Links 6/4/15

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Meet Wally, The Bunny With The Biggest Wing-Like Ears Bored Panda (furzy mouse)

American Nobel chemistry laureate Irwin Rose dies at 88 Reuters (EM)

Data Scientists Don’t Scale Harvard Business Review (David L)

Uber is somewhat threatened in NYC Cathy O’Neil

For green activists, Arctic drilling could be the next big thing Reuters (EM)

20-Year-Old Inventor’s Idea For How To Make Ocean Clean Itself Will Be Launched In Japan Bored Panda (furzy mouse)

This stunning discovery about the brain will have scientists rewriting textbooks Business Insider (David L)

The next oppressed minority: the transabled — Becoming disabled by choice, not chance: ‘Transabled’ people feel like impostors in their fully working bodies National Post (Dr. Kevin)

How a curmudgeonly old reporter exposed the FIFA scandal that toppled Sepp Blatter Washington Post (Chuck L)

How Interpol got into bed with FIFA Politico

Fleeing by the Millions: Migration Crises Around the World Atlantic (furzy mouse)

Nigeria’s army behind countless acts of torture and 8,000 deaths, Amnesty says Guardian

Sharemarket sinks 4.7% in four days Business Spectator

Shanghai shares hit seven-year high BBC. Notice earlier headline was “China stocks lead losses in Asia”

China’s Pursuit of a New Economic Order Project Syndicate

A Year of Modi: Impoverished People, Lost Hopes Real News Network

Beloved Maggi noodles the focus of food scare in India Los Angeles Times

Europe cannot wait any longer: France and Germany must drive ahead Guardian. Important. Swedish Lex:

To start with, the is the acknowledgment that everything Merkozy and, more recently Merkel alone without the invisible man in Paris, have done since the start of the crisis five (!) years ago has been a total fiasco. The fiasco was obvious all the time to some, including NC, and later to all with the exception of those in the euro bunker in Berlin plus Merkel’s key voters in the mountains in Bavaria. But that was enough to let the bloodletting continue with ever more intensity.

It is telling that Schäuble is not holding the pen but his SPD colleague. Macron, the French Minister is the former Rotschild banker who for the time being is pretending to be a French socialist.

If and to the extent that Francois Hollande has steered matters from where they were when he took power after Sarkozy in 2012, when the euro leaders were totally stoned on their austerity-über-alles fanaticism, he actually deserves some credit. That would be the first time that I would give him credit for anything he has done, barring one or two things, in the past three years.

The next steps are important. Will Germany and France table proposals for a new EU fiscal and democratic framework anytime soon? Both countries have key elections in 2017. As regards Germany, it is clear that the two major parties support the ideas. As regards France, I suppose that it is only a matter of hours before Sarkozy comes out doing his best to kill it. Such is the nature of French politics and of Sarkozy in particular. Rembember that Sarko is the father of the suicidal (in)stability pact that is killing Greece and other countries.

ECB’s Draghi Won’t Bond With Investors Wall Street Journal

Draghi to bond market: “Drop dead.” Bond market: “OK” Fortune

Bund sell-off enters fourth session Financial Times

This country is trying to go cash-free CNBC (furzy mouse)


Time for a break from posting on negotiations. Talks last night were inconclusive, the impasse remains with everyone keeping up “optimistic talk,. Most accounts have a high noise to signal ratio, or recycle old information.

Athens: Five Minutes to Midnight Ed Conway, Medium. A must read, by one of the Telegraph’s seasoned finance commentators. Wonder why he ran it in Medium.

Greek talks continue after Tsipras rejects creditors’ offer – live updates Guardian. Big new is Greece is to make counteroffer Friday. But the creditors’ was supposedly final, which implies little room for further concessions. As of this hour, Mr. Market was not too happy.

Greece cannot accept deal terms proposed by Juncker – deputy minister Reuters

Tsipras to resume talks with creditors on Friday Financial Times. Key tidbit:

A person with knowledge of the payments schedule said the government planned to raid undisbursed EU funds for infrastructure projects to cover this week’s payment and another €350m instalment due to the IMF on June 12.

Tsipras defiant ahead of creditor meeting Financial Times. The fiscal targets in future years are insane.

Time to talk about capital controls in Greece CNBC

Europe has no choice – it has to save Greece Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Greek crisis fuels Juncker power grab Politico. The wee problem, as we have stressed, is the EC has no checkbook. It is therefore negotiating commitments to be made by others, and it’s not at all clear they will go along, particularly since media accounts were consistent in saying the creditors were taking a tough line with Greece and were not prepared to give much on “conditionality” as in structural reforms.


Ukraine crisis: Heavy fighting rages near Donetsk, despite truce BBC

The ruble’s plunging again Business Insider


Iraq War Propaganda Redux: U.S. Claims Syrian Government Supporting ISIS George Washington

Second hearing set for jailed Washington Post Iran reporter: ISNA Reuters. EM: “This has ‘pawn in a larger political game’ written all over it. The funny thing, by the ever-lowering standards of the western GWOT-hysteria-addled police states, these kinds of patently absurd arrests and charges are now routine here, too.”

Imperial Collapse Watch

My Reaction to Tierney’s article in The Atlantic Sic Semper Tyrannis (Chuck L). Important.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

You Can Be Prosecuted for Clearing Your Browser History Nation

ofollow”>JPMorgan Algorithm Knows You’re a Rogue Employee Before You Do Bloomberg (David L)

Trade Traitors

Trade in Services Agreement – Press release Wikileaks (George P)

Fix fundamental TPP flaws to fit 21st century Japan Times (SB). Opposes the TPP.

Cartoons Mocking “Goldman Rats” and Hillary Clinton Appear All Over NYC Michael Krieger (RR)

Hillary Clinton Will Call For Voting Rights Overhaul Huffington Post. Furzy mouse: “Shall we thank Warren and Sanders for this move to the left?​”

Mosby says she’ll seek order to block release of Freddie Gray autopsy report Baltimore Sun (furzy mouse)


Is $60 the new normal for oil? CNBC

Saudis Believe They are Winning The Oil Price War OilPrice

The ‘fiscal space’ charade – IMF becomes Moody’s advertising agency Bill Mitchell (furzy mouse)

U.S. Prosecutors Did Not Question Goldman on Financial Crisis in 2010 Meeting New York Times

Class Warfare

John Paulson Gives $400 Million to Harvard for Engineering School New York Times. Now we know the price of renaming a school….

Inequality Troubles Americans Across Party Lines, Times/CBS Poll Finds New York Times

Antidote du jour (DS):

cat pillow links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. Ben Johannson

      John Paulson School of Engineering Financed by Fraud. Let us not forget this guy was a lackluster hedge fund manager until he colluded with Goldman Sachs to take the worst MBS they could locate and find a sucker to go long while they took the short position. Goldman paid a fine for this, Paulson became a Master of the Universe.

    2. Keenan

      You beat me to it, scott. If the school doesn’t yet offer such a program it soon will.

    3. Larry

      John Paulson conducts socially acceptable crimes. His money is welcome at the countries finer non-profit organizations. I wondered to a friend yesterday if Harvard would accept $400 million dollars from the disgraced Donald Sterling? Sterling’s crimes are small potatoes compared to Paulson, but his bigotry is well known and I imagine the student body and faculty would revolt quickly if a donation from Sterling were announced. I would wager that most students and faculty at Harvard don’t even know who Paulson is.

      1. Brindle

        Paulson’s role in Puerto Rico’s move to become a basically a service sector nation for the U.S. ulra-wealthy. Some great quotes in the article.

        —The conference was the brainchild of Alberto Bacó Bagué, secretary of economic development and commerce, and Paulson, who the territory’s government says plans to invest about $1 billion in real estate this year and next. Two hundred people showed up for panels, tours and information sessions with private schools, real estate brokers and a tax expert.—

        —The hedge fund manager brings me to Santaella restaurant, where we join a table of 10 or so newcomers eating the island’s comida criolla and drinking cocktails and beer. No one wants to speak on the record. They aren’t much different from any group of young traders — cracking jokes and checking out women at the bar — except for their obsession for minimizing taxes.—

  1. allan

    Sen. Mark Warner: Rethinking the social contract in the age of Uber
    [warning: includes auto launch video]

    “This whole generation is more willing to see disruptive change; that’s good news,” Warner says. “They’re more tolerant; that’s good news. They’re not as prejudiced. So all those are good things. But they clearly don’t have an expectation they’re going to work in one firm forever. They think they’re going to cobble together a series of different opportunities.”

    Because you can’t make a neoliberal omelette without breaking some nest eggs.

    And as a bonus:

    One of just 13 Senate Democrats who backed the Trade Promotion Authority bill backed by President Obama, he warns Democrats from being pulled to the left on economic issues.

    1. Brindle

      Warner is describing the neoliberal vision of the atomized, conditioned worker—a worker who sees disruption in their lives as good. This is just propaganda.
      I don’t know anyone who sees an insecure employment status as beneficial—whatever age demographic they are in.

      1. frosty zoom

        i hear they are hiring 377 more senators so that they all recieve 9.37 hours a week and are considered temporarysubparttime.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        We should never under-estimate the other side.

        A lot of them are advertising geniuses and can be very persuasive, eve making serfdom sound like an attractive career choice.

  2. No one in particular

    Not necessarily my view, but a good summary:

    As for “as regards Germany, it is clear that the two major parties support the ideas (fiscal union)” ?

    I do not think so. The Greens, SPD (centre left) yep (link to the original below) – but the CDU: This is a personal guess from far away, however: I do not think a majority inside the CDU would support this – Merkels power balance is much more fragile as many think – they will concurr, as long as the polls are right. Without the latter – not so much. And as the AfD is everything but imploded at this stage, there is a vacuum to the right……

    The vision is nothing knew Print/spent other peoples money for own benefit – but look at the number and the gist of the comments ……. below…..

  3. MikeNY


    I’m having a hard time swallowing this one. It seems like two parts special snowflake syndrome and one part masochism. With maybe a dash of desire for a handout thrown in.

    Someone please convince me I’m wrong.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Give the condition a medical name — somatic dysphoria would serve — and like gender dysphoria, it will be covered by Obamacare.

      Many folks, who perhaps were four-legged in a previous existence, suffer daily from the gnawing sense that their tail is missing. How can you be happy, if you can’t wag your tail?

      1. Santi

        If I remember correctly, one of the episodes of Lem‘s The Futurological Congress explores this theme. It is a fiercely funny work, at least for certain values of funny. As the wikipedia entry quotes:

        In a state of panic, Tichy realizes that he is “no longer safely inside the illusion, but shipwrecked in reality”

    2. DJG

      Radical dualism, an inheritance from Socrates and Plato. Sema soma. The body is a tomb. I keep thinking that we have solved the mind-body problem, and I see people in the English-speaking world, in particular, engaged in “taming” the body in spectacularly negative ways. Excessive piercings. Large-scale tattoos. Those now are the baseline. Gender dysphoria is a Platonic hypothesis chasing a natural phenomenon that is now being pathologized.

      None of this bodes well for the body as body. (Poor Whitman, singing the Body Electric, how out of step can one get?)

      Plato, the notorious political conservative, who then was pressed into service by Christianity: Still making a mess of Western culture after 2500 years.

      1. juliania

        Thank you for taking me to a sema soma enlightenment. Here’s food for thought from
        The theologoi spoke for the logic of divine existence (theos logos, theology), instead of the logic of body and belief. This theological preference for the soul’s importance over the fleshy orientation was expressed repeatedly as soma-sema, usually translated as “the body is a tomb.” It was through this chant (soma-sema-soma-sema) that Orpheus harped upon the immortality of the soul. Emphasizing the beyond-mere-body fountain of divinities, Orpheus emphasized attention to the soul’s needs by disciplining the body.

        But the root meaning of sema is “a sign,” or “marks the spot,” and by this significance became associated with “tomb.” . . .

        . . . Plato again summarizes, “Now some say that the body (soma) is the sema of the soul, as if it were buried in its present existence; and also because through it the soul makes signs it is rightly named sema.”

        [The dots I’ve used indicate conclusions of the blog author I don’t agree with. I do not believe Socrates, or Plato, considered the body to be a tomb. Nor do Christians.]

        1. MikeNY

          Interesting comments from you and DJG, thanks.

          I definitely read Whitman as reacting strongly against the body-hatred and contemptus mundi he found in organized religion. I love that aspect of him (in truth, it’s among many aspects I love in him).

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          And yet, we see preference for the body’s importance as well.

          It’s nothing new that people are and have been known to cut themselves up emotionally. It should not be shocking for us to read that some are cutting themselves physically. It’s only shocking, and this is my guess, because we focus too much on the physical and ignore the non-physical.

          It’s that same modern attitude that we have billions of More-is-Better consumers without much spiritual connection to Nature.

          Certainly physical torture/abuse is easier to measure, to quantify, and is more immediate and visible, than emotional torture/abuse. And the headlines reflect this.

      2. hunkerdown

        It seems to be an Abrahamic thing, this mundane attitude to amputations, especially some that shall not be named yet have powerful psychosocial consequences…

    3. Carolinian

      Clive Baldwin, a Canada Research Chair in Narrative Studies who teaches social work at St. Thomas University

      I tried to look up what “narrative studies” is and it doesn’t even have a Wikipedia entry. But here’s a tease from a scholarly abstract.

      A narrative studies framework also has the advantage of tying mutual help to a great deal of cross-disciplinary research, including cognitive psychology, anthropology, sociology, and literary analysis. General features of models for understanding the role of narratives, autobiographical memory, and personal change through identity transformation are described in the context of mutual help organizations.

      Got that? As Steve Colbert might say it’s science-y.

      1. hunkerdown

        But interdisciplinarism is not a four-letter word, and though there may be a certain amount of BS that falls out of it, I believe a wider perspective will catch the worst of it before it enters wisdom.

  4. Larry Headlund

    RE: Data Scientists Don’t Scale Harvard Business Review (David L)

    This is two paragraphs of non-specific criticism followed by fifteen paragraphs of buzzword compliant (data-driven, complex, intuitive, plain English, …) hype for products like the author’s company provides.

    1. Gabriel

      Have some sympathy. Data-science boosters have been quite successful, so you can imagine that there are masses more freshly-minted graduates getting into the field, so now it’s time for people who can publish at HBR to start putting shots across the bows of potential employers, warning them that non-HBR data-scientists are a waste of money.

      Its been a fairly standard elite-academic two-step, at least since I came to this country in 2003. First boost the field to the point that there are masses of people peddling products denominated in whatever highly-technical language you happen to specialize in and corporate employers don’t really understand, then sell yourself and your elite-credentialed friends as a kind of dragoman who’ll guide and protect those darling, dim employers from wasting money on unsound versions of the highly-technical-language product.

      It’s a variant of Gore Vidal’s “it is not enough to succeed, others must fail”, which, come to think of it, would be a fitting epitaph for this disastrously pervasive “curved” mentality, where everyone is expected to be in the top 10%, entirely independently of high or low values of that distribution might be linked to the accomplishment of any particular task.

      Going back to the two-step, I’m not sure how conscious it is (and I was on the periphery of the belly of one particular beast in this regard), but effect’s the same anyway.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Nice Vidal quote.

        We all see often that ‘it’s not enough that we are virtuous, but the other party must be evil.’

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Complex, obtuse or interesting thoughts can be made easier to understand in simple, plain English.

      Plain or simple thoughts can be made interesting to read with obtuse or complex writing.

      It’s much harder to disseminate important but complex ideas with buzzword/abbreviation filled obtuse writing.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      Sorry I should have flagged that this illustrated hocus-pocus….that fact that this got in the HBR, which usually requires that self-promotion be more clearly stated yet better disguised was telling. He was able to snow the editors.

  5. JM Hatch

    “Sic Semper Tyrannis”? Having looked at the author’s back & forth in the comment section,and then in other posts, the blog is an apologist for slavery in the south. The blogger’s idea of Tyranny apparently was the removal of property rights. One wonders what his idea of getting along with the locals was, if he was truly a Green Beret.

    Migration around the World: The power of the internet, SMS net, and just the plain olde cell phone, has taken the once privy pilot’s rutter and placed it into the hands of people in the most remote places. The great beyond is no longer some unknown terror, but a calculable risk; and those who have gone before didn’t drop out of sight, but contributed to refining the rutters. In the immortal words of BTO: You ain’t seen nothing yet!

    1. OIFVet

      Surely Pat Lang is a bit more nuanced than a simple apologist? FWIW, Southerners will react not too kindly to Northerners pretending to be morally superior than those “savages” from the South. Our own Carolinian is a prime example, and I dare anyone to call him a apologist for slavery. He isn’t. I don’t think that Pat Lang is one either. He reads and links to Mark Twain, for one. He is to the right of where most of us on NC are, but what I enjoy about his work is that he calls out the BS emanating from DC. He even went on to support Bernie Sanders, in his own way. So whatever differences of opinion there may be, I find his work very worthwhile reading.

      1. Carolinian


        And to JM Hatch: since you obviously know absolutely nothing about Pat Lang, why are you off on this rant? Lang is a well known commentator on military affairs who once regularly appeared on the News Hour. If you doubt his claims about his bio (“if he was truly a Green Beret”) Wikipedia is a click away. Just reading the SST post in question makes it obvious he is not a racist but is instead criticizing them.

        In short: WTF?

        1. James Levy

          His line about “the greatest sin of the South was not being the North” is insensitive at best, idiotic at worst. Many of his posters are obviously Confederate apologists and although I see him interact with posters, I don’t see him smacking down these morons. That’s WTF.

          1. Carolinian

            It’s just a different philosophy of blogging because policing comments takes a lot of effort as I’m sure our esteemed hosts can testify. The alternative in his case might mean no comments at all. If that’s your case against him it’s pretty weak.

            As for the rest, if you are going to go in for litmus tests then you are going to get a very narrow spectrum of views. Lang also opposes gun control. I don’t agree but so what? It’s not what he spends his time writing about. If you want to get the inside dope you have to hear from insiders.

            1. Carolinian

              BTW I should say that I never read the comments on Lang’s site or practically any site except this one. For the vast majority of websites the content is in the posts themselves. NC encourages more thoughtful discussions so it is bit different.

            2. hunkerdown

              James Levy’s comment strikes me less as a rebuttal and more as evidence. But that’s the Whig Theory for you: at no time may we dishonor or blaspheme the infallible oracle of post-hoc “I meant to do that”.

          2. different clue

            Here is the entirety of what Colonel (Ret.) Lang said about that in a back-and-forth of several comments:
            turcopolier said…

            Unfortunately, you have opened the door to denunciations in which the words “Lost Cause” myth and slavery as evidence of Southern moral depravity will appear. These words provide a convenient way to ignore the truth that the South’s greatest sin lay in being un-Northern. pl

            which got this reply . . . .
            Farmer Don said in reply to turcopolier…
            I would say the South’s greatest sin lay in accommodating the slavery of four million people prior to abolition, when other leading countries such as England had already stopped this injustice.

            which got this rejoinder . . .
            turcopolier said…
            Farmer Don

            Yes, you would say that from your post in the Canadian tundra. You are the man who told me that Claude Devereux should be changed to be a more moral person. England? England held hundreds of millions in colonial servitude until poverty induced by the world wars pried the hands of the English off peoples’ throats. pl

            which got this response. . .
            Farmer Don said in reply to turcopolier…
            “England held hundreds of millions in colonial servitude until poverty induced by the world wars pried the hands of the English off peoples’ throats”

            Yes Col. perfectly true.

            But, you were speaking of the “South’s greatest sin”.
            Not England”s
            or Germany’s
            or China’s
            or Turkey’s
            or Russia’s
            or Japan’s
            or Isreal’s
            or South Africa’s
            (I’m sure you can add thirty more with out w/o thinking too hard)
            Every Country with the opportunity/or perceived need, has done it’s share

            which got this clarification . . . .
            turcopolier said…
            Farmer Don

            Ah, I see, the word “sin” set off a religious response. Faulkner would have been pleased. He saw it that way as well, but, then, he drank himself to death, more or less. I should have used the word “offense” as in the greatest offense of the South was to be un-northern. This is much as in the greatest offense of French-Canadians was in not accepting Anglo-ness in Canada. Please don’t try to tell me that Anglo Canadians did not treat the French like the dogs they considered them to be. pl

            Did you read far enough to have caught all that? Or did you stop reading at Colonel Lang’s first comment?

    2. ex-PFC Chuck

      I’ve been reading Col. Lang’s blog since about the time of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, and there’s no way he is an “apologist for slavery.” He does have a more nuanced view of the origins of the War Between the States (he asserts that the term “Civil War” is a misnomer), a view that emphasizes fundamental cultural differences between the regions. Whether you agree with him or not on that issue, his blog is an invaluable resource for cutting through the BS dished out at the early 21st century version of t he Five O’clock Follies, regardless of the location of the performance: Baghdad, Kabul, or Versailles on the Potomac. After his Vietnam service he switched branches from Special Forces to Intelligence and, focusing his career on the Middle East, studied Arabic to the point of fluency and immersed himself in the local cultures far more than most officers in similar position do. A few posts he wrote several months ago about his 3 years in Yemen as the Army attache will give you an idea to the extent he went native in fulfillment of his duties.

          1. JerseyJeffersonian

            Ah, yes. The Irish had it so much better digging all of those canals up North. In some places, they’ve recently discovered graves right alongside of the canal; bury those Gaelic-spoutin’ Micks just where they dropped. And how about the factory girls/children in those Northern mills? Since they weren’t technically property, the church-going mill owners could work them until they broke or died, and then bring in the next lucky non-person to experience the glory of their Christian Charity. Plenty of inhumanity to go around, North or South it would seem to me. And scant grounds to get too high up on the horse.

            And then let’s examine the characterization of the unpleasantness between the North and the South as the “War of Northern Aggression”. Think about the situation of Greece vis a vis the European Union; maybe the costs of association with the EU could be argued to be so high for Greece that they might be better off to bow out. But here’s the thing – there appears to be no way specified in the foundational documents of the EU for a state that has entered the EU to depart. It’s a vexed situation.

            Now, the seceding states of the Confederacy, by their reckoning, found themselves in a somewhat similar situation. They had entered into a constitutional republic as sovereign states, and wished to withdraw, yet there was no method specified for such an eventuality. Things got ugly at that point. But the Confederate states, holding to the view that their participation in the republic could be rescinded despite the lack of a clear procedure for so doing under the Federal Constitution, thought themselves to have been aggressed against by the Union states. From their POV, they therefore maintained that the hostilities were actually a War of Northern Aggression.

            Let me state clearly that I abominate the institution of slavery, the attempt to preserve which animated much of the hostility of the Confederate states against their continued inclusion in the Federal Union. You have, therefore, no right or cause to refer to me as an imbecile. In consideration that there is an arguable case if one were to view matters from the perspective of the secessionist states that they had indeed been the victims of aggression directed against their right to withdraw from the Federal Union, you had no right or cause to refer to Mr. Dudek in that fashion either, and it would be a gentlemanly thing to apologize in my view.

            Think as a historian; you must not apply current standards when attempting to understand the mind-set of past historical actors. Very few people, North or South, viewed blacks as equals. The war was only partly about abolition, and to a much higher degree it was concerned with the irreversibility of the Federal Union. That which is now perceived as revanchism might push your buttons, but those were the terms of the day and in that culture.

            1. Carolinian

              Gore Vidal said the South had a perfect right to secede but perhaps he was just being a contrarian. I don’t happen to agree and think anyone who says the war was not about slavery is just blowing smoke. No slavery, no war–it’s that simple. It’s worth noting that the trigger incident was not secession but an attack on Federal property in Charleston harbor. This allowed the North to say with some justice that the South attacked them.

              1. hunkerdown

                “No slavery = no war” but “no Union = not your circus anymore = no war” too, had Evangelicals and their creepy-boyfriend act not won the day.

            1. James Levy

              Because the vanquished kept 4.5 million human beings as chattel slaves. And because, as Vice President Stephens so clearly stated it, the Southern Confederacy was based on the self-evident truth that blacks were inferior to whites. Perhaps you agree.

        1. different clue

          If we call it the Civil War of the Northern Aggression against the Southern Rebellion between the States . . . will that cover all bases?

  6. Gabriel

    Re AEP’s piece on Greece, my eyes naturally drawn to the chart that compares deposit flight in Argentina and Greece. Daily Telegraph integration of graphics with pieces generally chaotic, so not sure exactly what the firm that produced the figure (which shows level of deposits in Greece, as of ~a month ago, still higher than Argentina) is meant to indicate.
    Curious, I tried to look up whatever report contained this graph, but could only find a slightly more informative version of it (the graph) here. Has anyone read the report where some conclusion is being derived from this?

    In case anyone’s interested, most of difference explained by (a) Arg not in nominal banking union with issuer of depositors’ de facto “reserve currency”, so rational to be leery of banks way earlier in the recession and (b) 1989 hyperinflation in living memory even of callow young foreign-desk journalists such as myself.

    1. Santi

      The graph seems pretty much useless. I find much more informative the other one, the one comparing, base 2009, nominal GDP for euro countries. It shows how badly austerity worked for Greece, and half baked austerity for Spain and Portugal…

  7. jo6pac

    Hillary Clinton Will Call For Voting Rights Overhaul

    Talk is cheap from this one;)

    1. Oregoncharles

      It’s self-interested: Democrats usually benefit from increasing the voter pool.

      1. hunkerdown

        Which Democrats, the party or its voters? Seems to me she’s still speaking to a high school graduation class, or the “creatives” (a proxy for the gaygoisie, pointedly excluding queers and non-donating LGBT people) that make mo money off mo voters.

  8. ChrisFromGeorgia

    A person with knowledge of the payments schedule said the government planned to raid undisbursed EU funds for infrastructure projects to cover this week’s payment and another €350m instalment due to the IMF on June 12.

    Well this is self-defeating – that money would have gone into the real economy in Greece, even if it was just to hire paper-pushers. Now it will just go back to the IMF in a kind of circular route.

    As Greece’s economy continues to shrink the whole charade becomes even more pathetic.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Apparently, what money, or some of it, that was left in the real economy had been spent on German cars. (Telegraph, May 12, 2015).

  9. mad as hell.

    How Interpol got into bed with FIFA

    I would think that any organization, Interpol, that has it’s roots embedded in Nazi Germany should be held highly suspect of upholding ethical standards.

    1. KFritz

      Just looked at the (well-referenced) Wikipedia article on Interpol. It was based in Vienna between the wars and fell under German control in 1938 with the Anschluss. So much for the Nazi taint.

      What the article doesn’t touch on: has this sort of corporate “symbiosis” always been a feature of Interpol, or is it a new development? If it’s new, who or what faction of Interpol has driven the change?

  10. Carolinian

    S.S.Clinton already springing a leak? WashPost says her unfavorables lead favorables in latest poll.

    Polls show that Clinton’s popularity is foundering with her reemergence as a political candidate, effectively erasing the bipartisan approval she enjoyed as secretary of state.

    More Americans said they held an unfavorable opinion of Clinton than a favorable one, 49 percent to 45 percent, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll this week. Among independent voters, the figure is worse: 55 percent unfavorable to 39 percent favorable

    The inevitability strategy may already be failing, and unless one has high faith in Mrs. Clinton’s political skills that may be the only strategy she has other than spending lots of money. Perhaps its really Clinton who has been “sheepdogging” the high dollar donors, some of the pundits. Reality may intrude.

  11. Uwe Ohse

    Ed Conway, Medium. A must read, by one of the Telegraph’s seasoned finance commentators. Wonder why he ran it in Medium.

    that’s probably because he isn’t at the Telegraph anymore. Today he works for Sky News.

        1. nippersdad

          I went back to read all of the comments and it is funny that all of the ones which referenced, er, retribution have now been deleted. Also, too, I wonder if the one filed under the name Barack Obama was actually by him. If so, he could use a primer on grammar and spelling as well as the more obvious ones like citizenship.

          Thanks for the link! There are some pretty peeved people out there! Nice to see that they (inadvertently) got such a high profile stage.

          1. jrs

            redistribution or retribution – 1%ers can take their pick.

            Of course redistribution comments are probably also deleted.

    1. jrs

      of course if they really truly cared that we aren’t spending (can’t they just get another bailout or something, force us to buy what we won’t pay for), then hmm, well then we would have leverage, we would have power. But somehow I suspect they don’t. If I could really bring down the system by not shopping I would.

  12. rjs

    email from Korea:
    The wholefucking country is in a panick over MERS
    OVER 540 schools have been closed
    Went to town yestetday to get my visa renewed
    It was like a ghost town
    People are canceling travel plans
    Many cancellations here already
    Foreigners are canceling trips to korea now

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Sounds like the whole world is panicking, if even foreigners are cancelling trips to Korea, and not just the whole country is panicking.

  13. rich

    Pink Slips at Disney. But First, Training Foreign Replacements.

    But the layoffs at Disney and at other companies, including the Southern California Edison power utility, are raising new questions about how businesses and outsourcing companies are using the temporary visas, known as H-1B, to place immigrants in technology jobs in the United States. These visas are at the center of a fierce debate in Congress over whether they complement American workers or displace them.

    According to federal guidelines, the visas are intended for foreigners with advanced science or computer skills to fill discrete positions when American workers with those skills cannot be found. Their use, the guidelines say, should not “adversely affect the wages and working conditions” of Americans. Because of legal loopholes, however, in practice, companies do not have to recruit American workers first or guarantee that Americans will not be displaced.

    Too often, critics say, the visas are being used to bring in immigrants to do the work of Americans for less money, with laid-off American workers having to train their replacements.

    “The program has created a highly lucrative business model of bringing in cheaper H-1B workers to substitute for Americans,” said Ronil Hira, a professor of public policy at Howard University who studies visa programs and has testified before Congress about H-1B visas.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Foreign robots…do they need H-1B visas as well, or just foreign human workers?

      My money is on importing cheap foreign robots in the future…no visas required.

      1. craazyboy

        They don’t need visas, but they can vote – being under the corporate personhood umbrella.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          And perhaps even run for the highest office.

          Can a robot, being programmed to be unselfish, level-headed, objective and compassionate all at the same time, be a leader in more than one country?

          That is, can a robot be, for example, the dear leader of North Korea and the president of the Nobel Peace Prize committee (or the FIFA) at the same time, being so smart it can compartmentalize and firewall everything?

          I ask this question because that kind of multi-tasking ability and efficiency/productivity has far-reaching implications – maybe we just need one robot at all…a Do-it-All Robot of the Universe.

          1. craazyboy

            I’ve been thinking once robots replace all human workers, the robots will probably want human pets for companionship to come home to after a hard day at work. That may solve all our problems too.

            So perhaps society should instead focus on ways to become attractive to robots. No one way fits all. For instance some humans may do well as pure bred humans – and will compete for prizes at human shows. Others may have to rely on intellect and get good at chess or something. Others may be useful “work humans” and do robot maintenance and robot grooming/polishing. I’m gonna start carrying a small can of WD40 in my shirt pocket. Or maybe you can learn some stupid tricks to do. Robots may find that entertaining.

            1. Carolinian


              Dogs and cats probably think of us as pets too. After all we do what they want.

            2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              I look at today’s antidote and say to myself: That’s a lot of indignity to suffer for 3 free meals a day.

          2. d

            Shades of Asimov!

            Much as I enjoyed the Foundation as a child, I wouldn’t want to live there.

    2. craazyboy

      “Too often, critics say, the visas are being used to bring in immigrants to do the work of Americans for less money, with laid-off American workers having to train their replacements.”

      Not so! It’s because foreign workers have nice personalities, great work ethic, and know the value of a dollar! They also have degrees from prestigious 3rd World universities.

      Contrast that with the grumpy, lazy, greed is good American worker that can’t even speak good english.

      1. roadrider

        I’m pretty sure your comment is sarcasm but let me edit it anyway:

        Not so! It’s because foreign workers have nice personalities,

        They better since their asses will be shipped back to whatever low-rent shit hole they came from if they make even the mildest protest

        great work ethic,

        see above; plus they either owe a whopping fee to the labor “broker” who facilitated their trip or will be sued for a large sum (and lose) if they walk away

        and know the value of a dollar!

        Because they are getting a lot fewer of them than the American workers whom they are displacing

        They also have degrees from prestigious 3rd World universities glorified trade schools.

        fixed it for you

        1. craazyboy

          I didn’t want to type it all out, so I left that as an exercise for the reader.

    3. frosty zoom

      at the risk of being accused of a hatecrime by viceroy harper, i’ll have to rereboycott disney.

  14. No one in particular

    the latest from the German press re Greece – apparently they discuss – an “interim” 11bn euro solution (using the monies reserved for bank recapitalisation?) till autumn. Welt is questioning whether Merkel can rallie her troops (CDU) to agree up to 4 times – to give the Greeks more money despite any visible reform effort in Athens. Or at least Juncker is leaking this….

    1. nippersdad

      WaPo’s take on O’s Edmund Pettus Bridge speech:

      “…Obama’s conception is more inwardly focused. Its’ a patriotism that enables the darker moments in American history and celebrates the ability of the unsung and the outsiders to challenge the country’s elite and force change.”

      Gag! I would like to see a counterpoint written by a Snowden, an Al Awlaki, an occupier of Wall Street……It really is sickening to watch the entitled groom each other.

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Cash free society.

    What would a tovarish have done in a cashless Soviet Union?

    Barter, I believe.

    “Here is some goat milk, citizen Socrates. Can you take my son as a student? Sorry, I can’t afford to contribute to your retirement plan. No cash. I will bring over some eggs tomorrow.”

    1. Rhondda

      I take these floater-balloons about “outlawing cash” very seriously. Been a lotta talk about it of late. I am very concerned about it. I do not like my purchasing habits being tracked. (In fact I don’t like the new big data tracking society AT ALL.)

  16. Sam Kanu

    Re Big Brother: one cannot understate the role of the press and the impact of them being AWOL in the role of the supposed fourth estate. Example: Ellsberg and d Thomas Drake did a symposium yesterday in Oslo:

    And todays mainstream newspaper headlines in Olso: anything and everything BUT reporting on this event. Basically a blackout:

    Only mention is in a fairly marginal paper:
    (use google translate)

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Migration crises…not just today , but also 2,000 years ago.

    The initial propaganda was that the barbarians were envious of the wealth of Rome. They were said to be ready to jettison their free-roaming hunter-gatherer/nomadic lifestyle for the decadent city life of Roman circuses and clipped/debased money. The barbarians were not capable of refined sentiments such as home-sweet-home.

    Now we know it was environmental crises back at their homelands…climate change and pillaging/plundering/destruction by Romans and Huns.

  18. Jackrabbit

    Europe cannot wait any longer: France and Germany must drive ahead – Guardian.

    “Our common goal shall be to render [it] unthinkable for any country rightfully in pursuit of its national interest to consider a future without Europe – or within a lesser Union.”

    German has resisted any attempt at closer fiscal integration because it knows that other countries will not be as strict as they would like. So we are to believe that NOW they suddenly see the light? More likely that this charm offensive is a blatant attempt to tamp down stress related to a possible Greek default. Thats what you do when you control the press.

    IT would take years before there is any meaningful change. This proposal is a request for a small start with some entity that has a small Euro-wide budget.


    Although its necessary to read between the lines of our corporate MSM, they should be called out about reporting like this. Real reporting would link this story to Greece. And, while we are told that the Troika has no concern about a GRexit it is interesting that we see stories like this that demonstrate that there really is a concern.

    H O P

    1. Jackrabbit

      Five Minutes to Midnight -Ed Conway (Telegraph)

      This story describes Chaos in Greece governing and states that since coming to power the Syriza government has done nothing about the crisis. But we had a Greek commenter at NC a couple of weeks ago that said that stories like this were erroneous. He wrote that programs have been put in place to help those who are desperately poor and there have been some crackdowns on corruption and tax evasion, among other actions. He also said that the Government had called on the EU to help them recover funds from wealthy Greeks but had been rebuffed.

      I hope someone more knowledgeable can provide more info.

      1. German native speaker

        About a month ago, it has been briefly reported that Mr.Varoufakis was in Switzerland, and that an agreement was reached with the Swiss officials about taxing the Swiss accounts of Greek citizens. Since then, I never saw this agreement mentioned again, in any media report.

        What was also reported was that Mr.Schaeuble offered, a few months ago, after Syriza won, to send a few hundred tax specialists to Greece, to help them update their tax system. This offer was declined. There would have been a lot of language difficulties in such an endeavor, the Greek public servants would have needed to be very motivated to make this work.

        It has been reported in Ekathimerini a couple of months ago that of 20 billion in projects started with European funds, projects worth six billion remain unfinished.
        As to pensions, before the bailout, many Greek pension recipients got not only a thirteenth, but also a 14th and 15th monthly pension payment, and that pensions are higher than in Germany, and the retirement age much lower. This is what irked the public in Germany. It has been said here by some Greeks that pensions have been reduced to 600 Euros a month, but I don’t see that this figure is the whole truth.
        I don’t know about whether the swimming pools in Athens are now being taxed. Owners of swimming pools officially have to pay tax on them, and only a handful did, but the richer suburbs of Athens have thousands of pools, as can be seen from the air.
        I have been reading Ekathimerini, and it is interesting to read the comments from the expat Greeks who live elsewhere in Europe, such as the UK.

        1. German native speaker

          What I meant is that some people received 14 – 15 monthly pension payments per year, not just twelve – before the bailout. I don’t even know if something like that exists in the US.

          1. Ned Ludd

            Some teachers in the U.S. choose to get paid across all 12 months, hence they get more paychecks than teachers that opt to collect their full wages while class is in session. However, cutting a pie into more pieces does not make the pie bigger.

            Workers should focus their ire on oligarchs, not on pulling down the wages of other workers.

            1. German native speaker

              The example is not about cutting a pie into more pieces, as you say in your example, but for public servants/ pensioneers receiving one to three (13th, 14th and even 15th) EXTRA monthly payments. Sorry you misunderstood. All this while Greece was running a ten percent yearly deficit during the first decade of this century, after getting access to cheap money.

        2. vidimi

          several years ago at my job in france, i would get a 13th monthly payment as part of my compensation. what it was was simply my annual salary divided by 13. they gave 2 payments in december to help people with their christmas shopping rather than 1/12th of the annual salary each month. the total amount was the same, and i’m pretty sure it works that way in greece as well.

          1. German native speaker

            I once had, long ago, a thirteenth monthly salary during a year when “the employer” was a German state. It was a straightforward extra monthly salary, The regular monthly salaries were not divided, it was an extra month’s income. Again, any state is free to pay what it wants to their public employees, if it has the money. But while running a deficit?

  19. Jill

    I wonder if this will push Hillary and Sanders to the left (and help stop Warren’s frequent calls for war)?

    ” Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee announced he is running for president on Wednesday…

    His announcement speech focused on finding “a way to wage peace.” The former Republican highlighted his opposition to the Iraq war, called for an end to drone strikes, and said he would reinvigorate the United Nations and further engage Russia.

    He also said Edward Snowden should be allowed to come home and the U.S. should rethink the war on drugs…” link to this story is at Glen Greenwald’s twitter.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        My first impression is that he’s not telegenic, so we are less likely (no guarantees in life though) to be fooled by his appearance or siren voice.

    1. Jagger

      Finally, someone other than Rand Paul that is anti-war. I wonder if Chafee is anti-neoliberal. If one candidate could be both anti-neoliberal and anti-neocon, I think I would have someone I could vote for.

  20. OIFVet

    How the Army is trying to make its uniforms more uniform. What an incredible waste of money. I have lost count in the number of camouflage pattern changes over the past decade, and the billions of dollars given away on this boondoggle. Here’s the background: the Army, in its infinite wisdom and disregard for the specifics of different environments, is convinced that it can come up with an universal pattern that can work equally well in woodland, arctic, desert, and urban environments. Basically the F-35 of uniforms, only relatively cheaper. It hasn’t panned out, needless to say, but it sure has filled the pockets of some corporations. Special shout out to the Marines, who in the spirit of “same team but in different uniform” refuse to allow any other branch to copy their very effective woodland and desert digitized camouflage patterns. Way to go team!

    1. craazyboy

      We can achieve “transparency” in clothing! A friend in CA advises me we are halfway there already in women’s clothing!

      1. Oregoncharles

        Halfway? I live in a college town. At least in summer, they get well past halfway.

        Not that I’m complaining.

      2. OIFVet

        California is way behind the trends. Out of shape Euro men in speedos have been haunting beaches worldwide for decades.

        1. craazyboy

          He was telling me about see thru blouses – like from the ’60s. Fashion is all old, it just gets recycled. I’m forecasting bell bottoms for men next year. Speedos send the wrong message – at least at American beaches.

          But seriously, since we are talking adaptive cameo, the way it’s done in sci-fi is you have a camera on your back recording the background. They have flexible cloth computer displays in the future, so that’s what combat uniforms are made of. The image behind you is displayed on your front clothing. Then do the same with a camera on front and the enemy can’t see you from behind either. But they never say anything about accountants and budgets in sci-fi.

          1. OIFVet

            No, not adaptive camo but universal camo. Because it’s the Army and they like to think that they create their own reality. Anyway, the Army also spent a bundle on the Future Force Warrior program: nanotechnologies, exoskeletons, sensors, etc. Straight outta sci-fi. That was cancelled, but under the current administration the thinking has moved on from wearables to implants, the beginning of genuine cyborgs… Jeebus help us all!

    2. Carolinian

      I was once told by a reservist that the green ones are referred to as “pickle suits.” The USG should just buy their camo from Walmart since I see a lot of it there. Plus more jobz for Chinese (probably true of the official version as well).

    3. lord koos

      I’ve been curious, where is all the military surplus nowadays? We’ve been in two wars for over ten years… what are they doing with all that stuff that is either thrown out or made obsolete?

      1. craazyboy

        I hear they just abandon it in the ME. Really cool stuff too that would be easy to sell in America!

  21. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Europe has to save Greece.

    They could save Greece like we ‘saved’ Iraq.

    That’s one choice.

    There is a second choice.

    They could save Greece and also say to Portugal, Ireland and Spain, ‘Greece is not being treated preferentially. Here is some free money (billions) for the pain you went through.’ This way, the oppressed can unite and stand together, instead of the current ‘Why should Greece be treated differently?’

  22. optimader

    The next oppressed minority: the transabled — Becoming disabled by choice, not chance: ‘Transabled’ people feel like impostors in their fully working bodies

    what is the opposite of inspirational story? Pu tthis article in that file, put the file in a burlap bag with a rock and find a still pond.

  23. optimader

    Man drives down U.S. 1 in Boca with missile; no one blinks an eye

    What happens if you put a 9-foot-long missile in the passenger seat of your convertible and drive for an hour on busy South Florida streets on the day the President of the United States is visiting?

    Nothing at all.

    Tom Madden drives on U.S. 1 with the missile in the passenger seat of his convertible car.

    “Some people were a little horrified, but nobody did anything,” Boca Raton businessman Tom Madden said.

    Madden drove from Dania Beach to Boca Raton on Thursday morning with the business end of an Israeli Air Force air-to-surface missile rising from the passenger seat of his topless Volvo.

    “I drove 35 miles an hour on U.S. 1 all the way,” Madden said, “because I thought if I drove on I-95, it might cause an accident.”

    Madden, who owns the public relations agency TransMedia, got the missile from an elderly widow who lives in Miami. The woman’s deceased husband won it years ago at a Palm Beach auction to benefit the Israeli military, Madden said.

    The missile, minus its explosive charge, is purported to be an artifact from the Six-Day War in 1967.

    “She got tired of schlepping the missile around to various apartments,” Madden said.

    So he was happy to take it off her hands, figuring that the Israeli missile may still have some fund-raising value in another charitable event…..

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If they really, really want to double-double down, they should expand our proposed free trade pact and form a North Atlantic fiscal and monetary union.

      I think we should be able to save Greece. In fact, one watch-making company here in California alone can do the job. It has enough cash to save Greece 10 times over.

    1. vidimi

      awful. i’m surprised, though, that the cop didn’t shoot him again for refusing to obey his order to “talk to me”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I want to say ‘he ran out of bullets,’ but I am not longer naïve.

  24. KFritz

    Re: FIFA and Andrew Jennings

    The article is more than a bit of journalists congratulating journalists to raise morale and increase the profession’s prestige. Jennings clearly exposed FIFA’s racketeering, but his writing and campaigning are NOT what began the chain of events leading to last week’s arrests and Blatter’s resignation.

    Here’s a thumbnail of what happened.

    In 2011 Mohammed bin Hamman, the Qatari president of the Asian Football Federation, FIFA VP, etc. was running a strong campaign to replace Blatter as FIFA prez. As part of his campaign he brought envelopes containing $40,000 US cash to a meeting of the Carribean Football Union, which he gave to Jack Warner, president of CONCACAF, the North American federation which includes the CFU. On May 10, Warner gave each of the delegates with a FIFA vote one of the envelopes as a bribe to vote for bin Hammam. The Bahamian delegate called his superiors, who were having none of it. They made a direct report to Chuck Blazer, then #2 at CONCACAF. “Mr. Ten Percent” (Blazer’s nickname), presumably realizing that this one wasn’t going to be swept under a rug, initiated a real investigation by John P. Collins, a former federal prosecutor and, in 2011, a member of the FIFA Legal Committee.

    The downfall of bin Hammam and Warner followed, and Blatter was re-elected in a cakewalk. When the FBI and IRS began nosing around Blazer’s affairs, they knew they were on to something. He was arrested in November 2011, eventually flipped, and the rest followed.

    Aside from recent events, all this can be verified by reading the “Chuck Blazer” article at Wikipedia, linking to related articles and checking the clickable references. Full disclosure: I’m a long-time contributor and ‘curator’ of the article–‘curator’ meaning the removal of opinionated or unreferenced edits.

  25. cripes

    Harpers David Bromwich does as good a job as can be expected from the “Obama could have been great” crowd in dissecting the vacillating, disconnected, in-over-his-head, elite-worshipping, feckless man he’s always been.
    an excellent walk through of serial fuck-ups even from a pro-dem perspective. Only true Obots can dream otherwise after seven years of weasel-wording, and ducking.
    A prize quote is how Robert Gates treated him like a schoolboy commenting that he had been given lessons about the real world of counterterrorism after a year in office–presumably by the big boys at pentagon, and now he’ll toe the line. Which he did.

    That’s where the piece falls short, in failing to recognize what a willing and eager operative the puppet has been for every MIC/Bank/Corporate leech that slithered into view; as well as woefully unqualified for the demands of the office.

    And maybe thats the point: a charismatic and malleable prince regent to distract the masses while the deep state actors hashed out their plots resonably free from scrutiny. He served as punching bag when needed as well.

    Now he’ll putter around the garden, making appearances and penning insignificant memoirs.

    He said it himself at the spectacle in Grant Park in december 2008 celebrating his election; basically that was the pinnacle of his achievement. Everything that followed just didnt interest him much.

    A hollow man.

    1. Carolinian

      Tell it.

      But he’ll probably do a lot of golfing in retirement. Obama’s into golf. Harpers also did a great hatchet job on Hillary awhile back. It called her the great mediocrity.

      1. cripes

        Thanks, spent at least fifteen minutes on that.

        Trashing presidents at the end of their term is a time honored ritual of the American media, and I have no sympathy for the targets.

        Since at least George Bush, though, I think we are entering a phase of imposters, prince regents, so ineffectual and irrelevant that they serve mainly to distract and confuse the polis about what and who is actually making policy and running shit.

        The continuing degradation of a deeply flawed representative democracy into a total farce.

        On the the next whore’s race.

  26. JCC

    Yves, Lambert, et. al.;

    This is somewhat of a long post, but I hope not too unwanted.

    Regarding your concern, Susan, about the commentariat yesterday, I wanted to say how much this site has helped me become a little more economically literate over the last seven years, whether I always agree with things like MT, for example, or not.

    Not being an economic literate, the best I can usually do here is either ask questions or throw in an anecdote or two here and there.

    But one thing this site has done is spurred me on to constantly write Congress, Senate, Justice Department, and sometimes even the Federal Reserve itself on policies and other “stuff”. In fact, I do it often, and in two States since I have tax paying addresses in CA and NY.

    Anyway, here is a canned email response to some petition or other specifically regarding the the ISDS and the TPP from NY Rep Tom Reed:
    Dear J*****,

    Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) in regards to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). I appreciate hearing from you and I care about your thoughts. They are important to me and they help me better represent you.

    Trade Promotion Authority, also known as “fast track”, sets rules and requirements for the President’s trade negotiations. The Constitution grants the President the power to negotiate trade agreements, however, it gives Congress the power to enact the trade agreement into law. I agree that we need to ensure that any trade agreement levels the playing field for American producers and workers.

    That is why the Trade Promotion Authority legislation (H.R. 1890) lays out nearly 150 negotiating standards, including labor standards, the rule of law and human rights, currency manipulation, agriculture trade, and environmental protections. The Trade Promotion Authority legislation requires that every member of Congress have access to the negotiating text and requires Congress, not the President, to have final authority. To increase transparency, all trade agreements must be available to the public for at least sixty days before the President can sign it into law after being passed by Congress. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I believe the appropriate standards have been set for trade talks to continue and it is for that reason I voted in favor of Trade Promotion Authority.

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a proposed regional trade agreement currently under negotiation between the United States and many other countries. This trade agreement is currently being negotiated by the United States Trade Representative (USTR), and my staff and I are following the negotiations closely and relaying input from constituents, businesses, and stakeholders from across the district.

    Ninety-five percent of the world’s people live outside the U.S. The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement would create jobs and provide American manufacturers, agriculture producers and small business owners an opportunity to access new markets and ‘make it here and sell it there’. When our trading partners operate under the fair principles and priorities laid out by Congress in Trade Promotion Authority, U.S. workers can outcompete any others in the world.

    Please stay in touch and share your views as we discuss these issues in Congress. Call one of our offices and visit our website,, where you may find additional information on important issues. You may also sign up for our E-newsletter to receive regular updates on what our office is doing in both New York’s 23rd Congressional District and in Washington D.C. Additionally, I encourage you to visit our Facebook page at or follow us on Twitter at where we can continue our conversation.


    Congressman Tom Reed

    My response to his bullshit;


    I’m sorry to hear your position, particularly since you never even touched on the ISDS which was the subject of my email.

    And as we all know, all these various protections existed to some degree in the NAFTA agreement, too, though none have ever been enforced to any degree worth mentioning.

    Malaysia, Viet Nam, Thailand… all support slave labor to some degree. I have friends there and have a tendency to believe what they tell me they see in their daily lives vs what anyone in D.C. tells me relative to what is going on there… for very obvious reasons. This will help nicely to drive down American Wages even further, and common sense shows that this is one of the many wonderful features of the TTP as well as the TTIP.

    Others have pointed out the stupidity and greed of the “Trade” agreement far better than I could. You may want to start here:

    Anyway, again, too bad. I think you are wrong to support this as it is presently written (or at least what has been written that has been leaked). It’s pretty clear to most American Citizens that this has been written by Corporate Lawyers who could give a damn about the American Public or the Common Good. It is about Corporate Profit, plain and simple… profit that gets doled out as million dollar bonuses to the 1%’ers and/or stashed in tax havens overseas. The rest of us will never see a dime of any of the benefits, just taxpayer fines and revoking of various laws protecting Corporate Wants over Public Goods.

    And the worst part is that both Representatives and Senators will get to state things like “We can’t pass that Public Good law, the treaty forbids it”, etc etc etc. A perfect way to blame “the other side” while abdicating all responsibility for the continued degradation of the American Middle Class.

    Good Luck, you, as well as the rest of us will need it.



    So, I just wanted you, Lambert, and the rest to know that the comments don’t just have to appear here to do some good and that you all spur the rest of us on in many ways.

    1. jrs

      Others have posted similar replies, they plan to drown us in random factoids, “did you know that 95% of people live outside the U.S.?” (no, maybe it will be a Jeopardy question someday!) and random tangents on the Constitution, and long winded replies about what the treaty is at the most basic (because presumably you are writing them about the TPP not even knowing what the TPP is at all – true none of the 99 know the details).

      Calling is supposedly better than writing.

Comments are closed.