Get Up Close and Personal with Bao Bao in Amazing New Photos Smithsonian
Bullishness Jumps to Three-Year High WSJ
Preliminary sign of a coming contraction Angry Bear
Facing the Future – Mitigating a Liquidity Crunch Automatic Earth
Islamic Banks, Stuffed With Cash, Explore Partnerships in West Times
How You Should Have Spent $100 In 2013 (Hint: Bitcoin) Forbes
Why Do People Hate Optimists? The Atlantic. Because “hope and change” poisoned the brand?
I fell off the left-right continuum today Bill Mitchell
Wynne Godley: Interest rates, growth and the primary balance Frances Coppola, Credit Writedowns
Ideas adjust to new ‘facts’ of finance Gillian Tett, FT
Behind the Headline Numbers of a Mortgage Settlement Dealbook, Times
Ten Economic Questions for 2014 Calculated Risk
Rekha Basu: It’s such a burden being filthy rich Des Moines Register. 2016….
Big Brother Is Watching You Watch
World Wide Web founder backs Snowden, saying the world needs whistleblowers and that they should be protected Daily Mail
Edward Snowden is wrong: His mission has not been accomplished WaPo
‘Front-Page Rule’ is unprecedented in U.S. intelligence community Walter Pincus, WaPo
Google Glass: my early impressions Marginal Revolution. Google Glass is open carry for wannabe nerds.
Google punishes Rap Genius for manipulative SEO tactics LA Times
Duplicate News Story Detection Revisited Another Word For It. Context counts; making the same point in a different way.
Researchers publish Snapchat code allowing phone number matching after exploit disclosures ignored ZDNet. Oopsie.
‘Small typo’ casts big doubt on teacher evaluation WaPo. More lousy programming.
3D printing becomes a solid reality FT
Obamacare had lots of sign-ups on deadline day Sarah Kliff, WaPo. “ObamaCare shoppers.”
Low premiums may mean high out-of-pocket health costs McClatchy. No surprise to NC readers.
Furor over cancelled insurance policies quieter a month after Obama move, but coverage unclear AP
As Health Law Cements Its Place, G.O.P. Ponders How to Attack Times. They can’t. In an “Only Nixon can go to China” move, Obama adopted their plan and got “progressives” to defend him for it.
How to Roll Back the Demonizing of Free Markets Online WSJ. Let’s try rolling that forward. Thought experiment: Mentally replace “free market” with “mandatory shopping” every time you hear it. And then ask yourself what you really don’t want to shop for, or that society shoudn’t be shopping for.
A Vast Network Of Corruption Is Upending Turkey’s Government As Three More Officials Resign Business Insider
A new corruption row before the first one is over Hurriyet Daily News
One police officer killed in protests; dozens of injuries, what next? Bangkok Pundit
Why the elites are rising up WaPo. By “elites” the writer means the “middle class,” not the oligarchs.
UPS Shipping Delays Show Perils of Stores Overpromising Bloomberg
These guys just revolutionized the humble cardboard box Grist. Although I hate to give Cooper Union good PR when its corrupt administration is trying to destroy it.
How to replace foam and plastic packaging with mushroom experiments Al Jazeera
Disposable World Suburban Guerilla
Minn. teen aims to sleep outside for a year Crookston Times
More than 150 years after brutal slaughter, a small tribe returns home Al Jazeera
Continued Existence of Cows Disproves Central Tenets of Capitalism? [PDF] SSRN (via).
Antidote du jour:
Bonus antidote du jour:
3D printing becomes a solid reality FT
Yea, but 4d is more interesting… http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/140156/laurie-garrett/biologys-brave-new-world
Biology’s Brave New World
The Promise and Perils of the Synbio Revolution
Laurie Garrett 2013
“”Seven years earlier, Venter had been the first person in history to make a functioning creature from information. Today, some call work such as Venter’s novel bacterial creation an example of “4-D printing.” This is not hyperbole. All the key barriers to the artificial synthesis of viruses and bacteria have been overcome, at least on a proof-of-principle basis.
Many biology students these days see the genetic engineering of existing
life forms and the creation of new ones as the cutting edge of the field.
Whether they are competing in science fairs or carrying out experiments,
they have little time for debates surrounding dual-use research; they are
simply plowing ahead. The International Genetically Engineered Machine
contest, in which teams of college students compete to build new life forms,
began at MIT in 2004; it was recently opened to high school teams as well.
Last year’s contest drew more than 190 entries by youngsters from 34
countries. What sounds like science fiction to one generation is already the
norm for another.””
“All the key barriers to the artificial synthesis of viruses and bacteria have been overcome…”
Oh great. Go science! Just what we need: lab-created viruses. I’m sure this tech will totally never be used for evil (i.e. weaponized)…oy vey…
Let’s build them and win our prizes (or let other Homo Not-So-Sapiens Not-So-Sapiens worship us) and worry about the consequences later.
Hey, actually, that’s beyond the scope of my area of participation. That means, for you laypersons, I don’t worry about that. I am a…technical person, a scientist.
And we scientists have a solution for everything. Trust us, or rather, worship us. Tomorrow will be a better world…we are paying a lot to put the message in TV/internet ads. We optimists are people without shame (what, fooling me how many times?).
Privately, among us science gods and goddesses, we know our science solutions are duck tape solutions. Why? Because every theory is a temporary one, even if it seems to work for a while, until a better one comes along. Go ahead and laugh at Ptolemy. We will be laughed at as Ptolemys in no time.
There are practical uses though. A virus, being a non-living bundle of DNA is a convenient component for gm type stuff. Bacteria are quite often useful for producing things as well (dig up land fill, stick your bacteria in, extract rare metals may be an aim)
Any tech can be misused.
In 1998, Bill Joy then Chief Scientist at Sun Microsystems wrote an essay on this subject:
This stuff makes Global Warming and Derivatives Blowups small potatoes. All it may take is one dedicated sociopath using this Tech to unravel the Planet.
This certainly means we need to reevaluate our concepts of Progress and Science. Fast!
Shrooms: One of Ecovative’s goals is to develop packaging materials that not only decompose faster and more naturally, but also give back to the ecosystem. They do this by utilizing mycelium, the microscopic root structure that allows mushrooms to grow on trees and spread throughout the forest floor.
“Guy Nearing told us it’s a good idea when hunting mushrooms to have a pleasant goal, a waterfall for instance, and, having reached it, to return another way. When, however, we’re obliged to go and come back by the same path, returning we notice mushrooms we hadn’t noticed going out.”
John Cage, M: Writings ’67-’72
“Thousands of years before Christianity, secret cults arose which worshipped the sacred mushroom—the Amanita Muscaria—which, for various reasons (including its shape and power as a drug) came to be regarded as a symbol of God on earth.
When the secrets of the cult had to be written down, it was done in the form of codes hidden in folk tales.
This is the basic origin of the stories in the New Testament. They are a literary device to spread the rites and rules of mushroom worship to the faithful.”
John M. Allegro
With few exceptions, computer security has always been an afterthought, rather than part of the systems’s design (c.f. Multics)
Since the dawn of computer networking, network security has been non-existent and will continue to be non-existent.
And, unlike software, the turd knows as network security can’t be polished.
Deluded Japanese soldiers still fighting WW II aren’t found on Pacific Islands anymore, 68 years after the war ended. But the U.S. Marines still fanatically hang on in Okinawa:
TOKYO — On Friday the governor of [Okinawa] prefecture gave his approval to move [Futenma Air Station] to a remote area. Amid protests against keeping the base on Okinawa, Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima approved a landfill on which much of the base would be built, clearing the way for the relocation.
The approximately 18,000 Marines now stationed on Okinawa will drop to about 10,000 once the new base is completed over the next decade. During that time, facilities are to be built that would shift about 5,000 Marines to Guam. There are also plans to eventually deploy about 2,500 Marines in Australia.
America’s global garrison state never shrinks; it just redeploys. Congrats to Australia on becoming our latest occupied satrapy. We are enlightened rulers, comrades!
RE: A Vast Network of Corruption is Upending Turkey’s Government as Three More Officials Resign
Wow!! Things are sounding pretty bad in TURKEY.
Kickbacks. Smuggling. Abuse of political office. Even MONEY LAUNDERING!!!
Banks in TURKEY are actually IGNORING monetary sanctions against IRAN and, my god, there is WIRETAPPING going on!
But here’s where it gets really scandalous. Friendly government contractors with cost-plus contracts actually do SHODDY work and, hold onto your hat, there is “a massive privatization campaign, with sales of government assets totaling over $54 billion.” They’re even privatizing the EDUCATION SYSTEM.
All this using credit obtained through “shady methods.”
I’ll bet these corrupt government cronies are even getting special tax treatment, although the article does not give specific details. Can you imagine?
Lordy!! I’m glad I don’t live in TURKEY.
Forgot the kudos for Business Insider–they are on the case. In Turkey.
You build them, we will privatize them!
But they don’t say that. They say, let’s build them to stimulate the economy (so we can privatize them…as soon as we can).
Maybe this morning, we finally answer: we don’t cheerlead for the 0.01%.
No more chants of ‘Go GDP!’
No, we prefer a smaller pie, with better sharing.
BTW, We are all Turkeys.
Didn’t I read something along these lines in Confessions of an Economic Hitman?
Yup. It is the standard MO for the US corporate state. First try to buy the leaders. If they can’t be bought or don’t stay bought, run a regime change to install a more pliant leader. If all else fails, kill the leader.
Apparently Erdogan has been making approaches to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which the US will see as a threat. If the Gulen coup fails, then there is the ultimate sanction as meted out to Hussein etc who tried to bypass the US dollar petro-currency. Given Turkey is a NATO member, I expect the US will double down on attempting to discredit Erdogan. Poor man! After all, he bent over backwards to help the US against Syria, acting against Turkey’s national interests, and look at his reward.
That’s how it works.
When the rich have stolen too much for the elites, sorry, the middle class, to bear, they resort to species-patriotism. They blame foreign species…in fact all foreign species (that is to say, the rest of Nature) and declare war on them, with chants of GO GDP, GO GDP, which if you look into the computational details, involves cutting down more trees, slaughtering more pigs, fracking more fields, putting up more noise, sorry, music, than birds can sleep quietly, etc. Anything to escalate the War on Nature, in the name of Species-Patriotism.
Steve Rattner routinely shows up on Morning Joe with his “charts” demonstrating that since the “end” of the great recession, 120% of the income gains have gone to the top 1%.
Nobody ever points out that if the 1% had gotten ALL the income gains during that time, they would have gotten 100%. But they didn’t. They got MORE than ALL. 20% more. Where’d that extra 20% come from?
Grow the “pie” any bigger and we’ll all be in the poorhouse.
That’s why they saying, they meaning the rich, we gotta stimulate the economy.
And we have to brainwashed into panicking, ‘Oh, my God, GDP contracting, 2 quarters in a row!?!?! What will happen the rich?’
Actually, that last part is subliminal. We have been taught to care, indeed very much, about the rich, but only subconsciously.
A couple of corrections.
That why they SAY.
We have BEEN brainwashed.
RE: Obamacare Launch–WaPo/McClatchy
There really should be a sub-category under the Obamacare Launch heading. It could be called “Late to the Party.”
I’ll bet the conversation is stimulating when the WaPo and McClatchy editors get together: “Ya’ think that war over there in Viet Nam’s gonna be a long one?” “Uh, don’t know. Could be.”
Duh. Just. Plain. Duh.
Now Obamacare is mostly rooted in and the notion of repeal lessens. (Repeal always was a nonstarter with the public.)
IMO, the next step is raising the issue of nickel-and-diming through manipulation of co-pays and deductibles in all insurance plans from employer-based plans through Medicare and Medicaid. The idea that this reduces health care costs is a fallacy; it merely transfers them to patients. It is based on a fallacious understanding of consumer behavior with regard to health care, and it is pernicious.
From a strategic standpoint, dealing with it opens other issues.
The other political issue is stopping TPP and TAFTA from allowing the US health care industry to set the global standard by dismantling working government and single-payer programs through international tribunals.
Oh, no, the nickling and diming does reduce health care costs. Indeed it does. It does it by causing people to forego care that they actually need. It transfers the cost to the patients, who can’t pay them, and who then don’t get the treatment: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/17/us-hospitals-admissions-idUSBRE9BG18J20131217
(Reuters) – U.S. hospital admissions in November were the weakest in more than a decade, under pressure from a change in reimbursement rules for Medicare patients and confusion tied to the problem-ridden rollout of Obamacare, according to a survey by Citi Research.
New billing rules for the Medicare program for the elderly and disabled require hospitals to treat patient stays lasting less than “two midnights” as an outpatient visit.
“In addition, it is reasonable to conclude that the cumulative impact of changing physician employment and payment models is beginning to play a role, as well as the paralyzing effect of the impotent Obamacare rollout,” Citi analyst Gary Taylor said in a report.
Hospital inpatient admissions in November fell to their weakest level in more than a decade, based on responses to the bank’s monthly survey of 98 hospitals, Taylor said.
In October and November combined, admissions were down 4 to 5 percent from a year ago, which will likely weigh on hospital operators’ fourth-quarter earnings and 2014 forecasts, he said.
The Democrats are living in a fantasy land if they think the anger over ACA is going to recede. I can’t wait until they start to turn on each other in public; although I think the pension cuts to veterans will make for interesting theater.
Anger will not lead to complete repeal, and complete repeal is all the GOP is selling right now. People with existing chronic conditions are not going back to the pre-Obamacare regulatory environment. And those people and the people who love them are more numerous that politicians imagine, and they span the political spectrum.
re: “How to Roll Back the Demonizing of Free Markets”
“in fact the word competition doesn’t depict market activity as aptly as the word cooperation. The “competitive economy” would be better described as the “cooperative economy.” Consider the most basic economic unit, the transaction… Workers compete for the right to cooperate with employers…”
LOL, we compete to do what we’re told. Cracks me up.
And then we wonder why everyone who can find an angle is out trying to run a get rich quick scam.
Lean out, people.
Hey! I trademarked that already. I was anticipating this move. Please report to your local licensing center for your civil penalty- one child. Proof of purchase is required.
Wake me up when employers compete for the right to “cooperate” with workers.
Until then, I call bullshit.
I hereby cordially invite all employers to cooperate with me at any time! :p
We appreciate your gracious invitation. We have, however, made other plans.
I am reminded of the NFL and other wargames that our society entertains itself with. There is competition, however by mutual agreement the scope of the competition is limited in time, place, and scope, and arbitration by third parties is agreed to.
So even though you try to kill the quarterback on the field of play, you don’t do it at his home on Tuesday even if it would substantially improve your chances of winning. And a blow to the kneecap with a helmet is acceptable under certain circumstances, but with a crowbar it isn’t.
This same sort of idealized, virtuous, restrained “competition” seems very Randian to me, and would be necessary for her Rand-land utopia in the Colorado mountains.
Reality makes a lie of her vision. Actual masters of the universe do not restrain themselves voluntarily.
“Workers compete for the right to cooperate with employers”
The way banks compete for the right to cooperate with bank robbers…
You know, I think there’s a book out right now called “The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Cooperate with One.”
No, you’ve got the title wrong. It’s The Best Way to be Robbed by a Bank is to Cooperate with One ;-)
foot-stompin tears, again…can always count on you Dip
(btw buddy, i do hope your holidays are peaceful and full of care)
“Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words.” Rumi
and a Cheerful Holidays to you too JFT’)
JTF (sorry…still chucklin)
You fell off the left-right continuum?
No one can fall off that continuum. You are in it…always, like you are always in the space-time continuum…even in death.
The often ignored feature of the left-right continuum is its roundness, that it is not a flat, but a round, continuum, so when you sail or surf left, you actually end up on the right, and vice versa.
From the outside, if you imagine, not that you can be outside of it, it looks like a moebius strip, with the illusion that there is top side, perhaps a left side, and a down side, or a right side, but in fact, there is only one side.
Newtonian geometric modeling of the left-right continuum are a function of the American binary party system, nation-states with multiple parties map less easily onto simple x-y axes.
Stalinism is often plotted along with fascism along the dreaded event horizon where left and right supposedly meet, although you’d be more likely to scare up an American whig than anyone advocating or even dreaming of anything vaguely resembling a five-year plan; the far left is a a dust-bowl strawman in red breeches, whereas far-right pipedreams still have pipers.
WaPo ‘Rising of Elites’ piece was nauseating. Let’s hear it for the rise of the greedy neoliberals internationally. WaPo need to issue sickness bags for their readers the way airlines do for passengers.
He certainly didn’t let the facts get in the way of his story.
Reading this particular cage liner was the first mistake. Whatever followed would be covered in bird shit.
Further Proof the Justice Department is Protecting JP Morgan from Criminal Prosecution
Bernard Madoff’s principal bank, JPMorgan Chase, has for years obstructed federal bank examiners trying to ascertain what it knew about his gigantic Ponzi scheme, an official document obtained by Newsweek shows.
The Justice Department refused in September to back up Treasury inspector general staff who wanted a court order to enforce a subpoena, in effect shielding JPMorgan from law enforcement, the October 8 document shows.
The Justice Department told the Treasury Inspector General “that they were denying the request for enforcement of the subpoena,” which means officials “could not undertake further actions regarding this matter,” wrote Jason J. Metrick, the inspector general special-agent-in-charge.
The memo revealing that Justice protected JPMorgan from an obstruction complaint raises anew questions about how much the Obama administration has done to protect the big banks, whose lies about mortgage securities and other investments they sold sank the economy in 2008.
If you can launder money for drug cartels and terrorists, and ingore sanctions on Iran, what’s a little Ponzi scheme between friends.
Sounds like Lanny wasn’t the only one spending sleepless nights worrying about the poor bankers.
Don’t know if this got linked to already. It’s a few days old but still relevant…
The Economics of Christmas
This is the only blog-like-site where I actually read the comments.
Another bloglike site called Sic Semper Tyrannis by Pat Lang also features comments worth reading.
some practical nuts and bolt reading for anyone serious on the theme of conservation.
An interesting character
RE: Minn. teen aims to sleep outside for a year
Wow, he must be tired!
(no, I didn’t read the article)
Some vivid insight on what cccccoold really means
True North: Peary, Cook, and the Race to the Pole
by Bruce Henderson
And more insight here. Robert Service’s masterpiece is the greatest poem to come out of North America.
And I can assure you that the narrative is accurate. If you look up a map of the Yukon (not that far from the North Pole) you’ll see Lake Lebarge. It’s right there!
Brings back fond memories. When I was a kid a wonderful neighbor who provided me some of my most valuable experiences lent me the collected works of RS to read when I was ~13-14 yo. The Cremation of Sam McGee is indelibly etched. On the subject of cold, I rcvd a pic of the northernn lights from a nephew in Fairbanks. -35F on the thermometer… Dasss coold
Get copy of True North, you’ll appreciate it. I listened to a copy of it on my commute
And speaking of WSJ Online, you might want to put up a link to their story today about financial players and metals warehouses. Not so much as news, but rather as further illustration of what NC can do on a good day. ( If memory serves, NC had that story covered many moons ago.)
Best wishes for the Holidays and the New Year to Yves, Lambert, and all who contribute.
Bill Mitchell: “In the meantime, it should (about) double its federal deficit and target public employment and infrastructure building.”
That’s not just falling off of the left-right continuum, it’s going into hyper-space… inflation. At least he’s taking on the rent earners.
“Most of this dispute in US democratic politics spreads more widely. It also is based on the fact that the “centre-left” is nothing like a reasonable depiction of centrist positions. They represent positions that the right-wing used to advance especially in economic matters. They perpetuate the neo-liberal myths about government financial capacity and then demonise positions that used to be centrist. Further, the new left still refuse to embrace a truly progressive view of the monetary system.”
Seems that two half-rights here do not make a full case. He’s right that the center-left or the centrist has taken on austerity, and now going after liberalism, which used to be the center, so now we are left with the left-left or new left or progressive, is pretty much arguing for what’s been liberalism.
And yea, tax-based– that’s just not going to happen. It amazes me that the progressives are not going after the redistribution of the government resources. Time is ripe. Drones are not popular, NSA is not popular.
How can somebody like Ms. Gillian Tett who can write pretty much whatevah write something as dumb as that FT story. I’d call it a story since it seems like somebody just made it up and then she wrote it down and then it got posted to the internet. That’s what we do in the peanut gallery! That’s what I do anyway. If anything I type here makes sense, that’s only a coincidence because I always just make it up on the spot and type it out. But that’s Not what they should do at the Financial Times, which you’d think would be serious. But no! To me, the way I look at it, this is just another symptom of the alien invasion. They have technology that makes them invisible and they don’t blow things up but they send Mind Wave Pulses to make people stupid. How could anybody have believed the things that Ms. Tett says were conventional wisdom before the financial crisis. You’d have to be really stupid or a really good liar. Maybe both. You may be so dumb you don’t even realize you’re lying. That’s pretty bad and so I wonder if it’s a symptom of a space attack using mind weaponry by invisible alien spaceships. That seems more plausible to me than the iidea people believed this stuff when it was conventional wisdom. I read someplace you can look at the sky through an infrared binoculars and see them up there flying around. I’d believe that before I’d believe almost anything they say about financial industry conventional wisdom. It’s not being cynical or jaded it’s just being logical,
like i posted yesterday…“Willful blindness sees no end of damage done.”
your not alone buddy: On 2 April 2009, in the FT Ms Gillian Tett has eventually started asking a question, implying that the answer was not known: “how big the toxic rot really is, let alone when it might end”? A bit late my dear. I asked this question back in October last year giving an estimated answer $1 – 2 quadrillion (qn) dollars at the time. By now it is likely to be of the order of $5 – 6 qn. It is quite depressing that it takes an FT’s journalist over 6 months to ask the most fundamental and trivial of questions (an estimated size of a loss). In any financial trouble, any competent financial adviser asks the question: “what is the loss”. Ms Tett also appears to be still some way from understanding that a global pyramid scheme is the crux of the current mess.
Here are further clues what I expect to read in the FT (and other high profile press) in some weeks or rather months to come. The size of globally committed stimulus package is $2 trillion dollars i.e. 1/572 of the outstanding notional value of derivatives (as estimated in December 2007 by BIS in Basel), which is $1.144 qn. And this is about 23 times the world’s GDP. This is an optimistic look at the figures.
It begs a question why papers like the FT or The Economist do not even consider such basics.
Walter Pincus never heard of front-page rule. That’s not the only thing he never heard of. Pincus never heard of UDHR Article 12, which is federal and state common law. Pincus never heard of CCPR Article 17, which is supreme law of the land equaivalent to federal statute. He never heard of HRC General Comment 16, which governs interpretation of US supreme law of privacy. Pincus never heard of American Declaration Of The Rights And Duties Of Man Articles V, IX, or X, which are binding in the jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Pincus never heard of the American Convention on Human Rights, Article 11, which is binding as conventional international law for states parties in the Organization of American States. Pincus never heard of Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms Article 8, ratified by all members of the Council of Europe.
The Times is relying on its disintegrating reputation to pass off a brainwashed dotard like Walter Pincus as a journalist. All he does is kiss official ass.
GM to stop Holden auto production in Australia by 2017, strong AU$, high costs and shrinking domestic market share cited as a factors for the wind-up: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25328924
Cameron warns UK press: sign up to royal charter or else
PM says UK press risks ‘hideous statutory regulation’ in future if it declines to seek recognition under terms of new royal charter
US District Judge Paley does Kafka proud: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/12/27/the-most-kafkaesque-paragraph-from-todays-nsa-ruling/
Let’s all welcome Krugman to the 21st century!
Target: PIN’s taken, but not plundered:
One leeetle problem here: PIN’s are 4-digit numbers, and Target states they are using 3DES for the PIN block
Today the 3DES key used by Target can probably be cracked in weeks with an array of high-performance graphics cards-especially since the EFF proved well over a decade ago that those with sufficient resources could crack DES with their DES Cracker – which was the main impetus for the Feds to move to AES in 2002…..
Interesting, young man is following:
Sleeping outside for a year. Conceptual art merit badge?
Millions of Americans lack basic financial literacy, study shows:
Millions of Americans lack basic financial literacy: