Links 5/14/10

Posted on by

Coming Soon: LEGO Human Organs Kokatu (hat tip reader John D)

Shark mystery solved: Why threshers have huge tails BBC (hat tip reader John M)

Disaster unfolds slowly in the Gulf of Mexico Boston Globe (hat tip reader JoJo)

U.S. Said to Allow Drilling Without Needed Permits and Size of Oil Spill Underestimated, Scientists Say New York Times. Why am I not surprised?

A volcano of oil erupting Examiner. Eeek.

Barack Obama, the president of the European Council Jean Quatremer (ht tip reader Swedish Lex)

Europe aid package boosts bonds, not euro MarketWatch. Reducing the attack on gov’t funding costs was the real target; having the euro cheaper is a plus to eurozone members.

Morgan Stanley’s Doomed Baldwin CDOs Thwarted ‘Natural Process’ Bloomberg. Our Tom Adams is quoted prominently.

Rating Agencies Face Curbs Wall Street Journal

Interchange Amendment Passes Senate 64-33 Adam Levitin, Credit Slips

Richard Abrams: debunking free marketarianism Linda Beale

CSI: Chicago FT Alphaville. More on the Thursday meltdown

Antidote du jour:

Picture 7

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. MikesMarketInfo

    “Hearing highlights problems with Deepwater Horizon blow out preventer” at MarineLog has some interesting info on the blow out preventer. Link is
    You should soon be hearing a lot more about BOP mods even beyond those in this report. This recklessness with a critical safety system is the primary (most avoidable) root cause of the oil spill, which resulted from a blowout which can be assumed as an unavoidable occasional operating condition on a rig.

  2. Peripheral Visionary

    Hehehe, stupid fox. Only takes one encounter to figure out that Canadian Geese aren’t afraid of anything and can inflict a surprising amount of pain with just a little well-aimed pecking.

  3. DownSouth

    ► “Size of Oil Spill Underestimated, Scientists Say” New York Times.

    One of the big problems with underestimating the daily amount of oil being released—-perhaps by a factor of 10 or more—-is that it furnishes fodder for the right-wing echo chamber. Thus we get statements like this from Rep. Joe Barton (R—Texas) before the congressional committee investigating the spill:

    I want to put this in perspective, Mr. Chairman, before I have to yield back my time. This accident as far as we know is releasing 5,000 barrels a day into the Gulf of Mexico. It has been doing so for approximately three weeks so that’s a little bit over 100,000 barrels. The largest spill in the Gulf of Mexico to date was a spill off the coast of Mexico. It produced 90,000 barrels a day for nine months, 90,000 barrels per day for nine months. Exxon-Valdez was a tanker that ran aground in Alaska, that was a supertanker that was three to four hundred thousand barrels of oil. So far this spill has produced a little over a hundred thousand barrels. Now that in and of itself is a significant spill and it is a non-trivial incident, but it is nowhere near yet the order of magnitude of other accidents that have happened around the world. There is a natural seepage in the oceans around the United States on an annual basis of four million barrels a year. There is an annual seepage worldwide of over forty million barrels of oil per year. So this, while it is an accident that is non-trivial, it is not of the catastrophic consequences that some in the mainstream media have made it out to be.

    1. DownSouth

      I also recommend that everyone watch Congressman Braley’s grilling of Steve Newman, Transocean’s witness before the committee investigating the oil spill. It can be found here beginning at minute 23:00:00:

      This serves as an example of the extreme lengths the corporate entities are taking to prevent the truth about what happened that fateful day from seeing the light of day.

      Transocean required, before allowing those rescued from the Deepwater Horizon to contact their families, to sign a form that stated:

      I was not a witness to the incident requiring the evacuation and have no firsthand or personal knowledge regarding the incident.

      Take a look. Braley is outstanding, and If you’re like me, you’re going to have difficulty believing your eyes and ears.

    2. SamUSA

      This Critter is a dumbass.

      Even IF there are 40 million barrels of seepage throughout the entirety of the world’s oceans each year, it is dissipated over a volume of 1.37 BILLION CUBIC KILOMETERS.

      I could not quickly find the volume of US oceans, but the same comparison applies and he is still a fucking dumbass.

    3. DownSouth

      One more take from the senate and congressional hearings investigating the oil spill.

      The apologists for the oil industry are using the same rhetorical strategies to defend the oil industry miscreants that those from the Libertarian-Austrian-Neoliberal (LANie) constellation use to defend the banksters. It’s essentially a three-prong strategy:

      1) Blame the government, that is make this a failure of government, of government regulators, and not a failure of those actually involved in drilling the well.

      2) Blame the blowout preventer, thus minimizing the myriad other failures that contributed to the blowout in the hours, days, weeks and years prior to the moment that all hell broke loose on April 20.

      3) Pay exclusive attention to “looking forward” and “what we’re going to do about this problem now.” Never “look back.” Never “cry over spilt milk.” Never dwell on the ways the laissez faire, deregulatory, free-market mania might have contributed to the problem. Learning from one’s mistakes, after all, might require changes in the way one does things.

  4. ex-PFC Chuck

    There appear to be no links behind the “Volcker Talks . ” and “Richard Smith . ” post titles at the top.

  5. Abhishek

    The European Bazooka which led to a massive short covering rally on Monday has been proven a complete waste in just 5 days. Reports of political and social fissures within the European Union and more importantly the prospect of slow growth in the whole region due to fiscal cuts has led to the Euro falling even below the level of last week.This despite the raison de etre of the bailout being the “defence of the Euro”

  6. psoomah

    what’s now all but certain is an Exxon Valdez amount of oil is gushing into the gulf every 4 to 6 days.

    if this flow continues until they successfully complete a relief well, by november hundreds of miles of coastline from texas to north carolina are going to be covered in oil, and the politcal fallout is going to be gargantuan.

    and most of that fallout is going to fall on the party in charge of the country.

  7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    What you don’t see and just behind the fox and the goose is one of the most dangerous creatures in the entire world – no, not a polar bear, but just an investment banker, who scared the living daylight out of them with this greeting: ‘Hi, I am from Wall Street and I am here to help.’

    You can literally see the fear in the goose’s mouth.

  8. Valissa

    “Let them eat cake!*”

    After beating up Wall Street ‘fat cats,’ President Obama ready to take their money in NY fund-raiser

    The President is slated to headline a superswank, $50,000-per-couple fund-raiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at Manhattan’s gilded St. Regis hotel on Fifth Ave.

    The high-dollar affair will feature fine French food, a bevy of Wall Street titans and 23 Congress members – including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

    * (from Wikipedia) “Let them eat cake” is the traditional translation of the French phrase “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”, supposedly said by a French princess upon learning that the peasants had no bread. As brioche is a luxury bread enriched with eggs and butter, it would reflect the princess’s obliviousness to the nature of a famine. Although commonly attributed to Queen Marie Antoinette,[1] there is no record of these words ever having been uttered by her…

  9. darkmatter

    I find it interesting that every time BP talks about heading off this disaster with “technology” they always say how difficult it is to do something 5000 ft below the surface of the water. And how that very fact means we need to expect something probably will go wrong or it won’t work at all. And they are upfront with that prophesy.

    Yet, they have no problem telling us that drilling a well 5000 ft below the surface is a relatively established and risk-free procedure.

    On the surface of this statement most would say that drilling is pretty established since it is done all the time (i would just say it is not that risk-free). But the point here is that they have practiced and practiced the technology of drilling so much that at least they “think” it is pretty riskless. Yet when it comes to handling anything else at that depth, it is “extremely fraught with problems.”

    So that begs the question just why they have not spent more time and money figuring out how to do other things at 5000 ft besides poking a hole in the sea bed if they know they can only do one thing easily (and that is to drill a well)?

    1. PunchnRun

      So that begs the question just why they have not spent more time and money figuring out how to do other things at 5000 ft besides poking a hole in the sea bed if they know they can only do one thing easily (and that is to drill a well)?

      This is, of course, a rhetorical question.

    2. Roger Bigod

      From the Oildrum site:

      Story circulating in New Orleans
      With appropriate caveats:
      BP contracted Schlumberger (SLB) to run the Cement Bond Log (CBL) test that was the final test on the plug that was skipped. The people testifying have been very coy about mentioning this, and you’ll see why.
      SLB is an extremely highly regarded (and incredibly expensive) service company. They place a high standard on safety and train their workers to shut down unsafe operations.
      SLB gets out to the Deepwater Horizon to run the CBL, and they find the well still
kicking heavily, which it should not be that late in the operation. SLB orders the
”company man” (BP’s man on the scene that runs the operation) to dump kill fluid down the well and shut-in the well. The company man refuses. SLB in the very next sentence asks for a helo to take all SLB personel back to shore. The company man says there are no more helo’s scheduled for the rest of the week (translation: you’re here to do a job, now do it). SLB gets on the horn to shore, calls SLB’s corporate HQ, and gets a helo flown out there at SLB’s expense and takes all SLB personel to shore.

      6 hours later, the platform explodes.

      1. Richard Kline

        Supposing that scenario is fully accurate, we now know who is fully culpable for the spill: BP, in the person of their company many. He, and so they, new the log wasn’t run, were directly advised that is wasn’t run and the casing was unsafe, and declined advise to remedy that. Of course, it was going to be BP all along, but the wheels are grinding down on their deniability and obfustication. Corners were cut, and the company’s got it’s face blown off this time. Too bad we’re going to kill a big patch of the near-shore Gulf in consequence, with much worse quite possibliy following.

        And regarding the goverment MMS flagrantly violating established law on enviro assessment to cater slavisly to the oil industry, this, along with “Drill ’em all,” goes directly back to Barack Obama’s desk. It’s his Admin who gave _far_ more to the oil industry that the oil man he replaced. Bo Prez’s environmental cred was vanishingly thin before he ran for the Big White Palace, but we can forget about it now: he’s a corporate subsidiary, through and through. Oh he talks a little game, and will through a few ‘civil penalties’ around, easily and quitely settled after the reporters shuffle out of the chamber, so he has something to stump on in November, but he doesn’t give a damn about the public interest on the basis of how he runs the government’s shop.

      2. Skippy

        Appropriate Caveat’s and all…this is the *verus universitas* too me.

        Litmus test 101…talk all ye like, just sign the variance…hay come back…stop running away…you said do it like this…whats the matter…

        Skippy…The commonality of such discourse is rife with in the world of lagesse begets tragedy.

  10. bob

    I know that goose. He was not letting me retrieve my golf ball a few years ago. He was about to meet his end then, but a member of the golfing group reminded me that it was illegal to hunt, with a golf club, out of season.

    I’ll find him again one day during the right time of year.

Comments are closed.