Tag Archives: Network Society

The power of power- Warren Buffett throws $800bn lifeline to bond insurers

If you haven’t been watching the slow, ugly waltz to recession, the role of the bond insurers in the housing mess in the US has been crucial. Bored with insuirng boring (but so important) municipal bonds, the insurers decided to lend their good name too the high risk securitized mortgages which were the basic log on the bonfire of the housing fever.

They insurers now face lots of uncertainty ad because the rating they give to ANY bond becomes the rating for EVERY bond, their former gold standard (but boring, of course). Idiots. Boring can be good in all things financial). The ripple effect of not covering their claims and loosing their rating will be wide, profound, and in some schoolyard way, unfair. Why should my little borough face a credit crunch because the Martini swilling money classes in NY were “bored” by municipal bonds?

Anyway, enter Warren Buffet, superman of the financial age.

Warren Buffett throws $800bn lifeline to bond insurers – Times Online
Warren Buffett, the world’s third-richest man, has offered to help out three of the biggest bond insurers by reinsuring the $800 billion £408 billion of local government securities they underwrite.

Mr Buffett told CNBC television in the US that his firm, Berkshire Hathaway, had approached MBIA, Ambac and FGIC and offered to take on their municipal bond liabilities by providing a second level of insurance.

One of the aphorisms that Castells throws around that rolls around in my read is that in the information age what matters is not “the flow of power but the power of flows.” Maybe, as the hobbling of mighty banks and investment houses to the power of credit ratings and cash flows away. But, doesn’t Buffet’s potential to single-handedly right the global financial system offer a different new vision of power- the power of the super-duper rich to make singular impacts in the gargantuan global financial economy?

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Filed under Banking, Network Society, Political Economy

Union activism in Facebook

Mydd.com had this story about union activism in facebook including the successful use of facebook tools to reinstate a banned labor activist (he’d been banned.)

  A few weeks ago I took a look at examples of unions using Facebook, partially inspired by Change to Win’s Smack the CEO Facebook application.  Over the last few days, a mini-revolt of sorts has rolled through the Facebook labor activist community, and I’ve got good news: our side won!

This seems relevant for the article about Organizing in the Network Society.  Usual questions: does the technology or the stance of the hosting company make it easier to organize?Is this a “new” kind of organizing orthe smae kind but with new technology?  who is calling the shots (who has power) in heavily privatized communication media like Facebook?

I need Brian to look at this and see what he thinks.  I need to finish post also!  D-oh!

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Filed under activism, Information and Communication Technology, Network Society, Politics, Power, Activism