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Sun Nov 11, 2012, 08:44 PM

STOCK MARKET WATCH -- Monday, 12 November 2012 (Holiday -- US markets closed)

[font size=3]STOCK MARKET WATCH, Monday, 12 November 2012[font color=black][/font]

SMW for 9 November 2012

AT THE CLOSING BELL ON 9 November 2012
[center][font color=green]
Dow Jones 12,815.39 +4.07 (0.03%)
S&P 500 1,379.85 +2.34 (0.17%)
Nasdaq 2,904.87 +9.29 (0.32%)

[font color=red]10 Year 1.61% +0.06 (3.87%)
30 Year 2.73% +0.01 (0.37%) [font color=black]


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[font size=2]Market Conditions During Trading Hours[/font]


[font size=2]Euro, Yen, Loonie, Silver and Gold[center]




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[font color=black][font size=2]Handy Links - Market Data and News:[/font][/font]
Economic Calendar
Marketwatch Data
Bloomberg Economic News
Yahoo Finance
Google Finance
Bank Tracker
Credit Union Tracker
Daily Job Cuts

[font color=black][font size=2]Handy Links - Government Issues:[/font][/font]
Open Government
Earmark Database
USA spending.gov

[font color=red]Partial List of Financial Sector Officials Convicted since 1/20/09 [/font][font color=red]
2/2/12 David Higgs and Salmaan Siddiqui, Credit Suisse, plead guilty to conspiracy involving valuation of MBS
3/6/12 Allen Stanford, former Caribbean billionaire and general schmuck, convicted on 13 of 14 counts in $2.2B Ponzi scheme, faces 20+ years in prison
6/4/12 Matthew Kluger, lawyer, sentenced to 12 years in prison, along with co-conspirator stock trader Garrett Bauer (9 years) and co-conspirator Kenneth Robinson (not yet sentenced) for 17 year insider trading scheme.
6/14/12 Allen Stanford sentenced to 110 years without parole.
6/15/12 Rajat Gupta, former Goldman Sachs director, found guilty of insider trading. Could face a decade in prison when sentenced later this year.
6/22/12 Timothy S. Durham, 49, former CEO of Fair Financial Company, convicted of one count conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud, 10 counts of wire fraud, and one count of securities fraud.
6/22/12 James F. Cochran, 56, former chairman of the board of Fair, convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud, one count of securities fraud, and six counts of wire fraud.
6/22/12 Rick D. Snow, 48, former CFO of Fair, convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud, one count of securities fraud, and three counts of wire fraud.
7/13/12 Russell Wassendorf Sr., CEO of collapsed brokerage firm Peregrine Financial Group Inc. arrested and charged with lying to regulators after admitting to authorities he embezzled "millions of dollars" and forged bank statements for "nearly twenty years."
8/22/12 Doug Whitman, Whitman Capital LLC hedge fund founder, convicted of insider trading following a trial in which he spent more than two days on the stand telling jurors he was innocent
10/26/12 UPDATE: Former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta sentenced to two years in federal prison. He will, of course, appeal. . .

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[font size=3][font color=red]This thread contains opinions and observations. Individuals may post their experiences, inferences and opinions on this thread. However, it should not be construed as advice. It is unethical (and probably illegal) for financial recommendations to be given here.[/font][/font][/font color=red][font color=black]

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Reply STOCK MARKET WATCH -- Monday, 12 November 2012 (Holiday -- US markets closed) (Original post)
Tansy_Gold Nov 2012 OP
ret5hd Nov 2012 #1
Tansy_Gold Nov 2012 #3
Hotler Nov 2012 #2
Demeter Nov 2012 #4
Demeter Nov 2012 #5
DemReadingDU Nov 2012 #17
Demeter Nov 2012 #6
Demeter Nov 2012 #7
Demeter Nov 2012 #11
Demeter Nov 2012 #13
Demeter Nov 2012 #8
Demeter Nov 2012 #14
AnneD Nov 2012 #60
Demeter Nov 2012 #9
Demeter Nov 2012 #10
Demeter Nov 2012 #12
Fuddnik Nov 2012 #16
Demeter Nov 2012 #15
xchrom Nov 2012 #18
Demeter Nov 2012 #35
xchrom Nov 2012 #36
Demeter Nov 2012 #40
xchrom Nov 2012 #45
xchrom Nov 2012 #19
xchrom Nov 2012 #20
Demeter Nov 2012 #37
xchrom Nov 2012 #21
Demeter Nov 2012 #38
AnneD Nov 2012 #43
Demeter Nov 2012 #54
xchrom Nov 2012 #22
xchrom Nov 2012 #23
xchrom Nov 2012 #24
Demeter Nov 2012 #25
Demeter Nov 2012 #32
bread_and_roses Nov 2012 #62
DemReadingDU Nov 2012 #26
Demeter Nov 2012 #56
xchrom Nov 2012 #27
xchrom Nov 2012 #28
DemReadingDU Nov 2012 #29
Tansy_Gold Nov 2012 #31
DemReadingDU Nov 2012 #34
Tansy_Gold Nov 2012 #42
Tansy_Gold Nov 2012 #39
DemReadingDU Nov 2012 #44
Demeter Nov 2012 #55
xchrom Nov 2012 #30
Demeter Nov 2012 #33
Roland99 Nov 2012 #53
Demeter Nov 2012 #57
AnneD Nov 2012 #63
Roland99 Nov 2012 #64
AnneD Nov 2012 #67
just1voice Nov 2012 #68
xchrom Nov 2012 #41
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Demeter Nov 2012 #58
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Demeter Nov 2012 #59
Ghost Dog Nov 2012 #61
Demeter Nov 2012 #65
bread_and_roses Nov 2012 #66
Fuddnik Nov 2012 #69

Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 08:53 PM

1. First Rec!!!

And don't even tell me it don't count!

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Response to ret5hd (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:32 PM

3. Of course it counts

It's kinda like happy hour. It's always happy hour somewhere. And here, there's always a market open somewhere.

Anyway, it's my thread and I say your rec counts. So there.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 10:14 PM

4. Yes We Can, We Did, and Now Obama’s Second Term Is Our Responsibility By Robert Scheer



...Karl Rove and his reactionary ilk were defeated by a new American majority that is younger, more tolerant, rainbow colored and multilingual and one in which women now trump the depressing ignorance of so many older white men. But morning in America already feels too much like a hangover. The house is still a wreck, the family is dysfunctional and there are enormous bills to pay that are not about to go away. All of us suddenly sobered folks, who voted for Barack Obama because the alternative was so horridly wrong, have got to accept the moral implications of that choice. We won but at what cost? Fool me once, shame on Obama, but fool me twice and I’m the one responsible. That goes for his promises to right the economy by leveling the playing field as well as to end what Obama termed in his victory speech “a decade of war.”

It is now our fingers on the video game buttons that order the drones to kill innocent civilians, and we bear responsibility if the president maintains the Guantanamo gulag and continues to vilify Bradley Manning and Julian Assange for confronting America with its war crimes. Will he make good on his promise to hold the line on the incessant demands of the congressional defense contractor caucus or will he find yet another “good war”? What about our expectation that Obama will be more vigilant than his vulture capitalist opponent in reining in the greed of the Wall Street crowd that has caused so much economic turmoil? The good news is that Obama, and his party, are far less beholden to the titans of the financial industry than they were the first time around. His own funding from top Wall Street firms that favored him in 2008 was way down, and across the country voters rejected the deregulation and lower tax on high roller income that the finance industry thought it was buying for its more than $400 million in campaign contributions.

“Wall Street Took a Beating at the Polls,” ran the headline in The Wall Street Journal. Referring to what he bemoaned as “Tuesday’s multiple disappointments,” columnist David Weidner added, “not the least of which is the defeat of Mitt Romney, a former private-equity executive who promised to cut or at least review financial regulation while offering more tax breaks for investors. Mr. Romney was perhaps the best hope for Wall Street this fall. He was one of their own, so tantalizingly close to the biggest trading floor of all.” Parse the cynicism of that sentence, with its image of representative democracy as a frantic for-profit trading pit and you get what crony capitalism is all about. They thought the fix was in on bribing a compliant Congress, and instead the two biggest recipients of Wall Street largess went down to defeat. In Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, the single most knowledgeable and effective exponent of consumer protection from financial industry scams, soundly beat Sen. Scott Brown, a champion of financial deregulation. The second main Wall Street target, Sherrod Brown, the Democratic senator from Ohio who sponsored legislation that would break up the too big to fail banks, also won decisively, defeating banker-backed Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel.

Obama didn’t go as far as the Ohio senator and Harvard law professor Warren wanted but even the much more timid steps toward financial industry accountability that the president endorsed met fierce resistance from members of the Wall Street crowd. Hopefully he will finally get the message that their unfettered greed is the problem and hardly the solution. That’s what it took for Franklin Roosevelt to become the true champion of the commonweal in his second term and it could salvage the historic legacy of this president as well. Will the president now replace Timothy Geithner, the big bank toady, with a Treasury secretary that Elizabeth Warren, the senator for the 99 percent, can enthusiastically support? How about Sheila Bair for that post? The former chair of the FDIC has been a highly skilled guardian of the public interest with the knowledge base and social conscience required to stand up to the banking lobby and its allies in the Federal Reserve. The 2012 election represents a profound mandate for change because it was a startling manifestation of the power as well as the presence of the long neglected “other” that is the face of the new America. That is the America that continued to stick with Obama, despite reservations over his actual governance, because the alternative was reactionary in the fullest sense of that word. Theirs is an idealistic trust—indispensable to the survival of our republic—that the president must not be permitted to now squander.


Robert Scheer, editor in chief of Truthdig, has built a reputation for strong social and political writing over his 30 years as a journalist. His columns appear in newspapers across the country, and his in-depth interviews have made headlines.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 10:17 PM

5. What a Paul Craig Roberts Administration Would Look Like By Paul Craig Roberts



Unless I am being spoofed, several hundred readers wrote me in as their selection for President. I am honored. Some asked if I were elected by write-ins and not instantly assassinated, who would I appoint? An easy question to answer:

[li]Nomi Prins would be Secretary of the Treasury, and Pam Martens would be Deputy Secretary of the Treasury.

[li]Lew Rockwell would be the chairman of the Federal Reserve.

[li]Michael Hudson would be chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors.

[li]Harvey Silverglate would be Attorney General.

[li]Glenn Greenwald would be Deputy Attorney General.

[li]Dean Booth and Larry Stratton would be White House legal counsels.

[li]Willie Nelson would be Secretary of Agriculture.

[li]Jeffrey St. Clair would be head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

[li]Elizabeth Warren would have whatever post she wants.

[li]Cynthia McKinney would be Secretary of State.

[li]The CIA would be headed by Ray McGovern and Philip Giraldi.

[li]The FBI would be headed by Sibel Edmonds.

[li]Homeland Security would be abolished.

[li]David Ray Griffin and Richard Gage would head the 9/11 investigation.

[li]Bradley Manning would be in charge of closing down the torture prisons.

[li]Julian Assange and John Pilger would be heads of the Public Broadcasting Corporation.

[li]Gerald Celente would be White House Press Secretary.

[li]John Williams (shadowstats.com) would be in charge of federal statistics.

[li]Key members of the Bush and Obama regimes from the president down, and every neoconservative would be handed over to the war crimes tribunal for trial.

[li]The Republicans on the Supreme Court would be impeached and removed from office.

[li]Brooksley Born would be in charge of all federal financial regulatory agencies.

[li]Major General Antonio Mario Taguba would be Secretary of Defense.

[li]Col. Lawrence Wilkerson would be Deputy Secretary of State.

[li]Ron Unz would be chief of staff of the White House.

[li]Norman Finkelstein would be US Ambassador to Israel.

[li]Noam Chomsky would be US Ambassador to the UN.

[li]David M. Walker would be Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

[li]The Israel Lobby would have to register as a foreign agent.

I could go on. There are two or three hundred appointments to fill, but I think the picture is clear. It would be an administration that represented Americans, not special interests and foreigners, and an administration that put the country back in order.

But, of course, it is all a dream. No one who actually cares about our country is permitted to serve in public office.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 07:36 AM

17. +++

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 10:26 PM

6. Montana Voters Deprive Corporations Of Their Humanity



When you went to Wal-Mart today, you probably could not help but notice that the store was sad. That is because on Tuesday Montana voters overwhelmingly voted to deprive them of their humanity. Initiative 166 was passed with 75% of the vote, and states that corporations are "not entitled to constitutional rights because they are not human beings." The initiative was on the ballot due to the United States Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United, which held that corporations are cuddly people just like you and me, and are entitled to drop limitless amounts of money into political campaigns.

Montanans overwhelmingly approved the initiative, which received 74% of the vote. C.B Pearson, a spokesman for Montanans United, the group behind the initiative, said, "Montanans are calling on every elected official in Montana to fight for fair elections and overturn the horrible Citizens United decision." Corporations were not so happy. When asked for comment on the passing of the initiative, a local Home Depot just looked away and stared stoically into the mountains beyond. Elected officials, none of whom would speak on the record, lamented the fact they would no longer be able to go golfing or hunting with their favorite corporations.

Prior to the vote, Verner Bertelsen, a 96 year-old Montana resident, said bluntly, "I've never seen a corporation I wanted to dance with yet." Unfortunately, for Verner, this led to vicious attacks against him in the press, including allegations that he had been caught fondling a local McDonald's franchise back in 1983, charges which Mr. Bertelsen rigorously denied.

In the long run, it is likely this measure will mean nothing, as it will be preempted by the Citizens United decision. Also, one should not be too heartened by the Montana electorate. On Tuesday, voters also approved a measure to require parental notification for minors receiving abortions and another prohibiting the government from requiring citizens to purchase health insurance.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 10:29 PM

7. Sign Petition Opposing Co-Chairman of the Catfood Commission, Erskine Bowles, as Treasury Secretary



The word is that Erskine Bowles, who most recently headed the so-called “National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform” which might more accurately be called the “National Commission to Increase Unemployment and Make Old People Die Faster” is the top pick on the short list of candidates for the next Treasury Secretary.

This is a very bad idea. While Geithner never stood up to the banks because he was a protege of Robert Rubin, and therefore had been schooled that bankers really deserved to be Masters of the Universe, and if they made a few mistakes here and there that led global economy to teeter on the edge of destruction, that was no reason not to restore them to their power positions, even if it took a few trillion dollars of overt and covert handouts. But on top of that, he knew too little tradecraft to stand up to them even if he had wanted to. I’ve had a number of bankers who’ve met with Geithner describe him with contempt, despite the great impression he makes on journalists. He may give great policy talk, but his grasp of markets is apparently thin, even though he oversaw a decent sized trading operation at the New York Fed.

Bowles, despite being an investment banker, is certain to have little to no understanding of trading businesses. He was at Morgan Stanley in investment banking for what looks like all of three years in the late 1960s, when Morgan was a pure investment bank, as in it had no trading (it was a lead underwriter and syndicator + merger specialist). Bowles then built up a boutique firm in his home state. He may be a perfectly good dealmaker, but that does not even get you within hailing distance of the guts of modern finance, which is the OTC markets (yes, he is now on the board of Morgan Stanley, but trust me, board members don’t get enough into the weeds for him to be anything more than buzzword compatible).

So the short version of why not Bowles is:

1. He is one of the primary architects and boosters of the disaster about to be visited on the middle class, which Bill Black has correctly called the Great Betrayal

2. He is a Wall Street crony who if he were (miraculously) to have a “Nixon goes to China” impulse in a next crisis, lacks the right sort of expertise and acumen to stare down Wall Street CEOs

Yes, I know there are other bad dudes on Obama’s short list, so you might argue that pushing back against Bowles is merely going to get us another turkey. The reasons for petitioning are:

1. This is a low effort way to signal discontent with the Great Betrayal (and let Team Obama know the public is clued in; it is hardly normal for a Treasury Secretary candidate to attract grass roots opposition).

2. The other turkeys are arguably less terrible. For instance, even though contender Larry Fink of Blackrock might be seen as functionally indistinguishable, he was not involved personally in the Great Betrayal planning (hence he lacks personal ego investment in getting it done and could be more flexible in the face of opposition) and has much more stature on Wall Street and hence could push back against a Jamie Dimon in a crisis. Mind you, I would not hold out high odds of that, but the probability with Bowles is zero, so it’s still better on a relative basis.

Please sign the petition at Change.Org and tell your friends to join (hat tip Dean Baker)


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Response to Demeter (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 10:57 PM

11. Simpson-Bowles 'Grand Bargain' Candidates Lose on Tuesday Kenneth Quinnell



The conventional wisdom in Washington, D.C., and in much of the media, is that because of the debt, we need to cut benefits for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. A bipartisan commission led by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles has promoted a plan that would cut Social Security benefits, shift Medicare costs to beneficiaries, lower tax rates for the wealthy and corporations and increase the tax incentives for shipping jobs overseas. Bowles and Simpson have been promoting their plan heavily and took to endorsing candidates who they believed would support their plan.

Voters on Tuesday rejected all of the candidates that both Bowles and Simpson endorsed:

In Nebraska, Bob Kerrey lost to Republican Deb Fischer.
In New Hampshire, incumbent Charlie Bass lost to progressive Annie McLane Kuster.
In Rhode Island, Brendan Doherty lost to Democrat David Cicilline.

All three losing candidates were outspoken in their support of the Bowles-Simpson plan and their endorsement by the plan's authors. Voters made it clear that they don't want to cut benefits for Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. An election-night poll conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates also showed strong opposition to elements of the Bowles-Simpson plan:

Protecting Medicare and Social Security from benefit cuts is more important than bringing down the deficit (73% to 18%).
64% favor maintaining Social Security and Medicare benefits by increasing taxes on the rich.
68% oppose raising the Medicare eligibility age.
69% oppose reductions in Medicaid benefits.
84% oppose reducing Social Security benefits.
65% oppose eliminating all taxes on the offshore profits of U.S. corporations.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #11)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 11:11 PM

13. The coming debt battle By James K. Galbraith



Citing a phony "crisis," the GOP wants to gut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Democrats can't let them...one Lawrence Kotlikoff of Boston University, one of America’s most talented artificers, who “estimates the true fiscal gap is $211 trillion when unfunded entitlements like Social Security and Medicare are included.” Compared to that, what’s a thousand mile-wide hurricane? That the looming debt and deficit crisis is fake is something that, by now, even the most dim member of Congress must know. The combination of hysterical rhetoric, small armies of lobbyists and pundits, and the proliferation of billionaire-backed front groups with names like the “Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget” is not a novelty in Washington. It happens whenever Big Money wants something badly enough. Big Money has been gunning for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for decades – since the beginning of Social Security in 1935. The motives are partly financial: As one scholar once put it to me, the payroll tax is the “Mississippi of cash flows.” Anything that diverts part of it into private funds and insurance premiums is a meal ticket for the elite of the predator state. And the campaign is also partly political. The fact is, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are the main way ordinary Americans connect to their federal government, except in wars and disasters. They have made a vast change in family life, unburdening the young of their parents and ensuring that every working person contributes whether they have parents, dependents, survivors or disabled of their own to look after. These programs do this work seamlessly, for next to nothing; their managers earn civil service salaries and the checks arrive on time. For the private competition, this is intolerable; the model is a threat to free markets and must be destroyed.

This attitude is reflected in the nonsense of media discourse, nicely illustrated in October’s vice-presidential debate, moderated by Martha Raddatz of ABC News:

Martha Raddatz: Let’s talk about Medicare and entitlements. Both Medicare and Social Security are going broke and taking a larger share of the budget in the process. Will benefits for Americans under these programs have to change for the programs to survive? Mr. Ryan?

Rep. Paul Ryan: Absolutely. Medicare and Social Security are going bankrupt. These are indisputable facts.

Note that Mr. Ryan did not have to establish on his own that “Medicare and Social Security are going bankrupt.” That claim was built into the question. All Mr. Ryan had to do was to assert his firm agreement. And Vice President Biden, when his turn came, chose not to rebut. Can a federal insurance program go bankrupt? Of course it can’t. Bankruptcy is a legal process for private citizens seeking relief from unpayable debts. How can the obligations of Social Security or Medicare ever be unpayable? These are public programs, not private companies. All the federal government has to do is to write the checks, pursuant to law. As for the size of the checks, it will be whatever Congress prescribes at any given time. Bankruptcy as a concept does not apply. So what are they talking about? Lies and nonsense, nothing more. Less easy to penetrate is the thick swamp of dogma thrown up by the economists who have provided a background chorus for the doomsayers. Kotlikoff’s $211 trillion is a nice example of this: the net present value of a discounted stream of projected federal deficits over (one suspects) an infinite future time horizon. Or maybe only 75 years or so. But who’s counting? It’s a big, big number, and the man spreading it about is a credentialed professor. Must mean something, surely? No, it does not. For one thing, any such number needs to be placed in context – what fraction of total GDP, over the same horizon, are we talking about? That GDP number will be 10 to 20 times larger, so Kotlikoff’s forecast doesn’t tell you anything you didn’t already know, by looking at present deficits in relation to present GDP.

Even that comparison misses the real point, which is that all balance sheets are double-entry propositions. Assuming it’s a real number, and not made up, that $211 trillion liability must correspond, to the penny, to an asset. And that’s the gain in expected future net financial wealth of the private sector, also discounted. Every one of those dollars, after all, corresponds to a bond, which will be owned by a person, a company or a bank. Big crisis? Not at all. At best, it’s a curiosity calculation, of no practical importance. Even worse, because more immediately read and followed by policymakers, are the Congressional Budget Office’s baseline economic projections. These combine mutually impossible events, leading to the prediction that the debt/GDP ratio will rise toward 300 percent of GDP by mid-century, while real growth and inflation chug along at 3 and 2 percent, respectively. But if this were possible, why should anyone care? In fact it’s not possible; the CBO’s deficits are driven mainly by assumptions about healthcare costs and interest rates that cannot happen. Healthcare cannot rise indefinitely as a share of GDP (and may have already stopped rising). And if interest rates returned to what CBO thinks of as normal the underlying economy would collapse. Luckily for us, the Federal Reserve won’t do that. CBO should revise its assumptions; if it did, the scare forecasts would go away.

Do we have budget problems? Yes: We spend too much on military hardware and wars; the talent, materials and technologies that go into that are wasted and cannot be used, say, to protect New York from storm surge. Our rich build too many mansions, thanks to their CEO incomes and their low tax rates; letting the Bush tax cuts expire will usefully dent that purchasing power. But Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid impose no such future burdens. They are transfers in current time. They meet today’s commitments to seniors, survivors, dependents, the disabled and the ill – commitments they have earned through work – providing them with income and services at the expense of others also currently alive. This any community can always do, to the full extent of its will and resources. The future has nothing to do with it. Except that, from a moral point of view, it’s useful for the young to learn that we are a community, in which working people take care of those who can’t. And that is what the Objectivists in Congress cannot stand. Our sense of community is an obstacle to their power. And what they are determined to destroy, we must defend. There is much more to be said, about disaster relief, food assistance, housing and other threatened programs. But to begin, Congress should leave Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid alone.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 10:38 PM

8. HISTORY LESSON: From Argentina to Greece: A Global Roller-Coaster By Diana Tussie



In October 2012, a Cayman Islands-based fund, NML Capital Limited, controlled by Elliot Management (EM) won a court order in Ghana to seize the Argentine teaching ship Libertad. The fund claimed that Argentina owed it $350 million, and offered to let the ship leave if Argentina’s government put up a $20 million bond to be forfeited. EM´s CEO is Paul Elliot Singer, who specializes in piling up insolvent country debt. Singer is a major donor to the Republican Party...If the court order goes into effect, Argentina would be prevented from discriminating between restructured bondholders and holdouts, thus potentially preventing the next payment due in December and leading to a technical default. Everyone who had accepted restructuring would be entitled to better terms if the funds’ demands are met. If the EM demands are accepted, the ruling will be a tipping point in the financial order.

Greece`s creditors are very much of the same kind. That means that their motivations and preferences are to a surprising level similar as well. If anything, the time elapsed and the geographical distance between these cases make even clearer how creditors are similarly contributing to the unfolding of these crises. In the Argentine case, those creditors were foreign banks, the IMF, and thousands of debt bond holders. In the Greek case, they are again foreign banks, the IMF, the European Central Bank and institutional investors such as mutual and hedge funds...In 2001 Argentina was left to fend for itself when the administration of G.W. Bush, anxious to leave its mark on global finance, let markets (and creditors) take care of themselves. In 2012, by contrast, Greece cannot be cordoned off so easily. European governments and the IMF have high and growing stakes in the country. Naming Ms. Lagarde as new director has if anything confirmed the bet to keep the IMF relevant by remaking it into the assistant of Europe’s regional financial gendarme (ECB and Germany, mostly) while lobbying non-Europeans for funds to enlarge its lending capacity. We have indeed come a long way in just a decade, as the IMF moved on from promoter of financial deregulation in the developing world to protector of creditors inside the industrialized one. In both cases, foreign banks and other bondholders have been the true central actors-refusing to admit the true value of their holdings, no longer inflated via currency overvaluation or overpriced assets. This acknowledgement would mean cuts to their holdings, simply to bring them back in line with reality.

Looking back at the Argentine case, the behavior of the private creditors indeed accurately predicts the Greek case: banks are appealing to their national governments, hedge funds priming their litigation lawyers, and other bond holders praying for the second coming of an the Argentine (or Greek now) Task Force to save them. And the outcome is largely just as predictable: creditor banks’ governments, funds’ lawyers and assorted Task Forces find friendly jurisdictions to fight against cuts in debt prices until they just about give up. In the aftermath, only the vulture funds remain, enlisting lawyers to pick through the debts’ corpses. It’s worth considering, however, that when creditors and their agents pushed crisis-stricken Argentina in 2001 to fully dollarize its economy in order to totally ensure it would pay it back, the result was the exact opposite: Buenos Aires first defaulted on its debt, and then devalued its currency. That unforeseen sequence of moves was the origin for the dramatic stand-off between foreign creditors, the IMF and Argentina regarding its default and its confrontation with the suddenly de-dollarized foreign investors. Today, Greece’s creditors are in fact pushing their debtor along very similar lines: demanding more and more assurances it will service a debt load piling out of all proportion. The unexpected may occur once again, with Athens deciding first to leave the Eurozone and then default on all its debts with such vengeance that the creditors’ losses will be so much worse than if governments had been wise enough to treat Greece more reasonably .

It was thanks to the greediness of creditors during the 2000s that the Argentine government successfully forced its own renegotiation terms on foreign creditors and public-utility investors, making both take unprecedented cuts in the value of their holdings and incomes. Such harsh push- back guaranteed for Argentina a bête noire reputation in global financial markets but also gave it impressive policy space to reignite growth, drastically reducing poverty and unemployment from the abysmal records of the 1990s. The clearest lesson to draw from these cases: international creditors will always push as far they can. The debtors may be afraid of the costs of default only until the cost of fear becomes intolerable.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #8)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 11:18 PM

14. Who will stop the Sado-Monetarists as jobless youth hits 58pc in Greece? Ambrose Evans-Pritchard



Greek unemployment rose to 25.4pc in August. Youth unemployment rose to 58pc. Under the official forecast, the economy will contract by a further 4.5pc next year, so it fair to assume that lots more people are going to lose their jobs. It is certainly not going to improve in any meaningful way for years to come. This is what happens when you lock into the wrong currency and block the escape routes – or join a "burning building with no exits" in the words of William Hague. Even if Greeks comply with all demands, public debt will reach 179pc of GDP next year. Perhaps there will be some sort of formula to cut debt service costs by shaving 50 basis points off interest on rescue loans, and persuading the ECB to forgo "profits" on its estimated €40 billion holdings of Greek bonds (though unrealised profits would seem be courting fate). Yet it is hard to see how the salary and pension cuts, etc, pushed through the Greek parliament last night with enormous difficulty can do any more than buy a few months’ delay. The protests on Wednesday bordered on urban guerrilla warfare. It will not take much to cross that line.

Even if the EMU machine succeeds in keeping Greece in the system, is this any longer a remotely desirable goal? Has it not become a vicious and immoral policy in itself? I agree with the IFO Institute’s Hans-Werner Sinn that upholding euro membership has by now become an act of cruelty. It not being done in the interests of Greeks. It is being done for the Project, by enforcers of the Project. Only by breaking free can Greece restore a minimum of economic vibrancy and national dignity.

Everything we know from labour studies is that the early twenties are crucial years, shaping lifelong career paths and earnings ten to fifteen years beyond. The worst economic crime you cannot commit is to leave 58pc of youth grinding away their days in frustration in cafés, if they can afford the coffee.

...The ideologues running monetary union cannot bring themselves to contemplate any step back in the Project, just as they would not admit yesterday in the Commission’s economic report that they have gravely misjudged the effects of fiscal tightening (the fiscal multiplier) and have therefore miscrafted their entire austerity strategy. We are not dealing with rational people. We are dealing with a religious order, and these monks are becoming an increasing danger to Europe’s societies and democracies. Margaret Thatcher’s advisers were tagged Sado-Monetarists in the early 1980s but they never inflicted anything remotely close to this level of suffering. The strange silence of the Left on this is baffling. Sooner or later my Fabian friends will have make up their minds whether they are for the workers, or for the "bankers ramp" — as old Socialists like Peter Shore used to describe monetary union...It is the worst of all worlds.


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Response to Demeter (Reply #14)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 01:52 PM

60. Those jobless numbers among

the young are enough to make you cry.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 10:48 PM

9. Bill Black: Jobs Now – Make Obama’s Priority Reality and Expose the Lie of Lazy Laborers



President Obama gave a major speech today on his legislative agenda. He said that the overriding national priority had to be jobs. We agree.

David Brooks published an op ed today calling on the Republican Party to become “The Party of Work.” He put his primary message in his final paragraph for emphasis.

“Don’t get hung up on whether the federal government is 20 percent or 22 percent of G.D.P. Let Democrats be the party of security, defending the 20th-century welfare state. Be the party that celebrates work and inflames enterprise. Use any tool, public or private, to help people transform their lives.”

Other than the gratuitous and inaccurate slap at the Democratic Party, we agree. The problem is that Republicans and Democrats are pushing a “Grand Bargain” that would reduce jobs. (The so-called Grand Bargain would also produce a “Great Betrayal” that would begin the process of shredding the safety net. I have written separately about the betrayal and will be producing additional articles opposing that action. This article focuses on the austerity component of the proposed Grand Bargain.) The Republican and Democrats are incoherent about austerity. The immediate context for the budgetary discussion is the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report on the “fiscal cliff.” The fiscal cliff is a misnomer because it is not a cliff. It is a product of the deal made on the debt limit. It would produce (gradual) decreases in spending and tax increases that would begin to take effect in January 2013. The gradual nature of the decreases in spending and the near certainty that any tax reductions Congress make in 2013 will be made retroactive to the beginning of the year combine to mean that the fiscal cliff is a gradual decline into a self-destructive policy of austerity. We have months to prevent the self-destruction.

The CBO, of course, knows Congress very well and knows that there is no fiscal cliff but that there is political advantage to be gained from warning that absent Congressional action there would be a disaster. The CBO deliberately issued its report immediately after the election to attempt to create a sense of Congressional urgency and push the adoption of the Great Betrayal. The internal inconsistency of relying on the CBO report to adopt austerity should be clear, but is almost entirely ignored by the Beltway types. I spent nearly two hours listening to MSNBC’s midday coverage of the issue without hearing a single journalist, commentator, or politician recognizing the incoherence. The CBO report’s primary thrust is that if Congress took no action during 2013 to reduce the tax and spending austerity measures that begin to take effect in 2013 then the result would be a serious loss of jobs and a gratuitous recession. We agree. The Obama administration says it agrees. The Republicans are indicating that they agree. Let’s step back and analyze the implications of that... What follows relies on the views expressed by the proponents of austerity and the Great Betrayal, logic, and coherent economic theory and experience. Virtually everyone powerful inside the Beltway is not saying that they agree that “austerity now” (i.e., prior to achieving economic recovery from the Great Recession) would be a terrible, self-destructive policy. We agree. Keynes has again proven correct. Europe adopted austerity and needlessly and destructively hurled the Eurozone back into recession. We would have to be insane to engage in such financial suicide.

• This means that “austerity yesterday” – earlier in the effort to recover from the Great Recession – would have been even more disastrous. It would have forced the U.S. back into recession and caused a substantial increase in unemployment.

• The U.S. came exceptionally close to adopting austerity in 2011 through the “Great Bargain” negotiated by Speaker of the House Boehner and President Obama. The 2011 version of the Great Bargain would have imposed draconian austerity and begun the Great Betrayal of the safety net. Austerity results from budget cuts and tax increases, and the 2011 Grand Bargain was designed to impose both forms of austerity. Boehner described the massive budget cuts that he and Obama agreed upon in July 2011.

[LI] In the ensuing days, the two sides forged common ground on a two-stage strategy for raising the debt limit and cutting more than $4 trillion out of the federal budget through 2021.

[LI] Obama said he also put $650 billion in reductions to entitlement programs on the table, along with sharp cuts to government agencies, causing consternation among Democratic lawmakers and forcing him to “take a lot of heat from my party.”

[LI] House GOP leaders have repeatedly pulled the plug on efforts to forge agreement on a plan to control the national debt, Obama said. Democratic leaders had been willing to consider provisions that would have caused them considerable political pain among the elderly, unions and the party’s liberal base, he added. He also emphasized his willingness to compromise, noting that “I’ve been left at the altar now a couple of times.”

[LI] “This is not a situation where somehow this was the usual food fight between Democrats and Republicans. A lot of Democrats stepped up in ways that were not advantageous politically,” Obama said. He noted that he had offered to make further cuts to Medicare, even after Republicans denounced Democrats in last fall’s midterm campaigns for cutting Medicare as part of their overhaul of the health-care system, saying, “We’ve shown ourselves willing to do the tough stuff on an issue that Republicans ran on.”

• Consider what would have happened in the 2012 elections had Obama struck the Grand Bargain (more accurately, the Great Betrayal) in July 2011. The austerity would have thrown the nation into a gratuitous recession. The CBO says that a far smaller austerity program, delayed by over two years (2013 v. 2011) to a date where the economy is less vulnerable to a renewed recession, would throw the nation back into recession and cause a substantial increase in unemployment. The 2011 Grand Bargain, therefore, would have caused us to fall into a deeper recession and it would have done so more quickly than would the possible tax increases and spending cuts that would phase in during 2013.

• The gratuitous second recession would have begun in late 2011 and deepened during 2012 due to the 2011 Great Betrayal’s austerity provisions. Unemployment would have gone up – and the unemployment rate in July 2011 was 9.1% so the unemployment rate would be well over 10% and would have been increasing throughout election year 2012.

• In addition to the austerity-induced second recession, Obama would have agreed in the Great Betrayal to large cuts in the safety net. He would have adopted the Republican Party’s false claims that the safety net was unsustainable and a grave threat to the nation. This would have made it safe politically for the Republicans to make drastic cuts in the safety net as soon as they controlled the Senate. That is why the faux Grand Bargains are really the Great Betrayals.

The combination of the second recession, unemployment above 10 percent – and rising – and the Great Betrayal of beginning to unravel the safety net while making severe cuts in government programs that the Democrats strongly support would have caused catastrophic election losses to Democratic Party candidates in 2012. Obama would have lost by huge margins. The Republican Party would have taken control of the Senate and greatly expanded its majority in the House. Obama would have been thrown from office as the Great Failure and the Great Betrayer.

• None of the problems I have described would have been avoided if the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy were repealed. None of the problems come from “unbalanced” austerity (e.g., far more program spending cuts than tax increases) – they come from austerity. Tax fairness is not irrelevant, but a “balanced” system of (net) tax increases combined with program cuts would send the nation back into a recession.

[LI] The U.S. could increase taxes on the wealthiest Americans and offset that tax increase with tax reductions to non-wealthy Americans. The most efficient way to do this is to again stop collecting the payroll tax. Workers bear the economic cost of the “employer’s contribution” as well as their own “contribution.” The Social Security tax is our most regressive tax. It has the advantage of putting money in people’s accounts almost immediately. The combination of these factors makes the cessation of collection far more effective in stimulating growth than reducing the marginal income tax rate for the wealthiest Americans. Geithner, however, has indicated that the administration did not wish to resume a policy of waiving collection of the Social Security tax. Waiving the tax has no effect on Social Security payments to beneficiaries or the health of the system. Larry Summers opposed Geithner’s position, but Obama adopted Geithner’s view. Geithner’s view was the bipartisan consensus, proving that beltway blindness remains the norm.

• Guess who insisted on creating the fiscal cliff and ensuring that it had a “trigger” that made it automatic absent a Great Betrayal? That would be Obama – with the full support of the Republicans. Obama insisted on mandating austerity, particularly cuts in Medicaid and Medicare, if austerity failed. That was significantly insane economically and politically. The people who caused the insanity now tell us we must end their insane austerity – by adopting the Great Betrayal and its austerity. “Incoherent” does not begin to capture the incoherence of both parties on austerity. The same Washington Post story cited above explains the setting of the 2011 decision to create the fiscal cliff.

“Another major concession: Boehner’s] offer had proposed boosting the debt ceiling just high enough to see the Treasury through March 2012], which would become the new deadline for Congress to approve the more difficult cuts to entitlement programs and to overhaul the tax code. The White House vehemently opposed that approach. Obama did not want to have this debate again in an election year. The White House wanted a “trigger” that would automatically raise taxes on the wealthy and cut health spending, an idea the Republicans opposed. For now, Boehner and Cantor agreed to give up their demand for a short-term debt-limit increase. But talks on the trigger would have to continue.”

• The obvious question, except that I haven’t seen anyone ask it, is why Obama and Boehner would agree try to agree to a Great Betrayal that they knew (if you believe them now) would be certain to throw the nation back into recession and begin to unravel the safety net and then when they failed to reach agreement created another austerity program known as the “fiscal cliff.” The obvious answer is that the administration and Boehner were clueless about basic economics.

In a Great Recession, demand is grossly inadequate to employ all the people who wish to and are able to work. If we (net) raise taxes we decrease already inadequate private sector demand. If we cut spending we cut already inadequate public sector demand. In either case we are adopting pro-cyclical fiscal policies that make the recession worse. The administration was warned repeatedly by economists that its stimulus program was vastly too small to counterbalance the horrific reduction in private sector demand caused by the financial crisis, the collapse of the world’s largest financial bubble, and the Great Recession.

Treasury Secretary Geithner, who is not an economist and who has consistently demonstrated that he does not understand economics became Obama’s principal economic advisor. Geithner was a Republican who became an Independent as a fig leaf. He disdained public sector spending, even in response to a Great Recession.

From Zach Goldfarb’s excellent profile of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s success inside the Obama administration:

The economic team went round and round. Geithner would hold his views close, but occasionally he would get frustrated. Once, as [then chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers Christina] Romer pressed for more stimulus spending, Geithner snapped. Stimulus, he told Romer, was “sugar,” and its effect was fleeting. The administration, he urged, needed to focus on long-term economic growth, and the first step was reining in the debt.

Wrong, Romer snapped back. Stimulus is an “antibiotic” for a sick economy, she told Geithner. “It’s not giving a child a lollipop.”

In the end, Obama signed into law only a relatively modest $13 billion jobs program, much less than what was favored by Romer and many other economists in the administration.

(I am deliberately relying primarily on articles from the Washington Post because it is hysterically dedicated to creating a “moral panic” about the budget deficit and the national debt. Klein’s article made Geithner’s views about stimulus known throughout the Beltway two months before the July 2011 Obama/Boehner negotiations on the Great Betrayal.)

• The budget deficit is not a “crisis.” The budget deficit is a symptom of the Great Recession. In a severe recession government revenue falls sharply as unemployment grows and causes personal and corporate income, sales, and property values to fall. Demand for government services such as unemployment insurance and food stamps grow. The result is a large, rapidly growing budget deficit. The federal income tax is one of our “automatic stabilizers.” It operates in a counter-cyclical manner (tax revenues fall during periods of strong economic growth and falls during a recession. The automatic stabilizers cause recessions to be less severe and the recovery from recessions prompter. The federal budget deficit is too small. You did not misread that sentence. It is a logical consequence of the CBO’s reasoning in warning in its November 2012 report against the austerity of the “fiscal cliff.” We would have recovered more quickly from the recession if we had increased more substantially our governmental spending and reduced (net) taxes. Both parties’ leaders purport to understand (hence their embrace of the CBO report) the suicidal nature of austerity, but both pander to the electorate by railing at the deficit. It is as dishonest as it is economically illiterate and it has created a massive barrier to getting the public to back rational policies. The U.S. has had much larger deficits (relative to our GDP) during and after World War II. Those deficits allowed us to defeat the Axis powers, recover from the Great Depression, attain full employment, extend the safety net, and achieve robust economic growth without destructive inflation.

• The administration and Boehner are claiming that (a) austerity via the fiscal cliff (which they deliberately created) would cause a national disaster and that, therefore, (b) we need to reach an agreement (the Great Betrayal) with Boehner imposing austerity and beginning to unravel the safety net because austerity is the only way to avoid causing a national disaster. If that seems crazy to you, it’s the Beltway herd that’s crazy, not you.

• Nations cannot determine whether they will run a budget deficit or surplus with any assurance. That is a necessary implication of the CBO report. The two seemingly obvious means to reduce a budget deficit are to increase taxes and cut spending. The Grand Bargain proposes to do both. CBO warns, correctly, that (net) increases in taxes and cuts in spending can reduce already inadequate private sector demand and public sector demand. This can cause (or deepen) a recession and increase unemployment and the size of the deficit. The idea that a nation can mechanically choose to run a budget surplus is an illusion.

• U.S. federal budget deficits and the national debt are not “immoral,” they do not imperil our children and grandchildren, and they do not allow China to control us. The opposite is true now. The opposite is true. When we adopt austerity and throw America into a second recession we cause millions of people to be unemployed. That throws millions of children to fall into poverty and to lose their homes. It causes budget deficits and the national debt to grow dramatically. If you care about children you should oppose the Great Betrayal as the greatest threat to our children. It is immoral to consign our children to the pain of a gratuitous recession or to unravel the safety net that they will need. China has no power over us due to debt. We have no trouble selling our debt at trivial interest rates. Indeed, we do not have to issue debt. The Fed routinely creates money via computer keystrokes.

It does not require “courage” to adopt austerity and attack the safety net. It requires shameful acts of cowardice in which we cut the programs most needed by those in need in order to benefit wealthy Americans and Wall Street (whose greatest dream is the privatization of Social Security – which would lead to Wall Street making hundreds of billions of dollars in additional fees).


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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 10:53 PM

10. The Importance of Elizabeth Warren By SIMON JOHNSON



Simon Johnson is the Ronald A. Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship at the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management and co-author of “White House Burning: The Founding Fathers, Our National Debt, and Why It Matters to You.”


One of the most important results on Tuesday was the election of Elizabeth Warren as United States senator from Massachusetts.
Her victory matters not only because it helps the Democrats keep control of the Senate but also because Ms. Warren has a track record of speaking truth to authority on financial issues – both to officials in Washington and to powerful people on Wall Street. During the campaign, Ms. Warren’s opponent and his allies made repeated attempts to portray her as antibusiness. In the most bizarre episode, Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS ran an ad that contended that she favored bailing out large Wall Street banks. All of this was misdirection and disinformation. Ms. Warren has long stood for transparency and accountability. She has insisted that consumers need protection relative to financial products – when the customer cannot understand what is really on offer, this encourages bad behavior by some companies. If this behavior spreads sufficiently, the entire market can become contaminated – damaging the entire macroeconomy, exactly as we have seen in the last decade.

Honest bankers should welcome transparency in all its forms.
And the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which Ms. Warren helped to establish, has made major steps in this direction.

Ms. Warren has strong support from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, and her resistance to sharp practices by big banks resonates across the political spectrum. (Disclosure: James Kwak and I wrote positively about Ms. Warren and her approach in “13 Bankers.”) She has also established an impressive track record for effective oversight in Washington. As the chairwoman of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, she drew bipartisan praise (until, of course, she decided to run for public office).

How much can a new senator accomplish? Within hours of her victory, some commentators from the financial sector suggested that no freshman senator could achieve much. This is wishful thinking on their part. A newly elected senator can have a great deal of impact if she is well informed on relevant details, plugged into the policy community and focused on a few key issues. It also helps if such a senator can bring effective outside pressure to bear – and Ms. Warren is a most effective communicator, including on television. She has an unusual ability to cut through technical details and to explain the issues in a way that everyone can relate to. Ms. Warren is a natural ally for Senators Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Carl Levin of Michigan, Jack Reed of Rhode Island and other sensible voices on financial sector issues (including some on the Republican side who have begun to speak out). My expectation is that Ms. Warren will work effectively across the aisle on financial sector issues without compromising her principles – and this could really be productive in the Senate context. Hopefully, Ms. Warren will get a seat on the Senate Banking Committee, where at least one Democratic slot is open.

President Obama should now listen to her advice. Senator Warren should have been appointed head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2010 – but was opposed by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Unfortunately, the president was unwilling to override Treasury. If President Obama wants to have impact with his second term, he needs to stand up to the too-big-to-fail banks on Wall Street. The consensus among policy makers has shifted since 2010, becoming much more concerned about the dangers posed by global megabanks. That has been clear in recent speeches by the Federal Reserve governor Daniel Tarullo; Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; and Andrew Haldane of the Bank of England (all of whom I have covered in this space – including last week). At the same time, we should expect a renewed effort against all recent attempts at financial sector reform – a point made by American Banker, a trade publication, immediately after the re-election of President Obama. Scandals of various kinds will be thrown into this mix. The full extent of money laundering at HSBC is only now becoming apparent. Complicity of various institutions in rigging Libor should also become clearer in coming months. No doubt there will be big unexpected trading losses somewhere in the global banking community. The European macroeconomic and financial situation continues to spiral out of control.

Senator Warren is well placed, not just to play a role in strengthening Congressional oversight but also in terms of helping her colleagues think through what we really need to make our financial system more stable.


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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 11:02 PM

12. The View from the Cocoon of Denial and Epistemic Closure Alex Massie



William F Buckley has, alas, gone the way of all flesh but his National Review lives on and arguably remains the flagship journal of contemporary American conservatism. It certainly considers itself such. As the Republican inquest into last night’s election disaster begins, National Review offers a useful – and perhaps telling – glimpse into the contemporary conservative soul (American edition).

Here’s what its contributors have been writing today:

Mary Matalin:

What happened? A political narcissistic sociopath leveraged fear and ignorance with a campaign marked by mendacity and malice rather than a mandate for resurgence and reform. Instead of using his high office to articulate a vision for our future, Obama used it as a vehicle for character assassination, replete with unrelenting and destructive distortion, derision, and division.

[…] Unfortunately and unfortuitously, forces of nature bookended the general election: Our convention was compromised by one weather disaster and our momentum stalled by another. Two human hurricanes also radically altered the political atmosphere: Bill Clinton’s unique windbaggery constituted a campaign updraft, while Chris Christie’s deplorable and gratuitous gas-baggery infused the campaign with a toxic political pollution.

Grover Norquist:


Mark Steyn:

New Hampshire is overwhelmingly white — and the GOP still blew it. The fact is a lot of pasty, Caucasian, non-immigrant Americans have also “shifted,” and are very comfortable with Big Government, entitlements, micro-regulation, Obamacare and all the rest — and not much concerned with how or if it’s paid for.

If this is the way America wants to go off the cliff, so be it. But I wish we’d at least had a Big Picture election. The motto of the British SAS is “Who dares wins.” The Republicans chose a different path. A play-it-safe don’t-frighten-the-horses strategy may have had a certain logic, but it’s unworthy of the times.

Jeffrey Bell:

It would be surprising if the Obama administration did not interpret its victory as a mandate to complete the Europeanizing of American government.

Stanley Kurtz:

The college educated professionals at the heart of Obama’s coalition are products of an academic culture that not only leans far-left, but is dedicated to producing precisely the national political outcome that Obama represents. Obama himself was both a product and a member of the elite leftist university faculty.

In contrast to Reagan’s appointees Bill Bennett and Lynne Cheney, the Bush administration avoided public battles with the academy. Republicans nowadays tend to write off academia as silly and irrelevant. Meanwhile, our colleges and universities have been quietly churning out left-leaning voters for some time. Not all graduates go along, of course, but many do.

Higher education is also connected to the demographic roots of Obama’s victory. Prior to World War II, college was still the path less traveled. By the sixties, it had become common. Now years of post-graduate professional education for a large percentage of Americans have pushed back the age of marriage, increasing the numbers of single women so crucial to Obama’s coalition. The phenomenon of extended singlehood is at the root of the new social liberalism as well, not to mention the demographic bust driving our entitlement crisis.

Peter Kirsanow:

The electorate may well have shifted politically, and perhaps culturally. That will happen when we cede our institutions to the minions of ”progress,” when our media is biased and political elites cowardly. But human nature has not changed and neither have the principles conservatives — Americans — hold dear.

Obama and the Left will be emboldened. They will continue their effort to “fundamentally transform” America. Indeed, now that Obamacare will go into effect in full, the transformation will take several giant, worrisome steps forward.

That’s why we must fight. Harder, smarter, relentlessly. While we must shrewdly assess what went wrong politically, we don’t have time for finger-pointing and recriminations. Those inclined can do so later.There are too many perils at our doorstep.

Kathryn Jean Lopez:

It’s hard to hold back a tsunami of secularism in a single election.

Politically, culturally, economically, this may, in fact, be exactly what some of us saw it as: a paradigm-shifting election. For those of us concerned about freedom as we have understood it, it only gets harder now. I’m not happy about the results of this presidential election, but is it all that surprising when one side marches confidently forward in the arenas of politics, in media, in culture, embracing, celebrating, insisting on, mandating a “new normal”?

The lesson is not to be less conservative. The lesson is not to be found in purging social conservatives. The lesson is in taking a look at how the radicals won: Yes, there was the fear element. There was the devil-you-know element. But there is also the fact that all of what they say seems plausible and even not all that radical, because it has been in our cultural milk. Because while they may obscure some of the details and make it all sound mainstream, at the same time they are bold and confident about the extreme positions they believe in. That’s what we’ve got to be.

Charles A Donovan:

We may be on the verge of a new Babylonian captivity for religious conservatives. As we know, the story does not end there.

And, saving the best until last, David Gelernter:

We’ve seen an important (though far from decisive) battle in the slow-motion civil war the nation is undergoing: The blue states want to secede not from America but from Americanism. They reject the American republic of God-fearing individuals in favor of the European ideal, which has only been government by aristocracy: either an aristocracy of birth or, nowadays, of ruling know-it-alls — of post-religious, globalist intellectuals (a.k.a. PORGIs). As I’ve said before — many others have too — you can’t graduate class after class after class of left-indoctrinated ignoramuses without paying the price. Last night was a down payment.

But we’ve won civil wars and preserved the Union before. We’ll do it again — if we face up to the fact that we need to replace our schools and colleges now; the grace period has lasted a generation, but it’s over. I know we can do it and I’m pretty sure we will do it. Americanism is too strong and brilliant and young to die.

Now, sure, this is a selective cull from today’s posts at the Corner. It ignores more thoughtful contributions from the likes of Jonah Goldberg and, actually, Victor Davis Hanson to say nothing of the always excellent Ramesh Ponnuru and Reihan Salam or Spectator-contributor John O’Sullivan. Nor, of course, does National Review speak for conservatism. Nevertheless, it’s hardly a marginal voice screaming from the fringe either. And what these eight responses demonstrate is the extent to which too many conservatives believed their own propaganda. This is what it’s like to live in a cocoon. The apparent inability to appreciate why any sane person might contemplate voting for Barack Obama is evidence of, well, of the closing of the conservative mind. Hence the recourse to fantasies of the sort that leave the average, sober-minded voter wondering just what kind of crazy juice you’re hooked on. Obama wants to make the United States a kind of France? Check. Obama wants to crush religious liberty in America? Check. Our colleges are indoctrinating yet another generation of sadly-impressionable young American minds? Check. (Bonus: perhaps it would be better and certainly safer if fewer Americans risked going to college!) There is a War Against Americanism and Barack Obama is the enemy general? Check. The media are hoodwinking poor, gullible Americans? Check. Universal healthcare is the road to serfdom? Check. The people, damn them, are too stupid to know any better and deserve what they get? The fools. Check. If this were just emotional over-reactions spawned in the immediate aftermath of a shattering defeat too many conservatives had persuaded themselves just could not happen then it would be one thing and understandable. But it’s not that. Or not just that. This is what a large number of conservatives – including conservatives in elite positions such as those privileged to write for National Review enjoy – really do believe. And we’re supposed to be surprised that many ordinary Americans hear this stuff and wonder just what the hell it is these people are talking about? Give me a break. When your rhetoric collides with voters’ sense of their own reality then you cannot or should not be surprised that voters prefer their reality to your imagination.

Note too amidst all this howling and wailing and gnashing of teeth how there’s no attempt to understand why Americans voted the way they did. No attempt to wonder why the Republican party offered such a paltry economic message. No attempt to ask why the GOP had no healthcare policy that would actually soothe justified concerns about both Obamacare and how an ordinary family on $50,000 a year might have better, more affordable healthcare. Demographics are certainly a problem for the GOP. Everyone has known this date was likely coming for many years now. Nevertheless demographics are not destiny. At least they do not have to be. Demographics may be the new sexy but the answer to the GOP’s problems lies in policy, not just “targeting” chosen demographic groups with new and shinier baubles.

Fixing that is a tough and rock-strewn road but it’s a better place to start along the road to recovery than maintaining this kind of epistemic closure or the conviction that the United States is now hurtling along a road to some kind of socialist perdition.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #12)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 05:46 AM

16. It appears they were serving electric Kool-Aid at the Review's election night party.

And it appears that Gelernt"er got a bonus dose of PCP. "The Blue States want to secede from Americanism, but we've won Civil Wars before". Hate to break it to ya, Einstein, but the Red States lost the last one.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 11:23 PM

15. Would would have thought this election would change anything?


And yet, it has.

A freshening breeze is blowing through the media, the political parties, the very halls of Congress. Let's hope it reaches as far as the White House. We will know when (if) the Cabinet Shakeup begins....

That's enough good news for tonight.

What a pleasure it is to be able to post good changes and real facts that don't need to be debunked or sneered at.

Sweet dreams everyone! At least, it's possible to dream them, again!

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:25 AM

18. dear monday - fuck you.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #18)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:57 AM

35. I think it's the other way around, X


At least, that's my experience.

Hope your week turns sunny side up. Hope I survive....

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Response to Demeter (Reply #35)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:58 AM

36. my dear miss demeter -- when you're right -- you're right

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Response to xchrom (Reply #36)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:02 AM

40. I assure you, I'm as Left as a leftie can be


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Response to Demeter (Reply #40)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:18 AM

45. indeed! it is 1 of your many, many endearing traits! nt

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:47 AM



TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's economy contracted in the latest quarter, signaling that like Europe it may already be in recession, further weighing down world growth.

On an annualized basis, the world's No. 3 economy shrank 3.5 percent in the July-September quarter, the government reported Monday. It was in line with gloomy forecasts after Japan's territorial dispute with China hammered exports that were already weakened by feeble global demand.

The bad news will temper optimism over recoveries in China and the U.S., where some economists are predicting growth will top 3 percent in the third quarter. China's painful slowdown likely bottomed out in the third quarter, with recent indicators such as factory production and auto and retail sales showing improvement. And Europe, though it may have turned a corner on its debt crisis as the financial system stabilizes, is forecast to get worse before it gets better.

Japan's outlook remains bleak, with most economists forecasting a further decline in economic activity for the October-December quarter, which would officially put it in a recession according to the common definition of two consecutive quarters of contraction.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:49 AM

20. Analysis: European austerity protests far from revolution


(Reuters) - In a cafe near the former site of Paris's Bastille prison, activists held a meeting last month to decide whether to join unions in protesting the French government's belt-tightening.

Only five people turned up at Cafe Maldoror, a favored haunt of the radical left.

Even in the city whose revolutionary credentials date back to the 1789 uprising that began at the gates of its famous gaol, calls to build a European-wide popular front against the toughest budget cuts in a generation are falling on deaf ears.

"In France people...are frustrated, they are worried about the country and about their economic situation, but for the moment ...most people are not looking for revolutionary change," said Gaston, a 36-year-old librarian at the meeting who took part in a poorly attended protest at the Bastille last year.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #20)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:58 AM

37. Give it a week


Some political hack will put his Gucci-clad foot in his mouth.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:51 AM

21. JPMorgan executives won't be charged in securities sale probes: WSJ


(Reuters) - The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) does not intend to charge any JPMorgan Chase & Co executives in two investigations relating to the allegedly fraudulent sale of mortgage-backed securities, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Last week, JPMorgan said it reached an agreement in principle with the SEC to resolve the probes.

The bank will pay a penalty under the settlement, according to the WSJ, citing people close to the probes. The payment is expected to be less than the $550 million paid by Goldman Sachs Group Inc in 2010 to settle claims by the SEC that it misled investors in a type of mortgage bond deal, the WSJ said.

Goldman did not admit or deny any wrongdoing. JPMorgan is expected to do the same, the paper said, citing the people whom the WSJ did not identify. (link.reuters.com/byw83t)

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Response to xchrom (Reply #21)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:59 AM

38. Now THAT'S a Big Surprise


Can we put Holder up on traitor charges?

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Response to Demeter (Reply #38)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:10 AM

43. Holder is as usless....

as teats on a boar. He is the second resignation I wouls like to see. The first being Timeh of course.

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Response to AnneD (Reply #43)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:34 PM

54. The word is CORRUPT


and it's time we made "liberal" use of it!

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:52 AM

22. Global shares dip on U.S. fiscal cliff, Greece woes


(Reuters) - World shares edged down for a fourth day on Monday as concerns about a potential U.S. fiscal crisis and Greece's bailout dented optimism over global growth.

Adding to the uncertainty, Japan reported that its economy shrank 0.9 percent in July-September from the previous quarter, pointing to a mild recession in the world's third-largest economy.

"Investors remain consumed by U.S. fiscal cliff consequences, and this is capping market enthusiasm," said Tim Waterer, senior trader at CMC Markets.

Since the U.S. elections, the investors have worried that the return of the status quo in Washington will make it difficult for lawmakers to reach the compromises needed to avoid a "fiscal cliff" at the end of the year when nearly $600 billion worth of spending cuts and tax increases kick in.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:57 AM

23. Japanese economy contracts; economists, officials predict a recession


TOKYO — Japan’s economy contracted 0.9 percent in the late summer, according to government data released Monday, as officials and economists here warned that the country appears headed toward a recession.

At an annualized rate, Japan’s gross domestic product shrank 3.5 percent, a reversal following two quarters of growth. The drop-off signals the major obstacles facing the world’s third-largest economy as it deals with weakened demand in Europe and a simmering diplomatic spat with China, both of which have hurt Japanese exports.

Japan’s exports for the quarter — a period between July and September —plummeted 5.0 percent, the steepest drop since immediately after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

“In part, this may have been due to the anti-Japan demonstrations in China and the subsequent boycott of Japanese goods,” Barclays Economic Research wrote in a note after the data was released.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:59 AM

24. Portuguese head to former African colony to escape euro crisis


MAPUTO, Mozambique — When Marcio Charata lost his well-paying job in southern Portugal two years ago, he fired off résumés to all his contacts. Determined to survive the economic woes strangling Europe, he secured 20 interviews — but no job. So he set his sights on a faraway and unlikely market: Mozambique, Portugal’s once war-torn former colony.

Today, Charata is a senior executive at a Mozambican media company, joining thousands of his fellow Portuguese who have arrived here in recent months seeking refuge from the euro crisis. “This is an oasis in the desert,” Charata, 33, said with a smile.

Faced with mounting unemployment, rising taxes and cuts to social welfare programs, many Portuguese are traveling to former colonies in search of work, to the very places their colonial ancestors were forced to leave more than a half-century ago — countries such as Brazil, Angola and Mozambique, which boast some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, fueled by vast deposits of oil, minerals and other raw materials.

Sub-Saharan Africa, to be sure, is no economic promised land. Much of the continent still struggles with high poverty, disease and unemployment, and businesses face major hurdles, including corruption and red tape.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:09 AM

25. TRULY HOPELESS: In Debt Talks, Obama Is Ready to Go Beyond Beltway


Last edited Mon Nov 12, 2012, 03:06 PM - Edit history (1)




President Obama, emboldened by his decisive re-election and lessons learned over four years in office, is looking to the renewal of budget talks with Republicans this week as a second chance to take command of the nation’s policy debates and finally fulfill his promise to end gridlock in Washington, associates say.

As he prepares to meet with Congressional leaders at the White House on Friday, aides say, Mr. Obama will not simply hunker down there for weeks of closed-door negotiations as he did in mid-2011, when partisan brinkmanship over raising the nation’s debt limit damaged the economy and his political standing. He will travel beyond the Beltway at times to rally public support for a deficit-cutting accord that mixes tax increases on the wealthy with spending cuts.

On Wednesday, Mr. Obama will meet with corporate executives at the White House as he uses the nation’s fiscal problems to start rebuilding relations with business leaders. Though many of them backed Mitt Romney, scores have formed a coalition to push for a budget compromise similar to the one the president seeks. He hopes to enlist them to persuade Republicans in Congress to accept higher taxes on the assurance that he can deliver Democrats’ votes for future reductions in fast-growing entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

“Every president learns lessons from their successes and failures, and President Obama is no different,” said Dan Pfeiffer, his communications director. “There is no question that lessons were learned in the summer of 2011 that will impact his approach to the presidency for the next four years.”



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Response to Demeter (Reply #25)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:49 AM

32. America’s poor were little mentioned in Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. They deserve better



WHEN Barack Obama first ran for president, Emma Hamilton was part of that politically crucial cohort, the white working class. A tall woman with tawny hair, broad shoulders, a firm handshake and a forthright, direct manner, Ms Hamilton worked as a loader at a factory in Sumter, a modest city of 40,000 in east-central South Carolina. In July 2008, however, after seven years on the factory floor, she mangled her hand between two heavy rollers. The accident was to leave her unable to work.

She lost her house three years later, in April 2011. She, her 20-year-old son and her dog moved into her teal Chevy van, where they have been living ever since, collecting metal cans during the day and sleeping in a grocery-store car park at night.

When a pain in Ms Hamilton’s leg grew too severe to ignore, an employee at the shelter where she and her son occasionally stay directed her to the Excelsior Medical Clinic in downtown Sumter. The assistant who checked her in was named Patricia Dunham. Ms Dunham has cinnamon-coloured skin, arresting blue eyes and an easy, infectious laugh. She works at the Excelsior for 37.5 hours each week. At night she works behind the counter at a fast-food restaurant. The first job pays $12.50 an hour, the second $7.25, the federal minimum wage. If she could rely on 24 hours a week at the restaurant—which is what she would like—she would earn $32,137.50 for working 61.5 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, before tax witholdings.

Ms Dunham has three school-age children and a husband who is unable to work. Mr Dunham has a prison record, and since 2010 he has had periodic seizures that leave him bedridden for days afterwards. Ms Dunham has no health insurance at her jobs. She pays for her husband’s anti-seizure medicine and her seven-year-old’s attention-deficit medicine out of her own pocket...These are two snapshots of life on the American margins. Some 15% of Americans (around 46.2m people) live below the poverty line, as Ms Hamilton does (see chart 1). You have to go back to the early 1960s—before Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programmes—to find a significantly higher rate. Many more, like Ms Dunham, have incomes above the poverty line but nevertheless cannot meet their families’ basic monthly needs, and there are signs that their number is growing.


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Response to Demeter (Reply #25)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 02:14 PM

62. "The Grand Bargain is a Grand Lie"

Telling it like it is, in plain language.


Published on Monday, November 12, 2012 by The Young Turks
The Grand Bargain is a Grand Lie
Why the scheme being negotiated in Washington is one-sided and totally unfair
by Cenk Uygur

First of all, let's establish that no one in Washington actually cares about balancing the budget...

Second, understand that this so-called compromise they are talking about in order to avoid this supposed calamity is a trick. In fact, it'll be the greatest robbery in American history...

... President Obama has proposed that the Grand Bargain include $4 trillion in savings. He has said over and over again that the ratio would be $3 in spending cuts to $1 in tax increases. This is before his legendarily disastrous negotiating begins. So, let's do some quick math. According to the president's own plan that would be $3 trillion in spending cuts, which is significantly higher than the current plan of $1.2 trillion in spending cuts.

Let me add one other fact, if all you do is let the Bush tax cuts expire for people making over $250,000, you would already have $1 trillion in tax increases. And we were told because of this election that was already non-negotiable. That's what we fought to make sure would happen and the president has guaranteed it. So, what exactly do progressives gain out of this Grand Bargain?

The reality is that this robbery is indefensible and my math here is irrefutable, that's why they will do this deal as quickly as possible.

... The Grand Bargain is a Grand Lie. Anyone who argues for it is either a fool or a charlatan.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:09 AM

26. It appears the markets are open today

NYSE 2012 – 2013 Holiday Schedule

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Response to DemReadingDU (Reply #26)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:37 PM

56. Bond markets closed, stock markets open


Who makes these decisions, anyway?

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:19 AM

27. Greece approves fresh cuts with 2013 austerity budget


Greek lawmakers approved the country’s 2013 austerity budget early Monday, an essential step in Greece’s efforts to persuade its international creditors to unblock a vital rescue loan installment without which the country will go bankrupt.

The budget passed by a 167-128 vote in the 300-member Parliament. It came days after a separate bill of deep spending cuts and tax hikes for the next two years squeaked through with a narrow majority following severe disagreements among the three parties in the governing coalition.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras pledged that the spending cuts will be the last Greeks have to endure.

“Just four days ago, we voted the most sweeping reforms ever in Greece,” he said. “The sacrifices (in the earlier bill and the budget) will be the last. Provided, of course, we implement all we have legislated.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:21 AM

28. Italy charges S&P, Fitch with market manipulation


An Italian prosecutor charged Standard & Poor's and Fitch on Monday with market manipulation, claiming that by downgrading the country the two ratings agencies helped to fuel the euro debt crisis.

An Italian prosecutor filed charges of market manipulation against Standard & Poor's and Fitch ratings agencies on Monday over downgrades of Italy's credit rating that helped fuel the euro debt crisis.

"We have filed charges against Standard & Poor's and Fitch," said Prosecutor Michele Ruggiero, who filed charges against seven people, five of whom worked at S&P's, while two worked at Fitch at the time of the alleged crime.

Among those charged are Deven Sharma, the head of S&P's from 2007 and 2011, and the operational director for Fitch, David Michael Willmoth Riley.

The charges have to be confirmed by a judge for any trial to go ahead -- a process which could take months under the Italian judicial system.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:35 AM

29. Coca Cola Security Cameras

Let´s look at the world a little differently

Advertiser: Coca-cola
Executive Creative Director: Martin Mercado
Creative Director: Martin Goldberg
Art Director: Damián Garofalo
Copywriter: Silvio Caielli

I do not own any rights of this video. About the song:
Roger Hodgson, co-founder of Supertramp, is the writer and composer of "Give a Little Bit," the song used in this Coca-Cola ad. This version is a Roger Hodgson recording, not a Supertramp recording.
Be sure to follow Roger on Twitter:

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Response to DemReadingDU (Reply #29)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:44 AM

31. From a Pepsi fan ;-)

Many of us already look at the world that way. We see the good, the dreams, the endless possibilities. But sadly, what we do not see is the reasons behind the other kind of thinking.

There was another Coke commercial, years ago. I don't like Coke -- though I prefer Sprite to 7-Up -- but this one still brings tears.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Reply #31)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:56 AM

34. I also remember that one

From Wikipedia...

The song first aired on American radio on February 12, 1971, but failed. Although many radio stations refused to play it, Backer persuaded McCann-Erickson to film a commercial using the song.[2] The TV commercial, entitled "Hilltop", was directed by Roberto Malenotti.[3] The first attempt at shooting was ruined by rain and other location problems.[4] The eventual total cost of the commercial was $250,000—an unheard of price in 1971 for an advertisement.[2] The finished product, first aired in July 1971, featured a multicultural group of young people lip syncing the song on a hill outside Rome, Italy. The global unity of the singers is emphasized by showing that the bottles of Coke they are holding are labelled in a variety of languages. It became so popular that it was recorded by The New Seekers and by The Hillside Singers as a full-length song and became a hit.

In the mid-1970s, another version of the commercial was filmed for the holiday season. This reworking featured the same song, but showed the group at night, with each person holding a lit white candle. In the final zoom-out crane shot, only the candle flames remain visible, forming a triangle reminiscent of a Christmas tree; this impression is cemented by a Coke-bottle logo superimposed at the top of the "tree", and the words "Happy Holidays from your Coca-Cola bottler" below. This version was reused for many years during the holiday season.

In 1990, a follow-up to this commercial, called "Hilltop Reunion" and directed by Jeff Lovinger, aired during coverage of Super Bowl XXIV. It featured the original singers (now adults) and their children, and culminated in a medley of this song and the then-current "Can't Beat the Real Thing" jingle.[5]

In 2006, the song was used again in a Coca-Cola commercial in the Netherlands.

In 2007, Campaign magazine called it "one of the best-loved and most influential ads in TV history".[6] It served as a milestone—the first instance of the recording industry's involvement with advertising.[7] Marketing analysts have noted Coca-Cola's strategy of marrying the idea of happiness and universal love of the product illustrated by the song.[8][9]

In 2010, Coca-Cola once again used the song in a television commercial featuring the entire line of its sponsored NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers. The commercial included the drivers singing the song while driving in a race. The following year, information on how many dollars it would take "to buy the world a Coke" was given in a commercial featuring the red silhouette of a Coke bottle and the melody of the song.


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Response to DemReadingDU (Reply #34)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:06 AM

42. Now I know what I'm missing

by almost never watching commercial TV the past 20 years!

But I do remember this one. Thanks for the reminder. (Even though some of the costumes are a bit stereotyped, they do convey the message. . . )

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Reply #31)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:00 AM

39. The Pepsi generation

I am soooooooooooo far behind on my day job. Why am I looking up old soft drink commercials? (Catch Bobby Sherman laughing at 00:29)

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Reply #39)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:15 AM

44. What a hoot!

I sure don't recall Bobby Sherman in that commercial, lol!

Hey Demeter - Perhaps some weekend we could do a theme on our favorite commercials (or teen idols)!

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Response to DemReadingDU (Reply #44)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:36 PM

55. I don't qualify on either suggestion


but I could always accept a volunteer (for a weekend off)....hint, hint

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:43 AM

30. HUSSMAN: After The Recent Market Dive, The Market Is Set Up To Tank Some More


n his latest note, fund manager John Hussman says that even after the market decline the market is primed to fall some more.
In mid-September, our estimates of prospective market return/risk dropped to the lowest figure we’ve observed in a century of market history (see Low Water Mark). That week turned out to be the high of the recent bull market, though it’s certainly too early to establish whether that was the ultimate peak. During the recent correction, I’ve noted a modest improvement in our return/risk estimates – which focus on a blended horizon looking out from 2-weeks to about 18-months. However, last week, the stock market experienced some significant damage to internals (breadth, leadership, price/volume measures, etc). As a result, our estimates of prospective return/risk have plunged lower again, to what is now the second most negative figure we’ve observed in a century of data – the September 14, 2012 weekly close of 1465.77 continues to mark the most negative estimate.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/hussman-lopsided-risks-2012-11#ixzz2C12RAe00

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:55 AM

33. Wealth advisers to frantic Republicans: Get a grip



It was a tough week to be a financial adviser to rich Republicans.
Plenty of the wealthy fear President Barack Obama's election victory will lead to another four years of big government, higher taxes on their kind, further big increases in the federal debt, and other policies that could hurt the already limp U.S. economy. Financial advisers say some clients are vowing to emigrate or convert their seven-figure investment accounts into cash. Some say they will bury cash and gold, while others are simply venting by sending profanity-laced emails that predict civil unrest and economic destruction.

"Some of them are inconsolable," said John Burke, chief executive of Iselin, New Jersey-based Burke Financial Strategies, who works mainly with small business owners. "I've never seen people so upset about anything in politics."

The anxiety is hardly universal. Some conservatives say there is no need to be overly apprehensive, since Washington will most likely make a deal about the so-called fiscal cliff - a $600 billion package of spending cuts and tax increases that begins to take effect at the start of 2013. Preventing those measures from coming to pass would boost corporate and consumer confidence, says this more sanguine group. But more than half of the 15 advisers contacted by Reuters said they have clients who are distraught about the economic future of the country.


The advisers themselves, however, are not predicting gloom and doom, though many see reasons for concern, pointing particularly to likely volatility in the markets as Washington wrangles. And Obama has already said that tax hikes on the rich should be part of any attempt to control the government's budget deficit.

"I have clients literally thinking they're going to be growing vegetables in their backyard," said Thomas Fross, who is co-owner of Fross & Fross Wealth Management, located in The Villages, a heavily Republican retirement community in Florida.

Fross said he has received about a dozen calls from spooked clients but thinks there would have been more had he not reached out last week to prepare them for Mitt Romney's potential defeat. When clients want to liquidate their investments entirely into cash, Fross says he reviews their long-term goals and risk tolerance, and reminds them that it is the firm's practice to have clients keep a 12-month emergency fund in cash, plus enough in safe assets - such as short-term bonds - for five years after that. Once the client has enough to cover that six-year safety net, Fross puts the leftover money into more aggressive investments, like stocks. "Any exposure to equities you're not going to see until 2018," he tells the skittish. If the only way clients will sleep at night is if their money is all in tens and twenties, Fross will oblige. He said he has not had to do that yet...Houston-based adviser Scott Tiras, who works for Ameriprise Financial, has clients asking him to "Obama-proof" their accounts and others resolving to move to Costa Rica. His clients each have between $2 million and $3 million invested with him, on average. Last September one of them said he was so afraid of an Obama victory that he wanted to convert $250,000 of his assets into cash and gold so he could bury it in three different places on his ranch. Tiras tried talking him out of it, emphasizing the loss of interest and the risk of damage.

In a flood, "a treasure map doesn't work," Tiras told him.

The client agreed to hold off. When Tiras checked in after the election, the client was too upset to talk about it...

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Response to Demeter (Reply #33)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:27 AM

53. My neighbor...

btw, best next-door neighbor i've ever had, is literally depressed and emotionally upset at Obama's re-election. He's sure that the world will be a harsh place for his kids because of the crushing debt and upcoming higher taxes. Interestingly enough, he and I are not very far apart when you get down to the details but they watch a lot of Faux and it's wreaked havoc on them.

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Response to Roland99 (Reply #53)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:39 PM

57. Which is silly


It's not like Obama was another incarnation of W.

He's much more tepid, and still, more dangerous to the 99% than to any other group. He doesn't learn, doesn't give a damn, and loves to blow things up....wait a minute...

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Response to Roland99 (Reply #53)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 02:15 PM

63. It really amazing ....

how much better I feel since I gave up news. Or even better, being more selective of the news I watch and it's source. I have it in very limited doses and read rather than watch or listen. These people were duped and eventually, they will come out of the spell. I remember those scenes in Cowboys and Aliens where the town folk were kept compliant by looking into the light. I liken Faux News to that hypnotic, intelligence sucking light.

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Response to AnneD (Reply #63)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 03:07 PM

64. Cable/Satellite TV-free since June 2010

don't miss it a bit!

only news I watch on TV is local, or maybe BBC, France 24, or Al Jazeera English off one of the PBS stations I can pick up.

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Response to Roland99 (Reply #64)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 05:19 PM

67. I went off cable when I lost my job in 1984...

I had to cut my expenses drastically in order to survive a very long period of unemployment. I also cut the newspaper, going to the library to job search (this was before internet). I just never went back.

I go to similar places and get my business summary from SWT.

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Response to Roland99 (Reply #53)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 07:27 PM

68. Your best neighbor ever is a torture supporting economic idiot?


Wouldn't want to see your bad neighbors.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:04 AM

41. Pimco-to-DWS See Economy Escaping Cliff as Stocks Fall


The world’s biggest investors say the rout that erased $1 trillion from the value of global equities after President Barack Obama was re-elected overlooks the fact that the world economy is improving while U.S. leaders start discussions that may avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.

Money managers at firms overseeing more than $8 trillion said investor concern that the U.S. economy will slow as Obama and Congress fail to avert $607 billion in tax increases and spending cuts next year are overblown. U.S. stocks had the biggest weekly decline since June while yields on Treasuries fell to two-month lows and gold advanced the most since September.

From jobs to housing, and from consumer confidence to international trade, U.S. data show the world’s largest economy is strengthening. In China, the second-largest, exports rose about 10 percent in both October and September from a year before, up from gains of less than 3 percent the prior two months. Companies worldwide from the most creditworthy to the neediest are borrowing in capital markets at the second-fastest pace on record and at the cheapest rates ever.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:22 AM

46. Could Economic Growth Kill Us?


Now that the U.S. presidential election is over, attention has turned to the challenge of keeping the world’s largest economy growing. The underlying assumption is that growth is always the proper goal.

What if that assumption were wrong? Given our current economic malaise, and the obvious needs of the poor in developing nations, growth may be the only sensible aim in the short term. But what if, in the very long term, economic growth had some natural limit, beyond which it actually became detrimental to the survival of the human race?

This idea has been treated as heresy every time it has been raised, first by Thomas Malthus two centuries ago, and again by the famous Limits to Growth analysis initiated in the 1970s by the Club of Rome think tank. Yet heresies have at times turned out to be true. And this one has some pretty good logic on its side.

The argument takes many forms, but for me the most convincing centers on energy. Nothing in physics is more fundamental. The “E” of Einstein’s famous E=mc2 is the vital quantity behind all action and motion. It is never created or destroyed, it merely changes form. The energy in Hurricane Sandy hasn’t vanished. It has transmogrified into destroyed buildings, felled trees, and vast quantities of heat -- released by rains - - spread across the eastern U.S.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:33 AM

47. Americans Say Europe Lesson Means Act Now as Austerity Will Fail


When the housing bubble burst in 2006, U.S. policy makers looked to Japan for clues about what to do -- and not do -- in response. Now their attention is shifting to Europe as America gets set to follow that region with a concerted attack on its budget deficit.

Among the lessons being drawn: Don’t put off budget action until the financial markets demand it. Big, immediate cuts aren’t always the best way to reduce deficits. And central bankers should be ready to try to offset the economic impact of any fiscal contraction.

“The lesson of Europe is, don’t wait until you’re in a crisis to act. Do it now,” said Alice Rivlin, the founding director of the Congressional Budget Office in Washington. “The other lesson is that austerity is not a good prescription for weak economies.”

The stock market would benefit if the U.S. avoids the year- end so-called fiscal cliff and reaches a deal to put the deficit on a downward path, said Jack Ablin, who helps oversee about $65 billion of assets as chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank in Chicago.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #47)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:41 PM

58. Wrong lessons learned, as usual


Professor Roosevelt, could you come to the lecture podium?

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:41 AM

48. Police union to support officers who refuse to carry out evictions{spain}


The suicide of a Basque woman just minutes before she was to be kicked out of her foreclosed home has led to a temporary freeze on all evictions by Kutxabank, a merger of three Basque banks. Another regional lender, Caja Laboral Ipar Kutxa, previously decided to do the same.

Public protests against the banks grew in intensity on Friday, after Amaya Egaña's death was reported by the media. Thousands of people took part in a spontaneous march in Barakaldo, the town where the former Socialist councilor lived, and over the weekend several bank branch offices were spray-painted with the word "Murderers."

In a two-paragraph press release, Kutxabank chairman Mario Fernández said he had "issued instructions for the [bank] to immediately suspend all eviction procedures" until new information emerges on mortgage legislation reform being hammered out jointly by the ruling Popular Party and the opposition Socialists.

But Banco Popular chairman Ángel Ron warned that a legislative change would end up "rewarding" defaulters, harming the majority of mortgagees who pay religiously, and hindering economic recovery.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:44 AM

49. Regions prepare for biggest cost cutting in democratic history{good luck, spain}


en out of the 17 regional governments have presented their 2013 budgets, which reveal desperate efforts to make more cuts on top of those made last year and the year before that.

Their combined efforts manage an average six percent reduction over 2012 budgets, in what is clearly the greatest effort to contain costs in Spain's democratic history.

These 10 regions, which include debt-ridden Valencia and Castilla-La Mancha, will have a joint 6.7 billion euros less to spend. The goal is to achieve the regional deficit target of 0.7 percent of GDP set by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in July.

Spain's regions have been under increasing international scrutiny because of what is now widely perceived as careless spending during the boom years. Even if the part of the national deficit that is controlled by Madrid is brought down, analysts note that the regions contribute a fair share to the overall figure, and must be brought in check for Spain to meet its EU targets.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:47 AM

50. Not Just on the Fringes Far-Right Attitudes Increase in Germany


As Germany continues to grapple with the fallout of the discovery of the murderous far-right terrorist group the National Socialist Underground (NSU), researchers have come to the "unsettling" conclusion that right-wing extremist thought has increased in the country.

Just last week, federal prosecutors formally charged the last surviving member of the neo-Nazi NSU, which is suspected of committing 10 murders, two bomb attacks and 15 armed robberies in the last 12 years. The case shocked Germany when it broke last year, bringing the issue of right-wing extremism to the forefront of public debate. Though some argue that it exists only on the fringes of society, the researchers behind the study released on Monday conclude that these attitudes are widespread throughout Germany.

Starting in 2006, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, which has ties to the center-left Social Democratic Party, began publishing "Movement in the Middle," a series of bi-annual nationwide surveys the organization calls a "barometer of current anti-democratic attitudes in Germany." Since the publication of the last results in 2010, the foundation has registered an increase of right-wing extremist attitudes from 8.2 to 9 percent across the country, with xenophobia found to be the most prevalent manifestation, a prejudice held by 25.1 percent of the population. The development demands attention, the researchers say.

"Action at all levels -- whether it is in education work, the media, civil society or democratic parties -- is urgently needed," the report says. "Because the approval that right-wing extremist messages receive within the German population is unsettling for a number of reasons."

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:50 AM

51. Troika Delivers 'Positive' Report on Greece


The inspectors of the troika, made up of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, have finally presented their report on Greece and the head of the Euro Group of euro zone finance ministers, Jean-Claude Juncker, said it was "positive."

Arriving in Brussels for Euro Group talks later in the day, Juncker said the ministers received the report on Sunday night and that it "is positive in its fundamental tone because the Greeks really delivered. Now it is for us to deliver." He said the ministers would check the report in detail and that he couldn't give a final verdict on it because he was still reading it.

The Euro Group meeting comes after the Greek parliament passed an austerity budget for 2013 late on Sunday and a structural reform package last Wednesday, meeting the conditions for the release of the next €31.5 billion tranche of euro-zone aid. Athens' 2013 budget includes cuts of almost €10 billion.

But various officials said the money will not be released yet, despite the vote. "I am impressed by Greece's recent performance. Greece is on track to meet its commitments step by step," Juncker told reporters in Brussels. "There won't be any definitive decisions today, but I think the general feeling is that we would like the next disbursement to done in the most efficient way possible."

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:18 AM

52. Management theory was hijacked in the 80s. We're still suffering the fallout


'Managers abandoned their previous policy of retaining and reinvesting profits in favour of large dividend and share buyback payouts to shareholders.' Photograph: David Karp/AP

This week the City has been congratulating itself on 20 years of UK corporate governance codes. Since the original Cadbury document in 1992, the UK has basked in its role as governance leader, with 70 other countries having followed its example and adopted similar guidelines.

There's just one problem: is it the right kind of governance? The day the FT carried the story, Incomes Data Services reported that FTSE 100 boardroom pay went up by a median 10% last year, a soaraway trend that the best code in the world has complacently overseen. Nor could it prevent the RBS meltdown, Libor or PPI mis-selling to the tune of £12bn, the biggest rip-off in financial history. It didn't stop phone-hacking or BP taking short cuts. It has sanctioned wholesale offloading of risk, whether individual (pensions, careers) or collective (global and financial warming) on to society, while rejecting any responsibility of its own except to shareholders.

So jerry-built is the corporate economy erected on the scaffolding of the City codes that it can no longer deliver even the material progress by which it justifies its privileges: even with a return to growth, living standards for lower and middle earners may be no higher in 2020 than in 2000, according to the Resolution Foundation. The truth is that UK corporate governance has neither headed off major scandal nor nurtured effective long-term management. In fact the opposite is true.

The irony is that we know what makes companies prosper in the long term. They manage themselves as whole systems, look after their people, use targets and incentives with extreme caution, keep pay differentials narrow (we really are in this together) and treat profits as the score rather than the game. And it's a given that in the long term companies can't thrive unless they have society's interests at heart along with their own.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #52)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:43 PM

59. They don't retain or invest in their employees, either.


So what else is new? They should not be surprised when the markets decide their corporations are equally disposable.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 01:57 PM

61. Spain suspends house evictions for two years

Spanish banks are to suspend evictions for the next two years for the most vulnerable people.

An estimated 350,000 families have been evicted from their homes since Spain's property market crashed in 2008, at the beginning of the economic crisis.

The announcement comes three days after a woman in northern Spain took her own life, just before she was due to be evicted from her home.

It is not clear how they will decide who the most vulnerable people are.

The announcement came from the Spanish banking association, AEB.

/... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20299384

Edit: Sorry, this should be attached to #48.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 03:36 PM

65. In other news


temperature's dropping like a stone out here...down to 39F from a morning 53F.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 04:09 PM

66. The justifications for cutting SS etc have already started


It's plain that some around here (site, not thread) have jumped straight to step three. I'm getting out of here for today after this post - have already been enraged enough to engage outside our little ghetto over here and am already regretting it. I know Greenwald is under the bus for huge swaths of the populace around DU, so am only quoting the relevant step.

From Liberal Victory to Disempowerment in Six Easy Steps
Obama and Progressives: What Will Liberals Do with Their Big Election Victory?
by Glenn Greenwald

STEP THREE: Many progressives – ones who are not persuaded that these cuts are less than draconian or defensible on the merits – will nonetheless begin to view them with resignation and acquiescence on pragmatic grounds. Obama has no real choice, they will insist, because he must reach a deal with the crazy, evil GOP to save the economy from crippling harm, and the only way he can do so is by agreeing to entitlement cuts. It is a pragmatic necessity, they will insist, and anyone who refuses to support it is being a purist, unreasonably blind to political realities, recklessly willing to blow up Obama's second term before it even begins.

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Response to bread_and_roses (Reply #66)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:13 PM

69. Number 6 has already been speculated about. Trial baloon?

Treasury Secretary Erskine Bowles?

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