Links 10/01/2012

Asian Stocks Drop as China, Japan Data Signal Slowodown [sic] Bloomberg

China Sept official factory PMI ticks up to 49.8 Reuters

The Global Economic ‘Canary In The Coalmine’ Isn’t As Sick As We Thought Sam Ro, Business Insider.

A Glimpse of the Oligarchy’s View of the Future for US Workers masaccio, FDL (CB)

Low Income Households Have Expenses More Than Twice Their Income Economic Populist

Golden Dawn Opens New York Office USA Greek Reporter (Stoller)

Euro Leaders Face Month of Unrest After ECB’s September Rally Bloomberg

Thousands swell streets for third protest outside Congress El Pais. Madrid.

The barman who refused to serve the law El Pais. Madrid.

Thousands march in Paris against ‘austerity’  France24

Pension Dilemma in Europe’s Debt Crisis Times.

Banks confront a post-crisis world of tougher regulations and lower profits FT. “The banks are struggling to identify a new cash cow that grazes between the new rules.” 

FSA to Oversee Libor in Streamlining of Tarnished Rates Bloomberg. 

Rethinking Robert Rubin William D. Cohan, Businessweek. Oh?

Fed Watch: Is Low Inflation Always Good? Economist’s View

“As the only person in the room who has apparently never written a line of computer code…” FT. Quants.

Analysis: Is There a Seachange on Fracking in New York? Solid Shale

The economics of video games WaPo. MMORPGs hiring economists. What could go wrong?

Why an Islamic Revolution in Saudi Arabia Is a Surefire Way to Send Oil to $300 a Barrel Testosterone Pit

US troop deaths in Afghanistan hit 2,000  AL Jazeera

‘It’s like living in a space station’: Julian Assange speaks out about living in a one-room embassy refuge with a mattress on the floor and a blue lamp to mimic daylight Daily Mail

Assange Speaks to UN (video) RNN

Are Troops Talking to Assange ‘Communicating With the Enemy’? Jake Tapper, ABC

Insight: Three lawyers ask U.S. Supreme Court: Why here? FT. Alien Tort Statute.

Argument preview: Will an old law shrink? SCOTUSblog. The same.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says she doesn’t use email New York Daily News

Spotted on Weibo: Killing Time on China’s Massively Overcrowded Roads Tea Leaf Nation. Pikers.

Polo power: China’s nouveau riche flock to playing fields Guardian

The greening of the mooncake LA Times

North Sea cod: Is it true there are only 100 left? BBC (RS).

Our Favorite Market Chart Continues To Work Perfectly Joe Weisenthal, Business Insider. Lot of incentives here.

Obamanomics: A Counterhistory David Leonhardt, Times. 

* *

Mission elapsed time: T + 24 and counting*

Readers, I must apologize again for not doing Campaign Countdown this evening; I’m still “sick and tired.” So I’ll just share the best metaphor I’ve been able to find yet for our electoral process, circa 2012:

“Everyone wants to see a lot of clowns come out of a really small car.”

How true, how true.

And now, please excuse me until tomorrow. I’ve got to be setting my expectations for the debates.

* * *

Antidote du jour:

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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. Ned Ludd

    Freddie deBoer has a post up on the recent spate of articles written by liberals, and pushed by liberal news sites, that attack the left: “you’re either with us or against us”.

    Marcy Wheeler has a good response to Rebecca Solnit’s article in particular. Solnit’t article was posted by multiple liberal outlets, including: Mother Jones, Salon, The Nation, Truthdig, Truthout, Common Dreams, Utne Reader,, and TomDispatch where it originated. Wheeler wondered “whether there’s a funding commonality to outlets that posted that piece. It makes no sense otherwise.”

    1. Valissa

      That “you’re with us or against us” attitude is typifies why I now consider myself an ex-progressive, and an ex-liberal. After having been a typical unconscious (meaning unexamined intellectually) liberal/progressive for most of life, and after spending 4 years haunting all the netroots blogs and websites and donating lots of money to elect “more and better Democrats” and attending the 2nd Yearly Kos conference, in 2008 I decided I was finally completely done with the Democratic party, political parties, ideology (and the related evangelism), and demands to conform to the groupthink.

      People will often say to me that I became anti-liberal because of the MSM propaganda about liberals, and I always make it clear to them that it was – for the first time in my life – closely examing the group I thought I belonged to, that put me off. Studying history and sociology has been way more helpful and satisfying to me than participating in the netroots ever was. I am so glad to be off the emotional rollercoaster, that is part and parcel of being politically active, as well.

      1. MontanaMaven

        Ah, we are twins. I said on Lambert’s blog today that I had been a plowhorse just plodding along the same old path for most of my voting life. I didn’t challenge myself intellectually. Then I decided in 2004 to go all out Democrat and work for the campaigns, become a county chair, a delegate to the convention, donate tons of cash, go to Daily Kos conventions and “Campaign for America’s Future” DC oriented conventions, media conventions…you know that “change the party from within” meme otherwise known as herding you into the veal pen. Didn’t work. State machines are powerful and bullying. I jumped over the fence and went free range in 2008.

        I compared my former self to a plowhorse that kept its head down and follows the same old path until one day I looked up and saw this yellow brick road. Now I am lonelier but feel better where I’m headed.

        1. ZygmuntFraud

          In Canada, each political party at the federal and provincial level has a leader, who is the chosen one to head the government if the party has a plurality (the most of all) seats in the legislature (provincial ones, and Parliament (Commons) in Ottawa).

          Leadership races can bring out obvious rivalry between two factions supporting different first choice of leader-elect. The news in Canada talk quite a bit about leadership races. If we ask the question who has most influence in leadership races, it may be a good question although I have nothing to offer except maybe biographies of former politicians or books by observers who report on leadership convention, for example.

      2. Ned Ludd

        During the Bush years, I was a frequent reader of liberal writers such as Paul Krugman and Matthew Yglesias. I often read Daily Kos and Balloon Juice. They appeared to be willing to criticize conventional thought and establishment assumptions. However, once Obama was elected, it became clear that they were as supportive of established political structures as Republicans. They simply disagreed over who should run things, who should shepherd the rest of us. They have no use for unruly sheep.

        Also, a lot of my activist experience involved non-violent direct action. I was always surprised at how angry liberals got when you organized a sit-in or blocked a parking lot with a picket line. I also tried volunteering with liberal groups, but note the verb: volunteer. You do what you’re told, and you show up when they tell you to. I joined direct action groups because you got to help decide what to do; they were democratic. The liberal groups were authoritarian in structure. A liberal leader once told those of us organizing anti-nuclear protests that we should quit protesting because, according to their lobbyist, the politicians didn’t like it. The nerve of us, upsetting politicians!

        My skepticism about liberals comes from knowing liberals, working with liberals, reading liberal writers, and supporting liberal politicians with time and money. I’ve come to realize that liberals don’t want to replace oppressive institutions with democratic structures; they simply want to be the ones in control.

      3. Synopticist

        And you’re so “not a progressive” that your going to vote against Elizebeth Warren, the only politician in America who’s worth voting for because of what she believes in, rather than who her opponents are.

        I have you down as troll Valissa.

        1. Valissa

          I’ve been called worse for not being a dutiful liberal. btw, I left the netroots blogs to avoid the type of attitude you sem to be displaying.

          btw, I’ve never in my life told someone else they were voting for the wrong person, nor have I have tried to convince someone to vote for a particular candidate, nor have I ever evangelized for a political candidate or party. I do not believe in telling others what to do or how to think. Obviously you and I have very different values in that regard and that’s OK with me. How come it’s not OK with you? Why do I have to conform to your reality in order to be “acceptable”?

          And perhaps you missed a prior comment where I said I would be happy to have both Warren and Brown as MA senators. Whichever one loses this time can run again when Kerry get appointed Sec of State. This seems to make some people’s heads explode… LOL!

          I find it very interesting that the same people that projected all sorts of wonderfulness onto Obama and were disappointed seem have annointed Warren as their new savior, as if she will fulfill the longing for a “noble & good” politician.

          1. Valissa

            Oops correction, bad editcopy & paste. Instead of “Obviously you and I have very different values in that regard and that’s OK with me”… I meant to say ‘Obviously you and I have very different values, but whoever you support/vote for and whatever you believe is OK by me, I just don’t want to be proselytized to about it. That’s how pluralism works in practice.

          2. Synopticist

            ,” I’ve never in my life told someone else they were voting for the wrong person, nor have I have tried to convince someone to vote for a particular candidate, nor have I ever evangelized for a political candidate or party”

            Really? But surelly…

            “After having been a typical unconscious liberal/progressive for most of life, and after spending 4 years haunting all the netroots blogs and websites and donating lots of money to elect “more and better Democrats…. ”

            That doesn’t quite scan Valissa.

            Furthermore, Elizebeth Warren is the only politician outside of continental Europe who seems to genuinelly want to take the financial sector on, which is why shills like Adam Davidson give her such a hard time, and be one of the few people who may, possibly, succeed in dragging the democratic party towards the left. Unlike Obama, who was, and remains, transparently centre-right.

          3. Valissa

            Clearly we see the world of politics totally differently. In my world a person can actually participate in political conversations and discuss political, philosophical and policy ideas in order to form personal opinions about many things including who/what to vote for without arguing or evangelizing/telling another person who to vote for. But I know some people will never grok this concept.

            I wish you well with your belief in Elizabeth Warren. Peace man!

          4. ZygmuntFraud

            The “we-know-better-than-you” meme might be widespread. The Harper government budget as tabled this year had a proposal/concept to withdraw charitable organization status [which matters when it comes to tax deductions for donations by individuals] for organizations [think David Suzuki, “hard-core” environmentalists, and so on] with a “bad agenda”.

            So, “bad agenda” is a figure of speech for what the tabled budget proposal called in sum and substance “a message or agenda or ideas that are not in the Canadian National Interest”. On the one hand, spooks in Canada know stuff that we don’t. On the other hand, it might well be that the so-called “Canadian National Interest” is a policy resting on (1) facts and (2) pure political ideas [pure opinions, preferences or tastes].

            As an committed skeptic, I have yet to decide the pros and cons of this “Canadian National Interest”. Nevertheless, I sense the Greens are really outspoken in Canada no matter what (irrespective of decisions on “charitable organization” status). Lastly, I’m not sure how far the budget bill has gone or about amendments.

        2. Aquifer

          ” … Elizebeth Warren, the only politician in America who’s worth voting for because of what she believes in …”

          Obviously a matter of opinion ….

          IMO, she has at least one fatal flaw – she “believes in” the Dem party …

          1. Synopticist

            Yeah, there’s a very good chance she’ll end up corrupted and twisted through compromise, lobbying and party loyalty.

            However, there’s a small possibility she may do some good before that near ineviatability occurs, while she still has a bit of radicalism about her.

            Anyway, a supposedly weary, cynical NC reader who announces her intention to vote for a republican over Warren sends my bullsh*t detector into the red zone.

          2. craazyman

            is she gonna wear headfeathers and moccassins in the senate?

            what tribe did she come from by the way? one of the new england tribes?

            that would please me. I have a book on the New England tribes, an anthropological history written many decades ago from witnesses memories and it’s pretty cool.

            they were living side by side with the Little People (you can google it) as well as grey hairy ape-men up in the New Hampshire woods. This was before humans pushed out these entities.

            I wonder if Ms. Warren can report on these beings. I would believe a Native American on many spiritual matters far more than some imposter from Harvard, for example, who only reads about this stuff in scholarly texts. YOu never know if they’ve been had by the natives, as a joke of some kind.

            Was just up on Massachussets and my distant cousin is not impressed by Ms. Warren. “A moron” was what he called her. That seems over the top to me. Other than her delusion about being a native American she seems reasonably inoffensive to me as a candidate for high office. If her delusion were creatively productive it could be forgiven, and even cultivated, but one wonders if she’ll remember her roots or abandon them for power, if she makes it.

            He liked Scott Brown though. I didn’t take sides. I just ate and drank and said I thought they were all morons. You know how that is. It’s easy to criticize, I realize. But that doesn’t stop me. :)

          3. John Merryman

            One reason they don’t like her in Mass. is because she is from Oklahoma. According to the history books, there are native mercins out there.

        3. Death Dem

          Check out Warren’s blood-dripping neocon boilerplate complete with threat of force in breach of UN Charter Art. 2(4) and breach of the non-interference principle. She’s a standard-issue Dem with mushroom clouds and baby wog limbs twirling through the air. No hint that’s she’s ever heard of the humanitarian law governing Obama’s
          antiterror crime spree.

      4. robert157

        If you follow the crowd that calls itself liberal and progressive these days, you end up acting more like a fascist. But if you want to act liberal or progressive, stop worrying about belonging to this or that crowd and go right ahead.

    2. Brindle

      Rebecca Solnit tosses aside Obama’s incineration and dismemberment (Drones etc.) of many muslim civilans–women and children, with this:

      –“You could argue that to vote for Obama is to vote for the killing of children, or that to vote for him is to vote for the protection for other children or even killing fewer children. Virtually all U.S. presidents have called down death upon their fellow human beings. It is an immoral system.”

      Basically she says that all presidents become War Criminals, so why be so upset about Obama’s savagery?

      1. Ned Ludd

        The problems are structural, but people still have moral agency. Obama could fight against the immoral system, but if he was a moral person, he never would have been allowed to become president.

        So the fact the system is immoral is probative evidence that the people promoted within it, those allowed to accede to higher positions, are also immoral.

        1. Synopticist

          Obama’s a centre-right democrat who ran as a centre-right democrat. He ran to the right of Clinton. That is how he’s governed.

          People got what they voted for. A guy who was always going to give way to the financial sector when it mattered, who’d use drones on Pakistan ( he campaigned ON THIS VERY POINT, REMEMBER? )and who’d raise taxes a little bit on the very rich if he could.

          The hopey changey stuff was policyless drivel which people imprinted their own desires onto. It was pure electoral BS which people smart enough to post on a site like this should have seen through in the first place.

          1. diplodocus

            absolutely… most of the people who believed in the hopium still do and have doubled down.. they are in the ‘cult’ now…

            that very vocal minority that got ‘fooled’ are a pathetic bunch… (he said he would nuke pakistan, folks-where’s the ‘hope’ in that!)

    3. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Ned, Solnit used to be such a powerful, succinct writer. She must have handlers now, “editing” her work. Maybe ALEC boilerplate for the burgeoning “transcendent” Dem side, pushing universal “love” and all. Kumbaya politics meets pie in the sky economics, as Dems run out of fuel. Poor R. Solnit, she “could’ve been a contender” among “public intellectuals.”

    4. power brokers

      Aww, they try so hard to make us give a shit about their make-believe democracy. Like L’Hôte, the Tbogg-type sports fans have no say. Unlike L’Hôte, the Tboggers glom onto any ruinous shit platform that Dems stuff up their ass from on high, almost as if the ruling class gives a shit what they think. US citizens are marginal and powerless whether or not they sit in the stands with Tbogg and wave the big foam finger for their team. The outcome depends on the civilized world and not on us trapped here in the USA.

      So here’s some good news: the window for Obama’s impunity for criminal aggression just closed a little bit. One more small piece of the world cast their lot with us.

      With Article 8 bis in force, it’s going to be harder for our ruling class to blow up wogs. Imagine you’re one of America’s future corporate puppet rulers. If the US commits aggression on your watch, you’ll be scared to take those nice foreign vacations when you retire. The civilized world is already chasing Bush home. Pakistan accuses Obama of aggression now. The CIA sacrificed Nixon to atone for its aggression in Indochina. Think they won’t sacrifice Obama if they need to?

    5. John Merryman

      Politics and human nature in general are the surface of much deeper processes. Reality is fundamentally dualistic. You can’t have just one thing, because you need something to compare it with. No up without down, left without right, positive without negative, past without future, expansion without contraction, conservative without liberal. There is no happy medium, because then you lack comparison and it’s just a big flatline on the heart monitor. That said, everything tends to be simpler when viewed from the extremes, so in complex arguments, extremists tend to have the easy answers.
      The primal binary breakdown between conservatism and liberalism is that conservatism focuses on the order of the past, while liberalism tends to promote the far more ephemeral hope for the future. So naturally most people tend to be innate conservatives, but the future keeps showing up unexpectedly, like grass pushing through the sidewalk, as that seeming stability of the past inexorably recedes ever further into the past.
      You might say liberalism is the vision of society, while conservatism is its backbone. Of course, the further you go down the backbone from the vision, the closer you get to the rectum. So keep that in mind, when thinking about how reactionary Obama is, he still is in front of Romney.
      I would have to say that Obama was like an emergency room doctor who bandaged up a gapping, gory wound, without bothering to clean it. Look forward, not past. I’m a conservative when it comes to corruption. All that infection is going to bite back in a big way.
      As for myself, living in a safely democratic slate, I was going to leave the top of the ticket blank, but my daughter insists I vote for Obama, in order to balance her mother, who always votes republican.

  2. Jim Haygood

    ‘Quants,’ indeed:

    As the only person in the room who has apparently never written a line of computer code or backtested a stat arb model, I began to wonder if there was a way to “Hack the hackers.” What do the programmers think humans do especially poorly when it comes to making investment decisions?

    Most computerized trading models try to … do it more consistently. Can a human investor learn what these new algorithms will look for, and then base an investment style around front-running the machines?

    Here’s a clue for the FT’s poor dear, who evidently didn’t do a scrap of homework before imposing her frayed-collar presence on a quant conference.

    Search ‘momentum’ on the Social Science Research Network. This morning it turns up 1,989 results, the first of which (by Mebane Faber) is a quite accessible introduction to the topic.

    Chartists (the antiquated term which ‘efficient market’ academics used to deride pre-computer age quants, until they discovered — oops! — it works) have been buying what’s going up since the dawn of time. Because computers do it more consistently they are, in effect, front-running the humans.

    Never underestimate the insolent innumeracy of journos.

    1. John Merryman

      And you can tell when the wave is cresting when there is more foam than water. Most humans sense that, so they are getting out of the market, as it churns higher on waves of Fed induced liquidity.
      Capitalism treats money as a commodity that it can manufacture to infinity, if only there were no regulations. The reality is that it is a contract and the underlaying trust is evaporating rapidly, like the energy draining out of the wave, leaving only bubbles.
      Without action, nothing exists. With action, nothing exists forever.

  3. skippy

    North sea cod, Blue fin tuna, 50% shark species, etc, the biggest go first, then it goes deeper. Till, in the end, it will be Humboldt squid and jelly fish that are left.

    Skippy… crazzyman don’t fear the shark… more people die or harmed from jelly fish.

    BTW sharks used to keep their numbers down, A predator thingo, but, then movies made more money on fins and rolling eyeballs than eyeless blobs and tendrils.

    1. Synopticist

      The North sea is close to being totally fished out and ruined forever. The Mediterranean is argualbly already there.

      There’s a big problem with setting European wide quotas. When it comes to fish, everybody suddenly gets really nationalistic. Instead of acknowledging that THEY’RE taking too many fish, the Brits blame the Dutch who blame the French who accuse the Scots of cheating, and everybody points fingers at the Spanish.

      In the final compromise, they agree to give away 115% of the previously agreed limits, just like they did in the last round of negotiations. 2 years later, it all happens again.

  4. Ned Ludd

    The Swedish criminal justice system is a good place to send people you want silenced: “Pirate Bay Founder Remains Locked Up Without Charges“.

    To prevent Gottfrid from interfering with the investigation the Prosecutor believes it’s justified to detain him for more than a month without being charged. The Pirate Bay co-founder is not allowed to have visitors and is being refused access to newspapers and television.

    “According to the Swedish system, when the preliminary investigation is finished, I as prosecutor will decide whether to prosecute him. […] In the Swedish system it is quite usual for people to be detained on this legal ground, and it gives me the possibility to prevent him from having contact with other people,” [Prosecutor] Olin said.

    It’s horrendous that it is “quite usual” in Sweden to lock people up without charges and to prevent them from having contact without other people or even to read a newspaper. It sounds like this type of detention, without charges and without access to the outside world, can be be extended as long as the investigation continues: “The Prosecutor hasn’t ruled out a request for another extension of Gottfrid’s detainment in two weeks, if the investigation is still ongoing.”

      1. Ned Ludd

        Pretty much. Glenn Greenwald wrote about the case today and how it relates to the extradition of Assange to Sweden.

        One of the prime arguments I have always made about the Assange asylum case is that his particular fear of being extradited to Sweden is grounded in that country’s very unusual and quite oppressive pre-trial detention powers: ones that permit the state to act with an extreme degree of secrecy and which can even prohibit the accused from any communication with the outside world. […]

        [N]ow we have a case that confirms exactly those claims about Sweden’s justice system…

  5. ambrit

    The link to SCOTUSblog about the Alien Tort Law keeps coming up ‘Error 404.’ This is interesting because the case threatens to redefine Corporations as Psychotics, specifically, Schizoid Personality Types. For instances of American political corruption, they (Corporations,) are individuals. For purposes of enforcement of human rights overseas, they aren’t. This is a classic case of Pettifoggery.

  6. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Is low infaltion always good?

    Well, lower food/energy inflation will be nice. But they usually exclude them when they talk about inflatoin.

    1. Valissa

      “Inflation is bringing us true democracy. For the first time in history, luxuries and necessities are selling at the same price.” – Robert Orben

      The bullish view on inflation

      The market view

      How tire-ing it is (inspired by what Aquifer said @ 5:13pm)

      The wisdom of goats

      Pop corn anyone?

  7. LeonovaBalletRusse

    NC Links re NY Fracking — “flipping leases” is the money quote. Like in FL 2006: flipping arbitrage.

  8. Susan the other

    i didn’t like Testosteronepit on the geriatric House of Saud. We formed a strong alliance with the Saudis when FDR gave them a deal they couldn’t refuse and it has worked ever since. The British did the opposite with Iran and got nothing but grief. If there is an Islamist revolution in Saudi Arabia and it is successful (very remote possibility in view of what looks like Islam Reformation via the internet) and oil goes to $300 a barrel, Testosteronepit refers its readers to an oil trader promoting Canadian oil sands as the best investment for your portfolio. I think I’m disgusted. Even Fox News would have offered a competing suggestion for basic conservation combined with renewable energy and thorium reactor technology.

  9. Susan the other

    And then the LA Times on the Greening of Mooncakes. That was very encouraging. The recycling spirit is alive and well in China. Elaborate packaging for mooncakes is a problem equivalent to our Christmas packaging. Before I gave up on Christmas altogether, I used to wrap things in a piece of fabric (really cheap odds and ends at a fabric store) and tie with a cloth ribbon. Instead of a cheesy plastic bow, a sprig of juniper. Really looked nice. And was very reusable. Old hippie.

  10. Garrett Pace



    “The mistake of my first term — couple of years — was thinking that this job was just about getting the policy right,” he has said. “The nature of this office is also to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times.”

    Are we stuck with this trope forever? That our benevolent dictators have done their part and the only real problem is the peasants’ lack of confidence sufficient for debt-fueled consumption binges?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      That’s Obama speaking. Read to the end of the article for the conclusion that many Obama apologists may or at least should find discomfiting.

      * * *

      Personally, reasoning only from behavior, I think that permanently high DISemployment is the preferred policy outcome of the 1% (high profits, low wages) and that Obama has implemented this policy very effectively on their behalf. Leonhardt probably wouldn’t go there, though….

  11. Garrett Pace

    Video game economies:

    “For all intents and purposes, this is an economy that has activity equal to a small country in real life,” Guðmundsson says. “There’s nothing ‘virtual’ about this world.”

    That comparison does not flatter the “real” economy.

      1. Timothy Y. Fong

        Oh but it does. I think it was Warren Mosler who said that the Russian default in the 90s happened when the Russian central bankers refused to come to work and turned off the servers.

  12. Lambert Strether Post author

    Has anyone in the New York area visited Golden Dawn’s new office? I think that’s one of the more important links today (FWIW) and kudos to Stoller for tracking this story.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        Why do you think they deserve to have their offices burned for?

        Do you think American conservative groups that advocate racist immigration policies should be firebombed?

        What about progressives that advocate criminal war against places like Libya and Syria and endless war all over the world giving them the right to kill anyone with impunity?

        Should their offices be firebombed?

        Because I’m trying to figure out where the line is. Which political parties get censored and firebombed. I guess advocating strict and possibly racist immigration policies is the alleged line but it’s selectively enforced.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Was trying to research this story independently (because I don’t trust Western media including progressive bloggers) and I see the party website has been taken down:

      Wonder if they will censor American conservatives for advocating very similar immigration policies? Or how about American progressives for advocating mass war crimes?

      This story seems like a big hullabaloo about nothing . . . Greeks giving aid to other Greeks facing crushing austerity is wrong why? Was Golden Dawn’s initiative to give aid motivated by racism as the Western media implies, or motivated by opposition to austerity and a desire to help Greeks? Can’t a political party have both legitimate financial and economic programs even if it has a racist immigration policy?

      Also, so what if they use a swastika? That symbol has been around for a long time and it’s only the Holocaust Industry and Western propaganda that has brainwashed Americans into thinking the very symbol represents genocide of Jews.

      Even if they are “neo-Nazis”, which I want to see proof of, so what? Are they advocating genocide? American progressives advocate far worse genocide as far as I can tell so I doubt a minority party of less than 10% in Greece actually poses a genocidal threat. They probably pose a threat to the financiers that run the Western press–hence the simplistic propaganda.

      1. RanDomino

        seems like a waste of time, but: They routinely assault immigrants and leftist protesters; their support is up to around 20%; “a desire to help Greeks” is racism (unless you don’t consider “Greeks” to be a race); their systemic function is to distract people from thinking about political economy or class struggle.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Or, those few incidents of violence could be done by agents saboteurs as has now been admitted took place in Greece and other European countries after WWII by Gladio forces, the stay behind army. This violence (terrorism, really) was blamed on communists and leftist groups. I wouldn’t be surprised if saboteurs or propagandists used similar tactics against the National Socialists.

          Not much of their policies have been presented but I imagine I would be repulsed by many of their proposals, IF the little I’ve heard about their immigration policies is correct.

          I don’t trust the obviously biased reporting.

          But I do now have a different view of National Socialism than I once did and realize many of my previous views have been based on propaganda imposed on the world by the victors of WWII. I now question whether all forms of National Socialism can be labelled “fascist,” as I once believed.

          For instance, here’s an interesting paper on the various National Socialist views on whether to use the term, “Third Reich”:

          However, not even the often eschatological “Third Reich” is a uniformly interpreted idea. For political and philosophical reasons the national-socialist regime isolates itself from the idea of “Third Reich” already by the end of the 1930s. The “conservative revolutionary” branch of the Deutsche Bewegung (“German Movement”) – including all branches of the “conservative revolution” – becomes then unacceptable as an ideological base for the national-socialist rulers.

          The “völkisch” branch of the Deutsche Bewegung is an entirely different matter. This latter one cannot be considered a uniform movement either, since it includes the Schwarze Front trend that later comes into conflict with the national-socialist ideals and the Landvolkbewegung,[26] a movement unfolding at the end of the 1920s in Schleswig-Holstein and one that wobbles between anarchy and corporatism as well. Of all these different movements, it is the Führerprinzip (“the leader’s principle”), espoused by Hans F. K. Günter (1891-1968), Richard Walter Darré (1895-1953) and Alfred Rosenberg (1893-1946), which becomes the official ideology of national-socialist Germany, in which the idea of the “Third Reich” no longer plays a role.

          1. Walter Wit Man

            Ha. Ha. Nice try.

            From the guy whose only contribution is to falsely claim Golden Dawn are “Neo-Nazis” (they claim they aren’t) and to show a sensationalized picture of alleged adherents of Golden Dawn doing a “Nazi salute” (which they claim they aren’t and the Nazis weren’t the only ones that did the Bellamy salute–Americans did it as well).

            Oh, and you also advocated firebombing this group based on these erroneous claims (unless their immigration policies were what crossed the line).

            Can you point me in the right direction if I’m so wildly off base about the variations in National Socialism?

            I quote the scholarly article simply to show the National Socialism presented by the West is simplistic and doesn’t account for the different strains within it.

            Instead, we have been presented with the propaganda version: the only things National Socialism concerns itself with is hatred of Jews and other races and Hitler. I’m trying to remedy this false and misleading history and so it’s true I don’t know the whole story. I’m interested in finding out more.

            Your propaganda and hate is not enlightening.

  13. Valissa

    Lawsuit highlights difficulty of third-party involvement in debates,0,940506.story

    Gary Johnson Activists Lead the Charge Against the CPD, and That is Awesome
    Besides their efforts, Americans across this great nation have been calling, posting on Facebook, and emailing sponsors and the CPD alike to make known our disdain with the obviously intentional exclusion of Gary Johnson and Jill Stein from the CPD events as evidenced by full voicemail and email inboxes.

    While I am no longer interested in being part of any political party, I really would like to see more of a multi-party system, or at the very least… more ballot choices when I go to vote, and more diverse voices and ideas in the debates. The catechisms of the duopoly have gotten very stale and meaningless.

  14. joel3000

    I am a job creator: A manifesto for the entitled
    By Steven Pearlstein, Published: September 29

    I am a corporate chief executive.

    I am a business owner.

    I am a private-equity fund manager.

    I am the misunderstood superhero of American capitalism, single-handedly creating wealth and prosperity despite all the obstacles put in my way by employees, government and the media.

    I am a job creator and I am entitled.

    I am entitled to complain about the economy even when my stock price, my portfolio and my profits are at record levels.

    Pearlstein FTW:

  15. Valissa

    The latest in the ongoing saga… Iran apologizes for citing Onion spoof Obama poll as fact

    Say it ain’t so… will Matt Taibbi have to come up with a different meme for Goldman Sachs? Not-so-Fearsome Vampire Squid

    Asteroid Dust Could Fight Climate Change on Earth

  16. Aquifer

    Low infaltion is downright dangerous when driving, I’m told and i try never to talk about inflatoin in polite company ….

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