rfranklin's Journal - Archives
In victory, tea party can taste only ashes
Commentary: This is the high point for the movement
By Rex Nutting, MarketWatch
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Dozens of members of the antitax, small-government tea party were swept into Congress after last November’s elections, promising to take back the government from the bureaucrats and the big spenders. They promised to change the way Washington works.
Now, four months later, it looks as if the tea party might have its first real success in trimming the size of the government. They ought to be celebrating, and plotting their next move. Instead, they’re mad as hell.
Honestly, it was the only battle they could win. For all their infatuation with the Constitution, they’ve failed civics.
And their math isn’t that good either.
In our republican, democratic, federalist system, a movement that represents only a third of the people (or less) cannot expect to get 100% of what they want.
March 8, 2011, 12:01 a.m. EST
The 2008 crash isn’t over, only covered up
Commentary: Reaganomics driving us into Phase 2 of meltdown
By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MarketWatch) — We have hard evidence Washington and Wall Street knew the 2008 crash was coming years in advance. Yes, they could have prevented it. But didn’t. And, yes, the cover-up cost Americans trillions.
Was their Reaganomics ideology so rigid, so blinding, they couldn’t (and still cannot) admit they were wrong? Forcing them to lie to America? Cover up the lies? The evidence is clear.
Advisers bullish on large-cap stocksIndependent investment advisers are putting more money into large-cap U.S. stocks and turning away from bonds, says Bernie Clark, head of Schwab Advisor Services. Jonathan Burton reports.
Today, a harsh lesson from history, facts and a warning. Listen closely America. It’s already happening again. The collective Reaganomics Brain has gone from crash to cover-up to comeback kid to capitalism-for-the-super-rich in three short years. Now with absolute power over America.
But the worst is yet to come. The forces behind the 2008 crash are stronger today. Like the villain in a horror-flick sequel, the dark side is now hungrier. Phase 2 is already in full swing as the Reaganomics Brain aggressively races to complete unfinished business — the 2008 meltdown — which will implode Wall Street banks and the Fed, ending the reign of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency
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Iceland’s special prosecutor into the banking crisis has confirmed that raids have taken place today and that arrests have been made. The Central Bank of Iceland is among the institutions under investigation.
Special Prosecutor, Olafur Thor Hauksson told Visir.is that house searches are taking place in at least three places today as part of investigations into the central bank, MP Bank and Straumur Bank.
Read more: http://www.icenews.is/index.php/2011/01/20...
But the publication last month of a parliamentary inquiry into the island nation's profound financial and economic crisis signaled a turning of the tide, laying much of the blame for the downfall on the former bank heads who had taken "inappropriate loans from the banks" they worked for.
On Wednesday, the administrators of Glitnir's liquidation announced they had filed a two-billion-dollar (1.6-billion-euro) lawsuit in a New York court against former large shareholders and executives for alleged fraud.
<...> In addition to its New York suit, Glitnir said it had "secured a freezing order from the High Court in London against Jon Asgeir Johannesson's worldwide assets, including two apartments in Manhattan's exclusive Gramercy Park neighbourhood for which he paid approximately 25 million dollars."
Gudbjartsdottir said Johannesson had just 48 hours to come up with a satisfactory list of his assets.
"If he does not give the right information he faces a jail sentence," she said.
Nov. 24, 2010, 10:47 a.m. EST
Tiffany raises outlook as profit sparkles
Shares of the fine jewelry retailer gain more than 4%
By Andria Cheng, MarketWatch
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Luxury jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co. said Wednesday its fiscal third-quarter profit rose a better-than-expected 27%, helped by demand across most geographic regions.
Tiffany (NYSE:TIF) also raised its full-year forecast, giving an encouraging signal as retailers enter the critical holiday selling period.
Shares of Tiffany rose 4.3% in morning trading. They have surged 45% over the past three months.
“We are now a few weeks into the all-important two-month holiday season, and sales growth is exceeding our expectations, although the majority of the holiday season is certainly still ahead of us,” said Michael Kowalski, Tiffany’s chief executive. Read story on Black Friday deals hitting a fever pitch
The trickle down starts any moment now!
Sept. 20, 2010, 4:13 p.m. EDT
U.S. stocks rally on earnings, economic hopes
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stocks ended sharply higher on Monday, as investors cheered earnings from a financial services firm and a home builder along with a call from the National Bureau of Economic Research that the recession that started in late 2007 had ended in June of last year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DOW JIA) gained 145.77, or 1.4%, to 10,753.62, lifted by 29 of its 30 components. Blue-chip gains were led by American Express (NYSE:AXP) , up 4.2%. The S&P 500 index (MARKET:SPX) rose 17.12 points, or 1.5%, to 1,142.71, led by a 2% gain in financials. The Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQ:COMP) gained 40.22 points, or 1.7%, to 2,355.83
This is the declaration that we can now officially forget all the unemployed, underemployed, dispossessed and impoverished people of the United States of America. Pop those champange corks!
Corporate bosses are whining, even though they're reporting record profits.
It's hard out there for a CEO. There's a Democrat in the White House, and Washington is being ruled by a coalition of socialists and anticapitalist thugs. There's uncertainty about taxes and policy. Business leaders are constantly being vilified for taking home huge paychecks without providing meaningful returns to shareholders, or creating jobs, or boosting wages. The newly passed financial-reform bill requires CEOs of public companies to measure and report the ratio of their pay to that of their workers. Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman is complaining that the Obama administration is like Hitler invading Poland.
With government and the media making life so difficult for CEOs, it must be nearly impossible to turn a profit. Right? Um, not really.
The headline number from the quarterly GDP report released by the Commerce Department last Friday was the sorry 1.6 percent growth rate of the economy in the second quarter. But the release also provided detailed data on corporate profits. And while the GDP number was disappointing, the latter was impressive. Corporate profits, which stood at $1.5 trillion in 2007, fell sharply to $1.26 trillion and essentially stagnated in 2009. But since the Obama presidency started, the trajectory in quarterly profits has reversed. Quarterly profits (reported at an annualized rate) rose from $1.18 trillion in the second quarter of 2009 to $1.42 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2009 to $1.64 trillion in the second quarter of 2010. In the second quarter of 2010, corporate profits were up 39.2 percent from the year-before quarter.
Corporate profits aren't just rising in absolute terms, they're rising in relative terms. Corporate profits as a percentage of GDP are back up to nearly record highs. Check out this assemblage of quarterly GDP data for the last several years. If you divide line 17 (corporate profits with inventory and capital-consumption adjustments) into line 1 (overall GDP), you can calculate corporate profits as a percentage of GDP—i.e., the chunk of the economy that corporations are keeping as profits. If companies and business were under assault, you might expect that this proportion would be falling. But as the chart here shows, that's not what is happening.
Further confirmation of war crimes committed by the Bush junta
Ex-MI5 Spy Chief: No Link Between Hussein, 9/11
The Associated Press
Eliza Manningham-Buller, director of the MI5 between 2002 and 2007, said that nothing to connect the attacks to Baghdad was discovered ahead of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The ex-spy chief also said the war caused allies to lose focus on the al-Qaida threat in Afghanistan, emboldened Osama bin Laden and led to the radicalization of a generation of homegrown British extremists.
Manningham-Buller said those pushing the case for war in the United States gave undue prominence to scraps of inconclusive intelligence on possible links between Iraq and the 2001 attacks, singling out the then-U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
"There was no credible intelligence to suggest that connection and that was the judgment, I might say, of the CIA," she told the inquiry. "It was not a judgment that found favor with some parts of the American machine."
"It is why Donald Rumsfeld started an alternative intelligence unit in the Pentagon to seek an alternative judgment," said Manningham-Buller, who was a frequent visitor to the U.S. as MI5 chief. "To my mind, Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11 and I have never seen anything to make me change my mind."
Greenspan: Systemic regulator won't stop bubbles
by Rex Nutting WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Putting a new regulator in place to monitor risks to the global financial system won't stop the next crisis, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan says in a new paper simply titled "The Crisis." In Greenspan's view, the best way to prevent asset-price bubbles from growing dangerously large is to limit leverage by increasing the amount of capital that banks and other financial institutions are required to hold and to increase collateral requirements on financial securities. Greenspan disputed accounts that blame the Fed's low interest-rate policy for the housing bubble. Greenspan is to present the paper and discuss it on Friday at the Brookings Institution in Washington.
Risk of double-dip recession low, Geithner says
Recovery ‘is going to take a while, and it's going to be uneven’
updated 3:55 p.m. ET, Sun., Feb. 7, 2010
WASHINGTON - The risk the U.S. economy will slip back into recession is lower now than at any time in the past year, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Sunday, while conceding that recovery will be slow and uneven.
In an interview on ABC News' "This Week", Geithner said the U.S. economy expanded at nearly a 6 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2009 and said the economy was definitely "healing" after the financial crisis that drove it into recession in late 2007.
"This is going to take a while, and it's going to be uneven," Geithner said in an interview taped before leaving for the Canadian Arctic on Friday to attend a meeting of Group of Seven finance ministers and central bankers in Iqaluit, capital of a vast native Inuit territory called Nunavut.
ABC released portions of the Geithner transcript on Friday.
Lost jobs will not return until 2012
by Greg Robb, MarketWatch
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The 7.2 million jobs lost in the recession won't return until 2012 or beyond, according to a new survey of top business economists released Monday.
Economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics said any recovery is likely to be so gradual that these jobs won't return to the labor market for three years.
Less than 8% of the 44 economists surveyed expect to regain the lost jobs before 2012. About 54% expect to see the loss fully reversed by 2012. At the same time, 33% project it will take until 2013 to recover the lost jobs. Five percent say it will take even longer.
Real GDP is expected to advance at a 2.9% pace over the second half of this year and at a moderate 3% pace next year, the survey concluded.
The NABE panel forecast the unemployment rate to rise to 10% in the first quarter of next year and only slip to 9.5% by the end of 2010.
The economists think the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates at record low levels until late next spring, and then will push rates up to 1.0% by the end of the year.
Happy Days Are Here Again!
find out what treasonous activities and terrorism Cheney is up to? It seems to me that, considering the prior record of Cheney in supporting rogue nations, this would be the only prudent course of action.
....Politically, the New Deal was a smashing success, with FDR’s landslides in 1932, 1934 and 1936 virtually wiping out the GOP.
Yet, economically, the New Deal was a bust, failing utterly to restore prosperity. Despite the indoctrination of generations of schoolchildren in New Deal propaganda, that is the hard truth.
Consider, now, how Ronald Reagan responded to the economic crisis of 1980, the worst since the Depression. In the "stagflation" of that Jimmy Carter era, interest rates had reached 21 percent and inflation 13 percent.
Reagan’s answer was the tight money policy of Fed Chairman Paul Volcker and across-the-board tax cuts of 25 percent, while slashing the highest rates from 70 percent to 28 percent.
While unemployment hit 10 percent in 1982 and Reagan lost 26 House seats, in 1983 the tax cuts kicked in. From there on out, it was boom times until Reagan rode off into the sunset, having created 20 million new jobs. "The Seven Fat Years," author Robert Bartley called them.
They are really working hard at pushing this reactionary version of history.
IEDs seen as a rising threat within U.S.
Chertoff vows to step up planning for bombs that have ravaged Iraq
The Washington Post
By Spencer S. Hsu and Mary Beth Sheridan
Updated: 12:28 a.m. ET Oct 20, 2007
WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI agree that the homemade explosive devices that have wreaked havoc in Iraq pose a rising threat to the United States. But lawmakers and first responders say the Bush administration has been slow to devise a strategy for countering the weapons and has not provided adequate money and training for a concerted national effort.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who told the Senate last month that such bombs are terrorists' "weapon of choice," said yesterday at a local meeting that President Bush will soon issue a blueprint for countering the threat of improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.
I believe that the Bush junta will not relinquish their unitary power next year. There will be another "Al Qaeda" attack and all the dictator powers that have been set up will be activated. I keep thinking that there is basically nothing that we can do about it. The regular "law enforcement" officers will probably go along with it because most of them are enamored with crisis situations that allow to use the tools of the trade. If they don't cooperate with the takeover, then there are always the Blackwater mercernaries to commit some atrocities that will scare the shit out of the general populace and cow them into submission. Will Americans rise up and revolt? I think not. I believe that the same sceneario that created the Nazi Reich will take place right here in the U.S.A.
credo. Basically what they want is Americans to provide slave labor for the ultra wealthy to gather more gelt. Which is the Republican core belief, but usually kept under wraps because it is too crass, too un-Christian to be uttered in mixed company.
It's a way for them to raid the Treasury with no one being able to see what they are doing.
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What the hell - let's have a post for North Carolina!
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Any fellow Texans still here?
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