These are your reads to begin your Sunday morning.

Silliness resolved: Treasury: We won’t mint a platinum coin to sidestep the debt ceiling (WaPo) see also Treasury Won’t Mint Platinum Coin to Avoid Debt Ceiling (WSJ)
Wall Street thanks you for your service, Tim Geithner (Guardian)
• The Next Oil?: Rare Earth Metals (The Diplomat)
• The tinkerers who made America great (Fortune) see also Be Wrong as Fast as You Can (NYT)
Are Giant Corporate Penalties for Illegal Activities Tax Deductible? (NYT)
• U.S. now on pace for European levels of austerity in 2013 (Wonkblog)
• 6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person (Cracked)
• Top Chicago Litigators to Retry 2,400-Year-Old Socrates Case Before 7th Circuit’s Judge Posner (ABAJournal) see also Retrying Socrates, in front of Judge Posner (Marginal Revolution)
• The Science Behind Persuading People (WSJ)
The Beatles of Comedy: Monty Python’s genius was to respect nothing (The Atlantic)

How about some Dim Sum brunch today?


Since 2011, Three-Quarters Of Deficit Reduction Has Been Via Spending Cuts

Source: Think Progress

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.

24 Responses to “10 Sunday Reads”

  1. DeDude says:

    Krugman is seriously worried that taking the platinum coin of the table is the first step to caving in to the blackmail of the crazies.

    You cannot blame him given the previous experience back in 2011. However, I think Krugman fails to understand the difference between then and now. Back then the president would have ensured his own defeat in 2012 if he had not cut a deal. I was actually surprised at how good the 2011 deal was given that he had so little leverage in the negotiations. Now he has declared that this was his last election. If government is forced into default by failure to pass a clean bill then the only people who can be hurt in the next election would be the GOPsters. Democrats can hide behind Obama. If the Wall Street people suffer big loses in the accompanying financial mayhem then Obama can tell them: “hey you guys supported these crazies, you got what you asked for – maybe next election you need to consider who you want to support”. It is true that the voters will forget two years later but big money will not and if they see a demonstration that the GOPsters are captured by absolute wild-eyed fanatic morons who are willing to drive the truck over the cliff, they may decide that corporate dems are the lesser evil.

  2. ilsm says:

    DoD tester says F-35 is plagued by a “lack of maturity”.

    To tout how many tests Lockheed “performed” they moved the easy tests not related to maturity issues into 2012 from future “plans”, all the land mines are being hidden for the headlines.

    The pentagon is spending more than $180B a year on stuff like this.

    Keynesian stimulus for immature stuff that is a lot of scrap and rework, and will cost more not less when we look to “payback” or stop the stimulus when debt should be paid back in the “good times”.

  3. Arequipa01 says:

    US Federal Govt- the rogue files:

    “Aaron hanged himself two years, to the day, after his arrest. The DoJ asked for the maximum penalty: 50 years.”

    Swartz is another victim of an obviously criminal operation formally known as the US Department of Justice. There isn’t much to say that Michael Burry didn’t already say in that commencement speech out in California.

    “I say móre: the just man justices;
    Keeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces; …”


  4. Old Rob says:

    Point? Irrelevant!
    It just means that we were overspending to an astonishing degree.
    Equilibrium is a bitch.

  5. DeDude says:

    As keynesian spending most of what the military does is worse (has a smaller multiplier) than the classic “hire a guy to dig a hole and another to fill it back up again”. It has way to much “materials” cost and not enough “consumer class” wage content. The stimulating part of “stimulus spending” is the flow of money that goes to someone who immediately spends it again, not the part that goes to company investors and leadership.

  6. mark says:

    “Silliness resolved”


    As DeDude makes clear the real silliness is a default by choice. The silliness can’t be considered resolved until the lunatics authorize sufficient borrowing to pay for the spending that they have already authorized. The Pt coin could only be considered silly if one thinks they are merely pretending to be lunatics. The evidence to date is that they are not. I really hope I’m wrong.

  7. CSF says:

    For a useful assessment of “Deficit Reduction” you need to look back more than 2 years. In 2009 we increased Federal outlays by 17.9% as stimulus to counter the financial crisis and recession, and revenue dropped by a similar (slightly smaller) amount, creating the lion’s share of the current deficit. The slight budget cuts and tax revenue increases since that time are merely (and slowly) bringing us back towards the trendline.

    CBO historical budget data here at

  8. osheth says:

    A useful distinction between masters and amateurs:

    If true, however, how does the professional investor practice?

  9. RW says:

    Really too bad Eric Holder is staying on as head of Justice; the taste that leaves in the mouth just keeps getting worse and worse.

    Aaron Swartz: A Tragic Early Death

    While both M.I.T. and JSTOR, the system he was alleged to be hacking, asked to have the charges dropped, the Justice Department insisted on pressing the case, threatening Aaron with a lengthy prison sentence.

    It is difficult not to be outraged by this part of the story. Here is an administration that could find nothing to prosecute at the Wall Street banks who enriched themselves by passing on hundreds of billions of dollars of fraudulent mortgages in mortgage backed securities and complex derivative instruments, but found the time and resources to prosecute a young man who wanted to make academic research freely available to the world.

    Scientists demonstrate unjammable radar based on quantum imaging

    Looks like much of the current high-tech “stealth” technology” weapon platform effort is obsolete or rapidly becoming so; the F-35 Lightning II is dead, long live the F-40 Boondoggler III.

  10. Molesworth says:

    The Cracked article is excellent. Read it if you skipped it. I hated the bit about hippies being wrong, but that’s just my idealism being crushed.
    Conclusion from the article:
    So how about this: one year. The end of 2013, that’s our deadline. Or a year from whenever you read this. While other people are telling you “Let’s make a New Year’s resolution to lose 15 pounds this year!” I’m going to say let’s pledge to do fucking anything — add any skill, any improvement to your human tool set, and get good enough at it to impress people.
    Don’t ask me what — hell, pick something at random if you don’t know. Take a class in karate, or ballroom dancing, or pottery. Learn to bake. Build a birdhouse. Learn massage. Learn a programming language. Film a porno. Adopt a superhero persona and fight crime. Start a YouTube vlog. Write for Cracked.

    But the key is, I don’t want you to focus on something great that you’re going to make happen to you (“I’m going to find a girlfriend, I’m going to make lots of money …”). I want you to purely focus on giving yourself a skill that would make you ever so slightly more interesting and valuable to other people.

    Read more:

  11. dougc says:

    Case A, the treasury mints a trillion dollar coin deposits it with the Fed. The Fed then credits the treasury with 1 trillion dollars to pay it’s bill. In effect the treasury get a trillion dollar interest free loan.

    Case B ,the teasury issues 1 Trillion in bonds and the Fed buys them. The fed remits the interest back to the treasury. In effect the treasury gets a trillion dollar interest free loan.

    One difference would be if the government was going to eventually pay off the debt and retire the bonds, they aren’t and will replace the expiring bonds with new ones.

    The second difference is that the coin has a marketable value and eventually it might be worth a trillion dollars if the inflation rate becomes hifgh enough.

  12. craig.r.jackson says:

    The debt problem could be fixed painlessly for a few years if the Congress authorized the Social Security Trust Administration to print the money required to pay benefits, then cancelled the federal debt the Trust owns, which amounts to about $2,000,000,000. This would also solve the mistaken perception that Social Security system is going bust at any particular time.

  13. craig.r.jackson says:

    correction: $2 trillion

  14. willid3 says:

    causes of today’s deficit

    in a word…its those Bush tax cuts coming for about 50% of the deficit

  15. Syd says:

    “The Cracked article is excellent.” -Molesworth


  16. James Cameron says:

    > Since 2011, Three-Quarters Of Deficit Reduction Has Been Via Spending Cuts

    Far and away the bulk of those cuts were through the BCA . . . and those were delayed as a result of the ATRA until March 1. I think it very doubtful that these cuts in their current form will take place . . . leaving the question of what if anything will replace them.

  17. • 6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person (Cracked)



    add me for a ‘Third’..~

  18. jeffsket says:

    The Cracked article should be required reading for anyone in their 20′s. Absolutely fantastic.

  19. mathman says:

    The Cracked article, like you who agree with it, ignores the results of making everyone into consuming producers who take from the environment any and all resources to further their own place in the societal pecking order and furthering the decline of the earth systems that sustain them. In other words it’s complete bullshit to keep doing what we’re doing, but we’ll keep doing it until we can’t because basically humanity is a collection of ignorant parasites who don’t realize their killing themselves and will become extinct before the next century – probably taking all of life on earth with it in the process.

    Great job – keep it up.

    Hello dominant life form of planet Earth. Yes, that means you Homo Sapiens. I’ve watched as over the millennia you evolved from a primitive ape-like hominid species, surviving purely by instinct, to the technology-wielding, sophisticated-thinking creature of today. Truly, the planet became your smorgasbord and you have partaken freely. As a matter of fact, you have very nearly emptied the planet’s entire refrigerator and cupboards and are now preparing to lick your plate clean. I’ve been throwing up some warning signs, especially this past year, to try to get your attention and perhaps make you reconsider your current omnivorous appetite. After all, you do share the planet with other life forms who have been hoping someone or something will put an end to your callous industrial rampage. I’ve even set in motion a sort of evolutionary check-and-balance, a doomsday device if you will, in the form of atmospheric heat-trapping gases, ensuring your demise just in case you don’t get the message of behavior modification. In other words, your dominant socio-economic paradigm of capitalism is fatally flawed.

    (that’s the beginning of the article)

  20. mathman says:

    “their” should have been “they’re” there, sorry

  21. mathman,

    see Molesworth’s Post, above..

    two Hints (one about the “Cracked”-article, and one ‘in general’..)

    1. Molesworth made it EZ for you(pl.) to ‘get the gist’..

    2. Malthus, like Lars, is a Douche..

    you can figure out ‘which, is which’ ..

  22. mathman says:

    Mark: Extinction isn’t funny and neither is all the destruction we’re causing doing business as usual. All that crap about making yourself useful boils down to not worth a damn in the coming years because the climate is going to get so bad that nothing will grow, hence – no food. Get it? It’ll be too hot for most plant life to adapt and we won’t be far behind.

  23. debrabradley says:

    6 Harsh Truths was one of the best pieces I’ve ever read. Thanks for posting and living in the spirit of “doing” by dedicated so much effort to this blog. Its valuable.