Links 10/8/11

Questions of Conflict in Pipeline Review New York Times

Attackers Adjusting Tactics to Evade Reputation Systems ThreatPost. One of my buddies sold a block of Class B IP addresses about 3 years ago. He wished he could have held on to them, I suspect even more so now.

Panel’s Advice on Prostate Test Sets Up Battle New York Times. A friend of mine who worked for the NIH and had been a medical researcher earlier in her career described medicine as a medieval art. Doctors do not take it well when large scale studies of current practice show that there is no evidence that a particular procedure produces positive outcomes.

Exclusive: Computer Virus Hits U.S. Drone Fleet Wired (hat tip reader Deontos)

Full text: Moody’s places Belgium’s Aa1 ratings on review for possible downgrade Ed Harrison

Investors turn bears on Germany and France Financial Times

Mechanics of a euro breakdown FT Alphaville

IMF Advisor Robert Shapiro: Prepare for Global Financial Meltdown Within Two to Three Weeks Alternet (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Businesses urge quantum leap to beat crisis Financial Times. This is really important if pressure is sustained. The big real economy forces are (rather late in the game) starting to push back against finanzkapital. This Michael Hudson article is a useful companion piece: From Marx to Goldman Sachs: The Fictions of Fictitious Capital.

President Clears Wall Street Of Crimes masaccio, FireDogLake (hat tip orionATL)

Romney Promises to Boost Defense Spending Bloomberg. As Tom Ferguson observed, “It’s the Republican jobs program.” Note the mention of increasing pressure on Iran. Glenn Greenwald discusses this further.

The NYPD, now sponsored by Wall Street Salon (hat tip reader Deontos)

Eric Cantor Condemns Occupy Wall Street ‘Mobs’: They’re ‘Pitting Americans Against Americans’ (VIDEO) Huffington Post. In case you missed it.

Bloomberg On OWS: They’re ‘Trying To Destroy The Jobs Of Working People’ TPM. Oh, so MOTUs are now mere “working people”?

Conservatives Support Protests George Washington. Erm, not sure whether “support” = “hopes to co-opt”

Obama’s Good Cop/ Bad Cop deal with the Republicans Michael Hudson. This is too close to conspiracy theory for my taste, but an interesting read. The obvious explanation is simpler: Obama was always a neoliberal/Rubinite, his true colors came out at the beginning of his Administration, when people prominent in his campaign who were prepared to be tough on banks (Volcker and Stiglitz, among others) were shunted aside and Geithner and Summers came to the fore.

IRS Stingy With Whistleblower Payouts, Slow to Follow Up on Tips Bloomberg

SEC Cop to Back Whistleblower’s Claim Wall Street Journal

Ignoring Massive Industry Fraud, Bank Of America CEO Hypes Benefits Of Faster Foreclosures Think Progress. This is bizarre on a couple of levels. First, Think Progress is an official Democratic party messager and apparently did not get the memo from Obama that banks did nothing wrong. Second, in the so-called $8.5 billion Bank of America settlement, BoA effectively gives up servicing of distressed loans to special servicers, who are required to manage foreclosures to strict timetables. Adam Levitin read it as an admission that BofA couldn’t do the job (it was assumed that BofA would have to pay the special servicers more than it made in servicing fees to do the job). So why is Moynihan touting this, except maybe that the “speed is of the essence” message is an argument for letting the settlement go forward. Third, Moynihan posits a right to “make” a profit, not earn one (and this for running a entity that is so heavily subsidized that it can hardly be considered to be private enterprise)

Mad at bank fees? Credit unions get another look Associated Press (hat tip Joe Costello)

Checking Account Wars, Behind the Scenes New York Times

Bank Transfer Day: Remember, Remember the 5th of November Lisa Derrick, FireDogLake. Ooh, this could be very interesting.

Antidote du jour:

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  1. dearieme

    “the success of women’s groups that successfully persuaded much of the country two years ago that it was a mistake for the same panel, the United States Preventive Services Task Force, to recommend against routine mammograms for women in their 40s”: that’s “persuaded” in the sense of “bullied” I take it. The rational case against mammograms for asymptomatic pre-menopausal women without a family medical history of breast cancer is well set out in Gerd Gigerenzer’s book on Risk, as is the case against mass PSA testing of men.

    (“Reckoning with Risk: Learning to Live with Uncertainty” 2002, published in the U.S. as “Calculated Risks: How to Know When Numbers Deceive You” – a very fine book for the layman, hard to overpraise.)

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I’ve gone on before how mammograms are a bad test, period. They are good at detecting benign lumps and very slow growing growth (the type you will die with, not of) and bad at detecting the fast moving ones that are dangerous. Lots of false positives and false negatives in reading the films, and the same film with often get a different reading from different practitioners. Manual exams by an experienced practitioner are much better at detecting fast moving cancers, and manual self-exams are also a good first line of defense. But manual exams don’t seem “scientific” enough. Thermal imaging is far more accurate for the dangerous growths, but doctors have an installed base of equipment and are resistant to switching over.

  2. Richard Kline

    That simian would much rather be holding onto another simian—just look at its face—but someone has taken its mother and sibs away and substituted a simulacra. . . . I feel a political analogy coming on . . . .

    1. Jim Haygood

      Timmy Geithner clutches his Big Bird doll as Lawrence Summers cruelly taunts him:

      ‘Just lie back and think of Europe!’

      1. ambrit

        My Dear Mr Haygood;
        Sir, in reference to (cough) ‘lying back.’ Are you by chance suggesting that Mr Summers is pretending to be our Queen Empress Victoria? Such effrontery, and ill disguised ‘gender issues,’ as the moderns call it, are quite within his public personna. At least our late Sovreign was concerning herself with increasing the supply of loyal subjects of the Crown. Mr Summers seems focused on Crowns exclusively.
        Your most humble and devoted servant, Ambrit.

  3. Ben Wolf

    Is it wise to continue linking George Washington? He went totally off the rails a couple of days ago about how the country needs to return to the gold standard, and that “entitlements” are destroying the country; that people in the 19th century were self-reliant and didn’t depend on government. The guy is selling poison.

    1. Jack P.

      To be fair to him, he was quoting other people about the Gold standard (reporting on what Libertarians at OWS want), and Jim Quinn(sp?) a guest columnist was repeating some deceptions about Social Security.

      Still he needs to exercise some better judgment about who to quote and who to let blog as a guest columnist.

      1. Bev

        The change at gw was significant since the new site. I thought they had tied him up in the back or something. Or, he got a big PR contract from R. Paul.

        And, speaking of the gold standard. It depends. As I understand, Public/Government Greenback Money was backed by PMs. It was not a Bankers’ DEBT Currency so it permanently circulated in the society to be used endlessly and so wealth remained in the society. It was Not like Bankers’ Credit/Our Debt Money which is extinguished when loans are paid back, a temporary DEBT Money that is constantly drawn down, causing always less circulating currency and more and more debt because the money Is debt.

        A currency can be Gold Backed, but if it is under the control of Banks as a DEBT instrument…we will have even bigger problems. As a Debt currency it will doom people to always more Debt, trying to get out of debt with more debt money.

        The redesigned U.S. $100 bill (not yet distributed, stored for 3 or so years) sure looks like the plan has been for a gold backed currency because of its many gold symbols and even Revolutionary language printed on it. However, if it is still DEBT based money, then Dennis Kucinich’s plan is much better whether backed by gold, silver or nothing, because it will NOT BE DEBT MONEY:


        Byron Dale about that newly designed $100. bill:….

        New $100 Federal Reserve Note – Same Old Debt.

        hint: If it says “Note” on it, it is a debt instrument.
        Each one of these in circulation represents
        more debt than there is money to pay it off.
        This is done to deduce “illegal counterfeiting”. They hate competition.



        So, You Think You Have A Chance
        In This Market?

        When a “mystery bank” can move 380 tonnes of gold in one transaction, why would you be so foolish as to think that this is a ‘free market” or that you could base a currency on gold?

        Besides, if you allow the banks to lend the gold, as they did here, you’ll be in worse shape than you are now.

        True, we need a wealth based system, but gold is not the answer.

        The answer is to monetize the production of infrastructure with new, debt free money, instead of borrowing, bonding or taxing.


        Byron Dales’ essay about Bankers’ DEBT MONEY. It did not matter that there was gold, natural resources. It only mattered that there was DEBT.

        from: Byron Dale

        January 17, 2009

        Hyperinflation and Zimbabwe – Myth, Misinformation and the “Expert”

        The True Cause of Zimbabwe’s Hyperinflation

        Austrians say the problem is too much paper. 

        Keynesians say the government should spend more. 

        Neither camp has a solid grasp on the effects of interest and both groups are in denial, when it comes to fully understanding debt.

        In fact, in macroeconomic terms, you can hardly find a model that illustrates this: the money needed to pay interest is never created inside the system and that principal is extinguished from circulation when a payment of principal is made.

        The more you learn about how it really works, who the “experts” are following, why they are following the wrong explanation, how old that theory is and who benefits from its propagation, the easier it is to realize why they can’t figure it out.

        NEWS FLASH: 

        Hyperinflation is not caused by paper money.

        It is not caused by too much money. 

        It is caused by unpayable interest rates.


Fact: Interest Rates in Zimbabwe were 800% in 2007

        Fact: The Overnight Rate Charged By Zimbabwe’s Reserve Bank is 10,000%


Fact: The 91 Day T-Bill is at an interest rate of 66.33%


Fact: Their Government has to hike taxes to pay the T-Bill rate at its maturity. Taxes up to 79%!

        Fact: Unemployment in Zimbabwe is at 85% and HERE

        QUESTION: If you’re a shopkeeper and you have a loan at an interest rate of 800% and your taxes are nearly 64% (plus a 15% “value added tax” for a total of 79%) of your income, do you think that you will have to raise your prices to stay in business?

        ANSWER: Yes. Daily.

        QUESTION: Why is this happening? 
Is someone manipulating their interest rates, causing economic chaos because they want Zimbabwe’s gold, platinum and diamonds?



Gold surrendered to a single company – find out who.

        Manipulate, collapse, take.


Ya think?


The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is refusing to pay for gold deliveries.

        Most of the gold mines have collapsed.

        Investment banks are buying up the mines at pennies on the dollar.

        This did not happen to Zimbabwe because they did not have enough gold.

        This did not happen to Zimbabwe because they did not have enough natural resources.

        This did not happen to Zimbabwe because the government spent too little.

        This did not happen to Zimbabwe because they had too much paper money.

        This happened because they had too much debt and the unpayable interest is destroying them.

        Say, aren’t the people dependent on bank loans for a medium of exchange and don’t the banks set the interest rates on their loaned money?

        When the banks hike the interest rates to manipulate the money supply to the point that only 15% of the people can work, the medium of exchange is destroyed and the banks end up with the gold, is that financial terrorism?



        On September 22, 2011, in News, by Jules Brouillet

        Dear Friends of the American Monetary Institute,



        On Wednesday September 21st Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D,Ohio, 10th District) took a crucial and heroic step to resolve our growing financial crisis and achieve a just and sustainable money system for our nation by introducing the National Emergency Employment Defense Act of 2011, abbreviated NEED. Read his announcement.

        While the bill focuses on our nation’s unemployment crisis, the remedy proposed contains all of the essential monetary measures being proposed by the American Monetary Institute in the American Monetary Act. These are what decades of research and centuries of experience have shown to be necessary to end the economic crisis in a just and sustainable way, and place the U.S. money system under our constitutional checks and balances. Yes, it can be done!

    2. Jack P.

      Also I noticed that you posted comments there. You insert quotes from the same extended comment by Jim Quinn, that you incorrectly attribute to GW here.

      I would say GW is being GW, but someone else has gone off the rails.

      1. Ben Wolf

        I tend to consider allowing a guest post effectively an endorsement of said post. Blogs tend to be rather personal things, and when you turn it over to a guest you basically allow that person to speak for you. Maybe I’m off the mark, but I can’t help but think that the person blogging for you says something ABOUT you.

        1. Jack P.

          Looking more carefully at what I had called a guest post, it was billed as a long comment on one of GW’s posts. Most of it is fairly sound by the way, but as you point out, some of it is not.

          You can hardly judge a blog by its commenters. If anything GW should be given credit for allowing his commenters to make their positions known. Some bloggers have a nasty habit of censoring ideas they don’t want in the comments. Yves and GW are pretty good about just cracking down on the abusive ones.

        2. Jack P.

          Also an observation. It seems like no week can go by without someone calling for Yves to stop linking to washingtonsblog , calling him crazy or something like that. Obviously his blog is very troubling to a certain class of people, and I think I like that.

          1. ole

            The fed is not a democratic institution and hence wouldn’t respond to democratic pressure. Although an occupation of the fed might bring this fact to light.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      This is halo effect thinking, that someone is all good or all bad. That’s considered to be a cognitive bias.

      Let’s go through some examples:

      Mish pre crisis and during the crisis often had good economic/market reports. He’s now gone off the deep end on being rabidly anti-union, anti anything remotely Keynesian, and pro austerity. Yet once in a great while he has a post I like and I’ll link to that.

      Brad DeLong can be counted on to shill for Larry Summers and is way too nice to the Administration. Nevertheless he often has good posts.

      GW has gotten more with the goldbugs and I ignore that, and he has some other pet issues I”m leery of. But he has decent posts as well and if one is on a topic that has not been well covered, I’ll link to it.

    1. F. Beard

      PS I nominate Walken as the spokes person for Occupywallst skippy.

      Bond: “Do you expect me to talk?”
      Goldfinger: “No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.”

      Strong opening negotiating position, eh? But with Walken, it would be even scarier.

    2. ambrit

      Dear skippy;
      It would be great to see Walkin do the Singing In the Rain musical number down Wall Street at the head of a big OWS march! Your suggestion is seconded!

        1. skippy

          BTW Goldfinger is great slur to those that believe that toil can be contained in a vessel…beard…I tip my beach fedora.

          Ambrit “It would be great to see Walkin do the Singing In the Rain musical number down Wall Street at the head of a big OWS march!”

          Skippy…YES[!!!] pour your misery down, pour your misery down on me, my only comfort is the night gone black… That’s their solution…embrace the darkness…eh…sacrifices oblivion for the 99%ers…great plan if your a 1%…eh.

  4. Jim Haygood

    From the NYT’s ‘Checking Account Wars’ article:

    So the big banks make you pay, and the most aggressive of the little institutions want to pay you. What on earth is going on here, and can this possibly continue?

    Outrage over merchant fees is what led Senator Durbin and his colleagues to limit what financial institutions with over $10 billion in assets can collect from merchants when customers use debit cards.

    Any checking account provider smaller than that, including PerkStreet and BancVue’s partners, can continue collecting higher fees. Because they get more fees, it helps them offer better checking account terms.

    This is the classic ‘false alternatives’ sales close. Do you want to stay with the TBTF behemoths, or defect to smaller and even more extortionate (to merchants) institutions?

    Answer: NONE OF THE ABOVE. Use cash, starve a bankster. That’s the way to give an upraised middle finger to Big Biz and Big Gov.

  5. Jim Haygood

    From the FT Alphaville article ‘Mechanics of a euro breakdown’:

    Euro exit would almost definitely mean EU exit and the free movement of labour, capital and trade that it implies as well as access to EU social and cohesion funds.

    This is quite a bold assumption. Britain, Denmark and Sweden, among others, are not in the euro currency zone, but most definitely are EU members.

    Is the EU going to punish a drachmatised Greece by forbidding it the independent currency status that other EU members reserved for themselves?

    I doubt it.

  6. Jack P.

    It’s always risky to make predictions about the next few weeks, as in “the financial system is two weeks away from collapse.” People have short memories but not that short. Once he’s proven wrong, his credibility is shot.

    Then again, there could be another manufactured crisis and huge new bailouts while there’s still a window of opportunity.

  7. Jack P.

    Computer viruses for the drone fleet, and some Florida idiot politician wants to use them against Floridians.

    It’s only a matter of time before we hear: “Look Dave, I can see you’re really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.”

    1. Jack P.

      Having lived through all of what is described in the article, I can safely say that’s the Disneyland version of what happened.

    2. dearieme

      Rather good, that: thank you. Mind you: “What all the polls show,” says Paul, “is that people want services and not to pay for them” – to be fair, that was the principle on which the USA was founded.

    3. scraping_by

      He lost me at, “The smart money says…”

      Other than sucking in the sweet miasma of celebrity, Lewis mostly recycles the Koch brothers’ “blame the union” campaign slogans. I mean, if government’s a service, is it scandalous that 80% of the budget goes to salaries? If the main source of revenue loses value, is it blue collar greed that causes deficits?

      As a general thing, the one percent and their wormtounge apologists hate any cooperative group that can improve the balance of power of consumers vs capitalists.

      Lewis is posturing rich again. Dug out my old copy of Tom Wolfe’s _The Purple Decade_ for a comparison. Wolfe dealt with the American upper class with a lot more detachment, almost clinical, with more than a hint of sarcasm. He’d never commit the howler of accusing the Governator of staying up late reading official business.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        He lost me in the first paragraph. A former bond salesman not understanding, or more accurately, pretending not to understand why Treasury yields fell on the downgrade and then going on about the Federal government is either disingenuous or willfully ignorant. And that’s not the only thing wrong in the first paragraph, either.

        1. skippy

          Sorry can’t help myself, amends.

          q(ti), i=1…N

          CDS spreads into implied default probabilities, computation of the fixed and variable leg, with proper discounting and some basic probability math >>>> insert sharps into eye sockets[!] and sign off its okie dokie!

          Skippy…N = maturity —- ***Assume*** that there is no counterparty risk — mumble, gibberish, squawk. Would they write such formulas at the height of battle…methinks not!

          PS. at some point this stuff is going to have one HUGE theoretical aneurysm…arrgh…sigh.

  8. rd

    The environmental arguments regarding the Keystone pipeline are getting very annoying. Most of the oil that gets into a pipeline like this is insoluble and can’t get into a groundwater supply. The soluble compounds breakdown quite quickly by natural processes. This is why all of those leaking gas stations down the street from you generally don’t cause the hydrocarbon compounds to extend very far away from the gas stations.

    Artificial compounds like MTBE are a different story. Most major contamination problems from gas stations are related to this as it breaks down much, much slower.

    A pipeline spill on land is completely different from one in an aquatic environment. In the aquatic environment, the oil can get into the sediments and is mixed directly in the water column, so the fish and benthic organisms are impacted directly.

    The Ogallala Aquifer region has significant oil and gas industry activity over the aquifer and near it. That extraction, pipeline, and refining activity is over 100 years old. However, those activities to date have not managed to do major damage to the aquifer despite the total lack of environment regulation during the vast majority of those activities.

    Major impacts to aquifers historically come from chemical industries, especially chlorinated solvents, industrial farming with fertilizer, herbicides, and pesticides, and salt water intrusion due to over-pumping.

    Excessive fertilizer use is also devastating to surface water systems as we see in many lakes and the Gulf of Mexico mouth of the Mississippi. Wetland loss due to development, drainage, and filling is another major player in environmental impact to both aquifers and surface water. Clear-cut logging is another major environmental issue for surface water. Damming the rivers to provide irrigation and drinking water has caused many more environmental impacts.

    Preventing this pipeline will just mean that Canada will sell the oil to China. Oil will still move to refineries in the central part of the US through pipelines, some of it from wells in their own communities, especially now that the Bakken Shale in North Dakota is turning into a major producer.

    If they want to prevent greenhouse gas emissions, the opposition needs to focus on how America and the rest of the world uses energy in general. Mobilizing against a token pipeline is just feel-good environmentalism that has little overall impact on the real environmental issues of the day.

    I personally believe that the only way to change US consumers use of energy to reduce reliance on foreign sources as well as reduce environmental impacts is to put a tax on it. That tax could simply be rebated penny for penny back on a per capita basis, so that heavy non-renewable energy users subsidize low energy users without changing the overall budget structure.

    1. RanDomino

      The NIMBY arguments miss the mark. The problem with Keystone XL is that it’s going to enable even more efficient burning of fossil fuels, accelerating global warming.

  9. John M

    “This is too close to conspiracy theory for my taste…”

    That article’s conspiracy theory sounds plausible to me. What is Conspiracy Theory? Is it a theory that a conspiracy occurred or is occurring? For example:

    The Holocaust — a conspiracy theory that German leaders conspired to kill millions of Jews, Gays, and others?

    9/11 — a conspiracy theory that Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda leaders had 19 hijackers hijack four aircraft to crash them into various targets? A conspiracy theory that someone high-level paralyzed our air security to let the attacks succeed? Or a conspiracy theory that the Bush Administration flew aircraft into various targets and blamed it on Osama bin Laden? (BTW, petition on,

    Invasion of Iraq — a conspiracy theory that the Bush Administration fabricated a WMD scare story to invade Iraq?

    1. Jack P.

      The “financial meltdown” of 2008: How [a group of] Unelightened Self Interested [elites] Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism

    2. Patricia

      I agree. It is only sensible for Repubs to take advantage of the situation (“This Dem prez is just like us!”). They would get all they want without having to go through the work of shifting the staff. They would be able to maintain the pressure of being the (supposed) opposing party.

      I wondered about this six months ago and I’m neither a brilliant brain nor professional in the field, so I’m sure it’s been in their minds since Obama began consistently and beautifully proving himself. That some of them have been working towards it (with contingencies, naturally) would be a matter of course.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      The assertion in the article is that the Republicans have a secret deal or plan that they’ll run somebody nutty to let Obama win and implement their policies.

      That is just batshit.

      First, there are LOTS of businessmen who are genuinely convinced that Obama is anti-business. I hear this all the time in somewhat pinko NYC. Obama is not to the right enough for their tastes, they want total victory (which as I have pointed out is the strategy the banks have adopted recently). The Democrats don’t sell out the middle class quickly enough to suit them.

      Second, the President nominates Supreme court appointees. Changing the composition of the courts gives you control over the future.

  10. Andrew not the Saint

    Re: Hudson’s article – Yves, a “conspiracy theory” is nowadays a very hollow cliche usually used as just another ad-hominem attack, I suggest you stay clear of it.

    I have another conspiracy theory – anyone who thinks that the Rep/Dem clash is more real than a WWF match needs to get their head examined.

  11. Patricia

    In G Washington’s piece, Oathkeepers write: “Another facet of our initiative is to use these public gatherings to reach and teach many who now hunger for the truth – we can show them how the Constitution will protect them better than an oversized, bloated Federal behemoth hell-bent on controlling every aspect of each citizen’s life.”

    Gahhhh. I get so tired of evangelical Christians’ belief that they are the only ones who know anything and that anytime there is a confluence of opinion, the “other” is “awakening”, “newly hungry” and ready to be taught. Their grandiosity is breath-taking in it’s wrong-headedness.

    I wish I could be there when they try dispensing their wisdom. A good laugh would be immensely satisfying.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I have written a fair bit about the efforts of the liberal hackocracy to co-opt OWS. It is important to recognize that this is happening on the right too, albeit to a lesser degree.

  12. Max424

    I had a dream. I was driving home, it was late, there was no traffic, so I was very relaxed, and on my port side, there was a green space, a golf course, or a park perhaps, and in the middle distance, shaped in the faint moon light, I saw a buck and a doe, standing watch guard.

    And I was peacefully thinking, I wonder if they’re a happy deer couple, when I saw it, a menacing blue thing, just above the treeline. And my first thought was, (as it should have been), it’s a UFO! But it was not a UFO. I could see too clearly the queer shape, the inverted tail, the American(?) steel. It was was a drone. An Obama Predator Drone. And I was aware, the drone was there for me.

    I tried to take evasive action (speed up and steer wildly!), but it was too late — the MQ-9 Reaper Drone had already released it munitions. The GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bomb impacted my rear left quarter panel. The 500 pound Raytheon product eviscerated my car, and it eviscerated me.

    I was blood mist particle now, floating into into the night sky, lifting up toward space or heaven (I know not which). But I still had a face, I still had eyes and a working brain, and I could still look down on the world. And in that looking down, damn, if I didn’t see Obama, on the White House roof, watching my flight to the other side through his binoculars.

    And I cried down to him, “Obama! Why did you do this to me, Obama? Was I not a good, law abiding citizen of your realm!”

    But I knew the answer. I was indeed the one who stole the cookie from the cookie jar. I was seven, I was hungry, and Grandma had just baked a fresh batch. So I took one, and I never did own up to it.

    My dream ended with the realization that Obama is right. I deserved what I got. I, hell, all the We the People, deserve, to be assassinated.

  13. David

    Looking forward to the 5th of November! there are so many reasons to get your money out of Citi, BoA, etc. and into your community.

    Hopefully many people already did the move to local institutions in 2008. i did. my state government started doing it earlier this year — which is awesome.

    Come on people!

  14. aletheia33

    a recommended excerpt (attribution below):

    People looking for “a coherent message” in the park would do well to talk to Brendan Burke, a tall, tattooed truck driver with a degree from NYU and The New School, who’s based at the center of the park, where four or five young people are crouched over laptops, shouting into the wind in their own way.

    “People are informed today. People are online,” Burke explains. “People in Kansas do yoga, you understand. Country’s different, you understand? There’s no more mooks in the citizenry. We are working people and we’re not getting a fair shake, so we took to the streets. It’s an irrational act, an act of passion, but we need to use self-control and respect. Those who want to go down with the ship will go down with the ship. Those who will be there will be sensible people who are out here for a reason. The kids who are out here who just want to party, well, they’re beautiful children and we protect them every night. I can’t even tell you what’s going to happen after today. The cops may sweep this when the landlord says I want them out.

    “Not anti-anybody. We’re pro-American citizen. Millions of Americans are getting kicked out of their house. They’re losing their education, their health care. They can’t take care of their parents. This is about people. Republicans are opening their bills. Democrats are opening their bills. I’ll go all the way to $250,000 if you want. Everybody’s opening their bills and they’re thinking, ‘Who’s protecting me from people stealing from me?’ This isn’t what I agreed on when I signed this agreement with this company. You add all these hassles up in your life — your hospital, your credit card, your education, your mortgage — and you’re getting nailed. And there are a couple of banks who created the instruments that made that happen. This is not a physical war. This is an oppression that’s quiet, and through money, and through services, and through small print. They want you to be afraid, and not to know, and they want to bewilder you. Between you and me, I shouldn’t get a credit card. But I got one. I didn’t even apply for it. Why am I getting a credit card?

    “This is not Tahrir Square. This is not Tompkins Square Park. This is not Yuppies against squatters. This is about minds. We need help from people who know. We need help from people in the financial industry who know. They should be here, too. He should want to see a better community. I want to see change in a systematic and legislative way. We’re looking for real results. We’re looking for protection for people. We’re down here trying to pay bills. It’s serious out there, but it’s quiet, because it happens at everyone’s kitchen table. It’s happening household-by-household. There’s a sense out there, which I hope what’s going on here will dissipate, that there’s something wrong with me. I’m a jerk because I can’t pay that bill. There are working men who will march tomorrow. It’s all about people, who feel they got duped. There needs to be a systematic legislative change, so that this cannot happen any more.”

    Brendan Burke’s head is shaved. He doesn’t wear funny glasses. He doesn’t beat a drum, or look like he failed an audition for a Radiohead tribute band. He is not what the smart people come down here expecting to find. He looks like the truck driver he is, and he talks like someone who works for a living. For a long time in this country, that was enough. That country is what the people have come to find in this little park, where the wind is getting colder.

    excerpt from “What They’ve Come to Find at Occupy Wall Street Is America” (Esquire, of all places):

    aletheia33 here. i hope some people in the financial industry, as burke asks, will break their public silence and come forward to help unpack the black box of the system, for the urgent public good. yves unpacks it so well. we need 100 like yves. even 10, or even 5, would be a start.

    may those who are keeping themselves in the dark, behind the curtain, that tiny group who alone have the expertise to understand one or another particular institutionalized criminal game, emerge. may the prosecutors who have been spineless begin to consider whether it might now be more in their interest to practice the law and justice. what had seemed unimaginable is now imaginable.

    besides yves–who has done and continues to do so much–if you are a finance industry insider who visits this forum, could you please try and see if you can think of a way now that you can use your and brains and share your knowledge so as to help your fellow citizens climb out of the mire of subtle fraud and false contracts that our society is struggling helplessly in?

  15. Paul Jonker-Hoffrén

    Dear Yves,

    Have you noted this:

    It is already the TENTH Danish bank that fails and has to be nationalised. I haven’t seen much news coverage of this outside the Nordic countries. Admittedly, most of these banks are fairly small, but still.

    About the proverbial stuff hitting the fan: Finnish news service YLE reports that the Bank of Finland has bought over 3 billion euros worth of crisis country bonds, with a doubling of the amount of bonds seen in the last two months. If things do go very wrong, even ostensibly healthy countries like Finland will have a big problem (3 billion euros is about 2% of Finnish GDP, roughly).

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