This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com:
- Hong Kong’s poor people live in metal cages
- Panetta: A cyber attack may be the next Pearl Harbor
- Comments and questions on the Libor-rigging scandal
- Generation-Xers versus Boomers
- Egypt’s PM warns women to clean their breasts
Hong Kong’s poor people live in metal cages
Hong Kong is one of Asia’s wealthiest cities, but real estate priceshave surged 25% in the last year alone, with rental prices followingsuit, putting a decent home out of reach of hundreds of thousands ofthe poorest. For many of them, this means living in a small metalcage in an apartment that’s been subdivided with as many metal cagesas can be made to fit. Cage homes originally sprang up in the 1950sto cater to single men coming in from mainland China. AP
Panetta: A cyber attack may be the next Pearl Harbor
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is warning that cyber attacks are aprimary threat to U.S. national security, with a potential “crippling”effect on government, financial and commercial networks. According toPanetta:
The developments that have taken place in the cyberarena have been incredible over these last 10 years… Ibelieve that it is very possible the next Pearl Harbor could be acyber attack … [that] would have one hell of an impact on theUnited States of America. That is something we have to worry aboutand protect against.
Comments and questions on the Libor-rigging scandal
I received a lot of comments on yesterday’s article, “8-Feb-13 World View — Libor-rigging scandal and lying on Wall Street”.
Thank you for all your hard work on your site. Ireally enjoy it. I have a quick thought on the lawsuit againstS&P. It is my belief that the prosecution is politically motivatedrather than generationally motivated. I understand that the twoare not mutually exclusive but remember that S&P was the firstfirm to downgrade US debt. This may be payback for do so beforethe elections or in defiance of an order from this administration.From what I’ve seen; if you make friends with the administration,then all your legal troubles seem to go away. On the contrary,when you fight the administration, your legal troubles seem tocompound. Did Putin teach our administration how to use the lawfor political advantage?
Apparently a lot of people believe that the administration broughtcharges against S&P Financial Services (as opposed to Moody’s orFitch) for purely political reasons, because S&P lowered theU.S. credit rating during President Obama’s reelection campaign.Apparently even Democrats agree that this is a possibility (thoughthey’re willing to forgive it, while Republicans are not). It’s areflection of how the Administration seems willing to break any lawthat the public is so willing to believe something like this.
However, there have been a number of news stories suggesting that theAdministration is close to bringing a similar charge against Moody’s,which did exactly the same thing. If no such charge is forthcoming,then suspicion will grow that the charges against S&P were indeedpolitically motivated. We’ll see.
Standard & Poors is not a Bank. No person is beingprosecuted. No corporation is being prosecuted. No seriouscriminal investigation of the fraud has been announced… And ithas been more than six years since the whistle blowers cameforward with documentation. A civil suit does not carry thethreat of 30 years in jail, that causes little fish to tell alland expand the investigations to other corporations and biggerfish.
I had suggested that perhaps things were changing, and that now thatthe election was over, bankers that had committed fraud, causingthe financial crisis, would finally be prosecuted. However, it’strue that the S&P charges don’t really change anything. It’s stilltrue today that nobody has been criminally charged, and no Americanbanker has even been civilly charged.
When I suggested that things were changing, I was referring to atrend. Let me put this into context:
- In 2002-3, I started talking about a big stock market bubble.
- In 2004, I started talking about a real estate bubble.
- In 2005, I started talking about a credit bubble.
- In 2006, I started talking about a deflating real estate bubble.
- In 2007, I started talking about apparent fraud by investment banks.
In each of these cases, I was referring to an apparent trend thatwasn’t being recognized by the public in general. For example, it wasonly in 2010 that mainstream economists finally started admitting thatthere was a real estate bubble in 2006.
So that’s what I’m talking about now. A year ago, there was no signat all of bringing charges for the financial crisis. But theLibor-rigging scandal was so egregious that it’s no longer possiblefor the Administration to avoid bring charges. They may still beloathe to charge their banker pals with anything, but I’m seeinga trend where they’re going to be increasingly forced to do so,whether they want to or not.
Generation-Xers versus Boomers
I notice that you rant very hard against the GenXersas a category but seem to leave the Boomers off the hook as acategory. Ron Baron is clearly a Boomer as were all the principalpropagandists for the legitimacy of the scams. After all,abstract rhetorical arguments are what Boomers excel in. TheGenXer desperado/nihilistic/self-destructive ruthlessness isdefinitely a key component, but so too is the narcissisticair-headedness of the Boomers coupled with their bogus,anti-historical, anti-mathematical rhetorical flourishes. Infact, the Boomers were the ones in charge during the ascent of theGenXers. It is true that the GenXers would play on themessianism, greed and ego of the Boomers in advancing theirschemes. But the Boomers were where the buck stopped; and stillwhere the buck stops today. So to only blame the devious Xers isto imply that the Boomers were innocent just because they werenaive idiots who just happened to be egomaniacal andgreedy.
I didn’t go into the subject of Boomers versus Gen-Xers in yesterday’sarticle, but I’ve written many times in the past that the Boomers arejust as criminal as the Xers. Also, I suggested that Baron was a liaror a crook in the full knowledge that he was a Boomer.
I’ve been writing about generational theory for over ten years now,and today I have few doubts left about the relationship between theBoomers and Xers. The key to understanding is the difference betweenthe 1990s tech bubble and the 2000s credit bubble. The Boomersbrought about the 1990s tech bubble by making incredibly stupidinvestments, because the Silents were no longer around to tell them tobe risk averse. However, the tech bubble was caused by stupidity, notby fraud. The Gen-Xers brought about the disastrous credit bubble bypurposely defrauding investors. The Boomers went along with it,because they used to do what the Silents told them to do, and now theydo what the Xers tell them to do. The Boomers are amoral,while the Xers are immoral.
In the past ten years, I’ve personally seen one incredibly stupid anddestructive decision after another made by Gen-Xers in the computerindustry, simply because the Xers hate the Boomers. And perhapstheoretically “the buck stops here” with the Boomers, but in actualpractice what I’ve seen is that the Boomers do nothing except to goalong with these incredibly destructive decisions. (After all, theBoomers just want to be loved by the Xers — or laid.)
And the same is true in politics in Washington, and in finance on WallStreet. The Gen-Xers in the Administration and the Congress makeincredibly destructive decisions, and the senior politicians just goalong with them. If I’m not mistaken, all the people on Wall Streetwhom I’ve called crooks and liars have been Boomers, but they all gettheir fallacious data from their Gen-X staffers.
Last year, I wrote about the “The Metastasis of Corruption” — how the corruption andfraud began with the Gen-Xers in the early 2000s because of theirhatred of Boomers, and how it metastasized to the point where almosteveryone in Washington and on Wall Street appears to be corrupt. Icompared this to 1930s Germany, where corruption began with Germany’sLost Generation because of their hatred of the “MissionaryGeneration,” but then it metastasized into hatred of the Jews, asrepresentatives of the Missionaries, and into a full-fledge Holocaust.
This is exactly the kind of process that’s going on today inWashington and in Beijing, and the result is going to be calamitousfor everyone.
Egypt’s PM warns women to clean their breasts
Egypt’s Prime Minister Hisham Qandil is warning women about thedangers of “unclean” breasts. In a speech, he referred emotionally torural areas of the country where he saw the suffering of newbornshaving to deal with diarrhea after being breast fed. The primeminister claimed that the reason behind the diarrhea epidemic in ruralEgypt is that some female villagers are too ignorant to clean theirbreasts before feeding their babies. Al-Bawaba (Jordan)