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Links 3/24/13 – UPDATED (with a few Cyprus links)

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Soldier’s cat makes perilous journey from Afghanistan to Oregon The Sideshow (Valissa)

National Puppy Day 2013 San Francisco Chronicle

Cyprus:

Cyprus talks to continue; no deal yet AP

Cyprus yet to conclude deal with troika as talks move into early hours of Sunday Ekathimerini. “Every half hour, new demands are made,” the Cypriot official said.

Just when you thought it was safe… Economist. “Yet, of the 147 banking crises since 1970 tracked by the IMF, none inflicted losses on all depositors, irrespective of the amounts they held and the banks they were with.”

The Cyprus bailout controversy in German media and politics Bruegel

Russian Ties Put Cyprus Banking Crisis on East-West Fault Line Times (SW)

EU Caught Playing Dirty and it’s all about Russian Gas OilPrice.com

‘Our money’s not in Cyprus’ oligarchs say Cyprus Mail

The Cyprus banks that have transfixed the world Ekathimerini. Numbers! (See also #CyprusStatMyths.)

Southern Europe lies prostrate before the German imperium Telegraph. Over egging the headline?

Destroying Cyprus to Save It Philip Atticus

Cyprus: The Operation Was a Success. Shame the Patient Died Some of it was true…

The eurozone after Cyprus Gwyn Davies, FT

A Safe And A Shotgun, Or Public Sector Banks? The Battle Of Cyprus  Ellen Brown, Seeking Alpha

UPDATES from RS

Turkey makes itself heard Another cat amongst the pigeons, courtesy of one of the regional powers. Thus, at last, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, invisible all week, puts in an appearance. A rumble of real geopolitics after the Russian no-show.

Financial Secrecy Index 2011 (most recent available). Selected rankings (1 is worst): 1. Switzerland; 3. Luxembourg; 5. USA; 9. Germany; 15. Belgium; 20. Cyprus.

MONEYVAL (the EU’s “Committee of experts on the evaluation of anti money-laundering measures and the financing of terrorism”) don’t think Cyprus is all that bad either.

Germany, for another comparison (FATF, via @brianmlucey). The moral case (if you think there is one) for the form this bailout is taking is not terribly clear cut, is it?

The usual crop of innocent bystanders protesilaos.com.

Tracking Russian oligarchs in London here ICIJ and here Vanity Fair. BTW, our latest dead Russian isn’t radioactive; nice to know.

Big meeting in Brussels right now (~14:30 GMT) as the wonderful bailout receives its finishing touches (a surprise extra EUR2Bn requirement); or, confused by Turkey’s intervention, they muck around some more). Someone (Troika, Cyprus govt, ECB) has to fold today or tomorrow.

Protect personal accounts from confiscation for bank bailouts White House Petition. (Needs 150 to show on White House page. Registration required to vote.)

Financial Reform Is Being Dismantled. Why Doesn’t President Obama Seem to Care? New Republic. Because he doesn’t care.

Mortgages’ Future Looks Too Much Like the Past Gretchen Morgenson, Times

Budget Deal Opens ‘Age of Austerity’ for Federal Agencies Bloomberg. Sequestration is the new normal. Shocker!

The Greatest Retirement Crisis In American History Forbes

Richard Florida Concedes the Limits of the Creative Class Daily Beast. “Arguably pernicious.” Indeed, yes. Florida defends his franchise.

Safety Board Criticizes Boeing Over 787 Comments  Online WSJ

Leaked EPA Documents Expose Decades-Old Effort to Hide Dangers of Natural Gas Extraction Democracy Now

Commentary: Surprising results from a gun survey McClatchy. “The people buying guns are the people who already have guns.” Like I said: Fetish objects.

Grand jury rejects criminal charges in death of Robert Saylor, man with Down syndrome WaPo

NYPD officers testify stop-and-frisk policy driven by quota system and race Guardian

Guatemala genocide trial continues; watch or listen live Boing Boing

China Swoons Over New First Lady Online WSJ

Mystery of Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky found dead ‘in bath’ Telegraph (see also). Did he take it with him?

Kurdish rebels declare formal ceasefire with Turkey Reuters

Italy’s Berlusconi says primed for snap vote if no deal clinched Reuters

The politics of pubic hair: why is a generation choosing to go bare down there? Independent. Will Effie Gray please pick up the white courtesy phone?

How a toothbrush news site can get more visits than the Economist: More on the botnet scam WaPo

Google’s Google problem Economist (RS)

The Mathematics of Averting the Next Big Network Failure Wired

Scientists find visions of a benevolent future society motivate reform Raw Story

Antidote du jour: Isaac the blind dog and Isabella, Isaac’s dog guide dog, found homes.



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160 comments

  1. Peter Pinguid Society

    The Principle of Evil

    At this weekend’s staff meeting of the Pinguid Society, Professor Challenger asked the following question: how are 0.01 percent of the population able to control 99.9 percent of the population. How is this even possible?

    The Professor explained that it’s because we have a secret weapon at our disposal, and (although this weapon has no material reality) it comes close to being the absolute weapon on earth.

    What is our secret weapon? asked the Professor. Simply this: the Principle of Evil.

    By negating all of Western values….. progress, rationality, political ethics, democracy, etc. By rejecting 99 percent man’s consensus on all these Good Things, the Pinguid Society (the 0.01 percent) become the recipient of the Satanic power and energy of Evil.

    Meanwhile, 99 percent man, by always seeking prophylactic measures, always seeking to whitewash violence, to whitewash language, finding euphemisms for everything….like this 99 percent man does not stand a chance.

    This is because it’s not possible for them to speak Evil and they concern themselves solely with quantified management and the discourse of the Good.

    The 0.01 percent alone hold the Tribunal because only we (against all comers) have upheld the Machiavellian principle of Evil, because we alone are ready and willing to practice Evil, because we allow ourselves to incarnate that Principle.

    In the West, the political authorities themselves are mere shadows of their declared functions. They are nothing…. spineless servants ingratiating themselves to real Power.

    By allowing only positive values, 99 percent man has lost the ability to speak Evil, and correspondingly, there exists no opposition able or willing to oppose us or to designate power as Evil.

    99 percent man has become very weak in terms of Satanic and antagonistic energy; they have become fanatically soft – or softly fanatical.

    They are so terrified of Evil, so greedy for euphemisms to denote what is being done to them.
    You see, crime has a precise meaning, too precise for a modern society that prefers to sanitise the hard realities of life and hide them behind vague, spurious or pseudo-scientific cant.

    The fact is that legality, good conscience and even reason itself end up collaborating with the curse. They fall into our trap: the principle of Evil, which is contagious in its essence.

    While we incarnate the Principle of Evil, all they can do is discourse on the rights of man or ecology – discourses that are pious, weak, useless and hypocritical, their supposed value deriving from the Enlightenment belief in a natural attraction of the Good, from an idealized view of human relationships (whereas Evil can manifestly be dealt with only by means of Evil).

    As long as we have the Principle of Evil on our side, we will always win.

    We are the Peter Pinguid Society, we are the 0.01 percent

    1. Bill Smith

      Some of us understand the source of the Pinguin Society’s power.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Old_Ones

      “Writer H.P. Lovecraft created a number of fictional deities throughout the course of his literary career, including the “Great Old Ones” and the “Outer Gods”, with sporadic references to other miscellaneous deities”

      There is one small sliver of hope. Bob Howard, computer geek super spy for London’s famous but secret “Laundry” organization, can continue to defeat attempts by Pinguin cultists(and Zombies) at opening the gates and allowing the true Great Old Ones to awaken and return.

      The Fuller Memorandum by Charles Stross
      http://www.strangehorizons.com/reviews/2011/03/the_fuller_memo.shtml

    2. Peter Pinguid Society

      Bob Howard, is that the best you? Hah!

      He has enough trouble keeping up with his paperwork.

        1. DANNYBOY

          I concluded some time ago that every action taken by The Privileged is self serving, whose goal is Power.

          Prepare for Violence.

    3. Puppy tears

      “rights of man or ecology – discourses that are pious, weak, useless and hypocritical”

      This boils down liberal elite socialization pretty nicely. To be in with the in-crowd you have to stick to threats, play with them endlessly in stereotyped ways like they’re tin soldiers. Legal constraints on the USG’s conduct are unthinkable. Same with US-educated rights advocates, who affect this infuriating Mister Rogers demeanor, sticking to ideals and never pointing out that rights derogation is crime – violent crime, in fact, since peace is the sum of all rights. The state here has worked very hard to conceal the duality of the norms. Rights and peace are for wussies, people think here, yet if you really want to fuck up the USG, nothing would do the trick like public awareness of the Santiago Declaration.

      1. DANNYBOY

        Agree. Most of us were taught to avoid the Devil and His Temptations. Now, His Legion is so powerful that it cannot be avoided.

        It must be destroyed.

        By us.

    4. direction

      Yes, of course. We’ve reserved room 322 for your party Mr. Pinguid. Have a pleasant stay. If there’s anything you need, just ring.

  2. 305d85 (William)

    Do you know when you google Naked Capitalism google filters the results to block this site in the search results? You have to turn the safe search filter on in order for google to return the results. Luckily the website address is easy to remember.

    1. Ned Ludd

      I trust Google less and less. This is from executive chairman Eric Schmidt’s new book, “The New Digital Age”:

      Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.

      Back in 2010, at the Techonomy conference in Lake Tahoe, then-CEO Schmidt made his views on anonymity very clear:

      I would make a stronger point—that the only way to meet this set of challenges that we are facing is by much greater transparency and no anonymity. And the reason is that in a world of asymmetric threats, true anonymity is too dangerous….One of the errors that the Internet made a long time ago is that there was not an accurate and non-revocable identity management service….You need a name service for humans…..governments are going to require it at some point.

      From an interview with The Atlantic at the Washington Ideas Forum, conducted two months later: “We don’t need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about.”

  3. traveler

    Try DuckDuckGo.com. You still have to (temporarily) turn off safe search but at least you won’t be tracked.

  4. Jim Haygood

    The Economist:

    The worst outcome would be to allow the Cypriots to slide towards the exit. That would be disastrous for the island.

    … said the newspaper based on an island which slid through the exit twenty years ago.

    By such self-serving doubletalk does the City of London maintain its exorbitant privilege.

    Ten years ago, The Economist’s editorial page was cheering on Bush and Blair’s Iraq war, which ended up flushing trillions down the drain. Perfidious twats.

    1. Wat Tyler

      The Economist endorsed Kerry in 2004 saying that Bush’s record did not justify a second term. They also endorsed Obama both elections if memory serves. IMO the Economist editorial position took a step further to the economic Right about 3-4 years ago (TE is center-left on social issues by American standards). This may have coincided with a new editor but that is conjecture on my part.

      Jim

  5. JGordon

    Guns are fetish objects now? Well, you are certainly welcome to your opinion as long as you don’t try to interfere with what I’m doing. Because everyone has an opinion and they all stink. But I have to give you credit: at least you are not trying interefere with what I’m doing or trying to make descisions for me for how I should live my life; because that would be incredibly annoying and insulting.

    1. Aristophon

      Lambert, your article about gun fetishism is spot on. I enjoyed the fetish better when it wasn’t in the public space as it is today.

      Briefly, my fetish is recreating the look of the 1924 Mauser “Special Range Rifle” out of every old military Mauser rifle I ever laid my hands on. I always did and do still do it privately; behind closed doors in the same way I perform my other hobby of “autodidacticism.”

      I’m *not* comfortable seeing gun fetishism performed outside the confines of the rod and gun club. That said, I am aware there are plenty of pushes to limit or eliminate even the rod and gun club venue for fetishists such as myself.

      It’s a great political wedge issue as is apparent here in the blue collar environment I live in.

      One thing about low wage Southerners, though. We may be stupid, but on some elemental level, Bubba six-pack “gets” that something bad has happened in the economic/political syetem in America — but in a peculiar form of political shorthand Bubba knows the tripwire has been crossed when the 2nd Amendment is involved.

      The Bubba response is stupid, short-sighted, self-defeating and obfuscating in it’s own way — but it is a form of recognition by Bubba that something’s wrong with the country. A great wedge issue.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        It’s a horrible wedge issue. I finally came down on the side that guns should be licensed like cars — that being “well regulated” — and why not? The only guns I want to take away are from the guys (always guys….) who fill up their houses with them. But I draw the line at open carry. Dunno if that position unwedges anything.

        NOTE I’m not understanding how it works as a tripwire, beyond the fetishism.

        1. craazyman

          It’s not always guys with guns. A few years back I saw distant cousins at a brief family get-together in western North Carolina. The women carried pistols in the purse like it was makeup and enjoyed showing them off. No clue if they ever shot them. Or if they could hit a tree from 3 feet away.

          If I ever get out of New Yaawwk I’m getting an old house with a fireplace and gun rack, a few Wichester 30-30s and maybe some Colt pistols and holsters with ammo belts. Just to plink bottles and cans and do some quick-draw pistol spinning like in the movies. I doubt I could even shoot an animal, unless it telepathically told me it was ready to go. Then maybe, but even buying them in the supermarket isn’t what it used to be. Mostly it’s veggies and fish.

          Hopefully I won’t shoot myself by accident, but I am an expert marksman and former NRA member. So at least I know not do do quick draw practice or fancy spinning around my finger with the gun loaded.

          I would not want an assault rife because they look like shit. Ugly as hell pieces of wanton destruction. There’s nothing about them that partakes of sculptural beauty.

          I used to practice quick draw with a BB-pistol as a kid and I was pretty good. I could spin it 3 or 4 times around one finger like a cowboy and look pretty cool. If anyone at NC needs a rifleman I can hit most anything within 100 yards, dead center with one shot. If the gunsight is properly adjusted. If not, I can tune it like a piano. This to me is more fun than macroeconomics, especially outdoors with a few beers chillin and gettin ready.

          Why would the govermint want to take away this much fun. Don’t they f*ck with people enough already. If I ever make this happen, I’d be glad to register my guns though. I see nothing wrong with that. I’d want to be on good terms with the local sherrif and police, hopefully kicking their asses in marksmanship competition before the beer drinking starts. haha

        2. Propertius

          In other words, Lambert, you believe that guns kept and operated on private property need not be licensed (thus making them exactly like cars)? One need only license a car that is to be operated on public roadways, after all.

          Sounds quite reasonable to me – and should still be sufficient to allow our Manhattanite colleagues to take out as many banksters as we might find necessary during “la lutte finale”.

          1. skippy

            The evidence so far both academic and in the real world, show that, owners are more likely to shoot each other, innocent by standers, themselves and anybody or thing than those that create their woe.

            There is some evidence to suggest that the presence of violent objects such as a gun can trigger aggression. In a study done by Leonard Berkowitz and Anthony Le Page (1967), college students were made angry and then left in the presence of a gun or badminton racket. They were then led to believe they were delivering electric shocks to another student, as in the Milgram experiment. Those who had been in the presence of the gun administered more shocks. It is possible that a violence-related stimulus increases the likelihood of aggressive cognitions by activating the semantic network.

            A new proposal links military experience to anger and aggression, developing aggressive reactions and investigating these effects on those possessing the traits of a serial killer. Castle and Hensley state, “The military provides the social context where servicemen learn aggression, violence, and murder.”[124] Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is also a serious issue in the military, also believed to sometimes lead to aggression in soldiers who are suffering from what they witnessed in battle. They come back to the civilian world and may still be haunted by flashbacks and nightmares, causing severe stress. In addition, it has been claimed that in the rare minority who are claimed to be inclined toward serial killing, violent impulses may be reinforced and refined in war, possibly creating more effective murderers.[citation needed] – wiki

            Skippy… Just the sight of a gun increases aggressiveness, problematic, the environmental sphere is small, psychotic actors in a small box syndrome… eh.

            PS.

            Fetish may refer to:

            Fetishism, the attribution of religious or mystical qualities to inanimate objects, known as fetishes.

            Sexual fetishism, sexual fixation with objects, body parts, or situations not conventionally viewed as being sexual in nature.

            Commodity fetishism, a Marxist concept of valuation in capitalist markets

            Skip here… Is the – object – in control or the individual that – fetishized – the object in the first order of acts… eh.

          2. Propertius

            Yet, Skippy, there are more privately-held firearms than ever before in the US, but violent crimes of all sorts are the lowest they’ve been in decades. How does one reconcile this?

            I’m asking this as someone who doesn’t own a firearm and never has (and probably never will), but is increasingly suspicious of the efforts of our masters to demonize those who choose differently.

          3. Nathanael

            Propertius: collectors.

            One guy may own 300 guns, but he can still only shoot one of them at a time. The number of guns is unlikely to bear a relationship to the rate of gun violence.

            The number of households with guns is likely to — but it’s going down.

          4. skippy

            A report recently issued by the National Academies Press (an independent organization first founded by congressional charter in the 1860s) has a relevant comparison. For violence (excluding suicide and war) per 100,000 people: United Kingdom — 1.14 incidents; United States — 6.47. The U.S. is the most violent country of the 17 developed countries assessed, and is about three times as violent as the next-closest. Finland. Australia and South Africa are not included in the study, but figures gathered from the United Nations show Australia at 1.57, much lower than the U.S., and South Africa at 126, the worst in the world, probably. (South Africa is a red herring, however, since it is really two countries economically, with the second-largest income disparity in the world.)

            Skippy… I think you need to validate your statement.

        3. Aristophon

          Something to keep guns out of yahoo hands would certainly be good. “Licensing” — umm .. I’ve seen video of local concealed carry classes. The licensing requirements aren’t much.

          A few months ago there was an article on Counterpunch which made great sense. One of the recommendations was “de-militraizing” the police (among other recommendations.) It’s a monkey-see, monkey-do situation with armaments. What the public sees with the high capacity firearms the authorities carry — that’s what some of the gun-owner public will want.

          The “open-carry” push has met pushback in the South. The self-styled “conservatives” aren’t complete idiots. I was surprised about Utah and Montana passing it, but surely, the states in Yankeeland would never pass such legislation?

          Surely with NDAA, the Patriot Act and all you don’t see how Bubba comes to a realization of how the Bill of Rights is at risk? It’s not from hearing someone say the words”First and Fourth” amendments. It won’t matter in a few years. Firearms have been priced out of Bubba’s reach, even if he keeps his minimum wage, part-time job.

          Yes, the wierdness of people defending the 2nd amendment when they know squat and didn’t care when the First and Fourth were under attack is sad. Mayor Bloomberg with his lobbying made some local Tea-Partiers understand for the first time what the Occupy movement has endured. It’s a wierd way for some to “get it”, but get it they do.

        1. Aristophon

          I used to think Kierkegaard had it right — but the Patriot act and NDAA caused my intellectual faith to come crashing down when they proved Kierkegaard’s line to the effect that the police don’t “arrest humanity at large.”

          It’s a form of “quietude” or “inner immigration” to realize that a 30 pack of Busch, a brace of Skanks and Viagra at the kitchen table can make you forget trouble.

  6. Brindle

    Re: ” Financial Reform Is being Dismantled….” New Republic

    Who is this President Obama who must lead? Obama is leading—exactly where he wants to go.
    The writer is a caricature of the hopelessly befuddled liberal waiting five years into his presidency for the Real Obama to show up.

    —”Now that the second term is here, and a new Treasury Secretary is in place, this is a good moment to see whether we can expect more than President Obama’s bank-friendly, first-term policies.
    The effort to undo key provisions of Dodd-Frank has begun, in earnest. The President must lead, either by issuing a veto threat or by having his Treasury Department stake out strong opposition to the most offensive elements in these bills.”—

    1. down2long

      Dear leader has made it abundantly clear his lip service to any financial reform and any help to the masses who have been ruined is over.

      Now it’s on to finishing the job: Have useless AG Holder tell the American banks they are cleared for rip of (and warn the rest of us to back off) put Mary Jo White in the SEC to finish with codifying the carnage (“SHE’LL get ‘er done”) and now Lew “I’m busy with China and the budget, ["social security is the cause of the black hole in the budget, no White House Easter Egg Hunt"] leave me alone.”

      Now Dear Leader can set about sitting on his calf skin throne and ride out the next four years dreaming of his retirement in Hawaii and being yet even more irrelevant. And I was a a “hold your nose and vote for Obama.” His total capitulation came faster than even I expected.

      1. briansays

        the only reason and i repeat ONLY reason the vot for obama in 2012 was if you state’s electoral votes were in play–fortunately i live in cali and could take a pass

      2. Brindle

        Obama and conservatives in 1990, about the same as he is today.
        Basically the Obama playbook is to talk “progressive” to progressives but tell conservatives behind closed doors that he is one of them.

        From March 1990:

        —Yet some of Obama’s peers question the motives of this second-year law student. They find it puzzling that despite Obama’s openly progressive views on social issues, he has also won support from staunch conservatives.

        Ironically, he has come under the most criticism from fellow black students for being too conciliatory toward conservatives and not choosing more blacks to other top positions on the law review.

        “He’s willing to talk to them (the conservatives) and he has a grasp of where they are coming from, which is something a lot of blacks don’t have and don’t care to have,” said Christine Lee, a second-year law student who is black.

        “His election was significant at the time, but now it’s meaningless because he’s becoming just like all the others (in the Establishment).”—

        http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/2008/09/barack-obama-ha.html

      3. diptherio

        What capitulation? Let’s be clear: politicians are the employees of those who fund their campaigns. Their job description requires that they 1) do whatever their employers tell them to do, policy-wise; while they 2) tell the teevee cameras whatever they think will garner the most votes; so long as they 3) never discuss anything that might actually inform voters about the actual mechanics of policy formation in our country (i.e. allow everyone to think that number 2 and number 1 are somehow related).

        Any politician who wishes to rise above the rank of city council member needs to understand and dutifully perform these tasks. What made you think that Obama was ever any different? In 2008, his four major funders were the exact same corporations that were McCain’s top four funders. It took me all of 15 seconds on-line to find that information during Obama’s ridiculously Sabbatean campaign, so I never advised anyone to hold their nose and vote for the “lesser evil.” It is still shocking to me that otherwise intelligent progressives did, and shocking that they weren’t expecting exactly what we got. I mean, how naive are we? We really think that politicians mean what they say??? As David Cross once said, “what are we, a nation of fifth graders?”

        I wish we would just inject a little honesty into our political debate. We should refer to all politicians as what they are: liars. We shouldn’t say, “the Democratic candidate” or “the Republican candidate,” we should say, “the Democratic LIAR and the Republican LIAR.” Maybe then my progressive friends would remember what exactly is going on when our high-level politicians open their mouths.

        1. DANNYBOY

          Concur.

          And it extends beyond politics into every area of management. WE ARE BEING MANAGED, and it’s not to our benefit, either.

        2. Carla

          I don’t understand the point of drawing a distinction between the Democrat LIARS and the Republican LIARS. Except perhaps that the Dem variety is more hypocritical.

          The Republicans tell us they’re going to f**k us over, and then they f**k us over. The Democrats tell us they’re going to help us, and then they f**k us over.

          Pick your poison. Personally, I voted Green, in Ohio.

          1. Carla

            BTW, people keep saying to me, “Oh, but it would have been SO much worse if Romney had won.” Really?

            With a mitten in the WH, it’s conceivable that the Dems might have started acting like an Opposition. Highly unlikely, of course, but imaginable.

          2. Nathanael

            Carla, never underestimate how mentally deranged the Republicans are capable of being.

            You’re asking the ancient “stupid evil or smart evil” question.

            It is better to be ruled by smart evil. GWB should have showed us that stupid evil is worse.

          3. different clue

            Better to be ruled by Smart Evil? Stupid Evil made its evilness plain during the BushAdmin. So plain that enough people rebelled to prevent Stupid Evil 2.0 getting elected in 2000.

            Whereas Smart Evil may well finish the comprehensive extermination of our surviving NewDeal/FairDeal remnants like Social Security and Medicare and Medicaide; and convince enough millions of smartly fooled supporters that such extermination is the Progressive thing to do.

            A President Romney would have given Smart Good another fighting chance if the Obamafools could wake up to the nature of their Smart Evil Master. Maybe I should have voted for Romney instead of Anderson. Perhaps I took the contemptuously stupid nature of his lies too personally.

    2. Doug Terpstra

      Robert Reich personifies the “befuddled liberal” in “Selling the Store: Why Democrats Shouldn’t Put Social Security and Medicare on the Table.” Eternally hopeful in the basic goodness of Obama after five years, just one more persuasive essay, appealing to reason and moral imperatives, will make Obama and his party see the light and do the right thing.

      http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/03/21-2%23comment-837631899

      “If there was ever a time for the Democratic Party to champion working Americans and reverse these troubling trends, it is now-”

      “If average Americans have trusted the Democratic Party to do one thing it has been to guard these programs from the depredations of the GOP…”

      “Why should Democrats lead the charge on either [Social Security or Medicare]?”

      “Democrats shouldn’t succumb [to] the lie …”

      “Democrats should not conspire.”

      Despite the fact Obama has always taken the initiative to do exactly the wrong, most dishonest, and vicious thing, whether it comes to Gitmo, constitutional law and rights, rigged trade, health care, climate, health and safety, fraud, torture, assassinations, aggressive war and so on, Reich clings to his religious faith in Obama’s best intentions. By continiung to serve as passive Obama apologists, Reich, Kuttner, Krugman and other lesser-evil distractors are now a critical part of the problem. Unfortunately, at some point, they’ll end up swinging from virtual lampposts alongside villains like Obama and his cronies.

      1. scraping_by

        “Unfortunately, at some point, they’ll end up swinging from virtual lampposts alongside villains like Obama and his cronies.”

        How about, “If there is any justice in this universe, they’ll end up swinging from virtual lampposts…”

        Kind of catchy, don’t ya think?

    1. Susan the other

      I’d like to order one now please – i’m perfectly happy to go farting down the highway.

  7. AbyNormal

    LAMBERT’S LINKS ARE TO SHAVE FOR !!

    …to speak of them out loud, to speak of their hunger and pain and loneliness and humour, to make them visible so that can not be ravaged in the dark without great consequence.
    eve ensler

    what happen to ‘don’t kiss n tell’ bahahahahaaaaa

    If someone asked me to pick out my own vagina’s mug shot out of a lineup of vaginas, I’d be helpless. And probably concerned about what exactly my vagina had been doing that constituted a need for its own mug shot.
    jenny lawson, let’s pretend this never happened

    1. craazyman

      I didn’t read all the linked story, but I wondered how they’d illustrate it without being crude, vulgar, coy, cute, sophmoric or so cautiously abstract it lost all representational relation.

      But ya know . . . they actually pulled it off. Good art direction.

      I guess they could have used a brillo pad — bwahaha — but the living bush was better.

      1. DANNYBOY

        I just bought a very ‘professional-looking’ camera to begin my photojournalist investigative reporting.

        no film though

      2. Bill Smith

        I never thought of Miss Mobius and her twin sister Esha Print at the LA strip club as revolutionaries, but I guess they must have been.

        Then again, I also think the author has never been to the beach in 40 years and has never seen a string bikini. That’s like tying a brillo pad down with some dental floss.

          1. DANNYBOY

            Bill, is she another ‘revolutionary’ at the LA strip club? Viva the whole bunch for sharing their ‘love’.

      1. AbyNormal

        tears & stompin feet, thanks Val

        i seem to remember back when David Beckham visited Japan and the girls went gaga…they also styled their pubics in the same style as Beckhams hairstyles. now David went thru a lot of styles back then but the cornrows got my attention…all i could imagine was the pain those gals went thru (down there)

        ‘ )

        1. Valissa

          I have to say I really don’t get the point of shaving the pubic area completely bare. In addition to the girl vs. woman issue, its rather boring actually… not at all sexually creative or individualistic. Seems to me that if you’re going to suffer this it should be for art ;)

  8. craazyman

    I can see how this Cyprus stuff is inherently interesting to folks interested in geopolitics and macroeconomics. It does possess a certain morbid and potentially addictive fascination, that is true.

    It also reminds me of something former Fidelity Magellan Fund star manager Peter Lynch — who scientists discovered through DNA analysis was separated at birth from his identical twin, Andy Warhol — said: that if you spend 15 minutes a year analyzing macroeconomics, that’s 10 minutes too much.

    For guys who just want to get rich quick without working or contributing anything to society, say be speculating in the market, it really doesn’t help to read article after article as if you’re gonna learn something. It just doesn’t work. So you might as well just read about how they build roads around boulders in Iceland because strange things happen if they don’t. You can google it, it’s true!

    So Cyrpus. Who the hell knows? I bet nobody knows. It’s like a big Ouija board with 1000 hands on the planchette and the spirits are watching and only they know.

    1. DANNYBOY

      “For guys who just want to get rich quick without working or contributing anything to society, say be speculating in the market, it really doesn’t help to read article after article as if you’re gonna learn something. It just doesn’t work.

      dear craazyman,
      Am I misinterpreting your words, or are you proposing that we adopt the criteria of “former Fidelity Magellan Fund star manager Peter Lynch” and “guys who just want to get rich quick without working or contributing anything to society” as to what we want to know?

      I prefer to avoid acting non-human.

      1. craazyman

        Oh Lord no. I’m not proposing anything. I’m not some politician or minister or priest standing up in front of a crowd proposing things. If that was me I’d say “Everybody go home. It’s over. There’s nothing to say that you don’t already now. There’s no heaven, there’s no hell, there’s no city or country or world or universe. There’s nothing but what you see in front of you and what you already know is true, in your mind, unless you’re insane. You don’t need a leader to propose things. You need to lead yourself and you’ll see the universe raise itself up in your mind like a sun and you’ll know more than anything I could ever tell you. So go home and don’t let people propose to you, unless you want to get married.” I probably wouldn’t draw much of a crowd with that speech, but that’s what I mean.

          1. DANNYBOY

            Mayor Wall Street was trying to get that Chicago-style parking here. It was so fking transparent that He Wanted to provide parking to the rich fucks only. Figures if a meter cost $5-220 fking dollars the bronxers and brooklyners would stay home.

            It was so fking apparent, especially when his administration started saying that a parking spot in Manhattan was worth $400/mo, during his push for no bronxites or brooklynites in Manhattan

    2. Susan the other

      Craazy, just this from today’s links: Oilprice.com: EU Caught Playing Dirty Because of Russian Gas. What’s not to believe? “The collapse of Cyprus depends on its oil and gas potential.” Its potential to grant concessions. Else whatelse? Here’s the shocker: there is 122 trillion cu/ft of gas under the Levant Basin (that’s the eastern Mediterranean, yes?) and it was “discovered by Israel” aha!! So..then… this explains to me why Russia just yesterday closed a deal with China. And Netanyahu apologized (!) to Turkey. The Russians were just kidding about bailing out Cyprus. Probably buying time to sign the China agreement and drink some champagne. This makes total sense. The EU just busted Russia’s monopoly on their EU’s gas market. And cleanup is now in progress. The thing is, really, why aren’t the oil companies paying for it instead of the bank depositors?

      1. DANNYBOY

        I thought the, umm, “nether regions” shaving article was going to be about females.

        Rather enjoyed the visualizations.

        Both shaved and natural.

        Or in-between.

        Or Natural and ready for shaving.

        Or while growing in.

        Or being trimmed.

        Or not being groomed.

        Or groomed.

        At home or abroad.

        In Summer or Winter.

        Day or Night.

        In War and in Peace.

        J’Adore.

  9. Expat

    RE: The Greatest Retirement Crisis In American History

    Which follows the greatest larceny in history, the stealing of working America’s retirement security by corporate executives. All documented (and not challenged on a single point) by the great reporter Ellen Schultz in her 2011 book “Retirement Heist: How companies plunder and profit from the nest eggs of American workers.”

    This is how the .1% made itself.

    The book should be a must read. The depth of deception and depravity among our judiciary and political classes cannot be described in ordinary English.

      1. JEHR

        Dannyboy, I just watched and listened to the video by Ellen Schultz and it is appalling what employers have become! In Canada we had two companies who treated their pensioners in a similar manner–Nortel and Nachawic Pulp Mill. I am sure there are others.

        So those greedy employers can’t stand having money in trust for others when they think it should be given to themselves in the form of bonuses and salaries! How did we create these people? How did our society let these people thrive?

        We cannot trust banks; we cannot trust companies; we cannot trust government. What is left to trust?

        1. DANNYBOY

          Dear JEHR,

          As an example. A colleague was retired from the company. I, of course, advised him of one last thing before he left: check the Retirement Calculation BECAUSE IT IS THE COMPANY’S LAST OPPORTUNITY TO STEAL FROM YOU.

          It was $16,000 short. Cheated to the last day.

    1. wunsacon

      One of the past links here pointed to a critique of a Gallup poll about retirement wealth. Gallup said “retiree net worth is the same as 2-3 decades ago”. But, the critic pointed out that retirees 2-3 decades ago were also drawing a real pension (that, I infer, wasn’t reduced to a NPV and counted in net worth) in addition to being able to draw down or earn interest on their net worth.

      Speaking of which, Mitt Romney and his fellow plunderers have incredible nerve to call anyone but themselves “takers”.

  10. rob

    The EPA , letting the fracking industry poison the american public and landscape….Through their silence.
    Who do they work for?
    Great link.
    New York leadership “knew”, the dangers well enough not to let the fat cats who drink NYC tap water, be subject to the pollution that fracking would inevitably introduce into the water supply,but the rest of the country be dammned.
    There is a river of money flowing into fracking these days.(much through NYC financial circles)

    Futures are being imagined, but the reality is that the people/children who will have to live with the enviromental degradation/pollution,will know the truth eventually.Right now the bomb is being lit. At some point it will be impossible to hide…but it will never be too late for those who knew to say,”WE didn’t know”.
    Is the cost of future healthcare costs,enviromental damage/cleanup,disability payments,etc.. being figured into the cost of fracking….I can say unequivocally NOT…another false cost projection against actual clean energy production.

    1. different clue

      How many Reagan/Bush1/Bush2 moles and embeds does the EPA now contain? Are the political commissars that Bush2 created for EPA and all the other Agencies I believe still exist there? As per Obama’s unstated support and approval?

  11. Jim Haygood

    A commentator named Juan Torres López penned an anti-Merkel cri de coeur for the Spanish newspaper El Pais which proved so inflammatory that it was erased two hours later.

    http://ecoteuve.eleconomista.es/ecoteuve/prensa/noticias/4698567/03/13/El-Pais-retira-un-articulo-de-Juan-Torres-Lopez-por-comparar-la-Alemania-actual-con-la-nazi.html

    But a cached copy leaked into the wild, and here is a quick ‘n dirty translation of it. Oh, my!

    ————

    It is very significant that one usually talks of “punishment” in reference to the measures that Merkel and her ministers impose on the countries most affected by the crisis.

    They tell their compatriots that they must punish our irresponsibility, because now the Germans will not pay for our wasteful spending and our debts. But the reasoning is false because the irresponsible people have not been those that Merkel is determined to punish, but rather the German banks who they protect and those of other countries who lent, with equal irresponsibility, to gain billions.

    The big European economic groups managed to establish a highly imperfect and asymmetrical model of monetary union, which quickly reproduced and enlarged the original inequalities between the economies that it joined. Moreover, thanks to their huge investment capacity and the great power of their governments, large northern companies were able to retain many businesses and even entire sectors of peripheral countries, such as Spain. That caused huge trade deficits in the latter and surpluses especially in Germany and to a lesser extent in other countries.

    In parallel, the policies of successive German governments concentrated more income on top of the social pyramid, increasing its already high level of savings. From 1998 to 2008 the wealth of the richest 10% of Germans rose from 45% to 53% of the total, that of the next 40% fell from 46% to 40%, and that of the poorest 50% dropped from 4% to 1%.

    These circumstances put huge quantities of capital at the disposition of German banks. But instead of dedicating it to improving the German domestic economy and the situation of the lower income levels, they used it (some 704 billion euros through 2009, according to the Bank for International Settlements) to finance the debt of Irish banks, the Spanish property bubble, Greek corporate debt or, to speculate, what they did was to make private debt in peripheral Europe disappear and load German banks with toxic assets (900 billion euros in 2009).

    At the outbreak of the crisis they were seriously weakened, but they succeeded in presenting their insolvency, not as the result of their great recklessness and irresponsibility (to which Merkel never refers), but rather as the result of wasteful spending and public debt in countries whose banks they lent to. The Germans quickly withdrew their money from these countries, but the debt remained in the balance sheets of the indebted banks. Merkel emerged as the champion of German bankers, and to help them launched two strategies.

    First, bailouts, sold as if they were aimed at saving countries, but which actually consisted of giving governments money in loans paid by the people, to pass it on to domestic banks so that they could recover as soon as possible, and in turn pay the Germans. Second, prevent the ECB from cutting off at the roots the speculative attacks against the debt of the periphery, since the rise in risk premiums of the latter lowers Germany’s cost of financing.

    Merkel, like Hitler, has declared war on the rest of Europe, this time to secure her economic Lebensraum. She punishes us to protect her big corporations and banks, and also to hide from her electorate the shame of a model that has made the poverty level in her country the highest in the past 20 years, such that 25% of its employees earn less than 9.15 euros per hour, or that half of her population have, as I said, a miserable 1% of the national wealth.

    The tragedy is the massive collusion between pan-European financial interests that dominate our governments, and that our governments, rather than defend us with patriotism and dignity, betray us to act as mere bit players of Merkel.

        1. Brick

          I actually find it rather reasonable. Except for the Hitler-Lebensraum nonsense. Here is what the rather leftwing german newspaper has to say about the Bundesbank ( http://gqjftw.blogspot.de/2013/03/bundesbank-household-wealth.html ) numbers published this week. It is imo more inflamatory even though it pretends not to be.

          Google gives a reasonable translation:

          http://translate.google.de/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sueddeutsche.de%2Fwirtschaft%2Feuro-krise-nehmt-von-den-reichen-1.1631920

          1. squasha

            agreed. Can we just once not reach for the Hitler-metaphor tranquilizers? Seems like it’s less those who decline to learn from history than those who don’t update their socio-political models who are doomed to tedious repetitiveness.

  12. Jim S

    Weird–I can see today’s antidote on the main page, but not on the links page itself (Firefox).

    1. Valissa

      More cute zoo babies…

      Rare Rothschild giraffe born at Greenwich conservation center http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Rare-Rothschild-giraffe-born-at-Greenwich-4378165.php#ixzz2OUniJTd2

      “It is named after the famous family of the Tring Museum’s founder, Lord Walter Rothschild, and is also known as the Baringo Giraffe, after the Lake Baringo area of Kenya, or as the Ugandan Giraffe.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rothschild_giraffe

      Gerenuk: Endangered African Antelope Born at Denver Zoo http://www.latinospost.com/articles/15084/20130322/gerenuk-endangered-african-antelope-born-denver-zoo-video.htm

  13. PeonInChief

    The rescue group had a choice of 15 families for Isaac and Isabella. So they will most likely live out their days in a really good home. Yay!

  14. wunsacon

    All else being equal, printing money devalues the currency and raises nominal prices of, for instance, natural gas. So, I really do wonder whether Cyprus is being brought to heel in order for the EU to obtain favorable terms on gas reserves. If they do, it’ll give them cover for a new round of money printing. (Oh, sorry. For the nitpickers here, that’s “changing numbers on a spreadsheet”, “altering electrons”, or whatever you want to call it.)

    I suspect some other activities (fracking, Libya) are being exploited for the same reason.

  15. Hugh

    In class war, nothing is ever called by its true name. This makes it easier to divide the 99%, trick them into forcibly attacking their own interests, dissipate their energies chasing ghosts or each other, and, of course, to commit and conceal great crimes.

    Sequestration and the whole manufactured budget battle are, through defunding agencies, mechanisms of deregulation and elimination of services for the 99%. This is not a coincidental effect but a major goal of the process. Already greatly compromised agencies are further damaged. And things are already bad. It seems like every couple of months there is another major outbreak of E. coli, salmonella, hepatitis A, and listeria or a finding of chemicals and heavy metals in this or that food product. The effects are felt at all levels of government, in everything government does that helps the 99%.

    We see the same twisting of language where “competitiveness” is used to underpay workers and shred their retirement plans, all for the benefit of CEOs and investors. But again, who cares about competitiveness or productivity or GDP, if the lives of all of us in the 99% are made worse by them? Competitiveness is just a convenient word used to cover up theft.

    This is why I harp so much upon kleptocracy, wealth inequality, and class war. We need a filter through which to pass everything we hear and read because our whole discourse has been corrupted. Sequestration is not just the next dumb idea to come out of Washington. It is the millionth attack upon us by the criminal class that rules us. We need to distinguish at each and every point in every story the kabuki and Potemkin facade of a functioning political system, economy, and culture versus the underlying criminal intent and activity.

  16. Hugh

    Re Cyprus, Laiki is majority state owned. The Cypriot government is splitting it into a good and bad bank I would think to limit its exposure. But now the troika is trying to tie the billions in ELA to Bank of Cyprus and force the Cypriot government to merge the Bank of Cyprus with the Laiki good bank which would put the government of Cyprus on the hook for all those billions, greatly increase its exposure, and put it in a no-exit downward spiral much like Greece’s.

  17. Brick

    From the Brügel link we learn that Merkel did not want to impose a levy on deposits under €100.000. Really? Really? Then she could have vetoed the whole plan. (Germany can in the ESM) She didn’t. Therefore she is not being truthful.

    Don’t let this fantasy story, that only Cyprus is responsible for this nonesense, become reality. Please.

  18. Lambert Strether Post author

    The #Eurogroup meeting in Brussels on #cyprus has now begun — three hours late.

    If all runs true to form, decisions will be taken at 3AM, and bad ones.

    UPDATE Damn. Make that four hours, and no, it hasn’t started. Ack!

  19. diane

    Just a question, but why do the only the female geared links have to do with issues that most females don’t feel the need to, or want to discuss, publically: what is lost in their vaginas (when barely any female loses anything in their vagina) ???????? ….. and their pubic hair?????

    (UUUGHHHHHH)

    That is not what most females are currently concerned with, while they so many are disproportionately falling through the cracks. Females have historically fared, and currently fare, far worse than males.

    1. diane

      I have not seen any similar, oh so subtly dismissive, links about males here; during such gruesome times for so many males and females.

      Not that I want to see those either.

      1. craazyman

        I once sent in a link to an uplifting story about a 52-year old very hot grandmother — who most guys would try to hit on in a bar — trying out for the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, but it didn’t get posted. Sometimes the links are weird in a darkly perverted way, I agree. Try sending in some you’d like to see. Maybe you’ll have better luck than me.

        1. diane

          sigh … perhaps there was something more to that link you sent, but as a female (are you? craaazyman?) I despair at a fifty some year old woman trying out to be a cheer leader for the boyz on that Dallas war games team ….

          It strikes me as speaking to a horrifyingly DEMENTED state of affairs, thoroughly obsessed with phalic symbols, to the detriment of all else.

          But then AGAIN, aren’t you the one who made the comment about males willingly sticking their fists up females …to find lost items?

          UUUUGGGGGGHHHH

          1. craazyman

            Do you always have to bring up the past? :)

            I was very careful about that comment, ONLY if the man was invited willingly by the woman involved. A gentleman would never do something like that, unless it was in response to a lady’s fervent desire for assistance.

      2. craazyman

        would you want to see one about a reputable DNA study of Bigfoot hair samples?

        I sent that one in and it got rejected too, even though other science stories like studies of quantum physics, the Big Bang and neanderthals make links here.

        This is a finance blog and I respect that. It’s not my blog and it’s not yours, so why the emotion? What do you have to offer except criticism? How helpful is that?

      1. diane

        perhaps you should have really clarified that, or not mentioned it at all. Many, myself included, likely have no clue (and don’t have the free time left in their lives to read up on, or fear further disappointment as to the importance of pubic hair being discussed at the link) as to who Effie Gray is, and are likely left with yet another unnecessary pit of despair in their gut upon seeing that link suggestion.

        1. diane

          In other words, most females already are horrified by prominent internet discussions about incredibly rare, non-lethal vagina issues and pubic hair as if it holds any importance in their lives.

          They certainly don’t need a male to vaguely inform them, validate and horrify them at the same time, as to how disgusting those conversations are.

          1. diane

            nor, some female (typically young with an, only currently, liveable wage, or hooked up with a male with a far more than liveable wage) doing quite fine currently, …who hasn’t a clue what the majority of other females are going through ….. thank you very much.

          2. Brick

            What are you talking about? The story is by a woman. The play is by a woman. No men involved, seriously WHAT are you talking about?

          3. Lambert Strether Post author

            Thanks for the assignment; see Yves’s commments elsewhere on assignments.

            Meanwhile, if there are links that you feel would be of interest to readers, do feel free to bring them to people’s attention in comments.

            Otherwise, it’s a big Internet.

        2. AbyNormal

          Marlene had your number diane!

          In America, sex is an obsession, in other parts of the world it’s a fact.

          Dietrich

    2. Brick

      @Diane
      More important, than you not understanding that the above story is by a woman about a play by a woman (something she obviously wanted to discuss publically) is the following:

      “Just a question, but why do the only the female geared links have to do with issues that most females don’t feel the need to, or want to discuss, publically[..]”

      Do you want to imply that, women aren’t or should not be interested in important economic events? It sure sounds like that. Please clarify the above statement.

      1. diane

        Weird game of semantics BRICK. I think it’s clear that I was disturbed about links which discuss vapid issues, as if that were all females were concerned about, while ignoring economic issues most relevant to females.

        Why you loudly chide that I don’t think females are interested in economic issues I haven’t a clue, as that was my main point and complaint in this sub thread.

        1. Brick

          Reminder to myself: do not react to persons who use more than one questionmark!1!!1eleven

          But, since I am at it. All links were gender neutral. Mostly about economic stuff. Mostly Cyprus. You picked out one, didn’t like the story, and then blamed the messenger.

          You claimed that no other link was for women. Additionally, You still have not answered my request.

          Also I was not loud. When i am loud I “SOUND” LIKE THIS. ;-)

          1. AbyNormal

            too funnee Brick
            exclamation mark

            this economy is war
            exclamation mark

            NC is the BEST foxhole on the net
            exclamation mark

      1. Brick

        Even better reviews of Veet for men http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/B000KKNQBK/ref=pr_all_summary_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

        Best one: “Being a loose cannon who does not play by the rules the first thing I did was ignore the warning and smear this all over my knob and bollocks. The bollocks I knew and loved are gone now. In their place is a maroon coloured bag of agony which sends stabs of pain up my body every time it grazes against my thigh or an article of clothing. I am suffering so that you don’t have to. Heed my lesson. DO NOT PUT ON KNOB AND BOLLOCKS.

        (I am giving this product a 5 because despite the fact that I think my bollocks might fall off, they are now completely hairless.) “

        1. Valissa

          What a brilliantly creative spontaneous satire competition… so many hilarious comments… loved it!

  20. Lambert Strether Post author

    Tweets that #Eurogroup meeting has broken up or been postponed; but no confirmation yet.

    UPDATE
    https://twitter.com/YanniKouts/status/315951420958449664

    no eurogroup meeting taking place now. anastasiades dining with van rompuy, barroso, w….

    What a clusterf*ck…

    UPDATE

    https://twitter.com/jbaetz/status/315950039799308288

    Juergen Baetz ‏@jbaetz 8m < -- AP Brussels

    It gets wilder & weirder: #Cyprus’ Anastasiades again meets @euHvR and @BarrosoEU for talks, official says. #eurogroup FinMins waiting.

    UPDATE

    https://twitter.com/SpiegelPeter/statuses/315949015533486081 Peter Speigel FT

    So yes: #Eurogroup has broken up as @euHvr & @BarrosoEU meet with Anastasiades. But no: No idea when/if it might restart. #Cyprus

  21. diane

    no, Lambert it is not actually a big internet, and you know that as well as I, there are very, very few places commonly read. This, is one of them, and one would hope their gut felt comments weren’t being blocked out, but the last two of mine have been, in the subthread above.

    1. diane

      one is now showing, the first, which was far more explicit, is not, though I will attempt, once again to provide the detail.

    1. diptherio

      40% haircut for Bank of Cyprus…UPDATE, Troika is now demanding BoC also take a haircut “down there”…let’s hope this doesn’t turn into a fad…

      1. AbyNormal

        or in diane’s case…shaven but not stired
        (must be something to do with the income level)

  22. scraping_by

    RE: Hipster urbanism

    There’s always someone with a media franchise whose job is reinforcing someone’s self-image in ways that aren’t real healthy.

    The idea that design is the most important quality of economic life is pretty arrogant and needs some serious squinting to come out real. Back in the 70′s design was important, taught extensively, and seen as part of most functions. But separating it out into its own abstract, free floating segment of the world smells of the lamp. Even the most dedicated designers recognized it was all about designing something.

    The economics will always depend on what that something is. A popular, high margin product, few competitors, it’s pots of money. Low margin, large number of people willing to do the same thing, nickels and dimes. The large number of students and bohos that fills the coffee shops of the creative class, basically indigent. Even if trickle down worked, there would be little to trickle down from this bunch.

    In the end, design is a service industry and has the same dependence on larger industries and larger fortunes as any service.

    “Creative class’ is the successor to ‘sweet young things’ and ‘the now generation’ and ‘flaming youth’ and so many others. Whether DINKS or Yuppie Scum or Beatniks, there will be a small group of mostly young people who like liberal arts and may or may not work in intellectual service industries. It’s presented as desirable and many young, especially, will self-identify with that crowd. And, apparently it is hoped, fall for a lot of self-destructive prejudices presented as bleeding edge thought.

    ‘Divide and conquer’ begins with ‘divide’.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Whatever Gramsci meant by “organic intellectuals,” it wasn’t the “creative class.” Please click the link following the main link at “Indeed.”

  23. jjmacjohnson

    The writer from the daily beast seems worried for families if people can be naked in the city.

    so conservative.

  24. Lambert Strether Post author

    Cyprus deal?

    https://twitter.com/SpiegelPeter/status/315969869965307904

    Peter Spiegel ‏@SpiegelPeter 6m < -- FT

    Source says #Cyprus agreement in principle w/troika: Laiki wound-down, Bank of Cyprus survives. But now #eurogroup must agree.

    https://twitter.com/SpiegelPeter/status/315970836869836800

    Total size of bail-in in Laiki and BoC still indecided. #Cyprus

    https://twitter.com/SpiegelPeter/status/315970611082047488

    @SpiegelPeter 13m

    #Cyprus outline will whack depositors above €100k at both Laiki and Bank of Cyprus. BoC survives, but very similar to original IMF bail-in.

  25. Lambert Strether Post author

    Cyprus and EU agree draft proposal to rescue banks

    The proposal … will involve setting up a “good bank” and a “bad bank” and will mean that Popular Bank of Cyprus, known as Laiki, will effectively be shut down.

    Deposits below 100,000 euros in Laiki will be transferred to Bank of Cyprus. Deposits above 100,000 euros, which under EU law are not insured, will be frozen and will be used to resolve debt. It remains unclear how large the writedown on those funds will be.

    The EU spokesman said there would be no “levy” imposed on any Cypriot banks, with the package requiring a full “bail-in” of uninsured depositors, which is likely to mean heavy losses for those with large holdings in Laiki and potentially Bank of Cyprus, where many Russians hold bank accounts.

    Hmm. Russian money is less predomninant than The Narrative would have you believe….

    1. AbyNormal

      marvelous. my kid is going to call 11pm tonight, after a long day at work, for an update on this particular snafu AND when i have to tell her they’ve devised a ‘Good/Bad Bank’ she is going to go off in my ear, ending with WHERE ARE THE FREAKING ADULTS !?!

    2. diptherio

      But it looks like the worst outcome has been avoided, at least for now. I take this to mean that insured deposits won’t be touched and only Laiki and BoC will be hit, not every bank on the island as was previously being discussed.

      My guess is that the troika was just testing the waters with this innovative new approach to funding bank rescues (rob everyone) and decided to pull back a little given the outcry. But my bet is this idea will rear its ugly head again before this fiasco is over. For now, they’re throwing back the little ones, but that won’t last forever.

      1. different clue

        Well, that pullback gives millions of lumpensavers time to do a slow silent “stroll on the banks” and start quietly eaaaasing their money out. Into what other form than bank deposits? Every lumpensaver will have herm’s own idea, I suppose. Perhaps fanatical paydown to zero of all possible personal/bussiness life debts. Perhaps buying lifetime supplies of shoes/socks/underwear/toilet paper/etc. in case “money” itself no longer buys these things in the future. Perhaps buying soil tests and garden tools and lifetime supplies of ground-up rock and mineral powders so as to grow much of their own food for a lifetime. Who knows? But they won’t all leave their meager savings sitting on the footpads of their friendly leg-hold banks.

  26. Valissa

    You’re welcome :) At a couple of levels, the Peter Pinguid Society reminds me of Agent Smith from the Matrix. He got killed a lot too… it was part of his charm as a character.

      1. Valissa

        Sorry no suggestions, but how about I go off on a tangent and maybe that’ll trigger another tangent for you :)

        Eurydice in a Used Car Lot? I felt like I’d dropped into the middle of someone else’s dream and was totally lost. I’m thinking Eurydice and Orpheus, a classic tragic greek love story http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurydice

        As a jazz fan, I’m reminded of the jazz standard “Black Orpheus”… here’s a fab dueling piano version from Kenny Barron & Brad Mehldau http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYK0xGt2Zls

        Perhaps Peter has a tragic tale of love in his past?

      1. Bill Smith

        Well, obviously Peter the Zombie. After creating The Concentration City, Peter sees Eurydice wander in, and eats her brains. The Great Old Ones far down below shake the ground in decadent rapture.

  27. bulfinch

    RE: The Creative Class…talk about manipulating language in a way which suggests that creativity is the taproot of gentrification, and therefore, evil whitey.

  28. Hugh

    The only real question re Cyprus is if the government of Cyprus is going to be held responsible for any ELA loans. If it is, this is not a bailout, but a ploy to subjugate Cyprus and place the country and its people in perpetual debt servitude to klepocrats in the core.

  29. p78

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/25/us-cyprus-parliament-idUSBRE92G03I20130325
    German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Cypriot lawmakers would not need to vote on the new scheme, since they had already enacted a law setting procedures for bank resolution. “It can’t be done without a bail-in in both banks … This is bitter for Cyprus, but we now have the result that the (German) government always stood up for,” Schaeuble told reporters, saying he was sure the German parliament would approve.”
    The Chutzpah.

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