Links 3/2/12

I know this matters more to me than to you, but ECONNED is two years old today (well it does have a new afterword as of the paperback release late last year).

Apps for Apes: Orangutans using iPads to paint and video chat with other apes Sideshow (hat tip reader Aquifer)

Mad Hattery! “Bringing you the very best in royal hats” (erm, hat tip Lambert courtesy DC Blogger)

On Facebook, No Nipples Allowed. (But Crushed Limbs are OK.) BigThink (hat tip reader Aquifer)


Knowledge Nature (reader Carlos)

If You Feel O.K., Maybe You Are O.K. New York Times. Hahaha, one of my pet peeves!

N.J. legislator proposes bill requiring genetic testing for all newborns, parents to verify paternity NJ (hat tip reader Ethan). I knew they’d come up with an excuse for universal genetic testing.

Euro and Yen: Looking for a Black Cat in a Dark Room Credit Writedowns

The global zombie shuffles on MacroBusiness

Southern discomfort fuels German unease Financial Times

Eurozone delays Athens rescue funds Financial Times

Southern European Money Migrating North to Safety Der Spiegel (hat tip reader May S)

Is Supreme General of All Televisions Barry McCaffrey hinting at a military coup? Lambert Strether

Blown Away: How the U.S. Fanned the Flames in Afghanistan TomDispatch

Israeli Central Bank to Use Its Reserves to Buy US Equities Jesse

The Billionaires Behind Newt’s ‘American Solutions For Winning The Future’ ThinkProgress

MARK AMES 1, ANDREW BREITBART 0: EXILED EDITOR DOES DIRTY CHICKEN DANCE ON BREITBART’S GRAVE eXiled. This is bound to offend some readers, so if you have tender sensibilities, you’ve been warned.

Silicon Valley Homeless Feel The Grip Of Recession’s Long Reach Huffington Post

Getting Randomly Picked To Make Half-Court Shots Now Best Way To Earn Living Onion

Obama considered letting middle-class Bush tax cuts expire Daily Beast.

The Supreme Court’s corporate monsters–if money buys them “free speech” rights, can it help them avoid giving others human rights? Angry Bear (hat tip reader Aquifer). The double taxation argument is ridiculous. People who pay income and sales taxes are double taxed too, but is anybody concerned about that?

Dynamics of US slowdown MacroBusiness

ART CASHIN: We May Have Just Witnessed The Presence Of Artificial Intelligence In The Stock Market Clusterstock (hat tip furzy mouse). If this is how Skynet awakens, I’m not impressed.

ISDA: Suckers Wanted Barry Ritholtz. Hahaha, maybe ISDA will succeed where Dodd Frank feared to tread: kill the CDS market. The FT agrees: Fears for CDS market after Greek decision. And even though everyone was afraid of blowing up protection sellers, what happens to the parties who thought they were hedged and aren’t? Remember what Richard Bookstaber pointed out about tightly-coupled systems: measures intended to reduce risks often have the reverse effect. But we still have what looks to be an undeniable credit event next week, so stay tuned to see what ISDA does.

James Koutoulas: MF Global Financial Collapse And the Shadow Banking System Jesse. Have you notice that RT has hot women who ask geeky questions? And ask them in caffeinated up dumb blonde intonations? Stylistically, this is intriguing.

Open Models (part 2) mathbabe

The role of derivatives in the 2008 crisis Carolyn Sissoko (hat tip Richard Smith). This confirms why I don’t read Felix as much as I once did. He’s said that he doesn’t care about being right (!) and the result is he’s too inclined to say flip things which don’t have factual grounding.

When your tool fails your stock drops 35 percent John Hempton. This probably belongs on a list of “Greatest Post Headlines of All Time.”

Antidote du jour (hat tip Lambert courtesy SF):

And this is not exactly an antidote, but speaking of cats and shell games (hat tip Joe Costello)

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  1. IF

    The number of people living in cars in Palo Alto and Menlo Park certainly has increased over the last years. I saw an older couple once living in a minivan in the Safeway parking lot. But otherwise it is just a glance while driving by old cars with covered windows on Alma late at night. Who are they? I am afraid the article on the Silicon Valley homeless is not answering it. The techies portrayed are flashy but hardly representative of the population. A grain of salt too. And then there is east of 101, Redwood city etc. Little Michoacan next to Atherton. Where Are Their Stories?

    1. Lambert Strether

      I remember during the dot com bubble reading about how rents were so high working people would ride the buses all night for a place to sleep. Silicon Valley….

    2. Lucy

      “Little Michoacan next to Atherton.”

      Near the Ferrari Maserati dealership – interesting juxtaposition.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Meant to put this here (ignore the double post below):

      It’s been a long recession.

      All that hardship suffered went for naught as the broken wealth-distribution-channel is not fixed. And now, we are asked to shove more wealth down the rigged wealth-distribution channel where the flow of wealth is directed to certain parts of the town while routes to other needy areas are clogged.

    4. Ron

      Guy begging for gas at the gas station last night, he had an older RV that he lives in and ran out of fuel, I filled his 5 gal can cost over $20 plus my own bill for $70 a expensive trip to the gas station.

      1. ambrit

        Dear Ron;
        At least you were willing to help him. We were in a somewhat similar situation once, and some Boyscouts, (the real ones, uniforms and all,) chipped in to help us out. I’ve never forgotten the bashfulness of those lads when we tried to thank them.

  2. Jon

    There’s a guy in the San Antonio shopping center 24 Hour Fitness whom I’m pretty certain lives there – whenever I go in he’s either sitting at one of the machines, doing nothing or moving very slowly, or extensively sterilizing a machine before and after using it.

    1. Dave of Maryland

      You’re not paying attention. There’s a lot of single guys (and a few women) who somehow got themselves small shops but who never made enough money to get an apartment. So they live in the back of their (tiny) stores, without kitchens or showers, for years on end. It’s illegal in most communities and as they all rent, they’re constantly at risk of their landlords finding and throwing them out. Back in the mid 1990’s I was one of them, in Ventura, CA, on Fir Street.

      I eventually left for greener pastures elsewhere. Or they were green. If I have to pack up and live in a vehicle, I’d get a clapped out school bus. They can be had cheap.

    2. Payattention

      One cent of private or non-profit money going into a buidling project with its California mandated low income units and anyone can qualify, the son of a WWII veteran who has paid millions of dollars in taxes or a recently arrived immigrant. That’s only fair isn’t it?

      “Everything is beautiful, the kitchen, it’s beautiful,” said Navarro of his family’s three-bedroom apartment in a new $13 million affordable housing complex called Drake’s Way. It’s a step up for the family of six from Sonora, Mexico who were previously in close quarters in a two-bedroom apartment on Alameda del Prado in Novato.
      Navarro, 42, a handyman, and Ainterestail Rabago, 40, a house cleaner, and their neighbors got the keys Wednesday to their new home at 20 Drake’s Way, the newest affordable housing community developed by EAH Housing. The couple and their four children, ages 16, 13, 10 and 4, now have some room to spread out in the 24-unit apartment complex on a Larkspur hilltop with sweeping views of Mount Tamalpais and the San Francisco Bay.

      1. Ulose

        Thanks for the link, it’s nice to see at least some people getting their universal human right to housing as required by UDHR Article 25(1). It’s a real shame that American patriot chumps don’t know their rights, but everybody else in the world does, so the USA won’t drag down the civilized world as it subsides into pathetic 3rd-world misery.

    3. SH

      Sorry for any disrespect, but the guy spending 24 hours on a workout machine at 24 hour fitness because he has no place better to go is just too much. My take is he does not feel like getting physical so he’d rather just hang out, look at the women, try to make himself feel better by being in a gym and wipe off some sweat in the mean time.

      I’ve known 24 hour fitness salespeople and that guy does not help their commissions when selling memberships. He either pays or he’s out and if he’s an eyesore, he’s paying.

  3. fresno dan

    ISDA: Suckers Wanted Barry Ritholtz “And even though everyone was afraid of blowing up protection sellers, what happens to the parties who thought they were hedged and aren’t?”

    I couldn’t figure out if some of these transactions truly made economic sense. My own theory is that they don’t, and never did. They only continue because governments want them to continue, probably with the idea that they provide low interest rates (lower than the true rate of default justifies).
    Lincoln once asked if you call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have…

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      fd, to gain insight into how the protection racket works, head over to ZH for blogs and Comments especially. The commentariat has keen insights into how the racket works.

  4. fresno dan

    Not to beat a dead horse…well, OK, to beat a dead horse:

    Paul Griffiths, global head of fixed income at Aberdeen Asset Managers, says: “If CDS has been used to measure the perceived creditworthiness of a country or as a bet on the direction on the market, it still has value. But if it has been used to hedge against risk, then its intrinsic value has been hurt because you are not necessarily going to get back the amount of money you had hoped you would.”

    “used to measure the perceived creditworthiness of a country or as a bet on the direction on the market it still has value”
    Aren’t there all sorts of metrics to judge credit worthiness other than CDS’s??? It seems to me the CDS market, if it has done anything at all (other than hide risk and generate fees for finanacial institutions) has actually delayed the Greece denouement…

    1. Jim Haygood

      Other than CDS, the main market-based indicator of creditworthiness is the spread of a country’s sovereign bond yield over that of a ‘least-risky’ reference country, such as the spread of Portuguese yields over those of German bunds.

      If you own Portuguese bonds and want to hedge against the risk of default, CDS is probably the most convenient way to do so. CDS wouldn’t have a such bad rep if buyers were required to actually own the underlying bonds (i.e., to have an insurable interest), and if CDS were traded transparently through a clearing house rather than over the counter.

      But then, the ISDA is run by banksters (Goldman Sachs et al), so sleaze goes with the territory.

      1. ohmyheck

        CDS was just a scam on the Elites–“Buy this insurance, you can’t lose!” (wink, wink)

        Now when it is time to pay out those premiums, because they fucked up the entire gobal economy, the insurance company minions do what they always do—“It was an Act of God, I tellz ya! Look at the fine print! We’re not liable. Besides, it wasn’t a “credit event” cuz we sez so.”

        Scam Artists poisoning the well from which they drink, not too smart…I’d watch my back, if I were one of them. It might be nice to sit back and watch the Elites start eating their own. It’s about time.

        1. fresno dan

          thank you all for the insights: ohmyheck and JimHaygood and LeonovaBalletRusse
          very helpful.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      fd, the CDS don’t hedge, less yet insure, against risk “in reality” — but hey, if the Mafia guy is selling you “protection” on your store/house/life, you WILL buy it from him, won’t you?

  5. Jim Haygood

    No link to yesterday’s news conference about Obama’s altered birth certificate? Open his posted birth certificate in Adobe Illustrator and it has numerous layers. In other words, it was computer-generated, not just a simple scan of an original paper document. YouTube video showing the layers:

    Note how in Item no. 22, date of filing, the third digit in the year “19_1” is missing in one layer, and is filled in by another layer.

    One possibility is that Obama’s hippie mother (never mind his ‘papa was a rolling stone’ dad) didn’t get around to filing for a birth certificate until 1971, when he needed it to enter school in Hawaii. Nothing wrong or illegal about that. But evidently to avoid raising questions about some such minor irregularity, someone has gone to elaborate lengths to create a multi-layered, altered document.

    Under harsh new identity-theft legislation, the alteration of Obama’s birth certificate is probably a felony.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        J, no surprise here. The National Review Agency is filled with good soldiers for the .01%, true to the mission of their founder, the God Soldier Buckley.

      2. Dave of Maryland

        From the National Review: UPDATE: I’ve confirmed that scanning an image, converting it to a PDF, optimizing that PDF, and then opening it up in Illustrator, does in fact create layers similar to what is seen in the birth certificate PDF. You can try it yourself at home.

        Sorry, Charlie. That ain’t how it works. An image is scanned into some format or other (.tif, .gif, .jpg, etc.), is imported into a desktop program (Pagemaker 7, etc.) and then is exported as a pdf. That’s the shortest route. No layers.

        The alternative, that we’re OCR’ing a document which we will then reconvert back into its original document, is laughable. We’re going to do this for what reason, exactly? Oh, right. To extract the printed data for use elsewhere. Problem is, the birth certificate has already been created by use of a database, so there is no reason for the State of Hawaii to recreate what it already has.

        This raises some delicious questions. Ignore that I’m a loon and read on:

        The Obama birth certificate is in a particular format. Was that the format that was used in 1961? YES or NO?

        If NO, then what was the original form of that document? Anybody got an original 1961 Hawaiian birth certificate we can see? Most of birth certificates, from most other states, were Black and White forms, i.e., they looked like blueprints, only in black instead of white.

        Normally when you ask for the Black and White, you get a certified copy of the ORIGINAL, whatever it looks like. Note the originals existed in two versions: The COMPLETE or LONG FORM, with lots and lots of detail, and the STANDARD, or SHORT FORM, which has only the baby on it. (You get the short form unless you insist on the long one.) So far as I am aware, these two forms were the standard for virtually all states. I confess I do not know Hawaii specifically.

        Since Obama doesn’t have that, that means at some point Hawaii digitized their existing records. That’s going to be a lot of work. You go year by year by year, box by box, dusting them off, scanning every one of them.

        What year did this take place? What years were scanned/digitized in this manner?

        Unless the records were digitized, there is no way the current Obama birth certificate could have been produced.

        You want proof? Any 50 year old Hawaiian citizen can give you proof: All they need do is to apply for a copy of their birth certificate, and see what comes in the mail. Any takers?

        are a page of Hawaiian birth certificates. We may presume that most of them were recently obtained. Very few of them look like the President’s.

        1. Dave of Maryland

          PS. Forgot that I’m using old HP scanners. (Because they’re not toys, because they work.) A modern scanner will scan directly to a pdf. Again: No need for any other program, and so, no layers.

          1. LucyLulu

            I don’t find the National Review’s author’s explanation for the layers particularly plausible (in fact, the contrary). However, optical character recognition software, depending upon the particular application used, can cause this layering effect to occur in its attempt to distinguish text from the competing portions of the scanned image. Before you can attempt to declare that the layers definitively imply the use of photoshop, you need to understand how ALL the software modules involved work and are interacting, not just pieces of it. In this case, you had scanning software, OCR, pdf conversion, optimizing software, printing function software, etc. resulting in a final product. Just as one can be an excellent driver without fulling understanding how an engine works, one can be very skilled at using software without the sophisticated understanding that comes from somebody who has been involved in similar software and hardware design. In the end, I would defer to the engineering and/or programming at the scanner/printer manufacturer used to scan/print the copy for a definitive statement on any conclusions that could be made re: layering. Chances are good that the forgery claims are a wild good chase.

            FYI: I have more than my share of issues with Obama, and don’t believe we need to prove lack of citizenship to justify showing him the door….. assuming a replacement shows up. And I’m a former software snob, stint with Lexmark. :=)

        2. optimader

          Um… if fraudulent intent existed, wouldnt it be simpler to just submit a paper copy of the pdf? just say’in…

        3. Pelle Schultz

          I’m still more interested in knowing how Obama’s handlers got the time-travel technology to go back and place the birth announcements in the Hawaii newspapers.

          1. dearieme

            Presumably one of the sixteen American Intelligence Agencies has the task of finding out what might be used to blackmail a President? If so, which is it that’ll know the truth in this matter? And what does it use that knowledge for?

            (P.S. I saw the reference to 16 agencies recently – can it be true? How on earth can you need 16?)

          2. dearieme

            Oh, on time-travellers – presumably there’s an argument that O’s family wished at the time to make a misleading claim about some aspect of his birth?

          3. Walter Wit Man

            It’s very easy to manipulate these records. The U.S. has a massive secret intelligence service and they create fake identities and alter identities all the time.

            Plus, Obama’s whole family was in the CIA, so if anyone is going to have doctored records its Obama.

            So where does the copy of the newspaper come from? Does someone have an original copy? Was this digitized and scan into an online record? When?

        4. Lambert Strether

          Sheesh. Digitized records. Just like LPS and MERS, and we know what that led to. See under Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.

          The demand for a genuine birth certificate assumes that there are, in fact, genuine birth certificates. Just shoot me now, please.

          1. Dave of Maryland

            Hello Time Travellers, H.G. Wells is not my forte. What we have here is a man who needed a new ID – a fake ID – who chanced upon an Hawaiian birth and claimed it for his own.

            What surprised me about this flap is that I had presumed that “someone” bribed some government flunky to get a certified copy of a genuine birth record. Now it looks as if “someone” simply chanced upon the published birth announcement and used the information contained therein that to photoshop an Hawaiian birth certificate which that said “someone” has been passing off as his own.

            Next thing you know, some bright dweeb will take Obama’s childhood photos and find the layers in them. Any takers? I’d love to hear how that will be explained.

            So far as those 16 intelligence agencies are concerned, I presume if I can figure out a fake, they can, too. Why did they not speak up? Because it’s not their job to speak up! The job of a secret agency is to stay secret (ref: Pogo). If someone is posing as someone else, that’s his business. Of course, if he has a big swearing in for some important job using a name that’s not his own, well, they might have to redo that in private using the real name, so the real person can be held accountable, if need be.

            This is a bright crowd. Where can I find the video of Obama’s second oath of office? There’s nothing to see here, right?

          2. Walter Wit Man

            Hey, you’ve stated a plausible theory. Interesting. So where did Obama come from then?

            I don’t think the second oath is significant, unless I’m missing something. Why wouldn’t he just lie and take the oath? Does he think it’s magic or something and he will be protected if he doesn’t take an oath?

          3. LeonovaBalletRusse

            Dave and WWM, there is a video on YouTube of Obama taking the second Oath of Office, with commentary.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        I would have once had a similar reaction.

        But the truly idiotic thing the American people have done is to so blindly trust their politicians and their media.

        We have been lied to on a massive scale.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Aha. Of course.

      Obama’s mother worked for the CIA. So did his mother’s parents–his grandparents. In fact, Obama’s father was brought to this country to study from Kenya as part of a CIA program.

      So I always thought the birth certificate issue was a fake issue to distract people from this greater truth.

      But it wouldn’t surprise me. Once I would have mocked these claims and now I’m going to look into it.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        There is a picture of Obama’s grandfather, a humble furniture salesman (that was his cover), meeting Obama Sr. at the airport the night he arrived in Hawaii.

        What would a furniture salesmen be doing greeting the Kenyan delegates of a CIA program at the airport?

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            WWM, link: CIA – “Pro-communists who were elected to the AAAPc’s steering committee at the March 1961 Cairo conference … are identified in the report as Abdoulaye DIALLO, AAPC Secretary General, of Senegal…Modibo DIALLO of Mali”

            x-ref: Amadou DIALLOU and NYC police incident; Nafissatou DIALLO, alleged victim of rape by Dominique Strauss Kahn.

            The plot thickens, the scope is wide.

          2. LeonovaBalletRusse

            WWM, CIA & Suharto vs. Sukarno xref: “Suharto cronies Mochtar and James RIADY of LIPPO GROUP” and “$1 million contribution” to Clinton presidential campaign. Also, Timothy Geithner’s father, “Peter Geithner” a “Ford Foundation” grant-selector” who provided funds for Barack Obama’s mother.

            xref. recent address by Lord James of Blackheath to House of Lords re money scandal, Greenspan, Timothy Geithner’s signature.

            Oh, what a tangled web.

  6. Rex

    Yves, congratulations on the book anniversary. Reading Econned is what brought me to the blog looking for more.

    “I know this matters more to me than to you”, is a statement that’s rather too strongly worded, I think.

  7. Not for profit

    The profit was about five times bigger than the $44.5 million profit Excellus made in 2010. The company generated revenue of $5.7 billion in 2011 and gained 85,000 new members.

    David Klein, the Rochester-based company’s chief executive officer, took home $5.2 million in 2011, up from $1.9 million in 2010. The company said Klein’s compensation last year included a $2.8 million payment for completion of a long-term retention agreement.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Not, these *Not for profits* need to be BUSTED, again. Someone needs to get to the original IRS definition of “non-profit” to comprehend the qualifications for this status, apart from “religious” justification.

      Here’s “How It Works” in fact, most simplified: INCOME: $1MM [million]; PAYROLL+BENEFITS: $600M [thousand]; EXPENSES: $400M; PROFIT=0.

      This is a totally INSANE model of a “non-profit” institution/business. As in the past, the .01% Executives EAT most of the profit via “salary+benefits+expenses”, leaving the “trickle down” .99% with the dregs. BUST these FRAUDS.

      1. Not for profit

        Not for profiteers…

        Here’s a list of the employees who made more than $200,000 in 2011:

        David H. Klein, CEO, $5.2 million
        Emil D. Duda, senior executive vice president, $1.6 million
        Christopher C. Booth, president and chief operating officer, $1.2 million
        Virginia Parysek, senior vice president, $579,964
        Stephen Sloan, senior vice president, $540,401
        William Simmons, senior vice president, $490,411
        Martin Lustick, senior vice president, $480,297
        Paul T. Eisenstat, senior vice president, $450,082
        Anthony F. Tardugno, senior vice president, $432,822
        Barry Thornton, senior vice president, $430,340
        David Mack, senior vice president, $412,793
        James Reed, senior vice president, $403,805
        Kevin McGurgan, regional president, $389,423
        Robert H. Thompson, vice president, $365,739
        Eve M. Van de Wal, regional president, $361,141
        Arthur G. Wingerter, president, Univera, $357,991
        Karen M. Doyle, senior vice president, $355,337
        Arthur P. Vercillo, regional president, $352,438
        Keith A. Volkmar, senior vice president, $347,066
        Geoffrey E. Taylor, senior vice president, $346,560
        Michael Kenney, chief underwriter, $336,282
        Sheila Schroer, chief actuary, $334,701
        Todd A. Muscatello, vice president, $331,763
        Denise T. Dragoone, senior vice president, $326,967
        Jamie E. Kerr, vice president, $310,902
        Frank J. Dubeck, vice president, $310,122
        James D. Spencer, senior vice president, $307,127
        Joel Owerbach, chief pharmacy officer, $303,936
        Marybeth O’Connor, regional vice president, $298,099
        Margaret M. Cassady, senior deputy general counsel, $282,878
        Marybeth K. McCall, vice president, $281,799
        Deborah Piccirilli-Schauseil, corporate vice president, $281,200
        Patricia A. Bomba, vice president, $279,100
        David G. Sanderson, senior vice president, $277,133
        Edward Sassaman, associate medical director, $270,410
        Richard P. Vienne Jr., vice president, $267,948
        Benjamin Hawley, senior vice president, $264,834
        Carl M. Devore, associate medical director, $259,746
        Carolyn B. Frank, vice president, $255,962
        Marie Philippe, corporate vice president, $255,815
        Susan Eliaszewskyj, corporate vice president, $255,552
        Dorothy A. Coleman, executive vice president, $255,111
        Christine Bergeman, vice president, $250,929
        William J. Youngman, vice president, $249,289
        Tove L. Stigum, vice president, $236,970
        Pamela Pawenski, regional vice president, $235,916
        Steven D. Taylor, vice president, $232,986
        Philip Puchalski, corporate vice president, $230,825
        Antonio Vitagliano, vice president, $228,312
        John W. Griffith, vice president, $227,746
        Timothy J. Quinlivan, senior deputy general counsel, $224,043
        Kathleen A. Horn, vice president, $224,022
        James C. Haefner, corporate vice president, $221,588
        Donna F. McManmon, corporate vice president, $220,731
        Robert J. Holzhauer, vice president, $218,478
        Melissa N. Gardner, vice president, $218,232
        Robert N. Mercury, chief financial officer, $215,651
        Steve C. Dina, associate medical director, $214,742
        Michael S. Burke, vice president, $212,540
        Mindy B. Gray, vice president, $209,368
        John P. Kinney III, director actuarial $207,912
        John J. McGuinness, transitional leader, $205,406
        Mark Harris, vice president, $203,283
        Richard P. Nangreave, vice president, $203,211
        Patricia Ciciarelli, vice president, $202,090
        Lisa M. Meyers-Alessi, vice president, $201,173

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Not, great list, and you can bet the “not for profit” DNA cops big bucks from generation to generation: they’re “experts” at this racket. Moreover, see how many of them belong to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its affiliates, how many belong to Milner Round Table groups across the land. BUST them.

    2. Not for profit

      Treasury Inspector General

      Waited on hold for 45 minutes, their “hotline”, was dumped into a voicemail box after that.

    3. Not for profit

      US T IG’s office

      “Why don’t you call the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners”

      I thought that maybe the IRS/treasury would be interested in knowing about a nonprofit being so profitable….

      “Well, there are 3 IG’s”

      And this one insn’t interested?

      “why don’t you call 1800 1040


    1. Susan the other

      If it represents a turning point which will lead to diversification of the banking industry. Bernanke said he would not let another big bank go down on his watch. Maybe the Fed is just making sure there are no more near-term collapses, and the hideous bigs will be back.

  8. Ned Ludd

    Speaking of RT, on most nights, The Alyona Show has one or two interesting guests on. YouTube has a RSS feed of the show split into its individual segments, which makes it easy to browse for the interesting guests. You can view the RSS feed in Firefox, IE, or Safari; but Chrome will just display a wall of text.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      NL, who in the Old Guard is behind the Buddy Roehmer PUTSCH? Must not lose sight of the fact that Ultraconservative Authoritarian *Christians* of *The Family* and such are BIG in Louisiana, not to mention the CLAUSEN KLAN occult influence out of Anglo-German Louisiana.

      1. ambrit

        Dear LBR;
        I seem to recall another Roehm involved in an earlier Putsch. That one failed, and was followed up with a perfectly “legitimate” ascent to power, via the ballot box. So, who is Uncle Buddy fronting for? Does he know what’s in store for him when the backstory comes front and centre? “Louisianna Log Cabin Republican Leaders Found Fricasseed In Bayouside Retreat!” Times Picayune- 30/06/13.

      2. Ned Ludd

        In the video, Buddy Roemer calls out Obama for attending a $35,000/ticket fund-raiser hosted by Goldman Sachs. As Chris Hedges said last fall:

        “Barack Obama is certainly intelligent enough to understand where power lies, and what he has to do in order to stay in office; whose interests he has to serve… The fact is there is no way within the American political system to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs.”

        Roemer isn’t just criticizing Wall Street. He’s criticizing the whole corrupt political process, where Obama courts powerful Wall Street firms for his campaign cash. “The big checks stamp on speech.” Just as you can’t vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs, you also can’t run against the interests of Goldman Sachs.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          NL, Buddy Roehmer is an Old Guard Louisiana Politician. Somebody has been trying to PUSH him as Republican Presidential Candidate in 2012. Who?

          1. LucyLulu

            I don’t know a whole lot about Roehmer but his big message is the need to get money out of politics and he will only accept small donations. I also recall reading in one of Black’s articles that he was one of the handful of Democrats in Congress during the S&L crisis that was honest. I could be wrong, and I don’t how fit for the job he otherwise is, but I think he may be a candidate with, gasp, some ethics and morals.

  9. Jackrabbit

    NC (and others) have talked about Obama’s connection tor Wall Steet in some detail. Without that detail, a video like “Obama’s Wall Street” just seems like a hit piece. And the counter to is all too easy:

    * the “revolving door” has been around long before Obama

    * Wall Steet people love their country too

    * Why do you hate successful people? (The Romney defense)

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      J, re: “Why do you hate successful people?” cut off same bolt as:

      “Our enemies/Terrists hate our freedom, our successful way of life.”

    2. wunsacon

      >> Without that detail, a video like “Obama’s Wall Street” just seems like a hit piece.

      A hit piece that resonates…better than most hit pieces.

      1. Jackrabbit

        IMO it needs more substance to be effective. Or maybe to be one in a series of such ads.

        Effective: Romney as a flip-flopper, takin different positions at different times of his career and to different audiences.

        Effective: Romney as the 1%: he talks about bringing jobs back contrashted with his layoff history or talking about how he loves to lay people off (although that comment was taken out of context)

        What would be (more) effective against Obama is to highlight his failure to deliver “change you can believe in.” Compare what he has done for the banks against what he has done for average people. A sort of “are you better off today than 4 years ago” thing.

        Sure, the Wall Streeets in his administration should be mentioned – but tie them to Wall-Street/corporate friendly policies such as:
        1) extending the Bush tax cuts;
        2) the ineffecitveness of a stimulous devised by Obama’s Wall Street advisors (Summers and Geithner) resulting in millions of people on food stamps and of millions”discouraged” job seekers; and
        3)coddling the banks via bailouts, backdoor bailouts, and lax enforcement (HAMP abuses, robo-signing).
        Note: This is just a quick list.)

  10. LeeAnne

    Finance Addict -thank you for that link.

    ” ,,,JOHN REED: Yes. In other words, I went with Sandy [Sanford Weill] to call on Chairman Greenspan. We told him we were contemplating this merger. But that it would require that the Fed would be prepared to grant us permission. And we were assured that they would.”

    This says it all -down with fiduciary responsibility and the people’s confidence in the integrity of their money, up with unlimited leverage and securities law arbitrage with the City of London, down with the safety of the people’s currency, down with banker fiduciary investments, their rights to legal representation and home ownership rights. Down with everything. Down with their families, their communities, their jobs, their children’s welfare and future -everything.

    One guy Sanford Weill. And his name is never mentioned. How come? When it is mentioned its a whisper.
    And Greenspan didn’t know what he was doing and has apologized for his misguided theories -and he’s still taken seriously. He and his wife Andrea Mitchell. And the wife of the president Bill Clinton at the time, Hillary, in charge of foreign affairs now, maybe rewarded with head of the World Bank. Wow! What a country. And it matters whether a Repub or Dem gets into office?

    Thanks to Sandford Weill’s paid lackeys: Robert Rubin for the Democrats and ex-President Gerald Ford for the Republican side (who gets a free pass because ‘he couldn’t think and chew gum at the same time’), Phil Graham and spouse -and others not so visible.

    The kitty antedote was wonderful this morning. Really funny. Kitty in the end shows her disguest at the stupidity of the game.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      LeeAnne, Oh, but the .01% like U.S. Presidential puppets who can’t think and chew gum at the same time, or who have some other major defect. Hear Dr. John Coleman on the RIIA selection of James Earl Carter as our Puppet President, on “The Committee of 300 by Dr. John Coleman” (1776isBACK on Jan 8, 2011).

  11. LeonovaBalletRusse

    YVES, Congratulations! “ECONNED” is only two years old, and since then you’ve set in motion an irreversible revolution with Naked Capitalism. You have done something radically new, totally C21; you have transcended the “old time religion” of conventional top-down anarchy.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Typical of animal-chauvinists: It’s time for a dove to win the Noble Peace Prize!

          Plant activist: Remember flower power? It’s global plant power now. I nominate the olive branch for the next Noble Peace Prize. But I will never nominate any minerals for that prize though. Too lowly.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Truly, I tell you, there is a conspiracy against vegetables, except couch potatoes, maybe.

            I think it’s time to put a Titan Arum in the city hall.

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    When pets start to buy iPads en masse, Apple could be worth more than $1 trillon.

    Of course, the first step is to emancipate our pets, to pay them more than room and board. Then the purchasing power will come.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It’s tough.

          People are desperate for someone or something to save them.

          That’s when it’s most dangerous.

          The only thing constant is change. Change is constant, natural, invisible. It grinds slow, like water wearing away a rock. It impacts more and longer than when change is abrupt or visible. It impacts even more and longer than when it’s not natural.

          We live in a precarious world and people are yearning for change that is merely visible, abrupt or artificial.

  13. BondsOfSteel

    The Greek CDSs will still probably pay out. This decision was based only on the subordination of the debt. It would be hard to calculate the losses on the subordination without incurring the actual losses.

    Once the Greek government forces the subordinated bondholders to take the 70% loss… well… then… that’s hard not to call it a loss.

    Since this has been a train wreck in slow motion, I can’t imagine that default and CDS payout will be a surprise to anyone. IMHO, it’ll be a non-event.

    The black swan will be the Greece election, Greece abandoning imposed austarity, Leaving the Euro, or a failure of the new treaty to pass. All unlikely, but possible.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      BofS, of course it’s a loss, but is it *technically* a “default?” So much riding on the answer to that one. ZH commenters are swift to the con.

  14. FrankB

    RE: Ames/Breitbart

    “This is bound to offend some readers, so if you have tender sensibilities, you’ve been warned.”

    Not a question of tender sensibilities as much as basic human decency.

    1. Run to Mommy

      Aww, look, Frank C- is trying to make us feel bad cuz Breitbart turned his pointy gynecomastia tits up from the sheer abject humiliation of getting annihilated by a leftist who’s hopelessly smarter than he is, just because the leftist didn’t take pity on his weak preening sissy ass like he expected. Now this sniveling pantywaist wants decency, Mommy, Mommy, look what they did to me, waah, waah.

    2. Doug Terpstra

      Breitbart’s timely demise does rekindle some hope in divine justice, even some sort of damnation, long-lasting if not eternal. Everyone seems to assume saintly character in death, but Black Bart made vermin look truly noble. Ames spiteful eulogy might have been too kind.

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    It’s been a long recession.

    All that hardship suffered went for naught as the broken wealth-distribution-channel is not fixed. And now, we are asked to shove more wealth down the rigged wealth-distribution channel where the flow of wealth is directed to certain parts of the town while routes to other needy areas are clogged.

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The Billionaires behind Newt’s …

    Somehow, it seems it’s always the billionaires on the right versus the billionaires on the left, with the little guys (and gals) caught in the middle, some excitable ones even rush to join the opposing billionaires.

    Speaking of Euclidean geometry as prof. Hudson was mentioning it the other day, a Non-Euclidean political map for non-flat-earthers: To reach left, you go right. To reach right, you go left. Just ask Columbus or Magellan. Among the most extreme right, you will find leftists. And among the most extreme left, you will find rightists.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      gael – “FREE TRADE is PIRACY….What happened was that this dastardly Club of Rome had sent their emissaries to the United States to deliberately destroy our steel plants. And they did it by opening the doors to so-called FREE TRADE. And everybody who signed the NAFTA Treaty, everybody who signs the GATT Treaty when it passes, is a TRAITOR and a SEDITIONER.” (38:14)

      “The Committee of 300 by Dr John Coleman” (1776isBACK on Jan 8, 2011).

      Dr. Coleman, formerly of MI6, reminds us that “FREE TRADE” is the term used for de facto PIRACY, especially by the British East India Company/”British” Empire during their Opium Wars against China [like “Poppy” Bush Dynasty’s NWO Wars against the U.S.A. in C20-21].

      So, “FREE TRADE” is CODE for “THE SHOCK DOCTRINE” for Global Lebensraum for the .01% DNA Global Reich eternally, and for their .99% Agents from era to era. Got it?

  17. Max424

    The Shell Game Cat did pretty good. Two for three!

    Better than me. I lost 40 bucks –one deuce at a time*– playing the shells in the Boston Common back in ’92.

    Never forget it. Stupidest bets I ever made.

    *That’s oh for twenty, for those doing the math at home. The guy was either a lightning master, or he was cheatin.’

    Or, it’s all the same thing for dipshits dumb enough to play the shell game.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      PQS, thanks. Matt Taibbi has found the GOLDEN MEAN for conjoining Left and Right in America. He delivered his published piece at Occupy to prove it. This is a work of genius, and it is JUST. This should go viral. Thank you, Matt Taibbi for persevering until you perfected your purpose!

      YVES, what say you?

      1. PQS

        Yes, I love Taibbi. Am totally unoffended by his liberal use of profanity, and indeed find it amusing. (But then, I’ve been 15+ years in commercial consstruction. If there were no profanity, we would be unable to work, IMO.)

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Mel, good link: “Share Traders More Reckless than Psychopaths, Study Shows” – DUH! Why else do the CEO’s hire them?

      So, “SNAKES IN SUITS” only begins to tell the story.

  18. Susan the other

    Congratulations on your second anniversary Yves. I’m going to go for interlibrary loan when the snow melts! I feel like I have already learned half of what your book will tell me just because your blog is so informative.

  19. Susan the other

    Also thanks for the off topic things like today’s “Knowledge” by John Frizell. That really isn’t fiction. It isn’t science fiction either. I’ll settle on poetry. Way good.

  20. Hugh

    Despite their nuclear weapons and all the latest military toys for their armed forces, the Israelis have for decades beaten their chest about their fear of being driven into the sea by Arab hordes. Now it looks like the Israeli Central Bank is going to plant the bomb that will blow up the state that was never seriously threatened by the armies of its neighbors. There is great irony in that as well as incipient tragedy.

  21. LeonovaBalletRusse

    RE: DHS, Facebook and Twitter — The Onion got it wrong then? Zuckerberg is not CIA but DHS?

  22. LeonovaBalletRusse

    RE: Genetic testing of newborns, pushed from New Jersey: with Christy in charge, should we be surprised?

  23. LeonovaBalletRusse

    YVES, re: “Euro and Yen” link: seems related to *finessing the carry trade via CDS*–proposed by some at ZH.

  24. LeonovaBalletRusse

    YVES, re: “global zombie shuffles on” link: I saw an ad for “Bullion Money” in gold and silver with a dragon on each piece. How does this relate to:

    1) Euro to Yen to Euro Carry Trade finesses?

    2) “Gold bond” roots of the scandal exposed by Lord James in House of Lords?

    3) JPM “pass through” of MF Global customer funds through London and “missing” gold or “paper gold” — maybe to the Dragon Family as a matter of “Life or Death”?

  25. LeonovaBalletRusse

    YVES, re: “Southern European Money Migrating North” — isn’t this “Capital Flight” TYPICAL for “Free Trade” insiders working together in a timely way in collusion for mutual profit? Imagine how much GREATER the “hidden” profits (skim/vig] are today via HFT of CDS?

  26. Jesse

    Russia Today is copying the Bloomberg Television spokesmodels, who copied it from the money honeys.

    Its all part of the downward spiral of dumbness.

    Happy Birthday to Econned.

    1. craazyman

      Tho’ I have to give credit to Ms. Lyster. She’s scorching hot — but she seems intelligent, well-informed, articulate and channels the lunacy of it all (based on the 3 shows I watched on the internet. I’m too lazy to watch it regularly).

      I wonder if she actually rides the bus or steps into a limo at the end of the day. It seems like she should ride the bus, but I’d bet on the limo. Her populist shtick could be nothing but theater for the proletariat.

      But I don’t understand how somebody from Russia can be so fluent in English, with an American accent, and know so much about our country like she does. Is she another Anna Chapman? God I hope not. If there’s more deception going on here I’ll be stunned. :)

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        craazyman, maybe she’s just a CIA asset gifted in languages, born of CIA assets living in Russia during the Cold War, doing her thing du jour in USA!USA!

  27. kevinearick

    So, they pumped the price of gas, dumped credit on California, every government vehicle in the fleet is out spying, and the feminists are all out dragging their eunuchs around as the example to be followed. What did you expect?

    Sail against the headwind of evolution, not the empire. By the time they pay, plan, and do all the other stupid crap they do, you will have changed directions many times, effectively disappearing again.

    We are all stupid in that we choose to ignore data in order to remain within an event horizon. The trick is to apply imagination effectively before you go in and be disciplined in following minimum customs as required, and always, always use your exit, regardless.

  28. Pwelder

    wrt Yves’ subhead on Russia Today’s MF Global piece:

    “…hot women who ask geeky questions…”

    That really works, at least for many of us.

    (And if they had written ECONNED, that would be even better.)

  29. readerOfTeaLeaves

    Wow, that was a fast two years for ECONned, and it is certainly standing the test of time. (Now, please, please, please would the publisher put out an Audible version…!)

    On another note, the has a damn clever ad:

    Did the Three Little Pigs really kill the Big Bad Wolf to claim insurance in order to pay off their House of Sticks? Did the BBW have asthma that impaired his huffing and puffing? How many other reader-commenters log on to decry the Big Banks who are driving the 3 Piggies to such acts of despair? Where, really, is the crime in this story?

  30. LD

    MF Global Story: “Have you notice that RT has hot women who ask geeky questions? And ask them in caffeinated up dumb blonde intonations? Stylistically, this is intriguing.”

    Thank you! It’s like, fer sure, Valley Girl intonations and, like baby talk innuendo. I’m waiting for, gag me, the Brat Pack to show up with, like raybans and colas, just to, gross, make it official.

  31. Francois T

    “And even though everyone was afraid of blowing up protection sellers, what happens to the parties who thought they were hedged and aren’t?”

    Can’t these people be held accountable the capitalist way, a.k.a. crash and burn? Did I force them to buy? Or Sell? Any of you readers is guilty of coercion toward these poor souls?

    No, right?

    Capitalism without failure is like religion without sin. A fake!

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Critical questions. Since when is a 50-70% haircut on Greek bonds not a default? Since the ISDA, owned by the world banksters, is terrified that a millisecond after a default is trigged, the resulting massive, overleveraged avalanche will take them all out, including criminal reserve banks, in an instant. So they are desperate to redefine “default” in Orwellain terms, and are colluding with central banks to continue screwing investors and taxpayers. But of course who will by their toxic bonds in the future?

      A pair of articles at The Market Oracle, ask similar questions, as does Z Hedge.

      “The Money Masters Are Living in Fear”

      “How Greece Could Take Down Wall Street”

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        DT, thanks for the great links. Clearly, we are not living in “normal times” – so why should we be acting as if we were?

        If nationalizing the banks was truly the right move in 2008, why would it not be today? Why doesn’t every MC turn coat and nationalize the banks, spinning off the CDS lots into separate companies that should be allowed to go bankrupt?

        I mean, since Big Banking is all about Lebensraum, property, then why can’t We the People take the Big Banks over by right of eminent domain (paying “owners” the peanuts they might deserve for the properties), then just ship the “toxic CDS piles” to undisclosed locations, saving the best for ourselves as a sovereign nation? Wouldn’t such as Dick Durbin be happy to give a little “PAYBACK” to the “OWNERS” of Congress with this ACT by We the People?

        Again, these are not “normal times.” Can’t We the People ACT with our sovereign Agency in this matter, and put an end to Private Banker Dominion?

        OCCUPY BIG BANKS 2012: “Regime Change Begins At Home” (Charles Derber)

        Bring RICO!


        We the People and Congress Unite! We have nothing to lose but slavery.

        BILL BLACK

  32. Caitlyn Abbs

    Thanks for the wonderful article, I was researching for details like this, going to check out the other posts.

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