Links 1/4/12

World-first hybrid shark found off Australia AFP (hat tip reader Aquifer)

FDA Gives Up on Antibiotic Restrictions in Livestock CivilEats (hat tip Lambert Sterther). Superbug futures. Lovely.

Oil-drilling wastewater causing earthquakes, expert says Northwest Ohio (hat tip reader May S)

Medication Shortages Surge To Record In 2011 Huffington Post

Climate change – our real bequest to future generations Dean Baker, Guardian (hat tip reader John M)

How Israel Empowers Islamist Movements Counterpunch (hat tip reader Chuck L)

About 1m take out payday loans Financial Times

Ronald Searle, St Trinian’s creator, dies aged 91 Guardian (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

Fed to Publish a Forecast of Rate Moves, Guiding Investors New York Times. Think this is about transparency? If so, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you. This is to reduce the amount of intervention by more active management of expectations.

Chart of the Day: S&P500 2011 Heat Map Credit Writedowns

Hedge Funds End 2011 on a Very Bad Note New York Times

Principal Write-Down Pilot Program in Massachusetts Credit Slips

JPMorgan Chase Sued For $95 Million Over Allegedly Misrepresenting Mortgage Loans Reuters

Inside a Banker’s Mind Consumer Law & Policy Blog (hat tip reader Deontos)

Goldman’s Latest Boiler-Room Stock: America Matt Taibbi (hat tip reader Aquifer)

The Peltzman Effect: Why Economic Growth Has Slowed in the US Over Time Mike Kimel, Angry Bear (hat tip Aquifer). Today’s must read.

Antidote du jour:

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  1. EH

    See? It’s only the wastewater from the fracking that’s the problem. We just need cleaner frack-juice, not to throw the baby out with the earthquake water.

    1. Abelenkpe

      What is this eight hour day you speak of? Regular hours are nine to six. Overtime nine to eight or nine to ten. Then there’s the 45 minute commute each way….

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I wonder if the economy will be more productive if we work from 12 noon to 9 PM – I mean, most people are still half asleep 30 minutes after 8 (or 9) in the morning.

        1. sleepy

          Hard to say. Me, I’m a morning person who starts dragging by mid-afternoon.

          Might depend on age a bit too. When I was young, it was difficult to get going in the morning. Now that I’m old I could easily go to work at 6 am.

    1. Rex

      Yes, that is a very good interview, but the whole thing is about 3 hours! Took me a while to get through but I can’t say I had any real disagreement with anything he said.

      Here is another version from the original source that is a little bit better quality. It also is streamed very well so that you can quickly scroll to any part of the video. Helpful if you want to stop and restart later, or go back to some part.
      BookTV — In Depth: Chris Hedges

    2. Winslow R.

      Excellent interview. Only sorry to see he believes a government must borrow a money it prints.

  2. Lloyd C. Bankster

    Re: Hedge Funds End 2011 on a Very Bad Note (NYTimes)

    This year Goldman forgot to send the NYTimes financial reporters their annual subscription to the Aphrodite/Companions Escorts service, and for a moment there I was worried this might have a negative effect on their coverage.

    Until I read the following sentence:

    NY Times: “John A. Paulson, who made billions with his prescient calls on the subprime mortgage market during the financial crisis.”

    By “prescient calls” of course he’s referring to those guaranteed to fail “tranches” that Paulson helped GS select so we could unload them on suckers, er, I mean GS clients, the exact same tranches that Paulson and Goldman made billions by betting against.

    For an NY Times reporter to refer to this as “prescient” cracked me up and has made my day.

    Note to self: remind me to get this reporters’ name and send him a crate of champagne in addition to an Aphrodite Club Gold card membership.

  3. tom allen

    Oh great. Another corporate decision by the Obama Administration’s FDA (concerning the regulation of antibiotics in livestock) that will have huge repercussions for human (not to mention all other animal) health. Antibiotic resistance is nothing to sneeze at — and I wish that were a joke.

    1. SR6719

      Um, maybe you have to be a fan of both Dennis Hopper and Mark Ames in order to appreciate the humor, but anyway, here’s how the Photo-Journalist’s drug-crazed rant continues:

      “He’s a poet-warrior in the classic sense. I mean, sometimes he’ll, uh, well, you’ll say “Hello” to him, right? And he’ll just walk right by you, and he won’t even notice you. And suddenly he’ll grab you, and he’ll throw you in a corner, and…… I mean, I’m no, I can’t – I’m a little man, I’m a little man, he’s, he’s a great man. I should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across floors of silent seas…..”

  4. Susan the other

    Dean Baker on the Environment. Why, since currency is based on productive things, can’t we have an Earth Bank? For sure people have thought about this.

    Kimmel on US economic growth. It has been ring-fenced for lack of coherent vision. We are so in need of good solutions, new ideas. Like how to deal with Monsanto, or some other ghastly purveyor of the chemical industry. What is the solution to antibiotics in livestock? And problems with nuclear energy??? How do we keep the good and let the bad go? Corporate governance just isn’t doing it. So we are imprisoned by dysfunctional politics as well as dysfunctional finance.

    Bernanke on sunshine. Wish it really were sunshine. Why doesn’t the Fed have a Climate Index? A Polluted Water Index? If we aren’t indexing these things at the nexus of poison and money we are way stupid.

    Stiglitz (Vanity Fair) Productivity Killed the Economy. Maybe all it did was trash the environment. That is, if keeping a clean, protected environment were part of the business plan, it might preclude such virulent productivity.

    Where is our willingness to begin to implement solutions?

  5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Hybrid shark – I was expecting to see one that runs on gas and electricity and is particularly quite when lurking at low speeds near humans.

  6. barrisj

    Matt Taibbi deconstructs the “Who’s on First?” nonsense of the Iowa caucuses, and lays out how the “1%” will protect its interests in the 2012 election cycle: a simple two-way bet where the plutocracy can’t lose. Non-/anti-establishment “candidates” will early on be flushed out of the campaign, leaving it to the obvious choices of the elite: BHO and the Mittster.

    Iowa: The Meaningless Sideshow Begins
    The 2012 presidential race officially begins today with the caucuses in Iowa, and we all know what that means …


    The race for the White House is normally an event suffused with drama, sucking eyeballs to the page all over the globe. Just as even the non-British were at least temporarily engaged by last year’s royal wedding, people all over the world are normally fascinated by the presidential race: both dramas arouse the popular imagination as real-life versions of universal children’s fairy tales.

    Instead of a tale about which maiden gets to marry the handsome prince, the campaign is an epic story, complete with a gleaming white castle at the end, about the battle to succeed to the king’s throne. Since the presidency is the most powerful office in the world, the tale has appeal for people all over the planet, from jungles to Siberian villages.

    It takes an awful lot to rob the presidential race of this elemental appeal. But this year’s race has lost that buzz. In fact, this 2012 race may be the most meaningless national election campaign we’ve ever had. If the presidential race normally captivates the public as a dramatic and angry ideological battle pitting one impassioned half of society against the other, this year’s race feels like something else entirely.

  7. barrisj

    Interesting article here on how military doctors are investigating the administration to PSTD patients of epidural drugs normally used for child-birth. The money quote from the chief investigator: “…[I]f we don’t get PTSD under control, our crime rate and social disability are going to be out of control,” said Lipov, founder of Chicago’s Advanced Pain Centers..,0,317377.story

    Nowhere in the article’s discussion of the epidemic of PTSD amongst returning servicepeople is the notion that perhaps a nation’s foreign/military policy of invasion/occupation and brutalisation of both the resident population and the occupiers is at fault…i.e., treat the symptom rather than the cause. A couple of days ago, an Iraq War vet shot up a Forest Ranger car, killing a Ranger, this after shooting several other people at a “show-your-piece” meetup with some friends. A greatly troubled soul whose military experience probably pushed him over the edge. A case study here of what America is creating with its headlong pursuit of international violence.

    Suspect’s downward spiral ended with killing at Rainier
    By the time 24-year-old Benjamin Colton Barnes fled into the woods in Mount Rainier National Park, suspected of the ambush-style slaying of a park ranger, friends say his life already had collapsed around him.

    Records show he’d struggled in high school and had been kicked out of his beloved Army — a loss that fed an obsession with guns, according to one acquaintance.

    1. securecare

      he’d struggled in high school

      That alone suggests that his troubles had a far deeper reason than the US Army or his combat experience. A catalyst/trigger certainly but nowhere near the root cause. Another casualty of 18th Century thinking in the 21st Century.

      1. Columbine corps

        Don’t forget the military has great luck signing misfits and pariahs. You’re always welcome to hang out in the recruiting center and eat donuts if you’re a pariah.

    2. Richard Kline

      Dude died of exposure (froze to death) hiding in the snow. Ranger left to small daughters. Madness; loss . . . .

  8. Hugh

    Actually there are three problems we are bequeathing to posterity: overpopulation, resource depletion, and climate change.

    World population is supposed to hit 9 billion some time around 2042, but as some of us have been saying for a while, world population in 2100 could be down to 300 million to 1 billion because of the effects of these multiple existential crises.

    As bad as our current crisis of kleptocracy is, it is middling compared to what is coming. It is why clearing up the current mess is imperative, because we have much bigger problems out there which we need to begin addressing now.

    1. Jim

      Wages have been stagnant for over a decade and we’re worrying about climate change?

      climate change to which China has contributed FAR more than the US over the last twenty years

      How have Chinese wages performed over that span?

      Increased about 8% annually.

      1. Sock Puppet

        Jim, China only passed the US in carbon emissions in 2007, and currently exceeds the US by about 30%. Over the last 20 years, way less despite having 3 times the population.
        It took me less than a minute to fact check this. Just google “carbon emissions by country”. It’s that easy. Let’s leave the unsupported statements to Limbaugh and co.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Not sure if there’s much we can do about it, but we are also bequeathing genetic defects to posterity.

  9. Hugh

    The cave on antibiotics in livestock shows to what lengths this Administration will go to support a corporate interest no matter how dangerous that interest is to society in general.

  10. Richard Kline

    Pace Dean Baker on climate change, and per the lead link, it is synthetic organics which are legacy to the fauna of this terrestrial enviornment who will succeed us. Terrestrial climate has changed before, massively, and for non-anthropogenic reasons. Climate changes now, massively for anthropogenic reasons—but not beyond the scale of past changes. The synthetic organics we have generated and propagated into the chain of being are of types unknown and scale without precedent since Earth’s atmosphere tipped to oxygen-mediated. And this change has been precipitated without and significant thought, and with only insignificant thought regarding ephemeral and immediate personal profit.

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