Links 12/28/11

Matt Stoller is a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute.  You can follow him on twitter at

Case Shiller: House Prices fall to new post-bubble lows in October (seasonally adjusted) Calculated Risk

Internal BNY Mellon Documents Show Panic  Wall Street Journal. Wow, fun to watch them scurry.

600 Morgan Stanley employees in New York City are going to lose their jobs per HuffPo.  Ouch.  Still, the financial sector is bloated, so this is good.

Consumer confidence up up and away Financial Times

Oil Prices Jumping As Well (over $100 a barrel now, Financial Times).  They say it’s because of tensions with Iran.  But aren’t things always pretty tense in Iran and the Middle East in general?  Yes, they are.  Could be a demand story.  Then again, Iran and US are talking smack, and Obama’s like “Don’t even think about getting a nuclear weapon” and Iran is all like “I’m going to cut off a fifth of the world’s oil”.  Popcorn!  It’s like a nuclear Jersey Shore, with our economy hanging in the balance!

European Banks Parked $539B (which is 412B Euros) at the ECB over the Christmas Holiday Financial Times.  Don’t worry, this is completely normal.  Got it?  Completely FUCKING NORMAL!  Quick, look over there, tensions with Iran!

Obama approval back into positive territory Huffington Post.  This seems significant.  I suspect the electoral map will be different in 2012 than it was in 2008, just because of all those new voter restrictions placed all over the country.

US body sees renminbi as threat to dollar Financial Times

Obama in fresh move to fill Fed seats Financial Times – The Obama administration has nominated two new Federal Reserve candidates, a Democrat and a Republican, probably in an attempt to prevent a filibuster.  The first is Jeremy Stein, your obligatory Harvard economist.

The second pick is clearly a meant to be a piece of darkly hilarious performance art.  President Obama has selected former Carlyle partner Jerome Powell to one of the seats.  Carlyle is the most politically connected private equity group in the world, founded by former Carter White House official David Rubenstein with major holdings in defense, telecom, technology, software, and Dunkin Donuts.  From 1998-2005, Powell founded and led the Industrial Group within the Carlyle group’s U.S. Buyout Fund.  Check out the pic, he’s got some sweet swee silver hair, like a friggin Just for Men (Who Run the World) commercial.  I’m a little disappointed that Powell doesn’t have more insider connections, though.

No worries, though, Fed terms are for fourteen years, so if either of these is a bad pick we can totally reverse course in 2026.  Confirm these guys quick, Mr. Senate.  And can we all have a slow clap for the administration?

Treasury is also considering bringing in housing expert Michael Stegman.  Stegman was a consultant to the Fannie Mae Foundation (boo), and a supporter of the North Carolina anti-predatory lending law (yay).  He authored this 2007 paper on the need for preventative servicing to handle defaults, so he was at least aware there were problems in the housing market and that a housing market isn’t an abstract model of equations in which everyone is rational.  He’s knowledgeable, though perhaps naive.  This choice is probably about the newfound vigor within the administration, the Fed, and the FHFA to begin handling the foreclosure crisis.  Apparently they noticed we have one.  Welcome guys!

US says it and Pakistan share blame for air strikes That Killed 24 Pakistani Soldiers  Financial Times. This strikes me as a “I’m sorry you’re mad at me” kind of non-apology.  Seriously how hard is it to say “We’re sorry we accidentally killed 24 soldiers of yours, we won’t do it again.”  What is with all the stupid brinksmanship?  Don’t answer that.

Canada shipping bomb-grade uranium to U.S.: memo CTV News (hat tip reader May S)  Because hey, you know, what could go wrong?

U.S. Army sergeant David Brash has won more than $21million in damages from PHH Mortgage after it falsely claimed he defaulted on his loan (Daily Mail).  Nice!

BofA $8.5 Billion Mortgage Accord Fight to Be Heard by U.S. Appeals Court Bloomberg (Da- Obscure but important legal maneuvering around the Countrywide settlement.

Let Buddy Roemer debate!  Sure, why not?  He’s the only “Presidential candidate” talking about corruption.  Not persuasive?  Hmm.  His name is Buddy?  Yeah, Buddy?  Don’t we… need a Buddy in the White House?  Yes we do!  Sold!

Newt Gingrich’s New Hampshire campaign released this all-too-bizarre Christmas video.  I admire the creative reach, the desperate sadness and yearning for meaning couched in an Office Space-like routinized stripping away of humanity in the face of a brutal machine-like political process.  Bravo, Newt and company.  Bravo.  Second slow clap of the day.

The New York Times on Ron Paul’s Newsletters – Dave Weigel and Julian Sanchez wrote about Ron Paul’s newsletters in 2008, which the NYT rehashed today without explaining to readers that they had basically reproduced much of Weigel and Sanchez’s work.  Grey lady, j’accuse!

The NYT lost their CEO, and will pay her $15 million in severance per Reuters.  I wonder why no one can afford quality journalism.

NHS private income cap to be lifted Indpependent – The sad, slow privatizing of Britain’s national health care system continues.  Don’t do it, UK!  You really won’t like it!  Oh what’s the point, just give all your money to the assholes in suits who will proceed to light in on fire.  Really?  You did that already?  Ok, cool.

Boston College: Time for Resignations Chris Bray – Wow, this really is extremely unethical.  Impressively unethical, actually.  Is there no one in any elite position anywhere who can be counted on to act honestly?  Again, don’t answer that.

Riots could happen again, warns Tottenham MP Independent. Tottenham is really the name of a place and not an absurd British caricature?  What’s next, Marylebone?

A Twitter user is being sued for £217,000 by his former employer for taking his online followers with him when he switched jobs

Google + May Have 400 Million Users By the End of 2012 Bloomberg

Why Nobody Will Play Nice With Windows Phone 7 New York Times.  Poor Microsoft, nobody likes her anymore.  You know what, MSFT?  You need to go out, get drunk, and viciously destroy a competitor, just for old times sake.  Get that groove back.

Women Laughing Alone With Salad (not political, just hilarious)

Jed S. Rakoff: Federal District Judge Of New York’s Southern District (The Inspirationals)  Huffington Post – Good interview

SEC Wins Emergency Stop In Citigroup Fraud Case  Huffington Post. Shorter SEC: Please let us let them off the hook!  Please!

And there you go.

Antidote du jour:

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About Matt Stoller

From 2011-2012, Matt was a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. He contributed to Politico, Alternet, Salon, The Nation and Reuters, focusing on the intersection of foreclosures, the financial system, and political corruption. In 2012, he starred in “Brand X with Russell Brand” on the FX network, and was a writer and consultant for the show. He has also produced for MSNBC’s The Dylan Ratigan Show. From 2009-2010, he worked as Senior Policy Advisor for Congressman Alan Grayson. You can follow him on Twitter at @matthewstoller.


      1. Richard Kline

        Or we are shadow-faking war with Iran so that they can be blamed for EU/US financial crash to follow plus those presently in power can look strong and righteous for the impending election cycle when they have to face electorates truly aggreived at said power-holders kissy-facing the crimes of our oligarchs.

        Iran is just the fall guy for things already planned.

  1. craazyman

    another Jungian dream metaphor antidote.

    Well at least this shows distinct signs of pyschic self-possession and isn’t jumping off a cliff like the last one.

    Maybe this pic is a sign of higher noosphereic forces at work and means something for Europe. The black horse clearly is Germany and the white snow is frozen liquidity. I think the Bundesbank will relent (no pun intended) and find a way to avoid the cliff jump. But they need to buck around a bit more just to show off their stuff first.

    Nevetheless, I would not double down on a one-way bet, even though that’s what tempts me. Sometimes you just get tricked into doing something stupid.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That depends.

      If the horse was born in the year of the horse, he’s a real horse…a horse horse.

      If the horse was born in the year of the snake or the year of the rat, he would not be a real horse. He’d be a snake horse or a rat horse.

      My cat…I think he was born in the year of the chicken. I see him as a chicken cat. In many ways, he is a chicken.

    2. Anon

      Oh god don’t, craaazyman. I just watched Michael Haneke’s supremely allegorical The White Ribbon over Christmas. Still reeling.

    1. Jim Sterling


      Everyone’s placenames look funny to outsiders. The thing to remember about England is it’s not a Disney film set, honest, I’ve been there! It’s a real place where people lived millennia before the USA was even thought of.

      1. aletheia33

        and now mostly inhabited by people who act like cartoon characters.

        can’t believe you didn’t mention kalamazoo.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Turkey…what is the origin of that name?

          ‘I ran’…oh, bummer, I meant Iran.

          ‘I ran’ actually used to be another name for France, or more precisely, the French Army.

          Let’s not forget ‘I wreck’ – which is to be distinguished from Iraq. ‘I wreck’ was the code name of a war game conducted in the Middle East by the Roman Empire several thousand years ago.


          1. Binky the Bear

            The French Army rarely has the opportunity to run, having hosted the last two World Wars. With the assistance of the youth of the Low Countries, they provided a great deal of blood and bone meal to the fields, as did German youths who marched and rode there.
            The French walked out of Vietnam, and waved to us as we flew in, stupidly.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            By the way, that Middle East war game, ‘I wreck’ was the brainchild of a Roman emperor who worte an autobiography called ‘I, Comedeus’ if my memory serves me correctly.

        1. aletheia33

          if you’re referring to the cartoon characters, i was referring to the inhabitants of merrie olde englande.

      2. lidia

        Ok, but why the hell do the English call the Italian city of Livorno “Leghorn”, as in Foghorn Leghorn… (there is, in fact, a corresponding Italian chicken breed)?

        1. Jim Sterling

          Why do Americans call Firenze “Florence” and Śląsk “Silesia”? Why do Germans call it “Schlesien”? Why do the French call Köln “Cologne” and London “Londres”? It’s just the effects of the historical game of Telephone.

          1. aletheia33

            and other historical games, like “we own the world, and lest you forget, that includes your puny once great little capital city of a now no-account little state, so we’ll call it what we want,” and “it’s ours, not yours, until you take it away from us again, and then when we take it back again” and so on and on down through the centuries.

  2. rjs

    matt, when linking to FT articles, it would be useful for those of in the 99% who cant afford a subscription if you would use the exact text of the headline…

    1. justanotherobserver

      you can start an account at FT which is free and gives you access to a limited number of articles.

      I finally had to break down and do it because NC links to many articles from there, and with good reason.

      1. nobody

        You can also start several accounts there, each linked to a different email address, and thereby circumvent those limits.

      1. Walter_R

        I suspect none of it. Much of it might have been funded by the Fed, however, which doesn’t use tax payer money.

        1. LucyLulu

          That’s not quite accurate. The Fed pays 6% of their profits to their shareholders in the form of annual dividends. The remainder of any profits are paid to Treasury, aka US taxpayers.

  3. Xavim

    Nothing wrong with Tottenham (the name. The team is another matter).
    Speaking of odd names:
    Jackson’s Hole

    1. Jim Sterling

      Man, now you’re living dangerously. You can pick on Saxons, but making fun of Viking place names is asking for trouble.

      A “Vang” is a field, so Wetwang is “wet field,” the Yorkshire equivalent of Soggy Bottom, Arkansas.

    2. Jack Parsons

      I predict the next Coen Brothers movie will include a Viking musical group called the Wetwang Boys.

      (O Brother Where Art Thou)

  4. LucyLulu

    Petition for Buddy Roemer to debate signed. In addition, email sent to ABC with request for same. While Gov. Roemer’s chances may be slim to none, having him as a member of the debate would allow a national forum for the message of insider corruption, from an insider. And for a bit of trivia, in one of Bill Black’s articles, he mentions Roemer as one of the members of Congress who was NOT on the dole (unlike McCain) when he was prosecuting the savings and loan crises. And for those who don’t know, Roemer has also run a community bank since leaving the governorship of LA., i.e. he understands the mechanics of the financial corruption as well. Unfortunately, his refusal to accept donations over $100 or PAC money, i.e. his honesty, ensures the failure of his campaign.

  5. Tony

    Damn fine links commentary! It’s like the econoblog version of SportsCenter.

    The link below is old, but it’s the first time I’ve heard of these extremely scary frankencrops as well as the proposed bill to regulate them:

    Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today announced commonsense legislation that would prohibit open-air cultivation of Genetically Engineered (GE) pharmaceutical and industrial crops, preventing biological contamination of our food supply. The bill would also establish a tracking system to regulate and ensure the safety of GE pharmaceutical and industrial crops.

    The Department of Agriculture has allowed more than 300 outdoor field trials of plants—including feed crops including corn, soybeans, rice, safflower, barley, alfalfa, mustard greens, peas, sugarcane, tomatoes, and wheat—which are genetically engineered to produce experimental pharmaceuticals, industrial enzymes and novel proteins. Those GE substances are not intended to be incorporated into food or to be spread into the environment or our food supply. Yet there are examples of such contamination, with enormously destructive consequences.

    1. Dan_in_KC

      If Kucinich really wants to put a stop to open-air cultivation of Gen-En crops he should include a provision to prevent the enforcement of the patents on engineered genes that have spread via pollen-drift to neighboring fields. Monsanto is notorious for going after neighboring farms that ‘benefit’ from their roundup-ready genes (but just try to get Monsanto to pay for the roundup-ready weeds that sprout in the neighboring fields!!)

      1. aletheia33

        time for some new spectacles in the public arena:

        in order of their deserts:

        financiers at highest level guilty of theft: stripped of their assets, to be distributed equally to all peoples they ripped off; not permitted employment of any kind henceforth; tarring and feathering and dragging through the streets of their respective metropoles; installment in pillory for suitable period.

        national security state operatives at the highest levels: the guillotine.

        chemical and nuclear profiteers: drawing and quartering.

        (subject to revision as appropriate.)

        1. Rex

          “drawing and quartering”

          Definitely off of my acceptable punishment list along with burning at the stake. Pretty sure this goes against the Geneva Convention, but of course the current US point of view doesn’t need to bother with that old archaic scheme.

          Let’s just be civil and limit it to the guillotine for now.

          Actually, let me check with my lawyers to see where I stand on the spectrum of potential evilness vs. money before I make any final recommendations.

          1. aletheia33

            for 2012, i’m expanding my acceptable punishment list. feeling nostalgic for some of the old-style “remedies”.
            burning at the stake now, forgot about that one, it should definitely be “resurrected.”
            speaking of which, crucifixion was pretty effective in its day.
            at any rate, i’m kind of torn now between stake burning and exposure to lethal radiation. since i’m a lover of peace and quiet, i can see some real advantages to the latter.
            as for who deserves these types of “burns”, we could say no human being really does, but that would just be something we say, wouldn’t it?

  6. LucyLulu

    If they increase private funding in hospitals from a few to 50 percentage points, and already have a shortage of GP’s due to their attraction to going into specialties, this will only be exacerbated. Therefore any assurances of safeguarding care for NHS patients is moot. They may have equal access to care once hospitalized perhaps but if they are receiving inadequate care out in the community due to lack of medical access, this will place NHS patients at a profound disadvantage before they walk in the door. The NHS patients will succumb to an adverse selection process and be sicker upon arrival. The current voucher proposals by Ryan/Wyden will also involve an adverse selection process albeit by a different means, with healthier patients ending up in the private plans for them to reap the profits….while shifting more and more of the share of costs (the source of excessive costs having been intentionally unaddressed) onto the sicker patients who must enroll in Medicare.

  7. Evan

    Most English place names often have ancient Anglo-Saxon, Roman, or Danish origins. According to Wikipedia (not a huge fan of the site, but you have to admit it is useful), Tottenham “is believed to have been named after Tota, a farmer, whose hamlet was mentioned in the Domesday Book; hence Tota’s hamlet became Tottenham. It was recorded in the Domesday Book as Toteham.” Not sure what “Marylebone” would be, but it sounds vaguely dirty to me.

    1. Valissa

      I agree. Not sure why Matt thinks it’s “hilarious” (the women are very attractive so perhaps that’s the allure). Stupid, inane and fake are adjectives that come to my mind.

      I thought the photos were kinda creepy, sorta like salad propaganda. The laughs are obviously fake/staged and for the sake of the photo.

      My idea of salad humor…

      The first vegetarians

      The utimate salad bar,

      Ice cream salad

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Speaking of foodie animals, where would you recommend for a cat taking a dog out for their first date?

            Both the cat and the dog like human food better than cat and/or dog food, but unfortunately, they are in the 99% cats/dogs wealth group, so they can’t afford any human food.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Maybe every human’s pet cats and pet dogs are different, though I should point out chicken feet are human food.

          3. F. Beard

            All the boys and girls in Mrs. Dovers class are drawing. Mrs. Dover came over to Tommy and said, “What picture are you drawing?”
            Tommy said, “A cow eating grass.”
            “Ok, where’s the grass?”
            “The cow ate it all.”
            “Ok, where’s the cow?”
            “It went to go look for more grass.”

            [btw: My reply is late because I apparently exceeded my comment quota yesterday :) ]

    2. craazyman

      They all look like lithium-deprived patients photographed during therapy sessions a high-priced psychiatric hospital. Not very funny Matt.

      hahahah. (OK I admit I’m laughing now).

    3. mookie

      Wow, this must be a generational thing. I’m guessing that most of you who can’t find the humor in the women laughing alone with salad photo collection are boomers or others without much understanding of the type of irony common among younger people.

      Let me spell it out for you: this is a not-so-subtle commentary on our sexist society. These are all stock photos used in advertising featuring skinny healthy women overjoyed with life while enjoying a salad. The first comment at the hairpin might help you understand: “Making healthy choices. Taking care of me. Feeling good. Living good. Healthy and clean. I like that. For me. Because I matter. Loving myself because someone has to, right? Who? Oh right, me. Loving me for living good and eating good. Loving myself. Must. Or at least should. Possibly could if I eat salad. But only salad.”

      If you get that, you might also enjoy the halloween costume or another attempt to expose sexism by collecting stock ad photos, Women Struggling to Drink Water.

      1. mookie

        …or a better way to put it is that these collections are expositions of the intersection between capitalism and sexism in modern consumer capitalist America. A commenter at The Hairpin provides 2 additional Getty sets that focus more narrowly on the capitalist aspect: Happy Black Women Shopping 1 & 2.

      2. Valissa

        “this is a not-so-subtle commentary on our sexist society”

        no shit, sherlock. I “get it” and still think it’s dumb and superficial and unoriginal (and it’s so totally derivative, man, that it’s weak tea at best). However I realize that some people, who are obviously way cooler, and more hiply ironic than myself, might enjoy this sort of thing.

        1. mookie

          Valissa, evidently my tone was off, I didn’t mean to insult your intelligence. I only tried to answer the question of why someone might find it hilarious. Have a pleasant evening.

    1. Francois T

      That’s what the book Retirement Heist is all about.

      BTW, if more people would read and understand this book, the Occupy movement would have 100 million members, just in the USA…and several politicians and lobbyists would need extreme personal security for the rest of their miserable lives.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A British Imperial soldier once telegramed from Pakistan ‘I have sinned’ in Latin (‘peccavi’) upon his successful conquest of Sindh.

  8. William

    Love the tone of indignance in today’s Links list, was going to send an “Attagirl!,” but then checked authorship and so need that to be an “Attaboy!”

  9. Valissa

    Tarzan’s Chimp Sidekick, Cheetah, Dies at 80,,20556983,00.html

    Cheetah, also known as Cheetah-Mike, acted as Tarzan’s comic sidekick “Cheeta” and was one of several chimpanzees who appeared in the films of 1932 to 1934, with Johnny Weissmuller in the starring role.

    Around 1960, after living on Weissmuller’s estate, Cheetah retired to Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor, Fla.

    “It is with great sadness that the community has lost a dear friend and family member,” the sanctuary announced this week on its website. Chimpanzees live an average of 45 years in the wild, and captive chimps have an average lifespan of 60 years.

    While at the sanctuary, Cheetah enjoyed watching sports on television, listening to nondenominational Christian music, and occasionally throwing poop when he was feeling disgruntled.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s a sad day.

      He was a far better actor than most, if not all, Oscar winners.

      One could see how he was totally into his roles, completely forgetting himself on the sets…in fact, he was only minimally aware of himself most of the time, a refreshing break from those narcissistic human actors.

  10. Hugh

    Another day in kleptocracy. The ongoing scams, the simmering wars, the deteriorating fundamentals. It’s like the smell of napalm in the morning.

  11. Hugh

    Re the Case-Shiller numbers, something to keep in mind is that housing prices are still twice what they were in the 1990s. Housing prices began to increase around 1997. We are currently back to mid-2003 levels. So there is a lot more potential fall off still possible.

    Iran is posturing. But it is an excuse and that it is the end of the year are enough to spur speculation in oil markets. The basic pattern is that they speculate until there is blowback then they lay off for a bit until the next round. This is the next round. Looking for actual real world motivators for this kind of activity is pointless.

    The 3 year ECB facility was some major can kicking, but it addresses none of Europe’s and the euro’s core problems and was, as usual, more about ultimately protecting rich bank bondholders.

    The renmimbi can’t be a serious reserve currency until China starts running trade deficits and getting renmimbi out into the world economy.

    With warm weather, there could well be riots, not just in the UK, but throughout Europe, and oh yes, here in the US.

    The New York Times remains the flagship of US media, a media which is, by the way, nothing but propaganda and infotainment filled with neocons and kleptocrat apologists. Its bad acts are a feature, not a bug, although as I have said before it does work exceedingly well for under the cats’ litter boxes.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Why doesn’t the guy grab 2 or more cans at a time?

          Can you grab with both hands? I’d set up a chair on my right and a chair on my left.

  12. Lew Glendenning

    There is a possible correlation (small N) between the size of the economic problems governments need to distract attention from and the size of the resulting wars.

    There is a definite correlation between the amount of political repression and the size of the war, etc.

    WWIII and gulags in our futures.

  13. alex

    Yves Smith: “600 Morgan Stanley employees in New York City are going to lose their jobs per HuffPo. Ouch. Still, the financial sector is bloated, so this is good.”

    The financial sector is bloated in terms of profits and compensation at the higher levels. But is it bloated in terms of employment? I really don’t know.

    How do layoffs square with “seven big banks’ pay data indicate that Wall Street compensation is on track to exceed 2010 levels”? Who are these people getting laid off? It sounds more like they’re mid to low level people. Perhaps so more jobs can be shipped abroad to increase short-term profits.

    Without more information I can’t say I see anything good.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The Bonus Army was famous in its days.

      We’ll see if there will be an Anti-Wall-Street-Bonus Legion this century.

    2. Yves Smith

      Matt is DJing the site today, I am trying (ahem, only trying) to get some of the rest of my life in order!

      1. Rex


        Thanks for checking in. Matt seems to have created a bit rowdier environment than usual.

        We shall survive.

        Keep up your focus on resting and ignore the rest, for now.

  14. Jeremy

    “No worries, though, Fed terms are for fourteen years, so if either of these is a bad pick we can totally reverse course in 2026.”

    The terms are fixed and staggered at two year intervals. I believe the term that Jeremy Stein is being appointed to ends in 2018, and the term Jerome Powell is being appointed to expires in 2014. Elizabeth Duke’s appointment expires in 2012. Her replacement will get the term that runs until 2026. The term ending in 2016 is Sarah Raskin, the term ending in 2020 is Bernanke, the term ending in 2022 is Daniel Tarullo, and the term ending in 2024 is Janet Yellen.

  15. Jack Parsons

    MS Phone- I interviewed at a mobile phone app company. They did market research by doing their concept on the windows phone. There are so few buyers that they did not get overwhelmed by demand and could get the customer feedback they wanted.

    MS loved them and put them in its ‘startup of the year’ list.

  16. Sundog

    This sucks.

    “I was shocked,” said Park, who also was rejected from four other UC schools, including the top-ranked campuses in Berkeley and Los Angeles, even with a 4.0 grade-point average and an SAT score above the UC San Diego average. “I took it terribly. I felt like I was doing well and I failed.”

    The University of California system, rocked by budget cuts, is enrolling record numbers of out-of-state and international students, who pay almost twice that of in-state residents. Among those being squeezed out: high-achieving Asian-Americans, many of them children of immigrants, who for decades flocked to the state’s elite public colleges to move up the economic ladder.

    Why? Because just as with pharma, Americans are compelled to eat shit with a “market” smiley face on it.

      1. Sundog

        The gap between the rhetoric of “market forces” wrt pharma and human resources in the US is a gaping wound. Puzzles me that no pols or opeds have attacked it.

  17. LucyLulu

    This time may be different with Iran, they have reason to be more worried. Not only is Israel ramping up on the threats of attack, but the sanctions are beginning to hit hard. Their three biggest oil importers are Italy, Spain, and Greece. In the last few months, Spain has elected a new leader and Italy and Greece have put technocrats in place all who are in favor of the Iran sanctions. Their citizens are fleeing the rial, which has dropped in value by 15% in the last month alone (total drop of 35% in less than a year).

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