Note 1: Post is incomplete, not very cohesive and w/out narrative. It’s worst than normal-worst. You’ve been warned. Good luck.
New & Improved Clans
I’ve been obsessing for a few years over of the idear that there’s a growing, alive & kicking chasm in the western world. This chasm is, in part, due to Das Volk’s inability to see impending demise. Obviously the euphoria of capitalism winning over communism has done more to blind eyes than the standard illusions and myths of the past. Add to that we are now living in Orwellian perpetual war and it’s no wonder a chasm the size of the Atlantic is forming. Ok. Maybe it’s only the size of the English channel. Nomatter. Here’s the thing: after so many years living abroad, worst-writer has finally come to terms with his advantage. I am an American’t living not by choice but by happenstance in Eurowasteland. It is exactly in this position that I am witness to the birth of a new era where geographical boundaries and political ideologies no longer determine the fate of Das Volk. Instead this era is a new & improved version of one from such a distant past that, historically and intellectually, it is beyond comprehension. For you see, it is commonplace these days to spew these words: we should learn from our past. And when Das Volk hear such words they immediately think of a new past such as the 20th century or, maybe, if a few have read a book or three then they might think of the 19th century. But guess what worst-writer is thinking of as he stares down from his pulpit above the Atlantic chasm? That’s right, you guessed it, I’m thinking of the 15th century. You with me? In order to not repeat the past we should all be thinking of the 15th century. Come on, let’s go.
Best Ever Made
Early to mid 1970s. It wasn’t a bad first job. I pumped gas at a local gas station. Heck, I even got to pump gas during version 2 of 1970s gas crisis. I worked at the only gas station on a northbound highway that connected rural and suburban hell with the big city, about an hour’s drive away north, which is also the capital of the united mistakes of Amerikan’t. Luckily the 2nd gas crisis ended faster than the first but all the terrapin soup had run out. And that’s neither here nor there. What was really cool about this first job was that the owner of the gas station was the only VW and Porsche specialist in the area. That meant I got to hang around a lot of interesting “foreign” cars. And once I proved my competence (I wasn’t a mechanic), I got to do basic tune-up stuff on all of those cars, which included oil, plug, filter changes, etc. The peeves of doing all this was that the shop owner and customers let me drive the cars. By the time I was seventeen I had driven Porsche 911’s, Speedster 356 replicas (yes, we built them) and the awfully-chilling and ravenous Karman Ghia. With all that naive and young-gun experience, worst-writer is confident in saying the following: The Porsche 911, before they decided to go the route of turning it into a “super car”, is simply the best all-around car ever made. If I had to pick a car to drive to the end of time, it would be an air-cooled 911. Of course, I am from humble beginnings, to say the least. Actually owning a 911 was (and still is) out of the question. And so. The engineers at VW had Das Volk like me in mind when they created the Porsche 914, aka the “VW Porsche” (which I actually couldn’t afford either). Mr. Lustgeier (pronounced “lust-gear”) loaned me his 914 VW Porsche once. So there you have it. 2nd best ain’t all that bad. But then Lustgeier died. Wait. He killed himself.
Dead Banker Cars
Since I can remember there are two types of Porsche owners beyond the ones that falsely made the “e” silent. One is the enthusiast. These were people that just loved the mystique of German auto engineering. The others were Suits. Mr. Afred Lustgeier was both. He was a big-whig at Riggs Bank in Washington, DC. He was also part owner in various local and interstate businesses. He owned several houses up and down the east coast and it was rumoured that he was looking to invest in a project that would put luxury houses on the Potamac River where people could then commute to Washington DC by boat. It was not actually known how many Porsches Mr. Lustgeier had but the shop I worked at serviced at least three of them that were stored at one of his houses nearest us, about a forty minute drive south.
Lustgeier’s gem was a brand new 911 Carrera Turbo that was painted in metallic sky-blue (it’s only fault, btw). Another was a grey 1969 Targa, grey being the perfect Germanin colour. But the one he “got a kick out of” was a yellow 914, aka VW Porsche. The latter two being the ones he kept nearby. One morning when he came in to pick up his tuned-up Targa he asked my boss if he could send someone to pick up his 914 to have it brought in and tuned-up. My boss offered that I do it and after a skeptical look or three Lustgeier agreed. I followed Lustgeier and his Carrera. When we arrived at his house he let me admire his new Carrera and then gave me the keys for the 914 to drive it back to the shop and he included the “door opener” for the gated community for when I would return the car.
Before I left Lustgeier tried to explain to me the odd gear placement of the 914. But I told him I was aware of it. After a quick pee in his house I started the Porsche and drove back to the shop. Two things stuck in my head during the drive. One was that Lustgeier’s house was completely empty. No furniture, no carpeting, no shelves, nothing. But there was toilet paper. The second thing was, since I had to pass through his house to get to the pisser, I noticed, through large sliding glass doors, his empty pool in the back yard. Well, it was empty of water. The pool was filled to the brim with what looked like everything that should have filled the house. In fact, after a short but intense glance, it looked like the entire innards of the house was in the pool, although I hadn’t been upstairs. I thought it all so strange that I didn’t bother to ask about it. Three days later I finally got the message that Lustgeier threw himself off the Potomac River Bridge and burned everything from the house in the pool, including the Targa. The Carrera was left on the bridge from the spot where he jumped.
And so, worst-writer’s obsession with the Chasm is that it seems to be growing out of the negative energy and rage of reactionary politics, greed and too much sugar extract mixed with hydrocarbons and doused with recourse and even less attention. But more importantly the mist and dust from the mechanics and geology of this chasm, that which has hid it from the gluttonous red-eyes of most consume-to-survive mortals, is breaking away. The chasm is coming now to full view. That it resembles a vagina might prolong it being empirically studied but that’s neither here nor there. What’s more important is finding examples of where the chasm rears its wrinkly face-head.
As best I can tell, there was a situation brewing in the hedge fund markets out of London in 2007 that best exemplifies worst-writer’s idear of the chasm. At the time Eurowasteland’s largest auto maker, VW, was in dire straights and needed saving. Of course, German industry and business ain’t much different than any other business in the world. It too is run by a mafia-like codec and it is commonplace within such a system that winners and losers are clearly separated from owners except when winners win, at which time, owners get their fair cut and when losers abound, participants either cry foul or do as it’s always been done, leave it up to taxpayers. Say what you will about this system of mafia-like and centralised economics. For a country like Germany it seems to work well, especially when one considers that the German mafia is so much more efficient than the Italian one. Have I opened a can of worms there? Nomatter.
By 2008 the situation with VW had gotten so bad that hedge funders thought this might be an opportunity to break the hold of the German mafia on one of its blue-chip corporations and short the shit out of some stock. Aim was taken at financially strapped VW. The British, or, better put, the Anglo hedge fund managers thought they could actually short a Germanin blue-chip stock. Enter the chasm. None of these hedge funders based in London ever bothered to take into consideration what they were actually dealing with. That they all completely missed a loophole in Germanin law that allowed a company to buy a stock with out making the purchase public didn’t seem to cross anyone’s mind. While hedge funders shorted, Porsche bought. I mean, hedge fund managers are supposed to be the most scrutinising and detail driven financial experts there are. Or?
Now. I can’t say that VW and Germanin investors planned this from the start but in the end what happened to VW and subsequently Porsche was all a result of the chasm between the Anglo way of doing things and the Germanin way of doing things. The question I often ask myself after a few too many beers in the right bar is this: would this same blunder on the part of the Anglos had happened if the investment was about an Italian company? Or Spanish company? You see, those countries have all in some way or other adopted the Anglo mindset when it comes to running their economies. The Germanin economy, for whatever reason not to be addressed here, has never adopted the Anglo way of doing things. Long story short. In the end the Germanins won the stock shorting battle of VW. Porsche had been secretly buying VW stock when hedge funders were trying to short it. Billions on the Anglo side of this trade was lost. Which means anyone invested with these hedge funders also lost.
Enter Adolf Merckle. A Germanin that chose the wrong side. He bet against his clan! (You see, I wanted to connect the “clan” thing more in this post.) He lost and threw himself under a train traveling the speed of a Porsche! Once the bets were being called Merckle had to come up with a really exuberant amount of cash to cover his bets. Even though he was supposedly a multi-billionaire, he chose to throw himself under a train instead. Or, like Lustgeier from his bridge, these guys simply got caught in the chasm.
Yeah, the chasm.
Or something like that.
Note 2:. Other less extensive, confused and chaotic posts about the subject of worst-writer’s obsession with the Anglo vs. Germanin are contained in this site. I was and have been trying to develop a narrative that employs two things. One is the idear that there is an Anglo mindset and a Germanin mindset. I also believe that these two mindsets are at war right now. But I haven’t found that narrative yet and this is one of my first attempts at writing it down. And if you’ve read any or all of this post then you probably know that already.
Some further reading on the VW/Porsche and hedge fund disaster… Oh. Wait! It was only a disaster if you’re Anglo. Nomatter.
- Editorial: How Porsche NSFWed the Hedge Funds | The Truth About Cars
- BBC NEWS | Business | Fast bucks: how Porsche made billions
- Porsche and VW: Squeezy money | The Economist
- Europe businessman of the year: Wendelin Wiedeking – Jan. 27, 2009
- Hedge Funds Shorting VW Stung By Porsche – TIME
- Adolf Merckle – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- code culture » How Porsche hacked the financial system and made a killing