Links 11/17/10

New frog species found in hunt for old ones BBC (hat tip reader John M)

Morgan Stanley’s Net ‘Queen’ Meeker Sees Mobile Boom Bloomberg (hat tip Tom Adams)

Freshman GOPer: Hey, Where’s My Health Care? Talking Points Memo (hat tip reader Marshall)

Air Force Academy Excludes Group That Exposed Proselytizing of Military Personnel From “Religious Respect” Conference Truthout

‘Technical talks’ or a done deal? Financial Times (hat tip Richard Smith)

That EFSF sense of urgency FT Alphaville (hat tip Richard Smith). What were they thinking?

The horrible truth starts to dawn on Europe’s leaders Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Ireland: How much punishment for British and international banks? Robert Peston

Fed tasks its heavy hitters to defend stimulus Financial Times

Fighting the Fed Noam Scheiber, The New Republic. The problem with a piece like this is that by focusing on Palin and her ilk, it sidesteps the fact that there are good reasons to demand more accountability of the Fed, particularly since it is increasingly playing a political and quasi-fiscal role.

GSAMP Trust 2006-FM1. In my youth, in the stone knives and bearskins days of underwritings, this sort of error would have been impossible, there were too many eyes on SEC filings (hat tip Michael F):

One of the filed versions of the prospectus for GSAMP Trust 2006-FM1 has the following clearly extraneous text at the bottom of the third to last page (as denoted by the markers)

Hi Michael on the GSAMP 2006-FM1 deal the Combined LTV including and excluding the silent seconds are not consitent on the termsheet you sent me. Can you clarify please

CLTV 81.37% FULL CLTV 89.04% with 19% Silent seconds?

on the termsheet I have shows LTV of 76.46% rather than 81.37% in the data. Could you double check? Should i resend?
that number has seconds at 20% LTV and the 81.37% has seconds at 100 LTv..see page A-27

As our source noted:

To me, the most significant implication of this embarrassing lapse is that nobody-not even the lawyers–was reading all the way through these documents before filing them on EDGAR. The email exchange also reveals that the originators were still squabbling about what the numbers were as the documents were being filed.

House prices dropped 0.8% in September Independent

How to chart a course out of the Sino-American storm Martin Wolf, Financial Times

Antidote du jour:

Picture 51

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  1. attempter

    Re the death of the EU:

    So the EFSF’s cheap propaganda ploy is already being exposed as (literally) empty.

    It’s all supposed to be about “confidence”, hmm? And how confident are they making people now?

    I like AEP’s shredding of the the EU, its principle and practice, even if it is obvious by now.

    The question should no longer even be necessary:

    As this continues into next year, with unemployment stuck at depression levels or even creeping higher, it starts to matter who has political “ownership” over these policies. Is there full democratic consent, or is this suffering being imposed by foreign over-lords with an ideological aim?

    The full moral ownership of every piece of suffering we endure rests with these stateless, rootless, alien traitors. That’s both the globalization cadres and the rogue governments, who have all detached themselves from the nations. Sovereignty lies abdicated and trampled in the muddy ditch. It’s up to the people to leave it there to rot, or to raise it up again on our own.

    We can start by forcing the criminals to take full political ownership.

    All are having to knuckle down to Europe’s agenda of austerity, without the offsetting relief of devaluation and looser monetary policy.

    In America as well.

    Without getting anything to make it worthwhile whatsoever. “Austerity” is nothing but a compounding assault. Austerity is literally nothing but robbery.

    There’s only one possible and imperative response:

    Total Austerity for the Criminals, Not One Cent More from the People.

    1. hermanas

      I’m with you, this was a full on premeditated scam (they insured their expected losses). These guys will destroy America beforte pot smokers.

  2. Daniel de Paris

    …if Ireland now – by historic irony, and in condign retribution – sets off the chain-reaction that destroys the eurozone and the European Union, it will be hard to resist the temptation of opening a bottle of Connemara whisky and enjoying the moment.

    Certainly AEP usual high spirits about Europe. Hatred in its naked form, by the way.

    May I say that even, in the most aggressive continental press – except for a couple of extreme right media with limited exposure – you will not find anything as rough as this text concerning Britain or foreign countries.

    If you master one of the local idioms, check by yourself…

    As a regular reader of AEP prose, I have no opposition to the content of this article. But, well, I am quite ashamed that this kind of wording is on display in the Telegraph.

    That certainly reminds me of the kind of press we had in France during the 30s. Sorry to have to say:)

    The competition between Britain, Germany, France and others does allow for hatred IMHO. And I certainly hope this blog to refrain from this kind of stances in the future.

  3. Alex

    If this was so predictable to Ambrose Pritchard-Evans, I hope he made a lot of money betting against it…

    1. eric anderson

      I am chronically ill, but I would not exchange my health for the destruction of embryonic human life, if that’s what this means.

      1. Anonymous Jones

        I wish you good health, and I hope no one ever forces you to make such an exchange.

        I, on the other hand, am quite happy to make the exchange and would do it 100 times out of 100.

      2. Francois T

        Then, what to do with the estimated 300,000 to 450,000 frozen embryos that will never be used?

        Recall that they can’t be “stored” forever. Freezing does NOT prevent biological degradation.

        Which means that sooner or later, these embryos will be discarded/destroyed.

        Personally, I have a very hard time witnessing a life going to pure waste like that.

        But, that is my take, and my take only.

  4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Regarding Wolf’s piece on the Sino-American storm, the winner of that might not necesarrily be China or America (the corporate American, that is), but India or Russia, or some other nation(s)/alliance(s).

    Who knows, it might even be, by some rare combination of events, a group formerly known as the American middle class…

  5. KFritz

    I’d be interested to know WHEN the USAFA excluded Weinstein’s group. If it happened after the recent election, it’s a snapshot/preview of what we can expect with the Whacked-Out-Right on the warpath.

    1. Paul Repstock

      Jimeny Jihad Batman..Did someone mention Holy War????

      Beautiful chapel…yet rather reminicent of Darth Vader’s helmet.

      Don’t these young people have enough presure on them without religious subversion?

    2. Valissa

      The USAF has been attempting to squelch the MRFF’s truthtelling for quite some time, so really nothing new here sad to say. However, in several of these prior attempts there ended up being enough blowback from MRFF supporters that the USAF ended up backing down. Will be interesting to see if they cave again and Mikey ends up getting to go!

      The MRFF is one of the places I donate to, and you can get matching corporate donation for them too(if your employer does matching funds as my husband’s does) as they are a registered non-profit. Their work is very important as there are many US soldiers (esp. Air Force) who are ideologically caught up in fighting a Holy War against Islam… and that is a potent rationalization that allows some soldiers to justify their aggression (I’m sure most of the military brass are OK with this)… the legacy of The Crusades remains.

    3. Francois T

      How the hell are we supposed to have a counter-terrorism policy of winning hearts and minds if religious intolerance is nurtured among the rank and file?


  6. eric anderson

    The Fed is not engaging in “quasi-fiscal” action, it is fiscal. When you print money to buy junk securities from Fannie and Freddie, that’s fiscal. It is a usurpation of the legislature’s responsibility.

    Also, the current QE2, while perhaps justifiable under the Fed charter and mandate (as I understand it) is still a dangerous road to travel. Since interest on the T-bonds purchased by the Fed will cost the government no interest (interest payments are credited back to the Treasury by the Fed), it is in effect printing money and giving it to the government for free. In essence, it allows them to increase deficit spending without penalty. Maybe folks like Yves think that’s a great thing, but I do not.

    And I’m letting my Congressman know that we’re onto Helicopter Ben’s game.

    1. eric anderson

      I meant to reference in my comment John Hussman’s Nov 8 column, “Bubble, Crash, Bubble, Crash, Bubble…” in which he discusses the fiscal component of the Fed’s actions. Bernanke even slyly suggested this to a speech to the Japanese in 1999.

      “In thinking about nonstandard open-market operations, it is useful to separate those that have some fiscal component from those that do not. By a fiscal component I mean some implicit subsidy, which would arise, for example, if the BOJ purchased nonperforming bank loans at face value (this is of course equivalent to a fiscal bailout of the banks, financed by the central bank). This sort of money-financed ‘gift’ to the private sector would expand aggregate demand for the same reasons that any money-financed transfer does. Although such operations are perfectly sensible from the standpoint of economic theory, I doubt very much that we will see anything like this in Japan, if only because it is more straightforward for the Diet to vote subsidies or tax cuts directly. Nonstandard open-market operations with a fiscal component, even if legal, would be correctly viewed as an end run around the authority of the legislature, and so are better left in the realm of theoretical curiosities.”

      Well, now Ben has been doing it. An end run around the legislature. Printing money to bail out private firms — Fannie and Freddie. QE2 looks like another backdoor way to aid both banks and the Treasury, except it backfired, as interest rates on Treasury bonds have risen since QE2 began. Bernanke is a menace.

      1. Sundog

        I could be entirely wrong, but from reading Brad Seltser the Fed when it blew up its balance sheet in late ’08 into ’09 was making good on the implied government guarantee for Fhoney/Fraudie debt with respect to a certain influential counterparty that had stocked up on massive amounts of AAA USD paper. That counterparty being of course China, which in effect seemed to be demanding to be made good on the F/F paper (which had supplied marginally higher yield) while switching into Treasuries.

        As Martin Wolf points out in the column linked by Yves, QE via Treasuries is a different animal.

  7. Bernard

    what amazes me is the way all the articles says how saving the banks is all that matters. no comment on whether the taxpayers in this or that country want these banks to be saved.

    the focus is on saving the banks, only!! the only focus is on the cost to the bank. never hear the cost to the taxpayer. as if making the banks and investors who gamble all this money HAVE to be saved no matter what. Not even a word about the “little people” who pay for this.

    astounding focus on the “banksters” and not the tax payers who will pay.
    like bankruptcy is not an option for the Banks, only the poor can go the path of bankruptcy.

    some moral equivalency! when these “Banks/investors” waste money, the Banks must ALWAYS be compensated. the poor can be left to their own means, but never the Sacred Banks and their “investors”.

    Socialism for the Rich and Poverty for the Poor.

  8. Ed

    I think AEP is overexcited, more than usual.

    His own country, the UK, is not a member of the Eurozone but is a member of the EU! So its obviously possible for a country to be in the EU and not have the euro. Ireland could withdraw or be pushed out of the eurozone and the EU will survive fine.

    I do think the leaders of the EU made a historical mistake in overexpanding. Greece should never have been included, it really doesn’t share much with the Western European countries except being on the same continent. And if Greece isn’t part of the EU, then the problem of potential Turkish membership doesn’t come up. Also de Gaulle was completely correct in excluding Britain.

    If the organization had limited itself to its original six members, which effectively covered the same territory as Charlemagne’s empire, and developed stronger federal institutions, the crisis would have been limited to Italy. And the stronger institutions could have dealt with the Italian problem.

    They shouldn’t necessarily rush to contract to a more manageable size, but not every small country on the continent has to belong and they shouldn’t be afraid of these countries (Italy excepted) dropping out or being kicked out of one or all of the federal institutions.

  9. Colman Stephenson

    BBC / Robert Peston:

    So an Irish default could create another AIG.

    Thoroughly depressing that nothing has been learned from the 2008 CDS crisis. Its another form of taxpayer support of the banks.

    Do we have any knowledge of the extent CDS exposure to to Irish and/or PIIGS debt?

  10. Sundog

    “The government began thinking more like a private equity firm,” said one banker involved in the process. (The current chief executive of G.M., Daniel F. Akerson, is a former executive of the private equity firm the Carlyle Group.)

    MICHAEL J. de la MERCED and BILL VLASIC, “U.S. Taxpayers Recover Billions in Sale of G.M. Stock”

    I’ll be happier when the international positioning of such a firm, and the products it makes, will be at least mentioned in this sort of article.

    Enough with the “Money Games R Us” perspective. Let’s get real.

  11. Anonymous Comment

    Thanks again Yves, and everyone else, for all your hard work. I so much appreciate your links and most especially your antidotes.

    With today’s cutie this is what popped into my head: “Chickie bow – wow” Lolz. Always an antidote at naked cap.

    Peace and keep up the good work.

Comments are closed.