Poor Us: The Great Depression 2.0

February 10, 2009

Read & Weep: Monday’s breaking bad news

Filed under: Uncategorized — debacled @ 7:33 am

Girl Reading Newspaper

News that Brian Williams won’t be reporting tonight because the network doesn’t want the Nielsen families  to abandon their televisions and run screaming into the streets shouting “Repent, the end is near!”

Via Boing Boing:
Rep. Kanjorski: $550 Billion Disappeared in “Electronic Run On the Banks”

“Capital Markets Subcommittee Chair, Rep. Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania, tells C-Span how the world economy almost collapsed in a matter of hours.  A “tremendous draw-down of money market accounts in the United States, to the tune of $550 billion dollars.” According to Kanjorski, this electronic transfer occurred over the period of an hour or two.”

Via Infectious Greed:
Reinforcement learning signal predicts social conformity
“Fascinating new paper out in the journal Neuron on the biochemical reasons why it feels so good to go along with the consensus:
Summary:These findings provide evidence that social group norms evoke conformity via learning mechanisms reflected in the activity of the rostral cingulate zone and ventral striatum.
Translation: Agreeing with people makes you feel high.”

Via Get Out of Dodge:
Wikileaks: “Change you can download:a billion in secret Congressional reports

“The 6,780 reports, current as of this month, comprise over 127,000 pages of material on some of the most contentious issues in the nation, from the U.S. relationship with Israel to the financial collapse.”

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January 27, 2009

Year of the Ox slouches towards Obama

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — debacled @ 2:44 am

That twenty centuries of stony sleep were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle," W.B.YeatsToday is  Chinese New Year and we had hoped to launch Poor Us by wishing  you “Kung Hei Fat Choy” but unless those words translate to “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold…” they don’t really do justice to the  Chinese fortunetellers’ blood-dimmed tide of dire predictions for this Year of the Ox.

The mystics say 2009 is going to be a rough beast (massive earthquakes!), but it’s not like that comes as some big surprise (war with Russia!).  True, this horoscope paints a pretty grim scenario,  but don’t chicken out now.  Fear of the unknown is far more frightening than knowing what fate has in store.  Even when it’s really, really bad news like this is, it’s better to know in advance so while everyone is still stuck on the collapsing economy, you’ll have time to build yourself a bomb shelter.

“Chinese soothsayers see a deepening recession, millions more losing their jobs, and stocks and home prices continuing to fall. That’s more or less in line with what some economists are predicting, but some fortune tellers are throwing in other dire predictions – massive earthquakes, rising U.S.-Russian tensions and trouble for U.S. President Barack Obama.

“Obama, born in the Year of the Ox, is taking office in a particularly bad year for his Chinese astrological sign. The ox sign is in direct conflict this year with a traditional Chinese divinity called the “God of Year,” considered a bad omen. Obama also is the 44th president, a number the Chinese deem extremely unlucky because “four” is pronounced the same as “death” in Chinese.

“The new U.S. president is not having good luck this year. His honeymoon will only be short-lived,” said fortune teller Alion Yeo, predicting Obama may even face impeachment in his first year in office. “

via Year of the Ox is looking very un-bullish, fortune tellers say – Yahoo! Canada News

The Second Coming, W.B. Yeats, 1920

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