Links 6/19/10

Tea and coffee ‘protect against heart disease’ BBC

The strange and consequential case of Bradley Manning, Adrian Lamo and WikiLeaks Glenn Greenwald. Salon

Hands Across the Sands (hat tip reader Tim S)

BP chief quits role in oil leak response Financial Times. The company is utterly incapable of telling the truth. The chairman said 2/3 of the leak was now being captured. The Coast Guard puts it at 25,000, with a “probable 35,000” still leaking. Do the math. 25,000/60,000 ain’t very close to 2/3.

BP Used Cheaper Design for More Wells Than Most Peers Wall Street Journal

Anadarko Says BP Should Pay for Oil Spill After Being Reckless Bloomberg

Alan Simpson: Cutting Social Security Benefits to “Take Care of the Lesser People in Society” Jane Hamsher. The video has a lot of entertainment value, in a sick way.

Ridleyed With Errors George Monbiot

New Bank Fees: How to Fight Back Wall Street Journal

Peddling Relief, Industry Puts Debtors in a Deeper Hole New York Times

Clearing up misinformation about Section 716 Economics of Contempt

Study to stir dollar-renminbi debate Financial Times

Eichengreen: China Needs a Service-Sector Revolution Mark Thoma

MAD MEAT! How Securitized Lending Collapsed the Financial System, Eric Von Berg (a commercial property mortgage banker and was the President of the California Mortgage Bankers Association during the heat of the market who has been watching “Regulatory Reform” as a member of the Commercial Board of Governors of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America). This is an absolutely must read! It has a few pages of set up to a fable of sorts, but when you get to page 6 of the slide presentation, it becomes laser sharp and funny. To wit:

The disclosures were typically so numerous and far fetched that the real risks were overlooked…

Sponsor Disclosure. Sponsor has various conflicts of interest. Not printed: We set up a book making operation taking bets on whether you will get sick and die from this product. Are we also making bets? “You betcha!” Which side are we betting on? According to the SEC, we are allowed to tell you, “None of your business!”

Antidote du jour (hat tip reader furzy mouse):


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  1. Francois T

    I wonder if private Manning will be tried in a military commission after being subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques.

    Just wondering…

    Of course, given the extreme weirdness of this whole case, who can say in Manning isn’t part of an elaborate PsyOp maneuver to neutralize WikiLeaks?

    This piece by Greenwald is journalism as it ought to be.

  2. D. Warbucks

    The lesser people are going to have to give up their entitlements like social security to us sooner or later.

  3. Adam's Myth

    I love coffee, but any honest java drinker knows full well that it just cannot be good for you; any heart benefit is likely offset by stroke, mania, depression, insomnia, anxiety and combinations thereof.

    Shimmy: hazelnut creamer is a pure medical evil, a foul stew of hydrogenated oil and high-fructose corn syrup. It’s so bad that you’re better off with whole milk, or even heavy cream. Sure tastes good though. :-)

  4. Shimmy

    My bottle is running low so I’ll try and get something better next time. It doesn’t look bad on the nutrition info. Powder is my only option in the office. Thanks for the tip.

  5. Pwelder

    wrt the FT’s article on the BP Macondo festivities, you seem to have read it a little too fast. “Do the math”? Here’s what the FT said:

    “Admiral Thad Allen of the US Coast Guard, who is in charge of the response team, said about 25,000 barrels a day of oil were being collected, out of a probable 35,000 b/d still leaking from the well.”

    Allen is thinking 35 k bbl/day total, which would include the 25k supposedly being collected.

    The situation is plenty bad enough, to be sure. I am still trying to get my (non-technical) head around those comments by Matt Simmons in the Bloomberg interview alleging 40 k psi pressure at the bottom of the hole, which would overwhelm a blowout preventer rated for 15 k. I have a lot of respect for Simmons, who is a financial rather than technical person but has plenty of industry contacts with whom he can talk tech when he wants to. Problem is that a number of other oil industry types I’ve come to respect say that there’s no way the 40 k psi could be real. They’re not deepwater people, but have extensive education and experience in petroleum engineering. It’s a real puzzle.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I see your point, but I think Allen’s comment as reported in the FT could just as easily have been read either way, particularly since the official estimates appear to be consistently lowball (read Rolling Stone on this, which had very good detail on the scientists’ estimates).

      The official estimate is now somewhere between 35,000 and 60,000 barrels a day.

      It does turn out that your reading is correct (other journalists grilled Allen about deeming the low end of the range as “most probable”). The Rolling Stones article suggested that there was good reason to regard estimates above the median (55,000 barrels) as more credible. And that issue (and Allen’s and therefore BP’s) misrepresentation is underscored in this Miami Herald article:

      When Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the 35,000 to 60,000 barrel-per-day estimate on Tuesday, he cautioned that it was preliminary, and that the 60,000 figure might be adjusted upward. He did not refer to the 35,000 estimate as the “most probable.”….

      Steve Werely, a mechanical engineering professor at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., who told Congress last month that the flow rate might be 95,000 barrels a day, disagreed that 35,000 was the “most likely value,” though he also said he no longer believes 95,000 is accurate.

      “I wouldn’t be surprised if the actual flow rate were 45 or 50k,” he said in an e-mail.

      He also said that “it looks as if a significant amount is still escaping.” But he said judging the amount of escaping oil from the video “is extremely difficult because the flow from the vents and from under the cap is extremely disorganized.”

      BP’s chairman said last Thursday that the exact size of the leak was “unknown”. That calls into question any claims about the proportion being captured.

      So the BP/Allen assertions are misleading, but admittedly not for the reasons I suggested. And the Obama Administration has every reason to sell the line that the situation is being remedied.

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