Links 3/22/15

Planes, trucks and boxes: Alaska preps for return of 2,000-pound wild wood bison, gone century Daily Reporter

Australia Floats Plan to Save Great Barrier Reef WSJ

Cloudy With a Chance of Cholera Audobon

Ex-UBS Trader Darin Must Face U.S. Libor-Rigging Charge Bloomberg. “Rigging” of which executives were entirely ignorant. No doubt.

Dark Web’s ‘Evolution’ market vanishes along with $12 million Naked Security. That’s “$12 million” in BitCoin.

Currency hedging takes on new importance for global stock funds Reuters

Rich Man’s Bank Hit by Bank Run, Collapse, “Bail-In” Wolf Street

Why Has Germany Bailed Out A Tiny Bank? Forbes

Exclusive: Deutsche Bank revamp plan to hit retail hardest – sources Reuters


Left-wing Greek PM to visit austerity champion Merkel AFP

German media: Greece to remain liquid until April 8 Deutsche Welle

The bailout crisis: Germany’s view of how Greece fell from grace Guardian

Nazi Extortion: Study Sheds New Light on Forced Greek Loans Der Spiegel

The army and the people, united Ekathimerini

Mayor unveils scheme to support poor in Athens with help from Norway Ekathimerini

Far-right leads polls heading into French vote AFP

Guest post: the part-time technocrats driving Ukraine’s banking reform FT. Reads like a beat-sweetener, to me.


UN sets emergency Yemen meeting as US withdraws Al Jazeera

Yemen crisis: US troops withdraw from air base BBC

The messages from Israel’s election The Electronic Intifada

Western powers pledge unity in Iran nuclear talks AFP

Kurdish militant leader says armed struggle with Turkey ‘unsustainable’ Daily Star

Imperial Collapse Watch

A Judge Just Ordered the US Government to Release Thousands of Detainee Abuse Photos Vice. By “abuse” is meant “torture.” Surprised to see Vice adopting old-media mealy-mouthed locutions. Anyhow, so much for soft power…

At Kodak, Clinging to a Future Beyond Film New York Times


Meet the man whose utopian vision for the Internet conquered, and then warped, Silicon Valley WaPo. John Perry Barlow, the Dead’s Bob Weir’s sometime lyricist. Sigh.

The Moral Hazard of Big Data The New Republic. “[A] surprising proportion of digital marketing is about finding marks.” Surprising?

A $6.6 Million CEO Dreams of a “Doctor-Less” Future Health Care Renewal. More lunatic triumphalism from over-paid CEOs.

A decade in, the “Quantified Self” is still more hope than reality Pando Daily

Musk tempers autonomous driving claims FT

Delivery Drones Hit Bumps on Path to Doorstep WSJ

50 Million Users: The Making of an ‘Angry Birds’ Internet Meme Wall Street Journal. The “squishy” foundations of technology diffusion metrics.

Facebook, Google, and the Economics of Time The Atlantic

Two days, one chat, three phone calls and two lies from Comcast Houston Chronicle. More shopping.

Obamacare Is Spurring Startups and Creating Jobs Bloomberg. Startups to manage ObamaCare’s useless and artificially created complexity because markets.

Twitter and Facebook hit with separate gender discrimination suits Pando Daily

The changing geography of US employment FT Alphaville. Looks like the jobs are where the water’s not going to be.

Class Warfare

Who Needs a Boss? New York Times

It’s illegal to prevent workers from talking about wages. T-Mobile did it anyway. WaPo

Mexican farmworkers strike over low wages, blocking harvest Los Angeles Times

The Race to the $100 Million Spec House WSJ

Punishment’s purpose: How humans became hardwired for justice Reuters. For some definition of “justice.”

Freedom of choice is less important than a pension free of risk FT. But wait. I thought shopping was always good?

Borio, Erdem, Filardo and Hofmann on the Costs of Deflation The Grumpy Economist

The Yield Curve and Economic Activity, Again Econbrowser

The FOMC’s LIBOR-like NAIRU fix The Top Note. Yikes?

Antidote du jour (via):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Christian Bonanno

    Best synopsis of why I do not like what Facebook and the internet is doing to the world, from “Facebook, Google, and the Economics” of Time The Atlantic

    “Facebook, too, is an engine of consumer surplus, but it earns its prodigious income by monetizing time spent, rather than time saved.”

    Facebook does not exist to make out lives simpler. It exists to make it more complex. And we are paying for the privilege.

    1. optimader

      It is elective behavior for people that want to participate in their irretrievable loss of privacy

    2. Jef

      The only problem that finance and for the most part technology solves for is how to separate you from your money.

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        They do a pretty fair job as well solving the problem of how to separate us from what used to be a representative form of government.

  2. Disturbed Voter

    Health Care Renewal … pretty much any “new and improved” proposal today is the product of grifter management. Big Data is the new panacea. Artificial Intelligence … which already failed at medicine decades ago … but now combined with Big Data, it is supposed result in the spontaneous generation of insight. I wish someone would come up with an app, like Angry Birds … say Angry Patients … which can replace all the health care managers.

    For over 30 years now, the invention of the spreadsheet has given every innumerate maniac the idea that they can model reality, and that by changing the model, they control the reality that the model mimics. Usually “changing” means reducing expenditures by removing employees from employment … but strangely never the most expensive employees.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      It would seem that the most identifiable transformative power of “big data” and “artificial intelligence” to date, is the “power” to “transform” overpaid, self-important blowhards into “visionaries,” at least in their own minds.

      “Artificial” intelligence. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

      Here, courtesy of, are the synonyms and antonyms for “artificial”:

      Synonyms for artificial
      adj fake; imitation


      hyped up




      Antonyms for artificial





      Roget’s 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.
      Cite This Source

    2. Light a Candle

      Wow, great insight about the impact of spreadsheets.

      And now exponentially worse with big data and employees increasingly treated as interchangeable widgets. It still surprises me how subject matter expertise is not respected at all, especially at the management level in the public sector.

  3. semiconscious

    john perry barlow, ‘the dead’s lyricist’?! for shame, lambert!…

    robert hunter holds that particular distinction. so much so, that he’s the only rock lyricist ever admitted to the rock’n’roll hall of fame as a band member…

    jpb was a johnny-come-lately (’71), who wrote primarily for weir, who’d had a ‘falling out’ with hunter…

    so, no, virginia: the eternally gorgeous, deeply moving ‘ripple’ was not written by some self-appointed libertarian guru/genius blowhard. it was written by robert hunter…

      1. ambrit

        Mr. Natural is on the beige paper L. The brown stuff has too much residual toxins in it. (If Hunter et al were part of the MKULTRA trials, they got the pure Sandoz LSD, distributed to doctors and psychologists under the trade name “Delysid.” With that stuff, the paper is any colour you want it to be.)
        The irony here is profound. Some of the best and brightest counter cultural agitators were radicalized by the CIA. Those s—s behind ISIS have a lot of catching up to do.

    1. neo-realist

      When’s Hawkwind’s lyricist Michael Moorcock going on the R n R Hall of Fame ballot if lyricists are so damned important:(?

    2. Cynthia

      Counting stars by candlelight, all are dim but one is bright;
      The spiral light of Venus, rising first and shining best,
      On, from the northwest corner, of a brand new crescent moon,
      While crickets and cicadas sing, a rare and different tune,
      Terrapin Station

      I’m not much of a Grateful Dead fan, never have been nor will I ever be, but Terrapin Station 1977 (Robert Hunter wrote the words, Jerry Garcia wrote the music) has got to be, despite what the critics say, one of the finest rock songs ever written. It is sixteen and a half minutes of pure brilliance, both in terms of music and lyrics.

  4. Carolinian

    Naomi Klein reviews new book about the difference in popular response to the first Gilded Age as opposed to our own.

    Fraser offers several explanations for the boldness of the post-Civil War wave of labor resistance, including, interestingly, the intellectual legacy of the abolition movement. The fight against slavery had loosened the tongues of capitalism’s critics, forging a radical critique of the market’s capacity for barbarism. With bonded labor now illegal, the target pivoted to factory “wage slavery.” This comparison sounds strange to contemporary ears, but as Fraser reminds us, for European peasants and artisans, as well as American homesteaders, the idea of selling one’s labor for money was profoundly alien.

    This is key to Fraser’s thesis. What ­fueled the resistance to the first Gilded Age, he argues, was the fact that many Americans had a recent memory of a different kind of economic system, whether in America or back in Europe. Many at the forefront of the resistance were actively fighting to protect a way of life, whether it was the family farm that was being lost to predatory creditors or small-scale artisanal businesses being wiped out by industrial capitalism. Having known something different from their grim present, they were capable of imagining — and fighting for — a radically better future.

    Perhaps a different explanation is that 21st century America is a far more middle class country than in the 19th century and it’s the middle class that is getting the shaft this time around. The hollowing out has moved upscale. While the poor undoubtedly struggle with their Walmart wages their privations are nothing like the world of Sinclair’s The Jungle. We are now, still, a very rich country and will have to become a lot less rich before anything changes. IMO. But sounds like the book is a topic worth discussing.

    1. financial matters

      I think there are some interesting points here also. As Klein discusses in ‘This Changes Everything’, extreme extraction is moving into more developed areas with more potential to fight back. We are seeing the dangerous movement of hazardous products and destruction of drinking water which are bringing together many diverse groups.

      Similarly the wrath of neoliberalism is moving strongly into areas such as Greece and the US is better understanding the revolving door (kudos Yves) and the fact of inequality and where all the income gains have gone since the financial crisis.

      This is spawning Blockadia, Syriza etc.

    2. LizinOregon

      Just saw this headline in the Guardian about the French election.
      ‘Abandoned’ French working class ready to punish left’s neglect by voting for far right’

    3. JTFaraday

      Well, New Deal facilitated consumer capitalism was depoliticizing. What did anyone have to do?

      Go get a job that was already fixed up all nice for you and make sure you and your family, if you had one (and you were supposed to have one), were dependent on no one other than you. That’s it. Do that much you’re practically above reproach. This is why we see so many people doing so many iffy things to meet quota, especially now that it’s falling apart. “I was just doing my job”– it’s a no brainer. We have almost no other morality in this country, certainly not any that’s widely shared.

      When young people protest anything the trolls come out in force and tell them to STFU and get a job. If they’re black, they tell them to pick up their pants and get a job. If they’re white, they tell them to take a bath and get a job. We don’t even teach traditional civics any more. Which makes sense, if your sole right and responsibility is “get a job.”

      I used to think that education was the most effective depoliticizing tactic going all the way back to the founding era (and it is one such), but now I really see the light. Get people doing the one thing you want them doing anyway, and tell them it’s the way they exercise their rights.

      It’s a closed circuit mentality, even long after they start shorting the current.

  5. craazyman

    wow. you guys are gonna hate this one. Holy Smokes! (No pun intended).

    Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore takes it to the “Warmers” with a big stick. The stick is probably a dead plant. It died for lack of CO2, but now that humans are making CO2 plants are reveling in joy. That’s a weird thought. I know when I walk in the woods I feel I’m surrounded by a quiet and massive intelligence. But when I walk the streets of New Yawk I feel I’m surrounded by idiots who either loot for a living as financial/social frackers or who wanna be extras on some episode of Mafia Wives or the Supranos. (Disclaimer: I’m being a little colorful here for narrative impact). So maybe there’s something to what Mr. Moore is saying.

    This is sort of interesting, actually, at least for me since I don’t get emotional about it or about so-called warming in general. I’ll just wear a lighter jacket.

    1. Tom Allen

      The stick was probably clearcut by Asia Pulp and Paper, which chops down rain forests in Indonesia and pays Moore to provide public relations. See this article. Or maybe the Forest Alliance of British Columbia, a group set up by loggers to fight environmentalists. Or one of the many other logging groups his PR firm works for.

    2. optimader

      I feel I’m surrounded by a quiet and massive intelligence
      it’s the loose confederation of earthworms conspiring against you

    3. cwaltz

      I’m another that doesn’t get all hyped up beyond doing my small share to not leave a HUGE footprint and be a good steward.

      The reality is at one time our Earth experienced an ice age and then the Earth warmed up enough to create a climate where life thrived- and that was long before an industrialized globe. So while I understand that humans do impact our environment, I also think there is some credence to the idea that our planet may experience cyclical behavior that has less to do with us and more to do with the planet itself.

      Both sides of the debate kind of annoy me because both use misinformation.

      1. quixote

        Not exactly, cwaltz. Over 99% of climate scientists agree that human activity is changing the climate. The remaining two, three scientists are like Willie Soon from Harvard: massively in the pay of fossil fuel interests. If you’re in a position to evaluate the scientific evidence, it’s very clear at this point.

        Recently, research indicates that past ice ages had more to do with (naturally produced) greenhouse gases in the atmosphere than orbital mechanics, which people previously assumed was the main driver.

        Add in that greenhouse gases are at the highest level they’ve been for millions of years, which includes several cycles of ice ages, and that

        The last time the concentration of Earth’s main greenhouse gas reached this mark, horses and camels lived in the high Arctic. Seas were at least 30 feet higher.

        Climate change is slow compared to a human lifespan. It’s going to take centuries for the full effect of current CO2 levels to be felt. And the further we let ourselves slide down this road, the less humans can do to change anything as its bite gets worse and worse.

        Yes, your hair should be on fire about it.

        1. Demeter

          At one time, 99% of the scientists believed in the existence of the “Ether”.

          Your point is?

          1. pretzelattack

            you mean in 1860? i dunno about 90%, and i suspect you don’t either, but we know a lot more now than we did then. if your point is that scientists can be wrong, well, duh, but why do you think they are in this case?

      2. quixote

        (Hmph. Reply to this with links to sources has fallen into moderation, or maybe even spam. Help, please?)

        1. bruno marr

          …thanks for the credible contradiction. It’s amazing how often some folks seek to disclaim any responsibility for AGW. (As an aside: my experience is that ALL links in a comment get sent to “moderation” purgatory.

          1. Vatch

            Some (not all) comments with one link or even two or three links will avoid moderation, but when a comment has five links, plus a block quote, like Quixote’s comment, moderation is almost a certainty. It’s just a minor annoyance built into the system to protect us from bigger annoyances.

    4. quixote

      The enzyme that fixes carbon in plants (rubisco, =rbcl, =ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase) works in either direction depending on the conditions. In isolation, higher CO2 leads to more carbon fixation, higher oxygen leads to less.

      What happens in real life is that high temperatures lead to more water transpiring through the plant. When it’s hotter than the plant is adapted to, its “plumbing” can’t move the water to the leaves fast enough, so even if there’s plenty of water in the ground (which usually isn’t the case when it’s hot) the plant starts to wilt.

      When that happens, plants close their stomates. Stomates are the openings that allow CO2 to reach the cells where it can be fixed. When the stomates are closed, no new CO2 reaches the cells. The plant does, however, keep splitting water which liberates oxygen from the H2O. So, locally, at the cells where rubisco operates, oxygen concentration becomes high.

      And that means that the carbon fixation reaction moves the opposite way: CO2 is produced from carbohydrates.

      So, tl:dr; high CO2 levels will only lead to better plant growth if the climate stays cool. Which isn’t happening.

      1. MikeNY

        Thanks for this. I, too, have wondered about this question. Your response is cogent — but I confess the complexity of all the issues surrounding climate change makes my head hurt.

    5. craazyboy

      “Human Emissions Saved Planet”

      This would explain why scientists observe so few habitable planets elsewhere in the galaxy, or even universe – if they are finished looking there already. Hard to argue the evidence there. Earth coulda become a scrap lump of rock hurtling around a sun just the same as everywhere else. The more I think about it, it all does sound like a greenie thing to me – Greenspeace, Greenhouse Effect, Greenspirit Strategies. It all seems to flow with a sense of subtle cohesiveness. Then if we can green the Earth’s poles, people can move there too, if they hanker for cooler climate.

      Now, the oceans rising bit could be a little inconvenient for some. Say, those living on the first floor in Manhattan. However, as I understand New Yawk, they would be the least productive idiots and they can move and rip people off in some higher elevation location in the heartland. There’s probably somewhere that won’t turn into a dustbowl. The more productive ones may enjoy beachfront high rises. Put in yacht parking, or if you only rate floors 2 thru 6, you can always bolt a Marlin fishing pole rig to the balcony. Everyone will be working from home by then anyway – probably interacting with an orbital HFT trading bot.

      PS: I think trees are the smart ones in forests. They’ve been around a long time and are wise. Expert in Idle Philosophy too. Not much else to do if you’re a tree. Dr Tremens used to think so too – saying he would lose himself in the woods for days at a time.

      1. optimader

        if we can green the Earth’s poles, people can move there too, if they hanker for cooler climate.
        South Pole , ok , North Pole, maybe no so much unless you have a nice boat.

        Not much else to do if you’re a tree.
        They live in a state of anxiety about the next dog w/ a full bladder, or worse yet than that simple indignity, the opposable thumbed mammals w/chainsaws.

      2. craazyman

        Going Green for sure. It makes me wanna go out and get those Edward Green shoes.

        faaak what an afternoon. roaming around Queens on foot under a warming yellow sun and infinite blue sky glass highrises shooting up everywhere just over the river, just like flowers out of the dirt. You have to go East if you want the blue collar strips the autoshops, the warehouses, the empty streets, the tenements the avenues the faces, strange and foreign. That’s what I want. That’s what I got. I took at least 30 pictures. All film. Maybe a few will turn out to be OK. I left the film next to my cable modem and it heated up a few weeks ago. We’ll see if it ruined it. At any rate, the stuff that goes through your head walking around by yourself in the middle of everywhere but in the middle of nowhere. Faaak. I can’t even describe it. You see the face of young girl from Pakistan holding her sister’s hand by the subway platform and you think of something you read in Ulysses Grant’s autobiography about America, what he said it was and what it would be, and what Lincoln said, and then you think of Robert E Lee and Grant and Lee and what they were fighting over and about the Confederate JEB Stuart on the Rappahanock thinking he’d die and his soul would go to God as a reward for piety in the service of Christiandom and about what they all would think if they saw what you just saw. and the high rises out of the dirt, ugly boxes of glass, the future right there forming and 100 years from now somebody will be standing on the balcony right there were there was nothing last year and the girl and her sister will be dead and Grant and Lee are dead and it’s like a river running through time the way the light runs in colors through the blue air, the way the glass and steel boxes rise up from the dirt, endless and eternal under the sun. That’s good for about 8 blocks. Then you think it’s alll a differential equation, change in being with respect to time, dB/dt, but what’s F(B) what’s the integral? That’s what every thought is, an integration of dB/dt into F(B), then you see something colorful, paint and boxes and boards and wires, by an auto body shop closed on Sunday and there’s nobody within a quarter of a mile in the middle of nowhere in Queens where the entire new Yawk skyline is gray in the shadow of the bright western sun that makes all the colors in the dirt and you frame it carefully, taking meticulous care for the composition and the trajectory of lines from the corners of the frame, and take 3 pictures. hahahah. That’s what I’m talking about. That’s a Sunday afternoon in my book! Fuccin A! dB/dt. and F(B) = Beautiful.

        1. craazyboy

          Yikes. My toes cringe at the thought of being confined in shoes like that. My toes want to be free!

          But glad to hear you’re still enjoying yourself, even tho, clearly, we are all gonna die.

          A memory snapshot modeled by math: F(B) = Fuccin A! dB/dt

          Way better than any PhD can do.

    6. pretzelattack

      btw i don’t think he was a founder of greepeace. he was a member when the organization changed its name, from what i’ve read.

  6. Garrett Pace

    Expensive spec homes

    Kind of surprising. I thought the point of paying $30 million for a house was so you could get exactly what you wanted. Is it so much trouble to tell an architect what you want? Or, uncharitably, maybe the tastes of our wealthy are so underdeveloped that all they need to know to want it is the price.

    Or maybe the house is bought as an investment that never gets lived in.

    Yay America.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Did you watch the video posted here several days ago in which the bald, “luxury brand professor” was talking about Apple, Google and Facebook?

      He was talking pretty fast, but one thing I remember him saying was that “luxury” was “easy.” All rich people want the same things.

      1. Cynthia

        One of the few things that I got out of the video is that if Amazon is to survive as a pure-play e-commerce company, it must offset its extremely high transportation expenses by either buying the US Postal Service or a large chain of gas stations. This is something which has crossed my mind as well.

        1. hunkerdown

          I suspect they’re not all that married to retail. There’s easier, better, lower-touch money available on the web services side — which is, incidentally, the same infrastructure on which their retail “app” runs, open to the public.

    2. optimader

      I thought the point of paying $30 million for a house

      These are not the result of the OCD buyer with an architectural vision like the guy building the mud hill in Close Encounters, these are to bamboozle buyers, many foreign, with the illusion that think they are parking asset value in the US when in fact they are really employing US trades people, architects, builders, appliance dealers, pool service companies ect ect ect to essentially dig an expensive hole and throw as margined $30MM of stuff into it.
      Ultimately these monstrosities become perpetual not for profit local employers as they require maintenance budgets equivalent to employing a small southern town and will eventually go for garage sale auction prices and get torn down due to tax liabilities.
      Personally if I were a 20-30 something bitching about not having a job, or a lucrative skills, I would go apprentice in a trade building this stuff. I know a good plasterer or mason can pretty much name their price here in the Chicago burbs, I imagine it is even more the case where this ridiculous stuff is being more popularly built. built.

  7. D+

    Holy cow, torture photos! Disclosure against interest of probative evidence of crimes in universal jurisdiction!?! Gee, our government must be very honest and true to have done that. Even with a gun to their head.

    After it submits its report on situations of gravity or emergency – as directed by the Human Rights Committee and subject to confidential inquiry by the Committee Against Torture and to pending ICC investigations – the US drops some photos of hillbillies humpin nekkid tied-up A-rabs. That keeps the evidence out of the US response.

    Then, at the treaty body plenary, when USG bad faith is being raised, the government points to its subsequent action and says, “look, we’re still trying ever so hard.” The idea is to do the absolute minimum while warding off a C or D assessment, which would pique the interest of the International Criminal Court on admissibility grounds.

    That’s the US policy, a day late and a dollar short. In this way the regime hopes to eke out a few more years of impunity – at the risk of another European mutiny like the one in wikileaks cable 04BRUSSELS4274. They’ll need to get the world war underway before that happens.

  8. milesc

    Re “Dark Web’s ‘Evolution’ market vanishes along with $12 million Naked Security. That’s “$12 million” in BitCoin”

    The irreversible nature of Bitcoin transactions is a feature; people just need to be more careful. These types of Bitcoin thefts will continue unless and until users (in this case, dark market buyers and sellers) demand multi-signature wallets or similar tech. A multi-signature wallet requires m of n signatures (typically 2 of 3) to spend bitcoins. (This is a particularly good way of controlling e.g. corporate spending, where x number of directors have to authorised spending, or e.g. the finance director controls several private keys giving more weight to his sign-off.) Here, one private key would be sent to the host, one would stay with the user and the third would be encrypted locally (i.e. by the user selecting a password) and copied to various places. The upshot: it would be impossible for a host to steal everyone’s bitcoins because he or she would only ever control one private key for each address. Of course, decentralised marketplaces simply won’t have hosts, so this may well soon become moot. (It’s “Bitcoin” by the way, no capital “C”.)

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Billion-dollar bank heist through ATM hacking barely gets reported, $190B annual losses by merchants in the US due to credit card fraud…but a Bitcoin heist for $12M? OH MY GOD BITCOIN IS EVIL!!!!!

  9. JCC

    Relative to the Comcast story, I’ve gone through a similar situation with Mediacom more than once over the last 4 years. Their goal is essentially to get you to just give up and eat the raise. I fought it the first time I went through this crap and eventually won, but the second time I just gave up. Intentionally forcing you through multiple phone calls and massive hold time and call cutoffs and severe frustration with their intentional stupidity are all part of the plan and I’m sure it works for the most part.

    The best, though, was AT&T Roadrunner service. After living in one State/Town for a total of 6 months my internet connection failed. I contacted AT&T and was told that since I had this connection for over ten years they would fix it, but they would also have to raise my rates. I informed them that I had only been a customer for 6 months. I was then told directly by the local AT&T Manager that in order to prove my obviously false residency claim I would need to supply them a copy of my tax returns for the previous 5 years and that a statement from the Landlord was not acceptable… I kid you not. Needless to say, I lost that one.

    Most cable companies are nothing but sophisticated blood suckers backed by laws they wrote.

  10. optimader

    The evil PT Barnum.

    The babeIfish is telling me “I freely admit to lying about this, but you should believe me now” BeeBee is a most remarkable Bullshitter. He forgoes any nuisance complication of trying to obfuscate. Hey I lied OK? Nothing to see here. This may be the dawn of a new political paradigm. Hey, I make not claim that I tell the truth, got a problem w/ that? No? OK good.

  11. Santi

    Germany has built a firewall round its banks to protect them from the fallout from a “Grexit”.

    says The Guardian at the link… Nobody says about the firewall that will protect precary or unemployed people or poor retires from the debt-deflationary whirlpool that will ensue…

  12. JTMcPhee

    A fellow parishioner (long since deceased) in the Episcopal church I attended on the North Shore of Chicago where rich folks live was a senior partner with one of the (former) Big 8 accounting firms. He left the business in disgust, after getting a good taste of the faked auditing his partners committed of the “LDC” program, particularly as it was being operated by the carefree folks in the upper reaches of Continental Illinois Bank.

    He was good enough to share some details: this was a great scam by our US rulers to get South and Central American and other “less developed countries” into deep debt trouble. All the players cheerfully dove into the moral-hazard pool. The loans, and eventual losses, amounting to Big Money in those pre-2008 days, were guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the US (taxpaying) public. The bank officers and their federal contacts knew these were pre-failed transactions, but defaults were no cost to the banksters, who as bank officers were paid a percentage of the amount of the loan as their bonus or commission. And not “career-limiting” to the feds involved. They also got lots of free sex, drugs, bribes, and rock’n’roll from the Big Players in the governments and financial entities in the LDCs. No harm, no foul, right? A lot like Greece and Spain and Ukraine and everywhere else, including Detroit, right? I offer this little link as a bit of history, published by the FDIC itself, to add some context and detail:

    Some of us remember the Savings and Loan deregulation debacle, and vaguely recall Mike Milken and Chuck Keating and Lincoln Savings and Loan. The LDC bail-over was on the same order of magnitude. Nothing’s changed, just the acronyms — the thieves, the shameless grabbers, selling the same ultimately bitter pills to the rest of us, are all still out there, knowing they will be long gone or at least immune to any consequences when the patient once again lapses into cachexia and coma, with fevered relatives scrambling to refill the drained blood vessels for the next Vampire Squid encounter. And the apologetics run on forever too — e.g., the S&L mess was per some Players just due to “incomplete deregulation,” with a host of problems that supposedly caused that were NOT THEIR FAULT!!!

    Yves is convinced the 11 million individual Greeks, elite scammers and farmers and taverna owners and waiters and sitters, all in it more or less together, are nothing but gyro meat, whatever they do, to be sliced away, packed into dark rye sandwiches with a soupcon of tzatziki and a slathering of Senf to make the meal even more piquant. They are just one of the foodstocks for the set of financialist appetites that have been pulling this crap since Hammurabi incised that first recorded Uniform Commercial Code, way back when? It’s getting to where even the Squids are in danger of finding themselves without an ocean of Real Economy Wealth to swim and hunt and ravage in.

    Who in all the world, what collection of people, have a prayer of intercepting the incoming Squids on their next inventive bleeding attack from out of the darkness, from behind that cloud of artfully ejected ink?

      1. JTMcPhee

        Thank you so much for the link. How do we forget about such patent proofs of the real nature of the Game? Interesting that our Rulers let testimonies like that get published, or stuff like Naked Capitalism for tha matter? Maybe to reinforce our sense of the inevitability of It All, and the seeming futility of opposition or at least resistance? One wonders: did any of the individual troops or supply clerks or techs or pilots or cooks on all those alien ships in the imaginary world of “Independence Day” dream of or hope for something more, something better than serial planetary rape and murder? Old Smedley Butler, having put in his decades as a highly effective drone, sure did. Maybe the groupthink of the aliens was just too overwhelming, or maybe their rulers had literally bred or gene-modified it out of them…

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