synthetic zero

September 30th, 2008

An incredible day … shocking, really, though not totally unexpected. I have my doubts about the RTC approach Paulson proposed; it’s possible that Nouriel Roubini’s plan of a HOLC-style program, or, alternately, a program to purchase shares in financial institutions (thereby recapitalizing them) by the government would have been a lot more effective. However, clearly, something needs to be done to restore liquidity to the markets and doing nothing, in this environment, is tremendously dangerous. The stakes are very high. Note that the amended plan does allow for gaining warrants for equity in the banks — this point perhaps ought to be clarified and extended (as it’s not clear Paulson would drive a hard bargain in this respect — but because he has to report to Congress it seems there is some incentive for him to drive a hard bargain).  All in all the plan is flawed but some plan is needed in this situation.  It’s very strange days indeed.

Meanwhile, on a totally different topic: my friend Nora Herting has a new project, www.faceofbrooklyn.com, a project she’s doing for the Brooklyn Historical Society, in which she’s taking portraits of people in various neighborhoods of Brooklyn.  An interesting project — also, somewhat frustrating, as she has had difficulty getting people in some neighborhoods to agree to be photographed; perhaps, she thinks, because they may not entirely be comfortable with a white female photographer doing an art project in their neighborhood.  She told me she’s going to try to see if she can work discussion of that element into the project somehow.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to find artists, filmmakers, musicians, etc., who want to use my giant art space (1400 square feet! 12 foot ceilings!) for exhibits, performances, rehearsals, etc.  Also, still looking for artists for my November show.

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