Yesterday morning I posted what I thought was an interesting story from the Jakarta Post quoting Indonesia’s top military man saying he spoke with the chief of the Australian Defence Force about boats allegedly forced back into Indonesian waters by the Navy and that he understands Australia’s policy on turning back asylum seekers. They were words that made the Australian government’s policy on turning back the boats seem much more sensible than its critics normally present it as.
Berkshire Stakes Name on Realty Business Buffett Barely Noticed – “Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s foray into the home-brokerage arena 14 years ago was almost an afterthought. Today, Warren Buffett’s company is staking its name on the business. Signs are cropping up on front lawns from California to New Jersey bearing a new real estate franchise brand: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. The rollout is part of a strategy by the Omaha, Nebraska-based company to extend its reach as the U.S. housing market rebounds.”
Steep Penalties Taken in Stride by JPMorgan Chase – “To settle a barrage of government legal actions over the last year, JPMorgan Chase has agreed to penalties that now total $20 billion, a sum that could cover the annual education budget of New York City or finance the Yankees’ payroll for 10 years. It is also a figure that most of the nation’s banks could not withstand if they had to pay it. But since the financial crisis, JPMorgan has become so large and profitable that it has been able to weather the government’s legal blitz, which has touched many parts of the bank’s sprawling operations.”
Global Warming Reality Check – “I’d like to hear the climate-change deniers explain why Monsanto wanted to pay almost $1 billion for a company whose business model is protecting farmers against increasing volatility in the weather, and whose models predict that Kansas will become inhospitable to corn and Alaska a good place to grow wheat.”
The rising poverty of American political journalism - “… in the 40-plus years I have been familiar with American political journalism, it has never been as poor as it is today. This grieves me because it has been my trade since Watergate. Once I hung on every written and spoken word – but now, with very few exceptions, there is nobody to read or hear who excites much thought or genuinely informs.