Links 9/5/13

Former Senior White House Official On Larry Summers Nomination: ‘It Really Does Need To Be Stopped’ Huffington Post

Here’s what Larry Summers would do at the Fed Washington Post. According to his completely unbiased pals who have no stake in the matter whatsoever.

Wealthy New Yorkers Call De Blasio’s Tax Plan Offensive Bloomberg. Featuring America’s Worst Person, Karthryn Wylde.

Trott to run for Congress in Michigan 11th District The Oakland Press. h/t Marcy Wheeler, who advises that this guy runs one of the worst foreclosure mill law firms in the state, Trott and Trott.

Syria:

Divided Senate Panel Approves Resolution on Syria Strike NYT. 10-7 with two Democratic defections (Tom Udall and Chris Murphy) and one, Ed Markey, voting “present.”

Intercepted call bolsters Syrian chemical-weapons charge, Germans say McClatchy

Who the f— knows what it will cost? Hullabaloo

Escalation Rhetoric, in Six Simple Steps and Another Set of Questions About Syria James Fallows, The Atlantic

A Risible and Inept Performance Booman Tribune. h/t Susie Madrak. A notable barometer.

Liberal House Democrats Turn Up Heat on Syria Vote WSJ

Heritage Action opposes Syria strike The Hill

The Democratic Congressman Who Thinks He Can Stop the Syria War The Atlantic

Report: Officials recommend Obama suspend Egypt aid The Hill

Clinton Urges Americans to Sign Up for Health Care Exchanges NYT. They had to go get the Big Dog.

States Divert Foreclosure Prevention Money to Demolition Marketplace

Injunction Preventing Hundreds of Rhode Island Foreclosures Is Lifted Housing Wire

‘Jumbo’ Mortgage Rates Fall Below Traditional Ones WSJ (h/t JF)

Feds Try to Get Even Tougher on For-Profit Colleges Businessweek. Emphasis on “try”.

Former Boehner Aides, GOP Sources: House Speaker Will Step Down After 2014 Elections Huffington Post

Pay Gap for Women Doctors Increases to $50,000 a Year Bloomberg

One In Seven Families Face Food Insecurity Think Progress

The Austerian Mask Slips Paul Krugman

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch:

NRA joins spy lawsuit, says NSA creating gun registry USA Today. Hilarity ensues.

UN: Press should not be ‘intimidated into silence’ over state secrets The Guardian

How Advanced Is the NSA’s Cryptanalysis — And Can We Resist It? Wired

Al Gore’s Incredible Shrinking Climate Change Footprint Buzzfeed

Teach for America is Proud to Partner With Goldman Sachs Press release. And we are proud of you too, Teach for America!

U.S. Probes Whether J.P. Morgan Employees Misled Regulators WSJ

Tony Abbott poised for victory in Australia elections The Guardian

Humans Would Be Better Off If They Monkeyed Around Like the Muriquis | Science & Nature Smithsonian Magazine

Tulsa school sends girl home because ‘dreadlocks’ and ‘afros’ are too distracting The Raw Story

Antidote du jour:

tumblr_lvunlcN9JU1qhn8tao1_500

Print Friendly
Tweet about this on TwitterDigg thisShare on Reddit0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Facebook0Share on LinkedIn1Share on Google+0Buffer this pageEmail this to someone
This entry was posted in Links on by .

About David Dayen

David is a contributing writer to Salon.com. He has been writing about politics since 2004. He spent three years writing for the FireDogLake News Desk; he’s also written for The New Republic, The American Prospect, The Guardian (UK), The Huffington Post, The Washington Monthly, Alternet, Democracy Journal and Pacific Standard, as well as multiple well-trafficked progressive blogs and websites. His has been a guest on MSNBC, CNN, Aljazeera, Russia Today, NPR, Pacifica Radio and Air America Radio. He has contributed to two anthology books, one about the Wisconsin labor uprising and another on the fight against the Stop Online Piracy Act in Congress. Prior to writing about politics he worked for two decades as a television producer and editor. You can follow him on Twitter at @ddayen.

85 comments

  1. CB

    Is there anything cuter than platypus babies? It’s such a rare event in captivity, where were they born?

  2. CB

    “That’s because so many workers, lacking the skills to get good jobs, will give up.”

    Gives the game away right there.

  3. from Mexico

    @ “The Democratic Congressman Who Thinks He Can Stop the Syria War”

    For those who haven’t signed Grayson’s online petition against intervention in Syria and would like to do so, here’s the link:

    http://dontattacksyria.com/

      1. Massinissa

        The protests of the late 60s pretty much made the 1% shit their pants. They would need to accidentally start WWIII for the PTB to feel it necessary to call up another draft.

        1. JTFaraday

          Piece of cake. They’re calling it a “job guarantee.” Sure to bring meaning to lives of the meaningless.

          It’s no accident.

        1. Robert Hurst

          I think the Summers thing is meant to be noticed. Nominating the guy who most symbolizes the deregulation of the financial industry sends a message that those policies are successful — are ‘working’ — in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The administration has become so consumed by its PR, it has given up on governing altogether.

  4. Skeptic

    Humans Would Be Better Off If They Monkeyed Around Like the Muriquis | Science & Nature Smithsonian Magazine

    Maybe re-Headline: Humans Would Be Much Richer If They Were DC Monkeys

    I am always surprised how readily some people accept information from so-called venerated institutions. A while back I posted about New Scientist and the fact that it is owned by a FTSE 100 media conglomerate. I think that , in this day and age, calls into question its content.

    Same with the Smithsonian. A venerated Institution, its stuff must be good. Well, maybe, but on the board of Directors we have one director each from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Polaris Partners, Behavioral Health Holdings I, Inc., Vornado Realty Trust, The Carlyle Group LP, Marriott International, Inc., Causeway Media Partners and the infamous Chris Dodd for Motion Picture Association Of America .

    http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/board.asp?privcapId=246520

    Somehow the Skeptic in me says that if a Matt Taibbi were to drill down into the Smithsonian Board Of Directors, its relationships, the Smithsonian Budget, who-knows-who employees, we might see a lot of very familiar and interesting human behaviour at work. Of course, the Smithsonian would never print that.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The one unopposed force in the world is non-profits with lots of money.

      How are you going to argue against them? They are non-profit, fergodsakes.

      So, you ask them, if you are non-profit, does that mean when you buy Fannie bonds, you don’t charge them interest?

      1. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

        That’s a problem I see with very large non-profits: (a) the complete sources of funding are mysterious, a.k.a. the ‘?’ (b) the possibility of revolving doors and quid pro quos to higher/lower statuses [carrot and stick thing]. By way of contrast, I feel like my minor sponsorship of N.C. here, and maybe the sponsorship of others, goes with (i) no rank censorship , (ii) the willingness to argue in matters of “inconvenient truths”, and what sums it all up: (iii) The continuing semblance (verisimilitude) of an out-post in media-land not under-the-influence of TPTB, so un-biased.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The other day, someone mentioned public funding for elections.

          That’s the front door.

          The back door is the revolving door, post-official-career careers.

          Remember, you have the moral high ground vs. the 0.01%. The born-again-virtuous, reincarnated virgin, non-profit, charitable 0.01% have the moral high ground on you. My god, they are non-profit and they are charitable!

          Unlike you scheming 99.99% who will do anything to survive. That’s disgusting. I don’t care if you pay taxes and the non-profits don’t. It’s your duty to pay taxes, sorry, fight inflation. It’s the patriotic, apple-pie thing to do…fight inflation.

  5. petridish

    RE: Clinton Urges Americans To Sign Up For Health Care

    Well I, for one, know that when Bill Clinton tells me something is good for me, I’d better LISTEN.

    He being the one who brought us DOMA (he made a mistake), Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, repeal of Glass-Steagall, media consolidation, NAFTA, the Commodities Futures Modernization Act, welfare “reform” and “what the definition of ‘is’ is,” and all.

    My Dad used to ask, “Just because someone told you to jump off a cliff, would you do it?” Well, if it was BILL CLINTON with “reading glasses perched on his nose” lookin’ all “professorial” and, golly gee, even tickin’ off web addresses where I could find INFORMATION, of course I would. He’s BILL CLINTON, for chrissakes.

    1. petridish

      Oh, I forgot China in the WTO without even a nod to protections for American workers and their jobs.

      Yup, this guy could sell ice to the Eskimos, and probably has.

    2. Eureka Springs

      Why just 70 days ago Bill advised:

      Bill Clinton told Sen. John McCain he agrees that President Barack Obama should act more forcefully to support anti-Assad rebels in Syria, saying the American public elects presidents and members of Congress “to see down the road” and “to win.”
      At another point during a closed-press event Tuesday, Clinton implied that Obama or any president risks looking like “a total fool” if they listen too closely to opinion polls and act too cautiously. He used his own decisions on Kosovo and Bosnia as a point of reference.

      The former president also said commanders-in-chief should avoid over-interpreting public opinion polls about whether the United States should get involved in crises overseas.

      His remarks came during a question-and-answer session with McCain,

      Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/06/bill-clinton-splits-with-obama-on-syria-92683.html#ixzz2e1te4J1b

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        When he does it with his ‘Clinton Thumb,’ he is especially persuasive.

        You may go, ‘oh bummer,’ but it’s true; there are things in life you are only safe to look at indirectly, at secondhand.

        Then, you will be able to say, charisma, what charisma?

    3. Cynthia

      Our President’s goal for healthcare reform is to “bend the cost curve,” an uninspiring and near meaningless goal. The US healthcare industry will exceed $3 trillion (20% of GDP) this year. Numerous studies have acknowledged that less than half of that amount is actual healthcare. In fact, most studies agree there is at least $1 trillion in waste, inefficiency and fraud – why isn’t that the target? Nothing in the ACA does anything to eliminate that waste and inefficiency. Nothing.

      By allowing the “industry” the opportunity to write this Law, the participants simply enriched and protected themselves. The result will be higher costs and additional taxes – not affordable healthcare.

  6. from Mexico

    @ “The Democratic Congressman Who Thinks He Can Stop the Syria War”

    ••••••GRAYSON: There are 20 million people in this country looking for full-time work. How do you explain to them the virtues of military adventurism and humanitarian bombing 6,000 miles from home?

    The Spanish writer Fernando Díaz Plaja finds a provocative parallel in the US’s situation and that of a rapidly declining Spain in late 16th and early 17th centuries. As Carlos Fuentes explains in The Buried Mirror:

    Spain at her height could do anything. She could exhaust her treasury and forget her poor, her bankrupts, her devalued currency, her incompetent economy, her overvalued currency, her recessions and depressions, her debts both internal and foreign, her deficit spending, her negative trade balance, as long as she could keep herself at the head of the mission against the infidel, the Islamic threat and the Protestant threat. But eventually reality caught up and imposed the limits that imperial folly had so easily hurdled over.

    Both the US and Imperial Spain “joined military and economic force to an obsessive belief in their own moral justification.” For Imperial Spain it was the war against the Islamic threat and the Protestant threat. For the US the threat keeps shifting. It began with Communism and the Evil Empire, then moved on to drugs, and now has moved on once again to the Islamic threat. In both Spain and “the US the nation overextended its power, postponed solving internal problems, and sacrificed generations. And even when the enemy ceased to be menacing, the desire to use power persisted, inebriating, addictive.”

    ••••••GRAYSON: My concept of humanitarian aid is food, medicine, shelter, clothing, not bombs. The concept of a humanitarian war, humanitarian bombs, humanitarian missiles, is bizarre to me. I don’t support it.

    This just goes to show how contorted and topsy-turvy the pseudo-logic and paramoralisms being invoked by the War Party are.

    ••••••QUESTION: Is there ever a time, in your view, when a humanitarian crisis calls for a military response?

    GRAYSON: Yes. Genocide. This is not that.

    This quote by Arundhati Roy seems most germane:

    Nationalism and Development—those unimpeachable twin towers of modern, Free Market Democracy – have had a long, common history. When European countries were ‘progressing’, being ‘enlightened’, industrializing and developing limited but new forms of democracy and citizens’ rights at home, they were simultaneously exterminating people in their millions in their colonies. In the early years of colonialism, openly slaughtering natives in the name of civilizing them was quite acceptable. But as the discourse on civil rights and democracy grew stronger and more sophisticated, a new form of dual morality took shape. It gave rise to a new phenomenon. Genocide Denial.

    Now, when genocide politics meets the Free Market, official recognition—or denial, or more recently, the manufacture of imaginary holocausts and genocides is a multinational business enterprise. It rarely has anything to do to with historical fact or forensic evidence. Morality certainly does not enter the picture. It is an aggressive process of high-end bargaining that belongs more to the World Trade Organization than to the United Nations. The currency is geopolitics, the fluctuating market for natural resources, that curious thing called futures trading, and plain old economic and military might.

    In other words, genocides are often denied for the same set of reasons genocides are prosecuted. Economic determinism marinated in racial/ethnic/religious/national discrimination….

    For example, the death of two million in the Congo goes virtually unreported. Why? And was the death of a million Iraqis under the sanctions regime, prior to the U.S. invasion in 2003, genocide (which is what UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq Denis Halliday called it) or was it “worth it,” as Madeleine Albright, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, claimed? It depends on who makes the rules. The US President? Or an Iraqi mother who has lost her child?

    http://www.literaturfestival.com/service/archiv/eroeffnungsreden/intern/reden/arundhati_roy_engl

    1. Brindle

      From the article….

      —“TFA basically now is a replacement worker organization,” Branden Rippey, a Newark, New Jersey-based public high school teacher and leader of his city’s New Education Workers caucus, told me.
      “They are a scab-running company; they lay off tenured teachers and bring in scab workers. The [TFA] kids are so young, they haven’t had experience, they haven’t had conflict with their bosses, they don’t understand what’s happening and don’t know what they’re being used for.”—

      1. petridish

        Also from the article:

        “These schools operate according to a model ‘that teaches students not just how to think, but also how to act according to what are commonly termed traditional, middle-class values,’ according to David Whitman, now the lead speechwriter for US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. ‘[While] these schools reinforce middle-class mores, they also steadfastly suppress all aspects of street culture,’ Whitman explained approvingly, marveling at the strict regime of discipline imposed on the black and brown students.”

        Manifest Destiny 2.0.

        Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Those for-profit schools could probably be more productive if they were replaced by an all-volunteer Teach Corps, manned by those truly passionate about teaching.

    1. Eureka Springs

      Yes, but it’s much more than the pipeline.

      A few additional considerations.

      Syria has water Israel wants.
      Iran
      The Caspian region.
      The dollar.

      1. craazyboy

        Qatar already has huge liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, so the infrastructure is in place already and Qatar would not desperately need a pipeline for export. But you need LNG terminals at the other end, so a pipeline would likely open more markets.

        So this looks like Piñata Foreign Policy, Syria being the piñata, and the rest of the players all looking for their own goodies.

        The next dot that begs to plop in place is Russia was probably making arms deals with Syria in return for Syria blocking the pipeline and preserve Russian NG monopoly in Europe.

        Then Qatar only has a population of less than 2 million, and armed forces 12,000 men “strong”. They have always relied on Saudi for defense, and now aggression, it appears.

  7. diptherio

    Re: U.S. Probes Whether J.P. Morgan Employees Misled Regulators –WSJ

    In other news…government investigators are looking into rumors that the pope wears a funny hat, while a team of EPA scientists are trying to determine where, exactly, ursine bowel movements occur…

  8. Eureka Springs

    The best potential good news I’ve seen in a while. NRA joining ACLU on 4th amendment issues could be a game changer in the long run. It’s about time.

    Additionally I think many folk should be careful about framing in re the UN chem weapon testing. It’s actually a company in Sweden (where Obama visited this week) who is conducting the tests. A company which profits off of missiles with….wait for it…. Saudi Arabia!

    http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=FOI+saudi+weapons&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

    1. Bruno Marr

      Well, with a “collect it all” mentality, the NSA can create any type of “registry” it so desires. (But, I agree, getting the “gun crowd” on-board is a PR plus.)

      1. skippy

        FYI as some that was highly trained in the gear and environmental aspects, both militarily and industrial, wrt biological and chemical agents that incapacitate or kill… nothing adds up.

        Hell the web is full of literature w/images of military and industrial cases from Saddam’s to Bhopal effects. Shite… Sesame Street even knows “one thing is not like the other”, makes the WMD fracas look like an Oscar winning performance!

        BTW on the Bhopal thingy see:

        US chemical giant The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) must acknowledge its responsibility towards survivors of the devastating Bhopal industrial disaster, Amnesty International said after the company was summonsed to appear before a court in Bhopal, India.

        The company has been ordered to explain why its wholly owned subsidiary, Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), has repeatedly ignored court summons in the ongoing criminal case concerning the 1984 Bhopal disaster, where UCC is accused of “culpable homicide not amounting to murder”.

        “Today’s court decision is an important step in ensuring corporate accountability for the devastating consequences of the Bhopal gas leak,” said Audrey Gaughran, Director of Global Issues at Amnesty International.

        “Dow has always tried to claim it has nothing to do with UCC’s liability for Bhopal, but the court has today made it clear that Dow itself has a responsibility to ensure that UCC faces the outstanding charges against it. Dow can no longer turn its back on the tens of thousands still suffering in Bhopal.”

        Almost three decades after the Bhopal disaster, victims and their families have yet to receive adequate compensation from UCC or the Indian government.

        “The summoning of Dow is potentially a giant step towards establishing the criminal liability of Union Carbide Corporation for one of the worst corporate disasters in world history,” Satinath Sarangi, a member of Bhopal Group for Information and Action, a local campaign group, said.

        “As 100 per cent ownerof Union Carbide, Dow will now have to find a way to explain Union Carbide’s absconding from serious criminal charges for the last 21 years to the Bhopal Court,” said Hazra Bee, a survivor-activist who lives right across from the former Union Carbide plant in Jaiprakash Nagar.

        The impacts of Bhopal continue to be felt today. Some 100,000 people continue to suffer from health problems. Ongoing pollution from toxic waste at the former factory site has never been addressed.

        Research conducted by Amnesty International in December 2012 found that, since the gas leak, women in Bhopal have reported ongoing serious health issues including gynaecological and reproductive health disorders.

        UCC held a majority share in Union Carbide India Limited, the Indian company that operated the pesticide plant responsible for the 1984 Bhopal gas leak, which it is estimated has killed more than 22,000 people.

        http://amnesty.org/en/news/india-court-decision-requires-dowchemical-respond-bhopal-gas-tragedy-2013-07-23

        skippy… should we send in the drones / limited kinetic response to DOW-UCC HQ for its crimes against humanity???

      2. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

        There’s a common legalese phrase (I sometimes think law-drafters and contract-drafters take boilerplate and fill-in the blanks, also string-up one clause after another until it’s sufficiently incomprehensible, like a hard sudoku puzzle), and that phrase is: “real or apparent conflicts of interest” + “must in all cases be avoided”, for referees, judges, etc. So, “they” may be trying to pull-off another fast one. :(

    1. petridish

      I must be reading this wrong:

      “Currently, the Chinese plants will only be able to use chickens raised in the US.”

      So the chickens are raised here, shipped to China for processing and then shipped back here for Americans to eat?

      What in the world does chicken “processing” consist of and how can this back and forth shipping possibly represent a reasonable business model?

      This has Bain Capital written all over it. They must be planning to invest in some heretofore unknown international chicken shipping operation.

      And some news for NEWSER, the deaths of hundreds of dogs from Chinese chicken jerky makes this situation more than “a little worrying.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        That will teach those recalcitrant chicken processing plant workers a lesson.

        You should have studied medicine.

  9. rich

    Will Congress Now Save Obama’s Face By Selling Out Democracy and the Syrian People and Setting the Stage for World War III ?

    Paul Craig Roberts

    It is clear that the American people overwhelming oppose an attack on Syria. Whether Americans have caught on over the years to Washington’s endless war lies or whether they simply see no point to the wars and no gain to America from 12 years of costly war, I cannot say. At a time when a large percentage of Americans are having difficulty paying their mortgages, car payments, and putting food on the table, Washington’s wars seem an expensive luxury.

    It is not only the civilian populations of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Syria who have suffered. Tens of thousands of America’s young have either been killed, maimed for life, or are suffering permanent post-traumatic stress. Washington’s wars have caused thousands of divorces, alcoholism, drug addiction, and homelessness for veterans who were deceived and had their humanity abused by the criminals that rule in Washington.

    For Congress, allegedly the representatives of the American people, not the backstop for the executive branch’s undeclared agenda, to ignore the people’s will and to endorse a war that the American people do not support would be another decisive blow against democracy. If Congress endorses obama’s war, it will prove that American democracy is a hoax.
    The loss of Western credibility is a huge price to pay in order to rescue a discredited president whom no one believes, not even his supporters. Essentially obama is a cipher whose term of office is complete. The obama regime epitomizes the degeneration of the American state.

    Instead of voting on whether to allow obama to attack Syria, Congress should be voting to impeach obama and kerry. Their blatant lies, dictatorial claims, and arrogant inhumanity are powerful arguments for removing them from office.

    The lies told by the obama regime are so transparent that it makes one wonder just how stupid the regime thinks the American people are. Little doubt the white house is relying on its Ministry of Propaganda, a.k.a., the presstitute media, to undermine Americans’ confidence in their common sense and to make them accept the latest fiction. The tactic is to use the peer pressure of the prostitute media to silence Americans’ conscience.

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2013/09/04/the-high-cost-of-saving-face-for-obama-paul-craig-roberts/

  10. charles sereno

    Re: G20 summit (subtext Syria)
    What could be more appropriate than this comment?
    “Military action would have a negative impact on the global economy, especially on the oil price – it will cause a hike in the oil price,” said Zhu Guangyao, the Chinese Vice Finance Minister.

  11. Hugh

    Another day in klepto-land. Just look at what the major news stories are. The elites are trying to start another pointless imperial war. They continue to build a vast surveillance state to contol and spy on us. And they will place Larry Summers or some other equally willing enabler of kleptocracy to loot us. Does America with its crumbling infrastructure even have enough lamp posts for them all?

    1. Cynthia

      Everyday the deceit of puppet Obama expands. The candidate of the “Rule of Law” ignores the Constitution and wants to unilaterally start his 2nd unauthorized war. One must ask if this President who was fine with double tap strikes on funeral mourners of his drone strike victims is truly concerned about humanitarianism in Syria, or is there an ulterior motive? Again, this is happening in the Middle East with its oil resources and its supposed implications on Israeli security as envisioned by Netanyahu, and after worse atrocities have occurred in many resource poor countries without any such action. And truth be told, if one is killed by one of Obama’s drone strikes or a cluster bombs, you’re just as dead as the chemical warfare victim. Obama’s outrage is an act to serve his monied interests 100%.

  12. Hugh

    And more news from our victorious elites who can’t win a war abroad but are doing fantastically in the class war here at home:

    The U.S. Census Bureau reported today that in 2011, 22 percent of households experienced one or more possible “hardships” in fulfilling their basic needs in the previous 12 months. These hardships included difficulty meeting essential expenses, not paying rent or mortgage, getting evicted, not paying utilities, having utilities or phone service cut off, not seeing a doctor or dentist when needed or not always having enough food. Among all households, 9 percent experienced exactly one of them, 7 percent experienced two of the hardships and 6 percent endured three or more.

    And that was two years ago.

    http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/miscellaneous/cb13-160.html

  13. charles sereno

    Re: The Vatican beat
    Not a purgatory for reporters anymore with this new guy in the compound. It seems that Francis has taken John XXIII as his mentor ( my heart weeps for that nice old fellow). Here’s what Francis just directed to the assembled G20 dignitaries in St Petersburg (no translation needed):
    “To the leaders present, to each and every one, I make a heartfelt appeal for them to help find ways to overcome the conflicting positions and to lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution,”

  14. AbyNormal

    War Bets ON

    $50k bet on VIX spike could pay $27 million in next two weeks
    September 5, 2013, 3:48 PM

    Russell Rhoads blogs Thursday on CBOE Options Hub

    that traders are still abuzz over a position taken earlier this week.

    The “1 by 8 Call Backspread” cost $50,000 to put on, but won’t pay off unless the VIX shoots above 28.43 by Sept. 17.

    The VIX VIX -1.13%
    , affectionately known as the ‘fear index’ is in the mid teens at the moment.

    However, if volatility increases sharply — say, from U.S. military action in Syria or Congress refusing to raise the debt limit — the trade pays off big time, adding $175,000 for each 0.01 point gain in the index above the break-even point.

    If the VIX hits 30 before the options expire, the trader will be up more than $27 million.

    The VIX’s 52-week high is 23.23. It last traded above 30 in late 2011.

      1. AbyNormal

        hilarious! if it is… we won’t hear a peep

        if it isn’t… we’ll hear how he plans to exhume nostradamus

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          He may be on his way to Paris now.

          I wish I could help him on where to buy the best chateau, for his weekends away from the city of light, but that’s beyond me.

      2. craazyman

        probably not, but if it is, he’s going to lose every single penny.

        in fact, if somebody wanted to save the world from war, they’d give him money just to set that trade up, because if he did, it would guarantee VIX would crater.

    1. ChrisPacific

      Betting on Wall St underestimating the probability of tail events would seem like a pretty sound strategy. This trader has apparently secured 500 to 1 odds on an event that last occurred less than 2 years ago.

      As an aside, I’d love to hear the rationale for how all this helps to grow the economy via efficient allocation of capital. Looks like Vegas to me.

  15. diane

    Re Al [DARPA/Senior Advisor to Google [&Apple Director] Director/Millionaire], Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers VC Partner [Along with Powell, as strategic limited partner, yes that – beginnings of winter, 2003 – WMD lying, Colin Powell] Gore (there’s a hint in that surname, if ever there was one):

    Welp, those not enamored of all things White Male (and, the e$pecially rare and usually initially Pro$perou$, and/or Titled from birth, Alpha Female) Techie, those ‘underneath’ the $ocial Media Thought Leader$, and the millions who never owned ‘puters (and despite ugly mythology, many of them have minds and hearts that would put millions of Alpha Techie ‘Folk’ to absolute shame) suspected that Al was a Fraud (and far wor$e) all along, that was 13 hideous years ago.

    That’s news? … really? …to whom, other than those Smart Social Media Thought Leaders ?

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    One in seven families face food insecurity.

    Glass half-full guy (or gal): My goodness, there’s still money to be made from the remaining 6. Actually, six times more profit!!!!

  17. charles sereno

    “The White House has announced Obama will meet with Russian LGBT activists on Friday to discuss a state crackdown on their rights.” (Headline, Democracy Now!)

    Take heart, Code Pink. You too may get an audience. (If you go to Russia?)

  18. diptherio

    New on the Mortgage Front:

    Phoenix Light v. JPM, EMC & Bear Stearns

    The need to fabricate or fraudulently alter mortgage assignment documentation provides compelling evidence that, in many cases, title to the mortgages backing the certificates plaintiffs purchased was never properly or timely transferred.
    Plaintiffs reviewed the transfer history for 274 loans that were supposed to be timely transferred to this trust. Sixty-six (66) of the loans were not and have never been transferred to the trust. In addition, several other loans that were supposed to be transferred to the trust were transferred to entities other than the trust, but not to the trust. The remainder of the loans (approximately 140) were eventually transferred to the trust, but all such transfers occurred between 2008 and the present, well beyond the three-month time period required by the trust documents and far after the three-month period for the trust to maintain its tax-free REMIC status. In other words, none of the reviewed mortgage loans were timely transferred to the trust, a 100% failure rate.

    1. skippy

      Well… Well… Diptherio

      That would make – all – “mathematical risks models” – completely irrelevant – and as risk is the foundation to determining lending rates and all other criteria attached to related market… ***fictions***.

      skippy… the only question left is how much percentage of the securitization market is affected across all asset classes, plus knock on effects.

      1. skippy

        It would also illuminate the reasoning behind so much BSD institutional buying of C/RE w/assorted school of chum in tow. What does not get amortized the old fashion way is washed in exchange.

        skippy…. Larry the Waterboy makes all the more sense regardless of – any – push back and who was O-bot hanging with in CiHtown… again and… installed in what capacity… Penny P. There is no ~expletive~ that would suit.

  19. charles sereno

    Re: Kerry’s testimony before Senate Committee

    Trivial perhaps. When I first heard an excerpt of the hearing, I’d swear I heard Kerry refer to our “forebears” as “forcebears.” I’ll happily defer to forensics.

  20. Rosia Montana

    A ruinous project for Romania’s natural environment:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/05/romania-struggle-democracy-rosia-montana
    Opposition to proposals for a (Canadian) gold mine around Rosia Montana (in Romania) is at the heart of pro-democracy protests

    https://maps.google.com/maps?q=46.322986,+23.204227&num=1&t=h&vpsrc=0&ie=UTF8&z=14&iwloc=A

    Google Map view of the area (Transylvania).

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/rupert-wolfemurray/romania-the-worlds-first-dystopia_b_3395413.html
    “What propels Romania into the category of ‘World’s First Dystopia’ is the massive cyanide mining project that could turn Transylvania, one of the most beautiful and pristine parts of Europe, into a dystopic wasteland. It is also a case study in how corporate PR and marketing can convince a population that the destruction of their ecosystem is in their own interest.”

  21. Glenn Condell

    Down in the 51st state, the very deepest south, we are having an election. The traditionally progressive Fairfax press, the non-Rupert bulwark, have editorialised in favour of Abbott, so the conservatives are the media pick from sea to shining sea.

    Meanwhile our 1% fauna are on a roll, with Clive Palmer suing Rupert Murdoch and accusing his ex-wife Wendi Deng of being a Chinese spy:

    http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-national/palmer-in-bizarre-rant-at-murdoch-20130905-2t66v.html

    and Gina Rinehart musing that allowing non-violent offenders to pay their way out of prison could be a good revenue raiser:

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/rinehart-says-prisoners-should-be-able-to-pay-their-way-out-of-jail-20130905-2t7kv.html

    This is the woman who is trying to buy Fairfax.
    You can’t make this stuff up and if you did no-one would believe you.

  22. charles sereno

    Re: Protectors of Our Security
    The latest report from the Guardian, Greenwald, et al is revealing. We’ve seen an ugly ass and…it’s yours, not ours. It’s yours, you beneath contempt a-holes. I have a dream…like a good poleesman, I’m protecting you miserable creatures from the raging mob. Yes, you deserve that, but little more.

      1. charles sereno

        The Big Creep says — “Gimmee a break!”

        “Intelligence officials asked the Guardian, New York Times and ProPublica not to publish this article, saying that it might prompt foreign targets to switch to new forms of encryption or communications that would be harder to collect or read.”

        Sorry, big guy. Didn’t know you were that interested in me. “Hello, how can I help you?” Dial tone. “Fuck you too.”

  23. bob

    ‘Jumbo’ Mortgage Rates Fall Below Traditional Ones WSJ (h/t JF)

    Chris Whalen was talking about the beginning of this a few years ago. He reported that banks were doing “look good” refi’s on huge mortgages. The “refi” was a 50% cash out where the cash out was then invested into muni bonds. Muni’s were yielding more than the cost of the mortgage. The “homeowner” also got the mortage tax deduction on top of the carry.

    To be clear, the homeowner owned the home outright to begin with. It was not a “refi”.

    Also, the people that did this and took the carry? They’re now part of the “bondholder” class when your muni goes BK. Tax exempt income until then, too.

  24. Walter Map

    For those holdouts who doubt that the transnational banking industry is waging economic war on the world, with the goal being global domination:

    Making the World Safe for Banksters

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/09/05/making-the-world-safe-for-banksters/

    The bad news is that there doesn’t appear to be any way they can lose. The good news is that you can survive on potatoes if you get them planted in time.

    Then there’s this one:

    Is The Cult Of Central Bankers Unravelling?

    http://asiaconf.com/2013/08/31/central-banker-cult-unravels/

    That central banks are losing credibility is irrelevant – who needs credibility when control is locked in?

    1. F. Beard

      “I repeat: the developed world can’t afford higher interest rates. The problem is that though central banks control short-term rates, the market controls long-term rates. from http://asiaconf.com/2013/08/31/central-banker-cult-unravels/%5Bbold added]

      Wrong. Central banks control the entire yield curve as should be expected from legal counterfeiters. They can always drive down yields by overpaying for debt and can always drive yields up so long as they have debt instruments to sell for below market prices.

      1. Walter Map

        I’m forced to agree. Their control is practically total. Neither do I believe that financial crashes are the result of mistakes or bad policy, as the evidence shows that banksters have engineered crashes as a rent-extraction technique, as Quigley understood and others have suspected. Booty from the last crash is still piling up and so far totals something more than $30 trillion. There probably won’t be many more crashes because there simply won’t be much left that’s worth stealing.

        1. F. Beard

          I don’t buy the “bad actor” meme because it let’s the system off the hook – as if it weren’t INHERENTLY unstable as one would expect an inherently unjust system to be.

Comments are closed.