Sunday, September 27, 2009

Where’s the Asteroid When We Need One

O.K. You’ve all been reading my blog long enough to wonder, does this guy ever just have fun? I mean, who seriously reads the fine print in thousands of pages of financial data just to find out who’s really behind the scenes? Well, let’s take a moment and enjoy a little levity. I was thinking, while on my carbon free 36 mile bike ride with my Earth Science teacher brother Tim, how could I explain our economic situation in terms that an eight-grader in his class would understand. On one of our particularly long hill climbs in Central Virginia, I began musing about last night’s conversation about “extinction events”. Apparently, an extinction event is when a luminous object hurtles through space and smashes into Earth significantly altering life as it was known immediately prior to said event. So… I started musing about Ben Bernanke’s Friday, September 25th comments about how we need to get consumers borrowing again and it hit me – we have an asteroid coming in and unfortunately for some, we have two species of beasts who have walnut-sized brains and extremely large appetites, who are running the show. I’ll let you decide whether I’m referring to Geithner and Bernanke or whether I’m referring to certain entities on Wall Street but, let’s agree that, at impact, it won’t matter. Oh, and the moral to this story is to be one of the little furry creatures who is smart enough to live in a community as far away from these characters as possible.

Veloci extractor (from Latin meaning playing a shell game so fast that the friction burns up whatever was under the shells but always slipping one loaded shell off the table into its own pocket while no one is looking.) This beast believes that the way to maintain power and control is to keep acronyms coming at unsuspecting prey faster than they can understand what’s really being done. It is sometimes referred to as a quant fund or a Goldman Sachs’ rapid trading platform so vital to profitability for themselves that they are in a quandary over exactly how vigorously to pursue the lawsuit against a mathematician who allegedly misappropriated the algorithm. Interestingly, the Veloci extractor has no concern for its prey and simply wants to devour any and all living matter so long as it can take calories from fresh or carrion alike.

Transactosaurus wrecks (from Latin meaning a belief that you solve a challenge by denying its root cause but coming up with a story that unsuspecting prey will believe long enough for you to eat them). This beast believes that the way to maintain power and control is to keep prey so focused on consumption at their miniscule level that they won’t see the carnage being wrought by its own kind. It is sometimes seen in the company of rating agencies, pension fund managers, or Government Sponsored Enterprises. Lately, the Transactosaurus wrecks has been hanging around the FDIC and the close to 1,000 soon to be failed banks in the company of Veloci extractors as they’ve formed a great scheme that takes statutory reserve funds (for banking, insurance, and pensions) and seeks to use them as long as they can do so with impunity. At the G-20 Summit (or as I like to call it G20assic Park), many of these beasts successfully got the leaders of the new 12 member countries to believe that the way to become globally powerful is to clone the same genus and species of walnut-sized brain inspired programs that took us to the brink. However, what they didn’t point out is that the Veloci extractors’ and Transactosaurus wrecks’ real motivation was to expand their feeding grounds with prey that they understand.

As the asteroid of illumination comes closer to us, you should see both of these beasts continuing to ravage unsuspecting prey like they do. You should assiduously avoid putting yourself within easy reach of having “prey” and “you” as synonyms and if you do, all I can recommend is the homonym.

The good thing about being one of the smaller furry creatures is that you can prosper with a smaller appetite. You can band together and create shelter and safety. You can keep warm and cozy with other furry things. And, most importantly, you can think! So start using the part of your brain above the stem, disengage the fear that the beasts have used to their advantage for a long time, and celebrate that change is that growing light in the sky!



  1. While you are probably correct about the "steady state" of the new system long after the asteroid hits, the trick for us small furry (hopefully thinking) critters is not just to avoid getting eaten by the reptiles now or even avoid getting stepped on by the reptiles during the frenzied stampedes of panic as the asteroid becomes obvious to all concerned, but also to avoid the impact of the asteroid itself.

    You have long ago convinced me that the reptiles are to be avoided. I remain interested in your continued thoughts on the timing and "location" of the asteroid's "ground zero". That continues to be a fascinating 64 million dollar question (or whatever other fiat currency you like...)

    I continue to enjoy your blog.

  2. Ground zero is, without question, entitlement and pension funds. These are the most cloaked in obfuscation, the most leveraged, and the least overseen component of the system. While the reptiles will keep pointing at the legitmate risk coming from commercial real estate (which is real), no one has the courage to address the real impact crater of the under-funded and illiquid pensions. Watch for an EMF pulse "accident" over major data centers allowing AIG, pension managers, or the Federal Government to "forget" what your retirement or life insurance account had in it. Oddly enough, that burst pulse, which will be an "accident" impacting the electrical grid and a number of other things, would be the easiest way to get the public to believe the "ooopps" that will follow.


Thank you for your comment. I look forward to considering this in the expanding dialogue. Dave