Links 12/21/09

Dear patient readers, posting will be thin through Wednesday evening, I get page proofs back again tomorrow and this is my very last chance to correct the manuscript.

Has dark matter finally been detected? Guardian (hat tip reader Crocodile Chuck)

Obama-Constitutional Scholar Independent Accountant. McCain corrects Obama. Eeek.

Mobile Phone Cancellation Fees Help the Poor, Verizon Tells Feds Wired (hat tip reader John D). The arguments made by Verizon are an insult to intelligence. “Preserving our profit margins” = “helping the poor”.

Business chiefs hit at climate agreement Financial Times. Get this: businesses want a TOUGHER deal.

Pentagon pollution ignored at climate change conference IA Center (hat tip reader John D)

London Exodus to Geneva Runs Into Housing, School Shortages Bloomberg. Throws more cold water on the idea that lots of bankers can decamp from London and set up on the Continent.

China’s Export of Labor Faces Growing Scorn New York Times (hat tip reader Claire)

Yeah, It’s Pretty Much Chaos At Delta/Northwest Right Now Consumerist

Is America Still a Nation of Laws? George Washington

Citigroup ‘Lottery Ticket’ Warrants May Pay U.S. Lowest Return Bloomberg

Tomes to make you groan Lucy Kellaway. On the worst business books of the year.

No More Tarp for Citi, But TBTF Lingers Heather Landry, American Banker, via On Wall Street

Report: Vaccine Advisers Had Financial Conflicts Crooks and Liars (hat tip reader John D)

Ben and his Avatar Chevelle

Understanding Obamacare Luke Mitchell, Harper’s (hat tip Lambert Strether)

Tiger Woods, Person of the Year Frank Rich, New York Times. In case you missed this, a terrific piece.

Video: Goldman and Morgan Stanley were this close to bankruptcy Ed Harrison. Everyone at Goldman, starting with Blankfein, should be confined to a room playing an infinite loop of this video until they understand that no one with an operating brain cell buys their “we stand on our own two feet” crap and and they should quit trying to fob it off on us.

Antidote du jour:

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  1. IF

    All the banks have to do is to relocate the 200 people with the highest bonuses to have most of the tax impact (think AIG etc.). Of course, the question is if either banks or the bonus winners want them to be so far away from the central location.

    In any case, there is lots the EU governments can do as long as they work together. Will have to be some form of capital flow control. Most important are UK actions in the short run to call the bluff. EU will take its time as usual (and might be subverted).

  2. wunsacon

    Me saying “we should try Osama like we tried Nazi’s in Nuremberg” doesn’t mean I think anything more than we should have a trial and that there is precedent for trying mass murderers in court. “Like in Nuremberg.” (And I have no reason to think Obama would use that analogy any differently than I would.)

    So, McCain’s team made a straw man out of it. Color me surprised.

    What am I missing?

  3. nowhereman

    OK, here’s the plan. We create a International Banking Center, (somewhere in Europe, we don’t want it here). We allow all the bankers unhappy with restrictions on their outrageous bonuses to relocate there. Once there, we simply surround the area with razor wire, and voila, problem solved.

  4. Kelli K

    I hadn’t realized that Harper’s had replaced the incoherent socialist curmudgeon Lapham with an equally obtuse ranter. That’s good news, I guess.

    The left is missing the point, of course, as usual.

    Yes, Obama is giving away the store at the moment in bribes: to senators, to big health care, etc. But it is all a trap. Once the bill is passed the bars can come down and there will be no escape. Business will continue to pay outrageous bribes to the Dems to keep the cash stream flowing, but over time it will slow to a trickle as the state takes over ever more control.

    I applaud the left for its willingness to stand on principle and at least be open about its desire for socialized health care. But as Axelrod pointed out last week, they are crazy to oppose this.

  5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Yes, I konw there are a lot of bad business books out there.
    I would like to change that.

    I am thinking of starting a new business magazine called ‘Misfortune’ and the first issue will have the world’s 100 poorest persons.

    I will call it the Misfortune 100.

    We are almost in year 2010 and I think it’s time for Misfortune Magazine. Look for it in your Google search engine soon!

    By the way, I don’t know if I will win a Nobel for this, but long ago, I discovered dark matter inside the heart of almost every Wall Street banker I have met. I don’t know how physicists missed that, but I did discover it.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      By the way, that’s ‘Misfortune’ and not ‘Miss Fortune.’

      I don’t want it confused with some magaziine for rich teenage girls.

  6. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    If phone cancellation fees help the poor, then they should charge a fee to leave this world to help the sick.

    ‘Sir, you want to leave this world?’

    ‘Yes, I am sick of it.’

    ‘Well, I will need $500,000 from you.’

    ‘What for?’

    ‘To help the sick you leave behind.’

    ‘I see. Yup, it makes sense.’

    ‘When do you plan on leaving the world?’

    ‘Well, I can’t. I am underwater with my mortgage. Have no savings. Invested my 401K with Madoff. So, I guess I have to stick around.’

  7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    I don’t know about their schools, but there are plenty of housing in China for our London banker friends, even if they go there to spy on or bribe the Chinese.

    Upon further reflection, I think China’s empty apartment buildings are perfert for our overcrowded prisons. America’s next great export – local, state and federal prisoners.

  8. KnotRP


    He screwed a bunch of people including those closest
    to him, but now he’s losing his income stream….just like
    the bankers, he should make himself a bank holding company
    (Tiger Woody Bank — what’s in your pocket…er…wallet?!?!?)
    and get a taxpayer bailout (so that he can continue
    to live the lifestyle he’s accustomed to, and more
    importantly go on screwing more people…the golfing
    economy cannot survive without Tiger).

  9. strainer

    I actually just read a summary and path to a very interesting bearish view on gold from Woodbridge Capital, a hedge fund run by two former Soros guys:

    While I am personally still quite bullish on the gold price and gold mining stocks, I think it’s always a good idea to consider the opposing viewpoint when provided by a credible source, as is the case here.

  10. Valissa

    As usual, follow the money… this was never really about mitigating “global pollution”… “global warming” is one of the best propaganda campaigns of the times for a certain subgroup of elites that have faux-green credentials

    Questions over business deals of UN climate change guru Dr Rajendra Pachauri…The head of the UN’s climate change panel – Dr Rajendra Pachauri – is accused of making a fortune from his links with ‘carbon trading’ companies, Christopher Booker and Richard North write.

    It’s admitted, this Climate Conference is not really about the environment!
    Divisions Persist On Core Questions As Leaders Arrive's_Most_Popular
    “This is not a climate-change negotiation,” said Janos Pasztor, director of the U.N. secretary-general’s climate-change support team. “It’s about something much more fundamental. It’s about economic strength.” Countries, he added, “just have to slug it out.”

    This is an interesting book that relates to the above:
    (suggest rading the reviews at Amazon for more info)
    Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Politics, by Tom Ferguson

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