Links 7/29/10

This is my last links post at Naked Capitalism. I want to thank you all for being patient and open-minded over the past two weeks. It is always a pleasure to read your comments as they are an integral part of the experience on Yves’ site. I also appreciate the links and Antidotes you have sent.

A big thanks has to go to Richard for running things in Yves’ absence. I enjoyed his posts as well as the "blast from the past" posts we all had a chance to read.  The last one he posted on Belgium is certainly interesting. Here’s a country who’s government is a user of currency with a relatively high budget deficit and a 100% debt-to-GDP ratio. It also has a weak government and ethnic tensions. No one really seems to be watching this picture. I think it bears watching. Here’s my take from a few months ago.

Comments appreciated.

Topic of the Day: Pace of Recovery

The recovery seems slowest in Greece and the bubble countries (US, UK, Ireland, Spain). It’s pretty poor in Eastern Europe too. It is better in the rest of Western Europe. A good deal better in Australia and Canada (not sure about NZ). China, India and Brazil are even tightening. Other countries too. If you are thinking double dip, where are the vulnerabilities globally? I see housing, commercial real estate and state and local governments in the US. Housing and banking in the UK, Spain and Ireland and austerity in the UK. And there are always trade tensions.

Bernanke must end era of ultra-low rates Raghuram Rajan, FT

Euro zone economic sentiment rises to 28-month high Reuters

Baltic Dry Index Up 11% In A Matter Of Days, But Nobody Cares Anymore Joe Weisenthal

Whisky Bet Pits Rosenberg Against Faber on 10-Year U.S. Yield: Tom Keene Bloomberg

Subbarao’s Accelerated Rate Increases Leave India Inflation Eroding Income Bloomberg

California ‘fiscal emergency’ declared BBC News (Hat tip Bob)

Foreclosures Rise in Three-Fourths of U.S. Cities in 2010 Housing Wire


Other Links

RAB Capital’s Marshall Auerback on the CBO’s Report New Economic Perspectives. (I posted this one on CW’s Facebook page saying "Marshall Auerback gives the MMT approach to the fiscal situation. Britain is a good historical reference. Note, in watching this, that the UK’s deficits were inflated away over time via currency depreciation and higher inflation.")

Marc Faber: Sit Still, This Is Going to Hurt Motley Fool

BP Fights U.S. Government, Oil-Spill Victims Over Venue for Gulf Lawsuit Bloomberg

IMF Approves $15.2 Billion Loan to Ukraine After Fiscal Adjustment Pledge Bloomberg

The New Kindle: Smaller, Faster, Cheaper Mashable

Zahlen für Juli: Arbeitslosenzahl sinkt um 20.000 FTD

NOAA: Past Decade Warmest on Record Menzie Chinn

No More Apologies — It’s Time to Stand Up for Our Convictions Howard Dean, HuffPo

Plankton decline across oceans as waters warm BBC News (Hat tip Scott A)

Closing the Gap: How Desire Affects Perceptions of Distance Scientific American

Judge blocks key parts of Arizona immigration law WaPo

Oil causes 2,200 Gulf beach closings, warnings AP

Couple, aged 87 and 97, marry in north London care home BBC News (this is a great feel-good story)

The Last Nazi Trial?: Former Death Camp Guard Indicted Der Spiegel

1977 Murder Revisited: Former RAF Terrorist to Stand Trial Der Spiegel

Russia Weighs Sale of Stakes in State Companies NYTimes

Analysis: Wall Street loathing for Warren lifts regulator bid Reuters

David Cameron launches Indian trade drive BBC News

Antidote du Jour: King Vulture (Thanks MarcoPolo)

The King Vulture, Sarcoramphus papa, is a large bird found in Central and South America… King Vultures were popular figures in the Mayan codices as well as in local folklore and medicine. Though currently listed as Least Concern by the IUCN, they are decreasing in number, due primarily to habitat loss.


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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. doc holiday

    This is my last links post at Naked Capitalist

    Thanks for your public service here in the blogging realm.

  2. anonymous

    Thanks for stepping-up. What’s with the Howard Dean ‘Standing up for our convictions” link? What convictions? Gary Wills just reported that 4 or 5 of the historians invited to have dinner with the Most Moral and Intelligent Leader America Evah warned that going deeper into Afghanistan would be a big mistake. Did Dean stand-up, then, and trash the warmongering President when he made his big ‘war of necessity’ speech.

    Dems are trying to crab-walk sideways out the door while ‘staying the course.’ No public option on health insurance and DODT is about as over as Gitmo is closed.

    Let’s not pretend politicians are moral exemplars, please. Fallible folks trying, sometimes, to do more than line their own pockets? Maybe. But politicians as people of conviction? Not really seeing it. Not this gang, and certainly not the last.

    1. NOTaREALmerican

      Re: But politicians as people of conviction?

      Agree. The intellectual class talks much about “convictions”. They usually ignore that they (the intellectual class) is living on other people’s money.

      Leadership success isn’t possible unless a person is duplicitous enough to ignore his own conflicting “convictions”. This is what makes “convictions” – like perception – relative. And this is why all large organization – which are loaded with loot – are eventually run by sociopaths. Conflicting “convictions” drive the weak – those lacking massive quantities of duplicity – insane (weak from the human evolutionary point-of-view).

  3. Tom Crowl

    Thanks to you and others who’ve stood-in and kept things going while Yves was away!

    Being the ‘substitute’ is always a very difficult job.

    (It’s not an exact analogy but I once many years ago thought being a substitute teacher would be a great part-time job while I pursued other interests… I lasted one day and was ready to pull may hair out… never again!)

  4. Tertium Squid

    Faber article. Can someone explain this to me?

    “And if the Dow does go to 700, you’ll have more to worry about than your investments. All the banks will be bust. The government will be bust. You don’t want cash if massive deflation happens. On the contrary: It will be worthless. You have to think very carefully about hardcore deflation.”

    Why would you not “want cash if massive deflation happens”? Obviously, in a deflation scenario the value of cash appreciates against pretty much everything…

    Does he mean that cash is worthless because the government has gone “bust”? There are other scenarios where gov’t could go bust and money become worthless, and they don’t all have to do with deflation. What’s the cause and effect here?

    1. NOTaREALmerican

      Re: Does he mean that cash is worthless because the government has gone “bust”?

      I think he means if the DOW goes to 700 then it’s TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt.

      The peasants are revolting.

      At that point you need guns ammo gold muscle and testosterone. It’s when the all of the peasants anxiety – built up over the last 50+ years – come spewing out. It’s when TSHTF.

    1. skippy

      Phew 16 hour round trip drive through bounding ancestral home lands and with that mental state observed, I wish to thank Ed & Richard for the services rendered (bill is in the mail Yves). I for one never thought the both of you would look so good is something by Coco (pink and yellow sure do make those eyes pop), in fact a bit of waxing and I’ll be tempted to ask ya out for drinks.

      Skippy…Oh yeah…very informative…hehe.

      PS. no marsupials were harmed or injured in this adventure…tempted with a couple of humans though.

  5. EmilianoZ

    Thank you Ed for your links and antidotes!

    Many years from now, looking back on this time, we will remember it as a golden age of grace and freedom where we could send you pictures of our furry little friends and have the privilege to share the humble joys they bring us with other readers of this blog.

    Now it’s back to teaching them elaborate tricks to compete with the bizarre pictures Yves always manages to find.

    We look forward to reading you here and on CreditWritedowns.

  6. Hugh

    Just the title of the Scientific American article “How Desire Affects Perceptions of Distance” reminded me of this poem by Li Shang-Yin:

    Empty words, that she would come, she left without a trace
    The moonlight slants upon the tower.
    I hear the bell toll the fifth watch of the night
    In my dream, we were far apart, too far apart to call
    Hurriedly I tried to write it down but the ink is thin and will not dry
    The candle’s light reaches only half the bed’s gold emerald coverlet
    A faint scent of musk lingers on the embroidered lotus
    Young Liu already regrets that Pengshan is so far away
    Ten thousand times that distance separates you and I

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