Morning Report: Neel Kashkari to business: stop whining 8/8/17

Vital Statistics:

Last Change
S&P Futures 2474.0 -3.3
Eurostoxx Index 381.1 -0.9
Oil (WTI) 49.4 0.0
US dollar index 86.2 -0.1
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 2.26%
Current Coupon Fannie Mae TBA 103.197
Current Coupon Ginnie Mae TBA 104.068
30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage 3.92

Stocks are lower this morning on no real news. Bonds and MBS are flat.

Job openings increased by 461,000 to hit 6.2 million in June, according to the JOLTS job openings report. The quits rate was steady at 2.1% (or about 3.1 million people). The quits rate is an important number to the Fed and often signals impending wage growth. The quits rate was the lowest in the Northeast, at 1.7% while the highest in the South at 2.5%.

Small business optimism increased in July, according to the NFIB. Small business continues to hire, adding .21 workers on average over the past several months. Finding qualified workers remains a problem, and 87% of those trying to hire found few or no qualified applicants. Apparently drug use remains a big issue – getting workers who can pass a drug test can be difficult. Regarding the political environment in DC, while there has been no movement on anything legislatively, there have also been no new regulations put in place, and we are seeing some regulations from the Obama administration reversed, which is having a positive effect on sentiment.

Minneapolis Fed Head Neel Kashkari spoke yesterday of the tight labor market and dismissed the idea that there is a labor shortage. “Are you really struggling to find workers? If so, the proof for me is you are raising wages. If you are not raising wages, then it just sounds like whining,” he said. While Kashkari is definitely the dove on the committee, if that sentiment is any indication of the rest of the FOMC, they will be content to nudge up the Fed Funds rate at their current cautious pace until they see wage growth.

China is trying to take away the punch bowl and reduce overseas investment, in an effort to prevent them from experiencing a bust similar to Japan’s in the late 80s. I guess they see parallels between Mitsubishi paying $2 billion for the Rockefeller Center, which ended up going bankrupt a few years later. While I think they are barking up the wrong tree here (industrial policy and a residential real estate bubble are the real issues) it will have some knock-on effects perhaps in our markets. The Chinese withdrawal is probably going to hit the Canadian residential real estate market hard, and you are already seeing transactions dry up in Toronto. Chinese money will be most felt in the ultra-expensive urban areas like Seattle, New York City, and San Francisco. If China does in fact go through a Depression, they will probably try and export their way out of it, which means less inflation in the US, and lower interest rates, at the margin.

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index ticked off of record highs last month as high prices and tight inventory led to a record low of people saying now is a good time to buy. Granted, the index only goes back to 2012, but it does show how high prices are scaring buyers away. Those that say it is a good time to sell also saw a big decrease, which was the main driver of the reading. That is surprising since you would think that tight inventory + demand would equal a great seller’s market. Not sure what would be causing that.

Delinquency rates are improving for the industry according to the latest CoreLogic Loan Performance Insight Report. 30 day + DQs fell to 4.5% in May, which is down 0.8% from last year. The number in foreclosure fell 0.3% to 0.7%. About the only place you are seeing increases in delinquency are the fracking areas (South Dakota, Louisiana, some parts of Texas) which have been affected by falling oil prices.

119 Responses

  1. I think it is kind of ironic that the Google guy got fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.” It seems to me that the emotional overreaction of women who called for his head over his quite rational and well-thought out critique does much, much more to perpetuate gender stereotypes than anything he said.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The thing that irritates me is that everyone on the left is completely misrepresenting what he said… as if he did an Archie Bunker “women are inferior” rant.

      The left has to be the most dishonest debaters ever.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Brent:

        The thing that irritates me is that everyone on the left is completely misrepresenting what he said.

        I think that is true for most issues engaged in by the left.

        Liked by 1 person

    • The other interesting thing is how social media has leveraged the inherent narcissism of so many people to create a surveillance state that the Statsi could only dream of and that even Orwell probably couldn’t have foreseen.

      However, it’s the mob that meets out punishment for heresy more so than the government these days..

      Liked by 1 person

      • which results in the idiotic “it not a first amendment violation” cause the heckler’s veto doesn’t count. yeah, i get it. you’re technically onside by peeing all over the spirit of free and open debate in the public sphere.

        Liked by 1 person

        • “you’re technically”

          The best kind of correct that there is.

          However this development should be interesting:

          “Joey Gibson, a Trump supporter who organized the June 4 Portland rally, told me that his “biggest pet peeve is when mayors have police stand down … They don’t want conservatives to be coming together and speaking.” To provide security at the rally, Gibson brought in a far-right militia called the Oath Keepers. In late June, James Buchal, the chair of the Multnomah County Republican Party, announced that it too would use militia members for security, because “volunteers don’t feel safe on the streets of Portland.””

          Because political parties having armed wings always works out well.

          Liked by 1 person

        • You can’t let the leftie vanguard control the public square. If the politicians think that a police stand-down will result in their political opposition withdrawing, you’ll get the opposite reaction.

          Ghandi’s out of style and peaceful resistance never works against lefties. Like it or not, leftism maintains itself through violence and can only be thrown off through violence.


  2. The left is sure as hell pulling out all the stops trying to get white males to act / vote as an interest group.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I find it fascinating that the Google memo isn’t trending on Twitter or Facebook…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. If I were Trump I’d pardon these two then award them the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Interesting read:

    “How America Lost Its Mind

    The nation’s current post-truth moment is the ultimate expression of mind-sets that have made America exceptional throughout its history.

    Kurt Andersen September 2017 Issue

    The great unbalancing and descent into full Fantasyland was the product of two momentous changes. The first was a profound shift in thinking that swelled up in the ’60s; since then, Americans have had a new rule written into their mental operating systems: Do your own thing, find your own reality, it’s all relative.

    The second change was the onset of the new era of information. Digital technology empowers real-seeming fictions of the ideological and religious and scientific kinds. Among the web’s 1 billion sites, believers in anything and everything can find thousands of fellow fantasists, with collages of facts and “facts” to support them. Before the internet, crackpots were mostly isolated, and surely had a harder time remaining convinced of their alternate realities. Now their devoutly believed opinions are all over the airwaves and the web, just like actual news. Now all of the fantasies look real.

    Today, each of us is freer than ever to custom-make reality, to believe whatever and pretend to be whoever we wish. Which makes all the lines between actual and fictional blur and disappear more easily. Truth in general becomes flexible, personal, subjective. And we like this new ultra-freedom, insist on it, even as we fear and loathe the ways so many of our wrongheaded fellow Americans use it.”

    I tend to agree with this, but that’s probably some confirmation bias at play. I see Trump as the ultimate expression of Baby Boomer narcissism.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jacobin gets me:

    “Throughout history, the Right has cared more about preserving private property than about promoting democracy.”

    Yep, guilty as charged.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. NoVA, Charles Pierce invokes Hunt for Red October as you often do.


  8. This guy,Alex Hidalgo, has a Tweetstorm that is just jaw-dropping. I don’t think it’s a parody.


  9. What’s next for these nanny staters, regulating my sheep that cooks?


  10. The Federalist notices the same irony I noted yesterday:

    So a Google software engineer writes about how, on average, women are subject to “higher anxiety” and “lower stress tolerance,” which caused several women at Google to feel so stressed and anxious that they had to stay home from work. If Google is going to fire Damore for “advancing harmful gender stereotypes,” shouldn’t it fire those women, as well?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Probably one of the biggest mass triggerings in recent history.

      Liked by 1 person

      • This response to the memo, from a former Google employee (self-declared “senior” employee) was making the rounds yesterday.

        This part struck me as somewhat hilarious. After highlighting 3 primary problems with the memo, the third of which was “And most seriously, the author does not appear to understand the consequences of what he wrote, either for others or himself,” it says this:

        That brings us, however, to point (3), the most serious point of all. I’m going to be even blunter than usual here, because I’m not subject to the usual maze of HR laws right now, and so I can say openly what I would normally only be allowed to say in very restricted fora. And this is addressed specifically to the author of this manifesto.

        What you just did was incredibly stupid and harmful. You just put out a manifesto inside the company arguing that some large fraction of your colleagues are at root not good enough to do their jobs, and that they’re only being kept in their jobs because of some political ideas. And worse than simply thinking these things or saying them in private, you’ve said them in a way that’s tried to legitimize this kind of thing across the company, causing other people to get up and say “wait, is that right?”

        So the “harm” done to people at Google was to cause them to actually have to engage in thought and contemplate the validity of their held assumptions. Que horrible!!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • That is the most annoying part of the left: the fact that they consider their underlying assumptions to be sacrosanct and off-limits for discussion…

          Liked by 1 person

        • The best term for what he did is heresy.

          Because if he’s right, then senior management is risking the business for their theology.

          Liked by 1 person

    • The Millennial Left has transitioned into a cult…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dennis Leary has them pegged a long time ago:


    • “women are subject to “higher anxiety” and “lower stress tolerance.”

      I find this consistent with my experience. It’s interesting that you can’t observe this without the assumption that you are making a negative judgement. Or saying that it is impossible for their to be women with low anxiety and high stress tolerance.

      But my experience would also indicate that guys are way more likely to say “hold my beer” and then do something pointless that causes them permanent physical damage than any woman. No judgement, just an observation.


  11. Watch everyone switch positions on AirBnB being a public accommodation:

    No hosting outside agitators.

    And again, the Stasi could only dream of this kind of buy in from “our community”.

    “When through out background check processes or from input of our community we identify and determine that there are those who would be pursuing behavior on the platform that would be antithetical to the Airbnb Community Commitment, we seek to take appropriate action including, as in this case, removing them from the platform.”

    There’s a teachable libertarian moment here, if someone like Rand Paul is sharp enough to seize it.


  12. Ross Douthat is spot on here with the China analogy:

    “I strongly suspect that more than a few Silicon Valley higher-ups agreed with the broad themes of Damore’s memo. But just as tech titans accept some censorship and oppression as the price of doing business in China, they accept performative progressivism as the price of having nice campuses in the most liberal state in the union and recruiting their employees from its most elite and liberal schools. And for questioning that political performance while defending the disproportionate maleness that makes it necessary, the Google memo-writer simply had to go.”

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It’s always interesting how the hysteria over the debt ceiling is always framed as defaulting on actual Treasury debt, even though there’s always been sufficient revenue to cover those payments.

    “The odds of a self-inflicted US debt crisis now look pretty good: hard-line Republicans are eager to hold the economy hostage, Democrats are in no mood to make concessions, and Trump is both spiteful and ignorant. So it looks fairly likely that by October or so there will come a day when the U.S. government stops paying some of its bills, including interest on debt.”

    What happens if Trump and the Republicans in Congress use this as an opportunity to prioritize payments for what they want to keep and let the rest wither on the vine?

    Liked by 1 person

    • jnc:

      What happens if Trump and the Republicans in Congress use this as an opportunity to prioritize payments for what they want to keep and let the rest wither on the vine?

      Then I will vote for Trump in 2020.

      BTW, the ease with which Krugman simply lies never ceases to amaze me.

      So it looks fairly likely that by October or so there will come a day when the U.S. government stops paying some of its bills, including interest on debt.

      Utter hogwash.


      • His and other progressives biggest fear would be hitting the debt ceiling, paying the Treasury debt and interest and then everything else based on Republican priorities, and no calamity ensuing.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. What are the odds that Google settles with Damore? I would bet they do.


    • i just assumed litigation and setttlment was part of his plan. bonus points for progressives turning on google when it eventually does.

      if this it true, he lawyered up first, then lobbed is stinkbomb.
      California is an “at-will” state, meaning Google can dismiss an employee for almost any reason. However, Damore says that before he was fired, he filed a complaint, formally known as a charge, with the National Labor Relations Board, which administers some aspects of federal labor law. Under the National Labor Relations Act, it’s against federal law to fire someone in retaliation for filing a complaint to the board, lawyers say.


      • nova:

        The Federalist thinks there is an even bigger danger to Google. Damore also actually accused Google, in his memo, of engaging in illegal discriminatory practices. He said:

        I strongly believe in gender and racial diversity, and I think we should strive for more. However, to achieve a more equal gender and race representation, Google has created several discriminatory practices:

        …and then listed several. Apparently the 1964 Civil Rights Act makes it illegal to fire someone “…because he has opposed any practice made an unlawful employment practice by this subchapter.” If Damore can show that his charges were discussed before he got fired, Google could have a problem. Discovery should be fun, in any event.


  15. Trust me Whitebread, you’ll thank them later.

    I doubt it would have gotten you laid either, stick to Greenpeace marches for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • McWing:

      Trust me Whitebread, you’ll thank them later.

      Seems like an undeniable violation of Title IX. I look forward to Brandeis losing its federal funding.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Not raising the debt ceiling will not cause an interest default or even a default on the payment of a mature bond, because the government would not violate the debt ceiling by refinancing a matured bond.

    If the government honored the debt ceiling it would breach contracts with some powerful players, inevitably. My guess is that it would not miss a social security old age payment on the theory that the trust fund remains “solvent”.

    My guess is that the debt ceiling will be raised because no other legislation can very well go forward if it isn’t raised and if the ceiling is honored.

    Of course, the Admin could continue to pay all its bills and either ignore the ceiling by issuing new debt and daring the courts to enforce the debt ceiling [DJT, the self proclaimed “King of Debt” would probably like that one] or Treasury could just pay all its bills by printing money.

    So I wouldn’t count any chickens about “prioritizing” payments.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Climate loons now going after dogs. Have they no shame?


  18. Listening to NPR yesterday I heard the party line on why AirBnB isn’t actually discriminating against potential guests based on political opinions.

    Apparently, the view is that this particular circumstance is more like a boycott to change behavior, only in this case it’s the business that is boycotting the customers.


    • It’s ok. They mean well…


    • “The average temperature in the United States has risen rapidly and drastically since 1980, and recent decades have been the warmest of the past 1,500 years”

      I realize the screw-up was pretending the Trump administration was trying to suppress the report (that’s what the NARRATIVE says should be happening), but I continue to love the presumption that we have a decade-over-decade irrefutable knowledge of temperatures from the year 517 AD, and presumably before.

      The first thermometer with a temperature scale was invented in 1612. The first standardized temperature scale wasn’t until after 1714.

      This is how scientists determine temperature variations from thousands of years ago:

      I see no way this can remotely match the moment-to-moment accuracy of today’s satellite measurements, nor the universality, or give us truly reliable data as regards to what the temperature was in 417 AD vs 427 AD.

      Give me a century or three of satellite measurements and I will accept that.

      Which is, to be clear, not a denial of climate change or that humans have an impact on the climate or that less pollution is a better thing, only that this sort of stuff is just stated as objective fact, all the time, and it just isn’t.


    • And we can’t treat “data” about temperatures from 500 AD as comparable to present data, which averages real temperature variations, planet-wide, day-to-day and month-to-month and year-to-year. These aren’t remotely the same kinds of data sets. The temperature data we have now is millions of times denser than the temperature data we have about the 5th century.


    • The short answer is: yes, it’s true. The key phrase being “poor computer security practices”. It’s a variation on piggy-backing executable code on .jpgs. The sequencing software just has to be secured against those sorts of attacks, but that sort of security was probably the last thing on their minds when they wrote the sequencing software. But like many demonstrations of malware attacks, it’s unlikely to be executed in the real world. But not impossible.


    • It would be a lot easier to infect the machines by some other strategy, using a more traditional approach.


  19. Speaking of the lack of consistency on the left:

    Stop Equating Science with the Truth

    It is impossible to consider this field of science without grappling with the flaws of the institution—and of the deification—of science itself. For example: It was argued to me this week that the Google memo failed to constitute hostile behavior because it cited peer-reviewed articles that suggest women have different brains. The well-known scientist who made this comment to me is both a woman and someone who knows quite well that “peer-reviewed” and “correct” are not interchangeable terms.

    (Stealing from McWing)…but claims about climate are rock-fucking-solid.

    As an aside, I would say her scientist friend was indeed wrong, but not for the reasons she claims.The Google memo fails to constitute “hostile behavior” not because it was backed up by scientific studies, but because an argument isn’t any kind of behavior. It’s just words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s truly impressive how much triggering has resulted from this one internal memo.

      It’s a Martin Luther level of heresy.

      Liked by 1 person

    • For example: It was argued to me this week that the Google memo failed to constitute hostile behavior because it cited peer-reviewed articles that suggest women have different brains.

      You’ve got a great point: it’s just words. And, in this case, not even hostile words. Just data and calmly state opinions about the data. And while I don’t necessarily agree with all his conclusions, he makes good and well-considered points, and his critics are making it abundantly clear that they are very afraid that he’s right, and somehow his “rightness” will bring about some horrible thing. Because they aren’t challenging it on the merits or logic or data or anything else, but that it was “hostile” and “mansplaining” and whatnot.

      That actually concerns me way more than a philosophy that diversity leads to a workplace that is greater than the sum of its parts. If it is a guiding principal of your organization that diversity adds an ineffable something that raw engineering and management talent alone cannot, I think that’s great. It’s a philosophical position. I think that’s a perfectly good reason to organize your company around diversity as opposed to sheer productive output.

      The idea that not agreeing with the company philosophy constitutes the creation of a hostile work place (basically, a co-worker has a different idea about what makes for a better company, and you don’t like it so “it’s a hostile workplace”) and that the argument is best refuted by pointing at the perpetrator and emitting a high-pitched screech like the pod people in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” is way, way more damaging culturally (and to the company) than having a philosophy of hiring for diversity first.

      The lack of self-awareness of the women who were so emotionally overwhelmed by a differing opinion (that women were more emotional) that they had to stay home for the day . . . is also worrying.


  20. It might not be zombie apocalypse that ends civilization.

    “Scientists create the first mutant ants
    By Ben Guarino
    August 10 at 12:00 PM”


  21. The Colin Kaepernick situation reminds me a bit of the Google engineer.

    Edit: Actually, not really. Looks more like he quit than was let go.

    “SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Colin Kaepernick is a free agent after opting out of his San Francisco 49ers contract Friday.”


    • jnc:

      The Colin Kaepernick situation reminds me a bit of the Google engineer.

      My nephew drew that parallel the other day. I wasn’t buying it, even apart from the firing/quitting distinction. Damore wrote an internal corporate memo making a comment/argument about a corporate policy that directly impacted him as an employee, and he did it on a forum established by the corporation for that exact purpose. Kaepernick was using a forum available to him only because of his job, in order to engage in various protests (not comments/arguments) about things that had literally nothing whatsoever to do with his position as an employee.

      I don’t see the similarity.


      • I think both went against the prevailing “theology” of their respective work places, and showed how that works out in the world of at will employment.

        I also find it amusing that a lot of the people who are outraged at one are supportive of the other and vice versa.

        Liked by 1 person

        • jnc:

          I think both went against the prevailing “theology” of their respective work places

          What is the prevailing “theology” of the NFL that Kaepernick went against?


        • Patriotism.


        • Seems to me that it would be more accurate to say that patriotism is the prevailing “theology” of the NFL’s customers.


        • If you mean that the NFL is cynically using it to boost ratings, then sure. But the glitzy “Team America, Fuck Yeah!” version of patriotism is definitely part of the league’s image, by design.

          And even though this is from Think Progress, I believe the title captures the issue perfectly:

          “The NFL treats patriotism as a brand, and Colin Kaepernick is ruining it
          Lindsay Gibbs
          Aug 29, 2016, 7:28 pm”

          In fact, “brand” is a better way to view the NFL situation than “theology”.


        • JNC:

          But the glitzy “Team America, Fuck Yeah!” version of patriotism is definitely part of the league’s image, by design.

          Perhaps, but I am not sure what that has to do with Kaepernick’s protests. He has generated ill-will largely because of his demeanor during the game-day playing of the national anthem, a sports event tradition that dates back nearly a century and is not something that I would call a “glitzy” display of a “Team America, Fuck Yeah” version of patriotism.

          It’s also worth noting that even if one does view the NFL as having embraced a “glitzy ‘Team America, Fuck Yeah’ version of patriotism”, and even if one thinks that the traditional playing of the national anthem is a function of that embrace, this isn’t what Kaepernick is objecting to. He is objecting to the fact (in his mind) that the US “oppresses black people and people of color”. Unless you think that it is NFL “theology” or “branding” that the US does not oppress black people and people of color (and from what I can tell the NFL is wisely silent on the issue), then I still think the analogy drawn between Kaepernick and Damore doesn’t hold.


        • “Unless you think that it is NFL “theology” or “branding” that the US does not oppress black people and people of color (and from what I can tell the NFL is wisely silent on the issue)”

          I think it’s more nuanced than that, especially if you take football as a whole and include the college level as well and the issue with the colleges refusing to pay the players. College football is really just the pre-NFL minor leagues, not any kind student athlete intramural competition at this point.

          In both cases, I think the two dissenters went after the sacred cows of their respective establishments and got blackballed as a result.


        • jnc:

          I think it’s more nuanced than that, especially if you take football as a whole and include the college level as well and the issue with the colleges refusing to pay the players. College football is really just the pre-NFL minor leagues, not any kind student athlete intramural competition at this point.

          I am not aware of the NFL taking a position on whether or not college players should be allowed to get paid, but even if it has, what does that have to do with Kaepernick protesting during the national anthem?

          In both cases, I think the two dissenters went after the sacred cows of their respective establishments and got blackballed as a result.

          I could be wrong, but I thought Kaepernick’s protest was specifically aimed at drawing attention to what he thinks is “oppression” of “black people and people of color” in the US. I’m not sure how that subject can be construed to be a “sacred cow” of the NFL.


    • Of course the fact that he is an aging running QB who can’t read defenses doesn’t enter the picture.. Who wants a headcase for backup QB? Who needs the distraction?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, it’s a combination. But I suspect if he hadn’t taken the stand he would have gotten signed somewhere.

        But his talent isn’t sufficient to offset the drama cost.

        Unlike say, Michael Vick.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Things that progressives worry about:

    “The Moral History of Air-Conditioning

    Cooling the air was once seen as sinful. Maybe the idea wasn’t entirely wrong. An Object Lesson.

    Shane Cashman
    Aug 9, 2017”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Why don’t they make the same argument for heating? It requires more energy to heat than cool.

      Gaia weeps.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Until the 20th century, only the wealthy or dying might have witnessed someone trying to cool the air indoors

      Wrong, right out of the gate. Keeping cool in the heat has been a priority since before the discovery of fire. You would see people trying to keep cool all the damn time, pretty much everywhere. Moving to catch a breeze, get in the shade of the trees, find a cool river or lake to swim or rest in. Wet fabric to benefit from evaporation.

      These people are just making up their own history out of whole cloth.

      Extreme heat was seen as a force that humans shouldn’t tamper with, and the idea that a machine could control the weather was deemed sinful. Even into the early 1900s, the U.S. Congress avoided the use of manufactured air in the Capitol, afraid voters would mock them for not being able to sweat like everyone else.

      These two things have absolutely nothing to do with each other, yet are chained as if one is practically causative of the other. There are no editors at The Atlantic?

      it also required renouncing the vice of cooling the inside air

      If this guy isn’t trolling, he’s inhabiting his own alternative universe completely unrelated to the actual one.

      Where are the quotes from all the antique literature where people were denouncing the cooling of air? Where is there a shred of actual evidence that people thought cooling the air was “sinful”?

      “the air conditioner has perpetrated worse, actual sins against the Earth.”

      Or as Ebenezer Scrooge said (paraphrasing): kill yourself and decrease the surplus population.

      As news of Newcomb’s machine slowly grabbed the public interest, distrust of cooling the air began to wane.

      Really? Really?

      While the public’s reluctance to air-conditioning might have hampered the initial development of air-conditioning technologies

      OMG. Really, again?

      Others accuse the air conditioner of chauvinism, forcing women in the workplace to dress one way inside and another outside.

      Of course they do.

      Maybe our forebears weren’t entirely wrong to see peril in the act of cooling the air.

      … and I’ll present no evidence that this irrational assertion was remotely true.

      “Journalists” . . . this is why nobody likes you.


    • It’s the Triggeracolypse! Triggerolypse?


    • David Brooks. The NYT’s “conservative” columnist.


      • OMG.

        He implies that stress and anxiety are personality traits inherent in females, but more likely they are due to the pressures and discrimination women face on the job that men do not.

        Lord. While I know that can be true, my wife works in an office managed by a woman, with nothing but women on the staff. The district manager is a woman, and her manager is also a woman. I think she may have encountered a man once, in training out of town.

        She is presently down to working a few hours a week, total. Yet her job stress takes up almost her every waking hour. When she didn’t work, she was insanely stressed about all the things she had to do, mostly self-assigned tasks she thought were necessary where the existential crisis they seemed to entail was at least debatable. I have two daughters. Drama is constant in the household. It doesn’t come from me.

        Don’t get me wrong. I love the ladies. I work with lots of women who, during the work day, are right there in the trenches with the dudes doing as well or better. My manager is a woman. She’s great. And low stress. But the idea that the idea there are differences between men and women generally has been *thoroughly debunked* is just horseshit.


      • His options were to force his beleaguered female staff to work with a man who believes biology handicaps them in their field, or to fire Damore.

        I feel like that’s a false choice. And did Damore actually say that biology handicaps women?


  23. Worth noting:

    “Libor’s Uncertain Succession Triggers $350 Trillion Headache
    By Luca Casiraghi, Luca Morreale, and Silla Brush

    U.K. regulators’ decision to abandon the Libor benchmark by the end of 2021 is sowing confusion in the market as the industry races to replace the scandal-plagued rate underpinning more than $350 trillion of financial products.”

    Taibbi on it:

    Liked by 1 person

      • Mark:

        Seems like the Economist, like so many others in the media, didn’t bother to even read the memo it criticizes.

        Research has indeed shown some smallish group-level differences in personality and interests between the sexes. But drawing a line from this to women’s suitability for tech jobs is puerile.

        The memo said nothing about “women’s suitability for tech jobs”. The Economist just made that up.

        An unbiased eye would light on social factors rather than innate differences as the reason why only a fifth of computer engineers are women.

        Why? Such a statement simply shows that the Economist does not approach the issue with an open mind, but instead simply discounts certain possible explanations….because reasons.

        Mr Damore claims women are “more interested in people than things”…

        No, he didn’t. He claimed that many studies across many cultures have suggested that women tend to be more interested in people than in things.

        …but, if this were true…

        What he claimed is true. If the Economist wants to dispute the studies cited by Damore, fine. But just because they dismiss the studies out of hand doesn’t mean that anyone who doesn’t join them is making some kind of obvious false claim.

        As for blind spots, although he repeatedly uses the words “discriminate” and “discrimination”, Mr Damore does so only to describe the unfairness to men of trying to hire more women.

        So what? People routinely talk about discrimination only as a means of describing alleged unfairness to women. If one is concerned with employment policies that are unfair to men, why wouldn’t one use the word to describe unfairness to men?

        After Mr Damore had suggested [women] are less qualified because of their sex…

        He never suggested any such thing.

        Again, either the Economist didn’t bother even reading the memo, or it is simply lying to its audience. Perhaps this is why The Economist doesn’t put author’s names on its articles. No one can be identified by name for ignorance or dishonesty.


        • I tend to agree with much of what you wrote. What I thought was interesting is that The Economist hit upon the notion that he ought not have been fired. Which seems obvious to me, as well.

          Liked by 1 person

  24. This says a lot about how out of control the agency is.

    And how gutless it’s employee’s are. Why are there not mass resignations?

    Fuck ’em.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Edit: Not something to make jokes about…


  26. Do you think these people differentiate Mr. Kessler from, say, Ted Cruz or Rand Paul?

    The press conference ended when a man in a plaid shirt punched Mr. Kessler. Although the police detained him briefly, he was not arrested.

    Is the rhetoric on the PL any different when they’re talking about Sasser or Crapo?

    “Jason Kessler has been bringing hate to our town for months and has been endangering the lives of people of color and endangering other lives in my community,” the man, Jeff Winder, said in an interview later. “Free speech does not protect hate speech; Kessler’s rhetoric is fire in a crowded theater.”

    Why Republicans are falling all over themselves to say they’re not Nazis and racists I’ll never understand. Can someone tell me what it gains them?

    I know they’re not, why isn’t that enough for them? Embrace the term and strip it of it’s power.

    I’m a racist and a Nazi. Loud and Proud.


    • Been thinking about this. Damore made an error in his approach, I think, by (though very reasonably and civilly) coming at it from a “red pill” and (highly-tempered) men’s rights perspective. He made too much of studies that point to differences between men and women, rather than the inherent discrimination of hiring quotas and the implicit sexism and racism that such quotas might be required, and so on. Starting a discussion on Google’s hiring culture may not have actually been his goal (I think he’s likely to do well for himself, in the new direction his life is taking) but if it had been, that was not the strategy. Ultimately, the outcome might have been similar, but it would have made Google’s position a lot less tenable amongst the straddlers.

      Similarly, Google’s approach was entirely the wrong one. They should have responded with a discussion, if they were serious (they clearly aren’t) about their position being morally and practically correct. Damore egnaged in a battle of reasoned identity politics, and Google responded in kind. And so it becomes a tedious tribal battle and accomplishes very little (although, frankly, it accomplishes much more for Damore who has more to gain and less to lose than Google–but nothing towards either side’s professed goals).

      The outcome is something more like the current Google art popping up. Or the Babylon Bee article. Google’s message is essentially: conform (on issues entirely unrelated to job performance) or be fired. Which is not good for them. They are a leviathan, and so can likely endure it without difficulty, but still . . . it depicts them as not leaders or innovators, but followers, servants to the tribal orthodoxy of the day.

      I think there’s a conversation to be had there. I think Damore is young, and his shared opinion demonstrates some youthful naiveté and his own absorption in identity politics. Yet shouting “hereitc” and excommunicating him makes him into frickin’ Galileo, asserting the earth orbits the sun while the Church of Google insists that the universe, in fact, orbits around Google.

      Google would have done much better to engage him (and those whose attack of the vapors necessitated they stay home from work because of encountering a critical or uninformed opinion) in a conversation about what Google feels is important about their corporate culture and where there is contrary evidence (possibly) to what Damore presented.

      Eh, this is where we are headed. Gotta get worse and more stupid and possibly more violent before it gets better.

      The Trump 2020 campaign has to love it, tho.


      • KW:

        Damore egnaged in a battle of reasoned identity politics

        I really don’t think he was doing any such thing. He was not taking up the “male” banner in a game of identity politics. He was arguing that there is good reason to believe that a lack of gender diversity in a given area is due at least in part to biologically driven differences rather than outright discrimination, and if that is the case then policies aimed at fighting the latter will be ineffective and ultimately damaging to the company.

        That argument is not, to me, an example of engaging in identity politics.


        • I’m referring more to appearance than trying to divine intent. Arguably, such things should be looked at on a case-by-case basis, but the studies cited are also cited by people clearly involved in their own version of identity politics. So there is some blame by association.

          He refers to “evolutionary psychology”, which was become a trigger word for certain identity groups. Should it be? No. But he should have left it out. It was inevitable that it would be latched on to the identity groups opposed to such discussion, but I think there’s a larger issue of doing a deep dive into the data at all (ironic that this is a problem for Google). “Evolutionary psychology” is a term highly associated with the “red pill” thinking that’s considered the new wave of anti-feminist, often anti-woman thinking that prevails in the “new patriarchy”. Not exactly referring to Google as “full of libtards”, but for people attuned to microagressions and nanoaggressions and who can see cryptoracism or cryptosexism in a facial expression or the choice to wear (or loosen) a tie, it’s like using the term “feminazi”. He’s taking the side of a particular identity politics group in a battle between identity groups, whether or not that was his literally his intention. If he wanted to craft something to force lefties into accusing him of cryptosexism while leaving everybody else scratching their heads, wondering what the hell the critics were talking about, he could not have done a better job.

          His first set of arguments are these:

          On average, men and women biologically differ in many ways. These differences aren’t just
          socially constructed because:
          ● They’re universal across human cultures
          ● They often have clear biological causes and links to prenatal testosterone
          ● Biological males that were castrated at birth and raised as females often still identify
          and act like males
          ● The underlying traits are highly heritable
          ● They’re exactly what we would predict from an evolutionary psychology perspective

          These are fighting words to pretty much all the dominant identity groups at Google, I would suspect. That he is just communicating data is beside the point for them (also, they believe the data is largely false, and the product of a patriarchy or heteronormative culture that wants to oppress). So he’s wading into a battle of identity politics, and like wading into a mud wrestling contest, even if you’re philosophically on the side of cleanliness, there’s little to distinguish from any of the other mud wrestlers. It’s ultimately a battle of identity politics/mud wrestling, whether you want it to be or not.

          … as an aside, as I re-read the memo I’m struck (again) and it either the ignorance or naiveté of Damore. Or intentional Machiavellian orchestration of this situation. As presented, the memo would suggest he believes that nobody at Google is aware of this information, or that the echo chamber is a product of ignorance that could be challenged through rational discussion.

          The length of time discussing the difference between men and women, the use of the term “neuroticism” associated with women, noting the women are more prone to anxiety. Pointing out that men complaining about discrimination are labeled as “misogynist and a whiner”. The citing of the failure of Communism. Wading into the “gender pay gap”.

          The arguments that Google should stop alienating conervatives, that they should de-moralize diversity (them’s fightin’ words) and advocating that people be treated individually rather than tribalistically (consistent with a point I often make about human tribalism). Not only is that wading into the identity politics arguments, it’s telling most of Google that they need to give up their favorite source of good feelings and lizard-brain gratification. It’s their very source of feeling superior to other people.

          I can see why he got in big trouble.


        • “Damore made an error in his approach,”

          I don’t think there’s any approach other than bending the knee that they would accept.

          Heresy lite is still heresy. There’s no shared values anymore.

          Related, being against what Google did is the same as running down counter protesters with a car now, as far as the left is concerned.

          “The events scheduled for this coming Saturday—a “free speech” rally in Boston and marches scheduled in nine cities to protest Google’s firing of an employee who wrote a screed against diversity—will help clarify where all the chaotic elements that comprise the alt-right are headed in the near-term future. (The anti-Google protests are slated for Atlanta, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Seattle, New York, Washington, Austin, Boston, and Mountain View, California. On Sunday, organizers released a statement condemning violence and insisting that they are “in no way associated with any group who organized” in Charlottesville.)”

          It’s going to get worse, especially once both sides realize that the police won’t actually enforce the law or interfere.


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