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Leftfield

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  • Consequences Of A Farmland Bubble, And Who Gets Hurt When It Bursts? [View article]
    "I don't really agree with the conspiratorial tone of the article, equating the plan with National Socialism (fascism for those who missed out on the Nazi reference) or World Socialism, whatever that is."

    Actually the part of the article that highlighted that the blowoff stage of the 2008 Wall Street/housing/energy-... bubble coincided so exactly with the 2006 change in Congress replete with "good intentions" is very enlightening. Yes, the US has fallen into the trap that has swallowed so many countless societies before it that increasingly removes the consequences of socialized actions that benefit the politically influential from the root cause of each resultantly larger problem in the name of the "greater good."

    This provides a valuable frame of reference for some who are not as willing to laud the present jobless "recovery" as willingly as most seem to and who instead see the seeds of greater destruction that have been planted by the increasingly and inarguably socialist actions of US government to create it.
    Feb 18 09:52 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Depression With Benefits: The Macro Case For mREITs [View article]
    "...history has also taught that without regulation there are those within any society who would put short term profit above public safety or maintaining our environment."

    Earth to Du4sloop: We already have regulation aplenty. There was a book, "10,000 Commandments," written about 20 years ago whose title referred to the number of regulations Washington had bestowed upon us at that time. This number will soon pass 100,000 rules and regulations and their cost of compliance to the private economy now exceeds half the incredible cost of our government in Washington.

    The rich and powerful simply pass this on or absorb it as a cost of doing business along with their dominant levels of campaign contributions, thus ensuring that metastasizing "regulation" so beloved by the congenitally socialistic will continue to thwart mainly those who cannot buy love from the political class.

    Furthermore, the longterm slide in poverty rates in the US ceased to decline once the Great Society's "War on Poverty" began to drain the private economy of useful capital to fund the excessive government overreach we have known since. Like the "War on Terror," these have been "wars" which will never end since their main purpose is to expand government and the proliferation of the government-dependant.
    Feb 13 12:51 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Book Review: Drobny, The Invisible Hands [View article]
    Thanks for the review; looks interesting. Just bought the book as a result.
    Feb 10 08:41 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Crisis Of Modern Economics [View article]
    Highly correlated financial market moves during this latest bout of conventionally-accepted, unprecedentedly excessive perma-stimulus is another clear indication that the source of this form of inflation is not real economic activity. In fact, it serves to prop up the very economically unviable interests that need to shrink or fail to clear the way for genuine, broad-based expansion.
    Which will be very messy and get only the messier the more US and other major sovereign balance sheets are raided and eventually destroyed to provide collective salvation for TBTF private profits/public losses investments and grossly excessive and unaffordable government and bureaucracy. None of these "remedies" expoused by the typical Krugmanesque "it's not my money, it's only taxpayer OPM we're squandering" academic economist have succeeded by any rational cost/benefit measure in the broad economy.
    As the article indicates, there is such a long time lag between such ill-founded societal-scale levels of bad policy that few recognize it's source. So, like the "winners" on Wall Street who took the taxpayers to the cleaners after 2008 when their fraudulent leveraged paper blew up, and walked away personally intact, present-day policymakers, MSM shills and academic and government stooges have every expectation of profitably separating themselves from the results of their work product despite the obvious lack of real recoveries in their decreasingly middle-class societies which will also have bear the costs via crushing debt burdens raised to fund the tragically misguided and corrupt effort.
    Feb 6 10:21 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power: Out Of The Pipe And Into The Light [View article]
    Thanks for the article and the enlightening discussion that follows. I may pick up some more shares soon also.

    Having useful explanations along the way by JP gives credibility to a buying decision and continuing hopes of outstanding rewards eventually from this stage in Axion's business that remains early and perilous but whose efforts apparently retain the potential of vastly rewarding future success for shareholders.
    Feb 1 07:48 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why We Are Keynesians [View article]
    "Can you point to any evidence at all in our history that any generation has ever suffered a terrible tax burden due to the prior generation's massive spending hikes? "
    The West is choking on the debt run up by present and immediately preceding generations to finance their instant gratification and freeloading. This collectivist paradise has become so economically inefficient, expensive and requires such stupendous debt financing for the foreseeable future that today's young face the prospect of becoming the first US generation that can expect a lower standard of living than it's predecessors.
    Jan 29 10:23 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Time To Again Take A Flier On Coal [View article]
    Firewood aged and burned correctly does not have to emit the kinds of smoke seen pouring out of too many users' chimneys. More people are burning wood than is evident just from seeing the smoke that belches out of the most visible user's flues. The same fools can be observed repeatedly causing the mischief because they habitually damp down the air supply far too low in a mistaken and dangerous effort to get more mileage from the wood they are burning.

    That is a major problem with wood burning and it is unfortunate that this avenue of independence may be hindered by governments when it is improper operation that is more of a problem than wood burning per se.

    Perhaps the "internet of things" will allow government regulators squelch the abusers rather than all wood burners via increased data and interconnectedness of devices which can be monitored, which would include wood stoves. Nah, that possibly defensible use of government overreach might actually make some sense.
    Jan 24 02:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • eBay - Icahn's Next Target, Has More Upside [View article]
    "Perhaps the high fees in relationship to $21.5 billion in merchandise volume is limiting top line growth."

    No "perhaps" about it. Ebay has hiked fees repeatedly to reach 10% now, which, along with CEO Donahoe's multi-year onslaught of onerous anti-small seller rules and 4% Paypal fees (all on the gross amount of the sale including shipping) has lost to Ebay the huge first-mover advantage it once overwhelmingly possessed. Ebay marketplace has been lagging overall internet sales growth for years now and besides Amazon, which is the first place most people think of rather than Ebay for online purchases, there is Alibaba and other strong overseas competition that has filled the void Donahoe created via short-term economizing on the site and excessive tariffs.

    Still, Paypal's growth has come mostly via captive Ebay users who are required to use it, so it's not entirely clear how it would weather separation as well as competition in peer-to-peer payments that seems certain to come. However, given the Wall Street incentive to monetize assets in a visible timeframe, Icann's plans need to be taken very seriously.
    Jan 24 10:09 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: Don't Be Left Holding The Bag [View article]
    Amidst the immense volume of advocacy for Intel's prospects found on SA from each side, this article seems to best capture the gist of the of that company's situation and and the historical context of their predicament vis a vis others who have been there such as Kodak.

    In sum, not good, especially with the likes of Krzanich having just been installed as CEO for his career-long loyalty to Intel's successes in areas of IT which are past their prime rather than in the disruptive fields where Intel has been badly stumbling for too many years now.
    Jan 21 02:44 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    "...the government will have recovered $15.3B of the $17.2B bailout it provided the financing arm of General Motors during the financial crisis..."

    Note the progression of US bailouts, from Chrysler in 1980, which was $1.2 billion, required truly massive concessions by dealers, workers and management, and was fully paid off 7 years in advance, to GM which will never pay off tens of $billions of taxpayer bailouts. This, rather than protect the taxpayers or bondholders, is what Washington DC now finds expedient in order to keep unviable dealerships, bloated management and ridiculous pension promises intact.

    And TBTF Wall Street now expects a public handout and bonuses every time it's fraudulent paper needs a fresh bailout, now a core part of their business model in the sorry state of crony capitalism, 21st century USSA.
    Jan 17 08:07 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Federal Reserve Overstepped Bounds With Monetary Policy [View article]
    Yes, the emperor has no clothes, this is a stock market bubble. Once the QE artificial life support is removed the article's projections of downside is probably conservative since so many $trillions have been created to obscure price discovery.

    Once TBTF Wall Street financial instruments have been shown to be every bit as fraudulent as was seen in 2008 and due to the sovereign balance sheet destruction that has been employed to save their issuers having rendered the US and other Western governments incapable of shock and awe much beyond the squandering of generations of societal wealth that has already occurred, true price discovery looms large enough to end the reserve status of the dollar, the risible "safe haven" and Tier 1 status of US Treasuries and to reorder the world entirely.
    Jan 16 11:12 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Alarmed Should We Be About The Rise In Part-Time Work? [View article]
    Interesting look under the surface of employment data.

    One reason that "voluntary" part time work may not have risen as expected due to tax changes is that the people who are affected know that their responses to their situations are actually involuntary. If I change the behavior I prefer due to proliferating government mandates and "offers I can't refuse," I know my response is involuntary. And, ACA subsidies are literally cut off steeply and abruptly at a certain income figure which creates an immediate gaping negative return for earning just above the threshold.

    Behavioral modification is well-known and deliberate on the part of our "betters" in government and academia, so it shouldn't be a surprise that some of the subjects of their tinkering, meddling and often unwelcome interventions are aware of the manipulation.
    Jan 16 10:38 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney: 'Desperation' Is A Stinky Cologne [View article]
    "...what is to stop a foreign firm from buying a JCP or SHLD just for the real estate alone?"

    Good idea.....wait a minute, JCP already mortgaged their best real estate.
    Jan 15 05:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney: 'Desperation' Is A Stinky Cologne [View article]
    I have no chihuahua in this argument although Ron Johnson did prove rather indisputably that there is little carryover between Apple Stores and JCP. But I do recommend that the BOD and Ullman get paid strictly on commission based on the company's net profits, when and if. That should start to right the wrongs they wreaked on the company when they agreed to pay Johnson and his entourage nosebleed compensation with any extras he could dream up thrown in.
    Jan 15 03:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Inequality: Does It Matter? [View article]
    RIQ - School vouchers allowing parents and students choice is the only way to fix the schools in the US. There is plenty of money being spent on dysfunctional schools already and adding even more layers of Federal bureaucracy and requirements will only make the worst schools even more wasteful and depressing in their outcomes.
    Jan 15 11:01 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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