Links 5/29/13

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GM salmon can breed with wild fish BBC

Hormones don’t hurt female investors – inequality does Helaine Olen, Guardian

U.S. accuses currency exchange of laundering $6 billion Reuters (Valissa)

Facebook challenge after girl’s death leap over insults The Guardian (Australia)

Poor Empiricism: The “Middle Income” Trap Triple Crisis

Abandoned baby rescued from sewage pipe in China Telegraph. Apparently a huge story there.

China Credit-Bubble Call Pits Fitch’s Chu Against S&P Bloomberg

IMF lowers China growth forecast… again MacroBusiness

EU eases hard line on austerity Financial Times

Europe’s slow dawn MacroBusiness. Spanish reader input sought on the proposed small business lending program. 1. Is this amount meaningful? It looks like bupkis 2. Will businesses borrow? Small business in the US haven’t been terribly keen to borrow because they’ve been worried about the outlook, and it goes without saying conditions are a lot worse in Spain. 3. Are there operational issues (as in who the middlemen are and what they’d need to be paid) that means that cheap German loans to Spain won’t result in sufficiently cheap small business loans?

German Job Revival Goes Missing Wall Street Journal

Portuguese bestseller calls for euro exit Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Eurozone fears for Slovenia as bad debt brings economy to a standstill Guardian

“Austerity vs. Growth – A False Dilemma?”, OECD FORUM, 28th May Yanis Varoufakis

Russian arms ‘to deter foreign intervention in Syria’ BBC

Bush’s Invasion of Iraq was Criminal … Obama’s About to Do the Same Thing In Syria George Washington

Purity of arms Michael Smith (Carol B)

Holder’s Regrets and Repairs Daily Beast. This is vile. We are supposed to feel sorry for Holder?

Six Ways Obamacare Might Be Judged Jon Walker, Firedoglake (Carol B)

Unprecedented e-mail privacy bill sent to Texas governor’s desk ars technica.

Walmart pleads guilty to dumping hazardous waste in California Guardian

Why Do the Folks Who Make Booze Care More about their Reputations than the Bankers? Bill Black, New Economic Perspectives

What’s Wrong With Jamie Dimon Is What’s Wrong With America TruthOut (down2long)

JPMorgan’s CFO Is Stunning In The Latest Issue Of Fashion Magazine ‘Marie Claire’ Clusterstock. The Erin Callan precedent suggests that putting a pretty woman as CFO is not a good sign. And it proved to be a

Citi settles US suit over $3.5 billion in mortgage securities Reuters (Deontos)

Is the government helping speculators manipulate grain futures? Salon (concerned citizen)

Antidote du jour:


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  1. rjs

    here’s the trailer from Chris Jordan’s upcoming film, MIDWAY:

    Midway: message from the gyre

    you all might recall that he’s the photographer who’s been out on that island documenting the damage to the wildlife refuge, & specifically the albatrosses, from our discarded plastic since 2009…

  2. Richard Kline

    AG Holder could throw himself from the top of a very tall building with the cameras rolling and I wouldn’t feel sorry for him. He should be pushed instead (speaking metaphorically) . . .

    I used to think it wouldn’t be in my lifetime we’d have a US AG more despicable than Ed Meese, but Holder’s gotten down deeper in the gutter of power than even that guy. I understand that the office is principally political in function, but Holder’s step-on-the-little-guy, body-shield-malefactors-of-wealth approach hasn’t been equaled in a century of malfeasance.

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘I used to think it wouldn’t be in my lifetime we’d have a US AG more despicable than Ed Meese.

      Maybe you’re under 30. In my lifetime, Nixon’s attorney general John Mitchell actually went to prison for conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury.

      And Holder’s crimes make Mitchell look like a fresh-faced Boy Scout.

      1. down2long

        I was around for Mitchell and his dear wife – Martha – wasn’t it, aka The Big Mouth.

        Say what you will, but what those Nixon guys did was pretty much an “inside baseball” thing – they didn’t directly impact the little guy like the disgraceful Place Holder does viz, foreclosure, Libor, money laundering (and all it’s concurrent ills, especially South of the Border). (I am not talking about Nioxon’s despicable act of waylaying the Paris peace talks thus causing untold American GI deaths.)

        And now we have the spectacle of Place Holder going after some Costa Rican firm for money laundering (the money was not blocks of U.S. Dollars, or even U.S. dollars at all, but electronic scrip) as did HSBC, and who knows what scale Chase has been working at to actually get an ADMONISHMENT – oh dear God, Betty Bolt the Door – an admonishment from “regulators” for money laundering,

        Every time Place Holder goes after an obscure, offshore company to prove his huevos, it just makes him look ever more protective of the actual oligarchs he’s protecting.

        As Richard Pryor said – “Who you gonna believe, me, or your lyin’eyes?” Even Ashcroft wouldn’t sign the wireless wiretap “legal opinion.” Place Holder would write it himself, and then arrest someone for using a stolen phone card. What a disgrace.

        1. psychohistorian

          Holder helped create MERS.

          What would you expect from a “getting monetarily rich” plutocratic ass kisser? His lips are firmly welded at this point, someone else is driving.

          What will the anthropologists say?

          1. skippy


            (Reuters) – U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer, head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, were partners for years at a Washington law firm that represented a Who’s Who of big banks and other companies at the center of alleged foreclosure fraud, a Reuters inquiry shows.

            The firm, Covington & Burling, is one of Washington’s biggest white shoe law firms. Law professors and other federal ethics experts said that federal conflict of interest rules required Holder and Breuer to recuse themselves from any Justice Department decisions relating to law firm clients they personally had done work for.

            Both the Justice Department and Covington declined to say if either official had personally worked on matters for the big mortgage industry clients. Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said Holder and Breuer had complied fully with conflict of interest regulations, but she declined to say if they had recused themselves from any matters related to the former clients.

            Reuters reported in December that under Holder and Breuer, the Justice Department hasn’t brought any criminal cases against big banks or other companies involved in mortgage servicing, even though copious evidence has surfaced of apparent criminal violations in foreclosure cases.

            The evidence, including records from federal and state courts and local clerks’ offices around the country, shows widespread forgery, perjury, obstruction of justice, and illegal foreclosures on the homes of thousands of active-duty military personnel.

            In recent weeks the Justice Department has come under renewed pressure from members of Congress, state and local officials and homeowners’ lawyers to open a wide-ranging criminal investigation of mortgage servicers, the biggest of which have been Covington clients. So far Justice officials haven’t responded publicly to any of the requests.

            While Holder and Breuer were partners at Covington, the firm’s clients included the four largest U.S. banks – Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo & Co – as well as at least one other bank that is among the 10 largest mortgage servicers.


            Servicers perform routine mortgage maintenance tasks, including filing foreclosures, on behalf of mortgage owners, usually groups of investors who bought mortgage-backed securities.

            Covington represented Freddie Mac, one of the nation’s biggest issuers of mortgage backed securities, in enforcement investigations by federal financial regulators.

            A particular concern by those pressing for an investigation is Covington’s involvement with Virginia-based MERS Corp, which runs a vast computerized registry of mortgages. Little known before the mortgage crisis hit, MERS, which stands for Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, has been at the center of complaints about false or erroneous mortgage documents.

            Court records show that Covington, in the late 1990s, provided legal opinion letters needed to create MERS on behalf of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and several other large banks. It was meant to speed up registration and transfers of mortgages. By 2010, MERS claimed to own about half of all mortgages in the U.S. — roughly 60 million loans.

            But evidence in numerous state and federal court cases around the country has shown that MERS authorized thousands of bank employees to sign their names as MERS officials. The banks allegedly drew up fake mortgage assignments, making it appear falsely that they had standing to file foreclosures, and then had their own employees sign the documents as MERS “vice presidents” or “assistant secretaries.”

            Covington in 2004 also wrote a crucial opinion letter commissioned by MERS, providing legal justification for its electronic registry. MERS spokeswoman Karmela Lejarde declined to comment on Covington legal work done for MERS.

            It isn’t known to what extent if any Covington has continued to represent the banks and other mortgage firms since Holder and Breuer left. Covington declined to respond to questions from Reuters. A Covington spokeswoman said the firm had no comment.

            Several lawyers for homeowners have said that even if Holder and Breuer haven’t violated any ethics rules, their ties to Covington create an impression of bias toward the firms’ clients, especially in the absence of any prosecutions by the Justice Department.

            O. Max Gardner III, a lawyer who trains other attorneys to represent homeowners in bankruptcy court foreclosure actions, said he attributes the Justice Department’s reluctance to prosecute the banks or their executives to the Obama White House’s view that it might harm the economy.

            But he said that the background of Holder and Breuer at Covington — and their failure to act on foreclosure fraud or publicly recuse themselves — “doesn’t pass the smell test.”

            Federal ethics regulations generally require new government officials to recuse themselves for one year from involvement in matters involving clients they personally had represented at their former law firms.

            President Obama imposed additional restrictions on appointees that essentially extended the ban to two years. For Holder, that ban would have expired in February 2011, and in April for Breuer. Rules also require officials to avoid creating the appearance of a conflict.

            Schmaler, the Justice Department spokeswoman, said in an e-mail that “The Attorney General and Assistant Attorney General Breuer have conformed with all financial, legal and ethical obligations under law as well as additional ethical standards set by the Obama Administration.”

            She said they “routinely consult” the department’s ethics officials for guidance. Without offering specifics, Schmaler said they “have recused themselves from matters as required by the law.”

            Senior government officials often move to big Washington law firms, and lawyers from those firms often move into government posts. But records show that in recent years the traffic between the Justice Department and Covington & Burling has been particularly heavy. In 2010, Holder’s deputy chief of staff, John Garland, returned to Covington, as did Steven Fagell, who was Breuer’s deputy chief of staff in the criminal division.

            The firm has on its web site a page listing its attorneys who are former federal government officials. Covington lists 22 from the Justice Department, and 12 from U.S. Attorneys offices, the Justice Department’s local federal prosecutors’ offices around the country.

            As Reuters reported in 2011, public records show large numbers of mortgage promissory notes with apparently forged endorsements that were submitted as evidence to courts.

            There also is evidence of almost routine manufacturing of false mortgage assignments, documents that transfer ownership of mortgages between banks or to groups of investors. In foreclosure actions in courts mortgage assignments are required to show that a bank has the legal right to foreclose.

            In an interview in late 2011, Raymond Brescia, a visiting professor at Yale Law School who has written about foreclosure practices said, “I think it’s difficult to find a fraud of this size on the U.S. court system in U.S. history.”

            Holder has resisted calls for a criminal investigation since October 2010, when evidence of widespread “robo-signing” first surfaced. That involved mortgage servicer employees falsely signing and swearing to massive numbers of affidavits and other foreclosure documents that they had never read or checked for accuracy.



      2. Richard Kline

        So Jim, I was definitely around for Mitchell’s twisting; doing my high school civics course when Nixon resigned as a matter of fact. But I’m with down2long, Mitchell’s crimes were insider stuff, and in effect small beer. Compare the warrantless wiretapping which Holder is overseeing, a vastly greater contravention of rights than, say, Nixon’s wiretapping a slate of personal foes. And Nixon’s guys did time, whereas Holder is going to revolving-door himself to grossly remunerated rainmaker status upon completion of his tenure. We’re several orders of magnitude worse on what passes for ‘normative malbehavior’ from those of high office in the US.

        True, Nixon’s keeping the Vietnam War going for four more years so that he had a re-election campaign focus killed _a lot more people_ than Obama’s keeping the Pashtunistan War going for four more years so that he had a re-election campaign focus. It the counting stat is dead bodies, Nixon’s crew, for the moment, comes out worse. For intentional scope of misgovernance, Dubya Shrub’s got that owned for time to come. Holder would have fit right in with Dubya’s crew as far as his complete corruption to the agenda of oligarchical power; except for having been too long in the genetic tanning bed, I guess.

  3. DoubtWisdom

    From: “Eurozone fears for Slovenia as bad debt brings economy to a standstill”

    “Semi-privatisation and crony capitalism threaten ‘catastroika’ for the Balkan state”

    I just had to post that word “catastroika”. Good job by whoever coined that one.

  4. David Lentini

    China accused of major cybter-infiltration of key U.S. weapons makers:

    Well, I guess we’ll just have to double or triple our defense spending to get ahead of the Chinese again, so they can steal our secrets and make use ramp up spending a few more times. Certainly, we can’t question our own incompetence in letting them get access to our computers, having known for so long they’ve been after our secrets. Boy, it’s just like the good ol’ Cold War days!

    1. petridish

      No need to spend any more money. They have an internet kill switch, don’t they?

    2. wunsacon

      >> Well, I guess we’ll just have to double or triple our defense spending to get ahead of the Chinese again.

      Delicious! That reminds me of the joke about a certain online pet store losing $5 on the sale of every bag of dog food but making up for it on volume.

    3. wunsacon

      >> Also identified in the report are vital combat aircraft and ships, including the F/A-18 fighter jet, the V-22 Osprey, the Black Hawk helicopter and the Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ship, … the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

      Those albatrosses? Ha! The joke’s on Jinping!


      1. John

        Glad I’m not the only one thinking it. If you want the whole story, go to and check their archives on those systems, the LCS and F-35 in particular.

        Anyways, I’ve been reading Jesse’s Cafe American carefully really and decided to see how cash for gold is going.

        Quality wiki-knowledge.

        Turns out they went bankrupt last year. It must be nice.

    4. Lee

      Just outsource our weapons manufacturing to China. We could save a whole lot on labor costs and then, when the weapons malfunction, we would do less harm. What could possibly go wrong?

    1. JohnL

      Yes. Time to embrace low employment as the new normal, get used to working fewer hours and spending more time growing food, cooking, walking. It’s better for us and the planet.

      Just need to come up with a better way of allocating resources than by money, which works to the advantage of the rich and to the detriment of the rest. Returning some things to the commons would be a good start. Healthcare, education for starters. Water, mineral and mining rights, forests, beaches, …

  5. petridish

    RE: The Daily Beast on Holder

    What in the world is up with Tina Brown aka The Daily Beast? This disgusting slobbering over the degenerate Holder should be enough to get her HB-1 visa cancelled.

    Before the South Carolina special election she was heard to comment (on Morning Joe) about how heartwarming it was that Mark Sanford broke into his ex-wife’s house so his son didn’t have to watch the Super Bowl alone. She found it “touching.”

    I thought we made it clear a while ago that we do things differently on this side of the pond.

  6. David Lentini

    What’s Wrong With Dimon …

    While I agree with the point, the article is a bit rambly and I think falls short of the real source of our ills.

    After the Second World War, we traded—albeit slowly—the sorts of culture and society needed to maintain a healthy democracy for a culture and society of acquistiion and consumption which is deadly to democracy. The return of Wall Street’s casino culture in the ’50s and ’60, the development of increasinly insidious marketing techniques, the rise of easy commercial credit, and the drum beat of Cold War propaganda and permanent near-war defense and foreign policies, all moved America from a country that had started to develop the sorts of public institutions and culture needed for democratic government in the ’30s and ’40s into the laissez faire social darwinist predatory culutre we have today. And, as the author quite rightly points out, by chaning the culture to exhault the greed and narcisism (and psychopathy) of people like Dimon we got what we asked for.

  7. Ignacio

    About Europe’s slow dawn. The amount of credit that Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau (KfW) will provide to Spanish SMEs “to help create employment”, allegedly 1 billion euros is a drop in the ocean. According to data compiled by Banco de España, new loans for all companies, granted in 2012 amounted to a total close to 500 billion euros excluding revolving loans(See:

    If one assume that loans amounting less than 1 million euros are mostly for SMEs, then total credit for SMEs in Spain in 2012 amounted 145 billion euros.

    Nevertheless, I believe that the problem does not lie on the ability of finantial institutions to lend more or less money. The problem is that in a shrinking economy with shrinking consumtion, salaries etc. there is, naturally, less and lowering (solvent) demand for loans.

    1. JTFaraday

      I like some of Moe Tkacik’s work– I can’t recall if I actually read the overly personal (and somewhat implausible) personal hygiene piece with which she galvanized attention in the blogosphere– and I don’t doubt that she has the potential to write a good book review.

      But here I think she’s allowed her personal animus for this particular clatch of frequently perfidious “literary journalism” poseurs to get in the way of that evaluative task.

      Of what relevance is it to imagine what an inebriated Packer would unleash upon her or one of her demographic fellows at the bar–who is she? Gogo Yubari? Perhaps a little too much Gawker, especially if there is nothing tangible to Gawk.

      Meanwhile, I still have no idea what Packer’s book even purports to be about or how he chose to approach his subject matter.

      If you really want to do someone in, just do it. I don’t doubt that he’s personally insufferable, but so what?

  8. from Mexico

    @ “Bush’s Invasion of Iraq was Criminal … Obama’s About to Do the Same Thing In Syria”

    George Washington said:

    And the U.S. is heavily backing backed Al Qaeda terrorists in Syria. (even the New York Times reports that virtually all of the rebel fighters are Al Qaeda terrorists.)

    This is the same thing that is happening in Egypt where Obama has thrown his support behind Muslim extremists.

    Is there no limit to the hypocrisy that informs the “War on Terror”?

    If it serves “our” geo-political interests, then we’re all for Islamic extremism, up to an including support for Al Qaeda. On the other hand, we’re supposed to be fighting a war against Muslim extremism.

    How long will Americans fall for this charade, footing the bill in both blood and treasure for perpetual war that benefits no one but transnational corporations?

    1. ohmyheck

      I think that article should be re-titled—“The Real Reasons the US Government is Pushing the War in Syria”.

      For Bush it was oil, and for Obama it is natural gas. GW explains it quite well. Obama needs to push the “Evul Terrists” memo, so the sheeple will support unending war and supply the cannon-fodder.

      Charade indeed.

      John McCain went to Syria last week, in support of The Opposition “Rebels”. Since there is proof that some of the “Rebels” have direct ties to AlQueda, then McCain is supporting a targeted terrorist organization. (Which means Obama is too). Why isn’t McCain arrested for treason? Too bad a drone didn’t just take McCain out while he was there. McCain is all for the abolishment of due process. He should reap what he sows.

      1. Synopticist

        Mccain is off his head. The guys is crazy.

        I get the impression Obama isn’t all that keen to get stuck into Syria. The UK and France just got the European arms embargo lifted, which is McCain style loopiness. Not least because al qeada are doing most of the anti-Assad fighting, but because Assad seems to be winning. If the Russian missiles get there, it’s goodbye to any no fly zone.

          1. ohmyheck

            From the link: “John McCain visited KIDNAPPERS My bold) of Lebanese total, eleven men were kidnapped by the militant groups in Azzaz. The hostages have been regularly referred to as “the Forgotten” as they are still being held in captivity.
            Daniel Shoueib, a relative of one of the hostages, who was reading the news of McCain’s surprise and unexpected visit, was shocked to see the photo which showed men he recognized as the kidnappers on May.

        1. Doug Terpstra

          Obama plays reluctant messiah and humanitarian warmonger masterfully. From Gaius Publius “Obama: ‘this is a just war – a war waged proportionally, in last resort, and in self-defense.’” [Loud retching sounds] such BS just doesn’t come any thicker, and waders won’t help at all. You’ll need to watch a bit of MSM broadcasting to soothe the nausea.

          In the end, if Israel wants Wall Street’s waterboy to invade Syria, he won’t hesitate any longer than he did in Libya. And it won’t matter a whit what the US populace thinks; it’s been neutralized and hamstrung. Only Russia can offer any credible deterrence to the rogue empire’s designs on Syria.

          1. Synopticist

            I’m not sure the war in Libya would have happened without Gaddaffis’ “well clear out the rats house by house and street by street” speech. That was certainly my impression from the UK side anyway.

            Neither Sarkozy or Cameron wanted a Srebrenica/Rwanda on their watch.

            I’m not doubting that Israel has a very strong influence on US policy, but the Isrealis havent been able to start a US-Iran war , at least not yet. Anyway, they may prefer the devil they know in Assad rather than a bunch of al qeada emirates on their border.

  9. diptherio

    I’ve been following a number of Nepali activists on twitter since the Occupy Baluwatar protests happened in Kathmandu. The recent anniversary of Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay’s first ascent of Sagarmartha (Mt. Everest) has sparked a number of tweets from a few of them regarding the medias coverage of the Sherpa community and the (degrading) confligration of Sherpa people with the job of porter/guide for Western mountaineering expeditions. I couldn’t think of a good way to make a link, so I’ll just “re-tweet” them here. Hope that’s OK with everyone:

    Sanu Lama ‏@_sanulama
    The single #Sherpa story that has been popularized by western companies wasnt written by Sherpas. They don’t even know us. #Sherpafordummies

    Phinjo Sherpa ‏@SherpaPhinjo
    Natural conservation has been practiced by #Sherpa people long before National Park came in #Sherpafordummies

    Sanu Lama ‏@_sanulama
    University of Nottingham&Co, what will u teach your students if not to respect other cultures. Wht does #Sherpa mean to u. #Sherpafordummies

    Sanu Lama ‏@_sanulama
    #Sherpa does not mean a guide in Tibetan. Your ignorance is an affront to us. #Sherpafordummies

    Sanu Lama ‏@_sanulama
    Yes, we are from the Himalaya Mountain region, that dos’nt mean we have to Climb ing Job for ever for living #Sherpafordummies #Sherpa

    Sushma Joshi ‏@joshisushma
    Did you know there was an official term “Sous Sherpa” to refer to officials carrying hefty loads at the G8 summit?

    Sanu Lama ‏@_sanulama
    Porters do exist. U cannot make them invisible. U cannot feel better by calling them #Sherpa. #Dignityoflabor #Sherpafordummies

    Sanu Lama ‏@_sanulama
    Let us make it clear here&now, there is no lower case “s” in a Sherpa. Stop robbing us of our voice to represent ourselves #Sherpafordummies

  10. rich

    Corruption is like terrorism, says China journalist

    According to China’s anti-corruption man of the hour, journalist Luo Changping (pictured), economic reforms won’t be enough to curb the country’s corruption pandemic.

    His new book examines 120 corruption cases involving high-profile Chinese officials. In it, Luo argues the seriousness of the situation requires a “comprehensive supervisory mechanism encompassing the Party, administration, judiciary, society, and media.”

    In a May 17 piece for the newspaper Southern Weekly, Luo likened corruption to terrorism, in that they both “can cause widespread public alarm.” He made reference to a microblog post from July 2011 that enlarged upon the concept of “corruption terrorism.” Left unchecked, the microblogger claimed, the problem could spread to the point where no segment of society is safe.

    West~East…this is a truism.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Seventy or eighty years ago, similar stories ran in China about the KMT.

      So, naturally, they celebrated the arrival of the communists who vowed to fight it.

      But alas, money knows now party affiliation.

      There is the lesson for MMTers whose delusion is this: We’re going to make the government big and it will be virtuous.

      The answer is simpler – take people out of the equation. Put it in the constitution – GDP sharing.

      YOu can do that with a small government – small and powerful (powerful for the small people).

      ‘Small government for small people.’

      1. davidgmills

        Small government in a big country is for small minds. If you want small government let us go back to the Articles of Confederation. Let us be 50 losly associated countries. That will get you the small government you so badly want.

        Those of us who are sick of the military-industrial-banking complex might even sign on to the idea.

  11. Ms G

    Russian principals of Costa Rica Liberty Bank (an online bank apparently used principally to launder money) are indicted in New York City with great fanfare by Preet Bahara.

    Can somebody explain to me the difference between what Liberty Bank did and what JP Morgan has been doing as SOP — laundering money for drug cartels, violating trading-with-the-enemy laws, etc.? (See e.g.,

    And therefore, why Slimin’ Dimon and his cohorts aren’t also being indicted like the Russians of Liberty?

    I don’t understand how any US Attorney with an ounce of conscience or an iota of integrity can feel right about enforcing US federal criminal statutes with such blatant inequality.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I was going to say, when you are rusty from not having done much, you ease back in with a practice case.

      But, that is wishful thinking, I am afraid.

  12. russell1200

    Would not Sallie Krawcheck also fit in the category of attractive, former CFOs?

    When people get to that level, they are all such good spin doctors, unless someone goes to jail (Enron) its hard to know who to point the finger at anyway.

  13. craazyman

    Is anybody channeling a market crash or is it just Martenson and Hussman?

    I’ll go broke listening to these guys unless I restrain myself, which is difficult.

    Hussman dazzles me and Martenson has me thinking he just might be right. That’s a dangerous combo because deeply out of the money puts start looking like Gold Mines. That’s only one step away from losing lots of money that can’t be recovered except by working. And that’s the opposite of the overall point.

    I won’t even mention all the doom and gloom I’ve read here for three years. First Europe was going to blow up, then housing wasn’t really recovering, then there’d be a nuclear war somewhere, then the economy would go back into deep recession, then the banks were all insolvent — or all of the above simultaneously. You’d think you could make money going short listening to the “smart money” but you’d be wrong. So wrong you have to keep working. So wrong you wonder what the overall point was of 3 years of reading macroeconomic articles when you could be watching Adele youtube clips and wasting time. I think I know which of these activities is really wasting time, but it’s taken me three years to learn. :) The last chance is a $250,000 INET Grant to recover my losses. There’s probably a better chance there than going short or playing puts.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The world would be a better place if we eliminate female inequality, instead of blaming hormones.

      This is from Wiki based on the report of the Mongol ambassador, Zhou Daguan, to Angor Thom, which the Yuan Chinese mistakenly identified as Chenla, the mysterious kingdom prior to the Khmer empire:

      …both men and women had their chests exposed, walked barefoot and wore only a piece of cloth wrapped around their waists. He reported that the common women had no hair ornaments, though some wore golden rings or bracelets. Beautiful women were apparently sent to court to serve the king or his royal family at his whim. Interestingly, he stated that all trades were carried out by women. In the market place, there were no buildings, but rather the female vendors sold their wares on large mats spread on the ground. The space in the market also apparently required a rent to be paid to the officials…

      Traders, investors, and presumably, market strategists/commentators/forecasters/doom-and-gloomers…all women.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        That should be ‘Angkor Thom.’ I don’t know what I was thinking when I typed that…maybe Uncle Tom.

    2. ScottS

      Bears have called 300 of the last 1 crashes.

      The markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.

      Yada yada yada.

      I content myself with the fact that it’s easier to maintain a 60-day limit sell on bearish investments that are losing money but will eventually pop on bad news than it is for bulls to know when to pull out of their investments.

      Stop-loss trades still need to find a buyer. Where are those HFT “liquidity” guys during a flash crash?

    3. didhenew

      Man I feel for you. I sat out this huge rally of everything. Now an article today even implies the banks are back ok.

      I _needed_ to be in on this stuff. But followed the gloom and doom. Or I guess I thought the lower risk path. Wrong, wrong, the risk was being on the sidelines.

      Somebody has to point out this lot has been pretty much wrong about every single thing in terms of prognostication. Better off at Calculated Risk, for sure. He called the bottom of the DOW, I hear, and maybe housing too, now, back about maybe 8-10 mo. ago.

      Well, I would say NC has maybe been close about the real economy. Just not about anything you could actually make any money on. It’s wasted time, because not only didn’t get any fortune-telling insight, but also still don’t understand macro much.

      PS: if you’ve got a tip, please let me know, even if encoded. Since it’s pretty much proven technical doesn’t work, fundamentals mean nothing now, and it’s impossible to predict the actions of mad machines, then thinking the only good bet is a tip, that, or always bet on the side of the banks somehow.

  14. Valissa

    Shipwrecked coal ship is now home to a floating forest

    Protect yourself from the British weather with Vaseline body armour

    York Mosque praised for offering EDL protesters tea

    In Maine… South Portland doctor stops accepting insurance, posts prices online
    Dr. Michael Ciampi took a step this spring that many of his fellow physicians would describe as radical. The family physician stopped accepting all forms of health insurance. In early 2013, Ciampi sent a letter to his patients informing them that he would no longer accept any kind of health coverage, both private and government-sponsored. Given that he was now asking patients to pay for his services out of pocket, he posted his prices on the practice’s website.

    1. readerOfTeaLeaves

      Actually, my primary care doc does the same thing.
      In my area, some docs are just getting fed up with the amount of paperwork and buttcovering involved in insurance contracts.

      They went into medicine to practice medicine.

      If they’d wanted to spend 40% of their time with insurance claims, they’d have gone to law school or business school. They didn’t.
      They’re fed up with having to spend their time justifying their actions to insurance companies.

      I think there is a splitting in health care providers right now — there is one group of docs who sign contracts to be in an insurance network. And then there is a growing group of docs saying, “Pay me at the time of service, and then you (the patient) can try to get reimbursed on your own from your health insurance provider.”

      Then s/he can spend at least 90% of his/her time focused on patient care and keeping up on recent research.

      It really shifts the experience of getting medical care.
      For starters, the docs actually have more time and attention for providing patient care. I think this model is probably going to take hold among any docs who think they can afford it. It’s financially risky, but frankly I respect my doc for taking this position.

  15. Hugh

    Re the Russian “rationale” that it is selling SAMs to Syria to discourage foreign intervention. The sale itself is a sort of intervention, but the Russians are hardly alone in this. Just about everyone is intervening in Syria nowadays, Russia, Iran, the US, the EU, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Lebanese factions, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, various jihadists groupings from around the Moslem world. The list would probably be shorter of who is not intervening in Syria.

    1. Massinissa

      Who is NOT intervening in syria:

      Cayman Islands


      Solomon Islands




      There, I think I covered everything!

      1. Paul Tioxon

        Haiti, you left out Haiti. In the future, consider them the new Switzerland, not bothering anybody and no one, of course, has anything to do with them either.

  16. Jeff Dreamer

    Where’s Matt Stoller, on vacation? Jeremy Hammond, another youth-gone-police-state story (out of many, many more that never see the light (or website) of day)

  17. diane

    Saving Detroit’s Art Treasures – While the Rest of the City is Picked Clean

    Detroit’s Emergency Manager appears to covet the precious works housed in the city’s Institute of Art, “which could be valued at a billion dollars.” This has caused Michigan’s privileged patrons of the arts to mobilize, “not to free Detroit from the bankers’ yoke, but to find ways to separate the city’s artistic assets” from the bankruptcy process, and let the rest go to corporate creditors.

    1. diane

      the endnote:

      It probably does not even occur to the self-styled art lovers that, by attempting to separate the Institute of Art from the city of Detroit, they are also thieves. It is like slipping the wristwatch from the arm of a drowning man, rather than rescuing him, and then bragging about having preserved a fine piece of craftsmanship.

      1. diane

        In other lovely nooz:

        Liberals Tell Hunger Strikers To Get Some Priorities

        From a MoveOn petition that appeared today:

        Dear Hunger Strikers,
        We understand that indefinite detention is not a picnic and that many of you are probably homesick. But the hunger strike is doing nothing to hurt the Congressional Republicans…if the hunger strikers damage Obama and the Democratic Party, they’ll be worse off, as will women and gays.

        Stunningly enough (I mean, I knew the upper echelons (and possibly then some) of the Move On crew were a holes of the first degree, but this…), for all intents and purposes it looks like a real (sick and demented) petition against the hunger strikers at Guantanamo.

        It clearly looks like it is a Move on web site (note that the media inquiries link is directly to Move On, and that the petition has been up for at least 24 hours). If that’s so (certainly looks to be), this last note on that Move On petition is beyond words:

        P.S. We’re serious and if you continue to push Obama, we will call you terrorists and urge the president to throw the book at you.

        (and if that is not a violation of the normal terms of service agreement, noted in the lower left corner of that ‘page,’ which always includes a lot of disclaimers and a note about not being ‘evil,’ it just shows those terms of service loopholes to be the legalese lies they were intended to be.)

        1. Massinissa

          Either your link is bad, or they already took the petition down, because its not there.

          Chances are enough people got pissed off they had to remove it.

          Sigh, MoveOn is just a Democratic mouthpiece. Is it really surprising that theyre telling the Guantanamo prisoners to just be silent since it makes Obama look so bad?

          1. diane

            Thanks for the heads up. Interesting I usually check links after I post them, which I did with that post, which means it changed a very short while ago. The site doesn’t note that it’s a bad link, it notes:

            Petition Not Available

            The content of this petition is under review

            And yeah, it’s not suprising at all that Move On might have that point of view, but, I think they reached a new low in expressing it so blatantly (most especially with that last “PS.” bit) from the now ‘being reviewed’ petition, and testing the waters to see if they could get away with it. The petition in full read (I’ve verified with the screen pic I took):

            Dear Hunger Strikers,

            We understand that indefinite detention is not a picnic and that many of you are probably homesick. But the hunger strike is doing nothing to hurt the Congressional Republicans…if the hunger strikers damage Obama and the Democratic Party, they’ll be worse off, as will women and gays.

            P.S. We’re serious and if you continue to push Obama, we will call you terrorists and urge the president to throw the book at you.

            (The bolding, was mine)

          2. diane

            Uuugh, very, very sorry, I missed the middle paragraph, of that petition “in full.”:

            We understand that indefinite detention is not a picnic and that many of you are probably homesick. But the hunger strike is doing nothing to hurt the Congressional Republicans…if the hunger strikers damage Obama and the Democratic Party, they’ll be worse off, as will women and gays.
            Meanwhile, the man who has pledged repeatedly to free you is said to be suffering from deep anguish. Obama has your back, but do you have his? Please call off this ill-advised hunger strike.

            P.S. We’re serious and if you continue to push Obama, we will call you terrorists and urge the president to throw the book at you.

            (bolding, of the previously missing parragraph, mine.)

          3. diane

            Yeah, Massinissa, it’s true that someone could have slipped that petition by the money counter$ at Move on – who clearly could care less what anyone petitions for on their faux petition site, as long as it’s for betrayor DemRats – as satire (until it hits a highly populated site, such as this one, of course); but, …. either way that went – as I think the “ohtarzie” author implied in the comment section here: Liberals Tell Hunger Strikers To Get Some Priorities – I believe it was very much worth noting as a condemnation of what is happening,…. indeed … what has been happening, …. for way, way toooooo long.

    1. diane

      Thanks for that. Regarding her California commentary (which all should be concerned with, as Cali is one of the largest economies in the WORLD and its (full and part time resident power brokers) call the shots all over the world), I stumbled into this this morning, which I had missed in the last few months:

      03/10/13 Billionaires get richer as record number of Silicon Valley residents fall into poverty

      •Huge disparities on show in the Silicon Valley

      •Homelessness rose 20 percent in two years and the average annual income for Hispanics fell to a new low of $19,000

      •Meanwhile, the region’s top tech earners inched up the Forbes annual list of the richest people on the planet released this week

      (some of the comments on that Daily Mail piece are ‘hilarious’ bot comments; as many of the homeless did not move into a valley they couldn’t afford, they were actually born there, or have lived AND WORKED there for decades, before ending up ‘under a bridge in a cardboard box.’)

      1. diane

        Ohhhh, oopsie, this story has already been covered by BIll Moyers (it’s that Associated Press (AP) piece by Martha Mendoza (see upper left corner of that above, Daily Mail linked piece ), that BIll felt the need to weigh in on by highly focusing on two people (to my recollect), one (50 % of his sampling) being an ex Felon, Daniel Garcia (where Felons were never mentioned in that initial AP piece -for very good reason, presumably because that was not why most of those homeless are now Homeless – despite the fact that the original AP piece said nothing about homeless felons):

        A new video report from Moyers and Company shows the contrast between wealth and poverty in San Jose, Calif., based on an Associated Press report by Martha Mendoza published last month. Among the people they talk to: Daniel Garcia, who became homeless after losing his job in a Google campus restaurant, and Teresa Frigge, a homeless woman who used to make silicon chips.

        Care to explain that Billy, lifelong Democrat, talking about thousands of inexplicable homeless in a stunningly wealthy, for a teeny handful, Valley run exclusively by Democrat Politicians yet Exclusively ‘Libertarian’ (Republican) Business Leaders?

        1. diane

          shameless comment bump here, because it is highly relevant, please read the directly preceding …. which this comment is an “html reply” to.

          1. diane

            by the way, it’s relieving to know that Belgian Malinoise [sp?] dogs are ever so sweet when not trained to be vicious, love that pic ……

  18. p78
    “America: Host or Parasite (Full)
    Interview with economist, Dr. Michael Hudson.
    We discuss the US balance of payments trade deficit which creates US credit to finance the US national debt and war abroad; Russian economic shock therapy as the final stage of the cold war; the real estate bubble; permanent war and the inevitable collapse of the current US dominated global economic system.”

  19. WorldisMorphing

    ***IMF lowers China growth forecast… again MacroBusiness***

    [“China’s President Xi Jinping signaled a tolerance for slower expansion to avoid environmental degradation as policy makers outlined plans for the private sector to take a bigger role in boosting growth.

    The country won’t sacrifice the environment to ensure short-term growth, Xi said during a study session of the Communist Party’s top leadership on May 24.”]
    Oil production has peaked–so even if they wanted to, all they could pull off is the growth of an asset price bubble……. oh, wait…

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