Tuesday, July 19, 2016


There's been a lot of fucking dumb and crazy shit this election season, so why don't both parties call for the return of Glass-Steagall?

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


FLG has been busy and was clearing out a backlog of blog reading.   He was surprised to find a Tweetstorm on Glass-Steagall by Josh Brown.    FLG likes John Brown and is sorta shocked by his take on Glass-Steagall and the financial crisis.

FLG won't rehash his own Glass-Steagall argument in full again, but here are the two main points:

1) It wasn't the big universal banks that went under during the financial crisis; it was Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, both risky investment banks.   Bear got bought by whom?  JP Morgan, one of those horrible universal banks made possible by Gramm-Leach-Bliley (GLB), aka the Repeal of Glass-Steagall.   Lehman was allowed to fail.  Who was next Wall Street domino likely to fail after Lehman?  Merrill Lynch.   What happened to Merrill?  It got bought by Bank of America, another horrible universal bank made possible by GLB.

So, GLB actually helped stabilize the system during the crisis.

2) Financial innovation has blurred what were previously very clear financial lines.   Derivatives, so often described as inherently risky, can be cheap, effective tool to reduce risk.   Interest rate swap, to provide one example, allow a bank to manage the interest rate exposure of its loan book quickly and cheaply.   Should we force commercial banks to manage their loan portfolio using a more expensive and slower method to manage the risk because the instrument that is cheaper and faster is perceived as inherently more dangerous?  If we don't ban their use of derivatives entirely, then it's a question of risk management, which, let's be honest, the regulators suck at micro-managing.  So, we are left with fortress balance sheets and leverage ratios.  Not Glass-Steagall's return.

As long-time readers are aware, FLG believes it's the lifting of restrictions on interstate banking, like the Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act of 1994, that were the real problem.   State borders, while political borders without much financial or economic rationale, helped contain the scope and size of banks albeit sub-optimally.  Hence, any particular failure was probably not going to take down the entire system.   Although, the Fed and FDIC didn't risk it with Continental Illinois.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Quote of the day

The New Yorker:
The argument ends by proposing that we are, in fact, digital beings living in a vast computer simulation created by our far-future descendants. Many people have imagined this scenario over the years, of course, usually while high.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Coolest Ancient Name

FLG used to think it was Andron the Archpirate, but upon learning of Archias the Exile-Chaser, he's not so sure anymore.  Archias tracked down Demosthenes, which is pretty cool.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Quote of the day

James Poulos:
Populism can be powerful, but only when it's really popular.


FLG watched this video by Robert Reich responding to common criticisms of Bernie Sanders.

FLG is on the other side of the political aisle and has issues with most of the responses, but he literally laughed out loud at a suggested response to Sanders being too old is that "he is younger than 4 of the 9 Supreme Court justices."

A few things here:
1) He's younger than less than half of them?   Whew!   And isn't one of those nine actually no longer living?
2) Comparing somebody's age to the Supreme Court is sorta like saying -- Old?  Got a few of names for your Methuselah, Noah,  & Shem.   Bernie is a spring chicken.
3) Being a Supreme Court justice is anywhere near as demanding as being President of the United States.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Quote of the Day

Jonathan Haidt:
So my hope is that universities will be forced to declare their sacred value. I hope we can split them off into different kinds of institutions–you know, Brown and Amherst can devote themselves to social justice. Chicago is my main hope. The University of Chicago might be able to devote itself to truth.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Object Sex Round-Up

FLG hasn't posted any object sex stories in a long, long time.   Felt it was time to remedy that oversight.

Daily Telegraph:
A MAN who shocked Britain after trying to have sex with a post box has been found dead outside a Chinese restaurant.
FLG actually feels a bit bad about this one.    Poor guy dies and all anybody knows is that he tried to fuck a mailbox.

Daily Telegraph:
A 31-YEAR-OLD woman has found love with a tree named Tim and says it’s the best sex she’s ever had. 
It’s believed Emma’s bizarre attraction to the tree may be a result of a condition called dendrophilia where a person is sexually attracted to a tree.

Questions:   Wouldn't it be easier to get a saw, cut off a branch, take the branch to a lathe, then a large belt sander, throw some lacker or whatever on it, and then go to town in the privacy of one's own home, with no marriage necessary?  Is anybody else surprised that the word dendrophilia needs to exist?

Clark was purportedly found engaging in sexual behaviors with the Xlerator hand drying machine by a female custodian. The traumatized custodian reports “That boy had his d*ck all up in that hand drying machine.” she continues to describe how the incident has left her scarred “I’m not always gonna remember that boys face, but what I will never forget was the sound. ‘Whhhhrrrrrrrrrrrr’ I heard ‘Whhhrrrrrr’ then I saw his semen splattering across the floor, and I was like I ain’t cleaning that up.”

This one isn't real, but had FLG on the floor anyway.

Friday, January 29, 2016

A Conversation

Miss FLG Major:  Can I have a Poodle Skirt for the Sock Hop?

FLG:  What?

Miss FLG Major:  *Sigh* Can I have a Poodle Skirt for the Sock Hop?

FLG:  Did we go through some time portal I don't know about?   I think you are like six decades late.

Miss FLG Major:  No, silly.   My school is having a Sock Hop!

FLG:   Oh, in that case, I'll order the Poodle Skirt and a bustle in case your school decides to have a Victorian Era Dinner Party.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Time Horizons

FLG still says it's time horizons.   Just in case you were wondering.

Thursday, December 17, 2015


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Quote of the day

Glass-Steagall’s major appeal is not that it would work, but that it can be explained in under a minute to someone who doesn’t know anything about financial markets. Try doing that with the Basel III capital requirements.

FLG's responses to the calls for Glass-Steagall's reinstatement have varied over the last, oh seven years, between scratching his head in confusion and apoplectic rage.   Rather than recapping all that, FLG'll just post this other quote...

On the Glass-Steagall, I’ve really thought about that because No. 1, nonbank banking was already a major part of American life at that time. Letting banks take investment positions I don’t think had much to do with this meltdown. And the more diversified institutions in general were better able to handle what happened.
...by Bill Clinton

Friday, November 20, 2015

Couple of Interesting Points

...from this article about Menswear.

Interesting point 1:
In an interview with the [fashion] school’s student-run Web site and magazine, Banderas explained that he wanted to start his own menswear line; his particular ambition was to bring back the cape. Capes for men, he said, have “incredible possibilities”
If there is one thing FLG learned at Georgetown, it's that whenever one says something is interesting he must follow up with precisely why it is interesting because saying something is interesting conveys no meaning.

So, FLG agrees capes have incredible possibilities -- winter capes, bulletproof capes, travel capes with lots of pockets that are easy to take on an off, and of course invisibility capes.

Interesting point 2:
It seems as though, having searched for an authentic way of dressing “like a man,” the men of menswear have discovered that nothing along those lines exists. It’s costumesall the way down: trad, woodsman, cowboy, sailor, biker, banker, goth ninja. 

This echoes a point FLG has been making for a while.   The search for authenticity is a fool's errand bred by a disappointment in the person's own cultural milieu.   Ultimately, what seems authentic is merely interaction with the new or novel whether that be foreign cultures or ages past.   Upon further inspection, however, there's nothing authentic about them either. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

A Florida Police Report

At approximately 1420 hours, the defendant Sean Johnson selected a brown, tan and red-stuffed horse from the clearance shelf in the garden department. The defendant then proceeded to the comforter aisle in housewares and proceeded to pull out his genitals which were in an aroused state. The defendant then proceeded to hold the stuffed horse’s chest area to his genitals and proceeded to hump the stuffed horse using short fast movements. The defendant continued his action until he achieved an orgasm and ejaculated on the stuffed horse’s chest area.
The defendant then placed the soiled stuffed horse on top of a bed in a bag (comforter set) contaminating that property also. The defendant then exited the store and left the property. Contact was made with the defendant directly across the street.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Quick Round-Up

FLG missed International Talk-like-a-pirate day!    Unbelievable.

Did anybody else know that Puma had sneakers called "Creepers?"    Call FLG crazy, but that seems like a marketing mistake.  

FLG has been on a quest to acquire a purple velvet jacket.    He thought he'd have to have one made custom, but then he saw this.  But then he saw the price and thinks he can get one custom cheaper.

Lastly, FLG has not fucking clue what to make of the presidential race.   Hillary is faltering, but Donald Trump?   WTF?    The White House would be gold plated, wall-to-wall marble.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Celebrity Sightings

FLG happened to be staying at the Minneapolis Hilton while some sort of Democratic convention / conference was going on.  

On separate days, he saw Ed Rendell and Hillary Clinton.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Presidential Daddy Issues

One long running theme here at Fear and Loathing in Georgetown is that extraordinarily ambitious men, FLG is tempted to say people but isn't quite sure how it applies to women just yet, have are motivated to acquire the admiration and love from the people that they never received from their fathers because their father either died, abandoned, or was abusive toward them.

FLG was reminded of this when reading a NY Times article about how Lincoln didn't like Jefferson:
Lincoln, who actually grew up on a backwoods farm, saw little there but drunkenness, rowdyism and endless, mind-numbing labor under the rule of his loutish and illiterate father. He made his escape from the farm as soon as he turned 21, opened a store (which failed) and finally went into law, that great enforcer of commercial contract. “I was once a slave,” he remarked, “but now I am so free that they let me practice law.”
 FLG starts compiling the data for the presidents, but always gets sidetracked.   Here's what he has so far:
George Washington -- Father died when he was 11
Thomas Jefferson -- Father died when he was 14
James Monroe -- Father died when he was 15 or 16
Andrew Jackson -- Father died 3 week before he was born
William Harrison -- Father died when he was 18
John Tyler -- Father died when he was 23
Franklin Pierce -- "According to a popular anecdote he walked twelve miles back to his home one Sunday; his father fed him dinner and drove him part of the distance back to school before kicking him out of the carriage and ordering him to walk the rest of the way in a thunderstorm. Pierce learned from the experience, later citing this moment as "the turning-point in my life""
James Garfield -- Father died when an infant

Bill Clinton & Barack Obama have well-known father issues.

Teddy seems to be the odd one out, however, writing:
My father, Theodore Roosevelt, was the best man I ever knew. He combined strength and courage with gentleness, tenderness, and great unselfishness. He would not tolerate in us children selfishness or cruelty, idleness, cowardice, or untruthfulness.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015

FLG Doth Protest!

Two recent stories have rather upset FLG.

First Story:

The Treasury Department announced Wednesday it will replace the main image of its own founder, Alexander Hamilton, on the $10 bill, with a woman as yet to be determined. Mr. Hamilton will remain on the bill in a diminished way.

Alexander Hamilton was a total badass who pretty much laid the foundation for American Greatness.  He also was the first Secretary of the Treasury, which FLG sorta thinks means he should stay on a bill.  Change pretty much any other bill first.

BTW, Harriet Tubman. Okay. Got it. FLG is all in favor of honoring her, but not on the $10 bill.   Eleanor Roosevelt?  What the fuck is the continuing fascination with Eleanor Roosevelt all about?

Second Story:
Don't teach Shakespeare?   Are you people fucking mad?  Then again, maybe nobody is paying attention anyway.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Magna Carta

Eight hundred years ago today at Runnymeade.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Alexander's Death

Interesting theory:
An extremely toxic bacterium found in the Styx River, now known as the Mavroneri, may have killed Alexander the Great.

But everybody knows Alexander died after drinking "a large bowl of unmixed wine in honour of Hercules."

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Think How Great The PiƱa Coladas Would've Been

Among the thousands of fresh pineapples inside the containers, they found fruit that had been hollowed out and stuffed with drugs and then covered with a yellow wax that simulated the colour of pineapple pulp.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Quote of the day

Kevin Carroll:
Anybody who says that a guy called Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi [the leader of Isis] doesn’t intend to seize Baghdad is whistling past the graveyard

Friday, May 29, 2015

Celebrity Sightings: Eugene Robinson

Saw Eugene Robinson coming out of the post office in Westover, while FLG was drinking a beer at the beer garden.

Just Sayin'

When the head of the IMF says there's a potential that the Greeks will leave the euro, that's means it's all but certain.  And when she says "it would definitely not mean the end of the euro," what she really means is that it would definitely mean the end of the euro. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Celebrity Sightings: Hank Paulson

Saw Hank Paulson in Lafayette Square.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Quote of the Day

Keep the sperm at body temperature and make the vagina hotter.

Full article.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Celebrity Sighting: Martha Raddatz

Saw Martha Raddatz on Connecticut Avenue just north of Farragut Square.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Leisure As Goal

The ultimate goal of Marxism, in its purest, Platonic form, is Leisure. Leisure in this case means the ability to pursue one's goals free from constraints. Those constraints could be cultural, economic, or political. Which explains the animus with which the intellectuals mentioned in the essay hate the bourgeois virtues, capitalism, and the American political system.
The nexus of economic statism and cultural libertarianism is not some odd pairing derived from unique circumstances, but a direct product of the end goal of Marxism. Economic statism is the preferred policy because it offers the false hope of spreading the wealth in a way that liberates the entire population from economic constraints in pursuing their goals. This is particularly appealing to people like artists and intellectuals whose activities are not relatively highly valued by capitalism. Cultural libertarianism removes the societal and cultural boundaries that repress and constrain the intellectuals and artists. 

He was prompted to find this in the archives because of an LBJ quotation Ross Douthat cited:
The Great Society is a place where every child can find knowledge to enrich his mind and to enlarge his talents. It is a place where leisure is a welcome chance to build and reflect, not a feared cause of boredom and restlessness. It is a place where the city of man serves not only the needs of the body and the demands of commerce but the desire for beauty and the hunger for community. 

FLG was fascinated by the rest of the speech, particular the reoccuring focus on Leisure and the Good Life:
Aristotle said, "Men come together in cities in order to live, but they remain together in order to live the good life." It is harder and harder to live the good life in American cities today.

But more classrooms and more teachers are not enough. We must seek an educational system which grows in excellence as it grows in size. And this means better training for our teachers. It means preparing youth to enjoy their hours of leisure, as well as their hours of labor. 

Will you join in the battle to build the Great Society, to prove that our material progress is only the foundation on which we will build a richer life of mind and spirit?

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Time Horizons: Marriage Edition

Ross Douthat:
since the modern liberal mind is trained to ask for spreadsheet-ready projections and clearly defined harms, and the links that social conservatives think exist aren’t amenable to that kind of precise measurement or definition. How do you run a regression analysis on a culture’s marital iconography? How do you trace the downstream influence of a change in that iconography on future generations’ values and ideas and choices? How do you measure highly-diffuse potential harms from some cultural shift, let alone compare them to the concrete benefits being delivered by the proposed alteration? How do you quantify, assess and predict the influence of a public philosophy of marriage — whatever that even means — on manners and morals and behavior? Especially when there are so many confounding socioeconomic variables involved — enough of them, in fact, to enable left and right to argue endlessly about whether something as nebulous as “culture” really shapes marriage and family at all, or whether everything is just economics all the way down.

In the piece, Douthat links to this article, which FLG hadn't seen before but looks very interesting.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Time Horizons: Bubbles

Barry Ritholtz:
stock-market bubbles pull gains into the present from the future. Toward the end of a secular cycle, the crowd becomes aroused and starts paying attention. Collectively, they begin to recognize how much money has been made during the past few years, and how much of the move they missed. So the crowd begins to pile in, somewhat late in the cycle and at somewhat elevated valuations.  Inevitably, they do worse than those who were early to the show.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Time Horizons: Messiah Complex

FLG was watching Russell Brand's Messiah Complex and was struck by several references to time horizons.   At one point, for example, Brand said he likes the idea that reality isn't permanent.   Later, he quoted Wittgenstein:
If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present.
FLG is on the other side of both those points of view, which probably explains why his politics differ so much from Brand, but very interesting nonetheless. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

In Case You Didn't Know: Seersucker Season

Put This On:
Depending on who you ask, seersucker season starts either on Memorial Day or Easter (most say Memorial Day, while some will insist on Easter).

FLG is staunchly in the Easter camp.   Over the last few years, he has been in knockdown drag out arguments on the first Friday (FLG wears his Seersucker on Fridays) following Easter with people wearing ill-fitting gray suits and cheap black shoes telling him he can't wear seersucker until Memorial Day.

Here's the thing, folks.  FLG can't remember a time that Derby Day, prime seersucker wearing day, has fallen after Memorial Day.   Therefore, Easter has to begin the season.  QED.  
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