Links 12/12/11

Excitement over Higgs ‘evidence’ BBC

German court issues injunction against Apple products TechWorld

When Truth Survives Free Speech New York Times. I’d refrained from posting on this situation precisely because it was hairy and the blogger did not seem to be the wronged party. Glad someone did the heavy lifting.

Europe’s suicide pact MacroBusiness. Be sure to look at the table at the bottom.

Merkel’s Teutonic summit enshrines Hooverism in EU treaty law Telegraph (hat tip reader psychohistorian)

Depression and Democracy Paul Krugman, New York Times

Summit Does Not Help Euro Ratings: Moody’s Bloomberg

Italy Can Endure Rise in Borrowing Costs: BIS Bloomberg. Provided Unicredit does not fall over. And note the fact that the BIS adds a qualified “provided it retains access to the market.” That worry would have been deemed barmy a year ago.

Swedbanks kunder i Lettland i panik Aftonbladet (hat tip Richard Smith). Bank run in Latvia! But Svedbank says no worries: Swedbank says ATM queues in Latvia due to false rumours Reuters

Russia’s middle class rises up against Putin Independent (hat tip Mark Ames)

BIS report contradicts BoE easing estimates FT Alphaville (hat tip Philip Pilkington). QE skeptics will take note.

Phone-hacking victims to number 800 Guardian (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

US vacates Pakistan base amid drone debate Aljazeera (hat tip reader Richard Kline). This is a very big deal.

US groups told to reveal Syria, Iran links Financial Times (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Slipping traction for Chinese stimulus MacroBusiness

What Latin America Can Teach Us New York Times

Job loss ‘is fastest-rising fear’ BBC

Economic Crisis + Offshore tax justice network (hat tip reader Maura)

INTERVIEW WITH DAVID GRAEBER The White Review (hat tip Lambert Strether)

Police employ Predator drone spy planes on home front LA Times (hat tip Lambert Strether)

The 1% Election Tom Engelhardt

Lowest Hanging Fruit Cassandra

Private equity trapped in ‘zombie funds’ Financial Times (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

$29 Trillion Bailout: Response to Critics Randy Wray

No One Says Who Took $586B in Fed Swaps Bloomberg

Steve Keen: How He Saw “It” Coming, and Others Did Not INET. We posted the first segment of this interview.

Treasury’s Failure on Bank Accountability, and Nevada’s Success Dave Dayen, Firedoglake

A Romance With Risk That Brought On a Panic New York Times. As we’ve been saying, if Corzine does not go to jail, something is VERY wrong. This is a lengthy and damning account. I’m sure Jesse will have lots of additional remarks. It disputes Corzine’s efforts to portray himself as a removed CEO. He pressured the board AND auditors to do the trade that killed the firm (a concerned risk officer left the firm before the trade blew up). And get this:

MF Global filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 31. As the firm spun out of control, it improperly transferred some customer money on Oct. 21 — days sooner than previously thought, said people briefed on the matter. And investigators are now examining whether MF Global was getting away with such illicit transfers as early as August, one person said, a revelation that would point to wrongdoing even before the firm was struggling to survive.

Antidote du jour (by Alexia Khruscheva):

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89 comments

  1. dearieme

    Corzine could always play the “Why pick on me?” card, if no other VIPs go to jail. Come to think of it, perhaps he could play another card – “If I go to jail, I’ll bring a lot of you down too”. How much does he know?

    On the other hand, maybe the guy is innocent: I mean, he’s a Democrat, isn’t he?

    1. ron

      Corzine as the bad CEO apple is at best media propaganda, a quick review of MF Global and its placement within the FED’s Primary Dealer Network paints a different picture.
      Bruce Krasting has a new post up this morning which shows the investor alarm over the reality of MF Global and his great hope that the FED will come to investor rescue. Link below:

      http://brucekrasting.blogspot.com/

    2. ron

      Ref: MF Global the following was posted regarding the MF story on Krasting blog:

      “US broker dealers are allowed to re-hypothecate up to 140% of the funds which you have borrowed from them. The clear message that I received is that they can and do re-hypothecate every available borrowed dollar to 1.39999999999 times across all accounts. They then pool those assets and pledge them in overnight repo market.”

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        ron, this *qual-ity* of *borrowing* used to be called embezzlement (“I’ll just borrow this for a little while”).

        1. ron

          The financial sector had sold investors on margin usage while touting the safety of segregated accounts. The financial investment sector actors meanwhile have generated huge bonus along with inflated pay scales based on these credit driven operations. Skimming off percentages of these leveraged credit operations is the core of modern day brokerage operations while using the media to maintain the ruse that there accounts are segregated.

  2. petridish

    Re: Krugman article

    “…is relying on overlapping measures to suppress opposition. A proposed election law creates gerrymandered districts designed to make it almost impossible for other parties to form a government; judicial independence has been compromised, and the courts packed with party loyalists; state-run media have been converted into party organs, and there’s a crackdown on independent media…”

    Get this–He’s talking about HUNGARY!!!

  3. Doug Terpstra

    In “The 1% Election”, Tom Engelhardt documents what must be a new record in “election”-year pay-to-play extortion. Obama is peddling influence at $35K per head! Guess I’ll sit this one out.

    At first, I was surprised that the bite on the American Jewish Congress (not to be confused with the US Congress) was so cheap, but then they’ve already bagged him, so I guess $10K a pop is overly generous. At that Congress, Engelhardt captures the hustler rhetorician’s most rousing line by far, rivaling Cain’s Pokémon: “No matter who we are, no matter where we come from, we’re one nation. We’re one people. And that’s what’s at stake in this election.” Little question which nation he refers and defers to.

    1. curlydan

      Good article, especially the spending. Taking his figures, prez campaign spending grew at 12% CAGR from 1976 to 2008–wow, that’s even higher than college tuition or health care.

      Unfortnately, one of Tom’s descriptions of our election might need more detail: “It’s true that, on November 6, 2012, Americans will enter voting booths and choose a candidate for president, and that makes this an “election.””

      We’re not choosing a president. We’re determining electoral voters. The only “one man, one vote” for this election comes when the Electoral College votes. If you don’t live in a battleground state, the only visit and consideration you’ll get is if you’re at a fund raiser. Otherwise, YOU DON’T MATTER ONE BIT! It’s an election for _maybe_ one-third of the country. For the rest of us, it’s just a day to line up and pretend to be counted.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s interesting about the electoral college and the popular vote.

        If 51% of us favor attacking the Grand Duchy of Fenwick and 49% favor defending it, it does not happen that 51% of our soliders attack him and 49% defend him. All 100% of our soldiers would attack him.

        If 51% of the voters vote for Ms. Jones and 49% vote for Mr. Smith in a state with 100 electoral votes (I am just illustrating a point here), all 100% of the 100 electoral voters of that state are for her.

        It’s not fair. But I see a similarity. Not only that, but a lof of things in life are like that.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Don’t you wonder why we can’t eliminate the *primaries*, just as easily as they were imposed upon the electorate for the benefit of the duopoly machine?

      I hope Tom will write about that.

  4. DP

    From the NYT article on Corzine:

    “And for the first time it is now clear that ratings agencies knew the risks for months but, as they did with subprime mortgages, looked the other way until it was too late, underscoring how three years after the financial crisis, little has changed on Wall Street.”

    What is it going to take to send criminal enterprises Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s to the dust bin of history along with Arthur Andersen?

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      DP, so much has changed since the *old days*, as is made clear by William K. Black, when he contrasts what he and others did in the 1980’s vs. what is not being done today.

      If no one is referring elite crimes to the Justice Department, and the Justice Department doesn’t want to look back, and the ratio of FBI operatives to criminals is drastically lower that it was in the 1980’s, is the “crimenegenic environment” of Wall Street + Gubmint likely to change?

      Looks like the only *remedy* is what We the People/Citizens will dare to provide.

  5. Jim Haygood

    Lovely oxymoron in the ‘Europe’s suicide pact’ article — ‘expansionary fiscal contraction.’ Like unicorns and economic soft landings, ‘expansionary fiscal contractions’ are rarely seen in real life.

    A quote from a Bloomberg article today sums up Europe’s dilemma nicely:

    “If the Southern [European] governments put money in their banks, their sovereign debt [totals] will go up, exacerbating their problems,” said Karel Lannoo, chief executive officer of the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels.

    “Then the banks’ losses will rise because they hold the [depreciating] government debt. That’s a vicious cycle. It’s hard to know which one to stabilize first, the sovereign bonds or the banks.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-12/eu-banks-taking-government-cash-seen-sparking-vicious-cycle-.html

    Great non sequitur! If it’s a vicious cycle, then stabilizing the sovereign debt total only worsens the uncapitalized banks’ plight, and vice versa.

    But Lannoo’s defective logic perfectly captures the mentality on display at last week’s European summit. Surely there is some way to make two plus two equal five by executive decree!

    1. okie farmer

      Here’s another article, from La Monde diplomatique, to go with the one’s already linked about Europe’s suicide pact.

      http://mondediplo.com/blogs/the-berlin-consensus-europe-s-blind-march-forward

      “Last week’s decision of European heads of state and the European Commission to establish a fiscal union based on permanent quasi-automatic disciplinary mechanisms to secure balanced budgets in the midst of the worst world economic downturn since the 1930s will go down as one of the greatest collective policy errors in post-1945 history.”

    2. Susan the other

      This fatal contradiction is built into the system. It cannot be addressed by the usual inflationary methods because the Europeans aren’t going to touch inflation with a 10 foot pole. It’s almost as if the world has now been advised that, because there is a 26-nation fiscal pact, the EU will come to the unavoidable conclusion that they must ultimately default on all the debt because they will not establish a supra-sovereign bank. Surely the Europeans know exactly what they have just done. I find it hard to believe that suicide is their goal. They are buying time, expensive time. To what end?

      1. Lidia

        From my corner seat as an ex-pat in Italy, I would say simply fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of what the capitalist system and its imposed exponential extraction has effectively wrought. Fear of facing constituents who are seeing the downside rather than the upside of monetary union without political union. Fear that they (politicians used to dealing with more pedestrian sorts of local mafias and ‘gimme’ constituencies) have been blindsided and utterly outclassed by trans-national banksters.

        I can tell you that in Italy the same old factional multi-partite political distraction theatre reigns, and that no one seems to be referencing the larger issues of Goldman Sachs’ steering of national policy via Prodi/Draghi/Monti and the like over the last couple of decades.

        Perfectly intelligent people (scientists and international patent lawyers of my acquaintance) deny global warming and peak oil and willfully misunderstand the already-confirmed inexorable negative-growth trajectory that will define the rest of their lives and their children’s and grandchildren’s lives. It simply “does not compute”. But then, it doesn’t compute in America, either, so they can hardly be blamed.

      2. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Susan, for time to extract the *cooperative community* from the maw of the *Anglo-Saxon* machine. Britain’s self-ostracism leaves the re-formed EuroCooperative to do what the British Empire has always dreaded and schemed against.

        Clearly, the Anglo-American Empire has gone too far. We the People/Citizens as a trading bloc would do best to become their legitimate trading partner of the SCO together with the EuroCooperative, shedding the Imperial *sole superpower* image as a snake sheds its useless skin, as we come to grips with stark reality and *move on* in C21.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A dilemna for sure.

      Perhaps the logic is not defective; the whole thing is one big mess. Sometimes the ability to admit we don’t have a practical solution (emphasis on ‘practical’) is greatly underappreciated. It’s rare to find a leader who can look beyond the lost war. To the European leaders, don’t take the Zone down with you. And stop this ‘The Zone doesn’t not deserve me’ thing.

      1. Lidia

        A “dilemma” is a situation which offers two solutions.

        To the predicament of negative growth from here forward, there is no solution, only possible coping and mitigation strategies, each and any of which would require acknowledging the thermodynamic reality anathema to modern fantasy capitalism and its monetary system which mathematically imposes exponential spending and waste…

        This is the third-rail issue that no politico will touch: guaranteed negative growth and reduced living standards as far as the eye can see.

  6. b.

    Re: 29 trillion. In analogy to kiloWatt-hours, I propose a measure of “dollar days”. Given that interest is generated of savings times days, it would be a good way to measure the area under the Fed’s lending curve, and make quite intuitive just how the past 23 years differed from regular liquidity lending.

    Trivially speaking, if I personally were able to borrow a billion dollars at zero interest, it would take little for me to prove the market distortions this type of lending creates.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I have posted previously about measuring economic pain in a similar fashion.

      Integrate pain of the moment (delta pain) over a period of time.

      Sometimes, short, sharp pain is preferred over chronic, long lasting, low level pain.

      1. Lidia

        I want to see a monetary system based on calories/Joules/Watts or similar. It would be mentally bracing if nothing else.

  7. b.

    Re: Cassandra and Taxing the Dead. I have occasionally offered the following, Unobamiam “Grand Bargain”: you get your flat tax on all income, in exchange for 100% inheritance tax on everything above a threshold defined by 30 years of minimum wage earnings, per beneficiary.

    I would dedicate the revenue from this tax to free education gated only by aptitude. The initial “windfall” could be used for public infrastructure – free wired and wireless communication, improved powergrid and public transportation, continental rail – whatever lowers the threshold of entry for self-employment and pervasive commerce.

    If the supporters of inbred wealth really believed in the merit of merit, then they could not possibly object against a leveled playing field.

    1. psychohistorian

      Thanks for the comment as it is good to see folks at least discussing this issue. While your suggestion has merit I wonder about the “…per beneficiary.” part and potentially see a lot of late life children for successful folks…..the poor wife.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The tax is a great idea.

      I would, though, just divide the tax revenue equally among all American and refund the money.

      I don’t think the government should decide how to spend that.

      Trust the people to spend the money.

      This principle can also be applied to, say, traffic tickets, penalties on Goldman (a dream, I know), profits on TARP loans, etc.

    1. Brett

      Oh my god, read some of the comments on this Dealbook piece.

      Comment #6: “What magnificent person Obama is. Until we can see this time in the perspecdtive of history, we will not be able to appreciate the job he has done, the fundamental changes he has made that have turned the politics in this country around, hopefuly forever.”

      Comment #13: “Sometimes I wish Obama *were* king. He’s intelligent and thoughtful, and on the right side of a lot of issues. But we live in a democracy, and he’s not king — only president.

      I think a lot of people expected him to act like a king, and magically change the world with his Might King Hands, closing Guantanamo and switching to single-payer health with no help from congress. Unfortunately for them, any change to the law has to go through congress — and about half of congress has dedicated their life to first and foremost to stopping him from doing anything, ever.

      Given the Republican opposition, I’m impressed that he even managed to get through the weak financial reform that he did. It wasn’t everything I’d have hoped for — but it does at least raise the odds that there will be more prosecutions next time.”

      Here’s the comment I left, which NYT did not publish. I wonder why:

      “Obama is a liar. There are many, many examples of activities that went on that were illegal. For one obvious example, Lehman brothers was engaged in accounting chicanery right before it went belly up. Repo 105, as it was known, was an accounting trick that classified a short term loan as a sale in order to reduce the reported leverage of the firm on its disclosed financial statements each quarter.

      After the reporting period, these borrowed assets would be reclassified as liabilities. That is illegal financial accounting fraud and could and should have been prosecuted. Dick Fuld was fully aware of what was going on, or should have been, given he’s the CEO and he should know the firms balance sheet backwards and forward. But he was not prosecuted, and he was allowed to walk away with hundreds of millions in ill-gotten gains.”

      1. Maximilien

        Comment #13: [Obama’s] intelligent and thoughtful, and on the right side of a lot of issues. But we live in a democracy, and he’s not king — only president.

        Right. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Right. Two out of five. Not bad for a NYT reader.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        tom allen, Obama accepts the laws created by Wall Street as *The Law* — I guess this is what he learned at YALE.

  8. mk

    Angelo Mozilo’s mansion in Thousand Oaks, CA for sale:

    Property records are a bit vague so we can’t accurately discern what amount Mister and Missus Mozilo paid for the Thousand Oaks mansion they now have on the market but the deeds and docs we peeped online reveal the long-married couple picked the place up in March of 2000 with a $700,000 mortgage.

    Redfin shows Mister and Missus Mozilo first pushed their red-brick, center-hall Georgian-Colonial-style (mc)mansion in Thousand Oaks on the market in late July (2011) with an asking price of $3,680,000. In mid-October the price was reduced to its current $3,400,000.

    http://realestalker.blogspot.com/2011/12/angelo-mozilo-shakes-up-real-estate.html

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s deflation for the 1% and inflation for the 99%, as they continue to fight deflation.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Oh, it’s *trickle-down*–the hoipoloi house went from $50K up to %150K, so it could be used as an ATM machine, with help from *Countrywide* bucket shops.

      I read recently that London if fine with bucket shops.

  9. joebhed

    On the Steve Keen INET Interview.

    It ends with Keen explaining that his present research is working on a monetary-economic model that includes the inter-party transactional monetary modeling, esp that of the central bank.

    Dr. Keen has already seen such a model. He was present at the American Monetary Conference last year when Dr. Kaoru Yamaguchi presented his model of open macro-economics.

    At the time, Dr. keen opined it was the most sophisticated macro monetary-economic model he had seen.

    Dr. Yamaguchi’s model predicts the outcome of financial insolvency for the MONEY system, and found that only through recourse to non-debt based public money could there be a sustainable monetary economy.

    His work is very much consistent with the ideas of Frederick Soddy, author of The Role of Money.

    Dr. Yamaguchi’s model is available for ALL to peruse, and the result of his work was presented here:
    “On The Workings of A Public Money System of Open Macroeconomies” :
    http://www.old.monetary.org/yamaguchipaper.pdf

    For the Money System Common
    Thanks.

    .

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      joebhed, thanks for the link to the Yamaguchi paper, certainly to be studied. What bothers me is the form of *monetary standard* that is MISSING under “A Systemic Failure of Debt Money” on p. 8. He cites: “Gold Standard Failed (1930s); “Gold-Dollar Standard Failed (1971); and “Dollar Standard Collapsing (2010s?)”. This last category should mention the “Petro-Dollar Standard” forced on the world by certain parties, followed by the “Extraction-from-Spreads-Dollar Standard” (2010s?).

      Since this makes me suspicious about the *unknown knowns and unknowns* that may be lurking behind the curtain, especially considering that THIS PAPER “With a modest REVISION [?caps mine] was presented at the monetary reform conf. in Chicago, organized by the American Monetary Institute, on Oct. 1, 2010.” Note that THIS PAPER was presented at the 29th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, Washington, D.C., USA, July 25, 2011. Yes, these dates are exact.

      Do you see my point?

      Nevertheless, the System Dynamics approach, and the renewed attention to *flow* in light of the intractability of our current dead end within the frame of Mandelbrodt’s insights which more recently have that received renewed attention, is welcome.

      My Reply to a comment here today asks that INET take seriously the notion that “calories”–actually a “caloric system” of evaluation–might bring order to a fluid dynamics conception of a *monetary system management*. This might be a very useful way to imagine *heating*, *cooling*, *expansion*, *contraction*, *stasis*, and *exchange*. Why not?

      Is INET open to suggestions from the floor? Hasn’t it been proposed that a way of educating *the public* about *economics* should be a worthy goal of INET? Surely, in an *open democracy/open system*, entrenched Academics must not be the only ones given authority. Aren’t we *all in this together*? What is *participatory democracy* for?

  10. René

    David Graeber: “On some level, of course, everyone does have to admit there’s a link between who is a military power, who consumes the bulk of the world’s resources, and whose money just happens to be the world reserve currency, but it’s somehow taboo to try to work out exactly what those connections are.”

    For those of you who are interested, Damon Vrabel really aced it in regards to explaining the connections! Unfortunately, his masterpiece video, The Way the World Really Works has been taken down by Damon. I regret the fact that he no longer produces material to teach and lead us, nonetheless, his viewpoints can still be read and seen;

    http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/members/19658/Damon%20Vrabel/

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=damon+vrabel

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Rene, see “petrodollars” for How It Works and by whom in:
      “A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order” – New Edition (2011) by F. William Engdahl.

  11. Jessica

    About the interview with David Graeber
    In addition to his own book “Debt: the First 5000 Years”, anyone who was interested by his comments about Malagasy and “ethnic identities” that are actually socially movements that succeeded may find the book “The Art of Being Ungoverned” of interest.

  12. Hugh

    The article “Europe’s suicide pact” is a good article. Like so many analyses though it avoids ascribing the persistence to failed policies to kleptocracy. There was this Freudian slip however: “Europe is now in an ideological vice.” A vice is an immoral proclivity while a vise is a kind of clamp. But it is actually more even than a vice. It is a clear-eyed plan to loot. Kleptocracy supplies the reason why European leaders make the choices they do and for whose benefit, and it makes clear that this is not a suicide but a homicide.

    Re Randy Wray’s post, the number I use for the Fed special programs is the activity that occurred in them as per the appendices in the GAO report, that is $28.2 trillion. It would interesting to know but is ultimately immaterial how much of this represents rolled over loans. That loans were rolled over simply indicates that as well as being massive the Fed interventions also needed to be sustained.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      When job loss is the fastest rising fear, it is easier to go along with the kleptocrats who ‘want to help.’

    2. Jim Haygood

      Maybe the author used ‘ideological vice’ deliberately, referring pejoratively to Austerianism.

    3. LeonovaBalletRusse

      For the *Junker” rentier class (likely since Charlemagne), see “CONJURING HITLER” by Guido Giacomo Preparata, with special reference to Thorstein Veblen’s insights.

  13. readerOfTeaLeaves

    Well, I just landed on a very pleasant surprise!

    Teaser: “Smith: Investors Are Afraid of Suing the Big Banks for Fear the Government Will Retaliate
    On this episode of Greedy Bastards Antidote, we’re covering a new term from our upcoming book. This week, we’re focusing on extractionism. Joining us to discuss it is Yves Smith of nakedcapitalism.com. She is author of ECONned: How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism.
    This week, I talk with Yves Smith, and she opened my eyes to some radical stuff going on in the capital markets. Big Banks are extracting capital for themselves with such power that investors are actually afraid to go to the courts for redress.”

    http://www.dylanratigan.com/2011/12/12/extractionism-with-yves-smith-of-naked-capitalism/

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      reader, it’s all *extraction capitalism* all the time. The most recent full description is in “The Shock Doctrine” by Naomi Klein, to be compared with “Hitler’s Beneficiaries” by Gotz Aly (extraction capitalism, through Lebensraum: Financial Lebensraum by Bosses of Reich IV, as refinement of the Military Lebensraum of the Bosses of Reich III). The 1% DNA is eternal, with re-combinant DNA from era to era. “CONJURING HITLER” by G.G. Preparata may be the connecting link between studies by Aly and Klein.

      1. Ransome

        Extraction capitalism = investment banking. You invest, they extract. Speaking of which, find a recent discussion of the Cooperman Letter. Don’t touch my junk.

  14. Lloyd C. Bankster

    Hmm….as I sip my espresso, let’s have a look at today’s news.

    Rising fear of job loss for the 99 percent. check.
    the 1% election. check
    the $29 trillion bailout of the 1%, zero for the 99. check
    Question: who took $586 billion in Fed swaps?
    Answer: the 1%. check
    From Europe: unlimited bailouts for the 1%, austerity for the 99. check

    Have members of the Occupy Movement been pepper-sprayed, beaten, arrested and *silenced*? check

    And what about the US media? Are Andrew Ross Sorkin, Roger Lowenstein, Ezra Klein, Robert Siegel, etc still sucking up to the 1%? check

    Can I say that the US is still a government of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%. check

    Then life is good.

    Now on to important matters: What should I have for dinner, and where?

    I was thinking Roast Duck, but where? Arthur Schwartz says that 4 Seasons has the best roast duck in NYC. But Howard (Milstein) swears by the Roast Duck Magret’s at Le Bernadin’s.

    Decisions, decisions…..

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The thing about the 1% is that someone would always want to be the king of kings, that is, the 1% of the 1%.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Oh, Lloyd, what can I do to pleez U?
      EyeCandyTrophy aiding and abetting for *trickle-down*

  15. EmilianoZ

    2 good live coverages of the port action out west:

    http://occupywallst.org/article/watch-live-west-coast-port-shutown/

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/blog/2011/dec/12/occupy-west-coast-ports-shut-down

    I didn’t know Goldman Sachs was into shipping too. Apparently they own SSA Marine. LOL! They’re everywhere.

    It looks like Oakland, Portland and Seattle have been successful but not LA and San Diego.

    OWS has a good live video stream. I think the camera operator is one guy who calls himself “OakFoSho”. He likes following the police around.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      EmilanoZ, search “Marine/Maritime Law” on YouTube–the source of the Power putsch since “The East India Company” and “The Opium Wars” from Russell through Bush Dynasty.

  16. G3

    Only in USA can CEOs get away claiming “innocence” about company malpractices while teachers are subject to “no excuses” accountability and held responsible for the test scores of their students. And this when teachers have no control over their inputs – resources allocation or the ability of kids.

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    From Cassandra’s Lowest Hanging Fruit –

    “So here they lie, in box or urn, now, dead. They can neither spend it nor enjoy it. They certainly no longer EARN it.”

    I wonder if she can answer my question from a week or so back – what to do with those prime real estate properties known as cemetaries? Can the dead legally own plots in them?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      As you probably know, the super strong draft horses (Percherons and Cyldsdales) have hair just above their hooves, as this one does. He looks a little too finely boned to be a draft horse, but maybe he is a young’un.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Yves, I didn’t know about the Percheron.

        I hope they don’t call this young’un Samson.

      2. Lidia

        This looks to me like a Friesian.

        My DH and I, on a lark, took a driving lesson with Friesians while visiting Vermont on vacation.

        They put their prize stallion Othello through his moves for us and even as complete know-nothings it was obvious we were in the presence of something special.. out of this world, almost an alien species of horse at that level, a body that was enormously powerful and panther-like, yet precise and under (the owners’) control.

        Check out the second photo here:
        http://www.friesiansofmajesty.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1

        The breed apparently has a very good temperament and, while showy, has been widely used as resistent and intelligent work/draft horses in their native Netherlands.

        In fact, according to DH, in the Italian language an alternate word for “sawhorses” (other than cavalletti, “little horses”) is “Friesiani”.

    2. craazyman

      Is that horse jumping off a cliff?

      Uncomfortable Jungian dream associations come to mind.

      This is not an antidote. It’s the disease, like the beautiful graphical abstractions of a deadly virus seen under a microscope.

    1. Lidia

      Hope I didn’t step on your toes; I had not read down to your comment before offering mine.

      I loved the horses, but to me they are a little eerie because their eyes are totally jet black, as are their coats and lashes in most cases, so they seem almost “unseeing”.

    2. House Wulf

      There are two of these in Walla Walla and we get to see them every year at the Mares & Music program. They are beautiful!

  18. Lloyd C. Bankster

    After looking at that horse picture, and reading all these horse comments, I’m no longer in the mood for duck.

    What I’d really like for dinner now is raw horse meat.

    I order this whenever I’m in Europe or Japan, and I find it has a sweet taste (especially the meat from younger horses), reminescent of eating beef and venison together.

    They call raw horse meat Basashi in Japan, and you can find it anywhere, but unfortunately this is not the case in New York City restaurants, especially on short notice.

    So I’m settling for the $5,000 Fleur Burger, by Fleur de Lys chef Hubert Keller.

    This burger contains kobe beef, truffles and foie gras, and comes with a bottle of 1995 Chateau Petrus from Bordeaux.

      1. Lloyd C. Bankster

        The Fleur Burger comes with fries, and you even get a certificate proving you ate a $5,000 burger, just in case no one believes you.

        But responding to Andy above, concerning a clear conscience…..

        Last week, seeing Jon Corzine still at large, I decided it was time to re-hypothecate all the non-margined cash held by customers of my firm. I moved it to offshore accounts in my name in the Caymans, Nevins and Belize.

        And so, billions of dollars richer than I was only a week ago, yes, I’m splurging a little on $5,000 burgers flown in from Vegas. But my conscience is clear. After all, the customers are the ones who signed re-hypothecation agreements with my firm, (“You hereby grant us the right, in accordance with Applicable Law, to borrow, pledge, repledge, transfer, hypothecate, rehypothecate, loan, or invest”, etc)

        Under Reg T, they gave me the legal right to move their money to offshore accounts. No one forced them to do that.

        The re-hypothecation business has been good to me, so far.

        1. Lloyd C. Bankster

          Lloyd,

          I’m looking into the rehypothecation business as well, and was curious as to how much equity, if any, are you allowing to show up in the accounts of actual looted customers? And more importantly, are you letting those customers access any of that money or transfer a certain percentage of it to other firms?

          In other words, how do you keep the looted customers from seeing through the charade, and then spreading panic to the non-looted customers, or those accounts that have yet to be looted?

          It seems clear now that the goal of every banker worthy of the name should be to re-hypothecate as many accounts as possible before this MF Global thing leads to a systemic-loss-of-confidence event.

          Cheers,

          Good Bankster

        2. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Lloyd, to think that in the 1930’s gangsters used to light up their cigars with *C-notes*–how quaint. I’m glad you don’t just burn up money like that, I mean you DO get *value* with that $5K Fleurburger with frittes. But wait, you clever so-and-so, are you also *creating capital* on the spread between Kobe on the hook and Fleur on the plate? A little side bet nobody knows about but you and your friendly M.C.?

    1. Maximilien

      Dear Lloyd: Please be cautious with the horse meat. Some suppliers sell the meat of former race-horses, and as you probably know they are fed a diet heavy on performance-enhancing supplements and drugs.

      You’ll know you’ve dined on the meat of one of these horses when afterwards you develop an overwhelming desire to enter yourself in the Kentucky Derby.

      ANTI-DOTE: After onset of symptom, call Willie Shoemaker. Have him hop on your back and then run a mile-and-a-quarter in two minutes. Your desire to run in the Derby will be replaced by an overwhelming but not unpleasant exhaustion, and an aversion to further consumption of horse-meat.

  19. Thomas Barton, JD

    So Sherrod Brown and the too-lazy-to-meet-new-constituents Barney Frank think that we dont need to know who fed at the 600 billion dollar swap trough. I guarantee you that US Banksters were using that backdoor financing to further conceal their ludicrous financial engineering horseshit. These people and their two Democratic Congressional whores deserve their own circle of Hell if only Dante could stomach the prospect of writing about them and their galling hubris and hypocrisy.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      TB, JD – a thought: maybe the payola to the MC consists of the *created capital* from every 100th arbitrage. That way, all profits are tied together in a co-dependent loop.

  20. Anonymous Comment

    I have a link to suggest, and a comment. First the link:
    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/12/the-myth-of-cash-on-the-sidelines-%E2%80%93-an-update/

    Now for the comment: Think of that ‘cash on the sidelines’ in the context of the current re-hypothecation scandal. Imagine if some of what appears to an outsider to be cash on the sidelines is actually assets that have been rehypothecated to the point where they’ve become unmovable. Even if the nominal owner wanted to move the funds, because of unbeknownst liens, the asset cannot be moved until other [bank discretionary] actions have concluded.

    Let that sink in… it’s not hypothetical.

Comments are closed.