Friday, 23 March 2012

101st session of the Philosophical Foundations of Law and Finance

Title: Rules of Engagement in the Evil Empire

Date: March 23, 2012
Time: 6 to 8pm
Venue: University of Westminster, Regent Campus, Room 516 or 501

For the 101st session of the Philosophical Foundations of Law and Finance, we will continue on the nerve touched by Greg Smith's letter of resignation from Goldman Sachs (see note to the 100th session) and generalise if not ascend to the mythological vibrancy of the Galactic Empire in our first reading:

[ ] http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5007&Itemid=81

Playful parody is sometimes better than mean sarcasm in burying messages deep inside the subconscious because the obvious and just symmetry arguments are made more palatable by a touch of charm, wit and pleasure. And in today's world where members of so-called religious groups have decided to take offence at any statement which shows how logically stupid they are, it is important for self-preservation to cloak the sarcasm with wit, charm and a harmless laugh. Otherwise, well, you can be shot dead for being a member of an "out-group" relative to the murderer's "in-group". The cost of freedom of speech is now something like: (1) beheading; (2) internment; (3) banishment. In the old philosophical days, a cup of hemlock and a quiet receding into unconsciousness was a dignified punishment. Anyone living in a so-called civilisation should stop kidding themselves and measure their rights and duties against the freedoms set out by Plato's Republic (especially books 8 through 10) and Plato's Laws. 

The second reading will be a review of Plato's concept of "social comity" as a basis for measuring dare I say it, the maximum utility, of any particular regulation. Please note the wide variance of legal instruments available, from education and training which are Plato's normal solution to all social problems to Draconian punishments. The excerpts will come from Books I, II and III of 

[ ] Plato's Laws 
http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/laws.html

If we have time, we will continue our dissection of the (im)morals of the presumptive immortals (in- versus out-group analysis) of investment banking socio-pathology. For the journalistic view, see:

[ ] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-06/goldman-secret-greece-loan-shows-two-sinners-as-client-unravels.html
which gives us some detail on how Goldman Sachs sucked the living soul out of Greece in a fairly simple "debt" transaction.

For the hub-bub in the legal realm of the Empire, where Goldman Sachs appears to be losing, see:

[ ] Complaint: http://securities.stanford.edu/1045/GSC10_01/201124_r01c_10CV07497.pdf

[ ] Judge Victor Marrero's Decision to Deny Motion to Dismiss
http://newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com/uploadedFiles/Reuters_Content/2012/03_-_March/Dodona_I_v_Goldman_Sachs.pdf

After tonight's class, we'll go to a nearby cafe restaurant around Oxford Circus and gossip about what's happening in Syria, Iran, Israel, Bhutan, and so on. Last Friday, I had a would be Jew and a very committed Syrian discuss in a very affable manner what's really going on in their minds and hearts.

ciao
joe
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