Links 7/10/09

JFK runway shut for crossing turtles, delaying flights for over an hour Telegraph (hat tip reader Barbara)

Dieting Monkeys Offer Hope for Living Longer New York Times

Humans may give swine flu to pigs in new twist to pandemic PhysOrg. Doesn’t this increase the odds of mutation? Let’s hope it is the inconsequential kind.

Third of breast cancer ‘harmless’ BBC. This is not news, but this information is not given to women in order to keep them coming for mammograms. They are a lousy diagnostic, good at picking up slow growing cancers that will not kill you, and bad at getting the fast moving lethal kind. Manual exams are actually better at picking up the deadly type, as is newer tech (thermal imaging), but people prefer the seemingly more scientific approach of a mammogram, and doctors have an installed base of equipment.

Journalism Scandal at News Corp Columbia Journalism Review

Netanyahu’s paranoia extends to ‘self-hating Jews’ Emmanuel and Axelrod Ha’aretz

Markets need rules Rolfe Winkler, Reuters. A beltated congrats to Rolfe on joining Reuters! They are also letting him keep his Options Armageddon branding.

If Goldman Sachs Reports Record Profits, How Will That Affect U.S. Markets? John Lounsbury. Reader Michael D points out that the real punch line of this story, that Goldman expects its richest pay year ever, got virtually airbrushed out of initial MSM reports. Loundsbury gives it long form treatment.

AIG to pay more executive bonuses July 15: source Reuters. I’d hyperventilate about this, but it clearly does no good. No one question the way top of cycle pay is now treated as the new normal, even in a bloodbath.

Citi reshuffles senior management Financial Times. The inaptly named Ned Kelly, who performed quite poorly in his initial public appearance, has been replaced as CFO after a mere four months.

Japan’s wholesale prices mark record drop in June MarketWatch (hat tip DoctoRx)

**FLASH** Goldman Code Theft BOMBSHELL? Karl Denninger. The allegation is that the purloined code allowed Goldman to front run on a massive scale. Plus Denninger Goes On Air, One Minute Twenty Seconds Of Airtime Ensues Tyler Durden

Markets mayhem puts spin on statistics Martin Sandbu Financial Times. Parsing the trade stats.

The clearinghouse that saved foreign exchange trading from the crisis Richard M. Levich, VoxEU

The Stimulus Trap Paul Krugman

Global Banking Economist Warned of Coming Crisis Der Spiegel. Today’s must read.

Antidote du jour:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Richard Kline

    The Aleynikov Code . . . by far the most interesting thriller I've heard in a long time. Something of a misnomer in that it would appear more likely that he jacked it from GS than wrote it for them. The implications here are Madoff to an exponential, and who would have thought _that_ phrase would be uttered so soon? What a bizarrely fascinating indictment or our society.

    And what does the MSM care to babble about? Anything but. That is proof positive why newspapers are dying and broadcast news are rancidifying: they got out of the journalism business sometime back in Reagan's tenure.

  2. chasd00

    This is a copy/paste from a post i made over at Clusterstock regarding the DailyKos and Market Ticker conspiracy posts. For the record I'm a Java developer/Linux Sys Admin

    I wanted to clear up some stuff on Daily Kos and The Market Ticker but neither site allows you to make a comment immediately after registering.

    From The Daily Kos
    "Control of to network and server access codes is unclear. A number of shops run their network and job control operations with UNIX shell scripts. Bloomberg and Merrill are typical. Problem with shell scripts is that they get run with superuser credentials — soon as you have 1000 scripts, everybody gets access to the passwords."

    That is simply not true. It is very rare and poor programming for a shell script to run with superuser (root) access.

    From The Market Ticker
    "This is precisely the sort of thing that a Unix machine, sitting on a network cable where it can "see" traffic potentially not intended for it, could have an interface put into what is called "promiscuous mode" and SILENTLY sniff that traffic!


    I'll buy most of that except for the "SILENTLY sniff that traffic" part. You can easily detect a network interface put into promiscuous mode. Here's one method from a simple google search

    "The method to detect these hosts is by sending an ICMP or an ARP request to the host/network. The packet is sent to the correct IP address but with a bogus Ethernet address. If the target(s) operate in promiscuous mode, then it(they) will reply to the request" –

    long story short, I find it EXTREMELY unlikely GS was sniffing traffic to try and read trades before they happened. It's very amateur and very detectable. Furthermore, I would be shocked if financial transactions happen in clear text across public networks. I don't even do that in my home.

  3. donna

    I hate being told to go for a mammogram. There's no history of breast cancer in my family, and I'm perfectly capable of doing the self exam.

    OTOH, I have had a run-in with colon cancer, which kills MORE women than breast cancer. But haven't seen any brown ribbons on products or very many walks for colon cancer. Breasts are just more sexy than encouraging people to get a colonoscopy done.

  4. Hugh

    So many interesting stories and links today.

    If Netanyahu implodes, it could not happen to a more deserving nutcase.

    Goldman Sachs profits are not based on wealth creation. They are made at the expense of the rest of the market. So if GS profits go up, this should depress the hell out of the rest of the market. The article relates GS profits to the S&P more generally but overlooks the effective control that a company like GS has on the S&P.

    The foreign exchange trading article about Herstatt risk was interesting but failed to take note of whether there were any Herstatt events prevented by the CLS bank during the meltdown and its aftermath. Don't get me wrong I think the CLS is a sensible idea. I would also have liked to know how the Fed's large currency exchange programs with central banks mitigated pressures in the FX area.

    Krugman is right that just because the first stimulus was flawed is not a reason to junk the idea of stimulus. His noting that the Fed cut interest rates 11 times down to zero is not much of a recommendation. Those cuts showed that the Fed was pursuing an ineffective policy right up to the end. His hope that Obama will show himself to be flexible is misplaced. Obama's policy problem is not just with the stimulus: too small, poorly structured, and badly directed. It is really his whole approach to the economy that needs to be redone from the ground up.

    White was hardly alone in foreseeing the bursting of the housing bubble and the potential for a financial meltdown. He just had a much better seat than most. Many here and elsewhere saw this coming. The real question remains why so few others in positions of power and responsibility in politics, government, and finance did not or did nothing to stop it.

  5. "DoctoRx"

    The Wm White-BIS "must-read" is a gem. Sure would love to know his prescription for a resolution. Continued coddling of bankers or pre-privatization?

  6. G.

    The poignant quotes from White: '"We were staff," he says. "All we could do was to present our expertise. It was not within our power how it was used."' and '"There are limits to pressing your argument," White says. "If you keep repeating your point over and over again, nobody will listen anymore."'

    Just worker bees.

  7. ComparedToWhat?

    I agree that the William White piece is an absolute must. Cheers for pointing that out.

    Bloomberg put up a longish video interview (30 minutes?) with Pimco's CEO Mohamed El-Erian today. The technical quality is surprisingly poor, but the content is outstanding.

    He goes over at length his concept of the "new normal." He also talks about his personal experience of what it was like working at Pimco during the time markets froze up last fall.

    People were showing up for work at 3am because they were flat-out unable to sleep at night. More than once, El-Erian called his wife from the office and told her to immediately go to an ATM and get cash. He mentions in passing that the money hasn't gone back into the bank….

    I don't know if Bloomberg has an accessible archive for video or audio, so this might only be available for another day or even less. There's a very short excerpt on Bloomberg's Youtube channel but I couldn't find the whole thing there. If someone reading this has the ability to record the stream and archive it somewhere accessible, that would be a good thing to do.

  8. ComparedToWhat?

    Another link I'd like to point to happens also to be from Bloomberg. It's the unusual live radio show with Shiller and Roubini yesterday. Video and downloadable audio are both available for now, here's the link for the mp3.

    Shiller's initial comments, that "green shoots" implies an inevitable Spring when that is not at all the case, were a very solid start. He remarks on looking for the word "bubble" or any synonym in economics textbooks of the last 30 years and not finding it.

    Regarding the efficient markets hypothesis, Shiller says he's felt as welcome in the professional community as an astrologer at an astronomy conference.

    Then Bloomberg's Ken Prewitt (who strikes me as a robot programmed by some RNC admirer of Vladimir Putin; until last week's job report he was pounding on inflation but since then his theme is "Don't we educate people too much in this country?") says to Shiller, well since you hate the free market what do you want to replace it with?

    He says this to the Robert Shiller who founded an investment bank; who's worked to allow financial markets to enable speculation on real estate through exchange-traded derivatives; who's invited practitioners like David Swensen, Andrew Redleaf, Carl Icahn and Stephen Schwarzman as guests to lecture his Econ 252 class at Yale.

    Shiller likes the BIS as a talking shop and thinks it performed a useful function in the brutal stomping out of inflation in the early 80s.

    Tom Keene: "How did Case-Shiller become instantly important?"
    Robert Shiller: "It wasn't instant. We've been doing this for twenty years."

    Someone needs to set Roubini's take on Iceland to music….

    Bloomberg is performing a great service by doing Tom Keene's radio show "On the Economy" and making it available as a download or podcast. Four 30-minute shows every week and rarely a stinker; wide variety of guests and all are treated with respect.

Comments are closed.