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The Great American Bubble Machine - Rolling Stone

The Great American Bubble Machine - Rolling Stone
The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it's everywhere. The world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money. In fact, the history of the recent financial crisis, which doubles as a history of the rapid decline and fall of the suddenly swindled dry American empire, reads like a Who's Who of Goldman Sachs graduates. Invasion of the Home Snatchers By now, most of us know the major players. As George Bush's last Treasury secretary, former Goldman CEO Henry Paulson was the architect of the bailout, a suspiciously self-serving plan to funnel trillions of Your Dollars to a handful of his old friends on Wall Street. But then, any attempt to construct a narrative around all the former Goldmanites in influential positions quickly becomes an absurd and pointless exercise, like trying to make a list of everything. The Feds vs. Wall Street's Big Win

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CHARTS: Here's What The Wall Street Protesters Are So Angry About... The "Occupy Wall Street" protests are gaining momentum, having spread from a small park in New York to marches to other cities across the country. So far, the protests seem fueled by a collective sense that things in our economy are not fair or right. But the protesters have not done a good job of focusing their complaints—and thus have been skewered as malcontents who don't know what they stand for or want. (An early list of "grievances" included some legitimate beefs, but was otherwise just a vague attack on "corporations." Electronic Circuits Rewire Themselves on Demand, Depending On What They're Needed For Static Circuitry Northwestern researchers are developing circuit technology that can rewire itself on demand. johnmuk via Flickr Northwestern University researchers--the same ones that brought us self-erasing documents a couple of years ago--are envisioning a day when computers and other gadgets can rewire themselves automatically to better suit the user’s needs at a given moment. As a step in that direction, they have today published a paper in Nature Nanotechnology describing tiny circuits they’ve created from nano-scale materials that can be resistors, diodes, transistors, or other components depending on what the computer needs them to be at a given time. Basically, they’ve created circuitry that can rewire itself in the lab. Harnessed for consumer electronics, this technology could enable a new breed of computers that are always optimized for the task at hand. [ The Register ]

Wall Street Aristocracy Got $1.2 Trillion From Fed Citigroup Inc. (C) and Bank of America Corp. (BAC) were the reigning champions of finance in 2006 as home prices peaked, leading the 10 biggest U.S. banks and brokerage firms to their best year ever with $104 billion of profits. By 2008, the housing market’s collapse forced those companies to take more than six times as much, $669 billion, in emergency loans from the U.S. Physicists unveil a theory for a new kind of superconductivity ( -- In this 100th anniversary year of the discovery of superconductivity, physicists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology have published a fully self-consistent theory of the new kind of superconducting behavior, Type 1.5, this month in the journal Physical Review B. In three recent papers, the authors report on their detailed investigations to show that a Type 1.5 superconducting state is indeed possible in a class of materials called multiband superconductors. For years, most physicists believed that superconductors must be either Type I or Type II.

How Paulson Gave Hedge Funds Advance Word Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson stepped off the elevator into the Third Avenue offices of hedge fund Eton Park Capital Management LP in Manhattan. It was July 21, 2008, and market fears were mounting. Four months earlier, Bear Stearns Cos. had sold itself for just $10 a share to JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)

Citizen Scientist 2.0 What does the future of science look like?About a year ago, I was asked this same question. My response was: Transdisciplinary collaboration. Researchers from a variety of domains—biology, philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, economics, law—all coming together, using inputs from each specialized area to generate the best comprehensive solutions to society's more persistent problems. Indeed, it appears as if I was on the right track, as more and more academic research departments, as well as industries, are seeing the value in this type of partnership. Now let's take this even a step further.

Revealed: huge increase in executive pay for America's top bosses John Hammergren, CEO of healthcare provider McKesson, earned $145m last year. Photograph: George Nikitin/AP Chief executive pay has roared back after two years of stagnation and decline. America's top bosses enjoyed pay hikes of between 27 and 40% last year, according to the largest survey of US CEO pay. New Technique Turns Viruses Into Useful Tools Researchers have demonstrated a simple, one-step process in which genetically engineered viruses arrange themselves into extremely ordered patterns with distinctive properties, such as color or strength. The technique could be used to make novel optical devices or biological scaffolds to grow soft tissue, teeth, and bone. The researchers, led by Seung-Wuk Lee, a bioengineering professor at the University of California, Berkeley, used the technique to make structured films. “We want to mimic nature and create many different types of functional structures with a very simple building block,” Lee says. This work is part of a broader effort to make new types of materials using viruses as microscopic building blocks.

Tax gift to the rich Todd Dagres, a prominent venture capitalist and independent movie producer, earned $3.5 million in 2003, and paid not a cent in federal income tax. The IRS challenged the math, and sent Dagres a bill for $981,980 in back taxes, plus $196,369 in penalties. So Dagres lawyered up. His attorneys waived one lucrative tax break to exploit an even better one, and claimed victory in the case in March. The Benjamin Franklin Effect The Misconception: You do nice things for the people you like and bad things to the people you hate. The Truth: You grow to like people for whom you do nice things and hate people you harm. Benjamin Franklin knew how to deal with haters.

Occupy Geeks Are Building a Facebook for the 99% Protesters volunteering for the internet and information boards of the Occupy Wall Street protest work and broadcast from their media center in Zuccotti Plaza on Oct. 2, 2011. Photo: Bryan Derballa for “I don’t want to say we’re making our own Facebook. But, we’re making our own Facebook,” said Ed Knutson, a web and mobile app developer who joined a team of activist-geeks redesigning social networking for the era of global protest. They hope the technology they are developing can go well beyond Occupy Wall Street to help establish more distributed social networks, better online business collaboration and perhaps even add to the long-dreamed-of semantic web — an internet made not of messy text, but one unified by underlying meta-data that computers can easily parse.

Graphene magnetologic gates could replace silicon transistor logic Physicists at the University of California, Riverside have received a $1.85 million research grant to work on “magnetologic gates,” a brand new computing building block made from graphene and magnetic electrodes that would replace transistors in today’s computer chips. Current silicon gates are pure logic — on or off, billions of times per second. In magnetologic gates, there are two magnetic electrodes that magnetically store data — like a hard drive — connected by a sheet of graphene. As electrons travel across the graphene their spin state is compared against the magnetic data in the electrodes, and a binary value is calculated.

Schneiderman Sues Three Big Banks, MERS for Deceptive Practices, Illegal Foreclosures In the latest of a flurry of under-the-wire lawsuits that seem to conflict with an imminent foreclosure fraud settlement, Eric Schneiderman, the Attorney General of New York and a co-chair of the federal task force looking into the residential mortgage-backed securities market, sued three banks for their use of the MERS electronic registry which resulted in fraudulent foreclosure filings. Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today filed a lawsuit against several of the nation’s largest banks charging that the creation and use of the private national mortgage electronic registry system known as MERS has resulted in a wide range of deceptive and fraudulent foreclosure filings in New York state and federal courts, harming homeowners and undermining the integrity of the judicial foreclosure process. The lawsuit asserts that employees and agents of Bank of America, J.P. Importantly, this is separate and apart from the RMBS working group that Schneiderman co-chairs.

Chime.In: The Social Network That Pays You To Post While Facebook has earned billions of dollars selling ads next to the content uploaded by their 800 million members, users haven't seen a dime from their posts. It's an arrangement that extends across many of the web's largest social networking sites -- and one serial entrepreneur Bill Gross plans to change. Gross, the CEO of UberMedia, which owns several popular social networking apps, is launching a new social media site on Tuesday,, that will effectively pay its users to contribute. Share with and will share with you.

A well written article by Matt Taibbi by icewufz Dec 11

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