Newslinks 2015-5-16

Japan gets its own TPP headaches as over 1000 people sue the government to keep it out, claiming TPP will infringe on their Japanese constitutional rights. Predictably, most represent agricultural interests in Japan, which will be punished badly by cheaper imports and end many practices designed to artificially increase prices. The head of this seems to have been screwed over by US protectionist policies in the 70s and never gotten over it. They’re also lodging complaints about cheap medicine, dispute resolutions, and the secrecy of negotiations.

TPM covers Instagram’s long war on porn. The startup where I worked was a social media company before I got there and they apparently had a lot of problems with this. The biggest headache is companies have to store anything that looks like child porn and hand it over to the FBI, which means you need an employee to scour every account looking for kiddie porn, and generally they end up being tasked with removing dick pics and racist screeds too. Apparently it all happens way more than you ever thought possible when you’re looking for it.

NYT covers Bernie Madoff’s CFO, the man who made all the lies possible. His big innovation was burying fake trades in a blizzard of voluminous trading data, which allowed them to spread it across many accounts and use computer automation to do it on an exponentially higher scale. He does have a different account of when Madoff’s “legitimate years” ended.

Boston Bomber is sentenced to death. The counts on which the jury voted for death pertain solely to Lingzi Lu and Martin Richard, the two victims with the most graphic testimony of their deaths. The jury did not return death verdicts on counts with Officer Sean Collier or Krystle Campbell, nor is he getting death for planning the bombing.

ISIS takes control of Ramadi in Iraq. It’s a setback after weeks of good news of Iraqi forces taking territory back.
NASA issues a stark warning about an Antarctic ice shelf. Kinda feels like an attempt to bring back the urgency of climate change debates.

Argentina continues its farcical defense at the death of a prosecutor. Does a guy shot in the back of his head on one knee in his bathtub with a pistol he didn’t own sound like suicide? The official government report has bent over backwards, apparently manufacturing facts, to make it sound more like a suicide.

Activist investor Carl Icahn takes a $100 million stake in Lyft. Uber’s revenues are 12x that of Lyft but Uber’s valuation is 16x that of Lyft. Which is a bargain for Icahn, especially if Lyft can get closer to market parity. Worst comes to worst, they sue Uber for antitrust and gain an advantage long enough for Icahn to eject with his profits.

FT has a primer on a big settlement coming down between the big banks and the DOJ for manipulation of foreign exchange markets.

FT covers Vice media’s foray into Cuba and its media business in general.

The “good but not good enough” economy has the Fed wondering – is the economy strong enough to raise interest rates? The Fed has been very cautious about repeating Japan’s big mistakes over the last 20 years of knocking the economy back into recession by prematurely taking away the helping hand. It’s starting to look like liberal economists have held sway and the Fed is favoring patience. Inflation has been a complete non-problem so they can afford to wait.

President Obama responds to recent allegations of Syria using more chemical weapons and says the US is helping to investigate. For all you other politicians and world leaders out there, THIS is how you slow walk an important issue where there’s no solution.

In their efforts to keep the sport classy, soccer fans in Canada have taken to harassing female reporters by shouting “Fuck her right in the pussy” when they are doing interviews. One reporter confronted the drunken idiots who did this, who not only showed no remorse at her indignation and genuinely upset complaints, one guy claimed it was hilarious and his mother would die laughing that he did this. Unfortunately for him, his employer wasn’t laughing because they fired him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *