Links 10/9/14

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Addictive and probably carcinogenic: scientist reveals dangers of Daily Mail Guardian (BillK)

Nobel Prize For Chemistry 2014: Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell And William E. Moerner Honored For Development Of Super-Resolved Fluorescence Microscopy Huffington Post (furzy mouse)

An Industrial-Sized Generator That Runs on Waste Heat, Using No Fuel MIT Technology Review


Ebola virus: Spanish protests as nurse’s dog is put down BBC. There’s a detail in this story of general public health importance: the authorities believe the nurse became infected when removing her protective gear. That risk presumably applies to any personnel treating Ebola patients unless their facilities have an area where exterior of the protective clothing is decontaminated before they take it off. Pray tell how many US hospitals have that?

U.S. medical workers get crash course on treating Ebola on frontlines Reuters (EM)

Why Ebola is a threat Ian Welsh

China’s Balancing Act Adair Turner, Project Syndicate (David L). A good overview, but the idea that China’s shift to more consumption will happen due to changing demographics seems optimistic. No economy has made the change from being investment and export driven to being consumption driven without a major crisis. And there’s a reason for that. People can’t just go start consuming more. It takes infrastructure (as in more retail goods producers and stores) and bigger homes in which to put stuff. Those changes don’t happen overnight.

Can Beijing limit the spread of China’s debt disease? China Spectator

The spectre of deflation Olli Rehn, Europe’s World

German model is ruinous for Germany, and deadly for Europe Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Is Catalonia Spain’s Scotland? New York Times

Has the London house price bubble burst? Telegraph

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Appeals court wrestles with secret U.S. demands for telecom records Reuters. EM: “Also mentions the related story ofTwitter suing the UStasi over revealing govt demands to hand over customer data.”

De Blasio Administration Continues Attacks On Press Over NYPD Spying, Channeling Bloomberg Intercept. Lambert: “That was fast.”

US Spy Programs May Break the Internet if Not Reformed, Google Leader Says Wired (Chuck L). Translation: “Since we like surveillance as much as the NSA does, any national efforts that get in our way are by definition bad.”

Tech groups warn over US online snooping Financial Times. The pink paper is much more straightforward about the real concerns of Google et al.

Terror policing review put on hold BBC

Breaking 43 Years of Silence, the Last FBI Burglar Tells the Story of Her Years in the Underground Nation

San Francisco Pension Officials Halt Proposal to Invest In Hedge Funds International Business Times. David Sirota collects a scalp, with the help of CalPERS.

Tensions run high after officer-involved shooting in south St. Louis KMOV

State trooper pulls woman over, evangelizes her Military Religious Freedom (Chuck L). So driving while atheist is also a crime?

Coastal Cities Are Drowning, Thanks To New Reality Of Sea Level Rise Huffington Post

U.S. fiscal 2014 budget deficit falls to $486 billion, CBO says Reuters (furzy mouse)

Shadow Banking: U.S. Risks Persist Tim Taylor (Mark Thoma)

Signs of a Bull Market Turning Bear Barry Ritholtz, Bloomberg

The Fed Notices the Dollar Macro Man

Quick Thoughts on FOMC Minutes and the Dollar Marc Chandler

IMF Warns of Financial Crisis, Admits Low Interest Rates Spurred Asset Speculation Not Investment Michael Shedlock

New York Fed Needed a Culture Change, Columbia Professor Says WSJ Economics

Class Warfare

Obama slams billionaires at the home of a guy named Rich Richman New York Post (Chuck L)

Integral and Indispensable to the regular duties, Your govenment says this defines if you get paid Angry Bear. A bit too high a rant to content ratio for my taste, but contains important information (including a short write-up of relevant decisions) on a current Supreme Court case on pay for Amazon warehouse workers.

Latinos The Only Group In U.S. To Experience Increase In Workplace Deaths BuzzFeed (Lysa)

Union blocks traffic to protest casino givebacks (Paul Tioxon). A struggle over health care benefit cuts.

Top 400 US Billionaires’ Wealth Equals Brazil’s GDP TruthOut (RAJ)

Lessons from Market Basket Boston Review. A post-mortem of a successful employee-manager-customer revolt.

Antidote du jour:

Blue eyed wild spotted cat

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. financial matters

      Very detailed report.

      It seems that good basic supportive care would go a long way here. Things like good hydration etc.

      I don’t know why we would be running out of ZMapp (drug with undisclosed mechanism of action), used to treat two U.S. patients who survived and a Spanish priest who died. Another interesting drug is TKM-Ebola, a siRNA interfering drug used to treat a U.S. patint who survived. This patient as well as the Spanish nurse also received convalescent serum.

      I would think that both these drugs in reality could be cheaply produced in huge quantities. Especially in a non-austerity atmosphere.

      1. JeffC

        Zmapp is grown in a special variety of tobacco plant. They had only research amounts. Takes several months to grow a new batch. It’s growing now.

        1. psychohistorian

          But are they smart enough to have even more in the pipeline? If it does work it will be money well spent.

    2. Yonatan

      I wonder if some US BigPharma corp(se) is working to patent the relevant genes of those Africans that are naturally immune to ebola.

  1. Ignacio

    There’s a detail in this story of general public health importance: the authorities believe the nurse became infected when removing her protective gear. That risk presumably applies to any personnel treating Ebola patients unless their facilities have an area where exterior of the protective clothing is decontaminated before they take it off. Pray tell how many US hospitals have that?

    Another troubling conclusion is that the authorities, at least in Spain, did not seriously think on the transmission risks and I question myself if after this contagion, tougher preventive measures have been readily taken in order to prevent any chance of disease spreading further.

    1. amateur socialist

      Welsh’s piece had a commenter who noted Thomas Eric Duncan was likely turned away from the hospital because he was uninsured. Despite disclosing he traveled from Liberia. “No, sorry Sir you are going to have to go spread that infection around someplace cheaper…”

      Not to worry though Stone and Parker have already applied their irreverent take to the new season of South Park. Episode 2 is titled Gluten Free Ebola. So we can laugh til we die!

      1. Beeryeyed

        I’d like to see the Feds take a firm line that the leadership and board of any hospital or clinic that turns away a suspected case of Ebola will be held personally and financially responsible for any adverse eventualities. That should get their attention. Nothing else will.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        That commenter brought up a good point.

        There are other questions, amidst this tragedy.

        1. Racial factor, already reported in the news
        2. If he had had a high deductible insurance, would he also have been turned away as well?

        And we might have to think about future scenarios where
        1. a just arrived immigrant with Ebola symptoms – what is the current law regarding new immigrants? Must they be insured before coming in the country, or they wait till they file their tax returns and pay a fine?
        2. What about tourists? Are all current tourists insured before arriving?
        3 People who enter illegally, most likely without any insurance.

        In any case, this battle has many fronts than just insurance, and we have a tragedy here.

        First time in history, Ebola jumped an ocean and is now out of Africa, with beachheads in North America and Europe. And the world missed an opportunity to choose the battlefield location. The virus noticed and took initiative and picked the locations for us.

        1. Auntienene

          I would imagine that most US citizens insurance would not cover the huge costs of treating Ebola, no matter how good their plan is. If there are many cases, the government would have to pick up the costs, most likely.

      3. Antifa

        The uncertainty inherent in the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is causing real problems for Nigeria’s princess-rescuing industry. I know from personal experience.

        Whereas I was previously quite happy to forward my life savings (and more) to Nigerian persons I know only through their earnest emails, all in pursuit of receiving my share of the many millions of dollars the kidnapped princess is willing to share with me as soon as she gets a passport, the whole project now looks a bit more risky.

        What if my millions of dollars have been sneezed or coughed upon? Or counted and bundled by a person who forgot to wash their hands after burying their Uncle Ifeanyi yesterday? I’ll be rich beyond my wildest dreams, but live only a few weeks before I die bleeding from my eyes. That seems a scanty reward for rescuing a real princess.

        Oh, what the hell — with the second mortgage and the money embezzled from my employer already forwarded to Lagos I guess I’m committed to saving the princess, but you can be sure I’m going to run those millions through the washing machine with lots of bleach.

        When they get here.

        1. craazyboy

          I assumed you’d be the frog-prince type, but yeah, kissing frogs sounds like a bummer now too..

          But I do have a more frivolous question ’bout this whole ebola thing. Has anyone seen any facts about how long the virus can stay alive outside the human body? That sounds like a key fundamental fact to know as a starting point to guess at possible transmission paths. [even tho we know it isn’t a flying virus with wings and such] But I haven’t seen that mentioned anywhere yet.

          1. abynormal

            i know, right…is it hang’n out at trader vix or waiting on the corner for some low spark of hi-heel boyz :-/

            ive read this twice an still…sense makes no. but maybe you or someone can do something with it:
            Ebola Virus Pathogenesis / Journal of Virology

          2. financial matters

            This has some good information..

            It suggests the virus can live for 6 days in an ideal environment. (here I think they would mean moist, soiled laundry etc)
            Also recommends eye protection. (A potential source of virus entrance, including touching the eyes.)
            And suggests one of the reasons for relatively easy transmission is that a low viral load appears to be infective.

            1. craazyboy

              Wonderful. 6 days.

              “Low viral load” could mean 1 to 10 organisms according to the Canadian health agency paper I read.

              This sounds really, really nasty. For a non-airborne virus, I mean. Of course.

              BTW: Does anyone know which of our viruses have wings?

              1. psychohistorian

                Do you really want to know what happens when you breathe sneeze or cough? Airborne seems to be a relative term and to a degree this virus is airborne, it seems. If expectorate in any amount lasts 6 days on whatever surface it lands, I think it could potentially spread rapidly.

                Now is the time to prepare for a lock down, if that will help.

                1. craazyboy

                  Mosquitos fly out of your lungs and those around you catch the sniffles?

                  haha. just kidding. i really know that doesn’t happen.

                  Just recounting the reassurances the experts have told us so far to keep us safe from panicking.

                  1) Ebola is NOT an airborne virus, so it’s not that contagious.
                  [However, Western doctors and nurses are the victims so far, but what do they know?]

                  2) Influenza is much worse because it kills half a million worldwide a year vs. a new strain of Ebola – which hasn’t had a chance to demonstrate a track record yet.

                  3) In Africa it might be transmitted by fruit bats, we don’t have those here, and everyone knows fruit bats are nothing like mosquitos, flies, or even rodents.

                  4) The TSA will take our temperature in airports.

                  I’ll put this in the category of what they sometimes call “Understudied”. Don’t touch or breath anything! Stock up on insect repellant. Don’t feed the squirrels. Avoid TSA personnel sticking thermometers wherever – you DO know where they’ve been!

                  1. different clue

                    The only way to avoid TSA temp-takers is to not fly. (Or to fly on private jets not subject to such indignitude. Rich people retain the freedon to get infected and spread ebola wherever they like).

                    The TSA will insist on taking temperatures rectally in open public view as an excercise in further ritual humiliation and further mass-public-obedience-training.

            2. Ana

              The CDC has admitted that it can be transmitted by coughing and sneezing so it is possible to get it via “airborne” means. I also have read two patents taken out by the US Government in conjunction with private individuals that have patented the Ebola virus. From my reading of the patents, it appears that several of the variants of the virus has been genetically engineered and combined. By the way, the experimental cure for it is also genetically engineered and is produced by tobacco plants. The company producing the engineered tobacco plants is owned by Reynolds. Please let me know if anyone would like the patent numbers or ponderous paper trail of who owns what company that owns what company that is involved in this kabuki.
              Ana in Sacramento

  2. Paper Mac

    “No economy has made the change from being investment and export driven to being consumption driven without a major crisis. And there’s a reason for that. People can’t just go start consuming more. It takes infrastructure (as in more retail goods producers and stores) and bigger homes in which to put stuff.”

    Probably more significantly, it requires a shift in resources away from party elites with substantial vested interests in fixed investments and exports to ordinary people. I think the political barrier here is much larger than one caused by any lack of retail goods producers (of which China probably has more than anywhere in the world) or homes (of which China has a massive glut).

    1. James Levy

      Yes, you are correct, it’s about who gets the money, but it is also a question of power. Capitalists in America discovered in the later 1960s into the mid-1970s that if you give the people a solid share of the money, they will become independent and challenging. The whole Lewis Powell/Sam Huntington counterattack of capital against the population at large was only partially about money. It was largely about power. People with a powerful union to back them and money in the bank are not going to tolerate the sorts of rackets, scams, and shenanigans that we’ve seen over the last three decades. So you bust their union and make sure they live hand to mouth. That will make them pliant and quiescent. And it has. We got credit cards and HELOCs, I-Phones, Thursday Night Football, and flat screens, and lost our economic autonomy and political influence over the State.

      China’s authoritarian tradition makes cutting in the proles and granting them autonomy through good wages and job protections (they go hand in hand) just does not jibe with several thousand years of standard operating procedure.

      1. wbgonne

        Exactly! The plutocratic counterattack launched with the Powell Memorandum was intended to ensure that the Middle Class learned its place once and for all. Stay in line or get crushed.

      2. Vatch

        Thanks for the reference to Samuel Huntington. I’ve been aware of the Powell Memorandum for some time, but somehow I didn’t know about Huntington’s role as co-author of the Trilateral Commission’s The Crisis of Democracy. Apparently there was too much democracy in the 1960s and 1970s, and the U.S. population wasn’t compliant enough. Well, I guess that “problem” has been solved.

      3. Ulysses

        Very astute comment! The truth of this observation can be seen in the fact that fat-cats are willing to forgo huge profits in order to put the uppity middle classes back in their place. All of the Applebee’s dinners that aren’t bought, Disney vacations that aren’t taken, etc. don’t just symbolize middle class decline– but also lost corporate profits.

    2. wbgonne

      Yes, a consumer-based economy requires a vibrant Middle Class. The consumer-based U.S. economy is learning that lesson today: as the plutocrats plunder the commons and decimate the American Middle Class, there isn’t enough disposable income in enough pockets to sustain a consumer economy. Hence: asset bubbles as the substitute.

      1. Eeyores enigma

        You all talk about it like it could have been sustainable if only…

        Thats about as illogical as thinking that a pyramid scheme can be sustainable if only…

        Capitalism is the best for the most people but only as it grows exponentially. Stop or even slow down growth and capitalism becomes a game of musical chairs.

        1. wbgonne

          Whether capitalism is inherently flawed is a different question, IMO. The point here is that, even accepting the theoretical viability of a consumer-based capitalist economy, that model only works with broad-based prosperity and a vibrant Middle Class, both of which the plutocrats are now attacking.

          1. Beeryeyed

            I’m with you. Capitalism itself is not the problem. Inertia is, or perhaps we could call it uninterrupted peace, or the Pax Americana. Our current global system has existed more or less intact since 1945. Prior to that the longest era of peace in the west was between 1870 and 1914. You do the math.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It would be more sustainable with a vibrant Middle Class, but without the consumer-based capitalist economy.

            1. wbgonne

              Yes, I agree with that. Consumerism is a dead-end. It is interesting, however, that when the plutocrats launched their War on the American Middle Class they must have realized they were killing the golden goose (which may explain the neoliberal obsession with globalism as a replacement). The fact that the American plutocrats were willing to risk the health of the economy by attacking the Middle Class shows just how determined they are to make sure — as James Levy notes — that never again is there a population of educated young people with the freedom to challenge the orthodoxy.

              1. Jim

                What if the orthodox thinking of the left is also wrong?

                Why did our modern economy emerge?

                Are there exogenous cultural and political factors which form the foundation of economic growth?

                Are there other things going on, over the past 500 years, beside the machinations of evil plutocrats?

                1. Lambert Strether

                  “the machinations of evil plutocrats” does seem a little bit of a caricature, does it not? Not that there are not machinating, evil plutocrats, because of course there are.

                2. wbgonne

                  I’m not sure about “the past 500 years” but, IMO, when cheap oil ran out in the 1970s the American corporatists panicked. They reacted by promoting globalism to avoid American labor costs and boost profits. This undermined American labor and wrecked the Middle Class. These developments coincided with the Right’s coordinated and sustained efforts to control government and undermine societal resistance. Systematic assaults on government services and functions led to privatizing and disrepute for collective action through government. Massive deregulation and corporate consolidation led to ever-increasing wealth concentration and eliminated competition among the elites, who effectively merged. The corporatists’ grip tightened after Reagan appeared to succeed and, when Bill Clinton sold the Democratic Party to Wall Street, the American political duopoly was owned by the corporatists. The Democrats, now a fully corporate party, found their money pot in Wall Street, which was unleashed to financialize the world. This served as the pillar of the reconstructed American economy, one dependent upon asset-bubbles instead of Middle Class wealth. Most recently, the Democrats have found that fracking can get them into Big Oil’s ocean of money and also provide the illusion that cheap oil still exists. Looks like “evil pluocrats” to me but YMMV.

                  1. Jim

                    Why was there a transition from a feudal to a capitalist society?

                    Can you explain this transition exclusively by economic variables?

                    What if the emergence of our modern economy has less to do with plutocrats and more to do with the cultural construction or reality?

                    Has there been, over the past 500 years, the development of ethical systems which managed to transform individual motivation? (I am not talking about the Protestant Ethic)

                    Is sustained growth in an economy stimulated by something outside the economic sphere?

                    Is American individualism a product of our culture?

                    1. wbgonne

                      Everything changes. Sometimes something is good for a time and then turns bad. We will survive an absence of capitalism. That we may have to secure that result is something you should take up with the plutocrats who have made the decisions rendering the result inevitable. Because, to be sure, there were other paths that could have been taken and, if tbey had been, we wouldn’t be having this colloquy.

                    2. Left in Wisconsin

                      Does technology count as culture or economics? I think many historians give a lot of credit to the steam engine.

      2. dan B

        As I see it, Eeyores enigma -comment below this one- is spot on. I would only put it differently: the economic pie can no longer physically expand (debt and fictitious wealth can increase for a long time until trust -or extending and pretending- is destroyed and debts that can never be paid are called in). Simultaneously, the 1% are in control of government and doing all they can to take a larger share of this shrinking pie.

        1. wbgonne

          I agree with you. And it seems hard to believe that the plutocrats don’t realize this. Perhaps they do and have decided to grab what they can before the ship goes down. That would explain, to some extent at least, why they have embarked on a course of certain disaster: savaging the Middle Class and letting AGW turn the planet feverish are absolutely reckless actions that might be explained by desperation. Or evil.

  3. wbgonne

    Yes, a consumer-based economy requires a vibrant Middle Class. The consumer-based U.S. economy is learning that lesson today: as the plutocrats plunder the commons and decimate the American Middle Class, there isn’t enough disposable income in enough pockets to sustain a consumer economy. Hence: asset bubbles as the substitute.

  4. Jim Haygood

    ‘Within ten years, France will be the dominant power of continental Europe.’ — Ambrose E-P, in his article on the German model

    ‘Le boche paiera,’ as the French used to say a century ago. Now it’s finally coming true, says Ambrose!

    Fortunately he inserted the qualification ‘continental,’ to leave room for the ever-likely re-emergence of Britain’s mighty empire.

    Yep, Europa’s onna roll …

  5. Carolinian

    Interesting story on Market Basket. I saw a biography of Henry Ford that discussed the contempt he had for early investors who, just by providing him with money, thought they knew more about his business than he did. They were into money, he was into cars. This quote from the article seems to get to the nub

    A second lesson can be found in the power of a narrative—a story—in shaping consumer attitudes. Research has shown that our brains encode the same information quite differently when it is in a narrative form. Simply put, stories allow us to more easily recall and retrieve information when it comes time to make a decision (that is why, in childhood, moral lessons are taught in story form). Marketers and educators need to understand that in the era of social media and unprecedented corporate profits the public’s perception all boils down to the story—and marketers are not in control of the story any longer. The authorship of a brand’s story is diffuse now—and potentially viral—with thousands contributing to how this story was crafted and shared. The Market Basket story is one of real local people standing up for “the people’s CEO” at great personal risk, which resonated nationally as a David and Goliath narrative. Of course it can be scary for executives to lose complete control of the brand’s narrative. But the brand does not solely belong to the company; it also belongs to the people. So co-authorship of a brand’s story should be embraced as a key part of marketing strategy. Because, as my research shows, consumers are much more likely to connect with a story constructed by fellow consumers, or a company and consumers together, than one constructed by a corporation alone.

    Indeed. One can only hope that the era of Mad Avenue brainwashing is starting to wane. One of the weaknesses of the supposedly brainy Mad Men is that it never judges the very profession that the high libido ensemble are engaged in. Noble and creative?…or just sleazy salesmen.

    1. craazyman

      the investment industry is a loathsome business, full of utterly mediocre intellects who believe they’re “smart” and parade around in a fog of narcissistic arrogance destroying anything that stands between them and money. Then destroying that too once they get their hands on it. And they call this “talent.” They might as well call it road kill, at least they’d be honest. (Not to be to contemptuous or anything . . . hahahaha)

      Regarding “investment” — how many shoes does a person need? Once you have 4 or 5 or 6 pairs, if you’re a man, that should be enough. A few for work. Workout shoes. Casual shoes. Maybe a pair of boots if you’re hip. What is there anymore to invest in? Everything’s already there. 250+ years of manifest destiny cabins, farms, towns, cities, roads, railroads, highways, factories, stores, malls, buildings, airports, radio towers, cell towers, satellites, phones, gadgets, smart phones and shoes. A wall of civilization coast to coast and Minnesota to Texas. The closet is full of shoes. The problem isn’t the lack of shoes, the problem is how to wear them.

      1. diptherio

        I wonder just how far away we are from out own “Shoe Event Horizon”?

        The Shoe Event Horizon is an economic theory that draws a correlation between the level of economic (and emotional) depression of a society and the number of shoe shops the society has.

        The theory is summarized as such: as a society sinks into depression, the people of the society need to cheer themselves up by buying themselves gifts. This is usually done through the purchase of shoes. As more money is spent on shoes, more shoe shops are built, and the quality of the shoes begins to diminish as the demand for different types of shoes increases. This makes people buy more shoes.

        The above turns into a vicious cycle, causing other industries to decline.

        Eventually the titular Shoe Event Horizon is reached, where the only type of store economically viable to build is a shoe shop. At this point, society ceases to function, and the economy collapses, sending a world into ruin. In the case of Brontitor and Frogstar World B, the population forsook shoes and evolved into birds.

        1. Jim Haygood

          We’ve already had one Shoe Event … and the thrower is still running the gauntlet of the federal ‘justice’ process:

          A 36-year-old Phoenix woman accused of throwing a shoe at Hillary Clinton while the former U.S. secretary of state addressed a Las Vegas audience has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor trespassing.

          Alison Michelle Ernst also pleaded not guilty Monday to another misdemeanor charge of violence against a person in a restricted building.

          A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden said Thursday that Ernst is due to stand trial Oct. 29 on that charge.

          Half a century ago, this incident would have been handled by state authorities, probably by the simple expedient of ejecting Ernst from the event.

          Now the fedgov has its own parallel set of criminal laws and prisons, putting U.S. residents in the deplorable position of having to answer to two separate, overlapping criminal codes.

          1. Ulysses

            “Now the fedgov has its own parallel set of criminal laws and prisons, putting U.S. residents in the deplorable position of having to answer to two separate, overlapping criminal codes.”

            This is an important point! We are fast returning to the early modern situation– where common people could very easily lose their liberty if they were in any way offensive to the gentry.

      2. craazyboy

        Shoe wearing robots.

        But on another completely different topic, how ’bout that amazing ZIRP invention? As the years slowly creep by, we are finding out there is nothing ZIRP can’t cure! Bad breath, flatulence, toe nail fungus, and even stupidity if you are long the market!

        It’s rumored on the Street the TBTF’s have invested in a startup offering ZIRP Savings & Virility Accounts and already the firm has submitted Phase I drug trials to the FDA for approval as a lower cost alternative to a daily regimen of Viagra. A company spokesman says these accounts, if mandated by Congress, will enable everyone to conveniently pay for their virility. The fact that young men don’t need it is what makes it all work, he adds. Also, if women had a little more virility, that would be a good thing!

        Fed Chair Janet Yellen was asked her opinion on the product but she pointed out this seems to be a micro-economic thing and although she is an expert on macro-economics, she never comments on micro-economic matters because that’s not her area of expertise. She went on to add that without the ZIRP miracle cure, inflation would be a negative 3.6389 percent, depending on what index the Fed decides to use. Furthermore, a daily regimen ZIRP has demonstrated a re-flation of the economy and overall increase in economic virility.

        Carl Icahn told reporters that if he owned the company stock, if and when the company goes IPO, he would think it’s worth a whole lot and would certainly try and sell it back to the company for a fat price.

        Congress said “Zowie! Free Market” and created a committee to draft a bill tentatively entitled “Public-Private Partnership for the Promotion of Free Markets” to fast track virility savings accounts to consumers/residents in the American market.

        So hang on to your shorts, if you still own any. Virility is coming your way!

        1. craazyman

          I’m just transferring the guilt I feel spending hours on the Edward Green website, gazing with lust at the photos.

          If I don’t control myself I may have 10 pairs, plus some John Lobb’s too!

          I have 6 pairs of shoes now and feel I need more. It’s not the right feeling to have. But I have it.

          1. craazyboy

            Now you got me curious. Just went and counted my shoes. (Taking a well deserved break from my new micro-controller programming hobby)

            The sad result….
            4 pairs leather shoes, 4 pairs tennies, 3 flip-flops, and one pair hiking boots.

            Even weirder, I spend between 20 and 23.75 hours a day barefoot.

            Decided to never buy shoes again.

          2. Paul Niemi

            I have eight pairs of jeans: two pairs with a 35 inch waist size, two pairs with a 36 inch waist, two pairs with 38 inch waist, and two pairs with a 40 inch waist size. I will wear them all in a given year. And that explains “incrementalism.”

            1. craazyman

              It sounds like you could wear them all at the same time!

              You can’t do that with shoes unless they’re huge.

        2. reslez

          In today’s information economy, computers are rapidly becoming advanced enough to wear their own shoes. Rather than pay human workers to purchase and wear shoes, corporations can build robots to buy and wear shoes with less cost and greater efficiency. Human workers should find some other thing to do, like sit quietly in a corner somewhere, and should be grateful to get minimum wage, which should be repealed. All the preceding is true because cell phones are cool, and ordering a taxi with your phone is visionary and disruptive enough to rightfully entitle some random crook to billions of dollars.

          – Every hipster techie/economics bloggist ever

  6. brooklinite8


    Breaking 43 years of silence. Wow Amazing article. Kudos to Judi Feingold for living underground and did what she did. Its hard not to have long term relationships with connectivity and move from place to place. You lose certain feeling of unfulfillingness. I am glad she is in terms with being public. This is similar to ed snowden. Simply great article. No words to explain judy’s sacrifice. Hope she finds a comfortable life going forward.
    yves — Thank you for the article.

  7. Jim Haygood

    ‘President Obama blasted Republicans as the party of “billionaires” on Tuesday while mingling with high-rollers at the $26 million estate of Rich Richman — yes, that’s his real name — in Greenwich, Conn.

    ‘Richman, who built his $10 billion company developing rental housing, lives in the Conyers Farm area, where the minimum lot size is 10 acres. Twenty-five donors paid $32,400 each to get their photo taken with the president. Others paid $10,000 for dinner.’

    ‘Manor mouse!’, Obama smugly told himself in the mirror while checking his tie in a powder room (one of a half dozen) in Richman’s mansion before the photo op … not realizing that the expression is three words, generally ending with a question mark.

  8. Juneau

    “That risk presumably applies to any personnel treating Ebola patients unless their facilities have an area where exterior of the protective clothing is decontaminated before they take it off. Pray tell how many US hospitals have that?”

    Yves I think that is a good question for any concerned citizen to put to their healthcare providers/facilities.

  9. Tatanya

    re: Ian/Ebola Threat

    I am convinced that if the public were allowed to have all the information that the CDC has, we would all be a whiter shade of pale at this juncture. Why do I feel this way? Because, virologists are under an obvious (self-imposed) gag order not to say anything which might alarm the herd, at the risk of jeopardising their professional careers. Secondly, the PTB fear that were the public to grasp the complete gravity of the crisis, supply chains would be disrupted and the domino effect wouldn’t be far behind, e.g., crashing markets, bank runs, etcetera. Finally, if you spend enough time on the blogosphere, you get a sense that the few experts willing to break ranks under guise of anonymity are extremely ALARMED. And the alarm is not confined to west Africa. I am not writing this to inspire panic or fear in anyone. The notion that we shouldn’t express sincere and rational convictions, ideas, and theories because we might be called downers, doomers, conspiracy theorists, or fear mongers is a feature of western culture I find baffling. Count me among those who are seriously nervous and alarmed right now, if you will.

    1. VietnamVet

      The potency of the Ebola virus is around 2 per patient i.e. spreads at the rate of 2, 4, 8, 16…. If below one it dies out. Right now we are waiting to see if this potency is maintained in the austerity ravaged public health system and the wealth extraction practice of medicine of Dallas Texas. We are about half way through the 21 days contagion period and no more reported infections yet. Since the death rate is ranges from 50% to 90% it will be impossible to hide if a hot spot was created there or not.

      Since the deciders determined that establishing quarantine of travel from West Africa would be too expensive, they are betting that detection and treatment is so good in the West that when an infected person travels here, they won’t create a hot spot. From the Ukraine Civil War, to the forever war in Iraq, and now Ebola, the need for more money for the few outweighs any risk to society from the possibility of a WWIII, a terrorism blowback, a bloody epidemic, or climate change.

      1. abynormal

        will be breaking out charcoal & oil chalks…mesmerizing!

        “It was amazing what an hour with her sketchpad could do for her mood. She was sure that the lines she drew with her black marker were going to save her years of worry lines in the future.” Victoria Kahler

  10. Johann Sebastian Schminson

    Overpopulation and the ease of travel beyond traditional geographic boundaries pretty much guarantee that we will, eventually, suffer a global pandemic of one variety or another. Ebola, influenza, or mystery disease — the genie will escape the bottle. One can panic now, or panic later, that this will happen is already in the cards we dealt ourselves.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Usually, the deadlier the virus, the faster it kills off its host.

      That’s a self-limiting factor.

      Thanks to technology, with jet travel, the virus is ‘liberated’ from a local, provincial one to one of international ‘fame.’

      Other similar self-limiting factors exist in, for example, medicine. If the doctor is too good, he/she puts himself/herself out of business. “Drink lots of water, exercise regularly and eat not junk food, but healthy, nutritional stuff, and you will never need to buy medicines or see me again.”

    2. psychohistorian

      My biologist friend says we are a food source that delivers itself all over the world…..and we have overrun the petri dish.

  11. wbgonne

    An interesting question I haven’t seen addressed much is the relationship between the ebola pandemic and neoliberal free trade/globalization. What will be the impact on the neoliberal model if nations begin retrenching and curtail the international movement of goods and people?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      What we ask for is often relative.

      There will be toys in the 23rd century, without which, a kid will be very unhappy (or ‘can’t live without,’ the kid declares).

      We don’t know what those toys will be and so, today’s kids do not cry ‘they can’t live without them.’

      The same goes with comparing today’s kids with kids of the 17th century, for example.

      It’s all relative.

      So, it used to take months to go from one continent to anther continent, weeks to go from one country to another country.

      Maybe today, we expect to be in New York in the morning and London in the evening.

      But it doesn’t have to be.

      Our expectations can be relative….even morality (I have commented on this before about killing vegetables in the future may be immoral).

      It’s all a matter of adjusting.

      Three week quarantine for all travelers?

      Maybe bad for neoliberal free trade/globalization and bad for business (gotta have it today). But if you travel for fun or visiting relatively, it’s no worse than the 17th century and it’s all a matter of managing one’s (relative) expectations.

  12. Brindle


    I think Obama is a true believer in American Empire and he pretty much chooses military actions which he thinks promotes those aims. He is also a shallow thinker and relies on the advice of hacks (or experts as the MSM calls them). So, his foreign policy is reactionary without any principle that has integrity.

    Moon of Alabama usually is thought provoking—more good stuff.

    —It reminds of those Russian peasants who lamented their lot in life with the phrase: “If only the Czar knew.” They believed that if the leader only knew how bad things were, something would change. But of course the Czar did know but didn’t care.

    A lot of Obama voters seem to be a bit like those peasants: “If only he could”. “If only he were not surrounded by those gastly other folks”. “If only those damned Middle Easterners would not yank him into war”.

    So what is it? Was Obama “yanked” into the new Middle East war or were these his plans all along?—

  13. Chris D

    Tensions run high after officer-involved shooting in south St. Louis KMOV

    This was my favorite article. Off-duty police officer working for private security firm. He “noticed” 3 suspects. Noticed them doing what? The article fails to mention, but probably being black and standing outside.

    The individuals run away. Why does he chase them? Who knows, but he noticed them so he has to chase I guess.

    Likely outcome, suspension with pay, nothing to see here, move along.

  14. Illort

    Olli Rehn seems to have added some keynesian elements in to his daily fix, but still manages to see increased free-trade agreements (TAFTA mostly, I presume) and wage suppression as key ways to cure european economy.
    Personally I fail to see how structural reforming (which I equate with wage suppression mostly) will stop the deflation? I wonder also how Mr. Rehn’s solution would work if China decides to readjust by depreciating yuan?

    With Olli Rehn and Deflation the idiom “You reap what you sow” really is true. Or is the failure of his earlier policies just the fault of external factors, as he seems to imply in the beginning?

  15. rjs

    everyone pleased with the Fed talking down the dollar better hope they dont get what they asked for…the problem with the idea that a weaker dollar will benefit our trade deficit is that a large percentage of our imports, and probably a decent percentage of our exports, are inelastic…we’re going to import petroleum whether the dollar is weak or strong, and with a weak dollar it will cost more (shale production will fall in 5 or ten years and we’ll be importing even more)…similarly for rare earths, bananas, & everything we dont have and cant make or grow…on the flip side, many our exports are of manufactures or products that we have little or no competion that others have to buy anyway, such as Boeing jets, milittary hardware, or agricultural products; why would we want a situation where we’re selling those for less?

    tables 7 & 8 here itemize exports and imports:

    it’s easy to imagine a scenario where the value of the dollar is cut in half and our trade deficit still increases…

  16. barrisj

    “Fortress America” under assault! Not only are suspect “Ebola carriers” pouring across US-Mexico border, but now the spectre of “IS fighters” infiltrating from the south (and possibly from CANADA!) has been raised by the usual suspects. DHS forced to make “categorical denial” that such is the case. And, Russky hackers laying seige to US financial and banking system. Dear God, what’s a chap to do?

    No Islamic State fighters coming from Mexico, Homeland Security says

  17. Will

    I love NakedCapitalism, but comments like the one above about China moving from an investment economy to a consumption economy baffle me – the problem isn’t how traumatic the transition is, the problem is that the transition, or any transition that doesn’t reintegrate humans with their ecosystems, will only destroy our biosphere more rapidly and bring about our demise sooner.

    There are many layers of lies and misleading interpretations around what major governments try to do, but the fundamental context needs to be whether we’re integrating regeneratively with our environment – nothing else, including monetary systems, self-governance, or technology will matter if we don’t get that right.

    1. Brindle

      Spot on. Any economy that does not respect ecosystems is doomed to failure—whatever jargon or acronym it goes by.

  18. Left in Wisconsin

    For those wondering if Olli Rehn has learned anything from the last decade, the answer is no: “The call for serious economic reforms isn’t just loose talk that is more theoretical than practiced. It is based on empirical evidence, and I am not referring only to Ireland or Latvia, which have reformed their economies successfully, even though some pundits have dismissed these achievements ‘because they are only small states’. Spain, for instance, reformed its previously very rigid and dualistic labour market in 2012, and has since seen a positive impact on new jobs supported by restored competitiveness and strong export growth.”

    I didn’t realize Spain was the new model for Europe.

  19. susan the other

    sometimes a great notion… The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for high resolution microscopy, not a light wave microscopy but a fluorescence microscopy. A “nanoscopy.” Because it goes beyond the artificial barrier imposed by the wavelength of light.

  20. Paul Tioxon

    Updating the Atlantic City Catastrophe in Progress

    Hundreds of AC Casino Union workers, in an act of civil disobedience, blocked the Expressway traffic that feeds the AC gaming industry. Many were arrested. The big issues are detailed in the following link, however, it does revolve around contract extensions for the casinos who are still operating. 4 have closed down throwing over 10,000 people out of work. The big event in the AC convention is unemployment aid in processing benefits, job search, health care replacement etc. As an act of consideration in the face of the disaster the union has asked the remaining casino operators to extend the contracts for 6 months in the face of the shut down of the former competing casinos. All but 2 have complied. One in particular is trying to extort pension and health care concessions from the union, by threatening to be the 5th casino to close down. It is CARL ICAHN who using this crisis to throw even more people into poverty, further enabling the destruction of Atlantic City and who owns controls Trump and Tropicana casinos, the only 2 holdouts from 6 month contract extension. But don’t let me characterize him: “”It’s unbelievable to me that the union is somehow blaming me that the Taj may close,” Icahn said last week in a statement.” The casino is in bankruptcy and as a condition to bring it out, the elimination of both pension and health care plans are demanded, to be replaced with only a 401k retirement plan.

  21. Jess

    Reading comments I’m reminded on a daily basis that there are some really smart, well-educated, highly experienced m-effing people who post here. If I had to limit myself to one website a day, NC would be it.

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