Links 10/4/11

Light is not fast enough for high-speed stock trading New Scientist (hat tip reader Robert M)

An Addiction Vaccine, Tantalizingly Close New York Times

Statistics lessons from The Drunkard’s Walk MacroBusiness

Business Insider and Over-Aggregation Felix Salmon, Columbia Journalism Review

Conservative party conference 2011: Cameron says UK should stay in the EU Telegraph (hat tip reader Swedish Lex). The fact that this is even up for discussion is noteworthy.

Currency Sovereignty Randy Wray, Credit Writedowns

Rick Perry slips, Herman Cain rises in bid for GOP nomination, poll finds Washington Post

Nothing to Fear but Inaction; Walker Todd on Obama’s Lost Opportunities Institutional Risk Analyst. When a Republican like Walker Todd starts sounding like an FDR Democrat, you know it’s bad out there.

Joseph Stiglitz rocks Zuccotti Park Lambert Strether

On Wall Street, a Protest Matures Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times. From the best paid reporter at the NYT and lapdog to bankers. Notice the repeated and obvious effort to make the protestors seems potentially dangerous

Starbucks seeks donations for job scheme Financial Times. Lovely. Starbucks wants its latte drinking customers to stump up for microfinance. First, it turns out microfinance turned into debt slavery in India, so the PR is way out of line with reality. Second, CEO Howard Schultz is a big time deficit hawk. So if you support this measure, you are basically supporting austerity resulting high unemployment (you can’t support one part of his position without him arguing that you’ve tacitly supported the other). I encourage readers not to give and explain to baristas why (you won’t convert them but you might deter the people in line behind you from stumping up).

Tighter rules on capital: Bankers versus Basel Financial Times. Given that the odds of a full bore financial crisis in the next few months are looking very high, these bankers who are insisting big banks don’t need more capital are about to see events prove them wrong.

Goldman Cuts Global GDP Estimate Bloomberg. A little late, don’t you think?

Japan to penalise Citigroup again for lapses Financial Times

Citi Faces Struggle to Sell Assets Wall Street Journal

‘Living wills’ force banks to think unthinkable Financial Times. Mirabile dictu, the “living wills” drill is onerous enough that some banks are doing a bit of housekeeping as a result. I doubt it will prove adequate to allow for a windown, but any measures that make it easier to disarm TBTF bombs are sorely needed. This is the single most positive bit of news I have heard in quite a while. Problem is the plans are due in December 2012, and we are pretty sure to have a crisis before then.

Wow, Markets Are Once Again Getting Crushed Clusterstock

Fannie Mae Knew Early of Abuses, Report Says Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times

Getting a mortgage workout shouldn’t be this exhausting Los Angeles Times

NM judge okays MBS class action claims against rating agencies Alison Frankel, Reuters (hat tip Buzz Potamkin). This is totally cool, a second year associate beats big white shoe law firms.

Abused for lack of a lawyer Times Union. Money quote:

“We’ve all heard harrowing tales of abuses, including foreclosure actions brought against homeowners who are actually up to date on their mortgage payments,” [executive deputy attorney general Martin] Mack testified. “For every abusive case uncovered, there are dozens upon dozens of homeowners and, sad to say, former homeowners who have been steamrolled because they did not have adequate representation.”

Antidote du jour:

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  1. Diego Méndez

    “Notice the repeated and obvious effort to make the protestors seems potentially dangerous”

    Exactly the same thing happened in Spain. Quite remarkable!

    1. LeeAnne

      Someone commented on NC recently from Japan that their police use the same tactics. Not surprisingly.

      Not only has US drug prohibition enforcement policy been exported to the rest of the world through the UN, through that worldwide system the US has at the same time militarized police all over the world.

      That is the seed bed from which bankers are now scheming to end our national sovereignty, ending our property rights, and the right to any legal protection whatsoever.

      1. LeeAnne

        sometimes referred to as being conquered; the police as occupying force.

        ask Blacks who represent the larges demographic in American prisons for drug possession and other drug related infractions.

        1. LeeAnne

          decriminalize drugs and you’ll end the funding for criminal governments all over the world.

    2. robert57

      Meanwhile all the major news organizations from NPR to BBC are on message portraying #occuppywallstreet as a bunch of “disenfranchised” poor who are just so frustrated and pissed about being poor, and their prospects for the future. Because, like, unemployment and inequality is just so hard and frustrating, you know? As if the protestors are just barking for a bigger slice of the pie.

      They make no mention of TBTF, bailouts, fraud.

      Painting the protests as a sort of primal scream therapy for the jealous poor, directed at nothing and everything, is an attempt to keep the banksters shielded from the law, the zombie banks zombied, and the real issues buried.

      Pretty slick really. Watch for it.

  2. YankeeFrank

    I posted this response to Sorkin on his dealbook blog:

    I find your repeated attempts to cast a pall of potential danger over the protests cynical and misinformed. In fact, the only violence we have seen and are likely to see has come from the police — macing people for no reason and entrapping them on the Brooklyn Bridge in order to arrest them. Despite your feeble defense of the banksters that wrecked the economy, the truth is they committed massive control frauds against the people of this country and many others, and deserve to be in jail, with all their ill-gotten gains clawed back and used to help the American people regain our lost jobs and homes. Instead, they have been given massive injections of taxpayer money that they have used to pay themselves huge bonuses, and now our captive politicians are discussing severe cuts to social security and medicare to cover bankers bad debts. This is not just unfair, it is criminal and the people of this country will not stand for it. We are non-violent and will win because we have justice and the people on our side. So go ahead and put yourself on the wrong side of history once again. You can hide in the bunker with your bankster buddies if they’ll have you.

    1. PQS

      Hear, hear!

      Good For You.

      Sorkin almost made me throw up in my mouth when he was interviewed by Terry Gross (ugh) regarding his book about the financial crisis. He nearly broke down in tears talking about how people in finance seemed to have no idea that they were responsible for such massive pain for people totally unrelated to it. And how they were so, so, “Ungrateful!” to the American Taxpayer.

      Can’t shake the devil’s hand and say you’re only kidding, Mr. Sorkin.

    2. F. Beard

      Despite your feeble defense of the banksters that wrecked the economy, the truth is they committed massive control frauds against the people of this country and many others, and deserve to be in jail, with all their ill-gotten gains clawed back and used to help the American people regain our lost jobs and homes. YankeeFrank [bold added]

      Hahaha! The banksters have promoted the theory that money is insurmountably scarce (ala gold) so of course if money is needed for the poor then it MUST come from someone else. They are hoist by their own petard!

  3. Cian

    Conservative party conference 2011: Cameron says UK should stay in the EU Telegraph (hat tip reader Swedish Lex). The fact that this is even up for discussion is noteworthy.

    Not really. There’s a large section of the Conservative party, possibly a majority, who hate the EU with a passion that is both extraordinary and utterly insane. Always have done, always will probably. The right-wing press in the UK also hate the EU, and regularly make up stories about all the crazy things the EU have done; partly out of usual little Englander stuff.

    Meanwhile in the real world, the EU is the UK’s largest trading partner, and Britain benefits from inward investment taking advantage of lowish salaries compared to much of Europe. Which the business community mostly realise. So Cameron is a weak leader caught between his party and reality. Hence its up for discussion; nothing to do with the ongoing crisis.

    1. Mark P.

      Cian is correct. Though in fairness it should be added that, besides the mad conservative element in the UK, there were also critics who warned that the EU’s top-down, anti-democratic tendencies and denial of structural problems would lead where they now have led.

      1. Typing Monkey

        anti-democratic tendencies and denial of structural problems

        Actually, it was the appeal to the masses (“pro-deomcratic”) tendencies of paying for things now and worrying about the revenues later which have caused much of the problems.

  4. Fraud Guy

    Re: light is not fast enough.

    Is Goldman underwriting quantum computing yet, so that they can get messages instantly via entangling particles?

    (not that I want to give them any ideas)

      1. Valissa

        OMG, there really are technomages! ;-)

        “We are dreamers, shapers, singers, and makers. We study the mysteries of laser and circuit, crystal and scanner, holographic demons and invocations of equations. These are the tools we employ, and we know many things.” – Elric

        1. reslez

          The true secrets. The important things. Fourteen words to make someone fall in love with you forever, seven words to make them go without pain, how to say good-bye to a friend who is dying, how to be poor, how to be rich, how to rediscover dreams when the world has stolen them from you…

    1. Bev

      Neutrinos being faster than light, also affects time.

      A joke making the rounds:

      The bartender yells, “We don’t allow no faster-than-light neutrinos in here.” A Neutrino enters a Bar.


      Some scientists are playing ping pong with neutrinos to hone the ability to quantum entangle.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Superluminal travelling in ancient China, from Hui Zi, Wikipedia

        Huizi (Chinese: 惠子; pinyin: huì zǐ; Wade–Giles: Hui4 Tzu3; “Master Hui”), was a Chinese philosopher during the Warring States Period. He was a representative of the School of Names (Sophists or Dialecticians), and is famous for ten paradoxes about the relativity of time and space, for instance, “I set off for Yue (southernmost China) today and came there yesterday.”

    2. rd

      UBS solved the problem of the speed of light limiting trading.

      Their traders can execute actual imaginary trades faster than they can occur as the recent revelations show.

  5. Jim Haygood

    An appropriate response when a president trashes the constitution:

    Ron Paul said Monday that President Barack Obama’s targeted killing of Anwar al-Awlaki might be an impeachable offense.

    Asked at a Manchester, N.H. town hall meeting about last week’s killing of the American-born Al Qaeda leader, the Texas congressman said impeachment would be “possible,” but that he wants to know more about how the administration “flouted the law.”

    Paul called the killing a movement toward “tyranny.”

    “I put responsibility on the president because this is obviously a step in the wrong direction,” Paul said. “We have just totally disrespected the Constitution.”

    Paul’s “might be” qualifier probably refers to a secret attorney general’s memo reputedly making the assassination “all legal” — which should be promptly subpoenaed by Congress.

    Compared to a president murdering US citizens in cold blood, Nixon’s role in the Watergate break-in and Clinton’s perjury in a civil deposition were the most minor of peccadillos.

    If Obama isn’t sanctioned for his capital crimes, within ten years you’ll see Americans murdered inside our borders by the president’s “drones of peace, justice and hope.”

    1. drone on

      And then America would be more like Pakistan, Afganistan, Iraq and Palestine are today, thanks to “high technology”; and we wouldn’t want THAT.

      All people are created equal.

      1. wunsacon

        Pluto-kleptocrats would like to treat all the world’s poor the same way, no matter where borders are drawn.

        1. F. Beard

          Son: “Dad, why do those people hate us so much?”
          Father: “Because of the way they treated us.”

    2. Cynthia

      The Obama Administration is trying hard to outdo the Bush clan for criminality. The assassination of any individual without due process – anytime, anywhere (other than through a declaration of war) is illegal.

      Making backroom deals to hand over billions of taxpayer dollars to zombie banks is illegal.

      Supporting the building of Israelis settlements and providing Israelis with billions of dollars of weaponry to continue their illegal occupation of Palestine are also illegal.

      The American people need to band together and demand justice where crimes have been committed. And we must do this before America joins Israel and Pakistan as a product of our own creation — a nuclear rogue state, that is.

      1. Jim Haygood

        ‘The Obama Administration is trying hard to outdo the Bush clan for criminality.’

        Yes, and POTUS just got a nice ‘Attaboy!’ from his mentor Dick Cheney:

        Former Vice President Dick Cheney says that following the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, President Obama owes the George W. Bush administration an apology.

        Cheney, speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, offered support for the targeted killing by drone strike last week of the Yemeni-American radical cleric al-Awlaki, but he said that Obama now needs to reverse his past criticism of how the Bush administration interrogated suspected terrorists.

        The Obama administration “in effect had said that we had walked away from our ideals or taken policy contrary to our ideals when we had enhanced interrogation techniques,” the former vice president said. Al-Awlaki’s death indicates that members of the Obama administration “clearly have moved in the direction of taking robust action when they feel it’s justified,” Cheney said.

        Cheney’s just miffed because he didn’t win a Peace Prize too. Should’ve offed more of your own citizens like Barry did, Dick — that might have done the trick!

    3. Cynthia

      The American people appear to have little to no critical thinking skills. If you peruse both liberal and conservative political forums you will see the majority applauding these assassinations. There is very little discussion concerning the probable negative ramifications of a president being given the power to arbitrarily murder a person at just a word.

      What discussion there is is met with scorn and derision. We appear to be incapable of thinking in the long term or recognizing how the government ALWAYS ABUSES the authority given it. However, this is the same population that has supported the evisceration of the Bill of Rights. So while I am sorely disappoint, I am not surprised. We should fear for our children and grandchildren because they are the ones who will be targeted with this new “authority.”

      I very much agree with Jeremy Scahill when he said that this is a very sad day for America:

      1. Mark P.

        Make no mistake: we and other states have always done this to greater or lesser extents. It’s the way of the world.

        What’s potentially worrisome and novel here is, firstly, the arms-length automation of the act that drone technology allows and, secondly, the promotion of it in the media.

        1. sleepy

          I think what is equally troubling is the fact that the state has now taken what have hitherto been those dirty ways of the world, made them public and with the gloss of legality from the justice department.

          The state no longer feels the need for hypocrisy.

    4. JTFaraday

      Good! I’m sure we can come up with a whole LIST of impeachable offenses.

      The biggest mistake of the new D-Party Administration was not even appointing the Rubinite economic team. Appointing the Rubinite economic team was merely the early sign that we all (accurately and justifiably) seized upon as indicating that nothing would change.

      Really, the biggest mistake of the new D-Party Administration was “looking forward, not backward” with regard to the exiting Administration, which covers both its militaristic and financial malfeasance.

      Electoral regime change has failed. Rather than backing the nation out of Bush Administration failures, Obama has multiplied the crimes of the Duopoly Government many times over.

      Impeach him already and call off the election. The longer we permit them to go on pretending everything is normal around here, the worse it is going to get.

      For any D-Partisans too scared of RON PAUL to allow him to impeach Obama, well, that’s just an indication that the D-Party should hurry up and get busy DIY-ing it so they have a little more control over the course of human events.

      Instead of, you know, handing everything over to the Tea Party as usual so they can stir things up for their own purposes.

    5. tyaresun

      The only difference between the Awlaki and Rabbani murders was their citizenship. They should both be illegal.

    6. Nathanael

      The rule of law went out when the Supreme Court stole the Presidential election in 2000.

      We have had nothing but a long list of confirmations since then. The degeneration goes fast when it rots from the head. The Bush/Obama/whoever oligarchical regime will probably continue for a few more years, but even though they may well have thugs shooting Americans for sport in the streets, I think it won’t last very long.

      Not because Americans will get upset about that (sigh), but they political elite are all *economic incompetents*, perhaps due to their kleptocracy. You can maintain a vicious, abusive police state if you feed, house, and clothe everyone when you aren’t abusing them — but they just won’t do it, they just won’t share the wealth. Which means they’ll probably be overthrown sooner rather than later, one way or another.

      I hoped to avoid all of this when I voted for Al Gore in 2000, but at this point I’ve kind of given up on the system and am just cynically observing it. I don’t have to do anything to make it collapse, it’s doing that all on its own.

      1. F. Beard

        Not because Americans will get upset about that (sigh), but they political elite are all *economic incompetents*, perhaps due to their kleptocracy. Nathanael

        Not their kleptocracy but because they truly believe we have a just economic system EXCEPT for whatever help the government provides to their victims.

        They are thus doomed to further wreck the economy, firmly believing that if they just squeeze the poor harder that things will work out.

  6. Rex

    From the high-speed trading article (faster fibers for the uber-kleptocracy machines)…
    “In contrast, Terrence Henderschott of the University of California, Berkeley, finds “no compelling evidence” for automated trading causing problems.”

    Herr Henderschott continues his work from a previous lifetime where his contributions to railroad improvements were appreciated for their benefits to die Endlösung der Judenfrage.

    Times change but the masters still enjoy their willing technicians to be all that they can be.

    1. ambrit

      Mein Herr Rex;
      Ja, ist der Sieg. I read “IBM and the Holocaust” a few years ago. That finally cured me of any illusions I may have had about the moral and ethical capabilities of corporations.
      As an aside, I think that Einstein would have responded differently to Fermi and the others if asked to write the famous ‘bomb’ letter to the present Government instead of the FDR regieme.

    1. Typing Monkey

      $15 for a term paper???

      Jesus. Why did I go through all the effort of doing this $h!t myself when I could have made more money by simply working and outsourcing my entire education (not to mention saving myself all those sleepless nights)? Not to mention happily increasing my odds of getting throat cancer from HPV…

      I could’ve been the typless monkey if I ere only born ten years earlier…

  7. Jack

    In regards to the vaccine link, I’m sure that in about 5 years after FDA approval, a few people who had the vaccine will have died or had some kind of event happen, and post it on the internet. Many will forget that addicts don’t have a healthy lifestyle anyway, and chalk up the event to the vaccine. They will blame their poor memory or fatigue on the vaccine saying that their brain worked better the last time they remembered (i.e. 14 years ago before they spent most days of their lives being high) and therefore it must be the vaccine. Then bloggers will fan the flames saying that Big Pharm bought off the courts who ordered admnistration of the vaccine as part of their court-ordered treatment program. Current addicts will then choose a life of continued addiction in place of having the life-changing vaccine and another huge step forward for the human experience will be erased by one irrational choice at at time. For more information, see the Naked Capitalism links of about 1 month ago in relation to the HPV vaccine. I’m just sayin…

    1. ambrit

      Dear Jack;
      Your scenario suggests that the comments section is something wholly counter whatever. Sort of like the saying; “And no comments from the Peanut Gallery!”
      History, and there is no better teacher, shows that big pharma deals with the public in an almost universally arrogant and paternalistic fashion. “We know what’s best for you. Take your medicine.” The truth shows through here and there, spotty and leperous looking precisely because big pharma, like all their cousins, strive mightily to control the publics access to unbiased information, prohibit it in point of fact. Absent honest data, the public makes recource to these outbursts of honesty for a closer to the truth version of reality. Thus began the astroturf wars.
      My favourite explication of this phenomenon is Pink Floyds lyric: “Haven’t you heard, it’s a battle of words, and most of them are lies?”

  8. Jim Haygood

    From Bloomberg this morning:

    Finance ministers considered reshaping a July deal that foresaw investors contributing 50 billion euros ($66 billion) to a 159 billion-euro rescue. That private sector involvement, or PSI, includes debt exchanges and rollovers, targeting bondholder losses of 21 percent.

    “As far as PSI is concerned, we have to take into account that we have experienced changes since the decision we have taken on July 21,” Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters early today after chairing a meeting of euro finance chiefs in Luxembourg. “These are technical revisions we are discussing.”

    The ministers also pushed back a decision on the release of Greece’s next 8 billion-euro loan installment until after Oct. 13. It was the second postponement of a vote originally slated for yesterday as part of the 110 billion-euro lifeline granted to Greece last year. The decision now dovetails with an Oct. 17-18 summit of European government leaders to address the crisis. Juncker said Greece can pay its bills in the meantime.

    Eurocrats fiddle while bourses burn.

    But two big issues are surfacing. One is that eurocrats are finally backing away from their dogged insistence that the 21 July accord which created the PSI was the Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything.

    In fact, the PSI’s penny-ante 21% haircut was too little, too late.

    A second issue is emerging as eurocrats attempt to fudge by renegotiating the 21 July deal before it’s even approved by all the parliaments, while stalling further disbursements to Greece as they dither. It’s now obvious, both to Greece and to global markets, that keeping Greece dependent on euro-financing means never-ending melodramatic brinksmanship. Far from a being a resolution, it merely converts Greece into a zombie country, dancing to the tune of its capricious financial puppet-masters.

    The purpose of this badly-conducted fudging is to keep Greece in the eurozone at all costs. And that’s exactly why Greece should flee, flee, flee to the drachma.

  9. Nicholas Weaver

    When I saw “Light is not fast enough for high-speed stock trading”, I thought “Wall Street Not Satisfied with Destroying Economy, Wants to Destroy Causality”

  10. john

    Re: Starbucks
    One thing I’ve wondered about these donations (like the bag-credit donation at Whole Foods) is whether the company gets a tax write-off from my donation. I know my couple of dimes wouldn’t save them much, but in aggregate, it’s a decent chunk of change. Anyone have any insight?

    1. Cynthia

      Sounds like Starbucks is doing what McDonald’s did several months ago, which is to claim that they are doing their patriotic duty to create more jobs here in the US, when what they are really doing is using it as a tax break and as a way to score some PR brownie points.

      Starbucks might even be claiming to create jobs when they are actually replacing full-time benefited workers with more yet cheaper part-time and unbenefited workers. But regardless of what their real motive is for doing this, you can be sure that the folks at Starbucks are doing it out of greed and not out of the goodness of their heart, assuming they have one.

  11. M

    That article from Andrew Ross Sorkin is appalling.

    A CEO from a major bank asks him to look in on the Occupy Wall Street group to see if CEOs are in any personal danger.

    Thank goodness a few commenters at the article pointed out the absurdity of that situation, especially as Sorkin makes fun of protesters who use ATMs and airplanes, or don’t know who Buffett is.

    Do they really think this anger is going to go away if they make fun of it?

    1. Sufferin' Succotash

      They don’t care if the anger goes away or not.
      The aim is to keep it on the political margins by stereotyping it as wacko, unserious, etc..
      “See, the protestors are using ATMs hahahahahaha!”

    2. craazyman

      I was quite ready to hate the article and all it represents — but when I skimmed it, I didn’t think it was all that bad. A little annoying but not atrocious.

      What I would say to Mr. Sorkin’s CEO buddy who wonders whether he should worry, is this (and I won’t even charge a six-figure consulting fee):

      “Yes, you should worry, alot. But not about your personal safety. What you should worry about is the fact that your company can’t make a long-term profit in an economy that only serves the rich.

      What you should worry about is that your strategy for long-term shareholder value isn’t working very well given the mess you’ve made.

      What you should worry about is the consequences of the toxic and socially unjust political system forged by your lobbyists.

      What you should worry about is the world your actions are creating for your kids, grandkids and great grandkids.

      What you should worry about is the karma hit you’ll take when you ascend or fall, at the end of time.

      That’s enough right there. Your body will be OK, but what about your soul?

      I know I’d worry. LOL.

      1. Anonymous Jones

        Nice. You should post that list of worries every month of so, just to refocus people on the real concerns.

        Of course, those in charge won’t realize it until it’s too late anyway.

        [As the Konovalov’s own torpedo is about to strike the Konovalov, Andrei Bonovia says, “You arrogant ass. You’ve killed *us*!”]

  12. Jim Haygood

    A Bloomberg editorial points out how ill-timed is the effort by New York’s Chuck-the-Schmuck Schumer to force a gunpoint yuan revaluation, just when the rich core may be calling back its hot money capital from the developing periphery:

    China’s export-driven model could fall apart before [its] consumers are able to pick up the slack. In such a crisis, China’s economic weight would become a liability.

    The IMF estimates that the impact of Chinese demand on the world’s largest economies has more than doubled over the past decade. A deteriorating outlook for Chinese imports could send commodity prices plummeting, precipitating heavy losses for investors and risking financial contagion.

    Trade wars, such as the one the U.S. Senate may be on the verge of launching, will only make the situation worse. Instead, Europe and the U.S. need to focus on limiting their own vulnerability: The longer they keep growing at rates not far above zero, the more likely it is that an unexpected shock — such as a Chinese crisis — will tip them back into a recession.

    In Europe, leaders must move quickly to solve a deepening debt crisis and deal with insolvent banks. In the U.S., they need to take radical measures, including pumping more federal stimulus money into a stalled economy and providing debt relief to underwater homeowners, to clear the way for renewed growth.

    Messrs. Smoot, Hawley and Schumer might yet cast us from the frying pan into the fire, as they treat a sick economy with snake oil, poultices, bloodletting and leeches.

    1. scraping_by

      As to panic screams over Smoot Hawley or other protectionism: Smoot Hawley made it difficult for other nations to repay their debts to the creditor nation (us) but it kept money circulating within our large country rather than leaking out. Mainstream economists concentrate on the former effect and pretend not to see the latter.

      As a debtor nation, the second effect would be more profound for us. This is true for all debtor nations, and only unassailable nostalgia would say it’s not true for us. It might be tough on some creditor companies (banks) but it will raise the supply of money for the rest of the citizens.

      The predictable right wing howling over any protective action is predicated on anti-labor, anti-working class inertia. It’s time to admit the “sunrise industries” meme of Reagan and his followers was nothing more than mercantilism in service of the FIRE industries, and it hasn’t worked for the rest of us. Even such a lame, third-order, easily evaded measure such as Schumer’s is to be welcomed.

      1. F. Beard

        As a debtor nation, the second effect would be more profound for us. scraping_by

        Wrong. You forget that US debts are owed in US dollars which the US Government can create any amount of.

      2. F. Beard

        And why the emphasis on jobs? The proximate problem is lack of money in the correct hands, the victims of the government backed usury and counterfeiting cartel.

        Fix the money problem and the jobs should come back.

        1. psychohistorian

          I’m sorry but I don’t believe the jobs are coming back.

          If you make the assumption that US consumption is going to regress to world norms and that of the growth countries is realistic then the international labor crisis worsens.

          We already see countries chasing each other to the bottom for “unskilled” labor. If the still optimistic demand for crap finally dies then the bottom will drop out of many countries labor markets, including the US. Is consumerism dead? I hope so soon, in not already.

          We need to take a fundamentally different view of labor or we are facing genocide and social upheaval; more than we see in front of us, as we speak.

          Laugh the global inherited rich out of control of our society and into rooms at the Hague.

        2. F. Beard

          I’m sorry but I don’t believe the jobs are coming back. psychohistorian

          So what? I don’t see the rich complaining about no work. They work but when, where, how and how much they choose. Should other Americans be denied that privilege when it was their own stolen purchasing power that allows that leisure?

          The emphasis on jobs is strangely masochist. The victims of the thieving government enforced counterfeiting cartel are in effect begging their oppressors for the privilege of being their slaves!

  13. Jeff

    The “donations” that people make through corporate outlets like Safeway or $tarbuck$ mean that the corporation
    get several things:

    *Free publicity to varnish their reputation.

    *Free use of your money to give to political and
    social causes that they control or manage.

    *Most importantly, the charitable tax write off against their profits that they have made off of you and that you are now defraying with your “donations”.

  14. BondsOfSteel

    How is high speed trading anything other than front running? It’s not about liquidity… it’s about price manupilation.

    By speeding up trades and making price discovery more difficult, the market has become unfair with large computerized players having a huge advantage.

  15. umberto

    I don’t understand why people don’t completely boycott Starbucks? It’s not like they even make decent coffee.

    1. Typing Monkey

      And thanks to HighSchoolTermPAper (above), most teens don’t even need to drink the coffee to begin with.

      Although I disagree, btw–I love their coffee…

  16. doom

    Is there any prospect that these living wills can be squeezed into the Squam Lake Working Group template? No doubt it could happen only when the banker’s desperation peaks. But since the administration will be panicking and screaming like Fay Wray at that point, we can’t expect any push from them.

  17. para normal

    “An Addiction Vaccine, Tantalizingly Close New York Times”

    I await the Death Vaccine. Hope I can hang on long enough.

  18. Tertium Squid

    A new Adam Curtis Blog! About, among other things, hugs on television and how Westerners have come to equate emotional outbursts with authenticity.

    Authenticity is often not pretty, and a lot of risk attends it. There is little risk when a false persona is rejected, because the real self was never revealed.

    On people behaving authentically, here’s how some fellow Americans have responded to large snails in their yards:

    “”I’m traumatized,” said Liliam Hernandez last week, as she and her husband recounted how they had discovered a five-inch specimen behind their house a while earlier. She said she was so distraught at the sight of the slimy mollusk that she got a migraine and had to lie down.

    “She’s so panicked that she doesn’t want to go out anymore,” said her husband, Jaime Saravia. ”

  19. Typing Monkey


    We do take proactive steps to manage customer traffic during peak hours,” Tara Burke, a spokeswoman for Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America, said today in a telephone interview. “Because of that, you are seeing some customers having slowness or access issues. It’s not malware, it’s not hacking, there is no compromise to customer information.

    What the hell does that mean??

      1. skippy

        Beard…Fear not the toilet seat!

        Skippy…just about every one in the military gets crabs too, sex not required.

          1. skippy

            Sex is just one way fluids can be exchanged, not everything is transmitted by fluids, then evolution has a way of rewriting the books with the ink still wet.

            Skippy…remember STD’s are gift from herders, those poor Polynesians, god and STDs.

          2. F. Beard

            remember STD’s are gift from herders, skippy

            For disobeying the commandment against sex with animals?

          3. F. Beard

            the activity of bestiality predates your foundation myth, skippy

            The Lord initially gave us only one command – don’t eat that fruit.

            Later, as sin progressed, it became necessary to tell man not to do all kinds of absurd things like murder and sex with animals.

            As for the Bible being a myth, it predicted the expansion of the Universe about 3000 years earlier than Hubble:

            Bible search – “stretch + heaven”

          4. skippy

            “Who alone stretches out the heavens” — oh my gross generalization, try the sky is stretched out be for us et al.

            All books or ideology’s that claim to establish unverifiable beginnings of life or the universe are *foundation myths*.

            Skippy…early cosmological observations are part and parcel of humanity’s curiosity…Egyptians, central and south american, Australian aboriginals, etc.

            Still the biggest LED screen, the nights sky, yet we thought the earth was flat and center of the universe…whats your point.

          5. F. Beard

            All books or ideology’s that claim to establish unverifiable beginnings of life or the universe are *foundation myths*. skippy

            Speaking of “beginnings”, until the 1950s, it was assumed that the Universe had no beginning. However, about 3500 years ago Moses wrote: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

            But let’s not bore the others.

          6. skippy

            beard many others, said the same thing, before the bible had its first chapter, hence creation – foundation myth status.

            Skippy…until we know, its a theory, save the believers of any stripe. Believe or Burn, heck of a choice, is really a choice at all…ummm.

          7. F. Beard

            Believe or Burn, heck of a choice, is really a choice at all skippy

            No. The choice is believe and be forgiven or refuse to believe and face Judgement.

            If you think you could stand true justice, that is your choice. You will receive no worse than what you deserve.

            However, some of the best people who ever lived would tell you that they needed forgiveness. If they needed forgiveness, the rest of us don’t?

    1. Nathanael

      HPV is rampantly infectious — even though it’s sexually transmitted, like most such diseases it’s possible to get it non-sexually — and pretty much everyone should get all the vaccines against it.

      I’m going to try to talk my doctor into getting both vaccines if we get a chance.

  20. rd

    Small but spreading. There is now an “Occupy Syracuse”. Notice in the article that the reporter notes that the Syracuse police stop by occasionally to make sure the people in the park are not being harassed!

    This area has average to below average unemployment and house prices have barely moved over the past two decades. The big problems here are related to general NYS policies that drive employers out fo the state and too many government entities with unfunded mandates from NYS resulting in sky-high local taxes. Our annual property tax bill is bigger than our mortgage!

    1. Nathanael

      The state doesn’t exactly have “policies which drive employers out”…. except for exactly the one you pinpointed. Unfunded mandates from the state, which refuses to pay for the mandates at the state level, resulting in extremely high local property taxes.

      Why would a business build in NY when the tax on the land is cheaper everywhere else? Answer: NY is very attractive in other ways, but businesses don’t tolerate the huge property tax, so they demand “tax abatements”. Which eventually result in even *higher* property taxes for everyone else….

      …Most of the unfunded mandates should be funded at the state level. Certainly Medicaid and schools should be funded at the state level. At the state level, not only would an actual progressive income tax help a lot, but unlike at most levels of government there actually *is* significant waste (the amount of money the State Senate Republicans spent just on self-promotion is disturbing, and I have no doubt the Assembly Democrats did similar things).

  21. Typing Monkey

    Re: Dexia:

    1. Is this implicit capitulation on the part of the French and Belgians that there’s no more road to kick the can down?

    2. What happened to all that Fed Reserve money that went to them? (not even including TARP)

    3. It’d be great to know why the Fed felt that companies such as Guggenheim Partners and Hudson Castle required free money. That aside, it’s interesting to see all the banks on that Bloomberg List that are still pretty screwed–six of the top seven have been mentioned repeatedly in media reports over the last week, for example. I wonder if the Fed will still claim “victory” in a couple of months?

  22. sportske

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  23. sportske

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