this week i

like tonies, listening tour of the dead.  should epidemiologists combat conspiracy theories?  nothing convincingly rhymes with the word "else"

watched portrait of a lady on fire.  heiress in seaside napoleonic exile, too much to think about, not enough to do, paradise through and through

praise simple days.  can't quite wrap my head around the fact that most of history recorded, catalogued before the invention of microsoft excel

prefer pinched with four aces.  global south and local south both sans perfection

wrapped up the economics of money and banking.

we had a mature funding system and an immature risk transfer system

this is what happens in payments crises.  i'm really worried that i'm not going to get paid, and therefore i'm not going to pay you.  well, everyone has to make these payments, it's a circle.  and if somebody stops, everything stops


liquidity vs. solvency

* key players in market-based credit system are dealers, not shadow banks per se

* key backstop for matched book dealers is liquidity, not capital

* key backstop for speculative dealers is capital, not liquidity

* survival constraint is about collateral flows, not just payment flows

the finance view is that the future determines the present, or rather our ideas about the future, our expectations about the future.  so, for example, the price of capital, not the physical quantity of capital, is the key variable in finance.  and where does the price of capital come from?  it does not come from the hard labor of all the people who built that capital in the past, not at all.  the price of capital comes from the future..this is a radically subversive point of view..i don't care how hard you worked on that, if this capital stock is not productive, it is worthless.  it is worth zero.  so this is sort of the mentality of the tech bubble..imagine it, and suddenly you can capitalize it, and by capitalizing it, you get access to enormous amounts of purchasing power today without doing anything, without actually producing anything.  it's just the idea that maybe you'll be producing something that gives you power today to be spending, and you can use that power to try to make your dreams come true

economics and finance are mirror images of each other

in order for capital markets to clear, in order for people to allocate their wealth between risky and risk-free securities, freely and in an efficient market, it has to be so that the money supply is endogenous.  when prices goes up, the money supply goes up



(1) occidentalising inoculation

by the time british doctors encountered turkish smallpox practices, inoculation was neither new nor did it belong to western science.  for centuries the chinese had been blowing dried, ground-up smallpox material up the nose, and arabs had been introducing pus under the skin.  inoculation had long been widespread in north and sub-saharan africa.  in boston, inoculation was introduced during a smallpox outbreak in 1721, promoted by the puritan minister cotton mather, who learned of the practice from his recently acquired slave - 'my negro-man onesimus, who is a pretty intelligent fellow'.  onesimus had been inoculated himself and told mather that it was common practice in his african homeland - possibly the area that is now ghana..the brahmins in india had used inoculation for hundreds of years, maybe longer

tuto, celeriter, et jucunde - safely, quickly, and pleasantly

anxiety about being cowified

(2) obsessed chemists, cold-hearted spymasters, grim torturers, hypnotists, electro-shockers, and nazi doctors

conducting drug experiments on unknowing subjects in brothels or at cia safehouses

filmed the effects through a mirror

he paid an american pharmaceutical company, eli lilly, to devise a way of synthesising lsd from scratch.  that was part of subproject 6.  it took longer than a year, but by the end of 1954 eli lilly was in a position to produce the drug in 'tonnage quantities'.  the cia..'was its main customer'

using an aerosol to lace the air with lsd in the havana studio where fidel castro made his radio broadcasts, sprinkling castro's boots with thallium salts to make his beard fall out and contaminating his cigars with botulinum.  at one point gottlieb turned up in congo with a poison kit, ready for use in a cia plot to kill patrice lumumba

ken kesey and allen ginsberg first took lsd in cia-funded experiments

(3) only so many options for a single-crop economy of seven million people ninety miles from the florida coast

che guevara, the central banker of the new government

within six months of recognizing his government, the eisenhower administration drew up plans to undermine it.  it banned trade with cuba in 1960, and the cia began to assist cuban exiles who were using biplanes to bomb cuban sugar refineries

it was a sensitive moment for all concerned: castro's revolution was just starting to establish itself, the un was digesting seventeen new members - the 'year of africa' - and was mired in the congo crisis, while eisenhower showed no sign of being able to handle the civil rights protests taking place across the us

the only white person i have really liked

 by sending ernest hemingway to havana as a sympathetic cultural observer

history will absolve me