Category Archives: Economy

Economic Issues, Taxes, Capitalism

A Slap On The Wrist For Jon Corzine

I thought they had forgotten about the way he illegally took money from customer’s trust accounts and gambled it on high-risk investments – and lost it. He should be in prison for what he did. Instead he got a fine that amounts to pocket change for him and a lifetime ban from ‘CFTC markets’.

Big whoop. He is, after all, a Democrat and a FOO (Friend of Obama).

Corzine

“Jon Corzine Gets $5 Million Fine and Lifetime Ban for Tanking MF Global”

Five years after he oversaw the collapse of commodities brokerage MF Global Holdings Ltd., CEO Jon Corzine is finally paying the piper. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) sued Corzine for financial indiscretions at MF Global that saw the firm transfer some $700 million of customer money to its own accounts (they also loaned $175 million in customer funds to their U.K. subsidiary). The CTFC agreed to accept $5 million.

[…]

Corzine walked away from the Goldman fiasco with some $400 million so it’s hard to feel too sorry for him. But after paying his part of a $132 million settlement funded by Corzine and other MF Global execs to customers who lost funds, plus spending well over a hundred million on his US Senate and gubernatorial runs, it can’t be a ton of laughs to fork over another $5 million.”

More here

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Time For A Federal Program

“ILLINOIS ENDS 2016 WITH AN $11 BILLION IN UNPAID BILLS”

Though spending on government-worker salaries and pensions has grown at a rapid rate, many service providers and grant recipients are still awaiting payment.

[…]

Illinois state government has left the people of the Prairie State quite the stocking stuffer this holiday season: an $11 billion bill backlog that is expected to hit $14 billion by summer 2017.”

More at Illinois Policy.org

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Dr. Thomas Sowell Retires at 86

“Farewell,” by Dr. Thomas Sowell.

The man isn’t dead so I will try not to make this sound like a eulogy, but I will miss his contributions to conservative thought all the same.

At 86 years of age, the man has more than earned himself some respite, but I will admit to being very glad–and perhaps selfishly so–that he didn’t retire at the “normal” age of 65. He’s been just as valuable to the cause of conservatism in the last 20 years as in the previous 20 before that. His insights are particularly valuable because he is willing to ask the questions that few others are willing to ask, and he doesn’t shy away from the answers if they end up being uncomfortable ones.

(Kevin D. Williamson has a great tribute article from 2011 that expounds on a lot of this.)

I will simply close by saying that I think I speak for the entire Real Revo cob logger-ship when I say that we wish Dr. Sowell a pleasant retirement, and wish to thank him for his many years of tireless and eminently enlightening work.

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We Have Seen This Map Before…

But today Zero Hedge has a more thoughtful take on it.

“Here’s Where You Absolutely Don’t Want To Be “When It All Turns Ugly”

Map Shows Us Where We Don’t Want To Be When It All Turns Ugly h/t All News Pipeline

OK, this is actually pretty obvious – but it is worth pointing out that the “archipelago” of islands across the vast expanse of the United States that carried the vote for Hillary Clinton during the election – also happens to be a ring of the liberal cities that:

a) have exploded with crime, riots and unrest

b) have provided sanctuary for millions of illegal immigrants that have destabilized the country

c) are going bankrupt and will be unable to fulfill pension obligations, or pay their share of social security, welfare, etc.

d) have been foremost in advocating gun control, and ensuring that only criminals and police have guns, while 2nd Amendment arm-bearing citizen have flocked to the rural areas where their rights are not generally restricted

e) will be the first places to be become unstable during any major crisis – as soon as grocery store shelves go empty. Martial law will be the only way to maintain stability, and that will come at a further price to liberty.

f) will be the first place to line up for FEMA camps and beg for food, shelter and rations, again, at a further price to liberty

Of course, there are many more items that could be added to the list, but it gets tedious, and I think everyone gets the point.”

If you live in one of those progressive islands you might make a New Year’s resolution…

Happy New Year everyone.

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Russia Or Idaho?

Russia. But why Russia?

I wonder whether they have plans for things like a defense budget, energy and water supplies, or printing their own money?

It’s all so – silly but I, for one, wouldn’t mind seeing them leave the United States of America.

“California secession organizers say they’ve opened an embassy — in Moscow”

California gained an embassy in Russia last weekend, at least in the eyes of those who have promised to seek a statewide vote on secession, nicknamed “Calexit,” in 2018.

Louis Marinelli, a San Diego resident who is the leader of the group promoting an effort to turn the state into an independent country , organized the Moscow event that was publicized on social media.

“We want to start laying the groundwork for a dialogue about an independent California joining the United Nations now,” he said in an email Monday.”

More at the LA Times

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Ah, Socialism…

There is a lesson in this for Bernie Sanders supporters.

I know, I know. Bernie is different. He’s a ‘Democratic Socialist’. But here’s the thing. That’s what they all say. “I am the exception. This time it will work. Give me all power and I will create Utopia.”

It never works. It never has worked and never will. You can try to fool yourself. It may work. You may try to fool me. It will not work.

“Venezuela’s highest denomination banknote has ceased to be legal tender, in a move that has caused cash chaos and long queues at banks.”

The 100-bolivar note is worth just two US cents on the black market

President Nicolas Maduro said new higher-denomination bills would be fully distributed in January.

He has closed the borders with Brazil and Colombia until Sunday to stop “mafias” hoarding the currency abroad.”

Read the rest at BBC

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Well, Well. Another Story About The Failures Of Alternative Energy Sources

“Britain facing energy crisis that could see families pay extra to keep the lights on while neighbours ‘sit in the dark'”

Britain’s increasing reliance on “intermittent” renewable energy means that the country is facing an unprecedented supply crisis, a senior Ofgem executive has warned.

Andrew Wright, a senior partner at Ofgem and former interim chief executive, warned that households could be forced to pay extra to keep their lights on while their neighbours “sit in the dark” because “not everyone will be able to use as much as electricity as they want”.

Imagine that. Another multi-billion dollar boondoggle exposed.

Read the rest at the UK Telegraph

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“We Do Not Have a Trade Deficit”

We have a “capital surplus.”

Of course, investing in the United States already is a very attractive proposition, which is — almost everybody gets this wrong – the main reason why we have trade deficits.

Trade deficits are partly a question of consumer preference — American consumers really do like Hondas more than Japanese consumers like Buicks — but they are not mainly a question of consumer preference. They are mainly a question of investor preference — and investors prefer the United States, which is why there is almost twice as much foreign direct investment in the United States as in China, even though China’s economy has grown at a much faster rate over the past 20 years.

When we trade a shiny one million USD for a Chinese product, that Million USD must come back at some point. Sure, it might float out there or be held for a time (the USD is the world’s reserve currency after all, and is of great value to all), but they all eventually find their way home. If they were all used to simply buy our stuff, we wouldn’t have a trade deficit, or a very negligible one.

What actually happens is investment. Foreign investors see the US as a wonderful place to invest their money for a return. We’re stable, have pretty good infrastructure, have a relatively educated labor force, nobody has to set aside a 50% cut to bribe the cops to keep the doors open, etc. With those dollars reinvested into the American economy, we create more jobs here at home, obviously.

What happens, though, if we wish to place tariffs on those imports in order to protect American jobs? Surely, that will compel companies to stay and produce here, will cause people to buy domestic, which saves or creates more jobs here at home. Brilliant, right?

Well, Cato explains:

“Slapping higher tariffs on imports will only deprive foreigners of the dollars they would have earned by selling in the U.S. market. This, in turn, will reduce the supply of dollars on the international currency market, raise the value of the dollar relative to other currencies and make dollar-priced U.S. exports more expensive for foreign buyers, thus reducing demand for our exports. Eventually the volume of exports will fall along with imports, and the trade deficit will remain largely unchanged.”

It truly is the greatest irony that the tariffs meant to save American jobs would actually end up costing jobs. I curse the situation that we find ourselves in now, where we must for some reason beat back this long discredited know-nothingism.

Oh well. Maybe our kids and grandkids will feel our pain when they surely one day have to beat back the scourge of geocentrism.

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Trump Chose Taiwan On Purpose

He has said all along that the trade deficit needed to be balanced. He intends to place tariffs on merchandise that is not manufactured in the United States. To Americans that puts China’s exports in the center of the crosshairs. Whether we agree with what Mr. Trump intends to do or not, it looks like he’s going to do what he promised. Even before being sworn in as President he has indicated that the relationship between the US and China is going to change and he, rather than Beijing, will be setting the rules.

The Washington Pos has an article titled, “Trump’s Taiwan phone call was long planned, say people who were involved”.

Donald Trump’s protocol-breaking telephone call with Taiwan’s leader was an intentionally provocative move that establishes the incoming president as a break with the past, according to interviews with people involved in the planning.

The historic communication — the first between leaders of the United States and Taiwan since 1979 — was the product of months of quiet preparations and deliberations among Trump’s advisers about a new strategy for engagement with Taiwan that began even before he became the Republican presidential nominee, according to people involved in or briefed on the talks.”

Trump is shaking things up. You can bet that China’s leaders are huddling and trying to figure out a way that they can handle him so they can have the kind of control over US policy that they have enjoyed since the 1970’s when Jimmy Carter gave it to them.

If President-Elect Trump is planning to shake things up both here and abroad, like he has indicated, he will have to do things like this. He will have to take chances and spit in the bully’s eye. The hand-wringing in the media has already begun and will become cacophonous.

As an aside, this tariff will have a powerful effect on companies like Wal-Mart that sell primarily Chinese made products.

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As Sure As Night Follows Day…

So, will millenials riot over this? Probably.

Machines like this will make service faster and more accurate. McDonalds started out with a goal: Produce food fast and cheap. Now they are neither fast nor cheap – and their burgers make me feel like I have eaten a croquet ball.

“McDonald’s Reacts To $15 Minimum Wage, Announce All U.S. Stores To Be Automated”

mcdonalds-robots

This post comes from the “Department Of I Told You So.” Back in August we reported that a Heritage Foundation study looked at the effect of the $15.00 minimum wage on a state by state basis the progressive program would put between 7 and 9,000,000 Americans out of work. The first indication that the unemployment wave may be happening is the latest news that McDonald’s is planning to expand its digital self-serve ordering stations and table service to all of its 14,000 stores in the U.S.”

From The Lid

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I Have Been Waiting For This

It’s not just Elon Musk and solar power. It’s also the other boondoggles. Wind farms, for instance. All this alternative energy movement has been a way to transfer US government dollars to Democrat cronies. A lot of people have been made wealthy by this method and we have little or nothing to show for it.

The site Divided States has a partial list of the companies like Solyndra that took taxpayer money and then shut down. The money invested there went away and there has been no accounting for where it went.

This should be investigated in detail. The people who stole the money should go to jail.

“It’s Time to Stop Spending Taxpayer Dollars on Elon Musk and Cronyism”

solar power

The Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee have launched a probe into tax incentives paid to solar companies, according to The Wall Street Journal. The committee probes, led by their respective Republican chairmen, Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas and Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, have found an appropriate and disturbing target to begin this work.

SolarCity, a solar installation company set to be purchased by Tesla Motors Inc., is one of the seven companies named in the initial investigation.”

More at the Daily Signal

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I Don’t Believe In Boycotts… But What If They Want Us To?

“PepsiCo CEO Tells Trump Supporters to Take Their Business Elsewhere”

pepsico-1

This will not end well for shareholders of stocks in PepsiCo. Macy’s business model collapsed after they took a similarly adversarial position toward candidate Donald Trump in 2015. Now that Donald Trump has won the presidency, PepsiCo is following the same path as Macy’s.

Business organizations, and various boards of directorship, who hire these insufferable political activists within their corporations, are fools for allowing their shareholders to be put at risk by their Chief Executive Officers.”

Pepsico brands

Pepsico brands

More here

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This Would Have Done It

It was a stupid move by Hillary Clinton to tell coal producers that she intended to bankrupt them. The reaction from coal workers was intense and immediate. At first she tried to backtrack but then jumped in with both cankles and reiterated her intent to cause miners to lose their jobs. Other union workers in other traditional ‘Rust Belt’ industries also paid notice to the fact that Democrats intended to place environmental concerns atop their employment status.

That was not the only stupid move on her part, though. She did the same thing, threatening legal gun owners. The National Rifle Association has been on a tear for the last few months about their opposition to Clinton and her threats against gun ownership.

In all the time of her campaign Mrs. Clinton provided almost no policy promises – with the exceptions of the two above. Instead she spent her time on the stump vilifying Donald Trump and anyone who supported him. Even her staff was asking whether she had positions that they could tout.

That is the way to destroy a campaign. And it worked.

“Rank And File Union Members In The Rust Belt Propelled Trump To The White House”

100-years-of-dem-control

Tuesday’s election results sent shock waves across the globe after voters selected President-elect Donald Trump as the 45th president — but the results may not have been as surprising to America’s rust belt.

Trump’s message on jobs, trade and the economy resonated in battleground states that turned red for the first time in decades.”

From the Daily Caller

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NYP: “Hillary Clinton’s big ideas for tanking the US economy”

‘Tanking it further’, they mean.

clinton-fbi-probe-feature Hillary says she has a cabinet full of ideas. Unfortunately, most of them are dimwitted. Here are five that could hurt employment, growth and stocks.

1. Raise the minimum wage to $12 or even $15 an hour.

2. Hike taxes.

3. Subsidize 500 million solar panels.

4. Offer free college tuition.

5. Increase Social Security benefits.

More at the New York Post

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From Canadian Bob

Today’s free lesson in economics – and worth every penny – is this:

lexus-sports-car

My Lexus & Capitalism:

A guy looked at my Lexus the other day and said I wonder how many people could have been fed for the money that sports car cost.

I replied I am not sure. It fed a lot of families in Windsor, Ontario, who built it, it fed the people who make the tires, it fed the people who made the components that went into it, it fed the people in the copper mine who mined the copper for the wires, it fed people in Sault St Marie. at Caterpillar who make the trucks that haul the copper ore. It fed the trucking people who hauled it from the plant to the dealer and fed the people working at the dealership and their families. BUT,… I have to admit, I guess I really don’t know how many people it fed.

That is the difference between capitalism and welfare mentality. When you buy something, you put money in people’s pockets, and give them dignity for their skills.

When you give someone something for nothing, you rob them of their dignity and self worth.

Capitalism is freely giving your money in exchange for something of value.

Socialism is taking your money against your will and shoving something down your throat that you never asked for.”

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Starting At The End Of The Alphabet And Working Backward

First it was Zimbabwe, Now Venezuela.

Socialism does not work.

“Venezuela Throws In The Towel On Hyperinflation: Will Print 200x Higher-Denominated Bills”

Mom sent me for a loaf of bread

Mom sent me for a loaf of bread

Economists and central bank employees say Mr. Maduro didn’t want to acknowledge the country’s inflation problem by printing bigger notes.

This has finally changed, and as the WSJ reports, Venezuela’s government, slammed by hyperinflation has finally thrown in the towel, and is planning to issue new bills in December with larger denominations—up to 200 times higher than the current biggest bill, according to people familiar with the plans. The move marks an implicit acknowledgment by the government that skyrocketing prices have slashed the value of the currency

The new coins and notes will go up to 20,000 bolivars, according to people close to the central bank, the finance ministry, the country’s banks and bill suppliers. This would make the biggest note worth $15 on the black market.”

More at Zero Hedge

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Trump’s Plan To ‘Replace’ Obamacare

Being a libertarian-minded individual I hear the demands from Democrats, especially media types that Republicans, and especially Donald Trump, explain what they would replace Obamacare with after it is repealed as they promise. The whole premise of ‘Replacing’ it sounds like another government managed health care system. It might be less onerous than Obamacare but that would last only until the next Democrat administration.

The United States health system worked well for two hundred years. As medical care became more complex and more expensive we got health insurance policies. Sometimes we paid for them and sometimes they were a perk of our job. It all worked pretty well until our national government started to regulate it. Then it got much more expensive. That’s what happens when they do that. Every time.

That’s why I was interested to hear whatever I could abut the system Trump says he would use to replace the disaster that is Obamacare. Yesterday his Vice-Presidential candidate, Mike Pence, gave us a little insight.

trmppence

A Trump plan will make health care affordable and will put people back in the driver’s seat of their health care, not the government. We will get rid of the individual mandate, because the government shouldn’t tell you how to spend your money. We will allow people to purchase insurance across state lines, just like you can with your auto or life or other insurance policies. We will create a transition period for those receiving subsidies to ensure that Americans don’t face disruption or other hardship in their coverage.

We will make it easier for Americans to open Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) that they can use to pay for health insurance. The idea of a tax-free account to pay for medical expenses was pioneered in my home state of Indiana to fix the flaws in our health care system.

[…]

Donald Trump and I will work with Republican majorities in the House and Senate to free states from Washington’s top-down approach to Medicaid. States know what’s best for their people and Donald Trump and I will give states new freedom and flexibility through block granting Medicaid so states can innovate and reform and design programs that meet the unique needs of their citizens.

[…]

And we will reverse Obamacare’s federal takeover of the insurance market. We didn’t see the type of rate increases across the nation when the States were running things.”

That’s not much but it sounds a lot better than the law as it now exists.

Read the whole thing at Real Clear Politics

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Lynch Mob Says ‘No’ To Deutsche Bank

It is really something that Loretta Lynch, head of the US Department of Justice, has the power of life or death over the largest bank in Germany.

“Deutsche Bank CEO Returns Home Empty-Handed After Failing To Reach ‘Deal’ With DOJ”

Sad John Cryan, head of Deutsche Bank

Sad John Cryan, head of Deutsche Bank

Following the seemingly endless procession of short-squeeze-fueling trial balloons last week – from settlement rumors to German blue-chip bailouts to Qatari investors – Germany’s Bild newspaper confirms the rumors that sparked weakness on Friday: Deutsche bank CEO John Cryan has failed to reach an agreement with the US Justice Department.

[…]

And now, as Bloomberg reports, Deutsche Bank’s Chief Executive Officer John Cryan failed to reach an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to resolve a years-long investigation into its mortgage-bond dealings during a meeting in Washington Friday, Germany’s Bild newspaper reported.

[…]

Conclusion:
Deutsche Bank’s position is currently marginal as it is woefully undercapitalised and has no clear prospect of becoming meaningfully profitable. As the world’s largest derivative trader and Europe’s most systemically important bank this is untenable. Deutsche Bank is three times larger than Lehman Brothers, making the possibility of an unexpected and uncoordinated failure completely unacceptable.”

More at Zero Hedge

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Is George Soros One Of Them?

They are taking an awful lot of cash out of the world economy.

“Secret Swiss Military Bunkers Being Filled With Gold By Billionaires Seeking “Alternatives To Bank Deposits””

swiss-safe-3_0

Swiss Data Safe “is independent from the banking system and any other organization or interest group,” according to a PowerPoint presentation Wipfli shows clients. The company and its anonymous rival aren’t regulated by the Swiss financial-services regulator Finma.

Nor do such companies have to report suspicious activity to Switzerland’s Money Laundering Reporting Office. In the past, submissions to the agency have led the Swiss attorney general to open investigations into corruption at FIFA, the global soccer body, and banking ties to Brazil’s Petrobras bribery scandal.

Moreover, American citizens aren’t required under FATCA to declare gold stored outside of financial institutions either. So perhaps it’s no surprise that, according to the Swiss defense department, of the roughly 1,000 former military bunkers still in existence across Switzerland, several hundred of them have been sold to private individuals who are now operating them as private storage sites for the gold stash of the world’s wealthiest of billionaires.”

From Zero Hedge

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It Worked For Hillary Clinton

“Just Spotted In Front Of The New York Fed”

ny-fed-shred-1_0

… and this time they are joined by a friend: a van belonging to a professional demolition and dismantling service, which incidentally is parked right in front of the NY Fed’s master cargo door which among other places, leads to NY Fed’s gold vault.”

More at Zero Hedge

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“… The Seduction Of Easy Answers…”

While reading an article in Financial Resistance titled, “7 Signs Chicago is a Now a “Third-World” City”, I came across this gem:

“4. Declining Industry”

This is the aftermath of free trade agreements which export jobs overseas, destroy middle class jobs, and enrich corporate elites.

This is the aftermath of free trade agreements which export jobs overseas, destroy middle class jobs, and enrich corporate elites.

Chicago is one of the many “rust belt” American cities that have seen a major decline in their manufacturing industry. Just like Detroit, free trade agreements have ravaged Chicago’s industrial core, leaving thousands unemployed and destroying much of the middle class. While there are many reasons for Chicago’s economic decline, “free trade” is one of the biggest factors.”

RD Walker told in a comment to a post below of a prayer that asks for protection from easy answers. This writer is a good example of what the prayer refers to.

Obviously, the writer has taken a position against free trade. The way he presents it, though, is diabolical and wrong. Why do you think he is wrong?

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Taxpayers Are Leaving Gun-Free Zones

It’s true that these places are gun-free zones. They also are the most expensive places in the country in which to live, have the highest taxes, and are least free. Unsurprisingly all have been controlled by Democrats for generations.

“New Study Finds Taxpayers Are Fleeing New York, Illinois and California”

panic2

A new demographics study, posted on newgeography.com, found that more tax filers are fleeing the state of New York than any other state in the country. Frankly, we’re shocked people wouldn’t want to live in a state with the highest cost of living, highest home prices, highest state income tax rate and highest property tax rate…what about the cultural benefits? We guess the bankers and hedgies have finally figured out that they can conduct their business from pretty much any location with an internet connection and then visit New York when/if necessary. Per the same study, Illinois lost the second highest number of taxpayers and California was not far behind in third.”

More at Zero Hedge

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Sounds Like You’re Doing It Wrong

But who would oppose a war on terror. Perhaps, with these statistics, we all should.

The Cloward and Piven strategy for crashing the US economy was to vastly inflate the welfare state. The fact is that it is taking more than just the welfare state to accomplish the goal. Huge expenditures on a war on terror and the sending of billions to enemies like Iran will speed up the decline.

“The US War On Terror Has Cost $5 Trillion And Increased Terrorism By 6,500%”

war-on-terror

According to a report released by Dr. Neta Crawford, professor of political science at Brown University, spending by the United States Departments of Defense, State, Homeland Security, and Veteran Affairs since 9/11 is now close to $5 trillion USD. Before we have the chance to ask how a country that has racked up over $19.3 trillion USD in debt can spend $5 trillion USD on war, the focus of this article is to ask: What has all of this spending achieved?

As Reader Supported News reported at the end of last year, terrorism has increased 6,500 percent since 2002…”

From The Burning Platform

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Ocean Shipping Is In Trouble And It’s Not Just Hanjin

This destruction is not the result of Donald Trump’s trade policies. He is not in a position to implement them yet. But, his demands that we close the trade deficit will make this worse.

“The shipping business is in crisis. The industry leader is not exempt”

container-ship

Hanjin is not alone. Of the biggest 12 shipping companies that have published results for the past quarter, 11 have announced huge losses. Several weaker outfits are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. In Japan three firms, Mitsui OSK Lines, NYK Line and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, look vulnerable. Activist investors are now pressing for them to merge to avoid the same fate as the South Korean line.

Even the strongest are suffering. France’s CMA CGM, the world’s third-largest carrier, announced a big first-half loss on September 2nd. Maersk Line, the industry leader, and the largest firm within A.P. Moller-Maersk, a family-controlled Danish conglomerate, will be in the red this year, having lost $107m in the six months to June. The industry could lose as much as $10 billion this year on revenues of $170 billion, reckons Drewry, a consultancy.”

Read the rest at The Economist

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US National Debt Is More Than All The Cash, Gold, Silver, And Bitcoin Combined

No surprise, really but this is a way to get your head around just how screwed the US economy is. Neither Trump, Clinton, Kaine, nor Pence will make a difference – except to make the debt continue to grow. Sanders claims he would double it. For some reason he thinks that is a good idea.

total-debt

The national debt is now more than all of the world’s physical cash, gold, silver, and bitcoin combined. That is right. The U.S. national debt is that big. I’ve argued this before but the Fed is now a giant paper tiger. They are largely trying to use the power of words to move markets instead of actually raising interest rates. These rates will impact this massive debt.”

Read more at MyBudget360

Gold Switzerland has this graphic in an article titled, “The Six Presidents Causing US Bankruptcy”. Click to enlarge.

screen-shot-2016-09-08-at-19-59-53

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