Originally appeared at Bitcoinomics
Scientists suggest humans used drugs even in prehistory, having discovered over-and-over evidence linking Stone Age man to herbal mixtures for “visions and journeys”. Researchers have even discovered equipment used to prepare hallucinogenic drugs for sniffing, dating them back to prehistoric South American tribes. Ceramic bowls and bone tubes for inhaling fumes or powders appear to have originated in South America between 100BC and 400BC.
Bone tubes are common in pre-contact South America, and are associated with ritual shamanism. Archeologists have suggested that humans were extracting mind-expanding drugs from mescal beans and peyote cacti as far back as 5,000 years ago. Here are some quick examples of the most convincing evidence for the use of mind-altering substances in human prehistory. Read more ›
“My father ran away from home to join the Royal Navy in 1936, just in time for the Spanish Civil War in which we allegedly took no official part, though he remembered his ship dropping off individual men near the coast of Spain who made their own solitary way to land.” - Read my latest daily blog in full here
• SO IT GOES – John Fleming’s Blog
Another banker to run yet another European economy into the ground for bailouts and bonuses.
We discuss how some looters are more equal than others as Jamie Dimon gets to keep his mortgage fraud deal with the Department of Justice secret while others get gunned down in broad daylight for lifting a cigarette. In the second half, Max interviews journalist and author, Matt Taibbi about the injustice that follows the wealth divide and how Ferguson, Missouri plays into that.
If Argentina were in a high-stakes chess match, the country’s actions this week would be the equivalent of flipping over all the pieces on the board.
– David Dayen, Fiscal Times, August 22, 2014
Argentina is playing hardball with the vulture funds, which have been trying to force it into an involuntary bankruptcy. The vultures are demanding what amounts to a 600% return on bonds bought for pennies on the dollar, defeating a 2005 settlement in which 92% of creditors agreed to accept a 70% haircut on their bonds. A US court has backed the vulture funds; but last week, Argentina sidestepped its jurisdiction by transferring the trustee for payment from Bank of New York Mellon to its own central bank. That play, if approved by the Argentine Congress, will allow the country to continue making payments under its 2005 settlement, avoiding default on the majority of its bonds.
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There was quite an interesting headline in the news, which, to my great surprise, went almost completely under the radar, at the close of 2013. It was only picked up by a few small media outlets, and then was quickly dropped.
Nothing further was said, and no additional commentary was even given. I hope to remedy that today.
The headline was this: Russian banks buy up 181.4 tons of gold, in 2013.
Read that again, carefully.
Does it say, “Central Bank of Russia buys 181.4 tons of gold”?
No, it says that commercial Russian banks bought almost 90% of Russia’s gold production in 2013.
Click here for more on Russian banks loading up on gold:
“In Jim Davidson’s Fringe show, he put his annus horribilis behind him” - Read my latest daily blog in full here
• SO IT GOES – John Fleming’s Blog
Michael Lewis on Timothy Geithner:
“He’s written a really good book — we might as well get that out of the way, as so much else about Timothy F. Geithner remains unsettled… There’s hardly a moment in Geithner’s story when the reader feels he is being anything but straightforward — a near-superhuman feat for someone who spent so much time in public life defending himself from careless and dishonest personal attacks. The decisions he made are easier to criticize than they are to improve upon. I doubt many readers will put his book down and think the man did anything but his best. On his feet he might have stammered and wavered. That in itself was always a sign he was unusually brave.”–Michael Lewis, New York Times Book Review
See Also: “Michael Lewis, Wall Street’s Smart Aleck Apologist”
Janet Tavakoli just joined Twitter: @JanetTavakoli
The Status Quo is dysfunctional because its model of how the world works is broken.
Much has been written about the dysfunction in Washington D.C. Pundits have been wringing their hands for years over the rise of bitter partisan politics and the resulting gridlock. The impact of this–what I have termed profound political disunity–extends beyond the narrow confines of domestic politics, a reality reflected in Foreign Affairs new survey of our winter of political discontent, Dysfunction Junction.
But all these discussions of our dysfunctional politics ignore the larger truth, which is the entire model of the Status Quo is broken.
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