Friday, February 28, 2014
Bloomberg reports here:
Unusual trading patterns around 3 p.m. in London, when the so-called afternoon fix is set on a private conference call between five of the biggest gold dealers, are a sign of collusive behavior and should be investigated, New York University’s Stern School of Business Professor Rosa Abrantes-Metz and Albert Metz, a managing director at Moody’s Investors Service, wrote in a draft research paper. “The structure of the benchmark is certainly conducive to collusion and manipulation, and the empirical data are consistent with price artificiality,” they say in the report, which hasn’t yet been submitted for publication. “It is likely that co-operation between participants may be occurring.” ... Abrantes-Metz advises the European Union and the International Organization of Securities Commissions on financial benchmarks. Her 2008 paper “Libor Manipulation?” helped uncover the rigging of the London interbank offered rate, which has led financial firms including Barclays Plc (BARC) and UBS AG to be fined about $6 billion in total. She is a paid expert witness to lawyers, providing economic analysis for litigation. [Albert] Metz heads credit policy research at ratings company Moody’s.
Posted by jm at 11:18 PM
Vantage Point Bank, Horsham, Pennsylvania, failed today, the fifth bank failure in 2014, costing the FDIC $8.5 million.
Posted by jm at 10:40 PM
Millennium Bank, National Association, Sterling, Virginia, failed today, the fourth bank failure of 2014, costing the FDIC $7.7 million.
Posted by jm at 10:37 PM
“I'm not positive that we can declare with confidence,” she said, “that ‘too big to fail’ has ended until it's tested in some way.”
Posted by jm at 11:00 AM
|Average annual gas prices April 25, 2008 to present|
Gasoline at $3.60/gallon was a crisis to Barack Obama in 2008 (here, April 25th in Indy), but the average annual price nationwide at the time was about $3.20/gallon. Now it's $3.50/gallon and has been for three years.
Despite today's 25% revision down of Q4 2013 GDP from 3.2% to 2.4%, 2013 GDP remains unchanged at 1.9% in the report.
If the final estimate for Q4 confirms today's number a month from now, it's entirely possible the 2013 total will be revised down as well.
But even so, Obama's record remains the worst in the post-war just as it is: an average annual report of just 1.24%.
From bea.gov here:
Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 (that is, from the third quarter to the fourth quarter), according to the "second" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 4.1 percent. The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the "advance" estimate issued last month. In the advance estimate, the increase in real GDP was 3.2 percent. With this second estimate for the fourth quarter, an increase in personal consumption expenditures (PCE) was smaller than previously estimated . . ..
Posted by jm at 9:09 AM
Kimberley Strassel for The Wall Street Journal, here:
Democrats are instead fully vested now in using the IRS to shut down criticism by outside groups of ObamaCare, overspending or (ironically) the IRS targeting. Even liberal groups are howling about the White House's use of the IRS to silence political speech, and the House on Wednesday passed a bill to delay the regulations. The White House's response? A veto threat.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
"Instead, he talked about it as though I had laid it all out there for the taking. I was the buffet and he just couldn't resist the dessert," she was quoted as saying. "That's not how it was. This was a mutual relationship, mutual on all levels, right from the way it started and all the way through. ... I don't accept that he had to completely desecrate my character."
Ten years later that's exactly what he did, so that now she's just a verb to a black female popstar.
No one gets Rosa Parksed last time I checked, except for Republicans on Barack Obama's bus.
Posted by jm at 9:15 PM
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Rush Hits A Homor To Open The Show: Gay Bar Can Refuse To Serve Conservative Legislators, But Christians Must Bake Cakes For Queers
Posted by jm at 12:54 PM
Obama Regime Admits Late Last Friday Afternoon That ObamaCare Will Increase Costs For Most Small Employers On Top Of 90% Increase Since 2009
Nearly two-thirds of small businesses that currently offer health insurance to their workers will pay more for coverage as a result of new rules in the health care law, as will millions of small-business employees and their family members, according to new estimates released by the Obama administration. ... roughly 11 million of the 17 million individuals who have health care plans through a small employer will see their premiums increase as a result of the new rules on insurers in the law, while 6 million people will enjoy lower premiums. If accurate, it would continue a steady climb in insurance costs for many small businesses. Ninety-six percent of small businesses say their premiums have increased in the past five years, with the average monthly insurance cost soaring from $590 per employee in 2009 to $1,121 in 2014, according to poll released earlier this month by the National Small Business Administration.
Monday, February 24, 2014
What's next, the B-2 and its 19 megatons of nuclear payloads? The Minuteman Missile?
Video of the craft in action here, capable of killing tanks by sneaking up at 100 feet of altitude and flying in formation at 20,000 feet. The sucker is built around a 30mm cannon which burps rounds 11 inches long by the thousands, rounds so fast you'll freak.
There's nothing like it, and the traitors running our country want to get rid of it.
To pay for the programs and the new engine, the Air Force will shrink the size of its tactical air squadrons and completely eliminate its A-10 attack airplane fleet, to save $3.5 billion over five years, Hagel said. The move would let the Air Force concentrate its resources on the F-35 made by Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT)
Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire isn't going down without a fight, here (this source incorrectly says she represents Arizona, the dopes):
Ayotte’s office said this: “It is not accurate to say the A-10 is a single mission aircraft. For example, the A-10 conducts close air support (CAS), forward air controller-airborne (FAC-A), combat search and rescue (CSAR), and strike coordination and reconnaissance (SCAR) missions.”
The story with video interview is here.
The top commenter on the story points to nickel and dime fees by big banks as the single most important reason why Americans switch to community banks from big banks.
The survey finds customers of big banks twice as likely to say they get gouged by fees.
Posted by jm at 7:43 PM
The Fed is subsidizing all banks to the tune of $100 billion per quarter in artificially depressed income to depositors
Chief among the data points to be noted is that net interest expense, which is the money paid to depositors at banks, continues to fall. While all banks earned about $118 billion in interest income last quarter, they paid just $13 billion to depositors, a graphic example of the “financial repression” used by the Fed to subsidize the US banking industry. Via QE, the Fed is subsidizing all banks to the tune of over $100 billion per quarter in artificially depressed interest cost and income to depositors of all stripes.
Posted by jm at 4:03 PM
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Conservatism in the United States is fatally flawed because it is incapable of imagining that the opposition is the enemy, even when the enemy openly comes after it. Under the influence of Christian teaching, it turns the other cheek also only to get slapped again, as if naming the enemy were itself a transgression. This makes them no different in spirit from the disarmament crowd, as misguided by utopianism derived from religion as revolutionaries are by ideology.
Conservatism is full of people like Dinesh D'Souza who keep saying "so and so should say this", "so and so should not say that", and "so and so ought to do such and such" or "they shouldn't be doing that" when the facts staring them in the face at every turn demonstrate that the opposition is not behaving in any way like countrymen who act in good faith as the opposition but like foreign agents working in the service of a different loyalty. Continuing to protest that the enemy is not playing according to the rules is not going to stop the enemy.
“I think it is the broader pattern of going after people who are critics,” he continued. “Not just me, but the Hollywood guys, the group Friends of Abe, these are Hollywood guys who are conservatives. So I think there is a sense here that Obama treats his critics not merely as people who disagree, but as enemies.”
When the rubber hits the road, as in the critical period just before an election, as here in October 2010, the president makes it plain how he wants his peeps to view us:
“If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, ‘We’re going to punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us,’ if they don’t see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it’s going to be harder and that’s why I think it’s so important that people focus on voting on November 2.”
Saturday, February 22, 2014
The 12 Month Moving Average Of Miles Traveled In December 2013 Shows A Glimmer Of An Improving Economy
The report is here.
The 12 month moving average of vehicle miles traveled in the last year in December 2013 was 2.972 trillion, a level first achieved sometime between 2004-2005, but reverses a recent pattern of down and up years.
Driving fell off like a rock during the panic of 2008-2009 as nearly 30 million Americans filed first time claims for unemployment in 2009. The 12 month moving average had peaked in 2007 at 3.031 trillion miles. Then it fell in 2008 to 2.976 trillion and lower still in 2009 to 2.956 trillion miles, recovered slightly in 2010 to 2.966 trillion miles, but then fell big in 2011 to the low in the series at 2.945 trillion miles.
In 2012 the level bounced up to 2.954 trillion, and contrary to what one might have expected, in 2013 the level actually went up again instead of down, to 2.972 trillion miles, which is very close to the 2008 level.
Travel remains 1.95% off the peak. The decline to the nadir had been 2.84%, so the miles traveled category has improved about 31% since the low in 2011.
This history may be explainable to some extent in terms of emergency unemployment compensation, which the federal government had extended to millions for up to 99 weeks in some cases beginning in 2008 and renewed as recently as 2012 but notably expiring at the end of 2013. Travel by car would naturally fall off if people are not traveling to work, or searching for work.
It makes sense that there was a slight uptick to travel both in 2010 and 2012 as people began searching for work, or working again, after two years on unemployment. The nadir in miles traveled in 2011 also makes sense, coming after the two worst years for first time claims for unemployment in the new century to date: In 2009 there were 29.5 million claims, and in 2010 23.7 million claims.
With extended unemployment benefits coming to an end in 2013, it is likely that the trend up in miles traveled will continue in 2014 as more and more people search for work and take it.
Posted by jm at 1:44 PM
Friday, February 21, 2014
Because at your age you are most likely to die of violence, not disease, and you'll get better care for violence without insurance.
Researchers from the Stanford University of Medicine found that patients with insurance are less likely to get the best care than those who do not have insurance. They found that insured patients taken to non-trauma hospitals were 13 to 15 percent less likely to be transferred to trauma centers than uninsured ones. ...
Shootings and traffic accidents are the most common causes of death in this county among people under 44-years-old. Previous research has shown that severely injured patients are 2 percent less likely to die if treated at a top-ranked trauma center than at a non-trauma center.
Posted by jm at 10:40 AM
“Retirement security is a shared responsibility between government, business, and individual and a system that is designed to motivate all stakeholders will drive the best outcome for Americans to achieve retirement security, said Joe Ready, director of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust.
In the good old days your retirement was no one's responsibility but your own.
Posted by jm at 9:47 AM
John Hussman, here:
It is certainly possible for any individual investor to realize wealth from an overvalued security by selling it, but this requires another investor to buy that overvalued security. The wealth of the seller is obtained by redistributing that wealth from the buyer.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Before Gov. Brewer pulled Janet Napolitano's speed cameras, 676,668 violators simply ignored their $181 or greater speeding tickets, about 10% of the 2012 population.
Imagine 31 million Americans not paying the $95 fine for not having insurance: that's only $3 billion. But 31 million Americans each not buying a $5,000 policy is $155 billion.
Posted by jm at 12:11 PM
If 61% Of Arizonans Can Defeat Big Sis' Speed Cameras By Not Paying, Americans Can Do The Same To ObamaCare
Flashback to the November 2010 story in CAR AND DRIVER, "Arizona's Speed Cameras Come Down . . . Arizona drivers win one with civil disobedience" here:
Last summer , with Arizona locked in a national shouting match over its clampdown on illegal immigration, the state’s Republican governor was quietly pulling the plug on a two-year photo-camera reign of terror that nailed 1,109,035 motorists, mostly along a Phoenix freeway, with mail-in citations that started at $181. Governor Jan Brewer called the cameras “invasive” and said she believed they were put in place by Janet Napolitano, her Democratic predecessor, as a “revenue-generating solution to solving our budget [problems].” Others pointed out that the state got only half the cash projected by Napolitano—about $64 million instead of $120 million. And that was because only 39 percent of those ticketed drivers (432,367 of 1,109,035) knuckled under and paid up—the other 61 percent simply tossed the tickets and then avoided process servers for 90 days.
And anybody who tells you differently is a con man or scam artist.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Surprised by how tough this winter has been? You’re in good company: Last fall the Climate Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted that temperatures would be above normal from November through January across much of the Lower 48 states. ... The big red blotch in the top map represents parts of the country in which the Climate Prediction Center forecast above-average temperatures. The frigid-looking blue blotch in the bottom “verification” map shows areas where temperatures turned out to be below average. “Not one of our better forecasts,” admits Mike Halpert, the Climate Prediction Center’s acting director.
How come the experts are always surprised?
This is another climate model failure, you know the kind, like the ones which claim global warming continues even though it stopped fourteen years ago.
The passage of the stimulus has been a boon to Democrats and their program. One, the added spending for fiscal 2009 got charged to George Bush's account, not Obama's, making Bush's spending record look worse than it was. Two, the added spending became the new baseline for spending in every year since, keeping government big, its most insidious affect. Three, because Republicans retook the House in 2010, spending in 2011 and 2012 has had to hew more closely to what it was in 2009 because of Tea Party demands to put the brakes on spending, allowing Obama to brag that he's kept government spending increases low for a longer period of time than has been usual. This is sort of like how Obama takes credit for our oil production boom, which happens in spite of him on private lands, not because of him.
What's so disturbing about the increase to baseline spending is that over 75% of the GDP gains for 2009 through 2012 can be attributed to that, not to anything real in the US economy. In other words, GDP growth from government spending has been propping up reported GDP and masking the severity of the current economic depression in which millions of homeowners remain underwater, similar millions remain without work after five years, and those still working suffer under a real multi-year decline in their earnings because of stagnant wages and increased costs for food, energy, clothing, healthcare and taxes. The middle class is being pushed inexorably downward. Like the infamous Climategate emails which showed an effort by scientists to hide the decline in global temperatures over the last decade, US government spending has been doing the same for the decline of GDP.
The figures are startling.
Using 2008 as the baseline from Table 3A of the Bureau of Economic Analysis's summer 2013 comprehensive revision of GDP ($14,720.3 billion), the net increase to GDP in nominal dollars for each year 2009 through 2012 relative to 2008 was $2.8782 trillion:
2009 -302.4 billion dollars
Similarly, using 2008 as the baseline for federal outlays as tracked by the Tax Policy Center using figures from the OMB ($2,982.5 billion), the net increase to federal spending in nominal dollars for each year 2009 through 2012, again, relative to 2008, was $2.1841 trillion:
2009 +535.2 billion dollars
Thus the nominal gain in GDP relative to 2008 for all four years apart from nominal increases to government spending has been all of $694.1 billion, for a gain overall of 4.71% since 2008, 1.17% per annum on average, one of the most appalling records in all of American history because that figure is not adjusted for inflation. The all items CPI has risen 19.388 seasonally adjusted between January 1, 2009 and January 1, 2013, an increase of 9.1% which completely wipes out the nominal GDP gain of 4.71%.
So GDP has actually been negative for the whole of Obama's first term, but completely hidden from view by the increase to baseline spending caused by the 2009 stimulus. If it has felt like a depression, it's because it is one.
So GDP has actually been negative for the whole of Obama's first term, but completely hidden from view by the increase to baseline spending caused by the 2009 stimulus. If it has felt like a depression, it's because it is one.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Posted by jm at 7:55 AM
The gold stats for 2013 are out, reported here:
- Chinese consumer demand: a record 1,066 tonnes.
- Indian consumer demand: 975 tonnes.
- Global consumer demand: 3,864 tonnes.
- Average price: $1,411/ounce, down 15% from 2012.
- Overall demand: 3,756 tonnes, down 15% from 2012.
- Net outflows from ETFs: 881 tonnes.
- Central bank purchases: 369 tonnes, down 32% from 2012 when demand was at its highest in half a century.
Posted by jm at 7:25 AM
Sunday, February 16, 2014
here from the Detroit News, where you will learn Michigan is in dead last for spending per capita and that road industry lobbyists think this is terrible and advocate more spending to solve Michigan's road problems.
What a shock. Industry wants us to spend more money on roads.
From all that you wouldn't know that Michigan spent 53% more per mile than the national average, as reported here in 2013 (overall story here).
Michigan actually ranks 37th in total disbursements per mile.
That's quite a different picture than being dead last per capita.
Think about it. If Michigan roads are so bad, maybe spending per mile has been spent on the wrong people, namely the unions in control of the industry. If we're not getting what we're paying for, maybe we should hire someone else instead of throwing more money at the problem.
I'll Believe In The Liberals' Idea Of Equal Dignity Of Work When Paul Krugman Gets Paid To Scrub Toilets
Here he is in all his liberal splendor, refusing to grant the dignity he demands:
It’s all very well to talk in the abstract about the dignity of work, but to suggest that workers can have equal dignity despite huge inequality in pay is just silly. In 2012, the top 40 hedge fund managers and traders were paid a combined $16.7 billion, equivalent to the wages of 400,000 ordinary workers. Given that kind of disparity, can anyone really believe in the equal dignity of work?
I'll spell it out for you: if your dignity depends on how much you make rather than on doing your job, whatever it is, well, then you will never have any dignity.
Yes, there is dignity of work, but only if work is done well. The real indignity accrues to those who do not value the work of others, however humble, and imagine that they are better because of what they do and how much they make.
Posted by jm at 7:21 AM
Saturday, February 15, 2014
As reported here. And the guy still won't say in the revised bio to whom the Nobel was actually awarded: "jointly" to the IPCC and Al Gore. The IPCC and Al Gore shared the prize, not the IPCC authors, the IPCC and Al Gore.
|"He shared the Nobel Peace Prize"|
|"He contributed to the award of the prize", but to whom exactly?|
|Ah, to these, exactly.|
Penn State Alumni Newsletter In November 2007 Bragged That Global Warming Promoter Michael Mann Shared In The Nobel Peace Prize Awarded To The IPCC And Al Gore
And worse, the association puts Mann on the same level as a real Nobel winner like Paul Berg who was a named winner who shared the Prize for Chemistry with two others. Michael Mann cannot be said to have shared the Peace Prize with Al Gore and the IPCC, nor can any of the other 2000 members of the IPCC or however many there were be said to have shared it, either. To say this diminishes the achievement of named winners of prizes who may have won them alone or in company with other named individuals.
Five Penn State scientists, all members of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), shared in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize when the 2,000-member IPCC and former vice president Al Gore were recognized for their work on climate change issues.
The five Penn State scientists and IPCC members are: Richard Alley, Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences; William Easterling, dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and professor of geography and earth system science; Klaus Keller, assistant professor of geosciences, Michael Mann, associate professor of meteorology; and Anne Thompson, professor of meteorology.
They join the select company of Paul Berg ’48, the only Penn State alumnus to win a Nobel Prize. Berg, the “father of genetic engineering,” shared the 1980 Nobel Prize for Chemistry with Harvard Professor Walter Gilbert and Cambridge Professor Frederick Sanger. The Nobel committee recognized Berg for his groundbreaking construction of the first recombinant-DNA molecule—a discovery that paved the way for scientists interested in understanding the interactions between the chemical structure of DNA and resultant biological structure, or function, of an organism.
Al Gore can claim to have won the Nobel Peace Prize, and the IPCC can claim to, but none of the individual panel members can claim to have shared in the winning of that prize. Michael Mann did not win the 2007 Nobel Prize for Peace. Mann has had to retract his own claims to the prize as reported here:
Disgraced Penn State University (PSU) climatologist, Michael Mann, concedes defeat in his bogus claims to be a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Mann’s employer this weekend began the shameful task of divesting itself of all inflated claims on university websites and official documentation that Mann was ever a Peace Prize recipient with Al Gore and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Thanks to a tip off from respected climate researcher, Dr. Klaus Kaiser, myself and Tom Richard (who scooped the original Nobel story) obtained “before and after” copy images from PSU websites as records of this damning retraction. (follow the link above for the screenshots)
Evidently alumni sites have not been purged.
So says Robert Tracinski, here:
Mann is attempting to install himself as a kind of American Lysenko. Trofim Lysenko was the Soviet scientist who ingratiated himself to Joseph Stalin and got his crackpot theories on genetics installed as official dogma, effectively killing the study of biology in the Soviet Union. Under Lysenko, the state had an established and official scientific doctrine, and you risked persecution if you questioned it. Mann's libel suit [against Mark Steyn] is an attempt to establish that same principle here.
Mann has recently declared himself to be both a scientist and a political activist. But in attempting to intimidate his critics and suppress free debate on global warming, he is violating the fundamental rules of both science and politics. If it is a sin to doubt, then there is no science. If it is a crime to dissent, then there is no politics.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Federal Judge Appointed By Obama In Marriage Ruling Says "All Men Are Created Equal" Comes From The Constitution
Another mediocrity appointed by Obama proves the worthlessness of her degrees from Kutztown State College and the North Carolina Central University School of Law, quoted here:
"Our Constitution declares that 'all men' are created equal. Surely this means all of us," Judge Allen wrote on the first page of her opinion. That line opens the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence and appears nowhere in the Constitution. The line, in which Thomas Jefferson, with signature flourish, borrowed the words of theorist John Locke: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Thanks Jim Webb and Mark Warner.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
In Michigan your best odds of winning a lotto jackpot are in the game named "Fantasy Five". Your odds of winning are about 1:575,757.
The likelihood your congressman knows your name on average in the United States today are 1:728,712 (316.99 million current population divided by 435 members of the US House).
So your lotto odds are about 20% better than your representation odds.
If we followed the constitution, however, and had the representation it prescribes (1:30,000), your representation odds would improve almost 96% instantly (10,566 members of the US House).
Now there's an instant game we can all play.
The report is here.
At nearly 359,000 in the last week, first time claims for unemployment are running just 0.7% lower than they were this time last year.
Annualized the level represents 18.6 million claims, about two million higher than the best years under George Bush even as the workforce is much smaller now, population is much higher and the recession supposedly ended over four years ago.
Posted by jm at 9:14 AM
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
That's the thing with Chinese rover, after you have one 30 minutes later you want another one.
|"The state exercises the monopoly of crime"|
See how this works folks?
Under terror laws they can basically declare you an enemy of the state, deny you all your rights, lock you up and throw away the key if they feel like it. And as we all know by now only too well, Obama is setting precedents and records for what he feels like doing and doesn't feel like doing, whether it's enforcement of the Defense of Marriage Act, taking out an American citizen abroad with a drone without due process of law, or enforcing his own health insurance reform legislation.
The story is here, how an irate Pennsylvania homeowner pulled a gun on a snowplow driver who inadvertently parked some snow on the guy's lawn:
"Eckert has been charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats, disorderly conduct, and recklessly endangering another person."
Posted by jm at 12:35 PM
Posted by jm at 6:36 AM
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
here, echoing our posts on part-timers who represent just 20% of the usually employed and are too few in number to ding the customary measures of hours, which are aggregate measures, when they are reduced because of ObamaCare considerations by their employers:
Low-wage workers clocked the shortest workweek on record in December — even shorter than at the depth of the recession, new Labor Department data showed Friday.
The figures underscore concerns about the ObamaCare employer insurance mandate's impact on the work hours and incomes of low-wage earners.
It's impossible to know how much of the drop relates to ObamaCare, but there's good reason to suspect a strong connection. The workweek has been getting shorter in many of the same industries where anecdotes have piled up about employers cutting hours to evade the law's penalties. ...
IBD's gauge of the low-wage workweek, now at 27.4 hours, includes the 30 million nonmanagers working in private industries where pay averages up to $14.50 an hour. ...
[T]he workweek has moved higher for non-low-wage workers. This group, including managers and those in higher-paying industries, is now clocking a longer week than prior to the recession.
That divergence explains why many economists and nonpartisan arbiters like the Congressional Budget Office have concluded that ObamaCare has had no impact on part-time employment. The effect doesn't show up in aggregate workforce data, but that is the wrong place to look.
Posted by jm at 11:02 AM