Capital is an Accounting Construct (Smoke & Mirrors)

» Take a look at this video here (3½ minutes), which features Bethany McLean [ who co-wrote » Enron: Smartest Guys in the Room, which I saw at the Lido theater there in Newport Beach ].

Bethany McLeanShe is contributing at Vanity Fair (.. where Monica dishes on Bill, which sounds interesting).

But after writing about the Enron story, she can probably do whatever she wants.

She is friends with Alex Gibney .. who ranks near the top of my list, after he did Taxi to the Darkside and Park Avenue.

I have not yet seen » We Steal Secrets, but it does look interesting. Are you really going to be directing a documentary about James Brown?

By the way, congrats Mr. G on the Guggenheim thing. Arent the Guggenheims wealthy philanthropists? Known for donating money to worthy causes? What an amazing legacy of films you have.

Bethany and Alex are both definitely bad dudes. Tag team style. If they come calling with cameras, you are fucked, my friend.

Oh, looks like she was born in Dylan's home town. Too weird. I was just talking about Dylan, it seems. Must be a coincidence.

Oh look » Vincent is also from Hibbing (Minnesota). Must be some good water they have there in Hibbing. Good for them. Nice names to have on any list.

She also co-wrote » All the Devils Are Here [.. not in hell where they should be ] with Nocera. Lucky man that Joe. (I like Joe.)

Did you see her in » Money, Power & Wall Street? [ released exactly two years ago ] Try t=22:30 here.

She has a little voice, and says such big things. The contrast works very well. She says the kinds of things that you can only say when you know your shit .. down to the level of nuance.

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••• today's entry continues here below •••

Every time they bring her out in Money Power & Wall Street, I am like » "Ooh, that was nice. Can we do that again soon?"

For example, Bethany recently said something I found interesting [ at t=0:50 remaining ] where she says »

» "I'm not seeing capital, capital and more capital as the solution to all of our problems. Because, in the end, capital isnt this pile of money sitting somewhere. [ Rather ] It's » an accounting construct. And if you dont have the accounting right, then the capital is » just an illusion.

So I am wary of this notion that has taken hold that if we have enough capital, we're safe come hell or highwater. I don't buy it." (unquote)

Floating TreeSomething about her statement resonates. Notice particularly where she says » it's an accounting construct.

Dude, if you ask me, that's a nice way of saying » smoke-n-mirrors (.. i.e. "just an illusion").

Back in September, I mentioned something I call » the keystroke economy.

Just for shits-n-grins, let me pull down for you the first paragraph from the Wikipedia page for the term » construct (philosophy) ..

.. which I found both intriguing and instructive. See here »

» A construct in the philosophy of science is an ideal object, where the existence of the thing may be said to depend upon a subject's mind. This, as opposed to a real object, where existence does not seem to depend on the existence of a mind.

Notice particularly the phrase » depends upon a subject's mind.

Uh, is it just me .. or does that not conjure up the most fascinating notions? The idea that capital [ in the Twenty-first century, anyway ] » » » depends upon your mind. (Think about it.)

I mean, the fact that capital in the Twenty-first century is an » accounting construct .. is an indisputable fact, right?

In other words » "It's all in your mind." (Did the lightbulb come on? It's a BIG thought.)

» Send Me Some of that Federal Reserve Money You Create From Thin Air

Confirming my point of money (capital) not-being-real and existing only-in-your-mind .. like a figment of your imagination .. notice the following sentence contained in the 5th paragraph of this article »

» "At the same time, the world's major central banks have been on a six-year campaign of holding down interest rates and creating more money from thin air..."

Janet Yellen on the cover of Time MagazineI want to say to the folks there at the Federal Reserve » "Janet, as long as you keep creating this imaginary money that exists only in your mind ..

.. why dont you send some my way? ..

.. and to people who really need it ..

.. instead of sending it only to those who already have way more than they know what to do with?

If you are looking for somebody to reliably spend some of that free money from thin air .. then, I'm your man. I have skills. Well documented spending skills.

I can provide multiple references .. that I can reliably spend pretty much whatever you can send me.

The sooner you send it to me, the sooner I can start spending and the sooner we can move this 'recovery' from Wall St to Main street."

Mark Blyth » Professor of International Political Economy at Brown University

Mark Blyth | Professor of International Political Economy at Brown UniversityUpdate August 29, 2014 ..

I just saw an interview with Mark Blyth ..

.. professor of international political economy at Brown university ..

.. founded 1764, there in Providence, Rhode Island ..

.. regarding a "provocative article" that he wrote with Eric Lonergan .. in the Sept/Oct issue of Foreign Affairs.

Does he not seem to saying something very similar to what I am saying here?

I was just kidding about the Federal Reserve sending me a shoebox full of money .. or maybe I wasnt.

I definitely wasnt kidding about being able to spend it. That is something I can definitely do ..

.. if you would like to conduct some preliminary operitional tests with this new pilot program .. then I would definitely like to volunteer my services. 

<end update Mark Blyth interview aug 29>

Update #2, Sept 18, 2014 » John Grgurich at the Fiscal Times .. follows-up on what Mark Blyth said. Somebody pinch me.

My shoebox full of money from the Federal Reserve should be arriving any day now. I am going to go out and check the mail right now.

Okay, my shoebox from the Federal Reserve was waiting for me there at the mailbox .. but it contained only a pair of shoes. And badly worn ones at that ..

.. with a note from Janet Yellen saying that she gave my $56K to somebody who lives on Park Avenue, tho she was not allowed to say exactly who.

The person on Park Avenue apparently felt bad enough about this that he insisted Janet send me this pair of shoes as a sort of consolation prize.

Too bad the shoes are tight and hurt my feet. But thanks for thinking of me, anyway. It's the thought that counts, right?

A little further research into Mark Blyth .. this is his (2013) book » Austerity | The History of a Dangerous Idea.

I am kinda surprised that I never heard of him before.

I have not researched him enough to be sure, but he seems to be saying something very similar to what Krugman has been saying .. no?

I see that on Sept 9, 2014 he published another article at the Foreign Affairs site titled » It's Not About the Money ..

.. regarding the proposed break-up of Scotland and England. I think that Blyth is a scot, so he would know.

My ego is desperately trying to convince me that he is playing his title off of my 2012 entry .. but I am having none of it.

<end update sept 18 john grgurich follow-up article>

Expressing Gratitude for a » Job Well Done

Blood Moon TetradI changed the date of today's entry to » May 2nd ..

From 29 April, the new moon after the first blood moon of the tetrad ..

.. which just so happens to fall on the traditional Hebrew holidays of Passover and Sukkot.

Tho I did not know it was a rare solar eclipse. Maybe I felt it in my bones .. when it felt like this was the time to write.

Which just so happens to be the date Bethany's interview was published (April 29).

The last few days before » time to write .. you are miserable. "Just let me die now."

Timing is important. Sometimes very. When I heard Bethany's quote, I knew it was time.

"We could have lots of fun with that quote, couldnt we?" said the writer in me to myself.

Then I could feel the gears inside going to work .. in ways I knew not. But I knew it was gonna be good. Lots of fun.

The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald, pub 1925» Bounce High for Me, Lover

When I heard her quote .. I thought about the opening / introductory (tone-setting) quote at the beginning of » Gatsby. See here »

Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her;
If you can bounce high, bounce for her too,
Till she cry "Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover,
I must have you!"

by Thomas Parke D'Invilliers

[ which happens to be Fitzgerald's pen name in » This Side of Paradise ]

Which I find rather curious. I am not sure, but I somehow think it means » I liked her quote.

Bethany's quote .. and Lauren's interview."You girls ever seen that movie by Woody Allen? » Vickie, Christina, Barcelona."

Certified Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes. I bet.

Anyway, I changed the date because » that is the day I saw the Enron movie. (How else can you express your gratitude for/to these people for the work they do?)

I remember thinking at the movies » "You gotta be kidding me." Like you cannot believe what you are seeing and hearing.

But this shit happens. The question that should be coming about now » "Why is that?" Speaking of 'why is that?' ..

U.S. National Debt Visualize using the Statue of Liberty for perspective.. have you noticed how the avant-garde, record-breaking, never-before-seen-in-history, make-it-up-as-we-go » stimulus

(.. provided by the Federal Reserve) ..

.. has benefitted (almost exclusively) the rich and especially » the mind-blowingly rich?

In other words .. those who » need it least.

And as the super-wealthy are growing even MORE wealthy .. a strange thing is happening. The amount of debt piled onto our children's generation has been growing by a mind-blowing amount. My question » is that by design?

But then, when the stimulus goes away .. it seems to affect primarily the rest of us.

Is that also by design? Or does it just appear that way? ( "Heads I win; tails you lose." )

The end. ■

After-thought » the last part of Bethany's statement has been echoe'ing with me, especially where she says » "If you dont have the accounting right, then the capital is » just an illusion."

Think about that .. even more than the concept of a » construct.

Because that would take you straight to the » accounting. Something that I happen to know a little about. But here and now is not the time for that.

Update » June 17, 2014. Ooh .. check this out.

Paul McCulley Uses the Term » Construct (Say what, Paul?)

Also, I just saw your June 17th interview with Paul McCulley, the Chief Economist at Pimco (.. who seems very nice).

Floating TreeI couldnt help but notice that he used the word » construct.

At t=3:03 remaining) ..

.. which I made note of in reference to the interview you did with Bethany ..

.. to the point of pulling down the definition of the term from Wikipedia. And throwing up the floating tree graphic.

I wasnt going to bring it up [ .. Paul's use of the word » construct ] but my ego is like »

» "Dude, come on now .. be real .. who (outside of programmers) ever uses the word 'construct'? He is *totally* reading your shit."

Notice how he actually pauses (for effect) for a few seconds .. before uttering the word. Camera zooms in for a close-up of his face. Love it! Print!

End McCulley update. ■■

Update July 23, 2014 You can also find the word 'construct' used in the 3rd paragraph » here (Poverty Prophet by Blow, NYTimes). ■■■

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This page contains a single entry by Rad published on May 2, 2014 5:02 AM.

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