FTC to referee net neut 'Dystopian nightmare' feud
The Rhetoric Police
To date, the FCC has refereed the ongoing feud between the net neuts and the anti-net neuts. But that may be changing.
Over the weekend, the new chair of the US Federal Trade Commission, the FTC, said the organization may start to enforce a kind of net neutrality alongside the Federal Communications Commission, the FCC.
"In a perfect marketplace, where you have more competitors, you wouldn't need the government necessarily to be terribly involved," Obama appointee Jon Leibowitz said Saturday during an appearance on the US cable news network C-SPAN. "We haven't seen discrimination yet based on content or applications that have contracted with the provider or that are the provider's content or applications.
"If we do see that, then it could raise anti-trust problems. And of course, we're a consumer protection agency, and we believe that consumers should have notice and consent on what they're getting."
Such would be a significant change in policy for the FTC, the organization charged with both consumer protection and anti-trust enforcement. In the summer 2007, while still under the thumb of a man called W, the commission issued a report that the US gov should take a hands-off approach to the net neutrality debate.
The report recommended that "policy makers proceed with caution in the evolving, dynamic industry of broadband Internet access, which generally is moving toward more - not less - competition. In the absence of significant market failure or demonstrated consumer harm, policy makers should be particularly hesitant to enact new regulation in this area."
It's no secret that Barack Obama is a net neut. But Leibowitz seems to recognize the ridiculous behavior on both sides of the debate. Prior to the release of the commission's 2007, he said, "Each side spun this story of like Dystopian nightmares if the other side's policy prescriptions were going to come true.
"It seems to me there could be - and I'm hopeful going forward on this issue - a toning down of the rhetoric."
Leibowitz said that it's "very, very important" that internet service providers tell consumers what speeds they're getting and "whether they're making any types of management decisions in terms of the network that affect consumers." He acknowledged that ISPs should be allowed to charge more for more bandwidth, but he also insisted that consumers should be properly notified beforehand. "You can't just surprise someone with a bill."
The new FTC chair was asked about the commission's Google investigation, but though he acknowledged the probe, he wouldn't say much more. "We can say that we are investigating Google for a violation of the interlocking directorates provision that prohibits competitors for sitting on each others boards," he said.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt admitted as much late last week. Schmidt sits on both the Google and Apple boards and said he has no intention of stepping down from his Apple post. ®
@ Oh noes & aMfM...
By Colin Millar Posted Tuesday 12th May 2009 13:34 GMT
> They're breeding turtles from mars
It's Turtles All the way Down and Up as Well, actually. The planet would fall into the gutter and Out the Black Hole were it not so. :)
Kindly refer to the US Public Broadcasting Service's low-budget "Fundraiser Prioduction" of "The Lathe of Heaven" by Ursula K. LeGuin (or just grab the book; it's a fine read) for further introduction to our off-the-moon if not exactly off-the-wall genre and species at leisure. (Enjoy!) Tuly, if an object is desired, Help is Available.
@ aMfM re all those "utterly worthless Zero-Recourse Securitized Fractional Reserve Credit Default Swap Derivative Instrument[s]" [quoting YT immediately above]:
> "It is only utterly worthless if you cannot Use the Locked In Capital Value/Latent Credit Potential. In the Capable Hands of SMARTer Minds with Alternative Thinkers/BetaTinkerers, is their Worth Transformed and Realised as an Invaluable NeuReal Funding Stream.
My brother, is that thing which is apparently herein spoken of not well known in the "More Honest Than Them Guys" Financial Services World Circles as the "Greater Fool Theory" of Financial Instrument Marketing?
> "The Simple Transfer of Large Sums of Accumulated Bad Credit Debt/Toxic Waste to a New Breed of Virtual Capital Spender/AIMarket Champion/NINJA Venturing Entrepreneur rather than allowing the Obscene Numbers to Clogging up Dumb Books with the Price of Past Dastardly Deeds which went MetaPhysically Boom in the Busted Reality Cycle."
Ah, would that such a Great Stockpile of Asset Resource were real to begin with! Alas, in the "No Recourse" field of Investment Intrumentation, there is, sadly, for the Last Man Left Holding any given item(s) of that Remarkably Infandous Asset Class, NO WAY to gain the ownership of the "Securitized Collateral" OR any "Derivative Revenue" that the poor struggling-and-underwater sap paying off that Alt-A Baloon Mortgage might actually Pony Up. As in *all* Ponzi-inspired operations (no matter how well-heeled the Florsheim Imperials of the prior-owner-cum-paid-off Seller), the One Left Holding in any such casino-grade game of Musical Money-Chairs is left holding a portfolio of *non-collectible* and ILLEGAL (because of the "No Recourse" clause buried in the Fine Print on Page 187 or thereabouts of the unlawful instrument/"contract") Financial Paper by then.
Which is why we have the "Credit Crash" today. Virtually nobody is left on THIS planet who is so foolish as to pay a penny on the face-value dollar any more, at all, even IF (bigger 'if' every day, that) there is a penny left non-extracted in the pocket to begin with(!)
As that market cycles spins, rinses, lathers and repeats the extractive scrub-down, It goes from
"Buy Low, Sell High" (in which one Great Fool[er] is paid with money from the pocket of another *greater* fool[er] to
"Buy High, Sell Higher" ("Greater Fool Theory" Stage Two) to
"Buy High, Sell NOTHING right quick". Stage 3 emerges while the Greatest Fool is sleeping in a bed of self-congratulation and Anticipatorily Drooling in their dreamy futile hope of a BIG Breakfast of Greed. Or just sleeps dead sound all night long, patiently awaiting their Big Pension Payout from their "Godot Global Securitized Securities Faceless Heartless Nudnik Financial Corp LLC" Investment Account.
But ol' Godot ain't here YET, man!
> "Ergo, and the Moral in the Tale, Invest Monetized Toxic Waste Assets in NINJA Venturing Servers and Services, which is an Interesting Enigmatic Chicken Egg Parallel, is it not?"
Ninja, of course, was born on the Chinese Heartlands when the Emperor ordered ALL weapons confiscated all throughout the land. But simple peasant farmers MUST have flails and sickles, or no more be farming farmers, and the Emperor buys his bread from the Farmer through Miller and then the Baker, all of whom MUST have tools at hand or NO BREAD. Resisting oppressive force by means of the use of Common Household Materials and Supplies is indeeed an ancient art-form of Sheer Survival.
But Ninja Servers running CyberMatic Derivatives Market Trading Software like commodity futures are run? I think the trouble with that is that by such an implementation one bites ones' own hand deeper than that of the Infandous Financial Criminal Overlords against whose depradations we ALL *should* have been struggling from the beginning. I also think that there IS NO MARKET for this class of fraud-backed instruments any more, to begin with.
With the exception of the "Too Big to Fail" crowd, which these days is apparently doing the financial-instruments equivalent of taking in each others' dirty washing under WashMaster Geithner's Permissive Regulatory Eye, there is no monetization to be had from any part of that entire mass (seven forests' worrth in gross fake-parchment weight globally, aggregating it all by my own wee estimate) of "Derivative Paper".
It's a bit Like the old Smithy's Enigma as I for one have found it. A Blacksmith must own and use a pair of tongs in their daily work*. So since a Blacksmith must have Tongs, and Tongs are made by Blacksmiths, WHO made the First Pair of Tongs?
* The which is *PRODUCTIVE*, like a Glassblower's trade is PRODUCTIVE and thus *enriching* to all, unlike any and all manner of Modern Financial Operations, which are merely EXTRACTIVE in their nature and leave the poor customer *poorer* as the result of the Compounded Interest under the Rule of 78.
Speaking strictly as one who amazed "Them All" by standing up in Econ 101 and *refusing* to accept the basic Friedman/Chicagoschool Cyber Model of Infinite Wealth Creation Leveraging at ANY but the human-sustainable 1:1 of Ben Franklin /et/ /al/ (and who took the 33-year Heretick's Exile from the ol' Alma Mater while the cause-and-effect of it all played itself out crashwards) I can only respond in one coherent way:
Virtual Money for Virtual Reality! Virtual Reality Forever for the Psychotically Financialized, I say! (Hang 'em high and let 'em dry.) HARD GOLD CASH for ALL the Rest of Us, thankyou veddymuch!
Second Life, anyone? Gerithner, Bernanke, Greenspan /et/ /al/ /inter/ /alia/ could play for days on end while incarcerated @ Club Fed as they all rightfully should be under Glass-Steagal, now much needed yet again post-repeal+post-bubblecrash. (The Fexxxers of Sadville await, Gentlemen; bring latex protective gear aplenty to the logging-in; here comes Bubba to maintain security now...)
Or did a weary Turtle misread some part or all of the above?
Love ya' non-conditionally and with plenty recourse, my Brother aMfM! :)
IT's A Long Story...
> @ prev Colin Millar:
...and IT's AINice Spring in 2009 (-:
They're breeding turtles from mars