Links 7/16/08

Koala bearing up after car ordeal BBC

Tumours ‘alter devils’ sex lives’ BBC

Study: Americans Expect Business Leaders to Be White PhysOrg

D-Day Dakotas Grounded for Aviators by EU Wants of Radar, Masks Bloomberg

Horrors Of US Torture Of Children Elaine Meinel Supkis. A Knight Ridder story and other incidents, based on a search of Google News, appears to be getting zero traction in the MSM.

Did Fannie and Freddie cause the mortgage crisis? Jim Hamilton, Econbrowser

Various posts deriding the SEC’s efforts to go after evil short. I would like to pile in, but this issue is being ably covered:

The SEC Panics Felix Salmon

Operation Stocks Go Up Always David Gaffen, Wall Street Journal

A slippery slope Macro Man

The Patrick Byrne Award for Fighting Market Manipulation: Christopher Cox Long or Short Capital

Buck Naked Fannie & Freddie The Nattering Naybob

What Liberal Bias in the Federal Courts? Mark Thoma. Great chart

Antidote du jour:

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  1. Dave Raithel

    RE Torture: I had earlier seen the video of Yoo demonstrating his inability to categorically state that the President does not have inherent constitutional powers as Commander in Chief to order that someone be buried alive. Yesterday the man Tommy Franks called “the fucking dumbest man on earth”, Doug Feith, invented a distinction between humane and inhumane “harsh treatment”, such that, I suppose, one might humanely force someone to lie naked on a cold floor, twisted up like a pretzel and exposed to a barking police dog restrained by a chain inches away. People like to pretend I chime that America is drifting to fascism because I enjoy hyperbole. That’s easier than supposing that Yoo and Feith are no different than those Nazi officers expressing concern for the humanity of the grunts doing the hard work of killing – for the German soldier was, after all, a sensitive and cultured man. The gas vans and chambers were introduced not just for efficiency but to relieve senstive and cultered men from having to do the hard work of shooting people in the backs of their heads. I am sure there is a more humane way of doing that too….

  2. Dave Raithel

    Re Naked Shorting: Once again, I sit flummoxed, stymied by a sense that finance just is not for anyone but the people who do it. I read all referenced posts; I read the related articles in the NY Times, the Washington Post, and the LA Times. Despite being told that this “problem” is “not a problem” (even if illegal, as the news stories say), my ordinary, droll and unsophisticated appreciation of buying, selling, and borrowing prompts me to ask: How does one sell what one does not own? I get how regular shorting works (and ever since a business student of mine when teaching ethics explained it to me, I’ve sensed how that could be abused, but never mind that). But how does naked selling not involve forestalling or failing to deliver or something such that somebody gets reamed if the drop don’t happen on time? I often read here and elsewhere that “more transparency” is needed about finance; how does hiding I don’t have what I’ve sold you increase transparency?

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