I’m listening to Rand Paul right now. I hope he realizes that if he plays this right, he can break right through into the consciousness of the Low Information Masses. He needs to add some humor… The subject is perfect, this is a defining opportunity for him. Erik if you are in DC, slip him some humorous and on-target lines.
I’ve voted at the same precinct in northern Virginia for the last four elections. It’s one in McLean which McCain carried, which puts it in a distinct minority for Fairfax County. In 2008, Obama won Fairfax County roughly 60-40%, but in my precinct McCain won 50-49. Turnout today is epic. Usually at our precinct there are about 10-12 people in line; last election there were | Read More »
The Imperial GOP
For those of you on the Left who aren’t objecting to (or who favor) Obama’s immigration overreach, I hope you realize that you won’t have any moral authority to respond if in the future if a Republican President did the following: 1. Suspended all OSHA inspections of factories because of the “more important need to enable employers to focus on job creation instead of costly | Read More »
Since the end of the recession, the number of jobs for those under 55 has DECLINED
John Hussman writes a wonderful weekly note about the markets and government policy. He made one of the more remarkable observations I’ve heard in many years in his note this week: Last week, we observed “Real income declined month-over-month in the latest [Department of Labor] report, which is very much at odds with the job creation figures unless that job creation reflects extraordinarily low-paying jobs. | Read More »
Another $2 billion of taxpayer money lost on solar companies
Yesterday, Solar Trust of America filed bankruptcy. Exactly a year ago, Obama’s DOE gave them a $2.1 billion loan guarantee to build a factory. The plant was supposed to create 1,000 direct jobs and 7,500 indirect jobs. Well, maybe for the attorneys. BTW, the CEO had a background in commodities trading and property management. Clearly, Steve Chu has serious skills as a venture capitalist! | Read More »
In the health care debate it’s interesting to come up with examples illustrating the potential reach of a government which can “compel individuals to engage in commerce”. But while eating broccoli and buying funeral insurance are nice examples of the absurdity of the mandate’s possible effect, it is also useful to think about some more practical and chilling actions a newly empowered leftist government could | Read More »
More of the Great Democrat MF Global Scandal
Now we see that there is documentary evidence that Jon Corzine illegally defrauded small investors of, oh, about $1.6 billion. Kudos to the hard-working House Financial Services subcommittee researcher who found the memo. Isn’t it time to ask why said memo has avoided the notice of the diligent Democrat drones at the Justice Department? Maybe we should wonder why Bradley Abelow, who one might reasonably | Read More »
Yet another loan guarantee recipient in trouble
Abound Solar received a $400 million loan guarantee from the DOE. Now it’s halting production and laying off 180 workers. By the way, $400 million divided by 180 workers equals $2.2 million per job. There’s also an interesting article in Technology Review about Alta Devices, a solar company that’s doing it right. Since 2007, Alta has been working on ways to scale up production of | Read More »
Not one more Solyndra- two!!
From Technology Review- it seems that BOTH Fisker AND A123 Systems are ready to bite it. Fisker has received a loan guarantee of $528 million from US taxpayers, and has built 1,500 cars of which “several hundred” have been sold. That works out to a cost of $350,000 per car built. And nobody wants to buy them! But that’s all OK, all the money went | Read More »
Who REALLY won Nevada?
OK, Romney won Nevada in a landslide. (Actually 48% of the vote, but almost half, which is good for Romney…) This is confirmation that his nomination is inevitable, right? Not so fast. In 2008, Mormons were about 27% of the vote. Romney won 95% of the Mormon vote. This time around the turnout was light, and (according to the AP) Mormons were at least | Read More »
Romney’s taxes, and the carried interest tax rate
There’s a really interesting article in today’s Wall Street Journal about Romney’s tax return. It describes how the carried interest tax rate paid by Romney could be problematic. Carried interest income is a special type of income category claimed by people who manage venture capital and other investment activities. It’s paid to compensate them for their work in making and supervising investments. The tax rate | Read More »
MF Global- enter George Soros stage left
The latest about MF Global. Immediately after the bankruptcy, the trustee for the bankruptcy sold $2 billion of Italian government bonds to JP Morgan and George Soros. Today we learn that the trustee sold these assets AT A 5% DISCOUNT to the market value of those bonds at the time of the sale. The bonds were trading for 94% of their face value when the | Read More »
Do scandals matter?
Do scandals matter? Well, the House of Representatives has changed parties twice in the last fifty years- in 1994 and in 2006. It’s useful to note that both times, scandal involving leaders of the party controlling the House played a major role in the change. 1994 The 1994 scandal was really a combination of two scandals, the House Post Office scandal and the House | Read More »
The latest on MF-Obamagate
You know, it’s about the $1 billion + (exact amount still unknown) that Corzine stole from client funds at MF Global. The scandal that Republicans prefer to ignore… 1. The Agriculture Committee in the House has called Corzine to testify. Meanwhile any committees with anything to do with finance are doing nothing. 2. The CFTC yesterday finally passed rules regarding brokerage company use of funds, | Read More »
MF Global #2
One explanation for where the missing $600 million of customer funds held by MF Global went is that MF needed the money to collateralize its bad bets on European sovereign debt. There is another, bigger, example of similar misuse of customer funds, perpetrated with the knowledge and consent of the Obama administration. The Federal Reserve recently allowed Bank of America to transfer $75 TRILLION of | Read More »
The latest on MF-Obamagate
Time for my weekly rant about Corzine, Obama and MF Global. Reminder- MF Global, led by Obama best bud John Corzine, not only went bankrupt, but it took with it $600 million of client funds which were not its property. In the real world we’d call that theft, but Washington Democrats ignore it and Washington Republicans…. ignore it too. This could be the issue that | Read More »
More about Corzine and the Obama Administration
I wrote last week about how Republicans have a golden issue to (properly) tie the Obama administration to the Wall Street shenanigans, and to demonstrate that our financial problems are not problems of capitalism, but rather are problems of enforcement and Democrat corruption. It’s been in the news that MF Global may have “borrowed” (better words are “fraudulently misappropriated” or just “stolen”) about $600 million | Read More »
Obama- Corzine > Bush-Lay
To highlight the differences between nice-guy Republicans and tough-guy Democrats, take a look at Exhibit A, the differing treatments by the press and pols of Ken Lay versus John Corzine. Ken Lay, you may recall, was the CEO of Enron, originally a Texas pipeline company and later principally a producer of arcane financial products whose function was to hide the stupid investments of Enron management. | Read More »
Wake up, Republicans
Wake up, Republicans! It’s understandable that there’s a tough, high stakes race for the Presidential nomination right now. But to both the candidates and bloggers, I suggest that you simply press Cain to get the facts out, and spend most of your time focusing on the really big issues/opportunities in front of you now. First of all, this internecine warfare is going to harm whoever | Read More »
Your Fed at work!
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is soliciting bids to build a system to monitor not only blogs and newspaper articles about it, but also even conversations on Facebook and Twitter. The Fed wants to “identify and reach out” to bloggers and influencers. And what? Send us to the Gulag?? Where’s the ACLU when we really need it? For that matter, where’s Congress? Here | Read More »
August Social Security payments will NOT increase the debt
There is a very interesting op-ed about Social Security in today’s Wall Street . It is written by Thomas Saving, who served two terms as a public trustee of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds. Saving states that making Social Security payments will not have any impact on the legal value of the total public debt. Here is the money quote: By law the | Read More »
Was Moody’s action political?
One might assume that Moody’s action yesterday to put the US credit rating on watch for downgrade was a perfectly reasonable response to the budget impasse. But if that were the case, then why, for instance, hasn’t Moody’s changed its outlook on Belgium, which has not even had a government for the last 13 months?? Or why hasn’t Moody’s downgraded ALL euro country sovereign debt | Read More »
Speaking over the pundits’ heads
I have three thoughts- 1. I would really love to see a debt deal, but if it’s not possible, then I would not feel that the Republicans “lost” if we went with something short term. Obama does not want a deal at all. So there most likely won’t be one. Obama’s only hope in 2012 is to blame the economy on the Republicans because of | Read More »
The real benefit of the corporate jet depreciation change is 1% of what the Treasury says it would be
Just a quick note, it’s a bit late now, but… As I understand it, the oft-discussed tax change regarding corporate jets is to change the depreciation period for jets from 5 years back to 7. We were told that the impact on federal receipts would be small, something like $4 billion. But in fact, the REAL impact is less than 1% of that. Here’s why. | Read More »
The New York Times is reporting that major banks are now engaging in “wholesale, unsolicited mortgage debt forgiveness”. They are arbitrarily reducing the amounts which borrowers owe. Special consideration goes to those who are at “high risk”, meaning, for instance, holding underwater option ARMs. But why do I also think that this is another handout to the “disadvantaged”, who are anything but that under this | Read More »