Digest – March 11 2010

You know how it goes down here on days like these. It goes down, down, down… like an economic indicator of your choosing.


Karl Whelan kicks seven shades of economics from Brendan Keenan.

Aine Coffey of The Sunday Times profiles Michael Fingleton.

A modern amorality tale…’ by Sigrún Davíðsdóttir…

How can a bank break all rules to lend ISK6bn, £30m, to a shelf company without any assets – and buy back this company, debt and all, for 1 krona? This might seem to run counter to both business sense and common sense – but welcome to the Icelandic way of banking.

This tale, not a fairy tale but a bank tale, rotates around Fons, a now bankrupt company owned by Palmi Haraldsson and closely connected to Baugur, the now bankrupt company of Jon Asgeir Johannesson.

Failure is good. Damn right. Stick to The Rules.

In all of this, we are told to think of Quinn employees. I’m not thinking of Quinn’s employees, but of their management. If Quinn is a viable business proposition (and again, I’m in no position to comment on the viability of this business, and don’t want to. Go somewhere else for that), then someone will buy it, and the existing management will get the chop, thus saving the employees.

If Quinn is semi-viable, then a restructuring plan from the private market under the supervision of the regulator will see it through. If Quinn is not a viable business any more, then many of the workers will have to be let go, and bits of the business carved up and sold out. This is a consequence of not playing by the rules, and Quinn’s employees should be protesting outside their management’s offices, rather than the government. Why? Because it seems the management broke the rules.

Remember kids, the best things in life are free, just ask Peter Robinson. Via Slugger.


New Orleans cop explains how police gunned-down unarmed civilians post-Katrina.

Nick Davies speaks to Vanessa Perroncel. His book, I recommend, big time.

Along the way, Perroncel committed one of the worst sins in Fleet Street: she refused to talk to the press. So fantasy took over. She became a fictional object on whom journalists projected classic stereotypes: the beautiful woman who was “gagging for it”, as the News of the World put it; “shameless”, a “maneater”, a “football groupie” in the words of the other papers; the “gold digger” who was “money hungry”, seducing men for their wallets.

‘Busy-bodies’ they call ’em.

This story has gone under the radar for the last week. Published on April 5 in The London Times

US special forces soldiers dug bullets out of their victims’ bodies in the bloody aftermath of a botched night raid, then washed the wounds with alcohol before lying to their superiors about what happened, Afghan investigators have told The Times.

Two pregnant women, a teenage girl, a police officer and his brother were shot on February 12 when US and Afghan special forces stormed their home in Khataba village, outside Gardez in eastern Afghanistan. The precise composition of the force has never been made public.

The claims were made as Nato admitted responsibility for all the deaths for the first time last night.

Video below; one man’s journey to desert the US Army. Al Jazeera has most ofhe amazing Witness documentary series on Youtube, class.


Been listening to Paul Weller’s version of Black is the Colour for the last week. T’is lovely.