Links 6/26/09

Apologies for being a bit lean on posts tonight. Blogger and some other sites were inaccessible for about two hours, which I think was a Michael Jackson effect, Internet wide overload due to people reading news and viewing his music videos. I was very taken with his performances, particularly the dance routines, and thought his deterioration was very sad. Despite his considerable talent, he never had a chance.

‘Stoned wallabies make crop circles’ BBC (hat tip reader Steve L)

Tehran dispatch: The regime shows us movies Salon. No joke, a Lord of the Rings marathon as pacifier.

Money floods out of Iran as election crisis continues Telegraph (hat tip reader Steve L)

“What Can I Do?” Robert Reich

Japan Succumbs to Deflation as Consumer Prices Fall Record 1.1% Bloomberg. Yet another sign that Japan is coming apart in a serious way.

The Recession in Japan, Part 2: Land of the Setting Sun? Stratfor (hat tip reader Don)

U.S. economic situation promotes “war-seeking” Benign Brodwicz

Co-ordination falls away as the global crisis abates Philip Stevens, Financial Times

Following the Same Path Michael Panzner

The Seven Habits of Highly Suspicious Hedge Funds Paul Kedrosky

Taking macro-prudential regulation seriously Avinash Persaud VoxEU

A Recession in Dog Years Daniel Gross, Slate (hat tip reader Nick)

Nominees emerge for U.S. panel on Wall Street meltdown Reuters. I’ll wait till this gets past the rumor stage to take this seriously, but aside from Brooksley Born, the list is underwhelming.

Not Enough Audacity Paul Krugman

UNG Fund gas market holdings may be propping up prices: analysts Platts (hat tip reader Michael)

Antidote du jour (hat tip reader Barbara):

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  1. Eddie Bravo

    Stratfor's founder was also the guy that penned a book in the late 80s predicting Japan would become a military superpower and challenge the U.S. for dominance of the Pacific. Proof if ever required of the utter folly of forecasting and unfortunately that awful analysts can still go on to set-up firms like Stratfor that people actually bother listening to…

  2. freude bud

    The official position of the man who is known in the Western media as "the Supreme Leader" is, in fact, in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, "Leader of the Revolution" (when translated to English, of course.)

    Abbreviated, that is LOTR.

    Lord of the Rings, forged by Sauron. Perfect.

  3. Richard Kline

    While to me the mid-term scenario in the US is inflationary, or stagflationary due to pixelation of faux money, I don't see that as the outcome in Japan. They have excellent prospects of real deflation. They have wasted huge sums propping up dead banks for a very long time, which has sucked any oomph out of their domestic economy. Their consumers were always relatively poor and underfunded compared to other industrialized countries, certainly in relation to the cost structures there. Their population has to cover a larger share of retirement and health costs out of personal savings than in Europe, for example, which ties up much of what money they have. Their population is, in fact, declining now, and their prime working age population is steadily decreasing while their debt load increases. They spent tremendously on the putative bridges to nowhere, but got precious little stimulous out of it—because these were stimulus programs _for the zaibatsu_, not for the consumers. No one should be surprised at a demand decline there; their political system has been inimical to the demand base of their domestic economy for sixty years.

    Japan has been the Sick Man of Asia for so long, in remission due to quantitative chemo, that we're conditioned to the notion that they will just muddle on through. We may all be no little surprised when the rivets pop out of the system there if such they do in the next ten years. They have a good chance to be 'stress tested' by reality at the level over that duration, to me.

    —And yet we apply' the Japanese Solution here in the US as we speak. Question: Are we nuts, or simply run by a self-interested oligarchy of the few?

  4. MarcoPolo

    the more things change, the more things stay the same. Banks have their black swans, Yves has her white peacocks.

  5. ballyfager

    Yves, I'm having a recurring problem opening your site. I mention it because maybe others are too.

    Have you read M. Taibbi's article in Rolling Stone about Goldman Sachs ? Light needs to be focused on these people until something is done.

  6. Doc Holiday

    Old news:

    The Federal Reserve on Thursday announced extensions of and modifications to a number of its liquidity programs. Conditions in financial markets have improved in recent months, but market functioning in many areas remains impaired and seems likely to be strained for some time. As a consequence, to promote financial stability and support the flow of credit to households and businesses, the Federal Reserve is extending a number of facilities through early 2010. At the same time, in light of the improvement in financial conditions and reduced usage of some facilities, the Federal Reserve is trimming the size and changing the terms of some facilities.

    Specifically, the Board of Governors approved extension through February 1, 2010, of the Asset-Backed Commercial Paper Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility (AMLF), the Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFF), the Primary Dealer Credit Facility (PDCF), and the Term Securities Lending Facility (TSLF). The expiration date for the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) currently remains set at December 31, 2009. The Term Auction Facility (TAF) does not have a fixed expiration date.

    > It was in the early morning hours
    When I fell into a phone call
    Believing I had supernatural powers
    I slammed into a brick wall
    I said hey, is this my problem?
    Is this my fault?
    If that's the way it's going to be
    I'm going to call the whole thing to a halt

    See and hear:

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