• From this post, I suss out that the Dems are about to commit political suicide, and help make the federal government increasingly irrelevant and despised.

    How that translates to ‘reform’ escapes me entirely.
    And on top of the DoJ lack of going after the banks breaking earlier this week, it is almost stupifying to watch a blunder of this magnitude.

  • readerOfTeaLeaves commented on the diary post Elite Democrats Act Like Losers by masaccio.

    2012-11-13 10:09:23View | Delete

    Okay, I admit it. I hit “Robert Rubin” and just started giggling.

    The New York Times resurrected the execrable Robert Rubin, author of deregulation, to tell the elites to support the plutocrat position: deficits must be cut, so they must cut benefits to tens of millions of Obama supporters.

    Ruh-roh, Rubinistas! Way to create a giant [...]

  • readerOfTeaLeaves commented on the diary post David Brooks Is Worried About Non-Existent Economic Crises by Dean Baker.

    2012-11-13 10:03:25View | Delete

    Also, between 1947 and 2007, for the first half of that period the US had much higher personal and corporate tax rates. Tax havens, a tax code riddled with loopholes, and the Greenspan Put didn’t enter the picture until after the 1970s, and lo and behold we’ve had increasing financial crises after those factors came [...]

  • readerOfTeaLeaves and PictureOldFatGuy are now friends

    2012-06-11 09:54:04View | Delete
  • readerOfTeaLeaves commented on the blog post Emptywheel Leaving Firedoglake

    2011-07-12 08:31:14View | Delete

    Look forward to a deeper slower pace. Frankly I can’t keep up here—haven’t been able to for a long time.

    Roger that…!

  • readerOfTeaLeaves commented on the blog post No Wonder They Hired Andy Coulson

    2011-07-11 15:01:42View | Delete

    As of 3:55 pm PST, Financial Times has a front page OpEd that “Murdock’s BSkyB deal is dead in the water”

    Here’s hoping ;-)

  • IIRC, the video phred recommends mentions that the Murdock execs flew to India to insist that emails be deleted from the server, which was located in India.

    Whoever controlled the server said, ‘no dice’.
    Good on them.

    On an unrelated note, not mentioned that I’ve seen at UK, but I think of interest to eWheelies, in Nicholas Shaxson’s fabulous book “Treasure Islands”, he specifically mentions how Murdock uses tax havens as a competitive advantage.

    Tax havens are key to how Murdock was able to ‘outcompete’ his competitors. His competitors paid (at least their share of) taxes, whereas Murdock used tax havens — one gets the impression that tax havens must be core to his ‘business strategy’. How else do you created and sell that tabloid stuff and ‘outcompete’ your competitors?

    If they are paying taxes, but you are sending that money offshore and then using accounting tricks and buying loopholes in the tax codes to further concentrate your wealth, then you build up a lot of (economic, social, political) power.

  • That video should be all over the globe.

    What this says about Rebecca Brooks (either vile or incompetent, or both), what this says about Cameron and his party, what this says about Murdock — and what it says about the cops — is reprehensible.

    Family of dead teenager doesn’t know she’s dead because NoW employees are deleting her voice mails?! Hard to get your head around.

    I figure Murdock wants the NoW as a legal, corporate entity shut down as soon as possible for reasons of legal positioning and liability.

  • readerOfTeaLeaves commented on the blog post Arsonists Versus Hostage-Takers

    2011-07-07 14:47:41View | Delete

    I’ve read Synoia’s comments for a few years now, and whoever comments as Synoia has struck me more than once as flat brilliant.

    ‘Anarchist’s don’t get to define for themselves what they are.
    This word does have a range of meanings.
    To me, it is associated with nihilism, with the kind of ‘let’s take everyone down with us because we can’t have our cake and eat it, too’ tyrannical thinking that is associated with Hitler and extremists everywhere.

    My meaning of ‘anarchist’ may not be the same as Synoia’s, but I’m not going to dismiss what that person writes at FDL. Ever.
    I’ve read too many insightful comments by this person.


    As for the post, it’s brilliant.
    This is exactly the dynamic: hostage takers vs arsonists, that best describes what has happened.

    And government leaves the society in the grip of these extremists with their expedient, short-term views.

  • Yes. Around here, we call that digging and trolling in the weeds. It is what works; not torture.


    And congrats to the CIA group.

  • One way to take useless capital out of circulation is to tax it and use the proceeds to build public goods. That creates jobs and infrastructure and public assets like parks and bridges. It won’t even hurt: once you get past a certain amount of capital, it’s all virtual anyway.

    Or, you could do nothing, in which case we are doomed to be serfs for those people who own the vast majority of the $60 trillion.

    But in 2008, the world population shifted – for the first time in human history – to more urbanization than rural populations.

    So all these Keynes-haters and ignoramouses would be a bit smarter to ask themselves how these economic theories worked out for the Mubarak clan? How’d they work out for the Ben Ali family in Tunesia? Because although those nations and their economies were not synonymous with the US, the neoclassical underpinnings of economic beliefs that allows that kind of concentration in a rapidly urbanizing world that is facing resource scarcity is so stupid it really is breathtaking.

    I think that I’ll go short on neoliberalist economics.
    And long on sci fi.

  • Yes, but look at what that link to the Nation article (linked in the post) points out:

    Warren and the CFPB are up against what she estimates to be a $3 trillion consumer financial services industry, which views the bureau as a potentially grave threat to its prosperity. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, 156 groups—the vast majority representing corporate interests—lobbied the government about the CFPB in the second half of 2010 and the first quarter of 2011.

    According to Eliot Spitzer, the FIRE sector spent over $62,000,000 last year alone in lobbying.

    But I’ve been following the news feeds, and this has really become interesting.

    I now think of Elizabeth Warren as kind of an ‘Arab Spring’ of finance. If you look at the groups publicly putting up statements in support of her nomination this week, you have the nation’s Credit Unions, Consumer Affairs, and smaller local banks coalescing in her favor in a way that wasn’t happening even a week ago.

    The banksters are like American Mubaraks: clueless and deep in denial.

    While the Wall Streeters and financiers are deep in denial and their GOP toadies are holding more hearings, other interested, affected interests are putting up public support that was not evident even a week ago.

  • readerOfTeaLeaves commented on the diary post Five Senators, three communication eras: Desktop, Internet, Mobile by readerOfTeaLeaves.

    2011-05-29 20:56:46View | Delete

    Yeah, I defy even Tolstoy to come up with some of those linkages. Life seems to be stranger than fiction in parts of this timeline.

  • readerOfTeaLeaves commented on the diary post The $62,905,312 Smear of Elizabeth Warren by readerOfTeaLeaves.

    2011-05-28 18:40:10View | Delete

    Appreciate the kind words.
    I think McHenry needs a lot more exposure.

  • readerOfTeaLeaves wrote a new diary post: The $62,905,312 Smear of Elizabeth Warren

    2011-05-25 22:26:16View | Delete

    Where did I get that $62,905,312 figure?  From an article by Elliot Spitzer, surmising why the bankers — and their attack dogs in Congress — are so determined to smear Elizabeth Warren: Spitzer: Why are Republicans giving Elizabeth Warren such a hard time? According to Spitzer:

    “…financial, insurance and real estate institutions, according to one study, spent [...]

  • Second – and the point about the U.S. illustrates this – the world’s biggest tax havens aren’t so much small Caribbean islands as big OECD states: apart from the US and UK, I’d also highlight Luxembourg, Switzerland (of course,) and Ireland. Cayman ranks up there too. Delaware is important as a tax haven in its own right. Once we understand this, we begin to understand all sorts of things – such as why the world’s most powerful institutions (and countries) have been so lax in tackling offshore finance.

    For me, this was one of the most useful concepts in the book, although there are many, many others as well.

  • I‘ve left this snippet on EW threads in the past, but it seems particularly apt in view of the comments @7:

    The key players behind the redirection are Vice-President Dick Cheney, the deputy national-security adviser Elliott Abrams, the departing Ambassador to Iraq (and nominee for United Nations Ambassador), Zalmay Khalilzad, and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi national-security adviser. While Rice has been deeply involved in shaping the public policy, former and current officials said that the clandestine side has been guided by Cheney.

    . Saudi money was involved in what became known as the Iran-Contra scandal, and a few of the players back then—notably Prince Bandar and Elliott Abrams—are involved in today’s dealings.
    Iran-Contra was the subject of an informal “lessons learned” discussion two years ago among veterans of the scandal. Abrams led the discussion. One conclusion was that even though the program was eventually exposed, it had been possible to execute it without telling Congress. As to what the experience taught them, in terms of future covert operations, the participants found: “One, you can’t trust our friends. Two, the C.I.A. has got to be totally out of it. Three, you can’t trust the uniformed military, and four, it’s got to be run out of the Vice-President’s office”—a reference to Cheney’s role, the former senior intelligence official said.

  • If an economic risk is worth taking, it will be run without the artificial incentive of a tax subsidy. If it’s not, it might be run anyway because the tax subsidy appears to lower the risk.

    Great point.

    One of the things that I really appreciate about Shaxson’s book is how he demonstrates that tax havens completely upend and expose as complete nonsense talk about ‘market efficiencies.’ Market efficiencies cannot, and do not, occur with so much artificial mumboJumbo and currency conversions.

    Tim Geithner, Paul Ryan, and Hank Paulson are going to **hate** this book. I’m betting that Bruce Bartlett, Robert Reich, and James Galbraith I think will probably all give it a gold star of approval, but that’s just a guess on my part ;-)
    Yves has been really complimentary about it ;-)

  • In case anyone reading this thread missed the news a week or so ago about the b-b-b-billions Wachovia laundered for Mexican drug cartels, it’s just mind boggling. Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism also covered it, although what I saw of the US press didn’t seem to highlight it very much.

    Interesting to see how the timelines for the money laundering probably helped pump up the housing bubble. And it was after the money laundering began that the violence increased.

    Wachovia was bought by Wells Fargo, FWIW.

    So among those objecting to legalizing drugs there are probably some banksters who prefer to extort fees from their … ‘services’ regarding currency transfers.


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