Links 2/7/15

Health Experts Recommend Standing Up At Desk, Leaving Office, Never Coming Back Onion (martha r)

6 charts that show renewable energy is getting cheaper Grist (furzy mouse)

Why Geoengineering is “Untested and Untestable” Naomi Klein (martha r)

Researcher responds to study claims that cancer risk is a matter of luck MedicalXpress (Robert M)

Robot to probe melted Fukushima reactor Japan Times (furzy mouse). It’s taken them this long to figure out how to do this? This is essentially greatly scaled up technology of the sort Olympus uses in surgeries: snaking miniaturized cameras through veins, for instance. Or were they assuming they could get the Yakuza to round up homeless people who’d wear hazmat suits to do the job and not tell them the protection wasn’t anywhere near good enough?

‘Uncertain Radiological Threat’: US Navy Sailors Search for Justice after Fukushima Mission Der Spiegel. Glenn F: “It appears that the German newspaper cares more about our military personnel’s plight than our own MSM.”

Europeople EUObserver (Swedish Lex)

Los Indignados to Podemos: The Making of a Party Real News Network


Dijsselbloem gives Greece a Feb 16 deadline ForexLive. Jim Haygood: “Jeb Diesel-Boom gives Greece ten days before the plug is pulled and Greek banks go dark.”

Greece intends to reject bailout extension ekathimerini

Greece isolated in Euro zone, ministers to meet Feb. 11 Reuters

A kick in the teeth from the ECB ekathimerini. A must read.

Michael Pettis explains the euro crisis (and a lot of other things, too) FT Alphaville (Jeffrey C). We have cross posted the underlying Michael Pettis article today, so be sure to read it and the comments.

Greece – a Varoufakis Conversion Pieria (martha r)

Yanis Varoufakis, Greek finance minister Financial Times

My, how things have changed in Greece Daily Kos

ECB split points to sensitivity of Greek liquidity curbs Financial Times


Muslim clerics lash out against Islamic State Japan Today (furzy mouse)

Houthi Rebels Take Over Yemen’s Government Wall Street Journal

Yes, ISIS Burned a Man Alive: White Americans Did the Same Thing to Black People by the Thousands Daily Kos


Merkel-Hollande mission ends with promise of more talks Financial Times


Introducing Obamcare Lite: What the new GOP health reform ‘alternative’ really tells us Washington Post (furzy mouse)

SCOTUS at the Front Lines of a Partisan War in Obamacare Case Taegan Goddard (furzy mouse)

How ‘No Nukes’ Obama Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb Daily Beast

Critics pounce after Obama talks Crusades, slavery at prayer breakfast Washington Post (furzy mouse). “Offensive to Christians”? Since when did the clearly dominant religion in the US get such a glass jaw?

TurboTax resumes processing state returns after fraud reports prompt halt Washington Post

Oh Sweet Irony: Walker Caught Lying About Removing “Search For Truth” from UW Mission Statement Daily Kos (furzy mouse)

Cuomo Officials Directed State Loan To Cuomo Donor At Center of Corruption Probe David Sirota, International Business Times

Kansas To Issue Bonds and Invest Proceeds to Boost Pension Returns Wall Street Journal. Great. Playing amateur hedge fund.

When Toddlers Kill Selves with Guns in Florida—Guess Which Color Gun Owners Get Arrested Alternet

Troubled overhaul of NYC’s 911 system $700 million over budget: WSJ Reuters (EM)

Protesters Target Municipal Court In St. Louis Suburb That Survives On Traffic Tickets Huffington Post (martha r)

Ferguson Movement Connects With Black Godfather Of Silicon Valley As He Talks About His Passion For Technology, Education, And Racial Justice Hands Up United (martha r)

U.S. judge urges settlement in transvaginal mesh lawsuits Reuters (EM)

Go digital by all means, but don’t bring the venture capitalists in to do it Guardian (david r)


Low oil prices have yet to rattle North Dakota small businesses Reuters (EM)

Four signs of the improving U.S. jobs situation Pew (martha r)

I was wrong about private equity reform Dan Primack, Fortune. Primack is THE lead beat writer on private equity. This is almost like Andrew Ross Sorkin admitting he was wrong. We see way too little of this sort of public recanting, and good for Dan for being willing to do it.

Pathetic Regulators Watch

SEC, Big Four Accounting Firms in China Settle Dispute Wall Street Journal. Adrien: “I am sure they spend more money on their counsel. It has to be over four long years..and then they have 4 years to get their house in order…”

Pension Funds Criticize Transparency at KKR Wall Street Journal. Notice the inadequate disclosure. Guaranteed the SEC will do nada.

Class Warfare

40 Years of Economic Policy in One Chart Mike Whitney, Counterpunch (Carol B). We’ve featured that chart regularly, but it can’t be emphasized enough.

Only 20% are Middle-Class, Most Don’t Come Close Economic Populist

Antidote du jour:

cute armadillo links

And a bonus video:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Steve H.

    “It’s taken them this long to figure out how to do this?”

    Initial attempts to put a robot in the reactor failed, as the high radiation interfered with the electronics. The article doesn’t say what is different about this robot. I suspect the ‘lamp at the front’ means they’ll use fiberoptics instead of trying to transmit the images.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That’s a good point.

      I suspect that they also wanted the robot to learn how to cook in a radioactive environment as well, so that it won’t starve inside.

    2. LifelongLib

      Read the article linked below it. Sailors who served on the USS Ronald Reagan disaster relief mission in Fukushima are getting sick with cancer.

    3. LucyLulu

      What’s novel about this robot is its ability to change shapes. This enables it to crawl through 4 inch openings to gain access, and then reconfigure itself again in order to explore and take pictures of fuel that has escaped the reactor vessel and repair leaks of coolant prior to removal. Another non-invasive method will be used to assess fuel remaining inside the reactor vessel.
      Cosmic Beams will be Used to Glimpse Fuel inside Reactor Vessels

      Current medical technology, AFAIK, does not have shape-changing capabilities. The robot will still have a 10 hour lifespan limit due to the damage of high radiation levels on electronics.
      New ‘transformer’ robot changes shape to access deadly Fukushima nuclear facilities

    4. Paper Mac

      Yeah, the comment “this is essentially greatly scaled up technology of the sort Olympus uses in surgeries: snaking miniaturized cameras through veins, for instance” is incorrect- I’ve used all kinds of Olympus, Leica, and Nikon medical imaging/microscopy devices and not a single one of them was hardened against external radiation. You might be able to find something intended for use in radiology units, but probably nothing that will give usable film telemetry.

  2. Jim Haygood

    Two senior members of the Congressional Black Caucus, and others, plan to shun Netanyahu’s scheduled Congressional address:

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Three prominent US House Democrats are vowing to skip Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress next month, saying they disapprove of House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to invite the Israeli leader without consulting President Barack Obama.

    Reps. John Lewis, G.K. Butterfield and Earl Blumenauer said they won’t attend Netanyahu’s March 3 speech. The White House also hinted Thursday that Vice President Joe Biden may not attend Netanyahu’s speech, which is expected to focus on Iran.

    Lewis, a hero of the civil rights movement, said Thursday that Boehner’s unilateral invitation to Netanyahu was “an affront to the president and the State Department” that cannot be ignored. Butterfield, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said Thursday he was “very disappointed that the speaker would cause such a ruckus” among members of Congress. He called the speaker’s actions “unprecedented.”

    One is saddened only that the protest is primarily partisan, rather than rooted in the principle that it’s squalid to degrade the Capitol into a campaign hall for the leader of the world’s last apartheid state. South African presidents weren’t allowed anywhere near Congress during the apartheid era. But then, rich South African sympathizers didn’t buy out our political system either.

    1. MikeNY


      Maybe this is the beginning of turning support for Israel and its barbaric treatment of the Palestinians into a partisan issue … instead of the non-partisan, unanimous, reflexive pom-pom waving we have witnessed up to today.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Where is the Israeli André Brink?

        André Brink, a towering South African literary presence for decades whose work in English and Afrikaans fell afoul of apartheid-era censors, died Friday, South African news reports said. He was 79.

        Mr. Brink belonged to a group of Afrikaans writers known as Die Sestigers, meaning roughly the generation of the 1960s. According to Hermann Giliomee, a prominent historian, the group “embraced secularization, modernity, racial tolerance and sexual freedom, and used modern literary techniques and subject matter to explore these themes.”

        Mr. Giliomee added in a Web posting, “This literature helped to change the political imagination of the Afrikaans reading public in subtle yet profound ways. They offered a new conceptualization of the Afrikaners and their history that differed starkly from the image the political leaders and cultural leadership tried to project of the Afrikaners as a people determined to crush all threats to their survival.

        That’s the precisely the theme we will hear from Netanyahu in March: Iran as an ‘existential threat’ to Israel’s survival.

        1. susan the other

          It is also the (publicized) theme of the EU. For now. Because it won’t take long for people to realize that Varoufakis has just remedied “sovereignty” by making the ECB the holding company or the bad bank (“bad” since all this bad is only bad for a time and is then good again – lucky for us…or that’s the way it usta be…) for all debts that can be considered stock in Greece. Why not? In the end it is a question of survival and debt doesn’t matter. Only stock matters. It’s the wine.

      2. sleepy

        I hope you are right, but my feeling is that at some point not far in the future, Netanyahu will be replaced by someone slicker, more p.r. savvy, and more presentable to the West, all the while pursuing the exact same brutal policies as the present Israeli government.

        The media will talk about “turning over a new leaf”, etc., in US-Israel relations, and reduce the problem to a matter of personalities rather than policy.

  3. Reality check


    1. The term includes things line reforestation in articles that I have read

    2. It strikes me that this is something that is testable bc either it works or it doesn’t. I get that the left wants to push less consumption as the solution but let’s not pretend that an idea is untestable

    1. jgordon

      “I get that the left wants to push less consumption as the solution…”

      Let’s not get caught up in trivialities here. The “solution” to an unsustainable system is that at some point it stops being sustained and thus vanishes. We can either handle that process realistically and possible salvage some aspects of our technology (perhaps mechanical windmills or steam engines or the like) and civilization, or blithely believe the delusions

  4. steviefinn

    Well I suppose that if if anyone was in any doubt about the both elected & un-elected European elites total contempt for Democracy, they shouldn’t have any doubts by now. I wonder how bad it has to get before people are pushed so far into a corner that they have to come out fighting. The majority however always believe that they will never be the ones to wear a yellow triangle.

    Just a quickie photoshop in support of the only Fin Min in the EU. who is fighting for a good deal for his people :

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I read an article recently about the total world debt being like 3 times the global GDP, at around $26 trillion.

      I could be wrong about the numbers above, but my question is, to whom does the world owe that money to?

      Isn’t Total Global Debt = Total Global Money Lent Out?

      Unless, of course, we got the money from the Martians; otherwise, I agree that’s just money we owe to ourselves (collectively, but some are more equal than others, so they together get a bigger cut).

      1. diptherio

        Well, after following the link, I see it’s not what I thought it was about at all…nope, it’s just more capitalists trying to turn a buck off somebody else’s misery {sigh}

    1. petal

      I love this video! My 2 yellow lab boys do the same thing-one will hold the tennis ball, sitting nicely, just to torment the other. The other will bark and wiggle and bark.

  5. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Yes, ISIS Burned a Man Alive: White Americans Did the Same Thing to Black People by the Thousands Daily Kos

    When our “history” becomes too hard to swallow, we just spit it out and look sanctimoniously “forward,” not back. It’s the exceptional american way. That was then, this is now.

    But speaking of now, our enlightened and “civilized” now, what would the response be in the homeland if this sainted Muslim pilot was accused of “terrroristic acts” on American soil at this moment? Far from the canonization he is currently receiving, millions would be vying for the honor of sprinkling the kerosene and lighting the match.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The thing is, we are still doing it.

      We make women wear burkas or niqabs around their chests in public.

      Thanks to our magnificent propaganda, sorry advertisers, our ladies are only too eager to seek out the latest, fashionable chest-burkas to cover themselves.

      1. Jagger

        So why did they burn that pilot to death? That is something very different as far as I know. I am unaware of the media reporting similiar cases. I can only guess that it was an eye for eye punishment. We tend to forget that 2000 pound bombs dropped from 10,000 feet can also burn people to death as well. I guess it is worse to be intentionally burnt to death in a cage but the results can be the same from a dropped bomb. And the intention is the same in each case, killing people. So maybe there is some sort of twisted logic involved.

        1. Jagger

          I just read that Kos article. The author reminds me of Rush Limbaugh. Extraordinary how quickly he was able to divide the KOS community. One reason the left is unable to achieve anything. I have the sense the author is far more interested in his own advancement than any subject he may discuss.

          1. JTFaraday

            You don’t think the US is conducting master classes in violence?

            Also, just a hypothetical question that occurs to me: are black people even allowed to advance their own interests, or must their advancement always include the advancement of white people too?

            It seems to me that the implied answer on the labor left is always no, they can’t. That’s divisive too.

            We know what the right thinks.

            1. Optimader

              “Also, just a hypothetical question that occurs to me: are black people even allowed to advance their own interests, or must their advancement always include the advancement of white people too?”
              WTF, I think I need a BabbleFish interpreter for this

              1. JTFaraday

                If an issue is not of concern to white people, it’s not an issue. For example, on the labor left, only labor and only labor issues that “are not divisive,” are legitimate issues. Everything else “is divisive” and/or “is a distraction.”

                Equal rights in all spheres, black civil rights, all historical phases of the women’s movement, and the New Left, which sought to unite the former with old labor left, have all been so declared.

                The message here is that “unless your efforts with respect to your own advancement contribute to my well being as I define it, then they are not legitimate–and it doesn’t matter how far behind you are, or if someone is going to beat you down before you can even make it in to work (and, anyway, nothing else matters).”

                Then the labor left wonders why it is marginalized even on the broader liberal-left. It makes more sense to be a liberal, where you have a fighting chance as an individual or as a “special interest,” perhaps identity based group, than it makes to bed down with a blind, deaf, and dumb– and increasingly marginalized– cult that refuses to even acknowledge your separate existence in its lived specificity.

                Hence, this guy’s journalism career and the charge that he is (gasp!) pursuing his own interests by carving out a niche writing about race, which is declared “divisive” because it challenges the labor left’s definition of what version of reality is really important… wash, rinse, repeat…

                1. JTFaraday

                  And what is he writing about? Big shock here– beating black people down before they can even make it in to work. By the time they get there, if they get there, at best they’re up for the roles racists want them to play.

                  Apparently the labor left is okay with that. Like this guy says, at least the right wingers get in his face and stab him in the chest. They don’t pick up the knife and go behind his back.

          2. Leo

            The general Kos readership seems to be mild-centerist to me. In my day, Left meant the means of production being in the hands of the workers. Now it seems to mean anything vaguely non-fascist. Neo-liberalism has triumphed totally.

  6. D. Mathews

    I thought this news item might interest you:

    Act 22, the legislation that set up the program, exempts people from taxes on any capital gains accrued after they move and it provides an exemption from local taxes on dividends and interests if they take up permanent residence, among other conditions. A government brochure sums it up as “Sun, Sand and Zero Taxes.” (…) The law is sparking some controversy in Puerto Rico, however, particularly among economically beleaguered middle-class workers who pay island taxes on non-investment income. Others say the strategy helps erode the U.S. federal government’s tax base by diverting revenue from the mainland.

  7. Ned Ludd

    Workers agree to “having microchips implanted into their hands”.

    “Today it’s a bit messy: we need pin codes and passwords. Wouldn’t it be easy to just touch with your hand? That’s really intuitive. […]

    “Instead of typing data into my phone, when I put it down and tap it with my implant it will know I am going to bed.

    “Imagine sensors around a gym that recognises, for instance, who is holding a dumbbell via the tag in your hand. There is an ongoing explosion in the Internet of Things. The sensors will be around for me to be able to register my activity in relation to them.”

    According to the American Medical Association “RFID chips use in health care represent ‘another promising development in information technology’ that ‘raises important ethical, legal and social issues’.”

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      This reaks of National Stasi Agency (NSA) wet dream come true. RFID sensor range is 20 to 30 feet. Next step: Congress forces all citizens to implant one and all businesses to put RFID sensors at their doors. Hey, they are Keepin Ya Safe.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        First step, of course, is to give any shopper a discount who wears one.

        Get them to ‘want one.’

        Get them to ‘desire to wear one.’

        After all, we live in a democracy and can trust our government to protect us from harm. So, we hope to ‘educate’ (that’s always the key – education; who said ‘We don’t need no education?’ ‘Step forward now.’) people so they will volunteer to get one. They will do so willingly.

        Thus, democracy can be messy or it can take more work to things done, but it’s well worth the price of the extra effort.

        1. Llewelyn Moss

          Haha. That’s exactly what Progressive Auto Insurance does for their Snapshot (spy) device. They promise you a discount if they determine you are a safe driver. I assume you are screwed if they decide you are a bad driver.

        2. Ned Ludd

          Progressive ships location-tracking devices to volunteer policyholders

          By Becky Yerak, originally posted on June 13, 2014, at the Chicago Tribune. An archive is available at the Internet Archive.

          But as part of a pilot program that it disclosed this year, Progressive Corp. is now shipping GPS-enabled devices to policyholders who volunteer to have their driving monitored in exchange for discounts, a company executive said recently. […]

          “We started to ship GPS-enabled devices to our customers in April,” Steven Broz, Progressive project management office leader, said last month at a company investor day. Company employees had been testing them in their vehicles for several months earlier. […]

          “They are ready,” Broz said about Progressive sending GPS-enabled devices to participants. “We find that when we offer GPS-enabled devices to our customers, they have the same take rate as those devices that don’t have GPS in them.”

          Progressive’s current program is called Snapshot.

          Last week, Northbrook-based Allstate disclosed that its new Drivewise Mobile app, which also assesses driving habits in exchange for potential discounts, has a location-tracking feature.

          “Once we know where the vehicle is, we can bring in all kinds of external data to ask new questions,” including whether the speed limit of the roads that the vehicle is traveling on should factor into rates, Broz said.

      2. susan the other

        Let’s start another new Party. The Tail Party. Not Tailgate, but yes let’s raise our glasses. Tail as in Tail Power – as in tail wags dog. If they weren’t cowards, they would not monitor us in the first place.

  8. timbers

    “On Wednesday the European Central Bank (ECB) announced that it would no longer accept Greek government bonds and government-guaranteed debt as collateral.”

    So what’s it all about then? If ECB isn’t going to be an CB for Greece, what’s the point of Greece being in the EU?

    It’s obvious what Greece needs to do.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Mark Weisbrot’s (must read) “Kick in the Teeth by the ECB” is an understatement. It is preemptive economic warfare by disaster capitalists, and if classic Shock Doctrince domination doesn’t cause the Greeks to sell their birthright, their sovereignty and their souls, then the CIA jackals will follow. Yanis Varoufakis is so far responding brilliantly, letting the Troika knot its own noose. Putin is almost certainly watching this game closely.

  9. timbers

    “Yes, ISIS Burned a Man Alive: White Americans Did the Same Thing to Black People by the Thousands Daily Kos”

    Glenn Greenwald’s latest piece is about how O-bomb-er’s drones burn alive many civilians and notes it is still very common. Maybe Obama is the greatest practitioner of burning innocent people alive, ever.

    But Kos won’t tell you that.

    1. Optimader

      Since we know all behaviour is racially rooted, Its a shame BHO isnt black, ’cause then he wouldnt be doing that burning people stuff… Oh wait this is getting complicated

    2. Paul Tioxon

      More boring Fox News worst ever Obama is Hitler meme. You too Optimander, ever heard of napalm? Dresden?
      Surprisingly, none of the arm chair generals of well read good intentions even bothers with illuminating the younger generations. Think of the children! I don’t know if I want them exposed to crazed President Obama trauma victims. With all of the freedom killing going on during the Wall St silent coup and banksters enriching themselves, capitalism could well get a nasty reputation. And then, air strikes burning people!! It’s enough to make one so disillusioned!!

  10. ex-PFC Chuck

    I second Yves’ assertion that the Michael Pettis post is must reading. As the writer at the FT Alphaville link begins his column, “This is literally the best analysis of the euro area’s problems we’ve ever read.” It’s long but even I, a borderline ADDer, found it compelling to the end. Here are a few of the gut segments:

    Over and over we hear — often, ironically, from those most committed to the idea of a Europe that transcends national boundaries — that Spain must bear responsibility for its actions and must repay what it owes to Germany. But there is no “Spain” and there is no “Germany” in this story. At the turn of the century Berlin, with the agreement of businesses and labor unions, put into place agreements to restrain wage growth relative to GDP growth. By holding back consumption, those policies forced up German savings rate. Because Germany was unable to invest these savings domestically, and in fact even lowered its investment rate, German banks exported the excess of savings over investment abroad to countries like Spain.

    Why didn’t Germans, rather than Spaniards, take advantage of the excess savings to fund a consumption boom. The standard response is to point to German prudence and Spanish irresponsibility, but it must be remembered that as German and Spanish interest rates converged (driven in large part by German capital flows into Spain), because they adopted a common currency at a time when Spanish inflation had been higher than German, the real interest rate in Spain was lower than that of Germany. As German money poured into Spain — with Spain importing capital equal to 10% of GDP at its peak — the massive capital inflows and declining interest rates ignited asset price bubbles, and even more inflation, setting off in Spain what Charles Kindleberger called a “displacement”. This locked Spain into a classic self-reinforcing cycle of rising asset prices and declining interest rates.
    Meanwhile German banks, flush with the higher savings that low wage growth, rising surpluses and growing corporate profits all but guaranteed, continued eagerly to export into Spain the savings they simply could not invest at home. So why didn’t ”Spain” step in and put an end to this process by refusing to borrow German money? Because, again, there was no “Spain”. There were millions of households and business entities all of whom were offered unlimited amounts of lending at very low or even negative interest rates, and under the conditions of euro membership Madrid could not intervene. If German and Spanish banks blanketed the country with lending proposals, Madrid could do nothing to stop it (at least not without raising domestic unemployment and igniting the the ire of Brussels and Berlin). As long as there were some greedy, overly optimistic or foolish borrowers (and in a country of 45-50 million people how could there not be?), German and Spanish banks fell over themselves to make loans. The money had to be absorbed by Spain and there was no mechanism to ensure the quality of its absorption.

    Above all this is not a story about nations. Before the crisis German workers were forced to pay to inflate the Spanish bubble by accepting very low wage growth, even as the European economy boomed. After the crisis Spanish workers were forced to absorb the cost of deflating the bubble in the form of soaring unemployment. But the story doesn’t end there. Before the crisis, German and Spanish lenders eagerly sought out Spanish borrowers and offered them unlimited amounts of extremely cheap loans — somewhere in the fine print I suppose the lenders suggested that it would be better if these loans were used to fund only highly productive investments.

    But many of them didn’t, and because they didn’t, German and Spanish banks — mainly the German banks who originally exported excess German savings — must take very large losses as these foolish investments, funded by foolish loans, fail to generate the necessary returns. It is no great secret that banking systems resolve losses with the cooperation of their governments by passing them on to middle class savers, either directly, in the form of failed deposits or higher taxes, or indirectly, in the form of financial repression. Both German and Spanish banks must be recapitalized in order that they can eventually recognize the inevitable losses, and this means either many years of artificially boosted profits on the back of middle class savers, or the direct transfer of losses onto the government balance sheets, with German and Spanish household taxpayers covering the debt repayments.

    There’s more; much, much more worth reading. The history of the counter-intuitively adverse unintended consequences the Germans experienced as a result of their demands for the French Indemnity following the Franco-Prussian war is fascinating, as are the descriptions of the various following repetitions of unlearned history.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Thanks for that rec. I hope to read it after I am finished with my grocery shopping this morning.

      I just want to now if he mentioned anything about clawing back money Goldman Sachs made from helping Greece to get into the zone in the first place? Maybe $20 or $30 billion, if fines are tacked on. European Parliament can advance the money to the people of Greece while it goes after the squid. And maybe they can to the Hague and get another $40 or $50 billion from the oligarchs and the financial-war criminals who ran the corrupt, captured previous governments of Greece? Maybe the US can advance the people of Greece that amount now.

      We have to treat this as a crime, as has been said about another act.

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        No, Pettis did not mention the scam that Golden Sacks pulled off back in the day, probably because it was past history that, unlike the French Indemnity of the late 19th century, was extraneous to the points he was making.
        As an aid to those who haven’t read the piece yet and might conclude that the lack of any mention of Greece in the extract I quoted means it’s not pertinent to that country, Pettis states up front that he’s using Germany as shorthand for the northern European countries who were net lenders during the bubble and Spain (mainly because its the author’s country of origin) as shorthand for the countries of the south (and Ireland) who were the net borrowers. In short, it’s very pertinent to Greece.

    2. susan the other

      Thanks Chuck. Esp. for relaying: “… (there was) no mechanism to insure the quality of its absorption…” End of story.

    3. Pwelder

      Yves, thanks so much for the Michael Pettis pieces. Come Judgment Day, you can be sure items like this will far outweigh all the anti-fracking foolishness. NC is well on its way to National Treasure status.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      That is one bizarre story. Obama’s mild critique of Christianity and American history was a typically sanitized version of unspeakable evil. But the outraged response of Republican Governor Jim Gilmore reveals stunning ignorance and sanctimony. “[Obama’s comments] are the most offensive I have in my lifetime…He has offended every believing Christian in the United States… Obama does not believe in America or the values we all share.”

      This was a prayer breakfast? Clearly the man knows nothing about Jesus Christ, not the first thing about Christianity, and doesn’t have the slightest clue about American history. Buffoon just doesn’t quite say it, nope, not even presumptuous ass. Where do we find such fools to become governors and what did we do to deserve them? This is one of those stories that inspire one to bang the wall with one’s forehead.

  11. ex-PFC Chuck

    At The Vinyard there’s a post up with Alexander Mercouris’ analysis of the Merkel/Hollande meeting with Putin in Moscow. What’s especially intriguing is that all aides of all three heads of government were not in the meeting, and that for the first time since the end of the Franco Prussian War Britain was not invited to participate in a meeting whose objective was to settle a major continental European conflict. Mercouris suggests that these exclusions were probably agreed upon among the parties in order to minimize leakages of the substance of the discussions to US.

    1. VietnamVet

      Chancellor Angela Merkel is scheduled to meet with Barrack Obama on Monday after visiting the Kremlin yesterday. Joe Biden is in Europe pushing for an expanded Ukraine war and regime change in Moscow. Has Germany developed second thoughts? This is directly related to the Euro Crisis. Can undemocratic institutions run for the benefit of the few be compelled to do the public good? Or, will Europe be destroyed, once again, along with the rest of mankind?

  12. Vatch

    “40 Years of Economic Policy in One Chart Mike Whitney, Counterpunch (Carol B). We’ve featured that chart regularly, but it can’t be emphasized enough.”

    Yes, thank you. Frequent reminders of this are very useful. Conservative Republicans (and conservative Democrats) are fond of complaining that people on the Left try to incite class war when we complain about inequality of income and wealth. Of course, the reality is that the class war has been in progress for decades, and it was started by rich people and conservatives, not by leftists, the poor, or the middle class. The notorious Powell memorandum, which has been mentioned on this site several times (thank you for that, by the way), could be considered the firing on Fort Sumter of the current class war (there have been many class wars throughout history). Things were fairly stealthy until Reagan became President, and after the regulatory cutbacks of the Clinton and Bush II administrations, the war was obvious for anyone who cared to look.

    People on the Left aren’t causing class war. We’re just pointing out that this conflict has been in existence for a long time.

  13. stanton

    Why Geoengineering is “Untested and Untestable” Naomi Klein (martha r)

    This article is so misleading. Geoengineering is happening right now. Clouds need condensation nuclei to form. So what is this nuclei coming out of the planes that wee see leaving trails that congeal into clouds? It is toxic aluminum, barium and strontium. Recycled coal ash is used as the base.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Is trying to move the Earth’s orbit around the sun a few feet further away, in order to counter global warming, considered geoengineering or extra-terrestrial-engineering?

    1. Optimader

      At solar noon tomarrow, everyone should stamp their feet, by my calculation that should progessivly bump us over q bit

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Cuomo donor…center of corruption probe.

    Look around the world, to get a better view of humans in general, are corrupt governments exceptions or the norm – or more generally, is government corruption, private sector corruption and public-private partnership corruption a bug or a feature?

    Is it going to be the heretic Gnostics who believed in the divinity of each of us (empowering the people), or the state supported orthodox religion that claims to have been helping the poor, the needy for thousands of years (let me help you by spending your money)?

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