Links and Quick Takes 6/11/08

Rescue dogs train for Olympics BBC

Racing principles’ role in cutting emissions BBC

“If you could take 10% off the weight of every car on the planet overnight, it would make so much more difference than all the new engine technologies and fuel technologies that people are talking about”…

Please, Mr Obama No Half-Assed Measures Cassandra (hat tip Scott)

Banks vs. Consumers (Guess Who Wins) Business Week. On how biased credit card arbitration procedures are.

Was Malthus Right? Chris Dillow (hat tip Mark Thoma)

Faber Says Oil, Stocks, Real Estate Are Overvalued The Big Picture. This is pretty remarkable, since recently Faber was recommending commodities. This contrasts with Tony Hayward of BP saying current oil prices are warranted, and the head of Gazprom predicting oil will go to $250 a barrel (yeah, but Gazprom is a gas company).

The Great Seduction David Brooks, New York Times. Mirable dictu! David Brooks comes out in favor of usury laws!

Banks face $10bn monolines charges Financial Times:

Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and UBS, the banks most exposed to Ambac and MBIA, could face further writedowns of up to $10bn after the bond insurers last week lost their fight to retain their triple A credit ratings.

A buddy sent me the report on which this story was based yesterday and I didn’t post on it, partly due to time constraints, but also because the forecast doesn’t sound all that bad.

Sustaining growth is the century’s big challenge Martin Wolf, Financial Times. Key quote:

Peter Vitousek of Stanford University has documented the ways in which humanity has appropriated the bounty of the earth for its own use: human beings now exploit 50 per cent of the terrestrial photosynthetic potential; they have put up a quarter of the carbon dioxide now in the atmosphere; they use 60 per cent of the accessible river run-off; they are responsible for 60 per cent of the earth’s nitrogen fixation; they are responsible for a fifth of all plant invasions; over the past two millennia they have made extinct a quarter of all bird species; and they have exploited or over-exploited more than half of the world’s fisheries.

Antidote du jour:

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  1. Tom Lindmark

    So what’s the point on the Vitousek comment. I like your blog but posting comments that have no supporting data is one of my pet peeves when is comes to Web 2.0. Does he want to roll back the clock to a time of his prescription or do we accept change?

  2. Yves Smith


    The quote came from the Martin Wolf article in the FT, and the link was provided. If there is a problem, it’s old media, not new media.

  3. Tom Lindmark

    No problem and I should have looked more closely at the author and who was citing him. I wasn’t banging on you. It’s just a pet peeve.
    At the same time, don’t be so thinned skinned. I’m not Gasparino.

  4. Yves Smith

    Sorry, Didn’t mean to sound cranky, Am working on two posts which are borderline rants, and it’s bleeding over into my regular writing.

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