Links 9/11/09

Dear readers, I am about to do a face plant, forgive the absence of normal posts. I will try to put up a morning post or two to compensate for the lack of the usual evening fare.

Treatment of Alan Turing was “appalling” – PM Number10

UK ‘could face blackouts by 2016 BBC

Bank of China’s Zhu Sees ‘Bubbles’ in Asset Markets Bloomberg (hat tip reader Michael)

Japan: The Triumph of Crony Corporatism Over the Individual Jesse

Lessons Learned and Soon Forgotten Simon Johnson

Lake Wobegon of England Independent Accountant

Geithner defends bank bailouts at town-hall meeting MarketWatch. I wish I had the bandwidth to shred this. And I cannot believe anyone would let Geithner, an elite bureaucrat, appear before normal people.

Harvard and Yale endowments suffer heavy losses Reuters

Trade Activity Up, But Rebalancing Stalled Tim Duy. Tim is starting to step into Brad Setser’s shoes.

To fix the system we must break up the banks Philip Augar and John McFall, Financial Times (hat tip reader Don B)

Accountants Misled Us Into Crisis Floyd Norris, New York Times

A Decade With No Income Gains David Leonhardt (hat tip reader John Doe)

Antidote du jour (hat tip reader Scott):

A giant farm dog and a tiny piglet cuddle up as if they were family after the baby runt was dismissed by its own mother.

Surrogate mum Katjinga, an eight-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback, took on motherly duties for grunter Paulinchen – a tiny pot-bellied pig – and seems to be taking the adoption in her stride.

Lonely Paulinchen was luckily discovered moments from death and placed in the care of the dog who gladly accepted it as one of her own. Thankfully for the two-week old mini porker, Katjinga fell in love with her at first sight and saved her bacon.
Property developer Roland found the weak and struggling piglet after she was abandoned by the rest of her family one evening after she was born.

He said: “The pigs run wild on our land and the sow had given birth to a litter of five in our forest.

“I found Paulinchen all alone and when I lifted her up she was really cold.

“I felt sure some local foxes would have taken the little pig that very night so I took it into my house and gave her to Katjinga.

“She had just finished with a litter of her own, who are now 10 months, so I thought there was a chance she might take on the duties of looking after her.

“Katjinga is the best mother you can imagine. She immediately fell in love with the piggy. Straight away she started to clean it like it was one of her own puppies.

“Days later she started lactating again and giving milk for the piggy. She obviously regards it now as her own baby.”

More pictures here.

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  1. Swedish Lex


    Further to Simon Johnson’s and McFall’s and Augar’s FT op-ed, respectively.

    Johnson is of course right. Right after the financial crisis in Sweden in the early 90s, draft legislation was produced that included a full manual on how to deal with a financial crisis. The proposals then gathered dust until…….late 2008 when the next crisis already had broken out.

    I am not holding my breath as regards the U.S. although we will of course see what Obama has to say. Rather than pointing to the remaining fundamental flaws of the system, it seems more likely, from a tactical standpoint, that the Administration will claim Victory over the financial crisis. It seems that Obama needs a victory in order to be more successfull on other fronts.

    As regards the FT op-ed, it is well worth reading (hopefully Obama reads it too). I cross-read it this morning with Martin Wolf’s FT column. Together they make a strong case for continued banking reform in the EU.

    An area where the EU has failed miserably is in the creation of a common policy and internal market for energy. Our fragmented energy market makes the EU vulnerable as the BBC piece shows. Britain has not exactly been at the forefront for the creation of an EU market though.

    If the Irish vote yes on 2 October as regards the EU’s new Lisbon Treaty (the other 26 States have or are in the process of ratifying the Traty), the EU would be granted new authority in the area of energy and could thus press ahed more easily. If the Irish vote no and the Treaty fails as consequence, it will all be a big mess.

    A voir

  2. Swedish Lex

    One more,

    On Norris’ article on accounting.

    The Realpolitik will in my view dictate that market to market will continue to be suspended in varous ways for some time. If the fair value fundamentalists got it their way 100%, I imagine that banks’ capital would melt away pretty fast in a self-amplifying way, creating a hole that all the TARPs in the world could not fill.

    A feature that makes the EU a special case is that the IASB sets the accounting rules pretty independently, with no formal power for the EU to impose its views. The EU only has a chance to endorse, or not, after the fact. The EU Institutions in no way posses the know-how or manpower to take over what the IASB is doing. The IASB knows this, of course, and expoits its position to the maximum. Hence the macro arm-twisting that continues to go on beyond the scenes. Not exactly a showcase of due process and transparency.

  3. eh

    I’m sure Alan Turing was not the only one humiliated, prosecuted, and ruined under the laws and practices existing at the time.

  4. Dave Raithel

    RE Shredding Geithner: Oh, I can’t say he said nothing worth saying, e.g.:

    “We can’t ever again do what we did over the last many years, which is to go out and commit to huge expensive tax cuts without paying for them, or to go finance two wars without paying for them, to go finance a huge expansion of Medicare … without paying for it. That’s not something we can do.”

    But I guess the charge could still be: Nobody in DC is going to do anything about that now, or remember not to do anything like that in the future. I still see the above cited policies as relevant to the matter of health insurance and health care reforms, the topic shredded in the Marshall Auerback post and comments. (And in a world where everyone’s motives are suspect, I’ve been a single-payer advocate since 1992 when I once upon a time ran for public office, and I think single-payer is politically impossible.)

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