Open Thread: Monday, January 25, 2016

So we're looking at 25 this Monday

25 is 5 squared, and it has no other divisors

25 is the smallest square that is the sum of two smaller squares (9 & 16). Carpenters and others make fact of this property to draw large right angles, since this is a pythagorean triangle, with sides of 3, 4 and 5
25 is manganese
25 is the minimum age to get elected to the House of Representatives
I-25 connects Wyoming and New Mexico, but nobody is sure why
25, in Hindi, is Pachisi, the national board game of India. Ours in the US must be Monopoly, I guess.
25 BCE was Year of the Consulship of Augustus and Silanus. This was the 9th consulship for Caesar Augustus
The temple to Neptune was built on the Circus Flaminius. There was no temple to Uranus.
Rome surpassed Chang'an, China as the largest city in the world.
25 CE was the Year of the Consulship of Lentulus and Agrippa
Liu Xiu restored the Han dynasty in China, becoming Emperor Guangwu of Han. But, was he flying solo?

On this day in:
41 - The Roman Senate accepted Claudius as Emperor.
1533 - Henry VIII secretly married Anne Boleyn, but not because she had 3 breasts.
1791 - The British Parliament passed the Constitutional Act of 1791 splitting the Province of Quebec into Upper Canada down along the top of the Great Lakes and Lower Canada stretching on up into the Arctic. Don't ask me.
1890 - Nellie Bly completed her 72 day trip around the world
1915 - Alexander Graham Bell called Thomas Watson in S.F. from NY, starting transcontinental phone service. Direct Distance Dialing would not be reintroduced until 11/10/1951 due to requests from a woman named Ernestine
1945 - The Battle of the Bulge ended.
1946 - The UMW rejoined the AFL.
1971 - Charles Manson and three others were found guilty of the 1969 Tate-LaBianca murders.
1971 - Idi Amin deposed Milton Obote in a coup and became president of Uganda.
1996 - Billy Bailey was the last person (so far) executed by hanging in the USA.
2011 - The Egyptian revolution started

Born on this day in:
17 - Messalina, who became the wife of Claudius (supra).
1627 - Robert Boyle, an Anglo-Irish chemist and physicist. You learned PV=k (or didn't)
1736 - Joseph-Louis Lagrange, an Italian-French mathematician and astronomer. Sci-Fi would be greatly diminished without Lagrange points.
1759 - Robert Burns, a Scottish poet and songwriter. Can't have Hogmany without "Auld Lang Syne" and who can forget "Scots Wha Hae"
1796 - William MacGillivray, a Scottish ornithologist and biologist. See MacGillivray's Warbler.
1874 - W. Somerset Maugham, a British playwright, novelist, and short story writer. Did the definitive "Kipling's Best".
1882 - Virginia Woolf, an English author, critic and utterly terrifying woman..
1899 - Sleepy John Estes, an American singer-songwriter and guitarist
1915 - Ewan MacColl, an English singer-songwriter, producer, and actor
1927 - Antônio Carlos Jobim, a Brazilian singer-songwriter and pianist
1928 - Eduard Shevardnadze, a Georgian general and politician, 2nd President of Georgia
1929 - Benny Golson, an American saxophonist and composer
1938 - Etta James, an American singer-songwriter born Jamesetta Hawkins
1981 - Alicia Keys, American singer-songwriter, pianist, and actress

Deaths this day in:
477 - Genseric, king of the Vandals. Caputured Rome and Carthge.
1067 - Emperor Yingzong of Song, but a song I've never heard.
1947 - Al Capone, a mob boss and tax evader. Sent killer Valentines.
Holy Days, Holidays, Saints Days, Celebrations and suchwhat
Burns night, celebrated by Scots and Scotsland
Dydd Santes Dwynwen, a Christian feast day in Wales
National Police Day in Egypt
National Voters' Day in India

Sleepy John Estes
'Milk Cow Blues'
Someday Baby (1935)
Ewan MacColl
The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh
The Manchester Rambler
brother did you weep
Dirty Old Town
Antônio Carlos Jobim
Desafinado (Stan Getz on sax)
Wave 1967
The Girl From Ipanema
Benny Golson
Killer Joe
Art Farmer & Benny Golson Jazztet - I Remember Clifford
Etta James
At Last
A Sunday Kind Of Love
I'd Rather Go Blind
Stormy Weather
I've Been Loving You Too Long
The Sky Is Crying
Alicia Keys
Gratuitous Boom Boom

So, the floor is yours compadres, whassup?

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oil price crash finally hits

Economic activity in Texas keeps getting worse.
The general business activity index out Monday from the Dallas Federal Reserve for January was -34.6, a six-year low, and much worse than economists had estimated.
The forecast for the index was -14, following the prior reading of -21.6 (revised from -20.1) that was also worse than expected.


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There are parallels

One year ago, analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch drew a parallel between the subprime mortgage crash and the disorderly fall in the price of oil.

Led by Chris Flanagan, a veteran of the securitization space, the team drew attention to Markit's ABX Index, better known as the mother of all synthetic subprime credit indexes.

Created in January 2006 and consisting of a basket of credit default swaps (CDS) tied to the welfare of subprime mortgages, it allowed a bevy of investors to bet on the future direction of riskier home loans and helped inflate the massive amounts of leverage tied to the U.S. housing bubble. More recently it played a starring role in the film version of Michael Lewis's The Big Short—when protagonists Christian Bale, Steve Carell, et al. are tracking their bets against the U.S. housing market, they are tracking the ABX.

The pattern of the decline in the price of oil that began in mid-2014 is remarkably similar to the 2007-2009 pattern of the price decline of ABX, the credit derivative index that referenced subprime mortgages and, ultimately, the U.S. housing market (Chart 1). The ABX history suggests that oil will see more declines in the next couple of months and find a floor somewhere in the low 20s in the March-April time frame. Both the duration of the decline (1.5+ years) and the scale of the decline (100 neighborhood starting price down to the sub-30 neighborhood) are similar. Given that both housing and oil prices were fueled to spectacular heights in the two periods by massive credit expansion, it’s probably more than just coincidence that the respective “bubble” bursting patterns are so similar.
Consider how things tend to work. Denial on what constitutes fair value is a big component of bubbles, on the part of both market participants and policymakers. When perceived “bubbles” burst, markets take their time in steadily shredding views of the perception of fundamental value, as prices move lower and lower. Along the way, many will cite “technical factors” as the cause of the decline, which in some way suggests the price decline may not be real when in fact it is all too real. In the end, the technicals drive the fundamentals, as credit flees and borrowers go bust, and a feedback loop lower kicks in. Lower prices beget accelerated selling, as asset owners need to raise cash. It could be margin calls or it could be producer selling needs, it doesn’t really matter: the selling becomes inevitable and turns into forced selling.


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Bets that crude oil will retreat below $25 a barrel have reached an all-time high as stockpiles continue to grow.
Open interest, or the amount of total contracts outstanding, for March West Texas Intermediate crude $25 put options rose to 29,023 on Jan. 22, the highest among all March WTI options. The puts expire on Feb. 17.
Crude stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for WTI futures, climbed to 64.2 million barrels in the week ended Jan. 15, the highest level since Energy Information Administration started to track weekly data in 2004.
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enhydra lutris's picture

about eggs and baskets, but I guess that they still have cotton.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

hecate's picture

sand. As Slartibartfast, one of the designers of Earth (he is best known for his work on fjords), explained it, the purpose of Texas was to absorb the excess sand allotted for the construction of the planet. Seems once they'd run up the rest of the world, there was a lot of sand left over. So the decision was made to dump it all in Texas. Unfortunately, the landscape itself was not sufficient to assimilate the entirety of the sand surplus. Thus it was decreed that all Texas residents would thereafter be apportioned a certain amount of sand that would be deposited in their craniums. However, sand is an abrasive: it rubs stuff away. Over time, then, the sand wears down the wrinkles in the brains of the Texans. This explains people like George W. Bush, Louis Gohmert, Ron Paul, Greg Abbott, Rick Perry, and all the oil idjits.

They are very proud of their sand, there in Texas. And there is a lot of it. So, they can now all become sand-farmers.

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hecate's picture

was it a passel of 25s, then, that the dastardly lizard-semi-people Hebrew Freemasons of the Illuminati used to control-demolish Building 7 after remote-control-flying 12th-dimensional steel-hulled paper airplanes into the Twin Towers for the greater glory of Anglo-Zionist hegemony uber alles alpha unto omega, amen, amen?

The Manson killings were a false-flag operation. Jay Sebring was preparing to blow the whistle on the Hebroid follicles he fondled, so the Conspiracists (see above) massacred him and the rest, and pinned the crime on "hippies." E. Howard Hunt, Donald Rumsfeld, and Jackie Mason were among those Involved.

Anne Boleyn is a reason for Protestantism. Henry got frustrated with, when he was tired of wives, having to beg annulments from the pope, or lop off the wives' heads, so he invented a new religion, and in that way he could have divorces, like a normal Trump.

Messalina was the original sex machine. She once challenged the most famous courtesan of Rome to a fucking contest, in which Messalina prevailed, after taking 25 men in 24 hours, at which point lassata viris, nondum satiata, recessit (tired, but not satisfied, she retired).

Robert Boyle was also, I believe, an Egyptian plague.

Lest we forget: the total bummer-downer tune "In The Year 2525," recorded in a cow pasture in Odessa, Texas, by Zager and Evans, who disbanded and retired shortly thereafter, because they were Sorry.

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enhydra lutris's picture

to become seriously popular - downright horrible, formulaic, stupid theme, premise, lyrics and not much musically either. I did fail to mention that the original James Bond in Fleming's novels carried a 25 caliber Beretta, which was no doubt easy to conceal, but not much good in a gunfight. Meanwhile, I had forgotten that tidbit about Messalina, thanks for posting it and restoring the memory banks.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

hecate's picture

is why those guys so soon thereafter got right out of the business. They felt really badly about what they had done to music.

A human generally has more control over a .25 than, say, a .45, but a .25 will not take off whole limbs, as will a .45. Bond in any event had nothing to worry about, because no matter his weaponry, he was immortal, due to the sequels factor.

Claudius getting rid of Messalina was a boner. For after Messalina came Agrippina, who poisoned him, in favor of her son Nero, the fiddler. Nero of course grew up to become Charlie Daniels, who today proudly consorts publicly with Satan, a.k.a. Sean Klannity.

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Shahryar's picture

1 - There I've Said it Again - Bobby Vinton
2 - Louie Louie - The Kingsmen
3 - I Want to Hold Your Hand - The Beatles
4 - Surfin' Bird - The Trashmen
5 - Popsicles and Icicles - The Murmaids
6 - Out of Limits - The Marketts
7 - Hey Little Cobra - The Rip Chords
8 - Forget Him - Bobby Rydell
9 - Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um - Major Lance
10 - Drag City - Jan and Dean

so a couple of Bobbys, some car songs and the beginning of a tidal wave

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enhydra lutris's picture

2,3,4,6 and 9 got much consideration and sometimes, just for grins, numbah 5. OTOH, we were a strange mixed crew, listening to folk, blues, rock, progressive jazz, surf (as distinct from rock), motown (ditto), and mariachi. "The California sound", such as Jan and Dean and the Beach Boys not so much.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

shaharazade's picture

last gasp of the Bobby's or did it take the ascendancy of FM radio to kill them off? FM radio was then done in by MTV. I wanted my MTV. MTV did themselves in with reality shows, boring spring drunken sprees, idiocracy and really lousy music It did give us the activist Russel Brand who attributes his stoned stint as an MTV 'presenter' along with his marriage to 'vapid' Katy Perry as an incentive to clean up and get funnier, smarter and mouthier. The Internet including you tube, and internet radio, has made the dinosaur record companies, the TV and commercial radio irrelevant. People can now pick their own poison as far as tunes go. They can rummage through music from all genres and go back in time and weed out the Bobby's. Artists can put their music on the net and have a indie hit in Sweden or Austrailia. I hated the Bobby's and the top forty drove me to take to folk music, mo-town, soul, garage rock, and the invading Brits.

Even Adele can’t stop ‘old’ albums outselling new artist releases

2015 was a historic moment in the history of the LP in the United States, but not one that will delight many A&R executives. It was the first year in living memory in which catalogue album sales overtook those of ‘current’ releases.

According to Nielsen data, catalogue albums – which it defines as any release over 18 months old – shifted 122.8m copies in 2015 in the US, down 2.9% on 2014’s tally of 126.5m. ....The biggest factor in catalogue’s overtaking of new albums in 2015 was physical LP sales....According to Nielsen, 71.2m catalogue albums were sold across CD and vinyl in the year – down 2.7% – while 65.8m non-digital current albums were shifted.

Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um........

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Shahryar's picture

if it means the record companies controlling the music then Bobbys have never gone away. Here's a story you know because I told you about it when it happened. Perhaps it'll amuse the other c99ers.

Back in the later 1970s I was in a group that made the mistake of signing contracts that involved the Mike Curb organization. Our producer was the guy who produced Shaun Cassidy and Leif Garrett. Yes, Bobbys! During a recording session we heard our manager and our producer discussing the kid who played James at 16, Lance Kerwin. They wanted to sign him up for records and were planning it out. At one point one of them, I don't remember which one, asked "does he have any musical talent?" It was an afterthought!

I would think all of those Miami boy bands are Bobbys. That icky Bieber is a Bobby.

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enhydra lutris's picture

vast fortune they were losing ot piracy, back then, folks taping CDs, and later copying them, and sharing them. How did they know? Sales were way off. Even then, a lot of it had a better explanation. Music was expensive, and albums simply didn't have any kick any more.

I'm an early boomer, and thinking back to early LPs, and then on through the years, there was a world of difference. Duane Eddy, Bo Diddley, Brubeck, Miles, Dylan, The Beatles and Stones and then the Fish, Airplane, grateful Dead. Traffic, Butterfield Blues Band, Yardbirds, etc., etc. Those albums had a ton of good quality music. The number of songs times the quality of the songs were such that any one of them would provide more listening pleasure bang for the buck that the more modern "best of" albums ("Best of (some disco band, or Brittney), etc."). The new albums had one or maybe two good songs, that was it.

I admit to some ageist prejudice here, but I don't thing that it is too far off. I am a proponent of what I call "Radio Music". If you could only hear the song, and not see the performance and the performer, would you like it. This is emphasized in thinking that you never had seen the performer or performance. MTV made music all about the dancing and the costumes, and, frankly, in many cases, that's all that is there. What's to buy with one's extra money, to the extent allocated to entertainment? Well, I still don't have all of Willie Dixon, or Miles, or the Stones, etc. But not much from today, and, because I'm an old fogey, no chanting rhymes to a drum machine, none, even if they throw in a real live bass.

I see a lot of evidence that the young are getting back into music. Old farts griping because their kids and grandkids are bagging all of their Steve Miller, Clapton, and such. That's what's likely to be happening.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Pluto's Republic's picture

Morning, folks.

I should be posting the "Outside impressions" as I find them. They're often insightful. The other day, I ran across a an article that was running in several newspapers in China. It was written to help the people understand "election season" in the US. "Don't be alarmed," it said. "China bashing is an old tradition among Presidential candidates in the United States."

Anyway, you may have seen the one below from the Guardian, explaining the new political insurgency going on to the English:

We’re in an era when nobody likes anything and the two people most vocal about not liking things are Trump and Sanders. From two different directions, they’ve attracted people who like the way they see the world.”

They divide along a line seldom acknowledged in US discourse: class. Sanders draws strong support from graduates and students, whereas most of Trump’s followers are on low incomes and did not go to university. One hammers Wall Street, the other demonises immigrants, but both are perceived as authentic and unspun, right down to their oddball hair. They are two sides of the same coin.

Neil Levesque, executive director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College, said: “I talk to many people whose first choice is Trump and second choice is Sanders, even though they’re diametrically opposed. People feel Trump is saying what they think, and if you asked supporters of Sanders, one word they would use is ‘authenticity’. A lot of this is the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street. Those were the seeds and now the grass is growing.”

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enhydra lutris's picture

it makes us examine our assumptions. Mine are, of course, otter-centric and I tend to look at Bernie as much more multi-generational and harkening as far back as SDS and SNCC, but the polls do tend to support the fiew that it is the youngsters, who were the core of occupy, who are really the big numbers behind him.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

wrong bet

The news that a movement few had heard of is threatening an obscure town in Syria was never going to set the world on fire. But it is important for three reasons: first, Isis is now almost sealed off within its self-declared caliphate; second, the Syrian Kurds, using their surrogate, the SDF, have crossed west of the Euphrates despite Turkey’s threats never to let this happen without a military response; third, and most important, the attack of the SDF was supported by both US and Russian air strikes, though not at the same time. “The Russians are now carrying out most of the air strikes there,” said a Syrian Kurdish representative. In other words, the US and Russia in this part of Syria are acting as if they had a de facto military alliance.

The big loser here could be Turkey, which seemed to be in such a strong position to extend its influence across the Middle East in 2011. Its image as an economically prospering, democratic yet Islamic, state was attractive to many Arab protesters looking to overthrow and replace dictatorial rule. But the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, soon made clear that he was supporting a Sunni Arab sectarian takeover that was anti-Shia, anti-Kurd and anti-secular and was bound to be resisted. Having first backed the Muslim Brotherhood, Turkey then tolerated or helped Isis, al-Nusra and extreme jihadi groups.

It was a calamitous miscalculation for Syria and for Turkey. For all President Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman dreams of making Turkey a great power in the Middle East again, he has achieved the opposite. How he responds to this failure should become clear in the coming months as the US and Russia try, in different ways, and in support of a rather different list of allies, to close the border between northern Syria and Turkey.

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enhydra lutris's picture

making many at home very wary.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

This time may be different

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capital crunch

Zero: That’s how many initial public offerings have started trading on U.S. exchanges so far in 2016. At this rate, January is on track for the slowest month for IPOs since December 2008, when no companies filed after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Inc.

Compare that to January 2015, when 19 companies listed on American exchanges. The busiest month in the past eight years was July 2014, when 54 companies started trading.
The culprit? Whipsawing equity markets have made it challenging to price public offerings.


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