Market Bash: Command Line Economics and the Bastard Administration From Hell

So, how's your understanding of "geek" nowadays?

If you've a vague but functional sense of these terms and commands, you could probably have a lot of geeky fun:

cd us_fin_crisis | chown neotreasury | chmod -777 mrkt.values | finger taxpayers | exit >> /dev/null

If you don't speak geek, here's a handy reference guide.1

Systems Administrators, unix and linux gurus and other miscellaneous folks may take issue with my specific formatting and usage, but they'll get the gist of it quickly.

If those of you tracking the financial markets noticed the rather interesting -- and oddly unlucky -- combination of the 777 point loss, you'll begin to see why I made the connection. Another reason that I found it significant, passing through my old unix Systems Administration days, was the fond and not-so-fleeting memories of knowing -- and sometimes being -- a bastard systems administrator from hell.2

There's a problem with the financial markets. There is a definite need to address the problem, and rescue the markets from themselves and collapse. The problem that folks are seeing is that the plan currently being proposed throws a lot of money at the problem in a hurry, and many economists are realizing that the plan isn't likely to be as efficacious as the WH, some members of Congress and others feel it is.

In fact, the CBO chief now appears to think that the bailout would hurt more than help. Everybody's got an opinion on this, no matter how informed they are. Personally, I found this piece by Joseph Stiglitz to be very interesting (hat-tip pmeldrum for this and the Kaptur clip to follow):


The problems in the US economy and financial system have been apparent for years. But that didn't prevent America's leaders from turning to the same people who helped create the mess, who didn't see the problems until they brought us to the brink of another Great Depression, and who have been veering from one bail-out to another, to rescue us.


...US treasury secretary Henry Paulson's approach is another example of the kind of shell games that got America into its mess. Investment banks and credit rating agencies believed in financial alchemy – the notion that significant value could be created by slicing and dicing securities. The new view is that real value can be created by un-slicing and un-dicing – pulling these assets out of the financial system and turning them over to the government. But that requires overpaying for the assets, benefiting only the banks.


But it is impossible for politicians to do nothing in such a crisis. So we may have to pray that an agreement crafted with the toxic mix of special interests, misguided economics, and right-wing ideologies that produced the crisis can somehow produce a rescue plan that works – or whose failure doesn't do too much damage.

Getting things right – including a new regulatory system that reduces the likelihood that such a crisis will recur – is one of the many tasks to be left to the next administration.

The Stiglitz article, published in the Guardian, was done in cooperation with Project Syndicate, 2008.

Read the whole article -- it's not long -- and pay closer attention toward the end. A few other options are provided that should, or at least could, be considered.

Letting those who led us into this mess lead the way "out" is a violation of Einstein's law of sanity:

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
    Albert Einstein, (attributed)
    US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

Tax breaks for the rich and corporations, massive deregulation and a failure to conduct oversight -- all lessons learned after the 1929 fiasco and spurned by the GOP, particularly in recent years, have come back full circle now.

We are in the midst of a Republican-induced recession, heading toward worldwide depression if we don't take action, and the people who are driving the train are the same ones who engineered the derailment and have been attempting to keep it on the tracks until the next Administration was in place so they could offload the blame.

Don't fall for it.

Insist on a good plan, and loudly spurn the attempts to get the same parameters for tax cuts, deregulation, no oversight and no accountability. The current plan -- the rejected one -- had major flaws that even a bastard operator from hell could see; let's not be bipartisan on this.

Let's be responsible, instead.

Hat-tip pmeldrum via InTheseTimes.

Thank you.


Footnotes and Additional References

  1. Additional reference: here. And from the first link in the story above, here's a quick breakdown:
      cd: change directory
      chown: change ownership
      chmod: change permissions; chmod 777 gives everyone read, write and execute permissions. A minus sign removes the permissions.
      finger: displays information about a user; usage here was arbitrary, extraneous and unnecessary -- but funny. (I think.)
      exit: exactly what the Bush Administration and their co-collaborators are planning to do, before execution(s) and accountability take effect.
      >> /dev/null: direct any output to "device null" -- dump any paper or electronic space to the null void device instead of outputting to the monitor (hint: no oversight)
  2. Bastard Operator From Hell original source archive (one of many)
No votes yet


permission to execute? And here I thought I was living in a read-only world. :)

Nicely done!

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If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little. ~ George Carlin

could be inferred there, going in any of several directions.

Command line economics and "bash" political theatre -- gotta love it.

(Er, ok -- I'm geeky.)

My ubuntu 8.04 says:

bash: mrktvalues: command not found

How many things are more funny than imagining GWB trying to use Linux?

Kill an economist for Karl

Kill an economist for Karl

then fill it with stuff.

    md mrkt.values
    cp * mrkt.values

That'll create it, then copy everything from the directory you're in into it.

Then the chmod -777 removes all permissions to it, so you can never see it or touch it again.


(of course, there may be a backdoor to it through the shadow copy of the file system)