Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lana Del Rey and Hezbollah (Link Round-Up 1/17/12)

Warning labels for bad journalism
It seems a bit strange to me that the media carefully warn about and label any content that involves sex, violence or strong language — but there's no similar labelling system for, say, sloppy journalism and other questionable content. 
I figured it was time to fix that, so I made some stickers. I've been putting them on copies of the free papers that I find on the London Underground. You might want to as well.
Lana Del Rey, indie blogging, and content farms
As I struggle to deal with my own periodic content farm existential crises, I wish I could have just invented Gawker. We could’ve had it all. Rolling in the deep pool of unique visitors.
Lebanese banks: the home of Hezbollah funds and drug money
As the data show, miraculously, Lebanese banks exploded in growth in the wake of Hezbollah's war with Israel in 2006 - with dollar-denominated deposits making up nearly 2/3 of the Lebanese banking system and over 50% of its growth. Until recently -- when DEA and Treasury began to crack down -- bank dollar and euro deposit growth has kept up a dramatic pace, despite Lebanon having large sovereign currency, economic, political, and security risk. This explosive growth makes no sense, unless Lebanon has become a major financial safe haven for drug trafficking organizations worldwide (and where the risk of moving so much foreign bulk cash and wire transfers is effectively offset by a highly complicit Lebanese government). As the risk of further U.S. actions has become clearer to bank depositors (bad guys included) and the Syria/Iran crisis expands, capital has started to flee Beirut en masse (see the balance of payments slide). Indeed, Lebanon is in the midst of a balance of payments crisis presently as a result.


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