Links 12/17/17

These Were The Top 10 Most Popular Searches On Google In 2014 TechCrunch

Tiny Plastic Bits Too Small To See Are Destroying The Oceans Business Insider (David L)

Antibiotic Resistance Will Kill 300 Million People By 2050 Scientific American (martha r)

What Are MOOCs Good For? MIT Technology Review (David L)

Uber says employee tracked journalist because she was late CNET

South Korea cancer victims bring class action against nuclear operator Reuters (martha r)

Dalai Lama concedes he may be the last BBC (furzy mouse)

China plans to ban local government debt from securitized products Business Spectator

As China’s Economy Slows, So Too Does Growth in Workers’ Wages WSJ China Real Time

Abenomics gets economic diagnosis all wrong Nikkei

ECB’s Weidmann Rejects Sovereign QE With No Deflation Seen Bloomberg

To save itself, Greece must exit the euro Telegraph

Greece: Monitoring threats in the possibility of national elections failed evolution

Emerging markets dive following contagion from Russia Telegraph


Russia: Seems Like Old Times Menzie Chinn, Econbrowser

Russia Crisis Hits Pimco Fund, Wipes Out Options Bloomberg

FX platforms halt ruble trade as banks wary of capital controls Reuters

Obama Signals Support for New U.S. Sanctions to Pressure Russian Economy New York Times

Russian Ruble Strengthens Vs. Dollar In Volatile Trade Reuters

Merkel demands comprehensive truce treaty for Ukraine DW

CIA Torture Report

U.S. TV Provides Ample Platform for American Torturers, But None to Their Victims

The Implications of the Torture Report TruthOut

Cheney’s claim that the U.S. did not prosecute Japanese soldiers for waterboarding Washington Post

Warren Can Win David Brooks, New York Times (David L). Aiee! If David Brooks thinks anything, it’s wrong, even when it sound plausible.

Ash Carter’s Asia Plans Defense One

Three Members of Congress Just Reignited the Cold War While No One Was Looking Common Dreams

Inside Wall Street’s new heist: How big banks exploited a broken Democratic caucus Salon

The Washington Post: The Most Reckless Editorial Page in America National Interest. With the Wall Street Journal as competition, that takes some doing.

Lawyers lie down in the rain to protest killings by police Los Angeles Times (martha r)

How Fear Of Occupy Wall Street Undermined the Red Cross’ Sandy Relief Effort ProPublica (martha r)

San Francisco Lawmakers Delay Vote On Former First Lady’s Role As Pension Official David Sirota, International Business Times

Eight things I wish for Wall Street Michael Lewis, Bloomberg

Spending Bill Bans FHA from Financing Eminent Domain Loans National Mortgage News. That kills the Mortgage Resolution Partners scheme.

Whither Markets?

Fed Unlikely to React Aggressively to Russia Turmoil WSJ Economics

US high-grade spreads widen on Russian concerns IFR

Oil Storm Has Texas Wildcat Veterans Warning Bakken Rookies to Take Cover Bloomberg

Stop Celebrating the Ruble’s Collapse. Low Oil Could Come Back to Bite the American Economy David Dayen, New Republic

Oil Is Dragging Down Prices Faster Than Official Price Index Can Capture WSJ Economics

Class Warfare

The secret to the Uber economy is wealth inequality Quartz (martha r)

The Neoliberal Inhabitants of Mont Pelerin Ed Walker, emptywheel

Antidote du jour (martha r):

baby beaver links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Jim Haygood

    People mag:

    “There’s no black male my age, who’s a professional, who hasn’t come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn’t hand them their car keys,” said President Obama, adding that, yes, it had happened to him.


    That wasn’t just ‘somebody,’ Mr. President. That was Jamie Dimon. Hoped he tipped well for the derivatives push-out.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Touche! That the Dems’ first post-midterm vote was for the swaps/derivatives push-out shows just how chastened they are by the no-confidence vote. Warren’s token protests aside, they’re no longer bothering to hide their perfidy.

      1. juliania

        I just use the parking garage across the street from the restaurant. Or did, when I had a car. No hurt feelings thataway.

  2. Brooklin Bridge

    Aiee! If David Brooks thinks anything, it’s wrong, even when it sound plausible.

    Brooks is dependable that way.

    Warren has likely been told that it would be not only in her best interest, but in also in the best interest of the issues she has been raising, that she not conflict with a coronation that is in progress.

    1. Athena1

      My guess is that she’s going to be brought into the Clinton cabinet and campaign, and that her current Blue Team cheerleaders (Obama staffers, etc) are cynically using her well-earned popularity to revive faith in the Blue Team in general.

      I know she’s a good academic, but I’m not sure she understands politics all that well. I’d guess the suicide banksters are operating under the assumption that she’ll reliably fall in line when faced with “Do what we want, or we’re going to blow the economy up, and you know we can do it.”

      1. Spring Texan

        I hope and think she has the wisdom and integrity to stay OFF the ticket and OUT OF the campaign and cabinet and continue her good work in the senate.

        1. DanB

          She did not have the wisdom and integrity to stay out the Dem. party -and she was a cautioned about the compromises she’d have to make (like on healthcare) when she was talking to Mass. voters about running for the Senate.

          1. lord koos

            I’m guessing they will offer her a prime cabinet post in exchange for staying the hell out of the way.

            1. Athena1

              I don’t think she’d go for that, and I don’t think any of “them” think she would, either.

              The things that make me not like her (her conservatism and “pandering” to the top 50-90%ers) are weirdly also the things that make me think she does, in fact, have principals, even if they’re not generally ones all that appealing to me, personally.

        2. trinity river

          I agree with you, Spring Texan. For whatever it was worth, I have emailed her campaign to say the same.
          Yes, David Brooks made the switch to Obama in 2007 since he knew more about Obama than I did. Makes me think he knows more about Elizabeth Warren than I do.

    2. jrs

      Is the “IF David Brooks thinks anything” condition ever actually met? Because I’ve never seen it happen.

      1. TheraP

        He asserts. He postures. He blathers. He assumes. He might even wish. But, no he doesn’t actually think. Drives me nuts!

    3. ChrisPacific

      If she falls in behind a Democrat Trojan horse for Wall Street then I’ll agree with you. I hope that what she plans to do is continue to keep the issues in the public consciousness and call out any Wall St propaganda. Most voters have an idea that something isn’t right even if they can’t articulate exactly what. Warren does that, and that’s why her message resonates with voters.

      If she continues to train a spotlight on the corrupt relationship between Wall Strett and politics, voters are going to start asking some hard questions of the Democrat candidates, and they will have to either shift their position or lose support. They will need to do that while simultaneously presenting themselves as a friend to big business to keep their campaign donors happy, which should be entertaining to watch – but they’re politicians, after all. This is what they do for a living. (My guess is that they’ll run a good cop/bad cop routine: “You know I’m on your side and I’ll do my best for you, but there’s a lot of attention on this right now and we may have to give some ground.”)

      In the end, it doesn’t really matter who runs for President or is elected. We know it’s going to be a stuffed suit of some form or other. What matters is what we demand of them, and how much of a political cost we can impose on them if they ignore us. That’s where Warren can do the most good in my opinion.

  3. dearieme

    Look on the bright side! Antibiotic-resistant bacteria might yet save the remaining defined benefit pension schemes.

  4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Abenomics gets economic diagnosis all wrong.

    Only Peoplenomics gets it right. No other nomics can do that.

  5. fresno dan
    Are colleges nothing more than signaling and networking??? Is success nothing more than signaling and networking? I would say yes….evidence: Timmy Geithner (and Obama for the super cynics….)

    And this is a stretch, but it kinda shows how your tribe helps you and hinders the competition,,contentMDK:20535501~pagePK:64165401~piPK:64165026~theSitePK:469382,00.html

  6. Jim Haygood

    America’s finest legal minds already are concentrating on how Venezuela’s 99-percent probable default plays out here:

    Venezuela’s bondholders have long held that if the South American country ever defaulted, they’d be able to seize its refineries and almost 6,000 gas stations in the U.S.

    Creditors would have a hard time convincing U.S. courts that Citgo Petroleum Corp., the Houston-based unit owned by Venezuela’s state oil company, is legally an “alter ego” of the government and responsible for its obligations, according to law firms.

    If Venezuela repudiates its debt, everything from oil tanks to oil receivables could be equally difficult for investors to get their hands on, David Fernandez at Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney said. The tanks are probably leased, with an independent financing contract assigned to each one, while oil revenue receivables may be already collateralized against other debt, he said.


    Hmmm, I dunno. The repo man can still seize your leased car for nonpayment … or take away your La-Z-Boy if you didn’t make the weekly installment. Sucks, don’t it?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s a matter of printing faster than your currency will fall, as the amount of the former approaches infinity and the value of the latter, zero.

      From Calculus 101, we know it all depends on the rates of change…how a government can turn on the exponential power of the printing press or keystroke entry.

      Do it fast enough, you should be able to buy enough imperial money.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Venezuela’s central bank increased its M2 money supply by 60.7% between Oct. 2013 and Oct. 2014 (the most recent report).

        That’s about the same percentage rate as inflation was running in August 2014, when they decided to just stop reporting it. Why trouble la gente with more bad news?

        It appears, for now, that the BCV is not accelerating its money printing to a rate that would cause triple-digit inflation. If it does, though, the bolivar exchange rate across the border in Cucuta, Colombia, will register the shift instantly. Plenty of Venezuelans work for the government, and word gets out.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Lambert, you should be writing for Business Insider. Venezuela is such a shambles, even the Cuban doctors are appalled:

        Nelia, a 29-year-old general practitioner, told The Los Angeles Times she was astounded by Venezuela’s state when she got there. It was not as people told her it would be when she was in Cuba.

        “It was all a trick,” Nelia told The Times. “They tell you how great it’s going to be, how you will able to buy things and how grateful Venezuelans are to have you. Then comes the shock of the reality.”

        When she got to her assigned clinic in Valencia it had no air-conditioning, and much of the ultrasound equipment she was supposed to use to examine pregnant women was broken.

    1. ambrit

      Oh do I ever remember Rose Mary and her ‘stretch.’
      My Dad was amazed that, as he put it; “a Republican politician could have the courage to hire a Yoga instructor as secretary.”
      The missing five minutes. Long enough to kill an innocent or subvert a country. (Are any of these body cams having their video stream collected by independent third parties for storage? In real time? Oh boy, chain of possession of evidence is going to be a growth industry in the legal field.)

    2. different clue

      Figures lie when liars figure.

      Pictures lie when liars picture.

      Bodycams lie when liars bodycam.

      And even if/when a bodycam tells the truth just like the Eric Garner video told the truth, the Grand Jury authorities under careful guidance from the prosecutor-police industrial complex will deliver the opinion sought by that complex.

  7. fresno dan

    irony or the Dunning Kruger effect (choose which one most amuses yourself):
    “Similarly, Democratic strategists struggle to understand why 77 out the 100 poorest and most government-dependent counties in the United States voted for Mitt Romney in 2012.”

    “I have no earthly idea why a stock market investor would vote Republican — all you have do is look at the numbers. The numbers are staggering, breathtaking and unimaginable. How anyone with even a penny in the market would vote for their interests and choose a Republican is unexplainable.”

    “Since Obama was sworn in on Jan. 20, 2009, Standard & Poor’s 500 index has gone up approximately 115 percent, the Dow Jones industrial average has experienced a growth rate of 146 percent and, perhaps most impressively, Nasdaq has grown in size by 188 percent. Two thousand days into his presidency, the major stock indexes under Obama have had average gains of 142 percent — compare that to the record under Reagan, who saw gains at 88 percent during that same time period.”


    And Mr. Carville can’t see why people are skeptical about democrats….hmmm
    As for myself, I struggle to understand why ANYONE (other than the 0.01%) would vote for a republican or a democrat…

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘Major stock indexes under Obama have had average gains of 142 percent — compare that to the record under Reagan, who saw gains at 88 percent during that same time period.’

      Funny that my Cajun buddy James Carville don’t talk about bonds, which are actually more important for financing his beloved government.

      Under Reagan (1981-1988), the yield on the 10-year T-note fell from 12.33% to 9.20%, delivering investors a total return of 13.73%, thanks to capital gains from falling yields.

      Under Obama (2009-Nov. 2014), the 10-year T-note yield fell from 2.78% to 2.20%, delivering a modest 3.15% total return, including a capital gain from the declining yield. The low return on bonds under Obama had a lot to do with pushing investors into stocks, a phenomenon which may yet end in tears.

      Does this mean coupon clippers should vote Repub? Probably not. Bond returns have a lot more to do with secular cycles than with partisan control. A long bull market in bonds started in Sep. 1981 under Reagan, and may have ended in July 2012 under Obama when yields reached the lows of our lifetime.

      Voting D or R doesn’t change the picture of low bond returns from here on out. When it comes to big government, it’s one big tent.

  8. optimader

    RE: Antibiotic Resistance Will Kill 300 Million People By 2050
    ttl:300,000,000 yrs: 35 deaths/yr: 8,571,428

    That should workout to be a tie for heart disease.
    side bar: Gee, I don’t see deaths attributable to terrorism on the board! (File Under: How we allocate resources).
    Seems to me I just heard on NHK a couple days ago that China has 300MM cigarette smokers (roughly the population of the US–316MM), So I’m guessing they will be grabbing the Grimm Reapers actuarial brass ring in the 2015-2050.

  9. juliania

    Thank you, David Dayen!

    “. . . With consumer spending making up two-thirds of the economy, this results in a nice bump to gross domestic product. In fact, if you see this as a redistribution from oil producers to consumers, you can even tell a story about how it reduces inequality.”

    1. ewmayer

      That would be nice if true, but I don’t get how spending money that would have spend on gas (had prices remained high) on something else “adds to GDP”. Especially with the US now being large in the oil-export business (i.e. “lower oil prices cuts the ‘I” number in the GDP formula” no longer being applicable).

      Further, on the “spending spree!” front, not so fast:

      Do Americans still think gas prices are too high? | CBS News

      “Looking ahead, seven in 10 Americans say they plan to use what extra money they save from lower gas prices on paying bills and expenses, while 52 percent will put more money into savings or retirement. Less than half will pay off credit card debt (38 percent), do some home repairs (35 percent), spend more on holiday gifts (26 percent), or travel or take more vacation (25 percent).”

  10. ChrisPacific

    I got a chuckle out of Lewis’s prescriptions – I think “able to be understood by a Kardashian” is an excellent yardstick for regulation of financial innovation.

    If we put 85 year old ladies on the trading floor as suggested, we’d end up with bubbles in vacuum cleaner and encyclopedia stocks marketed by door-to-door salesmen. Admittedly this might be an improvement on the current situation, as the US would probably end up becoming a world leader in the small appliance and bookbinding industries. That would at least be more productive than its current specialties of military intervention, speculation, and rent extraction.

  11. optimader
    Tesla sales forecast cut by 40%
    By Chris Isidore @CNNMoneyInvest December 17, 2014: 7:25 AM ET

    Airbus : shares fall over A380 threat

    Envoyer par mail

    12/16/2014 | 09:19pm US/Eastern–shares-fall-over-A380-threat-19552647/
    Shares in French aviation firm Airbus fell as much as 4.5% on Thursday after it said it might halt production of its A380 superjumbo in 2018.

    The aircraft manufacturer added it expected profits would be flat in 2016.

    Airbus shares fell 10.4% to ⿬43.20 (£34.32)on Wednesday, marking their worst one-day fall for six years and wiping ⿬3.9bn off the company’s value.

    At the same time, Qatar Airways said it was postponing delivery of the first A350 jetliner until further notice.

    Delivery of the A350 to Qatar Airways had originally been planned for 13 December followed by a flight to Doha.

    The two sides then scheduled a pre-delivery ceremony for Friday, before the handover was scrapped altogether.

    The A380 aircraft is only in its seventh full year of operation and cost about $25bn to develop.

    While Airbus will break even on the plane in the years up to 2018, chief financial officer Harald Wilhelm said the aircraft manufacturer would have to provide different engines from 2018 to make it more attractive, or discontinue making it altogether.

    The announcement prompted a furious reaction from the head of Dubai’s Emirates airline, who said it was prepared to invest heavily in buying more of the aircraft.

    Tim Clark, president of Emirates, said he had protested to Airbus.

    Mr Clark said if Airbus went ahead with proposals to upgrade the A380 by adding new Rolls-Royce engines, Emirates would eventually replace all the 140 aircraft it had ordered with the newly upgraded version.

    He added the aircraft was popular with passengers and full to the gunwales with passengers.

    Airbus has already announced plans to cut production of its A330 aircraft by 10% to nine aircraft a month.

    But it said on Wednesday it would have to cut production again in 2016 to an unspecified level, following slow progress in finding buyers for the aircraft, ahead of a planned upgrade in 2017.

    In an attempt to restore calm, Airbus head of corporate communications Rainer Ohler issued a statement on behalf of the company which said: The entire Airbus top management continues to believe strongly in the market prospects of the A380, but any investment by Airbus requires a sound business case, which we will continue to study,

    (c) 2014 EMBIN (Emerging Markets Business Information News) Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (

  12. TheraP

    The torturers keep whining that no one interviewed them prior to the report. But no one interviewed the victims either. However no one confronts the torturers with that fact.

    1. Strangely Enough

      Who needs to interview the torturers? Their words are in the cables. Anything else is just an opportunity to obfuscate.

  13. Yonatan

    “Merkel demands comprehensive truce treaty for Ukraine”

    While the US is shipping lethal weaponry and Polish mercenaries into Kharkov airport? Sure, Merkel, that makes sense. /sarc

    Putin needs to tell Merkel in no uncertain terms that she has to discuss peace directly with those being ethnically cleansed by the Nazis she supports.

  14. Demeter

    Is it 2017 already? My, how time flies!

    Thanks for Naked Capitalism, everyone. I may not be able to benefit from this information, but at least I can tell which way the wind is blowing….

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