Links 7/22/14

Offshore wind farms: A buffet for seals? (+video) Christian Science Monitor

The New Yorker Is Temporarily Making All Of Its Archives Free; Here Are 8 Stories You Should Read Business Insider

What actually happens to clothes after you put them in donation bins Quartz (Li)

No RIF’d Employees Need Apply For Microsoft External Staff Jobs For 6 Months Slashdot (bob)

Report: On Amazon, self-published authors earn more royalties than all “big five” authors combined Pando. Yes, but big selling self published authors got their names while being published by conventional publishers. Not that I am wedded to the conventional publishers, but I question how newbie authors break out in a self-publishing model.

The markets are Teflon-coated with cash Business Spectator

North Korea finds a new friend in Russia Nikkei

China’s Total Debt Surges To 251% Of GDP Business Insider

China wrangles the property monster MacroBusiness. And a picture of Godzilla!

No US-Japan TPP framework seen until fall Nikkei. “The mood was strained at times…” For talks with the Japanese, that is REALLY bad.

Has the Bank of England been breaking the law? Telegraph

Russia Today under DDoS attack from pro-US government group Vineyard of the Saker

The Waste of War Jeffrey Sachs, Project Syndicate (David L)


Israel continues to hammer Gaza USA Today

Questions About Tactics and Targets as Civilian Toll Climbs in Israeli Strikes New York Times

On ‘Human Shielding’ in Gaza CounterPunch

Kerry seeks Gaza cease-fire amid rising casualties CNN

Florida teen recovering from beating in Israel-Palestinian conflict Reuters (EM)


Is Iraq’s Kurdish region outside of ISIS’ calculus? Al-Arabiya

Iraqi Ambassador: US Should Begin Airstrikes in Iraq Now DefenseNews

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden plans to work on easy-to-use privacy tools PC World

‘Terror Reporting’ Has Gone Way Too Far Courthouse News (furzy mouse)

Welcome to your security Catch-22 ClearSwift (furzy mouse)

Government agents ‘directly involved’ in most high-profile US terror plots Guardian

An Imaginary Budget and Debt Crisis Paul Krugman, New York Times

Wall St money backs Senate Republicans Financial Times (Li)

Gov. Rick Perry to deploy 1,000 National Guard troops to RGV The Monitor (furzy mouse)

Treat Central American Children at Our Borders with Humanity Jesse Jackson, CounterPunch

Military device used on Detroit protest against #WaterShutoffs Daily Kos

Video Of NYPD Killing Unarmed Man With Chokehold Leads To Suspensions DSWright, Firedoglake

Lost Weekend Charles Pierce, Equire (Brindle). Why I don’t do NN.

New college grads hit by slow wage growth: Fed study Reuters

Atlantic city losing 4 casinos this year and 8,000 jobs Fox. Paul Tioxon:

While we have been stunned by international events as well as the usual financial chicanery, Atlantic City has been devastated by the loss of possibly 4 casinos by this summer’s end. One closed in Jan and 2 more will be out of business in weeks. Revel is bankrupt again, needs a new buyer by Sept. This is a mortal wound to the employment of the city.

Is the Employment Situation Really Improving? Wall Street Cheat Sheet

Antidote du jour:

links sleeping goats

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. abynormal

      HEY YOU…too long no see! Hope the most is well with you n yours!!
      separate doors is okay with me…just don’t separate me from ‘their’ dumpsters

  1. Brindle

    re: “Florida teen recovering from beating in Israel/Palestine conflict”….

    The title infers that his beating was not done by one side, but by the “conflict”—very typical of how MSM shades coverage.

  2. Ned Ludd

    “Building Your Brand”, as Pierce calls it, has become a defining feature of the soi-disant left. From E.M. (Emma) Quangel’s recent article: “The Weaponized Naked Girl”:

    Writers such as Molly Crabapple, Laurie Penny, and Natasha Lennard have become new icons for a “counterculture” feminist-journalist ideal. But a quick look at the CVs of these women reveal them not as actual politically minded activists, but rather as ambitious pop-culture icons. Laurie Penny frames herself as a Harvard fellow and feminist voice for the “underclass” while cheering on the NATO attacks on Libya in 2011, Natasha Lennard smears anti-war activism as useless and boring, and Molly Crabapple now regularly reports dispatches from the Middle East, arguing for NATO intervention in Syria and the arming of foreign mercenaries there while chiding the Left for being against these things. Proving that naked photos of oneself are no barrier to success in the mainstream, Crabapple in particular has successfully turned her burlesque franchise into a platform to broadcast political propaganda, and is regularly printed in VICE, the New York Times, and invited on news channels such as MSNBC to opine on MENA foreign policy issues.

    I asked the question, why is a young woman like Molly Crabapple chosen to write about Syria, and not a young woman like Eva Bartlett?

    1. James Levy

      Man, was that article depressing. You can see the wheels turning behind the eyes: “sure, I want to be political, but I get a good income, plenty of travel, and celebrity status too, right?”.

      However, I can’t but feel for the plight of a young person who wants to take a stand or do something worthwhile today. The institutions that one of the subjects of the piece says aren’t there anymore really aren’t there anymore. So unless you are a trust fund baby, I don’t know how you operate in this environment without “branding” yourself, but the cost of that process is adopting a persona that really doesn’t challenge the sources of your funding. As the book said, that’s some catch, that Catch-22.

    2. Inverness

      Fascinating piece. Thanks for sharing. I find there’s been a “Vice-ification” of the media. In order to survive in journalism (or what remains of it), free-lance workers often have to resort to gimmicks and stunts. The pay (and you are not always paid!) is low, the benefits non-existent…How do you stand out? For women journalists and activists, that could certainly involve exploiting sexuality.

    3. nycTerrierist

      Seems neo-liberal friendly hawkish cheerleading doesn’t hurt anyone’s media career these days.

      The faux-transgressive, ‘edgy’ exhibitionistic ‘bad girl’ is the flip side
      of the status quo-defending blonde fox news bimbo.

      Dog forbid young women advance based on the strength of their insights.

      1. nycTerrierist

        from Quangel’s final graph, I wish I could bold:

        “As for women…if they do not exist to arouse or to be laughed at, they simply do not exist at all’.

        in context:

        “Neoliberalism lays out its demands in a simple way for white women who want to make it in this world: we are to be subservient, our consent made available for public sale, and for our hearts to go out to our men and women in uniform as they fight to keep the barbarians at bay who would throw a hijab over our nakedness. As for fighting women of color and women battling on imperial fronts – if they do not exist to arouse or be laughed at, they simply do not exist at all.”

        1. abynormal

          Holy Sh!t. back around 2004, Neal Boortz commented “if the US economy should falter, it will be the fault of single mothers”. i was knee deep in single mom’n…i was not in the mood. creative loafing nailed him for me…they dug up his original birth certificate and found his middle name to be Adolph…what kind of parents would do that? oh, let me guess…

    4. Synopticist

      God preserve us from the N.E.D. funded, fake dissent quasi-left. “Ooh, but we’re WOMEN, and have tattoos and funky hair!!. We can’t possibly be shills under those circumstances!!”.

  3. lambert strether

    I read the Pritchard piece. I wonder if there’s going to be any blowback from Obama turning the US-dominated global financial system into a “lethal weapon”?

    1. Jim Haygood

      Worth quoting:

      “The Americans have the power to throttle Russia unilaterally because no European or Western bank of any importance is going to defy the US after the fines imposed on BNP Paribas,” [Richard Granville of Trusted Sources] said.

      “What has been holding them back is fear of a damaging split between the US and Europe, since it is Europe that suffers the full blow-back from sanctions. This issue has been blown away completely by the crash. Europe’s leaders now have a duty to their own citizens to be tough,” he said.

      Mr Granville said the yawning gap that was building up last week between the two sides of the Atlantic has suddenly closed, making it much harder for Russian president Vladimir Putin to keep playing Europe off against America. Europe’s anger over the apparent missile strike and the abuse of the crime scene has denied him his last trump card.


      Well, isn’t that convenient. Cui bono, as Lambert was saying just the other day.

      Longer term, having a global hegemon in a position to shut down finance, payments and trade of any nation it decides to sanction, is an unacceptable national security risk. And not just for Russia. Even wily Canadians had better not get on our bad side.

      Global monetary arrangements change at glacial pace, until they don’t. With the USD at only 33 percent of global reserves, one of them chaotic sand pile avalanches could start at any moment.

      If Europe is not deep in strategic planning for an alternative monetary system, they are out of their minds. Je me souviens BLP Paribas!

          1. abynormal

            “years I spent in Rome, Salerno, Milan and Como” and from your post probably many more places. your interesting and now i know why i seek cultivation from your shares. Hat Tip

  4. Jim Haygood

    Jeremy Grantham, one of the foremost investigators of historic bubbles, discusses the serious possibility of a Cat. 5 Superbubble spawned by the PhD know-nothings of the banking cartel:

    ‘The economy, despite its being in year six of an economic recovery, still looks in many ways like quite a young economy. The are massive reserves of labor in the official unemployment rate, plus room for perhaps a 2% increase in labor participation rates as discouraged workers potentially get drawn into the workforce by steady groaf in the economy.

    [The] economy seems to have enough slack to keep going for a few years. Individuals and institutions did feel chastened by the crash of 2008 and many are just now picking up their courage. I think it is likely (better than 50/50) that all previous [M&A] deal records will be broken in the next year or two. This of course will help push the market up to true bubble levels, where it will once again become very dangerous indeed.


    It’s all fun and games until somebody loses an eye. Janet Yellen of the Bankers Red Cross will make hospital rounds, distributing eye patches with gold dollar signs, produced by the Federal Reserve womens auxiliary. Perhaps we’ve seen enough.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Well if they were, this market would be a strapping young fellow with a hot chick, a case of vodka, a box of poppers, a loaded pistol and the keys to dad’s Porsche on a Saturday night. Let’s rock.

        1. neo-realist

          And the hot chick passes on a dormant VD virus that expresses a few years down the line?

        2. craazyman

          It’s probly only a matter of laziness I have any money left at all — swayed as I was like a gullible child by all the Doom & Gloom they threw at us here and where the 4 Horsemen of the Financial Apocalypse ride roughshod over anyone trying to make a quick buck, like me and anybody else willing to be honest.

          Laziness is what can save you. I had all sorts of schemes in the planning stages to wildly short the market certain of its collapse, or go long precious metals in a Hail Mary bomb into the endzone. But pulling them together was so much work I never got around to it. Thankfully. Or I would have lost at least 70 percent of my money, if not more.

          That’s another advantage of Youtube videos, like John Lee Hooker one bourbon one shot and one beer. You decide on a get rich quick scheme then figure you’ll implement it later and surf over to Youtube. Then you never get around to actually buying anything.

          So what now? There’s still some cash to speculate with. I’m thinking this could be the year silver flies to the moon and gold to the sun. But I thought that last year too. I don’t know what to buy or sell to get rich quick. It shouldn’t be this hard. Thankfully there’s more John Lee hooker videos out there when the laziness hits. It makes me smile, to have both money and time to waste. And to know that the more time you waste the more money you’re likely to keep. It doesn’t seem like it should work that way, but it does.

      2. hunkerdown

        It’s been said that babies are only cute so that one won’t kill them immediately. Same dynamic.

    1. MikeNY

      Grantham is always a good read. He’s often right, but usually a few years early. So when he says this mofo has another few years to run … well, let’s just say I’m not selling yet. As Soros said, “of course I invest in bubbles. That’s how I make money.”

    2. griffen

      This may have been 1-2, maybe 3 weeks back – but on one of these links there was a decidedly non-random walk through history of stock market debacles.

      All the hullabaloo about M&A deals – okay I get why 2 smaller organizations might merge, but what is so tremendous about combining monolith 1 + monolith 2 into a mega-sized conglomeration (filled with mid-tier managers and numerous execs). A supposed big M&A deal just seems to fill coffers for the investment banks / advisers.

      1. abynormal

        imagine the spin-offs ‘shells’ from these mega conglomerates! 100s easy…Poof
        im thinking this is where many jobs ‘vanish’…never to return
        off shoring is so yesterday…watch n see

  5. trish

    re What actually happens to clothes

    link to Story of Stuff: Great short video. If you haven’t seen it, you should. a mere 20 minutes or so.

    I get/got nearly all my kids’ clothes at Goodwill-type places not just due to low income but because it is so much better for the environment- recycled clothing. My teenagers do too now.
    (I think it should be shown in all elementary schools before too many become typical American chronic shoppers, though so many have already been inculcated by then…)

  6. rich

    Carlyle Group Homeland Security Franchise Adds Palantir Tech Advisor

    Monument Capital Group Holding’s advisory board reads like a Carlyle Group legends list. It includes James A. Baker, III, Frank Carlucci, Thomas F. “Mac” McClarty, III and Mustafa V. Koç. Monument Capital added a new Senior Advisor from Palantir Technology, the group that ensures Davos and Bilderberg attendees are kept safe and sound from mere common folk.

    Michael Leiter is Head of Global Government, Cyber Operations and Senior Counselor to the CEO of Palantir Technologies. From 2007 to 2011 he was Director of the United States National Counterterrorism Centre. Mr Leiter has joined MCGH as a Senior Advisor. He will work the MCGH team to provide analysis of the changing global cyber security space and help to inform the firms’ target market and acquisition strategy.

    PEU’s go where the money is, hire ex-government insiders to steer strategy and acquisition of government contracts. Monument Capital wants to make big money off spying. A younger Thomas Jefferson would be appalled, the older version, not so much.

  7. JM Hatch

    Since I boycott Amazon, I wonder if eventually there will be authors whom I’m also boycotting by default.

    Once Amazon gets a lock on it all, as this article points out, the one making money won’t be the authors. Since, unlike musicians, they don’t have the option to tour large stadiums, or for the less successful; small clubs; it will be interesting to see how they find a way to survive.

  8. Lambert Strether

    Pierce, 2014 (Esquire):

    CPAC was loud and noisy and fun. Netroots was simply dead-assed. One convention felt like a movement. The other felt like a trade show.

    Lambert, 2102 (NC):

    Netroots Nation (NN) is, or now is, a regional-scale trade show where Democratic consultants mingle with activists and operatives….

    It feels “like” because it is.

    It helps to get there first if you’re not a reflexive tribalist. Just, ya know, sayin’.

  9. Jim Haygood

    BIG news flash on Obamacare:

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — A U.S. appeals court has struck down subsidies for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act in states that use federal marketplaces to buy coverage. Two of three judges in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals ruled that Obamacare restricts subsidies only to exchanges that have been “established by the state.”

    The ruling has the potential to undermine much of the ACA as it could make purchasing policies unaffordable. It would affect the vast majority of the nation, as only 16 states and the District of Columbia have established their own marketplaces, while the remaining 34 states use the federal government’s


    This is one of the downsides of ramming through a 2,400-page bill with one-vote parliamentary margins. After Scott Brown’s special election to the Senate in early 2010 cost Democrats their 60-40 filibuster-proof supermajority in the Senate, and Republicans took majority control of the House in midterm elections, technical corrections to fix drafting errors became impossible.

    Thus an innocuous phrase ‘established by the state,’ reflecting a complacent assumption that all 50 states would establish exchanges, became a buried land mine.

    How is the Roberts Supreme Court going to parse its way outta this one? Easy: “L’État, c’est moi,” Roberts will declare. After all, if the Supreme Court can elect presidents, establishing state health exchanges is a piece of cake!

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      This is sooooooo interesting.

      Maybe chaos is not just for the Middle East any more.

    2. lambert strether

      Another opinion shortly thereafter upheld ObamaCare. So I imagine this is headed for the Roberts court, which will no doubt work out a way (I’m with the right on this) to make the statute mean what it plainly does not mean, on the theory — follow me closely here — that all laws Congress writes always make sense. Pass the popcorn.

    3. different clue

      If this reaches Roberts’s Roberts Court, the Roberts Court led by Roberts will find a way to “uphold” the
      subsidies in all fifty states including the ones using the Federal Ochanges. He will do it for the same reason he pretzel-logicced the upholdability of the Forced Mandate to begin with.

      1. FederalismForever

        Today’s 2-1 decision against the ACA came from the D.C. Circuit. The next step is likely to be a full panel (i.e., before all the judges – not just three) hearing which will probably reverse this decision and uphold the ACA, since a majority of the D.C. Circuit judges are Democrat appointees. In other words, today’s decision might well be only a temporary setback for the ACA – though one that could still cause quite a bit of short-term confusion between now and whenever the full panel of D.C. Circuit court judges restore the ACA status quo ante.

        If this conflict eventually reaches the Supremes, I agree with “different clue” that Roberts will once again vote to uphold the ACA. Even on the assumption that the Supremes base their votes on purely partisan considerations (a view I personally do not share) the ACA’s many flaws and design defects have proven a godsend to Republicans, so why would Roberts want to put a stop to it? After all, the employer mandate and cadillac tax portions of the ACA haven’t even kicked in yet!

        1. hunkerdown

          The only partisanship that matters is to the oligarchs. Everything else is kayfabe. As a theory of mind, Gilens and Page has a great track record of explaining the past and predicting the future.

          The oligarchs win with ACA. Therefore, it will be upheld to the maximum extent possible.

        2. different clue

          My reason for predicting that the Roberts court would uphold subsidies is that he worked to get Ocare’s forced mandate upheld precisely and only for its vast enrichment potential for the insurance companies. He acted based on his social class allegiance and affinity. I don’t think he diddit to give the Republicans more political grievances to work with. I think he diddit strictly to make super rich people and companies even super richer. And that’s why he will get his court to uphold subsidies if it reaches his court.

          1. FederalismForever

            You seriously believe that the “only” reason Chief Justice Roberts upheld the ACA was “for its vast enrichment potential for the insurance companies”? That is an absurdly reductive and simplistic view of his motivations and legal reasoning. If it were that simple, why didn’t any of the other conservatives join his opinion? Moreover, given the increased taxes and fees embedded within the ACA (including the so-called “Cadillac tax” and the tax on unearned income) which are generally levied in a very progressive fashion, it’s simply false that the ACA works to “make super rich people even super richer”, especially if those super rich people don’t own any shares in insurance companies.

    4. Bunk McNulty

      Take the ruling of your choice! “The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, upheld the subsidies, saying that a rule issued by the Internal Revenue Service was “a permissible exercise of the agency’s discretion.”
      The ruling came within hours of a 2-to-1 ruling by a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which said that the government could not subsidize insurance for people in states that use the federal exchange.

      Courts Issue Conflicting Rulings

      1. hunkerdown

        It’s an election season (as always). The partisan cattle are running low on pool noodles and Nerf bats. If they start talking about power and capitalism, the oligarchs are screwed. Therefore, resupply convoy now!

  10. abynormal

    The Corrupting Role of Corporate Co-ops (many links available…H/T Carl Ratner)
    One worrying form of cooptation and corruption is the association of corporate co-ops with worker co-ops and consumer co-ops. This association enables corporate, capitalist values to corrupt cooperative values. This is especially true when the corporate character of co-ops is ignored, and they are presented as ordinary co-ops with the same values and interests as consumer and worker co-ops.
    I will examine two corporate co-ops and how their interests oppose our co-op movement and cooperation…

    1. diptherio

      As was pointed out the other day by another commenter, there has long been an unstated divide within the co-op community between essentially capitalist co-ops like CHS (Cenex) and what I would call “true” co-ops, which have goals that are notably different from profit maximization, which is the stated goal of CHS. I think in the past, because the movement was so small and fragile, that many people who didn’t really like what was going on at the corporate co-ops, didn’t say too much because the movement needed as many people and as much financing as possible and the corporate co-ops provided both. Now that the movement seems to be gaining momentum, and doing so largely as a result of the abject failures of our capitalist economic system, people are becoming more willing to call out the uncooperative behavior of co-ops like CHS and NCFC.

      It’s quite possible that the co-op movement may be heading for a split, if enough “true” co-ops decide that they don’t want to share trade organizations with “co-ops” who pay their executives 7 figure salaries and buddy up to the Koch brothers. I think this could be a good thing, although it would no doubt be somewhat traumatic in the short term.

      1. abynormal

        Agree Dip…ive read and filed the majority of your co-op post. i see this as a good thing too…im concerned folks won’t research or have the information available to them…silent partner of deregulation is censorship. the con/glomerates are going to make their move on them…they can’t help themselves while lawlessness morphs.
        the short term trauma maybe the wakeup call the co-ops need…the fight will be polarized and that alone could open up to more members. there is more of us than them…its a good place to take’m on.

    2. Ulysses

      Very important piece! This admonition deserves especial emphasis:
      “It is clearly corrupting and coopting for NCBA (and other cooperative centers) to tout these corporate cooperatives as genuine co-ops and invite them into the co-op community as partners and model co-ops. Their influence opposes the development of genuine co-ops and cooperation. Their association with leading cooperative organizations also makes it appear that they are compatible with genuine co-ops, and that co-ops include corporate, capitalist businesses. This mystifies the entire nature of co-ops and cooperation – but that, after all, is what cooptation and corruption are designed to do.”

      A fat corporate checkbook is very often a much more formidable weapon against progress than tear-gas and rubber bullets!

      1. abynormal

        it is very important. this is where the fight can be taken to them But only if there is awareness these wolves are slobbering for anything not tide down.

        Tim S. really got to me yesterday…we cannot afford Comfort

        tim s July 21, 2014 at 10:14 am

        Comfort is overrated – it leads to dulling of the mind and body, which in itself leads to decline in family and society, which then leads us to where we are now in the west. I remember thinking back in the 90′s that the “success” of America at that point was nearly the worst that could happen to us, and look where we are now…. This could not happen to a people who were not collectively dull in mind and weak in spirit, not to mention short on critical thinking skills (also caused by not needing to think about much in a life of ease)

        struggle brings good people closer together and crises focus the mind, so you can look forward to that. You are still quite young and life rewards strength of mind and body in ways that are not immediately obvious – so all I can say is enjoy good moments when they come, which they will no matter what else is going on. There will be pain that comes with transitioning from a weaker to a stronger condition, but this is a worthy pain that will result in a good feeling once you have passed through and stand on a higher plateau.

        Good luck, you have the chance to be a hero. Somebody invariably will be – not everyone has to be cannon fodder.

        (btw ive pasted this in many places and its getting a huge response from my 50 age group. he knocked it All out of the park, short n sweet like)

  11. Ian

    Hello, found this wonderful site, am becoming a subscriber. Just wondering is it possible to do an update on TISA. TPP and TTIP have been getting a lot more press am worried that TISA may slip by unnoticed.

  12. diptherio

    Re: Krugman and the Imaginary Budget Crisis:

    It’s true that the fact that we’re still running a deficit means federal debt in dollar terms continues to grow — but the economy is growing too, so the budget office expects the crucial ratio of debt to G.D.P. to remain more or less flat for the next decade.

    Crucial ratio? And what, pray tell, would that be? Surely not the debunked 90% ratio of Reinhart and Rogoff? But if not that ratio, which one? Hmmm…curious.

    Later on he admits that the US cannot run out of it’s own currency, but he doesn’t seem to have internalized what exactly that means on the marco level yet. Kruggy’s a slow learner, but he’s coming along.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Kurgman is cherry picking. Here’s what the CBO actually said:

      ‘If current laws remained generally unchanged in the future, federal debt held by the public would decline
      slightly relative to GDP over the next few years. After that, however, growing budget deficits would push debt back to and above its current high level. Twenty-five years from now, in 2039, federal debt held by the public would exceed 100 percent of GDP, CBO projects.’

      Reinhart and Rogoff’s claim that high debt slows growth is backed up by other authors. Steve Cecchetti at the BIS:

      ‘Beyond a certain level, debt is a drag on growth. For government debt, the threshold is around 85% of GDP. ‘

      1. diptherio

        Oh jeez, it looks like most of their data set comes from Euro countries. I’m sure that doesn’t make any difference at all…Just a little disingenuous, wouldn’t you say?

    2. Benedict@Large

      People have completely misunderstood the debunking of Reinhart/Rogoff’s Debt-To-GDP work. It was not merely the debunking of their 90% answer. It was the debunking of the entire concept of Debt-To-GDP saying anything at all about growth. Debt-To-GDP is simply two numbers put together to create a ratio that some people think has meaning but does not. Right wingers can kick and scream all they want, but it won’t change the fact that it’s just one more thing on a long list of what they got WRONG.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        No, the bigger problem is…. REPEAT AFTER ME…..

        Correlation is not causation.

        Rising government debt levels and low growth are most often BOTH effects of the same cause…..a financial crisis.


  13. Matthew G. Saroff

    One of the comments that is made all over American media is that the only thing that the Russians can do is to cut gas to Europe to retaliate for sanctions.

    This is incorrect.

    For example, if the Russians want to target the most bellicose player in this game (the US) they could, while remaining in compliance with the various trade agreements, use compulsory licensing to produce blockbuster drugs that are held by US pharmaceutical companies.

    While the Russian market is small, if these drugs, like for example the $1,000-per-pill Hepatitis C drug Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) were made, and somehow or other they got smuggled out of Russia and sold in 3rd world nations, or even Western Europe, it hits the US directly.

    After all, it is very likely that there IS a Hep C problem in Russia, which provides justification for compulsory licensing.

    1. abynormal

      this month there was link about GB experiencing sticker shock for their generics. we’ve priced ourselves out and the market could easily open up for russia. but unregulated drugs makes for short term profits…death n all. years ago i saw a documentary on our pharmaceuticals made in china…wasn’t pretty.

    2. Carolinian

      Why stop at drugs? If the Russians want to go rogue on IP they could stick a finger in many a pie.

      Although the Obots claim Russia is trying to take over the world they know the truth is just the opposite else they wouldn’t be acting so recklessly. Putin wants to be part of the world system, not defy it.

  14. Banger

    Re: G-men involved in terrorist plots.

    Most people know that the major “plots” that the government claims. To have foiled were entrapment or involved paid informants as these things usually tend to be. The fact is that there is no terrorist “threat” only a threat from external sources. We really need to understand that the our intel agencies and national police forces (FBI, DEA, and Treasury) are corrupt as anyone who has studied the history of these agencies can readily understand. As corrupt as the FBI was during the Hoover period, it is worse today. It is clear to me that they are some of the chief enemies of the American people and do not, in my view have more than a passing interest in the welfare or protection of the American people.

  15. Jess

    “but big selling self published authors got their names while being published by conventional publishers. Not that I am wedded to the conventional publishers, but I question how newbie authors break out in a self-publishing model.”

    That’s exactly the problem. You have to run ads on various book promotion websites but the biggest and most productive now requires that you have a minimum of 100 reviews before they will even consider your ad. Good luck getting to 100 reviews. I have 54 reviews and average 4.5 out of 5 stars but that means I’m only half way to qualifying. In the meantime you can run a promotion every six months on Amazon Select. Combine that with $500 worth of ads on lesser book promo sites and the result is 500 sales in a week. Then, once the promo is over, it falls back down to a couple dozen sales a month. In my case I’m fortunate that the book has political appeal so I’m gearing up to run some ads after the summer on political websites. But whether they pay off or not remains to be seen.

  16. fresno dan

    Why do police arrest people who use cell phones to film police (who are public employees in a public place performing a taxpayer funded activity)??? Why, why, why????????????

    But an NYPD internal report prepared right after his death on Staten Island last Thursday plays down the incident, with supervising officers failing to note the chokehold and insisting Garner was not in “great distress.”

    Ask yourself – if they’re hadn’t been a video of this, would the chokehold even be a consideration, as the initial report tried to airbrush it out of existence

    1. cnchal

      Why do police arrest people who use cell phones to film police (who are public employees in a public place performing a taxpayer funded activity)??? Why, why, why????????????

      You know why.

      Ask yourself – if they’re hadn’t been a video of this, would the chokehold even be a consideration, as the initial report tried to airbrush it out of existence

      No. Without video evidence, there would be denial a choke hold was ever used, and even if there were civilian eyewitnesses, their testimony is worth nothing. Police never lie.

      What I found disheartening was the whole reason for the arrest was that Eric Garner, was arrested for selling untaxed cigarettes.

      Contrast that with hedge funds tax cheating even after the IRS “wrote a memo in 2010 telling players involved to cut it out, and they didn’t.”

      Finance parasites can defy the IRS, in essence stealing billions, but don’t you dare sell untaxed cigarettes!

    2. Banger

      Since 9/11 the whole attitude of police all over the U.S. has changed–they are much more belligerent than they used to be. The public has changed too–the average person believes that the police, without saying so of course, should be allowed to mete out street-justice and so they do. Why not, constraints seem to have disappeared–the “liberal” class has dissolved so why not?

  17. hunkerdown

    Right after the midterms? The strategy looks to be to jam TPP through in the lame-duck session. Reid’s admitted it and now Nikkei’s admitted it.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      No, as we wrote in an earlier long-form post, the Japanese press does not grok Congressional politics. They just repeat what the USTR tells them.

      There are ~200 votes in the House against the TPP, mainly Dems but some Rs. Boehner has said he does not have the votes. Harry Reid won’t table the bill in the Senate and Reid in not going away in the lame duck session.

  18. abynormal

    U.S. Said Poised to Label MetLife Systemically Important, Bloomberg/Today 4:56e/pm
    U.S. regulators are poised to label MetLife Inc. (MET) a potential threat to the financial system, subjecting the insurer to oversight by the Federal Reserve, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

    A decision by the Financial Stability Oversight Council may come as early as July 31, when the panel is tentatively planning to meet, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process isn’t public. The vote could be delayed briefly because the council hasn’t formally closed its review of the company, the people said.

    MetLife, the biggest U.S. life insurer, could be subjected to stricter capital, leverage and liquidity requirements as a result of Fed supervision. The company has been under consideration as systemically important for more than a year, and its executives have met more than 10 times with council staff members to argue it doesn’t pose a risk.

    John Calagna, a spokesman for New York-based MetLife, and Suzanne Elio, a Treasury spokeswoman, declined to comment. The council’s rules prohibit it from disclosing the names of companies unless a designation is made.
    FSOC Process

    The council vote would be a proposed designation, and MetLife would have 30 days to request a hearing before the FSOC to contest the decision. After a hearing, the regulators would hold a final vote on whether to designate MetLife. The company reports earnings after the market closing July 30 and will hold an investor call July 31, the same day the FSOC is planning to meet.

    U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew is chairman of the council, whose 10 voting members also include the heads of the Fed, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

    The council has designated three non-bank financial companies systemically important: insurers American International Group Inc. (AIG) and Prudential Financial Inc. (PRU), and General Electric Co. (GE)’s finance arm. A two-thirds vote, including Lew’s, is required.

    “It is difficult to imagine that AIG, MET or PRU would be short on capital in any reasonable scenario, although there is some risk that share buybacks could be constrained,” Jay Gelb, an analyst at Barclays Plc (BARC), said in a July 17 note to investors, using ticker symbols for the insurers.
    Prudential’s Hearing
    Prudential requested an oral hearing after the council proposed designating it systemically important in June 2013. The hearing was held the following month, and the FSOC held its final vote to designate the insurer in September 2013. AIG and GE Capital didn’t request hearings.

    MetLife, led by Chief Executive Officer Steven Kandarian, has insisted that it isn’t systemically important and wouldn’t pose a risk to the broader financial system even if it were to fail. The insurer didn’t take a bailout during the 2008 financial crisis.

    Kandarian told investors June 10 that it was too early to know exactly what a systemic designation would mean for his company. Regulators “could still come up with draft rules that we would find reasonable or come up with draft rules that maybe we wouldn’t find as reasonable,” he said.

    Republicans in Congress are proposing legislation that they say would increase the council’s transparency. The lawmakers say the FSOC should advise companies earlier when they are being discussed at council meetings.

    At a June 24 hearing before the House Financial Services Committee, Lew asserted that the FSOC is transparent and said critics who call it opaque are “simply wrong.”

      1. abynormal

        its crazy Lambert…the exposure has to be HUGE or nobody in their right/left mind would allow this to surface at this time. the markets are all over the place tonight…NY Fed messing with Deutsche today (for 75T derivative risk when JPM was at 72T a couple years ago).
        financial battles are happening closer together…again

        can you believe these rats get paid to whine like this: “MetLife, led by Chief Executive Officer Steven Kandarian, has insisted that it isn’t systemically important and wouldn’t pose a risk to the broader financial system even if it were to fail. The insurer didn’t take a bailout during the 2008 financial crisis.”

  19. abynormal
    “Yields on a short-term bond issued by a troubled Chinese construction company have more than doubled in recent days as hope fades that the firm can avoid defaulting on Wednesday.
    wow…One day after Huatong’s July 16 announcement, the yield on its bond spiked to a record high of nearly 15 percent, from around 6 percent, and has remained in the neighborhood since then.

    The way the spike was contained and Huatong’s bonds haven’t been trading at significant discount levels might be explained by a belief there will be payment on the bond, with a delay.”

  20. ewmayer

    Re. Atlantic City — a famous aphorism about “castles built on sand” comes to mind.

  21. abynormal

    another dang whiner: “Kano raised 160 million yen ($1.6 million) from a Japanese venture capital firm to start bitFlyer in what he says was the country’s biggest investment in bitcoin to date. He is now seeking to raise cash from an overseas fund so the company can offer the service outside of Japan by year-end, he said.

    “If we have another fiasco like Mt. Gox, it’s game over,” Kano said, speaking in his company’s sparsely-furnished, glass-walled office a few blocks away from the Japanese parliament. “There needs to be monitoring to prevent that from happening.”

    could monitoring be the same as regulation but without regulation? nah

  22. Snoopy in the CO2 chamber

    Re Metlife, using the Stern school’s methodology, Metlife is consistently fourth most likely to blow up the world next time,

    and like every other shitty incompetent financial institution, they think they’re going to manage your money now. Don’t ever get a financial product from them. They are a roach motel for your assets.

  23. abynormal

    Turkey arrests policemen for ‘spying’
    The arrests are the latest round in a bitter feud between Erdogan and his former ally Fethullah Gulen, in the wake of a vast corruption scandal that broke late last year implicating the prime minister and his inner circle.
    Supporters of exiled cleric Gulen in the police force were widely blamed for leaking details of scandals.
    The latest wave of arrests is set to further inflame political tensions in Turkey as Erdogan attempts to take the presidency in August 10 elections, having been prime minister for more than a decade.

    (tie dye tshirts for this one)

    1. ambrit

      Good catch! But it doesn’t have to be any particular Great Depression.
      Our family used to do cooking like that whenever I would suffer, (really, we all suffered,) a lay off. Being poor means not being able to lay up reserves for the future even when fully “employed.” (Look around yourself the next time you are at the grocery store. Watch the different styles of shopping in evidence. It’s very instructive.)

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