Archive for November 2008
Not in Brazil, anyway. Reuter reports that a proactive trader brought activity to a halt last night, by dealing with his blues the old-fashioned way.
SAO PAULO, Nov 17 (Reuters) – A Brazilian trader shot himself on Monday in the open outcry pit of Sao Paulo’s commodities and futures exchange in an apparent suicide attempt, the exchange said.
Paulo Sergio Silva, 36, a trader for the brokerage arm of Brazilian banking giant Itau (ITAU4.SA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz)(ITU.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), shot himself in the chest during the afternoon trading session, the exchange said, and hospital staff said he was in critical condition.
Silva was given first aid on the scene before being transported to the hospital, BM&F Bovespa SA (BVMF3.SA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which operates the exchange, said in a statement without providing further details.
Traders said the incident happened in the interest rate futures pit, a raucous circle where on average $21 billion worth of contracts exchange hands every day.
Reuters forgot to mention that the company motto at Itau trading house actually is ‘buy high, sell low, shoot yourself in the chest’.
The Sydney Morning Herald has reached a desperate new low today, and it is anybody’s guess why. This paper is on one hand trying to promote itself as cool and edgy, with colourful stroboscopic TV ads soundtracked by a theme plagiaristically close to Rage Against the Machine’s ‘I won’t do whatcha tell me!’ On the other hand, it also frequently runs conservative snootiness masquerading as irony and continues to question and even deny the very actual reality of devastating climate change.
So when they try to associate Barack Obama with crack cocaine is it because they think destructive drug references are edgy and cool (which they aren’t), or because their increasingly conservative editorial agenda finds something satisfying in making a racist slur against the new US President-elect?
What? Crack cocaine use is much more common amongst lower income brackets in America. Blacks in America are still more likely than white Americans to be economically disadvantaged. And American courts treat crack much more harshly than cocaine, which is generally used by people with a much higher disposable income.
Odds are that if you’re in America and your problem is crack, you’re black, and you’re going to get a harsher sentence than Wall Street when he gets caught with uncut Peruvian coming back from his Obama inauguration party. Statistically speaking.
The New York Times has been running this story for the past couple of days: Lose the Blackberry? Yes he can, maybe. It’s a very interesting article about how the US President is, in a way, locked in the watchtower. When Obama takes office on Jan. 20, he may well be denied his mobile phone and even email access because of laws relating to communications from the President of the United States.
Today (timely, as always) the Sydney Morning Herald is running exactly the same story, and the are attributing it to The New York Times. Except that they have changed the title to
and inexplicably altered the line
For years, like legions of other professionals, Mr. Obama has been all but addicted to his BlackBerry.
to instead read
For years, like legions of other on-the-move professionals, Mr Obama has been all but addicted to his BlackBerry – or CrackBerrys as they are sometimes called for exactly that reason..
As you can see, the sloppy Herald insert is evident by the appearance of two fullstops.
Now – and I’m just guessing here – writers in New York have seen a lot of the social problems and devastation of crack addiction across poorer areas of their city. They have seen that many black communities have been deeply affected by it in an almost cancerous manner. And they have seen a number of other American media outlets repeatedly tie black skin to crack addiction and drug abuse generally in a pervasive and decidedly racebaiting manner. So it would never even occur to them to use the term “Crackberry” in writing about anybody, let alone their President-elect.
The Sydney Morning Herald, on the other hand – just what the f#$% are they trying to say?
A very special edition of the New York Times was freely distributed to 1.2 million Americans as they raced to or from work today, in commemoration of an end to the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. Web traffic for the special edition has been so high that a number of pages have been forced offline, but the special issue is certainly worth visiting, for the stirring cover art alone.
Early this morning, commuters nationwide were delighted to find out
that while they were sleeping, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had
come to an end.
If, that is, they happened to read a “special edition” of today’s New
In an elaborate operation six months in the planning, 1.2 million
papers were printed at six different presses and driven to prearranged
pickup locations, where thousands of volunteers stood ready to pass
them out on the street.
Articles in the paper announce dozens of new initiatives including the
establishment of national health care, the abolition of corporate
lobbying, a maximum wage for C.E.O.s, and, of course, the end of the
The paper, an exact replica of The New York Times, includes
International, National, New York, and Business sections, as well as
editorials, corrections, and a number of advertisements, including a
recall notice for all cars that run on gasoline. There is also a
timeline describing the gains brought about by eight months of
progressive support and pressure, culminating in President Obama’s “Yes
we REALLY can” speech. (The paper is post-dated July 4, 2009.)
“It’s all about how at this point, we need to push harder than ever,”
said Bertha Suttner, one of the newspaper’s writers. “We’ve got to make
sure Obama and all the other Democrats do what we elected them to do.
After eight, or maybe twenty-eight years of hell, we need to start
Not all readers reacted favorably. “The thing I disagree with is how
they did it,” said Stuart Carlyle, who received a paper in Grand
Central Station while commuting to his Wall Street brokerage. “I’m all
for freedom of speech, but they should have started their own paper.”
Some people just don’t get it….
updated reports here
Malcolm Turnbull, leader of Australia’s well-deserving federal opposition has been banging on and on for nearly 2 weeks now about a joke about George Bush.
Firstly, Turnbull has taken on the role of playing wounded, feigning shock that anybody could consider the least competent American President in history an idiot. It’s a strange position for an allegedly intelligent man to take, especially given that his unending melodrama of the last fortnight would have made better sense coming from a 7-year old boy with wet underpants.
Secondly, Turnbull has been flouncing on for so long about how some joke about George Bush, allegedly made by Kevin Rudd, will so hurt our international standing, and so harm Australia’s international security clearance, and so upset the rest of the world, that now the media of the world have walked into the story thinking it’s actually a story and thereby treating it as such. So after two weeks of hard and useless work, Turnbull may well have achieved that of which he has endlessly accused Rudd.
Thanks to Lord Snot’s ceaseless self-serving dummy-spit, the BBC world service is now carrying this ill-informed article freshly posted by Reuters.
“[It was] an account so self-serving that it presented him as a diplomatic encyclopaedia, a font of all knowledge, and the president of the United States, the chief executive of our greatest ally, as a fool,” Mr Turnbull was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.
Aren’t parliamentary privilege and political power wonderful? You can be the gutless leading puppet of a rejected gaggle of climate change denying visionless racists focussed only on finding fault in everything that everybody who is actually doing anything puts forward, intent only on one day adding “Prime Minister of Australia” to your resume because it’s the one thing you haven’t been able to buy – yet – but if you spin the same irrelevant line long enough, the world will listen to your vacuous side of the story for, ooh, maybe fifteen minutes?
But that’s opposition isn’t it – so little to do, so much time.
Revenge!!! So little airtime, so much plastic music – but good taste is fighting back. Sort of.
At any rate, Rihanna apparently ran from the stage of her concert at Acer Arena in Sydney.
“She was indicating to the crowd she wanted a puffer,” he said. “Then she bent over, clutching her stomach and ran off. She fell over on the side of the stage and paramedics ran to help her. She was vomiting.”
Obviously her running is as inadequate as her songwriting and creative concepts. Her management claim it was the heat at the venue – but it’s more likely to have been her song choice.
She was performing the final song of the evening, Umbrella, with her boyfriend, singer Chris Brown, when she became distressed.
“El-la, el-la, el-la, el-la, el-la, el-la, el-la, etc.” Any song that depends on this crap instead of real lyrics and has a literal music video is going to make most people vomit eventually. It’s amazing it’s taken her this long. Living her stage show must be like getting trapped inside a 13-year old’s iPod. Pee-yook.
It is strange that Fairfax, the publisher of Sydney Morning Herald, puts out a far better paper in Melbourne – The Age – than they do in Sydney. It could perhaps be because the Sydney editor is a nonce. But that doesn’t explain why the hell Fairfax employ a conservative editor in what continually tries to be a progressive society. Perhaps they would rather we resist that impulse.
Or they think we are idiots, which would explain why they keep on their stable of narcissistic pundits-of-no-merit. Like Miranda Devine. Like Gerard Henderson (could somebody pleeeease tell him that John Howard is gone already). Like Michael Duffy.
Duffy is like a tumour that masquerades as a boil. His bio is hilarious – he relaunched his image at the Herald lately by presenting himself as aged cool like a turd with chocolate sprinkles, making special efforts to emphasize that he has been on the dole, AND played in bands. I would bet Madonna’s left nut that they were horrible pieces of shit who largely played or ripped off other people’s songs that sucked way before they even lost all relevance.. Because this feels like the kind of guy that Duffy is, and it’s exactly the way that he manages information. He’s like some second rate Christopher Pyne trying to present as a first rate Shaun Micallef, thereby coming across quite a bit like a skid mark from Peter Costello’s underpants but without the charisma.
In the tradition of ripping off shit that need never have been exuded in the first place, skunkjunk has just run an op ed in the Herald Truly inconvenient truths about climate change being ignored. Wow! Genius! Who would have ever thought to use the title of an increasingly old movie ironically in pursuit of climate change denial? Never. Seen. That. Done. A. Million. Times. Already.
And what a piece of crap it is.
Someone else who’s looked closely at scientific journals (although not specifically those dealing with climate science) is epidemiologist John Ioannidis of the Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. He reached the surprising conclusion that most published research findings are proved false within five years of their publication. (Lest he be dismissed as some eccentric, I note that the Economist recently said Ioannidis has made his case “quite convincingly”.)
So, one of Duffy’s convincing sources reads magazines that aren’t anything to do with climate science, and has found inconsistencies in those non-climate findings which a non-climate magazine has apparently once agreed add up to some kind of non-climate argument, and therefore climate change is bogus? I’m so convinced, I must read further. Read the rest of this entry »
Sorry for the sleazy title, but if you’ve got such a problem with it, how did you end up here?
Turns out that Newsweak (NOT a typo) has been running a little project via its journalists, gathering anything not-fit-for-print or off-the-record pre-election to release post-election.
Although it’s quite hilarious to read that Sarah Palin couldn’t grasp that Africa is a “continent” rather than a “country”, the eye-catching bit of awesomeness is a comment from Obama, in which he (rightly) derides the debate stage show.
When he was preparing for the Democratic primary debates, Obama was recorded saying, “I don’t consider this to be a good format for me, which makes me more cautious. I often find myself trapped by the questions and thinking to myself, ‘You know, this is a stupid question, but let me … answer it.’ So when Brian Williams is asking me about what’s a personal thing that you’ve done [that's green], and I say, you know, ‘Well, I planted a bunch of trees.’ And he says, ‘I’m talking about personal.’ What I’m thinking in my head is, ‘Well, the truth is, Brian, we can’t solve global warming because I f—ing changed light bulbs in my house. It’s because of something collective’.“
Apart from it being reassuring to know that Obama uses the F word, how on-the-money is that assessment of feelgood new age greenness. Lovin’ it. Gobama!
Given that the West coast of America is rife with filthy communist Hollywood types, the final handful of seats needed by Barack Obama is assured. It’s over. He wins. BIG!!!. It’s unlikely that even Republic*nts are stupid enough to take any part of these incoming election results to the Supreme Court for a bit of stacked judiciary revision.
UPDATE: OBAMA hits 273 seats with 138 still to count. Massive Win!!!!!!! Looking set to take Indiana and Virginia in massive redrawing of electoral map.
2 big outcomes: Americans made the right choice (finally), and NO MORE US ELECTION COVERAGE!!!!! Woo Hoo!
In the meantime, however, results are still coming in and analysts are trying to simultaneously milk and nail down the moment.
Bloomberg: Obama on Verge of Presidency
Peter Hartcher, in Sydney Morning Herald: US Voters reject Bush nightmare
The Fireside Post: Finally! An intellectual Moral President.
Al Jazeera: Ha Ha, American Infidel Scum!
UK Guardian: Breaking US Election coverage.
Obama by 123 seats! Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and The Senate..
Game On!!! It looks as though the Republican election-stealing machine has stayed mothballed so far. Perhaps because robbing this election would be too obvious. Pennsylvania confirmed as first big swing state prize, with Ohio and Florida looking set to follow.
Latest locked in numbers from New York Times have Obama on 192 seats and McCain on 69. Meaning: McCain is getting smashed, the Republic*nts are getting smashed, and Obama is only 78 seats from victory. If current trends continue, the Democrats also look set to take a clear majority in the all important Senate race, meaning no more excuses for their role in approving further failed policy positions.
Also, check out Tom Edsall’s Guide for Watching Election Results, which makes it all more bearable.
Ben Smith of Politico is also logging mini-updates of useful breaking news here, with the latest – and welcome – byte being that Obama may be considering Democrat powerbroker and brains trust Rahm Emanuel for appointment as his Chief of Staff.
Incoming state reports and news bytes here from bloggers for the Washington Post.
Here it is – Election Day, and if American foreign policy arrogance is anything to go by, today’s winner gets to be the new Ruler of the World. This is of course one more reason why everybody on the planet should get to vote for the US Presidency, which would be one solid reason why the result would not be in doubt. However, Americans and American Elections being what they are, today may yet be a very very long day.
In vague order of immediacy, here are the most useful pages for you to visit today, depending on your information processing needs.
For your immediate updates and easiest insight, go to the the New York Times front page. Clear mapping in red and blue as tallies come in, with percentages and additional headlines if you want to keep reading. Good news just in – Florida (North America’s wang) is swinging clearly toward Obama. With 10% of the vote counted there, he’s up 55% to 45%. North Carolina has also gone to Obama heavily in early voting, with South Carolina swinging from blue to red and backagain.
Can’t handle uncertainty, head to the New York Times President Map. This map shows the way that states are leaning as counts come in but, unlike CNN, MSNBC, FAUX, etc. only reports electoral seats gained once they are confirmed. It details the direct race between Obama and McCain. So far, Obama has only New Hampshire, while McCain has pulled ahead in states where you might expect to find bourbon served with breakfast.
If you have more time to spare and would like to choose between objects of hope and despair for yourself, Huffington Post has a full page worth of Election Day maps and widgets from different news and online sources, such as Google, CBS, and CNN.
Of course, if you’re wanting more depth to your coverage, just go straight to the Huffington Post front page where updates and new commentary are being posted almost half-hourly throughout the day – complete with stories of voting irregularities, legal challenges to ballots, and latest exit polls. It’s a good day to check out HuffPo if you’re new to the site.
For greater depth and breadth, Real Clear Politics is one of the most widely referred to early posters of political number crunching – and with good reason. Their information layout could be less painful, but if you have time to delve in search of salve for your political angst, RCP is the site for you.
And presented in a more NewsWeek type format, Politico also offers broad up to date coverage, but in a less constipated format, that makes quick check-ins and check-outs easier and more worthwhile.
Naomi Klein – intellectanarcho-justice consiglieri extraordinaire and author of No Logo and The Shock Doctrine – has just had a mini-opus on the $700B bailout published here in Rolling Stone. It’s suitably entitled The New Trough and like all of Klein’s writing is well worth a look for anybody thinking that the most loudly repeated story isn’t necessarily the real story.
On October 13th, when the U.S. Treasury Department announced the team of “seasoned financial veterans” that will be handling the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street, one name jumped out: Reuben Jeffery III, who was initially tapped to serve as chief investment officer for the massive new program.
On the surface, Jeffery looks like a classic Bush appointment. Like Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, he’s an alum of Goldman Sachs, having worked on Wall Street for 18 years. And as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission from 2005 to 2007, he proudly advocated “flexibility” in regulation — a laissez-faire approach that failed to rein in the high-risk trading at the heart of the meltdown.
Bankers watching bankers, regulators who don’t believe in regulating — that’s all standard fare for the Bush crew. What’s most striking about Jeffery’s résumé, however, is an item omitted when his new job was announced: He served as executive director of Paul Bremer’s infamous Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, during the early days of the Iraq War. Part of his job was to hire civilian staff, which made him an integral part of the partisan machine that filled the Green Zone with Young Republicans, investment bankers and Dick Cheney interns. Qualifications weren’t a big issue back then, because the staff’s main function was to hand over stacks of taxpayer money to private contractors, who were the ones actually running the occupation. It was this nonstop cash conveyor belt that earned the Green Zone a reputation, in the words of one CPA official, as “a free-fraud zone.” During Senate hearings last year, when Jeffery was asked what he had learned from his experience at the CPA, he said he thought that contracts should be handed out with more “speed and flexibility” — the same philosophy he cited back when he was in charge of regulating Wall Street traders…. [continue reading]