Links 9/24/15

Baseball legend Yogi Berra dies at 90 BBC. EM’s favorite saying, “Predictions are hard – especially about the future.” Mine is “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.”

Russia exhumes bones of murdered Tsar Nicholas and wife BBC

U.S. judge rules copyright for ‘Happy Birthday’ invalid Reuters (EM)

Schoolgirl who invented a new cheap and fast test for Ebola triumphs at The Google Science Fair and wins $50,000 scholarship Daily Mail. Google stumps up for only one year at a top school?

Government outlines ‘smartphone state’, via Uber and blockchain Wired


A Big Bet That China’s Currency Will Devalue Further New York Times

CHANOS: Here’s why China got so bad in 2015 Business Insider

China offers huge rewards for U.S. companies like Boeing. But it could also take that business away. Washington Post

Tech chiefs put brave face on Xi meeting Financial Times. What do they expect after installing spyware in their products and services? That gave China the perfect excuse to do what it wanted to do regardless, to shut out Americans.

Let’s develop a Plan B for Europe! Links (Sid S)

The Anatomy of Brazil’s Financial Meltdown Bloomberg

Refugee Crisis

Divided European leaders meet to devise plan to tackle refugee crisis Guardian

As Europe Wrangles Over Migrants, Reality Moves Faster New York Times

EU refugee summit in disarray as Donald Tusk warns greatest tide ‘yet to come’ Guardian

Cameron’s Animal House

Exposing the Honourable Member: David Cameron’s Social Media Roasting Counterpunch (Chuck L)

Non-twat wondering why he is in ‘Chipping Norton set’ Daily Mash


My Opinion on Syrian and Turkish Developments Sic Semper Tyrannis (Chuck L)

The Saudi-Led Coalition’s Crimes in Yemen American Conservative. Resilc: “The Saudis and their allies are doing this to try to conceal the fact that ‘The vast majority of civilian deaths and injuries are the result of airstrikes by the U.S.-backed Gulf coalition,’ and they will likely be successful.”

U.S. and Its Coalition of Mid-East Dictators Kill 13 Times More Yemeni Civilians than Al Qaeda George Washington

Senior Saudi royal urges leadership change for fear of monarchy collapse Middle East Eye

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

US government hack stole fingerprints of 5.6 million federal employees Guardian

DEA Operating Surveillance Aircraft Fleet Over U.S. and Abroad Instapost

Imperial Collapse Watch

Democracy Has Departed The West Paul Craig Roberts

Manufacturing Neoliberalism: How the Council of Foreign Relations Marketed Global Capitalism Counterpunch (Teejay)

The CIA’s Torture Defenders American Conservative (resilc)


Volkswagen chief quits over emissions scandal as car industry faces crisis Guardian

Volkswagen CEO Likely to Get $32 Million Pension After Leaving Bloomberg (resilc)

VW’s Clean Diesel Ads Now Make Us Feel Dirty New York Magazine


Volkswagen Case Spotlights Lawmakers From Competing Auto Manufacturing States International Business Times


Hillary Clinton’s lead over Biden and Sanders slips among Democrats, poll says Guardian

In South Carolina, Trump lashes out at rivals Associated Press (furzy mouse). At my remove, this has stopped looking entertaining (not that I ever liked watching an out of control id, mind you) and is staring to look peevish and defensive.

No, Marco Rubio, Climate Change Is Not Just a Business Problem Charles Pierce, Esquire

CBO: Defunding Planned Parenthood Increases Government Spending Reader Supported News (furzy mouse)

Elizabeth Warren’s truth in sentencing bill for corporate crime just passed the US Senate Vox (furzy mouse)

Chicago mayor pushes massive tax hike over crippling cuts Reuters

Police State Watch

Video Shows Cops Pulling Guns on Indiana Couple Driving to Hospital to Give Birth VICE

U.S. holiday season in 2015 could be weakest since recession: AlixPartners Reuters (Li). Consistent with our tea leaf reading yesterday.

The Zero Tolerance Generation Pando (Gabriel). Important. Be sure to read the next two articles in the series. Also unlocked only for a short while, so catch it while you can.

Private Equity

Just Another Factory Closing Atlantic

Will Yellen Give in to Wall Street’s Interest Rate Tantrum? Fiscal Times

Guillotine Watch

Martin Shkreli: A new icon of modern greed Washington Post

Class Warfare

As San Francisco rent skyrockets, even employed people are homeless MarketWatch

Americans Are Paying Way Too Much On Rent, And It’s Only Going To Get Worse ThinkProgress (furzy mouse)

It’s a fact: Robots replace humans nearly in every professional field! failed evolution

Campaign for a “Worker Bill of Rights” Puts ALEC in Spokane’s Crosshairs Truthout

Why Is College So Expensive if Professors Are Paid So Little? Nation

Education Gap Between Rich and Poor Is Growing Wider New York Times. It’s not an accident.

The Future of Work: Workplace Dystopias, and How to Respond Pacific Standard (Chuck L). Note I don’t agree with the proposed remedies, but the problem definition is well done.

Antidote du jour (martha r):

ghila monster and crab

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Gabriel

    PS on unlocked Pando pieces on “The Zero Tolerance Generation”: I was floored on first reading the series and rather impulsively unlocked the whole thing, despite the fact that Wed-Thu not terrific for people to do long reads. Will re-unlock (hopefully complete set–last part hasn’t come out yet) on Friday.

    Oh, and a PPS: May I, as a foreign, long-in-the-tooth millennial with very few reasons to feel pride either in peers or nationality, very politely ask any baby-boomers who might be reading: What on earth happened to your generation?

    1. James Levy

      The idea that some jobs involve a certain level of danger or that we should collectively accept a little danger so that we can enjoy or more free and easy life has been rejected by too many, Right and Left, in favor of the “play it safe” mentality that gets lots of people shot by the cops and makes our soldiers call in air strikes and artillery where a quick rush and a few well-placed rounds could more than do the trick.

      It’s been pointed out ad nauseam that modern Americans are terrible at assessing risk. Most people probably are most of the time. It has only become worse because the scientific, engineering, and business communities have let us down too often and either soft-peddled or pumped up risks rather than use their methods and abilities to ascertain them. Now, we don’t trust anyone, so we want maximum protection (or, ironically, to be free do deny that there is any risk at all). We have the tools to make sound judgments. What we lack are the character and honesty to assess risks intelligently and speak truthfully about them.

        1. Schnormal

          i wonder if lambert would consider adding this to his collection of core ideas.

          i think it’s related to the diff between the golden rule and the silver rule, an important
          distinction (the first requires agency, the second requires caretaking the space in which good agency can occur).

          for me these ideas have a very interesting sub-linguistic, spatial aspect, and i wish i had more time to think them through and comment further, but i’m at my day job, where we live by the iron rule ;)

        2. quixote

          What the hell happened to our generation? Mainly the fact that what’s considered “typical” of the 1960s really wasn’t. Yes, there were thousands of forward-thnking freethinking hippies who dressed funny and had hair. But we were merely memorable. We were always nothing but a leading edge minority.

          Nixon wasn’t joking about the “Silent Majority.” They really existed (exist), and they really do support any policy that looks like it might put more money in their pockets. I.e. people then were the same as people now.

          All that’s happened is that has become more obvious with time.

          1. night-Train

            You nailed it fellow boomer. While the free love crowd was dancing around in San Francisco and Woodstock, I was working my way through school. When you hadn’t tuned in and dropped out, there was little time left to change the world for better, or worse. I also have a theory that a lot of so-called hippies were really fashionistas following the latest fad. And being the type people who moved with the in-crowd, when the action on Wall Street go hot, that was their new “thing”.

      1. micky9finger

        Being the self proclaimed 1st babyboomer, born in October, 1945, I wanted to comment for myself.
        Maybe we got tired. A list came to mind.
        All the presidents since Eisenhower.
        Especially the Republicans but not exclusively.
        John Birch, early Goldwater, civil rights, Viet Nam, 1968 and the Chicago convention. The assassinations, Nixon, Watergate, hippies, back to the land, world population, pollution…
        You get the idea.
        We got tired. Decided to mellow out.
        It’s all yours. Take over.

    2. Romancing the Loan

      They just seem to have collectively collapsed in defeat all at once in the 70s and buried themselves in rationalizations ever since. I wonder if it was the assassinations or something else. It is certainly very hard to talk to our parents generation about politics.

      1. abynormal

        They collectively collapsed…like in Pompii?
        it certainly is understandable why it’s very hard to talk to Your parents about politics!

        “Every generation welcomes the pirates from the last.”

        Lawrence Lessig

    3. Synoia

      What on earth happened to your generation?

      I’m a boomer. I also ask that question. I do not have an answer, only a theory,

      Debt. Nothing my parents bought was anywhere as expensive as my cost. Housing, cars, etc.

      1. night-Train

        Maybe my view is provincial, but when my friends married, we rented until we could afford to buy what were called starter homes. Places not nearly so nice as those of our parents. Later on, if able, we moved on to better digs. And those who went to college lived in dorms (ugh) or apartments constructed of cinder blocks with the same floor plan and design, available in almost any college town. Working on a major university campus 2000-2010, I noticed that student housing had become more of what we aspired to educate ourselves to be able to afford. I also noticed that my friends’ kids expected to buy right out of school and to be able to live in as nice or nicer homes, with all the amenities, as the homes in which their parents and grandparents lived. Debt. I think our boomer generation’s biggest failure was not instilling wise financial practices in the younger generations. And indeed some of us set bad examples.

    4. Pepsi

      Zero Tolerance means one thing, the ceding of all control to undemocratic institutions. It usually comes in the guise of rules made by commissions accepted by boards appended to in special sessions for special circumstances.
      Not only do you lose the right to mediate your problem with another person, you lose the right to imagine that as a possibility. You will internalize control of every possible type or you will be made to comply!!!!!

    5. David

      IMO, there has always been zero tolerance for the lesser people (outsiders, minorities, poor). I don’t see it as a generation issue.

      Thanks for the article.

      1. Daryl

        Zero tolerance refers to a specific phrase/policy that became common in education in the 90s/00s. Basically the idea that it’s too hard for teachers to think about and appropriately, proportionally discipline immature behavior so best to call the cops instead. And of course it sometimes gets called on for no reason at all and disproportionately against minorities because that’s just how we roll.

        1. Gabriel

          I spent too much time yesterday on psychotic overreactions to cheap points so I failed to notice your very good comment, Daryl, until its way too late and you’ll probably never read my reply. In the odd chance you do, however, your point reminds me something that *somebody* (I really hate that I can’t remember who) said in a recent This Is Hell! interview about how one argument to explain (not excuse) police is that they’ve been asked to fill all these spaces that social welfare of one kind or another once used to fill, as a general strategy of saving money (or not spending money in politically-dangerous ways) by making the state’s social policy a matter for the police.

          Least helpful link ever, but, if you’re interested (or haven’t come across this excellent radio show), check out past eps here,

    6. wbgonne

      What on earth happened to your generation?

      An excellent question with a complicated answer. My short-form response is that Boomers rode the wave of American Empire and internalized all the attendant jingoistic nonsense (vicious capitalism, virtuous America, etc.) that was then used to conceal the fact that the wave was crashing into the shore and the tide was going out. When things started going south we retreated into our illusions. (For example, there is no global warming because combatting global warming might interfere with our primacy.) Self-deception engendered by being too long at the top. Hubris.

      1. wbgonne

        Obviously, things get more complicated. The Boomers’ allowed — and eventually encouraged — the political system to be hijacked by Golden Calf worshipping sociopaths. Why? The absence of meaning. When the Boomers annihilated the old shibboleths in the 60s they were unable to produce effective substitutes. (One example: the sad, listless end of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters as recounted in Tom Wolfe’s Acid Tests.) That void was filled with the ideology of greed, which then worked symbiotically with government (hello, neoliberalism) to install that philosophy as America’s guiding principle, which we then rammed down the throats of the rest of the world after the Soviet Union collapsed. While this may explain how the American political system became so corrupt, once it was corrupted it became animated and turned on the American people themselves, like a cancerous tumor; i.e., the Shock Doctrine turned inward.

          1. wbgonne

            I welcome disagreement but I’m not sure how the Hersh piece is contrary to my hypothesis. Yes, corporate power has increased exponentially, abetted by corrupted government authority. The question is why this happened (and continues). My suggestion is that once the standard forms of meaning were obliterated during the 60s a void was created when the Left could not posit suitable replacements. That void was filled by greed. If the suggestion is that this was not a random development, I agree: there were people who had been waiting since FDR to swoop in and make the Golden Calf the American idol. They got their chance, I suggest, because there was no viable alternative presented. Listen to the Pope: he gets it.

            1. lindaJ

              When the pope holds a garage sale of his gold, tapestries and fine works of art, not to mention his villas AND the vatican, etc., to raise the standard of living of his flock, i might turn up my hearing aid.

              1. wbgonne

                This Pope is making the Catholic Church relevant for the first time in decades. The Catholic Church is becoming a leader in combatting global warming, which is the scourge of humanity. If each person in the world contributed accordingly we’d be in good shape. And — notwithstanding your snark — this Pope is also moving the Catholic Church back towards the core teachings of Jesus Christ. They are providing for the poor, they are accepting refugees, and they are encouraging others to do so. There is a long way to go but give the man some credit. Rote cynicism isn’t the answer.

                1. Gabriel

                  wbgonne, re the Pope, if you’d have bet me 15 years ago that a compatriot of mine who was, additionally, a Jesuit (I know that in some ways they’re better, but in others that people from Catholic countries will recognize they can be that much more worse) would become such a revolutionary (with a small ‘r’) Pope, I would as sure as f*ck have lost that bet.

        1. truthaddict

          wbgonne, you hit the nail on the head as to the boomer contribution. But, imho, this is the same old story of the rise and fall of; empire, society, culture, take your pick. A natural cycle in which we all must play our part. It is tempting to point fingers, assign blame and truly this mess started before any of our times. There can be no trough without a peak, if progression were linear and stable, humanity as we know it would not exist.
          Nothing could have stopped the entropy of our nation once we reached our pinnacle. I believe the most important lesson this humble GenXer has learned is to put away all the uber-capitalist propaganda we were force fed and realize we are simply along for the ride and ultimately have no control over externalities.
          Also, stop watching television as it is nothing but brainwashing and there is no one that can fix this this so stop empowering lunatics (Presidents, etc.).

          1. wbgonne

            Absolutely agree re: the mindset of those who live in a collapsing empire. They are ripe for manipulation because they are befuddled. That said, the United States could have chosen a different path. We could have tried to lead the world on matters like global warming and capitalist excess. Had we done so we may have prolonged our leadership role as the world ushered in a new era of cooperation. Instead we chose global exploitation, which empowered the corporatists to the point that that now they, not we, are in charge.

        2. Gabriel

          This is fascinating–my weird cod-oxbridge prose notwithstanding, was in my 20s when I moved to this country, so I’m actually not trying to be cute when I ask this kind of question.

          Perhaps I might rephrase your point about the absence of alternatives as, “none of the alternatives available seemed to interest that generation”? Mark Ames has masses of NSFWCorp pieces on how people just lost interest in the Church/Pike Committees, etc., perhaps because (not to dig myself into a deeper hole re generational hypotheses, because their “normal” had been defined in a very Spielberg-y 50s way?

          1. wbgonne

            I thought your question was perfectly apt. And, yes, that’s what I meant:

            none of the alternatives available seemed to interest that generation

            There were alternatives when the Oil Shock came in 1973. The country might have decided right then to move away from fossil fuels. We could have continued on a Leftist course. But we didn’t. We panicked. Recall the horrified reaction to Jimmy Carter’s “malaise” speech. Americans were a privileged people and the Boomers grew up in a time of empire, becoming richer than their parents without even trying. Watching the ground shift beneath one’s feet is disconcerting for everyone but those at the top have the most to lose, so the easy answers the Right supplied were happily swallowed. It’s even worse today but the American Empire is so obviously in decline that there is a ragged, ugly quality to the propaganda. Nothing ennobling. Just ignorant resentment and impotent, inchoate anger.

      2. myshkin

        Top ten explanation for what happened to the baby boomers:
        All the avenues of escape were dead ends
        They got co-opted by the only game in town.
        Done in by the greatest generation, their parents.
        Profits and sages stomped, assassinated, arrested.
        Followed leaders
        Failed to watch parking meters
        There are no cookie cutter generations, just the herd
        They did not drop out
        When they did drop out they dropped too far out
        Didn’t keep their high on

        1. Carla

          If only it had been profits that were “stomped, assassinated, arrested” and not prophets. Unfortunately, in fact, it was the latter.

      3. sleepy

        I’m a boomer and don’t feel I did any of those things.

        You seem to believe that boomers had the world in the palm of their hands and could shape the future any way they chose to. Hardly.

        1. wbgonne

          Up until 1970 the world was America’s oyster. We were the Roman Empire. When things began to go haywire we devolved into greed because — I suggest — no viable alternative was presented. And when the Soviet Union collapsed we had yet another chance. Yet once again we chose the path of greed, partly for the same reason (lack of viable alternative) and also because, by then, the corporatocracy had arisen and began forcing the results it wanted.

          1. shinola

            Suggested read:
            “Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas” (book, not the movie)

            Hunter S. Thompson had an early take on the boomer situation.

        2. Lambert Strether

          That’s because you didn’t.

          I suggest “I identify as a,” in this instance, can be substituted for “I am a,” without loss of generality and with an increase in precision.

    7. say_what?

      What on earth happened to your generation? Gabriel

      Let’s step back and ask “What on earth happened to your parent’s generation?”

      And the answer is the Great Depression which certainly blighted and warped the lives of many of their parents. The children naturally rebelled but ultimately could not escape the banking cartel themselves. How could they when it is a fiendish trap?

      1. Jim Haygood

        Apparently, Boomers’ parents accepted that the nuclear bombing of Japanese cities was an act of mercy … and that the Nuremberg trials (for acts that the U.S. commits every day in Syria and Yemen) were a triumph of objective, disinterested justice.

        ‘American exceptionalism’ is the two-word answer to the question. A permanent national security state, whose raison d’etre is resisting amorphous threats, requires a zero tolerance mentality.

        As Oliver Stone said, we aren’t under threat; we ARE the threat.

        1. Lambert Strether

          You mean like the New Yorker editors who devoted an entire issue to Hersey’s Hiroshima? Or Hersey, who wrote it? Or the school teachers who made sure students read it?

          “Boomers parents,” forsooth. I’m surprised to see a smart person like Haygood not merely fall for a doubly steaming load of crap like that, but actively propagate it. Since Haygood can’t possibly believe this, it’s tendentious, which is doubly odd.

          To review: A category like “Millenial” assumes that a child of the Walton family and a child of from East Ferguson are more alike than different, because they were born in the same year. It also assumes that there’s very little opportunity cost to categorizing them that way, as opposed to other ways (economic class, race, gender, etc.).

          1. flora

            The terms Boomer and Gen X and Millenial are advertising terms.

            Edward Bernays has a lot to answer for.
            ” THE conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.
            We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. ….”

              1. jrs

                But the social milieu isn’t the only thing that shapes a person. That’s silly. No I don’t agree with this argument it’s way too broad to make any sense (so a rich kid and a poor kid have the same experience because generation?). People are shaped by a lot of individual circumstances, their parents (who may not even be the of the same generations as their peers depending on when they had kids in life!), their class, their early adult experience etc.

                1. EmilianoZ

                  Ian Welsh has been quoted here countless numbers of times. I wouldn’t reject what he says so lightly.

                  1. abynormal

                    with respect, i’ve quoted Ian Welsh plenty on NC. imho, he did take this particular subject lightly. i agree with jrs…the variables are infinite.

                    1. Lambert Strether

                      The variables aren’t infinite, but they are certainly large. And in terms of the subject area of this blog — “finance, economics, politics and power” — if generations were the dominant variable, so-called “Millennials” (and so forth) would have their offices on K Street (modulo anything astroturfed and funded by Pete Peterson and his ilk).

                  2. Gabriel

                    Sorry to spam your reply (is that possible? this my first comments-fight) but, reading the post you linked I find, as one so often does, that Ian Welsh was there way ahead of us (or those at least of us for whom January 2014 counts as “way ahead,” as the case may be–minding my p’s and q’s now),

                    In the 90s we grow up in helicopter households, under stifling levels of supervision unknown to previous generations.

                    1. Lambert Strether

                      “this is my first comments fight.”

                      Evidently, or you would not have made the orifice-oriented comment that you did. (The door to #piggate is that way.)

                      I let it slide, (1) because I figured you were a novice, and (2) (pro-tip mode here) because I felt it would help discredit your case.

                  3. Lambert Strether

                    That’s a two-fer:

                    1) Argument from authority. In fact, we don’t link to Welsh randomly; like so many of us, there are topics where he’s good, and topics where he’s awful, this topic falling into the latter bucket. Here are Yves’s views on the matter, in The Three Card Monte of Generational Warfare. Do consider reading it.

                    2) Question-begging. Saying that “JRS” is responding “lightly” doesn’t make it so; you need to show why. JRS’s comment seemed well-reasoned, to me. Perhaps that’s why you felt yourself unable to respond to it?

                    1. Gabriel

                      (1) “Glad to find Ian Welsh my side,” I said in a reply to someone who very helpfully and unprompted pointed out the link, and your reply is “teacher, teacher–isn’t he using one of these ‘arguments from authority’ it says we can’t use here”

                      (2) Interesting, as you like to start sentences, that you relentless textual analysis missed the fact that “lightly” was said by EmlianoZ (I agree with him, clearly, but I didn’t say that) and not I.

                2. Kurt Sperry

                  Not only that, *families* have generations; large populations don’t. If world births were synchronized so they occurred only on every ~eighteenth year, then OK. I reject the arbitrary lumping together of people into these constructed boxes made for them. It’s lousy math.

              2. Gabriel

                Very belated thanks for the Ian Welsh link. As you might have gathered from an overlong and “often heated” comments thread, I didn’t know quite the buzz-saw I was stepping into by deploying, in a one-line question, idea of “generation.”

                “We did not seek this fight,” as my compatriot Perón said, but, finding myself in it, I’m glad to see from your link that I’ve got Ian Welsh on my “side,” to call it something.

              3. VietnamVet

                I also believe in generations. There was a distinct break between the crew cut Silent Generation of the 50’s and long haired Boomers of the late 60’s and 70’s. Groups of humans do share culture, language and common experiences. The mutiny against the Vietnam War did have one distinct effect. The elites realized in the nuclear age that they no longer needed society to fight their wars. They could hire mercenaries. The people exist solely for the privileged to exploit. Outsourcing, union busting and offshoring were the result. The world is different place for those burdened with paying off the debt for their education than those who graduated relatively debt free a few decades ago.

                1. Lambert Strether

                  It’s not a question of “believing” in “generations,” any more than its a question of whether “Disco sucks,” as opposed to the music of the fabulous sixties (or the bobby sox era).

                  Broadly, the subject matter of this blog is “finance, economics, politics and power,” so the question is “Do generations have agency?” Can they exercise power? Political power, financial power?

                  My answer is no, they can’t. And I think one error of the New Left of that day is that they thought that generations did have agency. This error (if indeed it’s an error, and not a lie) persists to the present day in the Democratic Party’s version of identity politics, in that they hope to appeal to “youth.” (Contrast Sanders, appealing to everyone with concrete material benefits like single payer, or free tuition — which would indeed genuinely benefit everyone.)

              4. Lambert Strether

                You save me the trouble of quoting the problematic character of Welsh’s post.

                1) First is the open question-begging, “Unless you believe that the experiences people have don’t shape them.” Well, the vagueness of “shaping” aside, the issue on this blog is whether generations being shaped translates to generations having agency. And of course, they don’t. We don’t say “the generation born in 1840 won the Civil War,” or “the generation born in 1890 fomented for the Bolshevik Revolution,” or the “the generation born in 1016″ took over England with William the Conqueror,” and for very good reason: They didn’t, and couldn’t have, since generations don’t have agency.

                2) Second is the category error evident on threads like this one. Welsh argues that generations “have” character, which I suppose I can accept, along with another notoriously notoriously sloppy form of analysis, “national character.” I suppose in the hands of a sensitive anthropologist doing thick this desciption, this might work.

                But that’s not what happens on threads like this. Stuff like this does:

                What on earth happened to your generation?

                The category error here is shifting from generations “having” character, to generations “being” characters; in other words, to being agents, having agency. Jason, in his comment, addresses a generation, as if one could do that, and demands an accounting from it, as if that could be done. It can’t, because generations, not being agents, cannot be addressed and cannot give accounts.

                The category renders the comment, and subsequent comments accepting its assumptions, vacuous.

                1. EmilianoZ

                  OK, let me quote from the Ian Welsh article I cited:

                  They were complicit, they chose to vote racism and fear, they chose to vote, again and again, for tax cuts which hurt the weakest amongst us. They backed three strikes laws, they ate up Reagan’s bullshit about Welfare Queens.

                  Character is destiny, for nations, individuals and generations. And character is formed by the experiences we have.

                  It is really about actions, agency. “Character is destiny”. To be, to do, it’s the same thing. Lao Tzu, Sartre, ….

            1. Lambert Strether

              Nit pick away, but my advice would be to read the thread carefully so you don’t subtract value from the thread by responding in ignorance.

              With “you mean,” I was responding to Haygood’s comment on “Boomers parents,” immediately above, so my comment had nothing to do with the so-called “Boomers.”

              You will also note that with “you mean,” I’m questioning Haygood’s categorization, not accepting it.

              1. Gabriel

                Oh, I’m sorry, I was deceived by the topic sentence of your post being “You mean like the New Yorker editors who devoted an entire issue to Hersey’s Hiroshima?,” so clearly age of Hersey and Shawn irrelevant

                Apologies for, sorry, have to look this “subtract[ing] value from the thread by responding in ignorance,” unlike you guys who decided to pronounce anathema on such outcasts as I and a number of others who found, perplexingly, a use for the idea of “generations.”

        2. Oregoncharles

          My father, who was on a destroyer in the Pacific, believed that the atom bombs saved his life – that an invasion of Japan would have cost huge numbers of American casualties. He was quite a well-informed person.

          I don’t agree; the record shows that Japan was already trying to surrender – but that didn’t come out till later. There’s a particularly nasty theory that the Bomb was really meant to warn the Russians, who responded accordingly and built their own.

          1. jrs

            That’s what my WWII father and he served but stateside (don’t ask me how he managed to pull that off, not wealth, maybe IQ) always told us: “the record shows that Japan was already trying to surrender”.

            What he believed in 1945 I don’t know, I wasn’t around until decades later. So we’re now blaming a generation that didn’t even have information to know better to a large extent because it was so censored and hidden at the time. But he never once believed in my lifetime it was justified. And btw why two cities not one? They wanted to test several types of bombs I suspect. Well that’s a nasty theory.

            1. todde

              The fact that the military tried to overthrow the emperor seems to throw somw.some doubt on how.eager Japan was to.surrender.

              I suspect many moves and counter moves on all sides were in play on the final days.
              My dad was on an island in the Pacific but never said much about it

            2. optimader

              My dad was on a hospital ship – The Traquility which participated in a very large logistic effort preparing to evacuate casualties that were expected as result of the Japanese mainland.

              The troops being committed to that invasion were basically told to put their affairs in order and be prepared as they were likely not going to survive. And these guys, many of whom survived the Island campaign were going to go into that maw but were spared as a direct consequence of the bombs.

              War sucks, and the consequences in the end are always terrible. That is the nature of the Dogs of War.

              So IMO, the historical revisionist-apologists that were NOT there are entitled to their armchair pontifications about what an ENTIRE generation thought at the time, and that’s about it. I do know there were many many many people that were the pointy end of the stick who, on the other hand thought they were reborn when Japan finally surrendered sooner rather than later due to the incontrovertible evidence that they were done.

              To me it is distasteful to second guess people’s sensibilities at the time, particularly those who literally had skin in the game.

              Tales from the Hospital ship? As bad as you’d ever want to hear. Always loved the name of his ship tho, the best in the Navy.

              1. nnight-Train

                My dad was set for the Pacific in 1945. May be why I am able to be here now. He didn’t have to go. And it is important to consider, that many of the troops to be used in an invasion of Japan were in Europe. They rightly believed that they had performed their duty and were none to happy with the prospect of more fighting and dying. The Army actually feared mutiny if they ordered them to the Pacific Theater. Another factor, little discussed, in the bomb decision.

        3. optimader

          Apparently, Boomers’ parents accepted that the nuclear bombing of Japanese cities was an act of mercy
          link? A triage calculation, an inevitability perhaps, an act of mercy? Congratulations, I’ve never heard this version of rewritten history before and I’ve heard a few.

          and that the Nuremberg trials (for acts that the U.S. commits every day in Syria and Yemen)
          link? –Don’t need to drill too deep.. start with the boxcars of civilians to the camps and the gold fillings
          were a triumph of objective, disinterested justice.
          “objective” trumps “I feel”, so, solid objective link?

          1. Lambert Strether

            Sort of amazing to see “Boomers” used as, er, short-hand for “decision-makers in the Truman adminstration.”

            Maybe I should just give in to the unequal struggle and start ranting about Millennials, their goddamned backward baseball caps and rotten work ethic and shallow solipsism. Is there a reason I don’t do that? Yes. Not because I can’t imagine saying such things, and not because I do not believe it, but because it cannot be believed. It’s a nonsense, vacuous.

    8. diptherio

      Since Lambert doesn’t appear to be around yet, I’ll do the honors — generations do not have agency.

      1. abynormal

        yep, right after he cleans up the coffee from his smashed mug…he gone let’r rip!

        “Deep under our feet the Earth holds its molten breath, while the bones of countless generations watch us and wait.”
        Isaac Marion, Warm Bodies

        1. Lambert Strether

          Which is why most forms of generational analysis are vacuous. They were, of course, originally marketing tools. It’s not surprising that when activists try to use marketing concepts for better purposes, the tools break.

      2. susan the other

        Capitalism had no chance but that didn’t stop the elite who banked on it with a vengeance. In order to force capitalism on this country and all the others a massive amount of twisting was required. And in its wake real solutions were disregarded. There certainly is a threshold to any idea that is a self-serving blueprint for profit making. And it was totally denied. Many people in the boomer generation, and our parents’ generation were sacrificed as it became harder and harder to make a profit. Now we see the end game.

      3. Gabriel

        I begin to see why some people find the idea of “synecdoche” so illuminating.
        “Athens went to war against Sparta,” “Ha! I wish lambert was around to say how urban areas don’t have agency.”

        1. Lambert Strether

          Another category error; this is beginning to be a trend.

          Athens as an urban area did not go to war.

          Athens as a polity very much did. You’ve heard of democracy? That is how Athens the polity exercised their agency. Please show me the equivalent exercise of political power for Millenials, or Boomers. It’s important, since your argument depends on it.

    9. Uahsenaa

      So, I would be of the first generation when zero tolerance policies went into effect, high school/junior high in the ’90s, and, at the time I recall it being implemented basically without any justification whatsoever. No reason was given at school board meetings, the policies were simply one thing one year and something else entirely the next. But even before that (’80s), I recall in elementary school having elaborate behavioral evaluations. Half my grade school report cards comprised subject grades and the other have a checklist for “behavior and discipline” graded good-satisfactory-unsatisfactory, and the teachers/staff were pretty keen on using these completely hackneyed assessments to carve up classes into groups based more or less on how docile the children were. The strictly obedient ones got to do things like read on their own, do algebra, work with the more tactile learning apparatus, while the fidgety or “disruptive” (read: bored) got to sit perfectly still at their/our desks reading out loud from a dry social studies text. I even recall getting detention once for not going to a party one morning for a returning teacher and instead sitting in my classroom working on chess problems from Bobby Fischer’s book. Basically, the irony of public education, as I experienced it, was that you were only ever made free to express yourself so long as you demonstrated a marked unwillingness to do so.

      1. Bridget

        As a former school board member, I can tell you that it had nothing to do with local school boards and everything to do with state mandates. At least in Texas. For your reading pleasure:

        My take is that the ever increasing intrusion of the state into local disciplinary rules coincided with the effort to decrease drop out rates. You keep a bunch of kids in school who aren’t doing well and don’t want to be there, and you are faced with a lot more discipline problems. Plus litigation if you are not even-handed in meting out the discipline. The result is administrators who don’t really want to exercise discretion and zero tolerance is a cookie cutter answer.

        Regarding the boy with the clock… is generally violation of school codes of conduct to bring, not just contraband, but also facsimiles of contraband to school (toy guns, oregano in a baggie, clocks that look like guns).

      2. Gabriel

        First- and least-importantly, your point about the ‘the fidgety or “disruptive” (read: bored)’ reminds me that now they medicate kids for that.

        Second, thanks for awesome comment.

        “Basically, the irony of public education, as I experienced it, was that you were only ever made free to express yourself so long as you demonstrated a marked unwillingness to do so”

        As Borges might have described it, “the agreeable if rather banal charm of narrative symmetry.”

        1. Gabriel

          You probably won’t read this, Uahsenaa, but I meant “most-importantly.” My cod-Oxbridge double-negatives often f*ck me up this way.

    10. Jason

      What on earth happened to your generation?
      I shall put forth my two cents as well. (I’m a gen-X er myself.) I think that, in addition to the above two big things happened:

      First, most of them grew up in a world where, by historical standards, the only risks were beyond comprehension (nuclear war) or trivial (random accident). This warped their ability to understand risk (which humans are already bad at) beyond repair, something that they have transmitted to their children.

      And second, they (we) have become obsessed with process to reality-distorting levels. “If we just have the right regulations, the right plan, the right laws, the right approach, if we read the right book, or wear the right clothes, or go to the right school and get the right job everything will be okay.” This goes along with the loss of ability to understand risk and probability, the loss of responsibility, and the loss of ability to even make decisions. Americans are terrified of making the wrong choice.

      1. Lambert Strether

        “What on earth happened to your generation?” Nothing. “Things” don’t “happen” “to generations.” The edges of generations are too fuzzy for a question like that to make any sense. “What on earth happened to people who dress in blue on Thursdays” is just as sensible a question.

        Pitiful to see people falling into the trap, and actually identifying with this sh*t.

        1. Gabriel

          Really? So nothing about historical experience of a generation can usefully inform inquiry into decisions cross-sectionally enacted or at least accepted by members of that generation? Well I’ll do a Walter Sobchak and say “I did not know that.”

          I expect most NC readers are as aware as you are that “generations” idea ginned up by marketers and now deployed by Social-Security-cutters like the Peterson Foundation, but it’s something else to claim that shorthand reference to such as “this sh*t”.

          “What was it about European intellectuals in the 1930s?” “Pitiful to see people falling into the trap, and actually identifying with this sh*t.”

          1. todde

            Generations have shared experiences and therefore some . commonality.

            I would.expect wwii survivors and or great depression would be very different from the Vietnam generation and our current post 9 11 generation.

              1. todde

                So… more of a zeitgeist then?

                something that defines the time if not the people?

                To rephrase the original question, what happened to the ‘spirit of the time’?

                perhaps it is more of a philosophical question than anything else. The answer, I suppose, is people with power influenced others into a new way of thinking.

          2. Lambert Strether

            An adroitly done shifting of the argument. We began the thread with this question:

            What on earth happened to your generation?

            which I think we can all agree — right? — is a vacuous question.

            Your reductio ad absurdum changes the terms of the argument like this:

            What was it about [1]European [2]intellectuals in the 1930s?

            As others on the thread of pointed out, more variables are needed to remove the vacuity, and so your comment adds two (I’ve helpfully numbered them).

            Your comment also shifts from “generations” to “in the 30’s,” thereby removing the notion of generation from the discussion entirely, since obviously intellectuals in the 30s could have been born at widely differing times; Freud, Benjamin.

            Does the class of “European intellectuals in the 30’s” have agency? I doubt it, though they may have had historical effects. If some European intellectuals were to be placed in a cultural or institutional settings, I’d imagine so. But of course that’s very far from the original, and vacuous, question.

        2. Gabriel

          I can’t wait for lambert’s curated “Great Books” collection. Say, eg, its entry for “Homage to Catalonia”,
          “Geographical or administrative areas cannot be homaged… Many people in Catalonia actually supported the Francoist regime Orwell was fighting against…Pitiful to see people falling into the trap, and actually identifying with this sh*t.”

    11. Alex morfesis

      Nazis, Donahue, Cosmo, the Star, Murdoch, Oprah, and they Don’t make grandma’s like they used to…we let in 50 thousand Nazis into America after the war…they infiltrated all parts of our lives…they brought cocaine into America’s life and their Vichy cousins brought in the heroine…people think they “know” things because they watched some pop psychologist promoting a book on tv…and know about how “men” are, or how “women” are even though they have probably never kissed more than 20 people in their lives, let alone more than that…but “they know”…and what is your sign…because you have no control of your life…it is all “written in the stars”…(or the Koran, or the bible)…and best not worry about tomorrow cause “the end is nigh” with the ice age and now global warning…and salt and butter, and calories and cholesterol, and trans something or other…and asteroids, and space aliens, and the secret, or not so secret Methodist, Zionist, Presbyterian conspiracy with zombies and reptiles and Hollywood casting couches that only allow white producers to use and abuse because those shape shifting negroes can bend around bullets and their built in body armour requires at least ten bullets to stop them…and voodoo and zombies and Jim Morrison dying on the same day his father decommissioned the vessel used as an excuse to start the Vietnam war, and Don’t you dare visit the home in Clearwater he spent time growing up in…cause “they” might get ya..

      Life has devolved into a set of distractions and neutertainment focused on keeping folks unbalanced and afraid so that it easier to force krap via advertising and marketing onto a compliant public…blame color tv…or all the grannies spending their grandkids college fund money on one more lyft and tuck

    12. Katniss Everdeen

      What on earth happened to your generation?

      Ronald Reagan happened. (And Jimmy Carter did not.}

      He created the first domestic boogeyman with his invented-from-whole-cloth, cadillac-driving “welfare queen.” His incredibly undeserved political success in exploiting non-existent “threats” to our “way of life” from americans who did not “do what they were supposed to do” set “zero tolerance” off to the races.

      And, as the politically expedient “threats” multiplied, it was just a short jump from unacceptable behavior to intolerable behavior. Add in his constant yammering about “shining cities on the hill” and its not hard to see how a self-described exceptional people came to believe that they must take exceptional steps to maintain their exceptional “way of life.”

      As the “way of life” continues to self-destruct, the only remedy seems to be “zero tolerance” for any perceived challenge. It provides the illusion of control over something that is as out of control as it gets.

        1. Lambert Strether

          Some things did. Deregulation started under Carter. At some point I tried to make a collection of curves that started to flatten in the mid- to late 70s, but the one I remember is real wages, which flattened (pre-Reagan) just when I entered the labor market.

    13. none

      The first piece of the Pando series is unlocked but the second is still locked… didn’t see how to get to the third. I guess I can try again tomorrow.

        1. none

          Thanks! It looks like part IV is up now too (though locked). Do you know how many parts there are going to be? I’m also wondering how unlock thing works, if you don’t mind my asking.

          1. Gabriel

            Yes, part 4 up (and it turns out it’s not the final one, which is simultaneously great and awful for one with as few unlocks left as I have).

            So how it works is that every Pando subscriber gets 20 “unlocks” per month that they can send to other people. Usually this would last for even the likes of me, but this month combination of Ames’ “Murder of Anna Loginova” plus this “Zero Tolerance Generation” series has really broken an unlock economy I’d based on there being two or three (max) worthwhile Ames, Brecher, or Levine pieces on any given week.

            Now as it happens I’m a certified creepy fan of “Gary Brecher aka John Dolan aka The War Nerd” (that’s how he’s introduced in the podcasts by Mark Ames, of whom I’m also a creepy fan, but less so), so I do actually keep tabs on the Patreon (their word) page that’s up for people to help pay the guy, Re subscribing to a magazine (platform, whatever it is) whose regular fare is Silicon Valley gossip the likes of me are probably too poor to care about, I commented,

            I imagine I feel much the same way you do about Pando’s regular fare but, well–look, I didn’t think this was possible but I know from my partner that it is, so here it goes–there are people who genuinely like and subscribe to The New Yorker, despite the fact that in any given issue they’ll probably read only one or at most two articles, and they’re not unhappy with this arrangement. I think of my Pando subscription the same way (and, weekly, I’m getting a far better deal than what my peculiar partner think she’s getting with the occasional *it-pains-me-to-type-this* Adam Gopnik piece).

    14. JTMcPhee

      The boomer age set is no different from any other– has its cadres of people who do good and brave stuff, lots of Nebbishes just trying to get along, and the full range of cancers and parasites that fill out the ranks of the subset of sociopsychopatic monsters that crop up every year, in that set and every other one. We’re consumers of the planet because we can be led around by our limbic systems, by people that include a lot of pimple-faced snotty MBAs and MIT PhDs and all those elite-ers of all ages who have been setting things up for “profitable” global catastrophe since “we” got “civilized” and “sophisticated,” in all the meanings of that word…

      Absent a fundamental universal organizing principle that does not start with the Steve Jobs “i,” odds are that the subsets that self- and selfish-identify will roll us all on downhill, gathering speed until “wheeeeooo,” over the cliff “we” all go.

      But the Shits at the top thank you for furthering the laying of divisive blame as between us mopes, that helps them keep hiding their malignancies and predations so they can live out their grasping, fearful lives in a fog of idiot indulgence and pleasure, immune to any consequences. And with a little luck and a bunch of Funny Munny you and I helped create by creating Reàl Wealth the sh_ts figured out how to leverage and monetize and financialuze and derivative, and hide the theft of our Commons and our now force-fed diet of externalities, the sh_ts will buy virtual immortality and maybe a ticket to new worlds to engulf and burn…

    15. L.M. Dorsey

      Re: what on earth…

      Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era—the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run… but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant.…

      History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of “history” it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time—and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened.

      My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty nights—or very early mornings—when I left the Fillmore half-crazy and, instead of going home, aimed the big 650 Lightning across the Bay Bridge at a hundred miles an hour wearing L. L. Bean shorts and a Butte sheepherder’s jacket… booming through the Treasure Island tunnel at the lights of Oakland and Berkeley and Richmond, not quite sure which turn-off to take when I got to the other end (always stalling at the toll-gate, too twisted to find neutral while I fumbled for change)… but being absolutely certain that no matter which way I went I would come to a place where people were just as high and wild as I was: No doubt at all about that…

      There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda.… You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning.…

      And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave.…

      So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.

      Hunter Thompson became a writer. Most of us became thick-fingered Amercan vulgarians of one sort or another trying (and mostly failing) to cheat a way through to the next weekend.

      1. Gabriel

        Thanks for the HST link. I bounced from the guy *hard* when I tried him as an aspiring argie back in the day (I write devoid of any pride my conclusion, “just one of those Americans, like Pynchon, I’ll have to pretend to people I think are smart why think he’s smart”). I SO MUCH see the point of the guy now. Thanks again for HST link and for not being offended by my talking about generations.

    16. trinity river

      For what it is worth: Some of us who are baby boomers grew up with zero tolerance both at school and at home. Yet it was so accepted at home and school, that there were few who broke the rules. It was explained to me as “because I said so”. I am not defending it and definitely raised my children by a different ethic.

    17. Gabriel

      To elaborate on my reply to the very subtle point that merely using “generations” as a shorthand is evidence of idiocy or bad faith,

      –Postwar French intellectuals were haunted by memory of past military defeat by Germany and present economic-political defeat by the US.
      –Pitiful to see people falling into the trap, and actually identifying with this sh*t.

      Lambert of course, as a frequent and excellent blogger, is used to a more careful, considerate way of saying things. So, OK, so if I may at this very late hour re-phrase my question:

      “What on earth was the shared historical experience of you baby-boomers that might explain why its members (NOT YOU, oh God so sorry–I meant, “people that perhaps you know from shared membership at a high school, or from some other institution of middle learning, that you might now feel free, in the context of a blog post, to talk about in re their decisions about school discipline questions”) might help to explain observations made in the piece mentioned above

      If we’re going to be pr*cks about this, “Sorry if it’s confusing.” A shade more prissily, I’ll invoke Vidal’s

      I generalize, but life is short.

      1. myshkin

        So you persist.
        Well then, it was a group effort across all generations present at the time.
        I might also suggest the old saw; follow the money.
        Also don’t forget something that nearly happened in the Sixties caused the reaction in the Eighties and Nineties.
        Check out the infamous Powell memo as well.

      2. Gabriel

        Generally, Pando unlocks have been a maze for some people (God knows they are for me, “HOWS THE MONTHLY UNLOCK QUOTA CALCULATED!!!”, ahem), so, very distinctly I append below the working links in their full url ugliness:



        And is it too l late to retract my baby-boomer question? Millennials, have you, in your disaggregated individual experience that I for some inexplicable reason find it easy to summarize using the word “millennial,” ever offend members of another arbitrary marketing group?

        1. Lambert Strether

          Hmm. You don’t view aggregating by (so-called) generation as problematic in any way, especially as compared to other methods of aggregation, that this method of aggregation crowds out?

          1. Gabriel

            “as problematic in any way”? No Lambert, I would not think it OK if, e.g., Obamacare, came up with a “What’s your generation?” drop-down-menu option. That, however, was not. . . etc..

            Allow me to needlessly increase my original post’s “offensiveness” problem: Would you be more comfortable if my original post had included a “trigger warning” to its reckless use of “generations”?

            “Hmm..”, so I see you don’t think that it’s a cheap debating trick to argue with the categorical-imperative of a word said an otherwise well-understood context.

            Or, to paraphrase very slightly the great Malcolm Tucker,

            “Generation? Hmm”…? For f*cks sake, I didn’t come in your mouth!

              1. Gabriel

                So I see using “sh*t” to describe someone else’s question does not count as “vehemence.” I did not know that either.

                Go snark at your market garden, please.

                1. Gabriel

                  Esprit de l’escalier (“readers! is there a Japanese word for this?”). Last line of my above, which paraphrased lambert’s above, should have read,

                  Go and listen to “We Didn’t Start the Fire” in your market garden, please.

                  1. hunkerdown

                    What is your actual complaint about Boomers™? Their consumption patterns? Their political conservatism? Their insistence on super-seniority in the bankruptcy liquidation of American society and its institutions, such as they are?

                    Point being, if you ask yourself “why” Boomers™ take such-and-such a stance on something, you likely arrive at a new, more specific category that may have more explanatory power than Boomers™ in relation to the trait in question, and more importantly, more predictive power. Maybe “people who grew up in the Red Scare” gets closer to the operative mechanisms, or not.

      3. Lambert Strether

        As to your two bullet points, I explain here why you can’t use that shovel to dig yourself out of the jam you got yourself into. (You try the same trick here, in different words, where it also doesn’t work.)

        As to confusion, I’m very much not confused. That’s often a benefit of being a “frequent and excellent blogger,”, “used to a more careful, considerate way of saying things.”

        And speaking of careful and considerate, I’m not sure why you feel “NOT YOU, oh God so sorry” is an addition to the discussion? Perhaps you can elucidate. However, it seems to me, again, it assumes exactly what needs to be proved: That generations can be addressed exactly as members of a generation can be addressed.

        Of course, this “shorthand,” as you call it, has a lot of backing from very well-funded and tendentious people, as Yves points out here. That is why what, from the tenor of your remarks, seems like an academic argument to you may be seen by others as framing that has real and damaging political consequences. I think Vidal, as a connoisseur of power, might be more conscious of that than you seem to be.

    18. BEast

      Another problem with zero tolerance: it can send victims of rape and sexual assault on school campuses to the same schools for troublemakers as their assailants.

      It works like this: student reports to principal that she was raped in band room. School administrators decide the sex was consensual. Sexual activity on campus is against the rules. And voila, you have a rape victim kicked out of regular school and sent to same school for violent kids as boy who raped her. Happened a year or two ago in Texas.

    1. Synoia

      Including politics?

      And layoffs (humans cease to be paid, but the debt service on robots goes on and on).

      Robots cannot be fired.

      1. craazyboy

        Guess so. The few anecdotal examples the article relies on to support the “nearly in every professional field!” claim in the click bait title includes what sounds like a Hello Person robot. Easy to mod the firmware to politician there I think. Put money in one hand, shake the other hand. Permanent Hilary smile – without the need for Botox upkeep. Does not shit. That makes things easier too.

        1. hunkerdown

          Maybe we need Senators like that. A staffer pops in to change the auxiliary battery pack every twelve hours and it can talking-filibuster until the warranty runs out.

    2. abynormal

      “The world of the future will be an even more demanding struggle against the limitations of our intelligence, not a comfortable hammock in which we can lie down to be waited upon by our robot slaves.”
      Norbert Wiener, The Human Use Of Human Beings: Cybernetics And Society

      Seriously Norbert?…

      “Humans were still not only the cheapest robots around, but also, for many tasks, the only robots that could do the job. They were self-reproducing robots too. They showed up and worked generation after generation; give them 3000 calories a day and a few amenities, a little time off, and a strong jolt of fear, and you could work them at almost anything. Give them some ameliorative drugs and you had a working class, reified and coglike.”
      Kim Stanley Robinson, 2312

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It pays (better access to resources necessary for survival) when one can pretend one’s a robot.

        To survive, we might all have to act like robots.

        Some robot-imitating genes are favored. Eventually, those with such genes and their descendants win out, and all humans do, in fact, become robots.

  2. craazyboy

    “Will Yellen Give in to Wall Street’s Interest Rate Tantrum? Fiscal Times”

    Does the first 56 times count? Or not?

    1. MikeNY

      Props to the author for equating falling stock prices with “tightening financial conditions”.

      Most certainly that’s how Mrs Magoo sees things.

  3. Emma

    Re VW
    So Winterkorn departs with a $32M pension pot because VW needs a fresh start……
    OK….What about Sepp Blatter then?!
    Frankly I’d sweep the entire Board clean……..
    If you really wanna delete crookies, you gotta hire the crookie monster!

    1. theinhibitor

      Agreed. Its absolutely crazy. However….

      The ETHICS IN ENGINEERING article is just…wow. Engineers might be treated better in Germany, but they aren’t paid better. Germany is much like America in how board members just circle-jerk around the billion dollar industrial co. club. No room for engineers. And lets be honest: these directives of cost-cutting never come from the engineering teams. The process goes like this:

      Eng Mgr: Hey we finished designing the new transmission, we hit all the specifications and the cost is going to be 15k per car.
      Director: Oooh..15k? Didn’t you get the memo? You only have 10k to work with.
      Eng Mgr: Sir, with 10k we can’t hit all the specs. Its not possible.
      Director: You have 10k. *walks away to his plush office with a 70 inch flat-screen and private bathroom*

      These articles are just so…infuriating. I tell anyone I can that engineering degrees merely guarantee A JOB. Engineers rarely have positions of power in companies. The highest position Ive seen at a major car company go to a TRUE engineer (not one of those MBA ‘engineers’) was Global Development Director. He still was 3 or 4 rungs away from being able to make any meaningfully impactful decisions.

      In the GM ignition switch debacle, while an engineer may have changed some part number, I really really really find it hard to believe he just decided to do it without any command from above. In fact, I just frankly don’t believe it. Especially at GM, whose board has had fraud written all over it for years. My company deals with GM on a weekly basis. Worst company Ive ever worked with. Just incompetence all around, the only thing they care about is price. They’ve stolen designs from us and handed them over to competition. They sell prototype cars to the Chinese, so they can make a buck and facilitate the parts being knocked off in China.

      And lastly, for the article to insinuate that the VW debacle is worse than the GM debacle(s) is insanity. One had a defect that actually directly resulted in loss of life. The other sold cars that spewed junk into the atmosphere. But lets be honest, on a global scale (just visit the manufacturing centers of China, Taiwan, Korea, Germany, even America) that slight increase in emissions is just laughable. And at least the CEO stepped down (yes I know, he gets paid to resign. Don’t they all though?). Still see Mary Barra’s cold sociopathic face at conferences. She hasn’t done ANYTHING to show she truly cares.

      American media is just smoke screen and mirrors. “Oh look a BIGGER automotive debacle! Those damn Germans, so much worse than our hard working Americans!”

      BS through and through.

      1. Emma

        What it comes down to really is the same story being told slightly differently the world over. It’s muscle-bound Bigorexia Inc. ‘pummel-trumping’ the rest of us! The Italian historian Arnaldo Momigliano wrote in ‘The Disadvantages of Monotheism for a Universal State’ about the problem of inclusion and exclusion arising from monotheism. Today, we need simply replace his idea of Monotheism, with ‘Moneytheism’.

  4. abynormal

    aby’s favorite wordsmith “You should always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise, they won’t come to
    Yogi Foreva

  5. abynormal

    OucH: The impact on the Gulf state, which relies on oil revenues for 90 percent of its income, has been stark – a Citibank analyst recently told MEE that this year the government would have a 20-percent gap between revenue and planned spending, leaving it with one of the largest fiscal deficits in the world.

    This deficit has led to Riyadh plundering its sizable currency reserves to prop up spending. In the first half of 2015 the government spent $82bn of reserves, reducing savings to around $650bn, according to Saudi investment company Jadwa. With over 10 percent of currency reserves spent in six months the Citibank analyst warned that, without borrowing, the country’s savings could run dry within two or three years.

    not to worry: A friend is known when needed. Saudi Proverb

    sadly, the descendant of the King Abdulaziz of the House of Saud final farewell has been scripted for him:

    All my laurels you have riven away… and my roses; yet in spite of you there is one crown I bear away with me. And tonight, when I enter before God, my salute shall sweep away all the stars from the blue threshold! One thing without stain, unspotted from the world in spite of doom mine own. Syriana

  6. RabidGandhi

    Re: The Anatomy of Brazil’s Financial Meltdown Bloomberg


    El Erian lists various factors that have led to the current Brazil “crisis” (very much in scare quotes): devaluation, the Petrobras scandal, the S&P downgrade (snicker), inflation… of course skipping over the fact that the “socialistic” PO govt has passed three rounds of austerity measures and Dilma has said the beatings will continue until morale improves.

    Dr El Erian’s prescription for Brazil’s ills? More austerity!

    The best way to achieve this would be a series of official decisions… that restore the country’s growth dynamic, contain its fiscal deterioration and reverse mounting inflationary pressures.

    This is in spite of the fact that Brazil has reserves and fiscal sovereignty to engage in significant deficit spending, and given its untapped capacity it should have high inflation.

    Nevertheless reading the glee in the (always reactionary) Brazilian press at each successive event cited by the Bloomberg article makes you wonder how much of the “crisis” was orchestrated by the São Paulo elite, and whether Dilma is a ‘useful idiot’ or a willing accomplice.

  7. craazyboy

    Hot off the press

    JYell will be giving a speech* today on the subject of – wait for it – inflation!

    *speech – a long, verbal, tweet, made in person in front of a live audience.

    1. abynormal

      she should keep it simple: “The US is about to go all Billy the Kid. Inflation is going to keep shooting up.”

        1. abynormal

          just in Chicago Fed’s National Activity Index collapsed from +0.34 to -0.41 (dramatically missing expectations of 0.24)
          FaFaFaFaFaa FaFaFaFa

          “I can tell you what I wasn’t doing when I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to: I was doing what I was supposed to.”

    2. Jim Haygood

      Dunno if has anything to with J-Yel, but not only is Germany’s DAX now down 24% from its April high, but also it’s below its lowest close of late August — the dreaded ‘lower lows’ syndrome. Chart:

      It’s no fun motoring the countryside in your clean diesel if you can only drive downhill. And it’s bloody unlikely that J-Yel’s gonna put a tiger in our tank. Gentlemen prefer bonds.

      1. craazyboy

        It would be really rude if we discovered central banks synched up the biz cycle worldwide, for the second time this century, and now we are gonna do the down part.

        1. Jim Haygood

          A simple ‘recession nowcast’ model that I run is down from its peak in Feb. 2015, but not close to signaling a U.S. recession yet.

          What bothers me is the Fed still talking ‘wannabe hawkish,’ while central banksters in Europe, Japan and emerging markets have worn their ‘0’ and ‘Enter’ keys down to nubs creating fresh (but useless) excess reserves. One is reminded of addicted lab rats, frantically pressing the lever for more cocaine after the experimenters have cruelly taken it away.

          Will J-Yel experience a Damascus road conversion on the highway to Amherst, Mass. this evening? Stranger things have happened.

          1. craazyboy

            Shiller’s 10 year averaged earnings thingy has recently completed a roll over of the same magnitude as his model did pre- 2001-2002 and 2008. It doesn’t have much precision to it, but that’s lookin’ spooky.

            1. Jim Haygood

              Shiller himself gave an interview on Aug. 18th — the week BEFORE the Black Monday smash — saying that “the United States stock market looks very expensive right now.”


              This is the same guy whose book Irrational Exuberance hit the presses in Jan. 2000, the month the DJIA topped out at the crest of the Internet Bubble.

              When Shiller speaks, wise people listen.

    3. Jim Haygood

      J-Yel’s speech concluded quite alarmingly with a couple of long pauses, in which she lost her place, and seemed unable to focus, speak or look up.

      She really looked quite ill. Alka-Seltzer just isn’t strong enough to kill the gnawing pain of rate hike.

      ” … an initial increase in the federal funds rate later this year, followed by a gradual pace of tightening thereafter …[unless] the economy surprises us.” — J-Yel, coughing, staring downward, spacing out

      No-o-o-o-o … not the Benjamin Strong thing all over again …

        1. abynormal

          not if she oooz’d Green slime

          “Evil begins when you begin to treat people as things [or numbers].”

          1. craazyboy

            If that’s the case, they can just patch the leak and top her off with transmission fluid.

            But I think Tim Duy will still have a sympathy stroke.

  8. Bridget

    The Problem:

    “Children from low socioeconomic backgrounds are seven times more likely to have been born to a teenage mother. Only half live with both parents, compared with 83 percent of the children of college graduates.”

    The Solution:

    “The policy prescriptions go beyond improving teachers and curriculums, or investing in bringing struggling students up to speed. They include helping parents, too: teaching them best practices in parenting, raising their pay and helping them with the overlapping demands of work and family.”

    If the problem is teenage and single parenthood, why does the solution not address the problem?

  9. Ulysses

    PCR (in the post linked above) is both concise and accurate:

    “The Wall Street Mentality—unlimited Greed—has taken over American life, and this greed has been exported to Europe, which had achieved a sharing relationship between labor and capital. Today Europe, like the US, is an opportunity wasteland for the young. Greece has been sacrificed for the private bankers, and Italy, Spain, and Portugal are waiting in the wings. In the place of independent European countries, a fascist centralized authority is rising.”

    We must break the stranglehold of the criminal banksters– on all the political systems of the developed world. About the only encouraging development recently is the uprising in Guatemala against Monsanto.

  10. Haven Monahan

    The AP article on Trump was disappointing to say the least.

    We have a GOP candidate basically launching an insurgency against the GOP establishment and all they can come up with is that Trump is lashing out? He’s doing a hell of a lot more than that!

    In South Carolina he announced that for a second time in two weeks a national poll for the GENERAL election has Trump scoring 25% of the black vote. This is a stunning number and will send fear down the spines of establishment Democrats and Republicans everywhere. Typically this number is under 10% for a Republican. Blacks have a long history of nativist economic thought; Trump tapped into this by including Jesse Jackson’s ideas about showing partiality towards US native women and minorities over H1-B’s from India and elsewhere. Not to mention that there are already tension between Hispanic immigrants and black natives and in many large cities blacks are getting demographically cleansed out to the exurbs. Of course 67% of natives are minorities or women so an appeal to nativism is a likely winner.

    And so in a sign of GOP establishment (GOPe) desperation, one of their mouthpieces claimed Carly Fiorina had cut Trump’s balls off in the debate! Actually this was a tactically successful move by the GOPe as it got inside Trump’s OODA-loop and he reacted in a way that seemed to promote PC. We will see how Trump adjusts today but this was the first attack to really leave a mark on Trump. Also last night South Park featured a Trump-like character getting gay-raped to death. But South Park gets to do whatever they want –they were very, very harsh on Hillary a few years back. Trump would be a total fool to take on South Park.

    The AP article fails to mention that Monday night Fox was still promoting a Trump appearance on Bill O’Reilly for Thursday night. Trump announced his boycott of Fox on Tuesday morning. He had been pressuring Fox to stop running the cheap labor Club of Growth attack ads but Fox refused to back down.

    But this is a pretty stunning development that the likely GOP candidate for the Presidency is calling on his supporters to boycott Fox News! On twitter at least many people on the right are supporting this boycott. It will be interesting in a week or two to see if Trump is able to bring their numbers down.
    For the specifics of the article, on the Florida poll it is more interesting to note that New Yorker Trump is beating the combined totals of Floridians Marco Amnesty and Low-energy Bush. Why Trump bothers to pound down on Rand Paul I am not sure; he is no threat, has no support (a 1%er), and is pretty much a total dofus. The cheap labor donor class shills at Fox have been desperately promoting Carly Fiorina but to no avail – she is pretty much single digits in all polls and going nowhere.

    But at the end of the day Trump is like the Bruce Lee character in Enter The Dragon – he has a crowd of flunky GOP nobodies all coming at him and one-by-one he has to swat them away.

    The fear Trump instills in elites is all about the cost of labor. If Trump executes his policies the cost of labor in the US must go up. If you cut the supply of labor by deporting illegals and building a wall – combined with increasing the demand for labor by bringing the factories home through a combination of tariffs and tax policy; then the cost of labor must go up. What is interesting is that Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has an article in the DT that claims the era of deflationary cheap labor is over, and so by implication there is no need to elect Trump. Not sure anyone is going to buy that…

    1. craazyboy

      South Park can and will have a girly man billionaire named Mr. Butters get ganged raped by militant gays any time they want – and a glorious, beard stubbled, Goddess of Capitalism win the hearts and minds of the American People by advocating for WW3.

      But South Park makes shit up all the time. It’s not real. hahahahahaha.

    2. Carolinian

      Great comment. The NYT was slagging the monstrous Fiorina this morning.

      Whatever one thinks of Trump–and I can’t claim to have ever paid much attention or watched his reality show–he seems to at least be better than the assortment of GOP clowns who are running against him. As with Corbyn in GB, the establishment is going to do everything possible to dispose of someone who doesn’t fit the mold.

    1. abynormal

      “Yogi Berra’s wife recently asked, “Yogi, when you die, where do you want to be buried, in Montclair, New York or in St. Louis?” Yogi: “I don’t know, Carmen, why don’t you surprise me?””

  11. MikeNY

    Re SF rents.

    I see people living in their cars around Civic Center, and just yesterday I heard the first story about a $6000 1BR in the Mission, from a couple of people. All I know is that the construction boom is epic here, though little of it has yet come on line. And there’s a little store selling cookies for $3 apiece up the block from me. I think that beats the $5 cupcake, which is now ubiquitous, and was my previous standard for technuppity insanity.

        1. rich

          Thank You Janet Yellen: Miami Beach Condo Sells for $60 Million

          A duplex penthouse at the Faena House condominium in Miami Beach has sold for a record $60 million, the developer confirmed, reports WSJ.

          According to Faena Group’s Alicia Goldstein, the deal, which closed Monday, is the highest price ever paid for a single family home in the Miami area. The prior record was $47 million sale, set in 2012.

          The apartment has eight bedrooms, over 12,500 square feet of interior space and nearly 10,000 square feet of exterior space. On the top floor, there is a 70-foot-long rooftop pool with views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Miami skyline.

          1. Optimader

            Think velocity of money
            I guess they wont wring their hands too much about a $12/month property tax increase.

            1. OIFVet

              What is the value of the property that your number is based on? A $250K residence is expected to get hit with an additional $500 property tax bill. There aren’t many $80K homes in greater Chicagoland. The $12/month you cite is the proposed cost of garbage pick-up fees

                1. OIFVet


                  The $588 million increase will cost the owner of a $250,000 home roughly $588 more a year. It will be phased in over a four-year period, under the 2016 budget that Emanuel will unveil to the City Council on Tuesday.

                  A week ago the trash collection fee bandied about by the Sun-Times was $11-12, so apparently the ever-so-generous corruptocracy in City Hall has graciously rolled back a bit part of this unofficial property tax increase. In any case, the numbers don’t add up to the 12 bucks a month hike you claim, non?

                  I wouldn’t be this incensed if it wasn’t for several factors: First, Rahm’s gumption in attacking Garcia for proposing property tax hike. Second, the fact that a large portion of this hike will make its way to the TIF kitty where it will be used to subsidize Rahmses’ rich developer buddies and the UChicago development spree, what with the O liebarry ushering in the urgent need to gentrify the distressed properties acquired by UChicago in the immediate vicinity of the location. Third, it does absolutely nothing to reign in the corruption that sees most city projects come 50% or more over budget by the time connected insiders have siphoned off their fair share of “Daley bread”.

                  1. optimader

                    Taxes on a $250,000 home would jump $224, assuming the city continues its current practice of using property taxes to fund nearly 73 percent of its contributions to the police and firefighter pension funds. For a $1 million home, taxes would climb $975. Businesses also would be hit hard because commercial real estate pays proportionately higher taxes than residences.

                    If the bill does not become law, Emanuel’s record property tax increase for next year would still be $219 million short of what’s needed to make the required pension payments. Asked if he had a Plan B, Emanuel said, “First of all, if I had a Plan B, the worst thing to tell the legislature is that you have a Plan B.”

                    Under the mayor’s budget proposal, property taxes would be increased $543 million over the next four years — $318 million of it next year alone — to pay for police and fire pensions. A separate $45 million property tax hike would go toward construction projects at Chicago Public Schools to alleviate overcrowding in some neighborhoods.

                    Had Emanuel’s proposed property tax increases been in effect this year, the total property tax bill on a home worth $250,000 would have increased by nearly $342, to $4,504. Over four years, that tax bill would increase by more than $550. Commercial buildings would be hit even harder.

                    1. OIFVet

                      The paragraph you chose to quote from Crain’s is very misleading when taken by itself. The rest of the article makes it clear that the overall increase on a 250K residence is similar to the number reported elsewhere. In any case, that 10-12/monthly increase you cited will apply to a few crack houses in Englewood, perhaps. The rest of us will pay a lot more.

    1. craazyboy

      Well, I guess this means Bay Area folks still have a strong economic preference for indoor living. That’s good.

    2. neo-realist

      Donuts at Top Pot’s in Seattle are going for close to if not exactly $3 each.

      I think we’re another 2 years from $6000 a month 1BR’s.

      1. MikeNY

        Yah, and these aren’t BIG cookies, I neglected to say. I mean, they look just like the Nestle’s Toll House cookies I bake myself… I bet I can bake 12 or 18 for $3…!

  12. paddlingwithoutboats

    Wondering if there is more discussion on student loans financialization, just saw Navient Corp investor discussion rallying for extending the financial maturity dates. Hey, isn’t signing a contract for a loan an agreement including who, what, when, where and how long? Doesn’t this stuff equal breach of contract?

    It seems the new era of Capitalism is not about businesses but about population based subscription extraction. Innovation no. Rule of law is what made capitalism work so well in the U.S. (according to a south American economist who deeply researched capitalism across the world.) Doesn’t dispensing with the rule of law undermine capitalism? Saturn eating his children sort of thing?

    In the page I mention above the reason to extend maturity dates is because of the financial collapse … the recession! So the mechanisms of neoliberalism, or whatever this mess is called, destroys the ability of the food source (us!) to continue to feed the system and the response to this is to extend the system in the hopes that something will change in the behavior of financial elites that allows the food source to again feed the system?

    Page described here:

  13. Optimader

    Re: Chicago’s massive property tax increase :
    $10-12/month/residence or apprx $975/year on a$1MM home as per the two estimates I read (C Sun Times/Crains)

    1. OIFVet

      I don’t think that these numbers reflect the new, unrealistic property value assessments that were completed earlier this year. My home’s assessed value rose 25% over three years? Not bloody likely. Joe Berrios is just another Machine crook who deserves a good kick in the rear end.

      1. Jess

        This is exactly the kind of thing that prompted passage of the sacrament of Prop 13 here in CA. Value of the house I bought from $82.5 in 1978? Somewhere north of $800K. Without Prop 13 I would have been taxed out of the place long ago.

        1. Optimader

          Allegedly in chicago they will be allowing some abatement for retirees and other hardship cases. In the bigger picture property tax in the city is historically low compared to other communities in Cook County so i have read.

          1. OIFVet

            So this will speed up the pushing out of ‘undesirables’ into the far-south exurbs in order to free up space for Rahmses’ beloved ‘creatives.’

              1. OIFVet

                Not as generous as Wall Street golden parachutes, I reckon. Or disgraced VW execs. I assume the CME’s, Sears’, and Boeing’s tax breaks stand? Perhaps we can spring for another Hyatt for Penny Pritzker, too. Right next to the 0 liebarry

                1. optimader

                  Not as generous as Wall Street golden parachutes,

                  yes, probably not. There is always some exceptional comparisons when it comes to remuneration, a more realistic comparison IMO is to the average working joe picking up the tab.

                  That said, I don’t begrudge the police/firemen for having effective advocates negotiating against rummies that were supposed to command some fiduciary responsibility for the taxpayers, but that cow is out of the barn and at the end of the day the obligations have to be honored. The targeted revenue generation venue is property tax. If you have more equitable recommendations you should offer them up in letters to he editor.
                  As far as CGarcia goes, if he didn’t have the horsepower to challenge REm on the inevitability of raising property taxes, shame on him, he wasn’t too serious/equipped to be mayor and should have supported a more credible candidate..

                  You can at least take solace in the fact that you are in good company in feeling abused when it come to property tax.

                  1. OIFVet

                    a more realistic comparison IMO is to the average working joe picking up the tab.

                    Why, because bankers, hedgies, and CEOs of criminal enterprises respectable corporations like VW, BP, etc earned their golden parachutes by being exceptionally good at creating fraud while destroying jobs, the economy, and the environment?

  14. dk

    Regarding Why Is College So Expensive if Professors Are Paid So Little? Nation

    my friend, a tenured proffesor at a small Eastern school where curricula and salaries are being cut while the administration builds multi-million dollar buildings, writes:

    There is a large scale assault on intellectuals and this is one of the symptoms. Also we are giving out increasingly value-less degrees, and education in the global sense (development of professional values, critical thinking skills etc) has been reduced to dispensing “bits” of information.

    There is increasing confusion between the value of rote learning (to test) and critical thought. Rote knowledge is more easily replaced with “artificial intelligence” because it is, in fact artificial, or at best a product of intelligence. Actual intelligence can produce beyond the boundaries of rote. Which means, of course, that from the point of view of predictability (aka risk reduction), intelligence is at least somewhat destabilizing. But failure to recognize risk does not reduce actual risk; even if it let’s one argue that one need not budget for that unrecognized risk.

    1. different clue

      Since I haven’t read the article, I can only hope that they mention one of the key reasons which is this:
      as state legislatures boycott their state universities more and more by appropriating less and less money for them, they have to raise tuitions to make up the difference.

      Maybe some tax and spend New Deal Reactionaries will point that out very clearly, and call for re-raising taxes to re-spend on state university support so as to allow tuition reduction. And if they want to make such aid-restoration conditional on mass firing of administrators and reduction of College President salaries and especially zero aid to state universities which spend any money on athletics other than money generated by the sale of athletic events tickets; they can do that too.

  15. Eric Patton

    As far as Syrian migrants go, I really am not understanding the issue. The West generally and the United States specifically are simply exercising their God-given right to destroy the Middle East in order to save it. Many people in that region are not properly accepting the US’s jurisdiction in this matter, and they are fleeing to Europe.

    Clearly, the only possible solution is for the Europeans to shoot them all before they can make it Germany. Not sure why this is so complicated. If God had wanted the Syrians to have a say, he’d have armed them with nukes like the obviously-God-fearing Israelis.



  16. Eric Patton

    The cops in Indiana pulled a gun on a woman whose water bad broken and who had gone into labor. That can only mean one thing: She got hot for the cops, because women love that macho shit.


    1. Oregoncharles

      Hey, it’s Indiana. What do you expect? (I’m from there, still have family there. Parts of it are downright civilized.)

  17. Oregoncharles

    Did someone understand the el-Arian article on Brazil’s crisis? It seemed like vague hand-waving to me, with no specifics about Brazil except the political paralysis – which can do it, of course.

    1. craazyboy

      El Aryian has gone into full “book talking” mode. Didn’t bother to read the article.

      But in the 2011-2012 time frame when Fed QE and oil/commodity prices were making Brazil and Mexico look like great places to buy guv bonds, and you’d get currency appreciation to boot, El Aryan was leading the charge at PIMCO.

      As usual, the flow changed direction. MPeso at 16:1 from 10:1. Haven’t looked at Real recently, but for reference, when they launched it in 1999 it was at parity with the dollar.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Indian rupee launched in 1948 at 1:1 with the USD, today it’s 65:1, it’s a bitch out there if you ain’t got some of that there “exorbitant privilege” stuff. Handy too that the US can just print a barrel of oil or a bushel of wheat…while everybody else has to work, earn a profit, and buy a USD before they can get the material stuffs of the world.

    2. RabidGandhi

      Read my comment above. The article makes no sense because El Erian is avoiding the fact that Brazil has been implementing austerity for over a year.

  18. cripes

    Two things:

    The $588 million property tax increase on Chicago residence applies only to owner occupied homes, not rentals. So Berkshire-Hathaway, whose signs are popping up everywhere, is OK.

    Also, whatever we think of blowhard Donald, he is not as dumb as he looks, and what counts is the base is in rebellion against the party apparatchiks trying to force the likes of Bush III or the execrable Fiorina on them. They’re not having it. Neither are democrat-type voters going along with the Hillary script. Main difference is Sanders doesn’t have $10 billion to throw at the race, but he’s still going gangbusters on economic populism alone, which is Trump’s schtick. Minus the nativism.

    Reminds me of the late Weimar period, when all legitimacy for the existing political apparatus collapsed.

  19. skippy

    Dooe’s ev’bal Soviet Boomers did it…..

    Skippy…. in other news…. the Economists…. cough…. reality template manufactures are still stuck in some cave in antiquity….

  20. evodevo

    Re: U.S. holiday season in 2015 could be weakest since recession: AlixPartners … As a rural mail carrier, I must say that packages are down a tad from this time last year. After 6 years of low package volume, last fall was a deluge. We were worked to pieces from Sept to Jan 1. This year, not so much. Not as bad as the R(ecession) years, but still down from last year. I usually take package volume and truck traffic on I-75 (two miles from my house) as harbingers. Truck traffic is still pretty heavy, but packages are down.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Thanks for this data point. I remember posting today that truck sales were good. Perhaps they expect the packages to pick up? (Manufacturing was down, so I’m guessing the trucks are for consumer goods, i.e. imports).

  21. abynormal

    For the first time in more than 30 years, a supermoon will be visible in
    combination with a lunar eclipse.

    The 2-for-1 night sky show will happen Sunday and last one hour and 12 minutes
    and be visible to North and South America, Europe, Africa, and parts of West
    Asia and the eastern Pacific, according to NASA. Earth’s shadow will begin to
    dim the supermoon slightly beginning at 8:11 p.m. EDT. A noticeable shadow will
    begin to fall on the moon at 9:07 p.m., and the total eclipse will start at
    10:11 p.m.

    A supermoon, meaning the full moon closest to the Earth, comes around once every
    year. On Sunday, the moon will be 31,000 miles closer to Earth than at its
    farthest away point, known as apogee, meaning it will appear 14% larger and 30%
    brighter in the sky than an apogee full moon.

    Lunar eclipses typically happen twice a year, when Earth’s shadow swallows up
    the moon as the planet comes between the sun and the moon.

    As far as the two happening at the same time, “it’s rare because it’s something
    an entire generation may not have seen,”
    said Noah Petro, a deputy project
    scientist at NASA.

    The last combination supermoon/lunar eclipse occurred in 1982. If you miss
    Sunday’s show, you will have to wait until 2033 for the next one.

    “For nothing is fixed, forever and forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have. The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.”
    James Baldwin
    nitie nite all

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