Saturday, July 04, 2015

What's It All About Then

Greece's Euro "membership" isn't about using the currency, it's about having access to various loan facilities and support from the ECB, which it already doesn't have.
Bloomberg reports that Bulgaria, which is not a Euro member but backs its currency with Euro reserves, has just been allowed to borrow from the ECB at the same rate as Euro members, thus enabling it to firewall its banks from Greek contagion. This is a privilege normally only accorded to Euro members – and it has been WITHDRAWN from Greece. If this is true, then Bulgaria (non-Euro member) can obtain Euros from the ECB while Greece (Euro member) cannot. It is hard to see what benefit Greece’s Euro membership confers, apart from redistribution of seigniorage receipts.

And finally someone gets the logical endpoint of central bank "independence."
For the central bank of a currency union to deliberately restrict the money supply in regions within the currency union is bizarre. No other currency union central bank on earth does this. It would, for example, be unthinkable for the Bank of England to deny liquidity to Scotland’s banks. But the ECB has denied liquidity to Greece’s banks, not because they are insolvent (which is a reasonable reason to deny liquidity to banks) but because the sovereign won’t toe the fiscal line. It has taken on a political role that it should not have.

Of course, the ECB’s shareholders are the member state governments. But those governments have bound themselves by laws and treaties that prevent them interfering with or in any way controlling the ECB. So the Eurozone is in reality a financial dictatorship run by bankers. I struggle to see why anyone would voluntarily join it, let alone want to stay in it. But that’s democracy for you.

Whatever it is, it ain't democracy. It's banksterocracy. The concept of central bank independence was, once upon a time, thought to be necessary to prevent irresponsible governments from doing, or being perceived as doing, irresponsible things with the money supply. Now the point of central bank independence is to hand immense power to a bunch of unelected unaccountable people engaged in revolving door careers with the banking system. Let's continue laughing at the silly Greeks and their silly corruption.

Maybe In Another Six Months?

Ask a cab driver?
There's still no timeline for the tunnel.

Seattle Tunnel Partners, the joint venture contractor to dig a highway tunnel to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct, said in May it would produce a new estimated completion date by the end of June.

That self-made deadline has passed.

Good Start

Release them all.
WASHINGTON — Sometime in the next few weeks, aides expect President Obama to issue orders freeing dozens of federal prisoners locked up on nonviolent drug offenses. With the stroke of his pen, he will probably commute more sentences at one time than any president has in nearly half a century.

I suppose the drug crime issue is one I have "evolved" on. I'm not saying I ever thought that people should have their lives destroyed by the criminal justice due to nonviolent drug offenses, just that I failed to comprehend the magnitude of the problem - imprisonment, not drugs - and the clearly racist application of the laws as much as I should have. Drug addiction is a public health problem. It's one thing to lock up people caught with 20 pounds of cocaine, quite another to have such low thresholds for "intent to sell" that you can classify basically every user as a dealer.

Send everybody home, change the laws, abolish the DEA, end all civil forfeiture. The end.

Morning Thread

Almost time to watch 1776.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Friday Evening

Rock on.

As Long As They Don't Snarl

Policy positions of Republicans have no bearing on whether the Villagers love them, it's all about whether they play the "serious" part well. Have the policies of Ted Cruz, just don't act like him. You're a moderate!

What's It All About Then

Not what they want you to think it is about.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone countries tried in vain to stop the IMF publishing a gloomy analysis of Greece's debt burden which the leftist government says vindicates its call to voters to reject bailout terms, sources familiar with the situation said on Friday.

Afternoon Thread


Lunch Thread

Apparently it's a holiday (observed).

"Fans Of Band Creed"

All 3 of them?
Still, though, fans of the Christian rock band Creed have started a petition to have the name of the Creed film changed to something a little less confusing for them. And, as the petition states, “the Creedmunity will not be silenced.”

They are easily confused.

Jerkface Jindal

I don't know what they hope to achieve by playing these games.
New Orleans is finally allowed to join the rest of Louisiana and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Following a court ruling ordering it to do so, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration agreed Thursday (July 2) afternoon to allow the state Department of Vital Records in downtown New Orleans to issue the marriage licenses. Every other marriage license office in the state began doing so earlier this week.

Morning Thread

Webb has officially announced he is a candidate to be POTUS. I don't think I'll be voting for him.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Late Night Thread

Wow That's A Big Number

NEW ORLEANS — The federal government and the Gulf Coast states have reached a tentative deal with the British oil company BP for it to pay about $18.7 billion, the largest environmental settlement in American history, to compensate for damages from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, federal, state and company officials said Thursday.

Ok maybe the NPV isn't quite as big and who can say whether anyone will remember a few years from now.
The largest sums of the settlement would be paid out over 15 to 18 years, beginning a year after the settlement is finalized in federal court.

Afternoon Thread


What's It All About Then

Sadists and sociopaths, basically.
“At the same time, a Grexit would be traumatic enough that it would help scare the rest of Europe into giving up more sovereignty to a stronger banking and fiscal union,” Mr. Geithner wrote. “The argument was that letting Greece burn would make it easier to build a stronger Europe with a more credible firewall.”

Fast-forward three years. What Mr. Schäuble articulated that summer afternoon to Mr. Geithner is finally taking shape.
And handing complete control to the banksters, of course.

Greece needs a sign saying "people live here." Not that any of the people in charge actually care.


It's always cute when Fred Hiatt's crayon scribblers pretend to care about human rights and silly stuff like that. Pretty sure we engage with plenty of countries with appalling human rights, though admittedly quite often mostly with respect to women so who really cares, and that rarely troubles their beautiful minds.

The Donald

He's doing well in the polls because conservatives exist mostly to piss of liberals, though they're very bad at understanding what actually pisses us off. We point and laugh at the Donald as a person, even if his (until recently) mainstreaming has been troublesome. He's a clown, but he's their clown. Have fun!