space bike, wealth gives rise to a sense of entitlement and narcissistic behaviors

Spacelander Bicycle

Spacelander Bicycle. Designed by Benjamin Bowden for a 1946 exhibition of British industrial design. While this great postwar example of streamline futuristic design was a critical success at the exhibition, Bowden had a difficult time finding a manufacturer who would put it into production. By the time it found a manufacturer in the U.S. in 1960, much of the public’s taste in this kind of style had changed. Only around 500 were sold. Though now it is was of the most highly valued old bicycles on the market.

Study finds wealth gives rise to a sense of entitlement and narcissistic behaviors

According to a new study published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin this month, wealth tends to increase a person’s sense of entitlement, which in turn can lead to narcissistic behaviors.

Paul Piff of the University of California at Berkeley told PsyPost “there is something about wealth that gives rise to a sense of entitlement, a sense that one deserves more good things in life than others, which in turn gives rise to an increased or inflated sense of self-importance, vanity, grandiosity, and omnipotence (narcissism).”

“Narcissism is a multi-faceted and complex construct, but that wealth is specifically associated with it suggests that as a person’s level of privilege rises, that person becomes increasingly self-focused – in a sense, becoming the center of their own world and worldview,” he explained.

“The studies in the paper measure narcissism in a whole host of ways, including measuring how likely someone is to stare at their reflection in a mirror (wealthier people do that more often). Even students who come from wealth, but have done little to create their own wealth (yet), report more entitlement. This suggests that wealth shapes an ideology of self-interest and entitlement that’s transferred culturally from one generation to the next.”

This is obviously not always the case, some people with wealth turn out to be great humanitarians. For those people the Spiderman message about great powers  being coupled with great responsibility does sink in with some people. I’ve experienced this quite a bit. There is an attitude of entitlement over the phone or in person – do you know who I am – I want what I want, I want it now and I deserve it because I am a executive VP or a wealthy lawyer or banker. Very strange behavior, I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it.

beach walkway

beach walkway. I noticed this morning that the 6 am sunrises are gone and then along came the big yellow school buses. Summer will soon be gone.

This recent editorial is a good example of the culture of entitlement and narcissistic behavior that guides our economy, The Leveraged Buyout of America

According to legal scholar Saule Omarova, over the past five years, there has been a “quiet transformation of U.S. financial holding companies.” These financial services companies have become global merchants that seek to extract rent from any commercial or financial business activity within their reach.  They have used legal authority in Graham-Leach-Bliley to subvert the “foundational principle of separation of banking from commerce”. . . .

It seems like there is a significant macro-economic risk in having a massive entity like, say JP Morgan, both issuing credit cards and mortgages, managing municipal bond offerings, selling gasoline and electric power, running large oil tankers, trading derivatives, and owning and operating airports, in multiple countries.

A “macro” risk indeed – not just to our economy but to our democracy and our individual and national sovereignty. Giant banks are buying up our country’s infrastructure – the power and supply chains that are vital to the economy.

These assets – airports, toll roads, and ports; control power plants; and store and hoard vast quantities of commodities of all sorts – are being packaged as investment instruments, a bet on their future value, much like the collateralized debt obligations that contributed so much to the Great Recession of 2007. And their are doing it with your money, your deposits – the excess of deposits over loans – as collateral for borrowing. Once again making bets that they cannot pay, if like the housing market, values should go down.


golden forest wallpaper, banks are at it again, the difficult life of lucia joyce

golden forest wallpaper, autumn park

golden forest wallpaper

Are the Banks Already Orchestrating Another Meltdown?

But Wall Street is making more investments, known as structured financial products, and escaping new financial regulations, such as the Dodd-Frank bill that did not change the structure of how loans are bundled — which, when done riskily, causes crisis.

Tad Phillips, a commercial real estate analyst at Moody’s rating agency, told the Times: “The players in the business are generally the same as they were before. … Because it’s the old players, they know how to push the boundaries.”

The Times reported that banks have issued $26 billion in new collateralized loan obligations, or loans pooled and given to poorly rated companies, in just 2013 alone — more than what they issued in all of 2007. The Times stated, “Demand for the loan pools has been so brisk that banks have been able to loosen underwriting standards on the underlying loans and bonds. This provoked the Federal Reserve to release guidance last month [5] warning that “prudent underwriting practices have deteriorated.”

The Times also reported that “57 percent of the outstanding money in commercial mortgage-backed securities” was in risky, interest-only loans before the crisis. It has now reached 34 percent — 11 percent more than two years ago.

The banks are doing what thy did before the meltdown of 2006-07. They take mortgage loans and place them in bundles. They then say those mortgages represent potential profits as the retail value of the property increases. Those bundles are now secures or just a few degrees removed from being  a bet at the horse track. All the way back in the early aughts these same people genuinely thought the value of real estate would never go down. Though they did hedge those bets by buying derivatives – a kind of insurance. If their bundled securities – home mortgages, credit car debt and even car loans – should go down in value the derivatives will pay off the loss. Derivatives, not necessarily a bad concept if done correctly, themselves became more important than ever in the economy. The housing market crashed. Those bundled securities – CDOs ( collateralized debt obligations) lost a lot of value – well into the trillions. The derivatives did not cover losses because the financial houses that sold them did not have enough capital in reserve to pay off such historic losses. So here we go again. And we will not see a bill passed to reign in this corrupt behavior because such regulations are anti-business, communistic and anti-American according to conservatives.

 Lucia Joyce

 Lucia Joyce, daughter of James and Nora Joyce. 1932, by Eugene Jolas. Lucia was born with an eye defect,  strabismus, which her mother had also. Not a horrible burden but it may have been one of the things that affected her behavior, making her seem quirky at times. Especially in hindsight as people pondered how she became so mentally unstable in her twenties that she was committed to a mental hospital. Whether she truly needed to be institutionalized at the time is debatable. The institutionalization itself probably did push her the rest of the way. More here, The difficulties of being James Joyce’s daughter.

three women by picasso, to be pro deregulation is to be pro criminal

Three Women 1908

Three Women 1908 by Pablo Picasso. oil on canvas. This is thought to be one of Picasso’s most important works. he certainly put in the preparation time, making seventy sketches and rough drafts, before starting the final large canvas. It is his very interpretative version of the Three Graces. He manages to accomplish two opposing visual impressions at once – an illusion of movement combined with a set angular structure. This is Raphael’s version for comparison.

Pablo Picasso: close to the sun

Few of these women met happy ends: as one mistress put it, ‘Picasso was a sun all on his own. He lit up, burned, consumed and reduced to ashes anyone who approached him.’ Fernande was impoverished for most of her life, while her former lover amassed inordinate wealth. Olga and Dora both suffered mental-health problems. Marie-Thérèse and Picasso’s second wife, Jacqueline Roque, both committed suicide.

Yet three women, all of whom were intimately involved with the artist during the 1950s, survived the experience of flying close to the sun that was Picasso.

But we don’t need regulation, because left to their own devices, business will always act ethically, Report Reveals JP Morgan as a Lying, Scheming Rogue Trader

Management hid the existence and role of the unit within the JP Morgan Chief Investment office that entered into the “whale” trades, the Synthetic Credit Portfolio, from its inception, even as its exposures ballooned, from the OCC

The bank made repeated, knowing misrepresentations about the size of the losses, the severity of the control failures, and the degree of management knowledge to regulators and investors

The contempt for regulators and for the need for timely and adequate disclosure is symptomatic of an out of control environment. Between the beginning of the year and end of April 2012, the SPG breached risk limits 330 times, sometimes even violating bank-wide limits. Yet staff and management regarded them as an inconvenience rather than treating them as shrieking alarms that warranted swift action

JP Morgan managers and risk control officers were aware of and complicit in the mismarking of positions (this is a very big deal in a financial institution)