Links 10/17/14

Responsible Man Sets Aside Small Portion Of Every Paycheck For Bank To Gamble With Onion

Lockheed Martin claims “technological breakthrough” in compact fusion ars technica (Chuck L)


Obama May Name ‘Czar’ to Oversee Ebola Response New York Times. Why don’t the Republicans approve a Surgeon General instead? That job has been vacant for what, two years? That is the sort of thing a Surgeon General is supposed to do.

Why Did the CDC Let Infected Ebola Nurse Fly? Alternet

Texas Hospital Violated Basic Precaution in WHO Ebola Patient Treatment Guidelines emptywheel (Chuck L)

The Affordable Care Act Is Poorly Designed for Dealing With Epidemics and the GOP Plan Is Even Worse Jon Walker, Firedoglake Alternet

Dallas nurse Briana Aguirre: ‘We never talked about Ebola’ before Thomas Eric Duncan arrived Today

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Protesters Are Digging In Foreign Policy

The Endgames For Hong Kong: None Of Them Look Good Forbes

China’s Banks Are Getting Ready For A Debt Implosion Reuters

World braces as deflation tremors hit Eurozone bond markets Ambrose Evans-Prtichard, Telegraph

Has the Greece Success Story bubble burst? Yanis Varoufakis

Venezuela Gains a Seat on the UN Security Council Just Security

Saudi Arabia tests US ties with oil price Financial Times


Unfreezing Ukraine and the Bosnian endgame FT Alphaville. “There was a war, and Ukraine lost.”

Ukraine crisis: Putin-EU talks ‘positive but hard‘ BBC


The War Nerd: Nobody could have predicted Islamic State’s retreat from Kobane (except me) Pando

Syria: Arming Insurgents Probably Achieved Its Real Aim Moon of Alabama

Iran Threatens to Chase Terrorists in Pakistan (Just Like US!) emptywheel

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

F.B.I. Director Hints at Action as Cellphone Data Is Locked New York Times. Theater for the rubes, since the supposedly heinous feature is of limited value.

New Zealand Cops Raided Home of Reporter Working on Snowden Documents Glenn Greenwald, Intercept

Chris Christie: New Jersey Bill Challenges Governor’s Subsidies To GOP Donors David Sirota, International Business Times. This scandal is just not going away.

Joe Biden’s son Hunter thrown out of navy over cocaine Guardian. As Richard Smith blandly puts it: “Some Biden transparency.”

How To Stop Deliberate Fouling of Aquifers by Frackers Ian Welsh

Whither Markets?

Futures Movers: Oil steady, but traders unsure prices will hold MarketWatch. Note that oil stabilizing soothed Mr. Market’s rattled nerves yesterday.

Beware of calls for QE4 Mohamed El-Erian, Financial Times

Volckerized Wall Street Dumping Bonds With Rest of Herd Bloomberg

The Risk That Will Bite You Next Is NOT The One That Bit You Last Cassandra

Fears That Pimco and Other Big Firms Could Be Unable to Unload Risky Bonds New York Times. I need to write about this, but this is another consequence of undue concentration. Plus the overwhelming majority of the time, everything can be solved by price. Complaints about liquidity nearly always means the sellers don’t like how bad the prices are when they try unloading positions in a bad market.

Class Warfare

A Tale Of Two Silicon Valleys: Wage theft, billionaires, and the rest of us Pando

The World’s Richest Man Tries To Defend Income Inequality Dean Baker, Counterpunch

Fed Chairwoman Yellen Inquires About How the Unemployed Find Jobs WSJ Economics. OMG, a Versailles moment.

Bad Paper by Jake Halpern Cathy O’Neil

‘Broken Windows’ and the New York Police New York Review of Books

The economic value of misbehavior Tyler Cowen. Is this rationalizing the status quo?

Antidote du jour. A dwarf Japanese flying squirrel (Richard Smith):

Screen shot 2014-10-17 at 6.06.17 AM

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. ArkansasAngie

    “Why don’t the Republicans approve a Surgeon General instead?”

    Well … how about Obama dominate somebody other than a 35 year old politician. He can’t find a more experienced person?

    Neither a Democrat nor Republican be.

    1. sleepy

      I thought the last nominee got canned for his support of an assault rifle ban. You think if he was 60 it would have made any difference?

    2. jgordon

      Obama’s new ebola czar–no comment on the selection? Consider his “qualifications” it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that we’re screwed. I may have said some unflattering things about the Obama regime before, but damn. This is just wrong.

    3. jrs

      What’s wrong with 35 years old, isn’t it in many ways in one’s energetic and mental prime? The irony is corporate America won’t hire anyone over 40 due to age discrimination, and yet for these positions we dismiss 35 year olds as children.

  2. skippy

    Cassandra has let the flip flop fly on that post… when the matron of pig ally gets toe’y you know its getting strange…

    1. abynormal

      yep. LTCM for an ultimate wayward risk example brought on a bone rattle. the demise of LTCM in 2000 and how it was ‘handled’ exemplified the carnage to come 2008, and here we are set up for weightier round…
      for those unfamiliar with LTCM here’s a documentary

      “But if you’re gonna dine with them cannibals
      Sooner or later, darling, you’re gonna get eaten . . .”

      Nick Cave

    1. Clive

      It is indeed a squirrel “モモンガ (momonga)”. Written in kanji (Chinese characters) 鼯鼠 or “flying rat” which does, erm, lose some of the cute soundingness

      1. Clive

        That said, I’m not totally excluding the possibility it could also be found on the Korean Peninsula …

      2. craazyman

        We should send in a squirrel investigation committee, interview a topic experts and get to the bottom of this. I bet the NC fundraiser could pay for it. The eye is too round to be Japanese. It’s Korean. I’ll bet money. It’s certainly not Chinese. If you go from China to Japan to Korea the eyes go from slanty to “rounder” to “roundest.” If you let Chinese eyes = C and Japanese = J and Korean = K, then by construction you have K = a*f(J) = ab*f(C). That squirell has abC eyes or aJ. But not J. QED. NFL. GED. BYOB

        1. craazyman

          I think you may be right craazyman. The squirrel-flying-rat-whatever-it-is also seems to have a square-ish skull, which I believe is also a Korean parameter. Tho I’m not an expert in this area, and I don’t really feel comfortable making up my own constants and chugging thru the math.

            1. Clive

              Ah-ha ! You’ve been rumbled ! I always suspected you were really the NSA sock-puppet’ing. And trying to impersonate craazyman too of all things. I now formally unmask you as being Admiral Michael S. Rogers and you’re a very naughty boy.

              1. craazyboy

                No no! I really am craazyboy! If I were an important person I’d be playing golf with the Prez at Camp David and discussing campaign financing!

                They have administrative trolls for posting BS on the blogs.

              1. craazyman

                In other words, I knew I couldn’t have posted that since I was in the mens’ room when it happened. It must have been somebody else! That was my theory anyway.

                It’s getting to the point that squirrel eyes are an object of contemplation. That’s a point waaaay beyond politics or economics. I’m not sure what point that is, but it may be what happens when you don’t get your 10-bagger.

                Why is Matt all the sudden writing about Amazon? That’s a little weird. Why does anybody use Amazon? I do only when absolutely necessary, like when I have to order a math book and nobody else has it. Like the one on “Optimization Techniques”. That’s beach reading for you. Also the one on Regression. That’s not as hard, frankly, but it’s also an excercise in models creating realities. Nobdy realizes this. It’s weird. They all think they describe things not create things. Why do they think that? It’s because they’re delusional. It must be weird to look down (from a physical height, not “look down”, I mean from a promontory in space) and see all the crazy people on earth walking around doing weird shit. I wonder what you’d think? Probably you just say “:Sheee-itt, looky thar”. Maybe there’s alien hillbillys. Hard to know.

                1. craazyboy

                  I knew you’d figure out my fat finger, being a pretty shrewd guy and all, but I didn’t want everyone to think you went crazy or something and started talking to yourself on the innertubes. There’s enough weird shit happening without people worrying about crazy people posting stuff.

                  Being stared by animals can get spooky at times. The meerkat pics really get me. Sometimes I think they are really space aliens and the alien invasion has started sooner than we thought!

                  I think of Amazon as a place to go window shopping when you are feeling too lazy to go window shopping at a proper mall. The only place I buy anything anymore is Ebay, then for $3 these little packages with Chinese writing show up in my mailbox. I open them and inside there is $30 of Radio Shack parts! There’s math you can get excited about!

                  But yeah, math has everyone tricked into thinking math knows what it’s doing. Fer sure. Next thing you know we’ll be reading about it in the news or some econ site.

                  Just studied up on how to make a PID software controller for a new autopilot controlled/radio controlled monster truck I’m working on. It has GPS and a compass and I’ll be able to switch between radio control and autopilot control. Under autopilot it will have a list of GPS waypoints to travel too.So I have write the code that uses the compass heading, current GPS position, and bearing to the waypoint and drives the servo motor for the steering.

                  Way. way back in ME school we had control systems theory and everything was analog, whether it was a mechanical system, electrical system, or servo system, which is both. We used Fourier Transforms and Bode plots for system design and analysis.

                  So I was a little worried I may have to over tax my memory for my new little project. But then I was pleasantly surprised that the digital EE guys came up with PID control, and those dummies are using 8th grade algebra! After I have all the parms all filled with data from my hardware, it only takes 1 algebraic equation and about 15 lines of C code to do it!

                  So now I’m on the way to having a self driving monster truck. Just don’t ask me why. For the hell of it, I think.

  3. Ed

    “Fed Chairwoman Yellen Inquires About How the Unemployed Find Jobs WSJ Economics. OMG, a Versailles moment.”

    First, employers are demanding more “skills” from job seekers because of the lower demand for jobs. They don’ have many openings, and are not in a particular hurry to fill the ones they have, so they essentially make up qualifications to cut down the number of resumes they have to deal with.

    Second, though its plainly a demand problem, the idea that keeping interest rates low, especially as they have been basically zero for six years, will solve it is cargo cult thinking.

    1. Pangloss

      Fitting, maybe, Yellen had her Versailles moment on the 221st anniversary of M Antointte’s execution at Place de la Révolution.

      1. dearieme

        The difference is that Marie Antoinette had done nothing to merit execution. Ms Yellen, au contraire, is an economist.

    2. roadrider

      Yes, that’s spot on. Also there’s a built-in age bias factor in that younger candidates are much more likely to have the “skills” and experience employers are demanding in the tech field than older candidates. The older candidates may have skills and experience that is easily adaptable to the job requirements but they won’t even be considered, especially if they’re currently unemployed, unless they’re an exact match. It didn’t used to be this way. Most of what I know and can do I gained from on-the-job experience and self-training, I’ve done a lot of jobs that I didn’t have the experience to do when I was hired but I had adaptable skills. This current hiring model allows employers to simply discard a lot of people with valuable experience and skills because they don’t fit the current tech fads. What a short sighted waste of human resources.

      1. Ed

        Training for the job is no longer to be done by the employer, after hiring an applicant who seems like he or she can be trained quickly. Its to be done by the applicant, before even applying for the job, and the applicant finds a way to pay for it.

        This effectively cuts the wages of the job, which in some cases (if an employeed is hired and let go early) will wind up being negative. The effective wages for the job are what is in the paycheck, minus the cost of commuting to the job, minus the cost of training for the job, minus the cost of living near the job as opposed to elsewhere, all of which are borne by the employee.

        Employers can do this because the labor market is really weak. In effect wages are being driven to subsistence level, just as Ricardo predicted.

        I think this is driven mainly by overpopulation and automation. In a single country, the effects of world overpopulation on driving down wages can be countered through trade and immigration policy (restricting both), though its harder to counter automation. What is ultimately needed is to break, for most people, the link between income and wages earned by working for someone else.

        1. jrs

          But even this is not true, an applicant CAN find a way to self-train by taking classes etc. at their own expenses. But even then it’s hard to get cred compared to having done that exact skill (rather than a closely related skill) skill in an actual job previously. I’m not even suggesting employers should hire people who have never done anything remotely related unless they are fresh out of school (maybe in an ideal world), the problem is employers don’t see fairly similar skills as transferable even when additional training has been obtained.

      2. bob

        I’m finding the exact opposite in an “age bias” factor. Retired people, sometimes from the same firm, are given priority, if not explicitly asked for in the job postings. The posts are by “contractors” looking for people to do the same job under a different “out-sourced” company/employment agency.

        No benefits to worry about. Qualify for medicare? Hired!

    3. Fran

      A ‘success’ story is someone, a younger person at that, who was out of work – and looking full time – for three years! before finding one. I consider that a hardship, not “wonderful”. In that time a person could lose their home, fail to get needed medical care, lose all their savings, ruin their credit, etc. It all seems like a lottery, or musical chairs.

    4. Jess

      Not only are they requiring ludicrous skill sets and experience but they’re using software response programs to cull the applications, 99.99% of which never get viewed by a real human being. Prof. Peter Cappelli at Wharton has been researching this problem. He found one instance where a HR administrator anonymously applied for his own job and was rejected. Another case where 25,000 people submitted apps for a IT programmer position and the software concluded that no one was qualified. Still another example: requiring “X” number of years of experience with a certain software application even though that app has EXISTED for fewer than those “X” years. A lot of this is done to support the claim that there aren’t qualified American applicants in order to justify raising H1b visa limits.

      Not good at links but here goes:

      Automated Job Rejection
      Software Raises Bar for Hiring

      1. craazyboy

        “Another case where 25,000 people submitted apps for a IT programmer position and the software concluded that no one was qualified. Still another example: requiring “X” number of years of experience with a certain software application even though that app has EXISTED for fewer than those “X” years. ”

        That’s been the norm since the late 90s. Glad we are finally automating it so “active” programmers don’t have to drive all around town wasting gas and talking to those pimply faced employment agency kids.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I wonder if there is a huge market for ‘job-applying’ robots?

        ‘Get one and let it handle all the rejections from other robots…so you can have more time hunting and gathering food.’

  4. rusti

    A good article today at Green Tech Media debunking the straw man argument I see a lot in comments here about renewables only being feasible with energy storage on the same order of magnitude as total consumption. There are technical solutions available today that could massively curb total emissions, even in transportation with things like series hybrids, green light optimal speed advisories and traffic routing.

    Like most things featured on NC, the primary obstacles are political in overcoming entrenched interests and distributing resources in an equitable enough way that these become affordable on a realistic scale and setting pricing schemes that more accurately reflect environmental damage from energy generation and use, and addressing things like jet fuels where we aren’t close to replicating fossil fuel performance. But at the very least I wish people would think twice before they pull the “but batteries!” card.

    1. George Hier

      Someone on Slashdot linked to a study of German electricity for 2014 through September. Its a rare chance to get to look at some real world data and not the political or commercial hype. Fair warning, its a 6.5MB PDF.

      Plenty of meat here to read through, but if you cut to pages 39-41 you can see graphs of the daily production for solar, wind, and conventional sources. Solar’s worthless in winter (and of course, night), and the variation on the output for wind is insane. Nobody can design a grid to work around that! No wonder the power companies are screaming every time a country forces them to buy ‘green’ electricity over conventional. You still have to keep the conventional plants online, just in case, but you have no idea if you’ll need to run them in an hour, in a day, or in a week. What a waste.

      It seems to me that renewables will either remain useful only for peak load (and that depends on the weather cooperating) or you’d have to overbuild to such an extent that you would still be able to provide necessary power even on a bad day. That’d be prohibitively expensive.

      But I expect the Vichy Greenies will continue to brag about how much power their rooftop solar panels put out at noon every day, while simultaneously moaning about how they can’t get free power back at night from those big mean power companies. Scientific illiteracy is going to kill us before the rising oceans do.

      1. sd

        Concentrate on small scale shifts for instance, solar water heaters which work even in regions with cloudy weather. Multiply times 100 million homes and that’s significant energy savings.

      2. rusti

        Nobody can design a grid to work around that! No wonder the power companies are screaming every time a country forces them to buy ‘green’ electricity over conventional. You still have to keep the conventional plants online, just in case, but you have no idea if you’ll need to run them in an hour, in a day, or in a week. What a waste.

        I suggest actually clicking the article that I linked because the entire point is that diversifying the geographical area over which the grid is interconnected can help offset the variable generation of renewables. To an extent that minimizes the requirements for battery storage, demand response, or fossil fuel peaker plants which are all competing alternatives.

      3. beene

        In Ma. you can buy a solar system that will pay for itself. The method is sizing the system to produce more than your annual usage. The only limitation is orientation of roof, size of roof, or a ground mounted system. My system will with refunds from government will pay for itself in three years.

        1. rusti

          His point is that isolated rooftop solar installations aren’t really that meaningful if local utilities are forced to have the full generation capacity available on demand and not getting paid a premium for those times when the sun isn’t shining and your system doesn’t output anything. Extrapolating this line of thought to say the idea of “green” electricity is a waste is part of what the GTM article debunks.

          1. beene

            rusti, the only reason to stay on the grid is to sell the excess at auction; other wise if you were not able to sell the extra on the grid. You would be better off to go off grid using storage batters for the times your system was not producing.

      4. bruno marr

        “It seems to me that renewables will either remain useful only for peak load (and that depends on the weather cooperating) or you’d have to overbuild to such an extent that you would still be able to provide necessary power even on a bad day. That’d be prohibitively expensive.”

        Well, that depends on how much power you need. Conservation of resource is the first order of business. LED lighting is reducing energy consumption on my local college campus to the point of that the luminaire conversion pays for itself in TWO years. They also have covered selected parking areas with solar PV “carports”. (An efficient use of available land.) Some industries may need consistent, major power generators, but residential energy use can be met with distributed “alternate” energy sources. (Flat screen TV’s actually use much less power than ancient cathode screens.)

        And even on a “bad day”, a walk in the rain can be invigorating.

    2. Eeyores enigma

      Over half of all energy produced is wasted for a variety of reasons;
      but with even modest efficiency applications and real, serious energy storage solutions, (batteries play only a small part but are needed) we could cut carbon emissions by 75% in a very short time without any so called renewable energy applications at all.

      Building out so called alternative/renewable energy infrastructure will take massive amounts of resources generating enormous toxic waste and carbon emissions that some studies show are only partially offset by the energy produced.

      People think that if we just go all out and do a space race, manhattan project like push and get all this high tech energy capturing stuff in place then we would be good to go, and we would create millions of jobs in the process. This would only ramp up FF use, mining operations, cement production, foundries, and lots of driving around and consuming by the now well employed millions. What was it again that we were solving for?

      First and foremost me must stop toxic waste and carbon emissions then we can talk about how we go forward.

      1. beene

        Really much could be accomplished by returning cities transportation systems back to where they were before gas transportation eliminated electrical system that were originally used.

      2. rusti

        First and foremost me must stop toxic waste and carbon emissions then we can talk about how we go forward.

        I agree with your larger point about conservation and minimizing waste being generally easier and more effective than developing new technology, but don’t see much realistic alternative than to trying to work these two in an aggressive tandem unless we’re going to build ourselves back up from the stone age.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Until we reduce consumption per capita and stabilize our total consumption, no technological solution is permanent.

          The key is to vanquish our anthropo-exceptionalism.

      3. wbgonne

        We absolutely need a clean energy Manhattan Project and that is EXACTLY what Obama should have done in 2008. He would have simultaneously solved (or at least addressed) the two fundamental problems we face: AGW and an economy in desperate need of jobs. It would also begin the transition to an economy that rejects the myth of unlimited resources. The Green Party’s Green New Deal was a perfect blueprint. I naively believed Obama intended to do this.

    3. wbgonne

      “Like most things featured on NC, the primary obstacles are political in overcoming entrenched interests and distributing resources in an equitable enough way that these become affordable on a realistic scale and setting pricing schemes that more accurately reflect environmental damage from energy generation and use, and addressing things like jet fuels where we aren’t close to replicating fossil fuel performance.”

      Thanks for debunking that particular myth. Building on your point, the “primary obstacle” on alternative energy is indeed the same one we face on nearly everything: We have inverted the relationship between society and the economy. Now the people serve the economy instead of the reverse, and since the economy is controlled by the plutocrats, well, you can finish the equation. Fossil fuel provides the philosophical and economic foundation of plutocratic power and alternative energy is an attack on the established neoliberal order. If the planet must be baked to maintain power so be it. In 2008 Obama could have launched the Green New Deal proposed by the Green Party but he was a fraud sent by the plutocrats to pave the way for Hillary Clinton, who the country rejected in 2007. Obama’s job was to prove that hope was dead and change was impossible. This is all we get.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Plutocrats are not wed to fossil fuels.

        We shouldn’t underestimate their power to co-opt alternative energy.

        The one tool at our disposal that they can’t take away from us is our free will to consume less.

        1. wbgonne

          I disagree. Fossil fuel extraction and consumption is at the core of the plutocratic (neoliberal/neoconservative) world order, where “the economy” dominates the people and “the leaders” decide and control everything via their grip on the energy supply. Renewables are almost by definition populist and are therefore a direct challenge to plutocratic authority. Why do you think the plutocrats attack climate scientists and fund AGW-denial propaganda? Because they know where their bread is buttered, that’s why.

          (Personal conservation, while exemplary, is not the answer: we need systemic solutions.)

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I am not sure renewals are populist.

            Who controls rare earth minerals? Who is dumping solar panels?

            If ‘economy’ dominates the people, less consumption is ‘de-economy’ or ‘less economy.’

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Plutocrats are committing something worse than attacking conservation.

            They ignore it – as if it doesn’t exist…wiping it off the map of discussion.

            1. wbgonne

              I agree with that. The plutocrats decry conservation because it is anathema to the vicious capitalism we now endure, which is based on ceaseless growth and compulsive over-consumption. Ours is increasingly a world of confiscation and extraction by the super-rich. From health care (insurance) to the internet we are more and more being compelled to surrender our wealth for items so essential that they must be socialized.

              As for fossil fuels, the plutocrats recognize that AGW poses an existential challenge to their worldview because it directly contradicts the fallacy of limited resources and simultaneously highlights the necessity of collective action through government, which in turn is an affront to the corporate power that is at the dark heart of neoliberalism. Renewable energy sources, especially personal solar, loosen the bond of consumerism and therefore undermine corporate power. Not completely, of course, but it is a step in that direction and that is why the plutocrats attack climate science and spend fortunes to promote and produce anti-AGW propaganda.

    4. Another Gordon

      That Green Tech Media article is very consistent with the theme of a lecture I attended a few days ago by the CEO of a regional power grid operator (not a generator) here in the UK. He was very bullish about the potential for DEMAND management.

      Power grids have to be sized for maximum demand which is only fleeting so is very capital inefficient. Studies suggest that even now about 10% of demand peaks can be shifted by smart metering allied to suitable incentives with the barriers being primarily political since the technology is really rather simple.

      In the longer term (10 -20 years) he saw the growth of battery electric vehicles and heat pumps (for home heating) as offering immense scope for demand management that would dramatically reduce the capital required for the power grid and (by implication though this is not his beat) for generation.

      My take is that long term this is bullish for inflexible base load (e.g. nuclear) and also for renewables but less good for gas which will then have to sell purely on price – i.e. its ability to load-follow will be less of an advantage.

    5. heresy101

      While the GTM article is correct about the grid being able to incorporate renewables without storage being required, renewables with storage will provide major flexibility to the grid. About five years ago, BPA made a presentation where they would have no problem of integrating up to about 40% of wind into the northwest’s resources. Today CAISO, integrates 10-20% renewables into the grid without storage.
      Tomorrow is another story though. The IOU’s (PG&E etc) have procured about 40% renewables to meet the 33% renewable mandate in 2020 already. It is very likely that there will be California legislation mandating 50% renewables by 2030. Demand response and turning on/off resources will have a much harder time of meeting the load curve. Combined Cycle are binary in that they are on/off and need to run 4-6 hours run time to be efficient. Combustion turbines can respond much quicker but they still don’t qualify for spin (full output in 10 minutes).
      The article didn’t mention the obligatory “duck curve” and with the list of sponsors indicates that is was written to say that renewable energy will only be a small part of future resources and thus storage won’t be necessary. Additionally, the grid is described as being a one way grid and not a two way grid with much distributed generation. Our small utility is likely to face the duck curve in the next few years.

      Many changes are coming in how resources and the electric grid interact. EV’s that charge in 5 minutes, solar and storage being installed as a package (Solar City says all PV will have storage by 2020), storage is currently being installed in businesses just to avoid demand charges, the costs of solar are dropping rapidly and will be adopted more and more (muni prices for solar at Austin, San Antonio, etc are in the $60/MWh – $90/MWh w/o the ITC), and storage is getting to the ability to do 4 hour time shifting to meet the duck curve.
      Storage will be a huge factor in the two way grid that is developing until 20 years down the road when Hyundai brings out the thorium reactors that they are working on and the energy world get turned upside down.

    6. bob

      “green light optimal speed advisories and traffic routing”

      Wow. Be careful there. The commercial real estate industry pays good money to lobby for fucked up traffic. More cars + more time in the car + more time in front of the “business” = more valuation on paper.

      Trillions on paper. Fix traffic? It’s been fixed for a very, very long time.

  5. abynormal

    Location Location Location $till holding:
    Worker who may have handled Ebola specimen on cruise
    A health care worker who may have handled a specimen from the Liberian man who died from Ebola in Dallas is on a cruise ship in the Caribbean.

    Industry giant Carnival says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified it late Wednesday that a passenger on the Texas-based Carnival Magic was a lab supervisor at the Dallas hospital where Thomas Eric Duncan died from the disease earlier this month.

    Carnival says the unnamed woman has been placed in isolation on the ship and has shown no signs of illness.

    WHO should hit a zillion for xmas…
    On 31 July, the WHO and West Africa nations announced a requirement for $100 million in aid to help contain the disease.[14][15]

    On 28 August, the WHO published a roadmap to guide and coordinate the international response to the outbreak, aiming to stop ongoing Ebola transmission worldwide within 6–9 months.[19] It simultaneously revised its cost estimate for the global resources required over the next six months up to $490 million.[20]

    On 16 September, the WHO Assistant Director General, Bruce Aylward, announced that the cost for combating the epidemic will be a minimum of $1 billion. “We don’t know where the numbers are going on this,” according to Aylward.[22]

    1. craazyboy

      I think if we let people know that you will be quarantined on a cruise ship, we’ll get higher voluntary compliance when the CDC recommends quarantine. But it should be a dedicated “I Won The Quarantine Sweepstakes” cruise ship.

      Somehow I smell a WHO_BUCKS = Bitcoin opportunity, but I’m not awake enough yet to work it out exactly.

  6. financial matters

    RE Ebola the Johns Hopkins seminar that has been mentioned here several times is very good and is composed of 6 segments each of which addresses a timely topic

    part 1 David Peters MD, Chair, International Health, JHSPH
    part 2 Trish Perl MD, Professor of Medicine, Senior Epidemiologist JH
    part 3 Joshua Michaud PhD, International Devlopment, SAIS, JH
    part 4 Peter Jahrling PhD, Chief Scientist, NIAID Integrated Research Facility
    part 5 Joshua Epstein PhD Emergency Medicine JH
    part 6 Michael Osterholm CIDRAP

    Trish Perl emphasizes that Ebola is spread as far as we know through bloody body fluids, especially diarrhea and vomitus. This can also include relatively close-in generated aerosols containing bloody saliva and vomitus and can be generated by invasive procedures such as intubation.

    Most hospitals are used to dealing with infectious disease but I think it’s safe to say that this is an order of magnitude greater in that such a small exposure to these types of fluids can be infective so extreme care has to be taken. CDC has taken an important step to send in teams to help hospitals who get a patient but aren’t prepared at this level. It can take a lot of discipline to properly remove protective gear, not touch the eyes etc. And they recommend limiting the caregivers to these patients.

    Michael Osterholm makes the important point that this Ebola outbreak is different and that there is a learning curve. Has the virus changed or has the environment changed? Deforestation, more roads etc. He feels we are swimming 4 miles an hour against a 6 mile an hour current.

    He is worried about the disease spreading to Kinshasa which has slums larger than those is Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea combined. He feels that if western africa was a gas can waiting for a match central africa is a tanker truck.

    It will be very hard to stop this spread leading to an ongoing humanitarian crisis in Africa and more cases will spread to other parts of the world.

    We’ve shown that we can clamp down on cases with good early care of those infected but not a good time to let our guard down.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “Michael Osterholm makes the important point that this Ebola outbreak is different and that there is a learning curve. Has the virus changed or has the environment changed? Deforestation, more roads etc. He feels we are swimming 4 miles an hour against a 6 mile an hour current.”

      The one humble thing about science is that we know it’s only the current best knowledge or explanation.

      So, tomorrow (meaning in the future), we will presumably know more.

      Basically, the scientific attitude is, we don’t know for sure if it will go air-borne. We are learning everyday. Nature will humble us. Science advances through disasters, like the space shuttle Challenger, or the Tacoma bridge, and numerous other catastrophes. Science also advances through accidents – and only the naïve read about ‘accidental famous scientific discoveries’ believes that all accidents are and will be always positive.

      1. financial matters

        That definitely got people’s attention. Other things that likely enabled that was the virus getting into larger population centers, not burning out as quickly and having a longer asymtomatic incubation period.

  7. bmeisen

    lockheed fusin’
    proof that aviation is up against the wall: there is no alternative to kerosene if you want to propel 100 tons at 500 mph. what’s gonna happen first? über-scale natural disasters caused by global warming, oil price in the dark zone, or a mini reactor in an indestructable black-box thingee blasting us off to our vacation destinations?

  8. TommyWalnuts

    Ives, you SHOULD write about the illiquid junk bond market. You should write about the consortium of private banks and fund managers that have flogged their respective Fruity Pebbles version of junk fund into “retail” to the point that it can’t be unloaded. While the fund wholesalers embossed golf balls with fund tickers, the “investment leadership” of the private banks and wirehouses were steadily increasing their allocations to junk, large cap dividend strategies and option-overwritting funds. Did anyone check to see the size of the overall retail “position” and how it related to the liquidity of the intermediaries? And now the fund managers are wringing their hands? Really? After all this “jamming product”? What do the wirehouses say? Do they acknowledge knowing about the concentration? What are they telling their FA’s about all this? Has the position become too large to quietly whisper “I saw a small fired in the back row of the theater, you should probably leave”? That might piss off the fund managers that, um, trade with the investment banks that, um, sit on top of the retail wirehouses. Nothing to see here, move along. Do you think some hedgies might be setting up shorts? I’ll bet they gate when things go south and the fund managers are getting redeemed to death. And I bet you hear that some long only fund managers are considering redemption limits too. Dig around some prospectuses and see what you find. There you go. Next March’s big story here today. Good luck.

    1. Slick

      Yeah, that thing is like a diamond of cuteness. Like, it’s so dense with cuteness, that ambient cuteness slows down when it passes through it, and thus makes it even more cute. It’s probably smuggling some serious teeth inside that cute little mouth though, and would bite the s**t out of you if you dropped it in your shirt pocket. This is my experience with most cute things… like my 3 year old daughter.

  9. optimader

    Hunter Biden:..”..led to my administrative discharge…”

    aahh. well, it was just an “administrative discharge”.. maybe he was handling too many $500.00 bills at work?
    Chalk it up to Mistakes were Made, now he has more time to focus on a career in high stakes gambling WOPM. Should be some engaging loving family repartee at the T.Day dinner table!.

    1. wbgonne

      And his douchebag father was one of the original drug warriors: based on that, Ol’ Hunter should be doing time instead of fracking the world.

    2. Kurt Sperry

      Isn’t dad like the drug warrior’s drug warrior? Shouldn’t Hunter be serving 30 years hard time somewhere at Joe’s insistence?

    3. optimader

      Ok, admittedly I had to check… chalk it up to the equivalent of the shamefulness of slowing down to look at a car wreck, but this story is rift w/ irony, intrigue and duplicity. To the good, it just might mercifully stillbirth a future political career?
      At least GWB wasn’t stupid enough to go in for the flight physical, he just went AWOL instead.

      Now truth be told, it should be legal for Hunter to do coke or whateva as well as it should be legal for the NAVY to prohibit Hunter doing coke or whateva mind altering substances while in the service of the Country –heroically protecting us as a freshly minted Navy Public Affairs Support Officer. BUT the right to do coke or whateva should apply to the kids on the corner smoking a dube getting tagged and released for to start the legal papert-trail as well fortify the municipal coffers w/ a $250 fines.

      One of the notable distinctions IMO In the case of Hunter is that he’s an attorney and a sworn member of the Bar(s), and I’m not talking The Capital Lounge on Pennsylvania Ave.
      “Biden is a member of the bar in the state of Connecticut, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims”
      So I wonder if these entities are asking for a written statement of explanation from Hunter before sanctioning him???? I won’t hold my breath.

      “.. Mr. Biden, 44 years old, decided to pursue military service relatively late, beginning the direct-commission process to become a public-affairs officer in the Navy Reserve in 2012. Because of his age—43 when he was to be commissioned—he needed a waiver to join the Navy. He received a second Navy waiver because of a drug-related incident when he was a young man, according to people familiar with the matter. Military officials say such drug waivers aren’t uncommon.

      Mr. Biden was commissioned as an ensign on May 7, 2013, and assigned to Navy Public Affairs Support Element East in Norfolk, Va., a reserve unit, according to the Navy. In June 2013, after reporting to his unit in Norfolk, he was given a drug test, which turned up positive for cocaine, according to people familiar with the situation. Mr. Biden was discharged in February, the Navy said.”

      So maybe the most interesting backstory is who sat on this since February?

      All in all they are a family of poseurs, from Joe the humble roots plagiarist and Jill who insists on being referred to as Dr. in social introductions because she has a Doctor of Education in educational leadership an don down the line.

  10. Slick

    “The World’s Richest Man Tries To Defend Income Inequality ”

    Would royalty by any other name, smell as sweet?

    I don’t know where these guys get off thinking that some human endeavor of theirs should allow 100 generations of their offspring to never work. I mean, isn’t that rather like having a royal family? Why on earth should we allow the transition of this type of wealth between generations? Why should we ever allow another to accumulate this type of fortune? In our world, money is power, we now have individuals with net worth that compares to some countries. We know have numerous businesses, that have no responsibility to care for anyone besides their own profit, that wield much more power than many geopolitical entities.

    I respect Bill Gates work on some level, he was smart, inventive etc. and I understand he does humanitarian work, but there also an element in every fortune of standing in the right place at the right time with the right thing in your hand. In other words – I wasn’t all you. It was also your education system, the safe and relatively friend society you lived in, your ability to spend leisure time doing something besides scrounging for food. Telling yourself that it was you, and that you were so special, somehow, that you “deserve” this type of compensation, is the height of arrogance. It reminds me, a bit, of telling one’s self that one was selected by god himself, to be the representative here on earth and that your will be done.

    A proper estate tax would do a lot to curb this sort of thing. You can make enough to keep the next generation perfectly spoiled, but that should be about it. I have been super disappointed that we haven’t heard so much as a peep from the Democrats about this, and if you ever think they aren’t in the very deep pockets of the .001%, ask yourself – why the silence?

    1. alex morfesis

      why would you respect gates work

      he stole an operating system to sell to his mothers friend

      don’t let bill suggest his power base comes from his fathers law practice

      his mother was on the national board of the United Way with a certain fellow who was running IBM at the time…SHE is the one who got MicroScam the IBM support to counter Steve Jobs…Last I checked, they were bootlegging DOS and well…the rest is history…or in this case, since his mom fixed it…its herstory…

      1. slick

        Well, I was throwing that out to say Gates did something on his own. If it was enlisting his parents friends, stealing an OS, whatever – it only serves the point that these guys are real grade A+ d**ks to let the system work for them, then come back with, “No, no we know how to spend our money better than governments, we don’t want to pay any additional tax rates like our maid (do you have any idea how hard it is to hide money these days?!?), we deserve to have all the political control we can buy, and by the way, you are an immoral, freedom-hating, commie .”

        You never hear any of these guys say, “Hey, the system worked wonderfully for me, and we should do whatever it takes to make sure others have that same opportunity of safety, a respectable primary public education, circumstances that allow for creative of mind and experimentation.” Do you?

      2. voxhumana

        Indeed. It’s pretty well known – by those who choose to know – that Bill Gates stole DOS.

        Quite a role model for the young Zuckerberg, I imagine.

        If you want a direct line to the White house (and, of course, obscene wealth) steal something important.

        It’s the American way!

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Another woman silenced by history.

          All kids should know the pivotal role played by Bill’s mother.

          It’s not too late to make her birthday PC Day.

          1. optimader

            Women at that time in this country had to excel to just run in place. So she knew a guy who new a guy, so what..I don’t understand the harshing on Mother Gates.

            Bill may or may not be a d*ck , but probably a lot of his presentation can be attributed to Aspbergers. I will say as an adult he has apparently put the merits of abstract wealth into some perspective and it spinning much of it off through his foundation. Some may not agree w/ his choices how to distribute it, but truly are the choices any worse that those made by our Fed Gmmint? Im thinking maybe not so much. At the minimum, he his probably getting fewer people killed w/ his choices?

            1. craazyboy

              I think if we are gonna be rich people bashing, Bill should come way far down the list.

              Same goes for using family & friends contacts to get a biz or career started. (Prezes & VPs loaning the US Military/NATO to “protect” oil&gas interests is bit over the top, tho)

              How ’bout the shocking story “Martin Sheen helped Charlie Sheen start a career in show biz”?

              1. optimader

                “Same goes for using family & friends contacts to get a biz or career started”

                Actually, as an adult I now reflect that I was really a moron for not. Play every reasonably moral/legal angle you can is my advice to any young people nowadays.

              1. optimader

                didn’t mean to imply you were harshing Beef, referring to up thread.

                “behind every successful man, there is a great woman”
                mmm maybe not quite true.. how about behind every successful woman is a great behind? AHHHGH, NO THATS NOT IT EITHER, Hillary flashed into my mind… I need to go scrub my visual

              1. optimader

                I seriously doubt that BG has any intention or motivation to fund killing anyone, whereas something like half your tax dollars go to that mission.
                That said, I still wouldn’t want to be trapped in an elevator w/ the guy, he still kinda creeps me out, don’t know why exactly some seriously lower brain stem process going on. Maybe he is an alien?

                1. abynormal

                  BG Ted Talks “The world today has 6.8 billion people… that’s headed up to about 9 billion. Now if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent.”

                  1. optimader

                    Lets hope so, but I would like to hear the context, seems like improving efficacy in these area will tend to increase population, no?

                    1. abynormal

                      “Let’s hope so.” …what is the value of the context? you already agree…nothing for you to learn.

                      “vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower ‘that'”
                      his value of others life is a ‘that’…sociopath.

                      he can’t help himself…he showed his hand with vaccines. healthcare and reproductive service would increase life.

                      “I’m an ‘intelligent’ sociopath. I don’t have problems with drugs, I don’t commit crimes, I don’t take pleasure in hurting people, and I don’t typically have relationship problems. I do have a complete lack of empathy. But I consider that an advantage, most of the time. Do I know the difference between right and wrong, and do I want to be good? Sure. … A peaceful and orderly world is a more comfortable world for me to live in. So do I avoid breaking the law because it’s ‘right’? No, I avoid breaking the law because it makes sense.”
                      Thomas, Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight

                      awe lill opti

                    2. optimader

                      Yes, lets hope so.
                      I find the anti-vaccine crowd, in a word, breathtaking. If the Gate Foundation is perseveres w/financing a successful vaccine for Malaria, BG’s time on this Planet will have been more than justified.

                      “The Vaccine Conspiracy: Bill Gates is NOT Trying to Kill Your Children

                      It seems as if Bill Gates’ 2010 TED speech fed antivaxers a conspiracy theory in which they now believe, and are avidly blogging, that Bill Gates is trying to kill us all through immunizations to lower CO2 emissions down to zero.

                      Did we watch the same speech? I’m afraid not. See, I watched the entire mere 27 minutes and 49 seconds of Bill Gates on energy: Innovating to 0! Where as most of the anti vax community watched 4 minutes and 40 seconds of the speech out of context on youtube. After all, when you’re busy trying to save your loved ones from being murdered with vaccines, who has time to be thorough?!

                      The Conspiracy Theory

                      Bill Gates wants to lower CO2 emissions down to zero by eliminating the population of people. Here is this nifty formula (beware, it requires some multiplication):

                      CO2= P x S x E x C

                      (CO2= People x Services they require x Energy used to provide services x CO2 per unit of energy)

                      Phew. Simple enough, right? Speaking of simple, if we’re trying to get CO2 down to zero, algebra tells us that one of these numbers in the formula is going to have be zero.

                      This is where the frenzy begins. If we get the P variable down to zero, everything to the left of the equation will be eliminated! Problem solved! Right? Herein lies the rub: if the population is zero, there will not be a person on the planet who needs to worry about CO2 emissions. No population equals no CO2, equals no one here to care or benefit from it.

                      So New World Order theorists claim Bill will kill off 1 billion people with vaccines. Let’s strap ourselves into the mind of a NWO theorist and pretend that’s true. In a population that will grow to 9 billion, let’s subtract a billion. *Poof* Now we have 8 billion people left on the planet. That’s 8 billion greater than zero, which we’ve already learned that one of these variables is going to have to be close to zero to eliminate CO2 emissions. So it’s safe to say that algebraically and physically, we are not going to solve this problem by eliminating the P variable.

                      If you watch the seminar, Bill Gates recognizes that the population is growing, heading to 9 billion. “If we do a really great job on vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that perhaps 10-15%.” Chicken Little, the sky is falling! Bill Gates is trying to kill us with vacccines! Here’s the dose of rationalism- there’s no sinister plot here, vaccines actually do help lower the birth rate of the population.

                      Whoa, vaccines help lower the population growth rate? YES. It sounds counter intuitive, because science, the last couple of centuries, and the current population are all solid evidence that vaccines lower mortality rates.

                      How do lower mortality rates slow the growth of the population? Lower mortality rates correlate to lower birth rates because they eliminate many of the risk factors that drive birth rates higher. Vaccinnes contribute to health, well being, and longevity- loosening the pressure of early procreation. Couples are waiting longer to conceive children as our expected life span allows us to first fulfill our educaional and career oriented goals.

                      Now, if you contine watching, you will realize the P variable is rising; Bill isn’t trying to lower the population down to zero. Nor is he trying to lower the services they require, in fact; he acknowledges that the services are a very good thing, “Getting rid of poverty means providing these services to nearly everyone on the planet and it’s a great thing for this number to go up.”

                      So, in our equation, CO2= P x S x E x C, the only variables we have left to touch on (remember, one of these will have to be nearly zero to “innovate” our CO2 emissions down to zero), is the energy required for necessary services and the CO2 emissions from the energy required.

                      The whole purpose of Bill’s seminar at TED is to address our current energy crisis, which you would know had you watched the actual seminar. Find another conspiracy to feed on, NWO theorists! This one has been debunked.”

    2. Thorstein

      For those of you who didn’t know:

      Obituary from the New York Times:
      Mary Gates, 64; Helped Her Son Start Microsoft

      Published: June 11, 1994

      Mary Gates, a prominent Seattle businesswoman who helped her son, William H. Gates 3d, get the contract that led to a lucrative relationship with I.B.M. for his fledgling Microsoft Corporation, died at her home early today. She was 64.

      [She was the daughter of a banker and was “the first woman to chair the national United Way’s executive committee where she served most notably with IBM’s CEO, John Akers, and the first woman on the First Interstate Bank of Washington’s board of directors.”]

      I guess that’s Billy’s definition of “self-made” billionaire.

      1. readerOfTeaLeaves

        For what little it’s worth, here’s an anecdote:
        My mother, who was legendary for her curiosity, adventurous spirit, and smarts, was a long-time member of several Univ of Washington Faculty Wives groups. That was ‘back in the day’ of Seattle in the 60s, 70s, and 80s; an era now gone, but those women nurtured friendships that lasted decades.

        Mary Gates was a Regent of the Univ of Washington for a number of years (IIRC in the 70s), and she came to one of the Faculty Wives meetings to explain current state budgets, university goals, etc, etc, etc. The women who heard her had plenty of questions. It’s a fair guess that their questions were well-informed, because these women had the leisure, smarts, and interest to follow current affairs (in order to advocate for what they perceived to be the public interest). In addition, many of these women served or boards or other organizations that required looking at budgets and doing some long range planning: civic responsibility was assumed to be a core part of any thinking person’s activities.

        Mary Gates showed a mastery of the topics that she presented about university budgets and long term plans; what she didn’t know, she knew how to find out later. The consensus among my mother’s friends – not an intellectual slouch in the group – was that Mary Gates was one of the smartest, best-informed people they’d ever met.

        Keep in mind that the financial security of this group of women was deeply tied to the well-being of the university, which in turn relied upon the fiscal condition – and political integrity – of the government of the State of Washington. IOW, knowledge of budgets, political dynamics, and the ability to plan ahead were held in the highest regard by this group of women. They were ‘wowed’ by Mary Gates.

        I’m not brown-nosing about the Gates, and personally I wouldn’t work at Microsoft for all the tea in China. Nevertheless, I have a deep regard for what might be called ‘social history’: how certain times and places seem particularly vibrant and productive.

        What gets lost in most news items is the zeitgeist: the sense of a community at a certain time and place, as well as the fact that some people really do make a lasting impression. It’s not an accident that it was Wm Gates Sr who got his son started on philanthropy; IMVHO, that kind of attitude came out of the civic culture that was evident in the Seattle region in the 60s, 70s, 80s (and still exists).

        Just for the record, it was Paul Allen, son of two librarians, who had the original, creative insight about ‘the backslash’ that led to Microsoft. His father, Ken Allen, was the head of the Univ of Washington Libraries at a time when the system had one of the largest medical libraries in the world (still does), and the system had over 20 branches of specialty libraries, including Business, Engineering, Public Documents, and other large collections. IOW, from very early on, Paul Allen would have been exposed to the problems of organizing, identifying, and retrieving vast quantities of information.

        Nevertheless, it required the law to ‘own’, ‘copyright’, and ‘copy’ ‘the backslash’ and its related technologies. The librarians’ son would never have ‘monitized’ that backslash and its technical decedents without attorneys. However, it is highly debatable that an attorney’s son would had the epiphany about the backslash – which is an organizational detail related to the way in which libraries are organized.

        Bottom line: the Gates family – as well as the Allen’s – were fortunate to live in a fairly egalitarian, democratic civic culture that emphasized education, social responsibility, and civility. All the fools (Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, and the appalling Romney top my list) who blather on about how one or another tax scheme, or tax avoidance scheme, will lead to ‘prosperity’ are ignoramuses. Prosperity comes from communities with libraries, schools, civility, reasonable order, and respect for learning. Whether it was Athens in 500 BC, or Florence in 1500 AD, or London in 1600, or Toronto in 1950, what matters is the quality of public life that enables everyone to have a shot at prospering.

        This was a long comment, and too personal. However, I feel that NC advocates for the kinds of social space, and economic models, that lead to prosperity. And that is why I make a point of spending some of my time here each day. There are plenty of people who read and comment here who, IMVHO, are the kind of folks who ‘pay it forward’, and that’s the kind of attitude that exemplified Seattle in the 70s. You just never know what may germinate from that kind of zeitgeist, but it’s bound to be something good.

        1. optimader

          “All the fools (Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, and the appalling Romney top my list) who blather on about how one or another tax scheme, or tax avoidance scheme, will lead to ‘prosperity’ are ignoramuses”
          you forgot Bono :(

          To your comment, I see no reason why Bill Gates deceased mother should be tangentially slandered due to her fathers profession or her personal associations.

          1. readerOfTeaLeaves

            Ah, you are wonderfully succinct.

            Bono’s tax issues are disappointing. And as a huge U2 fan, I contributed to all that filthy lucre. Damn.

            But Bono doesn’t lecture the rest of us about how he’s a brilliant businessman who ‘created jobs’, when in fact he was dismantling companies and outsourcing work. Nor does he winge on about the benefits of austerity.
            Gotta give him that, at least ;-)

    1. Banger

      Everything W asking ton does is deeply political and about negotiating deals there are no exceptions. You have to have a player who knows how to navigate the system or nothing can get done if there is a TINA issue that is one of them. The alternative is what?

  11. ambrit

    A call out to the old hands in the market here.
    Does anyone remember an old ‘quant’ trading formula that took special notice of times when markets swung wildly up and down from day to day? Today we have the VIX, but in the Way Back I seem to remember my Dad watching price fluctuations for amplitude and periodicity. (He did “The Charts” in the morning before going off to work. Similar to ‘Uncle Gerry’ doing the Daily Racing form. Both were draftsmen, engineers, builders; hands on thinkers.)

    1. craazyboy

      I remember the same thing. The market, quaintly known as the DOW back then, went sideways thru the 70s with some hills and valleys. So you chart the daily prices of a few of your favs (ones you were sure weren’t going belly up in the next 5 years) . Buy the valleys, sell the peaks.

      Nothing sophisticated like having a HFT Bot read feeds from all the various Fed Governor outlets.

      I’d make one too, but after 6 years, I still can’t make myself believe it really works.

      1. ambrit

        I remember using that method. When the stock would drop, if the P/E wasn’t outside the range, I’d buy more to bring the ‘break even’ point down. (That lead to some nail biters, I assure you.)
        My Dads’ big score came from an overheard conversation at the dreaded weekly company cocktail hour mixer. He rushed home and, as my Mother recalls it begged, borrowed, and unsuccessfully tried to mortgage me. The windfall from that delivered the down payment on the house on Miami Beach.
        The volatility marker I’m thinking of went something like, when the market begins swinging wildly for a certain length of time and within certain parameters, a break in the market is imminent. (Are we seeing something like that now?)

        1. craazyboy

          I know people have always watched volatility, but I can’t remember how it was done B.V. [Before VIX] either. There have always been the tech analysis charter types with dozens of chart formations they would blather about.

          We’ve had a number of false alarms since 2009, so I don’t know if this is the big one or not. Personally, I think the DOW is 10,000 right now and they have been lying to us about it the past 4 years.

          1. ambrit

            Oooooh! Chart the stock market in constant dollars indexed to 1970!
            We need to crowd source a book; “Big Killings in the Market: The First 5000 Years.”

  12. Banger

    Great post in Pando by The War Nerd–don’t miss it. He believes ISIS is not an effective fighting force. I don’t buy that completely. Much depends on who is commanding in the field–we’ll see if ISIS forces near Baghdad are as poor as those as those who besieged Kobane. I, personally suspect bribes. I think the Turks were tired of the publicity since it has become glaringly obvious that they were supporting ISIS. Mr. Washington Operator Panetta called out the WH for being wimpy and that set in motion a series of events that are always mysterious and Byzantine in both Turkey and Washington.

    1. Paper Mac

      Brecher/Dolan’s not worth taking at face value. The video he links has nothing to do with his description- he calls it Kurds “shadowing” an ISIS T55, which it is clearly not- it’s actually a group of FSA infantry escorting one of their captured SAA tanks, getting hit by an SAA RPG or ATGM, from 2013, as someone in Brecher/Dolan’s comments points out. Nothing to do with Kobane. Dolan’s inability to follow up his sources mixed with the constant ethnic essentialism make him a dubious source on these conflicts at best.

  13. Tyler

    Tyler Cowen is a fraud, a scumbag. He’s a paid shill for the Koch brothers. He’s a member of George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, a right-wing front group that was initiated by the Koch brothers.

    We shouldn’t speak his name here ever again. He’s a non-person. He is of the dark side, if you will. :)

    1. readerOfTeaLeaves

      Tyler Cowen has blamed NIMBY’s (Not in My Back Yard) for the problems with America’s slagging economy. Not a word of tax havens, short-term spreadsheet-obsessed management, offshoring, nor dwindling resources.

      Nope. Home-owning, middle class, PTA moms like me are the problem.

      No wonder economists are held in low repute these days.

    2. jrs

      That may be true, who pays the piper is always worth mentioning and re-mentioning so that it can’t be forgotten (although I don’t happen to know how much Tyler Cowen actually gets from the Kochs. The thing is a lot of people of libertarian bent ended up taking some Koch money at one point or other, including Glenn Greenwald of course. A few of them are even decent people.). But I don’t think the world breaks down quite that cleanly in reality. I often find stopped clocks to be right about some things. So is the New York Times.

      Prominent people that aren’t bought out be Rep or Dem think tanks or else MSM. are hard to find (sure obscure bloggers may have no such funding, but I mean people with more prominence than that). Who really funds so called progressive organizations like say firedoglake? Is it really reader supported by small donations? They aren’t saying.

      1. jrs

        By the way I don’t even much enjoy Tyler Cowen’s blog but I vaguely recall once in a rare while there being something interesting there that I only found by someone linking, because again I don’t enjoy his blog :)

  14. voxhumana

    re: the firedoglake essay about the Affordable Care Act. Walker is that site’s resident Democratic cheerleader although he tries to couch the fact through tepid and often less than accurate micro-criticisms of the Party. Read the comments.

    the ACA is the GOP plan.

    1. wbgonne

      FireDogLake sent itself into irrelevance when Jane Hamsher refused to break with Obama in 2012 and declined to back Jill Stein and the Greens. That was FDL’s moment and it may have made a difference but Hamsher was too terrified of being Naderized by “the liberals” to do the right thing. So now — while there are still some fine commenters there — FDL is just sad and irrelevant. We already have DailyKos and we sure as hell don’t need another.

      1. Jess

        Yes, wbgonne. (I used to see you over there when I posted as Beach Populist, before I got tossed off for attacking Bill Press during his Book Salon.) You’re so right about Jane’s fear of being “Naderized”. A good example of this was when Hamsher instituted the “Carnac Rule”, which basically said that, because we really couldn’t know what Dem officials were thinking, we couldn’t speculate in a negative way about their true motives. We could speculate about and denigrate the motives of the R’s and the non-Dem elites all we wanted, but with Dems everything had to be fact-based.

        As I understand it, readership is down about 50% from its peak. Of course, the loss of David Dayen was a huge hit and I’ve seen indications that Hamsher harbors some hostility towards him. And a lot of long-time commenters are not longer active. These days about the only real good stuff they have are the cross-posts from Peter Van Buren and Tom Englehardt.

        1. wbgonne

          Very true. When DDay left so did FDL’s heft. All the more reason Hamsher had to make FDL the anti-Daily Kos. Alas, yet another profile in cowardice. Speaking of bloggy war stories, I was banned from FDL for suggesting that frack water be delivered to the White House residence since Obama’s policies are forcing lots of other people to drink it.

        2. wbgonne

          Jess, my reply to you is MIA but may show up soon. In the meantime . . . losing DDay was devastating to FDL and Jane Hamsher should have known better than to aim for DailyKos-lite.

  15. JTFaraday

    re: “Obama May Name ‘Czar’ to Oversee Ebola Response,” New York Times. “Why don’t the Republicans approve a Surgeon General instead? That job has been vacant for what, two years? That is the sort of thing a Surgeon General is supposed to do.”


    1. wbgonne

      Out of curiosity, why do you think Obama didn’t just say that? And why he didn’t also mention the GOP’s professed abhorrence of “czars” generally? Is Obama just a whipped dog now doing whatever the GOP instructs him? Jump! How high?

      1. JTFaraday

        I have no idea what you’re asking. I can’t read Obama’s mind either.

        …Which is not to say I’ve never tried.

        1. wbgonne

          As a matter of basic political operation, when the “opposition party” does something wildly hypocritical the “normal” response is to point that out, not to silently and meekly capitulate and follow instructions. I just think that Obama’s behavior is weird on a very basic political level. It’s as if he really has no clue how to do the job even after 6 years. But I get it: you’re no mind reader. Fair enough. Me neither.

    2. ambrit

      I think that the Surgeon Generals position isn’t filled because that post usually goes to a real physician. Real physicians with the experience to oversee large organizations are not prone to meekness or self abnegation. Thus, the present bunch of lame sods in Washington can not allow someone who can resist idiocy competently anywhere near them. Too many teachable moments available for one thing. If the Washington Pervertocracy won’t learn, the people will.

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