Links 11/21/11

By lambert strether, Corrente

In focus groups, "people have been breaking down and crying" when they talk about the economy FT.

The Top 0.1% Of The Nation Earn Half Of All Capital Gains Forbes (Acquifer).

Simon Johnson: Deutsche Bank Could Transfer Contagion Bloomberg (Deontos).

Eurozone debt web: Who owes what to whom? BBC (MartinW).

“For all the talk of a technocratic pro-European government in Greece, the truth has a nasty underbelly in which the serpent’s egg [of racism/fascism] has already hatched. The world better beware” (SusanW).

“Karl Marx would have made a fantastic hedge fund manager” Guardian. No higher calling!

Plutocracy makes for short, fragile recoveries Business Week (May S).

Olympus funneled 70 billion yen into six investment funds based in the Cayman Islands and elsewhere Asahi Shimbun.

In the City of London, corporations actually do vote FT. Read all the way to the end.

Formal obstacles increase our conceptual scope Wired. Now I understand why twitter’s 140 character limit is good.

UC Davis, Greenwald: “Acts of defiance, courage and conscience are contagious” Salon.

UC Davis: Somebody give Nathan Brown tenure Salon.

UC Davis: Silence is golden. But my eyes still see.

UC Davis policeman John Pike is not a demon, but human The Atlantic.

OWS as restoration Jonathan Turley (SusanW) .

How OWS helped labor’s ground game in OH SB5 win Tom Dispatch (Thomas R). Note deafening silence from our famously free press on SB5.

Police beat up right wing Daily Call reporters, but and so Occupiers immediately offer medical assistance Think Progress.

Curling up into a ball is "active resistance" justifying baton strikes (George Washington).

Obama Calls On Authorities To Refrain From Violence Against Peaceful Protestors The New Civil Rights Movement. Be sure to click through!

Barry Ritholtz skewers the Big Lie that the financial crisis happened because innocent banksters were forced to make bad loans (part 2) WaPo.

David Cay Johnston: Why not treat derivatives as unenforceable gambling debts? Reuters.

"The central claim of austerity is that our current problems are the result of governments living beyond their means. The claim is absurd on the face of things" John Quiggin.

Joint Select Committee on Human Sacrifice to board the #FAILboat? Calculated Risk.

Bernie Sanders and Pete Peterson: End the bromance! Our Future.

The first long-term expansion of America’s military presence in the Pacific since the Vietnam war FT. What could go wrong?

Mike Check for President!

When you’ve lost Shepard Fairey

The Hillary Moment WSJ (Joe C). Democrat pollsters Caddell and Schoen think Obama should "seize the moral high ground" by stepping aside in favor of Hillary Clinton.

Gentlemen prefer bonds (MacroBusiness). Covered bonds.

Obama-Wen talks overshadowed by disputes FT (SusanW).

Thai government abandons draft pardon that would have ended former Prime Minister Thaksin’s exile, after Thakin releases hand-written letter saying he would not accept it Bangkok Post. The letter includes the phrase “Forgive and forget” — in English, not Thai. Why?

Monsanto is more trouble than it’s worth Nepal Times (furzy mouse). Also, too, debt peonage and suicide (ditto).

If China bails out the Eurobanksters, the peasants are going to want their own bailout FT.

#OccupyAlbany continued arrests under Cuomo curfew. #OccupyBangor Why R U Here? With drummer! #OccupyBoston Interviews with Occupiers. #OccupyChicago twitter stream infested with trolls. Rahm? Dave? #OccupyDC occupies closed homeless shelter DC hopes to develop, makes Pravda. #OccupyIowa Iowa caucus wild card. #OccupyNashville mike checks Rummy at fundraiser. #OccupyNashville link to fake “Nashville Electric Service” van doing surveillance. #OccupyOakland situation fluid as of this writing. West Coast port shutdown December 12 (George Washington). #OccupyPortland: Confluence with single payer advocates. #OccupySeattle Interview with Dorey Rainey. #OccupyWallStreet: "NYPD Don’t Be Wall Street Mercenaries" (May S).

Occupy Tweets: "Excuse me officer, I’d like to report some illegally parked cars” / Pepper Spray soon to be declared a vegetable / I am not protesting because I need something to do. I am protesting because something needs to be done / Planning Crafts Fair for Kids, just bring them down [to] the disease infested encampment! / One more clarification: NYC’s homelessness, poverty not *solely* #OWS’ responsibility. It’s all of ours as New Yorkers. Especially Mike’s / Shopper has been camped out in a tent for two weeks waiting for Black Friday… Arrest him!

Antidote du jour:

Reader LWO writes: “This Snowy Owl was photographed by my husband at Montrose Beach, Chicago, on Saturday, Nov. 20th.”

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


    1. Parvaneh Ferhadi

      It’s actually laughable, but indicative of where the problem comes from.
      Working with false stereotypes instead of entering into a debate – which they would surely lose (and it seems they know), hence the need for stereotyping and thus deflecting the discussion away from the real issues to divisive ones.

    2. KnotRP

      It’s almost election time, which means the pre-game pep rally bonfires begin. The dude on the left doesn’t yet realize he’s been MF Global’ed, because he’s still got Account Statements that say he has “savings”, so he’s still pretty sure the MSM reports of the other team being serial killing child molesting communists must be the truth. Maybe everyone should buy a copy of “Inside Job” dvd for their red team relatives, this holiday season?


    3. F. Beard

      I wonder if Ramirez ever gets tired of licking the Establishment’s boots?

      Wait till the Depression takes away his job.

      1. ambrit

        Mr Beard;
        I’m with you there. With a name like Ramirez, and from Tejas, he’d better watch out; or didn’t he see “The Thin Blue Line” when it came out?
        “Oye! Braceros! Ten cuidado! Policia!”

    4. evodevo

      Whaddya expect from Houston? We have a good friend there who was an exec at Exxon – that probably describes a good 2/3 of the population. An IBD fan and as impervious to economic critical thinking as a rock. He eats this kind of propaganda up. We have been arguing about this whole economic crash thing for 4 years and haven’t made a single dent.

  1. dearieme

    It’s amusing to see “moral” and “Clinton” in the same sentence. But seriously: the best reason for taking the gamble of voting for Obama, the International Man of Mystery, in the primaries was to keep the bloody Clintons out of the White House.

    (Just as probably the best reason for voting for him later was to keep McCain out.)

    1. jimmyj

      Yoe have to forgive Lambert. Deep down he still thinks Hillary would have made a good Prez. Its the only notable flaw in his otherwise quite worthwhile blog And he’s much more subtle about it than he used to be. Go ahead Lambert. Get it out of your system. You’ll feel better.

    2. tyaresun

      Hillary and Obama are twins. I want Warren to challenge Obama. She will not win but will surely get a lot of coverage on Fox News.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        The three of them are actually closer to triplets . . . . maybe Warren is a couple years their senior but she’s still their sibling and resembles them.

        Heck, compare the way all three treat the Occupy protests domestically with the way they treat protesters in certain Arab countries, for instance. Even Liz Warren, who is supposedly the most liberal of the three, says that the protesters shouldn’t break the law.

        That’s quite a thing to ask of protesters that are committing civil disobedience (which by definition means they are breaking the law). She’s asking them to follow an impossible standard and implying they are more criminal or violent than the rest of society.

        Notice that Warren doesn’t ask the protesters in Syria or Libya to follow the law. Just like Clinton and Obama do. All three “liberals” have hypocritical stances re democracy and freedom which belies a neoliberal ideology and a commitment to the status quo.

        Naw, the main differences between Clinton, Obama, and Warren are stylistic–they are trying to get us lefties arguing amongst ourselves rather than pointing our finger at the complicit Democratic party. And it’s working.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Walter, all three speak the party line. They know what side their bread is buttered on if they want to *succeed* Systematically.

        2. MontanaMaven

          Well put. Warren would have been much more useful opposing from the outside with Occupy. But she is more comfortable with the status quo and working within the dead donkey. Do not resuscitate.

    3. oliverks

      I am no longer convinced McCain was a worse choice. Iran would be more of an issue, but where would he have been worse in other areas?

      1. Amateur Socialist

        Her name is Vice President Sarah Palin. McCain is very very old and a cancer survivor to boot. Hello?

        1. jawbone

          Well, he’s long lived enough to still be alive in November 2011 — probably would have made it through one term.

          And Dems would have stood up for most Democratic Party principles (the ones of the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party) against any Repub president’s attacks.

          Now, enough are supine and actively fighting to get a long term hold of the Big Money’s money.

  2. K Ackermann

    David Cay Johnston: Why not treat derivatives as unenforceable gambling debts?

    There’s another line of reasoning that mr. Johnson didn’t mention…

    Derivitives, specifically CDS’s, are contracts negotiated exclusivly between two parties, but after a certain point, it’s a third party that bears all the risk, and that third party never participates in the upside, and in fact, is not even aware of the risk taken on.

    That third party, of course, is the public when derivitives are written beyond what can be paid or collateralized.

    Think AIG.

    1. Susan the other

      But David Cay Johnson is just another drop in the suggestion bucket. I’m so weary of no action. That’s Obama – No Action Jackson. I started thinking about the consequences of no action and how it will have an effect on banking forever forward. I do not know a single soul who does not hate the big banks. It’s a lot like Detroit making all those crappy cars for decades even tho’ we all wanted good safe cars and finally when Japan and Europe started sending us better alternatives we simply turned our backs on Detroit. Japan didn’t demolish Detroit. Detroit demolished Detroit. I’m looking forward to a mass rejection of the big banks. I think it is coming.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Susan the other, that is the solution, for *We the People* are the creamed sugar between the two *devil cakes*–the confection known in some quarters as the *Satan Sandwich*.

  3. Goin' South

    Greenwald is now channeling Kropotkin? What is the world coming to? ;)

    “This is the most important effect of the Occupy movement: acts of defiance, courage and conscience are contagious.”

    Glenn Greewald

    “Action, the continuous action, ceaselessly renewed, of minorities brings about this transformation. Courage, devotion, the spirit of sacrifice, are as contagious as cowardice, submission, and panic.”

    Peter Kropotkin, “The Spirit of Revolt”

      1. Goin' South

        Thanks, Lambert.

        And as someone who’s read your writing going back to Eschaton, I can’t think of anyone better to take the tiller while Yves gets a break. Hang in there.

    1. LeeAnne

      The first time I saw that statement I thought that surely Obama was addressing the police who have been so uniformly trained and equipped all over the world for war against their own people in preparation for the eagerly awaited reaction when the Goldman Sachs’ led bank robbers, dictators and corporate fascists have had enough time to put their 2-tiered system of ownership firmly in place; as in, they get all property and infrastructure, an old royalty system worldwide without the titles; we get slavery (see China), prisons, sickness from polluted air and water, depression, torture and an early death.

      1. LeeAnne

        I just read the revision. Its painful to read anything attributed to a miserable little puppet tyrant and his spendthrift wife like Obama. This ‘revised’ trash attributed to someone masquerading as a leader of the world is sickening. Not any less sickening than listening to Bush, Jr. and his team of Cheney and the grim reaper pharma poison investor Rumsfeld, i promise you; lest I be misunderstood.

        Thanks to Glen for the OWL link below -for the smile and feeling of love for our God-given gifts; the beautiful natural unpolluted world and our wildlife.

        Hopefully, we’ll soon all feel free enough of political and financial threats to enjoy it more fully again.

          1. LeeAnne

            separate jets and an entourage with millions spent on vacations -racist? give me a break. if that’s your reference, own it.

          2. LeeAnne

            Securecare -that’s quite a slur. It couldn’t be that you are unfamiliar with history. It must be that you’re just too young to know that Jacqueline Kennedy (Jackie) was referred to often as a spendthrift and her extravagances well documented.

            So check the knee-jerk liberal politically correct b*lsh*T at the door with your brains.

      2. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Oh no,, LeeAnne, it is *with titles*, haven’t you been seeing them dropped by the Masters of the Global Imperial Reich?

        1. LeeAnne

          Sir Paul McCartney -but he earned it. What am I missing? Tell me. Is ex-CEO of Goldman Sachs a royal title? hahahahaha or ex-VP? Should that cover up their pignesses?

        2. johnnie

          Leonova, you mean like this? Thing is, it works for obama too!

          Colin Powell claims Scottish coat of arms

          Tania Branigan
          The Guardian, Wednesday 12 May 2004 01.58 BST

          He is known as a dove among the hawks of the Bush administration. But Colin Powell has chosen an eagle and a lion in his application for a coat of arms to mark his Scottish ancestry.

          The US secretary of state has petitioned the heraldic authority of Scotland for the right to bearings, joining a growing and disparate band of Americans keen to lay claim to their roots in the old world.

          Heraldic bearings cannot be granted to non-citizens, but Mr Powell has applied on behalf of his late father Luther, who was born in Jamaica and therefore a subject of the crown. The secretary of state would inherit the right to use the bearings.

          All Here

          1. K Ackermann

            Ever notice since Powell gave that speech to the UN that we never see satellite photos or laser pointers anymore.

            He sullied them.

          2. LeonovaBalletRusse

            Just so, johnnie, and this is *get on the bandwagon stuff*. Do you recall the X *VON* X that Bush made Secretary of Health, for example? Those *von* whatever’s are out in force (goes with the GermanAuto + Austrian economics among the “Southern aristos”. For the thrust by Republican sycophants of British Imperial Nobility and Aristocracy and how *yes, you can be one too*, see the C.21 “Mein Kampf” by Plinio Correa de Oliveira: “NOBILITY and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII: A Theme Illuminating American Social History” (1993, TFP, York PA), with Foreword by Morton C. Blackwell, Republican of Virginia and Reagan’s minister of youth education.

            Ah, the *aristocratic* ties that bind. Some need not apply.

  4. alex

    from “The Top 0.1% Of The Nation Earn Half Of All Capital Gains” (in Forbes):

    “We have to make up our minds to restore a higher, fairer capital gains tax to the wealthiest investor class– or ultimately face increased social unrest.”

    That’s a tagline from an article in a magazine that bills itself as “Capitalist Tool”. Wow.

    How anyone can justify the utter unfairness of lower tax rates on unearned income (IRS terminology, not mine) than on earned income is utterly beyond me. And let’s forget the “encourages investment crap” too. It doesn’t. Empirically demonstrated. No controversy. End of story.

    Are most people even aware of how capital gains are taxed and that 50% of them go to the top 0.1%? (new slogan: we are the 99.9%). I suspect not, because I find it hard to believe the outrage wouldn’t be deafening.

    1. LucyLulu

      People seem to keep buying that tax cuts for the wealthy “creates jobs” despite the last decade of tax cuts and job losses, so why not “lower capital gains taxes stimulate investment”?

      1. alex

        Because all the evidence says otherwise? Sorry, it’s a type of thinking that I just can’t seem to get away from. Rational, empirical, all that kind of stuff.

        Not that I consider myself a paragon of virtue in avoiding self-delusion. We’re all human. And I can understand why someone who makes their money that way wanting to believe it’s true. But why would most people want to think that?

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      The Big Game after stock brokers went *retail* and *Wall-Street Week* brought in the suckers, went like this:

      *Experts* whipped Boomer *marks* into a frenzy, to *invest* in the *market*, especially through Mutual Funds, unless you were *really smart* (doctor, lawyer), then you could *trade* with the best of ’em.

      The IPO created the *cash cow* for looters (insiders) and *investors*: the *cash cow* called the *stock price as shown on the Dow Jones Index. This began when people still went through *live stockbrokers*, and continued through the *hi-tech* rackets for *smart money*.

      By milking the *cash cow*, retail and institutional *investors* made *money from thin air*–the manipulated stock price–by going long on the upside (too timid to short on the downside); while Top Tier *insiders* went long or short depending, *hedging* with *compound derivatives* in order to maximize *profits* when the *capital gains* were taken.

      The *investors* let the CEO & insider looters strip the assets of the firm (real and *white collar* properties), so long as they or their *fund*, Mutual or Pension, continued to *profit* on paper with the *rise in the stock price sets in which the fund was *invested*. Just before the *cash cow* was milked to exhaustion, *insiders* sold it or sold it short offsides. When the stock tanked, the *sucker investors* still holding the dead cow lost all.

      This is *just the tip*, friends. What came after is clearly incomprehensible (*can’t wrap your head around it*).

      The only JUST move at this point is indictment and conviction of the *malefactors* for Criminal Fraud, and the *CLAW BACK* of ill-gotten gains converted to *artworks*, *real estate*, etc. from anywhere in the world.

      The claim that what we must concentrate now is a higher capital gains tax is only the half of it, and may even be a *prime distraction* to save the hide of the *malefactors*. Caveat emptor.

      Has the *persona* called *Yves Smith*, who boldly built this site for the *unconventional*, been *disappeared*?

    3. MLS

      Couple points:

      1) For the vast majority of the middle class, investment savings occur in tax-sheltered vehicles such as IRA, 401k, 403b, etc. Thus no capital gain tax is realized and anything pulled out of those accounts is counted as income. It’s possible an idividual can go their entire lives without ever paying a capital gains tax. The wealthy often have after-tax savings (because they max out the annual contribution to tax-deferred accounts, for example) that they plow into investment accounts which are not cap gains-exempt. I have a sense that is the reason for the large discrepancy in the numbers.

      2) Lower capital gains rates are not at all unfair (if anything they are unfair to those that have to pay the tax). Capital gains can only occur on an individuals NET (after-tax) income, meaning they have already paid income tax on earnings and invested anything left over. To realize a capital gain is to pay tax on the same dollars twice.

      1. BillF

        MLS: 2) Lower capital gains rates are not at all unfair (if anything they are unfair to those that have to pay the tax). Capital gains can only occur on an individuals NET (after-tax) income, meaning they have already paid income tax on earnings and invested anything left over. To realize a capital gain is to pay tax on the same dollars twice.

        Huh? Capital gains tax is levied on capital gains. Only the profit realized from non-sheltered investments is CG taxed, not the original investment. Further, if the a non-sheltered investment loses money, the investor is entitled to a capital loss which offsets capital gains. It’s most certainly NOT paying tax on the same dollars twice.

        1. alex

          “Capital gains tax is levied on capital gains.”

          There is that little detail. But thanks to MLS I now understand how it’s possible for people to not be outraged about cap gains rates. All they have to do is completely misunderstand what cap gains are!

      2. propertius

        Thus no capital gain tax is realized and anything pulled out of those accounts is counted as income

        By “income”, you mean “ordinary income” and thus the capital gains realized in such accounts is taxed at a higher rate than if it had been taxed at the LT capital gains rate.

        2) Lower capital gains rates are not at all unfair (if anything they are unfair to those that have to pay the tax). Capital gains can only occur on an individuals NET (after-tax) income, meaning they have already paid income tax on earnings and invested anything left over. To realize a capital gain is to pay tax on the same dollars twice.

        You seem not to understand the distinction between “capital gains” and “basis”. There is no “double taxation”, since the “basis” (cost of the asset being sold) is subtracted from the sales price before the capital gains is computed.

        1. MLS

          Both replies are making the same argument on point #2, so I will respond to both here with an example.

          $1 (gross) is earned by a worker, he is taxed and pays a tax rate of 30%, leaving him 70 cents. He invests the entire 70 cents into some investment that appreciates in value up to $1.50. He then sells the investment a year later and will pay a capital gain tax of 15% on the difference between his sale price and the basis. This tax is 12 cents [15%x(1.50 – 0.70)] and it’s levied on the earnings of what’s left of a dollar already taxed. He only has 70 cents to invest because he already paid taxes on the $1, so there is no “advantage” he is getting from this arrangement.

          Note that the same investment sold within a year of purchase would be taxed at the marginal rate of 30%, which I have no problem with as this at least encourages long(er)-term investing.

          The point made by propertius on #1 is true, but the 15% capital gains rate is available to everyone, not just the wealthy. That workers elect to funnel pretax earnings into a tax deferred vehicle(for all it’s benefits) and elect to pay ordinary income tax instead when they withdraw the funds is not a reason to raise the cap gains rate. If investors want the “lower” cap gains rate, they can stop putting money in their 401k and make the same investments in an after-tax account.

          1. alex

            “the 15% capital gains rate is available to everyone”

            It’s just a coincidence that this special tax break is given to the form of income from which the truly wealthy derive most of their income, but it’s available to everyone! Just as the law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.

            Tell you what. Let’s turn it around and tax cap gains at 30% and labor income at 15%. It’s obvious that with all the unemployment an additional incentive is needed for people to sell their labor. And if any billionaires complain about the inequity of taxing labor at a lower rate than cap gains, you can point out that labor income rates are available to everyone!

          2. MLS


            The cap gains rate is not a ‘break’ for anyone, people only pay it once they have paid their marginal rate on the dollar first. The fact that the rich derive most of their income from capital gains is irrelevant, since those dollars were already taxed at somebody’s marginal tax rate in some previous period. My comment was made in response to the point made by propertius that workers saving through tax-deferred vehicles forego the capital gains rate and pay at the higher marginal rate. This is true, but he was using it as an argument for a higher cap gains rate, and I was pointing out that such a circumstance of the tax code was not a valid reason. You seem to be projecting my statement onto an argument I didn’t make.

            The difference in tax rates between labor and capital makes sense when you consider that capital is taxed AFTER labor is already taxed for purposes of this discussion. Your little example is nice, but the problem is not the incentives for people to sell their labor (and I made no such argument so I’m not sure why you’re bringing it up) but the demand for labor’s services.

    1. EH

      So the 12 most bought-and-paid-for members of Congress couldn’t agree to do anything that affects their donors. Big surprise.

  5. alex

    re: Barry Ritholtz skewers the Big Lie that the financial crisis happened because innocent banksters were forced to make bad loans

    Ritholtz does a simple, clear and thorough job of skewering the Big Lie. How anyone can believe the Big Lie after reading this is beyond me.

    This is not a matter for debate, as though we were talking about the ethics of income disparity. This is a Big Fat Lie. Pure Unadulterated BS. And yet it lives on. Amazing.

      1. alex

        Taibbi is boring in the sense that he hits a grand slam every time. Imagine how tiring it’d be to watch a baseball game like that.

        Ok, so now we have Ritholtz and Taibbi debunking the Big Lie so effectively that rebuttal is futile (though allowed just to show that we believe in rebuttal).

        And yet The Big Lie lives on. Amazing.

        Goebbels own personal hell is to seethe with envy at their success. The devil tortures him with a TV set that plays MSM non-stop.

        1. K Ackermann

          And yet The Big Lie lives on. Amazing.

          Did you see where Doug Fieth and Rummy are advising Grinch and Romney on foreign policy?

          Rumsfeld is a wrong-answer-generating automaton who could actually play spoiler in a Turing test.

          Doug Fieth? Wasn’t he called the stupidest man alive? Anyway… his interests don’t intersect America’s best interests anywhere.

          I think both of them should be dropped off at Bin Laden’s last known location.

  6. Steve Roberts

    Last week the mayor of Oakland said she was in a conference call with 18 mayors and the Dept of Homeland Security, coordinating the take down of OWS. Now Obama calls for authorities to refrain from violence. Nice spin move. Call in the Brown Shirts and then ask after the fact for them to not beat up too many old ladies.

    1. EH

      They tried whining about how OWS was so vague, so now they’re going to try to define the terms of the debate another way.

    2. Walter Wit Man

      And then you have people like the Chancellor of Davis or Mayor of Oakland calling for “investigations” when there needs to be indictments and firings rather than investigations.

      There also needs to be a change in policy . . . not investigations.

      The reason I am less optimistic than others is that the authorities (mostly the Democrats) are sort of “feeling our pain” but in the end they are legitimizing the police state.

      Why hasn’t a single national Democrat come out against the administration’s police tactics? We deserve the truth instead of the government hiding behind “homeland security” excuses.

      1. LucyLulu

        “Why hasn’t a single national Democrat come out against the administration’s police tactics?”

        Exactly. Where is Jerry Brown in this discussion? I remember hearing him talk back in the late 70’s, he was the epitome of a liberal. Where are ANY of the Democrats condemning these police actions and infringements on civil rights? Silence implies consent.

  7. LeonovaBalletRusse

    The piece on GPap’s ushering in of a fascist regime before departing (cross-linked by *SusanW*)sounds mighty like a *quid pro quo*. We see the *quid*.

    Just wondering, has *Yves* vanished? Has she been sidelined so that Lambert Strether’s world view is predominant? I do recall the *reason* set forth for his *handling* of the LINKS du jour; but TODAY there seems to have been a paradigm shift in the point of view and quality of the LINKS. They seem to be more *conventional*, more *establishment* somehow. So has there been a *regime change* at NC, actually?

    I’ve been following this site for over a year, and onlly recently began to add my two cents; but …. What do members of the long-term Commentariat think?

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          And, EmilianoZ, if you know your history, you know where the Master Class name *Lambert* fits into the scheme of global *political economy*, do you not?

          Also, have you noticed how Michael Hudson’s voice has trumped Bill Black’s by fiat? And how is it that hedged *edicts* seem to be coming from the U.Missouri-Kansas City, when Kansas City is the former Mafia center replete with Prime Porterhouse, and the designated hub for transportation of guns, drugs, and butter from Mexico to Montreal (infamous *NAPTA Corridor* according to the chicanery of NAFTA supremes and the Bush-Chertoff *Security and Prosperity Partnership* for the *North American Union*)

          Yves, phone home! Or let us know where *The Moveable Feast* is moving to, assuming that you did *cash in* handsomely on this site. Let’s do it again!

          1. EmilianoZ

            More seriously, I actually love Lambert’s exhaustive coverage of OWS. I’d like to see a daily sharing of tasks between him and Yves. Lambert on OWS and Yves for the rest.

          2. LucyLulu

            Do you realize that Bill Black is also with UMissouri-KC?

            I don’t see Black and Hudson’s positions as the least bit contradictory. I see them as complementary. But I’d be thrilled if either one of their voices had the power of authority in this country behind it.

          3. reslez

            Wow, this is hilarious (and a little disturbing). I don’t think you’re being serious, but just in case… I think you need to actually read the site more.

            UKMC, associated by you with the mafia? One UKMC faculty member supposedly favored over another (for nefarious purposes)? Lambert Strether a scion of the upper class? “More conventional” links that heavily report on OWS?


        2. LeonovaBalletRusse

          EmilianoZ, is is *covering* or *positioning&framing*?

          “Strategic positioning was my bag in corporate life, so when I see a frame looming on an incipient movement, I become suspicious. Goes with the trade.

    1. LucyLulu

      Yves has taken a much deserved weekend off, and plans to start taking every other weekend off. Lambert is covering.

      While I adore Yves and think she does wonderful coverage, I’ve enjoyed the change in perspective offered by Lambert as well.

      1. lambert strether


        Thanks. I’m a guest! I think it’s clear whose house this is — and should be!

        If there were two of Yves, then Yves could cover while Yves takes some time off. While we were setting up the guest gig, I was amazed and appalled to understand the killing schedule that Yves has.

        1. ambrit

          Dear Leonova;
          Considering your ‘handle,’ I’m surprised you aren’t conversant with the concept of the ‘United Front.’
          Also, as biology has shown, the concept of diversity is an evolutionary survival strategy. The lady deserves a rest, regular walks in fresh air, and a reasonable work load.

    2. Walter Wit Man

      As someone who has significant differences of opinion with Lambert, I think he has a good eye and is a good person to fill in.

      He catches good stories and obscure links and can cut to the heart of the matter . . . just like Yves. And he’s hella productive with the posts and reading comments, etc.

      And I doubt he’s more conservative or conventional . . . on that score both Yves and Lambert show a healthy preference for good content over authoritative sources.

  8. LeeAnne

    I’m also surprised by the substitution when Yves has always been so open about her whereabouts and guest posters. This isn’t going to work. Its like having a best seller, publishing a new edition with the same title, but substituting a new editor with a new narrative.

    I hope she’s OK.

    1. Yves Smith

      This is remarkably rude.

      One, I’ve told readers repeatedly I was on the verge of burning out. I was in a conference all last weekend, a CLE course that ran from 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM each day PLUS an Occupy Wall Street alternative banking meeting. The course alone is called a “bootcamp” and is known to be exhausting. It lived up to its billing. I then had to pack last night and was up very early this AM to be on a plane (I am still in transit).

      The subtext of your comment is that I since I’ve given disclosure in the past, I owe you disclosure. I don’t. I’ve decided I complain too much and I am making efforts to refrain from doing that (although I see I’ve taken some bait)

      Two, I specifically raised money in the fundraiser for me to take some time off. Many readers have suggested before and during the fundraiser that I take weekends off. Lambert has graciously agreed to cover and you slap him in the face.

      Third, I had ALSO told readers in Links that Lambert would be guest DJing this weekend. I probably erred by not putting up a post to make it more obvious.

      Fourth, Lambert got the same Links suggestions I got from readers, and his OWS post was VERY well received. So you seem to have a prejudice in approaching Links, as if they must be less good since they don’t come from me.

      Fifth, your insult of Lambert ignores the fact that it takes a while for a blogger to figure out how to approach a new audience. My first post in Glenn Greenwald’s blog got mixed reactions because it was too leftie for them and too wonky. I adjusted course and the rest were pretty popular.

      1. lambert strether

        I just hope I didn’t put any dings on the car you so generously gave me the keys to, Yves.

        I am honored and thrilled to have been your guest, in this community (to mix metaphors. If the whole community were in one car, that would be a mighty big vehicle).

        1. K Ackermann

          You’re doing great. Change just freaks some people right out.

          When Cap’n Crunch started putting 2 ounces less cereal in the box, it took me a year to trust that bastard again.

      2. F. Beard


        I dreamed about you the other night. Very odd. Anyway a whole bunch of us lived in a nice house (with cats, I think).

        I hope you are enjoying your time off.

      3. LucyLulu

        Not only rude, it was mean and unfair. I was shocked to see what posters were writing. It must take a lot of work and I know Lambert was on here almost all day and night responding to posts after he put them up. He put in a lot of time and effort and for a newbie did a remarkable job. I’d like to see his critics do better. This blog is free, donations are completely voluntary. Yet posters expect Yves to work 365 days a year for almost no compensation. How many of them are willing to do that?

        I see it as more a labor of love than anything, it certainly isn’t lucrative. I am very appreciative of Yves, and Lambert’s, and any other guest’s, willingness to donate their time for whatever pittance they may receive. And it is a donation, for the benefit of us readers. It brings to mind, “no good deed goes unpunished”. So, thank you Yves, and thank you, Lambert. I think I speak for most here when I say we love you and appreciate all you’ve done. (And no, I don’t know either Yves or Lambert except as a poster on NC.)

        P.S. Lambert, Yves has my email address, if you want to pay me. ;>)

        1. Sock Puppet

          Hear hear, not sure where the complainers were when the fund raiser was running. I’m enjoying the temporary change – nice to get posts on farming, energy and so on that are perhaps harder to cover from the city. Rounds things out a bit. Thanks Yves and Lambert.

          1. LeeAnne

            Maybe I didn’t advertise my contribution loudly enough on the blog.

            Yves, you get your share of adoration; I see no reason for you to reach for yet more.

            I was shocked to see the blog turned over totally to others; its unlike you not to notify your intentions in great detail.

            Enjoy your vacation and check the knee jerk reactions. Get over it.

          2. LeeAnne

            and furthermore, OWS isn’t looking for leaders; their doing well without them, thank you. There’s an old truism that people can be very effective leaders if they don’t have to take credit for it.

            So, a little discretion might help the cause.

          3. LeeAnne

            Yves, you have a bad habit of getting on your high horse when your guest posters aren’t absolutely acceptable to every one of your readers and commenters on the blog. I can think of some uncomfortable moments on this blog as a result of your bad choices and/or their bad judgement in your absence.

            We’ve tolerated quite a few such without comment. Its at those times that your liberalism doesn’t quite fit; the autocrat in you comes out -flying around like a bat in an unfamiliar room.

            Most of the old timers on this blog are gone and I will be shortly as well. Your readers and fans like me are not yours to give away so freely.

          4. Foppe

            No offense, LeeAnne, but you sort of invited it by making the extremely final and matter-of-‘fact’-sounding assertions like “This isn’t going to work”. When I encountered it, I almost wondered whether Yves had told you that she’d donated the blog to Lambert and taken an early retirement.
            There are better, and less rudely aggressive/confrontational (in that you’re talking about Lambert while you know him to be present, but as though he has nothing of relevance to say) ways to present your opinion of Yves’ choice to organize the weekend this way: such as by emailing her, or by simply asking what was going on, rather than posting what you did.

          5. Yves Smith


            There is a huge difference between taking issue with the information presented in or an argument made in a post and a wholesale attack on someone who writes here. You issued a broadside at Lambert and didn’t even voice a particular objection. It was lazy, mean spirited, and utterly unconstructive.

            And you try to make ME wrong for standing up for your petty demand that I be here to service you all year, every day, in and out. I can’t do that. There are too many news threads in the wake of the crisis and I cannot keep on top of them all. The options are we have the site in the hands of guest bloggers now and again, or it goes dark on weekends, which is what Felix Salmon does.

            People like Lambert are doing the NC readership a huge favor by being willing to provide posts, and you spit on him.

            And I won’t tolerate it. Commenting here is a privilege. Criticism and dissent are welcome, and personal attacks are not. I know you’ve made a lot of very useful comments here, but your remark above show you know well that this is a boundary issue with me. Yet knowing that, you choose to transgress. I don’t see any reason why bloggers should be subject to this sort of drive by attack. I tolerated it with Marshall Auerback when he guest blogged regularly here and I’m not repeating that mistake.

    2. Jason Boxman

      I tend to think of it more like a service free of charge; Each day it is available I am grateful for it. I can only hope it survives those who feel more entitled than I.

  9. tyaresun

    Nathan Brown will not get tenure. I have seen this movie many times at many universities. How do you think the universities got to where they are today?

  10. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Olympus Corp. and MF Global play the same game by any name. There’s *a whole lotta embezzlement goin’ on*.

  11. Anon

    As if there wasn’t enough going on in the world, here’s an insight into the craptastic cover-up in Japan about building 54 nuclear power plants in a zone that has 10% of the world’s earthquakes:

    Tepco knew in 2009 that there was a 5% Fukushima would be totaled by a tsunami:

    Minutes of a June 2009 trade ministry meeting on safety at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant show Tokyo Electric and the regulator ignored scientific findings that emerged after the power station was built.

    “We didn’t think the damage would be that significant,” said Isao Nishimura, a manager at the utility’s nuclear earthquake resistance technology center…

    Debate was cut short by an official from the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, according to minutes of the meeting obtained by Bloomberg News. The regulator approved Fukushima Dai-Ichi’s safety report a month later, despite studies by Tohoku University geologist Koji Minoura in the 1990s that showed giant tsunami had hit Japan’s northeast coast three times in the last 3,000 years.

    Kobe University professor Katsuhiko Ishibashi, a long-time critic of the safety failings of Japan’s nuke reactor operators, published an account of likely earthquake-led meltdown – in 1997:

    Ishibashi says he didn’t start out as a critic of Japan’s nuclear industry. In 1976, when the then 31-year-old researcher at Tokyo University made his first important discovery — that a fault line west of Tokyo was much bigger than assumed — the risk to Chubu Electric Power Co.’s Hamaoka nuclear plant in Shizuoka prefecture didn’t occur to him. The plant had opened that year above the fault.

    His view changed after a magnitude-6.9 quake killed more than 5,500 people on Jan. 17, 1995, and toppled sections of elevated expressway.

    After a disaster that Japanese engineers had said couldn’t happen, the nuclear regulator didn’t immediately re-evaluate its construction standards. It said the plants were “safe from the ground up,” as the title of a 1995 Science Ministry pamphlet put it. Ishibashi decided to investigate.

    The result was an article on Hamaoka published in the October 1997 issue of Japan’s Science Journal that reads like a post-mortem of the Fukushima disaster: A major quake could knock out external power to the plant’s reactors and unleash a tsunami that could overrun its 6-meter defenses, swamping backup diesel generators and leading to loss of cooling and meltdowns.

    When the local prefecture questioned industry experts about Ishibashi’s paper, the response was that he didn’t need to be taken seriously.

    Tepco knew. The regulator f**king well knew.

    And they did nothing.

    Why are any of them still alive? I thought Japan had a traditional method for dealing with this level of shame.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Anon, many thanks for this. I guess greed trumps risk-management in every quarter.

      I guess that’s why the 1% are so desperately trying to implant their DNA on Mars.

    2. LeeAnne

      Its right here at home: Fukushima have 23 sisters in U.S.
      By Bill Dedman
      Investigative Reporter,

      The General Electric-designed nuclear reactors involved in the Japanese emergency are very similar to 23 reactors in use in the United States, according to Nuclear Regulatory Commission records.

      The NRC database of nuclear power plants shows that 23 of the 104 nuclear plants in the U.S. are GE boiling-water reactors with GE’s Mark I systems for containing radioactivity, the same containment system used by the reactors in trouble at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. The U.S. reactors are in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Vermont.

      October 23, 2011, By Associated Press, JPGAmy Sancetta
      TOLEDO, Ohio — A 30-foot hairline crack discovered in concrete at an Ohio nuclear plant has prompted anti-nuclear activists to step up their opposition to renewing the plant’s license.

      Contractors replacing a cracked reactor head at FirstEnergy’s Davis-Besse plant outside Toledo recently discovered a small crack in thick concrete on the outside of the reactor’s containment building.

      The Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a report Friday saying the crack is in “non-structural, architectural” concrete and poses no “immediate safety concern,” The Blade newspaper of Toledo reported.

      and the nuclear worldwide cabal are self-regulating; writing their own applications like another industry with which we’re familiar, and bound to go the same way: disaster caused by monster scientists worthy of science fiction horror comics who don’t give a sh*t about your life or their own.

      By Jeff Donn
      Associated Press
      Posted Jun 30, 2011 @ 07:00 AM

      ROCKVILLE, MD. —
      Last of a four-part series

      Monday: Plants deteriorate; the standards get looser

      Tuesday: Leaky pipes put tritium into groundwater

      Wednesday: Population growth complicates evacuation plans

      Thursday: Rewriting history to keep plants open

      Third nuclear forum offers bleak assessment

      NRC’s critics say Plymouth nuke plant safety does not go far enough

      MASS. MARKET: Markey’s push for more nuke pills could gain traction

      Pilgrim gets more scrutiny from federal agency

      MORE ,,,

      When commercial nuclear power was getting its start in the 1960s and 1970s, industry and regulators stated unequivocally that reactors were designed only to operate for 40 years. Now they tell another story – insisting that the units were built with no inherent life span, and can run for up to a century, an Associated Press investigation shows.

      By rewriting history, plant owners are making it easier to extend the lives of dozens of reactors in a relicensing process that resembles nothing more than an elaborate rubber stamp.

      As part of a yearlong investigation of aging issues at the nation’s nuclear power plants, the AP found that the relicensing process often lacks fully independent safety reviews. Records show that paperwork of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission sometimes matches word-for-word the language used in a plant operator’s application.

      Read more:

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        And, to add insult to injury in Confederacy-land, *The Southern Company* has gotten away with having its customers pay in advance (compulsory *investment*) for nuclear and other plants not yet in existence. Got that?

        1. LeeAnne

          and this for an industry already financed with public funds; no private insurance company will touch them.

          They are privately owned, managed and SELF-regulated. Talk about no risk operations -the economic incentive to demand that we the people take on all their risk. These and all the other decisions affecting our lives are made by groups meeting in conferences all over the world who circumvent democratic processes. In other words, they do as they please. And what they please is what puts your money in their filthy pockets.

    1. LucyLulu

      Hmmm, interesting.

      Stephanie Cutter, deputy senior adviser to the president, used the conference call to insist that Cordray’s confirmation would satisfy the sentiments of the Occupy Wall Street protestors – which is interesting, since I don’t recall Cordray ever being mentioned as a financial savior in any of the Occupy Wall Street-inspired rallies.

      Given the lack of love for OWS in Congress, sabotage is the first thought that comes to mind. Actually, of the possible directors outside of Warren, Cordray would be one of the most pro-consumer and effective choices, making him an unpopular choice with pro-banking factions. Of course, so is the CFPB which may be the whole point of this charade. Having no director limits the power and scope of the agency. This may be Obama’s way of both crippling the agency AND scoring political points by casting Republicans as once again obstructing his programs.

  12. barrisj

    Re: “US military expansion in the Pacific”…why do you think Leon Panetta has been proctoring the “Supercommittee” deliberations, and talking down even the suggestion of Pentagon budgetary reductions? Destroy SS, maim Medicare, tax cuts for the wealthy, but don’t you step on my blue-suede military! Job One is containment of China, and the continuation of defence-industry socialism “to meet the challenges ahead”. Mix in a little JSOC video-game “heroics”, add some Centcom/Africom “mission-creep”, promote the cult of the military at home (notice all the promos underwritten by the Pentagon regularly appearing on nationally-televised sports), and one has the perfect argument for more – not less – “defence” spending in order to maintain Merkan exceptionalism at any cost. Feh!

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Right, “It’s so obvious it’s pathetic” and they don’t care what we think. With the *Unitary Executive* over three branches writing the laws, we don’t have to be consulted.

        1. ambrit

          The elephant in the room here, (pun intended,) is that we the 99.9% are expected to bear the cost and shed the blood.

    1. LucyLulu

      What will be interesting is if the files are actually released….. or for that matter, acknowledged that they exist.

  13. craazyman

    Am I the only #OWS supporter in America who feels just a little sorry for the spray-man trooper out their in wacko-infested California.

    As Lambert so accurately said yesterday, “There but for the grace of God go many of us” no matter how elevated our own sense of virtue, if the “situation” is right.

    Well this won’t help the sympathy, but I still think it’s f*cking hilarious. I just think this is so funny I can hardly stand it. Spray cop works his way through art history . . .

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Is this a case of Jevon’s paradox?

      The less lethal (lower biological cost) the weapon, the more frequent its use and at the end, more injuries (bigger the total biological cost).

      1. LeeAnne

        Thank you eyesoars -the pictures are just great. its so good to see evidence like this of non-violent protest. The energy of that anger is so productive; so creative. The movement is actually getting stronger and more interesting as TPTB in the MSM try to gloat that the steam is going out of OWS.

        Au contraire; the learning curve on finance was quite steep until now. OWS has already produced the urgency to get educated in finance for more people in the last few weeks than the entire last 30 years of intensifying corporatist oppression.

      2. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Thanks, eyesoars. The *art meld* is good: it’s amazing how perfunctory the *policeman’s* act of aggression is: as if *all in a day’s work, just following orders*.

        This is what it has come to, via Bushbama.

    2. LucyLulu

      The art is great.

      As far as feeling sorry for the sprayer….

      If you feel sorry for every him because there is a back story, then you need to feel sorry for every perpetrator. Having worked with the mentally ill, including delinquent teens who fit the category of antisocial vs. what most would consider mentally ill, and even a temporary stint in a S. Florida jail that housed the states’ teens that committed murders and rapes (actually really liked it there, and unlike other workers the kids never messed with me, but ex was freaking out), I can verify that EVERY last one has a sad story. Physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional terrorism, abandonment, profound neglect, extreme family dysfunction lies behind those who commit the most heinous crimes. Is there inherent evil or is it a response to circumstances? That was a philosophical question that I found myself confronted with. (And don’t claim any definitive answers.)

        1. ambrit

          Dear Socky;
          Yes indeedy pardner! The behaviour shown by the banksters in general conforms to the definition of ‘Sociopath.’

  14. propertius

    Given the current dismal employment prospects for new college grads, I wonder if we shouldn’t treat student loans as “unenforceable gambling debts”.

  15. Anonymous Comment

    Sadly, the reason that CDS cannot be wiped off the books as unenforceable bets, is that in many cases these were bets made by ‘fiduciaries’ of pension funds. As much as people hate to pay for ‘other people’s’ bad bets, I reckon they will hate for their pensions to disappear even more.

    It’s a terrible catch 22. It’s why I don’t think pensions should be invested in ‘unsecured bets’ anyway. I am sure with hindsight the majority of pensioners would agree.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Before Neoconlib *reform*, it was illegal for pension funds to be *invested* in any such risky bets. Investment in derivatives by such funds was forbidden, and if you did it your could go to jail for it.

      1. Foppe

        Quite so. Because they invented the “solution” to the low yield problem: If stuff was AAA-rated, it was fine for pension funds to buy it.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Right, Foppe: Just change the rating, change the meaning of words, to create more profit for the 1%, devil take the hindmost (the 99%).

    2. reslez

      More like a laughable non-problem. If the government outlaws these ridiculous gambling debts the government can make the pension funds whole. Who the heck even has a pension these days?

      I thought we were all supposed to be terrified that all pensions are tremendously underfunded anyway. I presume outlawing CDS gambles would make the problem slightly worse. So what?

  16. Melancthon Brunswick

    The time is November 2012. Peacefully protesting against Wall Street is now a capital offense. Mayor Bloomberg, as played by Gary Oldman (with the yellow and green pills) and the NYPD go undercover to hunt down the last members of OWS, but one of them (a 12-year old girl) crawls into the sewer and escapes:

  17. Eureka Springs

    Links are great, as always. lambert is too (save his Hillary fan boy side *s*).

    Yves will likely need months if not a year to begin to learn how to take time off. As one who knows what 20/7 running blogs and the rest of life is all about, I’m so happy to see her begin to do this with most of this communities support in this regard.

    Thank you both… and NC link contributors as well. It’s my first/must read every day.

  18. Walter Wit Man

    Here’s a horrifying story:

    A woman gets 3 years and loses her children for food stamp fraud.

    The fraud was that she didn’t disclose the fact that she had a prior drug conviction and therefore she and her children were not entitled to receive food stamps.

    Meanwhile, Barack Obama and George Bush can snort cocaine up their privileged noses, and still go on to be president.

    When the little people get caught committing the same offenses they can’t vote, can’t get loans to go to college, can’t find work, can’t get housing help, and don’t even get food stamps.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      And btw, the above is what the Democrats have in mind when they say they want to cut “fraud and waste” from Medicare and Medicaid. Same thing with tort reform.

  19. Foppe

    Haha, this is brilliant in its shamelessness:

    n its complaint, Greenberg’s Starr International Co said that in bailing out AIG and taking a nearly 80 percent stake, the government failed to compensate existing shareholders. It said this violated the Fifth Amendment, which bars the taking of private property for public use without just compensation.

    “The government’s actions were ostensibly designed to protect the United States economy and rescue the country’s financial system,” Starr said. “Although this might be a laudable goal, as a matter of basic law, the ends could not and did not justify the unlawful means employed.”

    The United States, it went on, “is not empowered to trample shareholder and property rights even in the midst of a financial emergency.”


    In a class action suit, Greenberg alleged that AIG shareholders lost most of their investments when the government unnecessarily took over AIG rather than just aiding it financially for what the lawsuit said was a “temporary liquidity” problem.

    The lawsuit by Greenberg’s Starr International Company charged that the US discriminated against AIG and its shareholders, because it had given liquidity support to other large financial institutions rather than taking them over at the time.

    “The government’s taking of control over AIG and of AIG equity was deliberately disparate and discriminatory to the government’s treatment of others similarly situated,” said the suit.

    “By deliberately and systematically treating the common stock shareholders differently from others similarly situated without a rational basis for the difference in treatment, the government also acted in violation of the equal protection rights of AIG common shareholders,” it said.

    1. Helen

      I was coming here to note that story as well. I always figured that once Very Big Money decided who it should sue, that would serve as institutional laxative and there’d finally be some motion on the financial crisis, so to speak. I guess the laxative just hit.

  20. Max424

    re: link to bromen Bernie and Pete P.

    Joe Firestone is a sane human! Good, we could use another one. We now have 56, by my count.

    I search the interwebs for the sane, 24/7, and let me tell ya, they’re hard to find (hell, I’ve been stuck on the 55 number for many months, so thanks for the breakthrough link).

    I keep thinking, if we can round up one hundred sane people, we can make a difference! But it’s tough. They’re just not out there.

  21. Cynthia

    Other than Edward Harrison, Reggie Middleton is one of the very few financial analysts who is also African American. On top of that, he is second only to Edward in terms of being one of the best in the business. Here is what Reggie has to say about the Euro-zone crisis, and why he thinks that one of its biggest casualties on this side of the pond will be BoA:

    And as I look at Lauren Lyster in her stiletto heels and wearing a baby-doll nighty, it does make me wonder why so many of the RT hostesses come on the air dressed like her. I hate to think that they are trying to outdo the bottle-blond bimbos on Fox.

    1. craazyman

      I thought that was a bikini the first time I saw that clip a few weeks back. I wonder if Reggie knew he was talking to a hot babe in a bikini about bank of america?

      This is a trend Bloomberg started, IMO, with his short-skirted, low-cut blouse, hot women prancing all around his offices in the late 1990s.

      It never even occurred to me — before this — that you could put a hot bikini babe in the news announcer chair on a serious TV broadcast. I’d expect somebody like Dan Rather or at least a woman wearing a long-sleeved shirt. I guess that’s why I work like a white-collar ditch digger for a living while guys like Bloomberg party hard with the models and the paparazzi. Live and learn. :)

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Who can know the deceit of the Master Class better than African Americans, the ones who survived:

      “THE MIND OF THE MASTER CLASS: History and Faith in the Southern Slaveholder’s Worldview” by Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Eugene Genovese; “SONG OF SOLOMON” by Toni Morrison.

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Tomorrow is 11-22-11.

    Let me do an early ‘Happy Palindrome’s Day!’ to everyone.

    The legend has it that if you make a wish the exact time before and after high noon, it will come true…twice.

    Technically, tomorrow is not a perfect palindrome’s day. The last perfect palindrome’s daw was 11-02-2011.

    Before that, I think (you can check my work) it was 10-02-2001.

    The next perfect palindrome’s day, again check my work, will be 12-02-2021…more than a decade away.


  23. Procopius

    I’m not a native speaker, so I am only speculatine, but I think Thaksin may have used the English idion, “Forgive and forget,” because there is no exact equivalent in Thai. This is a common problem in translation.The Thai phrase which is usually translated as “forgive” could be translated word-for-word as “lift the punishment.” I don’t think it means quite the same. I always preferred President Kennedy’s version, “Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.” There’s also a high society (Thai “hi-so”) thing. The elite are able to send their offspring to study abroad. Thaksin got a masters degree in public administration in Texas while he was in the Police Department, so this could be kind of a status signal. Many of the rich and beautiful pretend to forget their Thai when they are being interviewed. Incidentally, he is still a Police Lieutenant Colonel, and it is a bit jarring to me to see a newspaper story that doesn’t refer to his rank. The two English-language newspapers here support the monarchist faction.

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