Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Monday Five

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* Longtime gerrycanavan.wordpress.com favorite Kim Stanley Robinson profiled in the L.A. Times. Great photo.

* It’s hard not to love Taibbi: The reality is that the post-bailout era in which Goldman thrived has turned out to be a chaotic frenzy of high-stakes con-artistry, with taxpayers and clients bilked out of billions using a dizzying array of old-school hustles that, but for their ponderous complexity, would have fit well in slick grifter movies like The Sting and Matchstick Men. There’s even a term in con-man lingo for what some of the banks are doing right now, with all their cosmetic gestures of scaling back bonuses and giving to charities. In the grifter world, calming down a mark so he doesn’t call the cops is known as the “Cool Off.” More at MetaFilter.

* See also: doomsday cycle capitalism.

* The White House proposal for health care is now online. The oh-so-crucial bipartisan summit is this Friday, and hopefully that will give the Democrats sufficient political cover to finally get this over with.

* And now Ezra Klein looooooooves Evan Bayh. Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone?

One Response

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  1. re: ‘doomsday cycle capitalism’ — can’t tell if those guys want another volcker shock

    here’s the original goffman article on ‘cooling the mark out’ that became the standard touchstone for arguments comparing government policy to con-man policy:

    “A mark’s participation in a play, and his investment in it, clearly commit him in his own eyes to the proposition that he is a smart man. The process by which he comes to believe that he cannot lose is also the process by which he drops the defences and compensations that previously protected him from defeats. When the blowoff comes, the mark finds that he has no defence for not being a shrewd man. He has defined himself as a shrewd man and must face the fact that he is only another easy mark.”

    Vu

    February 22, 2010 at 12:38 pm


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