Links 11/5/09

Fake AP Stylebook Steers You Completely Wrong — With Style Wired

Rare whale gathering sighted BBC

How central bank repos create conflicts of interest FT Alphaville

Did We Learn Anything? Carry Trade Edition EconomPic Data

Lending must support the real economy Dirk Bezemer, Financial Times

Men in part-time work paid less than women Independent

Sympathy for the Treasury Steve Waldman. The most comprehensive write-up of the meeting some bloggers had at the Treasury, and it is quite accurate, both from a content and as he put it, an anthropological standpoint. Also contains links to the other posts from participants.

Antidote du jour:

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  1. Skippy

    Re: The Milk and Cookies at the Treasury scratch and sniff date.

    I know Ive been cranky of late, but it comes from the increasing disbelief in the BS being spewed 360 degrees. The more I study derivatives and their purpose in the market (the line they sell us and the actual usage by them), the hole who thunk-it drivel that we are supposed to gobble-up, all by morally and ethically challenged people, this is a scam pure and simple! it is wrong!

    Skippy…I was born and raise a Christian capitalist and now find my self totally repulsed by my past with no further wish to be involved, so its off to medicine as a first responder. Best of luck to all that wish to serve the masters of wealth, the house will always pick your pocket before you leave town.

  2. not_scottbot

    In connection to the Treasury blogger confab –
    ‘It’s worse in Europe. Really. Trust us. Much worse in Europe. Really, really bad in Europe. Outstandingly awful, mind numbingly catastrophic. Trust us.

    Besides, you do know that most Americans don’t have a passport, most Americans don’t even realize how little information they have concerning anywhere else, and really, why not simply keep pointing out that America is God’s Own Country – just like West Virginia is to the rest of the U.S. Which, off the record, is not a bad way to compare America to Europe, actually.’

  3. Guest

    Speaking of Polar Bears; has Gore shifted his position on Carbon? In this current News Week article (that praises Gore) he acknowledges towards the end of the article that C02 has a far less prominent position among the green-house gases.

    “and carbon dioxide, 43 percent.”

  4. attempter

    Does this speak for all the participants?:

    I thought this a very effective trick to sweep an issue aside, a kind of jujitsu by which the official would render very sharp comments harmless by moving with rather than fighting against the questioner. After this move, the only possible disagreement is a judgment call about which of many problems is most pressing, and whose judgment would be better than that of a senior official immersed daily in the practicalities of policy? Twice Treasury officials commented on how uncommon a group we were, how we asked particularly pointed questions or were unusually bright. To borrow a cliché, I’ll bet they say that to all the groups. One official made use of an expletive early in his discussion, which had the effect of making us feel like insiders, like this was not the sort of canned, guarded conversation one might see on CNN. The same official was quick to address us by first name when responding to questions. That wasn’t hard, since our names were in front of us, written on placards in large letters. But it was still effective. Being addressed so familiarly makes you feel important, like you are someone powerful people deem worth their while to know.

    Being so impressed by such obvious tricks? Calling people by name?

    Still impressed by “expertise” in this area? After how monumentally wrong almost everyone was, at the highest levels of expertise, education, reputation, I would’ve thought that never again would anyone be able to claim or appeal to “authority” on economic matters.

    Whose judgment would be better than that of a senior official immersed daily in the practicalities of policy?

    I don’t know, any bum selected at random out of an alley?

    Even as a teenager I used to laugh at how fatuous (and patronizing) it was when someone said, “Now that’s a good question!”

    And I stopped being impressed by swear words probably by around age 12.

    1. Fluffy

      It’s always interesting to hear folks exclaim how “smart” these senior officials are, right after they’ve explained how their targets are morally bankrupt. Somehow we feel obligated to ascribe that primary social good, Intelligence, even to folks who are otherwise harmful.

      It’s as if one said “Sharks are really dangerous, but did you know they can swim really fast?”. Great intelligence in a psychopath is a bad thing, not a good one.

  5. dearieme

    “The same official was quick to address us by first name..”

    John Buchan said that you have to know a Canadian very well before you discover his surname.

  6. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Men in part time work paid less than women?

    It’s great women have been liberated, but for me, I like to see it improved just a bit.

    Imagine a small town of 100 male lawyers and 100 female teachers in the 1950’s. All the male lawyers married the female teachers and you have a 50-middle-class-couple town.

    Today, thanks to the liberation, you might have 50 male and 50 female lawyers on one hand and another 50 male teachers and 50 female teachers. As is the fashion today, people like to form power couples. So, you have the 50 males lawyers marry the 50 female lawyers. And the 50 female teachers can only then marry the 50 male teachers.

    What do we have then? You have 50 upper middle class couples and 50 so quite middle-middle class couples.

    Voila – concentration of wealth, the division of the town into different classes.

    The above is just a simplified version of the story going on today – too many power couples.

    Solution – more women freeing themselves from thinking they can’t marry down, can’t marry a house-husband. More men should give serious thought to a career of staying at home. I would like to see more power female CEO’s marry nice looking plumbers or construction workers.

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