Links 7/26/10

Dear Naked Capitalism readers, the links are a tad thin today because I was away until yesterday and my house was blacked out when I got back so I’m still getting back up to speed. Feel free to send more links. Cheers, Ed


The Afghanistan Protocol: Explosive Leaks Provide Image of War from Those Fighting It Der Spiegel

Afghanistan war logs: Massive leak of secret files exposes truth of occupation The Guardian

Afghan War Diary, 2004-2010 Wikileaks

View Is Bleaker Than Official Portrayal of War in Afghanistan NYTimes

Pakistan Aids Insurgency in Afghanistan, Reports Assert NYTimes

What the Wikileak Means for the Afghanistan War Swampland

The rest

Lockerbie: now pressure switches to America Herald Scotland (Hat tip Frederick)

The Gray And The Brown: The Generational Mismatch National Journal (Hat tip Francois)

Positive Konjunkturprognosen: Ökonomen jubeln über Super-Aufschwung Der Spiegel (Hat tip Euro Savant)

BP set for deep-water drilling off Libya FT

AIB and BoI in most vulnerable European group Independent Ireland

BlackBerry poses social, security risks: UAE Financial Post

Tony Hayward to quit BP The Guardian

Deportation of illegal immigrants increases under Obama administration Washington Post

Antidote du Jour: Gorillas (you rock, Desmond!)


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About Edward Harrison

I am a banking and finance specialist at the economic consultancy Global Macro Advisors. Previously, I worked at Deutsche Bank, Bain, the Corporate Executive Board and Yahoo. I have a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College and an MBA in Finance from Columbia University. As to ideology, I would call myself a libertarian realist - believer in the primacy of markets over a statist approach. However, I am no ideologue who believes that markets can solve all problems. Having lived in a lot of different places, I tend to take a global approach to economics and politics. I started my career as a diplomat in the foreign service and speak German, Dutch, Swedish, Spanish and French as well as English and can read a number of other European languages. I enjoy a good debate on these issues and I hope you enjoy my blogs. Please do sign up for the Email and RSS feeds on my blog pages. Cheers. Edward


  1. LeeAnne

    I object as a reader to the salutation, Naked Capitalist; it is the cheapest kind of word play.

    Thank you.

    1. Edward Harrison Post author

      My apologies, LeeAnne. Not sure what the play on words is but I do know the name almost got Yves’ site kicked off blogspot so there is something lurid about it I guess. Would you rather me refer to you all as Dear readers? That, I can do as well.

      1. LeeAnne

        Thanks Ed. Capitalism refers to an economic system; capitalist/s refers to persons; reads and sounds that way. Odd that you wouldn’t notice. But OK. I’ll take your word for it.

        1. Edward Harrison Post author

          I have made the change to ‘readers.’ I still don’t see the difference though, LeeAnne. I think you are saying “I’m no capitalist.” Not sure, but if so, then I hope “Naked Capitalism readers” is more to your liking. :)

    2. NOTaREALmerican

      Hmmm. I think you’re taking this a bit too seriously.

      Perhaps we should remember that we’re watching a 200 year experiment; which started with a true reset-button event. The foundin’-fadders gave it their best shot and the sociopaths still won.

      Why bother complaining about whether one is a capitalist (or socialist) when even the foundin’-fadders couldn’t create a system that can compete with what is the only possible natural human economic system: dumbasses being screwed by smart amoral scumbags – which, btw, is a systems that doesn’t care which “ism” is being presented to the dumbasses by their manipulators.

      I found “Naked Capitalist” quite humorous compared to the assumptions of the foundin’-fadders.

      I wonder if China has a Naked-Communism blogspot yet?

  2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Isn’t that the legendary photo that conclusively proved that infant gorillas played rock, scissors and paper at a much younger age than human babies?

    1. NOTaREALmerican

      HA! Too funny. Perhaps we can get a “research” grant to “study” this?

    1. Cynthia

      Daniel Ellsberg says,

      “We now have a president who has asserted—Barack Obama, who has asserted a right to do what other presidents have done in the past, but have done it covertly. He’s asserting the right to assassinate American citizens abroad who he suspects, or intelligence suspects, are serving the cause of terrorism. And I’m sure, by the way, that the phrase “the most dangerous man alive,” which Henry Kissinger put to me because of the disclosures I was making, that’s the way they would think of Julian Assange right now.”

      I guess this means that Julian Assange needs to hire a few antiwar thugs from an anti-Blackwater outfit, assuming that such an outfit exists, to prevent himself from being snuffed out by the Obomber’s hit squad. And even though I find Mr. Assange to be rather cute, I value my life too much to be his lover.

  3. Sundog

    I often bitch about somehow having lived to be old enough to vote Republican, but the party went nuts in the meanwhile so I may never have the pleasure.

    The Economist posted a nice chat with Bruce Bartlett. (I started using the net before the WWW was invented, and this may be the first time I’ve ever found the use of all caps to be appropriate in internet communication.)

    Bartlett also turns up in this missive from Martin Wolf, which covers similar ground.

    And, NC gets a shout-out (albeit in the footnotes) in this widely-linked and entertaining piece by Philip Mirowski called “The Great Mortification.” YS may not be available but I’d be interested in reaction from NC contributors to this.

    [Aside to EH: I really like today’s links post, with a certain topic highlighted, and then a rather small collection of other links, as opposed to a list of 40.]

  4. Sundog

    On the wikileaks thing, the topic for econ blogs is “How will the end of privacy affect economic development?” The role of IP protection for innovative financial products may offer some clues; to my knowledge it’s weak or absent. Was this a factor in driving the recent lunacy? If securitization markets need to be restarted, is this a factor?

    Use of SAMs seems the major revelation. Best post I’ve seen, by a very long way, on the latest wikileaks dump is this one, which injects a dose of reality with regard to interpreting intel and asks if McMasters’s air support policy might have been driven by the opposition’s SAM capacity.

  5. Sundog

    Chris Whalen:

    Salinas describes the Mexican peso as a “derivative” of the dollar, a troubling prospect since, as we discuss below, the dollar itself is a derivative of nothing, at best a mere representation of a unit of work.

    The dollar was (nominally) convertible to gold until the Nixon shock. How many internets could a bricklayer or a GS partner buy with that gold in 1970? How many medical innovations since then were not created because gold was not guaranteed by government as the explicit reward?

    I’m unsure whether the “hard money” notions advanced by people like Whalen and Rickards are just to ensure speaking fees, or whether they actually believe it. They seem to believe markets are imperfect but the best tool we have… except when it comes to preserving wealth, in which case markets are too fickle.

    It took me a long time to figure out what the editorial perspective of The Economist is really about. It’s about preserving wealth. That ain’t simple; never has been and never will be.

    For sure the latest IRA is way over my head or utter nonsense. Steve Randy Waldman seems to get at the heart of the matter, which is that the lust for certainty among those with wealth is counterproductive.

    IRA: “Deflation: Should the Fed be Buying Gold? Hugo Salinas-Price on the Silver Peso”

    Steve Randy Waldman: “The Evils of Saving”

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