Links 10/19/11

General Mills Facing Class Action Lawsuit Over “Fruit Snacks” Full of Sugars, Partially Hydrogenated Oil, & Dyes Center for Science in the Public Interest (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

blogging is a system of control L’Hôte (hat tip Richard Smith). I don’t recognize the world he discusses, but he focuses on political blogging, not finance/econ blogging. But I also wonder whether this idyllic past/sordid present contrast is overdone.

Flooding near Bangkok has taken about 25 percent of the world’s hard disk manufacturing capacity offline ThaiVisa (hat tip reader furzy mouse). The perils of extended supply chains.

What’s the CIA doing at NYPD? Depends whom you ask Associated Press (hat tip reader aletheia33)

European Banks Vow $1 Trillion Shrinkage Bloomberg. Threats! Brinksmanship! Notice how they refuse to cut pay as a way to bolster equity, which is what an old Wall Street partnership would have done. Proof that the authorities goofed massively in not throwing a few boards and executives out to put some fear in the rest of these miscreants. As all good Post Keynesians know, since loans create deposits, shrinking loans will shrink deposits, and that is not likely to lead to happy outcomes (not that we expect them, but the Eurocrats do).

There is no sunlit future for the euro Martin Wolf, Financial Times. Wolf is in high dudgeon mode, which is always fun.

Mass Strike Shuts Greece Down Wall Street Journal

Spain Rating Cut for Third Time Since 2010 Bloomberg

In Rift Between Murdochs, Heir Becomes Less Apparent New York Times

Debt Panic in China’s Wenzhou May Augur Wider Woes New York Times (hat tip Richard Smith)

CTJ’s Analysis of Cain’s 9-9-9 Tax Plan Linda Beale. I should post on this but am too stretched. An anodyne headline for a devastating assessment.

Small donors aid Obama in 2012 campaign Financial Times. Fool me once, shame on thee, fool me twice, shame on me.

Wikileaks Expose: Kochs, Neocons And Covert Regime Change Ops eXiled

BREAKING: Doug Schoen Grossly Misrepresents His Own Poll Results To Smear Occupy Wall Street ThinkProgress (hat tip MBH)

OccupyWallStreet: We have been starving the wrong beast riverdaughter (hat tip Lambert Strether)

NY1 Exclusive: Protesters’ Winter Supplies “Occupy” Downtown Warehouse (hat tip MBH)

Commander Who Pepper-Sprayed Protesters Faces Disciplinary Charge New York Times (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Fraud Robbing Unemployment Programs? Global Economic Intersection

Goldman loss prompts questions over future Financial Times

A year later everyone is catching on about Fed policy and net interest margins Ed Harrison

Mortgage finance: Greed and ambition Economist (hat tip Josh Rosner)

Nemo Dat Trumps Bona Fide Purchaser Adam Levitin, Credit Slips. On an important Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision.

Pressures grow on US regional lenders Financial Times. Looks like someone is talking his book. An effort to make a case for consolidation of regional banks. Banking in the US has LONG exhibited a slightly increasing cost curve (as in big banks cost more to operate, relative to asset size) over a pretty modest size threshold. But will they shrink like the grumpy Eurobanks instead? US managers are just not wired to do that.

Community Bank to pay, not charge, $5 a month Bradendon Herald

Antidote du jour. What I should be doing:

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  1. Jim Haygood

    Money quote from the Bloomberg article about European banks’ $1 trillion shrinkage:

    “Selling loans reduces the size of the balance sheet, but quite often you’re selling to a financial investor, who’s asking for a big discount because its return requirement is greater than the return requirement of the bank holding the assets,” Thompson said. “This simple difference in cost of capital generates a loss.”

    Or to summarize: ‘The emperor has no clothes.’ And his assets aren’t marked to market.

    ‘Since loans create deposits, shrinking loans will shrink deposits, and that is not likely to lead to happy outcomes.’ — YS

    Among other things, deleveraging often perversely goes hand in hand with currency strength, magnifying the disinflationary riptide.

    You don’t choose austerity — austerity chooses you!

    1. charles 2

      A lot of these loans are short term and revolving, they will just be left unrolled. Local banks, especially in Asia, will have to pick them up. Governments in Europe don’t care zilch about possible deflation in Asia or LatAm. Eastern Europe is a different ball game, but is in fact part of the whole imbalance problem in Europe, so will deserve a separate treatment.

    2. F. Beard

      You don’t choose austerity — austerity chooses you! Jim Haygood

      That depends. If the problem is merely a shortage of money then that is easily remedied.

  2. Jim Haygood

    ‘Inside the eurozone, adjustment of imbalances remains essential. But it is also vastly difficult, because the exchange rate has gone. In its place, comes adjustment via depression and default. A currency union with structural mercantilists in the core now threatens a permanent slump in the periphery. Solving that is the true cure. Can it be done? I wonder.’ — Martin Wolf

    Wolf is quite right that absent a supranational integrated fisc, external balances do matter.

    Creating a leviathan EuroTreasury is a gov-lover’s dream, but hard to imagine on a continent of crunchy cultural differences.

    So nature will take its course with a chaotic resolution. As someone wisecracked in a forum last night, ‘The Soviet Union imploded in seventy years; Soviet Europe took only twelve.’

    Perestroika is the watchword, comrades: ‘restructuring.’ But glasnost for banksters? Never happen …

  3. wunsacon

    Any OWS protestor want to carry a sign that says something like the following?

    /B/*Where are the RICO prosecutions for
    counterfeiting our currency?*/B/
    Cash and credit are fungible.
    And Wall Street has been knowingly
    creating “loans that cannot be repaid”.
    That’s counterfeiting.

    1. wunsacon

      IOW, I’d like to see protestors emphasize the fraud aspects. If you don’t like the phrasing above, find better quotes from Bill Black.

      1. Jef

        wunsacon – The trouble with everyone wanting a list of demands from the Occupy movement is who do you propose they give then to?

        The common thread through all the movements over the last year or so is the fact that 99% of the population have no voice.
        This is the key in my opinion and must be the one and only message.

        The 99% do not have representation.
        The Government[s] only represent the interests of the 1%.
        Get the money out of politics and return democracy to the people.
        Then and ONLY then can we deal with all the demands.

        Coming up with a list of demands, as if thats all the government needs so they can address them, is simply admitting defeat.

        Lets focus on insisting on representation.

        The people WANT to address the big issues, fraud and corruption, resource depletion, environmental degradation, human suffering, etc. but it will never happen until we remove money from the equation.

        1. wunsacon

          Jef, those slogans aren’t a demand per se. And you’re not going to get middle America to support this movement without them seeing that the OWSers aren’t merely jealous of Big Business but that the OWSers understand that Big Business is committing fraud.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The people WANT to address the big issues, fraud and corruption, resource depletion, environmental degradation, human suffering, etc. but it will never happen until we remove money from the equation.


          I am glad you say ‘the people.’

          Instead of the 99%, we used to just say ‘the people’ as in ‘The People vs. Wall Street.’

        3. Fíréan

          Presenting demands enables and empowers the entity(entities) to which, or to whom, the demands are presented and gives to same credit and recognition as the source of the solution where as they, and their unrestrained powers, are the problem or causes.

          Speaking up ( out) in recognition of the problem(s), in public forum or debate, enables and empowers other persons with the same recognition of the problem(s) to speak up, and broadcasts recognition of the problem(s) to those not previously aware empowering them too.
          Then all have individually overcome the fear to voice their own concerns, without a prescribed list to adhere to or leader to follow, then may evolve a common thread ( and a lot of personally empowered people if nothing else is gained).

          1. Fíréan

            May be i should better have written that as : credit and recognition as being responsible for manifesting solutions.

      2. wunsacon

        Other choices:

        “Fraud is not an acceptable business model.”

        “The heart of the GFC is fraud.”

        “Zero prosecutions = Wall Street runs the government.”

        “During the S&L crisis, Bill Black referred 100x more people for prosecution.” (Fact-check the stat.)

        “There are more people in jail for marijuana possession than for misallocating capital at a global level.”

        “Destroyed jobs/pensions = death by lack of capital”

        1. John M

          ““During the S&L crisis, Bill Black referred 100x more people for prosecution.” (Fact-check the stat.)”

          Hmmm… I don’t know what the base number (multiplied by 100 here) is, but if it’s zero, then I could make the claim myself. (And I’m not a prosecutor, or one who refers anything to prosecutors.) (Just to be clear, what is 100×0?)

          1. wunsacon

            Wow, bro. And I thought *I* was being lazy.

            Try this:

            “First part was not fraud, it was interest rate risk. But the second phase, which was vastly more expensive, was to defraud and the National Commission that looked into the causes of the crisis said that the typical large failure fraud was invariably present. And there were real regulators then. Our agency filed well over 10,000 criminal referrals that resulted in over 1,000 felony convictions and cases designated as nature. And even that understates the grade in which we went after the elite. Because we worked very closely with the FBI and the Justice Department, to prioritize cases – creating the top 100 list of the 100 worst institutions which translated into about 600 or 700 executives – and so the bulk of those thousand felony convictions were the worst fraud, the most elite frauds.”

            (Apologies if this generates a dupe. Looks like it was swallowed.)

          2. John M

            “Wow, bro. And I thought *I* was being lazy.”

            Sorry, I was just making a snark remark. If the total number of prosecutions for this crisis was zero, it’s trivial to satisfy 100 times that.

            The comment above was, “Zero prosecutions = Wall Street runs the government.”

    2. Jim Haygood

      Senator Sanders is shocked … SHOCKED … by the dirt turned up in an audit of the Federal Reserve:

      WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 – A new audit of the Federal Reserve released today detailed widespread conflicts of interest involving directors of its regional banks.

      “The most powerful entity in the United States is riddled with conflicts of interest,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said after reviewing the Government Accountability Office report. The study required by a Sanders Amendment to last year’s Wall Street reform law examined Fed practices never before subjected to such independent, expert scrutiny.

      The GAO detailed instance after instance of top executives of corporations and financial institutions using their influence as Federal Reserve directors to financially benefit their firms, and, in at least one instance, themselves. “Clearly it is unacceptable for so few people to wield so much unchecked power,” Sanders said. “Not only do they run the banks, they run the institutions that regulate the banks.”

      Bernie … I hate to break this news to you … but the Federal Reserve is a BANK CARTEL.

      OF COURSE it’s riddled with conflicts of interest, insider dealing, fraud, theft and extortion. THAT’S WHAT IT’S THERE FOR!!!

      As they used to say on The Outer Limits … ‘We control the horizontal and the vertical … DO NOT ADJUST YOUR SET!’

      1. melior

        To us folks who haven’t just discovered Sen. Sanders’ website, it’s damn clear he’s more aware of this than you are. Our sole proudly socialist Senator is plainly using this latest GAO report to bolster his long history of calling for reform.

        Since you obviously missed his marathon hours-long one man filibuster speech last year completely — please watch the entire thing before posting more ignorant snarking assuming he’s out of touch.

        1. melior

          I also noticed you forgot to bold this part of your excerpt.

          The study required by a Sanders Amendment to last year’s Wall Street reform law examined Fed practices never before subjected to such independent, expert scrutiny.

      2. Jim Haygood

        Rex Nutting of Marketwatch — who normally does ‘just the facts ma’am’ journalism — sounds pretty snarky himself, in an article timestamped half an hour after my post:

        WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Here’s a news flash for anyone who hasn’t been paying attention: Big banks have cozy relationships with top governmental officials.

        The GAO report is no surprise. The Fed has been run as an exclusive club of, by and for bankers since its inception nearly 100 years ago. The world of high finance is a relatively small one: Not only does everyone know everyone else, they also know the name of their maid.

        They grow up together, they go to school together, they intermarry, they entertain together, they make deals with each other, and so of course they’d get together when the world needs saving.

        When Bear Stearns is about to go under over a spring weekend, who do you think Tim Geithner is going to call? An investment banker or a bus driver from Bushwick? Jamie Dimon or Ralph Kramden?

        Ralph Kramden? LOL! Ol’ Rex is having hisself a knee-slapping laugh here.

        So did he lift the theme and the sass from my post? That’s okay with me …

        Carry on your grim struggle to acquire a sense of humor, pal. Hint: it’s probably too late, when even inappropriate boldfacing strikes one as a grave affront!

    3. F. Beard

      Technically and morally, any credit creation in a government enforced monopoly money supply is counterfeiting whether the credit is repaid or not.

  4. Jim3981

    “CTJ’s Analysis of Cain’s 9-9-9 Tax Plan”

    Michelle Bachman, who I think is totally whacked actually had the analysis of the 999 plan correct. She said something to the effect:

    Turn the 999 plan upside down, and that is what you really get. The 666 plan.

    1. Maximilien

      “Michelle Bachman, who I think is totally whacked…..”

      Did you see her in the debate last night? The question was about cutting defense spending. This woman began to babble excitedly about Iran sponsoring the alleged assassination attempt, about Iran having nuclear weapons, etc., etc.

      I desperately hope she was lying about her beliefs, trying to win votes from the Israel/MIC lobby. If she wasn’t, then not only is she “whacked”, she’s SCARY.

      1. Rex

        “If she wasn’t, then not only is she “whacked”, she’s SCARY.”

        If this comes as a surprise to you then you must not have been following her incoherent babblings over the last several years. I think the truly scary part of the debates is why that whole panel of buffoons has been selected by the Republicans as the best they have to offer.

  5. Bill

    You are so right on that article about small donors
    to Obama. I sent his campaign monthly (though small)
    contributions for most of ’08…..I’m a lifelong
    Democrat…..but next year I’ll keep my money and
    write in some candidate — maybe Ron Paul or Bill Black.

    BTW, I’d like to express my partiality for homespun
    more DIY Antidots du Jour, rather than those slick
    artsy ones….cuddly and cute is a real antidote
    to more soulless aspects of our culture (including
    souless Art).

  6. waydwsouth

    Yves, concerning the so-called 50 state AG settlement, this article in the Boston Globe seems to put the final nail in the coffin of the MERS, robo-signing, Linda Green farce. Please discuss and publicize. It seems sanity returns as the Massachusetts Judicial Court (our supreme court)rules that people who bought a property through an illegal foreclosure DO NOT own the property (nor do the folks they may have sold it to due to the broken chain of title), and suggests they sue the bank/MERS/securitization entity who created the mess. Isn’t this defense of secure title (finally) the ultimate end of the mess? Who would buy a foreclosure now?

    1. ambrit

      Dear Abelenkpe;
      Actually, yes, I can. Read the history books a bit about the Wobblies, the EPIC campaign of Sinclair Lewis in California, Longs’ “Every Man a King” campaign, and lots of union movements during Americas Old Robber Baron Era, (as distinct from our “New Robber Baron” era.) When things get bad enough for the mass of people in America, (and I propose that the ‘unemployable’ young college graduates in #Occupy Wall Street are the canarys in this coal mine,) people will be ready, willing, and able, to join some sort of mass movement. The secret will be to be ready to harness all that energy to some productive task.

    2. Mitt

      If people were talking about sacrificing our economy to appease the gods as seriously as they are with Greece..

  7. Expat

    Anthony Bologna is a terrorist. A hired thug of the autocratic regime run from Wall Street and the smoke-filled backrooms of corporate America.

    He swore an oath to protect and defend the people of New York City. He is paid to enforce our laws and stand as an example to regular citizens. Consequently, he should be held to higher standards than average citizens.

    I shudder to think of how a black or latino would have been treated for spraying either white women or cops with pepper spray. And if it had been an Arab or a muslim, that person would be in Gitmo right now being waterboarded.

    Anthony Bologna has abused his power and the very integrity of his public office. He deserves the harshest penalties available for what amounts to terrorism, torture, brutality, abuse of power, and assault.

    Instead, he will get a reprimand and docked a few day’s vacation.

    Fuck America!

  8. Praedor

    Yves, I have it on HIGH authority that your quote, “fool me once shame on thee, fool me twice shame on me” is horribly wrong. It ACTUALLY goes something like this: “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice…err…um…(panicked vacuous stare)…we wont get fooled again.” — the Great George Bush Jr (ie, “Shrub”)

    1. Poco Ritard

      No no no!

      “Fool me once, shame on thee. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three or more times, I have some serious issues.”

        1. Maximilien

          In a strange way, I pine for Bush and his amusing way of unintentionally revealing his total lack of concern for poor people. Example:

          “You work three jobs? Uniquely American, isn’t it? I mean that is fantastic that you’re doing that.” (to a divorced mother of three)

          By contrast, Obama’s glib lies are merely boring.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      This is an OLD Yankee saying. It way antedated Shrub.

      He probably heard it in Kennebunkport, too.

  9. Patrick

    Regarding blogging as a system of control, I disagree. I would credit the lack of diversity with the inability of many users to be intellectually curious.

    When I wanted to know about what was going on in 2008 I started reading different financial sites. Those sites linked to other sites and it was fairly easy to identify the bloggers who were being honest versus those that were just muttering the CNBC talking points.

    How many of my fellow citizens really want to know the level of corruption and the true state of things? My guess is not many. As long as the system continues to limp along they will be satisfied. Reading blogs like Naked Capitalism or Credit Writedowns requires work out of the reader if they are to understand the complex challenges facing our economy and political systems.

    1. ambrit

      Dear Patrick;
      I must disagree. I think your analogy has it backwards. I suggest that the lack of intellectual curiosity in the ‘internet reader’ is a byproduct of the lack of diversity of sources, plus, a systemic supression of curiousity by the education system, which, after all, was originally designed to fit the ‘labouring masses’ to their designated tasks within the Industrial System. It was no random choice that one of the first things taught to young schoolchildren was, and is, the concept of time and its management. Industry demanded it to insure its own smooth operation.
      My reading suggests to me that those interested in development of the human person hold that greater diversity of stimuli drives the expansion of the human beings mental processes. Greater stimulus leads to greater brain and mind development. That leads to a reinforcing cycle of growth and development, which results, in the main, in independant thinking. There is nothing Authority fears more than independant thought. The rest follows organically.

      1. Maximilien

        “Greater stimulus leads to greater brain and mind development.”

        It’s interesting to note that the average IQ in developed countries has risen by 20 points in the past century. This is attributed to our more “cognitive-rich” environment. (And no, I’m not necessarily endorsing IQ as the definitive measure of intelligence.)

  10. sdv

    Nassim Taleb discusses OWS and bankers on Bloomberg: (excerpts) “Apply Hammurabi’s Code to bankers….The only valuable information you get from bank earnings is compensation…TBTF banks are a compensation scheme and nothing more……Bailed out banks should be public utilities… If you are a banker and might require a bailout *ever*, then you should not earn more than a Civil Servant. Period.”

    1. wunsacon

      Taleb was almost incoherent (as I am at times, actually — pot meet kettle). More importantly, he says he’s worried about the protests leading to “class warfare”? (I’m not sure whether to reply with “Oh, really?” or merely face-palm.)

  11. Susan the other

    Back in the midst of the DSK coverage, someone linked to an article in a local NYC publication about the NYPD. The story had to do with NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly who had interesting ties to Sarkozy. Kelly traveled to France often, etc. And the implication was that DSK was set up by collusion between Kelly and Sarkozy. The article also talked about how there is a proverbial rift between the FBI and CIA in NYC and how the NYPD deals with each separately. I wonder which agency helped NYPD railroad DSK. And who is their target now. It was also insinuated re DSK that Geithner had been pulling the strings because he wanted Legarde at the IMF.

  12. Little voice in texas

    I’m sorry , maybe I’m dense, but this whole OWS and 99% thing, perhaps someone can explain. Doesn’t the ultimate power reside with the people? In a society so heavy with debt, can’t the masses, even 10% default at once, say January 2012 , and crash the system? It seems this revolution will be even less violent then the fall of the Soviets in 1989. All it requires is for the masses to do nothing. System reset. Okay, so some Teacher’s retirement fund in Norway will be wiped out, but capitalism requires risk. Someone please explain. Thanks

    1. Rex

      With all respect, your mental model of the situation is a bit thin. The 99% (vs. 1%) thing is that the majority of the economy is pretty much owned by 1% of the people and that is largely from big banks and other wall street organizations. The 1% of the people extract the majority of the money from the economy and keep it. This leaves less for the other 99% and they borrow to survive making the imbalance worse.

      The 1% use their wealth and power to buy the political system thereby preventing laws and regulators from doing much to rein in the imbalances. Before the crash of 2008 the banks did incredibly stupid things (or fraudulent things in many cases) mostly based on the real estate markets. The goal was to siphon off even more in the very short term. Then it crashed and we all suffered, but in spite of some recovery, much of the damage has not really been fixed or addressed and more disaster is still fairly likely.

      So the 99% really does not have much power right now and very few of the imbalances have been addressed at all.

      The automatic system reset you speak of could very well come in the form of a world-wide depression.

      I’m far from very knowledgeable and that’s a very quick and simplistic summary. Yves’ book Econned gives a good description of how the system protects itself and how the crash of 2008 evolved. Some reading about MMT might help. There are some helpful youtube vids on banking, money and the financial system, but I don’t have good links right now.

      Seems you could benefit from a few hours of study on the basics of how it all fits together. Maybe others have suggestions on where to begin.

  13. Denis

    Err… I hate to sound anal, but…

    “As all good Post Keynesians know, since loans create deposits, shrinking loans will shrink deposits”

    The logically correct statement reads more like so:

    If loans create deposits, then shrinking deposits shrink loans.

    1. Rex

      I think you may have been trying to form a statement that makes more sense to you. Intuitively, most people might think that’s the way it should work, but I think the original statement did not need fixing.

      If you search for ‘loans create deposits’ you’ll find a lot to read.

  14. Lady Bug

    Just in – Citibank will be fined $ 285 mil for their $ 1 bill derivatives scam. No admission of guilt. Can’t wait for your diary on this.

    1. wunsacon

      The Fed looks like in-your-face-so-you-don’t-notice-it self-regulation. Instead of Congress taking responsibility (and the blame) directly, they delegate it to bankers.

    1. JTFaraday

      I like agree on a write-in candidate in General Assembly. I don’t want to slink off and give them nothing, I at least want to give them a big pain in the *ss.

  15. barrisj

    Very amusing rejoinder put up by Matt Taibbi regarding right-wing bloggers and Rush “Hillbilly Heroin” Limbaugh blathering on about “proof” that OWS is a creature of leftie agitators such as Dylan Ratigan, Taibbi, Bill Black, Barry Ritholz, oh, you know, the usual suspects, right? Which indicates that OWS and its spinoffs are indeed touching sensitive nerves…the Koch bros have the contracts out!

    Why Rush Limbaugh Is Freaking Out About Occupy Wall Street

    Why Occupy Wall Street Is Bigger Than Left vs. Right

  16. scraping_by

    RE: Newscorp

    Murdoch always uses melodrama to shift attention from the real, and damaging facts. I mean, a pie in the face in front of an investigative committee? And all the gushy Wendy coverage to take up space that might be filled with him lying his face off? If you’re going to act, overact. True in high school drama, true in the MSM.

    Diversion is a great way to blow up the sequence of events, some flashy non sequitur to stop things in their tracks. Classic Fox.

    The family feud is a great story line to keep people entertained, perhaps enough to forget Newscorp fits the definition of a criminal enterprise. The authorities don’t like the look of these felonies, either. So this might scale up to a miniseries (based on the bestseller) before everybody walks away from prosecution.

  17. Neo-Realist

    CIA involvement with the NYPD is no big surprise, particularly if you’ve read the works of people such as Fletcher Prouty, David Wise and some of the literature on the assassinations of the Kennedys, King, and Malcolm X.

    1. barrisj

      well, the players may be different, but the philosophy is the same as Hoover’s CONTELPRO, when the Black Panthers were the late-60s/early-70s version of “radical Islam”, and a “mortal threat to national security”. Then, as now, state-sponsored violence and murder were directed toward a group representing a “threat” on the basis of race/ethnicity alone, and such punishment was meted out with the full collusion of the courts and government at local, state and federal levels. So, what’s new? This is America, after all.

  18. George Phillies

    Readers may have missed:

    There is lots of coverage of President Sarkozy flying to Frankfurt for consultations.

    One of them picked up on the minor detail that his wife was pregnant and was in labor when he left.

    “French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose wife was reportedly giving birth to his first daughter, jetted into Frankfurt to meet with officials as they attended an event to honor outgoing ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet. Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde left the event at the Frankfurt Opera House without commenting. ”

    Of course, perhaps the French are different about this, but to my ears that sounds like a significant problem has been found.

  19. Jeff

    Re General Satanic Mills,

    This is the reason that smart parents are feeding their children high quality organic food. Only the uninformed and uneducated are allowing their children and themselves to eat this garbage.

    “Organic food is “Too expensive”?
    It tastes better, satisfies the body with more vitamins and minerals and thus the body doesn’t vacuum up the food endlessly seeking adequate nutrition and becoming obese.

    The long term savings in healthcare costs will more than offset the sometimes higher cost of organic food.

    Here’s the best site to learn about organic food and the organic food industry:

  20. Cap'n Magic

    Gotta love the race to the Labor bottom and merger mania in hard drives. Methinks the damage to Thailand’s tech industry down there is worse than being led on. it’s not just hard drives that will be impacted. Many Japanese firms have captive Thai plants. one of the reports I saw said that it will be months before operations resume in some of the impacted facilities.

  21. Hugh

    Jim Haygood mentioned the GAO report Fed Governance which can be found here:

    I thought that this question to the members of the regional Fed banks from page 106 of the pdf (112 of 127) says it all:

    11. Are you aware of any past or current conflicts of interest with any FRB directors in your district?

    Aware of Conflicts

    Yes 5.49%

    No 94.51%

    It is the classic Captain Renault “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!” only more so since the board members are shocked, shocked at even the idea. I mean how dishonest can you get given that by definition virtually all of them have such conflicts?

  22. Typing Monkey

    Weill on BAC, FDIC, and the Fed:

    Question: Isn’t this the type of thing that Bloomberg or other media outlets (perhaps Aurora Advisors? :) )would be able to demand via the Freedom of Information Act?

    I probably derive too much humor from my cynicism, but I really want to see the Fed again try to argue that it’s not in the public interest to release this…

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