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More on the credit crisis:

The Genesis Plan, which imo comes much closer to what Congress should have done. The only reservation I have is that I don't think the author realizes just how undercapitalized and overleveraged banks are right now, and major steps would have to be taken to insure that a few do survive, at least in the short term - there are only so many shocks that the financial system can take at one time without bringing down the entire economy. I'm of the opinion right now that our financial system is completely flawed and must be taken down if we ever want to have a clean recovery, however, it must be dismantled carefully if we don't want the entire economy to crumble. The problem with regulators and lawmakers, however, is that they're going to deny this until its too late, and the author of the Genesis plan goes into why here.

Other than this plan, there is also the option of making banks write down all losses, followed by the complete nationalization of the banking system, which no one seems to have even the guts to contemplate.

*

Nothing to lose but our illusions: an interview with David Edwards

It's weird to come across an article whose premise I agree with so much and which also, at the same time, I cannot take seriously at all.

The beginning paragraph - "After climbing the business career ladder for most of his twenties, David Edwards left his management-level marketing job to become a writer. He had no idea how he was going to make a living, but the standard version of success had increasingly felt to him like a terrible, deadening failure. "Three things had become obvious to me," the English author says: "the misery of conventional 'success'; the vast and perhaps terminal havoc this 'success' was wreaking on the world; and the fact that no one was talking about either." - I can totally, totally relate to this. At the same time, though, the author strikes me as very naive, in that he doesn't realize just how few people are going to be able to do what he did, the large amount of privilege he has that allows him to step off the conventional path - to quit his job and move to Thailand and teach there. How is someone who has parents or children or a spouse to support supposed to do this, or someone who has loans to repay, or someone who isn't white and can't get a job as easily as he did, or someone who can't afford to fly to another state let alone another third world country, or someone who didn't have parents that were able to afford the education he received that allowed him to get the management-level job he did, enabling him to have enough initial money to contemplate another path, so on and so forth. It's the blind assumption that everyone can do as he did, and not just that but encouraging them to do so, without realizing that there is a social pyramid and by being who he is, white and male, he has always been on top of it, and that is what affords him the freedom to do as he did without completely wrecking his life and that of others who depend on him.

Also, the fact that it was written in 2000 and portrays Bill Clinton as the antichrist, which um. YEAH. That said, though, I completely agree with his views re: the emptiness of our current consumerist society and the damage it wrecks both on others & to our own psyches. There's this anecdote I once heard - I can't exactly recall where - of a tiger that had been imprisoned in a small cage ever since he was a baby, and then one day the cage was taken away, and yet he still prowled in the same exact area, back and forth and back and forth, caged by now invisible bars. That's what most people - that's what our culture itself - reminds me of.

*

In other news, I would like my life to settle down and become a little bit less crazy. I am tired by now of living in interesting times! I WANT MY DAYS OF BOREDOM BACK.

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