Week in review

Quote of the week

“The state is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.” –
Frederic Bastiat (this really could be the quote of every week, also if you have not read The Law, check it out).

“The belief that Congress poses the major threat to our liberty and well-being is why the founders gave them limited enumerated powers. To our detriment, today’s Americans have given them unlimited powers.” – Walter Williams

And now for a world government

by Gideon Rachman

“I have never believed that there is a secret United Nations plot to take over the US. I have never seen black helicopters hovering in the sky above Montana. But, for the first time in my life, I think the formation of some sort of world government is plausible.” more…

“Gun Control: Protecting Terrorists and Despots”

by Ron Paul

“History shows us that another tragedy of gun laws is genocide. Hitler, for example, knew well that in order to enact his ‘final solution,’ disarmament was a necessary precursor. While it is not always the case that an unarmed populace WILL be killed by their government, if a government is going to kill its own people, it MUST disarm them first so they cannot fight back. Disarmament must happen at a time when overall trust in government is high, and under the guise of safety for the people, or perhaps the children. Knowing that any government, no matter how idealistically started, can become despotic, the Founding Fathers enabled the future freedom of Americans by enacting the second amendment.” more…

The Trolley That Will Not Die: The Two Martys Look to Obama

by Jim Scarantino

“The trolley was Martin Heinrich’s pet project when he was a Nob Hill city councilor. He tried to ram a $270 million expenditure through council that would also have required renewing a transportation tax set to expire next year. It was the first time Heinrich revealed an arrogant nature that was dismissive of taxpayers’ interests, and a willingness to act like a man he once criticized, the autocratic Marty Chavez. Heinrich’s public pronouncements and his backroom maneuvering showed he was willing to be a dishonest politician so he could get his own toy train, just like Big Bill with the Rail Runner.” more…

Should the Big Three Be Allowed to Fail?

by Oliver Garret

“Either the Obama administration can continue on the path of nationalizing entire segments of our economy (so far banking, insurance, auto – next, health, airlines…) and run them into the ground. Or it can let poorly managed companies fail, thereby making it easy for successful businesses and new entrepreneurs to buy the assets of these organizations. Step back and let the markets work their magic instead of blaming the market for ills that were created by special interests and poorly designed regulations.” more…


  • Peter Schiff with Glen Beck (9:45). The major insight here is that policy makers, by advocating more spending and government interventions in the economy, are repeating the mistakes of 1929. Which by the way, if you believe that FDR is NOT the absolute most horrible excuse we’ve ever had for a President in the history of the United States, please have a look at this. Or this. Or this. Hey, why not all three? Your high school text books lied to you.
  • Fred Thompson on the economy. The irony is thick, so thick… Rejoice, we can spend our way to prosperity! We can print all of the money we need!
  • Ron Paul on what the bailouts are really costing us.

In the news…

  • Novell’s Linux business grew by 33% over the fourth quarter last year.
  • Apparently Obama’s Senate seat is for sale. Is this really surprising when a multi-trillion dollar budget is at stake? I mean how can the system NOT be throughly and irrecoverably corrupted?
  • Yields on three month treasuries turn negative. That means those who buy these instruments of government debt are actually paying the government to borrow their money!!!
  • Smiling for an Indiana drivers license photo will not longer be allowed because their facial recognition software is confused by smiling faces. Gives you a lot of faith in the software doesn’t it? And they’re gonna use this great software for what?

And now the numbers

DOW Jones Industrials – 8,629.68 (-5.74/-0.07%)
Wilshire 5000 – 8,800.17 (+63.03/0.72%)
CSI 300 (China) – 1,960.38 (-52.80/-2.62%)
BSE 500 (India) – 3,516.44 (+237.62/7.25%)
MICEX (Russia) – 620.53 (+58.19/10.35%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 39,373.86 (+4,026.47/11.39%)
Gold/oz – 822.20 (+70.00/9.31%)
Silver/oz – 10.265 (+0.835/8.85%)
Copper/lb – 1.4615 (+0.088/6.41%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 46.60 (+6.86/17.26%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 5.13 (+0.375/7.89%)
Corn/bu – 3.735 (+0.6425/20.78%)
Dollar/Euro – 1.3366 (+0.0651/5.12%)
Yuan/Dollar – 6.838 (-0.0329/-0.48%)
Yen/Dollar – 91.095 (-1.74/-1.87%)
Dollar/Real – 0.4174 (+0.0051/1.24%)
3 Month Treasury – 0.01 (UNCHG)
2 Year Treasury – 0.76 (-0.16/-17.39%)
10 Year Treasury – 2.57 (-0.13/-4.81%)
30 Year Treasury – 3.04 (-0.09/-2.88%)
Fed Target Rate – 1.00 (UNCHG)
U.S. Public Debt – 10,597,885,059,458.80 (-55,997,964,694.10/-0.53%)

I didn’t to do nearly as much reading as I usually do, so the newsletter is a bit light. The good news is that paper that I’ve been working on is finished and I’m going to Phoenix tomorrow. Yippy, it’ll be like 70 degrees there. So as I was saying the semester of school is over, and that’s nice. Now I only have to deal with work.

Meanwhile the congress managed not to bail out the auto industry, which is the best decision in the long-run, but it’s going to hurt in the short-run. But that’s how Mr. Market works. He gives you what you deserve, success when you’ve made your customers happy, and failure when you have not. The big three have done a rather poor job of this, so says Mr. Market. Actually Ford might be the big exception here. I sat in one of their new cars the other day and they’re pretty nice, technologically advanced. I would consider a Ford if I were going to buy a car.

So the automakers are not going to get a bailout from congress. Methinks that Bush and Paulson will kick them back some cash from the TARP money though. Just a guess, though Chapter 11 is a much more fitting fate for them. They need to reorganize, write off bad debts, jettison some of the baggage and start over. The process would make the leaner and hopefully meaner, able to compete no just in the domestic auto market, but in the international market as well. Lord knows our country needs to export more. The current account deficit is ugly.

I’ve decied to read up on linear algebra this month while school is out, and if possible read Economic in One Lesson. It’s nice to see some free time ahead, and I’m looking forward to Christmas. We’re almost guaranteed a white one up here in Michigan. So I’ll be back next week and should have something useful non-rambling to say. Until then, thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

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