Links 8/27/15

Cat Circus Looking for a Tour Assistant (Chicago)  Craigslist. This is the best Craigslist ad ever.

Grumpy Cat is getting a wax statue at Madame Tussauds Daily Dot

‘Dismaland… where all your dreams come true’: Banksy releases dark trailer for his bemusement park as ticket website crashes Daily Mail. “The children are seen skipping out of the castle as their parents clutch their faces and weep behind them.”

Dudley Puts The Kibosh On September Tim Duy’s Fed Watch. Sun Slated to Appear in East.

Goldman Looked Back at How the Fed Usually Reacts to Declines in the Stock Market  Bloomberg

Wall Street Laundering Derivatives Trades Through Europe To Avoid Dodd-Frank Shadowproof (timotheus).

BlackRock buys ‘robo-adviser’ to woo millennials FT. Big Swinging Bits.

Social is dead: What 146 startup pitches showed me about the next wave of tech companies Business Insider

Inside the Fight Over Bitcoin’s Future The New Yorker

Amazon Curtails Development of Consumer Devices Wall Street Journal

Oil Industry Needs to Find Half a Trillion Dollars to Survive Bloomberg

The fate of US fracking might rest with the Colorado Supreme Court Business Insider

Mr. Market Has a Sad

U.S. Stocks Come Charging Back Wall Street Journal

Asia stocks up as Wall Street rally calms markets, dollar surges Reuters

Bears falter on uncertain European equities markets FT

The market has a massive structural issue to worry about Business Insider. ETFs.

Funds scramble to assess computer glitch FT

More Oddness In Funds: Pricing Glitch Hits NAV Calculations Barron’s

Mini flash crash? Trading anomalies on manic Monday hit small investors. WaPo. “It makes me wonder if a guy like me has a fair chance or not.” I shouldn’t laugh….

What do we know about non-bank interconnectedness? Bank Underground

The antidote to economic anxiety is better government David Cay Johnston, Al Jazeera


China’s ‘major correction’, charted and extrapolated FT Alphaville and China’s Stunning Stock Market Moves in One Huge, Annotated Chart Bloomberg

There are two market slumps: only one matters Sidney Morning Herald (EM).

On China, and Preventing the Financial Runs of August Econbrowser

Why worries about China make sense Martin Wolf, FT

Political Risks May Foil Economic Reform in China NYT

China Brings Back High-Risk Debt Structures to Increase Leverage Bloomberg


Greece’s Tsipras Rules Out Most Potential Coalition Partners NYT

Greece says deal with Germany’s Fraport should be completed in March Ekathimerini

Ernst & Young study: Impact of Grexit – the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ scenario Keep Talking Greece (RS).

‘Bad bank’ path worn by Ireland and Spain looks steep for Greece Reuters

What the ‘new intergovernmentalism’ can tell us about the Greek crisis LSE Comment

Labour must clean up the mess it made with PFI, and save the health service  Jeremy Corbyn, Guardian. Crazy talk! (PFI is the “Private Finance Initiative,” used to finance new hospitals because Tories and Blairites — sorry for the redundancy — would rather fork over fee fees to banksters than, well, just about anything, including the delivery of health care to sick people.)


There’s Something Rotten in Lebanon Foreign Policy

‘We’ and ‘You’ LRB

Inquiry Weighs Whether ISIS Analysis Was Distorted NYT

Virginia Shooting

Two Roanoke journalists killed on live television by angry former colleague WaPo. Who videotaped the killing as he did it, then put it on Facebook, after which it went viral.

The Reason You Saw The Virginia Shooting Video, Even If You Didn’t Want To HuffPo. Thanks to the stupid money and craven executives at Twitter, who decided Twitter should have autoplay, just like Facebook, a first-person shooter’s real-life snuff film showed up in a lot of people’s Twitter lists. Thanks, guys, for something we can’t unsee!

After Shooting, Alleged Gunman Details Grievances in ‘Suicide Notes’ ABC. Breitbart likes the “race war” part. But then there’s also the male escort part. I put this sad story in the “going postal” bucket,  but that won’t be an especially useful narrative for the usual suspects.

Virginia gunman was told by TV station to seek medical attention, memos say Guardian

Wal-Mart to stop selling AR-15, other semi-automatic rifles Reuters

US gun industry is thriving. Seven key figures. Christian Science Monitor (PL; 2012).

Ruling Makes It Harder For U.S. To Charge High FOIA Fees To Media, Nonprofits Shadowproof

Obamacare is facing another big threat: accounting Quartz

Class Warfare

Our Forgotten Labor Revolution Jacobin

The continuing criminalization of poverty: Milwaukee driver’s license suspension policy sows despair WaPo

All ground beef eaten in U.S. contains food poisoning bacteria: Study reveals dangers if meat is not properly cooked Daily Mail

A chicken sandwich cannot be copyrighted, court rules Ars Technica

Bean Counters to the Rescue Foreign Affairs

Almost None of the Women in the Ashley Madison Database Ever Used the Site Gizmodo

Savage Love Letter of the Day: Forgiveness and Ashley Madison’s Innocent Victims The Stranger (CL)

Links about big bad data Mathbabe. Very nice roundup.

Google will have a massive influence on the 2016 presidential race Business Insider

The poohsticks formula that ensures you winnie! Engineer says the perfect stick for the game is thick, dense and as rough as possible Daily Mail

Testing, Testing The Awl (GU)

Why I Am No Longer a Measurement Specialist Education in Two Worlds

Antidote du jour (C):


C: “I took this picture of a fawn in the North Sea dunes not far from here on Sunday.”

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. sd

    At minimum, there would have been an engineer in the video truck who was watching and sending the live feed to the newsroom. The feed was coming into the newsroom, so there was an engineer at that end as well. There would have been others in the chain who had access to the live feed also, any of whom could have grabbed the footage.

    1. abynormal

      wasn’t there a law charging the viewer of a murder snuff film as an accomplice?

      Westray: Have you ever seen a snuff film?
      Counselor: No. Have you?
      Westray: No. Would you?
      Counselor: I would not.
      Westray: …You might want to think about that the next time you do a line.
      The Counselor

    2. PaulHarveyOswald

      Not necessarily. I worked for a small market CBS station in the early 1990s. We sent out camera guys *alone* with the live truck on a regular basis. And there was no one back at the station monitoring the feed, unless you count the director working the video switcher for the live running show. Now as far as recording the live show, yeah, we recorded every news show (at the time on VHS) for our library, and anyone had access to them at any time. On top of that, reporters and camera ops recorded their work for their own reels.

  2. MikeNY

    Re Tim Duy and the Fed.

    Let’s get rid of all this obfuscatory pseudo-scientific claptrap about dual mandates and such, and just rephrase the thing as follows, in the interest of simplicity:

    The purpose of the US Federal Reserve is to guarantee perpetually rising equity markets.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Jackson Hole, comrade: it’s the Burning Man of the ZIRPmeisters.

      Today they’re discussing the dismal state of inflation forecasting, which is about as advanced as medicine was in the days of blood leaching.

      Mechanical methods just can’t handle the regime change which occurred between the Great Inflation and the Great Moderation that commenced in 1981.

      Inflation-indexed Treasuries (TIPS) give a market-based reading of inflation expectations (1.15% yesterday). But during the Lehman crisis, somebody dumped TIPS like Venezuelan junk bonds, sending breakeven inflation plunging to an implausible -2.24% in Nov. 2008. Market-based measures are just too volatile for central planners, who appreciate well-damped, gentlemanly behavior in economic series.

      Today’s state of the art is expert forecasts. Consulting an ‘average of eggheads’ appeals to PhDs. But the experts didn’t see this year’s commodity calamity coming. Now what can the Fed do about the unwelcome skunk at the garden party of a deflationary shock? Sadly, nothing, other than clutching their purses and taking a whiff of smelling salts. Ah, that’s better!

      A native shaman could suggest a remedy: sacrificing Greenspan and Bernanke by hurling them bodily into the Yellowstone caldera. This would guarantee seven years of prosperity.

      1. jo6pac

        A native shaman could suggest a remedy: sacrificing Greenspan and Bernanke by hurling them bodily into the Yellowstone caldera. This would guarantee seven years of prosperity

        Will it be on pay-for-view or u-tuby?

        1. craazyboy

          The event will be filmed by the Fed, given to Jackson Hole attendees as a door gift, and the attendees can then determine the pay per view price for the general public.

      2. MikeNY

        Yeah, I know.

        I need to i) take a Valium, and ii) take a page out of Grantham’s latest letter: yes, they’re boobs, but someday the regime will change, after the arrant bankruptcy of this one is apparent even to the most titanium-craniumed economics PhD.

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        “[S]acrificing Greenspan and Bernanke by hurling them bodily into the Yellowstone caldera”

        An excellent method of restoring “confidence,” placebo effect or no, but why no C*Os?

      1. susan the other

        because they do not make profit, only absurd fees…so somebody tell me: what’s the diff between absurd profits and absurd fees?

  3. JTMcPhee

    Ukraine agreed to a restructuring deal with creditors after five months of talks, giving President Petro Poroshenko some breathing room as he seeks to avert default and revive an economy decimated by a war with separatists backed by Russia.

    Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko reached an accord with a Franklin Templeton-led creditor committee that includes a 20 percent writedown to the face value of about $18 billion of Eurobonds, the first of which matures in less than a month. The agreement also pushes back redemption dates by four years and sets interest at 7.75 percent on all maturities, according to an e-mailed statement from the Finance Ministry. Russia is being offered the same terms as private bondholders. Bonds surged the most on record.

    “It’s been a very difficult five months,” said Jaresko, a Chicago native who was given Ukrainian citizenship when Poroshenko appointed her finance minister last December. “I’m confident that the markets will receive this quite well,” she said in an interview on Wednesday.”

    … but no Jubilee for the mopes who make up the 99+% of the population in the land area denominated as “Greece,” I do have that right, right?

    At least the Fokkers ( who run things don’t have the people living in the happenstance of geography called Greece, on the one hand, and the people living in the happenstances of geography called Macedonia and Turkey and Cyprus, on the others, all busy killing each other and turning their dwellings and communities and Real Economies into rubble in which the snipers and anti-tank gunners can play hide-and-seek and capture-the-flag with “‘enemy’ air assets” and “armor,” using real munitions happily supplied by the Fokkering Idiots who actually run things,, and how about that neoliberal victory documented here, “Horses for sale in Ukraine’s privatisation drive,”, wherein it is written that

    Ukraine’s government intends to privatise some 340 state-owned companies in the next few months in a sweeping programme that officials hope will reduce inefficiency, halt billions of dollars in losses and strike a decisive blow against corruption.

    The programme’s authors have set an ultimate goal of selling off the more than 2,000 businesses belonging to the government, leaving only 15-20 “strategic” enterprises, like railroads and major utilities.

    The present privatisation drive will see an array of companies placed on the auction block – including power plants and various agricultural concerns, that will affect more than one million people who work at them and untold numbers in the communities where they are based.” Hahahahahaha…

    And in case one forgets the elements of the Narrative,… Tribes with flags — Fokkering Stupid Humans…

    1. financial matters

      Ukraine is a good example of the combination of neoliberalism and counterinsurgency.

      Christian Parenti warns about the the combination of neoliberalism and counterinsurgency as both being essentially violent ways to control populations and limit social cohesion.

      “Counterinsurgency is especially destructive because it attacks the social fabric. Like the revolutions it seeks to suppress, counterinsurgency intentionally attacks and attempts to remake the social relations of a place. In the process, it helps set off self-fueling processes of social disintegration.

      COIN targets — pace Foucault — the “capillary” level of social relations. It ruptures and tears (but rarely remakes) the intimate social relations among people, their ability to cooperate, and the lived texture of solidarity — in other words, the bonds that comprise society’s sinews.

      Typically, anomie, normlessness, trauma, and lawlessness are its legacy.”

      Of course this depends on what sort of insurgents you’re fighting and if the goal is designed to ameliorate the legitimate grievances of the people or to support a neoliberal agenda.

      1. JTMcPhee

        …and why, oh why, is it that “we” are almost uniformly only involved in and encouraging and arming and funding and initiating and conniving in neolibcon COIN and “other stuff” that is purely about “supporting the neoliberal agenda” and all that sh_t that Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler told us, so very clearly and concisely and from such a depth of knowledge and disaffection, the whole effing shootin’ match is really all about, that “war is nothing but a racket” which in his argot referred to “the rackets” as in the violence and corruption of the Capone and Siegel and Murder Incorporated and CIA type? Wait, wait, don’t tell me! I know the answer to this one…

        The COIN of the realm…

        The Marine’s Hymn

        From the Halls of Montezuma
        To the shores of Tripoli
        We fight our country’s battles
        In the air, on land, and sea;
        First to fight for right and freedom
        And to keep our honor clean;
        We are proud to claim the title
        Of United States Marine.

        Our flag’s unfurled to every breeze
        From dawn to setting sun;
        We have fought in every clime and place
        Where we could take a gun.
        In the snow of far-off Northern lands
        And in sunny tropic scenes;
        You will find us always on the job —
        The United States Marines.

        Here’s health to you and to our Corps
        Which we are proud to serve;
        In many a strife we’ve fought for life
        And never lost our nerve.
        If the Army and the Navy
        Ever look on Heaven’s scenes,
        They will find the streets are guarded
        By United States Marines.

        Lay that up against what the Reds actually wanted to replace Roseanne’s “Star Mangled Banner,” until they actually read the words:

        America the Beautiful

        O beautiful for spacious skies,
        For amber waves of grain,
        For purple mountain majesties
        Above the fruited plain!
        America! America!
        God shed his grace on thee
        And crown thy good with brotherhood
        From sea to shining sea!

        O beautiful for pilgrim feet
        Whose stern impassioned stress
        A thoroughfare of freedom beat
        Across the wilderness!
        America! America!
        God mend thine every flaw,
        Confirm thy soul in self-control,
        Thy liberty in law!

        O beautiful for heroes proved
        In liberating strife.
        Who more than self their country loved
        And mercy more than life!
        America! America!
        May God thy gold refine
        Till all success be nobleness
        And every gain divine!

        O beautiful for patriot dream
        That sees beyond the years
        Thine alabaster cities gleam
        Undimmed by human tears!
        America! America!
        God shed his grace on thee
        And crown thy good with brotherhood
        From sea to shining sea!

        O beautiful for halcyon skies,
        For amber waves of grain,
        For purple mountain majesties
        Above the enameled plain!
        America! America!
        God shed his grace on thee
        Till souls wax fair as earth and air
        And music-hearted sea!

        O beautiful for pilgrims feet,
        Whose stem impassioned stress
        A thoroughfare for freedom beat
        Across the wilderness!
        America! America!
        God shed his grace on thee
        Till paths be wrought through
        wilds of thought
        By pilgrim foot and knee!

        O beautiful for glory-tale
        Of liberating strife
        When once and twice,
        for man’s avail
        Men lavished precious life!
        America! America!
        God shed his grace on thee
        Till selfish gain no longer stain
        The banner of the free!

        O beautiful for patriot dream
        That sees beyond the years
        Thine alabaster cities gleam
        Undimmed by human tears!
        America! America!
        God shed his grace on thee
        Till nobler men keep once again
        Thy whiter jubilee!

        (Not exactly an unalloyed thing of beauty, either, if one reads closely… but a couple of good licks in there…)

          1. JTMcPhee

            Been there. Done that. Imperial 1st Cavalry Division, ’67-68. Rhymed with Marine butt- kicking on behalf of e.g. United Fruit, by lots of new verses…

    2. Yonatan

      “Russia is being offered the same terms as private bondholders”

      The Ukrainians have also made Russia an ‘offer’ that the Russians should pay gas transit fees in advance. These guys live in Wolkenkuckucksheim.

  4. Gabriel

    Re the lrb’s “We and You” piece, can anyone see some approximation of a numerator and a denominator here?

    It isn’t just politicians who are adjusting their positions. A Channel 4 poll shortly after 7/7 found that nearly a quarter of British Muslims didn’t believe that the four men identified as the London bombers were responsible for the attacks, and a similar number thought the government or the security services were involved. Such attitudes of denial have often been on display in the obligatory post-atrocity TV interviews of the relatives of violent jihadists. When Mahmood Hussain, the father of one of the 7/7 bombers, learned that his son was missing and had been filmed with the other conspirators, he responded: ‘No one has shown me any evidence that he did it.’

    As jihadist violence has become more common, parents have become more willing to accept that their offspring were involved. A typical recent reaction came from the family of 17-year-old Talha Asmal, Britain’s youngest suicide bomber, who blew himself up earlier this year as part of an Islamic State assault on an oil refinery in Iraq. Talha’s parents accepted that their son had done it, but added: ‘Talha was a loving, kind, caring and affable teenager. He never harboured any ill will against anybody nor did he ever exhibit any violent, extreme or radical views of any kind.’ This seems to ignore some rather important developments in his thinking. The wider Muslim reaction to Asmal’s death suggests opinions are shifting. While some said the local council and the police were responsible for what happened to him, others blamed jihadi recruiters, likening them to paedophiles. ‘Isis is running a sophisticated social media campaign,’ one local imam said, ‘and the community is concerned their faith is being used by hate preachers and internet groomers to manipulate their religion.’

    First, what?. . . “a channel 4 poll shortly after 7/7″? This? Written by same limey journos who’d laugh at how their American counterparts forced to take Fox factoids seriously. . .

    Second, what? . . .”nearly a quarter of British muslisms believe.” Their description, not mine–besides, I’d ask love to be in the room to ask “excuse please, how nearly is this quarter?”

    What bugs me isn’t the lack of research (life is short and God knows I know journos can fall into this kind of thing under deadline), but rather sheer indifference among people who one’d think might still mind a too-pointed joke by fellow journalists about some too-obvious hack or fabrication.

    Like what a French military attache is said to have muttered while watching the annual maneuvers of the Prussian army sometime during the 1850s (the @TheWarNerd might correct me if I’m getting names or dates wrong), “c’est compromettre le métier”.

  5. Ulysses

    From the WaPo piece linked above:

    “The article cites another study showing that the cost of jailing people for not paying fines is about twice what the court would have collected had the fines been paid. So the policy is not only hurting poor people, but also costing the city money.

    Yet both the Milwaukee and Louisiana stories point out that each time policymakers have tried to change the laws, judges and law enforcement officials successfully lobbied to defeat the reforms.”

    Until we realize that our “criminal justice” system here in the U.S. has devolved into an extortion racket to enrich a small, parasitical class, we will continue to slouch towards an ever more dystopian future.

    The for-profit prison-industrial complex is an obscenity– leading to the creation of the world’s largest penal colony– 5% of the world’s population with more than 25% of the world’s prisoners!!

    1. abynormal

      Another way privates may turf financial burden back on government is by accepting only those prisoners with potentially low health care costs. A graduate student study out of the University of California, Berkley, found that the private prisons housed a significantly greater portion of younger, healthier inmates than its state-run counterpart.

      Other practices of private prisons include contracting out cheap prison labor to large corporations such as McDonald’s at a fraction of the cost of minimum wage workers, to the dismay of potential competitors unable to offer comparable bids.

      But perhaps the most nefarious methods involve contract stipulations that require governments to guarantee a specified quota of prisoners or pay penalties for failure to do so. The practice of aggressive prisoner recruitment by private prisons gained notoriety in 2011, when Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. was convicted of taking bribes in return for supplying a private youth detention center with fodder from his courtroom.

      The Corrections Corporation of America, has seen its profits increase by more than 500% in the past 20 years.

      A psychiatrist who investigated a privately run prison in Mississippi found that the inmates were severely underfed and looked “almost emaciated.” During their incarceration, prisoners dropped anywhere from 10 to 60 pounds.

      ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has stepped up its game to detain more undocumented immigrants – about 400,000 each year – has actually increased the need for private systems as most detainees will linger in the system waiting for court dates for months if not years.

      The three largest for-profit prison corporations have spent more than $45 million on campaign donations and lobbyists to keep politicians on the side of privatized incarceration.
      TruthOut 2013

  6. jgordon

    Not something I’d typically care to comment on, but when I first saw the Ashley Madison story (I’d never even known the site existed till then) I thought it incredibly odd that there would be any females whatsoever on this site. It just doesn’t jive with what I understand of the female character. I couldn’t understand how such a site could operate at all.

    And then the leak data was analyzed and it showed that 33 million guys were chasing 12,000 actual women. With about 5.5 million fake profiles of women thrown in as padding. “Ah, now it makes sense”, I thought. It was all a stupid scam, just like most everything else in our society. And now there are guys out there offing themselves because some of their data was in the data dump. And it should be said that at most they got a few hot steamy moments hiding in a closet with their right hand while looking at pictures they paid through the nose to see.

    Just how many meta-aspects of wretchedness about our culture are being illustrated by this story? This is yet another marker Western society has fallen into fatal degeneracy, and isn’t long for this world.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One explanation, and there are many other explanations, is that, traditionally, there was a price to pay, biologically, for women.

      To some extent, with the pill and other modern inventions, women have freed themselves of that.

      Unfortunately, men have not. They are as desperate as ever, biologically destined to try to impress women, to out-do other men – with money, power, intellect or whatever – whenever possible, to get women to veto others and pick them.

      Biologically speaking.

      In artificial settings, like getting a job, it’s men who are in charge, mostly. And women have to impress men. But biologically, men of today are not too differently from men in caves. Like that male bird, a man is still programmed, genetically slaved, to build a beautiful bower for the woman he desires…even if just temporarily. Over millions of years, and still no progress.

      That’s one explanation.

      Hopefully a better explanation will replace this one.

      1. Praedor

        Naw. That’s the explanation. Humans are identical, biologically, to our earlier cave-dwelling antecedents. Culture does NOT change the basic biological wiring, but is largely restrained and shaped by it. Once recognized you can take steps to consciously correct for undesired imbalances it creates, socially, but you can’t change the underlying reality.

      2. BondsOfSteel

        It’s probably because women have been on the internet before. In case you’ve forgotten, here’s what it’s like for women.

        You log on _any site_ which allows chat and your profile is set to female. Boom… some guys sends you a picture of his erect penis. No hello… just penis. You close the chat. Boom… another guy, another penis pic with a question “how old ru?”. Boom.. the first guy sends another penis pic with ‘!!!!’. You message back, “No thank you”… and that when the insults and death threats start.

        I’m sure that a few women visited Ashley Madison with the hope of finding romance, an ego boost, or some spark that was missing from her marriage. I’m pretty sure they just found dick pics and death threats. They probably were on the site < 5 mins.

  7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Household labor, caring labor, unpaid labor…pretty crazy not counted in the GDP.

    I think if house-cleaning for one’s own house is counted, it would then be classified as a job, not just when one gets paid for cleaning someone else’s house.

    If it is a job, then one ‘hires’ oneself to clean one’s own house.

    Here, then, is where job guarantee = income guarantee.

    One can stay home, care for some family members (children or parents), clean, and receive an income (the government stepping in, in the absence of a private sector cash-dispenser).

    1. Jef

      Beef – Then your “job” will be taxed, collateralized, and you will be required to carry insurance to cover any accidents or lay-offs. All in all good for the economy…such as it is.

      1. different clue


        Thank you for saying what I was going to say. If unpaid labor is pay-value-equivalent measured, it will be taxed. Any and every home garden will also be taxed. Probably taxed high enough to torture the home-gardeners into giving up their gardens.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Speaking of GDP, check out the yawning gap between 3Q estimates of the Blue Chip consensus (2.7%, a couple of weeks ago) and the Atlanta Fed’s nowcast (1.4%).

      If you would kindly step up the pace of your dusting and vacuuming, we can improve this dismal reading.

      *pops a beer to boost the craft brewing industry*

    3. jrs

      However working for Ashley Madison (I mean an actual job at the company in their I.T., accounting etc.) probably is considered a job. I don’t imagine such a tech business employees many but it has to employ a few real people. There are a LOT of BS and useless jobs but that one would have to top the list. But with basic income the economy would collapse!

    1. craazyboy

      If they can rip the faces off their clients just as well as the real GS, why not go with the cheap “1%, 10%” cost brand?

    2. abynormal

      “A Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for the US investment bank Goldman Sachs denied any ties with the Shenzhen company to Bloomberg and said it was “looking into the matter”…deny is the GS Mantra, sooooo

      too funnee:
      “We don’t have any connection with the US Goldman Sachs,” a woman who answered the company’s listed phone number told AFP.

      “We just picked the name out, and it’s not intentionally the same,” she added, before hanging up.

      “Now what state do you live in?’
      Bill Watterson

  8. Gareth

    In the late 1980s I took a grunt level job with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. My initial work involved processing unpaid-fine license suspensions. Once a week a gigantic packet of suspensions would arrive from the City of Milwaukee. It quickly became apparent to me that 90% of them were for black men, based on the street addresses and that police were waging a low grade war on the community, as reflected by the absolutely pissant nature of the violations, such as jaywalking, standing in the roadway, loitering, open container (drinking a beer on your front stoop) etc.. One victim who stood out was an 18 year old, stopped while riding a bicycle and given five tickets totaling $200. He was cited for crimes such as riding on a sidewalk, improper brakes, improper lights and improper reflectors. It must have really made that cop’s day, writing one ticket after another just to stick it to the kid. It’s safe to say that young man probably never got a driver’s license and as a result never had an adequate chance to get a decent job. Another job well done by the Milwaukee police. When it comes to these guys there is no such thing as enough bad publicity.

  9. Praedor

    I’m don’t quite get the kerfluffle among pro- and anti-gun people concerning Wal-Mart’s move to stop selling semiauto assault-style weapons (not just AR-15s) and their add-ons. This move may, or may not, be based on trying to find the “right side”, optics-wise, after a series of mass shootings but, in reality, it’s not a big deal for those who want to own such weapons. First, Wal-Mart was not always in the business of selling them so getting out of the fairly short-term business of selling them is just a big “meh”. Second, these weapons were (and remain) available via other legitimate means (online, via brick-and-mortar gun shops). Finally, I’m glad a cheap-assed store is no longer selling such things at cheap-assed prices to the general/typical Wal-Mart subspecies. Some things shouldn’t be available too easily or too cheaply. It’s not like you can’t go get them with a mere SLIGHTLY more effort (and perhaps expense). Boohoo.

      1. Praedor

        I rarely frequent them so didn’t know…always carried assault-type rifles too? They are emphasizing a new focus on “sportsman”-type guns (generally scoped, bolt-action rifles) now.

        1. JTMcPhee

          …gee, a nice generic description of a “sniper’s rifle.” Like the .308 maybr Remington scoped bolt actio, all lined up on the FBI and BLM people trying to collect unpaid grazing fees, by some MilitiaPatriot in the prone position on that highway overpass…

          Stupid effing humans…

  10. Bill Frank

    Not to diminish from the tragedy of two more victims killed by gun violence, calling them “journalists” is ludicrous. Television reporters are not journalists.

  11. Peter Pan

    There have been several instances were it’s been said that institutional investors would be better off investing in ETF’s and open end mutual funds rather than in Private Equity (fees!) or Hedge Funds (under-performance & fees!).

    After this week’s deluge of computer platform malfunctions (and HFT manipulation?) I’m going to guess that ETF’s and open end mutual funds will not be seen as the answer. The SEC, CFTC, OCC and the FED (forget FINRA) need to investigate what happened and find a way to restructure the stock and futures markets to prevent this sort of event from occurring again. I don’t believe that their solutions to the flash crash of 2010 were sufficient.

    Brokers should be held accountable for the failure of their platforms, which I could still see occurring at the end of yesterday even as the stock market rallied. The CME needs to retool it’s new variable margin algo so that a 5% decline doesn’t cause at least a 100% or more increase in required maintenance margin. There’s nothing like being in a positive position and receiving an end of day margin violation notice. WTF?

    1. Praedor

      The answer has been, always will be, to place a tax on ALL trades (stocks, bonds, currency). Force all trades to be sedate, thoughtful, slow. No more HFTs because the tax prices them into oblivion. Tamp down on spurious panic or outright fraud/rigging because it costs too much to do either.

      Also, funds should be hard-bound to their portfolio performance. If funds lose money, then they should ALL see pay cuts. If the market tanks, they should see their fortunes tank along with pension funds and various other corrupt “retirement investments”. Bring and end to the situation where traders make money no matter what the market does.

  12. hidflect

    “There are two market slumps: only one matters”
    “Confused? The sharemarket volatility shows that you are not alone”

    It’s not confusing. To be nasty-realist about it, a crash in China has almost no effect because China is the factory labourer in this global economy, not the end consumer. To use an analogy; My local shoe shine boy bets big on the market and loses his life savings. That just means I won’t be seeing any price hikes from him in the near future. But if the Dow wobbles? Well! It doesn’t look good if my best customer just keeled over clutching his heart, does it?

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      “… a crash in China has almost no effect because China is the factory labourer in this global economy, not the end consumer.”

      That view seems the most logical.

      China’s faltering economy is being cited as the CAUSE of economic turmoil/downturn in the rest of the world. It makes far more sense to see it as the RESULT.

  13. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Why worries about China make sense Martin Wolf, FT

    According to Mr. Wolf, it “makes sense” to worry about China because:

    –they have a “casino” stock market that relies on “the greater fool theory,”

    –massive “investment” as a percentage of a suspect GDP number has produced pitifully low “growth,” and

    –they have insufficient domestic demand and seem unable to generate “enough.”

    When those same conditions prevail in the u s of a, the economy is variously referred to as “strong and healthy,” “in robust recovery” and “the cleanest dirty shirt…..”

    Unmentioned by Mr. Wolf is the HORROR being expressed in this country’s financial press at the CHINESE government’s INTERVENTION in the stock market!!!!!?????

    I don’t get it.

      1. Peter Pan

        Well thank goodness that the USA government would never intervene in our stock market / sarc-off.

        Our stock market has been in a state of irrationality for almost all of 2015, if not earlier. This was due to the Fed meddling and the debt issuance for stock buy backs as mentioned previously by Michael Hudson. This week our stock market went from irrational to totally insane. I suspect the big boys sitting on the beach in the Hamptons were phoning in sell orders to unpaid interns manning the controls at the trading desks. Of course, this was done to force the Fed to sit pat and return the stock market to a state of irrationality. Got to get that big executive bonus, don’t you know.

        The China stock market was obviously a bubble, most probably because the Chinese government intervened in easing debt issuance. The developed country’s financial press is ignorant bordering on stupidity.

  14. craazyboy

    “Currency Depreciations Don’t Boost Exports as Much as They Used To”

    “‘Beggar Thy Neighbor” stops working when all your neighbors are broke!

  15. craazyboy

    One more day like this and by the end of the week we’ll be able to conclude that a China collapse is bullish for markets!

    Fixed up the VIX data too – Minsky can rest easy knowing that complacency is not an issue anymore.

    1. craazyboy

      Things are worse than they appear

      China officially announced they are selling treasuries to support the yuan. Actually, they have sold $315B already, mostly in the past few months, but still have as many as a trillion$ left.

      The only way the math works is that financial outflows[demanded in dollars] are greatly exceeding trade surplus inflows – a new and unusual situation for China the past 15 years or so.

      One might say a whole QE could go to wherever the bank accounts are [Singapore?] for the newly minted Chinese oligarch class – that got their wealth hollowing out US manufacturing fair and square. Well, ghost cities too.

  16. Daryl

    > The fate of US fracking might rest with the Colorado Supreme Court

    I don’t really get this article. It seems more like the fate of Colorado fracking rests with the Colorado Supreme Court. If other state courts choose to cite their decision, that’s their prerogative, but it’s hardly guaranteed, no?

  17. Gio Bruno

    RE: Pooh sticks

    Hmm, lots of assumptions in that formula for “best pooh stick”.

    Seems to me, then, that the best shape would be a cube. The best density would equal the density of the water and the best location to drop the “stick” would be after a visual inspection of the water currents below. (Rivers and stream currents flow unevenly in 3-dimensional space.) The best color (need to ID your stick) would probably be yellow/orange (unless the river is the Animas passing through Durango, CO).

  18. ewmayer

    Re. “The Reason You Saw The Virginia Shooting Video, Even If You Didn’t Want To” – not those of us who stay the hell away from ‘social’ anything in the tech world. One of the many benefits of neo-ludditism, which I define as being tech-savvy enough to know which tech one doesn’t need. Here’s a handy checklist:

    1. Non-smart mobile phone (mine is a vintage 2005 Samsung candybar phone which I only turn on 1-2x per day to check messages and if I need to place a call);
    2. Linux (or pre-v7 OS X, if you must use OS X);
    3. Quiet browser settings: No autoplay-anything, no popups, no animations unless I say OK, no Flash unless I say OK, no JS or cookies unless I approve on a site-specific basis. I also disable image rendering by default, and only enable the WiFi in short ‘bursts’ to load several pages and/or send offline-composed e-mails.
    4. No ‘social’ (NC comments are as close to social-media as I get);
    5. No ‘smart’-device spyware in one’s home;
    6. If you must own a car, own a dumb car with an actual key ignition and door locks;
    7. No biometric anything;
    8. Use your credit/debit card only for larger purchases if possible. That includes maxing out your cash-back at stores offering it (one of the few reasons I still occasionally visit Whole Paycheck is their generous $100 cash-back limit; I’ll buy a loss-leader item like bananas to get that, so I figure I’m costing the WF douche-CEO money). Use said cash for small purchases;
    9. Fight back against the pervasive encroachment of the work sphere on your home life! Unless it’s literally life-and-death, why should you need to be on call 24/7?
    10. Prefer to read and answer e-mails offline. Let the answered ones sit in you Outbox for at least an hour before re-enabling your Intertubes access and clicking ‘send’.

    Other suggestions from fellow neo-luddite NC readers welcome!

    1. different clue

      If your boss gives you the choice of being on call 24/7 or getting fired, and your boss offers the only jobs in town, what do you do?

      1. jrs

        I am on call 24/7 but not all the time, all the time would be much worse. Yes, I know it’s not a great situation as is. But it is a requirement for the job. The machinery must be maintained above all. The people, not so much so.

        1. jrs

          And as for why it’s necessary even when it’s not life and death, because the internet is up 24/7, the global marketplace happens 24/7 etc.. It directly flows from such social changes as the internet. An employee against the entire nature of the internet if that’s what is being suggested is a David vs Goliath battle if ever there was one.

          The 24/7 encroachment is really not just because workers lack empowerment these days and so employers can abuse them. Yes, that’s true and doesn’t help any and in a better world such tasks would be shared among more people and have tons of comp time etc.. But the technology and globalization are the most basic drivers of it.

    2. Ulysses

      These are all great practices. If you haven’t yet read the novels of John Twelve Hawks, you are in for a real treat! We all live in a glass fishbowl, but it does feel better to render the glass at least slightly opaque…

    3. different clue

      As long as people owe any money at all to anyone for anything, they can’t do a thing about it. If someone is somehow able to be debt free ( zero student debt, zero car debt, renting-not-owning so as to have zero mortgage debt,etc) then just maybe IF! said someone has job skills/credentials/other attractions so attractive to employERS that said someone can refuse to take the job unless it involves being ZERO on call, carrying ZERO pager, etc.; then that someone might well make that a demand for a job to be worth taking.
      If it is seen to work for one such essential “someone”, then other essential someones can
      try making it work for them. Perhaps it could become a cultural movement. An #NoBellhop! movement. An #NoElectronicJobTethers! movement.

  19. ewmayer

    Re. the Conflict Over Water In Central Asia piece, I would have posted this as a comment, but they are disabled for this piece:

    The math here cannot possibly be right – if you divide ’13 billion terawatt hours of electrical power per annum’ (= 1.3 x 10^21 watt-hours) by the number of hours in an annum (= 24*365) you get a continuous-power rating on the dam of 1.4 billion gigawatts, the equivalent of nearly 1 billion Hoover dams operating at peak (= 2 GW). I suspect an extra billion sneaked into there somehow.

    1. ewmayer

      Gah! Now for my own typo: 1.3 x 10^21 should be 13 x 10^21 (or 1.3 x 10^22). Luckily my linux-bc shell in which I did the continuous-power computation shows the correct inputs, 13*10^21/365/24.

      This is almost as difficult as pointing out someone else’s grammar/spelling errors without making at least an equal number of one’s own in the process. :)

  20. PQS

    Thanks for the Cat Circus Ad. With everything else in the Links and on the tube this week, I needed that dream just to stay vertical.

    I’m ready. I can lift 50 pounds. I like cats, groundhogs, chickens, and rats, too.

  21. ewmayer

    Another goof: “Should the dam be completed, it would impound almost 14 square kilometers of water, severely restricting the badly needed flow into Uzbekistan and likely devastating the domestic cotton trade.”

    That flow reduction is only while the catchment basin behind the dam is filling – once it’s full, we are back to ‘whatever flows in must flow out’ mode. If periodic flooding is a problem in the region, it might even be mitigated by using the dam to buffer the flow surges. (Such flooding would also be a perfect time to fill the catchment basin.) This does mean that the Uzbek president was wrong in calling it a stupid project, but let’s at least get the stupid right, as it were. This increasingly sounds to me like a lost opportunity for a win-win for both sides due to failure to cooperate, a point also made by the author in closing.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Reservoirs greatly increase losses to evaporation and absorption (into the ground), so less flows out than in. In dry areas, like the Colorado, the losses are substantial.

    2. different clue

      Of course spreading that much water out to dry in the desert would lead to greater overall net-net water losses due to evaporation. Also, is this river a glacial-rock-dust laden river at least during parts of its annual flow? If so, is that waterborne rockdust part of the nutramineral budget on which riverside farmland depends for fertility maintainance? If so, what happens when the big dam traps all the nutramineral silt behind itself, leaving none to flow downstream to re-mineralize the riverside farmland?

    1. jrs

      Who are the woman’s pics of though? Do women on AM have pics? Can’t have 5 million “models”. They maybe used pics from a real dating site or social media. That’s kind of alarming too, really more alarming than anything else perhaps, when you think of it. Here must be women who know nothing about Ashley Madison with their pics on Ashley Madison.

  22. gordon

    Corbyn’s article on the UK National Health Service and PFI points up the enormous influence the City of London has on UK politics. Corbyn is the first politician for a long time who seems prepared to propose things the City might not like.

  23. different clue

    About that fecal matter in the ground meat study . . . I wonder if the study-conductors bought custom-ground shinola meat from boutique butchers, or only bought corporate mainstream ground shitmeat from big mainstream suppliers. It would be good to know who each and every one of the 300 sources of the purchased meat is, and everything about the size, scale and sourcing of their meatgrinding operations.

    If any such study was done before the Age of Reagan, one wonders what results that study found? My impression is that the amount of shit in the meat went up after Reagan reduced the number of inspectors, and the amount of shit in the meat went even more further upper still after the Clinton Administration introduced HAACP, which meat inspectors tell us stands for HAve A Cuppa Coffee And Pray. HAACP is about inspecting the “safety compliance paperwork” inSTEAD of inspecting the meat itself.

    The campaign to cook all ground meat to a dead dry gray inside is part of a long standing Information Operation and Psychological Warfare Operation being waged by the USDA and others against the American hamburger-eating public on behalf of Big Corporate Shitmeat. It is designed to make the sickened victim believe he/she is guilty for not cooking the shitmeat enough to autoclave the shit which is mixed into the meat. My response would be: if Mainstream Corporate Ground Meat is now a Class A BioHazard, why would I permit it into my house? I wouldn’t and I don’t. If people want ground shinola meat, they may be able to get it small-batch or custom ground from a boutique meatmarket butcher. If they can’t even get it that way, they will either have to grind their own meat at home in their own hand-cranked grinder, or give up ground meat altogether.

    Or they could eat dead dry grayburgers cooked according to Corporate Fascist FrontPig government guidelines, if such be their pleasure.

    Or they could indeed go vegan. That way there won’t be a trace of meat or shit in their Roundup-Soaked soybeans.

    1. ambrit

      For those of us who don’t have “forty acres and a mule,” look up the prices of ‘organic’ food versus ‘factory’ food. Even food has become gentrified.

      1. different clue

        Yes, it has. If one wants shit-free meat, one pays for the privilege. Of course, if we could reconquer the government and reverse the Reagan-Clinton Revolution against meat safety, restore all the missing inspectors, abolish HACCP and restore genuine inspection; then mainstream meat would go back to being as safe as it was before Clinton-Reagan.

    2. jrs

      Well you can use an electric grinder, no need for a hand cranked grinder, yes I know that’s how the doomsters would have it but we don’t live in that apocalypse now.

      Yes organics are expensive, but depending on where the acres are it can be a very cheap deal compared to buying the acres (land now that’s expensive).

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