Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sen. Smalley is here

After a long, and largely pointless, legal battle by Norm Coleman a milestone in the march towards idiocracy has been reached. We have a "comedian" whose highlight in life is playing an effeminate talk show host and writing books with such brilliant titles as "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot." Naturally his opponent was not much better, as Coleman's claim to fame has been marry an actress nobody has ever heard of and defeat one of the worst performing presidential candidates years after his prime. After spending millions of dollars in campaign contributions to try to overturn the election, the national GOP looks even more inept that was previously thought possible. It is no wonder sane people do not run for politics when you think about the system in place.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Bernie's outta here

Glorious day everyone, I have finally seen justice done for Bernie Madoff. Like the truly evil being he is, Madoff only said he was sorry when he was sentenced. I can only pray that a few more of these crooks meet the same fate.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

He Madoff like a bandit

For once in this time of financial chicanery can I say I see the government giving a proper response to one of these crooks. By charging all of Bernie Madoff's assets as well as those of his wife as part of the fraud conviction, the government finally said that marrying a rich crook does not make you a clean person. Contrast this with the way Lehman Brother CEO Dick Fuld "sold" a multimillion dollar Florida home to his wife for $100. I'm not mathematician here, but at a price of $14 million, he sold it for 0.00071% of the value. I don't think even the worst crack house, with homeless people smoking crack in the doorway, missing half the floors, and on fire, would lose that kind of value. There should be joint liability in financial crimes between husband and wife. It's not like these wives just sit at home oblivious to the work of their husbands, they need to know what is going on to keep the gravy train rolling.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Idiocracy upon us

A rapper was invited to sing in the Louisiana State House about having sex with Halle Berry. How this embarrassment is allowed is beyond me.

Monday, June 22, 2009

huge volume lately

I have noticed a giant upswing in volume to this blog despite not having posted anything in at least a week. Well, on the good side I feel the economy is probably bottoming out and hiring is going to start up again once the consumers feel that they can spend without worrying about being homeless the next week.

On the news front, I am awaiting the Federal Open Market Committee meeting tomorrow to see what the Fed does with the prime rate. Since it is pretty much zero, they can only raise it or do nothing. The Fed will also be releasing some policy statements, so it will be closely watched by economics nerds like myself.

My apologies for not writing more often, I am quite busy studying Spanish, taking the GRE to start my masters in economics, and working full time. Once some major economic news comes out, expect a steady flow of posts.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

tough crowd

In between investors complaining about banks repaying the massive bailout known as TARP and the bankruptcy of the American auto industry, I notice nobody posts comments though I get a regular stream of visitors. I like getting comments because they allow me to tailor the posts to what you want to hear about.

Anyhow, I got bored reading about Maine considering becoming the second state to have a unicameral legislature and thought about what would happen if Texas did the same. I proposed therefore a grand scheme in which it would work on the same principles as the US Congress, but in reverse. Instead of having that popular votes divided up by individual districts to give more populous areas more votes, the individual administrative units would each get a vote as in the Senate. Since Texas has 254 countries ranging from the 67 people who live in Loving County to the nearly 4,000,000 in Harris, a wide range of rural to urban representation is possible. To balance out such a plan, urban areas will be given one extra representative for each hundred thousand people within the county, so Harris County(Houston) would have 37 total seats (1+3,693,000/100000). In total this system would have a total of 407 seats, with 45% of the votes in urbanized counties and 55% rural. It would make for interesting elections when you had some rancher from West Texas representing his 67 people just the same as the 37 for Houston. Since the county lines are not redrawn every decade, this would prevent gerrymandering and create a greater voice for the smaller, less populous parts of Texas.
The county seat of the future most powerful county in Texas

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Thought on the GM bankruptcy

While I hear words like socialist and fascist thrown around by the drones on talk radio, the reality is that the GM bankruptcy and government takeover are symptoms of a problem which has been festering for decades. Beginning in the 1970's when airlines were deregulated, companies began to get larger and larger through mergers and political connections, so that they help political sway over the "representatives of the people" in this country.

As this political control deepened, the companies became more and more inefficient, such that the firms began extorting money from government in the form of bailouts and favorable deals to avoid bankruptcy. Arguments such as the loss of jobs, the loss of money, that there would no longer be an American company leading in x industry, these canards all spewed forth from firms like GM, United, Chrysler, Ford, etc. Chrysler was the first to go with tin cup in hand to beg for an monetary indulgence for their sin of making poor quality cars, and Iaccoca got his wish for $1.5 billion in loan guarantees. In the 1980's there were bank bailouts such as the Continental Illinois National Bank and the S&L scandal (not to be confused with the SNL scandal, how can a show that once had Adam Sandler and Chris Farley now be so unfunny). In the 1990's there were scandals which were covered up by the media such as the sale of oil from the naval reserves to a company with intimate ties to the vice president's family. The new decade brings with it TARP, the GM and Chrysler bailouts, the stimulus package(mostly a state government and social program bailout, along with bailouts of alternative energy producers by keeping the PTC in place).

This crony capitalism has been going on since the early days of the US, when men like Leland Stanford used connections to government to buy land where the railroads would be built to profit immensely. There has never been, and never will be a truly free market. Anyone who tells you otherwise is naive or trying to get something out of deregulation.