Links 11/8/11

This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. Over 475 donors have already invested in our efforts to shed light on the dark and seamy corners of finance. Join us and participate via our Tip Jar or read about why we’re doing this fundraiser and other ways to donate on our kickoff post and one discussing our current target.

For a Baby Okapi, Don’t Push Too Hard New York Times

Some Asthma Drugs Kill More People Than Asthma: Why Is Big Pharma Allowed to Hawk Deadly Pills? Alternet (hat tip reader Aquifer)

Our Health Care System, Compared James Kwak

Expect falls in Chinese inflation MacroBusiness

The real Greek tragedy – its rapacious oligarchs Misha Glenny, Financial Times

Wake up, Silvio! Your country’s falling apart… Berlusconi takes a nap as world leaders try to save his economy Daily Mail (hat tip reader Swedish Lex)

Top Obama Aide Takes Step Back Wall Street Journal (hat tip Joe Costello)

You Don’t Know Mitt: 99 Facts About Mitt Romney ThinkProgress (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Occupy movement comes to Paris amid police violence You Tube (hat tip reader 1 SK)

An Occupy Philadelphia Wedding ABC (hat tip reader 1 SK)

Court: #OccupyTrenton Rights Violated, Issues Restraining Order Against State #OWS #OccupyWallStreet Alexander Higgins

Occupy Chicago fear police wiretapping IRT (hat tip reader 1 SK)

TV Time: Occupy Ad Hits Mainstream Living Rooms on Fox, Bloomberg, More Alternet (hat tip reader Aquifer)

Wall Street Traders Have Profited More Under Obama than in Eight Years Under Bush Nation of Change (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Remarks at SIFMA’s 2011 Annual Meeting Mary Shapiro, SEC (hat tip reader Deontos). On money market reform.

Promises Made, and Remade, by Firms in S.E.C. New York Times

In addition, an out of town colleague who is looking to spend more time working with Occupy Wall Street is looking for a New York City rental, either an apartment or roommate situation. Flexible re neighborhood, but interested in the East Village, the Cobble Hill area in Brooklyn, Williamsburg. Ping me at yves@nakedcapitalism with “NYC rental” in the headline if you have any leads. Thanks!

Antidote du jour:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


    1. Union Member

      Sorry Skippy,

      There is nothing funny about Kent State, and there never will be! The Killing innocent, unarmed students is not fodder for cheap corporate jokes.

      Conan OBrien is always has been shilling for corporations; and that’s why he, along with Jay Leno and all the other neolounge lizards are irrelevant. Occupy Wall Street is about very serious business. Millions upon millions of people voted for hope and change in ’08, and all they get is the finger from the Obama Administration.

      There is plenty of ridicule to be dished out, don’t waste it on the victims of these crimes!

      1. Skippy

        The world is not black and white, laugh at yourself and your antagonist, especially your antagonist (the worst thing they know, worst than death in many ways).

        Skippy…Eternal hatred from the grave[?], IDK, although for myself, I’d be laughing…MAO.

        1. Union Member

          Sorry, again, Skippy,

          I didn’t say not to laugh; I said that Conan OBrien is not funny. You must understand that “The Media” is used as a weapon on the 99%, just as the tax code is – or debt fraud, or deregulation, or our deliriously funny healthcare system. Why doesn’t O’Brien treat the 99% to some laughs at the expense of the 1% once in a while on any of these issues. (Isn’t it funny how we use the word “expense” when we refer to the humiliation of another.)

          In the late summer of 2000, I was channel surfing for Major League Baseball when – on two consecutive Saturday nights – I caught SNL having some fun at Democratic Party presidential nominee Al Gore’s expense. The comedian impersonating Gore kept repeating (in both skits) how he wanted to keep Social Security in a “locked box.” The studio audience, both times, was audibly restless. (I’m relying on you to remember who Gore’s election opponent was that year.)

          Isn’t it funny how GE – I mean NBC, no I’m sorry, SNL – was able to anticipate today’s headlines so well. Perhaps it is this Super Journalism/Entertainment Scoop by SNL/NBC/GE that earned Jeffery Immelt, today, his seat as a close economic advisor to President Obama. And this is when – if you believed Bill Clinton at the time – we were running budget surpluses as far as the eye could see. Perhaps is this Super Journalism/Entertainment Scoop by SNL/NBC/GE that earned Jeffrey Immelt his seat today as a close economic advisor to President Obama. And in just another couple of weeks the ” Super Committee” is going to start slashing Social Security to reign in the deficits, which were brought to us by the crash of the Housing Bubble, which no one in the Media was able to report on in advance, and which, least of all, Social Security is responsible for.

          In case you think this example is an anomaly, in the late winter of ’08 on MSNBC I saw Chris Matthews joking with Tim Russert about Social Security, repeatedly calling it a “Ponzi Scheme.” This was 6 months before the banks failed and got bailed out and months before Bernie Maddoff’s taught everyone what a real Ponzi Scheme is. And yet a couple of years before Rick Perry made his “controversial remark” about Social Security.

          Something else I find really shameful about Conan O’Brien’s piece is that some of the young adults the puppet interviews – for fun – were probably young children when funny Fox News first went on the air in 1996; and that they don’t realize how distorted the First Amendment has become. Comedy, just like journalism requires context, to be true.

          1. Skippy

            Yves thinks its funny in a way, look at the advertizing on this site.

            Skippy…turn your enemy’s strength[s against them…eh. BTW get your drift and just saying its not black and white out there…respect.

          2. Union Member

            When at Occupy Wall Street tell as many people as possible that the First Amendment, indeed the entire Bill of Rights was made Law in Federal Hall two blocks from Zuccotti Park on Wall Street, across from the New York Stock Exchange.

            now submit

          3. Skippy

            One thing Australia has shown me is, it is healthy to take the piss out of everything (preferably yourself first), absolutely everything.

            Skippy…other wise, one day you wake up in the morning and see a zealot staring back.

          4. Union Member


            Please read Chris Hedges piece on his getting arrested in front of Goldman Sachs. How the spoiled child frat brats of the government bailed out “investment” bank laughed and snapped pictures of the Civil Disobedience. If the NYT, the WSJ, and FT, plus the DOJ would do their jobs, Goldman Sachs wouldn’t see anything to laugh about.

            And Skippy, don’t ever forget that the backdrop for all this fun and good cheer on Wall Street is a decades worth of runaway War.

          5. Skippy

            WOW you have it bad or this is a shake down. Look I read it, before I saw it here, Chris is a great writer, I link to him all the time on the web. Having said that, my position is unchanged. I have seen what Chris has and maybe more, IDK have not had a personal chat about stuff. So I understand the time one talks with the ancestor within, the ape, but I decide how to act, with forethought and not rage fueled thinking process possibly action-ed.

            The founders and the law they created is flawed in premise, in my book, elitism codified.

            All the static present today, whilst a world is diminished, life extinguished for profit and all to feed manipulated desire…barf.

            If you think you can dial it back to a nice period, good old days, your sorely mistaken. The past only leads to ruin, its all around us, time to change or make our beds in the fossil record.

            Skippy…laugh at it all, the crazy humans before and present, then henceforward.

          6. Union Member

            Many among the 99% think Rush Limbaugh is a funny comedian. They don’t recognize that he is a pernicious propagandist expressly aimed delegitimizing their very own political and economic interests.

            Rush Limbaugh, and his media handlers, love it when we all laugh at and trivialize Kent State (and other events like it) See the funny You Tubes from Occupy Oakland. That Marine with a fractured skull is hilarious.

          7. Skippy

            How much blood do you have on your hands, until they are filled with the molten life of others, stop pontificating.

          8. ambrit

            Dear skippy;
            I once made the hideous mistake of asking an old Sniper Scout I know the question, “How many?” The look in that mans eyes taught me more than all the books I’ve ever read. I still feel ashamed whenever i remember that experience. It’s times like that when taking the Mickey shows its’ true worth. Good for you.

        2. Union Member

          ambrit, you learned the wrong lesson from your story. You should ask the Media to answer your question. Ask the One Percent, they are – by definition – Chicken Hawks. The Sniper Scout is a victim also. Don’t believe the hype.

          Skippy: Occupy the Wurlizer. All good satire is directed toward those in power, never the powerless. Globalization and the One Percent were the objects of ridicule in the best satire ever written – almost 300 years ago – by the Dean of the Church of Ireland. (you mentioned pontificating.) Someone should give the Dean of St Paul’s a copy.

          Conan O’Brien is an Ivy League educated shill, who reflects back a false image to the public; but worst than that, he’s not funny. When he was out of a job, the media gave him all the attention he craves; the unemployed don’t get… health insurance.

          1. Skippy

            Seek help…Zealot like dogma lift off with black and white world boosters. Seriously get a professional opinion, get 3 if you like.

            Skippy…yep there is only two sides on this world.

          2. Union Member

            Oh lord, you’re taking this much too personally. You’re so self-centered you can’t see that I’m not attacking you; my only concern protecting OWS from senseless ego-centric mockery. (I’m not claiming to be doing the best job of it, either.)

            If OWS succeeds in remaining in Zuccotti Park to see some real change, it won’t be because they are witty and float above it all like you. It’ll be because it slept on the ground and told the simple truth. The whole world is watching – not only when the tear gas is fired – but – and especially – when OWS is trashed by the Media. (Whether it be the NYT, or Clear Channel.)

            You’ve never been hammered by any real injustice in life, have you? You sound like you always feel pretty safe and secure – even in control, powerful. Come down to OWS. Put your body into it, as they say.

          3. Skippy

            Breath taking assumptions… “You’ve never been hammered by any real injustice in life, have you? You sound like you always feel pretty safe and secure – even in control, powerful. Come down to OWS”

            Lived on streets twice in life, once in middle of rocky mountain winter, long list of other non normal conditions, what ever. Control…bahahahaha!

            Skippy..I’m *IN* the occupy movement, I interact with organizers in my zone. If you are a union rep and converse with Occupiers, I would caution them of your tactics. Too many years of one way attack. BTW your original comment allowed me to identify a string, in which I could pull ie *don’t* laugh at us, it too important. See how it work’s. Good luck with your efforts.

          4. Union Member

            Good luck to you too. That was presumptuous of me.

            I am merely rank and file, however. I wouldn’t go near my union’s leadership. And I’m very glad they stay away from the movement. I only want to see working people (and the unemployed and the poor, and those who can not work) advance.


  1. Richard Kline

    The Trenton lawsuit regarding the muscling of the Trenton Occupation will be quite interesting to see progress. It’s been echoed in favorable court responses in Nashville and Richmond, VA, where in both areas the local legal authorities have refused to charge people arrested at Occupations and ordered them released as there were no legal grounds supporting the arrests.

    Municipalities make up ordinances or direct police actions all the time. Whether these are permissible in law is often questionable. The legal grounds of curfew laws have always been shaky, and their use to evict occupations is coming under legal test now—and failing. We may be headed for a landmark Constitutional case. Of course our present odious corporate lackey Supreme Court will likely rule against the citizens if a case reaches them, just as the Supreme Court ruled for the trusts in the 1890s—only to be outflanked by Congressional action some twenty years on. Hmm . . . .

  2. Cal

    Fact #100 about Romney,

    He wears special Mormon panties.

    You can’t make up stuff this funny…Google it.

    1. Susan the other

      Thanks Think Progress. And wait there’s more! 101. When Mitt was asked in the last election what sort of hunting he did that he was so supportive of the NRA, he answered that he shot “varmints.”
      102.Back in 1966 – 1969 Mittsy went on a Mormon Mission to France and even tho’ he was only 20 he was made the second in command of the entire Mormon French Mission. Because he had such good people skills.(CNBC article today)
      103. Back in 1966-1969 Mitt’s father George Romney, Governor of Michigan and virtual Mormon royalty, considered running for president. One of his populist moves was to go to Vietnam, come home, and then declare that we should get out. He was right. Then he faded away, he might have died.
      104. Mitt is probably an insecure narcissisic hothead because in 2002, during his tenure as the manager of the Utah OIympics, Mitt had a quasi-public meltdown, the details of which – the settlement – have since been sealed. The only info that got out was about how he berated a volunteer for a minor mistake in front of dignitaries and used some seriously obscene and abusive language. Hard to follow up on because the details are sealed.

    2. Valissa

      FYI, not all Mormons wear the magic panties, just like many/most Jews do not wear the various items of their ritual gear. Typically only the most devout of any religion wear their special religious clothing and not all those do so every day.

      I think the big question for Mitt is the typical one… boxers or briefs ;)

  3. Jeff

    OWS ad:

    Black girl with multiple facial piercings says:
    “I want to be able to speak my mind on my job”

    The clattering of the nose, lip and eyebrow rings
    probably drowns out whatever you might have to say.

    Here’s a tip for the ad makers, or at least the ad buyers, putting people like
    that on Fox is not going to engender any sympathy,
    only caricaturize OWS as a bunch of self mutilating
    gutter freaks that are risible.

    That ad will do more damage to OWS than help the

    1. Abelenkpe

      Hmmmm, I think that’d only be a problem for viewers over 50. But come to think of it that would probably describe most of the viewers of FOX, bloomberg and television in general.

      1. psychohistorian

        Not all over 50 care about body jewelry, tats, long hair or the petty commenter from yesterday that scolded Bill Black on the length of his beard.

        I must not be a serious person at all, given that “train” of thought. Over the past 5 years I have grown my Shirley Temple hair (at age 63 now) to the middle of my back which I wear in a Revolutionary era queue. I started to grow and maintain long hair at the suggestion of a physical therapist to rehab and maintain my shoulders from full supraspinatus tears in both….and it is working quite well. Oh, and I have a full, but semi-regularly trimmed, beard as well.

        1. Skippy

          Guess they’ve never seen a guy crawl out of the field, after a month or two…whilst on Ops.

          Skippy…make Hippies look like Banksters…methinks.

          1. aletheia33

            once the guillotine is out, we’ll check the candidates’ fingernails, if at all dirty you get a reprieve.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I haven’t seen the ad, but in general, it’s better to go with a diverse group of people than just one person.

    3. PL

      I agree with Jeff. The more protesters look main stream, the more the main stream will identify with protesters. Some piercings and tattoos are so off-putting that they send a visual message that undermines the verbal one, no matter how reasonable. This is not to say that protesters should look like suits. That’s not going to happen for many reasons including the expense of business attire. Just find a way to be yourself within your budget without pushing the outer limits of acceptable. Saying this is not going to win me any friends but it is something I’ve been thinking about.

      1. Jeff

        Thank you. There is a correlation between dignity and acceptance. If you want to be taken seriously and
        to be respected, you need to earn that respect by
        conforming to some minimal standards of behavior.
        Going out of your way to self mutilate is off
        putting and bespeaks insecurity and a willingness to
        do things that you might regret later. Hardly a formula to gain the respect of others.

    4. Valissa

      I don’t think the ad will do damage, merely confirm the suspicion that OWS is liberal at it’s core – the ad screamed liberal/progressive. IMO, they should have picked more mainstream looking people and had more bipartisan/nonpartisan issues represented. There have been some great OWS signs that have appealed to a wide variety of political or even non-political persuasions, but none of those were shown.

  4. Eureka Springs

    While there is much truth in your observation… Core bigots will never be able to identify with 99 percent. If these types did respond to the ad and attempt to look into the movement… they will find plenty of diversity which will turn them off. There core beliefs assure that fact. Whether placing the ad on FOX at all, giving them money at all, much less trying to capture an all but certain lost segment of society…. is worth the effort, I don’t know.

    Bill Black didn’t begin to touch on how poorly informed most peeps of all backgrounds are. I knew it was bad, but mingling with so many in person recently I am astounded how little they really know…. across the board.

    I love the ad though.

    1. Jeff

      “Bigot” is defined as anyone who energetically voices an opinion different than yours. Knee jerk liberals are
      as bad as knee jerk right wingers.

      One one side of the spectrum you have the Hillbilly
      theocracy on the other the hand wringing humanists.
      Both are ridiculous.

  5. EmilianoZ

    I like Chris Hedges’ latest piece, which he wrote after his release from jail:

    He talks about the hazing of new recruits at Goldman Sachs:

    “These corporate machines, like fraternities and sororities, also haze new recruits in company rituals, force them to adopt an unrelenting cheerfulness, a childish optimism and obsequiousness to authority. These corporate rituals, bolstered by retreats and training seminars, by grueling days that sometimes end with initiates curled up under their desks to sleep, ensure that only the most morally supine remain. The strong and independent are weeded out early so only the unquestioning advance upward.”

    I had never thought of hazing this way. I thought it was mainly a silly tradition. But Hedges’ interpretation makes a lot of sense.

    1. craazyman

      that was a good one, as his always are.

      Chris Hedges writings are, to journalism, what Cormac McCarthy’s THE ROAD is to fiction. Or sort of. That Manichean dialectic, a razors edge, without purgatory, between heaven and hell.

      I think Mr. Hedges has looked so far into the human Heart of Darkness that he’s a bit deranged, but the “road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom” as the poet says, and Mr. Hedges is wise indeed.

  6. kravitz

    Steven J. Baum PC, Foreclosure law firm, is battling New York State rule on accuracy

    “The Baum firm wants a state court in Buffalo to overturn a statewide administrative rule, which the firm contends is impeding the rights of its bank and mortgage servicing clients, and intruding on the power of the local court.”

  7. Hugh

    Kwak has nice charts showing what we know that America’s corporatist model of healthcare sucks.

    The decision to move Bill Daley around in the White House hierarchy is pure election year atmospherics. His schedule is just being freed up so he can be Obama’s ambassador to Wall Street fulltime.

    1. curlydan

      That’s all he’s good at! He doesn’t want to deal with schedules and timetables. He’s an idea guy with 1 great idea: give money, make more money!

  8. Susan the other

    My inclination is to think that only cellular intention could have evolved into M’bura. Either that or she is the Lucy of all ungulates. I prefer the first, that M’bura and all Okapis are like octopi, evolving the cleverest camoflage. And then there is her 18″ prehensile tongue, the better to remain motionless longer. How nice that we have enlightened institutions like zoos.

  9. barrisj

    Perhaps this piece has been cited already, but Bill Black has wickedly and persuasively set out the case for the impossible-to-overlook-criminality aspect of “Alt-A: “liar’s loans”, and that the DOJ’s posture has been reprehensible and nonfeasant, to say the least:

    The Virgin Crisis: Systematically Ignoring Fraud as a Systemic Risk
    By William K. Black

    One of the most revealing things about this crisis is the unwillingness to investigate whether “accounting control fraud” was a major contributor to the crisis. The refusal to even consider a major role for fraud is facially bizarre. The banking expert James Pierce found that fraud by senior insiders was, historically, the leading cause of major bank failures in the United States. The national commission that investigated the cause of the S&L debacle found:

    “The typical large failure [grew] at an extremely rapid rate, achieving high concentrations of assets in risky ventures…. [E]very accounting trick available was used…. Evidence of fraud was invariably present as was the ability of the operators to “milk” the organization” (NCFIRRE 1993)

    Two of the nation’s top economists’ study of the S&L debacle led them to conclude that the S&L regulators were correct – financial deregulation could be dangerously criminogenic. That understanding would allow us to avoid similar future crises.

    “Neither the public nor economists foresaw that [S&L deregulation was] bound to produce looting. Nor, unaware of the concept, could they have known how serious it would be. Thus the regulators in the field who understood what was happening from the beginning found lukewarm support, at best, for their cause. Now we know better. If we learn from experience, history need not repeat itself” (George Akerlof & Paul Romer. “Looting: the Economic Underworld of Bankruptcy for Profit.” 1993: 60).

    The epidemic of accounting control fraud that drove the second phase of the S&L debacle (the first phase was caused by interest rate risk) was followed by an epidemic of accounting control fraud that produced the Enron era frauds.

    The FBI warned in September 2004 that there was an “epidemic” of mortgage fraud and predicted that it would cause a financial “crisis” if it were not contained. The mortgage banking industry’s own anti-fraud experts reported in writing to nearly every mortgage lender in 2006 that:

    “Stated income and reduced documentation loans speed up the approval process, but they are open invitations to fraudsters.” “When the stated incomes were compared to the IRS figures: [90%] of the stated incomes were exaggerated by 5% or more. [A]lmost 60% were exaggerated by more than 50%. [T]he stated income loan deserves the nickname used by many in the industry, the ‘liar’s loan’” (MARI 2006).

    We know that accounting control fraud is itself criminogenic – fraud begets fraud. The fraudulent CEOs deliberately create the perverse incentives that that suborn inside and outside employees and professionals. We have known for four decades how these perverse incentives produce endemic fraud by generating a “Gresham’s” dynamic in which bad ethics drives good ethics out of the marketplace.

  10. Alex SL

    Could somebody answer a probably really stupid question that I have? Why is it “Hash Occupy Wall Street” instead of simply “Occupy Wall Street”?

    1. craazyman

      dude, have you whiffed the air down there? :)

      (just a joke ha ahahahahaha)

      I only smelled the oak leaves on a few occasions during my 4 visits.

  11. NancyinStL

    I read the article on asthma control with great interest. I’d used inhaled corticosteroids, such as Flovent and Qvar with great success when combined w/ a dose of Combivent (a combination of albuterol and Atrovent). Both inhalers can be used w/ a spacer chamber, which eliminates the threat of thrush.

    But when the propellant for the corticosteroids was phased out as part of the EPA’s program to save ozone, I was switched to Advair (along w/ other reasons). Advair didn’t do it as well during the day. It’s about as good as Albuterol, which is better than nothing. I still use Combivent when I expect to exert myself, during exercise classes and walking the dog, for example, and use Advair for over night relief. Advair requires me to use a Clotrimazole troche to prevent thrush.

    Combivent is typically used by people w/ COPD, so apparently it’s been allowed to stay on the market. I don’t have COPD. Instead I have an unkown condition (no allergies revealed in testing) that leads to constant post-nasal drip. The constant drip irritates my bronchial tubes and therefore aggravates my asthma. (That’s likely why Combivent is effective in something like 25% of asthma sufferers.)

    Over the past year, I’ve noticed my peak flow is reduced. I will talk w/ my pulmonologist when I next see him.

Comments are closed.