Damn, it ain't easy bein' a gangster living beyond your means.
Today's episode of Greenspan's Body Count is superstar hip-hop manager Chris Lighty. New York Daily News:
Law enforcement sources said Lighty’s wife of seven years told police he was facing financial woes that include a $5 million debt to the IRS. However, The Associated Press reported that Lighty paid off most of what he owed by selling a Manhattan apartment for $5.6 million in October.
Lighty still owed more than $330,000 in state and federal taxes, the AP reported. And in April, he was sued by City National Bank for not paying them after he had overdrawn his account by $53,584.
A friendly tip from W.C. Varones: if you suddenly find yourself enjoying incredible financial success, don't party like it will last forever. Pay your taxes, don't take on debt, and put aside at least 20% just in case you hit tougher times later in life.
Note, again, this is Zeke writing. Chairman Varones may offer a countering opinion.
I just watched the first half of Paul Ryan's speech, a day after the fact. That's all I could stand. My thoughts:
1) This is the f'ing guy people are so excited about? He seems like every bright, ambitious, phony asshole I ever went to law school with.
In 2004, a friend and I, while watching young Obama speak at the Democratic Convention, agreed, "This guy is going to be President some day."
Suffice it to say, Paul Ryan is no Barack Obama when it comes to charisma (or probably even principles--see below). If B.O. has an over-reliance on teleprompters, at least he's smooth enough with the delivery. Ryan seems to throw in what he considers to be the appropriate expression for a line after he's finished it. That was a laugh line--a smirk would do nicely here!
2) How does this guy say "We have to stop spending money we don't have" for big applause, and spe…
Check out how America's finest newspaper chose to present Paul Ryan this morning. I don't even like Republicans (Note: this is Zeke writing; W.C.'s partial hard-on remains intact), but this is an embarrassment to anybody who values honest journalism.
They could hardly have stooped lower if they'd hired Jill Greenberg to cover the event.
Glenn Reynolds in USA Today:
Some years ago, when earning say 5% on your money was realistic, a $360,000 portfolio of CDs would produce $18,000 a year in interest — that's $1500 a month. Couple that with an unexceptional Social Security payment of about the same amount, and that's $36,000 a year, $3,000 a month. Nothing fancy, but enough to get by.
Now change that 5% to 0.9% and you're earning $3,240 per year, or about $270 a month. Add that to $1,500 a month in Social Security and you've got $1,770 a month to live on; just $21,240 a year. That's a brutal 41% cut in income. And it is why many senior citizens around the country are being forced to draw down savings to make ends meet.
The Federal Reserve's low interest rates are a boon to overextended banks and to the borrowers who owe them money. (As well as the world's greatest debtor, the U.S. Treasury). But these benefits come at the expense of savers — both those who hope to see their savings grow eno…
This was one of the highlights of last night's show.
Mia Love intro video:
Love is in a tough election battle with an entrenched Democrat incumbent. Please donate to the Love Bomb here. Your money's a lot better off with great young candidates like Mia Love than with corrupt old hacks like John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and the RNC.
[Ed. note: I rarely publish guest posts, but this is an important issue and Christine Young is absolutely right. In fact, I'd been meaning to post on this very issue myself.]
As a mom of four children in public school here in California, I’m disgusted with how special interest groups like the teachers’ union always put our children last, behind
their bloated paychecks and pension benefits. But now they’ve gone too
far. Just recently, the California Teachers Association killed a bill in the legislature that would have made it easier for school boards to fire teachers who are known child molesters!
It’s almost too hard to believe, but watch this CNN expose about how the teachers union conspired to keep perverts like this veteran Los Angeles area teacher in the classroom (also see this LA Weekly article).
That’s why we need reform like Prop 32, which is on the November ballot. We have to stop the special interest money that keeps these groups powerful and detached from doing what’…
With gold still far below its 2011 highs but looking technically very strong, the U.S. still running deficits of 8% of GDP, and Australia looking to join the global printfest, this would be a good time to revisit Gold: do you have your share?Estimates for all the gold ever mined in the world are around 165,000 metric tons. A metric ton is 32,150 troy ounces, meaning there are only 5.3 billion ounces out there -- or less than one for every person on the planet! Do you have your ounce?
Now assuming that most inhabitants of third-world nations don't have a lot of gold, how much gold is there per developed-world inhabitant? The OECD countries have a population of about 1.2 billion, meaning there are about 4.4 ounces per developed-world citizen. Do you have your share?
Get thee to a coin shop, my friend.
The Union-Tribune beclowns itself again today by naming both George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush among the five (actually six) greatest Presidents in history.
I am not making this up.
I can't link to the U-T because it has gone dark behind a paywall, and I certainly wouldn't recommend anyone actually pay for this garbage, but here is their list:
1. Abraham Lincoln, 1861-1865.
2. George Washington, 1789-1797.
3. Ronald Reagan, 1981-1989
4. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1933-1945
5. (tie) George H.W. Bush, 1989-1993, and George W. Bush, 2001-2009
I asked some Tea Party friends including the SLOBs to name their top 5. Not surprisingly, the Tea Partiers put the U-T blockheads to shame. In approximate order of number of Tea Partier picks:
John Quincy Adams
Ulysses S Grant
Surprised by any of those picks? Pick up a biograp…
Peggy Noonan, crediting an anonymous screenwriter:
It is good that Joe Biden is going to the Republican National Convention to hold high the flag of his party. People make fun of his gaffes, of his embarrassing verbal forays, but he's no fool and he knows how to take it to the other guy. The speech he is working on, to be given in the heart of downtown, just across from the convention site, will be stirring and stentorian: "All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Tampa, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words, 'Ich bin ein Tampon.'"
From Reuters: Aug 23 (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly rose last week, suggesting the labor market is healing too slowly to make much of a dent in the unemployment rate.
From dictionary.reference.com:Heal: to make healthy, whole, or sound; restore to health; free from ailment. Can one go forward in reverse? Anyway, remember kids, the more you understand the English Language, the fewer jobs there are available to you, especially at Reuters.
Reason sums it up:
It isn't hard to find examples of marginal groups whose paranoia about the government drove them to violence. The tale of the Weavers shows how the government's paranoia about marginal groups can drive it to violence, too. The feds looked at a family with fringy views and perceived a threat, and as a result a woman, a boy, a dog, and one of the government's own agents were killed. It wouldn't be the last time something like that happened. A year later in Waco, the Branch Davidians' paranoia would be no match for the paranoia of the Davidians' enemies.
As our blog friend Beebs often quotes:
"The stink of your lawless government has reached Heaven, the abode of Yahweh our Yahshua. Whether we live or whether we die, we will not bow to your evil commandments."
- Vickie Weaver
Vickie Weaver was shot in the head by an FBI sniper as she stood, unarmed in her house, holding her baby.
Here's what did it:
The Federal Reserve sent its strongest signal yet that it is preparing to take new steps to bolster the recovery, saying that measures would be needed fairly soon unless economic growth picks up substantially.
The statement was included in minutes released Wednesday from the Fed's July 31-Aug. 1 policy meeting. The minutes also indicated that a new round of bond buying, known as quantitative easing, was high on its list of options.
"Many members judged that additional monetary accommodation would likely be warranted fairly soon unless incoming information pointed to a substantial and sustainable strengthening in the pace of the economic recovery," according to the minutes, released after the customary three-week lag.
And the world's biggest bond manager knows exactly what to do about that:
"The Pimco Commodity Real Return Strategy Fund, which has about $20 billion in assets, has increased its gold holdings to 11.5% of tot…
Police found three dead and one injured in the southeast San Diego neighborhood of Paradise at 2456 Luther Street. The victims included a baby and a toddler.
Three people were found dead inside a home in Paradise Hills Sunday night, including a baby and a toddler, San Diego police said.
Officers were called to the home on Luther Street near Calle Pavana around 5:50 p.m. by an unidentified relative who asked police to check on the welfare of the family.
When they arrived, they were unable to get anyone to open the door and saw a man inside who needed help, said homicide Lt. Ernie Herbert. After getting into the home, they found three bodies in the living room.
The victims included a 7-month-old boy, a 3-year-old girl and a 33-year-old woman.
Police also found a 55-year-old man who was in need of medical assistance, Herbert said. He was taken to the hospital. Herbert said he believed that man was the husband and the victim was [sic] his wife and children.
The home b…
Obama financial adviser, former New Jersey governor, and former Goldman Sith Overlord Jon Corzine will not even face charges for about 1 billion dollars that his firm was responsible for making disappear.
A criminal investigation into the collapse of the brokerage firm MF Global and the disappearance of about $1 billion in customer money is now heading into its final stage without charges expected against any top executives.
After 10 months of stitching together evidence on the firm’s demise, criminal investigators are concluding that chaos and porous risk controls at the firm, rather than fraud, allowed the money to disappear, according to people involved in the case.
Funny how people define things. They use the term "porous risk controls" where people of normal intelligence and understanding of the English language would use pure and blatant theft.
BUT let's not focus on this, lets focus on the real criminals of our society. To wit Brittni Colleps:
A former Texas…
CalPERS set up funds mandated to invest in California companies to help California job creation. How's that working out for them?
CalPERS' investment committee urged staff not to move ahead with plans to end the pension fund's $1.035 billion private equity program that targets California-based companies.
Staff at the $237.5 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, has called for a five-year wind-down of the program and did not back off that recommendation on Monday, although a panel of investment staff members led by Real Desrochers, senior portfolio officer, private equity, said they would work to develop a new plan for in-state investments.
The most recent commitment in the program, $560 million to a Hamilton Lane fund of funds in 2006, has shown an internal rate of return of 0.86% as of Dec…
Here in the U.S. we have Greenspan's Body Count, those whose lives were devastated by Fed-pushed excessive debt and economic hardship in the aftermath of the bursting of Greenspan's bubbles.
Greenspan's Body Count is largely the result of excessive private debt. In Europe, a new epidemic is the result of excessive public debt. Washington Post:
The double suicide, in a working-class neighborhood in the Greek capital in late May, is just one incident among thousands of suicides this year that have shaken European societies as mounting job losses, cutbacks in public services and shrinking government pensions due to the continent’s financial upheaval take a toll on mental health.
Heckuva job, central planners!
P.S. Don't look now, but the U.S. just passed 100% debt/GDP and we're still running 8% GDP deficits. Anybody speak Greek?
My fellow San Diego Tea Partiers the SLOBs have been discussing the Ryan pick offline (er, online, kinda.... by e-mail but not on the blogs).
Our survey says:
It's a bold choice. Most folks thought Romney was a wimp and would go for a safe choice like Rob Portman. Ryan has actually proposed a budget plan (something the Senate Democrats haven't done for years), which leaves him open to the Democrat attack machine about what might get cut. They'll try to scare seniors in particular that he wants to take away their Medicare. Ryan's budget doesn't go far enough, of course, and relies on overly optimistic growth assumptions, but like the Simpson-Bowles plan that Obama strangled in its crib, it's a step in the right direction and a good starting point for discussions.
Ryan has his flaws. He voted for TARP and S-CHIP and Medicare Part D. But he's one of the few adults in Washington actually willing to discuss the fiscal crisis. And he is young, smart, en…
We've been remiss in not commenting on heroic former Inspector General Neil Barofsky blowing the whistle on the TARP ripoff and the Treasury Department's fealty to Wall Street.
Fortunately, our SLOB friend Beers with Demo says all that needs to be said.
Barofsky explains that the Treasury Department/Wall Street relationship is the very epitome of regulatory capture whereby the regulatory nature of the department is gamed exclusively to favor the Wall Street financial firms and has become so self-serving that in Barofsky's words Washington had abandoned Main Street while rescuing Wall Street.
Click on over and read the whole thing, then come back for Geithner apologist Matthew Yglesias' diarrhea of the brain.
Back? Great. In June, we commented on the fact that Slate.com's "Moneybox" column was taken over by a leftist philosophy major with no education or experience in finance or economics. We fisked the cheeky idiot's pathetic attempt to argue …
You know had this uproar regarding the CEO’s comments (covered here, here and here) not occurred, I can’t imagine I’d ever go to Chick Fil A. I have never had a desire to go there but on Saturday I plan on stopping by the one in Fairfield, CA on my way to camping in the Sierras. I feel I must patronize them to support the First Amendment.
Seriously anyone who thinks it’s ok for Chicago, Boston and others to imply or actually impose completely illegal restrictions to keep Chick Fil A out of the area, I have a few questions: Do you bank at BofA, Chase, Citi, Goldman, or any of the big Wall Street firms? If yes, have you checked the moral record of their CEOs? What’s worse, having a religious belief based on thousands of years of practice that generally has steered people on the path of goodness OR actively participating in the theft and destruction of peoples' hard earned wealth, and the annihilation of the middle class, for their own personal gain? Do you know the opinions of…