"In reality, though, it was never about us and our economy at all. Today it is obvious that all of this had only one rationale: to raise up a class of supermen above us. It had nothing to do with jobs or growth. Or freedom either. The only person’s freedom to be enhanced by these tax havens was the billionaire’s freedom. It was all to make his life even better, not ours...

We endure potholes and live in fear of collapsing highway bridges because our leaders wanted these very special people to have an even larger second yacht. Our kids sit in overcrowded classrooms in underfunded schools so that a handful of exalted individuals can relax on their own private beach.

Today it is these same golden figures with their offshore billions who host the fundraisers, hire the lobbyists, bankroll the think tanks and subsidize the artists and intellectuals.

This is their democracy today. We just happen to live in it."

Thomas Frank, We Built a Paradise For Offshore Billionaires


"I opened the box. On the pink cotton inside lay a clasp of black onyx, on which was inlaid a curious symbol or letter in gold.  It was neither Arabic nor Chinese, nor as I found afterwards did it belong to any human script."

Robert W. Chambers, The Yellow Sign

As the commentators on Bloomberg TV noted, someone literally dumped a $4 billion block trade at market in the gold futures shortly before noon.  And as one would assume with such an obvious and clumsy bludgeoning, it knocked the wind out of the price down to the mid-70s.   Oops?

There was also a corresponding jump in the Dollar Index.

Or the increasingly desperate attempts to keep things under control.

Smells like teen spirit.

Stocks are marking time sideways.   The mispricing of risk in the stock and bond markets is fairly impressive now.

Have a pleasant, and in upper US quite chilly, weekend.