Links 12/10/12

Rare cat filmed up close in Borneo BBC

Texas Meteorite Over Texas Caught on Nasa Camera YouTube (Chuck L)

Researchers find crippling flaws in global GPS SC Magazine Australia

‘I never believed his death was random’: Colleague of CIA financier-turned Wall Street banker speaks out about his mysterious murder by homeless bag lady 30 years ago Daily Mail (May S). Mark Ames’ piece is stirring up some media interest.

Pettis: Australia should be pessimistic MacroBusiness

Europe clings to scorched-earth ideology as depression deepens Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Oil, Iran, and stability in the Gulf: Why the Gulf states want to keep Iran in a box Foreign Policy (May S)

New report warns of diplomatic costs to the US of Iran sanctions The Hill (May S)

Opponents of Egypt’s Leader Call for Boycott of Charter Vote New York Times

How the US could Eliminate its Need for Crude Oil OilPrice

The fiscal cliff could split the Republicans Ed Luce, Financial Times

Bloomberg Weighs Making Bid for The Financial Times New York Times. Aiee. Goodbye pink paper as we know it.

Consumer Spending Wobbles Wall Street Journal. And notice the catfood item:

But Sunday, Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) joined a small but growing number of Republicans who say there is a political advantage for the GOP in agreeing to Mr. Obama’s demand for tax increases for top earners, saying that will put the focus back on entitlement programs.

Taxes will go up if there is no deal. So in return for agreeing to go along with cuts lower than what would have happened anyhow, Obama gets to look like he cut entitlements to cinch a deal with the Republicans, giving him cover for what he most wanted to do anyhow.

When global banks fail, resolve them globally Financial Times. No mention of derivatives or trading ops in this preview, which has been a major shortcoming in previous concept docs. We’ll see if the long form addresses this adequately. However, despite the appallingly lousy headline, this sort of plan becomes much more credible if this sort of measure is imposed: Bank regulators edge towards ‘protectionism’. Or you can read this instead: Tarullo Telegraphs Fed’s Plans to Cap Bank Size Simon Johnson, Bloomberg

US banks in fresh structured finance spree Financial Times

Foreclosure cases moving like mud Palm Beach Post (Lynn S)

Countrywide motion to seal borrower info denied HousingWire (Lisa E)

California Court of Appeal’s Issues Writ of Mandamus Ordering Lower Court to Disqualify Former Countrywide Home Loan Lawyer Turn Judge From Largest Predatory Lending Case According to AUAF PRWeb (Deontos)

How Corruption Is Strangling U.S. Innovation James Allworth, Harvard Business Review (Chuck L). We are now seeing corruption acknowledged as an Official Problem? And not just in the pinko gulag? It’s still framed around “innovation” as is “what is good for business” but at least this is a start.

Citigroup’s Amazing Abu Dhabi Adventure Bill Cohan, Bloomberg

Default to Kindness Ian Welsh (Avedon)

Apologies for repeating this notice: A meetup was scheduled in NYC for next Friday without consulting with me. Last year, I had suggested January as a better time. I’ve tried to make this work but can’t do the 14th. I could do Jan 4 or Jan 11. You can obviously have a holiday party on your own, you’ll certainly have fun meeting each other.

Antidote du jour:

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  1. rjs

    re The fiscal cliff could split the Republicans;

    strikes me there is already a fairly open split among republicans in the House…after making a somewhat vacuous counter proposal in the budget negotiations with Geithner and receiving a lot of criticism from the right, Boehner pulled something of a power play last Tuesday and purged several tea-party members from important House committees…then, without much explanation, tea party leader Jim DeMint quit the Senate on Thursday to join the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation, about the same time conservatives were attempting to find 17 more House members to join them to oust Boehner as Speaker; even if they’re unsuccessful, the attempt will put a short leash on Boehner while he negotiates on behalf of the House during the lame duck session…

  2. fresno dan

    “And best of all, Iceland prosecuted the people who caused the crisis, providing a real disincentive (as opposed to more bailouts and bonuses)”

    Would that have worked here? Nah, we needed these guys (bankers) to “unwind” all their trades, derivatives, CDSes quadrupled, etcetera. And we needed to give them big, big bonuses…because these guys need INCENTIVES…
    And we’re just not MEAN like Iceland, and we don’t believe in disincentives…or the law.

  3. djrichard

    “Taxes will go up if there is no deal”

    If they end up letting the fiscal cliff happen, then that will undermine any crisis they can hold over the nation going forward – can’t have that.

    Which is why not doing a deal is not an option. Either they get a deal to cut entitlements or they call a time-out and kick the can to the next crises: debt ceiling.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Can’t let an engineered crisis go to waste. Three weeks and counting to premature capitulation. Obama must do a deal in order to at least appear reluctant to shred the safety net. TINA, and the market will conveniently go all wobbly as the date approaches. Once rates go up by default, delivery of Social Security to Wall Street warmongers can be done only by transparent betrayal.

      But my money (all two cents) is on December 21, as the middle class end-of-days. Never mind shared prosperity; it’s the ideal date for “shared” sacrifice — when middle class heads go bouncing down the pyramid steps and their beating hearts onto the grill. The market gods must be appeased.

    2. Hypothetical_Taxpayer

      “Which is why not doing a deal is not an option. Either they get a deal to cut entitlements or they call a time-out and kick the can to the next crises: debt ceiling.”

      Not so. Any entitlement cuts they are talking about phase in years from now and have no impact on the current deficit. We hit the debt ceiling anyway. But letting the Bush tax cuts expire does have some immediate impact, so we hit the debt cieling a little later next year.

  4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Crippling flaws in GPS.

    I think that explains why people are always in the wrong places.

    “I am sorry, but this is my aparment.”

    “Not according to my GPS!”

  5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Connecting dots.

    How the US can eliminate the need for crude oil.

    Default to kindness.

    Is it by switching to from crude oil to kind oil?

    By the way, I agree that default should be kindness as well as organic. When I pick up an apple by mistake without reading the label, it should be organic. You should have to ask the clerk to retrieve anything non-organic from the back of the store.

  6. kevinearick

    I have provided wiring diagrams, ladder diagrams and parts lists, yet the yard apes keep arguing with me…If you are under 45 in the US, and most of the rest of the world, you have never seen a real economy operate. The old man will let you beat yourself over the head until you get tired of doing so. The old lady will come right out and tell you what to do. There are a few good-hearted old-timers left out there, but they are few and far between. You are just going to have to jump out of the nest and flap your wings. What else can I tell you?

  7. Valissa

    re: Default to Kindness

    Yup, nice piece. Fits with my spiritual inclinations quite nicely. However it seems rather idealistic and childishly naive to expect establishments to behave in a way that many individuals are equally disinclined to behave. For instance, how much kindness is expressed in the blog comments here and elsewhere? Especially when there are strongly held political opinions that are intolerant/dismissive of other points of view. How often do commenter’s attempt to understand what another is saying and attempt to respond in a conversationally kind fashion when they disagree? It seems that many commenters can’t wait to attack, criticize, and put down other’s comments or links (eager to misinterpret another’s comment in a way that excuses attacking it) and furthermore seem to heartily enjoy it. Some people prefer argument to conversation. People that enjoy verbally harsh debate will simply say that’s the nature of debate… to attack and defend supposedly as a way to reveal the truth (though more often to defend one’s own truths and beliefs). I get that it is human nature to attack and defend, whether that’s verbally, economically, or with military might. It is also human nature to want peace, kindness, compassion, fairness, and understanding. There is no utopia, only the endless chaotic clashing of many humans wants and needs… and the choices we each make to deal with that.

    1. ScottW

      One rarely reads a response stating, “You know, I never thought of it that way, you may have a point.” As research shows, when confronted with contradictory facts to one’s opinion, most people dig in their heels.

      1. Bhikshuni

        On the other hand, for those visitors to NC comments who have had no training in polite or at least cordial debate, some of our better posts can serve as tutorials that a passionately logical argument need not be vitriolic, vulgar, or abusive.

        Logical public discourse need not be sacrificed for their to be civility. We may differ in philosophies, but most of us have a passion about the future of humanity (and environment, other creatures, etc.) we share in common.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Ideally, mental jujitsu/judo/akido, where you use your opponent’s own energy against him/her , which may require letting the thrust come really close to you in order to exhaust the momentum, should be used only for self-defense, not for attacking.

      But sometimes, we forget.

    3. barrisj

      In America, regrettably, real men don’t do kindness, as it’s taken as a sign of “weakness”, and that’s why the US does its persuasion internationally with drones and JSOC assassination teams, and domestically kicks poor people when they are down, aka “welfare reform”. Best of luck using the “kindness” approach there.

      1. Bhikshuni

        Bill McKibben is a counter example, and maybe Bill Gates? There needs to be more leadership on this front, from all genders!

  8. get another Wally from the shed

    Ah, Deak, a textbook case of the old mafia lone-nut trick, by what was then called the Operations Directorate, now our National Clandestine Service. Other interesting examples include forgotten CIA coups d’état. Sirhan Sirhan was in some sort of dissociative or hynoptic state when he fired those 80 million bullets from his toy six-shooter, says his new attorney William Pepper (the guy who proved our government killed MLK). And don’t forget distant Bush relation John Hinckley, who shot Reagan and was represented by Williams & Connally (the firm of Jerry Ford’s 1st-choice DCI) and prosecuted by Roger Adelman (of Abscam, which put Congress on the back foot after the Church Committee ructions.) Hinckley got exonerated by the insanity defense to end all insanity defenses. Hinckley was after Jimmy Carter first, but he flubbed that. He got his second chance with Jodie Foster when his cuz was a heartbeat away …lead-azide loads, damn, how’d he learn about them?

    1. liberal

      “I would just like to thank all US citizens who voted for Democrats.”

      As opposed to voting for Republicans? Or as opposed to not understanding the dilemmas forced by a first-past-the-post election system?

  9. jsmith

    Regarding the Deak piece:


    A former money-man who fell out of favor with the CIA is murdered by a homeless woman?

    And everyone thought that was believable? Wow.

    A piece on the “killing his own people” meme as concerns Syria and another one on the Syrian “coalition of the killing” being cobbled together out of terrorist organizations to some day rule Syria.

    An overview of the dismantling of Medicare and a reminder of how it and SS came to be:

    “Social reforms such as Medicare and Social Security were not granted as gifts from on high. They were wrenched from the ruling class as a result of great working class struggles in which workers died at the hands of police and company thugs and faced off against federal troops.

    These pivotal struggles included general strikes that paralyzed entire cities in 1934, the sit-down strikes that established the industrial unions later in the 1930s, and the mass strike wave that followed World War II. Together with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Medicare was enacted in the context of the tumult of the civil rights and anti-war struggles, militant labor battles and ghetto rebellions of the 1960s.”

  10. Jack Parsons

    BBC Sunda Clouded Leopard story: “Then suddenly an eye shine appeared very low, now on the right hand side. This was not what we expected, since the cat had disappeared to the left.”

    Yeah. Don’t do that. A puma or jaguar would go behind you.

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