Quote of the week
“Time magazine picked Ben Bernanke as its person of the year. … In a year that saw a president use a $787 billion stimulus to turn a projected 9% unemployment rate into a 10% actual unemployment rate, who (besides Tim Geithner) better represents the breath-taking economic incompetence of today’s leadership in Washington?” – Don Surber
by James Howard Kunstler
“Okay, so President Obama didn’t run for office to help out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street – or so he said on CBS’s ’60 Minutes’ show Sunday night. But maybe it didn’t seem like such a bad idea once the election was over. Anyway, the net effect of his administration’s actions since then – all nicely documented in the latest Rolling Stone dispatch from the choleric Matt Taibbi – was an immense helping out of fat cat bankers on Wall Street at the expense of a lot of American citizens who work elsewhere, if they are lucky enough to have income-producing work.” more…
by Dan Denning
“How can any objective observer take a look at fiscal and monetary policy of the last three years and assume that central banking and fiat money are not a giant con job on the general public? Fiat money allows the government to create money backed by nothing. Not only does that decrease purchasing power — especially hurting savers and those on fixed income — it accelerates the misuse of real resources.
“When it comes down to it, it’s a kind of theft. The government prints money and gets the benefit of using it first before purchasing power is diminished. It trades paper money for real goods and services — things which take labor and raw materials to produce. The systematic inflation inherent in fiat currencies IS theft of real labor and resources.” more…
by The Wall St. Journal
“The previous 12 days of frantic sound and pointless fury showed that there isn’t anything approaching an international consensus on carbon control. What Copenhagen offered instead was a lesson in limits for a White House partial to symbolic gestures and routinely disappointed by reality.
“We can’t wait to hear Mr. Obama tell Americans that he wants them to pay higher taxes so the U.S. can pay China to become more energy efficient and thus more economically competitive.” more…
by Kevin R.C. Gutzman
“The Bill of Rights should be mourned, not celebrated. It is defunct. Intended as the bulwark of the right of decentralized self-government, it now serves mainly as an excuse for the opposite: a roving judicial veto of state policies that federal judges dislike.” more…
by Scott Atlas
“Medical care in the United States is derided as miserable compared to health care systems in the rest of the developed world. Economists, government officials, insurers and academics alike are beating the drum for a far larger government rôle in health care. Much of the public assumes their arguments are sound because the calls for change are so ubiquitous and the topic so complex. However, before turning to government as the solution, some unheralded facts about America’s health care system should be considered.” more… [Of course as Mark Twain once said, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”]
- Bill Bonner’s Weekly: Depression on Wheels
- Financial Sense Editorials: Beware of Zombies Wearing Lipstick
- As of today there have been 140 failed banks this year. For those keeping track that’s seven on the week.
News and Stuff
- Boeing’s 787 finally takes to the sky. [Link includes video of takeoff.]
- A factual piece about Ron Paul’s growing influence.
- Analysis of David Kokesh’s campaign for the 3rd New Mexico Congressional District.
- House passsed defense appropriations act, extended the PATRIOT Act, raised the debt limit, and passed a “jobs” bill. That’s about $1.9 trillion worth of spending in 24 hours.
- Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson launches the Our America Initiative.
- Obama’s approval is 44%. A whopping 40% strongly disapprove.
- US District judge grants injunction against defunding of ACORN. Bill’s of attainder are prohibited by the Constitution.
- For $60,000 you can have your very own 10,000 X zoom desktop electron microscope.
- Ron Paul and Barney Frank on Larry King.
- How the government “competes”. This is an excellent video. The 40 seconds it takes to watch it is time well spent.
And now the numbers…
DOW Jones Industrials – 10,328.89 (-142.61/-1.36%)
S&P 500 – 3,391.735 (+2,285.325/206.55%)
VIX – 21.68 (+0.09/0.42%)
CSI 300 (China) – 3,391.735 (-183.285/-5.13%)
BSE 500 (India) – 6,577.03 (-137.63/-2.05%)
MICEX (Russia) – 1,368.43 (+67.10/5.16%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 66,794.211 (-2,473.258/-3.57%)
RICI – 3,160.80 (+46.80/1.50%)
Gold/oz – 1,111.50 (-8.40/-0.75%)
Silver/oz – 17.32 (+0.23/1.35%)
Copper/lb – 313.85 (+0.55/0.18%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 73.75 (+1.87/2.60%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 528.00 (-9.50/-1.77%)
Corn/bu – 397.75 (-6.75/-1.67%)
EUR-USD – 1.4338 (-0.0277/-1.90%)
USD-JPY – 90.495 (+1.392/1.56%)
USD-BRL – 1.7802 (+0.0217/1.23%)
3 Month Treasury – 0.04 (+0.02/100.00%)
2 Year Treasury – 0.79 (-0.01/-1.25%)
10 Year Treasury – 3.54 (-0.01/-0.28%)
30 Year Treasury – 4.46 (-0.04/-0.89%)
U.S. Public Debt (official) – 12,097,698,782,543.90 (+5,025,882,141.60/0.04%)
Baltic Dry Index (BDIY:IND) – 3,258.00 (-321.00/-8.97%)
I don’t have too much time tonight. Too busy finishing up this semester. On the upside I’ll be finished after I take four more classes!
Okay, I’ll say one thing. I think this week’s newsletter rocks! And read Bonner’s column if you get a chance.
Breakfast in Ann Arbor at the Classic Cup Cafe at 8AM tomorrow.
Have a great weekend!
P.S. I found this today quoted in another post. I unfortunately couldn’t find the original, so I’m going to quote it an length here. It’s by Bill Jenkins and I think he hits the nail square on the head.
“The only way out, and I mean the only way, is to cut spending to the bare bone.
“Forget paying for education and the huge bureaucracy that drives it (into the ground). American children learned very well for generations without public schools. Forget subsidizing farmers for not planting their fields. For that matter, forget subsidies of all kinds. Foreign aid. Art. Health care for nonretirees. Sell federally owned lands and quit paying people to manage them. Shut down the IRS and move to a flat-rate taxation. Fund Congress and the Senate on a strictly honorarium basis and only let them work part time at the Capitol… say, 30 days per year. They would do a lot less damage that way…
“Our government no longer promotes freedom, but bondage. No longer liberty, but slavery. Our welfare and education systems have created a bloated citizenry nearly incapable of fending for themselves. Like baby birds in the nest, they sit with their mouths open waiting for some federal bureaucrat to drop something in.
“Until we are willing to provide personal, and not tax-based, charity to those who are truly in need around us; until parents are willing to take their children’s education back from the hands of the educational elite who have proved to us decisively that they know how to teach children not to read and not to count; until we demand that all our troops be brought home to defend our own borders and have no tangling alliances with foreign nations; until those who are determined to sit on the public dole go hungry for a while and decide that getting a job is better than starving; until we cut our porked government budget to live off a flat tax from our own people, and not borrow from nations all around us…
“Until all this happens, there will be no escape. There will be no redemption. There will be no recovery. There will be no hope for our grandchildren.”