Tuesday, April 22, 2014

President Peaceprize Closes In On A New War

From Zerohedge just now:

Here Come The Boots On The Ground: US Troops Heading To Eastern Europe

It seems the truce "deal" is well and truly dead...
The question now, of course, is - what will Putin do in response to this action?
As for where these troops may be arriving from the answer is simple: that other US military intervention success story - Afghanistan. From Reuters:

Foreign adventures the historic fallback for unpopular politicians. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"In Texas we call that a lie."- John Mauldin

John Mauldin in his Outside The Box letter today included remarks that so accurately echo my feelings on 
the recent actions by Brandeis University that I am going to lift those remarks whole.

Speaking of which, one of my personal heroines is Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Her courage in confronting the oppression of women at the risk of her own life is inspiring. In person she is a quiet, reserved, formidable force of nature. This last week she suffered an unjust, cowardly affront to her courage and her work dedicated to helping those who can’t help themselves.
Brandeis University decided to offer Ayaan an honorary doctorate for her efforts on behalf of women in Muslim societies. When the decision was announced, a group of students, faculty members, and the usual politically correct pressure groups campaigned to have the university withdraw the honor. Brandeis president Frederick Lawrence quickly capitulated. Not even bothering to sign his own notice, he offered that Ayaan’s story is “compelling,” whatever that means. But, he added, “That said, we cannot overlook certain of her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values. For all concerned, we regret that we were not aware of the statements earlier.”
That is simply Academic Bullshit. First of all, no one requested or forced Brandeis to offer the degree in the first place; it was their own clear choice. Secondly, after two best-selling books and hundreds of public appearances, Ayaan has made her views well-known. That she has criticized certain aspects of Islamic culture is no secret. For the Brandeis administration to say that they were unaware of her views stretches one’s sense of credulity beyond the limit. In Texas we would simply call it a lie.
I would be interested in the views of those who opposed her. Precisely which of the practices she condemns would they like to see maintained? Female genital mutilation, honor killings, forced marriage, or Sharia law? Perhaps treating women as property is deemed appropriate by some people.
The simple fact is, there is a portion of the academic community that is so politically correct that they are socially useless. In the name of being tolerant they tolerate acts so despicable as to be worthy of shunning. They have the discernment of a fruitfly. And that is probably an insult to fruitfly-kind. -- John Mauldin
Thanks to John fo speaking out. Incidentally Outside The Box is a consistently interesting newsletter.
Outside the Box is a free weekly economic e-letter by best-selling author and renowned financial expert, John Mauldin. You can learn more and get your free subscription by visiting http://www.mauldineconomics.com.

For more on this story I suggest you follow this link:
Feminists and others on the Left are usually very good at “outrage,” especially when it can be expressed on behalf of what they believe is an oppressed group. Which is why it is both surprising and disappointing that they missed two amazing opportunities recently to be rightly outraged on behalf of women both in America and internationally.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Via ZeroHedge--What Happens If A US President Stops Speaking, And Nobody Claps

great video clip at ZeroHedge --must watch it is short--  Clip 

Looks like some folks realize "the One" is really "the Wind" , and empty blowhard.

Thanks to ZeroHedge for putting up the film clip.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tim Price: Forty centuries of learning nothing

Tim Price of The Price of Everything blog has apparently written a blog post expressly for my benefit. I commend this piece to you. This is the very topic I have been thinking about a great deal recently. I will expand on why in a later post but Tim so perfectly prepares the way that I will defer to him. The title refers to a book ‘Forty centuries of wage and price controls:
how not to fight inflation’ (The Heritage Foundation, 1979)
Robert L Schuettinger and Eamonn F Butler

This chart is part of the post and should get your attention. If it doesn't you must work at a central bank.

The chart below, courtesy of the St Louis Federal Reserve and Incrementum AG, shows the 
expansion of the US monetary base since 1918; the three separate iterations of QE are marked: 
US monetary base since 1918 

The subject of growing inequality and income inequality is one of the hot political topics of the day and I believe the single biggest cause of the worsening trend is ignored because it challenges the very foundations
of the big government crowd.  Big government imposes costs and failure to account for and pay these costs
cannot be wished away with legislative gimmickry. It has been tried again and again for 40 centures  by every form of government and failed every time. Perhaps we should rethink!

Friday, February 21, 2014

A New Policy Idea For OBummer And More Proof Of Euro-Kleptocracy

Article on Zerohedge click the headline for link:

Austria Demands "Profitable" Bondholders Pay Up Before Bad Bank Bailout

While, for now, depositors at Austria's Hypo-Alde-Adria-Bank (nationalized in 2009) have not had assets confiscated, Austrian authorities are shifting in an unusual (scary precedent-setting) direction. Amid the resignation of the bank's CEO, the government is taking aim at 'speculators' who dared to buy the bank's bonds below par - and made money therefore on the back of the taxpayer. "What financial markets expect is not always what you want politically," Austria's finance minister warned, "if someone buys today at a lower price, saying ‘shortly, I’ll get 100 back,’ that’s what’s agitating the people."It seems Europe has a new template.

More detail at the link above.
BBL comment:
So as I read it if one buys the bonds of a failing institution at discount upon the announcement of
government backing you will now be targeted for making that profit. Why then buy the bond.  Why bid at all, and yet it is bids that drive the price back up.   Another case of Ready, Shoot, Aim.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

European Social Elites Need To Take Back Some Of The Money They Had Been Letting You Keep

Reuters Exclusive: EU executive sees personal savings used to plug long-term financing gap

(Reuters) - The savings of the European Union's 500 million citizens could be used to fund long-term investments to boost theeconomy and help plug the gap left by banks since the financial crisis, an EU document says.
The EU is looking for ways to wean the 28-country bloc from its heavy reliance on bank financing and find other means of funding small companies, infrastructure projects and other investment.
"The economic and financial crisis has impaired the ability of the financial sector to channel funds to the real economy, in particular long-term investment," said the document, seen by Reuters.
The Commission will ask the bloc's insurance watchdog in the second half of this year for advice on a possible draft law "to mobilize more personal pension savings for long-term financing", the document said.
But more alarming news shows up in ZeroHedge coverage of this news.

Europe Considers Wholesale Savings Confiscation, Enforced Redistribution

 In a nutshell, and in Reuters' own words, "the savings of the European Union's 500 million citizens could be used to fund long-term investments to boost the economy and help plug the gap left by banks since the financial crisis, an EU document says." What is left unsaid is that the "usage" will be on a purely involuntary basis, at the discretion of the "union", and can thus best be described as confiscation.
Read further in the Zerohedge article to discover the paper from the IMF that is calling for these kinds
of measures.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Codevilla: Live Not By Lies

A wonderful post by Angelo M. Codevilla follow link for the entire post:

Live Not by Lies

A portion of his article

Being human, politicians lie. Even in the best regimes. The distinguishing feature of totalitarian regimes however, is that they are built on words that the rulers know to be false, and on somehow constraining the people to speak and act as if the lies were true. Thus the people hold up the regime by partnering in its lies. Thus, when we use language that is “politically correct” – when we speak words acceptable to the regime even if unfaithful to reality – or when we don’t call out politicians who lie to our faces, we take part in degrading America.

Read the rest of the article it is not lengthy. 
Hat Tip to the Instapundit

Sunday, February 9, 2014

How about that? The glass is half full.

A wonderful post from Motley Fool

50 Reasons We're Living Through the Greatest Period in World History

Follow the link for a very positive and uplifting article. Highly recommended.

Thanks to Morgan Housel for writing the article.

a couple of samples:

5. The average American now retires at age 62. One hundred years ago, the average American died at age 51. Enjoy your golden years -- your ancestors didn't get any of them. (note I am 63 and very grateful for this improvement.)

Consider this: In 1900, 1% of American women giving birth died in labor. Today, the five-year mortality rate for localized breast cancer is 1.2%. Being pregnant 100 years ago was almost as dangerous as having breast cancer is today.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Outstanding speech by Cathy McMorris Rodgers in response the President's State of The Union speech.

Rep. Rodgers gave a positive opposition response to the President's speech.  I hope the GOP
will take this kind of tone going forward. Respectful, positive, and resolute in support of personal freedom
and freedom of opportunity rather than equality through extortion.

Link to outstanding GOP response to the State of the Union speech last night.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Don Coxe Weekly Commentary

Below is the link to Mr. Coxe's last free weekly commentary.  He explains his plans for a new institutional advisory service and for a monthly commentary suitable for individuals at his new site. I wish Mr. Coxe the best in his new venture. I have read his commentaries when I could get them for over a decade and find him to be informed , literate, and without an agenda.  He takes a truly long term view with historical foundation for his opinion and I am grateful for the learning experience he has provided.

Friday the 24 January 2014    Coxe weekly comment

Thursday, January 9, 2014

My candidate for President when Obummer goes.

This is Pat Condell one of my favorite people even though I have never had the privilege of meeting him.
Please click link to view is comments with which I agree.  Maybe he would be better for Secretary of State.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Obama:" We're also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy"

Really? OMG , how out of touch is this guy?

The quote above is from a speech by Arnold Ahlert last week.

The Moral, Emotional and Intellectual Bankruptcy of Progressivism     http://www.luxlibertas.com/the-moral-emotional-and-intellectual-bankruptcy-of-progressivism/

Here is the text from the speech.

A remarkable quote from president’s speech last week further underscores the bankruptcy of progressivism. After once again blaming everyone else for the debacle of the website’s rollout, he said something that should stun every American. “What we’re also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy.” Obama and Democrats concoct a 2000 page healthcare bill and another 11,000 pages of regulations that apply to it, and the president is just now discovering that buying insurance is complicated?

The entire speech is worth reading but this excerpt is stunning.  This is perfect illustration of 
the Obama style over substance problem.  He is all talk, all presentation.  There is no there
there.  The media lambasted President Bush for not knowing the current price of milk.  Do you hear anything from the media now?  

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Yellen, QE, Tapering, and Fed Policy

No need to retrace the approximately 56 trillion articles written recently about QE, tapering, Fed policy changes or incoming Fed Chair Janet Yellen.  If you are not already somewhat familiar with these topics then you are not going to be interested in this commentary.  But if you are interested then I am going tell you what is going to happen with Fed policy from here.
Ready?  Here goes.
QE will be being tapered (wound down and ended) during the first part of 2014.  Monetary policy will not be tightened, any.  The great lumbering ship that is the U.S. economy will not get a course change, only a rearrangement of the deck chairs.  QE will be gone as a policy name, but the easy money policy will continue in disguise and with a sexy new moniker.  A sort of  “the king is dead, long live the king” or “a rose by any other name …” type of situation.
My advice is to turn off the audio on your fed monitor and just observe the video.  You will not see any substantive change.
Why is this? 
  The Fed still sees strong deflationary pressures and considers those to be a far greater risk than any near term risk of inflation.  The Fed has been cooking high powered liquidity with enthusiasm Heisenberg could appreciate but the customers (banks) are hoarding  not using. Money supply and velocity of turnover are not responding.  Fed politburo members fervently believe easy money is the only real weapon they have to oppose deflationary pressures  until economic growth becomes robust enough to bring strong  job growth and restore optimism in the populace (animal spirits in economic jargon).

Nothing is going to change except the lipstick on the pig.  The Fed is trapped.  Congress collective head is shoved up its collective fundament. The administration favors anti-growth social policies and punitive measures over pro-growth incentives.
 For a positive note, remember we don’t belong to the EU.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Clean Energy Advocates Unlikely To Mention This Feature Of Wind Power

This post is linked to an article in the UK based Daily Mail back in 2011. I don't recall any of the anti
big oil zealots mentioning anything about these facts concerning wind energy systems. I am very much in favor of protecting the environment, but I also am in favor of honest fact based discussion rather than radical
emotional scare tactics. Please read the article to see what I am talking about. I have been in favor of wind energy but I certainly was not aware of these problems with pollution related to production of these turbines.

In China, the true cost of Britain's clean, green wind power experiment: Pollution on a disastrous scale

By SIMON PARRY in China and ED DOUGLAS in Scotland

On the outskirts of one of China’s most polluted cities, an old farmer stares despairingly out across an immense lake of bubbling toxic waste covered in black dust. He remembers it as fields of wheat and corn.
Yan Man Jia Hong is a dedicated Communist. At 74, he still believes in his revolutionary heroes, but he despises the young local officials and entrepreneurs who have let this happen. 
‘Chairman Mao was a hero and saved us,’ he says. ‘But these people only care about money. They have destroyed our lives.’
Vast fortunes are being amassed here in Inner Mongolia; the region has more than 90 per cent of the world’s legal reserves of rare earth metals, and specifically neodymium, the element needed to make the magnets in the most striking of green energy producers, wind turbines.

    Live has uncovered the distinctly dirty truth about the process used to extract neodymium: it has an appalling environmental impact that raises serious questions over the credibility of so-called green technology.
    The reality is that, as Britain flaunts its environmental credentials by speckling its coastlines and unspoiled moors and mountains with thousands of wind turbines, it is contributing to a vast man-made lake of poison in northern China. This is the deadly and sinister side of the massively profitable rare-earths industry that the ‘green’ companies profiting from the demand for wind turbines would prefer you knew nothing about.
    Hidden out of sight behind smoke-shrouded factory complexes in the city of Baotou, and patrolled by platoons of security guards, lies a five-mile wide ‘tailing’ lake. It has killed farmland for miles around, made thousands of people ill and put one of China’s key waterways in jeopardy.
    This vast, hissing cauldron of chemicals is the dumping ground for seven million tons a year of mined rare earth after it has been doused in acid and chemicals and processed through red-hot furnaces to extract its components.

    Protection of our environment is important, and necessary but spreading fear and panic in emotional pleas opposing technology and development to revert back to some vision of an idealized pastoral history that neve existed in reality is charlatanism and fraud. 

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013

    Obamacare: A Hacker's Dream

    Neil Cavuto interviews McAfee Antivirus Founder John McAfee

    McAfee is a strange and controversial character but is an acknowledged expert on cyber security and his
    warning should be heeded.

    Monday, October 14, 2013

    Top Prize For Political Spin

    This note is taken from the wonderful newsletter "On Target" written by Martin Spring. This interesting and informative letter is free to Martin's worldwide circle of friends and can include you as well if you write to Martin at afrodyn@gmail.com and request to be put on his list. There is no charge and no advertising. 
    This month Martin included the following note and I include it here to act as a reminder of what passes for truth in modern politics.

    Embarrassing ancestry: Judy Rudd, when researching her family tree, discovered she had an ancestor in common with Kevin Rudd, who was until a few weeks ago Australia’s prime minister. His great-great-uncle, Remus Rudd, was jailed for two years, then hanged in 1889, for horse stealing and train robbery.
    When she asked the politician for information about their common ancestor, his staff wrote back saying that Remus Rudd was “famous” in the late 1800s for building a business empire that included “acquisition of valuable equestrian assets” and “intimate dealings with the Melbourne-Geelong Railroad.”
    After spending several years in “government service,” he resumed his “dealings with the railroad,” later becoming “a key player” in a police investigation.
    “In 1889 Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honour, when the platform upon which he was standing, collapsed.”

    That account gets my top prize for political spin.  (Taken from Martin Spring's On Target.)

    Monday, October 7, 2013

    Sobering Thoughts From Dr. Lacy Hunt

    Video of presentation by Dr Hunt at the Mauldin/Altegris Conference in June 2013.   Dr. Hunt can seem a little dry but the facts he presents are compelling and his conclusions are non-consensus.

    I have attended these conferences in the past and they are excellent.

    Tuesday, October 1, 2013

    Translating Fedspeak To Plain English

    Every pundit and commentator in the known universe has now spoken at length on the meaning and strategy, and pitfalls of the FOMC’s non-taper decision. Much of the commentary is insightful and interesting reading full of complex reasoning about complicated economic theories.
    But after all of that what should one do? One of the oldest truisms on Wall Street is “Don’t fight the Fed.” 
    The Fed’s greatest fear is deflation.  The leadership of the Fed believes it has the tools to defuse inflation and they will not be too bothered by inflation unless it rises above the 2 to 3% annual rate. But these same economics wizards have relatively few weapons against outright deflation.  The Fed’s preferred inflation measure is the so called core PCE statistic published with quarterly GDP estimates.
    Matthew Boesler of Business Insider explains the most recent reading:
    The Fed's Favorite Measure Of Inflation Plunges Further

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/core-pce-plunges-in-q2-2013-9#ixzz2gVh3IeNv
    Core personal consumption expenditures, an inflation indicator reported in the U.S. GDP release, stood at only 0.6% in the second quarter, according to the third and final Q2 GDP reading published by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis this morning.

    Core PCE of 0.6% marks a sharp drop in inflation from the first quarter, when core PCE stood at 1.4%. 
    from Business insider
    The drop from 1.4% rate in 1st qtr to 0.6 in the 2nd qtr is substantial and ominous though it is only one reading. Until that one statistic rebounds there is no chance of any meaningful taper. The Fed is saying decisions about a taper are data dependent and they are telling the truth. Until core PCE is rising and much closer to 2% they will not act to tighten unless forced by some type of market panic.

    Friday, September 27, 2013

    Thursday, September 26, 2013

    Donald Coxe Commentary link

    Mr.Coxe speaking on Friday the 20th Sep Non Taper


    Wednesday, September 25, 2013

    Great commentary on recent FOMC non-action from Mauldin Economics

    John Mauldin's Out of the Box newsletter contains a very good discussion of the implications of the recent non-taper by the Fed. I am not authorized to reproduce so here is the link
    Uttin on the Itz 

    The article is written by Ben Hunt of Epsilon Theory and covers the questions raised by the recent action and the problems it poses down the road. I have written repeatedly that transparency for the Fed is only a strategy when easing rates and trying to clarify the picture of the future so as to encourage risk taking
    in a weak environment. But transparency is not desirable when it is time to tighten (or ease the easing in current parlance). I believe Bernanke wanted to pop what had become a bubble in the fixed income markets
    in order to balance the market a bit before actually tightening so as to reduce scramble to safety which very likely was going to have a "Fire in the theater" type of response.
    Mr. Hunt's view is slightly different and worth reading. ( His essays are always worth reading.)

    As an aside I would like to say John Mauldin's Outside The Box is consistently interesting and available at the perfect price. If you do not already, you should subscribe.

    Tuesday, September 17, 2013

    Much Ado About Wordplay

    The FOMC meeting today and tomorrow is the most anticipated Fed meeting since, well since last September.  ( The QEfinity meeting)  This year it is “Taper” do they or don’t they?  No doubt the markets will react and volatility will jump a bit.  The talking heads will spew more hot air in the next few days than the manufacturing sector.  Bernanke will have two goals:  1.Initiating some policy change to take pressure off and give some breathing room to the incoming chairperson. (My one objection to Janet Yellen will be repeated use of awkward gender neutral terms like chairperson. Ugh.)  2.Further obscuring Fed communication as the transparency that is so helpful when in a rate lowering cycle becomes a hindrance when it comes time to remove the punch bowl, or at least dilute  the punch.

    The good Chairman mentioned tapering back in May and punctured the complacency of the interest rate markets and roiled both stocks and bonds sending allocators to the exits. I believe Bernanke deliberately and brilliantly acted to deflate a building bubble and reduce the chance for a panic liquidation down the road. I do not for a minute believe any serious tightening is going to occur.  Loose monetary policy is going to continue indefinitely, though the name and form may change to make the continuing debasement of the currency somewhat less obvious. But make no mistake, aggressive debasement will continue as long as official inflation stays down near 2%.

    History clearly demonstrates the ultimate fate of paper money is to lose value until it becomes worthless. The flaw is not an inherent quality of paper.  The flaw is the result of degenerate politicians and banking officials.  Robert Persig wrote the following remark in another context but I quote him because it so perfectly describes modern monetary governance in the entire developed world.

    “Degeneracy can be fun but it is hard to keep up as a serious lifetime occupation.” Persig

    So enjoy FOMC show but don’t take your eyes off the ball. The Fed is still far more worried about deflation than inflation. Talk about policy may get more hawkish, actual policy won’t.

    Monday, September 16, 2013

    Obama's Choice For Fed Chairman Now That Summer's Has Stepped Aside

    Discussion all over the media this morning since Larry Summers removed himself from consideration for
    the job of Chairman of the Federal Reserve replacing Helicopter Ben in January. Speculation about Yellen, Kohn, Ferguson, and Geithner is all wasted effort. The notion that Obama is restling with this decision is
    farcical. Obama will do what he always does. He will await private polling results and choose the candidate that most likely to improve Obama's own popularity. Image is everything, in fact the only thing in this
    administration. Once his polls come in Obama will eloquently explain how this was his choice all along and this is the best nominee ever in the history of the Fed.

    Never much of a Summers fan but he has won me over in this you tube video: