Links 3/26/13

Northern blizzards linked to Arctic sea ice decline ABC (Australia)

Rather Than Fix The CFAA, House Judiciary Committee Planning To Make It Worse… Way Worse TechDirt (Susie). Would make certain thoughtcrimes into felonies.

China Finds Dead Ducks in Sichuan in Latest Scare Bloomberg

There are even more dead pigs in a Chinese river Grist

The dangerous drift towards world war in Asia Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

China already stomping on property MacroBusiness

U.K. Investigates Death of Russian Tycoon Wall Street Journal

Still more Cyprus….

Cyprus banks to stay closed for days Financial Times

Saving Cyprus Means Nobody Safe as Europe Breaks More Taboos Bloomberg

Cyprus banks and UK deposits Frances Coppola (David P)

Eurozone’s bully boys will come to regret penalising tiny Cyprus Jeremy Warner, Telegraph

British expats in Cyprus face savings raid Telegraph. Discussed with Richard Smith that we’d see lots of this type of reporting soon. Notice it presents the view that all deposits in periphery countries are at risk. Think we’re not going to see a slow motion deposit run with stories like this?

Insight: Money fled Cyprus as president fumbled bailout Reuters (David P)

If you recall, Mr. Market freaked out yesterday (in Europe, anyway) because someone was so reckless as to say fairly candid things about banks and draw out implications. More on that in this Guardian story: Cyprus bailout: savings raid ‘could happen elsewhere’. Notice at the end the Russian view that the capital controls will fail.

Bailout Strains European Ties Wall Street Journal. I have very little sympathy for the complaints by the Troika. They ambushed president Anastasiades and dictated terms and timing, and gave him no runway. Did they really expect the response to be congenial and well coordinated?

Stubborn and Egotistical: Europe Is Right to Doubt German Euro Leadership Der Speigel

Men in Black Seek Answers; Troika to Return to Spain in May Asking “What Happened to €42 Billion in ESM Bank Recapitalization Tranches?” Michael Shedlock

The racism that fuels the ‘war on terror’ Glenn Greenwald

The ATF Has Yet to Be Convinced That 3D-Printed Guns Compare to the Real Thing Motherboard. bob: “You CANNOT print a whole gun and will NEVER be able to unless we get metal 3D printers that can make high strength parts. An AR-15 barrel and chamber must survive peak forces of 63,000 PSI. 3D printers can’t extrude materials that can take anything near that.”

Why Has Crime Dropped Tremendously Over the Past Two Decades? Kevin Drum

‘For ‘Faster Growth,’ Soak the Poor?’ Mark Thoma

MSNBC: DISCLOSE FIX-THE-DEBT CO-CHAIR ED RENDELL’S CONFLICTS OF INTEREST WHEN BOOKING Credo. Please go sign this pronto. MSNBC gets a lot more rattled by petitions than the Droner in Chief.

The London Whale and the real link between the US economy and Cyprus Dean Baker, Guardian (Deontos)

A Final Pet Peeve: The Right to Consumer Financial Industry Data Lauren Willis, Credit Slips

Elizabeth Warren and Elijah Cummings will meet with OCC and Fed about botched “independent” foreclosure reviews (Deontos)

“How the Mid-Victorians Worked, Ate and Died” Credit Bubble Stocks

Antidote du jour:

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    1. Kurt Sperry

      Noodling around with the drones flash site I noticed the following for Nov. 7 2008:

      “Up to 16 killed including ‘Westerners and US citizens‘, Kumsham, Miramaha, Waziristan”

      This IMO casts a shadow on their fact checking, if web searching is any guide.

  1. William

    Norther blizzards–That’s got to be about the most disjointed, unfocused article I’ve ever read.

    1. Anon

      Not entirely unrelated, this piece about the severe weather impacts of Hurricane Sandy has a graphic showing the nuke power plants that were in Sandy’s path, including a useful map:

      Due to rising water levels at Oyster Creek, the nuclear plant’s owner, Exelon, declared an Alert and shutdown. Later it became known that 39 of Oyster Creek’s 42 emergency sirens had been rendered inoperable due to power outages and equipment damage. Oyster Creek’s plant buildings are at an elevation of 23.5 feet, and the water level from Hurricane Sandy reached 7.4 feet, or about a third of the flood water level that would have inundated the reactor the way the tsunami inundated Fukushima. Nevertheless, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has given Oyster Creek until March 2015 to complete a revised flood hazard evaluation required of all U.S. nuclear power plants in the aftermath of the Fukushima meltdowns as the first step toward strengthening plant defenses against this potential precursor of a severe accident. In addition, storm related shutdowns occurred at three other nuclear reactors in the Northeastern United States: Salem Unit 1 (PSEG), Nine Mile Point Unit 1 (Constellation) and Indian Point Unit 3 (Entergy). Note on the above map that the shutdown at Nine Mile Point in New York – reportedly caused by a storm-related electrical fault – was far from the group of nuclear power plants where NRC inspectors had been sent.

      The key issue of course is the massive amount of spent radioactive fuel stored on site in spent fuel pools near to reactors, and not necessarily the reactors themselves.

  2. Ned Ludd

    Josh Marshall, the founder of Talking Points Memo – who “sorta kinda” supported the Iraq war and considered Tony Blair an “inspiration” on Iraq – just watched Zero Dark Thirty. Watching the film gave him a “feeling of immense pride.” He then responded to critics by attacking them as “pro-OBL” (Osama bin Laden) and published an email accusing Glenn Greenwald of lying.

    This is how The New York Review of Books describes the movie that filled Josh Marshall with immense pride.

    There can be no mistaking what Zero Dark Thirty shows: torture plays an outsized part in Maya’s success. The first detainee she helps to interrogate is Ammar. He is tortured extensively in the film’s opening sequence, immediately after we hear the voices of World Trade Center victims. Ammar’s face is swollen; we see him strung up by ropes, waterboarded, sexually humiliated, deprived of sleep through the blasting of loud music, and stuffed into a small wooden box. During his ordeal, Ammar does not initially give up reliable information. After he has been subdued and fooled into thinking that he has already been cooperative while delirious, however, he gives up vital intelligence about the courier over a comfortable meal.

    Some viewers might regard Ammar’s final confession in the midst of warm hospitality as an example of torture that did not work, or worked only partially. In fact, this sequence of the film depicts precisely how the CIA’s coercive interrogation regime was constructed to break prisoners, according to Jose Rodriguez Jr., a former leader of the CIA Clandestine Service, who has described and defended the interrogation regime in a memoir, Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives. For if a CIA detainee initially refused to cooperate, interrogators applied “enhanced” techniques in an escalating sequence until the prisoner reached what Rodriguez calls “the compliant stage.” Once the detainee “became compliant and agreed to cooperate,” the harsh methods stopped, Rodriguez wrote, and the prisoner might be fed and coddled in reward for confessions he had not previously made.

    The review goes on to note: “In virtually every instance in the film where Maya extracts important clues from prisoners, then, torture is a factor.” Noam Sheizaf called Zero Dark Thirty “the worst kind of propaganda, one which is directed at the bleeding hearts and liberals who seem to enjoy their action flicks with a sauce of ‘moral dilemmas’ and remorse.” He compares it to a genre of film in Israeli cinema called “shooting and crying“. David Bromwich, the Sterling Professor of English at Yale, observed that the film justifies torture as “regrettable but necessary”, with “the torture-agents [portrayed] as essentially good people: technicians, working at a grim but unavoidable job.”

    As Amy Zegart wrote, in Foreign Policy: “Maya’s story is our story, and there is no doubt that she comes to see torture as necessary and efficacious, approving the very methods that first make her squirm. In the movie, after enhanced interrogation methods are banned, the leads go dry; Maya and her dogged hunches are all the CIA has left. And we are rooting for her, waterboarding and all, straight to Abbottabad.”

    1. Brindle

      I have not visited TPM much if nearly at all in the past five years. I had a few email exchanges with Josh back in 06 or 07 maybe, mostly pleasant tip/links kind of stuff.

      Once Greg Sargent left there was really no reason to go there (TPM). Josh has solidified into a shallow Dem cheerleader. The blog is nearly as unreadable as Politco, I guess they serve as similar functions.

    2. sd

      Nothing ‘sorta kinda’ about it. Josh Marshall fully supported the invasion of Iraq. He was quite vocal about it on his blog. He likes to pretend otherwise in the hopes that everyone’s forgotten.

  3. hondje

    My wife’s brother is a gunsmith, 3D printing technology isn’t quite there yet for a firearm for the reasons bob stated, plus you can’t go selling a gun that may very well blow up in the users hand… but he is operating his business under the assumption that printed pieces will lower the floor on mass produced gun prices – much like any other craft manufacturer

    1. bob

      “the assumption that printed pieces will lower the floor on mass produced gun prices – much like any other craft manufacturer”

      Please explain the business case for this. How can you set up a smaller batch production scheme and make money.

      “We lose money on every sale, but we sell few enough for it not to matter.”

      1. hondje

        Please explain the business case for this. How can you set up a smaller batch production scheme and make money.

        Lower input costs, much of what you pay for a firearm is skilled labor (in wholesale). That’s why you can buy a cheap Chinese knock off for $150 but a Desert Eagle or a Colt will set you back a few grand

        1. bob

          This makes no sense.

          1. Economies of scale are a huge part of any manufacting. Smaller prodction runs cost MORE, per unit.

          2. 3d printed pieces of ABS are of much lower quality than standard injection molding.

          Batch production, which is what 3d printing is (batch size of 1) costs more, and gives you lower quality, in general.

          How do you get to “lower input costs”?

          1. hondje

            Well how do you get smaller batch sizes from lowering the price floor on mass produced guns?

          2. hondje

            You’re the one telling me that batch sizes will decrease, I never said that once. If you lower input costs, the price of the low end guns goes down. How is this not obvious to you? And I never said 3d printers can make a viable firearm yet, but it’s inevitable that they will and sooner rather than later. When they get to that point the price of a low end firearm is going to plummet.

          3. Bill Smith

            Bob, this is a MMTer site. “Gun parts precede printing” and no printing material is used – it is just “issued” by the government. You can pay your taxes in gun parts (fiat), which is what makes gun parts and 3D printing technology valuable.

          4. wunsacon

            >> When they get to that point the price of a low end firearm is going to plummet.

            Yikes…and puncture the gun bubble? Hmmm… Maybe the NRA will come out against “inferior, dangerous” 3D guns (until the designs can be purchased and downloadable from their sponsors). Let’s see…

          5. bob

            Bill, I bet you think that was clever.

            W, see above. Plastic CANNOT be used to make guns. His whole thesis is based on a logical fallacy. It’s the “chicken or egg” argument — without either the chicken or the egg.

          6. ambrit

            Now who ever said that slug throwers had to be high stress, high peak energy expenditure machines? Anyone here ever hear of the “Gyrojet?” It could be made from all plastic parts, and the self propelled rounds eliminated the need for case hardened barrels. So, it was slow and inaccurate. It could be considered similar to a homemade Stengun. (Those were produced in basements and garages throughout Occupied Europe during the Hitler War.)
            I’m with the person below who said that this is a ‘wedge issue’ the ‘Powers That Be’ can use to increase the reach and strength of the “American Police State.”

          7. RanDomino

            bob, when you say “Plastic CANNOT be used to make guns”, how do you account for the guns which have been made using plastic? Do you take the ATF’s stance that they’re not guns because they’re insufficiently durable?

          8. BondsOfSteel

            >>1. Economies of scale are a huge part of any manufacting.
            >> Smaller prodction runs cost MORE, per unit.

            Smaller production runs cost MORE, per unit because they require specialized production. The advantage of 3D printing is the standardization of the manufacturing process and the removal of all the transportation, supply chain, labor, and capital costs.

            I think of them as distributed factories. Sure, they only produce small crappy parts now. At one time Japanese factories did too. They got better.

          9. bob

            Ran, when one redfinfes ‘gun’, it’s pretty easy to make one out of whatever you want to. Soap? Wood? Potatoe?


            Great marketing speak. Powerd by kitten kisses and puppy farts.

  4. Laughing_Fascist

    From the Telegraph link:

    “Under the terms of the Cyprus bailout, any savers with more than £85,000 deposited in either of the island’s two main banks – Laiki and the Bank of Cyprus – will lose between 40 and 100 per cent of their money.

    In return for levying this ‘haircut’ on deposits, Cyprus will receive the international funds necessary to keep its troubled banks afloat.

    Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch chairman of the eurozone, suggested that this structure could become the model to be applied across Europe, where banks in Spain, Portugal and Italy are also in trouble.”


    An interesting comment there from the chairman. So for the unwashed who think that deposit raids could happen at American banks as well, and where a reverse scenario of small depositors taking a bigger hit (this is America afterall, sort of like the payroll tax), the question is:

    Where to put the dough?

    1. ambrit

      Dear Laughing_Fascist;
      Not throwing stones here, but, if the Gold Bugs do not take advantage of this development, they’re either asleep or incompetent. Since this looks to be the catalyst for a grand ‘Unbanking’ of the Lower and Lower Middle classes, what happens to the push for total online bill paying and paycheck routing? To steal an idea from F Beard; why not re-establish Post Office Banks, along with their bill paying functions? That and State Banks would return some sovereignty to the people.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        We need Post Office banks that will pay double the interest rates offered by banks currently.

        And to really hurt the banksters, the government will insure each Post Office bank account up to twice the bankster limits, $500K per individual and $1,000,000 with beneficiaries.

        1. Lambert Strether

          I just want a place to stash my money where banksters can’t grab it and then play the ponies with it. I don’t even care about the interest. The value is sleeping nights, not some pathetic smidge of usury. A Post Office bank would do just fine for that.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            To really put the hurt the banksters though, you need a program that will appeal to more than just yourself to include those usury-lusting seniors, for example.

            Double the rates and the insurance limits will do nicely.

            In fact, overnight, you can empty all banksters accounts that are currently insured up to those limits.

        2. lolcar

          Entirely practical plan. But go bigger. Remove government deposit insurance from private bank accounts and kill off I would guesstimate 80% of the private banking industry.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            That seems to be a popular idea. I have heard it more than once now.

            The idea seems to be, let us step over the 99.99% to get at the 0.01%. It’s not clear who will fall first – the 99.99% or the 0.01%.

            There is a simpler and more direct way – wealth tax and GDP sharing.

            It doesn’t matter what tricks they use. The bottom line – and GDP sharing is a bottomline approach – is how much you take home. Under GDP sharing, we all take home the same amount. That ought to put greed to rest for a while.

          2. lolcar

            GDP sharing – what are you, some kind of communist? That’ll never fly.
            Need to be sneakier than that. Let’s have some good old capitalist competition between the private banking industry and the public option. I’m almost 100% certain that without the subsidies of public deposit insurance and lender of last resort facilities the competition will be rather one-sided.

          3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Again, you don’t need to shock seniors into early deaths in order to touch the 0.01%.

            Give wealth tax a try – it will go after past ill-gotten gains that income tax will not.

            And if you insist on competition, like I say, set up an IRS bank – that will be better than Post Office banks, as no one will be able to hide his/her money – and offer twice the interest rates and double the insurance limits.

    2. CaitlinO

      Put it in the bank of Sealy Posturepedic. It’ll cost you that whopping 0.8% you’re currently earning at Wells Fargo, though.

    3. lolcar

      Not really a deposit raid any longer if it’s confined to accounts above the insurance limit at the two busted banks.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Probably gold but gold hasn’t gone up…in fact, it’s down today.

      Maybe you can prepay your medical insurance for the next 10 years or whatever your money will cover. Just hand the money over to the Insurance-industrial complex.

      1. jrs

        That’s part of the problem with medical insurance really (or one of many anyway), you can’t actually prepay it, you can pay in for years and years and lose it just when you might need it most due to job loss etc.. And you also can’t really protect yourself in any way from insurance price increases (by prepayment etc.). It’s enough to make one want to take out insurance against insurance price increases … wait that’s insane.

        1. Ms G

          Now you’re talking. Good Sir, we have the perfect product for you: Re-Insurance! To protect yourself against the predations of your “Health” Insurance policy. (Small print: Seller does not guarantee any results.)

    5. jrs

      I think the truth is there really aren’t many places to put money to protect it against total system failure. And when the government is suddenly grabbing saved money out of banks with no warning that’s not “a tax” no matter what they call it, it’s system failure – a breakdown in the systems and rules and basic trust that people rely on.

      So sure buy gold if you like it, but remember it’s just a metal with limited real use value, it’s mostly worth what people are willing to agree it’s worth, nothing more. IOW you could lose your shirt on it too. Only survivalism provides some escape from systems failure (because it’s designed to be system independent ie off the grid). That or accountable government.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        True, a lot of things we treasure are of limited value, being mostly about what people are willing to pay.

        They include

        designer clothes
        abstract paintings
        Rock and Roll music
        shaving kits
        economics books
        fancy haircuts

  5. rich

    Suit Offers a Peek at the Practice of Inflating a Legal Bill

    They were lawyers at the world’s largest law firm, trading casual e-mails about a client’s case. One made a sarcastic joke about how the bill was running way over budget. Another described a colleague’s approach to the assignment as “churn that bill, baby!”

    The e-mails, which emerged in a court filing late last week, provide a window into the thorny issue of law firm billing. The documents are likely to reinforce a perception held by many corporate clients — and the public — that law firms inflate bills by performing superfluous tasks and overstaffing assignments.

    The internal correspondence of the law firm, DLA Piper, was disclosed in a fee dispute between the law firm and Adam H. Victor, an energy industry executive. After DLA Piper sued Mr. Victor for $675,000 in unpaid legal bills, Mr. Victor filed a counterclaim, accusing the law firm of a “sweeping practice of overbilling.”

    In a survey of about 250 lawyers that Professor Ross conducted in 2007, more than half acknowledged that the prospect of billing extra time influenced their decision to perform pointless assignments, such as doing excessive legal research or extraneous document review. There is also the issue of “featherbedding,” he said, or throwing armies of bodies at every problem.

    1. Ms G

      It is all absolutely true and then some. I like the use of the term “featherbedding” in the context of white shoe law firms — it is usually applied with stern moral and legal disgust to unions padding payrolls on construction projects.

      But when the law firms do it, it’s just “great legal advocacy.”

      This is a perfect example of a hidden equivalence masked by clever use of terminology. Featherbedding vs. “Great Legal Advocacy” — in fact, they are both exactly the same. See, e.g., Yves’s great post yesterday on the non-use of the term “Oligarch” when we’re talking about American (or other “civilized” Western sleazy predators) “Masters of the Universe.”

  6. wunsacon

    >> The ATF Has Yet to Be Convinced That 3D-Printed Guns Compare to the Real Thing

    This will justify monitoring the download/exchange of designs. And since those can be embedded into just about anything, it’ll justify spying on all electronic messages.

    So, “goodbye digital privacy”, we barely knew ye. But, considering the lethality that anyone will eventually be able to print in their own homes (guns and then their own drone air force), maybe that’s a good thing.

    1. jrs

      Of they’ll use it mostly to enforce patents and so on. The U.S. government being as often as not just the enforcement arm of corporate rule (corporate rule is designed to be the thousand year reich).


    re: Why Has Crime Dropped Tremendously Over the Past Two Decades?

    Is the proposition the crime has dropped because police have more and better guns? Then militarization of the police is the way to go.

    Please correct me if I have written anything wrong here, otherwise let’s get this program ramped up (further).

    peace and law

      1. DANNYBOY

        Gotta love it. Have a nice day.

        Peace and love

        Love is in the air, Love is everywhere

        sing along!


    “what is wrong with America’s economy and how to fix it. The upshot of the piece is that the U.S. economy is in the tank because the government gives too much money to poor people, and so it should stop. …”

    kinda agree, from a differrent angle. Here it is:

    If poor people (let’s call the “Enslaved” for the sake of brevity) got an early glimpse of their future (let’s call it “Brutal” for brevity) by the withdrawal of any help from their own society (let’s call that “Control Payments”), then they would realize, for the first time the horror that their life has gradually become. They’d all be real angry, and all at once, and..oh boy!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Maybe legalizing marijuana will ease the pain…the anger might even be forgotten for the duration.

      1. DANNYBOY

        Dear MLTPB (can’t bring myself to write the actual words, I’m a 40-year vegetarian):


        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I was particularly angry, not even rightfully so, when my dentist worked on my tooth under anesthesia.

          But for my stiff shoulder, I prefer exercise over medication.

          1. DANNYBOY

            MLTPB (initials only, for obvious reasons),

            People take me as angry, but I will now quote you (with attribution) and respond: “Make that ‘I was NOT particularly angry…’
            since you can never be angry ENOUGH at this F_king situation.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Agree about the situation.

            Take away marijuana, more people will get angry and join you.

  9. Voltron

    You can’t print a gun barrel or chamber now but you can buy those without a license or background check and print the lower receiver, which is the part of the gun that has the serial number (or not…) and is legally the gun. You can also probably make the parts to convert a gun from semi to fully automatic.

    someday they will be able to make the metal parts of guns by growing metal crystals like the way they make high quality turbine blades. These will be incredibly strong.

    1. Nathanael

      The barrels ought to have the serial numbers. But indeed they don’t. The portion with the serial numbers CAN be 3d-printed.

    2. bob

      “someday they will be able to make the metal parts of guns by growing metal crystals like the way they make high quality turbine blades”

      Yeah. I’ll have my flying car by then, and the guns of today will be replaced by laser beams on land sharks.

      1. bob

        I forgot to mention my website, where I sell plans for a home genetic engineering kit where, if you can figure out the laser, and the land shark, you can have all of that TODAY.

        1. skippy

          Personally I blame popular – mechanics – which has morphed into hundreds of geek blogs and internet sites.

          Skippy… they always grab the shinny thing… but… can’t see the bottle[neck around their tightly clenched fist…

          1. bob

            1st law of PM- things always get better with no effort or understanding. Let the little people handle the details, I have a credit card.

            It’s the future….

  10. ambrit

    Do read the paper linked to in the “Credit Bubble Stocks” precis of “How the Mid Victorians Lived, Ate, and Died.” Notice that the authors posit interventions by commercial food purveyors and supplement makers as the probable ‘solution’ to the problem.
    Firesign Theatre was right: “Everything You Know Is Wrong.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      People tend to conclude then that everything one doesn’t know is right.

      That’s why ‘experts’ speak incomprehensibly.

      The more convoluted the scheme, the more popular it is.


      Thank you for this. My son recently wondered aloud: why can’t I live anywhere near where I grew up (UWS)? Now I can answer him with reassurance. All is right in the world.

      But should he continue to blame himself or is there something else going on?

  11. AbyNormal

    Under the Radar ALERT:

    BRICS Nations Plan New Bank to Bypass World Bank, IMF

    The leaders of the so-called BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — are set to approve the establishment of a new development bank during an annual summit that began today in the eastern South African city of Durban, officials from all five nations say. They will also discuss pooling foreign-currency reserves to ward off balance of payments or currency crises.

    Finance ministers and central bank governors from the BRICS nations, who met in Durban today, agreed to set up currency crisis fund of about $100 billion, Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega told reporters today. He didn’t give details of proposed funding for the new bank, which Brazil wants established by 2014. The nation’s leaders are due to sign a final accord tomorrow.

    1. Valissa

      Great catch, thanks! There has been discussion of a multipolar world economy for the past couple of years, so it’s good to finally see a serious effort in that direction. Jockeying for money and power will always exist, but having more players in the game will be better than the hegemony of the World Bank/IMF (based on ‘balance of power’ theory).

      1. Valissa

        From 2 years ago… World Bank Report Sees Global Economic Power Shifting Rapidly in Multipolar World
        A NEW REPORT by the World Bank confirms all the more that global economic power and growth, by many measures, is shifting rapidly from the United States to fast-growing countries. By 2025, six economies — Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, South Korea and Russia — will drive more than half of all global growth, and the global monetary system likely will be dominated by the U.S. dollar, the euro and the Chinese renminbi, according to the report. In a news release, World Bank chief economist Justin Yifu Lin says: “The fast rise of emerging economies has driven a shift whereby the centers of economic growth are distributed across developed and developing economies – it’s a truly multipolar world.”

        1. AbyNormal

          Thanks Val.
          that was around the time Russia dumped a good bit of u.s treasuries on the IMF…i thought the timing was a little off (pennies on the usd), until a couple days later the China Russian oilfield(s) connection appeared. plenty of currency & resource examples with China / SA & Africa too.

          i haven’t followed india as closely as i should…keeping up with u.s economic tryst on a daily bases has been brain zappin.

          Something has got to hold it together. I’m saying my prayers to Elmer, the Greek god of glue.
          tom robbins

  12. Paul Walker

    The fix is in on CFAA. What is ‘reasonable’ about an expectation that huffing more WDC zombie prescribed policy N2O will make anything better when all it does is lead fresh meat to the zombie dance party?


    IMPORTANT: Just Arrived
    The Alumni Magazine of Columbia Business School

    Professors Address Future of Global Economy – Though cautious about the recovery of the United States economy, Dean Glenn Hubbard expressed optimism at a special symposium on Wednesday, February 13

    Jamie Dimon Shares Insights and Experiences with Students – Dimon expressed optimism about the US economy moving forward. There’s more liquidity in the system than a few years ago, he said. “The American financial system is in very good shape today,” Dimon said.

    On careers, Dimon told the audience not to focus too intently on their ultimate goals because one can’t know the best place to be in the long run. “At J.P. Morgan, the closer you get to my job, the less you may want it,” he joked.

    Dan here. This is not a parody. I couldn’t be this whimsical. For now, I’m not focusing to intently on my career. Since it’s all going so well, I’m just smelling the flowers and enjoying the beauty of this cultural event. “Love is in the air, Love is everywhere”

  14. TimR

    I guess NC is (thankfully) not concerned about the latest gay marriage news, but I have the solution so I must share anyway. Here it is: we legalize polygamy, then everybody in the country gets married to everybody else. Problem solved.


      But TimR,

      Just not The American Way, as it is:

      Controlling, requires competing for Power, requires competing for Money, requires competing for…, requires competing for Marriage, requires competing for grand Home, requires competing for Children, requires cometing for School, requires

  15. Yan

    This from somebody with a sense of humor in Cyprus (excuse the translation efforts):

    “All my life I have been looking behind my back when taking out money from an ATM. It turns out I should have been worried about what was happpening in front of me”.


      instead he should have been looking out for his government, while he was looking the other way

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            That’s the way us sneaky humans talk.

            The government IS Big Brother.

            And when we humans say we love vegetables, we mean we love to kill them and eat them.

  16. Everythings Jake

    Fill out the poll, but also too, stop watching MSNBC. That’ll scare them more than anything.

  17. lambert strether

    Perhaps a “deposit stroll” (“The innocent move without care”) or a “deposit jog” (“My money needs the exercise!”) or a “deposit scuttle” rather than a “deposit run.” Nothing to see here, powers that be, nothing to see, no worries….

  18. rich

    Twilight of Justice

    The List

    We all know the HSBC isn’t the only bank too large to prosecute. There is in fact a list.

    The list is decided upon by the FSB. It is updated every year.

    The FBS (Financial Stability Board) is a new international body. It is made of representatives from the central banks, financial regulator and Treasury from each of the 25 member nations plus representatives from:

    The Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the ECB, the European Commission, the IMF, OECD and World Bank, plus representatives from the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (part of the BIS), the Committee on the Global Financial System (another part of the BIS), the Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems (another part of the BIS), the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, the International Accounting Standards Board, and the International Organization of Securities Commissions.

    Guess which institutions provide the membership of ALL for the above international bodies? Yes, you got it – the big banks. And how many Central banks can you think of that are staffed or even headed by people formerly from one of the Big Banks?

    You tell me who is really staffs the FSB and whose world view and interests does the FSB actually represent?

    And they are the ones who decided who is above the law.

    28 banks are officially above the law and WILL NOT be criminally prosecuted no matter what they do. Remember that’s not me saying this. It is the U.S. Department of Justice saying it.

  19. Zachary Smith

    *** The dangerous drift towards world war in Asia ***

    I found this to be a troubling story, especially when my investigation of the author showed him to be a sober and level-headed fellow.

    Some searches turned up more on the story – that China has moved missiles to the coast so as to threaten the space around the little islands as well as US bases on Okinawa.

    Speaking of Okinawa, China has upped the ante by reviving a claim to what Japan regards as part of the homeland.

    This arena could get mighty ugly in a few months or years.

    1. Hugh

      China should be viewed in terms of its 2,000 year imperial history. In periods of ascendance, the empire sought to extend zones of influence/buffers (the “an” system) beyond its borders and renew ancient imperial claims. This time it is principally about the control of resources, but the principle remains the same. Most of the Chinese claims are dreadfully out of date and contradicted by their own policies, like the Chinese occupation of Tibet and parts of Xinjiang. They also run up against the US security presence in the Western Pacific. The more vocal the Chinese are the more East Asia tends to look to this security relationship.

    2. Synopticist

      It’s pretty scary, especially whn you bear in mind the size of China’s industrial output, it’s monopoly on rare earths (set to last for a couple of years only), and it’s demographic bubble. Plus it has a few years worth of industrial metals like copper statcked up in warehouses.

      If they’d planned it, they couldn’t have got it much better.
      Some sort of suprise Chinese assault on Japanese islands would be the black swan of black swans.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      When one reads about the Taiping rebellion, the Panthay rebellion, the Dungan rebellion, the Punti-Hakka clan war, all these in the 19th century, one wonders if foreign adventures might not be distractions to domestic Gordian-knots.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        And the death toll in each (from Wiki)

        Taiping 20-30 million, maybe as high as 100 million
        Dungan 8-12 million on the rebel side, 4 million under Qing
        Punti-Hakka about a million

        Compared those to WWI or WWII.

  20. Hugh

    What we are seeing in Europe is the death of the euro. It is falling apart before our eyes. Capital controls, trashing deposit guarantees and confiscating depositor accounts, it all looks increasingly like destroying the euro in order to save it. It all looks like late stage kleptocracy where the looting becomes more and more brazen.

    I am reminded of Bankia formed from the Cajas in Spain in late 2010. Depositors were encouraged to convert their deposits to stock. The stock then became worthless. That’s not that much different from bilking depositors in Cyprus. In Cyprus, the looting had simply progressed and become more direct.

    Aside from the usual blaming the victims, has anyone noticed that the bank managements of Laika and Bank of Cyprus are not being investigated? This too seems to be a common practice of kleptocracy. The bankers not only run their banks but their countries into the ground, and then they walk.

    1. Tiresias

      I’ve not come across any suggestion that the Bank of Cyprus or Laiki were engaged in anything beyond the rules. The main problem appears to have been the haircut they took on the Greek debt writedowns, and probably a quiet run by the financially literate and/or the cogniscenti who recognised the implications.

      I have to wonder if there might not yet be a legal challenge from investors who lost out against the legality/legitimacy of the decision to (suicidally) help the Greek banks out.

      1. Hugh

        They drove their banks and their country off the cliff. Why do they still have jobs? And they are fiduciaries so making bets on Greece certainly violates their responsibilities to bondholders, investors, and depositors, not to mention the Cypriot government.

        And what is this about rules? Just because something is legal does not mean it isn’t criminal. Finally, without a forensic audit, we will never know how much was incompetence, bad luck, and malice. This is precisely why an investigation should take place.

  21. Synopticist

    A few hundred million left Cyprus over the course of the week. Some of it was for stuff like food and aviation fuel, which were allowed under the situation.

    But it would be really interesting to follow the rest of that money, and see where it ends up.
    It would show very directly who was in charge, or who’s powerful enough to have their arses trully covered.

    Would it be local or Greek politicians, would it be Russian mafia, Goldman Sachs or Barclays or Deutches bank? CIA linked firms, FSB linked companies, recognisable-by-name plutocrats, arms dealers, international gangsters, oil traders, who???

    I’m desperate to know.

  22. sidelarge

    Re: Cyprus fiasco

    Apparently, this is what Wolfgang Schaeuble said on ZDF:

    “It always works out like that.

    This also happens in classrooms. Sometimes when you have better results, others have difficulties with this, sometimes they are even a little jealous.”

    First-class a-hole right there. And couldn’t be more wrong on top of it.

    I feel sorry for Europeans.

    1. sidelarge

      Of course he was talking about the anti-German sentiment in the rest of Europe, in case I wasn’t clear.

    2. Ms G

      First Class A-**** indeed.

      What an analogy — we’re all in kindergarten and he’s the adult in the room. Not dissimlar to our central domestic (US) Kleptocratic Analogy of the federal government and a household when it comes to discussing the federal budget.

      This is another very clear sign that we are undergoing an acute, advanced and desperate endgame of Kleptocracy.

  23. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Dead ducks in Sichuan.

    What about those dead, but delicious ducks in Beijing?

    Do we need to be scared of that too?

    1. Zachary Smith

      *** Gun store refuses to sell Mark Kelly semi-automatic rifle ***

      Cute. The gun store disapproves of political stunts involving firearms unless it’s the one doing the stunt.

      These people are totally around the bend.

      1. Valissa

        I found the story hilarious… and so typical of this particular culture war where, IMO, both sides act like self-righteous bozos. Personally I take a neutral position as soon as I sniff the scent of high moralizing.

    1. AbyNormal

      Alejandra Pizarnik

      1. skippy

        “A View from the sewer can be a vision of the world. Rebellion is to look up a rose sprayed eyes.” Pizarnik

        THE OASIS and wilderness

        Where to find
        life shaft
        if it is finished?
        What water?
        What rocks?
        How serious the seed?

        Does the secret light weight
        on your eyelids
        freshly tattooed by the moon?

        No prayer
        exceeding the limits
        fearful of your four walls
        that insomnia upholstered with their tears,
        if you put in it
        perennial fire of Grace.

        Three knocks on the door
        not mean
        that you expect to have arrived.
        The light in your window
        rumorosa dawn
        or a lantern at night unveiled.

        Each path carries
        triumph and defeat,
        the oasis and the desert,
        your voice and silences
        in perpetual harmony.

        Do not let
        that love is consummated
        hurt like water from a ditch
        when summer rages.

        No more profound certainty
        the soul that lives in you.

        Ana Maria Garrido

        Skippy… or go home yankee… have you not already done enough… how much more blood is needed to sate this thirst… decades of it.

        PS. Jim… you do like yours hot… like smoke from a fire… rising up from the warm corpse. Nice~

  24. Alexander

    Knowing how to troubleshoot will save you time and money.
    If the client doesn’t ask, do you promise something anyway or just let the work go to the bottom of the pile. Trim off excess fabrics.

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