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Fatster’s Roundup

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Howdy, all!

International Developments

? Malala Yousafzai, the 14 year-old who was shot while on the school bus, “is being sent to the UK for medical treatment, the Pakistani army has said.” The Taliban accused her of “promoting secularism” and has said if she survives they will again shoot her. Update: She is now in Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England.

? “UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has appealed for Iranian help to implement a ceasefire in Syria over the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.”

? “The U.N. Security Council approved a resolution that gives regional leaders 45 days to provide specific plans for an international military intervention to oust [al-Qaeda-linked] rebels in northern Mali.”

? “The CIA paid an al Qaeda spy $250,000 to help find a bride for American-born terrorist Anwar al Awlaki in a plot to locate and kill him”.

International Finance

? German Chancellor Angela Merkel has dug in her heels, rejecting “a second debt writedown for Greece”. Instead, she’s “working on sensible solutions with the Greeks and our European partners.” “Sensible solutions”–to this mess?

? In spite of everything else that’s going on, Spain is in the midst of a real estate buying spree, with banks slashing prices on housing around the country.

? Iran has announced it will “cut imports of nonessential goods and urged its citizens to reduce their use of foreign-made cellphones and cars, as the country struggles to cope with Western economic sanctions.”

Money Matters USA

? JPMorgan’s private equity company, One Equity Partners, owns NCO Group, debt collector for student loans from the feds. According to one woman, whose husband was on active duty in Iraq, when NCO tried to collect $9000 her husband owed on his student loan they told her they’d contacted his “commanding officer in Iraq, and that if she didn’t pay back the loan, her husband would be dishonorably discharged . . ..”

? “Citigroup’s three-month profits have plunged after the bank wrote down the value of its stake in a brokerage [Morgan Stanley Smith Barney]”. “Net income for the three months to the end of September fell to $468m . . . from $3.8bn in the same period of 2011.”

? They’re playing us for fools. US consumers don’t benefit from oil drilling nor huge pipelines. There is “no statistical correlation between how much oil comes out of U.S. wells and the price at the pump”.

? The feds knew over 2 years ago that some cheap Chinese jewelry sold in the US contained cadmium, but “failed to pursue recalls” and “have not warned parents about the contaminated items already in their homes.” BTW, retailers “argued their high-cadmium items shouldn’t be recalled” since they “were deemed not to meet the legal definition of a ‘children’s product’.”

Politics USA

? David Stockman strikes again! “Bain Capital . . . has garnered fabulous winnings through leveraged speculation in financial markets that have been perverted and deformed by decades of money printing and Wall Street coddling by the Fed. So Bain’s billions of profits were not rewards for capital creation; they were mainly windfalls collected from gambling in markets that were rigged to rise.”

? Did MA Gov Mitt Romney engage in “‘Medicaid Money Laundering’ and a ‘swindle'”? According to this article, Romney’s campaign “promises to enable it”.

? Mitt won’t be on The View Thursday morning, but Ann will.

? Discouraging news for the Obama campaign: Romney leads Obama “by five percentage points among likely voters in the nation’s top battlegrounds, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, and he has growing enthusiasm among women to thank.

? Dust off your yellow feathers, folks, there’s going to be a Million Muppet March on November 3rd at the National Mall in Washington, DC as freedom-loving folks try and save Big Bird from “possible extinction”.

? We could all use some good news: “Rush Limbaugh has lost ‘tremendous chunk of advertising revenue’; ad support ‘dwindling’.” [cont’d.]

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David Dayen

David Dayen