Links 3/25/13 – Updated with new Cyprus links (again!)

Patient readers: Stupid and evil Verizon, continuing its campaign to punish copper users in buildings that they will not ever upgrade to fibre, has caused Yves’s internet connection to #FAIL yet again. Hence we may be one post short this morning. –lambert

SF Zoo tiger cub’s 1st public appearance San Francisco Chronicle (BS)

A convincing story can restore growth FT. Clap harder, Mr. Narrative!

Bank shortfall looms Telegraph. Anarchy in the UK….

US malls empty CMBS investors’ wallets FT


Last-minute Cyprus deal to close bank, force losses Reuters

Cyprus agrees €10bn bailout deal FT. “The plan does not need approval from the Cypriot parliament.”

Cyprus Salvaged After EU Deal Shuts Bank to Get $13B Bloomberg. “Bowing to demands to shrink its banking system.”

Crisis averted – for now: Cyprus gets £8.5bn bailout after EU finance chiefs agree to rescue plan following last-minute negotiations Daily Mail. “The diplomats also did not elaborate on how much large deposit holders would lose.”

Cyprus Popular Bank Unsecured Depositors to Contribute EUR4.2 Billion to Rescue Package -Eurogroup Dow Jones. “No ‘fixed date’ for the reopening of Cyprus’ banks.”

Do Capital Controls Mean Cyprus Has Already Left the Eurozone? Tim Duy’s Fed Watch

The eurozone after Cyprus Gavyn Davies, FT

The broken Euro Coppola Comment. “If [The Troika] can bully one state into imposing capital controls in clear breach of the principles of the European Union, and in so doing destroy the integrity of the single currency, then it can do it to others.”

Cyprus Crisis: A Triumph For Russian Isolationists Testosterone Pit


Russia to make a move? Reuters

Doesn’t sound like it. Bloomberg

One Cyprus legislator still thinking out loud about Euro exit. Bloomberg.

Dijsselbloem explains the new policy to the markets. Reuters. Markets freak.


Mr. Market has a sad.

Italy Roiled As Cyprus Precedent Casts Shadow on Banks, Rating OnlineWSJ “For the first time in Europe’s five-year-old debt crisis, depositors will have to shoulder some of the burden of bailing out troubled lenders.” To minimize risks, all depositors should move their money to the safest bank, of which (by definition) there can be only one. That would be the Post Office bank, under socialism. Can we just cut to the chase, please? Ha ha only serious! –lambert

Equities give back early gains FT. “[C]oncern that the deal might turn out to be a model for resolving future banking crises in the region.”

Turkey sees accords with Israel, Kurds as first step to greater regional role McClatchy

Japan breaks China’s stranglehold on rare metals with sea-mud bonanza Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Easter eggs: behind the scenes at Britain’s biggest chocolate factory Independent

As Obama signs sequestration cuts, his economic goals are at risk WaPo. Oh, please. The kayfabe is stone obvious.

NRA gains upper hand on Obama The Hill. More kayfabe.

Obama Energy Pick’s Gas Study Faulted Over Industry Ties Bloomberg. Shocker!

Analysis: Obama’s climate agenda may face setbacks in federal court Reuters

At Guantánamo, captives, war on terror devolves into fight over food McClatchy

What Al Qaeda Couldn’t Defeat: The Military-Political Bureaucracy Atlantic

As Congress sleeps the 2016 race begins FT

A Republican Divide in Sharp Relief National Journal

A Final Pet Peeve: The Right to Consumer Financial Industry Data Credit Slips

Passive Investing: What Wall Street Prefers You Not Know Big Picture

Pro-Democracy Movement Rises Against ‘Disaster Capitalism’ in Detroit Common Dreams

From Detroit to Cyprus, Banksters in Search of Prey Black Agenda Report

In drought-ravaged plains, efforts to save a vital aquifer McClatchy

Shown No Mercy in St. Francois County Written Word, Spoken Word 

Yale Moves To Combat ‘Historic’ Sexual Misconduct Rates Hartford Courant

Why Hackers Get More Jail Time Than Rapists Ian Welsh

Analysis: The end of Indian IT staffing as we know it Reuters

Subcontractors are chink in cyber armour FT

Interview with a writer: Jaron Lanier Spectator

20 Awesome Projects for Raspberry Pi Microcomputers Treehugger

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

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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. taunger


      “In professional wrestling, kayfabe is the portrayal of staged events within the industry as “real” or “true,” specifically the portrayal of competition, rivalries, and …”

        1. taunger

          In wrestling or politics? In wrestling, everything is kayfabe, that’s the point, yes. In politics, yes, here it is, everything is kayfabe, that’s the point. And that’s why occupy, which to a large extent was not kayfabe but did reflect some realpolitik, wasn’t even recognized as such.

          1. DANNYBOY


            Your answer revealed great wisdom. No can you answer the larger question about Everything in Life. What part is kayfebe, and what is Real?

          2. taunger

            We don’t get to see Real, but we do get to set the kayfabe rules. Why did we chose such crappy rules?

          3. DANNYBOY

            Dear taunger,

            Yes, again you are right, this time about the larger picture, where the rules are fu__ed-up. But that not “we” who set such crappy rules…it is the Rulemakers – our rulers.

            “We” must Resist the Rules. “We must resist the Rulemakers. “We” must resist the Rulers. WE MUST RESIST

          4. different clue


            I believe that passive obstruction and sullen undermining can count as resistance if they actually attrit and degrade and weaken the target. Would I be wrong to believe that?

          5. DANNYBOY

            Dear taunger,

            Right! Any act aimed at weakening our target is effective. We must fight them in every way presented. Passively, actively, intellectually, morally…but we must fight with force. We must fight violently if required. We must be stronger than we believe we are. We never accept defeat, only further battle.

            My response was directed to your Comment: “We don’t get to see Real, but we do get to set the kayfabe rules. Why did we chose such crappy rules?”

            What I was saying was I DID NOT F__KING CHOSE ANY F_KING RULES. The rulers did that. F_K THE RULERS.

          6. Yves Smith

            No, I think there is a distinction to be made!

            Kayfabe = stunningly fake, if you watch with even an eye half open, you can tell it’s not genuine

            Kabuki = Ritualized fakery, you have to know the art form to understand the message behind the performance

            Propaganda = Biasing perception before, during and after so observers have a harder time noticing the operation of kayfabe or kabuki. Sort of like putting blinkers on people so they see only what you want them to see, like fake blood in kayfabe and assuming it’s real. So propaganda is used to inoculate people who would see through kayfabe if they at all paid attention from getting it when they intermittently look at it.

          7. DANNYBOY

            Miss Yves,

            I am assuming by the timestamp on your comment that you have read the continuation of this topic below. With that assumption, I need to make an additional clarification, which is that I both love and respect your work. I love Lambert, but there’s no value here to going into my level of respect for some of his Comments.

            Now, about this Distinction. I argued that it is little value in counting the number of ways that Lies and Deceptions are propagated, but rather prefer, myself, to assume that all Liars and Deceivers do those.

            Taking me to what I do value. Since we have identified Lies and Deceptions as tools of The Predators, why spend our precious time categorizing? Intellectualizing WHAT IS ATROCITY BY ANY OTHER NAME, seems a mild response. How about we respond to such atrocity appropriately? That’s what I prefer.

          8. different clue

            I am not the person being addressed, but I would suggest that if kayfabe, kabuki, and propaganda are different brainwar weapons systems; the differences in how they function need to be understood in detail so they can be countered and neutralized on the brainwar battlefield.

            Different kinds of bombs and mines have to be disposed of by different methods and sets of steps. If any bomb/mine disposal expert knows me to be wrong about that, I invite said experts’s correction.

          9. DANNYBOY

            The Predators are fighting with bombs and mines and we are examining the linguistics. Help!

      1. Valissa

        Ha! Actually I think “ritual speech” might more accurate, and for politics too. Ritual speech implies that one is saying what is expected in a given role, given the norms of the situation.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Well, again, no. See the comment below. Sure, plenty of political speech is ritualized, but just as in professional wrestling, much more than speech is involved — and not all the players have speaking roles!

          Also, to me, “ritual” has the context of being static and unchanging. Kayfabe is more like a business model, constantly adapting.

          1. Valissa

            Geez Lambert, since I need to be more clear, let me state I think both are true, and that I see ritual speech is a subset of kayfabe. I get that kayfabe is the latest cool meme we’re using to talk about establishment power games. However, I find it useful to be more specific in my terminology as IMO overuse of generalized terms weakens them. Kayfabe has many overlapping components.

          2. DANNYBOY

            Sounds like two of you are clarifying the difference between Lying and Deception. Well my strongly held belief, worth dying for is that they go together as one.

            For a few decades on Wall Street, I observed and categorized the lies (and accompanying deception) constantly taking place, without a millisecond’s pause in the action.

            I was able to predict each thugs rise using that measure. It was easy. The involute rule is: The best liar becomes Chairman, next-best CEO…

          3. Valissa

            DB… People in power – leaders, politicians- have always used lying and deception as tools. This is nothing new or recent, although the realization of this may be recent for some. Competence, group loyalties (follow the money & status), and personal history are more important for assessing what politicians/leaders are likely do than anything they might say.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              Truisms. But if you want to fight the deceptions, it’s important to classify them correctly. For example, to win at basketball (I am told!) it’s necessary, but not sufficient, to say “They’re running a play!!!” It’s necessary to know the actual play they are running in order to counter it. That’s why language is important, and why (say) kayfabe is superior to kabuki, and different in kind from bullshit, which is different in kind from lying. Which is why I would like to avoid having the edge taken off the weapon with careless use.

              Caveats that: Too much time going meta in classification makes the effort academic in the bad sense.

          4. DANNYBOY


            I always assume that the words of Those Who Should Not Be Trusted should not be trusted. So, it’s easy to spot lies.

            But Real Deceptions are riveting (as well as revolting, insidious…). An entire Deception World gets established.

            Those who want in on the Insidious Deception use trial-and-error to get on-board. The Deception Insider recruit from that pool. That pool of Deceptive Insiders grows.

            And everyone who is left is prey.

          5. Valissa

            My favorite Latin sayings… the Romans had very similar political issues… says something about human nature.

            mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur. –“The world wants to be deceived, so let it be deceived.”

            video meliora proboque, deteriora sequor – “I see and approve the better course, but I follow the worse.”

            illegitamati non carburundum – “Don’t let the bastards wear you down.”

          6. Lambert Strether Post author

            @Dannyboy If you still have or could summarize that system of classification I would be very interested in seeing it, especially since it has predictive value. Remember that color-coded version of Obama’s SOTU that I did? The same technique could be applied to deceptive speech as well.

            I realize that classifying the discourse of the political class generally would be a Sisyphean task, but it would be fund to apply the technique strategically to important statements.

          7. DANNYBOY


            “My favorite Latin sayings… the Romans had very similar political issues… says something about human nature.

            mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur. –”The world wants to be deceived, so let it be deceived.”

            This is the greatest deception of all. We want to be F_ked over. This is the story of the Nazis.

          8. DANNYBOY

            “illegitamati non carburundum – “Don’t let the bastards wear you down.”

            better translated as: If they want a piece of me they’re going to have to die trying. (I hate that passive voice)

          9. DANNYBOY

            Lambert (although I have not yet forgiven you),

            I said: “For a few decades on Wall Street, I observed and categorized the lies (and accompanying deception) constantly taking place, without a millisecond’s pause in the action.

            I was able to predict each thugs rise using that measure. It was easy. The involute rule is: The best liar becomes Chairman, next-best CEO…”

            Lambert replied: “@Dannyboy If you still have or could summarize that system of classification I would be very interested in seeing it, especially since it has predictive value. Remember that color-coded version of Obama’s SOTU that I did? The same technique could be applied to deceptive speech as well.”

            Well then. My ‘system’ is intuitive. This is not a speech to be analyzed (remember what I said about the words – they ARE ALL LIES) by it’s deception that I discuss. This is a World unseen and unanalyzable. Intellectualism does not go there. Reason has no place. My first entries were unimaginable. Unlike human behavior.

            And this is what we’re up against.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              Then it’s not a system (at least of thought), since it can’t be reproduced or shared with others. It’s a lot more like a (so-called) private language. Hence, there’s not even a basis for saying “this is what we’re up against,” since it can never be made clear what “this” is.

          10. DANNYBOY

            OK Lambert, you openned the door.

            Now you show your complete unpreparedness and incompetence to deal with WHAT IS RIGHT IN FROM OF YOU. You expect that some yet-to-be-developed system of thought is what will get you out of this mess. Let me tell you, that that approach will keep you imprisoned with diminishing anything, forever.

            This is not a problem to be thought out of. This is not a contest of intellects. Do you understand atrocity? Can you fathom evil? Can you protect yourself with words?

            You amaze me, tipping your hand with the most unsavory remarks. You need to be schooled, but find someone who will play word games and wit with you instead.

        2. DANNYBOY


          “video meliora proboque, deteriora sequor – “I see and approve the better course, but I follow the worse.””

          better translated as: “The’s more in it for me, so I’ll go ahead and F_k them over. No cash in being nice, now is there”

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        No. That misses the social aspect. Just as in professional wrestling, there’s an entire industry involved, with many players, and part of the deal is self-deception/collusion on the part of the audience, who are also “players.”

        1. Valissa

          Ya know Lambert, you are not the first person to have realized that here on this blog. The whole pro-wrestling analogy has come up a number of times in the past several years.

          1. DANNYBOY

            Lambert, Valissa please. Let’s not limit our analogies to pro-wrestling. Let’s expand our view.

            How’s The Coliseum for the setting?

            How’s Dante’s Inferno?

          2. Valissa

            Exactly so DANNYBOY, let’s use as wide a variety of metaphors as possible for attempting to grasp the larger power dynamics at play. Kayfabe is a great word, but it’s not the only storyline available.

            However, in a single short comment response it’s hard to get across more than one or two points, and easy to make assumptions about another’s meaning.

          3. Valissa

            My preference is always to be friendly and to have pleasant tolerant conversation rather than argument. So I vote to be friends! But I have learned (the hard way) that many people come to blogs for the thrill of the argument. Sometimes I get caught up in that, though I generally prefer not to. It can be hard online to gauge whether someone is really angry at you for what they think you are saying, or they are just having fun poking at you.

          4. DANNYBOY


            “My preference is always to be friendly and to have pleasant tolerant conversation rather than argument. So I vote to be friends!”

            I KNEW IT HAD TO BE! When I read your comment to yesterday’s links (9:34PM) I knew we were simpatico.

            “But I have learned (the hard way) that many people come to blogs for the thrill of the argument. Sometimes I get caught up in that, though I generally prefer not to. It can be hard online to gauge whether someone is really angry at you for what they think you are saying, or they are just having fun poking at you.”

            Yes, I feel you. On another forum I ended need to rough up someone who poked me the wrong way. Now he’s afraid to go out of his house. I am having the fun knowing he peed himself and squealed. But I’m a loyal friend.

            Like Dumas’ Musketeer.

      1. DANNYBOY

        The story, as I remember it, started with a Latin-lover named Slick. He went ga-ga over a not-such-a-looker named Kay (with me so far?). Well, lover-boy Slick figures best way into Kay’s pants is Sweet-Talk. With that he immediately dusts off his best line of bullshit and starts charming Kay. Well, Kay’s not “easy”, so Slick’s barrage got sweeter; shit-talk, like you’ve never heard. Sweet nothings, flattery, every conceivable sweet-deceipt that’s every been heard. Yes, Kay succumbed to those sweet words.

        When Slick finally Scored, everyone on the block thought: “Fab”. Everywhere in the hood that Slick went, he was “Fab” for scoring Kay.

        That’s where kayfabe came from.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Once again, the social aspect — critically, the audience complicity — is lost in this parable. This is a story about bullshit. It’s not a story about kayfabe. (The “government is like a household” trope, where a simple system is mapped to a more complex system, causing all kinds of mismatch, is similar.)

    1. Valissa

      Ha! You inspired me to search for Cyprus cartoons…

      The options for Cyprus

      The cover story

      Reversal of fortune, Part 1

      Reversal of fortune, Part 2

      Reversal of fortune, Part 3

          1. Valissa

            My husband said he wanted to have a relationship with a redhead, so I dyed my hair. ~Jane Fonda

            I’m not offended by all the dumb-blonde jokes because I know that I’m not dumb. I also know I’m not blonde. ~Dolly Parton

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            They say Papuan blonds are smart and beautiful.

            I would like to date one one day.

          3. ambrit

            My Dear MLTPB;
            Pupaean blondes? Must we escape the aura of hair to find our true selves? Are we all, as Brinsley le Poer Trench asserted, Aubernians? Time to think outside the chrysalis.

    2. Cynthia

      An interesting article from Der Spiegel:

      The verdict of Russian state television on Europe’s effort to save Cyprus was damning. The last week “will enter the history books of the EU as a destructive one,” said Dmitry Kiselev, the presenter of the popular news program Vesti Nedili on the Rossiya channel.

      Kiselev heaped criticism on the forced levy to be imposed on bank deposits in Cyprus. He said the last time a Western European government proceeded so recklessly was when Adolf Hitler expropriated the Jews.

      Nazi propaganda at the time described the money held by Jewish people as “dirty,” said Kiselev. That was precisely how Europe was talking about Russian assets deposited in Cyprus, he added.

      In the meantime it has emerged that the Kremlin might be willing to provide Cyprus with financial assistance after all. President Vladimir Putin ordered his government to support the efforts of the Euro Group, made up of euro-zone finance ministers, said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Russia plans to extend the terms of the €2.5 billion loan Moscow granted to Cyprus in 2011.

      “President Putin considers it possible that the efforts of the Cypriot president and of the European Commission could be supported,” said Peskov. Last Friday, Moscow declared that negotiations with Cypriot Finance Minister Michalis Sarris had been concluded without an agreement.

  1. JGordon

    Whew, it’s a relief that the gun grabbers have even less power to influence legislation than I was thinking. I was actually somewhat worried after Sandyhook, but it looks like rationality and intelligence have won the day.

    I’m sure that this is thanks in no small part to all the lobby money the NRA is pulling in thanks in no small part to the recent gargantuan gun sales (at very inflated prices no less!) due to all the paranoia Obama and other gun-grabber are inspiring in responsible citizens. It looks like we have a very good negative feedback loop protecting society from the efforts of the unconstitutional extremists who are trying to destroy it. The more they whine, the more money the lobbyists get to spend on legislatures; sometimes corruption isn’t such a bad thing I suppose.

    1. skippy

      A report recently issued by the National Academies Press (an independent organization first founded by congressional charter in the 1860s) has a relevant comparison. For violence (excluding suicide and war) per 100,000 people: United Kingdom — 1.14 incidents; United States — 6.47. The U.S. is the most violent country of the 17 developed countries assessed, and is about three times as violent as the next-closest. Finland. Australia and South Africa are not included in the study, but figures gathered from the United Nations show Australia at 1.57, much lower than the U.S., and South Africa at 126, the worst in the world, probably. (South Africa is a red herring, however, since it is really two countries economically, with the second-largest income disparity in the world.)

      Skippy… the devolution marches on… celebrating monkeys… sigh…

      1. JGordon

        Your issue is with the decaying culture. Gun violence is only a minor symptom of that. For example did you know that blunt objects such as hammers are responsible for many more violent murders in the US each year than “Assault” rifles?

        If I am celebrating anything it’s rationality–the fact that assinine irrational emotionalism doesn’t dictate every policy in the US yet.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Link on the hammers stat, please. CDC, maybe? Oh, wait, I forgot. The gun advocates stopped the CDC from doing studies on gun deaths. My bad. I suppose the reason must have been that the results would have shown the benign aspects of gun culture with respect to mortality…

          1. jurisV

            Here’s a link (FBI) on murders in the US including 2007 thru 2011:


            Total firearm murders are between 67 and 68% of all murders (total has declined from roughly 15 thousand to 13 thousand over those years).

            Rifles and shotguns are used in less than a thousand murders; and firearms (type not stated) are involved in close to 2 thousand per year.

            Blunt objects were between 700 and 500 per year !

            Awesome misdirection J Gordon!

          2. jurisV

            OOPS … I forgot to mention that handguns were responsible for about 70% of the “total firearm” murders.

          3. Lambert Strether Post author

            @jurisV I guess one aspect of the “decaying culture” is that gun advocates feel it’s OK to… Well, just make sh*t up. Sad. I don’t see why gun advocates feel they need to do that. After all, they’re the ones with the guns.

          4. skippy

            @Lambert… I you notice their talking about **murder**, one form of gun violence, the ultimate if you will. Shall I do a bit of linky goodness on all forms of gun violence… like even pointing the damn thing at people… too get your way… or shake that monkey branch display thingy. Oh… how about advances in medicine (ER and first responder’s at the forefront) and heaps of bullet[s holed people living… to suffer more holes later or holing others.

            Skippy… yet at the end of the day it has been reasonably shown… that even the – sight – of a gun increases aggressiveness… but… how many decades has the american citizen been programmed – cortex injected – from birth to fetishize a tool of death and diminishment.

            PS. The sad fact is most crime is a socioeconomic factor at the end of the day, preventable… self inflicted wound thingy… sigh.

          5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            What is the biggest purveryor of violence? Whom can you quote?

            Why are we being distracted, again?

    2. AbyNormal

      You differ from a great man in only one respect: the great man was once a very little man, but he developed one important quality: he recognized the smallness and narrowness of his thoughts and actions. Under the pressure of some task that meant a great deal to him, he learned to see how his smallness, his pettiness endangered his happiness. In other words, a great man knows when and in what way he is a little man. A little man does not know he is little and is afraid to know. He hides his pettiness and narrowness behind illusions of strength and greatness, someone else’s strength and greatness. He’s proud of his great generals but not of himself. He admires an idea he has not had, not one he has had. The less he understands something, the more firmly he believes in it. And the better he understands an idea, the less he believes in it.
      W.Reich, Listen, Little Man!

      1. JGordon

        If you weren’t interested in grabbing guns from people, people wouldn’t not be feeling so threatened that they’re running to the stores and buying everything they can lay their hands on in droves.

        You need to come out and clearly say that you will not support any legislation that will restrict anyone’s Constitutional right to keep and bear whatever arms they like. Clear statements like that from the gun grabbers would be a great way to decrease gun sales in America. Are you going to do it then?

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          “Because people feel threatened, they are threatened” is really one of the silliest arguments I’ve ever heard, and I’ve heard a lot of very silly arguments. (One of the reasons I dislike gun advocacy debates is that so often the arguments proposed by gun advocates are so bad.) It’s also why the “stand your ground laws” pushed for by gun advocates are so dangerous.

          Anyhow, now that your argument has discredited your cause so completely, I’ll bow out. As another commenter pointed out, nothing is duller than a flame war with gun advocates. How they won the day, I suppose.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          A compromise may be that no guns are allowed on either side – a universal ban on guns in the private and public sector.

        3. Lambert Strether Post author

          @JGordon Adding, sure, I’ve got no issues with the Second Amendment as written. It’s perfectly compatible with regulating guns like cars.

          I just don’t accept Scalia’s interpretation, nor would I, ever, since I do not regard any Supreme Court decision arrived at since the first post-Bush v. Gore justice ascended to the bench as legitimate.

    3. Jim S

      While I sympathise with your enthusiasm, please employ more restraint on this topic. You might reflect on how much restraint Lambert, Yves, et. al. have shown these past months, being on the other side of it, and how easily NC would be derailed in it devolves into a flame war over guns.

      WRT the NRA, the “enemy of my enemy” is not necessarily my “friend”, not in this case, not by a long shot.

      1. JGordon

        I feel incredibly threatened that people are trying to dictate how I’m supposed to live my life. I’m having the same psychological reaction to it as if they were discussing how they’re going to come over and kick me later because they don’t like something someone did somewhere.

        This isn’t about flaming. This is about people thinking it’s cool to stick their noses in my busniess.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Ugh. I don’t want to “stick my nose” into “your business.”

          What I don’t want is for the rest of us to bear the externalities from your choice of consumer goods any more. One regimen that has been proposed is insurance for gun owners. Another is licensing. To neither can the rather overheated “gun grab” terminology apply.

          What I seriously can’t understand is the refusal of gun advocates to admit that they’ve won. Guns are all over the place! No tyranny overthrown yet, of course — the only public purpose argument I’ve ever heard — but then nobody really expected that anyhow.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Maybe they want to be victorious and also have a little bit of peace and quiet.

            In any case, nature is not without violence. But it doesn’t mean we should condone its proliferation and by proliferation, I mean this – if you can’t eat that bit of food without a knife, and here, speaking as a Neanderthal admirer, I include obsidian cutting tools, then you are not doing that food any justice. And, so the hope is that one day, here I speak ideally, we can also ban all kitchen knife sales.

            ‘limit violence to your hands and mouth to get what you need to eat to survive, for we all must commmit some kind of violence against animals or vegetables, but no knives.’

          2. skippy


            The person that coined the term God Particle was making a joke too!

            We’ve explained it many times: Physicists are irked when we in the media call the Higgs Boson, “The God Particle.”

            The Higgs is important because the elusive subatomic particle is believed to give everything its mass. But as Marcelo Gleiser — of NPR’s 13.7 — explained, the nickname doesn’t quite explain the particle because while it “does have something of a centralizing influence,” it’s “nothing quite divine.”

            It’s misnomer, even stupid, some physicists say.

            All Things Considered spoke to the man credited with giving the particle its moniker. In 1993, Dick Teresi co-wrote The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question? with Leon Lederman, the Nobel prize winning physicist.

            He told Melissa Block that the name was born out of a joke, a working title he never thought the publisher would buy.

            Dick Teresi Explains How ‘The God Particle’ Came To Be
            In fact, he said, “for us being atheists, it’s kind of a scary, evil kind of particle that obfuscates what’s really going on.”

            So what does he say to his detractors?

            “They protest too much,” he said. In fact, the name will likely stick, he said, just like another famous deregatory term has — “The Big Bang.”

            Teresi added that in truth, he didn’t resent most physicists for complaining. The only one he has a problem with is Peter Higgs himself.

            Dick Teresi On All Things Considered
            Six others helped discover that particle, he said.

            Yet the Higgs is “the only major particle that the discoverer, or the theorist, named after himself,” he said.

            If there’s a misnomer, it’s Higgs.


            Skippy… Whilst working for TRW in the early 80’s, there were three physicists, that would do a brilliant three stooges routine with particle physics or astrophysics as the medium. I don’t know how many times I almost destroyed laser alignments or screwed up stuff in a mad fit of hysterics… it plagues me to this day!… chortle~…

        2. Foppe

          I wonder why you so immediately feel threatened when someone is suggesting your belief in the power of owning a gun is misplaced..
          I couldn’t care less if people are paying “too much” to own guns, though. Having said that, I would suggest that your assertion that the most recent liberal assault on gun ownership is the cause of people’s anxiety is utterly ludicrous. Now, certainly Obama contributes to their feelings of insecurity insofar as he’s a class warrior fighting for the interests of the 1%. However, the suggestion that the assault on gun ownership rights is the cause of the angst is myopic. People care about guns more because they’ve started feeling more insecure, not the other way around. And their insecurity comes from economic worries, not political ones.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            Fear increases consumer purchasing*; like W said after 9/11: “Go shopping.” In this case, the consumer good of choice is guns. Could be anything, like model railroads or Hello Kitty branded goods, but those goods have different externalities.

            * Study?

          2. Foppe

            If I recall, Bush said “go shopping” because the new sit-at-home philosophy was really bad for (local) business, and Bush was more concerned with capital flows than with human lives. (Now, one can argue that a consumptive strike in NYC would also be bad for employment, but that’s a different argument.)

          3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            The paradox of consumptive strike and employment would be absence under GDP sharing.

            Climate change – the climate has changed for the ‘more consumption = more happinss’ crowd.

            That climate has changed.

            It’s time for GDP sharing to accompany that climate (i.e mood) change.

          4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            On the other hand, a lot of what we think of as beauty or ugliness is man-made, undoubtably.

            One can be easily brain-washed.

            It’s easy to, for example, to think of Heddy Lamar as smart (this is for the harmony of the site) and…. ugly, if you train your brain hard enough.


      Thank you for the insight. Then I am Real-ly suffering. I had a brief pause for a moment, a couple of days age, when, for moment, I took the belief that all this was Un-real.

  2. BondsOfSteel

    RE: “Cyprus Popular Bank Unsecured Depositors to Contribute EUR4.2 Billion to Rescue Package”

    Um. This headline is so bad. It makes it seem like the money is being confiscated for use by the government, when it’s already lost through the bank’s bad bets. This is no different then what the FDIC does.

    It should be:

    “Cyprus Popular Bank Fails; Unsecured Depositors to lose EUR4.2 Billion in restructuring to protect Insured Depositors”

    1. Foppe

      not quite.. you’re forgetting about the bit where BoC depositors have to pay back the ELA funds…

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      They don’t emphasize that part enough though – the part that if you have money over the 100k Euro limit, you should be careful not to leave it there.

    3. Yves Smith

      No, this is not what the FDIC does, since the FDIC does not take depositor $ but everyone else takes losses.

      And the depositor cramdown was a necessary condition for getting the €10 billion sovereign bailout, or did you miss that part? That is what led to the power struggle of the last week.

      The headline isn’t great but it is not as far off as you indicate.

      1. BondsOfSteel

        It’s my understanding that the depositors were hit only after the equity and bondholders were wiped out:

        Both Laiki Bank and Bank of Cyprus have bondholders, shareholders, and preferred shares wiped out… before uninsured depositors were hit. The money was used to recapitalize Bank of Cyprus and cover insured depositors.

        In the 2008 FDIC action, IndyMac depositors lost 50% of their deposits over $100,000:

        I must be missing something…

        1. Yves Smith

          The bondholders have English law bonds. It is not clear they can be wiped out so easily. The resolution procedure was created after the bonds were sold and may not be binding on them.

  3. Foppe

    Brilliant stuff, couldn’t have made this up myself. Dijsselbloem:

    “If there is a risk in a bank, our first question should be ‘Okay, what are you in the bank going to do about that? What can you do to recapitalize yourself?’. If the bank can’t do it, then we’ll talk to the shareholders and the bondholders, we’ll ask them to contribute in recapitalizing the bank, and if necessary the uninsured deposit holders,” he said.
    Uninsured depositors in the Bank of Cyprus will have their accounts frozen while the bank is restructured and recapitalized. Any capital that is needed to strengthen the bank will be drawn from accounts above 100,000 euros.

    The agreement is what is known as a “bail-in”, with shareholders and bondholders in banks forced to bear the costs of the restructuring first, followed by uninsured depositors. Under EU rules, deposits up to 100,000 euros are guaranteed.

    “If we want to have a healthy, sound financial sector, the only way is to say, ‘Look, there where you take on the risks, you must deal with them, and if you can’t deal with them, then you shouldn’t have taken them on,'” he said.

    Don’t you love this? When banks take risks, the depositors take a hit if the risks taken were great enough. Furthermore, if the risks were great enough, the depositors are now blamed by Dijsselbloem for the behavior of their bank. Not the regulators are blamed, not the management is blamed; the depositors are blamed. (Of course, they would only be to blame if they happen to have stashed their deposits in banks with insufficiently rich senior bondholders, and that is of course very unlikely to be the case elsewhere…)

    1. CaitlinO

      It looks as thought TPTB got to Dijsselbloem who is now walking his statement backward. Fooling everyone, of course, as to real intent and goosing markets off their lows.

    2. sidelarge

      And it boggles the mind that he’s actually Dutch, a country with the disproportionately big banking sector and a bit of that tax haven thing on top of it. So his message to his own citizens is that they should take all the money out of the banks, cross the border into Germany, and never look back?

      For how long will those Dutch elites keep thinking (erroneously) that the German interest and Dutch one are perfectly aligned? They just aren’t, two completely different countries.

      1. Foppe

        it does, yes. But you see, a country only becomes tax haven-y in retrospect; until stuff starts to break down it was just a sign of business acumen to draw in money in such a fashion..
        Being capable of self-reflection is not a requirement for quasi-elected politicians, though. (In fact…)

  4. AbyNormal

    i give up. pass the Makers Mark

    Nasdaq said in a note to traders on Monday morning that the Securities and Exchange Commission approved the plan, and that firms harmed in Facebook’s initial public offering had one week to submit requests for compensation.

    Retail market makers, including units of UBS AG, Citigroup Inc, Knight Capital Group and Citadel LLC, said they collectively lost upward of $500 million due to the problematic May 18 IPO.

    Some market makers were seeking full compensation.

    im sick n tired of it all…chug

    1. Dogberry

      To my untutored mind it seems that they’re seeking compensation because they did not make the immediate profits they expected, but I expect that’s just because I don’t understand how these things are supposed to work.

      1. AbyNormal

        the Pump N Dump Market Makers & their Machines CAUSED the bottleneck and have the audacity to demand compensation

        sense makes no for machines as po lill victims

  5. Mommy's little soldier!

    As always, it’s interesting how rights experts look at this gun shit. They ask, “What does it mean for your culture, that you’ve got people displaying lethal weapons as political and factional emblems?” It never struck me that way – maybe because the parading losers of the NRA are palpably impotent and pathetic enough to pose no realistic threat. They’re invariably omega males, and with the right behavioral cues you can always make them crawl, even if they’re packin M240s.

    The force of the question only hit me when I encountered it in a foreign culture. One African political party, perfectly mainstream, has a tradition of parading with a vanguard bearing choppers (think machetes.) This is a country where the cities are full of mutilees from a past civil war. The army would come down from the hills and chop everybody’s arms off, or bet on the sex of a fetus and open up its Mom to settle bets. Seeing that, I was like, WTF WTF WTF!!?? Even camo clothing is illegal, the history was so traumatic. But [ad homininem –ls] are waving implements of torture?

    So looked at with the eyes of the civilized world, you’d have to wonder: what exactly is your point here, shitting on the graves of school children, revered political leaders, multitudes of random victims? It looks like you’re promising more of the same. [ad homininem –ls].

    And this is just one minor deviation from a culture of peace.

  6. F. Beard

    To minimize risks, all depositors should move their money to the safest bank, of which (by definition) there can be only one. lambert

    By law, bank deposits are loans to the bank.

    That would be the Post Office bank, lambert

    Yes, but it should not be a bank but a risk-free fiat storage and transaction service that is free up to normal household limits and which makes NO loans and pays NO interest.

    under socialism. lambert

    No, it is not socialism for a money creator to furnish a risk-free storage and transaction service for its money. Rather, it is fascism that it does not do so and instead furnishes government subsidized deposit insurance to the “private” sector banks.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Should we first ask the voters to decide if we want to abolish FDIC insurance?

      1. F. Beard

        A fiat storage and transaction service provided by the monetary sovereign (e.g. the US Federal Government) would be risk-free so the FDIC would be redundant and an obvious special privilege for the banks, not the voters.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Right now, people of the 99.99% loan to banks by depositing their lifetime savings there.

          They like to have the FDIC insure that.

          If you want to abolish that, let them and the rest of the country vote on it.

          NOw, the 0.01% might be able to put their money on security guards, tanks and rent-generating properties, but not too many in the 99.99% can do that. They can only put that in banks, or more correctly, make loans to banks…maybe just $50, $10,000 or $250,000, whatever. It doesn’t matter except they count on the FDIC insurance and if you want to abolisb that, you should put that to a vote.

          1. F. Beard

            You present a false dichotomy. If the US Federal Government provided, as it should, a risk-free fiat storage and transaction service there would be NO NEED for the FDIC!

            As for interest, if the government-backed counterfeiting cartel, the banks, were no longer government-backed then they would no longer be able to create 97% of out money supply and thus 97% of the price inflation in the dollar and thus interest would no longer be needed to compensate for loss of purchasing power.

            Don’t you feel kinda of dirty defending the banking cartel by hiding behind innocent depositors?

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            People make loans to banks today.

            They don’t intend to just store their money there.

            Their loans are guaranteed, just a small business loan, by the government.

            Right or wrong, if you want to change that, state that clearly and let them decide.

          3. F. Beard

            “just a small business loan” mltpb

            The fact that people have no safe, convenient place to store and transact with their fiat outside the government-insured banking system is a major reason why the banks have so much power.

          4. Lambert Strether Post author

            @Beard: “A risk-free fiat storage and transaction service.” That really floats my boat. Your point is well made. We can quibble until the cows come home about “socialism” but if that’s the policy outcome… Cool.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Don’t attack the 99.99%. Try to help them.

          If you want to abolish their FDIC insurance, at least let them vote on it.

          1. F. Beard

            Are you being deliberately dense?!

            I am trying to help the 99%!

            Don’t you realize that the FDIC (and the lack of a Postal Savings System) is for the benefit of the banks?

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Look, if you have a billion dollars, do you really need that $250K FDIC insurance?

            How many different banks would you need?

            That $250K insurance is more for the 99.99% people.

            It should not take more than one exchange of comments, but for the 4th or 5th time, whatever you want to do, right or wrong, just let them decide.


          3. AbyNormal

            @ Beard, our government officials are born from a select cesspool. the postal service is in the process of privatizating. i do understand your idea but making it a reality would just grant time and motive to groups like ALEC etc., for a larger fleecing.

            im to the point i trust our government as much as goldman sachs

          4. holMyLessThanPrimeBeef

            He’s more about people not earning interest money, even at a post office bank.

            If you want to do something to banks, let it (the post office bank) pay interest and have government insurance up to a certain amount.

          5. AbyNormal

            hey Prime, thanks for hanging in there with the posting…agree, the last thing we need is less voting opportunities (empowerment)

            In chaos, there is fertility. nin

  7. emptyfull

    Hmmm… In a series aimed at US evangelicals, one of two characters with some melanin in his skin just happens to be the devil. And he bears a close resemblance to . . .

    Wonder how that happened. Perhaps the director has been reading NC commentary about a certain someone being the “more effective evil” and just ran with it? I’m sure it’s something like that.

  8. David Petraitis

    As new President Nicos Anastasiades hesitated over an EU bailout that has wrecked Cyprus’s offshore financial haven status, money was oozing out of his country’s closed banks.

    Not Surprising that the big money left while the barn door was closed… now for the horse to escape when the barn door opens once again – wait for Tuesday, or is it now Thursday? That will make a 10-14 day bank holiday? Oh and no one could get at their money in that time, right? You believe that and I have a bridge to sell you.

    1. Ms G

      “While ordinary Cypriots queued at ATM machines to withdraw a few hundred euros as credit card transactions stopped, other depositors used an array of techniques to access their money.

      Companies that had to meet margin calls to avoid defaulting on deals were granted funds. Transfers for trade in humanitarian products, medicines and jet fuel were allowed.”

      Another interesting non-equivalence (see, e.g., “oligarch” vs. “master of the universe”). If humanitarian stuff (medicine, fuel (?)) is “in the trade,” it was ok to withdraw. If Mr. John Doe Cypriot needed cash to pay a doctor or buy heart medicine, he could not withdraw, because he was not engaged in the *trade of* “humanitarian produts.”

      The dynamic of kleptocracy is embedded to the bone of the way things are, isn’t it?

  9. the idiot

    Our Internet Surveillance State

    “I’m going to start with three data points.
    One: Some of the Chinese military hackers who were implicated in a broad set of attacks against the U.S. government and corporations were identified because they accessed Facebook from the same network infrastructure they used to carry out their attacks.

    Two: Hector Monsegur, one of the leaders of the LulzSac hacker movement, was identified and arrested last year by the FBI. Although he practiced good computer security and used an anonymous relay service to protect his identity, he slipped up.

    And three: Paula Broadwell, who had an affair with CIA director David Petraeus, similarly took extensive precautions to hide her identity. She never logged in to her anonymous e-mail service from her home network. Instead, she used hotel and other public networks when she e-mailed him. The FBI correlated hotel registration data from several different hotels — and hers was the common name.”

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