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Johann Galt

Johann Galt
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  • So the U.S. lost S&P's AAA rating for the first time in a 70-year history; so what? Mark Thoma says this is S&P erring on the only side it can after blowing the pre-crisis situation. Always pragmatic Warren Buffett says solvency's not an issue when the debts are all in currency the U.S. can print; inflation, that's another story. Ready to buy on this coming dip?  [View news story]
    China publicly announced the need for a different reserve currency (they propose gold based, prob because they own alot of gold).

    More disturbing is that China also demanded, as the US's biggest creditor, that the US drastically reduce military spending. Just to protect their investment, of course.

    Oh, what could possibly go wrong with further deficit spending!?!
    Aug 6 11:08 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ron Paul opines on the debt limit bill, saying there are no cuts, just reductions in planned spending increases. "Akin to a family saving $100K in expenses by deciding not to buy a Lamborghini, and instead getting a fully loaded Mercedes, when really their budget dictates ... (sticking with the) serviceable Honda."  [View news story]
    I don't see how increasing our national debt by 50% in 10 years is slowing spending at all. We've tripled our deficit amount in 3 years- from approx 458 billion in 2008 to 1.4 / 1.5 trillion in 2009-10 respectively. In other words, in 2 years we managed to add 40% to our debt load.

    Now we are to cheer the good sense of those who propose, with great fanfare, the addition of another 7 trillion dollars of national debt- an increase of 50%! It's laughable, if the implications were not so serious.
    Aug 1 02:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tempting Tuesday: Murdochs Testify to Parliament [View article]
    Thank you Robespierre! If the "rich" don't respond to coercion to pay more taxes, it will be taken by force.

    You know, for 100 years after the American Revolution, French political philosophers wondered why they couldn't get democracy right. They'd accomplished about 4 revolutions during that period.

    You've managed to demonstrate that the French needn't have worried, we're headed in their direction.
    Jul 22 08:45 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Former President Bill Clinton says he would declare the debt limit unconstitutional "without hesitation" if Congress does not raise it in time. It's an idea The Washington Post's Ezra Klein calls the best of a number of bad options if you consider the severe economic ramifications a Treasury default or prioritized payment plan could produce.  [View news story]
    Yes, by all means READ THE CONSTITUTION! Especially this part:

    "The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect taxes . . . to pay the Debts and provide for the common defence and General Welfare . . . To borrow money on the credit of the United States . . . ." Article I, section 8 of the United States Constitution.

    The President has no power to spend- such is vested solely with The Congress.

    Here endeth the lesson.
    Jul 19 05:31 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tempting Tuesday: Murdochs Testify to Parliament [View article]
    Rubbish. Entirely. Filled with innuendo, non sequitur arguments, misleading facts, and outright idiocy. Although this article is filled with outlandish assertions, my favorite is the Bankruptcy Reform Bill of 2005 "make[s] sure there would never be an escape from debt for the working poor." During the 1-year period ending March 31, 2011, there were 1.57 million bankruptcy filings. During the 1 year period ending March 31, 2005 (prior to the 2005 reform being effective), there were 1.59 million filings. Further, the year after the 2005 reforms were enacted, bankruptcy filings increased to 1.7 million filings.

    Just one example of the glaring inaccuracies found throughout this article. Rubbish.
    Jul 19 11:58 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rare Earths: The Law of Supply and Demand [View article]
    Yes, what we need are more rules and regulations. There just aren't enough. If only the fed govt would write more regulations, then the little guy would be protected. Because the little guy obviously would have lots and lots of input towards the crafting of these new rules.
    Jun 21 09:29 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Rep. Barney Frank - the Frank in "Dodd-Frank" - held a Wall Street fundraiser yesterday, less than a year after authoring a sweeping crackdown on the financial industry. Some bankers saw it as a striking display of chutzpah, even by Wall Street standards, but most were not about to miss the chance to hobnob with - and donate to - one of Wall Street’s top cops.  [View news story]
    A Mass. congressman taking money from the people (apparently NYers) directly affected by his policies and decisions in Congress. Just another unbelievable story amidst several years worth of same. It's not even clandestine any longer.
    Jun 8 10:56 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weekly Indicators: The Slowdown Has Been Confirmed [View article]
    I didn't see this post when I replied above, so in general, I refer you to my previous post, which explains why you and I shall never agree- you want someone to manage/control your opportunities for you, I don't.

    However, I am amused by how consistently denigrating your posts are, which is all too typical of the left. The ills of the economy are because evil rich people exploit the "working classes", which I can't understand because I'm too daft. Whatever, Marx (and not Groucho either).
    May 24 10:36 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weekly Indicators: The Slowdown Has Been Confirmed [View article]
    Oh, I see. So the only rational way to escape gently from a FINANCIAL BUBBLE is increased government intervention in the economy, and further confiscation of wealth by our benevolent federal bureaucracy through higher taxes. But only on those that can afford it, I assume.

    If we don't follow a policy of increasing the intervention and amount of federal involvement, the result will be Fascist or Communist revolution. In other words, "we must abandon free market principles to save the free market."

    The problem, you posit, is that "business won't invest, the consumer won't buy and bankers won't lend." Your solution is for a chosen few to coerce businesses and consumers to buy, and banks to lend. Of course, we're nearing the end of QE2, as well as an unprecedented government expenditure, and while consumers are (arguably) buying, businesses largely are not, and banks are definitely not lending. But I'm sure your response would be the standard, unprovable "but it would have been worse!"

    The advocacy of facsist/socialist policies to save us from becoming socialist is beyond ironic. It's intellectually dishonest. Our difference of opinion stems from a basic difference in ideology:

    I do not believe a centralization of power ever turns out well for what you classify as "the working class". (I'll leave the not so subtle undertones of the invocation of this term to another discussion). You obviously do. I think the individual, uncoerced choices of those millions of "working class" consumers, and businesses will always produce greater prosperity to the most folks- as opposed to the tyranny of a relatively few decision makers.

    History, I contend, weighs heavily against centralized power.
    May 24 10:15 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Weekly Indicators: The Slowdown Has Been Confirmed [View article]
    You could not be more wrong, especially with your reference to the 1920's. Do just a little research, and you'll find that the quickest exit from a devastating Depression occurred from 1921-23, the worst in modern history (far worse than the "Great Depression") directly because of Presidents Harding and Coolidge.

    Unemployment was over 20% in 1921, and the economy was a disaster- the result of Wilson's progressive idiocy. When Harding took office, The Nation stated, "With the exception of Lincoln, probably no president in our national history has taken office with as pressing a burden of unresolved questions." Harding went to Congress and presented his plan:

    1) A call for a national budget program (which was vetoed by his predecessor).
    2) National debt reduction
    3) Tax reduction
    4) An emergency tariff to protect American industry and farm commodities.
    5) Farm relief legislation (farm bankruptcies were up 20% from 1914).
    6) Immigration restrictions to protect American jobs.

    It passed in toto, and by 1923, and for the rest of the decade, unemployment had dropped to below 3%.

    So, there are your facts. This formula, inexplicably, has never been tried again. You couldn't be more wrong, both factually and theoretically.
    May 23 09:45 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Expecting stocks to provide negligible returns over the coming decade, Robert Shiller is bullish on farmland, claiming it has and will continue to hold up because there is a limited supply. If real estate falls far enough and corn goes high enough, plows and backhoes will be sure to create more land supply.  [View news story]
    I've yet to see a farmer plant corn with a backhoe.
    May 18 05:35 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Austerity “doesn’t work," Joseph Stiglitz says, a view Jonathan Berr sees as common sense: "People don’t get more with less. Businesses have to spend money to make money. They can’t cost cut their way to prosperity, and neither can governments [but] try telling that to the Republicans in Congress or leaders in Europe" suffering from "deficit fetishism."  [View news story]
    Somehow, I wouldn't think Joseph Stiglitz would endorse the non sequitur argument presented by Jonathan Berr. Governments are not in the business of making money; businesses can't excessively borrow their way to prosperity anyway(eh, Lehman); and the real issue is what the proper size of government should be, not how "prosperous" our government can make itself thru profligate spending.

    But I'm no economist.
    May 13 03:47 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The White House takes a dim view of John Boehner's demand for trillions in spending cuts: "It is simply irresponsible to declare that you will tank the U.S. economy if you don't get what you want." Tying the debate over the debt limit to budget cuts would be tantamount to holding the economy "hostage," spokesman Jay Carney says.  [View news story]
    So, it's "irresponsible" when discussing raising the debt limit, to include a discussion on reducing the rate at which we go into debt?

    Idiocy. Or worse.
    May 10 02:59 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Corporate Tax Holiday Could Put $1.2 Trillion in Shareholders' Pockets [View article]
    Brilliant. If we take more from companies, thus reducing their profits, they are sure to hire more people.
    Mar 24 09:44 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Corporate Tax Holiday Could Put $1.2 Trillion in Shareholders' Pockets [View article]
    The article quite clearly states this is a bipartisan effort. Boxer is hardly a Republican.
    Mar 24 09:32 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment