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  • Union leaders in Massachusetts regroup after a Wisconsin-lite bill giving local officials more control over municipal worker health benefits passes one chamber of the Democrat-controlled legislature. With health care costs "cannibalizing" local budgets, lawmakers felt the need to act before public safety and education spending came under the axe.  [View news story]
    This is a microcosm of what we are going to be dealing with nationwide. The old school politics and corruption are being overwhelmed by the mathematics of unsustainable expenditures, benefits and promises made to a variety of groups.

    The axe is coming down one way or another. The inflation axe is already taking its pound of flesh.
    Apr 30, 2011. 12:08 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Over the past month, the percentage of Americans pessimistic about the direction of the economy has jumped to 39% from 26%.  [View news story]
    Yes the wealthy just had a child for dinner tonight and they will fertilize their garden with old people in the spring because the wealthy don't have any children or elderly in their families.

    By the way who are the wealthy?
    Apr 22, 2011. 06:34 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AP report: The ethanol push is "an ecological disaster" [View news story]
    What has government not screwed up that they touched?

    Love our national parks however.
    Nov 12, 2013. 07:30 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How much debt can the U.S. handle? A new paper quantifies an 80% public debt to GDP ratio - where the U.S. is right now - as the point at which a nation reaches a potential tipping point; once a nation has debt above that level, it becomes vulnerable to the kind of self-reinforcing vicious cycles that have crippled others. Two responses from Fed officials see the analysis as simplistic and eurocentric[View news story]

    OK the converse of your thesis is that if we get rid of all the rich people and companies then we can be prosperous. Does that lack of capital and capital flight work? (Hint: no.)

    You are also cherry picking a few examples and then extrapolating that to a general rule. Go back to Stats 101.

    Never mind Ireland did tremendously well for a long time until the housing sector was blown up in a bubble which brings us back to government and banking Frankenstein policies.

    Net of all this is that you are peeing into the wind and trying to create your own narrative on pure force of willpower. You are just blinding yourself.
    Feb 23, 2013. 11:16 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In the wake of the recent school tragedy in Connecticut, California Treasurer Bill Lockyer is proposing that CalPERS and CalSTRS, the state's two public pension funds, divest themselves of gun makers. "I want BlackRock (BLK), I want Credit Suisse (CS), I want everyone else to know that we're going to use our economic leverage if it's up to me, and I hope other private investors will do the same thing," Lockyer says. "They (the gun-makers) ought to feel the economic consequences of their bad behavior." [View news story]
    It is nice that clear rationale thinking is the hallmark of people in leadership positions. Never mind how hypocritical it is to hold defense contractors that make the munitions to bomb people by the thousands.

    I have relatives from Glasgow Scotland. That is the city in Europe where you are most likely to get stabbed by a knife. They should get rid of all knives.

    The gunmakers should just buy the stock back on the cheap. Or do an LBO.

    Nothing is going to fix the tragedy we seen over the weekend but we need to quit reporting on this stuff and giving these people a stage. We dumped OBL's body in the ocean to avoid this problem why don't we do the same with these losers. This crazy publicity is a bigger problem than the guns.
    Dec 19, 2012. 09:01 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 7.8T reasons dividend tax increases won’t crush stocks: That's the estimated value of all equity assets held by retirement investors that are not tax sensitive. Though it seems counterintuitive, Lucas Kawa thinks an increase on dividend tax rates might actually benefit the millions who hold high-yield dividend stocks in their IRAs and are able to buy into a potential sell without being impacted by the rising tax rate. [View news story]
    So I won't be hurt because I can now buy div stocks cheaper for my IRA? So what if I am fully invested? If not do I take a 20 to 30% or more hit on my portfolio and then I can buy cheaper? Whoo hoo!

    This professional analysis, if you can call it that, is to just make dumb money sit tight, likely in their funds, so they can collect their quarterly/annual management fee while smart money moves out or takes offsetting short positions and then smart money comes back and buys at lower prices.

    This same view could also hold for Treasury Securities. If rates double you will now be able to buy the same securities cheaper. Duh! Thanks for nothing.

    Investors who have sat tight for the last decade have gotten killed.
    Nov 24, 2012. 10:42 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Has Paul Krugman Gone Too Far This Time? [View article]
    The Nobel Prize is essentially worthless. Obama got one for apparently being black and talking about hope and change. There are a lot of black preachers that say the same thing every Sunday so maybe they should get one.

    Krugman is really a politician using economics as a tool to promote a political agenda.

    How do you get the economy to create jobs? Even the question is worded funny and misses the real issue. How do you get business to hire is the real question. You have to work with businesses and especially small business. Good luck with this administration. They are the most anti business I have seen maybe in my whole life. They are suspicious of business and have the mentality that their job is to punish business and they only do things for business because they have to. This might play well with the far left but 20+ million people would like to have a job or a better job at some point in their life.
    Nov 13, 2012. 11:40 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • After a valiant effort, Mayor Bloomberg has thrown in the towel and cancelled the New York City marathon this weekend because of disruptions caused by superstorm Sandy. City officials had held out hope that the event could still be pulled off, in a demonstration that the city was on the road to recovery. Unfortunately, the logistical nightmare proved to be more than even New Yorkers were equipped to handle on such a short timeline. [View news story]
    From what I can see and read they have underestimated how hard it is going to be to turn around these damaged areas and they need to get many people out of those areas. Just like Katrina. Nobody can live someplace with no electricity unless it is a farm. This is going to get worse.

    Bloomberg is looking out of touch which is not surprising.
    Nov 3, 2012. 12:12 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The U.S. has reportedly ended talks with Switzerland aimed at making a deal over Swiss banks accused of helping Americans evade taxes. The report follows news that Credit Suisse (CS) is the target of a U.S. probe, which also includes HSBC (HBC) and other European banks.  [View news story]
    This must be our new friendly cooperative face to the outside world that Obama promised. On the one hand it could be argued that people are evading taxes and that is money owed to the US Government and will help pay down our debt.

    On the other hand the USG is likely wasting much more money than this annually and is coming off as a desparate bully. And once any money is retrieved it is a one time event and we are still dealing with a structural deficit machine. We are also likely going to create an industry around establishing offshore legal entities for private citizens that take in capital from the US and keep the funds overseas. Similar to corporations.

    I wonder if any US Congressmen use Swiss Banks?
    Jul 17, 2011. 01:09 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • I Concede Defeat In [View article]
    The analysis is fundamentally sound and anyone who would look to buy Amazon would look at those numbers and offer a much lower bid for Amazon than its current market cap. The true value of a company is what someone would pay for the entire company. Nobody is looking to buy Amazon right now.

    What trades on the stock market is a % of the shares or ownership that is available and people trade those share on imperfect information, knowledge of what the company is really worth and emotion. There is a lot of dumb money in the stock market which can take share prices through the roof. History is full of examples. People once thought tulips were worth ever increasing amounts of money.
    Oct 25, 2013. 11:03 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Jamie Dimon is threatening to leave JPMorgan (JPM) if stripped of the Chairman role, sources say. [View news story]
    What is more arrogant?

    1. A CEO of the largest bank and most successful bank in the world that may leave as interference from outsiders who don't have half of the experience and knowledge becomes a ridiculous distraction

    2. Or people commenting on his job performance who have absolutely no clue about banking, running a large corporation or much of anything
    May 11, 2013. 11:59 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Financial markets are telling to us to focus on jobs, not deficits, Paul Krugman writes: "Investors are all dressed up with... no place to put their money. So they're buying government debt, even at very low returns... By making money available so cheaply, they are in effect begging governments to issue more debt. And governments should be granting their wish, not obsessing over short-term deficits.”  [View news story]
    Krugman is not completely honest why rates are so low. He makes it seem like magic for any country that issues debt in their own currency and that debt hawks are wrong. That somehow low rates are a green light to borrow and spend/invest.

    The real reason is that investors want capital preservation because governments have too much debt especially in Europe and so capital is looking for the safest place to be parked. A fuller look at the issue reveals that investors have been looking for a place to put their money since the early 90's when rates were very low and that is what led them to invest in MBS's and then get burned badly. That has not been forgotten so buying securities at a small negative interest rate is now looked at as being smart. The US is the least risky of all the options available for now. We are the least ugly of all the step sisters.

    Investing in infrastructure and education are typical government centric approaches because government controls both. However we are at diminishing returns on education spending and we have a terrible mismatch of our education system as currently structured against the needs of the job market. English Lit is not helping anyone looking for a manufacturing job. We have a serious problem with High School dropouts and that is a bigger problem. We should be a lot further ahead with internet education than we are to date.

    Infrastructure is the build it and they will come and is capital intensive not labor intensive. And I don't think anyone is saying they cannot find a road to get them home.

    The real problem with jobs is unknown health costs and unknown taxes makes businesses not want to hire anyone. They work with temp agencies if they really need help and are just waiting for clarity. Our current federal government has made a bigger mess of both and they were not great to start with. This is not going to end until our federal government submits to the reality of what is going on either through voter choice or a serious meltdown that forces them to face the fact they need to quit hurting businesses. We all cannot work for the government.
    Jul 28, 2012. 12:25 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Affordable Care Act actually discourages small businesses from growing, says's Robert Weinstein. Buried within 2,700 pages of the Act is a requirement that businesses provide all employees with "acceptable" health insurance coverage, but exempts businesses with 49 or fewer full time employees. For small business owners, this is a glaring disincentive not to grow beyond 49 employees as a result of the costs and additional regulations companies face with 50 or more.  [View news story]
    No Romney said it would only work at the state level and each state should decide.
    Jul 6, 2012. 10:05 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Jefferson County - home to Birmingham, Alabama - may be on the verge of filing the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. Jefferson's distress comes from the Wall Street-enabled borrowing to finance the "Taj Mahal of sewer-treatment plants" during the credit bubble, a scheme memorably chronicled by Matt Taibbi.  [View news story]
    Government bankruptcy and Matt Taibbi in the same article. Forget Matt but there will be more bankruptcies coming at local level as their tax base is falling apart while the Fed Government is looking to levy more taxes. Not enough money to go around. Some pig is going to lose out at the trough.
    Jul 24, 2011. 09:53 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sitting on $1T in cash in offshore sites like the Caribbean, tax-buccaneering corporations aren't just stiffing their country, John Wasik says - they're burning their loyal stock owners, who'd love another dividend check. Tax holidays don't work, so he calls for a strings-attached repatriation plan to benefit everybody.  [View news story]

    They paid taxes on the revenue when it occured and they invested the money elsewhere and have realized or unrealized income. If they did not pay taxes on the original revenue then look at the tax code as the problem.

    If they have done anything illegal than charge them with a crime. .
    Jul 9, 2011. 09:21 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment