Week in review

Quotes of the week

“The freedom to fail is an essential part of freedom.” – Ron Paul

The feds are charging Madoff with running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme. Charles Ponzi took money from investors and then used their money to pay out profits to earlier investors. As long as the new money kept coming into the system, it worked like a charm. So what’s the difference between Madoff’s Ponzi scheme and the scheme run by Wall Street…in which all the investment houses, the rating agencies, the mortgage companies, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the regulators themselves were complicit? As long as new money was coming into the system, who complained?” – Bill Bonner

In Madoff We Trust

by Peter Schiff

“Although the $50 billion loss engineered by Madoff is truly a staggering accomplishment (and was done using old-fashioned fraud rather than the mathematical wizardry that has characterized Wall Street’s recent larcenies) the size of the scheme pales in comparison to the multi-trillion dollar Ponzi structures run by the United States government. In fact, rather than looking to jail Madoff, President-elect Obama should consider making him our new Treasury secretary. If not that, at least make him the czar of something!” more…

Economic Freedom or Socialist Intervention?

by Ron Paul

“It is not the job of government to sustain business. The government should get out of the way, and instead examine excessive regulations, tax policy and red tape that have been hostile to manufacturing in this country. We should get back on a sustainable economic course in this country, or we are doomed to collapse, as the Soviets did, under the crushing burden of big government and a strangled economy that can no longer pay for it.” more…

Don’t Cave

by Lew Rockwell

“If a dystopian nightmare of the totalitarian state finally arrives in the United States, it will be the result of a compromise, and there will be people around until the very end who will insist that we should be grateful because it could be much worse.” more…

The War on Drugs is a War on Common Sense

by Jack Hunter

“Those who believe the war on drugs is counterproductive are no more anti-sobriety than welfare critics are anti-poor or war critics are anti-American. The war on drugs is a bust – an abysmal failure that does nothing to solve the problem and does much to create others. The war on drugs is impossible to win, not because America hasn’t fought it hard enough or needs to fight harder, but because good intentions are no match for the immutable realities of human nature.” more…

In the news…

  • New York state to consider an “obesity tax” on soft drinks.
  • Fed cuts its target rate to near zero. Talk of monetizing government debt ensues.
  • Injectable artificial bone developed.
  • Ars Technica examines the role of computer models in the financial meltdown.
  • The criminal central bank has cut rates to an all time low. It’s worth mentioning twice… yes.
  • On a related note, Bloomberg says dollar will enter a period of decline.
  • Chinese ships will be deployed near Somalia to fight pirates.
  • Here’s some anecdotal evidence about how private initiative trumps government intervention.
  • The automakers have their bailout.
  • Over zealous Galveston police kidnap twelve year old.
  • Congress will be getting a 2.8% raise.

And now the numbers

DOW Jones Industrials – 8,579.11 (-50.57/-0.59%)
Wilshire 5000 – 8,923.97 (+123.80/1.41%)
CSI 300 (China) – 2,052.11 (+91.73/4.68%)
BSE 500 (India) – 3,714.08 (+197.64/5.62%)
MICEX (Russia) – 612.05 (-8.48/-1.37%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 39,131.23 (-242.63/-0.62%)
Gold/oz – 837.40 (+15.20/1.85%)
Silver/oz – 10.85 (+0.585/5.70%)
Copper/lb – 1.3265 (-0.135/-9.24%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 44.00 (-2.60/-5.58%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 5.6325 (+0.5025/9.80%)
Corn/bu – 3.8075 (+0.0725/1.94%)
Dollar/Euro – 1.3917 (+0.0551/4.12%)
Yuan/Dollar – 6.84 (+0.002/0.03%)
Yen/Dollar – 89.325 (-1.77/-1.94%)
Dollar/Real – 0.4259 (+0.0085/2.04%)
3 Month Treasury – -0.01 (-0.02/-200.00%)
2 Year Treasury – 0.38 (-0.38/-50.00%)
10 Year Treasury – 2.12 (-0.45/-17.51%)
30 Year Treasury – 2.55 (-0.49/-16.12%)
Fed Target Rate – 0.25 (-0.75/-75.00%)
U.S. Public Debt – 10,598,468,155,070.40 (+583,095,611.60/0.01%)

Wow, it sure is snowing. About six inches in 24 hours, and there was already like 2 on the ground. Shoveling is fun! It turns out there is some city ordinance where you have to shovel your sidewalk within 24 hours of a storm or something. It also turns out that my neighbor has a snow blower and took the liberty of using it on the sidewalks in front of my house. That was really cool! I only had to shovel my driveway.

So there is some crazy stuff going on, including 0.25% interest rates, talk of monetizing deficits, billion dollar auto-bailouts, sinking dollar. Yeah all of that. There’s even some chatter about a constitutional convention, which would be bad news. Very bad news. In fact the only good that could come of something like that is the peaceful break up of the United States, which will never ever happen (peacefully that is) so it would be best that a constitutional convention did not happen. You could almost guarantee that the 2nd Amendment would be gutted along with everything else in that document that stands in the way of  our increasingly totalitarian government. The story about the 12 year old above is chilling. In fact, given what has happened in this country over the past few years and the government response to it (i.e. Katrina, Iowa floods), we are about one major disaster from being deprived of all liberty methinks.

A few bits of advice. First, be ready for an emergecy. Have at least 72 hours of food and water on hand at all times, a first aid kit, and other essential supplies. If possible have several months worth. A bit of hard currency wouldn’t hurt either (i.e. some gold or silver). Maybe some whiskey. Nor would a gun, and of course some ammo. I’m not saying anything will happen, but we have lived in an age where all of lifes essentials are at our fingertips. Being prepared for a shortage or a calamity does not enter our minds. We need to be prepared. Each one of us. At least for the 72 hour scenario. Think about it, it’s best to have something and not need it than to need it and not have it. Especially when your very life and the lives of your loved ones could depend upon it. I’ll probably keep harping on this as time goes on…

Anyway, no more gloom and doom. Enjoy the great football games this weekend. Go Broncos!  Only one more win to clinch the play offs!

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