Links 11/14/13

To our RSS and e-mail readers: We are again behind the eight ball. We’ll be adding more links after our 7:00 AM launch, so please check the site.

You must look at #askJPM if you haven’t already. See Twitter troll swarm sends JPMorgan running Reuters and JPMorgan feels the wrath of Twitter Financial Times. But this is hardy trolling. These are legitimate questions! And looks like Twitter censors. #askJPM went from #2 in trending to vanishing. Given that JP Morgan was w co-manager on Twitter’s IPO, it’s not hard to imagine the Twitter PR department would respond favorably to special pleadings.

Virus killing dolphins, and now whales, along U.S. east coast EarthSky (furzy mouse)

Emissions drive oceans ‘acid trip’ BBC

New Report Finds US Ethanol Mandate is Destroying the Environment Oil Price

The FDA, statistics and fundamentalism John Hempton

US intelligence wants to radically advance facial recognition software Network World. Well of course, they WANT to. But how easy is this? Dental work (orthodontia) will do as much to change a face as some plastic surgery. This could well become an arms race with cheap circumvention tricks (big glasses to hide your cheekbone margins, wigs to mask your natural hairline, even more comfortable versions of the Godfather orange rind trick).

China’s Speculation Problem Triple Crisis. Includes an interesting metric.

Philippines Looting: Desperate Typhoon Survivors Loot, Dig Up Water Pipes Huffington Post (Carol B)

JPMorgan Chase’s Fruitful Ties to a Member of China’s Elite New York Times. While we are asking JPM…

Think Weaker Yen Means Cheaper Exports? Think Again WSJ Economics Blog

Japanese growth halved in third quarter Financial Times

EU Citizenship Goes On Sale, Price War Breaks Out Wolf Richter

Deflation fears stalk eurozone as Spain reports fall in prices Guardian

Growth falters in Europe’s largest economies Financial Times

Mavis Batey – obituary Telegraph. A Bletchley Park codebreaker. Trust me, you need to read this.

Kerry warns against Iran sanctions Guardian

Big Brother is Watching You Watch:

Cisco cites NSA backlash on sales warning Financial Times

Judge Could Torpedo NSA Surveillance Programs Monday US News & World Report

NSA Leaks Could Inspire a Global Boom in Intrusive Surveillance MIT Technology Review

WHAT’S IN YOUR METADATA? Center for Internet and Society

Obamacare Launch:

Democrats Threaten to Abandon Obama on Health Provision New York Times

Takeaways: Obamacare by the numbers Politico

Larry Summers: Obamacare Is Already Accomplishing More Than Expected DailyFinance. Carol B: “Like Bill Clinton urging the Great Betrayal, whore comes to mind>’

Support for Obama and Obamacare Drops Jon Walker, Firedoglake

Privatizing Lincoln’s grave David Atkins, Digby (Carol B)

Supreme Courts Considers Limiting the Right of Unions to Organize Real News Network

Progressive Sheepdogs, Democrat Sheep: Broken Promises; the Minimum Wage Bruce Dixon, Black Agenda Report (Carol B)

Airline Merger Sets Up Land Grab at Major Airports Wall Street Journal. I am bummed. American was less bad than the other airlines in some respects, and US Airways is just terrible. I gather US Airways will be running the show. So we get a giant super shitty airline. Another big lemon in a lemon market.

Flying too heavy Economist. Quelle surprise! Airlines are cheating!


Federal Probe Questions TSA Behavior Profiling Associated Press

How McDonald’s and Wal-Mart Became Welfare Queens Barry Ritholtz, Bloomberg

A Bitcoin Exchange Holding $4.1 Million For 1,000 Customers Has Simply Vanished Business Insider (furzy mouse). I said Bitcoin was prosecution futures….

Yellen to Say Economy Still Needs Fed Aid Wall Street Journal. No call for fiscal stimulus…

Dectaper Is Coming Business Insider. A minority view.

McKinsey lays out tapering blowback MacroBusiness

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):


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  1. AbyNormal

    “No matter how close we are to another person, few human relationships are as free from strife, disagreement, and frustration as is the relationship you have with a good dog. Few human beings give of themselves to another as a dog gives of itself. I also suspect that we cherish dogs because their unblemished souls make us wish – consciously or unconsciously – that we were as innocent as they are, and make us yearn for a place where innocence is universal and where the meanness, the betrayals, and the cruelties of this world are unknown.”
    Koontz, A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog

      1. craazyman

        Faaaak, here in New Yawk we wouldn’t even look at something like that.

        We’re way too cool and sophisticated.

      2. craazyman

        faaak if two gay dudes were humping in the street on one corner and Obama was making a speech on the other I wouldn’t even look right or left. hahah ahahah

        We’re talkin’ ultra New Yawk hip cool, so cool even Eskimos get chilly here, so cool we’ll cure global warming just by being “us”. Faaaaaak.

        1. diptherio

          Speaking of mating rituals…I’ve been working on the estate of our local multi-billionaire lately and his property happens to contain a large weeping willow that the caretaker refers to as the “fertility tree.” Most of the year, it’s just another tree, but every fall does and bucks meet up there to breed. 6 – 12 deer have been hanging out the last couple of days. I even got to see two bucks lock horns a little bit (although neither of them really seemed to be that into it).

          I’ll take my wildlife over New Yawk’s any time…

    1. AbyNormal

      i am there

      missing you Miles. thank you for all i never knew i needed & wanted…i love you forever, i like you for always

      1. susan the other

        Today’s antidote is such a tender moment I think I’m gonna get another dog even tho’ I’ll probably never outlive it. All I wanna do is stare at that photo. By the headlines in Links, we will need to keep touching base with that Golden and its human. Things sound grim.

  2. Jay @hautepop

    “And looks like Twitter censors. #askJPM went from #2 in trending to vanishing. Given that JP Morgan was w co-manager on Twitter’s IPO, it’s not hard to imagine the Twitter PR department would respond favorably to special pleadings”

    We’ve been through this with the Occupy hashtags like #OccupyLSX. The Twitter trending algorithm includes a substantial component of novelty (and perhaps accelleration) – it’s not just a measurement of how much something is being talked about overall. See the Twitter Trending Topics FAQ.

    #askJPM trended initially because it was new; after a period of time, it was no longer new so it stopped trending. All trending topics work this way.

    A hashtag’s rank in Trending Topics also has to be qualified: are you looking at county-wide trending, city-level trending, or the personalised trending that’s customised towards the topics that people you follow discuss? Ranking in each will naturally be different.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      How much does Twitter pay you to cover for them?

      Janet Yellen has been in “Trending” for over 36 hours, and the #askJPM hashtag then AND now is a ton more active.

      Better trolls, please.

  3. from Mexico

    @ “Larry Summers: Obamacare Is Already Accomplishing More Than Expected”

    Atavism is upon us.

    Gentlemen, you have come sixty days too late. The depression is over.

    –HERBERT HOOVER, June 1930, in his dismissal of a delegation of public-spirited men who urged an expansion of public works to ease the plight of the unemployed

    1. AbyNormal

      and in 1936 unemployment circled back higher than its previous peak

      “Global capital markets pose the same kinds of problems that jet planes do. They are faster, more comfortable, and they get you where you are going better. But the crashes are much more spectacular.”
      L.Summers (bet the sadist got a hardon when he quipped that)

      1. from Mexico


        ‘Sadism’, Fromm writes, ‘is the great instinctual reservoir to which one appeals when one has no other…satisfactions to offer the masses’, or when other ‘instinctual satisfactions of a more positive nature are ruled out on socio-economic grounds’ (Fromm, 1970: 113)…. [S]adistic acting out functions as a lure to masochistic submission, which is why failing rulers take it upon themselves to perform sadistic violence on behalf of their constituents.

        The means by which displacement, masochistic submission and sadistic acting out are set and kept in motion, consists in well-crafted political myths. In the first instance, political myths must work to designate particular objects or situations as posing dangers in urgent need of decisive state intervention, and particular rulers as being prepared to undertake such intervention in response (Fromm, 1964: 19)…. In other words, rather than the state merely surviving its contradictions, it has the capacity to live and thrive through them.

      1. from Mexico

        I’m not buying it.

        As Judge Rakoff is reported to have said on another of today’s NC posts:

        This, of course, is what is known in the law as “willful blindness” or “conscious disregard.” It is a well-established basis on which federal prosecutors have asked juries to infer intent…

        All the backflips people go to in order exculpate these criminals and sociopaths are really getting old.

        1. James Levy

          I call it depraved indifference and it is best measured by actions and not intentions. Reading intention is a mugs game and open to endless interpretation. I would argue, as I think you do Mexico, for judging actions. To quote a certain Klingon: “Motive? Who cares about motive; humans perhaps. What mattered is on that day you acted like a Klingon.”

          1. from Mexico

            It seems like, beginning in the 1980s, as the fields of law and economics moved in one direction, art moved in the very opposite.

            As Wendy Steiner notes in “Below Skin-deep”:

            [I]n this century pictorial form has subdued, defanged, or even eliminated content. In surrealism, formal perfection cages surging symbols in its uncanny calm. Cubist faceting deflects our attention from the deliberately banal content of still lifes, landscapes, and portraits, and geometric abstraction and abstract expressionism eliminated content altogether, or reduce it to the effect stirred by formal features. Even in works as hard-hitting as Guernica, Picasso makes his impact primarily through the violence of formal disjunction, complexity, and color reduction rather than through the violence of the scenes represented, as in a Goya or a Delacrox….

            Ever since pop art, however, representation has returned to American painting, and one of the most distinctive achievements of such recent photographers as Robert Maplethorpe, Sally Mann, Cindy Sherman, and Andres Serrano is that they have forced their audience to abandon the notion that the value of photography lies solely in form. Their subjects, splendidly composed, scream through that composition in a scandal of meaning, leaving formalist critics at a loss. The testimony of an expert witness in the Mapplethorpe trial, for instance, that a photograph of a man urinating into another man’s mouth was art by virtue of its beautiful diagonals, is a high point in the history of critical absurdity. Recent photography has undermined formalist aesthetics, and Serrano’s images, in particular, force us toward an aesthetics of content.

            –WENDY STEINER, “Below Skin-deep,” Andres Serrano: Works 1983-1993

            1. susan the other

              Thanks Mexico. Great quote. Abstract and Pop shoveled out the old ethics and cleared the way for us to look at a material world. We should be forever grateful. And a century later here we are looking at “material” through a social conscience. It’s as if our social conscience is as eternal as the organic forces that change the composition of material. As in, say, the formation of stromatolites; the various changes in molecular structure stone, etc. Funny how ecology works.

            2. craazyman

              “deliberately banal content of still lifes . . . and landscapes”

              Ummmm. A banal landscape? I have never seen one. If somebody shows me one I’ll be impressed.

              Trying to separate form from content is like trying to separate light from dark. The one art critism book I thought was good was Andre Malraux’s Voices of Silence. Otherwise, it’s mostly a pile of wasted trees as ludicrously nonsensical as economics. I think in one of Henry Miller’s books he does a good job on Matisse. Somehow I remembered that, but he’s an artist so it makes sense.

          2. anon y'mouse

            you’re not the first commenter here to call someone on the carpet re: motivations.

            although your view is the most accurate scientifically, it makes little sense when dealing with many human activities. judging motivations is guided by a heuristic process (ah reckon!), and without it we wouldn’t be able to get a whole lot accomplished in our lives (judging potential risks and dangers, for one). granted, since it is only an heuristic we shouldn’t be too devoted to it. but this strict adherence to “motivations are unknowable” is pedantic and useless. better to guess and admit that you might be wrong than stand aside merely reacting to other people’s actions.

            besides, if a guy shows up to a whorehouse in the desert with a thousand smackers in his pocket, i’m pretty sure we’re all going to make the assumption that he isn’t there just to sample the local firewater.

      2. ambrit

        Dear dearieme;
        I believe that Hoover was the quintessential Technocrat. A mining engineer by trade, and an able organizer by inclination, he could be considered the godfather of the present day NeoCon movement. He presaged many of that groups core beliefs: efficiency in government, volunteerism, the primacy of the individual, etc. What isn’t generally remarked though is his swing towards government interventionist policies after the true magnitude of the Great Depression became obvious. In that regard, he is head and shoulders above any of the present day so called Conservative Politicians.
        When he found himself digging a hole deeper, he stopped digging. Today, they just call for a bigger shovel.

        1. diptherio

          “When he found himself digging a hole deeper, he stopped digging. Today, they just call for a bigger shovel.”

          + a bajillion! hilarious…

          I imagine our current crop of technocrats and PR hacks (PResident Obama chief among them) calling for that bigger shovel as they ask one another in hushed tones, “how do you suppose we’re gonna dig ourselves out of this one?”

        2. from Mexico

          ambrit says:

          What isn’t generally remarked though is his swing towards government interventionist policies after the true magnitude of the Great Depression became obvious.

          Frederick Lewis Allen in Since Yesterday relates an entirely different picture of Hoover, unless you’re speaking of the billions he surreptitously lavished on banks, railroads and insurance companies via his secretive RFC. But for the little guy, there was nothing:

          As the winter of 1931-32 arived…Steadily he fought against those measures which seemed to him iniquitous: he appeared before the American Legion and appealed to the members not to ask for the immediate cash payment of the rest of their Bonus money; he vetoed a bill for the distribution of direct Federal relief; and again and again he made clear his opposition to any proposals for inflation or for (in his own words) “squandering ourselves into prosperity.”

          Still the Depression deepened.

          Already the pressure of events had pushed the apostle of rugged individualism much further toward state socialism than any previous president had gone in time of peace. Hoover’s Reconstruction Finance Corporation had put the government deeply into business. But it was state socialism of a very limited and special sort. [Hoover intervned] to protect the debt structure–first by easing temporarily the pressure of international debts without canceling them, and second by buttressing the banks and big corporations with Federal funds….

          It is also almost useless to ask whether Hoover was acting with a tory heartlessness in permitting financial executives to come to Washington for a corporate dole when men and women on the edge of starvation were denied a personal dole. What is certain is that at a time of such widespread suffering no democratic government could SEEM to be aiding the financiers and SEEM to be simultaneously disregarding the plight of its humbler citizens without losing the confidence of the public. For the days had passed when men who lost their jobs could take their working tools elsewhere and contrive an independent living, or cultivate a garden patch and thus keep body and soul together, or go West and begin again on the frontier. When they lost their jobs they were helpless. Desperately they turned for aid to the only agency responsible to them for righting the wrongs done them by a blindly operating economic society: they turned to the government. How could they endorse a government which gave them–for all they could see–not bread, but a stone?

          1. from Mexico

            And have you forgotten how Hoover treated the WWI veterans? As Allen goes on to recount:

            All through June [1932] thousands of war veterans had been streaming into Washington, coming from all over the country by boxcar and by truck. These veterans wanted the government to pay them now the “adjusted compensation” which Congress had already voted to pay them in 1925. They set up a camp–a shanty-town, a sort of big-scale “Hooverville”–on the Anacostia flats near the city, and they occupied some vacant land with disused buildings on it on Pennsylvania Avenue just below the Capitol. More and more of them straggled to Washington until their number had reached fifteen or twenty thousand.

            Among such a great crowd there were inevitably men of many sorts. The Hoover Administration later charged that many had had criminal records, or were communists. But unquestionably the great majority of them were genuine veterans; though there was one small communist group, it was regarded with hostility by the rest; in the main this “Bonus Expeditionary Force” consisted of ordinary Americans out of luck. They were under at least a semblance of military discipline and were on the whole well-behaved. Many brought their wives and children along, and as time went on the Anacostia camp took on an air half military and half domestic, with the family wash hanging on the line outside the miserable shacks, and entertainers getting up impromptu vaudeville shows.

            General Pelham D. Glassford, the Washington superintendent of police, sensibly regarded these invaders as citizens who had every right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. He helped them to get equipment for their camp and treated them with unfailing consideration. But to some Washingtonians their presence was ominous…


            President Hoover had ordered the United States Army to the rescue.

            Down Pennsylvania Avenue, late that hot afternoon, came an impressive parade–four troops of cavalry, four companies of infantry, a machine-gun squadron, and several tanks. As they approached the disputed area they were met with cheers from the veterans sitting on the curb and from the large crowd which had assembled. Then suddenly there was chaos: cavalrymen were riding into the crowd, infantrymen were throwing tear-gas bombs, women and children were being trampled and were choking from the gas; a crowd of three thousand or more spectators who had gathered in a vacant lot across the way were being pursued by the cavalry and were running wildly, pell-mell, across the uneven ground, screaming as they stumbled and fell.

            The troops moved slowly on, scattering before them veterans and homegoing government clerks alike. When they reached the other end of the Anacostia bridge and met a crowd of spectators who booed them and were slow to “move on,” they threw more gas bombs. They began burning the shacks of the Anacostia camp–a task which the veterans themselves helped them accomplish. That evening the Washington sky glowed with fire. Even after midnight the troops were still on their way with bayonets and tear-gas bombs, driving people ahead of them into the streets of Anacostia.

            The Bonus Expeditionary Force had been dispersed, to merge itself with that greater army of homeless people who were drifting about the country in search of an ever-retreating fortune. The United States Army had completed its operation “successfully” without killing anybody–though the list of injured was long. The incident was over. But it had left a bitter taste in the mouth. Bayonets drawn in Washington to rout the dispossessed–was this the best that American statesmanship could offer hungry citizens?

            So what was that again about how swell of a guy Hoover was?

            1. ambrit

              Dear from Mexico;
              Fair cop. I’ve been caught cherry picking my examples.
              I would argue in defense of my underlying contention though that by backstopping the existing financial system of his day he was attempting to preserve the 1920s “Bubble Years.” A paradigmatic shift was not in him. Neither was it entirely within the ambit of his successor, FDR. He, Roosevelt, tried to preserve the existing order by spreading the gains of modern economies farther afield than the conventional “Titans of Industry” model. But Hoover started the ball rolling with the RFC, and Roosevelt was almost compelled to follow the trajectory charted by Hoover. Remember that Father Coughlin was expounding Fascism over the airwaves while Huey Long extolled the virtues of “Every Man a King.” The American Communists were puppets of Stalin. The homegrown American Socialists, like Sinclair Lewis and his E.P.I.C. campaign in California were being fought by fair means and foul by the Plutocrats and their lackeys. (Those same lackeys would go on to promote FDR and his “New Deal” in countless B movies and newsreels during the Depression.) By preserving the bubble years model, Hoover probably thought the system would reset and again produce increased standards of living for the average person. Not having read deeply into his papers, I would surmise that redistributionism wasn’t part of his world view. Your citation of the Bonus Marchers debacle would tend to support that. (Seeing who was in charge of that early ‘Police Action’ makes us all glad MacArthur didn’t get to run for President. What subsequently happened to his two aides in that action makes for instructive reading.)

              1. from Mexico

                My parents and grandparents hailed from the working-class, and as long as their generations were alive it was not possible to erase what Hoover had done from memory. One has to begin in the 1920s, when Hoover was Secretary of Commerce, to get a full sense of the totality of his crimes.

                The lords of capital would have to wait until my generation to rewrite history and whitewash Hoover’s reputation, and then only with difficulty. The stories my parents and grandparents told were still vivid in our minds.

                One of my favorite quotations if from Milan Kundera: “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.”

                That’s why it is so tragic that by my neices’ and nephews’ generation all was forgotten, and the whitewashing of Hoover was complete.

          2. susan the other

            Hoover was naive. He lived in a tragic time which allowed him to ignore human desperation and injustice. But he believed in capitalism and he followed his model, as they say, to the bitter end. It is a cautionary tale. It is always the system. Long live the king.

            1. Murky

              Could it really have been the same Herbert Hoover who fed starving populations of Europe after WW1? Detail: Hoover headed the American Relief Administration, which delivered and distributed massive food shipments in Europe post WW1. It was an extraordinarily well organized relief effort, which probably saved millions from starvation and death, particularly in Poland and Russia.

              Hoover the humanitarian? Say it ain’t so! There’s a rush on to paint the man man solid black, but his legacy just ain’t that simple.

  4. Tim Mason

    Several articles in today’s press on efforts to get by in the Philippines, almost all using the loaded term ‘looting.’ If you are an ordinary underling, your attempts to survive a natural disaster will be regarded as criminal. As Malthus might have put it, this is nature’s way of telling you that you have not been invited to the feast. If you dodge the verdict, you can be shot.

    1. James Levy

      There should be no “looting.” The surviving cops and government officials should be at every store handing out goods necessary for survival. Everything will be a write-off anyway. All food in such situations is going to rot or be condemned. If they just handed out the food, water, diapers, and medicine (if they could find it) then people wouldn’t be ransacking stores and non-emergency goods wouldn’t be taken.

      In cases like this, the desire to protect private property leads inevitable to it being taken in the most manic and destructive way. If the cops are handing out food and drink at a store, the crowd itself won’t tolerate people stealing things that have nothing to do with survival. If no one takes charge and no one seems to care if you live or die, it’s going to turn into a free-for-all.

      1. ambrit

        Mr. Levy;
        As one who survived the Hurricane Katrina weather disaster, and then the Government Response disaster, being then a resident of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, I can disabuse you of the notion that “Official Responders” within the disaster zone act with dispatch and thoughtfulness. The near aftermath of Katrina at least was one continual cluster f—. People were generally on their own until organized outside relief arrived. The local officials had their hands full surviving themselves. As a rule, the locals on the ground cooperated fairly well. Things got done, supplies scrounged, victims helped. What a man or woman in the centre of the whirlwind will call ‘scrounging,’ another person, removed from the immediate need, will characterize as ‘looting.’ It’s all a matter of perspective.
        When people later come in and start taking stuff away for personal profit, that’s looting.

        1. James Levy

          What you describe I am sure is true, but it is a condemnation of the people in charge, not a refutation of what I said. To take your point to its logical conclusion everyone on a battlefield is just trying to survive, so you can’t expect them to actually do their jobs. Cops and government officials exist to deal with emergencies–society can usually get along OK without them if things are going fine. They have to be disciplined and they have to have a plan of action. Hurricanes no longer come out of nowhere and hit without any warning. Those in responsible positions have got to have plans in place and have got to follow through on those plans. And part of that plan is to organize the distribution of whatever is to hand. If you don’t, you’ve got yourself set up for insanity, murder, and a war of all against all.

    2. anon y'mouse

      gadzooks, man! don’t you realize? one man’s property is always more important than another’s life!

      you forget yourself.

  5. Ned Ludd

    From the Qunnipiac cross-tabs for 18-29 year-olds:

    • 36% approve of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President.
    • 42% support the ACA.
    • 43% consider Obama to be honest and trustworthy.

    Young adults are no longer part of Obama’s base of support. Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, comments:

    • “Any Democrat with an 11-point approval deficit among women is in trouble. And any elected official with an 8-point trust deficit is in serious trouble.”

    • “President Obama’s job approval rating has fallen to the level of former President George W. Bush at the same period of his Presidency.”

    Liberals continue to be some of Obama’s most steadfast supporters: 73% of liberals approve of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President, 71% approve of the way he is handling health care, and 75% of liberals consider Obama to be honest and trustworthy.

  6. rich

    Ex-Senator Blanche Lincoln, Please Stop Influence Peddling for Monsanto and the Rest!

    Campaign created by Bill Moyer

    News broke recently that Monsanto – one of the most influential corporations among members of Congress – has hired former U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln’s lobbying firm, the Lincoln Policy Group, to do its bidding in Washington, D.C.

    Cashing in on her public service by helping massive corporations like Monsanto gut food safety, public health and transparency laws is just wrong. That’s why I started my own campaign on, which allows activists to start their own petitions. My petition, which is to former Senator Blanche Lincoln, says the following:

    Cashing in on public service by lobbying for unethical corporations is offensive to the American people. Senator Lincoln: Stop lobbying for Monsanto.

  7. ohmyheck

    #AskJPM is still live. Welp, at least people are tweeting to something they think is #AskJPM.

    I wouldn’t mind a bit if this goes on for weeks.

    Can you imagine…. JPM takes its ball and goes home, but forgets to take the ball with them. Doh!

    Don’t know what’s worse, the AskJPM tweet, or thinking they have shut off the discourse, when they haven’t.

    Here’s my question—“Hey JPM, can I get paid millions to be unrepentently stupid, too?”

    1. bob

      It’s an entertaining spectacle. On the precipce of the twitter IPO, the PR sucks that are finger waging about “poorly though out” social media strategy are my vote for worst persons of the year.

      My favorite so far, paraphrased because I cannot find it again-

      Quick- You’re trapped in a room with two paper clips, a chair and some chewing gum. How do you defraud millions? #AskJPM

  8. eeyores enigma

    First this to add to the dolphins and whales;

    “Scientists looking for answers after hundreds of dead turtles wash ashore”

    Also as far as me being called a neocon I am so far from that it is not even funny.

    I simply do not see a scenario where the US throws up it’s hands and says “OK you win heres the keys to the empire” There is no possibility of true organic growth anywhere in the world which is what it would take for another country or group of countries to step around the existing dynamic and rise to global dominance. Its really that simple but everyone still hopes we can all get back to growth if we just fix the political/financial situation. Na Gunna Happem.

  9. JohnDT

    Kerry warns against Iran sanctions

    That’s the same Kerry who called for Mubarak to step down, bringing to power the progressive Muslim Bros and the even more democratic military oligarchy.

    That’s the same Kerry who called for peace with Assad back in 2009 and said that Assad wanted to engage the West, and then deemed the same Assad illegitimate while striking a deal that leaves the brutal dictator in power.

    That’s the same Kerry who promoted the 6 Talks with Iran for years with no progress but that of the nuclear program.


    1. Massinissa

      Whether you like Assad or not, there is really nothing the US can do to oust him.

      And between Assad and Jihadist anarchy like in Libya, I know which is the lesser of two evils.

  10. AbyNormal

    “Perhaps one central reason for loving dogs is that they take us away from this obsession with ourselves. When our thoughts start to go in circles, and we seem unable to break away, wondering what horrible event the future holds for us, the dog opens a window into the delight of the moment.”
    Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, Dogs Never Lie About Love: Reflections on the Emotional World of Dogs

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      At least 2 things about dogs that, I believe, make them so enviably blissful:

      1. dogs are not troubled by Galileo’s mathematical description of the world. Their world is a math-free world.

      2. dogs are not literate.

  11. Bill the Psychologist

    Wonderful story about Mavis Batey, like reading a well written short story. Thanks for your strong recommendation.

    1. susan the other

      I enjoyed this link too. As I was reading it I remembered that our Navajo code was never broken in the Pacific. She, Mavis, was a linguist who studied German so she had more that a clue to the language. German is a combination of Latin, Spanish and some other Saxon stuff. But it is basically a latin language. The Germans should have used the Inuit language. Instead they declined (or magnified?) the alphabet by one more rotor. That’s an enormous permutation. So Mavis and company were just lucky when they omitted an L accidentally and voila! they found a chink in the armor. This all raises an interesting speculation: Does the NSA practice deception on this level? I would guess so. I would guess they are so confused by all of their new digital permutations they are hopeless.

      1. PhilK

        German is a combination of Latin, Spanish and some other Saxon stuff. But it is basically a latin language.

        I think German is a Germanic language, like English, Dutch, and the Scandinavian languages, excluding Finnish. All of these languages evolved from Gothic after 800 AD, when the Bible was translated into Gothic.

        1. susan the other

          I don’t know the coordinates of the language watershed, but I know I learned that German was mostly Latin and Spanish with vestiges of Germanic/Anglo/Saxon. There are, to this day, so many similarities between German and Italian that it does seem that long, long ago the Germanic languages adopted much of Latin into its syntax; and there are so many cognates (nouns and verbs) that it is hard to think that Latin is not the main logic of German. But maybe not; I’m not a linguist.

          1. JerseyJeffersonian

            I think that you were misled on the lineage of German. Rather, I would suggest that you look to the underlying common ancestry of Proto-Indo-European. A link to the Wikipedia entry on Indo-European languages:


            Supplementing this, their entry of a list of Indo-European languages:


            The latter contains a useful map of distibution of Indo-European languages in the Old World.

            Although German did pick up loan-words, and over time many learned borrowings, it is not heavily indebted to the Italic language family (which includes Latin) for its current basic form. Not so with English, which is an amalgam of a Germanic base with a Romance language, French, an evolution from a Late Latin dialect in Gaul. This is of course, thanks to the Norman invasion. The Normans (Northmen) were originally Germanic-speaking Vikings who had carved out a kingdom for themselves by conquest of an area of Gaul (Normandy), but over time adopted the local dialect of French for their language. So there! English has an enormous amount of loan words and learned borrowings from not only Indo-European languages, but from other languages as well, partly a legacy of the world-wide extent of the British Empire.

            Absolutely fascinating stuff, if you are inclined to be fascinated, that is.

      2. Antifa

        The NSA has no idea what it needs, only that it wants more of what is out there. And they have demonstrated no talent whatsoever for actual deception, just baldfaced lying followed by more of the same.

        I, for one, will welcome our new Inuit masters when the next Ice Age arrives.

      3. savedbyirony

        Highly recommend the book “Double Cross” by Ben Macintyre to anyone who found this obiturary interesting and inspiring. It’s well written and full of wonderful, real life eccentric and heroic characters (including the brave British espionage pigeons, and the master mind behind them, who served their counrty well during the war).

    2. anon y'mouse

      many ‘missing’ subtexts here to this article.

      not only was she an amazing woman, but she was NOT a mathematician nor an expert in codebreaking. the atmosphere divulged was of collegial experimentation, not rigid hierarchy and obedience to systems, laws etc. there was no extensive credentialing henpeckery order, it seems. just somewhat relevant background training.

      it sounds like the nutty professor in charge of it all trusted his folks to do whatever they could, and they all worked together (notice her pulling up the future husband who WAS a mathematician when she needed to, without filling out 80 forms in triplicate) in order to pull it off.

      perhaps this is the reason for the reported informality of the Googleplex.

  12. markf

    “Global Warming Since 1997 Underestimated by Half
    Filed under: Climate Science Instrumental Record — stefan @ 13 November 2013
    A new study by British and Canadian researchers shows that the global temperature rise of the past 15 years has been greatly underestimated. The reason is the data gaps in the weather station network, especially in the Arctic. If you fill these data gaps using satellite measurements, the warming trend is more than doubled in the widely used HadCRUT4 data, and the much-discussed “warming pause” has virtually disappeared.”

    1. davidgmills

      That’s just really interesting since the satellite records show a global pause as well as the land records. How do they cherry pick those numbers, I wonder?

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Satellites to be geostationary are at or near the equator. I don’t think they have to be that way inherently but that makes it easier so that’s how it’s done.

        I can confirm that from using satellite internet. It’s good in the Mediterranean, terrible to unusable in the Baltics.

        1. MRW


          Internet satellites are not on the same orbit as temperature-measuring satellites. Whole different ballgame. Internet satellites are on a geostationary orbit, about 22,000 miles above the earth. They stay in the same position relative to the earth.

          Weather satellites, on the other hand, are Medium Earth Orbit (MEO), about 6,000 to 12,000 miles high. They use a polar orbit and because of their elliptical path and the rotation of the earth, they can therefore cover the entire surface of the earth.

          You’re conflating helicopters with cars.

    2. MW

      As a comment below the article you cite points out:

      Dr. Kevin Cowtan ( is a chemist at the University of York specializing in X-ray crystallography. I do not see any hint of a connection with his work to climate change. Robert Way ( is a graduate student in geography at the University of Ottawa, but at least one of his few papers is somewhat relevant. These are not the qualifications I would expect for the authors of such a ground breaking paper.

      Apparently, Cowtan, one of the authors of the paper, decided to do this recalculation of the satellite data in his spare time because he thought it was important for the public, and his method (from my cursory reading) was to adjust the satellite data with land surface data because he claimed the satellites weren’t getting accurate polar data. Maybe they don’t understand how weather satellites work.

      Global warming is typically measured in the lower troposphere. Surface data stations were unreliable before the satellite era started in 1979 because of inappropriate urban siting (encroaching urban growth added warmth), inaccessibility of remote places, equipment failure, and weather conditions. The satellite era and its radio/microwave readings produced far more reliable data, even with the drift that plagued aging satellites, which is why atmospheric physicists have relied upon the data for 34 years.

      Weather satellites and weather balloons are far more reliable at measuring the global mean temp than the land stations that Cowtan and Way claim would alter the results.

      What’s puzzling is that Cowtan and Way don’t apply their perspective or method to satellite data from 1979 to 1997. Why? Because if 1997 to 2012 is wrong, then so is 1979 to 1997.

    3. MRW

      As a comment below the article you cite points out:

      Dr. Kevin Cowtan ( is a chemist at the University of York specializing in X-ray crystallography. I do not see any hint of a connection with his work to climate change. Robert Way ( is a graduate student in geography at the University of Ottawa, but at least one of his few papers is somewhat relevant. These are not the qualifications I would expect for the authors of such a ground breaking paper.

      Apparently, Cowtan, one of the authors of the paper, decided to do this recalculation of the satellite data in his spare time because he thought it was important for the public, and his method (from my cursory reading) was to adjust the satellite data with land surface data because he claimed the satellites weren’t getting accurate polar data. Maybe they don’t understand how weather satellites work.

      Global warming is typically measured in the lower troposphere. Surface data stations were unreliable before the satellite era started in 1979 because of inappropriate urban siting (encroaching urban growth added warmth), inaccessibility of remote places, equipment failure, and weather conditions. The satellite era and its radio/microwave readings produced far more reliable data, even with the drift that plagued aging satellites, which is why atmospheric physicists have relied upon the data for 34 years.

      Weather satellites and weather balloons are far more reliable at measuring the global mean temp than the land stations that Cowtan and Way claim would alter the results.

      What’s puzzling is that Cowtan and Way don’t apply their perspective or method to satellite data from 1979 to 1997. Because if 1997 to 2012 is wrong, then so is 1979 to 1997, so is all of it. And why haven’t all the atmospheric and climate scientists in the world realized this groundbreaking fact?

  13. Jim Haygood

    From the NYT article ‘Democrats Threaten …’

    “That bill guts the Affordable Care Act. It does not fix it,” [Sen. Mary Landrieu] said. My bill is not meant to undermine the Affordable Care Act; it’s meant to strengthen it.”

    Now let’s turn the clock back four years:

    SEN. MARY LANDRIEU (D-LA): “If you like the insurance that you have, you’ll be able to keep it.” (MSNBC’s Hardball, 12/16/09)

    Fool me twice, shame on … well, we won’t get fooled again!

  14. diptherio

    The Mis-guided Efforts of the Occupy Money Cooperative ~GEO blog

    For some reason, following the implosion of the UK’s national Cooperative Bank, Carne Ross thinks we should have one here in the US too. That’s what the OMC is aiming for, according to his recent interview on RT. The problem, however, may be that institutions large enough to cover an entire nation are also inherently unstable and prone to control break-downs (as with Cooperative Bank).

    So, 1) trying to create a nationwide cooperative financial institution might not be a great idea; and 2) starting out by offering a pre-paid debit card is almost as bad as starting out by offering pay-day loans. The point isn’t to offer a ‘better’ crappy product, it’s to help people to not have to use crappy products (like pre-paid debit) in the first place.

  15. down2long

    My #Ask JPM: “Mr. Dimon. With mob justice, do you prefer a bomb, a semi-auto rifle, or a lamppost? Please advise.”

      1. ohmyheck

        Here ya go:
        Which fork does one use when eating the hopes and dreams of working people?
        Are aliens eligible for mortgage backed securities or do they have to be JPMorganized before becoming a citizen of planet JPMorgan ?
        How long should we hold our ankles?
        Would you hire me if I have a couple of #misdemeanor convictions on my record, or do I need a #felony?
        Remember that time I loaned you some money?
        on behalf of millions of middle class Americans, can we have our empty houses back now?
        I need to launder $99mil in the next three nanoseconds. Can your high frequency thingermajiggers help? Reply quickly.
        are you looking forward to the discovery of Extra Terrestrials so you can ruin their planets financial system also? Be honest.
        Is it true that you are planning on selling derivatives on human organs harvesting contracts?
        Would love some tips on how to plunder the economy while contributing nothing to it.
        just rolled my double and landed on “Electric Company”. Should I buy it? #AskHasbro – Are there food stamps under “Chance”?
        when 1 bar of gold is owned by 10 different people, who gets it when music stops & only 1 chair left? Oh yeah I see the cuff links…
        Since you know a lot about stuff, how come I see corn in mine when I haven’t eaten corn? IS IT MONSANTO??

      2. ohmyheck

        Now hiring: “Social media expert.” No experience required, peck typing skills will do just fine
        “That #AskJPM idea was really dumb.” “But we’re still unconscionably rich & powerful, right?” “Oh, sure.” “Cool. What the f*** is Twitter?”
        how much for a diversified derivative on Jamie Dimon’s chances on ending up in the 5th circle of hell?
        Isn’t “fractional reserve banking” a euphemism for counterfeiting?
        So is it still 88mph to get the flux capacitor to send me back to a time before you destroyed our economy?
        Do you hate social media yet?
        Why do more soldiers commit suicide than bankers?Conscience?
        Are you guys planning a Mad Max style of feudalism or more like Hunger Games? Need to plan my cardio…
        Funny how you couldn’t take over Twitter the way you took over the US economy.
        So what are you going to do with the extra cash you’re saving from your newly fired PR team?
        My parents had the house foreclosed and all I got was this stupid #AskJPM
        How many evicted senior citizens living with their children does it take to change a lightbulb?
        Is this true? Bankers are people that help you with problems you would not have had without them.
        If required, can you operate in free capital markets?
        You could always pay some of us to tweet nice things in #AskJPM . It’s not like you can’t afford to buy some trolls.
        Way to go, twitter. You’ve gone and done it now. Got some poor big wig @jpmorgan crying in his 2000 thread count silk pillow!
        Jamie. Satan called. He, Hitler and Pol Pot wanted to confirm the their tee time with you. Don’t bring Jimmy. We know he cheats.
        Do you think the guy working on #AskGoldmanSachs just crossed it off his to-do list?
        (My Favorite) Do you refer to Obama and Bush as Dumb and Dumber?
        Are you going to roll a big fatty with the U.S. Constitution after you railroad the country into the TPP in secret?
        You’re a special kind of stupid, aren’t you?
        Does JPM ever gets an existential crisis?Like: why do I exist?Why do I feel worthless?I need another billion to know I will be loved?
        Paraguay or Argentina?
        When we all have to eat cat food, Do you recommend red or white with that?
        How jealous were you when Goldman got a cool nickname like Vampire Squid?
        What size noose do you wear sir?
        Do you think Citibank and WellsFargo are paying to promote #AskJPM?

          1. subgenius

            Missed my current fave:

            “I have Mortgage Fraud, Market Manipulation, Credit Card Abuse, Libor Rigging and Predatory Lending
            AM I DIVERSIFIED? #AskJPM”

    1. diptherio

      Well, your place on the terrorism watch list probably just went up a few notches…and what’s wrong with a good ol’ tar-and-feathering, I’d like to know? Death is too quick and too kind, what we need is some prolonged shaming…set up the stocks in Zuccotti, is what I say…

      On another note, twitter has seen some great trolling as of late. Last Sunday, Wal-Mart turned over their twitter handle to Joel Osteen for an #AskJoel session. I’d guess about 50% were “good trolls” (the kind with florescent hair and cherubic mugs, not the kind that live under bridges). My contribution was “#AskJoel need to pass a camel through the eye of a needle, any suggestions?” And of course, none were forthcoming…

      1. AbyNormal

        OH YEAH! Yves says: #askJPM What metrics do you use for bribes? $ billions saved/# of Four Seasons lunches? # of reg settlements/cushy post-gov’t job arranged? bahahahaaaa

      2. diptherio

        You did have some good ones. I especially liked:

        Yves Smith @yvessmith:
        #AskJPM Do you work hard at being evil, or does it just come naturally?

        Simple and direct. Classic. I also enjoyed the somewhat related:

        Yves Smith ‏@yvessmith:
        #askJPM Do you recruit for sadism? If so, what do staffers find more arousing, pursuing bogus credit card debt or wrongful foreclosures?

        If this whole financial blogging thing goes south, you can always fall back on stand-up.

        1. susan the other

          And also another question might introduce JPM’s connection to the “investor-state” of the TPP/TTIP contract negotiations. Just how long do you think you can support your indebted (and terminal?) balance sheet if, say, these trade negotiations fall flat… and then what will you do? Exsanguinate us all?

  16. fresno dan

    “Officials say that one of the reasons for retaining the list of nearly 5,000 names is to help federal agencies detect future security violators, such as the next Snowden. It’s unclear how helpful such a list would be in that regard, though. Snowden underwent two polygraphs for his NSA job but he wasn’t found to have used polygraph-beating techniques to pass them, officials familiar with his tests told McClatchy. The NSA refused to comment.”

    I think Tom Cruise was in some future crimes movie…
    I’m pretty sure every NC commenter is gonna do something illegal in the future…

    1. Expat

      Under these circumstance, legality is irrelevant. The issue is linkaqe. By maintaining and storing for an endless time period the mountains of information on every single element of everyone’s lifestyle, an interested data scrutinizer can link a product, perhaps, with every mention of that item in the past, say, ten years. And generate a list, complete with names, social security numbers, addresses, voter registration. Or if a name comes up, or a book title, or, or, or. As Snowden’s revelations point out, there is no requirement that illegal activity be suspected. Nor is there any requirement that the information be correct.

    2. anon y'mouse

      too late!

      disturbing the peace and mouthing off to cops at 4 y.o.

      not kidding. never charged, though. I guess they thought it was “cute”?

  17. MikeNY

    Investors around the world can heave a sigh of relief that Goldman market maven “Helium” Abbey Cohen thinks US stocks can move HIGHER!!

    Revelatory and original insights from her, as we’ve all come to expect.

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Dectaper is coming.

    I assume that’s short for December taper.

    Generally speaking, all tapers are ductapers.

    Nothing fundamental, just hoping duct taping the economy will do the (jobs) job.

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Facial recognition software…

    As I mentioned before, don’t expect our official brain-washing organs from Madison Avenue and Hollywood to promote the retro top-hat/sunglasses/beard and moustache look. That will simply spring forth spontaneously from the monitored masses.

    Of course, Big Brother will strike back with his ‘ear recognition’ software. So, sadly, resistance if futile.

    1. anon y'mouse

      “hrm, Spock or Galadriel today?”

      guess it depends on what color of shirt is hanging half out of the hamper that morning.

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Progressive sheepdogs…the minimum wage.

    We have to do more than the min. wage and basic income, I believe. We have to go beyond them.

    The basic income thing is just going to get those barely above (why do I bother to work) and those below it excited (one human tendency is to compare constantly ourselves to those most similar to us).

    For the 0.01% residing at the golden suites atop Metropolis Sachs at the corner of 5th Avenue and EZ-money Blvd, this ‘division sowed’ between these have-nots is their favorite soap opera.

    And it distracts us from wealth tax and GDP sharing – the only things that really concern the 0.01%, as the min. wage really only touches a few of them and the basic income none of them at all.

  21. Lambert Strether

    DRM in Cars Will Drive Consumers Crazy:

    Forget extra cupholders or power windows: the new Renault Zoe comes with a “feature” that absolutely nobody wants. Instead of selling consumers a complete car that they can use, repair, and upgrade as they see fit, Renault has opted to lock purchasers into a rental contract with a battery manufacturer and enforce that contract with digital rights management (DRM) restrictions that can remotely prevent the battery from charging at all.

    The possibilities are limitless!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      With people talking about debt jubilee and no rental jubilee, the ‘smart’ way for our corporations is get you into a rental contract.

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Shaking my head.

    Obama offers to allow 2013 policies to be good through 2014 (only through 2014?) and the insurance companies respond immediately (that’s right, immediately) with ‘that will destabilize the market,’ as in ‘that is not in our plan.’

    1. Hugh

      It is important to understand the full cynicism of Obama’s offer. 2014 is an election year. Obama’s is offering Democrats a delay just long enough to get them past the election.

    2. Jim Haygood

      From the NYT article on Obama’s pronunciamento:

      Under its new policy, the White House is declaring that the Affordable Care Act does not require insurers to upgrade existing coverage for people who are now enrolled.

      Great — rule by decree! Just pick and choose and reinterpret statutes as we go along. Who needs a rubber stamp parliament, when the president can make law himself?

      Even if this worked — which it won’t, since it requires the cooperation of insurers and 50 state commissioners — all it means is that 15 million people lose their coverage NEXT November instead of this November.

      Are we having fun yet?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          A lot of people in Congress are asking that, ‘What? We don’t get a legislative fix?’

  23. anon y'mouse

    from FDA, Stats & Fundamentalism:

    “PS. I wrote that an interest in epistemology would be used as a criteria in assessing job applicants at Bronte Capital. I was not kidding.”

    hey, I have that! sadly, I also remember none of my two-course Stats class at this point.

    everyone on this planet should have ‘an interest in epistemology’ and that is what we SHOULD be teaching to students once they reach the age of being able to reason properly. because if you can’t determine true knowledge, you will always be at someone else’s mercy. without it, it’d be like a blind person that takes another’s word that the sky is black and simply runs with that assumption (inconsequential mostly, but still) for the rest of their lives.

    1. rich

      A WSJ special project:

      A group of parents and scientists is racing to find a cure for the rare genetic disease that is killing children. Their collaboration is pushing the boundaries of medical research.

      The couple discovered online a small community of families, researchers and doctors linked by NPC disease. Ms. Hempel created a blog to post medical updates about her girls and to share scientific papers. She tapped into a stream of discontent flowing through chat groups and patient sites, complaints that science moved too slowly to keep up with the symptoms progressing in loved ones.

      The Hempels learned of people who called themselves citizen-scientists. Many shared research papers and their day-to-day experience. Some talked of their willingness to try any promising drug. Others sought a role as equal partners with researchers.

      Scientists, while sympathetic, generally believe their work should be left to experts. Families are encouraged to raise money if they want to help, but the traditional view is that amateurs can’t shape research or find cures.

      The Hempels found a maddening gap between the search for scientific knowledge and the search for treatments.

      Scientists aren’t villains, Ms. Hempel said, but too many are hobbled by secrecy and rigid tradition. “The bottom line is their work does not translate fast enough to help Addi and Cassi and the other NPC kids,” she said.

      To change that, the Hempels needed to find allies.

    1. Cyclist

      That’s funny, because when I lived in the UK, getting a National Insurance card was easier than trying to buy something off iTunes.

      1. Kokuanani

        I sure would like to see here on NC a great big article on what it would take to move to the UK, France, or anywhere with decent health care.


        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          No big article from yourself truly; just a dummies guide:

          1. move to a country that lets you hire cheap labor/slave labor

          2. Be ruthless and export your cheap/slave labor manufactured products to America

          3. Save expense by polluting that country’s environment

          4. Buy your EU citizenship (see today’s links above) by investing in their real estate (or whatever monetary requirements they demand) to provide jobs and cut down their trade deficit with your newly minted wealth.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          Here is the very short version:

          1. If you are young and educated, you can get in a lot of places based on their point system

          2. If not, you need to be sponsored (company hires you and you staying depends on remaining an employee) or spousal (married). Countries increasingly tough on testing legitimacy of marriage (as in questioning each in the couple separately about how they met, birthdates, in law details, what they do on Sunday morning, how they split household chores, etc).

          3. Being rich helps, a lot of places will take you on net worth.

          4. Otherwise your options are Ecuador and Thailand. Or you can wait for the real estate market to crash in Canada, they loosen their requirements a lot when their economy gets sucky. That probably depends on a China crash, so that may take a while.

  24. diptherio

    Re: Politico on Obamacare numbers

    Somehow, they manage to sidestep what is going to be the next big issue: the plans suck…

    One mystery in the numbers was a surprisingly low percentage of people who will qualify for subsidies. Just 30 percent of the people who were found eligible for Obamacare plans would qualify for help paying for their health insurance.

    Solomon said that raises questions — which can’t be answered at this point — about whether that’s because a lot of the early visitors just didn’t apply for subsidies or “because there is an issue with the eligibility determination process.”

    Sebelius offered that “what we may be seeing are people who probably had insurance coverage before in some way shape or form … and they were likely to be first through the door.” That means there will have to be stronger outreach efforts to the low-income people who would qualify for subsidies, since many have “a pretty low financial literacy,” she said.

    The report says some of the rest of the people who are eligible for Obamacare plans asked for subsidies and “their applications are pending,” but it didn’t say how many people fall into that category. The rest either didn’t apply for subsidies or were ineligible.

    Solomon is being either willfully blind or groundlessly optimistic. Sebelius hits closer to the mark, imo (most enrollees are relatively high-income earners who don’t qualify for subsidies), but her comment about “financial literacy” gets it exactly backwards.

    The problem is that most of the currently uninsured don’t really like the idea of paying a monthly premium for the privilege of then paying the first couple thousand dollars in expenses, not to mention a co-pay beyond that. When your maximum yearly contribution for your insurance plan is an order of magnitude greater than your savings account, it doesn’t seem like much of a deal. The problem is not lack of financial literacy…well, maybe that is Sebelius’s problem…

  25. AbyNormal

    For Susan The Other:
    “Dogs, lives are short, too short, but you know that going in. You know the pain is coming, you’re going to lose a dog, and there’s going to be great anguish, so you live fully in the moment with her, never fail to share her joy or delight in her innocence, because you can’t support the illusion that a dog can be your lifelong companion. There’s such beauty in the hard honesty of that, in accepting and giving love while always aware that it comes with an unbearable price. Maybe loving dogs is a way we do penance for all the other illusions we allow ourselves and the mistakes we make because of those illusions.”
    Koontz, The Darkest Evening of the Year

    1. AbyNormal

      and…“We who choose to surround ourselves
      with lives even more temporary than our
      own, live within a fragile circle;
      easily and often breached.
      Unable to accept its awful gaps,
      we would still live no other way.
      We cherish memory as the only
      certain immortality, never fully
      understanding the necessary plan.”
      Irving Townsend

      i had an older mix (Festus) walk up on me one day. i got the impression he had no place else to be. as the days numbered, i felt honored by his presence and i could tell someone had done him wrong. his life was too short for me but big…once i watched him save a child from a busy street at rush hour.

      22yrs later and he still paws my heart…i lu Festus

        1. AbyNormal

          blushing while lowering head

          “My little dogs … heartbeats at my feet.”
          Edith Wharton – One of the first founders of the ASPCA

  26. barrisj

    Boeing Corp. Machinists vote overwhelmingly NO! to insulting contract offered by the company.

    A resounding no from Machinists

    Boeing Machinists resoundingly rejected a deal that would have cut benefits but assured that production of the 777X would take place here.

    Ignoring warnings from Boeing and pleas from political leaders, members of the Machinists union Wednesday voted 2-to-1 to reject a contract offer that would have ensured the company builds the new 777X jet in Washington state.

    Machinists threw out the proposed eight-year contract extension, unveiled barely a week earlier, because it was laced with cuts to benefits. Many members said they refused to be forced into a hasty and radical decision under a management threat that they would lose future work.

    Blowing away the neutral public stance of International Association of Machinists (IAM) District 751 President Tom Wroblewski over the past week, his members delivered a resounding slap to Boeing.

    But there was also anger at the union leadership for pushing the offer to a vote.

    After Wroblewski and IAM national aerospace coordinator Mark Johnson announced the result at the Seattle union hall, the two were loudly booed by the several hundred Machinists present.

    The local IAM “leadership” was put to flight by the anger and determination of the rank-and-file, many of whom said that this shite proposal never should have been brought to a vote, but rather rejected out-of-hand by union officials.
    A huge amount of pressure was brought to bear upon the workers, not only by Boeing management – who continue to try union-busting tactics under the guise of “negotiated settlements” – but by Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee, a nominal Democrat. The Legislature, several days ago, once again handed Boeing a huge “incentive” package of tax deductions, surface transport upgrades, and divers other subsidies in order to forestall Boeing’s “threat” to take the 777X manufacturing out of WA (primarily in Everett) and relocate to “business-friendly, labour-flexible” states such as Utah and So. Carolina. However, the fatuity of such a move in the face of the manufacturing fiasco of the 787 Dreamliner just to “teach IAM a lesson” is corporate insanity at its worst. Full marks to the local IAM membership to tell Boeing and IAM leaders to stick it up their collective bums. Boeing has been playing WA officialdom and the unions like a well-tuned Stradivarius for years, and McNerney and Connor reckoned that this would be an auspicious moment to take an existing in-force contract, rip it up, and throw a dreadful document at the feet of union members, replete with more givebacks, in a take-it-or-leave-it fashion by coupling a threat to leave Everett unless this rewritten contract is accepted. Many machinists who voted NO clearly understood the implications of their vote, as Boeing in the past has made good many of its bullying demands by relocating parts of its aircraft assembly elsewhere. However, no one was under any illusion that a YES vote would ever halt Boeing management’s drive to bust the union by moving wholly or in part much of its WA manufacturing operations to “right-to-work” states. It’s a hugely high-stake game both sides are playing, and it’s rare to see such solidarity amongst union members today when threatened by an enormously influential corporate entity such as Boeing. This saga has yet to be played out completely.

  27. Hugh

    When I read the headline “Obamacare is already accomplishing more than expected”, the first question that came to mind was accomplishing more for whom? What Summers was saying, in fact, was that healthcare is a smaller percentage of GDP than it was three and a half years ago when the ACA was passed. Apparently not a word about what caused this or why any of us should care. You see if people are using healthcare less because their premiums have shot through the roof, they may well use less healthcare to the detriment of their health.

    It’s a matter of dueling perspectives. A social purpose one would look to see where money was being spent in healthcare and whether this was resulting in healthier people and a healthier society. A kleptocratic perspective will invoke disembodied numbers like GDP and substitute them for the health of Americans.

    I can’t help wondering too how much the new way of calculating GDP by adding in more of the financial sector contributed (along with reduced usage) to bending Summers’ cost curve. What Summers does not address is whether Americans are healthier since the advent of Obamacare and if they are less stressed about healthcare since Obamacare was passed 3 1/2 years ago.

  28. Chauncey Gardiner

    Thank you for Sara Hsu’s article on “China’s Speculation Problem”. As events in June demonstrated, it is not just China’s problem.

    Also, as a non-academic, it w/b helpful if Ms. Hsu would provide links to the sources of her data if they are accessible and there is an English translation.

  29. financial matters

    Someone who markets to millennials told me that they are interested in the history and ‘story’ behind the items they purchase. Sounds like a good audience for an authentic economic message…

    Talking Points for the 99% (Part 1)
    November 13, 2013
    By J.D. Alt

    Talking Points for the 99% (Part 2)
    November 14, 2013
    By J.D. Alt

    “”In a nation that issues and rationally manages its own sovereign fiat currency, then, universal health care is always “affordable” at a level commensurate with the real health-care resources available within the nation’s borders.

    Would it not be a great collective benefit to our private economy if our early-age workforce was not only well-trained, but starting out their careers debt-free?

    We are now told there are actually 66,749 structurally deficient—and 84,748 functionally obsolete—bridges in the U.S. highway system

    So long as the sovereign spending pays to employ unused labor and sustainable resources—and as long as the sovereign continues to regularly drain “excess” Dollars from the economy by collecting taxes—the new fiat Dollars spent for civil infrastructure will not put upward pressure on prices. And, even though the “deficit” on the sovereign’s side of the balance sheet might grow quite astronomical indeed, this “deficit” does not represent future taxes that must be paid by the citizens—it represents instead the “assets” that will have been entered on the citizen’s side of the balance sheet: the fiat Dollars that have been deposited in the accounts of architects, engineers, steel fabricators, concrete finishers and construction laborers.””

  30. AbyNormal

    “A lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me.”
    Barack Obama :-/

    Beware: some liars tell the truth
    Arab Proverb

  31. down2long

    #Ask JPM: Mr. Dimon. When congresspersons and senators uck your dick during hearings do you cum or hold back to make them feel bad?

    Re: # Ask JPM Please somebody pinch me. I think I might’ve died and gone to heaven.

    Yves – specially fond of you”hiring sadists” tweet.

  32. Kurt Sperry

    “When you buy a Renault Zoe, the battery isn’t included. Instead, you sign a rental contract for the battery with the car maker. In a Zoe owner’s forum, user Franko30 reports that the contract contains a clause giving Renault the right to prevent your battery from charging at the end of the rental period. According to an article in Der Spiegel, the company may also do this when you fall behind on paying the rent for the battery.

    This means that Renault has some way of remotely controlling the battery charging process. According to the Spiegel article, the Zoe (and most or all other electric cars) collect reams of data on how you use them, and send this data off to the manufacturer without your knowledge. This data tells the company where you are going, when, and how fast, where you charge the battery, and many other things besides. We already knew that Tesla was doing this with its cars since the company’s very public spat with a journalist who reviewed one of their cars for the New York Times. Seeing the same thing in a mass market manufacturer like Renault makes clear just how dangerous this trend is.”

    Think for a minute about the potential for rent taking if you don’t own or control the software or battery that runs your car. Particularly a networked car.

  33. AbyNormal

    “A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.”
    ― Jack London

  34. AbyNormal

    “You’d help if you could, wouldn’t you, boy?” I said. “It’s no wonder they call you man’s best friend. Faithful and loyal and true, you share in our sorrows and rejoice with us in our triumphs, the truest friend we ever have known, a better friend than we deserve. You have thrown in your lot with us, through thick and thin, on battlefield and hearthrug, refusing to leave your master even when death and destruction lie all around. Ah, noble dog, you are the furry mirror in which we see our better selves reflected, man as he could be, unstained by war or ambition, unspoilt by-”
    C.Willis, To Say Nothing of the Dog

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I’m really offended to see you say that.

      Do you expect authors to starve? You want to kill new books, this is the way to do it, to let Google rip authors off. What they steal is way beyond traditional fair use.

      I’m not writing another book as a direct result of shit like this.

      You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

  35. skippy

    And then there was ABC Radio on Thursday: “If Labor prevents an increase in the debt limit there is no choice but to start having massive cuts to government expenditure, because the government is running on borrowed money.”

    Asked whether he was “seriously threatening to shut down government services,” the Treasurer replied: “There is no choice.”

    Of course it takes two parties to be as stupid as US politics have become, but it is the Treasurer who has jumped right into the loony bin, raising a genuine question of whether he has abrogated his oath. Certainly he is not putting service of the people first.

    The opposition is enjoying a bit of the boot being on the other foot, a little reaping of what has been sown, but it’s not threatening supply, not threatening to cut services.

    There is nothing statesman-like in forcing the government to come back for a further increase in the ceiling later. It is all rather petty, silly and unnecessary, as Peter Martin has explained.

    But shadow treasurer Chris Bowen’s game is not beyond the bounds of what has been played in recent years.

    If Hockey is prepared to damage Australia’s reputation for sound government, to take us down to the US level, to hurt people dependent on federal services, just to avoid a little political embarrassment down the track, well, you see why I have found it hard to believe – that he would so quickly earmark himself as unfit for his position.

    It also makes you wonder what his offsider, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, was doing visiting all those Tea Party types in Washington. It looks like he was there to learn from them, not about them.

    skippy… looks like Oz is only month behind America now, not a decade any more… sigh…

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