March 30, 2013

Bits Bucket for March 30, 2013

Post off-topic ideas, links, and Craigslist finds here.

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Comment by Truth In Housing
2013-03-30 04:20:39

90% of All Foreclosures Held Off Market…. And There Are MILLIONS of Them

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-30 10:31:14

Some exceptionally stupid comments there.

Comment by hazard
2013-03-30 14:17:08

“‘Slowly Pulling Back the Band-Aid’”

That’s the understatement of the century.

Comment by Ol'Bubba
2013-03-30 04:26:07

I haven’t been reading this blog much lately.

Would anyone like to get me caught up with its soap opera cast of characters and subplots?

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-03-30 04:32:13


Comment by aNYCdj
2013-03-30 07:45:47

Still waiting for Ohbewanna to admit he’s not an American and will resign and Biden will take over and do so much damage that North Korea will be a nice place to live.

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-03-30 07:59:14

North Korea is already a nice place to live…just ask you know whos…on this blog who want more taxes and more spending.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-30 08:18:56

North Korea’s problems go way beyond too much taxing and spending, and include a repressive government which greatly favors guns to butter, an oppressed people who are not allowed to leave the country, and a collapsed command-and-control economic production system which cannot produce enough to either produce enough food or enough tradeable goods and services to purchase food to feed its starving people.

That said, we just calculated our federal income taxes for the year, and it’s ugly…

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Comment by spook
2013-03-30 08:55:42

an oppressed people who are not allowed to leave the country, and a collapsed command-and-control economic production system which cannot produce enough to either produce enough food or enough tradeable goods and services to purchase food to feed its starving people.
There is a price to pay for telling the smartest most powerful white people in the world to “piss off!”

The only difference between the north and the south is the support of white people.

Its that simple.

Comment by Skroodle
2013-03-30 09:38:22

North Korea abolished taxes in 1974.

Comment by you're my boy, blue
2013-03-30 10:30:01

North Korea abolished taxes in 1974

North Korea socialized everything in 1948.

Comment by tj
2013-03-30 11:04:21

North Korea abolished taxes in 1974.

there’s nothing left to tax..

Comment by Steve J
2013-03-30 14:10:37

It’s a Koch brothers paradise.

No sales tax, no capital gains tax, no income tax, no import tariffs.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-03-30 14:49:44

The only difference between the north and the south is the support of white people.

China’s support of North Korea is an important difference. It’s the only reason North Korea is still there.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-30 16:54:45

Are the Chinese “white people,” or some other racial category? (I still remember the day my Chinese roommate in college learned he qualified for some kind of special financial aid earmarked for minorities — he was very upset to learn he was considered a member of a minority group.)

Comment by tj
2013-03-30 17:56:48

he was very upset to learn he was considered a member of a minority group.

sounds like he was an honorable guy.

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-03-31 09:14:33

When you think about it, each and every human is a minority. If there was one other person exactly like you, (philosophy, experiences, appearance, DNA) you would not at all be a minority. But your clone and you together would be a minority.

Therefore the only minorities are individuals, not groups. Groups cannot honestly be labeled minorities.

Comment by george kengott
2013-03-30 08:49:28

Most of us have bought in the housing mania that have swept the country. We are also buying rentals.

Cantankerous is now a Republican.

I personally ordered the same Depends which Rand Paul had on when he spoke for 13 hours. Saves a lot of water from flushing.

We are all thrilled with the empty suits on both sides of the aisle in that they are solidly working on getting rid of the US debt.

Comment by Ol'Bubba
2013-03-30 09:30:15

Your post is two days early. Monday is April Fool’s Day. :)

Comment by oxide
2013-03-30 10:11:47

One of the news stations reported that fellow Senators asked Rand Paul questions so that Rand could leave the floor for a break. I guess he can field questions without yielding the Floor. So you don’t have the potty problem IF you can get buddies to filibuster along with you.

Comment by Steve J
2013-03-30 14:12:35

By buddy’s you mean Senators who don’t want drones raining death from the sky’s of the US?

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Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-30 16:56:20

“Cantankerous is now a Republican.”

I don’t believe I fit into either of the two main political parties’ boxes. That said, I confess to having visited the Ronald Reagan Library last week and immensely enjoying the experience.

Comment by Truth In Housing
2013-03-30 04:51:22

There are still 30,000 excess empty houses in the Phoenix area. That’s after suckers paid massively inflated prices for and are holding onto another 40,000 in the last year.;-112.07353591918945&lvl=11&sty=r&srange=3&page=1&sort=featured,asc&tabs=PreForeclosure,Auction,LiveAuction,OnlineAuction,BankOwned,REO,GovernmentOwned

Comment by oxide
2013-03-30 04:52:48

Diogenes got banned, surprisingly (too much global warming I guess). mikeinbend sold his house and is going to go godknowswhat with the money. The usual cast of characters here is keeping on keeping on.

Throw Cyprus on the pile of minor Euro countries being bailed out by majors. Same sh!t, different country.

I harbor a hypothesis that RAL/pimp’s stock answers are actually code for +1 types of approval.

Housing prices are rising due to low inventory, and bidding wars between all-cash foreign (Chinese) investors who want a “safe house” and equity hedgies like Blackstone who want J6P to rent everything and own nothing. Sequestration is showing nothing yet in the DC area. Parts of DC which had been holes are now burgeoning with cranes for glassy offices and condos.

Comment by Truth In Housing
Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-30 08:11:59

Washington overall appears to have plateaued since Sept 2012, while Columbia Heights, site of the 1968 MLK riots, had an echo-bubble peak in Aug 2012 and has subsequently resumed crashing.

It’s way too early to gauge the sequester impact at this point. I’m expecting it to become visible through the lens of the rear view mirror by mid-summer.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-30 08:03:45

“Throw Cyprus on the pile of minor Euro countries being bailed out by majors.”

The Fed is curiously silent on the Cyprus situation.

Can It Happen Here?
By Thomas Sowell - March 26, 2013

The decision of the government in Cyprus to simply take money out of people’s bank accounts there sent shock waves around the world. People far removed from that small island nation had to wonder: “Can this happen here?”

The economic repercussions of having people feel that their money is not safe in banks can be catastrophic. Banks are not just warehouses where money can be stored. They are crucial institutions for gathering individually modest amounts of money from millions of people and transferring that money to strangers whom those people would not directly entrust it to.

Multi-billion dollar corporations, whose economies of scale can bring down the prices of goods and services — thereby raising our standard of living — are seldom financed by a few billionaires.

Far more often they are financed by millions of people, who have neither the specific knowledge nor the economic expertise to risk their savings by investing directly in those enterprises. Banks are crucial intermediaries, which provide the financial expertise without which these transfers of money are too risky.

There are poor nations with rich natural resources, which are not developed because they lack either the sophisticated financial institutions necessary to make these key transfers of money or because their legal or political systems are too unreliable for people to put their money into these financial intermediaries.

Whether in Cyprus or in other countries, politicians tend to think in short run terms, if only because elections are held in the short run. Therefore, there is always a temptation to do reckless and short-sighted things to get over some current problem, even if that creates far worse problems in the long run.

Seizing money that people put in the bank would be a classic example of such short-sighted policies.

After thousands of American banks failed during the Great Depression of the 1930s, there were people who would never put their money in a bank again, even after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was created, to have the federal government guarantee individual bank accounts when the bank itself failed.

For years after the Great Depression, stories appeared in the press from time to time about some older person who died and was found to have substantial sums of money stored under a mattress or in some other hiding place, because they never trusted banks again.

After going back and forth, the government of Cyprus ultimately decided, under international pressure, to go ahead with its plan to raid people’s bank accounts. But could similar policies be imposed in other countries, including the United States?

One of the big differences between the United States and Cyprus is that the U.S. government can simply print more money to get out of a financial crisis. But Cyprus cannot print more euros, which are controlled by international institutions.

Does that mean that Americans’ money is safe in banks? Yes and no.

The U.S. government is very unlikely to just seize money wholesale from people’s bank accounts, as is being done in Cyprus. But does that mean that your life savings are safe?

No. There are more sophisticated ways for governments to take what you have put aside for yourself and use it for whatever the politicians feel like using it for. If they do it slowly but steadily, they can take a big chunk of what you have sacrificed for years to save, before you are even aware, much less alarmed.

That is in fact already happening. When officials of the Federal Reserve System speak in vague and lofty terms about “quantitative easing,” what they are talking about is creating more money out of thin air, as the Federal Reserve is authorized to do — and has been doing in recent years, to the tune of tens of billions of dollars a month.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-30 16:59:05

The future of Cyprus
A troubled island story
Its bail-out may keep Cyprus in the single currency, but at a high cost
Mar 30th 2013 | NICOSIA |From the print edition

DREAD was mixed with anger. Cypriots feared that deposits in the two largest banks, Bank of Cyprus and Laiki Bank, might be taxed or converted into worthless equity—and worried about the economic effects. The glum mood in the shops and cafés of Nicosia was little improved when the terms of their country’s €10 billion ($13 billion) bail-out emerged on March 25th (see article). The deal will close Laiki Bank, restructure Bank of Cyprus and impose big losses in both institutions on deposits above €100,000.

Many anxious Cypriots queued patiently to draw cash out of ATMs. Others protested angrily in the streets, waved Russian flags and talked about leaving the euro. They had hoped that joining the European Union (in 2004) and the euro (in 2008) meant solidarity from their fellows. The troubles of the two banks were caused, some believe, by a decision to buy Greek government bonds that were then restructured. They feel they are being punished by the EU for no fault of their own.

Victimhood is hardly new in Cyprus: the island’s troubles are routinely blamed on outsiders like Turkey, Greece, Britain or (now) Russia. What stuck in the craw was being told that the Cypriot business model had to change. Not all agree: speaking at a conference organised by The Economist in Nicosia on March 22nd, Chris Pissarides, a Nobel-prize-winning economist, argued that relying on business services and tourism in an economy with no manufacturing tradition was quite sensible.

The bail-out will inevitably force change. Capital controls may slow deposit flight, but after the threats of taxes, levies and now the conversion of large deposits into equity, foreign (especially Russian) money will very likely go elsewhere. Worse, the crash will shrink the economy. Fiona Mullen of Sapienta Economics, a local consultancy, notes that in 1974, when Turkey invaded the north after a Greek-Cypriot government tried to unite with Greece, GDP fell by 17% in that year and by 19% in 1975. Although the IMF talks optimistically of a fall of only 10% this time, she predicts falls of 15% this year and another 5% in 2014. This will have horrific effects. After the collapse of Laiki, unemployment is heading for 17% this year, says Ms Mullen; it could exceed 25% in 2014.

Comment by SV guy
2013-03-30 08:37:52

I missed Dio getting banned. He certainly wasn’t PC but then again neither am I. I’m sorry he’s gone.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-30 08:41:19

“…wasn’t PC…”

I don’t notice many PC posters here. However, some go way out of bounds to be as repetitively annoying and offensive as possible…

Comment by In Colorado
2013-03-30 09:00:34

some go way out of bounds to be as repetitively annoying and offensive as possible

And they are best ignored.

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Comment by Ol'Bubba
2013-03-30 09:32:55

or pimpslapped.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-03-30 11:25:52

I missed Dio getting banned. He certainly wasn’t PC but then again neither am I. I’m sorry he’s gone.


It is interesting to me how some posters get banned, and some apparently never do in spite of posting far more ad hominem attacks…

Comment by PeakHubris
2013-03-30 12:17:04

I’m going to go ahead and assume he did something which warranted banning. I trust Ben’s judgment.

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Comment by you're my boy, blue
2013-03-30 12:31:23

RAL may be boorish but he gets one truth out over and over again. Spreading that truth happens to be the central point of this blog.

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Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-03-30 13:06:44

Thank you.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-03-30 14:41:46

I’m very much in favor of RAL spreading the truth. VERY very much in favor.

Occasionally, I just wish he would do so with fewer personal attacks.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-30 17:01:20

“I just wish he would do so with fewer personal attacks.”

I haven’t noticed him attack anyone unless they seemed to be pimping real estate, which seems like a justifiable reason.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-03-30 17:27:37

I haven’t noticed him attack anyone unless they seemed to be pimping real estate, which seems like a justifiable reason.

My perception was that several cases of legitimate differences of opinion, what I would definitely consider non-pimping, have resulted in immediate attacks of “liar” and similar—e.g. personal, ad hominem attacks rather than addressing the substance of posts.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-03-30 17:35:18

Conflating falsehoods with differences of opinion is the hallmark of a shyster.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-03-31 10:46:30

Conflating falsehoods with differences of opinion is the hallmark of a shyster.

There you go again. All I did was state an opinion, and you call me a shyster.

Nice ad hominem.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-03-31 17:30:47

You seem to have this propensity to obscure truths with BS and whitewash and then hang yourself on the cross when called out on it.

Why is that?

Comment by rms
2013-03-30 11:39:38

“mikeinbend sold his house and is going to go godknowswhat with the money.”

Maybe he’ll divide it up among the creditors he stiffed?

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-30 17:03:05

I thought the point of using other peoples’ money to gamble is that you don’t have to repay it in the event of a bad outcome.

Comment by PeakHubris
2013-03-30 12:15:16


Please stop using this annoying term.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-03-30 14:42:58

Please stop using this annoying term.

Sounds too much like “wedgies”? :-)

Comment by azdude
2013-03-30 05:13:31

will govt jobs and your corporate masters continue to dominate the job market?

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-30 10:34:56

Is water still wet?

Comment by hazard
2013-03-30 05:21:15

Posted this yesterday but could not get the direct link to the story. Here it is with the 3 days audio/video from the bus. (about 4 min.)


Maybe you could look at it and see what you think the charges should be. Stalking does not sound right to me when the 5 year old victim is delivered to her every day.

Posted: 4:45 p.m. Friday, March 29, 2013

Bus aide accused of stalking and bullying 5-year-old

By Alexandra Seltzer

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

A 37-year-old Port St. Lucie bus aide was arrested for allegedly stalking and bullying a 5-year-old, according to Port St. Lucie Police.

Daneta McPherson of Fort Pierce was arrested Friday on stalking charges. -

Comment by polly
2013-03-29 18:26:33

“Stalking? Sounds perilously close to intent to kidnap to me. Wonder if she ever took even one step toward carrying it out. Grabbing the kid’s arm could be enough.”

Comment by Salinasron
2013-03-30 07:12:02

What about child endangerment?

Comment by hazard
2013-03-30 07:26:14

I would have hit my Mom if she was putting me on that bus with her 5 days a week.

Comment by polly
2013-03-30 08:32:57

My original comment was largely an emotional reaction, not a legal one. For example, wanting to do something isn’t generally illegal. You have to take at least one step toward carrying it out before you can be charged with something. Just thinking about it isn’t a crime.

Also, you need to be very careful about thinking about a crime in terms of the natural language meaning of the words involved. In a normal conversation, you wouldn’t use the word stalking if the person being victimized was going to the person victimizing him. However, the actual statute may define stalking as [whatever menacing actions are an element of the crime] that the perpetrator sends to the person they are stalking (in person or by mail or by phone or whatever) or if they do it in a place where the person they are victimizing can’t leave - like on a school bus. Or something else.

You would have to find the list of the elements of the crime for the state where it took place.

Comment by Truth In Housing
2013-03-30 05:22:32

California unemployment rate holds at 9.8%, highest in U.S.,0,4105844.story

With raw reality like this, question everything.

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-03-30 08:01:14

Tied with Illisnois and New York as the big government states. No surprise to me.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-30 08:15:22

It’s actually down to 9.6% now — and the housing market is booming, despite the ongoing labor market recession! Go figure…

Comment by SV guy
2013-03-30 08:36:06

We just picked up a new car for my wife yesterday and the salesman commented that “February was incredible”. This is coming from a guy that normally sells 20 +/- cars a month. He said the service department is running at full capacity and will add a second shift to meet their increasing demand.


Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-03-30 08:58:17

Young manager at work just bought a $71,000 brand new Lexus. Its base price is that. He is in his mid 30s. My lunch pal is a boomer like me, and we agreed the lad bought an old man’s car. It looks like a Camry dolled up. For that money I would get a used 9-11. The lad had a Solara before. And that too is an old man’s car. I heard he did not pay cash for it.

I cannot speak evil about him since he likes my work and hired me back. Same manager I shook hands with and handed my badge to in 2010 when I left for working in Tampa for more than a year. But he got his job title through nepotism.

Lexus LS 460 I think.

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Comment by you're my boy, blue
2013-03-30 10:27:32

Is he Asian?

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-03-30 14:00:56

Yes. Out of curiousity, how did you guess?

Comment by rms
2013-03-30 11:52:21

The new car market would seize-up were it not for the fed buying securitized automobile bonds. All fake.

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Comment by PeakHubris
2013-03-30 13:11:21

Not to mention the dealerships approving people with credit scores in the 400’s.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-03-30 09:04:26

It would be interesting to see how employment is structured in California. From what my colleagues tell me in Silly Valley the job market there for engineers is red hot. Unfortunately housing prices are even hotter, so I’m not interested in moving back.

I suspect that the bulk of the unemployed in California are lucky duckies.

Comment by rms
2013-03-31 00:52:32

“I suspect that the bulk of the unemployed in California are lucky duckies.”

+1 Metro California is tough with a job.

I know a forensic computer investigator who does espionage and other major crimes, and his other half makes great money too. They tried making a go of it in Mountain View, CA., but their expenses were just too high. They pulled the eject handle and landed somewhere just outside the beltway.

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Comment by PeakHubris
2013-03-30 12:24:57

When there is a massive redistribution of wealth to the top 1%, and they go all in on real estate, the housing market CAN go nuts in spite of a depression level labor market.

Comment by Pete
2013-03-30 15:56:56

“It’s actually down to 9.6% now”

No great shakes, I know. But just getting below that 10% line was psychologically important, especially since the modest job gains have happened at a time when state employees are getting laid off.

Comment by PeakHubris
2013-03-30 17:41:40

It’s easy to go lower and lower once people don’t qualify for unemployment benefits anymore. They’re magically no longer unemployed. Is there a “suicidal” statistic?

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Comment by rms
2013-03-30 11:48:52

“With raw reality like this, question everything.”

I’m doing a brake job on the front of my wife’s Camry in about an hour from now when it warms up some. I bought two new disc rotors, $29.99 each, made in China. They look great, and they’re heavy too. Amazing that they can produce these goods and ship them here; economics and physics don’t seem to apply.

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-30 05:48:37

You can own your own home as a senior citizen but still freeze to death because you can’t afford the heat.

I am sure glad that the only solution to combating global warming means higher and higher taxes and bigger and bigger government.


Not dying from global warming but high taxes
American Thinker | 03/29/2013 | Ethel C. Fenig

So, to paraphrase Sarah Palin, “How is that global warming, renewable fuels/highly taxed dirty fuels thing working out for you?” Over in increasingly not so merry England, Fraser Nelson, writing in that country’s Telegraph gives us a shuddering preview of what’s happening there…and what is in store for us.

“It’s the cold, not global warming, that we should be worried about.

No one seems upset that in modern Britain, old people are freezing to death as hidden taxes make fuel more expensive”

On the bright side, so to speak, in England there will be an estimated 30,000 extra deaths ” ‘excess winter mortality’–that is, the number of people dying of cold-related illnesses” in British officialese who probably would have continued to live had they had enough fuel to keep warm.

Comment by Overtaxed
2013-03-30 06:03:37

Fuel oil costs are outrageous. When I used to live in NJ, we would spend 500-1500 dollars a year to heat the house (about 1000 gallons of oil). Now, that same cost is more like 4000 dollars. And, you still have a big electric bill on top of that for AC in the summer.

When I moved to FL, I remember being upset with high electric bills (around 200-300/mo). When I now look at the oil bills from NJ, it seems like a great deal, I spend less on electric every year (for a bigger house with a pool) than my family spends just on oil in a winter. And they burn wood on top of that.

As “petrol” (all types) of prices go up, the northern climates become less and less attractive. Electric is cheap in comparison; much less expensive to cool the house down than the heat it up in the very cold climates. The costs are so high already (with no signs of going in the other direction) you have to wonder if this isn’t going to cause a “forced” migration from of the lower income folks down to the south.

I complain about my taxes a lot on this blog, but, man, let me tell you, I’m very fortunate to live in FL. If I lived in a high tax area (NJ, NY, PA, CA, etc), I’d pay 1000s more for the privlage. Some of those areas, it would be close to 10K more. Add on high property taxes and, frankly, it’s an absurd burden for anyone but the very well off. You have to really want to live in the Northeast to pay the costs associated with it, that’s for sure. Having lived there for 30 years, I don’t get it; it’s not that nice up there! :) Now.. CA, that’s a different story. They have a unique product; I happen to think it’s grossly overpriced, but I could live there in a heartbeat if my bank account could stand it. ;)

Comment by Truth In Housing
2013-03-30 06:06:26

Give it time. You’ll get your wish.

Comment by Jess from upstate SC
2013-03-30 06:33:08

I was raised in Canada (several generations back). Instead of heating up our houses so much we just added layers of clothes.
That is fairly common in Northern Siberia today .
And used to be common with what we call the Inuit in far northern Canada lands.
Yeah, one does tend to smell like a submariner after a while , but the community drive and effort to survive the winters, Is a wonderful experience ,with very little of the mental trauma that is so common today .The Canadian Government today supplies the little cracker-box houses , the fuel to heat them ,food money, and enough cash left for many to get crazy drunk about all winter . Shame on them (the Government).

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-03-30 08:14:17

Did you see the Ice Pilots NWT on History channel.

this is really cool

Most of them were uploaded under Buz pilotlari

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Comment by 2banana
2013-03-30 06:39:17

Home heating oil is dying industry.

No new homes have home heating oil for heat. The people with older homes are desperately trying to get away from oil heat .

The people with older homes are:

1. Converting to natural gas if possible (if the lines are close).
2. Buying a heat pump (good until temps reach 36 degrees then you need backup heat).
3. Installing wood stoves (it is a lot more work than pushing a button).
4. Upgrading their old oil furnace to a “high” efficiency one (this usually means going from 65% efficient to 85% efficient. For comparison, natural gas furnaces are at 95% efficient).
5. Installing propane.
6. Upgrading windows and insulation.
7. And for a tiny minority - going solar.

I have known some people that did a combo of the above an cut their oil use from 1500 gal/year to 300 gal/year.

If you do the math - the upgrades (except for solar) pays for itself within three years.

Comment by Truth In Housing
2013-03-30 06:58:27

1) Natural gas is non-existent outside heavily suburbanized areas.

2) Heat pumps don’t work in cold climates

3) Wood is dirty, labor intensive and less efficient than all other fuels.
4) You’re not going to net 95% on propane in a conventional boiler, EVER.

5) Gas condensing boiler is the best you’re going to get out of any boiler types.

6)Spot on.

7) The numbers still don’t work for solar.

Cut oil use? At what expense? No new equipment is going to “pay for itself” in 3 years unless you’re replacing a very old boiler or furnace.

Note: Electric is 100% efficient.

It’s quite stupid to make assumptions on what is “cheapest” and dump a bunch of money on new equipment when you haven’t performed the calculations based on price/kBTU, adjusted for efficiency…… much the same as buying a house without understanding what they’re worth.

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Comment by aNYCdj
2013-03-30 08:03:59

Thats why banning light bulbs was an incredibly DUMB idea…you had heat sources coming from all directions and what if the only place to put a couch or bed was right in front of the only baseboard radiator in the room.

: Electric is 100% efficient.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-03-30 09:06:05

“Thats why banning light bulbs was an incredibly DUMB idea”

Nothing is stopping anyone from using electric baseboard heaters.

Comment by Overtaxed
2013-03-30 08:30:40

” Installing wood stoves”

Yes, and this is exactly what they are doing in that area (no nat gas, it’s very rural).

However, this kind of feels like a return to the 1900s, doesn’t it? When I grew up, we burned trees for fun/ambiance, but, by far, the most common source of heat in our house was oil. We turned the thermostat and it got warm. And my parents were not rich, they were upper-middle class.

Now, it seems that the same “class” of people in that area spend their weekends chopping down trees to burn in their woodstoves. A big shift, and one that seems to run counter to almost all other progress we’ve had in the past 50 years.

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Comment by 2banana
2013-03-30 09:01:30

Burning wood….

The ORIGINAL green energy renewable non-imported energy resource…


Comment by PeakHubris
2013-03-30 13:01:07

Timber is so expensive, that firewood does not make much sense as a heat source.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-03-30 14:38:29

The ORIGINAL green energy renewable non-imported energy resource…

+1. It is the one of very few head-sources that is carbon-neutral.

It can be very air-polluting, though, unless you are a using a newer-design stove, or a well-designed masonry heater.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-03-30 14:40:18

Timber is so expensive, that firewood does not make much sense as a heat source.

Cost depends very much upon where you live. I had just under a cord of good cut/split firewood delivered in Seattle before last winter for only $220.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-03-30 14:46:31

p.s. Living in a heavily-urban area, I try to only use the firewood for heat when there is enough rain either falling, or in the forecast that I will not adversely-affect air-quality.

Old people gotta be able to breathe…

Comment by Skroodle
2013-03-30 09:50:48

Many homes in the UK are still heated by coal fireplaces and have zero insulation.

Comment by MightyMike
2013-03-30 11:51:57

I bet that’s less work than burning wood. Isn’t there a lot more energy in a pound of coal than a pound of wood?

Comment by Steve J
2013-03-30 14:20:23

Assuming you can afford the coal.

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Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-30 10:39:26

GB’s politics and general society is much like ours: blame and hate the poor for everything while giving them a very hard rogering.

Comment by Anon In DC
2013-03-31 11:46:19

Me not wanting to support other people is not “blaming and hating” them. Expecting and encouraging everyone to be responsible is not “blaming and hating.” There’s certainly a place for charity. But the war on poverty was a failure and created an underclass with little prospect of independence. The poverty pimps and certain politicians have done very well with war on poverty.

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-30 05:53:26

This is the only thing holding up the fake obama recovery.

When it pops (like all unsustainable bubbles) people will say:

1. We never saw it coming.
2. It is not our fault.
3. We are victims.

And for the fools who bought a house during the obama housing bubble v2.0 for the “guaranteed” appreciation…

Imagine what your house will be worth if interest rates return to a “normal” five percent…


Bubble bigger than housing about to pop
MSN Money | 03/29/2013 | Michael Vodicka

The most devastating market events are those that no one sees coming.

Take what happened to Lehman Brothers in 2008, for example. Up until the last minute, virtually no one could have imagined one of the country’s leading investment banks would file for bankruptcy. The housing market crash was the same way. The Street believed housing prices would never go down.

With the market totally blind to the growing risk in each investment, anyone who had investments in housing or with Lehman Brothers suffered huge losses.

Despite these tough lessons, there is now another epic bubble developing and the market is ignoring this one too.

In fact, this bubble is so big, the 2006 housing bubble and the 2000 bubble pale in comparison. And when it pops, it will hit the most conservative portfolios the hardest.

While investors were burned by big losses in 2008, risk-averse investors have been flocking into the safety of Treasury bonds. In just the past four years, investments into bond mutual funds have doubled to $4 trillion. But this perceived bastion of safety is more like a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. And when it does, it will devastate any portfolio with a heavy allocation to Treasury bonds.

Here are four reasons it’s time to sell Treasurys.

Comment by palmetto
2013-03-30 05:56:57

Switch everything to private mortgage notes with a 12% return, like it says in the ad at the top of the blog. No problema!

Comment by azdude
2013-03-30 07:02:59

If interest rates were to rise it would be the end of the recovery.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-30 08:23:15

That is why the Fed will never, ever again allow interest rates to rise.

More seriously, they will attempt to conduct policies to delay the onset of rate increases as long as possible, then control the rate of increase to a snail’s pace in order to avoid crashing the stock, housing and bond markets.

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Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-30 08:35:29

The big question isn’t what the Fed will try to do — that is fairly obvious, in fact — but rather whether they have a sufficient degree of control over long-term interest rates in dollar-denominated assets to achieve their objective.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-03-30 09:07:57

That is why the Fed will never, ever again allow interest rates to rise.

Agreed, we have a few decades of Japanese style “lost years” ahead of us, regardless of who sits in the White House or controls congress.

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-30 09:16:34

Agreed, we have a few decades of Japanese style “lost years” ahead of us, regardless of who sits in the White House or controls congress.

Ironic how the progressive mind works.

All I heard when Bush was in the White House was how evil he was. How he was destroying America. How he was responsible for all the bad in the world. How he had to be immediately removed from office so that the nation could heal, come together, have an economic renewal and for other countries to like us again.

With the total failure of the obama administration, all I hear is that both parties are just as corrupt, these problems have going on for 40 years and it just doesn’t matter who we vote for because nothing will change. So we might was well keep who we got.

Funny how that works…

Comment by Skroodle
2013-03-30 09:52:01

You need to get out more banana.

Comment by PeakHubris
2013-03-30 13:09:27

The good life, as many knew it, is over for the rest of their lives. The pain from the pigmen’s excesses will reach far into the future, impacting those still unborn. Meanwhile, life’s grand for the Steven A. Cohens of the world. Unless somebody grows some balls, of course..

Is Steven A. Cohen Buying Off the U.S. Government?

Unless the judge, Victor Marrero, rejects the settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commission and SAC, which was announced a couple of weeks ago, Cohen will be free to go about his business, which has long been clouded by suspicions of insider trading, once he writes a check of six hundred and sixteen million dollars to the Securities and Exchange Commission. There will be no further sanctions and no admission of wrongdoing. And in fact, Cohen already appears to be celebrating. According to a report in the Times, he has just purchased a Picasso painting, “Le Rêve,” for a hundred and fifty-five million dollars, and an ocean-front mansion in East Hampton, for sixty million dollars.

Comment by rms
2013-03-30 13:55:17

“Agreed, we have a few decades of Japanese style “lost years” ahead of us, regardless of who sits in the White House or controls congress.”

+1 Given our current demographic distribution I agree.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-30 17:09:53

Agreed, we have a few decades of Japanese style “lost years” ahead of us, regardless of who sits in the White House or controls congress.

Ironic how the progressive mind works.

It’s amazing how anything anyone besides you sez proves they are an evil progressive.

Comment by Combotechie
2013-03-30 06:21:12

“Take what happened to Lehman Brothers in 2008, for example. Up until the last minute, virtually no one could have imagined one of the country’s leading investment banks would file for bankruptcy.”

That’s because people thought Lehman was a TBTF but it was allowed to fail anyway, and because it was allowed to fail a message was sent out to the entire universe that any bank that enjoyed a TBTF status was at that moment having its TBTF status held in question, and because the status was held in question these banks could not be trusted to make good on their commitments - among which is the clearing of financial transactions. And if financial transactions cannot be cleard then these transactions will not happen in the first place, and if these transactions do not happen then nothing gets produced or moved.

So here we are. The concept of TBTF was tested and the test failed and as a result the TBTF concept has increased in strength so much so that even CONSIDERING messing with a TBTF could lead to all sorts of financial chaos.

They - the mysterious “they” - have us where they want us.

Comment by Combotechie
2013-03-30 06:33:40

And Treasury bonds also enjoy a TBTF status.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-30 08:43:15

Also a hardwired ongoing QE3 purchase status.

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Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-03-30 07:36:04

So the Bush debacle was papered over… Surprise surprise!

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-30 07:57:46

Five years later and you are still blaming Bush?

Put down the kool-aid and walk away.

Comment by PeakHubris
2013-03-30 13:14:45

When a serial killer bags 20 victims, is his guilt absolved by time?

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Comment by Steve J
2013-03-30 14:23:01

His Presudential Library open in Dallas on the anniversary of the Mission Accomplished carrier landing.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-03-30 13:57:04

What was the false Obama recovery you mentioned a recovery from?

Can’t remember 5 years ago? Classic goldfish voter.

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Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-30 17:10:52

It can take a lot more than five years to undo the damage of a failed presidency.

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Comment by palmetto
2013-03-30 06:26:25

Anyone think maybe Stevie Cohen (SAC) will finally get nailed?

Get ‘im, Preet! You can do it, yes we can!

Just as an aside, creeps like Cohen really do mislead people into thinking they have some sort of prescient skill, an ability to “read” the tape (or the crawl, whatever), when in fact they’re trading on insider information. That’s what I object to most about these pukes.

Comment by you're my boy, blue
2013-03-30 08:03:06

Looks like it. I just looked at his political contributions….he’s getting it.

Comment by hazard
2013-03-30 07:15:04

Posted: 9:55 a.m. Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bank of Cyprus big savers to lose up to 60 percent

The Associated Press

NICOSIA, Cyprus —
Large depositors at Cyprus’ largest bank may be forced to accept losses of up to 60 percent, far more than initially feared under the European rescue package to save the country from bankruptcy, officials said Saturday.

Deposits of more than 100,000 euros ($128,000) at the Bank of Cyprus would lose 37.5 percent in money that would be converted into bank shares, according to a finance ministry decree obtained by The Associated Press. In a second raid on these accounts, depositors also could lose up to 22.5 percent more, depending on what experts determine is needed to prop up the bank’s reserves.

Banking and finance ministry officials confirmed these details in interviews with the AP. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to publicly discuss the issue.

The deposits that converted to bank shares would theoretically allow depositors to eventually recover their losses. But the shares now hold little value and it’s uncertain when — if ever — the shares will regain a value equal to the depositors’ losses.

Europe has demanded that large depositors in the country’s two largest banks — Bank of Cyprus and Laiki Bank — accept across-the-board losses in order to pay for the 16 billion euro ($20.5 billion) bailout. But officials had previously spoken of a loss to big depositors of 30 to 40 percent.

Analysts said Saturday that imposing bigger losses on major depositors could further squeeze already crippled businesses as Cyprus tries to rebuild its banking sector in exchange for the international rescue package.

“Most of the damage will be done to businesses which had their money in the bank” to pay suppliers and employees, said University of Cyprus economics Professor Sofronis Clerides. “There’s quite a difference between a 30 percent loss and a 60 percent loss.”

With businesses shrinking, the country could be dragged down into an even deeper recession, he said.

There’s also concern that large depositors — including many wealthy Russians — would take their money and run once capital restrictions that Cypriot authorities have imposed on bank transactions to prevent such a possibility are lifted in about a month.

Cyprus agreed on Monday to make bank depositors with accounts over 100,000 euros to contribute to a financial rescue in order to secure 10 billion euros ($12.9 billion) in loans from the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund.

Cyprus needed to scrounge up 5.8 billion euros ($7.4 billion) on its own in order to clinch the larger package, and banks had remained shut for nearly two weeks until politicians hammered out a deal, opening again on Thursday.

But fearing that savers would rush to pull their money out in mass once banks reopened, Cypriot authorities imposed a raft of restrictions including daily withdrawal limits of 300 euros ($384) for individuals and 5,000 euros for businesses — the first so-called capital controls that any country has applied in the eurozone’s 14-year history.

Copyright The Associated Press

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-03-30 08:09:13

The governments are forcing people to decide alternatives to banks. Violins (in PBs case), modern bullion coins, rare coins, wines, and so forth. Bartering is going to be coming back at some point. I will one day trade a couple of gold coins for a month in a VRBO on the cool northern California coast. Maybe four months a year while I spend the rest of the year in Arizona.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-30 08:39:03

Citizens and businesses in Cyprus resorting to barter as bank freeze continues
March 20, 2013
By: Kenneth Schortgen Jr

After four days into a national bank holiday in Cyprus, the need for cash in business transactions has become so tight, that on March 20, it is being reported that retailers and customers are resorting to barter as their inability to access cash and credit has almost completely frozen the nation’s economic system.

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-03-30 09:00:12


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Comment by 2banana
2013-03-30 09:03:56

No taxes are collected in a barter system.

The death spiral of a government.

But they bailed-out the banks - so all is good.

Until there are bankers swinging from lamp posts - this cr@p is not going to end.

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Comment by SV guy
2013-03-30 08:53:44

Thank God that can never happen here.

Comment by hazard
2013-03-30 11:07:22

“Thank God that can never happen here.”

You don`t think we could get Cyprus’d?

That little island was a trial balloon.

Bend over Betty here comes Ole Cyprus.

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-03-30 13:59:52

I’m 90% sure SV guy was being facetious.

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Comment by hazard
2013-03-30 14:57:43

Blueprint for Government Takeover of IRAs

Posted by Larry Doyle on January 11, 2010 12:05 PM

An individual whom I highly respect submitted this commentary and requested I publish it. Given the respect I have for him, the depth of his perspectives, and the serious nature of this topic, I am happy to provide an outlet via Sense on Cents for his thoughtful analysis and projections. This commentary and the implications as outlined should give us all reason to pause and think.


Blueprint for Government Takeover of IRAs by Comrade Joe

This blueprint is imaginary; the references are factual. Let’s connect the dots:

1. Learn from Argentina (Oct 2008):
Argentina’s Property Grab – A cautionary tale for anyone who owns a retirement account. – Argentine President Cristina Kirchner announced this week that her government intends to nationalize the country’s private pension system. If Congress approves this property grab, $30 billion in individually held retirement accounts — think 401(k)s — managed by private pension funds will become government property. - Wall Street Journal 10/23/2008

2. Study Professor Teresa Ghilarducci’s Paper (Oct 2009):
Democratic leaders in the U.S. House discuss confiscating 401(k)s, IRAs – … The testimony of Teresa Ghilarducci, professor of economic policy analysis at the New School for Social Research in New York, in hearings Oct. 7 drew the most attention and criticism. Testifying for the House Committee on Education and Labor, Ghilarducci proposed that the government eliminate tax breaks for 401(k) and similar retirement accounts, such as IRAs, and confiscate workers’ retirement plan accounts and convert them to universal Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (GRAs) managed by the Social Security Administration. – Carolina Journal Online

Read Ghilarducci’s paper: Guaranteed Retirement Accounts – Toward retirement income security – Economic Policy Insitiute

3. Have government propose legislation to allow conversion of 401(k) and IRAs into annuities. (Jan 2010):
Retiree Annuities May Be Pushed by Obama After Market Losses - By Theo Francis – The Obama administration is weighing how the government can encourage workers to turn their savings into guaranteed income streams following a collapse in retiree accounts when the stock market plunged. The U.S. Treasury and Labor Departments will ask for public comment as soon as next week on ways to promote the conversion of 401(k) savings and Individual Retirement Accounts into annuities or other steady payment streams. – Bloomberg

4. After the next market crash, with populace roused, have legislative leaders decry the greedy and obscenely profitable private sector insurance and annuity companies demanding a more ‘competitive’ government sponsored solution.

5. Propose and pass legislation for nationalizing retirement accounts using similar methods employed in passing national health care legislation. Rolls Royce (large) pension annuities can be taxed in order to provide annuities to those less fortunate (nonsavers).

Comrade Joe wishes to remain an unnamed member of the proletariat.

This entry was posted on Monday, January 11th, 2010 at 12:05 PM and is filed under General, IRAs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. - 57k -

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-30 17:13:19

See my post of Thomas Sowell’s article above. Synopsis: A version of it is already happening here, though far more subtle since it is done with quantitative easing.

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Comment by shendi
2013-03-30 09:12:50

If the country is going into recession anyway, why don’t the politicians let the banks fail! Is this because there will be no economy after this?

The people that have the most to lose are - the retirement age people, the one that have lucrative salaries - are in control and thus want to kick the can down the road. This is the best outcome for them.

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-30 09:18:56

The people who have the most to lose are the ones looking to get re-elected in the next election.

You don’t get re-elected by taking away the free government cheese.

Comment by Skroodle
2013-03-30 10:01:22

You have to remember Cyprus was involved in a bloody civil war for many years and the island is still split between the Greek and Turkish sides.

Letting the banks fail along with everyone’s money might lead to a recitation of the civil war.

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-30 12:58:18

Bloody civil war????


But nobody cares - because it was a muslim country doing the invading.

You have to remember Cyprus was involved in a bloody civil war for many years and the island is still split between the Greek and Turkish sides.

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Comment by Steve J
2013-03-30 14:30:00

The Turks invaded after Greece lead a coup to over throw the government of Cyprus.

Greece was run by a military dictatorship at the time.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-03-30 14:59:03

If the country is going into recession anyway, why don’t the politicians let the banks fail! Is this because there will be no economy after this?

News flash: when the bank won’t give you YOUR OWN money back, the bank has already failed.

The real question is who is going to recapitalize the banks? In this case, they appear to have chosen large depositors for this task.

The best approach would have been to:

- wipe out shareholders—not done, I believe. I heard the share prices are very low, but the old shareholders will share ownership with the new shareholders, the depositors who were getting shares.

- wipe out bondholders, replacing their claims with equity—I haven’t heard anything definitive, but if it’s not been mentioned, it presumably has not happened.

- float new debt, as the banks would now have a squeaky-clean balance sheet and plenty of room to borrow.

The Cypriot bank plan is just like a bankruptcy, except for all of the stuff that normally happens in a bankruptcy.

It sure look like a BK to the large depositors, though! :-)

Comment by peter a
2013-03-30 07:18:21
Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-30 08:20:12

Don’t you love these articles which announce “the next bubble” after it has already sat in plain view for upwards of half a decade?

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-30 08:04:00

Be careful what you buy for your house.

“You can’t go into people’s homes and conduct searches without probable cause,” Pilate said.

How quaint. How…pre-Obama…

Growing your own food? - Bad
EBT card? - Good


Kansas couple: Indoor gardening prompted pot raid

Two former CIA employees whose Kansas home was fruitlessly searched for marijuana during a two-state drug sweep claim they were illegally targeted, possibly because they had bought indoor growing supplies to raise vegetables.

The suit filed in Johnson County District Court said the couple and their two children — a 7-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son — were “shocked and frightened” when deputies armed with assault rifles and wearing bulletproof vests pounded on the door of their home around 7:30 a.m. last April 20.

During the sweep, the court filing said, the Hartes were told they had been under surveillance for months, but the couple “know of no basis for conducting such surveillance nor do they believe such surveillance would have produced any facts supporting the issuance of a search warrant.”

“You can’t go into people’s homes and conduct searches without probable cause,” Pilate said.

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-03-30 08:11:02

“The State” by Porter Robinson, is worth listening to at this time on YouTube.

Comment by Skroodle
2013-03-30 10:02:59

I love it when the system turns against those that were once elites.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-30 10:54:23

<i.“You can’t go into people’s homes and conduct searches without probable cause,” Pilate said.”

Oh yes you can. The cops can do whatever the fuck they please. It’s up to YOU to prove they are wrong.

Contrary to popular opinion, you ARE guilty until proven innocent. Only the naive think otherwise.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-03-30 11:49:07

See…. I sensed long ago you knew what you’re talking about with these types of things.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-30 08:27:30

Try not to get caught out running with the bulls just before the Fed starts getting serious about taking away the punch bowl.

Time For The Fed To Take Away The Punch Bowl?

by John Ydstie
March 06, 2013 5:35 PM
Listen to the Story
All Things Considered
4 min 6 sec

The stock market’s long climb from its recession bottom has some people concerned it may be a bubble about to burst — a bubble artificially pumped up by the Federal Reserve’s easy-money policy. That’s led to calls — even from within the Fed — for an end to the central bank’s extraordinary efforts to keep interest rates low.

Even as the Dow Jones industrial average was reaching its nominal record Tuesday, Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, continued his criticism of the central bank’s massive intervention, calling it unhealthy. Another regional Fed president, Charles Plosser of Philadelphia, told a gathering of Pennsylvania businessmen that the Fed’s easy-money policy could cause financial instability and inflation. Plosser said it’s time for Fed policymakers to begin winding down their efforts to lower interest rates.

Causing A Stock Bubble?

Randall Kroszner, a former Fed policymaker and now a professor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, says as the economy heals, the debate over Fed policy is healthy.

“The fundamentals are starting to come back, and I think there’s a legitimate debate on whether more needs to be done,” Kroszner said.

But is the Fed’s low-interest-rate policy causing a bubble in the stock market? After all, there are still lots of things wrong with the economy. It’s still growing very sluggishly — not fast enough to bring down the unemployment rate, which remains high.

Alan Blinder, whose book After the Music Stopped deals with the financial crisis and the Fed’s extraordinary intervention, doesn’t think there’s a stock bubble. But Blinder, a former vice chairman of the Fed, says the central bank’s low-rate policy has pushed the market higher.

“Stock prices are supposed to depend on earnings and interest rates, and the Fed has made interest rates very low,” Blinder said. “But the other part of it is earnings are very high. You may have noticed that the share of national income accounted for by corporate profits has recently hit all-time highs.”

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-30 08:30:47

Some things never change!

March 29, 2013, 9:28 p.m. ET
Mom and Pop Run With the Bulls

The market’s record-breaking spree has raised a new fear in many American households—dread that they are missing out on big gains.

When stock prices collapsed in 2008, the bear market wiped out half of the savings of Lucie White and her husband, both doctors in Houston. Feeling “sucker punched,” she says, they swore off stocks and put their remaining money in a bank.

This week, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index pushed to record highs, Ms. White and her husband hired a financial adviser and took the plunge back into the market.

What really tipped our hand was to see our cash not doing anything while the S&P was going up,” says Ms. White, a 39-year-old dermatologist in Houston. “We just didn’t want to be left on the sidelines.”

Ms. White and her husband, Mark Villa, a reconstructive surgeon, are joining other individual investors in overcoming their fears after watching stocks recover all the ground lost during the financial crisis and more.

The S&P 500 closed at a record on Thursday. Markets were shut Friday.

So far this year, U.S. stock-focused mutual funds—the traditional domain of mom-and-pop investors—have taken in a net of $33.6 billion, according to Lipper. That is a small reversal compared with the $445 billion that they pulled from domestic stock mutual funds from 2007 through the end of 2012. But many on Wall Street think that trend will likely accelerate in coming months, particularly if the stock rally continues.

So far, most of the gains have been powered by big institutions and professional traders, whose buying helped push the blue-chip Dow to a gain of 11% in the first quarter of the year, which ended last Thursday. That rally, which also pushed up the S&P 500 to a record last Thursday, is the best start for the Dow since 1998.

Providing some comfort to small investors are fading concerns about the health of the U.S. economy. While growth is far from vibrant, unemployment is falling. Crucially for individual investors, the values of homes—the biggest single investment for most Americans—have started to inch higher. Corporate profits are at record levels, and confidence is rising among consumers and businesses.

But there is nothing like bad returns to scare away investors, and good ones to bring them back.

After the long bull market of the 1980s and 1990s, the first 10 years of this century have become known on Wall Street as the “lost decade.” The S&P 500 finished 2009 down 24% from where it was a decade earlier, thanks to a pair of vicious bear markets.

First came the collapse of the technology stock bubble starting in March 2000, which saw the S&P 500 tumble 49% to its nadir in October 2002. Then from its peak just before the financial crisis in October 2007, the S&P 500 slid 57% to its March 2009 low.

Some market watchers point out that Main Street investors tend to embrace stocks with enthusiasm only after major rallies like this one. That exposes such investors to the risk of buying near the end of a rally—and suffering when stocks turn lower.

Comment by wittbelle
2013-03-30 17:19:39

Didn’t joe kennedy say it was time to get out of the market when his shoeshine boy was giving him stock tips? Nuff said.

Comment by hazard
2013-03-30 09:16:43

March 29, 2013

Will You Turn Over Your Guns?

by Woody

As the implementation dates draw ever closer for shooters in some states to turn over semi-auto rifles, give up magazines of a certain size, register heretofore unregistered firearms, and perhaps have guns confiscated, some observers are saying they expect that many gunowners will not comply with new local, state and federal gun rules. And some law-enforcement officials are saying they won’t enforce laws they believe infringe on the 2nd Amendment.

Sheriff John Cooke says he won’t enforce new gun-control measures in Weld County, which covers a large part of northeastern Colorado, and legal experts say he won’t be breaking the law. (The Saratogian)

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said it will not comply with the provision of New York’s new gun control law requiring mental health providers to report potentially dangerous individuals to state authorities. (Times Union)

The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) has a running tally of all the sheriffs across the nation that have joined together to defend the Constitution. At the time of this post, there are 15 sheriffs associations, 340 sheriffs, one police chief and one deputy sheriff who have stated they will not enforce any new gun laws.(CNS News)

So what’s your plan if DiFi comes a-callin’? If you can tell us without violating your OPSEC, what will you do? Let us know in the comment section.


1.Will I turn in my weapons or gear? Hmmm. “Unfortunately, I don’t happen to have any more guns at the moment, officer.” “I took advantage of the recent gun buying panic and sold them for a handsome profit” “No sir, I don’t know the name of the guy who bought them.” “Sorry about that, I probably should have asked, huh?” Oh, by the way Officer, if you don’t mind…., would you mind if I get your personal cell phone number?”. “Why, you ask?” “We’ll, I kind of wish I still had my guns”. “I feel a little vulnerable now”. “Remember the time my burglar alarm went off and it took your department about 30 minutes to get here?” “Yes, I know it was a false alarm, but you didn’t, until you got here”. “Maybe if I call you personally, you will get here a little quicker next time.”

Comment by Chris — March 30, 2013 @ 12:04 am

Will You Turn Over Your Guns? - -

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-30 09:24:52

Now You Know Why Cyprus Has No 2nd Amendment
The Market-Ticker

Because if they did……

With banks confiscating up to 80 percent of uninsured deposits over 100,000 euros ($130,000) and the country facing a deep economic crisis, Cyprus has forgiven loans to politicians and companies while others are generally being required to pay in full, media reports said, setting off fury on the island country.

The Greek newspaper Ethnos and the website said that loans to Members of Parliament from the three major political parties and other officials in the public administration from the Bank of Cyprus and Cyprus Popular Bank (Laiki) will be written down or off.

Comment by Skroodle
2013-03-30 10:08:59

Very true, you are only allowed to own 10 shotguns in Cyprus.

10! Can you believe it?

Everyone know that you always need 11!!

Comment by hazard
2013-03-30 10:31:26

“Everyone know that you always need 11!!”

Biden wants us to Get “Cyprus’d”!!!

Gun politics
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Cyprus has strict gun control. Private citizens are completely forbidden from owning handguns and rifles in any calber, even .22 rimfire. Only shotguns are allowed, and these require a license. Shotguns are limited to two rounds. The only shotguns typically sold in stores are double-barreled side-by-sides or over-unders. Pump actions and semiautomatics are prohibited. A private citizen can own a total of ten different shotguns. A citizen is not required to specify a reason for ownership to obtain a license, but most own their guns for hunting. Licenses are issued by provincial police. A gun license is required to buy ammunition, and ammunition sales are recorded. A shotgun owner may purchase up to 250 shells at one time. Cyprus also controls airguns, and airgun owners require a license.[25] - 288k -

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Comment by Steve J
2013-03-30 15:04:59

Shotguns aren’t real weapons. They don’t fire bullets.

Comment by hazard
2013-03-30 18:21:34

“Shotguns aren’t real weapons. They don’t fire bullets.”

No, they don`t fire bullets. :)

Comment by PeakHubris
2013-03-30 18:25:54

My 10mm might accidentally discharge in their general direction if they come to my door.

Comment by hazard
2013-03-30 19:32:06

“My 10mm might accidentally discharge in their general direction if they come to my door.”

Now that is a real weapon that does fire bullets. :)

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-03-30 09:21:22

Temp staffing and quit your job…

Altucher has interesting blogs. It would be great to have a few cups of coffee with him on a weekend morning and hear his ideas.

Comment by PeakHubris
2013-03-30 17:23:14

The guy is a worm.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-03-30 17:26:03

The guy is a worm.

Why do you say that? I really don’t know anything about him…

I thought the one column linked above was an interesting read.

Comment by PeakHubris
2013-03-30 17:27:48

He is on CNBC from time to time. I can’t stand to listen to the guy.

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Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-03-31 09:07:00

Because he says what you don’t want to hear perhaps? Altucher is not afraid to get past memes, slogans, and customs to ask “why do we do these things?” Many of his ideas are liberating. Maybe you cannot let go of a myth you held onto and Altucher pointed out it is just a myth.

Comment by you're my boy, blue
2013-03-30 10:49:26

Judge Rejects Much of Libor Lawsuit Against Banks

Of course. Collapse is the only answer.

Comment by you're my boy, blue
2013-03-30 10:51:16

Clinton appointed judge.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-30 10:51:42

WW3 here we come.

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-30 13:42:08

Corzine showed the way.

Comment by Steve J
2013-03-30 15:08:36

Heaven knows the only good decent people on Walk Street are Republicans.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-03-30 15:39:51

No way man…..the good folks on wall street are democrat!

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Comment by PeakHubris
2013-03-30 16:50:35

Anybody else notice the high number of online sites which are changing their commenting format to Facebook, and subsequently the comments drop off a cliff because hardly anybody is interested anymore? Pathetic that a Facebook account is required more and more these days. I do not have a Facebook account, and I will never have a Facebook account. If all online sites go to that format, I will quit commenting forever.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-30 17:15:44

“Pathetic that a Facebook account is required more and more these days.”

My guess is that they are an (unannounced) government-sponsored monopoly with a surveillance mission. If you don’t join in, you are automatically under suspicion.

But that’s just a guess…

Comment by Bluto
2013-03-31 21:46:32

yes, have run into that myself…my rotten local newspaper ran a very onesided story on the majority of RE deals being cash here with no mention of all the negative effects…I tried to comment but the only way is via a facebook account. I emailed the editor about this and got no reply of course. The story is at

Comment by AnnGogh
2013-03-30 18:36:43

Not from Drudge:

Intelligence insider: Obama administration agenda to “kill U.S Dollar”
- Doug Hagmann (Bio and Archives) Saturday, March 30, 2013

This week, I had a series of very sobering discussions with my highly-placed source within the intelligence world. The information he provided hit me like a proverbial tons of bricks. It connects everything we are seeing play out across the world, from the economic problems in Europe to the U.S. DHS ammunition acquisition orders and even the “gun control” debate. If you’re like me, you’re looking for clarity, context and focus with regard to all of the events we’re constantly hearing about but seem to lack legitimate explanation. I believe this report will provide the context and clarity we are all seeking, but I must warn you that the picture is not pretty.

The economic agenda: In plain sight
Some might be surprised to learn that the fate of America’s economy has already been determined, verified and announced by the Obama White House. Yet, it has received scant attention from the corporate media. In 2011, economist Kyle Bass interviewed a senior member of the Obama administration about its planned solutions for fixing the US economy and trade deficit[ia].

Among the questions he asked was about U.S. exports and wages, but the question itself was not nearly as important as the response he received from this senior administration official. In fact, this single, seven word response clarifies everything, explains everything, and leaves little else to discuss: “We’re just going to kill the dollar.”

There it is, the entire agenda in one short sentence. It explains everything we’ve been seeing domestically and globally. That one statement makes every other question irrelevant, or otherwise answers all economic questions and explains everything. Nothing else matters. I urge you to ponder that statement and all that it implies. Doing so will provide you with the clarity to understand not only what is taking place today, but what is yet to come.

Murder & High Treason
It is important to note the specificity of the word “kill.” Stated in the active voice, it means an unambiguously intentional and deliberate act. The murder of our national currency, the United States Dollar (USD), is the ultimate agenda to be implemented under Obama. To “kill” our national currency will subvert the United States and destroy it from within. This begs a number of questions, including what type of Americans would actually have, as their objective, the destruction of our national currency? To whom do they hold their allegiance, if not to the American people whose life’s work as well as the toil of our ancestors is represented in the form of wealth held in U.S. dollars? Does this make any sense to us, as Americans? The answer of course is “no.”

By its very definition, to kill our national currency is an act of high treason by those engaged in this activity. It undermines the very sovereignty and survival of our nation, and will have a life-changing impact on every citizen in the U.S. It will also impact every nation and the people of every nation on the planet, as the USD is presently the world’s reserve currency. It is an act that should result in the filing of criminal charges against the conspirators, a trial of their peers and if convicted, a death sentence. It’s that serious.

According to my source, we are past the point of no return. We will not be able to stop what is coming, but must be wise enough to prepare and “get out of the way.” The murder plot involving the death of the dollar did not begin with Obama, but he and other conspirators have accelerated the plans, plots and schemes for its demise.

The ultimate objective
The ultimate objective is to implement an international currency in tandem with a system of global governance. The problem is that most people are not thinking large enough, nor do they understand the magnitude of the lie. They are not seeing the larger picture as their focus is diverted elsewhere. For example, they focus on various tentacles of the octopus such as the gun confiscation initiative, the DHS armament acquisitions and economic woes as independent and unrelated events. They are not.

Meanwhile, others continue to adhere to, or even perpetuate the dual party meme of governance, holding dearly to the notion that there is a practical difference between the Republican and Democrat parties. Have we not seen sufficient evidence that they are now of one party acting in concert with each other? They cannot see the collusion and backroom deals, and continue to hope that the next election will finally change the unchangeable continuity of agenda.

Most of the elected officials are onboard with the subjugation of the United States to a global system of governance. Some are actively facilitating this agenda, while others are making nominal objections on the stage of political theater while hoping to earn a seat at the global table. It’s entertainment for the globalists, distraction of the masses, and diversionary fodder for the talking heads in the media.

America has become a captured operation - captured from within. Think of the Vichy French, internal collaboration with the enemy, or softening the ground for a full takeover from within. The takeover of America has already happened, the collaborators have already been installed, and we are now on a path to complete subjugation of a larger global system of governance. If you continue to doubt this, how else would you explain the numerous examples of our dual-party governmental acquiescence of self destruction?

“Signs, signs, everywhere signs…”
Those who are pleased about the new record setting stock-market highs and various other manipulated statistics that indicate our economy is improving will be the most vocal critics of this report and who will attempt to discredit the validity of the information offered here. The more intellectually astute will look beyond the statistics offered for mass consumption not only to identify the deliberately manipulated data, but to understand what is actually driving these false hopes, figures and data. It is a magic show, and many are still captivated by the magicians’ many diversions, failing to realize that we are engaged in a global war while being simultaneously hobbled by enemy infiltrators from within.

One reason we are seeing new stock market highs is the rush to the dollar from other currencies, especially in the Eurozone. Another reason is the monetization of our debt by the Federal Reserve, despite the previous denials of Ben Bernanke and others.

Simply put, the plan by the globalists, or the central bankers and those behind them, is to create this rush to the USD like passengers from sinking ships to lifeboats. Once the lifeboats are filled to capacity, they will be sunk, and the United States Dollar will be completely worthless. As in such a scenario, many will not make it. Many will die from what is coming. The level of evil behind this plan is incomprehensible to the normal human mind.

Russia, China, Syria and Iran
As I detailed in my multiple reports about Benghazi, we are at war with Russia. After removing Qaddafi from power in Libya, the Obama-Clinton black-ops plan was immediately put into action. Benghazi was the logistics hub for arming the anti-Assad terrorists by our own State Department covert operatives who were shipping millions of tons of weapons to Syria via Turkey and other staging areas. Russia was aware of our actions, and through the attack at the CIA operations center in Benghazi by proxy forces, exposed this operation to the world while putting a stop to this operation. It seems that everyone except the Western media reported what had taken place.

The “dirty little secret” that explains why we have not been told the truth about Benghazi is quite simple. The efforts to overthrow Assad from power are continuing, except the arms and munitions shipments are now originating primarily from Croatia. Overthrowing Assad would pose a direct threat to Russia, both militarily and economically. Are we to expect Russia’s Putin to simply accept this without response? No. So what is Russia doing to subvert our efforts? He is waging war against America, striking at the weak underbelly of our economy which is the “oil backed” dollar as identified in Michael Reagan’s article, Building on a Kernel of Truth.

Sadly, the Obama regime is doing nothing to protect us from this asymmetrical war. It’s as if they are allowing it to take place.

Although it was reported in The New York Times, few have paid attention to last week’s meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, but it was an extremely important event in terms of the planned murder of the U.S. dollar. An alliance is being forged between Russia and China to replace the USD as the reserve currency, already severely weakened by the policies of those in power, with a gold backed currency. Russia and China are hoarding gold to levels never before seen, while the U.S. issues worthless paper and digital currency backed by… nothing, save for the “oil-backed” scenario.

While reports do exist that cite the hoarding of gold by China and Russia, they are purposely under reporting their collective reserves. Meanwhile, Americans can’t even get honest answers to the amounts of our own gold reserves held in Fort Knox or the Federal Reserve. Don’t people find this reluctance for audit and inspection a bit curious if not outright suspicious?

The battle is being waged not only by military might but by a currency war. We are “being played” through our military involvement in the Middle East, including our covert operations against Syria at the behest of Saudi Arabia. Unlike Iraq, the war in Syria will explode, turn hot, and we will be engaged in an ominous battle that will quickly expand and turn deadly. Weakened militarily through the policies of the Obama regime, coupled with an already weakened economy, the U.S. will suffer consequences unlike anyone might imagine or is willing to address. It is a recipe for disaster planned and initiated by the global elite behind the central banking system, including those in our own government. We have been set up from within, lied to, and now, we are about to see exactly what this globalist system has in store for not only the United States, but every nation of the world.

It is critical to understand that the take-down of the U.S. will be the result of an asymmetrical war that includes the weakening of our military, our economy, and a direct assault on our ability to keep the dollar as the world reserve currency and protect the free flow of oil and energy to the United States.

Within the last week, China held a surprise naval exercise in the South China Sea. Meanwhile, Russia displayed their resurgent military night in the Black Sea. These exercises were conducted as U.S. military forces are spread thinly across many areas in the world. Is anyone paying attention here?

Just as certain a collapse of the dollar is coming, so will be chaos on the streets of America caused by this plan “to kill the dollar.” The central bankers and the leaders selected to govern each country have effectively used the Hegelian Dialectic[ii] to implement their agenda. Just as stated by George H.W. Bush on September 11, 1990, their predetermined solution of a “New World Order” is being formed before our very eyes. They’ve told us what they are doing, but we have chosen not to listen or failed to understand what was being said.

The U.S. has always been the firewall against the globalists. By their persistence, infiltration of global elitists into our government, and covert subversion from within, we are being led to slaughter. A view from space, looking at the larger picture of events for which many have questions, a clearer picture emerges. There will be some who dare to resist the pillaging of our bank accounts, the erosion of our rights, and the enslavement that comes with the dismantling of America.

The dust clouds visible on the far horizon that watchmen have been reporting for decades can now be seen as an attacking army of barbarians, whose fighters are now on the ladders and cannons are breaching our empire’s outer walls. Who knows how long the inner walls of our empire will survive the next wave of their coming attack.

Perhaps Ernest Hemmingway said it best in referencing John Donne from his novel of the same name… “And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.”



Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-30 18:41:58

Cyprus, Luxembourg, Italy or Malta: Which country will unravel the euro zone?
Posted by Dylan Matthews on March 30, 2013 at 9:00 am

Cyprus’s president says that country’s economic crisis is now contained, and it won’t need to leave the euro. But even if you believe him, that hardly means Europe is out of the woods. Slovenia was prompting concern last week, and Luxembourg and Malta are also stoking worries. And that’s not to mention the biggies Italy and Spain, whose failure would probably spark a worldwide economic crisis.

So which of these countries is likeliest to doom us all? Let’s run through the possibilities.

Comment by PeakHubris
2013-03-30 22:28:57

In all my years, I never realized that the pain of crushing debt could be immediately alleviated by taking on even more. Silly me.

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