Links 4/5/12

Dear patient readers,

I’m doing quite a bit of traveling from now through April 17, starting with a day flight to London tomorrow. Then to Berlin for INET, then in London one day on the way back.

Although I will be posting more or less as usual some days, Lambert and Matt Stoller will be doing a substantial amount of site DJing while I am gone, so be nice! Most readers seem to appreciate a change in perspective now and again.

Even though I started Links today, Lambert I am pretty sure will have done most by the time they are completed, so he deserves credit.

Mystery of Human Consciousness Illuminated: Primitive Consciousness Emerges First as You Awaken from Anesthesia Science Daily (LS). Or after the first coffee.

A Rose-Colored View May Come Standard New York Times. I guarantee this will make people stupider. Brain research on Powerpoint has found people retain information less well when they have to switch from visual to auditory channels.

Twitter Plans to Open Detroit Office Reuters (LS). And the local equivalent of 611 Folsom?

Marriage Law Goes to Court Wall Street Journal

Americans Cutting Back on Drugs and Doctor Visits New York Times

A Centerless Euro Cannot Hold Kenneth Rogoff, Project Syndicate

Greek pensioner kills himself outside parliament Reuters. “Refused to scrounge for food in the rubbish.”

Italy politician says Monti has suicides on conscience Reuters

Young Greeks hit hard by the financial crisis are fleeing from the cities to the countryside Guardian

A Quick Boost for the Economy — a $12 Minimum Wage The Real News

Big rise in US crude stocks deflates price Financial Times

Probe of Insurers Gains Steam Wall Street Journal

New York Fed eyes Maiden Lane III sale Financial Times

Strategic Planning Is a Waste of Time–At Most Companies Bill Conerly

Dimon Letter Derides Contrived, Confusing Financial Rules Bloomberg

Cash: Killing It, or Building Bridges to It? Credit Slips

Goldman’s Gloomy Outlook In One Huge Slide Clusterstock

Camels can pass through a needle’s eye Financial Times

Indian Man Single-Handedly Plants 1,360 Acre Forest (MS)

Some veggies improve breast cancer survival: study AFP

Industrial poultry about to get even crappier — literally Grist

Let’s Make Sustainable Food Less Elitist

Saving Heirloom Seeds Through Crowdsourcing

Below Average Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast Scientific American.

Modern art was CIA ‘weapon’ Independent

Mississippi residents find death along oily Gulf shores Southern Studies

Change will only come from the bottom up Bangkok Post

Santa Monica Students Pepper Sprayed During Public Comment Period on 400% Tuition Increase Brad Blog

Chicago has its own Trayvon Martin-like scandal Chicago Sun Times

Marine veteran Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. killed after clash with police who responded to his medical emergency NY Daily News

New Orleans Police May Face Life Sentences Over Katrina Deaths WaPo

After Troy Davis, After Trayvon Martin: What A Real Justice Movement Will Look Like Black Agenda Report (LS). Must read, and note the table at the end. A Virtual Wifi Occupation

Antidote du jour:

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  1. rjs

    an aside on that suicide of the greek pensioner reuters seems to have overlooked:

    Syntagma Square Suicide Note Ends With Call To Young Greek People To “Hang The Traitors”

    no link – from a site that put comments into moderation at NC

      1. Up the Ante

        And next time ‘olagues olagues’ will claim to be held by the Japanese after touring through the Exclusion Zone around Fukushima.

  2. Bubba Gump Times: All the news that's NOT fit to print

    “Not that anyone cares, but the United States committed itself to yet another war on Sunday – yes, April Fool’s Day as the ever-bellicose Hillary Clinton teamed up with the extremist tyrants in Saudi Arabia and other international humanitarians to supply moolah and military materiel to the rebels in Syria.

    “…Western leaders and their parrot-like media still pretend (at least in public) that the armed uprising is aimed at establishing a groovy secular showcase of pluralistic democracy….”

    “The rampant militarization of the conflict suits our imperial managers (and their various satraps, clients and dependents around the world) very well. Secretary Clinton and her boss, the war-waging Peace Laureate – along with the crocodile tear-shedders in Congress, aching to “liberate” the Syrian people by inflicting mass death upon them – are not very interested in the relative merits or demerits of the forces involved in the Syrian conflict.

    All they care about, in the end, is the war itself – or rather, war itself.

    America’s wars are very expensive. Bush and Obama have doubled the national debt, and the American people have no benefits from it. No riches, no bread and circuses flow to Americans from Washington’s wars.

    So what is it all about?

    The answer is that Washington’s empire extracts resources from the American people for the benefit of the few powerful interest groups that rule America … The US Constitution has been extracted in the interests of the Security State, and Americans’ incomes have been redirected to the pockets of the 1 percent…

    In the New Empire success at war no longer matters. The extraction takes place by being at war. Huge sums of American taxpayers’ money have flowed into the American armaments industries and huge amounts of power into Homeland Security.

    The American empire works by stripping Americans of wealth and liberty. This is why the wars cannot end, or if one does end another starts …”

  3. b.

    “Brain research on Powerpoint has found people retain information less well when they have to switch from visual to auditory channels.”

    Do you have a handy reference on that? Much obliged.

    1. Anonymous Jones

      Oh please, as if it matters whether or not she can point to some junk study on this…and it would prove what exactly? That “most” people respond that way? These studies, just like most of the pharma studies, are flawed at their core (well, if you take their “conclusions” at face value).

      Humans are not homogeneous, fungible inputs, and thus any study that tries make conclusions based on an assumption that their study subjects are homogeneous, fungible inputs is going to be, well at least for someone who actually considers and thinks through things, slightly less than compelling.

      I don’t know. I’ve been around a long time. I know a lot of people with different skill sets and different manners of learning. I know people who simply cannot read for more than a few minutes, but who have a spectacular memory based on their auditory senses. I, on the other hand, can’t even remember a person’s name unless I’ve written it down. My memory, although apparently quite strong based on “objective” tests and was quasi-photographic when I was younger, is almost entirely built upon written materials.

      So, what can we legitimately take from this supposed study, that maybe “most” of us are like me, visual learners? Wow, that’s interesting. What did that have to do with the topic again?

      1. b.

        The saying goes that there are no stupid questions, but there definitely are superfluous replies. Recursively so.

  4. dearieme

    “…people retain information less well when they have to switch from visual to auditory channels.” If that is about the two “channels” rather than about the “switching”, then I was told that more than 40 years ago. Moreover, I was told, there was a sex difference, with men relatively better with visual stuff, women with aural.

    Of course, with powerpoint there is the specific problem of so many seakers being monotonous droners, without colour in their voice or personality.

  5. Economystic

    But but haven’t we been told all week that the Gov. can’t force us to buy Broccoli?
    Guess I’d better start investing in the Brocco Bubble…
    * Chinese women who ate cabbage, broccoli and leafy greens saw improved survival rates after breast cancer than women who did not eat these cruciferous vegetables, said a US study presented on Tuesday

    1. Sam

      The other side of the coin is that there are foods that promote breast cancer…

      Taking a cue from the beef industry:

      “Breast cancer, it’s what’s for dinner!”

        1. Frustrated Consumer

          I can see where all government has to do is tell women they can eat anything they want and it just goes straight to your boobs. But in reality I’m getting fed up (haha-get it?)with my grocery shopping experiance.

          Whatever happened to “truth in labeling”? On my last trip to the store I forgot my glasses and couldn’t read all that tiny label info on my grocery purchases. Then when I got home I read thru all my packages and containers. I have to admit that after the gulf spill and cleanup, Fuki, and pink slime I buy lots and lots of chicken nowaday. Figuring what can they do to a chicken that it doesn’t really deserve? But arsenic?

          Then I got to the Edwards turtle pie. Not a bit of turtle in it!


          I had to take three marshmellows just to calm down again!

          1. Up the Ante

            “Figuring what can they do to a chicken that it doesn’t really deserve? But arsenic?

            Then I got to the Edwards turtle pie. Not a bit of turtle in it!


            I had to take three marshmellows just to calm down again! ”

            Those proprietary food blends also contain processed fish, could be marine and is likely to be so.

            3 marshmellows, very good !

            No champion of chicken intelligence, but come on, same as with beef cattle the air of impending death at those factories has to be palpable.

          2. JTFaraday

            Chicken farms are a horror. (No, don’t look). On balance, I think the safest and most humane thing to do is to take home some nice plant and personally torture it yourself.

            It’s win win.

          3. Up the Ante

            Humans are without a doubt the most arrogant lifeform that will ever grace this planet in their treatment of other animals, JT.

            I say mass-produce quinoa and amaranth for their amino acid ratios and problem SOLVED in the arrogance dept.

          4. Jane

            You may feel differently about chicken as good source of protein after you watch this:


            I couldn’t enjoy a meal for weeks after watching it. I’m suspicious of everything I buy in a supermarket. And even if I went to an all plant based diet, I wouldn’t know if they were grown with genetically modified seeds. Damn Monsanto!

  6. RanDomino

    I have to disagree with the Modern Art article’s explanation of why the CIA promoted it. I think they did so because it’s completely devoid of content- there’s no possibility of any kind of radical message getting in when there’s no message at all. And encouraging solipsistic bullshit helps sever people from the real world- none of that dangerous talk about inequality, or the ugliness of pollution, or celebrations of human achievment that might inspire people to be something other than wage-slaves.

    1. RanDomino

      Also, it seems that Modern Art (if it can even be called “art”) is a Recuperation of Surrealism, which is liberatory, humanizing, and socialist. And therefore verboten.

    2. Bev

      I think the first art of animals and humans in caves was a survival manual in that it could have been used to teach group strategy in hunting.

      The CIA needed to knock down the art of the common man, art of workers in Russia which was by necessity figurative, like the cave art.

      Though figurative art is certainly co-optable. I think Shepard Fairey’s art of “OBEY” and “HOPE” are elites’ tailor make art for messasge marketing–directly not ironically.

      Any art that combines information and survivability and is immediately knowable (modern art is unknowable) is an art that is important.

      I would like to see much more art that is based on important ideas, such as David Graeber’s book “Debt: The First 5,000 Years” and all movements that support the survivability and humanity of all people.

    3. Neo-Realist

      So maybe this infiltration is why we had bands arise out of the punk scene like the Knack and the Cars that were totally devoid of any serious socio/political content to counter the likes of the Clash and the Avengers?

      1. RanDomino

        Possibly. But Punk, like Surrealism (which is not as much of a coincidence as it may seem), is structurally liberatory, so it largely rejected it (which resulted in the shit that is Pop Punk and practically everything made in the ’90s). But this has resulted in Punk culture being much smaller and ‘underground,’ but still cohesive- I’ve met plenty of people looking like they came out of 1980 New York who weren’t even alive then. The relationship between Punk and Anarchism meant that culture was/is the force and glue of the white youth arm of the so-called “Anti-Globalization” movement, which was an influence on Occupy, particularly via Anarchism.

    4. Klassy!

      It is interesting that Jackson Pollock was used in this way. I was reading a review of a new bio of Thomas Hart Benton the other day and read that he had a very complicated relationship with his mentor, Benton. Benton would have been little use to the CIA.

  7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Posting from my home:

    Primitive conscious emerges first after anesthesia…

    But how can some people engage in higher level actitivities like composing poetry or doing bookkeeping while they are supposed to be busy with the primitive act of procreation?

  8. jsmith

    Regarding art and the CIA:

    Unfortunately, Americans will look back at the second half of the 20th/beginning of the 21st century and realize that there wasn’t much in so far as popular culture goes that wasn’t tainted or completely subsumed by the machinations of the CIA and intelligence agencies.

    From modern art to the movies, to rock music to theater, the clever boys at the CIA and other agencies made sure that the indelible political imprint of the the elite was left upon everything.

    Gee, HUAC and the blacklisting of “communist” sympathizers takes on a whole new meaning now, doesn’t it?

    Why was it so important to make sure of the patriotism of movie makers? Hmmmm…

    How about the pushing of LSD on the counter-culture, a drug that had largely been introduced by the CIA(see: William Burroughs) – hmmm, much like crack which was introduced by the CIA into urban areas in the US? What about gangsta rap, then?

    Just as all movements and foundations during the post war period were either created by the CIA and friends or infilitrated soon after – Gloria Steinem worked for the CIA(see link), the Peace Corps, the Ford Foundation, other NGOs – one has to come to the conclusion that the tampering of the government into every corner of American culture has rendered our artisitic culture a hopeless morass of sh*t, inexorably linked to our status as a bloodthirsty, murderous empire.

    Gee, I wonder where the Israelis got the idea for their art student spy ring that operated in the US and was broken up post 9/11?

    Nobody would suspect that counter-culture “artists” would be agents of the state, huh? How clever.

    The article talks about how the CIA “supported” these new artists. I take that to mean that they helped bid up their works, help sign them to monetary contacts, assisted in arranging tours for them across the country and planet – and this was for all artists in all media.

    Are we supposed to believe this practice ended with the Cold War? Really.


    To be a successful artist in the United States post WWII to present means that you are an asset to the elite, someone to spread the consumerist, militarist message to the masses and more than likely you are receiving support – albeit hidden to the artists themselves – to be their asset.

    Post-modernism always struck me as – all said and done – a bunch of shite.

    Now we know it was CIA-sponsored shite.

    Thanks, Uncle Sam!!

      1. Aquifer

        So, the fact that “Gloria Steinem, the future feminist, has acknowledged that she worked for a CIA front, the amusingly named Independent Service for Information, whose purpose was to undermine a Soviet-bloc youth festival in Vienna” indicates the women’s movement was a creation of the CIA?!

        Please, give me a break …

        1. jsmith

          Give you a break in what, realizing that like the counter-culture movement, religious movements, civil rights movements and government sponsored “peace” movements, the CIA had ties to the feminist movement?

          Nah, could never happen, right?

          The would just leave the feminist movement alone, right?

          I don’t know whether to laugh at your naivete or cry.

          It’s ok, I’m sure you’re very comfortable self-censoring your gate-keeping mind.

          Just go back to sleep now. Thanks.

          1. Binky Bear

            I suggest you quit slandering the Culinary Institute of America-they are watching you, you know. They will come in their black helicopters to seize your wines and fancy cheeses.

    1. Sam

      Modern art was CIA ‘weapon’ Independent, after reading this I got to thinking…

      Modern “art”, CIA, a branch of Wall Street, Billionaires, New York City, William Paley, Cultural influence…hmmmmm

      Next up, the realization that almost all of the music that came out of Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles, a place with no music scene, but which gained one instantly, (basically a large chunk of late 1960s rock music), was played by mostly the sons and a few daughters of military and Pentagon officials who rose to miraculous prominence (with a little help?). Purpose? To promote and glorify drug use that destroyed the potential disaster of the anti war and pro-peace movement becoming a stronger force in America.

      Hey, wasn’t there some money made off of drug sales too somewhere along the line?

      Goggle “Laurel Canyon music intelligence connections 1960s” for a couple of great reads.

    2. Dave of Maryland

      I lost interest in visual arts long ago, but keep an ear for music. Starting at some point in the early 1970’s, pop music started to degrade sharply. By the late 1980’s the stuff commonly heard on the radio would make one physically ill. From what I see on occasional jaunts past MTV and VH1, that’s still the case. (The one-track sexual vulgarity is astounding.)

      Which I hate to say I think was the point of it all. Presuming you’re serious about the CIA destroying visual art (and let’s get real: How many of us even know the name of a single living artist???), the DoD’s efforts to defuse radical musical expression – which, more than street protests doomed the Vietnam war – must be far more intense. Remember how the Pentagon targeted John Lennon?

      The music industry, as has long been known, is overrun with drugs and payola. Somebody needs to find a good reason for the complete destruction of popular music in America.

    3. Walter Wit Man

      Yep. Well written.

      I’ve just discovered the extent these fascists have wormed their way into our society.

      And don’t forget the takeover of the political system. It started with owning people like Nixon, when Nixon helped erase the ties between the Nazis and U.S. business for Dulles and Nixon was rewarded with support for political office. Then Bush Sr. was a CIA agent in the 60s only to run for office. Most of our presidents the last 50 years have probably been neck deep on covert actions–all the better to manipulate them because they have guilty knowledge. Clinton and Obama are most likely former agents or assets.

      Hell, in the 80s, Clinton was probably running drugs and helping to launder the money while Obama was helping the agency along with his mother in Pakistan and Indonesia, while Pappy Bush was running the whole show from the VP office.

      Anyway, you’re right that our secret government has its hands in lots of stuff.

  9. LeeAnne

    The story on an elderly man being murdered by police is the most disturbing of all I’ve been reading recently.

    An elderly Black man, a former Marine, and parent, knew better than to permit police into his home -that it was a dangerous proposition.

    1. LeeAnne

      point being, he thought he had a right to refuse to let them in and had every legal right to refuse. A lifetime of experience told him not to let them in.

      This is an example of how oppressive regimes eventually infect all strata of society from the top, the Justice Department, down to the lowliest cop and private security or secretly deputized citizen on the street once the law and justice system have broken down.

    2. Lambert Strether

      Read on to the Black Agenda Report link. All these examples popped up in what we call the news recently, but the always ahead-of-the-curve BAR has a much longer list. These are by no means the only incidents.

    1. Bill the Psychologist

      “She said the man in the gabardine suit was a spy. I said be careful his bowtie is really a camera. “

  10. Schofield

    Kenneth Rogoff’s article concerning fiscal transfers in the Eurozone exactly parallels the same issue going on between the United States and China. Time to redefine Comparative Advantage and recognize it’s largely inapplicable in a much more inter-connected world where Jack Welch, the former GE CEO, has said the optimum strategy for manufacturing corporations is to put the manufacturing plant on a barge and tow it to where the tax haven and labor arbitrage chips fall best.

    1. Jim

      Jack Welch’s proposition is not an excuse. Even if you were to put a factory in a barge miles offshore, you can still effect fiscal transfers via income taxes. Where are the VPs and CEO of GE going to live? On that same barge? Will they become citizens of said barge, exposed to kidnapping threats from foreign governments?

      No, they will live in the USA, where they “could” be taxed appropriately.

      Or they could opt to become naturalized citizens of another established country, where they would be subject to the whims of the local authorities. And if said authorities decide one morning to solve their fiscal deficit by seizing the assets of any naturalized citizen, who would defend them? The country whose citizenship they renounced as a tax dodge?

    2. Externality

      And when GE needs another massive bailout, its barge would suddenly dock in American waters.

      From the Washington Post:

      General Electric, the world’s largest industrial company, has quietly become the biggest beneficiary of one of the government’s key rescue programs for banks.

      At the same time, GE has avoided many of the restrictions facing other financial giants getting help from the government.

      The company did not initially qualify for the program, under which the government sought to unfreeze credit markets by guaranteeing debt sold by banking firms. But regulators soon loosened the eligibility requirements, in part because of behind-the-scenes appeals from GE.

      As a result, GE has joined major banks collectively saving billions of dollars by raising money for their operations at lower interest rates. Public records show that GE Capital, the company’s massive financing arm, has issued nearly a quarter of the $340 billion in debt backed by the program, which is known as the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program, or TLGP. The government’s actions have been “powerful and helpful” to the company, GE chief executive Jeffrey Immelt acknowledged in December.

    3. rou

      Rogoff: “Spanish workers are streaming into Romania, which until recently had been a major source of agricultural labor in Spain.”

      Spaniards streaming into Romania?! This is ridiculous! A recent reporting from Spain in the Romanian press emphasized that not even the Romanians are returning from Spain! That’s because there are virtually no workplaces in Romania, what with the government freezing the employees numbers as per IMF’s edict of austerity and the commercial banks freezing the private sector crediting. Harvard researcher, wake up!

  11. Aquifer

    On folks spending less on prescriptions – sure it has to do with price, but it may have more and more to do with the fact folks are tired of drugs themselves causing as many or more problems than the ones they started with …

    And more young folks taking pills for depression and ADHD – is that a comment on “illness” or on society?

    Depressed that you can’t get a good job or pay your bills – here, take a pill, don’t change the society that produces these ills …

  12. Up the Ante

    “The higher rates are justified, the insurers say, because the properties are high-risk [and when we have to pay out the bribes, as in AIG, we grease’em good].

    fixed it

  13. SR6719

    Re: Modern art was CIA “weapon”

    “Reality is defined by the needs of the media.
    History is rewritten faster than it can happen.
    Culture is a weapon that’s used against us.”

    (1998 Ubu projex)

    Despite being accused of paranoia, it looks like Guy Debord was right about there being a conspiracy in the art world, and he was ahead of his time when he said:

    “Get the hell out of here, art critics, partial, incoherent and divided imbeciles! You have nothing more to say…

    [You]… are in this market to parade one of the aspects of Western commerce: your confused and empty babble on a decomposed culture.”

      1. SR6719

        Yes, I remember, and it looks like you were right.

        Those fascist bastards are everywhere!

        On another subject, as a reader of Arthur Silber’s blog, you might be interested in his latest update if you haven’t already seen it.

        On March 24, he wrote:

        “Many thanks to those who responded with such generosity and kindness to my last plea for donations. I’m deeply grateful. For the moment, I don’t have to worry about basic living expenses, which is an enormous relief.

        Unfortunately, I have to report that my health has taken a severe turn for the worse. It’s very bad, and it makes it almost impossible for me to do anything. Last week, I couldn’t make it to the corner store. I got halfway there and had to turn around, make my way home very slowly, and then collapse into bed….”

  14. the comintern

    Thanx for the true must-read. USHR network is the greatest. And because they communicate in human rights terms, they avoid the trap of humble petitions to authority – they’re actually going over the head of the government to the international community and global civil society. Point 2 is a nice overview of third generation rights like the Right to Peace and the Right to Development. Using those you can specify comprehensive economic and security policy strictly in terms of human rights. That’s the best propaganda antidote: it makes it clear that the state exists solely for us humans, and not for bullshit abstractions like “the country” or “the nation” or worst of all, friggin goddamn horseshit meaningless “America.”

    Their database mirrors the approach of the Committee Against Torture, which is demanding data on torture and inhuman or degrading treatment in law enforcement. The data ought to be integrated in one big repression database. (The torture committee is evaluating us again now. You’d think it would be fun as hell for campaign bird-doggers.)

  15. Doctor Brian Oblivion

    Banks are institutions that exist because society created them and they have continued to exist, theoretically, so long as they provide a valuable service to the people in those societies.

    With banks in Europe and the United States functioning primarily to extract wealth from the societies from which they sprang what is preventing nations too big to fail to disolve these institutions and provide these services themselves.

    While I’m sure many big ownwers of capital would not be all that excited by the prospect and some may try to flee with their currency to more docile locations, given the creative destruction being demanded from actual living people by non-living institutions I don’t see how a banking coup is tolerated. Will banks respond with a shooting war? Are human beings required to submit to a societal creation?

    Frankly I’m a little confused by the existentialism.

  16. Sophie

    Obama: [on intervening in Libya]… “Real leadership creates the conditions and coalitions for others to step up as well; to work with allies and partners so that they bear their share of the burden and pay their share of the costs; and to see that the principles of justice and human dignity are upheld by all.”

    Yeah, I can see that by backing Libyan rebels, US and Nato forces have done a truly wonderful job of upholding “the principles of justice and human dignity” in Libya!!!

    Libyan rebels cage black Africans in zoo, force feed them green flags (shock video)

  17. abprosper

    Interesting article on CIA skullduggery though modern art is something of an oxymoron ;)

    As for the Greek situation, a suicide like this would only work on people with a sense of honor and conscience, that precludes pretty much any State. It might work on “the people” but I have not enough knowledge about the Greek character to know if it could create a Greek Spring.

    As for the real fix, beyond the urge for the gallows and guillotine which create far too many problems , what has to happen is international trade needs to be grossly reduced and regulated.

    No nation should allow any goods from a net exporter. Its fine to trade say olives for cars if you’ve not taste for making them or no ability to do so but the balance of jobs needs to stay high.

    When that starts to not function well than the work week needs to be reduced. No nations need to push good on other nations, make what you use, export a surplus in exchange for someone else’s luxury goods. If for some reason there simply isn’t enough work to go around work after this weeks need to be cut.

    As for nations that will complain, its not anyones fault but your own you chose not to have babies or to build a civilization that supports families. Ya get what ya plant ..

  18. Herman Sniffles

    Crappy chicken?
    How about Chicken McButt-nuggets? Might warm the public up to the idea.

    1. MacCruiskeen

      I gave up eating meat about ten years ago, and every day there seems to be another reason not to regret that decision.

  19. Up the Ante

    If as Karl says happened, “Obama made noises early on like he understood, but then turned around and blew Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein under their respective desks, ..”, I believe Dimon is really complaining that Barney Frank was more ‘discrete’.

    And Then There Were Two [LOL]

    Barney’s “discretion” as explained by Bill Black,

    “Instead of holding oversight hearings that exposed the Bush and Obama administrations’ evasion of the PCA and demanded compliance, prominent members of Congress encouraged it. House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D., Ma.) said:

    “This is important for all regulators. We need to give you some discretion in how you react to these things. I am asking everyone — the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and others — if anything in the existing legislation deprives you of discretion in how you react … I insist that you tell us.”

    Congress passed PCA to remove the regulators’ discretion to cover up or ignore bank losses. Now, the key House Chair – who once rightly criticized the S&L regulators for not promptly closing insolvent S&Ls – encourages the regulators to employ discretion to cover up or ignore bank losses. ”

    For what could this picture here shows us other than that of a ‘satiated’ man ?


    1. Up the Ante

      A picture is worth a thousand words.

      June 26, 2009
      After FASB approved ‘mark-to-myth’ what do they do ? Hire some lobbyists for some PR work.

      “.. as FASB seeks to improve its image as an independent agency, .. To improve the perception of FASB on Capitol Hill, the agency’s parent organization, The Financial Accounting Foundation, in the spring hired law-firm and lobbyist K&L Gates to promote its interest among policymakers in Washington. ”
      Congress pushed us to rush our audit rule guidance

      The following illustration should be entitled The Entrenching of Fraud : Govt. For Sale,

      2007 corresponds to when the crisis began to be widely acknowledged as arriving.

      Center for Responsive Politics, your chart is why some commenters say the fraud has grown worse since 2007/8. The govt. has ringfenced itself, has it ?

  20. Hugh

    That FT story on oil prices is pure nonsense. Oil futures closed today at around $103 about where they started the week. Oil futures have been trading in the $100-$110 range since mid-February.

    The real story is why we haven’t seen the floor fall out from oil prices, if you believe this is really all about supply and demand, since supply is running at a 10 year high.

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