Links 10/5/10

Berlin Researchers Crack the Ptolemy Code Der Spiegel

Court overturns US tycoon’s will that left fortune to Panama’s poor Guardian (hat tip reader John M)

Australian police taser video sparks anger BBC

Japan Recycles Minerals From Used Electronics New York Times

Obama’s promise to end tax cuts for rich unravels Financial Times

Foreclosure? Not So Fast Wall Street Journal

IMF admits that the West is stuck in near depression Telegraph

Monsanto’s Fortunes Turn Sour New York Times. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch.

Chamber of Commerce ‘takes both sides’ on economic stimulus Raw Story (hat tip reader John D0

Wall Street’s Global Race to the Bottom Robert Reich (hat tip reader John M)

Pandering To Clients, Firm Distances Itself From Wall Street Whistleblower’s Testimony Shahien Nasiripour, Huffington Post

FSA ‘stress tests’ would ban half of all mortgages, warn lenders Independent

FSA ‘stress tests’ would ban half of all mortgages, warn lenders Independent

Fiscal Sustainability and Fiscal Rules Ben Bernanke (hat tip reader Glen, from Calculated Risk). QE2 for the banks, hair shirts for the rest of us.

Hegel on Wall Street J.M. Bernstein, New York Times (hat tip reader Crocodile Chuck

Larry Summers and the Subversion of Economics Charles Ferguson, The Chronicle

BTW, there was a RICO suit filed against MERS yesterday. It’s completely batshit and will go nowhere. I got an earful from my attorney buddies, this sort of case destroys the cred of the ones that have some merit.

Antidote du jour:

Picture 1

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    1. wunsacon

      Yeah… Looks like blue paint on the faces of these natural-born acrobats.

      Cirque de Chimpee?

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You can try to convince me until you are blue in the face, but I have a hard time believing what I am seeing.

  1. YankeeFrank

    Yves, why is a RICO action silly? Perhaps not against MERS (though I could think of some arguments for it), but certainly a successful prosecution could be made against many of the mortgage companies, mbs/cdo packager/dealers etc.

    As you know, these various corporations formed the worlds biggest racket and sunk the world economy, I guess I just don’t see what is so silly about it.

    1. Ina Deaver

      It certainly has the ring of a complex scheme to defraud that crosses state lines and relies upon multiple incidences of perjury and mail fraud to create profits for a larger enterprise – but MERS itself wasn’t the issue, I suppose. It’s the frauds to paper over issues with the original note and security.

      But it is, sadly, very easy to file baseless and stupid RICO claims. I’ve seen a lot of them. At this point, RICO has been judicially limited to the point of a paper tiger.

      Who knows.

    2. attempter

      It’s hard to believe that any anti-MERS RICO claim could be as “batshit” as many federal RICO interpretations I’ve heard of. For example, there’s a city where more than two people standing together wearing clothing of a certain color are by definition guilty of criminal conspiracy.

      I don’t know how unfounded this particular suit is, but I really wish people on our side wouldn’t be so fast to condemn one another the second someone engages in a tactic which might misfire.

      (You wouldn’t believe the idiotic schoolmarmish uproar among climate change “progressives” over a video someone put out. If the video was misguided, fine, say so, learn a lesson, and be done with it. But no, it’s clear that these clowns are never more at home than when they’re in appeasement mode, desperate to condemn anyone from their own ranks who tries to get a little counteraggressive, and to apologize to the enemy! No wonder they’re such losers.)

      Do Republicans, for example, treat one another this way? After a few stumbles they’re already closing ranks in support of the tea party wackos. Rove recognized his mistake and corrected it.

      If someone really does go too far, certainly we should say so and learn a lesson from it, but let’s never crucify people for being “too aggressive”. Let’s save that for those who are too cowardly.

      1. attempter

        BTW, before I get yelled at I should specify that I’m not saying this example is anywhere near as bad as that of those appeaser-progressives.

        I just think the same broad principle applies.

        1. liberal

          What’s the climate change example?

          Most of the blogs I read about climate change stuff are pretty aggressive.

          1. Kevin de Bruxelles

            On the other hand there are already some really funny parodies of this video. It seems destined to replace the Downfall clip of Hitler as the most parodied video on YouTube.

          2. attempter

            I just feel like this kind of thing is the daily bread of the corporatists and thugs, and yet let someone on the mitigator side get a little bit outre and there’s an auto-da-fe on to see who can abhor it in the most sanctimonious moralizing terms.


            Here’s McKibben and Romm and a whole comment thread in an orgy of revilement. I used to read Romm and he and the readers never got this worked up over the deniers. (Part of the reason I stopped reading was the pro-Obama/pro-corporate nonsense. I heard about this thread elsewhere.)

            You have to get about 40 comments in to find the first person suggesting they keep a little perspective. I think they’re scared to attack the enemy that way, but they’re thrilled at the opportunity to set upon a deviant member of their own tribe.

            Typical coward/bully behavior.

          3. Doug Terpstra


            Robert Parry does that with 9/11 ‘truthers’, painting them as a leftist counter-propaganda group. It’s not clear that they’re really leftist at all, but his dismissal (with such prejudice) seemed overly-protested in the same way. I guess it’s love of rigorous truth and fear of the slippery slope.

            I’m agnostic about the real 9/11 story, but I find the vociferous denunciations of conspiracy theorists a bit overdone, like Clinton wagging his finger at someone with a legitimate question about the commission report. “How dare you!” he repeated three times, icily. It was almost as if someone had (gasp) accused him of having sex with an intern.

          4. attempter

            Good example. I remember when that was part of the feeding frenzy with Van Jones. Everyone agreed: “It’s unfortunate, but Obama has to fire him. You can’t have one of those wingnuts around.” God forbid.

            (He also was accused of calling Republicans “assholes”, which many liberals also found scandalous. He’s gotta go!)

            I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories like Truthism, but I tend to regard especially that one as a misguided but nevertheless salutary sign of rejection of the party line.

            I see that and say, there’s anti-establishment energy which may yet be put to productive work.

            The “progressives”, on the other hand, seem to be utterly useless. They’re already confronting themselves: “Are we really going to boycott the election? Finally stop voting for the Democrats once and for all? Are we ever going to have the courage for that? We know that’s the only possible way out, but do we really have enough guts to do it?”

            Who could even still be questioning that after all that’s happened?

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      I didn’t get the details, but the attorney who looked at the suit (very pro-borrower, knows this space cold, has done litigation in a lot of other areas), said this was the worst case he had every seen. And apparently the lawyer who filed this has a reputation for filing half-baked cases and has zero credibility in their district.

      1. Ina Deaver

        Oh great. There’s nothing better than someone with no credibility to poison the well. What perhaps we should be asking is, why not get somebody really competent and talented and file a REAL lawsuit? There’s treble damages in it. . . .

  2. russell1200

    Without looking at the specific case filing it is hard to judge the merits.

    Presumably forging and or falsifying documents as an ongoing process might put you in some dangerous territory though.

  3. Glen

    Ben Bernanke links:

    Ben Bernanke talking about fiscal austerity (i.e. gutting Social Security) is unbelievable. This is a man that let Wall St run wild, that called the sub-prime crisis “contained”, that ignored warns from before his first day in the Fed that bank home lending was out of control:,2933,460044,00.html

    And then bailed Wall St and the TBTF banks out with our taxpayer money.

  4. craazyman

    that’s quite a word cloud about Hegel by Mr. Bernstein. That’s a little much for the 6 am brain. I wonder how many people made it through to the end. I did. but I sort of skimmed the part about Kobe Bryant. I never met Mr. Hegel but I would bet he was a very distracted man. There really are no world interests, as such. We know from Contemporary Analysis that all said world interests are really imaginary constructs that have no intrinsic objective validity and are only mind signals that regulate the way people move their arms and legs. Fish and ants have imagination too. Look at an anthill. This is rather abstract. But wealth itself is an imaginary construct that depends on price, which depends on imagination’s interpretation of instinct, which is as fluid and changeable as the wind. Words are imaginary constructs that are highly subjective. When you overlap word waves you get approximate mental structures but not ones with any inherent definability. It’s an endless loop. And it’s not true to say that virtuous actions can’t exist without social constructs. Jesus covered this, as did Plato. What society needs to do is level the banksters the way FDR did. It really doesn’t matter whether there’s a deep abstract philosophical explanation, as amusing as these word bubbles are to sit around and blow.

    1. DownSouth

      “It really doesn’t matter whether there’s a deep abstract philosophical explanation…”

      Perhaps there doesn’t have to be an “abstract philisophical” explanation, but there has to be an explanation. Human beings crave this—-a way to order their lives and give their lives meaning. It can be philosophical, religious or scientific, or a synthesis of these.

      You assert that “all said world interests are really imaginary constructs that have no intrinsic objective validity.” You cite wealth (accumulated capital?) as an example of one of these imaginary constructs: “wealth itself is an imaginary construct that depends on price, which depends on imagination’s interpretation of instinct, which is as fluid and changeable as the wind.”

      While I certainly agree that Classical Economic Theory entails as great of departures from factual reality as does Christianity, I’m not so sure I believe the line between factual reality and the abstract is so clearcut. (Nor, as an aside, do I believe the abstract is all that maleable and capricious.) When it comes to human behavior, an ought (what one believes one ought to do) frequently translates into an is (or what one does). Beliefs in these abstractions influence what people do.

      As David Sloan Wilson writes in Darwin’s Cathedral, the criteria we should judge these abstractions on is not whether they depart from factual reality or not, but whether they are funtional or dysfunctional. Functional is defined as whether they control greed, selfishness and cheating (individual fitness) in favor of solidarity and team work (group fitness) so that groups don’t come flying apart at the seams and can achieve optimal performance.

      A short primer on “Factual vs. Practical Realism” and how these supernatual belief systems like Classical Economic Theory or Christianity can have “practical utility” can be found here:

      1. DownSouth

        Another phenomenon Sloan Wilson mentions in his book is how religions start out being functional but with time are coopted and vitiated to the point where they become dysfunctional.

      2. i on the ball patriot

        “As David Sloan Wilson writes in Darwin’s Cathedral, the criteria we should judge these abstractions on is not whether they depart from factual reality or not, but whether they are funtional or dysfunctional. Functional is defined as whether they control greed, selfishness and cheating (individual fitness) in favor of solidarity and team work (group fitness) so that groups don’t come flying apart at the seams and can achieve optimal performance.”

        The measure of a belief being functional or dysfunctional is a measure of how easily that belief is co-opted and turned against the group for personal gain. Those belief systems that are more abstract, as opposed to those that are reality based, are more readily hijacked by the more deceptive amongst us through clever reinterpretations for exploitation and oppression.

        Said another way; it is difficult to hijack reality based laws, like Ohm’s law, as opposed to the many abstract based god(s) laws.

        Accepting the reality of our human nature, that we are inherently deceptive exploitative cannibals, opens the door to creating more functional reality based laws, as those laws, recognizing our cannibalistic and deceptive reality, and therefore being reality based, would require greater involvement of all in making those laws (yes bigger ALL inclusive government is the answer), and more transparent oversight of those laws that are so made with greater proportional punishment for transgressions.

        The current abstract based laws, based on abstract belief — trust in the abstraction, i.e., “In god we trust” — are easily co-opted and made dysfunctional. Scamerican law stands as a perfect example of the ease of hijacking abstract belief based law.

        Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

        1. DownSouth

          “Said another way; it is difficult to hijack reality based laws, like Ohm’s law, as opposed to the many abstract based god(s) laws.

          I now go back to what I said at the end of the first chapter, that there were two odd things about the human race. First, that they were haunted by the idea of a sort of behaviour they ought to practise, what you might call fair play, or decency, or morality, or the Law of Nature. Second, that they did not in fact do so.


          The laws of nature, as applied to stones or trees, may only mean ‘what Nature, in fact, does’. But if you turn to the Law of Human Nature, the Law of Decent Behaviour, it is a different matter. That law certainly does not mean ‘what human beings, in fact, do’; for as I said before, many of them do not obey this law at all, and none of them obey it completely. The law of gravity tells you what stones do if you drop them, but the Law of Human Nature tells yo what human beings ought to do and do not do. In other words, when you are dealing with humans, something else comes in above and beyond the actual facts. You have the facts (how men do behave) and you also have something else (how they ought to behave). In the rest of the universe there need not be anything but the facts. Electrons and molecules behave in a certain way, and certain results follow, and that may be the whole story. But men behave in a certain way and that is not the whole story, for all the time you know that they ought to behave differently.

          –C.S. Lewis, “Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe”

      3. alex

        ‘You cite wealth (accumulated capital?) as an example of one of these imaginary constructs: “wealth itself is an imaginary construct that depends on price, which depends on imagination’s interpretation of instinct, which is as fluid and changeable as the wind.”’

        I agree that calling wealth an abstraction is a serious stretch. Give me $1B and I’ll prove it.

        “While I certainly agree that Classical Economic Theory entails as great of departures from factual reality as does Christianity”

        What is this “factual reality” of which you speak? I have far greater respect for Christianity and other religions because their believers generally say that their faith is a matter of, well, faith. As much as a believer in the scientific method as I am, I don’t believe it’s the one universal path to Truth (whatever the heck that means when spelled with a capital ‘T”).

        By contrast, economists generally claim to be scientists. Question: do they actually believe it, or do they just have an incredible capacity for dead pan humor? The former scares me much more than the latter.

        “the criteria we should judge these abstractions on is not whether they depart from factual reality or not, but whether they are funtional or dysfunctional”

        I’m too much of a believer in the scientific method to buy that. Science is supposed to be descriptive though, not prescriptive. Scientists, and even economists, should always be clear whether they’re explaining scientific truth, or making a ethical/moral/policy prescription based on a combination of their scientific knowledge and their personal ethics/morals. When they’re not (and they frequently aren’t) they should have their feet held to the fire. This is most important when they use imprecise and unscientific terms like “good for the economy”, when they really mean GDP or some such. Whether the two are the same is an ethical, not a scientific, point.

        1. Anonymous Jones

          That was an absolutely top-notch comment from craazyman.

          I know it for sure by how much it was misunderstood by the responders.

          Well done. No one is going to want to accept your thesis because it would unmoor them from the anchors they use for their perspectives.

          Words are indeed abstractions, cubby-holes of meaning, for which there is no necessary overlap between the those intending to communicate by the use of such words and the recipients.

    2. john c. halasz

      Yeah, it was overlong and rather pointless. It could have been said in a short space. Acts only count as such, when they are discrete moves in a “game” set up by enduring nexuses of institutional or communal practices. Hence a completely “virtuous” order can no more be imposed by discrete individual action than any enduring order of practices sustained by sheerly self-interested action. The structured constraints of a social order are the source of any “virtue” that applies, which also needs to accomodate the needs and interests of its members. Nothing really “deep” or novel in that.

      On the other hand, to insist on the entirely “subjective” nature of words and concepts is a level of extreme idealism far beyond what Hegel ever would have acceded to. If little is accomplished by philosophical droning, less than nothing is accomplished by such philosophical piffle.

    1. EmilianoZ

      This is a great interview.

      Meet the real Obama:
      “Gruff. Arrogant. Widely perceived as distant and know-it-all and arrogant and narcissistic in black Chicago…”

      Stuff about Niebuhr you wouldn’t know reading the excerpts posted here by DownSouth:
      “Niebuhr became the “theologian of the [U.S.] establishment” in the post-World War II American ascendancy because of the elegant-sounding ease with which he granted imperial policymakers what the leading Left intellectual Noam Chomsky called “a divine license to kill.” Niebuhr granted this moral and intellectual indulgence with his fundamentally idiotic concept of “the paradox of grace.” This idea held that all great “historical achievements” are unavoidably scarred by the “taint of sin” and that policymakers must not let fear of “sinning” prevent them from acting on their “obligation to realize truth and goodness in history.””

      About the corporate advertising machine:
      “They took the market-based micro-targeting to a new level. Their advertising operation to sell Brand Obama was historically unmatched — quite extraordinary. Different appeals crafted for different market/electorate sectors with scary precision: they sold Obama as antiwar to campus town hippies, as a trade unionist concerned about NAFTA to labor union members, as a green to environmentalists, as an intellectual and man of deep thought to university professors, as a man of empire to militarists, as a religious centrist to independent evangelicals, etc.”

      You have to give them that: Brand Obama is simply marketing genius. Let a black man gut Social Security.

      1. DownSouth

        Since my name was invoked, I suppose I should respond.

        Edwards was actually my guy too, and when he got put out of the running I was indifferent as to whether Clinton or Obama got the nomination.

        Of course my judgment was highly suspect. Edward’s maritital indiscretions on the campaign trail would undoubtedly not have played very well in Peoria, and would most likely have compromised any effectiveness he might have had had he been elected president.

        I don’t really care about Edward’s sex life, but I suspect most people do. That’s a reality that Paul Street clearly doesn’t want to deal with, because it raises the specter that Edwards might not have done much better than Obama. Of course when Street compares what he imagines Edwards or Clinton could have done to what Obama has done, that’s not a fair contest anyway. But it does allow him to yell “I told you so” at those who didn’t march in lockstep with him in supporting Edwards, accusing them of “laziness and stupidity” and not being “that bright or energetic or imaginative,” all this at the same time he blasts the “Obama contingent” for demanding voters give “Obama your uncritical support.”

        This sort of incoherent blather continues as Street calls Obama “Gruff. Arrogant.” and then turns right around and says Obama is “not ‘crude’ and forceful and scary” like Jesse. Then Street says Obama is not a neo-con because he doesn’t support “right wing positions on social issues like guns and abortion and gay marriage.” When vastleft, the interviewer, points out that Obama’s stands on these issues haven’t been that stellar either, Street responds: “Good points! And here again as with so much else, we were warned in advance.” Go figure.

        As to Street’s critique of Niebuhr, I’ve heard it said before that Niebuhr put Christianity’s imprimatur upon the Cold War. And this is undoubtedly ture. And it is also undoubtredly true that the US committed many crimes in the name of fighting communism. But Niebuhr feared and hated communism as much as he did fascism. And to say that post-WWII America was as despotic and totalitartian as communist Russia is simply not true.

        The subject came up the other day about Lincoln’s role in fighting the Civil War. As a result of Lincoln’s actions, more Americans died in that war than in any other war the United States has ever fought. One wonders what would have happened if Lincoln had not felt an “obligation to realize truth and goodness in history” and had instead abdicated his moral and political convictions in order to placate the South. The sort of moral dilema that Lincoln wrestled with and which caused him so much personal discomfort doesn’t even exist in the black and white world of Paul Street.

    2. EmilianoZ

      I was checking Paul Street’s 2008 book on Amazon. Here are a few facts (among many others) you can find from the most useful review:

      1)”As a state senator Obama held up a bill in committee that promised to deliver universal health care in Illinois and watered it down so that it merely called for the creation of a commission that would study how health care access might be expanded in the state.”

      2)”On the presidential campaign trail he claimed to have passed a Senate bill that would have required nuclear operators to immediately report even the slightest leak from their facilities. This was after a radioactive leak into a drinking water supply from an Illinois plant of Exelon, the largest nuclear power plant owner in the country and a leading supplier of Obama campaign contributions. Actually, Obama lied; the bill that he pushed ended up offering only guidance to local regulators as to how to deal with small leaks at nuclear plants that did not reach the threshold of being required to be reported (as the leak in Illinois did not).”

      3)”Street quotes Jeremy Scahill, among others, to the effect that the noises Obama has made about the withdrawal of all U.S. “combat” troops from Iraq are misleading. In reality only half of all US troops in Iraq are classified as “combat.” Moreover Obama voted against a bill designed to ban the use of private security firms like Blackwater. This raises the possibility that Obama might expand the use of these private mercenaries in Iraq as he draws combat troops down.”

      Serious journalists probably knew all this. I can’t remember those facts being reported. What was repeated over and over was that Obama had the most liberal voting record of all senators (which could be true since senators would probably never be allowed to vote on something truly progressive).

      1. Ina Deaver

        Calling him a liberal was always an enormous crock. He’s at best a centrist — the guy is a corporatist. I always wondered how on earth they could get away with calling him a liberal – much less a socialist. There is a socialist in the Senate, and I don’t think that he and Obama were on the same side of a vote ever.

        1. alex

          “I always wondered how on earth they could get away with calling him a liberal”

          In contemporary America being half a step to the left of the John Birch Society makes you a liberal. A full step makes you a socialist.

          Calling Obama a liberal is, much to my dismay, accurate in context. In the Middle Ages wanting to abolish serfdom would have made you a radical.

      2. alex

        “serious journalists”

        I presume that’s an oxymoron. Yves and a few others excepted of course (which explains why she gets more coverage in the foreign press than domestically).

      3. EmilianoZ

        In the end Obama was a media-induced collective hallucination.

        It was beautiful while it lasted. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy. It was like United Colors of Benetton come true. We would all be holding hands making the world a better place.

    3. Doug Terpstra

      Indeed, BDBlue, excellent link to an eye-opening interview. And Emiliano, interesting points on Niebuhr.

      This too—exploiting color-consciousness blindness:

      “Paul Street: Oh yes, the public option was nothing. It was a joke. The way they used it to fool the base…A totally false and pathetic substitute for real, actual progressive health care reform on the simple single-payer model: Improved Medicare for All.”

      “I see a lot of replay of the Bill Clinton presidency here: fake-progressive triangulation, superficial counter-cultural (he used cocaine) and insurgent imagery cloaking deeply conservative pro-business, neo-liberal policy and abandonment of the poor and working class and poor minorities… all with the dominant media idiotically portraying the president as a “man of the left” and lecturing him on the need to “steer to the center” and be careful about deficits and “big government.” Where I think the Obama phenomenon went beyond Clinton was in terms of race and ethnocultural nomenclature: the way his skin color and technically Muslim name were used to cloak his standard service to the same old corporate, financial, military-imperial and (by the way) predominantly white and masculinist powers that be.”

      Cynical machinations, the selling of the presidency taken to the next level. Yuck!

    1. EmilianoZ

      I particularly like this passage:

      “Prominent academic economists (and sometimes also professors of law and public policy) are paid by companies and interest groups to testify before Congress, to write papers, to give speeches, to participate in conferences, to serve on boards of directors, to write briefs in regulatory proceedings, to defend companies in antitrust cases, and, of course, to lobby. This is now, literally, a billion-dollar industry.”

      “In my film you will see many famous economists looking very uncomfortable when confronted with their financial-sector activities”

      Ah, good old fashioned corruption.

  5. Ignim Brites

    Is the extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy inevitable? One thing the FT article overlooks is the politics of the of vetoing an extension. This would be Obama front and center as the champion of the middle class against the malefactors of great wealth. Sure he would be reviled on Wall Street, in the VC offices overlooking Silicon Valley, in Hollywood and the pages of the NYT and all the New York based financial media. But as a re-election strategy it would tough to beat. As the Tea Party demonstrates, being an enemy of the elite is a winner. Particularly important in this respect is eliminating the special treatment of dividends and capital gains.

    1. liberal

      It’s not so clear how the rhetoric would play out. ISTM the danger is that the Rethuglicans would start screaming about him vetoing a middle clas tax cut.

    2. craazyman

      Yes that alone would get him re-elected, assuming he even wants the job.

      Then he could throw all his economic advisers under the bus, start with a new team and do what he knows is right.

      Who knows, he might even become a good president. LOL.

  6. mikefromArlington

    Can someone explain why oil prices are going up? What is driving the price to go up by around 10% in the last couple months? Everyone is blogging about how we’re stagnant but oil is going up.

    Is this more manipulation as we had right before the 2008 crash?

    1. kevinearick

      yes. nothing is free.

      The Saudis are buying military to preserve the artificial nation/state borders being erased by the tribes, and it produces an artificial economic bump, on the backs of taxpayers, some of whom are already experiencing an effective 17% property tax rate.

      It costs more to deliver a barrel of oil than there is energy to be extracted from a barrel of oil, because of all the associated economic activity/bred behavior occurring at an economic loss, the recognition of which is pushed back, while the revenues are pulled forward.

      It’s a longer term version of cash for clunkers, only the same clunker is sold back to the customer, the taxpayer, creating exponential losses.

  7. Francois T

    Re: IMF

    Why can’t anyone admit the obvious: Western politicians are totally beholden to the banks and are deathly afraid of anything that could happen to one of the biggies. Of course, central bankers are on the side of the banksters too.

    Politicians want to save the existing banks, which they completely conflate with the banking system as a whole. And we’re supposed to pay for these follies?

    So, we could get stuck in very slow mo’ for a long time huh?

    In the meantime, we have Brazil who is reached economic and social escape velocity, at last. Give or take 5-10 years, India should do the same, if they find the will to get their political shit in order. Ditto for China and that will be it: the West shall be one among equals, never to be the top dog again.

    Thank you, moron banksters and stupid politicians.

  8. alex

    Re: Larry Summers and the Subversion of Economics

    Great takedown of not just Summers, but the entire academic-political-Wall St. complex. Small wonder anybody who looks at it gives these “economists” the same credibility as a tobacco company funded “scientist”. But where the hell is the MSM in pointing out that the emperor has no clothes?

    1. Francois T

      Where is the MSM?

      They are busying themselves covering this oh so exciting venue that Glenn Greenwald (a.k.a. Glenzilla) aptly named Versailles-on-the-Potomac, otherwise known as Washington DC palace intrigues.

      He said, she said, they deny, it reports, you try to decide and so on and so forth. A incestuous clusterfuck of innuendos, rumors piled up on gossips that has the merit of sparing the news media with the fastidious task of fact-checking, and us, with some inconvenient truths that we can’t (apparently) stomach anyway.

      This is a true blessing for both the elites and the simple minded who cannot handle the ugly truth.

  9. sherparick

    Oil is not so much going up in price as the dollar is depreciating. In Euros, SF, and Gold oil is flat or declinning. But as the dollar’s trade weighted value slips, the price of oil in dollars rises.

    By the way, since I think producing classes (farmers and workers, not those theives that Randites call producers) need a break, I am all for that depreciation since what they gain lower value dollar in export advantage and import substitution more than off sets the higher price they pay for gas.

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