Week in review

Quote of the week

“In general, I think we are in an age in which political risk is high. Increasingly, we’ll have to take into account what governments are doing. Most of them are broke. Most of them seem intent on bailing out banks and other failing businesses in favored industries. So that would mean the printing presses will run amok.” – Chris Mayer

A Bill Of Federalism

by Randy E. Barnett

“I decided to draft a Bill of Federalism consisting of 10 amendments devised to restore the balance between state and federal power as well as the original meaning of the Constitution. By identifying 10 separate amendments, a coalition can be formed from people who support different constitutional reform measures that could not be combined into a single amendment. At the same time, opposition to any one provision cannot be used to sink the whole proposal.” more…

Austrian Recipe vs. Keynesian Fantasy

by Mark Thornton

“[T]his crisis is a ‘market test’ for mainstream economics. Never before have so many academic economists held such primary roles in the economic policy of the federal government. If we include the two outsiders, Stiglitz and Krugman, with the two powerful insiders, Bernanke and Summers, we get a good sample of the elite mainstream economics. Given that Congress has voted on very few of the many measures to address the economic crisis, this economic team, including Secretary Geithner, is presumably responsible for designing the bulk of the responses to the crisis.” more…

Shoveling Money into the Deceased Economy

by James Howard Kunstler

“It is so dispiriting to see Mr. Obama’s White House mount a campaign to sustain the unsustainable in the economic realm. Everything they’ve done for four months involving money management and enterprise policy — from backstopping hopeless banks, to gaming the bankruptcies of the big car companies, to the bungled efforts to prop up artificially-high house prices — amounts to a gigantic exercise in futility. Worse, it gives off odors of dishonesty or stupidity, since the ominous tendings of our system are so starkly self-evident.” more…

Going for Gun Control’s ‘Brass Ring’

by Vin Suprynowicz

“On March 16 – less than 60 days into the Obama Era – Jim Shepherd at The Shooting Wire reported ‘The Department of Defense has issued a directive that bans the sale of military brass to ammunition re-manufacturers.’ Without that brass, a very large dent is put into civilian ammunition supplies.” more…

Obama to Government Motors: “Let’s Roll”

by Karen De Coster

“When the executive branch intervenes in a private business and ousts management, bailout or not, it is a staggering violation of the American ideal of free enterprise. This sets a precedent for unlimited government trampling over the private sector. On March 30th, Obama said, “Let me be clear. The United States government has no interest in running GM. We have no intention of running GM.” If that’s the case — and we know it’s not — then why scoop up majority ownership?” more…

In the news…

  • Blizzard is working on a new MMORPG.
  • Joe Biden has revealed the location of the secret Vice Presidential bunker.
  • Brazil and China are looking to use their own currencies for bilateral trade, as opposed to using the dollar.
  • Long Island could secede from the state of New York and become its own state. Staten Island would consider break from New York City.
  • Cars will be required to get 39 mpg by 2016.
  • Iran has tested a surface-to-surface missile that has a range of 2,000 km (1,200 miles).
  • A “right to repair cars” law, which is only necessary because of Digital Millennium Copyright Act prohibitions,  has been introduced in Congress.
  • There exists a brain interface for Twitter.
  • A new battery runs on air.
  • A table of unemployment rates by state.
  • A chart of external debt per capita by country.
  • Climate bill would take a speed reader 9 hours to read in its entirety, however there is no requirement that any bill up for vote be read by those members of Congress voting on it.
  • Under certain conditions the FCC has claimed the power to enter your house without a warrant.

Videos

And now the numbers…

DOW Jones Industrials – 8277.32 (+8.68/0.10%)
S&P 500 – 887.00 (+4.12/0.47%)
VIX – 32.63 (-0.49/-1.48%)
CSI 300 (China) – 2740.677 (-55.439/-1.98%)
BSE 500 (India) – 5235.69 (+790.99/17.80%)
MICEX (Russia) – 1054.03 (+51.84/5.17%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 50568.488 (+1561.277/3.19%)
RICI – 2815.60 (+115.05/4.26%)
Gold/oz – 958.90 (+27.60/2.96%)
Silver/oz – 14.695 (+0.705/5.04%)
Copper/lb – 209.75 (+8.00/3.97%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 60.78 (+4.80/8.57%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 612.50 (+35.00/6.06%)
Corn/bu – 430.25 (+13.00/3.12%)
EUR-USD – 1.3998 (+0.0503/3.73%)
USD-JPY – 94.777 (-0.424/-0.45%)
USD-BRL – 2.0267 (-0.0859/-4.07%)
3 Month Treasury – 0.17 (+0.01/6.25%)
2 Year Treasury – 0.88 (+0.03/3.53%)
10 Year Treasury – 3.45 (+0.32/10.22%)
30 Year Treasury – 4.38 (+0.30/7.35%)
U.S. Public Debt – 11305673498034.19921875000000 (+35126100469.60/0.31%)
Baltic Dry Index (BDIY:IND) – 2786.00 (+242.00/9.51%)

Memorial Day is tough for me. On the one hand I truly admire the courage of those who volunteer to serve in the military, and who by doing so, put themselves between us and those who might destroy us and our way of life. On the other hand our politicians have chosen to fight many wars that ought not to have been fought and in doing so have needlessly sacrificed the lives of our bravest. To that end I am not so much grateful for the sacrifices of our fighting men and women, but rather I am sad about how so many of them have been sacrificed needlessly.

On this Memorial Day I would ask you not just to honor the sacrifices of those who have served the country, but to ask yourself if those sacrifices were necessary. And please realize that this question, nor any of its possible answers, diminish the selflessness of the men and women who have died on our behalf. Rather asking the question helps us to ensure that in the future those who die for this country do not die needlessly. I think we owe at least this much to those who have already died on our behalf. And we certainly owe it to those who are currently in the line of fire.

Have a nice weekend and God Bless.

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