Links 4/7/09

Australian canine castaway found BBC

Nine Words You Might Think Came from Science but Which Are Really from Science Fiction


International terrorism and the escalation effect Nauro F. Campos and Martin Gassebner, VoxEU

Polar Ice Cap Shrinks Further and Thins Wall Street Journal

Communities print their own currency to keep cash flowing USA Today (hat tip reader Michael)

GM Said to Speed Bankruptcy Plans as Board Crafts Savings Goals Bloomberg

Stocks May See ‘Correction’ of 10%, Marc Faber Says Bloomberg

Sayonara Japan, Hello America! Models and Agents

March PMI Data for China Out All Roads Lead to China

Soros says U.S. faces “lasting slowdown” Reuters. Key section:

“What we have created now is a situation where the banks who will be able to earn their way out of a hole, but by doing that, they are going to weigh on the economy.

“Instead of stimulating the economy, they will draw the lifeblood, so to speak, of profits away from the real economy in order to keep themselves alive.”

Banks’ 1st-Quarter Results May Show Improvement: Whitney CNBC. But she also says housing prices will fall an additional 30%. This is consistent with the Soros comment above.

Art prices fall 35% as collectors cash in Financial Times

Tokyo to launch record fiscal stimulus Financial Times. Note that the stimulus of 2% of GDP is in addition to measures of about that magnitude. However, given how dramatic the tailspin in the Japanese economy, this looks inadequate.

Economy Falling Years Behind Full Speed Louis Uchitelle, New York Times. Discusses how long it will take to get the econoomy back to its former level of activity.

Why didn’t Fed force big banks to take less of AIG bailout? McClatchy (hat tip reader Lambert)

The US Treasury requests volunteers for suicide; any takers? Willem Buiter

The Geithner Death Star Felix Salmon. As in the Enron Death Star.

Toxic debts could reach $4 trillion, IMF to warn Times Online, The IMF now has a higher estimate than Roubini. What gives?

Fighting Recklessness with Recklessness John Hussman (hat tip reader Scott)

Antidote du jour. I think this is a kitten impersonating at tribble, but I welcome other guesses.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Anonymous

    I think that’s a rabbit. Look at the diamond-shaped nose, in the lower right area of the photo. I agree it’s doing a superb impersonation of a tribble, though!

  2. eh

    Definitely not a kitten. Definitely could be a rabbit — with its ears folded back.

    And what is the source of China’s 1Q ‘strength’? Aren’t they mostly spending their reserves? I find it hard to believe that internal demand would replace exports enough to allow such growth.

  3. Anonymous

    2008 was the coldest year of the decade:

    2008 was also the year of the dimmest Sun on record:

    US Navy Physicist warns of possibly
    ‘several decades of crushing cold temperatures
    and global famine’:

    The winter 2008/2009 was also one of the coldest since the 70’s.

  4. fresno dan

    ‘Put it differently, (and as in Japan), the rescue efforts have been (and are being) applied to all institutions indiscriminately, without careful auditing to assess each financial institution’s health or the outlook of its future viability.”
    “Sayonara Japan, Hello America!”
    Um, change to…”without carefully assessing the crooks and idiots running the financial institutions.”
    There – fixed it.

  5. Anonymous

    I found a few of those under my couch last year when I cleaned. I think mine were bigger. I know they were meaner.

  6. bena gyerek

    re banks charging fat margins to earn their way out of insolvency – what about the competition? at some point won’t better run (regional) banks undercut the behemoths?

  7. Richard Kline

    Chinchilla that took a joyride in a dryer with a no-cling strip. Maybe.

    Maybe it thought it climbed into a ‘holenest,’ opines word verification. Honest: yah couldn’t make stuff like that up.

  8. s


  9. Anonymous

    Re: Hussman’s “Fighting Recklessness with Recklessness” lays out a moral case against using the FDIC to backstop the PPIP. What about the practical case. What will happen to the entire banking system if people begin to feel that the FDIC is at risk?

  10. VoiceFromTheWilderness

    yup, rabbit, you can tell by the nose. but it’s definitely impersonating a tribble.

  11. Dan Duncan

    Capt. Kirk: I want to know what killed these tribbles.

    Bones: I haven’t figured out what keeps them alive yet.

  12. vitaminkid

    Anyone who regularly watches NOVA knows that there used to be Dinosaurs living in the Arctic. And remains of plants in those strata show species that are now associated with temperate zones. Clearly, global climate is subject to wide natural variation.

    Specifically, with regard to sea ice, while arctic ice may be less, globally, the trend is not alarming. See the last 30 years for yourself. (Sorry for long URL, you may need to cut and paste.)

    Why the media focus on the arctic. Because a narrow Arctic view helps sell the anti-carbon agenda better than whole earth perspective.

  13. vitaminkid

    Sorry, could not get that URL to transfer. For more info, check the Watts Up With That? blog for March 2, the article “Poll and Polar Ice Trends” by Steven Goddard. Antarctic sea is increasing substantially. Again, contrary to the predictions of the most vocal proponents of anthropogenic global warming.

  14. wunsacon

    For anyone who wants to know more about 2008 being the “coldest this decade”, check this out (from August 2008):

    “The principal reason is La Nina, part of the natural cycle that also includes El Nino, which cools the globe….[and later]…Earlier this year, one group of researchers suggested that another natural cycle, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, was likely to hold temperatures steady for about the next decade, before reversing direction and allowing a renewed warming.”

  15. Anonymous

    wunsacon, I smell bullshit. Another of those “cooling proves the warming trend” arguments.

  16. wunsacon

    anonymous, I smell bullshit, too. And it really is tiresome.

    Do you think there are no variables besides carbon? Do you think the annual temperature should go in a straight line? What complex system do you know of that goes in a straight line?

    In that article, they said 2008 was still going to be the 10th warmest year since 1851. I can accept short-term fluctuations (volatility) in a long-term series. Can you?

    And do you know what made me — not at climatologist — conclude anthropogenic global warming is “for real”? It’s arguments like yours! Each counter-argument I’ve come across has been poorly grounded. You haven’t considered even the first objection to your argument, which should’ve convinced you not to make it in the first place and certainly not to advance your “it’s a fraud” tin foil hat argument.

    When you find something significant and can interpret it intelligently, I’ll be glad to read it.

  17. Yves Smith

    First, melting of the polar ice caps is highly significant, as it sets up a positive feedback loop (positive means self reinforcing). Ice reflects sunshine back, so reduces the globe-warming effects of sunlight, Open ocean absorbs the heat from the sun. Shrinking icecaps mean more open ocean, meaning more heat absorption. There are other nasty accelerants that result from polar warming. For instance, higher temps in the permafrost means it is releasing methane (and that is happening now, BTW). Methane is just about the worst greenhouse gas, 40x as potent as carbon dioxide.

    Second, if you bothered following what climate scientists were saying, a moderation in the warming trend was predicted. I forget when it is supposed to pick up again (sometime in the next decade), but the trend is expected to be pronounced.

    Third, even the Bush Administration has said that human activity has contributed to global warming. The fact that the planet has been warm in the past does not disprove in any way, shape, or form that human activity is playing a significant role in the increase in temperature this time around.

    I suggest you have a look at the number of scientific organizations that endorse the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s findings:

  18. vitaminkid

    “I suggest you have a look at the number of scientific organizations that endorse the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s findings:”

    This is the “argument from authority.”

    OK, how about the IPCC? Look at page four of their 2007 Summary For Policy Makers. You will see the major anthropogenic effects on climate in a chart on that page. But wait a minute. Man produces aerosols, which are about as much of a cooling factor as CO2 is a warming factor. Also, many of the factors are not well understood.

    Even the carbon cycle is not well understood. We don’t know where it is coming from (most is natural, though) and we don’t know what is sucking it up. That’s why NASA lauched the OCO (Orbiting Carbon Observatory) earlier this year. Unfortunately, it malfunctioned and fell into the sea. If we don’t understand this most basic aspect of CO2, then we don’t know enough to regulate it.

    (See Canadian Herald, Feb 27, 2009 article “Canadian mini-satellite may solve carbon puzzle.”)

  19. Yves Smith

    Historicallly, the oceans have played a big factor in absorbing CO2, and they are absorbing less than they have in the past. The reports from climate scientists post the IPCC have pointed to this and other factors and indicate the the IPCC report is very likely to have understated the rate of climate change. The change in Ph of the oceans is a direct consequence of rising CO2 levels and is threatening crustacea and corals, which is starting to impact ocean food chains.

  20. grokker


    Don’t waste your time trying to argue with a true believer. You might as well be talking to a creationist. Remember, the theory of evolution isn’t proven either.

  21. schrodinger

    @vitaminkid…It’s not the argument from authority, its the argument fom people who have studied this problem carefully and who know what they are talking about.

    Why do we pay attention to scientific consensus? Because scientific consensus has a track record of getting things right. The consensus is clearly that global warming is due to CO2 and it is a big problem.

    Of course there is doubt, but as Condi Rice once said, “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.” We don’t need proof that something bad WILL happen. There are lots of situations in life where a credible risk merits action.

    I’m not willing to give up my lifestyle for this, but modest action is justified.

    @Yves…I’ve noticed that you are a bit of a tree hugger. I suspect this is quite typical among people in the finance and consulting worlds. My theory is that it comes from living in a dehumanising environment like New York City.

  22. Yves Smith

    No, it’s because I grew up in small towns in the boonies, and because I know people at the Explorers’ Club who are climate scientists and did work on the International Polar Year who are plenty worried and very articulate as to why. And even the EC types who are mere adventurers also say they are seeing remarkable changes.

Comments are closed.