Links 3/2/15

First tree seeds for Doomsday vault BBC (David L)

20-Year-Old Military Weather Satellite Explodes In Orbit Slashdot. Bob: “Military weather? 20 years old? 10 to 1 it was a nuke. All the nerds are claiming starwars.”

Tea’s benefits extend to old bones, Japanese researchers claim Japan Today (furzy mouse)

Lord Robert Winston says assisted dying will make elderly and ‘fragile’ patients feel obliged to kill themselves Independent (furzy mouse)

Meet Pierre Omidyar! A handy primer for new First Look hires Mark Ames, Pando (Nikki)

China’s rate cut insufficient: investors expect more cuts and yuan devaluation Walter Kurtz

Australia’s Mining Bust Turns Towns Into Ghost Towns; Expect Interest Rate “Shock and Awe” Michael Shedlock

Why the Rise of Fascism is Again the Issue Counterpunch (Incontinent Truth)

Eurozone Fiscal Policy – Still Not Getting It Simon Wren-Lewis, Social Europe

News Corp. Set to Rehire Rebekah Brooks, Acquitted Executive New York Times

Europe puts future at risk by playing safe Wolfgang Munchau, Financial Times


Greece is being forced into purgatory to save the euro Telegraph

Spanish PM: there is no anti-Athens ‘axis’ CNBC

Greece Not Such a Drag for Eurozone Wall Street Journal

Greek debt becoming less sustainable ekathimerini. “The agreement between the Greek government and its lenders, which was sanctioned by the Eurogroup last Tuesday, appears to be more of a respite and less of a sea change in the relationship between the two sides.”

Greek reforms could prompt bailout payment in March, says Dijsselbloem ekathimerini

Austria imposes debt moratorium on Heta bad bank Reuters (furzy mouse)


Ukraine unofficially has 272 percent inflation Washington Post


Kerry Is Pushing for Agreement in Iran Nuclear Talks New York Times

ISIS has threatened Twitter founder Jack Dorsey with death Business Insider (David L)

Kerry on defensive as Israel PM flies to US Financial Times

US high court case threatens independent electoral map drawers Associated Press (furzy mouse)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Internet privacy, funded by spooks: A brief history of the BBG Yasha Levine, Pando

Translated: THE WORLD GOVERNMENT How Silicon Valley controls our future — Fear and Technopanic Medium (furzy mouse) An annotated translation of sections of a Der Spiegel. FWIW, I find Der Spiegel closer to the mark than the critic/commentator.

Is Supreme Court’s chief justice ready to take down ObamaCare? The Hill

Jesus García cannot save Chicago Ed Luce, Financial Times. Luce used to be Larry Summers’ speechwriter. Need we say more?

Justice Department to Fault Ferguson Police, Seeing Racial Bias in Traffic Stops New York Times


Game On Tim Duy

Fed’s Williams Sees Full U.S. Employment by Year End WSJ Economics

Tell the Federal Reserve board of governors: Retire Scott Alvarez Credo. Elizabeth Warren’s shellacking is getting traction. Please sign!

US Will Never Gain Oil Market Crown Says IEA Head OilPrice

Corporate Borrowing Now Flows To Shareholders, Not Productive Investment: Study International Business Times. Duh, but glad to see it confirmed officially.

Stock markets: where have the good times gone? Financial Times. Important piece on the economics of major financial firms. One indicator in NYC consistent with their thesis: distress in the salon business.

Antidote du jour. This cat deserves some sardines:

indifferent cat links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Llewelyn Moss

    Man, it has become expensive to be a Deadhead.

    Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary Shows Sold Out in one day of Ticketmaster sales. 3 shows with 70,000 seats each. (210,000 tickets)

    Tickets list cost is 60$ – $200 depending on seat location. The interesting thing is that Ticket Scalpers are already selling tickets online for an average price of $2,150. A Forbes article calls it “Secondary Market” ticket sales. I guess the term “Scalpers” has become politically incorrect.

    1. craazyboy

      minor corrections:

      parking lot = Secondary Market
      scalper = Trader
      concert goer = Dead Head
      someone who borrows the ticket money and doesn’t pay it back – Dead Beat

      Also remember – inflation has been sooo low for such a verrrryyy looong time.

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        Thanks for those corrections. I need to fire my comment editoral board — so insensitive.

        But it is still early days. Concert is in July. Plenty of time for Scalpers to break the $10,000 barrier. :-)

          1. craazyboy

            Holy High Rollin’ Hippies!

            I remember the good ol’ days when they limited how many tickets one person could buy – to eliminate a scalper coming in and buying 10000 tickets and trying crap like this.

            1. Llewelyn Moss

              Hahaha. Something tells me it ain’t the Hippies who will be buying these tix. I wonder if they have decorated the tickets with a tulip.

          2. David J. Litleboy

            “I’ll eat my bong if those sell.”

            You’re going to be eating that bong. The Dead were the most successful touring act of any kind in history. Zillions of fans: they played 300, sold-out, (mostly) stadium-size concerts a year for 30 years. Lots of the fans were college kids in the 80s and 90s who went to Wall St. and made a killing. For whom US$50,000 for a one-off college days nostalgia event isn’t even a slight dent in the wallet.

              1. Lambert Strether

                I actually like one “jam band” passing the torch to another in this way. To me, the Dead were always about the interplay, and not about Garcia solos or whatever.

    2. sleepy

      Gramps here to weigh in on how cheap things were back in the day–

      I saw the Beatles at the International Amphitheater in Chicago in 1966 for $6.00.

      1. ambrit

        Phyllis saw the Beatles at City Park in New Orleans in 1964 for $5.00. “All my friends at school thought I was a kook. The Beatles? Elvis was the King back then. The Beatles were cutting edge. It did turn into pretty much of a riot though.” Phyls’ sister bought a new Volkswagon Beetle in ’65 for $1800.
        This might look like purposeless bragging until you check into the general economic health of all Americans back then. There was a Golden Age.

          1. ambrit

            Yes indeed! The future looked bright. Steely Dans “I.G.Y.” says it:
            I’ve been trying to convince our middle daughter and her husband to save up some of the big bucks they’re earning right now. The Oil Patch crash has caught their attention. We’re seeing a mini flood of big newish pick up trucks going on the block as the former oil field workers lose their jobs and can’t afford the payments.

            1. different clue

              What form should they save it in? Should they save it as “money”? Or should they turn the “money” into a survival doomstead ( own water, superinsulated for own heat and cool, land for own food, etc.)?

              1. ambrit

                They make enough right now to do the “Doomstead” route. (I like that term!) They also have a big enough and diverse enough social network that they could do a “Community Doomville.” The trick will be in convincing them that things are going to be very bad, vs. merely inconvenient. (As the back and forth here relating to that idea shows, it is not a given.) Finally, the older I get, the more I realize I don’t know s—. Who am I to tell anyone what to do?
                Peace and Love.

          1. ambrit

            The good old days! (If, however, you had to live through them, not so good.)
            We lived in New Orleans and near Bogalusa Louisiana for several decades. I remember accidentally stumbling upon very good blues players back then. (There is an obscure but important recording studio outside of Bogalusa, “Studio in the Country.” ) You can still catch excellent players in dives and juke joints around the South. (Saw BB King that way, way back when.) As for “Boozoo” Chaves, well, Zydeco! You can d— sure dance to it too! We’ve seen Clifton Chenier a few times, and Terrance Simien, and the Zydeco All Stars. Some of the Uptown bars in New Orleans would have Zydeco nights in the seventies and eighties. I remember $5.00 to get in and no cover. New Orleans has Before Katrina, and After Katrina. We got to see both.
            Keep rockin!

    3. YankeeFrank

      For those prices I expect the reincarnation of JerBear, at least. I mean seriously, how can they call it the Grateful Dead without Jerry Garcia?

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        Exactly. Jerry must be standing on the moon, looking down and shaking his head.

      2. optimader

        $60-$200 I can go w/ that I guess if one is that into the GD , but $2150?, different crowd these days.. For that kinda dough they should stand JG’s corpse onstage and hang his favorite guitar on him. Truth be told, he probably wouldn’t look much different.
        Grateful Dead Touch Of Grey Video (Good Quality)

        1. John Merryman

          Saw the Dead in the Capital Center, D.C, about 79. It was a fairly long concert and about forty minutes before the end, I went out to the car to hit the bottle of Jack and get some fresh air. They wouldn’t let me back in and so I’m wandering around the building, which was this saddle shaped oval, with some side structures attached. Behind some trees in the back of the lowest level was a lightning rod cable, which I climbed up, then there were ladders up the other levels and so I was out to one end, where there was this huge ventilator up on the high part of the saddle. Spent the last half an hour in clouds of pot smoke, listening to them play a long version of Johnny B Goode. My theme song at the time.
          John Brodix Merryman Jr.

          1. optimader

            Spent the last half an hour in clouds of pot smoke, listening to them play a long version of Johnny B Goode

            Simpler day and age, the roof might have been the best venue option. My sympathies to the millennial generation when it comes to coloring outside the lines like this. No clue when it comes to working the situation sensibly and climbing the lighting rod cable to finish a concert, then respectfully climbing back down and going back to the van to finish the JD…

            I think that is the year (or was it 1977?) that P Floyd did their Animals tour. Saw that outdoors in a summertime thunderstorm at Milwaukee Stadium. Quite memorable w/ the hairy bolts of lightening and all. By todays liability standards, they would roll up the carpet on that one.

            Wow, make that 1977.. the tubes of the internetz, a most remarkable tool when used for good.

            Pink Floyd – Animals In Milwaukee (Live Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA – June 15th, 1977)

            1. John Merryman

              Broke a rib trying a similar stunt in Tucson around that time as well.
              I think this generation will find ways to push the envelope in ways we couldn’t imagine. Once you really get used to the idea that you are not making it out alive, the limits diminish accordingly.

    4. Dean Sayers

      A macroeconomics textbook I used actually used the example of ticket scalpers as a good thing, because it makes tickets approach their “real market value.” The notion that artists want a specific demographic to have access to their shows doesn’t factor in, of course. Part of my response was to point out that the exact same argument can be used to justify price gouging for gas in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. There is also the possibility to reach handsome returns on human body parts for implant – provided we can deregulate that market as well.

  2. rjs

    on Saturday, i dug into the EIA data and found that US exports of our refined products had more than doubled since fracking started, and that the increase in exports was on barrel basis 60% of the total increase in US oil production over the period…since a lot of that oil is coming to east coast refineries by train, i tied that to government forecasts that we’d see an average of ten derailment bombs a year over the next two decades, and that 200 fatalities were likely should one derail in a populated area…with up to 80 unit trains a week from the Bakken, Philidelphia looks like a likely target: 
    60% of new US oil output is being refined and exported; 200 of us will die by bomb train so that can continue

    1. frosty zoom

      ay ay ay, i see these trains every week. car after car after car like something from the x-files. wouldn’t it be easier just to liquify north dakota?

      1. craazyboy

        Methinks just declare oil a national asset and leave the excess in the ground for later – ya know – national security kinda thing. Canada could do that too instead of trying to find a way to ship it outta New Orleans.

        Not sure if that’s communist or fascist thinking tho. If that matters. It might to some people?

        Besides, what are we doing exporting oil, or gas, if we are still importing a bunch? Something messed up there. Almost like we wanna be in the ME. That couldn’t be.

        1. frosty zoom

          Methinks just declare oil a national asset and leave the excess in the ground for later – ya know – national security kinda thing.

          •• uh, don’t try this at home. just ask the victims of [insert cia sponsored coup].

          Canada could do that too instead of trying to find a way to ship it outta New Orleans.

          •• have you insured your koch?

          Not sure if that’s communist or fascist thinking tho.

          •• is there a difference?

          If that matters. It might to some people?

          •• that’s why we’re on lists!

          Besides, what are we doing exporting oil, or gas, if we are still importing a bunch?

          •• you are not part of the “we”.

          Something messed up there.

          •• yep.

          Almost like we wanna be in the ME.

          •• mmmm, tabouli!

          That couldn’t be.

          •• naw..

        2. optimader

          The whole energy independence thing as applied to petroleum is for the innumerate crowd anyway.
          It’s a commodity that is bought and sold at world market price. It only makes sense to produce and consume it on a basis of least cost not national origin. The notion of structurally forcing the cost of a commodity up by producing at a thin or no margin on the basis of national origin is not a model applied to any other commodity that I can think of.

          1. craazyboy

            Yup. At the current price of oil we should shut down offshore Gulf oil too and just buy from the ME. Assuming we must “protect” the ME. ‘Couse if we add in for the externalities – those barrels of oil are costing us many $100s a barrel. Not to mention lives, terrorism, and our current path of becoming a police state.

            Conservation and alternatives still rule!

            1. optimader

              Assuming we must “protect” the ME

              That is another innumerate assumption that is not reflected in whole cost.
              The premise that we have to “protect it” of course is a false assumption. What else will producing nations, particularly those w/ no other meaningful source of GDP do w/ oil other than sell it? What is differentially unique about the middle east compared to other producers not requiring “protection”?

              1. craazyboy

                There are lots of super rich Oil Sheiks that can’t afford to take care of themselves? Nah, that can’t be it.

    1. Integer Owl

      Re: Australia’s Mining Bust Turns Towns Into Ghost Towns; Expect Interest Rate “Shock and Awe”

      I thought I’d comment on this, as the first comment I ever made at NC was on a previous piece by Shedlock on Australia, call me sentimental. Anyway, I’m not convinced the mining town property market is a good indicator of the general property market in Aus., as the vast majority of people live in cities or suburbs that are not mining affiliated. These towns referred to by Shedlock are of course very vunerable to the amount of mining activity in that particular area, and the large numbers of workers seeking to earn the high wages paid for the relatively unskilled (though certainly not easy) labour that is required on these sites. From what I know, the mining companies usually house these workers as part of the job in temp. accomodation they have set up, and a large percentage are FIFO workers (fly in, fly out). Unfortunately, often the full-time residents of these towns do not think beyond the short-term and fail to realise the total dependency these towns have on what is often a single mining operation, and invest to start or expand businesses to serve the miners, creating non-mining jobs and thus increasing the non-mining population in these small towns, leading to increases in the prices of housing. These places certainly do the boom and bust thing, and the low commodity prices at the moment are having a real effect on the mining industry. As to how short-sighted it is that Aus. has been selling raw materials and then buying some back in refined states at a much higher cost, neglecting the potential jobs and profit that could be had by refining these materials here and exporting, I’ll leave that for another comment.

      In the cities and suburbs though, the housing prices are certainly high (as to whether there is a housing bubble or not, I couldn’t say, Mish may be correct), however my impression is that there is still quite a high demand in the metropolitan areas, with houses/property often sold in very competitive auctions. I expect this is due to a few factors, such as increased foreign investment in the housing market, and the increase in ownership of investment properties (however there still seems to be a shortage of rental properties). As far as I know, both of these have been spurred on by govt. incentives, and there has been some debate recently in the media on both these factors. In any case, the younger generations would probably be pretty happy if housing prices crashed, though of course many people who have bought in the last decade would not share this enthusiasm. As the Aus. population is skewed towards the elder generations in numbers, I wouldn’t be suprised if measures are taken to keep housing prices up, as this would be favoured politically by perhaps the largest cohort of voters. Of course whether this is economically prudent in the long term is another story.

      Anyway, this has turned into quite a long comment, and I’m not sure if it is useful at all either, as I’m certainly no expert on this economy/housing stuff, but there you go. I’ll sign off by giving my best wishes to the many who have commented in the Austerity Kills article, and are going through what sounds like seriously hard times. Stay strong and don’t let the bastards steal your spirit, even if they have stolen everything else.


      1. skippy

        Urbanification with re development of CBD’s with an eye to better paying FIRE sector jobs has affected price and not only in Australia.

  3. craazyboy

    “Corporate Borrowing Now Flows To Shareholders, Not Productive Investment: Study”

    Double Duh – Corporate management is buying at the top for their shareholders!

    Triple Duh – Corporate management is selling bonds to buy stock, increasing balance sheet leverage and risk to shareholders because shareholders are subordinate to bondholders.

    Quad Duh – The Fed enables this with low interest rates and thinks it great!

    More Duhs – We have economists in this country.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Nearly every collective investment activity, including corporate share buybacks, ends up being pro-cyclical.

      The herd instinct — feeling more comfortable buying when everyone else is buying — is what allows momentum strategies to work.

      It also punishes contrarians who fight the consensus too soon. Poor Dr. Hussman predicts his own persecution by bulllish know-nothings:

      “Periodic advances can make it frustrating – even excruciating – to stay defensive if one doesn’t maintain a full cycle perspective. I assure you this will make also me a target for incivilities should the present instance include any further market gains.”

      Got tech stocks?

      1. craazyboy

        I have a lotta sympathy for Dr. Hussman – having been on the sidelines this entire run.

        My remedial strategy at this point is to wait for the next crash, then after some respectable waiting period, buy a AAA rated corporate bond fund – because then, after all the eventual bankruptcies, all the existing stock will be extinguished in bankruptcy court, the bondholders will become the new shareholders and I’ll end up with a nice stock portfolio of the S&P 30. With any luck, they may pay dividends again eventually.

        Wouldn’t be good to buy sovereign bonds at that point – they’ll all default.

        Or maybe I’ll just say f*ck it and buy physical gold and keep it in a Binks vault like Kyle Bass – he says never keep gold in a bank vault – just ask the Germans.

        1. craazyman

          I think we should ask Richard Smith which of the companies he follows is the best 10-bagger and go in big.

          It’s true they all have regulatory challenges, but when there’s something selling for $0.01 or $0.02 per share it only has to get to $0.10 to be a winner — even if it’s just a bounce on no bad news.

          1. Clive

            I was just about to write about how you shouldn’t be so silly but then I only checked NC as a distraction for myself after several — ultimately futile — attempts to read a link “17 Celebrities Who’ve Aged Really Badly” that is so obviously click-bait it might as well have had “this is really, really obviously click-bait” set as the alt-text. All it did was send me to the App Store to try and entice me to get a game which apparently involved shooting, moving or otherwise juggling coloured shapes purportedly looking like pieces of candy. Whatever that is. In England we have sweets, not candy. Or at least, we used to. The game offers what were termed “In App purchaseses”. So I suspected that I might have to spend some of my ill gotten money at some point.

            It was after that I reluctantly concluded that a) stupid people like me should not really criticise anyone and b) I will never be rich because I am simply incapable of coming up with anything so fiendish as the monetisation of lame celebrity culture tittle tattle.

            So good luck with your eternal search for a 10-bagger.

            1. craazyman

              I click on all of those. There were some pretty raunchy pics if I recall. Makes me feel like a cross between Brad Pitt and Jude Law — when they were buff, of course.

              1. optimader

                17 Celebrities Who’ve Aged Really Badly
                make your own list, start with Janis Joplin…
                Skip the ten bagger, just start inventorying barrels of Jameson’s whiskey in the basement.

                1. Jim Haygood

                  Or 5.56 mm NATO rounds after Obama bans them by executive order.

                  What is the price of freedumb?

                  1. ambrit

                    A bullet in the back of the head. If one were to embrace the idea that America and Russia were slowly exchanging national characters, then the idea of H.S. Internal Security Police snatching you up off the street and “interrogating” you before “rendering” you to oblivion makes perfect sense. The Old Soviets, who worked roughly on the model of an Autocratic Empire had their Gulag. We have “black sites” and guantanamo. Form follows function.

                  2. optimader

                    Well Jim,
                    (I feel) if one ever really needs even a clip of 5,56 NATO, one is clearly in the wrong place at the wrong time and would be better served with a fast car and body armor.

                  3. ambrit

                    So, Russia is staying Russia, and America is flirting with becoming Russia, eh? Or is America experimenting with becoming the Soviet Union?
                    Perhaps Tolstoy was right; “All happy countries are alike; each unhappy country is unhappy in its’ own way.”

    2. Benedict@Large

      I don’t get why this has everyone upset. Shareholders who sell their stock in buy-backs are presumably doing so to reinvest elsewhere. Companies who are conducting such buy-backs are simply saying they don’t need the money to fund their own investments; perhaps the shareholders would do better elsewhere. It all seems pretty mechanical.

      Now if there is something at a macro level that people find wrong with this, it’s simply that these companies are recognizing the lack of aggregate demand, and responding accordingly. But why blame individual companies for this? This is a mismanagement of the currency, and that’s on Congress, and no one else.

      1. MartyH

        Benedict@Large, buy-backs with cash consolidate ownership in the firm among the remaining share-holders. Buy-backs with debt do the same but commit a portion of future profits to repayment (with interest). It may make sense in some wonky financial way as an inflation hedge using cheap debt … or not.

        Where there are share buy-backs, look for executive compensation based on some behavior of Earnings Per Share. This has been a very lucrative executive looting financial-success strategy.

        It is hard to make the books look stronger after spending cash and/or taking on debt to retire equity.

  4. Garrett Pace

    LOL Mark Ames:

    “An earlier version of this article incorrectly described Silverstein as co-founder of Counterpunch with Alexander Cockburn; Silverstein sent me an email correctly noting that he founded Counterpunch four months before Cockburn joined, one of those small but not insignificant errors I know all too well as the sole founding editor of The eXile”

    Taibbi casts a long shadow.

    1. Carolinian

      Ames’ V for Vendetta continues. How boring. Perhaps he should swivel his big guns toward the people running his own website. They seem to be loons.

      1. mookie

        Ames’s vendetta is important, IMHO; Greenwald is curiously unconcerned about private concentrations of power, private surveillance, etc., which suits his billionaire boss’s agenda perfectly. Ames sounds like a broken record but he’s right – don’t read Greenwald uncritically – and today’s linked story provides a horrifying glimpse at First Look’s internal culture.

        So I would recommend reading the Ames link, but if you can only read one, Levine’s piece is my pick of today’s Pando links. I supported his Surveillance Valley kickstarter and respectfully suggest taking a look:

  5. ProNewerDeal

    I have seen adds from some financial services company (Prudential iirc), presumably an IRA & taxable investment account “custodian”, talking about “people are living longer” (put that aside, I read here at NC how that is not necessarily true, iirc less-than-college degree white women life expectancy has dropped due for instance), “do not outlive your money”, etc.

    If I understand correctly, the Personal Financial Planner idea here is that you don’t withdraw more than 3% per year in retirement to avoid outliving your retirement money.

    I am wondering if this whole notion is bogus, at least for those under the Medicare eligibility age & assuming current Medicare rules & not further crapification under an Obama/ReThug Grand Ripoff, because of the Sickcare Mafia Industrial Complex’s extortion/theft/immiseration of the faction of the under-65/Medicare age population that has major medical issues. The tricky thing is that anyone, even ex-world-class athletes, who also pursue consistently-lifelong satisficingly very good nutrition, exercise, & stress management regimens, could randomly get cancer “for no fault of their own”. Hence all USians could be in this faction, and it is not really an insurable catastrophic risk, since the fraudulent Sickcare insurance does not adequately cover catastrophic costs, other than having a sufficient nest egg ($1.0M very very minimum?) that even if 1 is extorted for $200K+ by the Sickcare Mafia, they may still have at least $500K left over by Medicare eligibility age to retire on. The crapified ACA does not prevent such extortions, because of extortions like switching an out-of-network physician specialist on your surgery while you are unconscious, a life-saving pharma you need is not on the formulary, etc.

    What do you all think? Is this IRA custodian company type advice fraudulent, ignoring the Sickcare Mafia Extortion Elephant In The Room? Am I missing some concept here?

    1. LucyLulu

      Another scenario. Someone else, maybe 35, superb health and physical fitness, suffers unfortunate accident. It leaves them permanently disabled, either unable to work or find work (50% unemployment rate among those seeking……… there’s the cost of accommodations but more importantly, rise in health premiums for companies without large numbers of employees to absorb the risk). The person applies for and receives Social Security Disability, averaging ~$13,000/year, maybe he even had a good job and gets 50% more. He lives in a state that didn’t accept Medicaid expansion (same applies prior to ACA), thus is ineligible for Medicaid based on income. He does get Medicare, which covers 80% of costs. The Medicare supplement, newly available for the disabled, costs $600/mo. and has no coverage of pre-existing conditions for one year. Those who receive Medicare are ineligible for subsidies. For that matter, perhaps not Medicaid expansion either, I don’t know. Even if he was Mr. Responsibly Frugal who worked long hours making “good” wages at his college debt financed profession, should he have saved enough by 35 to last through old age? He’d need $200K just to pay the premiums for his supplement until he’s eligible for the $100 price at 65, more savings than the median $85K accumulated by retirement age. If he has a nest egg and wants to invest for income, what kind of risk profile can he afford, given his inability to replace losses? What kind of income are low risk assets generating?

      His prospects for a comfortable life was vaporized with the accident. Absent a stroke of luck, e.g. rich aunt dies, markets pet rock, his accident was a one-way ticket down the economic ladder. The general population’s outlook for any extra years lived beyond retirement doesn’t look any better. At some point, bloated health care costs win out. Perhaps medical costs associated with the aging of our large faction of baby boomers, along with continued increases in premiums and out-of-pocket expenses for those covered by private insurers, will bring about sufficient pain and outrage to generate the needed votes for single payer legislation from those we elect to govern.

      1. ProNewerDeal

        Thanks LucyLulu for your informative comment. I was not even aware of that particular hole in the USian “safety net”, thanks for informing me.

      2. ginnie nyc

        Dear LucyLulu: Thank you for describing a version of my life. In NY State, we have “expanded Medicaid”, but if you get ‘too much’ SSDI, the Medicaid cost is at least $800 a month.

  6. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Jesus García cannot save Chicago Ed Luce, Financial Times

    So the “esteemed” Mr. Luce pronounces from his perch in washington, dc that ” taking up pitchforks is no remedy.”

    Well, thanks for the tip, Ed. But I say let’s give it a try before discounting the power of the pitchfork. And there’s nothing that makes me want to grab my pitchfork faster than when the plutocrats proclaim that, “Things may be bad, but they would have been WORSE without our ‘investments.’ ”

    And by the way, no one knows whether Jesus can save Chicago. Not even you. We DO know that Rahm can’t. And who wants to be San Francisco anyway?

    1. Jess

      “I say let’s give it a try before discounting the power of the pitchfork.”

      Lol. I’m with you, Ms. Everdeen. In fact, I even wrote a novel called Public Enemies (available on Amazon) which explores what might happen when people take up pitchforks. Have Yves give you my email address, then contact me with a mailing address and I’ll send you a copy in appreciation of your frequent timely and pithy comments here.

  7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


    It doesn’t have to be either a big fat Greek wedding or a big fat Greek divorce.

    Why do we give separation a try first? A suspended membership for a few years and re-admission later.

    They do that in sports all the time.

    “You go do your thing…whatever is it that you need to do to get yourself together and we can get back together again.”

    Too bad they didn’t think of this before. No exit strategy…only headlong rush into Vietnam, Ukraine or Titan.

  8. LucyLulu

    Netanyahu, to Congress, this morning (in a nutshell, and paraphrased)

    Same rhetoric on Iran, which is a threat, not just to Israel’s security, but Israel’s survival. They must be stopped from attaining nuclear capability.
    That being said, Israel has acted unilaterally in past years, under different leaders, against U.S wishes, and causing tensions, or even sanctions. This is a temporary disagreement and it too shall pass. US and Israel share the same culture and values in an otherwise barbaric region. Differences in policy towards Iran doesn’t imply U.S.-Israel alliance has weakened.

    Imho, speech was politically well-played on the part of Netanyahu.

      1. optimader

        What is the secret of time travel?
        Protest Poster seen around town,,,,

        What We Want: Time Travel!
        When We Want it: Irrelevant!

  9. Benedict@Large

    Fed’s Williams Sees Full U.S. Employment by Year End (WSJ Economics)

    Remember a few years back when they were trying to define full employment as 7%? Now, it’s 5%. But when I was a kid, it was 2%.

    This is all just so much bullshit. What Williams is saying is that he’ll vote for rate hikes at 5%, and he’s just trying to justify that number as something special, when it is not.

  10. afisher

    I must have slept through the entire IOWA pipeline process – anyone here have details. (my only sources are biased). A diagonal L-R, Top-bottom design .

Comments are closed.