Links May Day 2009

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Marijuana Sniffing Drone in Netherlands Zeitgeist. Sure to be coming to a neighborhood near you.

Kenyan women call for sex boycott Financial Times. Life imitates art, albeit with a delay of a few thousand years.

Despite Green Shoots, Odds Favor More Easing Tim Duy

Additional confirmation China bought US equities from mid-2007 to mid-2008 Brad Setser

Feverish Thinking Breaking Views

Comparing Today’s Vegas Back Lot To A Real Bull Market Tyler Durden

At CATO, knowing how to diagram–or read–a sentence is an impediment Angry Bear

Quantitative Easing FAIL Clusterstock. In case you missed it.

Henri Bendel Plans to Stop Selling Clothes This Summer New York Times. I never understood Henri Bendel, but since I was never a fashionista, that was probably fine. It had super trendy, costly clothes that only made sense if you were size 0 or 2, and even then it was questionable (as in the clothes too often looked like they were wearing the woman rather than vice versa). But there were enough wealthy wives and kept women for that to be a viable business model for a remarkably long time.

Why Are Bankers Still Being Treated As Beltway Royalty? Arianna Huffington. A must read.

Antidote du jour (hat tip reader Buzz, you will have to ask him what this is):

We also have a joke from reader Scott:

One afternoon an investment banker was riding in his limousine when he saw two men along the roadside eating grass. Disturbed, he ordered his driver to stop and he got out to investigate.

He asked one man, “Why are you eating grass?”

“We don’t have any money for food,” the poor man replied. “We have to eat grass.”

“Well, then, you can come with me to my house and I’ll feed you,” the banker said.
“But sir, I have a wife and two children with me. They are over there, under that tree.”
“Bring them along,” the banker replied.
Turning to the other poor man he stated, “You come with us, also.”
The second man, in a pitiful voice, then said, “But sir, I also have a wife and SIX children with me!
“Bring them all, as well,” the banker answered.
They all entered the car, which was no easy task, even for a car as large as the limousine was.
Once underway, one of the poor fellows turned to the banker and said, “Sir, you are too kind.”
“Thank you for taking all of us with you.”

The banker replied, “Glad to do it.

“You’ll really love my place.

The grass is almost a foot high.”

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  1. Richard Kline

    Regarding the knock-back of court approved mortgage cramdowns in bankrupcy just inflicted in the Senate, Prez O had this to say, as sited in the Huffington linked post: ‘At his press conference, Obama bemoaned the fact that he “can’t just press a button and suddenly have the bankers do exactly what I want.”‘

    And did he got to the mat, and take this issue to the public to pressure Congress and call the banksters out? Him, get his knuckles dirty?? The Presidency is just too, too weak to mobilize the public. And that’s the point: he has no desire to mobilize the public. It’s a free country; the bankers can lobby for what they want. But politicians telling us how weak they are in the presence of their masters are simply despicible. This problem isn’t all about Obama, not really; he’s not in a strong position to pick a fight with Congress. But he shows no interest in fighting for what’s right at all, just fine words on how it’s so, so hard to do the right thing.

    Many presently holding office in the Congress need to be un-employed in favor of less tainted successors, but that takes time, and the country will continue to take a beating in the meantime, and have to pay the banksters for the privilege.

  2. Dikaios Logos

    Yves, I am truly tickled by your Aristophanes reference. Stuff like that is why I read your blog. Might you have done that just for me?

    Anyway, is today’s antitode an angora rabbit with an odd trim?

  3. X


    I think a different reading is in order. Frankly, we should take this as the most hopeful developments in some time. Combine Obama’s 100 days comment with Senator Durbin’s recent admission:

    First the Pres and now a prominent senator are admitting that our elected government lacks the power to reign in bankers. That is far more hopeful than having everyone in government as a willing accomplice. We must realize that national politicians can come no closer to asking for mass demonstrations. We have a government in place that wishes to reform and admits they lack the power; that is incredible.

    Unlike President Obama the American people do have the power to make bankers do as they wish. Nothing radical is required. No destruction of property, no threatened or actual violence is needed. Just large, well-targeted protest. We Americans used to do it. In fact it worked so well before that it wasn’t necessary for several generations and we kind of forgot how to do it. If we rediscover our capacity to assert our rights and defend our interests we can have the reforms we need. We are not likely to see a more favorable government to get it done. At long last our fate is in our own hands. Do not miss the signifcance of explicit admissions by the most powerful people in government that banks are yet more powerful.

    Did you see the poll that shows opinion among African Americans on race relations has flipped from 2-1saying bad, to 2-1 saying good since July ’08? All signs point to this being the time for a (fairly) unified populace to reclaim democratic governance. The president cannot organize the marches himself.

  4. Keenan

    RE: Today’s humor

    Hmmmm….. worse than Marie Antoinette’s dietary admonition.

    The human digestive system is unable to extract nutrition from grass, but the brave new world of
    biotechnological engineering will probably find the way.

  5. tyaresun

    Here is a way to teach the banksters. Everyone with a FICO 680 and above, spend a couple of hundred dollars on one of the credit cards you have not used in a long time and do not pay the bill. If you feel guilty about taking that money, simply give the crtedit card away to a homeless person and report it as lost after a week.

  6. Doc Holiday

    This hits the nail square on: “… because not only have the public lost all faith in the media; not only do so many people assume, now, that they are being misled; but more than that, the media themselves have lost all confidence in their own ability to give us the facts.”

    PARMAGEDDONThat is a great general thought that connects the stupidity of TARP and retarded government-linked corruption — to the same retarded and stupid thinking now part of the corrupted medical chaos with PORK. Journalism is obviously suffering from the same nepotism cancer that has found its way into every viable aspect of our burning Rome — the world is failing, because we have one generation passing the torch to the next, but in this case, the older generation has dropped the baton and the younger generation had no idea that there was a baton, so in this disconnected handoff, we have this current explosion in nepotism, where friends of friends connect their friends into plugged in jobs that pay money — but no one has any fuc-ing clue what they are doing!

    This could result in finger pointing, but people are so busy being confused that they don’t know which finger to use or which direction to point it.

    Thank God I have a place to express my displeasure with the society that surrounds me, and in a way this is where things are headed, i.e, people in isolation that may have clues will be part of a fragmented network of disconnected people who watch these people in power screw up, day in day out. I hate to bring up the premise of accountability or democracy, but what does happen to society, to America if we continue on a a high-speed path towards greater and greater chaos, where no one does have a clue as to how to fix these bigger and bigger messes, made by more and more retarded people?


    Fix it yourself, I don’t have time….

  7. Doc Holiday

    We have gone demented. Two Britons are or were (not very) ill from flu. “This could really explode,” intones a reporter for BBC News. “London warned: it’s here,” cries the Evening Standard. Fear is said to be spreading “like a Mexican wave”. It “could affect” three-quarters of a million Britons. It “could cost” three trillion dollars. The “danger”, according to the radio, is that workers who are not ill will be “worried” (perhaps by the reporter) and fail to turn up at power stations and hospitals.

    Swine flu? A panic stoked in order to posture and spendFD: This could be an anon post, but no, I have to take credit for this stupid waste of time….

  8. Doc Holiday

    An observation on contrast:

    1. “U.S. consumers felt more confident about the economy last month than at any time since the September failure of Lehman Brothers that pushed global banking to the brink of collapse, a survey showed on Friday.”

    “The improvement was concentrated in expectations for the future, especially the longer-term outlook for the economy,” said Richard Curtin, the director of the survey.

    Despite the overall improvement in sentiment, though, consumers remained anxious about jobs, the survey showed. Some 53 percent of consumers questioned in April expected the jobless rate to increase, a slight improvement over 61 percent who answered this way the prior month.

    The U.S. unemployment rate stood at 8.5 percent in March, a 25-year high, according to government data. The April reading will be released next week.

    2. The fact is that epidemics and pandemics seem to hit populations during major negative social mood trends. …When we study pandemics of the Dark Ages or the Spanish influenza epidemic that broke out during the bear market of 1917 (which year also saw intense fighting in World War I and the Communist coup in Russia), there always appears to be a bear market in force, and the extent of the epidemic tends to correlate with the size of the setback in mood.

    That bit was from:

    Swine Flu and Elliott Wave Analysis

  9. Doc Holiday

    FYI: U.S. hog prices moved higher early on Friday, after steep losses earlier in the week, as investors appeared to believe the worst of the flu-related trade disruptions may be over and that some trade bans on U.S. meat and pork could soon be lifted.

    Whew … that was a close call, and to think, just a few days ago this was a Level 5 Global Pandemic, and now it’s a Global PORK-fest, brought to you by the swine @ WHO, making changes in your life, by the minute…

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