Links 5/13/09

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Huge Bolivian glacier disappears BBC (hat tip reader Steve L)

Army Disputes Doctor’s Claim in Study of Injured New York Times

Washington Post Defines “Wealthy” as Someone Who Earns $60,000 a Year Beat the Press

Goldman Folds in Boston – What Does It Mean? Bruce Krasting

1000 GM Dealerships Forced Out May 15; Executives Dump Shares; Restructuring May Fail Michael Shedlock

Fed Watch: Turning Which Corner? Tim Duy

U.S. Foreclosure Filings Hit Record for Second Straight Month Bloomberg (hat tip reader Skippy)

Foreclosure wave slams suburbia Crain’s (hat tip Ed Harrison)

China Resumes 1.4 Million Tons of Aluminum Capacity Bloomberg, This is not a positive sign, since other producers say there is still significant overcapacity. Is this a beggar thy neighbor strategy?

Freddie Mac to draw further $6.1bn Financial Times

Inflection points and turning points – since you asked Willem Buiter. Has a cute graphic too.

Why Obama’s conservatism may not prove good enough Martin Wolf, Financial Times

Antidote du jour (hat tip reader JB):

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  1. Doc Holiday

    Cutting Edge News:

    Texas museum acquires once-disputed Michelangelo painting

    This is one of the greatest rediscoveries in the history of art," museum director Eric Lee said in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday.

    "The evidence could not be stronger. It's like a detective story, like a mystery, and it involves one of the greatest artists of all time."

    Re: The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, announced Wednesday that it has acquired The Torment of Saint Geither, an oil and tempera on wood panel painting alternately referred to as The Temptation of Saint Bernanke.

    >> I like that bouncing lamb!

  2. Doc Holiday

    Naomi Klein: ‘The Wall Street Bailout Is the Greatest Heist in Monetary History’

    NAOMI: Capitalism is on trial. And you have an organic, grassroots, sort of spontaneous revolt against the elite – which is actually what we’re hearing with this rage at CEOs, and bonuses and government collusion with the elites. Rage is an opportunity. The rage is there, and the country is seething, the world is seething with rage. The question is, where is it going to be directed? I feel there’s a moral responsibility for the Left and for progressives to provide an alternative in this moment that is moral, that is principled, that is just, that is hopeful, because if we don’t, then that anger is so easily directed at “those damn Mexican immigrants,” at “the first African American president.” So I feel a tremendous sense of urgency. It’s not just, “Hey, our time has come.” It’s, “We’d better get our act together because this anger is going somewhere.” ….

    10 pages of NAOMI?

  3. Doc Holiday

    NAOMI: If you mean the bank bailout, I think it’s a disaster, crony capitalism at the absolute worst. I think the timing of the release of Larry Summers’s financial records from last year is really interesting. He worked at a hedge fund one day a week and was paid $5.2 million. He was paid $135,000 for one speech to one of the bailed-out banks. And when he got the post he was presented as an egghead academic, as if he wasn’t coming from Wall Street. In fact he wasn’t just working for one bank; he was working for all of them. He collected $8 million in these fees in one year. The question people have been asking about the bank bailout is, “Why is this happening?” And I think part of the answer is that in the United States, there’s so much mythology around the purity of American intentions. There’s always this desire to blame incompetence as opposed to greed. But sometimes things are just what they look like.

    JOAN: Who profits from the heist? From the Wall Street bailout?

    NAOMI: This is an unprecedented transfer of public wealth into private hands. And it has been done on completely false pretenses. We were told that when they announced the first $700 billion it was to get the banks to start lending again. And then the banks said, “Oh, actually we’re just going to keep it because it makes us comfortable.” It’s theft. And it’s not mysterious who profits from it.

    Who profits from it is exactly who seems to be profiting from it. Who will pay for it are the most vulnerable people in the world. And that’s why, maybe, I wouldn’t call it a crime against humanity. I think it is, honestly, a class war. I think we are seeing a class war, before our eyes, of the wealthiest segment of the population saving themselves and having the most vulnerable, poorest people pay the price – because that’s what it really means to bankrupt the government to save the banks. It means you’re not going to have money for food stamps. You’re already hearing these tragic stories of scholarship programs being cut. I mean, the most vulnerable people are paying for the banks to save themselves from a crisis that they created, and that is so deeply immoral. People should be angry about it, and the anger should be directed where it belongs.

  4. Richard Kline

    On the Goldman’s pay-and-flee for their subprime crimes in Boston, that’s a *wowiee*. Naturally the lead on this was taken by _a States’ Attorney General_. Too many chiefs inside the Beltway, most of them bought, paid for, and compromised by the Old Normal. Those States’ AGs are closer to the problem and to the voters.

    Cramdowns are coming, in my view. This is just simple politics. Many people may dislike what the big banks are up to, but most everybody will want out from under bad debt; politically this is the biggest winner in the country, and the political party that gets behind it will have a long good time in control of Congress. The only thing that surprises me is that it has taken this long to get anything going.

    —And Angelo Godzilla is having to lawyer up as his tale has now snagged up his tail with the legal system.

  5. skippy

    Doc H, my favorite is….

    NAOMI: It hasn’t abated. What enrages me more than anything is impunity. I am in a state of rage about the impunity of the elites at the moment. I’m very disturbed by this idea that we just have to keep looking forward, we can’t look backward. That is a declaration in favor of legal impunity for the elites, whether we’re talking about torture, whether we’re talking about the financial crimes that created this crisis, whether we’re talking about what happened under TARP and the first $700 billion. Elizabeth Warren has done such a fantastic job and has raised some very, very deep legal issues about what happened with that money, and there seems to be no desire to prosecute. This brings us back to that 17-year-old girl who broke a window. You can’t have a society where the elites enjoy this flagrant impunity and expect people to respect the rule of law.


    State sponsored theft, when there is no one else to rob, steal form those that can least afford it, like they have a chance in hell to resist against it application. I’m beginning to see only three types of Americans, the Haves, the wannabes and the have nots. Their plan simply put is to increase their control, power, wealth at all costs to the other two category’s. They are nothing more that mercantile scum with out care for others pain, save their need to populate their factory floors, a hungry worker is a productive worker. Lets look forward to the new depression where workers line the streets just to get a days wages. Builders still lovingly look at the Empire State Building, not for its Architecture, but for the speed and low labor costs it achieved, well we gave the poor bums a job hahahaha.

    Skippy…if this baby really blows up…who will be the fall guy…and who will suffer the most…history is replete with such moments, but were better than that right?…is the lifestyle protection of .5% of the population worth the risk that they them selves created…if we save them, will they return the favor…their past/present actions do not bode well for us.

  6. Richard Kline

    A Buiter riccochet:

    Sign Post

    Bernanke: “Sign me up!”
    Geithner: “You’ve got the high sign.”
    Obama: “Signs of hope.”
    Summers: “Co-signs are just around the corner.”
    MSM: “That’s the buy sign (we’re in, aren’t we?).”
    Meredith Whitney: “Stop sign.”
    Schwartznegger: “Me no sign.”
    BoA: “Resigned.”
    Wells: “You want me to sign what?”
    JPM: “The sign says we’re open. Design says we’re closed.”
    Morgan Stanley: “Just sign the warrants here.”
    GS: “Con sign.”
    Bill Black: “Just sign the warrants already.”
    Charlie Munger: “Sign plus ca change . . . .”
    Naomi Klein: “They’re not my sign.”
    Richard Kline: “Sighin’ on down the highway.”

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