Saturday, March 21, 2009


I had thought that there were things I would know by now. Compassion would tell me to be patient with myself and the time it takes to understand those things....but timing is a bitch. This I know for sure. So there will be things I miss because I missed the opportunity to be in that moment and let that moment bring me somewhere else.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Invest immediately in Pitch Forks....just in case

Short version: New Fed program will rape you more than you are already being raped, like with bayonets.

TALF details suggest Obama doesn’t get it - Credit Writedowns: "Marshall Auerback here. As Ed lucidly suggested to me by e-mail:

“We see the Fed giving a loan for assets at the price as reported on the institutions’ books. Otherwise, you have to take a write-down just to get the loan. That’s a non-starter. So the Fed is going to take the asset as collateral at its reported value and will administer a haircut of 5-16%. This program is applicable only to certain AAA paper to diminish the possibility that more haircut would be needed (I am sceptical here).

If irrational despondency goes away, the loan is repaid. However, if the asset falls in value, the Fed has no-recourse. Given the fact that they have already mentioned the SPV, it suggests the investment company could then renege and have the collateral seized with no other penalty.”

But a lot of this is not “irrational despondency”. The reality is that large chunks of these toxic “assets” are not “impaired,” or “illiquid,” or “distressed”. They are worthless, now and forever – unless the peak real estate values of the bubble can miraculously be restored and a whole bunch of deceased LBOs can be raised from the tomb. The banks know this, investors know this, Geithner and Co. know"


It's work week 11 of 2009 and I am on my 7th trip this year. An amazing flight as far as the sky scenery goes, but after finding a certain level of calm last week, it's not enough to soothe me. I feel as if I am lurching through time and its only moments where I feel like I am in any sort of present tense.

Certain jokes I make feel as if I am pretending to be a me that is familiar to the people around me while inside I am almost totally disconnected. I had a conversation with someone who is struggling mightily in their life and the familiarity with that darkness almost felt like nostalgia. At least when I was swimming in chaos I knew I wanted to find my way to solid ground. There was an objective purpose to the expenditure of energies coupled with the uncontrollable onslaught of unpredictable emotions. I stood at the water's edge and for the first time there was no familiarity, no sense of coming home.

Now I am presumably 30,000 feet above the earth preparing for what I hope is another professional success and I feel different. I am different, but I don't understand how or why or what I am supposed to do about it. My friend who just recently became a mother can so eloquently articulate the way a baby alters your perspective and priorities and it clicked. Me too. But there is no baby, no reason for the switch.

At service this week, there was an attempt to describe the levels of the mind and how one can get beyond the voices in your head to the underlying mindful awareness. It was acknowledged that while in this space there exists incredible light, comfort and awareness, it is likely the same space as the darkness which is torture, confusion and absence. For awhile, again when I was struggling with the darkness, I sought out this level actively in order to calm the tumult. Now I look for it and it seems to look back at me expectantly. I fill my head with stimuli because the contemplation seems to demonstrate only absence, the horrible purposeless abyss.

It is quite possible that this is it. That this is the level that I am capable of existing at and interacting with the world. Maybe my limitations are far more severe than I imagined and the work I did to get out of the chaos has created a box so tightly fitted that it is not possible for really new things to penetrate.

Other people feel things far more than I do. It informs their existence in a way I don't seem to be able to really imagine. And then I think that maybe I was right at the beginning. The things that happen can permanently lessen you. In the same way that brain damage can rob you of your memory, traumatic events can permanently damage your capacity to feel wholly.

I think of all the times people told me to just wait and I would understand what they were talking about. I resented it when I was really young, but as I got older I changed my perspective to hoping that what they predicted would come true.

You will understand your mother when you are older.

You'll understand when you fall in love.

Everything happens for a reason.

If you have faith you will feel less afraid.

Nope, not so far as I can tell. Clearly I am doing this wrong.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I got the news today

Several friends of mine got laid off today at work. Everyone else is on IM trying to figure out where else the ax fell. Modern day felling of armies.

ASHINGTON – The net worth of American households fell by the largest amount in more than a half-century of record keeping during the fourth quarter of last year.

The Federal Reserve said Thursday that household net worth dropped by a record 9 percent from the level in the third quarter.

The decline was the sixth straight quarterly drop in net worth and underscored the battering that U.S. families are undergoing in the midst of a steep recession with unemployment surging and the value of their homes and investments plunging.