Links 8/15/15

Oregon cat is world’s oldest at 26 years, 13 days: Guinness Reuters. So handsome!

How ants’ amazing sense of smell controls their lives Los Angeles Times

‘Spaghetti Monster’? Deep-Sea Critter Has Pasta-Like Appendages LiveScience

What’s a Death Midwife? Inside the Alternative Death Care Movement Yes! Magazine (Judy B)

Three men arrested following treasure hunt in New York City’s sewers Reuters (EM)

One of the newest, most viable forms of clean energy could beat all other existing options Business Insider

Waiting for Android’s inevitable security Armageddon ars technica

26 reasons Google created Alphabet Fusion. Not bad for a story trying to be too clever.

LMFAO, The Band, Sends Cease And Desist Over LMFAO, The Beer Techdirt (Chuck L)

Could A Hedge Fund Manager Trying To Short Stocks Of Pharma Companies With Bad Patents Derail Patent Reform? Techdirt (Chuck L)

Japan and S Korea remember WW2 BBC

Japan raises warning level on volcano 50 km from just-restarted nuclear plant Japan Times. Lambert: “What could go wrong?”

Death toll rises after Tianjin blast BBC

China Mess, Yuan Devaluation Spread to the US Wolf Richter


All Is Forgiven In Athens DealBreaker

Eurozone approves €86bn Greek bailout Financial Times

Greek PM faces revolt as bailout approved Herald-Scotland (Sid S)

Greece bailout: Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras faces vote of confidence after Syriza revolt Independent (Sid S)


National Endowment for Democracy is Now Officially “Undesirable” in Russia Near Eastern Outlook (Glenn F)

Public Law 86-90| The Vietnam War Shows the Strength of Donbas’ Rights! Vineyard of the Saker (Glenn F). This post rambles a ton but some of the comments are very good.


Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iran: Gulf players willing to abandon old narratives Asia Times

Pakistan’s “Strategic Shift” is Pure Fiction War on the Rocks (resilc)

Detainees’ lawyers question Obama commitment to close Guantanamo Reuters (EM)

Black Churches Are About To Start Lobbying For The Iran Deal Huffington Post

Egypt’s dictator murdered 800 people today in 2013. He’s now a US ally and GOP folk hero. Vox (resilc)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Security Assistance: More Isn’t Always Better War on the Rocks (resilc)

US Military Uses IMF and World Bank to Launder 85% of Its Black Budget Anti-Media. Before you regard the claims as exaggerated, watch this video of Cynthia McKinney grilling Donald Rumsfeld as to how much Pentagon spending can’t be accounted for. You can’t move that kind of money through drug deals or even pallets of cash. You have to move it through financial institutions, whether private or the offical variety.

The Clinton Ship Takes on Water Wall Street Journal. Haha, Lambert was first with the SS Clinton metaphor!

Hillary Clinton Jokes About Emails at Fund-Raiser New York Times. Li: “There’s water in the engine room but the captain still claims it’s unsinkable. Can you believe she said this?”

Trump: I’ll face Biden in general election after Clinton unravels The Hill. Lambert: “Kill me now.”

A tricky balancing act in the Ailes-Trump circus Financial Times

Megyn Kelly Abruptly Announces Unplanned Two-Week Vacation, Effective Immediately Salon. Ugh.

How California Is Winning the Drought New York Times (David L). Draining 10,000 year old aquifers is winning?

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Hillary Clinton And Black Lives Matter Feel Each Other Out Huffington Post

Municipal court officials prepare in secret for major reforms St. Louis Post Dispatch

Dear #BlackLivesMatter: We Don’t Need Black Leadership orchestrated leadership (Nathan). Great phrasemaking: “Trickle down racial justice”.

Out of the frying pan BreakingViews. On Goldman buying deposits.

Wall Street’s new chat service is deleting problematic messaging Francine McKenna, MarketWatch

Sentiment as a Measure of Health of the Economy; Sentiment Theory vs. Practice Michael Shedlock (EM). Glad to see someone debunk this.

KKR’s Samson Resources Plans to File for Bankruptcy Wall Street Journal

Class Warfare

San Diego Woman Must Pay $15K Fine Over Airbnb Rentals Consumerist

Washington state fined $100,000 a day over school funding gap Reuters (EM)

Sesame Street Teaches Poor Kids: Educational TV Isn’t for You Anymore Gawker (Chuck L)

Antidote du jour:

badger links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. Jacks

      There’s something really disgusting about someone immediately jumping in to peddle their magical woo in relation to an actual real-world tragedy.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think the lesson from Tianjin is the Chinese should put their dangerous stuff on rail cars and have them travel around the Middle Kingdom. “Don’t stop, just keep moving.”

      A series of small(er) explosions, over a long(er) period and in various locations, is less media-catastrophic.

      No nation is so exceptional that other countries can’t do it too.

      (End of Sarcasm).

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It might have been sarcasm, but the same issue of centralization vs. decentralization is relevant enough, on at least one front: money.

        Money is toxic, or in the today’s world, we say money can be partly toxic and partly beneficial. The toxic aspect of money is most likely to be dangerous when in concentrated form.

        And that is the lesson – keep moving money all over, spread it around, so when it blows up, its toxicity can be managed.

  1. timbers

    “US Military Uses IMF and World Bank to Launder 85% of Its Black Budget”

    Anti laundering laws are for Little People. Or more generally, laws are for The Little People.

  2. fresno dan

    Megyn Kelly Abruptly Announces Unplanned Two-Week Vacation, Effective Immediately Salon. Ugh.

    As much as Ailes is about the republican establishment, Murdoch is about the money. Murdoch wants the eyeballs, and ANYONE who threatens that walks the plank.

    Fox constantly, incessantly, always with the meme “every word from the media is a lie, including “and” and “the.” Indoctrinating Fox viewers that the best way to argue and debate is to deligitimize any interlocutor as a “liberal” that annoys you or brings up inconvenient subjects is how Fox plays – and now it has been the recipient of the very same tactic by someone completely willing to play the game, and play it unconditionally, completely, totally. After all, only liberals use the word “misogyny” …

    So all Trump has to do is say “its a media conspiracy” and logic, reality, truth just don’t matter – you’ve unleashed the Kraken. Fox reaps what it has sown….
    EVEN the vaunted Fox star is eaten by the Fox cynicism machine…
    For some reason, I equate Ailes with Robespierre

    1. ambrit

      This attempt at humour almost wrote itself: Ailes might be Robspierre, but Murdoch would be my candidate for De Sade.

    2. abynormal

      murdoch must be loosing eyeballs at marketwatch if he’s complaining about wsj pulling comments…kettle, black, no light
      When truth is replaced by silence,the silence is a lie. Yevtushenko

    3. Jack

      I’m wondering if Kelly is coming to the realization that the entire side of the political spectrum she’s associated with is utterly toxic and secretly (only now not so secretly) despises her very gender. She was tolerated (more than that, loved) because she’s a pretty blonde who looks straight out of 1956, but when push came to shove both fans and management threw her under the bus.

      1. Oregoncharles

        Her questions indicated that she was under the delusion she was a journalist. Big shock.

        However, I suspect she’ll come back as usual after a cooling off period.

    4. flora

      I have a little bit different take on this whole dustup. Ailes and Fox are all about the reality show audience numbers and lots of contestants. (More contestants, larger audience.) Trump sucked the oxygen out of the room in the first show, uh, got the most airtime. Trump then follows up with comments guaranteed to make him and the Trump/Kelly showdown the center of the next show; everyone watching will be watching for the next Trump/Kelly car crash instead of listening to the the other candidates. I’d bet the other campaign managers raised hell with Ailes over that kind of setup. Maybe even threatened to withdraw from the “debate”. And so, Kelly is off on vacation for 2 weeks so the other candidates might get some airtime from Trump in the next episode of GOP Survivor. my 2¢.

      1. flora

        and, of course, Trump is Fox’s marquee draw in a field of dorks. no chance Fox will eliminate Trump right now.

      2. Brindle

        I do think Megyn Kelly is a cut above your basic cable news personality, Glenn Greenwald also noticed:

        —“She has a lower tolerance for being fed incoherent tripe from her own side than the average cable news TV host,” Greenwald said in an email. “Most Fox and MSNBC hosts treat even the most blatant idiocy with respect if it advances their party’s political agenda for the vapid cable news partisan controversy of the day. Kelly, by contrast, seems to be often contemptuous of incoherent blather even from her own side, sometimes openly so, and that further distinguishes her.”—

        1. craazyboy

          Megyn has been receiving job offers from other networks, including CNN whom seems to be very serious. I’m not a newshound by any means, but although CNN isn’t what it used to be, I think it still floats somewhere between Fox and MSNBC in the news fantasy genre.

          Maybe she intends to mull over job offers during vacation?

  3. abynormal

    LMAO comment re: PBS to air reruns New shows HBO
    Those rich four year olds better understand what a spoiler alert is.

    Seriously, this is so over the top. It’s still on PBS, just not the new episodes.

    Rich Little Billy: “Today’s letter was S.”


    1. abynormal

      what the slew of commenters are missing…Billy is going as far with his ‘S’ as Mikey allows.
      If your kid needs a role model and you ain’t it, you’re both fu_ked.
      George Carlin

    2. ambrit

      That might be funny, but the underlying mindset is not.
      Don’t the commenters after the linked to piece get the idea of exclusivity? It’s the base for exceptionalism as well. Divide and conquer hasn’t been taught on Sesame Street, yet. Grab those little kids and teach them all about ‘Us and Them,’ and ‘Rich and Poor,’ and ‘Predestination as a sign of Gods Grace.’ One of the surprising facets of Sesame Street to this somewhere in the Middle Class Wannabe Snob cohort was it’s inclusionism. Even the monsters were a mix of socioeconomic ‘types.’
      Yes, the shows will still be on PBS, the ‘Sloppy Seconds’ shows. Be well aware that the more status conscious toddlers will get that. Teach through example; this example is pernicious. You can finish the syllogism.

  4. New Deal democrat

    While I agree with Mish that the conclusions in *this month’s report* on Consumer Sentiment are not supported by the numbers, Consumer Sentiment is a “leading indicator,” making new highs and new lows before the economy, and spending, peak or trough.

    Here is the record going back to 1978. The first column is the month sentiment peaked. The second is the month real retail sales peaked. The third is the onset of the next recession:

    1/78 9/78 1/80
    11/80 8/81 7/81
    9/84 7/90 7/90
    1/00 11/00 3/81
    1/04 1/07 7/07

    You can check all of my numbers by going to the following interactive graph:

    The record is that consumer sentiment generally peaks well in advance of both the peak in retail sales and the onset of the next recession.

    Additionally, frequently but not always consumer sentiment slides quickly by 10 points or more before the onset of a recession. Such slides started in 9/78, 11/00, and 1/07.

    Since January of this year, sentiment is down about 5 points — well within normal variation during economic expansions.

    Since sentiment has not made a new peak in the last 6 months, Mish is correct that the current numbers do not reliably tell us anything about retail sales or the general health of the economy now. But consumer sentiment has been a component of the Index of Leading Indicators for decades, for a good reason. In fact, the long arc of consumer sentiment since 1978 does a pretty good job of tracing the long arc of middle and working class feelings of well-being: awful at the end of the 1970s, rising to a peak in the late 1990s, and then declining since. So I disagree with Mish’s ultimate conclusions.

  5. wbgonne

    Hillary Clinton Jokes About Emails at Fund-Raiser New York Times. Li: “There’s water in the engine room but the captain still claims it’s unsinkable. Can you believe she said this?”

    Just like The Titanic, I hope. Take a look at this:

    Emails released on July 31 by the U.S. State Department reveal more about the origins of energy reform efforts in Mexico. The State Department released them as part of the once-a-month rolling release schedule for emails generated by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, now a Democratic presidential candidate.

    Originally stored on a private server, with Clinton and her closest advisors using the server and private accounts, the emails confirm Clinton’s State Department helped to break state-owned company Pemex’s (Petroleos Mexicanos) oil and gas industry monopoly in Mexico, opening up the country to international oil and gas companies. And two of the Coordinators helping to make it happen, both of whom worked for Clinton, now work in the private sector and stand to gain financially from the energy reforms they helped create.

    The corruption has become so dense it is like a black hole and is no longer visible. Big Government and Big Business, fused together and rendered opaque by neoliberal institutions like the Clinton Global Initiative. What do you think was in those emails Clinton wiped away? Money. Money. Money.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      “The corruption has become so dense it is like a black hole and is no longer visible”

      Have to disagree. It’s so commonplace and in-your-face that presidential candidates use it for stand-up routines.

      Hillary was trying to IMPRESS her audience.

      Corruption has even earned its own euphemism–“getting things DONE.”

      1. Brindle

        “My strong point is not rhetoric, it isn’t showmanship, it isn’t big promises – those things that create the glamour and the excitement that people call charisma and warmth”

        Hillary reflecting? No–it’s Nixon. I think they do have some things in common—the desire for power so you can crush your enemies comes to mind.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Loose lips sink ships:

      Barbara Wells, an attorney for Platte River Networks that has managed Clinton’s private e-mail since 2013, said that the server turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation “is blank and does not contain any useful data.”

      But Wells added that the data on Clinton’s server was migrated to another server that still exists. She ended the interview when questioned further, declining to say whether the data still exists on that other server and who has possession of it.

      So what do you do if you’re Barbara Wells, you’ve just blurted out an admission that may sink a Democratic presidential candidate … and the FBI is pounding on your door?

      a) Decline to speak without the assistance of counsel;

      b) Sing like a canary, knowing you might become an Arkancide;

      c) Claim you misspoke, and that the ‘other server’ was lost in a tragic boating accident.

      Decisions, decisions.

      p.s. The correct answer, of course, is a). Whereas the answer ordered suggested by Hillary and Huma is c).

  6. JTMcPhee

    Really? Algae as the next North Slope? Make “sinfuels” (sic) for profit so us dumf__k humans can keep on burning up the planet?

    Might be wiser to save it for Soylent feedstock…

    The stupid, it is in the genes…

    1. Bridget

      My first reaction was, “Do they realize that the food chain in the ocean is dependent on algae?” Sounds like as awful an idea ethanol. But, if algae in sufficient quantities can be cultivated without disrupting the natural supply, maybe it’s worth a shot. Worth a pilot program anyway.

    2. Antifa

      Civilization is on track to cook the ecosphere, the thin, slimy layer of life smeared over the surface of this globe. There is no natural law to prevent this ecosphere from becoming a place where we can’t be, period.

      Perhaps our offspring will move completely underground for ten thousand centuries or so, living off geothermal heat alone while the surface of the planet returns to steaming jungle, slowly cooling off by removing excess CO2 from the biosphere. The earth’s internal heat will give us electricity, which will give us sun lamps, hydroponics, climate controlled caves, and a daily ration of algae kibble with all the protein and vitamins our bodies require. Have your daily cup of green kibble boiled, fried, baked, or raw. Then get to your work station. Everybody works every day down here so we all make it to tomorrow.

      Hey, my dog lives on kibble. If he can do it, so can I. His work station happens to be keeping the couch from floating away, but he could pull a small sled if it meant more food tomorrow. Kibble is habit forming.

      Perhaps our offspring will gradually emerge more and more often to the alien surface above, meeting the fascinating new species who will call it home by then, and killing them. It’s a good bet there will be some VERY large plant eaters ambling around, nibbling on the treetops, and some large carnivores to nibble on them in turn. Hey kid — watch you don’t get nibbled on yourself.

      More likely, we’ll remain an underground species forever, treating the surface of this globe as an exotic park, a place to visit but never again a place to build fences or fight to the death over who owns water.

    3. craazyboy

      Algae is our best shot – it is as close to a “carbon neutral footprint” as it gets for liquid fuel. It’s basically sun plus CO2 = fuel. We just need to get algae more cooperative in the new role we envision for the Algae Kingdom. Bio tech algae is showing practical promise.

      Even if wind and solar hit 100% conversion effy, batteries only have around 1/5 the energy density of liquid fuels, so we still would have great difficulty replacing liquid fuels in the transportation sector with an all electric approach due to negative size, weight, cost and environmental impact of manufacturing batteries.

    4. Gio Bruno

      Algae is not likely the next North Slope.

      The article seems rather selective in its understanding of algae (there are many different specie). While our current fossil fuels are derived from carbon creating photosynthesis over millions (billions?) of years, it’s not likely that algae derived “synfuels” can be ramped up to the scale of the North Slope.

      In the natural world (oceans & lakes) phytoplankton (algae) support a whole trophic cascade (predator/ prey) with big fish (real fish) at the top. Phytoplankton are consumed by zooplankton which are consumed by krill/small fish/big fish, etc. Creating a large scale project that avoids this consumption of the desired algae by other organisms can be problematic. So too, can be maintaining the water (Is that a valuable resource?) quality and depth in which algae would grow at a commercial scale. (Also note that photosynthesis uses only 0.1% (1/1000) of the solar radiation that strikes the chlorophyl containing organism.)

      The best insight gained from the algae article is that it reminds us that all energy on the planet (ancient or otherwise) originates from the Sun.

      1. craazyboy

        It could turn out better than you realize. A startup, Joule Unlimited, has developed bio engineered strains that can excrete ethanol, bio-diesel and bio-jet fuel(kerosene). You grow the “crop”‘ and then it just makes fuel. I did a “back of the envelope” calc onetime based on yield per acre , and if I did it right, I got one half of Nevada could produce all of America’s current liquid fuel. The production cost is supposed to be low too, maybe 1$/gallon.

        ‘Couse they need water too, so Nevada is not really the place for it. The good thing is algae don’t need strong sunlight, even cloudy days are fine, with little decrease in production. Then these production plants can be small too and scattered around to minimize shipping distance of the final product.

        They have a demo plant running and are in the “commercialization phase”. Audi has partnered with them to fund bio-diesel commercialization.

        Joule Unlimited has a website with some more info. They are still VC funded, so they aren’t as noisy in the media as a typical IPO, which is probably a good thing.

        1. susan the other

          Interesting. In the heart of the dead-dry desert there is algae research at this level. And more.

        2. ambrit

          I wonder, can this process use waste water, fracking water, saline water to work? If so, it would be a multi benefit process. It still doesn’t deal with the byproducts of combustion issue. Ah well.

          1. craazyboy

            They say “non-potable or brackish” water. Plus it doesn’t “use” a whole lot. An algae slurry gets circulated around in clear plastic tubes. They have a vid showing it on their website.

            Sure, when an engine burns it you still get CO2. But CO2 is an “input” in the process, which is why they call it “carbon neutral”. With fossil fuel you are always adding more CO2 to the atmosphere.

    5. Oregoncharles

      the proposal is to grow it ; trying to harvest it from the ocean would be impractical.
      it would be a biological solar collector – as all plants are.

    6. Oregoncharles

      There is an alternative, albeit, like all such, it comes at a price. Here is an article about the research and development phase: – page 6. TSorry, this local weekly is not especially web-friendly. The article is about extracting geothermal energy by pumping water down to the hot rocks, then using the steam, which is recycled. The site is in Oregon, but there are bigger sources.

      Consider, now, the Yellowstone supervolcano, destined to blow most of the US to kingdom come sometime in the next 100,000 years. Scientists recently discovered just how gigantic the magma chamber is – bigger than the park. This is potentially the largest energy source on the continent. The Icelanders recently set a precedent by (accidentally) drilling into a magma chamber, but you don’t have to go quite that far. It could power the entire continent, but at a considerable cost: industrializing the Yellowstone area – though it might be possible to stay around the periphery and minimize the impact.

      As a bonus, extracting enough heat could conceivably prevent or delay a catastrophic eruption. It takes 700,000 years, on average, to build up, so the process is pretty slow.

      Of course, this would be electricity, not liquid fuel; we would still need a way to power vehicles. There is always hydrogen, essentially a form of battery.

      Important caveat: nothing will preserve our present wastrel way of life. But some way of preserving the real advantages of industrial civilization, like electricity, would greatly ease the transition. Even lemmings respond to carrots dangled in front of them.

    1. ambrit

      Big fire at an oilfield supply company.
      Hmmm… Fire starts after employees had left for the day.
      The “Assurance Lightning” phase of ‘The Long Hot Summer’ could be starting?
      A look at the companies books might be in order.

  7. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Detainees’ lawyers question Obama commitment to close Guantanamo Reuters (EM)

    “There is this profound dissonance between what the administration is saying about its desire to close Guantanamo and what is it actually doing,” said Omar Farah, the detainee’s lawyer. “And it’s the administration’s actions that actually count.”


    Gee, ya think? “Profoundly” speaking, that is.

    And, speaking of “dissonance,” how about the camp sign: Camp Delta, Joint DETENTION GROUP, Honor Bound to Defend FREEDOM.

    I may be going out on a limb here, but I think “freedom” is safe from a 74-lb man who hasn’t eaten solid food in eight years and has spent those years having a tube shoved up his nose to keep him alive.

    “Honor,” on the other hand, may not have fared as well.

    1. Antifa

      In ’45, as the Russians or Allies approached the German concentration camps the custom was for the guards to just leave.

      How about we just leave Guantanamo to the Cubans. They can make it an organic farm within a month, or a nursing home, or a permanent memorial to the true foundations of capitalism.

  8. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Washington state fined $100,000 a day over school funding gap Reuters (EM)

    Sounds like a well-reasoned penalty for being “cash-strapped” and not coming up with an adequate plan to become “un-cash-strapped.”

    I’d need to consult an economics text, but this is the Ferguson, Missouri Financial Funding Model if I recall. (Formerly known as the Blood/Turnip Financial Equilibrium.)

  9. jgordon

    On Sesame Street:

    I don’t see this is a bad thing at all. I’m becoming increasingly convinced that this constant barrage of bright, moving images is a pernicious and malignant force for the human psych and ultimately for society. Doubly so for children.

    All this means to me is that in the future rich people’s kids will have one slightly wider avenue for mental poisoning than the kids of the poor.

    1. Ed

      Thanks for commenting on this, which I would have missed otherwise.

      What seems to be happening is that the producers of “Sesame Street” made a deal with HBO to run new episodes on HBO, not PBS. If you don’t have HBO, you and your children can still access reruns, for now.

      This is kind of a big deal and not really a big deal at the same time.

      1. Everything comes to an end. At some point, “Sesame Street” will stop producing new episodes. This is probably the beginning of a slow fade, where they produce new episodes but make them harder to access. Later they will stop producing new episodes but people won’t care as much. I’ve been noticing these fades happening with other institutions. Clean breaks are out of style.

      2. As you pointed out, its debatable whether Sesame Street helped or hurt children’s development. Fading off the air could be good. Or it could be bad.

      3. There are tons of reruns available, probably alot of them on You Tube, and if you want your children to watch Sesame Street the reruns at this point should be enough. There are years of them. This isn’t the sort of show where you really need new episodes.

      4. Don’t count on someone producing and broadcasting a new equivalent of “Sesame Street”. What you are going to get is the reruns.

      I’m probably making too much of these, but I think alot of what was taken for granted with the middle class American lifestyle are doing or about to do these sorts of slow fading away.

      For example, this blog reported earlier that the Disney theme parks are advanced into pricing themselves out of reach of the middle classes, and really changing the experience to appeal more to the upper classes. This is a slow fade. They will still be around for awhile, but for better or worse the childhood trip to Disney will stop being part of the middle class child’s experience. Yes, its all fake, but still a little sad for those of us who got to do this.

      1. craazyboy

        IRRC, the Koch Bros own PBS now. So maybe this paves the way for a new kiddie show?

        “Little Kochs”. Two muppets, Charles and David, perform childhood antics. Caching honeybees in a jar and frying them with a magnifying glass, shaving the cat, and tossing garbage in the neighbors backyard instead of putting it in a garbage can on the street for the evil union garbage men to pick up. Things like that.

        Then the educational stuff. Hold up a sign with the word “Coke” and ask “How do you pronounce this word, kiddies?!” “Coke” the soundtrack joyfully replies.

        Hold up a sign with the word “Koch” and ask “How do you pronounce this word, kiddies?!” “Coke” the soundtrack joyfully replies.

  10. craazyman

    it’s Always a Good Time for a 10-bagger

    I don’t really want to work anymore but i don’t want to die yet either. Just getting up in the morning with no plans at all and no need to have any. That’s the goal. As a result, one needs money. The more (up to a point) the better. $100 million is a ludicrous amount. Who needs that? Nobody. It’s dead weight. that’s all it is But $100,000 is nowhere near enough. Even a Saville Row suit costs at least $5000. Salmon fishing in Scotland could cost $5000 too, quite possibly more. $100,000 would go so quick it would be ridiculous. Then it’s back to a Day Job — if you can find one.

    You really need a 7 figure sum, somewhere in the middle. between $100,000 and $100,000,000 You need enough so you can waste it on frivolous things and just laugh. For that you need a 10-bagger.

    That’s why you read macroecnomics articles! That’s the only reason. The articles themselves have no intrinsic intellectual interest. They’re all basically gibberish — unstructured and poorly argued atrocities of logic lacking in either perception or even the slimmest pretext of erudition. They pretend, but in their pretension they parade almost in the manner of a circus clown. A mental clown, if you can imagine that, a mental clown that doesn’t know it’s a clown. That’s what makes it a clown! Otherwise it would just be an idiot.

    At any rate, having said that it seems like I should have already gotten the 10-bagger, since I’m coming across as “Mr. Superiority”. I do feel a need to explain. My claim is not to any superiority but simply to bad luck. That’s why I haven’t gotten the 10-bagger yet. I’ve read all the macroeconomics articles, searching through their detritus with the light of an analytical chiarascuro for a strategy that safely and without risk of loss results in a 10-bagger that goes straight up. Sadly I’ve lost most of my money, since neither the articles were correct (which I anticipated) but neither was I correct (since things happened that nobody foresaw, including me). That’s where the problem is: you really need to get lucky. The remarkable thing is: that to get lucky you need to put money at risk. You need a plan of some sort. Luck is not a plan, it’s a circumstance.

    It looks like there’s going to be a market crash this fall. This year, it almost certainly will happen. If not, well, that would be remarkable. However, I’m not entirely sure there will be a crash. If I channel it, I don’t quite get “crash”. I sort of get “wobbles”. But even that could bring short selling opportunity. I still think SLV could be the first leg up too. Maybe from $15 to about $23, I already lost a considerable amount from $22 down to $14. That’s a start, it has to go up! After that, you just have to figure it out. The macroeconomic artcles themselve are there for comic relief. Usually after a glass or two of cheap Spanish wine. then they’re hilarious. It’s a good way to celebrate easy money made with no work at all and little real risk. That’s the way it should be, while you watch the bag go from 2 to 3 to 4 to . . . to 10. It can’t be this hard. It should be easy, in fact. The next time, it will be, that’s almost a certainty.

    1. Jim Haygood

      As Rhett Butler accurately observed to Scarlett O’Hara,

      “What most people don’t seem to realize is that there is just as much money to be made out of the wreckage of a civilization as from the upbuilding of one… There’s good money in empire building. But, there’s more in empire wrecking.”

      For individuals who can’t play the empire wrecking game as insiders (the way the Bushes and Clintons do), shorting market collapses is probably their only realistic shot at a quick double or triple. But it’s exquisitely difficult to do.

      Advanced math provides no help with timing, as the cautionary tale of Dr. Hussman (who’s been ‘hard negative’ on stocks since the Beatles’ first tour of America) illustrates. The ‘art of the short’ is in reading mass psychology.

      How would you have known stocks were going to crash in October 1987? The only fundamental clue was a half-point Federal Reserve rate hike in Sep. 1987, normally a non-event. But in terms of mass psychology, the bearish-leaning market guru Robert Prechter had advised his followers in early summer to ‘sit back and enjoy the ride’ while the market rocketed to his envisioned target of Dow 3686. That was the tell!

      We can only hope that the good Dr. Hussman will do us a similar favor, by recanting his bearish apostasy and going double-down, flat-out, leveraged long. That’s the setup for your ten-bagger, if it happens.

      1. alex morfesis

        it is all sausage making…there are no fundamentals…most stock market burps (or earth shattering events) are designed to take something off the front pages…sorry to disrupt the sunday of all those PhDeez who had to swear an allegiance to the alter of the doctrine to get that little sheepskin…it is all noise…and most people do not have the mix of experience in sales, marketing, operations and ownership to see through the fog…so the beat goes on…

        the good news is the evils ones can not so openly march in their brown shirts or jack boots anymore…the bad news is that they do not seem to have to anymore…

    2. Jay M

      Have you considered a career in 13 dimensional baseball? No need to be as brainy as the 13 d chess crowd, the game is played on a cubic zirconium rather than a diamond, using a softball. If you have ever dismantled a softball, you know plenty about string theory. In 13 d a 10 bagger is not only likely, it retires your side since you are declared out on 3 bases. A smallish contribution to my church and I will provide the necessary information on this outstanding opportunity for a man of your stripe.

      1. Jim Haygood


        In 1984 Warren Buffett gave a speech at Columbia University rebutting Malkiel’s book and the Efficient Market Hypothesis. As of 2013 Malkiel has not yet responded, and has ignored Buffett’s argument.

        As Seth Klarman has stated: “Buffett’s argument has never, to my knowledge, been addressed by the efficient-market theorists; they evidently prefer to continue to prove in theory what was refuted in practice”

        After reading Malkiel’s book as a callow youth, I said ‘WTF’ and binned it.

    3. susan the other

      10 bagger is your word for profit, right. Windfall profit. So if, for instance, financial stability and market liquidity are at odds, and someone chooses for market liquidity and forces stability by austerity (duh), then how does that play out? No more ten-baggers? And so?

    4. ambrit

      Sorry ‘c,’ but I’m convinced that SLV is manipulated by The House of Morgan. Personally, the best use for silver that I can think of is as silver bullets to kill werewolves with. That said, can you, you being ensconced in the heart of Morganland, become ‘chums’ with a mid level Morgan trader and weasel tips out of he or she? My Dads big stock market ‘score’ came as the result of an overheard argument between an Air Force officer and a Naval officer at a chemical company cocktail party. Years of technical chart study gave him two pretty big losses on the Chicago Board of Trade. Go figure.
      As for doubling down in SLV. How long can you keep your funds in play? I doubled down on a ‘sure thing’ stock for three years running. I was still living at home and could afford to do so. I did not use leverage, which shows how risk averse I am. Don’t gamble all your money. Save enough so you can at least go shopping for bargains at Goodwill. Who knows. Maybe you’ll find that rumoured ‘lost’ copy of the Declaration of Independence tucked up behind that Jawlensky painting you stumble across for ten bucks at the Salvation Army store.

  11. Jack

    Re: Japan and S Korea remember WW2; the related links eventually led me to this:

    A pretty good summary. NC has been talking about agnotology a lot lately, and this seems like a striking example. A void in public knowledge, the result of both intentional obscuration and of simply bad education policies. And any Japanese who wishes to educate themselves further on the issue of Japan in WW2 is likely to turn to an internet where Japanese language information on the subject is apparently dominated by right-wing revisionists. Yves once commented on the ability of the Japanese to keep commonly held (by them) knowledge from Westerners. This is an example of the opposite; things like the Rape of Nanjing and the Bataan Death March, and to a lesser extent horrors such as Unit 731, are well known outside of Japan.

    And actually, I said bad education policies, which they are, but the excuse that ‘oh, well, we just didn’t have time to cover modern history or WW2’ doesn’t hold up. Regular Japanese sure seem to have a lot of knowledge about things like the Sengoku Jidai medieval period, but not of events literally within a living persons lifetime. 19 pages out of 357 that cover events from 1931 to 1945? That’s shameful.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I say this unto the good Japanese people in the land of the Rising Sun:

      You are not so exceptional that you can afford not to have a ‘(Japanese) People’s History’ written, or a ‘the Lies My (Japanese Educational System’s) Teacher Educated Me.’

    2. gordon

      Japan has often been criticised for forcibly recruiting “comfort women” during WWII to work as prostitutes for Japanese soldiers. Korea (a major source of “comfort women”) has been loud in its condemnation. But maybe the Koreans should look to their own history:

      “…South Korea has been Japan’s strongest critic, but they too have an ugly past with comfort women.

      “After the Korean War effectively ended in 1953, the Government help set up and manage whole communities of prostitutes for the US forces that stayed to protect South Korea.

      “They called them camp towns and there are estimates that 300,000 South Korean women and girls were used to service US troops in the years 1950 to 2000…”

      Disclaimer: I’m not Japanese. Or Korean.

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    One the newest, most viable forms of clean energy…

    The world (of which man is but merely a small part) does not live (happily) on energy alone.

    We (the world, i.e Nature) need water too.

    We need LESS energy spent on producing stuff like C8 and GM organisms.

    We need space/open space (less density). Energy use either does not correlated or correlates negatively with open space…unless energy is used to clear forests (ouch) – there, it correlates positively.

    We need to consume less (of everything). When this new form is ‘viable,’ meaning economically viable, presumably, it, by itself, will not act as a bottleneck, or as a restraint, to reduce consumption. Something lese must be done.

    Again, we need to stabilize the world’s human population and we need to consume less, which, by the prevailing definition, implies a smaller GDP.

    A glimpse of some kind of enlightenment (accidentally perhaps, for they are not known to be exceptionally virtuous) came the other day of China’s placing employment over growth (Ambrose Evans Pritchard link some days ago).

    Maybe, one day, we can end this “growth ueber alles” (consume, more money printing, stimulating the economy) paradigm.

  13. Stratos

    Re: Washinington State Educational Funding. This is the same legislature that rushed to Olympia (the state capital) less than 2 years ago to vote in a 8 billion plus bribe to Boeing in a special session.

    The paucity of educational funding obviously hurts low income children. The refusal to fund education also soaks working and middle class households. Many schools in more affluent neighborhoods operate as semi-private schools. Parents are expected to pony up thousands of dollars per year to cover expenses for sports, music, art and advanced placement classes—-classes that were completely covered by school districts just 25 short years ago. Some schools have set up foundations to manage the school fees.

    There are predictable squabbles and resentment when more affluent parent groups are asked to share the school fees they’ve raised to help poorer students in the same district.

    The upshot is that there’s a vast river of tax money for billionaires and profitable corporations; a trickle of tax money for children.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Here, legalizing drought is not a practical solution.

      Addiction to recreational or non-essential water consumption may have to be cured.

    2. tegnost

      I think what it proves is that technology can reduce the amount of water used in a shower by something known colloquially as “70%”. Heaven save us from the smartest people on earth please. Are you sure the purpose is to save water, or is it a mechanism to create 70% more showers for the same amount of water. Maybe some attention to the massive leaking irrigation systems at condo complexes all over the state, a water sensing drone robot that can sense and repair damaged irrigation now that would be smart.

      1. sd

        How about just getting rid of the damn private swimming pools that nobody actually bothers to swim in.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Trump vs. Biden.

    I hope that, just because we have elected our first African American president, it does not imply that we can’t elect a second one, even in this coming presidential election…unless, we erroneously assume that that was to just get it out of the way or it was some sort of homeopathic event.

    By the way, I don’t mind, that is, I am open minded enough that I can tolerate a Zen president.

    1. edmondo

      Maybe if the Obama years hadn’t decimated the Democratic bench for an entire generation, we wouldn’t have to rely on two senior citizens slugging it out for the chance to call the White House their retirement home.

  15. financial matters

    Eurozone approves €86bn Greek bailout Financial Times

    “Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, said that while negotiations over the past six months had “been difficult”, testing the patience of policymakers, all sides had respected their commitments.

    “The message of today’s eurogroup is loud and clear,” he said. “On this basis, Greece is and will irreversibly remain a member of the euro area, and the European Commission will support Greece in developing a new and fair growth, jobs and investment perspective for its citizens.””

    From Ingham

    “In short, the question is whether the state’s revenue is considered adequate for servicing the level of state debt.

    The creditworthiness of modern states and, consequently, their ability to produce high-powered money to meet the demand from the banking system and the economy is structurally linked to the fiscal system and the money-capital (government bond) market”


    There are a lot of moving parts here.

    ‘To meet the demand of the banking system’ It is important, for its own sustainability, that this high-powered money (liquidity) produced by a complex social interaction between debtors and creditors and governments and money producing entities (central banks) not be squandered on fraud.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Bailout III will fail just as Bailouts I and II did, and probably sooner.

      If debt at 175% of GDP wasn’t sustainable, debt at 212% (frog-boiling temp) of GDP sure as hell won’t be.

      ‘Tryin’ to be a hero; turnin’ out a euro.’

      1. financial matters

        I agree that bailouts without structural change (including debt reduction) won’t be that useful.

        From the FT article ‘ the European Commission will support Greece in developing a new and fair growth, jobs and investment perspective for its citizens.’

        Right now the Maastrich treaties and other rules make this very difficult. Taxes are needed to give value to money but the current rules don’t allow what is needed now which is a marked reduction in taxes in response to a recession. The ECB needs to provide liquidity with a purpose, jobs and investment in worthwhile projects.

        The ECB was crafted with orthodox theory of money as being neutral rather than a weapon in an economic struggle. The anti inflation paranoia starting in the 70s has given less credence to fiscal measures but the state needs to step up to protect citizens and provide social services with this social money.

        Anticipating this problem 10 years ago, Ingham prescribed for the EU “The logic of the situation suggests – but of course can never determine – that it regains the power by placing its money in the hands of a sovereign body.”

  16. allan

    Class warfare, Kindle edition:

    Amazon far more diverse at warehouses than in professional ranks

    When Amazon released its diversity data for the first time late last year, the numbers were startling: nearly a quarter of its U.S. workforce of 77,179 in 2014 was either black or Hispanic.

    It was unusually high, relative to other tech companies. At Microsoft, for example, less than 9 percent of the staff are black or Hispanic.

    Turns out, according to data quietly released by Amazon this spring, a disproportionately large number of Amazon’s black and Hispanic employees in the United States work at its warehouses and in other low-skill jobs. In fact, just 10 percent of Amazon’s staff holding executive or technical jobs are black or Hispanic. And in the executive and technical ranks, women are significantly underrepresented.

      1. ambrit

        “M,” Amazon is trying to break into direct marketing. I agree they are in no wise a ‘Tech’ company, but someone high up in the food chain there is trying to diversify the company. (I really can imagine where Amazon armed drones stalk and shoot down E-bay drones, or USPS drones.)

        1. jrs

          And kindles I suppose. Actually I think there’s more software stuff than just the cloud with Amazon, but truth is I mostly still see it as a book retailer, which I know is surely behind the times.

  17. Oregoncharles

    Tianjin death toll is now over 100, and still rising. The site looks like a nuke went off.

    What on earth was in that warehouse? Is there anyone still alive who knows?

    1. James Levy

      Hey, they died so that markets could be free and entrepreneurs could do their magic without the deadly hand of government regulation strangling their innovative genius. The dead of Tianjin are martyrs to the cause of Libertarianism and the sacred rights of those who own property.

      1. ambrit

        The Great Helmsman now wears a top hat and cutaway coat!
        The old cadres had their “Long March” of which to be proud. Todays cadres have the “Long Supply Chain” to effuse about.
        If the Party is at all serious about protecting the people of China, they will find the managers and financiers responsible for the underlying conditions that caused this disaster and have then shot, live on television. (China does have precedent for this.)

    2. ambrit

      China dude, China.
      We’ll probably never know. When we lived on the Gulf Coast, we were about six or seven miles in a straight line from a big bunker complex in the Port Bienville Industrial Zone. The berms surrounded bunkers that stored and handled commercial explosives for import and export. Despite the town of Pearlington being well within the blast zone if the “worst case scenario” happened, no locals could get a straight answer from the company running the site as to what all was being held there at any one time. The company even stonewalled legal requests for information. All it took was for the company to have one or two local ‘officials’ in their pocket to stymie fact finding efforts by the locals. Eventually the company transferred the complex’s functions to another site. No explanations were given.
      The pictures show a very large conglomeration of storage buildings and containerized cargo trailer boxes.
      Whoever handles the shipping contracts for that port knows roughly what was where. I would put money on a long time culture of sloppy storage practices and disdain for safety protocols being the basic causes of the disaster.

      1. Oregoncharles

        Ever heard of the Texas City explosion? The entire town was destroyed by a SHIPLOAD of ammonium nitrate – one of the items in the warehouse, along with sodium cyanide. Before WWII, I think.

        1. ambrit

          Now that you mention it, I do remember reading about that event. There was the large chemical weapons disaster at the port of Bari in South Italy in 1943. We humans have a penchant for self destruction.

  18. sleepy

    Old Oregon cat—

    Good looking cat. I have a cat who will shortly turn 17. A year ago, it was thought he had kidney disease, but nope, the tests were negative. Last week the vet suspected diabetes, but again, the tests said nope, that he’s perfectly healthy.

    My son was 7 yr old when we got the cat and I was in my 40s. He’s now 24 with two kids, and I’m now well into my 60s. Junior will outlive me I suspect, lol. I feel blessed though.

  19. Skippy

    “In one lifetime, GDP, or Gross Domestic Product, has ballooned from a narrow economic tool into a global article of faith. It is our universal yardstick of progress. As The Little Big Number demonstrates, this spells trouble. While economies and cultures measure their performance by it, GDP ignores central facts such as quality, costs, or purpose. It only measures output: more cars, more accidents; more lawyers, more trials; more extraction, more pollution–all count as success. Sustainability and quality of life are overlooked. Losses don’t count. GDP promotes a form of stupid growth and ignores real development.

    How and why did we get to this point? Dirk Philipsen uncovers a submerged history dating back to the 1600s, climaxing with the Great Depression and World War II, when the first version of GDP arrived at the forefront of politics. Transcending ideologies and national differences, GDP was subsequently transformed from a narrow metric to the purpose of economic activity. Today, increasing GDP is the highest goal of politics. In accessible and compelling prose, Philipsen shows how it affects all of us.

    But the world can no longer afford GDP rule. A finite planet cannot sustain blind and indefinite expansion. If we consider future generations equal to our own, replacing the GDP regime is the ethical imperative of our times. More is not better. As Philipsen demonstrates, the history of GDP reveals unique opportunities to fashion smarter goals and measures. The Little Big Number explores a possible roadmap for a future that advances quality of life rather than indiscriminate growth. ”

    You have not lost your purchasing power, you had your share of productivity stolen.

    Explaining the gap

    “The analysis above has shown that from 1973 to 2011, the largest factor driving the gap between productivity and median compensation has been the growing inequality of wages and compensation, followed by the divergence of consumer and output prices and the shift of income from labor to capital. From 2000 to 2011, when the productivity-median compensation gap grew the fastest, the divergence of prices had only a modest impact, whereas the shift from labor to capital income was the single largest factor, accounting for roughly 45 percent of the gap.”

    Skippy…. you might look at the graph on the productivity link I gave and consider GDP effects wrt parabolic divergence between wages and productivity along with increasing concentration of capital in the social strata to the very top, and what effects that has had sociologically and economically.

    1. Skippy

      Wellie another lead balloon chalked up for the skippers….

      About as bad as informing DS that his esoteric mob started the whole prison industrial complex off due to a misunderstanding of the human state and psychology, oops

      Skippy…. sorry just having a fracas with some bimetallism sorts on another board, seems you can make stuff virtuous…. sry.

      1. ambrit

        “You can make stuff virtuous…” If only that were so.
        My favourite retort to PM Fever sufferers is to ask them: “So, who is going to grow the excess food you are supposedly going to trade your shiny metal for?”

        1. Skippy

          Naw they’re all good with funny money, they just demand a safe haven for storage to secure all the winnings made at the casino, and that unit of measure is sacrosanct above all others in perpetuity. Someone forgot to tell them we all ready have derivatives for that action imo.

          Skippy…. per my old signs whisking by the train as we accelerate “forward”… ZH has replaced Ron Paul with Trump as the new Saviour… whats next is my quire… how more strange can it possibly get… um don’t answer that…

          1. ambrit

            “…how more strange can it possibly get…” If I could figure that one out, I’d be able to ‘short’ certain politicians and really ‘cash’ in.
            It is funny how ZH and its’ fellow travelers all seem to need a Saviour. isn’t it. They have lost the will to do their own thinking?
            Got to run. There’s an “Estate Sale” on the other side of town with about a hundred good jazz CDs for sale at $1.00 each. Mingus, Coltrane, Brubeck, Hampton, Cole, Peterson, Herman, etc.. Got to run.

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