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Showing posts from September, 2009

"Small Thing"

While listening to internet radio (Pandora), I heard the following song by Barton Carroll (listen to it before you read on):

http://bartoncarroll.com/pages/listen.php?f=SmallThing.mp3&title=Small%20Thing

The first thing that struck me about the song was that it's from the viewpoint of a German during WWII. Yes, she was a civilian, and yes, she was young, but I was already thinking about her role in one of the most vile societies ever created. She admits to being "naive enough to survive." Is that a reference to the Germans in Berlin basically going on with daily life while the Russians were advancing? Hitler was insanely calling on nonexistent units to guard the city while Fascist loyalists were rounding up anyone who could hold a gun (and shooting anyone who couldn't or wouldn't). Those who were able to simply ignored their former leaders, clearly seeing the bankruptcy of their ideology. Or is it referencing earlier times, when defeat wasn't certain, when …

Wall Street has got a brand new bag

From the NY Times:
The bankers plan to buy “life settlements,” life insurance policies that ill and elderly people sell for cash — $400,000 for a $1 million policy, say, depending on the life expectancy of the insured person. Then they plan to “securitize” these policies, in Wall Street jargon, by packaging hundreds or thousands together into bonds. They will then resell those bonds to investors, like big pension funds, who will receive the payouts when people with the insurance die.