9/11

I was on the trading floor at Bear, Stearns in London. It was just after lunch. A headline went across Bloomberg saying a plane had hit one of the WTC towers. CNBC mentioned the story as well, but no one was thinking “terrorism.” I emailed one of my friends at Merrill Lynch (right across the street at the World Financial Center) and he wasn’t even aware of what happened. The European markets were down a bit on the day, but didn’t really react to the first hit.

After a few minutes, CNBC started showing live footage of the fire and then we saw plane 2 hit. Immediately, the world realized what had happened. The Euro markets were collapsing and I was inundated with sell orders. The news of the Pentagon hit came out. People on our floor started freaking out. We were in Canary Wharf (One Canada Square) in the tallest building in the UK. Planes routinely come close to the building as they approach City Airport. The head of Bear Stearns Europe came on the trading floor and told everyone if they were uncomfortable, to go home. No one knew if today was “fly a plane into financial headquarters day” Everyone bailed, and I was one of the last guys on the trading floor, trying to reconcile my book by hand and get flat before I left.

I looked up at CNBC before I left and saw the place I got married at a year earlier collapse on my birthday.

P.S. As I headed to the tube to go home, I passed the Slug and Lettuce (a pub) and found all of the “uncomfortable” Bear Stearns employees having a pint directly below the building they were so uncomfortable being in.

23 Responses

  1. The lightbulb goes on at Vox…

    http://www.vox.com/2015/9/8/9261531/professor-quitting-job

    “Our federally backed approach to subsidizing higher education through low-interest loans has created perverse incentives with disastrous consequences. This system must be reformed.

    When I started out, I believed that government regulation could solve every problem with relatively simple intervention. But after four years of wading though this morass, I’m convinced these solutions should be reevaluated constantly. If they’re not achieving their objectives, or if they’re producing too much waste in the process, they ought to be scrapped. We can start with federal funding for higher education.”

    Vox discovers the unintended consequences of government intervention. If only there was a party that could have told them that you create problems when you constantly subsidize something, especially something with inelastic demand.

    Oh, and Frist.

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  2. I still sense from the Voxers, and many on the left and right that man and it’s institutions can be perfected.

    What if they can’t?

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  3. @brentnyitray:

    I don’t thinking fristing your own post is quite fair, now! But, given that it’s your birthday and all. . .

    Happy Birthday!

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  4. Thanks, Michigoose..

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  5. Best line of that piece Brent:

    “And if you can’t beat Trump, you have zero chance against Hillary and her mainstream media.”

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  6. More and more, Trump shows he’s a natural fit for the moment

    “”I’m owned by the people. I’m no angel, but I’m going to do right by them.””

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/trump-seriously-20150909#ixzz3lMuvzheL

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  7. I don’t think he has staying power, but he does capture the zeitgeist of the moment

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  8. Depends on how quick of a study he is at learning on the job. He’s done better than I thought he would.

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    • He’s done better than I thought he would.

      In what way?
      ———–
      Happy Birthday, Brent.
      ———–
      This group started out of disaffection with the cesspool at PL. Read the notation we placed on the link to PL at the beginning of ATiM. I enjoyed JNC there more than anyone because Joe linked to interesting stuff. Frankly, the second most enjoyable was shrink, because he also linked to interesting stuff. But the incessant self indulgence of the cabal and of the anti-cabal was always just plain tedious.

      I usually took shots from everyone as did Kevin. Last time I was there I had the temerity to suggest that the Secession was a result of the south wanting and thinking it needed the institution of slavery to maintain the cotton economy, but that the Civil War was fought to impose federal supremacy, not to free the slaves. That got ugly in a freaking hurry.

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  9. jeez Mark, why to use historical fact to support your position. what where you thinking?

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  10. “He’s done better than I thought he would.

    In what way?”

    Polling and being immune to the sort of “gaffes” that would crater other politicians.

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  11. “Last time I was there I had the temerity to suggest that the Secession was a result of the south wanting and thinking it needed the institution of slavery to maintain the cotton economy, but that the Civil War was fought to impose federal supremacy, not to free the slaves. That got ugly in a freaking hurry.”

    My problem with the hyper-partisanship. Or hyper-ideological purity. I think secession had everything to do with slavery, but . . . it’s just a thought. As was your thought. Interesting things can be arrived at by discussing thoughts, entertaining ideas you don’t agree with, trying to write a plausible narrative for a position that you don’t think is true . . . yet the knee-jerk reaction is to assume every human being who doesn’t agree with you on everything is an idiot, a racist, a reactionary, or a troll. It’s bizarre that so many discussion forums are entirely hostile to actual discussion. I guess that’s why we call them “comment” forums, although “spew forums” might be more accurate.

    Tangentially related, I tend to feel that if it were Dubya pushing this exact same TPP, pretty much every liberal on Plum Line would be opposed to it. And also be informed as to its content to some degree, unlike now, which seems to be “I don’t know and I don’t need to know . . . it’s Obama!”

    https://www.eff.org/issues/tpp

    The TPP looks horrible and, like so many things, isn’t remotely what it pretends to be:

    1) Intellectual Property Chapter: Leaked draft texts of the agreement show that the IP chapter would have extensive negative ramifications for users’ freedom of speech, right to privacy and due process, and hinder peoples’ abilities to innovate.

    (2) Lack of Transparency: The entire process has shut out multi-stakeholder participation and is shrouded in secrecy.

    All signatory countries will be required to conform their domestic laws and policies to the provisions of the Agreement. In the US, this is likely to further entrench controversial aspects of US copyright law (such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act [DMCA]) and restrict the ability of Congress to engage in domestic law reform to meet the evolving IP needs of American citizens and the innovative technology sector. The recently leaked US-proposed IP chapter also includes provisions that appear to go beyond current US law.

    Dangerously vague text on the misuse of trade secrets, which could be used to enact harsh criminal punishments against anyone who reveals or even accesses information through a “computer system” that is allegedly confidential.

    Create copyright terms well beyond the internationally agreed period in the 1994 Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). The TPP could extend copyright term protections from life of the author + 50 years, to Life + 70 years for works created by individuals, and either 95 years after publication or 120 years after creation for corporate owned works (such as Mickey Mouse).

    Causal lefties on Plum Line think it’s great, because Obama. And look how stupid Trump is! He’s so stupid. And Tea Party people are racist. So, the TPP must be awesome.

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    • Kev, thanks for the link. I hadn’t thought about this one and this is the first exposure I have had to any serious critique of TPP.

      It actually sounds pretty awful. What are we supposed to be getting in return? Chinese agreement not to reverse engineer everything we invent in the west?

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  12. Causal lefties on Plum Line think it’s great, because Obama. And look how stupid Trump is! He’s so stupid. And Tea Party people are racist. So, the TPP must be awesome.

    I know many liberals who are aghast at the TPP, but they think obama is a moderate Republican. I think many pretend to support it because they don’t want to say anything that reflects bad on their party and their president.

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  13. Weird that these lefties would have a “my President right or wrong” attitude.

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  14. The left is top-down. Always has been. Always will be…

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    • The left is top-down. Always has been. Always will be…

      I completely agree, and always have. But I also think, and always have, that the right is top down.

      There is no organized ideology except from organizers of ideology, Brent. There is no organization of political process except from trained organizers and managers. There is no funding of politics without funders.

      Generally, business people, academics, labor leaders, PR specialists/press, and lawyers, lawyers, lawyers, constitute the leadership cadres.

      In anything but a town meeting environment how else does a representative government actually organize, anywhere? I cannot think of a counter-example, either for the liberal or the conservative leadership in any free country. Bottom-up is short term stuff, it seems to me – occasional disruptions on either side.

      Also, this may be why moderation is the product of compromise, but not a movement.

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      • Mark:

        There is no organized ideology except from organizers of ideology, Brent.

        There is a fundamental difference between ideology and the political implementation of ideology. You are correct that, to implement any ideology, one needs organizers, especially when that implemendation requires change from existing ideological dominance. So in that sense it is true that both left and right operate a “top down” organization. However, progressivism as an ideology (to be distinguished from the political implementation of it) is a top-down ideology in a way that is generally not true of conservatism and is most definitely not true of libertarianism.

        There is a great difference between needing organizers to disperse power in order to maximize individual freedom of action and needing organizers to accumulate more and more power into fewer and fewer hands in order to force conformity with elite opinion. The ideology of the left requires the latter, in contrast to the right which seeks the former.

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        • I guess you believe that it is the politics of the right that extended the vote and jury duty to non-landholders, then to black men, then to women, then to 18 year olds. I disagree with you about conservatives, but not about libertarians. I’ll explain.

          I agree that libertarianism as a world view is pro dispersal of power while authoritarianism as a world view is pro centralization of power.

          I see conservatism as a theory for maintenance of the status quo, liberalism as a theory of change of the status quo, reactionary politics as a romantic yearning for a past imaginary utopia, and radicalism as a romantic yearning for a future imaginary utopia.

          None of these four theories are free from the authoritarian taint of organizational centralization; OTOH, the very nature of libertarianism is its organizational undoing in the long run. It is amazing that a Libertarian political party has survived at all.

          Rs and Ds now vote pretty much in lockstep with their parties. Libertarians, by nature, would not. Party discipline would be hard to maintain, taking NoVA and JNC as the exemplars!

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        • Mark:

          I guess you believe that it is the politics of the right that extended the vote and jury duty to non-landholders, then to black men, then to women, then to 18 year olds.

          No, but largely because I don’t think the modern division of left and right as we currently understand it existed at the time that most, if any, of those political rights were extended. I also don’t mistake the practical aspects of how governmental systems are populated with individuals for the political ideology that those individuals might espouse for society at large. The ends to which one wants the government to be used is an entirely different question than how the people placed in government to seek those ends get placed there.

          None of these four theories are free from the authoritarian taint of organizational centralization

          True, but progressivism is by its nature necessarily authoritarian. It requires the subjugation of individual freedom to the “community”, which means to the government as the ostensible representative and voice of the community. This is not necessarily true of conservatism in general, and is certainly not true of modern day conservatism. The authoritarian nature of the modern progressive movement abounds. Not just its use of the courts to impose its policy goals, but indeed those policies themselves, from its tax policies to its health care policies to its housing policies to its “public accommodation” policies to its environmental policies, all of which require the subjugation of individual freedom to the desires of a government elite. The mere fact that it actually has pro-active policies on so many fronts is a fine demonstration of just how authoritarian it is.

          Again, the modern progressive left, as an ideology, is by its nature authoritarian in a way that no other popular ideology in the US is.

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        • Would anyone here characterize this as arguably “advocating the persecution of people who support abortion rights”?

          https://www.thomasmoresociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Planned-Parenthood-Fact-Sheet-and-Prayer.pdf

          Like

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