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Friday, April 18, 2014

Links 4/18/14

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More From Ex-SEC Lawyer James Kidney on the Agency’s Failing

Former SEC enforcement lawyer James Kidney discusses the agency’s shortcomings and suggests reforms.

Did Derivatives Worsen the Eurozone Sovereign Debt Crisis?

Yves here. This post summarizes a paper that argues that derivatives, specifically credit default swaps, exacerbated the severity of the European sovereign debt tsuris. This sort of analysis deserves a wider audience, precisely because the prejudice of both neoclassical and neoliberal economists is that markets are ever and always virtuous, and that prices are never wrong unless someone is interfering (with labor unions the preferred bad example).

General Mills Retreats an Inch on Its Mandatory Arbitration Overreach

Law Professor Adam Levitin argued that we peons should make counterclaims against General Mills’ overreaching arbitration policy.

Ukraine: Is Obama Channeling Cheney?

In this Real News Network report, Michael Hudson discusses the news blackout in the US as far as critical developments in the Ukraine are concerned, and how the distortions and gaps in reporting exceed those in the runup to the Iraq War.

Links 4/17/14

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General Mills Opens New Frontier in Denying Consumers Right to Sue: Just Use Its Products

To enable it to continue to engage in misleading labeling and advertising, General Mills claims that anyone who buys its products or even merely is dumb enough to like it on Facebook has consented to arbitration.

Quelle Surprise! Ginnie Mae Says Bank of America Has Lots of Servicing Documents Missing; MERS Also in Hot Water

An article by Kate Berry in American Banker earlier this week hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves. Anyone who was paying attention to the mortgage beat in 2010 through 2012 knew that mortgage securitization originators and servicers were playing fast and loose with critical documents like mortgage notes because they couldn’t be bothered to observe […]

When Will Big Business Figure Out That the Education-Industrial Complex is Eating its Lunch?

Yves here. This post points out how parochial Corporate America has become in its looting. Look at how some not-very-large changes in approach would leave those fat cats much better off! And they wouldn’t be so terrible for the rest of us either.

How the Junk Food Industry Preys on the Young in Emerging Markets

How the junk food industry tries to get its way with young children in India.

Links 4/16/14

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Yet Another Shoddy Democratic Hack Job from Paul Krugman on ObamaCare

I know, I know. Film at 11! But let us sorrowfully pull on our waders and look at Krugman’s latest.

Latest Froth Indicator: Micro Private Equity Funds, aka “Search Funds”

Who in their right mind would want to invest in a search fund?

Don Quijones: “Uncreative” Destruction – The Troika’s Hostile Takeover of Europe

How the Troika is overriding national constitutions and popular will to strip-mine Europe’s periphery countries on behalf of banks.

Joan Robinson’s “Introduction to Modern Economics”

One of the more shocking things about Robinson’s textbook is the way many core features of neoclassical economics are brushed away in a sentence or paragraph as mere metaphysical reasoning. She defines such reasoning as being “applied to a use of language that conveys no factual information, describes no logical relations nor gives precise instructions and yet is calculated to affect conduct.”