Links 7/25/08

Griping Online? Comcast Hears You and Talks Back New York Times

Economists’ new research shows positive effects of minimum-wage increases PhysOrg

A Turkish theater for World War III Chan Akyam, Asia Times. I have no idea how likely the author’s scenario is, but the piece does suggest, if nothing else, that Turkey is going to become a flash point.

It’s NOT international trade. Don’t be fooled Econospeak. The last paragraph swings and misses, but the rest of piece presents an underexamined line of thought.

TNK-BP chief executive Robert Dudley quits Russia Times Online, plus a different example of the same phenomenon, An Investment Gets Trapped in Kremlin’s Vise The New York Times. The number one issue in investing in countries that lack proper due process even for the natives is you are at risk of having your assets expropriated. China enthusiasts take note.

US Banks: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Institutional Risk Analytics. This article says that the majority of banks in the US look to be in good shape and then looks at BankAtlantic, CapOne, and WaMu. This newsletter is the past has been more downbeat about about the banking industry, I wonder if it felt the need to distance itself from the bloggers that Shiela Bair said were “out of control”.

Antidote du jour:

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  1. Richard Kline

    I dispute virtually everything in Akyam’s propaganda piece, down to where the commas are placed. It is furthermore no accident that this piece bruits about the ultra-phoney ‘Sunni vs. Shi’a’ meme, that darling dream of American intelligence services since 01 otherwise minor for the peoples who are meant to fall upon each other rather than combine against US interventionism. His every use of the term ‘socialist’ (not that I am one, but) is both pejorative in usage and grossly inaccurate in historical fact, a signature flourish of neo-connery. This article has the fingerprints of a ‘Western intelligence (dys)service’ plant all over it.

    The major problem for both Pakistan _and_ Turkey, which they do in fact share, is that they have both been utterly dominated by huge, parasitic, military oligarchies from the time they had their present sovereign borders. Militaries, professionally competent at first in Pakistan, not in Turkey, which are virulently nationalist to the point of endemice human rights abuses against ethnic minorities; unwilling to let civil secular organizations develop; economically incompetent; unable to promote productive regional ententes in either case. Militaries in short, both _colossal burdens_ upon the otherwise enterprising inhabitants of both lands.

    That’s not to say that radical Islamists are no concern in these two countries. They have no traction in Turkey, nor are they likely to get one in the absence of severe military repression: What is striking in Turkey is that the military is loosing ground as well as standing, a reality which this article goes to pains to avoid acknowledging. Only the truly despised US occupation of Iraq has, in the mind of non-nationalist zealot Turks, propped up the standing of the military there over the last half dozen years. Otherwise, moderninzing Islamists would have a real grip on things by now. Pakistan is a deep, deep problem there. I put the odds on a disastrous American intervention there in the next twenty years or less at above 50%: Iraq may very well be the dress rehersal for Pakistan, just as in it’s way Korea was for Vietnam. I hope not, but I’m not sanguine on this at all.

    The antidote du jour is timeless: Horsepower in a back-to-the-future milieu.

  2. Anonymous

    The number one issue in investing in countries that lack proper due process even for the natives is you are at risk of having your assets expropriated.

    And yet, everyone assumes their funds are just peachy in accounts in small island communities or small seemingly neutral countries like Lichtenstein.

    I do wonder what happened to the rest of the car. I’m thinking it was in an accident. Hats off to the enterprising owner.

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