David Lat Describes His Panel at the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference
Barry Eichengreen, the Samwickian Fallacy, the Role of the Economist, and Chinese Economic Policy

links for 2009-07-24

  • [W]e learned that CBS was in full panic mode and was willing to take whatever step necessary to placate the right-wing fanatics frothing about Memogate. The picture painted by the CBS memos and documents already reviewed by Rather suggest a craven news organization that was less interested in uncovering the truth about the disputed memos, and more interested in appeasing Rush Limbaugh. It wanted to "mollify the right," as one internal CBS memo put it. As I said, my guess is that with Rather and his lawyers about to dive into a new batch of documents, that portrait will only become more vivid. And here's the kicker for the former Tiffany Network: Rather has vowed to never settle the case out of court.
  • My bet is that what we're going to see is what you might call an iPod Touch HD. It'll have a 10" multi-touch screen, probably 1280x800 pixels (a standard Apple resolution, rather than the Netbook spec 1024x600). It will run a version of the iPhone OS — OSX ported to run on ARM hardware rather than Intel, with a different user interface. There may well be haptic feedback for the on-screen keyboard (as featured on MIDs like the Viliv S5) , or some species of "real" keyboard — either a clamshell like a netbook, or a slider like a high-end mobile phone. (My money is on the on-screen keyboard with haptic feedback — it makes for a cleaner design.) It'll almost certainly have a 3G data connection, and some sources have been touting an $800 price point; others suggest it'll be subsidized to $300 when sold with a monthly mobile data contract.
  • Pituitary case and Sunday morning fellatio artist, David Gregory, defends his invitation to Mark Sanford, in which he promises Sanford's press secretary that by coming on Meet the Press, Sanford can "frame the conversation how you really want to . . .  and then move on." Writing in defense of his journalistic bona fides to a Daily Kos blogger, Gregory writes:  "Thanks for the email. I wasn't promising a friendly forum. I was offering a fair forum to discuss his problems. I meant my forum allows him to have the time to discuss the situation in a fullsome way, to say what he wants and move on." Skipping the obvious farce that is David Gregory and Meet the Press, I want to focus on the more serious issue, his butchering of the English language.  The word... doesn't mean "complete" or "exhaustive"... but rather means excessively flattering, unctuous, oily compliments.... Jesus, the stupid indeed burns.
  • Stanley admitted to having a "sexual relationship" with a 22-year-old female intern working in his office, and to taking nude pictures of her in "provocative poses" in his apartment. Things started to unravel for Stanley, it seems, in April, when he received a text message reading: "Good morning sir, how are you this fine day? McKensie and I have been talking and I feel that I have a video and some pictures you might be interested in seeing. This is her boyfriend, that guy you met outside Walgreens..." That was the start of an effort by the girl's boyfriend to blackmail Stanley, which ultimately led to Stanley going to the cops. The boyfriend is now charged with trying to extort $10,000 from Stanley. Oh, bonus! Stanley works as a financial adviser for the Stanford Financial Group, whose founder, Allen Stanford, has been charged with orchestrating an $8 billion scam.
  • If Arafat's dybbuk had taken control of Bibi's body, the Israeli PM couldn't do much more than he is doing to reduce the probability that Israel will exist half a century from now. Deliberately picking a personal quarrel with the President of the United States, especially one with very high popularity among American Jews, is stupid. Insisting on a settlements policy guaranteed to leave Jews a minority in Israel unless the government engages in mass population transfers, is insane. And proposing a policy on converts too strict for the tastes even of the Orthodox rabbinate, and under which the biblical Ruth would not qualify to make aliyah, is plan silly.
  • Read Crowley's report and stop on page two when he admits seeing Gates's Harvard photo ID. I don't care what Gates had said to him up until then, Crowley was obligated to leave. He had identified Gates. Any further investigation of Gates' right to be present in the house could have been done elsewhere.... Had a citizen refused to leave Gates' home after being told to, the cops could have made an arrest for trespass. But for the sake of education, let's watch while Crowley makes it worse..... Gates is demanding his identification. What does Crowley do? He suggests that if Gates wants his name and badge number, he'll have to come outside to get it.... By telling Gates to come outside, Crowley... has lost all semblance of professionalism. It has now become personal and he wants to create a violation of 272/53...
  • He asks Bernanke about the currency swap lines that the Fed established with other central banks during the financial crisis, which he clearly doesn't understand (although he obviously thinks he does). He harps on the fact that Bernanke doesn't know which foreign financial institutions "got the money." Of course Bernanke doesn't know that. The Fed entered into currency swaps with foreign central banks, like the ECB and the BoE. Who those central banks then lent the dollars to is irrelevant—the Fed doesn't bear the credit risk of loans made by other central banks. The Fed only bears the credit risk of the central banks it established swap lines with, which, obviously, is vanishingly small. Grayson then focuses on the Fed's swap line with New Zealand's central bank, which is where the wheels really come off the wagon. He apparently thinks a swap is the same thing as a loan, and that the Fed extended $9bn of credit to New Zealanders, which he considers an outrage (the Fed is lending to "