LInks 7/25/09

People steal meat from wild lions BBC

Pigeons As Art Critics? Pigeons, Like Humans, Use Color And Pattern Cues To Evaluate Paintings Science News (hat tip reader John D). No wonder they hang out near museums.

Wall ‘could stop desert spread BBC (hat tip reader John D)

Hacker Says iPhone 3GS Encryption Is ‘Useless’ for Businesses Wired

PwC And Satyam: It’s Bigger Than A Blown Audit Mira El Dedazo

OPEC Braces for Decline in Oil Prices Wall Street Journal (hat tip reader DoctoRx)

Soaking Customers as a Form of Prudential Regulation James Kwak, Baseline Scenario

Bush came close to using the military to arrest civilians Linda Beale

JPMorgan to raise salaries for bankers Financial Times

Sign of Improvement On Consumer Debt Wall Street Journal. I find this curious given the deterioration jobs picture. although this looks like one of those second derivative changes being touted as improvement. Less bad is less bad.

Weird flaw in the administration’s financial reform proposals Economics of Contempt

Wall Street’s Gains Equal Main Street’s Loss? Michael Panzner, Huffington Post

Regulators Spar for Turf in Financial Overhaul New York Times

Questions for a Custodian After Scams Hit I.R.A.’s New York Times. This story is wrong about malfeasance at IRA custodians. I was, about ten years ago, looking to do some more venturesome things with my IRA (the law allows you to do futures and options, but just about no IRA custodians permit that), I wound up at an Illinois bank, Intrust, which was one of only two place in the country that would do what I wanted done (the other had a very large minimum). Doing the futures required coordination with a futures trading company, which Intrust made horribly difficult in a way that also allowed them to hang onto a lot of float. I wasn’t alone in a having trouble with them. A Chicago trader with a multi-million IRA once stormed into their office and started breaking their computers. The judge turned out to be so sympathetic with his tale of woe that he only required the miscreant to pay for the breakage.

After yet another botched in their favor transfer, I got on the phone with the manager and chewed her out, as I had before. She closed my account.

That fight turned out to be a stroke of luck, The Feds stormed in six weeks later and closed the bank for embezzlement.

And who was the other IRA custodian that gave all the latitude the law allowed? Refco.

Antidote du jour:

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  1. attempter

    1. Once again several pieces confirming what some of us knew from the start, that Wall St never had to be saved to benefit "Main St", that all the bailouts have done nothing for the people at large, that failing to bail out capital criminals would not have harmed us worse than we're being harmed (and would probably have left us better off), and that the only thing which has been temporarily saved, the only thing TPTB ever intended to save, was the ability of these gangsters to continue their robbery and extortion.

    There is only one measure of the health of an economy, and that's how many living wage jobs are being created or destroyed. Therefore that's the only measure of recovery.

    All the rest is just fog and fraud.

    2. Today's decline and fall of Rome alert: Yes, "civilization", don't cap your carbon emissions in order to slow the spread of the deserts, which is the result of your carbon pollution.

    Build a wall!!!!!

    That sure worked for the Romans….

  2. Anonymous

    Don't worry, be happy.
    God don't play dice – Albert Einstein

    All men are created equal. Freedom, Independent and can pursue Happyness.

    But don't never forget the Equality of the said above sentence.


  3. Independent Accountant

    Chuck Baldwin has been concerned about potential violations of the Posse Comitatus Act for years. Linda Beale, welcome aboard.

  4. John J. Xenakis

    With regard to your IRA, you can't compare what happened ten years
    ago to what's happening today. Ten years ago, there were still a few
    people from the Silent Generation in charge, and they actually had
    some ethics and common sense. Today, the people in charge are
    nihilistic Gen-Xers and stupid Boomers, and they have no ethics
    whatsoever. So anything goes today, while it didn't ten years ago.

    John J. Xenakis

  5. DownSouth

    @attempter said: "There is only one measure of the health of an economy, and that's how many living wage jobs are being created or destroyed. Therefore that's the only measure of recovery."

    The charts from the Tim Duy post from Links 7/24/09 pretty much say it all, no? When I saw those charts I must admit that I was shocked. I knew this was happening, but until seeing it expressed in a visual manner, the full impact of what is going on in America really hadn't hit me.

    To sum up, the number of jobs in durable good manufacturing has now declined to the number that existed in the late 1940s and in non-durable goods manufacturing to the number that existed in the 1930s. But more alarming is that the number of jobs in information services–the highly touted field that was billed as our salvation from the disappearing manufacturing sector–has also been in free-fall since 2000. The number of jobs in that sector has now declined to levels not seen since the early 1990s.

    "Heaven help us," as my brother put it so succinctly the other day, "we're toast."

    I was taken aback by the visceral hatred right wingers expressed for Michael Jackson following his death. Not only did they go to great lengths to point out his shortcomings, which were many and legion, but they also tried to rob him of his successes, which were equally numerous and legion. But when I took the time to view some of his more recent work, which had an explicit political message, I began to understand why:

    They don't really care about us

    Also, I very much enjoyed the Hannah Arendt article you linked the other day:

    I discovered Arendt not too long ago and she has become one of my favorite thinkers of the 20th century.

  6. David Pearson


    I call B*LLS**T on that consumer delinquency data.

    Credit card delinquencies below the 2001 peak? No way.

    First mortgage delinquencies (eyeballing here) at 2.3% v. a peak of 1.9% in '02? Gee, and I don't remember a housing bubble popping in '02, Fannie and Freddie failing, etc.

    Auto loans are just as unbelievable.

    Am I the only one who thinks this data is just complete fiction?

  7. attempter

    DownSouth, I agree about those graphs. They show the terminal cannibalism of a civilizational model.

    The "information economy", as being a source of any significant number of real jobs, let alone for all Americans, was always a scam.

    That's only become clear with the second wave of the globalist offshoring assault on the workers.

    I'm glad you liked the Arendt essay. It's one of the pieces collected in Between Past and Future.

    (The book excerpts you quote are always good as well.)

    Arendt is in my estimation the greatest 20th century thinker. Origins of Totalitarianism is unrelentingly profound, and rereading it last year I found it unsettlingly topical for today's situation.

    Lately I've been rereading On Revolution, looking for ideas and inspiration, and finding plenty.

  8. Anonymous

    Yves, Linda Beale is showing some ignorance of constitutional law and even of the interaction of the Constitution and legislation here. I would recommend taking some care when linking to her.

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