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  • In 2008 we experienced the failure of Lehman, AIG and the GSEs. Today we are witnessing sovereign nations on the brink of failure. In 2008 there was the palpable fear of bank runs. Today, it's a potential for currency runs. In 2008 there were government bailouts. Today there are central bank bailouts. But... this time everything's different, right?  [View news story]
    Today we are watching the entire world attempt to devalue their way out of debt... simultaneously.
    Aug 18 09:24 PM | 6 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]
    Right champ, you completely missed the point the linked article makes. The author doesn't care if they make money overseas but he doesn't think a tax holiday works, and supports strings attached to them bringing this money into the US. It isn't here and doesn't have to come here. But if it does they are required to pay taxes on it BY LAW.
    Jul 9 09:51 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "Bernanke is either not very bright or not very honest. He admits he doesn't know why we have a weak economy, but he's the one who weakened it," Washington's Blog writes. The Fed has treated the crisis as a liquidity problem, when it is really an insolvency problem; "If Bernanke can't see it - or won't admit it - he should be fired."  [View news story]
    He knows what he's doing but he can't say it out loud.
    Jun 23 10:14 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • With federal tax revenues coming in at 14.9% of GDP in both 2009 and 2010, current levels are unusually low and have been for some time, Bruce Bartlett writes. The average federal income tax rate on the 400 richest people in the U.S. is 18.1%, down from 26.3% when the data was first calculated in 1992. Cutting already low taxes won't spur growth, Bartlett believes.  [View news story]
    Don't cut and don't increase, just fix the tax code and stop picking winners.

    It's such a mess of one cut offset by one increase offset by another cut offset by yet another increase that no one really knows what is going on and what the REAL effect of any cut or any increase actually is.
    May 31 07:03 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More on the Fed's dollar dilution from The Telegraph's Liam Halligan, who warns that if things get out of hand and the greenback goes into freefall - it could be the genesis of the next global financial crisis.  [View news story]
    Wow the alarmists out in full force this weekend.

    Watch out everybody, the weather station just ran a report that the sky is falling...
    May 1 08:55 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Jeremy Grantham's latest essay, an apocalyptic description of a planet running out of resources, is either a wake-up call or the mother of all sell signals. One hundred years of commodity price declines have been wiped out since 2002, says Grantham, contending a similar length uptrend is now in place.  [View news story]
    Let me distance my opinion as to why commodities are not in short supply from Tack's political posturing....

    The fact is that basic commodities and resource allocation is simple supply and demand, and if demand drives prices up behaviors will change.

    Grantham argues that commodities are inevitably going to get more and more expensive from here out. They can't go down, there are too many people, too few resources, blah blah blah. I think we've all taken a ride on that roller coaster and know where it ends up.
    Apr 25 09:01 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "We no longer have free market capitalism and we no longer have a democracy," David Stockman says, replaced by a system of "crony capitalism" that benefits and even rigs the system in favor of banks. "The Fed is the great enabler" through its free money policies, which "generate results the market wouldn't otherwise provide for," he says.  [View news story]
    Be prepared for talk about how the Constitution no longer reflects the realities of the current US of A and needs to be 'looked at'...
    Apr 25 12:27 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • If America's budget crisis really is that serious, "shouldn’t we be raising taxes, not cutting them?" Paul Krugman asks. "How we go about stemming the tide of red ink is... a choice - and by making tax increases part of the solution, we can avoid savaging the poor and undermining the security of the middle class."  [View news story]
    From the linked article:

    "From the tone of much budget discussion, you might think that we were groaning under crushing, unprecedented levels of taxation. The reality is that effective federal tax rates at every level of income have fallen significantly over the past 30 years, especially at the top. And, over all, U.S. taxes are much lower as a percentage of national income than taxes in most other wealthy nations."
    Apr 25 10:22 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Iceland and the Rumblings of a Global Citizens Revolution [View article]
    Perhaps you misread his comment, he stated 'representative democracy' as in a democracy which depends on elected representatives who are expected to represent the interests of their constituents.

    Certainly we are a Republic; today more so than any other, an oligarchic Republic founded on crony capitalism supported by state sponsored bribery (PACs) and corruption (lobbyists). I would hardly suggest that being able to vote directly on matters of interest is wrong for an educated middle class country like Iceland, and I certainly wouldn't condemn their version of 'democracy' as being dysfunctional especially compared to our present system.
    Apr 18 11:28 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In his book A Great Leap Forward, Alexander Field contends it wasn't WWII which brought the U.S. out of the Depression, but the remarkable growth in productive capacity during the 30s which both allowed the country to win the war, and set the stage for the post-war boom.  [View news story]
    Drekon, its sufficiently far behind us now where he thinks he can get away with rewriting history...
    Apr 12 04:59 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Interior Department says it may have to reject seven deepwater drilling permits if a federal judge forces the government to make a quick decision. Judge Martin Feldman ordered regulators to make a decision by the end of the month; the government plans to appeal.  [View news story]
    The amount of partisan BS about the Volt on a website which supposedly appeals to folks who have knowledge of business and the business world is absolutely mind boggling.

    As a businessman I couldn't even begin to break down the absolute ignorance in all the statements here.

    I'm going to count the partisans and ignorants here by the down thumbs on my posts. Cant wait.

    Go Palin!
    Mar 6 04:38 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bernanke gets an earful from Ron Paul: "Congress and the Fed are symbiotic because the Congress spends and they know there is a moral hazard involved because they know that if interest rates go up, the Fed accommodates them. So the Fed really facilitates this spending... the Fed is involved with our deficit and encourages it as well as the Congress."  [View news story]
    That may be bbro but knocking his credentials.... well, I heard him speak and am interested in what he has to say. And the argument in the copy above is not a bad one.
    Mar 2 07:41 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bad Housing Advice of the Day, Philly Edition [View article]
    Without getting too far into the details, I'd suggest you also consider that total costs of ownership/renting need to be intelligently reviewed before you can make this determination.

    For example, say total cost of ownership in my area for a 3bed 1 family may be say $4,000/month and the rental of same may be $2,500.

    The spread is $1,500 that you keep at the end of the month. There's your 'profit'.

    Obviously the deeper you get into this the more complicated it gets but I didn't want to leave your comment without providing some context.
    Feb 2 11:49 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The U.S. could hit its $14.3T debt ceiling by March or April, causing a shutdown of federal offices, a freeze in federal benefits programs or a possible default, unless Congress raises the limit. Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, isn't prepared to do so without 'concessions on spending.'  [View news story]
    My favorite parts:

    ""Hitting the limit could force shutdowns of federal offices, as happened in 1995, threaten payments for Social Security and other federal benefits, or even cause a default on federal debt payments.""

    ""The Treasury also had to resort to emergency measures to stay under the debt limit in 2006 and 2007. In both cases, it halted sales of State and Local Government Series securities to municipal bond issuers.""
    Jan 6 08:52 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • FOMC minutes: "While the economic outlook was seen as improving, members generally felt that the change in the outlook was not sufficient to warrant any adjustments to the asset-purchase program." Some members noted that they needed more time before they would consider any changes. Stocks little changed.  [View news story]
    Power Heritage, I'd like to provide additional depth and perhaps some counterpoint to your arguments:

    Vis a vis "litigious": This is a result of the US legal system more so than anything else. "Justice" is based on legal precedent in a way unlike virtually anywhere else in the world. It generates litigiousness. This is a result of how the legal system originated here and is unlikely to ever change.

    Vis a vis "forced healthcare": The US is virtually the only country in the world with a virtually entirely privatized healthcare system. If I b reak my leg almost anywhere else in the world I will likely receive free care. In the US I will be billed. This is a result of how the healthcare system originated and that a socialized healthcare system never evolved here. Attempts to change it are unlikely to succeed.

    Vis a vis "highest corp rate"": As mentioned elsewhere, when Goolge pays 2% effective the rate on the books is less interesting than the reality. Also unlikely to ever change.

    Vis a vis "education": When states are able to pass into law teaching "divine origin"as opposed to Darwinism you have a problem. Most countries have a much more centralized education system and they all tend to read from the same books and compete with each other on a far more national level. Like all the other things before mentioned, the education system is heavily decentralized and inefficient. And is unlikely to change.

    200 years from now US will be forgotten and historians will talk about its brief rise to prominence after it indebted Europe with the Marshall plan...
    Jan 4 03:27 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment