Links Earth Day 2012


  1. Kukulkan

    Megaupload’s lawyer Ira Rothken says that unlike people, companies can’t be served outside US jurisdiction.

    But companies are people. Mitt Romney said so. As did the US Supreme Court.

    Or is it that companies are only people when it comes to rights and benefits, but not when it comes to liabilities and criminal charges?

    1. Cap'n Magic

      We will have to watch how this plays out. But now you can see that even if you incorporate outside the US, the US government can and will destroy that business (where any portion lives in the US) on the most flimsiest of charges if it benefits a multibillion dollar multinational media empire. There were reports that MegaUpload had engaged the services of Satan and his bretheren (GS, JPM, et. al) to float a public offering and also had some of the Big 4 auditing folks going going over their operation (

      1. taunger

        Rules of civil procedure do not allow serving a coproration outside of US jurisdiction. But that doesn’t mean that we have never had the power to serve foreign corps. – you just had to wait until they showed up in NY, LA, or Chicago to perform service.

        1. Cap'n Magic

          With technology being the way that it is today, when does a company ever need to physically set foot in the US to be served?

          1. Kukulkan

            With technology being the way that it is today, when does a company ever need to physically set foot in the US to be served?

            Even with technology being the way it was back in the nineteenth century, no company ever had to physically set foot in the US for any reason whatsoever. Even those companies that worked entirely within the US.

            In fact, a company couldn’t physically set foot in the US — or, indeed, anywhere else — even if it wanted to.

            You are aware that companies don’t have feet, aren’t you? Or any other useful body part. All companies have is appetite.

  2. Max424

    From Krugman’s latest:

    “…something like [the Fed] moving the inflation target would enter unknown territory…”

    Must’ve forgotten a Fed Chair named Paul Volcker, who did nothing but target inflation. Remember the wage-price spiral. Crushed wages by crushing labor. Eliminated rising prices by forcing the economy into deep recession via 18% interest rates. Nor more ↗W + ↗P = I².

    Oh yeah, maybe the Fed has never targeted inflation the other way. That’s a possibility, if you don’t consider the late 90’s Tech Bubble, the recent 1 quadrillion dollar Housing Bubble, and the latest Stock Bubble (world recession, Dow at a giddy 13,029. Come on.), at least a partial result of positive inflation targeting by the Fed.

    “the Fed could and should do more …it’s hard at the zero lower bound, and it would really help if the Fed had fiscal help.”

    That’s the point, Professor. As far as this leftist is concerned: If the Fed, which creates the money, can’t DIRECTLY help the nation it’s creating the money for, then it should be eliminated.

    Really, what good is the Fed? At best, it is a middleman working on behalf of international criminal organizations. At worst, by its very existence, is an artificial constraint on the life-giving fiscal.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      No, Volcker targeted money supply, which actually didn’t work (there proved to be no relationship between money supply growth and macroeconomic aggregates). William Greider describes this decision in The Secrets of the Temple, and he argues that Volcker went this route so as to free him of interest rate targeting (as in he suspected targeting interest rates would restrict him unduly in how high he drove them).

  3. Captain Kirk

    Hello folks. Breakfast time in Columbia again.

    I just had a long conversation with Spock. Spock is a little..perturbed, I’ll say – being that emotion seems to fit within the available emotional envelope of a Vulcan.

    As may have I mentioned before, Vulcans have this thing about monitoring human attempts at space flight – don’t know why really, they just do – the key thing to look for being evidence of warp drive capability.

    Spock has noticed – from analyzing launch trajectories – that these launches do NOT seem to be FAILED attempts to go to the stars, but instead are more or less SUCCESSFULL attempts to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere over what I believe you call someone else’s Sovereign Nation (the key test being that they have their own currency, according to Spock). Upon researching your LOCAL records of history, Spock discovered the intent of these vehicles is to deliver NUCLEAR BOMBS.

    We have problem here.

    In my time, there was no such historical event in human history as the development of nuclear veapons, er, weapons.

    Let me explain the problem this causes me and my time. Your new timeline will propagate forward and cause my time to cease to exist. I am here now, so the damage to the timeline has not caused catastrophic damage to my time, yet. Maybe another Captain Kirk got bleeped out of existence, but ok, go with what you got, I always say.

    Spock traced back thru your history to determine the pivotal event where this time divergence began. He believes it was when the German government let Adolf Hitler out of jail after arresting him for that beer hall incident. This led to WWII, the Manhattan Project, then the Cold War nuclear arms race, MAD(?!?), and now everyone in the world wants some.

    None of this happened in my historical timeline. Our NSA records have no info on Hitler even.

    Now I am very serious about this. I have no choice but to intervene. I will have Spock monitor your communications for another few weeks. What I want to hear is world leader agreement on nuclear disarmament.

    If we hear nothing, I will tell Madam that I am sorry, but I must leave now. Even if I didn’t use up my one million dollars yet. We will time jump the Enterprise back to 1936, pick up this Hitler clown, then drop him off on the closest Klingon outpost. I don’t care how liberal Germans think they are. That will be the end of that.

    If we must take this action, I can’t tell you how disappointed the Enterprise crew will be. They haven’t had shore leave in a long time and just about everyone wanted to visit Madam’s place – especially after watching the holos I’ve been sending up.

    Even Scotty wants to go. He doesn’t like McCoy’s “fun pills”. He says, “Diabolical things they are when ya kenna tell a devils tail from his horns.” Or something like that. But Scotty says he invented some interesting little gadgets he’d like to try out.

    O’Houra says she just wanted go to shopping for a string bikini , then hang out at Santa Monica Pier.

    Sulu was planning to go to San Francisco, and I’m pretty sure whale watching was not on his mind.

    All these people will be very disappointed if we have to time jump instead and then head to Klingon space to fix this mess you got us in.

    Get your act together – if you can.

    Captain James T. Kirk
    sent from iphone – columbia

    1. Jack Parsons

      The fact that real fandom for Star Trek is fading, replaced by fandom of the pathetic NG onwards to that drek series that just failed.

      This, dear friends, highlights the moral decay of America’s youth: that they would dress up like Picard or those 90’s era Deep Space Primitives instead of like Kirk/Spock, the one true love story of our time.

  4. Middle Seaman

    The war on Krugman is raging. No doubt, Krugman makes mistakes and tilts too much once in a while. Yet, most of the counter punchers don’t seem to have the basic knowledge to make a solid argument.

    Yves Smith and Krugman are almost our only source of solid, viable and honest financial perpective. Both are not perfect, but the service and leadership they provide is significant and crucial.

    1. justanotherobserver

      I’d really like someone to explain to me this sites delight in bashing Krugman. It’s very irritating, if only because the actions of the looney right don’t seem to receive equal amounts of abuse. Even when Krugman gets it wrong he’s trying to do the right thing.

      I suppose somebody will now chime in that he said something wrong 10 years ago and that’s why we should all hate him.

      1. yetanotherobserverobserver

        Left-wing thought has been thoroughly infiltrated by a group that tries to win you over by saying a few of the right things to start off with and then never finishing the job or redirecting the conversation away from actual solutions.

        Krugman is one of these guys. He’s obviously succeeded if you think his heart is in the right place.

        He wouldn’t have gotten a Riskiobanks prize if he wasn’t useful to them.

        1. Anonymous Jones

          Maybe they gave him the prize specifically because it’s a “discrediting” signal to people like you. Maybe it was a misdirection to make it seem like he was toeing the line and had been co-opted. Maybe it was just to destroy his base from within by painting him as part of the elite conspiracy against you.

          [By the way, I have to say this in the comment because it appears that you are not quite the brightest bulb on the porch. I’m being sarcastic. You’re a complete tool who has no idea the limits of your knowledge. Sorry…]

          1. Pseudonymous Smith

            Nice try Jones. You don’t get to a position of importance in a hedge-fund controlled propaganda rag like the New York Times without at least running interference.

            [I’m saying this in a comment because I admire your skillz. You managed to call me a dim-witted conspiracy theorist while being sarcastic. That’s quite an achievement for a man with an IQ of 25.]

        2. Jack Parsons

          Krugman got “that gold thing” because of his work in the 70s/80s in modeling foreign trade processes. Jeez. If you’re going to hate him, at least try to know your enemy.

          1. Pseudonymous Smith

            Well, if they stated that as the reason, then of course that must be the reason he got the prize. Silly me for thinking it was given politically.

    2. rjs

      i have my comment on that at angry bear: “it’s clear to anyone who’s paid attention that the purpose of Fed ZIRP policy was to recapitalize the banks, and that QE has largely benefitted risk assets & has done little for main street…figure that PK must have just woke up on the wrong side of a WSJ article…”

      i’m a regular at AB, have guest posted there…half of the 50 comments on that thread came from “rootless_e”, who had never commented at AB before that post…

    1. Lambert Strether

      An UPDATE on the Japan petrochemical blaze:

      UPDATE: FNN News says there are about 3,400 containers of depleted uranium at the plant, but according to Mitsui Chemical there is no damage to the containers.

      Well, that settles that, then [cringes, weeps].

      * * *

      It seems that one moral of the story here is that “primitive accumulation” as practiced by emergent kleptocracies is imcompatible with managing complex systems such that they don’t, er, blow up. This, Clusterfukashima, Deepwater Horizon, the GFC [Gawdawful F****ing Crisis], et cetera, et cetera.

      1. Sanctuary

        LOL, emergent kleptocracies. I love that one. But are they emergent or evolving? Hmm, or better yet, festering.

          1. Sanctuary

            Lol, yeah. What about fermenting? I don’t know, I just can’t seem to top emergent. Lol, something about that just makes me laugh. Like they’re graduating, LOL. Moving on up that old corruption chain.

          2. Sufferin' Succotash

            “Emergent” sounds too much like “detergent” which I don’t think is the image you’re looking for.
            How about “decomposing”, or maybe “rotting”, as in “a fish begins to rot at the head.”

          1. colinc

            Naw, you be good, homey! :D YOU astutely started the ball rolling, me and Sanc just let the vibe flow! BTW, I, too, enjoyed “emergent kleptocracies” despite the fact they’re not really emergent. Alas, it seems the next dark-age is incipient.

            “Festering” seems tenable, too, but there are too many “good” things that come from fermentation for this latter to be an “adequate” concept. Perhaps “Clusterfukashima” is a little too JHK-ish?

          2. Sanctuary

            LOL, I hope this is in jest because I LOVE emergent! I think it is brilliant and even more so because I think it was unintentional brilliance. Nothing so succinctly captures the sociopathy and depravity of the elites than emergent kleptocracies. They REALLY ARE racing each other to the top of that inverse pyramid of the most corrupt. Except I’m sure they’ll give it some douchie moniker like “eat what you kill” or whatever other such contemporary nonsense they call it currently.

    2. Anon

      1) Where does this depleted uranium (DU) originate?

      2) Why are several thousand containers of DU being stored at a petrochemical complex, and not, say, at Rokkasho?

      Because if I was looking to store DU, I’d definitely put it next to a highly inflammable fuel source. Not.


      1. Sanctuary

        LOL, exactly! It’s getting to the point that everything seems absurd. It’s like the powers that be are begging for disasters.

      2. Sanctuary

        Actually I forgot it’s Earth Day. I guess this is how the Japanese planned to ring it in.

        1. wunsacon

          LOL! Could be more than that. Maybe Japan’s trying to summon Godzilla.

          (Oops…did I God-win-zilla the Japan/nuke thread?? Sorry.)

          1. Sanctuary

            LOL! I think this is what the scenario was:

            Japanese Government – “Earth Day? We’ll show that b%$*! Mother Nature who’s boss!” The rest is now history.

            The Keystone Kops nature of this absurd level of corruption, incompetence, and apocalypse is for some reason really making me laugh today. It must really be as bad or worse than even I think it is.

  5. Hugh

    Krugman is an Establishment shill. He is also a Democratic shill. The two often overlap. Well, he is also a shill most of the time for Bernanke and the Fed as well. Again lots of overlap.

    As we saw recently, he has no understanding of how money functions in the economy. And then there is his past support of free trade deals that have done so much to harm American workers. Oh, and let’s see. He knows nothing about oil speculation either.

    It raises an issue I think needs discussion. Why do we still look to economists at all, liberal or otherwise, treat them as respected leaders, when years into the current crises, they remain so far behind the curve, so wedded to blatantly false ideas and so blind to equally obvious realities, such as kleptocracy?

    1. different clue

      There could be quite a few economists worthy of respect and study, such as Frederick Soddy, Herman Daly, Charles Walters Jr., etc. etc. They just don’t get featured by the
      establishment or its MSM.

      Frederick Soddy did win a Nobel Prize, by the way. But he won it in physics.

  6. Lambert Strether

    Of course, I [snort] at “independent” and “principled” applied to the Nation as well, given their unflinching support for America’s First Black Fascist President. Just saying.

    UPDATE Adding… Only in the binary world of legacy party tribalism is “the enemy of my enemy my friend.” In fact, it’s just as likely that the enemy of my enemy is my enemy.

  7. Susan the other

    On Jamie Galbraith yesterday. Couldn’t get my comment through. Tried 3 times. Anybody else have that problem? He usually gets a lot more comments than he did.

    1. Hugh

      I think it’s WordPress. Sometimes it will just not accept a comment. If you resubmit it, it will say it is a duplicate comment and reject it. At the same time, it will accept a different comment, especially if it is only a line or two long. The other thing I have noticed is that sometimes screen will load and when it has finished, the content part of the screen, not the ads and header, will suddenly go blank. But re your first point, if you have spent any time writing a comment, that it doesn’t appear can be very frustrating.

      1. Bill the Psychologist

        It’s really best to compose the comment in something like Notepad, then copy/paste it into the website. If it eats it, you still have your copy.

        In fact if you’re into building a Comments Legacy, you could put all of your into a folder to save for posterity……

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    I guess it’s a lonely road, but the main dish here has always been the antidote du jour.

    Because it’s the main dish, it’s healthier if we have vegetable antidotes…like at least once a year or a decade.

  9. scraping_by

    RE: Megauploads

    This is actually a part of the current use of law enforcement: defeating opponents within the formalities of the law. Working as hired muscle for copyright interests, Federal law enforcement can keep this bunch under functional imprisonment as long as the writs hold out.

    This goes along with holding someone in jail without bail for years, as opposed to a trial that would free them. Or confiscating money and holding it until the owner can prove it’s not from drugs. Yesterday’s story about the FBI knocking progressive opponents off line under the cover of a criminal investigation (supposed bomb threat; that’s a story with nice big holes in it) is repeated under various pretexts on various citizens who all happen to be obnoxious to the Wall Street puppet government.

    It’s possible that the political operatives in the Bureau are a minority, but they’re a well-supported, unrestricted minority. You’ll know the democracy game is up when the Bureau is purged of the squared headed, simple law enforcement types. It’s the normal playbook.

    Because “enemy of the state” is not yet an explicit crime, the cops have to temporize.

  10. just me

    Suggested link:!/AGSchneiderman/status/193317775542984705

    Eric Schneiderman ‏ @AGSchneiderman

    Excellent piece on the loss of confidence in America’s institutions & how to restore it.

    He’s tweeting a link to National Journal story “In Nothing We Trust,” about an Indiana man who lost his house to foreclosure after his wife loses her job and their trial loan modification is canceled. A year later, living in a trailer, he gets fined by the city $300 for weeds at the house he no longer owns. “The city dinged me for tall weeds at my bank’s house.” He goes to City Hall to get it straightened out and is told by the city’s attorney that the house is still in his name.

    “It’s a fairly common practice,” he says. “Citi doesn’t want any liability should anybody get hurt on the property.”

    “So I’m liable for a house I don’t live in or own?” Whitmire sputters.

    Yes, Quirk says.

    The city changes the fine to a lien on the property, so whoever buys the house has to pay it, unless it’s this man, who dreams of buying his house back and goes and cuts the lawn.

    Nothing at all is said about holding Citi accountable or fixing a screwed-up title system.

    1. Bill the Psychologist

      that is totally amazing, and look at those beautiful twisted trunks of the vine. Thanks for that.

  11. Jessica

    Godzilla jokes aside, has anyone heard any rationale at all for why spent uranium was being stored next to a petrochemical plant?
    Surely there must have been some kind of (quite stupid) reason.
    I guess this is part of how the human race learns the importance of error correction (and of not letting anyone or anything switch it off).

  12. barrisj

    Hollande wins 1st-round voting, narrowly defeating Sarko, with Le Pen fille running a very strong 3rd place. Now we’ll see Sarko cut all sorts of deals with the FN…anti-immigration/anti-Islam will prominently feature in 2nd-round campaigning…and, of course, sops held out to the petit bourgeois shopkeeper class via “lower taxes”, the usual bollocks. Very disappointed in the groupement de Gauche getting only ca. 10% or so in today’s polling. Hollande needed to receive well above 1/3 of the vote going into 2nd round, and he didn’t even get 29%.

  13. Ken Houghton

    Correction: I posted it, but Paul Krugman is Very Very Wrong” should be credited to Mike Kimel.

    I agree with the post but my reasoning and argument are more similar to rjs’s above: it’s part of the “extend and pretend” that has turned a possible recovery into an attenuated decline. It’s Mike’s argument that Krugman is responding to, not mine.

    And it matters, in answer to the query above, because people such as Krugman and DeLong has keep getting the fundamentals wrong, and they are our best hope for teaching the future how to avoid making the same mistakes.

    1. b.

      Meet “Best Hope” Krug-tool-hu… Yet Another Progressive Hero Stockholm syndrome?

      I really like this part of the “very wrong” post:
      “Perhaps things might look different if the Fed followed more of a Banco do Brasil model, where the public could borrow directly from the Central Bank. But as things stand, pace Krugman, the Fed’s interventions since the recession began have only increased the spread between the rate at which banks can borrow and the rate at which they can loan out money.”

      Krugman is not the problem, but he surely is not part of the solution either. His claim to (hero) fame dates to the vocal criticism of Bush in an era of Institutional Affirmation of Current Administration. These days, he is offering unsolicited advice to the Fedborg (his word) – everything there has been said already, just not by every blogger yet. If he were to Do Obama the way he did Bush, maybe he would be part of any hopium mix, but he does not, and is not.

      1. b.

        PK is now part of Institutional Affirmation of Current Administration. It is all technocratic advice, “If only the Czar would understand” musings, none of the “He is lying” calls regarding The Emperors New Mind.

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