Links 10/22/08

Wikipedia and the Meaning of Truth Simson L. Garfinkel MIT Technology Review

Church ‘stripped of its status within 50 years Times Online

Palin a Bigger Issue for McCain than Bush? EconomPic Data

Scaling Back Medications as Economy Grows Sour New York Times

Banana Republic Britain FTAlphaville. The UK joins our club! Tanta said, “We are all subprime now.” Are we all now banana republics too?

UBS, Merrill Said to Ask Bankers to Fly Economy to Cut Costs Bloomberg

Robert Samuelson Displays Bad Logic Skills In the Washington Post Dean Baker

30-year Swaps: Look’s like we’ve got a bad transmittor Accrued Interest

Wal-mart: Scenes from the Economic Front Lines Paul Kedrosky

“The Monetary Policy – Long Term Interest Rate Link” Mark Thoma

CRA and Fannie and Freddie as betes noire Menzie Chinn, Econbrowser

The world wakes from the wish-dream of decoupling Martin Wolf, Financial Times

You can view our appearance in the SBS (Australia) Insight show “Greed” here.

Antidote du jour. Halloween arrives a bit early:

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  1. Anonymous

    Re: “Scaling Back on Medications as Economy Sours”. The crisis and long term depression will at any rate lessen the burden of Social Security and Medicare by reducing life expectancy. And this is before the more aggressive measures to that end are implemented via national health insurance.

    It’s all over now baby blue.

  2. Anonymous

    Yves – I generally find your linking excellent but I am puzzled by the link to the Dean Baker column, which is an unargued hit-piece of no value.

    Like one of the comments on the Wal-Mart link, I am puzzled as to how the company could analyze the data and conclude that purchases of a certain item spiked at pay periods.

  3. doc holiday

    Thanks, “Yves” for more great examples of weird crap related to The Large Hadron Collider. This seems to be “The Place” for coming to terms with reality and then laying oneself spread eagle in the healthy path of denial, which one day will result in the expression of anger and grief. This old seadog represents the tsunami of easy credit that results in a sea of tears….

  4. Juan

    Doc, would you care to comment on a rating agency’s use of the semi-random movement of cows pastured in central Frorida to develop a risk assessment model which, so far as can be known, had nothing to do with the LHC but may have involved fresh mushrooms, lemonade concentrate and ice.
    In unrelated ‘news’, if that ‘old seadog’ were smiling, the photo would remind me of my late grandfather after having harpooned a manta ray while crossing the tongue of the ocean in ’52…(memory is very foggy; it may have been ’49 in the Gulf).

  5. doc holiday


    It seem obvious to me that there is a correlation between semi-random moovements of cows and fresh mushrooms, lemonade concentrate and ice. The Brownian Motion capture of streaming, seemingly unrelated activities, like random cow walks is just a step away from the motions necessary to produce lemonade or to hunt mushrooms.

    This is not physics by any means, but when a rating agency or someone like David Li tinkers with shadow banking shit that does result in obviation and the covering up of sunshine, which is linkable to the processes of growing mushrooms — this act of blending various financial fantasies into a stream of cowshit is just madness in motion and we need to call this chaos and not magic.

    See: Copula and smoking bad weed

    In statistics, a copula is used as a general way of formulating a multivariate distribution in such a way that various general types of dependence can be represented. Other ways of formulating multivariate distributions include conceptually-based approaches in which the real-world meaning of the variables is used to imply what types of relationships might occur. In contrast, the approach via copulas might be considered as being more raw, but it does allow much more general types of dependencies to be included than would usually be invoked by a conceptual approach.

    >> I'm sorry if this doesn't help, but there are still reasons why one should believe that The Large Hadron Collider is linked to chaos, i.e, we know there is chaos anyway and random stuff that goes down, which can't be factored into models, because, if we knew about the shit we don't understand, we would'nt need a model to address the obvious fact that the model we built yesterday is outdated, hence all models are irrelevant in terms of being predictive.

    As long as rating agencies continue to be well paid to model past events, which have no relationship to future events, then we can assume that any ratings that are based on future events have no value. It does amaze me that this type of con-game is supported by so many retards — I mean, did these rating agencies provide a safety new for anyone or decrease risk? The only reason they exist is because they are a conduit for fraudulent accounting and misrepresentation — ask any cow!

  6. dlr

    That Walmart post was scary, but I am having trouble taking it at face value.

    A lot of the ‘spiking’ around the 1st and 15th of the month that Walmart is seeing may have had more to do with the cost of gasoline than with people living from paycheck to paycheck. I certainly started making fewer trips to the store when the price of gas went up. The decreased use of credit cards is worrying though, and a lot harder to explain. I’m not quite sure what “double digit decline” means, but if we are conservative that means 10%. It is hard to believe that 10% of the population has maxed out on their credit cards over the last year. Unemployment hasn’t spiked up (yet), the only big change for most people has been higher food and gasoline prices. Those price increases weren’t trivial, but, it’s hard to believe that they were enough to cause 10% of the general population to finish maxing out it’s credit cards.


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