Links 12/15/14

Oh owl! Acupuncturist treats bird of prey learning to fly again with needles in its talons Daily Mail

Abe’s snap election pays off with big win for LDP Japan Times

Fed considers time to end free money pledge Reuters

Krugman Fighting Consensus Says 2015 Fed Rate Increase Unlikely Bloomberg

The dark side of the oil shock Gavyn Davies, FT

Dubai Crashed, Qatar Crashed, And The Rest Of The Gulf States Got Smoked Business Insider

Dancing around data The Hill. Anti-trust and Big Data.

Warnings of a potential bloodbath in bonds FT

Lima Climate Deal

UN members agree deal at Lima climate talks BBC

Lima climate conference tensions may bring storm clouds to Paris The Age

A Single Word in the Peru Climate Negotiations Undermines the Entire Thing Slate. “Shall” to “may.” Standards wonks know that’s a big deal.

Climate Negotiations Should Stop Focusing On “Burden Sharing” And Start Focusing On Sustainable Development: Report Desmogblog

REDD on trial: “As long as nature is seen as property in law, there can be no justice for communities, the climate or nature” REDD Monitor

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“Teach For America” Trojan Horse Among Ferguson Activists? Black Agenda Report. No reason for that question mark.

Democrats, why aren’t you listening to the protests? CNN

Open Story: Your view of police brutality protests CNN. Impressive. Handy map.

What makes nonviolent movements explode? Waging Nonviolence

I Don’t See Race; I Only See Grayish-Brown, Vaguely Humanoid Shapes The Onion

You better watch out! Costumed bar crawl SantaCon hits town despite police call to shut it down over drunken mayhem Daily Mail. So where are the armored vehicles? The LRADs?

Torture Report

Dick Cheney refuses to call CIA’s brutal interrogation techniques ‘torture’ Yahoo News

‘Both Sides’ Are Wrong: Torture Did Work — to Produce Lies for War (See Footnote 857 of Report) HuffPo

Yet no apology: CIA’s mistaken detention destroyed German man’s life McClatchy

Thomas Frank: The New Republic, the torture report, and the TED talks geniuses who gutted journalism Salon

We compared The Economist’s very British style guide to Bloomberg’s, and it was quite amusing Quartz

The Unmanageables Vanity Fair. Those being Omidyar’s employees at The Intercept.

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Operation Socialist: The Inside Story of How British Spies Hacked Belgium’s Largest Telco The Intercept

Mysterious ’08 Turkey Pipeline Blast Opened New Cyberwar Era Bloomberg. Two years before Stuxnet.

Cops scan social media to help assess your ‘threat rating’ Reuters

Fallout from Sony hack may alter how Hollywood conducts business Los Angeles Times

NSA Spying Scandal: SPIEGEL Stands Behind Merkel Cell Phone Spying Report Der Spiegel

Haiti’s Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe resigns after protests BBC

Transport strike likely to shut down much of Belgium South China Morning Post. Anti-austerity.

Dozens of arrests in Turkish Erdoğan opposition crackdown The Independent

Congress Authorises War With Russia – By Walrus Sic Semper Tyrannis

Occupy groups to start ‘non-cooperation movement’ as follow-up to mass protests South China Morning Post

Enter the Dragon: China offers Iraq Aerial Strikes on ISIL/ Daesh Informed Comment

Predicting the Fallout from King v. Burwell — Exchanges and the ACA NEJM

Dozens of lawmakers call for liver ‘redistricting’ plan The Hill

Proponents of Oregon’s GMO Labeling Measure 92 Concede Defeat Following Adverse Court Ruling Bradblog

De Blasio never got permits for new Gracie Mansion fence New York Post

Dark Age America: The Sharp Edge of the Shell The Archdruid Report

Worse than a Defeat LRB. Britain in Afghanistan.

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Gerard Pierce

    The truly pathetic part is that Dick Cheney is able to speak out and be given anything like the benefit of the doubt. Ted Rall, in a recent column, called for our torture apologists to be shunned. This is exactly what should happen. Torture is not an issue up for debate.

    When Cheney and Yoo and the others appear in public, members of the audience should very deliberately turn their backs on them. We aren’t going to see any real justice, but this would be a step in the right direction.

    1. MikeNY

      I’ll say it again: Dick Cheney is the closest thing to a purely evil human being I have ever seen. He has no compunction for his actions and is incapable of admitting error or of feeling remorse. He has the moral certainty that only exists in fanatics, in the mentally unhinged.

        1. Kim Kaufman

          “Cheney combines the fanaticism of Charles Manson with the charm of Ted Bundy.”

          or perhaps the charm of Charles Manson and the fanaticism of Ted Bundy.

          1. Cheney combines the fanaticism of Charles Manson with the charm of Ted Bundy.

            Cheney combines the fanaticism and charm of Charles Manson with the charm and fanaticism of Ted Bundy.

        1. James Levy

          Tough to answer that one rationally, but I’ll take a stab:

          For the Right in America, everything we do is forgiven for we are Washed in the Blood of the Lamb and God’s Country, therefore anything we do to “defend” our Christian heritage is Okeydokey.

          For the Left, introducing those nasty, oppressive, universalistic principles of the suspect Enlightenment (or, goddess help us, religion) is the gateway to perdition and must be avoided at all costs. Admitting moral absolutes would be the road to Authority, Hierarchy, and Patriarchy, and what could be worse than that?

          For the media, any engagement with ethics is verboten–the only acceptable question to ask is “did it work” (as defined, of course, by the people who did it). The only crime is failure.

          1. vidimi

            that is certainly true, but i would extend that to most people, not just the ‘right’.
            most people see ‘goodness’ as an identity, not as the verdict of our actions. so, for the christian right, for example, america is a ‘christian nation’ and is, therefore, good. america is god’s chosen country and cannot do wrong so, by extension, everything america does is ‘good’. sometimes the results may be ‘bad’, but because of its identity of ‘good’, any bad is always the result of good intentions misapplied.

            as aristotle said, we are what we repeatedly do, but that won’t mean anything to most people.

          2. Jim


            What if skepticism is itself a form of ethical doing?

            The skeptic does not claim to know that there is no truth—but more, what the condition of not knowing with certainty consists in.

            The skeptic seems particularly sensitive to the limitations involved in the quest for knowledge. Acknowledging that we all labor under a cloud of ignorance seems like a valid foundation for democratic political institutions.

            Wasn’t the torture of the CIA involved in a quest for certainty?

            1. James Levy

              Sounds nice in a seminar room but as a military historian I must say that military men must act–they cannot just live in a world of radical skepticism. The CIA was not looking for certainty, they were looking for actionable intelligence so that military and political leaders could act, because in this world from time to time we must act, and need the best information we can get (however limited that may be) in order to act.

              But all that begs the question, was what they did reprehensible and wrong? I would say yes, absolutely. It was against statute law and treaty law, which has the same standing as the Constitution. It is a violation of every ethical principle I know of to torture people on a hunch, and again a violation of the cruel and unusual punishment and no self-incrimination precepts of the Constitution.

              1. Lambert Strether Post author

                Either that, or they were looking for a respective casus belli so they could show they actually attacked Iraq for the reason they said they did. Why are you presuming good faith with these guys?

  2. Jim Haygood


    Former Vice President Dick Cheney said President George W. Bush was fully briefed on interrogation tactics used by the Central Intelligence Agency in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, disputing a conclusion reached by Senate Democrats in a report last week.

    The report by Democratic members of the Senate intelligence committee said Bush wasn’t briefed on specific CIA techniques until April 2006 — four years after the program had begun.

    “The notion that we were not notified at the White House about what was going on is not true,” Cheney said today on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program.

    “This man knew what we were doing,” Cheney said of Bush. “He authorized it. He approved it. A statement by the Senate Democrats for partisan purposes that the president didn’t know what was going on is just a flat-out lie.”


    Here we go. Didn’t even have to promise immunity to the greasy perp to induce him to rat out the kingpin.

    If and when the US ever gets (a) a functioning Justice Department or (b) a functioning grand jury system, this interview is all the evidence needed to send them both the gallows.

    1. optimader

      “Former Vice President Dick Cheney said President George W. Bush was fully briefed on interrogation tactics used by the Central Intelligence Agency in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, disputing a conclusion reached by Senate Democrats in a report last week”

      I was reflecting on that this morning. I wonder to myself, Bush took a turn where he transcended from a familiar stumble bum kind of public presentation to appearing more like he was on Narcotics. I wonder if he actually was on meds as cognitive dissonance w/ what shred of humanity he may have still had got the better of him?

      Cheney on the other hand clearly clearly enough, could read the days torture summary to the grandkids in the morning w/ his bacon and eggs.

    2. Andrew Watts

      There are things that I deliberately left out of my comments surrounding the CIA torture report. The Democratic SSCI report wasn’t trying to protect Bush. It was an attempt to protect Congress and the legislative branch as a whole from the fallout of the CIA’s actions.

      Yves emailed me a request to write about this and despite my grave misgivings I am thinking about doing it. Putin has said that the United States has flagrantly violated international law and I now know he was talking about the Geneva Conventions… and Congress is just as responsible for this as anybody else.

      It goes without saying but I hope Cheney keeps squealing to the press.

      1. fresno dan

        Andrew Watts
        December 15, 2014 at 3:06 pm

        I found your analysis very enlightening, and I really hope we get more of it!

        1. Andrew Watts

          I don’t see any benefit in continuing discussion along these lines. There’s still a major part of me that thinks this was a national episode of mass psychosis and this belief was fostered in no small part by the Stewart Baker interview awhile back. It’s also bound to alienate people particularly the people I’m close to.

          Reading the SSCI report was a horrible experience that I suspect gave me a mild case of PTSD. Finally, I refuse to go along with any anti-American statements that Putin has made. That’s a “thou shall not pass” deal breaker for me.

  3. rich

    Moyers: Democrats Bow Down To Wall Street

    The Clintons are the founders of the Wall Street wing of the Democratic Party.

    The Republicans are even more servile in pandering to Big Money, but that is little comfort for the cause of genuine reform.

    And similarly, Elizabeth Warren calls out the Democratic and Republican leadership for putting the public back at risk for the Banks gambling on derivatives.

    this was excellent and should be be viewed by anyone contemplating voting democrat…pass it on.

  4. Carla

    Fabulous interactive map of the protests from Cleveland to Miami, and from Colorado to Maine. Thank you, Lambert!

  5. Jef

    Sustainable development is as big an oxymoron as sustainable growth. It simply does not/can not exist in the universe.

    They both are used to imply that if only we get down to it there will be jobs for everyone, opportunity for everyone to get rich so we don’t have to really look at employment/wage trends over the last 30+ years.

    There is no growth or development, which is code for growth, with out increased carbon emissions. This is just a simple albeit inconvenient fact (which I am certain some here will try and refute) and the sooner we accept that the sooner we can propose REAL solutions.

    1. charger01

      Solyent green is people. People cause carbon emissions. Is therefore, we should eat people to reduce emissions. /sarc

    2. jgordon

      I have been thinking of “austerity” vs. “stimulus” myself a lot lately. This is my thought: what if all the stimulus our societies do in order to alleviate austerity is nothing more than a dead end? For example, we could dig a hug pit, mine a bunch of uranium out of it, and then build a nuclear plant as a stimulus project to get the economy moving again–but then we’d have an accumulating pile of horrifically toxic waste sitting next to us from then on (with a half-life in the millions of years) that could blow up and poison us at any moment. Did our stimulus efforts ultimately improve humanity’s lot or did it detract from it?

      “Stimulus” is a word that is just as disgusting to me as “growth”.

  6. dearieme

    “as per the Bloomberg Way:
    But. Avoid this. Clauses containing the word confuse more than they clarify. They force readers to deal with conflicting ideas in the same sentence, and interrupt the flow of the story. For the same reason, don’t use despite or however.” Aw, poor wee Americans, can’t contemplate two ideas at the same time. It sounds like racist stereotyping to me. Sue ’em.

    On the other hand, as a merely empirical matter, is there some truth in the stereotype?

    1. hunkerdown

      Good question. Where is the line between “nature” and “bred-for” traits? How many generations?

  7. dearieme

    “De Blasio never got permits for new Gracie Mansion fence”. The two foundations of (our?) civilisation are (i) Sanctity of contract, and (ii) The rules apply to the ruler too.

    Presumably there are rules – the Constitution, statute law – that mean that the CIA torture was illegal. So the Senate, the Executive, and no doubt many more, should he heading for prison time. I take it that there’s not a cat’s chance that that will ever happen. Pity.

  8. diptherio

    The NEJM article on the fallout from King v. Burwell is good right up until the last paragraph:

    For at least several years, and perhaps for much longer, the outcome in King could determine whether millions of people continue to have access to affordable, comprehensive health insurance.

    Um…what’s their definition of “comprehensive”? Ditto “affordable.” What world are they living in where the ACA provides either of those things (for everybody)?

    1. davidgmills

      My daughter has both of those in Tennessee ($50/month this year and $60/month next year). After an $800 max deductible last year all bills have been paid including a $10,000 hospitalization. Next years max deductible will be $500. Probably a more comprehensive plan than I have ever had.

      Premium would be over $200 a month and unaffordable if subsidies are taken away because my daughter has severe depression and a very poor work history. She barely makes enough to qualify for subsidies.

      King v. Burwell should be a no-brainer for the federal government if the federal government would just argue it acquired subrogation rights from states who refused to set up exchanges. Subrogation rights occur whenever a party is obligated to take over the obligations of someone else as the federal government is required to do when states opt out. Subrogation rights give you all the rights, benefits and privileges of the party whose obligations you took over. Subrogation even gives you the right to sue in the name of the party whose obligations you took over. And subrogation rights are guaranteed by common law and statutory law. And these existing stautory and common law rights can be applied to any new law and are always implied. In fact, if you want to bar or limit subrogation rights you have to expressly say so. I wrote Senator Bernard Sanders today to tell him that some one in the federal government needs to start alleging subrogation as an issue.

        1. davidgmills

          I’m beginning to wonder if states that opted out are getting much better premiums under the federal exchange. Did your state opt out?

          I just looked at the site for a 61 year old in my state of Tennessee (figured 61 is about as bad as it gets premium wise) and put in $100,000 income to assure there would be no subsidy. Cheapest Blue Cross Blue Shield silver plan is $460 a month, $1,400 deductible, $6,450 total maximum out of pocket and a 30% co-pay after deductible up to maximum out of pocket.

          How does this compare with your situation?

  9. rich

    Carlyle, Warburg Could Have Captive Rating Agency
    Reuters reported:

    A private equity consortium of Carlyle Group LP and Warburg Pincus LLC is in advanced talks to acquire privately held credit rating agency DBRS Ltd for more than $500 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

    After final bids were submitted this week, Carlyle and Warburg Pincus have so far prevailed in the auction for DBRS, which also attracted Canadian private equity firm Birch Hill Equity Partners Management Inc, the people said on Friday.

    No exclusivity has been awarded to any bidder and the outcome could still change, the people cautioned. Carlyle and Warburg Pincus are in the lead partly because they have a global footprint that can help DBRS expand further internationally, one of the people said.

    The Carlyle Group has been known to bleed affiliates for dividends by floating debt. How might a captive rating agency help Carlyle’s cause?

    Carlyle junk: never too hot to loan. Might this be DBRS new mantra?

    rubber meet stamp?

  10. Jim Haygood

    Competition, comrades. It’s bad for you:

    With Paris taxis threatening to create traffic chaos on Monday with a go-slow action to protest the ride-booking company, an Interior Ministry spokesman said that Uber’s low-cost service, UberPop, would be prohibited in France as of Jan. 1.

    Parisian taxi associations had brought the case against Uber, accusing it of unfair competition. Those who operate such services, he said, could face two years in prison and fines of up to €300,000. [Last] week Uber services were banned in the Netherlands and Spain.


    Story of Europe, innit? Cozy little cartelized mixed economy; no economic growth; chronic unemployment. All purely coincidental, of course. *wink*

    1. hunkerdown

      You and I both know it’s because governments constrained themselves to borrow money from bankers rather than regulating its value themselves. With all the .01% on gibbets and no few of the 1%, that problem doesn’t even exist.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Competition is for serfs.

      At the top, it’s cooperation for oligarchs on how to divide up the world into spheres of influence.

  11. James Levy

    As someone who started reading Thomas Frank back in the dot com days and admired his work, I find his recent essays bewilderingly unfocussed and borderline incoherent. He seems lost. His critiques are shallow and diffuse. His policy prescriptions absent or facile. Perhaps once it became plain to him that winning the Democratic Party back to the New Deal ethos was simply impossible (or so improbable as to approach the same thing) he has no way of organizing his thoughts around a project for change. All that is left for him is to snipe, shooting at targets of his ire largely at random. Does anyone else sense this?

    1. nycTerrierist

      Agreed, this particular piece was not his best.
      He’s had some good ones though in the past year, i esp.
      like his ‘back to school’ essay on the corporatized university and also
      the one on the presidential libraries.

      but yes, in terms of a project for change, not much focus there.

      1. hunkerdown

        There isn’t really a project for change to be had, is there? If the system doesn’t want it, the system won’t have it. If the system doesn’t want to want it, the system won’t discuss it and will endeavor to neutralize or neuter any alternatives by any means necessary.

        That’s the ethos we’re fighting: incorrigible and self-entitled. I think it really does come down to less-than-lethal pain compliance and if they asphyxiate, bummer, just like Eric Garner but metaphorically speaking — and MBS CDOs are a lot like loosies, aren’t they?

        Only when survival is threatened and the only way out is compliance, will they consider changing.

    2. tongorad

      I think it’s his Salon gig. He needs a change of scenery, stat.
      Baffler is still pretty strong, but you’re right, he’s becoming irrelevant.
      What can we expect from second-hand, twice removed points of view?
      We did have a working-class, union press at one time.

  12. steviefinn

    Brilliant essay on Afghanistan – a subject I have previously ignored due to the untrustworthiness of the MSM output. The Government & MOD incompetence doesn’t surprise me, it’s as old as the British army & the fact that highly trained soldiers are now a much more rare & expensive resource, doesn’t mean that they are no longer treated as disposable cannon fodder by the armchair warriors, who as usual, have no real skin in their deadly games.

    1. James Levy

      I sympathize to some extent with what you write but find the word “incompetence” doesn’t really capture the essence of what is wrong. Men like Blair live in a kind of fantasy land removed from any connection to real-world problems. They are so “out there” that they could not possibly be competent, so it’s hard to call them incompetent as that implies that they are trying to do something reasonable or realistic but haven’t got a clue how. Bush, Blair, Obama, Cameron, Abe, Merkel–they simply don’t occupy the same reality that 99% of the people they lord over do. Their actions are all symbolic or ideological. They are not meant to solve problems.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      More and more, you see governments, city or otherwise, against the people, opposing the people and alienated from the people, with their budgets fleecing the poor.

      1. Benedict@Large

        All Wall Street has to do is trigger a “credit event”, and any and all derivatives the city has been suckered into come due. Cities outside of the major metros don’t stand a chance if they try to go against Wall Street.

  13. flora

    re: Abe’s Snap Election
    This part leads to some puzzlement.
    “After focusing most of his campaign on the economy, Abe said in an interview on TV Asahi Sunday night that he would pursue his pet goal of amending the pacifist Constitution, a contentious issue he avoided but which promises to drastically change the nation’s defense posture.”

    Is this a popular idea in Japan? Could Abe even say this without getting a wink and a nod from the US? And what might motivate such a wink?

  14. vidimi

    re: the bloomberg story on the turkey pipeline blast

    i think the theory that russia was behind the blast is certainly credible, but no hard facts are provided and we only get so-called connecting the dots instead. if the story were published in reverse, e.g. if RT wrote a similar story about the u.s. was behind a terrorist attack despite a group having already claimed responsibility for it, it would be dismissed as propaganda and as a conspiracy theory.

    a couple of other notes: not sure what the point of reaching out to the russian embassy in washington was. adding that the journalists reached out but the representatives did not comment makes it sound ominous, but what would russia’s diplomatic arm in america possibly know about russia’s top secret operations in turkey, if any?
    also, the timing of the story is suspect: probably meant to pour cold water over putin’s visit to ankara and proposed pipeline partnership.

  15. susan the other

    Interesting bit on what China was offering Iraq (not Iran) to put down ISIS. They are eliminating boots on the ground and offering air strikes against ISIS. Clarified. And better because any boots on the ground are gonna be zapped regardless of their affiliation. So this marks an interesting change in confrontations. All sides agree to stay out of harm’s way in order to target the enemy who is literally running around shooting their AK47s in the air and leaving a trail of dust visible from space. So we know who is willing to bomb whom. Everyone is willing to bomb ISIS. Raising the question, who is willing to be ISIS? The whole ISIS organization is so implausible as to be unbelievable. But how clever. An enemy so odious that everyone just wants to kill it and so they all remove themselves from the battlefield and proceed to bomb the crap out of ISIS. Let’s all drink to odious enemies.

    1. optimader

      RE: China vs ISIS
      Although ISIS presenting an adverse potential risk to energy/commerce is an obvious justification this is a politically risk free. It is also an opportunity for Chinese military to get some practical field experience in w/ coordinated command/control at an operational level with it’s fledgling naval and air force assets. Doing this in Iran is an opportunity to not embarrass themselves by inadvertently killing Western military assets.

  16. susan the other

    Also the REDD report. Salvaging So American forests is a global priority because the rain forest cleans pollution higher in the atmosphere. And creates oxygen to dilute the buildup of other toxins. But the industrialized world is looking at it like just another commodity, to be financialized. Cutting deals to swap carbon credits, etc. Instead of swapping carbon credits, the captains of industry should come up with a better way to clean the air and produce oxygen. Competition, comrades! Not just bullshit. And we all know nobody can come up with a more efficient thing than a tree to do these things. So why do we put up with this crap?

    1. davidgmills

      Grasses work better than trees because they cover far more ground and their roots average 4 times the length of their above-ground leaves. But your point is well made, nonetheless.

    1. davidgmills

      It is hard to tell when the writer of the article uses the term “Washington” whether he means the government, or the oil companies that lobby the hell out of the government.

    2. VietnamVet

      Humans are loath to teach our trade to strangers. Considering that there are only a few thousand families controlling the world, a tinfoil hat is appropriate when the hoi polloi delve into high finance. But, there has to be cause and effect.

      The American government and its oil industry made a concerted effort to take over Ukraine and its shale gas resources. Russia objected. A civil war erupted and the USA imposed economic sanctions on Russia that directly hurt its European Allies. Although today’s water cooler reported “[T]he output of every major industry group increased or remained unchanged” [Bloomberg], East Texas crude oil is now below $60 a barrel, less than the cost of extracting shale oil.

      Rather than supply and demand, the spreading border wars between East and West from the Balkans to Africa has infected the market with panic. It is now a bi-polar world. The Petro-dollar crashed. Not even the few in charge know what will happen next.

  17. Howard Beale IV

    Top Financier Skips Out On Train Fare, Gets Barred From His Profession For Life: ThinkProgress

    Jonathan Burrows, a former managing director for the giant firm BlackRock, figured out that he could board the commuter train he took into the City of London every morning without buying a ticket, and then tap out at the exit turnstile for a charge of about one-third what his ticket should have cost. A transit cop stopped Burrows in November of 2013, triggering an investigation in which Burrows reportedly admitted to ducking the fares on an on-and-off basis for five years. He eventually paid roughly $67,000 in back fares and penalties, which he calls “an amount significantly in excess of the value of the fares not paid by me on the small number of occasions that I failed to pay.”
    That payment settled the legal case against him, but the Financial Conduct Authority ruled Monday that Burrows “lacks honesty and integrity” and cannot be trusted to work in the financial industry. The ruling also cites Burrows’ role as a senior employee at a major firm and suggests that his status as a role model for junior staffers compounds his sins. It is the first time that the regulators have used their new authority to hold financiers accountable for their behavior outside the workday, which was created as part of the sweeping reform of financial oversight in London that passed Parliament in 2012.

    Bloke will probably move to the States….

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