That evening, we went to George’s, Iowa City’s Qasabji: a dim, narrow bar of perpetual darkness. We met friends who still lived in town and drank and talked late into the night. “I think now, in Syria, we have a very new idea,” Khaled told me. “Now I’m writing my new novel. I have been writing for four years. But now, I will rewrite it, because I feel it is old writing. We have a new time, and new ideas, not just for writing but for the people too. Now we can understand our people. We are talking about this with young writers. What will be the future, I ask. You must be better. Because after the revolution you have new ideas about writing and about all art. We will have new ideas.”
Bernanke has been interested in the Great Depression since his grandmother told him stories about it from her front porch in Charlotte, N.C., during quiet summer evenings. Her family had been living in Norwich, Conn., where some children went to school in worn-out shoes or even barefoot because their fathers lost their jobs when the shoe factories closed. That meant their families didn’t have enough money to buy shoes — which presumably would have kept the factories in business and their fathers employed.
I agree for the most part with the following, but how do you distinguish between human actions and a process, the securitization to name it, that once pushed to its limits and at a fragile moment gives birth to monsters all around?
And didn’t Bernanke knew about the unprecedent levels and untested territories of loan originations that were about to be pooled into CDOs ?
I doubt he was unaware.
He would have favored more individual accountability. “While you want to do everything you can to fix corporations that have bad cultures and encourage bad behavior — and the Fed was very much engaged in doing that — obviously illegal acts ultimately are done by individuals, not by legal fictions.”
Some intellectuals said Houellebecq had been “irresponsible”. The media pressed him to apologise. Where once he was a bolshy rebel outsider, he now has a godlike status as France’s biggest literary export and, some say, greatest living writer – so what he says counts. But he denies any “responsibility”.
“It’s not my role to be responsible. I don’t feel responsible,” he says. “The role of a novel is to entertain readers, and fear is one of the most entertaining things there is.” To him, the fear in Submission comes in the dark violence at the novel’s start, before the moderate Islamist party comes to power. Was he deliberately playing on a mood of fear in France? “Yes, I plead guilty,” he says. For Houellebecq, the job of a novelist is foremost to hold a mirror up to contemporary society.