Links 1/23/09

Little dung beetle is big chopper BBC. A scavenger turns carnivore.

Newspaper Jacket Keeps Homeless People Warm Springwise

Whistleblower: NSA spied on everyone, targeted journalists The Raw Story

“Threading a Needle” Tim Duy

Firms Keep Lobbying as They Get TARP Cash Wall Street Journal

The Big 87654 Did It! Independent Accountant

Wall Street’s Sick Psychology of Entitlement John Carney, Clusterstock

Warning: rating agencies can do you harm Paul De Grauwe. Contends rating agencies have gone from being too lax to too stringent.

Of Barclays, warrants and MCNs FTAlphaville (hat tip reader Richard). Yesterday, we provided a link to a story that discussed how anti-dilution language in Barclay’s £7 billion financing last October would make a government capital injection well-nigh impossible. This piece discusses a not-great but viable way out.

Cost of credit set to fall for top-rated groups Financial Times. One bit of comparatively cheery news.

In Ironic Twist, U.S. Taxpayers Are Approaching Net Debt-Free Status Zero Hedge

House Rejects Obama’s Request For Rest Of TARP Huffington Post (hat tip reader John)

The looming divide within Europe Zsolt Darvas and Jean Pisani-Ferry, VoxEU

Antidote du jour (hat tip reader Earl):

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  1. Anonymous

    The NSA domestic servalence has been going on for some time, starting with the Military facility in Arizona (30 odd years ago). That was analog or landline comunications, this is their new facility (digital, better realtime, much smaller operation, massive improvment in scope and breath).

    Nothing new here, but their would be those that would be suprised. I would add that the only obsevation I have made, is their incressing 360 degrees of fear and its effect on their actions.


  2. Anonymous

    With Bernie Madoff, Hank Greenberg, Mozilla, Sandi Weil, Bob Rubin and the others operating openly and in plain view of all the wall street vermin, how could they not believe they deserved a chunk. The only one who didn’t know what was going on, apparently, was the USG.

    As I look at the resources and efforts our society make to catch speeders, uninsured motorists, drug addicts, pot pushers, blow job exposers, etc., I am sickened that John Thain and company didn’t leave in handcuffs. There is absolutely no law enforcement at the top. Where the real criminals live and work. Zero.

    That is the biggest problem in America. All the rest is a result and would take care of itself. That is a huge lesson of the Great Depression that the academics have been unable to understand.

  3. Richard Kline

    So Anon of 6:58, the criminality and absence of ethics in the banksters of our time hasn’t a patch on that of the American wealth class of 1929, and they were pipsqueaks to the real pro robber barons of 1873. And the casual graft and endemic corruption of local government pre-FDR would knock your eyeballs out compared to anything we have now. Really.

    This is not to excuse the crimes of our present Thieves in Pinstripes, no. But what made the difference in ’32 was the real fear of social insurrection in the US; I mean, significant portions of the population, both urban ghetto and rural hicksville, were threatened by real potential for starvation then. Do you get any whiff of red paint and dynamite now, in 2009? Not a bit of it. The Sheeple sit in front of their television sets and mutter a few banalities while looking at the new servants of the banksters of our time. So there is no pressure, really, on the new Administration or Congress to really perform. And so they won’t. They will take half measures and try to preserve the status quo. I expect to see about twenty years of that, actually, punctuated by increasingly violent overseas adventures.

  4. Richard Kline

    That newspaper jacket is kinda cool. It’s been known for a hundred years (literally) that newsprint is an excellent, and indeed lifesaving, insulator. It’s main problem is that it is hydrophilic. This jacket is waterproof.

  5. River

    The ‘Thin Blue Line’ is getting more efficient in The Land Of The Free…

    ‘The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate,[3][4] and total documented prison population in the world.[5][6] As of year-end 2007, a record 7.2 million people were behind bars, on probation or on parole. Of the total, 2.3 million were incarcerated.[7] More than 1 in 100 American adults were incarcerated at the start of 2008. The People’s Republic of China ranks second with 1.5 million, while having four times the population, thus having only about 18% per the US incarceration rate.’

  6. Anonymous

    thank you for a wonderful site, and thanks for the link to the article about continued lobbying, however, i believe this issue is so important that in deserves its own post, the obscene gravy train (and its immoral intended consequences and destructive unintended consequences) needs much more frequent and in depth coverage, as many do not fully realize how bad the situation really is, it is essentially a system of legal bribes, its vile, its absurd, and i know i am asking for you to work for free, but you are doing important work and we all appreciate it very much, thanks again

  7. Peripheral Visionary

    The simple reality is that the amount of lobbying (and corruption) is directly related to the size of the government. The more reach the government has and the more money it spends, be it for entitlements, subsidies, bailouts, stimulus, or whatever, no matter how well intended, there will be huge financial incentives for companies and organizations to influence the government, often to the public’s detriment. The only reliable and sustainable way to reduce inappropriate influence on government is to reduce its size and particularly the amount of money it spends.

  8. Anonymous

    President’s alcohol therapist missing presumed ???. Only in America is life stranger than fiction. I love it, particularly the quote by Malachy McCourt “You can suck the brandy out of the fruitcake but you are still left with a fruitcake”.

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