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Home / Tag Archives: Ridiculously obvious scams

Tag Archives: Ridiculously obvious scams

Even Larry Summers Denounces World Bank’s “PEF” Ebola Bonds That Enriched Investors at Expense of the Sick in the Congo

Even Larry Summers, the former World Bank chief economist who recommended sending garbage to poor countries, thought an Ebola financing scheme cooked up by his former employer went too far. As recounted by another former World Bank economist, Olga Jonas, in of all places Nature, the World Bank was enamored of the idea of having the private sector somehow participate in getting money to countries stricken by Ebola if and when they needed it in the wake of the 2014-2016 outbreak that killed...

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Phishing Equilibria in Silicon Valley: Google Maps and Fraud

By Lambert Strether of Corrente I’ve always been a big fan of Akerlof and Shiller’s concept of a “phishing equilibrium,” which they developed in Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception. Since 2015, when they published the book, the concept hasn’t really caught on, perhaps because it was a foundational assault on mainstream economics, perhaps because it cuts too close to the bone. Now a new article from the Wall Street Journal, “Millions of Business Listings on Google...

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Rotten Apple: Right to Repair Roundup

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans. Last week, iFixit reported on Apple’s latest salvo against the right to repair: By activating a dormant software lock on their newest iPhones, Apple is effectively announcing a drastic new policy: only Apple batteries can go in iPhones, and only they can install them. If you replace the battery in the newest iPhones, a message indicating you need to...

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Bleak Financial Outlook for US Fracking Industry

Yves here. Some astute financial commentators were early to point out that fracking was uneconomical and depended on access to cheap funding. For instance, we cited the Financial Times’ John Dizard in a 2014 post: John Dizard at the Financial Times (hat tip Scott) gives a more intriguing piece of the puzzle: the degree to which production is still chugging along despite it being uneconomical. The oil majors have been criticized for levering up to continue developing when it is cash-flow...

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Doctors Argue Plans To Remedy Surprise Medical Bills Will ‘Shred’ The Safety Net

Yves here. Wowsers. Recall that when a California bill to bar so-called surprise billing, which ought to be regarded as a consumer fraud, was suddenly withdrawn due to some sort of dark force at work, the opponents didn’t even stoop to trying to offer a reason. Now we discover the reason why. They can’t come up with a coherent story. By Rachel Bluth, Kaiser Health News reporter, who previously was the lead political correspondent for the Annapolis Bureau of Capital News Service. She has also...

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Apollo Doth Protest Too Much: Our Leon Black-Jeff Epstein Post Elicits Intervention by Apollo’s Flack

Many readers have been following with prurient interest the saga of serial child-rapist Jeffrey Epstein, and in particular media speculation connected to the Very Important People whose names and personal contacts appear in Epstein’s “Little Black Book,” seized by the FBI and currently publicly archived here, courtesy Jon Cook of Gawker. One listing that got a lot of attention was that of billionaire Leon Black, founder of private equity heavyweight Apollo. After the black book became...

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Credentialism and Corruption: A Second Look at the College Admissions Scandals

By Lambert Strether of Corrente We’ve had yet another college admissions scandal enter the headlines, briefly, and so I thought I’d aggregate the other recent college admissions scandals; it’s surprising — or not! — how prevalent they are. Then I’ll do a simple piece of arithmetic that I haven’t been able to find in the coverage. The Scandals This aggregation is by no means exhaustive[1]; what is most striking is the routine seaminess of it. Interestingly, only the “Varsity Blues” (2019) and...

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Money Is Still King of the Hill And We Are All the Poorer for It: A Glance Back, and Forward

By Skip Kaltenheuser. An expanded version of an article originally published at DownWithTyranny! In Washington, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Except when they get worse. The recent Democratic Party Presidential Debates had me thinking on the enclosed essay on campaign finance, fished out of the wayback machine, that appeared in Barron’s. Way back, over two decades. At the time, I foolishly thought disgust with begging, with dialing for dollars would propel politicians...

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The Military-Industrial Jobs Scam

Yves here. This is a very important post, documenting how despite defense contractor claims to the contrary, increased military spending has been accompanied by job losses in the US. This should come as no surprise. Military contracting is an exercise in pork, and regularly flagrantly disregards national security. A classic example: US uniforms and boots are made in China. Another example of the benefits of military pork going outside the US was the use of contractors during the war in Iraq....

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The “Existential Battle” Is for Control of the Democratic Party

Yves here. While I agree with Neuberger that the fight that really counts for the direction of the US is within the Democratic Party, it is unfortunate that this struggle is being personified, as in too often treated by the media and political operatives as being about Sanders. The fight is really about whether the Democrats will remain the party of the top 10% or will be bludgeoned into representing working people on a broad basis. By Thomas Neuburger. Originally published at...

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