Links 10/12/11

Japanese inventor buoyed by demand for tsunami rescue pod Reuters (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Over-60s safe sex class in Portsmouth cancelled over ‘lack of interest’ BBC. This is an obvious pick-up opportunity, and so few takers?

Hungary’s default – the first victim, Erste bank Golem XIV (hat tip reader Crocodile Chuck)

S&P and Fitch downgrade a slew of Spanish banks as Europe talks EuroTARP Ed Harrison

Goldman Sachs let off paying £10m interest on failed tax avoidance scheme Guardian (hat tip reader Crocodile Chuck)

BSkyB investor urges Murdoch to go Financial Times (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

Addicted to tax havens: The secret life of the FTSE 100 Tax Justice (hat tip reader Reader of Tea Leaves). Nicholas Shaxson’s summary: “98 of the FTSE 100 companies are in tax havens.”

Europe’s banks face 9% capital rule Financial Times

First aid is not a cure Martin Wolf, Financial Times

The historic parallels for trade war MacroBusiness

US currency bill passes Senate vote Financial Times

Trade Pacts Advance in Congress Wall Street Journal. Notice the mention of protests.

Obama and the Corruption of Big Oil Bill McKibben, TomDispatch

Hamiltonians in “Vanity Fair” Get Whiskey Rebellion, Tea Party, Hamilton Himself Way Wrong Wiliam Hogeland (hat tip reader Thomas R)

Here Are The Viral Subway Ads That Slam Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, And The Mets Clusterstock (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

The worst OWS moment so far Joan Walsh, Salon (hat tip reader b)

Over 50 arrested at Occupy Boston demonstration Associated Press (hat tip Lambert Strether)

Democrats Seek to Own ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Movement ABC (hat tip Timothy K)

Goldman May Drop Bank Status: Hilder Bloomberg

Secret Informant Surfaces in BNY Currency Probe Wall Street Journal

Obama Endorses Sarbanes-Oxley Reform To Make Small IPOs Easier Clusterstock. This is ridiculous. Do you know what happens with small stocks? Pump and dump (and I’ve seen this at closer range than I would like. I had a former client get involved by having his private company merged into a public company controlled by small stock low lifes. They ran it from $1 to about $12 twice, and then it went back to under $2 and stayed there).

Why Countrywide bankruptcy likely won’t solve BofA MBS problems Alison Frankel, Reuters (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

The Woman Who Knew Too Much Suzanna Andrews, Vanity Fair. On why Warren didn’t get the nod at the CFPB. Gives a good picture as to who here friends and enemies were, and in particular, how much Geithner had it in for her. There are a couple of real whoppers in here.

Antidote du jour (hat tip reader furzy mouse):

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  1. LucyLulu

    Re: Democrats Seek to Own OWS Movement

    When the Tea Party first started it was also angry at Wall Street and the bailouts. Once it aligned itself with the GOP party, that message got lost in the shuffle. That being said, I don’t see the protestors showing much interest in the democratic party. Interestingly enough, some GOP leaders are backtracking on their criticisms of the movement. I hope the protestors can retain their independence from outside influence. Reading the later article on Elizabeth Warren, it occurred to me that Dr. Warren and the OWS movement would go together like Republicans and tax cuts.

    1. Jesse

      “When the Tea Party first started it was also angry at Wall Street and the bailouts.”

      Indeed. One of the most amusing things about this was when Jon Stewart ran clips of FOX News hosts praising Tea Party protesters for opposing bailouts, and then splicing it together with their (opposite) reaction to OWS.

      That original grievance also points to the potential for in-roads with different groups of people provided that the OWS protesters avoids becoming a stupid “left vs right” thing. Matt Taibbi said there’s Ron Paul supporters at the New York protest – no idea how many or if they’re still there, but a healthy sign if there are.

      1. LeeAnne

        Why is it a good thing for any presidential candidate to be pushed onto OWS at this stage of the game? Seriously. I don’t understand that thinking.

        Ron Paul is a one trick pony against the FED. Being against the FED is a good thing. Does it follow that a ‘libertarian’ like Ron Paul has potential to be a good president. I don’t think so.

        1. citalopram

          If it’s between Ron Paul and Barrack Obama, I’ll vote Paul no questions asked. He’s the only one who’ll bring the troops home and roll back the security state. In short, he’s pro civil liberties which no other candidate is.

          He economic beliefs are an abomination, but he’s still miles apart from the mainstream candidates because he’s not one of THEM.

          1. LeeAnne

            My point is that ending the fed could be the most important thing to do at this point in the finance collapse; and it would be nice if that were the unifying message taken up by OWS now.

            Its, however, sabotage to try pushing any particular political candidate onto these demonstrations. What the candidate themselves have to say is another story -from their own pulpits, not on the backs of these demonstrators.

            I wouldn’t encourage Ron Paul signs or the signs of any other political personality.

        2. Jesse

          You completely misunderstood me. I’m not saying that Paul should be “pushed” on the crowd. I’m saying that Paul fans being there is a good sign b/c it shows that the protests are attracting people other than left wingers.

          1. LucyLulu

            But libertarians are also leading the pack to demonize the OWS protestors. I just got an alleged OWS “list of demands” from a libertarian friend that included things like $20/hr minimum wage that has been circulating many of the libertarian sites. It is being cited as proof that the OWS protestors are socialist ‘whackos’ and looking for freebies. On the official OWS website itself, the list is denounced as having been posted by one protestor and not representing the collective group, which has NO list of demands.

            While I’m no fan of Bernanke and the Fed, ending the Fed and giving control of our money supply to Congress scares me even more. I think we’d be jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

          2. Jesse

            @Lucy I don’t doubt that that’s a possibility as well – the OWS protesters have had some clear demands (end to corporate corruption/domination of government) and some quite unclear ones as well (there are elements within the group advocating socialism, for example, which libertarians would vehemently oppose.) Mis-characterization/mis-understanding frequently occurs under such circumstances, and can be due to confusion instead of treachery.

            There are also democrats/liberal groups (MoveOn) trying to highjack the movement for their own personal gain – do you view them as a problem as well?

            There are clearly inroads that can be made among libertarians, greens, and progressive democrats here such as: ending extremely expensive (and immoral) foreign wars/foreign military deployments (700 bases in 150 countries, etc), ending “crony capitalism”, bringing more transparency in the Fed, restoring the “rule of law”, and rolling-back government civil liberties infringements due to the War on Terror. If the movement moves in this direction, I’m excited at the possibilities such a broad-based coalition could bring — which is why I’m glad there are Ron Paul types there, even if there are some at home that are opposed to any alliance that involves the left.

          3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Have we been so well trained to go after each other, instead of the problems that need to be addressed?

            Is this the strategy to end #OWC – divide and conquer?

        3. Otter

          OWS will succeed if it dissolves, into a cloud of countless separate persons, talking and _listening_ to scary sounding other persons.

          Otherwise they will fail.

        4. Otter

          Krugman, who obviously believes and hopes his heart is in the right place, will succeed if he sews up his lips and goes down to listen and to learn.

          Otherwise he will fail, and his heart will continue to yearn, unrequited, after the right place.

      2. Tom Whipple

        There were Ron Paul supporters at Occupy Kansas City last Sunday. I wasn’t counting, but I saw bumper stickers on trucks and buttons on people.

      3. Tom g

        You mean libertarians and progressives agree on 60-70% of the issues even though neither would like to admit it? Now if only paul could get a couple of big fat endorsements on a few prominent blogs here and there, we’d be in business.

        1. Jesse

          Ron Paul and Ralph Nader seemed to admit it in this co-interview from 2008:

          “Today was a historic day, because we (Ron Paul, the candidate for the Green Party, and the candidate for Constitutional Party, me, and Bob Barr) all agreed on four major areas” –

          He goes on to list foreign policy, privacy, deficit spending being used for wars, brining transparency to the Fed, etc.

          1. Tom g

            Ah, thank you Jesse. I had seen that. My comment was more a flaccid jab at some of the masters of the internet.

    2. frobn

      Democrat ownership of OWS is both the Democrat and mainstream media fantasy. No one else besides the repubs are buying it.

  2. dearieme

    Ms Warren should abandon her ill-advised run for a Senate seat and seek the Democratic Party’s nomination for President. That’d larn ’em.

    1. Dan B

      Running for president as a Green was -for shock value- suggested to her at one of her August meetings with supporters in Mass. With OWS gaining steam her run for the senate looks increasingly jejune because her stance toward it must be filtered through the strainer of a campaign. How long before the OWSers in Boston call her out on this?

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        We’ve said repeatedly she should primary Obama. It would widen the discourse. But OWS is having that effect, so this may not be as useful as it would have been. And all the evidence is coming in that she is not that progressive.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It makes you wonder if we really know our newly-arrived public figures, or even those who have been around for a while.

          1. Barbyrah

            Both Yves and MLTPB: Insightful comments – agree with both. Wasn’t convinced from the very beginning Warren was somehow outside of the traditional corporate/ political “System” to any great degree. Yet when we hear a catchy phrase or see a You Tube that’s dramatic…a new savior is born. Meaning: We seem to project onto people what we want them to be (sometimes as a direct result of the ways those people present themselves, or more accurately, sell themselves).

            Personally, I’d trust the folks who’ve been camped out at OWS a thousand percent more to “do the right thing” than someone who’s gotten experience in how to play “The Game.” No matter how many times she’s taken Geithner to task.

    2. tyaresun

      I have been saying for more than a year now “Warren for President”! Even if she does not win, she can bring all the facts to the debates and embarrass the status quo candidates. It will be like OWS crashing the presidential debates.

      1. just me

        Agree, she should be running for president.

        otoh, about her bringing her ideas and challenging the other candidates to get real, it’d be great, but think of what the media did to Howard Dean and Mike Gravel. Dean was made a viral laughingstock because of the way the mike picked up only him and not the noise in the room, and Gravel was excluded from the Dem primary debates by Chuck Todd/NBC before a single primary vote had been cast. Gravel was scoring points off the major candidates, especially Hillary at a time when she looked like the anointed candidate, exposing their fails, and he got the chute. Kucinich stayed in longer, but even he got excluded from the later debates and when he sued in court to be included he lost. I hope OWS’s grassroots pass-it-on messaging can bypass the corporate media funnel, but…I don’t know that it can. It just needs to. Our elections are frauds from the start.

  3. Jim Haygood

    ‘Devil is in the details’ — mwa ha ha ha, that’s actually pretty damned funny:

    Cain said his plan to scrap the tax code and replace it with 9 percent individual, corporate and sales taxes is superior to his rivals’ because it’s simple.

    “9-9-9 will pass,” the former Godfather’s Pizza chief executive said, “because it has been well-studied and well-developed. It starts with — unlike your proposals — throwing out the current tax code. Continuing to pivot off the current tax code is not going to boost this economy.”

    Other Republican candidates criticized or ridiculed the idea. “I thought it was the price of a pizza when I first heard it,” former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. said.

    Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann hinted at something more sinister: “When you take the 9-9-9 plan and turn it upside down, I think the devil is in the details,” she said. The number 666 is associated by some Christians with the devil.

    Romney said the proposal was too simple to solve the nation’s economic problems. “To get this economy restructured fundamentally, to put America on a path to be the most competitive place in the world to create jobs, is going to take someone who knows how to do it,” said Romney, who has proposed a 59-point economic plan. “And it is not one or two things.”

    Herman Cain is the left’s worst nightmare — an articulate, successful black guy who escaped the limousine liberals’ Democratic plantation, and sneers at their welfare state.

    Some of Cain’s social views are damned scary, but he’s gonna leave a mark. Chucking the disgraceful tax code is a winnah!

    Stuck with the tainted nonentity Obama, the left finds itself fighting rapidly-multiplying, hydra-headed monsters: the Tea Party here, Cain over there, and Ron Paul punching through the MSM blackout — OH MY!

    So many threats, so little ammo!

    Romney’s 59 points may be two too many. Cut it to 57, dude, and call it steak sauce.

    1. Maximilien

      Herman Cain is the Repubs’ idea of a joke. He’s leading the polls? Guffaw! He’s a serious contender? Chuckle, chuckle! He’s not the Repubs “token” black candidate? Tee-hee-hee!

      The Repubs and the media will keep him in the race until he’s of no more use to them. Then it’ll be back to the pizzeria for Mr. Cain.

  4. Barbara Roper

    Re: Obama Endorses Sarbanes-Oxley Reform To Make Small IPOs Easier

    SOX 404 was never implemented for companies with market caps under $75 million, so how could it be responsible for the change in percentage of small company IPOs between the 1990s and today? And even if you believed that to be true, how could a desire to promote small company IPOs justify making accounting fraud controls optional at all but the biggest behemoths? And how will restoring the practices that inflated the tech stock bubble in the 1990s produce sustainable job growth? That’s right, it won’t. But it might be good for a few campaign contributions.

  5. Ignim Brites

    Interesting article about Erste Bank. I guess we would have heard a lot more about this a while back if New York banks were selling CDS on Hungarian debt big time.

  6. Typing Monkey

    Here’s a story that is…bizarre? Sureal? A very, very bad PR job?

    Favourite quote:

    “Options Group’s Karp said he met last month over tea at the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York with a trader who made $500,000 last year at one of the six largest U.S. banks.

    The trader, a 27-year-old Ivy League graduate, complained that he has worked harder this year and will be paid less. The headhunter told him to stay put and collect his bonus.

    “This is very demoralizing to people,” Karp said. “Especially young guys who have gone to college and wanted to come onto the Street, having dreams of becoming millionaires.”


    Bloomberg’s stories have been really going downhill over the last two years or so…Anyway, this particualr story reminds me of the NYTimes piece from 2009:

    1. Typing Monkey

      Whatever I grew up believing about reality is becoming severely distorted…

      You couldn’t make this up. According to the Belgian press, Dexia was sunk mainly by a single trade, which we hereby would like to nominate as the ‘most stupid trade of the decade’.

      Apparently the bank was short German bunds in the middle of the euro area crisis, via otc interest rate swaps. Originally, these swaps were meant to hedge the bank against interest rate risk on its other assets, mainly loans to cities and municipalities. However, somehow the bank’s managers ‘forgot’ to hedge the hedge, and ended up with an €46 billion margin call. That’s what is usually politely referred to as a ‘slight lapse in risk management’.

  7. Jim Haygood

    Over-60s safe sex class in Portsmouth cancelled over ‘lack of interest’ BBC. This is an obvious pick-up opportunity, and so few takers?

    * waves hand *

    ME, ME, ME!

    Post-menopausal women are smokin’ hot. I’m putting mine in her little black dress, wobbly high heels, torn sheer stockings, plenty of mascara, and takin’ her to the ‘Ho-Down, Throw-Down.’ (I am not making this up.),-Throw-Down%22/189597294436461

    1. Binky the Bear

      makes me think of Alan Arkin’s character in Little Miss Sunshine. Don’t take heroin when you’re young, wait until you are old. Safe sex at 60 plus? Why not straight to the unwrapped passion?

  8. Hugh

    Goldman may drop bank status. Oh the humanity! Like Goldman and Morgan Stanley ever were banks, then bank holding companies in anything other than name. Apparently a few of the Goldmanites are sounding a little pissy about the Volcker rule. This seems to me to be another example of bankster (I do think GS does qualify for that appellation) scorched earth policy toward any regulation, because unless something has changed traders can still get around the Volcker rule.

    1. Typing Monkey

      They are *not* going to drop it, because they know damn well that they wil never get it back, and they know that they need it now. The latter part of the article is far more believable than the first half, I think.

      Either this is some reporter’s bizarre fantasy, or else it’s some stupid negotiating through the press tactic (although from the govt’s perspective, the downside for GS walking away is basically nil)

  9. ep3

    hey yves, i just want to throw out a few comments on the e. warren article.
    first, in regards to the rose garden announcement of the leader of cfpb, obama cries about how lobbyists were spending all this money to stop reform. But apparently that is not a problem. If i was trying to turn on a lamp, and the lamp was unplugged, thinking along his lines, i should complain about the lamp being unplugged and i should use a different wattage light bulb. but it shows the stupidity of the american public that everyone knows how lobbyists are corrupting the system (yes, some lobby for good), yet no one cares to see it fixed.
    Second, excerpts of Ms. Warren’s speech is discussed about how we built a middle class. But I believe the wealthy elites that run things do not want a middle class. Because people with enough money to support themselves then become politically involved and start demanding more of their gov’t and society. This works against the standard norm of wealthy elite running things.
    I wish Ms. Warren would run for president. Maybe this senate thing is a setup for that eventually.

  10. oliverks

    Sarbanes-Oxley reform does make sense. I am not sure how to do it, but the current system appears to penalize legitimate companies in an attempt to stop some of the crap that goes on.

    A system that shifts the burden towards the CEO and Board of Directors of fraudulent companies would make more sense.

    1. Barbara Roper

      The Jobs Council proposal would either delay or make optional all SOX requirements, including those designed to make CEOs and CFOs accountable for the accuracy of financial reports, require corporate boards to have independent audit committees, require the audit committee to hire and fire the auditor and pre-approve non-audit services, and subject executive bonuses based on fraudulent financial reporting to claw-back penalties. So this proposal would do the opposite of what you suggest is needed. Moreover, even the Act’s most controversial provision, SOX 404, has provided benefits that outweigh its costs. It has, among other things, reduced the number of costly financial restatements at SOX compliant companies and reduced their cost of capital. Is it perfect in every detail? Hardly. But the proposals to revise SOX have nothing to do with improving it and everything to do with providing a sop to business interests who have opposed it from its inception.

  11. Hugh

    I agree with frobn that a Democratic takeover of OWS seems to be a MSM fantasy. I saw briefly last night Chris Matthews, admittedly one of the most vacuous of the babbling MSM hosts, pushing this line on to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, a stalwart neoliberal Obama Democrat. It never occurred to him that OWS might not be interested in the Democrats.

    Re First Aid is not a Cure, Wolf’s cure isn’t a cure either. Yes, it is, in part, a balance of payments issue but then he falls back into the standard hack rhetoric of irresponsible players, etc. He doesn’t see Germany’s mercantilist policy as part of the problem. Bizarrely, he thinks that Ireland is a success story. And again he completely misses why anyone should want to bail out Europe’s rich kleptocrats and be willing to see their incomes and standards of living fall to accomplish this.

  12. Susan the other

    Good article on Elizabeth Warren. I still find it puzzling how Obama does business. He clearly believes in her at some level. If the banks are miraculously rehabilitated, more like resurrected, (which is what Obama is trying to do) it will hurt her campaign. She’s putting herself out on a limb. I’d like to see her win the Senate because she is so straightforward. And I’m just so sick of all the b.s. It would be a shame to lose a woman who is willing to slug it out, “leaving teeth and blood on the floor,” to more of the same old political smokescreen solutions. But I guess she knows what she is doing.

  13. Anonymous Jones

    I very much enjoyed the “Whiskey Rebellion” article, though it took a rather languid approach to getting at the real point.

    In my opinion, I could care less how many people in the 18th century believed this or that. I simply don’t see how it is relevant that there was a man named Hamilton who believed this and a man named Madison who believed that. I’m sure a woman named Mabel believed in ghosts. It just doesn’t matter.

    Founding fathers. Intent. Worthless.

    But this quibble aside, *why* this man Hamilton believed what he did and what policies were installed to create his vision and the public reaction to those policies are all very interesting and present a lot of evidence and data that might be applicable to today’s issues. The last part of the article is very instructive in this regard, and I applaud the effort.

    1. Otter

      Americans of all ideological stripes, from money-grasping billionaires and loud-mouth Tea Partiers, to wild-eyed nihilists and hard-core atheists, all consider an argument invalid unless it contains snappy (mis)quotations from one or another Sacred Text. The Christian Old Testament and the Founding Fathers are merely the most fecund and popular.

      1. JTFaraday

        Maybe, but the impact that Madison and Jefferson had on the 19th century by battling it out with Hamilton, and *taking it to the public* was HUGE. It also produced the first official partisan division.

        Unless we don’t think the past has any light to shed on the present.

      2. JTFaraday

        Anyway, the most nit-picking person in this scenario is Hoageland and he isn’t an originalist, he’s an historian.

  14. Hugh

    Warren is an Establishment player. Problem is that the Establishment is the problem. So there is always going to be a lot less there there with her than people hope for and the country needs.

    The only real way that Warren could exercise leadership commensurate with people’s expectations would be to run against Obama and the Democrats. But that is contradicted by her working in and for Obama, her praise of him even after he dumped her on the CFPB, and her current run A) for one of the most useless organs of government, the Senate, B) as a Democrat.

    Warren has been signaling for a couple of years now that her goals are pretty limited. It is only left wing despair and desperation that inflate them and her into the next savior that ultimately disappoints.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      I agree with Hugh. The Vanity Fair piece is a puff piece telling liberals what they want to hear about Warren–that finally (Kucinich, Grayson) Warren will be the Democratic candidate that really convinces the party to stand up for the middle class.

      But Elizabeth Warrren has made it clear that when push comes to shove she supports the neo-liberal status quo and is no real threat to the plutocrats. Indeed, she is proving her worth to them because she has bamboozled so many people into trusting her intentions. If she was indeed sincere in her stated goal to enact real reform via the CFPB she would not have countenanced Obama’s betrayals. If she wanted real reform she would realize that Obama and the Democrats are thwarting her efforts and would organize against them, not join them. Instead, she appears to be using her reputation simply to get a higher payout as she sells out (did she leverage this in to a Senate position?).

      Bay humbug. These puff pieces make me recoil. I want nothing to do with the Democrats. They are liars and crooks and that apparently includes Elizabeth Warren.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        I didn’t read the piece that way at all. It read that Warren was a very accomplished person who was played for a fool by the Administration and still doesn’t get it (as in it would never seriously buck the banking industry). On the first page, it calls the Obama farewell a “Judas kiss”. You don’t get much clearer in a VF format than that.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Well, that’s the way I read it. But I admit I am very cynical.

          The puff piece, as I see it, really takes off in the last couple paragraphs, starting with this gem:

          “But a new Obama appears to have suddenly emerged—one who, perhaps propelled by his sagging approval ratings and the coming campaign, has suddenly stopped compromising “with himself,” as The New York Times recently editorialized. An Obama who—with his jobs plan and his call for economic fairness in cutting the deficit, including raising taxes on corporations and the rich—seems, for the moment, to be taking a stand for Main Street.”

          And then it goes on how Warren if fighting for the middle class and taking the fight to the belly of the beast (the U.S. Senate), as the corporatocracy and the Republicans are fighting her every stop of the way . . . [puke]

          The VF piece does show that she was played a fool by the administration and still doesn’t get it . . . that she got kissed by Judas . . . but I’m not looking for Jesus in a political figure and I don’t know if I buy that cover story either (this is an all too typical alibi–and did I mention I’m cynical?). If supposed allies are betraying her I would hope she defends herself rather than climbing up on the cross. If Judas is betraying her she should point her finger at him so all those that follow her can see who is betraying her and betraying her purported cause. Instead, she is colluding with these people, and actually doing harm by steering people into the clutches of the Democratic party. Just as this article is attempting to do.

  15. Marley

    RE: Democrats looking to own #OWS
    And I hope they meet the same fate as the GOP did when it tried to ‘own’ the Tea Party. Look at the results – numpties like Cain & Bachmann actually get to sit at the table of supposedly intelligent discourse. Look at how the TP (for the GOP’s bung-hole – B&B 4ever!) has made the GOP establishment squirm at time by forcing a radically stupid agenda: everything from the ridonkulous birther issue to the zero-out-of-100-score-on-an-econ-exam “debt-ceiling” debacle (because of course, gov’t debt is like credit card debt).
    Now imagine if you will … close your eyes and cue your favourite slow jam if you must … if #OWS ends up turning the tables and taking over the Democratic party like (Trekker alert) the Borg did with Picard. Imagine all the gloriously intelligent discourse that occurs here now being able to inform the DP agenda – MMT, job guarantee, the elimination of SDI’s (Bill Black for head of the SEC!), the salient redistribution of national income back to wages and employment. It would be awesome. I have no problem with Dem’s trying to speak to #OWS by their presence. I would rather see a slow burn whereby #OWS gives birth to new (or transfused) blood withing the DP.

  16. readerOfTeaLeaves

    Holy cats, the Guardian just published a big can of worms about the WSJ basically setting up bogus accounts to funnel money was basically being used to purchase up copies of their own paper — thereby making it really confusing what the actual reader and circulation figures for the WSJ actually are… (!)

    If I were an advertiser in the WSJ, I’d be furious.


    1. JTFaraday

      “The whistleblower was then made redundant.”

      But of course.

      Well, the whole idea that journalism has any kind of standards is a farce by now, isn’t it? Advertisers (and whistleblowers) don’t know this too?

      1. Maximilien

        It’s gotten to the point where newspapers and TV don’t care anymore if they make money. They’re just a cost of doing business for the elite and a way of keeping its few and select readers and viewers informed on what is considered to be “correct” opinion. Sort of like a college newspaper or radio station.

  17. alex

    re: “The Woman Who Knew Too Much” [about Elizabeth Warren]

    Great article! Even the title is perfect. As the rest of the article makes clear, she’s hated precisely because she knows too much, both about financial arcana and the people who play with it. Best of all she doesn’t hesitate to call BS. She even made Turbo Timmy dirty his drawers by calmly asking about what he did with all that taxpayer money.

    If I were any more conspiracy minded I’d predict she’d wind up at the bottom of a river.

  18. Otter

    Hogeland says, “As such, the piece distills (ha ha!) all the many ways in which highly informed, well-regarded authors can so easily, almost reflexively, abuse history, […]”.

    Well, of course. Johnson and Kwak were taught the same bland background disinformation as all of us. They may be brilliant and frequently accurate within their specialty, but their brilliance and accuracy is imbedded, sometimes dangling, in the common American caricature of the world.

  19. Finance Addict

    Tom DiNapoli, the New York Comptroller has a new report out on how many jobs Wall Street stands to lose this year. The job loss has gotten major press, with the MSM eating up the sob story. But if you read more closely you’ll see that it’s *still* a good time to be on Wall Street:

  20. Hugh

    Having read Suzanna Andrews’ Vanity Fair article on Warren, I have to say that it misses key points, most notably that Obama was never going to name Warren to head the CFPB. I mean all you have to do is look at how long he dragged out the process of not naming her. If he had wanted to, he could have laid down a marker early on, backing her. He didn’t. He pulled a classic Obama. He dragged out the process as long as he could and then did what he always meant to do. Andrews also takes Dodd-Frank at face value as real financial reform. That is a highly dubious position to take and has been largely debunked by blogs like Naked Capitalism. Andrews also uses Frank for one of her authorities. Frank has always been right up there with Dodd and Schumer vying for the title of biggest whore for the financial industry in Congress. For an article on Warren and the CFPB, Andrews spends no time on what the plusses and minusses were of the CFPB that made it into Dodd-Frank.

    I concede the article is well-written and tells a nice story but I don’t think it tells us anything we didn’t already know.

  21. aletheia33

    amy goodman: “what occupy wall street can do for barack obama”:

    i would really like to hear nc readers’ (and yves’s of course) take on this piece. i can’t figure out what she’s really trying to say here, other than the obvious, that a mass movement in the streets does affect a president’s decisions and if there isn’t one, we’re out of luck. also she says:

    “Richard Haass, head of the establishment Council of Foreign Relations, said of the protesters, ‘They’re not serious.’ He asked why they are not talking about entitlements. Perhaps it is because, to the 99%, social security and Medicare are not the problem, but rather growing inequality, with the 400 richest Americans having more wealth than half of all Americans combined. And then there is the overwhelming cost and toll of war, first and foremost the lives lost, but also the lives destroyed, on all sides.”

    i don’t get where she thinks social security and Medicare are not the problem to the “99%”. and how is it that these two concerns are so distinct an issue from growing inequality? i thought they were pretty closely associated.

    i don’t follow democracy now and i don’t know anything about goodman’s background or declared mission, but if this is how she opinionates given a page in the guardian, i have to say i’m not impressed with her as a writer here–her ideas are not clear, and she is not direct. what’s the real message (if any)?

    1. Hugh

      I think her point is that for the Beltway and the elites Social Security, Medicare, and Meidcaid are the problem. For the 99%, these are at a minimum about social justice and the real problem is wealth inequality.

      Her op-ed has a more fundamental problem though. She is recycling the hack meme that if only enough pressure was placed on Obama he would respond and do the right thing, for the 99% and the country. But this isn’t remotely true. First, because Obama is a conservative. And as even Goodman admits his Administration is a continuation of the Bush Presidency. Second, once Obama is re-elected the 99% will have exactly zero leverage over him. If it gets to the point of torches and pitchforks marching on the White House, it will be more than a little late for Obama to switch agendas.

      Goodman’s whole concept is wrong. Obama is not some guy wanting to do the right thing but needing a push. As I said, he is a conservative and he has no intention of acting in any other way. Forget that the half-hearted campaign rhetoric and gestures he is trotting out for the rubes. It’s not serious. It’s not meant to be. I’m just surprised that at this late date Goodman is still trying to peddle this line.

    2. just me

      Did media goblins tweak her picture? She looks like a caricature of herself. One eye bug, one eye smeared, and a bright line of lipstick — Amy Goodman doesn’t wear gaudy makeup, does she? Ha ha, hide the Dalmatians.

      Click on her name, see the normal picture, then do control minus several times to reduce it as small as the one on the article page — see the diff? I think the small photo on the article page has been, uh, defaced.

      (Control 0 gets you back to normal)

  22. Hugh

    No much mention here of the Nobel in Economics. Probably just as well as it was awarded to two quacks. Thomas Sargent dealt in rational expectations and is one of the godfathers of the fraud that is freshwater economics. Christopher Sims, the co-winner, put a mathematical cast to the medicine show hocus-pocus-ery.

    Those behind the Nobels, and yes I know this is technically the Sveriges Riksbank Prize, seem hellbent on discrediting them, what with giving Obama the Peace Prize. But could anything be more out of tune.

    Here are a couple of links:

  23. Jack Parsons

    Over-60’s safe sex: the problem is not charging for it. If you charge $1, people will respect it.

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