Links 12/18/08

Are biofuels still economically feasible? Tech.Blorge

Hot heads and other myths debunked Guardian

Weather rocket kills man and blows up his body at cremation Telegraph

Citi to Integrate Corporate and Investment Banking – 10 Years Too Late Roger Ehrenberg

Madoff Scandal Shaking Real Estate Industry New York Times. Among other things, developers had pledged Madoff holdings as collateral.

Germany is fighting with Europe. Can China be far behind? Michael Pettis (hat tip reader MarcoPolo)

Blackouts and Cascading Failures of the Global Markets Jeffrey Sachs, Scientific American (hat tip reader a)

GM Mexican Plants Expand as Carmaker Seeks Funds for Rescue Bloomberg (hat tip reader Scott). This is as smart as flying to DC in private jets…..

Busting Bernie Madoff: One Man’s 10 Year Crusade Henry Blodgett (hat tip reader Hubert)

Antidote du jour:

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  1. ruetheday

    Why isn’t the Madoff story front page news in every newspaper and on CNN 24/7, like Enron and Worldcomm were? C’mon press, wake up – multiple people have filed formal complaints alleging fraud over a period of years, warning signs were everywhere, his niece is married to an SEC official, etc., etc. – you have the scandal of the century here.

  2. River

    If Mr Wang didn’t have bad luck he wouldn’t have any luck at all.

    I do find this report a bit suspicious. How could the weather rocket blow up the Wang house and then blow up again at Mr Wang’s cremation?

    This is a case for Holmes and Watson.

  3. a

    Any currency option traders here? EUR/GBP’s march to parity looks too perfectly scripted. Are they any large options for the end of the year with barriers at parity?

  4. dd

    Thanks for the second Madoff link as it explained much. Awaiting the tax angle as these scams usually have a some tax “savings” aspect that really pleases clients.

  5. Anonymous


    People are much more interested in the small scale fraud being perpetrated in Illinois than the massive fraud of a hedge fund.

    It is much easier to understand someone calling people names and shaking down money.

  6. ruetheday

    U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey removed himself from the probe because his son, Marc Mukasey, is representing Frank DiPascali, a top financial officer at Madoff’s investment firm. The Justice Department refused to say when Mukasey became aware of the conflict but confirmed he was removing himself from all aspects of the case.

    Frank DiPascali was one of the “three people with keys to the 18th floor” where the Ponzi Fund was run.

  7. Anonymous

    I’m with River, re the Wang story. Mythbusters need to get involved and I would bet that it would be a spectacular episode

  8. doc holiday

    A Cat, hanging by a thread, obviously is a metaphor that relates to Schapiro as The New change for SIFMA … I mean The SEC. How nice to see another example of nepotism, lobbying and crooked, twisted political manipulation, as yet another cat slips through the cracks and into a position to take advantage of political opportunity.

    What a great example of bait and switch for the people that were conned into voting for the nebulous concept of change, which makes me question if it was a verb or noun that Obama had in mind with his meaningless rhetoric.

    Change as a verb: To substitute another or others for; exchange for something else, usually of the same kind: She changed her shoes when she got home from the office.

    Change as a noun: The substitution of one thing for another: We finally made the change to an oil-burning furnace.

    >> I like the idea that Obama used the process of substitution to switch out The idiot Cox with a SIFMA cheerleader, a women who understands exactly what SIFMA needs in terms of aggressive lobbying and specific results from Obama and Congress. No lack of clarity, she is connected to the machine and there is simply no doubt who she will serve.

    SIFMA lobbied successfully (once again) for change and now, this successful mafia-like entity which helped engineer our current systemic financial collapse, will have one of its very own inside the chicken coup, thus — iit would only be fair to see the sign above The Hen House, changed from, The Investor’s Advocate to: SIFMA – The Powerful Voice of the Securities Industry (God Damn It)!

    See Also: The Securities Act of 1933 is also known as the “Truth in Securities Act” or the “Federal Securities Act” and is often shorted to the “1933 Act.” Its goal is to increase public trust in the capital markets by requiring uniform disclosure of information about public securities offerings.

    To ensure that the SEC remains non-partisan, no more than three Commissioners may belong to the same political party. The President also designates one of the Commissioners as Chairman, the SEC’s top executive. However, the President does not possess the power to fire the appointed commissioners; a provision to ensure the independence of the SEC. This issue arose during the 2008 Presidential Election in connection with the ensuing Financial Crises.

  9. Merry-will-go-round

    Sacrebleu! The press and politicians can really get indignant when the targeted prey are mainly parasitic wealth accumulators (i.e., Madoff victims) intead of mere wage slaves.

  10. Anonymous

    Yes the details are few but, it seems they were using artillery (shells) and not rockets. First rule of explosives, don’t keep them in your house. So that was his bad move. As far, as his body blowing up with a shell in it, I have no problem there.
    They would only need to use 40mm to 75mm ammunition to get the range they needed to seed the clouds. So during the explosion at his house one could have been embedded into his body, with out anyone noticing it.


  11. DanyBoy

    Outstanding conclusion stated sardonically! Good read:

    FED Unleashes Greatest Bubble of all.
    -John Kemp

    “Bizarrely, Bernanke and Co are in fact inviting investors to bet the policy will fail, the economy will remain mired in slump for a long period, deflation will occur and interest rates will remain on the floor, as Japan’s have done since the 1990s.

    Buyers of real estate and subprime securities have recently been lampooned for foolishly overpaying at the top of the market. Bernanke and Co are gambling memories will prove short and investors will prove just as eager to pay top prices for long-term government and private debt even though the downside is large.

    Let us have one last bubble, and when it collapses, we promise not to do any more in future…honest.”

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