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Links 7/13/12

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A Bison So Rare It’s Sacred New York Times

The Gentleperson’s Guide To Forum Spies Cryptome (Lambert). Be sure to read “Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression”

Chinese GDP growth slows to 7.6% Financial Times

More shadows surface for Chinese banks MacroBusiness

German Constitutional Court Wants to Help Berlin Der Spiegel

Euro tumbles as Asian funds shun EU chaos Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

We are not ‘risk nutters’ stifling the recovery Andrew Haldane, Times (Richard Smith)

Olympic security chaos: depth of G4S security crisis revealed Guardian (YY)

Liborfest!

Exclusive: Barclays’ Diamond turns to top lawyer for Libor scandal Reuters (Richard Smith)

At Least Three Other Banks in Rate-Fixing Mess CNBC (Richard Smith)

Bob Diamond calls in Maitland to handle Libor fallout PR Week (Richard Smith)

Follow-On Civil Litigation Emerges as LIBOR Scandal Continues to Unfold D&O Diary (Deontos)

Neil Barofsky, the Democrat Taking Digs at Obama Bloomberg. Ha, the administration must be worried! I have an advance copy and am partway through, and they OUGHT to be worried. The book isn’t even out (the writer clearly has not read it) and they are already trying to go after Barofsky.

Wall Street Journal Publishes Hit Job on Union Political Spending Dave Dayen, Firedoglake

Mitt Romney Bain Mess Shows Stonewalling Consequences Huffington Post

Who’s Very Important? Paul Krugman, New York Times

Sorry, Mitt Romney, You Can’t Be Chairman, CEO, And President Of A Company And Not Be Responsible For What It Does… Clusterstock

At Peregrine Financial, Signs of Trouble Seemingly Missed for Years New York Times

City Bankruptcy Could Raise Hurdles for Mortgage Seizure Plan American Banker (Richard Smith)

Geithner Wrote Libor Memo in 2008 Wall Street Journal. Better headline: Geithner writes CYA memo rather than calling Eric Holder.

Picking On the Job Creators Barry Ritholtz

Wells Fargo Will Settle Mortgage Bias Charges New York Times. Sanctimonious Wells strikes again.

Revealed: JPMorgan Paid $190,000 Annually to Spouse of Bank’s Top Regulator Alternet (Deontos)

Global Investors Sending Giant Signal to U.S.: Please Borrow Money! Dave Dayen, Firedoglake. Erm, not quite right. This means big time deflation expectations. The place to be in deflation is cash and high quality bonds.

* * *

lambert here:

D – 57 and counting*

I’m only looking for fun –The Clash, White Man in the Hammersmith Palais

Occupy. NYPD watch: “A day after reports that DNA found at an Occupy Wall Street-affiliated protest had been matched to an unsolved murder case, a law enforcement official said the link was a lab mistake—and not a break.” Propaganda, however, catapulted.

AZ. ObamaCare: “But one incentive might persuade AZ’s policymakers to let the uninsured back into the Medicaid fold: cash — lots of it.”

DE. Corruption: “Officials in the Cayman Islands, a favorite Caribbean haunt of secretive hedge funds, say DE is today playing faster and looser than the offshore jurisdictions that raise hackles in Washington.”

FL. Money: “‘The road to Washington goes through Tallahassee — you have to win FL — and the road to Tallahassee goes through The Villages,’ said Rich Cole, the president of the The Villages Republican Club.” No TB there! … ObamaCare, voter: “They’re going to require all these people to have insurance, and they won’t be able to afford it and they won’t pay it, and I’ll have to pay for them. I’m working two jobs to keep my head above water. I can’t afford this.”

GA. Mass incarceration: “The hunger strike begun on June 11 by nine prisoners at GA’s Diagnostic and Classification prison… continues into its fifth week. Though reports published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution declare the strike over, the families and one of the attorneys of inmates insist that the nine prisoners remain resolved.”

LA. Health care: “It’s not disputed that the FMAP fix Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., helped negotiate in 2010 was incorrectly drafted, resulting in roughly $4 billion more in funding than she and state officials had anticipated.” So now LA — more precisely, children, elders, and the pooor of LA — have to suffer to “pay it back.” “The cuts are an 11 percent reduction from LA’s $7.7 billion Medicaid budget that had been planned for the budget year that began July 1.”

MI. Fracking, corruption: “The emails show the competitors traded information about whether Encana was halting new land leasing in MI in 2010, and the information prompted Chesapeake to dramatically change its leasing strategy in subsequent weeks and helped send Michigan land prices tumbling from record highs.”

NY. Corruption: “It seems that if you want some quality time with a lawmaker, you have to hit the links — and pay a couple hundred bucks, to boot.” Golfing should be a bar to public office. Kidding!

OH. Cooperatives: “The ‘Cleveland Model’ now underway in that city involves an integrated complex of worker-owned cooperative enterprises targeted in significant part at the $3 billion in purchasing power of such large scale ‘anchor institutions’ as the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospital, and Case Western Reserve University. The complex also includes a revolving fund so that profits made by the businesses help establish new ventures as time goes on.” … Privatization: “The OH Civil Service Employees Association lawsuit filed recently in Franklin County Common Pleas Court here charges privatization violates state laws, including a prohibition against lending state credit to private companies.”

PA. Corruption: “One of the [Freeh's] exhibits … is a collection of handwritten notes that were reportedly taken in 1998 by Gary Schultz, a Penn State vice president, as police looked into a report that Sandusky had inappropriately touched a young boy in a locker room shower. … [Exhibit 2I ends with this: 'Is this opening of pandora’s box? Other children?'" A depraved and indifferent power structure. Shocker, I know. ... CDC Data: "One in four girls and one in six boys are sexually assaulted by the time they reach age 18. Those numbers are astounding and in many cases adults do not believe this problem is that prevalent. But it is that prevalent." Corruption: "Mitt Romney's Pennsylvania finance co-chair is convicted felon Bob Asher. The MontCo candy kingpin was convicted of political corruption and served a year in federal prison."

TX. Fracking: "if you compare the location of disposal wells and earthquake events in Johnson County, you’ll find an interesting pattern. The two maps appear to match up." Excellent citizen reporting.

VT. Solid waste: "So the unfolding story at [Green Mountain Compost] is one of enormous frustration for solid waste district officials as they deal with the discovery that almost all of the soil products — mainly compost in bags or by the yard, but also raised bed mix and other mixes using compost — test positive for the persistent herbicides picloram and clopyralid.” See especially this comment.

WI. Voting: “[Election Fairness] has filed an open records request July 2 with Rock County and Wisconsin’s 71 other counties. Its members seek to hand-count paper ballots in storage at counties around the state to determine whether results on paper ballots match electronic tabulations.” … Voting: “Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus’ last-minute programming change to voting machines before the April 3 election – a change that may have triggered the computer error that stymied election night results reporting – was required by the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, newly released emails show. However, a legally required public test of the equipment once that change was made to ensure it worked properly was not performed, according to the records.” .. Domestic terrorism: “Lang was arrested on May 25, 2011, after accidentally firing a gun in his motel room, then telling police that he planned to kill an abortion doctor at Planned Parenthood.” … Corruption: “Attorney Michael Maistelman has been removed from the embezzlement case against former Scott Walker aide Tim Russell because Maistelman is a ‘person of interest’ in the ongoing John Doe probe that resulted in the charges against his client, it was revealed Wednesday.” So the John Doe case is alive.

Media critique. NewsCorp amplifies negative coverage on Romney (with chart). And Romney gets little help on Bain.

Outside baseball. Voting: “[T]he only apparent solution: Hand-marked paper ballots counted publicly, by hand, on Election Night, at the precinct, in front of all parties, observers and video cameras, with decentralized results posted at those precincts, before ballots are allowed to move anywhere.” … Class warfare: “It’s no wonder America’s industrial workers feel like they’ve been shunted aside—they have.” Maps, tables. (From Richard Florida, perpetrator of the “creative class” meme.) … Debt: “While it is clear the wealthy could pay more, they cannot solve America’s deficit on their own. For that to happen, the top rate would have to rise to 91 per cent.” As it was, from 1950 to 1963.

Americans Elect. The continuing fiasco: “Reportedly, national leaders of Americans Elect are planning to ask state officials to de-certify the party, in all the states in which the party is now ballot-qualified. However, there is no legal precedent that gives state or national party leaders the legal ability to take that step.”

Robama vs. Obomney. Now they tell him: “[OBAMA goes on Charlie Rose: T]he nature of this office is also to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times.” Hopey change in 2008 was that exact story, so WTF? Also, too, the Unity Pony. Romney fires back: “Being president is not about telling stories.” Since “telling stories” is a euphemism for lying, Romney just whiffed on a high floater. … Legacy parties: Romney’s ads quote Hillary Clinton against Obama. Obama’s ads quote Chuck Grassley against Romney. It’s the narcissism of small differences!

Greens. PA: “Kensington is about the only spot in Philadelphia where registration is on the upswing. Since 2009, Green Party registrants in the 31st Ward, which includes Kensington, has grown 54 percent. And that’s in a city and a party where anything above 3 percent is considered a success.”

The trail. Independents: “Even on the issue of Romney’s record in business, independent voters are more sympathetic to the R. Among all voters, more thought that Romney in his work as a corporate investor did more to cut jobs than create them (42 percent to 36 percent). But among independents, that flips to a six point advantage for Romney – 43-37 percent.”

Romney. Tax return ploy: An oldie but goodie, but Obama seems to have pinned Romney to the mat with it. … Air war, Crossroads ad: “Over three years with crushing unemployment. American manufacturing shrinking again. President Obama’s plan? Spend more. He’s added $4 billion in debt every day. The economy is slowing, but our debt keeps growing.” Unemployment is the truth, and Obama buys the debt lie. … Latin@ teebee ad, Craig Romney: I want to tell you who my father is, Mitt Romney. He is a man of great convictions. He’s been married for over 40 years to my mom. Together they have five sons and 18 grandchildren,” Craig Romney said in the ad. “He loves our country greatly. What he has achieved has been through hard work – and it is with that same dedication that he will fight to get our country on the right track and create jobs.”

Obama. Snark watch: #Listening2Mitt is totally tribal, but clever (and more clever than funny pictures of Romney).

Bain flap. See HuffPo, the Globe (but see Fact Check and CJR) vs. Fortune. Especially see a delicious Henry Blodgett post; search the page for “Stericycle.” And this wrap-up in WaPo: Importantly, the D’s charge that Romney could be charged for a false SEC filing is “absurd” (although see again Fact Check).

Defining Romney: “[T]hings are reaching the point where the facts don’t really matter. …[T]he Bain cloud now hanging over the former Massachusetts governor is growing daily, and the Romney campaign still hasn’t found a compelling way to respond to what’s becoming the driving narrative, fairly [and/]or unfairly, of the 2012 campaign.” …. “The episode has a bit of a ‘Welcome to the NFL’ quality, and while it’s foolish to speculate whether Obama or his SuperPAC allies had a hand in the timing of stories or surfacing of research, Chicago showed its grasp of the rhythm of a general election, and Boston is reeling and flailing around to change the subject.” Then again: “variants of the Bain argument simply haven’t fared that well at the ballot box. … In [OH 2010], Ted Strickland savaged John Kasich with advertisements highlighting Kasich’s partnership with Lehman. … Kasich still won. [In PA 2010], Pat Toomey [who won] was on the receiving end of a nasty ad campaign tying him to Wall Street and outsourcing to China.”

From the Barcalounger: Romney’s 1999 – 2002 actions with Bain look to me like stuff seriously rich guys do: They become titular CEOs while their golden parachutes are constructed, and they fly around to board meetings. Exactly as with the Caymans, Obama will do the same, when he cashes in after leaving office. And given the Obama administration’s comprehensive destruction of the rule of law in the mortgage settlement, which puts a price on thousands of acts of criminal fraud, the D and career “progressive” pearl-clutching on a possible SEC violation looks even more morally and intellectually bankrupt than usual. Still, the meta: The Ds have been far more ruthless and feral than the Rs, which is new. If only Obama could have run on his record!

* 57 days ’til the Democratic National Convention ends with locally sourced rubber chicken on the floor of the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. 57 varieties!

* * *

Antidote du jour (Mary S-J):

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95 comments

  1. rjs

    dayen’s article, Global Investors Sending Giant Signal to U.S.: Please Borrow Money! has an unfortunate headline, but the premise is right; we should be spending now, rather than later when rates are higher…a clearer take comes from mark thoma, who cites the same article & titles it financial-mismanagement-on-an-epic-scale:

    http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2012/07/financial-mismanagement-on-an-epic-scale.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+typepad%2FKupd+%28Economist%27s+View%29

  2. K Ackermann

    Cryptome has some wonderful info, but let’s face it, folks, it’s also a paranoid’s dream. It will confirm almost any suspicion, and foster three more besides.

    1. LaMarchaNegra

      Yup, 101 ways to be a goddamn troll. Just reading one or two of these “techniques” is enough to make anyone with good faith pop a blood vessel. Luckily, there’s a standard 5-step procedure to deal with this sort of thing:
      1) Ignore the troll
      2) Hold your breath and ignore while they infest your online forums, your local/state/national political systems, your life.
      3) Scream bloody murder that this person is spreading blatant, obvious falsehoods that directly affect the lives of everyone involved for the worse.
      4) Be accused yourself of trolling by said troll. Witness everyone you thought you could trust or love avoiding eye contact at best, more likely accusing you to be the cause of all the problems you dare speak of.
      5) Stare deeply into the eyes of said troll as you justly throttle them to death. Hahaha, actually no, you just die in jail. Unless that whole “throw the shitheads out of power” deal works out, in which case Napoleon/Stalin is in charge now.

      1. ohmyheck

        Perfect timing. Daily Kos is on melt-down, because trolls and their sockpuppets have taken that site for a ride. Trolling! Stalking! Counter-Stalking! Phone calls! Shotguns! Call in the FBI! Drunk-blogging! Look at me, look at me! Let’s all feed the trolls some more!

        No, I am not making this stuff up.

        It’s a slow-motion trainwreck, and not a moderator to be found.

        What no one will speak of? The fact that that troll, and others, are allowed in on one, and only one, criteria. “I worship at the fount of our God, Obama! More and Better Democrats!”

        As the DKos Turd Whirls.

        Just a shining example of the topic of that article.

        1. DiamondJammies

          Pretty unfortunate. Used to be a fun, idealogically diverse place to hang out. And there are some good folks still there, I think. But maybe word came down from on high and so now it’s Obama or bust.

          Sooner or later they’ll realize though that the old Hope and Change machine has really blown a gasket and they’ll stop being such centrally administered, ideologically narrow, party line-toeing bores. Or they won’t and they’ll become more and more irrelevant.

    1. Paul Tioxon

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKzPxVyVM3Q&feature=related

      Large scale social theorizing, has to come up to date in the wake of the collapse of one dimensional economic analysis. The failure to predict the events of financial collapse by the intellectual discipline founded specifically to rationally managed the social order, economics, is insufficient on a practical level of policy adviser to the state. Polyani proposed the Global New Deal, where the market is placed in the service of the nation state and not completely suppressed. Not self regulation carried to an absurdity, but provided with a politically determined, democratic mission that has clear limits. Within these limits, the self organizing principle of freedom operates.

      1. DiamondJammies

        The problem is that that capital’s very nature is totalizing and global, i.e. in order for accumulation to continue apace capital must constantly transgress any and all boundaries and barriers around it be they physical or social (i.e. political). The New Deal consensus of embedded liberalism that many pine to return to ran up against its limits by the late 1960s to early 1970s and thus the ruling class was made to switch strategies. The new strategy they implemented we call neoliberalism, which has by now also reached its limits but which the intellectually bankrupt ruling class has not been able find a suitable replacement for. So far all they’ve been able to come up with is a scheme of mass looting and liquidation. The depth, breadth and pace of the organizing of the working class will decide how long this state of affairs is allowed to continue.

        1. F. Beard

          i.e. in order for accumulation to continue apace capital must constantly transgress any and all boundaries and barriers around it be they physical or social (i.e. political). DiamondJammies

          No, it is usury that requires continual growth, not capital.

          1. DiamondJammies

            Afraid so, F. Beard. Capital nestles everywhere or withers on the vine. The entire history of this system, its crises and self-overcomings, proves this to be the case.

            A narrow focus on “usery,” the money capital leg of the circuit of industrial capital, will never get at the real heart of matter, which is the law of value that is the totalizing and global expression of the contradiction between the forces of production and the relations arranged therein.

          2. F. Beard

            Honest usury would be a big improvement over what we have now though it would still cause problems. But what we have now is usury for stolen purchasing power – so-called “credit” – which is far worse since it forces people into debt.

    2. LucyLulu

      I also had posted an excerpt from that article a couple days ago. I found it well worth reading, and recommend it too.

  3. salvo

    I don’t understand why you link to the german spiegel, it’s one of the worst neoliberal propoaganda media in Germany. Der spiegel is no more the critic media it has been at the times of Augstein, since then it has continually degraded in value and meanwhile reached the niveau of bild

  4. F. Beard

    re CDC Data: “One in four girls and one in six boys are sexually assaulted by the time they reach age 18…”:

    I wonder if our society is even worth saving though the economy would be easy enough to fix.

    1. K Ackermann

      Do you think those figures were worse or better in the past?
      It would be interesting to see where and when those numbers were the lowest and see if there was an obvious explaination.

      Morality is too simple an answer.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think you turn over the money changers’ table once.

      Then you leave the palce and move on elsewhere to save people’s souls. The money changers stay in business.

      This would mean you should save the society, and leave fixing the economy to caesar.

      1. F. Beard

        As a voter, I am as much Caesar as anyone else. And fixing the money problem is a human-sized problem. Saving souls, in the ultimate sense, is a God-sized problem.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          We agree then to render the money problem unto Caesar.

          Caesar should coin money.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Caesar’s money is voters’ money.

            Voters can amend the Constitution to let corporations coin money.

          2. F. Beard

            But voters’ money is not necessarily Caesar’s money just like a cat is an animal but an animal is not necessarily a cat.

          3. F. Beard

            If corporations created their own money then they would have to put some value behind those moneys.

            But no need for that since they can just steal purchasing power via loans from the counterfeiting cartel, the banking system.

          4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Yes, no need for corporations to create any money at all.

            Nor are they allowed.

          5. F. Beard

            Yes, the banks create all the money the corporations need and the purchasing power for that new money comes out of your pocket, sucker!

        2. DiamondJammies

          As a voter? You mean as a consumer of political pro-wrestling in which both “sides” pretend to hate each other but actually are in agreement on all of the basics?

          1. F. Beard

            Good point.

            But on the other hand, there is a relatively pain-free way out of this mess. Things are getting ominous, I would think, even for the PTB.

          2. DiamondJammies

            Ominous them means hopeful for us.

            Real hope too. Not the canned kind that comes from the public relations industry.

  5. Steve Roberts

    Technically I think Timmy G should have contacted Michael Mukasey, not Holder at that moment. Still, point is very relevant. Why did he do nothing while rampant fraud was being perpetrated on the American economy? Oh wait, he wasn’t a regulator while head of the NY Fed. I forgot about that. Never mind. Not his fault.

    1. Bill the Psychologist

      Exactly right.

      Almost verbatim, he told Congress: “I never saw myself as a regulator” while head of the NY Fed.

      Brazen, like all these criminals. They think they will never be caught.

  6. Synopticist

    I kind of understand Normal, Sane, 60% of the population America, but the other Moonbat, Wingnut 40% is as foreign to me as Alpha Centuri.

    So tell me folks, this Bain thing, will it stop some of the the batsh*t crazy lunatics from voting?
    Or are they so totally dedicated to getting out the Kenyan Muslim Commie they’d sacrifice their own children?

    I gotta know.

    1. spooz

      There are plenty of liberals who think Romney is actually the lesser of two evils because he will actually force Democrats to start acting like liberals again instead of propping up status quo.

    2. ran

      who cares?

      no matter which one of these clowns wins we’ll get a warmongering errand boy for the banksters, the MIC, and AIPAC.

      1. DiamondJammies

        Ding ding ding

        We have a winner!

        It’s all a shell game. Remember when the Democrats were going to get tough on Bush after the 2006 landslide? They kept the posture up for a while but in the end folded like grandma’s bloomers.

        1. DiamondJammies

          So do I even have to ask the question about what will happen when President Mittens wants to strike a Grand Bargain?

          These asshats threw in the towel decades ago.

        2. ran

          sure do!

          I was naive enough at the time to believe there might be some consequences for starting a war based on a pack of lies and murdering countless innocent Iraqis.

          turns out consequences are only for leaders of countries we don’t like.

    3. Patccmoi

      American democracy is broken, plain and simple. Yes, voting for Romney is an obvious bad choice. But in theory voting for Obama is also quite a bad choice (he did tons of stuff to catter to Wall Street, Big Pharma and Health Insurance to keep election money when he had a mendate strong enough to actually do real change). Sure I’d vote for Obama having to choose between them, but what does it matter really in the long run?

      Yes, it’s kinda sad to think that some people actually believe all the right-wing propaganda. But let’s be frank, left-wing propaganda exists too, and they like to make you believe that they’re defending you from the right-wing nuts when really they’re just screwing you over in a more subtle way.

      Simple truth is that change won’t come from the government and your elected officials. Not unless there is MASSIVE public unrest behind it and they have no choice whatsoever. So when you take that into account, there really should be very little weight given to the result of election, and much more about what will the population do REGARDLESS of who’s in charge. This whole partisanship thing that they used to divide the population in 2 camps over relatively minor issues for decades has been frighteningly efficient.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The question we ask is this: Who is the mother of all the 0.01%ers, the person(s) behind the Koch brothers, bankers, etc?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          That’s a good one.

          If you live with a female cat, you know all about womendate.

          No, we are not talking about mandatory dates with men or women.

      2. Flying Kiwi

        May I, from the outside, suggest American democracy is not broken. That which is broken is the preception of Americans to their democracy.

        I understand there will be more than two choices on the ballot when Americans go to vote – I believe the name of Jill Stein will be there, offering something very different to the Tweedle-Dum or Tweedle-Dee choice I so often read of in this and other sites as the only one. I understand there will be other names, too, offering other choices.

        In what way isn’t that democracy?

        Here in New Zealand the Green Party first stood for Parliament in 1990 when I and 6.85% of the voters voted for it. We all knew they would be ‘wasted’ votes in that the Greens had no chance of winning any seats. Even worse, given that most voters for the Greens come from the Left, we knew we were weakening the chances of a left-wing Government being elected. In fact the left lost.

        It was the same in 1993 and again the left lost, but with more people now voting against the ‘winner’ than for it the falacy of first-past-the-post became too obvious and New Zealand chose a ‘more democratic’ system of proportional representation which has now given the Greens, and other small parties such as the Maori Party representing ‘indigenous’ peoples, a voice in Government, and potential power-broking opportunities.

        If you don’t believe Obama or Romney represents your politics, vote for who you believe does – or the closed to it – and support them. It might look like a ‘wasted vote’, but if enough people do it this time, more will next time, and more the time after that until the mould is broken.

        That, my American friends, is democracy. But it needs a long-term view, and Americans have never been good at that. It also means a committment to stand with a loser, and Americans have never been good at that, either

    4. Doug Terpstra

      Mitt is Obama’s straw man opponent, to give apparent legitimacy to Barry’s preordained re[s]election. Obama is Wall Street’s Tojan Horse, their best bet to loot Medicare and Social Security, vanquish Syria and Iran for Israel, and establish open fascism. Not that Mitt wouldn’t do the same, but the D party and the black community might be less comatose.

  7. Jim Haygood

    ‘The auditor for Peregrine was a one-person shop run out of the accountant’s home in Glendale Heights, Ill., a Chicago suburb. As part of its investigation, the C.F.T.C. is looking into the role that the individual played, according to a person with knowledge of the case.’

    Sounds like Bernie Madoff’s setup. His auditor was a hole-in-the-wall two-person shop in a strip mall in Rockland County.

    So the gov is following the same playbook: identify a small-time accomplice to the theft and squash him like a bug … while the criminally incompetent and nonfeasant regulators at the NFA and CFTC receive praise, awards and promotion for their diligence!

    ‘Gensie, you’re doin’ a heck of a job!’

  8. Economystic

    Lambert–thanks for the sobering report from VT.
    Sadly this is old news: the City of Seattle (think it was) was sued for this same contamination maybe 10 years ago.
    We and six of our fellow gardeners here in wmt-land, AR were hit with clopyralid contamination in 2005. Very simple: the horsie folks don’t like weeds in their hay. Naively, I had assumed that after composting horse manure for an entire year, all would be well. It ain’t so! And the two poisons mentioned are not the only ones…
    Careful out there…
    [no footnote!]
    Clopyralid is notorious for its ability to persist in dead plants and compost, and has accumulated to phytotoxic levels in finished compost in a few highly publicized cases. In Seattle, Washington, clopyralid was widely used for weed control in lawns until prohibited in 1999. There, a city-mandated curbside grass clipping collection and composting program produced compost with measurable levels of clopyralid. Subsequently, DowAgro, the manufacturer of clopyralid, voluntarily deregistered it for lawn uses.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clopyralid

  9. rich

    Note From Europe: Spain Has Its ‘Let Them Eat Cake’ Moment

    Spain is implementing its latest austerity package. Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy Raises VAT 3pc in Shock U-Turn

    When the Prime Minister Rajoy said to their National Assembly that they must cut benefits to Spain’s unemployed, Miss Fabra was apparently caught on video shouting, “Screw them all.”

    The damage control groups are now trying to explain that Miss Fabra was not saying ‘screw them’ to the unemployed, who the Prime Minister was talking about, but rather ‘the Socialists,’ who favor things like benefits for the unemployed.

    This is sparking quite a bit of anger in Spain, as one might imagine, which is suffering under very high levels of unemployment and facing further austerity cuts.

    Spain’s oligarchy appears to be a bit backward and thuggish. Rather than clumsily rigging lotteries and construction projects, they would be better off forming a banking cartel, rigging market prices, and stealing a little from everyone, every day, on every transaction. Then you can be a Very Important Person, dress well, have Congressman publicly kiss your ring, and still gorge yourself at the trough of public corruption.

    “It should come as no surprise to anyone that major commercial banks manipulate Libor submissions for their own benefit. The OTC derivatives markets was designed by the big banks, for the big banks, to ensure that as they set up their own private securities exchanges – away from regulatory scrutiny – they could control the interest rate settings. Money center commercial banks did not want the “truth” of market prices to determine their loan rates. Rather, they wanted an oligopolistically controlled subjective survey rate to be the basis for their lending businesses.”

    David Zervos
    Jefferies & Co

    That is sophisticated financial corruption. That is progress.
    http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2012/07/note-from-europe-spain-has-its-let-them.html

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Should we be asking if banks are manipulating, um…gulp, the Treaury market as well as LIBOR?

    2. constant

      or rubber bullets, just in case you missed this entry

      The true face of austerity Europe

      Wednesday 11 July 2012

      Austerity Europe reared its ugly head today when a volley of rubber bullets fired by police injured scores of protesters and members of the media during Spain’s “Jarrow March.”

      Coalminers and trade union activists angry over government subsidy cuts had massed by the gates of the Ministry of Industry in Madrid and were making their voices heard.

      Riot police guarding the building charged using their batons, leaving about a dozen wounded.

      Witnesses said some supporters who had joined the demo at the last minute then began to throw stones and firecrackers at police – who replied with rubber bullets.

      Reports said that “several” demonstrators, members of the media as well as some policemen had been injured.

      One witness said: “At least one photographer had severe bleeding from the head, and a television camera operator was lying on the floor and looked unconscious.”

      Police were reported to have arrested five people and at least 23 people were said to have been tended by emergency services for injuries after the charge.

      Around 25,000 miners had converged on Madrid and linked up with union activists to protest against a 63 per cent cut in government subsidies to mining companies.

      This week right-wing prime minister Mariano Rajoy unveiled the biggest attack on Spain’s welfare state in history in a move described by radical opposition MPs as like “pouring gasoline onto the streets”

      http://dearkitty1.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/spanish-conservatives-impose-austerity-violently/

    3. Up the Ante

      “Miss Fabra was apparently caught on video shouting, “Screw them all.” ”

      too good, too good

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    I wonder if more jobs are created during a multibillionaire’s first billion or his later billions.

    My guess is during his first billion.

    1. Neo-Realist

      Many of those same jobs the multibillionare created in the first billion are outsourced during the later billions–a significant part of the later billion creation, no.

    1. lambert strether

      I don’t even play an SEC lawyer on TV, but it all looks like semantics to me, since “left Bain” is such a nebulous term. (The whole thing reminds me a lot of Brown’s attacks on Warren for her ancestry… The reaction of both candidates, Warren and Romney, must be something like: “I can’t believe this is happening to me!”

      1. LucyLulu

        Is this nebulous semantics?

        [Romney] saying in an interview that despite reports that his name continued to appear on government documents on behalf of Bain Capital until 2002, he had absolutely no working relationship with the company after leaving in February 1999 to take over the Salt Lake City Olympic Games.

        “In February of 1999 I left Bain Capital and left all management authority and responsibility for the firm. I had no ongoing activity or involvement in the affairs of Bain Capital because I went out to run the Olympics,” Romney told NBC’s Peter Alexander in an interview in New Hampshire. “And so in February of 1999 I became the full-time chief executive officer of the Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee and I had after that time no work whatsoever with Bain Capital people. No responsibility or activity with the management of Bain Capital.”

        Or perhaps ‘nebulous’ was meant as sarcasm? It can be hard to tell with the written word.

        If he was still listed as CEO and was sole owner, you can be damn sure he kept on top of Bain’s dealings. There were also reports he filed with SEC as collecting a salary for being an officer. He’s lying.

        I’m sure you are shocked. Absolutely shocked. Have a seat and grab some cold water.

      2. LucyLulu

        It’s like having no control or knowledge of the investments in his blind trust. Trusteed by his best friend and long time attorney. Are any conversations protected by attorney-client privilege?????

  11. Doug Terpstra

    With Romney so diligent with his own shovel, Obama has little to worry about from Barofsky’s book. Consider the new Bain Capital deceptions (easily vetted long ago) and Taibbi’s comments on Mitt’s in-yo-face, talk-to-the-hand NAACP speech.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/romneys-free-stuff-speech-is-a-new-low-20120713

    This [s]election has always smelled like a setup. All GOP candidates were like cartoon caricatures from the start(except Paul, shunned by media), but Romney is now morphing into Snidely Whiplash minus the waxed mustache. Unfortunately, Obama would have to be caught in bed with a dead boy or a live girl to lose this one. Democracy ain’t broke, it’s fixed.

  12. Hugh

    Who hired and was supposed to watchdog G4S providing security for the Olympics? I had not been following this story, but it really looks like an invitation for terrorists to have a go at the games. What a clusterf*ck.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The way they confuse their own people, I think it’s to prevent inside jobs.

      That may be over thinking on my part.

      It is perhaps naive to think it’s being done to set a trap, that it’s just a sting operation.

  13. Hugh

    And more tribalist Democratic twaddle from Krugman?

    “there is, of course, a good chance that Republicans will control both Congress and the White House next year.

    If that happens, we’ll see a sharp turn toward economic policies based on the proposition that we need to be especially solicitous toward the superrich”

    In what cave has Krugman been living for the last 4 years? The Democrats and Obama signed off on both the bailouts and the non-investigation and prosecution of Wall Street. They serve the rich and the corporations every bit as much as the Republicans.

    How is Krugman different from any other propagandist, trying to sell the lie that there is a real difference between the two parties?

    1. LucyLulu

      Krugman is warning that policy will become even MORE solicitous towards the landed gentry than it is now.

      I know, hard to believe.

    1. LucyLulu

      Michael Hudson uses his keen insights to present a compelling view of the global landscape. His articles should be on everybody’s reading list, irregardless of the political and economic ideologies they subscribe to.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      p78, great piece by Hudson. He’s a genius, so of course they won’t heed his wise warning.

  14. Up the Ante

    This ought to be amusing as we watch Levander convince a judge his client didn’t say what he’s said already in testimony.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/12/us-banking-libor-diamond-lawyer-idUSBRE86B16V20120712?feedType=RSS&feedName=businessNews&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&dlvrit=56943

    Levander’s effort will be similar to this clown-piece quote from Anonymous@Treasury courtesy of CFO,

    “In the words of a knowledgeable treasury expert who spoke on condition of anonymity, “We have struggled to find who the net losers are, ”

    http://www3.cfo.com/article/2012/7/credit_libor-scandal-barclays-british-bankers-association-pension-funds-rpi?currpage=1

    “Barclays employees colluded with people at other banks in a way that, over a period of years, ”
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/48165142

    ‘For years my client, Bob Diamond, looked the other way with Mr. Tucker, as he and his traders ‘colluded’ to the detriment of the bank when they see it most fit. My client both did and did not know of this collusion, and as knowledgeable Treasury experts are being forced to struggle ascertaining the victims, I posit, your honor, my client is an innocent man, as free of fraud as I, the Levander, stand in this courtroom. [blah, blah, blah]‘

    “.. including one four-month long period of coordinated manipulation to generate trading profits. [which wasn't profits]”

    Something like that, Levander ?

    Something like that ^^.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/48165142

    1. Hugh

      Apparently reality is an agenda. What a tool.

      Back toward the end of the Bush Administration, I posited my Mukasey Rule. People were trying to sell Mukasey for Attorney General as a conservative but a straight shooting law and order type. I noted that no one with a shred of integrity would work for the Bush Administration and Mukasey proved me right, buying into all of Bush’s programs and excesses. Pretty much the Mukasey Rule can be extended to the Obama Administration, no one with a shred of integrity would work for it either. Goolsbee is a great example. Once a Chicago boy always a Chicago boy.

      1. Up the Ante

        “I noted that no one with a shred of integrity would work for the Bush Administration ”

        And then Chuck Schumer, upon hearing the ominous clatter of the Bush Cabal’s saber-rattling upon espying him seeking media propaganda points, was ‘found out’ IN the media’s eye as he calculated for all to see that greater profit, evidently, was to be had by urging everyone to look forward rather than back at the crimes of the Cabal, the rulers of the financial crisis.

        As you can see, this ‘finding’ of ‘out’ is a multidimensional event, and as I’ve pointed out here frequently on this site, quite some number of characters are ‘out’, as it were.

        The “agenda” of appearing ‘non-out’, and for Goolsbee to pretend he isn’t only attests to the outrage that a Council of Economic Advisors current, represents.

        It IS the current reality.

        “Really ?”

        Really.

        It is good to sometimes let those who think they’ve upended the table to the point where nothing is recoverable know they’ve been, of course, ‘found out’.

        The entire nation thinks the Council of Economic Advisors is a big no-show, and Goolsbee calls that “an agenda”.

  15. LucyLulu

    More on PFG Best:
    Known for hiring inexperienced auditors fresh out of college.
    Sources, including former NFA employees and brokers regulated by the NFA, say the NFA too often sends inexperienced auditors out into the field to conduct onsite examinations at brokerage firms…… (snip)

    One NFA employee lists on her LinkedIn profile interning at furniture manufacturer Allsteel and working at an Iowa bookstore as her only work experience before the NFA hired her as an auditor in 2008.

    Another NFA auditor’s job before being hired in June 2011 was as a pricing intern for Walt Disney World according to his LinkedIn page….(snip)

    “When they come in and do an audit, they’re not experienced enough,” said a former employee of PFGBest.

    And Wasendorf’s name mysteriously disappears as NFA advisor:
    Wasendorf had a close relationship with the regulator, having served on an NFA advisory board, although his name was removed from the NFA website sometime late this week.

    An NFA spokesman did not respond to questions about the change, which was not announced.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/14/pfgbest-regulator-idUSL2E8IDFSZ20120714

    More interesting yet, missing from the current article are references to two separate tips made in past years to NFA that PFG Best’s bank statements needed to be investigated. They were mentioned in the version I read earlier on my broker’s website newswire feed.

    1. LucyLulu

      Oh, for an edit feature, sigh….

      More interesting yet, missing from the current article are references to two separate tips made in past years to NFA that PFG Best’s bank statements needed to be investigated. They were mentioned in the version I read earlier on my broker’s website newswire feed.

      Don’t want this to get lost in the post above. It puts the inexperienced auditors into context.

      New grads work cheap. Sometimes even free.

    2. Up the Ante

      “And Wasendorf’s name mysteriously disappears as NFA advisor:
      Wasendorf had a close relationship with the regulator, having served on an NFA advisory board, although his name was removed from the NFA website sometime late this week. ”

      Do you think Wassendorf is now “Exempt” from registering, lol ?

      “Guidance to Members Carrying Accounts for, or Transacting Business with Persons Exempt from Registration”

      http://www.nfa.futures.org/NFA-regulation/regulationNotice.asp?ArticleID=4055

  16. LucyLulu

    Three other stories, with headlines edited.

    In what the lead plaintiff attorney claims to be three times the largest anti-trust settlement in history.
    Bear in mind this is a $7.25B settlement on a $50B annual business:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/14/us-creditcards-settlement-interchange-idUSBRE86C16H20120714

    JP Morgan continues to claim immunity by executive order (CEO Dimon) on subpoenas.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/13/us-jpmorgan-energy-manipulation-idUSBRE86C1A420120713

    Traders may have hid more losses, U.S. investigating (more subpoenas?), today’s estimate increases by $1.7B. Check back Monday for further updates on trading loss figures:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/13/jpmorgan-earnings-idUSL2E8ID1WY20120713

    Those poor bankers, everybody is picking on them.

    1. Up the Ante

      The Tempest is up and out of the Teapot

      “The co-architect of the legislation, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., noted in a statement that “J.P. Morgan Chase, entirely without any help from the government, has lost, in this one set of transactions, five times the amount they claim financial regulation is costing them.” ”

      http://www.timesunion.com/news/article/2B-loss-rocks-D-C-3553261.php

      Since the article’s estimate is now 1/3 the current figure, that would mean 15 times the amount they claim regulation is costing them ?

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