The Scapegoat


Inside the quiet shake-up taking place at Goldman Sachs

That is going to be key as the bank faces tough market conditions. Goldman Sachs, like every other bank, has been suffering from a weak environment for trading.

The bank had a terrible first quarter, with fixed income, currencies, and commodities revenue down by almost half versus a year earlier, and equities revenue down close to a quarter.

The second quarter, while an improvement, was hardly anything to cherish. The bank said in its second-quarter earnings that FICC “continued to operate in a challenging environment.” In equities, Goldman lost ground to its archrival Morgan Stanley.

Goldman Sachs’ FICC revenue in the first half of the year was down 24% from the first six months of 2015, with total markets revenues down 18%.

“In the capital markets, I’ve never known a time when it hasn’t been hard,” one former Goldman partner said. “It is the same for everybody. It takes a toll. People who have options, they’ve exercised them.”

Slowly, Then All at Once – JHK

We’re on a collision course with these stark realities. They are coinciding with the sickening vectors of national politics in a great wave of latent consequences built up by the sheer inertia of the scale at which we have been doing things. Trump, convinced of his own brilliance, knows nothing, and wears his incoherence like a medal of honor. Clinton literally personifies the horror of these coiled consequences waiting to spring — and the pretense that everything will continue to be okay with her in the White House (not). When these two gargoyle combatants meet in the debate arena a week from now, you will hear nothing about the journey we’re on to a different way of life.

But there is a clear synergy between the mismanagement of our money and the mismanagement of our politics. They have the ability to amplify each other’s disorders. The awful vibe from this depraved election might be enough to bring down markets and banks. The markets and banks are unstable enough to affect the election.

Two Boys in Aleppo
But only one gets publicity – and sympathy
by Justin Raimondo, September 16, 2016

So what’s really going on in Aleppo, the supposed “epicenter of the refugee crisis”? Of course, all of Syria is in the throes of that crisis, not just Aleppo – but that ancient city is indeed the epicenter of the rebels’ propaganda campaign. For if Aleppo falls, the rebels are finished, defeated, and their foreign masters – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the oil-rich emirates of the Gulf, as well as our CIA – will have been stopped in their tracks in their bid to Islamicize Syria.

Trump and the Scapegoat Effect
Reading René Girard helped me understand why so many hate the Donald.
By DAVID GORNOSKI • September 1, 2016


The Scapegoat
by René Girard

Mass Racial Killings

Not only did the Zebra killings represent the greatest instance of racially-motivated killings in modern American history, but the number of victims was quite possibly greater than the combined total for all other such examples over nearly the last 100 years of our history. Based on that reality, the near-absolute media blackout has been quite remarkably Orwellian and deeply disturbing. Prior to the development of the Internet, neither I nor almost anyone else would have ever encountered this important history, and I suspect that if anyone had presented us with the true facts back then, his claims might easily have been dismissed as the ravings of a lunatic.

We naively tend to assume that our media accurately reflects the events of our world and its history, but instead what we all too often see are only the tremendously distorted images of a circus fun-house mirror, with small items sometimes transformed into large ones, and large ones into small. The contours of historical reality may be warped into almost unrecognizable shapes, with some important elements completely disappearing from the record and others appearing out of nowhere. I’ve often suggested that the media creates our reality, but given such glaring omissions and distortions, the reality produced is often largely fictional. Our standard histories have always criticized the ludicrous Soviet propaganda during the height of Stalin’s purges or the Ukrainian famine, but in its own way, our own media organs sometimes seem just as dishonest and absurd in their own reporting. And until the availability of the Internet, it was difficult for most of us to ever recognize the enormity of this problem.