Some interesting reading material for your Monday afternoon pleasure:

• New York Fed Warehousing Junk Loans On Its Books: Examiner’s Report (Huff Po)
• Sentiment’s dark cloud (Marketwatch)
Buh-Bye: Finra shuts down GunnAllen (Investment News)
• Where Does U.S. Foreign Aid Go? (Economix)
• High-End Repo Men (WSJ) We’ve discussed this topic before
• Panasonic 3-D TVs Sell Out as ‘Avatar’ Technology Reaches Homes (Bloomberg)
• Google tries a route around Chinese Web censorship (Salon)
• Snopes: The Mom-And-Pop Site Busts The Web’s Biggest Mythbusters (NPR)
• Natural Disaster and Extreme Weather Information Center (ebrary)
• YouTube’s Chief Counsel calls out Viacom for being lying weasels (YouTube official blog)

What’s on your browser?

Category: Financial Press

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

27 Responses to “Monday Links”

  1. The stock market doesn’t fear healthcare reform (Salon)

    Really? Now this crap from the left?

    How many times do I have to say it? The day to day action is noise.

    No, it is not a referendum on your pet issue or the latest headline or your least favorite politician. Its is NOISE.

    If you doubt that, pull up a long term chart — you can barely see 9/11 or 1987 . . .

  2. Dan Gross says:

    Please Pay Me To Use Less Energy

    Over the last few weeks, I’ve talked to a lot of professionals about things I can do to make my home more energy efficient. The most satisfying aspect has been shelling out a small amount of money to have people come in and make some quick, cheap fixes that will pay dividends. My home energy assessment was heavily subsidized by Connecticut’s energy efficiency fund and was a form of triage. If I want to pursue more serious efficiency, I will need to make significant investments, in insulation, for example. As I’ve been wondering about whether to make that investment, I have been thinking it would be great if there were a private-sector company that could, for little money down, analyze my energy use and set up a system that would help me use less energy—and pay me for doing so.

  3. Dennis says:

    This paragraph from the YouTube link is off the hook:

    “For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately “roughed up” the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko’s to upload clips from computers that couldn’t be traced to Viacom. And in an effort to promote its own shows, as a matter of company policy Viacom routinely left up clips from shows that had been uploaded to YouTube by ordinary users. Executives as high up as the president of Comedy Central and the head of MTV Networks felt “very strongly” that clips from shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report should remain on YouTube.

  4. Andrew Krone says:

    The interview regarding College tuition is complete BS (at least as it relates to the University of California). The University of California has tripled its tuition since I was there in the late 90′s. I think the simple reality is that the Instructors require their standard pay increases and the UC system will not be able to afford their required pensions.

    Sandy Baum is an idiot.

  5. perra says:

    What’s on your browser?

    Pornographic bullishness.

  6. farmera1 says:

    Rare Earth Metals…… the next big thing

    Lots of noise about rare earths. Since China now produces 90% plus of these metals (needed for all kinds of green tech, lithium ion batteries for all kinds of things like cars, computers and cell phones, small motors, generators and military applications). In other words most of the things that will in all probability make the world go as we move into tomorrow takes rare earths. China is now saying they will stop exporting these and there is a mad scramble on to find alternative sources.

    (get in on the bubble before it becomes, you know a bubble)

  7. Hunin says:

    Where Does U.S. Foreign Aid Go?

    The link is incorrect. Below is the correct link.

  8. Mr.E. says:

    Greg Mankiw raises the question, “How long can the President wait before he comes clean with the American people and explains how high taxes needs to rise to pay for his vision of government?”

  9. some for the thought box..
    “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

    We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized.” – Edward Bernays
    A sweet problem: Princeton researchers find that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain
    Posted March 22, 2010; 10:00 a.m. share | e-mail | print
    by Hilary Parker
    A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.

    In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides. The researchers say the work sheds light on the factors contributing to obesity trends in the United States.

    “Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn’t true, at least under the conditions of our tests,” said psychology professor Bart Hoebel, who specializes in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction. “When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they’re becoming obese — every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don’t see this; they don’t all gain extra weight.”…

  10. TripleB says:

    Google Geniuses Now Trading Bonds:

    and the NPR interview with Michael Lewis promo-ing the new book; the first chapter is here too:

  11. jeg3 says:
    Depends if it is spent on productive activities or bailouts and welfare-queen bonuses

    What is productive?

    Trillions not well spent, unless you are a pillager getting bonuses:

  12. “…in the light of recent studies and several popular books, to be growing ever more pertinent. What if Darwin’s theory of evolution – or, at least, Darwin’s theory of evolution as most of us learned it at school and believe we understand it – is, in crucial respects, not entirely accurate?

    Such talk, naturally, is liable to drive evolutionary biologists into a rage, or, in the case of Richard Dawkins, into even more of a rage than usual. They have a point: nobody wants to provide ammunition to the proponents of creationism or “intelligent design”, and it’s true that few of the studies now coming to public prominence are all that revolutionary to the experts. But in the culture at large, we may be on the brink of a major shift in perspective, with enormous implications for how most of us think about how life came to be the way it is. As the science writer David Shenk puts it in his new book, The Genius in All of Us, “This is big, big stuff – perhaps the most important [discoveries] in the science of heredity since the gene.”

    Take, to begin with, the Swedish chickens. Three years ago, researchers led by a professor at the university of Linköping in Sweden created a henhouse that was specially designed to make its chicken occupants feel stressed. The lighting was manipulated to make the rhythms of night and day unpredictable, so the chickens lost track of when to eat or roost. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, they showed a significant decrease in their ability to learn how to find food hidden in a maze…”

    it’s nice to see this Topic, finally, get “shaken out, into the Wild..”

    the ‘Static Genome’ is a deadly myth, one that underlies much of the “School” of Genetic Engineering..
    Darwin, and his ‘Survival of the Fittest’-Thesis, where laid down to provide ‘intellectual cover’ for some serious Psychopaths..

  13. OkieLawyer says:

    Mr. Hoffer:

    Darwin proposed “natural selection” not “survival of the fittest.” The latter was created by Herbert Spencer, father of “Social Darwinism.” There was a recent post on Huffington Post discussing the misnomer of this social / political theory.

  14. farmera1 says:


    There is a strong correlation between the introduction and use of high fructose corn syrup in the US and obesity. I don’t have the specific graphs (Weight vs HFC use) but here are a couple of interesting links.

    PS: Correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation….

  15. OkieL,

    ‘preciate the clarification, was addressing the common conflation, of the two memes, as seen in the posted ‘snip’, and art.–to say nothing of ‘most people’s minds’..

  16. Melvis says:

    The Real Arithmetic of Health Care Reform

    ON Thursday, the Congressional Budget Office reported that, if enacted, the latest health care reform legislation would, over the next 10 years, cost about $950 billion, but because it would raise some revenues and lower some costs, it would also lower federal deficits by $138 billion. In other words, a bill that would set up two new entitlement spending programs — health insurance subsidies and long-term health care benefits — would actually improve the nation’s bottom line.

    Could this really be true? How can the budget office give a green light to a bill that commits the federal government to spending nearly $1 trillion more over the next 10 years?

    The answer, unfortunately, is that the budget office is required to take written legislation at face value and not second-guess the plausibility of what it is handed. So fantasy in, fantasy out.

    In reality, if you strip out all the gimmicks and budgetary games and rework the calculus, a wholly different picture emerges: The health care reform legislation would raise, not lower, federal deficits, by $562 billion.

    Gimmick No. 1 is the way the bill front-loads revenues and backloads spending. That is, the taxes and fees it calls for are set to begin immediately, but its new subsidies would be deferred so that the first 10 years of revenue would be used to pay for only 6 years of spending.

    Even worse, some costs are left out entirely. To operate the new programs over the first 10 years, future Congresses would need to vote for $114 billion in additional annual spending. But this so-called discretionary spending is excluded from the Congressional Budget Office’s tabulation.

    Consider, too, the fate of the $70 billion in premiums expected to be raised in the first 10 years for the legislation’s new long-term health care insurance program. This money is counted as deficit reduction, but the benefits it is intended to finance are assumed not to materialize in the first 10 years, so they appear nowhere in the cost of the legislation.

    Another vivid example of how the legislation manipulates revenues is the provision to have corporations deposit $8 billion in higher estimated tax payments in 2014, thereby meeting fiscal targets for the first five years. But since the corporations’ actual taxes would be unchanged, the money would need to be refunded the next year. The net effect is simply to shift dollars from 2015 to 2014.

    In addition to this accounting sleight of hand, the legislation would blithely rob Peter to pay Paul. For example, it would use $53 billion in anticipated higher Social Security taxes to offset health care spending. Social Security revenues are expected to rise as employers shift from paying for health insurance to paying higher wages. But if workers have higher wages, they will also qualify for increased Social Security benefits when they retire. So the extra money raised from payroll taxes is already spoken for. (Indeed, it is unlikely to be enough to keep Social Security solvent.) It cannot be used for lowering the deficit.

    A government takeover of all federally financed student loans — which obviously has nothing to do with health care — is rolled into the bill because it is expected to generate $19 billion in deficit reduction.

    Finally, in perhaps the most amazing bit of unrealistic accounting, the legislation proposes to trim $463 billion from Medicare spending and use it to finance insurance subsidies. But Medicare is already bleeding red ink, and the health care bill has no reforms that would enable the program to operate more cheaply in the future. Instead, Congress is likely to continue to regularly override scheduled cuts in payments to Medicare doctors and other providers.

    Removing the unrealistic annual Medicare savings ($463 billion) and the stolen annual revenues from Social Security and long-term care insurance ($123 billion), and adding in the annual spending that so far is not accounted for ($114 billion) quickly generates additional deficits of $562 billion in the first 10 years. And the nation would be on the hook for two more entitlement programs rapidly expanding as far as the eye can see.

    The bottom line is that Congress would spend a lot more; steal funds from education, Social Security and long-term care to cover the gap; and promise that future Congresses will make up for it by taxing more and spending less.

    The stakes could not be higher. As documented in another recent budget office analysis, the federal deficit is already expected to exceed at least $700 billion every year over the next decade, doubling the national debt to more than $20 trillion. By 2020, the federal deficit — the amount the government must borrow to meet its expenses — is projected to be $1.2 trillion, $900 billion of which represents interest on previous debt.

    The health care legislation would only increase this crushing debt. It is a clear indication that Congress does not realize the urgency of putting America’s fiscal house in order.

    Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who was the director of the Congressional Budget Office from 2003 to 2005, is the president of the American Action Forum, a policy institute.

  17. wunsacon says:

    >> Darwin, and his ‘Survival of the Fittest’-Thesis, where laid down to provide ‘intellectual cover’ for some serious Psychopaths..

    I like a good bit of alternative thinking. But, are you implying that Darwin’s observations about the natural world are some kind of sham to further … what exactly?

  18. Marcus Aurelius says:

    Many otherwise educated folk confuse adaptation within a species and evolution. Evolution, as in species origination, has never been witnessed (not that it isn’t true). The very simple definition of what constitutes a species (other than numbers of chromosomes) is: any organism that can produce viable offspring is a species. While a Boston terrier and a greyhound have been intentionally “adapted” to serve very different purposes (and as they do not look or behave anything alike), they are still the same species. Mate them, and the resulting offspring, while sharing traits of both parents, are fertile and can be mated with any other dog and will always produce another fertile dog. A donkey and a horse, OTOH, while different species, are very close genetically, and if mated, will produce a mule or a hinny, both of which are sterile hybrids — not a different species than either of the parents. Mate a horse and a dog, and, well . . . you get the picture. Adaptation within a species means nothing in the context of the evolution of species. Extinction of a species — which we have witnessed at an alarming rate — is one of the greatest threats to the biosphere. Once gone, another species might adapt to fill the niche the extinct species once occupied, but it won’t be a new species.

  19. wunsa-

    from 9. To put or set in order or readiness for use: lay the table for lunch.

    sorry for being unclear, read: co-opted

    as for being co-opted by whom? see any # of ‘racial purists’ and/or ‘eugenicists’, to begin with.. for starters..

  20. farmera1,

    yes, and, also, re: Rare Earths, here’s another facet:

    “Earth Abundant PV: A Strategic Priority for Photovoltaics R&D in the United States
    Posted by Craig Hunter on March 11, 2010

    Record-setting solar cells tend to edge prior champions by small increments. A few tenths of a percent is considered a big deal. So quite a few eyebrows were raised a couple of weeks ago when IBM announced a 9.6% efficient “kesterite” solar cell fabricated from copper, tin, zinc, selenium and sulfur (CTZSS). The previous record for this class of materials was just 6.8%. By substituting zinc and tin for rarer indium and gallium, the IBM cell was reported to be a breakthrough in the field of “earth abundant” PV materials.1

    Many readers might wonder, “so what?” The efficiency is still quite low relative to champion 16.5% CdTe and 20% CIGS cells. Moreover, it is still just a cell — a far cry from having demonstrated large-area panel efficiency, high-yield manufacturing, reasonable capital costs, and an organized, high-volume supply chain. Even with these in place, a new technology still needs 3-5 years of production and deployment experience before financing sources can begin to build confidence in a 25-year panel warranty. By the time a new material system could reasonably be expected to clear these hurdles, 10-15 years from now, we will be seeing descendants of existing PV technologies in production at a fraction of today’s prices.

    And, by the way, isn’t silicon “earth abundant”? With the incumbent technology having shown such dramatic cost reduction in recent years, why bother with these new materials?…”

  21. wunsacon says:

    Thanks, MEH. “Co-opted” makes sense. (Lots of things, good and bad, are co-opted towards wildly different ends, bad and good.)

  22. Mike in Nola says:

    Re: Fed warehousing junk loans.

    What the Fed is probably really worried about is that an audit will uncover how much crap it bought from its buddies at GS, JPM, etc. and how much it is still holding onto and hopes to continue to hold onto to hide the insolvency of the big banks.

    Goldman’s switching to a commercial bank holding company gave it access to the same means Lehman used to dump crap on onto the taxpayers and I’m sure it used it.

  23. farmera1 says:

    The Chinese Death Cross (great name)

    Also Cold Fusion seems to be rearing its’ ugly head again at the American Chemical Society no less.

  24. Mike in Nola says:

    Re: Repo men

    I guess I’m just an old Napoleon-loving fogey, but I much prefer the Louisiana system requiring a judge’s order before reposssession of anything, as opposed to the “self help” allowed in common law jurisdictions. It reduces the chances of abuse or mistakes, e.g.