Links 7/9/10

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  1. jbmoore61

    The Russians are fine engineers and scientists. Mir and its twin can do great deep sea research, but the US has Alvin and other vehicles that are as good or better than Mir at that job and that could be used on the blownout BP well. Since BP is using some of the latest Western undersea technology and not US government assets like Alvin, they don’t likely need Russian assistance either. Consider also that Russia needed Norwegian salvage divers to assist in trying to save the Kursk crew after their own rescue sub failed back in 2000. The Kursk sank in 108m (354 ft). So, the whole story seems to be a PR stunt or commercial for Russian deep diving technology.

    1. aet

      I’m out of my depth when it comes to this deep-sea stuff, but I understand that it is high-pressure work.

    2. alex

      The article offers no reason why the Russian subs would be better than the ROV subs they’re now using.

      BTW, anyone notice how the subs say “Russian Academy of Sciences” on them in _English_, and in larger type and above all the other stuff in Russian? Is nothing sacred anymore?

      1. doc holiday

        I too am mystified as to how Russian subs will fix leak? The story does not explain what they would do, so this looks very much like Whale A PR stunt. Perhaps they have a secret plan?

    3. Red October

      Maybe their plan is to sink one of their subs directly into the wellbore.

      Miссion Akkomпλished.

  2. a

    Re “School is out, but does the final bell toll for London?”

    LOL. “When those posh London schools re-open this autumn, most of those hedge funds kids will still be there. In five years’ time, their like may not.” Do we shed a tear? Or do we say, Good riddance? Hmmm, choices, choices.

  3. Ina Deaver

    Re “School is out” — so let me get this straight: this guy has been talking to financiers, who are disaffected and cranky, and therefore thinks that they might just take their wealth and go elsewhere?

    Slow news day for our overlords, apparently.

    P.S. – I love the antidote. Methinks that might be a disaffected and cranky cat.

  4. steve from virginia

    Regarding US watching yuan exchange rate, it’s a good think we have our Man In Beijing Timmie Geithner tall in the saddle, ready to sit on the heads of those pesky, conniving Chinese.

    Let them step on mil out of line and it is … KAPOW!

    “To the MOON, Alice Kramden!”

  5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    I think the cat is hungry.

    ‘Where is my food?’

    Side note: Can our deflation-threatened economy take another price drop, this time a 80% decrese in the price of marijuana in California?

  6. KFritz

    Re: loss of EU credibility over stress tests

    Can someone please explain why the EU & ECB are losing credit for exactly the same sort of charade that Treasury & Fed staged last year? Did Ben, Larry, and Tim also lose their credibility?

    1. Skippy

      Amends in advance to all for continuing our discourse in this links section, I had to go out of town.

      OK down to business.

      1. KFritz said…”Saddam Hussein’s suprise invasion of Kuwait implicitly treatened a similar invasion of Saudi Arabia.”

      Skippy here…My link to Ambassador Glaspie’s mission to Iraq repudiates your statement in totality. It is with this observation I concur with your personal barb directed at me “I enjoy torturous logic” as it is self evident, although misdirected. BTW you misspelled suprise and treatened.

      2. KFritz said…”The only useful information in that was ‘long standing claim to Kuwait’.”

      Skippy here…when did you become the arbitrator of fact/information when 90% of the information in your comments is personal attacks of the most spiritus asper. BTW more spelling mistakes vahst and Fuggediboudit.

      3. KFritz said…”But the action of invading Kuwait upset the balance of power on the Arab side of the Gulf, and implicitly threatened every other political entity in the area.”

      Skippy here…OK as per number 1 we were aware of his intent, we communicated our stance was ‘we would *prefer* no force was used and we did not want to become involved’. WOW the horse left the barn and we lament after leaving the door open…bah hahahaha[!], now who did you say destabilized the area again, a tin pot dictator (added and abetted by the worlds police aka the USA for how long) or did the USA just fail in its widely proclaimed global mission aka the control of the world most strategic resource OIL in the name of our National Security by looking the other way?

      4. KFritz said…”PS I didn’t claim that Iraq PLANNED to invade S. Arabia. I don’t believe that was part of their plan.”

      Skippy here… This is counter factual as per your previous statment “Saddam Hussein’s suprise invasion of Kuwait implicitly treatened a similar invasion of Saudi Arabia”.

      In ending KFritz you have not once given any reason for your in site, experience, work history, links or any other means to establish a reason to take your comments for other than what they are….off the cuff remarks of ITHUNKIT so it is.

      What ever you suffer from…I will let the readers of NC ponder rather than cast belittlement’s, for you make you’r own.

      Good day to who ever you are.

      Skippy…not only do you disparage me with your Tourette Syndrome crank, you diminish the real suffers of this malady not of their own making…see:

      PS. My malady is DAI twice, once whilst in our countrys service and the other at work, look it up.

        1. KFritz

          1) Off topic. Quite frankly, I’d forgotten about it.

          2) I looked up DAI. Sorry about that. Don’t know what difference it’s made in you. I’m beaten up, but not that beaten up.

          3) Look up implicit and explicit. Your replies indicate that you don’t understand the difference, and it’s not my job to explain it.

          4) Re my evaluation: this is most compact and terse post I’ve seen from you. No blather. Your other posts were rambling, and disjointed. Hence part of my comment. And while I appreciate that you suffered injury working for the US, please don’t lean on that as an excuse for disjointed writing if you can do this.

          5. This quote .” Having removed the threat of Iranian fundamentalism he “overran Kuwait and confronted his Gulf neighbors in the name of Arab nationalism and Islam.” is from the Saddam Hussein article and footnoted. That’s analogous if not identical to ‘implicitly threatened.’

          6) If anyone beside you thinks I’ve been more ad hominem than you, I’d be amused. I spent a lot of time being vituperative when younger. Now I keep it in reserve for retaliation. I’m polite until I feel trod upon. If that’s passive aggressive, I plead guilty.

          1. Skippy

            Once again your entire comment is deflective and has nothing to do with refuting my countermanding your many errors.

            On more than one occasion have you been caught out saying one thing only to say something completely different see:

            Point 1 where you state it was a surprise attack, this is incorrect and borne out by facts not pronouncements, you were incorrect and refuse to submit a withdraw of said inaccuracy.

            Re-read point 3.

            I only trod upon your duplicitous nature but if we look back we find your comments to my response see:


            Kuwait invasion was not a surprise, although it was neither a certainty. Saudi Arabia was never in harms way, remember Saddam was our man for how long[?] how many lives did he put at our disposal and yet he threw the one relationship that insured his political life away..really now.

            I suggest that by your circular logic it could be argued not unlike the Zionist’s aspirations that Iraq was in its rights to annex Kuwait if we picked a map and a date corresponding to our desires.

            Skippy…in all my military/business experience the one thing that sticks in my mind is never trust some one else’s intel, kinda like due diligence and investing.

            ◦ KFritz says:
            July 5, 2010 at 8:59 pm
            I’m at a loss to describe this statement. Stupidity? Strategic ineptitude? Clinical insanity? I feel like making book on the question

            Skippy here…so lets go to your point 6. If anyone beside you thinks I’ve been more ad hominem than you, I’d be amused. I spent a lot of time being vituperative when younger. Now I keep it in reserve for retaliation. I’m polite until I feel trod upon. If that’s passive aggressive, I plead guilty.

            Did you say “retaliation, I’m polite until I *feel* trod upon.” It seems you were the first to pop off on an ad hominem foam feast, not I.

            Per your point 4. Re my evaluation: this is most compact and terse post I’ve seen from you. No blather. Your other posts were rambling, and disjointed. Hence part of my comment. And while I appreciate that you suffered injury working for the US, please don’t lean on that as an excuse for disjointed writing if you can do this.

            Skippy here…never did I use the case of DIA as a crutch or to solicit sympathy, projection on your part or duplicitous nature again, take your pick.

            Look KFritz intelligence gathering was part of my MOS and in the mercenary world, I know my AO, yet by the most cursory view of your pronouncements you display a complete lack of skill with this regard…bad fact checking, deflective, unable to admit when your wrong etc.

            Skippy…still waiting for your source of insight, history, any fk thing…eh[?] other than your deflective BS. BTW I started in RGR 1st 75th then I was asked to join SF on invite by their captain during air assault school, its where I got started, where did you?

          2. Skippy

            Deflective, deflective, deflective…you sir can not stick to the points of contention, just flapping around making lots of noise, never offering substance to your talking points and as I have shown go straight to personal attacks of the most petty, without wit, unprovoked tripe.

            My sand box was our conflict in points of view and the reading of history’s events but, you wish to enlarge that for personal reasons again.

            The great thing about Yves blog is the quality of commenters over all, their ability to put forth well thought out comment, add granularity on topics, engage in sprited debate, all backed by differant perspectives on events past and present, and all from differant life perspectives.

            Had you only responded to my view points and not made it so personal, we could have stuck to the events in history and our perseptions of it.

            Skippy…stick around, I have for 2 years and better informed for it. Good day to you KFritz, I mean that.

  7. Valissa

    re: Study: If California legalizes marijuana

    this article says:
    “In only two countries have there been changes in the criminal status of supplying marijuana,” Rand researchers added. “The Netherlands allows for sale of small amounts of marijuana (5 grams) in licensed coffee shops and in Australia four jurisdictions have reduced the penalties for cultivation of a small number of marijuana plants to confiscation and a fine.

    WRONG!! For some reason they did not mention Portugal, and Glenn Greenwald has much to say about what happened there. His articles are more than one year old so Rand should have had this info. That they did not makes me wonder what else they missed.

    The success of drug decriminalization in Portugal
    More on the success of drug decriminalization in Portugal

  8. Anonymous

    “BP bows to US over asset sales

    * Robin Pagnamenta and Miles Costello * From: The Times * July 07, 2010 7:29AM

    “Tony West, the US Assistant Attorney-General, wrote to Rupert Bondy, BP’s general counsel, on June 23, demanding that BP inform the department in advance of “any planned or contemplated events that may involve substantial transfers of cash or other corporate assets outside of the ordinary course of business”.

    It also said that BP should inform the Administration of any “corporate restructuring, reorganisation, acquisitions, mergers, joint ventures, sales, divestments or disbursements”.

    BP, which until the accident on April 20 had been the largest non-US company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, has also agreed to submit monthly financial statements, details of credit and loan agreements and other reports about its financial health.

    In a sign of growing US fears that BP might try to escape its liabilities, the letter set a deadline of last week for its UK-listed parent company to agree to the requests.

    BP confirmed that it had complied with the request.”

    Is there any more evidence needed that a seizure of BP is in the works?

  9. Anonymous

    Is the US near to seizing BP?

    Calendars always matter. November elections loom large on the American political calendar. No US and state administration can afford to be seen as the Carter Presidency as elections begin to roll after Labor Day.

    That arbitrary date is now the deadline for which something must be visibly seen to be done in the BP Maconda blowout. If the well is not contained by then, chances are, it will tip the election that is already heavily tipped against incumbents.

    Whats more, it is almost certain that even if the well were capped today, some oil is going to end up in the Atlantic, and on the shores of the core democratic states on the Atlantic seaboard.

    The ramifications of this calendar mean that BP do not have until their self imposed deadline of mid-August, but essentially, the end of July — to either cap the well, or be removed from the job.

    At this moment, the US is still a minor partner in the effort that is nearly totally funded and directed by BP. BP have steadfast refused to cooperate / aid or otherwise aid any effort that they deem to be not in their interest — or just can’t be bothered with.

    Little does BP realize that frustration with the company is now on the verge of exploding in the Administration, who has coyly acquiesced to aiding and abetting the BP coverup.

    In the mean time, quietly, among both civilians and military personnel working with BP, the chatter about what is really going on is now so loud as to make the news blackout moot. Key scientists, like Dr Leifer of the Flow Rate Study Group, went public after being bamboozled by BP for a month. The EPA is finally releasing damming air quality data that shows precisely how severe air (not water) has been contaminated at coastal cities many miles from the spill.

    In short, containment is about to fail.

    The great danger is to the US is, what if BP actually declared bankruptcy? It would mean an immediate halt to claims payment, or the payment of bribes to State governments, local officials, “compensation” — in short, it would ignite a political firestorm in time for the elections.

    What if BP is allowed to sell of their choice assets? That means BP will be less and less likely to be able to make good on the $20 billion pledged, for which, up to this point, they have paid out a paltry $147 million (as of last week).

    What is more important is, if governments appear to be impotent in the face of BP, that would set the stage for a dramatic upset where both the US Senate and House can change hands.

    When push comes to shove, governments tend to act — sometimes rashly.

    The momentum building now is for the Obama Administration to give BP one last chance, and if the first try at “bottom kill” fails, expect to see the US simultaneously, a) take over BP’s entire operation, and b) seize BP’s assets at the same time.

    The writing is on the wall.

    1. KFritz

      On an ad hominem level this reader would dance a jig or delight in the event.

      BUT, this would be a high-stakes gambit.

      1)The Republicans would scream socialism, communism, anti-American, etc etc. This always resonates w/ a good portion of the American public. (After all, people do get the leaders we deserve.) Would it resonate now? Would the news media alternate Republican fulmination w/ scenes, reports of environmental degradation and dead animals? The public mind is usually fickle.

      2) Thanks to years of Republican (mis)rule, there is a judiciary filled w/ smart, ueber-capitalist, free-market judges who’d be overjoyed to overturn any takeover. Witness the overturning of the ban on deep-water drilling.

      Our POTUS and many of his closest advisers are inherently cautious attorneys. It’s almost inconceivable they’d ignore legal injunctions.

      We live in interesting times.

    2. no problem

      BP? Yeah, we requisitioned it under the Defense Production Act. National Security Emergency. What’s the matter, don’t you want to protect America? The Coast Guard’s out there in harm’s way, don’t you support the troops?

    3. chad

      I would the United States seize a foreign company? I could be wrong but at best they could only deny BP business in the United States correct? I don’t think the US has the authority to seize a foreign company outright. I could be wrong, it just doesn’t seem reasonable to me.

  10. Adam Seaman


    I’m writing to you because I’m the Banksters editor at Before It’s News. Our site is a People Powered news platform with over 1,000,000 visits a month and growing fast. We would be honored if we could republish your blog RSS feed ( in our Banksters category. I am striving to further educate our readers about banksters, and your blog would certainly help us accomplish this.

    Syndicating to Before It’s News is a terrific way to spread the word and grow your audience. Many other organizations are using Before It’s News to do just that. We can have your feed up and running in 24 hours. I just need you to reply with your permission to do so. Also, please let me know if you have any other related blogs that we should check out.

    Before It’s News can add a link back to your site and any text you want to include at the beginning and/or end of every story from your feed. If you’re interested in this, please email me the text and/or URL that you would like us to include.

    Please let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to hearing back from you!


  11. Chris of Stumptown


    Your comment sounds like you view fixed exchange rates as currency manipulation.

    Am I unfair?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      If someone intervened in the stock market to keep the price of his stock at a fixed level, what would you call it? And all the countries that have run pegs v. the dollar in the last decade have done so explicitly to assure that they run trade surpluses, that is, to achieve mercantilist ends. The Treasury takes a more forgiving view of what constitutes currency manipulation because it doesn’t want to pick fights casually, particularly with major geopolitical actors.

  12. Piero

    Krugman disappoints again. I’m stunned at how often the guy argues in a vaguely dishonest fashion. In a recent column, he compared, I think Ireland and Spain and said, see, Ireland’s trying austerity and they’re not really doing any better than Spain (this was before Spain had done much of anything that could be called an austerity program.) And that was essentially it. No more nuance. No more context. No comparison of other factors that have produced each country’s fiscal situation. Just the single isolated piece of information that he thought helped his argument and information blackout beyond that.

    In the column above, he declares that business owners have no reason to be made at Obama. Really? Can even a hyper partisan person not see that the tremendous uncertainty Obama has presented small business owners with is antithetical to their growing their businesses?

    I know Krugman won a Nobel prize but the work he does as a columnist makes it some more astounding with each column.

    1. RalphR

      I’m no Krugman fan, but your comments are more offbase than his column.

      1. Op eds in newsapers aren’t the place to expect nuance. Too little space and the audience is nonexpert.

      2. Since when was Krugman’s article about small businesses? It was about how business lobbies are pushing non or exaggerated issues, with the one of the worst distortions coming from the small business lobby. Hmm, you bit looks like their talking points, come to think of it.

      3. If you think Obama is responsible for the uncertainty facing small busineses, you clearly have a major case of “blame all ills on the king”. I run a small business, I don’t particularly like Obama, but the BIG problem is that the economy sucks. Did Obama create the bad economy? The problem, in case you missed it, was the financial crisis, remember? And he’s been plenty business friendly, but the corprocrats want more. And the one thing that might help small business would be more lending, and they’ve been jawboning the banks, with very little success.

      Now had he had some balls and liquidated the sick banks and forced the rest to write down their debts, we’d be much better off now. But I suspect you are the sort who’d see that as socialist.

      1. Piero

        I’m not an owner but I work for a small company and the owners *hate* the way the last 20 months have presented them with the threat of huge yet amazingly vague changes to the rules of the game.

        Of course the bad economy is the worst problem. But things are exacerbated when uncertainty about the rules of the game, as it were, is constantly present.

        But, get off your high horse. Krugman said that business had no reason to be mad at Obama. I said that small business certainly does. Small businesses, despite your frantic citing of one ineffectual business lobby, does not have a seat at the crony capitalism table.

        As to Krugman not having space to provide any context or nuance, you forgive too much.

  13. wunsacon

    I hope BP goes bankrupt. Nothing else will prevent absentee shareholders from *blindly* investing in deep water drilling.

    This s*** meme about “BP is more valuable as a going concern” is again more “short-term”-erism.

    1. Anonymous

      Look at BP’s current status:

      It cannot do anything like disposing of assets, issue stock, assume debt except in the ordinary course of business without notifying the Department of Justice.

      Is there any different between its current “voluntary” compliance with these rules and operating under Chapter 11?

  14. Bernard

    when has the focus changed from the short term? the long term was the reason we had all those laws the Republicans did away with so some could get rich in the “short term.” after all, getting rid of the pensions, IRA, and long term assets/thinking of tomorrow was seen as short changing what could be made today, in the “short term.” Why wait, i want it now!!! thinking.

    the focus needs to go back to long term, not be on the “next quarter”. this short term “focus” is just a ruse to steal from tomorrow’s promise of steady and well planned income.

    playing the slots vs saving. one is a sure loss, one has a better promise of sound long term promise. i always thought investing meant “long term thinking or planning for the future. a casino is fun, but it is not “long term” except in losing money for ever, quicker.

  15. KFritz

    The best thing about this blog is the expertise of the proprietress and her guests, plus her aggregation of informative links. Anyone who imagines otherwise is encumbered by delusions of intelligence and grandeur.

    1. Skippy

      With out digestion there is only observable points from the authors view, this lacks consensus, alternative view points and it’s very hard to triangulate ones position on a map with one point to fix upon.

      Granted some like to accept imprinting over critical thinking, less effort, better chance of acceptance with in a group etc.

      Again with the slurs.

        1. Skippy

          Your leading assertion, that it was a surprise invasion was factually incorrect, there is a preponderance of evidence easily available but, which you strangely persist in ignoring, by design it seems.

          This is indicative of all that you have contributed in this blogs comments section, willful ignorance, and a personalty prone to conflict for the sake of it.

          Young graduates of Emerson should stick to their patch, which in your case is marketing/branding and journalism with the job of enticing GEN Y’er in to becomeing debt slaves under the guise of service.

          Skippy…good day to you Miss…btw rude to IOTBP too, where does it end.

          1. attempter

            “Banking’s Next Generation”, good god. That’s the same person?

            That’s the kind of astroturfing corporate thug Naomi Klein wrote about in No Logo. Fascist “branding consultants” or something like that.

            How charming, a cadre who wants to do her part indoctrinating the young into debt slavery. Utterly vile.

          2. Skippy

            If you read the bio and see that social media, blogging, consumer behavior and brand planing is her forte, now with that in mind read her statement pulled from above:

            “The best thing about this blog is the expertise of the proprietress and her guests, plus her aggregation of informative links. Anyone who imagines otherwise is encumbered by delusions of intelligence and grandeur.”

            Skippy here…pure industry mind control jargon, as an ex sales executive I can smell it a mile away, all of it constructed to a purpose like selling Alt A, ninja, MBS, derivative garbage.

            The front lines are defined by language and image control, not with our government or monetary agencies but with the corporations themselves.

            Skippy…Defeat them and we will get our country back.

  16. KFritz


    That’ll teach me to click on at least one of your links. I apologize profusely!

    KFritz is a multi-purpose takeoff on my name, which elicits at least a smile from the German born. K=Kaiser. It’s also a tribute to ‘Kaiser Franz’ Beckenbauer and Gaetano Scirea. ‘Gaetano’=’leader’ in Italian,ergo equivalent to ‘Kaiser.’ Two great soccer defenders. ‘Fritz’ was also my nickname in my father’s family.

    You’ve demonstrated your acumen @ intelligence correlation. Congrats. No wonder our intelligence services are so highly rated around the world.

    1. Skippy

      Thank you for providing the additional information, without me asking directly for it. It will come handy…

Comments are closed.