Links 12/4/11

2 rare jaguar sightings in southern Arizona excite conservationists, state wildlife officials The Republic (hat tip Joe Costello)

Military dogs taking Xanax, receiving therapy, for canine PTSD The Sideshow (hat tip reader Aquifer)

Slide Show: The Ten Most Toxic Cosmetics Bloomberg

The water, energy and food nexus Institute for Agriculture and Trade

Cornell Prof: Carrier IQ affair ‘my worst nightmare’ Network World

China Rejects U.S. Ruling on Solar Imports Bloomberg

Germany is the ultimate victim of EMU Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Merkel Calls for More ‘Concrete’ Union Wall Street Journal. I hope that’s an unfortunate translation. I think of concrete overshoes.

Iceland’s special prosecutor arrests former Glitnir CEO Reuters (hat tip reader Robert H)

D.E.A. Launders Mexican Profits of Drug Cartels New York Times. Quelle surprise!

VIDEO: Occupy demonstrators target Wells Fargo CEO at NC campus Facing South (hat tip reader Travis)

Occupy Economics Adbusters. While I appreciate the sentiment, I’m not keen re these non-organic (as in not endorsed by any General Assembly) “Occupy” salvos.

Don’t Just Sit There, Work Out at Your Desk New York Times. In the old days, firms that wanted to keep people at work nutty hours provided amenities, like free food and in house gym. Now you only get the goodies if you multitask.

Secrets of the Bailout, Now Told Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times

Foreclosure battle: A new hope Salon (hat tip Max Gardner)

Antidote du jour:

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  1. Eureka Springs

    I can’t think of a more dangerous PTSD drug than xanax for a dog. Highly addictive and a missed or even late dose can wreak absolute havoc… missed dose can and does cause seizures or will kill a person or dog.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      What about plants brought along by our soldiers? They should be checked for PTSD also.

      What about native dogs and native plants, as they continue the struggle to cope with more on-going traumas there?

    2. Fraud Guy

      We used Xanax on our dog for 4th of July fireworks, as otherwise he would run around the house all night in a panic.

      One pill, once a year was good for him, and at the same dosage for a 25# dog as a 125# woman.

      The hard part was explaining to the pharmacist why a 5 year old was getting a prescription, and why on earth would we name our boy Lucky…?

    1. Amateur Socialist

      Sure sure. Maybe someday we can run national elections with the same careful precision applied to Straw Polls.

  2. Ted

    Re Cosmetics…

    Men do not wear makeup. A few males perhaps.

    Avon makeup contains carcinogens. Avon sponsors the pink
    ribbon breast cancer walks.

    Cancer is an economic disease.

    All the focus on cures for cancer means huge profits. Prevention of cancer means zero profits for the cancer industry.

    What if pesticide makers made money off chemotherapy chemicals? They do.
    What if radiological machine makers caused cancer by x-ray exposure? They do.
    What if these companies formed a front company to stress cures, not prevention? They do.
    It’s called the American Cancer Society and they have over a billion dollars in the bank and keep getting people to volunteer to raise more cash for them.

    Google”American Cancer Society fraud”if you want a clue what they are about.

    Their motto is “Early detection is the best cure” Bull!
    How about prevention is the best cure? The ACS was against banning DES, against any research into the link between cancer and pesticides, controls most research journals, bans researchers that do controlled studies on no-profit nutrition and in general is a front group for those that harvest profit from cancer.

    Cancer is an economic disease.

    1. F. Beard

      What if these companies formed a front company to stress cures, not prevention? They do. Ted

      That’s because the rich can afford the cures in case they receive collateral damage.

      But here’s an anti-cancer tip for the non-rich:

      A long, water-only fast will clear out pre-cancerous tissue. It seems the body is smart about preserving healthy tissue and burning up the unhealthy tissue instead. See your doctor first.

      Here’s a link to water-fasting and the various chronic ailments it is effective for:

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        That’s like going with green cars, green houses, eco-products – these are cures. There is a place for that.

        Prevention is to use less of everything in our life.

        They promote the cures becuase there is money there, but not prevention.

        In fact, higher mileage cars, through Jevon’s Paradox, might lead to more carbon emission.

        The general rule in my household is, when confronted between a no-tech solution and a hi-tech solution, go with the former, because no-tech solutins are

        1) less likely to be rejected by nature

        2) fewer side effects

        3) less likely to become obsolete

        4) likely to be cheaper

        1. securecare

          Actually natural things (nature) are VERY high tech, human created technology is much lower tech than natural things though “we” are getting better by copying natural methods more and more.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I agree.

            In Tao, one is so no-tech, one becomes the highest tech.

            Sort of like the meek shall inherit the Earth, or water, by being soft and yielding, is all powerful at the end.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            By the way, thanks.

            I will have to include your comment in my forthcoming book (a few decades away) on Neo-Neanderthalism. I hope you don’t mind.

          3. justanotherobserver

            incredibly important observation.

            the ability of your immune system to do it’s job is nothing less than amazing – and highly complicated.

            nevertheless low tech solutions like antibiotics can be really effective in giving it assistance.

      2. justanotherobserver

        i’d like to see more evidence before I’ll believe that fasting will clear out pre-cancerous tissue.

        Having said that a low calorie, high quality diet is the _only_ thing to have been conclusively shown to extend life, and quality of life at that.

        also, there is now high quality research which is demonstrating that excess glucose is a major contributor to the health and spread of existing cancer cells.

        and, of course, we now eat more sugar than ever…

        1. F. Beard

          i’d like to see more evidence before I’ll believe that fasting will clear out pre-cancerous tissue. justanotherobserver

          Makes sense to me and there have been studies with cancer prone rats. Dr Allan Cott wrote some books years ago that are pretty convincing. Here’s a link:

          And please bear in mind, my chief interest is monetary reform. I will not go to much trouble to promote fasting. It’s your life. Live it as you will.

        2. Dave of Maryland

          A week long water, or raw juice fast, lets the stomach and intestines shut down and gives the liver a chance to clean itself out. A large part of the food we eat goes to keep the stomach & intestines going and often there isn’t enough energy or time for much of anything else to get done. Unresolved problems back up until something fails. Fasting helps to avoid that. Be advised the purity of the water / juice is important, and that high colonics are a part of it. In other words, don’t wait for the diagnosis.

          I’ve been on a few week-long juice fasts. Skin clears up, hair gets better, nails get stronger. I’d do one or two fasts a year if I could just get organized. By contrast, I have no interest in exercise, for example.

          1. F. Beard

            I did a 17 1/2 day water-only fast in college. It cleared up my terrible allergies for a solid year despite a crummy post fast diet.

            But fasting is so difficult for me to do especially when a wooden stake must be driven through banking. But Mansoor is learning fast …

      3. aletheia33

        thanks for this link. interesting. i am considering trying this fast, as i have some chronic health issues i think it might help.
        have you done it?
        do you know a source for instructions on how to do, what to expect, etc.?
        you can email me at to answer. thanks!

  3. Ted

    Here’s an example:

    Koch Industries has been lobbying to prevent the E.P.A. from classifying formaldehyde, which the company produces in great quantities, as a “known carcinogen” in humans.
    Scientists have long known that formaldehyde causes cancer in rats, and several major scientific studies have concluded that formaldehyde causes cancer in human beings, including one published last year by the National Cancer Institute, on whose advisory board Koch sits.

    The study tracked twenty-five thousand patients for an average of forty years; subjects exposed to higher amounts of formaldehyde had significantly higher rates
    of leukemia. These results helped lead an expert panel within the National Institutes of Health to conclude that formaldehyde should be categorized as a known carcinogen, and be strictly controlled by the government.

    Corporations have resisted regulations on formaldehyde for decades, however, and Koch Industries has been a large funder of members of Congress who have stymied the E.P.A., requiring it to defer new regulations until more studies are completed. Koch Industries became a major producer of the chemical in 2005, after it bought Georgia-Pacific, the paper and wood-products company, for twenty-one billion dollars. Georgia-Pacific manufactures formaldehyde in its chemical division, and uses it to produce various wood products, such as plywood and laminates.

    Its annual production capacity for formaldehyde is 2.2 billion pounds. Last December, Traylor Champion, Georgia-Pacific’s vice-president of environmental affairs, sent a formal letter of protest to federal health authorities. He wrote that the company “strongly disagrees” with the N.I.H. panel’s conclusion that formaldehyde should be treated as a known human carcinogen. David Koch did not recuse himself from the National Cancer Advisory Board, or divest himself of company stock, while his company was directly lobbying the government to keep formaldehyde on the market.

    1. psychohistorian

      This is just another example of agnotology or the manufacturing of ignorance.

      Are we sure, we are sure, we are sure, we are sure that smoking causes cancer?

      Agnotology, the perfect marketing strategy for those with all the money and no human morals or ethics.

    1. craazyman

      you guys are great. beats batons and pepper spray!

      did all youze guys — police and tent-heads — meet up at the pub afterward and pound some Fosters and backslap each other?

      that’s the way it should be.

    2. Amateur Socialist

      Perfect. This will get it to the next level. More Abbie Hoffman and the Yippies. Street theatre works.

  4. David Apgar

    Yves, is that a photograph of a spotted redshank? Where was it taken?

    The only time I’ve ever seen one of these Siberian visitors was at a submerged dump by Avenue X in Flatbush, of all places.

  5. Linda

    The corporate responsibility way of green living:

    Your morning begins.
    You get into your Chinese manufactured rooftop solar panel powered Chinese manufactured green electric SUV and drive to your office cubicle job in a brand new building built to exacting environmental standards.

    All the office furniture is manufactured from Brazilian grown sugar cane bagasse alcohol based plastic.(BSCBABP) The carpets are manufactured from recycled soda bottles as are your clothes. Your electric devices don’t need wasteful copper wires anymore as everything is wireless and they too are encased in BSCBABP.

    Lunch is served from vending machines that are solar panel powered and are owned by Coca-colaGreen. The ingredients are custom mixed and microwaved into pleasing shapes that reflect patterns found in nature. The outside pollution is filtered by banks of solar powered Ionic Breeze machines that take payment directly from
    your social security bancard without the necessity of handling potentially infectious and terrorist funding cash which was outlawed long ago.

    On rare days you can see the tower cities of highrises built with recycled fly ash concrete atop the mountains to the south. All are built to exacting LEED standards and have pleasant shapes found in nature moulded into their surfaces. On most days however, the air is too thick with the tell tale signs of positive economic growth to see much. You live in an environmentally green paradise that has been harmonized with market principles to allow all twelve billion people to live in harmony with nature while producing value through trading pollution credits.

  6. sleepy

    Great news on the jaguars. They were once native to the entire southwest as far east as Louisiana.

    I mention this because I’ve got wildlife on my mind.

    My present state of residence is Iowa. Been reading some things about mountain lions and bears here. Every year or so, an Iowa mountain lion is shot and killed, so those critters are definitely here, though probably in very small numbers.

    And every so often a black bear is found rummaging around someone’s garbage or strolling through a cornfield–black bears are found all over, though unusual in Iowa. What’s the response–a year or so ago outside the small town of Sheffield IA, a bear was spotted in a bean field–the locals all got on their ATV’s chased the poor thing down and shot it just because, well, it was a bear.

    Here’s the kicker–when the Iowa DNR was established decades ago there were no bears or lions in the state, so they are not on the list of recognized Iowa wildlife.

    Accordingly, they are not game and are not regulated, meaning mountain lions and black bears can be shot and killed in Iowa for any reason at all, anytime at all.

    Really disgusting.

    But, federally endangered grey wolves are spotted in Iowa on occasion, moving in from MN and WS. Let a yokel kill one of those—and off to the slammer.

    1. sleepy

      Should’ve added–a bill was introduced in the Iowa legislature to list black bear and mountain lions as regulated wildlife.

      The agriculture lobby had it defeated something like 40-5. Guess they’re worried about mountain lions breaking into corporate hog factories and stealing dinner, or the even more non-existent chance of a black bear eating a cow.

      Plenty of natural food for predators here—I live three blocks from the downtown area of a city of 29,000 and have had to throw rocks at deer in my alley to move my car out of the garage.

  7. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Military dogs canine and human get depressed when they don’t “see action.” They’re addicted. Does a Twelve-step program come as a side to the Xanax?

    Military-Industrial-Pharma Complex squares its circle.

    *Mon-ney*! See “Money Makes the World Go Around” in the film, “CABARET.”

  8. aletheia33

    may i interrupt with an occupy-related link? would REALLY like to see word spread about the occupiers who are marching, all 11 or so of them, on from dc to atlanta. their numbers are small but their hearts and their spirit, their courage, strength, and devotion are huge. that they are marching despite their small number is a testimony to the magnificence of their spirit.

    637 miles, 20 miles per day, sleeping out if needed, holding
    GAs to makes decisions, stopping at local occupations to teach and inspire, reporting actively in writing and video.

    some of these marchers have been on the road since the start of the earlier march from nyc to dc, and some of those who marched from richmond to dc are also involved.

    this march deserves more attention. their blog (link below) is great, and their twitter feed is a lot of fun. followers can donate as the marchers move from place to place–they do need money as they go, for food and supplies–and can send them messages of encouragement, which they love gettting (and i think they could use more of!).

    in these ways, those of us who support the occupy movement from our living rooms can feel we are participating directly in the march from however far away. it’s not quite as good as being able to walk with them a ways, or provide them with a night’s respite. but it is wonderful to be able to check in any time and find out where they are and what they’re up to.

    right now they’re just south of fredericksburg, heading toward richmond.

    “mobile occupation headquarters” is

      1. aletheia33

        i don’t know, you’ll have to ask them.
        also who knows where they’ll go after atlanta,
        maybe they will march to the sea.

    1. craazyman

      holy cow they’re writing a great american road novel!

      this is like Cormac McCarthy’s THE ROAD — even the sentence structure a bit — but without the flesh eating hoards and the wanton destruction. and it’s almost like Kerouac’s On the Road, with its unrestrained dionysian delight.

      and what’s this stuff about gender identity and being more than two. since you go both ways, Altheia, maybe you know. I sure as hell don’t. I only see two and only one looks good to me. :)

      Good to see the cops didn’t bust them for the bag of reefer they found. Not all cops are bad. It’s painful sometimes to see the manichean dialectic take over and lay waste to thinking.

      1. craazyman

        A Bankster World Diorama in 4 Dimensions #49 – A Landscape with Figures

        “By dusk of the day following they were at the city. The long concrete sweeps of the interstate exchanges like the ruins of a vast funhouse against the distant murk. He carried the revolver in his belt at the front and wore his parka unzipped. The mummied dead everywhere. The flesh cloven along the bones, the ligaments dried to tug and taught as wires. Shriveled and drawn like latter day bog folk, their faces of boiled sheeting, the yellowed pailings of their teeth. They were discaled to a man like pilgrims of some common order for all their shoes were long since stolen.”

        -Cormac McCarthy, THE ROAD, page 24 or so

        It must have been the banksters who stole the shoes, probably to securitize and sell them in tranches in the name of efficiency, probably some were unwashed even, maybe with the blood of the owner still staining down to the lasts, but sold as new, or at least in as-new condition, and without any hint of irony or doubt.

        1. aletheia33

          @ craazyman, so glad the walkupy seems as appealing to you as to me.

          hope you’ll spread the word, they really deserve a bigger audience i believe.

          where on earth did you get the idea i “go both ways”? (though i have to say that at this point in our culture, i’m not sure i even know exactly what that means now.) i’m nonplused. also flattered, i must admit, as my ordinary, middle-aged, monogamous cohabitation with one male, gracefully aging partner is hardly so interesting.

          if you want to better appreciate current gender/sexuality politics and the like, it’s not hard to explore around and expand one’s understanding–which i confess i’ve not been very diligent in doing, so i have no insights to offer you on the topic. i do think it’s well worth the effort and a good idea to educate oneself about the newest attitudes toward sexuality and gender emerging in the culture, which seem to be quite important among the many concerns the occupiers hold dear.

          i found the blog of the march from nyc to dc compelling (it’s still up, though that march is over), and i think their writing is getting even better as they march to atlanta. i can see the resonance you see with mccarthy’s vision, and thanks for providing that paragraph, as my familiarity with his work only extends as far as no country for old men–the movie.

          aside from the resonance, i’m curious what differences you may see here vis a vis mccarthy and kerouac.

          to me these travelers don’t seem at all as dionysian as kerouac’s (not that they’re apollonian either).
          they strike me as an unprecedented combination of earnest and silly, celebratory and grimly determined, soberly and self-consciously carrying history forward as, at the same time, they focus on what’s right in front of them in the now, the next step, break for rest, meal, stop for the night. and they are solidly political, but with a sort of earthy presence, a sensibility more rounded and running deeper, in contrast to the too-frequent (i find) one-dimensionality of people who are very active in politics.

          how the group evolves as fatigue and pain mount and relationships fray may be even more interesting than it was during the march2dc. what i noticed while i followed that first march was that they allowed each other a great latitude of expression and feeling. they’d come apart, and then they’d knit themselves back up together. and then they’d go on. some of them seem able to tolerate a lot of dissonance and discord, both within the group and in their surroundings, without losing their inner bearings or breaking down or giving up. to me, it’s remarkable.

          the bit with the dime bag, and the guy playing with his ball in the traffic… oy! i don’t want to see anyone haled to court for possession or get hit by a car while playing in traffic, like the archetypal fool of the tarot with his knapsack, about to step off a cliff. you’d think they’d know better. then again, careful, cautious types don’t march in december through virginia, in a small, ragtag band, carrying an american flag, “for the 99 percent.”

          1. craazyman

            you told me you liked the women in Zucotti Park but you were too old or something, and I said you sounded hot and how old are you? and you told me not to get any ideas because you’re already taken in that regard. ha ha. it was funny,

            maybe these folks are more like something out of Chaucer I don’t know. Kerouac had that radiant vision of life in life. THE ROAD is only radiant as an eschatology, almost anyway. But you can feel the longing for life in every page. I guess that was what he was trying to do, It’s pretty obvious it was. and i have to say it was a strangely flat narrative but his control of language is astonishing, and it’s weird when you type the words out, someone else’s words, you can really feel the rhythms and the images he was working with. I remember hearing ARthur Miller typed out Shakespeare’s plays as an exercise. I can see why.

            i can’t keep up at all with the gender multi-identity handwringing and I don’t understand it. and i think it’s a sad thing, really, a sign of something lost and missing, something to rally around that acheives a more conscious permanance than navel gazing at the genitals etc. it has so little to do with banksters and financial chicanery.

            having sed that I don’t critize the interest in evolving gender atitudes, it is a psychological fenomenon and has an intrinsic interest to a thoughtful person as a chimera of the psyche, athough I see it more as a symptom of a higher illness than as a sign of liberation.

          2. aletheia33

            “@ craazyman, “you told me you liked the women in Zucotti Park but you were too old or something”–
            i don’t remember what i said but i’d guess that somewhere in “or something” is where the germ of your idea that i “go both ways” got started. anyway, i did and do like the women and the men in the occupation. equally. like. love even. it’s a heart thing, not a body thing. glad you are/were amused.

  9. dearieme

    “Merkel Calls for More ‘Concrete’ Union Wall Street Journal. I hope that’s an unfortunate translation. I think of concrete overshoes.” She probably thinks of a wall.

    1. Susan the other

      Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s article in defense of Germany was good. They are paralylzed by the complexity of the situation and their own unique situation is as tragic as any in the EU.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s probably good to stop pitting one nation against another, one people against another people, one culture against another culture.

    2. scraping_by

      In the Telegraph article, one of the best ideas comes from the comments. By Gregyank —

      Another headline in the Telegraph that uses the term “fiscal union” when the subject is fiscal consolidation by treaty. The term “fiscal union” has democratic political connotations and there has been no proposal for a fiscal union.

      That’s actually quite true. The talk is of establishing a Central Budget Authority. Or a Supreme Financial Commissariat. It’s like calling diversion of public revenues and public assets “austerity”.

      I suppose they could call the EU a “Peace and Co-prosperity Sphere” but that would be telling.

      1. John Galt III

        @Cal – I’d guess that it is 3.5 gallons of fuel per cubic yard of concrete. 3.5 barrels is 147 gallons of fuel. That’s too much and it would make concrete cost a lot more than it does.

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    This regarding Occupy in general.

    One experiences total rejection once in while. One says what one believes.

    We see the 1% vs the 99% in material wealth/political & economic power.

    There is also the 1% vs the 99% division intellectually. We read a few more books or have a few idears and we know what is good for the rest of humanity, i.e. the 99%, the downtrodden that need to be liberated.

    There is the 1% vs. the 99% division in moral sensitivity. Some are more prone to become morally outraged than the silent majority.

    So, here we are, close to 15 million unemployed. From our perspective, we ask, why aren’t you guys helping yourselves by joining #OWC with your free time? If you don’t help yourselves by doing something simple like being there with the occupiers, why should we try to turn on the MMT spigot for you? On the other hand, we might ask, are we being the moral and intellectual 1% presuming to know what is good for these 15 million 99% out-of-workers?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think, for me to avoid being a One-percenter myself here, I need to be rejected by everyone, including myself, so that I am not in the 1%, but rather, am the 0%.

  11. barrisj

    Iran shoots down US drone

    Iranian military official quoted as warning of crushing response after unmanned spy plane is shot down
    Iran’s armed forces have shot down an unmanned US spy plane that violated Iranian airspace along its eastern border.

    An unidentified military official quoted by the official Irna news agency on Sunday warned of a crushing response to any violations of Iranian airspace by US drone aircraft.

    “An advanced RQ170 unmanned American spy plane was shot down by Iran’s armed forces. It suffered minor damage and is now in possession of Iran’s armed forces,” Irna quoted the official as saying.

    No further details were given.

    Iran is locked in a dispute with the US and its allies over Tehran’s alleged nuclear programme, which the west believes is aimed at developing nuclear weapons. Iran denies the accusations, saying the programme is designed to generate electricity and produce isotopes for medical use.

    Tehran said in January it had shot down two other unmanned spy planes over its airspace which were operated by the US.

    Nothing new here – Iran’s territorial integrity has been “violated” by US-Israeli assassination teams for several years now, not to mention logistical and intel support for the MEK terrorist group and the Jundullah “separatist” movement in the Baloch region of Iran. US military clearly moving into “Tonkin Gulf” provocation mode, trying to bait the Iranians into creating an “incident” that naturally would require a “robust US response”…sound familiar? Obama needs more wars to be seen as acting “presidential”, and why not pre-empt the rabid Republican neocon Right while he’s at it. “Take out” Iranian nuclear research facilities and sew up the American Jewish vote as well. Helmets on and keep your head down!

      1. securecare

        And what leads you to believe either of these accounts ?

        For all we know it might have been intentional for intelligence purposes or there might not even be a drone involved, just propaganda for local consumption.

        When observing the intelligence “game” one ALWAYS needs to remember that it is conducted in a House of Mirrors full of thick smoke with the lights off. Nothing is what it seems to the outsider which we all are.

  12. rjs

    “The Chinese government uses cash grants, raw-materials discounts, preferential loans, tax incentives and currency manipulation to boost exports of solar cells”

    so they’re selling to us below their cost. what’s not to like?

    1. Amateur Socialist

      Yep. And all we’re doing to get it is selling our government below cost…. No wait…

    2. scraping_by

      That the workers in the PRC don’t pay US taxes, build US cities, learn US skills, build US capital, are able to to adjust to US future needs, support US politicians who have progressive policies…

      Short term “gain”, long term fail.

        1. Darren Kenworthy

          Using water to grow a food crop to turn into fuel is foolish. Doing so for export is more foolish. Subsidizing this process is foolish and self destructive.

          Subsidizing research into, and production of, non- polluting solar cells is neither foolish nor self destructive. What is good for the gander might also be good for the goose.

  13. PL_2

    See, this ‘Secrets of the Bailouts’ NYT article is exactly what I was talking about yesterday in the Links comments.

    I asked after all this time can anyone definitely state examples of the banks getting free money. My husband says it’s all paid-back loans. It’s a critical point — if anybody is going to be convinced about the 1%.

    YankeeFrank answered with a comment someone said was about the greatest comment ever.

    I’m still not completely satisfied, though. And this NYT piece is yet another example. From reading it, anyone would mainly think, well the banks got some temporary help with liquidity (whatever that is), but they paid it all back. They may have made some money on the spread, but that’s what banks do, after all (wrong).

    What we need is something like this, that can be the factual example for the actual trend of banker bailouts:

    ‘The government (or Fed) bought 7.4T in bad assets from the banks during the crisis for full price. The assets are worth 5T now, and only 3T then.

    This is a _gift_ of 2.4T to the banks! From the taxpayer! And that’s just one of the programs! To put it simply, the taxpayer gave the banks 2.4 Trillion dollars and now they talk about shared sacrifice and that taxpayer programs have to be cut! That money would fund xxx for xxxx years!

    Who are you trying to kid!’

    Until we develop an actual fact like this — just one will do, though more wouldn’t hurt — until it is broadcast, then everyone will think OWS is just whining.

    Believe me, if there is a fact this simple, it is almost unknown. I have been looking at this the whole time and as far as I can definitely answer my husband, maybe it all was just temporary loans, or try to come up with approximate figures for things that may have happened.

    1. reslez

      The banks owe their existence to what you call “just” temporary loans. Maybe you don’t understand because you don’t want to.

      1. Glen

        Many analysts that have been tracking the bailouts are trying to capture the total cost to the taxpayer. The results are not pretty:

        Barry Ritholtz had it at $15 trillion.

        Nomi Prins has it as 9.2 trillion.

        Obviously it’s difficult to get an accurate figure when the Fed and the Treasury don’t want to release the data. That ALONE tells you that “the banks paid it back” is a FICTION else why not release the data?

        1. PL_2

          Thank you very much for these links I am looking at them now. I know it’s a lot of trouble to put this out there. If they have what I am looking for exactly will post it back here.

          For the commenter above, I don’t think that it’s that I don’t want to understand about the bailouts so much. I think I can even appreciate that the banks owe their existence to the bailouts, and that they had real hard dollar value of huge magnitude.

          I just don’t think that’s a slam dunk on the banks got bailed out people got sold out front, as a simple black-and-white talking point. People need a simple solid example. And from what I remember, just rolling their loans into Treasuries for the spread was discouraged, if not outlawed. (That example would do if it added up to enough and is an established fact).

          The penalties for savers of ZIRP maybe could be made to work too, if it could be quantified exactly.

          Yes, it’s true, that even if it was saving-the-banks by allowing them unlimited credit and back-stop, that banks got bailed out people got sold out. And YankeeFranks earlier point about the recession being caused by the banks rings true.

          But if there were and are hard-dollar gifts, like buying assets above market value, of say $1T+ in ‘gift’ value, then really we need to focus like a laser beam on that. Because it is a simple, clear example of large magnitude that could really turn the whole conversation, in our over-simplified political talking-points discourse.

          Also I need to adjust my own thinking, if there were very little dark purchases like that.

          1. Darren Kenworthy

            7.7 trillion is over half of total U.S. public sector debt. It is over 3/4 of all household mortgage debt, or something like 3x all U.S. consumer debt. This money was lent to institutions whose recklessness caused the biggest finacial crisis in the history of the world. It was kept secret from the american people and their congress. The entity responsible is staffed at every level almost entirely by people from the institutions receiving the money. How is this not a “slam dunk” in demonstrating that “banks got bailed out, we got sold out”?

          2. onesmallhand

            Yves also had an excellent blog post (a video of a finance professor) who pointed out that the government acted like an insurance company, in providing the banks with funds when they hit the wall. However, the banks never paid the insurance premium – and if the banks had to purchase such insurance from the market, the cost to the banks would have been far higher.

            Highly recommended:

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    I am curious.

    Will we do a NC Most Evil Person of The Year, something similar to Time Magazine’s Person of the Year?

    1. Doc Holiday

      Re: Most Evil Person of The Year

      Smashing concept! I see member votes, contributions, discussions, videos, pixs, stories, editorials and a big build-up, possibly door prizes, publicity, snaxs, parties and a great summation of who had done the most damage to the global economy … best role by a central banker, best supporting role by a Greek Prim Minister, Best financial illusions, best use of a MEFO Covered Bond by a German, Best Italian bankruptcy, Best French Connection, Largest Chunk Of Cash Looted or Burned … great lists that could go infinitely, as we continue our exploration of the black hole this drama is played out in!

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Sunday morning meditation on typos and Zen.

    If you ever rake a sand garden in a Zen temple, you know after you have done a perfect job, you have to mess it up a little before you leave. There is beauty in imperfection. It’s a Wabi Sabi Way.

    That’s why I suggest people insert a few typos after they are done composing a post.

    1. Valissa

      What does it mean to be organic? To be “purer” in some way and therefore more “ideal”?

      Activists are always trying to get some collective action going on some issue or another. Most of the time, the ideas don’t catch on with more than a very small group of hard core activist types. However as overall social conditions deteriorate, more people become interested in participating in some type of collective response. Timing.

      IMO, the Adbusters activist instigation would not have worked if the conditions had not been favorable. Let’s not forget the Arab Spring and the Indignados movements from earlier in the year. If Adbusters hadn’t initiated a US version of this movement, I’m pretty sure some other group would have jumped in. We are living in a time of globalized discontent between the general publics and the elites of the respective countries, triggered by the global deression/recession, and collective realizations about power politics. In such conditions, historically speaking, protests are inevitable.

      The question is… what form will these protests take over time? and will they be able to trigger some type of useful/effective political change? Or will they simply serve as a way to vent collective emotion until better times arrive?

  16. mk

    just spent hours this am with Sprint, three different people, until finally I got one person who agreed to send me an email stating that carrier iq is not installed on my phone. opened the email and there is no such statement…

    I’m moving my account as soon as I figure out where to move it to.

    Any suggestions?

    1. wunsacon

      I just don’t know how to protect our privacy any longer. It really seems to be a losing battle.

      The politicians decide policy.
      – If we buy cell phones that don’t run spyware, they’ll simply force the carrier to capture our data.
      – If we encrypt our voice calls or texts, they’ll make it illegal.
      – If we all ditch our cell phones, they’ll read all our emails.
      – If we encrypt our emails, they’ll make it illegal.

      Somehow, these issues have to become important to the American Idol crowd. (It really seems to be a losing battle.)

    1. Sock Puppet

      And what about unobtainium?
      I want a set of darts made out of one of these elements. Depleted uranium is so noughties.

  17. EmilianoZ

    Today OccupyDC erected a structure, the People’s Pavilion:

    The police soon moved in to destroy it. They have taped an area around it. The structure is thus isolated but there are about 5 protestors on its roof and other protestors are nearby around the police tape. The cops seem to be waiting.

    I have to say the crowd is not overwhelming in numbers. When I first arrived at 3 pm, we were about 50 people around the tape. The police seemed pretty relaxed, 50 people is not very threatening. When I left at 6 pm the crowd seemed to have swelled to about 150, still not overwhelming.

    The guys on the roof are my heroes but they seem to be fighting a lost battle. The structure is very impressive considering that it was built within a few hours. The occupy movement never ceases to amaze me.

  18. Cal

    Yves Smith was quoted in Harry Shearer’s Le Show today.

    He talked about the $7.77 Trillion dollar bailout.

  19. Typing Monkey

    A suggested link (perhaps it’s already been posted and I missed it?)

    Key point is that according to the markets, the Euro has already de facto broken up, with government bond spreads already above pre-Maastricht spreads. The CDS markets are also pricing Euroland country debts at a significantly lower implied credit rating than Moody’s official ratings (that part is pretty obvious, though).

    And I know you don’t like Michael Lewis (although I still can’t understand why–his book coming out at the same time as yours seems to be a bizarre reason), but he is one hell of a writer:

    Favorite quote:

    As our chief quant notes, “No matter how well we do for ourselves, there will always be 99 of them for every one of us.” Disturbingly, his recent polling data reveal that many of us don’t even know who we are: Fully half of all Upper Ones believe themselves to belong to the Lower 99. That any human being can earn more than 344 grand a year without having the sense to identify which side in a class war he is on suggests that we should limit membership to actual rich people. But we wish to address this issue in a later memo. For now we remain focused on the problem at hand: How to keep their hands off our money.

    Looming Threats

    We have identified two looming threats:

    The first is the shifting relationship between ambitious young people and money. There’s a reason the Lower 99 currently lack leadership: Anyone with the ability to organize large numbers of unsuccessful people has been diverted into Wall Street jobs, mainly in the analyst programs at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.

  20. Maximilien

    Re Corzine:

    Long story short. He borrowed short and lent long. The classic sucker’s bet. When his bet starting going wrong, he “borrowed” from customer accounts to stay in the game. Time ran out. He lost everything. Interesting mini-bio of Corzine here:

    LOL quote: “In April of this year, [Corzine and his wife] hosted a $35,800-a-plate fundraiser for President Obama in the elegant Fifth Avenue apartment she had received in her own divorce settlement. The guests were served chicken potpie…..”

    Corzine really was an operator. $35,800 a plate for chicken potpie!

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