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old diogenes

old diogenes
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  • A pox on both your houses, many investors say, seeing the stock market as rigged while placing little confidence in regulators to fix it. An AP-CNBC poll of investors shows 61% saying the market's recent volatility has made them less confident about buying and selling stocks, and 55% say the market is fair only to some investors. (full survey)  [View news story]
    As hopeful as that all sounds - for people finally paying attention to what is going on rather than believing any talking head on the boob tube - one is still reminded of the question about shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted.

    Then, is this a small oasis of sanity or are there larger implications, as in the people are waking up to the Pied Piper(s) they've been following blindly?
    Sep 14 11:41 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Obama rules out extending Bush-era tax cuts for Americans earning $250K+, and outlines a proposal for allowing businesses to write off all their 2011 investment. "This isn't to punish folks who are better off," he tells an Ohio audience. "It's because we can't afford the $700B price tag." (text)  [View news story]
    I find it amazing that people this experienced are still disagreeing about which agent of Establishment control is pulverising our economy. Whether one is labelled "D" or "R" is irrelevant - the short and long term impacts of the rape of the USA is probably more important and is truly bi-partisan.

    I, too, am bereft of solutions on the rainy Sunday afternoon I have - but I do know that none of the answers have an "R" or "D" tag on them as those folks are all owned by interests other than ours, whether it is their own or has a logo, it isn't me or us.
    Sep 12 03:35 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Obama rules out extending Bush-era tax cuts for Americans earning $250K+, and outlines a proposal for allowing businesses to write off all their 2011 investment. "This isn't to punish folks who are better off," he tells an Ohio audience. "It's because we can't afford the $700B price tag." (text)  [View news story]
    At this rate, this guy really ought to go into stand-up comedy, if he isn't already there in his mind.

    His apparent sense of irony is almost better than the late Mort Sahl.
    Sep 8 02:47 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sustained debt reduction can't be avoided, says the BIS in its quarterly review, but that doesn't have to mean weaker growth post-crisis. The key is for policymakers to fix the problems that caused the crisis in the first place.  [View news story]
    ...and every component of the marketplace in the US drives it that way. The legal differences between what corporations and their boards can do in the US versus Europe tends to drive shorter term thinking over here. Of course, it also prohibits the extremely tight (almost interlocking) networks of corporate europe, but that was by design. In this case, function follows form.
    Sep 8 11:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gold rallies to an all-time high of $1,259.30, "a direct indictment of the Fed’s monetary policy in terms of its dollar debasement," Peter Boockvar writes. "People don’t own gold because they want to, they own it because they feel they have to. It’s called self-defense."  [View news story]
    ...and absolutely nobody is trading the market or covering. It is a market. What does he say about folks taking delivery? Now, where would you store that? Not in your downstairs closet or the freezer, I expect.
    Sep 7 02:47 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • President Obama will propose a six year public works program to combat unemployment, with $50 billion of up-front spending on roads, rail and airport runways. The administration says it will work with Congress to fund the plan without adding to the deficit, perhaps by cutting subsidies on oil and gas exploration and production.  [View news story]
    Don't I remember somewhere about the legend of the "highway or road tax" that was supposed to support this stuff?

    And, aren't the state road and other taxes being diverted to Washington, only to get parcelled out to "those with the greatest need"? That last phrase translates directly into state representative seniority in a committee, which translates into union project dollars in another state, not yours, irrespective of what the proportion of union workers might be in your highway trades companies, and so on, ad nauseum...

    So, what if states refused to send the dollars for their road and other taxes to Washington, but rather used them locally on road and infrastructure projects?

    Indeed, Washington would "punish", but in the end Washington is a toothless tiger because all they have to work with is our money. So, if it isn't sent to them, what are they going to do?

    Oh, send no printed money. No big deal, that can be legislated locally since the Congress gave away its control of printing money in 1912... so Congress doesn't have any say in the matter anymore, no matter what the Constitution says.

    Don't knee-jerk. think about it. What is the downside of not sending Washington all the money? Can't the states actually manage their own bit of geography? Indeed, there are state governments which are far more corrupt than D.C., but if the locals actually took charge... Overly corrupt state governments would either be weeded out or the state population base could shrink - after all many of us voted with our feet a long time ago.

    Just a slightly radical, but not new, thought. Isn't that you starve a cold? Doesn't D.C. have a cold?
    Sep 7 02:43 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • President Obama will propose a six year public works program to combat unemployment, with $50 billion of up-front spending on roads, rail and airport runways. The administration says it will work with Congress to fund the plan without adding to the deficit, perhaps by cutting subsidies on oil and gas exploration and production.  [View news story]
    Why do people persist in the myth that "government" is there to so something for the population? Is there some Jimmy Stewart movie on which people have overdosed?

    Try this: think of the government as Wal-Mart, promises of great prices and hope for a better deal - but you know they are making their bottom line on something - and it isn't for your benefit.

    In the real Wal-Mart's case it is buildings for free and no taxes, but that is another matter of sucking at the public trough by supposed government-free corporations.
    Sep 7 10:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sustained debt reduction can't be avoided, says the BIS in its quarterly review, but that doesn't have to mean weaker growth post-crisis. The key is for policymakers to fix the problems that caused the crisis in the first place.  [View news story]
    I used to use an illustration on process issues with clients. It showed a problem defined in panel 1, myriad lines, boxes, and bubbles for their process in panel 2, a magic "poof" in panel three, and the sparkling solution appearing in panel 4...

    The only problem always was that magic, per se, was never in the actual took kit of my staff as we had to work with reality.

    Given this government's penchant for legerdemain, one must surely think we're in for a magic "ta-da" soon, eh?

    Were it only possible.....
    Sep 6 09:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The government will roll out a new mortgage aid program on Tuesday, this time targeting underwater homeowners who are current on their mortgage payments but at risk of default. Officials say up to 1.5M loans could be modified, but skeptics think the plan is likely to be as ineffective as past efforts.  [View news story]
    Isn't it time we refer to the president by his effective name? Isn't it really "Ben Dover" Obama, as that is what he is always telling us to do?

    Sorry, cheap shot, Ben.
    Sep 4 10:37 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Today's rig fire in the Gulf of Mexico and the fuel tanker run aground in Canada play right into the hands of those eager to keep or expand moratoriums on oil drilling. We're told the incidents aren't serious, but we've heard that line before.  [View news story]
    What if the price of oil was drifting too low....

    Caution! Cynical / paranoid mind at work(?), here... I'm not sure I believe that off the top; but a second explosion within months of the first dangerous operating problem for decades should raise eyebrows in a number of dimensions.
    Sep 2 10:50 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Does Dick Fuld have a point? The decision not to bail out Lehman Brothers may have been purely a political one, the financial crisis panel chair says, challenging the view of regulators that they had no legal authority to help.  [View news story]
    Try the other side of the coin - if it wasn't "politics", why do all the "saved" institutions' political contributions line up on the side of those who contributed to the "chosen" next administration?

    Indeed, no one in office may have had a clue as to the extent of the issues, so then why choose to save or not save anyone in particular?

    If it was "obvious we had to do something", why?

    These crashes of over-leveraged financial firms are not unknown in US history. Strangely enough, from current experience life seems to have gone on without the Federal Reserve Bank's omnipresence in previous epochs of history, i.e., before the 20th century.

    Hamilton would have agreed, methinks, with this outcome - but Hamilton, for all his smooth erudition, was a crafty lawyer on the side of British mercantilism and all its inherent corruption.
    Sep 2 08:25 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Manipulation by high-speed rogue traders may have been behind the May 6 flash crash, a stock-quote programmer alleges, and he doesn't stop there - those traders deliberately slow the market's consolidated tape every trading day, he says, to create fleeting price mismatches and profit from the differences.  [View news story]
    Hold on a sec - hasn't one of the hallmarks of the last 18 months been strangely low volumes for the amount of movement we've seen? Particularly, strange days when the market went in reverse of what the current news would have expected.

    If so, that means according to your reasoning that this phenomenon is wielding highly disproportional power to swing the market - meaning that the market is functioning for the profits of the few irrespective of the natural market flow that may be normally contributed by the many, so to speak.

    Someone noted a while ago that the market movements often "smell" and another asked the question about the government running the market trends...

    Put that all together.... and one has to ask who is controlling the market.
    Aug 31 08:39 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Manipulation by high-speed rogue traders may have been behind the May 6 flash crash, a stock-quote programmer alleges, and he doesn't stop there - those traders deliberately slow the market's consolidated tape every trading day, he says, to create fleeting price mismatches and profit from the differences.  [View news story]
    Oh, and remember in the story it was a "may be behind...."

    Lots of certainty, there. We're supposed to go off chasing our tails, again?
    Aug 30 08:52 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Manipulation by high-speed rogue traders may have been behind the May 6 flash crash, a stock-quote programmer alleges, and he doesn't stop there - those traders deliberately slow the market's consolidated tape every trading day, he says, to create fleeting price mismatches and profit from the differences.  [View news story]
    C'mon.... didn't you see the "lead" to this story months ago when it was revealed that G/S had a plug into the line on which every trade is communicated prior to the official execution site, thereby giving them nanoseconds worth of "advance" notice?

    If G/S has this, one might ask if they are the "rogue" traders.

    If not, there is another leak between the traders and the execution point?

    How many rogues do we need to spoil the barrel that is already filled with bruises from being pushed around, hither, thither, and yon?
    Aug 30 08:50 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Only punitive interest rates during the boom years would have prevented the "Great Recession," says BoE Deputy Governor Charles Bean in Jackson Hole. And while further policy action may be called for, Bean dismisses the idea of extending measures like QE in times when conditions are already stable.  [View news story]
    There are some of us that thought that was the design when we saw their initial plans in late '08.
    Aug 29 11:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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