Planet Money has obtained a secret government report outlining what once looked like a potential crisis: The possibility that the U.S. government might pay off its entire debt.
It sounds ridiculous today. But not so long ago, the prospect of a debt-free U.S. was seen as a real possibility with the potential to upset the global financial system.
We recently obtained the report through a Freedom of Information Act Request. You can read the whole thing here. (It’s a PDF.)
The report is called “Life After Debt”. It was written in the year 2000, when the U.S. was running a budget surplus, taking in more than it was spending every year. Economists were projecting that the entire national debt could be paid off by 2012.
This was seen in many ways as good thing. But it also posed risks. If the U.S. paid off its debt here would be no more U.S. Treasury bonds in the world.
1- Skip steps 1–3 above.
(sorry, you’ll have to click to find out what those steps are)
AS PROTESTS against financial power sweep the world this week, science may have confirmed the protesters’ worst fears. An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy.
The study’s assumptions have attracted some criticism, but complex systems analysts contacted by New Scientist say it is a unique effort to untangle control in the global economy. Pushing the analysis further, they say, could help to identify ways of making global capitalism more stable.
When the team further untangled the web of ownership, it found much of it tracked back to a “super-entity” of 147 even more tightly knit companies – all of their ownership was held by other members of the super-entity – that controlled 40 per cent of the total wealth in the network. “In effect, less than 1 per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network,” says Glattfelder. Most were financial institutions. The top 20 included Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and The Goldman Sachs Group.
The European Union has squeezed a settlement out of CRT glass manufacturers it accused of operating a cartel back in the days when people used glass screens.
Three vendors will cough up a total of €128m (£111m) to settle the investigation. Nippon Electric will pay €43.2m, Schott AG will pay €40.1m and Asahi Glass will pay €45.1m
A fourth vendor, Samsung Corning Precision Materials, will pay nothing, after it was granted "full immunity for being the first to give information about the cartel".
The Commission said the four were in cahoots between 1999 and December 2004, and "coordinated the prices for CRT glass in the European Economic Area".
The settlement was achieved using the Commission’s “fast track” procedure to wind up cartel investigations.
Okay, so that only works for dutch readers – throw me a bone here, people
When it comes to copyright theft and piracy, many people assume there’s just one side – the side of truth, justice and copyright owners. Beyond that there are parasitical thieves. When most governments come to legislate on the matter, their response is usually one of listening to what big corporations and lobby groups say and nodding in agreement. For the general public, years of being bombarded by cross platform marketing campaigns have ingrained people with various "Piracy bad. Copyright good" slogans.
We’ve been deluged with the arguments against piracy for years. But what’s the other side of the story? Could it possibly be that copyright infringers and pirates aren’t always the bad guys? Are copyright owners their own worst enemy? Judge for yourself and tell us what you think.
And just as awesome, the soundcheck before the show:
And if you think “this guy should do Jimi Hendrix”… he did:
Lebowski ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit praesent ac magna justo pellentesque ac lectus quis. Beaver? You mean vagina? —I mean, you know him? No ma’am, I didn’t mean to give the impression that we’re police exactly. We’re hoping that it will not be necessary to call the police. Elit blandit fringilla a ut turpis praesent felis ligula, malesuada suscipit malesuada non, ultrices. I like your style, Dude. Non urna sed orci ipsum, placerat id condimentum rutrum, rhoncus ac lorem aliquam placerat.
A man will refer to his “dick” or his “rod” or his “Johnson”. Posuere neque, at dignissim magna ullamcorper in aliquam sagittis massa. Ac tortor ultrices faucibus curabitur eu mi sapien, ut ultricies. There’s no fucking reason—here’s my point, Dude—there’s no fucking reason. I mean ‘Nam was a foot soldier’s war whereas, uh, this thing should be a fucking cakewalk. Ipsum morbi eget risus nulla nullam vel nisi enim, vel.
You got the wrong guy. I’m the Dude, man. Auctor ante morbi id urna. A way out west there was a fella, fella I want to tell you about, fella by the name of Jeff Lebowski. At least, that was the handle his lovin’ parents gave him, but he never had much use for it himself. This Lebowski, he called himself the Dude. Now, Dude, that’s a name no one would self-apply where I come from. But then, there was a lot about the Dude that didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. And a lot about where he lived, likewise. But then again, maybe that’s why I found the place s’durned innarestin’. Vel felis lacinia placerat vestibulum.
Turpis nulla, viverra nec volutpat ac, ornare id lectus. HERE’S WHAT HAPPENS, LARRY! Nice marmot. Cras pharetra faucibus tristique nullam non accumsan justo nulla. Facilisi integer interdum elementum nulla, nec eleifend nisl euismod. This is quite a pad you got here, man. Completely unspoiled. Ac maecenas vitae eros velit, eu suscipit erat integer. This compulsive fornicator is taking my father for the proverbial ride. Purus lacus, pretium vel venenatis eu, volutpat non erat. We want that money, Lebowski.
Donec a metus ac eros dictum aliquet nulla consectetur egestas placerat maecenas. Near the In-and-Out Burger. Jeffrey, you haven’t gone to the doctor. Pulvinar nisl et nisl rhoncus at volutpat felis blandit in libero turpis, Laoreet et molestie sed, volutpat et erat nulla ut orci quis neque. Yeah man. Well, you know, the Dude abides. Consectetur tincidunt aliquam erat volutpat donec aliquam orci eget mi lobortis sed. That fucking bitch!
Or, perhaps, you’d want Samuel L Ipsum?
Now that there is the Tec-9, a crappy spray gun from South Miami. This gun is advertised as the most popular gun in American crime. Do you believe that shit? It actually says that in the little book that comes with it: the most popular gun in American crime. Like they’re actually proud of that shit.
Look, just because I don’t be givin’ no man a foot massage don’t make it right for Marsellus to throw Antwone into a glass motherfuckin’ house, fuckin’ up the way the nigger talks. Motherfucker do that shit to me, he better paralyze my ass, ’cause I’ll kill the motherfucker, know what I’m sayin’?
You think water moves fast? You should see ice. It moves like it has a mind. Like it knows it killed the world once and got a taste for murder. After the avalanche, it took us a week to climb out. Now, I don’t know exactly when we turned on each other, but I know that seven of us survived the slide… and only five made it out. Now we took an oath, that I’m breaking now. We said we’d say it was the snow that killed the other two, but it wasn’t. Nature is lethal but it doesn’t hold a candle to man.
The Galaxy Nexus smartphone, the first handset built using a new version of the Android system called "ice cream sandwich," is designed to bypass potential legal attacks from Apple Inc., the mobile chief of Samsung Electronics Co. said.
The remarks from Shin Jong-kyun, Samsung’s mobile president, came as the Korean firm unveiled the result of its first major collaboration with Google Inc., and after suffering a series of setbacks in recent legal battles with Apple.
"Now we will avoid everything we can and take patents very seriously," Shin told reporters Tuesday on the eve of the Galaxy Nexus launch. His comments were embargoed until Wednesday.
Is that an admission that they did copy Apple with their past phones?