July 29, 2015

Bits Bucket for July 29, 2015

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

RSS feed


Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-29 00:34:13

Have commodities touched ground yet?

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-29 05:50:38

Speculators show global commodities rout still not over
Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:48pm EDT

* Graph of spot gold and Brent oil: http://link.reuters.com/qah35w

* Specs short gold for 1st in a decade

* China concentrates minds

By Veronica Brown and Pratima Desai

LONDON, July 27 (Reuters) - Speculators have confirmed what everyone else has been thinking: expect more falls in commodities, as worries about China and higher interest rates combine with waning sentiment to suggest markets are heading further south.

But while more losses are certain, their scope could be limited because a large number of speculators have already made bets that prices will fall.

Commodities from iron ore, to oil, grains and gold have shed value as the current extended price boom, or “super-cycle”, wanes.

Losses are not new, with oil and gold having peaked in July 2008 and September 2011 respectively, while iron ore has been on a downtrend since January 2011 and has shed more than 70 percent since that time. Most are now at multi-year lows.

The Thomson Reuters Commodities Research Bureau index slid 10 percent in July to its lowest levels since the low point of the global recession at the start of 2009.

But that may not be all.

“There could be more losses to come because I think people are still trying to work out all the moving parts,” said Frances Hudson, global thematic strategist at Standard Life Investments.

“It will depend on the individual commodities because at the end of last week it was becoming a sentiment driven event, everyone was just dumping commodities.”

Last Friday’s U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) reports showed hedge funds and other money managers slashed their bets on gains in U.S. crude prices to the lowest level in five years, while they also bet on lower gold prices for the first time in at least a decade. They reaffirmed expectations for copper to fall.

“It would be dangerous to suggest we have seen a bottom,” said Nic Brown, head of commodity strategy at Natixis.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-07-29 06:28:18

How many months of therapy will it take for specuvestors to recover from severe depression?

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-29 07:58:16

Speaking of depression, I guess it isn’t only Chinese investors who are depressed over their stock market losses.

Chinese stocks destroy $56.3B in U.S. wealth
Matt Krantz, USA TODAY 5:08 p.m. EDT July 28, 2015
(Photo: Yu fangping, AP)

The Chinese stock implosion is starting to get serious. It’s costing U.S. investors real money.

The 144 China-based stocks with primary listings on major U.S. exchanges have erased more than $56 billion in paper wealth since the Shanghai Composite index peaked on June 12. It’s an enormous destruction of wealth that in effects wipes out the market value of a company the size of technology firm Hewlett-Packard.

The Shanghai composite index’ losses are only getting worse. The much-watched measure of Chinese stocks fell 8.5% in overnight trading Monday and another 1.7% Tuesday. The index has dropped more than 27% since hitting its peak this year back on June 12.

Some of the stock-specific shredding of value is getting noteworthy. Chinese e-commerce stock, Alibaba, looks like the biggest destroyer of U.S. investor wealth. The stock is only down 7.5% since June 12 - but given it’s enormous market value investors have lost $11.7 billion on the stock during the downturn. The company still has a market value of $204.5 billion.

Also making U.S. investors feel the pain is JD.com, another online retailer based in China. This stock is down 15.4% since the Shanghai’s peak - which given the company’s large size - is handing investors a $7.9 billion paper loss.

Watching Chinese stocks go from a point of riches - to a point of pain - is quite the reversal for U.S. investors. The Vanguard Emerging Markets exchange-traded fund, which owns stakes in Chinese stocks, soared in late 2007 as it looked like the emerging nations were where the growth would be.

Once again - the crowd is wrong. And the stampede out proves to be painful.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Blue Skye
2015-07-29 09:38:54

Mind you, US investors in Alibaba do not actually own any Alibaba stock. It’s against Chinese law. They own shares in a shell corp in the Cayman Islands which actually has no assets.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2015-07-29 16:14:22

Realistically, neither does Alibaba.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-07-29 08:22:12

Commodities from iron ore, to oil, grains and gold have shed value as the current extended price boom, or “super-cycle”, wanes.

Has anyone else noticed the “it was just a commodities super-cycle” meme?

The reality: everything went through the roof when the Fed and all of the other Central Banks started pumping like crazy. All of that liquidity sloshing around encouraged mal-investment in property/building, and the associated demand for commodities resulted in pricing signals for many things being distorted—which encouraged more mal-investment in mining and other resource extraction.

Now we’re simply experiencing the flip-side of that coin, with overcapacity meeting collapsing demand, as the world economy slowly washes the distortion away…

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-29 08:34:36

Agreed. It seems the panic rush into hard commodities and other real assets to avoid perceived inflation risk ultimately had the opposite effect of a collapse in real asset prices.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Blue Skye
2015-07-29 09:39:55

Nah, the rush was on expectations of escalating Chinese demand to the moon.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-29 08:40:12

Yeah, now we see huge new mines in Brazil and Australia, for example, saying they are going to increase production to “put the others out of business.” Sort of like the oil industry.

It was no small announcement that the Chinese government is going to put people responsible for future empty cities in jail (see yesterdays comments). They said its was wasteful and damaged the environment. It could be talk, but it does show that the idea that the Chinese just have a different way of building houses doesn’t hold water. If it pans out, there will be a lot less of everything consumed in the near future.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Dman
2015-07-29 10:19:10


“China used more cement between 2011 and 2013 than the U.S. used in the entire 20th Century.”

“China’s cement industry is much larger than it should be. Many of China’s cement manufacturers are state-owned, and they benefit from government support and access to cheap capital. As in other overcapacity state-owned industries — aluminum, steel, and shipbuilding — China’s cement sector has undergone a period of explosive growth without much regard for product quality or profits.

This massive cement industry also takes a heavy toll on the environment. Scientists estimate that the global cement industry accounts for around 5 percent of the world’s carbon emissions, and more than half of the world’s cement production capacity is based in China.

What’s more, low standards for construction quality mean some of China’s concrete buildings may have to be knocked down and replaced in as little as 20 or 30 years. According to Goldman Sachs, about a third of the cement that China uses is low-grade stuff that wouldn’t be used in other countries.

When Bill Gates wrote in his blog about China’s stunning cement consumption, he pointed out that the issue of materials is key to helping the world’s poorest people improve their lives. Replacing mud floors with concrete improves sanitation; paving roads with concrete allows vegetables to get to market, kids to get to school, and the economy to flourish. In China, the building boom has spurred economic growth that has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.

And yet, China’s massive cement use also points to a darker side of the economy: The waste that occurs with too much top-down economic planning, and the environmental toll of growth at all costs. China’s cement splurge is impressive, yes, but it may hold the seeds of a more ominous story.”

There’s an interesting drawing of a cube representing how much concrete China has used towering over downtown Chicago.

Comment by WPA
2015-07-29 08:48:41

The Fed and central banks are secondary causes of the commodities boom. The great commodities boom of 2007 occurred all on its own prior to Fed intervention and QE. The primary cause of commodity booms is the repeal of Glass-Steagal, which allowed big banks to invest and speculate huge sums in commodities.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by taxpayers
2015-07-29 11:20:34

but in no way was it gov intervention
not a bit
gov is good

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-29 07:47:27

Commodities Crushed: Investors are Running Away From Commodities ETFs
July 28th, 2015 at 9:30am by Tom Lydon
Commodity ETFs News:
Copper ETFs May Be Stuck In A Long Slump
Professional Traders Really Hate Gold
Crude Oil Is the Best-Performing Commodity of 2015 So Far

Delicately stated, these are not the best of days for commodities and the corresponding exchange traded products. With a July loss of 13.6%, the S&P GSCI Total Return Index now resides at its lowest levels since late February 2002.

Not surprisingly, investors are scampering away from some well-know commodities ETFs. For example, the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) has bled $1.12 billion in assets this month. Last Friday, GLD and the iShares Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU) lost over $302 million in combined assets. [Pros Hate Gold]

“Every single one of the 24 commodities is negative for the month except lean hogs, which is just barely positive by 18 basis points BUT only when taking into account the positive roll yield; otherwise that is negative too, by 14.5%. Throughout the history of the index, 23 commodities have been negative together in a month only once in September 2008 and all 24 were negative together only once in the following month of October 2008. The single performer in September 2008 was gold, clearly different from today,” said S&P Dow Jones Indices Global Head of Commodities Jodie Gunzberg in a note out Monday.

Gold futures and physically-backed ETFs have been pressure this year amid speculation the Federal Reserve is preparing to raise interest rates, which has pushed the dollar higher. Higher interest rates would diminish gold’s attractiveness since the precious metal does not pay interest like fixed-income assets.

GLD and IAU have lost more than 6% over the month and reside at five-year lows. Demand for gold in China is faltering and there is concern India will not be able to pick up the slack.

According to the World Gold Council, India imported 891.5 tons of gold last year while demand was 811.1 metric tons. The council believes consumption will increase to between 900 tons and 1,000 tons this year. [India Unlikely to Stem Gold’s Decline]

The PowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund (NYSEArca: DBC), which holds a basket of agriculture and energy commodities, has bled nearly $85 million in assets this month.

“Thus far, July 2015 is the seventh worst performing month in the history of the S&P GSCI that goes back to January 1970. It is one of the worst months in more than 45 years or 547 months,” adds Gunzberg.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-29 07:49:49

MarketsHow bad is July proving for commodities?
20 hours ago

Concerns about a slowdown in China, renewed strength in the US dollar and persistent supply concerns have combined to make it an ugly July for commodities. But just how bad has it been?

The S&P GSCI total return index, which tracks the price of 24 commodities, has fallen through the bottom it reached during the the financial crisis and is at its lowest level since February 2002, writes Mamta Badkar.

Its 13.6 per cent decline this month makes July the seventh worst month on record for the index which dates back to 1970, according to data from S&P Dow Jones Indices.

All of the 24 commodities in the index are down for the month, with the exception of lean hogs. Losses for the commodities in the index have only been so widespread once before - in September 2008.

October of that year is the worst month on record for the index, falling 28.2 per cent and was the only time all 24 commodities in the index have ended the month lower.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-29 20:06:10

Canada’s source for market intelligence
Don’t confuse commodities hoarding as a sign of a market turnaround

Joe Chidley | July 29, 2015 4:48 PM ET
Unfortunately for investors, prices remain low, and that’s driving unforeseen consequences in commodities markets.

Canadian investors did pretty well during the rising tide of commodities prices a decade ago, but they are looking for signs of hope these days. With the S&P/TSX energy index down 20 per cent on the year, and the metals and mining index down by nearly a quarter, they could certainly use one or two.

Maybe investors can simply put their faith in the old adage that the cure for low prices is low prices.

What’s supposed to happen is that low prices will discourage production and encourage consumption. That will raise prices, eventually. Then demand will inevitably wane in response and producers will overdo production, as they always do. Prices will decline again. It’s the cycle. Rinse and repeat.

Unfortunately, we are not seeing many signs of the cyclical uptick. Prices remain in the toilet, and that’s driving some unforeseen consequences in commodities markets.

There might be many reasons for this, but a big one is China. To see how, look no further than the recent performance of the Baltic Dry Index.

Okay, maybe a little further.

The London-based BDI reflects the price charged to move stuff — specifically, “dry” stuff such as iron ore and corn — along the 23 shipping routes the index tracks. Some have long viewed the BDI as a leading indicator for global trade and economic growth, since it can reflect demand for the raw materials that are used to produce the economic output measured later by trailing indicators like GDP.

The BDI was in the doldrums for much of this year, even hitting a historic low in February, but the tide has recently turned.

Since early June, the index has risen by an astonishing 85 per cent, approaching levels not seen since last December — before the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries put the boots to oil prices by refusing to cut production.

Shipping costs are subject to the law of supply and demand. Shipping companies have scrapped a bunch of vessels, which has lowered capacity and supported prices. But that’s only part of the reason for the BDI’s rise. The other big part is more shipments to China.

A sign that the sputtering Chinese industrial engine has been given a jump-start? Well, don’t get too excited.

For instance, massive imports of corn in June — up from year-ago levels by a factor of 30 — are reportedly one factor in the increased shipping activity to China. That’s because the Chinese government, which tightly controls grain supply and production, is buying a whole bunch of kernel-y goodness from Ukraine, which was responsible for more than 85 per cent of corn imports to China in the first half of the year.

Why Ukraine? In part, analysts say, for political and security reasons — more specifically, to decrease reliance on the West. Stability of corn supply is a political issue in China, mostly because it is used to feed pigs, a major food source.

But what’s worrisome is that China is buying up corn not to use it, per se, but to stockpile it. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, China has by far the world’s biggest corn reserves at 77 million tons. The government also subsidizes Chinese farmers big-time.

All that buying, storing and subsidizing gets expensive, and some analysts are predicting that China will want to offload its reserves. If it does, that will put further downward pressure on prices.

Comment by phony scandals
2015-07-29 03:55:04

Not even a smidgen.

IRS Failed to Search Five of Six Locations for Lois Lerner Emails

Agency’s ineptness — or corruption — resulted in 24,000 Lerner emails being lost when they were “accidently” destroyed

by Alexander Hendrie | ATR.org | July 28, 2015

The IRS failed to search five of six possible sources of electronic media for Lois Lerner’s emails, according to documentation released by the House Oversight Committee on Monday.

Over the course of investigations into the Lois Lerner targeting scandal, Commissioner John Koskinen repeatedly assured Congress that he would provide all of Lois Lerner’s emails. But based on testimony from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), this did not occur. The agency’s ineptness — or corruption — resulted in 24,000 Lerner emails being lost when they were “accidently” destroyed.

According to TIGTA official Timothy Camus, the IRS had six possible sources to search for Lois Lerner’s emails:

“The hard drive would have been a source, Blackberry source, backup tapes a source, the backup tapes for the server drives and then finally the loaner lap tops.”

Comment by Goon
2015-07-29 05:51:34

Politico - Trump Schools the Republican Establishment

GOP elites are only making The Donald stronger


Comment by Goon
2015-07-29 06:11:23
Comment by palmetto
2015-07-29 06:38:47

As Trump says, we don’t need another Bush. The bushies need to be relegated to the dung heap of history. I guess using Romney as a place holder is not working out so well at this time.

I expect the Karl Rove cabal to try some dirty tricks, like they did with Ron Paul, however, if they did, Trump would go third party and that would be the end of the Republican Party. And they know it.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-07-29 06:49:09

The end of the Republican Party came when Rove and his ilk captured it and turned it onto a zombie party for the Oligopoly.

Comment by palmetto
2015-07-29 06:55:56

True, very true. And now we have someone in the House filing to oust Boner. It may be symbolic, but it is good. Sends a message. I’m also glad Cruz called out McConnell. Take out the trash.

One really interesting phenomenon that I’m noticing is the nervousness of the dem establishment over the Republican disarray.

Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 07:08:09

True, very true. And now we have someone in the House filing to oust Boner. It may be symbolic, but it is good. Sends a message. I’m also glad Cruz called out McConnell. Take out the trash.

Come on democrats - Harry Reid and Nancy “We have to read the bill to see what is in it” Pelosi are just laughing at you.

Comment by nhtransplant
2015-07-29 09:25:43

“One really interesting phenomenon that I’m noticing is the nervousness of the dem establishment over the Republican disarray.”

I’ve noticed it as well. They’re trying to play it off as if they find the whole thing hilarious and an absolute joy to behold but their laughter seems more like a nervous one to me. You gotta remember the GOP as it is now is timid, clumsy and willing to play by the democrats’ rules. Not to mention they seem to agree with the democrats on everything that really matters. Why would they want that situation to experience any real shaking up?

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2015-07-29 09:50:11

trying to play it off as if they find the whole thing hilarious and an absolute joy to behold but their laughter seems more like a nervous one to me.

I think that is wishful thinking from those who don’t understand their quickly changing nation or Trump’s negative ratings. Trump’s mouth and past will send his negative’s through the roof over the next year if he stays in it. Or if he goes independent, the GOP is toast imo.

Republicans Still Want Trump, But He Would Get Crushed By Clinton Or Sanders


Republican voters want Trump as their nominee, but choosing him to represent their party would be akin to political suicide. Trump trails Hillary Clinton 50-37 percent in a head to head match-up. He also trails Bernie Sanders 47-37 percent, making him by far the weakest Republican candidate surveyed, when pitted against a Democratic opponent.

Comment by nhtransplant
2015-07-29 11:22:17

Give Americans a chance to vote for a reality TV star in the general election and watch all of the old polling paradigms fly out the window. I doubt Trump could get the nomination but if he does the democrat nominee might want to pick a Kardashian for their running mate. ;)

Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-29 08:45:00

Jeb! promises “unlimited amnesty”

Si se puede!

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2015-07-29 09:39:04

GOP elites are only making The Donald stronger

Which in turn is making the GOP weaker.

Go GOP elites! Go Trump!

Comment by nhtransplant
2015-07-29 09:19:57

Obvious conflict of interest. Common in corrupt governments.

Comment by Goon
Comment by Muggy
2015-07-29 06:06:59

That makes sense. Every flower-child-cum-right-wing-as-an-adult-lawyer-boomer that birthed a late-x early millennial is subsidizing their sprogs while they “go out west” and “discover themselves.” It must be a trip to listen to birk-wearing, subaru-driving trustafarians wax social justice while high on the OG kush. I’d like to hear the segue between racist cops and finding a reliable guy to install their concrete counter.

I believe you are more succinct when describing this.



Comment by Goon
2015-07-29 06:20:32

South Denver is not Boulder

Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-29 08:36:37

Not by a long shot. Douglas County votes red, not blue. In that part of town you’re more likely to see a Lexus SUV than a soobie.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by azdude
2015-07-29 05:22:34

Corporations need to buy some more stock to get the market moving again.

Comment by Goon
2015-07-29 05:23:21

More Region VIII news

This is what happens when people who grew up having sex with their siblings can afford to buy large diesel trucks:


Region VIII

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-07-29 06:05:37

More candidates for revocation of voting privileges and mandatory sterilization.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2015-07-29 16:18:32

A perfectly acceptable destination for a few rounds from a CCW.

Comment by ComfortableClass
2015-07-29 06:08:42

Lola better watch what webcams he rides his bike by. There’s plenty lookin to Rolla the Coala on Lola.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2015-07-29 07:43:30

It’s a vehicular micro-aggression

Comment by Goon
2015-07-29 05:32:16

If it wasn’t bad enough that Mexico sends all its rapists and murderers to USA, now they’re sending cilantro contaminated with human feces:


And if you refuse to eat these Acts Of Love, you are a racist

Comment by ComfortableClass
2015-07-29 06:17:37

I though big agriculture had already destroyed all the mexican farmers so there were no jobs down there.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-07-29 06:51:22

+1. NAFTA totally screwed Mexican small farmers. Entire villages in the south have been emptied of young men who head for the US since they can’t grow corn now that Iowa GMO corn is being dumped on their markets for far less than what it costs them to grow local varieties.

Comment by ComfortableClass
2015-07-29 07:26:31

So the cilantro is Big Ag also. They can at least offer jobs to the locals sorting this out.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by MightyMike
2015-07-29 07:39:40

How big could cilantro farming be? It’s probably less than 1% of the corn crop?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-07-29 15:19:31

Mexicans eat cilantro with everything.

Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-29 08:41:00

Yup, it’s the corn farmers that got NAFTA’d. There are other crops that continue to be competitive. Tomatoes and avocados come to mind.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by ComfortableClass
2015-07-29 17:42:15

So there is work?

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2015-07-29 14:08:59

Why don’t the Mexies just buy GMO seeds and plant them?

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by palmetto
Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 07:57:12

Acts of Love!

Pikula, who was born in Mexico, had just been granted U.S. citizenship in April and lives in a Phoenix suburb.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-07-29 05:52:42

UK wants to force its obese Free Sh*tters to lose weight or lose benefits. Paying the health costs for the fatties eats up government revenues that could otherwise be diverted to the financial sector that owns Cameron and his Tories, so this is a great way to cut welfare benefits and blame it on the Free Sh*tters themselves. Wouldn’t fly here - Comrad Pelosi and the DNC would never alienate their base by supporting such measures, even though taxpayers might get fed up with paying the health costs of land whales who take no responsibility for their own health and wellness.


Comment by ComfortableClass
2015-07-29 06:21:24

Does this mean eating Cheetos is a libertarian or voluntaryist act?

Comment by AmazingRuss
2015-07-29 16:20:47

They’ll pry my cheetos from my pudgy, orange hands!

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-07-29 05:55:05

It looks like all that Chinese money-printing is starting to manifest as inflation, which the populace isn’t going to like.


Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 05:56:10

How Dodd-Frank Ate The U.S. Economic Recovery
Investors Busniness Daily | 07/28/2015 | IBD Editorial

Regulation: The Dodd-Frank Act’s fifth anniversary this month has received surprisingly little notice. Too bad. It’s a pernicious law, one that a devastating new report suggests is largely to blame for our lackluster economy.

How bad is Dodd-Frank? One of its main goals, cited by both the White House and the then-Democrat-run Senate, was to get rid of the “too big to fail” doctrine that made some banks too important to allow to go bust.

It sounded good at the time. But in fact, it’s had the exact opposite effect, leading to a decline in small banks and rising market share for the very largest. A cynic might suspect this was how it was designed to be. But what it’s done to the economy is worse.

In eye-opening testimony to the House Financial Services Committee Tuesday, American Enterprise Institute fellow Peter J. Wallison said: “I believe that all the new regulation added by the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010 is the primary reason for the slow growth this country has experienced since 2010.”

In the 23 quarters since the recession ended, economic growth has averaged a meager 2.2%.

As former Sen. Phil Gramm, an economist, recently noted, if this recovery had merely been as strong as the average post-World War II recovery, we’d have had 14.4 million more jobs,

Comment by rms
2015-07-29 07:15:54

“As former Sen. Phil Gramm, an economist, recently noted…”

This criminal is responsible for the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, which repealed part of the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933, removing barriers in the market among banking companies, securities companies and insurance companies.

Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 07:21:16

Hmmm. Who was president then?

And why are they not a criminal too?

Comment by palmetto
2015-07-29 07:32:19

AMEN! rms. The Republicans are responsible for this mess. Yes, Clinton signed it into law, it was a bipartisan screwing.

Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 07:55:43

And yet you want to elect another Clinton…

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by palmetto
2015-07-29 09:32:58

jeebus, 2ban, where the heck did THAT come from? I loathe Hillary and am very interested to see how this plays out with the Obama admin firing shots across the bow of her campaign.

As if! You just offended me.

Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 10:59:04

Lo siento

Comment by palmetto
2015-07-29 16:03:19

OK, de nada.

Comment by Dman
2015-07-29 10:38:12

“In eye-opening testimony to the House Financial Services Committee Tuesday, American Enterprise Institute fellow Peter J. Wallison said: “I believe that all the new regulation added by the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010 is the primary reason for the slow growth this country has experienced since 2010.”

This article was written by a bank lobbyist in order to take in the very gullible. Mission accomplished.

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2015-07-29 10:46:57

American Enterprise Institute fellow Peter J. Wallison said:

The Heritage Foundation, The American Enterprise Institution are mostly Right-Wing Propaganda “Think-Tank” outlets. They spout discredited jive. Like “tax-cuts for the rich pay for themselves and “create jobs”. SupplySideTrickleDown failed.

Brookings Institution: Kansas income tax cuts were not a good idea


Gov. Sam Brownback thinks of himself as a Ronald Reagan-style conservative.

In most cases, Republican politicians relish the prospect of being put side-by-side with the popular late president.

But a Brookings Institution tax expert writes this week that Brownback is following Reagan down an income-tax-cut path that never leads to promised economic benefits.

“In the extreme versions that thrived through the early Reagan Administration years, supply-siders argued tax cuts would pay for themselves by increasing growth substantially,” writes William Gale, a co-director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. “After decades in which lower tax rates generated less revenue rather than more, today’s supply-siders usually make more the modest claim that tax cuts will spur growth that makes up for part of the revenue losses.”

Gale writes that Reagan chief economist Martin Feldstein is among those who have concluded that the former president’s highly touted 1981 tax cuts “had virtually no net impact on growth.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-07-29 05:57:19

The sheeple are starting to see through the financial meda’s “Everything is Awesome!” meme.


Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 05:59:05

Bernie is going Trump!


Bernie Sanders Denounces Higher Immigration
The Daily Caller | July 28, 2015 | Blake Neff

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders took a surprising line on immigration in a recent interview, denouncing higher immigration levels as a right-wing “Koch brothers proposal.”

Sanders was being interviewed by Ezra Klein of Vox, who pointed out that Sanders’ self-proclaimed socialist beliefs typically entailed taking a more international view of politics. The implications of that point of view, Klein suggested, include “things like sharply raising the level of immigration we permit, even up to a level of open borders.”

Klein countered by saying heavier immigration would allow the global poor to become richer, but Sanders said that could only come at the expense of existing American workers.

“You know what youth unemployment is in the United States of America today?” he said. “If you’re a white high school graduate, it’s 33 percent, Hispanic 36 percent, African American 51 percent. You think we should open the borders and bring in a lot of low-wage workers, or do you think maybe we should try to get jobs for those kids?”

“I think from a moral responsibility we’ve got to work with the rest of the industrialized world to address the problems of international poverty, but you don’t do that by making people in this country even poorer,” he continued.

Comment by palmetto
2015-07-29 06:22:01

Thanks for posting, you beat me to it. Immigration restriction IS the winning campaign issue.

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2015-07-29 10:01:56

Immigration restriction IS the winning campaign issue.

For the Republican Primaries maybe. For the average American, it’s towards the bottom the “important” list. For good or bad on the immigration issue, it shows that the Repub party is not fully in touch with it’s own country’s views on major issues.

Economy Trumps Foreign Affairs as Key 2016 Election Issue


Comment by Lola
2015-07-29 10:21:33

LOL @ Lola.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-29 11:03:36

For the Republican Primaries maybe. For the average American, it’s towards the bottom the “important” list.

It depends on where you live. In the southern party of the country, especially the southwest, it’s a hot issue.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by CHE
2015-07-29 12:59:00

Immigration directly and indirectly affects the economy. So really, it is an issue.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by ComfortableClass
2015-07-29 06:25:10

The media salivates over Trump torpedoing the Rs, but Bernie’s doing the exact same thing to Hillary. And it is a similar sentiment driving a lot of the support for both = dissatisfaction with the establishment crony.

Comment by palmetto
2015-07-29 06:52:29

Exactly. I like this Trump-Sanders thing.

Comment by WPA
2015-07-29 08:12:40

The difference is the motive. Sanders is not anti-Hispanic, he’s pro-domestic labor. Trump is driven by hate, hate for the brown man, gotta keep out those rapists and murderers. Trump doesn’t give a sh_t about domestic workers and their wages — he likes his hotel labor cheap.

Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 08:41:15

4 legs good.

2 legs baaaaaad….

Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-29 11:05:19

I think Trump is just pandering. Why would he hate Mexicans? Illegal Mexican labor has undoubtedly saved him millions.

Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 12:15:18

Try to step away from MSNBC.

Trump doesn’t hate Mexicans.

He hates illegal invaders who come to this country illegally, commit crimes, get a host of government free sh*t and take jobs away from legal immigrant/American citizens.

See the difference?

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 12:17:45

This may help you…


Illegal immigrant ordered freed by feds now suspected of murder in Ohio
Fox News | July 29 2015 | By Edmund DeMarche

An illegal immigrant suspected of murdering one woman, wounding another and attempting to rape a 14-year-old girl was released earlier this month by Ohio sheriff’s deputies after U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents told them not to hold him, law enforcement officials said Tuesday.

“I have somebody who we don’t know who he is, why he is in this country, why he is here illegally and why he allegedly committed a murder,” Painesville Municipal Court Judge Michael Cicconetti thundered at Razo’s arraignment, noting the suspect has no green card, birth certificate or driver’s license.

Juan Emmanuel Razo, 35, was arrested Monday after a shootout with police following a crime spree police say began with the attempted rape of a girl in a park in Painesville, about 30 miles northeast of Cleveland. He later shot a woman in front of her children and murdered a 60-year-old woman in nearby Concord Township, according to police. While Razo is being held on $10 million bond, authorities are trying to explain why he was allowed to remain in the U.S. illegally after local authorities questioned him just three weeks ago.

Deputies who questioned Razo say Border Protection officials told them Razo is from Mexico and in the U.S. illegally, but said they would not pick him up for deportation. Lake County Sheriff Dan Dunlap said at a news conference that deputies released Razo because he hadn’t committed a crime at that point.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by MightyMike
2015-07-29 14:03:36

This guy’s probably a legal immigrant. Should we also hate legal immigrants?

Russian held on $1M bond in murder of ex-girlfriend

Bond has been set at $1 million for the Russian national arrested at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on Friday in connection with the fatal shooting of his ex-girlfriend.

In court records released Monday, police allege that Igor Zubko, 26, used a key he never returned to break into the home of 22-year-old Shayley Estes near 16th Street and Roeser Road in Phoenix. Zubko brought with him a handgun purchased Thursday through a private Internet sale, according to police.

Estes’ family told The Republic that, just more than a week before her death, she had asked the property manager of the home she was renting to change the locks. The Scottsdale-based Colony American Homes confirmed Monday that it owns the property but declined to comment or release the name of the manager.

Estes had obtained an order of protection against Zubko earlier this month after their relationship had become strained, said Sgt. Trent Crump, a Phoenix police spokesman. Her roommate told police Estes had ended the relationship with Zubko in June but the two continued to argue over who should move out.

Court records show Zubko sent Estes’ roommate this threatening text message after the order was served: “She will be brutally murdered from Russia with love.”

Police believe Zubko broke into the house on Friday, drank beer, broke a TV and then waited for Estes to come home from work. An argument ensued upon her arrival, and gunshots followed. Estes’ roommate found her dead on the kitchen floor with gunshots to her back, abdomen and arms, according to police accounts.


Comment by Ethan in Northern VA
2015-07-29 13:07:20

In the one speech Trump says that China and Mexico governments are smarter than us. They’re laughing at us. And they negotiate deals better than us.

I don’t think he ever calls out them as being bad. Just that the border hoppers aren’t the scientists and engineers.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-07-29 06:00:59

The Koch Bros, who want to install pliable puppets in “public service,” are hostile to Donald Trump. Go figure.


Comment by Goon
2015-07-29 06:15:22

I read that piece, the top rated article comments are some real gems

Comment by ComfortableClass
2015-07-29 06:29:11

Trump doesn’t need their money. He also doesn’t need their network. He draws eyeballs so he gets coverage. He has no problem getting asses in seats or people to his rallies. And being first in the polls it will be impossible for them to deny him a place in the debates.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2015-07-29 16:25:15

If they let him in, this will be the first time I have watched the debates in a decade. It will be a spectacular battle of the loons.

Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 06:04:19

Looks like the democrats have no bench and there are no coattails to ride with Hillary!


Democrats’ Window to Find Strong House Candidates Slowly Closing - following “bruising losses”
Roll Call | July 28, 2015 | Emily Cahn and Ivan Levingston

When former Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller passed on a bid in the Silver State’s 3rd District last week, it sent Democrats back to the drawing board again to find a nominee for this Tossup seat in 2016.

Miller’s decision to sit the race out was a disappointment for national Democrats, who thought his profile would make him a strong candidate for this highly competitive seat. But it’s indicative of a larger issue Democrats face this cycle: Recruiting House candidates in 2016 hasn’t been as easy as many predicted two years ago.

More than a year from Election Day, Democrats are without top-tier recruits in five of the 11 races rated Tossups by the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call. Democrats are also searching for strong recruits in at least five more of the 15 other districts rated as competitive in 2016.

“Whoever has the job of recruiting for the DCCC after I leave will not have a difficult job for as long as people believe Hillary Clinton is gonna be on the ballot,” Israel told BuzzFeed at the time.

Among the seats Democrats must win in 2016 if they have any shot at chipping away at Republicans’ 30-seat House majority — but where the party still doesn’t have recruits — is upstate New York’s 24th District. The Syracuse-based seat voted for President Barack Obama by a 16-point margin in 2012, making it one of the most Democratic districts held by a Republican in the country, but so far no candidate has emerged to take on freshman Republican Rep. John Katko.

Yet multiple Democratic operatives cede it’s typically harder to recruit a cycle after bruising losses. In 2014, Democrats saw a net loss of 13 seats.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2015-07-29 10:34:34

Suppose there is an election and only 15% turnout? I suppose 99% of you will be sheepful but outside HBB people understand politicians (rulers) blow.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-07-29 06:56:48

Another “high-flying” Tech Bubble II stock getting it’s wings clipped. LMAO at the bagholders getting their Red Cross haircut.


Comment by ComfortableClass
2015-07-29 07:42:09

It’s because you can’t trust the Yelp reviews. The tech chicanery is a fraud based on eyeball lies and Stone Soup promises of never to materialize revenues.

Comment by Bluto
2015-07-29 11:14:17

That and the fact that Yelp’s business model is basically old fashioned extortion…the upcoming documentary on this should be interesting.


Comment by Goon
2015-07-29 07:04:42

Wall Street Journal subscriber pay wall article titled “Rising Rents Outpace Wages in Wide Swaths of the U.S.” and cites Denver, Atlanta, Nashville as examples

And what do the broke @ss renters profiled in the article all have in common, you wonder?

They’re all breeders. Use birth control and don’t be a broke @ss looser

Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 07:15:26

They should all become illegals - and get the free housing!

Working and paying taxes is for gringo LOOSERS!

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2015-07-29 10:16:01

They’re all breeders. Use birth control and don’t be a broke @ss looser

The big picture is much bigger. If a country doesn’t have “breeders” you’re looking at long term problems much bigger than high rent.

Comment by Goon
2015-07-29 07:17:25

Wall Street Journal - Israel’s Choice: Conventional War Now, or Nuclear War Later


No “smaller government” happening here

No “less regulations” happening here

No “lower taxes” happening here

And I stand behind my comments that Christian Zionists are the real anti-semites of politics and foreign policy, in that their view of the Jewish people is that they are just some herd of chosenoids to be schlepped into Israel, without regards to consequences or cost to American taxpayers, all because their delusional belief system that by gathering the Jews into Israel they will hasten the Rapture

Christian Zionists are dehumanizing, anti-semitic, and yes, racist

Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 07:23:06

Did you take your meds this morning?

What what the do?

Comment by Goon
2015-07-29 07:39:57

What would benefit the United States more?

5 million Israelis immigrating here, coupled with a ban on future immigration from muslim majority countries?

Or keeping the 11 million Acts Of Love that are here now, and inviting another 20, 30, 50 million to immigrate?

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-07-29 07:44:44

‘As the smoke wafted up into the already smoggy Los Angeles air, a group of young libertarians watched as Jayel Aheram burned his “Stand With Rand” t-shirts. Aheram and his friends had stood by the Kentucky Senator for many months, even as Rand occasionally waffled and made some statements that didn’t sit well with them by any means: the military budget proposal that actually called for an increase in what is laughingly referred to as “defense” spending, and his signing of an “open letter” to the Iranian government authored by neoconservative warmonger Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Strauss), who made no bones about his determination to scotch the looming deal with Iran. These things had disturbed them, but not enough to extinguish all hope that Sen. Paul – who had, after all, been brought up by a father whose dedication to liberty and peace is unquestioned – could and would serve as an admirable spokesman for their cause.’

‘But it was the lie that vanquished that hope.’

‘In questioning Secretary of State John Kerry at a hearing on the Iran deal before the Senate Foreign Relations committee, Sen. Paul cited what he said were the Ayatollah Khamenei’s words: “The Americans say they stopped Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. They know it’s not true.”

‘Claiming that this contradicts the administration’s contention that the deal “would prevent [the Iranians] from getting a nuclear weapon,” Paul averred that “the Ayatollah is saying the opposite.”

‘But what did Khamenei really say? Here’s the entire quote: “The Americans say they stopped Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. They know it’s not true. We had a fatwa, declaring nuclear weapons to be religiously forbidden. It had nothing to do with the nuclear talks.”

‘This was no mistake on Rand Paul’s part. It was a lie, and he repeated the lie to Fox News in an interview with the Lou Dobbs: “I made a point that the ayatollah is now saying that the deal does not prevent them from having a nuclear weapon and I thought that’s precisely what the deal is supposed to do, so I don’t know how we can have an agreement that President Obama says means one thing, John Kerry says means one thing, but the ayatollah says doesn’t mean that at all.”

‘So Rand Paul is now repeating AIPAC’s dishonest talking points.’

‘What makes a sad situation far worse is that Sen. Paul’s turn toward the neocons hasn’t helped him one bit: instead, it’s hurt him. In the past few months his support, once in the double digits, has been cut in half. The latest PPP poll has him down to a mere 4 percent. This dramatic drop coincides precisely with his efforts to appease people who are never going to support him. His campaign’s effort to “broaden the base” has in reality marked a turning away from the base of supporters who were brought into politics and the GOP by his father.’

‘Rand-ism, if I may coin a phrase, limns the “conservatarian” nonsense peddled by Charles Cooke in his book, The Conservatarian Manifesto, in which a noninterventionist foreign policy is downplayed in favor of “socially liberal, and economically conservative” policies – an anodyne phrase designed to convince people that libertarians are really just Republicans who smoke pot. This is a cliché that we’ve often had to refute, but Rand Paul is busy reinforcing it. Rand-ism sends the following message: We’re against “big government,” and even government spying on Americans, but don’t worry, all you Fox News enthusiasts out there, we’re not averse to bombing the shit out of helpless civilians when the occasion calls for it.’


(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by AmazingRuss
2015-07-29 16:28:43

He wants those oil company campaign donations, and the oil companies don’t want the 20 dollar oil that putting Iran back in production will bring.

Comment by MightyMike
2015-07-29 07:43:11

Christian Zionists are dehumanizing, anti-semitic, and yes, racist

And yet they want to send over the best weapons we’ve got so Israel can bomb the Iranians and Ay-rabs.

Comment by Goon
2015-07-29 08:06:06

You think this is a joke? And your SPLC handlers are confounded when my words unquestionably prove that the people who scream anti-semitism the loudest are in fact the greatest anti-semites themselves, in that the policies they advocate will only increase acts of violence against Jewish people, in Israel, in France, and elsewhere

Comment by MightyMike
2015-07-29 10:32:51

What, are you suddenly Mister Serious now? I’m aware that the theology of Christian Zionists can be considered to be anti-semitic. I read about that a long time ago. AIPAC and Netanyahu are probably aware of that as well, but they don’t let it bother them.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Goon
2015-07-29 13:15:44

Because you have sister-diddler apologists like Huckabee, pandering to the tens of millions of delusional f*cktards (who have a Constitutional right to their beliefs) who are a sizable voting bloc and significant influence on American foreign policy, and were it not for Trump, would be once again punching above their weight in the Republican primary campaign and nominating a bloodlusting neocon Rapture hawk, doing the bidding of Merchants of Death like William Kristol, who is, in theory, Jewish, but who I consider in reality a Secular Satanist

Christian Zionists are worse than the Taliban, worse than Al Qaeda, worse than ISIS

No more trillion dollar neocon wars

Comment by MightyMike
2015-07-29 14:15:43

You speak too soon when it comes to Trump. I just found this.

Donald Trump Defends Mike Huckabee’s Holocaust Analogy
Jul 28, 2015 5:35 PM MST

The billionaire presidential candidate also questions Secretary of State John Kerry’s intelligence.

As far Donald Trump is concerned, Mike Huckabee has nothing to apologize for.

In an interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, Trump took aim at the Obama administration’s deal with Iran and stood up for Huckabee’s Holocaust analogy in which the former Arkansas governor claimed the deal placed Israel at “the door of the oven.”

“I mean, I’m OK with it,” Trump said of Huckabee’s choice of words. “I think he’s a very good guy, Huckabee, by the way, and I’m really OK with it. Some people are saying, ‘Oh, the tone,’ and I saw Jeb Bush, who I also think is a nice person, but it’s not about tone. I mean, they’re chopping off Christians’ heads in Syria and lots of other places and we’re worried about tone. I think what Mike has done is he has hit a nerve and he’s made people think a little bit.”

Trump, like his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, has come out strongly against the deal that attempts to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. On Tuesday, he again stated his belief that the Obama administration had made too many concessions to Tehran.

“This deal with Iran is a terrible deal,” Trump said. “I think it’s going to lead to nuclear proliferation.”

Still, Trump conceded that Iran was already “very close to having the bomb as we speak,” and faulted President Barack Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, for not taking a firmer stance against Iran.

“From what I hear, everybody knew that [former President] Bush was not going to attack. You know the Persians are great negotiators, the Iranians are great negotiators, they’re fabulous negotiators. Once they knew there would be no attack, because Bush let it be known that he wasn’t attacking, they felt 100 percent certain that there was going to be no attack under Bush. Under Obama they felt a thousand percent certain. Once there was no threat of an attack, they took us to the cleaners.”

Asked why Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have done their best to convince the country that the deal is not as bad as the Republican presidential candidates have argued, Trump responded by, once again, framing the issue in terms of intelligence.

“Maybe they’re not bright,” Trump said. “I’ve watched Kerry negotiating, and I’ve said to people, ‘Is he bright? Is he an intelligent man?’ Maybe they’re not bright. There’s something wrong with them.”


Comment by palmetto
2015-07-29 07:20:12

In housing news, pending home sales plunge and Yun says holdout buyers are to blame.


What an ass clown this Yun is. What, we don’t have enough home grown propaganda clowns in the US that we have to import more? Here’s a little gem from Wikipedia:

“Yun has been with NAR since 2000. Prior to that, he worked as an economic consultant to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Education. While a research associate at the University of Maryland from 1995 to 1998 with the funding from the United States Agency for International Development, Yun helped develop a graduate economics curriculum and lectured at several universities in the former Soviet Union as that country transitioned from communism to a market-based economy.

Yun was born in South Korea. He attended primary and secondary schools in South Carolina. He received his Mechanical Engineering degree from Purdue University. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Maryland, studying under Professors Dennis Mueller and Mancur Olson.”

An economic consultant to the VA and Dept of Ed. Two grossly failing agencies. This guy is a plant.

Comment by ComfortableClass
2015-07-29 07:43:37

Any idea what he makes a year?

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-07-29 08:42:51

I know what he makes up in a year….. Enough to be awarded the David Lereah Liar Of The Year Pinocchio label.

Comment by polly
2015-07-29 15:24:10

$451,834 in 2013. That is just the W-2. Looks like another $35,838 in benefits.

National Association of Realtors is a non-profit (501(c)(6)). Its tax returns are public documents. One place to find them is http://www.guidestar.org.

Title is Senior Vice President Chief Economist. Says average of 38 hours per week, but that is just what they have for all the employees that are listed.

The CEO (Dale Stinton) made just under $1.5 M.

Comment by ComfortableClass
2015-07-29 17:49:56

Half a million bucks a year for spinning lies and laughing at looosers. Not a bad gig. Thanks

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by polly
2015-07-29 15:25:34

Approximately $450,000 in 2013. This information is entirely public guys. NAR is a non-profit business league.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-07-29 15:58:39

I wasn’t aware non-profits and criminal enterprises were the same.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Goon
2015-07-29 07:44:53

“holdout buyers”

Unzips pants… Hey Yun here’s a holdout you can bite on

Think I’ll spend (yet another) weekend partying in Aspen with all the money I’m not flushing down the toilet to pay for an overpriced rotting shack instead

Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 07:45:37

Suzanne researched this!

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2015-07-29 08:07:25

You like Tokyo Rose realtor talk? Tune into the ‘Real Estate Today’ radio show on weekends and hear Yun call in weekly with his fireside observations.

Comment by Bluto
2015-07-29 11:50:02

Yun also speaks highly of that noted nimrod Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of realtor.com…


Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-29 07:54:32

How about a Trump-Palin ticket?

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-29 07:56:00

Sarah Palin serving in a Trump administration? ‘I’d love that,’ he says
By Eugene Scott, CNN
Updated 5:06 PM ET, Tue July 28, 2015
Story highlights
* “She really is somebody who knows what’s happening and she’s a special person,” Trump said
* Palin called Trump a hero last week after Trump questioned Sen. John McCain’s military heroism

Washington (CNN)If Donald Trump takes the White House, Sarah Palin might have an invitation to join his team.

The real estate mogul went on “The Palin Update” Monday — a radio show airing on Mama Grizzly Radio, a station that offers 24-hour news about Palin and issues related to her — telling host Kevin Scholla that he would consider having the former Alaska governor in an official capacity in a Trump administration.

“I’d love that,” said Trump, who didn’t specify what kind of a position he sees for her. “Because she really is somebody who knows what’s happening and she’s a special person. She’s really a special person and I think people know that.”

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-07-29 15:28:29

Why would anyone put that no-talent retard in their administration?

Comment by AmazingRuss
2015-07-29 16:33:18

“Special Person”

They have an Olympics for that kind of special.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 08:05:08


A double!

Comment by MightyMike
2015-07-29 10:39:52

Both Trump and Palin have had their own reality shows.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-07-29 08:02:55

Comment by trader jack
2015-07-28 13:22:09

Dead is Dead.

Harvesting parts from human bodies has been going on for years to provide treatment for live bodies.

Where do you think new lungs come from, plus hearts and kidneys?

How can it be dispicable to harvest bones from dead fetuses and not dispicable to harvest bones from dead adults?

You are ignoring one rather obvious different, trader jack: those “dead adults” whose bodies we make use of normally died of natural causes; in addition, we use their body parts ONLY if they agreed to it in advance, by opting into being an organ donor.

If we started a process of “adult abortion” in which the victims had no say, and started selling their body-parts on the free market, I think you would find there is a similar level of uproar.

Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-29 08:43:52

If we started a process of “adult abortion” in which the victims had no say, and started selling their body-parts on the free market, I think you would find there is a similar level of uproar.

Don’t the Chicoms do that? Sell body parts from people who are executed?

Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 08:45:53

If you show a liberal their hypocrisy - you will only confuse them.

They cannot think for themselves - they cannot leave the plantation.

2banana’s rule of politics:

Conservatives are more than happy to live under the laws and taxes they want for everyone else.

Liberals/Progressives expect to be exempted from the laws and taxes they want for everyone else.

Comment by WPA
2015-07-29 08:55:48

Oh. I thought 2banana’s rule on politics was to always repost highly biased and partisan opinion pieces without questioning their veracity or validity.

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2015-07-29 10:48:58

2banana’s rule of politics:

Whatever AM radio says.

Comment by Dman
2015-07-29 11:21:02

Regulate bedrooms, not bankers.

Comment by MightyMike
2015-07-29 10:41:52

You are ignoring one rather obvious different, trader jack: those “dead adults” whose bodies we make use of normally died of natural causes; in addition, we use their body parts ONLY if they agreed to it in advance, by opting into being an organ donor.

The woman having the abortion has to give consent for the fetal tissue to be used in research.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-29 08:03:30

Coming soon to the internet: Chinese government-mandated censorship(?)

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-29 08:10:08

China Pushes to Rewrite Rules of Global Internet
Officials aim to control online discourse and reduce U.S. influence
China is aiming to draw the world’s largest group of Internet users, such as these patrons of an Internet cafe in Fuyang, away from an unrestricted global Web.
Photo: An Ming/Featurechina/Zuma Press
By James T. Areddy
July 28, 2015 3:49 p.m. ET

SHANGHAI—As social media helped topple regimes in the Middle East and northern Africa, a senior colonel in the People’s Liberation Army publicly warned that an Internet dominated by the U.S. threatened to overthrow China’s Communist Party.

Ye Zheng and a Chinese researcher, writing in the state-run China Youth Daily, said the Internet represented a new form of global control, and the U.S. was a “shadow” present during some of those popular uprisings. Beijing had better pay attention.

Four years after they sounded that alarm, China is paying a lot of attention. Its government is pushing to rewrite the rules of the global Internet, aiming to draw the world’s largest group of Internet users away from an interconnected global commons and to increasingly run parts of the Internet on China’s terms.

It envisions a future in which governments patrol online discourse like border-control agents, rather than let the U.S., long the world’s digital leader, dictate the rules.

President Xi Jinping—with the help of conservatives in government, academia, military and the technology industry—is moving to exert influence over virtually every part of the digital world in China, from semiconductors to social media. In doing so, Mr. Xi is trying to fracture the international system that makes the Internet basically the same everywhere, and is pressuring foreign companies to help.

On July 1, China’s legislature passed a new security law asserting the nation’s sovereignty extends into cyberspace and calling for network technology to be “controllable.” A week later, China released a draft law to tighten controls over the domestic Internet, including codifying the power to cut access during public-security emergencies.

Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-29 08:42:31

aiming to draw the world’s largest group of Internet users away from an interconnected global commons and to increasingly run parts of the Internet on China’s terms.

Heh, heh; good luck with that.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-29 08:53:04

Sounds like another totalitarian regime is working 24/7 to extend its global influence and suppression of free speech (yawn…).

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by rj chicago
2015-07-29 08:12:51

Here is an excerpt from Jesse’s Cafe this morning -
Bout sums it all up me thinks regardless of the platoon you align yourself with.

“All these markets are mere constructions now. It is not just the government and the Fed by a long shot, although some romantics think that this is the case, and that if only we could eliminate the government, the god of the markets would make all of us good boys and girls, honest and self-effacing. Because people, especially well-educated businesspeople, are naturally superior, rational angels who are needed to tell everyone else how to live, and to be compensated exceptionally well for their troubles.

As if.

There is no doubt that the corrupting influence of easy money has seeped into most if not all aspects of the developed Western countries, and that this is the end result of a long process with its roots in the 1970’s at least.

Reform is needed badly to cure the infection in the body politic. But most of the prescriptions we have been seeing are coming out of the heart of darkness that is at the root of this, and would make the situation only worse. And that is the unbridled greed of powerfully driven sociopaths and narcissists, and their troops of suppliers and camp followers.

The Banks must be restrained, and the financial system reformed, with balance restored to the economy, before there can be any sustainable recovery.

Have a pleasant evening.”

Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 08:50:00

You want to restrain banks?

Make them live by the banking laws until Clinton came along.

Make them live by the fraud laws and GAAP laws ALREADY ON THE BOOKS.

Throw them in jail if they break the law.

Make them EAT their bad loans. NO government guarantees of ANY loans.

No 2,000 new pages of new regulations needed…

Comment by WPA
2015-07-29 08:57:05

Only a smaller and smaller government with shrinking enforcement budgets can restrain banks (cough, cough)

Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 09:05:08

obama has added more to the national debt in his 7 years than ALL THE OTHER administrations before him and including inflation.

Why has this problem NOT BEEN SOLVED?

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2015-07-29 10:52:42

Why has this problem NOT BEEN SOLVED?

TrickleDown’s Great Recession, Repub Wars and a big reason is because the super-rich don’t want to pay their fair-share in taxes. (They pay a less percentage than us)

TaxCutsForTheRich sold under they “would increase tax revenues” was a lie and destroyed the budget.

Comment by Rental Watch
2015-07-29 13:13:24

“(They pay a less percentage than us)”

Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

A very large percentage of the cohort that you note (who pay a low percentage in a given year) are doing so because they are having a once-in-a-blue-moon capital gain event. It’s not year after year after year, except in rare instances.

In other words, a person may build his business, making high amount of income each year, paying ordinary rates all the while, and then at the end of his career, he sells his business, which propels himself into the top 1% for a single tax year, but at capital gains rates.

A study was recently released that showed how more than 50% of people in the top 1% of earners are only there once in a 10-year period (strongly implying a singular event–like a major sale–that propelled them into the top 1% for that year).

These events dramatically skew the numbers you note.

If you take out the revolving door of top 1%ers, and instead do the math on the average tax rate one of these folks pays over a 10-year period, you would find their average rate much higher.

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2015-07-29 13:31:04

A very large percentage of the cohort that you note (who pay a low percentage in a given year) are doing so because they are having a once-in-a-blue-moon capital gain event. It’s not year after year after year, except in rare instances.

Wrong. And understand the cohort that I note. The super rich pay a less of a percentage in taxes than most of us. It’s just a simple fact. They pay at almost a century low. Here’s an example of just the top 400.

Richest 400 Earn More, Pay Lower Tax Rate


The 400 highest-earning taxpayers in the U.S. reported a record $105 billion in total adjusted gross income in 2006, but they paid just $18 billion in tax, new Internal Revenue Service figures show. That works out to an average federal income tax bite of 17%–the lowest rate paid by the richest 400 during the 15-year period covered by the IRS statistics. The average federal tax bite on the top 400 was 30% in 1995 and 23% in 2002.

The new numbers are sure to add fuel to the debate over whether the Bush-era rate cuts for the wealthy, now set to expire Dec. 31, 2010, should be ended or extended.

Comment by Rental Watch
2015-07-29 14:01:11

You have a reading comprehension problem–from your article:

“The IRS points out that its 400 highest earners aren’t the same folks from year to year. They also aren’t the same individuals who appear on the net-worth based Forbes 400, although there is likely considerable overlap. (Making the Forbes 2006 list took a net worth of $1 billion.) IRS officials have acknowledged, however, that they picked the 400 number because of the Forbes list.”

That’s my point.

If you take out people who have a once-in-a-blue-moon capital gain event that propel them into the upper echelon, the percentage of income paid as tax goes up.

If you take out people like Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who are on a program of selling massive amounts of stock each month (selling their business over time, not all at once), the percent goes up again.

But let’s get to what you are talking about…increasing capital gains rates. This is something that Simpson Bowles suggested (while lowering income tax rates to match the higher capital gains rates).

With one important change, I would support such a thing. That chage that no one talks about is the double-tax on investment from inflation.

In other words, an investor pays taxes on NOMINAL returns, but only gets to utilize their return on a real basis. It is very possible therefore, that after taking into consideration inflation, an investment that yields a positive return could in fact be a net loser in real terms after paying capital gains taxes.

This effect is exacerbated if you tend to hold investments longer (ie. longer-term investors suffer).

If you index basis in an investment to inflation, I would GLADLY increase capital gains rates.

Capital gains are taxed currently without any consideration of how much money was working, OR how long it was working. Indexing basis to inflation would help solve this problem.

A guy who invests $1 and makes $100k off of it in a year would pay more in taxes than someone who left $500k to work for 5 years and made the same $100k in gains.

Today, they are taxed the same.

Comment by MightyMike
2015-07-29 14:44:56

If you take out people who have a once-in-a-blue-moon capital gain event that propel them into the upper echelon, the percentage of income paid as tax goes up.

If you take out people like Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who are on a program of selling massive amounts of stock each month (selling their business over time, not all at once), the percent goes up again.

What’s the argument for taking them out?

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2015-07-29 15:43:31

You have a reading comprehension problem–

Nope. However you have a math and reality comprehension problem. A big one. All across the board. You’re defending a dumb position. An Un-American position. Because of politics.

“The “mega-rich” pay about 15 percent in taxes, while the middle … paid higher effective tax rates of between 33 percent and 41 percent, averaging 36 percent.”

Warren Buffett says the super-rich pay lower tax rates than …
Aug 18, 2011 - “While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and … The “mega-rich” pay about 15 percent in taxes, while the middle … paid higher effective tax rates of between 33 percent and 41 percent, averaging 36 percent.

Study: In Almost Every State, The Poor Pay More Of Their …
Progressive Change Campaign Committee
Jan 30, 2013 - Some on the right like to claim that the poor do not pay taxes. … middle income families to pay more of their income in taxes than the very rich. … sense that the poorest people would pay a higher percentage of their income.

Poor Families Pay Double The State And Local Tax Rate As …
International Business Times
Jan 14, 2015 - New data show poor families pay double the state and local tax rate that is paid … far higher state and local taxes than the wealthy, according to a new … 20 percent of households pay on average more than twice the effective …

The Poor Pay More in Taxes | The Economic Populist
Jan 16, 2015 - Yes, the rich pay more in taxes (because they earn so much more) … pay a bigger share of their income in state and local taxes than wealthy families. … and local taxes, the middle fifth will pay 9.4 percent and the top 1 percent …

Poor Taxed at Higher Rate Than Rich
- The Daily Beast
The Daily Beast
Jan 14, 2015 - Tax “unfair” in most states. … Poor Taxed at Higher Rate Than Rich … will pay on average 10.9 percent of their income in state and local taxes, …

Comment by Rental Watch
2015-07-29 17:28:52


Rio is making the argument that there are certain special members of society that get a better deal than everyone else, and that’s bad. The “Mega Rich”. And that’s bad.

My point is that those “special” members of society usually only get that “special deal” rarely (often times less than once a decade). They get that “special” deal because they took risk with capital, and the rest of the time, they get the pleasure of paying one of highest marginal income tax rates in the world.

Comment by MightyMike
2015-07-29 17:35:00

It’s not clear that he thinks in terms of special members of society. And it would probably take a lot of research to determine what portion of people who pay such low taxes on high in come in a given year will only do rarely. I guess the argument from people like Buffett and Rio is that it’s just a bad policy regardless of how many years that people who benefit from it get to pay such low taxes.

Comment by Rental Watch
2015-07-29 17:41:30


I’m defending a low capital gains tax rate, not taking a populist “soak the rich” position.

I defend it for two reasons:

1. There is a survivorship bias in the data. Because you have a limit on how much of a capital loss you can deduct each year, loser investments are hidden in the shuffle–but the winners get splashed across the WSJ and become part of the 400 who pay a low tax rate.

Did you know that it is not uncommon for the entire venture capital industry to be a net consumer of capital (ie. average return is negative)? There was an entire decade, where if you took Google’s success out of the equation, Venture Capital actually LOST money. You were only a winner if you happened to be lucky enough to have a piece of Google. I even think the 10-years after the fund vintage that invested in Google was a loser decade.

I don’t know about you, but I want the benefit of heavy capital investment into risky ventures. If you want less of something, tax it more.

2. Capital gains are measured off of a non-inflation adjusted basis, which makes the real return much less than the amount on which the tax is based. Do you understand this?

Comment by Rental Watch
2015-07-29 17:55:31

It would take research, but the IRS has the data, and what they say is that “its 400 highest earners aren’t the same folks from year to year.”

I read a study that found more than 50% of people in the top 1% of earners are not back in the 1% again over the period of time they studied (I believe it was a decade). The attributed this to one-time capital events that propelled them into the top 1%.

I note above my problems with a higher capital gains rate, but I’ll add one more.

Consider this:

The job growth number is a combination of hires and fires each month, the resultant difference is the job growth.

Each month, approximately 4 million people are hired, and slightly fewer are fired. The net has been running at about 200k jobs per month.

So, a 1% increase in hiring means that the job number for a month increases by 40,000 (a 20% increase). A 1% decrease, has the opposite effect.

A major driver of hiring are small, but growing businesses. Those businesses need capital to grow. And just because you are growing, doesn’t mean you won’t fail.

A higher capital gains tax will decrease investment (want less of something? tax it more). This will lead to a decrease in business investment, and a decrease in job growth.

This is not a controversial view, which is why pretty much every country on earth has a substantially lower capital gains tax rate as compared to ordinary income.

Comment by Dman
2015-07-29 11:05:44

I’m sure banks can be trusted not to screw over their customers because they’re such caring institutions. No regulation needed here.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 11:28:16

I’m sure banks can be trusted not to screw over their customers because they’re such caring institutions. No regulation needed here.

The old silly liberal comeback.

Cut one wasteful federal program by even 1% = we will turn into Somalia overnight and all roads and bridges will collapse in a haze of pollution.

Cut rid of the 5,000 pages of lobbyist induced legislation and go back to the laws that actually worked for the Banking industry = get rid of all laws/regulations.

Because there is no problems that cannot be solved without bigger and bigger government, more and more regulations and higher and higher taxes.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-29 08:16:06

The Fed
Poll: When will the Fed raise rates?
CNBC.com staff
1 Hour AgoCNBC.com

The Fed meets Wednesday, with the market pricing in zero chance of a rate hike—but what do you think?

Fed funds futures, financial instruments the market uses to handicap rate hikes, are currently pointing to the first move in December.

The latest CNBC Fed Survey still shows a majority expecting a September rate hike, but that majority is rapidly shrinking.

So, when you do think the first hike is coming? Vote in the poll below.
When will the Fed raise interest rates?
* Today
* September
* December
* 2016
* They will do QE4 before they raise rates

Vote to see results

Comment by Puggs
2015-07-29 11:31:39

There will be global QE after whatever befalls the markets this autumn.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-29 08:22:32

Are you concerned that gold’s worst losses lie ahead of us?

Mark Hulbert
Opinion: Two reasons why gold may plunge to $350 an ounce
Published: July 29, 2015 9:29 a.m. ET
The authors of a landmark study say the recent decline in prices is just the beginning
CFA Institute
Claude Erb, left, a former commodities portfolio manager at TCW Group, and Duke University finance professor Campbell Harvey foresee a long-term drop in gold prices.
By Mark Hulbert

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (MarketWatch) — Gold bugs, who have just begun to digest bullion’s more than $100 drop over the past month, need to prepare for the possibility of an even bigger decline.

That, at least, is the forecast of Claude Erb, a former commodities manager at fund manager TCW Group, and co-author (with Campbell Harvey, a Duke University finance professor) of a mid-2012 study that forecast a plunging gold price. They deserve to be listened to, therefore, since — unlike many latter-day converts to the bearish thesis — they forecast a long-term gold bear market when it was only just beginning.

You might think that, with gold now trading more than $500 lower than when the study was released, Erb would declare victory and leave well enough alone. But Erb is doing nothing of the sort. Earlier this week, he told me that the gold community now needs to consider the distinct possibility that gold will trade for as low as $350 an ounce.

Erb bases this particularly chilling prospect on two premises. The first is gold’s fair value, which is currently $825 according to the formula proposed in Erb and Harvey’s study. The second is the likelihood that, whenever gold does eventually drop to fair value, it will overshoot and drop to a much lower value. He calculates that, if gold drops below fair value to the same extent it did in the mid-1970s and the late 1990s, bullion would trade around $350 an ounce.

Erb acknowledges that gold’s true believers will find such a prospect outrageous, if not simply incomprehensible. But, he asks, why should gold behave differently than any other asset, each of which fluctuates markedly from the extremes of over and under value?

Erb uses the five well-know stages of grief to characterize where the gold market currently stands. Those stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, and he argues that the gold-bug community currently is in the “bargaining” stage.

He argues that, in mid-2012, the gold bugs were in the denial phase. His and Harvey’s forecast of gold around $800 an ounce was met with almost total incredulity. Today, in contrast, with gold more than $500 an ounce lower and forecasts of sub-thousand-dollar gold now relatively common, the gold bugs have progressed through the anger phase and are now “bargaining with God.”

Erb imagines them saying the functional equivalent of: “So long as gold stays above $1,000 an ounce, I’ll go to church every Sunday.”

They have not kept up with the times, however. Erb believes the situation is “no longer whether the gold bugs can live with gold at $825 an ounce — it’s whether they can live with $350.” If and when gold gets there, he confidently adds, the gold bugs will have progressed through the final two stages of grief.

Comment by Goon
2015-07-29 08:22:42

Real journalists crucifixion of The Donald continues, here the New York Times piles on:


Comment by AmazingRuss
2015-07-29 16:37:30

The perfect temperament to be in charge of the worlds’ largest nuclear arsenal.

Comment by WPA
2015-07-29 08:42:02

13 major US companies are pledging $140 billion to fight climate change

Alcoa, Apple, Bank of America, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Cargill, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Google, Microsoft, PepsiCo, UPS, and Walmart.

This is the first step towards my prediction coming true, which is the Republican Party will embrace climate change once corporate America does.


Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 09:02:31

US companies are pledging $140 billion to fight climate change = any investment (that they would have done anyways) to save money by using less energy or water.

My grandmother was green and recycled way before it was trendy. We used to call it being thrifty.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2015-07-29 16:38:46

And now you express contempt for anybody that exhibits those values.

Consume! Your corporate masters must feed!

Comment by Goon
2015-07-29 09:18:20

LOLZ to the breeders who think they can leave a better world to their kidz and grandkidz. Antarctica and Greenland aren’t gonna unmelt. All those extinct species ain’t coming back. And Empress Hillary’s proposal to “decarbonise” America ain’t gonna change my capitalist pig lifestyle

In the immortal words of mystic, poet, and drunk Jim Morrison, “I just wanna get my kicks before the whole sh*those goes up in flames”

Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-29 10:58:23

Antarctica and Greenland aren’t gonna unmelt. All those extinct species ain’t coming back.

As long as gas is cheap, the HFCS flows and they keep making cars and trucks bigger and bigger to accommodate our ever fatter azzes, who gives a rat’s patootie about that?

Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 08:53:50



An ex-NBA player who blew nearly $100 million is turning his life around while working at Starbucks
Business Insider | 07/29/2015 | Cork Gaines

Vin Baker played 14 seasons in the NBA with six different teams and made $97.4 million in his career as a basketball player. Now Baker is embarking on a new career as a Starbucks manager.

Baker is working as a barista at a Starbucks in North Kingstown, Rhode Island as part of his training to become a manager, according to Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal.

“I was an alcoholic, I lost a fortune. I had a great talent and lost it. For the people on the outside looking in, they’re like ‘Wow.’ For me, I’m 43 and I have four kids. I have to pick up the pieces. I’m a father. I’m a minister in my father’s church. I have to take the story and show that you can bounce back. If I use my notoriety in the right way, most people will appreciate that this guy is just trying to bounce back in his life.”

In 2008, he had his $3 million home in Durham, Connecticut foreclosed on for failing to pay his mortgage. Earlier that year, a restaurant Baker was a part-owner of also went out of business and in 2014 he was forced to auction of the gold medal he won at the 2000 Olympics.

Comment by Rental Watch
2015-07-29 09:05:04

The stat I heard is that 75% of NFL players are either BK, or under financial stress within 2 years of retirement.

The smartest plan I heard from a newly minted millionaire athlete, is that he put all but a (relatively) modest salary into a trust that he was unable to touch for number of years.

So, he lives on <$500k per year for a number of years while the rest of his money is socked away.

He’ll be just fine.

Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 09:07:04

Living with his means.

Saving for the future.

He must be a RACIST.

Comment by rj chicago
2015-07-29 09:56:48

2 B -
I recall that this is very common among the elite in athletics - they just lose it.
I remember this started to come to light many years ago when a former quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers was found living on the street and homeless - the buy blew through millions and left himself destitute.


Comment by MightyMike
2015-07-29 10:46:54

Some of those guys took too many hits to head.

Comment by ibbots
2015-07-29 10:25:23

In addition to their salary, NFL players get a nice pension, a crazy employer match into a 401K, and many get disability also. Despite that, many end up in financial dire straits. I have represented 3 former players all of whom managed to end up in the IRS cross hairs. A lot of their issues stem from continually being asked for money from family and friends and making really poor financial decisions.

Comment by WPA
2015-07-29 09:03:49

USA Today: “Pistol-packing pastor shoots alleged burglar at church. A Texas pastor shot a suspected burglar after his church was broken into.”

Seems like the Christian thing to do. WWJD?

Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-29 10:55:17

Maybe it was a branch of this church:


Comment by Goon
Comment by MightyMike
2015-07-29 11:14:01

They’re showing once again their dedication to covering important issues that the MSM won’t touch.

Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 11:09:56

The old lefty progressive vision of Jesus…

Jesus was a big government, tax and spend, all problems can be solved by a more regulations and higher taxes Philosopher


Any Christian who tries to defend himself, his family, his friends, a stranger or his property is a blasphemer.

And the funny thing? Nearly all these progressives have yet to crack open a Bible.

It is kinda like the opposite of the Nancy Pelosi Jesus.

“We don’t have to read the Bible to know what is in on Jesus…”

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2015-07-29 11:31:48

The old lefty progressive vision of Jesus…

That he totally preached for the love of and in support of the poor and the weak - and the evil of the love of money over all.

Nearly all these progressives have yet to crack open a Bible.

Right. “Nearly all”. You’re just babbling and/or projecting.

Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 12:12:42

That he totally preached for the love of and in support of the poor and the weak - and the evil of the love of money over all.

Keep going…you can do it…

To help people using your OWN time. talent and treasure.

2 Corinthians 9:7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

And the love of money. I guess liberal think if they take everyone’s money (except their own) and give it to a government - they are doing God’s work.

Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

Jesus didn’t say this - but I like too:

Proverbs 22:7 The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2015-07-29 12:54:28

To help people using your OWN time. talent and treasure.

Wrong answer. That “Own Time” jive doesn’t work on a modern governmental/societal level, (Especially in USA’s Greed/Trickledown phase) but that does not mean that Jesus’ teachings on helping the poor should not be implemented in public policy.

Which it has been and will continue to be. (It’s what Jesus would do.)

Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 13:05:41

Another liberal who thinks he/she is doing the work of Jesus with bigger and bigger government, more and more regulations and higher and higher taxes.

As if the American Empire is that much different than the Roman Empire in so many ways.

At least the Romans actual built things and had to mint coinage (imagine what they could have done with digital printing presses).

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2015-07-29 13:37:06

Another liberal who thinks he/she is doing the work of Jesus with bigger and bigger government,

Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and many Social Programs well align with Christian values on a societal level.

Without these programs, individual Christians on their own would not come close to taking up the slack.

Proof? Even with these social programs already in place, Christians are not coming close to fixing all the problems we face. So how would Christians do all they do in addition to alleviating the ills that SocialSec and Medicare/Medicade alleviate now? They could and would not. It’s math.

Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-29 14:40:30

Which it has been and will continue to be. (It’s what Jesus would do.)

In the Book of Acts early Christians are described living in a communal style. And a couple (Anania and Sapphira) who tried to hide part of their wealth dropped dead, struck down by God.

Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 15:21:02

Oh lookie - another liberal who has never read the Bible but knows all about Jesus.

Christians are described living in a communal style in the Bible…BECAUSE THEY CHOSE TO for Christian fellowship. Not because a government, at the point of sword, forced them or a messiah was going to force “Hope and Change” down their throats whether they wanted it or not.

Anania and Sapphira were “killed” because they lied about selling their property and giving the money to fellow Christians to falsely show what good Christians they were (to gain stature in the new Church). If they had told the truth and told everyone they were keeping half the money - that would have been fine and none of the Apostles would have had a problem with it (as other new Christian were doing that exact thing).

Here is the issue that liberals cannot understand.

Jesus wants your heart and love. And that is where the good deeds you should in Christ’s name should come from.

Giving more and more power to any government is not following the teachings of Jesus. In fact - it is exactly opposite of his teaching.

Because you think a government is doing what YOU SHOULD be doing - your hearts have grown cold and distance.

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2015-07-29 15:46:49

Because you think a government is doing what YOU SHOULD be doing - your hearts have grown cold and distance.

……Thus Saith The Ice Heart.

Christian my a$$.

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2015-07-29 15:55:03

The myth that Christians could and would solve the problems that government solves now is obviously wrong because of the current reality of what Christians do now. It’s not theory, it is reality.

Even with USA’s social programs already in place, Christians are not coming close to fixing the problems we still face. So how could Christians possibly do all they do now, in addition to alleviating the ills that SocialSec and Medicare/Medicade alleviate now?

They couldn’t because they don’t even alleviate all the problems we have now - even with our social programs.

I don’t think anyone rational can argue this point.

Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-29 17:44:47

Oh lookie - another liberal who has never read the Bible but knows all about Jesus.

Sounds to me like you’re the one who has never read it.

Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-29 17:46:33

Also, your ad hominem attacks speak volumes about you.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2015-07-29 16:41:30

If he’s breaking into churches, he needs shootin’. That’s pretty low.

Comment by Goon
2015-07-29 09:56:58

World Net Daily reporting Chris Christie says he will enforce federal marijuana laws when he becomes president in January 2017

No “smaller government” or “lower taxes” happening there, LOLZ

Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-29 10:52:31

Not to mention the end of your gravy train. You might actually have to get a real job again.

Comment by Goon
2015-07-29 11:03:42

For someone who has lived here for as long as you say you have, you’re pretty out of touch with the reality of the biz

The real money isn’t being made out of some storefront on South Broadway

And it ain’t gonna stop being made if Christie or any other big government nanny state Republican becomes president either

Comment by In Colorado
2015-07-29 11:09:55

And it ain’t gonna stop being made if Christie or any other big government nanny state Republican becomes president either

I know that, but I also know you that you quit your cushy government contractor job to legally peddle weed, so the money must be good and the job must be easier.

And you’re right, as someone who has never indulged in the biz I have no clue of its intricacies. Don’t get wrong, I think legalizing is the right move, I’m just giving you a hard time :-)

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by rj chicago
2015-07-29 10:02:17

Just heard this little piece on the radio…..
Think about it - ‘You don’t attempt to fundamentally transform something you don’t have contemp for.’
Think about that for a moment while watching the clapping seals send another huzzah to otrauma or hitlery or jeb or any other corporatist politico.

Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 11:15:54

A corrupt democrat?

In Philadelphia?

Where many precincts have over 100% of the registered voters voting?

And where many precincts had 100% of the votes for obama (not one vote for a Republican)?

And why/how does Clinton get away with the “give to my charity” bribery scheme?

Hope and change.


PA Democrat indicted on fed racketeering charges - Pelosi praises for commitment to middle class
The Hill | July 29, 2015 | Jesse Byrnes and Mike Lillis

Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) has been indicted on dozens of federal charges surrounding his unsuccessful run for Philadelphia mayor in 2007, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Wednesday.

The 11-term Democrat, along with four associates, was indicted on 29 federal counts, including bribery, money laundering, falsification of records and multiple counts of bank fraud, among other charges.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell said Fattah and the others “embarked on a wide-ranging conspiracy involving bribery, concealment of unlawful campaign contributions and theft of charitable and federal funds to advance their own personal interests.”

“When elected officials betray the trust and confidence placed in them by the public, the department will do everything we can to ensure that they are held accountable,” Caldwell said in a statement. “Public corruption takes a particularly heavy toll on our democracy because it undermines people’s basic belief that our elected leaders are committed to serving the public interest, not to lining their own pockets.”

The DOJ alleges that Fattah borrowed $1 million from a wealthy donor during his 2007 mayoral bid, returning $400,000 in unused funds and devising a scheme to repay the remaining $600,000 using charitable and federal grants filtered through a non-profit — the Educational Advancement Alliance — created and headed by Fattah.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued a brief statement praising Fattah’s commitment to the middle class and characterizing the charges as “deeply saddening.”

“Congressman Fattah has been a tireless and effective advocate for America’s hard-working families across more than 20 years of distinguished service in the House,” Pelosi said.

Comment by rj chicago
Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 11:20:48

To Democrats - this is a Constitutional right that must be defended at all costs and funded with taxpayer money.

And democrats attack anyone who questions this.

If you close your eyes - you can see the same discussions going on inside a WWII death camp.


Laughing Over Dead Babies? Media Bored
Townhall.com | July 29, 2015 | Brent Bozell

She discussed how she worked inside Planned Parenthood clinic where the baby remains were brought to her to prepare for sale.

“For whatever we could procure, they would get a certain percentage,” she explained. “No one else really cared, but the main nurse did because she knew that Planned Parenthood was getting compensated.” The technicians were asked to harvest “certain tissues,” O’Donnell said, including brain, liver, heart and “pretty much anything on the fetus.”

The video turns visually gruesome when a hidden camera showed a tiny 11.6-week baby placed on a light tray, enabling them to discuss how much they could get for the parts, as if this were a Buick in a junkyard. Dr. Savita Ginde of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains in Denver explained they prefer to set compensation by the item: “We don’t want to do just a flat-fee (per baby) of like, $200. A per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.”

Then it even shows Dr. Ginde looking down at a tray of baby kidneys saying “If I looked at that, I’d be like ‘that’s good to go’” — and she laughs about it. A medical assistant says “Five stars!” They’re laughing at Planned Parenthood as they carefully tweeze babies apart.

CMP has also released a document from StemExpress laying out that the “procurement technicians” are paid $10 per hour, plus a “per tissue or blood bonus.” Bonuses range from $75 per tissue for “Category A” fetal tissues (such as brain, heart, lungs, liver) to $10 per tissue for “Category C” products (such as maternal blood or umbilical-cord blood). The more “specimens” collected by the technician, the higher the bonus for each item.

Comment by phony scandals
2015-07-29 16:57:30

“The video turns visually gruesome when a hidden camera showed a tiny 11.6-week baby placed on a light tray,”

I saw that, very sad and disturbing.

But when you turn on the networks you see…

Jimmy Kimmel cries over Cecil the Lion during late-night monologue

By Chicago Tribune staff contact the reporter

July 29 2015

Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night show monologue veered into serious territory Tuesday night when the comedian skewered Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer for illegally killing Zimbabwe’s beloved Cecil the Lion earlier this month.

Clearly outraged over the murder of the 13-year-old lion, Kimmel ranted for over four minutes about Palmer’s hobby, even showing photos of him posing with carcasses on other hunting excursions. “He killed like half of Noah’s Ark,” Kimmel quipped.

Kimmel visibly teared up while imploring viewers to make donations to Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, which studied the lion, in hopes of bringing something “positive” out of the tragedy.

Watch Kimmel choke back the tears below:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/…y-kimmel-cries-over-cecil-the-lion-20150729-htmlstory.html - 116k -

Comment by Puggs
2015-07-29 11:26:42

60 days till “Go”.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-07-29 15:33:15

Why 60 days? And what does “Go” mean to you?

Comment by rj chicago
2015-07-29 11:51:38

The Atlantic take on the Iran Nuke ‘deal’…..
I have to say that the desire by otrauma to escape the ‘rut of history’ is a dangerous path….
Those who don’t know history are DOOMED to repeat it…


Comment by 2banana
2015-07-29 12:23:43

Socialism works!

Hope and change.

It was just not the change you wanted.

At least they are all equal - equally miserable.


Meanwhile In Venezuela… The Socialist Paradise Has Arrived
ZeroHedge - 07/29/2015

As we recently warned, the hyperinflationary collapse in Venezuala is reaching its terminal phase. With inflation soaring at least 65%, murder rates the 2nd highest in the world, and chronic food (and toilet paper shortages), the following disturbing clip shows what is rapidly becoming major social unrest in the Maduro’s socialist paradise… and perhaps more importantly, Venezuela shows us what the end game for every fiat money system looks like (and perhaps Janet and her colleagues should remember that).

At some point the State is overwhelmed by the promises it has made to its citizens. When it can no longer pay by means of confiscating private wealth, the printing press is always the last resort. Recently one actually gets the impression that it is often the first, rather than the last resort.

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2015-07-29 12:59:11

Meanwhile In Venezuela…

Meanwhile in Sweden, Holland, Norway, Denmark, Germany etc etc

Any fool can pick basketcase Venezuela to bash “Socialism”. Venezuela isn’t even Socialism.

USA’s brand of winner-take-all capitalism has failed the middle-class.

The Reagan/Repub dream failed and set us against each other - caused massive hate and division.

Many Repubs don’t even like most of their own countrymen now.

Comment by X-GSfixr
2015-07-29 13:42:45

News report says a fragment of the missing Malaysian jet may have washed ashore

Looking at the not very sharp pictures, looks like a control surface of some kind. Looks like it has a data plate still attached. If so, it will be traceable. If not, theres always analysis of the materials/assembly methods/paints and primers, etc.

As far as its ability to float for 18 months……….airframe parts are pretty light. If the assembly has trapped any kind of air pocket at all, it could float for years.

Of course, this wouldn’t keep Obama from faking the piece, then flying it out to Rota, loading it on a sub or c-130, and have the CIA covertly plant it offshore.

(After all, you can’t prove it didn’t happen that way, so it must be true)

Comment by Rental Watch
2015-07-29 13:43:08


This is interesting, and shows what most people know.

Coastal CA has relatively unaffordable prices relative to history, which could be especially problematic when interest rates rise. However, prices are not as unaffordable as at the late 80’s and bubble peaks.

Inland CA is much more reasonable–it’s much harder to see how prices are all that out of whack there.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-07-29 21:07:43

You know Rental_Fraud…. Burns clients would be better off getting their market research right here on the HBB. Much more accurate and cost effective here.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2015-07-29 13:58:10

Comment by Califoh20

2015-07-28 11:18:55

Not true! I know someone who is here from Argentina. When they went to set up her 401k with her fake SS# that she bought, it exposed her. She has an MBA and works for a large company, she has done days worth of research, you cant pull off a fake SS. She is getting a work VISA from another company as she is valuable speaking 3 languages and in satellite equipment sales.

you cant get a bank account with a fake one ether nor a tax return.

yes, they can get paid cash - blame the guy paying them cash and cheating!

You are the only one talking about illegal immigrants with 401k’s. Did she use her fake SS# to get that high-paying job at that big company too? Everyone else is talking about using fake SS#s to get state-funded welfare benefits and jobs. I know a guy who used to do taxes. He says the illegals would line up to file for a return, often claiming the same kids and using the same SS#.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-07-29 15:43:37

When the next LA riots break out, there might be some people suddenly understanding why “high-capacity magazines” aren’t about deer hunting.


Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-07-29 15:52:03

This looks like an urban legend, but in the current environment it wouldn’t surprise me if it was true: LA street gangs are supposedly in a contest to see who kills 100 people first.


Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-07-29 16:04:50

While the mass of dullards constituting 95% of the ‘Murican electorate continue to vote for the Oligopoly and corporate statism election after election, bolder young Vietnamese are standing up for liberty against collectivist tyranny.


Comment by azdude
2015-07-29 16:50:00

I’m feeling more confident about facebook’s valuation thx to janet yellens dovish comments @ the fomc meeting.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-07-29 18:01:51


The current housing boom has Dallas solidly in its grip. As in many cities around the US, prices are soaring, buyers are going nuts, sellers run the show, realtors are laughing all the way to the bank, and the media are having a field day. Nationwide, the median price of existing homes, at $236,400, as the National Association of Realtors sees it, is now 2.7% higher than it was even in July 2006, the insane peak of the crazy housing bubble that blew up with such spectacular results.

Housing Bubble 2 has bloomed into full magnificence: In many cities, the median price today is far higher, not just a little higher, than it was during the prior housing bubble, and excitement is once again palpable. Buy now, or miss out forever! A buying panic has set in.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-29 19:29:06

Has the Chinese stock market stabilized by now?

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-29 19:42:57

A blog about business and economics.
July 28 2015 1:34 PM
Why You Should Root for China’s Stock Market to Keep Crashing
By Jordan Weissmann
Jordan Weissmann is Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
Heartbreaking scenes of old Chinese men watching their portfolios dwindle to nothing aside, this is for the best. We promise.

After a few weeks of relative peace and quiet, China’s stock market is careening downhill again, and the government is trying to stop the landslide. On Monday, shares saw their biggest one-day drop since 2007. Tuesday, they dipped a bit more, capping three straight days of losses that have cut 11 percent off the Shanghai Composite Index. In response, the country’s regulators have promised to continue pouring money into equities to pump prices back up.

Is the rescue attempt good for China? I’m starting to think that it’s not—and that the country would be better off if the government failed and this crash continued.

Mind you, the current leadership of China’s government wouldn’t be better off, seeing how it has staked a not insignificant bit of its reputation on a promise to salvage what very much looks like an unsalvageable situation. Urged on by a cheerleading state-backed media, millions of first-time Chinese investors piled into stocks just as the bubble was getting ready to blow. They got creamed when the market fell by about a third between June and early July. And since then, the government has taken extraordinary rescue steps: Regulators have stepped in to essentially buy shares, suspended new IPOs, allowed massive swaths of the market to stop trading, and loosened monetary policy and rules on lending. If the kitchen-sink approach falls flat, a lot of people are going to lose confidence in the Communist Party’s ability to stabilize the markets.

But that wouldn’t necessarily be the worst thing, long term. The government shouldn’t be stabilizing stocks, and if its current scheme works, it would set a terrible precedent for the future.

In general, it’s reasonable for a government to step in and calm down markets when there’s a panic that threatens long-term economic stability. If there’s a run on the financial system, for instance, it’s probably time to act, since banking collapses have a way of leading to depressions. Thankfully, China’s fledgling equities market isn’t that important in the grand scheme of things. It’s relatively small compared with the overall size of the country’s economy, and Chinese households only keep about 9 percent of their wealth in stocks. Even if share prices fall through the floor, the damage shouldn’t have that much of an effect on how families and businesses decide to spend. So the current stock decline could be a chance for the country to learn a lesson about stock bubbles while the repercussions are still small and containable.

If Beijing does manage to put a floor under stock prices, however, it will have bought itself a much bigger problem. Namely, it will be stuck supporting the market for the foreseeable future. After all, once the government promises to keep stock prices from falling, it can’t suddenly turn around and say: “Sorry investors, you guys are on your own.” Otherwise, prices will just crash again.

Why would that be a drag for China? First, vowing to back a whole stock market is an expensive promise—especially when Beijing is essentially guaranteeing that a massive bubble will stay inflated in perpetuity. Remember, the government has been resorting to actual share purchases, as well as loosening the overall credit environment, which creates its own potential dangers for the economy. The bigger the bubble gets, the bigger the challenge of keeping it from one day popping. Longer term, the Communist Party would like its markets to attract international investors, which is hard to do when it looks like the government is essentially running the whole game from Beijing. Better that shares crash now, and the government learns there are some things it can’t, and shouldn’t, micromanage.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-29 19:46:54

China’s stock-market crash has come at the worst possible time for Beijing
Mike Bird
Jul. 29, 2015, 3:52 AM
REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
A man watching a board showing the graphs of stock prices at a brokerage office in Beijing on July 6.

Chinese stocks have been getting hammered recently.

After a boom in activity earlier this year, the Shanghai Composite Index has tumbled during July.

But China has a bigger problem — in short, the growth of nominal gross domestic product (the size of the economy without accounting for inflation) has been dramatically outstripped by the growth of debt in recent years. That is likely to be a bigger issue for the economy in the long-term than the current volatility in stocks.

Now, according to Credit Suisse, the stock-market crash is becoming an issue for the country’s growth and, as a result, the country’s ability to service its debt in the future.

The government has a 7% target for economic growth, far lower than the double-digit figures common in the early years of the 21st century but maybe still too high given the state of the economy.

There’s nothing to say that China needs 7% growth precisely — but a failure to reach it would be a totemic defeat for the government, an indication it couldn’t control the economy as it once did.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-29 19:50:32

World Markets
China stock exodus: When will it end?

Ansuya Harjani
Monday, 27 Jul 2015 | 10:43 PM ET

Chinese equities remained volatile Tuesday following an initial stampede out of the market, with analysts cautioning that there is no clear end in sight to the drama.

“China is probably one of the most, if not the most, margin financed markets of all time – so comforting yourself that the unwind is done – because we’ve seen a lot of that unwind in the past couple of weeks - is probably somewhat premature,” Chris Konstantinos, director of international portfolio management at Riverfront Investment Group, told CNBC.

“[Also], I still don’t think you’re at a position where you’ve really got a lot of valuation support,” he added.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite opened down over 4 percent on Tuesday, swinging between losses and gains over the course of the morning session, as investor sentiment remained shaky despite a fresh commitment by Beijing to put a floor under the market. The index traded down as much as 5.1 percent.

“The market sentiment is extremely fragile so when investors see selling pressure, they compete to sell their stocks,” Dickie Wong, executive director at Kingston Securities, told CNBC.

A day earlier, Shanghai stocks nose-dived 8.5 percent, their biggest one-day decline since 2007, on heavy margin selling amid concerns that authorities were starting to scale back on measures to prop up stocks.

The monstrous fall that caught many investors off guard, however, prompted regulators to once again vow their support for the beleaguered market.

Following the market close on Monday, the country’s securities regulator said it was prepared to purchase shares to calm the market and stave off systemic risks, Reuters reported. It also said authorities would deal severely with anyone engaged in the “malicious shorting of stocks.”

On Tuesday morning, the central bank used reverse-repurchase agreements to pump 50 billion yuan into the banking system – the largest amount of funds through open market operations since July 7 – and said it would use various monetary tools to maintain appropriate levels of liquidity, according to Reuters.

So far, policy intervention aimed at shoring up investor confidence has had only a short-lived effect.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-29 19:52:12

Industries | Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:53pm EDT
Related: Financials, Industrials
China stocks mixed after media reports say banks checking share-backed loans

China stocks were mixed on Thursday after state media reported that Chinese banks were investigating their exposure to the stock market via wealth management products and loans backed by stock as collateral.

The CSI300 index fell 0.2 percent to 3,924.23 points at 1:48 GMT, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2 percent to 3,782.39 points.

The CSI300 banking subindex was down 0.8 percent.

China CSI300 stock index futures for August rose 0.3 percent, to 3,767, but remained in bearish territory at 157.23 points below the current value of the underlying index.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-29 19:53:48

Is now a good time to buy the dip?

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-29 19:56:07

China Stocks Fluctuate as Volumes Sink, Traders Cut Margin Bets
by Kyoungwha Kim
July 29, 2015 — 6:38 PM PDT
Updated on July 29, 2015 — 7:13 PM PDT

Chinese stocks swung between gains and losses as traders cut leveraged bets and turnover slumped, countering speculation of state support for equities.

The Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.2 percent to 3,781.56 at 9:58 a.m. local time, erasing a gain of as much as 0.3 percent and paring a loss of 1 percent. PetroChina Co. led declines for energy shares, while shipping companies extended a rally. A total of 513 companies were suspended from mainland exchanges on Thursday, or 18 percent of all listings, down from 518 at close of previous day.

The benchmark gauge halted a three-day rout Wednesday as stocks surged in the last hour of trading. Trading volumes in Shanghai have halved from their peaks in June, while margin debt, which had fueled a world-beating rally for China’s stocks, declined to a four-month low.

The drop in margin debt “means people are trying to get out of their positions,” said Michael Every, head of financial markets research at Rabobank Group in Hong Kong. “And if the market doesn’t drop, it suggests the PBOC is doing the buying. It seems they are in the market, just not everywhere at once. Usually at the end of the day, and where they seem to think it’s needed most.

The outstanding balance of loans backed by share purchases fell by 0.6 percent to 881.7 billion yuan ($142 billion) on the Shanghai Stock Exchange on Wednesday, according to bourse data. That was the lowest level since March 16.

The CSI 300 Index fell 0.4 percent. The ChiNext index of small-cap shares declined 1.1 percent. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index rose 0.2 percent in Hong Kong, while the Hang Seng Index added 0.7 percent.

Stock Bull

China’s economy should prove resilient enough to withstand the stock-market rout that has prompted efforts by the government to stem the decline, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said. No one should be surprised that authorities have taken steps to “maintain an orderly movement,” she said.

The government has taken a spate of measures to stop the rout that wiped out almost $4 trillion of market value, including allowing hundreds of companies to suspend trading, banning major shareholders from selling and arming a state-run financing vehicle with more than $480 billion to support the market.

Jon Carnes, who built his career on wagers against Chinese companies, has turned bullish on the nation’s stock market. The Shanghai Composite may surge to a record 8,000 in the next 18 months, he said.

“A lot of people missed out on the bull market,” Carnes said by phone from his office in Vancouver. “This violent correction is a huge buying opportunity for them.”

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-29 22:22:31

The Dow Jones Industrial Average may surge to a record 30,000 over the next 18 months. You read it first here!

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Mafia Blocks
2015-07-29 19:58:14


Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-29 19:59:17

Government’s role in calming Chinese stocks questioned
Posted: Jul 29, 2015 5:49 PM PST
Updated: Jul 29, 2015 6:10 PM PST
Some analysts think that the Chinese government has bought shares and kept stocks from falling. (Source: CNN)

(CNN) - In China, stocks broke a three-day losing streak. The Shanghai composite ended more than 3 percent higher, following a late rally. Some analysts suspect that was caused by the government buying shares to prop up prices.

It would be the latest in a long series of government interventions. It’s raising questions about the fundamentals of the market.

Markets at the most fundamental are pretty much the same all over the world. People buy and people sell. When a product is hot in a season the price goes up as demands go up, when it’s out of season demand drops. Stock markets are a more sophisticated version of the elementary principle, most markets around the world operate in the same way except at the moment, China.

“Now, essentially the market is pretty much governed by government activity,” said Peter Churchouse of The Churchouse Letter.

Peter Churchouse has been analyzing Hong Kong and China markets for 35 years. A former head of research at Morgan Stanley, he’s now running his own investment company. “It’s government that are buying stocks in various forms and various agencies. They are forcing companies to do the same thing. They are instructing pension funds and life insurance companies to buy stocks to keep the market from collapsing too far,” he said.

But how does that all impact the market?

“Well…putting a floor under this is not saying it is going to go up. Putting a floor under it says it’s going to prevent the market from completely disintegrating. I think that is what they want to do,” he said.

Do the distortions in the market make Churchouse disappointed, that China has been trying to embrace capitalism with Chinese characteristics, but this is much more communist characteristics?

“I’m disappointed not so much at the intervention per se, but I’m disappointed that it seems to be uncoordinated and very heavy handed. Much of this intervention smacks of a police state that you are telling people they must buy, they are not allowed to sell…,” he said.

But for others the jury is still out on China’s actions.

Michael Liang manages $250 million worth of funds invested in Shanghai and Hong Kong. “Whether China is stepping in at the right time, doing the right thing, the right procedure,that is for future judgment,” said Liang, CIO of Foundation Asset Management.

So basically he is not judging at the moment what the Chinese government is doing? “Well if I have to give my view on it, I think they came in a rush, not prepared for this, so I think there’s a lot of questions to be answered later on but whether they should step in or not. I think it’s like 2008, you know what the fed have done, you know 1997 and ‘98 the Hong Kong government stepped in,” Liang said.

Does the Chinese government, the authorities have the financial firepower to hold the line? “Oh absolutely,” Liang said.

And if there is a consensus view, it is this: China’s government has the appetite to keep intervening for as long as it takes. And that timespan is now being measured in months rather than weeks.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-29 22:15:37

Given the plethora of unsolicited advice from U.S. economic experts to the Chinese government on the pitfalls of artificially propping up bubbles, the dearth of similar advice for U.S. financial authorities in the bubble reflation business seems puzzling.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-29 22:18:40

Marketwatch dot com
Project Syndicate
Opinion: Let China’s bubble burst
By Michael Spence
Published: July 29, 2015 9:30 p.m. ET
Beijing must tighten regulations to prevent leveraged asset bubbles

NEW YORK (Project Syndicate) — The problems with China’s economic-growth pattern have become well known in recent years, with the Chinese stock market’s recent free-fall bringing them into sharper focus.

But discussions of the Chinese economy’s imbalances and vulnerabilities tend to neglect some of the more positive elements of its structural evolution, particularly the government’s track record of prompt corrective intervention, and the substantial state balance sheet that can be deployed, if necessary.

In this regard, however, the stock-market bubble that developed in the first half of the year should be viewed as an exception. Not only did Chinese regulators enable the bubble’s growth by allowing retail investors — many of them newcomers to the market — to engage in margin trading (using borrowed money); the policy response to the market correction that began in late June has also been highly problematic.

Given past experiences with such bubbles, these policy mistakes are puzzling. I was in Beijing in the fall of 2007, when the Shanghai Composite Index skyrocketed to almost 6,000 (the recent peak was just over 5,000), owing partly to the participation of relatively inexperienced retail investors.

At the time, I thought that the greatest policy concern would be the burgeoning current-account surplus of over 10% of gross domestic product, which would create friction with China’s trading partners. But the country’s leaders were far more concerned about the social consequences of the stock-market correction that soon followed.

Although social unrest did not emerge, a prolonged period of moribund equity prices did, even as the economy continued to grow rapidly.

In 2008, it was a combination of exploding asset prices and excessive household-sector leverage that fueled the global financial crisis. When such a debt-fueled bubble bursts, its effects are transmitted directly to the real economy via household-sector balance sheets, with the reduction in consumption contributing to a decline in employment and private investment. It is much harder to find circuit breakers for this dynamic than for, say, that caused by balance-sheet distress in the financial sector.

Yet the Chinese authorities seem not to have learned the lessons of either episode. Not only did they fail to mitigate the risks, underscored in the 2007 collapse, that new retail investors introduce into the market; they actually exacerbated them, by allowing, and even encouraging, those investors to accumulate leverage through margin buying.

Making matters worse, when the current stock-market correction began in early June, Chinese regulators relaxed margin-buying restrictions, while encouraging state-owned enterprises and asset managers to purchase more stocks. The authorities, it seems, were more interested in propping up the market than allowing for a controlled price correction.

To be sure, China’s stock-market bubble did not emerge until recently. Last October, when the Shanghai Composite Index was in the 2,500 range, many analysts considered equity prices undervalued. Given relatively strong economic growth, rising prices seemed justified until about March, when the market, driven by mostly thinly traded small- and mid-cap stocks, shot to over 5,000, placing the economy at risk.

(And, in fact, many still claimed that the rally was not unsustainable, as the stock market was trading at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of about 15, consistent with its 10-year average, in mid-April.)

But it was a bubble — and a highly leveraged one at that. While periodic bubbles may be unavoidable, and no bubble is without consequences, a highly leveraged bubble tends to cause far more damage, owing to its impact on the real economy and the duration of the deleveraging process.

This is reflected in the persistently sluggish recovery in the advanced economies today. Even the United States, which has fared better than most since the crisis, has recorded GDP growth of little more than 10% since the start of 2008; over the same period, China’s economy grew by about 66%.

Of course, with China’s household sector holding a relatively small share of equities compared to real estate, the current stock-market slump is unlikely to derail the economy. Nonetheless, as in 2007, the prospect that lost savings will trigger social unrest cannot be dismissed, especially at a time when tools like social media enable citizens easily to share information, air grievances, and mobilize protest.

As previous crises have shown, and as the current downturn in China has highlighted, steps must be taken to mitigate market risks.

Specifically, China needs prudential regulation that limits the use of leverage for asset purchases. Here, the country already has an advantage: relatively high levels of equity and low mortgage-to-value ratios typically characterize real-estate purchases by China’s household sector.

Moreover, once a market correction begins, the authorities should allow it to run its course, rather than prop up prices with additional leverage — an approach that only prolongs the correction. If Chinese regulators allow the market to correct, sophisticated institutional investors with a long-term value orientation will ultimately step in, enhancing the market’s stability.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2015-07-29 20:55:35

Got cash? You better have $20s and $100s galore. Because our ATMs will be dishing out limits at some point in the USSA.

War on cash


Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-29 22:26:35

Since we live with little debt and significantly positive net worth, those photos make me feel alone.

Comment by rms
2015-07-29 23:25:38

The school teacher with $42k of debt might have a chance as long as she stays clear of the krispy kremes and puts that secret weapon to work a la Bad Teacher.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-07-30 00:10:00

We live in an era when debt is easily acquired but difficult to repay.

And a failure to join in the easy-money borrowing binge results in lower consumption than those with similar incomes who are willing to lever up to a higher standard of living are able to enjoy.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
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