on June 24, 2011 by alchemystic in American Downbeat, Depression Cookbook, keg party, Comments (4)

THe DeBT CoLoSSuS?Submitted by williambanzai7 on 06/23/2011 23:20 -0400 from www.zerohedge.org

Why man, he doth bestride the insolvent world

Like a Debt Colossus, and we bankrupt men

Walk under his huge encumbered legs and peep about

To find ourselves dishonorably foreclosed…

(William Shakespeare7, From Julius Caeser)

"History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme."–Mark Twain

The Colossus of Rhodes was a statue of the Greek god Helios, erected in the city of Rhodes on the Greek island of Rhodes by Chares of Lindos between 292 and 280 BC. It is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was constructed to celebrate Rhodes’ victory over the ruler of Cyprus, Antigonus I Monophthalmus, who unsuccessfully besieged Rhodes in 305 BC. Before its destruction, the Colossus of Rhodes stood over 30 meters (107 ft) high, making it one of the tallest statues of the ancient world.

The Colossus only stood for 56 years before it was levelled by an earthquake in 226 BC. The force of the earthquake was such the statue snapped off at the knees and fell over on to the land. Ptolemy III offered to pay for the reconstruction of the Colossus, but the Rhodians refused, believing that they had offended Helios (aka "Helicopter Ben", the God of Debts).

Computer simulations have since revealed that the earthquake caused a "cascade failure" in the rivets holding the Colossus together, causing the arms to separate at the shoulder and the knees to buckle.

A cascading failure is a failure in a system of interconnected parts in which the failure of a part can trigger the failure of successive parts.

In finance, the risk of cascading failures of financial institutions is referred to as systemic risk: the failure of one financial institution may cause other financial institutions (its counterparties) to fail, cascading throughout the system. Institutions that are believed to pose systemic risk are deemed either "too big to fail" (TBTF) or "too interconnected to fail" (TICTF), depending on why they appear to pose a threat.

Note however that systematic risk is not due to individual institutions per se, but due to the interconnections. [Source: Wikipedia]

WB7: Hmm, everything seems much clearer now, no? This is true serendipity. I ran across the Colossus connection while I was doing my regular afternoon reading on chaos theory and "cascading failure."

Now for the second part of this post which brings it full circle. I learned for the first time that the Statue of Liberty was actually designed around historical accounts of the design of the Colossus. I was also reminded that the Statue of Liberty was not originally intended as  a welcome to foreign immigrants passing through NY Harbor. That symbolic connotation arose as a result of a Sonnet written by one Emma Lazarus. It remains permanently plaqued to the interior of the statue.

THE NEW COLOSSUS

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch,

whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning,

and her name Mother of Exiles.

From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome;

her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she

With silent lips.

"Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Emma Lazarus, 1883

And here is the Banzai7 modernized version…

THE DEBT COLOSSUS

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here near fraud washed, Wall Street shores shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned light of common sense, and her name Mother of Financial Exiles.

From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide warning; her mild eyes command

The odiferous Ponzi harbor that Too Big To Fail swindlers frame.

"Keep, your storied names, you storied banksta pimps!" cries she

With silent lips. "Give me the tired, the poor,

The huddled masses yearning to breathe free of debts,

Cursed be the wretched refuse of those teeming bailout whores.

Send the homeless, fraudclosure tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the Goldman door…

And slam it on those scum sucking pencil necked geeks!

WilliamBanzai7 2011

And what about "cascading failures" and Greece? Look at this GIF animation and you will get the drift…

?

Source: Wikimedia





WB7: And yes, this is the only place on the Internet where you will find William Shakespeare and Classy Freddie Blassie in the same post.

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4 Comments

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