CalPERS Still Owns Toxic National Enquirer Via Hedge Fund Chatham; CEO Marcie Frost Falsely Says It Was Sold; Columbia Journalism Review Depicts Pending Sale as a Sham

When is a sale not a sale? 1. When it hasn’t closed 2. When the sale is so heavily subsidized as to be questionable Both look applicable with the still-not-consummated “sale” of the National Enquirer, as confirmed in a well-reported story, Bad Romance, at the Columbia Journalism Review, which went live in late November. As […]

Why the UK Needs a Financial Transaction Tax

Yves here. On the one hand, this article clears up some popular, and in many cases, lobbyist-propagated misconceptions about a transaction tax. Oddly, it fails to make the most important argument in their favor: that more and more studies are finding that outsized financial sectors are bad for growth, and that secondary market trading (as […]

J.D Alt: The People’s Money (Part 4)

Yves here. This post introduces the touchy topic that a Green New Deal level mobilization of resources looks like it will create more spending power than a resource-constrained planet can support. J.D. Alt leaves readers cliffhanging but promises that he’s got an answer for this “money” or more accurately, fiscal spending problem in his next […]

Links 12/3/19

Reptiles Known as ‘Living Rocks’ Show Surprising Cognitive Powers Nature Fire Blight Spreads Northward, Threatening Apple Orchards New York Times Reusable plastic shopping bags are actually making the problem worse, not better Quartz (resilc) Apostrophe society shuts down because ‘ignorance and laziness have won’ London Evening Standard If there is one reason for this is […]

Private Equity’s Uninvested “Dry Powder” and Falling Returns Reflect a Bigger Problem: The End of a Long Term Disinflationary Tail Wind

The press is finally becoming skeptical of private equity’s claims that it generates superior returns, demonstrated by a Monday Wall Street Journal story, Private-Equity Cash Piles Up as Takeover Targets Get Pricier1 and a Bloomberg article yesterday, ‘Peak’ Private-Equity Fears Are Spreading Across Pension World. This follows a Mark Hulbert piece in MarketWatch, whose title […]

An Introduction to the State of Energy Storage in the U.S.

Yves here. This piece on batteries and other energy storage approaches covers quite a lot of ground in a relatively short space. Notice in particular its discussion of projected growth in demand….which only reinforces my view that what we need most is radical conservation, but that is highly unlikely until it is forced upon us […]

Hubert Horan Discusses Uber on Harry Shearer’s Le Show

I am kicking myself for not having let readers know in advance that Hubert Horan was appearing on Harry Shearer’s Le Show on Sunday. But you can listen now, via this link. Harry excels at asking simple-seeming but sophisticated questions (and making his interviewees look good too). Here he  focuses on the key elements of […]

What This Election Proves Is the Need for Epoch Making Change

Yves here. In a recent talk, political scientist Mark Blyth described how past breakdowns in economic policy regimes led to radical change: The gold standard produced the Great Depression, and the Post World War II social democratic era with strong social safety nets and a policy emphasis on creating full employment went off the rails […]

America’s War Exceptionalism Is Killing the Planet

By William Astore, a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF) and history professor. His personal blog is Bracing Views. Originally published at TomDispatch Ever since 2007, when I first started writing for TomDispatch, I’ve been arguing against America’s forever wars, whether in Afghanistan, Iraq, or elsewhere. Unfortunately, it’s no surprise that, despite my more than 60 articles, […]

Links 11/30/19

Inside Dubai’s $10 million camel hospital CNN Study Reveals Music’s Universal Patterns Across Societies Worldwide Reuters Is virtue signalling a perversion of morality? Aeon (Dr. Kevin) Queen’s Brian May Joins ESA’s Comet Interceptor Group, and That’s Dr. Brian May Interesting Engineering (Chuck L) The First Narco Submarine Ever Seized Off A European Coast Is A […]

What’s Behind the Subprime Consumer Loan Implosion?

Yves here. Note that the deterioration in subprime loan repayments is at odds with cheery stories at Bloomberg like Even Low Earners Have Money to Spend. By Wolf Richter, editor of Wolf Street. Originally published at Wolf Street This is the transcript from my podcast last Sunday, THE WOLF STREET REPORT: OK, we’ve got a […]

Neoliberalism and Climate Change

By Juliet Schor, professor of sociology at Boston College and author of numerous books, including The Overworked American (1991), The Overspent American (1997), and True Wealth (2011). From the text of a speech presented at the 45th anniversary celebration for Dollars & Sense, which maintains Triple Crisis blog, on November 14 at the Nonprofit Center […]

Links 11/28/19

Happy Turkey Day! Police Hilariously Ask for ‘Thoughts and Prayers’ After Responding to Spilled Krispy Kreme Delivery People (resilc) How to Organize Your Friends and Family on Thanksgiving Jacobin. Chuck L was very keen about this piece, but I have to confess hate it. It’s another face of the DCCC piece dispensing Thanksgiving talking points. […]

Thanksgiving Alone

When I went to the gym yesterday, I asked the Lisa, a late 50s-ish woman at the front desk with whom I’ve chatted a bit, if she was cooking for Thanksgiving or other people were cooking for her. She gave a wan smile. “Neither. It’s just me. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ll probably […]

BBVA Compass Branch Manager Retaliates Against Elderly Customer Via Trying to Have State Agency Deem Her Incompetent on Fabricated Grounds

Even in the world of all-too-common bank abuses, some acts are completely beyond the pale. As the correspondence below shows, BBVA Compass branch manager (more formally, “Vice President and Branch Retail Executive”) Jarred Edwards tried to intimidate and discredit my mother via an utterly unheard of and unwarranted gambit, namely, instigating an unannounced home visit […]

The Privatized Internet — Entire .ORG Domain Registry Sold to Investment Equity Firm “Ethos Capital”; Registration Fee Restrictions Removed

Yves here. Yet more privatization of the commons….this one via private equity playing rentier with domain names. By Thomas Neuberger. Originally published at DownWithTyranny! Cover of a 2015 book glorifying the privatization of the Internet via “a unique and vibrant interplay between government and private industry.” Nothing dollarable is safe. The love of money is […]

Repo Madness: Fed Plumbing Gone Awry

Yves here. I’m going to have to read this post carefully a couple of times to be able to make a short, high level summary, but it does confirm one of my “I know it’s true but I can’t prove it,” theories. In this case, it’s that the Fed moving to using interest on reserves […]

Links 11/26/19

Canine exceptionalism Aeon Storms in France, Greece and Italy leave ‘biblical destruction’ Guardian Quantum Experiment Sees Two Versions Of Reality Existing At The Same Time IFL Science (Chuck L) Are electric vehicles really so climate friendly? Guardian (David L) Scientific Breakthrough: MIT Solves Two Huge Energy Problems OilPrice Science Can Now Find You With Just […]

Financing a Global Green New Deal: System Change Needed

Please extend a warm welcome to Lynn Fries, a former producer for The Real News Network whose beat was global political economy. She’s produced an independent segment under her banner, GPEnewsdocs, which she is graciously allowing Naked Capitalism to release first, which is an exciting development. Please share this interview and give her helpful feedback. […]

A New Pipeline Could Undo America’s Influence In Asia

By Simon Watkins, a former senior FX trader and salesman, financial journalist, and best-selling author. Originally published at OilPrice From the moment that the U.S. re-imposed sanctions in earnest on Iran late last year, Pakistan has been looking at ways to resuscitate a deal that had been agreed in principle before the U.S. unilaterally withdrew […]

The China Cables: Leaked Classified Chinese Documents Confirm China Running Massive Concentration Camps to “Re-educate” Uighurs

Oddly, a blockbuster leak based on classified Chinese government documents confirm charges that large-scale prison camps in the Xinjiang region use extreme regimentation and torture to turn its Muslim population, the Uighur, into the functional equivalent of Han Chinese, is not getting prominent play in most Western newspapers even though the number incarcerated may exceed […]

Are Evidence-Based Decisions Impossible in Politics?

Yves here. Even though the author unwittingly demonstrates the very syndrome he is lamenting in his set-up regarding Trump (a President actually has to have done something bad in office before he can be impeached, and you need enough Congresscritters in the House and Senate to be of that view for it to take place), […]

Links 11/23/19

On the Farm London Review of Books. On animal sentience. Left in Car on Its Own, Florida Dog Shifts Into Reverse and Drives in Circles for an Hour DailyBeast (David L) Give Bees A Chance: Ailing Honeybee Populations May Soon Get A Booster Of Healing Fungi Forbes (David L). I hate the word “healing” but […]

Making Sense of Bolivia’s Discontent

Yves here. The reporting on politics in Bolivia and the developments that led to the ouster of Evo Morales has generally been poor. This post argues that Boliva’s dependence on energy exports to support its redistribution policies put Morales in a tenuous position. By Alke Jenss, a senior research fellow at Arnold-Bergstraesser Institute in Freiburg, […]

Health Care Dysfunction Makes it to the Presidential Debate

Yves here. We’ve been republishing posts from Health Care Renewal for a very long time, but the recap below of the many causes of health care industry dysfunction is staggering. There is a lot of work that needs to be done. By Roy Poses, MD, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Brown University, and the […]

US Medical Data Security Gets Worse 2 Months After Expose of Hundreds of Millions of Images, Related Patient Info Open on the Internet

In September, ProPublica selectively vetted and publicized the findings of an international study by the German company Greenbone Networks which found widespread and serious deficiencies in the protection of patient medical images, like MRIs, CAT scans, and mammograms and related patient data (identifiers like name, data of birth, Social Security number) all over the world. […]

On TV, Political Ads Are Regulated – But Online, Anything Goes

Yves here. This is a useful primer on the restrictions on TV advertising in the US. Of course, Americans being Americans, there’s no mention of how other countries regulate political advertisements and in particular, what if anything they are doing about Internet ads. For instance, I recall in Australia that any politician (I believe if […]

‘Destroyer of Newspapers’ Vulture Fund Buys Majority Stake at Tribune Publishing

Yves here. This is so sad and appears to have gone under the radar due to the impeachment hearings and Democratic party dominating the news yesterday. So many newspapers disappearing or becoming pale shadows of their former selves. By Andrea Germanos, staff writer. Originally published at Common Dreams  (Photo: Rachel Kramer/flickr/cc) Journalists sounded the alarm […]

Links 11/21/19

Owner reunited with cat found 1,200 miles from Portland home BBC This is the heartbreaking moment an injured koala emerged from fire grounds west of Port Macquarie. Thankfully, the animal was quickly bundled up by a passing stranger, given water and taken to a local vet. #9News Read more: https://t.co/pkc0EFaPgm pic.twitter.com/Taka21IDJO — Nine News Australia […]

Wolf Richter: The Fed Slaps Down Negative Interest Rates

Yves here. The Fed revealing officially that it is opposed to negative interest rates should not come as news, since we’ve been saying that looks to be the case for years and we are hardly the most plugged-in Fed-watchers. It’s been clear even if no one will admit to it that the central bank recognizes […]

“The UN Is Being Turned into a Public-Private Partnership”: Harris Gleckman Explains Stealth Takeover by World Economic Forum

Yves here. It is exciting to see Lynn Fries, a Geneva-based film-maker that we know from her days at The Real News Network, featuring important stories independently. OpenDemocracy presented this segment, on the corporate infiltration of the UN, and hence international governance. Lynn speaks with Harris Gleckman, Senior Fellow at the Center for Governance and […]

How Neoliberal Thinkers Spawned Monsters They Never Imagined

By Lynn Parramore, Senior Research Analyst at the Institute for New Economic Thinking. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website Political theorist Wendy Brown’s latest book, In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Antidemocratic Politics in the West, traces the intellectual roots of neoliberalism and reveals how an anti-democratic project unleashed […]

Links 11/20/19

Feral Horses Helping Restore Butterfly Habitat Ecowatch (Glenn F) This is a picture of a stag found yesterday on the West Coast of Jura, covered in plastic from the beach. #notoplastic #wildsideofjura pic.twitter.com/Bz4aYY9gSE — wildsideofjura (@wildsideofjura) November 14, 2019 Global heating supercharging Indian Ocean climate system Guardian (resilc) People Are Having Sex With 3D Avatars […]

Under Swollen Tides, Venice Says More About Our Future Than Our Past

Yves here. Venice illustrates a problem that climate change will force individuals and societies to confront: What will we try to save, and what will we decide, deliberately or via neglect, to sacrifice? And this isn’t just our cultural legacy, but cities, populations, even species. From a related post on Venice at Grist: Saltwater rushed […]