Links 6/26/15

Timeline Of Mass Extinction Onion (David L)

House Cat Is So Not Impressed By Mountain Lion At The Door Huffington Post (David L)

Every state flag is wrong, and here is why Washington Post (Chuck L)

Men think they are math experts, therefore they are PhysOrg

Facebook only hired seven black people in 2013, latest diversity report says Guardian (reslic)

Can an Algorithm Hire Better Than a Human? New York Times (David L)


What Cuba can teach America about organic farming PBS

WATCH: Here’s the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath PsyPost (Chuck L)

Iron: A biological element? PhysOrg (Chuck L)

Seeing behind the headlines about China’s attack, stealing the governments’ jewels Fabius Maximus (furzy mouse)

Beijing beats Washington in the South China Sea’s war of willpower Business Spectator

Chinese stocks tumble as Morgan Stanley says don’t buy the dip Sydney Morning Herald (EM)

China’s Market Selloff Accelerates Wall Street Journal

With $27 trillion in savings, Chinese are set to change the world Sydney Morning Herald. Not necessarily. Any financial asset is someone else’s financial liability. Tons of financial assets, like railroad stocks in the 19th century, or Japanese purchases of golf courses in the bubble years, resulted in a lot of wealth destruction.

Greek, China woes slam Aust stocks Business Spectator

India’s State-Owned Banks Strained by Bad Debt, RBI Warns Wall Street Journal

UK youths win for color-changing condom to recognize STIs PhysOrg (Chuck L)


Greek bailout talks postponed to Saturday Financial Times

Crisis talks on Greece to stretch into the weekend ekathimerini

Greece No Closer to a Deal as Debt Deadline Nears New York Times. At the end of the article, it described the offer Tsipras can’t refuse: “Pick up pen and sign, or we blow up your banking sector.”

Greece talks to go down to the wire amid fears of imminent banking collapse Telegraph. Merkel reportedly told Tsipras to “shut up”. And if there is no deal, Greece may have to impose capital controls on Monday.

Germany’s Merkel: currently not possible to find fresh funds for Greece Reuters. June 30 is a real deadline. The Eurogroup members, and that means some parliaments, including critically Germany’s, need to either approve a bailout or a bailout extension of the so-called “second bailout” which otherwise expires then.

Why Crucial Greek Debt Talks Keep Collapsing Ed Conway, Sky

Greece: when populism fails EUROPP. Neoliberal solutions, but nevertheless some good observations on how the two sides got where they are.

Markets twitchy as Greek saga drags on Financial Times. Wow, this is asking for someone to pull out a pitchfork: “’We knew there were going to be a few obstacles in the way of a deal, but we certainly did not expect it to turn into a farce,’ said Divyang Shah, global strategist at IFR Markets.” No, this is not all about you and your precious positions.

Another #EuroSummit is not foreseen. Leaders expect the #Eurogroup to conclude this process at their meeting on Saturday Donald Tusk (@eucopresident)

The Greek drama is far from over – even if there is a deal Open Europe

Greek Pensioners Demonstrate Against Inhumane Austerity Demands Real News Network. I haven’t seen good estimates as to how large this protest was.

New Democracy airs idea for new coalition ekathimerini

Greek tourism stays strong despite euro zone worries CNBC

The impact of economic austerity and prosperity events on suicide in Greece: a 30-year interrupted time-series analysis BMJ (Dr. Kevin). We wrote up this study when it was released last year, but it bears looking at again.


ISIS Declares Governorate in Russia’s North Caucasus Region Institute for the Study of War (furzy mouse)



NYT’s Orwellian View of Ukraine Consortium News (RR)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Google Was Gagged For Four Years From Talking About Fighting The Wikileaks Investigation Techdirt (Chuck L). A must read.


Opinion: The reasonable expectation fallacy Christian Science Monitor. William B: “It’s rare for a card carrying member of the Deep State to offer a public statement against certain technical advances and the threat they represent to basic human rights.”


Conservatives steamed at Chief Justice Roberts’ betrayal Politico (furzy mouse)

Supreme Court upholds Obamacare subsidies: GOP sobs (while secretly breathing a sigh of relief) Daily Kos (furzy mouse)

Meet the Health-Law Holdouts: Americans Who Prefer to Go Uninsured Wall Street Journal. EM:

I’m in this group – have negotiated substantial cash-price discounts with my GP and dentist, and paying cash for prescriptions costs less than half than what my insurance used to get billed. I am far, far from wealthy but have enough money saved to cover most anything sub-catastrophic. Million-dollar-cancer treatment is of course off the table, as well as catastrophic injury – but having lived through two of the latter in my lifetime, I’ve no intention of surviving a third, should it occur. YMMV as far as the risk calculus goes. Ain’t life in the self-anointed Greatest Nation On Earth grand?

Trade Traitors

RHINOs in Charge Huffington Post (Bob H)

State Department Says Hillary Clinton’s Email Disclosure Was Incomplete Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Front Group Pleads for Government Help in New York Times OpEd Pam Martens and Russ Martens

Troubled Delta System Is California’s Water Battleground New York Times


Indebted Shale Oil Companies See Rough Ride Ahead OilPrice (Joe Costello)

Fracking Linked to Increased Infant Mortality in Alarming New Study Alternet

Manhattan Land Plot Said to Be Sold for Almost Double 2011 Price Bloomberg (Scott)

Calpers’s Disclosure on Fees Brings Surprise, and Scrutiny New York Times

Class Warfare

Whole Foods Has Been Overcharging for Your Groceries, According to New York City Investigation Alternet

On Edward Hopper New York Review of Books (Bob H)

Antidote du jour. From Panos:

sea lion louning links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. steviefinn

    I cannot help admiring how the French can stick up for themselves – Very rock’n’roll Courtney ..” Where are the police !!! “.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      It is Uber’s goal to be “disruptive,” and it has apparently succeeded admirably, at least in Paris. Unfortunately for customers like poor little Courtney, there may be such a thing as too much “disruption.”

      Hope she knows to ditch the drugs before she calls the cops.

    2. Benedict@Large

      Since the start, there was something about UBER drivers that bothered me, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Finally, I’ve figured out what it is.

      They’re SCABS.

      Maybe a 21st century version of it, but they’re scabs. They break contracts by crossing lines.


    3. tongorad

      I despise Uber, but I also despise the fact that using a cab is a luxury item. Historically, I don’t think this was always the case.
      Instead of working people fighting each other, I’d rather see the push for more public transportation.

  2. scott

    Great week for the Obama. Fast Track, Obamacare SCOTUS decision, and the figurative (so far) book-burning of Southern Culture. All three branches of our Federal government seem to have morphed into one entity.

    1. kj1313

      Nope sorry the South is finally being called out for flying not only a racist flag but a treasonous one as well.

      1. ambrit

        The PTB were all right with that until the Civil Rights movement took off in the 1960s. The people up North had no problems with ghettoizing ‘persons of colour’ in places like Harlem, NYC, and Bronzetown, Chicago. Oh, and don’t forget all those ‘Chinatowns.” Yellow skinned people don’t count?
        The real message here is one of a ‘divide and rule’ program being used to divert the attentions of the self same ‘persons of colour’ away from the class warfare being waged against working people of all stripes. A similar and equally effective strategy has been used against working class whites.
        The real treason here is that of the working classes against themselves.

        1. kj1313

          Oh I agree but Southerners didn’t start to fly the stars and bars again until the Civil Rights movement.

  3. Kokuanani

    Quelle surprise that the Grey Lady didn’t mention NC’s numerous articles on highway robbery by placement agents and hedge funds via their fees for “managing” Calpers $$$.

    Is there any doubt that these articles are what woke Calpers and other investigators up to this?

    It’s noted that Calpers paid Steptoe & Johnson $11 million in 2009 for an “investigation” of this issue. I’m sure NC could have done the job more thoroughly, and for a lot less. [Clearly Calpers didn’t learn much from whatever Steptoe & J “reported,” or maybe the report didn’t name names.]

  4. Juneau

    Psychpath vs Sociopath: Nice video gives biologic basis for difference. Psychopath enjoys his/her hobby and makes it their full time job to bring misery on others; sociopath pursues goal directed nasty activities with rules/ethics of a different sort.

    Can one have a streak of either? I daresay yes. On the Huffpo link about housecat vs mountain there is a video showing a mother emotionally scarring her daughter and laughing about it (psypchopathic streak)
    Watching this video may bring out the socipathic streak in anyone sympathetic to the poor scarred child.
    We humans are a complex species, it is not so black and white sometimes.

  5. craazyman

    hilarious stuff from WaPo about state flags.

    if they could somehow analyze and write about politics that well, we might live in a democracy.

    1. PhilK

      “But,” as they used to say at the CalculatedRisk blog, “how does that help the banks?”

    2. ambrit

      Slowly but surely, the Onion rises to the status of legitimate news source while the MSM sinks to the status of Infotainment outlet. Entropy at its’ finest.

  6. sleepy

    Yes, I was laughing up a storm reading that on my front porch. Really funny.

    Hard to say, but I thought the take on Michigan’s flag was the funniest.

  7. mn

    Wall str j article about Obamacare. Insurance or not you will go broke with a major illness or trauma. Romneycare did not put a dent in numbers that filed for bankruptcy. Hide your assets or protect them cause hospitals are getting real aggressive about getting their money.

    1. sd

      Fun fact. Hospitals can take up to three years to bill you for medical services. They are under no obligation to bill you in a timely matter. So be verrrry careful when signing off on an accidental insurance claim. Once closed, you are stuck with the (sizable) bill.

  8. alex morfesis

    farcebook nonsense is fall off the barstool HE larry us…because there are no black or female mathematicians who could work in designing advertising or usage algori-thems…but no problem hiring asians…and there are no women or black men who have ever worked in the advertising business who might help sell an ad or two…nah…must be a fragment of my infatuation…

  9. Santi

    Krugman on IMF’s position about Greece:

    Talk to IMF people and they will go on about the impossibility of dealing with Syriza, their annoyance at the grandstanding, and so on. But we’re not in high school here. And right now it’s the creditors, much more than the Greeks, who keep moving the goalposts. So what is happening? Is the goal to break Syriza? Is it to force Greece into a presumably disastrous default, to encourage the others?

    At this point it’s time to stop talking about “Graccident”; if Grexit happens it will be because the creditors, or at least the IMF, wanted it to happen.

    1. different clue

      If this is indeed the correct view, and if indeed the Euro authorities are able to force the Grexpulsion of their hearts’ desires; one can only hope that in that extreme case the Greeks are indeed able to toss a match on the fucker and burn it all the way down into its own basement on their way out the door.

  10. Larry Headlund

    Re: Men think they are math experts, therefore they are

    Anecdotally (and the plural of anecdote is not data),back when I taught college math the best student in class was usually a women.

        1. optimader

          I was just kidding Larry, but those must have been heady times at BU.
          Not sure about U of Pitt, that must have been the leading edge of when the wheels came off the steel industry there and deindustrialization started.

          1. Larry Headlund

            The steel industry in Pittsburgh was dying but we didn’t know it yet. Even then, the University of Pittsburgh was Pittsburgh’s biggest employer, more than US Steel or J&L.

            As it happens I was pretty involved in the labor movement then but not in the Steelworkers.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Under capitalism, where everyone in business is expected to maximize profits, the only math a successful capitalist needs is this: whatever you have, I have more.

      Just a simple inequality, and it’s easy for everyone to learn too.

      Don’t let them brainwash you into thinking you can’t do that math inequality.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        And kids are really good at this (reminding one of music and computer child prodigies).

        “My dad is a millionaire.”

        “Oh, yeah? My dad is a billionaire.”

        Natural-born math-inequality experts.

        1. Kokuanani

          My daughter’s take on this one upsmanship game [as a five-year-old]

          Friend: “MY dad is driving us to school today.”

          Daughter: “Yeah, well MY dad has a JOB.”

  11. optimader

    However, the likelihood of these eventualities is low. For more than two decades, Beijing has assiduously avoided outright armed conflict with its Southeast Asian neighbours, and China has no interest in challenging freedom of commercial navigation in the South China Sea

    Chinese version of “Great White Fleet Syndrome” –a paper dragon composed of largely obsolete naval vessels at the turn of the 20th century
    Allow the Chinese to raise their economic break even point by perpetuating unproductive initiatives to medicate their post-Mao perception of second rate self image.

    Chinese dim sum and circuses.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      From Wiki, on the ironclad battleship Dingyuan:

      As part of his drive to create a modern navy, Viceroy Li Hongzhang turned to shipbuilders in Great Britain and Germany for the latest technology. After extensive negotiations, a contract valued at 1.7 million taels of silver (6.2 million German Goldmark) was signed with the German Vulcan shipyards in Stettin to build an enlarged version of their Sachsen-class armoured frigates, which in terms of displacement, armour and armament would raise the Beiyang Fleet to an equal status with the fleets of the European powers stationed in the Far East.

      Unfortunately, the ship did not arrive in time to fight the French. Again, from the same Wiki entry:

      The delivery of the Dingyuan, sailed by a German crew, started in 1884, but was stopped following a request from the French who were in the middle of a conflict with China which culminated with the Sino-French War (1884–1885). Dingyuan was a very powerful ship and would have drastically altered the balance of power in China’s favor had it and her sister ship been available at the time of the conflict

      And people say the Germans didn’t get along with the French.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          That would be Empress Dowager Cixi’s Marble Boat at the Imperial Summer Palace (from Wiki):

          The Marble Boat is often seen as an ironic commentary on the fact that the money used to restore the Summer Palace largely came from funds originally earmarked for building up a new imperial navy

          One can say, no strategic value at all.

      1. JTMcPhee

        …And gee, was it conscience or atavism or avarice that brought one part of the play in the Great Game of Risk!(tm) to this interesting pass?

        “Secret Cooperation: Israel Deploys Nuclear Weapons on German-Built Submarines

        A German shipyard has already built three submarines for Israel, and three more are planned. Now SPIEGEL has learned that Israel is arming the submarines with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. The German government has known about Israel’s nuclear weapons program for decades, despite its official denials.”

        One wonders what changes those subs and missiles have engendered in the Imperium’s war plans, doctrine and rules of engagement, since Israel has demonstrated no compunction about attacking US surface vessels,, or spying on us or warping our political debates and functions…

        And one way money acquires velocity: “Germany Sells Israel Dolphin-II Subs,” And Uncle Sucker ends up paying for guns for the Israelis to point at our temples…

        So many moving parts… Part of my Vietnam experience was servicing UH-1 series helicopters. They were powered by Lycoming T-53 series turboshaft engines. Fuel was metered to the combustion section by a “fuel control unit,” essentially a mechanical analog computer that took in a bunch of “parameters” and fed the right amount of JP-4 to the injectors. The FCU had something like 11,000 separate parts, and its manual and logic diagram were boggling.

        It’s said that the fellow who designed the FCU spent years immersed in the complexity, getting it to work right, and eventually went deeply insane. Causation or correlation? So many moving parts, too, in the “political economy,” but somehow all the energy and value are getting dumped to the folks who siphon off all the wealth… There is a “dump valve” in the FCU, by the way…

        These engines and the helicopters they power are all over the planet, now, still doing a variety of jobs including fire fighting and rescue and ambulance functions, but the vast majority are doing military functions. “Dual use technology,” where what I would value as the beneficial uses being just a tiny rump carbuncle on the behind of the military monstrosity that just does clumsy, idiotic, self-defeating violence because that’s all it knows how to do. That, and grow like a particularly vicious malignant metastatic cancer, perverting and displacing healthy tissue and glomming onto all the available resources and energy and co-opting the rest of the body into building and feeding huge new arteries to direct even more lifeblood to the tumors.

        “We” ordinary people apparently don’t know what we need, are loath to even try to figure it out or too overburdened or distracted to have the energy or interest, nor do “we” have the drive to pursue real needs even if “we” could sort of agree on what they are.

        What, again, are the outcomes “we” would want from application of all “we” have intuitied or discovered or understood about how the apparently morally neutral and hijackable political economy operates? And how the “elite” have grabbed the reins and kicked most of us off the bus?

        Coors and Cato and Gingrich and Rove and even Obama know how to concentrate, pick their vector of attack, and go for it all. Who on the people’s side does? Or once they get good at it, will resist the seduction and power of the Dark Side?

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Waiting two decades is nothing for many peoples in the world – they are not more patients than us, but we are exceptional impatient compared with the rest of the world.

      There is a relevant episode, since we are discussing China (from Wiki, king Fuchai of the State of Wu, whose wonderfully preserved spear was discovered a few years ago):

      The Chinese idiom, wòxīn-chángdǎn (臥薪嚐膽 “sleeping on sticks and tasting gall”) is a famous idiom which can be interpreted to mean “enduring hardship and plotting revenge”. The idiom came from the story of King Goujian of Yue after he was defeated by Fuchai in 494 BC. [2]
      After Fuchai withdrew his forces troops from Yue, Goujian took his wife and Fan Li to Wu to serve Fuchai. Goujian did his utmost to serve Fuchai and was able to gain Fuchai’s favour and trust. After three years, Goujian was permitted to return to Yue.
      After returning home, Goujian determined to work hard and prepare for his revenge on Fuchai. To avoid immersing himself in the comforts of life and this reducing his aspiration for revenge, Goujian slept on straw with his head on his sword. He also hung a gall bladder in his house and tasted it every morning. He appointed Wen Zhong to administer government affairs and appointed Fan Li to manage his army. He worked with farmers in the field while his wife was weaving and doubling thread. Yue’s people were moved by Goujian’s action and Yue transformed from a weak to strong state after ten years.
      King Fuchai of Wu lived an extravagant and dissipated life after defeating Yue. He was full of conceit and started war with his neighbours frequently. He believed Bo Pi’s advice and executed Wu Zixu, who was Fuchai’s faithful minister. As a result, the state of Wu’s power declined.
      In 482 BC, Fuchai led his troops north to contest hegemony with the state of Jin. Goujian heard the news and his army advanced into Wu. Wu’s army was defeated and Fuchai’s heir, named You, was killed. Fuchai hastily withdrew his army and sent an emissary to make peace with Goujian. Goujian determined that it was impossible to fully defeat Wu with a single expedition, so he agreed to Fuchai’s offer. In 473 BC, Goujian attacked Wu again and Wu’s armies suffered repeated defeats. Fuchai had to ask Goujian for peace again but failed thanks to Fan Li’s opposition. Fuchai finally committed suicide and Wu was subjugated.[3]

      I count at least 13 years (3 years imprisonment and 10 years to rebuild).

      1. optimader

        After returning home, Goujian determined to work hard and prepare for his revenge on Fuchai. To avoid immersing himself in the comforts of life and this reducing his aspiration for revenge, Goujian slept on straw with his head on his sword…..

        reads like outtakes from Kill Bill 2

        1. Disturbed Voter

          The Chinese made it into a miniseries … The Great Revival … available with English subtitles on YouTube. Auspicious drama, very Confucian. The story begins just after Sun Tzu has made Wu into a hegemon … contemporary with Confucius, but Confucius didn’t become popular for another 300 years.

  12. optimader

    “routinely overstated the weights of its pre-packaged products — including meats, dairy and baked goods,” while inflating the prices of those items. ……. “$0.80 for a package of pecan panko to $14.84 for a package of coconut shrimp.”

    Well, I guess you have to shop there to be overcharged.
    Overcharged $14.84 for a package of Coconut Shrimp? How much should one expect to pay for a pack of C.Shrimp in NVC that it could seem acceptable to pay an addn $14.84??

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      “Overcharged $14.84 for a package of Coconut Shrimp? How much should one expect to pay for a pack of C.Shrimp in NVC that it could seem acceptable to pay an addn $14.84??

      EXACTLY what I thought. Anyone that clueless DESERVES to get fleeced.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Those poor NYC bankers just can’t catch a break.

          A few years ago they were duped by all those unscrupulous home buyers who tricked the banks into lending them more money for a house than they could afford to pay back.

          Then the mongrels from Occupy soiled the sidewalks around their workplaces.

          Now this.

          Is there no indignity these stalwart souls must not suffer while doing god’s work?

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The way to make money by confusing shoppers is, of course, by putting your products in the metric system.

          Make the packages smaller and charge the same, or slightly less (but not enough to account for the shrinkage 100%).

          It’s not just the supermarkets, but also the manufacturers.

          Of course, if they do away with labeling the country of origin on beef, you’re really on your own.

          1. optimader

            Of course, if they do away with labeling the country of origin on beef, you’re really on your own

            Just think of it as the beef equivalent of the delectable Century Egg

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                I was at the Bowers museum in Santa Ana a few years and there was some noodles unearthed in China that were thousands of years old, apparently the oldest noodles around.

                By re-hydrating, some brave soul discovered a still very tasty meal, presumably with century old eggs and decade-old beef

  13. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Whole Foods Has Been Overcharging for Your Groceries, According to New York City Investigation Alternet

    Boo hoo. Why is this the “nanny state’s” problem?

    Take a little “personal responsibility” and get yourself a scale or, better yet, go the “free market” route and shop somewhere else. You know, the same “solutions” the new york “financiers” are constantly ramming down the rest of the country’s throat.

    And here’s a tip: there is no “chicken tender,” anywhere on the planet, that’s “worth” $9.99 PER POUND. That should have been your first clue that you were getting ripped off.

    1. Vatch

      You’re correct about the price of chicken tenders, but I’m wondering how many people bring a scale with them to the grocery store. Do you?

      1. frosty zoom

        living in méxico, i got very good at determining the weight of produce without a scale. while most vendors were honest about the weight, once in a while…

      2. optimader

        calibrated hands?
        But maybe best you bring a coke scale when buying coconut shrimp

        BTW I’m sure any W.F. operatives would have a twitching eye reading the pejorative “grocery store”.
        Whole Foods is a Market Sir!

        1. Rex

          Just get a kilo package of azucar and put it on the vendor scale. Did that at shrimp stall on Mx coast, improved the sale in my favor.

      3. Katniss Everdeen

        There actually ARE scales at the grocery store already–in the produce section–many of them. Of course you have to account for the tare weight, but doing that once gives you a ballpark.

        My original comment was “somewhat” tongue-in-cheek. Wait. My original comment was full-on tongue-in-cheek.

        1. Vatch

          If the produce scales are accurate, then people can use them to verify the approximate weight of the prepackaged foods, although it’s a time consuming nuisance. But if the produce scales are included in the fraud, then all bets are off.

          1. optimader

            Check it with a four cans of Spam for accuracy and linearity.

            My favorite store which we affectionately refer to as “The Third World Market” has scales, but I know they’re are honest. Two Greek brothers who completed there formal educations in 8th grade. Interesting pragmatic guys.

            W/ all the bandwidth spent on Greece, one of them elegantly summed up the current economic situation succinctly with: (Shoulder shrug) “They just stole too much this time”

        2. fresno dan

          i always consider your comments full on gospel quantum reality from the book….

          and on the Whole foods think, their cocktail sauce is incipient too!

        3. Yves Smith Post author

          1. It is routine but completely illegal for stores not to deduct the tare, even when weighing stuff right in front of you. And if you make a stink, you get disapproval from others at the counter for slowing them up.

          2. I have walked into 2 Whole Foods in NYC and walked out without making any purchases because they felt really disagreeable. Terrible layout, hacked up, stuff on multiple floors. And selection of what I was interested in only mediocre, so not worth the time cost of getting in and out of the store.

          How many people are going to go to the veggie dept to check weights, particularly if it involved going up and back down an escalator?

          1. ambrit

            This must be a dense pack urban design store. The Whole Foods we visit infrequently in Baton Rouge is a single story, traditional layout. Next time you’re in Birmingham, check out the Whole Foods store in Mountain Brook, (if you already haven’t.) I believe it’s a one floor design. The new Whole Foods slated for Hoover, (another high rent district,) will be a single floor design, if they don’t do any serious redesign work on the old Brunos that used to be there.
            They are definitely pricey, but that is the demographic the chain is aimed at, Young Urban Professionals. For the rest of us, it’s the Farmers Market on Saturdays and ‘Bob’ on the side of Hwy 98 selling stuff out of his truck garden from out of the back of his pickup truck.

          2. Katniss Everdeen

            “How many people are going to go to the veggie dept to check weights, particularly if it involved going up and back down an escalator?”

            Only the ones who don’t have a spare $15 to “contribute” to whole foods’ bottom line. That doesn’t include me for sure. I’d just avoid the place.

            BTW, how do you get a shopping cart on an escalator? The whole (foods) “experience” sounds like a WHOLE lot more trouble than it’s “worth.”

  14. financial matters

    Bill Black on game theory nep

    “The troika insists on making Greece worse off by insisting on austerity and trying to block a cooperative TDR that would benefit the creditors and the debtors. The game that the troika is playing against the people of Greece and the EU embraces all the imperialism inherent in the dictator’s game – but it is a “negative sum” game that makes the peoples of Greece and the EU worse off. Cooperative games typically are “positive sum” games that make both parties better off.”

    Has the IMF’s and other creditor’s roles become too attuned to protecting finance and lost touch with protecting people?

    Bill Mitchell on Grexit beyond austerity

    “Defending the interests of international capital has always been a priority of the IMF even if the welfare of ordinary citizens is compromised.”

    “But more positively, exit will bring instant growth and reductions in unemployment. There would be a lot of noise associated with the first several months of activity but the reason that the Troika doesn’t want Greece to leave is because it would expose the austerity myth.

    Beyond austerity is growth. Italy would see it. Spain would see it. Portugal would see it. And the word would spread that the Troika a second-rate tyrants who trade on lies and deception and Germany hides behind that wall of lies to reap its own prosperity at the expense of its monetary union partners.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      And that applies to the Dollar standard as well, I suspect.

      Many dollar-denominated IMF/World Bank customers can probably be better off existing their current austerity programs, under a new global reserve currency and/or a new infrastructure investment bank.

      1. financial matters

        Yes. The troika, as in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK seems to be using capital to favor corporations and the elites.

        Syriza seems to want a combination of social security nets, including pensions, and jobs. Not many governments are supportive of these types of programs.

        From Pavlina Tcherneva:

        “funding for a job protection program that is currently being devised by the Greek Ministry of Labor.”

        “Creditors are asking for another 1 percent of GDP in cuts to pensions and a freeze in nominal pension contributions until 2021 — no matter that 50 percent of pensions in Greece already provide income below the poverty line. Also on the chopping block is the solidarity grant (EKAS) — a means-tested supplemental pension benefit for the poorest and most vulnerable pensioners.

        In these difficult economic conditions, the pension system in Greece can be best thought of as an unemployment insurance and social protection scheme. With the explosion in unemployment in Greece and the elimination of virtually all welfare assistance, the pension system has remained the only lifeline which many unemployed individuals have.”

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Perhaps that’s the hidden plan for the neoliberal European multinational corporations – cheap immigrant unemployed Greeks to fill their plants, clean their offices and wash dishes back at their home countries.

          “Pensions should be for retired seniors. All able-bodied young men, and women, to the not-force-labor job sites. Remember, it’s your choice. It’s not forced on you.”

          In contrast, a hardliner country like the Netherlands can afford an experiment on basic income (yesterday’s links section, posted by subgenius) in the city of Utrecht.

          1. financial matters

            I think when talking about jobs it’s important to use living wage in the same breath.

            Interestingly I interpret Polanyi as being in support of a job guarantee as well as a BIG.

            When talking about an economic Bill of Rights he said that ‘The list should be headed by the right of the individual to a job under approved conditions, irrespective of his or her political or religious views, or of color and race.’


            ‘Compulsion should never be absolute; the “objector” should be offered a niche to which he can retire, the choice of a “second-best” that leaves him a life to live. Thus will be secured the right to nonconformity as the hallmark of a free society.’

            And he believed in a minimum wage or living wage not set by the market:

            “To take labor out of the market means a transformation as radical as was the establishment of a competitive labor market. but the basic wage itself, are determined outside the market.’

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              If someone wants to participate in a non-violence protest, or sitting quietly meditating on the problems of the world, perhaps going hungry, as in hunger strike, will that be a job under approved conditions?

              1. optimader

                perhaps going hungry, as in hunger strike, will that be a job under approved conditions?
                I’d roll with that, is there a lunch break?

          2. tegnost

            + 1, never thought that mobilizing indebted greek youth, or any other indebted youth, to emigrate would be a problem for a banker, and GS is pretty well represented in “the institutions”

  15. George Phillies

    10:35 AM Friday The Guardian reports that the Greek government has rejected the other side’s proposed five month bailout extension. Also, Mr. Tsipras has left Brussels to return to Greece, or so the Guardian reports.

    1. Edna M.

      I am pretty impressed with the Greek government. Everyone kept predicting they would fold and yet they go on, rejecting offers, and getting under the skin of the Troikanauts. It’s apparent that Tsipras has no intention of forming a coalition with pro-austerity parties, as many, including possibly the creditors, had assumed.

  16. JohnnyGL

    Hey, what’s all this fuss about NAFTA and free trade about? It seems to be working just fine….see….

    “MEXICO CITY – The net worth of the 16 wealthiest Mexicans rose fivefold between 1996-2014, an increase that exemplifies the “huge inequality problem” in the country and reveals how privilege trumps citizens’ rights, Oxfam says in a report.”

  17. lord koos

    Re: Chinese savers — “Any financial asset is someone else’s financial liability.” I’m not sure how this applies here. Chinese are pragmatic and tend to save in cash and precious metals, where is the liability?

    1. Larry Headlund

      Chinese are pragmatic and tend to save in cash and precious metals

      The part about saving in cash and precious metals does not describe the mainland Chinese I know. One of the reasons for the stock market bubble (which seems to be bursting) is the really poor returns they were getting from bank deposits. what seemed like poor returns to them anyway even if they were much higher than US rates. This is what they told me anyway when I expressed astonishment that 90 year olds, for example, were playing the stock market.

    2. hunkerdown

      That you expect me to not only respect you, but do something you want me to do, when you wave precious metal in my face.

  18. ambrit

    If Merkel did indeed use the words “Shut up,” then it’s all over. One does not use such language publically to the legitimate head of another government unless you are prepared to go to war.
    Tsipras is toast. No leader can endure such public humiliation and continue to represent a nation honourably without publically repudiating any cooperation with the offending party.
    Thankfully, Turkey has remained quiet. They would be the logical party to wage a proxy war, a real shooting war, against Greece on the Eurogroups behalf. Their reward might be an acquiescence to the full occupation of Cyprus by Turkey. Turkey gets Cyprus as a Protectorate, Greece gets neutered, Russia loses its new warm water ports.
    Now, who, or what will be governing Greece this winter? It certainly doesn’t look like the Greek people will.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Perhaps she was tired, due to jetlag or all the flying around on non-chartered flights.

      After a good night’s sleep in an economy hotel, she will feel better and apologize…I hope.

      1. ambrit

        True that about jet lag. I read Merkel calls it “Going 262.”
        She’ll apologize all right, but to whom?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          To herself?

          If each of us is happy, we will have a happy society.

          S,o our job is to seek happiness – be it painting in Tahiti or practing yoga at Malibu.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Not many people are truly happy given all they do is trying to please the GDP counters.

            “What you do does not contribute to the GDP. It’s not a job at all. Talking to birds and staring at flowers all day does nothing. Absolutely nothing. More nothing than posting cute cat pictures.”

        2. abynormal

          maybe she’s missing the bush magic finger massage…he’d probably incld. the apology

            1. abynormal

              well i envy your wife…i wanted to gouge my eyes out when i SAW IT!
              (i haven’t blushed since the bush era…sad)

          1. hunkerdown

            One wonders if head of state Merkel Muffley, Dr. Schäubliebe and the rest of her cabinet are, at this very moment, negociating (not fighting!) the optimum female:male ratio in the underground bunker.

          1. ambrit

            Right the first time!
            From the Blue Oyster Cult Song “ME 262”:
            “In a G load disaster from the rate of climb,”
            “Sometimes I’d faint and be lost to our side.”
            “But there’s no reward for failure-but death.”
            That about sums up these ‘negotiations’ so far.

    2. craazyman

      maybe he was doing a Hitler speech imitation as a gag with an upstretched palm and two fingers under his nose as a fake mustache and she was laughing so hard she just had to make him stop.

      It’s hard to know what really goes on that makes people say things.

      I’m getting all my comments vaporized today. It’ll be a miracle if this posts. Usually only my dumbest comments get vaporized by the DELETE-IT algo (Drivel Enitrely Lacking Edifyingly Thoughtful Elucidation – It’s Toast!) but not 3 in a row! That’s awfully judgmental.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      It was not public. It was at dinner during the negotiations which were private. But someone leaked it, which would mean one of the principals told their staff and they leaked it. Then you get to the matter of whether the leak was authorized or not.

      Regardless, this is pretty bad if true even if not as bad as you surmised.

      1. IsabelPS

        Oh, I don’t know. Venezuela didn’t go to war with Spain over the famous and very public “Porque no te callas?” of Juan Carlos to Chavez.

      2. FREDDO

        If Merkel told Tzipras to “shut up” that suggests she’s losing her grip rather than him. That’s not the sort of language of someone in control of a situation. Now he’s called a referendum is she going to tell the Greek people to shut up?

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          See my post that launches soon.

          Merkel has far more power here than Tsipras. This is not about her losing her grip, this is her telling him he needs to get out of his delusions and listen to her.

          His referendum is on a bailout that will have expired, It looks like he did not bother to consult a calendar. Pray tell, what is the point of that? All 18 of the other countries in the Eurozone would have to agree to give him an extension. If you think they will, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.

          1. Freddo

            He knows he’s not going to get an extension. I think he’s accepted that unless he gets a better deal Greece is going to default, and he’s still playing brinksmanship. And if that doesn’t work, he’s going to show just how anti-democratic the EU is on the way out. He’ll be able to say that he didn’t make this decision, the Troika did. I agree with Ambrit below.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              Did you miss that 18 other countries have democratic rights too, and Greece’s do not trump theirs? Tsipras has been threatening a referendum since March. Doing it now means he is trying to escape responsibility for how he promised what he could not deliver in negotiations and kept lying to the Greek people for months that a deal was nigh. If he were interested in doing the right thing, as opposed to getting out of the political corner he is in, he would have called the referendum a week ago.

  19. rich

    Bankruptcy Cases: Disabled Poor vs. PEU

    Contrast the bankruptcy case of Mrs. Stitt with The Carlyle Group’s Church Street Health Management, a children’s Medicaid dental provider. It went bankrupt in 2012. At the time Carlyle had nearly $40 billion in dry powder.

    Church Street Health Management LLC’s filing with the Middle Tennessee U.S. Bankruptcy Court this week listed roughly $85 million of assets and $300 million of liabilities.

    How much of that $300 million in liabilities came from a dividend recapitalization, where a private equity underwriter loads the affiliate with more debt, using proceeds to pay themselves a handsome dividend? Church Street, a serial ethics violator, was booted out of Medicaid for five years.

    fair system, eh? ….

  20. Cat Burglar

    Boulder Colorado, and other towns below the front of the Rockies, have had lots of urban mountain lion “experiences” like the one in the video. A tracker and ecologist I took a class from was hired by the city to study the problem, and found that the big driver was that gardens and backyards created excellent habitat for prey (i.e., deer), and small pets outside at dawn and dusk didn’t help. A large number of big cat sightings were reported in downtown Boulder in the middle of the night — it turned out that nurses on night shift at the hospital took their smoke breaks on the roof, where they had a clear view of the cats moving through the streets. He also said that his own research suggested there are around 20,000 lions in captivity in the US kept by individuals.

  21. fresno dan

    “But the U.S. attorney for U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York thought differently and on June 2 issued a grand jury subpoena to Reason for all identifying information we had on the offending commenters—things such as IP addresses, names, emails, and other information. At first, the feds requested that we “voluntarily” refrain from disclosing the subpoena to anybody. Out of sense of fairness and principle, we notified the targeted commenters, who could have moved to quash the subpoena. Then came the gag order on June 4, barring us from talking about the whole business with anyone outside our organization besides our lawyers.”

    I just saw a documentary last night called “Better this World”

    And it just reaffirms my view that what worked for a couple of centuries, i.e., the independence of prosecutors, has been completely circumvented by ambition, and a “conservative” ideology that is jingoistic and has an anti intellectualism streak that presumes that prosecutors and police (GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES) have no ambition, never lie, and are never fallible; that brays and yammers incessantly about small government but expands the scope and power of the government to imprison constantly. And if police are never investigated….or prosecuted…. or convicted, why, that has nothing to do with our dedicated public servants…government employees are angels (sarc – see Madison quote)

    Whatever professionalism and code of ethics that supposedly governed the administration of law, it seems like so much not to be working in practice.

  22. Stephen Haust

    What on earth is “reslic”.

    No not relic and I really don’t want to bother unscrambling it.

    1. ambrit

      Well, there it is. Time to put up or shut up. Tsipras has neatly boxed in the Eurocrats. If the Eurocrats do not manage an extension till after the referendum, they will be sending an unequivocal anti democratic massage. If the Eorocrats do provide the extension, they will be seen as endorsing independence of national policy within the Eurozone. Then it will all hinge on the results of the referendum. Really, this is a Plebiscite. Do the people of Attica want to be first class Greeks, or second class Germans?
      This is not a desperation play. This is a call to action.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Does Frau Merkel then ask for a German referendum, afterwards?

        My referendum against your referendum?

        1. ambrit

          The basic problem is that the Germans are acting as if the Eurozone is Ein Grosse Bundesrepublik Deutschland. The possibility of a Plebescite has been legislated away, until one happens, that is.

  23. Santi

    I guess you know it already by now, but the programme for Greece on Saturday is:

    12pm EET (0900GMT) Parliamentary discussion about referendum in Athens
    04pm CET (1400GMT) Eurogroup meeting in Brussels delivering ultimatum “can’t refuse” offer to Tsipras
    07pm EET (1500GMT) Parliamentary vote of referendum in Athens

    Referendum will be on July 5, voting on acceptance of Troika’s ultimatum; earlier there will be a meeting of Dragasakis with Draghi, asking that the ELA support is kept until the vote is over, at least. Draghi supposed to express understanding when Tsipras phoned hi,

    Sources: assorted tweeter feeds

  24. norm de plume

    Re: Can an Algorithm Hire Better Than a Human?

    The most accurate and important statement in this story, after a general soft-soap emphasising the potential for machines to get rid of human bias, is in the last paragraph:

    ‘People will also need to make sure the algorithms aren’t just codifying deep-seated biases or, by surfacing applicants who have certain attributes, making workplaces just as homogeneous as they were before’

    Ah, yes. In addition, there is the danger that this deep coding of preference will not just keep workplaces homogenous, but act as silent enablers of a mass move toward the exclusion from useful employment of people who dissent, via the sharing of data between government agencies and businesses:

    One of the larger HR software firms Taleo – which is ultimately owned by Larry Ellison, who of course got his start designing systems for the CIA – provides the gateway for job applications employment at my state government here in a Five Eyes nation. That bothered me enough that I wrote to the contact person on the advertisement – a relatively low level position in a second rank department. I was stunned to learn that this person worked for the office of Premier and Cabinet. As I said to her ‘Have we reached the stage that individual goverment departments are no longer permitted to select their preferred shortlists for vacancies? As a voter and citizen of this state I find that rather frighteningly Orwellian’

    But my real concern lay elsewhere: ‘If gatekeeping HR software like this, with owners like that, are now the norm in government departments as well as corporations, not just in Australia but in the US and the other members of the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence-sharing alliance, the installation by stealth of an obedient, like-minded bureaucracy and the marginalisation of anyone not coloured an approriate shade of grey can be silently achieved, under the apparently impartial and indeed impersonal auspices of a ‘system’.

    The guise of streamlining, and eliminating bias provides handy ‘cover for …the root and branch culling of free-thinkers (ie, troublemakers) which can be acheived at arms length by algorithms, so that even if the execs are accused of such conniving they can plausibly claim ‘it wasn’t us, it was just the system we bought, sorry!’

    I chuntered on at greater length about this on a previous thread:

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