Monday, June 22, 2009

The Taxpayer's Gift

"The Ouroboros often represents self-reflexivity or cyclicality, especially in the sense of something constantly re-creating itself, the eternal return, and other things perceived as cycles that begin anew as soon as they end (See Phoenix). It can also represent the idea of primordial unity related to something existing in or persisting from the beginning with such force or qualities it cannot be extinguished."

The Ouroborus and zero have always fascinated me as both tie together seemingly opposite concepts in elegant fashion. With Zero, nothing and infinity reside side by side while with the Ourborous, renewal and futility rule.

In science, Fredrich Kekule dreamt about the snake and linked it to atomic structure.

"At Kekule's time, scientists believed that the structure of atoms was 'unknowable' as they believed that anything which acted with atoms created a reaction thereby keeping the atomic structure in constant flux. Kekule, however, doubted this hypothesis and spent years studying chemical structure. The exact nature of the structure eluded him until one evening when he let his conscious mind go and allowed his unconscious to take over.

Kekule claims that he stopped writing and dozed off to sleep. He saw atoms whirling and dancing before his eyes. The atoms then began to reassemble themselves into long rows that seemed to move about in a snake-like motion. As he watched the snake dance, the vision progressed until the snake formed itself into an image he had seen years before at the 1850 murder trial: the snake devouring its own tail.

Kekule states that he awoke as if struck by lightning. He realized in a flash that the problem he had worked on for years had been solved not by studying, but by the serendipitous intervention of a dream."

When looking at how the banks run the US, one sees the Ouruborus as the symbol of futility...

"Goldman Sachs Group Inc is on pace to make record bonus payouts after a robust first half, the Guardian newspaper reported on Sunday."

Why?

"Let's remember that Goldman got roughly $10 billion in AIG-funneled money to "settle" CDS that their CEO said was a fully-hedged position and which would have had no material impact if AIG had gone down, mostly because they had collected nearly all of the hedge before AIG got in serious trouble.

That is, they got paid twice - once with their hedge (good move guys) and again by government fiat, directed by Henry Paulson who coincidentally used to run Goldman.

Also note the size of the first-quarter profit, multiply by four (assuming equally good results) and then compare against the "extra" payout through AIG to figure out whether there would be any bonus pool absent that payment.

Looks to me like the US Taxpayer is funding all of Goldman's bonuses, never mind this ditty:

Last week, the firm predicted that President Barack Obama's government could issue $3.25tn of debt before September, almost four times last year's sum. Goldman, a prime broker of US government bonds, is expected to make hundreds of millions of dollars in profits from selling and dealing in the bonds.

Nice, eh? Do Treasury's bidding, get paid for it, get an extra $10 billion from the taxpayer as a gift to cover a bet you had already hedged against default, and pocket it all.

Change we can believe in - yep, we'll steal even more than we did under The Bush Administration!"


The Fix is in but we already knew that, right?
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