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Steve in Greensboro

Steve in Greensboro
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  • We Don't Have a Deficit Problem - Unless Congress Creates One [View article]
    "...Obama promises to veto any bill that hits his desk that does not conform to PAYGO..."

    Sounds great.

    On spending, the House can pass a budget that defunds Obamacare, defunds various cabinet level departments (e.g. Energy, Education, etc.), defunds the Left generally (particularly NPR), defunds America's foreign enemies and resets spending on the remainder to 2000 levels, etc. (Continue reducing spending as necessary.)

    On assets, privatize Fannie, Freddie, GM, student lending, Amtrak, the Post Office, etc. (I admit finding buyers for these monstrosities would be difficult, but generating cash on sale isn't really the point -- it is more stopping the bleeding.)

    On taxation, we should ask the 50% of Americans who pay zero income tax to pay something, anything, rather than continue on as pure tax-eaters, rentiers of the welfare state. Of course, we don't want to raise taxes on the top 10% who pay 95% of the income tax burden, since they are the ones who create jobs.

    Then Obama can sign that. It might not get us all the way there, but it would be a wonderful start.
    Nov 17, 2010. 08:49 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gold at $7,800/oz, Or S&P 500 at 220? Take Your Pick [View article]
    Ah! Now I understand quantitative easing. For his personal account, Ben has borrowed in USD and invested the proceeds in gold. Nice long-short strategy, Bennie!
    Nov 10, 2010. 11:21 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Quantitative Uneasing II [View article]
    @tuna: Don't worry about how much QE2 is priced in.

    As long as we have Obamananke, we will have QE3 - QEn. And then we will have fiscal demands like higher interest rates on our national debt, unfunded Obamacare, Social Security going cash flow negative,etc. -- all great reasons to print more USD.
    Nov 9, 2010. 05:17 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Bernanke's Unfortunate Patterns [View article]
    No doubt we will get the usual raft of comments about how the Fed is manipulated by the big banks solely for their own profit, without any meaningful oversight by the altruistic and omnicompetent U.S. government -- a triumph of untrammelled, right-wing free-marketeers over the American people and their poor, underpowered government.

    Just a few simple facts might help clarify things:

    1) Bernanke was reconfirmed by the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate on 1/28/10 on a 70-30 vote (with roughly 40% of Republicans voting against him and only 20% of Democrats).

    2) Bernanke was strongly supported by Obama and Geithner, who [from the Puffington Host of 1/25/10] "... in a recent interview with Mike Allen of Politico warned that the financial markets could react negatively if Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke isn't confirmed for a second term...."

    3) Voices of conventional leftist wisdom like Paul Krugman completely support Bernanke and don't think he is debasing the USD quickly or massively enough. From Krugman's note of today 11/9/10: Paul Krugman: Fed's scaled-back plans ensure failure in which the Nobel laureate (remember Obama and Gore have one of those too) says "..The case for a more expansionary policy by the Fed is overwhelming..."

    Bernanke's actions as Chairman of the Fed are and have been 100% aligned with and supported by Obama. The Fed's program of currency debasement under Greenspan and Bernanke is 100% aligned with the American Left. The fact that the big banks have benefitted is more due to crony capitalism (remember who were the biggest contributors to Obama) than due to a lack of regulation.
    Nov 9, 2010. 02:56 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ezra Klein Endorses the Helicopter Drop [View article]
    "...Bernanke gets John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell in a room and says the politics and specifics of this are their job, but..."

    Unless Ben holds that meeting pretty quick, two of the attendees will be irrelevant. Pelosi will be a backbench member of the House minority party and Reid will be a private citizen.
    Oct 25, 2010. 08:53 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gold's in a Mini-Mania, Not a Bubble [View article]
    Thanks for the interesting chart. We are somewhere between the stealth and the awareness phase -- that's why the jewelers all have their "cash for gold signs" out on the street and nobody but hedgies are taking real positions in gold.
    Oct 24, 2010. 06:01 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Is Geithner Still at the Treasury? [View article]
    "Why is Geithner still at Treasury?"

    The reason is that Timmy possesses one of the critical success factors for politics -- the ability and willingness to speak the most transparent falsehoods with a straight face, just like his boss.

    As Larry Summers once said, "Well this is another fine mess you've gotten me into, Stanley!"
    Oct 20, 2010. 08:57 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Do Governments Still Own So Much Gold? [View article]
    Regarding why governments don't sell their gold, "...Any gold sold could be put to productive use (e.g., pay down debt and decrease interest expense). "...Attempts to answer these questions [on why governments aren't selling their gold] definitively would be speculative..."

    Please allow me to speculate, based on the following facts. The ten year bond is yielding ~2.5% annually. Gold is up ~30% over the past year. All the major currency-issuers are actively debasing their currencies.

    Makes you wonder if the governments might be issuing debt, using the proceeds to buy gold and printing currency to reduce the value of their debt.
    Oct 11, 2010. 02:01 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why It Doesn't Feel Like a Recovery [View article]
    If you work for the parasitic Federal, state or local governments, things are great and always have been. Great that is until the host (the private sector) dies.
    Oct 6, 2010. 06:48 AM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Today's Market: How Did We Get Here? [View article]
    How did we get here? Keynesianism.
    Oct 5, 2010. 03:16 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Robert Reich's 'Aftershock' and the Technology-Driven Consumption Trap [View article]
    Wages grow when capital stocks increase faster than the labor hours available. Think about how much you could afford to pay a laborer with a shovel compared to a laborer with a giant backhoe. (And returns to capital shrink under the same conditions.)

    By redistributing value from those who will increase the capital stock to those that will consume it, government reduces wages and increases returns to capital.

    Of course, the U.S. government reduces U.S. wages in many other ways including absurd regulations (e.g. carbon taxation), but redistribution is the main tool it uses to reduce society's prosperity
    Oct 4, 2010. 11:28 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Does a Weaker Currency Equal Default? Not in the Real World [View article]
    "...Let’s repeat it one more time, for good measure: the US isn’t going bankrupt..."

    Not "going" so much as "gone".
    Sep 30, 2010. 02:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The End of Free Markets: A Great Reason to Buy Stocks [View article]
    "...What if the QE trade is already priced into the market such that it reverses if and when the Fed actually pulls the trigger?..."

    Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner!

    And don't overdo this whole balance thing.
    Sep 29, 2010. 02:25 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Keynesian Solvency Standoff and the Case for Shorting Treasuries [View article]
    Paco! Good to see you back, man!

    Keynes is only significant insofar as he gave the Ruling Class (as defined by Codevilla) an excuse to extend government power. He will be remembered by economists only to the extent that biologists remember "spontaneous generation" theorists.
    Sep 27, 2010. 10:54 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 4 Reasons to Be Long Oil - And Nothing Else [View article]
    Great article. Of your 4 reasons, I think the dominant one is 3) the geopolitical uncertainty. Thanks for the link to the Atlantic article. Israeli insiders and knowledgeable Americans have been warning about a nuclearized Iran for a while now. When fonts of conventional wisdom like the Atlantic magazine begin to talk about it, you know there might be something there.

    But if there is no new war in the Middle East, there is probably no good reason to immediately get long(er) oil, since there is no emerging global economic recovery yet.
    Sep 13, 2010. 09:01 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment