Links 3/11/10

God Helps With Personal Decisions, Most Americans Say Huffington Post

Chief exorcist says Devil is in Vatican Telegraph. I’m so glad they found him.

Hot Property on Auction Block ABC (hat tip reader John D)

OECD: UK has worse social mobility record than other developed countries Guardian

Commercial property may cause new crisis, says FSA Independent

Gallup: Can’t Get No Satisfaction Ed Harrison. A very stark contrast with the cheery market talk of late.

Regional Employment Report: Unemployment Rate up in 30 States, Down in 9; Manufacturing States Benefit Most Michael Shedlock

A Government Takeover of the Economy? Mark Thoma

The Volcker Principles Move Closer To Practice Simon Johnson. The interesting bit is his argument re what to do with Goldman

How to handle the sovereign debt explosion Mohamed El Erian, Financial Times versus The long wave of government debt Andrew Scott, Vox EU

Principal Writedowns and the Fake Stress Test Mike Konczal, New Deal 2.0. Today’s must read, with a tidy and compelling analysis.

Antidote du jour (hat tip Crocodile Chuck). From a very nice slideshow with audio:

The “miracle” Asian elephant calf was born alive at Taronga Zoo after he was believed to have died in his mother Porntip’s womb two days ago.

Picture 55

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  1. craazyman

    It’s interesting that an excorcised individual would spit out bits of iron and rose petals.

    The ability of pysche to materialize into physical objects is a phenomenon on the frontier of scientific inquiry, and may well end up overturning current notions of what matter and energy are.

    It’s not so strange, when you think about it, because all life is a materialization of psyche — from the growth of a flower to the birth of a person, it’s all matter coming from energy guided by a certain archetype of form. The fact that it happens instantaneously in the matter of an excorcism would appear to be a special case of a general phenomenon. Many shamanic societies would not find this particulary strange, however.

    Also curious to hear the dude says many in the Vatican care nothing for Jesus and are possessed by the devil. This is quite to be expected in any bureacracy. I wonder what he’d think of the banksters. This is what I’ve been saying for years, Scully. LOL.

    If we exorcsed the banksters, I wonder what would come out of their mouths — probably lap dance tickets, Hermes scarves, keys for the Hummer, bottles of 1982 Bordeaux, and entry tickets to contemporary art auctions, along with employee termination notices for the companies they’ve helped into LBOs. :)

    1. i on the ball patriot

      I live in a college town and the students here participate in solemn ceremonies and rituals of alcohol worship and strange food ingestion at the local ATF shrines on week ends. They exorcise junk food demons all over the sidewalks regularly. Some of the demons are still alive and it has been reported that they have been seen wiggling and flapping on the sidewalks.

      1. craazyman

        I used to do that when I was in college. Usually I could hold it down even after 10 or 15 beers. A lot got pissed and sweated out as the night progressed. Not sure if that was good or bad, but I kind of took pride in it. Killed a lot of brain cells though. That’s part of my problem now. Lucky I put the ones I still have to good use. :)

        1. wunsacon

          I read of a study in the past 2-3 years that concluded brain cells *do* regrow. ALL IS NOT LOST.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          Based on the amount of booze the Founding Fathers were known to imbibe, I’m convinced “in vino veritas” is the only truth we really know sober.

  2. Swedish Lex

    On Andrew Scott’s “The long wave of government debt”

    He is basically saying that increased Government debt, even through the roof, is OK because we do not exactly know how far up the roof actually is. To me, this is like saying that one cannot be too drunk. It is only after being too drunk, i.e. dead, that we will with certainty know that we had one Akvavit too many. Wholly unconvincing.

    He adds that “Governments should of course look at long term fiscal solvency and articulate clearly how they intend to achieve debt stability.” All very good in theory but unworkable in practice. “Governments” are inherently short-termistic and bound by the limitiations of day to day politics. “Long-term” for most political systems automatically means until the next election.

    The institutionalised failure of Governments to take into account the long-term effects of persistent deficits and the accumulation of off balance sheet commitments have brought us to where we are today. To say that “a little bit more debt has not hurt anyone” is foolish. Read El Erian’s op-ed instead. It provides a damning situation analysis and is basically saying that there is no quick fix to this mess.

    1. DownSouth

      Of course El Erian wants a monopoly on the creation of abstract capital, that is on the creation of things like debt instruments. Government, after all, might at some future date have priorities other than maintaining the opulent lifestyles of bankers.

      Loans can be created, either by government or by guys like El Erian, with the flick of a finger, with a ledger entry. This debt creates future demands upon tangible capital (land, machinery, commodities, manufactured goods, etc.) and human capital (labor and work). If these loans, along with other forms of abstract capital like money or the promises of government that people count on, exceed tangible and human capital, then all the demands of abstract capital cannot be kept. Heaven forbid if the day should arrive that all the demands of bankers cannot be met.

      Therefore it is imperative for guys like El Erian that the creation of all abstract capital, that is with the exception of the private variety of abstract capital which he creates, be kept to a minimum. Odd it is that apologists for the international criminal banking cartel never want to talk about the explosion of private debt. In the last ten years, the federal debt has indeed increased by 105%. But outstanding debt of the financial sector has increased by even more—-118%. And the amount of federal government debt ($7.6 trillion) pales in comparison to the amount of household, business and financial sector debt ($40.8 trillion).

  3. rjs

    i really hate to nitpick, yves, but you’ve done this at least three times:

    its Mike Konczal, not Mike Konczai…

    i first picked it up when i had attributed an article incorrectly…

  4. Ignim Brites

    Simon Johnson’s The Volcker Principles Move Closer To Practice contains a caveat about the limitations of reform even along the lines of the Volcker rule. Discussing an acceptable size for Goldman he states “…we still have to worry about what they (or anyone) does in the “dark markets” of over-the-counter derivatives”. The core problem with banking and shadow banking is secrecy (aka confidence). But how are we ever going to break through this if the FED maintains that this is a core principle of banking. That is why Ron Paul’s audit is a crucial test of the regime. As far as the secrecy of private financial institutions, the Federal government has a very efficient instrument of forcing disclosure. It is called the IRS.

  5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The mother elephant’s name is really Porntip?

    Can you give me a tip on how they came up with that name?

  6. Jesse

    “Amorth, who has written a book about his vocation, Memoirs of an Exorcist, which was published recently.”

    I am wondering if this news piece is a hoax.

    Gabrielle Amorth wrote two books in his life 1992 and 2002.

    This book “Memoirs of an Exorcist” was written by a secular individual named David Devereux who is a professional spiritualist.

    Here is an interview with Amorth that I know is genuine.

    Perhaps the good father is now senile, and imagines he is writing books that have been written by others. Or perhaps others find it easy to promote book sales using an old priest.

  7. Jesse

    Further, 70,000 possessions in a 25-year period. Is roughly one every 4 hours or so, non-stop.

    The story is filled with the kind of lower class English prejudices that I unfortunately encountered there on occasion, and that still flourish in places even today.

    If the story is indeed a hoax to stimulate book says, the Britsh press should print a retraction and apologize.

  8. eric anderson

    Devil is in the Vatican. This is nothing new. Malachi Martin certainly believed that, as evidenced by his final novel, The Windswept House. Of course, the Devil does not really exist. Just ask Screwtape.

    God Helps With Personal Decisions. Evidently not on the banking regulatory committees. What we really need are some Old Testament prophets to stand in sackcloth on the Capitol Steps and rail against the injustice, double-dealing, lies, and delusional thinking. But, at least we have Yves and Mish.

  9. eric anderson

    FYI. If you do not want to register in order to read articles (i.e. “How to handle the sovereign debt explosion”), just type the title of the article into the Google search box, and it will be the first search return. Through the Google link, you can access the article without the nag to register.

  10. Don

    Andrew Scott’s article arguing that high levels of gov’t debt are not a cause for concern is reminiscent of those who argued that Nasdaq levels at 5000 in 2000 reflected fair value, and that housing prices always rise, so not to worry.

    I find it amazing that there are always apologists arguing that excessive levels of something are perfectly normal, and not to worry.

  11. mozzie

    Elephant mum (not mom) has a Thai name.
    Funny in US … maybe. But its an elephant, dude.

    Many Asian elephants in AU zoos come from Thailand.

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