Links 10/14/13

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Who ‘owns’ the apples? New York’s newest varieties require a fee for their ‘intellectual property’ value The Post Standard (Bob)

The Neocon, The Messiah, and Cory Booker [Kindle Edition] NSFW (KK). Free download. “Yasha also explains why Harvard’s African-American studies scholar professor emeritus, Martin Kilson, described Booker as a ‘Black Trojan Horse for the Republican right wing.'” Pshaw. Like that would ever happen!

The Shame of Our Prisons: New Evidence NYRB

Vets and Seniors Are Ending the Drug War Alternet (Avedon)

Obamacare: There is risk for the American public to be worse off KevinMD. Employer insurance shifting from defined benefit to defined contribution through private exchanges. Haven’t we seen this movie before?

In Email, Niall Ferguson Requests I Acknowledge His “I Would Have Gotten Away with It If Not for Those Meddling Bloggers!” Rant Brad DeLong. Never send a historian to do an economist’s job.

Shutdown Showdown

If there is a default it is because both Obama and Republicans want it Ian Welsh

Markets Are Now Open — Here’s What’s Happening In Washington Business Insider. Futures off.

Senate leaders’ talks on shutdown, debt limit stall as sides await market’s reaction WaPo

Meet The Press – October 13, 2013 The Bobblespeak Translations

Senate Leaders Talk but Fail to Reach Deal on Shutdown Times

GOP: Dem request for higher spending hurting deal chances McClatchy

GOP standing firm on sequester The Hill

Senate Democrats Press New Front in Budget Battle Online WSJ

White House downplays short-term debt limit extension as talks continue – live blog Guardian

Obama, Pelosi say ‘clean’ bills needed for debt ceiling, restart Reuters. “‘The President and the Leader also discussed their willingness, once the debt limit is raised and the government reopened, to negotiate on a longer-term budget solution that will grow our economy and create jobs,’ the White House said in a statement.”

Obama Says Real Boss in Default Showdown Means Bonds Call Shots Bloomberg

Panic About U.S. Debt Might Cause Interest Rates on U.S. Government Bonds to Fall or the People Who Say Such Things Might Just be Confused CEPR

Tell Congress to go to hell–all federal district court employees are essential Hercules and the umpire (blog of Senior U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf).

An exit strategy for Republicans Econbrowser

First Look at Game of Bones, the X-Rated Version of Westeros [SFW!] (Avedon)

Breaking: Judge Posner Admits He Was Wrong in Crawford Voter ID Case Election Law Blog

The History of Fear, Part 4 Corey Robin, Crooked Timber

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

The NSA Hides Its Domestic Collection by Refusing to Count It emptywheel

NSA veterans: The White House is hanging us out to dry Foreign Policy

Hillary Clinton: we need to talk sensibly about spying Guardian. “A sensible adult conversation.” Help me.

Air Gaps Bruce Schneier

Four Wars LRB

Fear and loathing in House of Saud Asia Times. Fun fact: “Few in the Middle East know that an Israeli company — with experience in repressing Palestinians — is in charge of the security in Mecca.”

Trapped in Qatar: Footballers Describe Nightmarish Treatment Der Spiegel

The Tragedy of Greece as a Case Study of Neo-Imperial Pillage and the Demise of Social Europe Truthout

Reforming the Cambodian People’s Party The Diplomat

The End of the Nation-State? Times

Foreign Policy Goes Local Foreign Affairs

Urban guerrillas geographical imaginations

Purposive social action Understanding Society

The Renewal of Religion Archdruid Report

Antidote du jour (via):


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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Ned Ludd

    Chris Blackhurst, former editor of The Independent and its current group content director, lambasts The Guardian for publishing information released by Edward Snowden.

    If the security services insist something is contrary to the public interest, and might harm their operations, who am I (despite my grounding from Watergate onwards) to disbelieve them?

    In August, this paper also received information from the Snowden files. We did not publish much of the information we were given because the Government, in the shape of a Defence Advisory Notice or “DA” notice, asked us to desist, in the interests of national security. Several times in my career, I’ve been served with a DA notice. On each occasion, I confess, I’ve not published. Does that make me a coward and an establishment lackey? Or responsible and sensible?

    The uncritical attitudes in Britain, towards their intelligence agencies, are fairly disturbing. According to a recent YouGov poll, “Only 19% of British Adults say the British Security Services have too many powers, which should be cut back. The largest group, 42%, say the current balance is about right, and 22% say they do not have enough powers.” An earlier poll showed that 42% of British adults support Britain’s police and security agencies “going beyond the law in order to obtain information that help them fight serious crime and terrorism”. And an overwhelming two-thirds of British adults support stopping and searching passengers “without needing a ‘reasonable’ suspicion to do this”.

    1. Synopticist

      UK spooks have the most effective media operation on their home territory than any organisation anywhere. It’s the only thing they’re genuinely brilliant at, manipulating the public’s view of how clever and vital they are.

      They totally avoided any blame for the iraqi WMD debacle, despite briefing their friendly journos it was a 100 % certainty, by breifing the same journos 6 months later that they always suspected there were none all along.

  2. Benedict@Large

    I said from BEFORE ObamaCare was even signed into law that it would be worse than no bill at all, and that was BEFORE this new push to defined contribution. But notice that the reason I said it would be worse is that it subsidizes employers dropping group plans in favor of their contributing to their employees buying individual plans, which is now what is enabling the push to defined contributions plans.

    But why is this worse? Before, if an employee had a benefits problem, he/she could complain to the employer abut the situation, and have hope of either present or future relief. Once the change over to individual plans has been done however, the employer can simply shluff off such complaints, saying it’s the employees’ faults for choosing the wrong plan.

    1. davidgmills

      Sicne when was it a good idea to have employer based plans in the first place? We don’t have employer based car insurance plans or house insurance plans. Employer based plans do not give individuals a choice in the coverage they want. It was long past time for employer plans to go.

  3. tongorad

    The End of The Nation State = neoliberal treatise

    “…we should think beyond clearly defined nations and “nation building” toward integrating a rapidly urbanizing world population directly into regional and international markets. That, rather than going through the mediating level of central governments, is the surest path to improving access to basic goods and services, reducing poverty, stimulating growth and raising the overall quality of life.”

    Markets uber alles!

    1. from Mexico

      It looks like outside of the European and Anglospheric bubble-world, not everyone is in agreement with the Time’s neoliberal gurus.

      Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, after NSA’s spying on her personal conversations as well as those of Petrobras, postponed a planned Oct 23 offical trip to Washington and instead is pushing hard for the BRICs to completely disconnect from the Anglosphere-European internet backbone:

      The author of the above linked article, Alfredo Jalife-Rahme, asserts that what is at stake in the “Rousseff initiative” is on the same order of importance as the US maintaining global dollar hegemony.

      Google’s Eric Schmidt has been one of the more outspoken in striking back against Rousseff and the “balkanization of the internet.” Schmidt “does not hide his preference for US hegemony over national whims to liberate themselves from the US monopoly,” Jalife-Rahame explains. “The balkanization is contrary to globalization of telecommunications and the internet, which now is under the absolute monopoly of the United States.”

      The European think tank DeDefensa categorizes Rousseff’s proposed “nationalization” of the internet “outside of the norms of the United States,” and “national control of the internet” is on a collision course with the prerogatives of globalization.

      Executives of the world’s communicaitons conglomerates are in an uproar. During the recent World Conference on International Communications in Dubai, they attacked the Rousseff initiative as leading to “a balkanized internet which will suppress On Line liberty.”

      The transnational corporations and the US government are endeavoring to isolate Brazil from Russia, China, India and South Africa. Andrew Blum of Tubes argues that it will be “very difficult for Brazil to break its internet from the rest of the world.”

      But, as Jalife-Rahme concludes: “An isolated action by Brazil would be suicidal, but a collective action by the BRICS would obligate the United States to share the succulent pieces of the communications pie” with the rest of the world.

    2. anon y'mouse

      because smaller, localized entities are much easier to buy off than larger ones? although, I think our fedgov gives the lie to this.

      they’re right to identify the fact that cities need constant influx of goods, people, etc. to keep them going. exchanging those is what they are FOR, right?

    3. from Mexico

      It should be pointed out that what the NY Times writer, PARAG KHANNA, is peddling in this article is part of a strategy cooked up by the US military called Military Operations in Urban Terrain.

      As Robinson Salazar Pérez points out, it is in the “vanguard of military doctrine and planning of a nation,” an “important mission for the US Army in the future.”

      As he goes on to elaborate:

      The orientation of urban warfare requires the privatization of the cities, where the participation of private investors, bankers and even drug traffickers is expeditied, given that it leaves the flow of money free to invest in projects of “model cities,” which house the “model citizens” en armored shires which have their own laws, authorities and models of taxation inside of their territory. It is the fracturing of the society, the fragmentation of space, the control on the micro scale, the segregation and prisons inside of a great city.

      The territories so controlled will only be subjects of the state in the aspects of civil registration and identity, national sovereignty and territorial defense; once the legal framework is established, the city will have autonomy to govern and administer itself, sign treaties, establish its own monetary policy, create legal organs (like courts and police), make its budget and “contract its own internal and external debts, always and when they obtain the guarantee of the national government.”

      We are up against the new form of privatization under the eye of the police state.., the new shackles of urban warfare which the United States wants to impose on Latin America.

    4. Synopticist

      Yes, that article is horrible. A global corporate fascistic vision.

      As for the article on Qatar, man, that made my blood boil. I f*ckin hate that place. Normally FIFA and the football profession would come down like a ton of bricks on ANY country that tried that sort of thing on a footballer. But not Qatar, they get away with it. Russia wouldn’t, Japan wouldn’t, no European or African or American country would dream of pulling a stunt like that.

      Qatar is a terror sponsoring, would-be slave trading, aparthied rogue state, the armpit of the world. They corrupt everything and everyone they come into contact with, as they prey on the greed and mercenary obsequiousness of the western establishment in all it’s forms. They shove money around and do favours until people become dependent and psychologically committed to them, and then they slowly turn them into their clients. And not just people, but institutions as well.

    1. AbyNormal

      amazing, the power of a warm bath’)
      appreciate the link-read!

      “The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.”
      Fahrenheit 451

    2. susan the other

      More Thomas Frank please. Great piece. What passes as creativity is a form of fiat whereby established expertise judges whether or not something is creative. I like Marcel DuChamp’s definition of art (which is sometimes synonymous with creativity) that (paraphrasing shamelessly here) art causes the observer to have an entirely new awareness of something. Safe to say that accepted expertise might not agree.

  4. Ned Ludd

    Schneier† mentions Tails. According to the NSA slides on Tor (page 7), Tails is specifically mentioned for preventing Computer Network Exploitations (CNE). The exact quote is: “Adds Severe CNE misery to equation”.

    Every journalist communicating with whisteblowers should use Tails. Schneier writes that Tails “greatly reduces the potential avenues for attack”; but he also admits that he does not use Tails when working with documents retrieved by Snowden. His unwillingness to do something as simple as “Booting Tails from a read-only DVD” is extraordinarily surprising. Schneier never explains it.

    † From what I heard during an interview, his name is pronounced like Schneider, but without the “d”.

    1. Ned Ludd

      Although Schneier mentions booting from a read-only DVD, It is also possible to start Tails from a USB stick or SD card. The Tails documentation describes the advantages and disadvantages of burning a DVD versus installing on a USB stick.

  5. financial matters

    The repo market is at the heart of the game of musical chairs. Money market funds provide this repo money (liquidity/funding) for day to day operations of dealing in securities such as derivatives and mortgage backed securities. They lend this money that most people consider super safe to brokerage houses, etc and this is intermediated by such stellar performers as JP Morgan and Bank of New York Mellon. If anybody gets nervous the plumbing stops as with Bear Stearns and Lehman. This is what nearly broke the buck 5 years ago.

    After a Financial Flood, Pipes Are Still Broken
    September 14, 2013

    Treasury Default Firewall Hatched in 2011 Crisis: Credit Markets
    By Liz Capo McCormick, Caroline Salas Gage & Jody Shenn – Oct 11, 2013

    ““It’s like the hot potato,” said Scott Skyrm, the former head of repo and money markets for Newedge USA LLC and author of the book “The Money Noose: Jon Corzine and the Collapse of MF Global.” “Nobody wants to get stuck with the security that is technically defaulted for a period of time.”””

    There are a couple of problems here. First the Fed shouldn’t have to intervene in all this bad deal making, but…

    “The Fed would need to make sure things don’t unravel,” said George Goncalves, the head of interest-rate strategy at Nomura, one of the 21 primary dealers obligated to bid at government auctions. “This appears possible, given what the Fed has done in past crises.”

    “The Fed can do an awful lot to provide money market liquidity, ease repo market financing issues and, in the extreme, extricate the offending securities from the financial system,” Dominic Konstam, the head of global interest-rate research at Deutsche Bank AG in New York, wrote in a note.

    second is that the treasuries themselves are at risk of default..

    “Another concern is whether clearing banks can provide accurate pricing for Treasuries serving as repo collateral, said James Tabacchi, chief executive officer of New York-based South Street Securities LLC, which manages an $18 billion matched repo book. Valuations are needed to see how much collateral is required in excess of loan sizes and determine margin calls.

    “They’re working on it, but I don’t know if they have an answer yet,” he said.”

    But in the final analysis I agree with Randy Wray. If they don’t raise the debt ceiling, buy Treasuries…

    1. Doug Terpstra

      In A Repo Implosion , Mike Whitney says much the same, but with a more pointed critique of Obama’s real motives and the deceit behind the crisis.

      President Barack Obama is determined to prevail in his battle with GOP congressional leaders on the debt ceiling issue, but not for the reasons stated … Absent a debt ceiling deal, the repurchase market–known as repo–would undergo another deep-freeze as it did in 2008 when Lehman Brothers defaulted triggering a run on the Reserve Primary Fund which had been exposed to Lehman’s short-term debt.
      The so called congressional reforms, like Dodd Frank, which were ratified after the crisis, have done nothing to change the basic structure of the market or to reign in excessive risk-taking by undercapitalized speculators. The system is as wobbly and crisis-prone ever, as the debt ceiling fiasco suggests. The situation speaks to the impressive power of the bank cartel and their army of lawyers and lobbyists. They own Capital Hill, the White House, and most of the judges in the country. The system remains the same, because that’s the way the like it.
      the Obama team isn’t worried that Joe Homeowner won’t be able to refi his mortgage or that the economy might slip back into recession. They just don’t want to see Wall Street take it in the shorts again. That’s what this is all about, the banks. Because the banks are still up-to-their-eyeballs in red ink. Because they still don’t have enough capital to stay solvent if the wind shifts. Because all the Dodd Frank reforms are pure, unalloyed bullsh** that haven’t fixed a bloody thing. Because the risks of another panic are as great as ever because the system is the same teetering, unregulated cesspit it was before. Because the banks are still financing their sketchy Ponzi operations with OPM (other people’s money), only now, the Fed’s over-bloated balance sheet is being used to prop up this broken, crooked system instead of the trillions of dollars that was extracted from credulous investors on subprime mortgages, liars loans and other, equally-fraudulent debt instruments.

      Can you see that?

      This is why the media is pushing so hard to end the debt ceiling standoff; to preserve this mountainous stinkpile of larceny, greed and corruption run by a criminal bank Mafia and their political lackeys on Capital Hill. That’s what this is all about.

      That, and of course, the Soylent Green Legacy.

    1. Yves Smith

      If you do this one more time, you will be banned. This is at the fifth or sixth time you’ve left this sort of message. We’ve told you repeatedly that acting like a spambot will get you treated like a spambot.

      1. YankeeFrank

        What’s the reason I can no longer comment. Ahh the futility of commenting on why my comment no longer display.

  6. skippy


    The Impact of Energy Consumption and Economic Development on Changes in China’s Provincial-Level Environmental Quality*


    Based on the features of energy consumption and economic development in China, since single pollutant can hardly express the situation of environmental pollution, we propose a pollution emissions index that can reflect the level of environmental quality, measure China’s 28 provinces’ environmental quality from 1995 to 2010 with a dynamic objective evaluation method based on the overall differences first time. Then panel data model was applied to analyze the impact of energy consumption and economic development on China’s and regional environmental quality. The results showed that emissions index varied among different regions and there was great potential for emission reduction; there was a significant positive correlation between emissions index and scale of economies and industrial structure; there was a negative correlation between emissions index and energy efficiency, energy prices and degree of opening up. Policy implications are as follows: 1) reduction policies should be made in line with local conditions; 2) the eastern region is the key areas of emissions reduction; 3) to improve energy efficiency is an important way to reduce emissions.

    1. Introduction

    In the past 30 years, China has experienced sustained and rapid economic growth, which is partly simulated by the extensive mode of economic growth aimed to GDP onesided. However, a series of problems such as energy shortage and environmental pollution has been brought meanwhile. Faced with a “dilemma” between energy and development in the traditional sense to a “tripartite tangle” of energy, environment and development, the state proposed the strategic goal of building a “two-oriented society” timely, trying to achieve the harmony and unity of the three by integrating. In the “Eleventh Five-Year Plan”, it is clearly proposed that energy consumption intensity (ton of standard coal per ten thousand Yuan Dynasty of GDP) should be reduced by 20% and major pollutants emissions should be cut 10%.

    Economic development must not stop in spite of energy consumption and environmental pollution. Since Chinese reform and opening up, energy consumption has increased significantly in the rapid economic growth: in 2010 it is 5.69 times as that of 1978. However, energy consumption intensity (in current price) dropped significantly from 15.68 tons of standard coal in 1978 to 0.81 tons of standard coal in 2010 and the proportion of coal in total energy consumption fell by 2.7 percentage point. Meanwhile the rate of environmental pollutants emissions decreased as well. These indicate it is possible that achieving the strategy of sustainable development through improving energy efficiency and energy consumption structure in the constraint of economic growth.

    To control the regional pollution is based on a clear understanding of the regional pollution characteristics, which can provide a theoretical basis and macro-control ideas on coordinating regional economic development, energy consumption and environmental protection in China. Therefore, we will correctly understand and accurately evaluate the environmental pollution in different areas of China and study the influence of energy consumption structure, energy consumption intensity, energy prices, economic growth and economic structure on the environmental pollution in different regions of China. The study can help to find out the potential cause of the difference of the environmental pollution in different areas, provide a scientific basis on formulating the effective measures of reducing pollution emissions, and then contribute to the long-term sustainable economic development of China. Overall, it is undoubtedly significant in both theory and practice to correctly.

    Skippy… can’t find the same stuff for America for some reason… sigh.

    1. Susan the other

      It would be nice to have some NASA scientists carry these anticipated 10 and 20% reductions forward for China and every industrialized, CO2 producing insane asylum and see how much CO2 is actually mitigated by these feeble attempts. Which are the equivalent of fictional accounting. Ergo how much global warming will really occur. Once the great under-the-glacier rivers hollow out the antarctic ice sheet, the oceans will stop cooling.

      1. optimader

        “Once the great under-the-glacier rivers hollow out the Antarctic ice sheet, the oceans will stop cooling.”

        Point taken Susan, but in terms of a trendline I think “ocean cooling” should already be past tense. .

        I’ll repost this link on PIG because this location is a source of interesting work on the subject. PIG is a cork in the bottle so to speak

  7. AbyNormal

    its back… The Global Wealth Distribution
    “Credit Suisse has published its Global Wealth Report 2013. Total world wealth was about $241 trillion in 2013, with a little under one-third in North America, a little under one-third in Europe, and the rest spread around the rest of the world. Average wealth per adult for the world economy was $52,000, with North Americans averaging about six times that amount, while those in Africa and India averaged less than one-tenth of that amount.”

    “The 32 million people around the world who have more than $1 million in wealth represent 0.7% of the world population, and hold 41% of the world’s wealth.”

    “I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence.”
    Eugene Victor Debs

    1. craazyboy

      I decided to just start calling it Leif Ericson Day.

      I figure if Columbus can be off by a continent, then Leif can be off by some calendar days.

        1. Tim Mason

          For a site that is keen on our furry fellows, it might be an idea to celebrate ‘Daisy Day’ or the arrival of the first European cow in North America. You could have a day for sheep too. See this

          (Chickwallop was the name by which a Native American sachem, who was one of the first to encounter one of the new settlers’ beasts, was known to the Europeans)

  8. rich

    Patients Mired in Costly Credit From Doctors

    But what seemed like the perfect answer — seemed, in fact, like just what the doctor ordered — has turned into a quagmire. Her new loan ensured that the dentist, Dr. Dan A. Knellinger, would be paid in full upfront. But for Ms. Gannon, the price was steep: an annual interest rate of about 23 percent, with a 33 percent penalty rate kicking in if she missed a payment.

    She said that Dr. Knellinger’s office subsequently suggested another form of financing, a medical credit card, to pay for more work. Now, her minimum monthly dental bill, roughly $214 all told, is eating up a third of her Social Security check. If she is late, she faces a penalty of about $50.

    “I am worried that I will be paying for this until I die,” says Ms. Gannon, who lives in Dunedin, Fla. Dr. Knellinger, who works out of Palm Harbor, Fla., did not respond to requests for comment.

    In dentists’ and doctors’ offices, hearing aid centers and pain clinics, American health care is forging a lucrative alliance with American finance. A growing number of health care professionals are urging patients to pay for treatment not covered by their insurance plans with credit cards and lines of credit that can be arranged quickly in the provider’s office. The cards and loans, which were first marketed about a decade ago for cosmetic surgery and other elective procedures, are now proliferating among older Americans, who often face large out-of-pocket expenses for basic care that is not covered by Medicare or private insurance.
    Doctors, dentists and others have a financial incentive to recommend the financing because it encourages patients to opt for procedures and products that they might otherwise forgo because they are not covered by insurance. It also ensures that providers are paid upfront — a fact that financial services companies promote in marketing material to providers.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s not just jobs.

      It’s also job quality.

      Too many slave laborers are trapped in jobs they hate.

    2. rich

      London’s Great Exodus

      The reasons are simple to understand. In 2011, at the height of the euro zone crisis, citizens of the two countries at the epicenter of the cataclysm — Greece and Italy — bought 400 million pounds’ worth of London bricks and mortar. The Italian and Greek rich, fearing the single currency would collapse, got their money out of euros and parked it someplace where government was relatively stable, and the tax regime was gentle — very, very gentle.

      Considering that tax evasion in Italy and Greece was a significant contributory factor to their debt problems, it just seems grotesquely cynical to encourage this kind of behavior.

      But that’s what Britain in general and London in particular do. The city is essentially a tax haven with great theater, free museums and formidable dining. If you can demonstrate you have a residence in another country, you are taxed only on your British earnings.

      And the savings on property taxes are phenomenal.

      And it’s not just those who work in London’s financial district, the City, who buy in. Hot money from China, Singapore, India and other countries with fast-growing economies and short traditions of good governance is pouring into London.

      When I say property is money I mean it. An astonishing £83 billion worth of properties were purchased in 2012 with no financing — all cash purchases. That’s $133 billion.

      Mr. Cameron may be pursuing austerity policies elsewhere in the economy, doing virtually nothing to help subsidize employment or industry, but his government has just started a “Help to Buy” program. The government will guarantee up to 15 percent of the purchase price of a house up to £600,000 ($960,000), if you have a 5 percent down payment.

      The ordinary uses of the city have been changed beyond recognition. London was never a cheap place to live, but now more expensive property means more expensive everything else: restaurants, cinemas, bars and theater tickets.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I wonder if it was the same with Roman real estate as the legions retreated from Britain, North Africa and the Fertile Crescent.

        1. Synopticist

          It was indeed. There was a huge increase in villa building in what are now Turkey and Greece in the decades spanning the final fall of Rome in 410. A lot of smart money saw the writing on the wall and left for the security of the east.

          During the troubled period of the third century, when it looked for a while the empire might collapse many years earlier than it did, there was a huge boom in high prestige buildings in Britain, which was the safest place in western Europe at the time. Nearly all of the very fanciest Roman villas in the UK date from this period, from circa 250-310 ad.

  9. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Default – both Obama and the Republicans want it.

    I imagine if the Dow drops 1,000+ points for a couple of days, someone will on his or her knee(s) and the shutdown will be over.

    In that sense, big money (the eminence grise behind the partisan-ish brainwashing propaganda piece) which controls the stock market, wants to default…at least the default kabuki.

    Similarly, if they don’t pass TPP, for example, look for similar entertainment.

  10. optimader

    Vets and Seniors Are Ending the Drug War

    “..Older Americans are one of the two key demographics that explain why, at long last, cannabis prohibition, America’s Longest War and her second Civil War, is finally nearly over.

    Pollsters are finally accepting (though scratching their heads over the fact) that older Americans are the fastest growing segment of the population to support the Drug Peace era…”
    Why do they hate America?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Surprising that we are not making teenagers faster than we are making seniors, because I would think teenagers would be the fastest growing (relative to other segments, not relative to itself versus previous periods or pervious years) population segment to support that.

      1. optimader

        Contemporary kids in this country have been sooo beaten-up w/conformity to invasive State edict, unlike any previous generation. It’s a real-time long term behavioral experiment (that I don’t think will play out all that well). When I was is High School, if a kid was caught w/a bag of pot it would be confiscated and it would be detention for a week, maybe get suspended from some extracurricular activity.

        Presently, if this were to happen, the kid would probably be arrested and expelled, and my State have a criminal record haunting them.

        So kids today? Not so much allowed to learn from dumb behavior and move on. So the consequence, give them a Redbull, a copy of Grand Theft Auto rev5 or internet bandwidth and they will hide in an air-conditioned basement until the pleasure center of their brains are fully poached. It’s the 21st Century Speedball

        1. anon y'mouse

          and all that you just said will bake in “denial of agency” and psychological immaturity.

          and they say we’re always around the corner to the Technotopia! looks like Dark Ages II to me.

  11. Jeff N

    re: Hilary Clinton – my Friend-of-Israel Democratic representative told me the same thing – we need to have a “discussion” about spying. And that we can’t change it in any rash ways without careful consideration.

    1. Butch in Waukegan

      Speaking of Hillary, evidently Chelsea Clinton left her $9 million condo to guest edit the BBC Newshour this morning. I heard a blurb for it on NPR.

      The promo went something like this: 80% of the world’s work is done by women, but women only receive 10% of the worlds income. Chelsea’s solution? Support women in the third world who want to start their own businesses!

      I immediately thought of this recent story. I was driving, so my rage and disgust became a safety issue. I turned it off.

        1. optimader

          Now that Chelsea has officially entered the Arena of Public Opinion, I consider her free game.

          Paris’s name memorializes where her Mother was knocked-up, Is Chelsea named after the British Football team or the neighborhood in NY?

          1. craazyboy

            My guess would depend on knowing if there are any women on the British Football team. If not, I’d go with the NY neighborhood for $100.

    2. optimader

      “we need to have a “discussion” about spying”

      A less sophisticated version of my mothers: “we’ll wait until your father gets home and you can ask him” deflection when I was a kid.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Hillary defines ‘discussion’:

        I talk, you listen and clap when indicated.

        Good little consumer!

    3. bob

      “we need to have a “discussion” about spying”

      Sounds very familiar to Dershowitz calling for a “discussion” on torture a few years ago.

      I’ll vote for the first person who says we don’t need a discussion. We know what we need to. There is no way to “discuss” it into rationality.

      I also love the use of the royal “we”, as if any of this discussion will be open to the plebes.

    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      “Conversation” is the word, not “discussion.” It is, in fact, a Democratic buzzword, so watch out for it.

      I hate the way Democrats use “conversation” because (1) use of the word implies that all are equals and there are no power relations, and (2) “conversations” are generally carefully scripted.

  12. Andrew Watts

    RE: NSA veterans: The White House is hanging us out to dry

    Why would that happen? It couldn’t be that certain branches of the government maintain a genuine concern about the mass collection of internet and phone intercepts. Especially when these programs are being portrayed so negatively in the media which is increasingly reflected in the anxious minds of freedom-loving Americans.

    I’ve only looked through a few of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court rulings that have been declassified so far, but what I find most disturbing is that the Court seems incapable at times of understanding what the government is actually doing.

    For example:

    “But, for the first time, the government has now advised the Court that the volume and nature of the information it has been collecting is fundamentally different from what the Court has been led to believe.”

    So either the government is deliberately misleading the court on the extent of it’s activities or they are not making themselves abundantly clear about what is taking place. The alternative theory is even scarier to contemplate. The FISC does not understand what is being done and the government is being forced to interpret their own actions on behalf of the court as well as presenting their justifications to the court.

    1. James Levy

      How many well educated men (and we’re dealing with men here) want to admit, when handed a document filled with technical gobbledygook, want to admit their ignorance and start asking loads of detailed questions which only make them look stupid or ignorant?

      With only the government agent requesting a FISA ruling in their favor in the room, these judges are at the mercy of a bunch of spooks who are trained to lie constantly, consistently, and convincingly. Appointed because they can be trusted to be good soldiers and keep their mouth’s shut, these judges are lambs to the slaughter. Only the Main Stream Media are credulous and/or cynical enough to portray this process as anything but the farce that it is. And yet the Executive finds even these marshmallows too restricting for their pleasure. It’s all idiotic and terrifying.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      …anxious American minds.

      Call me a visionary freaker who freaks out ahead of his time, but we are not anxious enough, in my humble opinion.

      What if they let the NSA run the insurance exchange? I’m freaking out over that now.

  13. Skeptic

    Who ‘owns’ the apples? New York’s newest varieties require a fee for their ‘intellectual property’ value The Post Standard (Bob)

    Hey the real money lies in the stuff we use everyday, like the Alphabet. Users would pay a tax for each letter they use. If the Robbers Court can give out patents on Life then the Alphabet is certainly doable. From there it is a short, profitable leap to numbering systems. Everything is in play when you need Loot.

    This comment cost $2.97, payable to the Alpahabet Company, a subsidiary of Mal-Mart.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Shouldn’t there be some kind of differential pricing, like in Scrabble, but maybe inverted? So that the “e,” since it was so frequently used, cost more?

      Also, people are going to try to game the system, and we don’t want any of this:

      f u can rd ths

      crapola. So I suggest that the use of only dictionary words be, er, mandated. We can adopt spellchecking technology.

  14. We'll call you when it's time to put the bayonet up Alexander's rectum

    No, Hillary, you bloodthirsty cow, we are going to have a discussion about CCPR Article 17, Vienna Convention Articles 22, 27, and 30, and US state responsibility for international delicts related to those commitments. This will all be going over your head, as you can’t even get the friggin UN Charter straight. So as you were, you have nothing to add. Just eat shit and bark at the moon while Bill cheats on you with women who are stupider than you but less bitter and wizened.

  15. Synopticist

    This looks very interesting, and I’ll watch it in full when i have the time, but i have some doubts.

    Urban guerrilla have_never_been succesful. You can’t do hit and run tactics in a built up areas for long. There’s nowhere innacessible to hide, too may people know what you look like. Too many informers. Too easy for undercover enemies to wander about. It’s easy to terrorise and intimidate your families and close supporters. Enemy occupiers can concentrate forces against you extremely quickly.
    Those are some of the reasons being an urban guerrilla sucked in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Now add super-duper surveillance and drones on 24/7 patrol into the mix, and I can’t see a great future in it.

    1. down2long

      Headline should be:

      DC wants Dow to drop 1,000: Bove

      I stepped on my own laugh line. I’m losing my touch. It’s the fleabagger f**kstickery jinx,

  16. down2long

    Mercury is indeed retrograde.

    I’ve been having computer problems all weekend. Please forgive me for my dupes. Thanks. Wish I didn’t have to do ANY business during this time. Pluto’s all messed up too. DC Mercury Retrograde Follies

  17. Butch in Waukegan

    Another county country heard from in the budget/debt wars

    Frenemy China Calls For De-Americanized World – McClatchy

    “Such alarming days when the destinies of others are in the hands of a hypocritical nation have to be terminated, and a new world order should be put in place, according to which all nations, big or small, poor or rich, can have their key interests respected and protected on an equal footing,” Xinhua said.

    The editorial went on to envision an ideal “de-Americanized” world, in which smaller, developing economies —which China at times calls itself despite being the world’s second largest economy—play a larger role.

    “What may also be included as a key part of an effective reform is the introduction of a new international reserve currency that is to be created to replace the dominant U.S. dollar, so that the international community could permanently stay away from the spillover of the intensifying domestic political turmoil in the United States,” the news agency said.

  18. skippy


    Niall Ferguson: Why Paul Krugman should never be taken seriously again

    comments section:

    D Whiggery
    • a day ago

    Keynes would have loathed Krugman with a passion and Krugman knows it.


    Share ›

    the viceroy’s gin D Whiggery
    • a day ago

    Yes, Keynes had some integrity, and Krugman has none. If Carlos Slim wasn’t still floating the NY Times, there’d be no more Krugman. He’s part of the sludge that will settle out of the contemporary media sewage, following the final shakeout. It shouldn’t be too long now.
    18 2


    Share ›
    Nicholas chuzzlewit the viceroy’s gin
    • 9 hours ago

    Agreed. Let us hope you are right.


    Share ›

    skippy… its like two accelerated mental sphincters R&L coming together in the LHC… wha lah [voila]… Gawd particle!

  19. Hugh

    The fake Nobel in Economics was appropriately awarded to three fake economists: two Chicago Boys, Eugene Fama and Lars Hansen, and the ever neoliberal Robert Shiller of Yale. Eugene Fama is the father of the efficient markets hypothesis which should tell you that he is not so much divorced from reality as fronting for kleptocracy. Hansen is another model builder who tries to simplify reality because it does not conform to models.

    The three won their joke prize for their work on asset pricing. I suppose you could say they merited some sort of prize simply by being able to ignore the markets as casino, QE, and ZIRP.

    1. skippy

      But… But… Hugh… are you saying the Nobell has no ***intrinsic value***… they burn heretics like you… snicker~

  20. The end of nation-states

    The problem with saying the obvious is that you never get any credit when others come to the same conclusion.

    I found “The End of the Nation-State” to be interesting because I have been making such predictions for some time now. Of course where Khanna predict that the new governance shall come from “special economic zones”, I argue that what we are seeing a kind of global fascism where every thing ends up under the power of the corporation.

    Any more, the idea that we as citizens “own” stuff is becoming more muddled. We may own the computers, but we only lease the software it runs on from Microsoft.

    Where copyrights would expire after a certain span of time after the ordinal author’s death, is not being extended indefinably because copyrights now belong to immortal corporations. The result is that corporations end up owning culture itself. With MERS, the notion of owning your own home has become an obsolete concept as the banks can always repossess it, even if the home was never financed.

    Privacy has all but disappeared. Even our DNA can be patented.

    More and more property will end up being “owned” by corporations, and the concept of what they can own is always expanding. With big-data minding, corporations actually own our history and even our preferences.

    The role of the nation state is devolving more into an institution that secures corporate rights and property. Instead of being the arbiters of self government, they are taking on the role of the task-master, insuring that workers keep working and shoppers keep shopping.

    As it was said in the article,
    [B]NOWHERE is a rethinking of “the state” more necessary than in the Middle East. There is a sad futility to the reams of daily analysis on Syria and Iraq that fail to grasp that no state has a divine right to exist. A century after British and French diplomats divided the Ottoman Empire’s eastern territories into feeble (and ultimately short-lived) mandates, the resulting states are crumbling beyond repair.[/B]

    Yes, a state has no divine right to exist – but a corporation however, appears to be the definition of modern divinity. Not only do they have a right to exist – but no one has a right to challenge them.

  21. Code Name D

    The end of nation states.

    The problem with saying the obvious is that you never get any credit when others come to the same conclusion.

    I found “The End of the Nation-State” to be interesting because I have been making such predictions for some time now. Of course where Khanna predict that the new governance shall come from “special economic zones”, I argue that what we are seeing a kind of global fascism where every thing ends up under the power of the corporation.

    Any more, the idea that we as citizens “own” stuff is becoming more muddled. We may own the computers, but we only lease the software it runs on from Microsoft.

    Where copyrights would expire after a certain span of time after the ordinal author’s death, is not being extended indefinably because copyrights now belong to immortal corporations. The result is that corporations end up owning culture itself. With MERS, the notion of owning your own home has become an obsolete concept as the banks can always repossess it, even if the home was never financed.

    Privacy has all but disappeared. Even our DNA can be patented.

    More and more property will end up being “owned” by corporations, and the concept of what they can own is always expanding. With big-data minding, corporations actually own our history and even our preferences.

    The role of the nation state is devolving more into an institution that secures corporate rights and property. Instead of being the arbiters of self government, they are taking on the role of the task-master, insuring that workers keep working and shoppers keep shopping.

    As it was said in the article,
    [B]NOWHERE is a rethinking of “the state” more necessary than in the Middle East. There is a sad futility to the reams of daily analysis on Syria and Iraq that fail to grasp that no state has a divine right to exist. A century after British and French diplomats divided the Ottoman Empire’s eastern territories into feeble (and ultimately short-lived) mandates, the resulting states are crumbling beyond repair.[/B]

    Yes, a state has no divine right to exist – but a corporation however, appears to be the definition of modern divinity. Not only do they have a right to exist – but no one has a right to challenge them.

Comments are closed.