Links 8/19/15

Jeff Bezos Assures Amazon Employees That HR Working 100 Hours A Week To Address Their Complaints Onion (David L)

Tooth fairy payout falls for second year in a row Sun Sentinel (Paul M via Fred A)

The world’s most ‘liveable’ cities Economist

The Ashley Madison Hackers Just Released a Ton of Stolen Data Gizmodo. We said Ashley Madison = extortion futures.

Ashley Madison hack is not only real, it’s worse than we thought ars technica (Swedish Lex)

A bitcoin civil war is threatening to tear the digital currency in two Business Insider

Windows 10 will push you to pay more for Office InfoWorld (furzy mouse). Another reason to hold off upgrading as long as possible.

Synthetic Life Seeks Work MIT Technology Review (David L)

MRI scanners can steer tumor busting viruses to specific target sites within the body MedicalXpress (Robert M)

FDA Approves First Drug to Boost Women’s Libido Wall Street Journal. Sheesh, this sounds more like a date rape drug than a libido drug:

…studies show some serious side effects, including drowsiness, fainting and nausea.

The little pink pill, often dubbed “Viagra for women,” during clinical studies had a modest effect in boosting women’s interest in sex. But there are “serious risks” of low-blood pressure and fainting with the drug, especially when taken while drinking alcohol

Google is testing drones in US airspace by piggybacking on Nasa exemption Guardian (EM)

EM capital outflows surge towards $1tn Financial Times

Chinese stocks go on wild ride as economic gloom deepens Reuters

Trying to count China’s jobless Free Exchange

Coal prices fall to 12-year lows as China, India join demand slowdown Sydney Morning Herald (EM)

China’s richest flee sharemarket as masses pile in Sydney Morning Herald (EM)

Low Oil Prices And China Pull The Rug From Under Latin America OilPrice

Exclusive: U.S. graft probes may cost Petrobras record $1.6 billion or more – source Reuters (furzy mouse)

Brutish, nasty – and not even short: the ominous future of the eurozone Guardian. Swedish Lex: “Spot on in many ways and written by a German.”


Prospect of confidence vote, snap polls unclear amid rumors of Parliament closing ekathimerini

Why Greece Can’t Fulfill Bailout’s Terms Bloomberg

Leftists blast Greek government over deal for airports ekthimerini


Raising generations of Jewish terrorists Haaretz

ISIS Beheads 82-Year-Old Palmyra Scholar Daily Beast (furzy mouse)

340 Rabbis, Scores of Israeli Generals and Military Chiefs, and Most American Jews Support Iran Deal George Washington

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Pierre Omidyar’s news site silent on spying scandal involving his partners at AT&T Pando

What We Know About the NSA and AT&T’s Spying Pact Wired

Jeb! Bush Thinks We Haven’t Given the NSA Enough Power to Spy on Us Gizmodo

How hackers hijack the net’s phone books BBC(furzy mouse)

Imperial Collapse Watch

How Not to Be a Leader Medium

GARY BRECHER IS CREATING THE WAR NERD PODCAST. Bob urges readers to support him!

FBI: ‘Attempt’ to Wipe Hillary’s Email Server Daily Beast (furzy mouse). So if Hillary’s techs weren’t competent to delete e-mails permanently, how the hell could they have been competent enough to secure them adequately?

Presidential Poll 2016: Bernie Sanders Beats Clinton In Iowa State Fair; Trump, Carson Lead Republicans International Business Times

Bernie Sanders Campaign Calls Out Hillary’s College Plan: ‘Disappointment’ Alternet (furzy mouse)

Lockdown lifted at U.S. nuke site after sniffer-dog false alarm Reuters. EM: “I wonder if the rate of false positives for bombs is similarly high as has recently been documented for drug-sniffing dogs, who apparently are as often as not ‘trained to alarm’, either due to trainer error or deliberate malfeasance. More ‘deep searches’ resulting from false alarms – it’s good for GDP, after all!”

Stem-cell agency priced out of SF, moving to Oakland SFGate (EM)

Rebuilt confidence in New Orleans flood controls fuels rebuilding Reuters (EM)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

The Long Sad Slide From Leading Civil Rights Organization to Anti-Black Lives Matter Group Intercept (resilc)

Shooting Unarmed Black Man Was Self-Defense, Officer’s Lawyer Tells Charlotte Jury New York Times

Police State

Ex-police officer faces murder charge in Virginia shooting death Reuters/ EM: “This indictment would not have happened without the post-Ferguson-et-al wave of national skepticism regarding such shootings.”

Prison Guard ‘Beat Up Squad’ Is Blamed in New York Inmate’s Death New York Times

Promontory settles over StanChart probe Financial Times

Liquidity during Flash Events Liberty Street Economics

Walmart slashes earnings outlook Financial Times

Class Warfare

Why I’m finally going to boycott Amazon Guardian (furzy mouse)

Rape Case Puts Focus on Culture of Elite St. Paul’s School New York Times. In the past, they’d be able to buy the girl off somehow….

Grad-School Loan Binge Fans Debt Worries Wall Street Journal

Stop Universities From Hoarding Money New York Times

The workers catering to the Hamptons’ super-rich: ‘This is not paradise for me’ Guardian (resilc)

Antidote du jour (@thidawin6777):

herding cygnets links

And a bonus video, courtesy Tracey:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Disturbed Voter

    Pretty thin gruel in the link to FBI analysis of Clinton email server. The usual technology has five levels:

    1. Put emails in email program delete folder, and execute
    2. Do hard drive wipe at the OS level, deleting everything, and reinstall the OS
    3. Do a triple bit-wipe on the hard drive to randomize remnant data
    4. Use a degausser to make all the magnetic bits have the same value
    5. Physically destroy the hard drive

    It is possible to recover data after #1, #2 or #3. But as we go down the list, it is increasingly expensive to do so. But not at #4 or #5.

    I am thinking that the FBI is corrupt, and won’t release any findings, assuming they find anything, because anything they find that is embarrassing, is classified, so they can’t talk about it anyway.

    1. Christopher Fay

      It’s the blues to know that this openly criminal and incompetent is still in the running to be our national leader

    2. Whine Country

      Not to worry. Bill will find a copy of all of the missing documents in a storage closet at the White House as soon as the Mrs. is elected president.

    3. flora

      I thought this line was interesting:
      “Clinton’s campaign told PolitiFact that “work-related emails were deleted after she turned them over to the State Department” last December, which means before she handed the server over to the FBI last month.”

      So Clinton is blaming the State Department for the email deletions?

  2. JoeK

    In case my blunt characterization of Bezos in a comment yesterday as a sociopathic jerk seemed harsh to anyone who happened to read it, the link above to the guardian article provides a nice photo of him right at the top of the article that bolsters my assertion.

  3. Higgs Boson

    Funny how photos of Sanders are almost always unflattering. IBT has a close-up of his face with a bed of sweat rolling down the side of his face. Can we get some sweaty Clinton photos?

    1. Christopher Fay

      No, the sweat is a tell that this is a real person. Silicone Hillary Jeb, that always is an unflattering portrait. She will eat your grandchildren to advance her klan.

    2. frosty zoom

      at least mr. sanders sweat is real. ms. clinton would just have some sprayed on her for a photo op like she was saving katrina victims or making the tough decision about which muslim country to invade next.

  4. diptherio

    OMG. I’m having a hard time believing that I just read this; that someone would actually say this, in a court of law, no less:

    Officer Kerrick, who was suspended without pay, testified that he had no choice but to shoot because he thought Mr. Ferrell might try to take his gun. Officer Thornell Little, who was also at the scene, backed up that appraisal in his testimony for the defense, saying he thought that had the officers “gotten to a tussle with him, he would’ve probably, you know, tried to go for one of our guns.” [emphasis added]

    So now they’ve gone from “he was going for my gun!” to “he probably would have gone for my gun!” Wow. Good to know: you can now be killed by the 5-0 if they think you might go for their gun…

    Anyone else wondering when the revolution starts?

    1. Antifa

      Erm . . . militarized policing IS the revolution. Michael Chertoff began bringing Israeli Defense Force trainers into America when he became head of Homeland Security, and they began rewriting the national standards for police training to incorporate the War on Terror. Because there were international terrorists lurking in everyone’s backyard in those days, and because of all the Federal money and nifty toys that came along with it, the new training standards to save us all from terrorists were readily accepted by all the states, and we now have what is effectively a national police force. They are all trained the same way. Might as well call ’em what they are.

      The Israeli trainers brought an Occupation mentality, and a surveillance mindset to policing — keeping close tabs on any organized dissident groups, including by infiltration, wiretaps, drone surveillance and reading everyone’s messages and email.

      The IDF methodology also brought us regional Control Centers, close cooperation with the NSA, and the beefing up of local constabularies with armored track vehicles, automatic rifles, Humvees, drones, lots of ammunition and lots of training in how to stay in control of an unruly population. The civilian population is now seen as the enemy, not your friends, neighbors and fishing partners. That’s so 1950’s.

      “Protect and Serve” morphed into “Comply or Die” through a change in how police cadets are selected and trained under militarized Homeland Security guidelines. They are trained to exact compliance, not to protect or serve. They are trained to protect the population from terrorism, not community policing.

      Police who currently say ridiculous things like, He MIGHT have gone for my weapon as he was running away, so I HAD to shoot him seven times in self defense” will gradually evolve to simply saying the truth: I didn’t get instant, complete compliance so I took him out.”

      This is how soldiers do The Job. If you are pulled over in traffic, you are a surrendering enemy combatant, not a citizen curious about whatever minor highway rule you might have violated. The officer’s goal is to get your compliance, not to serve you. He has been trained to believe that he owns the streets. Not you, not us, not we.

      1. Carla

        In my community, an inner ring suburb of Cleveland, the police department now refers to itself as the “Command Center.” The fire department has “Fire Command” emblazoned on at least some of its cars.

      2. vidimi

        i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again: it’s the iraq war come home to roost. pre-emptive war became pre-emptive policing. it would appear that the invasion and destruction of iraq was more corrosive to america’s soul than destroying vietnam was. compounding iraq with afghanistan, libya, syria and yemen made it even worse.

        1. Gio Bruno

          ….my sentiments, exactly. I’m even on record for saying this in 2003. American culture has turned (even more) malevolent.

        2. TedWa

          Totally agree and I think it all goes back to Presidents being above the law. All the criminals need is 1 light to shine and they can all get in. If you get me…

      3. heresy101

        San Francisco’s “finest” at work on a one legged black man. It’s obvious that SF could beat Kansas in reducing the budget if they got rid of a lot of cops that are not needed.

        “So, I started running closer, and you could see how bad this was, and you could see that he had a prosthetic leg. The more he said ‘no’, the more he questioned “why are you doing this? I’m using this for crutches”, the worse that it got in terms of it seemed their determination to assert their force”

    2. LarryB

      Sounds like guns in the hands of the police are too dangerous to have around. After all anybody can just grab them. Time to disarm the police?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Gunless robot police.

        If one robot cop dies in the line of duty, it’s replaceable.

        No need to risk human lives.

      2. curlydan

        Hell yes, LarryB. Store the guns and bulletproof vests in the storage closet at the station. If you need them, back up the car and go get them. Replicate Andy Taylor and install him everywhere!

  5. vidimi

    pando does so little originial reporting that that article by ames the other week on roger stone can be called a unicorn. in a way, it’s the perfect news site for silly con valley.

    1. Roquentin

      That’s one of the issues I have with it. If I paid the subscription I’d just be paying for Mark Ames and John Dolan. I couldn’t care less about any of their other content. I’ve been reading them since the eXile days, clear back when I was in college with a Russian Studies minor. The rest of the Pando reporting is of little to no interest to me.

      It’s sad that NSFWCorp had to go under. They are far better journalists than they are businessmen. I remember subscribing to that, and getting an email about once a month where they were hitting subscribers up for more money. I remember right before it folded, Paul Carr talking about some ambitious plan to provide all of this international coverage and thinking it was doomed the minute I saw it. You’d be lucky to provide livable salaries to a handful of writers with what you’d pull in off subscriptions. It’d be best to just leave it at that.

    2. nsfwcorpfan

      I’ve heard it described as a bittersweet third act for the eXiled crew. Ames tried to be a more “serious” journalist with NSFWCorp but with the failure of that attempt had to sell out to a vapid Silicon Valley boosterism rag. It’s seemed to me like an unhappy marriage since the start, and the fact that Dolan and Ames are having to fund and operate this podcast as a side project looks to me like more evidence of that unhappiness.

  6. Eric Patton

    Rebuilt confidence in New Orleans flood controls fuels rebuilding Reuters (EM)

    As much as I wish nothing but the best for the people in New Orleans, we are seriously one day going to have to consider — meaning we’re actually going to have to do this — relocating the entire city.

    We all know we’ve passed a few points of no return vis-a-vis climate change. Giant swaths of New Orleans will one day be underwater.

    Rebuilding New Orleans looks like a good use of resources now. But we’re really just doubling down, throwing good money after bad. Eventually we will crap out. Mother Nature always bats last.

    We’d be better off doing a much better and more serious job relocating people all over the county. A massive earthquake is going to destroy the Pacific Northwest someday. Are we going to ignore that too until it actually happens?

    How many more warning signs do we need from God before we start paying attention? I want nothing more than happiness and good health for people all over the world. But we’re not stupid. We have brains. Good, big brains.

    What we lack is wisdom. Does it make sense to rebuild New Orleans, or build up the Pacific Northwest even more? What about Los Angeles, or Tokyo?

    Not to mention the fact that, currently, many of us are driving insane distances to get to work. What sense is there in that? We’re burning a lot of oil just to pretend to work for 8 hours (if we’re lucky — take that however you want) a day? What possible logic is there in that?

    We seriously have to remake and rethink everything. We have clear signs. We have intelligence. We have resources. We have the capacity. Simply put: It’s absolutely something we can do — and probably a helluva lot faster than we give ourselves credit for.

    But wisdom? Do we have that? That’s the key.

    1. ambrit

      Having lived in New Orleans for a decade, and my wife being from Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans, I can say that the “lifestyle” associated with the city draws a lot of, for want of a better word, Bohemians. Being one of the few non cookie cutter cities in America, New Orleans is a magnet for those even slightly out of compliance with the ‘American Dream.’ Until Hurricane Jezreel washes over the levees with it’s fifty foot storm surge, New Orleans will carry on regardless. The city is a dream being lived by the out of step people of America. Dreams die hard, dreamy cities even harder.

      1. lord koos

        They’re called “hipsters” now. I’ve spent a bit of time in NOLA over the years and noticed more hipsters and less black people when I visited in 2012.

    2. Ed

      I agree with all of that.

      The specific question of relocating New Orleans because of the river shifting/ climate change is something I would like to know more about. There seems to be a good prima facie case for moving the port and everyone to an extension of Baton Rouge, farther up river. The French Quarter, which is on higher ground, would be kept as a Colonial Williamsburg style theme park, or moved to an actual theme park. The problem is that because this is New Orleans! and there is massive symbolism involved, everyone writing about this has an ax to grind.

      Apparently not everything was rebuilt after Katrina, even though its been ten years.

    3. susan the other

      We need some positive feedback on plans to mitigate global warming and ocean rise. We could use information on what future the government is actually planning. For them to pretend they have no plans is getting very offensive.

      1. Bernard

        Being born and bred and still living in New Orleans, I wonder too about the wisdom of living in the city. I just can’t imagine any other city with such a “unique” way. not Southern and not American, New Orleans still captivates with its’ “way.” I do think the rising water levels/climate change is already happening around us/ will get us eventually, and another hurricane will do another Katrina, if it breeches the levees. Watching hurricanes push water against our levees in the Industrial Canal Water way is tantamount to suicide. it is just a matter of time till Nature wins once again. I wonder if owning property in the city is still a good idea.

        New Orleans is so different, it is hard to say goodbye. Here we know there is no tomorrow. and live to eat and enjoy the best from the cultures that made us so “different.” however Katrina has turned us into a “Disneyland” where only the extreme poor, via government handouts, and the rich can afford to live here. the Middle Class is and has been decimated. so in one respect it is just a matter of time for what make this city so “unique’. either the water levels will seep all around us or the Rich will turn us into San Fran or New York/unaffordable to live in.

      2. ambrit

        Sorry sto, but instead of positive feedback, we get a positive feedback loop.
        On the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the state of the art seems to be a giant gentrification scheme.
        The sea level rise scenarios being given credence by the ‘official’ actors are the most conservative ones. The Corps of Engineers plan for the New Orleans Metro Area flood control is similar to the Dutch model. The last time I saw some figures, the levees were to be sixteen feet above sea level and to stretch from the mouth of the Pearl River by Slidell, around New Orleans East, up the Mississippi River to near Gonzales. The West Bank was to be similarly ‘armoured’ against a 100 year flood surge. Moveable Water Dams similar to those in the Thames River in South London were to be installed at the Chef Menteur Pass and the Rigolets Pass, controlling the water surge into Lake Pontchartrain, north of the city. We are talking tens of billions of dollars for a questionable outcome. Locals know Nawlins as “The City That Care Forgot.”
        Nothing lasts forever.

        1. dalepues

          You may have already seen this from Charles P. Pierce, Esquire.

          My older brother took me to see West Side Story in New Orleans when I was eight. A fond memory from long ago. I used to visit a friend who lived at the corner of Grand Route St. John and North White, a couple of blocks from the fair grounds. He moved to Hammond after Katrina. Such a beautiful place. If I could choose a city in the world to live out my days, it would be N.O. Alas, rents have risen.

      3. Paul Tioxon

        There is local action by cities around the world and then there is international action that may or may not be strongly binding and enforced. Here are 2 starting points;


        This is the link to a growing number of cities from around the world that are taking action to prepare for climate change that is already upon us and deal with reducing carbon, among other things discarded as by products of modern living. The terms green, sustainable and even ecological are used in this discourse, Michael Bloomberg is emptying his deep pockets for something useful this time, on this issue. He is regularly pushing the climate change problem as an urgent issue that can not be put aside due to ideological differences. He lends his influence to the Sierra Club on shutting down coal power plants which has had great success with over 200 plants shut down since 2010.

        2. The Paris Climate Conference in Dec 2015.

        In advance of this major last best defense of humanity, the world’s nations, 196 of them, are gearing up for conclusive actions to stop the man made climate change or squandering the collective might that is the only real chance of blunting and maybe reversing so much of the atmospheric damage already hammering our societies across the planet.

        Here is a Muslim declaration to phase out fossil fuels:

        Here is the upstart radical action to strangle the coal industry by cutting off its financing the same way we sanctioned Iran:

        You will see the governments of the world converge at this UN Summit to come up with a definitive response which will make or break substantial efforts to clean up the atmosphere. Pressure yr favorite pol to shut down coal burning for fuel.

    4. jrs

      Commuting too far, burning too much oil even in tiny cars, to get to jobs, for 8 long never ending hours, where the work is not really productive. No kidding. And this is often only in very small part the employee’s fault, there may be some pretending to work going on as the full 8 hours of tedium may be hard to bear, but also lot of pretending the work that is done matters at all in order to get a paycheck. We need an alternative to this yesterday.

  7. DJG

    Women’s libido drug and solving problems by marketing: It is called Addyi (?). How many gazillions did they spend in marketing and on focus groups to come up with that mess of a trademark?

    And yet I notice each week that half or more of the major adverts in the New Yorker are written in some pre-literate burble.

    1. rich

      AbbVie hands United a record $350M payoff for a speedy FDA review voucher

      The cost of a priority review voucher for the FDA keeps going up. AbbVie is forking over a record $350 million to acquire a voucher from United Therapeutics, giving them an option at shaving four months off the agency’s standard 10-month review process.

      There’s no immediate word from AbbVie ($ABBV) about which of their late-stage drugs will get the voucher, but at a cost of $87.5 million a month, the pharma company clearly has a potential blockbuster in mind. AbbVie and Roche are hustling the cancer drug venetoclax to the FDA for an accelerated review, with more late-stage therapies in the pipeline to pick from.

      The FDA is using the vouchers to help encourage R&D for pediatric and tropical diseases, handing out the vouchers for new approvals in those two fields. And every new deal brings a new record price tag.

      but they keep telling me it’s safety as the reason patients can’t get faster access…when in reality it’s a scheme/shakedown for $….BUT WHAT ABOUT EVERYONE ELSE W/OUT ACCESS TO BIG $?

      fda says screw everyone else…see..

      Medical breakthrough: A cure for SMA?

      (WXYZ) – For some time now, 7 Action News anchor Stephen Clark has been sharing his granddaughter Scarlet’s story about her battle with SMA with you.

      Now, a doctor says he may have found a cure for the condition.

      See the full report on this medical breakthrough in the video player above.

      it’ not frustrating……….it’s a crime

      ‘The doctors are convinced that the drug is working’; from ABC news on $Isis-SMNRx:

      Arms for Asher – Fighting SMA Together shared their video.
      August 17 at 5:18pm ·

      Our hearts are still overjoyed with Asher’s amazing accomplishment this week but our hearts are equally burdened by the loss we continue to see in the SMA Community.

      In one years time we have seen Asher go from barely moving to rolling over, standing, sitting, walking with a gait trainer and now CRAWLING.

      Many of you may not know but the treatment that Asher receives is not available to all children with SMA. The drug is still in a clinical trial phase and projected to go to market in 2018.

      By 2018 Asher will lose many more SMA buddies. In fact, if Asher had to wait till 2018 to receive this drug his life would look much different than it does now. Could you imagine a life without Asher in it? I couldn’t. Yet so many families have had to experience this unbearable loss.

      I don’t understand all of the red tape involved with clinical trials but two things I know are important – to prove safety and efficacy. Asher is only one child of numerous children in the trial, all of which have helped show both safety and efficacy.

      We believe this drug could go to market sooner and help save lives but it will not happen if we stay silent. We need to spread the word so that we get the attention of Big Pharma and the FDA.

      Big Pharma and FDA, stop meddling with the red tape and start saving lives.

      and what about sufferers of als, parkinsons, cancer, spinal cord injury, etc…? i guess like everyone else they’re expendable. Humanity is so yesterday.

  8. Roquention

    Reading that Gizmodo piece about the Ashley Madison hack was the best laugh I’ve had all week. Seriously, I was snickering uncontrollably at my desk… Not even at the hack, which is plenty funny in its own right, but that the site is apparently 90%-95% men. Just the thought of all those unhappily married men, on a site trying to talk to imaginary women….it almost brought me to tears with laughter.

    1. CaitlinO

      To Roquention –

      Apparently, one of the men on the site was Josh Duggar, child molesting eldest of the 19 kids Duggar clan. He had two accounts over two years – the first one tied to the address of his grandmother’s house in Arkansas and the second to the address he had in Oxon Hill, Maryland where he lived while working for the Family Research Council. The account ended in May 2015 when news of his violation of his sisters and family friend broke out. The article describes a new financial product – an “affair guarantee” which seems to be a kind of infidelity insurance which Duggar purchased for $250.

      Anyone interested can see what he was looking for in a liaison.

      So, yeah, this hack has all kinds of potential for embarrassment and, in some cases, rich schadenfreude.

    1. abynormal

      ha! good one. imagine reading this one as a child:
      I am working on a new book about a boa constrictor and a litter of hyenas. The boa constrictor swallows the babies one by one, and the mother hyena dies laughing.
      E.B. White

      1. frosty zoom


        I am working on a new book about a pharmacorpmega selling yaddayaddayaddyi to a litter of women. The pharmacorpmega swallows the women one by one, takes their money, laughs at them, and then sells them prozac.

  9. nealser

    Re Drug to boost women’s libido; The new drug got a great launch yesterday on NBC Nightly News. A PR dream! Glowing testimonials from happy women (likely supplied by manufacturer of drug). Amazing performance claims, 53% improvement in satisfying sexual encounters.
    The same drug announcement was covered on BBC news and the story was very different. They had an independent expert describe results from trials which indicated very little evidence of the drugs effectiveness. Of course there are also dangerous side effects too.
    It’s very hard to view the NBC cheerleading and not be cynical about the choice of editorial line being softly connected to Advertising sales strategy.

    1. frosty zoom


      even coorslight will give you better than 53% improvement.

      imagine if they made a pill that simulated a nice dinner with conversation and a romantic walk in the moonlight for dessert.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      No drug to make men and women love the world?

      “Take it, it will make you a vegan and improve your meditation concentration. It will make you love your parents, your spouse and your children. Also your neighbors and in laws. I will also help you heal the sick in the village and deepen your appreciation for the sacredness of life, not just its recreational aspects.”

  10. abynormal

    uh pick up the phone…serious dive taking place over at OIL 40.60
    unexpected jump in oil inventories which caught all algos by surprise, oil plunged by over $1 to a price not seen since 2009

    1. Jim Haygood

      Copper is sinking again too.

      In today’s CPI report, headline CPI finally crept above zero, to +0.17% over the last 12 months. Core CPI held steady at 1.80%. My model projects a 1.52% increase in the next 12 months.

      Firm core CPI can be seized upon by the Fedsters as a pretext to implement their ‘rate hikes for ammo’ fixation, even as they ignore the commodity crash happening right under their noses.

      In the Eccles Building, the air conditioning hums softly. One hears the cheerful ding-ding-ding of the coffee trolley approaching down the marble corridor. Outside on Constitution Avenue, the human worker ants scurry about. No one could have foreseen any problems.

      1. craazyboy

        In today’s Pettis article he says Chinese financial outflows are overwhelming a still positive trade surplus, and the PBoC chose to devalue rather than fight the flow and peg to the dollar. Because, pegs costs money. (Maybe they are saving all their money to buy stock??? hahaha)

        I checked Chinese export data, and it looks like it is running maybe 5-10% lower YTD. So weak end user demand could be part of the story on copper. Wonder how much of it is commodity traders bailing out. When oil hit $140 back in 2008 or so, after the fact it came out two large hedge funds owned something like 30% of all oil futures.

        1. craazyboy

          ZH had a copper article w/ some amazing data. 25% of the world’s copper goes to Chinese housing and construction. Internally, around half the imported copper goes to housing and construction.

          Elsewhere, for exports, they categorize 60% as “electromechanical products”.

          This is what Dr. Copper’s Ghost City looks like. Longer term copper charts show quite a boom since 2000.

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Stop universities from hoarding money.

    While we are at it, let’s stop them from hoarding knowledge.

    “Share your knowledge with B students and C students, not just A students.”

    Why should we hinder, punish or disadvantage someone just because he/she is not as smart???

    Because our teachers have brainwashed us this way?

  12. Jess

    Re: boycotting Amazon —

    It’s possible to buy books and some materials via Amazon but from their network of independent suppliers. Other than that, what are some alternatives to Amazon? (Not including EBay. I want select-now, order-now, shipped-now (or soon) alternatives.


    1. jrs

      Yes boycott fine, but at a certain point doesn’t one get sick of the whole @#$# thing, and of us taking moral responsibility for @#$# that never was our fault as consumers. They do the crime again and again we try to take responsibility for it. It’s BS!!!

      No consumers say: “I want you to work your staff 100 hour weeks in horrendous conditions”. What they say with a company like Amazon is originally: “I want a wide selection of books new and old that show up on my doorstep” of course this moves to other products as much of the business is other products now. Just like nobody really wants Facebook to be a privacy destroying monster, they just want a way to communicate with people. Now with Facebook at least you can say the user gets the product for free (although even that is not why most people would choose it over a paid product, it’s just that none of their “friends” are on paid products). With Amazon free is hardly the case. But they get it cheap? Yea but unlike Walmart with Amazon even cheap is not the main selling point. Convenience is. Why can’t we have companies that offer consumers convenience without being complete @#$holes? Market failure indeed.

    2. jrs

      Really I want alternatives that ship through the post office. If they are shipping through Fed Ex or UPS, not interested at all, I’d rather shop Amazon and be evil. I hate Fed Ex and UPS.

      1. binky J. Bear

        I tend to use ABE books, books a million and barnes and noble for books, as well as Powells. Grocery stores will shop and box for you over the internet, including KrogerFredMeyerQFC et al. and Sam’s Club, and ship locally. Get produce boxes from the local produce club. Buy cheap Chinese stuff straight from the source-banggood, DHS, Alibaba. Cheap refurb stuff from one sale a day dot com. New Egg for electronics, components from mouser and digikey. Ebay for weird stuff, craigslist for other weird stuff.

    3. lord koos

      In terms of service, I have had much better experiences with ebay sellers than with Amazon. Musical recordings and books from ebay are often cheaper and are almost always shipped more quickly. No state sales tax with ebay, either (I live in WA state where it’s close to 10%).

    4. Yves Smith Post author

      I think everyone should go there 2-3X a week, do really nutty shopping (combos that make no sense, like searches for bondage books along with super girlie clothes plus really hard core computer geek stuff), put it in your cart, and abandon it. On your next visit, empty the cart and do some more gonzo shopping.

      Amazon find abandoned shopping very distressing. They study that a lot. So go mess up their algos and waste management time.

  13. Susan the other

    About the baton-twirling panda – that looks like a black bear with a white patch. In just one minute that bear learned all there was to know about that stick.

    About the Guardian, Wolfgang Streeck. Brutish, nasty and not short. Back at the fall of the wall Gerhardt Schroeder compared East Germany to “Mezzogiorno without the mafia.”

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Yes, I was going to add no way is that a panda, unless there’s a strain of panda different than the ones the Chinese send to American zoos as their national ambassadors. It’s got impressive reflexes while pandas are pleasantly slow-moving. I didn’t know black bears could have white markings.

    2. Optimader

      Whomever said asian black bear is right
      FWIW American Black Bears can range from black, broen, bluishb black, gray As well as WHITE– colliquially known as Spirit BeRs.. Posted a pic of a Spirit Bear here in the past.
      Blacks are very distinctive in geometry compared to, say Grizzly Bears or Polar Bears ( in the case of a Spirit Bear), Colors can be similar to the casual observer.

  14. alex morfesis

    syriza millionaire marxists shoot themselves in the foot

    before Tripras, the previous (two or three) loser leaders were all millionaires…tsipras the worlds greatest cat herder (maybe he can do a show in a few years with the help of Cesar), somehow took a rag tag group of kafenioistas and slowly allowed the stayligarxi (couldn’t make stale work with garchy) to fail and then created an opening…this is their one and only chance to be in government…but they are too busy looking at the press clippings to focus…

    the only airport that has ever been successfully run by private interest is “punta cana” international in the Dominican Republic…it is a perfect blueprint for what is needed for tourist growth…

    syriza, if they had any human capital capable of running the country smoothly, would have handed the keys in a joint venture to the Punta Cana group…but that would take thinking beyond looking in the mirror and starching the comb overs…

    sadly, these super left millionaire marxist chumps are basically pushing for an election that will do nothing for the future of greece ,,,

    outlaw viagra

  15. Gio Bruno


    Amongst the many big questions raised by the story we find a slightly smaller one: Why did the story not appear on The Intercept, the publication headed by Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, to whom Snowden delivered the documents in the first place?

    Maybe the NYT has a bigger readership than TI? Maybe GG is spreading the “wealth”? (Something PCarr @ Pando has accused GG of NOT doing.) Or Maybe the breadth of journalists involved necessitated a NYT publication? Don’t know, doesn’t matter. The Snowden documents are getting vetted and released; that’s what is important.

    1. bob

      “The Snowden documents are getting vetted and released; that’s what is important.”

      When? Where? who’s doing the “vetting”? What are they vetting for? Conflicts of interest with friends? Goverments? Comapnies?

      As far as you first, very bad assertion goes, over a year and a half in and…less than 1%, on a very high estimate.

      Glen- you signed up with hollywood- don’t they let you use your own name anymore? Do they have exclusive rights? What are the terms of your deal with Sony? Secret?

      1. vidimi

        1. if you download a whole server worth of files, any server, 99% of the files are going to have no public interest. with the NSA, many are going to be technical and their release would trigger all sorts of espionage injunctions. as far as we know, and we have nothing to suggest otherwise, the files that were of public importance and legal to release have been and are being released. releasing the snowden files cost the guardian over $1m in legal fees which is a large part of the reason why GG had to find shelter with PO. demanding that GG sacrifices himself like CM for releasing all the files is phoney and evil.
        2. there is a small number of living human beings going through the files one by one making this a gargantuan effort. they made a calculated decision not to release a dump of the files wikileaks-style as the consequences of that would be too damaging for the reporters, ES, and possibly others.
        3. ES has made not one comment in opposition to the way GG and LP have been handling the material. not once has he suggested that they’re doing it wrong. he trusted them to GG and LP and not Pando for a reason.

          1. vidimi

            huh? thiel, pando’s bos is one of the CIA’s and NSA’s top contractors. you didn’t address any of the points i made, instead, you come up with that.

            glass houses much?

            1. bob

              OK, lets try this your way.

              Point 1- “1. if you download a whole server worth of files”

              Who said that he downloaded a server, or several servers worth of info, whole cloth? He didn’t, and if you read his own words, he was very targeted in what he was going after, even consulting with GG on keywords to search and such.

              point 2- Who are these humans? What are their motives? Half a billion dollars only buys a “few humans”?

              3 ES is sitting in a guilded cage in russia. He hasn’t said anything that wasn’t fully vetted and very carefully chosen to please his captors.

              You also assume that I have to defend pando, and not their reporting. I don’t. The reporting speaks for itself. Read it, you may learn something beside quick take, PC safe, uninformed judgement, passed down by the pious in chief.

              Theil? Bos? Check your facts, and spelling, again. How loud is he stumping for pando? Half a billion worth? And BTW, look and some of Ames’ and Levine’s past work on theil. Most of the info you’re being spoon fed came from them, YEARS ago.

              GG and LP are the only two people with the whole cashe. They are both employed by Pierre, who stared his half billion dollar magazine very shortly after GG and LP came into possession of the files. Coincidence?

              Your jump into espionage law expert is worthy of laughter. In what universe is ES not in trouble with the law already? Remember, he RAN AWAY. That’s sort of the give away right there. He knew he was guilty. He went to great trouble, detailed extensively in movies and books, to run away.

              You’re trying to tell me that he didn’t break the law yet? If not, it’s just more filler in a very badly written, but numbered, screed of the cult leader.

    2. vidimi

      exactly. what’s important is the story did get published, and by an intercept reporter no less. why were there no pando authors on it?

      paul carr can come back to me when he or anyone else in pando takes down peter thiel or marc andreessen for their evil. the best carr can do is take down tony hsieh after the latter fires him. a sycophant and a hypocrite.

  16. Oregoncharles

    From “Brutish, Nasty, and not Even Short:” “Afraid of the unimaginable economic disaster publicly imagined by fear-mongering euro supporters, ”

    Raises a question he makes no effort to answer.

  17. Skippy

    A People’s History of the United States: 1492 to Present
    Unabridged Audiobook


    For much of his life, historian Howard Zinn has been chronicling American history from the bottom up, throwing out the official version taught in schools — with its emphasis on great men in high places — to focus on the street, the home, and the workplace. Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States is the only volume to tell America’s story from the point of view of — and in the words of — its women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, working poor, and immigrant laborers. Here we learn that many of our country’s greatest battles — labor laws, women’s rights, racial equality — were carried out at the grassroots level, against steel-willed resistance. This edition of A People’s History of the United States features insightful analysis of some of the most important events in this country in the past one hundred years. Featuring a preface and afterword read by the author himself, this audio continues Howard Zinn’s important contribution to a complete and balanced understanding of American history.

    How to Race Bait – H/T Matthew Cooke

    Skippy…. we now return you to your regular programming.

  18. Skippy

    A People’s History of the United States: 1492 to Present
    Unabridged Audiobook


    For much of his life, historian Howard Zinn has been chronicling American history from the bottom up, throwing out the official version taught in schools — with its emphasis on great men in high places — to focus on the street, the home, and the workplace. Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States is the only volume to tell America’s story from the point of view of — and in the words of — its women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, working poor, and immigrant laborers. Here we learn that many of our country’s greatest battles — labor laws, women’s rights, racial equality — were carried out at the grassroots level, against steel-willed resistance. This edition of A People’s History of the United States features insightful analysis of some of the most important events in this country in the past one hundred years. Featuring a preface and afterword read by the author himself, this audio continues Howard Zinn’s important contribution to a complete and balanced understanding of American history.

    How to Race Bait – H/T Matthew Cooke

    Skippy…. we now return you to your regular programming.

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