Make It Rain

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like… tears in rain. Time to die.” [Blade Runner]

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Weighing economic costs against human lives will inevitably seem crass. But societies also value things like jobs, food and money to pay the bills — as well as the ability to deal with other needs and prevent unrelated misfortunes…
“Making people poorer has health consequences as well,” said Kip Viscusi, an economist at Vanderbilt University who has spent his career using economic techniques to assess the costs and benefits of government regulations.
Jobless people sometimes commit suicide. The poor are likelier to die if they get sick. Mr. Viscusi estimates that across the population, every loss of income of $100 million in the economy causes one additional death.
Government agencies calculate these trade-offs regularly. The Environmental Protection Agency, for instance, has established a cost of about $9.5 million per life saved as a benchmark for determining whether to clean up a toxic waste site.” [Eduardo Porter and Jim Tankersley on the Economic Cost of Saving Lives]

Walter Robinson Fifties 2016

“One of Trump’s proposals should not cost taxpayers a dime, but may be his most frightening ask: a federal guarantee for the $2.6 trillion money market fund industry. Treasury did this on its own during the 2008 financial crisis after one fund collapsed, and it instantly reassured panicked depositors who were pulling their cash out of other funds, as well as panicked companies that relied on the funds to buy “corporate paper” to finance their operations. But after the backlash against bailouts, Congress stripped Treasury’s power to do it again. So Trump would need a vote to do it this time.
It makes sense to reassure the markets that money market funds will be safe, although it does raise the question of whether the funds should pay the government for insurance if they’re going to get backstopped whenever times get tough. It also feels a bit like a backdoor bank bailout, since one effect will be to reassure skittish companies that have been drawing down lines of credit from banks that they can rely on corporate paper instead.
But the most pressing question it raises is: Are these funds in more trouble than we realize? The last time Treasury did this was at the height of the worst panic since the Depression. Slipping this financial provision into an economic stimulus bill may be a far-sighted move to give Treasury the tools it would need to deal with a potential banking panic, but it could also send a message that Treasury is worried about a banking panic, and those kinds of messages can panic bankers.” [Michael Grunwald on the Bailout]

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“Every leap of civilization was built off the back of a disposable work force. We lost our stomach for slaves, unless engineered. But I can only make so many.” [Blade Runner 2049]

Tintoretto Miracle of the Manna 1577

“No one knows what the economic damages will be, or how totally the art world will be remade. This is a complex infrastructure made up of people at every economic level, all but a cadre of them living precarious lives in the best of times — dependent on the patronage of the very wealthy, but not themselves secure at all. Things could return to quasi normal when galleries open again — indeed, the art world soared after the market collapse of 2008 and 2009, as inequality accelerated and money sought refuge in the so-called safer vessels of art (art, safe?!?). Prices skyrocketed at the top, megagalleries mushroomed, and all the rest. But it’s also possible that, this time, numerous non-megagalleries won’t make it through to whatever the other side of this storm will look like.” [Jerry Saltz on the viral crisis]

1 thought on “Make It Rain”

  1. OK, Many artists will have to scramble, but please remember – scrambling may be tough, but Auschwitz was the true nightmare ….

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