Links 3/31/15

Indiana Governor Insists New Law Has Nothing To Do With Thing It Explicitly Intended To Do Onion


China’s New Normal and America’s Old Habits Stephen Roach, Project Syndicate

Andorra on the brink of Europe’s next banking crisis Telegraph (Li)


ECB Nerves Fray on Greece as Supervisors Irk Central Bankers Bloomberg

Latest Greek list of reforms fails to satisfy international creditors Irish Times

Greek Plans to Unlock Aid Need Lots of Work, EU Aides Say Bloomberg

Greek PM Tsipras vows to win ‘honest compromise’ in bailout talks – as it happened Guardian


Ukraine’s Russian Problem, Part 2 Mark Weidemaier, Credit Slips

The Coming Emerging-Market Debt Squeeze Project Syndicate

Pettifor warns of GFC 2.0 approach Macrobusiness


Saudi oil infrastructure at risk as Mid-East conflagration spreads Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Dozens killed in airstrike at refugee camp in Yemen Washington Post (furzy mouse)

How to Decipher Yemen, Where the Enemy of Your Enemy Is Also Your Enemy Huffington Post (Carol B)

Iran nuclear negotiations enter final day as deadlock persists Guardian

As U.S. and Iran Seek Deal, Saudis Make Own Moves New York Times

Obama administration uses old Pentagon FOIA to out Israel’s nukes Washington Examiner (Glenn F). Reported previously but in case you missed it…

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

One dead, two hurt as vehicle tries to ram U.S. spy agency gates Reuters

Imperial Collapse Watch

More Straws on US Financial Hegemonic Camel’s Back Marcy Wheeler

Television Commercial in California Asks Drone Pilots to Stop Killing David Swanson

Nearly 40 percent of millennials think teen sex and homosexuality are morally wrong Salon

Spokesman found dead weeks after Missouri auditor Tom Schweich’s suicide Washington Post (furzy mouse)

How Chicago has used financial engineering to paper over its massive budget gap Yahoo (furzy mouse)

Blogger Ben

Ben Bernanke, Confused as Ever, Starts His Own Blog to Prove It Michael Shedlock (EM)

Did Bernanke forget about QE? FT Alphaville

Paranoia Reigns in Congress Over an International Financial Cabal Pam Martens and Russ Martens

US banks target Elizabeth Warren’s ‘rogue’ watchdog Financial Times. Adrien: “It shows that her reform has teeth..all good for her..and bad PR for the other side. You have to have some nerve after having obliterated the financial system for your own gain to attack an underfunded agency dedicated to protect/inform consumers on their financial choices…”

Bill Takes Aim at SEC’s ‘Revolving Door’ Securities Regulation Daily. Adrien: “Why only one year? How about three years? It has to be long enough that one would not be tempted to be lenient in exchange for a job..(including a job for his/her teenage son..:). But this is a step in the right direction. ”

‘Diva of Distressed’ Tilton Accused of Defrauding Investors Bloomberg

Foreclosure Crisis Update Alan White, Credit Slips

Shipowner warns private equity to stop backing new vessels Financial Times. Another sign of how far much risk PE firms are taking on to make investments. Shipbuilding is a highly cyclical business.

Consumer spending barely rises in Feburary. Shoppers are saving instead. Christian Science Monitor. As predicted.

Class Warfare

Income Inequality: It’s Also Bad for Your Health New York Times. *Sigh* We wrote about this over eight years ago.

A hotel manager in Arkansas fired his employee after she spoke to a reporter about minimum wage Business Insider

Brain development in children could be affected by poverty, study shows Guardian

Movement to Increase McDonald’s Minimum Wage Broadens Its Tactics New York Times

When a Rising Tide Sinks Most Boats Pavlina R. Tcherneva, Levy Institute

Antidote du jour:

dogs and cat links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Poll watcher

    Millenial survey seems 1. Like a bad poll as far as internals and 2. Does not agree with other polling. I’ve noticed an untick by libetals lately of this sort of polling.

    1. diptherio

      Also struck me as way off. Not my experience of “millenials” at all (I’m on the outside edge). It’s considered low-class by most everyone I know to care what type of sex other people enjoy.

      1. savedbyirony

        The article is also poor in that it does not show the answers of millenials in relationship to other generations. (There’s a Pew survey out from 2014 which does this). Millienials are considerably less “conservative” than other generations and iirc the change in views between their answers and the Xers (for example) tend to be greater jumps than between any other generations.

        1. savedbyirony

          Also, in the context of millenials, homosexuality, religion and where their views are trending perhaps, millenials are less religious than preceding generations (particularly as it applies to religious institutions). To use “religious freedom” to discriminate against homosexuals may very well work on a legel and power politics level, but i doubt that approacch does much to undermine the views and sympathy millenials are likely to have towards homosexuals.

  2. Kokuanani

    Could you provide a quick link to one of NC’s articles on this? I’ll then go post it in a comment to this NYT one. Suggest others do too.

    Income Inequality: It’s Also Bad for Your Health New York Times. *Sigh* We wrote about this over eight years ago.

  3. Swedish Lex

    On 40% of millenials being more or less homophobic.
    This is actually a good number.
    Had the same survey been made a few decades ago the results would have been different.

    Ask for instance Russian millenials, and I presume that the vast majority will be homophobic.

  4. auskalo

    Blackout in Turkey:

    Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said officials are inspecting all possible causes, including a terror attack, for the electricity cut across Turkey, as power blackouts continue in several provinces including Istanbul and Ankara.

  5. steviefinn

    I was thinking last night about drones & it reminded me of the hatred inspired by the ‘ doodlebugs ‘ that plagued London during WW2. A great Aunt of mine told me that it was much worse than the blitz, as when the engine stopped, nobody could tell whose number was on it. She also said that it inspired an even deeper hatred for the Germans & people were cheered at the thought of the RAF’s huge bombing raids against German cities, & would have been disappointed if it had been stopped. It seems to me that the use of drones is a similar way to inspire deep hatred, which will inevitably result in blowback as is now being seen in Yemen. Terror after all doesn’t generally bring out the best in people. Found this Guardian article from 2012, which compares the two forms of terrorism.

    1. Demeter

      I sure hate it. For all the high-tech propaganda, it’s awfully random in results, violates every rule of war ever written, and pays no attention to any other rule of law, such as due process. It’s the anti-Dale Carnegie: How to Make Enemies and lose Influence over your Allies.

      And the idea of making war on the cheap is appalling. War should be so expensive, nobody in his right mind would even go there.

        1. Swedish Lex

          Exactly, cat outnumbered and in a position of inferiority. But look at those eyes. Bronson eyes.
          The dogs had better learn their spaghetti westerns or; do not underestimate the lonesome cat.

          1. Mel

            Line that never happened in Kröd Mandoon: “Look again. You are surrounded — from the inside.” To my eternal dismay.

  6. P Walker

    Obama is running the clock on the Iran nuclear deal, I do believe. He knows he won’t be blamed for their failure (the MSM will invariably claim it’s those damned untrustworthy Iranians), caves into Israeli regional demands, and he won’t have to worry about the GOP screaming about how weak he is internationally or how he “caved” to Tehran.

      1. sleepy

        Not sure Obama cares what history thinks of him beyond being an extremely wealthy and influential ex-president, but he might, just might, view an Iran deal as some sort of legacy. He might just blow off the negotiations, but maybe not. If he does blow them off, I think the Europeans and others start normalizing relations with Iran, lifting their sanctions, etc. US companies will start moaning and groaning, and the US government will start looking even more stupid than it usually does.

        On the other hand, a deal with Iran would be overwhelmingly viewed favorably by the rest of the world–the usual exceptions noted–and Obama would be gland-handed and congratulated. Maybe, or maybe not, he wants that little taste of glory. But it’s probably something he’s considered at least.

  7. Jim Haygood

    Arizona gov. vetoes police shooter secrecy bill:

    PHOENIX — With just hours left before a midnight deadline, Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona vetoed legislation on Monday that would have prevented law enforcement agencies from releasing the names of officers involved in serious or fatal shootings for 60 days.

    “I know the goal of this legislation is to protect officers and their families, and it’s a goal I share,” Governor Ducey said in a letter explaining the veto. He added, “Unfortunately, I don’t believe this bill in its current form best achieves the objectives we share, and I worry it could result in unforeseen problems.”

    Lovely Orwellian quote from Levi Bolton of the Arizona Police Association:

    “This bill was not intended to be nefarious, or to deprive people of information.”

    No news is good news, comrades. And the best sniping is anonymous.

  8. fresno dan

    Ah, the Pastafarians always bring a smile to my lips, as well as wistfulness, regarding my low carb diet…I am such an apostate….(there is a 1.69 bounty on me to force me to the Olive Garden, after a rigatoni dinner, to consume unlimited bread sticks….)
    Anyway, once people say that satanists are not part of a “true” or “serious” religious faith, or a truly established religion (using a test like that, our last republican nominess’s religion became officially “accepted” when??? when you have a presidential nominee?) , what happens when Muslims start demanding that they start Florida council meetings, perhaps with a prayer to support Syria…or Iran…or the restoration of Palestine….

    Getting religion into government is a Pandora’s box. I use the Muslims as an example, but its easily foreseeable that Christian denominations would be locked into all sorts of contentious debates (Baptists versus Catholics)

    For centuries, Christians were damn anxious to kill Christians for being heretics…
    The Supreme court has gone down a foolish path.

  9. Jef

    “Shipowner warns private equity to stop backing new vessels”

    As Fracking amply illustrated it is not about the validity of the endeavor, its about the ability borrow massive amounts of capital and spread it around amongst the cronies before it all goes mammary glands up.

  10. rich

    FDA panelist confirms conflict of interest following Sarepta drug discussions Mar 30, 2015

    Dr. Eric Hoffman, a member of the FDA panel, confirmed the disclosure oversight during in an email to the BBJ. Hoffman was one of several speakers at the all-day workshop, and he submitted a signed disclosure form saying he had no financial affiliation “in the past three years with any products or firms relevant to the discussions on the development of assays or therapeutics that involve dystrophin.”

    Contacted by the Boston Business Journal this weekend, Hoffman acknowledged he is a co-founder of two firms that have developed a method of measuring dystrophin based on mass spectrometry. That approach is different from a competing method used by Sarepta, called immunofluorescence, over the past three years.

    In an email to the Boston Business Journal, Hoffman acknowledged that he should have disclosed his association with those two firms — Hoffman is founder and vice-president of Agada Biosciences, a company whose technologies help measure dystrophin, and is CEO of ReveraGen, which is developing a drug to treat Duchenne — and attached a revised disclosure form which he says he sent the the FDA.

    While Hoffman was one of 17 people who spoke at the workshop, he was one of just five who were on a panel toward the end to sum up take-aways for the day, according to the FDA’s webcast of the meeting.

    How’s that FDA drug approval process working for you? For the children, eh?

  11. Garrett Pace

    “Nearly 40 percent of millennials think teen sex and homosexuality are morally wrong”

    Always read the research, not the journalism. Here’s how representative the sample populations are:

    37% white
    17% black
    35% hispanic
    8% asian pacific islander

    60% are female

  12. Jim Haygood

    Don’t make me open up a can of subpoenas on you:

    A House panel Tuesday formally requested Hillary Milhous Clinton to testify about the private server and email account she used while serving as secretary of state.

    Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, sent a request to Clinton’s personal attorney, David E. Kendall, requesting that Clinton appear before the committee no later than May 1 for a transcribed interview about the server and email.

    Gowdy, in his request to Kendall, also asked Clinton to “reconsider” her refusal to turn over the server to a neutral third party, which he called “highly unusual, if not unprecedented.”

    1. Vatch

      The article does appear to be imbued with cluelessness, but I suspect that Mr. Dayen is being ironic. The final paragraph:

      “In baseball terms, we’re in the seventh or eighth inning of the crisis. And Barney Frank detailed how the president-elect had the opportunity to call the game and fix the problem much earlier, which he turned down. You’d think someone would have noticed.”

    2. fresno dan

      “But nobody has focused on Frank’s allegation that Barack Obama refused to extract foreclosure relief from the nation’s largest banks, as a condition for their receipt of hundreds of billions of dollars in bailout money.

      The anecdote comes on page 295 of “Frank,” a title that the former chair of the House Financial Services Committee holds true to throughout the book. The TARP legislation included specific instructions to use a section of the funds to prevent foreclosures. Without that language, TARP would not have passed; Democratic lawmakers who helped defeat TARP on its first vote cited the foreclosure mitigation piece as key to their eventual reconsideration.”

      Interestingly, or ironically, a link to NC and Frank are provided in the article:
      Than this is said:
      The political media’s allergy to policy is a clear culprit here. Jamie Kirchick’s blanket statement in his review of “Frank” that “readers’ eyes will glaze over” at the recounting of the financial crisis is a typical attitude. But millions of people suffered needlessly for Wall Street’s sins; they’d perhaps be interested in understanding why.

      That’s the main reason why the significance of Obama’s decision cannot be overstated. The fact that we waited six years to get some semblance of a decent economic recovery traces back directly to the failure to alleviate the foreclosure crisis. Here was a moment, right near the beginning, when both public money and leverage could have been employed to stop foreclosures. Instead of demanding homeowner help when financial institutions relied on massive government support, the Administration passed, instead prioritizing nursing banks back to health and then asking them to give homeowners a break, which the banks predictably declined.

      There were no structural or legislative barriers to this proposition. One man, Barack Obama, could tell another man, Henry Paulson, to tighten the screws on banks to write down loans, and something would have happened. Would it have been successful? Would it have saved tens or hundreds of billions in damage to homeowners? Even trillions? Or would Paulson and his predecessors found a way to wriggle out of the commitment again? We know the alternative failed, so it’s tantalizing to think about this road not taken.

      Really, my best guess is a really bad case of cognitive dissonance – the author seems to want to believe that the election of President Obama fundamentally changed something, rather than its just the nominal change in the guy who appoints the Goldman Sachs treasury secretary, changing the secretary from Paulson to Geithner. Mr. Dayen seems unable to accept that the Obama view was ALWAYS of the banks, by the banks, for the banks – just like every other president (maybe not Andrew Jackson….).
      Is this a big media conspiracy? Or the fact that the media never reports ever so slightly complicated stuff? Or the media refuses to critique Obama? Or “new boss just like the old boss” so not worth telling story?
      Was Frank surprised in how Obama behaved – now that would be interesting to know.

      I don’t mind the story, because I don’t think the story can be over told.
      But this IS AN ASTOUNDING thing to write:
      “And Barney Frank detailed how the president-elect had the opportunity to call the game and fix the problem much earlier, which he turned down. You’d think someone would have noticed.”
      LOTS of people noticed, years ago…
      And maybe the idea that which democrat you vote for matters a smidgen – of course, that begs the question of how would the world be different today if Hillary was elected in 2008? Is it plausible to believe, that the previous Clinton admin that gave us Bob Rubin was going to be tough on banks?
      What is despairing is: who in American politics is truly tough on banks?

      1. tommy strange

        Great reply dan. Thanks!!!
        I guess I am just aghast that a pretty damn good writer recently (better than Krugman on addressing the realities of working peoples’ situations), can somehow NOT have read all the books I did? And I did NOT learn about any of these books from here. I found them from general articles and interviews. Econned, It Takes a Pillage, Hudson’s stuff, Bailout etc..I am just a layman without any writing experience at all. I only came here after reading Yves great book, and writers on counterpunch started citing this site. Even Matt Taibbi, a goddamn sports writer (!!)_, contacted tons of economists and read tons before he even started griftopia. How can Taibbi (in the updated version covering part of Obama) get it more right 6 years ago than this guy? I mean people like Rebecca Solnit, Digby, Joan Walsh etc…that is cognitive dissonance…what we use to call ‘Leninist liberals’… but this guy HAS been detailing lies and crap from the democrats already. Jesus, mr. paid writer, do your damn research!! Ugh my head spins. We’re going into a financial spiral downwards and NO writers on the usual prog or liberal sites can do deep research and get out of this Republicans! Republicans! They are stopping the recovery!! Same with climate change too…Same with the war machine too…

  13. Synoia


    take cropleek and garlic, of both equal quantities, pound them well together, take wine and bullocks’ gall, of both equal quantities, mix with the leek, put this then into a brazen vessel, let it stand nine days in the brass vessel

    Ok, lets do the analysis…

    Croopleek and garlic – Vegetable acids
    Wine – Acid
    Bullock’s Gall – Bile – Acid

    Brazen (Brass) vessel for one week (Copper and Tin)

    => Copper and Tin compounds (A weak solution probably) – and Copper salts are poisons, don’t know about Tin compounds

    Why didn’t these researchers use some chemistry? For example Cuprous anti-fouling paints are used to keep boat bottoms clear of algae.

    Next – try a weak solution of a mixture of Cupric and Cuprous salts.

    1. hunkerdown

      “don’t know about Tin compounds” — stannous fluoride was used in original Crest toothpaste until the 1980s, and is used now in Crest Throwback Pro-Health.

      It’s something that the germs are getting so tough we’re seriously looking into systemic poisoning (aka chemotherapy) to get rid of them.

    2. Synapsid


      The terminology for copper alloys has often been pretty sloppy for various reasons, outside metallurgy itself. The leechbook is stated to have been written in the 9th century and I don’t know what the Old English word is that was translated in this case as “brass” or “brazen”, but if the metal is brass then it would be an alloy of copper and zinc; a copper-tin alloy is bronze. I’d expect there to have been lingering influence from Roman technology in Britain and brass was more widely used in the Empire than bronze, so brass is a good guess. There’s a possible kicker, though, in that Cornwall had been a source of tin since the Bronze Age, so bronze could have been made.

      It’s a fun question.

    3. Marko

      They didn’t think much about the chemistry or the microbiology. The headline tells us that antibiotic-resistant bugs are ” no match ” for the potion , then they tell us that 1 in 1000 bacteria survive the treatment. When millions-to-billions of bacteria are involved , that leaves plenty of survivors to cause trouble. Presumably those survivors are , in fact , resistant to the treatment and would then go on to multiply normally , and may even be pissed off since now everything reeks of garlic….

  14. GlennF

    Bill Black: The Homophobic Law and the Indiana Governor Who Dares Not Speak Its Purpose

    Just one question: Was ALEC behind the writing of this law? If so, it’s time to call the organization out and have its members outed as homophobes.

    1. afisher

      Nah it is just a coincidence that the verbage in States such as Nevada, Kansas, North Carolina, Arkansas, Arizona and Indiana is nearly identical.

  15. vidimi

    looking at the situation between russia and the u.s and the middle east at large, i don’t think a third world war has been this likely in a long time. it might even be the saudis to kick things off.

  16. Sy Krass

    Some in Congress think an international financial cabal controls the world financial system? You mean they finally f*ckin’ figured it out? Now then, do they have the balls to do anything about it? HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

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