Links 10/17/08

Why Darwin Would Have Loved Botox Discover Magazine (hat tip reader Megan)

Report says Arctic temperatures at record highs PhysOrg

Four Hundred Billion Dollars for a loaf of bread in Zimbabwe Baraz

China Mulls Letting Four Brokers Try Margin Trading Bloomberg. Why is governments’ default answer to problems these days “Break glass and apply leverage”?

Banks Are Likely to Hold Tight to Bailout Money New York Times

Financial crisis: Interest rates to hit lowest level since 1694 Telegraph

‘DIP’ Loans Are Scarce, Complicating Bankruptcies Wall Street Journal. On one level stunning, on another predictable, but regardless, it means fewer companies will succeed in putting together a Chapter 11 reorganization and will instead liquidate.

LIBOR Stress could = $730B in damage already Nick Gogerty (hat tip Felix Salmon)

Sarah “Frodo” Palin and The Cancer School of Economics Bill Cusack, Huffington Post. Despite the title, this is mainly about….sharks.

Antidote du jour:

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  1. Richard Kline

    I know, I know: I try every perspective too, and humankind _still_ doesn’t make a lick of sense. Big Brains = Disequilibrium Potentiators, best I can figure.

  2. Anonymous

    When the calories expended in carting your currency
    to the bakery exceed those of the loaf of bread, you’ve
    got a problem.

  3. a

    800 M Usd loss by Groupe Caisse d’Epargne, the French banking group, *last week* in equity derivatives. Now we know who was holding a large part of the bag.

  4. Anonymous

    On margin trading in China, not just a leverage issue in the face of persistent down-turn, but a general liberalization of the financial markets there. Note that even as the US/UK banned short-trading, China introduce short-selling at the end of September.

  5. Eleanor

    What is the bird? I am suspecting a female northern harrier, but hard to tell in this pose.

    Or is it an owl? I don’t know owls well, because I don’t go out much at night.

  6. Don

    via Bloomberg:

    "`Armageddon' Prices Fail to Lure Buyers Amid Selling (Update2)

    By Pierre Paulden and Caroline Salas

    Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) — Credit markets have fallen so far that they are providing a “once in a lifetime opportunity,'' and investors are still selling.

    Prices of loans rated below investment grade declined to a record low 66.1 cents on the dollar, virtually guaranteeing investors get their money back, based on historical recovery rates, according to data compiled by Standard & Poor's. Yields on corporate bonds show investors expect 5.6 percent of the market to go bust, the highest default rate since the Great Depression, according to Christopher Garman, chief executive officer of debt research firm Garman Research LLC in Orinda, California.

    While central banks injected $3 trillion into the global economy, credit markets are tumbling because banks are clamping down on lending, forcing investors to unload assets they bought with borrowed money. The Federal Reserve said Aug. 11 that its quarterly survey shows most “domestic institutions reported having tightened their lending standards and terms.''

    “There has been widespread liquidation of assets that has nothing to do with fundamentals,'' said Scott D'Orsi, a partner at Boston-based Feingold O'Keeffe Capital, a hedge fund which has $1.3 billion in assets. “Investors in bank debt are being presented with a vast number of extraordinary opportunities; opportunities that I would characterize as once in a lifetime.''

    Isn't not looking at fundamentals what got us into this mess?

    Don the libertarian Democrat

  7. Anonymous

    @eleanor —
    concur re the northern harrier, but i think it’s more likely a juvie. not so much because of the undignified pose, but because the banding at the end of the tail seems a bit washed out. hard to say; the color balance on that photo might be wonky. harrier ought to have bright yellow eyes/legs.

  8. MarcoPolo

    @ anonymous & eleanor
    But the white oak leaves look more like European species Quercas penundulata and there are several other harriers there. Long tail is right though

  9. Chris

    How About Athene Noctua? Much more appropriate under the circumstances.

    Compare with these curious chicks

    Named for the goddess who sprung fully armed from Zeus’s brow these stealthy hunters do their best work at night while most everyone else is asleep.

    Aka Little Owl or is it Athene Blewhitti, the Forest Spotted sister?

    But why is it rotating its head counter-clock wise? Has time begun to run backwards? Is Ouranos back in the driver’s seat? Where is Gaia and her tool box when she is really needed. How can Zeus change the cycle without Gaia’s help?

    Then, maybe these winged helpers of the Goddess of wisdom wouldn’t have to worry about being caught out in full daylight by photographers.

  10. Anonymous

    @marcopolo —
    only thing i know for certain about oak leaves is that most of my neighbor’s will wind up in my yard by the end of the season.

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