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November 11, 2011

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Clarice

TM and truth, Krugman's worst enemies.

NK

TM-- a serious question. Why do you take "Krugman" seriously? Honestly, the PhD students or Krugman's wife, whoever writes these columns is a joke, and not to be taken seriously. The Euro is failing for all of the reasons Feldstein, Friedman and yes Krugman (ca. 1998) explained. In hindsight the reasns for failure were obvious. The Euro is a politcal play by Brussels based plutocrats who want to steal sovereignty from european voters and nation states -- so its financial failure was baked into the cake. All that was needed were the right circumstances. And here we are.

GMAX

Kim Strassel in the WSJ tells you something else you did not hear on MSDNC:

Mr. McDonnell has been particularly adept at connecting with the independent, white-collar voters Mr. Obama used to win Virginia in 2008. That crowd lives in North Virginia's booming exurb counties of Prince William and Loudoun, and presidential races hinge on their votes. Mr. Obama's 2008 victory in Virginia rested on his significant wins in both Loudoun (8%) and Prince Williams (16%).

Yet Tuesday's results showed the extent to which that support has reversed. Loudoun in particular proved an unmitigated rout for Democrats. Republicans won or held three of four of the county's Senate seats. It swept all seven of the county's House seats. It won all nine slots on the county's Board of Supervisors, and pretty much every other county office. In Prince William, the story was much the same. This is what happens when a recent Quinnipiac poll shows Mr. Obama's approval rating among Virginia independents at 29%.

Democrats are now arguing that turnout (about 30%) was too low to prove anything, but then again, the particularly low Democratic turnout suggests that, on top of everything else, the White House really does face an enthusiasm gap. It's still got time to try to remedy that problem, and some other Virginia fundamentals. But going by Tuesday's results, Mr. Plouffe might need to start considering Electoral Plan C.

Read her whole thing, especially those of you inclined to towards the DOOM predictions...

Clarice

Prince William County has a sizable Black and Hispanic population>

White persons, percent, 2010 (a) 57.8% 68.6%
Black persons, percent, 2010 (a) 20.2% 19.4%
American Indian and Alaska Native persons, percent, 2010 (a) 0.6% 0.4%
Asian persons, percent, 2010 (a) 7.5% 5.5%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, percent, 2010 (a) 0.1% 0.1%
Persons reporting two or more races, percent, 2010 5.1% 2.9%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin, percent, 2010 (b) 20.3% 7.9%
White persons not Hispanic, percent, 2010 48.7% 64.8%

Ignatz

Krugman makes Mittens look like a model of consistency.
When one stakes out every possible position over the years on every conceivable issue it seems to be quite easy to cherry pick past columns to prove your own brilliance. Of course it also makes it fairly easy for others to cherry pick the data to demonstrate Pauly's unerring errancy.
What his inconsistencies demonstrate are not however anything so benign as stupidity, but rather a duplicity and childish fear of ever being wrong. It's the same infantile method used by Barry; they have a compelling left wing instinct that they at some level know is utter BS and so play these retarded intellectual games rather than analyze their own conceits.
Lately Krugman has been touting the brilliance of Iceland letting its banks fail, even though he supported TARP in the first go round, here.
And now he warns of the fate of Japan, where the type of stimulus he favors has been tried unsuccessfully in spades for decades, saying that they merely applied his solutions too late.
How is leftism not a mental pathology if it's ability to exist is contingent on a perpetual dismissal of reality?

Captain Hate

Since I've been taking a fiber supplement, my Krugmans have been much less bothersome.

Army of Davids

Moore's Law applications to solar are all well and good. Kurzweil has been talking about this for many years.

The real issue w/ solar, wind and intermittent energy sources is battery storage. Until that can be overcome solar/wind can't compete without government providing generous help.

Land sprawl and the ever present environmental impact government process are also an issue.

Neo

Is there a pattern here ?

2002: Penn State conducts a “secret” investigation about Gerald “Jerry” Sandusky and his shower companions
2010: Penn State conducts a whitewash investigation about Dr. Michael "Hockey Stick" Mann and Climategate.

Army of Davids

Still watching the political operative, push journalistic approaches used vs Cain.

Obama (Axelrod) passive aggressive smear campaigns (vs both D and R candidates) have a long history.

If Cain sexual harassment claims have legit merit let's get it out now. But if not than conservatives/libertarians should go on offense against Obama on this.

And that includes those who don't support Cain (I do). Let's get the dirty laundry out there.

Neo

The real issue w/ solar, wind and intermittent energy sources is battery storage.

The instantaneous (and near-instantaneous) energy at a nuclear or coal power plant is large enough to make them targets for terrorists. Now, just imagine a battery, large enough to hold a significant amount of power from solar/wind, and it's potential as a terrorist target.

Reminds me of the phrase .. "Put simply, in deference to you Kent, it's like lasing a stick of dynamite."

Benjamin Franklin
Rick Ballard

"Now, just imagine a battery, large enough to hold a significant amount of power from solar/wind, and it's potential as a terrorist target."

Neo,

Fortunately, GovMo Volts are providing examples of what can happen. I wonder if GovMo provides sleeping pills for those who become uneasy about charging a fire source over night?

Danube of Thought

I suppose we here are doomed forever to be inflicted with the views of Krugman and Matthew Yglesias. But don't get me wrong--it's OK, it's OK. I can hack it.

I have thought a lot about what determines the outer boundaries of a polity that can feasibly dhare a common currency. I still don't know the answer, but I have felt from the beginning that the Eurozone was well beyond those boundaries. And now orthodoxy has caught me up.

A hard rain is gonna fall.

Ignatz

--Who knew? Austerity measures during a recession, makes the recession worse...--

Do you, who advocates for higher taxes, know how austerity is defined these days?
Did you know it includes higher taxes which are almost always immediately applied and supposed spending cuts, which seems to indicate you are in favor of a least the half of austerity measures yourself, no?
Do you know whether Spain is spending more or less in 2011 than it did in 2010 when all levels of government are included?

peter

From the department of articles I did not care to finish reading:

quote:

Foreign tourists are coming up to me on the streets and asking, “David, you have so many different kinds of inequality in your country. How can I tell which are socially acceptable and which are not?”


end quote

bgates

you have so many different kinds of inequality in your country

Height, age, fashion sense, work ethic, ability to guess a stranger's weight....It's really quite a long list.

Clarice

You forgot intelligence, bgates

Melinda Romanoff

JMH-

I left you a distraction near the end of the last thread.

Danube of Thought

And let us not forget the troublesome inequality in table manners.

Do you suppose Dana thinks we are in a recession? How do you think he defines the term?

Ignatz

--David, you have so many different kinds of inequality in your country. How can I tell which are socially acceptable and which are not?--

I imagine it can be quite confusing to most foreigners since a large majority of them live under hugely and universally unequal societies in which all forms are socially acceptable.
They're quite unused to one which has inequalities based predominantly on merit but not on birth, class or faith.

Ignatz

It's worth remembering that IMF style "austerity" as is being implemented in Europe today has been universally condemned as a failure by libertarian, free market and supply side economists for decades, the only difference being the lefties never cared when IMF coerced "austerity" was dooming black, brown and yellow people to poverty.
After all, you can still tour Kenya if it's even more broke than normal but Tuscany would be a bit of a different story.

Thomas Collins

As a follow-up to Ignatz's points about austerity, see LUN for an analysis of how President Harding's spending and tax cuts helped get us out of an early 1920s recession. The article notes that President Obama's approach is more in line with the approach of Presidents Hoover and Roosevelt, both of whom pursued policies that prolonged the late 1920s downturn sooner than we otherwise would have.

The sad thing about this is that many folks sincerely believe that raising taxes and funding government make-work programs helped get us out of the late 1920s downturn. As usual, the misguided policies President Obama is pursuing won't be hurting the privileged elite such as himself and the Paul Krugmans of the world. It will hurt the common man, in whose name these policies are justified.

Rick Ballard

The collapse in EUtopia is moving along according to Austrian school predictions and there really haven't been any significant surprises. I'm more surprised by the rapidity of the California collapse.

Compared to October 2010, General Fund revenue was down $1.1 billion (-21.3%). Personal income taxes were down $655.8 million (-17.7%), while sales taxes came in below last October by $242.1 million (-25.9%). Corporate taxes were down $54.7 million (-16.6%). ...

Through October, the State had total receipts of $24.9 billion (Table 1) and disbursements of $37 billion (Table 2). ...

The State ended last fiscal year with a deficit of $8.2 billion. The combined current year deficit stands at $20.3 billion (Table 3). Those deficits are being covered with $14.9 billion of internal borrowing and $5.4 billion of external borrowing.

Greece and Italy have nothing on California. I know that California's constitution places principal and interest payments on muni debt above all other payments but I'm still not sure why anyone would want to hold it - or buy a nickel's worth of fresh debt.

What can't be paid won't be.

Thomas Collins

I know I've LUNed the below LUN before, but it's always worth reading when the so-called widening income inequality gap talking point is being bandied about.

Clarice

Rick, is Calpers buying California Bonds?

Benjamin Franklin

The fog of war is lifting, to the chagrin of the agenda pimps.


http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=105776

WASHINGTON, Nov 9, 2011 (IPS) - The report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) published by a Washington think tank Tuesday repeated the sensational claim previously reported by news media all over the world that a former Soviet nuclear weapons scientist had helped Iran construct a detonation system that could be used for a nuclear weapon.

But it turns out that the foreign expert, who is not named in the IAEA report but was identified in news reports as Vyacheslav Danilenko, is not a nuclear weapons scientist but one of the top specialists in the world in the production of nanodiamonds by explosives.

In fact, Danilenko, a Ukrainian, has worked solely on nanodiamonds from the beginning of his research career and is considered one of the pioneers in the development of nanodiamond technology, as published scientific papers confirm.

It now appears that the IAEA and David Albright, the director of the International Institute for Science and Security in Washington, who was the source of the news reports about Danilenko, never bothered to check the accuracy of the original claim by an unnamed "Member State" on which the IAEA based its assertion about his nuclear weapons background.

Rick Ballard

Clarice,

They don't list munis among their investment classes (tax advantaged securities wouldn't make much sense). I'd think Calpers starts to hurt when California is forced to choose between stiffing pension funds and stiffing bondholders.

Machts nichts - they and their pensioners are screwed anyway.

Benjamin Franklin

Ace is speaking out for those who have no voice...the 1%.--Activism worthy of his time.

GOP: Yeah We'll Pay For Infrastructure Spending. With Money From Oil Pumped Out of ANWR.
—Ace

Danube of Thought

The reason, in theory, that states aren't covered under the bankruptcy code is that they have the power of taxation. But Californis (like RiI and IL) is headed hell-for-leather toward the point where the taxes required simply can't be levied and in any event won't be paid.

As for CA, a number of those state retirees' pensions are protected under the state constitution. So if you want to lend your money to this state you had better demand one hell of a return.

MJW

Regarding Vyacheslav Danilenko, it's difficult to image how an expert on using explosives to compress matter would be useful in developing a nuclear weapon. Difficult, indeed.

Stephanie

Wouldn't the constitution, like a corporation's incorporation documents, be basically worthless as far as expecting the entity to comply with them? I'm sure the constitution has some language in it as far as stewardship of the citizen's money, so it seems like they have already pierced that veil.

Janet

OT - a funny, short audio clip from the Dennis Miller show for Veteran's Day.

JM Hanes

Benjamin Franklin in the #Occupy thread:

"The Congressional Budget Office breaks down the facts on inequality. CBO finds that, between 1979 and 2007, income grew by......"

Oddly enough, we're not alone. Here's what the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), AKA Eurocentric Income Equality HQ, was already concluding in 2008:

The gap between rich and poor has grown in more than three-quarters of OECD countries over the past two decades, according to a new OECD report.....

In developed countries, governments have been taxing more and spending more on social benefits to offset the trend towards more inequality. Without this spending, the report says, the rise in inequality would have been even more rapid.

But new ways of tackling this issue need to be found, Mr Gurría said. “Although the role of the tax and benefit system in redistributing incomes and in curbing poverty remains important in many OECD countries, our data confirms that its effectiveness has gone down in the past ten years.  Trying to patch the gaps in income distribution solely through more social spending is like treating the symptoms instead of the disease.”

Of course, if income equality is the gold standard, you've got a lot of other options. You could give Belarus or Pakistan a try, or the Soviet Union's former Yucca Mountain known as Kazakhstan, or Yemen, Algeria, Benin. Bangladesh and Rwanda look great! So does little Burkina Faso, where the lowest per capita GDP in the world is a first class leveler.

It's a wonder how much energy the left devotes to thinking up mo' bettah ways to redistribute wealth, when it's so patently obvious that income equality stats tell you almost nothing about quality of life -- just as the OECD's "income poverty" formulations tell you virtually nothing about actual poverty. The fact that the CBO numbers also indicate rising income across all demographics doesn't even register.

Crony capitalism and legislative corruption are high on my list of national ills. The faux "issue" of income inequality, however, looks like the last refuge of punitive, self-righteous liberalism.

Rick Ballard

Stephanie,

The California Constitution mandates a balanced budget (see above).

The California Constitution mandates that pensions be honored in full.

The California Constitution mandates that payments to municipal bond holders have priority over all other payments.

In the event that the immovable rock of competing payment mandates meets the irresistible force of "we ain't got the money", how would you think the wise sages of the California Supreme Court might adjudicate the matter?

My bet is that bondholders get screwed first.

Thomas Collins

Stephanie, it is not clear what would happen if a state legislature refused to appropriate money to pay a state's general obligation bonds, and the result might vary from state to state. Even though the failure to appropriate would be a violation of covenants to bondholders, the state's highest court might view it as a separation of powers violation to order the legislature to appropriate the money. Query whether a federal court would issue an injunction ordering that the money be appropriated on the ground that the non-appropriation would be an unconstitutional impairment of contract. Here federalism concerns might come into play. All in all, it would be a messy situation. It has been thought that states wouldn't default on their general obligation bonds (that is, bonds for the payment of which the state has pledged its full faith and credit (in substance, a full faith and credit pledge means that the state will use its taxing power and will appropriate funds to pay the debt)), because a default would result in investors refusing to buy future state debt offerings.

maryrose

In other words, whoever invests money in California is going to get screwed!

Stephanie

I understand that, Rick, but most corporations would get dissolved (incorporation papers worthless) or get bought out (corporation papers worthless).

Bainifornia, yeah!

Wonder what gets spun off first - LA or San Francisco? Romney may have something to govern after all.

daddy

Janet,

Heard it live and it was very funny. Happy Vet's Day.

OT,

ADN reports that former Alaskan Senate Candidate Joe Miller just lost in a ruling by the FEC: FEC tosses complaint by Miller from 2010 Senate campaign.

Miller complained that Alaska Native corporations broke federal law by pumping more than $800,000 into the effort to re-elect Sen. Lisa Murkowski., (which they had), but the FEC said that that was okay, because even tho' Federal Law forbids federal contractors from contributing to any political party, committee, or candidate for federal office, they said some of the Native Corps that donated didn't have any Federal Contracts, and in the case of the Native Corps that did have Federal Contracts, the FEC made a distinction between the corporations and the federal contracts of their subsidiaries.

IANAL, but simply put this out there if any of our JOM legal team cares to give a thumbs up or thumbs down on the ruling.

daddy

I'll be interested to see whats causing this continuing low level radiation leak in the vicinity of the Czech Republic:

Nuke agency reports unusual radiation in Europe.

MJW

According to The Washington Post, the Russian newspaper, Kommersant, that reported Vyacheslav Danilenko denial that he was involved in Iran's nuclear program also mentioned he had a different job before becoming a diamond maker: working from the 1950s to 1991 in one of the Soviet Union’s top nuclear weapons research centers.

Thomas Collins

Daddy, I'll have to punt on that one. I've never dealt with any matter involving the structure of Alaska Native Corporations and their subsidiaries. However, from reading the article you linked, the FEC ruling doesn't sound implausible.

narciso

'Forget it daddy, it's Anchorage, or
Fairbanks, or whatever, Jake Gittes would say if he were alive (and quite surprised). It's like the Python sketch, with the vicar that opted for the 'never pay policy'

Clarice

Daddy,I happen to know all about that Miller case and knew it was B.S. from the outset but kept my mouth shut as our friend anduril libeled my husband's firm .

Clarice

A firm BTW which could not be more punctilious and was forced to defend against Miller's lies. I regret I contributed to his campaign before I knew the sort of dissembler he is.

MJW

To be thorough, I should mention the Post article isn't entirely clear on when Danilenko left the nuclear weapons research center:

Kommersant said that starting in the 1950s and until his retirement he had worked at one of the Soviet Union’s top nuclear weapons research centers, known as Chelyabinsk-70.

After the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, he was employed for several years by an Ukrainian company, Alit, that produces what are called nanodiamonds, the paper reported.

I mistakenly took the second paragraph to imply he worked there until the Soviet Union collapsed, but rereading it, I see that isn't necessarily so.

(I'm annoyed that the text formatting toolbar isn't compatible with the new version of Firefox.)

Jack is Back!

2 hours to go before showtime on the Vinson. Even Buddy Wellborn made note of this in his presentation today, "What Liberty Means to Me". Had him and Joe T. at the house last night for a reception. What a guy!

We finally got around to discussing our favorite OC's and the Mustin Officers Beach Club in Pensecola came up. Thought you'd appreciate that as we looked at on the Atlantic and the shrimpers from Mayport lined up like pearls on a necklace.

Rick Ballard

"because a default would result in investors refusing to buy future state debt offerings"

Don Tomaso,

The fact that Illinois has been in serious serial default with vendors (with absolutely no relief in sight) for years without impact on their credit rating (from the Three Monkey rating bureaus) supports your contention but the facts reminds me of those halcyon days when Lehman could gin up AAA ratings for offerings that performed somewhat below expectations.

Slartibartfast
Moore's Law applications to solar are all well and goodcompletely inapt. Kurzweil has been talking about this for many years.

There. Moore's law speaks to a doubling of capability every two years. This can't happen with solar panels. The only things that could happen with solar panels that could be good for everyone are increase in efficiency (which probably won't double ever, never mind every two years, and certainly can't ever double more than once) and decrease in cost per watt, cost per square meter, etc.

Insolation is relatively constant, or so we hope, so you're never going to get more than a certain number of watts per square meter no matter what you do.

Stephanie

shrimpers from Mayport

Oh! Singleton's. Now I'm hungry.

And nary a "hole in the wall shrimp shack falling into the river where you can feed the ducks floating under the floorboards while looking through the bird pooped stained rusty window screens at the sunset and watch the ferry and place bets on its breaking down and floating round the bend while enjoying some awesomely fresh seafood" in site.

Thanks bunches! ;)

Seriously. I love that place.

daddy

Thanks for the input TC and Clarice.

Off now with 2 very excited Lab's for their first decent walk in weeks, and to see what local Talk is blabbing about. Very deep snow and 18 degrees, but should be fun.

BTW for Mark Folkestad:

Former Mayor and big Ketchikan political boss has just been arrested on 90 Child Porn charges, so they may need a decent guy for political office once you arrive. Here's the story: Ketchikan ex-mayor faces 80 additional child porn charges.

I have now looked at multiple stories briefly but nowhere can I find this guys political affiliation. He may be a Repub but I am surprised if he is that it is not trumpeted loudly in the headline. Will somebody please dig that bit up for me if you have a moment while I'm off with the dogs. They are antsy as the dickens. Bye.

Stephanie

Are the bears hybernating yet, daddy? If not... don't forget about that garage door.

Danube of Thought

On a lengthy airport weather delay. Just got a pic from my sis via e-mail taken from the bleachers on Carl Vinson's flight deck. She says it's pretty exciting. Note: in 1955 I watched Elvis Presley perform on the flight deck of USS Hancock, moored at that very spot.

Believe I'll amble into the airport gin mill and lube up a bit whilst watching ESPN.

Gmax

If BGates is around I could use an assist. Firefox downloaded an update yesterday and my Narcisolator stopped blocking even shows Avatars. I went in and went through the programs with a minor tweak, and voila, now it is blocking every single post!!! Dont ask me how I did that. Its a secret.

Anyway, if there is something obvious, go ahead post the fix so that JOM world can laugh at the bonehead here!

Gmax

Go Spartans!! Underdogs against the mighty Tarheels but they are spunky lads.

Ignatz

--he had a different job before becoming a diamond maker: working from the 1950s to 1991 in one of the Soviet Union’s top nuclear weapons research centers--

Perhaps, but I'm sure the folks in Tel Aviv will cling with satisfaction and security to the many reassuring sources BF links here as they begin to glow, right before they're vaporized.

Janet

Gmax here is a link to a JOM thread that explains the narcisolator set up. (but you can't see this....so, hmmmm...not sure what to do...)

Gmax

Yes I can I turned Greasemonkey off for now. Thanks let me see if I can self diagnose...

Who knew?

People still read Krugman?

MJW

Danilenko was a member of a group of soviet scientist that first discovered nanodiamonds. The group's leader was Yevgeny Zababakhin. Here's some of what the Chicago Tribune says about Zababakhin in his obituary:

Zababakhin, 67, a Soviet physicist associated with nuclear-missile development, died Dec. 27, according to Soviet newspapers received in the United States.

An official obituary in Pravda, the Communist Party daily, said Mr. Zababakhin`s death "was a heavy loss for Soviet science" and that his work in theoretical physics "lay at the basis of the design of highly effective types of new technology," a euphemism often used in the Soviet press for advanced weapons.

Mr. Zababakhin`s scientific specialty was the theory of detonations and shock waves, but his connection with nuclear explosives had not been publicly disclosed during his lifetime.

IN 1976, WHEN Mr. Zababakhin was a delegate to the Communist Party`s 25th Congress in Moscow, he was identified as scientific director of an unspecified research institute in the Chelyabinsk area of the Urals, known to be a center of the military-industrial complex.

Melinda Romanoff

TC-

There is very good precedent for when a GO bond of a state defaults. You can even buy one of them for $295.

Gmax

OK now I am back to not blocking anything, including avatars? Greasemonkey is on, narcisolator is checked and enabled in checked, anyone got a clue? Obviously I do not.

Melinda Romanoff

JiB-

Another spectacular negotiation by Granholm. You should see what Quinn gave away to Team Rathke here.

It didn't work.

narciso

By the way, did you like the Harmon take on Lucas Davenport?

Jack is Back!

narciso,

I was curious and went to YouTube to see how he came on as Daveport and I didn't buy it as the way Sandford describes Lucas. Too me Lucas is more a Clint Eastwood type character or a blonde Sean Connery. Still think the most enduring character will end up being "that f** king Flowers".

Andrew_M_Garland

1998 Paul Krugman as presented above: (my emphasis)
"We are on the brink of the creation of "euroland". It is clear that none of the problems EMU critics have warned about will arise, at least for a while."

That is brilliant, and I will steal the technique (with attribution) for my own blogging and predictions. Now I can be a pundit, correct in every prediction and opinion. Two examples:

() Greece will not have any of the problems currently being discussed. The problems will be solved, and everything will be fine, at least for a while™ (Krugman)

() Social Security, Medicare, and so-called large deficits will serve us well, improving US economics and creating jobs far into the future, at least for a while™ (Krugman)

Danube of Thought

For anyone concerned about income inequality in the US, some questions:

--Does the fact of its existence mean that someone has done something wrong? If so, who?

--Should the government do something about it? If so, what?

--If God announced that He could cause the incomes of the bottom quintile by 10%, but only if that of the top quintile increased by 80%, would you prefer that He do so, or leave things as they are? Please tell us why you answered as you did.

matt

I will be visiting some of those Chinese solar panel manufacturers this week. The big guys have huge support from their local governments. Free land, zero interest loans, even have the factories built for them. The largest have campuses 1 mile x 1 mile or more.

This is very typical of manufacturing in China and aside from the RMB game one of their great advantages.

The RMB has appreciated @ 25% since 4 years ago or so and the Chinese government is allowing it to appreciate at @ 7-8%/year. Obama's chastisement of the Chinese next week is going to gain zero traction. If they did appreciate it any faster they would set of a massive recession. It's all kabuki.

In addition, the local governments in southern China raised salaries 20% early this year and will be doing so again come the new year. With higher raw materials costs, a lot of industry is either moving way inland or to SE Asia.

As to the debt crisis, consider this:

Dexia BK - Belgium
MF Financial - $680MM unaccounted for
Jefferson County BK

These are all data points in completely different arenas. It was bugging me at 3:00am this morning.

Right now, the ECB is keepin' it together (Name that movie, Narciso) by buying Greek, Italian and other bad debt. It's sort of like buying beanie babies after the fad ended. At least with beanie babies you could cuddle them or something. A Greek bond is probably only good for lighting a cigar.

Jim Miller

Thomas Collins - Thanks for pointing out that Political Calculations piece. (I used it in a brief post yesterday, but couldn't remember who had tipped me off to it.)

Danube of Thought

My sister reports Air Force One has just arrived at North Island.

Rick Ballard

"MF Financial - $680MM unaccounted for"

JPM knows where it is. The CME is trying to cut a deal on getting another $4 billion in customer dough cut loose.

It's almost as if the CME believes that having all your money stolen by a broker would have some sort of an impact on investor's overall confidence in commodities brokerages...

Ignatz

--This is very typical of manufacturing in China and aside from the RMB game one of their great advantages.--

It's to their advantage at least for awhile.
In the long run it is one of the seeds of their eventual descent into Japanese-style stagnation.

Jack is Back!

Hey!

Michigan State has been recognized as one of the two greatest basketball teams in history. Don't anyone tell John Wooden or Ed Jucker or John Thomas. What an idiot.

And don't he look smart in that flight jacket? Too bad DoT has to miss this one. Where the hell is TOTUS?

Sure, the only way to start a basketball game is to plug jobs for veterans sponsored by Moochelle and Dr. Jill. ESPN, the go to network for political commentary.

Guy does not know how to shut up when there is no TOTUS.

He did it - he mentioned OBL because Vinson was part of the mission. Of course, he did. Tomorrow the republicans discuss foreign policy and national security but how can they top killing Osama?

By beating Obama, thats how.

RichatUF

Didn't the Chinese property bubble recently pop.

JM Hanes

Apparently Typepad doesn't like my IAEA post or its links, so I'm now trying it out on the installment plan.


Benjamin Franklin:

"to the chagrin of the agenda pimps"

Talk about pimping an agenda, you're closing in on nanospam territory. I know the Danilenko/VNIITF connection is not news to you, but since irony is the name of my game, I couldn't help noticing a small correlation:

Established in 1955, VNIITF's primary mission has been to design nuclear warheads, but it also fabricates experimental and prototype warheads. It possesses facilities that simulate different aspects of nuclear explosions, including pulsed reactors, lasers, shock wave generators and computers.

That work had diversified by the time Perestroika rolled around -- as had work at Los Alamos, where, oddly enough, nanodiamonds were also independently discovered in the U.S. Two nuclear weapons centers, and nano's galore, isn't that a hoot!

JM Hanes

But I digressed! The following is a strange thing to find in an argument attacking the IAEA for their careless description of Danilenko:

In fact, Danilenko, a Ukrainian, has worked solely on nanodiamonds from the beginning of his research career and is considered one of the pioneers in the development of nanodiamond technology, as published scientific papers confirm.

This published scientific paper in my link confirms no such thing, so perhaps you could provide other sources for info on what Danilenko was doing during the 20+ years that work on nanodiamonds was suspended in the USSR -- assuming anyone else is interested in the subject.

Despite the early and brilliant discovery of DN, Danilenko’s group had to suspend work on DN in 1965 for local reasons. While other diamond research groups continued to work, Danilenko’s group did not return to DN until almost 20 years later. By that time, however, diamond research in the Soviet Union was classified as top priority, but it was then decided that Soviet scientists should concentrate on the static high-temperature and -pressure method of diamond production, originally developed by the GE group, and abandon further work on the DN research. Thus, there was long stagnation in the development of DN.

JM Hanes

For my part, I figure Russia and China will doubtless throw much more substantial spanners into your decidedly foggy fog of war, so I'll leave you to squawk like Chicken Little over the IAEA sky falling apart, and just thank you for bringing the rather amazing little diamonds in the rough, so to speak, to my attention. I think they're a whole lot more interesting than your putative Danilenkogate.

Last year, a veritable gaggle of scientists reported....

....the discovery in the Greenland ice sheet of a discrete layer of free nanodiamonds (NDs) in very high abundances, implying most likely either an unprecedented influx of extraterrestrial (ET) material or a cosmic impact event that occurred after the last glacial episode.
That must have been quite some detonation! Outer space, is there anything it can't do? Those extra-terrestrial gems will fit nicely into my history of the world in verse, which starts out with mythological Khaos and carbonaceous chondrites. I believe you've inspired me to take up that work again.

narciso

Don't confuse him, with the facts, JM, they get in the way of the narrative, like say will Durbin ever apologize for his crocodile
tears, for this fellow, who apparently led usto the courier that gave us a beeline to Bin Laden;

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/al-qaeda/8489866/WikiLeaks-Bin-Ladens-courier-trained-911-hijack-team.html

JM Hanes

MJW:

I see you were already there while I was traipsing around. The PDF in Part Deux of my post, (and possibly still in my LUN) sheds some light on the Russian program, be it ever so modest.

Benjamin Franklin

Pretty good links at this site, JMH....

My point on all this is to take the BROAD strokes of the agenda pimps and whittle them down to realistic projection and proportion, NOT
to provide the omniscient trope which cannot be refuted. Or are you suggesting the runup to war with Iraq was properly vetted?


http://www.moonofalabama.org/2011/11/the-iaea-confirms-my-nanodiamond-thesis.html

"In the annex to its recent report (pdf) the IAEA actually confirms that his cooperation with Iran was relevant to non-nuclear(!) experiments Iran undertook. It does not say what non-nuclear work this was but the surrounding circumstances make it clear that this was related to nanodiamond production. From the annex of the report (emphasis added):

44. The Agency has strong indications that the development by Iran of the high explosives initiation system, and its development of the high speed diagnostic configuration used to monitor related experiments, were assisted by the work of a foreign expert who was not only knowledgeable in these technologies, but who, a Member State has informed the Agency, worked for much of his career with this technology in the nuclear weapon programme of the country of his origin. The Agency has reviewed publications by this foreign expert and has met with him. The Agency has been able to verify through three separate routes, including the expert himself, that this person was in Iran from about 1996 to about 2002, ostensibly to assist Iran in the development of a facility and techniques for making ultra-dispersed diamonds (“UDDs” or “nanodiamonds”), where he also lectured on explosion physics and its applications.
45. Furthermore, the Agency has received information from two Member States that, after 2003, Iran engaged in experimental research involving a scaled down version of the hemispherical initiation system and high explosive charge referred to in paragraph 43 above, albeit in connection with non-nuclear applications. This work, together with other studies made known to the Agency in which the same initiation system is used in cylindrical geometry, could also be relevant to improving and optimizing the multipoint initiation design concept relevant to nuclear applications.

Why doesn't the agency say what "non-nuclear application" this was about? There are not many non-nuclear applications for hemispherical high explosive experiments with nanodiamond production being probably the most obvious ones. If the agency is sure that it was non-nuclear then it certainly knows quite exactly what this was.

Admitting that the experiment was to created nanodiamonds would of course show that the use of the word "ostensibly" in para 44 is ridiculous.

When the major expert on and inventor of nanodiamond production through detonations worked with Iranian scientists for quite some time and Iran thereafter produced nanodiamonds through detonations then there is nothing "ostensibly" in that cooperation. Nothing in the agency report shows that there was any other purpose of what Danilenko did in Iran. That he "also lectured on explosion physics and its applications" is perfectly consistent with work on detonation nanodiamonds production which is one of such applications.

Please also notice that in the last sentence in para 45 the agency only says that this work "could" be relevant to nuclear work. Well, we all "could" be young, pretty and rich. Right? But that doesn't make us so."

MJW

JM Hanes,

I enjoyed reading your information on Danilenko and nanodiamonds. The first page of his 2004 paper on their history is available on SpringerLink, but unfortunately the rest is behind a paywall. Too bad, I'd like to read it.

Rick Ballard

Very interesting speculation on the CME bailout offer wrt the MF Global BK. When Krasting states "-The CME steps up for $300 large and they don’t have to? Nobody does that. There is more to this offer than meets the eye." he is making a rather large understatement.

He has some advice for folks with accounts with second tier brokers that I believe is well worth heeding.

matt

MF did a lot of high risk trading on behalf of their clients, so these would be those with the highest premiums, one would think.

I'm going to guess that it's another insider deal.

DrJ

MJW, if you are still reading this thread, send me an email to info at sonatabio dot com and I'll send you the paper next week. I make the rash assumption that one of my University literature fulfillment accounts can get to the article, which is true more often than it is not.

MJW

Benjamin Franklin,

Now you claim that there's no proof that Danilenko contributed to Iran's nuclear program, which may be true. But that's considerably weaker than your original comment, which mocked the notion he might have:

But it turns out that the foreign expert, who is not named in the IAEA report but was identified in news reports as Vyacheslav Danilenko, is not a nuclear weapons scientist but one of the top specialists in the world in the production of nanodiamonds by explosives.
He worked for a long time at a nuclear weapons research facility, and the group he belonged to when he discovered nanodiamonds was headed by someone with the same specialty, who played an important role in developing nuclear weapons.
In fact, Danilenko, a Ukrainian, has worked solely on nanodiamonds from the beginning of his research career and is considered one of the pioneers in the development of nanodiamond technology, as published scientific papers confirm.
He began working at the facility in the 1950's, but nanodiamonds weren't discovered till 1963, based on a paper written in 1961. His work on nanodiamonds was suspended in 1965. Clearly he didn't work solely on diamonds. Given where he worked, it's likely he worked on nuclear weapons.
It now appears that the IAEA and David Albright, the director of the International Institute for Science and Security in Washington, who was the source of the news reports about Danilenko, never bothered to check the accuracy of the original claim by an unnamed "Member State" on which the IAEA based its assertion about his nuclear weapons background.
I'd say the fact that Danilenko worked at a nuclear weapons research facility under a well-known nuclear weapons designer suggests a nuclear weapons background. Remember that according to the Chicago Tribune obituary, Zababakhin's role in designing nuclear weapons was secret until his death.
Melinda Romanoff

Rick and matt-

The theft at MF may be due to negligence and assumptive executive actions, with a dash of superior counter-party collateral seizure.

Or, in simpler terms, lazy arrogance gets taken by a sharper dealer.

There are parties here that are involved in this mess, please use some discretion. And no, it's not me.

Benjamin Franklin

"which mocked the notion he might have:"

If you had read my response to JMH, you would note I am only mocking the agenda pimps. The facts will stand on their own. The scientist in question, may indeed be assisting in the nuke endeavor.

But color me, Dubious......

narciso

It's the same kind of 'wishful thinking' exhibited here, in the LUN,

Rick Ballard

Matt,

I'm thinking that there might be a claim of seniority in the BK which would try and take advantage of language in clients with margin accounts agreements. There are whiffs of such a problem but I haven't seen any details.

jorod

Lefties use language to turn issues upside down as Orwell predicted. Anything based on experience is ideology. Anything based on fantasy is science.

Melinda Romanoff

MJW-

He was an expert in the tomography of shaped charges. There are two choices for that sort of expertise, and nanodiamonds would be a surprise outcome of tests on coal or coke. Slapping together two items at precise speed and place would require a lot of blank target masses, and coal would be cheap and would probably lase, to some degree, thereby making the energy release measurable.

Or they were really, really good at trying for artificial diamond, on the first test.

MJW

BF, I quoted your original comment, which I think can only be seen as dismissing as foolish the possibly that Danilenko was involved in Iran's nuclear program. I did read your response to JMH; in fact, I remarked on the difference between what you said in that comment and what you said in the original comment.

Melinda Romanoff

matt & Rick-

Please read this regarding just one aspect of MF's collateral issues. This is not at all black and white.

And it is not the least bit simple.

JM Hanes

"My point on all this is to take the BROAD strokes of the agenda pimps and whittle them down to realistic projection and proportion, NOT
to provide the omniscient trope which cannot be refuted."

Huh?

I'm could be convinced that this is a major IAEA screw up, but I fail to see why the fact that Iran produced nanodiamonds when they were claiming Danilenko was there to help produce nanodiamonds is supposed to be some sort of smoking gun. It would be a pretty stupid to make that claim and then produce nada diamonds.

I gather that the most damning evidence is supposed to be the IAEA's assertion that Danilenko worked in the Russians' "nuclear weapons programme," when according to your source he "has worked solely on nanodiamonds from the beginning of his research career." So far, the latter assertion has a 20 year mid-career hole in the middle of it, which is my idea of a very weak reed, indeed.

The fact that nanodiamonds were accidentally discovered in the course of experimenting with chemical detonation back when VNIITF was indisputably devoted to nuclear arms development, suggests to me that connecting Danilenko up to explosives initiation & diagnostics in Iran may not be all that big a stretch. Could be right, could be wrong, but so far I'm seeing a lot of speculative extrapolation and not much substance.

Somebody is certainly going to have to do a lot better than this if they're hoping to turn Albright into Darth Vadar too. You should probably be thanking his outfit for publishing the IAEA report, when none of the other legions who had copies were apparently willing to do it, except for the New York Times (who did so almost simultaneously).

In future, BTW, I hope you'll stop insulting me by implying that I reject your sources because they don't confirm my own POV. I reject sloppy talking points, and investigate those like this one, which seem worth a closer look. I certainly have a point of view, but then, so do you.

Rick Ballard

Mel,

You can follow the author of that piece at his own blog. I'd agree that it isn't as simple as Flowers or Dimon drinking Corzine's milkshake. There are also people here who have never actually read the conditions of their margin contracts. They might want to do so and then figure out what their actual position would be in the event their broker suffered a slight mishap with one of the Great White sharks finning around Wall Street.

Melinda Romanoff

JMH-

I have the translated mathematics books from the mid-70's with his work in it. There is no question as to what his area of expertise is.

I bet they have his passport pointing to traveling to that beach.

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