Links 3/17/2023

Active volcano spotted on Venus. The planet’s not dead yet.

Alligator in the Attic: Building Inspector Shocked to Find 8-ft Beast in Three-Story Home Field & Stream

B-a-a-a-a-d Banks

Fire the Fed Matt Stoller, BIG. Good clean fun. Well worth a read.

Fed’s Yellen expects no new financial crisis in ‘our lifetimes’ Reuters

The stupidest timeline would quite naturally have the stupidest Secretary of the Treasury:

Yes, the clip is worth watching, but put down your coffee.

Fed Blocked Mention of Regulatory Flaws in Silicon Valley Bank Rescue NYT

* * *

I Was an S.V.B. Client. I Blame the Venture Capitalists NYT (Re Silc). Well worth a read. A telling detail:

I’ll keep my S.V.B. debit card as a souvenir, partly because the giant arrow logo points in the opposite direction that it’s supposed to go into a card reader — an example of a design that obviously went through no user testing. It’s also a reminder that successful people aren’t always the best decision makers.

ANHD Statement on Signature Bank’s Closure The Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development (timotheus). A well-deserved kick to the prostrate body.

Wall Street banks to deposit $30bn into First Republic FT. This is the bank where the depositors are wealthy lemmings, as opposed to New York real estate lemmings (Signature), or tech bro lemmings (SVB).

* * *

Another Chaotic Week for Banks Marks the End of an Era for the Global Economy John Authers, Bloomberg

Financial Panic in the Age of Digital Banking and Social Media RAND

Crypto’s winners and losers after a bank run Politico

Pentagon Mobilized to Support Tech Startups After Bank Failure Defense One


Brazilian researchers find ‘terrifying’ plastic rocks on remote island Reuters. Look on my works, ye mighty….

Waste pickers collect food waste, help combat climate change AP

Is Climate Change Really Making Fish Bigger? A New Study Says Yes Field & Stream Original.


The Strongest Evidence Yet That an Animal Started the Pandemic Katherine Wu, The Atlantic. For some reason, The Atlantic breaks (Furzy Mouse) this story. A preprint, apparently, to come in Nature.

FDA offers radio silence on question of spring Covid boosters, as other countries push ahead STAT


Xi Jinping to visit Vladimir Putin in Russia next week FT

China jobs: Beijing urged to reform vocational education and end discrimination to plug skilled worker gap South China Morning Post

China’s answer to ChatGPT? Baidu shares tumble as Ernie Bot disappoints Reuters

Cops probe whether fire at Chinese billionaire’s NYC pad was set remotely NY Post. Guo Wengui.

Asia-Arctic Diplomacy a Decade Later: What Has Changed? The Diplomat

Commentary: Can Cambodia’s future foreign policy diverge from China? Channel News Asia

More looted Cambodian relics returned from the United States Globe_. Smart move. For once.


As Covid cases spike, Centre asks six states to keep a strict vigil Business Standard

Making the Mising brew in Majuli People’s Archive of Rural India

Strike grips Sri Lanka as unions protest IMF bailout Channel News Asia


Saudi-Iranian Détente Is a Wake-Up Call for America Foreign Policy

China’s Good Offices Foreign Policy

Iran Agrees to Stop Arming Houthis in Yemen as Part of Pact With Saudi Arabia WSJ

European Disunion

A dog day afternoon in French politics as Macron uses ‘nuclear option’ to raise retirement age France24 (Re Silc).

German viper attackers arrested Daily News Hungary. Hmm.

Clashes break out in Greece as thousands protest against train tragedy France24

New Not-So-Cold War

Poland to be 1st NATO member to give Ukraine fighter jets AP

U.S. Reaches Deep Into Its Global Ammunition Stockpiles to Help Ukraine WSJ

Russia Wants a Long War Foreign Affairs. The deck: “The West Needs to Send Ukraine More Arms, More Quickly.” Especially the kind of arms that 16-year-olds pulled off the street can fire with minimal training?

The war exacerbates Ukraine’s population decline new report shows EU Science Hub

* * *

Top China and US envoys speak with Ukrainian foreign minister about war’s outlook South China Morning Post

‘Hunting rifles’ — really? China ships assault weapons and body armor to Russia Politico

Russia will recover US drone wreckage from Black Sea if necessary: Kremlin Andalu Agency

* * *

When MI6 Betrayed Ukraine’s Resistance to Russia Declassified UK

Far-right Ukrainian World Congress demands Hollywood take “appropriate action” against Top Gun: Maverick WSWS

Biden Administration

Seasoned Russia Envoy Joins Biden’s NSC Foreign Policy. Recommended by Victoria Nuland, so seasoned with what?

Biden’s Italian mystery Axios. No ambassador.

Supply Chain

Unprecedented levels of institutional capital making its way into maritime services Splash 24/7


The Unpredictable Abilities Emerging From Large AI Models Quanta


Public Health Law Modernization 2.0: Rebalancing Public Health Powers And Individual Liberty In The Age Of COVID-19 Health Affairs

Imperial Collapse Watch

America’s Military Depends on Minerals That China Controls Foreign Policy

The Development and Validation of the Epistemic Vice Scale Review of Philosophy and Psychology (Phil R). From 2021, still germane. From the Abstract: “Epistemic vices have been defined as character traits that interfere with acquiring, maintaining, and transmitting knowledge. Examples of epistemic vice are gullibility and indifference to knowledge. It has been hypothesized that epistemically vicious people are especially susceptible to misinformation and conspiracy theories.” For example, mainstream macro? Droplet theory?

Class Warfare

The Fishing Revolution and the Origins of Capitalism Monthly Review. Interesting!

Bandcamp Workers Form Union: ‘It’s Not Enough to Get Small Wins Alone’ Rolling Stone

A Book and New Documentary Explore the Possibilities of Ink-Making in Urban Environments Colossal. Jackpot-ready!

Antidote du jour (By Foto: Bernd Schwabe in Hannover – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from I’m Only Sleeping by the Beatles)

    Crazy things can happen without notice
    Like private wars launched by POTUS
    Biden thinks exactly like Dick Cheney
    Neocons are so insane (so insane)

    Joe’s a glutton for that Red Button
    Next time he’ll do nukes instead of NordStream

    Sy Hersh told the details of the story
    A dirty deed, devoid of glory
    We’ve only got one chance to stay alive
    That’s Amendment Twenty-Five (Twenty-Five)

    Joe’s a glutton for that Red Button
    Next time he’ll do nukes instead of NordStream

    He’s hawking a tale of a yacht and some drunken tourists
    Lying again

    He lies to us to hide his double-dealing
    Let’s see what else he’s concealing . . .

    Joe’s a glutton for that Red Button
    Next time he’ll do nukes instead of NordStream

    (Ooh yeah)

    Keep this in mind any time you start feeling sorry
    For this old man

    He has a global crime to answer for
    And our good name must be restored
    No man but a King can launch a war
    And we don’t have those, any more (any more)

    Joe’s a glutton for that Red Button
    Next time he’ll do nukes instead of NordStream

    1. SImpleJohn

      My nickname for Biden is “Joe the Punisher”.
      It’s just not a good day for Joe if he’s not hurting people.
      Joe often expressed that Beau was the right son to continue the Biden dynasty.
      I’ve got a rhyme for that – heinousty.

    2. dday

      On the other hand, Guo Wengui was very impressed with the Nordstream take down.

      He hired a Ukrainian hit team to wire his penthouse apartment to catch fire if he was arrested.

      The team consisted of one arsonist, one actuary and a transgendered licensed practical nurse.

      Obviously Andromeda was not available but the team was able to score an Uber minivan with the deluxe cupholder option.

  2. Martin Oline

    Jeez… Alligator in the Attic 8-ft Beast in Three-Story Home. Turns out that house was under construction and someone left the door open. I was thinking what’s he eating, rats?

    1. griffen

      Perfect headline to end the workweek ! Earlier in the week it was a toddler playing in a front yard, with the yard to be found just crawling with deadly snakes in Australia.

      Gators like the heat and I’m sure an attic suited this one. BTW, take that Florida man !

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      Maybe they should have kept the alligator in an elevator:

      Kow Kow Calqulator
      Was a very smooth operator.
      Had himself a pet alligator,
      Kept it in a chrome elevator, yeah.
      When the sun began to shine,
      The alligator come outside.
      Kow Kow played the chimes.
      Together they would go for a ride.

      As they traveled with a heavy load,
      They came across a dead horse at the side of the road
      With two generals standing at each end,
      Fighting over whose fault it had been.
      And all that’s left was this war.
      And they couldn’t get things back together like they were before.

      “Kow Kow Calqulator,” Steve Miller Band (1969)

      People love to fight about the meaning and quality of those lyrics, but the music, with Nicky Hopkins driving the song forward, is hard not to like. Hopkins also provided some musical glue for Jefferson Airplane’s “Volunteers” album that year.

      1. Bugs

        Early Steve Miller is awesome. He was a really brilliant and innovative psychedelic blues player with a self deprecating sense of humor. And he’s from Milwaukee! Les Paul himself was his godfather and would coach his guitar playing. Great life story. Great music.

        1. Lexx

          Psychedelics would help explain lyrics like ‘the pompatus of love’… what the hell, Steve?!

      2. britzklieg

        Nicky Hopkins!!!

        Here’s “Edward, The Mad Shirt Grinder” with Quicksilver Messenger Service.

        The opening piano work is magnificent and then the cascading chordal melodies when the slow, bluesy second part takes this instrumental surprise somewhere totally different. The end is pure fire!

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          I love QMS. Starts out like Keith Emerson in “The Three Fates,” then gets Hopkins funky.

          Another favorite collaboration between Hopkins and Jefferson Airplane is “Eskimo Blue Day” from the Volunteers album. Grace gets credit for the lyrics:

          Consider how small you are.
          Compared to your scream,
          The human dream
          Doesn’t mean shit to a tree.

          1. Wukchumni

            Wonder why QMS doesn’t get more airplay now, they were on damn near every 60’s SF rock poster* you saw.

            The lineup on the 1966 Stanley Mouse original titled ‘Peace’ i’ve got has a bear with a bale of something and a impish Spock type character, both with their backs to us, and Joan Baez was the headliner, followed by Mimi Farina, Grateful Dead & QMS.

            Gold and Silver, by Quicksilver Messenger Service


            * I knew this numismatist who used to ‘drug test’ prospective hires, as he was a stoner and was looking for like kind of mind with a work ethic, like him.

            We weren’t doing brain surgery out there in the field @ a coin show for 3 days, but some felt it made senses more able in the eyes, to discern aged round discs, and there was quite a number of stonermismatists lemme tellya.

            Anyway back to the asterisk, he bought about 220 original 1967-68 SF rock posters which had been all rolled up in tubes, so you can imagine what they looked like when they unrolled them, they had to carefully flatten them after about 30 years of storage, and he asked me to take a couple, and the other one is 1967 Sierra Club poster in Summer of Love style.

            Ok, enough of the words, show us pictures!



            1. Martin Oline

              I’m surprised Mouse is still alive at 82. Good for him as most of his peers have died. He used to drink at Nave’s Saloon in Fairfax, CA in the 80’s but I never spoke to him. It had really wonderful artwork on the walls from the WPA (Works Progress Administration) of dancing Frogs. He probably moved to New Mexico before an idiot bought the place and painted over the art around 1986-7. The bar is still there but the art is gone.

    3. fresno dan

      The 8-ft alligator was hiding behind an air conditioner unit when Brown stumbled upon it. “I was about 2 feet away from stepping on its head,” he told Fox News 35. After Brown discovered the alligator was alive, he got in touch with the construction crew on the job. They immediately laughed at him and thought he was crazy.
      Uh, I do not think alligators hide – I think they lurk…
      I was thinking what’s he eating, rats? Um, I’m thinking building inspectors…

      1. ambrit

        Did the authorities card check the gator? If it wasn’t a Union Alligator, then it would be yet another case of miasmic management malfeasance.

  3. deedee

    If our leaders decide to start WWIII in the coming weeks Janet Yellen’s prediction has a good chance of coming true.

    1. Mikel

      “Fed’s Yellen expects no new financial crisis in ‘our lifetimes’

      Or she’s referring to her generation’s lifetime.
      They are are going bail out and fake it till they make it to the grave.

      1. Mildred Montana

        Federal Reserve Balance Sheet Update (as of March 8, 2023): $8.3 𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘰𝘯. Compare with its balance sheet as of July 2007: $870 𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘰𝘯. Up 10X in a mere fifteen years and a lot of the “assets” it holds today are of questionable value.

        Stoller says “Fire the Fed”. That might not be necessary. It seems to be doing a fine job of firing itself.

        1. Mikel

          Future generations just need to learn one phrase: debt jubilee.

          And understand the central bankers’ armies will have to be fought to get it.

          1. Mildred Montana

            I am by no means an expert on the mysterious workings of the Fed but the way I see it it operates by buying troubled (underwater) securities and then holding them to maturity.

            In other words, kicking the can down the road and hoping that road is long and smooth. If it’s not—well, that’s uncharted territory.

            1. Wukchumni

              Ever play ‘kick the can’?

              SVB & Signature were designated as “it”

              One person or a team of people is designated as “it” and a can or similar object—paint can or metal pail or bucket—is placed in an open space: the middle of a backyard, a green, a cove or cul-de-sac, parking lot or street. The other players run off and hide while “it” covers their eyes and counts to a previously decided number. Alternatively, the start of the game begins when a designated kicker literally “kicks the can” as far as possible. The person who is “it” must return the can to its starting place before “it” can continue play, thus giving the other players time to escape. “It” then tries to find and tag each of the players. Any player who is tagged (caught and touched) is sent to the holding pen (jail) which is simply a designated area for all the captured players to congregate, generally in plain sight of the can. Any player who has not been caught can “kick the can” or “tip the can.” If they can do this without being caught, then all of the captured players are set free. Alternatively, one of the captured players is set free each time the can is tipped—the first person caught is the first to be set free, the second person caught is the second to be set free, etc. until the person tipping the can is tagged or all the captured players are freed. If “it” catches all of the players they win that round and generally a new “it” is designated for the next round. The new “it” is usually the person who has been held the longest by the time round ends. (Wiki)

          2. Objective Ace

            In theory — no. However, when you start ignoring trillion dollar bank notes or using them as kindling the central bank has de-facto “gone belly up”

      2. Mildred Montana

        Just watched Stoller’s twitter video of Yellen being questioned in Congress. It is well worth the four minutes. Her interrogator (I think he was from Oklahoma) asked intelligent, probing, and discomfiting questions. Yellen was reduced to “Feinstein-ian” babbling.

    2. Mark Gisleson

      I’d only seen pictures, I’d never seen her lips move before. Truly shocked. Her pictures are much, much smarter than her videos.

      1. tevhatch

        Dr. Richard D. Wolff of Democracy at Work was her graduate school classmate, frequently hints in his video that she was very obtuse and only good at following orders.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        She’s putting lipstick on a turd. She simply lacks the moral integrity to resign, and Biden has already simply lied by saying it’s not a bailout. Now they have to follow Biden’s lead.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          CNBC’s Sarah Eisner was trying to interview her deputy, Wally Adeyemo, this morning. She asked him if every depositor in the country was covered without limit. He dodged. She asked him if the depositors in the next bank to fail were covered. He dodged. After the interview, Faber remarked that, “they want you to believe they’re covered,” Exactly right. When pressed yesterday by a Republican senator from Oklahoma whether depositors in small town banks in his state were covered, she retreated to the “if systemically important” line.

          But meanwhile, they want people who are just reading headlines and half-listening to news reports to think their deposits are covered. The problem is that fewer and fewer people with that much money are just reading headlines at this point.

          Yellen and Dimon cooking up the First Republic stunt sounds like an even lamer version of Paulson, Dimon, Blankfein, et al.

          I think there’s plenty of panic and confusion at the White House. Not like that’s a new thing. Having tried something as goofy as the First Republic cosplay, when the next bank fails, I guess they’ll have to blame it on Putin.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            I suspect Yellen’s problem is there is almost certainly no panic or confusion at the White House just certainty Biden’s lie has become truth. Not that Obama was anything other than mediocre, but this is team Biden. My guess is they expect to bury it and move on. Its probably why he had his random gun control calls on Tuesday. I’m sure its the last we’ve heard of it. But people like Neera told Biden to “shift the narrative”. Its just they don’t know enough or have someone like Bill Clinton or Obama to run things to actually make sure they cover their bases (though the lack of accountability from 2008/9 makes this virtually impossible), but they don’t have legislation proposals to protect community banks ready to go. They aren’t smart enough to even pretend they know what they are doing.

            Yellen doesn’t have the political standing to do this on her own. And Biden isn’t going to do it. He can’t even demand an infrastructure bill or even fire Buttigieg despite another embarrassment.

  4. timbers

    The stupidest timeline would quite naturally have the stupidest Secretary of the Treasury:

    The Congress Critter questioning the semi-senile Stamp Collector diluted his point a bit by bring up weather or not large Chinese depositors would also be “fully insured” so am guessing he is on the Red Team. If so, makes sense he threw CHINACHINACHINA into the mix but would also be nice to not loose the focus of us (not rich) vs them (the rich) as a singular point.

    1. Amateur Socialist

      Yellen’s responses seem so barely coherent and incompetent I was wondering how many times she’s had Covid?

      1. pjay

        That clip was so striking that I flashed back to an old SNL skit, with Phil Hartman playing Ronald Reagan as Jekyll and Hyde – a confused, doddering old man act for the public vs. the commanding leader barking out sharp orders in private. Yellen’ performance was so bad that it was like she was putting on an act. Perhaps I was trying to find a way to reduce my own anxiety. It didn’t work, though. Doesn’t work for Biden either.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Remember her job. This is donor protection, and she can’t come out and say it. A few like Schumer donated a pittance because they see the optics, but they are defending a bailout. They have no ongoing plan. They can blame Trump to the cows come home, but Biden hasn’t moved to undo Trump and did things like reappointed Powell.

        Then this is take 2 for Biden, but Biden will never risk harm to the rich.

        1. ex-PFC Chuck

          To truly fix the situation someone’s got to “undo” all the way back to Truman. Good luck with that.

          1. some guy

            That would have to start with several years of Teach Ins all over the country reaching and teaching millions of people about the pre New Deal, New Deal and post New Deal. It would have to take place in thousands of places over those next few years.

            Occupy Our History. Occupy Our Memory. Many thousands of Occupy-type or Teacher-Inner reading rooms and meeting rooms all over the country.

    2. Jeff Stantz

      Actually, the point he brought up about us little folk in rural areas bailing out not only wealthy people in the U.S., but also in China, made me twice as angry at that stuttering senile bureaucrat, and I am the furthest thing from a Republican.

      Yes, everyone, watch that video, then buy all the gold you can, put it in jars, and bury it in the woods. When the small banks go down the risk is even more centralized. I relay could not believe my eyes and ears.

      1. flora

        I agree with your first para. Yellen was not incoherent, imo. She clearly said, with a deer-in–the-headlights look, exactly what the Fed was proposing to do. The Congressman questioning her was spot on.

        What the Fed is proposing to do is again play favorites just as they did in 2008-9. That didn’t clean up anything. Yellen is the messenger. What is being proposed is an openly… what was Bill Black’s phrase for it… an openly criminogenic environment for the Fed’s pet big banks. And the small banks get to pay for it, and already are paying for it. / My 2 cents.

        1. earthling

          I don’t know if I’ve ever used the incredibly rude epithet ‘she’s a whore’ on anyone, least of all some learned important woman. But, she clearly is just a whore for the banking establishment, going along with whatever any of them want (except for small, actual community banks).

          This morning stupidity was offered as the reason for her performance. Then you have to ask yourself how someone that stupid gets to be in such a high office. Now we are back to the whore description.

    3. Wukchumni


      That explains everything, as to why Yellen went with the ‘Forever Accounts’ gambit, as in your covered forever, er, that is if you’re in 1 of 2 selected banks for the program.

      A note about stamp collectors, complete and utter dweebs.

      Stamp dealers tended to be baby sitters for aged men who would paw through the 5¢ albums of canceled stamps for 3 hours, pick out 48 and plead with the stamp dealer to do the deal for $2, yes-that pathetic.

      Damn near every brand new-never used USA stamp from the 1930’s onward is worth just the face value, and an awful lot of it is what is known as ‘discount postage’ meaning it sells for less than face value from 10-30% back, depending on the denomination of the stamp.

      Back to Janet though, she’s the face of money in our country and doesn’t have a clue, that’s a bit worrisome.

        1. The Rev Kev

          And to give him $10 billion as obviously nobody in East Palestine needed any of that money. Between this and that lunatic idea of a Russian oil cap price that she came up with tells me that she is also a neocon.

          1. Henry Moon Pie

            $10 billion? On a video linked in the comments here yesterday, Ritter finds a number in next year’s proposed DoD budget that says that $350 billion in equipment and ammo must be replaced after American “generosity.”

            SS recipients: we’d better sharpen our squirrel hunting skills.

      1. Lexx

        The ‘face of money’ was giving the guy from Oklahoma side-eye. I had forgotten to click on the volume, so just watching on mute I was instantly curious as to why Janet Yellen was talking to someone she couldn’t quite look at directly. You have to wonder what her week has been like. We talk about what and who the feds represent, but they are just flesh and blood after all, whatever may be going on between their ears. Cannons have been going off next to her since last Friday.

        1. timbers

          For reasons I’m not sure of just now, every time I see the phrase “face of money” I think of Zelensky’s face on a US dollar bill.

          1. ambrit

            I think of “the face that launched a thousand ships,” Helen of Troy. We all know how well that turned out.

            1. Wukchumni

              Whatever happened to Harriet of Tubman, who was set to replace Jackson on the double sawbuck?

              1. ambrit

                Hmmm…. I don’t have a comeback to that. Too many boxxes to tick off.
                (I wonder what the real Harriet Tubman would have thought about today’s politics?)

              2. Kouros

                Is there a picture with young Harriet Tubman out there. What is proposed looks like an old man dressed as a woman.

                1. JBird4049

                  I am leery of the proposal because it reminds me of the whole IdPol Woke nonsense, which inclines me to reject it; however, Andrew Jackson was a slave owner and is probably the man most responsible for the Trail of Tears while Harriet Tubman was true hero. A genocidal racist or a heroine with more courage and determination in her little pinky than almost anyone on a tenner? It is not really a difficult decision.

                  And the link from communistmole shows the perfect picture.

      2. Bugs

        Maybe people collect stamps because they’re beautiful and/or interesting? US stamps from the 1930s are lovely. The old Special Delivery stamps are especially moving to me, like a scene from a film.

        But Janet Yellen needs to step down.

        1. Wukchumni

          When I was a kid, you’d often see coin & stamp stores in the 1970’s in LA, and then over time nobody gave a rat’s patootie about little pieces of paper, and by the turn of the century, there was probably 100 coin shops in Cali and maybe a couple stamp dealers with stores.

          It was quite dramatic to witness the dropoff of collector interest, zip! gone.

          The wholesale avenues of both were so different, it wasn’t unusual for a coin with a catalog value of $100 to have a wholesale value of say $75, whereas a stamp with a catalog value of $100 might be worth $10 or $15 on a wholesale basis.

          1. Norge

            As a kid I collected stamps for a few years in the mid 50’s, for their appearance. Some countries were issuing beautiful stamps back then.

          2. Richard

            Stamp collecting was killed in the 1950s, when countries began issuing stamps for purely collectors, not for use. Monaco was the the pioneer. I know, as a kid, I was there.

      3. John k

        I wonder if accounts at smaller banks are already so close to being fully covered that the overall fraction not covered is small, I.e. the cost to fully insure the small banks wouldn’t be much… whereas, big accounts at big banks are substantially not covered by the 250k limit, I.e. the cost to cover ‘systemic’ banks is high.
        I think I read that something like 80% of svb deposits were not covered.
        Seems to me that so far the rich and powerful either ignore the growing discomfort of the majority re the various changes taking place over the past century, or take pleasure from them.

        1. Insouciant Iowan

          Our City’s reserve funds and money for self-insuring employees is spread around several local banks ($5-11 m) and the largest chunk ($300m) in a large bank with a shoddy reputation.
          Guess who cover losses if any of these small, community banks went down bc other large depositors moved their $$$ to a too-big-to-fail bank.

    4. The Rev Kev

      The thing to remember is that if the world is heading for a 2008 style banking crisis, that it will be Yellen that will be in charge of handling it in the US. And if that does not fill you full of confidence, then reflect that to handle the European end, they will have to rely on Christine Lagarde.

      We’re doomed, I tell ya. Doomed!

      1. Wukchumni

        At this late hour, transmutation transportation is still available, turn those paper ‘boarding passes’ into something neither nutter has any control over.

        1. ambrit

          Don’t forget what happened to the Nibelungs when they “invested” in some Dragon’s gold.

          1. Wukchumni

            Here’s the deal, kind of similar to politics in group sync, the evangs are the only bloc in our country that owns the preshhius, its mentioned in the bible 418 times, and you know how fruity they are for anything in the good book…

            Its conceivable when the deal® goes down, they’ll be the only ones with sight in our nation of financially blind sided citizens.

            Saudi Arabia, Turkey & Iran signaled they are up to something financially as in a new aegis, and you’d only need add India to the mix, and bingo you’ve got the 4 goldbug countries in concert.

            China & Russia are newer entrants to the game, and China is interesting as it traditionally was all about silver, there being only a handful of monetized gold coins ever issued by the middle kingdom.

            Fun to watch it all go down from the comfort of a recliner & laptop.

            1. ambrit

              Yeah. Just try to find any “junk silver” out on the street today. It’s all gone into hiding.
              Au addict: “Yo! Bag man! I need to score some ‘junk’ man.”
              Dealer: “Sorry my man. All the heavy hitters cornered the market!”
              Au addict: “Jinkies dude! Can’t Papa JP let some loose?”
              Dealer: “I know it’s not cool, but the Powers only feed themselves my man.”
              Au addict” “Since they closed down the Glass-Steagal recovery centres…”
              Dealer: “I feel you! Here, I’ll front you some Platinum. To take the edge off.”
              Au addict: “Platinum! What you trying to pull?”
              Dealer: “Chill dude! It’ll catalyze your blues away. Trust me.”
              Au addict: “Trust you? Like with that crypto s—?”
              Dealer: “Truth that. Even we dealers bought into that brand of hopium.”
              Au addict: “Man. What’m I gonna do? I need ‘junk!'”
              Dealer: “Don’t tell anybody I told you this, but all the best junk is in the Godzone.”
              Au addict: “The Godzone! what the…”
              Dealer: “Word! It’s in their Book! Try there. A little Prayer and you’re good to go.”
              Au addict: “I’m desperate. I’ll try it.”
              Dealer: “Best of luck my man. Check back next week. I might be holding bags.”

                1. ambrit

                  I’m somewhat partial to Richard Pryor’s bit; “Junkie and the Vampire Squid.”
                  Junkie: “You gonna do what? Where? You better suck your assets on outta here!”
                  (I would link to the original but it is the essence of NSFW.)

              1. Wukchumni

                That doggerel will hunt…

                Inspired stuff!

                You left out palladium whose main use is in catalytic converters, and cats used to use then spendier platinum, 30 odd years ago when Pd was worth 1/5th of Pt, and then one heck of a role reversal where Pd got up to $3k and was worth 3x as much as Pt, whoa!

                Pd is a heck of a barometer on the car biz, as electric cars don’t need a cat, and there are so many fewer new ICE cars, and thus it’s been cratering in price the past few years.

                The main use for platinum back in the day was subterfuge, in that it has the same specific gravity (heft) pretty much as all that glitters, and counterfeit gold coins were made from it, and then gold-plated to pass as the genuine article.

                Another Pt tidbit, Russia was the only country ever to issue monetized platinum coins, back in the 19th century.

                1. ambrit

                  Another data point that shows how upside down the metals trade is now. Recently, I asked about some silver rounds down at the local pawn shop. (This town has ten pawn shops within a ten mile circle.)
                  Spot plus five dollars a round. Five dollars! Who says all the crooks are in jail?

                  1. Michael Fiorillo

                    While they have since gone down a bit, last month the premiums on Silver Eagles was half or more of the spot price.

                    Everything is a racket.

                2. JP

                  Platinum has a melting temperature over 3000 degrees F. and is a noble so it won’t oxidize, pretty impervious to acids and bases.

                  It makes the perfect crucible for glass but when I was into such stuff a small crucible cost about 50K.

                1. ambrit

                  Just wait until Lambert pulls on his tattered yellow waders and parses the Great American Enabling Act! It’ll be like Gilbert and Sullivan meets Abbot and Costello meet the Wolfman of Wall Street.
                  The Best(TM) is yet to come.

                  1. Wukchumni

                    I don’t expect to run out of imagination anytime soon, being a mischievous 12 year old boy, trapped in a 61 year old’s body.

      2. flora

        I’m sure all this unpleasantness would have been avoided if the US had Central Bank Digital Currency ( CBDC ). …Not.

      3. griffen

        One of Janet Yellen’s direct reports was on CNBC live this morning in the 9am Eastern hour. I hate to say it but he was bombing on the material as well. That was the Deputy Treasury Secretary, in fact, Wally Adeyemo.

        Crank up the foam runways again. I wish that were sarcasm but alas it is not.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Biden set the standard by simply lying and saying it wasn’t a bailout, and he has no interest in the hard work of governing. There simply isn’t anything to say. And it’s the same crew as before. Obama isn’t there to protect them either.

          1. flora

            an aside: I watched that bit and saw him fumble trying to open the door to exit the room. This is not the Ford slap-stick stumbles, it’s something else I think. Where it was easy to chuckle at Ford’s misteps, there’s nothing to chuckle about here. I think I know why the Dems don’t want debates for Dem pols thinking of running for the pres ticket in 2024. Discouraging situation.

          2. some guy

            I wonder if they were hoping they could delay having a crisis till Harris was President, because she showed she was prepared to save them by having saved Steve Mnuchin in California.

            I still think that is part of the reason she was made VP . . . so that she could become the Handy Dandy President Immunity and Impunity when the next crisis came.

      4. Martin Oline

        Ah, but it’s a classic kind of doom. It reminds me of a little story:

        For two years King Croesus (Joe Biden) mourned for his son (Beau). Then he heard that King Cyrus of the Persians (Russia) had conquered the kingdom of Media (Ukraine). This young boy (Putin), thought Croesus, had to be stopped. But first he asked the Oracle of Delphi, “Should I make war (sanctions) on King Cyrus?” To this the Oracle replied, “Should you make war on King Cyrus, you will destroy a great kingdom.” Croesus was overjoyed with the answer, and prepared his army for war. Less than a year later, a great kingdom indeed lay destroyed. But it was not Persia, but Lydia (Western economies).

    5. cnchal

      Yellen is telling her questioner very politely that Oklahomans are not systemically important and that billionaires are, so they are the one that need saving when they might lose a few bucks.

      Very crafty lady! Saving the Democratic party big donors is just a happy coincidence when disguised as saving the banking system.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Good thing that people in States like Oklahoma can’t vote as otherwise in case the Republicans get in, that they would throw her to the wolves in a series of Congressional investigations and inquiries.

        1. pjay

          Yes. For those genius political “analysts” who really want to understand why the Blue on their Red/Blue political maps keeps shrinking down to a few metropolitan islands, let them watch this clip.

    6. Mikel

      Looks to me like a further consolidation of the banking sector.
      She’s stammering because she knows something foul is going on.
      None of them (Central Bankers, the biggest big donors to politicians, etc) may be afraid of ever being prosecuted for anything, but they still need the cooperation of people.

    7. Mikel

      The USA doesn’t do universal benefit programs.
      They do “universal” or universal* benefit programs.

    8. Otis B Driftwood

      The stupidest timeline would also have that Senator from Oklahoma delivering that devastating line of questioning to another incompetent Biden cabinet member be the same guy who voted in 2018 for the relaxation of bank regulations that contributed to this crisis.

      1. JP

        By all means, the man who rubber stamped the mortgage fraud that was the biggest contributing factor to 2007 liquidity crisis.

  5. ArkansasAngie

    RE — Public Health Law Modernization 2.0: Rebalancing Public Health Powers And Individual Liberty In The Age Of COVID-19

    Only with complete and utter transparency will “public health” work. The moment you squish different opinions is the moment “you” lose credibility.

    And … as a reminder … it’s hard to win friends and influence people when you’re calling them dumb, crazy, racists, psychopaths with quaint ideas about freedom.

    And … a 2nd reminder … there were … there are significant adverse reactions to the vaccine that does NOT keep you from getting it. When you force someone to take the vaccine you are forcing them to take a risk that might include losing their life. I don’t think you have that right

    And yes they were aware of these adverse reactions and chose not to share them as they clamped down on transparency.

    Do I trust them?


      1. ambrit

        Just wait until refusing the “vaccine” is legally declared as “Domestic Terrorism.” Since the overseas War on Terror has failed miserably, it’s time to bring the boys and girls who fought that “Good Fight” over there back home and give them new targets to focus their stellar abilities on.
        Look at which demographics are suffering the greatest death rates from this coronavirus “episode,” the “useless eaters.”
        Whether by design or happenstance, this has become an exercise in Eugenics.
        The main problem with the American Left, as I see it, (and this is just a personal opinion, for what it’s worth, [I also have one of those annular red things,]) is that they are not ‘bloody minded’ enough.
        Real politicos are not in it to make friends. They are in it to gain power.

        1. some guy

          The bloody minded ones were all deleted long ago, one way or another. Even the plasma-minded ones were all deleted long ago, one way or another.

  6. David

    The chaos in France over pensions “reform” is likely to get worse over the next few days and weeks. I will post a much longer analysis on my Aurelien Substack next week, but for the moment it’s just worth noting that the FR24 report ignores one vital fact: this measure is and has been desperately unpopular with the French people as a whole. The latest poll I have seen puts opposition to it at 75% of the electorate. No sensible government, no matter how ideologically committed, would behave this way.
    Watch this space. I have a feeling that as France goes other countries will go as well.

    1. zagonostra

      I’ve been watching clips on Twitter of the massive street protest and want to know more about this “Article 49.3”

      [From Wiki]

      The article, which comprises four paragraphs, was designed to prevent crises like those that occurred under the Fourth Republic.[1] Its best-known provision, Subsection 3 (Article 49.3), allows the government to force passage of a bill without a vote unless the parliament votes a motion of no confidence to veto the government “commitment of responsibility”

      it reminds me of Giorgio Agamben on State of Exception

      A state of exception (German: Ausnahmezustand) is a concept introduced in the 1920s by the German philosopher and jurist Carl Schmitt, similar to a state of emergency (martial law) but based in the sovereign’s ability to transcend the rule of law in the name of the public good.

      Obviously for the majority of the populace extending the age of retirement isn’t “for the public good.” If there is a mechanism that allows for the passing of legislation without legislative authority than you don’t have a democracy.

      1. Lex

        David’s most recent substack post revolves significantly around Carl Schmitt. Apropos of nothing because it’s a different facet of Schmitt’s thinking but coincidentally funny that your chosen quote from Agamben in reply to David references Schmitt.

        I can understand the reasoning for having such an article, something American politics would call a “nuclear option”, but would always argue that methods like Article 49.3 should only be used in the most extreme cases of necessity. Both for the sake of public trust in government and the fact that they’ll be a political Pandora’s box that once opened won’t be closable again.

        1. John

          Article 49.3 sounds very like a State of Exception. Is seems curious that Carl Schmitt is popping up here and there in the last few days. I knew nothing of him until reading Aurelien, but have done some research. In these increasingly disordered times, references to a legal scholar who focused on order, whether you liked it or not, has a disquieting ring.

        2. vao

          Elisabeth Borne has been prime minister of France for 10 months, and she already resorted 11 times to that infamous 49.3 article in order to box through unpopular bills. That’s more than once per month.

          1. Lex

            Oh wow, I would think that doesn’t bode well for the medium and long term health of French politics … unless a soft dictatorship of the PMC is the primary goal.

            1. some guy

              Do the “PMC” really have any independent power that the Plutons and the Kleptons don’t want to let them have?

        3. hemeantwell

          A while ago I spent did some reading about Schmitt and a contemporary of his, Otto Kirchheimer. Kirchheimer was of interest because he briefly held a left-wing version of Schmitt’s position but abandoned it as revolutionary hopes dimmed after the early 20s. Schmitt’s wagon was hitched to a different, rising star, but my impression was that it was a theoretically dulling one. I can put it this way: if you consider the rich discussions of government by, for example, leaders of the American revolution, they are trying to understand and fruitfully channel social forces of a complex polity. From what I read, Schmitt’s focus on rationalizing a seizure of power leads him to formulate a simple-minded cluster of concepts that are hostile to complexity, that work to imply that the decisions made by the Leader will be adequate to the undifferentiated social object. Schmitt’s theory itself anticipates this kind of dimming of social consciousness and so there’s just not much to it, just a collection of reductions that reflected the empty-headed, follower mentality that was central to Nazi ideology.

        4. NN Cassandra

          Was this exception ever used for something that could be legitimately justified somehow…? It seem it’s used mainly to push highly unpopular economic bills.

          I think this brings up the fundamental question of why we are supposed to prefer democracy. Yes, people sometimes vote for stupid and self-destructive things, but they do it less frequently than our aristocrats/rulers. And it’s even rarer for people to want something stupid while the rulers are opposed to it and thus able to stop it (at least in theory).

      2. communistmole

        The ’public good’ has nothing to do with what’s good for the majority of the populace. It’s Rousseau’s volonté générale versus the volonté de tous: the first is the abstract general of capitalist reproduction, the other the concrete needs of its reproducers. The latter are always only means to the end of the first.

    2. The Rev Kev

      I have heard that the reason that Macron pulled this ‘swifty’ was that it looked like that the legislation was not going to succeed and Macron did not want to become a lame duck for the remainder of his term of office if this was so. I may be wrong but I suspect that through this high-handed action, that he may be gone before the end of this year. And it is not like he is Mr. Popularity right now.

      1. Wukchumni

        I’m zeroing in on 222 days, 14 hours, 9 minutes and 58 seconds until I can get at my ‘pension’, it would really suck for it to be 952 days, 14 hours, 9 minutes and 32 seconds.

        1. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit

          Presuming, of course, that they don’t up the starting date again.

          I *should* be at <365 days to the starting point of the Full Meal Deal. But apparently I can either start at a lower rate, OR I can wait for years after what should have been the "go" button in order to get the non-discounted version.

          Decisions, decisions.

      2. David

        It’s generally thought that he would have lost the vote, and that 49,3 was adopted in consultation with the Right (on whom his majority depended) so that they were not obliged to vote for a measure that a lot of their supporters don’t like and which would have split the party. He’s already come in for huge criticism across the political spectrum for what was essentially a panic manoeuvre and a major lapse of judgment.
        The idea of 49,3 was to prevent the casual overthrow of governments for tactical reasons which was so common before. But Macron has turned it into a semi-dictatorial weapon for which it was never designed. The problem is that whilst he will (probably) win this confidence vote, if he tries the trick again, without an overall majority he could lose, and there will be new parliamentary elections with unforseeable consequences.

      3. Ed S.

        According to France24 (news), PM Bourne stated that they had spent 175 hours talking about the bill (to “reform” pensions by increasing the retirement age from 62 to 64 and to require 37 years of work (I think) for a full pension) and that it was apparent that it would not pass. FR24 noted that (supposedly) Macron wanted to have a vote but that Bourne decided to move forward with the section 49.3 option since it would not pass. If you can impose laws without consent of the governed – indeed in opposition to desires of the governed – why bother with the farce of elected representatives?

        And while I don’t follow Israeli politics, there are ongoing protests over PM Netanyahu’s proposal to “reform” the Israeli Supreme Court (to allow government to over-rule court decisions and to appoint justices directly). Again, if a simple majority can overrule the supreme court, why bother with the farce of judicial review?

        This is part and parcel of the unlimited deposit insurance provided to SVB customers. Why bother with limits if favored constituents are exempted?

        Western governments are not even pretending anymore.

    3. Ignacio

      Macron is hellishly stubborn isn’t he? Demonstrated by his appearances in Congo (and the calls for him to shut his mouth) and all this about the pension reform. Pension reform is almost certainly one of the most unjust and avoidable policies I can imagine. Millions can be spent to bail out millionaires with uninsured large deposits but no. Nothing can be done about the few hundreds of euros to be allotted monthly to those retiring after a long working life having so contributed for all those long years. Tell me there is no way to create a special instrument at the ECB to support those due payments when they get so creative if badly managed TBTF are to be rescued. No, we punish those who comply and provide gifts to those behaving badly.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I am not sure sure why Macron was so obsessed with extending the pension age for France. Because Long-Covid is now a permanent part of our lives going forward, you would reckon that there would be a gradual drop off in the number of people reaching even the present pension age.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            There is an element of cruelty, but he just likely took economic classes pushing nonsense about age/demographic issues and misinformation about people “living longer” when he was 20 and simply never let it go.

            Due to the state of western elites, he gets ignored, but he’s really just mediocre.

        1. mtjefe

          As National Lampoon used to say,
          “That’s not funny, that’s SICK!”

          I have yet to hear back from any of my ‘representatives’ regarding my encouraging them to a roll-back to 62 years full eligibility for full benefits of SS and Medicare (not advantage).

          My suggestion is in earnest, sincere…

        2. Mikel

          Obsessed or desperate?
          Lots of desperation on the part of the global elite…being dialed up to 11.

          It’s as though something is about to slip through their fingers.

        3. Mikel

          He comes out of the greedy financial sector and still works for it. Whatever hold was had on him then, is still had on him now.
          No mystery.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Brazilian researchers find ‘terrifying’ plastic rocks on remote island”

    The passing of the dinosaurs is marked in the geological records by the K-T Boundary. Below it you have fossil remains of the dinosaurs, the layer itself has traces of the asteroid that devastated the planet and wiped out 90% of all life, and above it you will not find traces of the dinosaurs as they were all gone. It would be ironic if the human race went into extinction and the sapient species that eventually arises after us mostly knows of our existence due to a layer of this plastic in the geological record.

      1. mtjefe

        Pfas-slippery gortex hydrophyllic coated, dioxin bearing… this could get to be as long as the side effects of any given pharma product

    1. Hank Linderman

      Couldn’t the plastics we are currently throwing away be used for cheap and resilient building materials? Bricks? Roads?


      1. Objective Ace

        The most common type of flooring right now — Luxury vinyl tile/plans — are made of plastic. Even decks, its becoming more and more common to use “trex”, plastic rather than wood. I’m sure recycled plastic could be used, but that would cost more money than new plastic. Even for glass, its no longer “feasible” to recycle since new glass costs are lower

    2. skippy

      Saint Carlin noted in a late show that human hubris was unbound and one should consider that maybe the entire reason for our species existence is too have created plastic. Seeing that it could not do it by itself and having done that our usefulness was at an end.

      It had a – long term goal – and needed plastic for it … en fin

  8. fresno dan

    Fire the Fed Matt Stoller, BIG. Good clean fun. Well worth a read.

    I preface my discussion of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank with the story of a different regulatory regime, because I want to offer a sense of the kind of thinking that existed at the Federal Reserve before neoliberals took over our society.
    So what happened? In the 1980s, as part of the neoliberal revolution that reshuffled antitrust and regulation, the Fed also changed. It became ‘independent,’ and explicitly argued it should not be subject to political control or influence. From 1987-2005, the Chair of the Fed was Alan Greenspan, a former consultant to Silverado Savings and Loan, one of the largest bank busts of the savings and loan crisis, and a Michael Milken pet bank. Greenspan restructured the Fed’s supervisory authority, deferring to banks, and ultimately ripping out the culture of aggressive regulation. By 2004, the Fed, though it had consumer protection regulatory authority, chose to do nothing in the face of what the FBI called an “epidemic of mortgage fraud.”
    And with all that in mind, what is very clear, and what most policymakers have come to understand, is that the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank is 100% the fault of the Federal Reserve. SVB was regulated by the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, and examiners at the SF Fed didn’t see serious problems until the fall of the bank was imminent. This is despite public reporting in the Wall Street Journal about the hole in the bank’s balance sheet months earlier. The incompetence of Fed examiners is married to supreme smugness by those same regulators.
    The reason the Fed screwed up is ideological. Regulators there simply do not believe in placing constraints over banks, for fear they will hinder American strength. The era of Fed independence occurred in part because of our national strategy; America in the 1980s shifted from a nation whose power came from its manufacturing base and towards a nation whose power came solely from its control over the global financial order, with the trade deficit that implied.
    It is hard to get a man to understand something when his job depends on his not understanding it…
    If one understands the Fed’s job is to keep the rich rich, it does it’s job very well.

    1. pjay

      “The reason the Fed screwed up is ideological. Regulators there simply do not believe in placing constraints over banks, for fear they will hinder American strength.”

      As the Clinton administration continued the gutting of financial regulation, I clearly remember people like Robert Rubin and Larry Summers making this argument, along with their buddy Greenspan who represented the bipartisan consensus at the Fed. And here we are today.

        1. Wukchumni


          One bubble makes your assets larger
          And low interest rates makes your savings small
          And the ones that Greenspan gave us
          Don’t do anything at all
          Go ask Alan
          When the dominoes fall

          And if you go chasing bubbles
          And you know they’re going to blow
          Tell ’em a put stroking nonagenarian
          Has given you the dough
          Call Alan
          When the market goes into a flat-spin low

          When the men on the Fed board
          Get up in Jackson Hole
          And you’ve just had some kind of mushroom
          And your mind is moving low
          Go ask Alan
          I think he’ll know

          When logic and proportion
          Have fallen sloppy dead
          And the White Knight is talking backwardation
          And Dow Jonestown agrees “full speed ahead!”
          Remember what Ayn’s acolyte said:
          “Heed the Fed. Heed the Fed”

          White Rabbit, by Jefferson Airplane

          1. Henry Moon Pie

            LOL, Wuk.

            I do wonder what Alan Greenspan and his lovely wife think of mushrooms though.

    2. Michaelmas

      The reason the Fed screwed up is ideological. Regulators there simply do not believe in placing constraints over banks, for fear they will hinder American strength.

      I remember Timothy Geithner, Treasury Secretary back in the reign of Obama, articulating this ideological belief, that American banks are the source and mainstay of all American power — and thus of American civilization, by implication — out loud, absolutely overtly and unselfconsciously.

      No mystery, consequently, that the term ‘American civilization’ increasingly is an oxymoron.

      1. Vandemonian

        Apocryphal, but worth repeating in this context:

        Journalist: What do you think of Western civilization?
        Gandhi: I think it would be a good idea.

    3. ex-PFC Chuck

      “It’s time to go back to first principles, and that means ending Federal Reserve independence, the presumption that the Fed should be able to make decisions independent of elected political leaders. Independence just means the Fed will do what the banks want, not just in bank regulation and supervision, but in organizing the entire economy through monetary policy. That era needs to end. As happened from 1935-1950, and what the Fed hates people remembering as a possibility, is either the President or a Congressional committee directly running monetary policy. There shouldn’t be an ‘independent’ central bank, the job of making decisions on money belongs to people we elect.”

      Good ideas, but not gonna happen because the Republocrat Stenographic Consortium is owned by the same banksters who own the Fed.

    4. Screwball

      Also from the Stoller article (bold mine);

      More fundamentally, it shows that Dodd-Frank, with its homework for regulators, its stress tests, its living wills, its goal of ‘ending Too Big to Fail,’ is a conclusive failure.

      I always thought the name said it all; Dodd-Frank. Two of the biggest bank whores in history, and people actually expected anything less than what we got?

    5. skippy

      This is the cornerstone – R*

      There is a distinct possibility the Federal Reserve is about to hit a wall, and that its very constitutional underpinnings will soon come into question.

      To understand why, we must zoom out and look at the bigger picture. The Fed prides itself on its independence from political scrutiny. More than any other federal entity, the Fed claims for itself an absolute independence in its capacity to set U.S. monetary policy. This autonomy rests on the assumption that the economists running the institution have “scientific” or “objective” criteria for setting policy. In essence, they argue that setting monetary policy is akin to solving an engineering problem—say, calculating how wide the arches on a bridge should be.

      This supposed objectivity itself depends on a theory known as the “equilibrium rate of interest”—known in the economic literature as the R*. The R* is the rate of interest at which the rate of employment is maximized, and the rate of inflation is stable. The R* is to central banks what the crown is to the King—it gives them their authority and their credibility. If the R* is an illusion, then central banks do not have the capacity to “objectively” set the rate of interest.

      The theory and the data behind the R* have always been dubious, even if academic critiques have thus far had no success in overturning the theory. Developments taking place in the economy today, however, may finally threaten its regal hegemony. -snip

      12/21/21 BTW ….

      1. skippy

        I hope NC’er understand the importance of this ***feature*** of the present system and how its used to absolve the politically elected from true representation. Yes its the big fuzzy eyebrow sort of thingy that does not get ones ancestor on, but if your every to take on the those that make life hard this is the sort of stuff you need to wrap your minds around.

        I mean if me …. lmmao … can so can all of you. Its sort alike the Interview with Larry Summers, Former Secretary of the Treasury | The Problem with Jon Stewart YTB video NC link in comments. Some one has been in Stewart’s ear methinks. Albeit I would had just said hay Larry are you not one of theose ***GUYS*** that blew Born off because rational agent model thingy and almost single handily burn down the Harvard Endowment fund? …

        I have dramas with the guy but understand Stewart is low information on a lot of economics and has the whole network PMC thingy to deal with, yet he never lowered himself to the Milgram White Coat experience because ***I’m Larry Summers*** and your brain says OK …. Larry ….

  9. Hickory

    I have a question – I always expected there to be another big housing bust in the next recession/depression, and housing prices would drop/plummet and things would reset. The big structural reason is that housing prices have risen faster than real wages for decades, and prices would revert back to being in line with people’s pay . But now that corporations are buying so many houses, and with cash, it seems like their willingness to buy is the key, and less so human buyers.

    Does anyone else wonder if the next crash may not see housing prices go down much, but rather stay flattish at least in many regions due to the price being constrained by underwater mortgages and corporate buyers?

    1. Mark Gisleson

      Govt subsidies/guarantees to landlords to take in poor renters will fix all these problems. Maybe they can call it Section 88 Super Lucky housing ; )

      This would be ideal, frankly. Section 88 Super Lucky Housing would not be free, and unemployed poors would gather outside each morning so that local contractors can hire* Section 88 Super Lucky housing residents for vital frontline jobs in the janitorial and agricultural sectors.

      The disabled/physically unable to work will be given food and housing and then left alone to enjoy their privacy. House2apartment carpenters, plumbers and electricians will be kept busy, especially as the govt focuses on getting poors out of cities and into rural housing projects closer to farm work retraining opportunities.

      Life will be better for EVERYONE (who’s not poor).

      *Employers would pay the govt, not the workers. These will be ‘chainless’ work gangs, if you don’t do the work, you can’t get back into your apartment (smart!locks).

      /sarcasm (and yes, I really felt the need to tag this lest I be taken seriously)

  10. griffen

    Biggest banks are depositing a few cool billions each, with varied additional amounts coming from their lesser brethren. First Republic has a new and convenient method to stave off a bank run ! They took the ending of It’s a Wonderful Life and found a much bigger hat to pass around !

    It’s an interesting ploy no doubt, and these are deposit amounts above the FDIC threshold for deposit insurance ( which for all we know today, is still a thing until regulators choose otherwise ).

  11. William Beyer

    Stoller’s piece is exceptional! Wright Patman is an unsung hero of understanding America’s money mess.

    1. Carolinian

      He frequently invokes Patman but the real question is why are there no more Patmans? As anyone who reads this blog knows what we have is a political problem more than a banking/technical problem. Stoller tells what the problem is–not a big secret–but not how we will ever get to a solution. Indeed Democrat Biden with his executive orders and scare mongering about populism is taking us further from a solution rather than closer.

  12. Wukchumni

    Run FDIC

    This speech is my recital, I think it’s very vital
    To rock (a rhyme), that’s right (on time)
    It’s Tricky is the title, here we go…

    It’s Tricky to rock the rules, to bail out depositors right on time
    It’s Tricky… it’s Tricky (Tricky) Tricky (Tricky)
    It’s Tricky to cover overage, to bail out overage right on time
    It’s Tricky… Tr-tr-tr-tricky (Tricky) Trrrrrrrrrrricky

    I saw this little old girlie, her answers were awfully squirrely
    Watched her on the telly bust out, I threw up real early
    These Feds are really sleazy, all they say is can I please thee?
    Or spend some time and rock a rhyme, I said “It’s not that easy”

    It’s Tricky to mock our time, to mock a time that’s ran out of rhyme
    It’s Tricky…(How is it Y?) It’s Tricky (Tricky) Tricky (Trrrrrricky)
    It’s Tricky to mock our time, to mock a time that’s run out of rhyme
    It’s Tricky… Tricky (Tricky) Tricky

    In DC the people talk and try to make reason out of rhyme
    They really (hawk) but we just (walk) because we have no time
    And in the city it’s a pity cos they just can’t hide
    Tinted windows don’t mean nothin’, we know who’s inside

    It’s Tricky to mock our time, to mock a time that’s run out of rhyme
    It’s Tricky…(How is it B?) Tricky (Tricky) Tricky (Tricky)
    It’s Tricky to mock our time, to mock a rhyme that’s run out of time
    It’s Tricky… Tricky (Tricky) Tricky (Tricky) huh!

    It’s Tricky, by Run DMC

      1. Wukchumni


        One of the good things about being a sit-down comic is its ok to crack yourself up as the joke is being formed.

  13. Ignacio

    RE: The Strongest Evidence Yet That an Animal Started the Pandemic Katherine Wu, The Atlantic. For some reason, The Atlantic breaks (Furzy Mouse) this story. A preprint, apparently, to come in Nature.

    I could only read the first two paragraphs but I get SARS CoV2 was detected in swabs from racoon dogs taken at the Wuhan Market, where all it started and it had been shown before lots of positive samples concentrated in the areas with animal cages. In support of this hypothesis (racoon dog as potential intermediate host) it had been shown before by a lab in Germany (Friedrich-Loeffer Institute focuses on animal health) that racoon dogs can be readily infected by SARS CoV2 and transmit it to other encaged racoon dogs causing a mild disease apparently restricted to the oropharyngeal tract. The progeny from these infections didn’t show changes suggesting the virus was already adapted to racoon dogs.

    These animals were traded probably by the millions in several years in China without control conditions and almost certainly no sanitary checks. Compare that with a few researchers working with field samples in a lab taking all precautions not just for themselves but for the very same samples manipulated in order to be able to obtain some verifiable publishable data. The Atlantic writes about “highly politicized” atmosphere in the US. I wont deny. Politicized as to the level of fantasized realities including all the idiocy about “gain of function” research or engineered motifs.

    1. kriptid

      Some of us are still waiting to see a sample collected in the wild that contain the furin cleavage site and matches the SARS-CoV-2 lineage before we dunk all over the “fantasized realities” as you dismissively call them.

      Once that happens, I will be happy to discount the lab leak hypothesis. Until then, I will remain open to it.

      1. Ignacio

        Several samples have been collected in the wild with furin cleavage motifs in the Spike protein as well as in other proteins and viruses like MERS, several rodent and bat coronaviruses, Nipah, Varicella Zoster etc.

        No need to wait it was done before and after the pandemic started.

        1. kriptid

          None of them are in the recent SARS-CoV-2 lineage. They all diverged a long time ago (in virus terms).

          The original genome released by the Wuhan Institute that was the alleged closest related to SARS-CoV-2 (97-98% similarity as I recall) doesn’t have it.

          Curiously, all the sequence upstream and downstream of the furin site is a 100% match for that genome. But all of the furin site AAs are coded by an insert of 12 nts that matches the homology of the region where the furin site is in SARS-CoV-1 perfectly.

          That means, if the lab leak were definitively false, that there should be a strain of SARS-CoV-2 in the wild that is a hybrid or intermediate of SARS-CoV-1/2 that shows evidence of transfer of the furin site from one to the other. That has never been found.

          The odds of a furin site inserting itself without a recombination event are infinitesimally small.

          Until that strain is found, the provenance of SARS-CoV-2 in the wild will never be solved no matter how much anyone wishes it to be so. That furin site did not appear out of nowhere, and the simple fact is that none of the sarbecoronaviruses closely related to SARS-CoV-2 have it (nucleotide similarities of 98%+).

          Nobody had ever provided a coherent explanation for this, nor will they, until a homologous furin site is found in a 98%+ percent similar strain.

          If anyone doubts what in saying and has some basic biology training, you can observe it for yourself in figure 6 of this paper:

          I’m afraid it’s not as easy as saying “other coronavirus strains have a furin site.” The authors of this papers ironically tried to claim that (as this comment I’m replying to does), yet they ignore the extreme implausibility of the site appearing as a perfect insertion in a strain that lost the site long ago.

          The point of this comment is not to say that the lab leak is definitively true. The point is to say that anyone who claims certainty one way or the other is doing so without fully considering the evidence and is overconfident at best.

        2. jobs

          “SARS-CoV-2 contains a number of curious genomic features—its novel furin cleavage site most obviously. No other known SARS-related coronavirus has a furin cleavage site.”

          “The entire 12-nucleotide Furin cleavage site in SARS-CoV-2, however, is not found in any other SARS coronavirus.”

          Both articles, among other curious items, also discuss the odd human-specific codon bias found in the SARS-CoV-2 FCS.

  14. Jon Cloke

    COVID and raccoon dogs:

    “The jumbling together of genetic material from the virus and the animal does not prove that a raccoon dog itself was infected. And even if a raccoon dog had been infected, it would not be clear that the animal had spread the virus to people. Another animal could have passed the virus to people, or someone infected with the virus could have spread the virus to a raccoon dog.”

    Which ‘proves’ absolutely nothing – what on earth is this garbage supposed to mean/

    1. t

      Go to the sources or wait for Nature. As of about 8 years ago, the Atlantic cannot do science, at all. Any science piece is, at best, like reading a paper written by someone who was cribbing from a friend’s work, but didn’t have all the pages.

      The started a science wrap up page at one point, and then quit – apparently because everyone they were citing complained. Wouldn’t be surprised if they brought it back, though.

    2. Ignacio

      Read my post above yours. Racoons in the market that was the known origin of the disease were infected. We have a species that now could be the famous intermediate host. It was already there and it was infected. Known not only to be infected but able to transmit the disease amongst them. Traded by the millions. 1+1 = lab leak?

      1. tiebie66

        I am skeptical: “Racoons in the market that was the known origin of the disease were infected.” …by humans?

    3. kriptid

      Apparently the folks behind this research also forgot how to do science properly, perhaps because they care more about getting press than doing science.

      The data they have analyzed to make these conclsuions hasn’t been published and therefore isn’t available for public scrutiny.

      But, somehow, they have told all their findings to the Atlantic, and this story has been now disseminated amongst the entire mainstream press.

      I guess this is the new way to do Covid science. Get the press all hot and bothered and tell them “don’t worry, the evidence will come later.”

      Disgraceful on the part of the researchers involved, whatever their findings may be.

      1. Ignacio

        Blame it to the scientists that makes the trick. I don’t know who leaked the story but I see nothing wrong once the manuscript had been accepted and dated for publication. Blame it to the Atlantic who did its best to get their scoop before it was published.

        1. kriptid

          The article quotes multiple scientists who are authors on the article. That shows they were totally fine going on the record with a reporter before their work could be seen by other scientists. And by other scientists, I don’t mean the three peer reviewers who are already in the bag on the natural origin hypothesis (as most in academia are, despite a complete absence of a “smoking gun” one way or another).

          If the scientists chose to go on the record, then clearly they take responsibility for their words. It would have been just as easy to say “we would prefer not to comment until the study is released” which would have been much more appropriate, in my view.

          You’re within your rights to disagree.

          1. Ignacio

            Many scientific results are communicated/advanced in scientific congresses and in the books that contain abstracts of future congresses as well as in online sites and press notes before these results are published in peer reviewed articles. That is not “bad practice” except if you include data in those communications that are not published later and cannot be checked or data that have been incorrectly obtained and rejected by the reviewers. You are hurrying to accuse the scientists of bad practice while you cannot prove anything of that. That is bad faith from your part should I say.

    4. Jeff W

      The NYT has that paragraph and following that says:

      But the analysis did establish that raccoon dogs…deposited genetic signatures in the same place where genetic material from the virus was left, the three scientists said. That evidence, they said, was consistent with a scenario in which the virus had spilled into humans from a wild animal.

      In other words, the paragraph you’re citing is not supposed to “prove” anything. It’s qualifying—appropriately, I think—what the finding might be consistent with. While the evidence is “consistent with a scenario in which the virus had spilled into humans from a wild animal”—which could include an infected racoon dog—it does not necessarily mean that the raccoon dogs in question were infected or, if they were, that they spread the virus to people.

  15. zagonostra

    >How Covid lockdowns primed the current financial crisis – The Grayzone

    Nice to see the author, Christian Parenti, following in his father’s footsteps.

    In a nutshell, during the pandemic the government issued enormous amounts of extremely low interest government debt — about $4.2 trillion of it. But now interest rates, including on government debt, are higher than they have been in 15 years and investors are dumping their old low-interest debt. As they dump, the resale price of the old debt goes down. The more it declines, the more investors want to dump. And thus, a panic is born…

    The US intelligentsia and its media elites are finally beginning to reckon with the impact of misguided and authoritarian lockdowns on student learning and the psychological and physical health of millions. But in all the discussion of the current bank runs, the pivotal role of lockdowns in priming the crisis remains overlooked.

  16. JR

    I agree with Matt Stoller’s observation in his linked to article that the reason for the Fed’s failure in SVB is ideological. Also not to be forgotten is the Citi-Salomon merger, where Citi used the 5-year non-conformance exemption in the Bank Holding Company Act to give the Federal Reserve Board the excuse to smash the Glass-Steagall Act. I say give the Board the excuse to smash the Glass-Steagall Act b/c, in my view, the Board’s section 20 ruling practice at the time indicated that the Board was not at all interested in maintaining the separation of investment and commercial banking.

    Here is a link to a 1997 FRBSF article that sheds some light on the Board’s ideological orientation at that time: Another indicator of the Board’s ideological orientation towards being solicitous and protective of the banking industry from around that time can be gleaned from the Supreme Court’s 1986 Dimension Financial decision (See 474 U.S. 361 (1986)).

    I’m reminded of the Talking Heads: “same as it ever was, same as it ever was….”

    1. Yves Smith

      Sorry but the formal end of Glass Steagall was a non-event. Commercial bank Credit Suisse bought investment bank First Boston in 1988 (no typo). The only reason for its revocation was for Travelers to buy Citigroup. Glass Steagall was so shot full of holes as to be effectively meaningless by then.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Far-right Ukrainian World Congress demands Hollywood take “appropriate action” against Top Gun: Maverick”

    Where do the Ukrainians get of telling Americans what they can watch in their own movies. Only the Chinese and Israelis get to do that. There really is no keeping these people happy. Poland announced that they were sending Mig-29s to the Ukraine but the Ukrainians were bitterly complaining that they weren’t F-16s. An Oscar was given to the documentary “Navalny” about a person that hates his own country of Russia. But then the Ukrainians complained that he was still a Russian and just why wasn’t Zelensky allowed to make a speech at the Oscars anyway. I tell you, when this war is over you will find that the Ukrainians as a group will bitterly complain that the west did not do enough for them and could have supported them more and its all their fault.

    1. tevhatch

      UAN gets no K-street buyer stamps / kickback from Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG. Canada Files and formerly Bandera Lobby Blog will track their graft, but mostly North of the border.

      Not sure who tracks their graft in the EU or (F)AUKUS, but rest assured the graft is too good not to exist.

    2. Carolinian

      I go out of my way to avoid news pictures–a quirk–but I saw one of Z in his green t-shirt and to me he simply looks like a thug. You can’t judge by appearances but then maybe you can, at least a little.

      And the Navalny award was just the latest instance of the White Helmets award. Some of those Academy categories seem to attract a highly politically motivated subset of voters.

    3. Kouros

      We do not not what exactly was promised…

      Remember, they already have 100,000 plus dead soldiers at a minimum… That is two Vietnam Wars for Americans…

  18. Wukchumni

    Baseball has realized that it’s just too slow (scratches crotch and taps bat on cleats @ the plate as I readjust batting gloves after each pitch) and unwieldy (the shift looks like cheating to me, did anybody in MLB ever think of that?) of a game for these times as it evolves from a pitcher’s milieu (looks off the sign from the catcher and throws repeated lobs to first base in order to keep the runner honest) to a speeded up version.

    Couldn’t they have just cut the games down to 6 innings and kept the same staleness intact?

  19. The Rev Kev

    “The war exacerbates Ukraine’s population decline new report shows”

    This war through the demographics alone is going to turn the Ukraine into a backwater. Does anybody think that any of those several million people that fled to the west will want to return? Most of them have new homes, probably jobs that they work at as well as forming relationships. Will they give that all up just so that they can return to a devastated country? Likely the people in the Ukraine may resent those that fled west anyway if they returned. And those western countries may want to keep those Ukrainians as a source of cheap labour anyway. Back before the Maiden in 2024 they did a street interview with some guy in London’s City district. This guy was saying that he was looking forward to having a wave of cheap Ukrainian labour coming to the UK as it would be good for the economy. I guess that the supply of Polish plumbers was decreasing but of course this was pre-Brexit. As for those Ukrainians that still live there, how will the birth rate go when the Zelensky government is turning the place into a Neoliberal paradise. Another factor is that the Ukraine will lose several million more people as the Russians take over the Russian-speaking Oblasts and make them part of the Russian Federation. Back in the early 90s the Ukraine was supposed to have had a population of over 50 million people but which lost about 10 million in the following two decades. By the time this war is over I would expect it to be about half that number so about 20 million or so.

    1. Christopher Peters

      The best “hope” for Ukraine might be forced deportations from the US, and Western Europe presuming there is any sort of country left for them to go back to. Remember, we’re all for human rights and such unless it goes against our goals of geopolitical full-spectrum dominance.

      “Dear refugee,

      You know, we’re really sorry comrade but your visa has been canceled. You have 30 days to leave the country. We used to like you, but you’re needed to repopulate the glorious western Lviv region and fight those Russians now, as we’ve run low on cannon fodder.

      Go back and die! ”

      sincerely, US immigration and customs

    2. OnceWereVirologist

      The ICC just issued an arrest warrant on Putin for the “unlawful deportation of children”. So don’t worry, now the Hague is on the case Ukraine’s demographic collapse will be turned around.

    3. fresno dan

      so when I was looking at the Tucker Carlson video (posted below) there are some similar videos on YouTube, and it brings back that video when Trump is talking to O’Reilly, and O’Reilly says Putin is a killer, and Trump responds, You think we are so innocent?
      I would say the US is ultimately far more responsible for the decimation (funny word as the population decline of Ukraine is probably a lot more than 10%) of Ukraine then Russia. But O’Reilly and his view of the exceptional country, i.e., the USA is more in keeping with standard MSM thinking than either O’Reilly or the MSM would admit. And Trump really was the radical in saying a TRUTH that no other US politician could say.
      But the blob has put their heart and souless soul in expunging any trace of thought that contradicts the dogma that US political discourse has become…
      The West has destroyed Ukraine, but that idea will never be uttered in the West…

    1. zagonostra

      I think back to three years ago and all the “soft” cajoling used to get the population to accept getting vaccinated, from free movie tickets, beer, scholarships, cannabis, etc…to a blitzkrieg marketing campaign the likes I’ve never seen that included getting the whole damn MSM/Celebrity complex singing from the same hymnal to the “hard” warning of a letter received from my employer telling me my job was at jeopardy if I didn’t show proof of having received a jab.

      I knew something was rotten in the State of Denmark from day one, Taibbi is just confirming/documenting/publishing what many of us suspected from the beginning.

  20. Wukchumni

    I’ve uttered enough in regards to our winter of hardly missed content, think i’ll let Billy the kid say a few words:

    “Are not you moved, when all the sway of the earth
    Shakes like a thing unfirm? O Cicero,
    I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds
    Have rived the knotty oaks; and I have seen
    Th’ ambitious ocean swell and rage and foam,
    To be exalted with the threatening clouds:
    But never till tonight, never till now,
    Did I go through a tempest dropping fire.
    Either there is a civil strife in heaven,
    Or else the world too saucy with the gods,
    Incenses them to send destruction.”

    –Casca, Act I, Scene III in Julius Caesar

    1. mrsyk

      O Cicero, you might have been moved had you been here to help me shovel out from under the 30 inches of the white stuff the gods decided to drop here high in the hill of SW Vermont. Biggest snowfall ever for this northern New England old man. El Nino, is that thou?

  21. bassmule

    received internet appeal:
    “These battleground Democrats are ESSENTIAL to maintaining our razor thin Senate majority in 2024, but they’ve got a long road ahead.
    Republicans have already started their attacks in these make-or-break states, and we need to give Democrats the resources to fight back. Will you rush a $24 donation today to help keep these key seats blue in 2024?”

    “What am I going to get for my $24? Medicare for All? No. Re-regulate banks and airlines? No. Raise taxes on billionaires in amounts large enough for them to notice? Oh, Hell No. ANY concrete benefits for ordinary citizens? Only by accident. And please, can we stop this Ukraine stuff, which exists mainly to line the pockets of Lockheed-Martin and Northrop Grumman?”

      1. flora

        Derivatives are still an unregulated market. Throwing money at the problem doesn’t make the problem go away. The problem gets bigger.

    1. mrsyk

      Elections are nothing more than another way to tax the masses. It’s a business, scratch that, racket, it’s, primary function to extract wealth from the people who need and direct it to those who don’t. Our system of governance is entirely broken. “Of the people by the people for the people”, is now “Piss on the people”. Prove me wrong, please. I’m willing to beg. Probably a useful skill to develop, begging.

  22. John

    Either the comments are about evenly split among weariness, outrage, cynicism, and despair, or I am. Interesting times.

  23. Wukchumni

    There is avalanche potential in the eastern Sierra, the mountains go up in a big whoosh, but we rarely see them in the southern Sierra.

    A friend lives @ 7,000 feet about 25 miles away as the condor flies, and this is what she described to me in an e-mail:

    “In other news I saw an avalanche in person for the first time, unexpectedly up here by Alder Creek. Quite a wild sight. Wide snow field 3/4 mile in length, descending 1,660 feet and spilling into the creek. Rootballs and snaps barely visible where it took out a path of trees. Others down on the opposite bank of the creek. A truly wild sight.”

    1. Carolinian

      Re Whoosh–I looked on my digital topo map and Mt. Whitney–highest in the 48–is only 13 miles from highway 395 at 3700 ft. But presumably most of the snow falls on the Western slopes?

      Movietown liked to use that area to sub for the Himalayas.

      1. Wukchumni

        The Kaweah range was initially thought to be the crest of the Sierra Nevada, but twas a middle earth range that went up to just over 14k, and then drops 8k into the Kern River trench only to ascend up to the Whitney crest in quite a profound roller coaster ride of sorts for the storm.

        At the top of Kaweah Gap, every drop of water than falls on our side goes to us via the middle fork of the Kaweah, and every drop on the other side ends up down in the Kern River-an oddity in that it runs north-south on a major river in the Sierra, the only one.

        Death Valley is only 50 miles away and typically gets not too much, for the Sierra is one hell of a snow catcher, and the big twist the plot this year, is atypically the northern Sierra always gets the most snow year in-year out, followed by the central Sierra (Tahoe-Mammoth) and then we bring up the rear, as we’re not set right to get the bountiful snowpacks, but its all flip-flopped this winter and it’s a sunny blue sky day today-to add to the cruelty of the situation-as Godzone down on the fruited plain slowly but surely floods. the math now getting close on how much they let out and what comes in on a full-up Terminus Reservoir, currently dumping almost 6,000 cubic feet per second.

        Not so sharp at math, but thatsa lotsa gallons.

  24. Wukchumni

    It’s St Patrick’s Day, and lets go back to the future, where guns were money, well cannons.

    Gun money was an issue of coins made by the forces of James II during the Williamite War in Ireland between 1689 and 1691. They were minted in base metal (copper, brass or pewter), and were designed to be redeemed for silver coins following a victory by James II and consequently bore the date in months to allow a gradual replacement. As James lost the war, that replacement never took place, although the coins were allowed to circulate at much reduced values before the copper coinage was resumed. They were mostly withdrawn from circulation in the early 18th century.

  25. Wukchumni

    I mentioned what a clusteryouknowhat Ukraine is to my Vietnam Veteran neighbor yesterday and he told me ‘Somebody ought to murder that son-of-bitch Putin’ and here’s a pretty liberal guy not prone to violence (when Ken Burns Vietnam War was on-I asked his wife if they were watching it, and she told me ‘he doesn’t do any kind of war’) anymore, but back in the day.

    We’ve known each other about 20 years and snippets of the war leak out every now and then, and yesterday’s story was perhaps the goriest…

    He was a machine gunner on a Patton tank, and they got into firefight with the VC who were hidden behind an impressive stand of bamboo, when all hell broke loose and the tank commander (who wore a garland of 17 human ears) was perched on his shoulders barely outside of the tank, when he took a bullet in the forehead right above his eyes, and that was that, as the body slumped towards my neighbor and he related that it was as if all of the commander’s grey matter squirted out on him, and to add injury to insult, the commander had the only communications to the outside via his helmet, so he had to scoop out the rest of the guy’s brains and put on the helmet to communicate the situation.

    War is hell.

  26. fresno dan
    There is a little video embedded in this link. Tucker owns up to things he was wrong about. The thing about name calling is, I think what so much of modern media has become. Putin supporter is not news, it is an epithet and is meant more to obscure than inform and ENFORCE a viewpoint.
    Questioning is scarely part of “news ” reporting – its more accusations, e.g., Do you support Putin’s aggression? Thrity years ago someone advancing the domino theory would have been hooted out of any venue where they would have advanced the idea – Vietnam definitively proved it wrong. Now the idea is back and considered something only a crazy person would disagree with. Astounding…

    From the article: Occasionally there are diktats from above, although not as often as you would expect as they are unnecessary. The narrative goes out organically and it just gets picked up by everybody as a group. There are always some handmaidens who are in on the joke, as it were, and they actually coordinate. But on the whole, it is groupthink, not a conspiracy, that keeps the narrative on track.
    Yeah, conventional wisdom. Anything that deviates is a conspiracy theory. And of course, repitition. I don’t know how many articles have as a foundational element that Trump was in cahoots with Putin, of course, just not proven. And the real problem with that is the belief that the FBI and CIA are bastions of honesty without agendas….

  27. mrsyk

    East Palestine, Ohio. Where is the registry of those affected??? Some of us remember 9/11. The NYC DoH created a victims registry. It served several purposes, collecting data, monitoring health of those exposed, and giving those affected standing to collect compensation from the victim’s fund, all purposes serving the interest of public welfare. Oh. Never mind.
    What do the good people of East Palestine get instead? A playbook on maintaining regulatory capture in crisis and character promotion of their feckless twat of a CEO Alex Shaw. This is an absolute must read, but you will want to put your coffee down.
    Norfolk Southern Making it Right.

  28. DJG, Reality Czar

    Sly, Lambert Strether, sly. The antidote of the day is one of those ultra-cute racoon-dogs, soon to be our epidemiological over-canids.

    Like Ignacio above, Atlantic didn’t let me far into the article by Wu, but we all have known for months that a mammalian suspect was going to come up sooner or later.

    Just as the Oklahoma representative in the video tries to make too much of a point about bailing out Chinee Commies, so to have the lab-leak fantasists failed to resist their prejudices as well as failing to understand just how overwhelming in complexity is Mother Nature.

    Interesting how fast this got to Wikpedia, under Common raccoon dog:

    On 16 March 2023, The Atlantic[39] reported that samples collected in the Huanan seafood market in early 2020 that were already known to be positive for SARS-CoV-2 also showed abundant genetic material matching the common raccoon dog. Although this does not definitively prove that the raccoon dog is the “missing” intermediate animal host in the bat-to-human transmission chain, it does show that raccoon dogs were present in the Huanan market at the time of the initial SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, in areas that were also positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA, and substantially strengthens this hypothesis as the proximal origin of the pandemic.

    So Mother Nature has a dog, the tanuki, as the Japanese call them.

    And Japanese tanuki lore is wildly funny:

    Shape-shifters, indeed.

  29. begob

    I haven’t paid attention to Jeremy Scahill since Greenwald’s exit from the Intercept. Here he is on the Black Sea drone in a Democracy Now segment – appears factual and balanced, although an obligatory puff of liberal idealism at the very end.

  30. Willow

    SVB is going to end up a political headache for Biden & Yellen. Yellen is likely insuring $billions in foreign entity deposits at US expense.

    From my Chinese contacts, SVB was used by wealth mainlanders to get around China’s capital controls. SVB provided a plausible (workable) reason to transfer vary large sums of money ($billions) out of China. Stating that placing money with SVB was required in order to buy equity in US tech start-ups. (not really). Explains why SVB had such a massive mismatch between deposits ands loans. A mismatch you wouldn’t expect for a bank servicing cash burning start-ups which regularly have to raise more cash.

  31. spud

    Urie has a good one out,

    i agree, the true believers, or as i call them, feverish believers came into power in 1993. from then on, its been one war after another, and at least five bailouts, not counting this one since 1993. and after every bailout, things get worse.

    look at all of the rugged individuals with animal instincts feeding at the trough of the american taxpayer.

    1. some guy

      Fascism comes in different flavors , like ice cream. Chocolate ice cream and vanilla ice cream are both basically similar in that they are ice cream. But they are two different kinds of ice cream.

      Likewise, most Americans and other Westerners consider Naziism in Germany to have been the gold standard of fascism. So most Americans just know-feel in their hearts and bones that fascism must be more or less racist, one way or another. So most Americans and other Westerners are really not ready to comprehend a strictly government-business fascism which claims to be race-neutral and maybe even aspires to it. An equal opportunity fascism. An anti-racist fascism.

      If Fascism comes to America, it will come waving a Rainbow Flag and wearing a Pink Pussy Hat.
      ( Oh look . . . it already has.)

      If Trump wins the next election, we will have a different flavor of Fascist who will take down the Rainbow Flags and and give it an anti-despised-outgroup flavor. And burn some books. )

  32. flora

    Jon Stewart with Sheila Bair and Mark Cuban talking SVI bank and the Fed. This is good. Bair has some excellent ideas. Apparently the Fed once offered businesses payroll service, but the bank lobbyists ran to Congress and complained that Fed service was reducing bank deposits so Congress took that authority away from the Fed. ( Think I heard that right.) utube, ~30 minutes.

    Silicon Valley Bank’s Collapse w/ Mark Cuban and Sheila Bair | The Problem with Jon Stewart Podcast

  33. some guy

    About the antidote, I will claim ( though I could never prove this) that I figured out the picture was of a Japanese raccoon dog without having to click and read the link. I will claim that a study of numerous raccoon dog images as against numerous raccoon raccoon images shows some observable differences between the head and face of the two animals.

Comments are closed.