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Showing posts from September, 2009

No Mr. Bond, I expect you to DIE!

Florida Congressman Grayson has been mentioned on this blog before. His questioning of the Federal Reserve fantastic. But just when you think there's a guy in Congress who might actually "get it", he goes and pulls something like this: Saying the Republicans' plan "is for you to Die Quickly". Seriously, Mr. Grayson, go ahead and disagree with the other party, promote your side. Fight for your cause. Please keep fighting for transparency at the Fed. But really? You've gotta go and make some of the most idiotic statements we've seen come out of that body in a long time while you're at it?

He had a chance to step back from those comments later, but instead, he went further down the road of lunacy, invoking the Holocaust itself as he tried to describe the current Health Care situation! I worry this man will make himself into a laughing stock and give Fed-lovers a way to make him out to be an irrelevant kook, when really he's one of the only Congr…

Macro Economics #4 - Keynesian in Japan and USA

So Japan had a demand side recession after a real estate bubble burst in 1989, while the USA is now having a demand side recession that started in 2007. At this point we can see that both Japan and USA were maxed out on their consumer credit because of housing bubble burst. Will Keynesian stimulus work the same way in both country? Are we walking on the same path as Japan? Let's explore.

In my last post, we mentioned that government printing and spending will cause inflation in commodities or imported goods. What if you are an EXPORTING country like Japan, China, or Taiwan? First, let's pull back to 1989 when Japan's real estate bubble all in a sudden popped. Japan has been an exporting country for a long time. When their central bank started to print money, and put this money in bank reserves, it did not re-inflate the housing bubble. Japan was making more USD from exporting than it was spending on raw materials with same USD. It did not trigger commodity bubble as long a…

ABC News thinks Constitution is "Arcane"

I heard on ABC radio news today that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case on gun restrictions in Chicago, which is similar to the Washington, D.C. handgun ban that the Supreme Court struck down.

The reporter referred to the legal issue at hand as "an arcane law".

I guess this means that the reporter's freedom of speech is also "arcane", as is her freedom from religious persecution, and also from tyranny.

Empire State Building Lights Honor Communism

Today is the 60th Anniversary of Communist rule in China. Someone decided it'd be a good idea to honor the Communist Government on its 60th Birthday by lighting up the Empire State Building in NY with Red and Yellow lights!

Oklahoma Student's is Smarts!

A thousand (high school) students were surveyed by telephone and given 10 questions drawn from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services item bank. Candidates for U.S. citizenship must answer six questions correctly in order to become citizens.

Here are the questions with the percent correct in parenthesizes. After each question is my suggestion for an updated 2009 answer.

What is the supreme law of the land? (28%)~ The Fed
What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution? (26%) ~ Suggestions
What are the two parts of the U.S. Congress? (27%) ~ The embezzling part and the money laundering part
How many justices are there on the Supreme Court? (10%) ~ There's a Su-preme Court??
Who wrote the Declaration of Independence? (14%) ~ JP Morgan
What ocean is on the east coast of the United States? (61%) ~ The Gulf of Mexico
What are the two major political parities in the United States? (43%) ~ Socialists and Communists
We elect a U.S. senator for how many years? (11%…

Fame

Our friend Jr. Deputy Accountant gets linked in the FT's Alphaville for this post.

For the record, I disagree with JDA's view on this one. I see her argument as that the Fed's accounting standards are so twisted that to perform an audit would be an excercise in futility. To me, that's like saying the cops shouldn't have read the Unibomber's manifesto because it's so insane it can't possibly have any clues, or the cops shouldn't search the home of a mastermind serial killer because he's obviously smart enough to hide all the evidence. You still want to raid the place and hope he missed something. And the Fed's vast financial dealings are so complex that they can't have covered all their tracks perfectly. We may never be able to make complete sense of all the books, but I guarantee there would be some giant scandalous headlines coming out of a full rectal exam of the Fed.

Mom's serving meat loaf again

They're not even pretending anymore

Jim Cramer's greatest hits

Jim Cramer has lost a lot of money for his followers, but this may be his all-time greatest hit.

Top 10 Stocks from February 2000:
You want winners? You want me to put my Cramer Berkowitz hedge fund hat on and just discuss what my fund is buying today to try to make money tomorrow and the next day and the next? You want my top 10 stocks for who is going to make it in the New World? You know what? I am going to give them to you. Right here. Right now.

OK. Here goes. Write them down -- no handouts here!: 724 Solutions (SVNX), Ariba (ARBA), Digital Island (ISLD), Exodus (EXDS), InfoSpace.com (INSP), Inktomi (INKT), Mercury Interactive (MERQ), Sonera (SNRA), VeriSign (VRSN) and Veritas Software (VRTS).

We are buying some of every one of these this morning as I give this speech. We buy them every day, particularly if they are down, which, no surprise given what they do, is very rare. And we will keep doing so until this period is over -- and it is very far from ending. Heck, people are just le…

Macro Economics #3 - Keynesian stimulus and the Recession

Whenever we have a recession and the government thinks that it is because demand is falling; our government thinks that by using expansionary monetary and fiscal policy it can jolt the economy back to life. This is dangerous if they assume this is a cure-all elixir and start to abuse it.

First, let's discuss how Keynesian stimulus works. Why do demand side recessions happen? It is usually because we overbuild and over-expand our production facility using debt and when the asset appreciation starts to slow down, the profit is unable to keep up with the interest payment on the debt used to expand the facility. When this happens factories and retailers starts to go out of business and rising unemployment causes the demand to fall even further and make the problem worse.

Governments think that Keynes was very smart because he says that when this happens all the government needs to do is simply spend a lot of money by borrowing, and also lower the interest rate by supplying more cash to …

Mark Williams is not the founder or the face of the Tea Party movement

A Republican-oriented political action committee (PAC) called Our Country Deserves Better has tried to hijack the non-partisan, grassroots Tea Party movement for its own purposes.

Not content to just participate and ride the wave with the rest of us, Mark Williams and company are sowing discord and damaging the movement. Southern California Tax Revolt Colation and Leslie Eastman have the details.

Bottom line: Tea Party Patriots good, Tea Party Express bad. I know the Tea Party Patriots personally, having teabagged with them many times, and I can vouch for their grassroots authenticity, non-partisanship, and all-around good-people-ness.

A little mistake ...

"He's a brilliant guy, and he made a little mistake 32 years ago. What a shame for Switzerland," said photographer Otto Weisser, a friend of Polanski.

Since when is drugging and raping a 13-year-old a "little" mistake? Damn hate to see what some people consider a big fucking mistake. Shit, the guy can't even face responsibility for his little mistake. What a freaking coward. He's man enough to drug a child, but not man enough to deal with consequences. Gotta love it.

Macro Economists - blind people touching elephant #2

Inflation VS Deflation - The role of Debt plays

We all know what debt is when someone borrows money from someone else. But what kind of role does it play when we talk about inflation or deflation? Let's take an example:
Let's say an average American makes $3,000 a month after taxes. How much can he spend, from 0 to $3,000? No he can spend from zero to $5,000 if he can say borrow $2,000, or even more if he can borrow more. Therefore, the total purchase power for this American is the amount of money he has earned minus his expenses, then plus the credit he can borrow.

Now, let's think about the 1930’s. During that period of time:
1. Consumer debt exploded
2. Government was on gold standard system, so it had no freedom to print money to borrow, they could only borrow every cent from average Americans.

In that scenario, when the economy was expanding by more and more borrowing, we have a great time before the market crash in 1929. It is simple to see that if everyone is borrowing,…
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Animal Farm

New Hampshire Rep. Carol Shea-Porter handling a dissenter, when Shea-Porter herself was a dissenter just a few short years ago.

"No question now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which."
- George Orwell, Animal Farm, Ch. 10

Reality check

As Goldman Sachs figures out how to pay bonuses out of the billions they've made from owning the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve, those of us in the real world are having a different experience.

For example, this comment from "beaufou" at Barry Ritholtz's blog:
Well folks,
looking at the weeks ahead and the current state of things, I had to lay off three guys tonight.If one a**hole wants to talk about green shoots, I’d be happy to meet him in a dark alley right now and let him feel what it’s like to tell people they are no longer needed.

Is Jeff Macke broke?

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UPDATE: Jeff Macke is not broke! See his response below.

We haven't heard much from Jeff Macke since he did his bizarre "car people" rant on CNBC and was shortly thereafter relieved of his on-air duties.

The W.C. Varones blog gets some of its best tips from googlers, and somebody arrived here yesterday by googling "jeff macke broke." Was Macke's on-air breakdown related to a financial collapse?

Macke's web site doesn't say much but projects the image of a large, successful firm in San Francisco. SEC filings paint a slightly different picture. Filings from 2002 and 2005 list the address of Macke Asset Management as 2001 Union Street #320 in a mixed retail/residential/restaurant neighborhood. Coincidentally, W.C. Varones world headquarters used to be just up the street from there. It could not be ascertained over the weekend whether Macke still rents an office there, but my money is on "no."


Macke Asset Management world headquarters

The sam…

Hypovehiculation

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James Taranto has popularized, if not coined, the term "hypovehiculation" to describe the act of people being thrown under the bus by Obama. As I'm sure you've noticed, there's been quite a bit of hypovehiculation going on lately: Van Jones, David Paterson, Yosi Sergant...

And Ace of Spades has the visual to go along with it.


"Meep, meep."

ObamaCare: Rationing by Accountants

The Washington Times catches this in the Baucus bill:
Yes, there are death panels. Its members won't even know whose deaths they are causing. But under the health care bill sponsored by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, Montana Democrat, death panels will indeed exist - oh so cleverly disguised as accountants.

The offending provision is on Pages 80-81 of the unamended Baucus bill, hidden amid a lot of similar legislative mumbo-jumbo about Medicare payments to doctors. The key sentence: "Beginning in 2015, payment would be reduced by five percent if an aggregation of the physician's resource use is at or above the 90th percentile of national utilization." Translated into plain English, it means that in any year in which a particular doctor's average per-patient Medicare costs are in the top 10 percent in the nation, the feds will cut the doctor's payments by 5 percent.
So if your doctor thinks you need a particular test or procedure, but he's near…

The French call Obama a cheese-eating surrender monkey

I never thought I'd see the day when an American President makes the French look hawkish.

Canada's National Post:
Obama: “We must never stop until we see the day when nuclear arms have been banished from the face of the earth.”

Sarkozy: “We live in the real world, not the virtual world. And the real world expects us to take decisions.”

The rest of Sarkozy’s remarks were, well, remarkable:

“President Obama dreams of a world without weapons … but right in front of us two countries are doing the exact opposite.

“Iran since 2005 has flouted five security council resolutions. North Korea has been defying council resolutions since 1993.

“I support the extended hand of the Americans, but what good has proposals for dialogue brought the international community? More uranium enrichment and declarations by the leaders of Iran to wipe a UN member state off the map,” he continued, referring to Israel.

The sharp-tongued French leader even implied that Mr Obama’s resolution 1887 …

Neal Fox's homage to the Federal Reserve

LANGUAGE WARNING -- although the language shouldn't offend you nearly as much as the actions of the Federal Reserve should.

An ode to the secretive organization that caused the dollar to lose 96% of its value in gold terms in just 38 years, is currently printing trillions of dollars to bail out Wall Street at the expense of future generations, and just hired an Enron lobbyist to help resist a Congressional audit.

Dead census worker

The internets are abuzz with the mysterious death of a census worker in rural Kentucky. The guy allegedly had the word "Fed" written on his chest. Details are sketchy due to official silence on the matter, but speculation is that he ran into some toothless Deliverance types that were cooking meth, growing weed, or just didn't like the gub'mint.

Jr. Deputy Accountant has a different theory: that was no epithet written on his chest, it was the killer's calling card.

Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

Fail to buy ObamaCare, go to jail.

Where's Waldo at the New York Times

James Taranto's Best of the Web column is the most consistently funny daily column I know of. Taranto rips apart media and political elite with a combination of condescending wit, unassailable logic, mastery of language, and scathingly apt analogies. When I read Taranto, he reminds me of a master university debater.

Enjoy today's column, for example, on the NEA's Keystone Kops handling of the Obama propaganda scandal, and a fun new game for readers of the New York Times.

Modern Macro Economists - blind people touching elephant

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Audit the Fed: Rep. Alan Grayson grills shifty Fed weasel Scott Alvarez

Waterboard the water board!

In the midst of foreclosures, unemployment, and generally the worst economy since the Great Depression, Southern California's Metropolitan Water District is going to increase pension benefits 25% for the unions.

Nice work if you can get it.

HT: T-Dub.

New Jersey: Come for the culture, stay for the cows. Robert Melia Jr.

Obama Finally explains his true political philosophy

I'm trying to find the actual video clip, but last Sunday in one of his 36 interviews that day, Obama actually said to George Stephanopoulos, "I have no interest in expanding the Federal Government". That's almost verbatim, but I can't seem to find that one tiny quote. But I heard him say something almost exactly like that. And he's been saying it since February 2009. So it begs many questions, the most important of which might be:

What do you think all those people who generally side with Democrats because of the popular and cleverly cynical notion that "at least the Democrats are honest and upfront about taxing you to death and stealing from you. The Republicans are sneaky about it"are thinking now?

Let's look at Obama's main initiatives/pieces of legislation:
-Cap and Trade expands Government.
-Health Care Reform, as the Dems are proposing, Expands government to the point where it will take over fully 1/6th of our entire economy (represented …

Ken Lewis' fingerprints all over Diane Ward crime scene

... figuratively, that is. (Don't sue me, Kenny Boy, but then you've got enough legal problems of your own these days, doncha?)

We have more details in the latest case of Greenspan's Body Count.

J. Robert (Bob) Ward, who either shot Diane Ward or was present when she shot herself, was apparently in trouble with Bank of America.

Someone in Charlotte (headquarters of a certain very large bank run by a cowardly and stupid country bumpkin) apparently knows the backstory and arrived here this evening by Googling "j robert ward to appear at bank of america w/financial records". Yeah, you're probably pretty much free to schedule something else in that time slot, BofA dude! But thanks for tipping us of that it was you guys who made all those bad loans to Bob Ward.

While we're at it, I found this case where a Richard W. McWhorter (presumably this Atlanta developer) was suing Bob for fraud. Sorry, Dick, but you're not going to get much out of that case.

Obama Youth: Do you get Royalties for this song yet?

Yes, the overt indoctrination was removed from the Obama's speech to school kids from 2 weeks ago. But there are over 3 years left in his 1st term. And recall that the initial plan for this speech did include that more overt indoctrination attempt.

I wouldn't put anything past this President, so I hope in these next 3 years our precious and impressionable students don't somehow end up getting "aligned" like particles of iron in a magnetic field.

Many such videos took place before Obama was elected. How many more can we expect to see by the time he's served his full term? I mean really, Obama's given 120-something speeches on health care. Don't you think he might as well use these groups from these videos to his advantage, and outsource some of those 120 speaking appearances to them?
Remember that clip of young kids militaristically declaring their allegiance to Obama? As I was searching for that clip, I came across this page that has that one on it, plus…

Soros-Funded Propaganda video being played in our Schools

This anti-capitalist video is being played in schools all across the nation. Then the kids are tested on it. It was made by the Tides foundation, which gets a ton of money from George Soros. Here's a short take from Glenn Beck on some of the lo-lights of the video. But the full version of this cutesy little Statists' masterpiece can be seen at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLBE5QAYXp8

Watch in delight as this sanctimonious woman explains to young, impressionable minds:

"It's our government's job to watch out for us, to take care of us. That's theirJOB."
[emphasis NOT added by me].

If she had said "defend us" I would agree.

Senator Tom Carper: We must honor Obama's backroom deal with big pharma

Obama made a backroom deal to assure billions in profits for big pharma, while big pharma would spend tens of millions on propaganda trying to persuade the public to accept ObamaCare.

Senator Tom Carper says that we should honor that backroom deal.

Wednesday dinner

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Black bean and chickpea patties, a Carrot and Potato Time modification of a Veganomicon recipe. We'd done the chickpea patties before, but the black beans were an excellent addition. For the record, we used 15-ounce cans of chickpeas and black beans and doubled CPT's quantities of all other ingredients.



Side dishes are braised Brussels sprouts a la Brassica, and Broccoli Rob (or was it Broccoli Steve? I always confuse the two).

Greenspan's Body Count: Diane Ward, wife of James Robert Ward

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Never judge a book by its cover. James Robert Ward and Diane Ward appeared to be happy and fabulously wealthy. Which they were, until Greenspan's bubble popped:
Ward built a life for himself, his wife and their two daughters on the strength of a business that developed exclusive vacation-home communities across the country.

In 2007, he and his wife moved from Atlanta to Orlando's tony Isleworth country-club community; and it was in that mansion Monday night that, police say, Bob Ward shot and killed Diane Ward.

The aftermath shows a family that was in severe financial distress.

[...]

The company went bankrupt in 2008 and had its assets sold for $15.6 million in January, court records show.

The seven-bedroom, nine-bathroom house — once owned by legendary golfer Arnold Palmer, former major-league pitcher Orel Hershiser and publishing mogul Rance Crain — is in foreclosure.

The Wards hadn't made a monthly mortgage payment of $16,841 for more than a year, and as of July, they owed $…