Links 6/5/12

Securitise the Queen Bright Green Scotland (SW)

Is Global Financial Reform Possible? Paul Volcker

Merrill Losses Were Withheld Before Bank of America Deal Times Gretchen Morgenson. Key graf per Yves:

Lewis says he didn’t inform shareholders “because he had been advised by the bank’s law firm, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, and by other bank executives that it was not necessary,” in the NYT’s words.”

For the reason, see here at “secondary liability.”

Bank of America’s Merrill scandal reignites CJR

MF Global trustee: Corzine mismanaged firm’s growth Reuters

Mapping MF Global’s cash FT Alphaville. Nifty diagram.

BIS warns global lending contracting at fastest pace since 2008 Lehman crisis Telegraph Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Factory Orders in U.S. Unexpectedly Dropped in April Bloomberg

Falling Oil Prices Are No Mystery Business Week

FedEx Retires 24 Jets to Cut Costs as U.S. Shipments Fall Bloomberg

1937 Krugman. Keen chart.

The risk hairball Reuters

Our volatile age defies spreadsheet strategy FT

Market rumor: Pimco and JP Morgan halt vacations to prepare for economic crash Examiner (hat tip Scott). So how does one prepare for a crash, aside from going short and praying that your counterparties are money good? Or just lobby harder?

You Can’t Blame The Economy On The Weather Economic Populist

Banks weigh awkward truths on storage FT

CEPR Co-Directors Call on Federal Reserve to Intervene in Spanish Bond Market FDL

Debt-free and proud: Greece under the leftists AFP

SYRIZA not a threat to the euro, Tsipras says Ekathimerini

“Terror-Mongering” in Greece About to Backfire? Will Greeks Vote for “Complete Idiots”? Four Possibilities Mish

U.S. again bombs mourners Salon Glenn Greenwald

Japanese Manufacturers Are Reversing Everything That Made The Country An Economic Powerhouse Business Insider

Eating the Seed Corn? Consumption in the American Economy Since 1929 Angry Bear

Who benefits from the oil sands? Who benefits from saying that only Alberta does? Worthwhile Canadian Initiative

Report: GSA handed out $1 million to workers under investigation McClatchy

Another Reason Not to Like the Insurance Industry Financial Argmageddon

New economy fallout – ‘wage theft’ from paychecks McClatchy. Because they can.

Sleeping In Vermont Dumpster Shows Psychiatric Cuts’ Cost Bloomberg (SW)

$312,000 Cell Phone Proves Talk Isn’t Cheap Bloomberg (SW). God forbid that the super rich have a cell phone like the ones the rest of us carry.

Facebook Explores Giving Kids Access WSJ. What could go wrong?

Cats away! Artist turns his dead pet into flying helicopter after it is killed by a car Daily Mail (scraping). Beware, anti-antidote!

Tiananmen Date Match Bars Searches for China Stock Index Bloomberg. 64.89 (SHCOMP).

Ridley Scott’s Prometheus Examines the Roots of Alien’s Mythology Scientific American

* * *

D – 95 and counting*.

“When the President does it, that means it is not illegal.” — Richard Nixon

Montreal. Changes in student leadership with semester’s end: CLASSE: Camille Robert (UQAM history major; CLAC (FR/EN) was elected as a co-spokesperson to serve alongside Nadeau-Dubois and Reynolds. Event: “[W]e will have a discussion about the relationship of nonviolence to the diversity of tactics [sic].” Thread: 1. “Over 40,000 jobs in Montreal are generated by tourism. And a heck of a lot of part time jobs all summer during festival season. (Jobs often filled by students as summer jobs.) 2. “To be fair, they haven’t said they will disrupt any festivals – GND said that they’d be ‘visible’ there.” 3. “It’s not about money, but I guess if money is the only thing that matters to [the first commenter], he wouldn’t understand a fight on principle for the greater good.” “‘Students are not at all against the summer festivals, as a big part of its labour force are students,’ FEUQ president Martine Desjardins reassured [Jus pour Rire festival organizer] Rozon.” “The Hotel Association of Greater Montreal says hotel booking are down 25 percent this summer compared to last.” Montreal-based writer Marc Bonhomme on Hochelaga-Maissoneuve meeting: Committees formed in support of CLASSE, one for a “social (general) strike.” CUTV interview: “Our content gives space to people who are not represented in mass media, that is the mandate of community radio as framed by the CRTC, the government body which governs broadcasting in Canada. …. [People] are canceling their cable packages and donating to CUTV.”

DC. “Erupting urinal soaks House press gallery.” Will anyone notice? Seriously: Infrastructure! “The Capitol Police asked me if I wanted to press charges against Ferris for false imprisonment for barricading me into the room, but I declined.”

AL. Siegelman case: When is a campaign donation a bribe? Supreme Court will not hear case.

FL. “The Obama staffer then proceeded to arbitrarily and contradictory to the rules approved by DNC, set a higher threshold then the 10% for elimination.” “In 200 Florida cases where the “stand your ground” defense was invoked, 70 percent of defendants were let go, according to the Tampa Bay Times. These included cases where the defendant had shot someone in the back, or while the victim was lying down.”

IA. “According to a Gallup poll last week, the highest ratio of “undecideds” in the US is in IA, which also happens to be the state that has been most exposed to the candidates.”

IN. “In a 6-3 ruling Monday, the [Supreme Court] upheld the [Indianapolis]’s decision to refuse to refund taxes that some homeowners paid up front while it forgave the remaining taxes for people who paid on an installment plan.”

MA. “E-mails between Brown’s legislative director and US Treasury Department officials show that Brown advocated for a loose interpretation of the law so that banks could more easily engage in high-risk investments. ”

MI. “The Obama campaign also is recruiting different surrogates this time around, like the tight-knit community of Detroit ministers, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon and state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing.” Surrogates from 2008 are gone, toxic, or in financial crisis mode.

NY. “The New York Police Department, the mayor and the city’s top prosecutors on Monday endorsed a proposal to decriminalize the open possession of small amounts of marijuana, giving an unexpected lift to an effort by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to cut down on the number of people arrested as a result of police stops.”

OH. “Records recently obtained by Plunderbund show that [AG] DeWine rejected the opinion of career government attorneys in order to assist Governor Kasich’s effort to privatize state prisons, sending a clear message that politics is more important to him than the rule of law.”

RI. Poster: “Extraordinary Rendition Band, Instruments made and Played by Nathan Bishop Middle School.” Sigh.

TX. “Statewide, 21 percent of the people who received purge letters later proved they were valid voters…” “He is accused of forging five checks on the Federal Reserve Bank of Georgia to purchase a 2011 Cadillac Escalade, a 2009 Lexus, a 2010 Chevrolet Corvette, a 2008 Land Rover and a 2011 BMW, Gilliland said. … ‘He believes he can just write checks off the Federal Reserve because all Americans have the right to do that.'”

VA. “Never did I expect that someone would be elected to represent Virginia Democrats who never asked the convention attendees for their vote.”

WI. Athenae: “It’s not just the cavalier ‘I don’t wanna, I got mine, screw you,’ not from all of them. Not from those who aren’t billionaires but from those who’ve listened to what the billionaires have to say. Who’ve been fed hate and fear for months now, hate and fear of their neighbors, hate and fear of their own futures, and worst of all, hate and fear of their own history.” Walker: “I think that, aside from my own self-interest, if the state wants to move forward and get beyond this, the only way to do that is for me to win the election.” The beatings will continue… Union President if Walker wins: “I would have to redouble my efforts and work that much harder, especially for Obama in the fall.”

Journal-Sentinel headline: Document suggests Walker stalled inquiry. So who dropped the dime to the JS? Pierce: “[Indicted Walker confidante] Tim Russell’s lawyer — and, therefore, Tim Russell — had made public damaging information about Scott Walker … It is not unreasonable to assume that this either was a warning shot — take care of me or you’re going down, too — or evidence that Russell already has rolled.” “[Some] voters probably believe that recalls should be reserved for criminal wrong-doing, and the John Doe probe of Walker’s county executive office aides might not be enough for them.”

“Here’s a few things you can do tomorrow in WI (and one thing you can do even if you’re not in WI), to help cover at least a few of the bases where computer tabulation systems can either be gamed or might simply malfunction to report inaccurate results..

Greens. MI nominee: “A simple, 12-word platform. “End the war[s]. Tax the rich. Jobs for everyone. Medicare for all.”

Ron Paul. LA: “The convention voted to make a Paul supporter named Henry Herford, Jr. its president. The Borg earlier had ‘appointed’ of its own to be president. Herford was asked to leave. He refused. The police were called in and Herford was hauled off to the hoosegow, allegedly with his artificial hip broken in the scuffle….”

Libertarians. No Eleventh Commandment

Inside Baseball. “That’s interesting: a meeting of the Bilderberg steering committee at the Four Seasons in Washington? In January? But according to Bilderberg’s official website, ‘Bilderberg’s only activity is its annual conference’.” Pay no attention…. “Independents are mostly partisans, Chapter Gazillion.” Hillary 2016 trial balloons: “… a parlor game of the highest magnitude…” And therefore fun! Mann/Ornstein, of “Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem” fame, finally on the teebee. “After chronicling the White House’s work on targeted killings, [the Times] should mount a similarly intensive investigation of the impact of those killings on the ground. ”

Robama vs. Obomney Watch. On foreign policy: “In practice, “[Romney] may well pick up where Mr Obama left off, as the latter did from George W. Bush across a surprisingly wide canvas.”

Jawbs. Obama surrogate LaBolt: “Romney’s goal wasn’t job creation, as he claims. It was profit maximization for himself and his partners.” Huh? Capitalists not “job creators”? Obstruction narrative: “So it’s no surprise that, behind closed doors, Republicans are high-fiving about today’s lousy jobs numbers which were the worst in a year.” So the Ds really didn’t know what the Rs were in 2008? Puh-leeze. They are who we thought they were! “Republicans in several swing states walk a tightrope when criticizing the speed of the economic recovery. In states like VA, MI and FL, where unemployment rates have dropped in the past several years, surrogates for the Romney campaign acknowledge that they’ve seen an economic uptick in their own states.”

Romney. “Only 42 percent of voters in the poll have a negative view of Romney, who held only a 34 percent favorability rating in CNN’s poll in February,” a “huge jump.” Bundling: “In politics, a bundler plays a critical role in providing the life blood of a campaign: money. … Romney keeps his bundlers’ names secret.” Out-of-touch narrative: “…The video of Wintour sporting a silken Obama 2012 scarf and urging supporters to attend a New York fundraiser next week — released the same day as the meager jobs numbers…”

Obama. Hippies punch back: “[The legendary] Morford encouraged voters to see Obama as a transcendent superbeing. Yet it’s those who have nuts-n-bolts policy objections to his tenure that are childishly unrealistic.” Campaign Manager Messina: “We’re going to run the most sophisticated grass roots campaign the country has ever seen.” “Obama’s 2008 donors don’t give in 2012. … ‘I wish he was the socialist they accused him of being.'” “[T]his new method of fundraising – stars touting a cheap lottery to meet a politician – seems a speck unseemly. Or is it? It could be argued that such a low-dough amount allows the common folk [!!] the chance to hob-nob with the Obamas, Parker and Wintour, or Romney and Trump, depending on your political disposition.” ” … [A]n Obama grill spatula for $40…” Jeebus, I could pick up a couple of wedgies at Wal-Mart for that!

* 95 days ’til the Democratic National Convention feasts on 100% pure Hawaiian Macadamia nuts on the floor of the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. Route 95

* * *

Antidote du jour (YesMaybe):

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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. F. Beard

    re Libertarians. No Eleventh Commandment… :

    One reason I quit considering myself a libertarian is I could not come to a consistent libertarian philosophy despite years (decades?) of trying. My bet is that no one else can either.

    1. MacCruiskeen

      That was your problem? The only people who have a consistent ideology are the dead ones.

      1. F. Beard

        Another one is Romans 13:1-7.

        Also, the fact that many libertarians are hypocrites and/or fascists in disguise.

  2. Goin' South

    Interesting link as Wisconsin votes today:

    A video featuring a Wisconsin AFT member with a compelling critique of how the vibrant Wisconsin movement was diverted into more “elect Democrats” foolishness, thus losing momentum. She said her own union had taken a top-down approach, insisting that its members concentrate solely on working for the election of Dems rather than organizing or even adapting to their new, reduced-dues situation.


    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Yep. The Capitol occupations were a bridge between the Arab Spring and Zucotti Park, but nobody remembers them now, except the participants, of course. They aren’t part of the discourse.

  3. Jim Haygood

    From CEPR [Center for Egregious Politicized Rants]:

    Since the eurozone crisis is affecting unemployment in the United States, and threatens to raise it further, it is within the Fed’s mandate to act in this situation.

    Furthermore, the intervention [in Spanish bonds] would come at no cost to the U.S. taxpayer, and the Fed would accumulate foreign assets in its reserve holdings.

    Nonsense. Evidently the first sentence refers to the Fed’s dual mandate of maintaining price stability and employment. But the Federal Reserve Act also contains explicit definitions of acceptable collateral for discounting, which do not include Spanish bonds. Statutes affecting the Fed have to be read in their entirety, not just cherrypicked for their most general and nebulous provisions.

    With Spanish bond prices dropping daily, such intervention would be at ‘no cost to the taxpayer’ only if Spanish bonds were valued at cost instead of market. Gulling taxpayer victims with flimflam accounting seems to be just fine with Weisbrot and Baker.

    Spain is in a serious jam mopping up a busted real estate bubble. But the U.S. has yet to mop up its own busted housing bubble … one created by madcap fiat-currency check-kiters like Weisbrot and Baker. Fool me twice, shame on … well, we won’t get fooled again!

    1. F. Beard

      … one created by madcap fiat-currency Jim Haygood

      Gold-bug are you?

      Is fascism the answer to fascism?

  4. Andrew DeWit

    The Reuters story on “Japanese Manufacturers” represents conserving power as burdensome. That’s absurd. Japan’s rapid adoption of LEDs, business energy management systems and other tech is saving firms and households in power costs. The rapid diffusion of this and other clean tech is also driving down prices. The real problem is poor governance at the centre, especially the prime minister who thinks that raising taxes in a recession is wise. He should be cheerleading the deployment of clean tech, and seeing that smart subsidies help these firms install more of it. But he’d rather fire up nukes, sans credible regulations and a regulatory authority, because the big banks want their huge loans to Tepco and the other utilities paid down. Yet in spite of this incompetent leadership and collusive capitalism at the centre, Japan’s got more than enough prefectures, cities and towns doing the smart thing. Sometimes destruction is creative, even with collateral damage. That’s what’s happening in Japan, and the faster the better.

  5. jsmith

    Regarding factory orders:


    Here’s a story sure to warm the heart:

    A coal mining activist testifies in front of Congress. Her presentation includes a photo of a 5 year old girl bathing in contaminated water and of course the effing perverts that make up our elite have her questioned on charges of child pornography.

    And if that’s not enough, enjoy this little story that speaks to how the Western funded rebels are successfully driving Syria towards intervention and war.

    Every American should understand that our leaders are perverted murderers.

  6. Wilbur

    About Fedex. Screw those bastards. The guy that started it is a pal of George Bush Jr. They avoid U.S. taxes by pretending to be in the Cayman Islands.

    Use UPS. UPS treats its workers well, gives them benefits and doesn’t treat them like human commodities.

    FedEx ‘s treatment of people who appear by almost any standard as employees but are treated for tax purposes as independent contractors has prompted numerous lawsuits.

    It’s possible that their scheme will eventually be ruled illegal. But for too many workers, being thrown away like they’re a piece of garbage is too familiar.

    The job pressures on Americans have been mounting for many years. NYT reporter Louis Uchitelle has been writing about the effects of layoffs and corporate downsizing for years, including a book, The Disposable American: Layoffs and their Consequences. Many Americans are understandably worried about losing their jobs.

    But as Uchitelle describes this morning, worries about the existence of jobs may mean that not enough attention is being given to the fact that increasing numbers of jobs pay too little to keep workers in the middle class

  7. owenfinn

    I`m with Andrew DeWit regarding that Reuters piece on “Japanese Manufacturers”. The purpose of the article is to build support for re-starting the nuclear plants. Pretty slick propaganda really.

    What is frustrating is that the people seem willing to make sacrifices in order to keep the nuke plants shut down and to bide time for alternative energy systems to be developed, yet it seems ovious that the government is not doing everything they can – one noisy, glaring example, how about shutting down pachinko parlors? I`d be willing to bet that there are at least a half dozen with lights a-blazing at all hours, just within blocks of the factory mentioned. Supposedly, in Tokyo, they are responsible for burning more energy than the subway system.

    A student of mine,(I live in Yokohama) works for a manufacturer of insulation materials for nuclear plants. He actually said black-outs this summer would be a good thing because it would convince people of the need for nuclear energy.

    Lots of selfish people here too.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I saw that subtext. The detail is interesting though. Even of the cherries are picked, they are still cherries, though, if you see what I mean.

  8. Harvey

    You forgot “CA” in the news today.

    Diane Feinstein is trying one more round before the mausoleum grabs her. This almost 80 year old benefactress of the Military Industrial Complex is ready to serve her
    special constituents and her own pocketbook in the Community property state.

    “Mrs. Feinstein first offered Oct. 30 to help the FDIC secure money for its effort to stem the rise of home foreclosures. Her letter was sent just days before the agency determined that CB Richard Ellis Group (CBRE) – the commercial real estate firm that her husband Richard Blum heads as board chairman – had won the competitive bidding for a contract to sell foreclosed properties that FDIC had inherited from failed banks.”

    According to The Center for Public Integrity, Senator Feinstein’s husband Richard Blum has racked in millions of dollars from Perini, a civil infrastructure construction company, of which the billionaire investor wields 75 percent of the voting share.

    In April 2003 the US Army Corps of Engineers dived out $500 million to Perini to provide services for Iraq’s central command. A month earlier in March 2003, Perini was awarded $25 million to design and construct a facility to support the Afghan National Army near Kabul. And in March 2004, Perini was awarded a hefty contract worth up to $500 million for “electrical power distribution and transmission” in the southern Iraq.

    Senator Feinstein, who sits on the Appropriations Committee as well as the Select Committee on Intelligence, is reaping the benefits of her husband’s investments.

    I’m voting for the anti-war Republican senatorial candidate Rick Williams and the only anti-war presidential candidate: Ron Paul.

    1. Ms G

      Not from West Coast (thus not up on shenanigans of the good Senators from the sunny state)but would this Senator Feinstein be one of those Republicans who occasionally makes statements in public or at legislative sessions to the effect that We Need Smaller Government and the “leeches” who rely on “handouts” just have to pull themselves up by the bootstraps, pioneer style . . .

      All the while shoveling california tax dollars to her husband’s richly-publicly funded war businesses?

      1. Ms G

        Oops, sorry about the huge faux-pas in this comment. Just realized this is none other than THE DEMOCRATIC Dianne F. So it’s just part and parcel with — “give rubes a few bucks in social programs while we, up here in the Senate, shovel billions to ourselves and our cronies.”

        After reading your post, though, if I were voting in California I would vote the same as you. How gross.

  9. Shutterbuggery

    I don’t care how much that cellphone costs, you’re still gonna get in a taxi someday and find it laying on the seat.

  10. barrisj

    NYT has today’s Dr Drone story, about how Obama is playing “The Decider” on a daily basis along side his assassination guru John Brennan, as they choose the day’s “high-value target(s)”, or “signature targets”, as the criterion now has it. Once again, the Cheney-Bush evaluation of “MAM” – military-age males – as the chief “signature” for targeting by drone remains operative, and the Obama team has simply redefined retrospectively all those killed in drone attacks as “militants”, thereby neatly conserving for Obama his “morality” considerations when weighing the day’s victims. Read this article carefully, and you will understand the expression better, “banality of evil”.

    <blockquoteSecret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will

    President Obama, overseeing the regular Tuesday counterterrorism meeting of two dozen security officials in the White House Situation Room, took a moment to study the faces. It was Jan. 19, 2010, the end of a first year in office punctuated by terrorist plots and culminating in a brush with catastrophe over Detroit on Christmas Day, a reminder that a successful attack could derail his presidency. Yet he faced adversaries without uniforms, often indistinguishable from the civilians around them.

    “How old are these people?” he asked, according to two officials present. “If they are starting to use children,” he said of Al Qaeda, “we are moving into a whole different phase.”

    It was not a theoretical question: Mr. Obama has placed himself at the helm of a top secret “nominations” process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical. He had vowed to align the fight against Al Qaeda with American values; the chart, introducing people whose deaths he might soon be asked to order, underscored just what a moral and legal conundrum this could be.

    Mr. Obama is the liberal law professor who campaigned against the Iraq war and torture, and then insisted on approving every new name on an expanding “kill list,” poring over terrorist suspects’ biographies on what one official calls the macabre “baseball cards” of an unconventional war. When a rare opportunity for a drone strike at a top terrorist arises — but his family is with him — it is the president who has reserved to himself the final moral calculation.

    “He is determined that he will make these decisions about how far and wide these operations will go,” said Thomas E. Donilon, his national security adviser. “His view is that he’s responsible for the position of the United States in the world.” He added, “He’s determined to keep the tether pretty short.

    “How old are these people?”. Does it make any difference? By Obama’s reckoning, children in a “kill zone” are by definition being “used by al-Qaeda”, so a fitting drone target, in the manner of the teen-age son of “militant” Anwar Awlaki. BTW, have you noticed how many people being killed by drones recently have had alleged “connections to the USS Cole bombing”? There must be dozens of “militants” getting smoked today who have been implicated in the attack on the Cole, over 12 years ago. Remarkable that.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      This means that our “President” is not only “Commander in Chief” but also “Lord High Executioner.” Did the Constitution provide for that, actually? (oh, I forgot, the Constitution has been subverted/destroyed).

  11. kevinearick

    Empire Nutshells: Thin Skinned Bipolar Orthodoxy

    So, the institutions are beginning to have difficulty meeting payroll, despite the digitized surpluses broadcast, surprise, surprise.

    Your spirit, mind and body enter a room full of stupid. What do you expect to happen at time1, time2 & time3?

    Into a room full of stupid controlled by a handful of intelligence?

    Into a room full of stupid controlled by a computer?

    You have 7 floors of stupid, with a computer-controlled elevator. Stupid is stuck between floors. Is it an emergency on your part?

    Whether it is Romney or Obama leading the parade of stupid in circles, does it matter?

    If stupid threatens to fire you, do you care?

    Under what condition do you care?

    When “happiness” is measured, the primary association is family extension, which is why murder capitals in Mexico rate higher than gated communities in the US, and religion rates higher than education.

    Why does gold tend to posses the possessor? What is its income potential? What happens to gold when the fat cats pull out of currency? Where do they go next?

    Set your timer and learn.

    If you willingly give up your privacy, the State is all about intervening in your pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. If you trade in the privacy of others, do you have any expectation of privacy? What is a jury of your peers?

    Ever notice how those fleeing the corrupt police State in their own country repeat the behavior in the new one?

    Take another look at the standard marriage contract. Language trumps math and love trumps language, because the unknown cannot be defined. Parenting is not nearly so complicated as many assume. It is lack of resolve against the weight of empire, a mere superstition of peer pressure, which breaks most. One plus one averages to two. In most cases, it’s less. In some cases, it’s far more, because each is not necessarily unique, and a whole is made up of its constituent parts.

    We are the choices we make, whether we choose to recognize the unknown or not. Don’t venture into a universe of unknowns and expect to maintain a world of false assumptions. Last time I checked, the scientists could not rule out God and the priests could not rule out science, despite every legacy attempt to rule out individual sovereignty with both, and illegitimate government as the mock referee.

    To the extent your counter-currency is more effective than empire currency, empire bankruptcy recognition will accelerate. With an implicit currency, you give people what they need, which requires forethought. If they truly need it, your community economy will leverage the surplus return. To time the return back to you, test your priority of giving in a feedback loop. You will find that the standard marriage contract is the most effective investment over time, but try to prove me wrong. King Herod, Joseph, & Mary.

    Spend 10% of your time creating and maintaining an empire identity, so you can employ 90% pursuing your own investments. Develop effective habits; do not share private information about others. Don’t mistake false assumptions for love. Stupid is stupid no matter where you find it, and no one can f- you like your own. Turn false assumptions on their head to trap the trapper in the trap, and throw it on the heap with all the others.

    There are three problems that must be fixed:

    Old men are choosing the wrong young men to assist;
    Young men are taking the assistance for granted;
    Their wives are seeking Family Law; and
    (4) moms will be moms, fostering dependence without a counter-balance.

    …or it’s lights out for the United States.

    You’ll have that. Re-boot across the arbitrary geographic lines to bypass automated capital control. The old timers have retired to collect their pensions and are working in the background; there’s lots of clueless, young, dumb, and full of c- robots out there. Watch you’re a-.

    The only way to improve the system is to alter implicit breeding feedback. Money is money in the empire, low risk, high reward, and steal from the Girl Scouts. “Like a jackal looking at a piece of meat” and “dialed back,” perfect.

    Black holes in a staring contest.

    1. F. Beard

      The only way to improve the system is to alter implicit breeding feedback. kevinearick

      Such as banning perfume and men’s cologne? As environmental pollution?

      I agree. For better or worse we should know what the rest of humanity smells like.

  12. BondsOfSteel

    RE: The risk hairball
    RE: 1937 Krugman
    RE: Market rumor: Pimco and JP Morgan halt vacations to prepare for economic crash

    I like to see both side of an issue… even when I agree strongly with one. Does anyone believe we’re not headed into a recession? I’m having trouble finding anyone.

    How about:
    – The Fed has done extraordinary things in the past… maybe a surprise shock and awe QEIII could work wonders?
    – Oil demand is dropping. A sharp drop in oil prices could help consumers.
    – The ECB could start printing.

    I find these things unlikely… but still possiable..

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Actually, the oil drop is in there. Nine down. The Fed printing money if the ECB won’t. Eleven down.

      True, the conventional wisdom is often wrong, even when it’s the conventional wisdom of the hippies! One might regard the unanamity as suspicious, or as an opportunity, but that was what was out there yesterday. But a day is a long time in political economy! :-)

  13. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Re “BIS warning” recall how “history rhymes”:

    “TRADING WITH THE ENEMY: The Nazi-American Money Plot 1933-1949” by Charles Higham (1983; 1995).

    Reggie Middleton gives his clients tips on winning the next Big Short.

  14. ginnie nyc

    Re: New Economy Fallout – “Wage theft” from paychecks: I want to know why the H there are quotes around “wage theft”.

    This is a serious and chronic problem for home healthcare workers, as I know from extensive personal experience. My home attendants are continually being shorted prior-approved overtime, and even regularly worked hours. For example, my current aide worked 2 extra hours in mid-April. It’s only because I have made several direct calls to her agency that she will probably receive it this weekend – six weeks later.

    There is no qualification for this practice – it’s theft, pure and simple – and an intrinsic part of the homecare business model. Let’s remember that these women are paid between minimum wage and $10/hour, and are deliberately scheduled so they do not work more than 35 hours/week, when benefits would kick in.

    1. F. Beard

      re wage theft:

      Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure! Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you. James 5:1-6 New American Standard Bible (NASB) [emphasis added]

  15. Everythings Jake

    Here’s a brief item from Huffington Post that I think was inadvertently more revelatory about how deeply broken our electoral politics is than any I’ve seen this year. Bill Clinton o/b/o Obama and Mitt Romney delivered the exact same critique, veritably word for word, assuredly one each of their polling experts had honed, with the only difference being that Clinton blamed the circumstance on Romney and Romney blamed the circumstance on Obama.

  16. Jim

    Re: the NYT piece on the ML/BAC deal. That’s what jumped up at me as well. So long as you secure an OK from a law/accounting firm regarding a questionable transaction/maneuver, you’re golden.

  17. K Ackermann

    About our targeting rescuers and mourners with followup drone strikes… putting the repulsive behavior aside, there is no strategic advantage in these sick acts. There is no question that it fuels blowback, and therefore is a direct threat to US citizens.

    Things are out of control. There has been a 400% reduction in audits by the DCAA since 2008, representing $1 trillion in defense contracts that are currently unaudited. There are no checks and balances anywhere.

    So we can check things ourselves, legally. There are classes offered by various agencies on technical details of the various systems used by drone aircraft. Anyone willing to take these classes? They may involve getting a security clearence, which is a handy thing to have on a resume, anyway.

    We know the systems are vulnerable. Determined, we could obtain the knowledge to thwart these systems. I could design hardware and software that, at a minimum, could be used to jam the aircraft, and with some luck and/or decent telemetry, maybe take control and send it back where it came from.

    Maybe even the Department of Peace will give a grant.

  18. Lambert Strether Post author

    Guardian: NBC News has now called the recall election for Scott Walker – so he’s survived.

    Nice work, Dems. Weakening the unions and diverting the Capitol Occupation energy into the D roach motel, and holding WI for Obama in the general: It’s a three-fer!

  19. Lambert Strether Post author

    Guardian: “It sounds like Tom Barrett actually did worse than in 2010. The big difference seems to have been in absentee ballots.”

    So Obama was smart to let the guy drown, because otherwise he might have been dragged under himself. Politics ain’t beanbag.

  20. Lambert Strether Post author

    WI Senate races, Wapo:

    Results from four state Senate recalls are still outstanding. Democrats, who defeated two Republican state senators in recalls last summer, need one victory to win control of the state legislature’s upper chamber.

  21. Lambert Strether Post author

    To be clear, I don’t care about Barrett. I care about the people who stood in the snow who — and I know this will come as a surprise to you — the Ds deked into supporting them and then betrayed.

  22. Lambert Strether Post author


    1.09pm: With nearly 80% of the Wisconsin recall vote in, Scott Walker has an 11 point lead over Tom Barrett. So it wasn’t just the exit polling that was wrong, it was every single poll that showed this to be a close race

    Which wasn’t just Celinda Lake.

    1. skippy

      O’Dell’s fundraising

      In August 2003, Walden O’Dell, chief executive of Diebold, announced that he had been a top fund-raiser for President George W. Bush and had sent a get-out-the-funds letter to Ohio Republicans. In the letters he says he is “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.” Although he clarified his statement as merely a poor choice of words, critics of Diebold and/or the Republican party interpreted this as at minimum an indication of a conflict of interest, at worst implying a risk to the fair counting of ballots. He responded to the critics by pointing out that the company’s election machines division is run out of Texas by a registered Democrat. Nonetheless, O’Dell vowed to lower his political profile lest his personal actions harm the company. O’Dell resigned his post of chairman and chief executive of Diebold on 12 December 2005 following reports that the company was facing securities fraud litigation surrounding charges of insider trading.[5]Security and concealment issues

      For more information in the 2004 elections see: 2004 United States presidential election: Specific issues relating to Diebold machines and practices

      Avi Rubin, Professor of Computer Science at Johns Hopkins University and Technical Director of the Information Security Institute has analyzed the source code used in these voting machines and reports “this voting system is far below even the most minimal security standards applicable in other contexts.”[6] Following the publication of this paper, the State of Maryland hired Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) to perform another analysis of the Diebold voting machines. SAIC concluded “[t]he system, as implemented in policy, procedure, and technology, is at high risk of compromise.”[7]

      Skippy… voting machines and security fraud…. nice.

      1. psychohistorian

        Unfortunately for the public, Diebold will deliver the votes needed for any election….and will never be investigated. This is only an issue where the public has a choice between non fascist candidates, however.

        Rigged voting machines are just one of the tools in the dirty tricks bag of the global inherited rich and are used when the propaganda machine can’t quite do it all.

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