When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do? -- John Maynard Keynes

Monday, March 31, 2014

Obama Clueless, Congress Clueless, NSA In Charge


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Read President Putin's Speech on Ukraine and Crimea

If you want to really understand what is going on in Crimea and the Ukraine, read Putin's full speech here: http://eng.kremlin.ru/transcripts/6889 -- excerpt below --

President of Russia: Vladimir Putin addressed State Duma deputies, Federation Council members, heads of Russian regions and civil society representatives in the Kremlin, March 18, 2014 ...."Dear friends, we have gathered here today in connection with an issue that is of vital, historic significance to all of us. A referendum was held in Crimea on March 16 in full compliance with democratic procedures and international norms. More than 82 percent of the electorate took part in the vote. Over 96 percent of them spoke out in favour of reuniting with Russia. These numbers speak for themselves. To understand the reason behind such a choice it is enough to know the history of Crimea and what Russia and Crimea have always meant for each other. Everything in Crimea speaks of our shared history and pride. This is the location of ancient Khersones, where Prince Vladimir was baptised. His spiritual feat of adopting Orthodoxy predetermined the overall basis of the culture, civilisation and human values that unite the peoples of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The graves of Russian soldiers whose bravery brought Crimea into the Russian empire are also in Crimea. This is also Sevastopol – a legendary city with an outstanding history, a fortress that serves as the birthplace of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. Crimea is Balaklava and Kerch, Malakhov Kurgan and Sapun Ridge .... I would like to reiterate that I understand those who came out on Maidan with peaceful slogans against corruption, inefficient state management and poverty. The right to peaceful protest, democratic procedures and elections exist for the sole purpose of replacing the authorities that do not satisfy the people. However, those who stood behind the latest events in Ukraine had a different agenda: they were preparing yet another government takeover; they wanted to seize power and would stop short of nothing. They resorted to terror, murder and riots. Nationalists, neo-Nazis, Russophobes and anti-Semites executed this coup. They continue to set the tone in Ukraine to this day...." (read the full transcript at the link above)

There's a lot more to this story than what the mainstream media and current regime in Washington D.C., would have you believe.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Stock Markets are Rigged, Michael Lewis, 60 Minutes

Usual suspects--Wall Street, Big Banks, High Frequency Traders --

60 Minutes Video - Steve Kroft reports on a new book from Michael Lewis that reveals how some high speed traders work the stock market to their advantage - CBS.com:
"Video Preview at link above: Rigged
Air Date: 03/28/14
Steve Kroft reports on a new book from Michael Lewis, "Flash Boys," that reveals how some high speed traders work the stock market to their advantage. Watch Kroft's report on Sunday, March 30 at 7 p.m. ET/PT."


US Housing Policy Hurts the Middle Class, Get America Off Welfare

Welfare? Corporate welfare, housing welfare, farmer welfare, etc.

Aggressive housing programs have not always helped the poor and middle class. The median net worth of American adults is now one of the lowest among developed nations—less than $45,000 ... That compares with approximately $220,000 in Australia, $142,000 in France and $54,000 in Greece. Almost a third of American adults have a net worth of less than $10,000. Those statistics don't convey the pain endured by millions of American families who lost their homes.(source infra)

Michael Milken: How Housing Policy Hurts the Middle Class - WSJ.com: " . . . . the private sector is well-positioned to assume much of the government's role. Thanks to booming capital markets and accommodative central banks, there is tremendous liquidity worldwide.... Investments in quality education and improved health will do more to accelerate economic growth than excessive housing incentives. That will give everyone a better chance to achieve the real American dream."

The problem in Washington is too much money, too much government and misallocating money on the wrong programs and policies. But will anyone tell Washington (assuming they will listen) that they are doing more harm than good?


Friday, March 28, 2014

Obama, Liar in Chief?

If Obama says it, it is probably a lie -- this is beyond the "if you like your health insurance, you can keep your health insurance" bald face lies (2009-2013), but also covers everything else, including national security -- Glenn Greenwald makes the point in a recent interview --

Omidyar's New Site Hopes to Beat the Surveillance State Bloody: "..."You know, there's a lot of debates about journalism and how it should best be practiced, but I think everybody ought to agree that journalism is supposed to be about informing the public of the truth, and especially debunking official lies," Greenwald said. "And a big part of our story and why we wrote it and published it was because you have President Obama running around saying that we only kill or target people when there's a near certainty there won't be civilian deaths, and, of course, we know that to be completely false"...."

Completely false = LIE


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Large Brick and Mortar Retail is Over

OK, maybe not completely over--small, niche, brick and mortar stores may make it, but there will be fewer big-box and department retail stores as shopping moves increasingly online:

A 'tsunami' of store closings expected to hit retail: "... Experts said these headlines are only the tip of the iceberg for the industry, which is set to undergo a multiyear period of shuttering stores and trimming square footage. Shoppers will likely see an average decrease in overall retail square footage of between one-third and one-half within the next five to 10 years, as a shift to e-commerce brings with it fewer mall visits and a lesser need to keep inventory stocked in-store, said Michael Burden, a principal with Excess Space Retail Services ... January is typically a busy month for retailers to announce store closings. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, 44 percent of annual store closings announced since 2010 have occurred in the first quarter. But this year's closings are likely indicative of a new trend, sparked by more and more shoppers turning to the Web, experts said...."

Stores Confront New World With Less Foot Traffic - WSJ.com: "Retailers got only about half the holiday traffic in 2013 as they did just three years earlier, according to ShopperTrak, which uses a network of 60,000 shopper-counting devices to track visits at malls and large retailers across the country. The data firm tracked declines of 28.2% in 2011, 16.3% in 2012 and 14.6% in 2013."

THE RETAIL DEATH RATTLE Washington's Blog: "...The number of visits to retail stores has plummeted by 50% since 2010. Please note this was during a supposed economic recovery. Also note consumer spending accounts for 70% of GDP. Also note credit card debt outstanding is 7% lower than its level in 2010 and 16% below its peak in 2008. Retailers like J.C. Penney, Best Buy, Sears, Radio Shack and Barnes & Noble continue to report appalling sales and profit results, along with listings of store closings. Even the heavyweights like Wal-Mart and Target continue to report negative comp store sales. How can the government and mainstream media be reporting an economic recovery when the industry that accounts for 70% of GDP is in free fall?..."


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Five Most Outrageous Company Perks (video)

The Five Most Outrageous Company Perks in the World: Video - Bloomberg: "In the battle for top talent... Who cares about competitive pay and good health benefits? More companies are luring workers with outrageous perks. In Bloomberg's Ranx, we go beyond the paycheck. (Source: Bloomberg, March 9, 2014)"


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Russia, Crimea, American Mainstream Media Lies

The Crimean peninsula was controlled by, or actually part of, Russia from the 18th to 20th centuries until it became part of an independent Ukraine following the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.

"Ironically, US media portrays the actions of Putin to Hitler. The reality is right-wing Hitleristic goons now occupy key posts in Ukraine. Even the generally-liberal Huffington Post recognize that fact. Please consider The Neo-Nazi Question in Ukraine. The Obama administration has vehemently denied charges that Ukraine's nascent regime is stock full of neo-fascists despite clear evidence suggesting otherwise." 
(source infra)
Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: Was Russia's Annexation of Crimea Illegal? Who Has the Right to Decide? Transformation of Mainstream Media: " .... Take Your Pick: Story A or Story B

Story A: Crimea has historically been a part of Russia for centuries. Russian troops in Crimea were there by agreement. Thus, Russia did not invade Crimea. The US [government] fomented trouble in Ukraine (and got it, but did not like the result). Crimea voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia. There is no legitimate reason to disavow that vote, whether we like the result or not. The US reneged on promises to not let NATO expand into Eastern bloc countries. Obama and US officials lie through their teeth, even to the point of supporting neo-nazis now running Ukraine. The IMF is now poised to wreck what remains of Ukraine.

Story B: Russia invaded Crimea. The vote for independence was illegal. It doesn't matter that the US reneged on promises not to put NATO in Eastern Europe. Any force Obama wants to apply to Russia is valid. Sending US missiles to the Czech Republic and Ukraine makes sense. Freedom fighters now run Ukraine.

I Vote for Story A...."

Read more at http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2014/03/was-russias-annexation-of-crimea.html#x4mxGRXMFuFjRVgj.99


Monday, March 24, 2014

The Federal Reserve, Before and After Lehman, Clueless, Confused, Inept

This so far, is the most under reported story of the 21st Century:

The Story of the Federal Reserve the Day After Lehman Brothers Collapsed - TheStreet: "The meeting after Lehman failed showed that central bankers, despite having witnessed Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch tumble and unemployment rates begin to surge, remained oblivious to how much further the crisis would deepen." (read more at the link above)


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Do People, Central Banks, or Governments, Learn from Financial Crises?

Short answer: No. The US government and Federal Reserve are now in a bubble to bust to bubble repeating economic cycle and trap -- and they wonder why there is anemic recovery --

When he was asked what people would learn from the whole financial crisis, Jeremy Grantham said, “In the short term a lot, in the medium term a little, in the long term, nothing at all. That would be historical precedent.” (source)


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Four Horsemen of Tech, Eric Schmidt video

Four Horsemen of Tech Will Change World: Schmidt: Video - Bloomberg: "March 6 -- (Bloomberg) -- Some of the biggest names in tech are in Santa Monica, California this week, at Oasis: The Montgomery Summit. On that list is Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt. Here, he discusses the most powerful forces in tech with Bloomberg West anchor Emily Chang and Google Idea's Jared Cohen."


Friday, March 21, 2014

Offshore Tax Evasion

It is a major problem and just one more aspect of our need for comprehensive tax reform -- (more info at the links below) --

Hearing Offshore Tax Evasion Panel 1 | Video | C-SPAN.org: "Witnesses from a Swiss bank and the U.S. Department of Justice testified on efforts to collect unpaid taxes from offshore bank accounts."

Senator Levin Offshore Bank Accounts | Video | C-SPAN.org: "Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) talked with reporters after a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Permanent Investigations hearing on offshore tax haven banks."


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Next frontier for lean? How about government?

Next frontiers for lean | McKinsey & Company: "....lean operating principles were applied to service industries that had not previously thought of themselves as having factory-like characteristics. Consider these examples from the Quarterly during lean’s early forays into services: Retail banking - “Since it involves a physical process not unlike an assembly line, the handling of paper checks and credit-card slips lends itself readily to lean-manufacturing techniques. And their impact can be dramatic: the faster a bank moves checks through its system, the sooner it can collect its funds and the better its returns on invested capital.” Devereaux A. Clifford, Anthony R. Goland, and John Hall, “First National Toyota,” McKinsey Quarterly, November 1998, mckinsey.com."

Great, now who is going to apply lean operating principles to government?


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How Roubini Would Invest $1 Million Right Now (video)

Roubini: How I'd Invest $1 Million Right Now: Video - Bloomberg: "March 6 (Bloomberg) -- Nouriel Roubini has been known as Dr. Doom since he predicted the 2008 financial crisis, but Roubini feels it's time for a new nickname. He thinks "Dr. Realist" is a better fit. So we wanted to know if the self-proclaimed "Dr. Realist" would ever invest in riskier assets like bitcoin or even stocks."


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Everything you need to know about the Ukraine "crisis" in one headline screenshot

Screenshot of DRUDGE REPORT 2014® headline, March 17, 2014:

screenshot of DrudgeReport headline March 17 2014 - Russia Laughs at Obama Sanctions, Calls Him Prankster

Everything you need to know about the Ukraine "crisis" in one headline screenshot above -
"Russia Laughs at Obama Sanctions, Calls Him Prankster"

Of course, there is also this:
and then this from the UN:

When you have Susan Rice as your National Security Advisor and Samantha Power as your UN Ambassador, and an amateur in the White House, what do you expect?


Monday, March 17, 2014

What Kills Us? Understanding Risk (video)

What Kills Us? How We Understand Risk - One of the things that baffles me about people is how they completely misunderstand risk. Lots of my friends panic about things that have no real chance of killing them, but ignore the things that will. This can lead us to make irrational decisions, and sometimes irrational policy. What really will kill us? Watch and learn.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Obama makes Frank Underwood look like a Sunday School teacher

Yeah, that Frank Underwood --

"Obama Will Appear At Two Super PAC Events," by HuffPost's Sam Stein: "[T]hese events [will] not be fundraisers. Instead, the president [will] speak before gatherings hosted by House Majority PAC and Senate Majority PAC in order to draw an audience ... After he [is] gone, ... the checks [will] be exchanged. But Obama's decision to even make these appearances -- which was reported in late February -- reflects another step in his continued embrace of a campaign financing system that he has long deplored." http://goo.gl/r0UZhk (source: Mike Allen, Politico)

Hope and $$$Change!


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Blankfein says China Is the 21st Century Story (video)

Blankfein: China Is the 21st Century Story: Video - Bloomberg: "Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein comments on the importance of China's growth to the global economy. He speaks with John Dawson on Bloomberg Television's "On The Move Asia."" (Feb 11, 2014 via Bloomberg TV)


Friday, March 14, 2014

Chicago, Situation Close To Hopeless

Don't look now, but Chicago is but a short hop, skip and jump from being another Detroit --

Chicago credit rating takes major hit - chicagotribune.com: "Moody’s concluded Chicago has the highest level of unfunded pension debt “of any rated U.S. local government.” Even if Emanuel secures changes to pension obligations that he seeks from the General Assembly, the city may still not contribute enough money to pension systems to restore their health because of practical and political considerations, the report concluded." (read more at the link above and here)


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Did Oil rig worker see Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 go down?

Map of Oil Rig Worker location where Malaysia Airline Flight MH370 last seen?

Map above shows Oil Rig Worker Location (photo of Google Map of coordinates)

Oil rig worker saw Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 go down: report - National | Globalnews.ca: "The oil rig worker provided GPS coordinates of his location and an approximate location where he saw the plane. “From when I first saw the burning (plane) until the flames went out (still at high altitude) was 10 to 15 seconds,” he wrote. “There was no lateral movement, so it was either coming toward our location, stationary (falling) or going away from our location.”" (read more at link above)


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

WTF! Once a Plane Flies Offshore Over Water, Nobody Knows Where It Is!

Quite an air safety infrastructure, and technology, we have in 2014! Once a plane takes off over water, apparently, no one knows where it is, or where it goes. Some (Malaysia military*) say MH370 [Malaysia Airlines flight 370] crashed in the Malacca Straits. Others say no, it crashed hundreds of miles away from there into the Gulf of Thailand. With all due respect, does all of this sound like some US government program or what? [cf. Obamacare a/k/a healthcare.gov -- $500 million spent for a failed website] Clueless, inept, incompetent? Take your pick.

The FAA, and the rest of the aeronautical government-industrial complex, is stuck in a 1950s-1960s time warp. Outdated technology, and unwilling to update to 21st century technology like GPS, satellite tracking, etc. This would all be laughable but for the human tragedy involved. Everybody is in charge/nobody is in charge of our outdated aeronautical global standards and infrastructure. Yet we have billions to trillions of dollars to waste spying on our own innocent citizens, invading Iraq, etc. Talk about misplaced priorities. Washington doesn't need more tax money. It needs to reallocate and start spending taxpayer funds like a wise steward. Stewardship--something they know nothing about inside the beltway.

Happy flying!

*source: Mystery Malaysia flight may have been hundreds of miles off course - CNN.com


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Fascism, Corporatism, US Government, Edward Snowden

Staking $1 Billion That Herbalife Will Fail, Then Lobbying to Bring It Down - NYTimes.com: "....Corporate money is forever finding new ways to influence government. But Mr. Ackman’s campaign to take this fight “to the end of the earth,” using every weapon in the arsenal that Washington offers in an attempt to bring ruin to one company, is a novel one, fusing the financial markets with the political system...."

"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power."
-- Benito Mussolini

Yesterday, speaking to SXSW, Edward Snowden noted that one of the most insidious practices of the NSA was its turning over billions of dollars of public taxpayer funds AND policy-making functions to third-party corporate contractors (Booz Allen et al) who have no oversight, are hardly disinterested parties, have multiple conflicts of interest, and have no reason to protect the public interest or US Constitution --

Edward Snowden speaks at SXSW, calls for public oversight of U.S. spy programs | WTVR.com: " . . . In response to a question, Snowden said he had no regrets about his decision to leak the NSA documents. “Would I do it again? Absolutely. Regardless of what happens to me, this is something we had a right to,” he said. “I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution. And I saw the Constitution was being violated on a massive scale,” he added, to applause from the 3,000 people in the auditorium at the Austin Convention Center . . . " 


Monday, March 10, 2014

Snowden EU Testimony

Full Snowden European Parliament statement here:


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Obama Blew It, Secession of Crimea from the Ukraine

Russia Has Legitimate Interest in Ukraine: Klau: Video - Bloomberg: "March 6 (Bloomberg) -- Thomas Klau, Senior Policy Fellow at European Council on Foreign Relations, discusses the historic relationship between Russia and Ukraine, and possible actions from the EU amid the crisis. He speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “The Pulse.” (Source: Bloomberg)"

Russians Back Secession of Crimea and Pressure Kiev - NYTimes.com: "Leaders of both houses of Russia’s Parliament said on Friday that they would support a vote by Crimea to break away from Ukraine and become a new region of the Russian Federation, the first public signal that the Kremlin was backing the secessionist move that Ukraine, the United States and other countries have denounced as a violation of international law."

I am disappointed and amazed at the sophomoric Obama administration, particular the White House staff who think they are somehow being smart or cute by ridiculing President Putin. Putin is no Mitt Romney. And Obama and his administration have made a big mistake and repeated miscalculations in their handling of the Ukraine issue, particularly Crimea. The Russian naval base on Crimea is the equivalent of the US naval base at Pearl Harbor before Hawaii ever became a state. Crimea was part of Russia long before the Soviet Union came into being. It was nominally made a part of the Ukraine by Soviet Union premier Nikita Kruschev (himself a Ukrainian) but that had no practical effect since the Ukraine was then part of the Soviet Union. The majority of people on Crimea are ethnically Russian and speak Russian. Does Obama really think Putin is going to allow Ukraine, with Crimea in tow, to join the EU and NATO and take away Russia's Pearl Harbor--even when the majority of Crimeans want to be allied with, or part of, Russia? For more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimea and here.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Unemployment and the Economy, Where Are We REALLY?

Short answer: anemic

The population rose by over 2 million, but the labor force fell by over 200,000. People dropping out of the work force accounts for much of the declining unemployment rate. (source infra)

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: Nonfarm Payrolls +175,000, Household Survey +42,000; Unemployment Rate 6.7%: "Beneath the surface, things look worse again. The household survey shows a gain of employment of only 42,000 while unemployment rose by 223,000." (read more at the link above)

What a stinking recovery!


Friday, March 7, 2014

When you hear "government is the problem," here is an example

Politicians are bought off, lobbyists control the legislative agenda, the public interest is forgotten --

Who wants competition? Big cable tries outlawing municipal broadband in Kansas | Ars Technica: "Legislation introduced in the Kansas state legislature by a lobby for cable companies would make it almost impossible for cities and towns to offer broadband services to residents and would perhaps even outlaw public-private partnerships like the one that brought Google Fiber to Kansas City...."

Nothing like holding back progress (fast, competitively-priced internet) for the people, so greedy cable companies can have government-sponsored monopolies!


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Detroit, Third-World America, Obama Policies

Wonder why you don't read any mainstream media in-depth analysis of troubled Detroit? Or ever hear Obama talk about "what went wrong in Detroit?" After all, he is a community organizer! Detroit is a city run into the ground by Democratic Party politicians, big public unions, and the corrupt policies and practices inherent in the combination of those two. Don't look too closely or you will find the eventual, horrid outcome of progressive Democrat Party policies -- including that of the new mayor of New York City and the present occupant of the White House --

Progressivism Kills | National Review Online: "Detroit has the highest child-mortality rate of any American city, exceeding that of many parts of what we used to call the Third World. The rate of death before the age of 18 in Detroit is nearly three times New York City’s, and its infant-mortality rate exceeds that of Botswana. The main cause of premature death among the children of Detroit is premature birth — the second is murder...." (read the full article at the link above)


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

If you are going to SXSW

I recommend attending: 

Snowden 2.0: A Field Report from the NSA Archives
Monday, March 10 at 9:30AM - 10:30AM

Schedule | sxsw.com: "Gellman is one of three reporters entrusted by Edward Snowden last May with top secret NSA archives. In December, he was the first to interview Snowden face to face in Moscow. Nine months after breaking the PRISM story in The Washington Post, Gellman looks back at what we have learned, what it means, and what we still don't know. Snowden gave birth to an insurgency against the surveillance-industrial state. A counterinsurgency rose to defend the status quo. Gellman offers an insider's view of who is winning and why."

Presenter - Barton Gellman
The Century Foundation

Barton Gellman, a critically honored journalist and author, is senior fellow at the Century Foundation and Lecturer at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. He is one of three journalists entrusted by Edward Snowden last May with top secret NSA archives. In December, he was the first to interview Snowden face to face in Moscow. 


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Bitcoin and its inevitable collapse

Mt. Gox is just the beginning:

" ... The Bitcoin economy is highly vulnerable to attack. If an agent were to decide to attack Bitcoin, he has several strategies available. One could operate a mining botnet and slowly lower the Bitcoin market price by regularly selling small amounts of bitcoins with a declining price. As the honest miners are squeezed out, further manipulations of the Bitcoin system are possible. A second strategy is to pump & dump to generate volatility. Both strategies result in the honest mass market decamping for other fields. Once the market takes on the taint of criminality, the Feds are encouraged to shut it down by targeting the exchange makers; fear of criminality and the appearance of the Feds work together to cause the collapse." read more at: http://iang.org/papers/BitcoinBreachesGreshamsLaw.pdf


Monday, March 3, 2014

Consequences should be considered BEFORE the fact

Consequences should be considered before the fact—before deciding to join a government-union-corporate axis to push for immigration reform that well might help the overall rate of economic growth and profits, but evoke a lack of enthusiasm from the unemployed programmers who will have to compete with the new high-skilled immigrants, or an unwelcoming attitude towards the unskilled newcomers who drive down wages. Or before handing out multimillion-dollar bonuses to bankers so recently bailed out by the taxpayer. Or before exposing valuable technology to theft by China’s state-owned enterprises in order to sell a few more feet of rope in that emerging market (source: Saving Capitalism | The Weekly Standard)

  • Too many laws on the books.
  • Too many giveaways and special tax breaks.
  • Too many unintended consequences.

When is the last time Washington repealed laws, simplified government, really reduced the complexity and size of government, eliminated redundant programs, etc? Washington's main problem? Too much money. The NSA is just one example, Iraq is another -- if we had a smaller government budget, a smaller military, we would have never invaded Iraq as foolishly as Bush-Cheney did, the NSA would have never begun spying on US citizens for no good nor constitutional reason.  Sometimes you just have to take the credit card away from the stupid, although perhaps well-meaning in the moment, inept bureaucrats. I'd rather see Washington reallocate about 20% of the current US budget to building public infrastructure in the fifty states. Washington is too fat, too stupid, too lazy--living off the "fat of the land"--they don't know what "recession" is in Washington, they never took a cut in pay, nor suffered layoffs. Past time for reform and reallocation of priorities and resources at the federal level.


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Dollars, Euros, Gold

Currency has two primary purposes -- medium of exchange, and store of value -- when it loses either, you better have a viable option:

Argentina’s black market for hard cash: Buenos Aires deliverymen will bring the currency you need.: " . . . This year extreme inflation has sparked the country’s latest economic crisis, and locals are increasingly desperate to acquire foreign currencies. “Three things are stable here—dollars, euros, and gold,” Miguel Figueira, a Buenos Aires bank auditor, tells me. This isn’t the first time the peso has gone wobbly—in fact, many Argentines say they’re used to financial crises, which seem to occur like clockwork every 10 to 15 years. The most recent was in 2002, when the country defaulted on billions of dollars in debt. Hyperinflation saw the peso’s value slashed in half. Banks froze citizens’ savings accounts to prevent them from taking out their money, which had been deposited in dollars. Unemployment and poverty skyrocketed; the recovery took years. . . ." (read more at the link above)

When is the last time you heard the Fed concerned about the Dollar as medium of exchange or store of value?


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Obama's Big Brother Government in the Newsroom

1984 is here in the form of Obama's Big Brother Government --

Ajit Pai: The FCC Wades Into the Newsroom - WSJ.com: " . . . The government has no place pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories. Unfortunately, the Federal Communications Commission, where I am a commissioner, does not agree. Last May the FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country. With its "Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs," or CIN, the agency plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run. A field test in Columbia, S.C., is scheduled to begin this spring. . . ."

Update: Obama's FCC apparently now doing a healthcare.gov-type redo --
FCC backs off newsroom study - POLITICO.com: "Shannon Gilson said Friday in a statement, adding that a revised study will be released within the next few weeks. Additionally, she said media owners and journalists will no longer be asked to participate in the pilot study."


The Big Picture

Financial Crisis - The Telegraph

JohnTheCrowd.com | The Sailing Website

Craig Newmark - craigconnects