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Links 10/22/11

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Without credit card donations, WikiLeaks facing funding crisis McClatchy (hat tip reader Aquifer)

Tata Motors Mini CAT Air Car to debut in 2012 CarAdvice (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Old-time radio convention meets for last time Associated Press (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

Three Approved GMOs Linked to Organ Damage Food Freedom (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

America’s Ten Angriest Cities, According To The Daily Beast Huffington Post (hat tip Marshall Auerback)

Murdoch defiant in face of attacks Financial Times

Why Not The Worst? Paul Krugman (hat tip Ed Harrison). On Iceland.

Steve Jobs Biography Reveals He Told Obama, ‘You’re Headed For A One-Term Presidency‘Huffington Post (hat tip reader bmeisen)

Michele Bachmann’s campaign falters as entire New Hampshire team quits Guardian (hat tip reader Sock Puppet)

Tea Party to Businesses: “Stop Hiring!” Our Future

Kucinich: “We will simply be replacing one U.S. occupation with another” McClatchy (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

Occupy Wall Street and the Poetry of Now Time New York Observer (hat tip reader SR6719)

Occupy the Mortgage Lenders Simon Johnson, Project Syndicate

Wall Street protests force Cantor to cancel economic speech The Hill (hat tip reader 1SK)

Spokes Council New York City General Assembly (hat tip Lambert Strether)

Quit the accounting tricks: bankers must show humility Financial Times. Quote of the day:

In most cases, banks have booked the unrealised profits from marking to market the value of their own debt to their creditors…If Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics arm, allowed Greece to use the same trick, Athens would now be flaunting a public sector surplus bigger than Norway’s.

On government, regulation, over-regulation and free markets Ed Harrison

Spenders Become Savers, Hurting Recovery Wall Street Journal. This is news?

Mortgage Modification: What One Non-Profit Lender Is Doing to Help Homeowners Daniel Gross, Yahoo Finance (hat tip reader Michael M. Thomas)

Is Bank of America preparing for a Chapter 11? Chris Whalen, Reuters (hat tip reader Jim Haygood)

Whither BofA MBS deal: Can banks walk if case stays with Pauley? Alison Frankel, Reuters (hat tip Tom Adams, Buzz Potamkin)

How to Regain Our Democracy Cenk Uygur Huffington Post (hat tip Doug Smith via Susie Madrak)

Europe on the breadline: ‘Chaos is a Greek word’ Guardian (hat tip reader FlyingKiwi). Today’s must read.

Antidote du jour (hat tip reader furzy mouse):

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68 comments

  1. raintonite

    Re: the Gaurdian article

    The individual stories are heart rending but the final of the trio hits at the heart of the matter.

    Yeah, what Greeks need is a solid rule of law, and an iron fist to enforce. Make laws and enforce them and everything is honky dory – then the markets will free us. We will all become entrepenuers. It doesn’t matter that most people aren’t entrepenuers and don’t want to be entrepenuers. Markets will make them so, and they’d better like it.

    This is the same spiel we get in the USA, UK, Ireland and in other austerity countries where the rule of law is concrete.

    It’s working a treat.

    The MSM’s default position seems to be to spout (or find someone who can spout) the same tired ideology when faced with the contradictions that the tired ideology produces. The MSM never tires of rolling out so-called experts to repeat the same mantra time and again. Heaven forfend if they ever actually engage a few synapsis and started looking beyond the trite and superficial.

  2. Moopheus

    “Anita Bullock-Morley, a 36-year-old speech therapist in Atlanta, is one who talks about her old borrowing habits like a recovering drug addict: “My life is so much better not having that haunting debt.”"

    Yep. I’ve lived with a pile of credit card debt. Was very difficult to pay off. Never doing that again if I have any choice in the matter. No debt is far, far better than having debt. As it is, I have a house I can afford, food, stuff. Don’t have desperate need for more stuff. If I can’t pay cash for it, I can live without.

    Also, I think we should support the Tea party businesses that don’t want to hire by not giving them any of our business. That way they won’t have to hire anybody. Problem solved. Remember a couple of years ago when all the John Galts said they were going to stop working and leave? How did that work out?

    1. ambrit

      Dear Moopheus;
      Glad to hear you broke that habit! We did too, and haven’t looked back since.
      The down side of it is all those regular people who cannot get out of the credit card trap. Plus all the poorer people who are trapped in a second class citizen twilight by the proliferation of credit score based exclusionary rules. (Have you tried to rent an apartment in one of the larger more ‘upscale’ complexes lately? You have to jump through so many hoops you could run away and join the circus as an animal act!)
      Every day, in the Box Store I’m working at, we see ‘normal’ looking people come in and try five to ten credit cards, (I’m not making these numbers up,) to see which one has any funds available left. When it all goes, I wouldn’t be surprised to read it was credit card ‘defaults’ that pushed Bank ‘A’ over the edge, with the rest tumbling after. Sigh.

      1. Moopheus

        “Have you tried to rent an apartment in one of the larger more ‘upscale’ complexes lately? ”

        Actually, a couple of years ago we looked at a few. We ended up not applying for any though; it turned out to be cheaper to buy a house.

        1. ambrit

          Dear Moopheus;
          We found it easier and less stressing to buy a smaller house within our means. Did you all go through the ‘less is more’ experience when you had to fit all the accumulated stuff in the (presumably) smaller domicile? Some days at the beginning I didn’t want to look at that guy in the mirror lest I come out with some sarcastic rejoinder. Enjoy your house!

          1. Moopheus

            No, because a few years before we had moved from a tiny apartment in Brooklyn, so we’d already gone through the whole downsizing thing.

  3. JimS

    Re: “Stop Hiring”. When capital-owning labor-employing business men feel like making a profit out of somebody else’s work, and there’s a demand, they hire, no matter what they say about how they’re being philanthropists. When the demand isn’t there and they aren’t making a profit, they fire, no matter what they say about how they’re such philanthropists. Charity never comes into it.

    They’re not hiring now because there’s no demand in the market right now for their product. Protesting Obama has nothing to do with it, but it makes a nice passive-aggressive lie.

    1. Jef

      JimS – Which came first, lack of demand (the consumer not able to afford), or wage reduction and automation related layoffs?

          1. ambrit

            Dear Loshang (Lobsang?);
            Master asks bhikku: “Does a dog have Buddha essence?”
            Bhikku answers master: “Woof!”
            Dog complains: “Let me sleep fools!”

  4. ambrit

    Friends;
    If anything can convince you of the wholly meretricious nature of the ‘New’ HufPo, (“H R, HufPo stuff! What you need when things get rough! H R HufPo stuff! Ya can’t get too little when ya can’t get enough!”) this quote will convince you that thier writers are smoking very good stuff: “While the economy slowly grinds back to full speed.” Huh!? Like, Dude, what planet are they on? Not ours, fer sure!

      1. ambrit

        Dear skippy;
        Ah yes, good old Living Island!
        I think I’ll take “Federal Policies” for a couple trillion or so.
        Oh, look! A new category: “Latin American Agricultural Commodities.”
        Remember when Ol Scratch, (Ronald Reagan,) railed against those pesky South American countries enabling the export of ‘evil drugs’ to the United States? I loved it when the then Presidente de Colombia went on his local television and said; “We wouldn’t be sending it up there if those stupid Nortes weren’t buying so much of it!”

      2. psychohistorian

        Skippy,

        What the hell is going on in Melbourne? It would seem that our countries share some of the same ignorance and wrong headed overloards.

  5. Dessalines

    Obama still flush with cash from financial sector despite frosty relations.

    Despite frosty relations with the titans of Wall Street, President Obama has still managed to raise far more money this year from the financial and banking sector than Mitt Romney or any other Republican presidential candidate, according to new fundraising data.

    Obama’s key advantage over the GOP field is the ability to collect bigger checks because he raises money for both his own campaign committee and for the Democratic National Committee, which will aid in his reelection effort.

    As a result, Obama has brought in more money from employees of banks, hedge funds and other financial service companies than all of the GOP candidates combined, according to a Washington Post analysis of contribution data. The numbers show that Obama retains a persistent reservoir of support among Democratic financiers who have backed him since he was an underdog presidential candidate four years ago…

    Channeling ‘Occupy’ anger

    Obama’s ties to Wall Street donors could complicate Democratic plans to paint Republicans as puppets of the financial industry, particularly in light of the Occupy Wall Street protests that have gone global over the past week.

    In response to the protests, the Obama campaign and other Democrats have stepped up their attacks on Romney and other Republicans for their opposition to Wall Street regulations.

    One top banking executive who raises money for Obama, discussing fundraising efforts on the condition of anonymity, said reports of disaffection with the president “are exaggerated and overblown.” He said a strong contingent of financiers in New York, Chicago and California remains supportive of Obama and his economic policies, even as some have turned on him.

    But, this donor added, “it probably helps from a political perspective if he’s not seen as a Wall Street guy.” …

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-has-more-cash-from-financial-sector-than-gop-hopefuls-combined-data-show/2011/10/18/gIQAX4rAyL_story.html?hpid=z1

    1. meddler

      Obama’s ties to Wall Street donors could complicate Democratic plans to…

      What about the Wall Street donors themselves, isn’t this logic just as much about their strategy? That is to say, the donors make it their business to have the kinds of ties to elected officials that Obama is only a prominent example. It’s a Rubicon to become someone who high-level donors want to influence.

    2. LucyLulu

      And once the GOP chooses their candidate, they’ll hedge their bets by donating generously to that candidate as well. Bur how can they NOT be happy with Obama? Dodd-Frank is more about show than substance.

  6. Jim Haygood

    Kurgman is actually on the right track for once, with his essay about Iceland’s rather successful default and devaluation. (Considering the rest of his output, he’d better watch out for being awarded one of those ‘Ig Nobel’ awards he cites.)

    But the NYT’s troglodytic editorial page still pounds the tired old drum of piling on more debt from the dark satanic mills of central bankstering:

    Helmut Schmidt, Germany’s 92-year-old former chancellor, sent a pointed message to his present-day successor, Angela Merkel, this week. Shortchanging Europe damages Germany, he warned in a speech in Frankfurt. “Of course the strong should help the weak,” he said, just as Germany was helped by America after World War II.

    We hope Mrs. Merkel heeds his advice. As of Friday, she was still blocking the European Union from bolstering its inadequate bailout fund. She does favor bigger write-downs of Greek debt (German banks have shed their exposure), which must be part of any solution. But other countries cannot afford to go along without the European-financed bank recapitalization that she opposes.

    In July, European leaders agreed to increase the bailout fund to $600 billion. It is already inadequate. To meet the new challenges of Italy, Spain and bank recapitalization effectively, somewhere between $2 trillion to $3 trillion will be needed. Some of that may have to come from the European Central Bank.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/22/opinion/will-angela-merkel-wake-up-in-time.html?_r=1&hp

    Connecting the first and third paragraphs cited above, the shorthand message is that ‘Germany should let the ECB print,’ thus turning the euro into Papiermark confetti.

    Despite its calculated cruelty to the retired, such a deceitful policy might work for some euro member nations as a means of soft default. But Italy, whose fixed-rate bonds trade at the critical 6% yield level already, is a major issuer of inflation-linked bonds. The central banksters’ dirty trick of inflationary money illusion isn’t likely to rescue the Italians.

    At least the Old Grey Lady isn’t being hypocritical with its ‘pile on more debt’ fixation. At the end of 2010, the NYT claimed equity of $660 million. But among its assets is $645 million of goodwill. Thus its tangible equity was a skinny $15 million. And the rest is liabilities out the wazoo.

    http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=105317&p=irol-fundBalanceA

    If the NYT could print money, you can be assured its rumbling presses would be running night and day!

    1. Ignim Brites

      Is Krugman really on track? In my mind, the acid test of whether or not the whole sovereign currency crowd has really thought through the notion, is whether or not they are willing to apply it to California. It is obvious the US Dollar is not working for California (Nevada and Arizona too for that matter). So why should these states not secede from the dollar block? To not even ask the question seems to me to be incredibly shallow.

      1. Jim Haygood

        You raise an interesting question. But I would strongly suspect that between Hollywood, Silicon Valley, the Central Valley, Sonoma Valley, and NoCal’s ganja industry, Big Kali is a major net exporter within the USD currency area.

        In other words, export competitiveness and external balance does not seem to be at the root of Kali’s debt problem. It’s just plain old irresponsibility, isn’t it?

    2. psychohistorian

      Just like the situation with China holding US trade dollars, Germany needs to suck up to the characterization that Yves gave to China’s US dollar holdings…….”They are a deferred trade subsidy deadweight loss.”

      I don’t expect Germany to resonate with that definition applied to their situation within the EU any more than I expect China to.

      It certainly is not a definition of reality that would seeming be a positive basis for continuing forward.

    3. Maximilien

      “But among its assets is $645 million of goodwill.”

      And presumably sinking fast, as inquiring minds flee elsewhere. Btw, anybody want some free NYT articles? I’ve got about 15 left over this month.

  7. Jim Haygood

    From Bloomberg, via Doug Noland:

    October 21 – Bloomberg (Michael Patterson and Selcuk Gokoluk): “Companies in emerging markets have record amounts of international debt coming due just as financing costs rise to a 16-month high and their currencies sink the most since 2008. Businesses in the 10 biggest developing economies have at least $54 billion of foreign-currency bonds maturing in the next 12 months, the most since Bloomberg began compiling the data in 1999. The market for new international debt issues dried up after emerging-nation currencies tumbled 11 percent from this year’s high…”

    http://www.safehaven.com/article/23035/mortgage-madness

    Oof! A decade ago, Michael Pettis wrote in his book The Volatility Machine about how the rich core tends to repatriate capital from the developing periphery when facing its own crises. Evidence is accumulating of a fresh outbreak of this dreary cycle.

    While the US S&P stock index is 3% above its Aug. 4th close, the MSCI Emerging Markets index (as represented by the ETF, stock symbol EEM) is more than 9% below its Aug. 4th close, printing a series of lower highs and lower lows. Chart:

    http://bigcharts.marketwatch.com/quickchart/quickchart.asp?symb=eem&insttype=&freq=1&show=&time=6

    Similarly, the CRB futures index — a proxy for the exports of commodity-oriented developing economies — is more than 5% below its Aug. 4th close. Chart:

    http://www.crbtrader.com/data.asp?page=chart&page=chart&sym=CRY00

    While Brazil has cut interest rates twice, the price of copper — a proxy for Chinese industrial demand — has slide by an eye-opening 24% since Aug. 4th. Chart:

    http://www.cmegroup.com/popup/mdq2.html?code=HGGLOBEXZ1&title=Dec_11_Copper&type=p

    It seems increasingly likely that the thesis of BRICS countries serving as a global locomotive in 2012 to offset the crippled West is about to take a major dent. Capital is scarce everywhere, comrades!

  8. YesMaybe

    That FT article on banks’ bookkeeping is pretty scary. Marking assets to make-believe is pretty outrageous. But when it’s combined with marking one’s liabilities to market, it’s almost beyond belief.

  9. Patrice

    Re: Occupy Wall Street and the poetry of Now-Time

    (“If you really want to understand Occupy Wall Street, you have to talk to the poets”.)

    They said, “You have a blue guitar,
    You do not play things as they are.”

    The man replied, “Things as they are
    Are changed upon the blue guitar.”

    So that’s life, then: things as they are?
    It picks its way on the blue guitar.

    ….

    Things as they are have been destroyed.
    Have I? Am I a man that is dead

    At a table on which the food is cold?
    Is my thought a memory, not alive?

    …..

    Throw away the lights, the definitions,
    And say of what you see in the dark

    That it is this or that it is that,
    But do not use the rotted names.

    That generation’s dream,….

    Here is its actual stone. The bread
    Will be our bread, the stone will be

    Our bed and we shall sleep by night.
    We shall forget by day, except

    The moments when we choose to play
    The imagined pine, the imagined jay.

    Wallace Stevens, “The Man with the Blue Guitar” (excerpts)

    I

    1. craazyman

      i dunno. the New York Observer goes down there and finds a sex worker and a poet to interview channeling the ever present NOW? Oy Vey. I hope Rush Limbaugh doesn’t get a hold of that article, bowahahaha ahahhahahaha aahgagag. sorry. it just cracked me up.

      heading down myself for some chow this evening and hope to see what’s up at the GA. I don’t want to get whipped by anybody, just want to see where the Gnosis is flowing and if I get lucky it won’t be with a guy. :) Not that I care what other folks do. I’m a libertarian in that way

      will also check out the library and see what sort of mind-altering texts they have on display for consumption. Probably nothing by Ayn Rand, I hope. Or MBA cirriculum textbooks. Maybe they can burn those for warmth come November, if they have them.

      -Mr. Monkey :()

      PS Not making fun of Wallace Stevens at all. Blue Guitar is something I even referenced several weaks ago right here3 on this message board. In fact, the same rough passage about the transformational energy inherent in artistic perception.

      1. aletheia33

        yea craazyman going down to find where the Gnosis is flowing, it runs right down the midway don’t it, so funny, cracks me up no end…

        go for it

  10. IF

    Re: Wikileaks. I managed to send them a donation via Mastercard and Iceland just before MC stopped processing. Never really received confirmation, but media reports of the time indicated that MC released the money. But spending 500k a year on a static website and whining is pretty rich. And where is the funding crisis if Wau Holland takes in nearly 2 million p.a. in for them? I understand WH can’t pay for all of Wikileaks expenses, as it has charitable status and needs proper billing consistent with German IRS rules. Then for which items does Wikileaks need more money? The article is completely fuzzy here.

  11. Herman Sniffles

    “Tata Mini Cat” is way too long a name for this new air car to be marketed successfully. In deference to Honda’s “The Fit” I suggest Tata’s “The Fart.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      All carbon-burning vehicles fart, including horses.

      Just to be different while recognizing it farts backwards (again, we all do), why not Traf?

  12. Herman Sniffles

    That’s odd. Some program called “vibrant” just imbedded an ad in my post above on the word “car.” When you click on it, it says they did this with the permission of NC, and that “NakedCapitalism.com is one of thousands of premium websites that deliver Vibrant In-Text Advertising for companies such as Microsoft, Visa, IBM, and Toyota across the internet.” That’s kind of like sticking a bumper sticker on somebody elses car.

  13. Herman Sniffles

    “There are several reasons behind the current crisis, but they all come down to one major problem, and that is the basic rule of law is not obeyed and/or enforced in Greece.”

    Boy, just change “Greece” to “the World” and that pretty much covers it.

  14. Susan the other

    Isn’t Simon Johnson proposing the very thing he is castigating the banks for wanting… their own get out of jail free card? Wouldn’t it really be better to investigate them thoroughly and allow the legal system to take its course?

  15. nobody

    Lambert,

    If you have the time and the inclination, I’d really like to hear your thoughts on the Spokes Council.

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    99% vs. 99.9%

    We the 99.9%, while might be longer to chant, would be more encompassing…a bigger tent. I could be wrong, but Yves wrote before something about the top 0.1% doing most of the damage.

    One reason I think we don’t say We The 99.9% might be that it’s 66.6% upside down. Bad Feng Shui, some might say.

    Another reason – it could be, our conspiracy friends or just those cautious one might worry, co-opted by Herman Cain with his 999 Plan into something like We The 99.9% want the 999 Plan.

    1. nobody

      If I remember right, what Yves said was it was the top 0.01%. But of course “We Are The 99.99%” is even more awkward as a chant than “We Are The 99.9%.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Like the advice to authors about not putting in mathematical formulas, all chant-makers should avoid decimal points.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I believe it was coined by one of the leading professors at the Oracle of Delphi school of Economic Forecasting.

    1. craazyman

      I gotta admit, I do have occassion in my real life to pay some attention to the Vatican’s economic pontificating, and it impresses me as a thoughtful, cogent body of work. Definitely channeling the Gnostic Jesus in its own way, in a surprisingly articulate way.

      1. psychohistorian

        As one indoctrinated for 12 years by these folks, with 4 of them by the Jesuits, I disagree.

        IMO, this is a bald face get out in front of the public anger and attempt to burnish your “moral standing” in the world.

        But let me digress with an example to support my assertion.

        There is this thing called a commandment in RC land. One of them says DO NOT KILL. Seems pretty simple and straight forward doesn’t it. You would think that if the RC’s of the world were true to their beliefs that they would be out protesting in force to insure that it stopped.
        Hypocrisy is a convenient tool of the RC folk. They go to this thing called confession whenever they want to stop feeling guilty about their hypocritical acts.

        I suspect that the RC leadership hopes feel good words like this will make everyone forget about how many of them like to abuse children.

        The only faith I feel comfortable with is that the sun may come up tomorrow.

        1. craazyman

          Catholicism gives me the creeps, as do most organized religions. I would never have survived 12 years + 4 Jesuits. I’d have had a nervous breakdown probably.

          How did you survive?

          I went to Presbyterian Sunday school ’till I was about 11 and then that was that. I still remember the weird Jesus vibe and all the electric smiles.

          It wasn’t until I discovered the King James Bible that I understood. Part of the problem with Christianity is the absurdly bad writing in all the new updated bibles. Oy Vey!

          haha haha ahahahah

          It’s like translating Shakespeare into conversational English and not understanding verse, meter, simile, metaphor, or even imagery. Only the plot. Holy Cow what bedlam. :)

          1. craazyman

            Honest to God

            Speaking of bedlam, went Down at Occupy Wall Street this afternoon and had an astonishing synchronicity. The place was choked wall-to-wall with nearly immobile throngs of human beings.

            Fortunately, the library was relatively lightly visited and there were several empty seats so I bee-lined over there, or conga-lined over there as the case was, and my eye randomly lit upon 3 book jackets,

            I kid you not, in this order:

            1. Dante’s Inferno
            2. Yves Smith’s ECONNED
            3. A poetry periodical I had a 10-year long association with during the 1980s and 1990s.

            I mean really, who makes this stuff up? Some big invisible wizard in the sky, just to make you think? How is that possible, with all the atoms and molecules in the universe?

            total randomness and total coherence at the same time.

            and by the way, those drummers are annoying as all hell. trying to speak with folks and you’re nearly yelling back and forth to be heard.

            But the funniest part was, I went up to a librarian (they wear badges) and said politely and somewhat timidly, “Do you all have anything here by Ayn Rand?”

            Then I just let it sit there silently for about 4 seconds, put my hand on her shoulder and said “I’m just kidding, I love you guys!” aha hahahahahaha haag. It was hilarious.

            She said she was thinking “what am I supposed to say to this gentleman???” then she began muttering something about fascists. But she laughed and said “I’d have said it too if I were you.” We both had a good laugh at that one.

          2. psychohistorian

            Actually I credit my time with the Jesuits fairly highly in my educational process. They gave me what vocab I have, critical thinking skills and contributed to the drive that has kept me alive to date through shit that kills others.

    2. SR6719

      from the Vatican’s “radical” document:

      This sentence cracked me up: “Not only will it be to the left of Barack Obama, it will be to the left of Nancy Pelosi.”

      Say it ain’t so, joe.

  17. citalopram

    I think it’s time to just let Wikileaks die, so that another Phoenix can rise from its ashes. Even better, there should be multiple leak sites out there with short life spans to make it harder for fascists to track.

  18. Valissa

    Mortgage Modification: What One Non-Profit Lender Is Doing to Help Homeowners http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/mortgage-modification-one-non-profit-lender-doing-help-150944807.html

    While banks, the Obama Administration and the taxpayer-owned mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac dither, one non-profit lender is taking matters into its own hands. Boston Community Capital, which has been active in the region for 30 years, last year set up the Stabilizing Urban Neighborhoods (SUN) initiative. The plan? Buy properties back from banks who aren’t willing to modify. Then resell them to the owners who were in danger of defaulting or who had already defaulted —- at a much lower price and with a better mortgage. And all while delivering 4.25 percent annual returns to investors. The goal, aside from keeping people in their homes, is to stabilize neighborhoods.

    btw, the homeowners that qualify for this program, which they admit is only 10-20% of the homes under water, get a 30-year fixed mortgage rate of 6.25.

    Boston Community Capital http://www.bostoncommunitycapital.org/what/sun-initiative

    1. barrisj

      Fascinating story, that. It’s really a sort of free-enterprise mercantilism, where trading giants such as Glencore and Vitol stand in stead of 18thC nation-states in their reach and influence. That such entities could amass so much wealth and transnational power speaks volumes to “deregulated markets” and commodity price manipulation. Certainly an enormous gain in leverage when compared to the Hunt Brothers crude attempt to corner the silver market several decades ago.

  19. mk

    WikiLeaks, the whistleblower website that has been at the center of some of the world’s most controversial news for the past 18 months, is facing dire economic times, largely, the website says, because Visa, MasterCard and PayPal have refused for more than 10 months to process donations made on its behalf.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ why is it only PayPal, Visa & MC? this is not competition.

    ATTENTION 99%: WHY DON’T WE HAVE A PROGRESSIVE BANK/CREDIT UNION THAT WILL HAPPILY PROVIDE THIS SERVICE FOR WIKILEAKS?

    1. mk

      I have stopped using my ATM debit card except at my branch ATM to withdraw cash to pay for goods and services. I don’t support PayPal either because they don’t support Wikileaks.

      Does Ms. Smith have a po box where a person can mail a check for donation? NC donate button leads to PayPal.

    2. mk

      If money is speech, then I should be able to give my money to Wikileaks if I want to, and no bank should ever stand in my constitutional right to free speech.

  20. Robert Bonomo

    The speed of the unfolding in the last 12 months or so has been awe inspiring. From the Arab Spring to what appears as the last gasp of the EU, the whole charade is collapsing. Those that control the creation of money also control the politics, the wars, the circus etc…Debt used to have two sides, a borrower and a lender, now there is only a borrower, the lender just makes the stuff up with a mouse, and imposes austerity on governments if it doesn’t get paid back. We must simply unplug from them, stop using their money, working for their corporations, etc.. This is a good article on how and why we need to disengage from the infomocracy:
    http://www.thecactusland.com/2011/10/revolution-or-disengagement.html

  21. Externality

    Apparently, French and Belgian taxpayers will be forced to send “potentially tens of billions of euros” to Dexia bank’s counterparties: Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. The arrogance of the Dexia bank official they quoted is incredible. But then, its not his money. https://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/23/business/dexias-collapse-in-europe-points-to-global-risks.html?ref=business

    Belgium is also bailing out one of Dexia’s major shareholders.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-22/dexia-holder-holding-communal-gets-government-rescue-belga-says.html

    1. Typing Monkey

      Alexandre Joly, the head of strategy, portfolios and market activities at Dexia, said in an interview that the idea of forcing Dexia’s trading partners to accept a discount on what they are owed “is a monstrous idea.” He added, “It is not compatible with rules governing the euro zone, and it has never, ever been considered to our knowledge by any government in charge of the supervision of the banks.”

      There goes my hypothesis on sanity returning to policy making…

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