Links 11/20/14

Russia Looks to Launch Reindeer Police Force Moscow Times

Monkeys Know What They’re Doing Wired (Robert M). This test of self-awareness would suggest that some cats qualify, certainly my older cat (the one smart enough not to get himself stuck behind bookcases).

Spice up your memory: Just one gram of turmeric a day could boost memory ScienceDaily (Chuck L)

Trip Advisor couple ‘fined’ £100 by hotel for bad review BBC

WATCH: How Carbon Dioxide Travels Around The Globe NPR (David L)

Shipping Traffic Increases Fourfold Leading To Pollution Concerns OilPrice. A little late to be sounding warnings like this, but it does argue for more relocalization.

Long-running Android botnet evolves, could pose threat to corporate networks ComputerWorld. Bob: “It’s opensource? How could this possibly happen? Who’s running it? Who are the bad guys this week, the Russians? The Chinese? The NSA? Goggle seems missing from the ‘victim’ run down.”

Ebola Response in Liberia Is Hampered by Infighting New York Times

What Obama Didn’t Get Done in Asia BusinessWeek. Way more devastating than the anodyne headline. For instance: “And the administration’s attempts to turn U.S. policy toward Asia, a strategy known as “the pivot,” or the “rebalance to Asia,” has actually made the economic and political situation in East Asia worse.”

TERM DEPOSITS – Beware of lock in on redemption of term deposits DPLowey. Sounds technical and minor, but as CF points out, this looks like a selective implementation of capital controls.

Euro zone business growth slower than thought as orders fall: PMI Reuters

ECB’s Stress Test Failed to Restore Trust in Banks, Poll Shows Bloomberg


The Mistral Affair: Breach of Contract or Hostile Act? Strategic Culture Watch

Investors Say ‘Nyet’ to Russian Bond Sales Fiscal Times

Months After Russian Annexation, Crimeans Ask: ‘Where Is Our Money?’ Moscow Times (furzy mouse)


French Isis fighters filmed burning passports and calling for terror at home Guardian

Obama’s Risky Course on Immigration Bloomberg

New Opposition to Lazard Banker’s Nomination to Treasury Post New York Times

Torturer on the Ballot David Swanson

Ferguson officer arrested for raping a woman in the jail. Read the legal filing here. Daily Kos (furzy mouse)

Cops Decide Running Surprise School Shooter Drill During Class At A Middle School Is A Great Idea Techdirt (Chuck L)

City attorney: Amazon’s private street flagging force is illegal MyNorthwest (Stephen L)

Fresh SEC crackdown on ‘flash crashes’ Financial Times

RBS fined £56m over 2012 computer glitch by regulators BBC

Senate Report Criticizes Goldman and JPMorgan Over Their Influence in Commodities Market New York Times

US blasts banks’ commodities operations Financial Times. Lead story at the pink paper.

A Citigroup Managing Director Was Found Dead In His Bathtub With Throat Cut Business Insider. Both gruesome and puzzling. Cutting someone’s throat isn’t an easy operation. Charlotte Corday stabbed Marat in the chest. And he was running a business that wouldn’t be one you’d expect to create enemies.

Whither Markets?

Low Inflation Replaces Joblessness as Reason Fed Won’t Raise Rates New York Times

Oil and gold price plunge does not signal a global recession, experts say Guardian

Holidays shoppers to hold back spending Reuters

Class Warfare

New report: Child homelessness on the rise in US Associated Press (Lisa E)

New Era estate scandal: families at the mercy of international speculators Guardian

UC tuition-hike plan advances, but debate just beginning San Jose Mercury News (EM)

Antidote du jour (Lambert from Twitter):

cat hugs dog links

And a bonus video for those in the US hit hard by the cold blast. A team of horses rescues a semi:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. dearieme

    It’s quite a feat to look a lousy President when you are following those two bozos Clinton and W, but O seems to be pulling it off. Will Hellary too?

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Never ascribe to ignorance or incompetence what can only be attributed to avarice and malice. Janet Yellen and Stanley (Irving) Fischer are decidedly not ignorant. Nor is Obama or the plutocracy he serves.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Low inflation (serfs under control) replaces joblessness (serf misery index) as reason rates to stay low.

        It all started with the invention of math.

        “One serf, two serfs, three serfs….Oh, mighty king, you have one million serfs”

        Galileo then expanded numbering to much of the universe, which, of course, included humans as well.

        From there, Adam Smith then took over to explain why you are worth $2.50/hr doing this and only $1.50/hr doing that.

        And that concludes today’s ‘And now you know why’ show.

        PS: The cat and the dog in the photo, like monkeys, know what they are doing…huddling together is key to survival this winter.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          And because our ranchers/cowherds have cattle-brains and can’t remember numbers, you will be branded ‘I am worth $1.50/hour’ with your zip code, the music you listen to, the clothes you wear, the car you drive (or can’t afford to buy), the food you eat.


    2. cwaltz

      I can have my cake and eat it too? Woohoo! It might help if a) someone that runs around with the MOTU let them know that people that don’t have discretionary income can’t do either of the above scenarios. I’m not going out to run out and buy random objects if I just have enough to cover housing costs nor am I going to put that money I have allocated to housing in savings……it’s going to go toward housing(or food or the student loans already taken, etc, etc.) This really isn’t rocket science. The reason people aren’t spending or saving is because the cost of basic needs like health care or food are going up while base pay is still stagnant. The inflation, as small as it may be, is eating into any discretionary income that one might have. Wages need to increase and they need to figure out how to “bail out” consumers in the same way they bailed out the banks. Those with debt balances can use money to pay down debt and those without debt can use the money to buy things. Of course, in order to do this they’d have to admit that the deficit isn’t the be all and end all they’ve made the problem out to be in order to strip the olds of retirement(while simultaneously allowing the DoD to roll around on bedfulls of money without any accountability.)

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        You’re right – wage inflation is one issue we need, but the Fed has it contained in a Maginot Circle.

        The other issue is there are things we might buy more if faced with future higher prices and there are products/services that we can’t buy more even if we know they will be more expensive

        1. Products/Services we might buy more to fight future inflation – canned food, bags of cat food, cars, smart phones, detergents…

        2. Products/Services we CAN’T – health care costs, fresh food, trash collection, water bills, electric bills, gas bills, phone bills, traffic tickets, hair cuts, bus fares, tuitions… You know they will be more expensive, but, like love, you can’t rush to get them.

        3. Products/Services that are not known as this time – Cemetery plots. Will people rush out to buy a plot if they know it will be more expensive tomorrow?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          To me, we run into category 2 (above) more often than 1 or 3.

          That’s why it’s so mean to threaten people with inflation.

  2. Jim Haygood

    The legal basis [for Obama’s executive order on immigration] appears to be the executive’s “prosecutorial discretion.” — Bloomberg

    For all we know (pending details), Obama’s immigration order may well be reasonable and pragmatic. Trouble is, Article I, Sec. 8 of the “constitution” (remember that? LOL) explicitly vests authority over naturalization in the Congress.

    It also provides a remedy for executive overreach. As long as impeachment is off the table, all the R-party Sturm und Drang over Comandante Obama is just hamming up their bit in the Punch and Judy D vs R puppet show.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Yup, both corporate-military parties want unfettered immigration for cheap labor and cannon fodder, despite popular opposition. Post-election, Obama now has the flexibility to do it; GOP noise is pure theater for rubes. Next up: Grand Betrayal and one-world corporate rule via rigged trade.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      This should allow the legions to bring back to Rome more captured slaves.

      Hard (and expensive) to warehouse them in Gaul.

    3. davidgmills

      Yes but the power to pardon by the president in Article II is the most sound legal basis for prosecutorial discretion. Should a president have to prosecute in order to pardon? Makes zero sense.

      1. davidgmills

        A second point would be that the provision in Article I granting the power to determine rules of nationalization to Congress might be limited to deciding the means by which foreigners get to become citizens. It does not expressly grant Congress the right to make laws prohibiting people from entering the country although Congress in its general lawmaking power has the right to do that. But if it is using its general lawmaking power and not its express naturalization power in making laws prohibiting foreign entry into the country then I can see how the president should have a very good argument for using prosecutorial discretion concerning these laws.

  3. Dino Reno

    One of my two dogs is an Evil Genius who clearly demonstrates self agency, forethought, cunning and deception.
    If her sister has a bone that she wants–she being the smaller of the two–she picks up a toy and brings it to me play.
    She will engage me in play by acting out her part to get my attention. Once play begins, the other dog will notice, drop the bone and come over to play as well. With the bone now available, my Evil Genius will immediately suspend play and make for the bone leaving behind her duped sister and owner to carry on in mindless play. I have owned several dogs and I have never observed this kind of behavior before so I have to assume this kind of methodical planning is quite rare. She is not only lying, she is pretending to play in order to change the minds of the other two fools in the room. She is thinking about what we are thinking.

    1. different clue

      Are you and other owners of such intelligent dogs in touch with eachother to breed the dogs togehter to begin working towards a race of genius dogs?

    2. bob

      I knew one that would plan schemes weeks in advance while I was in college.

      One of the guys who was living with the dog and his owner decided one night that he was going to get the dog drunk. Only problem, the dog didn’t like to drink. So, the guy in question put some food in a bowl and poured beer over it. The dog ate the food and got sick. Not cool. What was cool was the next part.

      The guy who had done it to the dog was on the college golf team. He had to be up early the next morning for a match. He woke up hungover, like the dog. He went to find his golf shoes. The dog had chosen to get sick right on them the night before.

      He knew. Smartest damned dog I’ve ever seen. 150 lb ‘blue doberman’, who was likely more great dane than doberman. Everyone was afraid of his size. He never used that, always his head.

      1. bob

        The owner of the dog was very funny. He’d go everywhere with him. As the owner would point out ‘WTF is a leash going to do? He’s gonna do what he wants, I can’t stop him.”

        He never hurt anything, but yeah, he had a big bark. No bite at all.

            1. bob

              That was Blu too.

              He could have easily overpowered the kid and taken a leg if he wanted to. No, he got even on his own terms, on his own schedule.

              I wasn’t afraid of the dog directly, I was afraid I’d piss him off and he’d pull some stunt like that, which he could, most of the time, blame on him just being a dog.

              One of his neighbors openly, vocally hated the dog. Guess where Blu chose to leave his very large droppings?

    3. susan the other

      My wiliest dog was a pound puppy. He had the temperament of a very sweet golden retriever and the instinct of a stock trader. Early on he came to understand he was black without understanding black at all – all he knew was that we couldn’t see him at night until he was right under our nose and he deduced a world of facts from that one thing. He wouldn’t come closer than 10 feet at night if he wanted to stay out, etc. And when he got old and had arthritis, when we went hiking he would lag behind gradually until he understood we could not see him and he would wait there until we came back – knowing we did a trail that brought us home the same way.

    4. OIFVet

      That’s a smart dog. My observation is about squirrels: there are quite a few living in the trees in my yard. There is one in particular that will hide out of sight and observe other squirrels burying their winter caches, and will then steal it as soon as the other squirrel leaves. Sometimes the victim will return to bury some more nuts at the same spot and look quite bewildered upon discovering the theft. I think of the thief as the squirrel equivalent of a banker.

  4. LaRuse

    Re: Cops Decide Running Surprise School Shooter Drill During Class At A Middle School Is A Great Idea

    I wonder if this type of drill was occurring somewhere deeply unpopular with the US, say Russia or N. Korea, what would our media call such drills? Human rights violations, possibly? But since this is Murica, it’s all about Our Safety and Security.

    1. McMike

      I saw a story while back about a full dress drill at a nursing home that included a cop pretending to be an armed hostage taker.

      Cop stuck a gun (training gun?) in the face of a nurse who apparently hadn’t gotten the memo. Not sure there was one. She pleaded for her life. Cop eventually broke character; too late.

      Nurse is suing.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Governments gone wild (with military spendig, police and surveillance)?

        It’s our legacy power structure that power or money flows, i.e. descends, from the government to the people…its origin can be traced to the days back when the horse was first tamed to bring about hierarchy.

        One day, hopefully, we will progress to a future where power or money descends from the Little People to the government. We can call that democracy.

      2. bob

        I’ve seen some of those “drills” too. What strikes me most about them, and the people participating, who call themselves “police”- Police wear uniforms, for many reasons. If you can’t get the uniform right in a drill, what’s going to happen if there ever is an emergency? Lots of friendly fire shootings.

        Anyone who watched the “dorner arson/murder” would have seen the same thing. A bunch of cops running around the woods dressed exactly like the perp.

        Has there ever been any finding on who shot who during that melee?

    2. psychohistorian

      Its all about instilling fear at a young age to assure compliance throughout their lives. One learns to be a bully or a compliant slave.

      You can bet that in short order this incident will be firmly in the young minds all over the country. One or two examples are all that is needed.

  5. Banger

    We all know that the South is becoming increasingly Republican at all levels of government–in my district there wasn’t even a DP candidate for Congress to vote for, for example. I recommend Charles Blow’s column today in the NYT. Here’s Blow quoting the AP:

    “In January, the G.O.P. will control every governor’s office, two U.S. Senate seats, nearly every majority-white congressional district and both state legislative chambers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas.”

    This movement of white voters to the RP is rather dramatic and it isn’t only in the South. But this tendency could have been predicted by the fact that we used force rather than consciousness-raising to begin to integrate society. This has met with mixed results–the worst of segregation, particularly when it comes to interracial marriage and other forms of very overt discrimination is over and one with–the entertainment industry has done a halfway good job at giving work for black actors and musicians and the corporate world has been fairly welcoming to talented black workers and executives. But black people as a whole are not that much better off and large numbers of black men and boys are consigned to the (in) justice system and face systematic violence and harassment by the police in most urban jurisdictions.

    I see this movement continuing as we harden into tribal groupings and the oligarchs gleefully use these differences for their own ends because it ALWAYS works.

    Blow goes on:

    I’m reminded of the story that one of my brothers told about being transferred along with a white co-worker to Mississippi. He and the co-worker were shopping for homes at the same time. The co-worker was aghast at what he saw as redlining on the part of the real estate agent, who never explicitly mentioned race. When the coworker had inquired about a neighborhood that included black homeowners, the agent responded, “You don’t want to live there. That’s where the Democrats live.” The co-worker was convinced that “Democrats” was code for “black.”

    He may well have been right. Mississippi is among the most racially bifurcated states politically, with one of the highest percentage of black voters in the country. In 2012, 96 percent of blacks voted for the Democratic presidential ticket, according to exit polling data, while 89 percent of whites voted for the Republican ticket.

    Of course, since the differences between the two parties aren’t that substantially different–does it matter?

    1. kj1313

      I think this is a bit false. If this country was teeming with good jobs with great benefits the public wouldn’t be so quick to latch onto identity politics. Now we have a Neo liberal Dem President who is continuing the economic policies that have helped increase inequality. So why wouldn’t they vote for Republicans?

      1. Andrew Watts

        Yup. The people who manage to retain their economic position in a shrinking economy will secede from the society which provides that privilege. Which means they’ll embrace identity politics to a greater degree to convince themselves that they are superior and/or more enlightened than the people who are falling down the economic ladder. Eventually the definition of “progress” will evolve into “whatever benefits my class”. While more people will be shoved into the underclass to maintain the privilege of a precious few.

        This process has already begun with the upper middle class and neoliberal ideologues blaming workers and the lack of education for their declining standard of living. While other socioeconomic policies are clearly undermining the average person’s economic survival. At the end of this cycle the commons will be willing to embrace authoritarian solutions to save themselves from liberalism and a political system that has thoroughly discredited itself.

        Whether through self-inflicted suicide, or by murder, that’s how a democracy dies.

          1. kj1313

            Of course have the middle class scapegoat the poor while the Job Creators plunder the wealth. Like shooting fish in a barrel.

          2. Andrew Watts

            Those well-known and loathed privileged groups. Plus whatever passes for an intelligentsia in this country and the dwindling members of the middle class.

    2. Paul Niemi

      There are substantive differences between the two parties. I’ve mostly forgotten what they are. Near as I can tell, the Democratic party is for doing nothing, and the Republican party is for nothing doing.

      1. neo-realist

        For some examples, the Dems will tell people of color that we’ll give you the 40 acres and a mule, then do nothing outside of photo opportunities. The republicans proactively attack the liberties and rights of people of color, e.g., voter disenfranchisement, opposition to civil rights legislation, verbal attacks in right wing corporate media, etc.

  6. steviefinn

    Slower than thought – unexpected decline – disappointing – not up to expectations – etc.

    I suppose if you are of the Neoliberal Neverland, what else can you say ?

    ” Reality denied comes back to haunt ”

    Philip K. Dick.

  7. diptherio

    Re: A Citigroup Managing Director Was Found Dead In His Bathtub With Throat Cut

    Miller was a managing director at for Citigroup’s Environmental and Social Risk Management team,[…]His work focused on sustainability in the financial services industry.

    Here’s my “CT”: the guy was an internal whistleblower, probably getting ready to go to the press with something damning like “Citi has it own team of in-house assassins”…

    1. McMike

      Slit throat. Interesting method. Personal. Messy. Not easy.

      Maybe the news is that Citi is recruiting assassins from ISIS.

    2. Doug Terpstra

      Your CT is questionable. Citi assassins would’ve arranged an accident or suicide, leaving the blade (or nail gun) in or near the vic’s hand.

      According to Bloomberg: the investigation into COD is ongoing…”there was no knife recovered at the scene, leading [NY’s finest] to suspect the death was not a suicide, and they were trying to determine who had access to his apartment.” Brilliant!

      It occured to me that COD is analogous to the guillotine. Perhaps what was not disclosed was the message a vigilante scrawled in blood on the bathroom mirror.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Not sure what CT or COD is, but most people haven’t showered since a movie came out in the 50’s or 60’s.

        Now, there will be fewer people bathing too.

        I would investigate anyone holding a large short position in personal care corporations.

      2. afisher

        Interestingly, today Bloomberg has updated their story – that the knife has magically appeared and NYC is saying most probably is suicide….because folks believe that slitting one’s own throat is really easy?

        1. Roland

          It does happen. Part of the chapter on suicides, in a forensic medicine text I once read, had a section concerning self-inflicted cut throats. Usually there are a series of small “trial cuts” visible on the side of the neck, as the suicide nerved himself up to proceed.

    3. psychohistorian

      Here again we have a relative low level player in the Game taking a hit so that higher ups are protected.

      Maybe this is also a warning to others that might be thinking of trying to upset the global plutocrat apple cart.

      If we could turn the assassin ship around and focus it on the 0.01% top global TRUST FUND owners, we would have a new world in 6 months….ah, but I have always been a dreamer.

  8. McMike

    “So, I asked Mr. Oliver: Is he engaging in a kind of new journalism? He muttered an oath, the kind he can say on HBO for comic emphasis, but we don’t say here, adding, ‘No!’

    “‘We are making jokes about the news and sometimes we need to research things deeply to understand them, but it’s always in service of a joke. If you make jokes about animals, that does not make you a zoologist. We certainly hold ourselves to a high standard and fact-check everything, but the correct term for what we do is ‘comedy.’”

    —John Oliver, quasi-comijournalist and host, “Last Week Tonight,” HBO, in David Carr, “John Oliver’s Complicated Fun Connects for HBO,” New York Times, Nov. 16, 2014

    The only reason we are having this conversation is because the sorry state of our lapdog/crony/rip-and-read corporate press. We are in an era when the only remaining and acceptable way to shine a light on the elite is through satire, and even in that it is half-furtive, ironic (pretending to not care or believe what it says), and feels the need to apologize for itself.


    1. Banger

      I can’t really watch Stewart or Oliver–Colbert is the best comedian of the lot but he’s a careerist who has actually become what he is lampooning, self-centered narcissist. Compare their comedy to genuine stuff that has come out of Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Bill Hicks or Doug Stanhope. What’s the difference? Those last guys did not massage the audiences prejudices–they challenged us and our assumptions and weren’t afraid to be politically incorrect. Precisely what I can’t stand about Stewart and his cohort is they are always playing it safe and attacking people they consider culturally inferior, i.e., those that watch Fox News. They’re after ratings and making money primarily–the comedy is secondary.

        1. vegasmike

          Lenny Bruce died in the mid 60s. He was a mid-century hipster drug addict with like Richard Pryor a lot of personal baggage. John Stewart reminds me more of Mort Sahl, a mild-mannered almost academic satirist. Anyway, Lenny, George Carlin, and Richard Pryor never did satire based on current events-their humor was much more personal and they themselves were kind of crazy. I think they were greater artists, but doubt they could manage a regular television gig

      1. McMike

        Indeed. That is essentially my point. We are so desperate for unapologetic full-throated mocking denouncement of the elite – and their preening hypocrisy and opportunism – that we make rich celebrities of those few people who are willing to even dabble a toe in it.

        That they would therefore become a simulacra of providing truth to power satire is basically preordained.

  9. rich

    I guess they don’t have to worry about the 24% increase in tuition….

    The Rich Kids of China Are Livin’ Large in America
    Vocativ found a subculture of Chinese students in California who drive Maseratis and Ferraris and flaunt their wealth at discreet private parties and in online groups, like “Super Cars in America”


    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Just before the last empire fell, I learned yesterday, a lot of money leaked out of USSR by those involved in spending their sovereign money, only to leave their Little People behind to pick up the pieces.

      Are we now seeing the exceptional-ness of America where rich kids can freely flaunt their Miserableraties or are we seeing the Rape of China, this time, by the Chinese themselves, as they ruthlessly pollute their rivers and their own compatriots because they know they can escape to a safe haven (easier than to escape to Mars for sure), some sort of Western Paradise of the Amita Buddha in their minds?

      In any case, it’s not a good sign your elites are moving abroad.

      It’s also not a good sign your elites feel too comfortable at home to move abroad either, I suppose.

      1. rich

        It’s also not a good sign our students will have to borrow that tuition increase…..or that the recovery on the high end is fueled by this money so the talking idiots on msm can feed us crap about a recovery while us dogs eat puppy chow after our 3rd shifts…it seems the worm has turned… thanks to our beloved policy makers that have sold us out completely.

        but hey just listen to janet, buy stocks…is that third spoonful of chow necessary?…if you refrain for a year or two you’ll have enough saved to support this system… is she smart…she has a Ph.D., ya know….
        Ph.D. = piled higher and deeper.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          On the other hand, it is REALLY a bad sign that global elites are flocking to your place…are we being too generous with elites?

          Are we REALLY the happiest place in the world for global elites?

  10. fresno dan

    I’m not really interested in robot security guards…its just an excuse to link to one of my favorite scenes in Robocop.

    You know, the robot in the scene reminds me of the voice mail at my credit card company – that I called because they inexplicably decided I no longer lived at my address with an apartment #4 at the end, resulting in me not getting my credit card bill, and therefore getting some late charges as well as interest charges. Of course, the voice mail doesn’t give the option of reporting their screw ups……
    1. apply for more credit!!!
    2. Pay your bill….by wire, mail, etcetera
    3. get another credit card
    4. get a credit card for someone you know and love
    5. apply for a larger credit limit
    6. apply for a larger credit limit for someone you know and love…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      My hunch is you can make a lot of money running a robot-dating website.

      Many lonely robots…

      1. ambrit

        Dear Heart;
        ‘They’ already do that. However, they have redefined the wet squishy labour units of yore as cyborgs. The ads pop up on the computer screen like fungi after a vernal precipitation forsooth. “Hi! I’m retail labour unit 2356-987 and I live 3.8 miles away. Wanna get together and propagate?”
        Greetings of the Seasons,
        Legal Immigrant 67-261-0090

  11. bob

    Horses pulling a milk truck, my guess. In dairy country, the milk truck has to make its rounds, everyday, weather be dammed. They only have so much storage for milk on the farms, and you can’t stop milking the cows.

    In Norther New York, during the ice storm of 1998, the local military base “fort drum” was on full deployment moving gensets to run the milking equipment, and tanker trucks to move the milk. Power was out for well over a month in some more remote places, exactly where the farms were.

    Someone did the math early on in the storm, there weren’t enough people within 200 miles to milk all the cows by hand.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Yes, didn’t you watch the video? They got the truck unstuck and the driver came out of the cab, presumably to thank the owner of the horses and help unhitch them from his truck.

  12. proximity1

    The Push-me/Pull-You of U.K. Bank-fines:

    Racket: 1 rack·et
    noun \ˈra-kət
    a: a fraudulent scheme, enterprise, or activity
    b: a usually illegitimate enterprise made workable by bribery or intimidation
    c: an easy and lucrative means of livelihood

    Nov 12, 2014 — [U.K.] Treasury gains £1.1bn windfall from record fines on banks
    [Chancellor of the Exchequer] George Osborne says proceeds from regulator’s crackdown on currency market rigging will be ‘used for the wider public good’

    Oct 31 2014… Royal Bank of Scotland set aside £400m to cover the cost of the investigation into the £3.5tn-a-day market. [for rigging currency markets]

    Aug 27, 2014 … State-backed Royal Bank of Scotland has been fined £14.5m after the City regulator found “serious failings” in its advice to mortgage customers…

    Feb 6, 2013 … Royal Bank of Scotland will pay fines totaling £390m, or $612m, for its role in the global interest-rate rigging scandal…

    Jan 11, 2011 … fined Royal Bank of Scotland and its parent bank NatWest £2.8m for multiple failings in the way the banks have handled customers’ complaints…

    Aug 3, 2010 … Royal Bank of Scotland has been fined £5.6m by the Financial Services Authority for failing to adequately screen customers and payments

    30 March, 2010 Royal Bank of Scotland has been fined £28.6m for breaching competition law after sharing confidential details about the pricing of its commercial loans with rival staff at Barclays.

    The bank fines, when paid, go into the general treasury of the nation. So, as government’s officials leave the financial sector free to run amok and discover in its own ways and in its own time (first, at the customers’ expense and then, afterward,)–by criminal or civil sanctions–just where lie the lines between the acceptable and the unacceptable in their banking practices, these same government officials see huge windfalls accrue to the state treasury as an industry does as it pleases seeing what it can actually get away with and then occasionally paying the government (which the elite class also happens to manage, as with the banks themselves) for guessing incorrectly about this.

    “Who you gonna call?…”

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