Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Friday, May 20, 2011


Image from here.

Let's discuss a post that Megan McArdle didn't write. McArdle didn't write about her CNN appearance opposite Matt Taibbi, a man who is dead to her because he does her job better than she ever even imagined doing it. Her Taibbi Voodoo Doll must have gone through a workout that night, for McArdle's humiliation spread far and wide in the business press and her owners must be wondering if putting her on tv is going to benefit or harm them. No doubt her future appearances will be carefully vetted to ensure she is not challenged in public again; perhaps Larry Kudlow will have her on as they both seem to experience a deeply satisfying, tingling thrill at the thought of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.

McArdle made her usual arguments--nobody can know anything ever and nobody is responsible for anything ever. To make these arguments she has to lie, and it is immensely gratifying to see someone call her out to her face.

Lie #1: Goldman Sachs sold assets that they knew were toxic to clients; in fact, they also made a bet that those assets would fail. McArdle said that it was legal to do this.

MCARDLE: Well, I think the fair argument is these investments are incredibly complicated and it's very hard to know what happened. But the fact is that we generally assume that an institutional investor, like a pension fund or a hedge fund has the intelligence, the know-how and the motivation to figure out what's going on in the other side. So we don't offer them the same protections as we offer ordinary investors.

VELSHI: That's not true anymore, right? I mean, now I think we've probably learned that it seems they don't --

TAIBBI: If I could jump in there, Ali. There's definitely a legal standard that requires an investment bank like Goldman Sachs to disclose adverse elements of the deal, like for instance, they had a $2 billion short position against --

VELSHI: Let's spell that out, you're saying that they had a legal obligation to tell somebody they were selling an investment to they had a $2 billion bet against that investment?

TAIBBI: Absolutely.

MCARDLE: If I could jump in here --

TAIBBI: Goldman actually in that deal even said affirmatively that their interests were aligned with the client because they had a $6 million stake in that same deal. But they didn't disclose they had a $2 billion bet against the deal.

VELSHI: Megan?

MCARDLE: Look, inherently someone who is selling you an asset is going short that asset, right? They aren't owning it anymore and you presume that there is a reason for that. Markets are made by people betting one way or the other and what you have to do --

VELSHI: I'm not sure that makes sense for an investment firm, though.

The sheer gall it took to make these arguments is impressive, in a perverse way. When a company sells a product you don't assume that they are selling it because it was defective and they want to get rid of it. Do you buy a car with the assumption that the factory wanted to got rid of it because it was a dud? The argument is insultingly feeble.

Lie #2:Selling toxic assets was okay because the clients knew the assets were bad.

MCARDLE: What we have to do is disclose. It's perfectly legal for a dealership to sell me a car I'm not going to like or that's too expensive for me. It's not legal for them to sell me a car that's not what they represented it as.

And we set certain legal minimum standards and that's what happened here. At least, John Losera and all the devils who are here argues that he actually has gone through these documents and says that a lot of these things were disclosed. That in fact Goldman laid out in very lengthy detail all of the ways in which this could go wrong. I haven't read the disclosure documents personally.

Of course not. It would cut into her drinking time.

McArdle depends on the fact that her audience usually doesn't know enough about the subject to contradict her and her colleagues are extraordinarily reluctant to accuse a nice, polite, white, upper-class woman who is backed by an entire wingnut welfare industry of being a liar.

TAIBBI: I have.

Oh, snap! Which brings us to Lie #3.

MCARDLE: There are two competing versions of the story.

There is the truth and there are the lies, but that's not the same thing as two competing versions, is it?

VELSHI: Matt, you've read them?

TAIBBI: Well, I've read all the documents in this report and I've also talked to some of the principals in this entire story. I definitely know some of the client that is Goldman was talking about were completely blindsided by the fact that, for instance.

They were buying assets out of Goldman's own book when they were told that Goldman was buying these assets off the street. They definitely did not make key disclosures that they were legally obligated to make.

Lie #4:We are hunting down poor, innocent Goldman, Sachs because we just want to blame someone--anyone--for the sorry state of our economy.

MCARDLE:...But here's the thing. I think there is a real desire to have a sense of closure on this, a desire to track down a villain, figure out who did this to us.

And I think that really underweight the power of human stupidity and poor system design. It can produce terrible results even without anyone doing --

The bald-faced smarminess of this lie sets off Taibbi:

TAIBBI: You're not ashamed to do the job that you do. How you were not ashamed to apologize for these billionaires who ripped off ordinary people. I can't believe that --

McArdle, of course, has no shame, or sold it off long ago, along with her soul and her firstborn. Lie #5:

MCARDLE: There weren't ordinary people. A hedge fund is not an ordinary --

TAIBBI: How about this? They ripped off a billion dollar from Morgan Stanley, which then in turn took a $10 billion bailout from the taxpayer ergo they ripped us off. How do you answer that?

MCARDLE: How do I answer that? I think that, you know, in fact, they do deals with big banks. There are questions about how we should have done those bailouts.

Lie #6:

{MCARDLE, CONT.} But the fact is it's not Goldman Sachs' responsibility to make sure that Morgan Stanley makes money. More than it's the Atlantic's responsibility to make sure that Rolling Stone makes money.

TAIBBI: I don't know how that makes sense on any planet in any universe. That is just insane.

The denial of reality is insane, but it is also very profitable.

Lie #7:

MCARDLE: Well, you know, I think that it's very morally satisfying to try to track down people who did things to us. But I think in the end, justice wants to make a case that Goldman didn't just do something that we don't like.

They want to make a case that Goldman did something that was actually illegal at the time when they did and that's a lot harder standard to meet. In fact like in the aftermath of this crisis, what you get is a lot of cases brought that fail

Eliot Spitzer didn't make his cases. A lot of Rudy Giuliani's cases ultimately fell apart. Even some of the Enron stuff has been falling apart. And so it's actually a lot more difficult to track down --

That's nearly a lie a minute. I'm very impressed. When The Atlantic finds a younger, cuter econoblogger McArdle will have a very fine career ahead of her as a PR flack for the nuclear industry or some foreign dictator.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

No doubt her future appearances will be carefully vetted to ensure she is not challenged in public again...

Am I being overly cynical in thinking that the rest of our corporate servants masquerading as journalists will have a slightly different take?

AKA: Keep that Taibbi guy off the air, he's dangerous. There's plenty of suckups we can bring on instead.

Lurking Canadian said...

Megan, Esq: Yes, your Honour, my client did sell the deceased a car with cut brake lines...well, yes, your Honour, my client did know that the brake lines were cut, but nobody can know everything, and anyway, would they really have been selling the car if they thought they'd be better off keeping it? Inherently, they're going short on the car, right, so the deceased really should have expected what happened.

Me: However, it wouldn't surprise me if Goldman-Sachs really didn't do anything illegal, because Goldman-Sachs writes the laws and provides the police force.

Downpuppy said...

One of the things you learn very quickly working in a small organization that deals with large ones is that while the little companies have to follow the law, the people who work for the big ones are only concerned with the rules that apply inside their companies.

Banks, as always, are the worst.

zuzu said...

As my Commercial Transactions professor in law school said, "Banks make great clients. They pay their bills and fuck up a lot."

I also wonder if the takeaway the networks will take from this will be that Taibbi should not be given airtime, rather than that McMegan's appearances should be more carefully controlled. The only reason I think that Taibbi might not be dumped is that he gives good TV.

nate said...

I love how Taibbi can only handle so much bullshit before he loses it.

There was some discussion he was in with David Gergen and some other pompous, elderly Washington gasbag talking about the Obama Administration's policies subsequent to the financial meltdown.

Eventually, Gergen mumbled in his oh-so-serious tone that, "Obama needs to be careful not to alienate the business community."

Taibbi exploded, "Fuck the business community!"

Kathy said...

Is ArgleBargle (1) Just quoting talking points she's been carefully taught? (2) Disgracefully stupid? (3) A clever liar?

I'd opt for #1 along with the personal philosophy of so many pundits, called "Baffle Them With Bullshit". Just blather nonsense for so long, listeners simply lose the ability to think logically about the subject.

How can any feebly intelligent or decent person claim (publically!) that it is perfectly honest and legal to sell a customer an item while at the same time betting big bucks that same item will fail?

I just can't grasp that attitude. "Caveat emptor" does not mean "The Buyer KNOWS quite well that the Seller is a slimy psycho thief who is out to destroy The Buyer."

Pete said...

@Nate: I'm pretty sure that's the occasion where Gergen thought he was going on with Matt Bai, the New York Times (reliable, sober, etc) guy rather than this crazy person who writes for some kiddie mag. Had he known, would he have been there?

UncertaintyVicePrincipal said...


Taibbi mentioned that in a response at a FDL book salon that was priceless:

Matt Taibbi November 27th, 2010 at 3:08 pm
In response to UncertaintyVicePrincipal @ 121

Uncertainty, later in the day, when my editors and I figured out what had happened, we were all laughing hysterically — somewhere that night David Gergen was telling someone what an asshole Matt Bai is.

Batocchio said...

A good run-down, thanks. That was one of the classic McBargle dissembling performances.

Pete said...

@UVP: That's the one! Thanks. But the basic question remains: Would Gergen (I keep thinking of snakes, not to mention being bored to stone) ever agree to appear with Taibbi again?

Back when I and the world were young, in the late 1960s, you could get rich selling revolution; Lenin's quip about capitalists selling you the rope you'd hang them with seemed reasonable. Now the bastards let ideology get in the way of commerce. Treachery, that's what it is!

Clever Pseudonym said...

Not to give her too much sympathy, but it's got to be hard to be McArdle. Imagine spending all of your life selling a lie; being a poser and a phoney and, at least on the tiniest level, being totally aware of it. She constantly puts on airs pretending to be what she's not (a competent journalist, a writer with the insight and talent worthy of publication, someone with more than a cursory knowledge of economics, a cook, etc.) and the burden of putting on the show must be a nagging torment. The psyche of her denial when she's called out for her frequent errors is almost fascinating, if not a little bit annoying. Her critics are just jealous, stupid, live in their mom's basement, or misogynists. Nevermind the facts or seamless logic. She's special and better and she knows it and if you don't see that, there's something wrong with YOU. It must be awful to live with the feeling that, one day, you'll finally be revealed to all as the know-nothing, fake, ignorant and incurious tw*t that you are. Jealous? I don't think so. I just pity her for her delusions of grandeur and all the sucking up she does to climb a useless social ladder to nowhere.

And I'd always hoped Taibbi would avenge himself for all her insipid "Sarah Palin of journalism" crap. He now has, but with as much grace as a guy like him can muster. Those two shouldn't even be in the same room taking a piss, let alone side by side as professionals. She's so outclassed, it's begging for satire.

fish said...

Look, inherently someone who is selling you an asset is going short that asset, right? They aren't owning it anymore and you presume that there is a reason for that.

Even with all that Susan has documented on McMegan, this deep dishonesty still stunned me. Supposedly her whole philosophy is rooted in free market Randism, yet this violates every principle that is the foundation of that philosophy. The free market fairy is supposed to magically punish those supplying inferior products at inflated prices, leaving only the honest, upstanding business men. An economy based on the concept that people only sell something that isn't worth what is being asked for it is a completely unworkable system.
This argument reveals her as the cheap propagandist she is more than any other argument I have ever seen her make because it can't ever represent anything she claimed to believe.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

...somewhere that night David Gergen was telling someone what an asshole Matt Bai is.

And this was the first time that David Gergen uttered the truth in decades.

Mr. Wonderful said...

What fish said. I wonder if anyone's said to MM that the opposite rationale can equally apply: Somebody bought X, which you sold them. Ergo, there is a demand for X. Don't you go long on something if there's a known demand for it?

Next up: That independent, named-by-the-governor commission investigating the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster blames both Massey Energy and the Fed mine bureau. Think McArdle will do anything but wag a jovial finger at Massey and call for the liquidation of the Mine bureau and the imprisonment of its personnel?

Syz said...

Actually, I am waiting for Megan's meltdown over Kathleen Sebelius' latest health care directive.

Susan of Texas said...

Her "Do Marginal Tax Rates Matter?" is awesome; too bad I don't have time to cover it.

Drum: Since evidence shows that raising the tax rate doesn't harm the economy and the rich don't go Galt, we could raise the tax rate.

McArdle: Kevin is wrong. We can't raise the tax rate because the rich will go Galt and it won't raise more tax money.

Just deny, using bs reasons, and you're done! It can work for anything.

Sibelius: Insurance companies are raising rates for no reason. Stop it.

McArdle: No they aren't. QED, bitchez!

Lurking Canadian said...

I'm still puzzling over this business of going "inherently short" by selling something. Obviously, it doesn't make any sense if the thing you are selling is a real good, but it might be a meaningful thing to say about a financial asset.

If I hold a stock and sell it, it does mean in some way that I've decided I can do better with something else. Of course that could just be because I'm trying to diversify, or I need cash for sone other purpose, but I don't think it's a completely senseless thing to say. It does not excuse selling crap you know to be crap, of course.

atat said...

I'm always a fan of her Kindle posts too. Two in a row this time because Amazon announced that e-book sales have surpassed print sales. Of course she's declared the bound book dead before, but this clinches it for her. Regardless of whether or not her prediction ends up coming true, it's obvious from these posts that she's arrived at her desired conclusion without devoting a single second of critical thought to it. She tosses out two completely idiotic analogies and voila! Q.E.D. suckers!

Her commenters--who by and large aren't nearly as married to the idea of the e-book as she is--raise a number of these questions (e.g. "Is Amazon including free e-books in their count?"), but I was wondering why Megan didn't include a link to this glorious news. If you read the press release from Amazon that Megan doesn't quote or link to, it claims that while e-book sales have beaten bound book sales, their overall book sales have seen the largest year-to-year increase in ten years.

So while she dances on the grave of the printed word (outwardly of course, she pretends to be "sad" about it), the story she cites actually says that bound book sales are increasing as well.

An honest economist would likely investigate whether or not e-book sales were pushing bound book sales, or any other number of theories that might apply here. But Megan loves her some Kindle, so she doesn't think past the headline.

Susan of Texas said...

And The Atlantic has a deal with Kindle to release short stories--something she does not mention as well.

UncertaintyVicePrincipal said...

"I'm still puzzling over this business of going "inherently short" by selling something. ...;. it might be a meaningful thing to say about a financial asset."

How is it meaningful? Selling doesn't mean going short. Going short means something about what the stock will do in the future. You might sell something while having no idea whether it will go down. You might even sell it thinking it will go up, but want the cash for whatever reason.

The mistake that Megan is making here is claiming that what Goldman engaged in with its clients is exactly the same as any two entities in competition, like magazine A hoping that magazine B doesn't have as many readers as magazine A, because that's better for magazine A.

But Goldman was selling something to a customer in these cases, and those things are covered by all sorts of laws, some of which have to do with lying about what you're selling. That constitutes fraud, not competition.

UncertaintyVicePrincipal said...

@Lurking Canadian:

Sorry I didn't pay enough attention to your second paragraph (set off as I was by the first ;) where you basically said some of what I did.

In which case I'm puzzled about how anyone could think that what Megan said could be "meaningful" in any way, but then many things puzzle me....

zuzu said...

Selling short, in the context of securities, has a specific meaning. I don't remember what that meaning is precisely, but it's basically screwing over your buyer to make a profit by withholding material information you're required to disclose about the stock's value.

The reason you're confused about what McMegan said about "inherently short" sales whenever you sell something is that she's confused herself about what it means. Or she knows quite well what it means but she's deliberately muddying the waters to downplay the malfeasance of GS.

Her example, that of a car you can't afford, bears no relation to the securities market because consumer goods like cars are not the same thing as securities. Nor is shorting a stock the same thing as putting you into a car you can't make payments on; doing so doesn't say anything about the value of the car. She alluded to a better analogy: someone can't sell you a car they know to be defective and will be worthless once it drives off the lot without disclosing the defects.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Selling short, in the context of securities...

Specifically, it means selling something you don't own.

You'll make delivery to the buyer by borrowing that something from someone who has it and is willing to lend it.

Other issues include what the seller knows that the buyer does not, and what the seller and other customers related to the seller might also be doing (because the 'efficient market' is a Econ 101a concept, and the real world goes way past Econ 101a...)

atat said...

Susan of Texas said, "And The Atlantic has a deal with Kindle to release short stories--something she does not mention as well."

I should have known that there had to be more to it than just her emotional attachment to her Kindle.

Kathy said...

I'm imagining a car dealer knowingly selling a defective car and then placing a bet that the car would crash!

Would ArgleBargle say that's OK with Her- the customer should have known the car was crap (even tho sold as AAA+ condition) and should also have known the dealer stood to make billions of dollars if the car failed? "Caveat emptor" indeed!

Anonymous said...

Does it make any difference if you would consider GS as the broker? The third party bringing the buyer and seller together.

Susan of Texas said...

My opinion doesn't count, only the law does.

Downpuppy said...

You could think of them as a broker, though you're better off thinking of them as a magic rabbit that delivers chocolate eggs, since it's less likely to cause confusion with their actual role.

Anonymous said...

Aimai Says:

Megan or Myles, is that you?

"Does it make any difference if you would consider GS as the broker? The third party bringing the buyer and seller together."

Susan and Downpuppy have really answered this already but let me try again because its at the crux of Megan's usual problem with analysis.

GS had a contractual relationship with the people it was selling shit to. You don't need an analogy to understand that contractual relationship, you don't need to "consider it as" one thing or another. It *was* a certain kind of relationship, legally, with certain proscribed limits and duties. They violated those limits and duties by failing to disclose certain information--that they were selling from their own book and that they had placed massive bets against the assets they were selling.

Megan's argument consists of this: a complete misunderstanding of how business works, how law structures particular business relationships, and just about everything else including the use of the subordinate clause and punctuation. Really stupid people shouldn't use analogies at all and they definitely shouldn't offer them as dispositive forms of argument.


Myles said...

Megan or Myles, is that you?

Not me. I don't know enough about the Goldman case to comment, but my guess would be that they might have treaded on the edge of illegality, but given it's Goldman, they would have done it in such a way as to make it unprosecutable.

So don't get excited. Most likely outcome is a no-fault settlement (this usually works out best for all parties concerned, anyhow).

Myles said...

(and it's entirely true that Matt Taibbi is prone to getting outraged by the most conventional financial operations.)

Susan of Texas said...

Myles, that's the great thing about the law. You don't have to guess if someone broke the law, it's all written down and you can read it. And what actually happened?--you don't have to guess, you can read what happened there too--as Taibbi did and McArdle didn't--and then you will know.

This isn't a tennis match. Nobody's excited about a win. This is the financial well-being of our country and ourselves, although it's too late to do anything about the destruction that's already taken place. But we still care about the truth, and we refuse to deliberately remain in ignorance so we can more easily lie to ourselves.

Myles said...

you don't have to guess, you can read what happened there too--as Taibbi did and McArdle didn't--and then you will know.

The problem is that it doesn't really matter. Financial law is always a bit hazy, and given past history the pattern of Goldman seems to be pushing right up to the limited prescribed by law, but not beyond it in a way that can actually lead to jail convictions.

Matt Taibbi is incandescently convinced that based on his (layman's) readings of the law, Goldman should be sent to jail. Well, no. Financial law actually doesn't work like that.

As john b said in an earlier CT thread, "In general, the US approach of trying to regulate the cowboy-fun-fest that is the stock market by locking folk up is nonsense."

Just to give one example: the recent Jefferson County nonsense in Alabama, which Matt Taibbi wrote about, is basically not really a crime story, despite Taibbi trying his darndest trying to make it one. The consulting fees and the JPMorgan payment to Goldman were slimey alrighty, but they weren't really choate to the main outline of the deal, which is that politicians wanted to push costs down the line and drag savings up it, so they can get reƫlected, so they did a bunch of financially inadvisable deals. They still would have done the deals had it not been for the petty corruption, and the result would have been just as shitty.

Susan of Texas said...

Myles, does this schtick ever work on anyone? Just because McArdle makes a living arguing from wishful thinking doesn't mean people actually fall for it.

Mandos said...

Myles is trying to defend a system that he thinks is the best possible world. If we can't have these things we can't have his sacred cow, free trade.

Myles said...

Most of the arguments about Jefferson Co., for example, are basically that JPMorgan should have taught the county officials all about finance and what they should be doing, so they wouldn't be overpaying JPMorgan.

Well, that's not much of a business model, is it? I am not a huge fan of McArdle-style caveat emptor, but a) the county is a corporate entity, and the financial system presumes that corporate entities know what they are doing, and it's simply impossible to run the economy otherwise, if only because literally everything would get tied up in court; and b) it's not very practical for JPMorgan, of all entities, to teach basic financial literacy for public officials.

Myles said...

Myles, does this schtick ever work on anyone?

Well again, in the case of Goldman I simply don't know. I am merely observing past patterns and deriving the conclusion that they probably had good enough legal advice to get off, because this is what Goldman's past patterns indicate.

I am not passing substantive judgment on whether they should do so. The Paulson case a bit different from many other financial cases in that there genuinely seemed to be something crooked and conspiratorial in there.

Anonymous said...

myles, they are referring to you and megan's "stuff is complicated but its the best we got/nobody knows anything but i present myself as the most knowledgeable of the know-nothings" tactics. the answer is no, it doesn't.

Syz said...

Myles and Megan are both correct.

Institutional investors can take care of themselves. Even if they lack the financial expertise to evaluate a complex transaction, they have the means to hire expert consultants to give them guidance. For example, for a fee, Goldman Sachs can advise them on the best financial…

Oh, wait…

I take back what I said. Megan and Myles are both idiots.

Myles said...


Yeah, but the legal implications are enormous. If clients are able to get out of contracts simply on the basis of claims that they actually didn't know what's going on, contracts would become unenforceable. It would literally be a perverse incentive for institutional counterparties to not do their due diligence.

Let's not build more perverse incentives into the system.

Anonymous said...

If clients are able to get out of contracts simply on the basis of claims that they actually didn't know what's going on, contracts would become unenforceable.

This is mendacious and ignorant rubbish. The premise is purest straw, the conclusion in no way related to it, and thus the logic gibberish.

It would be more relevant to state the position thus: If a seller is allowed knowingly to misrepresent an item, and a buyer who reasonably relied upon their representations is not allowed to seek redress for fraud, then contract law is utterly worthless. There, I admit, you might have a point. But not one that any person with a shred of human decency would argue in favor of.

Pitchforks! Aux armes mes citoyens!

Pete, whom G**gle won't allow to sign in.

Myles said...

The legal system isn't structured to habitually encourage ex post facto changes. The fact of the matter is that the corporate entity, Jefferson Co., at the time of the transaction, should reasonably expect for its transactions to play out according to the legal expectations of the times, which did not include such obligations as are now claimed for JPMorgan.

Just because you "feel" like something is wrong or unjust, is not good enough reason for the legal system to reflect that feeling. We wouldn't have a functioning legal system if it did so.

Myles said...

If Goldman/JPMorgan do get into legal doo-doo for this, by the way, it would be for petty corruption and (very) minor antitrust. It can't be for anything major, because on the major, salient points I would say that JPMorgan acted within the limits the law. There's simply nothing intrinsically wrong with selling a client overpriced swaps if the client is a) a party with the power to act, and b) able to understand the precise terms of the arrangement. As long as there is no deliberate fraud, it takes two to tango. There might be an intertemporal principal-agent problem with the county politicians, but the actions of JPMorgan were not salient to electoral politics.

Syz said...

>> The legal system isn't structured to habitually encourage ex post facto changes.

Misrepresentation from the very start is not ex post facto.

Myles is dissembling again.

Must be Tuesday.

Susan of Texas said...

Wish I could trust
That it was just this once
But I must do what I must.
I can't adjust to this disgust. We're done....

Larkspur said...

Susan, this is totally off-topic, but there are only so many people who will understand, and you are one. I am house- and dog-sitting right now for two dogs, one of whom is pretty darn lively. His name is Riley, and early last Saturday morning, in the park, he got off-leash, so I'm yelling "Riley! Riley!"

I'm feeling uneasy, and then I realize that not only is Riley loose, but I'm kind of expecting a sharp Polgara skewer in the back at any second.

Hey. That was the day of the non-Apocalypse, too. (Somewhere, someone was doing her job.)

Anonymous said...

Adam & Riley - Grr! Arrgh! - the A-Team writers must have been on Angel that season.

-Downpuppy (bloggered)

Myles said...

Misrepresentation from the very start is not ex post facto.

What exactly did JPMorgan misrepresent? That their swaps weren't the lowest-priced ones on the market? Surely not. They had no obligation to disclose price information.

Otherwise, they are probably guilty of petty corruption. But misrepresentation? Oh please, seriously. Are you going to act all shocked when you find out that the stuff you get from one store is actually higher-priced than you could have gotten elsewhere?

If JPMorgan was legally obligated to reveal the lowest market/competitor price for everything, how exactly do you propose they make money?

Mandos said...

Hello. Anytime Myles posts please refer to this comment he made on CT and the comments he makes that follow. As in, further down:

I am merely stating the truth. While freeing slaves is commendable, if you don’t make compensation you are going to seriously destabilize the capital structure of the economy, and prevent appropriate future investments, because the people who would have taken the money and invested in more productive activities than slavery wouldn’t have had the capital to do so.

That's all you need to know about Myles. He doesn't think about the correct reaction to slaveowners is not only to deprive them of their slaves but, at minimum, to deprive them of the rest of their ill-gotten gains (ie, their land and property). He thinks that their property must be preserved and compensated. For the market.

And he doesn't appear to be a Poe.

Mandos said...

Blogger seems to have eaten one of my comments. Huh.

Susan of Texas said...

I fished a couple of comments out of the spam filter, Mandos.

Susan of Texas said...

Larkspur: There will always be another apocalypse! Also, I think there's a Hellmouth in McArdle's back yard. Like calls to like.

The Adam storyline did give up one or two good bits: the UberBuffy and this:

Spike: You were a Boy Scout?
Adam: Parts of me.