Links 10/23/15

This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. 1058 donors have already invested in our efforts to combat corruption and predatory conduct, particularly in the financial realm. Please join us and participate via our donation page, which shows how to give via check, credit card, debit card, or PayPal. Read about why we’re doing this fundraiser, what we’ve accomplished in the last year, and our fifth target, more original reporting.

Cameron waiting until weekend to condemn Putin Daily Mash

The woman who can smell Parkinson’s disease BBC (Jeff W)

‘Escape rooms’ challenge Americans with puzzling adventures Reuters. EM: “They need to offer time windows much longer than 60 minutes, so urine-drinking enters the calculus. That’ll weed out the poseurs!”

Cuba forges links with United States to save sharks Nature

Amgen Requires Patients in Repatha Copay Program To Surrender Their Privacy Cardio Brief (Chuck L)

PNG to resettle Manus Island refugees, Australia says BBC

The imperative of Thailand’s trade policy Bangkok Post (furzy mouse). On TPP.

ECB’s accidental euro devaluation: James Saft Reuters

PNG to resettle Manus Island refugees, Australia says BBC

Draghi sees four threats to eurozone Financial Times

EU takes member states to court over ‘bail-in’ laws to protect taxpayers Telegraph. Ah, that pesky problem of curtailing national sovereignity.

Sweden in shock over deadly school attack BBC


Greece’s top tax collector sacked by Tsipras Financial Times


US-Iraqi rescue operation ‘foils IS mass execution’ BBC (furzy mouse)

Resettling Syria’s Refugees Would Be Cheaper Than Widening the War Defense One

Turkey ready to accept six-month transition period for Syria’s Assad: officials Reuters (furzy mouse)

Putin urges US-Russia fight against Isis Financial Times

De-Risking Is De-Linking Small States from Global Finance EconoMonitor

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Security researchers face wrath of spy agencies The Register (Chuck L)

U.S. announces task force to develop drone registry Reuters (EM)

When Facebook’s “Real Name” Policies Can Kill Lauren Weinstein (Chuck L)

Researchers Prove Connected Cars Can Be Tracked IEEE Spectrum (Chuck L)

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Navy’s Sitting Ducks Bloomberg. Aircraft carriers, one of our many pet peeves.


At Benghazi Hearing, Shouting Match Over Hillary Clinton’s Emails New York Times

Benghazi Committee $4.7 Million Fishing Expedition Has Come Up Empty Charles Pierce, Esquire

Impeach Hillary Clinton on day one of her presidency: Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks (furzy mouse). Only in America. Comments almost entirely derisive.

Whiskey-5 Hotel: The 6 biggest points of bullshit being peddled about Benghazi Foreign Policy

Here are 50 despicable things George W. Bush did before and after 9/11 RawStory (furzy mouse). Jeb seems to be over as a candidate but it’s still a good excuse to go over the Bush record.

Why Has Carly Fiorina Seemingly Dropped Off The Face Of The Earth? Ring of Fire (furzy mouse). Chorus: “Because she should have long ago!”

Paul Ryan’s request for family leave has critics crying hypocrite Mashable (furzy mouse)

Mormons Say Duty to Law on Same-Sex Marriage Trumps Faith New York Times

Cattle rustling U.S.A., where ‘Rawhide’ meets ‘Breaking Bad’ Reuters (EM)

How Texas teaches history New York Times (RR)

Study shows Maine’s lottery amounts to multimillion-dollar tax on poor Bangor Daily News

Judge Makes Louisiana Fund Planned Parenthood Al Jazeera

Walmart Plays Catch-Up With Amazon New York Times. Godzilla v. Mothra.

How humans can wrest control of the markets back from computers Gillian Tett, Financial Times

Investors pile into high-yield junk bonds Financial Times

Class Warfare

Iceland Just Jailed Dozens of Corrupt Bankers for 74 Years, The Opposite of What America Does Free Thought

How the Brewing Revolt of Working Americans Is Driving Sanders’ Rise (and Fueling Trump’s Dangerous Success) Alternet

Antidote du jour:

talking albatross links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. allan

    I’m beginning to think that the Benghazi clown show was designed and scheduled to distract from the CISA horror show on the other side of the Capitol. The bill is terrible. There were only 14 votes against cloture on amendments yesterday – 13 Democrats plus Rand Paul. Here is a brief report at Emptywheel, but she has had a series of posts on CISA and live tweets of the hearings and floor debates.
    This story is virtually invisible in the MSM, so file this under Big Brother is Watching You Not Watch.

  2. russell1200

    Carriers were sunk all sorts of ways during and since WW2: Subs, battle ships, battle cruisers, land air, naval air. The Tarawa, similar to an air craft carrier in some ways was disabled by a mine. They have always been vulnerable. It’s their firepower that makes them valuable.

    Carriers are far less vulnerable though when they are wandering around in the big wide ocean than when they are tied in close to shore. Which makes the U.S. practice of sticking them in restricted waters (aka The Persian Gulf) the real question in my mind. Nothing about the Chinese ballistic missile makes it a new weapon. Even at the speeds it moves, a carrier group has a large area of possible locations for it to look within by the time it gets there. The real question is how good the real time correction data will be, and how good the homing system (of a supposedly ballistic) missile is: big questions.

    The Russian wake homing torpedoes are a similar issue. Potentially very dangerous, but unclear as to how they will work in practice. Can the be spoofed, out run, avoided, etc. All of which is a lot easier to do in a bid wide ocean than in a bath tub.

    1. aet

      I note that history shows no examples of aircraft carriers being used offensively ( and therefore, a fortiori, effectively) against nuclear-weapons-capable States. Or am I missing something?

    2. Jagger

      I don’t know but I assumed spy satellites made hiding at sea basically impossible for naval fighting forces.

    3. fresno dan

      Its not clear to me if “ballistic” includes cruise missiles.
      The fact of the matter is, the United States hasn’t engaged a foe with advanced technology since WWII (and even there, the brunt of the fighting was borne by the Russians). And when one looks at the US “success” or more accurately, lack of success (Vietnam, Afghanistan) I question our military’s (or again, maybe more accurately, our political) competence at fighting war.
      Evander Holifield, when questioned as to how he could possibly defeat Mike Tyson, replied that Tyson had never been hit.

      “The Chinese technicians who had slipped into Tanzania in the months before the war had strict orders that no action was to be taken under any circumstances until the US began active hostilities. The terse radio message announcing the destruction of the northern radar stations removed that factor. The crews knew that they might only have minutes before American bombs began falling on them. Their mission was precisely defined by the logic of “use it or lose it,” and so everything that had arrived in the shipping containers went into the air in well under ten minutes.

      Survivors’ accounts of what happened aboard the naval task force over the next hour are confused and in places contradictory, but apparently shipboard radars detected nearly a thousand targets suddenly airborne on the southwestern horizon. At least half of those were false echoes, electronic decoys produced by Chinese “spoofing” technology, and many of the remainder were physical decoys meant to draw fire away from the supersonic cruise missiles that constituted the real attack. Even by the most conservative estimates, though, there were at least 200 of the latter. The task force had some of the best antimissile defenses in the world, but naval strategists had determined decades beforehand that a sufficiently massive attack could be sure of getting through.

      Those cold mathematics worked themselves out in a chaos of explosions, burning fuel, floating debris, and dead and dying sailors and soldiers. Of forty-one ships in the task force, three made it safely to harbor in Mombasa, and eight more—including one of the troopships—were able, despite damage, to fight their way to the Kenyan coast and get surviving crews and passengers ashore. The others were left shattered and burning, or went to the bottom. The fate of the three carriers was typical: the John F. Kennedy took three cruise missiles in close succession and sank with nearly all hands; the Ronald Reagan was hit by two, caught fire, and was abandoned by its crew; the George Washington was hit astern by one, staggered in toward the coast despite crippling damage to its steering systems, and ran onto a sandbar near the Kenyan shore. A Japanese news photographer on assignment snapped a picture of the abandoned ship—broken, ghostlike, the deck tilted nearly into the surf on one side—and that photograph, splashed over the media worldwide in the following days, became for many people the definitive image of the East African War.”

        1. craazyboy

          There’s not so good news for the Air Superiority Country either. We bought a couple SU-27s from Ukraine years fly against the F-15 and determine which is the better fighter. The SU-27 basically flew circles around the F-15 – which is not a good thing.

          So we can only imagine the outcome of a F-35 vs. the new SU-36. The Russians didn’t go down the VTOL rat hole with the SU-36 design.

          As far as cruise missiles go, they are already known as the great force leveler, and any country can afford lots of them.

          1. Plenue

            Not sure what the SU-36 is supposed to be, but the Russians realized early on that stealth is a giant scam and so they’ve never bothered with it much. Ditto with VTOL. Instead they’ve focused on maneuverability, with 3D thrust vectoring first being tested on the SU-37 prototype and then being rolled into the main production line of the latest SU-35 Super Flankers (and the various SU-30 export models). And they’ve continued to upgrade the cheaper MiG-29, the MiG-35 variant also having 3D vectoring. The F-22 only has 2D thrust vectoring, and the F-35 none at all.

            And all of the above Russian aircraft have multirole capabilities, whereas the US is banking on the F-22 (which more or less actually works) being pure air superiority while the F-35 will be jack-of-all-trades, replacing a myriad of older, more specialized aircraft across all the branches. Which is a bit of a problem, because the F-35 is an utter disaster.

            Any war will likely involve Russian planes picking off whatever is left in the sky after their AA systems chew up our ‘stealth’ aircraft, before their ample ground-attack capability (SU-24s, 25s and 34s, all of which are getting quite a work out in Syria) begins taking apart US ground forces (probably aided by the multirole Sukhois and MiGs). Russia has a much better grasp that air power ultimately has to be in support of ground offensives, whereas the USAF is still filled with visions of noble sky knights jousting (which is why they despise the A-10 and want to kill it).

        2. fresno dan

          Thanks for that!

          Red received an ultimatum from Blue, essentially a surrender document, demanding a response within 24 hours. Thus warned of Blue’s approach, Red used a fleet of small boats to determine the position of Blue’s fleet by the second day of the exercise. In a preemptive strike, Red launched a massive salvo of cruise missiles that overwhelmed the Blue forces’ electronic sensors and destroyed sixteen warships. This included one aircraft carrier, ten cruisers and five of six amphibious ships. An equivalent success in a real conflict would have resulted in the deaths of over 20,000 service personnel. Soon after the cruise missile offensive, another significant portion of Blue’s navy was “sunk” by an armada of small Red boats, which carried out both conventional and suicide attacks that capitalized on Blue’s inability to detect them as well as expected.[1]

          At this point, the exercise was suspended, Blue’s ships were “re-floated”, and the rules of engagement were changed; this was later justified by General Peter Pace as follows: “You kill me in the first day and I sit there for the next 13 days doing nothing, or you put me back to life and you get 13 more days’ worth of experiment out of me. Which is a better way to do it?”[2] After the reset, both sides were ordered to follow predetermined plans of action.

          Zombie ships!
          And everybody knows that you can only kill a zombie with a shot to the head! And ships don’t have heads…. (er, they have bathrooms called “heads” and destroying those would cause some consternation…but the weapons would still work)

  3. rich

    How to Punish Corporate Fraudsters

    EDWARD THURLOW, an English lord chancellor in the 18th century, reputedly said that it’s difficult to punish a corporation because there is “no soul to be damned, and no body to be kicked.”

    But there is, in fact, a way to punish corporations for their misdeeds: Bar their officers from government work. So why don’t we?

    Few outside the legal community are familiar with the concept of “exclusion,” which permits many federal agencies — including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Department of Health and Human Services — to temporarily or permanently block corporations that violate their rules from doing business with them.

    Importantly, it can also be applied to individual corporate officers, such as chief executives and lower-level executives, and is especially effective in the finance and health care industries. Since most big banks are federally insured, and many large health care companies do business with Medicare or Medicaid, barring an executive from that work can be a professional death sentence.

    But instead of using these tools, most federal prosecutors focus solely on bringing criminal charges against corporate executives. And if those are unavailable, they look no further. Sally Q. Yates, the deputy attorney general, recently announced that the Justice Department would try to squeeze the names of bad actors out of corporate defendants as a condition of any settlement negotiation. But Justice Department lawyers concede that in many cases it’s practically impossible to secure criminal convictions.

    This single-minded focus on criminal convictions is misguided — too often, corporate fraud goes unpunished. JPMorgan Chase paid $13 billion in 2013 for its role in the mortgage crisis. But what happened to its executives that year? None were adequately punished, the stock price rose 28 percent and its C.E.O., Jamie Dimon, got a 74 percent raise.

    Similarly, fraud against Medicare and Medicaid has been building for over a decade. From 2000 to 2004, the Hospital Corporation of America paid $1.7 billion to settle charges of fraud against federal health programs. Pfizer paid $2.3 billion in 2009 and $491 million in 2013 for fraud and illegal drug marketing. DaVita HealthCare Partners was fined $389 million in 2014 to settle charges that it paid kickbacks to doctors to refer patients to its clinics. This year, it agreed to pay $450 million to settle claims that it charged the government for unused drugs.

    But what happened to the leaders of these companies, which paid some of the largest fines in history for defrauding taxpayers? The head of H.C.A. became the governor of Florida. Pfizer’s chief executive retired in 2010 with a “golden parachute” worth $23 million. And DaVita’s C.E.O. remains one of the highest-paid health care executives in the nation.

    1. sleepy

      Exclusion is good, but since inanimate corporations only act at the behest of humans, jail them as well.

      Fat chance, but get some mandatory minimums going for corporate chicanery and that would help too. Enough with the cost-of-doing-business fines.

    2. Oregoncharles

      There is no humane objection to executing corporations. When convicted of serious crimes, which the ones enumerated sure sound like, they should be placed in forced bankruptcy, dissolved and the assets sold. Probably the shareholders should be cut out, so they’ll practice better due diligence, though there’ll be a problem with pension funds.

  4. Eric Patton

    From the “Escape Rooms” article:

    “I think strangers work the best. The reason why is you can’t get mad at a stranger,” the manager of the Alexandria location, Hop Dang, said. “Families – they don’t hold back.”

    There’s much more to this comment than meets the eye. It’s easy to say that we always hurt the ones we love, and it’s true. But it obscures a fundamental point about power relations.

    Parents abuse children. Husbands abuse wives. Pet owners abuse pets. Employers abuse employees. Priests abuse penitents. Teachers abuse students. Managers abuse workers. And so on.

    Why am I a pareconist? Because power relations have to change. Anytime any group of people has power over another group, there is literally a one hundred percent chance that abuse is going to occur, somewhere.

    No, I’m not saying everyone with power abuses everyone without power. If that’s what you read me as writing, then you’re not using any common sense.

    We all know it’s true. We all know abuse is ubiquitous. The only way to stop it is to, among other things, dispense with nonsense like “honor your father and your mother.”

    We need a religion that says “honor your children.” Lip service is easy. So is raising your voice at your kids. It’s easy for the doctor to yell at the nurse, or the store manager to yell at the person stocking the shelves.

    If you pay attention, you will literally see this around you every single time you leave your house. If you’re out in public, and you’re sensitive to it, you’re going to see abuse somewhere. Always.

    Commonly, we see it and just blame the victim. There are reasons for that too, but going into it now will just wear me out.

  5. Eric Patton

    Study shows Maine’s lottery amounts to multimillion-dollar tax on poor

    Speaking of blaming the victim, here’s the typical response (i.e., Eric plays devil’s advocate. Or libertarian asshole. Take your pick):

    No, the lottery is a tax on the stupid.

    Do you have any idea how much I hate libertarians? No thought is given to what it is like to be poor. Or, they’ll say something like, “I was poor, and now I’m not. So it’s poor people’s own fault.” Or, “What’s wrong with being poor?”

    Deconstructing these arguments just makes me want to pull my hair out. You do it, but you’re wasting your time, because talking to a libertarian or a right-winger is like talking to a cat. The difference is, I have no expectation that my cat will understand me.

    Actually, that’s not fair to cats. They understand far more than devotees of The Fountainhead.

    1. kkat

      Guardian and al-Arabiya= staunch propagandists for anglo Zionism.
      Vatch= looking more and more as a shill.


      1. Vatch

        I’m not a shill for anyone. I would be interested in seeing evidence that al-Arabiya is a Zionist propagandist. Here’s an article from their site that supports the Russian intervention in Syria:

        And here’s one from The Guardian condemning Israel’s treatment of Palestinians:

  6. Vatch

    Paul Ryan’s request for family leave has critics crying hypocrite

    Sure, he’s a hypocrite, but the more time he spends with his family, the less time he’s messing with the government. I say we should let him take 100% family leave!

    1. craazyboy

      I think he should marry a gay guy, go on a long honeymoon, and have a kid so we can give him maternity leave too!

  7. Eric Patton

    From the Alternet article:

    In 1992, Perot got 19 percent of the November vote, effectively electing Bill Clinton.

    I remember that. Perot would have WON that election had he not dropped out. He dropped out precisely BECAUSE he would have won. Then he got back in because everyone called him a quitter for dropping out.

    Perot was an authoritarian asshole. But no one else was even remotely speaking to the working class. And Perot had money, so working people knew he could actually win. So they supported him.

    Say what you want about Perot or those who supported him, but there actually was a logic to why his supporters supported him. Same as Trump now.

    But instead, the left of the day spent all its time attacking Perot supporters as morons, without making the barest attempt to understand why working people were doing what they were doing.

    And I would have voted for Perot had he not dropped out. When he got back in, I was ambivalent. A friend convinced me to vote for Clinton. So I did.

    The left does a better job today of not just reflexively assuming all working-class people are morons, but it’s also still there, not too far below the surface.

    1. Carolinian

      I recall reading that Bob Woodward sneered at Perot and told a fellow reporter “you don’t want to go there.” Of course Woodward plied his celebrity into a career of ridiculous power fluffing but he could be taken as the voice of Versailles.

      It should be said though that Perot was anything but a leftie. His big cause was balancing the budget. He also railed against govt spending–this even though he made his fortune from govt contracts.

      1. fresno dan

        I certainly remember Perot.
        I remember the debate between Perot and Gore on trade, (this is back when I believed what I learned in school about “free” trade), and the universal pillaging of Perot by the “serious” people.
        The difference now is that the evidence concerning “winners and losers” is that all the winning was done by the 1% and all the losing was done by everyone else…

        Perot, as least, would not have been completely under the thumb of the 1%. He would have been able to question the assumptions of both the republicans and democrats (not that either party really disagrees when their masters tell them what to do).

  8. Andy Silton

    Is Congressman Gowdy (R-SC) Working for Hillary Clinton?
    The Republican Leadership in the House needs to launch another Special Committee to investigate Congressman Trey Gowdy and subpoena his emails.
    After watching several hours of yesterday’s hearings, I’m beginning to think that the Congressman is working with former Secretary of State Clinton. Congressman Gowdy and his colleagues went out of their way to make themselves look ridiculous, while making the former Secretary look like a strong candidate for president. If Secretary Clinton had had to pay for yesterday’s media coverage, it would have cost her campaign millions of dollars. Even Donald Trump, the master of free publicity, couldn’t have staged a better event to bolster his candidacy.
    Congressman Ryan, the likely Speaker of the House, might want to read Congressman Gowdy’s emails. I think he’s in cahoots with the Clinton campaign.
    I’m not a Clinton supporter, but House Republicans sure went out of there way to make her look good.

    1. Rhondda

      Yep. Looked that way to me, too. Also noted an article on ZH asserting that judged by her actions HRC is a “conservative.”

  9. allan

    Valeant’s looming M&A hiatus deals blow to investment banks

    The controversy surrounding Valeant Pharmaceuticals’ strategy and its market slide this week are bad news for Wall Street investment banks that stand to lose one of their best clients.

    The specialty drug company has emerged as the fifth largest payer of investment banker fees over the past three years thanks to its rapid acquisition-driven and debt-financed expansion that has made it a darling of investors.

    Surely the Fed needs to help the poor M&A guys out with another round of QE.

  10. fresno dan

    Why Has Carly Fiorina Seemingly Dropped Off The Face Of The Earth? Ring of Fire (furzy mouse). Chorus: “Because she should have long ago!”

    Well, I have gone on and on about Fiorina, but what the heck. When you see her in debate, she speaks well, that is, with good diction, an authoritative manner, the use of big words, etc. I remind people that Ted Bundy apparently made a good first impression upon every one he met…

    But read what she has said later, when dispassionate reason trumps the quick impression, and just like when the insurance salesman, handsome, well spoken,in the damn spiffy suit and stylish tie, when he leaves, and you start calculating the cost of the policy, you realize that words, no matter how well said, can not turn a pig’s ear into a silk purse.

    Fiorina, was in my view, the most insane person on the stage at the republican debate – essentially advocating nuclear war with Russia. (Her out and out lying was also disturbing, but she was the biggest warmonger on the stage by FAR). Her disappearance may mean that not even the republican base in the early primary states are that stupid or insane…

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Republicans have basically been using the Internet since 1991 to press their message through electronic new letters and impressive e-mail operations despite the msm discovering Facebook organizing in 2007. I suspect Republican engineers trashed her candidacy pretty thoroughly on those “Real Hillary Clinton” style emails that go around.

      Fiorina just wouldn’t be popular with the gatekeepers of that mind of networking. Running as the ceo of a company with products everyone had to replace didn’t help either. It might not make the evening news, but it was brought up at the GOP table at lunch.

      1. optimader

        CF was a failed CEO, If she failed as an private sector Autocrat, how would she do as a consensus seeker ( currently a hypothetical approach for POTUS, I know)

      2. neo-realist

        Republicans through wealthy right wing ownership of media infrastructure have also pressed their message using talk radio, as well as NPR and PBS. What ideology does one mostly hear nowadays on a radio talk show? When you’re driving in a car in just about anywhere America, turn on the radio and if it isn’t music, it’s a conservative talker or some hayseed ends times preacher (conservative). When a station with liberal talk radio get brought, it is either gets flipped into a conservative radio talk format, or in our case in Seattle, turned into an all sports talk station.

        In the 2004 presidential campaign, the conservative radio talkers went into overdrive talking down John Kerry 24/7–Elitist, looks French, Swift boat traitor–which helped turn the election to Bush.

      1. fresno dan

        I love puns, so nounverbad…..hmmm, or maybe adverbnoun…. well, anyway, along the lines of turducken…..
        Ahhhh – vertrumpnounken

        Definition: when someone trumps an argument based on the fact that they are ginormously wealthy, e.g., Bill Gates, Elon Musk….

    2. hidflect

      She’s running for Veep. So she doesn’t want to over-expose and make a screw-up anywhere. It’s a risk-return calculation and she feels to date she’s done enough to keep her chances of selection open. Veep would be perfect for her. Lots of attention and glamour, very little actual work required.

  11. Jim Haygood

    China cuts again:

    The PBOC said on its website that it was lowering the one-year benchmark bank lending rate by 25 basis points to 4.35 percent, effective from Oct. 24. The one-year benchmark deposit rate was lowered by 25 basis points to 1.50 percent.

    The reserve requirement ratio (RRR) was also cut by 50 basis points for all banks, taking the ratio to 17.5 percent for the biggest lenders, while banks that lend to agricultural firms and small companies received another 50-basis-point reduction to their RRR.

    China has become locked into a narrative that GDP must always exceed 7 percent. With growth faltering, an audacious decision was made to confess to only 6.9 percent growth in the most recent quarter. And the sky didn’t fall.

    In reality, China is more likely in a ‘growth recession’ with GDP only expanding at 3 to 4 percent annual rate. Desperate rate and reserve requirement slashing is intended to stop growth going to zero.

    If it don’t work, the big gun will be wheeled out: let the yuan slide. That’s what e-clownomists call an ‘exogenous shock’ … and Chuck Schumer calls a bloody outrage.

  12. rich

    Robert Rubin and Federal Reserve Board Independence

    In a NYT review of Roger Lowenstein’s book on the Federal Reserve Board, Robert Rubin touts the virtues of the Fed’s independence from political control. He decries efforts to make the Fed more accountable to Congress.

    The higher unemployment acts as an insurance policy against inflation. The higher unemployment kept millions of people from working and deprived tens of millions of workers of the bargaining power needed to secure real wage increases.

    While modestly higher inflation would be a matter of little concern to most workers (especially since it is being driven in part by higher wages), it would be very upsetting to the financial sector since the value of the debt they own would be reduced.

    The financial industry has a grossly disproportionate influence on the Fed due to its design. They largely control the 12 district banks. In addition, the governors appointed by the president tend to be more responsive to the concerns of the financial industry than other sectors of the economy. It is certainly possible that if the Fed were not so tied to the financial industry, it would have paid more attention to the housing bubble as it was growing.

    The industry made huge amounts of money from the mortgages that fueled the bubble. (In this context, it is probably worth noting that Mr. Rubin made more than $100 million from his position as a top executive at Citigroup during the bubble years.)

    For these reasons, the public may not be as happy about the Fed’s lack of accountability to democratically elected bodies as Mr. Rubin.

    Many might prefer a central bank that is concerned more about workers than bankers.

  13. bwilli123

    Frances Coppola shreds the sharing economy.
    “The underlying assumption is that economic value is the only “value” that matters. This is poisonous. Our society is founded on the things that people do in their spare time. When people are forced to work longer hours because their incomes aren’t high enough, social and philanthropic activities decline. The argument that “idle” cars should be brought into use therefore ignores both economic and social opportunity costs. ”

  14. Bridget

    If you don’t want people pestering you on Facebook, just set privacy settings so that only friends can view your page. And don’t friend assholes. As long as people have to use their real names, they can be successfully blocked. Anonymity, on the other hand, presents much more opportunity for abuse.

    That article seems like a solution in search of a problem to me.

    1. hunkerdown

      Or, one can get off Facebook and stop being a serialized, characterized piece of human inventory. I hope the mustache lifestylers will bring back listservs soon.

  15. JTMcPhee

    Re Iceland and Banksters: Let’s see, half a trillion in disappeared whatever-money-is, 26 (of how many Deeply Involved And Enriched) Banksters convicted of financial crimes, and a big Eric-Holder-class announcement of “74 years in jail time!!!!” except that that’s a net total, not individual sentences, a net for all 26 Banksters, so the average sentence is 2.8461538461538461538461538461538 years (and how harsh can a jail in Iceland be, for cripe’s sake?) for people who crashed the local political economy, and contributed to the demolition of the rest of the world’s, which us ordinary mopes are still busting our humps to rebuild the real wealth they need for another run at it, and still influence it all out of proportion? Mike Milken got to keep most of his “winnings,” and Kimba Wood let him out of jail way early, even, for “cooperating” (actually, NOT) with the feckless federal investigation of others…

    About “Judge makes Louisiana fund Planned Parenthood”: What, any more, impels people to accede to the rulings and orders of judges and Justices? Inertia? Fear of further enforcement? By whom? I can see that if you’re a black person with a traffic ticket hanging over you in Ferguson, MO… What quantum of legitimacy is left to the RuleofLawThing any more, when The Big People can blatantly ignore the restraints the ROLT thing supposedly applies to the rest of us, and they hardly have to even bother to bribe the legislators and bureaucrats to change the law as written and interpreted to make the sh_t they do “not illegal?”

    Speaking of ROLT and “legal:” Recent comments point out the other New World Order feature of the Corporate Coup Founding Documents (TPP, TTIP, TISA), I think it’s called “regulatory reconciliation,” which apparently is already well underway and basically uses the noise of “free trade” and its fraudulent “benefits” as cover for accomplishing, before us mopes are even aware, for forcing a true race to the bottom: If Zimbabwe does not regulate food safety or discharges of air and water toxins or worker safety or financial shenanigans and all that other stuff, then under the “reconciliation” shit that happens completely out of sight between “negotiators” acting under just what authority and consent of the fu__ed-over governed ruled, again, “Zimbabwe RULES Everywhere! I have to ask, of course, how will these “reconciliations” be solidified and enforced, again? What’s to keep ordinary people, with all the AKs and RPGs flooding the world, from telling the “reconcilers” to go f__K themselves? What’s to keep the whole human enterprise from dying out from what looks physiologically like “disseminated intravascular coagulation?”

    Re carriers as sitting ducks, remember that Navy ships are like sports teams — fierce loyalty, everyone hangs together, past and present players and fans have their gatherings in real and cyberspace, lots of “gear” like ball caps and shirts and bags and ballpoints and stuff to carry the brand, what a wonderful esprit de corps too! from all that hugely dangerous stuff that has to be so artfully managed, just to get close enough to get blown out of the waterproject that power by putting “warheads on foreheads” of people who won’t say “Uncle” or are too distracted by drought and oppression by local Rulers to have any interest in the Great Game but are “dumb enough to live close to people our Rulers have put on the targeting list”, speaking of world-class arrogant Imperial “fiat”…

    The big thing I want to remember about these effing monstrosities, particularly the carriers and their task groups, is that they have really swank accommodations for the flag officers who get to rule over them, with lots of related perks like special aircraft for their use, also lavishly appointed, and lots of body servants, and are just enormous career mileposts and ego trips for the general-class officers who win the games of “appointment” to them.

    And there’s the satisfaction, on most of them, of carrying nuclear weapons, along with all the “conventional” dumb and smart bombs and all that explosive jet fuel and other petroleum stocks that are always only an error by some Jonah of an officer or some lowly seaman stoned or inattentive to his duty from destroying the whole shootin’-match (or, of course, the inevitable intervention by Murphy, enforcing his implacable Law), the nukes giving the various kinds of people who populate the command centers and bridges the truly empowering sense of having a veto over the continued existence of “normalcy” in significant parts of our little gift of a world, or maybe the entirety of it, if the fortuitous increasingly hairy triggers of responsive actions happen to be tickled,

    It does not matter if these things get blowed up and sunk in some “exchange” like the holocaust at the start of some chess games, clearing the board so the Royals can hunt each other with a loyal retainer or two– it’s like so much else, the assumption is that the Ruling Incumbents now living will reach old age and a peaceful death after a life of compounded pleasures, comforted by truly caring nurses and physicians, never suffering more than the embarrassment of getting caught selling secrets to “the enemy” or taking bribes from contractors or fornicating with subordinates or others not their spouses or the very few other shenanigans that can result in “having to resign” or “demotion with full pay and allowances” and tickets to post-“service” gigs with the Big Players in the MIC or “think tanks” of the stupidest most venal kind or FOXNews spots… Apres lui, le deluge…

  16. Oregoncharles

    I was going to recommend the Alternet article “…the Brewing Revolt of Working-Class Americans…”, but partly because I see it as oddly confused, if not misleading.

    Clearly he’s a Bernie supporter, but when he’s discussing Trump and his supporters, we also get bits of reactionary Democrat dogma: ” from attacking immigrants for taking away jobs, to smearing Obamacare because the insurance industry keeps getting rich, to encouraging government to excise the purported cancer in our midst.” The middle clause will ring alarm bells here on NC.

    And: ” beating the nationalist drum is the final hallmark of this dark campaign legacy, which Trump is also doing. His most recent attack on Jeb Bush—blasting his brother George W. Bush for the 9/11 attacks in New York City—are a perfect example of that thread.” Holding Bush accountable for 9/11 is “beating the nationalist drum”?

    Unfortunately, this kind of cluelessness is typical of Rosenfeld, who is ultimately just a DP apologist, albeit a bit sharper than Joan Walsh. What strikes me as all too revealing is that DP liberals save their most vicious attacks for the most left-wing Republican. On single-payer and “trade” agreements, both crucial, Trump is well to the left of the Democrats (Bernie isn’t a Democrat, his chief virtue). Even his ugliest positions, like the attack on undocumented immigrants, are clearly populist. He’s leading precisely because he isn’t really a Republican – and is therefore the greatest threat to the Democratic Party. Hence the slanderous equation of Trump supporters with George Wallace supporters (as Judis admits, there hasn’t been equivalent polling, so it’s made up.)

    In reality, the liberal reaction to Trump is based mostly on his style, which is truly offensive. In this it’s the inverse of the same people’s worship of Obama in 2008: they loved his style, and didn’t bother to look past it.

    Apparently they’ve learned nothing.

    1. Lambert Strether

      “Bernie isn’t a Democrat, his chief virtue.” Sanders’ chief virtue is policy; for example, single payer. This comment reflects the consistent GP line that their chief virtue is that they aren’t the other two parties (as opposed to either candidate, or policy). Unsurprisingly, voters don’t buy this idea that virtue is the absence of vice, since with GP they have neither concrete material benefits to look forward to, or a candidate to identify with. Sad, but there it is.

      1. AumuA

        I don’t suppose the fact that Sanders’ campaign has no superPAC, is almost entirely funded by small donations, and is not funded by the ultra rich, like oh.. I don’t know.. none of the other candidates.. in the past, x elections, makes any difference.

        Sanders’ campaign is an actual honest to god grassroots movement, and I don’t think that fact can be stated too many times, but for some reason it’s never said around here. The guy’s not bought by the same criminals we’re always going on about, and all of the other candidates are so.. who are we all going to elect again?

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          We have pointed to it in our commentary on articles and links, but there has been a bizarre and strong current in the commentariat, contrary to any evidence, to depict Sanders as a Democratic party stooge. it’s really annoying but I have not had the energy to rebut it

      2. Oregoncharles

        Perhaps I should have said: “the SOURCE of his chief virtue” – or more precisely, what makes it possible.

        but yes, I think institutions and their entanglements are important.

    2. Left in Wisconsin

      I agree with Rosenfeld’s general point, which is that lots of struggling working people are, at this point in time, as or more amenable to an analysis that blames their plight on supposedly advantages poor people and immigrants vs. one that points the finger at elites. I do think it’s a stretch to suggest that this electorate has a direct link to George Wallace supporters; that was an entire voting generation ago and not all children politically agree with their parents. But that doesn’t mean the first point is invalid.

      I would argue Sanders’ virtue is policy with principle. That is, the policy positions don’t change depending on the political weather. I’m sure HRC has lost more sleep than all of us put together trying to nail down the policy positions that will win her the top job.

      1. Rhondda

        “I would argue Sanders’ virtue is policy with principle.”

        Enh. But see, not principled enough for me. Student loans and wedge issues don’t float my boat. (In fact, they barely get my attention since I don’t personally do SoMe, as I hear it called it these days.)

        The US needs a principled redirection on its foreign policy and constitutional issues — and it does not seem to me Bernie is bringing it. At all.

          1. Rhondda

            Thank you for poking me on that. As I considered your question I realized I was doing dramatic pronouncement with concomitant handwave re “wedge issues.” Bogus!

            I actually hadn’t been to the Bernie site so I went there to get it from the source. Better than I supposed on many issues. I do agree with a lot of his policies. But I must confess to not being all in for issues like LGBT, veteran’s benefits, free tuition at public colleges and universities. Things that appeal to smaller groups of the electorate, which I snidely referred to as wedge issues. It’s not that I’m against gay people or don’t think school is too expensive, they just aren’t among my top issues. I know it is for some people, but it isn’t for me. And I just straight up disagree that the US needs “comprehensive immigration reform” that will “bring over 11 million undocumented workers out of the shadows.”

            But I looked at his “issues” info on his website and so I do stand by my stated opinions re Bernie’s foreign policy stance. He’s very washy-washy, watch-where-you-walk on issues related to Israel and Palestine. If he won’t even talk bold, there will never be bold action. And his foreign policy in general seems to accept 99% of the prevailing US groupthink. That bodes ill, imho, because if the President doesn’t have solid knowledge and strength in this area he will have to rely on someone else. Aka “he will get rolled.”

            I do appreciate his strong words on the Patriot Act, etc.

            Also, lastly, Bernie’s a good guy but he would need a powerful, focused, dedicated, nearly militant movement behind him. The lift is huge. I don’t find him to be a catalyzer. I don’t think he can pull it off.

    3. cwaltz

      With all due respect, the most left leaning Republican this cycle was Lincoln Chaffee(yeah he was running as a Democrat which essentially shows how insane anyone who is running as Republican is IMO). And for the record, as a liberal, I found him much more enjoyable on policy then I have Donald Trump.

    1. JTMcPhee

      …in keeping with the attitude that actually is killing almost all of us, regarding killer typhoons, hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, rising sea levels, squillions more of that “moñey” stuff for weapons that don’t work and the ones that do, femtasquillions in what I was once assured by knowledgeable people here was nothing to worry about since the counterparty exposures net out to an economist’s zero the supposedly imaginary but somehow bankable, trade-able and spendable ( at a discount?) “notional dollars,” that attitude so breezy, most particularly concerning the phenomenon labeled ” Patricia,” ahem: “I don’t care, it’s not going to affect ME!”

  17. Plenue

    “It was not until much later that we learned the terrorist group used the outrage of the video as a mask to conduct a preplanned attack.”

    Or, you know, within 24 hours thanks to the DIA report. Funny how that never seems to come up in the hearings…

  18. Rhondda

    Whiskey-5 Hotel article seems to be 49% snark and 49% figleaf with 2% sprinkling of military intelligence insider seasoning to give it The Flavor. And written by a couple of players who may have bare spots that need that fig leaf covering. Also: Book deal!

    Malcolm Nance is a former Naval Intelligence officer with 34 years of experience in the Middle East and North Africa. He speaks five dialects of Arabic. In 2011, he was a strategy advisor to the Libyan Transitional National Council in Benghazi and at the Ajdabiyah battle front.

    Nada Bakos is a former CIA analyst and targeting officer who served on the team charged with analyzing the relationship between Iraq, al Qaeda, and the 9/11 attacks. During the Iraq War, she was the chief targeting officer following Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. She is currently working on a book scheduled to be published by Little, Brown and Company in 2016.

Comments are closed.