LInks 7/19/09

Brazil demands return of UK waste BBC

Were we smarter 100 years ago..? The Public Domain

TARP watchdog says Treasury lacking bank data The Hill and TARP Inspector Urges Treasury to Track Banks’ Aid More Closely Bloomberg (hat tip reader Barbara). As much as I am sympathetic with what the COP is doing, I am not sure I buy this notion. Money is fungible and I am not certain how you ascertain what decisions a bank made at the margin via having TARP dough.

Banks with bailout funds say loans rise: survey Reuters

The Potato as Disruptive Innovation Paul Kedrosky

In Washington, One Bank Chief Still Holds Sway New York Times

The Economist’s Take on the State of Macroeconomics Once More.. Brad DeLong

Nothing for Nothing New York Times

Credit Glut Props Up Growth, Sowing Seeds of Trouble Down the Road China Stakes (hat tip reader Michael)

The Joys of Sachs Paul Krugman

What to do with the Fed Willem Buiter

Antidote du jour:

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  1. attempter

    Re the Public Domain piece: It sure is a distant mirror. When technofeudalists argue that technological "innovation" is what produces value and not the content, which is to simply be "free", I don't know if they're being consciously cynical and larcenous, or if they're some new kind of fundamentalist monk.

    Either way, the goal of e.g. the ideologues at Wired magazine is clear: a new kind of feudal wealth concentration, with intellectual and creative workers just another kind of serf on another kind of plantation, while another kind of consolidated parasite bleeds them dry.

    Re Krugman: As much as I've liked reading K for years now, by now I have to ask, is he (and other dissenters within the system) anything more than a griper?

    He fought the good fight to get some level of reform, some kind of marginally better, more rational, more stable, more equitable outcome within the parameters of the financialized exponential debt/growth system, and failed completely. It's clear that TPTB will do nothing which doesn't make things worse, less stable, less just, for everyone but the handful of financial gangsters.

    So at what point does someone say there can be no reform in a funadamentally insane and evil system, and I must either renounce it and go over into opposition from without, or else just shut up?

    All I know is, if I had a big platform, and I had started out warning against what I had thought were the abuses of the system, by now I'd be satisfied those were not abuses but features, and I could not in good conscience be able to continue calling them abuses of an otherwise socially constructive system.

  2. ronald

    re: Nothing for Nothing: Excellent!!

    a bit that strikes to the heart of American capitalism:
    "Robert Pollin, an economist at the University of Massachusetts, told Ruppel Shell that raising the wages of a worker in Mexico by 30 percent would add only 1.2 percent to the price of a shirt — that’s 24 cents on a $20 shirt. Most companies won’t hear of it. Cost-cutting is the only value they recognize, in part because profit margins are so narrow that companies can’t afford to compete on any basis except ever-lower prices."

    Narrow product margins hidden by accounting and political sanctioned tax loopholes generate over capacity.

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