2:00PM Water Cooler 9/5/14

The Unemployment Numbers

If you didn’t get the memo, here it is: “American employers hired fewer workers than forecast in August and the jobless rate dropped because people left the workforce.” “The 142,000 advance in payrolls (is the) smallest this year and lower than the most pessimistic estimate in a Bloomberg survey” [Bloomberg. (Sorry for the auto play, but it does start with “pretty big miss”)]. “OK, not good enough, as almost always” [Atrios]. A fine example of messing with the baseline [WaPo]. What the economists say: “Fluke.” ”Volatile.” ”Subject to revision” [Bloomberg]. Will Mandy Rice-Davies please pick up the courtesy phone?

“The falloff was widespread across industries.” “The remarkably weak GDP growth in this recovery is consistent with the extraordinarily weak job growth” [Dean Baker, in excellent explainer]. “The labor force participation rate was down from 62.9% to 62.8%” [Forbes].

So “famously dovish” Janet Yellen won’t raise rates [Forbes]. And so “markets actually liked Friday’s report, pushing stock futures higher” [CNBC]. So that’s alright then.

Nice timing for the mid-terms, eh? Jason Furman supplies the White House talking points: “Although the pace of job gains in August was below recent months, the broader trends are moving in the right direction” [White House]. Jam yesterday, jam tomorrow…. 


Ukraine and the pro-Russian “rebels” have signed a ceasefire [BBC], and apparently the shelling and the explosions have died down prior to the agreed 1500 GMT time [Reuters].  The agreement is for a standstill one, and includes a prisoner swap [RIA Novosti]. Remarks the Saker: “This is the easy part” [Vineyard of the Saker]. 

Meanwhile, NATO approves a strike force of 10,000 [Canada.com], coordinated across seven nations, to “send a message” [FT] to Russia. But it’s not clear what message is being sent, other than to arms dealers, given the Pentagon’s view that the Russian forces “arrayed along the border are “exceptionally capable” [WSJ].

Finally, Putin — Hail Cthulhu! — looks to be sitting in the catbird seat. Crimea has marginalized his domestic opposition [LSE Europp]. And it looks like Putin successfully doped out the correlation of forces, in what those clever Brits call his “warped calculus” [Economist]. “The problem is not Obama; it is America. Over the last sixty years, and in particular over the last thirty, America has thrown away almost all the once vast leverage it enjoyed to set the global diplomatic agenda” [Forbes, and read on; the reasons are not Forbes-ish]. Perhaps that’s why NATO told Obama to “shove it” on ISIS [Moon of Alabama].

And here’s a dilly from the IMF: “We would suggest that you refer your questions on bank asset audits to the Ukrainian authorities” [Dances with Bears (Michael Hudson)]. What could go wrong? (Style note: Observe The Beltway Subjunctive: “would suggest.” The value-add over “suggest”? None, except to suggest that the speaker represents Very Serious People.)


Here’s another (ha) good interview with Tim Wu [New York]. And yet another [Slate]. “[WU:] I challenge [Cuomo] to have the courage and decency to address us by our names” [Daily News]. Wu’s got game.

Meanwhile, every Democrat north of the Tappan Zee bridge is endorsing Cuomo and Hochul today, in a 6500-word release [Democrat and Chronicle]. Hillary Clinton is doing robocalling for Hochul and Cuomo [Politics on the Hudson]. Meanwhile, Teachout debates an empty chair. Hilarity ensues, as hacks Democratic operatives respond [Capitol Confidential]. Anyhow, all those Dems must be pretty confident that the Moreland Commission corruption investigation isn’t going anywhere [Daily Kos, of all places]. #awkward.

Fun with Maps

For good and ill, we’re in a golden age of data, a golden age of mapping, and a golden age of mapping data. New mapping technology may narrow the search space for MH17 [Economist]. Mapping and aerial photography help us tease out structural issues in the “rotting suburbs” of Ferguson [Buzzfeed].  Walking helps us think, and walking helps us write, because both are about choosing paths and constructing mental maps [New Yorker] (includes Nabokov’s map of Joyce’s Ulyssses). And since you English majors are still reading, here’s a gorgeous map of literary London: [Independent].

News of the Wired

  • I’ve gotta post the subhead: “Apple CEO Denies a Lax Attitude Toward Security Allowed Hackers to Post Nude Photos of Celebrities” [WSJ]. Apple’s PR department can’t be happy that such a denial is even being made.
  • A Twitter replacement? “Welcome to Trsst” [Trsst]. Even if it’s alpha and has no network effects working for it [FastCo, 2013].
  • One B2 costs $2billion and rising, and the average B2 pilot flies it once a month, important because flying hours translate to pilot skill [Medium].
  • “I got the answer by talking in my brain and I agreed of the answer my that my brain got” [The Poke]. A child’s theory of mind-body duality.

* * *

Readers, feel free to send me (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) images of plants; I now have some of yours to choose from, and I’ll start running them. Vegetables are fine! See yesterday’s Water Cooler (with plant) here. Don’t mail Yves! And here’s a plant (hat tip Abynormal):


Readers, do you prefer the full size, or this smaller size? I’m inclined to prefer the smaller.

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Talk amongst yourselves!

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Massinissa

    Ia! Ia! Cthulu ftagn!

    Im not sure what purpose Cthulu was briefly mentioned for but I do appreciate the excuse to say ‘Cthulu ftagn!’ on NakedCapitalism.

      1. Paul Tioxon

        I am taking this as a brand new evil in the lesser/greater Hobson’s choice. Going forward, the GREATEST EVIL award goes to … Putin! As we retire the tired Hitler analogies, a dark evil elder race of terrible beings certainly fills the bill in this neo-Gilded Age of excess. Nothing less than the Worst Evil will do from now on. Good job!

    1. abynormal

      my favorite art instructors pushed me thru a ruff patch by singing…”it’s all lines aby, all lines” (H/T Ms.Taylor)

      “To draw, you must close your eyes and sing” Picasso

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The biggest, most obvious straight line is the horizon*.

        No sure how people can say there are straight lines in nature.

        *In calculus, any curve can be approximated by a series of straight lines. But for our ancestors, it was not an approximation. They believed it was straight. And for us jaded post-modern people, we can easily handle approximations of ideal objects, like, for example, a circle. In any case, nothing is exact, except maybe tautology, as even scientific facts are merely ‘current best explanations,’ having nothing to do with how close they are to what we are searching for.

  2. Ned Ludd

    For the plantidote, I would (suggest) show(ing) the full size image when someone clicks on the smaller picture.

      1. h_rostam

        no, it was right the first time. haha
        i would show, or i would suggest showing.
        your correction would have included the option “i suggest show the..”

  3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Labor Force Participation Rate.

    When it’s below 50%, we need to change it to Labor Force Not-Participation Rate so it will go back up again.

    That will lend your picture, or graph, a very aesthetic symmetry.

    1. curlydan

      The Labor Force Participation Rate, now tied for a Great Recession low at 62.8%, is at a level not seen in the pre-Great Recession era since 1978. Malaise! Can’t we just push some more housewives into the labor force? No, they’re already working at Walmart while the husband has given up at home!

      “Mama’s in the fact’ry
      She ain’t got no shoes
      Daddy’s in the alley
      He’s lookin’ for the fuse
      I’m in the kitchen
      With the tombstone blues”
      -Bob Dylan, Tombstone Blues (strangely, Bob Dylan’s lyrics website says “I’m in the streets…”, but I’ve never heard that version)

  4. JEHR

    Does Harper know what he is doing by sending 100 special ops to Iraq? (http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/isis-in-iraq-canada-to-send-special-ops-soldiers-as-advisers-1.2755841 ). Harper admitted that if he had been PM in 2003, he would have accompanied the Americans into Iraq ( http://www.ctvnews.ca/iraq-war-a-mistake-harper-admits-1.330207 ):

    “Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe needled Harper about the embarrassing revelation that whole sections of a speech about the Iraq war, delivered by Harper as opposition leader in 2003, were lifted almost word for word from a speech delivered two days earlier by Australia’s prime minister at the time, John Howard.”

    That plagiarist guy is our PM (with 39% of the popular vote!)

    I have a feeling that all this mucking about in the Middle East, will not be good for Canada, either at home or abroad. Our PM is crazy about wars. We heard more about the War of 1812 in the past two years than we did in the previous 100 years. Now, I guess, he has to make his own war! I think it is an idiotic move by an idiot. Excuse my French.

  5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    A more interesting Twitter replacement than Trsst would be Hiss.

    You Hiss, which a lot of people do always, instead of Twittering.

    For seniors surviving on Social Security, there is the subsidized alternative – Wheeze.

  6. Carolinian

    Even though afternoons have now been given over to the plant kingdom this may be of interest: how to pet your dog.


    It says don’t waste time talking to them because they don’t speak English. But you can physically pet them until the cows come home (however per earlier tips might want to avoid a strange dog’s head if you value fingers). The only thing better than petting: treats.

    Elsewhere, Dean Baker debunks NPR pseudoliberals and their assertion that Russia getting worse and the Yeltsin period was the good old days.

    While undoubtedly there is much corruption in Russia under Putin, corruption did not begin with Putin. According to the World Bank (Table 4.3A), Russia got $8.3 billion for all the assets it privatized in the 1990s. This was a period in which it sold off the vast majority of the industry built up during the Soviet years, as well as much of its oil and natural resources. By comparison, Snapchat currently has a market value of $10 billion. During this period well-connected people were able to become billionaires by buying assets at prices far below the market level.

    This was also a period in which Russia’s economy collapsed. According to data from the International Monetary Fund, Russia’s economy shrank by almost 30 percent during President Yeltsin’s tenure. (This is about six times the drop in GDP the U.S. saw in the Great Recession.) Since Putin came to power in 1998 it has more than doubled in size. This economic performance likely explains much of the support shown for Putin in public opinion polls.


    1. beene

      Think Russia’s success had to do with kicking out the Harvard help on setting up a market economy and jailing the business owner who wanted to sell off Russia natural resource (oil).

    1. frosty zoom

      well, personally, i think president harper is doing a remarkable job as leader of the regressive self-servatives and our country better off for him.

      are you from csec?

  7. Banger

    ThenForbes piece is important for showing yet another POV from another faction of the power-elite. This is the idea that the US is in decline due to industrial production, debt, technology and free trade. I think this misreads the situation just a bit. First, the nationalist moment in history is waning and the new age of of a Empire on the macro side and corporate dominated neo-feudalism on the micro level. Thus the emphasis on “security”, war and outside threats by the state. The state security apparatus and propaganda organs have the role of keeping people in line and happy with the new authoritarian regime. I believe the current conflicts involving the ME and the Ukraine serve this purpose. In the global Empire each statelet haas their specialty and the USGs job is to be the gunsel for the world’s
    power-elite. Within that structure there is still plenty of heat of one faction fighting with another and men like Putin who seem to be acting against history by attempting to go back to a new kind if nationalism are seen as dangerous because the more Putin continues in power and appears to be doing well the more likely some countries may want to think twice about being part of the Empire. This is why the new version of the right presented by Marine Le Pen bears close watching since she appears to be still growing in popularity and, as a recent poll shows, she would garner a majority of votes in the first round of any Presidential election.

    Whatever opposition to the imperial/neo-feudal order will come from the right and not the left for many reasons I’ve given before–and I think we all know that. In the US most of the left still supports the Obama administration for utterly stupid reasons particularly since Obama is clearly a center-right politician even by American standards. If the right changes and moves towards the attitude of those who write for American Conservative Magazine We could see a major sea change towards a anti-imperial GOP in stark contrast to the blatantly imperialist Democratic Party. This is unlikely, of course, since the power and money of the national security state grows ever stronger.

    To recap, the US does not need to produce anything but soldiers, cops and arms to stay at the center of global power.

    1. Carolinian


      Over the last sixty years, and in particular over the last thirty, America has thrown away almost all the once vast leverage it enjoyed to set the global diplomatic agenda. In doing so, it acted in the name of an idealistic cause, globalism, but at the end of the day its idealism has not been reciprocated.

      Graham Greene to the white courtesy phone? Isn’t this a bit of upsidedown world? Doubtless there are those who would say America opening itself up to free trade was a selfless act that sacrificed American industry to the cause of a thriving worldwide economy. But while some steel and auto and textile industry execs may have felt the pain, it’s likely that most of the sacrificing was being done by the lower orders who saw their jobs shipped away. Selfless? or supremely selfish? It could be the rest of the world is thumbing its nose–if they are–because we deserve it. At any rate, as Greene showed in The Quiet American, “American idealism” can be a very dubious proposition when it comes to foreign policy and this blog regularly debunks it when it comes to economic policy. Maybe the world is just getting tired of our sh*t.

      1. dearieme

        The Forbes article overlooked a fourth cause: since the Second World War, the uncanny inability to win any war that lasts longer than one battle. Thus:

        Won – First Gulf War; Serbian Bombing War.

        Not won – Korea (draw), Vietnam (defeat), Second Gulf War (defeat), Afghanistan War (defeat).

        All wars of choice, none (except maybe the First Gulf War) involving a vital American interest, three ending in humiliation. What a waste, and especially in the cases of Vietnam and the Second Gulf War, what wickedness.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          At some point of an empire, any empire, it will reach its apogee and once it meets its Waterloo of vital interest, when a genuine new hegemon seems possible, its fiat imperial currency would crash down to earth.

          In the meantime, orgies continue even with all the victories and setbacks of frivolous wars of choice.

          1. MyLessThanPirmeBeef

            In Nathan Rothschild’s case, he faked other traders into dumping the British treasuries, thinking, falsely as it turned out, Bonaparte had triumphed.

        2. abynormal

          consider the reality of our stealth objective, to monetize war, and we’ve won them all!
          wait till we (the globes financial fiat hub) peg global currencies to US Blue Gold/Water. we’ll capitalize on your children’s tears.

              1. Ulysses

                The crusades didn’t produce much in the way of profits for most of the actual crusading knights, but they did help the merchants of Venice, Genoa, Pisa, Amalfi, Ancona, and Ragusa to catapult to the top of the commercial heap– as expeditionary bankrollers and monopolists of trade between Western Christendom and all lands to the east of the Mediterranean.

          1. Eureka Springs

            Maybe it’s my Hillbilly third world internet… I mean Verizon, but I can’t get their web page to work? Great to hear of all these peeps are working on it though.


            1. psychohistorian

              Nice term.

              Now we have the IMF funding a coup led civil war….isn’t that special.

              How many get fried in that Rotisserie Empire?

      2. wbgonne

        Yes, and I’ll go further: for the American Middle Class, globalism has been a death warrant. If one thinks, as I do, that the Middle Class is what actually made America “exceptional,” then those political leaders implementing and promoting globalism are destroying the American Dream while they hypocritically endorse and exploit it. As official policy, the United States is embarked on a 40 years-and-counting course of ruthless capitalist imperialism that has savaged average Americans just as it enriched the plutocrats. Wealth concentrated, democratic means-of-production were commandeered, common resources were strip-mined, and Big Business effectively purchased Big Government. Very hard to see the War on the Middle Class as a plus for America, unless you are a very select American.

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I see globalism as a way to make the Imperial Currency accepted everywhere like Visa or MasterCard, i.e. to put it into global circulation*.

        Once you get a country hooked on being a supplier of junk to the empire**, addicted to the Imperial Currency (for the children of the proconsuls/governors desire to be part of the ‘civilized empire’ – the material comfort, the decadent lifestyle), it can’t get off riding that tiger, setting it up for economic hit men to operate.

        *the other way is to grant foreign aid, but it often ends up being used to purchase imperial weapons, thus circulating it back to the M-I complex of the empire

        **Otherwise, that country remains ‘undeveloped,’ growing its own traditional non-GMO crops for her own people, to give but one example.

    2. Jackrabbit

      yet another faction

      As this article concerns the respect afforded to America in world affairs, and you have misled NC readers as to the power of ‘realists’ to influence foreign policy, prehaps you can tell us which ‘faction’ is the most powerful in foreign policy (by far)?

      due to industrial production, debt, technology and free trade.

      No, the article sites ‘globalization’ which it says was ‘idealistic’. But that was not idealism as any ordinary person would think of the word, it was an idealistic belief in markets pushed forward mostly by those who could arb the wage difference. It kinda naturally followed after corporate raiders. And the (albeit, limited) ‘success’ of these ‘greed is good-ers’ helped to make neolibs as powerful as they are today.

      men like Putin who seem to be acting against history by attempting to go back to a new kind if [sic] nationalism

      How can he re-implement a ‘new kind’ of nationalism?

      the left still supports the Obama administration

      More fuzzy math. “The left” is not monolithic. You constantly use this strawman to deride any possibility of change from the left.

      the US doesn’t need to produce anything but soldiers, cops and arms

      This is very mistaken. You are blinded by your assumptions. And I don’t feel like explaining why because we have been over this ground many, many times before. Also, you don’t come here to learn anyway. You only want to push a fatalist, oligarch-friendly agenda.

      H O P

      1. Jackrabbit

        Note: ‘globalization’ is more than the sum of the parts named by Banger: industrial production, debt, technology and free trade”.

          1. Jackrabbit

            Comparative advantage, foreign policy goals, relationships among and between the elite of different countries, domestic political considerations (compensating ‘losers’).

            The Forbes article mentioned ‘globalization’. Banger broke it down into constituent parts that are exclusively economic variables, leaving out political economy. That’s cute. Does Banger not want to use the term ‘Globalization’ because its got a bad rap? Its hard to tell, except that he also dances around the term ‘neocon’ too (!!) Yuck, lets talk about ‘factions’ instead.

            Banger thinks we should accept our neolibcon-led oligarchical masters. Why upset people with loaded terms like ‘globalization’ and ‘neocon’? Cower before the all powerful ‘Deep State’!!! It was/is the progressive left that complained about globalization and neocons and it is the progressive left that gets attacked by Obama and others – yet Banger tells us how helpless and weak it is. Strange? Stranger still is that so few raise any questions.

            Because . . . Banger?

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              I’ve been looking at Scott. The focus seems to be on cabals, factions, whatever. There seems to be no political economy to it at all. I could be missing it, because I haven’t read the whole book, but there seems to be no way to “follow the money.” That seems, to me, like a methodological flaw. Not to say that cabals and actions aren’t real actors, but it all seems rather “Hamlet Without the Prince.”

              1. Jackrabbit

                I think you’re confusing the issue. I’m not relating political economy to the Deep State. I pointed out how Banger is reluctant to use terms like ‘globalization’ because the political economy aspect has winners and losers which has given that term have a negative connotation.

                Cabals and factions in the Deep State make analysis virtually impossible. But the Deep State is different than foreign or domestic policy which has some degree of consistency and accountability via elected officials and appointees. Ukraine is an example. Nuland promotes a coup, but CIA works with Kolomoisky’s goons. We can’t hold the goons accountable but we CAN hold Obama and Hillary responsible. They have both appointed neocons and provided support to neocons.

                Americans have to be educated, though so they understand that:

                1) Disagreeing with policy is not unpatriotic, it is democracy

                2) Neocons are not the government, most are appointed

                3) Neocon meddling overseas ricochets back as a police state, initially to ‘protect the homeland’ but then to ‘control discontent’ – which encourages more meddling and tighter control in a vicious circle.

                Lastly, complacency works to the advantage of neolibcon political actors which use their positions to keep oligarchs and others in line. It would take years of electoral wins before the Deep State feels threatened.

                The Forbes article is a great example. Progressives complained about globalization and made the point that we would lose manufacturing competitiveness. Now that America is perceived as ‘weak’, Forbes is making the same point. This latest ‘market failure’/unintended consequence of greed could be one of several opportunities to join with conservatives to wrest control away from the duopoly.

                Imagine a ‘keep America strong’ campaign that makes the point that “we are only as strong as our people.” “People First” is a threat to neolibs and “America First” is a challenge to neocons. Neither is really a threat to the Deep State as a whole.

                  1. Jackrabbit

                    Good, high-paying manufacturing jobs have been replaced by low-wage service jobs in the US. US workers have lost while the arbitraging of wages was pocketed by corporate investors (mostly the wealthy and well-off).

                    This, and other aspects, has given ‘globalization’ a bad name. ‘Globalization’ for many is equivalent to ‘global exploitation’.

      2. Ulysses

        While I often agree with your specific critiques of certain assertions by Banger, I think that characterizing the overall import of his contributions as fatalist and oligarch-friendly may be less than fair. I think where Banger appears fatalistically inclined, to simply accept oligarchic misrule, he is actually (in my opinion mistakenly) convinced that our plans to use time-tested methods to push back against kleptocracy are incomplete. He seems to feel that a profound spiritual, cultural shift will have to take place BEFORE such struggle against the system is feasible. I don’t agree– because I think the example of such struggle, even if it appears quixotic at first, CAN ACTUALLY HELP TO BRING ABOUT the deeper spiritual and cultural transformations that he would like to see happen.

    3. frosty zoom

      “the US does not need to produce anything but soldiers, cops and arms to stay at the center of global power.”


      the us needs the world to keep using dollaritos for everything in order to stay at the centre of GLOBAL POWERERERER!

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Canadians will correct me on this, but I seem to recall the Canadian hockey establishment destroyed its “beautiful game” to produce bruisers for the American market. America seems to be doing the same to itself, except with the empire. And another phrase for “big, brutal, and dumb” is, over time, “sitting duck.”

        1. Robert Dudek

          I don’t think it was conscious planning. From its origins hockey was like “rugby” on ice with sticks. But there were no specialist fighters until the 1970s. The famed Broadstreet Bullies won two Stanley Cups in part due to unrelenting physical intimidation. The other teams adapted by getting their own enforcers: their role being to protect the superstars.

  8. EmilianoZ

    RE: Walking and writing

    “One cannot think and write except when seated” (Gustave Flaubert)
    There I have caught you, nihilist! The sedentary life is the very sin against the Holy Spirit. Only thoughts reached by walking have value.

    Friedrich Nietzsche. Twilight of the Idols.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Maybe that will inspire the design of his presidential library.

      Personally, I like the open nature of Stonehenge more than that of Barnenez.

      1. Synopticist

        I saw the presidents motor convoy zoom through my little Wiltshire town a few hours ago. 4 big dodge type black vehicles and lots of police cars and motorbikes.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Tonight, they dine at King Arthur’s Round Table, or maybe it’s outdoor BBQ at Sherwood Forest.

  9. ewmayer

    o Drone pilot film at Venice meant to start debate, director says — Director Niccol and star Hawke of “Gattaca” collaborating again.

    o Growing Pressure on Obama to Do Something Stupid | The Borowitz Report

    One reader notes: ‘I have begun to suspect that Andy writes serious commentary in the guise of satire. Is there an untrue sentence in the above “satire”?’

    o ‘Clear and present danger’: Australia to be hit as Chinese economy starts unravelling

    Typical myopic “things economists only notice when the SHTF” comment of the day is the one about a “policy induced housing correction”. Right – because government policy had nothing to do with the growth of the massive bubble which is now, finally, starting to correct as the pool of greater fools runs dry.

  10. MikeNY

    Quite a day.

    Wall Street rejoices because the Fed’s “wealth effect” policies have failed to revive the economy, which of course means the Fed will continue with more “wealth effect” policies.

    Many years of bombing Arabs in the Middle East has somehow made us unpopular with them. The solution, of course, is to step up bombing them.

    1. Ulysses

      I used to think the criminal banksters of Wall St. had no soul, but the Onion has proven me wrong:

      Freakin’ hilarious!!
      “Maclin reportedly expressed a feeling of longing for an earlier time when hip-hop was in its infancy, Chase was just starting out, and financial executives were “banking from the heart.” Maclin admitted that Chase had lost touch with its hip-hop roots over the years, claiming that the bank, with more than 5,100 branches and 16,100 ATMs in the U.S., became “totally corporate” and sold out….

      Chase president Jamie Dimon told reporters that the formative years of hip-hop were a period when the bank was “really tearing shit up.” According to Dimon, Chase was heavily influenced by ancient tribal money lending and often sampled the policies of innovative German banks from Dusseldorf.
      While Dimon confirmed that Chase played an integral role in hip-hop’s “anything goes, party atmosphere,” the executive said that banking was the only way out of “the hood” for many young financial professionals.

      “It was a tough place, and the cops wouldn’t even go there, but banking provided hope for a lot of our clerks and loan officers who came from violent street gangs,” Dimon said. “Nobody thought a financial institution could come from the ghetto. And banking in Manhattan didn’t even happen until they found out we were making money doing it in the Bronx.”

  11. Paul Tioxon

    5th Atlantic City Casino may shut down. 2,000 more jobs, on top of 8,000 lost, at stake.

    With 3 closed and 1 scheduled to shut down, reports are surfacing that a 5th Casino, Trump Taj Mahal will send out WARN notices in compliance with state lay off warning laws to employees.

    ” “If the Company is unable to achieve significant revenue increases and improvements in its operating results, the Company will have difficulty funding its operations and meeting its payment obligations, unless the Company is able to obtain additional sources of liquidity or restructure its business and/or its indebtedness and other obligations,” the filing stated. “There can be no assurance that the Company will achieve such revenue increases or that it will be successful in obtaining additional sources of liquidity.”

    Trump Entertainment, which owns the Taj Mahal, did not respond to a request for a comment Friday.

    Roger Gros, publisher of Global Gaming Business magazine and an expert on the Atlantic City casino expert industry, said Friday that he expects WARN notices – for The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, a federal law that requires companies to notify workers of a possible pending closing – would be sent to the casino’s more than 2,000 employees next week.

    “I think they believed they could make it until next year, but they didn’t do as well as they hoped this summer, so there’s a really good chance this property will close down by early November,” Gros said.”

  12. Paul Tioxon

    Beer Running. Forget gatorade, beer is the new health food fad. About time.

    “Beer-running is exactly what it sounds like. First you run, then you drink beer.

    It goes back at least 75 years, with the formation of the Hash House Harriers, which calls itself “a drinking club with a running problem.” Today, there are hundreds of HHH chapters worldwide, including one in Philadelphia that runs weekly.

    The activity reached new levels in the city, however, with the formation of the Fishtown Beer Runners. Two Fishtowners, Eric Fiedler and David April, founded it in 2007 after reading about a study by a Spanish researcher on the rehydration benefits of beer consumption following exercise.”


  13. Roland

    I agree with Banger re: all the US needs to export are troops, cops and arms.

    As I myself have argued on a number of occasions, one of the USA’s most important exports is “global enforcement services.” The globalist bourgeoisie are consumers of US enforcement services.

    Globalism could have meant the fairly even proportionate fading of the various nation-states, with new global institutions arising to provide system-appropriate enforcement services.

    But in actuality the world’s bourgeoisie seem to have accepted a global division of labour in which all states submit to lessening, while the USA retains its large legacy national military and security apparatus, which is exercised only on behalf of the globalist bourgeoisie.

    Due to the very large capital investments and very long lead times required to compete in the global enforcement services market, the USA was well-positioned to retain its dominant position in that market.

    It is also difficult to establish a global enforcement “brand.” The USA enjoys very good brand recognition, and retains a good brand reputation, for its enforcement services sector.

    For those who object that the US-brand enforcement has enjoyed a mixed record in recent warmaking, I merely remind you to consider the question from the perspective of the real consumers of US global enforcement services: the globalist bourgeois investor class. For that class of people, the period during which the USA has been the monopoly provider of global enforcement services has been a golden age. The globalist bourgeois investor class are reasonably satisfied customers, loyal to the brand.

    As for the taxpayers/citizens/whatever of the USA host state, Goldman wouldn’t even deign to refer to them as “muppets.” Muppets, in that parlance, at least originally had to possess some capital. The majority of the USA’s population possess no capital. Most people in the United States today are proletarians, and nothing but.

    The interesting question was whether the US-based elements of the globalist bourgeoisie were going to overly abuse their privileged legacy position as the world’s foremost provider of global enforcement services. The US-based bourgeoisie have most certainly abused that position. They have shamelessly abused it.

    The next question was that, given that pattern of abusive US behaviour and moral hazard, what would the rest of the globalist bourgeoisie do about it? That gets back to the problem of capital demands, lead times, and brand recognition for any alternative providers. Bear in mind that the bourgeoisie, considered as a class, are the most cowardly people in history ever to occupy a dominant social position. Therefore, in characteristic fashion, most of the world’s investor class seem willing to simply keep paying the world’s biggest kleptocrat, rather than exhibit any sort of genuine enterprise in providing market competition in the global enforcement services sector.

    The exception is that faction of world’s bourgeoisie represented within the other legacy enforcement services providing countries. While their brands have suffered badly, they retain the skill sets, and it seems that, due to humiliating treatment at the hands of their fellow globalist bourgeois, they are willing to at least try to boost their negotiating position by reviving their old role as the leading class within a strong nation-state.

    The last question is whether this falling-out among the global bourgeoisie will be of sufficient scale or duration to seriously degrade the long-term viability of a global bourgeois order. The easiest answer would be “no.” However, history shows a number of examples of “people who had it made” falling-out so badly over the spoils that they eviscerate each other.

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