Posts

Greenspan's Body Count: Shannan Watts, Celeste Watts, Bella Watts

Fox News:
Shanann Watts called her husband “my ROCK!” and the “best dad us girls could ask for” in what appeared to be an idyllic life on social media.

However, behind the scene, it was a different picture that ended with her and her daughters’ lives this week.

Watts and her husband Chris – who is accused of killing her and their two girls – appeared to be in dire financial strain.

Three years ago, they jointly filed for bankruptcy, citing more than $70,000 in debt, KDVR-TV reported.

The couple had a combined income of $90,000 in 2014. But they also had tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt, along with student loans and medical bills — for a total of $70,000 in unsecured claims on top of a sizable mortgage.

They said in the filing their nearly $3,000 monthly mortgage payments and $600 in monthly car payments formed the bulk of their $4,900 in monthly expenses.

On Wednesday, Chris Watts, 33, was arrested and held on three counts of first-degree murder for allegedly killing h…

Primary Election Day in California

Image
Don't vote! It only encourages them!

Democracy Dies in Dumbness

Image
American democracy: choosing your rulers based on name recognition and sound bites from the vapid and corrupt news media.

Or, better yet, on red-vs-blue tribalism.


Yet another way Obamacare makes healthcare more expensive

Eight years too late, NPR discovers that Obamacare has explicit incentives for insurers to make procedures cost more:
The Affordable Care Act kept profit margins in check by requiring companies to use at least 80 percent of the premiums for medical care. That's good in theory, but it actually contributes to rising health care costs. If the insurance company has accurately built high costs into the premium, it can make more money. Here's how: Let's say administrative expenses eat up about 17 percent of each premium dollar and around 3 percent is profit. Making a 3 percent profit is better if the company spends more.

It's as if a mom told her son he could have 3 percent of a bowl of ice cream. A clever child would say, "Make it a bigger bowl."

Wonks call this a "perverse incentive." Read the whole thing. It's infuriating.

Politicians, particularly on the left, are complete idiots when it comes to understanding economic incentives. They should neve…

The Fed's Quadruple Mandate

The Fed's Quadruple Mandate:

1) price stability
2) full employment
3) facilitating large deficits by suppressing interest rates and/or monetizing debt
4) supporting asset prices

CalPERS has been a net seller of stocks - but that will change

Image
Despite CalPERS, like most government pension plans, being vastly underfunded, they're actually still paying out more money to beneficiaries than they're taking in as contributions from municipal employees and employers.

CalPERS 2016-17 financial report:


Look at the numbers circled in green. That's what they're putting into investments. The numbers circled in red are what they're taking out each year.

The green numbers were even lower in recent years. CalPERS has been putting far less into the market than it's been taking out every year. They're belatedly starting to increase contributions, and the net contributions (green minus red) should turn positive fairly soon.

To the extent CalPERS is representative of public pensions overall (and it generally is), turning from net seller to net buyer will be a tailwind for stocks. And should stocks decline over a few years, it makes pensions even more underfunded and thus requires them to buy even more. Call it the Cal…

What did I tell you people about incentives?

ABC News:
Dart then instituted a program that rewarded "serial masturbators" with pizza if they went 30 days without a sexual assault or masturbating incident, according to the lawsuit.

Since detainees who had never exposed themselves were not eligible to receive pizza as a reward, the program had a reverse effect, leading to an "increase in exposure incidents" since the detainees without prior incidents "were now incentivized to commit indecent exposure and masturbation in order to qualify for a pizza reward," court documents state. HT: Charlie McDanger