November 30, 2013

Bits Bucket for November 30, 2013

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

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Comment by tom cruz bustamante
2013-11-30 04:44:14

I will print my way out of it. YOLO!

–Janet Yellin

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-11-30 05:42:51

I’m first in line. You’re not.



Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-30 06:00:27

Please repeat after me:

There is no bubble.

There is no bubble.

There is no bubble.

There is no bubble.

etc etc etc

Comment by azdude02
2013-11-30 06:44:27

when the bubble pops it gives them an excuse to print even more money. they know what there doing.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-11-30 06:51:29

Time the bailout as something that absolutely must be done to avoid imminent collapse and destruction. Do it right before the 2016 election and in a bipartisan way like last time so it is a nonissue in the election. It still amazes me that the last bail out, the biggest economic issue facing the country at the time of the 2008 election, was barely a blip.

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-11-30 07:33:02

You have to remember what the democrats received for agreeing to the bail out. TARP loans were treated as an expenditure. When the loans were paid back it was treated as revenue. Thus, democrats were given a new credit card to use for spending. They could claim Bush had a trillion dollar plus deficit in is last year when it was just actually loans and when it was paid back they could claim they were cutting the deficit. It was great for people that love to spend.

Comment by inchbyinch
2013-11-30 08:20:14

Democrats and Republicans both suck.
I’m a giraffe. I stand straight up, looking above it all, and don’t lean in either direction.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-11-30 08:35:07

Two establishment candidates can’t be expected to raise a red flag over bail outs and more gas for the fire sector.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-30 09:07:45

“Do it right before the 2016 election and in a bipartisan way like last time so it is a nonissue in the election.”

Should we expect to see Jack Lew grovelling on his knees at the feet of Ted Cruz as a sign that another bailout is at hand?

Comment by azdude02
2013-11-30 09:51:23

the rich are getting richer because they have inside information as to what the money printers next move will be. Its a rigged game.

There is no way in h@ll the market would have gone straight up off the lows like it did after the last rigged crisis.

They manipulate the market for themselves.

Comment by scdave
2013-11-30 10:16:51

the biggest economic issue facing the country at the time of the 2008 election, was barely a blip ??

Well sure…We must focus are attention on more important matter that threaten our country like; Birth-Control…

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-30 06:18:20

Former Reagan Budget Head David Stockman: Fed Has Created Gargantuan Global Bubble
Wednesday, 27 Nov 2013 10:26 AM
By Dan Weil

The Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program is brewing asset bubbles around the world, says David Stockman, White House budget director under President Ronald Reagan.

The central bank is purchasing $85 billion of Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities a month.

“The Fed is exporting this lunatic policy worldwide,” Stockman told CNBC. “Central banks all over the world have been massively expanding their balance sheets, and as a result of that there are bubbles in everything in the world, asset values are exaggerated everywhere.”

In the United States, for example, stock indices have risen to record highs.

The global results of the easing won’t be pretty, Stockman says. “It’s only a question of time before the central banks lose control, and a panic sets in when people realize that these values are massively overstated,” he said.

Foreign central banks are easing “for either good reasons of defending their own . . . trade and their exchange rate, or because they’re replicating the Fed’s erroneous policies,” Stockman said.

Comment by Skroodle
2013-11-30 12:06:38

Question of time?

10 hours?
10 days?
10 months?
10 years?
10 decades?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-30 14:07:34

It’s coming down the barrel right at you.

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Comment by United States of Crooked Politicians and Bankers
2013-11-30 16:09:18

You keep saying this but the weeks, months, and years carry on. Stopped clock predictions are just that. Sure, it will happen sometime, but WHEN? I agree something bad is coming, but nobody seems to be able to explain why it is taking so long, which would make one wonder- is QE actually working?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-30 17:24:38


I’ve been saying it for less than 12 months.

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-11-30 18:08:04

‘nobody seems to be able to explain why it is taking so long’

Let’s review. Shiller called the US a bubble in 2002. I was thinking out loud to people I knew that Austin was in a housing bubble in 1998. I was working for a dotcom and believed the tech boom was for real until late 1999.

I started this blog in December 2004. We all know what happened after that. Then in 2011 or 2012, I’m not sure, I started coming across articles about bidding wars, writing letter to sellers, etc. I thought, I should follow this. It’s grown and here we are today.

Now prices are falling, inventories are growing, foreclosures are rising. The biggest question here is, is this a bubble? I happen to think it’s the same bubble. Bubbles always crash. Bull markets don’t always crash.

I was describing what was going on in Kenya to someone the other day. They asked, “how does a bubble form in Kenya?” I replied, look at what the central banks have done, that money has to go somewhere.

China has printed over $20 trillion worth of currency the last few years. In Beijing there are 3 million housing units not being supplied with electricity. The US central bank has created a few trillion too. And we’re told similar monetary creation has been occurring at 12 other major central banks around the world.

Indonesia didn’t have a bubble in 2006, that I recall. Now they have a raging bubble. This is a country with nearly the population of the US. The Philippines has a newish commercial and residential bubble; population just under 100 million.

We now have a junk bond market yield under 5% in some cases. We have tech companies which are losing money and rake in billions of dollars in IPO’s. We also have a handful of central banks and government that are explicitly putting the brakes on housing bubbles.

How will it end? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Comment by United States of Crooked Politicians and Bankers
2013-11-30 19:22:47

It all seems to exist in perpetuity. China’s ghost cities have been news for like 5 years or longer. I seem to recall hearing of their building frenzy back in 1999. We had a bit of a housing correction in the US, only to watch prices whipsaw back into bubble territory, seemingly immune to the economic fundamentals of the people who actually need the shelter. All we hear, no matter what country, is about investors buying houses. I don’t honestly understand, in light of such weak economic fundamentals, how things have been able to continue on for so long.

We were talking about people living off credit cards 7 years ago. What are those people living off of now, especially given the real unemployment numbers? How is this model being propped up? I just can’t wrap my mind around it. It’s like there is an endless supply of money for everybody, though I sure haven’t seen any of it. The shopping centers are packed this year. I passed through Klamath Falls Oregon recently and I have never seen so many cars there in my life. It is usually dead. I am at a loss as to what is going on.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-30 19:41:45

“I started this blog in December 2004. We all know what happened after that.”

I sure as fawk know what happen in the 5 years preceding Dec 04 too.

“Now prices are falling, inventories are growing, foreclosures are rising.”


Comment by Ben Jones
2013-11-30 22:17:58

‘It all seems to exist in perpetuity.’

How long did the bubble in oil states take? I was a boy, so did it start before the first Arab oil crisis? Or the second? Then it took 15 years to find a bottom, even though most of the decline happened in the first 3 years. And there was no HARP/TARP, stimulus, nothing but watching it plummet.

I don’t think much about time. What I think about is that this is something mankind has never seen. IMO, a mania so large and all encompassing that history will refer to it for hundreds of years.

Comment by rms
2013-11-30 22:37:12

“I passed through Klamath Falls Oregon recently and I have never seen so many cars there in my life. It is usually dead. I am at a loss as to what is going on.”

+1 Klamath Falls agriculture got slammed when their water resources were cut by the Ninth Circuit Court. Not sure what else they do there, a barren sort of place, IMHO.

Comment by United States of Crooked Politicians and Bankers
2013-11-30 23:33:57

I would have to defer to you regarding the oil bust in Texas, etc. Being from the area, you know much more about it than I. Speaking of which, when this current oil boom goes bust, we are really in trouble in terms of unemployment. There are A LOT of people making their living off of the oil patch. Perhaps a precipitous drop in crude prices will be the catalyst for the whole shithouse going down.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-30 08:41:45

If you take on mortgage debt at current massively inflated housing prices, you’ll enslave yourself for the rest of your life.

“Debt is bondage.”~Suze Orman, May 11, 2013

Don’t Be A Debt Donkey®

Comment by jose canusi
2013-11-30 05:36:34

Website’s fixed! Just please don’t use it.

Comment by jose canusi
2013-11-30 05:51:19

They say “SURGE”, I say “PURGE”, let’s call the whole thing off.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-11-30 06:26:54

Rio will finally be able to sign up for that lobotomy!

Comment by jose canusi
2013-11-30 06:59:21


Can’t wait to hear the O-man spin this as a great success. Nothing succeeds like delusion.

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Comment by scdave
2013-11-30 10:29:22

Can’t wait to hear the O-man spin this as a great success ??

Social Security was controversial when originally proposed, with one point of opposition being that it would allegedly cause a loss of jobs. However, proponents argued that there was in fact an advantage: it would encourage older workers to retire, thereby creating opportunities for younger people to find jobs, which would lower the unemployment rate.[citation needed]

Opponents also decried the proposal as socialism. In a Senate Finance Committee hearing, one Senator asked Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, “Isn’t this socialism?” She said that it was not, but he continued, “Isn’t this a teeny-weeny bit of socialism

Comment by Skroodle
2013-11-30 12:08:09

That must be why the Tea Party is advocating the end of Social Security??

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-11-30 12:53:22

No one needs to advocate the end. 3 million are turning 65 every year now the vast majority of whom haven’t saved a penny. Add in the medical care and pass out the recipes for cat food. Dry only.

Comment by scdave
2013-11-30 12:56:04

Because its socialism don’t you know…Tea party would prefer soylent green if you are old with no income or savings even if the BK was caused by a catastrophic illness when you had no or limited insurance coverage…Throw-em under the bus…Whats the big deal…

Comment by 2banana
2013-11-30 14:05:26

Social Security…

Originally sold to the people as only a…

1% tax on the RICH

To help “poor elderly women” not starve in the streets.

How did that work out everyone?

Comment by United States of Crooked Politicians and Bankers
2013-11-30 16:23:08

How is the Republican’s big business model of importing “guest workers” at less than minimum wage, then passing their health care costs off to hard working citizens working out?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-11-30 07:27:32

I think he had that already. He is an Obama zombie.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-30 07:45:42

“Rio will finally be able to sign up for that lobotomy!”

And don’t forget the gender change reversion.

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Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2013-11-30 09:23:20

Lola no more?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-30 09:41:53

The frenetic shaming helped him/her see the light.

Now we have to work on his/her LIEberal ways.

Comment by 2banana
2013-11-30 14:06:57

Stop it!

Obamacare made us more civilized.

Now please act like it.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-30 06:23:58

Oh bugger…

Crucial weekend for Obamacare website begins with a shutdown
By Roberta Rampton and Sharon Begley
WASHINGTON Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:26am EST

A man looks over the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) signup page on the website in New York in this October 2, 2013 photo illustration. REUTERS/Mike Segar

(Reuters) - A crucial weekend for the troubled website that is the backbone of President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul appears to be off to a shaky start, as the U.S. government took the site offline for an unusually long maintenance period into Saturday morning.

Just hours before the Obama administration’s self-imposed deadline to get the insurance shopping website working for the “vast majority” of its users by Saturday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it was taking down the website for an 11-hour period that would end at 8 a.m. EST on Saturday.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-11-30 08:23:32

“Crucial weekend for Obamacare website begins with a shutdown”

That dog won’t hunt

Comment by phony scandals
2013-11-30 08:46:23

Cancer Patient Who Spoke Out Against ObamaCare Now Being Audited

November 28, 2013
by Daniel Greenfield

Bill Elliot was a cancer patient who lost his insurance due to ObamaCare and couldn’t pay the expensive new premiums. He was talking about paying the ObamaCare fine, going without health insurance and “letting nature take its course.”

Now suddenly Bill Elliot is being audited for 2009 with an interview only scheduled in April 2014. Assuming he lives that long. That might be a coincidence, but Tucker is being audited back to 2003.

That’s a rather strange coincidence.

Would the IRS actually go after a cancer patient, who had voted for Obama initially, just for appearing on FOX and now being sharply critical of Obama and suggesting that he resign for his health plan lie?

Under the current insane state of affairs, where the IRS was used to silence the opposition, it’s unfortunately entirely possible. The fact that we are even having this discussion shows how badly Obama has undermined confidence in government institutions and the rule of law. - 73k -

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Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2013-11-30 09:01:25

Bill Elliot was a cancer patient who lost his insurance due to ObamaCare and couldn’t pay the expensive new premiums.

Lies. “Lost his insurance”? The cancellation take affect Jan 1. It’s November I think.

(His insurance) will be $1,500 a month with a $13,500 deductible. (”just for him”) LOL, what a joke lie. There is no individual insurance at that price on the ACA exchange with such a deductible. FOX lies.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-11-30 09:41:47

“FOX lies”

“If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”

Here are the 37 instances we could find in which President Barack Obama or a top administration official said something close to, “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan,” referring to health insurance changes under the Affordable Care Act. - 38k -

Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-11-30 10:07:03

So fox lies AND Obama lies. Enumerating the lies of one does not exonerate the other: it marks the poster as a discriminating believer of lies.

Comment by oxide
2013-11-30 11:03:43

The more accurate talking point would be

“If you like your doctor, Obamacare won’t cancel your plan. Even if the plan isn’t up to Obamacare standards (as of 2010), Obamacare will grandfather the plan in. Now, if your OWN insurance company cancels your plan or changes it away from the 2010 version, go blame your insurance company, not Obama.”

But that won’t fit onto a bumper sticker.

Comment by spook
2013-11-30 15:43:36

The more accurate talking point would be

“If you like your cat, you can keep your cat; because you will need something to eat when you can no longer afford cat food.”

Comment by ibbots
2013-11-30 09:13:48

There is a 3 year statute on audits, I.e. the IRS can only audit a return within the three year period following its filing. Either he is lying or filed a bunch of returns really late.

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Comment by inchbyinch
2013-11-30 09:51:57

Is this accurate?
The IRS has THREE years to give you a REFUND, three years to audit your tax return, and TEN years TO COLLECT any tax due. Together, these laws are called the statute of limitations. They put time limits on various tax-related actions that you and the IRS can take.

Comment by inchbyinch
2013-11-30 09:58:02

IIRC, I was taught to hold on to Acct’g /Tax backup for 7 years in school.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-11-30 10:00:00

How Long Does The IRS Have To Audit Your Return?

By George W. Connelly

The time in which the IRS must conduct its audit is governed by what’s known as a “statute of limitations.” That statute doesn’t begin to run until you actually file a return. Once you file a return, the IRS has three years from the time the return was filed (or, April 15th of the year in which you file, if it is filed early) to conduct and complete an audit. As you might expect, however, there are exceptions.

The first exception involves a situation where a taxpayer, or a husband and wife on a joint return, fail to report 25% of their correct gross income. If the IRS can prove that such an amount of income was omitted, then a six year period – running from the time the return was filed – applies.

The other major exception relates to the presence of fraud – a knowing and willful attempt to evade tax. In order to rely on this exception, the IRS must prove such fraud by clear and convincing evidence with respect to every tax year for which it seeks to extend the limitations period.

Does this mean that after three years or six years or whenever, one should throw out all her records? Absolutely not! There are going to be situations where one has to establish the basis of an asset (for which depreciation or a capital loss is claimed), or the existence of a loss carryforward from well before the normal, three year limitations period. Thus, before you take your old tax records to the incinerator or the shredder, it’s important to go through them and make sure that any documentary material that relates to a transaction that is or will be the subject of a later years’ return be saved, just in case. In most audits, the burden of proving a deduction is on the taxpayer, and that includes proving the basis of an asset for which even capital gain is reported.

The foregoing is of course not intended as legal advice, but just as a summary of the pertinent periods after which the IRS may no longer examine your returns. If you are notified of an examination, you should discuss these rules with your personal tax advisor. - 53k -

Comment by Montana
2013-11-30 10:06:02

they can audit any years for underreporting can’t they?

Comment by Federal Reserve President
2013-11-30 10:08:55

I thought the 3yr time limit for performing an audit was just for errors. My understanding is that the window is much longer if they allege fraud.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-11-30 10:13:51

“I was taught to hold on to Acct’g /Tax backup for 7 years in school.”

You had a good teacher.

Comment by Skroodle
2013-11-30 12:10:24

Statue of Limitations is 7 years.

Comment by ibbots
2013-11-30 12:22:31

‘Is this accurate?’ Yes, that’s a good summary. There are of course exceptions to the general rule as has been pointed out.

A 25% understatement of gross income doubles the exam statute to 6 years. Interesting to note that this applies to an understatement of income, not necessarily an overstatement of deductions. For overstatement of deductions, there is a split in the federal district courts, with some circuits treating it as an understatement of income (6 yr statute), while others do not (3 yr statute). So, if you’re gonna cheat on your taxes, depending on where you live, you may be better served overstating deductions than not reporting income.

Fraudulent returns - yeah, if you file a fraudulent return, you’re hosed. From my experience, you have to screw up pretty bad before the IRS whips out the fraud allegation. The civil fraud thresholds are pretty high and there is a fair amount of revenue officer discretion in making that charge. Even if you file a return with unsubstantiated deductions, like on a Sch. C, it is easy to keep it an entirely uneventful exam with no fraud allegations.

Most fraud referrals start in normal exams and go from there. It pays to have good representation to keep the scope of the exam narrow.

Comment by ibbots
2013-11-30 12:25:30

‘Is this accurate?’ Yes, that’s a good summary. There are of course exceptions to the general rule as has been pointed out.

A 25% understatement of gross income doubles the exam statute to 6 years. Interesting to note that this applies to an understatement of income, not necessarily an overstatement of deductions. For overstatement of deductions, there is a split in the federal district courts, with some circuits treating it as an understatement of income (6 yr statute), while others do not (3 yr statute). So, if you’re gonna cheat on your taxes, depending on where you live, you may be better served overstating deductions than not reporting income.

Fraudulent returns - yeah, if you file a fraudulent return, you’re hosed. From my experience, you have to screw up pretty bad before the IRS whips out the fraud allegation. The civil fraud thresholds are pretty high and there is a fair amount of revenue officer discretion in making that charge. Even if you file a return with unsubstantiated deductions, like on a Sch. C, it is easy to keep it an entirely uneventful exam with no fraud allegations.

Most fraud referrals start in normal exams and go from there. It pays to have good representation to keep the scope of the exam narrow.

There is no 7 year statute with respect to federal income tax law.

Comment by inchbyinch
2013-12-01 05:58:25

Thank you. I read your post with precision focus.

Thank you as well. The article was interesting.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-11-30 12:55:30

It is fixed. I’ve already signed up 10 times.

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Comment by United States of Crooked Politicians and Bankers
2013-11-30 23:37:30

Naughty girl.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-30 06:02:25

Have you cashed in your Bitcoin holdings yet?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-30 06:05:48

Time to go short Bitcoin and long gold. You won’t regret it.

3:54 pm Nov 29, 2013
Podcast: Bitcoin and the Bubble

The price of one bitcoin crossed above $1,200 Friday, up from less than $14 at the beginning of the year.

Clearly that’s good news for speculators betting on its rise, but is it also a troubling sign for the virtual currency as it tries to become more mainstream?

Also, on this week’s podcast: A wave of consolidation has swept the cable industry this year and Time Warner Cable is the latest target attracting suitors. But will a deal materialize?

Heard on the Street’s Liam Denning and Miriam Gottfried join host Stephen Grocer to discuss. Grab a set of headphones and take a listen to MoneyBeat Week.

Comment by Federal Reserve President
2013-11-30 10:14:52

Time to go short Bitcoin and long gold. You won’t regret it.

How do I even go about shorting bitcoin?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-30 11:18:48

How to short bitcoins (if you really must)
By Simone Foxman @simonefoxman April 2, 2013
Funny money or a trading opportunity? CASASCIUS/Wikimedia

The rise of bitcoin, an electronic currency traded on an online exchange, has generated a media frenzy. Once scoffed at, its value has risen by 631% (denominated in dollars) since the start of 2013.

Lots of people think that means we’re in a bitcoin bubble and it will eventually pop. But if you’re one of these bitcoin bears, it’s not easy for you to “short” it—i.e., bet that its value will go down.

The usual way to short a currency is to use a currency pair—something like EUR/USD, the value of a euro denominated in dollars—which trades as a single unit. For example, if the euro was trading at $1.3000, you would “borrow” a currency pair from your broker, which you have to return within a certain period of time, and sell it on the open market, pocketing $1.30. If after an hour EUR/USD is trading at $1.2950, you can buy the currency pair at that price and return it to your broker, making a profit of $0.0050. (If you’re wrong, you lose out.)

Most of the exchanges which allow you to trade bitcoins, however, don’t currently offer anything like currency pairs, nor any other futures or derivatives. Which means you would have to amass a stock of actual bitcoins to bet on them. That gets expensive.

One day, if bitcoin becomes well established, institutional foreign exchange dealers could make markets in bitcoins. (Among the current obstacles: There are only 11 million bitcoins in existence, and there can never be more than 21 million, so it’s not a very liquid market. If a way ever emerges to break bitcoins up into even smaller fractions, that might solve the problem, according to traders we spoke to.) But for those looking to short bitcoins right now, there are two notable ways to do it:

Bitfinex: A Hong Kong-based bitcoin exchange based in Hong Kong, Bitfinex allows ordinary bitcoin holders to act like brokers and lend bitcoins to people who want to trade them. The exchange does a lot of this automatically.

ICBIT: ICBIT allows traders to make bets using futures—financial contracts in which a buyer agrees to buy a security, in this case a bitcoin, at a future date at a predetermined price. Futures contracts can be bought and sold, so you can make money without buying the actual bitcoins themselves. This platform will also let you trade commodities, such as oil, in bitcoins.

Still, do you really want to short bitcoins? The market is still pretty volatile, and because it’s an unfamiliar mix of currency and equity, it’s likely to stay that way for a while. Remarks Cullen Roche, the founder of Orcam Financial Group, “You’d probably be better off just going to Vegas though. You’ll have more fun, about the same odds, and the drinks in the casino will be free.”

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Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-11-30 06:15:42

Don’t cash them in, leverage them. Allow them to buy themselves.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-30 06:25:27

Are you able to profit on that sort of transaction?

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-11-30 06:28:02

As long as I am not the one doing the transaction I will somehow find a way to profit.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-30 09:09:19

Do you use other people’s Bitcoin to get ‘er done?

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-11-30 09:23:43

Of course, why should I use my own?

Use other people’s bitcoins and use other people - both done at the same time with the same transaction.

What could be better than that?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-30 06:03:55

Did you dump your Treasury bonds by now?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-30 06:07:48

November 29, 2013, 2:41 p.m. ET

Treasury Bonds Fall, Wrap Up Bruising November

–Bond prices fall on anxiety over Fed tapering bond buying

–Month-end buying cushions selling in shortened session Friday

–Next week’s jobs report key factor in influencing Fed policy outlook

By Min Zeng

U.S. Treasury bonds fell Friday and wrapped up a monthly price loss as fears grew that the Federal Reserve might dial back its bond buying before the end of the year.

Next week’s nonfarm jobs report is seen by many bond traders and investors as the key factor determining the timing for the Fed to cut, or taper in Wall Street terms, its $85 billion monthly purchases in Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities.

Fed officials have said that when to adjust the pace of its bond buying, a key tool to stimulating the economy following the 2008 financial crisis, hinges on the health of the economy, especially U.S. employment.

“When strong jobs data shows that the Fed will taper, then the new adage will be, ’sell what the Fed is no longer buying,’” said John Herrmann, rates strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Securities (USA) Inc. in New York.

The benchmark 10-year note was 3/32 lower in price, yielding 2.746%, according to Tradeweb. Bond prices fall when their yields rise.

The 10-year yield rose from 2.54% at the end of October. Treasury bonds have handed investors a loss of 0.32% in total returns this month through Wednesday, according to Barclays.

Comment by azdude02
2013-11-30 06:46:10

no prices will go back up soon.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-30 08:38:53

It’s under way now.

Have cash….. and you’re gonna regret holding debt.

Comment by jose canusi
2013-11-30 06:05:13

Free stuff for all! Boo-YAH!

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-30 06:09:30

Do I have to go elbow-to-elbow with Walmart shoppers to get it?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-30 06:14:24

Here is a suggestion for Walmart managers. Pipe in some classical music to your stores:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Johann Sebastian Bach, Johannes Brahms, George Handel, Ludwig van Beethoven, etc.

Shoplifters and hooligans hate it. Soon your stores will be fight-free, and you won’t have bloggers mocking your operations by posting video of Joe Sixpack battling his fellow Walmart shopper for the last big screen teevee in the store.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-30 06:16:08

Wal-Mart Steps Up Security as Fights Break Out Over TVs
By Cotten Timberlake & Renee Dudley - Nov 29, 2013 12:55 PM PT

With an estimated 140 million Americans predicted to shop this weekend, retailers are bolstering security, deploying Segway patrols and putting on live music to distract shoppers and avoid the deal-hunting scrums that can foster Black Friday tramplings.

Malls are beefing up patrols with off-duty cops. Chains including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) are using quota systems for popular doorbusters from iPads to jewelry. Yet all was not peaceful. In one incident, uploaded to YouTube, uniformed security officers handcuffed a female shopper at an unidentified Wal-Mart store after a tussle over a television. Bill Simon, chief executive officer of Wal-Mart’s U.S. division, was asked about the incident on a conference call today with reporters.

“Any time you get more than 22 million people together you’re going to have some behavior you’re not proud of,” said Simon, who also said “the number of incidents” was down from last year and that it’s “hard to tell what happened in any individual incident.”

Comment by talon
2013-11-30 08:46:15

Chandler (AZ) mall used to play classical music in the area outside the movie theatres where kids would tend to hang out. For a while every time I walked by they were playing the last movement of the Bruckner ninth. Not sure if it was classical music in general or just Bruckner that drove the kids elsewhere but it seemed to work.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-30 09:13:59

Bruckner is even reasonably effective for driving away many classical music fans. Reminds me of an old joke: Supposedly in the late-1800s, a Boston Symphony Orchestra patron added an extra sign to the one by the exit door; together they read “Exit…in case of Brahms.”

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-30 06:22:12

America is the laughing stock of the planet. Thanks alot, Walmart!

news dot com dot au
Fights, stabbing at Walmart Black Friday discount sales in America
News Limited Network
November 29, 2013 4:53PM

FIGHTS have erupted in more than one Walmart discount department store during its Black Friday sales promotion.

Fights over items greatly reduced have taken place at Walmart stores in Beaumont, Texas; Jordan Creek in Iowa; Johnson City in Tennessee and Rialto in California. There was also a stabbing in a Walmart car park outside Walmart in Claypool Hill, Virginia.

Tazewell County Sheriff Brian Hieatt told WVVA that two men, 61-year-old Ronnie Sharp and 35-year-old Christopher Jackson were arguing over a parking space.

Comment by jose canusi
2013-11-30 06:24:21

sheesh, I’m tellin’ ya. I take one look at that and think “Yep, Washington and Wall Street want to destroy the average American citizen. Can you blame them?”

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-11-30 06:39:15

“Yep, Washington and Wall Street want to destroy the average American Citizen.”

Washington and Wall Street aren’t destroying American citizens, the citizens are destroying themselves.

Comment by 30K millionaire
2013-11-30 06:45:23

It’s tight this month with the holidays, gotta pull some $ from the HELOC to make the car payment

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Comment by jose canusi
2013-11-30 06:48:52

“the citizens are destroying themselves.”

Tell me aboudit. I just don’t wanna go down with them.

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Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-11-30 06:54:34

Then don’t play my game.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-11-30 07:16:05

Here’s a clue as to what makes my game work. It’s a selection from the book “Man’s Search for Meaning”, by Victor Frankl (he makes an important point, so pay attention!):

“The existential vacuum is a wide-spread phenonomen of the twentieth century. This is understandable it may be due to a twofold loss which man has had to undergo since he became a truly human being. At the beginning of human history man lost some of the basic animal instincts in which an animal’s behavior is imbedded and by which it is secured. Such security, like Paradise, is closed to men forever; a man has to make choices. In addition to this, however, man has suffered another loss in his more recent development inasmuch as the traditions which buttressed his behavior are now rapidly diminishing. No instinct tells him what he has to do, and no tradition tells him what he ought to do; sometimes he does not even know what he wishes to do. Instead, he either wishes to do what other people do (conformism) or he does what other people wish him to do (totalitarianism).”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-30 09:17:40

“In addition to this, however, man has suffered another loss in his more recent development inasmuch as the traditions which buttressed his behavior are now rapidly diminishing.”

Only to be supplanted by the New Era tradition of Black Friday shopping at Walmart. WE’RE DOOMED!

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-11-30 09:25:12

You got it.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-11-30 10:09:45

I’m an elitist only because of how much most people suck.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-11-30 06:24:57

Classical music? Lol. Go here instead:

I have seen the future and, for some of us, it works.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-11-30 06:25:06

Better there is reporting on the very few incidents of violence than the real story, the very many incidents of low foot traffic. My Walkart and local mall were fairly dead yesterday. Less than a usual weekend day. Thursday borrowed all of Fridays demand. I think the retailers may have miscalculated in pushing so hard for Thursday. The vast majority don’t take part in this nonsense, now even fewer because the actual holiday takes precedent. So only the most hard core degenerates go out Thursday PM, and they’ve already spent by Friday. Those who would be willing to go Friday get scared and stayed home thinking it would pandemonium.

Not that you’ll get any true reporting on this, just CNBC hype with vague allusions to “initial reports of foot traffic ” and nothing objective to back it up cause the only people with the sales figures this early are the Waltons and their buddies. They need to shift thief holding to maximize accordingly.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-11-30 08:27:03

The media is full of baloney stories about “Gray Thursday’s” resounding success. One headline I saw said “Stores: 1, Thanksgiving: 0″.

Yeah, what I want to do after overeating and a few glasses of wine is to head down to the local BigBoxMart and fight with someone over an XBox that’s 20% off.

Comment by Federal Reserve President
2013-11-30 10:25:28

Those who would be willing to go Friday get scared and stayed home thinking it would pandemonium.

Or stayed home Friday thinking that they missed all of the bargains on Thursday, anyway, so why bother…

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-11-30 08:50:44

Good in theory…not sure if Flight of the Valkries would be good for when the doors open on Black Friday, though.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-11-30 10:11:09

The Imperial March would be a great contemporary piece.

Comment by tom cruz bustamante
2013-11-30 10:20:26

Shoplifters and hooligans hate it.

You forgot a tiny detail there. I don’t think they come there for the the music.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-30 06:27:56

Have you dumped your gold, or do you still plan to buy the dip?

Gold price heading for biggest monthly fall in five months
Metal that became haven in depths of economic crisis could end 2013 lower as investors abandon it for US stocks and shares
Jennifer Rankin, Friday 29 November 2013 04.58 EST

Some of the 160 gold bars found on an aircraft in Dhaka, Bangladesh
These gold bars are part of a 20kg stash found this week by customs officials in the lavatory of an aircraft at Shahjalal airport, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Photograph: Reazsumon/Demotix/Corbis

Gold is heading for its biggest monthly price fall in five months, as investors abandon the metal in favour of stocks and shares on surging US markets.

Gold has already lost 6% of its value this month, fuelling market speculation that it could end the year worth less than its price at the start of 2013. This would be the first annual fall in value for 13 years and a remarkable turnaround in the status of the metal that investors turned to in the depths of the economic crisis.

In 2011, the precious metal hit highs of $1,895 (£1,159) an ounce, buoyed by its status as a haven for investors and a hedge against inflation. But this year gold has shed a quarter of its value as the global economy continues to strengthen, while the Federal Reserve has indicated it will rein in its $85bn-a-month (£53bn) bondbuying programme in December. Gold is used by investors as a hedging bet against rising inflation, but fears of a reduction in quantitative easing (QE) are damping concerns of higher prices.

Data released this month showed that the US had shrugged off the impact of the three-week government shutdown to create 204,000 jobs in October, stoking expectations that the US central bank will trim its stimulus programme, and helping the Dow Jones to hit record highs.

On Friday, the price of spot gold was down to $1,247 an ounce, having traded below $1,300 all month.

Comment by Skroodle
2013-11-30 12:12:45

Dump gold - buy Bitcoins.

Comment by AZtoORtoCOtoOR
2013-11-30 21:47:40

“On Friday, the price of spot gold was down to $1,247 an ounce, having traded below $1,300 all month”

I hope this doesn’t affect future seasons of Gold Rush and Bearing Sea Gold :)

Comment by Kidbuck
2013-11-30 07:01:41

When I was 16, if you had told me Janet was going to milk me dry, I would have been ecstatic. Now, 5 decades later, not so much.

Comment by tom cruz bustamante
2013-11-30 07:08:17

That’s one of mine pet peeves about obama. I know I am getting screwed anyway, why not appoint a good looking woman? Is it really too much to ask?

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-11-30 08:46:36

You cannot have any credibility with this crowd if you are a woman over 50 and you look like you pay attention to what your man thinks (unless you are a celebrity, then you can pay for surgery and care about appearance).

It is a fine line they are walking with Hillary

Comment by In Colorado
2013-11-30 10:55:06

Hillary looks like she’s ready to move into a nursing home. She’s going to look even older in 2016. She missed her chance.

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Comment by Carl Morris
2013-11-30 08:55:35

Good looking women don’t need to put up with the crap necessary to get to that point.

Comment by rms
2013-11-30 14:20:05

“When I was 16, if you had told me Janet was going to milk me dry, I would have been ecstatic. Now, 5 decades later, not so much.”

+1 That should be etched in stone. LOL!

Comment by Albuquerquedan
Comment by jose canusi
2013-11-30 07:57:08

“Criminals who seek to escape responsibility for their actions by fleeing to the U.S. will find no sanctuary in our communities,” Feeley said. “ICE works closely with law enforcement agencies here at home and abroad to promote public safety and hold criminals accountable – no matter where they commit their crimes.”

This guy’s gotta be dickin’ me. Dang, I laughed so hard at his blowhard statement I had to change my shorts.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-11-30 07:39:19

Another knockout game victim, tough guy hits a 76 year old woman from behind. Never mind mandatory jail sentence, mandatory castration.

Comment by goon squad
2013-11-30 08:42:08

Nice to see Obama’s sons getting into the holiday spirit like this :)

Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-11-30 10:17:16

I work with a couple old white guys that are getting carry permits because of this. The odds aren’t high, but I hope one of them gets to eliminate one or more of these punks.

Comment by Bernard Getz
2013-11-30 11:41:14

Tell them not to admit to anything if they get caught.

Trust me on this.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-11-30 12:19:21

“I was just trying to scare them away, and it went off! I had no idea these things were so dangerous… it’s like it has a mind of its own!”

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Comment by Skroodle
2013-11-30 12:14:04

Gun permits in NYC?

Comment by rms
2013-11-30 14:26:21

Never mind mandatory jail sentence, mandatory castration.

These suspects are former slaves (ask ‘em); how about some respect?

Comment by phony scandals
2013-11-30 07:51:46

Deadline Looms for Tax Break


Published: Thursday, October 31, 2013 at 11:05 p.m.

Since 2007, homeowners whose banks have forgiven unpaid mortgage debt after a short sale, principal reduction or foreclosure have not been required to count that money as income on their tax returns.

But the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act will sunset Dec. 31, meaning homeowners could face whopping IRS bills in addition to losing their homes if their sale closes in 2014.

“I don’t think homeowners truly understand the tax consequence or significance of what’s happening,” said Paul Baltrun, director of corporate development for the Law Office of Paul A. Krasker in West Palm Beach. “They haven’t crunched the numbers.”

Without the debt relief act, a homeowner in the 28 percent tax bracket who is forgiven $80,000 in mortgage debt through a short sale would owe $22,400 in taxes on the so-called “phantom income.”

“There is an education problem out there in that a lot of consumers don’t know what kind of impact this could have,” said Grant Freer, president and owner of Palm Beach Premier Real Estate in Boca Raton.

The tax break was originally scheduled to end in 2012, but it was given a one-year extension by Congress during last-minute budget negotiations that spared the nation from an early 2013 fiscal cliff.

It’s unclear how much support there is for another extension. Two proposals filed by U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., would delay the expiration through 2014. Both are still in committee. -

Comment by phony scandals
2013-11-30 08:15:36

Good news for California homeowners facing short sales

Stephen Fishman
Nov 25, 2013

Under regular tax rules, when a lender forgives a debt — that is, relieves the borrower from having to pay it back — the amount of the debt is taxable income to the borrower.

If this does occur, it appears that the impact on underwater homeowners could vary greatly from state to state. This is because several states have enacted anti-deficiency legislation that prevents lenders from holding a homeowner personally liable and going after his or her personal or other assets if the proceeds from a foreclosure or short sale are not enough to cover the amount of the home loan.

California is one of these states. And, in fact, it beefed up its anti-deficiency rules in 2011 by adding a provision specifically applicable to short sales. (Calif. Code of Civil Procedure 580(f).) What does this have to do with the soon-to-come demise of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007? It could make it meaningless for most California homeowners.

In a Sept. 19, 2013, letter to Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., that has only recently been made public, the IRS says that “if a property owner cannot be held personally liable for the difference between the loan balance and the sales price … the owner would not treat the canceled debt as income.”

The IRS concluded that because of Section 580e, a California homeowner who goes though a short sale will not have cancellation of indebtedness income.

This is good news for California homeowners. The California Association of Realtors has projected that even under the recovering housing market, there may be as many as 55,000 short sales in California in 2014. The debt forgiven — $60,000 per short sale, on average — could have been taxable without this clarification.

However, the IRS was careful to note it its letter that it was only considering the impact of California’s anti-deficiency statute, and not that of any other state. Other states with anti-deficiency laws include Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota and Washington.

These state laws are not all the same and they do not all have a provision like California’s Section 580e. The extent to which they protect against having to recognize cancellation of indebtedness income in the event of a short sale is unclear. For details on state anti-deficiency laws, see the National Consumer Law Center Foreclosure Report. - 66k

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-30 09:30:29

“The tax break was originally scheduled to end in 2012, but it was given a one-year extension by Congress during last-minute budget negotiations that spared the nation from an early 2013 fiscal cliff.”

So the same night that all working stiffs saw their payroll tax go up by 2%, the Congress kept in place a special tax break for underwater Ownership Society members.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-11-30 08:32:11

Apple’s offering a gift card type discount rather than a straight cash discount does not bode well for the economy. It is a revenue manipulation ploy and I think it spells trouble that they are choosing this option this year.

Comment by Taxpayers
Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-30 12:45:37

Here’s another floating lifestyle option in case you don’t care for going out to sea:

America’s Floating Communities

Explore The USA From The Comfort Of Home

If your retirement dream includes travel and variety, River Cities® is your ticket to a unique river lifestyle. Purchase one of our River Cities condominiums and make the river your home. Choose full or part time cruising options as you follow the seasons to your next adventure.

Cruise America’s 6,600 miles of inland waterways on a slow boat to everywhere. Wake each morning to a new bend in the river as River Cities brings the world to your doorstep.

Comment by oxide
2013-11-30 16:01:10

524 foot condo is $299K and $1166 HOA (to cover the operating costs of the boat). For that kind of money you may as well buy your own yacht.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-30 19:20:07

and you paid even more with higher carrying costs for something 30 years old. At least the condo is new.

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Comment by Blue Skye
2013-11-30 16:07:06

Or, one can be the captain and live the life for pennies.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-11-30 08:33:33
Comment by Lip
2013-11-30 08:34:46

Back to Housing Bubbles

Now, five years later, signs of frothiness, if not outright bubbles, are reappearing in housing markets in Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and, back for an encore, the UK (well, London). In emerging markets, bubbles are appearing in Hong Kong, Singapore, China, and Israel, and in major urban centers in Turkey, India, Indonesia, and Brazil.

It’s remarkable how this could be happening again.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-30 09:36:17

Echo Bubble

Definition of ‘Echo Bubble’

A post-bubble rally that becomes another, smaller bubble. The echo bubble usually occurs in the sector in which the preceding bubble was most prominent, but the echo is less dramatic.

Investopedia explains ‘Echo Bubble’

People point to the rally that occurred after the market crash of 1929 as an example of an echo bubble. Just like its more prominent predecessor, the smaller echo bubble eventually burst. Also, after the technology bubble that occurred at the turn of the 21st century - one of the biggest bubbles of all time - people believed that another echo bubble was on the way.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-30 09:48:45

“Also, after the technology bubble that occurred at the turn of the 21st century - one of the biggest bubbles of all time - people believed that another echo bubble was on the way.”

November 24, 2013, 1:05 pm
Disruptions: If It Looks Like a Bubble and Floats Like a Bubble …
The New York Stock Exchange before Twitter’s stock I.P.O. The company’s shares are up nearly 60 percent since it went public.New York Stock Exchange, via Reuters The New York Stock Exchange before Twitter’s stock I.P.O. The company’s shares are up nearly 60 percent since it went public.

SAN FRANCISCO — It sounds like heresy around here. But here goes:

Is this another tech bubble?

Back East, the Wall Street money is starting to worry that it feels like 1999 all over again. Money-losing technology companies are going public at you’ve-got-to-be-joking prices. The founders of Snapchat are getting multibillion-dollar offers — and turning them down. And the Nasdaq composite index, a visible symbol of the ’90s dot-com boom and bust, is a sneeze away from 4,000, a level it last reached just before, well, you know.

Is this time different? Out in Silicon Valley, many insist it is. But for the average investor, there are reasons for caution.

Since the dark days of 2008, the Nasdaq has risen more than 150 percent, twice as much as the old-school Dow industrials. Money has been pouring into social media stocks. As of Friday, Twitter had risen nearly 60 percent since it went public only a few weeks earlier.

Once again, new “metrics” are being applied to justify stratospheric valuations. Twitter is losing money. A price-to-earnings ratio? There is no E in the P/E. But its stock is trading at 20-odd times the company’s annual sales. Good enough.

There is more. Technology companies have become the takeover bait du jour. A report issued by Ernst & Young last week said that mergers and acquisitions in the global technology industry have rebounded to “a new post-dot-com bubble high.” Roughly $71 billion in deals were made during the third quarter.

And then there is, the poster child of the dot-com bust. Kozmo is back. Last time, its couriers would deliver just about anything at any hour — CDs, Milky Way bars, you name it. It burned through $280 million before going bust.

“Remember us?” a banner on the reads now. “We’re relaunching soon.”

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-11-30 16:08:25

The simple translation of “echo bubble” is Sucker’s Rally.

Comment by rms
2013-11-30 11:16:03

“It’s remarkable how this could be happening again.”

We are not supposed to remember…remember?

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-11-30 11:57:20

Roubini’s last paragraph was the money quote, IMO:

What we are witnessing in many countries looks like a slow-motion replay of the last housing-market train wreck. And, like last time, the bigger the bubbles become, the nastier the collision with reality will be.

Comment by rms
2013-11-30 14:34:55

“And, like last time, the bigger the bubbles become, the nastier the collision with reality will be.”

The largest bailout in history, no prison sentences and performance bonuses in the $$ millions. Come on, Roubini, can’t you do better than that for crikey sakes? Heck, that “collision” didn’t even chip the proverbial paint.

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2013-11-30 08:37:03

On this Thanksgiving weekend, one thing Americans can be proud of is that for the first time in all our lives, America has answered the question of should we care for all of our citizens’ health-care. And we, as a people have answered yes. The argument has been decided.

As a society, as a whole and as a country we have finally joined the modern and more moral world of caring for our people, and even it we were the last to do it, we did it.

The main argument is over. Society, joined as a whole has won out over the false god of money-trumps-all ideology. Sure the far-right in society and on this blog whine, bi!ch and moan that “it’s not fair” “he lied”, blah, blah blah. But they miss the big point- the big picture. It’s not about websites and rough starts to a new reality. The main point is that as a society, as a people together and as a country, we have finally decided that America will take care of the heath of all of its people. Despite all the brainwashed keepers of the false dogma of dollars above humanity, America has taken an irreversible giant moral step forward .

And that is something to be very thankful for.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-11-30 08:56:57

“America has answered the question”

Poll: Obamacare support, Obama approval sink to new lows

CBS News/ November 20, 2013, 7: 00 AM/

By Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Anthony Salvanto and Fred Backus

President Obama’s job approval rating has plunged to the lowest of his presidency, according to a new CBS News poll released Wednesday, and Americans’ approval of the Affordable Care Act has dropped it’s lowest since CBS News started polling on the law.

Thirty-seven percent now approve of the job Mr. Obama is doing as president, down from 46 percent in October — a nine point drop in just a month. Mr. Obama’s disapproval rating is 57 percent — the highest level for this president in CBS News Polls. - 102k -

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2013-11-30 09:24:24

Obama approval sink to new lows

Some people pay attention to static, to noise. Some people pay attention to long-term, game-changing events or turning points of societies and nations. In America, the health-care-for-all genie is out of the bottle. America has finally decided to attempt to take care of all of its people. Will Obamacare work? I think it will for awhile but even if it does not, its replacement or fix will include the new American concept of health-care for all of our people.

This is the big point and a point that is lost to the haters of Obama and Obamacare.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-11-30 10:20:46

As long as health insurance companies exist, it can’t work.

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Comment by Skroodle
2013-11-30 12:16:01

As long as health insurance lobbyist exist, it won’t work.

Comment by scdave
2013-11-30 10:39:56

+1 Rio….Spot on….

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Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-11-30 13:09:33

Fellow comrades.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-30 10:44:50

awww…. it’s a housing fraudster LIEberal crank fest. How cute.

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Comment by phony scandals
2013-11-30 12:05:43

“Some people pay attention to long-term, game-changing events or turning points of societies and nations”

I know, you can hear it, you can feel it. It’s coming Rio.

You can’t run, you can’t hide. There’s over 100 million tax payers coming for your Obamacare.

(Jaws music inserted here)

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Comment by phony scandals
2013-11-30 12:25:31

Populist Resistance to Obamacare Angers Lefties

Posted on November 16, 2012
by Mark Horne

filed under Big Brother, Bureaucrats, Business, Economics, Economy, Employment, Healthcare, Liberalism, Media

You would think that Leftists have a reputation for meekly submitting to election results and waiting their turn in the next campaign season. They certainly act like such behavior is required of us. But it is not! With the radical Obama in the White House, it never stops being campaign season, not only for him, but for his opposition. And by opposition, I do not mean the Republican Party, I mean every producer in the country.

This opposition is growing. An angry tirade was just released to us by the “official ‘token Lefty’” at, one Rick Ungar, under the title, “The Corporate Blackmailing of America Is Now All the Rage.” I hope Ungar is not exaggerating the extent of the “problem,” because it is a beautiful thing. People are using every legal means at their disposal to resist and evade the damage inflicted by the Obama Administration. Rather than acquiescing or whining, they are taking action. Quite frankly, it is a revival of the “Tea Party” in a much more literal way. Businessmen who are being economically damaged by the government are taking direct action that opposed the government’s wishes. The only difference is that the Boston Tea Party involved breaking the law. These new resistors are not violating any law.

Ungar writes,

“For the past week, I have watched with amazement as one restaurant chain after another—the very people who peddle the high caloric foods laden with the fat and sugar that have contribute so mightily to the nation’s health problems and the resulting costs—announced their plans to cut back on employee work hours.”

They haven’t just announced it. They are doing it. When businesses suddenly find themselves facing additional expenses, they try to stop the hemorrhaging any way they can. Otherwise, they go out of business. This was entirely foreseeable. Whoever designed Obamacare either was too careless to notice the damage that would result, or else they just really didn’t care. Of course, in a world where people are judged as evil for selling other people the food they want to eat and are willing to pay for, almost any free action can be condemned.

But what is really angering Ungar is that John Schnatter of Papa John’s Pizza is adding a fourteen-cent surcharge to his pizzas to compensate for Obamacare. Ungar argues on the basis of his fellow Forbes number cruncher, that the surcharge should only be four cents. But why trust him? Ungar has to sell pizzas in a competitive world. Why would he think he could get away with selling more expensive Pizza? Maybe the real truth is that no one knows how much Obamacare is really going to cost or how badly the economy is about to contract under its influence. So Schnatter may be hedging. The bottom line is that consumers will go elsewhere to buy pizza if he charges too much.

But then he lowers the boom:

“By avoiding the health care reform law through paying less to his employees as a result of cutting back their hours, Schnatter is only increasing the costs that you and I pick up when his employees—having no health insurance—show up at the emergency room for basic care because they have nowhere else to go.”

Schnatter as a taxpayer is just as much hurt as any other taxpayer by the way Obamacare has boxed us in. But let’s forget that and other problems so we can identify Ungar’s core moral claim: It is wrong for Schnatter to make us pay for other people’s insurance but it is right for us to force Schnatter to pay for their insurance. That’s not moral at all. That’s pure bullying and enslavement.

Ungar’s arguments are illusionary. He just wants to force some people to pay for other people’s stuff. When they don’t cooperate with his wishes, he browbeats them with whatever words he can think of. But there is nothing behind them except a will to power.

“Corporate Blackmail” is really the new lie for Nancy Pelosi’s fib about “Astroturf.” This is a true grass roots resistance. And every conservative should think about and implement every legal means to resist and frustrate the oppressor class in Washington DC.

If nothing else, we will get to see these wonderful tantrums from “lefties.” - 68k -

Comment by phony scandals
2013-11-30 12:44:09



Now that the IRS will be the watchdog collecting the tax/penalty, those Americans who either don’t go to traditional medicine doctors, or pay as they go, will be paying for something that they don’t use , don’t need, and don’t want.

Everyone will be in the system. Inventory and control. You will be forced into a healthcare system that you may not wish to be a part of, or will pay a ‘tax.’ No one knew this would be a tax but now, in the old switcheroo, we have a penalty morphing into a tax.

Your income level will be examined. Your finances will be examined. Your life will be open to bureaucratic review. This so-called tax will not be appealable. This punishment, this penalty, will not be open to challenge. People who didn’t make enough money to file income tax, who were flying under the radar, now will have to file simply to avoid the tax. See? Data collection. No one slips under the line. Inventory. And. Control.

The Internal Revenue Service, the most feared and hated of all federal agencies, with the power to jail us and confiscate our assets will be in control. Of your healthcare decisions. - 29k -

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Comment by Dale
2013-11-30 13:16:44

Americans were duped. Many are showing buyers remorse finding out what is in it AFTER passing it. The 2014 elections will be interesting.

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-11-30 21:11:24

They will not be so interesting if the mob just moves to the other side of the ship without questioning the course.

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Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-11-30 13:08:31

Sorry, the socialist power grab has been seen for what it is. Socialism doesn’t work when people realize it is going to cost them and it isn’t free benefits for all. This was sold as a free lunch, now that people are being handed the bill it’s over.

Comment by United States of Crooked Politicians and Bankers
2013-11-30 18:47:19

I agree, Socialism doesn’t work. Let’s get rid of all these big agriculture subsidies, and all the other welfare for the rich programs.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-11-30 22:18:35

I agree with that also.

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Comment by Blue Skye
2013-11-30 16:18:56

The water Mango buoy carries was paid for by Wall Street.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-11-30 16:55:14

Looks like the plan is to ignore that there ever was a deadline cause it still ain’t working. The media will try to carry the water and report only that things have “improved.”

Comment by phony scandals
2013-11-30 17:55:16

Nice headline, CNN is still toting the rock for the Regime. They buried the truth down a ways.

Deadline Day: Obama administration ‘on track’ for website goal, agency says

By Tom Cohen, CNN
updated 5:17 PM EST, Sat November 30, 2013

Washington (CNN) — Tech experts continued working on the problem-plagued Obamacare website on Saturday, the self-imposed deadline to get the portal for enrolling in the President’s signature health care reforms working properly for most users.

An official with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Saturday the administration was “on track to meet (its) stated goal for the site to work for the vast majority of users”— a promise Obama and other officials have been making for weeks– and another CMS official said the site is “performing well” but more updates are needed.

Upgrades, 24/7 trouble-shooting, and old pizza

The administration’s goal includes making sure the website can handle 50,000 users at any given time and 800,000 users per day, a vast improvement from the breakdowns, error messages and lengthy delays that occurred when the site was launched on October 1.

However, the website was down late Friday night through early Saturday morning for maintenance, and will go dark overnight Saturday for more scheduled maintenance checks, according to CMS spokeswoman Julie Bataille. - -

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Comment by Ben Jones
2013-11-30 18:36:12

‘And we, as a people have…’

Oh boy, what an over the top load of hooey speech that was. Meanwhile, back on planet Earth:

‘The reason this furor will continue even if the website is fixed is that the public is learning that ObamaCare’s insurance costs more in return for worse coverage.’

‘Liberals justify these coercive cross-subsidies as necessary to finance coverage for the uninsured and those with pre-existing conditions. But government usually helps the less fortunate honestly by raising taxes to fund programs. In summer 2009, Senate Democrats put out such a bill, and the $1.6 trillion sticker shock led them to hide the transfers by forcing people to buy overpriced products.’

‘This political mugging is especially unfair to the people whose plans on the current individual market are being taken away. The majority of these consumers are self-employed or small-business owners. They’re middle class, rarely affluent. They took responsibility for their care without government aid, and unlike people in the job-based system, they paid with after-tax dollars.’

‘Now they’re being punished for the crime of not subsidizing ObamaCare, even though the individual market was never as dysfunctional or high cost as liberals claim. In 2012, average U.S. individual premiums were $190, ranging from a low of $123 in North Dakota to a high of $385 in Massachusetts. Average premiums for family plans fell that year by 0.5% to $412.’

‘Meanwhile, ObamaCare’s plans are limited to essentially four. Yes, four. For example, a bronze plan covers 60% of health-care expenses and the beneficiary pays a lower premium to pick up the remaining 40% out of pocket. Platinum carries a higher premium for a 90%-10% split. But there can be little deviation from the formulas—that is, there is little room for innovation or policy choice—to suit customer preferences.’

‘In any case all four tiers are scrap-metal grade, because the rules ObamaCare imposes to create a supposedly superior insurance product are resulting in an objectively inferior medical product. The new mandates and rules raise costs, so insurers must compensate by offering narrow and less costly networks of doctors, hospitals and other providers in their ObamaCare products. Insurers thus restrict care and patient choice of physicians in exchange for discounted reimbursement rates, much as Medicaid does.’

‘Nearly half of the ObamaCare plans are tightly managed HMOs, according to a McKinsey & Co. analysis. In states like California, Missouri and New Hampshire, many networks are 40% or 45% the size of those offered for normal commercial coverage. Patients face the prospect of waiting months and driving miles to clinics and county hospitals.’

‘Narrow networks can be a useful cost-control tool, to the extent people choose to give up medical options in return for lower premiums. But that’s rarely what people want when they’re choosing with their own money. Some 82.5% of eHealth customers in 2012 purchased preferred provider organization plans (PPOs) that are structured so patients can visit virtually any physician.’

‘The awful irony of this new ObamaCare health system is that all adults now enjoy mandated pediatric vision benefits, even if they don’t have kids, but parents can’t take their daughter to an expensive children’s hospital if she gets really sick. Everybody gets “free” preventive checkups with no copays, but not treatment for a complex illness from specialists at an academic medical center.’

‘If the old individual market was as bad as Mr. Obama said it was, then he shouldn’t pretend it’s a place worth going back to, even for a year’s delay. His “fix” is necessary politically because ObamaCare’s willful destruction of this alternative is the worst act of government mayhem since FDR’s National Recovery Act. The Affordable Care Act’s main achievement is turning out to be diminishing affordable care.’

It’s irrelevant to go on about how great they have it in the UK or Canada, because Obamacare isn’t single payer; it’s a freaking disaster.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-30 14:09:53

realtor lies are of the most egregious kind.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-11-30 14:28:58

Time Magazine Writer Says Rationing Is ‘Built Into’ Obamacare

UPDATE — Halperin has responded to reports of his Obamacare rationing claims:

In Mon intv I did not say “death panels” nor do I believe ACA contains them. Was speaking of political/policy challenge of IPAB cuts. My bad

— Mark Halperin (@MarkHalperin) November 26, 2013 - 103k -

Sure sounds like Time Magazine writer says death panels are going to be part of how costs are controlled.

Posted on November 25, 2013

Relevant portion begins at 8:00 mark in clip

MALZBERG, HOST: A lot of people said you weren’t going to be able to keep your health care, but also they focused on the death panels, which will be coming, call them what you will, rationing, is part of it…

HALPERIN: No, I agree, and that’s going to be a huge issue, and that’s something else on which the president was not fully forthcoming and straightforward.

MALZBERG: So, you believe there will be rationing, a.k.a. death panels?

HALPERIN: It’s built into the plan. It’s not like a guess or like a judgment. That’s going to be part of how costs are controlled.

Mark Halperin: Obamacare Contains “Death Panels” | Video … - 36k - Cached - Similar pages

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-30 15:50:05

“Time Magazine Writer Says Rationing Is ‘Built Into’ Obamacare”

In fairness, rationing is built into the status quo as well. If you don’t believe me, try to find a seat in an emergency room over the weekend in a busy urban area.

P.S. Our healthcare system is FUBAR, and there seems to be a reasonable chance the ACA will not fix it.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-11-30 18:04:22

If you listen to what the dude says in the interview (Relevant portion begins at 8:00 mark in clip) he is definitely talking about pulling the plug on Grandma and Grandpa, not a 5 - 7 hour wait in the ER for an x ray on a sprained ankle.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-11-30 15:40:06

Faber: ‘We are in a massive speculative bubble’

Published: Friday, 29 Nov 2013 | 9:32 AM ET
By: Jeff Morganteen | Producer, - 76k -

Comment by phony scandals
2013-12-01 05:50:46

The Money Changers Serenade: A New Plot Hatches

Paul Craig Roberts
December 1, 2013

Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, a protege of Treasury Secretaries Rubin and Summers, has received his reward for continuing the Rubin-Summers-Paulson policy of supporting the “banks too big to fail” at the expense of the economy and American people. For his service to the handful of gigantic banks, whose existence attests to the fact that the Anti-Trust Act is a dead-letter law, Geithner has been appointed president and managing director of the private equity firm, Warburg Pincus and is on his way to his fortune.

A Warburg in-law financed Woodrow Wilson’s presidential campaign. Part of the reward was Wilson’s appointment of Paul Warburg to the first Federal Reserve Board. The symbiotic relationship between presidents and bankers has continued ever since. The same small clique continues to wield financial power.

Geithner’s career is illustrative. In the 1980s, Geithner worked for Kissinger Associates. In the mid to late 1990s, Geithner served as a deputy assistant Treasury secretary. Under Rubin and Summers he moved up to undersecretary of the Treasury.

From the Treasury he went to the Council on Foreign Relations and from there to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). From there he was appointed president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where he worked to make banks more profitable by allowing higher ratios of debt to capital, thus contributing to the financial crisis.

Geithner arranged the sale of the failed Wall Street firm of Bear Stearns, helped with the taxpayer bailout of AIG, and rejected saving Lehman Brothers from bankruptcy in order to create the crisis atmosphere needed to more fully subordinate US economic policy to the needs of the few large banks.

Rubin, a 26-year veteran of Goldman Sachs, was rewarded by Citibank for his service to the banks while Treasury Secretary with a $50 million compensation package in 2008 and $126,000,000 between 1999 and 2009.

When a person becomes a Treasury official it is made clear that the choice is between serving the banks and becoming rich or trying to serve the public and becoming poor. Few make the latter choice.

As MIchael Hudson has informed us, the goal of the financial sector has always been to convert all income, from corporate profits to government tax revenues, to the service of debt. From the bankers standpoint, the more debt the richer the bankers. Rubin, Summers, Paulson, Geithner, and now banker Treasury Secretary Jack Lew faithfully serve this goal.

The Federal Reserve describes its policy of Quantitative Easing — the creation of new money with which the Fed purchases Treasury debt and mortgage backed securities — as a low interest rate policy in order to stimulate employment and economic growth. Economists and the financial media have parroted this cover story.

In contrast, I have exposed QE as a scheme for pumping profits into the banks and boosting their balance sheets. The real purpose of QE is to drive up the prices of the debt-related derivatives on the banks’ books, thus keeping the banks with solvent balance sheets.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal (“Confessions of a Quantitative Easer,” November 11, 2013), Andrew Huszar confirms my explanation to be the correct one. Huszar is the Federal Reserve official who implemented the policy of QE. He resigned when he realized that the real purposes of QE was to drive up the prices of the banks’ holdings of debt instruments, to provide the banks with trillions of dollars at zero cost with which to lend and speculate, and to provide the banks with “fat commissions from brokering most of the Fed’s QE transactions.” (See: )

This vast con game remains unrecognized by Congress and the public. At the IMF Research Conference on November 8, 2013, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers presented a plan to expand the con game.

Summers says that it is not enough merely to give the banks interest free money. More should be done for the banks. Instead of being paid interest on their bank deposits, people should be penalized for keeping their money in banks instead of spending it.

To sell this new rip-off scheme, Summers has conjured up an explanation based on the crude and discredited Keynesianism of the 1940s that explained the Great Depression as a problem caused by too much savings. Instead of spending their money, people hoarded it, thus causing aggregate demand and employment to fall.

Summers says that today the problem of too much saving has reappeared. The centerpiece of his argument is “the natural interest rate,” defined as the interest rate at which full employment is established by the equality of saving with investment. If people save more than investors invest, the saved money will not find its way back into the economy, and output and employment will fall.

Summers notes that despite a zero real rate of interest, there is still substantial unemployment. In other words, not even a zero rate of interest can reduce saving to the level of investment, thus frustrating a full employment recovery. Summers concludes that the natural rate of interest has become negative and is stuck below zero.

How to fix this? The way to fix it, Summers says, is to charge people for saving money. To avoid the charges, people would spend the money, thus reducing savings to the level of investment and restoring full employment.

Summers acknowledges that the problem with his solution is that people would take their money out of banks and hoard it in cash holdings. In other words, the cash form of money provides consumers with a freedom to save that holds down consumption and prevents full employment.

Summers has a fix for this: eliminate the freedom by imposing a cashless society where the only money is electronic. As electronic money cannot be hoarded except in bank deposits, penalties can be imposed that force unproductive savings into consumption.

Summers’ scheme, of course, is a harebrained one. With governments running huge deficits, who would purchase bonds at negative interest rates? How would pension and retirement funds operate? Would they also be subject to an annual percentage confiscation?

We know that the response of consumers to the long term decline in real median family income, to the loss of jobs from labor arbitrage across national borders (jobs offshoring), to rising homelessness, to cuts in the social safety net, to the transformation of their full time jobs to part time jobs (employers’ response to Obamacare), has been to reduce their savings rate. Indeed, few have any savings at all. The US personal saving rate is currently 2 percentage points, about 30%, below the long term average. Retired people, unable to earn any interest on their savings from the Fed’s zero interest rate policy, are being forced to draw down their savings in order to pay their bills.

Moreover, it is unclear whether the savings rate is an accurate measure or merely a residual of other calculations. With so many people having to draw down their savings, I wouldn’t be surprised if an accurate measure showed the personal savings rate to be negative.

But for Summers the plight of the consumer is not the problem. The problem is the profits of the banks. Summers has the solution, and the establishment, including Paul Krugman, is applauding it. Once the economy officially turns down again, watch out.

This column first appeared as a Trend Alert, Trends Research Institute

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.

This article was posted: Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 4:58 am

Tags: economics, financial

Comment by rms
2013-12-01 11:15:38

Certainly benefits those who worship at the same place.

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