Links 10/4/16

Vint Cerf: Modern Media Are Made for Forgetting Motherboard (Dan K)

Implication of sabotage adds intrigue to SpaceX investigation Washington Post (furzy). Oh, no, it can’t possibly be that the technology was not ready for prime time.

Farewell, WB21, we hardly knew ya FTAlphaville. Richard Smith: “Amazing who’s fallen for it: WSJ, Business Insider, Forbes…the word Fintech seems to instantly fry journos’ brains.”

What (we think) we know about Google’s new Pixel phones — and why you should care Washington Post (furzy)

4chan Is Running Out of Money and Martin Shkreli Wants To Buy It Slashdot. A marriage made in heaven. The fact that Shkreli is unlikely to have any money after he pays his legal bills and regulatory fines is a wee complicating factor.

The Internet of Things Sucks So Bad Even ‘Amateurish’ Malware Is Enough Motherboard (resilc)

Anti-social media code SFExaminer. Joe H: “This is the second article that I have read about people getting off of social media and how dong that changed their outlook on their lives. A lesson for all of us perhaps.”


The impact in China and abroad of slowing growth Michael Pettis

The creators of bubble economies must be made to pay for their sins Andy Xie, South China Morning Post. Moss: “I cannot decide whether the title is ironic.”

Colombia leader tries to save peace deal BBC


Banks to Miss Out on Special Favors in May’s Brexit Plans Reuters

Malta PM: Brexit talks will be like the Greek bailout Politico

Theresa May walks into a Brexit trap Financial Times. I’m putting this up merely to demonstrate that the UK press continued to be out to lunch. Rachman says May should have gotten “assurances on what an interim trade agreement with the EU would look like.” EU leaders, including all the trade negotiators and the head of the WTO, said no negotiations on Brexit would take place until the UK invoked Article 50, and no negotiations on the UK’s post Brexit arrangements could take place by treaty until the UK was out of the EU. These were clearly boundary conditions. In other words, as we posted earlier, “What about ‘nein’ don’t you understand?”

The solution to Brexit? Innovative jam Politico

Sterling Falls to 31-Year Low Against Dollar Wall Street Journal. Wowsers, this is lower than it was during my 1984 time in London. I managed to leave before it plunged briefly to $1.06 and rebounded.

How the ECB dictatorial regime used the liquidity weapon in order to impose its terms on the Irish government failed evolution

French Unemployment Soars: Will Hollande Keep His Word or Will He Humiliate Himself? Michael Shedlock


U.S. Suspends Talks With Russia Over Syria Cease-Fire Wall Street Journal. Not good, but not a surprise either.

U.S. suspends Syria ceasefire talks with Russia, blames Moscow Reuters (furzy)

UN begins talks on immediate Syria cease-fire DW

The Obama Administration’s Suspension of Syria Talks With Russia Is the Most Dangerous Development in a New Cold War Nation (resilc)

The media are misleading the public on Syria Boston Globe. Resilc: “Teplay of NYT and WaPo on Iraq.”

Inside the Shadowy PR Firm That’s Lobbying for Regime Change in Syria Alternet (Phil U)

Imperial Collapse Watch

U.S. is only 15th most free country in the world, study says McClatchy (resilc)

Putin suspends nuclear pact, raising stakes in row with Washington Reuters (furzy)

Obama Worries Future Presidents Will Wage Perpetual, Covert Drone War Intercept (resilc)

Clinton E-mail Tar Baby

CSPAN clips from House panel with FBI Director Comey on Clinton E-mails YouTube (Selva). The FBI has tried diffusing the Combetta seeking help on Reddit to strip out e-mail addresses, but there’s a lot here about irregularities in the investigation.

Obama Email Alias to Clinton Is Why FBI Didn’t Prosecute Hillary National Review (furzy)


Superstitious Clinton Refusing To Change Her Beliefs Following Hot Streak In Polls Onion

Clinton promises to hold Wells Fargo accountable Reuters. Adrien: “Bag of laughs…”. Moi: Nearly two weeks after the Senate hearings and after Congresscritters of both parties call Wells a “criminal enterprise,” Clinton finally gets on board.

Hillary Clinton Never Met A War She Didn’t Want Other Americans To Fight Forbes (resilc)

AP: ‘Apprentice’ cast and crew say Trump was lewd and sexist Associated Press

Trump Foundation Ordered to Halt Fundraising in New York Wall Street Journal

Donald Trump Is Handing a Windfall to Mexican Immigrant Families Bloomberg (furzy)

The Class Dynamics in the Rise of Donald Trump Counterpunch

Trump Recasts Himself as a Comeback Kid Bloomberg

Donald Trump Digs In Over Taxes, Blames an ‘Unfair’ System Wall Street Journal

Pollsters search in vain for the shy tribe of Trump supporters Financial Times

The Latest: Clinton says Trump ‘always puts himself first’ Washington Post (resilc)

The Week I Became a Target Scott Adams (Chuck L)

Ailing Obama Health Care Act May Have to Change to Survive New York Times (Kevin C). The Grey Lady admits there might be a problem.

Five Days That Shaped a Presidency New York Magazine (furzy). Do not read if you’ve eaten recently.

Four decades later, California experts find that Proposition 13 is a boon to the rich Los Angeles Times. Kokuanani: “Gee, it’s only taken 40 years for an article like this? I lived in LA when this monstrosity was passed, and most of us knew then it was awful.”

Police State Watch

When the Cops Take Your Urine by Force Vice. Yikes.

Officers tried to run over man before shooting him 14 times, video shows Guardian. Depraved.

US shale oil recovery underway MacroBusiness

US takes over Puerto Rico’s finances: a nudge toward statehood? Christian Science Monitor (Ryan R)

Systemic Risk: Deutsche Bank #1 at $100 Billion (BNP Paribas 2nd, Societe Generale 3rd) Michael Shedlock

What big data tells us about real income growth VoxEU. Big data tells us that inflation is doing less to lower your standard of living than most economists believe. Awfully convenient finding, no?

First and Foremost, the Wells Fargo Scandal Is About Workers American Prospect (resilc). I must note that Stumpf is still the chairman and CEO. If he does not depart by tomorrow, it looks like he and the board intend to stare the government and the public down.

Manhattan Apartment Sales Plunge 20% as Homebuyers Get Pickier Bloomberg. What it does not say is all cash purchases are way down. The Russians and Chinese are no longer coming.

Class Warfare

18 Months Inside a Chicago Gang Chicago Magazine (Lulu). Important.

What the government does for people like Donald Trump that it won’t do for the poor Washington Post

How to Keep an NFL Team Out of Jail Unz Review (Chuck L)

Antidote du jour (moss):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. ex-PFC Chuck

    Obama Worries Future Presidents Will Wage Perpetual, Covert Drone War

    Until I saw that this title referred to an item in The Intercept I thought it would be in The Onion.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If I do it, it’s OK, but not so, when others do it.

        If we own atomic bombs, it’s OK, but not others.

        If I do welfare reform, it’s OK, but not others.

        If I do health care reform, it’s OK, but not others.

        If I do a crime bill, it’s OK, but not others.

        If I get a bail out, it’s OK, but not others.

        If we do immigration reform, it’s OK, but not others.

    1. Steve H.

      Hillary Clinton on Assange “Can’t we just drone this guy”

      “Turns out I’m really good at killing people,” Obama said quietly, “Didn’t know that was gonna be a strong suit of mine.”

      1. Lambert Strether

        Clinton manager ‘reticent’ to comment on report Clinton floated drone strike against Wikileaks The Hill. Sounds like tap-dancing.

        And Politico:

        “I don’t recall any joke,” Clinton said, when asked about the allegations at a press conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday. “It would have been a joke, if it had been said, but I don’t recall that.”

        So I can take that as a “yes”? It’s entirely consistent with “We came, we saw, he died” (also a joke):

        Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared a laugh with a television news reporter moments after hearing deposed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi had been killed.

        “We came, we saw, he died,” she joked when told of news reports of Qaddafi’s death by an aide in between formal interviews.

        It’s also entirely consistent with “The Blob’s” views on Assange, as well as the political class’s views.

        Sounds to me like Clinton’s worried there’s something on the record somewhere. Hence the lawyerly parsing, use of subjunctive, etc.

        Adding… Snopes says No, but the body language of the Clinton campaign is saying Maybe.

        NOTE To be fair, Clinton isn’t proposing to whack on American citizen with a drone. It’s Obama who did that.

    2. DJG

      I even dipped into the comments for this article, what are not complimentary. As many of the commenters point out, Obama can’t seem to figure out that he himself has been waging perpetual murderous campaigns against non-combatants. I have occasionally asserted in the comments here at NC that Obama lacks a moral compass, but this article is like something out of Eichmann in Jerusalem, a feeble self-exoneration of war crimes.

      1. nippersdad

        He seems to do that with everything. I see that he is, again, calling for the US to be a force in combating climate change. How he reconciles that with having turned us into “Saudi America”, with oil rigs and fracking from sea to shining sea, is a wonder to behold.

      2. Pavel

        Yes, but at least he closed Gitmo and prosecuted the Bush era war criminals for torture.

        Oh wait a minute…

      3. NotTimothyGeithner

        I think Obama is simply not just the object of devotion for the Obots but the biggest one of them all. He can’t commit immoral actions by virtue of being good. It’s no wonder he and Shrub like each other.

        If he has doubts, I’m sure he can find a minister to tell him how good he is.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      To be a candidate for the next Poliburo, you are required to list all your and your immediate family’s assets, in China and elsewhere, and state your citizenship (what is this all about?)

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Party recruitment for the last 25 years. The kids of the rich didn’t join the Communist Party where the real power rests in China. Believers or more patriotic types joined whereas the people out to pirate and loot became day traders.

        When Mao was around, everyone had to join the same outfit, so it was hard to tell who was who. The youth of the Communist Party is flexing their muscle. The Chinese billionaires and multi millionaires have been buying beyond the reach of the Communist Party because they know the rank and file hates them. Since the rank and file don’t have a singular leader or an elite cadre, they won’t be a bull in a China shop, and Xi knows enough not to antagonize them if he doesn’t sympathize.

    2. begob

      London’s new mayor has announced an investigation of foreign property ownership – unlikely to lead to a register linked up with tax haven beneficial owners, but maybe the threat will be a deterrent.

      Who am I kidding? Capital outflows from China will increase, and London’s neolibs will welcome them.

    1. Steve H.

      “The claim that Trump owes his electoral victory mainly to non-economic factors such as racism xenophobia lust much of its credibility when Bernie Sanders won handily against Hillary Clinton in States such as Indiana and West Virginia.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        You starving, sick dying people who are against immigration – even just thinking a little bit in your mind – are colorists. One fewer immigrant is the same as one million fewer immigrants, because we can never talk about how many, only a binary yes-or-no.

        You can be for 100 more new immigrants but not for the idea of 200 more, and you’re a colorist.

        That’s their accusation.

      2. Michael


        The people who voted for Sanders are not the people who voted for Trump. The folks who voted for Trump are the crackers who couldn’t stomach voting for someone who actually has the chops but isn’t racist or sexist.

        1. kareninca

          Well, necessarily the people who voted for Sanders, didn’t vote for Trump. You didn’t have the option to vote for both.
          However, I know several Sanders voters who plan to vote for Trump, now that Sanders is not available.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          I’ve put you in moderation. We don’t tolerate readers to denigrate the site by using slang that disparages demographic or ethnic groups. One more slur like that, or any other violation of site policy, and you will be banned.

        3. Lambert Strether

          > crackers

          White trash, eh? Well-played. Here’s the claim from the article:

          The claim that Trump owes his electoral victory mainly to non-economic factors such as racism xenophobia lust much of its credibility when Bernie Sanders won handily against Hillary Clinton in States such as Indiana and West Virginia. According to this claim, as a self-described socialist who advocated a multiracial, multicultural, inclusive and relatively equitable society, Sanders was not supposed to win in places like West Virginia, the whitest (93.7 percent) of all states. But there he was, winning big against Clinton among men, women, young, and old.

          (In other words, if you vote for Sanders, you’re also voting for “free stuff for n*****s.” That’s what socialism means. That’s not the usual stance that your white-sheeted type takes, amiright?)

          In West Virginia:

          Extraordinary economic stress in the state was evident in preliminary exit poll results:

          • Six in 10 voters said they were very worried about the direction of the nation’s economy in the next few years, by far the highest level of economy worry in a Democratic primary this year – far above the average, 40 percent, and rivaling the customary level seen in Republican primaries.

          • Nearly six in 10 said the economy and jobs was the most important issue in their vote, again by far the highest in any Democratic contest this year.

          • A majority in the state thought trade with other countries takes away more U.S. jobs than it creates, vs. only a little more than a third who said it creates more jobs. The division has been much closer, 45-39 percent, in previous states where the question has been asked.

          These economically aggrieved voters not only were far more numerous in West Virginia than in other Democratic primaries, they also were much more supportive of Bernie Sanders here than elsewhere. Among anti-trade voters, those very worried about the economy and those focused on the economy and jobs, majorities voted for Sanders.

          And: Exit polls: Nearly half of W.Va. Sanders backers would vote Trump. So you’re wrong two ways: Trump voters aren’t necessarily crackers (unless your typical cracker votes for elderly Jewish socialists) and some Sanders voters will vote for Trump, which is consistent with the CounterPunch idea that “they are so disgusted with the status quo that they nonetheless vote for him, largely as an act of revenge or protest.”

          Carl Beijer has a more intersectional approach to how voters choose as they do, if you want to look beyond the crude smears of the Clinton campaign. See here and here.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      You’re right–excellent.

      When racism and bigotry can be blamed capitalism is exonerated.


      Indeed, masterfully masquerading as liberals, Bill Clinton and Barak Obama have proven to be much more effective engineers of demolishing the New Deal Economics, of substituting corporate welfare for public welfare, and of deregulating and strengthening the parasitic financial sector than their Republican counterparts.

      Just two eminently quotable quotes from an article that’s loaded with them.

    3. shinola


      Contains some jaw dropping quotes from both (neo) lib. & conservative “elites”. A snippet from a longer quote attributed to Kevin Williamson of the National Review:

      “…poor white America. . . . The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets”


      1. Lambert Strether

        And don’t read J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy, which is pushed by the political class only because it supports the usual neoliberal “it’s all about personal character” narrative. (See, if it were one of the 10%-er’s favored categories, what Vance writes would be called “blaming the victim.” Since it’s about the working class, ***crickets***. Let them die.)

        Instead, read (and follow) Chris Arnade, who covers the same beat, but thinks systemically (and is an excellent photographer).

  2. jgordon

    I stayed up last night in eager anticipation of the hyped wikileaks dump. So in the end I watched their stupid anniversy special for nothing. Epic trolling by wikileaks and Assange.

    It came out the other day that Hillary was advocating drone strikes against Assange in State Department meetings. Well last night I suddenly had the feeling that maybe Hillary was right about something for once. Damn you and your incoherent rambling Assange! Complete waste of time.

  3. Cry Shop

    FYI, Pettis’s blog site is being blocked by my security software, indicating it’s trying to inject malware.

  4. allan

    One of the House candidates that Bernie supported and campaigned for this summer was Eric Kingson, a Syracuse University professor who made protecting Social Security the centerpiece of his campaign in the Democratic primary to oppose one-term GOP incumbent John Katko in NY-24.

    Needless to say, the national Dem leadership was horrified by the prospect of a Berniecrat winning a primary and and stepped in to quash it, as well as the threat to the Party’s hard-won reputation for banker-friendly fiscal conservatism. Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand and Syracuse mayor Stephanie Miner (under whom the Syracuse Occupy movement was crushed) all endorsed former Gillibrand aide Colleen Deacon.

    The DCCC anointed Deacon as the favored candidate and the funds flowed in. Come primary time in June,
    Deacon defeated Kingson in a three-way primary (with very low turnout).
    How’s that working for you, DCCC?

    Katko has 19 point lead in NY-24 race [Democrat and Chronicle]

    The DCCC: No worse friend, no better enemy.

    1. DJG

      The Democrats are planning on losing both houses of the Congress rather than change. Which tells you what the Hillary Clinton campaign is all about.

      1. allan

        Yes, the DSCC is no better than the DCCC. Look at the pathetic performances of their chosen candidates for the Senate in Florida and Ohio, and ahead-but-DINO Evan Bayh in Indiana.

      2. JohnnyGL

        Clinton and her close advisors called the shots back in May (I think). They told the DNC not to beat up on the Republicans, only beat on Trump specifically.

        The Party has been told that only electing Clinton matters, all other Dem candidates are on their own.

        That’s what Party loyalty gets you!

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Offer to split their fare for a plane ticket to Aleppo, so they can fight the good fight.

    2. workingclasshuman

      Katko has an incredible (as in, difficult to actually believe) amount of support from moderate/establishment liberal types around here. He’s virtually a foot soldier for capital running interference on everything from the Iran deal to repeating Christer fiction against abortion rights, being tough on policing blah blah (one might ask what benefit to the community has actually arisen from prosecuting gang members in treating a symptom and not the underlying, vast economic inequalities and inequalities of access & opportunity that pervade CNY)

      Personally, I blame the suburbs & their perennial contempt for the city of Syracuse, all the while commuting there for work day in and out.

  5. JSM

    Re: Comey on Capitol Hill.

    I believe the person in question is Combetta, not Pagliano.

    The most substantive moment might occur during Comey’s attempt, in his exchange with Chaffetz, to exonerate Combetta by…accusing him of committing a number of crimes, viz. destroying records which were under subpoena, altering/destroying federal records which are the property of the federal government, etc.

    Also noteworthy is Chaffetz’s destruction of Mills’ supposed ignorance of the private server, as well as Gowdy’s rhetorical musing about the whether the Director ‘has been gotten to’ or is ‘corrupt.’ Hell of a time, hell of a country.

    1. timbers

      Yes, IMO Comey is totally “in” on it. His “reasons” for not prosecuting Clinton are a joke, and that doesn’t even account for his head-in-sand attitude on That Which Must Not Be Said – Sect of State Hillary directing appointments to the Clinton Foundation to be contingent on donations that go into Chelsea, Bill, and her pockets. Using public office for private gain.

      For a short time there was hope Trump would press into this – and maybe a few random progressive issues that he accidentally finds himself to Clinton’s left – but after his inept performance in the debate, that window is closing too.

      Now the campaign has become boring again as it returns to normal – policy free discussions of the latest outrage and appeals to tribalism.

      1. JSM

        “Obama Email Alias to Clinton Is Why FBI Didn’t Prosecute Hillary” explains a lot.

        It explains why, when ‘there’s classified and there’s classified,’ Wikileaks ends up with enough documents to supply a 10 weeks, 10 leaks free for all. Certainly that’s not what the peons were taught on their first day.

        It also explains that classification for ‘national security’ really means ‘if the public finds out, they’ll be so pissed we might actually be in trouble.’

        If the Russians get the President’s email with as much trouble as the average American gets their postal mail, well that’s just another day at the office.

      2. Antifa

        The CSPAN clip raises the possibility that this same crew of Representatives will be bringing in Comey and other FBI agents, former Clinton staff members, and former IT techs and doing the whole investigation themselves from scratch. Clinton, if elected, will claim Executive Privilege, but I’m not sure that covers crimes committed before swearing in as President. This kind of grilling will go on until Hillary is impeached.

        It was shocking to hear that the FBI has only given redacted copies of their 302 Interviews to the Oversight Committee. That isn’t how this works at all. Chairman Issa asked Comey directly several times, “What am I not allowed to see?” and never got a straight answer from him. So he issued a subpoena for every piece of paper, unredacted, involved in this investigation, and served Comey on the spot. The only correct answer is that the Oversight Committee gets to see anything they ask for. If you shred, lose, misplace, or redact what they asked for, that’s obstruction of justice, and you go to jail for that.

        It was also shocking to see that several people were granted ‘immunity from destruction’ of emails, etc BEFORE they were even interviewed. The only reason to do that is if the decision to never prosecute the case has already been made.

        1. jash

          The whole FBI investigation looks so much like a cover-up that …..

          at this point what does it matter?

          Even if done in good faith , how could COmey and his “weasels” not see the terrible optics on this?

          1. shinola

            Comey may be trying to accumulate some “dry powder” so he can do that thing that J. Edgar did so well.

            Blackmail futures!

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          LOL “you go to jail” LOL
          Yes back in those quaint old “rule of law” days, I remember them fondly.
          No, folks, the fix is in, Obama’s DOJ and FBI are
          “L’etat, c’est moi”. And here we all thought we had thrown all that stuff out in 1776…at least with a Star Chamber you got the chance to plead your case.

        3. ewmayer

          Good points – further, grants of immunity are generally, and eminently sensibly, made “in exchange for your testimony on…”. I.e. you waive your right to plead the 5th – a pointless exercise since you can no longer incriminate yourself, right? – in exchange for immunity. The only ‘legitimate’ reason to want to have it both ways as a defendant is in order to continue covering up for someone else, and the only reason to allow this as at the prosecutorial level is via complicity in said cover-up.

  6. Aleric

    Definite second on the must read for the Chicago Magazine article on gangs – like something from a W. Gibson novel.

    1. Steve H.

      The UofC Sociology department has a long history on topic, having done the first major study on gangs in the 1950’s. At the time, the members were completely territory-bound, and did not leave their neighborhood.

      When I moved back around 1978, that had changed. I previously wrote about Elton, and his sales territory was city-wide. I remember looking out my window at 4 in the morning, a car in the street and something going on in the back seat. A guy gets out, the car rolls away, and he runs after them shouting ‘Hey, that’s my knife.’ I left a few years later, tired of friends getting shot for a backpack or stabbed for nothing. I was gone by the peak of the El Rukn takedown, but just felt that was a continuation of the Fred Hampton story.

      So what catches me about this story is people hoping they can leave for good. There was no consideration of that in the ’50’s. ‘Superfly’ was a creative framework that ‘folks’ incorporated in the ’70’s, but that was a tragedy, and the lyric was ‘trying to get over’ without the expectation of actually getting there. In this story, the frame is about getting out, and the heroes are the ones who really made it.

      1. barefoot charley

        + Third on must read. The business of Chicago gang violence is driven by amateur rap videos leading in two very real directions: street cred for the videos based on shooting whoever’s dissed in the vid; and LA cred for playing a superpredator so well that “white people, Mexicans, bitches, those people don’t live the life, but they love hearing about it,” those people will support you.

        A money quote: “Their model is inspired by the local patron saint of drill rap, Chief Keef, who successfully leveraged the persona of a black superpredator. The more he portrayed himself as a reckless, gun-toting, ruthless murderer, the more attention he got. Eventually, Interscope Records signed him to a $6 million deal and off he went to Los Angeles. Hardly a day goes by without someone from CBE mentioning Keef.”

        Philosophical question: Does Billary deserve a residual?

    2. Sluggeaux

      Interesting to contrast this outstanding piece with the extremely negative commentary here about the Alicia Garza/Black Lives Matter post.

      So many “progressives” are uncomfortable with African-American culture. They look at the results of the systematic kidnapping, incarceration, and exclusion of persons of African heritage in America and express shock and dismay. The real scary part is that this privileged idiot “Chad” in L.A. wants to be part of the South Side nightmare — this is how revolutionary anarchy is going to spread. I see privileged university cloutheads play-acting drill rappers all the time, and it’s indeed frightening.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        Lefties, *should* quite naturally be opposed to the political ramifications of African-American culture where it is reactionary and right wing. Those Clinton-bot church lady grandmas are certainly allies of no progressives anywhere. We lefties should join where we have common purpose, and oppose where our purposes clash, while always seeking our common ground.

  7. hemeantwell

    The media are misleading the public on Syria Boston Globe. Resilc: “Teplay of NYT and WaPo on Iraq.”

    A refreshing article, maybe even an encouraging one. As I vaguely recall, the Globe has been fairly steady in raising questions about Obama/Clinton policies in the ME and Central Europe. If that’s accurate, can anyone shed some light on why their position is so different from the Times’ and the Post’s?

    1. fresno dan

      October 4, 2016 at 8:44 am

      “If that’s accurate, can anyone shed some light on why their position is so different from the Times’ and the Post’s?”
      I don’t know. Maybe the pressure on media has gotten so severe that just spouting the conventional wisdom and being a stenographer for DoD press spokesmen is no longer economically feasible? Or maybe Boston is in fact more “liberal” than the stereotype of liberal New York and there is a demand for more in depth reporting and less regurgitation….
      Whatever it is, I’m all for it.
      And I was going to say, really wonderful links today!

      1. Carla

        I’m on the west coast at the moment, so didn’t open NC until about 10:30 EDT this morning. I must say, the “front page” headlines are dynamite — “Technology-Driven Growth,” “Democracy. Capitalism. Socialism,” “Speech to Millennials that Will Work,” and “Global Movement for Black Lives” PLUS stellar “Links.” Can’t wait to read everything.

        Yves, you have outdone yourself once more. When is that Fall Fundraiser coming around again?

      2. fosforos

        It was an OP-ED. Not the rag’s position, which is identical to the NYTimes’s. But still it’s good that even a small dissent was allowed to make it into their op-eds.

    2. Some Guy

      That article is from February (still excellent) but I see it is listed in their top 10 trending articles. The power of NC, or a broader trend of people hungry to read something honest about the middle east?

    3. tgs

      Unfortunately the efforts by the media are working. Sitting in the faculty lounge at my college on Monday, I listened to a group of educated people talking about Aleppo as if it was the greatest humanitarian disaster of the 21st century and that something must be done. CNN presents ‘heartbreaking photos’ from the ‘white helmets’ 24/7. No mention that they are a western trained and funded organization which has been advocating for a no-fly-zone. The level of lies and manipulation about this Syria are truly astounding.

      And then they got to Hillary and Bengazi at which point someone purporting to be a history professor said, ‘why all the nostalgia about Gaddafi? Don’t people know that he was planning to kill millions of his own people?’ And this is after the publication of the UK finding on the complete fabrication of pending atrocities that were used to justify the NATO bombing and regime change.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        This is completely depressing, I find myself asking what the difference is between today and the Vietnam War days, the only answer I can come up with is the Rand Corp exhortions to buy up the media organs so the narrative never gets away from them like that again. The National Imperative is war, everywhere and always, and despite the internet all they need to do is convince 51% of people that constantly killing other people is the American way, and heaven forbid an orange-haired developer from New York would question “nation-building” and use the word “peace” in his military policy addresses, can’t have any of that terrible “peace” stuff breaking out now can we.
        And as always, silence is complicity.

        1. crittermom

          “…I find myself asking what the difference is between today and the Vietnam War days…”

          Perhaps another difference is that people of all colors joined together in protests across the country to oppose the Viet Nam war?

          Now our country seems more divided than in a long time.
          Just the way those in power prefer it.

    4. John k

      Probably NYT has long been captured by banks, even before ownership change. The Post sells to elites, which DC is jam packed with, and these worthies have long prospered by the vast fed corruption. In both cases there is great fear of progressives because the last time progressives won decisively, in 1932, the elites were flushed out along with the banks.
      Their brand of liberalism is the neo kind, that directs resources upwards and totally ignores the lower 2/3, except during elections when the under classes are expected to express their fealty to their hard working betters.

  8. rich

    Bill Clinton called Obamacare a “crazy system”

    Bill Clinton, the husband of the Democratic presidential nominee, knocked President Obama’s signature piece of legislation — the ObamaCare health care law — as “the craziest thing in the world.”

    “You’ve got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care, and then the people who are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half and it’s the craziest thing in the world,” the former president railed at a rally in Michigan on Monday.

    Hmmm… wonder when Obama will come out and endorse this?

    1. Roger Smith

      Haha! Bill forgot to take his medicine again. Maybe when ‘it’s time’ Obama will take him on one last ride in Air Force One. Then, like Old Yeller and Osama Bin Laden before him, toss him into the Atlantic. “Goodbye Ol’ Boy!”

      1. Jim Haygood

        Oof … thought you said “Old Yellen” for a second there.

        It ain’t her time yet. As “Bill” would say, “That’s Trump’s deal. That’s Trump’s deal.”

        [echoing an overheard conversation in a Little Rock apartment about their coke dealer, in which “Bill” croaked to his brother Roger, “That’s Lasater’s deal! That’s Lasater’s deal!”]

        “Dan Lasater, who was best friend of Bill Clinton, who went to jail with Roger Clinton for cocaine — and by the way, let me explain something,” Larry Nichols, former Director of Marketing for the Arkansas Development Finance Authority, explained in a documentary.

        Pointing to court documents, Nichols said, “They didn’t sell cocaine. No. They were giving it away. Huge piles of it at the parties. Ashtray upon ashtray full at the parties — and they would give it to young girls.”

        “One particular one comes to mind, was a fourteen-year-old cheerleader — I don’t know if [she was from] Little Rock — she was a virgin … and ultimately he ended up sending her to a physician of his. The physician put her on birth control pills. He used cocaine in order to, uh … ultimately she lost her virginity, and she got addicted to cocaine.”

        Dan “Bond Daddy” Lasater: Arkansas’s answer to Jeffrey Epstein.

      2. Lambert Strether

        Watch the video with the sound down. Bill really does look awful; like an aging roue. Like some corrupt ancien regime noble, except without the fancy wig or the gold-buckled shoes and white stockings.

    2. fresno dan

      October 4, 2016 at 9:00 am

      Having been burned by the Post with regard to getting things in context, I looked up the YouTube video of Clinton:

      So, Yup, Clinton did say its “this crazy system”
      and its a right purty speech….but I have a question – if Obama couldn’t….or didn’t want to have people buy into medicare, how will Hillary do it???

      1. cwaltz

        She won’t.

        She had an opportunity to put single player in the platform. Bernie surrogates wanted and suggested it. It was turned down.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          This is amusing given the rigorous defense of ACA and the expectation of Democrats that it wouldn’t matter in November. Obama must be fuming. I sure do hope to hear from Pelosi on the subject.

          I do have to admire Bill’s psychosis. He finally gets around to an element of truth, but he doesn’t seem to grasp he is the guy who asked what the meaning of the word “is” was.

          1. Pat

            Obama should have taken a hit from the insurance companies and actually put controls in the bill that would make it impossible for them to 1.) decline to participate, and 2.) profit from any marketplace plan.

            Unfortunately, by having insurance company drones write his bill, he pretty much guaranteed it was a crazy system that didn’t work and that people would notice didn’t work because of their enforced participation. And that every once awhile someone would point out that it was crazy and unworkable and maybe even use the terms theft, extortion and rip-off.

            And then there was the whole thing of his Clinton support, both legally and through his position with the DNC. Obama can just twist, flail and blow up on that petard of his own making.

            1. cwaltz

              But hey, they shivved our savvy President in the back after leaving the back room by making sure that he came off as a liar with his pronouncement “that if you like your health care insurance you can keep it.”

              You would think at some point the government would realize that companies are going to look out for their bottom line and best interest, that’s the reason you bozos are supposed to be looking at this as adversaries, not like they are your bestest buds.

            2. NotTimothyGeithner

              Oh, Obama deserves to be lambasted for all time, but there are so many who deserve public ridicule. I can’t wait until the “we will fix it later crowd but have to pass it to find out what is in it” is asked about Bill’s comments.

      2. JohnnyGL

        That’s funny, he really said she wants a medicare/medicaid buy in for people above the poverty line. Right around the 2:25-2:40 mark. Except, of course, she’s never said that herself.

        Looks like Bill got the wrong script.

    3. Anne

      What’s ironic is that what Bill said could have been an excellent segue into explaining how the insurance industry that brought us to the brink of crisis and brought everyone except the single-payer folks to the table to work out a new plan, is bringing us there again in less than a decade. He could have pointed out that with so many more people in the health insurance pool, the risk should have been diluted, not concentrated, and premiums should be going down, not up.

      Well, except for one little-bitty problem: his wife, the one who wants to be president, has repeatedly said she wants to build on, expand and improve this crazy system called Obamacare, so what’s Bill’s endgame here? Is he deliberately sabotaging that message, or is he telegraphing that this is just one more thing she will renege on if elected?

      If it wasn’t obvious before, this is the kind of thing that should make it clear that Bill has gone well past his sell-by date, and someone needs to find something for him to do that will keep him out of the public eye and out of trouble. Not sure what that something would be, but someone needs to think of something, quick, and be brutally honest about why.

        1. Antifa

          A horse-drawn casket for Old Bill? Not likely. That puts the coachman and both horses at high risk of exposure to antibiotic-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It’s spread by close proximity, ya know. In his case, it may even be airborne.

      1. Carla

        “someone needs to find something for him to do that will keep him out of the public eye and out of trouble.”

        Hillary has already promised to put Bill in charge of the economy. Surely he can’t do any harm there.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Bill and to a lesser extent Hillary largely try to say what they think a room wants to hear without making a commitment.

        As others have noted, Bill despite being the beneficiary of the World Wide Web has no concept that the Internet exists except for NSFW sites.

      3. River

        If it wasn’t obvious before, this is the kind of thing that should make it clear that Bill has gone well past his sell-by date, and someone needs to find something for him to do that will keep him out of the public eye and out of trouble.

        Billy Beer Version 2?

        1. Pavel

          This is perhaps in indication of what Clinton Whitehouse 2.0 will be like… not only endless investigations by the Repubs (with very real justification), but Foot In Mouth Bill spouting off now and then. I guess at least it will be amusing in a depressing way.

          I’d like to think with others that there would be perpetual gridlock, but unfortunately the “two” parties always seem to be able to finance another disastrous illegal war or agree on a new spying program. Never gridlock over the really nasty stuff.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Why do I doubt that the Reds in Congress will engage in any investigations of 0Bomba or the Clantons or anyone else of substance? Cmon, folks– isn’t it apparent that they’re all on the same page, ticket, string?

      4. John k

        Lolita express should do it…
        Maybe big O could give up the back bedroom on AF1 until the election, after which he could just move in for the duration…

    4. Benedict@Large

      The description Bill is using is a severe exaggeration, and one that comes straight out of the GOP’s talking points.

      Looks like Bill is still pissed off about 2008.

      1. Lambert Strether

        What’s exaggerated about it?

        Incidentally, I don’t blame Bill for being pissed about 2008; if the Texas Caucus fraud didn’t do it, the misogyny of the Obama campaign should have. It wouldn’t be fair to bring up the incessant smearing of opponents as racist, since the Clinton campaign of 2016 adopted the tactic.

  9. fresno dan

    What big data tells us about real income growth VoxEU. Big data tells us that inflation is doing less to lower your standard of living than most economists believe. Awfully convenient finding, no?

    I have mentioned before that the BLS does not actually track insurance rates.
    “Although medical insurance premiums are an important part of consumers’ medical spending, the direct pricing of health insurance policies is not included in the CPI. As explained below, BLS reassigns most of this spending to the other medical categories (such as Hospitals) that are paid for by insurance. The extreme difficulty distinguishing changes in insurance quality from changes in its price forces the CPI to use this indirect method.”
    So, I find the idea that most people can get a price quote from a hospital absurd, so using hospital pricing seems fraught with made up pricing to begin with.
    Second, even if hospital prices truly were lower, undoubtedly the vast majority of the time the insurance company would hoover up any savings while at the same time increasing insurance rates. People are paying ever more fees and co-pays and “adjustments” (which, oddly….-sarc- is ALWAYS MORE)
    And finally “hedonics” – as I have mentioned numerous times, the whole concept is intellectually flawed as they don’t even TRY to consider how things are getting worse or decreasing in quality.

    “…than most economists believe”
    Aren’t economists FINALLY admitting that their “studies” on the deleterious effects of trade were wrong and MUCH worse than they stated??? Whether economists are just dim, or whether they say inflation isn’t harming the lower quintiles because their masters tell them do ….well, I’ll leave that to the less cynical.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Mystery to me is why some big-name hospital — Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, etc — doesn’t avail themselves of NAFTA and do what Ford did: buy themselves a facility in Mexico.

      Even with the added burden of travel costs, they could WAY undershoot US prices. Plenty of consumers do this on their own, getting decent quality dental care in Mexican border towns.

      Of course, the whole purpose of the health cartel is to coordinate high prices. No one is going to step out of line and introduce the horror of price competition, even if we have to pass a new law to stop it.

      Funny how “informed shopping” for health coverage is glorified by personages up to and including the president … but price competition among hospitals is utterly nonexistent.

      1. JTMcPhee

        So you have a stroke, a coronary, a fractured hip, get ejected from your Acura at 85, need chronic care for some disease or disability — the neoliberal opportunist says “get on a jet plane and fly to Monterrey or Mumbai…” An unkind person might even wish that proponents of this sort of market-basing would find themselves in sudden need, or chronic need, of decent, competent actual “care” in their immediate environs. But that would be unkind — they are only proposing a remedy, according to their lights…

        A lot of the people availing themselves of “flyaway medical tourism” do gain from the arbitrage, and a lot of them are fortunate to be able to afford to avail themselves of that monetized mobility. Quite a few are going there for cosmetic enhancements (like those enormous pustulant-looking lips and terror-stricken-looking blepharoplasties and gigantic booties and boobs, and guys for calf and pec implants, because “they can afford it.”)

        Because markets. Go die.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Elective surgery rather than emergency care is where medical tourism is practical.

          Folks I know who visit the dentist in San Luis Rio Colorado don’t fly there on a private jet.

          They drive their own 12-year-old car — just “cloth coat Democrats’ trying to save a few thousand dollars which otherwise would bust their budget.

          1. Alejandro

            Somehow I get the impression that you speak not from experience, but from a {cattalactically} captured imagination. What happens to their “budget” if their “12-year-old car” breaks down during their medical “vacation”? What if they don’t have a budget? Do they hitch-hike and beg upon arrival? Do you give a shit?

            1. cwaltz

              Most of the folks I’ve heard of doing this are close to the border to begin with or if you are budgeting for that dental procedure then you budget in the cost of a car rental with some of the savings you would get not drive a car that might fall apart(Let’s face it a root canal and a crown run into the thousands here.)

              Of course, I’ve also heard people complain later on that the crown they had put on in Mexico failed too. So just like here it’s a your miles may vary thing with what kind of care you get.


              Of course some of the reasons Mexican dentists can charge less according to this article is they don’t have ridiculous student loans and those commie Mexicans subsidize education for the dental field. LOL

              1. crittermom

                “…budget in the cost of a car rental…”

                Yeah, sounds good, but…
                Those of us actually poor (like after having their home with future income stolen by the banksters) no longer have credit that would allow us to rent a car.
                (Speaking from experience, since my credit is trashed following my foreclosure).
                Renting a car is a luxury now in my past.

                AND…….car insurance is also based on how many miles you drive (as well as your credit rating. Gee, hit me twice!).
                Mine was just raised again because I had the audacity to put on more miles this past year (all of it going to the dentist or Dr, which are hours away)
                I still drive less than 7,000 miles a year. Far less.

                I’m still driving the same vehicle I bought new. A 1987. No tickets, no accidents. Clean record. I’m 65 this month. (Oops! I’m single–30 yrs–so that puts me in a higher bracket, as well, ‘cuz don’t ya know all of us single folks spend our time at the bars? ha, ha. Not)

                But I’m so happy (sarc) to pay extra for coverage to protect me from those uninsured.

                Sorry. It’s probably obvious by now I’ve spent no less than ten full hours on the phone in recent days with Medicaid, Medicare, and getting insurance rates, so I admit to being a bit snarky.

                My last Dr visit the Dr could see I was a bit down & asked if I felt suicidal.
                I laughed.
                My response: Suicidal? Hell, no. Homicidal? Absolutely!

                1. cwaltz

                  Their plan for the poor is the same as it ever was, hurry up and die.

                  You aren’t savvy businessmen like the crooks who write and control legislation in this country.

                  Welcome to the third world where your job as a poor person is to be exploited or drop dead.

                  Isn’t capitalism grand?(and yes I’m being snarky because this also is the end product of basing everything on profitability instead of valuing things like ALL human life.)

                  You kind of sound like my spouse, Lord help Congress if I’m gone and they ever give him 6 months to live. My man has an angry streak, I’m the pacifist in our relationship.

                  1. crittermom

                    Maybe hard to believe, but I was always a pacifist…
                    Until the bank stole my ranch (while I was current on pymts).
                    No help from ‘my’ govt.
                    Advised to “hire a lawyer” (for $75,000 more than I owed on my home of 20 yrs).

                    Now angry, disgusted, & wanting to throw 90% of ‘our’ govt literally outta their seats.

                    Leave instructions for him to contact me should he survive you.
                    Strength in numbers, don’t ya know.

            2. HotFlash

              I personally know two people, one USian, one Canadian, who flew to Mexico City last year, then biked around the country four a month or so. They had some dental work done while they were there b/c of the cheapness. They said it was excellent quality and the dentists and staff were very nice. They are very not-rich, not even middle class. They are young, though, and could swap out a couple of month’s rent on their budget for airfare to Mexico.

              1. cwaltz

                And that’s the crux of the matter- there are people who can’t afford airfare or even the cost of driving down to another country to get more affordable health care.

                Even though it works for some it’s downright cruel to tell someone who it doesn’t work for , “hey go down to Mexico to get affordable care” as if everyone has the means to ignore the problems in our own system and use someone else’s

                The bad thing is if you are poor you’ve got a lose- lose situation. Use our health care system and get charged something you can’t afford or look at cheaper care outside the country that you can’t afford because of the cost to get there and stay there on vacation are also out of range.

                I’m completely sympathetic, I’ve got a laundry list of medical issues and budgeting for them has meant choosing which issue to deal with first and hoping in the interim those I’m putting on hold don’t harm me too much. Lots of fun. Not.

                1. Lambert Strether

                  I don’t think arbitraging health care prices is a systemic solution. But for those who can afford to lay out the cash, the arbitrage almost pays for the ticket. Certainly true for me in Thailand, when I needed to have dental work done (like pulling all my wisdom teeth). Not that I would trust the dental system in the US anyhow; the last clinic I tried was a nightmare. So stressful for me they wanted to give me general anesthesia. No thanks. And of course bad teeth are a class marker, and it’s important to be able to pass!

                  Of course, single payer is the real answer, not flying half-way round the world.

      2. Goyo Marquez

        We live on the border, across from Mexicali BC, México. It’s a fairly common thing now for employees here to be offered as their health insurance, care provided by a clinic in Mexicali. The largest local school district offered it as an option to the teachers in their last contract. From what I’ve heard it’s a very, very nice facility, much nicer than anything on our side of the border. Who needs Obamacare when you’ve got Arbitragecare.

        Jim is right about the dentistry, if you live here getting braces for your kids for under $1000 is definitely a thing people do. Lot of snow birds, people retiring to this area use the dentist in Algodones.

        It’s a fairly common thing for people to be flown to foreign hospitals, Vancouver BC for example, by their insurer, all expenses paid, for surgeries, kneee, hip, whatever, that cost a lot more in the US. There are tremendous economies of scale and expertise available to a hospital that does 10,000 knee surgeries a year.

        I’m waiting for elder care, convalescent care, retirement care to move south of the border, because of the savings and besides hispanics tend to be kinder and more respectful to the elderly than your typical American convalescent home employee.

        1. Lambert Strether

          > Retirement care

          So far as I can tell, the optimal solution under neoliberalism is to strap me to a bed with a drip feed of opiates in one arm and a rental extraction tube in the other.

          No thanks. I’d rather die in a ditch in the tropics, if it comes to that. Growing old isn’t for wimps….

    2. armchair

      An interesting tactic by auto insurance companies to reduce payouts is to ask juries to calculate damages, not on what the medical provider charges, but on Medicare rates, which are significantly lower. There are evidence problems (collateral sources) with this analysis, but the expert testimony on Medicare rates is not always excluded. Juries are being asked to apply Medicare rates to the calculation of damages even if the patient didn’t have Medicare. An emerging trend in damages testimony.

  10. Jim A.

    Re: The Class Dynamics in the Rise of Donald Trump Counterpunch

    I don’t think that I agree with his conclusion, but I think that he is dead on about how in economically hard times, peoples discontent is viewed through the prism of their underlying racism. Something which is often dormant when times are good. Certainly I have notices that when the situation is bad tribalism (in the “All I care about is us, and them like us” ) becomes rampant. As things drag on, conflicts that were at first primarily over policies and politics tend to break down to ethinc/religious disputes.

    1. HotFlash

      Hmm, I didn’t get that at all. I understood the author to assert that ‘the elites’, pundits and such, *erroneously ascribe* Trump’s popularity among working-class whites to racism and zenophobia, since it would not do to say anything is wrong with capitalism or the economy. Did we read the same article?

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We humans extrapolate a lot.

      When things are rough, we run back to our families…most of us.

      From there (our families), the next step is to go to our more distant relatives, and clans, etc.

    3. Lambert Strether

      > viewed through the prism of their underlying racism

      First, the elites have systematically working people economic explanations for their plight (real wages flat for a generation, etc.) The Democratic nomenklatura is desperate to do so. (That’s why you get people like Propane Jane elevated to Kos.) People search for meaning; denied that one meaning, it’s not surprising that other meanings fill the void. And our elites are perfectly happy to see them fall for the con.

      Second, “their underlying” still makes racism personal, an individual characteristic of “irredeemables.” That’s the point Arnade makes over and over again. Liberals will seek “context” for everything except racism. That’s an immutable characteristic of disfavored individuals with the wrong class and cultural markers. (It is not racist, for example, to engineer a foreign policy that disproportionately turns hundreds of thousands of faraway brown people to pink mist. Or, to be fair, charred remains.)

  11. Jim Haygood

    ‘Sterling Falls to 31-Year Low Against Dollar Wall Street Journal. Wowsers, this is lower than it was during my 1984 time in London. I managed to leave before it plunged briefly to $1.06 and rebounded.’

    An English friend who was part of our consulting team in NYC in 1984 decided to relocate permanently to the US and buy a house in the NYC suburbs.

    In sending over sterling-denominated funds from the UK, he managed to precisely low-tick the exchange rate in Feb. 1985 (meaning fewest dollars for his GBP). Meanwhile, a bidding war for houses was underway here, so he ended up paying above ask for his suburban castle.

    His sad cautionary tale is another reason to loathe fiat currencies, which (strictly speaking) are worth nothing.

    1. Joseph Hill

      “His sad cautionary tale is another reason to loathe fiat currencies, which (strictly speaking) are worth nothing.”

      Fiat currencies as opposed to what? Fiat commodities? Personally I have an overlarge seashell collection – I’m hoping to be in the money soon. I try to be as transparent as possible in undermining any other medium of exchange in seemingly unrelated comments and postings on various news and blog sites. Ssshhh….listen – you can hear the sound of the ocean. Oh wait, that’s tinnitus.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Pound sterling was fixed at roughly US$4.80 in the first half of the 20th century, except when Britain suspended gold convertability in WW I and again in late 1931. Lookit this beautiful chart:

        Pound sterling (a phrase which once literally meant ‘lb of silver’) that’s lost three-fourths of its value against the USD — which in turn has shed 95% of its purchasing power since 1913 — is sad testimony to what happens when fiateers are enabled to roll out their deceitful project of currency crapification.

        1. Rojo

          Gold standard is far too soft. There’s way too much of the stuff.

          OTOH, there’s probably only one ounce of Francium on the Earth right now. Whip Inflation Now — and forever. Velocity, schmelocity — geology is the key to sound economics.

          1. vlade

            Nah, there’s still way too much of that stuff in our solar system, so if some entrepreneur gets an asteroid in, it’s Spain all the way. I suggest using antimatter, which has the nice property that while you can make it, the costs of making and maintaining it scales exponentially, so it combines scarcity with energy spend and creation complexity magnitudes over Bitcoin.

            And you can still say that unlike Bitcoin or even gold it’s actually useful on its own! (if nothing else, it goes bang!)

            That will show them!

          2. crittermom

            Gold? Silver?

            I suspect some of you are sitting on something that has probably increased in price more than either but you’re not even aware.

            I’ve been crafting jewelry for forty years.
            My ‘savings’ is a string of nicely calibrated, nice matrix, turquoise beads I bought from a jewelry supplier maybe 15 yrs ago?

            I paid $6 for the strand.
            It’s now worth around $130.

            A Zuni turquoise and coral bracelet I purchased about that same time for $23 is now worth around $300, maybe more.

            Turquoise has been mined-out all over the world. Even in China, which used to have some nice turquoise.

            The only commercial turquoise mine I know of still in operation is the Kingman Mine in Arizona.

            Note: Beware of ‘turquoise’ you buy nowadays. Much of it is actually Magnesite, sometimes Howlite, dyed turquoise. Hard to tell the difference, so beware ‘rip-offs’. (Google ‘turquoise beads’ and read the fine print in the descriptions. ‘Real stones’. ‘Dyed’. They’re NOT turquoise).

        1. cwaltz

          I suggest feathers and beads. Our economy was never better than when we were trading the Indians for Manhattan.

    2. Alejandro

      Cherry-picked “anecdote” that doesn’t even back your claim. Remember, it’s monetary AND fiscal. Policy decisions are political, otherwise how can you explain a gold-hoarders obsession with the size of “government”? What’s the philanthropists plan for infrastucture? “Go die!” “because markets!” is not a viable health plan…

    3. Lambert Strether

      > (strictly speaking) are worth nothing

      Profoundly silly, even with the “strictly speaking” weasel wording. I pay my taxes with in a fiat currency, which I perform work to obtain. On both counts, that makes the currency “worth something.”

  12. fresno dan

    18 Months Inside a Chicago Gang Chicago Magazine (Lulu). Important.

    Reminds me very much of the book “Gang Leader for a Day”
    Interesting how the big “corporate” gangs have atomized, but gangs are still there.
    What I got out of that book is that if there is no honest opportunities available, than dishonest opportunities will fill people’s time.
    And I think the meth epidemic in rural America supports my thesis as well.

    1. Dave

      Aren’t all the housing projects owned by Housing and Urban Development? Isn’t this a federal problem?
      What is Obama doing about this? Why isn’t he exerting as much energy on this as he is on what happens in Syria, half way around the world?

        1. Carla

          Thanks. I tried my link again and it didn’t work for me, either. Don’t know what happened. Anyway, I’m glad you found it and let us know.

  13. allan

    J&J warns diabetic patients – Insulin pump vulnerable to hacking [Reuters]

    Johnson & Johnson is telling patients that it has learned of a security vulnerability in one of its insulin pumps that a hacker could exploit to overdose diabetic patients with insulin, though it describes the risk as low.

    Medical device experts said they believe it was the first time a manufacturer had issued such a warning to patients about a cyber vulnerability, a hot topic in the industry following revelations last month about possible bugs in pacemakers and defibrillators. …

    The Animas OneTouch Ping, which was launched in 2008, is sold with a wireless remote control that patients can use to order the pump to dose insulin so that they do not need access to the device itself, which is typically worn under clothing and can be awkward to reach.

    Jay Radcliffe, a diabetic and researcher with cyber security firm Rapid7 Inc, said he had identified ways for a hacker to spoof communications between the remote control and the OneTouch Ping insulin pump, potentially forcing it to deliver unauthorized insulin injections. …

    This is exactly why binding arbitration agreements exist.

  14. L

    The creators of bubble economies must be made to pay for their sins Andy Xie, South China Morning Post. Moss: “I cannot decide whether the title is ironic.”

    This article is particularly interesting for one offhand point in the middle and for his conclusion. The middle point is this:

    Western central banks keep waiting for an investment boom after cutting interest rates, but it never comes. Global companies understand where capital formation should happen – in East Asia, where capital and labour are much cheaper. As investment doesn’t happen in the West, its wages become stagnant. Thus, East Asia’s export model runs into a wall, and its forced savings become overcapacity, resulting in horrific capital destruction. The world is stuck in a vicious cycle, with decapitalisation in the West and capital destruction in the East.

    In some sense this is a concise statement of the situation. One, however that fits exactly into the same basic blinders that the central banks are using. The base assumption is that capital and labour costs are the block to investment and that Asia by virtue of its cheapness has an inherent is “where capital formation should happen.” How convenient.

    No mention is made of the fact that the capital and labour costs are low by design. Nor is any mention made of the ideological and compensatory structures we have that make sending capital abroad in search of cheap labour seem “natural”.

    In short he is conveniently ignoring those same central bankers’ role in making capital flows happen at the behest of Wall street. He is also ignoring China’s role in generating overcapacity and deliberately lowering its capital costs to keep it that way thus generating its own overcapacity. As a consequence he is effectively putting the blame for the current state of affairs (mostly) on western central bankers, a narrative that fits nicely into Beijing’s “its everyone but us” worldview.

    In his conclusions he makes this clearer with his closing paragraph:

    This is why politics is becoming more volatile everywhere. The world needs a new governance system. Policymakers must be held responsible for their decisions. In the feudal era, kings would chop the heads off ministers who failed them. We need something comparable in the 21st century.

    Imagery aside this fits into Beijing’s new call for “global governance” which they have deployed in support of the AIIB as well as their call for other countries to keep sending money and jobs to them to keep up international trade and resist attempts to reinstate tarrifs or capital controls. It is supremely significant that the G20 ended with Beijing calling for the current neoliberal system to stay the course and for countries, other countries, to open up themselves for foreign investment and capital.

    While Mr. Xie may be independent his worldview is very much in Beijing’s line.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      To end the vicious cycle – China should invest in drone-making.

      The global reserve currency issuer can inject more global money to lubricate international trade, and make up for stagnant wages (and lackluster consumer demand) at home, by buying Chinese drones.

      Then, we can bypass those western central bankers.

  15. DJG

    Modern Media Made for Forgetting. I recently read a very good book-essay in Italian by Roberto Cottoneo, Lo Sguardo Rovesciato (“Our Gaze Turned Upside Down”). He asserts that photography, which now documents an endless present though selfies and posting sites, and which no longer involves making a permanent record by developing the image from film on paper, is about a series of forgettable moments and not much else.

  16. allan

    Central banking as an instrument of war:

    Yemen central bank crisis raises new famine fears

    Intensive care wards in Yemen’s hospitals are filled with emaciated children hooked up to monitors and drips – victims of food shortages that could get even worse due to a reorganization of the central bank that is worrying importers.

    With food ships finding it hard to get into Yemen’s ports due to a virtual blockade by the Saudi-led coalition that has backed the government during an 18-month civil war, over half the country’s 28 million people already do not have enough to eat, according to the United Nations.

    Yemen’s exiled president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, last month ordered the central bank’s headquarters to be moved from the capital Sanaa, controlled by Houthi rebels in the north, to the southern port of Aden, which is held by the government. He also appointed a new governor, a member of his government who has said the bank has no money.

    Trade sources involved in importing food to the Arab peninsula’s poorest country say this decision will leave them financially exposed and make it harder to bring in supplies.

    Diplomats and aid officials believe the crisis surrounding the central bank could adversely affect ordinary Yemenis.

    “The politicisation of the central bank and attempts by the parties in the conflict to use it as a tool to hurt one another … threaten to push the poorest over the edge,” said Richard Stanforth, humanitarian policy adviser with Oxfam. …

    Waiting with bated breath for Samantha Power to condemn this.

  17. Jim Haygood

    An NYU accounting professor’s blueprint for the next Warren Buffett:

    Our calculations show that financial reports currently provide a mere 5%-6% of investors’ information.

    Companies now rely more than ever on intangible assets like patents, brands, technology and business processes to create value: corporate investment in intangibles (to $2.1 trillion in 2014) versus the decline in tangible assets (to $1.2 trillion in 2014).

    Accounting, stuck in the industrial era, largely ignores and often misreports intangible assets, rendering financial reports largely irrelevant to investors.

    A new measure we propose for value creation is cash flow from operations, plus investments in intangibles expensed in the income statement, minus normal capital expenditures and the cost of equity capital.

    Predicted values of our proposed measure of residual cash flow yield higher stock returns than either earnings or cash from operating activities.

    Man … we should turn this guy loose on public pension accounting. But he’d probably blow a fuse.

  18. jash

    The police shooting video is really depressing…..those officers were HUNTING that “thing”.

    How they could not be charged and suspended when they returned to the HQ is beyond me.

    1. polecat

      Great Job Sacramento …you frackin wankers !!

      ….But hey ! …look on the bright side ….. Kevin Johnson’s Taj Mahbasketball is OOOOOPEN …..

      Just don’t take the gang-bangin infested light rail getting there ……

      ‘Sigh’ …..

      I’m so glad I left that sh!thole …….

  19. rich

    Hillary Should Ask Jamie Dimon What Kind of Genius Loses $6.2 Billion

    By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: October 4, 2016

    Yesterday, building on the momentum afforded her by a series of articles in the New York Times, Hillary Clinton asked the audience at a campaign stop in Toledo, Ohio: “What kind of genius loses a billion dollars in one year.” Clinton was referring to the New York Times revelation on Sunday that Donald Trump’s 1995 tax return showed a loss of $916 million. (See video clip below.)
    If Hillary really wants to know what kind of genius can lose a billion dollars in one year or $6.2 billion in the case of traders at JPMorgan Chase, she should ask the bank’s CEO Jamie Dimon.

    The Chairman of the Subcommittee at the time, Senator Carl Levin, stated that JPMorgan “piled on risk, hid losses, disregarded risk limits, manipulated risk models, dodged oversight, and misinformed the public.”

    Compared to these guys, Trump is a piker.

    For the past three consecutive days the New York Times has deployed its front page as something akin to a Super Pac advertising medium to boost the campaign prospects of Hillary Clinton by sacking the business acumen of Donald Trump.
    (The editorial page of the New York Times has also twice endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, calling Trump “the worst nominee put forward by a major party in modern American history.”)

    While we are certainly no fan of Donald Trump, we have to ask ourselves two essential questions: (1) why is the Times creating a gag-worthy, revisionist history of the scandal-plagued career of Hillary Clinton and (2) why has the Times allowed its hometown’s largest industry, Wall Street,

    to become a criminal enterprise right under its coddling nose, leading to the unprecedented transfer of wealth from the 99 percent across America to the pockets of the super wealthy of New York City and its environs.

    hmmm. maybe gray lady had too much grey goose?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In real estate, you can depreciate your skycraper, and take passive losses.

      For a stock investor like Buffett, he can have a ten-bagger, but as long as he doesn’t sell, he pays no taxes on that gain.

  20. ilporcupine

    Chicago gangs

    “When I started my research, I had this simplified notion that members of one gang would tweet something or make a video taunting their rival, and immediately members of that other gang would see it, get mad, grab a gun, jump in a car, and go in search of retribution.

    That’s not the way it works most of the time. There are real, practical obstacles to that happening, one of them being that often there’s no gun available. Or car. And if there is a car, the only member who has a license might not be around. So they wait.”

    Am I to believe this? Waiting for a guy with a drivers license so they can go commit attempted murder/murder? This makes the whole article suspect, my opinion of course. “Rap Wars”? So now the music itself, instead of being descriptive of the situation, is also the cause of it, and the reason for it? The image of suburban kids supporting these bangers, and buying in to the “culture” of the gangsta rappers reinforces the message of GOP types, and this article seems to be written with intent of drawing fire from that sector. Clickbait.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Boy, your cultural ignorance is showing. You have no comprehension of how cultures different from your operate. Heard of honor killings? Of how in most cultures in the Middle East, scores are kept across generations of long-running family and ethnic feuds? You are projecting your idea of norms on a different culture. The fact that it is in the US does not mean that it can’t operate by rules vastly different than yours.

      Forrest Stuart is an assistant professor at the University of Chicago. He is going to get teunure. He has a lot to lose by publishing inaccurate information. You are really off base, with no personal knowledge of the behavior of gangs or how anthropological research is done, cashing aspersions from your remote enclave.

  21. Oregoncharles

    “When the Cops Take Your Urine by Force Vice. Yikes.”
    I’m not a lawyer, but it sure seems like suing the hospital and the nurse would be a lot more effective, and might get some money out of them.

    Seems like I read of someone doing that successfully. They have no police officer immunity.

  22. ewmayer

    At the risk of being called a spelling Nazi, a few kinds of glaring mistakes I’ve seen around here with distressing frequency:

    o Know the difference between defuse and diffuse;

    o Near-daily German fubar: The vowel sound ‘eee’ is spelled ‘ie’. The vowel sound ‘aye’ is spelled ‘ei’. So it’s Der Spiegel, not Der Speigel; Die Zeit, not Die Ziet (or Dei Ziet); and “nein”, not “nien”. (Fear not if you’ve done this, you’re in good company — the credits of Get Smart used to misspell the name of Bernie Kopell’s character as “Seigfried” all the time. Use the above pronunciation rule as your guide to how it should be spelled.)

    And now to some actually links-related commentary:

    o “Obama Worries Future Presidents Will Wage Perpetual, Covert Drone War | Intercept” — talk about ironic headlines. Why, because he wants to remain a special snowflake in only arrogating that right to himself?

    o “Clinton promises to hold Wells Fargo accountable | Reuters” — don’t tell me, let me guess: She’s gonna tell the WF C-suiters to “cut it out” in a no-transcripts-allowed $300,000 talk?

    o “AP: ‘Apprentice’ cast and crew say Trump was lewd and sexist | Associated Press” — Guess it’s a good thing he didn’t do anything really bad, like say, screw an intern and then commit obstruction of justice with regard to the ensuing investigation. Because that would be not merely bad optics, but illegal!

    o “The Latest: Clinton says Trump ‘always puts himself first’ | Washington Post” — No comment needed here.

    o “Officers tried to run over man before shooting him 14 times, video shows | Guardian” — But at least they let him die with his urine unmolested. Silver lining!

  23. Adam Eran

    That Proposition 13 is a boon to the rich isn’t the half of it. Never mind that low taxes on real estate make it more expensive (speculators can hold infill *forever* at relatively modest cost. See… It’s a commonplace for edge city development, even on good farmland or in floodplain, to take precedence over perfectly nice infill for this reason. Of course local government has longer roads, police and fire patrols, etc. Gosh, I wonder why they’re out of money? (Well, the speculator costs and reductions in federal revenue sharing.)

    One particularly toxic part of prop 13 is its treatment of commercial property. It reassesses residential property when it sells. That way, the assessment on which government calculates real property tax, rises with whatever inflation residential real estate experiences. Residences pay roughly the same as pre-prop 13 levels of taxation.

    But if less than 50% of a commercial real property changes hands, no reassessment occurs. Companies are often stockholders in a corporate entity that holds title. Selling the stock triggers no reassessment.

    I’m also told Micheal Dell (of Dell Computers) recently bought a Santa Monica hotel. Rather than take title alone, he, his wife and son split the title–so no 50% changed hands. It’s still assessed at 1978 rates (plus a little premium). Pretty slick, eh?

    Estimated cost in tax revenue for this manoever: $5 billion a year. Used to be the commercial /residential ratio of tax paid was 70% / 30%. Now it’s 30% / 70%. … Rentiers, anyone?

    Understanding California’s land use “planning” and taxation scam is roughly like swimming in sewage. It stinks. In fact all the things regularly criticized here (e.g. regulatory capture, non-prosecution for fraud, etc.) occur fairly regularly in little local political deals.

    On the plus side, there is a movement to fix at least the commercial property loophole in prop 13:

  24. Shwell Thanksh

    Damn those FT links are annoying. I keep forgetting to check and when I click on them it gives nothing but an ad unless I take the time to google the title. please quit linking directly and just link to the google search instead? stop feeding their scam and they will join 2016 eventually.

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