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from Felix Salmon:

Barack Obama vs zombies

There's a strain of triumphalism coursing through the blogosphere today, on the grounds that the bonkers wing of the Republican party is going to have achieved exactly none of its own goals, while inflicting upon itself a massive black eye. The markets are feeling vindicated too: over the past week of DC craziness, the stock market has risen, pretty steadily, a total of about 2.5%. As a trading strategy, "tune out all news from inside the Beltway" seems to have worked very well -- it's a complete vindication of the Nassim Taleb idea that investors shouldn't read the newspaper. On top of that, the potential debt default was by its nature almost impossible to trade: outside a few obscure instruments like US CDS, it's very difficult to make money from a trade betting that tails are going to get fatter, for a short while.

But as a feeling of relief courses through Washington and the markets, let's not get carried away. Yes, as Jonathan Chait says, it's very good news that the House Republicans' plan collapsed. But the can hasn't been kicked very far down the road: we're going to hit the debt ceiling again in just a few short months. And at that point, one of two things will happen. Either the Republicans, licking their self-inflicted wounds from the current fiasco, will quietly and efficiently pass a bill while getting nothing in return. Or, in the spirit of "if at first you don't succeed", they will try, try again.

Joe Weisenthal, like Chait, is hopefully eyeing the first possibility.

And Chait himself goes even further:

We can’t be certain Republicans will never hold the debt ceiling hostage again; but Obama has now held firm twice in a row, and if he hasn’t completely crushed the Republican expectation that they can extract a ransom, he has badly damaged it. Threatening to breach the debt ceiling and failing to win a prize is costly behavior for Congress — you anger business and lose face with your supporters when you capitulate. As soon as Republicans come to believe they can’t win, they’ll stop playing.

from Felix Salmon:

The zombie apocalypse has arrived

Have you been involuntarily furloughed today? Are you looking for a good way to spend some of your newly freed-up time? And do you want to understand what's really going on in Washington? In that case, I can highly recommend that you read John Powers's brilliant article, The Political Economy of Zombies, over at The Airship.

In Powers's view, the zombie apocalypse is less horrific than it is utopian: it's a way to cleanse the world of its otherwise ineradicable neoliberal capitalism, and to pave the way for a much more equal post-capitalist (and post-Zombie) society. "The zombie apocalypse," he writes, "is as close as we have come in the past 30-odd years to producing a convincing utopian vision for the future that grows out of our present circumstances."

from Unstructured Finance:

Wall Street goes to war with hackers in Quantum Dawn 2 simulation

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Wall Street will have a simulated cyber war called Quantum Dawn 2 this month.

 

Quantum Dawn 2 is coming to Wall Street.

No, it’s not a video game or a bad zombie movie; it’s a simulated cyber attack to prepare banks, brokerages and exchanges for what has become an ever-bigger risk to their earnings and operations.

Organized by the trade group SIFMA, Quantum Dawn 2  will take place on July 18 – a summer Thursday that, with any luck, will be a relatively quiet day in the real markets.The drill involves not just big Wall Street firms like Citigroup and Bank of America, but the Department of Homeland Security, the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to SIFMA officials.

from Oddly Enough Blog:

Stake Night on the Vampire Cruise?

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Blog Guy, I know you're a travel expert, and I need some advice. I am a vampire. I would like to go someplace where I don't feel, you know, different.

Maybe I can help. I just saw a story saying hundreds of vampire enthusiasts are planning a vacation cruise on the the Zuiderdam, tailored to their interests. It's called "Vamps at Sea." Maybe you should try it.

from Oddly Enough Blog:

Scottish zombies get silly in Philly?

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Blog Guy, I saw a bunch of photos of a zombie movie being made, with Brad Pitt, and it looked like it was in Philadelphia.

So?

But I live in Philly, and I haven't seen any film activity here. What's up?

Oh, that's just a little bit of movie trickery. The film is set in Philadelphia, but they've redone another city to look just like it for the actual filming. I guess they did a good job, if it fooled a resident.

from Photographers' Blog:

World War Z goes to Glasgow

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By David Moir

The post-apocalyptic horror novel, ‘World War Z’, by Max Brooks, has been adapted into a film starring Brad Pitt and Mireille Enos and directed by Marc Forster. It has started filming in Scotland. The set is mainly on the streets in and around George Square in Glasgow, with its open space and architecture, substituting for Philadelphia.

Road signs have been put up telling you 16th Street, J F Kennedy Boulevard and Ben Franklin Bridge are just around the corner so hopefully you feel like you are in Philly, certainly some of the tourists from the U.S. I’ve spoken to seem to give it the thumbs up.

from Oddly Enough Blog:

Look, Honey, a free vacation cruise!

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We may have hit the acme of absurdity. We should plant our flag and turn back.

Let me explain. I work at home, and I am interrupted daily by automated calls trying  to fool me in some way. I don't believe it should be legal to intrude on privacy like this, but I don't make the laws.

Last week, I answered a robotic call and heard, "Congratulations! This household has been selected to receive an absolutely free vacation cruise! Press one for more information, or two to be taken off the list."

from Oddly Enough Blog:

The unpaid working for the undead?

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Blog Guy, I really want to get into the movie business. Can you help me out?

I suppose I can pull a few strings and get you an unpaid production assistant job on "World War Z," that new zombie movie starring Brad Pitt.

Wow! I would get to be Brad Pitt's assistant?

Slow down, Speedy! No, you get to assist the zombies. Stack them in a truck, drive them from scene to scene, use a pitchfork to put them where they belong, and so on.

from Oddly Enough Blog:

Darn, I’d forget my blouse if it wasn’t…

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preoccupied head 490

Lamar, did you manage to get us some more cut-rate models for the fashion show?  I know you've saved money in the past by using the criminally insane, the extremely sullen, zombies....

RUSSIA/This time I have a real good feeling, boss. My shrink gave me some names of women in his Forgetful and Absent-Minded Therapy Group, and they look pretty presentable.

from Oddly Enough Blog:

A great year to be alive, or at least undead

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FRANCE/

Blog Guy, is it just me, or did you write a lot more about zombies this year than you have in the past?

zombie combo 340You bet I did. If you have to be a lurching, undead brain-eater, 2010 was a good year for it.

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