Links 6/3/12

Queen to lead giant jubilee flotilla in London Reuters

Royal mashup of the Queen’s hats Brisbane Times

Egyptians March in Outrage Over Former Ruler Mubarak’s Life Sentence ABC

Protests grow in Tahrir after Mubarak verdict Al Jazeera English

History Offers an Ugly Precedent for a Greek Euro Exit Bloomberg (SW)

HSBC Tests Cash Machines in Athens for Drachmas Greek Reporter. (The lead says “has tested.” No date, “banking sources.” Manipulation? Genuine slip(s)?)

Food Shortage in Peloponnesian Prisons Due to State Budget Cuts Greek Reporter

Analysis: Greeks count mental health cost of a country in crisis Reuters

Spain calls for new euro fiscal authority Reuters

Paul Vallely: Spain – too big to fail, not too big to bail Independent

Spain’s Game of Chicken Atlantic

Spain could see us out of both Euros Irish Independent

Florida Versus Spain Times Krugman

World’s Richest Lose $24 Billion as Adelson Fortune Drops Bloomberg

Remarks at the Festival of Economics, Trento Italy George Soros

The Three Issues in the European Crisis Brad DeLong

One scenario for the eurozone Marginal Revolution

Quickstep to restarting reactors Japan Times. Based on “stress tests.”

Fracking Fatalities In These Times

Photo of ‘napalm girl” from Vietnam War turns 40 AP

Reputational Sanctions in an Age of Internet Manipulation? Credit Slips

The Simplicity Solution Times Nocera

Sweep the Sleaze Information Architects. Share buttons.

A Competent CTO Can Say No Another Word For it

Tea Party and Occupy activists rub shoulders at Bilderberg protest Guardian

Here’s The Chart That Will Get Obama Fired… Henry Blodget

Lib Dems suffer plunge in party membership Independent

Climate Change Causing Hummingbird Missed Connections LiveScience

Supervolcanoes that could destroy humanity ‘may explode sooner than scientists thought’ Independent

The Brokers with Hands on Their Faces Blog. Time to revive the classic?

Antidote du jour (hat tip Valley Girl)

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. K Ackermann

    Reputational risk – it so friggin’ figures a company would offer services of deception. They must feel so great at the end of the day knowing they helped prevent others from learning the truth. Your mother and father must be so proud of you.

    Maybe they can offer services the other way, too. They can service Sneetches, adding and removing stars on their bellies.

    Learn to swim, because it all has to get flushed.

  2. Hugh

    Soros is just another liberal blatherer opining about how to fix things if elites like those he belongs to weren’t as big looters as he is. We live in a kleptocracy of looting. Having one of the prime looters tell us what to do without addressing the issue of looting is just an exercise in distraction.

    And what is up with the misuse of metaphors?

    “That is because natural phenomena consist of facts that unfold independently of any statements that relate to them.”

    “Their lack of perfect knowledge or fallibility introduces an element of indeterminacy into the course of events that is absent when the events relate to the behavior of inanimate object.”

    Apparently, Soros has never heard of quantum mechanics, Schrodinger’s cat paradox, or Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle.

    1. craazyman

      nah, he’s heard of them and probably read the layman’s books about them (I’d guess anyway, maybe not), but he just grabs what he needs if it sounds good and goes with it. he can afford to. haha.

      and those of us who can’t, we have the peanut gallery.

      1. craazyman

        It all reminds me of the Beach Boy’s song Sloop John B.

        What the hell was he doing on a sloop with his grandfather anyway, and getting into a fight and having the cook throw away his grits?

        I mean WTF?

        If you read the lyrics, they don’t make any sense at all. Zero. None. But it sure sounds good when they sing them.

        That’s the way nearly everything is. Thus I have determined through revelation. It’s the underlying rhythm and pace and pulse, not so much the words. everything is like that. almost.

      1. Chris Rogers

        Good shout on that link and just watched Psywar for the first time – I note the resemblance to Adam Curtis documentaries.

        Particularly like the ‘revisionist’ interpretation of the Continental Convention and anti-democratic basis of the USA as envisaged by Madison – thank God the Uk does not have a written constitution or veneration for criminals that is present in the US and its educational system.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I still think the most relevant movement is ‘Occupy Hearts and Minds,’ and not to occupy any physicality.

  3. J. Sterling

    The world’s richest are not like you and me, it’s normal and expected that their fortunes should rise and fall with the business cycle, like breathing. Indeed, it’s a good rough definition of “rich”: can you keep your assets in the market, however low it goes, and still have something at the bottom that will appreciate as the market rises again? If not, you can’t afford to play with the rich people.

    The value of an asset is just what it will fetch in rent. They’re always delighted when the value of their assets goes up in a boom; if they don’t like it going down in a bust, they shouldn’t have booms and busts. It’s not like it’s our fault they sweep each other up in delusional bubbles and then have panic attacks.

  4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    They should abolish the death penalty in Egypt.

    Everywhere for that matter.

  5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    They can ‘stress test’ their nuclear reactors all they want in Japan, but to restore public confidence, they will also need to change their accounting rules, sorry, rules of physics.

    It will help if the Association of Physicists in Japan meet to temporarily suspend the laws of radiation, for example.

  6. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Spain and Greece.

    We will see if marathons only happen in Greece – the latest should hopefully be finished in a couple of weeks, unless they prefer long, lingering pain over short, sharp pain, or they fear their own sovereign currency.

  7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Today’s antidote.

    Is it actually Economic Lesson Du Jour?

    Todays, we will talk about the Substitution Priniciple.

    It happens when cat food is too expensive, for example.

    Cats then will switch to dog food, which is cheaper.

    And that’s why this cat is inflation-worry-free. She looks like she is nude-sun-bathing in the French Riviera.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Disclaimeer: Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. Check with your vet before attempting any Substitution Principle.

  8. Jim Haygood

    Re ‘napalm girl’ Kim Phuc — the song remains the same:

    Nineteen sixties

    Hey, hey, LBJ!
    How many kids did you kill today?

    Twenty teens

    Hey, hey, Barack Hussein!
    How many Third World kids have you slain?

    No photos of Pakistani girls burned by Obugger’s missiles are in the Lamestream Media in this decade’s Permanent War — that ain’t allowed no more. After all, there’s an election campaign underway.

    1. TK421

      Well, if those girls didn’t want to be incinerated by American missiles, they shouldn’t have stood next to Al-Qaeda’s second in command.

  9. Cathryn Mataga

    “As things stand, Spain is resisting ECB pressure to apply for an Irish-style bailout and is holding out for an EU mechanism to recapitalise their banjaxed banks. With the Brussels-based Centre for European Policy Studies thinktank having already estimated that the Spanish banks will need to write off up to €270bn of bad loans, Germany and the ECB are strongly resisting Spanish efforts to have Europe (ie: Germany) pick up the tab.”

    Reminds me of the that Monty Python bit “This man has learned the first rule of ‘Not being seen’ — don’t stand up, err, don’t recap your banks.”

    Recap the banks and then the debt is transferred to the sovereign, and then the austerity death spiral starts — you explode.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Not all austerity plans are bad.

      There are austerity plans for the 99.99%.

      And there are austerity plans for the 0.01%.

      You just have to choose correctly.

    2. craazyman

      I’m serious. They should print just enough pesetas to cover their primary deficits and accept those currencies for taxes (which they wouldn’t get anyway). Why not? What’s wrong with two currencies? Nothing. That’ll jump start things and make it easier to earn and pay with urOEs.

      People need to understand what money is. People do this all the time. It’s like starting a new personality in your head. Today is the first day of the rest of your life — and the fat drunken slob you are is gonna fight it out with the buff athlete over-acheiver that eware gonnaB. This is just life, man. Print it up!

      1. F. Beard

        What’s wrong with two currencies? Nothing. craazyman

        Agree! And that would reduce the demand for Euros and thus make private debts easier to pay?

        1. craazyman

          word on dude!

          the reality of the situation is the nature of the cooperational social structures. these are what give money value. the money doesn’t have a priori value, as if it were some apple on a tree. it’s nothing but the embodiment of the cooperational structure’s productivity.

          this is a revolution worthy of copernicus (well, that may be an exaggeration haahh). it’s not that complicated.

          right now the cooperational structures have been broken and everybody is sitting around doing nothing. there’s a natural rate of sitting around, but right now, more people are sitting aroudn than want to be.

          the operational pysche that used to animate them has been demolished. so there needs to be a new operational pysche, created ex-nihilo, like any form of dreaming, to animate the cooperation.and get the arms and legs and eyes moving around doing things with each other. that’s what they call “making momey”, and the money only has existence due to the arms and legs ande eyes.

          1. skippy

            Have you both read… IMF working paper

            Financial network analysis is used to provide firm level bottom up holistic
            visualizations of interconnections of financial obligations in global OTC
            derivatives …


            Skippy… Inter-connectivity…. Everything is infected… everything… Its like a fish and loaves story I once heard of… Derivatiize the fish and loaves and then feed it to everyone… what!… the cooks did not wash their hands! and they had AIDS!

            PS. If Capitalism is about risk and the rewards one has as a chance of winning… WTF happened…. fairy tales methinks.

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    First, they played the Spanish Fly game as they were over-stimulated.

    Now, they play the Spanish Chicken game.

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Wells Fargo seizes Stockton City Hall building.

    Now, I think it’s possible for corporations to go after cities should their GM (for some, it stands for ‘God Mocking’) seeds land on any city hall lots.

  12. Mark P.

    Pfeh. Some items may be too idiotic even for the MSM.

    Out there in the real world, 46 reactors are scheduled to start up from 2012 to 2014, mostly in Asia —

    14 Reactors in 2012

    2012 India, NPCIL Kaiga 4 PHWR 202
    2012 Iran, AEOI Bushehr 1 PWR 950
    2012 Russia, Rosenergoatom Kalinin 4 PWR 950
    2012 Korea, KHNP Shin Kori 2 PWR 1000 (Jan)
    2012 Korea, KHNP Shin Wolsong 1 PWR 1000 (Jan)
    2012 Canada, Bruce Pwr Bruce A1 PHWR 769 (April)
    2012 Canada, Bruce Pwr Bruce A2 PHWR 769 (Sept)
    2012 Canada, NB Power Point Lepreau 1 PHWR 635
    2012 Argentina, Atucha 2 PHWR 692 (July)
    2012 India, NPCIL Kudankulam 1 PWR 950
    2012 India, NPCIL Kudankulam 2 PWR 950
    2012 China, CNNC Qinshan phase II-4 PWR 650
    2012 China, CGNPC Hongyanhe 1 PWR 1080
    2012 China, CGNPC Ningde 1 PWR 1080

    14 Reactors in 2013
    2013 Slovakia, SE Mochovce 3 PWR 440
    2013 Korea, KHNP Shin Wolsong 2 PWR 1000
    2013 Korea, KHNP Shin-Kori 3 PWR 1350
    2013 USA, TVA Watts Bar 2 PWR 1180
    2013 Russia Leningrad II-1 PWR 1070
    2013 China, CNNC Sanmen 1 PWR 1250
    2013 China, CGNPC Ningde 2 PWR 1080
    2013 China, CGNPC Yangjiang 1 PWR 1080
    2013 China, CGNPC Taishan 1 PWR 1700
    2013 China, CNNC Fangjiashan 1 PWR 1080
    2013 China, CNNC Fuqing 1 PWR 1080
    2013 China, CGNPC Hongyanhe 2 PWR 1080
    2013 Slovakia, SE Mochovce 4 PWR 440
    2013 India, Bhavini Kalpakkam FBR 470

    18 or 19 Reactors in 2014
    2014 Finland, TVO Olkilouto 3 PWR 1600
    2014 Russia Vilyuchinsk PWR x 2 70
    2014 Russia NovovoronezhII-1 PWR 1070
    2014 Taiwan Power Lungmen 1 ABWR 1300
    2014 Japan, Chugoku Shimane 3 ABWR 1375
    2014 China, CNNC Sanmen 2 PWR 1250
    2014 China, CPI Haiyang 1 PWR 1250
    2014 China, CGNPC Ningde 3 PWR 1080
    2014 China, CGNPC Hongyanhe 3 PWR 1080
    2014 China, CGNPC Hongyanhe 4 PWR 1080
    2014 China, CGNPC Yangjiang 2 PWR 1080
    2014 China, CGNPC Taishan 2 PWR 1700
    2014 China, CNNC Fangjiashan 2 PWR 1080
    2014 China, CNNC Fuqing 2 PWR 1080
    2014 China, CNNC Changjiang 1 PWR 650
    2014 Korea, KHNP Shin-Kori 4 PWR 1350
    2014? Japan, EPDC/J Power Ohma 1 ABWR 1350
    2014 Russia, Rosenergoatom Rostov 3 PWR 1070
    2014 Russia, Rosenergoatom Beloyarsk 4 FNR 750

  13. Mark P.

    As for Japan —

    ‘Japan Reactor Restart Countdown: Approaching Zero?’

    ‘ …more and more signs are now suggesting that Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda will give a formal order to restart two nuclear reactors at the Oi plant in western Japan next week. It would then take two or three weeks to get each one up and running.

    ‘A key turning point came Thursday morning, when Toru Hashimoto — mayor of Osaka and Japan’s most popular politician — effectively backed down from his previous position of opposing the Oi restarts, and gave his “approval” to bringing the reactors back on line — albeit, he said, just “temporarily.”’

    1. wb

      Idiotic ? You expect me to take your word on that, Mark P. ? Seems to me the lady had a lot of evidence to support her claims. I don’t take either of your posts as at all reassuring, rather as indicators of typical human idiocy. People don’t learn.

  14. DSP

    Ah,Lambert while you’re giving the horse tips….
    Down here(or down eeya) as an election comes close the local bookies start offering odds on the candidates and the media starts reporting them.
    So,has anybody started that up there and if so what are they?

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