February 1, 2015

Bits Bucket for February 1, 2015

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

RSS feed


Comment by frankie
2015-02-01 03:24:10

Greece’s new prime minister has insisted his country will fulfil all of its loan obligations as it appointed investment bank Lazard ahead of crunch talks with the Troika.

In a statement designed to calm tensions between Greece and its creditors, Alexis Tsipras said: “I am absolutely confident that we will soon manage to reach a mutually beneficial agreement, both for Greece and for Europe as a whole.”

“No side is seeking conflict and it has never been our intention to act unilaterally on Greek debt” he added.


I don’t think Frau Merkel has read that script.

Angela Merkel has ruled out the prospect of Greece securing further debt cuts from its creditor nations, potentially putting the country’s new leftist government on a collision course with Brussels. The German chancellor’s uncompromising stance will not be welcomed in Athens, where the new ruling party, Syriza, insists that it will make good on its promises to halve the country’s €320bn (£240bn) debt obligations and scrap a range of swingeing budget measures that were imposed in exchange for the loans.

Athens is refusing to cooperate with the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund – the troika of institutions overseeing the loans, which total about 175% of Greece’s gross domestic product. Instead its new government is looking to meet with individual creditor nations as it seeks concessions that it claims are vital if Greece is to emerge from years of austerity.


Comment by rms
2015-02-01 14:37:51

There has to be more to this story.

Wall Street might suggest that I borrow funds at 5% and then loan the money to a Dixie dumpster hobo for 15% and book the spread less the front end fees for putting the deal together.

Someone hustled the Germans and the Greeks, IMHO.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-01 03:41:45

Is the worst over by now for China’s slowing economy?

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-01 03:45:57

Finance China
China’s slowing economy: The worst has yet to come
By Minxin Pei
January 21, 2015, 2:10 PM EST
Apartment blocks in Beijing, China Photograph by Jason Lee—Reuters

Meaningful solutions to China’s economic woes will be very painful and may even bring about a recession in the short-term. China’s leadership will likely delay addressing the problems for some time.

If official Chinese data should be believed at all, the only thing one can say about China’s GDP growth of 7.4% in 2014, the slowest since 1990, is that it could have been worse.

Since recording its last double-digit growth (10.4%) in 2010, the Chinese economy has effectively decelerated 30% in five years. Most of the slowdown occurred in 2011 and 2012 when reported growth was 9.3% and 7.7%, respectively. In the last two years, growth deceleration moderated significantly, largely thanks to a variety of stimulus measures. The People’s Bank of China cut interest rates and bank reserve requirements to make more credit available, and financial deleveraging—reducing the growth of debt—has been put on hold. Without such policy support, China’s GDP growth would have fallen further.

But the slowdown of the world’s second-largest economy is far from over. In the next two to three years, China’s growth performance is almost certain to deteriorate because of the overhang of its real estate bubble, massive manufacturing overcapacity, and the lack of new growth engines. The challenge for Beijing is that these problems are all connected with each other and piecemeal solutions no longer work.

Take, for example, China’s real estate bubble. Even with last year’s 4.5% drop in housing prices, the first in two decades, the unraveling of the overbuilt real estate sector has hardly begun. More than 60 million empty apartments await buyers, and the residential housing market is essentially comatose. Meanwhile, the real estate sector accounts for between 25% and 30% of China’s GDP (if upstream and downstream industries such as steel, cement, glass, furniture, and appliances are included), so it is impossible for the Chinese economy to regain momentum without reviving this vital industry.

The only way to breathe life into the real estate sector is to liquidate excess inventory. Housing prices need to fall further to entice buyers. Unfortunately, plunging housing prices will not only hurt affluent Chinese who have poured their fortunes into investment properties, but it will also trigger defaults by overleveraged real estate developers who can no longer service or repay their bank loans. Although a financial sector meltdown is unlikely because the Chinese state will support the banking system, restructuring of the real estate sector will unavoidably depress short-term growth.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-02-01 07:04:02

“the Chinese economy has effectively decelerated 30% in five years…”

Math idiocy.

Comment by Jingle Male
2015-02-01 04:53:34

How can we possibly know? We haven’t passed SuperBowl Weekend yet. Once we get beyond Sunday afternoon, life’s journey will become clearer!

Comment by Shillow
2015-02-01 08:08:07

Three days of rain have already made the Super Bowl and the Phoenix Open a bust. The downtown beer garden was empty Friday at 2pm which is disgraceful.

This morning it is quite foggy. We’ll see how it is by game time.

Comment by Jingle Male
2015-02-01 09:58:21

Ominous? Perhaps our future is foggy as well!

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Shillow
2015-02-01 12:31:51

Blue skies and sunny now.

Comment by real journalists
2015-02-01 03:51:40
Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2015-02-01 07:42:01


Comment by scdave
2015-02-01 08:23:06

It’s gonna be Jeb ??

IMO, its a three way tie right now….In no certain order….Jeb, Lindsay Graham and Walker….

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-01 03:53:08

Is the financial pain due to the recent oil price collapse fully realized by now?

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-01 03:56:43

We are about to find out how much pain the great oil crash has unleashed
Joe Carroll, Bloomberg News | January 28, 2015 | Last Updated: Jan 28 11:54 AM ET

The world’s biggest oil producers, historically resilient with their mix of energy exploration, refining and chemical manufacturing, are about to reveal how they are weathering the great oil crash.

Financial results will start trickling in Thursday for Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Chevron Corp., Total SA and BP Plc from a fourth quarter that saw the price of oil drop from US$115 a barrel in June to below US$50 a barrel.

This could be the oil bust that breaks the pattern that integration always leaves you with one or two legs to stand on.

“The issue for this group of companies is they don’t have bulletproof business models,” said Brian Hennessey, who helps manage US$1.4 billion at Alpine Woods Capital Investors LLC in Purchase, New York. “A 57% plunge in the price of oil since June “really tests your convictions.”

The industry’s stark change in fortune set off panic from corporate board rooms to drill-rig floors as companies that pump almost one-tenth of the world’s crude scramble to tighten budgets and preserve cash for dividends, buybacks and capital projects too far along to abandon.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-02-01 07:09:03

“…really tests your convictions.”

At least it tests your understanding. Exploration isn’t a cash cow. Perhaps you should have said “production”, as in pumping the wells.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-02-01 10:28:54

I had the same thought; how could exploration possible be a “leg to stand on”??!?

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-01 03:59:16

How about them Treasurys?

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-01 04:02:00

Wsj dot com
Credit Markets
Treasurys Post Biggest Monthly Gain Since 2011
Yields Tumble as Slowdown in U.S. Economic Growth Raises Worries
By Min Zeng
Updated Jan. 30, 2015 6:15 p.m. ET

Investors are scrambling for the safety of U.S. government bonds, which in January notched the biggest monthly price gain in three years, as heightened worries about global growth spread to the U.S.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note tumbled to its lowest level since May 2013 on Friday following a disappointing report on fourth-quarter U.S. growth, defying widespread expectations for bond yields to turn higher this year. The 10-year yield was 1.679% on Friday, down from 2.173% at the end of last year and 3.03% at the end of 2013.

Many investors now say Treasury yields, which move inversely to prices, have further to fall, citing not only uncertainty about the U.S. economy but also the drag from plummeting eurozone bond yields. Government bond yields across Europe have plunged to record lows, with some even breaking into negative territory, as the European Central Bank prepares a massive stimulus program to encourage growth and inflation on the Continent. Political turmoil in Greece has revived fears over a repeat of the 2010-2012 sovereign-debt crisis there.

It isn’t only the health of the global economy that investors are uneasy about. Further stoking their appetite for relatively safe debt are the lackluster performance of U.S. stocks this year, a plunge in oil prices and turmoil in currency markets stemming from surprise central-bank actions.

Comment by Jingle Male
2015-02-01 05:01:24

Signs of a pending recession. Would you lend 10-year money to someone for 1.75%? Seems desperate.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-02-01 06:08:41

Lending to degenerate gamblers is always a sure fire way of losing money.

Comment by scdave
2015-02-01 08:28:24

Would you lend 10-year money to someone for 1.75%? Seems desperate ??

The better question is would you borrow money for 10 years @ 1.75%…For me, my answer would be Yes…As much as I can…

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-01 09:18:43

Would your answer possibly change if the money needed to repay the debt was becoming increasingly scarce, difficult to obtain, and hence more valuable over the repayment period?

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by scdave
2015-02-01 09:50:31

Would your answer possibly change if ??

No….Not a bit….You can get AAA rated returns in the 3-3.5% range….If the whole thing implodes (including our Government) owing a bunch of money won’t matter much will it…

Its the reason you see cranes in the air all over the country…Massive Apartment complexes being built…The big boys, who have access to this inexpensive money are gobbling it up as fast as they can…

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-02-01 10:10:29

With 25 million excess empty houses, just how profitable do you think that is?

Comment by measton
2015-02-01 09:32:06

Signs of a pending recession. Would you lend 10-year money to someone for 1.75%? Seems desperate.

Only if you had a printing press and the ability to tax others and a massive military that essentially guaranteed that you’d be able to pay it back, and all other investments were more risky.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-01 12:00:02

Don’t forget that purchasing government debt (i.e. loaning out new fiat) is how quantitative easing works by design. Clearly a massive investment flow into one asset class to the exclusion of others will drive a wedge between prices in the favored asset class versus others.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-01 04:11:57

Who’s the Wall Street favorite candidate in the 2016 race?

Comment by real journalists
2015-02-01 04:25:40


Comment by Blue Skye
2015-02-01 07:10:42

Hopeless and changeless?

Comment by aNYCdj
2015-02-01 07:25:19

will anyone declare a war on Ebonics, and put an end to the massive functional illiteracy problem we have today?

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Skroodle
2015-02-01 12:54:29

Huckabee seems to be your man then.

Comment by aNYCdj
2015-02-01 13:53:10

It just seems to me elimination of functional illiteracy will do wonders for this country.

Business will actually move into Detroit Camden Oakland we could eliminate building any more jails.

We can make it mandatory Home Ec cooking and life skills so a HS diploma means something again

Mike Brown “graduated” from the 2nd worst school in St Louis.

Here is an interesting fact kids today cant cook no one is teaching them, so childhood obesity is getting to be the norm.

Jamie Oliver’s TED Prize wish: Teach every child about food


Comment by palmetto
2015-02-01 07:27:42

More like clueless. If this guy really thinks he can win, he’s completely delusional. shrub’s legacy will bury him deep. No amount of Hispandering will overcome that.

Bush-Boobio. Wait for it, lol.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by scdave
2015-02-01 08:33:59

shrub’s legacy will bury him deep ??

Yep…And the reason is this;

Jeb Bush has stated there is no action taken by his brother George W Bush that Jeb disagrees with.
Two unnecessary wars; increase of the debt by 5 T; lax financial regulation that caused this mini-depression; attempt to destroy Social Security and Medicare.
Do we want another Bush with these views.

Comment by In Colorado
2015-02-01 12:28:14

Do we want another Bush with these views.

Not all that different from what we have now. Except he’ll pretend to try to repeal Obamacare.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2015-02-01 07:46:00

An estimated 94 million eligible voters did not vote in 2012.

RNC’s pick versus DNC’s pick in 2016 will result in well over 100 million eligible voters staying home and not voting absentee either.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2015-02-01 07:47:03
(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-02-01 08:42:00

+1. Voting for the “lesser of two evils” is still voting for evil. I refuse to participate in Wall Street’s Republicrat puppet show or to sanction crony capitalism by voting for Wall Street-annointed candidates like Jeb or Hillary.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-02-01 08:51:16

“I refuse to participate…”

Then you will be governed by others.

I refuse to quietly surrender. You can write in any person you want. If there were 10 million write-in votes for Mickey Mouse, it would be the beginning of the end for the two party gang of criminals.

Comment by scdave
2015-02-01 09:20:40

Then you will be governed by others ??


Comment by Mr. Banker
2015-02-01 09:38:50

“Then you will be governed by others.”

Bahahahaha … you will get nothing, and like it!

Comment by Mr. Banker
2015-02-01 09:40:17

Bahahahaha … please, please, will somebody please govern me?

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2015-02-01 12:15:46

“Then you will be governed by others.”

As if you won’t be any more free than me. Yeah, right.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2015-02-01 12:17:33

Or enslaved.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-02-01 13:54:05

“you won’t be any more free than me…”

That’s not it. Of course I am clearly more free than you, but it’s beside the point.

Voting is the power to change government without a bloody revolution. It’s the primary restraint we have on government. If you give that up you are worse than complacent.

Comment by Bill, Just South of Irvine
2015-02-01 15:07:10

Read the quotes below by Butler Shaffer. You are no more free than me by voting.

I am freer because I do not waste 40 minutes going over ridiculous propositions, deciding whether I like a person’s name or sex in a race for an office like supervisor or judge, deciding whether I like “D” more than “R” for a particular office.

It’s all dumb and a waste. In addition, registering to vote puts your identity and politics in a government data base. Your e-mail gets flooded with campaign donation requests.

Voting sanctions the rigged system itself and emboldens the Statists to say “see, the people consented to majority rule, even those who voted against the winning candidates consented to abide by the mob rule.”

I freed myself from the immorality of sanctioning statism. I’m more free than you by not voting.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-02-01 15:44:24

“You are no more free than me by voting.”

That’s not the point. It is possible.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-02-01 17:06:26

I wrote in Ron Paul in 2008, and my dog’s name in 2012. I might revert back to writing in Ron Paul in 2016, as it sends a somewhat clearer message to TPTB, and my dog’s leadership qualities are lacking.

Comment by Bill, Just South of Irvine
2015-02-01 17:06:54

Voting is the power to change government without a bloody revolution. It’s the primary restraint we have on government. If you give that up you are worse than complacent.


Martin Luther King changed government without him and his people voting. Persuasion is very powerful. In fact, I am very outspoken and have turned at least one person into a voluntaryist last year. I turned another into a minarchist libertarian.

Without voting.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-02-01 18:47:38

So you say King never voted, not anyone listening to him. Got it.

You turn people into volunteers?

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2015-02-01 07:51:00

Also, being voluntaryist, I think voting is immoral. So does this guy:

Butler Shaffer, a law professor at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles, has published an essay titled “The Voting Ritual” which calls balloting a “politicoholic addiction” intended “to conspire with a multitude of others to despoil you of your liberties or property.”

“I haven’t voted in 48 years now,” Shaffer said this week while taking a break from grading papers. “I also don’t molest school children or do any business in brothels.”

He makes the statistical argument that it doesn’t pay to be one of millions. “It is part of the ritual held out to make us think that we are in control of things. But we really aren’t.”

Shaffer’s major concern is a personal decision not to participate in the blunt force of politics. Why force his will on others just because he is part of a majority?

“What are we doing when we vote? Using that force, the violence that is implicit in the arrangement,” he said.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Mr. Banker
2015-02-01 08:04:41

“It is part of the ritual held out to make us think that we are in control of things. But we really aren’t.”

Bahahahaha … at least one guy gets it.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-02-01 08:43:10

Naomi Prins on how our banking system has been taken over by sociopaths, with the complicity of the Federal Reserve.


Comment by Mr. Banker
2015-02-01 08:45:31

Bahahahaha … think about this:

You vote - you select - from an already selected group of people someone who you want to govern you.

Bahahahahaha … and nobody questions this, nobody questions not only the selecting from the already-selected but nobody questions the concept that you need, you REALLY need, somebody to govern you.

How many of you pukes really want somebody - a stranger even - to govern you?

Comment by Bill, Just South of Irvine
2015-02-01 15:48:57

How many of you pukes really want somebody - a stranger even - to govern you?

Very good question.

The problem is not that some wish to be masters and seek positions of authority. The problem is too many people seek masters and want to obey. And by the threads here, quibbling about Jeb or Hillary, there are too few of us raising the most important issues about elections per se. Too many arguing which should be their master.

Comment by scdave
2015-02-01 08:30:04


A month ago I would have said yes…Romney dropping out and reading between the lines on what he will support tells me Jeb is in serious question…

Comment by palmetto
2015-02-01 09:52:43

Yes. Here’s the thing: I read a bit of analysis of the Republican campaign for Mitt and reached the same conclusion others did, that indeed, unbeknownst to him, he was used to keep the seat warm for Jeb.

At the beginning of his campaign, he spoke out against illegal immigration and his numbers were surging. The Republican campaign strategists tamped that down and advised him not to go there, lest he offend the party’s practically non-existent “Hispanic” vote (all they’ve got is a handful of old guard Cubans, mainly in Miami). Romney took their advice, went mum on the issue and allowed the “strategists” to run a purposely dumb, lackluster campaign. Most of them have gone over to Bush at this point. They were just milking Romney with no thought of winning. And it probably couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. I guarantee they’ll run a much better campaign for Bush. If they don’t, he’ll lose.

The Democrat messaging was much better, especially when they latched on to the Bain Capital business-busting, job-destroying shenanigans that he was part of. I like to think I’m impervious to that sort of thing, but it did strike a nerve with me, since I have had dealings with a company that has been eviscerated by former Bain personnel.

I really think Romney was unaware of all the double-dealing behind his back. He recently had a confab with Jeb and now we know who had the leverage. I think he got the Ross Perot warning and since his family means everything to him, of course he would back down.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Skroodle
2015-02-01 12:57:00


Romney made a deal. What that deal is will be revealed in 2017.

Comment by palmetto
2015-02-01 13:51:24

At first I thought he might have made a deal, for Secretary of the Treasury.

But the more I look at it, I don’t think so.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-02-01 17:09:59

Romney had no core principles or convictions beyond a power-hungry greed to occupy the highest office in the land. Nor does Jeb. Hillary is evil incarnate.

Comment by rms
2015-02-01 14:55:02


Yep, the Bush family hat trick.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2015-02-01 07:52:07

“Who’s the Wall Street favorite candidate in the 2016 race?”

“favorite candidate” = favorite frontman.

Choose from the group of the already-chosen whomever you like, it makes no difference to me in that I am guaranteed a win.

The American voter:

1. Dumb ‘em down.

2. Prosper.

Comment by aNYCdj
2015-02-01 08:36:55

Great topic none of the candidates will touch with a 10 foot pole:

Aircraft worker had retirement lined up — and then the boom came down


Comment by Skroodle
2015-02-01 13:00:18

It said nothing about his pension going away. He should be getting it in 5 years, about when his baby enters kindergarten.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Bill, Just South of Irvine
2015-02-01 12:55:43

My favorite candidate is NOTA - “None of the Above.” The majority of eligible voters vote for NOTA. I can even bet money on this. After all, it’s a game right? Just like your narcotic, which is the Super Bowl.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-02-01 17:12:42

Good idea. If ten or better yet 20 million voters write in NOTA, it would send a powerful message about the non-consent of the governed. However, our sheep quotient is still in the high 95% range, I’m guessing, based on the votes cast for Obama, McCain, and Romney, so the crony capitalist status quo is a given at least until the 2016 elections.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Bill, Just South of Irvine
2015-02-01 17:21:42

They really don’t even have to write in NOTA. NOTA wins one vote per office that an eligible voter leaves blank.

Comment by Bill, Just South of Irvine
2015-02-01 17:23:05

If you think about it, those who lost a majority of votes to the eligible voters who did not vote - are in office illegally and are criminals by that act alone.

Comment by Bring Back the WPA
2015-02-01 09:57:09

Who’s the Wall Street favorite candidate in the 2016 race?

It will either be Hillary Bush or Jeb Clinton.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2015-02-01 10:11:21

It will either be heads or tails, of the same coin.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-02-01 17:14:00

Two wings of the same bird of prey.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Skroodle
2015-02-01 13:01:37

Goldman Sachs is the candidate of choice.

Comment by real journalists
2015-02-01 05:14:48

The most transparent administration in history

“At the Democratic Party’s political retreat last week, Party officials were so worried about rumors and leaks and so devoted to security that staffers were required to accompany reporters to and from the bathroom.

According to a report in Politico, reporters were also barred from entering the event hotel during times when open panels and open meetings were not being held, even if invited by a member.

“During Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks at the retreat Friday, reporters were required to have a staff member, usually a junior member of the press team, escort them when going to the bathroom or to the lobby,” Politico reported.

Democrats also set the media filing center at a completely separate hotel so that members of the media would be far from the event hotel for as much time as possible.

“It was a police state. It was absurd how heavy handed the capitol police and Democratic staff were in trying to control everywhere the press went,” New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters said.


Sigh, forward

Comment by phony scandals
2015-02-01 12:19:27

“It was a police state. It was absurd how heavy handed the capitol police and Democratic staff were in trying to control everywhere the press went,”

And may the odds be ever in your favor Jeremy.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-02-01 17:15:51

Jeremy works for a mouthpiece of the oligarchy. He will not put principle or journalistic integrity over a paycheck.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-02-01 06:40:01

Maryland List Prices Down 2% Statewide In 2014


Comment by Realtors Are Liars®
2015-02-01 07:24:55

CraterRage® Photo Of The Day


Comment by Puggs
2015-02-01 23:15:49

Thanks! I didn’t have to enragingly ask today.

Love the St. Helens effect.

Comment by Realtors Are Liars®
2015-02-01 07:28:32

“The Housing Bubble Started in 1979: The 3 Stages of the Housing Bubble. From Birth to Bust. Housing Collapse is 30 Years in the Making”


We just recently witnessed the final blowoff of the housing fraud.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-02-01 11:59:21

That was 2008 I believe. Now we’re going to witness the second one.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-02-01 07:32:32

The comments to this report show a bit of skepticism:

‘The median house price on the Santa Barbara South Coast increased by a whopping 18.6 percent last year, jumping from $945,000 to $1,120,500 and topping $1 million for the first time since 2008. At the start of 2013, the median price stood at $795,000, which means sales figures skyrocketed 41 percent in just two years.’

‘The Santa Barbara Association of Realtors published those numbers and others last week in its annual Real Estate Year in Review. “Home values have appreciated, plus more high-end homes have sold in 2014, causing this significant increase in the median,” explained Kalia Rork with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties’


‘Let’s pretend this is the result of an improving economy and not just a re-bubble caused by massive money printing and Federal Reserve direct intervention in real estate.’

‘Despite the fact the through Quantitative Easing the Federal Reserve purchased over $2 Trillion of toxic mortgage backed securities, although technically bankrupt, the FHA lowered insurance rates and reduced down payments to 3%, and the Federal Mortgages agencies which were largely responsible for the very recent bubble, expanded their market from the $417K conforming loan up to a $729K conforming loan.’

‘The Federal Govern-bank simply answered the collapse of the bubble by engineering a new bubble. It will also collapse when economic conditions change.’


‘please see attached chart that backs up your Fed accusations. The average person has no idea what a massive bubble that asset prices are experiencing. They mistakenly believe that things are back to normal. Fed bubbles end badly and dollar QE ended in October. The Fed took away “hope and changes” punch bowl.’


And another:

‘QE raised the 1% into a position of great power beyond what they were before the crash. Sure, they were powerful before that, but the markets would have wiped out much of their wealth and power because they had taken too much risk out of greed. The markets did what markets are supposed to do when there is over speculation, they crashed taking the risky bets off the table. This would have been good for the economy in the long run because the workforce would have shifted from scam jobs to more productive ones. But the Fed took the liberty of covering all the bad bets enslaving us to an entire economy of perpetual scams. The jobs that have been created as a result of QE won’t contribute to productivity. I’m sure some SB folks know what it’s like to work for the rich. Tremendous amounts of the workforce end up wasted on completely useless endeavors.’


‘QE is pure evil. First of all, criminals pulled trillions out of the real estate bubble with MBS and credit default swaps. The Fed wrote a blank check to the criminals creating the moral hazard which makes criminal economics the new American way. The big scam is now the one and only way to be successful in this country.’

‘Second, the Fed completely undermined democracy by making a huge left turn from it’s usual business and directly taking over the real estate market. The Fed was created to control money supply, not real estate supply. They effectively created an artificial shortage in real estate by buying up $2 Trillion worth of MBS in addition to the bail outs. By manipulating the real estate market directly, the Fed is manipulating politics, effectively determining who gets elected. In a word, it’s treason. People have been hanged for less.’

Wow Janet, looks like average people have caught onto your little game.

Comment by Shillow
2015-02-01 08:52:56

I really wonder has it always been this way and I was just naive. My grandfather who had kids in the middle of the depression used to say “If you gave all the money to the poor on Friday it would be back in the hands of the rich on Monday morning.”

On a personal level I don’t beleive that and think you can succeed in this country with enough hard work and perseverance. OTOH I think Balzac also said “behind every great fortune is a crime.”

Comment by Mr. Banker
2015-02-01 09:06:04

“On a personal level I don’t beleive that …”

And this tells me you need to get out a bit more often.

Comment by Shillow
2015-02-01 12:42:39

On a personal level I’ve done very well and am happy. I’ve gone further than I would have thought possible back when I was a kid. Ah the things I have seen and the places I’ve been …

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Skroodle
2015-02-01 13:03:13

Family businesses rarely survive the 3rd generation, so I think quite a few of those people who inherited thier wealth wouldn’t be able to make it.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Realtors Are Liars®
2015-02-01 07:34:50

FreddieMac: “A Reminder of the Corruption That Helped Birth the Biggest Bailout in History”


To what end? It failed. Fraud, graft, corruption and millions subjected to a lifetime of mortgage slavery.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-02-01 07:42:52

‘Beginning in the late 1990s, executive pay at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac became tied almost solely to earnings growth. So in order to trigger maximum bonus payouts for themselves, top management at the firms cooked the books to make it appear the companies were producing enough corporate earnings.’

‘And meeting the “affordable housing” goals mandated by Congress also enabled these executives “to keep their lush government perks and pay packages.” (See Reckless Endangerment, Pg. 247)’

‘When the fraud was finally detected, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) issued a scathing report calling the corporate culture created by the executives “unethical.” The report noted:

“Senior management manipulated accounting; reaped maximum, undeserved bonuses; and prevented the rest of the world from knowing.” “The combination of earnings manipulation, mismanagement and unconstrained growth resulted in an estimated $10.6 billion of losses, well over a billion dollars in expenses to fix the problems, and ill-gotten bonuses in the hundreds of millions of dollars.”(OFHEO Report: “Fannie Mae Facade,” 5/23/06)’

Good thing all these crooks went to jail.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2015-02-01 08:01:19

“Senior management manipulated accounting; reaped maximum, undeserved bonuses; and prevented the rest of the world from knowing.”

Yes, these were indeed some wonderful times. I like to fondly remember them as being “The Good ‘Ol Days”.

Ah, nostalgia; It just ain’t what it used to be.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2015-02-01 08:11:56

When the fraud was finally detected, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) issued a scathing report calling the corporate culture created by the executives “unethical.”

Oh no! Not a scathing report! Oh, the pain!

And UNETHICAL! The report use the work UNETHICAL - the E word.

Alas, I cannot read any further …

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-02-01 17:17:38

Wake me up when someone goes to jail.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Realtors Are Liars®
2015-02-01 07:47:41

While you degenerate gamblers were counting imaginary cash at the table, the rest of us were counting actual cash while reading this. You’re screwed.

“U.S. Housing Market Important Data that Financial Media Ignored”


Comment by phony scandals
2015-02-01 08:08:17

Is this the police officer’s fault or the “No More Hesitation” training he received, or the “If you see something say something” Loon who called it in?

Feel free to choose any or all.

Cop Pulls Gun On Teens Having Snowball Fight

Posted on 1 February 2015

In a video uploaded by New Rochelle’s Talk of the Sound, a New York police officer can be seen holding several teens at gunpoint after being called out for a disturbance which turned out to be a snowball fight earlier this week.

In the video, the officer can be seen pointing his weapon at the kneeling teens, telling them “Don’t f*cking move, guys,” as he approaches them while speaking into his shoulder-mounted radio mic.

As the officer frisks a teen with one hand, while pointing his gun with the other, the young woman filming the encounter on her cell phone explains what led up to the incident.

“They were having a snowball fight,”she explains.”This group of guys was having a snowball fight and now a cop has a gun on them.”

According to LiveLeak, Talk of the Sound — whose server crashed due to traffic over the video — has an additional video showing the cop releasing the teens and sending them on their way.

Talk of the Sound has reported that they were told that the police were responding to call reporting a gun, but were unable to get confirmation from the New Rochelle Police Department.

Watch the video below, uploaded by LiveLeak:

wakeupfromyourslumber.com/cop-pulls-gun-on-teens-having-snowball-fight/ - 52k -

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-02-01 08:23:40

‘The Huffington Post explored why President Obama told House Democrats this week not to read the liberal media outlet, which blasted his trade agenda. Obama’s advice came just before his own blog post on his blueprint for middle-class economics went up on the same site.’

“The fact that president Obama’s got so worked up over analysis of the HuffPost criticizing his trade agenda, I think that it says something,” HuffPost Live quoted Global Trade Watch research director Ben Beachy as saying Friday. “I think what it says is Obama is having to reckon with the difficult reality that his trade agenda directly conflicts with and undermines his stated middle class economics agenda.”

‘Beachy disagreed that the TPP deal would result in more jobs, and argued it could instead lead to a lower pay for workers who earn less than $80,000.’

‘The deal would add “more offshoring incentives, which means a loss of manufacturing jobs,” Beachy said. “Since NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement], nearly 5 million manufacturing jobs have been lost. Workers that are displaced have had to take pay cuts working retail, in restaurants, and that is increasing inequality … The increasing inequality would outweigh any tiny economic gains for the median worker, and nine out of 10 of us … would actually get a pay cut from the TPP,” he said.’

‘”In an op-ed earlier this month, Secretary of State John F. Kerry claimed, “Estimates are that the TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership] could provide $77 billion a year in real income and support 650,000 new jobs in the U.S. alone.”

‘The Washington Post’s Fact Checker columnist Glenn Kessler advised readers against believing in the claim.’

“Our advice remains: be wary whenever a politician claims a policy will yield bountiful jobs. In this case, the correct number is zero (in the long run), not 650,000, according to the very study used to calculate this number. Administration officials earn Four Pinocchios for their fishy math.”

BTW, on the morning after the recent elections, NPR was running tape with the President and Mitch McConnell with both saying they would quickly move on this trade deal. The globalists own DC.

Comment by Combotechie
2015-02-01 08:34:39

“BTW, on the morning after the recent elections, NPR was running tape with the President and Mitch McConnell with both saying they would quickly move on this trade deal.”

To modify a bit of what Mark Twain had to say a hundred-or-so years ago:

“If you don’t listen to NPR, you’re uninformed. If you listen to NPR, you’re mis-informed.”

And, without any modification, here’s Twain again …

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

Comment by scdave
2015-02-01 08:45:45

The globalists own DC ??

Just makes you wonder which & when will a candidate turn inward to address the internal problems we have in this country which are many…

Comment by phony scandals
2015-02-01 08:46:40

‘NAFTA on Steroids’: The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a Global Corporate Coup D’Etat

Lori Wallach
Tuesday, July 03, 2012

The TPP has been cleverly misbranded as a trade agreement (yawn) by its corporate boosters. As a result, since George W. Bush initiated negotiations in 2008, it has cruised along under the radar. The Obama administration initially paused the talks, ostensibly to develop a new approach compatible with candidate Obama’s pledges to replace the old NAFTA-based trade model. But by late 2009, talks restarted just where Bush had left off.

Since then, US negotiators have proposed new rights for Big Pharma and pushed into the text aspects of the Stop Online Piracy Act, which would limit Internet freedom, despite the derailing of SOPA in Congress earlier this year thanks to public activism. In June a text of the TPP investment chapter was leaked, revealing that US negotiators are even pushing to expand NAFTA’s notorious corporate tribunals, which have been used to attack domestic public interest laws.

Think of the TPP as a stealthy delivery mechanism for policies that could not survive public scrutiny. Indeed, only two of the twenty-six chapters of this corporate Trojan horse cover traditional trade matters. The rest embody the most florid dreams of the 1 percent—grandiose new rights and privileges for corporations and permanent constraints on government regulation. They include new investor safeguards to ease job offshoring and assert control over natural resources, and severely limit the regulation of financial services, land use, food safety, natural resources, energy, tobacco, healthcare and more.

The stakes are extremely high, because the TPP may well be the last “trade” agreement Washington negotiates. This is because if it’s completed, the TPP would remain open for any other country to join. In May US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said he “would love nothing more” than to have China join. In June Mexico and Canada entered the process, creating a NAFTA on steroids, with most of Asia to boot.

Countries would be obliged to conform all their domestic laws and regulations to the TPP’s rules—in effect, a corporate coup d’état. The proposed pact would limit even how governments can spend their tax dollars. Buy America and other Buy Local procurement preferences that invest in the US economy would be banned, and “sweat-free,” human rights or environmental conditions on government contracts could be challenged. If the TPP comes to fruition, its retrograde rules could be altered only if all countries agreed, regardless of domestic election outcomes or changes in public opinion. And unlike much domestic legislation, the TPP would have no expiration date.

Failure to conform domestic laws to the rules would subject countries to lawsuits before TPP tribunals empowered to authorize trade sanctions against member countries. The leaked investment chapter also shows that the TPP would expand the parallel legal system included in NAFTA. Called Investor-State Dispute Resolution, it empowers corporations to sue governments—outside their domestic court systems—over any action the corporations believe undermines their expected future profits or rights under the pact. Three-person international tribunals of attorneys from the private sector would hear these cases. The lawyers rotate between serving as “judges”—empowered to order governments to pay corporations unlimited amounts in fines—and representing the corporations that use this system to raid government treasuries. The NAFTA version of this scheme has forced governments to pay more than $350 million to corporations after suits against toxic bans, land-use policies, forestry rules and more.

http://www.commondreams.org/…eroids-trans-pacific-partnership-global-corporate-coup-detat - 56k -

Comment by Mr. Banker
2015-02-01 09:04:02

(first, set up the joke)

“Three-person international tribunals of attorneys from the private sector would hear these cases.”

(then, deliver the punchline)

“The lawyers rotate between serving as “judges”—empowered to order governments to pay corporations unlimited amounts in fines—and representing the corporations that use this system to raid government treasuries.”

Comment by Mr. Banker
2015-02-01 10:03:35

Step 1: Run for and win a seat in Congress by pledging to represent those who elected you.

Step 2: Dream up such things as the Trans-Pacific Partnership once you get comfortably settled into your new job.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Skroodle
2015-02-01 13:06:18

You are grossly mistaken if you think the TPP was written by Congress.

Comment by Tarara Boomdea
2015-02-01 11:55:02

Comment by phony scandals
2015-02-01 08:46:40

‘NAFTA on Steroids’: The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a Global Corporate Coup D’Etat

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-02-01 17:18:42

HuffPo is usually one of Obama’s most ardent leg-humpers.

Comment by phony scandals
2015-02-01 09:04:12

Here’s Some Frightening Honesty (Courtesy Of The US Congress)

It doesn’t’ take a rocket scientists to figure out what a bankrupt government will do—just like any thief, they’ll go after easy targets first

by Simon Black | Sovereign Man blog | February 1, 2015

A member of my staff caught an obscure resolution that was introduced in the US House of Representatives last week—Resolution no. 41.

The fact that there was essentially no coverage of this Resolution really shows how the mainstream media is completely turning a blind eye to the true fiscal situation of the United States of America.

The entire point of the resolution is to say that the federal government is broke.

It can’t pay its own bills, and therefore is shouldn’t be responsible to pay anyone else’s either.

The easiest target of all is future generations.

They’re going to run up the debt as high as they can, which essentially means pulling future tax revenues into today. It’s the easiest tax of all, because unborn children do not vote.

The estate tax is another one to watch out for—because, like unborn children, dead people don’t vote either.

We had a great podcast yesterday about retirement savings, where there’s an easy $5 trillion treasure chest for them to raid.

And, of course, there’s the greatest tax of all, the inflation tax, which decreases the standard of living for most of the population as the cost of living rises much faster than incomes.

This Resolution is a pretty scary dose of honesty. But again, what’s even more concerning is that it was just ignored and has objectively a zero percent chance of passing.

I do encourage you to check it out though—even the government is admitting it’s finished.

I’ll quote from the Resolution now without comment and wish you a very pleasant weekend:

Whereas the Federal Government is operating at an annual deficit and is increasing its outstanding debt every year;

Whereas the Federal Government, as of January 2015, is carrying more than $18.0 trillion in debt, of which $13.0 trillion is owed to the public and $5.08 trillion is owed to Social Security and other trust funds;

Whereas foreign governments, individuals, and corporations as of October 2014 own 47 percent of Federal debt held by the public;

Whereas Social Security’s unfunded liabilities in 2014 are $10.6 trillion over 75 years and $24.9 trillion over the infinite horizon;

Whereas the Federal debt held by the public is expected to increase by more than $7 trillion from 2014 to 2024 according to the Congressional Budget Office;

Whereas more than 16 percent of the entire Federal budget goes directly to States and local governments;

Whereas more than 22 percent of total State and local government general revenue comes from the Federal Government according to Census Bureau’s latest Annual Survey of State and Local Government Finance;

Whereas several State and local pension plans are expected to fully exhaust their funds within ten years.

Comment by Combotechie
2015-02-01 09:26:42

“The estate tax is another one to watch out for—because, like unborn children, dead people don’t vote either.”

The estate tax works because people who have estates, have money, have no idea when they will die so they will scrimp on their savings so as to always have money to draw from - and this money is their estate.

“We had a great podcast yesterday about retirement savings, where there’s an easy $5 trillion treasure chest for them to raid.”

Retirement savings is another form, another word, for an estate, and, again, an old person with retirement savings will die with savings left over because he will not know the unknowable, which is how long he will live.

If somebody knew - KNEW - exactly when he would die then he could prudently at that exact moment die broke. But a person does not know when he will die thus he cannot take the chance of outliving his money, and this is where the government gets an automatic win in its version of the game of Gotcha.

Comment by Bring Back the WPA
2015-02-01 10:14:49

For 2015, the first $5.43 million of an estate are not taxable. Most of us commoners don’t have to worry about it.

Comment by scdave
2015-02-01 10:30:46

Exactly…And thats 5.43 for a single person…Double that for married couples…

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-02-01 10:43:06

I detect jealousy.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-02-01 11:21:40

“Double that for married couples…”

Who rarely die at the same time.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-02-01 11:24:38

True. But if you have anywhere near the $11M to begin with, you can afford to pay some estate and trust attorneys to ensure that the exemption from the first of the pair to pass away is not lost.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-01 12:06:33

My casual observation is that timing of the death of married couples is more closely correlated than predicted by mere life expectancy tables. It would be an interesting statistical investigation if one could get the data (maybe some actuary already did this?). I can point to anecdotes from personal experience, such as my uncle’s death last winter followed by his wife’s within the next month.

Good profit making opportunity for insurance companies here if they sell joint-life products based on the assumption of independent life times when in fact the death of a spouse decreases one’s own future life expectancy.

Comment by scdave
2015-02-01 12:38:43

Who rarely die at the same time ??

Does not make a difference as I will explain why…

pay some estate and trust attorneys to ensure that the exemption from the first of the pair to pass away is not lost ??

Not necessary…When the first of the spouses pas away, their 1/2 of the estate gets a stepped up basis…In other words, the surviving spouse will receive up to 5.43 mil from the deceased spouse tax free…When the remaining spouse passes away, their 1/2 gets a stepped up basis with no taxable consequence…

So, the individual or individual’s that inherit the estate, get the 5.43 mil X 2 tax free…

Comment by Tarara Boomdea
2015-02-01 12:55:23

timing of the death of married couples

Holmes and Rahe stress scale
Among most stressful:
Death of a spouse 100 (max individual points)

Real estate related points can mount pretty quickly:
Major mortgage (32), followed by Dismissal from work (47), followed by Change in financial state (38), and Foreclosure of mortgage or loan (30), Change in residence (20), Change in living conditions (25)

Score of 300+: At risk of illness.
Score of 150-299: Risk of illness is moderate (reduced by 30% from the above risk).
Score <150: Only have a slight risk of illness.

Interesting (soft) science. I’ve seen people thrive under stress, but I can’t imagine losing your spouse or “your” house would be one of those occasions.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-02-01 13:27:10

I am pretty sure I have a negative score on that stress scale.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-02-01 13:29:46

Thanks for the explanation Dave, not that us thousandaires need to worry about it much.

Comment by tresho
2015-02-01 14:57:20

For 2015, the first $5.43 million of an estate are not taxable
Doesn’t that apply to 99.9% of us? Too lazy to look it up. Of course states may take their own cut.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Tarara Boomdea
2015-02-01 11:58:47

Comment by phony scandals
2015-02-01 09:04:12

Here’s Some Frightening Honesty (Courtesy Of The US Congress)

Comment by Skroodle
2015-02-01 13:08:01

Is this guy hawking a Libertarian paradise in the hinterland’s of Argentina or the one in Chile??

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-02-01 09:13:09

Antioch, CA Sale Prices Plunge 12% In 2014 As Housing Correction Resumes


Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-02-01 09:20:17

Correction: List prices

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-02-01 10:10:35

And another bit of excess unwinding:

‘Deere will lay off about 910 workers indefinitely from factories mostly in Iowa and sideline another 500 employees in Illinois until late summer, as the agricultural equipment maker continues its adjustment to demand for its products. The world’s biggest farm equipment maker said last fall that it expected its farm equipment sales and profits to fall in the new fiscal year. Falling commodity prices and lower farm income have hurt companies like Deere, which employs about 29,000 people in the United States and Canada and around 60,000 globally.’

‘August 19, 2014 Farmland Price Outlook in 2014 and Beyond. Farmland prices have increased dramatically during recent years. The National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS) - an agency of the US Department of Agriculture - reports cropland values for many U.S. states (click farmdoc daily August 15, 2014 for an Excel worksheet with data). According to NASS, the average cropland value in Illinois increased from $3,640 per acre in 2006 to $7,700 per acre in 2014 representing an increase of 212% or a 9.58% continuously compounded annual growth rate.’

‘Recent commodity price declines have led to increasing concerns that farmland prices could decline as a result of potential decreases in income to farmland. Corn prices, for example, have decreased from over $5.00 per bushel during the summer of 2013 to prices in the mid-$3.00 range during the summer of 2014 reflecting expectations of large yields. During the first half of 2014, farmland values appear to have stopped increasing rapidly,, with some reports of small decreases and softening demand.’

‘The average selling price for an acre of vacant farm land in Marion County increased from $3,518 in 2010 to $3,927 in 2011 and $4,934 in 2012, according to the county auditor’s office. That’s a 40 percent increase during a three-year period.’

“For several years the farmers made some good money,” he said. “The corn market has dropped off 40 percent, but so far for some reason it hasn’t affected the farm land values. But there’s a lot of people sitting there with cash. Investors can’t make money in CDs, so you have those people buying now. … But farmers have bought most of the land.”

‘Leslie concurred with Boblenz’s observation, saying farm land prices shot up “because grain prices doubled in those periods of time. If grain prices that last three, four years were almost at an all-time high, and guys were making more money and everybody’s getting greedy and wants to buy more ground. Basically, it became a bidding war.”

‘Non-farmers buying the land as an investment contributes to keeping the price high, he said.’

‘Boblenz “hit the nail on the head. There are a lot of people now who just invest in farm land because the value has gone up so much,” Leslie said. “There may be an auction in Marion County, and somebody may buy it and nobody knows who it is. It might be some investor from Florida. Farmers aren’t just competing against farmers anymore to buy ground. There’s all sorts of outside buyers. It’s just a spike right now because of all the profitability.”

Comment by Combotechie
2015-02-01 10:32:30

“‘There are a lot of people now who just invest in farm land because the value has gone up so much,’ Leslie said.”

Check this out: “… because the value has gone up so much”

He really means because the PRICE has gone up so much.

Which really makes no sense at all to buy something because the price went up, unless … unless one equates Price with Value.

And if price equates with value then if you raise the price then you automatically raise the value! And rising values attract new buyers and these new buyers they … they buy! And when they buy they act to raise the price, and this newly-raised price raises the value - and - presto! - right before your eyes is performed an economic miracle!

And the effects of this economic miracle can be amplified if this buying is leveraged - meaning instead of one’s buying being restricted and limited to using only money they happen to have on hand they get to do some unrestricted buying, some unlimited buying, by using money that is borrowed from somewhere else, maybe even conjured up out of thin air!

Another miracle! Two miracle in the same post!

Amazing! A miracle in itself!

Comment by scdave
2015-02-01 10:34:00

What happens if farm subsidies go Bye-Bye in tax reform legislation ?? Or do the Corporate farmers get to keep their goodies ??

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-01 12:10:00

I see no evidence to suggest farm subsidies will ever go away, do you? Remember, talk is cheap, and this particular subject has been discussed endlessly with no significant changes to show for it — rather like financial sector reform discussed after the 2008 collapse, actually!

Comment by scdave
2015-02-01 12:41:41

I see no evidence to suggest farm subsidies will ever go away, do you ??

In a grand scheme overhaul of the tax code it must go away…BECAUSE, if they get theirs, then there will be someone right in back of them saying “Then I Want Mine”…

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Skroodle
2015-02-01 13:09:53

No successful Presidential candidate has ever gone to Iowa and pledged to remove farmers subsidies and wealfare payments.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-01 12:08:31

Wasn’t a collapse in a farmland bubble a key fundamental driver of the Great Depression?

Not to be alarmist here or anything…

Comment by phony scandals
2015-02-01 10:29:32

Yes! Yes! Tax those evil companies! Nod, wink, chuckle.

“It’s a very clever basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter.”

Obama Said to Seek 19% Global Minimum Tax to Aid Road Fund

by Richard Rubin and Jonathan Allen
7:07 PM EST
January 31, 2015

(Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama will propose that U.S.-based companies pay a minimum 19 percent tax on their future foreign earnings, capturing profits that are now often beyond the government’s reach.

Obama will also seek a 14 percent mandatory tax on about $2 trillion in stockpiled offshore profits, said two people familiar with his budget proposals, declining to be named because the document won’t be made public until Feb. 2. Companies would pay that tax regardless of whether they bring the money back to the U.S., the two said, creating a revenue stream the president would use to pay for roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects.

Obama’s latest proposals add new details to the administration’s efforts to revamp the U.S. business tax system. The issue has been stalled in Congress, though lawmakers of both parties say they see potential room for agreement on business taxes.

In one sense, Obama is offering U.S. companies the kind of system they have sought — one with lower corporate marginal tax rates and with future foreign profits subject to little or no extra U.S. tax when brought home.

However, he’s offering to do so on terms that are less favorable than companies would want, with rates that could mean significant tax increases for companies that have been shifting profits to jurisdictions such as Bermuda and Ireland and paying less than 10 percent on their foreign profits.

“The basic outline of a deal on the most important component of corporate tax reform is falling into place,” said Ed Kleinbard, a tax law professor at the University of Southern California who has criticized the current system that often lets companies avoid paying taxes anywhere.


Jonathan Gruber
November 5, 2012 speech at Rhode Island University.

“Until a second Massachusetts hero arose, John Kerry. John Kerry said no, no we’re not going to tax your heath insurance, we’re going to tax those evil insurance companies. We’re going to impose a tax that if they sell health insurance that’s too expensive, we’re going to tax them. And conveniently the tax rate will happen to be the marginal tax rate on the income tax code. So basically it’s the same thing: we just tax insurance companies, they pass on higher prices that offsets the tax break we get into being the same thing. It’s a very clever basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter.”

Comment by scdave
2015-02-01 10:36:31

Obama Said to Seek 19% Global Minimum Tax to Aid Road Fund ??

Oh that should just whisk right through the republican controlled congress & senate….Like a lead balloon…

Comment by phony scandals
2015-02-01 11:26:40

“Oh that should just whisk right through the republican controlled congress & senate…”

In the US, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is dominant. One of its 1921 founders, Edward Mandell House, was Woodrow Wilson’s chief advisor and rumored at the time to be the nation’s real power from 1913 - 1921. On his watch, the Federal Reserve Act passed in December 1913 giving money creation power to bankers, and the 16th Amendment was ratified in February creating the federal income tax to provide a revenue stream to pay for government debt service.

From its beginnings, CFR was committed to “a one-world government based on a centralized global financing system….” Today, CFR has thousands of influential members (including important ones in the corporate media) but keeps a low public profile, especially regarding its real agenda.

Historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. called it a “front organization (for) the heart of the American Establishment.” It meets privately and only publishes what it wishes the public to know. Its members are only Americans.

The Trilateral Commission (discussed below) is a similar group that “brings together global power brokers.” Founded by David Rockefeller, he’s also a leading Bilderberger and CFR Chairman Emeritus, organizations he continues to finance and support.

Their past and current members reflect their power:

– nearly all presidential candidates of both parties;

– leading senators and congressmen;

– key members of the fourth estate and their bosses; and
– top officials of the FBI, CIA, NSA, defense establishment, and other leading government agencies, including state, commerce, the judiciary and treasury.

For its part, “CFR has served as a virtual employment agency for the federal government under both Democrats and Republicans.” Whoever occupies the White House, “CFR’s power and agenda” have been unchanged since its 1921 founding.

It advocates a global superstate with America and other nations sacrificing their sovereignty to a central power. CFR founder Paul Warburg was a member of Roosevelt’s “brain trust.” In 1950, his son, James, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: “We shall have world government whether or not you like it - by conquest or consent.”

http://www.rense.com/general86/bilder.htm - 109k -

Comment by Tarara Boomdea
2015-02-01 12:14:26
(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-02-01 17:21:54

Yet the sheeple think voting for R or D makes a difference.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2015-02-01 10:49:20

“It’s a very clever basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter.”

Hey, whether they vote or not, that’s how I make my living.

A good living, a VERY good living, at that.

Comment by 2banana
2015-02-01 11:12:18

There is not a problem that can not be solved without bigger and bigger government, more and more regulations and higher and higher taxes.

America has THE highest corporate taxes in the industrialized world.

What is obama’s solution? Raise taxes even more.

Because people/corporations will not respond to an additional 19% tax.

Gee - I wonder what the unexpected “unintended consequences” of this will be??? No one will see it coming…

Comment by AmazingRuss
2015-02-01 11:47:49

You just go ahead and pay those taxes, so your good friends the corporations don’t have to!

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-01 12:11:24

There is not a problem that can not be solved without bigger and bigger government, more and more regulations and higher and higher taxes.

Really? Then what was the purpose of that massive financial bailout (no taxes involved!) in the wake of the fall 2008 financial crisis?

Comment by phony scandals
2015-02-01 11:51:44

Region IV

Comment by rj chicago
2015-02-01 11:54:42

ok - I have to confess I have not listened to any of these yet, the operative being YET. There is one in here by Sheryl Atkinson - that is the one i am watching first.
Happy Super Sunday there HBB’ers.


Comment by phony scandals
2015-02-01 12:09:16

The numbers don’t lie, they’re both losers.

Who wins Super Bowl of housing? Seattle or Boston

Diana Olick | @diana_olick
Friday, 30 Jan 2015 | 7:00 AM ETCNBC.com

Talk all you want about deflated footballs and inflated ticket prices, the real competition worth watching is in housing. Seattle and Boston are two of the nation’s hottest housing markets, and while many of their stats are similar, some aspects are winners, some losers.

Running the basics, per the U.S. Census, RealtyTrac and Redfin:
The Super Bowl of real estate

629,182 Population 652,405
31 Median Age 36
69% Employment rate 73%
$53,601 Median Household Income $65,277
273,118 Total Housing Units 309,205
$371,000 Median SF Home Value $433,800
34% Home Ownership Rate 47%
802 Properties in foreclosure 1,743
$1,281 Median Rent $1,091
43.76 inches Average Annual Rainfall 34.1 inches
44 inches Average Annual Snowfall 6.8 inches

Suorce: U.S. Census, RealtyTrac and Redfin
Seattle, Washington (L) and Boston, Massachusettes (R)
Wolfgang Kaehler (L) | Scott Eisen (R) | Getty Images
Seattle, Washington (L) and Boston, Massachusettes (R)

So clearly, given incomes and home prices, it’s slightly more affordable to buy a home in Boston, but it’s far more expensive to rent. The vacancy rates are the same in both cities. For those of you who love older homes, Boston is a winner because nearly two-thirds of the homes there were built before 1960, compared to just half of Seattle homes.

Who wins Super Bowl of housing? Seattle or Boston - CNBC.com
http://www.cnbc.com/id/102376706 - 138k -

Comment by phony scandals
2015-02-01 12:26:20

Could have been worse.

Who wins Super Bowl of housing? Detroit or Buffalo

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-01 12:12:24

Why do Realtors™ keep serving up the same tired canards over and over again? Can’t they come up with some new canards for a change?

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-01 12:14:28

Millennials are finally entering home-buying market
Homebuying millennials could put squeeze on tight market
First-time buyers Kellen and Ben Goldsmith are shown in their new town home, which they purchased for $620,000 in Seattle’s Eastlake neighborhood. (Ken Lambert / Tribune News Service)
By Kenneth R. Harney

* Millennials have been missing in action on home buying since the end of the Great Recession

* New signs are emerging that hint that conditions may finally be right for millennials to buy homes

Call them the prodigal millennials: Statistical measures and anecdotal reports suggest that young couples and singles in their late 20s and early 30s have begun making a belated entry into the home-buying market, pushed by mortgage rates in the mid-3% range, government efforts to ease credit requirements and deep frustrations at having to pay rising rents without creating equity.

Listen to Kathleen Hart, who just bought a condo unit with her husband, Devin Wall, that looks out on the Columbia River in Wenatchee, Wash.: “We were just tired of renting, tired of sharing with roommates and not having a place of our own. Finally the numbers added up.”

Erin Beasley and her fiance closed on a condo in the Capitol Hill area of Washington, D.C., in January. “With the way rents kept on going,” she said, “we realized it was time” after five years as tenants. “With renting, at some point you get really tired of it — you want to own, be able to make changes” that suit you, not some landlord.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-01 12:26:47

Here’s to hoping for lower rents as the savvy under-30 set enters the Ownership Society!

Comment by real journalists
2015-02-01 12:31:37

Region VIII

Comment by ex-Wreck
2015-02-01 13:41:32

Quiz for the day - who said the following:

“The ease and safety with which this operation [inflating the currency] can be conducted at the start is apt to induce the belief that it can be employed to an unlimited extent. And the fact that this belief can be acted on without instantaneous punishment renders it dangerous.”

Mises? Von Hayek? Rothbard? No: John Maynard himself.

After reading just one volume [#XVI, dealing with the Versailles Peace Conference] of his massive body of work, I’m coming to the conclusion that Keynes himself would not agree with what is being labeled Keynsianism today [ie Krugman]. In fact, I found many instances of Keynes’ thought lining up much more closely with what is considered to be libertarian economic thought today. Maybe that’s due to the entire economic landscape shifting a great deal compared to 90+ years ago.

I haven’t read *General Theory…* yet but it’s on my list. This was written much later than Versailles so maybe his opinion changed over time?

Comment by rms
2015-02-01 13:54:02

Some interesting perspective at Salon. Enjoy!

How America will collapse (by 2025)

Comment by Bill, Just South of Irvine
2015-02-01 19:51:22

After years of swelling deficits fed by incessant warfare in distant lands, in 2020, as long expected, the U.S. dollar finally loses its special status as the world’s reserve currency. Suddenly, the cost of imports soars. Unable to pay for swelling deficits by selling now-devalued Treasury notes abroad, Washington is finally forced to slash its bloated military budget. Under pressure at home and abroad, Washington slowly pulls U.S. forces back from hundreds of overseas bases to a continental perimeter. By now, however, it is far too late.

Faced with a fading superpower incapable of paying the bills, China, India, Iran, Russia, and other powers, great and regional, provocatively challenge U.S. dominion over the oceans, space, and cyberspace. Meanwhile, amid soaring prices, ever-rising unemployment, and a continuing decline in real wages, domestic divisions widen into violent clashes and divisive debates, often over remarkably irrelevant issues. Riding a political tide of disillusionment and despair, a far-right patriot captures the presidency with thundering rhetoric, demanding respect for American authority and threatening military retaliation or economic reprisal. The world pays next to no attention as the American Century ends in silence.

I agree the first paragraph will happen. I disagree about the second paragraph.

In defense of the first paragraph The $18 trillion deficit is too much. Young men in the USA are in far worse physical shape than the men a couple generations earlier going into Vietnam - so the USA depends on 1) coalitions and 2) granting citizenship to anyone who enlists in the US armed forces (soldier of fortune) - and probably grants to their wives, kids, parents, etc. But this all shows the USA is up against the wall. And when interest rates go up 1%, every 1% increase tacks on $170 billion in debt to pay. The handwriting is on the wall that interest rates must go up. The first government spending cutback will be military. the 90s BRAC was the precedent and it was successful.

The second paragraph is far more hypthetical. What if those other countries do not use their military to be imperialistic but work on committing to free trade with the USA? The economic benefits of peaceful trade outweigh wars and imperialism.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-01 14:16:13

Is the stock market turmoil over for 2015?

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-02-01 21:25:50

Market Snapshot
U.S. stocks routed in final hour, end month in the red
Published: Jan 30, 2015 4:16 p.m. ET
U.S. GDP growth slows in fourth quarter
By Anora Mahmudova
Markets reporter

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks ended a turbulent Friday trading session with big losses, as selling on Wall Street accelerated in the final hour.

Investors grappled with downbeat gross domestic product data, less-than-stellar earnings that overshadowed a bounce in crude-oil futures.

A slower-than-expected economic growth number resulted in a flight to quality, with investors flocking into havens such as Treasurys and gold and unloading equities.

Crude oil prices swung higher Friday, settling at $48.24 a barrel, driven by a big drop in U.S. rig counts as producers responded to oversupply. Oil also got a boost as traders ended bets that the price of oil will see a continued slide.

The main indexes ended January with the biggest monthly losses in a year, while also recording a weekly decline, which marked the fourth weekly drop out of past five.

The S&P 500 (SPX, -1.30%) closed down 26.26 points, or 1.3%, at 1,994.99. The benchmark index fell 2.8% last week and ended the month with a loss of 3.1%. Only the energy sector finished the day with gains, while nine other sectors slumped.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA, -1.45%) dropped 251.90 points, or 1.5%, to 17,164.95. The blue-chip index declined 2.9% over the past week and lost 3.7% over the month.

The Nasdaq Composite (COMP, -1.03%) ended the day down 48.17 points, or 1%, at 4,635.24. The tech-heavy index lost 2.6% over the week and ended the month 2.1% lower.

Phil Orlando, chief equity strategist at Federated Investors, said that a big miss in the GDP number had sent investors into bonds and out of stocks.

The headline number was very disappointing, so investors are buying bonds and selling stocks because they think the economy is decelerating. However, this number is likely to be revised upwards,” said Orlando.

Treasurys trimmed their gains, but the yield on the 10-year note, which moves inversely to prices, was still down 6 basis points at 1.7%, after hitting the lowest level since May 2013 earlier.

Comment by phony scandals
2015-02-01 15:01:49

By Laura Barron-Lopez - 01/20/15 09:14 PM EST

President Obama declared climate change the greatest threat to the future during his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

“And no challenge — no challenge — poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change,” Obama said.
The UN “disappears” 50 million climate refugees, then botches the disappearing attempt

Anthony Watts / April 15, 2011

Hoo boy, government bureaucratic idiocy at its finest. Not only is the original claim bogus, the attempts to disappear it are hilariously inept. Apparently, they’ve never heard of Google Cache at the UN. Rather than simply say “we were wrong”, they’ve now brought even more distrust onto the UN.

Back on April 11th, Gavin Atkins of Asian Correspondent asked this simple question:
What happened to the climate refugees?

It is a valid question, and he backs it up with census numbers. Here’s the first part of his story:


In 2005, the United Nations Environment Programme predicted that climate change would create 50 million climate refugees by 2010. These people, it was said, would flee a range of disasters including sea level rise, increases in the numbers and severity of hurricanes, and disruption to food production.

The UNEP even provided a handy map. The map shows us the places most at risk including the very sensitive low lying islands of the Pacific and Caribbean.

It so happens that just a few of these islands and other places most at risk have since had censuses, so it should be possible for us now to get some idea of the devastating impact climate change is having on their populations. Let’s have a look at the evidence:


Nassau, The Bahamas – The 2010 national statistics recorded that the population growth increased to 353,658 persons in The Bahamas. The population change figure increased by 50,047 persons during the last 10 years.

St Lucia:

The island-nation of Saint Lucia recorded an overall household population increase of 5 percent from May 2001 to May 2010 based on estimates derived from a complete enumeration of the population of Saint Lucia during the conduct of the recently completed 2010 Population and Housing Census.

After Asian Correspondent posted the story on April 11th, it was picked up by news outlets around the world such as Investor News, American Spectator and was cited in the Australian newspaper. It was also a report on Fox News.

Since that story appeared, the “handy map” he cites in his original story, which has this URL:


…seems to be gone down the memory hole. This is what you get now, note my yellow highlight:

Only one small problem there UN people, a little annoyance called Google cache, which has that page archived here.

It pulls up this page that had been removed, with the 50 million refugees title, but the map is missing. Click to enlarge.

Fear not dear readers, because as astoundingly smart as those UN people think they are, they forgot one very important yet tiny detail. The map links to a hi-resolution version of the “climate refugee map” and if you delete the page above and the map it contains, you also have to delete the hi-res image it links to.



I’m always happy to help the UN in times of “need”, sooooo I’ve recovered it and saved it here on WUWT, because that image link is likely to go down the memory hole on Monday.

Here’s the map at web resolution as it would have appeared in the disappeared web page above.

UNEP map, Emmanuelle Bournay

And here it is in full sized hi-resolution glory, suitable for printing, slides, or coffee mugs…wherever it might be appropriate to show the folly of these boneheads. Click the link for the hi-res image:

11kap9climat.png 3012 x 1699 pixels PNG (577K)

And there you have it folks, another bogus climate claim rubbished by reality, followed by an inept cover up attempt.

Thanks to the reality of census numbers, followed by the UN’s handling of this, we can now safely say that the claim is “climate refugees” is total fantasy. Be sure to leave comments on any website that makes this claim, and link to this and the Asian Correspondent website.

wattsupwiththat.com/…/ - 547k -

Comment by Bring Back the WPA
2015-02-01 16:08:42

“The aeroplane will never fly.” — Lord Haldane, Minister of War, Britain, 1907

“The Earth is flat.” — Christian theologian Lactantius, 3rd century A.D.

“Man can’t change climate, only God can.” — Sen. James Inhofe

Comment by phony scandals
2015-02-01 20:08:20

“In 2005, the United Nations Environment Programme predicted that climate change would create 50 million climate refugees by 2010.”

Comment by phony scandals
2015-02-01 20:23:31

The 1970s Ice Age Scare | Real Science
stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/05/21/the-1970s-ice-age-scare/ - 160k - Cached - Similar pages
May 21, 2013 … … every major climate organization endorsed the 1970s ice age scare, … Predictions By The World’s Greatest Scientists · Spectacularly Poor …

Comment by phony scandals
2015-02-01 20:36:12

The 1970’s Global Cooling Compilation – looks much like today …
wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/01/global-cooling-compilation/ - 453k - Cached - Similar pages
Mar 1, 2013 … During the 1970s the media promoted global cooling alarmism with dire … 1970 – Colder Winters Held Dawn of New Ice Age – Scientists See Ice … another ice age may be on the way (The Christian Science Monitor, December 11, 1973) ….. So the 20 year long (very real) cooling scare was most rife during …

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by phony scandals
2015-02-01 20:43:54

1971 – New Ice Age Coming – It’s Already Getting Colder (L.A. Times, October 24, 1971)
1971 – Another Ice Age? Pollution Blocking Sunlight (The Day, November 1, 1971)
1971 – Air Pollution Could Bring An Ice Age (Harlan Daily Enterprise, November 4, 1971)
1972 – Air pollution may cause ice age (Free-Lance Star, February 3, 1972)
1972 – Scientist Says New ice Age Coming (The Ledger, February 13, 1972)
1972 – Scientist predicts new ice age (Free-Lance Star, September 11, 1972)
1972 – British expert on Climate Change says Says New Ice Age Creeping Over Northern Hemisphere (Lewiston Evening Journal, September 11, 1972)
1972 – Climate Seen Cooling For Return Of Ice Age (Portsmouth Times, ‎September 11, 1972‎)
1972 – New Ice Age Slipping Over North (Press-Courier, September 11, 1972)
1972 – Ice Age Begins A New Assault In North (The Age, September 12, 1972)
1972 – Weather To Get Colder (Montreal Gazette, ‎September 12, 1972‎)
1972 – British climate expert predicts new Ice Age (The Christian Science Monitor, September 23, 1972)
1972 – Scientist Sees Chilling Signs of New Ice Age (L.A. Times, September 24, 1972)
1972 – Science: Another Ice Age? (Time Magazine, November 13, 1972)
1973 – The Ice Age Cometh (The Saturday Review, March 24, 1973)
1973 – Weather-watchers think another ice age may be on the way (The Christian Science Monitor, December 11, 1973)
1974 – New evidence indicates ice age here (Eugene Register-Guard, May 29, 1974)
1974 – Another Ice Age? (Time Magazine, June 24, 1974)
1974 – 2 Scientists Think ‘Little’ Ice Age Near (The Hartford Courant, August 11, 1974)
1974 – Ice Age, worse food crisis seen (The Chicago Tribune, October 30, 1974)
1974 – Believes Pollution Could Bring On Ice Age (Ludington Daily News, December 4, 1974)
1974 – Pollution Could Spur Ice Age, Nasa Says (Beaver Country Times, ‎December 4, 1974‎)
1974 – Air Pollution May Trigger Ice Age, Scientists Feel (The Telegraph, ‎December 5, 1974‎)
1974 – More Air Pollution Could Trigger Ice Age Disaster (Daily Sentinel – ‎December 5, 1974‎)
1974 – Scientists Fear Smog Could Cause Ice Age (Milwaukee Journal, December 5, 1974)
1975 – Climate Changes Called Ominous (The New York Times, January 19, 1975)
1975 – Climate Change: Chilling Possibilities (Science News, March 1, 1975)

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-02-01 17:24:18

Canada’s housing bubble now poses a systemic risk to the nation’s financial system as the plunge in oil prices threatens to burst the shale oil bubble.


Comment by azdude
2015-02-01 18:32:36

how far can we leverage stocks and homes?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-02-01 17:34:52


So what are the super-rich: are they bastards? Are they, as Hemingway put it, just like us, but with “more money”? Are they going to save us? Destroy us? Are they corporate psychopaths who’ve channelled their murderous impulses into making money, not serial killing? Or are they lonely and needing love, but trapped in a gilded cage of Bentleys and Lear Jets?

No, none of the above. I spent 6 months with them for a show I made for the BBC, called The Super-Rich and Us. I travelled to various castles and penthouses all over the world. I was greeted by sportswear multi-millionaire Sir Tom Hunter in his vast manicured grounds with “Hello! My favourite champagne Socialist!” (a little more champagne and less socialist, thanks very much).

Comment by aNYCdj
2015-02-01 18:32:46

Currency War Claims Another Casualty: Denmark sprang a rate-cut surprise last week; the central bank will now charge you 0.5 percent for the privilege of having kroner on deposit


Comment by phony scandals
2015-02-01 20:12:45

Witness protection plan needed for Seahawks offensive coordinator.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-02-01 20:32:33

Man oh man. Worst call in NFL history.

Comment by rms
2015-02-01 23:48:00

“Worst call in NFL history.”

And Wilson lobs too many high passes, IMHO. Risky!

Comment by rms
2015-02-01 23:51:39

Witness protection plan needed for Seahawks offensive coordinator.

Couldn’t fugg-up a 2nd & 1/2-yd play any worse. Jebus!!

Comment by Bill, Just South of Irvine
2015-02-01 20:33:45

Nature is an anarchist.

It has no rulers, just rules.
Look at the cloud patterns.
In chaos, there are rules.
Gravitation, acceleration,
evaporation, condensation.

Look at the birds.
They have no rulers, just rules.
Eat, attract, reproduce, eat.

Rock bands are anarchists.
They have no rulers, just rules.
They have to have a melody and beat
to attract.
They have to be original. They have
to be different from other bands.

Families are anarchists.
They have no rulers, just rules.
The head of the household knows what’s best
to nurture the young before they branch out.
The young know the older ones have the wisdom
from experience and acquieesce until they
are sure they are mature enough.

Your career is anarchist.
You decide who you want to work for,
but you always work for yourself. You
leave for a better opportunity when it
happens. No group forces you to workl for it.

Your personal finance is anarchist.
Even if you use a financial advisor, you
still made a choice and decide whether or
not to take that advice. It’s your rules.
There are no rulers in personal finance.

You are an anarchist. But not on voting day if you vote.
You just do not realize it.

Comment by phony scandals
2015-02-01 23:08:38

phony scandals

Name (required)
E-mail (required - never shown publicly)
Your Comment (smaller size | larger size)
You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

Trackback responses to this post