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Vox Sentences: Deutsche Bank's woes are giving Wall Street flashbacks to 2008

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India launches "strikes" over the border with Pakistan; Deutsche Bank is looking mighty wobbly; a quiet shutdown fight quietly averted.

The pink flamingo's elevated ceiling

Armed soldier Narinder Nanu/AFP/Getty Images
  • The government of India claimed Wednesday that it had crossed the border into Pakistan for "surgical strikes" on people it claimed were terrorists. (Pakistan has denied any such incursion occurred.) [Bloomberg / Iain Marlow, Unni Krishnan, and Faseeh Mangi]
  • The strikes — a response to an attack on an Indian military base in Kashmir last week, which India blames on Pakistan-operating terrorists — are officially the most heated the India/Pakistan conflict has gotten in 17 years. [Carnegie Endowment for International Peace / George Perkovich]
  • It's not that India hasn't done things like this in the intervening years. It's that this time, it's admitting it — thus freeing up Pakistan to respond. [NBC News / F. Brinley Bruton and Wajahat S. Khan]
  • To state the obvious, the downside risk here is huge, since both India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons. (This Quartz article, which is maybe a little more worried than you ought to be, calls this possibility a "pink flamingo" — something disastrous that could proceed from normal events.) [Quartz / David Barno and Nora Bensahel]
  • The good news is that according to experts, India thinks the "escalation ceiling" (of things it can do before Pakistan starts escalating in return) is higher than previously thought, thus making nuclear war unlikely. The bad news is that emboldens India to be more aggressive. [NYT/ Ellen Barry and Salman Masood]
  • Not all of India's pressure is military. It's also using its diplomatic power in the region: When India pulled out of a November summit in Pakistan over the clashes, three other South Asian nations followed. [BBC]
  • This is part of what think-tanker Richard Rossow calls the "expanded toolkit" Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's been willing to use against Pakistan. [CSIS / Richard M. Rossow]
  • The "toolkit" means Modi doesn't have to saber rattle. He can challenge Pakistan to compete with India in fighting poverty and illiteracy (as he did in a speech this week) and still put the country under pressure. [BBC / Harsh V. Pant]

Putting the stress in stress test

Deutsche Bank sign Schöning/ullstein bild via Getty Images
  • Some hedge funds are beginning to pull holdings out of Deutsche Bank's brokerage, in what's something between a vote of no confidence in the bank and an evacuation maneuver. [Bloomberg / William Canny]
  • The move, which crystallized growing worries about Deutsche Bank, helped cause a big slide this afternoon on bank stocks and a spike in Wall Street's "fear index." [MarketWatch / Mark DeCambre]
  • Deutsche Bank has been on the rocks since the US government announced two weeks ago it was seeking $14 billion in fines from the bank — money everyone quickly realized Deutsche Bank couldn't come close to paying if it had to. [Vox / Zack Beauchamp]
  • Deutsche Bank was in need of capital even before the DOJ announcement. But as Paul J. Davies explains for the Wall Street Journal, Deutsche Bank is a particularly unappealing investment right now. [WSJ / Paul J. Davies]
  • The whole thing is giving Wall Street flashback vibes to the collapse of Lehman Brothers in the 2008 financial crisis. (Of course, it's not yet clear whether this is a sign of how bad things are for Deutsche Bank or that Wall Street is being overly jumpy.) [NYT / Landon Thomas Jr.]
  • But it does raise the question of whether Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel are prepared to do what the Bush administration did in 2008: bail out der bank. [CNBC / Jeff Cox]

Even when Dems threaten shutdown, it's still the GOP that caves

Mitch McConnell Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call
  • The world's quietest government shutdown fight has come to a quiet end: President Obama signed a bill Thursday that will keep the government open through December. [Vox / Jeff Stein]
  • The bill includes $500 million for Louisiana flood relief — which Louisiana politicians are calling a "down payment" on the $2.6 billion they say they'll ultimately need. [The Advocate / Elizabeth Crisp]
  • And it represents Congress's long-awaited response to the Zika virus, including funding for Puerto Rico (which has been hit hard), money to develop a vaccine, and nearly $400 million in mosquito control. [NPR / Allison Kodjak]
  • Among those helped will be two Planned Parenthood clinics in Puerto Rico — which were the reason the Zika package was held up to begin with. Pro-life conservatives are extremely displeased by what they see as yet another cave-in from Congress. [The Federalist / Ben Domenech]
  • The GOP also caved on the other obstacle in the shutdown fight: funding for Flint, Michigan, to replace pipes and deal with health fallout from the city's water crisis. The Senate and House have both passed versions of a bill that would help Flint, though its actual scope and purpose will be hashed out when the two sides "conference" on a final bill after the election. [Washington Post / Mike DeBonis]
  • Those bills also include a provision to return the famous "Kennewick Man" for native burial in Washington, ending a 20-year legal battle between tribes and federal scientists over the 9,000-year-old skeleton. [Smithsonian / Erin Blakemore]


  • A Florida woman is suing a sheriff's deputy for tasing her without provocation. He attempted to apologize by sending her a cake that says "Sorry I Tased You" and shows someone being tased. There is a photo of the cake. [Pensacola News Journal / Kevin Robinson]
  • Joe Mellen, like many people in the '60s and '70s, was pretty into psychedelics. But he wanted to get high permanently. So he bored a hole in his skull. [Vice / John Doran]
  • In case you were wondering how actual Nazis were responding to this election, here's one of them: "Virtually every alt-right Nazi I know is volunteering for the Trump campaign." [LA Times / Lisa Mascaro]
  • Applying Marie Kondo's methods to hoarders is tough, primarily because they will tell you everything they have sparks joy. [The Atlantic / Olga Khazan]
  • Economists have known for a long time that people making less money spend more of it and save less. It turns out that could be seriously damaging the economy. [Mother Jones / Kevin Drum]


  • "When I was younger, I never thought I’d spend my golden retirement years living out of my car." [Vox / CeliaSue Hecht]
  • "My stature is nearly unchanged, aside from some minor weight loss after starting testosterone, when my body redistributed itself. Once my sex was recorded as male instead of female, combined with that minor weight loss, I slid under the scary red line on the BMI chart: cured of obesity." [BuzzFeed / Liam Lowery]
  • "The change in America seemed to happen so quickly that it felt like whiplash, the Odgaards said. One day they felt comfortably situated in the American majority, as Christians with shared beliefs in God, family and the Bible. They had never even imagined that two people of the same sex could marry. Overnight, it seemed, they discovered that even in small-town Iowa they were outnumbered, isolated and unpopular." [NYT / Laurie Goodstein]
  • "your mascara will leave circles under yr eyes and make you look very ancient and haunted which is actually a great look" [The Awl / Christine Friar]
  • "The misery of being exploited by capitalists is nothing compared to the misery of not being exploited at all." [Joan Robinson via the Economist]

Watch this: How highways wrecked American cities

The Interstate Highway System was one of America's most revolutionary infrastructure projects. It also destroyed urban neighborhoods across the nation. [YouTube / Christophe Haubursin and Joseph Stromberg]