Links 4/9/11

Federal shutdown averted at last minute Christian Science Monitor.

2011 is not 1995 Washington Post. Obama’s public relations M.O. catches Ezra Klein’s eye.

House votes to repeal “net neutrality” rules Salon, (hat tip: Ed Harrison).

How Secrecy Undermines Audit Reform NYT, Floyd Norris. H/t @EconOfContempt

Elizabeth Warren maintains CFPB is not without oversight Housing Wire. Warren struggles on.

Dimon Says Risk of $3 Billion in European Losses Worth Taking for JPMorgan Bloomberg. JPM’s periphery exposure around $20 Billion; Dimon very confident about his loss figure.

Alert status at the Philippines’ Taal raised Eruptions Blog. One of the world’s nastier volcanoes beginning to look lively.

Homeowner sues mortgage servicer over HAMP denial CNBC. Let’s see if it really does turn into a class action.

Banking Commission wants firewall around retail banking Robert Peston/BBC. Speculation about the IBC report, which is due out on Monday; it looks set to stop short of calling for a breakup of the banks.

Vickers Banking Commission report to back ‘firewalls’ BBC. A slightly different slant on the same info, from a different part of the BBC.

Will Regulation W create a UK “Dodd-Frank-Lite”? Paul Mason. Yet another BBC take, pointing to the possibility that the IBC report will be a damp squib.

Osborne welcomes bank reforms FT. A spot of positioning from George Osborne that might suggest the reforms won’t amount to much.

Bank reforms ‘are high noon’ for coalition The Guardian on the political fallout if the reforms don’t go far enough.

Getting one’s Vickers in a twist FT Alphaville blag a Goldman Sachs report on the possible IBC report outcomes, that assesses their likelihood and their effect on the big banks.

Antidote du jour:

Mountain Lion

More mountain lion links: Lance Norskog writes:

In the Silicon Valley hills there are maybe 25-100 cougars. UCSC started tracking them a couple of years ago. They were afraid that the cats were cut off into little ranges between towns and housing developments. In fact the damn things trot through the sparsest areas at 3am among open territories. And we never see them. Every few years one gets lost or there’s no water, and it shows up in a creek in the suburbs. Apparently one showed up near a shopping mall.

Cub video!

And, tracks in the snow at the bottom of the page. And apparent fossil tracks.

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  1. RebelEconomist

    “Yet another BBC take” Makes you wonder whether the BBC is participating in Britain’s public sector spending cuts as much as it could, doesn’t it, Richard?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Cut and suture – that’s what a responsible doctor does.

      With public money, you cut and paste. If you must cut from the public sector, paste it on the private sector.

      If you must cut domestic jobs, paste them on emerging markets? Oh, well…

  2. Ina Deaver

    Harry Reid couldn’t negotiate his way out of a paper sack with a pair of scissors for an opponent. What the hell is this person doing in a “leadership” position? And as for Obama, he appears to be able to turn anything he touches into a loss.

    Mark my words: the debt ceiling fight is going to be the biggest loser to date for any of us with fewer than $5 million in income, $10 million in assets — and may yet prove to be the beginning of the end for them, too.

    1. Cedric Regula

      I don’t even get what the cause was of this budget battle. The battle to vote up the debt limit is still a month or two away.

      I did check the news last night to see if the United States would be open when I awoke this Saturday morning.

      From the news I was able to discern things like:

      “Aroused Boehner Takes Aim At Planned Parenthood, But Largely Misses The Mark.”

      Timmay has been telling us we will need to vote up the debt limit by end of May. But the whole leverage in this battle was the USG runs out of money last night?

      The cuts agreed to totaled $38B, annualized. The current deficit is running well over $100B/month. That’s less than 2 weeks of money on an annualized basis.

      I don’t get the accounting. Seems we need to do this again next Friday.

    2. lambert strether

      Everything Obama touches turns into a loss? No.

      The military budget is off the table and he threw a few hundred million down the rathole in Libya.

      And the banksters are getting as much as ever.

      It’s only American people who are the losers…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      There is someting seriously wrong with the patient when the only way to get growth is to blow more bubbles.

      One might as well call in a voodoo witch doctor.

  3. lambert strether

    Klein’s article is interesting. Reading between the lines, Obama passed the ball to Boehner, and Boehner took it in for the score. Klein’s mistake is thinking, or at least seeming to think, that the two legacy parties are on different sides. In fact, they’re on the same side.

    1. Cynthia

      Ezra Klein is a well-paid liar for the Democratic Party, so of course he’s gonna lie about how the Democrats and Republicans are as different as night and day.

      And if you’re a skeptic like me you might be tempted to believe Democrats and Republicans act as a team of sorts.

      Kind of like a duo of pickpockets where one guy innocently bumps you while the other guy grabs your wallet.

      Ryan’s over-the-top declaration of thievery is meant to send you running in fear into the trustworthy arms of the President. Predictably Obama will be sitting in wait to steal your health care but convince you at the same time it’s a necessary and acceptable compromise.

      Everyone should recognize this rather obvious play by now.

      1. Home Boy

        running in fear into the trustworthy arms of


        Politicians entirely without Cynthia

        Don’t worry about those rough politician. They won’t hurt you. Why shucks, they’re too busy hurting other people. And you can just bet that none of those other people are foreigners. Why shucks, you not supposed to hurt foreigners. They all working for the homeland security. They the ones patting you down at the airport.

        It’s a wonderful World

      2. Binky Bear

        Except for Planned Parenthood, Medicare, Social Security, Christian Reconstructionist legal fantasies, overt racial and religious posturing and bias, regressive sexism, a penchant for authoritarian proscriptive law, a GOP commitment against workers for rent seekers, multi-national corporations, and wealthy crooks and degenerates.

        I think the dime’s worth of difference is still a heck of a shiny dime.

        1. Cian

          a penchant for authoritarian proscriptive law, a GOP commitment against workers for rent seekers, multi-national corporations, and wealthy crooks and degenerates.

          Not seeing a huge difference between either of them on this score. The rhetoric is different, the results are pretty similar. The Republicans are mostly all talk on the former stuff. Sure they promise it to the dumb base, but only because you can’t really get elected purely on making the very rich richer.

          1. flatTax Cut

            you can’t really get elected purely on making the very rich richer.

            ~~Cian says~

            Yes we can!

            Look at it this way, “If you have enough $$$$ from political activistas who always seem to give exactly the same amount of $$$$ to each candidate just to hedge their bets, then you can buy enough TV ads to hypnotize well programed voters into voting the right way. Yes we can! Albeit it may be easier for an Austrian to become Governor of California since nobody really knew where he was for all those years or what his underworld connections are. We call this the Austrian School of Economics.”

            Yes we can!

    2. reslez

      The fascinating part about all this (in a car accident sort of way) is that the real effect of the cuts will be felt just as the election ramps up — and it becomes apparent the country has sunk into another recession. Obama may not care that he’s doomed himself, since his future is assured either way, but the rest of us aren’t as sanguine.

      $39 billion below 2010 funding levels, factoring in the amount spending would have grown if allowed to in line with the economy, creates a gap of at least $100 billion. The economy will not be able to overcome this. Keep in mind the present negotiations were just round 1. There’s yet more cost-cutting and under-bus-throwing to come.

  4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    One fears it’s when people stop linking stories about Egypt and Tunisia that real change occurs.

    Are we not distracted by events in Yemen, Iraq and Bahrain any more?

  5. dilbert dogbert

    Re: Mt Lion Photo
    Nice photo of a pet. People do try to keep them at home and then decide it is too much trouble and turn them loose. Of course they try to come home to where the food used to be and end up wandering around civilization. Also momma chaises them out when she starts looking for a new boyfriend. The boyfriend will kill the young’uns. The only open ranges are near civilization and the easy pickings of cats and dogs left outside. That is why one ended up near our house in Palo Alto and one ended up in a backyard in Morgan Hill. The chief ranger in Henry Coe State Park spent 20 years in the park and never saw a cat. We saw only one from a car in our 10 years in the park.

  6. KFritz

    Re: Cougars

    80 miles to the north in Berkeley a human-cougar interface ended badly.

    A check of google maps indicates it was approx 1.6 miles/2.5 km from the nearest potential cougar habitat.

    Bonus: a human/cougar interaction story fr/ the Santa Cruz Mountains. The author, Tom Stiensra, is a superb writer on all things outdoors.

  7. Bernard

    yes, Obama is the catcher for the Republicans. Like a fully set up scam, when Boehner send the bill to Obama, Obama and Reid will help Boehner tidy up. Crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s to make sure OUR taxes go to help the Corporate Republican/Democratic Overlords get every last bit of OUR taxes.

    who needs Democrats when there are Democrats like Obama (DINO) and Reid.

    wonder when the Dumb Fuuks will stop voting for the Traitors/Obama/Reid/et al. only one party with two weird wings.

    Putting off the inevitable only makes it worse. I even may vote Republican next time to help speed the end if i though my vote mattered, which it doesn’t living in a Redder than Hell state.

    It really is amazing to see so many stupid white people. my fellow Americans we have been had. Of course, Obama is an Uncle Tom as well. so, there equal opportunity zombies all across the American populace.

  8. Jeff E.

    Ms. Smith,

    I wanted to post a quick note. I read the article about JPM differently. I read it as Dimon and JPM had approximately $20 billion of exposure, but that Dimon expected losses of only $3 billion–i.e., at most a 15-20% haircut (perhaps JPM has scaled down from $20 billion to $17 billion, for example).

    As always, thank you,


    1. Richard Smith Post author

      Well you must be right; I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised if that’s still what Dimon thinks an extreme outcome is; post updated.

  9. bmeisen

    German energy producers association lowers the curtain on nuclear power in Germany:,1518,755974,00.html

    90% of all German commerical energy production is represented by this group – they are not the lunatic fringe. E.on and RWE are members and they are pissed.

    Keep an eye on what happens when the next shipment of nuclear waste enters Germany from France headed for Gorleben.

  10. kevinearick

    the budget battle was just another exercise in misdirection …


    Yes, those trained to seek the artificial comfort provided by the empire will naturally experience severe anxiety as the system collapses; that’s the whole point of the artificial borders creating dependence upon exploitation of unsustainable resources, and the associated monetary expansion of the credit tracks – CONTROL. The slaves and their masters, who chose their positions of their own volition, always end up being removed from the gene pool.

    Jesus was a smart mother f***er; he reset the machine time to 0, fully expecting his disciples to behave the way they did, locking the rotor into a virus. Everything around you is a machine, specifically designed to pull people into the black hole of credit dependence … the assembly line, the fast food, sports, all of it. People are fed to be fattened up for slaughter, just like the food they eat, as they choose the pace of the machine around them rather than making the required effort to think for themselves. This planet can only support a few hundred million people without all those artificialities, which may only collapse over time, and that time is now.

    Yes, we can tow the American Enterprise System into the future, but that requires space travel en-mass, which requires the appropriate launch platform to be built, now. That guy talking about the need for an appropriate horizon to shoot for is correct, but the empire, along with all of its inhabitants, can only see itself in the looking glass. The operators do not have until 2012 to provide yet another plan. All they have is the here and now to take action, to avert Armageddon.

    The passport requirements, the global HR system, Family Law, and all that stuff composing the velvet martial law system must be dismantled immediately. For those on the outside of the empire, it’s six of one, half dozen of the other. It’s easier to start from scratch with far fewer people, but re-batching affects the distance of the next launch, and the whole point is to expand life, diversity, out into the universe. The earth is simply a cocoon, and we cannot stay in the artificial comfort of a cocoon forever.

    Everything is all ready to go. The only question is how many people will be in the fuselage, and how many will be ignited in the tanks, as the new empire lifts off. The more people that fight the outcome, the greater the momentum of disorder fueling it. They are blowing up their own system now, due to the irrationality associated with anxiety inherent to collapsing volume under increasing pressure. Just get into the freaking fuselage, which requires a uniquely useful set of skills.

    Empires are slave states; that’s what they are and that’s what they do, for a very good reason. The kids are going to pilot this thing, whether the existing empire operators like it or not. The old operators can re-take control when the craft is returned to auto-pilot, which is all they are capable of handling.

  11. Elliot X

    Why I Mourn for Glenn Beck


    “Would you rather sit in a traffic jam listening to Robert Segal than Glenn Beck? Why no threatened advertising boycott from PAW against Rachel Maddow, hot for US intervention in Libya…”

  12. Sy Krass

    You can have hyperinflation by other means, all soverien interest rates spiraling high out of controlall at once with all fiat currencies all at once. How does this ahppen? Realizing that if the dollar is worth x, then the euro is worth x-1, the yen is worth x-2 and so on. Anyone actually remember what started the dot come meltdown? The AOL Time warner merger. If AOLTX was worth $43 a share then is worth… well zero. And then nothing stops that runaway train.

  13. ambrit

    Seeing that wonderful photograph of a Cougar leaping at some tasty young thing set me back for a moment. Had I stumbled upon a Porn site by mistake? Just please, please don’t tell me that MILF stands for Multi-lateral International Legislation Foundation!
    BTW, everyone knows that Scrapers are Bottom of the Barrel.

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