Goldman Sachs: a reader sent me a Rolling Stone article written back in 2009 about GS. I posted the link the other day. The reader has had a 30-year career in the financial sector and says the article is right on target. The writer, Matt Taibbi, is writing in response to the 2008 - 2009 financial crisis.
If you want to understand how we got into this financial crisis [2008 - 2009], you have to first understand where all the money went — and in order to understand that, you need to understand what Goldman has already gotten away with. It is a history exactly five bubbles long — including last year’s strange and seemingly inexplicable spike in the price of oil. There were a lot of losers in each of those bubbles, and in the bailout that followed. But Goldman wasn’t one of them.The five bubbles:
- the Great Depression, the Great Crash, 1929
- the dot-com/tech bubble, 2000
- the housing craze/bubble, 2008
- the oil crash/bubble, 2008
- the bailout, 2008
I need to read it a couple of more times,
I did read the section on the oil crash twice; it might have some relevancy to the current situation. Might.
Anyway, I know folks have strong opinions on Goldman Sachs; I'm not going to get into that. I will be very "tough" moderating comments. I'm just reminding folks of the article. It might be a good starting point for further reading.
The Ephrussi Family. From wiki:
The Ephrussi family is a Russian Jewish banking and oil dynasty. The family's bank and properties were seized by the Nazi authorities after the 1938 "Anschluss", the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany.I'm currently enjoying, for the second time, The Hare With Amber Eyes, Edmund de Waal, c. 2010. The author is the great-great-great-grandson of the patriarch, Charles Joachim Ephrussi, b. 1793. The author's grandmother, an Ephrussi, married A Hendrik de Waal, and that's how the author's name came to be other than Ephrussi.
The progenitor, Charles Joachim Ephrussi (1792–1864), from Berdichev [northern Ukraine], made a fortune controlling grain distribution beginning in the free port of Odessa (then Russian Empire, now Ukraine) and later controlled large-scale oil resources across Crimea and the Caucasus. By 1860, the family was the world’s largest exporter of wheat.
The author spends just a little bit of time, a very little bit of time, touching upon the history of the Ephrussi family. It's amazing how a really good writer can paint a five-generation picture that captures all that needs to be known in less than a page. Edmund de Waal does this.
It's hard not to think about Goldman Sachs when reading about the Ephrussi family.
On page 29:
Odessa was a city within the Pale of Settlement, the area on the western borders of Imperial Russia in which Jews were allowed to live. It was famous for its rabbinical schools and synagogues, rich in literature and music, a magnet for the impoverished Jewish shtetls of Galicia.Wow, so much packed in that one sentence.
".. within the Pale of Settlement." "Beyond the pale" as a phrase always fascinated me. I overused that phrase in the blog during the early days of the Trump administration. I thought I may have explained the etymology of that phrase. If I did, I was unable to find the post. However, in the process of searching I ran across my notes on A Journal of the Plague Year, by Daniel Defoe, published in 1722; the plague year was 1666. How coincidental. It was eye-opening to read Daniel Defoe's account of the plague year:
The notes at the end of the book are superb. Rats are mentioned only once. -- p. 116Back to the Pale of Settlement: from Defoe's journal: gardens, walls, pales (beyond the Pale) (pales - think “picket fence” -- what is the word for the pointed logs used in American forts? that’s what I envision “pales” are” ) [pales to poles? -- yes! from a website: Middle English, from Old English pal, from Latin plus, stake; see pag- in Indo-European roots. “beyond the pale” --- “off the reservation.”
The quarantine actually worked -- p. 37 -- had it really been enforced -- could more lives have been saved?
Why did plague end so abruptly? Plague reached its peak in September; great statistical analysis, p. 213
Not only were active cases decreasing but more people were surviving -- initially death -- 4/5; now it was 3/5 surviving. [4/5 die; now 2/5 die] Other cities after London: Norwich, Peterborough, etc.
Alexa: Rosanne Cash. I can't say it enough. Amazon/Echo/Alexa is priceless. I'm sure there are other options out there, but I am blown away by Alexa. I've been listening to Roseanne Cash now for an hour, and nothing has been repeated, and hearing songs I've never heard by her. It's like a stack of LPs. The only thing I miss are the album covers and the liner notes. LOL.
That's it. I'm signing off. Have to be up at 6:00 a.m. to take the oldest granddaughter to SAT testing tomorrow morning.