When Federico Zeri, Evelyn Harrison, Thomas Hoving, Georgios Dontas, and all the others looked at the kouros and felt an "intuitive repulsion," they were absolutely right. In the first two seconds of looking—in a single glance—they were able to understand more about the essence of the statue than the team at Getty was able to understand after fourteen months. Blink is a book about those first two seconds.
There are various meanings to the word blink including the one Malcolm Gladwell spent 277 pages on explaining in his best seller of the same name. He takes great pains to illustrate how we make decisions and choices without thinking in an instant. It focuses on great decision makers and others that made great mistakes with decisions made in a blink. There is a different kind of blink, one that signals giving up or giving in to an opponent or challenge.
Last week saw decisions that if had they had to be made by the same people in an instant would have certainly been completely different. Instead, Angela Merkel and Chief Justice John Roberts are said to have blinked. Fans of both say they caved into pressure from mightier forces or mightier personalities. If it were the former, it would be easier to deal with, but conventional wisdom holds that they caved to forces that have no real domain over them.
Chief Justice Roberts shouldn't be afraid of President Obama even if he took a tongue-lashing in front of the world and Merkel should have no fear of Italy and Germany outside the soccer pitch. So, why did they both blink in the eyes of so many observers? I've already ventured a guess on Roberts that got you guys fired up and I think the same sort of long-term thinking went into Merkel's decision to lend directly to banks.
I do find it interesting that the same experts that missed big time on the Supreme Court decision, and let's face it even if you got it right it was for the wrong reason, are now making additional predictions on future cases. I happen to think that in the end both Roberts and Merkel did what they did as the right thing that doesn't violate their personal convictions but fits within the parameters of the circumstances.
Their form of blinking adds yet another meaning to the word.
So, the big question this week is whether Mario Draghi will step up to the plate and blink, too. Right now, the street is all but convinced the ECB will cut rates and if that doesn't happen there will be hell to pay (and money to lose). Moreover, many are looking for another anemic jobs report to be the final straw that allows Ben Bernanke to come to the rescue as well. One of the odd things about these would-be saviors is they misread the super hero handbook. You're supposed to save the damsel in distress while she's still alive.
We begin the new week and month with relative calm but the storm is on the horizon. There is a lot of data to chew through this week and of course the jobs report on Friday. In the meantime China's PMI came in at a seven month low but the 50.2 reading was better than the 49.9 consensus.
We aren't forcing the issue, waiting for the PMI report later this morning. I will say at some point I still think the market needs to react to positive economic trends rather than the notion of free money. In the end nothing is really free. Wink-wink, if you know what I mean.
|You know, Charles, I spent 10 hours on the road driving this past weekend and listened to every pundit spin this story. I think we all have more questions about how the decision was made than the actual decision itself. Roberts is now a sphinx looming large and silent. Maybe if and when he speaks we'll know more. I shudder to think that we'll have to wait for the next case to see how this "chess" game plays out.|
Blaise Corcoran on 7/2/2012 9:37:34 AM
|Charles: If what he did was for the long term good regarding federal powers....We still need people with enough backbone to be sure we don't go down the nanny state road any further. When we get to the point of not being able to fund these programs they will stop and everybody will take to the street as if it is not their fault.|
Frances Wiggins on 7/2/2012 10:01:37 AM
|My initial reaction was absolute shock and a sense of betrayal by the Chief Justice...however as I thought about it, I realized that he had cleverly (I thought)put it back in the voter's court. I still do not think his machinations properly reflected the Constitution but that's why judges are who they are and why I can only comment as a "novice", hopefully learning more each day, especially as a reader of your daily writings. Our job will now be to simply explain the absurdities of Obamacare, and the REAL COST. To say taxes will ONLY impact 1% of the population is an OUTRIGHT LIE. How they can say these things with a straight face is beyond me. Will someone PLEASE create a readable chart showing the real numbers. We cannot allow this man another 4 years. If we do, our beloved country as we have known it, will be DESTROYED!|
Marie C on 7/2/2012 10:08:13 AM
|No method to the madness.|
Dave Casey on 7/2/2012 10:18:46 AM
|YES, he ran amok.|
Grace on 7/2/2012 10:20:39 AM
|It doesn't matter if Roberts reached his contorted decision for some Machiavellian reason. It is his job to uphold the constitution, not engage in politics. He has a lifetime appointment so he will be free of the necessity of political considerations. He may have facilitated the destruction of our Republic.|
Myron Havis on 7/2/2012 10:36:06 AM
|Yes! John Roberts is not stupid and he is conservative.|
Jack on 7/2/2012 10:37:56 AM
|The more I read about Robert's decision I believe there is method to his madness. At first I was very very angry but the more I read and think about it I think he tricked the Democrats!|
Robert Stark on 7/2/2012 10:38:06 AM
|Brilliant! Make it a tax, force the House to fund it, let the American people modify it, and bam a universal health care plan that lives or dies by its necessity to those it serves.|
Jason on 7/2/2012 10:44:47 AM
|After being so angry I could spit nails for about two days I have come to the conclusion that there is method in John Roberts madness. We have to take care of Obamacare ourselves. Then, we and the country will know where the real strength in our country lies. No phony politician can do what we don't want.|
Gail McGlown on 7/2/2012 10:46:58 AM
|Yes; It is called: Giving 'em enough rope to hang themselves.|
Z on 7/2/2012 10:49:32 AM
|He is a coward and should never have apologised for what he said during the speech. Do we have free speech or NOT ??|
Tim Symons on 7/2/2012 10:53:19 AM
|Charles, you get too "excited" and give short-term SIGNALS or ignore "chart formations" at key Head and Shoulders or Reverse Head and Shoulders formations and ignore the AAII signals which are very good "contrary" indicators as well.|
It is a GIVEN the world will destroy their currencies. This is why since the Fed Res Act was signed by Wilson, Gold has made the Almighty Dollar look sick in comparison.
We need to stop WARS and Republicans need to stress that - including guys like us. Every Empire or a similar government has seen havoc over time.
It includes India, China, Greec, Persia Rome ad nauseum! The late DistinguihsedProf. Chalmers Johnson of UCSD advocates the "Dismantling of the American Empire" to save our nation. You should read his final book and comment.
Mir Khan on 7/2/2012 11:02:16 AM
|No, you are not off the ranch. They blinked...politically expedient! Pathetic!!!|
Ken on 7/2/2012 11:08:50 AM
|I am not well-versed in judicial nuance, but I do know it was damaging in a broad scope...healthcare, constitutionality, Presidential election, etc.|
Norman Parker on 7/2/2012 11:20:12 AM
|John Roberts voted for posterity and his image as to not to rock the boat. He argued to give obama lawyers a way to save the law by saying it is a tax and not mandated which it is when you make the choice not to join.|
jim cuff on 7/2/2012 11:31:02 AM
|I think Roberts dropped a can of petrol in the fire with his decision, and that should put some starch into the fight to repeal Obamacare. Some effects should be almost immediate -- like the effect on jobs from businesses that were hoping for a different outcome. The number of new applicants for unemployment may soon climb above 400,000 again. I don't agree with those who say Roberts is playing chess, not checkers. I think he took a mess and left a super-mess that will take years to resolve. From now on Congress can tax anything whether it moves or not. I have a modest proposal. How about a nice $50,000 penalty on every abortion to offset the cost-shifting abortion causes. I estimate the cost in lost GDP to date from 55 million abortions is at least $45 trillion. Its impact on the African-American community is horrendous. The revenue could go to educate those who survive . . .|
Dennis Howard on 7/2/2012 11:31:32 AM
|Roberts didn't blink.The key is Kennedy the least consevative of the conservatives.They want us to make the decision.By the way you are seldom off the ranch.|
F.N.Deschamps on 7/2/2012 11:37:39 AM
|A brilliant move. Reassure the left that the court is not politically biased, while labeling the already unpopular health care law is a massive tax increase on everyone. This creates a campaign stumbling block for each democrat up for reelection this fall.|
Greg Gulen on 7/2/2012 12:00:21 PM
|I can only hope that Justice Roberts knows what he is doing. This decision has scared many of us. Can we rely on his judgment? The best answer is to defeat Obama in November.|
Jane Wesoloski on 7/2/2012 12:09:22 PM
|I'm afraid PC may have raised it's ugly head in SCOTUS.|
Mike Kihm on 7/2/2012 12:17:04 PM
|YES! I think the way the opinions are written Cjief Justice Roberts may have waited until the last minute to change sides and expose Obamacare for what it is. A TAX|
Bob Medkeff on 7/2/2012 1:46:26 PM
This link is to the best explanation I've found. Let's hope it's right!!
E. R. Stevens on 7/2/2012 1:48:51 PM
|If Obama (Care) survives the 2012 election, then in 2014 when the tax goes into effect, it will be challenged in court and will ask; can the federal government tax a citizen for not purchasing a product or service?|
I think not.
Rich on 7/2/2012 2:45:46 PM
|If Judge Roberts decision was a clever ploy that succeeds, it will only be apparent in November. From my perspective it was too much of a gamble dependent on a number of factors. Namely, it requires Romney being elected and fulfilling his promise on health care, Republicans taking control of the Senate and not behaving like politicians without principles. As I said, this is too much of a gamble. Roberts should have went along with his fellow conservative and found Obama Care unconstitutional as it clearly was. Instead, he made law and not interpreted law. A terrible precedent for the Superior Court.|
James Cadzow on 7/2/2012 2:53:05 PM
|I believe his move was INGENIOUS! Obama, historically, has proposed many preposterous forms of legislation... knowing FULL WELL they would not get passed (he always just wants to point his finger and blame Republicans for standing in the way of progress--i.e. The Dream Act)! Obama had ZERO INTENTION of this cockamamie law to pass... but Chief Justice Roberts through a wrench in his plans and passed the sucker. NOW, Obama just wants to MOVE ON and get past this. Guess what? We're NOT GOING TO MOVE ON... it's going to be a thorn in his side until election day! HA HA HA|
Fanfaron on 7/2/2012 4:16:05 PM
|No! Once again we have an activist judge who will rewrite law so he can judgtify his vote. He is swayed not by the constitution but by media and the liberals in the beltway. We now have no remedy via the court.|
Floyd Wright on 7/2/2012 4:27:32 PM
|Chief Justice Roberts' deciding vote has created a tax increase millstone and has very securely attached it t POTUS' neck. Hopefully, the burden of this weight on the election will send Mr. Obama packing back to the thug politics of Chicago.|
Frank Notheis on 7/2/2012 4:36:19 PM
|Charles, I too am thinking that Roberts has set us up for a future event eliminating Obamacare. His "defection" defies logic. I am encouraged by the upholding of the Commerce Clause which has been abused in the past. Further, I know for a fact that the TeaParty movement is going to be rallied rather than disuaded by the insurance "TAX".|
Anna M. Yarbrough on 7/3/2012 8:05:29 AM
No method to his madness. He made a huge mistake, one that may change this country as we know it forever.
And not in a good way.
He made a huge mistake, even ignoring the other four dissenting Justices, including Kennedy's vehement protest.
A very discouraging and depressing decision by someone we conservatives all believed would never stab us in the back, which is exactly what he did.
Randy Moffett on 7/3/2012 11:17:26 AM
|No. Just madness.|
I think without a doubt the very best analysis of the Roberts decision is Mark Levin's opinion from his radio show aired on 6/28/12. Take the time to listen to this show. You will not be disappointed.
Larry Preston on 7/3/2012 11:57:54 AM