Links 10/7/14

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Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded for New Light Source Wall Street Journal

The Butterfly Effect: Predicting Tsunamis from Ripples MIT Technology Review (David L)

Should we upgrade photosynthesis and grow supercrops? New Scientist (Robert M)

Oceans Getting Hotter Than Anybody Realized Climate Central (David L)


101st Airborne soldiers heading to Liberia for Ebola fight Stars and Stripes

Obama Vow on Ebola Screening Means Plugging Airport Gaps BusinessWeek

How the NRA is making the Ebola crisis worse MSNBC (furzy mouse)

Bigger Problem in US Than Ebola: Enterovirus D68 Spreading Respiratory, Paralytic Diseases in Children Jim White, emptywheel

New York City Steps Up Preparations to Be Ready for Ebola Cases New York Times (furzy mouse)

Hong Kong

Hong Kong protests – looking for an endgame Financial Times

With the world watching, will Beijing yet grant concessions on Hong Kong political reform?
South China Morning Post

How Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Is Trying to Make a Deal With Protesters WSJ China Real Time

Hong Kong Protests Carefully Crafted, Not Spontaneous Real News Network

China’s Financial Floodgates Project Syndicate

Labour market effects of migration in OECD countries VoxEU

France cautions Germany not to push Europe too far on austerity Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

SFO secures first UK Libor guilty plea Financial Times (Richard Smith)

Who loses from punishing Russia? BBC


Mexico federal agents disarm city’s entire police force after student attacks DW


Isis enters Syria-Turkey border town Guardian

ISIS’ Ammunition Is Shown to Have Origins in U.S. and China New York Times

Ellsberg Sees Vietnam-Like Risks in ISIS War Consortiumnews

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

“When Google Met WikiLeaks” wendydavis, Firedoglake

Not on a Social Network? You’ve Still Got a Privacy Problem Wired (David L)

New York Quickly Nixes Cellphone Tracking Devices in Phone Booths Intercept

25 weirdest things in the Internet of Things IT World (David L)

Voodoo Economics, the Next Generation New York Times

Why public investment really is a free lunch Larry Summers, Financial Times

U.S. FSOC May Tweak Process For Spotting Super-risky Firms Reuters

Paulson: AIG bailout designed to be punishment U.S. News. Note that Greenberg’s lawyers made this an important plank of their argument, but Paulson contended it to be necessary. I need to see trial transcripts, but they also placed great weight on the corporate law violations, and it does not look like the plaintiffs scored any points on this front.

Class Warfare

The Lower Unemployment Rate is a Recovery – for the Top 10% Real News Network. Interview with Pavlina Tcherneva.

Obama Says Our Businesses Are Punishing Workers masaccio, Firedoglake. Furzy mouse: “A good rant.”

Michigan judge rules Kalamazoo county has right to take woman’s house over one missed tax payment Daily Kos (furzy mouse)

Online Payday Loans Cost More Than Storefront Payday Loans And Customers Are Harassed More Egregiously Pamela Foohey, Credit Slips. It never occurred to me that you could segment the awfulness of payday loans by sales channel.

Housing Rights Group Says HUD Program Helps Wall Street, Hurts Homeowners TruthOut

Antidote du jour (David L):

pig hose links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. abynormal

    Woman loses home missing One tax payment…Question: Who Want’s The House?
    (id begin with a connection between city council and the bank that rec’d the 9 notices…scream loud and hit hard immediately)

    “The person who profits from this law will complain bitterly, defending his acquired rights. He will claim that the state is obligated to protected and encourage his particular industry; that this procedure enriches the state because the protected industry is thus able to spend more and to pay higher wages to the poor workingmen.
    Do not listen to this sophistry by vested interests. The acceptance of these arguments will build legal plunder into a whole system. In fact, this has already occurred. The present-day delusion is an attempt to enrich everyone at the expense of everyone else; to make plunder universal under the pretense of organizing it.”
    Frédéric Bastiat, The Law

    1. Thorstein

      My sister, who used to live in Kalamazoo, dug a little deeper and made the following observation:

      Hmmmmm….this website shows 7 notices sent to her home address, not to banks as the article states. Which site do we believe?

      PDF records of notices

      I’m wondering if she was renting out her home and didn’t bother changing her address so that she wouldn’t have to report rental income; iow, evading income taxes. It’ll be interesting to see how this turns out.

      1. Thorstein

        I remember Lambert saying there’s some way to retract a post . . . but until I find it, my sister now writes:

        Just watched the video and the woman does seem honest, and I also heard that she paid 2012 taxes but wasn’t informed that 2011’s hadn’t been paid. Now I’m on her side, lol. Maybe the Title company photoshopped those addresses in the 7 notices supposedly sent to her home. I’d believe they’d try to cover up their errors before I’d think the woman is lying. (Neighbors would know that she and her girls had been living there.) But if she’s mentally challenged after the car accident, who knows?

        1. Veri

          They wouldn’t have to photoshop the addresses. They’d go into a computer, change the dates, and print them out.

          If the notices are not stamped by a USG official or notary and dutifully recorded, I could print those notices out, if I chose to do so.

          Anything recorded in electronically, can be changed. Controls can be evaded.

  2. New Deal democrat

    A couple of quick comments on the Tcherneva interview:

    As an initial matter, the headline doesn’t really reflect the transcript of the interview. But, headlines are clickbait, so …

    Tcherneva’s point about monetary policy can be summed up as the Doctrine of the First Receiver. Inflation isn’t transmitted instantaneously throughout the system. When money is injected into the economy, the first receivers of that money get the benefit of current prices, and additional purchasing power. By the time the money has gotten to the last receiver, all of the inflation is in the system, and the person is getting very little new money – and may actually have less purchasing power. When the Federal Reserve (and the Treasury) target banks with new money, they are the first receivers. Joe/Jane Sixpack are the last receivers. That’s pretty much what we’ve seen since 2008.

    I do take issue with one comment in the interview, where Tcherneva says,” what is notable for this recovery is that our recovery is the slowest we have ever seen. We have still not recovered all the lost payrolls.” If you adjust by the civilian labor force, this jobs recovery is very similar to the jobs recovery after the double-dip 1980 and 1982 recessions. We did not regain the 1979 peak until 1988. On a similar basis, we are within 1% of the 2007 peak now. (Unfortunately, the series Not in Labor Force, Want a Job Now didn’t start until 1994. Otherwise I would add that to the comparison). This, by the way, is the point Tim Duy was making. You criticized his rhetoric, but I didn’t see any criticism of his data).

    1. Banger

      Tcherneva’s figures show that the recovery, from the POV, of the bottom 90% isn’t really much of a recovery. But the important thing to understand is that the Narrative has decided we are in “revovery.” So, if this is a recovery then what are we recovering? What we are not institutionalizing, through the choices we have collectively made by our representative government is that we want to, collectively, go down the road to neofeudalism and that the only class that counts is the top 10%. This is a political and cultural issue–this is, what we want. A clear Upstairs/Downstairs world of nobility and servants–everyone will know their place and those who don’t fit into that structure are doomed scavenging at the edges. The “solutions” of providing either income support, jobs, or better training employment are, on the whole, not wanted by Americans. We have to accept that this new social/political arrangements appears to be written in stone. I see no political movement to counter this tendency.

    2. witness

      “Last receivers” get crumbs fallen on the floor from the high banquet table. This is what “trickledownecon” means.

    3. Benedict@Large

      The Doctrine of the First Receiver depends upon the Quantity Theory of Money being true. It isn’t.

  3. abynormal

    “Hell is truth seen too late.” Hobbes
    “one Ebola patient only infects two more patients while most other viral diseases result in more infections per infected person. We don’t have information on the number of others infected by each person infected with Enterovirus D68, but the closely related polioviruses produce 5 to 7 new infections resulting from each infected person.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The way they game everything, even with people’s lives, we will get ‘only X number of dead, instead of the projected X + Y number of fatalities’ and upon the news, the stock market is up 2,000 points.

  4. abynormal

    its always scarier when a hollerer talk soft.
    Stockett, The Help

    Bloomberg Editors…YOU weak spineless inapt excuse for information gathers SHUTTHEFUCKUP
    “The first case of an Ebola victim traveling to the U.S. has not been handled perfectly, but the U.S. health-care system is well-poised to keep the disease under control.”

    “Flight restrictions only make it more difficult to get medical personnel and equipment into West Africa, where some 4,000 people are known to have Ebola. (More than 3,300 have already died.) And they restrict what trade with the countries is still going on.”

    “People also tend to be more truthful when answering verbal questions than written ones.”

    “Nigeria has been able to contain the disease with a quick and thorough response. There is every reason to believe that doctors and public-health workers in the U.S. will be able to do the same.” The steep curve has naturally leveled off… IT’S STILL A HOTBED!

    It was a constant problem: too much control or no control at all.
    Flynn, Gone Girl

  5. abynormal

    On Oct. 8, Interested skywatchers should attempt to see the total eclipse of the moon and the rising sun simultaneously. The little-used name for this effect is called a “selenelion,” a phenomenon that celestial geometry says cannot happen.
    In a perfect alignment like this (called a “syzygy”), such an observation would seem impossible. But thanks to Earth’s atmosphere, the images of both the sun and moon are apparently lifted above the horizon by atmospheric refraction. This allows people on Earth to see the sun for several extra minutes before it actually has risen and the moon for several extra minutes after it has actually set.
    As a consequence of this atmospheric trick, for many localities east of the Mississippi River, watchers will have a chance to observe this unusual sight firsthand.

    FLOR D’LUNA ‘ ))

    1. efschumacher

      The Earth, Moon and Sun were in syzygy
      and astronomers became very byzygy
      “This alignment portendeth
      The Universe endeth,
      Not with a bang but with a whizzygy”.

      Or the way things are going more likely:
      “Not with a bang but with our wizardry”.

  6. James Levy

    Ah, the Kurdish Alamo stories suffusing the news. Can you imagine if the French had armored units sitting on the border a few miles away and stood back and did nothing, what the press firestorm of outrage and contempt would look like? But the Turks, well, they are just watching this disaster in slow motion and getting cover from every direction. The Turks were given a pass funneling men and supplies to ISIS, now they are given a pass for not intervening against ISIS to save those Kurds. Such immunity! Soon they’ll be up there with the Saudis and the Israelis in the “can do no wrong” sweepstakes. What a joke.

    1. Banger

      I’d like to know more about what forces are it work within Turkey that seem to favor ISIS or did in the past. Turkey seems to be offering ISIS fighters safe haven, the ability to pass-through the country, and medical care. Has any MSM outlet done any reporting on this?

    2. lulu

      I always got the impression that the Kurds were almost universally despised in the Middle East, at the very lowest end of the social pecking order — people everyone could agree were “below them,” like a caste system. And aren’t they special enemies of the Turks, having made problems for them within Turkey itself for many years? I thought the high water mark for the Kurds was during the Bush war in Iraq when they became the last man standing and our good pals, allied in the struggle for democracy and pipelines against Saddam, with the promise of autonomy in their own regions. Fat lot of good that did them, apparently… Maybe Kobane is a setup, where the jihadists will be lured to their doom after targeting the Kurds there, for whom they probably have reserved a special vengeance after Erbil and helping retake the Mosul dam farther south, or maybe the Kurds will be left to twist in the wind to encourage Turkey to enthusiastically join the fray, such as it is. Would those A-10 Warthogs be a more economical choice against ISIS than high tech carrier based jets, thus used less sparingly and to possibly greater effect?

      1. Banger

        It may be that there’s more money to be mad the way they’re doing it or the Warthogs may be too easy for ISIS to shoot down since they do now have sophisticated arms systems and the expertise to use them–or so it seems.

    3. John Jones


      If you look at the history of the country and what it has gotten away with they were already up there a long time ago.

  7. Banger

    The Ellsberg piece referred to above is well worth reading particularly for those who have read the Pentagon Papers and followed Ellsberg’s career and life. In his interview he states that he regrets not blowing the whistle in 1964-65 when the Vietnam War secretly escalated and the Administration began to lie about its intentions, plans and operations. Ellsberg ureges insiders to leak despite the danger they face under the Espionage Act.

    Ellsberg believes we are on the well-worn Vietnam path–gradual escalation including ground troops. His solutions involve diplomacy and I think he’s right. For example, why hasn’t Turkey closed it’s border and arrested ISIS fighters in Turkey who are being treated in Turkish hospitals? It is Saudi money and Turkish help that has made ISIS what it is and until we address that fact the rest is only the same old shit of arms manufacturers and “contractors” making a bundle out of this new bit of slaughter.

  8. Eeyores enigma

    It never ceases to amaze me how bright, intelligent, academic folk even, still believe in magic when it comes to growing plants.

    Tweaking a plants ability to photosynthesize will only speed up the degradation of the soil fertility. You would simply have to seriously increase amendments if you do something like this.

    This is my main problem with all GMO efforts, they optimize for only one or at best a few elements producing food that is much less nutritionally dense and in fact devoid of a whole host of elements that are just as important to good health as the basic alphabet vitamins.

    1. Ignacio

      Tweaking a plants ability to photosynthesize will only speed up the degradation of the soil fertility. You would simply have to seriously increase amendments if you do something like this.

      Not necessarily. C:N ratios migth change if photosynthesis is more efficient. With less fertilizer (N), you migth have more fixed carbon (C).

      1. Eeyores enigma

        A perfect example of belief in magic. Forcing a plant to grow bigger and faster will deplete the soil faster.

        There is so much more to soil fertility and thus nutritionally dense foods than N,P,K. There is a reason that over 80% of human health issues stems from nutritional deficiency and its not just from eating at McD.

        “The soil food web is the community of organisms living all or part of their lives in the soil. It describes a complex living system in the soil and how it interacts with the environment, plants, and animals.”

        Industrial agriculture is about growing crops in nearly dead soil so we end up eating food that may indeed have A, b, C, or other vitamins but is devoid of a whole host of other nutrients that make those vitamins relevant.

        1. abynormal

          uh we could use a bit o magic down here…
          Heavily armed drug cops raid retiree’s garden, seize okra plants – The Washington Post

          Georgia police raided a retired Atlanta man’s garden last Wednesday after a helicopter crew with the Governor’s Task Force for Drug Suppression
          spotted suspicious-looking plants on the man’s property. A heavily-armed K9 unit arrived and discovered that the plants were, in fact, okra bushes.

          The officers eventually apologized and left, but they took some of the suspicious okra leaves with them for analysis. Georgia state patrol told WSB-TV in Atlanta
          that “we’ve not been able to identify it as of yet. But it did have quite a number of characteristics that were similar to a cannabis plant.”

          Indeed! Like cannabis, okra is green and it has leaves.

          1. Antifa

            Where’d they find these goons with guns and badges? Were they cloned in a laboratory from some Yankee cop outta Brooklyn?

            C’mon now — a Georgia good old boy who don’t know okra when he sees some is about as believable as a Luweeziana Cajun who’s never heard tell of a crawdad afore. Pull my other leg, Clementine.

            And who’d they take those few leaves to for further examination? Their grandmothers?

            It isn’t safe to let people this dense play at policeman. If they didn’t shoot anybody in the process it can only be because they still couldn’t find the safety switch on their weapons. I think that’s the very last thing they teach ’em at the Georgia Police Academy, just before they herd ’em out the door to Protect and Serve.

            And to stamp out the rising tide of okra trafficking.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Science only looks at one specialized area at a time.

      Yet, Nature does not say, ‘I am only a chemist, and not a biologist, not a geologist, not a physicist, not a nutritionist, etc.’

      And so meekly attempt at interdisciplinary projects…sometimes, and for a few selected fields. But Nature does it all the time and with ALL FIELDS simultaneously, in real time.

      Until then,
      1. We can only have the current best explanation (with no idea how far off we are off)
      2. the current best explanation of one leg (or two, maybe 3) of an elephant with infinite number of legs.

      That’s ignorance twice (exponentially).

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Thus, Nature guffaws at qualifiers such as ‘beyond the scope of this study.’

        Basically we have no idea what is beyond that scope we limit ourselves to, how that is connected/how that interacts with what is under the scope, and how we might impact it.

        ‘Knowledge Without Borders’ is not about a guy with knowledge in Spain and another guy with knowledge in Tahiti…artificial human borders.

        ‘Knowledge Without Borders’ means we can’t be narrow minded with attitudes such as, ‘looking at it as a physicist.’ Nature is physics, psychology, music, everything we can think of and can’t think of, all together at the same time.

        1. Antifa

          Indeed, one particular issue with a warming planet is that photosynthesis in plants comes to a complete stop at 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Same thing happens to human beings who reach that temperature, oddly enough.

          Putting better photosynthesis enzymes into plants is not going to help us when it’s 110 degrees throughout the great Central Plains breadbasket of America.

          Not that I’m worried. My banana plantation on the shores of Hudson Bay should be at tropical temps by 2022.

    3. witness

      It’s like the difference between slow-cooked real food and microwaved “TVdinners” now standard for counterparties.

    4. Jagger

      I am just amazed we don’t have modified grass that stops growing at about 1 or 2″ in length. Imagine not having to cut the grass.

  9. wbgonne

    masaccio’s piece is FDL is excellent. Though not its main point, this caught my eye:

    “Last year, Lloyd Blankfein spoke at the Bill and Hillary Clinton lovefest and explained that Capitalism had raised many people out of poverty, presumably referring to developing nations.”

    Has any reporter EVER asked Obama (or any other so-called American leader) why he takes actions that benefit people in other countries at the expense of the American people he was elected to represent? It seems like a good question to me.

    1. cwaltz

      Then he might have to give up the ruse that he was elected specifically for the 1%(who just so happen to be multinational like the corporations they head) just like his Republican predecessor.

      1. Massinissa

        Not dying of poverty = Middle Class!

        Totally not misleading!

        According to this rule, America has no working class… Ridiculous

        1. cripes

          If only that were true. I read recently that >5 million USAians survive on on 2$ perday or less. Needless to say, that doesn’t go far in NYC.

      2. wbgonne

        I think that something similar is occurring in the U.S. where “Middle Class” is getting defined down to “Working Poor” as national wealth is extracted and confiscated by the rich elite at an accelerating rate. No doubt the similarities between America and the Third World are a complete coincidence.

        1. cripes

          I think the working poor have been defined upward into the middle clss. There, problem solved!

  10. Yonatan

    The “Who loses from punishing Russia? BBC” is broken. It links to the John Helmer article.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      So many interconnected, moving….often the butterfly effect shows up in most unexpected places.

      The most responsible bet, also the safest bet, is to start from the position of ‘knowledge for knowledge’s sake’ and take tiny, reluctant, last-resort steps from there for applications, instead of the other way around, indiscriminatingly applying the latest partial knowledge everywhere.

      1. witness

        But Rents to the Global Monopolist 1% is the purpose of the OneWorldLongCon. Hence, genocide of TheOther is the coming feature to be played out, rather than what you recommend. We see that they have “perfected” this “efficient” plan for centuries.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Probably more accurate to say ‘best-effort partial knowledge for best-effort partial knowledge’s sake.’

    2. Vatch

      This is just one of the multitude of reasons that we must reduce our planet’s human population. There are side effects from anything that people do on a large scale, and that includes side effects from mostly benign activities such as generating electricity from renewable sources.

      Disclaimer to inhibit trolling: reducing the human population must be accomplished by reducing the birth rate, not by increasing the death rate.

  11. DIno Reno

    Turkey gets to sit back and watch IS kill the Kurds on their border. Nothing can be more satisfying as they watch from their tanks overlooking the massacre in Kobane. The Kurds are public enemy #1 in Turkey. Let’s also not forget that IS recently returned 40 Turkish hostages unharmed to a grateful nation. We all know about IS’s reputation for dealing with hostages so this uncharacteristic move signals a rapprochement of sorts between the two. If the Kurds go down, there will be no one left to mount any credible opposition to IS and the Turks must be OK with that.
    Sure the Turks are taking some heat for their stance, but I bet Putin is behind the scenes telling them that he will make it up to them with some cheap oil to keep any gas pipeline being built from Qatar.
    Like always, we are a little out of depth messing about in this region, but bombing is so addicting.

    1. cwaltz

      Uh why would RUSSIA want ISIS to succeed? Russia is aligned with Shiite backed Iran and Syria(and to a smaller extent Iraq following our cluster which deposed the Sunni backed Saddam and created a power vacuum that Iran filled with Shiite leadership.) . They’re FIGHTING ISIS. ISIS is Sunni. It’s origins are in Saudi and Turkey and Qatar. Turkey has long had fringes of Kurds who have wanted their own region(I was actually rather surprised they weren’t much more opposed to us messing with Iraq, who also had the Kurds right on the Turkish border areas fighting for THEIR independence.) At this point, the region is an f-ing disaster and bombing or nor bombing probably isn’t going to change that(however apparently we’re RICH and have plenty of money to bomb the crap out of things.)

      1. alex morfesis

        so vanilla ice has children and we end up with religious wars from dysfunctional upbringing ?

        1. cwaltz

          We end up with wars because a certain population of this country profits from it. Let’s all hear it for capitalism and the concept of profiting off the misery of others(which seems to be the prevailing theme of our crony capitalist model.)

          The reality is the Middle East was never going to be a bastion of democracy, it was always going to be a place where there would be “winners” and “losers.” It’s just how that region seems to roll.

  12. trish

    re Should we upgrade photosynthesis and grow supercrops?

    I would perhaps feel more positive about this kind of “progress” if it indeed could be managed in a way that “benefits most life on Earth.” Within a system that functioned primarily in the public interest. We don’t have that system.
    Caution with something like this is necessary but corporate agriculture doesn’t proceed in a cautionary manner because they don’t have to. We don’t proceed in a cautionary way in this country period, because profit trumps everything.

    On top of some of the potential problems articulated in the article, I think, too, of the fuel needed to harvest those supercrops, the increased herbicides and pesticides to thwart some of the “life on Earth” not welcome. And, admittedly more from the bad b-movies I saw as a kid (Tarantula!), but…supercrops…superpests.?

    And “upgrading many wild plants too.” Even the term “upgrading” I find abhorrent when it comes to flora…(fauna too)? And just “up.” Implies…progress. And progress implies…good.
    But not always so.

  13. Jim Haygood

    Dr. Nakamura and two of his Japanese colleagues win the Nobel Prize in Physics for the blue LED:

    Though red and green diodes had been invented decades earlier, blue was needed to complete the trio and create a light that would be white in color.

    The scientists’ work “triggered a fundamental transformation of lighting technology,” the academy said in a statement. “Incandescent light bulbs lit the 20th century, the 21st century will be lit by LED lamps.”

    Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura, will share the 8 million-krona ($1.1 million) prize for the invention of blue-light emitting diodes, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said today in Stockholm.

    The three scientists were the first to master the intricate layering of semiconductor materials needed to create blue-light emitting diodes.

    Nakamura is the co-founder of Soraa, a Fremont CA based company that makes high-CRI (Color Rendering Index) LEDs in the familiar MR16 halogen format. ‘Heroin for lighting designers,’ said lighting consultant Randall Whitehead. I installed some in my bedroom to illuminate my well-hung portraits. ;-)

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Red, green and blue = white.

      It’s important to note that if you mix red people with green people and blue people, you get white people.

      Some people worry that if you mix white people with green people, you would lose some of the whiteness.

      In fact, after mixing with green people, if you continue, by mixing in blue people and red people (and black and brown and yellow), you get white people again.

  14. fresno dan

    Paulson: AIG bailout designed to be punishment
    On questioning, Mr. Paulson didn’t beat around the bush. “It was important that the terms be harsh because I take moral hazard seriously,” he said, confirming that the deal was structured so as to be punitive to A.I.G. shareholders. “When companies fail, shareholders bear the losses,” he said, “It’s just the way our system is supposed to work.”

    Mr. Paulson was also quick to acknowledge, that A.I.G. “certainly was a scapegoat for Wall Street and all the bad practices that people were angry about.”

    Lest anyone forget, A.I.G. stupidly insured big banks on large swaths of bad mortgage deals via credit-default swaps.

    So why was the government so tough on A.I.G. and so easy on the banks that bought the soured mortgage bundles in the first place?

    In truth, because the government thought that such a deal wouldn’t destabilize A.I.G. — and a tougher deal for banks might undermine confidence in the financial system in the markets.

    That’s the same reason the government didn’t push harder for A.I.G.’s counterparties — i.e. the banks — to take “haircuts,” or less than the money they were owed on the insured payouts. The government worried it would only make people more nervous about the strength of the banking system, undermining the confidence it was trying to sow.

    I have no problem with the US government being tough on AIG. Bagehot philosophy is to lend freely at high rates – that is what is suppose to happen when you need a backstop from the government. So the question is: why wasn’t it applied to the banks as well? (removing an incompetent or evil captain of a ship does not equate to sinking the ship, indeed it is done to save the ship. We want to save the incompetent and evil bank CEOs, and we wonder why the system doesn’t work)
    One can certainly make the case that the banks wronged far, far greater numbers of people who were not nearly in a position to protect themselves from the banks depredations. I really get the impression that the FED is of the banks, by the banks, and for the banks. If we had a specific reinsurance regulatory agency, I think we would have seen AIG get the same terms as the bankers….

  15. Vatch

    A quote from the article “Oceans Getting Hotter Than Anybody Realized”:

    ‘“An important result of this paper is the demonstration that the oceans have continued to warm over the past decade, at a rate consistent with estimates of Earth’s net energy imbalance,” Rintoul said. “While the rate of increase in surface air temperatures slowed in the last 10 to 15 years, the heat stored by the planet, which is heavily dominated by the oceans, has steadily increased as greenhouse gases have continued to rise.”

    That extra heat isn’t expected to swim with the fishes forever. Some of it will eventually rise from the deep, raising temperatures in places that more directly affect us landlubbers.’

  16. Jay M

    re: Supercrops
    Why does calling the potential products “boosted grains” remind me of the “boosted primary” that enabled the production of super weapons i.e. thermonuclear bombs?

  17. Paper Mac

    “Should we upgrade photosynthesis and grow supercrops?”

    It’s not clear that we can. The hilarious thing about all the hype around this paper is that if you actually look at the results, the transgenic tobacco plants with the ostensibly more efficient rubisco are stunted and die. Not an “upgrade”..

    1. Antifa

      It may be as simple as, “You can’t put 100 octane fuel in a ’67 VW Beetle and expect it to run for long.”

  18. Saruman

    “The Butterfly Effect” is completely erroneous. A butterfly flapping its wings above a particular plant in the Amazon might play a part in causing a hurricane in the Carribean, but only because a peanut vendor in Buenos Aries sneezed six-hours, nine minutes and thirty-four seconds later, and only then because a billion other contributory events affecting the atmosphere all conspired to create the specific conditions of the hurricane. Had the butterfly not flapped its wings the specific conditions of the hurricane might have been different but the same can be said for the peanut vendor’s sneeze and for each of the other billion conditions. Thus unless you have a handle on all those 1,000,000,002 events you can say nothing whatever about about the potential effect of any of them.

    On another point in the same story the company ‘Palantir’ was accused of being closely associated with the NSA and the Five-Eyes spy-network in a recent investigative story out of New Zealand:

  19. JTFaraday

    I’m going to take a wild guess here, but I think he’s probably being very irresponsible.

Comments are closed.