By Lambert Strether of Corrente
Herd on the Street
But the SNB kept saying they would never do that! [Online WSJ, “Swissie Shocker: The SNB’s Drumbeat to Date”]. “The announcement came as a shock for the market, with the euro dropping suddenly from 1.20 to the franc to a low of around 0.85” [Online WSJ, ” Switzerland Deepens ‘Experiment With Unconventional Monetary Policy’ — Analysts React”]. Wheee!!!!
Swatch boss Hayek describes SNB decision as “tsunami” [Daily Telegraph].
“[I]f we assume that ECB QE is really about to take place, we should not be surprised that from the SNB’s perspective this sends a signal that their time recapitalising the eurozone is over” [FT Alphaville].
Speculation: Danes are next [Bloomberg].
The SNB press release [Wall Street Journal].
DJIA down as Bank of America, Citi earnings fall [WSJ, “U.S. Stocks Lower as Big Banks Stumble”]. Wowsers. They can’t even win the game they rigged?
Democratic Retreat in Baltimore: Larry Summers spoke, Cory Booker spotted taking a selfie [New York Times]. Twin shockers!
With Warren seemingly out, and a campaign team in place, has Hillary clinched?! [Bloomberg]. Oh, I don’t know. A year is a long time in politics.
Dearth of Clinton events is noticeable, even for the holidays [CNN]. Maybe she’s tired.
Let the chirping begin: “I would like to run against Mitt Romney in every election forever” (Democratic operative) [New York Daily News].
“Republicans are even eroding the traditional Democratic advantage on the empathy question” [Bloomberg]. Based on performance, that’s entirely reasonable.
Romney could try to run to Bush’s right, but he’ll need the evangelicals, and they don’t like him (either). OTOH, Colorado Springs boy Scott Walker… [New York Times].
Shocker: Conservatives unenthused with Bush and Romney [WaPo].
Rand Paul already in retail politics mode [The Hill].
Obama to “redefine” next week’s SOTU to avoid making policy proposals or announcements [Politico]. Might as well just phone it in, eh?
Four Secret Service executives fired [WaPo]. Insider dishes [New York Observer].
The Blue Dogs get nuked, and our famously free press tries to recreate them out of whole cloth [Roll Call]. Eesh. I live for the day when “Centrist Democrats” are as easy to find as “moderate rebels.”
Jobless claims, week of January 10, 2015: Jumped sharply, to a 316,000 level that’s the highest since September [Bloomberg]. Well, thank heavens none of these lucky duckes p*ssed away their cash on retail gewgaws in December, eh?
Consumer Comfort Index, week of January 11, 2015: “[H]ighest reading since July 2007” [Bloomberg]. “Four of seven income brackets experienced confidence boosts last week,” including $50K and under.
Empire State manufacturing index, January 2015: rises out of contraction, beats expectations handily [Bloomberg].
Philadelphia Fed Survey, January 2015: “Abrupt slowing is the signal” [Bloomberg]. Yes, this is at odds with the Empire State index.
From a pied noir: “It was an Arab, but dressed like a person.…” [Ta-Nahesi Coates, The Atlantic]. “This racism, like all racism, was not a bout of madness, but an actual tool.” How excellent that we have a sensibility like Coates’ on the ground in Paris.
Times sees both three million sales of Charlie Hebdo’s current issue and positive response to The Interview as signs of the public’s craving for free speech [New York Times]. Yes, especially if the policy outcome is increased power for the surveillance state, with a soupçon of strategic hate management.
Closer co-operation between French and Five Eyes intelligence services likely [Steve Weissman]. Don’t order your airline food kosher or halal! As if a pro would.
About those world leaders and their commitment to free speech… [HuffPo].
Kerry to give Paris “a big hug” [The Hill].
Black Injustice Tipping Point
The ties betweent the pre-Civil War slave power and the European right of the time [Corey Robin, Jacobin]. “[T]here are in fact no races, only racism.”
Bloomington MN city attorney wants protesters to pay for police over-time [KMSP]. Why not take a page from the NYPD playbook, and not send cops anywhere unless it’s “absolutely necessary”? No OT, problem solved.
The Fear-Industrial Complex
Apparently, raising free range kids is now a crime [WaPo].
The 9-Eleven Memorial Store [The Baffler].
David Cameron to press Barack Obama on security fears [FT]. How many more eyes to the Five Eyes need, anyhow?
America the Petrostate
Anti-frack sand activists in Wisconsin, which supplies 75% of the US market [Truthout]. Somebody should ask Scott Walker what he thinks about frack sand.
ObamaCare alleviates some financial distress, but out-of-pocket costs are also up [New York Times].
News of the Wired
- The six types of Twitter conversations [Pew]. Very good example of social network formalism.
- How to set up your own cloud [Howto Forge]. In five hours, with a modicum (well, maybe a bit more than that) of *nix comfort.
- ‘glish listicles (in this case, Indian English) are a bit tired, but “prepone” is a keeper [India Times].
- The British Museum’s new vision statement [Living Knowledge].
- Testimony of undercover FBI agent operating in customer support (!) on Silk Road [Forbes] (and a scorecard with the players for the Silk Road trial).
- DC Metro fire isn’t a safety problem, as Fred Hiatt’s bone-headed editorial board seems to think. It’s an infrastructural problem [WaPo]. I imagine some privatizer is looking at the Metro right now, and if it weren’t for the DC worker bees who ride it, I’d wish them joy ot it.
- UK greens say they’ve doubled their membership since September, now outnumber UKIP [Telegraph].
- Can anyone point to a translation of [Pegida’s Manifesto]?
- Chinese propaganda official sacked for sex scandal reappears as Marxist scholar [South China Morning Post]. Maybe this guy and Petraeus can get together?
- Virginian-Pilot produces award-winning series on its corrupt local oligarchy, of which their publisher is, alas, a fully paid-up member [Columbia Journalism Review]. And so a reign of terror begins in the newsroom.
- Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson reach top of El Capitan’s Dawn Wall [New York Times]. Bare hands, rubber-soled shoes…. A heroic feat. Then again, we might easily transpose this into getting a non-crapified job in the labor market. Now that’s a dream I can get behind!
Readers, feel free to contact me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant:
If you enjoy Water Cooler, please consider tipping and click the hat:
Talk amongst yourselves!