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« November 2011 | Main | January 2012 »

Why Does Iran Think It Can Get Away with a Blockade?

"If they impose sanctions on Iran's oil exports, then even one drop of oil cannot flow from the Strait of Hormuz," says Iran's first vice president, Mohammad-Reza Rahimi, as quoted in The New York Times. According to the same article, about a fifth of the world's oil flows through the Straits. Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and UAE all border on the Persian Gulf which would be bottled up by the threatened Iranian blockade.

So why does Iran think it can get away with that massive threat to both its neighbors and the Western economies dependent on this flow of oil. Let me count the reasons:

  1. The US and Saudi Arabia have done nothing but grumble after uncovering an Iranian plot to blow up the Saudi ambassador in Washington.
  2. The world has, of yet, taken no effective action against Iran's growing nuclear program.
  3. The US once allowed Iran to hold its embassy personnel hostage for longer than a year.
  4. Bands of ragtag Somali pirates continue hijacking ships – including oil tankers – despite patrols by NATO and other navies.
  5. We continue to allow the payment of ransom for hijacked ships instead of recapturing them by force.
  6. Some NATO countries (but not the US) play catch and release with pirates.
  7. Despite some US progress towards independence from Middle East oil, the President can't bring himself to approve the XL Pipeline, accelerate drilling offshore in the lower 48 or in Alaska, or accelerate safe recovery of our vast natural gas resources (subsidies aren't needed, just intelligent regulation).
  8. "Mr. Obama, his aides acknowledge, has no interest in seeing energy prices rise significantly at a moment of national economic weakness or as he intensifies his bid for re-election — a vulnerability the Iranians fully understand." –from the NYT article.

The article also says "In recent interviews, Obama administration officials have said that the United States has developed a plan to keep the strait open in the event of a crisis." I hope that's true. Presumably US and NATO warships will accompany tankers through the Straits. Hopefully Iran would back off in that case. But what if they miscalculate? We can't afford to be bluffing. The Straits is narrow and would be effectively blocked for a while by any wreckage. It can be reached by missiles fired from deep in Iran. The West would win eventually but better to avoid the dangers of Iranian miscalculation.

Here are a few suggestions for avoiding miscalculation:

  1. Have NATO's navies finish their efforts against Somali pirates in order to concentrate on patrol in and near the Straits. Finishing means ending piracy by forbidding payment of further ransom and freeing the ships now being held hostage by force immediately. Until the pirates realize they have no options and that it is too dangerous for them to harm hostages, freeing these ships will probably involve some small loss of life; I don't say that lightly. But there will be more lives lost if hostage-taking continues to be rewarded. And many more lives lost if we have to go to war with Iran to keep the Straits open because Iranians confuse our forbearance towards pirates with weakness.
  2. Put NATO ships on conspicuous station in or near the Straits; don't allow Iranian ships to come near them; and put Iran on notice that missile tests during this crisis they've provoked are too dangerous to allow and so all known launch sites will be destroyed in the event of any launch.
  3. Take the steps approved by the Senate in a 100-0 vote to cut off companies which do business with Iran's Central Bank (this makes it very hard for Iran to sell its oil).
  4. Approve the XL Pipeline and other projects which make North American oil and natural gas readily available.
  5. Republican presidential contenders, who have generally taken a hard line on Iran, should announce that they will NOT politically attack the President when oil prices rise as a result of these tensions so long as we are taking speedy steps towards energy independence.

If we convince Iran that it can't threaten us with blockade, they may even realize they have to back off on nuclear weapons. On the other hand, if they think their threats deterred action against their oil exports, imagine what their threats'll be once they have a couple of nuclear bombs.

The Inconvenient Recovery

The US economy is improving. This improvement is inconvenient for both major political parties so it isn't getting much attention or credit. The improvement is slow – but might be faster if it got the recognition it deserves since improvement depends on consumer and business confidence.

The facts are that unemployment is coming down at an accelerating rate despite continued reduction in the government sector. The significant four week average for new unemployment claims is down. Consumer sales are up over last year. Inventories are still lean. Personal balance sheets are much more balanced than they were before the recession. Housing prices may finally have stabilized with the needle pointing right at affordable – especially with prevailing very low interest rates. The balance sheets of large corporations are stuffed with investable cash. The price of oil – always important to the American economy - has slid way off its highs and may have further to fall. Meanwhile abundant American natural gas is keeping a lid on electricity prices and creating jobs in both extractive and energy-dependent manufacturing businesses; some jobs are even coming back from China. Farmers are making scads of money. The rest of the world has apparently decided that the US is the best of a bad lot and is parking its money here, keeping our interest rates down and potentially making more capital available to invest.

So how come this isn't good news?

Well, if you're a partisan Republican it means that the Obama Administration hasn't completely wrecked the economy and he might even be able to run for reelection in an upturn – perish the thought; he'll certainly take credit for it if it happens. Moreover, how can you say you won't close tax loopholes for the very rich in this "struggling economy" if the economy isn't struggling?

If you're a partisan Democrat how do you argue that even more stimulus and government spending is needed when the economy inconveniently began to recover once Stimulus had run its course? How do you argue against tighter restrictions on collecting unemployment insurance if jobs are again available (I know that they're not readily available for everyone at every skill level everywhere)? How do you argue that we can't cut public sector jobs when the private sector is doing such a good job of taking up the job-creation slack?

If you're at the Federal Reserve, what is your excuse for continuing to manufacture profits for too-big-to-fail banks when a recovery is happening despite the facts that these banks are also too big to lend to small businesses and that large business have plenty of liquidity of their own.

It must be that I imbibed too much holiday cheer. How dare there be a recovery now?

Related posts:

"Too Big to Fail" Assures Bigness – and Failure

The Inconvenient Good News in the Employment Report

Jobs Coming Back from China

 

 

Don’t Argue with 911

"What's the nature of your emergency," the 911 operator asked.

"My wife is having a possible heart attack," I said.

"What's your location?"

"I'm on 89 North. Just passed mile marker 72. I'm going to Fletcher Allen. Fast." I was going eighty, ninety when there was room. It was dark but the road was dry.

"Sir, can I convince you to stop so I can get help to you."

"No. Sorry. I can get her there faster if I keep going. But if you can have an emergency vehicle meet me, I'll stop and transfer her."

"Sir, an ambulance has equipment to treat her. Do you have that in your car?"

"No. But it'll take too long to wait for an ambulance. I'm at mile marker 74."

"Sir, can you get off at the Richmond exit? It's in five miles."

"Can you get an ambulance there before I get there?"

"The ambulance will be there very quickly once I call it. Sir, it would be better if you got off."

"Call the ambulance and ask them how long it'll take them. Maybe they should meet me at Williston."    

"Sir, I can't call them until you tell me where you're getting off."

Mary was barely conscious. She didn't even tell me what to do which meant she was very sick indeed.

"I'll get off at Richmond. Call the ambulance."

"Can you go the park and ride at Richmond?"

"Yes. CALL THE AMBULANCE."

The 911 operator stayed on the line. The Richmond fast squad arrived at the park and ride five minutes after we did. They stabilized her and got her to Fletcher Allen in better shape than I would have. Turned out she was having a severe reaction to a prescribed medicine and her heart is certified fine. Two days later she was being Mary again and going to emergencies as a Red Cross volunteer rather than being the emergency.

But don't be as dumb as me. The ambulance would've been in Richmond five minutes earlier if I hadn't wasted time arguing. Five minutes could've mattered more than I want to think. Good thing the 911 operator was patient and persuasive or I would've been even dumber.

 

Son Jarah Quoted in Discovery's Top Science Story of 2011

The quote I liked is:

One of the most intriguing ideas comes from Jarah Evslin, Emilio Ciuffoli, and Xinmin Zhang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, who are using one unexplained phenomenon to account for another. Dark energy is a mysterious kind of antigravity thought to operate on a cosmological scale, pushing galaxies apart and causing the universe to expand ever-more quickly. Evslin and colleagues propose that dark energy changes its behavior in the presence of large masses like Earth. It could be scrunching space-time together near the planet so that the neutrinos' route becomes slightly shorter - 20 meters shorter, to be exact - than the measured value of 730,534.61 meters. "It creates a shortcut," Evslin says. "The neutrinos see the distance between CERN and Gran Sasso as being less than we do."

The paper with this theory in it is at http://arxiv.org/abs/1109.6641

Turns out that clicking on the embedded "inside" link below will only get you to a screen which hangs without explanation if you're not signed into zinio with an account which includes Discover access. You'd think they'd at least want to serve you an explanation with an ad. But that's not what this post is about.

 

 

Related posts:

The Latest on Speeding Neutrinos

v-c: What If It’s Positive?

 

Smart Meters Enhance Physical Privacy

As a Board Member of the Stowe Electric Department, I get occasional questions about Smart Meters from my neighbors.

"About Smart Meters and privacy…" a woman began.

"So long as the data from the meter's encrypted," I began without letting her finish the question.

"Huh?" she asked. "What's encryption have to do with anything? What I don't like is people tromping over my yard to read the meter. They won't have to do that when we have Smart Meters, right?"

"Right," I said.

"Yeah," a man chimed in. "My dogs don't like the meter readers at all. They'll be glad to have Smart Meters."

"I have a neighbor with a seasonal house and a locked gate. They don't like people knowing when they're there and when they're away. And they don't like meter readers going around the gate, either." This from a third person.

No one asked me about cyber security even though I would've been happy to give them a detailed answer about why they don't have to worry about their meter data being stolen. No one asked me about electromagnetic radiation from meters, which is safe and far, far less potent than holding a cellphone to your ear.

I explained that Smart Meters give the utility data which allows faster restoration of service in an outage; people were interested in that. I explained how better information reduced cost to the utility which means, in the long term, rates lower than they would be otherwise and that automating meter reading saves us all money. "Yeah, I'm for lower rates," someone said politely.

I told a story about querying my Smart Meter data remotely to find that a pump in my house was malfunctioning while I was away. People drifted off to the bar.

I mentioned that electric cars will be simply impossible if we don't have smart meters to make sure they don't all charge at once and bring down the grid. The conversation changed to cars, the non-electric kind. I decided not to be a bore.

Funny the things people are really interested in, like keeping their property private.

Related posts:

Irene Lesson # 1 – Smart Grid Great for Power Restoration

House Flatlines – Smart Grid to the Rescue

What's a Smart Grid and Why Does It Matter?

What The $69 Million Smart Grid Grant Will Mean to Vermont

Don't Like Smart Meters; Opt Out at Your Own Expense

Doing Good by Doing Well

"I'm hoping to get a job with a non-profit."

"I'll probably have to work in industry for a while, but then I plan to start a non-profit."

"I want to find a business with a triple bottom line."

"We're developing a video game that'll teach people not to be sexist."

"Once I make some money, I hope to be a philanthropist."

"I'm hoping to get a job with an NGO."

Noble thoughts, think I, but on the whole misguided fuzzy thinking.

All of these quotes come from bright, energetic young people studying to begin careers in areas like smartphone apps, computer game development, and web site wizardry. None of them say they want to make a lot of money (except to fund their planned philanthropy). None of them say they want to build insanely great products (Steve Jobs' mantra) or build a great company or lower the cost of energy or change the way people shop or even increase farm yields. Maybe they're just telling us what they think we want to hear; but they appear to be serious. Where did we go wrong?

Thomas Edison put as much energy into making inventions profitable as he did into discovery. If he hadn't, it would've been a lot longer before the world benefited from his inventions and his incredible invention stream – the electric light bulb, sound recording, movie making etc. etc. – would have been unsustainable for lack of funding. Don't know what he did as a philanthropist. Doesn't much matter.

By most accounts Henry Ford was a pretty awful person. He was a racist, an anti-Semite, and an admirer of much of what was happening in Nazi Germany. His charity went to some pretty bad causes. He didn't invent the car but his business and engineering acumen led to a car that every middleclass family could afford and his factory was a highway from poverty to the middleclass. The wreckage which is now Detroit didn't happen on his watch. The Fords who presided over that were much more socially conscious and politically correct – but they didn't do as much good as mean old Henry.

Bill and Melinda Gates are innovative philanthropists. They're driving the established bureaucracies of the UN and prominent NGOs crazy by insisting on results, which is a good thing. But, so far, Bill did more to change the world with a licensable operating system which made it possible to build and sell commodity computers that much of the world can afford and figure out how to use.

Now iPhone and Android are making the world more accessible by another order of magnitude. Steve Jobs built insanely great products – at high profit margins. Google gives Android away – because it enhances their hold on the search business. Google's motto may be "do no evil" – the good they have done is to link us to the information we need; the founders are famously billionaires.

Jeff Bezos and Amazon may have done as much for readers and books as the Carnegie Libraries.

Thanks to Charles Theodore Dotter who invented the stent in the artery of my heart as well as angioplasty itself; I hear he made a fortune. Glad he was motivated.

In 1865 Col. Edward A. L. Roberts received the first of his many patents for an exploding torpedo; it was used not for war but increasing production from hydrocarbon formations. He died a wealthy man. The co-inventors of modern fracking combined with horizontal drilling were Joseph Clark and Riley Farris. By vastly increasing the supply of natural gas, they have arguably done more for energy independence, energy abundance (a good thing), and lower carbon emissions than all the well-intended grant-funded green efforts in the last twenty years.

Not every person who has become rich has done good while getting there, obviously (I might mention drug dealers and certain investment bankers). Even the very do-gooding Ben and Jerry earned their fortunes by making sugar-coated cholesterol taste even better (without so much as a warning label). And there are many famous examples of people like Gandhi who did good without getting rich.

Nevertheless, I'll bet that, on the whole, when these students become workers and businesspeople, those who devote themselves to insanely great products, making things much cheaper than competitors do, or profitably knitting us all closer together in cyberspace will make more of a difference in the world while they are growing their bottom lines than when they later retire as philanthropists. I wish I could find a good way to tell them that.

Maybe I ought to un-retire and go back to work myself.

Related posts:

Great Docs and Technology Saved My Life Thursday

Natural Gas Disrupts the Energy Industry

WHO Doesn't Like the Gates Foundation

 

 

Irene Lesson #4 – You Can’t Spend a Lot of Money When You Don’t Have a Lot of Time

Vermonters already know that the State will spend less than half the amount originally estimated to fix the state roads and bridges decimated by Tropical Storm Irene; this post is for people in the rest of the country who will benefit from the lessons we learned.

The job got done in less than half the time anyone thought it would take – crucially all bridges and all but one state highway have been reopened prior to serious winter weather and in time for the skiers. Turns out that getting the job done fast and getting it done cheap are two sides of the same coin.

The original worst case estimate for this job was $600 million according to a story on VTDigger.org quoting Irene czar Neale Lunderville; but the final toll, according to a New York Times article, will be in the range of $175 million to $250 million. The original estimates were made quickly and were meant to be conservative; the people who made these estimates were literally up to their necks in more urgent problems. But the estimates were indubitably made according to a standard set of estimating formulas which have been in use (hopefully updated) since the time thirty years ago when I was Vermont's Transportation Secretary. History is that estimates tend to go up – not down!

The cost should've come in high. There was no time for competitive bidding. People worked overtime until they dropped (and were probably pretty tired before they dropped). Local supplies of almost everything including people and machines were exhausted. Rocks for building new embankments had to be hauled in on special trains. But the costs came in low.

The VTDigger article explains some of the reason for the savings:

"State officials attributed the drastic reduction in costs to a variety of factors, including the efficacy of emergency construction techniques and the extraordinary dedication of VTrans workers, the Vermont National Guard and private contractors. In all, 500 miles of roads were reopened in just two months after the Aug. 28 storm…

"The state also saved millions of dollars by taking short cuts during the post-Irene emergency that normally would be prohibited under state and federal laws. The standard pre-construction procedures for road and bridge repair were abandoned in order to expedite the process, according to Sue Minter, deputy commissioner of the Agency of Transportation. The processes that are normally followed for transportation projects — federal and state permitting, environmental mitigation, design review, planning, right-of-way purchases – went by the wayside.

"Transportation workers didn't have to keep roads open and contend with traffic. In some cases they used gravel and rock dug from rivers and collected from fields where floodwaters had left deposits of aggregate [my note: Working in the rivers is usually totally off limits]…

"Minter pointed to a bridge project in Newark as an example of how a brief road closure can hasten VTrans work and save the state hundreds of thousands of dollars. A bridge on Route 114 in the town was closed to traffic for one month during construction. As a consequence, it cost $300,000 to build instead of the average $1.5 million pricetag for bridge installation, she said. The bridge was completed in three months, as opposed to several years."

In other words, there wasn't time to spend a lot of money on either bureaucratic delays or costly attempts to keep the public happy by avoiding the inconvenience of temporary closings.

Vermont has learned from its experience. John McClaughry writing on VTTiger.com quotes Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin:

"You can be assured that in the interest of delivering the best possible roads and bridges and transportation infrastructure that we can to the hard-pressed taxpayers in Vermont, we have asked the Agency of Transportation… to assess how we can bring this kind of good news to future road project."

John also quotes House Republican Leader Don Turner asking: "If we can bypass some of those steps in an emergency situation and save hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, why can't we do that all the time?"

Like the reconstruction effort itself, learning from it is bipartisan although, as you might expect, there are many who think the state went too far in its rapid reconstruction and would like to make sure that never happens again.

IMHO there are four lessons here:

  1. Americans can still come together and do remarkable things.
  2. Government spends more of our money than we would want it to in order to keep us short-term happy – as in building a temporary bridge instead of telling us to go around during construction.
  3. The regulations which started as well-intentioned and needed protection for neighbors and the environment has turned into a nightmare of expensive delay which at least doubles the cost of both public and private projects.
  4. If we remember the three lessons above and reform both government construction practices and permitting, we can rebuild our infrastructure for less than half of what we thought it was going to cost and have a boom in private construction as well.

Related posts:

Shumlin Appointment of Lunderville as Irene Czar Great non-Partisan Decision

Irene Lesson #2: Nothing in America is Shovel Ready – Until It Has to Be

Jobs Rx: Make America Shovel Ready

The Latest on Speeding Neutrinos

Son Jarah was interviewed last week on CRI, China's English-Language equivalent of the BBC. The subject was the possible evidence of neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light, which came from an experiment at CERN. Here's the show description from CRI:

2011-12-02 Speed of Light
The Speed of light. It's the universal speed limit. A constant that has informed physics since Albert Einstein laid out his theory of special relativity.
But a new experiment may disprove all of that. The OPERA lab in Italy has early results suggesting that sub atomic particles called Neutrinos may travel faster than the speed of light.
Today our panel of experts are taking a look first at the experiment itself, then at the reactions and impacts to the discovery and finally at the outlook of physics in light of these new results.
- Jarah Evslin, Professor at the Institute of High Energy Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
- Alexander Vikman, a CERN Fellow.
- Giovanni Amelino-Camelia, A theoretical Physicist from Sapienza University of Rome.

111202today1[1]>The Interview

When asked about a paper by a Nobel-laureate which says that the CERN results can't be right because they are theoretically impossible, Jarah says "Of course a theoretical argument cannot disprove an experiment, only a failure to repeat the experiment by another group can do that." All three interviewees are thoroughly scientific in both their skepticism about the results of an experiment which has yet to be independently replicated and their willingness to consider that a long-standing interpretation of Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity may be wrong despite the fact that it's accepted wisdom.

Jarah actually gives Einstein a hall pass and says that special relativity only claims 1) that nothing can exceed the speed of light IN A VACUUM (the possibly superluminal neutrinos were passing through the very solid crust of the earth); and that no subluminal particle can become superluminal (the neutrinos probably began their journey at - not below - the speed of light).

All three scientists agree that the CERN results are "probably" wrong. However, the last question of the show is "are we on the brink of a major shift in our understanding of the universe?" Only Jarah says "yes".

Jarah's latest paper on what the OPERA experiment might tell us if confirmed is at http://arxiv.org/abs/arXiv:1111.0733.

related post:

v-c: What If It’s Positive?

 

Another Day, Another Bank Bailout

The US Federal Reserve along with other central banks is making it easier – i.e. cheaper – for European banks to borrow US dollars. In other words we're giving the banks a gift of the half percent discount in interest rates the fed is financing. The action is cloaked in the usual rhetoric about encouraging banks to lend etc. etc.; but it has no purpose unless it's to make the banks stronger by letting them pocket the extra margin on loans made possible by giving them a break on their borrowing costs and deliberately ignoring the fact that they themselves are not credit-worthy since they hold scads of nearly worthless sovereign debt that isn't ever going to be repaid. As the Wall Street Journal, which apparently approves of this actions, says: "The coordinated action doesn't directly address Europe's government-debt and budget woes. Instead, it is aimed at alleviating the impact of those troubles on global markets." For "global markets", read "banks".

Don't worry though, we're not doing this generous deed for the sake of European money center banks; we're doing it to protect US banks. Again from the WSJ article: "Michael Feroli, an economist with J.P. Morgan, said Wall Street traders took the move as a sign that 'the Fed and central banks are there to support things' and that 'these guys have our back.' Yup. Make all the bad loans you want; pay your executives huge bonuses based on the short-term interest on loans whose principal we'll never be repaid; and we've "got your back." It's almost enough to make you camp out in Zuccotti Park – or, even better, watch who you vote for.

But, you ask, don't we want to "strengthen the banks". NO! We want to weaken and dismember any organization which is too big to fail. We want institutions which we can afford to let fail (given FDIC insurance) to compete for both our savings dollars and our banking business. We want institutions which can't afford to flood Washington and other world capitols with lobbyists and have to do business the old fashioned way on Main Street.

Governments and central banks share the blame for the predicament the "banking system" is in. In the US regulators as well as rating agencies let banks pretend that subprime mortgages were a rock-solid asset and that housing prices never could decline. For those who claim that the TARP money was paid back, consider that rescuing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has SO FAR cost us taxpayers $151 billion. This money goes to hold banks harmless from bad loans they made. If these had indeed been private insurers, they would've gone broke and the banks would be holding the bag. This is bank bailout money; it won't be repaid.

In Europe regulators doing stress tests on banks assumed that sovereign debt would be repaid even though they knew that the governments behind the debt were broke. The banks got to charge high interest rates on these loans to feckless governments because of risk which, according to the regulators, didn't exist. Good business if you can get it. Problem is that the banks aren't going to get repaid in full for loans to Greece and perhaps other countries. They don't really have the assets regulators encouraged them to report.

But regulators and central banks don't like to think of the plight of these poor bankers – especially because these very same regulators and central banks were complicit in creating the crisis of mis-priced assets and too-big-to-fail institutions. So we're back shoveling money into the bailout trough and being told that our future depends on more bank bailouts.

Which gets me back to voting.

According to an Economix blog on the New York Times site by former International Monetary Fund chief economist Simon Johnson:

"…More bailouts and the reinforcement of moral hazard — protecting bankers and other creditors against the downside of their mistakes — is the last thing that the world's financial system needs…

"Is there really no alternative to pouring good money after bad?

"In a policy statement released this week, Jon Huntsman, the former governor of Utah who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, articulates a coherent alternative approach to the financial sector, which begins with a diagnosis of our current problem: too-big-to-fail banks:

" 'To protect taxpayers from future bailouts and stabilize America's economic foundation, Jon Huntsman will end too-big-to-fail. Today we can already begin to see the outlines of the next financial crisis and bailouts. More than three years after the crisis and the accompanying bailouts, the six largest U.S. financial institutions are significantly bigger than they were before the crisis, having been encouraged by regulators to snap up Bear Stearns and other competitors at bargain prices.'…

"The goal is simple, as Mr. Huntsman said in his recent Wall Street Journal opinion piece: make the banks small enough and simple enough to fail. 'Hedge funds and private equity funds go out of business all the time when they make big mistakes, to the notice of few, because they are not too big to fail,' he wrote. 'There is no reason why banks cannot live with the same reality.'"

I'm making a contribution to the Huntsman campaign. Ron Paul is for abolishing he Fed altogether; I'm not sure I'm there yet and I disagree too strongly with him on other issues to suppory him. Mitt Romney has says he thinks that TARP and the bailouts by the Feds were needed as does Herman Cain. Newt Gingrich did too much lobbying for Freddie Mac and ais been an unrepentant supporter of corny ethanol. And Barack Obama appointed Timothy "Tarp" Geithner as Treasury Secretary and reappointed "Bailout" Ben Bernanke as Fed Chairman.

Simon Johnson concludes his Economix piece:

"Only Theodore Roosevelt could take on the industrial and railroad monopolies in 1901, only Richard Nixon could go to China in 1972, and only Jon Huntsman seems prepared to face down the too-big-to-fail banks today."

Hope he's right that someone is prepared to do this. Hope we can elect politicians who will end the occupation of Wall Street by government-backed too-big-to-fail institutions.

Related posts:

"Too Big to Fail" Assures Bigness – and Failure

Preparing for the Next Banking Crisis

When Regulation Is Justified

The Occupiers and Tea Partiers Are Both Right

Now on Kindle!

hackoff.com: An historic murder mystery set in the Internet bubble and rubble

CEO Tom Evslin's insider account of the Internet bubble and its aftermath. "This novel is a surveillance video of the seeds of the current economic collapse."

The Interpreter's Tale

Hacker Dom Montain is in Barcelona in Evslin's Kindle-edition long short story. Why? and why are the pickpockets stealing mobile phones?

Need A Kindle?

Kindle: Amazon's Wireless Reading Device

Not quite as good as a real book IMHO but a lot lighter than a trip worth of books. Also better than a cell phone for mobile web access - and that's free!

Recent Reads - Click title to order from Amazon


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