Monday, June 14, 2010

Hell Goes Soft (er)

A note on the new look of Sudden Debt.

Tiffany blue, baby blue.. call it whatever, the new design and colour palette of Sudden Debt is undoubtedly much "softer" than the previous harsh red and black, deliberately chosen over four years ago as a warning to the looming dangers of the credit bubble.  The blog not only sounded but even looked accusatory, as if Sudden Debt was the Spanish Inquisition and yours truly the Torquemada of Debt, committing heretical lenders and borrowers to burn in, well, Hell.

Since then the credit bubble has burst spectacularly and today there is not a soul on this planet who has not heard of sub-prime lending, credit derivatives, sovereign default probabilities, etc.  In other words, Sudden Debt has accomplished the mission of warning about, chronicling and lambasting the Permagrowth culture that was founded on ever-expanding credit and inflating asset prices.  To continue doing so would be akin to beating a dead horse, a function entirely foreign to my outlook and interests in life.

So, where do we go from here?  For one, I believe it is imperative to now make fun of  High Finance instead of continuing to accuse it of malfeasance.  The reason is as simple as Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator.  Ridicule is an extremely potent weapon, when used judiciously.

To this end, here are a couple of classic clips from my favourite Brit comedy show, Monty Python's Flying Circus. Watch both, they are quite short.



The Spanish Inquisition, Part One

The Spanish Inquisition, Part Two

They no longer make stuff like this, unfortunately.  Today, we are more apt to shake our heads, shrug our shoulders apathetically and stay put.  May I point out that, in the end, it was ridicule that brought down Tricky Dicky?

A final note: an entire generation has grown up thinking that economics is all about predicting market behaviour.  Even very smart people take this view for granted, instead of pausing to ponder what the word economics actually means.  But then again, they don't think about what democracy means, either. In the age of economics as market analysis, we call it representative democracy, probably because it merely represents democracy instead of being the real thing.

11 comments:

Debra said...

WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW (a little sequence of hyperbole for you there...)
This is EXCELLENT news.
So good that I even laughed at the Monty Python sketches. THEY were improved by my enthusiasm...
This will be a hell of a lot more challenging for you than ranting, believe me.
You NEED a challenge. You are too smart to stick in a rut...
Let's bring down the establishment... WITH HUMOR, I say...
Good going. I will try to cultivate some humor too...
Cheers.

Debra said...

May I also humbly suggest that... Charlie Chaplin was a poet. (Not the Monty Python, but...)
I think that AT THE SAME TIME we get out of this dry and dusty rut of economic SCIENTISM, we COULD be reinventing our language, to PLAY.
I think we need to PLAY MORE.
With our language. With each other.
Like... what we're doing in our Sudden Debt family, right ??

Greenie said...

Debtor's prison is baaack

Trebuchet said...

I love the new look. It smacks of that horrific farce called the Blue Ocean Strategy though. :)

camabron said...

That final note is spot on Hells. It seems in this permagrowth culture everyone's forgotten that economics at it's core is the management of scarcity. It seems scarcity is a forgotten word in the permagrowth culture.

mon said...

Beautiful Hell, the Bush/Obama Spanish Inquisition tag team. A combination of the Bush "cushions" (we'll have the taxpayers maintain your scam) and the Obama "comfy chair", "if you don't stop your evil ways I'll yell at you". Beautiful.

Maybe we can "fix" the BP blunder with the same approach? Why not, keep going to the well until its' dry.

Dink said...

THE COMFY CHAIR!!!! Thanks for the laugh, Hell :)

"economics at it's core is the management of scarcity. It seems scarcity is a forgotten word in the permagrowth culture"

Strange how its not instinctual to the human mind to be alert to this. But with 7B of us on the planet we better become alert, instinct or not.

FrontierPsychiatrist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FrontierPsychiatrist said...

"But then again, they don't think about what democracy means, either. In the age of economics as market analysis, we call it representative democracy, probably because it merely represents democracy instead of being the real thing."

I was thinking about my own countries (and Terry's, John's and Michael's) recent election. Post election all the talk in the msm is about 'reducing the deficit', yet pre election none of the main parties saw fit to reveal how they would set about this task.

I think this chap might have had something to say about the relationship between democracy, public opinion and education. From where I'm sitting most people think that the economic conditions of the past ten years are the norm, and 'normal service' will soon be resumed.

OkieLawyer said...

Greenie:

That article is misleading. The debtors are not going to jail for the underlying debt, but for "contempt of court" for failing to show up for a court-ordered "hearing on assets" aka HOA.

Here are the steps (at least in Oklahoma):

1) Lawsuit filed;
2) Service of Process (you get served with the lawsuit)
3) An answer is filed and court hearing set or default judgment will be taken;
4) Court hearing where dispute is heard or default judgment is entered.
5) Creditor files for hearing to determine what assets are available to satisfy said judgment.
6) Debtor is served with notice of hearing (same process as 2, but for different hearing);
7) Hearing held, or Contempt Citation authorized;
8) If Contempt Citation issued, Debtor is served with Contempt Citation ordering them to show up in court;
9) If Debtor still doesn't show up (or bankruptcy is filed), then Arrest Warrant is issued to force Debtor to show up at hearing to answer what assets they have to satisfy judgment.

Contempt Citation is known as a "quasi-criminal" proceeding.

Now, it certainly is possible that no service actually took place, but this is rare. More likely, debtor just wants to ignore problem and hope it goes away.

getyourselfconnected said...

Looking forward to the new angle! I myself rely on sarcasm as my medium, it is my artwork canvas!