Archive for May, 2011

Daily Readings 05-31-2011

By: admin
Published: May 31st, 2011

Japan pensioners volunteer to tackle nuclear crisis – A group of more than 200 Japanese pensioners are volunteering to tackle the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima power station.

Economists Downgrade Prospects for GrowthWeakness in First Quarter Now Showing Signs of Persisting

Western Graduates Head To China for InternshipsAsian Work Experience Helps Résumés Stand Out in Tough Market

Is Obama above the law?The U.S. intervention in Libya’s civil war, intervention that began with a surplus of confusion about capabilities and a shortage of candor about objectives, is now taking a toll on the rule of law.

Pro-Obama Media Always Shocked by Bad Economic NewsUnexpectedly! As megablogger Glenn Reynolds, aka Instapundit, has noted with amusement, the word “unexpectedly” or variants thereon keep cropping up in mainstream media stories about the economy.

Not So Cool RulesThe regulatory tax on Americans is now larger than the income tax.

The U.S. Postal Service Nears Collapse – Delivery of first-class mail is falling at a staggering rate. Facing insolvency, can the USPS reinvent itself like European services have—or will it implode?

Go figure! – Jobs ‘experts’ can’t get it right

Austerity Works – by Niall Ferguson – In bemoaning the pain of fiscal responsibility, the Democrats show they still haven’t learned the lessons of Europe.

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Cartoons 05-30-2011

By: admin
Published: May 30th, 2011

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Daily Readings 05-30-2011

By: admin
Published: May 30th, 2011

Economic Stagnation Explained, at 30,000 Feet

The man in the aisle seat is trying to tell me why he refuses to hire anybody. His business is successful, he says, as the 737 cruises smoothly eastward. Demand for his product is up. But he still won’t hire.

“Why not?”

“Because I don’t know how much it will cost,” he explains. “How can I hire new workers today, when I don’t know how much they will cost me tomorrow?”

Growing Germany has less inflation than shrinking Greece

Usually more growth begets more inflation. But ironically, fiscal austerity and higher taxes are boosting inflation in Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Italy.

Where’s the Recovery? Hopes For Economic Rebound Fade

At a time when things were supposed to be getting better they are instead turning worse: Commodity prices are eating into consumer spending, historically low interest rates haven’t done a thing to help housing, and, most worrisome, the job market rebound has been stopped in its tracks.

Mobius Says Financial Crisis ‘Around The Corner’

Mark Mobius, executive chairman of Templeton Asset Management’s emerging markets group, said another financial crisis is inevitable because the causes of the previous one haven’t been resolved

“There is definitely going to be another financial crisis around the corner because we haven’t solved any of the things that caused the previous crisis,” Mobius said at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club ofJapan in Tokyo today in response to a question about price swings. “Are the derivatives regulated? No. Are you still getting growth in derivatives? Yes.”

The total value of derivatives in the world exceeds total global gross domestic product by a factor of 10, said Mobius, who oversees more than $50 billion. With that volume of bets in different directions, volatility and equity market crises will occur, he said.

They can try to ‘delay and pray’ but the euro is running out of time

Before we can find solutions, which I will discuss at a later date, first the causes. Why is the euro in crisis? Because it was fundamentally flawed at its inception. Only good luck, strong economic growth and enlightened economic management could keep it together. In fact, the eurozone has had to suffer the opposite of all three.

Ten Reasons Why China is Different

The China doubters are back in force. They seem to come in waves – every few years, or so. Yet, year in and year out, China has defied the naysayers and stayed the course, perpetuating the most spectacular development miracle of modern times. That seems likely to continue….

Made in America: Manufacturing Jobs Are Coming Home

The tale of American manufacturing has long been one of woeful decline. Just about a year ago, China replaced the U.S. as the world’s No. 1 maker of things, and that seemed a sure sign that the glory days had faded for good. But all of a sudden the talk is of a “manufacturing renaissance,” to quote a new study by the Boston Consulting Group.

Comin’ this summer… $5 gas

Goldman Sachs’ crystal ball is proclaiming that oil will soon soar to $135 a barrel, and likely have service stations jacking up fuel prices to $5 a gallon in New York just like the summer of 2008 that preceded the recession.

China shuts battery factories due to lead poisoning

Battery factories across China have been closed amid fears about poisoning from metals used by the industry

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Daily Readings 05-27-2011

By: admin
Published: May 27th, 2011

A 62% Top Tax Rate?Democrats have said they only intend to restore the tax rates that existed during the Clinton years. In reality they’re proposing rates like those under President Carter

As Housing Goes, So Goes the EconomyThe Great Recession began with the bursting of the housing bubble. Today, nearly two years after the recession officially ended, the housing market is still in trouble.

Will Illinois Be America’s Greece?The chief fiscal officer of tax-and-spend Illinois is preparing to warn lenders that allowing it to borrow any more money would be a major risk. Will his be the first state to go bankrupt?

Texas Adds 732,000 Jobs in the Last Decade, and No Other State Has Created More Than 100,000 – Texas’s formula for economic success is a fairly simple one: Keep business regulations to a minimum, keep taxes low, and keep organized labor in the public and private sector in check

$500 Million Obama Administration Program Will Help Kids ‘Sit Still’ in KindergartenHealth and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told on Wednesday that the administration’s new $500 million early learning initiative is designed to deal with children from birth onward to prevent such problems as 5-year olds who “can’t sit still” in a kindergarten classroom

GE Sees Solar Cheaper Than Fossil Power in Five YearsSolar power may be cheaper than electricity generated by fossil fuels and nuclear reactors within three to five years because of innovations…

Look who’s been dumping their Apple holdings – During the quarter that Goldman Sachs reportedly sold 61% of its Apple shares at prices between $329 and $360, its sell-side Apple analyst was sending clients reports with a BUY rating and price target of $450.

The Economy Is Wavering. Does Washington Notice?When the economy weakened in the first quarter, Ben S. Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, and Obama administration officials said the slowdown was just a blip and growth would soon pick up. Today, many Wall Street economists are saying much the same thing: any day now, things will improve

The Audacity of Chinese FraudsTo pull off a fraud that humiliates the cream of the global financial elite, you need to have some friends. And where better to have them than at the local bank?

College is a scam — Let’s make some money off it – Debt creates generation of indentured servants

Schiff: National Inflation Association is a Fraud – Do not mess with Peter Schiff.

Out of BusinessIn the past, I realized our leaders were disingenuous when they spoke about “creating jobs” and “improving the economy.” Now, I have a slightly different take. After my experiences this year, and after giving this a lot of thought, I am adamant that our leaders have no business in the first place “creating jobs,” or “improving the economy,” or even claiming they have the ability to do so.

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Daily Readings 05-25-2011

By: admin
Published: May 25th, 2011

Obama skirts rule of law to reward pals, punish foes – If Obamacare is so great, why do so many people want to get out from under it?

IRS staff committed tax credit fraudMore than 100 employees of the Internal Revenue Service cheated the government by fraudulently claiming a first-time homebuyer tax credit included in the 2008 and 2009 economic stimulus packages, according to federal investigators.

Chrysler repays $7.6B in government loansWith a few computer keystrokes, Chrysler Group LLC sent $7.6 billion to the U.S. and Canadian governments on Tuesday, paying off most of the bailout money that saved the company from financial disaster just two years ago.

General Motors Will Never Repay TaxpayersObama’s spin on GM’s latest profit report is pure baloney

Al Gore Got ‘D’ in ‘Natural Sciences’ at Harvard In his commencement speech at Hamilton College on Sunday, former Vice President Al Gore told the graduates that global warming is “the most serious challenge our civilization has ever faced.” But as an undergraduate at Harvard University in the late 1960s, Gore–one of the most prominent spokesmen on climate change today–earned a “D” in Natural Sciences.

Dependency and Votes – by Thomas Sowell –

We don’t need to send the country into bankruptcy, in the name of the poor, by spending trillions of dollars on people who are not poor, and who could take care of themselves. The poor have been used as human shields behind which the expanding welfare state can advance.

The goal is not to keep the poor from starving but to create dependency, because dependency translates into votes for politicians who play Santa Claus.

Illinois on “verge of financial disaster”: treasurer – Even with a big income tax rate hike passed in January, Illinois is still spending about $5 billion more a year than it receives in revenue….LOL – IL needs even bigger tax hike?

The Daily Outrage: $90.5 million worth of the ‘Chicago Way’ of wasteOne in seven of the group’s weatherization projects have failed inspections, and the work it has contracted out has been the subject of multiple complaints, the Chicago Tribune reports. What’s more, because the group is not part of the government, it is not subject to open-records laws.

Another Way To Curb DeficitsPresident Obama is increasing government spending even faster than the budget numbers imply. That’s because some of his increased spending is disguised as cuts in taxes.

Engineering Undergrads Reap Top SalariesMany of the least popular majors, including naval architecture and marine engineering, command among the highest pay, while some popular subjects — elementary education and psychology — generate some of the lowest, according to the report.

What to Expect When You Start a BusinessThere are plenty of articles on how to start a small business, but few on what to expect. So here it is…

The U.S. fiscal solution: Follow Canada’s lead – by DAVID ROSENBERG

Canada did hit that debt wall nearly two decades ago as its deficits and debts became increasingly difficult to reverse.The federal government, both Liberals and Conservatives, borrowed and spent like drunken sailors for a long time. Similar actions unfolding in the U.S. today may well create the illusion of prosperity, but as any Canadian will tell you (or perhaps anyone from New Zealand a decade earlier), there is no such thing as a free lunch.

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Daily Readings 05-24-2011

By: admin
Published: May 24th, 2011

White House adds media position to combat unfavorable storiesJesse Lee, a member of the Obama administration’s new media department, will take on a new role in replying — at times aggressively — to stories that paint the administration in a bad light.

Will ‘Watchdog’ Media Report on Obama’s Stealth Tax Hike? New facts released by the office of House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., reveal a hidden tax increase in President Obama’s budget proposal.

It can go wrong? It will go wrong.Forget preparing for the “black swans,” investor Nassim Taleb’s name for the unpredictable crises that disrupt and damage our lives. We’ve stopped preparing for what economist Nouriel Roubini calls the “white swans”: the crises we can predict, and could even prevent.

RAHN: Banking on national economic suicideNew account reporting rule would drive out foreign capital

A Savage Lesson From Europe for Muni BondsThe consensus of the experts in municipal debt is that cities and states will make “the hard choices”—namely budget cuts, reductions in pension and health benefits, and tax cuts—to avoid defaulting on their bond obligations.

A Sign of Desperation at the FedThanks to Ben Bernanke’s new monetary “tools”, the Federal Reserve continues to operate in panic mode.

Boiling Point: Is The US Maxed Out? With the end of QE 2 closing in, the U.S. debt ceiling being breached and slower economic numbers coming in, one question stands out: How close are we to the Keynesian end point?

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Links 05-23-2011

By: admin
Published: May 23rd, 2011

Tax cheats among recipients of stimulus money – Thousands of companies that cashed in on President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus package owed the government millions in unpaid taxes, congressional investigators have found.

State and local governments may cut 450,000 jobs in FY2012Around 450,000 people who work for U.S. states, counties, cities, towns and villages could get pink slips in fiscal 2012, sharply up from the 300,000 positions shed this year, a report said on Monday. The number of job cuts will rise mainly because the federal stimulus program is ending while the cost of Medicaid is “spiraling,” said the report by UBS Investment Research.

Supreme Court orders California to release tens of thousands of prison inmates – The 5-4 decision represents one of the largest prison release orders in U.S. history. The court majority says overcrowding has caused ‘suffering and death.’ In a sharp dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia warns ‘terrible things are sure to happen.’

Jerry Brown calls prison ruling a reason for taxesA week after increased revenue estimates looked to frustrate Gov. Jerry Brown’s case for higher taxes, a Supreme Court ruling requiring California to reduce its prison population may help.

Treasurer says he would call bond houses, warn against lending to IllinoisIllinois chief fiscal officer said Monday he is willing to dial up the bond houses and finance companies to alert them that lending the state more money, as Gov. Pat Quinn has proposed, would be a “major risk.”

Why is America the ‘no-vacation nation’?“Americans maximize their… [happiness] by working, and Europeans maximize their [happiness] through leisure”

Skepticism grows over products touted as eco-friendlyEnvironmentalists and some consumers are questioning products promoted as green, saying that many companies are making the products out to be greener than they really are, a practice they call greenwashing

Shell FLNG – Game changer for energy industry

Good for business: ‘No speak English – no service’ sign leads to restaurant’s sales TRIPLINGSome chefs spend their lifetimes unsuccessfully slogging away to improve business. But all it took for Reedy Creek Diner chef Greg Simons in Lexington, North Carolina, was to put up a controversial language sign and he’s seen his sales treble.

QE2 was a bust – Economic data is worse than before

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