Tied to the mast
…but orange now and black

IMHO, Fareed Zakaria has the coolest sounding name ever

And, he’s managed to win me over as someone with worthwhile things to say. He’s very strong on foreign affairs (he was a student of Huntington’s back before the man went crazy and nativist, may he rest in peace). Here he is talking about capitalism in today’s Newsweek:

There is still a long road ahead. There will be many more bankruptcies. Banks will have to slowly earn their way out of their problems or die. Consumers will save more before they start spending again. Mountains of debt will have to be reduced. American capitalism is being rebalanced, reregulated and thus restored. In doing so it will have to face up to long-neglected problems, if this is to lead to a true recovery, not just a brief reprieve.

Many experts are convinced that the situation cannot improve yet because their own sweeping solutions to the problem have not been implemented. Most of us want to see more punishment inflicted, particularly on America’s bankers. Deep down we all have a Puritan belief that unless they suffer a good dose of pain, they will not truly repent. In fact, there has been much pain, especially in the financial industry, where tens of thousands of jobs, at all levels, have been lost. But fundamentally, markets are not about morality. They are large, complex systems, and if things get stable enough, they move on.

So far so good, systemic problems are not old televisions, and need systemic fixes, not smacks to the side.

But he resolves the article with…

We are in the midst of a vast crisis, and there is enough blame to go around and many fixes to make, from the international system to national governments to private firms. But at heart, there needs to be a deeper fix within all of us, a simple gut check. If it doesn’t feel right, we shouldn’t be doing it. That’s not going to restore growth or mend globalization or save capitalism, but it might be a small start to sanity.

Seems like the end to every article on the financial system these days. I’m getting impatient with it. It’s basically as meaningless as it is incongruent with the point from the same article I quoted first.

Calling for something as lame as a “gut check” reads like an expression of impotence in the face of obviously ridiculous pathologies in the system; pathologies that require an /active/ strategy to overcome. There are any number of such strategies on the table… so let’s talk about those.

Fareed, you can do better than that.

Just do a gut check!

Just do a gut check Horse! Do things 'feel' wrong?

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