I even bought Oct 125 GLD puts today, a little speculative bet on a pullback.
I'm probably early, but it never hurts to take a little off the table.
To the outside world, the Federal Reserve is an impenetrable fortress. But former employees and big investors are privy to some of its secrets -- and that access can be lucrative.
On August 19, just nine days after the U.S. central bank surprised financial markets by deciding to buy more bonds to support a flagging economy, former Fed governor Larry Meyer sent a note to clients of his consulting firm with a breakdown of the policy-setting meeting.
The minutes from that same gathering of the powerful Federal Open Market Committee, or FOMC, are made available to the public -- but only after a three-week lag. So Meyer's clients were provided with a glimpse into what the Fed was thinking well ahead of other investors.
His note cited the views of "most members" and "many members" as he detailed increasingly sharp divisions among the officials who determine the nation's monetary policy.
The inside scoop, which explained how rising mortgage prepayments had prompted renewed central bank action, was simply too detailed to have come from anywhere but the Fed.
A longtime real estate broker died Monday night of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, Tiburon police said.
Paul Grothe, 71, of Tiburon, was co-owner of Marin Land Co. at 1610 Tiburon Blvd. with his wife, Zohre. His body was found by his wife in the couple's garage Monday night, said Tiburon police Chief Michael Cronin.
He said Grothe had been depressed about business and personal matters. The Marin County Coroner's Office, which will determine the official cause of death, was expected to conduct an autopsy Wednesday.
McDonald's Corp. has warned federal regulators that it could drop its health insurance plan for nearly 30,000 hourly restaurant workers unless regulators waive a new requirement of the U.S. health overhaul.
The move is one of the clearest indications that new rules may disrupt workers' health plans as the law ripples through the real world.
Trade groups representing restaurants and retailers say low-wage employers might halt their coverage if the government doesn't loosen a requirement for "mini-med" plans, which offer limited benefits to some 1.4 million Americans.
The requirement concerns the percentage of premiums that must be spent on benefits.
While many restaurants don't offer health coverage, McDonald's provides mini-med plans for workers at 10,500 U.S. locations, most of them franchised. A single worker can pay $14 a week for a plan that caps annual benefits at $2,000, or about $32 a week to get coverage up to $10,000 a year.
Last week, a senior McDonald's official informed the Department of Health and Human Services that the restaurant chain's insurer won't meet a 2011 requirement to spend at least 80% to 85% of its premium revenue on medical care.
McDonald's and trade groups say the percentage, called a medical loss ratio, is unrealistic for mini-med plans because of high administrative costs owing to frequent worker turnover, combined with relatively low spending on claims.
Initially, I was in favor of this initiative, as I thought it dealt solely with protecting local funds from raids by Sacramento. As I studied it I discovered otherwise. Prop. 22 is really about protecting often abusing redevelopment agencies from Sacramento. Redevelopment agencies use eminent domain to take property from one private owner and give it to another. They are legally state, not local agencies, and they have been diverting ever larger chunks of local property tax revenue (now some 12 percent) away from local schools, fire departments, and special districts.
Morgan Stanley Institutes Investment Banking Hiring Freeze With More Fun Possibly To Come
According to Charlie Gasparino, “there will be fairly significant cuts” if “the fourth quarter mirrors the third quarter.”
Cognex Corp. (CGNX) raised its third-quarter revenue guidance on stronger-than-expected demand from the factory automation market, which provided more than two-thirds of its business in the previous quarter.
Shares jumped 11% to $25.38 in after-hours trading. The stock was up 29% this year as of the close.
The vision-sensor maker now expects record revenue between $74 million and $76 million, up from its August forecast of $65 million to $68 million.
The Federal Reserve will boost its balance sheet by about half a trillion dollars over a six-month period beginning in November and keep it inflated for up to a year, according to a survey of leading markets participants by CNBC.
About 70 percent of the 67 respondents, which include economists, strategists and fund managers, believe the Fed will begin quantitative easing again.
Of those, 80 percent believe the Fed will start before the end of this year. November is seen as the most likely month for the Fed to restart asset purchases by 38 percent of those who took the survey, but December was a close second with 32 percent.
“The trigger for the resumption of quantitative easing late this year will be an increase in unemployment back into double-digits,” wrote Mark Zandi, of Moody’s Economy.Com. He thinks the Fed will act in December and ultimately purchase an additional $1 trillion in assets.
The Obama administration last week submitted to lawmakers a spending proposal that would cost, according to Republican estimations, between $20 billion and $30 billion.
The administration is asking Congress to add some of these spending initiatives to a bill that must be approved by October 1 to avoid a government shut-down.
...When I evaluated 555YVR, I was struck by the urban contemporary feel (SoMA on North Main…), and their attention to design detail. Having lived here a few months, I find that the fringe benefits are not bad either. Walking distance to all the downtown amenities? Check. Proximity to public transportation and the freeway? Got that, too. Rooftop lounge with fireplace and stunning view of Mt D? Yup!Uh....yeah.
And now, to add to the mix, a nascent courtyard “scene”. What better way to wind down than returning home to an on site ”happening”! As a foodie bachelor who is challenged in the culinary department, I’m always a sucker for free food and wine. On my wishlist? That a certain residential yoga instructor organize a sunset yoga class up on the roof, followed by a wine social.
In other news, the Dirty Fed said the economy is totally fu***d and they are going to debase the currency as much as necessary to keep the stock market afloat in nominal terms, and gold hit another new high.
But that's all Same S***, Different Day.
The knives were out for Jim DeMint in the Senate last week, as Republicans laid into the South Carolina senator for supporting Tea Party favorite Christine O'Donnell over Rep. Mike Castle in Delaware's Republican primary and endangering the GOP's chances of taking control of the Senate in November.
Wonder if Sen. Lisa Murkowski will get the same treatment this week?
The Alaska senator lost the Republican primary to her Tea Party-backed challenger, Joe Miller, in a fair fight. But instead of graciously conceding and endorsing the Republican nominee, Murkowski announced Friday that she will continue her campaign as an independent write-in candidate. Polls showed Miller -- a West Point grad with a Bronze Star and a Yale law degree -- leading Democrat Scott McAdams by six to eight points. Now Murkowski has thrown the race into disarray. Where is the outcry at Murkowski for putting a Republican seat -- and the Republican majority -- at risk?
GOP leader Mitch McConnell -- who helped to engineer Murkowski's rise to the Republican leadership table -- has accepted her resignation from her post as vice chairwoman of the Republican Conference. But Murkowski has not been required to give up her position as the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee -- a perch she will no doubt use as evidence she can deliver for Alaska. Will McConnell strip her of this role, too -- and make clear to Alaska voters that Murkowski will not enjoy the privileges of her GOP seniority if she is elected as an independent in November?
McConnell and other GOP leaders threw down the gauntlet to DeMint last week, telling him it was his responsibility to make sure that O'Donnell won in Delaware. DeMint responded with a "money bomb" -- raising, at this writing, more than $214,000 for O'Donnell in a just a few days, with a target of $348,000 by the end of this week. Will McConnell and the GOP leadership produce a "money bomb" for Joe Miller? If delivering Delaware is DeMint's responsibility, then delivering Alaska just became McConnell's responsibility.
Entitlements consume, for all intents and purposes, every dollar of tax receipts in the here and now. Not tomorrow, not as growth in medical spending occurs, not in the future.
Right here, right now, today.
Note that we haven't spent one nickel on defense yet. Nor have we paid the interest on the debt, which is quite mandatory. Nor have we funded one of our so-called "discretionary" programs, including Homeland Security, Energy, Education, HUD, Department of State, Veterans Affairs, Justice or anything else.
What President Obama told you is that The Federal Government has no plan to deal with this, not now and not in the future. It cannot even meet its own entitlement spending from the taxes it collects, leaving the entirety of the rest of the government, including national defense, to be put on the credit card.
You were told, today, that our government is insolvent.
Not "might become" insolvent if we don't change our ways.
The United States is insolvent, right here, right now, today, and The President announced it for all who cared to listen worldwide on national television.
President Obama says "we can't afford" that $700 billion. But that number is over 10 years, as are all numbers proffered by the CBO and other agencies when talking about the budget and debt. Those numbers are thrown around because they make you think they're big now, which is especially important when a politician wants to lie to you about what they can and will do about deficits tomorrow.
In point of fact it's $70 billion a year, or about $5.8 billion a month.
The Federal Government accumulates, at today's run rates, approximately $4.1 billion in deficits per day.
That is, this big fat "$700 billion" amounts to roughly 5% of the deficit, and that is what we would "collect" if taxes go up and people do not shift behavior as a consequence (but they probably will.)
Got it yet?
The "Bush Tax Cuts" are absolutely irrelevant to this discussion. The problem is not found in taxes and cannot be solved via tax policy. President Bush, via signing Medicare Part D, dramatically exacerbated this problem, but he was hardly the one who started it. For that you need to look back to FDR and Eisenhower, along with all the others since including The Right's "standard bearer" Ronald Reagan.
It is mathematically impossible to solve this problem without dramatically cutting back on entitlement spending - by something approximating one third to one half.
That isn't going to happen (voluntarily) either.
Looking around at the folks gathered at the Beer Summit today at Sarah's place, I thought that the founding fathers would have been both appalled by and proud of our situation. I saw a small group of ordinary Americans, Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians, just one of a countless number of such groups, roused to action by a federal government that had over reached its bounds. The Tea Partiers in the room were not tools of corporate interests, not interested in political office, and motivated only by a desire to change the direction of their country. The founders would have been appalled because the constitutional republic they had bequeathed posterity had been so violated by the rapacious over reach of a political class that had lost all regard for their vision of limited government. And they would have been proud that ordinary citizens had risen up to restore that government to its proper limits.
The Tea Party isn't complicated. If you don't think that the Constitution imposes any meaningful limits on the federal government's regulation of the economy, then you should not join our cause. But if you think Obamacare, the stimulus packages, the deficits, and the bail out of corporations and Wall Street's financial firms are harming our country, then by all means, join us; protest, vote, support candidates for limited government, write letters or blogs and make your voice heard. The hour is late, but not too late, to save our nation from calamity.
With their eyes on a House majority, Republicans are leaving the door open to allowing earmarks after a one-year party-imposed moratorium.
So cue the “bridge to nowhere” and “pork” rhetoric and fire up the angry press releases from fiscal watchdogs.
This close to the election, Republicans are all over the place on how they’ll handle earmarking as they are poised to ride an anti-spending wave to electoral victories.
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor indicated in August that earmarks could make their way back but would be allowed based on “merit, not muscle.” He tried to clarify Wednesday, telling POLITICO that his party has “learned its lesson, and a new majority will spend its time and energy cutting spending, not increasing it, and that includes earmarks.”
House Minority Leader John Boehner is hedging, saying Republicans banned earmarks because of a broken process spurred by Democrats but that “whatever happens in November, the need for bipartisan reform will continue.”
Yet House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence said Wednesday that Republicans are still determined to “end earmarks as we know them.”
"I'm terribly sorry that it ever happened," Pidrman said before his sentencing Thursday morning, according to the Tribune. "I very often watch the recycled news shows on MSNBC," at the time at which he made the call, he said.Well done, Olbermann and Maddow!
But here is the key difference: Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve cannot raise rates to reign in incipient hyperinflation, like Volcker did in ‘79.That's exactly the point I was trying to make in How I learned to stop worrying and love the bubble. Buy gold, buy a house, buy stocks, whatever. Just get out of Zimbabwe Ben Bucks and Timmy the Tax Cheat T-bonds.
Apart from the obvious fact that Bernanke is not half the man Paul Volcker is (both literally and figuratively), and therefore lacks the balls and the backbone to do what needs to be done, Bernanke simply does not have the room to maneuver, insofar as the Fed funds rate is concerned.
If there was a run on Treasuries, Bernanke today cannot raise interest rates to retain Treasury holders—if he did, he would wipe out all the Too Big To Fail banks, and break the Treasury of the U.S. Federal government, both of which depend on the Fed’s cheap money as completely as if it were oxygen.
Back in 1979, Volcker didn’t have this constraint. He could raise rates—but even so, he paid for it with 400 basis points of unemployment.
However, unemployment today is already at 10%, in a soft credit environment. So even if he didn’t have the TBTF banks and the Federal government on the cheap money life support, Bernanke cannot raise rates in order to stop a run on Treasuries, stop a run up on commodities, and stop incipient hyperinflation: The economy is too weak. Adding 400 basis points to the current employment situation—that is, driving U-3 unemployment to 14% or more—would cause political pandemonium, not to mention riots.
Finally, Bernanke won’t raise rates—can’t raise rates—because of a disease of the mind that he has: Due to Alan Greenspan’s pernicious, destructive influence, which I have discussed at some length, Bernanke thoroughly believes that only liquidity injections and cheap money can save the economy—he is looking for inflation. He is so terrified of the American economy circling the deflationary drain, that he is deliberately going in the other direction: He is trying to cause inflation.
I don't even see anything about needing to have any equity or an appraisal. I hope that falls under the vague "standard lending requirements" in the fine print.
The establishment pundits say that the Democratic base is NOT enthusiastic about November. I say that they are wrong — in part. A good many Democrats are chomping at the bit to vote this November. These Dems WILL be voting for the COUNTRY CLASS CANDIDATE. I know, as I met several of them at the Sacramento Tea Party.
In almost 2-years of Tea Party activism, I have never over-heard fellow Democrats “outing” themselves at an event. They did so at the recent 9-12 Tea Parties. For example, at the Sacramento rally, five other registered Democrats came up to me (after over-hearing my party affiliation) and introduced themselves. The non-Dems who overheard these conversations were supportive and excited to discuss the upcoming election. The passion among my fellow Californians was infectious.
Oh well, at least Castle isn't a sore loser. As he was conceding last night, he congratulated O'Donnell, pledged his support, and promised to "do whatever I can to send my party's nominee to the Senate."
Haha, just kidding! Actually, the Wilmington News Journal reports that "Castle will not back Christine O'Donnell in her bid for U.S. Senate . . ., his campaign said this morning." My way or the highway, the "moderate" said. You can see why a Delaware GOP voter might say of his state party's establishment, "To HELL with them!" That's essentially what the establishment's senior figure is saying to the voters.
The number of people in the U.S. who are in poverty is on track for a record increase on President Barack Obama's watch, with the ranks of working-age poor approaching 1960s levels that led to the national war on poverty.
Census figures for 2009--the recession-ravaged first year of the Democrat's presidency--are to be released in the coming week, and demographers expect grim findings.
It's unfortunate timing for Obama and his party just seven weeks before important elections when control of Congress is at stake. The anticipated poverty rate increase--from 13.2 percent to about 15 percent--would be another blow to Democrats struggling to persuade voters to keep them in power.
The ways of a warmer worldDictionary.com has Panglossian defined as: "characterized by or given to extreme optimism."
Books about how people can and will adapt to climate change need not be Panglossian--as these two show
Climate change is a pretty scary topic, and those who write about it have, for the most part, been happy to play up the scariness. This may be due to noble motives or base ones. Many will have chosen to write about climate change because they think something should be done about it and that if their readers get scared they will be more likely to act. Others may intuit that their readers are likely to be seeking stuff that confirms how right they were to have perceived the dreadfulness of the world in ways lesser people have not. This is the road to "climate porn", which revels in exaggerated disaster.
It is refreshing, then, to read books which look at the warming to come not as a frightful warning, nor as a fait accompli, but as something to which, at some levels of change, people will have to adapt--and which in some settings they may adapt to rather well. The setting Matthew Kahn is interested in is the city, one of his preoccupations as an economist; Marek Kohn's is the British Isles.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by Andrew Beacham, Tea Party leader from Indiana:
"I fear God alone; I will not live in fear of Islam, and I will not deny the gospel. I will preach the Christian faith - that Jesus Christ is Lord, Priest, King, and Prophet - and that Muhammad is a false prophet. Beyond that, I will not allow the oppressive teachings of Muhammad and the tyranny of Sharia law to remain unchallenged." Andrew Beacham, Tea Party leader from Indiana.
For immediate release: A Large group of Tea Party and Religious rights activists will gather in front of the White House to tear out egregious passages from the Quran that call for violence against Christians and Jews.
Andrew Beacham, a young, bearded activist who has been ejected from four of President Obama’s speeches–including his University of Notre Dame commencement speech and a health care event in Maryland–was just as adamant. He came into Terry’s fold after a disappointing stint as a Republican activist and a Tea Party organizer in Indiana. Suiting up and heckling the president of the United States, he said, made him aware of how “in history, there are always people who are willing to step up and be the tip of the spear.” Shouting down the president of the United States is more effective than nearly any form of public protest, said Beacham, especially when the president is hesitant about how to respond.
“As a Tea Party Patriots coordinator, I have talked often with the organizers in Indiana. This man is not one of the people I recognize, nor am I aware of his participation in any official Tea Party events before. He sounds like a fringe type who is using the hard-won relevance of the Tea Parties to give him self credibility. If the media really does its job, it will discover he has none — Tea Party Patriots would never condone an act of desecration for any reason.”
Henry Sanchez was driving home from his three kids' back-to-school night at a nearby school when he approached the intersection of Claremont and Glenview.
He looked through the windshield where just a few blocks ahead of him a flash of flame crossed the sky, followed by a deafening explosion.
His three kids were at home doing homework - and located directly on the other side of the fireball, which seemed to reach 100 feet into the sky.
He took back roads to avoid the geyser of fire, and found his kids outside on the street.
"They were terrified," he said.
A huge fireball lit up the sky over San Bruno with a thunderous roar, and flames spread quickly across 10 acres of residential housing after dark. With electricity cut off, hundreds of evacuees fumbled their way to safety in the darkness, as firefighters arrived and worked through the night to try to save their homes.
Bob Pellegrini and his brother Ed fled from their home in time to see it destroyed by the flames, which also wrecked their four cars.
"It looked like hell on earth. I have never seen a ball of fire that huge," Bob Pellegrini told the San Jose Mercury News.
The US economy is barely muddling through. While some of this is unavoidable given the magnitude of the financial shock that is slowly working its way out of the system, macro-policy still has an important role to play in preventing a relapse. Unfortunately, the Federal Reserve has the resources but not the instruments, while the US Treasury has the policy instruments but not the resources. It stands to reason that what we need is a transfer from the Fed to the Treasury.
This is not a step to be taken lightly, as much of the progress in central banking over the last few decades has been aimed at giving central banks independence from hungry executive branches. However, all good systems need escape clauses if they are to be preserved as the anchor for daily policy concerns. Moreover, the Chairman of the Fed should have the final, and perhaps the first, word over this matter.
Isn't quantitative easing just such policy? Not quite. Quantitative easing, when directed to Treasuries, adds a little bit of good to the mix by lowering the cost of funding public debt, and it also helps a little bit with the long-run cost of capital for the private sector. But these are second-order effects; the Treasury still increases public debt at a fast pace, and a slightly lower cost of capital doesn’t much help the private sector if aggregate demand is not there to buy the goods in the first place.
Instead, what we need is a fiscal expansion (e.g. a temporary and large cut of sales taxes) that does not raise public debt in equal amount. This can be done with a “helicopter drop” targeted at the Treasury. That is, a monetary gift from the Fed to the Treasury.
Tea Party Express Launches Independent Expenditure Campaign for
Christine O'Donnell in Delaware U.S. Senate RaceThe Tea Party Express (website: www.TeaPartyExpress.org) is pleased to announce the commencement of its Independent Expenditure campaign in support of Conservative Republican Christine O'Donnell's bid for U.S. Senate in Delaware against Liberal RINO Mike Castle.
shoot, you guys are waaaaay ahead of me. i didn't take no hostages; i didn't even buy me no boat. all i did was let myself go and quit shaving and get sloppy fat and divorce my wife and solicit handjobs from 55-year-old massage gals.
but i'm tellin' you, my adductors and that chakra feel *great* now. well, the extra $100,000,000 helps, too.
The Fed is not the end-all for curing every economic pathology. [W]e are not the only authority in the pilot house. We play a crucial role in conditioning the economy, but we do not play the only role. Fiscal and regulatory authorities share significant responsibility for incentivizing economic behavior through taxes, spending and rulemaking.
Is [sic] does not help that the GOP has recently attacked the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Your hate made you do it, [sic] in November; [sic] you will reap what you have sown.
The Discovery Channel MUST broadcast to the world their commitment to save the planet and to do the following IMMEDIATELY:
1. The Discovery Channel and it's affiliate channels MUST have daily television programs at prime time slots based on Daniel Quinn's "My Ishmael" pages 207-212 where solutions to save the planet would be done in the same way as the Industrial Revolution was done, by people building on each other's inventive ideas. Focus must be given on how people can live WITHOUT giving birth to more filthy human children since those new additions continue pollution and are pollution. A game show format contest would be in order. Perhaps also forums of leading scientists who understand and agree with the Malthus-Darwin science and the problem of human overpopulation. Do both. Do all until something WORKS and the natural world starts improving and human civilization building STOPS and is reversed! MAKE IT INTERESTING SO PEOPLE WATCH AND APPLY SOLUTIONS!!!!
2. All programs on Discovery Health-TLC must stop encouraging the birth of any more parasitic human infants and the false heroics behind those actions. In those programs' places, programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility must be pushed. All former pro-birth programs must now push in the direction of stopping human birth, not encouraging it.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
I finished reading Al Gore's book, and inconvenient truth a few days ago. It was very enlightening. However, at the end he didn't offer any real solutions, as if changing a lightbulb would even put a scratch in the global warming epidemic. The book was half good, which means the part about science was good. The rest seemed like a commercial for sainthood.