Links 2/18/08

Indian charmers want their snakes BBC

Croc that took boy to go to zoo Sydney Morning Herald

Major cache of fossils unearthed in L.A. Los Angeles Times

Stimulus Big Winner: Battery Manufacturing MIT Technology Review. Egad, I did a study on advanced batteries back in 1993 and got to drive a US manufactured electric car. And guess what? Looks like we ceded leadership to Asia.

Late Change in Course Hobbled Rollout of Geithner’s Bank Plan Washington Post

After Manhattan’s Office Boom, a Hard Fall New York Times

Californian dream turns into nightmare Financial Times

Switzerland threatened with bankruptcy Ed Harrison

Adventures in Flackery, Private Jet Edition Felix Salmon

On the December TIC data Rachel Ziemba

Germany may rescue debt-laden EU members Telegraph. This is a big deal.

Antidote du jour (hat tip reader Kyle). These are from Barkus, a Mardi Gras parade (see here and here for more detail, photos, and a video):

And since it was a rough day in the markets, a bonus video (hat tip reader Alexander);

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  1. Swedish Lex

    “Germany may rescue debt-laden EU members”

    Bloomberg reported this too.

    This could be the beigging of a huge shift in the EU’s approach to handling the crisis. Time-wise, it makse sense as the EU and euro states have a number of important meetings coming up at which the common approach will have to be hammered out.

    The German Government for so long however seemed to be in denail about the necessity of stepping in (as reported by Naked Capitalism).

    If this is confirmed, Germany finally begins to make sense politically again.

  2. Swedish Lex

    To Anonymous:

    Yes, it is Sweden next. Sweden will be handicapped by a few things, not being a euro state to start with. Should the euro states, hopefully, scramble to put to gether a common euro fiscal programme (within the EU treaties or, if necessary, outside EU Law using ad hoc solutions), the Swedish EU Presidency will have difficulties in managing that as a euro outsider….

    Another difficult point that I foresee is that somw Swedish multinationals by the autumn my well be on the brink of insolvency and hence scream for Government crisis management. Such events at national will dilute the Government’s ability to provide a good EU Presidency…..

    The remedy, of course, is to have a permanent EU Presidency that is more or less detatched from any particular country. So let us hope that the new Lisbon Treaty can be revived and solve that particular problem.

  3. donebenson

    The Washington Post’s ‘explanation’ of why Geithner’s solutions were so vague rings pretty hollow. As the article said, he has had over 19 months to think about these issues, and all he could offer is a warmed over version of what he criticized in Paulson.

    Actually it now seems the republicans are leading here, with Greenspan and republican senators saying that nationalization of the banks will be necessary. Now that the republicans have given him cover, maybe Geithner might be brave enough to follow through with the same basic idea [unless he is so co-opted by Wall Street, that he can’t even follow the republicans!].

  4. Anonymous

    “The Washington Post’s ‘explanation’ of why Geithner’s solutions were so vague rings pretty hollow.”

    That story is obviously incomplete or inaccurate. The only reasonable explanation I can think of is that when Summers/Geithner presented a 3 or 4 trillion dollar purchase or guarantee of trash assets that Biden, Goolsbee and/or Axelrod told Summers/Geithner “NFW we are giving that much money to wall street. That would cost us congress in 2010, and the White House in 2012.”

    Or I hope. Summers/Geithner need to go. They are hopelessly coopted by wall street.

  5. Anonymous

    The Washington Post story does not seem so much hollow as it does an administration press release, written to look like it is giving the inside scoop. I’m beginning to suspect that we will be able to depend on the Post for Obama apologist puff pieces.

  6. Anonymous

    …”Harry Truman “scared hell” out of the country to get it ready to support a multigenerational facing-down of the Soviets. Scaring hell out of the economy, begun by President Bush and continued by President Obama, has produced only the runaway crisis it was advertised to prevent.”

    link to full article in today’s WSJ

  7. Keenan

    RE: Battery technology ceded to Asia.

    Not only the power sources but also the drive system.

    High torque DC servomotors are the sina qua non for electric vehicles.
    High torque performance is achieved via magnets made of alloys of various so called “rare earth” elements. Prominent among the alloys are samarium-cobalt and neodymium-iron-boron. GM held a majority interest in Magnaquench, an Indiana company with expertise in such materials and magnet fabrication. GM however decided that electric motors did not fit into its “core competencies.”

    The whole story of executive department disregard for the nation’s industrial capital is here:

    While the article highlights the aspects of defense technology, the commercal / industrial side of the business is every bit as important in today’s world of economic warfare.

    Word verification tatatu
    My comment deals with the car business, Tata is the rising Indian auto company. That’s weird.

  8. Anonymous

    The Intel claim to be investing $7 billion and saving jobs is a bald face public relations job on MSM.

    While that is out in the news, many Intel employees have been laid off, plants closed and so on.

    That is the news it was intended to cover up.

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