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Saturday, December 13, 2008

This City is so Fucked

Marc S. Drier is slime. Amazing slime, slime that sticks to the wall, but still slime. Bernard L. Madoff is slime mold. Here's an example of a really smart guy, who proved the hypothesis I've been selling to nobody for years.

Nobody would buy.

I've been saying it to anybody who will listen, and for years people would tell me I was crazy. Maybe I am, but it seems to me that cheating is the rule of the jungle. Think for a second of all the myriad ways in which you cheat. You cheat on your taxes, you spent an hour buying Christmas gifts on instead of working, you stole office supplies. All really minor shit. But minor people can only steal minor shit. People like me and you, we only have the opportunity to steal pencils, or soda. But the higher up you Becket would say, "The bigger the man, the fuller he is, and the emptier." Think about it, you have a pie chart, if you cheat like 1%. Well, a pie chart of me and just about anyone else would look the same. But if my pie chart represents only a hundred dollars, only 1 dollar of that is a fraud. No one cares about a buck. But when your pie chart represents 100 million...well you get the idea.

I've had very impressive financial people look at me and scoff when I've said this before. EVERYONE IS IN ON IT. And it's not paranoia, it's not a delusional fantasy. It's a question of philosophy. Well, now it's pretty much Q.E.D. not one but every investment bank is gone now, bought, closed, or firesaled. Everyone of them was in on it. Here's the thing...and this is why those impressive people were wrong. When I told them that EVERYONE was in on it. They mistakenly conflated evil with fraud. They thought that the balance of people were good (loosely defined as not fraudalent). And I agree with them. But the question is one of perception. Everyone was selling these shitty securities. Everyone knew about it. The problem wasn't that these people were evil, that would be a ridiculous notion. There is no evil. What they were was in too deep. It was a mob mentality. The fire at the end of the hall was the knowledge that this thing was just too monstrous to stop. So why not go for all the gusto they can grab? And when things were up, who would care? They could buy that new cellphone without a second thought. I see law students and busboys with 3G phones. Seriously, and in New York, that's totally unremarked on.

That's what's so fucked up here. We're all complicit. I walk down my street, and I can point out the investment bankers. I can point out the UES moms who quit their career to raise their kids, with rocks that could take out an eye at forty yards. They took the money, and when the money keeps rolling in, you don't ask how. Go over to the gallery openings every Thursday in Chelsea. With paintings that run from $500 to $50,000 or more, who's doing the buying? We're all complicit. Go out to Brooklyn, maybe pop over to Metropolitan Ave and have a few drinks. Those trendy, scarf clad kids? They're in on it too. They might bitch and whine about the have's and the have not's, but where have they been for the last 16 years? To be sure, there are always exceptions. And none of these people (including myself) are bad or awful people. We really all just fell into complacency. Our literary critics have been warning us--so have the historians, but intellectuals are effete snobs, and they don't really contribute anything anyway.

It's times like these where I stare out at my city, and think, this place just ought to be bulldozed. You know what's worse? Having written that sentence, a shiver of fear ran through me. Of course, I want nothing at all to happen to my city. I love it, and everyone in it. Even the crooks and the frat boys, the sorostitutes, and the lawyers, i-bankers and everyone between. But in this country today. I know full well that there are people watching us. And I'm too small of a fish for people to care about now. But god help me if something happened. Can I write that? Another thing I spent the last eight years telling my conservative friends, who repeated like robots, "I've done nothing wrong, I've got nothing to hide." So what? When you can't speak for fear of reprisal, you are no longer living in a democracy.

Please Obama et. al. fix this. We need regulation, and we need to know what's going on. We need a free press that is solvent and able to withstand the rigors of litigation.

And this is just too rich, Milberg LLP, formerly known as Milberg Weiss Bershad and Schulman before three of the four went to prison, is representing the misled investors!

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