Friday, July 13, 2012

News from the Network, Vol. 5, No. 28

In this week's "Bizarro Stock Market News," the Dow is soaring on news that China's economy appears to be slowing down, and J. P. Morgan announced that it had concealed $5.8 billion in losses. How this is good news is not entirely clear.

Be that as it may, most of what CESJ is doing at the moment is preparing for some big pushes to take place later in the summer. In the meantime, the financial news continues to demonstrate just how badly the Just Third Way reforms are needed:

• One of the basic principles of social justice is that social justice cannot be practiced by anyone outside the group or institution; results cannot be imposed. Not coincidentally, this is also a basic principle of "internal control" — you cannot force a system from the outside to do something that the system either isn't designed to do, or that goes against the system. That is why the calls for more and more government regulation of the financial system is not only an expensive waste of time, it diverts attention away from the need to engage in genuine reform of the financial system, e.g., separation of function such as reinstating the separation of commercial banking from investment banking as in the repealed Glass-Steagall.

• Monica W. in Cleveland has been meeting with the movers and shakers there, and has a meeting scheduled on the 19th to discuss the Citizens Land Bank. She's also been dialoging with people who have connections with the Cleveland Foundation.

• Rob W. has been investigating the possibility of another effort for a worker buyout of the cargo vessels on the Great Lakes.

• According to Atlantic's latest list of 400 richest people in America, no one got rich by working for a wage and saving, or even purchasing capital on credit and using the dividends to pay for the capital. No, they got rich by already having money and speculating in the stock market. The wild fluctuations in the stock market and "hedging" make this possible, so that, whether the market goes up or down, those who speculate instead of investing are likely to win all the time.

• The Federal Reserve has announced that it will consider another round of stimulus spending instead of financing new capital formation through broadened ownership vehicles.

• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 55 different countries and 51 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past two months. Most visitors are from the United States, the Philippines, Canada, the UK, and India. People in Cambodia, Spain, Germany, Poland and the United States spent the most average time on the blog. The most popular postings this past week were "Aristotle on Private Property," "Thomas Hobbes on Private Property," "Lies, Damned Lies, and Definitions, VIII: Abandonment of the Natural Law," "Lies, Damned Lies, and Definitions, IX: The Road to Nihilism — Scotus," and "News from the Network, Vol. 5, No. 27."

Those are the happenings for this week, at least that we know about. If you have an accomplishment that you think should be listed, send us a note about it at mgreaney [at] cesj [dot] org, and we'll see that it gets into the next "issue." If you have a short (250-400 word) comment on a specific posting, please enter your comments in the blog — do not send them to us to post for you. All comments are moderated anyway, so we'll see it before it goes up.

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