Links 8/26/11

The Surprising Science of Smiles Wired (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

Retreat Back to Regulatory Capture: US FDA, NIH, Department of Health and Human Services All Back Off Health Care Renewal (hat tip reader Francois T)

A Ten-Year Check-Up Shows Gene Therapy Patients are Alive and Well Discover (hat tip reader Robert M)

Greenpeace finds toxic chemicals in top brand name clothes Raw Story (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

US east coast braces for Hurricane Irene Financial Times

From corsets for comedians to bespoke bras: Rigby & Peller has seen it all Guardian (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

How more than $1billion given to 9/11 charities by well meaning Americans has been frittered away Daily Mail (hat tip reader May S)

First-ever foreclosure in billionaires’ block as recession finally catches up with New York’s mega rich Daily Mail (hat tip reader May S). This is big news by NYC standards. 740 Park is one of THE most exclusive buildings in the city. You have to have huge liquid assets relative to the maintenance to be allowed to buy in (it’s a coop, so the finances of all buyers are subject to review and approval by the board).

Rich EU Members Lose Patience with the ‘Olive Zone’ Der Spiegel (hat tip reader May S)

Millionaires and Billionaires in France ask for a Tax Increase, and More TruthOut (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Nonprofit Head of College Board Paid More Than Harvard’s Leader Bloomberg (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

A summer tale of three cities Financial Times (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

Market Chaos ‘Potentially Dangerous for Humanity’ Der Spiegel (hat tip reader May S)

Roach on the Zombie American Consumer and Debt Forgiveness Ed Harrison

Refinancing Malarkey Adam Levitin, Credit Slips

Homeowner Associations in Need of Cash Sue to Force Foreclosures Bloomberg (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

Antidote du jour (hat tip reader furzy mouse):

Robins: 4 Eggs, 4 Weeks from Fred Margulies on Vimeo.

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  1. stibbert

    sweet antidote video! that last emptynester seemed a bit puzzled when no-one was around to eat the grub he brought…

  2. evodevo

    The antidote was great !! A word to suburban homeowners – that “baby bird” that “fell out of the nest” is NOT an orphan/neglected. The parents are right there, watching you, and still feeding the “baby”, albeit not in a fixed location. Leave it alone, unless the cat is about to get it. Put it in a bush and go away, it will be cared for!

  3. Ben Ross

    From the article about homeowner associations:

    >> Palm Aire Gardens also won title to a unit with a $184,410 mortgage after Wells Fargo failed to mount a defense because it no longer owned the loan, a transfer that wasn’t reflected in property records, said Tom Goyda, a spokesman. The bank would have defended the mortgage if it hadn’t sold the loan, he said.

    I’d love to see comment from some of the experts here on the implications of this.

  4. Patricia

    Re 9/11 charities: There is too much fraud everywhere these days; it is status quo and no longer news. Genuine “news” is now about those who still enjoy a good job well done for their community.

    Maybe journalists could deliver their stories backwards. Investigate the groups where integrity still rules and then finish their pieces by extensive lists of offensive organizations (by name, address, and brief history).

    1. Kevin Murphy

      The regional food bank in your area is often a good charity with little waste. At least ours is.

  5. Stefan

    Paul Woolley is on the right track, as seen in “Market Chaos” interview. His views need to be amplified in some way.

    1. RebelEconomist

      Note the discontinuity though between Paul Woolley’s idea that the banks are making big profits by selling opaque assets to the buy side, and then lose money when the assets go wrong. Surely the buy side ought to lose the most, so why would they come back for more? There is something missing there. I know Paul Woolley a little, and have always been a bit puzzled by his motivation. His own fund’s rehabilitation showed what could be done.

      In my view, some kind of rigorous accounting and cushioned liquidation is needed to ensure that the responsible parties bear losses as much as they are able first, before drawing on public money to bail them out or using monetary policy to prop up asset prices. Such liquidation might well curtail moral hazard to the point that the existing financial system would work fine, because its own participants would police it.

  6. Jim A

    OT to today’s posts but relevant to earlier ones…
    One argument supporting the idea that a defaulting borrower should have standing to dispute chain of title/securitization issues is that in a full recourse state they have a vested interest in the forecloser getting the largest dollar amount for the property. Possible title problems can greatly diminish the value of the property, meaning that the FB will end up owing far more than they would otherwise. So they certainly have a right to make sure not only that the entity foreclosing has the right to do so, but that other possible title claims are resolved at that time.

  7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    It looks like it will be a ‘Thirty Years’ struggle between the Butter Zone and the Olive Zone.

  8. Hugh

    Denninger and my politics are very different but he has an enjoyably caustic read of Bernanke’s Jackson Hole speech.

    However, he misses this howler:

    I have already noted the central role of the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 in sparking the recession.

    The NBER puts the start of the recession at December 2007. The financial meltdown hit September 15, 2011 with the demise of Lehman. So Bernanke is saying that the recession was sparked by events that happened more than 8 months later. Maybe the temporal paradox is what makes current economic conditions so intractable or maybe it’s having a Fed Chairman who can’t keep straight even the simplest facts about the economy.

    1. Rex

      “September 15, 2011 with the demise of Lehman”

      I think Hugh obviously meant 2008 rather than 2011.

  9. propertius

    Perhaps Mr. (or the soon to be ex-Mrs.) Swig should take in borders. I’m sure that would relieve the neighbors of their foreclosure fears.

  10. reslez

    Re: Refinancing Malarkey

    Yes, it’s obvious to all and sundry that a large scale plan to refinance homeowners wouldn’t actually help many homeowners. The point of this plan is to get these homes on new paper — clean paper — then foreclose.

    Why would the Obama administration suddenly want to help homeowners? No, he wants to appear to help them while actually bailing out the banks from their paper problem.

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