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Links 6/27/12

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Dear readers, our Matt Stoller is a writing for and performing in (as a straight man, natch) a new comedy show on FX starring Russell Brand. It’s called Brand X and starts June 28th at 11 PM Eastern. Although I’m not privy to details, I believe it will push the bounds of discourse beyond the acceptable (as in barely left) margin defined by Paul Krugman and Jon Stewart. Be sure to catch it!

Condors threatened by ‘epidemic’ lead poisoning from hunters’ bullets Christian Science Monitor

South Korea to ban catching of dolphins for shows PhysOrg

The amazing iguana which can stay underwater for half an hour – to feed from the bottom of the ocean Daily Mail (May S)

Google team: Self-teaching computers recognize cats PhysOrg (Robert M)

Roman coin hoard found BBC (John M)

Healing Spirits Lapham’s Quarterly (Aquifer)

Drug War is Fueling the Global HIV Pandemic Alternet (furzy mouse)

5 Ways Email Can Completely Ruin Your Life Alternet

Facebook changed your e-mail address, here’s how you can change it back CNET (furzy mouse). Haha, no Facebook here!

Manic Nation: Why Americans Are Anxious, Stressed, Depressed and Fat (And What We Can Do About It) Alternet (Aquifer)

Chart: What Killed Us, Then and Now Atlantic (Carol B)

Death by suburban sprawl: better urban planning will combat sedentary lifestyles The Conversation (May S)

As Congress looks away, U.S. tiptoes toward exporting a gas bounty Reuters

‘Supreme leader’ is fascist Tehelka (May S). And in case you think the headline is over the top: Hindu Nationalist’s Historical Links to Nazism and Fascism International Business Times

China’s, ahem, “stabilising trade” MacroBusiness

Tax scandal reaches No.10 as it’s revealed Cameron’s spin doctor helped run ‘avoidance’ scheme for BBC presenter wife Daily Mail (May S). Fact set is so bad DM can get away with a straightforward and relatively short headline.

Will European Peripheral Sovereigns be Monetized? Russ Winter

Monti lashes out at Germany ahead of summit Financial Times

Robert Mundell, evil genius of the euro Greg Palast, Guardian (Aquifer)

Look beyond summits for euro salvation Martin Wolf, Financial Times

Spanish Officials Hailed Banks as Crisis Built New York Times

US home prices rise for third month Financial Times versus Home Prices In U.S. Cities Fall At Slowest Pace Since ’10 Bloomberg

The Mixed Economy Manifesto: Part 1 New Economic Perspectives. Not a bad program, but the tone is defensive, which is understandable given how neoclassical economics dominates academia and the MSM. IMHO, the opponents need a more direct line of attack. Maybe the simplest is that neoclassical economics assumes no actor has any power (they acknowledge but then largely ignore monopolists and oligopolists). Since both buyers and sellers have varying degrees of power, this means neoclassical economics is flat out irrelevant.

Breaking Up Big Banks Hard To Do As Market Forces Fail Bloomberg. This is not hard to understand. Bank CEO pay is highly correlated with size of balance sheet.

Yes, there is an alternative to capitalism: Mondragon shows the way Guardian (Aquifer)

Pro-business and pro-markets are different MacroBusiness

* * *

Lambert here:

D – 74 and counting*

“You’re gonna have to learn your clichés. You’re gonna have to study them, you’re gonna have to know them. They’re your friends. Write this down: ‘We gotta play it one day at a time.’” –”Crash” Davis, Bull Durham

Occupy. Long form post partum on Occupy Toronto: “‘Okay,’ says Marechal. He turns back to speak with Inspector Neadles. ‘This protester’s demand is that he be arrested,’ Marechal says. ‘And, seeing as you brought so many of your fine officers with you today, I was wondering if you could help facilitate this process.’” Post partum on OWS: “When OWS began erecting tents to provide shelter from the elements, public space began vanishing from Zuccotti. Paths through the park narrowed and vanished. Flower-beds were camped on and destroyed. By early November, the public meeting space at the eastern edge of the park, where the General Assembly was held, had all but vanished. Vicious turf-wars occurred over sleeping space. Various ideas of private property were invoked and denied. In the privacy of individual tents, crime flourished.” But aren’t hard problems the ones worth solving?

Montreal. Printemps Érable post partum: “The first word means “spring”; the second means “maple.” … [T]he École de la Montagne Rouge artist collective … pronounced it for me — twice: one way of stressing the “é” means “maple”; the other means “Arab.” [Not quite. Arabe: pun, not homonym.] [The phrase] acknowledges instead our sense of deliciously sweet interconnectedness, mutual inspiration, and the shared project — notwithstanding all the very real contextual differences that make each uprising translatable and yet not translatable — of not only desiring but self-organizing toward new forms and contents of freedom. It’s like hanging around the sugar shack, after the sap has run and been collected in buckets, after it’s been boiled down into a thick maple syrup, when people gather together to hold maple festivals and share treats like “sugar on snow” or maple candy. They get this collective high — the fruits of their labor suddenly tasting extra poignant.”

CO. David Sirota: “Mark my words: the moment Fox News or MSNBC or NBC/ABC finally says the fires are ‘news’ we will see Obama and Romney in Colorado.” (DCB)

GA. Mass incarceration: “Since June 10 … an undetermined number of prisoners at Georgia’s massive Diagnostic and Classification Prison near Jackson have been on a hunger strike. … [P]rison officials simply told [Miguel] Jackson ‘You’re going to die,’ and left it at that.” NOTE: Readers will remember that is the second example of non-violent tactic #159 in the news lately.

IA. Voting: “[Gov] Branstad’s new process [for felons to regain their voting rights] requires applicants to submit a credit report.” Nice precedent!

LA. Corruption: “Covington businessman Frank Fradella has been charged [with one count of securities fraud and one count of conspiring to bribe a public official ] in a new bill of information that appears to implicate former Mayor Ray Nagin.” Tasers: “A Metairie mother has sued the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, claiming deputies tortured her with a Taser and a stun gun during an incident near Gretna last year.”

MI. Occupy Detroit: “So far we have been successful in keeping people in their homes (and in one case, in his business) by forcing banks to renegotiate the mortgages.”

MT. Voting, money: “[T]he R Party of Sanders County, MT, filed a federal lawsuit, to overturn the Montana law that makes it a criminal offense for a political party to endorse a candidate for state court judge.”

NC. DNCon: “Organizers announced Monday night they are moving the much-touted Labor Day festival from Charlotte Motor Speedway to uptown Charlotte.” DNCon: “McCaskill joins a growing list of D senators and representatives who face tough re-elections who have said they will not attend the convention in Charlotte.” “Senators Jon Tester of MT and Joe Manchin of WV are the other senators who find themselves too busy to make the trip.”

NY. Corruption: “The former head of a Bronx gay and lesbian center was busted for allegedly scamming $338,000 from the non-profit outfit to pay for vacations and a dog walker.” (AH) Corruption: “A Troy-based company that serves youths throughout the Capital Region has been flagged … for [$831,244 in "disallowed" charges between 2008 and 2010], including what auditors say amounted to a no-show job for one of its directors.” A snob grows in Brooklyn Heights: “I have worked very hard to be able to afford to live on Montague Terrace and i do not need a hot dog vendor out side my window so he can make a few bucks.”

OH. Fracking, tinpot tyrants: “A ‘fracking’ protester [and local landowner] who had secured herself to two concrete barrels at an oil and gas waste-water injection well in Alexander Township was separated from the barrels and hauled away by a sheriff’s cruiser. [She] explained that she had volunteered to be the person who committed civil disobedience to help draw attention to the issue of waste-water injection wells in Athens County. [L]aw enforcement soon blocked the [accompanying protesters' view] with vehicles, and then ordered the protesters to move about 150 yards down the road to a nearby intersection. They also ordered the news media away…. [More help was] called in, including the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the federal Department of Homeland Security and an unidentified fire department, apparently to help with the chains.” What law were these guys enforcing, actually? And wasn’t a multijurisdictional police response excessive — and expensive? And since when does the DHS need to get involved? Corruption: “[A] branch of the OH Chamber of Commerce received a huge grant from Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst just as they started ramping up lobbying efforts to promote anti-teacher legislation in Ohio. StudentsFirst is reportedly on track to raise hundreds of millions of dollar over the next year from anti-public school advocates and billionaire hedge fund managers. And they plan to put that money into state-based efforts like the one in Ohio.” Awwww! “Dad saves kittens before fire destroys mobile home.”

TN. Privatization #FAIL: “DCS can save several million dollars if it does its own training. That does require adding roughly 30 permanent positions. She expects many will be filled by longtime social-workers looking to advance their careers with the state. Other state departments are also moving functions in-house to save money. TDOT Commissioner John Schroer says some of the design work for roads and bridges is returning to state employees, who can sometimes do it for half the cost.” We have a word for privatization. But we don’t have a word for… publification? Publifying? What does that say? Your tax dollars at play: “$266,000 given by the state to Volkswagen to put a sign atop its Chattanooga plant that is visible only from the air… [O]nly about 500 people per day fly in or out of the airport.” But the only people who matter fly executive jets, so that’s OK.

VA. #UVA Hoo d’Etat: Board of Visitors reinstates President Sullivan, unanimously. BoV meeting, Fralin leads off: “It is my opinion that everyone agrees that the process was flawed. It can never be repeated when important decisions are being made by this Board.” In a moment of high academic comedy proposes a committee: “I encourage the members to consider establishing a strategic planning committee consisting of Board ofVisitor members, staff members, and faculty members with advice from outstanding consultants with higher education backgrounds to develop a strategic vision and direction for this great University.” Next, Rector Dragas: ” … mindful of the constraints of the confidentiality of personnel matters and the non-disparagement agreements in the President’s contract (!) …. I want to say once again to the University, and directly to my fellow Visitors: I sincerely apologize for the way this was presented, and you deserved better.” Finally Sullivan to crowd outside the Rotunda: “I have been especially proud these past three weeks to hear the careful crafting of reasoned arguments from alumni and students. These arguments have shown that the University is still providing to the world the educated citizenry that Mr. Jefferson wanted to safeguard the new Republic.” Genuinely classy.

World, watching: “The #UVa stream of BOV meeting topped out at 13,300 viewers; #uvafinals2012 [final exercises] topped out at 600.” Twitter: “#UVA experience makes me especially grateful for quality local media. Thx @HenryGraff @readthehook @cavalierdaily @cvillenews!” I agree, adding twitter itself: Here’s a nifty visualization of #UVA. Reaction, Siva Vaidhyanathan: “It’s clear that we all have to do twice as much work over the next few years to get beyond this moment, but everybody in the UVa community is totally signed up [for what? Bad, cynical lambert!] and committed and we’re ready to work twice as hard.” Blogger: “Right now, Ms. Teresa , and one of the most powerful in the country.Sullivan is likely the most powerful University President in Virginia’s history She is supported by an unprecedented, in my memory, campus and alumni coalition, at a very critical time in higher education.” Twitter: “#UVA’s reinstatement of Sullivan is something that’s literally never happened before at a major research university.”

Lambert here. What have we got that’s good? Secrecy remains. Only insiders know the whole story. Larry Sabato: “Friends, enough second-guessing the #UVA matter. I’m not answering questions about what really happened, who did what to whom, etc.” (“I know it was you, Fredo.”) The timeline: “1. Dragas decides President Sullivan is not doing something enough. (What, exactly that is, is still unclear.) 2. Dragas then does not tell Sullivan that she is not doing something enough. Repeatedly….” WaPo reporter to Fralin: “So what exactly just happened? How did all of the board members come to an unanimous vote without a lengthy public discussion?” Fralin stonewalls. the excellent Cavalier Daily: “The process that led to Sullivan’s reinstatement was just as shrouded in secrecy as the process that led to her resignation. The Board voted 12-1 to appoint an interim president on June 19, and all 12 of those members supported Sullivan today. Apart from the resignation of Vice Rector Mark Kington and the publication of emails between Dragas and Kington discussing changes in the field of higher education, the public has little insight into what [or who] forced the Board to rescind its earlier decision.” Governance issues remain. Compares this chart of governance structures at UVA and UBC, where UBC is in the top 50 and UVA is in the top 200 world rankings. “It is simply foolhardy to assume governance systems can and should exclude those being governed.” (You mean like our electoral system?) (See also this good tabulation of various university governance structures.) Privatization and MOOC issues remain unclear — and they apparently sparked the firing! “In the aftermath of #UVA, it might be worth detailing why digital humanities scholars [e.g., Siva Vaidhyanathan!] are some of the most vociferous opponents of MOOCs.” Corrupt and Orwellian language remains. “Insta-Strategic Mercurialism!” And debt remains, just as in Montreal. “As resources dwindle [translation: As public space is starved and looted], universities are left with little choice but to put more of the financial burden on students who are already taking on record levels of debt.” Feature, not bug (cf).

All that said, I think the outcome is big net positive, in that the university community asserted its agency, individually and collectively. The events at #UVA were, all in all, an uprising, although a very genteel one. “At a university that takes special pride in its rigorous codes of honor, the process by which Ms. Sullivan was pressured to resign sparked some of the greatest outrage.” As it should have. The source of that outrage leads me to what I think is the moral of the story: “It was the pace of change that apparently motivated the Board to try to oust Sullivan. In this act, they were guided by many management consultants. But not, apparently, by Peter Drucker, who famously observed, ‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast.’” The left, which does a lot of work on strategy, would do well to consider this.

WI. Zombie iron mine rises: “The Wisconsin Mining Association has hired Behre Dolbear Group Inc. to analyze Wisconsin’s mining laws. The collapse of mining legislation prompted Gogebic Taconite … to abandon plans to construct a massive open pit [iron] mine spanning Ashland and Iron counties. The chairman of the mining association … was appointed by Walker in February as a special assistant for business and workforce development.” Referenda: “A D lawmaker plans to introduce a bill [modeled on an Ohio law] next session that would allow the public to force a referendum to repeal individual laws.” Lesson learned from SB5! Privatization #FAIL: “Lassa cites a 2009 Legislative Audit Bureau report which found that nearly 60 percent of the work done by outside consultants on highway projects could have done less expensively using state employees. Walker’s proposed 2011-13 budget called for axing this annual report.”

Outside Baseball. Prediction is hard: “In some ways, in fact, poor forecasts seem to be a part of the human condition.”

Media critique. The discourse: “It was these explicative and clarifying statements on the economy ['doing fine'] that bloated the Obama campaign’s neutral messaging. Over 50% of statements from the Obama campaign from June 7 – 19 were about the economy, and 37% of these were neutral.” Keen chart, showing you can’t clean up your gaffe and go on the attack at the same time. Cable weasels: “After several months of bad ratings news for CNN, official quarterly numbers confirm that the cable news network has hit 21-year lows in both viewers and adults 25-to-54.” Digital sharecropping at Patch.

Policy. Climate: “A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the first-ever regulations aimed at reducing the gases blamed for global warming.” Mass incarceration: “As I’ve pointed out multiple times, the United States is the world’s largest police state, with more people in prison both in absolute numbers and as a percentage of population than Stalin at his worst. So what is the end game of police states?”

HCR. Will the Court punt? “The most deflating option, for all of those anxiously awaiting a definitive decision, would be for the Court to issue a simple order setting the case for re-argument at the next Term, starting October 1.” October surprise?! What happens next? “More than three-fourths of Americans want their political leaders to undertake a new effort, rather than leave the health care system alone if the court rules against the law, according to the poll. … A new health care bill doesn’t seem to be in either party’s plans.”

Grand Bargain™-brand cat food watch. Shock, or not? “Republican and Democratic congressional leaders are weighing whether to delay automatic federal spending cuts until March 2013.” So, “automatic” except manual? Atrios: “Amazingly Congress discovers that they can change laws. They voted for these cuts, and now they’re changing their minds! Next thing you’ll be telling me is that if they pass tax increases and budget cuts, they could go back and rescind the tax cuts! I just won’t believe it.” Economalism: “The OECD economic survey does contain some qualified backing for the Affordable Care Act – aka Obamacare – for its help in containing government healthcare spending. It suggests upping the Medicare entitlement age upwards.” Old people are expensive so let’s kill them! (“Upping…. upwards?”)

Elizabeth Warren. 2016 warm-up: “[WARREN:] No, Mitt, corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick … they live and they die. Learn the difference. And Mitt, learn this: we don’t run this country for corporations, we run it for people.” So, Professor Warren, which banksters are going to jail for the lives they destroyed?

Ron Paul. Blogger: “An outright ban on [Ron Paul supporters] is the only way to prevent the [RNCon] from turning into a debacle. There is no legitimate reason at this point for them to be there.” Not even official delegates?

Robama vs. Obomney watch. Lynn Sweet: “As Romney continually points out … Obama had never delivered on his 2008 presidential campaign promise to pass comprehensive immigration reform [true!]. [But Romney] has been evasive in answers about whether he would repeal the Obama youth deporatation order. And Romney played to anti-immigrant crowds in the GOP primary.” True!

The trail. Razor thin: “Obama continues to have a tenuous lead in OH based largely on his support with three core constituencies: African Americans (93-6), young voters (54-36), and women (52-41).” Battleground states: “US house prices rose more than expected in April…. [T]he improvement was concentrated in several battleground states.” Voting: “Thousands of attorneys and support staffers have agreed to [provide] legal support that appears to be unrivaled by Republicans or precedent. Obama’s campaign says it is particularly concerned about the implementation of new voter ID laws across the country, the possibility of anti-fraud activists challenging legitimate voters and the handling of voter registrations in the most competitive states. Republicans are building their own legal teams for the election. They say they’re focused on … making sure people don’t vote unless they’re eligible.” And where were the Ds when the Rs teed this up?

Romney. Snark watch, Guardian (!): “Lukewarm endorsements for Mitt Romney continue to limp in like broken biscuits [cookies] clustering at the bottom of a bag.” Ouch! “If there is a constant criticism about Mitt Romney and his campaign from both the left and right, it’s that they’re not nimble — especially when it comes to dealing with issues they’d prefer to ignore.”

Obama. Snark watch: “[BIDEN:] You got to give Romney credit. He’s a job creator – in Singapore, China, India. He’s been very good at creating jobs, overseas.” Ouch! This pudding has no theme: “The speech was of a piece with a lot of those he’s given in recent weeks. It was overlong to no good purpose. ” And: “The fire in his rhetoric remains banked carefully into his ongoing appeals to the better angels of our nature, who, it seems to me, have been largely AWOL since the day he was inaugurated.” Pierce deploys the ol’ “voters aren’t good enough to deserve Obama” trope. Sigh. Obama joke falls flat? “Boston, I just want to say — thank you for Youkilis.” At which the donors either boo or chant “Yook!” Obama continues: “I’m just saying. He’s going to have to change the color of his ‘sox…. A member of the audience then called out, ‘We still love you.’” Given that controlled access is the order of the day at donor events, this story has to be planted, but I can’t see the payoff. Seems like an odd little unforced error. (AH).

* 74 days ’til the Democratic National Convention ends with fruit jello with those little marshmallow things on the floor of the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. A 74 was a third-rate warship in the British Navy.

* * *

Antidote du jour (YY):

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82 comments

  1. craazyman

    whao! Mike,dude. I’ll come and write for you and Russell, man.

    If Yves can arrange it I’ll give her an agent fee.

    getting really tired of reading all this boring economic news every day and need a house in Hollywood with a pool to recover and unwind. yeah. life could be good.

    1. craazyman

      I mean you Matt. I’ve known a dude name Mike with your name since 1984 and it always confuses me.

  2. Jim Haygood

    From the ‘Robert Mundell, Evil Genius’ article by Greg Palast:

    Mundell explained to me that, in fact, the euro is of a piece with Reaganomics:

    “Monetary discipline forces fiscal discipline on the politicians as well.”

    And when crises arise, economically disarmed nations have little to do but wipe away government regulations wholesale, privatize state industries en masse, slash taxes and send the European welfare state down the drain.

    Study history much, Greg? After all, the prototypical 19th century Prussian welfare state was built during the high tide of the international gold standard. And so was U.S. Social Security, for that matter.

    Actually war and empire are the most remorseless destroyers of welfare states, along with their currencies.

    If one hoisted Greg Palast on the petard of his own cartoonish caricature, he could be accused of wanting to run a fiscally irresponsible welfare state. One that promises lavish pensions and health care, then gets into financial trouble and defaults on its promises after everyone is dependent on it.

    Nice, Greg! One can see why you elected to work as a frayed-collar journo instead of a card-carrying economist. With my ‘licensed economist’ card and $2.25, I can ride anywhere in New York on da subway.

    1. j.grmwd

      How do you destroy perfectly sustainable, and electorally popular welfare states in democratic European countries without a war or a military coup a la Pinochet? Mundell explained how to to go about it – the Euro. Looks like he was right.

  3. proximity1

    This morning neo-con chattering club on BFM Radio/TV (sort of a Wall St Journal/The Economist view of the news and events) was much given to discussion of a five-year plan discussed by Merkel, Mario Draghi and Herman Van Rompuy, which see the E.U. at the end of five years in a de facto social/economic/political centrally-directed (from Brussels) uniformized control.

    A predatory financier’s dream vision.

    Le chef du groupe libéral au Parlement européen, Guy Verhofstadt, a salué, dans un communiqué, le plan présenté par Herman Van Rompuy, le président du Conseil européen, pour trouver une solution structurelle à la crise de l’euro. “La balle est dans le camp de Mme Merkel”, selon lui.
    © photo news. © afp.

    “Il était grand temps qu’un plan concret soit finalement proposé pour dégager une solution structurelle globale à la crise de la zone Euro et de mettre ainsi un terme à des mois de tergiversations et de solutions partielles”, a souligné M. Verhofstadt.

    “La crise s’aggrave de jour en jour, un autre État membre de la zone euro vient de solliciter une assistance pour rembourser sa dette souveraine. Le sommet de cette semaine est peut être la dernière carte de la zone euro”, estime l’ancien Premier ministre belge.

    D’après lui, “les marchés ne s’attendent pas à une solution miracle du jour au lendemain, mais espèrent un plan crédible sur le fond”. Les propositions de M. Van Rompuy vont dans ce sens.

    “La balle est désormais dans le camp de Mme Merkel et des autres dirigeants de l’UE qui doivent accepter cette solution, sauf à risquer d’aller vers des problèmes de plus en plus insolubles”, a-t-il conclu.

    Herman Van Rompuy, a proposé mardi de renforcer l’intégration de la zone euro via un contrôle accru des budgets nationaux par la Commission et la mise en place d’une union bancaire. Il a remis cette feuille de route lundi soir à ses partenaires européens qui en discuteront jeudi et vendredi lors du sommet européen. Elle a été rédigée en collaboration avec les présidents de la Commission, José Manuel Barroso, de la Banque centrale européenne, Mario Draghi, et de l’Eurogroupe, Jean-Claude Juncker.

    _______________________

    (roughly translated, in English)

    Alpha
    The leader of the Liberal Group in the European Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt, welcomed in a statement, the plan presented by Herman Van Rompuy, European Council President, to find a structural solution to the crisis of the euro. “The ball is in the camp of Mrs. Merkel,” he said.
    © photo news. © afp.

    “It was high time that a concrete plan is finally proposed to find a solution to the global structural crisis of the Euro zone and put an end to months of procrastination and partial solutions,” said Verhofstadt.

    “The crisis is worsening day by day, another member of the euro area is to seek assistance to repay its sovereign debt. Summit this week may be the last card in the euro area,” said the former Belgian Prime Minister.

    According to him, “markets do not expect a quick fix overnight, but hope a credible plan on its merits”. Proposals Van Rompuy in this direction.

    “The ball is now in the camp of Mrs. Merkel and other EU leaders who must accept this solution, except to risk going into problems more intractable,” he concluded.

    Herman Van Rompuy on Tuesday proposed to strengthen the integration of the euro area through increased control of national budgets by the Commission and the establishment of a banking union. He handed the roadmap Monday night at its European partners who will discuss on Thursday and Friday at the European summit. It was written in collaboration with the Chairs of the Commission, José Manuel Barroso, the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, and the Eurogroup, Jean-Claude Juncker.

  4. DP

    The people who run Facebook seem to be truly evil, with a complete disregard for their customers who they seem to view as lab rats. Anything to monetize them, who cares about their privacy, preferences, etc. I can’t imagine why people stay with them, not that I ever really understood why people want to broadcast the routine everyday stuff in their lives to the rest of the world.

    1. Larry Barber

      Those aren’t their customers, those are their product. Facebook’s customers are the people who buy their ads, and the more they force people into the Facebook ecosystem, the more ads they can shove in their face (Adblock is your friend).

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        F-book’s customers are the advertizers for the Corp .01%, bringing “insider profit” to owners, advertizers, and Corp. Masters the .01%.

        F-booker schmucks are little lambs for sacrifice on the altar of “Private Equity.”

      2. DP

        Larry, you’re right. I tend to think of consumers as customers of a product or service they use, but perhaps Facebook’s attitude is as long as we’re not charging you to use the site you’re not a customer and we can do anything we damn well please whether you like it or not.

    2. FecesBookRefugee

      They make their money off ad clicks.

      If you use Firefox and Ad Blocker Plus, the ads are mostly invisible. Set up your FecesBook account with an email address that is only for commercial purposes.
      Sometimes you have to give a cell number to recieve a text with an initiation code. Shop around and use an older friend who would never use up their cell number to start your account.

  5. Jim Haygood

    Speaking of the welfare state, today’s Times-Titanic has an interesting map titled ‘The Geography of Government Benefits.’

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/02/12/us/entitlement-map.html?ref=us

    Despite what one might imagine about the urban poor, this map tilts heavily rural. Pockets of welfare dependence are visible in northern Maine; northern Michigan; the Appalachians; the Ozarks; the Ouachitas and Choctaw country in Oklahoma; the Mississippi delta; the Tombigbee and Alabama River watersheds; the Rio Grande valley; the Navajo nation in Arizona/New Mexico; and some less-settled parts of the Pacific coast in southwest Oregon and NoCal.

    By contrast, the I-95 corridor from northern Virginia to North Jersey to Fairfield, CT is a sea of off-white.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      It would be interesting to break out the cost of living in the relative areas. One advantage to being poor in rural areas is maybe it’s easier and cheaper to get housing and maybe advantages like growing your own food?

      But they will have car costs and if you drive 15,000 miles a year I don’t see how you can do it for much less than $7,000/year, whereas the city poor can probably use public transportation for about $500/year.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Odd: in the very teeth of “METHLAND” rural America votes Republican. Must be the Stockholm Syndrome.

      1. propertius

        There’s nothing odd about it. Both the Red team and the Blue team are out to pick your pocket, but the Red team seldom insults you to your face while they’re doing it. I’ve never heard a Republican refer to “low information voters” or “the dance of the low-sloping foreheads” on national television.

  6. ep3

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57461537/economists-say-stockton-calif-wont-be-last-u.s-city-to-go-bankrupt/

    yves, just love how the very first thing they blame for the bankruptcy is pensions and retiree costs.
    “Deis says Stockton can’t afford it’s boom-time borrowing, because it also has skyrocketing pension costs and city employees who get free health care for life. ”
    yeah, 8 years ago they didn’t know about these costs. and all of a sudden they magically appeared. this just royally pisses me off. Like u and taibbi said on moyers, there is criminal activity behind what’s going on. the banks now own the city hall and the city parking lots!!! so the banks made the citizens pay to build these new gov’t structures and the banks get to repossess them and claim them as their own! That’s frickin fascism!!!

  7. Bill the Psychologist

    Terrific antidote to start the day…….those bears are even smart as cubs.

  8. LeonovaBalletRusse

    YVES, please address Student Loan Interest ISSUE for strategic re-positioning in terms of JUSTICE. Below is a possible approach, from one who has learned to be alert to the “timing” of radical transition. This is “ad hoc” and I am a duffer in your field of a Economics, in which you are a recognized expert. Will you take a look, and see if it’s worth your while to act upon it?

    On Morning Edition this AM, discussed was the “crisis issue” of imminent RISE of Student Loan Interest rate RISE to SIX +fraction %. What’s MISSING from the discussion is Federal Reserve’s RE-SET of interest rate @ ZERO percent, in order to BENEFIT the SYSTEM. This entirely NEW FRAME of REFERENCE for the discussion of Student Loan Interest rates is the ELEPHANT in the room.

    The REMEDY is URGENT. Is it not Time to push for a SWIFT “Deus ex Machina” resolution? There should be an Executive Order to PEG Student Loan Interest rate to PRIME. This should be done for Student Loans BOTH current and not yet granted, in the INTEREST of ECONOMIC JUSTICE. Within the “Complex Evolving System” we call “America,” this is a “Cardinal” Issue–the issue swinging on the hinge of possibility–of great magnitude. WHY?

    Our college students are the Future of America within the FRAME of Ruthless Global Competition for Vital Leaders who can and will THINK and ACT deliberately on their feet, within the Ever-Evolving Global Complex Adaptive System of our interdependent Nation-States.

    The Student Loan Interest Rate is a RELIC of our failed economic past, making the imminent SIX+ % rate shamefully high within the FRAME of interest deemed proper within the Federal Reserve System, with Re-set @ 0%–the “New Normal.” For this reason, the Student Loan Debt which is based on such high interest rate–proper in the past, but improper in the present, must be considered ONEROUS, to the point where the burden of debt based on our Future Leaders has become a critical National Security Issue.

    The Executive Order for Immediate Re-set of Student Loan Interest rate brings a two-fold result that will enhance our National Security now and in the future, with this PROVISION: the Student Relief Program shall be LIMITED to Student Loan interest and debt incurred for the student’s attendance at a STATE LAND GRANT UNIVERSITY–our ORIGINAL SYSTEM for aiding and abetting Public Higher Education in America. So it’s BACK TO BASICS.

    The re-instated president and faculty of the University of Virginia, and the Presidents of Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa (original chapter at UVa), should be delighted to lead the way for getting “Back to Basics” for the good of America’s Future Leaders in Critical Thinking following a time-honored tradition of “Liberal Education in America” by Jefferson’s definition.

    Here’s the very rough draft of the justification for the Executive Order:

    1. Immediate “forgiveness” of this “onerous” Student Loan Debt incurred for the student’s attendance at any State Land Grant University, which Loan’s interest rate was based in a now anachronistic Fed Frame; and simultaneous conversion of the remaining Equity of the “old” Student Loan into “new” Student Loan vehicle bearing interest rate pegged to the Prime Rate within Fed Frame @ 0%. Also PROVIDED: that, henceforth, all interest on Student Loans for attendance at State Land Grant Universities shall be pegged to Prime.

    2. Student Loans shall be granted LOCALLY in States, by the State Land Grant University’s “Credit Union”, with the PROVISION that such loans shall be GUARANTEED by the Federal Government, as with the ORIGINAL FHA provision for “home buyers.”

    NOTE: Also heard on NPR this AM is how “old”-style employees of the “new” Fannie Mae–now an entity of the Federal Government” owned by We the People–are leaving in droves in order to seek higher remuneration in the private sector. Well, good riddance. “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” The “new” FNMA with an attitude of “service” among its employees would serve as a worthy model of radical change in “Financial Service” on behalf of America’s Future Leaders who need a “hand up” in the State Land Grant University System.

    It’s a start! Why not continued evolution instead of the devolution we’ve seen for the last fifty years?

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      And YVES, another issue: remember when credit card interest was pegged to Prime?

      1. rps

        We need a car bumper sticker: FREE STUDENTS FROM COLLEGE DEBT

        “Student loans have basically ruined my life,” says Tanya Carter, who graduated from the University of Toledo in 2008…. When Carter maxed out on federal loans, she turned to private loans to finish her degree. As a result of all that debt, she writes: “I never see myself owning a home, vehicle, or maybe not even getting married.”

        The need to delay starting a family because of financial worries was a common concern.

        April Flores graduated from San Diego State in 2008 with $80,000 in private loans and $30,000 in subsidized loans. “It is going to be hard to buy a house and start a family with our debt,”

        http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/student-loans-basically-ruined-life-yahoo-news-readers-105332697.html

        Listen to the undeniable truth from this generation of 20 and 30 something year old college graduates who shout from the prisons of their ivory tower jailers: They ain’t got nothing but DEBT, no future, just Debt. Their futures have been stolen from them and their lives sold off for a promise of a good job.

        I got news for the baby boomers who sold hope and college debt to their kids, forget retiring to a sunny clime, you’re stuck with your McMansion shacks because a whole generation has been disillusioned and shackled to non-dischargeable debt.

        For Whom does the Bell Toll, It tolls for thee.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          But often times the Boomers got suckered into co-signing loans for their children and grandchildren. They were told it was the key for their children’s success but many of them now have tens of thousands of dollars of debt they can never get rid off right as they retire (and their Social Security can even be garnished).

        2. curlydan

          We need to free students from ridiculous tuition. Let’s build some stripped down colleges, free of 50+ departments, no campus, no athletics, no gyms or rec centers, and no coffee shops. You could focus on, say, education? Rent some cheap commercial space, a few labs for physics/chemistry, 10 basic degree programs, and get on with it!

          1. dale pues

            Sounds like the school I went to. We did have air conditioning and a pretty good periodicals room.

        3. James

          I can easily imagine the Hemlock Society or similar variant making a dramatic comeback in the coming years.

  9. Claire

    This is off topic, and a diversion from economic news, but nevertheless someone might find it amusing.

    When I was a small child I used to ride the subways of New York City with my mother, and one day a woman sat down next to us with a towel shoved in her mouth. She just sat there, like this was a perfectly normal thing to do, and other passengers tried to ignore her or pretend she wasn’t really sitting there with a large white bath towel sticking out of her mouth.

    A few weeks later, my Mother and I were in Macy’s and the same woman appeared, this time with the words “Wet Paint”, painted in red over a white T-shirt.

    And I remember my Mother warning me: “watch out, Claire, she must be one of those performance artists!”

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      WWM, don’t you wonder what the “quid pro quo” is? Lordee, what is Turkey getting out of this from the AngloEmpire?

      1. Walter Wit Man

        Here’s one thing Turkey got out of it: a false flag psy operation to make it appear Turkish leaders are independent of Israel and the West: http://empirestrikesblack.com/2012/02/was-the-gaza-flotilla-massacre-a-turkish-israeli-false-flag-and-precursor-to-the-war-on-syria/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+EmpireStrikesBlack+%28EmpireStrikesBlack%29

        The whole region is coming under Wesetern/Israeli control.

        Turkey is NATOs bitch. Period.

        I’m sure the people of Turkey would not support their leaders’ war crimes if they knew the truth.

        Turkey is committing massive war crimes right now.

        It is a crime to threaten to invade another country. Turkey is massing troops and tanks at the borders and promising to illegally attack Turkey. Syria has the right to defend itself from attack and when Turkish-sponsored terrorists enter the country with guns to shoot police Syria has every right to shoot back. Turkey is committing war crimes by sponsoring these terrorist attacks (along with the NATO and GCC countries). But it is also committing war crimes by threatening to attack Syria for defending against these attacks.

        Then clearly Turkey violated Syrian airspace the other day and clearly Turkey was testing Syrian air defenses.

    2. Walter Wit Man

      It simply amazes me there is a massive war beginning, possibly WWIII, and the collective response of the “progressive” blogosphere is one big yawwwwn.

      Two very large modern armies are lining up, Turkey and Syria. British special forces (and probably U.S. and others) have already invaded and are probably actively killing people right now (not to mention other NATO troops and possibly U.S.).

      Hundreds of thousands are being removed (war crime) and tens of thousands are being killed. The U.S. is spreading terrorism in the region (this is NOT hyperbole–they are literally doing this).

      Jesus people. Can’t you just pretend Bush is doing this and at least click on a link or two? Break out of the progressive veal pen!

      I guess the cognitive dissonance is too much to handle. It’s sensory overload to see your government and the MSM literally creating a huge false lie when your government is literally slaughtering women and children on a massive scale. On purpose! To terrorize a country so we can take can control them!

      Jesus people. Don’t you see this does not stop with killing Syrian people? The cognitive dissonance isn’t saving you . . . it’s lulling you to sleep. The fascists like Obama are taking advantage of human nature and shocking and aweing us with their terrorism.

      These war criminals will not be content just spilling Syrian blood. Obama needs to be impeached and tried for his war crimes. He is a terrorist.

      1. Susan the other

        Last nite on the BBC there was just this blurb: Syria has officially declared that they are at war. Syria did not call it a civil war. Just a war. And then the BBC said that Turkey, Russia, Iran and another country (I was half asleep) are trying to negotiate a settlement. Settlement? About what?

        1. Walter Wit Man

          I listened to NPR last night for the first time in eons and they had a segment from a reporter with the FSA in Syria. . . . and I literally had to turn it to music to relax.

          I’m pretty up to date on the Syrian news so I listened just to see how NPR was presenting it. It was worse than I imagined.

          They put on a terrorist-produced segment just like the BBC and CNN and others have been doing for a year now. It had all the same elements of the other propaganda stories from the last year. They are literally working with the terrorist and getting kids to lie and fake injuries and the reporters are pretending that the government is indiscriminately shelling them, etc. I know it sounds crazy that I *know* NPR, CNN, BBC, NYT, AJ, etc. is making this shit up but I do *know* it, and it may actually be driving me crazy because this propaganda is so effective its hard for people like me to show other people how its faked. Its damn effective propaganda.

          Please, someone with greater ability and a bigger soapbox, just dig into the reporting of the likes of BBCs Paul Conroy: http://aangirfan.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/journalist-paul-conroy-is-mi6-operative.html or the New York times Tyler Hicks. Once you dig in the lies become apparent. Most of this war involves nerds sitting behind computers and video equipment!

          CNN also got caught working with terrorists (as in blowing up an oil pipeline with them and then falsely blaming it on the Syrian government in a propaganda piece). http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2012/03/23/cnn-crew-linked-homs-bombings-psyop-103321/

          1. Walter Wit Man

            Conroy worked for the Sunday Times, not BBC.

            Just like Marie Colvin, the reporter that was allegedly killed in Syria.

            Now there is a “reporter” to investigate.

          2. Walter Wit Man

            Ugh, I should not have linked to that link about the video because he raises doubts about it that I don’t agree with!

            You can see how there is a lot of funny business fighting over the authenticity of these claims. And one has to go to youtube to see this debate play out. The MSM has mostly hidden it, but Anderson Cooper had Danny on to try to do damage control but that is all any western media showed–a one sided defense from Danny and Anderson where they didn’t even show the critical claims made in the video.

            The Syrians were given footage from Al Jazeera and CNN and make a very good video showing western media working with the terrorists: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nj63YfmRy-4&feature=player_embedded

            Some of the analysis is necessarily very complicated so it becomes hard to sort out the truth but to me this is video evidence of CNN/al Jazeera working with terrorists.

            But that’s what I get for linking to one of the first google results and now I need to watch out for Alexander Higgins.

          3. Claire

            Walter Wit Man: “I listened to NPR last night for the first time in eons…Please, someone with greater ability and a bigger soapbox, just dig into the reporting of the BBC’s Paul Conroy or the New York times Tyler Hicks..”

            Thanks for keeping up with this. I think the MSM takes pride in seeing how far they can take the propaganda (with each claim more outrageous than the last) and how much falsified information they can churn out every day.

            And NPR can be bad for your health. The last time I tried listening to NPR was a couple of years ago. Robert Siegel’s guest was this so-called “terrorism expert” spouting complete absurdities.

            I had to turn the radio off almost as soon as the interview started, and drink a bud lite to calm down.

            And I assume it’s only gotten worse since then.

          4. K Ackermann

            Walt!

            You shouldn’t have linked to it because you don’t agree with its conclusions? Metallica has a great line in one of their songs: Hearing what you want to hear, knowing only what you heard. Take it all in and use and trust yourself to sort it out.

            You went on to say…
            The Syrians were given footage from Al Jazeera and CNN and make a very good video showing western media working with the terrorists

            I hope those are real terrorists you refer to, performing genuine acts of terror, and not some droll group of fighters who target enemies.

            With the labelling of Hezbollah as terrorists, the word is just about neutered. with a budget of $500 million, Hezbollah maintains a fighting force and yet has won hearts and minds in Lebanon. They did this by running better social services than the government. The performance they get for the money is so far beyond what the US military gets that it’s scandalous. Terrorist is now just a hate word… like nigger.

          5. Walter Wit Man

            “You shouldn’t have linked to it because you don’t agree with its conclusions?”

            No. I want honest analysis. I welcome critical analysis and don’t want to hide criticism (in fact I too originally had doubts about the videos).

            In this case I wanted to present the Syria side before I muddied the waters with doubts. And it’s really hard to present the Syrian side because not only has the MSM hidden the facts but sources like youtube and blog posts are being manipulated to make it more difficult to find material. Higgins is entitled to his opinion but he mucked up my presentation of the ‘Syrian case’ because I quickly looked on google and his website and article is very similar to the sources I found before so I went with it without looking closely. I just wanted to present that side before I moved on to criticism.

            And I forgot to link to the follow-up video! There are actually 2 videos (maybe more) and to see more of the CNN/Al Jazeera involvement you have to look at the other video(s). That’s why getting on the wrong youtube channel hurt me (as well as mucking up the google search and there not being many places discussing this).

            Anyway. The case is out there to investigate it just takes a lot of work. The allegations are explosive (no pun intended) and it’s incredibly odd the Western reporting on it only resulted in basically one damage control segment on CNN. You would think competitors like Fox would make a fuss about it.

            I too had my questions about the videos in the beginning. There are a couple of assertions on the videos where you have to take the announcers word for it and it’s not backed up with visual evidence (like the description of what the terrorists/reporters are doing off screen). But by viewing the subsequent videos you see that all the Syrian claims are supported by later video evidence! They actually are clever videos but it takes care and an honest assessment so of course the Western media has completely erased Syria’s defense of itself from these crimes.

            My take is that Syria tried to play games with the Western media by releasing these clever videos and hanging on to some information to try to show the western media is lying. They did that but no one knows. So basically this was a failure because no matter how strong a case Syria makes it doesn’t matter when their voices have been completely muzzled.

          6. K Ackermann

            I hear you.

            I think one of the most intense episodes of a synthetic reality happened during the short conflict between Russia and Georgia. It was incredible. If you didn’t catch the initial report basically as it was happening, then it took days and days before any news outlet told the truth on how it started.

          7. Walter Wit Man

            Sam,

            I’m dubious of that source and blog:

            1. It’s the BBC. The BBC is actively involved in spreading fake stories. I have come to the conclusion that BBC is not innocent (which I can expand on if needed). I fail to see how anyone reporting can be working for BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, New York Times, Sunday Times, etc. There was one good reporter at Huffington Post but she got shit canned when she reported facts contrary to the Western agenda (and she was one of the few western reporters actually in Syria). If that man was telling the truth the BBC would not be carrying his blog.

            2. He is selling a lie–that the western media was tricked by a few unsavory characters, like the one he discusses in great detail. That was interesting to hear the details of this pet hotel manager turned al qaeda hunter/black op guy. But this is not a one time deal in the past. The Western press in not getting punked, they are actively creating and spreading lies. They are complicit.

            For instance, you tell me why any reporter would cited Syrian Observatory for Human Rights for anything. My link to this site is blocking this post so google this quote to find the link to the whole story about the main source for Western media about Syria:

            “However, astoundingly, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is none of these things. Instead, it is merely a single man, sitting behind a computer in a British apartment, who alleges he receives “phone calls” with information always incriminating the Syrian government, and ever glorifying the “Free Syrian Army.” In fact, Reuters even admitted this in their article, “Coventry – an unlikely home to prominent Syria activist,” and even concedes that this man, “Rami Abdulrahman,” is openly part of the Syrian opposition who seeks the end of the Syrian government. Abdulrahman admits that he had left Syria over 10 years ago, has lived in Britain ever since, and will not return until “al-Assad goes.”"

            Yet this is the MAIN source for the Western media. Go ahead, search BBC’s site for this source and just see how many times the BBC is relying almost exclusively on some dude in his apartment in London. This is not a mistake. This is on purpose. And the BBC will drop him as soon as his cover is blown and he becomes a liability. Then they will move on to the next war criminal terrorist to give them scoops. That’s what the guy in the blog does above (not to mention legitimizing the fake threat of Al Qaeda).

            Nah. Not a good source at all. Seems like black propaganda to me.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      This is a finance and economics blog. We do get into politics a bit because economics is political. But I can’t follow everything, I am already spread way too thin, and I beyond putting some things in Links, I’m not prepared to follow US military opportunism. So please don’t hector me on this one. It’s not my beat.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        I was referring more to the blogs whose beats are more directly related to foreign affairs and politics.

        For instance, I challenge anyone to find a post related to media propaganda about Syria in either of these blogrolls. One is old school progressive, and one is to the left of that, and I used to use both to find good blogs:

        http://www.eschatonblog.com/
        http://www.distantocean.com/

        1. Walter Wit Man

          No takers? Boy, if I was a progressive and my source of information were the probably 50 blogs or so in those two blogrolls I would know next to nothing about what’s going on in Syria (or Libya, for that matter).

          To encourage any challengers, I would say start with Firedoglake. I think they may come the closest to questioning the official narrative on Syria. I would have thought antiwar.com would be have more on Syria and the fake western media coverage, but no. Same with Glenn Greenwald. And Chris Floyd, and the more lefty blogs found on Distant Ocean’s blogroll that were so good on previous wars, etc.

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    One man’s idea for combatting suburban sendentry lifestyles: design cars so the drivers stand.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      How about “assisted peddling” for hybrid mini-cars (on the order of “power steering” as assistance to “human energy”). Why wouldn’t FIAT return to its “roots” in College Town America with a really cheap student vehicle enclosing the driver who peddles for good measure? Students! FIAT for health! Lead the way!

  11. LeonovaBalletRusse

    “I sincerely apologize for the way this was presented” says Weasel Dragas.

    1. YesMaybe

      Exactly. No acceptance of responsibility, no accountability, the only lesson our overlords will take from this is that they need to up their PR budget.

  12. Ned Ludd

    Note how low the green line is. Barack Obama and his campaign staff have very little positive to say about his presidency.

    Chart shows percentage of statements in election coverage from Barack Obama and his campaign staff that were Neutral (grey), Negative to Romney (orange), and Positive to Obama (green). Time frame is May 23 – June 19.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      No, but there is a new ProPublica piece up that is much more propaganda-like on the same topic.

      Amar Bhide discussed what the real issue was in a very important HBR article in 1994: Efficient Markets, Deficient Governance. It nailed the issue. No one even considers his thesis because the implication is getting rid of public stock markets.

  13. Ms G

    Lambert thank you for your continuing attention to the UVA story which has huge significance beyond its immediate contours.

    “I encourage the members to consider establishing a strategic planning committee consisting of Board ofVisitor members, staff members, and faculty members with advice from outstanding consultants with higher education backgrounds to develop a strategic vision and direction for this great University.”

    Again with the “strategic” this and the “strategic that” and with the “outstanding consultants with higher education backgrounds”? Isn’t this some of the toxic waste that was dumped with the original firing decision?

    Next we’ll here Dragas chime in with a plan for a Retreat at the Hamilton Institute to synergize with lessons learned or some such claptrap.

    The first edict out of the President’s office should be a ban on business buzz words from University discourse! Use of same — e.g., “strategy” “synergy” “dynamic” and derivatives — shall be prima facie evidence of nonsense coming from the utterer’s lips!

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Lambert, the blog is so good I bookmarked it. Maybe you can influence a weak trend, in evidence also at the top of the referenced blog:

        “tenants” used for “tenets.” Big difference. Can you overcome this ignorance, which always weakens the argument? Thanks.

  14. Foppe

    Cost of doing business just went up slightly:

    Barclays bank will pay penalties of £290m ($450m) for trying to rig the key interest rates at which banks lend money to each other.

    The penalty from UK and US authorities followed “serious and widespread” misconduct, the Financial Services Authority said.

    These interbank rates influence the costs of loans and mortgages.

    Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond and three other executives have given up this year’s bonus as a result.

    The bank admitted the actions of its staff, which lasted from 2005 to 2009, “fell well short of standards”. [What, they got caught? I hate contemporary regulators]
    It seems highly likely that other banks, and in other countries, will face similar sanctions to that of Barclays.
    Barclays’ misconduct relates to the daily setting of the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) and the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (Euribor).

    These are two of the most important interest rates in the global financial markets and directly influence the value of trillions of dollars of financial deals between banks and other institutions.

    They can also affect lending rates to the public, for instance, with some mortgage deals.

    But it is unclear if Barclays staff had succeeded in manipulating the interest rates to its advantage and therefore whether it had any impact on borrowers.

    I hate how Peston is asking this question as though it happened in isolation, when he has already written earlier how the investigation is international..

    Between 2005 and 2008, the Barclays staff who submitted estimates of their own interbank lending rates were frequently lobbied by its derivatives traders to put in figures which would benefit their trading positions, in order to produce a profit for the bank.

    And between 2007 and 2009, during the height of the banking crisis, the staff put in artificially low figures, to avoid the suspicion that Barclays was under financial stress and thus having to borrow at noticeably higher rates than its competitors.

    “Making submissions to try to benefit trading positions is wholly unacceptable,” the FSA said.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      The outcome matters not. Barclay’s manipulated Libor for good or ill. This deed is the transgression.

    2. Ms G

      You read (and stick to) the bare facts of what went on and its straight-forward price-fixing fraud scheme (except on a global scale that presumptively ripped of untold trillions of people).

      But then you read the characterisations of the conduct in this excerpted piece of media, quoting the fraud cop/regulators and Barclays itself, and you’d think all that happened was that a few guys just didn’t behave very well and (pearl clutch) that’s just terrible, and we’ll dock their allowance for a few months.

      FSA: “serious and widespread MISCONDUCT” (caps mine)

      Barclays: the actions of its staff “fell WELL SHORT OF STANDARDS” (caps mine)

      The Paper: “Barclays MISCONDUCT relates to the daily setting of [LIBOR and EURIBOR].”

      FSA: “making submissions to try to benefit trading positions is WHOLLY UNACCEPTABLE.” (caps mine)

      I know, I know. It’s more of the “nothing to see here, move along” propaganda America has gotten from Holder, Breuer, SEC, CFTC, OCC, and the whole alphabet soup of captured financial-fraud-police puppets.

      But it’s still propaganda and it’s pertinent to note how convinced the propagandeers are that we’re all asleep since they just keep on propagating it.

  15. Susan the other

    Bear Cub Antidote. Cool dog. And agile cub who adroitly climbed down a loose ladder while mom waited patiently keeping the garage door open. The dog started out barking aggressively but very soon switched to a friendly, almost helpful bark. I’m thinking the dog was behind a wall/door leading to the kitchen and so could not see the situation. So either the dog responded to the human who wanted the cub to escape without an injury, or the dog itself responded to the bears’ predicament.

  16. Susan the other

    I googled it. The Mixed Economy Manifesto Part I – N E P. Michael Hoexter. The tenor of this series is “social science is unmoored.” Agree. It talks about the failed utopian ambitions of both right and left. His fear is that in the achieving of a better civilization, the best of the old will be destroyed to make room for the new. I agree. Analogous to friendly fire. Hoexter explains that the entire social platform of the Neolibs is “A wider selection of low cost goods.” This is where laissez faire ends and reality begins but isn’t acknowledged. So of course it doesn’t work because it is a social oxymoron which we have taken to its extreme – no jobs. Hoexter refers to Dean Baker’s push for a free market for the left. A free market for the Left. For socially beneficial commodities? Why not, everything else is commoditized. Will they be denominated in monetary currency or official currency? The two now conflict, no? Or is Dean Baker simply talking about employment?

    1. Susan the other

      I meant to say a social currency or official currency. Social currency used to be “politics” which has since been appropriated by the kleptos.

    1. craazyman

      seriusly Valissa, if you want to scare the living hell out of yourself you gotta check this out. This is much worse than Daimonic Reality, which was bad enough, but this is total panic. I’ll never be able to go into the woods again, even Central Park, even though you can usually see buildings. Cant’ believe I used to wander into the wilderness alone with a fly rod. I was taking my life in my hands. This is creepy, heavy, real-life, wacko shit.

      http://www.coasttocoastam.com/show/2012/06/24

      I hope you don’t live out in the woods someplace near a national park. Or you may want to move into an apartment building somewhere with a grocery store on the ground floor, to minimize the chance of encountering a tree.

      And if you go on vacation, you’ll proably want to go to the beach or Europe (a major city, not the woods).

      I’m still freaked out by this. Xanax is no good because, if you have to run for your life, you are impaired by the medication. Thank God I live in a city where at least you can see the wack-jobs before they attack, usually.

      1. F. Beard

        “Space aliens” are demonic impersonations and usually only bother people who engage in occult activity.

    2. rps

      Too Late, Obama is one of “them.” Ever see “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”?

      I Recently talked to friends who saw “Prometheus,” and it scared the heck out of them about these rapidly breeding aliens. Wondering, how these ‘imaginative’ writers create such fantastical extraterrestrial hideous aliens who are savage, sadistic, hateful murderers whose primary mission is the destruction humankind?

      Answer: The writers aren’t creative nor imaginative, they’re mirroring destructive, despotic,and murderous human behaviors, actions, and Wars against defenseless human beings. WE are our worse nightmare.

  17. Susan the other

    Supreme Leader is Fascist. Hitler was a favorite of the capitalists. Is this the 100 years war redux? Hitler was a favorite of German capitalists, obviously, but also of their like minded friends in England and the US, and France. The ostensible objective of Hitler was lebensraum, but in fact it was dealing a death blow to communism. If communism had had its stronghold in France, there would have been no cold war.

    1. Valissa

      Transporting garlic the old fashioned way http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01741/garlic_1741857c.jpg

      Garlic and war http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/bro/lowres/bron2496l.jpg

      Garlic and travel http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/bro/lowres/bron488l.jpg

      Garlic and religion http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000Eb9Z6yVQ3Hw/s/900/720/Food-Drink-Cartoons-Punch-1985-02-13-32.jpg

      Savage chickens explain the many psychological problems of vampires http://www.savagechickens.com/images/chickenvampireproblems.jpg

  18. K Ackermann

    Lambert, the information density in this post is off the charts.

    Just for fun, maybe tomorrow you can arrange it where there is the regular linear story, but also an additional story that can be had by reading every other word.

  19. グッチ

    My spouse and I stumbled over here by a different web address and thought
    I may as well check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to looking at your web page again.

    1. Maximilien

      Wecome aboard, 7 y F! (Sorry, my best rendering of your user-name).

      NC is the best finance/economics site I’ve had the pleasure of reading. I’ve learned a lot from it. I think you (and your spouse) will too if you keep checkin’ in.

    2. dale pues

      Me too. I tripped typing naked and this happened. I have good news, Armando’s plow horse is only three years old (he looks older to me) so he’ll get another eight or so years out of him before he’s put out to pasture. Sunday we planted two manzanas of beans and corn (three rows of beans for every row of corn), and Armando’s oldest boy will get up at four every morning starting tomorrow to keep the pijules and zanates (smart birds not fooled by espantaparajos (scarecrows)) from eating the sprouts, which are their favorite food. Winter, or rainy season, began officially on May 20th, so we’re late getting our small crop in the ground. But that’s okay because this year the rains started exceptionally heavy and frequent but now they have become more regular. We hope to harvest twenty, maybe twenty two quintales of beans and two or three of corn. We would get more corn but we love eating the baby corns, chilotes, as soon as they appear. I can’t imagine the soup without the chilotes.

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