Links 1/30/09

Floating rubbish dump ‘bigger than US’ (hat tip reader Nivethan). It is also breaking down and getting into the food chain.

Hidden Bonuses Enrich Government Contractors at Taxpayer Cost Bloomberg. Bonuses for non-performance are endemic in America (hat tip reader Larry)

Vive la Révolution! Pension Pulse

Stimulus Pork Econospeak

Global Worries Over U.S. Stimulus Spending New York Times

Steep drop in world wheat crop forecast Financial Times

The Game Changer George Soros, Financial Times (hat tip reader Don). A very good piece, particularly his discussion of credit default swaps and why he thinks they are toxic and should be severely limited.

So, when does the contrition start? Larry Elliot, Guardian. Apparently, it hasn’t at Davos.

The tenuous relationship of venture capital and innovation Masayuki Hirukawa and Masako Ueda, VoxEU

Antidote du jour:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Richard Kline

    Tiny Tyger: “I luv ‘u; I luv ‘u; even when I gr’w up ‘n’ EAT ‘u, I’ll always luv ‘u.”

  2. Anonymous

    That Soros article is a must read. Note his estimate that the US’s total debt to GDP will rise to 500% at some point in this crisis. I frankly don’t believe that’s possible but Soros is a lot smarter than I am.

    One point he needs to clear up is why the gov’t needs to reinflate the bubble to be able to cure it. That reasoning needs to be clarified.


  3. Anonymous

    soros’s article is ridiculous. he gets a fundamental point wrong about CDS – your upside is NOT unlimited when you go short – you can only ever make a limited amount on EITHER side of the trade… “selling” cds (i.e. buying protection) is like selling a bond – it can’t go below zero. In addition, his implication that Lehman and AIG are “victims”… just shocking.

  4. macndub

    From FT: Food aid organisations have warned that the world’s poorest countries are facing difficulties in obtaining credit lines to buy agricultural commodities.

    True on the supply side as well. Fertilizer companies have been closing plants for weeks, as farmers can’t get credit. Equipment vendors in farm towns have seen sales collapse and inventory costs explode.

  5. K T Cat

    Obama is already bringing the world together. As the “Global Worries Over US Stimulus Spending” article tells us, they’re all starting to wonder how they’ll be able to sell their own bonds once The One finishes his orgy of porkulism.

    Hope and change!

  6. asphaltjesus

    I’ve got some personal experience in the Government Contracting world formerly working at a subcontractor. The corruption makes all of Congress (even the ones in jail) look like saints.

    macndub, I’m intrigued by your comment. What part of the country/world are you in where this is happening? The reason I ask is I’m reallocating my meager investments and I’m thinking agriculture might be a good bet. Any more info, comments are welcome

  7. Anonymous

    Anon January 30, 2009 9:28 AM
    I agree. Additionaly, I find it hard to swallow advice from a man that has made billions from shorting any and everything. I’m sure he never engaged in Market Manipulation…riiiiight. Please!

  8. Anonymous

    Global Worries Over U.S. Stimulus Spending

    “A top White House adviser, Valerie Jarrett, promised in Davos on Thursday that once the stimulus plan achieved its intended affect, the United States would “restore fiscal responsibility and return to a sustainable economic path.””

    A fair reading then of US Economic Policy in the interim is to be fiscally irresponsible and continue on an unsustainable economic path. With, spokesfolk like this, Barry, you don’t need enemies.

  9. JDP

    Has anyone actually seen a photo of the floating rubbish dump? I’m not saying it doesn’t exist but I’m skeptical and would like some photographic proof.

    As someone who works in the business of building imaging satellites I find it somewhat incredulous that this heap cannot be seen. However, surely Captain Moore has taken a photo of this from his deck.

    I searched through the various stories about this and never found a photo – perhaps someone can’t point me the way…

  10. Dave Raithel

    Robert M: Thanks for the link. A bit slow in presentation, but it should answer the question put by JDP – Can’t see it, it all floats below the surface (as the article did say, as well.) Brought to mind the quip from Barry Commoner: Plastic is a form of life rejected by evolution …..

Comments are closed.