How Money Thinks

Since moving into the house where I live now, I've been reading the Wall Street Journal every morning, because my housemate, the MBA student, subscribes. A lot of people on the left have an irrational disrespect and scorn for the journal, but I've known the value of the WSJ ever since, 6 years ago, I started sharing an office with South to the Future, who made it their business to carefully study the style and format of the paper in order to write clever and very believable satires about current and possible developments in society.

The key and the value of reading it is to know that the journal covers everything that is interesting or important to businesspeople. If one remembers that they have that angle then you can learn a lot - plus, they just have very intelligent and varied stories, and they are largely written in a way that doesn't assume stupidity on the part of the reader like most newspapers, sometimes to a fault - the daily news summary column on the center front page often refers to leaders and celebrities only by their last name, with no title or any other explanation. So if you don't know who 'Morales' or 'Mofaz' are, you're sort of out of luck, at least till you turn to the full article inside (if there is one).

It's unfortunate, and telling, that there's no freebie web version of the WSJ. So I can't link to the very interesting article in Saturday's issue about "The Penelopiad," Margaret Atwood's new book that tells the story of Homer's Odyssey from the point of view of Ulysses' wife. (But I can link to other coverage of the same.)

Nor can I link to the fascinating analysis of Europe's slow-growth economy in today's edition, which makes a comparison with the recovering U.S. economy and basically draws the conclusion (and pay attention here, this is important), that the EU economy is not growing as fast because Continental Europeans (unlike brits or yankees) do not like to go into debt, and in fact there are banking rules that make it harder to do so than in the U.S. So, in both places corporations are outsourcing to cheap labor in the 3rd world and hence not raising wages for workers, but in the U.S. workers got around that by simply borrowing more money, mainly via remortgaging their houses, so they could keep going to the mall and buying big-screen TVs and other shit. (Which begs the question, of course, how long can that last?)

Of course the WSJ phrases it a little differently, but it's definitely a source of some interesting information, especially when you keep reminding yourself, "ah, so this is what capitalists want to know about. I wonder what they'll do with this?"

re: How Money Thinks

INteresting that they say it is had to go into debt, yet almost every bank account will let you have a negative balance. Not mine, however. Something about me being a foreigner, so they didn't let me have one...

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