Links 9/24/13

Olympic medal firm in pollution suit Guardian

Hackers claim to have bypassed iPhone 5s’ Touch ID fingerprint authentication system Gizmag

Slowdown ‘central’ to climate report BBC

Kenyan officials claim last push to end mall siege Associated Press

Americans among Nairobi mall attackers, Kenyan official says Sydney Morning Herald (furzy mouse)

Beijing to Offer Higher Prices for Clean Fuels to Encourage Production OilPrice

Two Hundred Bangladesh Factories Shut on Labor Unrest Bloomberg

This is the end of GM crops in Denmark Coalition of States for GMO Labeling (furzy mouse)


The ICC as the Sword of Damocles Just Security. A new blog, flagged approvingly by the folks at emptywheel, and born full grown, like Athena.

Some Syria Links Moon of Alabama

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Are Internet Backbone Pen Registers Constitutional? Just Security

Metadata Equals Surveillance Bruce Schneier

President Obama speaks out on Trade Promotion Authority Politico. In which Obama comes right out and says Boeing owes him a payoff, um, gold watch. Just a joke, of course.

Why the GOP Effort to Shut Down the Government in Order to Kill ObamaCare Is High Risk- 9/22 (Part 1 and Part 2) & 9/23 Fox News. Pat Caddell and the saner folks at Fox are concerned.

Lower Health Insurance Premiums to Come at Cost of Fewer Choices New York Times (furzy mouse). And this is not necessary. I have a cheap indemnity plan, which means I can see anyone, even go straight to a specialist. There’s no excuse for all the ripoffs, except of course that they can get away with them.

Clinton Global Initiative Is Market For Favor Trading, Credibility Laundering DS Wright, Firedoglake

Detroit’s Casino-Tax Dollars Become Big Issue in Bankruptcy Case New York Times (furzy mouse)

Crash Course in Disequilibrium Economics Steve Keen

Do European fines deter price fixing? VoxEU. Wow, says fines ought to be much higher!

The idiocy of crowds Felix Salmon

CFTC warns over funds to protect public Financial Times

Dr Doom says buy shares MacroBusiness

Bernanke’s Head Fake Sends Stocks Soaring CounterPunch (Carol B)

Housing Smoke and Mirrors (18) – “The Mendacity of HOPE (and HARP and HAMP)” Global Economic Intersection

Gauging the trajectory of the US housing market Sober Look. I’m not surprised, since Aug home sales are the result of contracts entered into in June and July. I heard a lot of reports of buyers rushing to close deals on the fear that the taper talk/reality would only make matters worse, so they wanted to get through what they thought was a closing window. I had said earlier we wouldn’t get a good reading on the impact of the early summer rate rise before the September data was in.

US manufacturing data dips Guardian

JPMorgan faces US charges on mortgage-backed securities Financial Times

Wal-Mart Hires Workers for Holidays Amid Shelf Complaints Bloomberg

Life on a trailer park BBC. At least in Alabama, living in a mobile home is a necessary but not sufficient condition for losing everything in a tornado.

4 Reasons Not to Contribute To Your 401k MoneyMuser (Carol B)

Antidote du jour:

amusing_animal_world (17)

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    1. psychohistorian

      Oh, the travails of an aspiring plutocrat puppet.

      Learning the ropes can be so embarrassing.


      All salute Hitllery, our first woman president, anointed to follow our first president of “color”…..both exemplary puppets of American empire.

    2. Optimader

      For those that dont know the papertrail

      Son marc is an”investment” banker, who would’ve guessed.
      He’s a good boy, and a hard worker!
      Even if you have the resouces, what is the modivation to be in a $10MM “ghetto”?
      To me, it demonstrates an utter lack of imagination w/ regard to resource allocation. A $5MM home loan=lol! I wonder when they will be able to apply for a home equity line of credit to redo the kitchen, buy a jetski and some micheal jackson memorabilia?

    3. real

      buit chelesa is a white woman and a democrat…How can you comment on her wealth when she has been opprressed by white men from last 100000 years? and since she is a democrat,she is above suspicion…
      i hate you NC commentetors ..

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Chelsea is not 100,000 years old.

        What has been oppressed during that time is the yin energy or the Goddess chi, which is not particularly related to one’s anatomical form. Lots of men have overabundance of yin energy. The happy humans tend to have a balanced mix of yin & yang energies. More importantly, societies used to be more yin, with more live-and-let-live and egalitarian hunter-gatherers roaming around. Women were free to join the hunt for mammoths but there was no power or wealth likely to be gained from that.

    4. Butch in Waukegan

      Chelsea’s husband’s father, Ed Mezvinsky, is from my hometown. He was a Democratic congressman from Iowa, and eventually was sent to jail. One wonders just where young Marc “earned” his money.

      From Wikipedia

      Mezvinsky [Ed] was involved in a series of business transactions that ultimately led to his downfall.

      In March 2001, Mezvinsky was indicted and later pleaded guilty to 31 of 69 charges of bank fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud. Nearly $10 million was involved in the crimes. Shortly after his indictment, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but the judge at his trial disallowed a mental illness defense. He served his time at Federal Prison Camp, Eglin. Mezvinsky, Federal Bureau of Prisons # 55040-066, he was released in April 2008. He remained on federal probation until 2011, and owes substantial restitution to his victims.[13]

      By the way, old news, but I read recently that Chelsea has her own a Chief of Staff.

    5. LucyLulu

      Chris Hayes covered this story last night.

      Author of original piece was on panel. He said the practice was common in the circles they run in (rich people) but the scale of the favors was what made it so mind-boggling. Hilary had distanced herself from CGI and Clinton’s cronies according to top campaign staffer, also on panel. Hilary, she believed, didn’t want any part of Bill’s shenanigans. She said Bill and Hilary rarely saw each other, Hilary busy with career as Senator, presidential nominee, then Sec. of State. The recent change is that Hilary has joined the board of CGI. She can no longer disavow any connections. The campaign staffer was feeling visibly disillusioned with her, until of late, hero.

    1. optimader


      “I’ve never opposed solar since nature uses it but bird-choppers, windmills, are another matter.”

      Does nature use the wind?

      Do you think that nature/environment is immune from adverse consequences of the commercialization of solar energy/solar cell production?

      1. F. Beard

        Nature uses solar in an environmentally friendly way so I reckon we can too eventually, assuming the banks don’t get us killed first. Here’s an idea: Trees bio-engineered to produce electricity as their fruit.

        But I don’t see any windmills in nature so the outlook for them is bleak in comparison,imo, especially considering maintenance costs.

        But I won’t argue over it much.

        But, of course, I do take a bit of pleasure in taunting nature worshipers with their inconsistencies.

        Disclaimer: I love and respect animals including birds, of course.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        One day, we will harvest solar wind.

        Then you can have solar and wind.

        Everyone will be happy then.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            But we can have solar wind now.

            Just put solar panels on those windmill blades or make windbags wear solar hats.

            1. F. Beard

              There’s that passive-aggression again and unprovoked too, just like with skippy.

              Look, I’m not very loveable* but then I don’t claim to be God. You should take heart that if I can be saved then so can you.

              But piss me off one more time and you get permanently filed under “swine” as in don’t throw your pearls of wisdom to.

              *And you can be sure that I have secret (except from God, the angels and the NSA) sins that are even less lovely.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


                I like the idea of putting solar panels on wind turbine blades.

                Do you always get mad at a new idea that is not 2000 years old?

        1. optimader

          Wind is solar energy! (now say out loud like Soylent Green is People!)

          Other than trace abiotic oil, if it truly exists, and with the notable exception of nuclear decay, all terrestrial forms of energy are “solar” derived.

          Not sure where this nature-solar-windmill brain freeze is going, but certainly a wind turbine is an engineered contrivance simulating nature. The blade is an airfoil.. segue to a Condor wing.

          If a contrivances proximity to “nature” a litmus for economic potential (“…I don’t see any windmills in nature so the outlook for them is bleak in comparison,imo..”), I think you will be at least as challenged to find 99.9999999% (“nine nines” mat’l)like refined Si, GaAs etc wafers in nature. You will find soaring/migrating birds extracting solar (wind) energy for transportation and feeding.

          Concerned about birds getting whacked? Pareto would be directing your concern to commercial aircraft/airports where the collateral damage carrion is certainly less likely to support scavengers in the foodchain.

          “Here’s an idea: Trees bio-engineered to produce electricity as their fruit.”

          I’m sure that’s in a Monsanto *.ppt presentation somewhere.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            That’s right.

            We’re all made of star dust, including gold.

            Outer space – that’s where we, animate and inanimate, came from.

          2. F. Beard

            Like I said, I won’t argue it much but my bet would be on solar, not windmills, basically because I prefer no moving parts.

            And speaking of pollution, don’t forget windmill generators use rare earth elements.

            But hey, if I ever get to playing the market, I might want something to short so be my guest!

            1. optimader

              An economic debate is different than a proximity to “occurring in nature” and relative environmental impact.

              I think they (solar and wind) will both enjoy robust niche status in the energy sector. Most people have no conceptual grasp of the scale up requirements, time and resources in both cases to even make a dent in the global energy balance.
              Yes, REE are necessary for wind turbines and refined semiconductor mat’ls are required for solar cells. Incredibly elaborate production processes are rqd in both cases. And MOST people have no grasp what a horse race civilization is in relative to peak energy, as we pour the seed corn into different clever ways to blow each other up.

              1. F. Beard

                Yet nature does photosynthesis with very high efficiency*, iirc, and without the need for highly refined materials.

                My last word.

                *Using quantum effects.

                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    Anger as energy is often untapped.

                    If we could only harvest that renewal energy provided by the 0.01%, we’d get ‘change.’

                  1. F. Beard

                    Actually, my true preference is high density sources such as thorium reactors but I’m willing to be open-minded about strategies that Nature uses.

                    Of course in the Millennium, I’d expect practical fusion reactors to be developed along with interplanetary travel.

                    Btw, remember the sunflowers in Larry Niven’s Known Space Series? Ouch!

    2. craazyman

      That’s why I won’t drive more than 25 miles per hour, because I don’t want a bug splattered across my windshield on my conscience.

      I read someplace that glass highrises kill about 100 times more birds than windmills.

      and forget cats. They kill birds for sport, then they go home and eat canned food. I read someplace they kill 1000 times more birds than windmills. It was an astonishing number, something like 1 million per year.

      1. F. Beard

        Remember the Far Side where a woman is sleeping on her back with her mouth wide open and “Pudums” is walking up her front with a “gift?”

        I love the cat I once had co-custody of and would punish him when he brought us “gifts” in an instructive but firm way.

        Question? Why do we love the little monsters? Because they’re innocent, regardless of the damage they do?

      2. craazyboy

        Yeah, I know how you are sympathetic towards bugs, craazyman, but lots of people like cats and overlook their little foibles.

        Anyway, I researched Soitec a bit and found this presentation they made to the Saudies.

        They do include a useful chart which shows cost vs solar intensity (tho they don’t define (DNI vs GHI vs effective DII – so we have to guess at what that means)

        But they plot euro cents per kwh for this and other PV solar technologies. Under some solar conditions it is not any better than that conventional PV technology. But can be better in in very good locations – which I would guess would be places with a large number of sunny days per year.

        Have to convert to USD cents per kwh to compare with the average US cost we pay now of 12 cents/kwh. So in the marginal locations it works out to 31 cents/kwh and in the best areas 21 cents/kwh.

        They did not include comparative cost for solar thermal, but a new plant being built in AZ (with our 300+ sunny days a year), with be selling wholesale cost power at 14 cents/kwh. Not sure what the markup to retail will be, but if we multiply by 1.3 that would be 18 cents/kwh.

        The Soitec data is based on existing product they build now which appears to be 27%-30% efficient. So it looks like they need to increase efficiency still higher and or cost reduce to get better than solar thermal. But solar thermal has other drawbacks – it requires a lot of land (meaning it has to be out far away in the desert with longer transmission lines) and seems to use a lot of water. Soitec tech would be much better in that regard, I would guess. They also track the sun, so high power levels are more even thru out the day and there is less need for expensive storage when feeding a grid that has conventional base load plants.

        1. craazyman

          often the cost of transmission lines aren’t included in those kilowatthour prices and the sun farm locations are typically remote wtih a big NIMBY and “Who pays?” issues to resolve to run power lines to them.

          based on what I recall reading anyway.

          at any rate, I think those thermal solar farms are really cool looking. they look like something from the 21st century. Wait. It is the 21st century. No wonder.

          I don’t think there’s a real energy crisis since so much energy hits the earth every second nobody could ever use a fraction of it, but there is a cooperation crisis in shifting over to it.

          The bright side of global warming is closer beaches and bigger waves. stoke that, dude. although if the sea rises far enough, the amount of beach mileage would shrink since land masses would be smaller.

          1. craazyboy

            Yeah, but when you think about it, everyone that lives close to the beach is corrupt anyway, so I think climate change is just the 21st century version of Noah’s Ark.

            I am toying with the thought of starting the Arizona Solar Yacht Foundation. Not for profit biz model, of course.

              1. craazyboy

                Who’s kidding? Already I’ve been contacted by a gentleman by the name of Lex Luther. Says he likes the idea and has lots of money. Had this hot blonde bimbo with him too, so I think the manifest will be much more interesting than what Noah did.

                We are working on the pet policy already. We only want nice pets on board, and all the nasty critters can go straight to hell! Whoever let rattlesnakes and scorpions on board the last time musta been dumber than Otis.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  Do you ever wonder why only land animals and plants were punished by the Flood?

                  Was it a favoritism towards sea creatures and seaweeds? Maybe seaweeds had not been ‘wicked’ enough to deserve ‘punishment’ at that time?

                  ‘Nice shark. See that pine tree over there? I am punishing it for Man’s wickedness. But you are a nice shark and I am going to have a bigger ocean for you to swim in, for the next few days, with lots of drowned elephants for you to chew on.’

                  1. F. Beard

                    Anyone who takes you seriously deserves what they get.

                    I’ll not correct the slop dribbling from your snout. Let your fans lap it up. Just hope they can’t get ahold of you in Hell should you lead them there!

                    My last to word to you.

                    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      That’s it, folks?

                      I guess we will never find out why seaweeds were favored over emmer and einkorn wheat…

                    2. craazyboy

                      God hadn’t known about ocean acidification yet back then. He’s learning!

                      We’re installing fresh water aquariums and desalinaters on our yachts. Salmon for dinner!

                      Just gotta call from Kevin Costner. Says he wants in. Says he knows a place on Mount Everest that grows organic vegetables. Also maybe some hippies might do it in the San Gabriel Mountains, but he’s not sure about that yet. Depends on if San Onofre nuke plant blows from flooding.

      3. F. Beard

        That’s why I won’t drive more than 25 miles per hour, because I don’t want a bug splattered across my windshield on my conscience. craazyman

        75-80 mph is my preferred Interstate speed and the death of bugs is instantaneous at that speed and is greatly to be preferred to my dying of boredom at, say, 55 mph, Jimmy Carter not withstanding.

        That said, I won’t deliberately step on a bug or an ant and only kill the very occasional fly or roach in my apt.

      4. sleepy

        Pet cats should always be kept inside if at all possible.

        Not only for their own safety, but for the sake of the ecological destruction they can wreak.

        I too have read studies detailing the staggering numbers of birds killed by pet cats in any given area.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I, too, have often lectured* my cat about not trying to escape the paradise that is my house.

          *I don’t believe in punishing her, the cat, as any repressed anger will only find its way back to me, per the Hindu law of Karma.

        2. Ned Ludd

          Our cats lived in our barn, where they would supplement their meals by keeping the rodent population in check. Also, whether you are talking about deer or songbirds or wild turkeys, plenty die from predators. The songbirds in our backyard ignored the cats, but they all scattered when a hawk flew overhead.

          In nature, animals get killed by predators. What matters is how many survive and whether enough survive for the population to sustain itself. The primary threat isn’t predatory cats; the primary threat to bird populations is parking lots and mowed lawns and highways and industrial agriculture. Without natural habitat, birds can’t reproduce and evolve to outwit the cats (who in turn keep evolving to outwit the birds).

          Given a patch of land, it is easier for birds to co-exist with cats than to co-exist with humans, who bulldoze the trees and replace wild habitat with strip malls and manicured lawns.

        3. LucyLulu

          I agree cats should be kept inside. They terrorize dogs, specifically the one who shares a home with me.

          Have you ever seen a cat chasing a pit bull? It’s a terrible thing to watch.

    1. rich

      I just wanted to add this to your post. These guys really think everyone is brain dead. Instead of going off quietly after looting the public, they come back with salt for our wounds.

      AIG CEO Compares Anger at Wall Street Bonuses to the Lynching of Black People in the South
      Posted on September 24, 2013

      I’m doing God’s work.
      – Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein in a November 2009 interview

      It’s war. It’s like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.
      – Steve Schwarzman, Chairman and co-founder of Blackstone, on potential tax changes in 2010

      The uproar over bonuses was intended to stir public anger, to get everybody out there with their pitch forks and their hangman nooses, and all that–sort of like what we did in the Deep South. And I think it was just as bad and just as wrong.

      – AIG CEO Robert Benmosche in a Wall Street Journal Interview this past weekend

      As if you needed any more evidence of how disconnected, entitled, irrational and sociopathic the heads of financial firms in America are these days, along comes AIG’s CEO Robert Benmosche to dispel any lingering doubts.

    1. F. Beard

      But in recent years scientists have discovered that pandas do have a strong libido — but only for three days of the year, when the females are on heat. Daily Mail

      But how can they possibly exist the other 362 1/4 days of the year?

      The rest of the time, males and females cannot abide one another and will fight viciously when put together. Daily Mail

      I’m at a rare loss for words.

      1. GooberPyle

        Genesis 3:14-19

        “The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life; And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.” read more.Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, `You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life. “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field; By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.”

  1. Jeff N

    Perhaps living a manufactured home is one way to stay ahead of any upcoming social issues? If the drinking water turns bad, or if a city lays off all its police & fire dept…

  2. Jim Haygood

    Dilma stomps ass on the President of the Unfree World:

    (Reuters) – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Tuesday criticized the United States for spying, using the opening speech at the U.N. General Assembly to announce Brazil would adopt legislation and technology to protect it from illegal interception of communications.

    Rousseff last week called off a high-profile state visit to the U.S. over reports that the U.S. National Security Agency had been spying on Brazil and Rousseff’s email. Rousseff launched into a blistering attack on U.S. spying, calling espionage among friendly nations “totally unacceptable.”

    “Meddling in such a manner in the lives and affairs of other countries is a breach of international law and, as such, it is an affront to the principles that should otherwise govern relations among countries, especially among friendly nations,” Rousseff told the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations.

    U.S. President Barack Obama was en route to the United Nations while Rousseff spoke. He then followed Rousseff on the podium as the first and second national leaders to address the General Assembly.

    Postponing the state visit was a rare and diplomatically severe snub by Brazil. No new date has been set.

    They hate us for our Stasi … and our Hitman in Chief.

  3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The idiocy of crowds.

    Specifically, crowds in crowded marketplaces, doing all the buying and selling, when they could be borrowing, or better, sharing, which came before borrowing, I am inclined to believe.

  4. rich

    A Risk Manager’s Impossibility?

    A reconsideration of the London Whale, JPMorgan’s risk management, Jamie Dimon’s oversight – and their implications for other financial institutions

    If you are a risk manager at a U.S. bank, you will be faced with difficult decisions. You’ve probably already run into one or more of what I think of as the three major problems for risk managers. The first is the lip service paid to risk management by people in leadership positions who are unfit to lead; the second is ignoring or covering up oversized risky positions; and the third is not effectively managing short positions.

    Lip Service

    Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, is still lauded as the best bank manager in America. That’s a leading indicator of how difficult your job will be if you actually try to perform your role in the way it should be done. Yet, if you go-along-to-get-along, you will probably be safe only temporarily.

  5. fresno dan

    Mr. Benmosche on the government’s campaign against partial “bonuses” to be paid to hundreds of employees in the AIG financial-products unit as they unwound massive, ill-fated bets on mortgage bonds. He said “less than 10” employees were behind the bad trades.

    “That was ignorance … of the public at large, the government and other constituencies. I’ll tell you why. [Critics referred] to bonuses as above and beyond [basic compensation]. In financial markets that’s not the case. … It is core compensation.

    “Now you have these bright young people [in the financial-products unit] who had nothing to do with [the bad bets that hurt the company.] … They understand the derivatives very well; they understand the complexity. … They’re all scared. They [had made] good livings. They probably lived beyond their means. …They aren’t going to stay there for nothing.

    The uproar over bonuses “was intended to stir public anger, to get everybody out there with their pitch forks and their hangman nooses, and all that–sort of like what we did in the Deep South [decades ago]. And I think it was just as bad and just as wrong.

    “We wouldn’t be here today had they not stayed and accepted … dramatically reduced pay. … They really contributed an enormous amount [to AIG’s survival] and proved to the world they are good people. It is a shame we put them through that.”

    Uh, I can’t parody that – its just unpossible.

  6. Jeremy Grimm

    So far, I watched the pair of lectures in Steve Keen’s crash course and greatly enjoyed the material he covered. His software tool, Minsky, gives life to the simple dynamic models that he covered. I also find his lecture style very engaging (although it would be easier to watch if he’d not move around quite so much — his movement keeps pulling my visual attention away from his slides and models). After reading a couple the posts on his blog I added his URL to my bookmarks. Thank you for making me aware of his work, and the works he references.

  7. duffolonious

    In the Twin Cities I just got an offer for my old place in a day for list price (and other interest). Although it’s priced pretty aggressively it’s better than our neighbors who sold in may (comparatively). Perhaps the updates we did just make it sell. Nonetheless, buyers are still out there.

  8. Skeptic

    What marvelous juxtaposition:

    “Wal-Mart Hires Workers for Holidays Amid Shelf Complaints Bloomberg

    Life on a trailer park BBC. At least in Alabama, living in a mobile home is a necessary but not sufficient condition for losing everything in a tornado. ”

    Hey, BBC, many Americans cannot afford traditional housing because of predators like Mal-Mart. Trailer living and renting is a sign of the devaluation and degeneration of American Life.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I didn’t know that.

      But I do know that the Butsotso-Kavirondo people of Kenya, they love to share beer from a communal pot through straws, right out there in the middle of their villages.

      That’s sharing.

      We think we are hip, modern and smart, but there are people smarter than us. And they probably are not on the net.

  9. susan the other

    Today’s Steve Keen marathon from Equador. Nice he is on the circuit. But Prof. Keen, for all his clear math and models, makes my eyes glaze over and when I finally turn him off I’m so dissatisfied I’d rather listen to the hucksters. His explanation of Marx was interesting. But one thing that really makes me weary about Keen is that he does not address the environment, the atmosphere, the short and long term effects of toxics and he has never even mentioned Fukushima.

    1. LucyLulu

      I love Steve Keen but he can get pretty deep down in the math and stuff. I watched the talk he gave to Congress and it was really good. He didn’t make it too complicated, rightly assuming he might lose many, if not most, of them. Too bad he didn’t get through to them. I wonder who invited him.

      In his defense, he’s an economist, not an expert on environmental science. Perhaps he knows little on the subject, isn’t interested, or doesn’t feel qualified to comment.

      Having a friend in Australia, my understanding is that their anti-global warming rancor is even more intense than here in the US. It’s a politically hot topic, which may be another reason he doesn’t want to introduce it into his professional life. Just speculating though….

  10. LucyLulu

    A couple days ago (so it may be duplicate for some), I posted a link to this story about a billion dollar gold trade reported by Nanex from Chicago between 02:00:00:00 and 02:00:00:07 on Sept. 18 when the Fed made their “no taper” announcement. It takes 7 milliseconds for news to travel from DC to Chicago. Nobody else had covered it except money.cnn with a whitewash.

    I got a call that CNBC was all over the story today.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I know that had they sent that news by a tapir, it wouldn’t have gotten there in 7 milliseconds.

        1. LucyLulu

          But news was the ‘no taper news’ tapir was able to taper his time down to being the fastest tapir delivering no taper news.

          1. ambrit

            Like the Geico Gecko, let us introduce to you, the gullible public, our newest obfuscatory message mascot: The Taper Tapir! (I’d love to see that snuffly snout staring straight out of the tube every time the Fed Chairman makes a pronunciamento.)

  11. Butch in Waukegan

    In the last two days these articles appeared the the Chicago Tribune. The depth of the housing crisis is hidden in plain sight. Of course, the solution is a PR / Marketing campaign.

    Chicago Leads Home Price Gains in Key Index

    July home prices across the nation continued to beat their monthly and year-ago comparisons but the rate of increase slowed, according to a widely watched barometer of the housing market.

    The Chicago area led the nation in monthly gains, posting a 3.2 percent increase in prices in July, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, released Tuesday.

    Another piece of good news for the Chicago area came in a report on mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures, which showed those rates are at low not seen in more than three years.


    In the local market, the biggest price gains were in homes that sold for more than $308,120.


    Among homes with a mortgage in the Chicago area, 8.4 percent were at least 90 days delinquent on their loan payments, putting them at risk of foreclosure and 4.09 percent of outstanding mortgages were in foreclosure. That compares with 10.57 percent and 6.16 percent, respectively, a year ago.

    60,000 Underwater Borrowers in Chicago Eligible for Program

    More than four years after the Federal Housing Finance Agency established a mortgage refinancing program, the effort has been losing steam.

    Now the agency is looking for underwater but current borrowers, including almost 60,000 homeowners in the Chicago area, who are eligible to refinance their Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac-backed mortgages to more affordable terms under the Home Affordable Refinance Program.

    With the unveiling Tuesday of a public service campaign featuring an HGTV personality, a new logo and website, and literature sent to participating mortgage lenders, the housing finance agency is trying to boost participation in a program that originally was scheduled to end this year but was extended until Dec. 31, 2015.


    In the second quarter, 39 percent of homes in Cook County with a mortgage were underwater, and 10 percent of those loans were delinquent, according to Zillow.

    1. LucyLulu

      8.4% 90 days or more delinquent might be an improvement over a year ago but is hardly good news. That’s about double the (national) rate in the decade before the housing crisis (~3.5-5.0%).

      Also, 308K is a pretty inclusive category, but it must be more than the median price home (~200K? lived in close-in suburb several years, loved it but lakeside is the coldest place in the world). And sales now are requiring minimum 20% down, low DTI, and high credit scores, or cash, which means sales to those with more income/assets are the hotter ones. Quelle surprise.

  12. readerOfTeaLeaves

    …the electoral pattern since the fall of Lehman Brothers five years ago has overwhelmingly been the defeat of incumbents…

    What is true is that left-of-centre parties which fail to recognise, as Miliband has done, that the “free market” model of the past 30 years is bust have paid the electoral price. The question now is whether the Labour leader is able to turn that understanding into a viable social democratic programme for a new era.

    I offer this interesting ‘tea leaf’ from today’s Guardian:

  13. Doug Terpstra

    Moon of AL’s links on Syria don’t bode well for warmongers, especially reports of infighting among US-sponsored terrorist groups including al-Qaeda.

    Another report, Questions Plague UN Report on Syria corroborates an earlier MintPress article alleging Saudi involvement. AP reporter Dale Gavlak tried to disown the MintPress piece three weeks later, but Phil Greaves raises troubling questions about Gavlak’s denial in Syria: Controversy surrounding MintPress Ghouta report. The warmongers are increasingly discredited.

  14. Roland

    How could the ICC ever do anything unless one of the major powers invaded Syria on its behalf?

    How could an ICC process handle rebels who are hosted by a NATO country such as Turkey, or a strong US ally such as Saudi Arabia?

    When dealing with the participants in a bitter and protracted civil war, comprehensive amnesty is the only way forward. Get a ceasefire, convene a roundtable conference of all participants, and pardon everybody for everything.

    It is nonsense to pretend that there can be any kind of justice to come out of a bitter and protracted civil war. It is even worse nonsense to pretend that a bunch of ignorant foreigners over at the ICC are in any way fit to judge Syrians.

    The war is a bad thing and everybody who participated helped to make it that bad. The best thing to hope for is a time when people in Syria just quietly say, “that was during the war,” and change the subject.

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