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Monday Message Board

February 8th, 2010

It’s time, once again for the Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. As usual, civilised discussion and no coarse language.

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  1. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    February 8th, 2010 at 19:46 | #1

    I notice Barry Brook has an article up discussing his debate with Monckton. I have not yet watched the footage but according to Brook his own collegues tactic of attacking Monckton on credentials wasn’t a crowd pleaser. Perhaps it is better for you that you didn’t participate JQ.

  2. jquiggin
    February 8th, 2010 at 21:20 | #2

    I wouldn’t have expected to please the crowd. If I had participated, it would have been to point out that they were making fools of themselves. In the current climate(!), association with the political right automatically makes you stupid, since anyone intelligent enough to think rationally is driven out (see Malcolm Turnbull).

  3. February 8th, 2010 at 21:54 | #3

    “You’re associated with the policital right, this automatically makes you stupid!”

    As a debating tactic, this may prove to not be a persuasive argument. Especially when the subject is the rigourousness or otherwise of some scientists.

  4. Ken Miles
    February 8th, 2010 at 22:02 | #4

    I’m pretty convinced that a standard debate is a pretty poor way of working through an issue. There are too many tricks which essentially penalise thoughtfull points and promote grandstanding. I would personally prefer to read a written debate spread over a period of time, allowing the debaters to stop, think, research and then respond.

  5. Michael
    February 8th, 2010 at 22:11 | #5

    @Ken Miles
    If that were the format then the denialists would have to eventually produce some evidence to back up their claims instead of throwing bombs and running for cover. I’m still waiting to hear some evidence NASA scuppered their own satalite. After all anyone who is old enough to have worked in a large organisation knows there is always a paper trail. Conspiracies that would have to involve more than a small group of people to remain secret will usually be blown. Of course if you are paranoid sociopath then you are free to believe anything.

  6. Ken Miles
    February 8th, 2010 at 22:30 | #6

    It’s a problem that the delusionists share with flat earthers, anti-vac’ers, 911 truthers, creationists etc.

  7. Chris Warren
    February 8th, 2010 at 22:33 | #7

    @Steve at the Pub

    Just think of Sarah Palin…

  8. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    February 8th, 2010 at 22:45 | #8

    Can somebody link to the claim that NASA destroyed their own satellite to hide data. I’d like to read it in context.

  9. Donald Oats
    February 8th, 2010 at 22:53 | #9

    It also seems that Monckton has quietly dropped some of his most contentious (and always incorrect) claims about the “climate” during the last decade. I guess the combination of last year being a sunspot-free (or as near as) year which signals a solar minimum, and yet the global temperature put 2009 as tied for third hottest year on instrumental record (1880 to present). All but one of the 10 hottest years since 1880 are from the last decade to 2009. That one year is 1998, which is *not* the hottest year on record.

    A simple sort of the global temperature (anomaly) data file at NASA makes this stark. For the record, here are the last 30 years of global temperature anomaly data, sorted from smallest to largest anomaly. Format is row number, year (YYYY), and anomaly value (relative to 1951–1980 mean global temperature).

    1 1977 0.13
    2 1986 0.13
    3 1992 0.13
    4 1973 0.14
    5 1993 0.14
    6 1980 0.18
    7 1944 0.2
    8 1989 0.2
    9 1994 0.23
    10 1981 0.26
    11 1983 0.26
    12 1987 0.26
    13 1996 0.29
    14 1988 0.31
    15 1999 0.32
    16 2000 0.33
    17 1991 0.35
    18 1990 0.38
    19 1995 0.38
    20 1997 0.4
    21 2008 0.43
    22 2001 0.48
    23 2004 0.49
    24 2006 0.54
    25 2003 0.55
    26 1998 0.56
    27 2002 0.56
    28 2007 0.57
    29 2009 0.57
    30 2005 0.63

    Note that from row 21 to row 30 are all but one of the years from the last decade; only 1998 gets in from two decades ago. Also note that 1998 was the fifth hottest year on instrumental record, and only held the record of hottest year until 2002, when it was tied for first place (in 2002). Therefore the moronic claims of entering a cooling period – said in a manner that implies it is an extended period – are blatantly false.

    Where are the journalists set to challenge the Abbott’s Monck? The have got to drop the complacency and force Monckton to justify his claims rather than letting him get away with the grossly incorrect ones. At least MediaWatch had a shot tonight.

  10. Ken Miles
    February 8th, 2010 at 23:09 | #10

    TerjeP (say tay-a) :Can somebody link to the claim that NASA destroyed their own satellite to hide data. I’d like to read it in context.

    It comes from a reporter reporting on a climate skeptics meeting in Melbourne. Not much context, but it is hard to find a non-crazy way of explaining this quote:

    ”Not greatly to my surprise – indeed I predicted it – the satellite crashed on take-off because the last thing they want is real world hard data”


  11. Freelander
    February 8th, 2010 at 23:53 | #11

    @Steve at the Pub

    You quote a sentence of your own creation. Typically delusionist behaviour. Drink up. Paradise awaits in Catatonia. Paradise for you; peace for us.

  12. zoot
    February 9th, 2010 at 00:49 | #12

    @Donald Oats
    Not that it detracts from your well made point, but you include data which are not within the last thirty years. I think these are the correct figures:
    1982 .05
    1985 .05
    1984 .09
    1986 .13
    1992 .13
    1993 .14
    1980 .18
    1989 .20
    1994 .23
    1981 .26
    1983 .26
    1987 .26
    1996 .29
    1988 .31
    1999 .32
    2000 .33
    1991 .35
    1990 .38
    1995 .38
    1997 .40
    2008 .43
    2001 .48
    2004 .49
    2006 .54
    2003 .55
    1998 .56
    2002 .56
    2007 .57
    2009 .57
    2005 .63

  13. John Mashey
    February 9th, 2010 at 05:04 | #13

    Those interested in climate wars, hockeysticks, the Wegman Report, nd what was rally going on:
    see McIntyre&McKitrick Part 1 for background, and then Part 2, today, as various interesting facts are discovered.

  14. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    February 9th, 2010 at 05:50 | #14

    Ken – thanks. It is a concerning claim but is that the only reference for it? If it is the basis for doing a serious character job I’d have hoped for a bit more. For instance is this a case of a sarcastic banter having a dig at NASA, ie a form of humor, or is it a serious claim? A lot rides on how the journalist took it.

  15. Freelander
    February 9th, 2010 at 05:52 | #15

    @John Mashey

    Yes. ‘Facts’ are ‘discovered’.

    Samuel Taylor Coleridge ‘discovered’ facts through the medium of opium and produced some fine work. But will McIntyre and McKitrick’s ‘facts’ sell as well as Twilight or Harry Potter?

  16. Michael
    February 9th, 2010 at 07:30 | #16

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    A joke taken out of context you thinks?

    TerjeP a few questions for you.
    1. Should Monckton be expected to provide evidence for his claims that climate scientists are involved in a massive conspiracy?
    2. Do you think AGW is a hoax? If so what evidence do base this belief on?
    3. if you do think AGW isn’t a hoax, then is it a serious issue?
    4. Do you think people like Monckton are helping the debate?

    The denailists have a wonderful advantage in this debate by not having any substantial body of work or process to defend. They can even have contradicting claims and not be expected to answer for them. I think it is time you get off the fence once and for all on this issue.

  17. Chris Warren
    February 9th, 2010 at 09:11 | #17

    Who remembers 1999? well our capitalists do because this was when the DOW reached 10,000.

    Now, 2010, it is less. [ DOW ]

    Presumably the stock market indicies are not indexed to inflation, so a 10,000 level today is not worth as much as 10,000 several years ago.

    And they keep piling money in – the fools.

  18. Donald Oats
    February 9th, 2010 at 09:12 | #18

    Well caught. I meant that the “top 30 years” instead of “last 30 years” in my post. My data are the hottest 30 years from the 30th (rather stupidly numbered “1” by me being in a bit of a hurry) continuing down the list to the hottest year, which was 2005 (the final entry).

    I could have done that a smidge better 🙂

  19. Donald Oats
    February 9th, 2010 at 09:15 | #19

    And my top 30 hottest years are taken from the full instrumental record, ie 1880–2009, which is why we differ on the first few (ie coolest of the 30) years.



  20. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    February 9th, 2010 at 09:33 | #20


    1. I think the claim is that the UN I using AGW to try and grab powers akin to being a global government.

    2. No.

    3. It doesn’t keep we awake at night or cause me to worry about my kids. However it is worthy of public debate.

    4. Not the scientific debate but they do add something to the public debate.

  21. Michael
    February 9th, 2010 at 09:56 | #21

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    Thanks for you reply. On point 1, is there evidence for this claim? The implication of this claim is that climate scientists are involved in falsifying data to support the creation of a world government. On point 3, is it because you doubt the predictions made by climate scientists about the effects of claim change on the Australia continent?

  22. February 9th, 2010 at 12:01 | #22

    Have a look at the value of what is probably the most anti-capitalist state in the world.
    Just a hint – single data points just are not that useful. You pointing to the Dow (an index no-one actually trading pays any real attention to – just reporters) is just as useful as me pointing to the DPRK.

  23. Chris Warren
    February 9th, 2010 at 12:14 | #23

    @Andrew Reynolds

    There are plenty of other indicators of capitalist failure, but delving into them generally involves exceeding the attention span of most bloggers.

    However, like increasing per capita debt, and ratchetting unemployment, the DOW crash is a symptom of a deeper crisis tendency, first (I think) identified by Marx.

  24. may
    February 9th, 2010 at 12:48 | #24

    when you asked for ideas for the debate ,my simplistic suggestion was

    “don’t lose.”

    it seems i’m not the only simple minded one around.

    coalition don’t care about veracity,it’s all about not losing.

  25. Freelander
    February 9th, 2010 at 13:09 | #25

    @Andrew Reynolds

    The point made is true. The US stockmarket as a whole has gone sideways, in nominal terms, for the past ten years. As it has gone sideways, in nominal terms, prices have continued to go up. These facts seem to be emotionally unpalatable to you, hence your irrational outburst? You wouldn’t be a market worshiper by any means? That would make Chris a blasphemer in your eyes.

  26. February 9th, 2010 at 13:23 | #26

    I am not aware of how anyone can “worship” the results of decisions by millions of individuals subject to resource constraints, but I am sure you have a populist response that would show otherwise.
    Various markets have traded down, sideways, backwards, upwards, forward and, I am sure, in a snake-like pattern with cherries on top for millenia. I am not sure how one measure of a part of one market (and even that not a good measure) proves anything at all in a general case about markets. Perhaps you can enlighten us.

  27. Graeme Bird
    February 9th, 2010 at 13:28 | #27

    “I guess the combination of last year being a sunspot-free (or as near as) year which signals a solar minimum, and yet the global temperature put 2009 as tied for third hottest year on instrumental record (1880 to present).”

    Monkton isn’t going to buy that claim.

  28. Freelander
    February 9th, 2010 at 13:39 | #28

    @Andrew Reynolds

    I am afraid I do not have such great powers that I would be able to enlighten you about anything. That said, why would I wish to enlighten you about claims I have not made.

    Please go away and perform your socially useful function. Losing your client’s money.

  29. February 9th, 2010 at 14:03 | #29

    Fortunately, I leave that up to my clients to do. You really do not know what a risk manager does, do you? As for socially useful, there are many other things I do as well. Attempting to help those ignorant of the real world being one of them.
    This is not always appreciated, but that does not put me off.

  30. Freelander
    February 9th, 2010 at 14:17 | #30

    @Andrew Reynolds

    “Attempting to help…” but you are not equipped to do this you poor sad delusionist. But please don’t let that put you off trying as you are a source of levity.

  31. February 9th, 2010 at 14:25 | #31

    I can reassure you that I am not that poor, Freelander. I will let you imagine the rest.

  32. smiths
    February 9th, 2010 at 15:14 | #32

    still banging the same drum andrew, i wonder if you’ll be like a 1970’s communist, still celebrating the idea 40 years after its turned into mass murder,

    anyway, here is Goldman Sachs turning its attention to looting the world economy because looting the US economy just doesnt represent a challenge anymore

    If Greek banks, as the rumors goes, indeed sold Greek protection, and, as the rumor also goes, Goldman was the bulk buyer, either in prop or flow capacity, it is precisely Goldman, just like in the AIG case, that can now dictate what the collateral margin that Greek counterparties, and by extension the very nation of Greece, have to post on billions of dollars of Greek insurance. Let’s say Goldman thinks Greece’s debt recovery is 75 cents and the CDS should be trading at 700 bps, instead of the “prevailing” consensus of a 90 recovery and 450 spread, then it will very likely get its way when demanding extra capital to cover potential shortfalls, since Goldman itself has been instrumental in covering up Greece’s catastrophic financial state and continues to be a critical factor in any future refinancing efforts on behalf of Greece. Obviously this incremental margin, which only Goldman will ever see, even if the CDS was purchased on a flow basis, will never be downstreamed on behalf of its clients, and instead will be used to [buy futures|buy steepeners|prepay 2011 bonuses|buy more treasuries for the BONY $60 billion Treasury rainy day fund].
    In essence, through its conflict of interest, its unshakable negotiating position, and its facility to determine collateral requirements and variation margin, Goldman can expand its previous position of strength from dictating merely AIG and Federal Reserve decision making, to one which determines sovereign policy!

  33. smiths
    February 9th, 2010 at 15:29 | #33

    anyone been following the low-profile bankers meeting in Sydney?

    turns out it was organised by the bank for international settlements, a personal favorite of mine
    here’s why

    members of the BIS board of directors are individually granted special benefits:
    * “immunity from arrest or imprisonment and immunity from seizure of their personal baggage, save in flagrant cases of criminal offence;”
    * “inviolability of all papers and documents;”
    * “immunity from jurisdiction, even after their mission has been accomplished, for acts carried out in the discharge of their duties, including words spoken and writings;”
    * “exemption for themselves, their spouses and children from any immigration restrictions, from any formalities concerning the registration of aliens and from any obligations relating to national service in Switzerland ;”
    * “the right to use codes in official communications or to receive or send documents or correspondence by means of couriers or diplomatic bags.”
    * “immunity from jurisdiction for acts accomplished in the discharge of their duties, including words spoken and writings, even after such persons have ceased to be Officials of the Bank;”
    * “exemption from all Federal, cantonal and communal taxes on salaries, fees and allowances paid to them by the Bank…”
    * exempt from Swiss national obligations, freedom for spouses and family members from immigration restrictions, transfer assets and properties – including internationally – with the same degree of benefit as Officials of other international organizations.

    * The buildings or parts of buildings and surrounding land which, whoever may be the owner thereof, are used for the purposes of the Bank shall be inviolable. No agent of the Swiss public authorities may enter therein without the express consent of the Bank. Only the President, the General Manager of the Bank, or their duly authorised representative shall be competent to waive such inviolability.
    * The archives of the Bank and, in general, all documents and any data media belonging to the Bank or in its possession, shall be inviolable at all times and in all places.
    * The Bank shall exercise supervision of and police power over its premises.
    * The Bank shall enjoy immunity from criminal and administrative jurisdiction, save to the extent that such immunity is formally waived in individual cases by the President, the General Manager of the Bank, or their duly authorised representative.
    * The assets of the Bank may be subject to measures of compulsory execution for enforcing monetary claims. On the other hand, all deposits entrusted to the Bank, all claims against the Bank and the shares issued by the Bank shall, without the prior agreement of the Bank, be immune from seizure or other measures of compulsory execution and sequestration, particularly of attachment within the meaning of Swiss law.

    a private bank made up of private banks that are without doubt a law unto themselves

  34. Chris Warren
    February 9th, 2010 at 17:15 | #34


    You sound like a denialist? What does the word “intervention” mean to you?

    still celebrating the idea 40 years after its turned into mass murder,

    So how much blood was shed as European capitalism imposed itself onto the New World? It is not possible to find a worse campaign of mass murder than visited on Aboriginal tribes in North America, Africa, and Australia although the massacres of Chinese Boxers, and Indian nationalists comes close.

    Your backside is sitting on land stolen from original owners through mass slaughter.

    By the way – how many Moslems have capitalist armies in the Middle East killed as of today? I’ve lost count.

    How many did the capitalists kill and maim, and how many countries were destroyed in World War I and II.

    How many innocents did the capitalists kill with their bombing of Hamburg, Hiroshima, Nagasaki?

  35. smiths
    February 9th, 2010 at 17:38 | #35

    whoa there chris, i was responding to andrew reynolds one-eyed free market mumbo jumbo that hasnt changed for three years,
    i used the communists as an example of a group of people in the west, who stuck to their ideology despite all evidence suggesting the reality in russia was proving to be a massive horror,
    i was not attacking socialism as an idea and on the other side i am not against relatively free markets
    i also think it in-accurate to say that capitalist armies attacked the moslems or the native south americans,
    the average british person at the height of empire lived in poverty, and the average american soldier killing people in iraq comes from the bottom of the ladder in america

    my whole point in my occasional excursions here, is that concepts like America or Britain as sovereign capitalist countries attacking other sovereign countries is infantile,
    there is a trans-national oligarchy that associates together and profits together,
    the allegedly Moslem leaders of Saudi Arabia of Afghanistan are as much a part of the looting and aggresion as Tony Blair and Obama are

  36. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    February 9th, 2010 at 17:59 | #36

    Michael – I’m happy to look at evidence but I’m not going to chase it down at the moment in regards to the UN. I will however share my perspective because you asked.

    It does seem likely to me from recent revelations about the IPCC that several people have worked the processes to engineer a particular political outcome. Part of this may have been mere incompetence, some of it due to misplaced sence of purpose but it also seems quite likely that the accumulation of new powers is also a driving incentive for some (personally and ideologically). Some of those involved in pushing for power for the mere sake of it are there on the pretext of being scientists but I don’t think it would be very fair to suggest that most scientists are part of a conspiracy.

    I think that every organisation, be it a private corporation or otherwise, there is a capacity for good people to act toward bad ends without individually setting out to do so. What matters are the incentives and structures in place often much more so than the moral inclination of those involved. I think the IPCC is structures to ensure that we are given a bad prognosis and there are incentives to filter and interprete information so as to align with that agenda. The IPCC is a collabrative team effort but it tends to co-opt peers rather than ensure rigorous independent review. IPCC reports are not peer reviewed documents.

    I think that the world could so with a wikipedia style compendium of climate science knowledge but I don’t see much value in the IPCC concept of a unifies global reporting body that attempts to create a single authorative statement on the state of climate science. I think the whole power structure is fundamentally wrong. We don’t have a single authorative intepretation of biblical texts or use a UN enforced dictionary of the English language and there is no UN commitee reporting on the state of evolutionary theory. On these matters authority to interprete and report is earned through reputation non political decree and it remains constantly in contention. The authority of the IPCC stems from politics not reputation so ultimately this is an organisation that will be driven to protect political interests not reputation.

  37. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    February 9th, 2010 at 18:04 | #37

    p.s. When people say that the IPCC is part of a conspiracy to creating world government I think they get the broad sentiment right even if they get the specific substance wrong. I think all organised human endeavour contains a bias towards centralising power and control.

  38. gerard
  39. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    February 9th, 2010 at 18:49 | #39

    Gerard – thanks. However not quite as comprehensive as what I was alluding to. I think a comprehensive compedium on a single topic such as this is outside the scope of wikipedia and would require a devoted wiki. It may also require some alteration of the basic wikipedia rule set. However like wikipedia it should earn it’s authority rather than being annointed with it.

  40. Donald Oats
    February 9th, 2010 at 18:51 | #40

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    The main purpose of the IPCC in relation to the science concerning global warming and humanity’s contribution, is to perform a process of review. This means that they set a cut-off date for acceptance of peer-reviewed scientific publications, then set the reviewers to establish the state of the art as at the cut-off date, an absolutely humungous undertaking. Clearly the choice of scientists who perform the major review function may affect emphasis but it shouldn’t affect the conclusions for the simple reason that the lines of evidence have been mainly pointing one way. In any case, the various drafts are themselves subject to line-by-line checking by numerous experts of differing persuasions, including some noted sceptics. Each working group has this process for their reports.

    Of course the fact that the IPCC has the potential for affecting the highly profitable business of fossil fuel energy, means that NGOs are created for the express purpose of thwarting the IPCC meetings such as Copenhagen. For an inside look at how that works, Jeremy Leggett’s “The Carbon War” gives a petroleum geologist’s personal perspective as he represented environmental interests at the various IPCC meetings in the late ’80s and 90’s, until he gave up in disgust and created a Solar Energy company in the UK – which is still doing okay.

  41. Freelander
    February 9th, 2010 at 18:58 | #41

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)

    So you are also part of the conspiracy? If that is so, who is being conspired against?

  42. Ken Miles
    February 9th, 2010 at 19:02 | #42

    I think that the world could so with a wikipedia style compendium of climate science knowledge but I don’t see much value in the IPCC concept of a unifies global reporting body that attempts to create a single authorative statement on the state of climate science. I think the whole power structure is fundamentally wrong. We don’t have a single authorative intepretation of biblical texts or use a UN enforced dictionary of the English language and there is no UN commitee reporting on the state of evolutionary theory. On these matters authority to interprete and report is earned through reputation non political decree and it remains constantly in contention.

    Political leaders don’t need a understanding Biblical text, academic studies of the English language or evolution. They do need an understanding of climate change.

    The authority of the IPCC stems from politics not reputation so ultimately this is an organisation that will be driven to protect political interests not reputation.


  43. gerard
    February 9th, 2010 at 19:10 | #43

    Are you saying you want a “free climate-science compendium that anyone can edit?”

    Which will then “earn” its authority… how?

    not through the process of professional peer-review, obviously, since the dozens of scientific organizations listed in the link above are untrustworthy in your opinion.

    maybe through the much more rigorous process of libertarian-blogosphere review perhaps?

  44. Freelander
    February 9th, 2010 at 19:18 | #44


    We could call that wiki “The Sarah Palin Chronicles”.

  45. Tony G
    February 9th, 2010 at 20:38 | #45

    “When people say that the IPCC is part of a conspiracy to creating world government I think they get the broad sentiment right”

    Consensus is conspiracy, even more so when it involves fraud.

  46. Michael
    February 9th, 2010 at 20:54 | #46

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    I don’t share your perspective, but thanks for sharing it. I’m not knowledgeable in the exact workings of the IPCC, so I’m not going to defend it as being absolutely impervious to any political influence, but I’m not sure how important that is anyway. My earlier point is that it is a document and a process that is unified and more or less transparent. It is revised in each addition and it is a record that can be contested. The deniers aren’t held accountable in any comparable sense. Monckton made an insinuation about NASA sabotaging it’s own satellite. This if true would be a massive scandal. He should back it up with evidence or withdraw it. Plimer has runs on the board with similar although perhaps less outrageous claims he declines to defend.
    As others have pointed out, powerful vested interests in fossil fuels aren’t sitting meekly on the sidelines. They are exercising their “free speech” by using their extensive resources. Again, they aren’t putting their case in any kind of contestable open way, they are funding think tanks to throw bombs from the sidelines.
    I see AGW as being part of a general market failure to deal with the externalities of pollution, not the only one, but the biggest. My sense is that you are looking for diversions to delay dealing with the difficult implications AGW presents. I could be wrong.

  47. Chris Warren
    February 9th, 2010 at 21:03 | #47

    smiths :

    i used the communists as an example of a group of people in the west, who stuck to their ideology despite all evidence suggesting the reality in russia was proving to be a massive horror,

    Hence your problem. It seems to me you were engaging in a bourgeois stereotype.

    i also think it in-accurate to say that capitalist armies attacked the moslems or the native south americans,

    Who was it then?

    What is the relevance of:

    the average british person at the height of empire lived in poverty, and the average american soldier killing people in iraq comes from the bottom of the ladder in america

    This does NOT give you licence to rape the rest of the globe or qualify our response today to such events.

    my whole point in my occasional excursions here, is that concepts like America or Britain as sovereign capitalist countries attacking other sovereign countries is infantile,
    there is a trans-national oligarchy that associates together and profits together,
    the allegedly Moslem leaders of Saudi Arabia of Afghanistan are as much a part of the looting and aggresion as Tony Blair and Obama are

    More confusion. Australia is based on the most perfect example of capitalist development based precisely on a sovereign capitalist nation (under a george and victoria and an edward) attacking the sovereign aboriginal nations.

    This is not an infantile concept.

  48. SJ
    February 9th, 2010 at 21:27 | #48

    So what are you trying to say here, Chris?

    It seems to me that you’re implying that smiths is merely a running dog despite his quite explicit disavowals.

    Maybe you think he just doesn’t realise that he’s a running dog, but in that case, what makes you any different to smiths?

  49. Chris Warren
    February 9th, 2010 at 21:41 | #49


    I am not sure what a “running dog” is. Please indicate how this concept gets into consideration.

    It is not my thought. Where are these “explicit disavowals” and of what?

    It is up to smiths to clarify its logic.

    Maybe a “dead dog” could be more appropriate? I dunno?

    Please explain. Should we leave sleeping dogs lie?

  50. SJ
    February 9th, 2010 at 21:56 | #50

    Chris, most of us are able to understand common words and phrases.

    For example, I understood what smiths was saying, and I understood what you said in return. But it was also clear that you read something into smiths’ words that just wasn’t there. I thought you might have been reacting to something you might have read as code words or dog whistles, but you claim not to understand those either.

    That’s quite OK, just checking. I won’t need to pay any attention to you in future.

    (I don’t mind if you don’t understand any of this either, it’s just there for the benefit of anyone else who’s trying to work out if there’s anything meaningful in your responses).

  51. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    February 9th, 2010 at 22:08 | #51

    Michael – In my book Monckton is essentially a self appointed PR guy. His flavour of AGW scepticism is simplified for the mass market. He would not be high on my list of people to consult for a detailed understanding of AGW scepticism. I think a lot of the criticism of Moncktons simplified version is naturally reasonable, but also simplistically seeks to throw out the sceptic baby with the sceptic bath water. It is comparable to judging the sophistication of the finance industry on the basis of a single retail investment seminar time share appartments. Or perhaps like judging the AGW theory on the basis of a Green Peace brochure handed out on mainstreet.

    Gerard – I think if we had a comprehensive wiki on climate science it could be useful. In terms of whether anybody could edit it I’m not sure that this would necessarily be the best approach. As I indicated it may well need a different rule that that used by wikipedia. In particular the rules associated with citations might need to be more specific. I would however expect that such a system if done well would allow critical input by the general public in some form or other. Perhaps the rule set might be along the lines suggested for Citizendium which excludes anonymous contribution and provides an elevated standing for recognised subject matter experts.


    The benefit of a wiki is that it fully captures all input from all parties and leaves an audit trail for who changed what. The IPCC is supposed to be transparent and to keep records on review feedback and decision making regarding such feedback however in practice it seems to be pretty awful at delivering on transparency and on retaining an audit trail on how and why feedback is rejected / accepted. A wiki style approach could in theory streamline this substantially. However I’m merely offering a creative suggestion and this isn’t a highly developed proposition.

  52. gerard
    February 9th, 2010 at 22:11 | #52

    Hence your problem. It seems to me you were engaging in a bourgeois stereotype.

    Not all the communists in the West in the 70s were supportive of the Russian system.

    The Trots, for example.

  53. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    February 9th, 2010 at 22:17 | #53

    p.s. Another reform suggestion that has been floated at ClimateAudit which I think is a damn good idea is outlined here:-


  54. Chris Warren
    February 9th, 2010 at 22:32 | #54

    Poor SJ

    most of us are able to understand common words and phrases.

    And more of us USE common phrases and words.

    Anyway, who really wants to deal with vague statements as:

    you read something into smiths’ words that just wasn’t there.

    where this supposed “something” is not stated.

    smiths simply tried to refer to some mass murder without referring to all mass murder.

    If you want to refer to mass murder then you need some rigor. In some circumstances this is pandering to bourgeois stereotypes. It is important to recognise all mass murder, not just some convenient some.

    I won’t need to pay any attention to you in future.

    Yes, that’s probably best for all concerned.

  55. Donald Oats
    February 9th, 2010 at 23:26 | #55

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)

    Disbanding the CRU is a ridiculous suggestion by climate audit. Objective discussion about whether the data products meet their specified goals is reasonable. It is going too far to first pound CRU with more than 100 FOIAs, 40 of which were clearly coordinated to harrangue particular staff at CRU, and then to argue that they aren’t on top of the job they are “meant” to be doing. The CRU staff cannot respond in kind and nor can they ignore vexatious FOIAs. Have a look at what Phil Jones had to say about what happened, from his perspective.

    He also suspected that the CRU was the target of a co-ordinated attempt to interfere with its work — a suspicion that hardened into certainty when, over a matter of days, it received 40 similar FoI requests. Each applicant asked for data from five different countries, 200 in all, which would have been a daunting task even for someone with nothing else to do. It was clear to Jones that the attack originated from an old adversary, the sceptical website Climate Audit, run by Steve McIntyre, a former minerals prospector and arch climate sceptic.

    Perhaps Climate Audit ought to ‘fess up and then disband.

  56. February 10th, 2010 at 00:23 | #56

    Good to see you again.
    Let’s start with a quick (and rhetorical) question. Who was it that granted those privileges to the BIS? Of course – the free market can do that. Wonderful thing that free market.
    In reality (remember reality?) though, the BIS is owned by the world’s central banks (not a private bank in the shareholder list any more, although there were a few early on) and handles the transactions between those banks and no-one else. It also acts in an advisory role to central banks and governments on banking policy and houses the BCBS which writes the advisory rules on bank regulation as agreed between the world’s (well, at least 13 of them) regulators.
    Fabulous “…private bank made up of private banks…” that one, huh.
    The good part of seeing you here again is that you are so prejudiced against the freedom of the individual to interact economically that you make whopping errors like that one.

  57. Freelander
    February 10th, 2010 at 00:57 | #57

    @Andrew Reynolds

    “Wonderful thing that free market.” Is that a prayer? Grateful supplicant? I thought you said you weren’t a worshipper? Sounds awfully like worship to me.

  58. Xander Burrows
    February 10th, 2010 at 01:22 | #58

    I read your taxonomy of denialists – mildly amusing…anyway, what about the people that simply don’t care. We’re not lobbyists for the Oil Industry , we just don’t care about climate change – we don’t care about rising sea levels or melting glaciers. Why should we have to pay a tax on something we don’t care about? It’s fascism pure and simple. I don’t care how many parts per million of the atmosphere is carbon dioxide. If you’re gonna tax people – at least do it for something that will help people right here right now today – Bjorn Lomborg is right – you don’t have to deny AGW to be against it – I don’t deny it , i simply don’t care

  59. Freelander
    February 10th, 2010 at 03:51 | #59

    @Xander Burrows

    You will be happy to know we don’t care about you either. Hence, if it were possible you would be paying double.

  60. Fran Barlow
    February 10th, 2010 at 06:40 | #60

    @Xander Burrows

    Freelander is right. The Golden Rule applies. If you don’t feel you have obligations to others, then in your opinion, others need not feel obligations towards you, so your observation is just white noise. In this case, those who mistake your whote noise for ideas would be predisposed to act in ways that protect the interests of filth merchants. You and everyone can then be “taced” by filth and declining ecosystem services. Neiother that nor anything you have claiemd is any kind of fascism, but as you say, you don’t care what others think so when you use words, like Humpty Dumpty in Alice in Wonderland, they mean just what you want them to mean.

    Lomborg’s claim is just as silly. Lomborg proposes no specific expenditure on programs to improve the welfare of other humans, nor any way such programs could be implemented effectively or cost efficiently if the climate anomaly is not brought under control. There’s no reason he should have of course. He’s a game theorist rather than a humanitarian whose book was shown to be dishonest and sloppy. It too is simply socio-politcal patter aimed at protecting the interests of the priviliged through inaction on human need, dressed up as the apparent but hackneyed idea that one cannot work on more than one program at a time or in coherent concert..

  61. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    February 10th, 2010 at 07:32 | #61

    Donald – We disagree on the nature an intent of the FOI requests. There is plenty in the leaked emails to indicate that Phil Jones deliberately obstructed perfectly reasonable FOI requests. And in fact he conspired to destroy data that was subject to FOI requests. The man is without honour.

  62. Michael
    February 10th, 2010 at 08:02 | #62

    @Xander Burrows
    Ah there’s nothing like a person who grows all their own food and is totally self sufficient. Or a sociopath.

  63. Tony G
    February 10th, 2010 at 08:37 | #63

    Freelander @ 7 said;

    “You will be happy to know we don’t care about you either. Hence, if it were possible you would be paying double.”

    We also don’t care that an ETS is not going to stop carbon increasing in the atmosphere at the rate 1.5ppm per year. All we want to do is charge you double with this great big new tax so we can redistribute your wealth through people like Conroy to our mates.

  64. Ernestine Gross
    February 10th, 2010 at 08:49 | #64

    Terje writes:

    “In my book Monckton is essentially a self appointed PR guy. His flavour of AGW scepticism is simplified for the mass market.”

    Interesting. The reality is, Monckton is not a self appointed PR guy but a person who was invited, was supported by Ian Plimer, and received $100,000.

    The notion of ‘mass market’ is insulting to the public because it amounts to assuming that people who are busy working to make a living and a profit (‘free cash flow’) for whoever paid the $100,000 are idiots. These people, the so-called ‘mass market’ are not idiots! Intelligent people, like Malcolm Turnbull, who happen to have been successful in their profession and in business, do not treat ‘the mass market’ as consisting of idiots. There is a distinction to be drawn between assuming others are idiots and not suffering fools lightly.

    Contrast Terje’s opinion with the interview of Professor Oppenheimer on the 7:30 report http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2010/s2810662.htm.

    Professor Oppenheimer does not try to find weasel words. He does not sit on the fence. He does not paper over anything. However, he also puts the discovered errors in the IPCC report in perspective. To the best of my knowledge, in all areas of sincere research one distinguishes between an error that needs to be corrected for the sake of accuracy and an error that destroys the results. Professor Oppenheimer made it quite clear on national television that the errors do not destroy the results.

    Comparing Professor Oppenheimer’s public interview with Terje’s public statement, the difference between professionalism, where the public is not treated as a ‘mass market’ to be serviced by people like Monckton, and special interest groups – political or otherwise – becomes very clear.

  65. Hermit
    February 10th, 2010 at 08:56 | #65

    I think a couple of considerations show that Australia has a lot of leverage in global carbon emissions. First the Clive Palmer project to export coal to China; that seems to reinforce the belief that the Chinese need to burn vast amounts of coal without hindrance. If as some predict the Chinese run short of coal in a few years their low labour costs won’t be enough to save them from a slump. Reducing not increasing coal exports could force global carbon cuts much more effectively than a weak ETS at home.

    Second it seems to me that boat people and overseas students with dodgy diplomas essentially want to join our ’25 tonne lifestyle’. That’s per capita CO2 emissions. Perhaps Wayne Swan can explain why these people are trying to get away from populous countries if high population is such a good thing.

    Therefore I suggest that Australia is not only the world’s swing producer of coal but we set a false aspiration level for the rest of the world. We physically can and morally should influence global carbon emissions.

  66. Tony G
    February 10th, 2010 at 09:09 | #66

    Further to my post @ 11
    Maybe an ETS is not needed to achieve your speedfest goals;

    By the time people have worked out Barnaby is right and the Rudd government continues to spend a $100billion each year more than they earn on our credit card ,

    Conroy, Kaiser and 1.5M per year Quigley will be long gone.

  67. Jim Birch
    February 10th, 2010 at 09:53 | #67

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)

    We disagree on the nature an intent of the FOI requests.

    Just for the record, what in your opinion is the nature of an orchestrated fleet of FOI requests?

  68. smiths
    February 10th, 2010 at 10:38 | #68

    ahh andrew, this quotes for you …

    Agrarian and progressive interests, led by William Jennings Bryan, favored a central bank under public, rather than banker, control. But the vast majority of the nation’s bankers, concerned about government intervention in the banking business, opposed a central bank structure directed by political appointees.

    The legislation that Congress ultimately adopted in 1913 reflected a hard-fought battle to balance these two competing views and created the hybrid public-private, centralized-decentralized structure that we have today.

    2006, Donald L. Kohn, vice chairman of the Board of Governors

    in my opinion, anyone who believes this statement that the public interests are balanced with bankers interests is a muppet

  69. February 10th, 2010 at 10:52 | #69

    Perhaps not as much as a muppet as someone who believes that the BIS is a private bank run by private banks. Or someone that believes that the Fed is anything other than just another national regulator.

  70. Freelander
    February 10th, 2010 at 10:55 | #70

    @Tony G

    Barnaby Joyce thinks the science on climate change ‘doesn’t add up’. Is this a reflection of the science, or of Barnaby’s well known problem with numbers?

  71. Donald Oats
    February 10th, 2010 at 10:56 | #71

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)

    Phil Jones has himself – in the news article I linked for you to read, Terje – admitted to not treating some of the FOIs appropriately, and he will pay for that I have little doubt.

    However, it is a big stretch to claim that “he is a man without honour”, as you have done, Terje. As I have explained several times now, the 40 odd FOIs that each asked for data on 5 different countries, in such a manner that the aggregated results of those 40 FOIs is a set of data for approximately 200 countries, is a reasonable indication of prior communication among the 40 FOI requesters.

    Why not roll it all up and just have one FOI that asks for all 200 countries worth of data?
    The simplest and most transparent reason for 40 separate requests is to snow Phil Jones and CUR under with an impossibly large number of separate detailed responses. As Phil Jones and others have explained, there is a legal requirement pertaining to the minimum amount of time spent on analysis of an FOI request – going through records, establishing what is being actually asked, whether there are any confidentiality or security issues and the like.
    The arithmetic is 40 x 18hrs = 720hrs minimum versus 1 x 18hrs = 18hrs minimum.

    Given the discussions I have seen in the blogosphere concerning the UK FOI Act, I have little doubt that the 40 odd FOI requesters were coached on how to maximise the burden upon the CRU staff. If you are looking for people without honour, Terje, perhaps this is the place to start.

    Let’s not f**k around here. The strategy is to snow under the CRU, and then as individual staff buckle, to point the finger at them and say “Look how bad they are!”

    The problem is that this strategy has been a stunning success and will almost certainly be repeated on other targets. I hope to the God of Atheism, aka Reason, that good sense will prevail.

  72. Peter T
    February 10th, 2010 at 10:59 | #72

    Terje is just playing games – NONE of the antics around the CRU theft, minor errors in the non-peer reviewed parts of the IPCC report or the opinions of the blogosphere amount to a case for informed scepticism about global warming. What they do affect is the public debate (and that’s sometimes the intent, and often people think the public debate is in some way connected to the science.

    To put it as succinctly as possible – global warming is based on uncontested understandings in physics and chemistry that are used in every sort of way daily – in power stations, jet engines, air conditioning systems and much else. yet the internet is not over-run with clowns positing a vast conspiracy among aeronautical engineers or power station designers, despite regular aircraft crashes and the occasional power station mishap.

    If it were happening somewhere else it would not get much more than an mention on the science section of the papers (we established decades ago that CO2-induced warming is a major part of why Venus is very hot – I do not recall anyone screaming for an audit of Venusian climate science). As the earth’s climate is a complex (but bounded) system, there is the possibility that some so-far unknown feedback will limit sensitivity or counter warming. We have so far failed to find such feedbacks, and the work on paleoclimates does not support their existence.

    The basics of why its uncontroversial among scientists is available to anyone with a good high school education. So all the screaming is not about the science – it’s about the unwelcome nature of the message. No amount of science will make that go away, nor will audits or wikis (or, on past form, will information, attempts at education or whacks with a stick). There’s no point in the argument unless you are in a debating society and enjoy defending the indefensible for the fun of it.

    More interestingly, there were parts of the Abbot program I found myself in sympathy with – funding some obvious winners avoids the gaming markets are prone to, and tree-planting is useful both to soak up CO2 and mitigate some effects of warming – and needs to be done by people with a good knowledge of the local ecology rather than as an exercise in market returns. The scale proposed is pitiful, but I thought the public reaction was reasonable given recent experience with market solutions and an awareness that there’s multiple issues to deal with, so a single solution is probably not going to hack it.

    That said, the Coaltion program is a joke – too small where it matters, and informed by the spectatular ignorance that keeps Terje and others posting.

  73. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    February 10th, 2010 at 11:08 | #73

    EG – Monckton is not me and I’m not responsible for how he treats people even if I choose to discuss it.

    Donald – 18 hours is apparently how many hours you must exceed before you can charge for an FOI. Many of the FOIs sought the same information so there would have been significant economies. And many of them would never have been needed in the first place if Phil Jones wasn’t so hostile to transparency. I don’t have any really pity for the claim that the FOI chore was too onerous.

  74. smiths
    February 10th, 2010 at 11:44 | #74

    ok andrew, what does it mean to say a central bank is fully independent of a federal government?
    for example
    “The Bank deutscher Länder (precursor to Bundesbank) was independent of German political bodies from the start, including the federal German government”
    “The Deutsche Bundesbank was the first central bank to be given full independence
    “The design of the ECB was modelled on the German Bundesbank, in particular on its political independence.
    “The ECB is designed to be independent of political interference. It also has financial independence by virtue of its having its own budget, separate from the EU’s budget, sourced from national central banks..”

    “A central bank, reserve bank, or monetary authority is a banking institution granted the exclusive privilege to lend a government its currency. Like a normal commercial bank, a central bank charges interest on the loans made to borrowers, primarily the government of whichever country the bank exists for”
    “Most richer countries today have an “independent” central bank”
    “Some central banks are publicly owned, and others are privately owned. For example, the United States Federal Reserve is a quasi-public corporation.”

    what is quasi-public?
    and what kind of state bank creates money and lends it to itself at interest?
    you are right that i am confused …
    none of this stuff makes sense

  75. Donald Oats
    February 10th, 2010 at 12:14 | #75

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    On this we differ significantly. I’ll leave it at that.

  76. smiths
    February 10th, 2010 at 12:23 | #76

    “The Federal Reserve today is thus a regionally dispersed institution with both government and private interests represented in its ownership and control.
    Initially, the government was represented on the seven member Board of Governors by the secretary of the Treasury and the Comptroller of the Currency. In 1935, Congress removed these two officials from the Board in an effort to strengthen the Federal Reserve’s independence
    The creation of the district banks as separate corporate entities with local boards of directors and member banks as stockholders was a key aspect of the Federal Reserve Act

    FRBNY Quarterly Review/Spring 1994

  77. Ernestine Gross
    February 10th, 2010 at 13:06 | #77

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)

    I quoted from your book and Monckton’s. There is nothing more I feel worthwhile discussing.

  78. February 10th, 2010 at 15:15 | #78

    You were referring to the BIS when you were making a fool of yourself about “…a private bank made up of private banks… ” here. Just because a central bank is nominally independent of the government no more makes it a private bank than the fact that the police are nominally independent of government makes them a private security firm.
    Give it up, mate. You are on a hiding to nothing on this one. That said, this seems to be normal.

  79. Fran Barlow
    February 10th, 2010 at 15:24 | #79

    @Chris Warren

    I am not sure what a “running dog” is.

    A greyhound or similar used in contests, commonly involving people gambling on the outcome. Indeed the term greyhound may well have a saxon derivation as the saxon term greu means “running”. Maybe this is a coincidence, though because an Old English word grig means bitch (as in female dog). Also, the proto-indo-european for grey is ghreghwos. By the time it gets to OE the term is pretty similar to the word for grey. Interesting sidebar, the Old Norse word for bitch is written as grey — hence that famous old ditty about the goddess Freyja being a “bitch” itself a reference to the mores of the time and her role in lore. The title Freya of course simple means lady cf: frigg (lord) hence the German Frau = wife. Thus Freya being a “bitch” might have been the result of some sort of pun … I digress, but isn’t etymology fun?

    In the period after 1937, the Maoists popularised this term (the Mandarin transcribes as zou gou = running dog), in an attempt to describe those who would simply do the bidding of any master who would fill their stomachs — like the running dogs whose only purpose was amusement of the wealthy but had no agenda of their own but the lure in front of them controlled by the said elites.

    I hope that helps.

  80. February 10th, 2010 at 16:07 | #80

    Thanks, Fran. I had always wondered where that one came from. I did not realise it was a Maoist term. I will have to use the possible near synonym “fellow traveller” when referring to others from now on.
    That said – “running dog” has an edge to it that a mere “fellow traveller” does not.

  81. Fran Barlow
    February 10th, 2010 at 16:24 | #81

    @Andrew Reynolds

    Yes but the connotation is different. Running dogs are puppets (the pro-western equivalent usage) or catspaws, whereas fellow travellers are co-thinkers or people who are at least sympatico with some political culture (though by connotation, leftist political culture).

    If you’re going negative you and your fellow banshees is always good. I do like the classical references.

  82. Freelander
    February 10th, 2010 at 16:45 | #82

    @Andrew Reynolds

    Who cares about the composition and origin of the BIS. Its all on wikipedia anyway? You are like a dog with a bone. I wonder whether it is because this is a rare time when you have argued with someone and got something right?

  83. smiths
    February 10th, 2010 at 17:36 | #83

    Who cares about the composition and origin of the BIS?
    i do actually,
    the BIS sits at the apex of the global banking system, therefore its origins, operations and agenda are really quite important,
    Andrew seems to think he knows all the answers,
    i think that if it really were so simple there would be less crap spoken on the subject
    his example is farcical, the police? are you kidding?
    bloomberg news agency put in an FOIA to the fed to find out who it paid TARP money to,
    guess what?
    the fed didnt comply because it said it didnt have to because … its not a federal agency

    and freelander
    “The BIS was formed with funding by the central banks of six nations, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom. In addition, three private international banks from the United States also assisted in financing the establishment of the BIS.
    Each nation’s central bank subscribed to 16,000 shares. The U.S. central bank, the Federal Reserve, did not join the BIS, but the three U.S. banks that participated got 16,000 shares each. Thus, U.S. representation at the BIS was three times that of any other nation. Who were these private banks? Not surprisingly, they were J.P. Morgan & Company, First National Bank of New York and First National Bank of Chicago.”

    The Bank of England was privately owned and operated from its foundation in 1694 until it was nationalised in 1946, meaning it was private when it went into the BIS system –
    interestingly the Bank of England operates from the City of London which is kind of state within a state
    “Nowadays, with its Lord Mayor, its Beadles, Sheriffs and Aldermen, its separate police force and its select electorate of freemen and liverymen, the City of London is an anachronism of the worst kind. The Corporation, which runs the City like a one-party mini-state, is an unreconstructed old boys’ network whose medievalist pageantry camouflages the very real power and wealth which it holds.” – pp110, Rough Guide to England, 2006

    since andrew is wrong about so much as amply demonstrated here over the years, what makes anyone think that he is right on this

  84. February 10th, 2010 at 17:41 | #84

    I care for the reasons that I set out on the other thread where I was correcting your many errors. I am also happy to help smiths with his.
    If you do not like me correcting errors and then giving consequential opinion, do try to make less of them.
    I have no problems when critics of the current system make observations about, suggest improvements to or even advocate the overthrow of, the current system when those comments are factually based. They can be, and in the past have been, very useful. Mill for example heavily criticised the social and economic subjugation of women. His criticisms were factually based and, as a result, ultimately bore very useful fruit.
    When the criticisms are based on errors, as smiths were, they generally ultimately produce useless or even counter-productive output. I like to help others avoid that and, when I do make an error, as I have before here and will doubtless do so in the future, I expect that this will be pointed out to me, with appropriate support.
    It is called useful intellectual debate. Perhaps you should try it sometime.

  85. smiths
    February 10th, 2010 at 17:59 | #85

    ooo yes, please help andrew

    please help me by pointing me to a solid reputable site that covers the ownership of the US federal reserve

  86. Freelander
    February 10th, 2010 at 18:38 | #86

    @Andrew Reynolds

    I wish I experienced your bliss, the bliss of ignorance and delusion. You haven’t corrected my ‘many errors’. You have, however, vividly imagined that you have found and corrected errors which never existed.

    Well at least my momentary distraction seems to have caused the dog to drop his bone. I see you now seem to have moved on from the BIS. Well done. Good doggie.

  87. February 10th, 2010 at 19:19 | #87

    It looks like it is smiths that has moved on from the BIS, as he seems to have acknowledged that he was wrong on that. On the Fed, he seems to exist in some fantasy land where the private banks have some real say in its operations.
    I await with bated breath any actual evidence for any of your contentions. I will not hold that bated breath, though.
    I think that the wiki is reasonably solid and reliable – possibly more than some areas you seem to read. Let’s start with

    According to the board of governors: “It is not ‘owned’ by anyone and is ‘not a private, profit-making institution’. Instead, it is an independent entity within the government, having both public purposes and private aspects.”[11] In particular, the US Government does not own shares in the Federal Reserve System nor its component banks, but does take all of its profits after salaries are paid to employees, a dividend is paid to member banks that is 6% of their capital investment, and surplus is put in a capital account. The government also exercises some control by appointing its highest-level employees and setting their salaries.

    So – it is not owned by anyone, it is established, and has its operations dictated, by statute and the US President (with the advice and consent of the Senate) appoints all of the senior officers.
    Sorry, but to me that does not sound like how a private bank operates. I cannot see how your contention that it is a private bank can be maintained.
    See, Freelander – that is how to argue. Make a point, back it with some evidence and then discuss the evidence. Await either better evidence from your interlocutor or, perhaps, a concession of error.
    As I said, try it some time.

  88. sdfc
    February 10th, 2010 at 20:03 | #88


    The Fed didn’t pay out any TARP funds, that was Treasury.

  89. smiths
    February 10th, 2010 at 20:42 | #89

    Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve refused a request by Bloomberg News to disclose the recipients of more than $2 trillion of emergency loans from U.S. taxpayers and the assets the central bank is accepting as collateral.

    Aug. 25 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve must for the first time identify the companies in its emergency lending programs after losing a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

  90. February 10th, 2010 at 21:26 | #90

    Our comments 31 and 32 overlapped, so I did not realise you had persisted. Apologies.
    Have you checked out who owns the BIS any time this century? I thought not. Let’s check out the BIS themselves. The key documents are here. To put it in brief, though – as I said, early on there were a few private banks involved, any you correctly found their names. As I also stated, there are none of them in there now – as the page I linked to makes clear – so the BIS is not, as you claimed, a “private bank”. They are owned and controlled by the big central banks of the world.
    So I was, and remain, entirely correct on the ownership and control of the BIS.
    On the Fed, sdfc is technically right – the Fed did not disburse TARP funds, the US Treasury did. The problem is that you are confusing TARP funds from the US Treasury with the emergency loans disbursed by the Fed. They are different programs, but both are backed by the full faith and credit of the US Government and authorised by statute or regulation. So the FOI request that was refused was not for TARP funds (that would have had to go to the US Treasury) but for the other funds that the Fed disbursed.
    Personally, I am happy they lost the lawsuit. I do not think they should have made the loans in the first place.

  91. sdfc
    February 10th, 2010 at 21:41 | #91

    Andrew you appear comfortable with a general banking collapse which would likely have meant a rerun of the early 1930s.

  92. Freelander
    February 10th, 2010 at 22:32 | #92

    @Andrew Reynolds

    Oh, I spoke to soon. The dog has that BIS bone again, firmly in his jaws and is gnawing away. Meanwhile, we’re all snoring away. And what is this, trying to give lessons on argumentation and thinks he has been one side of an ‘intellectual debate’. Dear, oh, dear. But ignorance and delusion are bliss, so Andrew I’m happy for you.

  93. February 10th, 2010 at 23:25 | #93

    Perhaps you should discuss it with smiths. He keeps bringing it up – I am just correcting his errors. If you are sick of the discussion, perhaps you can just admit that you are happy to be ignorant and move on. Up to you – but I am not forcing you to read it.
    I do not believe the collapse would have been as bad as was being put in the press and was being played up by the bankers and regulators. Sure, there were many bad home loans made, but it was about as many (proportionately) as happened in the S&L issues in the early 1990s. The collapse then was not biblical, or even 1930s-like. To me some banks’ management had a strong incentive to play us their claim that it was a systemic collapse to mitigate their own problems (“it was not me, it was systemic!”) and regulators had a strong incentive to play it up as they know that bank crises are good for their business – regulating banks. The press just loves a good story.
    Some banks (in the US – not here) did fail, but they were mostly the ones that should fail – the ones engaged in reckless lending should, like any other business, (IMHO) be allowed to fail. The well managed ones survive.
    Personally, I do not believe the government should be engaged in propping up any failing business. Just because it has the word “bank” in its name should make no difference at all.

  94. Freelander
    February 10th, 2010 at 23:27 | #94

    @Andrew Reynolds

    I am quite content to watch you. Please, bark away.

  95. Freelander
    February 10th, 2010 at 23:30 | #95

    By the way, your analysis of the GFC is cr*p, but elaborating would be wasted on you (and not required, I think, for others).

  96. February 11th, 2010 at 01:13 | #96


    There is no scientific merit to be found in the Executive Summary. The presentation sounds like something put together by Greenpeace activists and their legal department. The points being made are made arbitrarily with legal sounding caveats without having established any foundation or basis in fact. The Executive Summary seems to be a political statement that is only designed to annoy greenhouse skeptics. Wasn’t the IPCC Assessment Report intended to be a scientific document that would merit solid backing from the climate science community – instead of forcing many climate scientists into having to agree with greenhouse skeptic criticisms that this is indeed a report with a clear and obvious political agenda. Attribution can not happen until understanding has been clearly demonstrated. Once the facts of climate change have been established and understood, attribution will become self-evident to all. The Executive Summary as it stands is beyond redemption and should simply be deleted

  97. February 11th, 2010 at 02:10 | #97

    Good to see reasoned analysis. Pity it does not seem to be coming from you.

  98. Donald Oats
    February 11th, 2010 at 06:26 | #98

    AWB admits that it knew the trucking company Alia was paying AWB’s kickbacks to Saddam Hussein’s regime, and it knew before the Iraq war. Given the stunning amnesia and outright denial of this during the Cole Commission in 2006, there is surely a case to be made that DFAT officials also knew the details. Only one DFAT official admitted knowing of Alia during the Cole Commission, but since the terms of reference precluded it, no deeper examination of Public Service officials followed from that.

    It is time to reopen this and to test these officials under oath but this time with powers to go where the answers lead. The only people who expressed serious doubts that DFAT officials or AWB knew about kickbacks was the government minister in charge of the portfolio of Foreign Affairs (and Trade), aka Alexander Downer, and the Prime Minister John Howard.

    The AWB admissions about the nature of the relationship between Alia (the trucking company receiving additional “fees” for transporting wheat) and Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq are sufficiently direct to consider whether criminal prosecution is a prospect. Payment of funds (in this case kickbacks) to an enemy state during a time of war is probably treason. Where is the front page story about this?…crickets chirping…

  99. Freelander
    February 11th, 2010 at 07:17 | #99

    @Donald Oats

    I find it difficult to believe that the AWB bribed Hussein on its own initiative. What was in it for them, except for their senior management to risk conviction? If they did do it on their own initiative they were extremely stupid, which is not impossible. Others had much more to gain from the wheat being sold to Iraq. I find it easier to believe that the AWB was leaned on and did the bribing unwillingly. The investigation stopped where it really should have begun.

  100. February 11th, 2010 at 07:28 | #100

    Comments that seek to score debating points at the expense of others (snarks) are discouraged; this is inevitably subjective, but please try to focus on substantial arguments rather than cheap shots.

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