Links 11/12/14

Dear patient readers,

I have been up all night and am VERY much behind. I am finishing a post now and should have Links done by 8:30 AM or so. They will be thinner than usual. I am putting up an Antidote now to let you know I have not forgotten about you!

Mind-control device lets people alter genes in mice through power of thought Guardian. Lambert: “Note last para, the real point….”

In Net Neutrality Push, Internet Giants on the Sidelines New York Times


Are we asking the wrong questions about Ebola? BBC

The Ethics of Fighting Ebola Project Syndicate

Study: Ebola Incubation Period May Exceed 21 Days RollCall

U.S., China Announce Plans for Emissions Cuts Wall Street Journal

Is the U.S.-China Climate Announcement as Big a Deal as It Seems? Atlantic

China’s Military Budget Could Soon Be As Big as America’s George Washington

Why China is creating a new “World Bank” for Asia Economist

Hong Kong Police Get Ready to Clear Occupy Protest Sites WSJ China Real Time

Trader’s Guide to Policy Makers’ Language on the Yen Bloomberg

Japan actions risk igniting currency war Financial Times

Japan’s QE-driven inequality will continue to grow Walter Kurtz

Contagion in the European sovereign debt crisis VoxEU

Germany doesn’t understand that it has a responsibility to the rest of Europe Washington Post

No New Economic Sanctions on Russia as Cease-Fire in Ukraine Collapsing Foreign Policy

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

National Security Professionals Pick Mitt Romney in 2016 Poll Defense One (furzy mouse)

Fearing Bombs That Can Pick Whom to Kill New York Times

Imperial Collapse Watch

How the Defense Department’s Procurement Problems Are Hurting National Security Defense One (furzy mouse)

Standing in an Adversary’s Shoes Consortium News (Bob H)


Affordable Care Act Enrollment FAQs New York Times. Lambert: “Website still bogus. Film at 11.”

Medical-bill mess is worse than you thought MarketWatch. Speak for yourself.

Detroit Emerges From Bankruptcy, Pension Risk Still Intact New York Times

Banks Reach Settlement in Foreign-Exchange Probe Wall Street Journal

Forex scandal: How to rig the market BBC

US shale pioneers circle the wagons Financial Times

Walmart Memo Orders Stores to Improve Grocery Performance New York Times. Lambert” “Soviet style shopping experience!”

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

black horse links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. James Levy

    I admire your energy and your purpose–two things I sorely lack. I told my kids that if you could be gifted with a great abundance of energy or intelligence, energy would serve you better. You seem to have been blessed with both.

      1. Ned Ludd

        Five hours to practice firing their arsenal of “civil disobedience equipment”.

        Since the height of the protests, the department has spent almost $25,000 buying 650 teargas grenades, smoke-and-gas grenades, smoke canisters and “hornets nest” CS sting grenades, which shoot out dozens of rubber bullets and a powdered chemical agent upon detonation.

        It has spent a further $18,000 on 1,500 “beanbag rounds” and 6,000 pepper balls, paintball-style projectiles that explode with a chemical irritant when they strike a protester. The department uses LiveX branded pepper balls, which are billed as ten times hotter than standard pepper rounds.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Very interesting chemical stuff there.

          No doubt that some very smart and intellectual people are behind their discoveries…intentional or accidental discoveries, they are still very smart. And they are good at science.

          1. James Levy

            Weird at Kunstler’s Clusterf@&k Nation he and most of his commentators are all sure that the black guy had it coming and the cop is being unnecessarily vilified. They are like so many “libertarian” types–sure that the government is evil, incompetent, and up to no good, except when it kills or incarcerates black people. Men (they are 90+ percent of the time guys) who otherwise don’t trust the government to do anything right are sure that the cops and the DAs are infallible when it comes to incarcerating or killing blacks. It’s mind-boggling.

            1. bruno marr

              …I think you may be misreading JHK on the Ferguson issue. His comments in his latest Cluster**** Nation are not directed at the racial issue, but the general ease with which folks are readily distracted from the national collapse portending.

              Now, the Commenters at his site are all over the map, but that’s not Kunstler himself. (Kunstler is a sharp wordsmith with a contrarian bent who has his biases.)

              1. James Levy

                Yes, he has contempt for blacks, likes patriarchy, and thinks that Arabs should be exterminated–those are his biases, although as you say he is a talented wordsmith and can almost hide it. That he has been right about car addiction, suburban sprawl, and peak oil are laudable, but his misanthropy grows by the year and his devotion to Israel and hatred for the Arabs gets more bilious by the day.

        2. psychohistorian

          How stupid can these folks be?

          Brainwashing and propaganda only work up to the point of the victim not being traumatized by personal connection to the suppression. When Defense becomes control and Protect and Serve becomes suppress and oppress as a stark reality, the us and them lines get a lot clearer.

          The world is watching to see if America’s treatment of its fellow citizens creates the tipping point of Empire demise all are waiting for… can’t come too soon, IMO.

        3. LucyLulu

          I heard more than once that $175K had been spent in readiness. $100k was the amount allocated to supplying their weapons arsenal, none of which was big ticket items.

          Dire expectations of violence and criminal activity have consistently been fulfilled in Ferguson, if only because those with power have either committed the violence or criminal activity or provoked it. Looks like this will be a doozer as its been clear since day one there won’t be an indictment.

  2. craazyman

    That horse looks like Mr. Ed’s granddaughter on her way to a party in Hollywood Hills. You’d think if a horse talked it might say something profound, but why would somebody think that? It’s not like horses don’t like to have fun too. How ethnocentric to have prejudices about horses.

    Whatever happened to Mr. Ed’s money? Did it get siphoned away by lawyers and advisers or did the kids waste it on 5000 square foot barns and jeweled Hermes saddles? Wasting their lives away eating carrots and apples. Dreaming of vain schemes to launch horse perfumes and scented mane shampoos between stays in the rehab facility. What would Mr. Ed say about that? He was a conservative guy, a product of the 1950s America, a time long gone when a horse wore a leather saddle and ate hay. What would he think looking at the world now? It’s hard to say what he’d think about horse perfume and mane shampoo. You really can’t compare one time with another. Maybe he would have just kept his mouth shut

    1. diptherio

      Is it just me, or does it look like someone took a “crimper” to that pony’s mane? Very ’80s…now it just needs some hot-pink leg-warmers…

      1. LucyLulu

        Real mane., Most likely the horse is an Andalusian or Lusitano, possibly Paso Fino, who will grow long manes. It’s been braided.

        One subject I know something about. So does Craazyman apparently (Hermes saddles, is that common knowledge?).

        1. evodevo

          Looks like a Friesian to me. Can’t really tell since I can’t see its fetlocks. Nice lookin’ horse !! Some horse individuals/breeds have naturally curly manes.

          1. LucyLulu

            And you’d be right. Found the original photo. It’s a Friesian. Very good! I thought the head was too refined for anything draft. I was wrong, obviously.

        2. craazyman

          I don’t know anything about it. I frankly don’t know anything. I just make stuff up and write it down. In this particular case, however, I did once see a jewel-encrusted Hermes saddle through the window of an Hermes retail store near Wall Street. It shocked my sensibility, since it seemed so corpulently opulent to the point of a moral degeneracy. This is not what I associated for most of my life with Wall Street. I’d think of dumb fat guys in suspenders drinking bourbons at lunch meetings then going to sleep in the office. That’s the proper role for a financial system in a society. A form of sleep.

          To me, the jeweled Hermes saddle was a metaphor. A ferocious avatar of a sadistic predation where the victorious feast was a hypertrophic and venal ostentation rather than a well earned nap. The venality compounds and spirals up (or down) so that competition becomes less a search for lassitude than a search for murder. This has nothing to do with the craftsman’s pride in creation or the artists compulsion to define and forge an aesthetic order, it has to do purely with domination and subjugation. That to me was the metaphorical shock.

          At some point, while everybody was sleeping, there was a phase-state transition. It went in a leather saddle and a country house that needed paint and it came out a jeweled saddle too perfect for a horses’ back, a prop of a spiritual absence radiant in the black night of the soul in a window where there used to be something like a sandwich shop and flourescent lights.

          I know somebody would say I’m sentimental. But it’s not that simple. That’s the surface but underneath the surface, that’s the reality. That’s the jeweled Hermes saddle. A dark and hideous star shining in a blind malevolent night where souls scream silent screams of pain and nobody hears a sound.

          1. LucyLulu

            Thought maybe you were hiding a life of nobility, came here to secretly slum with the help at NC.

            Aww, shucks. I’ll let everyone know the wedding’s off.

            1. craazyman

              do you live on a plantation like Scarlett O’Hara?

              I am the 3rd Earl of Magonia and I’m a good shot with a rifle. If you need a man to look regal and walk around with a gun I could do that. hahahahahah

          2. craazyboy

            Whew. Been working on Rover all day trying to talk to his GPS chip in hexadecimal.

            This was mind blowing insightfulness, Thankyou craazyman.

            Sometimes I think you sound like Miss Mobius and her twin sister Esha Print, except that you obviously use a dictionary and thesaurus.

            BTW: Miss Mobius and her twin sister Esha Print say “Hi Big Boy”
            They say that to everyone, but in your case I think they really mean it.

    2. ambrit

      Uncle Gulliver always said that horses were way smarter than us humans. BTW, we can only talk about ourselves as being on the same geneto-socio-politico level as them, (ethnocentric?) because they let us.
      Mr. Eds’ money!? What the, you do know that Mr. Ed was made back in the early 60’s when all the actors got was one up front payment per episode and, if they had a very good agent, three rerun residual payments. You really can’t compare eras. Things change so swiftly.

    3. optimader

      “Whatever happened to Mr. Ed’s money? ”
      He blew it all holed up in a Hollywood bungalow binging on peanut butter and beer til he broke his leg one night stumbling into his stall..Sad end to Mr. Ed

  3. diptherio

    Lest we be entirely link-less, while Yves puts the day’s together, I’ll share this:

    Building Grassroots to Strengthen Movements
    : An Interview w/ Cindy Wiesner and Gopal Dayaneni ~Laura Flanders Show, GRITtv

    I got to hang with the GRITtv folks the other day and Laura said that after the financial crisis, they decided that GRIT should be covering an angle that no one else seemed to be: economic alternatives to the broken system. She’s done an admirable job covering that ‘beat’ since then, and is definitely worthy of paying attention to if you’re interested in, you know, things that work.

    1. psychohistorian

      Thanks for the link.

      It is good to see folks exploring alternatives and exposing the moral rot.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A 99.999999% perpetual motion machine of manipulation and brainwashing – almost entirely self-powered by the subjects themselves, through their craving for more.

      A most wonderful invention.

      (I want to say sarcasm, but I also think it’s my response to an absurd world)

    2. psychohistorian

      I can only repeat a quote I included in a comment yesterday:

      “The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.” (Wilfred Owen)

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s also sweet and honorable to go shopping for one’s country.

        Only anarchists un-shop.

    3. Banger

      Excellent find–good article about the use of propaganda images. The U.S. has a long history of making heroes out of soldiers. We keep “losing” wars and we keep “honoring” veterans. From my POV all this is very much like a horror movie and I can’t bear to watch. The recuitment ads are more than just recruitment ads they are part of an overall strategy to keep the military in the good graces of the American people who ardently love their military. Never mind that it is demonstrably a racket for contractors in all their rainbow colors and a stick to beat poor foreigners over the head with now and then to keep everyone fearful, desperate and hurt. The fact we honor the military so ardently show our values. There are no threats, nothing to “defend” ourselves from but crazy shit in our collective unconscious.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        And from comments yesterday, I am reminded that the British have a history of making heroes out of spooks (James Bond and others).

  4. Marc Cherbonnier

    Your site is wonderful. Every day you affirm that people do care about so many serious problems, and your readers affirm that they want to know about these problems and want to join the fight to solve them.

    Bon courage!

  5. David Lentini

    More Stupid Scientific Pet Tricks

    Those inetersted in the story might want to take a look at U.S. Patent No. 6,358,202.

    But the real issue is the following:

    One of the toughest problems the scientists face is how to find reliable signals of illness in a fuzzy mass of brainwaves. But that is not all. They also need to know which conditions can be improved by activating certain genes in particular parts of the body. Another issue is more mundane. Over time, implants get covered with fibrotic scar tissue, which would hamper the release of any proteins from the implant.

    So, without a cure or treatment it’s just a novelty. And the maintenace costs?

    1. Brian

      Trying to untangle brain waves (and horse coiffure), controlling rodent brains to eat the treat, smart smart bombs, ad infinitum.
      I have one, follow all the melodies to the path down a jazz hole in the wall to shangri la. Science can’t do it, but we can. What is the real difference between 10/8 and 5/4?

      1. psychohistorian

        I am now taking marimba classes from a math genius who I hired as a pascal programmer 30+ years ago. He went to Africa and learned to make and play the marimba and other indigenous instruments, including some that use a totally different music scale. Now he is also developing a way to “tune” midi.

        Occasional we talk tech and laugh at the feeble attempts at AI. Why can’t we find joy and humility in our ignorance?

    2. LucyLulu

      There:s a lot of work being done along these lines, and progress made. Sorting out differences in genes and physiology or anatomical changes associated with different clinical entities and their subtypes. For example, 20% of depressed population that have specific genotype respond to supplementation with a Vitamin B derivative. Others won’t demonstrate any improvement. There is a type of biofeedback, called neurofeedback, using EEG monitoring that trains people to permanently change their brainwaves, reducing ADHD symptoms at least as much as Ritalin. It’s been used more widely in Europe, and is being tested at Camp LeJeune and Ft. Campbell with PTSD and brain injuries, with very promising results, as well as other disorders. EEG’s of the patient is compared to a large control database and deviations of (19 waves are targeted now) brainwaves, their lateral symmetry, or their correlations that exceed a specified threshold are targeted, usually a minimum of two s.d.’s from the database mean, or tails of the bell curve. Low frequency magnetic fields are also used to either increase or decrease wave frequencies and amplitudes. I recently was looking at a diagram graphing the voltages of the registers of a new computer chip on the market. I couldn’t help but notice the similarity was striking. A minor variation of the neurofeedback reward-driven system is built into gaming systems to improve performance of soldiers in combat, and being tested by DARPA as a means of identifying narratives more likely to elicit empathy (scary question — why are they testing empathetic responses?).

      Damage from brain injuries can now be seen with medical imaging, at the axonal level and 20% of those with MILD traumatic brain injuries have significant damage seen in bundle fibers (though this testing not yet available to general public). Amputees are receiving computer-mind controlled prosthetics and those with spinal cord injuries may soon be walking with the aid of an implantable computer. Years, even decades, of neuroscience research is paying off and some is pretty mind-blowing, in ways that are both exciting and terrifying, and has the fortune of backing by our amply funded MIC. They are actively trying to drum up grant applicants to increase the amount of research being performed. AI isn’t yet up to meeting the Turing test, but IMO, it’s coming soon to theatres near you.

  6. optimader

    I have been up all night and am VERY much behind

    Yves, ultimately you are where you are, embrace it. The graveyard is full of people who thought they were perpetually behind. Take a walk around the block or hop on the Spinner for 15..whatever works.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I agree. Thanks for the hard work.

      The usual suspects who post here can self-entertain for a day or two. We like to think we’re grown adults.

        1. voxhumana

          First time I was in London, ’76 and in college, I fell out laughing in front of the sweet old woman who ran the hostel when she asked “shall I knock you up in the mornin’?” Her initial response was genuinely guileless, but almost immediately she got why I was laughing and hastened away. I didn’t see her again in the 3 days I was there. I didn’t mean to embarrass her, really!… but the memory still makes me chuckle..

    2. psychohistorian

      It brings to mind the saying, The faster I go, the behinder I get.

      Be well Yves and know your followers believe you a rock star but don’t want you to flame out like one.

  7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    China’s military budget and a new World Bank for Asia.

    They know from whom they derive this power.

    Without their imperial currency and quasi-imperial currency* reserves, where would they be?

    *a currency become quasi-imperial when its issuing nation has accumulated enough imperial currency herself.

  8. James Levy

    The article on China’s military budget is fact-less and number-less. It is pure propaganda. It takes no account of the incredible amount of equipment the Chinese would have to replace (forget add) to match US capabilities. Although it mentions Chinese improvements in anti-air and anti-ship missiles, it does little to point out how utterly defensive these measures are, and how completely inadequate China’s nuclear deterrent is. If the US military stopped procuring ships, planes, and other weapons tomorrow, and just spent money on spares and maintenance, China would catch up–in 15 years. Since that’s not going to happen, the whole argument is just nonsense (and insulting to boot).

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Huh? I saw a presentation by a member of the Canadian military, an expert on China, five years ago. He went through craft numbers. China was already at parity with the US in fleet size, but not in carrying capacity, because Chinese ships were on average smaller. But China dominates ship production. He forecast China reaching parity in terms of carrying capacity IIRC by 2020. He did point out that the US would still retain a considerable advantage in terms of know-how, but our critical military advantage has been that we can land troops en masse. We are the only country that can stage an invasion on foreign shores. If, or rather, when, China gets there, that will be a game changer.

      1. optimader

        Number of ships/tonnage was a Reagan era metric. Dropping the nickel on integration/command and control will be the steep and expensive challenge for the Chinese because they cant just copy it. They are pretty damn far off from having a credible bluewater navy that wouldn’t be expedited to Davey Jones locker in the theoretical push leading to shove conflict. Sustaining a military “invasion” seems pretty 20th Century. It presently proves out to be a loss leader strategy, no?
        Best they just continue acquiring natural resources.

      2. James Levy

        I’m sorry, but my Ph.D. is in naval history and this is one I yield to no one on. The Chinese would be smashed if they left their coastal waters–they couldn’t shoot down our carrier planes in sufficient numbers nor find, let alone sink, our subs before we found and sank their ships. As of 2013 the Chinese Navy stands as third in the world with 709,000 tons of warships–the US Navy has 3.4 million tons, and the Japanese Navy is 4th, the Taiwanese 8th, and the South Koreans 10th–all of them would be fighting with the Americans (India is 7th and likely to also contribute). Your Canadian source was whistling Dixie.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          He was very clear that the Chinese navy is inferior on a current basis and would be inferior even if/when it caught up in material terms, since they don’t have depth of experience. However, he stressed that China is now far and away the world’s biggest ship producer, so its ability to play catch up is way greater than most observers assume. His estimates were in the 2020s.

      3. Paul Tioxon

        Until you are in awe of the power of US Government, in particular its armed forces, exceeds its own corruption and the military of any other nation in the world, you still have not arrived at the fullness of leviathan you try to measure with charts and graphs. The US Navy alone is bigger than the next 17 navies of the world combined. Not merchant marines, not shallow water sailors, but battle groups that can destroy whole nations in days by themselves. There is no competition for the US military, its annual budget is so far ahead, its capacity and weaponry development so far ahead, we were were landing the first naval aircraft carrier drone fighters while the Chinese were just figuring out how to land on a former Ukrainian rust bucket, that was built when I was single.

    2. optimader

      “China would catch up–in 15 years”
      I’m guessing no not even. Yes the article is BS, more GWashington hair on fire stuff.
      The exhaust soot plume of the PLA’s “Halo” tech project, the J-31 stealth knock-off looks like a 1950s vintage MIG. The C-5 knock-off has low bypass dogs of engines, once they do get some high bypass engines they can start working on the redesign to solve the cracking main wing spar –in both cases, old, also-ran SU/Russian engines they bought.
      China is already under cost escalation pressure as the low-cost widget production colony. Rat-holing a few Trillion yony developing (read: copying) weapons technology? mmm… maybe not the smartest plan.

      1. psychohistorian

        What if China and Russia aligned to stand up to American financial bullying?

        I think it is a matter of when, not if there will be a global realignment of “economic” power.

        To me the big question is whether the seemingly small minded global plutocrats that run American Empire will give up power honorably or take the world into nuclear winter with their pettiness.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Actually, it’s more like financial colonialism.

          Everyone must earn imperial money by being a nice, good supplier to the empire.

          The empire, in turn, prints money, as much as it desires, not for the people to spend, but to please those who run the empire and their friends, while once in a blue moon, putting on some show about money being showered for bread (we need that, GM or not GM, enriched or otherwise) and circuses…gotta stimulate the economy.

        2. Ulysses

          Most plutocrats are indeed petty as well as greedy. Yet there is at least one, Nick Hanauer, who has revealed himself to not be suicidally stupid:

          “What everyone wants to believe is that when things reach a tipping point and go from being merely crappy for the masses to dangerous and socially destabilizing, that we’re somehow going to know about that shift ahead of time. Any student of history knows that’s not the way it happens. Revolutions, like bankruptcies, come gradually, and then suddenly. One day, somebody sets himself on fire, then thousands of people are in the streets, and before you know it, the country is burning. And then there’s no time for us to get to the airport and jump on our Gulfstream Vs and fly to New Zealand. That’s the way it always happens. If inequality keeps rising as it has been, eventually it will happen. We will not be able to predict when, and it will be terrible—for everybody. But especially for us.”

        3. optimader

          China and the US are in a mutual financial death embrace, potentially as potent as any military conflict.
          The Chinese will replace the US market with Russia? Not in my lifetime, Russia has the highest level of wealth inequality. Not the formula for a viable trading partner to replace the US (BTW, the US doesn’t have a monopoly on Plutocrats.)

          Until China develops a robust domestic market they will heavily rely on exports (ie: they need the US to keep their financial dishes spinning on sticks).
          The domestic markets will be driven by organic domestic product innovation, (one thing they are notably not good a)t financed by a rising standard of living, the latter is not consistent w/ preserving an economic model based on being the global low cost widget assembling colony.
          IMO anyway.

          1. Vatch

            I agree that Russia has huge problems, and a lot of economic inequality, but there are quite a few countries with worse inequality, at least according to their Gini coefficients. For example, the U.S. pre-tax income Gini coefficient is worse than the corresponding Russian Gini coefficient. The U.S. after-tax Gini coefficient is better than the pre-tax one, but I don’t know how it compares to the Russian Gini coefficient, since the Russian coefficient isn’t listed here:


            However, I suspect that the reduction of economic inequality in Russia is largely due to the price of petroleum and natural gas in recent years: some of that income has trickled down to the Russian public. Things may get worse if energy prices stay low for an extended period of time, and I suspect that Russia’s income Gini coefficient will get worse.

            Despite these comments on the level of Russian inequality, I agree with you that Russia doesn’t have the economic strength to replace the U.S. as a trading partner with China, at least not for many years.

            1. optimader


              “…For emerging market economies, the classification system appears to shift upwards by a grade or more. The majority of countries, including many big players on the international scene – Brazil, India, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa and Turkey – qualify as “very high inequality.” According to our estimates, inequality in Russia is so far above the others that it deserves to be placed in a separate category….”

              “Russia has the highest level of wealth inequality in the world, apart from small Caribbean nations with resident billionaires,” Credit Suisse’s annual global wealth report says.

              The study discovered that in Russia there is one billionaire for every $11 billion in household wealth. In the rest of the world, there is one for every $170 billion.

              1. optimader

                The relevant links for whatever setoff the familiar Awaiting Moderation purgatory and I think they vaporized previously, sooo. so I will leave you with these snips, without much work you can find the relevant whitepaper study done by C-Suisse

                “…For emerging market economies, the classification system appears to shift upwards by a grade or more. The majority of countries, including many big players on the international scene – Brazil, India, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa and Turkey – qualify as “very high inequality.” According to our estimates, inequality in Russia is so far above the others that it deserves to be placed in a separate category….”

                “Russia has the highest level of wealth inequality in the world, apart from small Caribbean nations with resident billionaires,” Credit Suisse’s annual global wealth report says.

                The study discovered that in Russia there is one billionaire for every $11 billion in household wealth. In the rest of the world, there is one for every $170 billion.

                1. optimader

                  .. Attributable to Putin’s operation of a kleptocracy. Point being Russia is no where near being able to support a consumer based market substitution for Chinese exports. Merits of this relationship we have w/ China? That is of course up to discussion.

                2. LucyLulu

                  More on inequality in Russia, if not yet sufficiently staggering, though author gets her numbers from the same Credit Suisse source provided above by Optimader

                  “110 billionaires control 35% of the entire wealth of this very wealthy country.[snip] ……..They state that the median wealth in Russia, the median, is now only $871. It is the lowest median wealth figure of any of the BRIC countries. A country that is a net exporter of energy has a lower median wealth than India. It also scores below Nigeria in its ability to control corruption”


                  Proof that nothing is so bad it can’t be made worse.

                3. Vatch

                  Optimader: At 9:38 PM on November 12, I briefly responded and thanked you for the Credit Suisse document. Previously, I tried to reply in this thread with a little more detail, but my reply was lost in the ether. Anyhow, I appreciate having additional information about the world’s kleptocracies and economic inequality.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It seems that a lot of the so-called wealthy nations rely heavily on exports.

            Saudi Arabia

            It seems they all need Imperial Money.

    3. flora

      Regardless of when or if China’s navy reaches parity with the US, it is currently bullying countries in the East and South China seas. Senkaku Islands. Trade routes with Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam. It is declaring previously settled boundaries of international water as part of its territorial water and ‘sphere of influence’.
      I don’t think China has to reach parity with US naval power to cause serious disruptions.

    4. skippy


      The very nature of large scale conflict… especially sea warfare, has fundamentally shifted in a way which is very hard to discern by past events. Suffice to say its become a weapons to weapons ballistics platform exchange of unimaginable complexity. Size means only bigger targets and what is the casualty rate after first exchange. What resilience do weapon platforms have to engage in secondary exchanges. What vulnerability does digital command structure have, makes the financial markets look tame in comparison, so much information static that at the end of the day is still routed through humans.

      Secondly, where the conflict takes place will be the ultimate factor. Does anyone think Asiatic country’s have even slightest motivation to conduct fleet parades outside territorial waters. Which does bring into light the artificial islands China is building out, providing a network of aircraft and missile bases, an extension of their land based facility’s, layered defense.

      Skippy… lastly… which country is more dependent on the GDP multiplier for military expenditure and how that effects the over all economy.

      1. optimader

        “The very nature of large scale conflict… especially sea warfare, has fundamentally shifted in a way which is very hard to discern by past events.”
        Always the case. File under Dreadnought.
        China is at the Great White Fleet point in history. Basically a littoral navy where they might as well open the sea cocks and get into the lifeboats if it were ever serious bang bang.

        interestingly high value:

        “What vulnerability does digital command structure have”
        cant EMP that!
        Cattle/dairy farmers were flummoxed when the induced power from this electrified fences.
        …When I was a little shaver my dads buddies would talk about what they were working on while swilling beer on Friday-saturday nights/sunday picnics. They didn’t know I was listening HAHAHA!
        I miss those guys ..

        1. skippy


          I said weapons platforms in the sense of the ship, it self, is not the determining factor it once used to be, as the weapons themselves have evolved far beyond the effects of past conflicts, and in that these weapons are more manifold lethal, to the larger capital ships, than ever before.

          Probably more accurate is ballistic weapons to weapons i.e. whats in the air, when and the amount of damage it inflicts, will be the ultimate decider. As well as second exchange ability i.e. even tho the Russians are using some older retro fitted, gear its much more robust, absorb damage, and has numerical advantage in pointy bang bangs.

          As far as our new gear goes its constantly being debugged, the costs and overheads to sea trials is comical, shades of raptor and joint strike.

          EMP its the furthest thing from my mind, more like jamming and satellite et al to play with, the air waves are unsecured at the most inopportune moments imo.

          skippy… gotta run…

  9. bruno marr

    RE: Medical Bill Mess

    What compounds the frustration is that most medical providers rarely have in-house billing services. Getting the Billing agency to answer the phone, let alone resolve the issue forthrightly, is nigh impossible. Getting sick will quickly make you sicker.

  10. Glenn Condell

    ‘Russia has sent a fleet of warships towards Australia in an apparent display of muscle-flexing ahead of the G20 meeting amid tensions between the two countries over the MH17 crash.
    Defence announced late on Wednesday it is “monitoring Russian naval vessels that are currently transiting through international waters to the north of Australia”.
    It stressed: “The movement of these vessels is entirely consistent with provisions under international law for military vessels to exercise freedom of navigation in international waters.”

  11. Erick Borling

    …Still unable to acquire the subscription-only content even web-searching the article title. It Nekkid Capitalism elitist?

    1. ambrit

      The “pay wall” issue is equal opportunity. Consider it a form of ‘arms race.’ Like on You Tube, as fast as aficionados put up their favourites, the media oligarchs pull them down. A web site dedicated to new ways to bypass pay walls would be an anarchists wet dream. Unfortunately, anarchists are in disfavour at present.

      1. Erick Borling

        Dude that is totally high. Oligarchs, anarchists, favor, disfavor… I’m staring blankly at allayaz. Anything practical anybuddy?

  12. ewmayer

    My 2 links’ worth (both Reuters):

    o Anadarko’s $5.15 billion cleanup deal approved by U.S. court

    #SpellCheckFail: “disbursed”, not “dispersed”. (Though presumably the former will be followed by the latter).

    o Continental Resources CEO ordered to pay $995 million in divorce

    This sounds like a Perry Mason episode. I can almost hear Ham “where’s the beef?” Burger complaining “Your honor, it’s obvious Mr. Mason is up to one of his usual tricks!”

  13. LucyLulu

    Question for those more knowledgeable, please?

    Six weeks ago I paid off my mortgage. A satisfaction, which appears to be in order, has been filed with the county. At least, it’s signed by WFC, the servicer, who claims to be the “secured creditor”. The loan was actually in Fannie’s portfolio. As far as I know, WFC was the document custodian.

    After being batted around a bit, WFC agreed this afternoon they would send me a copy of my original note. They said they do not send originals, only copies. They would not budge on this but did agree (we’ll see) to indicate on the copy that the note had been paid in full, have it signed by somebody with the necessary authority, and witnessed. What say ye wise NC readers? I realize odds are slim I will ever have a problem, but I never even made a payment late, and honored my end to a T. I think they should also honor their end too, if only for the sake of principle. Is a copy equally good, or all I’m entitled to?

    It was a Jan 2010 conventional 15 yr fixed refi, no cash out, ~70% LTV when originated, if that helps.

    1. alex morfesis

      depends on what state you live in…also, fannie only holds about ten percent of the loans most people think it does…it just usually slaps a fannie conformity guarantee and then sells it off and keeps a payment flow going from that guarantee…fannie does have a legal department…if you think it is a fannie loan, you might have your original title company prepare a release with the magic words, accord and satisfaction…they will charge you a fee, your title company…and fannie might also charge a small fee…

    2. davidgmills

      You won’t get the original note stamped paid like in the good old days. Originals don’t exist is most cases now.

      I filed a lawsuit to get my original note returned. The case was dismissed and the dismissal upheld on appeal.

      Why? Apparently I had suffered no harm and so the case wasn’t ripe. The judge told me that if anyone ever demanded payment on the note, to refile then. But until then, no case.

      1. LucyLulu

        Thanks David, (and Alex too,) for informative replies.

        Makes sense about needing “harm”, or at least it makes a credible basis for a decision leaving lenders an out when there is no note anymore. My original loan was with Wachovia in 2007, then refi’d with WFC in 2010 because they’d write the loan despite my unemployment/inadequate income (but more than enough collateral). I live in NC who’ll accept pictures drawn on toilet paper for legal docs and a tic-tac-toe game for a signature. I’ve always wondered why nobody got rich just filing change of trustee docs (prepared and signed by new trustee only…….. let’s do everything that way, I’ll start with the title for the Lexus), running foreclosure sales, and shipping the money off before the real lender notices. The homeowners wouldn’t even have to be in default, as long as I said they were, and certified I said so. Ask Dolley Madison if I’m exaggerating. And I have no dog in the fight, either personally or professionally, just got asked to help out a friend facing foreclosure in 2009, and they couldn’t seem to figure out who owned her loan. I got letters from both Freddie and WFC claiming to be the party who “owned the debt”, and a current copy of the note they had on file (from orientee employee) that listed neither of them. I have no legal background but something about all this seemed intuitively wrong from a the viewpoint of someone who’d read their mortgage contract and assumed she understood the basic concepts. I discovered the courts have a peculiar way of seeing things, one less rigid and constraining on the lender. My sister, who knows nothing about anything when it comes to any law specialty other than her own (I hear she is then brilliant. When I’m ready to sell my new fleet of jets to the next booming economy, I’ll finally get some free legal advice.), even she knew that “everyone knows the borrower has no rights”. Ten years ago I would have labelled anybody who told me about the racket a conspiracy theorist.

        There was a case in NY. The homeowner had a satisfaction of mortgage, with a signature from an actual WFC officer in CA. WFC was asserting the satisfaction was a forgery and had a deposition from the WFC employee. There was more to the case, but I don’t recall the details. The satisfaction issue was the part that caught my attention. The judge dismissed WFC’s complaint when they failed to produce any evidence to support the validity of the notary stamp. If it was a forgery, why was there nothing from the notary? And if the satisfaction was genuine?

  14. Vatch

    Hi Optimader, I tried to reply to what you said about Russia’s kleptocracy, but my message appears to be lost. Anyhow, thanks. Gini coefficients can be misleading, and I agree that Russia is a kleptocracy. I appreciate the Credit Suisse document on Global Wealth.

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