Links 8/27/08

The Chai Story. If you own a dog, you MUST read this, immediately.

Python kills Venezuelan zookeeper BBC

New Evidence Debunks ‘Stupid’ Neanderthal Myth ScienceDaily

Rumor: Apple telling retailers not to order more inventory Ars Technica

Why I had to recognise Georgia’s breakaway regions Dmitry Medvedev Financial Times and Russia Never Wanted a War Mikhail Gorbachev New York Times. The first piece is a tad disingenuous (Russia certainly was not required to act, but Medvedev does make a point that is uncomfortable for the West), the second a bit of candor that appears to have been ignored.

Final pieces in jigsaw of doom drop into place Jeff Randall, Telegraph

Fannie, Freddie Post Biggest Profits on Mortgages Since 1998 Bloomberg

A Preferred Problem; Fannie, Freddie Downgrades Loom Large Paul Jackson

“The swelling tide of toxic home loans is proving to be even more worrisome than initially feared” Dean Baker is more scathing than usual, and I think I know why. That sentence is reminiscent of Emperor Hirohito’s declaration, “The war has not progressed entirely as we would have wished.”

Antidote du jour:

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  1. Independent Accountant

    The Bush-Rice foreign policy duo is hopelessly incompetent. I’ve posted at my blog about our Russia policy which has restarted the cold war. Rice is a joke as Secretary of State. Imagine, she’s a Russia specialist. Does that mean she doesn’t have enough brains to know not to poke a sleeping bear in the eye? Can she read a map?

  2. doc holiday

    As I sit and ponder mindless data:

    I wonder that it is somewhat odd that NBER has not determined if there is a recession (yet). As I ponder that chart where the prior shaded areas of grey align with blue zig-zags and cycles, it seems that when a downward slope heads south for an extended period, then continues to head south, southwest over an extended time, that might suggest a recession, or maybe a cycle that is evolving …. maybe very slow, or in lingering decline, weak, stalled, out of steam, kaput, outta gas, tired, maybe ready for a break??

    Regardless of NBER politics, after looking back at the glory years of The Ownership Society and reviewing and re-thinking how much of that period is being currently written off, re-stated, re-engineered, re-spun, denied, lied about and covered up — it is curious that it is taking so long to come to terms with the reality that we may have shifted out of an economic boom cycle, which was primarily built on fraud, collusion and corruption.

    We now know the twisted version of that growth period and continue to watch daily as more fraud is unraveled. The coiled spiral of debt and derivatives and synthetic chicanery from then, spins into systemic chaos, as we watch the collapse of GSEs and the amazing reality that FDIC and Treasury are going broke. An endless list of economic bailouts of too big to fail, too big to succeed congames couldn't even be discussed in public at the recent Jackson Hole Party last weekend — but does NBER have a say in this illusion?

    That was my initial thought when I saw that chart, i.e, where is The Recession? Where is the grey bar and why do I care what The Fed says?

    To be fair, this dumb chart, like the nice lion photo provided by Yves, is yet another metaphor which has to do with taking things out of context, i.e, a day in the life of a lion condensed into a split second image is fragmentation and unconnected — thus, like a snapshot of the economy, Fed stories, graphs, charts, testimony all fail to tell the real story, the whole truth — these engineered sound-bites and pieces of fragmented evidence fail to show the full spectrum of problems associated with the whole pie — as if, looking through a telescope and seeing the moon and missing the stars, like driving a car with a blindfold at night, like voting for a slick politician that acts as a front for the lobby groups behind the curtains that exist like cancer cells, with agendas to steal. Sometimes, we see too clearly, while other times we tap our collective canes in the gutter…

    The metaphor here, is the interplay between going beyond capturing an imaginary moment or segment and being just content with a static image — the point is to think about details and connect a sequence of dynamic events and to not be trapped in a frozen frame that is out of context and irrelevant. This is a metaphor that represents the spirit of dynamic thinking which demands accountability?

  3. Anonymous

    Is the photo real or changed? The paw looks fatter than one would expect of a “teenage” lion?

  4. Anonymous


    You’re really doing a service to animal lovers by posting things like the Chai link (I sent it to everyone I know). Not to mention all of the other wonderful info on this site! Many thanks. A side note fyi: one of the most beautiful animal movies in memory: Duma.

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