2:00PM Water Cooler 9/10/2015

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

2016

Policy

“Again and again, Clinton pointed to instances overseas where she would have taken a tougher stance than Obama, from arming Syrian rebels to confronting an expansionist Russia. In some cases, she was talking about policy debates she lost while serving as Obama’s first-term secretary of state, or about advice she suggested was not heeded” [WaPo].

Bush on taxes: “We need to let the big dog eat.” [WaPo]. “But a very large and very regressive tax cut is exactly what Bush has described” [New York Magazine].

Let the Trump oppo begin: “1927 news report: Donald Trump’s dad arrested in KKK brawl with cops”[Boing Boing (!)]. And they’ve got the goods. That said, here’s the paragraph that will be lost in the moral panic about Trump, the man, which will explain why I filed this under Policy:

A 1979 article, published by Village Voice, reported on a civil rights suit that alleged that the Trumps refused to rent to black home-seekers, and quotes a rental agent who said Fred Trump instructed him not to rent to blacks and to encourage existing black tenants to leave. The case was settled in a 1975 consent degree described as “one of the most far-reaching ever negotiated,” but the Justice Department subsequently complained that continuing “racially discriminatory conduct by Trump agents has occurred with such frequency that it has created a substantial impediment to the full enjoyment of equal opportunity.”

That there is what they call “systemic racism,” and the Trump dynasty did their little bit to build it, along with whoever built the suburbs of St Louis (including Ferguson) and on and on and on. And that’s a policy issue. it would also be nice to hear the Donald make amends. Eh?

Money

“David Barton, an influential Christian author and activist, is taking charge of the leading super-PAC supporting Ted Cruz” [Bloomberg]. We handed the government to these guys in 2000 and got Iraq. And yet, here they still are. (To be fair, the Democrats helped.)

The Trail

“Hillary Clinton Loses Lead Over Bernie Sanders In New Iowa Poll” [HuffPo].

“Unless Hillary really has difficulty, I don’t think that [Biden] will run,” says Bill Nelson of Florida [CNN]. I don’t get it. What kind of “difficulty” could Clinton possibly have?

Dean on Sanders v. Clinton: ” There’s certainly an insurgency. An attractive candidate is basically calling out the Democrats, much the way I did in 2004. Bernie is a real phenomenon, not just a quirk of the polls. On the other hand, Hillary’s a pretty formidable candidate…. I suspect Hillary is going to win this. She’s well qualified, she’s tough, and she’s been through all of this before. At the end of the day voters will choose a president who is basically ready for the job. I think that puts Hillary head and shoulders above everybody else in the race” [WaPo]. For some definition of “ready for the job.”

“At the events in Iowa, Fior­ina’s cam­paign had no vis­ible ad­vance pres­ence. There was, however, a well-or­gan­ized ad­vance team await­ing Fior­ina’s cam­paign at every stop, cour­tesy of a su­per PAC called Con­ser­vat­ive, Au­then­t­ic, Re­spons­ive Lead­er­ship For You and For Amer­ica—bet­ter known as CARLY For Amer­ica” [National Journal].

Trump on “faith”: “I’m a believer, big league, in God and the Bible” [CNN]. In the big inning, God created…

“Scott Walker: What Went Wrong?” [National Review]. “No one would have guessed that the candidate who talks of buying affordable shirts at Kohl’s and campaigns at Harley-Davidson outlets would get shoved aside in Iowa by a loudmouthed billionaire who brags about his incredible wealth and woos voters by taking their children for rides in his helicopter.” This is, I think, one case where “nobody could have predicted….” is true!

The Hill

“Republicans in the US House of Representatives have standing to proceed with a lawsuit against US President Barack Obama’s administration over his signature healthcare law, a federal judge said Wednesday” [The Hill].

Stats Watch

Jobless Claims, week of September 5, 2015:  Down week-to-week and in consensus, trending up month-to-month [Econoday]. “There are no special factors in this report where levels of claims remain unusually low – though not quite as low as before.” And: “Insignificantly worse” [Econintersect]. And: “More openings, same quits, fewer hires. Whatever all that means….” [Mosler Economics].

“Retailers are already planning for the busy holiday shopping season and there could be a complication this year. As the unemployment rate drops, stores are having a hard time finding workers for their warehouses” [Marketplace]. If only there were some sort of automagic mechanism to adjust the supply of workers to the demand for them!

Wholesale Trade July 2015: “Factory inventories held stable in July as did wholesale inventories” [Econoday]. “The nation’s inventories are heavier than they were last year which may limit future production and hiring.” But: “As economic indicators go, wholesale sales and inventories are poor at spotting economic problems. Wholesale data did not start contracting during the Great Recession until October 2008. The only portion of wholesale trade data which seems to correspond to general economic conditions is wholesale trade employment” [Econintersect].

Import and Export Prices, August 2015: “Significant declines sweep nearly all categories of the import & export price report pointing squarely to a deepening of cross-border deflationary pressures. Import prices fell 1.8 percent in August, slightly more than expected, while export prices fell 1.4 percent which is substantially more than expected” [Econoday]. “This report highlights the risk that inflation may not be moving to the Fed’s 2 percent target any time soon which is a major argument on the side of the doves at next week’s FOMC meeting.” And: “Coming at a time when the Fed is contemplating a liftoff in rates, the weak tone of this report should come as a key reminder to the Fed that the dis-inflationary impulse is re-emerging” [Across the Curve].

Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, week of September 6, 2015: “Amid market turbulence, consumer spirits are stable” [Econoday].

“There has been significant issuance of corporate debt in the first days of this week. I spoke with a syndicate desk veteran about the reception of that paper. Most of the new issues have priced at a discount to outstanding paper and most have traded quite well after they have been freed” [Across the Curve].

The Fed: “[T]he greatest negative impact [of monetary tightening] will be on countries such as Canada and Mexico, which have close trade links with the US economy or those, like Germany, Japan, and Singapore, that are deeply integrated into the global economy” [Project Syndicate].

The Fed: “The Fed is trying to convey a message more subtle than the markets, the press and the politicians can absorb: If the economy evolves as we expect, we’re going to raise interest rates soon. But that prediction depends on how the economy evolves; if the economy surprises us and our outlook for unemployment and inflation changes, then don’t complain if we don’t raise rates as soon as you expected” [Brookings, “What the Fed Really Means When It Says Interest Rate Raises are Data Dependent”].

Fear & Greed Index, September 10, 2015: 14 (-1); “Extreme Fear” [CNN].

Mr. Market

“Apple’s iPhone Keeps Going Its Own Way” [New York Times]. Android commodified Samsung, leaving Apple at the top of the hill as a Veblen good.

Police State

“Walking the Beat With Copwatch, the People Who Police the Police” [VICE].

“Is there really a ‘war on cops’? The data show that 2015 will likely be one of the safest years in history for police” [AEI (!)]. Call the wh-a-a-a-m-bulance….

Jails reviewed on Yelp [The Marshall Project].

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Misconceptions about #BlackLivesMatter [Cosmopolitan]. Worth a read, and amazing it’s in Cosmo.

“Retired black tennis star James Blake, in an NYPD double-fault, was slammed to a Manhattan sidewalk and handcuffed by a white cop in a brutal case of mistaken identity” [New York Daily News].

“Michael Slager, Cop Who Killed Walter Scott, Says He Felt Threatened” [NBC]. If running away is threatening….

Corruption

“Justice Department Sets Sights on Wall Street Executives” [New York Times]. In 2015. When Obama’s a lame duck [smothered, cynical laughter]. I mean, come on.

“Challenges Remain for Justice Dept. in Prosecuting Executives” [Dealb%k, New York Times]. Stop it, you’re killing me!

“State Department spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday that there is ‘no conflict of interest’ in the naming a donor to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign as a transparency coordinator overseeing the review of Clinton’s emails” [CBS]. Oh. OK.

“Questions Surround Drug Testing for Mayweather-Pacquiao and Other Bouts” [Thomas Hauser, SB Nation]. World Anti-Doping Agency: “The real problems are the human and political factors. There is no general appetite to undertake the effort and expense of a successful effort to deliver doping-free sport.”

Gaia

“Climate Change Means One World’s Death and Another’s Birth” [Wired].

“National Geographic sold to Rupert Murdoch” [Boing Boing]. I’m sure Murdoch’s climate denialism will in no way affect the National Geographic’s coverage.

Imperial Collapse Watch

“Continuation of the National Emergency Notice” [The White House]. This emergency has been going on 14 years. That somebody’s rice bowl gets broken if it stops is not an emergency.

Class Warfare

“Personal Data: The Emergence of a New Asset Class” [World Economic Forum]. Yikes!

“When, oh when, might we finally get to full employment?” [Jared Bernstein, On the Economy]. On the 1st of Never?

“While the massive Bakken oil boom drew hordes of job seekers and international attention to the remote prairies of North Dakota and Montana in recent years, it’s turned into a money loser for most cities and counties in the region”” [McClatchy].

“[E]ntrepreneurship is becoming a much more selective club that favors the affluent and excludes average Americans” [The Atlantic].

News of the Wired

“New human-like species discovered in S Africa” [BBC]. “The studies which have been published in the journal Elife also indicate that these individuals were capable of ritual behaviour.”

“[R]esearchers at MIT and Pierre et Marie Curie University in Paris have analyzed the mechanical forces underpinning simple knots, and come up with a theory that describes how a knot’s topology determines its mechanical forces” [MIT Press]. So now, what other structures are like knots…..

“Tired of memorizing passwords? A Turing Award winner came up with this algorithmic trick” [Network World].

* * *

Readers, feel free to me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant:

dahlia_pollinator

Dahlia with pollinator!

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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.

39 comments

  1. Eric Patton

    Just think, if we had a *real* mental health system in this country, we’d be deprived of articles like “Jails reviewed on Yelp.”

  2. allan

    More Trump oppo, courtesy of The New Yorker (in a long and horrifying account of Atlantic City):

    Brown also used to work in the [Atlantic City] casinos, at the Showboat, bussing tables, and at Trump’s Castle, stripping and waxing floors. “When Donald and Ivana came to the casino, the bosses would order all the black people off the floor,” he said. “It was the eighties, I was a teen-ager, but I remember it: they put us all in the back.”

    Not to be filed under Policy.

    1. Carolinian

      David Cay Johnston has been dishing the dirt on Trump. Some damning stuff, but the article is two months old and doesn’t seem to have made much of a ripple. The main thrust is that he is mobbed up.

      http://www.nationalmemo.com/21-questions-for-donald-trump/

        1. greydogg

          Nights of Terror Strike Turkey as Far Right Mobs Attack Opposition and Citizens @ http://99getsmart.com/nights-of-terror-strike-turkey-as-far-right-mobs-attack-opposition-and-citizens/

  3. Carolinian

    “Again and again, Clinton pointed to instances overseas where she would have taken a tougher stance than Obama, from arming Syrian rebels to confronting an expansionist Russia. In some cases, she was talking about policy debates she lost while serving as Obama’s first-term secretary of state, or about advice she suggested was not heeded”

    But isn’t this paragraph a description of all the things she did do?…on the qt of course.

    For those of us who are ABH there’s a simple explanation: she’s a dangerous warmonger.

    1. Jim Haygood

      “Appalled By Hillary” — count me in!

      It’s getting to the point that she may be obliged, earlier than anticipated, to implement Plan B — sweeping her consort “Bill” off the stage.

      You know the pomp and circumstance of a state funeral, with elegant cameo shots of the brave widow in her sheer black veil, would translate into an instant 10-point polling boost.

      So it’s basically a question of when, not if.

      1. ambrit

        It’s like the Bugs Bunny cartoon where the Wabbit and Daffy Duck try to top each other on a vaudeville stage. The cartoon has an explosive finale.
        The “House of Cards” option must be held back till the very end. Either the campaign needs it ‘in the clutch’ or they are going to cruise to victory. Never underestimate Bills ‘charm’ as a very potent political tool. I predict that when things get tough, Bill will get going. (Hillary might try as hard as she can to deny it, but they are a team.)

  4. Tertium Squid

    Epistemic giveaway in Blake article. Slamming someone to the sidewalk is not “mistaken identity”. That suggests it’s appropriate treatment for anyone black who’s not famous.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        One wonders if Trump has an unusual arrangement with a certain government agency. Oh look, Johnny Depp is playing Whitey Bulger.

        http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/donald-trump-worried-about-oc-ac-0

    1. neo-realist

      In Seattle, it’s appropriate treatment for anyone black who doesn’t play for the Seahawks……..and maybe carries a golf club.

  5. Jim Haygood

    Why the Fed won’t hike rates at their October meeting:

    It would be hard to move in October without a pre-scheduled press conference.

    They can’t really have an unscheduled press conference — because there are technical and logistical arrangements, they’d have to announce it a day or a week in advance. And of course if they did that in October, then everyone would suspect that the major decision is in fact coming. So it’s awkward.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/former-yellen-aide-says-dont-raise-rates-next-week-2015-09-10

    Is this any way to centrally plan the world’s largest economy?

  6. rich

    NYT public editor sees lack of focus on Bernie Sanders

    The New York Times has not ignored the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, but it also “hasn’t always taken it very seriously,” Public Editor Margaret Sullivan wrote this afternoon.

    Some of it is focused on the candidate’s age, appearance and style rather than what he has to say.

    Sullivan’s assessment comes after an analysis of the paper’s coverage that was spurred by a series of reader comments over the last several months. That analysis showed that in August, The Times has spilled far less ink tracking Sanders (14 articles) than it has on his chief rival for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton (54 articles). Sanders’ fellow electoral dark horse, Donald Trump, has garnered 63 articles during that time, the most of any candidate.

    Sullivan notes that Clinton, with her large war chest and legions of supporters, would naturally garner lots of coverage from the Times. And she acknowledges that the paper has devoted multiple front-page stories to the senator from Vermont. But the style and substance of the paper’s coverage “does seem regrettably dismissive, even mocking at times,” she writes:

    The Times’s executive editor, Dean Baquet, told me recently that he wants to focus more heavily on issue stories in the coming weeks and months. Candidates like Mr. Sanders – no matter how electable they prove to be – can and should be a part of that. Times readers are completely within their rights to expect and demand it.

    http://www.poynter.org/news/mediawire/372102/nyt-public-editor-lukewarm-on-sanders-coverage/

    or,

    Sinclair drew an analogy between journalists and prostitutes, beholden to the agenda, ideology, and policies of the monied elites that owned and controlled the press. It was an integral part of his broader critique of the corruption of U.S. politics and the appalling nature of capitalism: “Politics, Journalism, and Big Business work hand in hand for the hoodwinking of the public and the plundering of labor” The Brass Check

  7. JTMcPhee

    Re Gaia, climate change, imperial collapse, moral degradation, corruption, etc., this note on “A guide to the worst refugee crisis since WWII,” http://mondoweiss.net/2015/09/refugee-crisis-since?utm_source=Mondoweiss+List&utm_campaign=ce4670a808-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b86bace129-ce4670a808-398503653

    Given the sjhitztream that’s coming down the pike, and the likelihood of how this crisis, er, horror, will actually be used, too bad the only people who seem to be planning and acting by way of preparing and responding are the militaries. Which of course àre mostly about blowing sheeit up and killing people. And corruption, and upward wealth transfer. And once-through consumption. Too bad “we” won’t use this as maybe an opportunity to learn something important, beyond how to monetize and securitize pain and fear and desperation..

  8. nippersdad

    I just cannot imagine…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/geithner-rubin-paulson-income-inequality_55e9eabde4b093be51bb73c3

    why they would think that they need….

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/06/what-do-jamie-dimons-cufflinks-tell-us-about-financial-industrial-complex

    some good PR….

    https://theintercept.com/2015/07/06/eric-holder-returns-law-firm-lobbies-big-banks/

    at this point.

    1. MikeNY

      Let them eat cake.

      Nothing like a good yuk-yuk over the evisceration of the middle class by four Ivy-educated corporate toadies who’ve made millions and billions by the system (that now includes Geithner, in his private equity gig).

      What is their prescription to solve the problem of inequality? No, wait, you won’t believe it: groaf and education.

      I’m sure their gilded Borg-brain would melt if someone proposed a living wage and a basic income guarantee.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Actually, that’s not true. The “shout” was the result of bad staffwork leading to an underpowered mike in a noisy hall, a tight close-up and a camera angle, and a media scrum to take the insurgent down. Other than that….

        As for “never trusted him,” Dean is not the worst Democrat by far. The 50-state strategy was meant to break the power of the Democratic regulars + consultants, fighting over a few votes at the margins an running Republican lookalikes, and it worked in 2006, which is exactly why they shitc*nned it, and him.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          I agree that “Dean is not the worst Democrat by far”, but that’s really damning with faint praise isn’t it? In the end he’s turned out to be another party machine Democrat and I think they are significantly more dangerous even than generic Republicans as they get to decide what is or is not acceptable policy-wise on the left. It isn’t the Republicans who are tasked with crushing any policies coming from the left, that’s the job of the Democrats and more particularly the Democrats who try to market/pass themselves off as being progressive. Those are the avant garde, the ones who are tasked with and will do the dirty business of crushing any dissension counter to the big donors’ wishes first that arises from below. Democrats like Hillary and Dean are, if you look at it with clear eyes, our real enemies–the ones who are the biggest threat to getting anything substantively good accomplished. We must either do a hostile takeover of the DP–that’s where Bernie could be immediately useful–or destroy and supplant it. The first scenario is practically falling into our lap right now, whereas the second is probably at least two bruising and dangerous four year election cycles distant–at best.

          The Republicans and the right wing Democrats are what they are and will be what they will be. I’m not going to spend any energy fretting over or trying to change that or them. The ones on the margin have already begun crossing over and if the differentiation is sufficient, will continue to. It’s very much like gay marriage and cannabis, the trendlines plot towards an inexorable crossover point. The reasons are cultural and bigger and stronger than mere politics. I think in the end we will simply outnumber them and in any system constrained by marketing itself as a democracy that eventually becomes an insurmountable problem.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            Well, sure. I mean, you weren’t expecting me to be enthusiastic, right? However, I think a little more nuance is in order. I wouldn’t, for example, throw Dean into the “utterly vile” bucket along with Steve Israel or Rahm Emmanuel, or put him in the Ninth Circle as a betrayer, like Obama.

            The thing is, if you look at other upheavals through history, you see that when something like the Democratic party splitting happens, it isn’t like the field is cleared and a whole new set of players comes in; some are tossed, to be sure, and others adapt, and you have to deal with them as they are. You have your Talleyrands, you have your Lafayettes, you have people who start out as moderates and end up as Jacobins. You have your Lincolns, who started out as a Whig and became a Republican. So if I had to deal with somebody after a split, I would certainly rather it be a Dean than a Steve Israel, because loyalist though he was, Dean did try to open up the party, and Israel didn’t. We’re talking politicians here. We aren’t looking for perfection, but for advantage.

    1. allan

      Greenwald: Five lessons from the de-listing of MEK as a terrorist group

      … a large group of prominent former US government officials from both political parties has spent the last several years receiving substantial sums of cash to give speeches to the [anti-Iranian regime] MEK, and have then become vocal, relentless advocates for the group, specifically for removing them from the terrorist list. … They include Democrats Howard Dean, Ed Rendell, Wesley Clark, Bill Richardson, and Lee Hamilton, and Republicans Rudy Giuliani, Fran Townsend, Tom Ridge, Michael Mukasey, and Andrew Card.

    2. nippersdad

      Looks like a trend amongst establishment Dems to take coopt the successes of Sanders:

      Pelosi:
      http://thehill.com/homenews/house/253167-pelosi-praises-bernie-sanders

      Wasserman Schultz:
      http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/253196-dnc-chair-closes-door-on-more-debates

      There must have been a meeting of the minds: they are going to run Clinton on Sanders’ successes. Never let a disaster go to waste?

    3. Ed

      I was taken aback by Dean’s support for Clinton earlier, but remembered that Dean and Sanders were political opponents in Vermont politics. That may have something to do with it.

  9. ewmayer

    Re. Hillary being ‘ready for the job,’ let’s run down a checklist of key qualifications:

    1. Pathological Liar: Check
    2. Perma-Warmonger and “Empire ‘R’ Us-er”: Check
    3. Strong Advocate – in fact living example of – elite impunity: Check
    4. Minion of Neoliberal Econ and Big Finance (‘I married my daughter to Big Finance to help seal the deal’): Check
    5. Massively arrogant, entitled elitist: Check
    6. Committed to ‘Free Trade,’ neolib-style (= turning US economy into a hollow bipolar shell): Check
    7. Only real deeply held principle is ‘Go where the money is’: Check
    8. Captured by the Deep State: Check
    9. Devotee of kicking down: Check
    10. Ready to start the 24/7 violations of Oath of Office on Day 1: Check

    Did I miss anything?

    ——————

    Re. ‘National Geographic sold to Rupert Murdoch’ – My folks had a subscription to NatGeo in the 70s. I distinctly recall one of the main sponsors being Caterpillar – big splashy ads for huge earthmovers in every issue, along with flagrant lies about ‘used intelligently to make the world a better place’ or some such nonsense (actual slogan: “There are no simple solutions. Only intelligent choices”). I always pictured the earthmovers following the NatGeo staff around the world and moving in as soon as the photo shoot for each spectacular exotic site had finished. Probably not too far from the reality. So anyway, Murdoch ownership is not exactly a sea change for the magazine, merely yet another final triumph for ‘free markets.’

    1. Jim Haygood

      This:

      It is a felony in the state of Nevada for anyone involved in the voter registration process to “solicit a vote for or against a particular question or candidate.”

      Nevertheless, the video shows [Hillary’s staffers] laughing at the law and repeatedly bragging about violating it by promoting Hillary Clinton verbally and with campaign literature as they attempt to register potential voters.

      When the attorney, identified as Christina Gupana, was told about this alleged lawbreaking, she advised the staffers to, “Do whatever you can. Whatever you can get away with, just do it, until you get kicked out like totally.”

      http://tinyurl.com/nnff58o

      ‘Whatever you can get away with’ has been the Clintons’ slogan since they were snitching candy from their fellow 3-year-olds at nursery school.

  10. allan

    Reuters: Citi shared central bank info with clients

    Citigroup sent details of its central bank customers’ trading activity to another client and handed out details of its foreign exchange order book to customers in electronic chatrooms, a former foreign exchange trader said in a witness statement to a London court on Thursday.

  11. JCC

    I just finished reading the paper by Bain & Associates on Personal Data as a new asset class. Very disturbing as it’s nothing but a propaganda piece to let everyone know what’s already been happening.

    One key bullet point:

    Organisations can also discern “inferred” data from individuals, based on the analysis of personal data. For instance, credit scores can be calculated based on a number of factors relevant to an individual’s financial history.

    Each type of personal data (see Figure 4), volunteered, observed or inferred, can be created by multiple sources (devices, software applications), stored and aggregated by various providers (Web retailers, Internet search engines or utility companies) and analysed for a variety of purposes for many different users (end users, businesses, public organisations).

    Be careful who you “friend” on , they’re already getting geared up to judge and sell your credit rating based on the average average credit rating of all your “friends”.

    They give some nice scenarios with pretty pictures and everything that show why this is a great idea and the types of pressures that need to be put on law and policy makers, and no scenarios of possible negative consequences. In fact, the only negative consequence mentioned is a possible loss of trust of the collectors by individuals whose personal data is being collected. Doesn’t Bain understand that the loss of trust is already happening?

    Maybe that’s why they are publicizing this propaganda piece… to show they “understand” how important trust is relative to the individual “stakeholder”… or their bottom line.

  12. gordon

    The fossil discoveries in S. Africa are interesting, but so far as I can gather the excavators found no tools or evidence of use of fire. Classifying these remains as Homo strikes me a a bit premature.

    1. Oregoncharles

      They think it was a burial site, not habitation (very hard to get to – they had to recruit people who could get into the chamber.) Only very young or very old bodies, so not a cross section, either. These were people with brains the size of gorillas; the wonder is that they were burying their dead at all. Putting tools in with them would have been far beyond.

      Of course, there is still much disagreement over the interpretation – and the classification. Other researchers think they were just early Homo erectus.

    2. ambrit

      I believe they used the old “Elephant’s Graveyard” argument; the hominins appear to have practiced funeral rites. (How they arrived at that determination is not laid out in the piece. Merely finding the remains together in one difficult to access place isn’t proof enough. I can think of several reasons this can appear deliberate, but not be evidence of culture.)
      The definition of ‘sentient’ may need some refinement.

  13. vidimi

    We handed the government to these guys in 2000 and got Iraq. And yet, here they still are. (To be fair, the Democrats helped.)

    more like: “We handed the government to these guys in 2000 and Iraq got America.”

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