Links 7/2/14

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Apologies about the lack of original posts. Lots of administration duties related to the site recently, plus I desperately need to get on a less abnormal sleep cycle.

Abominable news: scientists rule out yetis Guardian (Nikki)

Titan’s Penis: Why are the French flocking in thousands to see (and smell) this plant? Independent (furzy mouse)

Don’t Trust Your Instincts Zocalo Public Square

Exclusive: Controversial US scientist creates deadly new flu strain for pandemic research Independent (Chuck L)

IRS Rejects Non-Profit Status For Open Source Organization, Because Private Companies Might Use The Software TechDirt

Millions of dynamic DNS users suffer after Microsoft seizes No-IP domains ars technica (Chuck L)

Mass arrests in Hong Kong: Protesters focus on 2017 in biggest march for a decade South China Morning Post (Nikki)

BOT stresses growing role of yuan ThaiVisa (furzy mouse)

The real war fronts in Greece in the middle of a world cup summer failed evolution


Heavy Clashes After Ukraine’s Leader Ends Cease-Fire New York Times

Ukraine seeks EU help after peace talks fail Financial Times


Iraq crisis: What does the Isis caliphate mean for global jihadism? Independent

Iraq’s Baghdadi calls for ‘holy war’ Aljazeera

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Facebook Added ‘Research’ To User Agreement 4 Months After Emotion Manipulation Study Forbes (Chuck L)

How to track a company or subject using a private Twitter list BBC

Exclusive: A review of the Blackphone, the Android for the paranoid ars technica (Bruce Schneier)

Some NSA data collection is ‘legal and effective’, says independent board Guardian

America Ranks 36th in Feeling Free to Choose What to Do With Your Life Jon Walker, Firedoglake

N.Y. Ruling Could Lead To Fracking Bans Elsewhere In U.S. OilPrice

Meme with Wings: Are Western Anti-Fracking Activists Funded by Putin’s Russia? DeSmogBlog

Pennsylvania governor won’t sign budget over lack of pension reform Reuters (EM). Reform = partial privatization.

1970s stagnation Angry Bear. Makes an important point.

How a Whistleblower Halted JPMorgan Chase s Card Collection – American Banker. EM: “Nauseating banker-centric “nothing to see here aside from certain ‘problems’ which Chase assures us it has ‘investigated and resolved’ piece.”

Jamie Dimon Diagnosed With Throat Cancer, Condition Curable Wall Street Journal. From a member of Occupy Wall Street: “I would have preferred to see the regulators make him suffer.”

Goldman accused of ‘boys club’ atmosphere Financial Times. We read the original employment discrimination suit by these plaintiffs, and it was very credible.

Profiteering on Banker Deaths: Regulator Says Public Has No Right to Details Pam Martens and Russ Marting (teejay)

In Banking World, Fraud Is an Epidemic TruthOut (Deontos)

Why is Washington still protecting the secret political power of corporations? Alexis Goldstein, Guardian (Chuck L)


Bad advice from Basel’s Jeremiah Martin Wolf, Financial Times. Wolf is always worth reading, but this is a particularly fine piece.

Class Warfare

Why New York Real Estate is the New Swiss Bank Account New York Magazine

Australia’s middle class is about to get minced Business Spectator. Much broader in its implications. Discusses how automation is replacing well paid jobs.

Antidote du jour

Links Monkey in steaming water studying mobile phone

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. dearieme

    “Jamie Dimon Diagnosed With Throat Cancer”: no doubt they can cut the malign person from the cancer.

    1. Clive

      Okay, “Clives in Glass Houses Shouldn’t Throw Ad hominem Outrageous Hypocrisy Alert” (yes, I have been known to say “Paul Krugman is stinky” and such like) but, in respect of Jamie Dimon Diagnosed With Throat Cancer, Condition Curable I don’t know where it’s written that delighting in or welcoming another person’s suffering brings about world happiness — or even one’s own. My own experience suggests that the opposite is true.

      Let’s let The Golden Rule / Karma / his own conscience / whatever deal with Dimon and his conduct in this life. We can still be “Tough on Kleptocracy, Tough on the Causes of Kleptocracy” without wishing ill on another person. Stay classy, people.

      1. Paul Tioxon

        And people wonder why things never change! Which class should I be perpetually relegated to in my classyness?

        1. Clive

          Hey, I’m jus sayin’

          If sitting there stewing or harbouring resentment does some good, or even if it just makes you feel better, you (as the phrase goes in my home county) crack on chuck. It’s not like I’m the Pope or anything. I comment on a blog, not send stuff down mountains on tablets of stone.

      2. diptherio

        Criminal contracts life-threatening disease…come on, how can I help a little schadenfreude? Remember how many people this man is responsible for putting on the streets, remember the damage he has caused and the smug, remorseless tone of his congressional testimonies. I’m happy to let karma do its work on Jamie, but you’ll have to excuse me if I can’t help but root it on occasionally.

        1. bruno marr

          Look. This guy may have the money to pay for endless cancer treatment. But the DOJ needs him to pay endless fees to lawyers while fighting for his personal freedom (from jail) for the enduring financial fraud he has committed.

          I hope Dimon endures months, if not years, of chemotherapy; he’ll soon yearn for simple pleasures.

          1. Strangely Enough

            “fighting for his personal freedom ”

            Are we talking about the same Jamie Dimon? The same DOJ?

      3. cwaltz

        I’m willing to accept the karmic consequences for wishing the world to be a better place.

        On the list of people I wish ill will to this week Dimon isn’t even making the top 5.

        I guess I’ll have to wish harder. That way Alito, Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy and Thomas can get their just desserts too.

      4. Keith Ackermann

        Nuts. I’ll flat out admit right now that I’ll do a dance when Dick Cheney dies… unless I die first. But know this: if I die first, I would’ve tapdanced with a smile upon my face hearing of Cheney’s death.

        Dimon is basically a Cheney.

    2. diptherio

      So much toxic BS has come out of Dimon’s mouth over the years that it comes as no surprise that he’s now developed throat cancer. Let’s all hope the tumor can be saved. If it ends up killing him, it should get the Medal of Freedom or something.

    3. DakotabornKansan

      I can’t help thinking about those diagnosed with cancer who have no insurance or who are underinsured and face the risk of medical bankruptcy. The majority of people in medical bankruptcy have health insurance, but are bankrupted by gaps in their coverage like copayments, deductibles, and uncovered services.
      Our crisis in health care is much more pronounced for people with cancer due to the high costs of drugs, tests, and procedures. Cancer care is the Achilles heel of our profit-driven health care system. As the costs of cancer treatment continue to climb, access and affordability are increasingly beyond the reach of many Americans unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with cancer.

      1. Eureka Springs

        How many Americans with bronze, silver, even gold obamney-not-care plans are diagnosed with curable throat cancer?

        1. John B

          Probably few. Dimon like all wealthy executives no doubt regularly gets fully paid intensive medical tests at places like the Mayo Clinic. These are designed to catch cancer and other conditions very early, but are too costly for most people. Now, there’s a school of thought that these tests are useless or worse because they lead to more procedures to treat problems that would have gone away on their own. But it sounds like Dimon would be dead soon if he weren’t so rich.

    4. CaitlinO

      The same human papilloma virus that causes cervical cancer in women is causing a large upswing in throat cancer in men. It’s less aggressive/fatal, but now more numerous, than the type of throat cancer caused by excessive smoking and drinking.

      Knowing that it may injure their sons as well as their daughters, will the wingnuts now drop their objections to the HPV vaccine?

      “HPV-caused mouth and throat cancers are a new epidemic among men — one that people aren’t fully aware of, according to cancer experts.”

      and “it’s very possible that Dimon has been swept up, along with thousands of other men, by an increasingly common disease: throat cancer caused by infection with the human papilloma virus, or HPV.”

  2. Skeptic

    Exclusive: Controversial US scientist creates deadly new flu strain for pandemic research Independent (Chuck L)

    Don’t Worry Be Happy

    Congress will pass legislation preventing any dangerous “accidents” from occurring at any of the thousands of bio/nanoresearch labs around the world. Count on it!

    1. MtnLife

      Today’s science: long on intellect, short on wisdom, ethics, and morals. At least with nukes it would take most of them going off at once to really destroy humanity. Any error here will be catastrophic and, like most large institutions protecting their image, they will probably not tell us about it until it is far too late.

    2. David Mills

      If a single person dies from this manufactured virus, I hope they strap Kawaoka to a table and feed it to him. Criminal and Civil liability out the WAZOOO….

    3. jgordon

      This seems to be reasonable close to the plot of the famed Stephen King novel “The Stand”. Here is functional proof that humans in complex enough societies are functionally insane. Autonomous Murderbots from the Pentagon? Check. 99% lethal pandemic flu strains in development? Check. Barack Obama as president? Check.

      I try to be an optimist, but well it may be time to put a fork in us.

  3. Jim Haygood

    ‘The BIS wants to see monetary stimulus withdrawn, too, emphasising the risks of “exiting too late and too gradually” ‘ — Martin Wolf

    How many times must we burn our hands on a hot stove, before we stop?

    In the 1990s, ‘Easy Al’ Greenspan created such a fantastic asset inflation that U.S. stocks were driven to a record 44.20 times ten-year average earnings [Shiller’s CAPE] on the last day of 1999.

    Less than 7 percent of market valuations since 1881 have exceeded today’s 26.08 CAPE ratio. Those observations occurred in the late 1920s, the mid-to-late 1990s, and during several years before 2008. Each of these periods was followed by an epic stock market smash and a harsh recession.

    As the S&P 500 index approaches 2K (maybe this week), the next crisis is already teed up. ZIRP is whut done this to us. And our Wrandy Wray wants ‘ZIRP forever,’ bless his little pointy head.

    The bigger Bubble III gets, the harder it goes down. It will be commonplace wisdom in 2017, as we warm our chapped hands over discarded brokerage account statements burning in barrels, that ‘no one could foreseen this calamity.’

    1. Clive

      But Jim, hasn’t Japan had ZIRP-forever ? And aren’t they still desperately waiting for the next bubble to blow up(no sign of it yet).

      Why is their ZIPR-forever different from our ZIRP-forever ?

      I’ve a feeling you’re about to say “JGBs are a bubble”. FT Alphaville gave this hoary old chestnut another airing and I can’t say I saw any arguments landing a knockout punch…

      1. JerseyJeffersonian

        Well, for years the Japanese have been doin’ it all wrong. What they have really needed is a massive Military/Industrial/Surveillance sector, you know, like we’ve got here. Military/Surveillance Keynesianism! Enough with the arts of peace, & counting on them to bring your nation plenty & international respect. No, my friends, Blut und Eisen is the correct path, & Shinzo Abe is their Moses.

        Why do I think of falling cherry blossoms…

        1. Clive

          Ah, but… the Japanese are persistently wanting to have their mercantilist cake and eat it too. If MMT theory is correct, and “for an economy as a whole, imports represent a real benefit while exports are a real cost” ( then the JP obsession with running current account surpluses could be substantially (and even totally) eroding the government spending stimulus’s. From what I can tell, the mentality of the JP government has been that it is pathologically incapable of accepting the country as having a role of being a net importer.

          Fine. But the consequences are, again according to MMT theory (not my strongest suit, happy to be corrected here) that all those exports are a net drag on the economy. The government stimulus is therefore doing nothing but treading water.

          I’m going to be charitable to the JP government for a moment here and say that, perhaps, they are seeking the previously assumed inevitable consequence of their unfunded stimulus policy — a currency devaluation. In that, they’ve been thwarted by what are in effect competitive devaluations by the Chinese and many other SE Asia countries.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I imagine if

            1. All robots are owned by the workers
            2. we have GDP sharing
            3. We create money by the People spending it into existence.
            4. Money is backed by Black Gold (and air craft carriers, drones and cruise missiles),

            Then everyone in our country can just stay home, sip beer and watch the World Cup, while exporting countries around the world work their hardest to feed, cloth and care for us. In that case, yes, imports are good*, a real benefit, for the ‘economy (in this case, People’s Economy).’

            *otherwise, we might, for example, have a beer shortage. But luckily, we have the global reserve currency that is ‘welcome’ everywhere and we can’t leave home without it.

            But if you have a World Bank infrastructure loan, or an IMF debt, in dollars, exports (to the empire) are necessary…drag or no drag on the economy.

            1. Clive

              Oh, I agree. This really is Colonialism v. 2.0

              But if people are willing to work for us for free (more or less — just how do people think that £1.50 T-shirt in Asda got there…) then how can we stop them ? They (quasi- slaves in China and India) need to wise up / throw off repression. Easier, of course, for us sitting here in the comfort they make possible, to say rather than for them to do.

              But until they do, we’re in equilibrium.

              MMT describes the situation; it isn’t a methodology prescribing how to fix it.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                You’re right it describes.

                And that is as scary as the other theory that describes how money works in politics (‘you see, this way. Go ahead and make a contribution. Oh, by the way, let me introduce you to this powerful lobbyist).

                At some point, you have to say, I want another way… a different description.

      2. Jim Haygood


        Japan’s CAPE ratio of 28.59 is high by U.S. standards, but below the Japanese median of 41 (based on 35 years of data, versus 133 years of U.S. data). At its peak, the Japanese CAPE was over 90.

        Ben Bernanke would dearly love to know why ZIRP didn’t work in Japan. If you find out, give him a call to ease his worried mind. Nevertheless, Japan currently does not have a stock bubble.

        1. Clive

          Ha, I’ve tried, but Ben’s stopped returning my calls :-)

          But what are we saying here ?

          ZIRP == Bad (because the US) ???
          ZIRP == Good (because Japan) ???

          Or, possibly:

          ZIRP == indifferent (because Japan and the US) ???

          We can’t have it both ways. Either ZIRP is bad because US CAPE is in bubble territory. Or ZIRP is good because Japan CAPE isn’t.

          Isn’t it more likely to be the case that ZIRP is pretty irrelevant in and of itself, and if it does have some effects, these are more heavily influenced by other macro economic factors (extend-and-pretend, mark-to-makebelieve, regulatory forbearance, toleration of looting and criminality in Financial Services etc. etc.) ?

          1. Jim Haygood

            ZIRP (if it’s done at all) should be withdrawn when bubble conditions appear.

            ‘Easy Al’ Greenspan, 23 Feb 2004 (while holding Fed Funds at the near-ZIRP level of 1 percent):

            ‘Recent research within the Federal Reserve suggests that many homeowners might have saved tens of thousands of dollars had they held adjustable-rate mortgages rather than fixed-rate mortgages during the past decade.’


            Even as he spoke (with house prices slightly below where they are now), home buyers were grabbing 1% teaser rates to lever up. You know how that turned out. Here we go again!

          2. Jim Haygood

            And today’s version from about half an hour ago. Mr. Yellen speaks:

            “I do not presently see a need for monetary policy to deviate from a primary focus on attaining price stability and maximum employment, in order to address financial stability concerns,” Yellen said in a speech at the International Monetary Fund.

            Yellen said that effective bank supervision must play the “primary role” in preventing future asset bubbles and crises.

            “Monetary policy faces significant limitations as a tool to promote financial stability,” Yellen said.


          3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Perhaps we have no idea what ZIRP would do.

            And that should be reason enough not to do it.

            But that doesn’t stop scientists (our current best explanation – which has nothing to do with how close it is to whatever the target they are searching for) from applying their current best explanations to Mother Nature.

            So, here we Homo Not-So-Sapiens Not-So-Sapiens are – we don’t know what we are doing, but we are doing it anyway…gotta do something….can’t just sit idle.

      3. Benedict@Largest

        MMT explains all of this, including why Japan can print money like it’s going out of style with no unusual inflation. But no, MMT just must be wrong because my econ professor taught me no one can do what Japan has done, AND I BELIEVE HIM. Nannie! Nannie! Nannie! I can’t hear you.

    2. James Levy

      ZIRP is stupid but it is the direct result of our fanatical belief in the “private sector” and the “free market.” Rather than write down or pay off the $800 billion is shitty mortgages that were at the bottom of the CDO/CDS mess, we pumped trillions into the banks to cover their losses and gave them free money to make money with. That this turned into an orgy of asset bubbles was predictable, as was the obvious fact that in a downturn with global markets suffering from overcapacity and falling demand the money would never go to produce jobs, plant and equipment, research and development, or inventories, in other words help the real economy. We were so committed to using the “private sector” to reflate the economy we forgot that the “private sector” only gives a shit about profits and making rich people richer. What we needed was public spending, but the “free market” idiot brigade foreclosed that option. Now we are stuck with chronic unemployment (eating away my life as we speak) and an explosion of inequality that is being concretized by a reactionary, hierarchy-happy Supreme Court and Power Elite into permanent (until the system collapses) rule by the wealthy.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        ‘We were so committed to using the “private sector” to reflate the economy we forgot that the “private sector” only gives a shit about profits and making rich people richer…’

        To reflate the economy is not quite the remedy, whether we use the private sector or the public sector.

    3. FederalismForever

      @Jim Haygood. Does your CAPE ratio figure only apply to the S&P 500? Or does it include other exchanges as well?

  4. financial matters

    “””Do you know where your money spends the night?” he asked. “They haven’t thought about that, and I tell them it’s not in a mattress and I assure you it’s not in a vault either. It’s out there somewhere in the world, doing something.”

    That’s not to say that people generally don’t care where their money goes. Socially responsible investment is growing rapidly in the U.S., with 1 in every 9 professionally managed investment dollars invested in socially responsible investing funds — amounting to more than $3 trillion in 2012, according to the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment. That concern just hasn’t translated into similar action at the level of consumer banking and everyday checking and savings accounts.

    Alternative banking in the U.S. can tap into that sentiment of promoting collective social responsibility, Siciliano argues. “I don’t think there’s been enough thinking about what your money’s invested in,” he said. “But it’s a good place to start.” “”

  5. jfleni

    RE: IRS Rejects Non-Profit Status For Open Source

    This was totally predictable. The “Microswift-mafia” cannot allow their dangerous and malevolent software to to die a natural death, now a very distinct possibility; there are too many billions at stake, for “Billy Boy” and all the other shills and plutocrats who benefit from this digital plague. Of course, the Federales salute, genuflect and kow-tow to the aforsaid mafia on command. naturally.

    While “open source” is ludicrously compared to Communism and collectivism by ignorant “microswift yuppies and howlers”, the same “mafia” turkeys, blithely follow their own agenda, while the rest of are mostly swindled and endangered by them.

    1. Banger

      Open source really is a form of collectivism–if you are someone like me who favors collectivism it is a good thing. Human beings function better when they feel connected and nurtured. Competition creates a lot of froth but not much substance.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It sounds like they are saying that something can’t be non-profit if some private corporations might use that something (parts or whole).

      So, water, for example, can’t be non-profit if some private corporations might use rain.

    3. ewmayer

      To put in perspective just how warped USGOV’s policies are here: the NFL is allowed to continue to milk its specially-granted nonprofit status to reap billions per year, but open-source software initiatives, well those are clearly corporate tax havens in disguise.

  6. Ed

    “Why New York Real Estate is the New Swiss Bank Account”

    The article is from New York magazine, not the New Yorker, and while overlong, its about the important topic of how a once great city has been turning into a bank.

  7. Blue Meanie

    Angy Bear purports to average growth but apparently not with a geometric mean. What’s with that?

    1. diptherio

      Been wracking my brain for a clever caption. Best I could come up with was:

      “It’s so much easier to read Naked Capitalism on my phone now that they’ve increased the font size.”

      Also, I think that monkey might be subtly giving the photographer “the bird.”

      1. tim s

        I did not mean to insinuate that it was symbolic of any issue with the NC site.

        I saw it as yet another primate who was so captured by another glowing screen that they did not notice the water getting higher and perhaps ever hotter….

  8. MtnLife

    Re: NY Ruling on Fracking
    I lived near Dryden for a couple years and am really glad to see that ban in place. While Ithaca (10 mins from Dryden) is a liberal hotspot in NY, the surrounding cow towns are strongly conservative. The area hasn’t been doing the best (nor has anywhere in the southern tier of NY) and I am heartened to see the rejection of money in favor of a cleaner environment. VT banned fracking outright but there are no resources to extract here.

    2 stories providing a little more on the topic:
    Basically a re-hash but has a nice graphic showing the areas in NY of bans/moratoriums/movements for either Tompkins anti-fracking activists celebrate court ruling

    and from just down the road at Cornell: Fracking fluid has increased pollution potential

  9. Vatch

    Regarding the article “Meme with Wings: Are Western Anti-Fracking Activists Funded by Putin’s Russia?”, I suppose people are making these allegations with hopes of harming the credibility of anti-fracking activists. I am very suspicious of Putin, so this could have a different effect on me. In the unlikely event that Putin really is sponsoring western anti-fracking efforts, my opinion of him will rise. I will be forced to say thank you, Volodya.

    1. ChrisPacific

      I don’t think we need to worry unless beefcake pictures of Putin start showing up in the Daily Antidote.

  10. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Facebook Added ‘Research’ To User Agreement 4 Months After Emotion Manipulation Study Forbes

    There are several articles at this link providing explanation of Facebook’s reasons for doing this “experiment” in “mood manipulation” in addition to details of the delayed insertion of the word “research” into the service agreement. I found the explanation weird and unpersuasive.

    So, here’s an interesting “coincidence,” particularly given the credit “social media” received for spreading the Arab Spring protests which began in Tunisia in December, 2010.

    Facebook’s “research” was conducted during a week in the middle of January, 2012. From the OWS Wikipedia page:

    “Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is the name given to a protest movement that began on September 17, 2011, in Zuccotti Park, located in New York City’s Wall Street financial district. The Canadian, anti-consumerist, pro-environment group/magazine Adbusters initiated the call for a protest. Media awareness helped inspire Occupy protests and movements around the world.
    “The protesters were forced out of Zuccotti Park on November 15, 2011.
    “The protest itself began on September 17; a Facebook page for the demonstrations began two days later on September 19 featuring a YouTube video of earlier events. By mid-October, Facebook listed 125 Occupy-related pages.”

    The delay in adding the word “research,” as well as the now-denied Army funding, could be construed as a panic attack by TPTB who, by all accounts, are on the lookout for the inevitable “pitchforks.” And not every city in the US has a multi-billionaire mayor who sees brutal repression of peaceful protest as a matter of personal survival.

    It’s entirely possible that Facebook, which had proved so “handy” at generating “welcomed” protest elsewhere, was seen as a liability here. And Facebook (and the army) figured they’d better get a handle on “mood management” PDQ. And everyone knows that asking for forgiveness is ever-so-much easier than asking for permission.

    1. Jake Mudrosti

      Nice! The next time any of us rowdy misguided Deltas get into a wrong frame of mind, the Facebook policemen can trot out Synthetic Anti-Riot Speech Number Two (Medium Strength). Admirable! O Brave New World!

  11. msexpat

    The monkey appears to be one of the Japanese snow monkeys who, famously, cavort in their own government-supplied hot spring near Nagano. Sadly, the scene at this place is not rustic at all–hundreds of paparazzi and tourists shoving cameras into the faces of the beleaguered simians and snapping full-flash photos in their faces.

  12. Banger

    Re: Bank Fraud

    Fraud in banking has become business as usual over time and we need to face the fact that fraud and criminality of all kinds–not just the reported financial fraud, have increased because they can get away with breaking laws and regulations just as the CIA and other intel organizations can get away with any crime and thus have greater poltical power than other gov’t organizations. Don’t worry though, other parts of government and other parts of the economy are taking up the challenge and becoming corrupt such that I’m not sure the word “corrupt” means very much anymore.

    The entire society is gradually adopting to a legal system that favors the rich and powerful and victimizes those that don’t have the money and influence to bribe the system. This is what neofeudalism looks like and we are yet in the early stages.

    1. Jackrabbit

      Neofeudalist fatalism is anti-intellectualism passed off as prophesy.

      Cui bono?

      How long before the virgin sacrifice shills show up?

      H O P

      1. Jackrabbit

        Jackrabbit’s* Maxim

        Fatalism is anti-intellectualism masquerading as prophecy

        – – –

        * ‘Cause I haven’t found anything like it after a Google search

      2. Jackrabbit

        Fatalist Activism in America and Now UK

        It’s more helpful, arguably, to identify four, not two ways of organising. The liberal versus conservative dichotomy roughly corresponds to the conflict between hierarchies and markets, but there is also an egalitarian mode of organising which corresponds to neither. Then there is the fatalist way or [sic] organising . . .

  13. paul

    yves smit quoted by the ZEIT, Germany’s biggest weekly newspaper on Schneiderman:
    “Nicht alle teilen allerdings die Euphorie. Susan Webber, die in ihrem Finanzblog Naked Capitalism unter dem Synonym Yvey Smith schreibt, urteilt, Schneiderman sei noch zu vorsichtig. Barclays habe “richtig schmutzige Sachen” gemacht. Der aktuelle Dark-Pool-Fall sei dem Generalstaatsanwalt doch auf dem Silbertablett präsentiert worden. ”

  14. Cynthia

    This NYT’s article “When a Health Plan Knows How You Shop” should be included under “Big Brother is Watching You Watch”:

    Maybe hospitals and other healthcare providers can improve patient outcomes by having access to patient daily spending habits. But I think another reason they are doing this, and a more important reason at that in turns of saving their bottom line, is to find evidence against patients in cases involving readmission penalties. That way if a hospital has concrete evidence that one of their heart failure patients bought a Big Mac, Biggie fries and a super-sized soft drink at McDonald prior to showing up at the ER in need of being readmitted for CHF exacerbation, the hospital can ask Medicare to reverse their penalty for having a readmission within the 30-day allotment window. I don’t know for sure if Medicare would agree to this, but to be fair, they should.

    Apparently, the overseers at Medicare didn’t foresee that the Rube Goldberg set of readmission penalties, which they have imposed on hospitals, is causing hospitals to take healthcare dollars that would normally be spent on patient care and use them to buy data-mining software programs that are usually just reserved for credit card companies and law enforcement agencies. Hospitals already have this overly costly problem of having too many employees in the back office working as data-miners and the like and not enough employees on the front lines working as direct-patient caregivers. And Medicare only wants to makes this problem worse?

    How in the world could the folks at Medicare possibly think that imposing these types of penalties on hospitals will result in better patient care! Don’t they understand that this sort of bureaucratic overreach is doing nothing but causing the overhead costs among hospitals to go up? These folks are beyond stupid. They are total idiots!

  15. dow2long

    Hmmm. Re: Pam Martens piece on profiteering on banker deaths, where banks have expanded key person insurance to everybody in the firm – and the fact that Slimin’ Dimon now has cancer, and that Chase is the leader in buying insurance on all the poor schmucks who work there (not to mention all those profitable Chase suicides of late) one thinks the Slimin’ slidin’ story might be good news for stockholders. No more fines, a lightning rod cleanly torn from the company, a huge payoff if that sack of human excrement slides off the face of the earth. As Pam reports, the payoffs on these policies are included as “assets” on bank balance sheets. Surely, after all this, Slimin’ is worth more dead than alive, (after all he has served his purpose – he finessed the Great Recession into the Greatest Recession for Chase as they rolled up every in Amerikkka not tied down or owned by their cronies). Verily this is a blessing for his cronies on the Board, they get to finally dump him without any reputational risk to their rent seeking as directors, and they get a HUGE insurance payoff.

    After what I went through with Slimin’, where his bank foreclosed on my paid up commercial loan on a building on which I’d spent five years restoring, (which was a former WaMu loan he got free from the FDIC) the best I can muster in terms of good will is that through his suffering he may finally become a better human being. Too late for most of us.

    On the other hand, perhaps this is God’s retribution for destroying so many lives, and then crowing like a rooster about it to anyone who would listen, such as the vermin in Congress and the “happy stockholders, such as David Underwood (who wrote in the NYT response to the news of Dimon’s cancer that “I made a lot of money with Dimon” i.e. “My horse ran the race, I won, so it’s leg is broken and he gets puts down. Oh well.” That kind of breathtaking mendacity is refreshing in this context, and is really worse than anything I could say.

    For those wishing to relish the schadenfreude of Dimon’s downfall, I would highly recommend people head back to #askJPM at Twitter. Some good stuff, along the lines of “This is what comes of sucking Satan’s Dick,” or “I just finished digging a hole in the desert to bury Jamie alive with fire ants, and then he goes and gets cancer.” Life is so unfair.

    I’ll be honest. I suffered so much from this man, the most generous thing I can come up with (again) is that he learns from his suffering. Is it wrong to hope that he suffers deeply? Clearly, he has never suffered in his life, and as a result, he is a monster, and he ground us under his Guccis with relish. I did tweet that anyone who would like to join me in a prayer circle to pray that Slimin’ dies an agonizing death, please ping me.” Surely, I will be cast down. And there will be Slimin’, with a voice box, reclining among the flames, waitin’., still braggin’. Oy.

  16. David Lentini

    Study on Misconduct in Economics Research

    From the Abstract:

    This study reports the results of a survey of professional, mostly academic economists about their research norms and scientific misbehavior. Behavior such as data fabrication or plagiarism are (almost) unanimously rejected and admitted by less than 4% of participants. Research practices that are often considered “questionable,” e.g., strategic behavior while analyzing results or in the publication process, are rejected by at least 60%. Despite their low justifiability, these behaviors are widespread. Ninety-four percent report having engaged in at least one unaccepted research practice. Surveyed economists perceive strong pressure to publish. The level of justifiability assigned to different misdemeanors does not increase with the perception of pressure. However, perceived pressure is found to be positively related to the admission of being involved in several unaccepted research practices. Although the results cannot prove causality, they are consistent with the notion that the “publish or perish” culture motivates researchers to violate research norms.

  17. flora

    Re: Australia’s middle class is about to get minced.
    Followed by : How a Whistleblower Halted JPMorgan Chases s Card Collection.

    Aside from labor costs, computer programs are not burdened with pesky ethics algorithms or conscience.
    No computer has ever stepped forward as a whistleblower.

  18. fresno dan

    Australia’s middle class is about to get minced Business Spectator. Much broader in its implications. Discusses how automation is replacing well paid jobs.

    “Yesterday, the Associated Press announced it was replacing business journalists with computer programs, following sports reporting where algorithms have delivering match reports for some years.
    Some cynical media industry commentators would argue rewriting PR releases or other people’s stories — the model of many new media organisations — is something that should be done by machines. Associated Press’ management has come to the same view with business data feeds.”

    “fresno dan” is being replaced with a new, improved, much more logical artificial intelligence version, fresno dan^
    We expect the automated version not only to be more efficient and effective, with a greater depth and breadth of knowledge, and much more truthyness, as well as much wittier as well. No more inept puns, and tired double entendres.
    fresno dan will return to his first loves of drinking and drunken stupornessness. As fresno dan was never actually able to pass the Turing test, even in person, we expect only the most autistic to notice…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I’ve heard the human failing rate at the Turing Test is about 80%.

      Might be higher, rumor has it.

  19. Garrett Pace

    More “new normal”.

    “Today’s snack revolution is driven by rapidly changing demographics: the rise in single-person households, the increase in baby boomers with empty nests and the increasingly hectic lives of two-career families. Demands on the kids have ramped up, too. Little League often trumps the family dinner. All that makes it tough to squeeze in time to eat a meal, let alone plan, shop or cook.”

  20. rich

    The Disloyal

    I spent all the summers of my late 20′s and early 30′s with Henri, travelling with him, listening to the stories of his life and the stories of a generation of ordinary French men and women that I came, through him, to know, listening to their hopes of a better France, their profound belief in the struggles of their lives. But not long before Henri died he told me, that he had come to see that they had all been lied to. That all they had built had been for others to sell from under them.

    Now my father, is nearing the end of his life and he too has tasted the ashes of his dreams. His was the generation that inherited the things my grandfather and Henri built. And in his own way he too believed he had fought the good fight. He did things in his life that I never knew about till decades later. Things still covered by official secrets. Things he really believed were for the good. Good people, he believed, with good intent had asked him to do things which he had willingly done. But now he looks at what it has all amounted to and is angry. Angry at the stupidity, greed and arrogance.

    Who betrayed their dreams and hopes? Of course in the final analysis the answer is us. But who helped us, helped us understand that our parents’ dreams were more ‘valuable’, their old age more ‘affordable’, in fact their entire society more ‘efficient’ if it was all sold off, privatised? Who presided over the efficiencies whose benefits we are now enjoying?

    By what name could we being to know them?

    But who are they who rule over us? It’s all very well calling them Neo-cons, or Thatcherite/Reaganite Free-Market Deregulating Zealots, or even The 1% or The Global Overclass, but these names tell us nothing about the nature of these people. They tell us how much they own or the brand of Fundamentalism they worship.

    When I look at people like Lloyd Blankfein (Goldman Sachs CEO) or the billionaire vulture fund boss Paul Singer making sure he gets his pound of profit from the Argentinian people regardless of their need, I am quite sure I do not want any future imagined and presided over by any of the verminous little Ceasars of Wall Street.
    For me these people are The Disloyal, because for all that they have, they have none of the loyalty which made my grandfather , my friend and my father the admirable men they were.

    how true.

    1. Banger

      My father died bitter about several things that concerned him–one of them was a sense of betrayal at what he and his colleagues had worked for. The issue really isn’t the oligarchs but the cultural requirement to live a selfish life.

  21. KFritz

    If that monkey actually learns to use the device and teach other monkeys, they’re all in trouble. They’ll begin to resemble their human cousins far too closely.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The money is trying to convert Lion-Money into Monkey Money to know how much longer he can stay in the onsen.

  22. Jim Haygood

    NYT subhead on J-Yel’s speech:

    Janet Yellen Signals She Won’t Raise Rates to Fight Bubbles

    Or in the vernacular: Buy stocks till your hands bleed!

    We have gone from Chairsatan Ben to J-Yelzebub. The highway to economic hell is paved with ZIRP.

    1. MikeNY

      Right out of the Alan Greenspan bubble agnosticism playbook.

      They have learned nothing over the last two decades from their mistakes. Nothing.

  23. Garrett Pace

    Yet more new normal – asset bubbles everywhere, particularly high end art.

    ‘”There is a very discerning element to this market. It’s not a frothy market. People are really making distinct choices. Its a very subjective response to works,” Brett Gorvy, Christie’s international head of post-war and contemporary art, said after the sale.’

    It must be challenging, having nigh-unlimited spending power but not wanting to appear a dupe or rube. Art is a bit of a tweener – it’s luxury and frippery but doesn’t depreciate and can’t be consumed so it gets judged like an investment.

    Overspenders at risk of mockery might set the work on fire to show people what they’re all about.

  24. pwndecaf

    Chrome browser used, and clicking on the antidote took me to a png page, not the Links page. Same as before?

  25. Jim Haygood

    Greatest looting op EVAH:

    In total, the Clintons raised between $2 billion and $3 billion from all sources, including individual donors, corporate contributors and foreign governments, the Wall Street Journal found. Between $1.3 billion and $2 billion came from industry sources.

    The donated funds were split among the Clintons’ political operations, which raised $1.2 billion; their nonprofit foundation, which collected between $750 million and $1.7 billion; and speaking fees, which totaled about $100 million.

    Not counting about $250 million the Clinton foundation has received from foreign donors, at least 75% of the money arrived in large donations from industry sources, a category defined by federal regulators and the Center for Responsive Politics.


    Corpgov, comrades. It feels your pain.

  26. Cunning Lingus

    I’m sure the Wolf piece in the FT is worth reading but as I’m not a subsciber to the FT I can’t. And if I was a subscriber to the FT I’d probably read it anyway without any recommendation from NC so why do you bother wasting space in ‘Links’ to it?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      You can read the FT if you put the headline in Google and then access it from there. The overwhelming majority of NC readers know how to do that already.

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