Friday, March 27, 2009

Quotes of the day

The mother of excess is not joy but joylessness.--Fredrich Nietzsche

If you see something with suspiciously consistent and positive returns, and if you have no idea how those returns are generated, then tread with extreme caution.--Felix Salmon

Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking the past was better than it was. I think it’s much better for banks to be in the banking industry rather than the household appliance industry.--Eddy Elfenbein

Public pensions are woefully underfunded — they’re promising defined benefits, but may not be able to deliver. Defined-benefit private pensions are dragging companies like GM, Ford and Chrysler toward bankruptcy. And Social Security is on an unsustainable trajectory, which the political system knows but which politicians can’t bear to confront. At least when 401(k) balances go down, the whole system isn’t rendered insolvent.--Glenn Reynolds

Greenspan then goes on to argue, as he has often in the past, about the regulatory difficulties of bursting a bubble. He has a point here, but he also undermines that point by arguing that back in 2002 he said the housing fever would eventually end. And yet, Greenspan, the most powerful Fed chairman in many decades, never budged to consistently decry the danger or even to use his various powers as a regulator and as a sage to tighten the reins. He wasn't going to rock the boat. But now he can't have it both ways. If he didn't see what was happening -- particularly in housing -- then he was blind. But if he did (and he claims he did, sort of, maybe) then he was a coward. And that's a judgment beyond ideology.--Robert Teitelman

And the McCain campaign, love 'em, you know, they're a lot of people around me, but nobody I could find that I wanted to hold hands with and pray.--Sarah Palin

Hey, I’ve got an idea — why don’t we organize society so that it rewards hard work! We could even see that people who work harder and do better make more money! And then their efforts would pay off in more general societal prosperity, making life better for everyone! And we could . . . Naaaah.--Glenn Reynolds

For a guy who talks so much about wanting a new era of responsibility, President Obama spends an awful lot of time blaming Republicans for all the wild and reckless spending he crammed into his own budget.--Charles Hurt

Indeed, as best I can tell, Obama has more than a Geithner problem. He has what I would call a Rumsfeld problem. That is to say, in the infamous words of the imperious defense secretary, the president made the mistake of going to economic war with the army he had--which was built for political speed and presidential comfort--instead of the army he needs to beat back the crisis of confidence that is crippling our markets and feeding the AIG blood lust.--Dan Gerstein

Mickey Kaus gets forwarded a lengthy discussion thread from the super-secret JournoList and, well, it turns out it's exactly the kind of thoughtful and high-brow policy salon we all imagined it to be.--Mark Hemingway

Pascal's Wager is actually a serious problem for those of us who want to use Kolmogorov complexity as an Occam prior, because the size of even the finite computations blows up much faster than their probability diminishes.--Eliezer Yudkowsky

You think your job sucks? Try working for Lenny Dykstra.--Kevin Coughlin

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