Gold Cadillac

Detroit is going down. The whole rescue package is just so hopeless. I remember when American cars were still attractive. Cadillacs were the family car, my dad’s one life-long fetish, bought used for second-hand glamor. That was until the oil crises hit, when he got sensible and we got a VW beetle and then later […]


Helmut took out the trash a few days ago and said that a little old lady with a flashlight came round to the trash can and started poking through the trash he had just dumped. Man, this is Munich, one of the richest cities in one of the richest countries in the world. I was […]

Arlo Guthrie: I’m changing my name to Chrysler

Some things just don’t change. Except the figures, of course. In this old song, just exchange “million” for “billion” or “trillion”. And, ok, ok, it’s all about jobs. Still, not a good move, this rescue. I’m changing my name to Chrysler I am headed for that great receiving line So when they hand a million […]

Corporate welfare bums

Naomi Klein (“The Shock Doctrine“) wrote an article in Rolling Stone saying the bailout on Wall Street was “borderline criminal”. In a recent interview on Democracy Now she says the G20 conference in Washington was an epic lost opportunity. G20 reaffirmed deregulation. Banks such as Citibank and Barkleys want to buy up Chinese and Indian […]

Financial crisis: reading

One of the many things on my to-do list is getting a better understanding of economics and how the financial system works. It can’t be totally incomprehensible, can it? Here’s a reading list of blogs: The Big Money Andrew Leonhard/ Salon’s How the World Works Calculated Risk The Big Picture Portfolio’s Felix Salmon Naked Capitalism NPR’s Planet Money […]

Japanese banking issues & winter fashion

Joan sent me this: “Following the problems in the financial sector in the US, uncertainty has now hit Japan. In the last 7 days the Origami Bank has folded, the Sumo Bank has gone belly up and the Bonsai Bank announced plans to cut some of its branches. Yesterday, it was announced that the Karaoke […]


Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel Prize winning economist, is famous for his analysis of information asymmetry, a phenomenon which causes markets to be inefficient because the players have incomplete and therefor insufficient information to make the best choices. A completely deregulated free market is not a good thing, he says; markets can benefit from wise government […]