Links 10/26/08

Small bird leaves scientists gobsmacked Stuff NZ

Final Arguments? Contrary Brin

Emerging markets turmoil engulfs UK listed banks Independent

They’re Shocked, Shocked, About the Mess Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times. “My hypocrisy meter konked out last week…”

Win the Nobel Prize,* they publish you on Sunday instead of Monday Angry Bear

How domestic interest rates influence trade and production One Salient Oversight

Share buybacks and uninformed investors Steve Waldman

Sunk in the sloppy mess of the Frappuccino recession Times Online. The Starbucks indicator bodes well for Australia….

Greed a deadly sin for the economy Sydney Morning Herald…..but this one does not.

The Price of Optimism David Leonhart, New York Times. See an in-depth treatment of this topic in The Dark Side of Optimism, The Conference Board Review.

Antidote du jour:

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  1. Independent Accountant

    Unlike Morgenson, my hypocrisy meter didn’t move last week. It broke years ago. Imagine, there are people who still believe the SEC protects investors. What fools. The SEC protects Wall Street. The SEC is hopelessly compromised.

  2. Anonymous

    Re: Share buybacks and uninformed investors

    This story fails to connect option grant increases for insiders to share buybacks and then the reality that dividend payments to common shares are dilutive to insider common share value, i.e, buybacks result in greater compensation returns for insiders because common shareholders use their cash to increase compensation for insiders that are playing a game with bait and switch accounting.

  3. doc holiday

    The Large Hadron Collider and Basset Hound dogs? Naught!

    My initial reaction is to think bloodhounds and then to obviously leap to the conclusion that this image today is about The Basset Hound of the Baskervilles. Detective Sherlock Holmes, searches the moor in hopes of solving mysteries relating to The Baskervilles’ curse, according to which a monstrous hound has been haunting and killing the family males — versus females. Why then offer a visual metaphor today which is linked to a subject touched on yesterday which connected Roubini to eels and the deeper meaning of the “art” on his walls?

    The empath detective in me sees in this visual metaphor — a link between disambiguation and oppressed complexities which are veiled by reverse psychology symbolism — a tool recently misused by The McCain Campaign — a tool, often misused and a tool to probably leave alone in the woodshed, unless you really know your shit.

    Hence, as an example of switched identities or impersonation, look no further than this twisted pairing from the bloodhound story: “Sir Henry soon meets Miss Stapleton and becomes romantically interested, despite her brother’s intrusions.”

    That, flip-flop logic is a puzzle piece that fits perfectly with this jigsaw picture: “But she was deeply, deeply, deeply, deeply, deeply, deeply loved by her brother. It was this brother who, on the day of her death, swore to the good Lord above that he would follow in her footsteps, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, just, just, just, just, just, just, just, just, just, just owe it all up to her. But on her terms. As a woman. And just as proud to be a woman as she ever was. For I am not Emily Kimberly, the daughter of Dwayne and Alma Kimberly. No, I’m not. I’m Edward Kimberly, the recluse brother of my sister Anthea. Edward Kimberly, who has finally vindicated his sister’s good name. I am Edward Kimberly. Edward Kimberly. And I’m not mentally ill, but proud, and lucky, and strong enough to be the woman that was the best part of my manhood. The best part of myself. “

    I’m still working on the sandwich, but probably just a reference for stealing food for thought…

    In the meantime, futures are down in Japan:

  4. Anonymous

    The Brin article is really, really over the top. What color is the sky on his planet?

    Mass arrests and prosecutions of officials of a former regime are a hallmark of banana republics post-coup d'état, not of prosperous democracies that have gone through an orderly transition of power. Sophisticated investors have seen this movie before, usually in the kind of countries that end up defaulting on massive foreign debt. How exactly would markets react to months and years of headlines and fishing expeditions, at a time when economic confidence is already at a low ebb?

    It would be especially disturbing because no one has faith anymore in the sustaining, sunny "it can't happen here" exceptionalism that prevailed before. Nouriel Roubini's key insight was simply to recognize that when Western countries engage in the same sort of financial shenanigans that have regularly brought about severe economic crises in other countries, they will eventually bring about the same sort of severe economic crisis here. So if the US ever started engaging in the same sorts of political or judicial vendettas that the world has seen elsewhere, I doubt that investors would stick around to find out how the rest of the story unfolds.

    But of course, none of this will ever happen. Brin is a celebrated creative artiste, but perhaps not the most astute or realistic political observer. Barack Obama will have a wounded economy on his hands and no time for distractions. He can try to be all things to all people before the election, but not after; inevitably, some of his biggest supporters will turn on him in the worst way. He will likely "do a Lula", reining in and co-opting most of his supporters and throwing the irredeemable rump under the bus, adding to his already impressive "bus bodycount".

    Usually, shrill partisan rancor dies down as a political campaign enters its final days, as people prepare to segue into the soothing short-lived illusion of the traditional calls for a post-partisan spirit of cooperation. Vengeful triumphalism is very much out of place in American politics. If this year is different, then we're all in much more trouble than we ever imagined.

  5. Chris

    What you see is for sure not what you get. Or, what defines something to be particular does indeed involve more than the appearance of self-evidence. Or, what ever that was, and wherever it has been, now it is in that darn dog’s mouth it is no longer substantially or essentially a darn sandwich even if it is made out of two pieces of bread and something that could be called cheese.

    Wishes and thoughts. Or, be careful what you ask for because you might just get it. Or, if you get something that looks like a ham sandwich remember you probably did ask for it though probably not in that form.

    And isn’t that just the way it is with the news? Can’t hardly tell anymore if its edible and good to consume, or if one would ask for it if one knew it was available. One thing though, since the dog is for sure a Bassett what it has in its mouth is most likely not a frisbee, even a specially designed square one.

    It is interesting though that the Daily Telegraph hasn’t run cartoons time for a long time, and that Fred Bassett has probably had a longer run, and a larger readership, than many authoritative Brit journalists.

  6. Uncle Billy, Hushed

    Kona Cookie: No, no, no. This photo is not guiding us to a deeper understanding of doggy dark matter, it is just an expression of love for Basset Hounds. Uncle Wiki teaches us that Basset means “rather low.” Bas, low. These hush puppies were bread low, for one reason, “To make it harder to get knocked over by brush-sheep, a common enemy when retrieving game fowl.” (What???)

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