being able not only to ransack your house, but also claim the insurance payout.  The Keiser Report may have elements of Radio Moscow about it, but I’m afraid it leaves BBC (Bimbo Broadcasting Corp) dead in the water on what goes on.

When you consider what must now be disclosed to the defence in criminal trials, the lack of disclosure required of banks, hedge funds and the rest so we can defend ourselves against them is Soviet.




Reasons for blogging

I wanted to have a look at whether blogs provide much of a difference to the views generally in front of me in mainline media and what I churn through as an academic.  The answer on both counts is ‘not really’.

In looking at the above I did find sites of interest (Inspector Gadget, Ambush Predator, David Malone – plenty other others) and a lot to agree with, make me angry and enjoy.  Not whatever it was I hoped for, but I’m much more likely to get my laptop out on a train or in a hotel bedroom than bother with a newspaper of television news.  A touch of Hogday or Dickiebo does you good.

My own blog has been done with little thought.  It’s a bit like the wall in front of you teaching.  You get to feel it isn’t worth the effort a lot of the time.  I’ve long been convinced we are over concerned with words and need a new technology of production more can understand for a ‘university of life’.  Blogging lacks what can happen in a classroom engaged with itself – hardly surprising when most of being human flows well underneath words.  The ‘Penelope On The Toilet’ of the blogosphere is as distressing as ‘Cheryl In The News’.

I usually find my plans have nothing to do with what I find and that action reveals more to me about myself than anything else.  I am now revolted by the world I live in and the difficulties of doing any more than act in it rather than change what  can be done.  Finding the technology we could already be using to change away from a politics like grim Pot Noodle advertising already subsumed in the same is disappointing, but hardly surprising.  Today, a new university for people who can afford to get their non-scientific kids educated has been announced – not ‘a university of hyperspace’.  This is very sad – though maybe it will be able to afford me!

What I have picked up (apart from the pleasure of agile brains at work) is that some kind of genuine hyper-text is possible.  One could write and produce video in this medium with a great deal of referencing layer below – and in principle this could be really accessible to all – though there is no business model of this and it would run against existing publishing interests.

To give the briefest idea of this, imagine I’m arguing that the Falklands’ Fandango was never about the islands themselves, but part of a neocon strategy in which Argentina’s military strength was degraded over several years and our military used for the purposes of securing financial gains in Argentina, its drugs’ trade and future access to the resources in the Antarctic.  No need to agree.  I could cite a couple of hundred references to this – in the new system they wouldn’t be dead on the page or cost thousands to get hold of.  They would be available ‘hyper’, linked to my core argument.  The whole argument would be linked to its critique too.

This is very much what does not happen now.  Whilst I’m thinking very technically here (if not writing so), one could imagine a statistical version of Ambush Predator.  JuliaM finds many examples of inane public administration – it’s possible to imagine the databasing of her anecdotal approach done in such a manner that would let us know what real processes her sharp eye and wit reveal (not AP’s – the state of our administrative processes).   My research does not find competence as our base, but incompetence, but to get at this in a statistical manner (which isn’t about numbers as in official crap) we need widespread, collated work.

Currently, any half-assed prat can be an ‘expert’ through our university or pundit system.  You must have seen them.  The ‘psychologists’ who come on and tell us teenagers get pregnant because they are driven to sex.  Supreme Court judges with definitions of objectivity so inane they claim to be ‘of the people’ whilst declaring ‘resource poor’ childhoods that included public school.

Our ejukation system is now so good you’d expect no one to entertain the expense of sending their kids to public school – yet this is on the rise, as is buying houses to get kids to the right school.  A university for posh kids opens.  Of course, it offer bursaries for the ‘poor’ – it would – it’s buying bright kids to help ejukate the richer ones.  It’s observations like this, or AP’s ‘there goes another one’ that should be the base of statistical reasoning – not bloated government claims produced in ‘quartile-speak’ by functionaries.

It’s encouraging that people can blog material as good as and better than mainline media.  My disappointments may lie in wanting too much.  I want to bring down the mainline and not see it replaced – at least not directly.  There is now an alternative currency (Bitcoin) of hyper-space.  My guess is more is changing than I’ve spotted.

Bitcoin might be a way of paying each other and developing a blog economy, though if it works beyond its current stage it will be crushed.  Interesting though that even such stuff as money could be destroyed through hyper-connection, if only in principle for now.

I guess too that much of blogging is to do with not having to put up with the real-world equivalents of spam, violence and needing to drink a lot to put up with the company.

It would be a mistake to believe I think much will happen as a result of blogs.  Argument has gone nowhere for millennia.  We are too self-interested for argument to work without some kind of of testable outcomes.  I rather hope we are so brainless that technology will change our reliance on it, which is generally puerile whether philosophers are counting angels on pin heads or politicians appealing to our dolt notions of economics and cures to social problems.

Argument is so brilliant we get a Human Rights Act that has outcomes in protecting shagging footballers and sending us to jail for gossiping about them.  We’re giving up newspapers, but not really finding ways to replace the editorial control, perhaps discovering a little where it lies in the play of appeals to one set of ignorance or another.

In the end, blogs are much like everything else -little I want, much I want to exclude.  I’m off now to see if my friend Francis has some thoughts on offer.