WC Varones

Don't lend your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools

Chelsea Clinton's ruling class wedding to Goldman bankster

Let them eat cake.
Before we attend to the poor political judgment of such an extravagant affair during times of economic distress, let us wonder aloud where a poor boy who became governor of Arkansas and president of the United States got such a fortune that he can blow $3,000,000 on a wedding.

The American people did not take up a collection to reward him for his service to them.

Where did the money come from? Who was he really serving during his eight years in office?

How did Tony Blair and his wife, Cherrie, end up with an annual income of ten million pounds (approximately $15 million dollars) as soon as he left office? Who was Blair really serving?

These are not polite questions, and they are infrequently asked.

HT: Skeptical Texas CPA

IMF discovers Greenspan's Body Count

Welcome, boys!

The Dirty IMF is sort of the international version of the Dirty Fed. Just as the Dirty Fed pushes debt on Americans who can't afford it in order to perpetuate the American Ponzi scheme of excess consumption, the Dirty IMF pushes debt on countries that can't afford it in order to perpetuate the global Ponzi scheme of excess consumption.



We've had several hits lately from the halls of power: the Senate, the House, the Executive Office of the President, DHS, HUD, Goldman Sachs, AIG, all the crooks who created this mess and are still in power. I don't know whether it's opposition research or whether someone inside these organizations is starting to feel the pangs of conscience.

The hubris of the Keynesians

I posted this comment over at Econbrowser, the blog of the eminent UCSD economist James Hamilton and Wisconsin Democratic pundit Menzie Chinn. In response to a post about the promised recovery not having arrived, I wrote:
(Channeling my inner Keynesian)

10% of GDP is obviously far too small a deficit. Let's try 15%!

And along comes a Keynesian to respond:
Actually, W.C. Varones, yes that is exactly it with no sarcasm included. People always say WWII brought about an end to the Great Depression without thinking through why that was. It was because it was truly epic levels of deficit spending.

Such hubris! Keynesians think they can fix the delicate and infinitely complex system of the economy by hitting it with series of hammers, each hammer larger than the one before it. When the economy lies smashed in pieces, it's obviously because they didn't use a big enough hammer.

Keynesians are to to the economy what George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld are to international relations.

Greenspan's Body Count: Eddie and Stacey Bryant

Same story, different day.

The Orange County cities of Rancho Santa Margarita and Trabuco Canyon could have served as the model for Agrestic, the parody of suburban tract home sprawl in the TV series Weeds. And, as in the series, real life in the ticky tacky little boxes ain't no Ozzie and Harriet.

CBS2 News:
Authorities have confirmed that a man shot his wife, then turned the gun on himself in their home in upscale Rancho Santa Margarita.

Eddie Lydell Bryant, 39, shot Stacey Tomekia Bryant, 38, then killed himself, Orange County sheriff's Investigator Dan Salcedo said.

The shooting was reported at 1:42 p.m. Wednesday at their home on Birdhollow Drive. Deputies broke into the house and found the bodies, Salcedo said.

The couple, who were high school sweethearts, was having "relationship issues," he said.

"Relationship issues." He left the toilet seat up all the time, she was a big nag, something like that, right?

Not so fast. Zillow shows their home at 21421 Birdhollow in Trabuco Canyon was purchased for $702,000 in 2004, was worth around $850,000 at the peak and is now worth under $700,000. Is he underwater from a home ATM withdrawal? We may never know, but it's a fair bet he was struggling with the mortgage. You think being underwater, out of work, and with a wife whose income is dependent on the mortgage industry might add a little strain to the relationship?

Bonus: here's the LinkedIn profile of Kenneth (K. Edward) Bachrington, which is an alias used by Eddie Bryant. He claims to be a Marine with a UCLA MBA [MDE, whatever that is]. He claims to have been President and CEO of BH Global, apparently not the BH Global, a London-based investment fund, but some unheard of technology consulting firm called BH Global, quite possibly one guy in his garage. Global indeed.

All a facade to try to keep up in Greenspan's bubble, I presume. But if he was telling the truth about the Anderson MBA [MDE], it's even worse, as he'd have permanent, undischargeable student loan debt haunting him for life. Stacey Bryant appears to have been a legitimate Anderson grad [student], so perhaps they were each carrying high-five-figure or low-six-figure student debt.

Still completely proud of your bubble-blowing record at the Fed, Mr. Greenspan?

Greenspan's Body Count stands at 143.

UPDATE: Video tribute to Stacey Bryant here. And the UCLA "MDE" program is a short evening or weekend course where "entrepreneurs" get a little course material and hang out with MBA students, so the price tag is obviously much cheaper than the full MBA program.

Evil Hank Paulson hits the speaking circuit

Less than two years after killing capitalism and plundering the Treasury to bail out his Wall Street cronies, Hank Paulson is cashing in by hitting the speaking circuit at a Janet Jackson-studded event sponsored by investment bank Rodman & Renshaw.




... as if the hundreds of millions he took home for his dirty work at Goldman Sachs isn't enough.

While the working and middle classes are still in a Depression, the ruling class is partying like it's 1999.

Sorry to hear it

Don't tempt me

E-mails, we get e-mails.

This one from Michelle Obama:


Some animals are more equal than others -- DISCLOSE Act vote today

UPDATE:  FAIL!!!  The forces of darkness retreated for the time being on a 57-41 vote.

The Senate is set to vote on the DISCLOSE Act today, which would silence opposition.

The bill would kill the free speech rights of small opposition groups by burying them under a mountain of red tape and expense, while exempting leftist lobbying groups including unions, the ACLU, and the Sierra Club. The NRA was also exempted in order to buy off their opposition to the measure.

Here's Tea Party Patriots on the measure:

History has a warning for Zimbabwe Ben

Telegraph: The death of paper money.
Each big inflation -- whether the early 1920s in Germany, or the Korean and Vietnam wars in the US -- starts with a passive expansion of the quantity [of] money. This sits inert for a surprisingly long time. Asset prices may go up, but latent price inflation is disguised.

Sound familiar?
The effect is much like lighter fuel on a camp fire before the match is struck.

People’s willingness to hold money can change suddenly for a "psychological and spontaneous reason", causing a spike in the velocity of money. It can occur at lightning speed, over a few weeks. The shift invariably catches economists by surprise. They wait too long to drain the excess money.

"Velocity took an almost right-angle turn upward in the summer of 1922," said Mr O Parsson. Reichsbank officials were baffled. They could not fathom why the German people had started to behave differently almost two years after the bank had already boosted the money supply. He contends that public patience snapped abruptly once people lost trust and began to "smell a government rat".

Some might smile at the Bank of England "surprise" at the recent the jump in Brtiish inflation. Across the Atlantic, Fed critics say the rise in the US monetary base from $871bn to $2,024bn in just two years is an incendiary pyre that will ignite as soon as US money velocity returns to normal.

San Diego sales tax protest tomorrow TODAY, Monday July 26

Greedy public employee unions are threatening San Diego with dead babies in order to push a tax grab.

Join Councilmembers Carl DeMaio and Kevin Faulconer and a wide coalition of taxpayer advocacy groups to protest the money grab.

Details here.

Nerd attack! Nerd attack!

It was geek-on-geek violence at San Diego's Comic-Con as one dweeb stabbed another in the face with a pen, probably over which Star Trek series is coolest.

San Diego firefighters ripping off taxpayers

For a budget of $200 million a year, San Diego gets 854 firefighters. For similar size budgets, Philadelphia and Dallas get more than twice as many firefighters, and San Antonio gets almost twice as many.

Read all about it at the Liberator Today.

Incompetent FDIC is now insolvent, will require massive taxpayer bailout

Add an FDIC unlimited bailout to the Fannie and Freddie and AIG unlimited bailouts.

After years of insuring bad lenders with trivial premiums and incompetent, almost non-existent oversight, the FDIC is now insolvent.

Mish has it exactly right:
The FDIC is now deep in the red and the situation is getting worse every week. The situation would be even worse were it not for widespread "extend and pretend" tactics that keep woefully insolvent banks in business.

To address the situation, the FDIC is going to start selling U.S.-guaranteed FDIC senior certificates. However, it has no Congressional authority to do so according to former thrift regulator William Black.

Black claims an "unlimited taxpayer bailout" of the FDIC is on the way.

And as we pointed out at the time, what on earth was Sheila Bair doing handing out a half billion dollars for no reason to wealthy, uninsured depositors at IndyMac?

Congratulations, Sheila Bair! You screwed America.

Leftists and incentives

I've said often (indeed, it is the cornerstone of my General Theory of Liberalism) that liberals (more recently called "progressives," more accurately "leftists") don't understand the impact of incentives on human behavior.

While it remains true that leftist policies still show an amazing naivete about human behavior, leftists certainly respond to incentives in their private lives. Case in point: poster boy for the ruling class John Kerry.
Sen. John Kerry, who has repeatedly voted to raise taxes while in Congress, dodged a whopping six-figure state tax bill on his new multimillion-dollar yacht by mooring her in Newport, R.I.

Isabel - Kerry’s luxe, 76-foot New Zealand-built Friendship sloop with an Edwardian-style, glossy varnished teak interior, two VIP main cabins and a pilothouse fitted with a wet bar and cold wine storage - was designed by Rhode Island boat designer Ted Fontaine.

But instead of berthing the vessel in Nantucket, where the senator summers with the missus, Teresa Heinz, Isabel’s hailing port is listed as “Newport” on her stern.

Could the reason be that the Ocean State repealed its Boat Sales and Use Tax back in 1993, making the tiny state to the south a haven - like the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Nassau - for tax-skirting luxury yacht owners?

Cash-strapped Massachusetts still collects a 6.25 percent sales tax and an annual excise tax on yachts. Sources say Isabel sold for something in the neighborhood of $7 million, meaning Kerry saved approximately $437,500 in sales tax and an annual excise tax of about $70,000.

Mexican drug cartel invades Texas, seizes two ranches

UPDATE 7/25: The story still has not been publicly confirmed by law enforcement. Other media are denouncing the story as a hoax. Dvorak is standing by her story and reportedly will have an update today. Are Dvorak's two sources actually LPD officers? Did they chase a few illegals onto a ranch and then blow it way out of proportion? We need an explanation immediately if the Examiner's credibility is to be saved.

Los Zetas drug cartel seizes 2 U.S. ranches in Texas:
In what could be deemed an act of war against the sovereign borders of the United States, Mexican drug cartels have seized control of at least two American ranches inside the U.S. territory near Laredo, Texas.

Two sources inside the Laredo Police Department confirmed the incident is unfolding and they would continue to coordinate with U.S. Border Patrol today. “We consider this an act of war,” said one police officer on the ground near the scene. There is a news blackout of this incident at this time and the sources inside Laredo PD spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Word broke late last night that Laredo police have requested help from the federal government regarding the incursion by the Los Zetas. It appears that the ranch owners have escaped without incident but their ranches remain in the hands of the blood thirsty cartels.

Laredo Border Patrol is conducting aerial surveillance over the ranches to determine the best way to regain control of the U.S. ranches, according to the Laredo Police department.

More at Temple of Mut and Cypress Times, which broke the story.

In other news, the Obama Administration is still suing the state of Arizona for helping enforce U.S. immigration law.

Bernanke the Wimpy Keynesian



"I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a fiscal stimulus today."
“In the longer term, I think we need to be taking steps to reassure the American people and the markets that our fiscal situation is going to be well controlled,” Bernanke said [...]

Why is it always "in the longer term"? Have you ever heard Zimbabwe Ben say, "in the shorter term, it's time to quit screwing around"?

Not that this view is specific to Bernanke. All latter-day Keynesians are Wimpy Keynesians. They always want to run deficits in the bad times, but then they never recognize the part of the cycle where they should run surpluses.

If Keynes comes back as Marsellus Wallace, he's gonna get medieval on modern Keynesians' asses.

The Economist says Bernanke has two options left: devaluation and devaluation

Only two options left in his Toxic Toolkit: devaluation by helicopter drop or devaluation by flooding the FX markets.
The Fed is not helpless; it has two powerful tools left - but both are politically toxic. One is unsterilized foreign exchange intervention: buying foreign currencies with newly printed dollars, as the Swiss National Bank has done to hold down the franc. This would both stimulate net exports by pushing down the nominal value of the dollar, and alleviate deflation pressure by pushing up the price of tradable goods. (In theory, unsterilized intervention expands the money supply and ultimately, raises the price level, so the real exchange rate is unchanged even if the nominal exchange rate falls.) But the Fed won't do this without the Treasury’s approval, which for its part doesn't want the rest of the world accusing it of exporting its deflation.

The other tool is a money-financed fiscal expansion: the infamous helicopter drop of money. Buying bonds on the secondary market, as the Fed already has done, stimulates demand only by lowering interest rates. Unless the banks take the money they got in exchange for the bonds they sold to the Fed, then plough it into other, riskier assets (like loans), there's no direct boost to boost aggregate demand. By contrast, buying newly issued bonds specifically to enable the federal government to spend more money would be a powerful boost to demand. But this needs the federal government to agree to a lot more fiscal stimulus and the Fed to set aside concerns about being the Treasury’s hand maiden. Neither looks likely.
The Economist doesn't expect ZB to resort to these measures because of political risk. I think The Economist is too sanguine about what the economy will look like without such radical measures. The Fed drove us into a ditch. Let's see if Bernanke's helicopter can pull us out.

W.C. Varones, progressive

Progressives are falling all over themselves today to support Elizabeth Warren to head the new consumer protection agency.

Megan McArdle at the Atlantic has some problems with her, including her fuzzy-headed leftist academic past.

For me, three things are most important.

1) She hates the dirty banksters
2) She's not a crook
3) Timmy the Tax Cheat fears her

None of those can be said for most Washington Democrats, nor of anyone else Obama might nominate (Paul Volcker passes those criteria as well, but Obama's not about to nominate him, and he's got too much gravitas and stature to run some silly consumer affairs department).

Warren seems to have done as well as possible as head of TARP oversight, blowing the whistle as loudly as possible in front of a Congress full of deaf ears.

Elizabeth Warren for Consumer Czar!

Politicians use dead baby as political prop to support tax increase

Temple of Mut has the story.

Of course, the overpaid police and fire unions could agree to pension reform and/or pay cuts, but they and their allies on the city council would rather threaten citizens with dead babies to keep the gravy train rolling.

UPDATE: Liberator Today has more on the waste and abuse that politicians and unions refuse to cut before parading dead babies around.

Precedent for the Devil

Sitting here in the eye of the storm of GD II, I've made the claim that devaluation is the only way out.

Radical? Perhaps. Unprecedented? No.

It turns out that precedent for this GD II policy action can be found in, of all places, GD I.

In 1933, in the depths of GD I, FDR issued Executive Order 6102, confiscating all privately held gold, and gave the victims $20.67 per ounce in compensation, which was then the equivalent value in U.S. dollars, still on the gold standard. The following year, Congress passed the Gold Reserve Act of 1934, which devalued the dollar by 41%, setting the new gold standard at $35 per ounce. In one year, FDR had stolen 41% of the purchasing power of gold savers.

This is remarkably similar to what happened in Argentina in 2002, when U.S. dollar (gold-like hard money, at least relative to the peso) bank accounts were forcibly converted on a 1:1 basis into pesos before the peso was devalued to 3:1. In one fell swoop, Argentina had stolen 67% of the purchasing power of dollar savers. History doesn't repeat, but it rhymes.

Devaluation would actually be easier in the U.S. than in Argentina; they had a lot of dollar-denominated contracts that they had to order converted to pesos. We already have all our contracts in the currency we want to devalue.

Will Obama or his successor confiscate all private gold before he and Zimbabwe Ben devalue the currency? He (or, rather, some lobbyist who wrote the bill) did sneak a Big Brother gold tracking clause into the ObamaCare bill. But I doubt he'll do an outright confiscation, because there's not enough privately held gold in the U.S. to make a dent in the national debt, and it would probably be politically and operationally difficult to get his hands on it. If Obama issues the order, I'm heading to Canada, Switzerland, or Central America with a bunch of gold up my ass.

Government Motors to get back into subprime lending with AmeriCredit purchase

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Just days after Obama lied to Americans, saying "There will be no more taxpayer-funded bailouts. Period," while continuing to pour hundreds of billions into the twin black holes of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Obama's Government Motors is getting back into subprime lending with the purchase of notorious subprime auto lender AmeriCredit.

Solution to pension Ponzi scheme: dump workers on the Social Security Ponzi scheme

Brilliant.
Now, Maine legislators have prepared a detailed plan for shifting state employees into Social Security and are considering whether to adopt it. They acknowledge it will not solve their problem in the short term but see long-term advantages.

Some variation on this idea could ultimately appeal to other states grappling with their own exploding pension costs and, in extreme cases, quietly looking for help from Washington. In troubled states, some employees have wondered whether they might be allowed to begin paying in and collecting from the federal system even before they have contributed a career’s worth of taxes.

The potential effect on the Social Security program is hard to estimate. Maine’s proposal would mean new members and a small additional source of payroll tax revenue for the federal system.

Obama offers billions to bankrupt states to get them to dumb down education standards

Lovely.
Critics are concerned the national standards could dumb down California classrooms, discarding the state's superior academic framework adopted 13 years ago for students from kindergarten through high school.

[...]

California's standards, along with those of Indiana and Washington, D.C., exceed the common national content in math and have an edge in English, as well, according to the research, which was funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other foundations.

"California's (English) standards are clearer, more thorough, and easier to read than the Common Core standards," the researchers found.



An illiterate child is a future Democratic voter!

HT: JDA.

Incompetent Congress kills bond market with fake financial reform bill

This is what happens when idiots pass bills they don't read, and wouldn't understand even if they did:

Standard & Poor's, Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings are all refusing to allow their ratings to be used in documentation for new bond sales, each said in statements in recent days. Each says it fears being exposed to new legal liability created by the landmark Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

The new law will make ratings firms liable for the quality of their ratings decisions, effective immediately. The companies say that, until they get a better understanding of their legal exposure, they are refusing to let bond issuers use their ratings.

That is important because some bonds, notably those that are made up of consumer loans, are required by law to include ratings in their official documentation. That means new bond sales in the $1.4 trillion market for mortgages, autos, student loans and credit cards could effectively shut down.

There have been no new asset-backed bonds put on sale this week, in stark contrast to last week, when $3 billion of issues were sold. Market participants say the new law is partly behind the slowdown.

"We are at a standstill right now," said Bingham McCutchen partner Ed Gainor, who specializes in asset-backed securities.

Several companies are shelving their bond offerings "indefinitely," according to Tom Deutsch, executive director of the American Securitization Forum, which represents the market for bonds backed by assets such as auto loans and credit cards. He said he knew of three offerings scheduled for coming weeks that are now on hold.

The change caught the ratings agencies by surprise. The original Senate version of the bill didn't include the provision. It was only on June 30, when the Dodd-Frank bill was passed, that the exemption was removed. The Senate passed the amended version on July 15. The offices of Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.


But I'm sure there are no nasty surprises in the 2000-page ObamaCare bill that nobody read before they voted on it.

Liberal Democrat says, "Having one’s opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness."

And the predictable onslaught of laughable dishonesty begins in earnest as the Democrats turn again to the pathetic strategy of trying to brand the Tea Party movement as racist.

I agreed with Instapundit when the site recently said something to the effect of; we need to use mockery. You said it, Instapundit! We've had enough of this kind of bunk. We've gotta begin seriously and actively mocking the living crap out of these people, out the Democrat Party, out of the media, out of brainwashed Democrat voters, out of Unions, Progressives, Liberal Republican Rino's, etc, etc.

Check out what one of their own, Professor Frances Berry, says about this strategy in a true moment of candor. This professor Berry has been appointed to positions by President Carter as well as President Clinton (as Chairperson of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights). She's a liberal. Here's what Berry says about the strategy to brand the Tea Party movement as Racist:

And will branding tea party 'racist' work?

"Tainting the tea party movement with the charge of racism is proving to be an effective strategy for Democrats. There is no evidence that tea party adherents are any more racist than other Republicans, and indeed many other Americans. But getting them to spend their time purging their ranks and having candidates distance themselves should help Democrats win in November. Having one’s opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness."

-Democrat Party Operative, Contributor to Politico.com, Professor of American Social Thought and History at University of Pennsylvania, Member of America's Ruling Class, and Proud Race-Baiter, Frances Berry.

Devaluation bandwagon: get on board!

Two weeks ago, I opined that devaluation is the only way out of the economic disaster that the Fed has created.

Yesterday, Jesse's Cafe linked, largely approvingly, an Institutional Risk Analyst piece by Chris Whalen interviewing Lee Quaintance (of QB Asset Management, formerly of Goldman Sachs, CSFB, DLJ) that argues the same thing.

To us, there is no "double dip" in the economy. We never recovered from the first decline in aggregate demand. Forget the bogus inflation and GDP statistics coming from Washington. Talk to your neighbors and family, the people in the community who own businesses. Ask them how their revenues for 1H 2010 are doing YOY...

In response to mounting concerns about deflation, news reports are filled with speculation that the Federal Reserve System will "ease" monetary policy further, an interesting idea given that interest rates already are at zero. The concept of further quantitative easing, as we understand it, would be for the Fed to purchase more securities from the Wall Street banks and hope -- repeat hope -- that a few pennies trickle down to the real economy.

[...]

Quaintance: You want organic employment growth? Lower the relative price of other factors of production. Boosting asset prices unilaterally while wage rates remain relatively stagnant is a recipe for unemployment. This is just common sense and it's what we're seeing today. The system yearns for more money, not more credit.

The IRA: Yes, their operating costs are rising but selling prices are compressed [...] consumers and small businesses who do not do business with JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs are the big losers in the fiat system. You must be smart enough to surf the waves of inflation, not just swim with the tide, and that makes us all speculators. (It is really the arbitrariness of the money that is a root cause, and the creation of a monopolization of credit under an incompetent/corrupt Federal Reserve - Jesse)

Quaintance: Agreed. In the end, credit inflation historically leads to asset inflation while base money inflation leads to wage and basic goods/consumables inflation. No matter how you slice it, the ratio of outstanding global debts to global base money is irreconcilable. This is a mathematical tautology. From this imbalance flow many of the imbalances you cite, in my mind. Chris, as I said, we think this is as simple a problem as too little "money" in existence attempting to service and ultimately reconcile too much debt.

Read the whole thing. It's remarkably consisent with the view I put forward, but much more articulate and well-developed.

Devaluation: catch the fever!

America's ruling class approves of America's ruling class

Obama's approval rating among residents of Washington D.C. is 85%.

Helpful Joe Biden illustrates the point

Always willing to lend a gaffe-prone hand, Joe Biden provided vivid illustration of the arrogance of America's ruling class the same day Angelo M. Codevilla's essay on the subject was making waves across the blogosphere:

Seeming to echo a line of criticism usually voiced by Republicans, Vice President Joe Biden said Friday that most Americans and even many experts “don’t even know” what’s inside the White House’s signature legislative accomplishments.

Biden said that lack of understanding was “because of all the advertising done” by opponents of those bills.

Asked by ABC's “This Week” host Jake Tapper in an interview aired Sunday if the administration “is getting enough credit” for the Wall St. bill, the health care bill, and the economic Recovery Act in light of polls showing the majority of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track, Biden said: “The vast majority of the American people and a lot of people really involved don't even know what's inside the packages.”

“People don't know a lot of what's going on in The Recovery Act,” Biden said, ”understandably, because this has been so much stuff that has been flowing our way.”

Despite those polls, Biden said, the country is moving in the right direction, saying of Americans who disagree “nor could they or should they” understand that, given the 6.7 million jobs lost in the last six months of the Bush administration and the first six months of the Obama administration.

Pointing to jobs growth in recent months, he added that when the “country is in trouble, all [people] want to know is… that we're moving in the right direction.”

“But they don't think that we are, “ Tapper replied.

“No. No, they don't think now because I don't think they know the detail of what's going on,” said Biden, who said “the health care numbers are going up” now “because they're figuring out that small businesses are going to get a 30 percent tax cut. They didn't know that because of all the advertising done.“


Governing is really, really complicated, and the American people can't possibly know what's best for them, so we're just gonna go ahead and make all the decisions for them.

Dirty Countrywide tries to steal house from young family

... dirty sheriffs take the dirty banksters' word with no evidence.

That's how things work when government is run for the banksters, by the banksters.

Battle Plan for the Republic

Instapundit has a call to arms:

WHAT TO DO? In response to this piece by Angelo Codevilla on America’s ruling class, readers wonder what to do. Well, a few things suggest themselves.

First: Mockery. They are very mockable, and they are very thin-skinned. That leads them to erupt in embarrassing ways. Use their sense of entitlement against them.

Second (and related): Transparency. One-party government makes you stupid, and although composed of both Democrats and Republicans, these people are pretty stupid. Point it out, repeatedly. Use FOIA, ubiquitous videocameras, and other tools to make the stupidity show.

Third: Money. Codevilla writes: “Our ruling class’s agenda is power for itself. While it stakes its claim through intellectual-moral pretense, it holds power by one of the oldest and most prosaic of means: patronage and promises thereof.” The coming budget crisis — already here, really, but still largely denied by the rulers — is an opportunity to defund a lot of this patronage stuff. They’ll try, of course, to cut the muscle and preserve the fat, but that won’t work very well if they’re closely watched (see above). Cut them off in other ways, too. Don’t support the media, nonprofits, and politicians who support them with your money.

Also, make sure that money flows TO things you like: Businesses, alt-media, politicians who aren’t part of the problem, etc. Build up countervailing institutions that don’t depend on the government to survive.

Finally: Don’t act like a subject. Rulers like subjects. Don’t be one. As a famous man once said: Get in their face. Punch back twice as hard. Words for the coming decade?

Exactly. And read the whole piece he links on the people vs. the Harvard-Goldman-Washington-MSM self-serving ruling class. It's not Democrat vs. Republican. It's the people vs. the Democrats and Republicans.

Mercer Walnut Creek: just won't sell

We've been following the tragicomedy of Mercer Walnut Creek, the suburban condos with San Francisco prices, for years now.

Unit 322, which we profiled last August, is still for sale. Last year, they wanted $619,950 for it. A month later, they cut to $599,950, and it's been sitting at that price all year with no takers.

The sellers must care a lot about their credit score, because they've already blown way through a 20% down payment and they haven't yet figured out they'd be better off giving it back to the bank.

If you bought, you'd be looking at about $2500 a month in mortgage, plus $500 in HOA, plus $600 in property taxes, for around $3600 a month, not including interior depreciation and maintenance. Slightly larger units are renting for $2845. So the price-to-rent ratio is not there yet, plus if you rent you don't have to chuck in a $120,000 down payment (which, if the market keeps sliding, you'll lose just like the seller did).

If paying $600,000 for a two-bedroom apartment in the suburbs sounds like a good idea to you, please consider the Mercer Walnut Creek!

Greenspan's Body Count: Jayne and Corinne Peters

Jayne Peters, the mayor of upscale suburb Coppell, Texas, murdered her teenage daughter and then took her own life earlier this week.

What was the motive? Regular readers will already know: financial problems.
Coppell city officials said Friday they now suspect that late Mayor Jayne Peters may have been using her city-issued credit card to keep up financial appearances in the face of personal money woes.

[...]

Peters made more than $5,800 in charges on her city-issued credit card in the three months leading up to her suicide, according to documents obtained by The Dallas Morning New s on Friday. The charges included $1,600 to Enterprise Rent-a-Car in Lewisville , more than $300 in clothes from trendy young adult clothing stores in Plano and more than $480 spent at Kroger in Coppell.

The records showed that she did pay the city more than $300 in reiumbursements during that time, but it was not clear what charges the reimbursement was for.

City staffers were preparing the routine report that listed the questionable charges when the mayor and her 19-year-old daughter Corinne were found fatally shot in their two-story house Tuesday, sources said. Police believe Jayne Peters shot her daughter and then herself.

[...]

The two-story Peters house in the 700 block of Greenway Drive [759 Greenway, to be precise] was posted for foreclosure last July, according to Foreclosure Listing Service.

[...]

According to Dallas County records, an outstanding lien for $1,258 was filed on the house last August for nonpayment of neighborhood-association assessments.


Greenspan's Body Count stands at 141.

Jayne Peters
Corinne Peters
Wayne Zickefoose
Herminia Zickefoose
Thomas S. Piazza
Troy Fogel
Michele Fogel
Cynthia Dunn Cannon
Jocelyn Earnest
Lynda Clark
Gregory Bellows
Sallie Gist
Rayshawn Reed
Byron Reed Sr.
Byron Reed Jr.
Elisha Gist
Elijah Gist
Tiera Davidson
Christopher Oetting
Neal Jacobson
Franki Jacobson
Eric Jacobson
Joshua Jacobson
Vincenza Garcia
Bill Sparkman
Debra K. Gibbs
Otis Beckford
Carol Kennedy
Diane Ward
Edith Moreno
Diana Moreno
Scott Peters
Tom Blackmore
Kevin Daniel O'Connell
Julie Fay
Wallis Fay
Siu Fong Ng
Ernest Scherer Jr.
Charlene Abendroth
J.D. Wood
Cynthia Wood
Aubrey Wood
Dillon Wood
Betty J. Lipply
Dwight Deely
Linda Patrick
David Kellerman
Christopher Wood
Francie Billotti-Wood
Chandler Wood
Gavin Wood
Fiona Wood
Gil Weber
Gregory Graham
Randolph Graham
David Kelley
Ramona woman
Del Mar man
Wayne "Mike" Anderson
Jeffrey M. Pearson
Ervin Antonio Lupoe
Ana Lupoe
Brittney Lupoe
Jaszmin Lupoe
Jassely Lupoe
Benjamin Lupoe
Christian Lupoe
Steven L. Good
Adolf Merckle
Mike Upham
Randy Motts
Kristy Hunt
Joseph Nesheiwat
Tom Brisch
Alex Widmer
Brian Pugh
Marilyn Lewis
Sid Agrawal
Kirk Stephenson
Barry Fox
Dallas Dwayne Carter
David Hetzel
Sharron Hetzel
Cliff Kendall
Pamela Ross
Roland Gore
Mrs. Gore
Wanda Dunn
Karthik Rajaram
Subasri Rajaram
Krishna Rajaram
Ganesha Rajaram
Arjuna Rajaram
Indra Ramasesham
Joe X
Isabelle Jarka
Robert Wagner
Lt. Michael Howe
John Roberts
Palmer C. White
Dianne Pittman White
Ed Boesen
Edwin F. Rachleff
Carlene Balderrama
Troy VanderStelt
Scott M. Coles
Dawn E. Armstrong
Thomas Lizotte
Jonathon Calvin "40-Cal" Jacques
Salvador X
Lupe X
Jade X
Little Boy X
Little Girl X
Kashmir Billon
Bill McMurtry

Lisa McMurtry
James Hahn
Raymond Donaca
Deanna Donaca
[redacted]
[redacted]
Michel Veillette
Nadya Ferrari-Veillette
Marguerite Veillette
Vincent Veillette
Mia Veillette
Jacob Veillette
Maurice Pereira
Natasha Pereira
Mark Achilli
Raed Al-Farah
Andrew Kissel
Rufus Shaw Jr.
Lynn Flint Shaw
Mr. Pierce
Walter Buczynksi
Marci Buczynski
Jason Washington

Tiger Woods should have blown up the economy instead

... he would have gotten off cheaper.

Tiger's tab for fooling around: $750 - $833 million.

Goldman Sachs' fine for making themselves filthy rich while destroying the economy: $550 million.

HT: Blinko

FHA is the new subprime

Told ya!

Calculated Risk points out BofA's stable/declining delinquencies on non-FHA loans, and huge and rising delinquencies on FHA loans.



What do you expect when you give people loans with zero or near-zero down? They've got no skin in the game. They're gonna walk as soon as payments get tough or the home value goes underwater.

Evil Alan Greenspan: I want more suffering! Where's the boiling oil?

Not content with having created the biggest asset bubble in the history of the world leaving millions of Americans hopelessly mired in debt and millions more unemployed, and leaving a trail of bodies that would make John Wayne Gacy blush, Alan Greenspan now wants to stomp on the downtrodden middle class with higher taxes.

Good luck with those employment numbers in 2011 if you raise taxes across the board in the middle of a depression.

Make Me Wanna Holler, The Way They Do My Life! This Ain't Livin'.

The great Marvin Gaye wrote some socially-conscious lyrics in the 1970's. One can play this kind of game with any number of songs, but do a quick reading of his lyrics to the groovy song "Inner City Blues" and you might think he wrote it last week! "Trigger-happy policing" thankfully excepted, some of Mr. Gaye's simple observations about the unsatisfactory economic conditions in 1971 America ring true today. And even if not, don't we all just feel like hollering when we read the political and economic news these days? Even if the late Mr. Gaye might have been coming from a different political perspective than most of our WC readers, he certainly nailed it with text-message-like succinctness when he wrote lyrics such as "Money, we make it. Before we see it, you take it", "Inflation. No chance, to increase finance", and "Natural fact is, honey that I can't pay my taxes."

So if you get frustrated today when you see what's going on in D.C., take this chance to relax to the mellow funk and beautiful voice of Marvin Gaye, while you simultaneously get the satisfaction of knowing you're not the only one feels like hollering. Pull up the Drudge Report, or maybe the WSJ on your computer screen and say to your coworkers loud and proud, "Makes me wanna holler, the way they do my life! This ain't livin'!" Or just sing it while you're driving, but don't "throw up both your hands" if you do.



"Inner City Blues"
(Marvin Gaye/James Nyx)

Rockets, moon shots
Spend it all on the have nots
Money, we make it.
'Fore we see it, you take it.

[Chorus]
Oh, make you wanna holler
The way they do my life.
Make me wanna holler
The way they do my life

This ain't livin', this ain't livin.
No, no baby, this ain't livin.
No, no, no.

Inflation, no chance
To increase finance
Bills pile up sky high
Send that boy off to die

[Chorus again, and thus more fun hollering]
Make wanna holler (etc)

Hang ups, let downs
Bad breaks, set backs.
Natural fact is
I can't pay my taxes.

[Chorus again, this time with a twist]
Oh, make me wanna holler
And throw up both my hands.
Yeah, it makes me wanna holler
The way they do my life

Crime is increasing
Trigger happy policing
Panic is spreading
God knows where we're heading

Oh, make me wanna holler
They don't understand

Whoopi Goldberg: Tea Partiers are racist; Mel Gibson isn't

... apparently because conservatives are presumed guilty despite zero evidence, while Hollywood people are presumed innocent even when they're caught on tape.

Big Hollywood:
It appears as though Whoopi employs a zero tolerance policy when those who are (falsely) accused of racism are everyday Americans passionate about the future of their country. Which can only mean one thing….

In Whoopi’s world, spewing racism is only okay if you’ve been profiled on Entertainment Tonight.

That would be consistent with Goldberg's view that if you drug and anally rape a 13-year-old, it's not "rape-rape" as long as you're a Hollywood big shot.

Speaking of which, it turns out that a Department of Justice screw-up caused the Swiss to free Roman Polanski. Incompetence, or did they throw the case to please Obama's Hollywood base?

Mel Gibson as told by kittens

Kittens say the cutest things!

HT: Blinko

Goodbye, Janet



San Francisco Fed is looking for a new easy money whore replacement for the esteemed Janet Yellen, who will likely leave to take Don Kohn's place at the Board of Governors. That's if the Senate can figure out whatever else it's been doing lately that's made cramming the Fed full of easy money whores brilliant economists such a low priority.

The good news is that Janet doesn't really matter in the big scheme of things, only Zimbabwe Ben matters. A former Dirty Fed operative said so here.

Goodbye, Janet, I'll miss you.

Disclaimer: I'm currently improving my cash position in order to dump as much of it as I can ahead of financial doomsday. I like to call this strategy "shorting Janet Yellen's trigger finger" as I'm betting mine is quicker than hers. 

Oakland goes Mad Max

Don't bother calling the cops; they ain't gonna come:
Oakland's police chief is making some dire claims about what his force will and will not respond to if layoffs go as planned.

Chief Anthony Batts listed exactly 44 situations that his officers will no longer respond to and they include grand theft, burglary, car wrecks, identity theft and vandalism. He says if you live and Oakland and one of the above happens to you, you need to let police know on-line.

Some 80 officers were to be let go at midnight last night if a last-minute deal was not reached. That's about ten percent of the work force.

That last-minute deal was not reached. The greedy police union wouldn't budge:
The layoffs of 80 Oakland police officers became effective today after Oakland officials and the police union were unable to reach a deal.

"The city refused to accept our last offer," said Rocky Lucia, an attorney for the police union. "This is a very dark day for the Oakland Police Officers Association."

Oakland City Council President Jane Brunner said the city's final offer was for police officers to pay 4% of their pension this fiscal year and an additional 3% beginning July 1, 2011.

Officers had already agreed to pay 2% beginning in January 2013, meaning that OPOA members would have been contributing the 9% into their pensions that the city sought, Brunner said.

The council president also said the city guaranteed that it would not lay off any police union members for one year. The union wanted a three-year guarantee that the city said it could not approve.

"Given the City's financial situation it would have been financially irresponsible for the City to consider any 'no layoff' guarantee in excess of one year," Brunner said in a statement.

If you're going
To lawless Oakland,
Be sure to wear
A Ruger under there.


HT: T-Dub

UPDATE: JF points out that China has a solution for Oakland: lock the poor in their ghettos all night.

Rise of the Machines

Ain't no jobs, but Intel's sales are booming. To the extent that businesses see an economic recovery coming, managers would rather invest in capital than in labor.

And why not? With improving technology, more and more human jobs can now be done by machines. And those jobs that do require a human can often be offshored (programming, call centers, manufacturing) for vast cost savings over overpriced American labor.

Expensive new mandates like ObamaCare and rising Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment taxes are only making this worse. Why on Earth would businesses add to their U.S. work force in this environment?

So let's rock out while Rome burns. I present AC/DC's Who Made Who, from the 80's movie Maximum Overdrive, based on the Stephen King story Trucks. That's King at the ATM; he made cameos in several of his movies.

W.C. is reading...

Raven: The Untold Story of the Rev. Jim Jones and His People

It's the story of a charismatic socialist who swindles the establishment and the media into ignoring his totalitarian instincts and seeing him as a Messianic figure. Not that there's anything remotely analogous there to anyone we might know today.

It's a great book by Tim Reiterman who was a contemporaneous reporter at the San Francisco Examiner. It is thoroughly researched and documented, but reads almost like a novel. You get to know so many seemingly normal players in the drama, and though you know the rough outline of the final scene already, the anticipation builds as you wonder just how it will play out and who will still be there when the stage goes dark.

I've also just read The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine and When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead: Useful Stories from a Persuasive Man, both thoughtful and well-chosen gifts courtesy of JF. The former is the story of the few who made a fortune predicting the housing crash and an indictment of the current crony capitalism regime, by Michael Lewis of Liars' Poker and Moneyball fame. The latter is the fascinating autobiography of Jerry Weintraub, who talked his way from New York City poor kid to promoter of Elvis and Sinatra and producer of some of the biggest Hollywood movies today.

All three are highly recommended.

Panthergate

Obama's Watergate?

I don't know about that. Watergate was all about the cover-up. In Panthergate, Obama and Eric Holder aren't covering anything up. They are blatantly saying, "F*&^ you, America. We're going to allow black militants to stand outside polling places with nightsticks to intimidate voters."

Imagine if George W. Bush and John Ashcroft had dropped an open-and-shut case against Klansmen in white robes intimidating voters outside a polling place. Would you hear the same deafening silence from the mainstream media you've been hearing for the past year on this case?

Libertarian Root Reminds Us of the True Nature of Obama's Overarching Agenda

Libertarian Party 2008 VP candidate Wayne Allen Root writes a good general reminder of what Obama's large-scale strategy is; overwhelm the system, create economic and social chaos, use the ensuing crises to bring about the "end of capitalism", destroy our capitalist system "from within". He adds some good bullet-points, and encourages the reader to see these agenda items not as individual "reforms", but to assess them together as parts of his whole agenda, and then to understand what kind of revolutionary agenda that is, to see the forest for the trees. I think it's important to never forget what Obama's true goals really are. Some bullet points;

-the Health Care bill was not so much about health care as it was about Unionizing millions of hospital and health care employees and swelling the size of the IRS by adding 20,000 new agents, who will then become new members of.....yes....Government Employee Unions like the SEIU.
-Cap and Trade is not about the Environment. It's about global redistribution.
-The idea of making Puerto Rico a state is about adding 2 more Democratic Senators and 5 more Democratic representatives, plus 1 million more reliably Democrat votes.

I'll be Breeding My Hamster Ahead of This...



...A) because I'm a wasteful asshole who doesn't recycle and B) when San Francisco makes pets illegal, the pet black market will thrive and I want a piece.

SF Gate:

"People buy small animals all the time as an impulse buy, don't know what they're getting into, and the animals end up at the shelter and often are euthanized," said commission Chairwoman Sally Stephens. "That's what we'd like to stop."

San Francisco residents who want a pet would have to go to another city, adopt one from a shelter or rescue group, or find one through the classifieds.

The Board of Supervisors would have final say on the matter. But not before pet store owners unleash a cacophony of howling, squeaking and squawking.

"It's terrible. A pet store that can't sell pets? It's ridiculous," said John Chan, manager of Pet Central on Broadway, which has been in business 30 years. "We'd have to close."

WCV also linked to Left Coast Rebel's take on this BS.

So you can smoke all the weed you want but God forbid you be an adult and think out a decision like buying a small pet without the interference of the Board of Supervisors. Please. Next they will confiscate my car, force me to spay my hamster and ban the use of toilet paper made from real paper because it hurts the environment. Meanwhile Golden Gate Park is still overrun with homeless and I don't see it getting any cheaper to live here.

When I went to get my hamster, the guy at the local pet shop actually talked me out of the first one I wanted and convinced me to go with an older, already tame hamster instead. I've had a handful of them in my lifetime and he wanted this particular hamster to go to someone who knew what they were doing. She was more expensive but ended up being an excellent fit and went to a good home with someone who knew how to take care of her. That's how that transaction worked in San Francisco, entirely without the interference of the city's useless Board. I even rode the train back to my house with her since I was still riding Muni at that point - the quintessential San Francisco experience that the Supervisors would love to take away, a San Franciscan on the Metro with a hamster in a cardboard box. Oh sorry, everyone owns dogs here. Whatever. The hamster is addicted to cigarettes and gets stared at by my cat all day but is happy, fat and eats better than I do, I'd say everything worked out well.

Obviously I'm against this stupid ass idea. But it makes sense as San Francisco is so hopelessly isolated from economic reality that it might think this is genius. Or maybe it is simply a money thing and San Francisco's far leftist heart isn't as bleeding as previously suspected:

Most Bay Area animal shelters do not kill strays unless they have serious health or behavioral problems - for instance, viciousness - that would make them unsafe to adopt.

Yet many smaller, rural shelters in the Central Valley and in the northern part of the state do not have the space to keep animals longer than required by state law. These shelters are, in many cases, full of pets given up by people who have lost their jobs, seen their homes foreclosed upon, or been forced to move in search of work.

"The places that are overrun with animals don't have many resources, and now the law will essentially allow them to euthanize animals more quickly," said Scott Delucchi, vice president of the Peninsula Humane Society. "Probably those shelters were euthanizing animals anyway. It will just be earlier."

I'm waiting for the San Francisco Pet Food Registry where I have to get fingerprinted and cheek swabbed then wait 5 days to purchase canned cat food. For my grandmother, who is still getting 1% on her CDs.

Meanwhile the illegal San Francisco gerbil trade will also be huge, should anyone want in early.

Good stuff

Good stuff from some of our SLOB friends:

Temple of Mut on California's twin 60-ish female moderate-liberal Republican former CEOs of Silicon Valley tech companies. eMeg probably has my vote, and has a reasonable shot at winning. Carly has an uphill climb on both counts.

Beers with Demo on the RomneyCare disaster as preview of ObamaCare and on prohibition as illustration of the law of unintended consequences.

The Liberator Today on the Jerry Sanders sales tax increase (and linking a Mut post on a Monday 12:30 protest -- be there or be square!).

Left Coast Rebel on nitwits in the nanny city-state San Francisco trying to ban pet sales.

Doo Doo Economics on the state with the highest gas taxes in the nation (if I have to tell you which state, you're obviously not paying attention!).

Democrats plan scorched-earth policy to destroy America after they lose November elections

... because there's nothing voters can do to an angry lame duck.

Card check, cap'n trade, pork orgy, you name it, they're going to force it on America like Ben Roethlisberger hearing "no" in a nightclub bathroom.

"Was it a come from behind victory?", WC asks

Here's a story from Reuters.

Devaluation is the only way out

At the risk of validating Fed researcher Kartik Athreya's argument that bloggers are stupid and have no business opining on economics, I've been intending for a while to write more about why I think inflation/devaluation is inevitable.

First, a few assumptions. These are unambiguously true in my view, but if you disagree with any of them, you'll likely disagree with the rest of the argument.

1) This is not a typical cyclical recession but a huge bust created by the bursting of the Mother of All Bubbles.

2) We have huge structural, not cyclical, job losses. No vast new labor-intensive industries will soon spring up to replace the millions of construction workers, realtors, and mortgage brokers who have lost jobs or suffered greatly reduced incomes in the housing bust, nor the retail and related jobs created by home equity withdrawals.

3) Fiscal stimulus has been a complete failure. We've wasted a trillion dollars on political pork and paying people to stay unemployed for 99 weeks. We are running huge deficits of 10%+ of GDP, and getting only 3% GDP growth from it. Since government spending translates directly into GDP mathematically no matter how badly it is wasted, 3% GDP growth during 10% deficit spending indicates that the non-government economy is in a severe depression.

4) Without government and/or Fed intervention, housing prices will return to historically normal price/rent and price/income levels. Indeed, signs of another leg down are already occurring after the recent expiration of the house buyer tax credits.

The fourth point is the nightmare scenario. Another big drop in house prices would cause a huge new vicious cycle of strategic defaults and foreclosures, would wipe out the net worth of millions of households, and would bankrupt the entire banking system and dump hundreds of billions or trillions more losses on the taxpayers via Fannie, Freddie, and FHA. Then of course all of the cities, counties, and states would have their budgets destroyed by reduced property values and reduced economic activity. And then all the pension funds that own bank debt and equity would take a huge hit and be unable to ever pay their promised benefits. In short, the Mother of All Depression Spirals.

The primary obstacle to economic recovery is widespread insolvency among households and banks (meaning liabilities exceed assets). A consumer who is broke cannot spend, and a bank that is broke cannot lend. Devaluing the dollar would reduce the real value of the debt (increase the nominal value of the assets), rendering millions of households and most banks instantly solvent. A simple example: a family has a $200,000 mortgage on a house now worth just $150,000, and they also carry some credit card debt and are underwater on an auto loan. A 50% devaluation of the dollar would mean a doubling of general price levels, making the house worth $300,000 and allowing the family to sell or refinance the house and/or car, pay off the credit card debts, and go from a negative net worth to a substantial positive net worth.

A secondary benefit to devaluation would be improvement in American labor competitiveness. Currently labor costs are too high in the U.S. relative to the rest of the world, leading to both automation and overseas outsourcing. If the U.S. devalues the dollar faster than other countries devalue their currencies, American manufacturing and exporting will become more viable.

If inflation is the only way out, how best to achieve that inflation? As I've pointed out before, Bernanke's current mechanisms are not working. Zero interest rates and buying assets from the banks serves only to bail out Wall Street and create asset bubbles that benefit asset owners, but this doesn't get money to the broad mass of consumers. The misguided theory seems to be that if the banks are made healthy, they'll eventually start lending to the little people. But people don't need more debt. Too much debt is what got them here in the first place, and more debt will only make things worse. What people need is cash to pay down the debt. If Ben Bernanke really wanted to solve the problem, he'd stop giving money to the banks and follow through on his "helicopter drop" threat to get the money where it's needed, to the people. One mechanism would be a printing-financed tax refund: give everybody a refund of all the federal income taxes they've paid for the last three years. Cap the amount for the rich and give some to the non-taxpaying poor to get the money where it will help.

It gives me no pleasure to call for debasing the currency. I hate what the Dirty Fed has done to our dollar and our country. But by blowing bigger and bigger bubbles to try to prevent normal, healthy recessions from occurring, the Fed has painted itself into a corner.

Obviously there are great risks to devaluation/inflation, with Weimar Germany and Zimbabwe being cautionary examples. Is it possible to pull off a one-time devaluation followed by a sound money regime? I don't know, but I don't see any option but to try.

I'm still formulating my thoughts on the subject. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

UPDATE: How much would have to be printed for the helicopter drop? The government collects around $1 trillion per year in individual income taxes. And the top 1%, 5%, and 10% of the rich recently paid 40%, 61%, and 71% respectively of all income taxes. So you could cap tax refunds for the rich somewhere in that range and give everybody else a full refund of the past three years' income taxes paid for around $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion. That's on the same scale as what Zimbabwe Ben has already printed to bail out Wall Street, and it's not too much more than Obama has stolen from our children for his $800 billion porkulus.

Santelli Tells It Like It Really Is

One of our favorite mainstream media pundits is Rick Santelli. The University of Illinois educated fixed income trader has been one of the few MM voices of reason that for some reason is presented among the clowns and court jesters of CNBC. He provides the 1% truth to the 99% propaganda CNBC pushes.

ZH links a fantastic interview with Mr. Santelli and summarizes the highlights. Courtesy of King World News the interview link itself is a must listen twice to.

Santelli talks in terms of finance and logic; he doesn’t talk in terms of one side versus the other. I just hope his November prediction is correct otherwise while JDA is looking to leave the state, I’m going to be looking to leave the country. ~NL

Lindsey Graham in Afghanistan

Lindsey Graham is on Face the Nation this morning from Afghanistan.

I wonder if he'll bring anything back.

Happy Fourth of July!

May the spirit of the founders be with you!



When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Zimbabwe Ben was here

Not that there's anything wrong with that



When it's the #1 type-ahead suggestion on Google, it's probably time to come out of the closet.

Walking along in the Mission

There's a grittiness and authenticity in San Francisco's Mission District that's lacking in most of California.

Mattresses for sale piled on the sidewalk just off the truck, handmade unfinished wooden dressers straight from Mexico in the mom-and-pop furniture store, a guy selling hot dogs without a permit from his truck in a metered space on the side of the road, a taco shop or two on every block.

People here work hard, and work to buy and sell the necessities of life. They're poor, but they're doing something real.

The rest of us in Disneyfied California earn outrageous wages compared to our global counterparts to do things like push oversized mortgages and overpriced education on unwitting victims, and after work we suck out another $100,000 for botox and cruises from the home ATM.

This Depression is gonna hurt us phoneys a lot more than it hurts the good people of the Mission.

ObamaCare going bankrupt before it even gets started

ObamaCare has only $5 billion to cover millions of the sickest Americans for the next 3 1/2 years.

HHS officials aren't saying whether they'll let people die or ask for more money, but obviously the government can just pile billions more onto our children's debt.

After January 1, 2014, the government will dump all of the sick people onto any private plans still silly enough to try to remain in business.

Natives getting restless now

Goldman Sachs paedophile Todd Genger gets probation

... because there's one kind of justice for ordinary folks, and another for Goldmanites.

Bernanke, Geithner lied to Congress about the crap assets the Fed was illegally buying to bail out Wall Street

Just another day at the office for the unaccountable, rogue Fed:
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and then-New York Fed President Timothy Geithner told senators on April 3, 2008, that the tens of billions of dollars in “assets” the government agreed to purchase in the rescue of Bear Stearns Cos. were “investment-grade.” They didn’t share everything the Fed knew about the money.

The so-called assets included collateralized debt obligations and mortgage-backed bonds with names like HG-Coll Ltd. 2007-1A that were so distressed, more than $40 million already had been reduced to less than investment-grade by the time the central bankers testified. The government also became the owner of $16 billion of credit-default swaps, and taxpayers wound up guaranteeing high-yield, high-risk junk bonds.
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